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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He advised Russian President Vladimir Putin to focus on « getting the job done, » as Russia is the only way IS will be defeated in Syria.

“Russia should sever all relations, and if I had anything to advise Mr. Putin, I would say get the job done, stop participating in any of these peace agreements and destroy Daesh and get the job over with,” he said.

“The US is not going to do anything to help removing (sic) Daesh and is going to do everything possible to reconstruct, rearm, and resupply, and put more personnel into the field. So everything they say is a lie, and Putin really needs to stop playing games with the US State Department and get the job done.”

Kelley went on to credit Russia for getting involved in Syria when it did, stating that the country would have been “completely overrun” by now if it didn’t.

“One can only hope that [Russia] will be resolute, they will finish the job, they will stop being distracted by these fake calls for ceasefires,” he said.

Meanwhile, political analyst Chris Bambery slammed the US for failing to realize that there is no separation between moderate rebels and militants on the ground.

“The Americans can’t on the one hand say they want to fight Daesh – the so-called Islamic State – but at the same time be supporting rebel groups like al-Nusra Front, and there is no separation between moderate rebels and jihadists on the ground. They are there together, fighting alongside each other, and in fact the jihadists make up the majority. Much of the arms provided and the recruits trained by the West… have gone over to those groups,” Bambery told RT.

“It’s strange to me that America can be almost in alliance with a group which is an affiliate of the organization that carried out the 9/11 attacks in Washington and New York.

« This does not seem a coherent policy.”

Referring to Washington’s threat of severing ties with Russia when it comes to Syria, Bambery said the situation is equivalent to a child “throwing their toys out of the pram,” adding that Washington needs Moscow to achieve a successful outcome in the war-torn country via a political process.

“They need the Russians to make a deal over Syria. They need them to bring Assad, as they did, to the table, and to kick off the talks,” he said, adding that US Secretary of State John Kerry “doesn’t seem to be actually capable to [rising] to the challenge of Syria, and bringing home an agreement which can end the civil war.”

Jeff Steinberg, senior editor of the Executive Intelligence Review, agreed that the US is failing to differentiate between rebel groups and militants.

“The US does not differentiate between the rebel groups they’re backing, with the exception of ISIS…When Kirby says there’s going to be Russians going to be going home in body bags and terrorism taking place on Russian soil, I have to scratch my head and say, ‘is this a threat coming from a government that’s actually backing groups like al-Nusra?’”

Reminding that al-Nusra is a branch of Al-Qaeda, Steinberg said: “We seem to have forgotten every lesson learned from 9/11, and we’re back in bed with the same forces who carried out those hideous attacks.”

When it comes to Kerry’s call for another ceasefire in Syria, Bambery says that his demand is impossible, as trust has to be rebuilt following the recent happenings.

“Confidence has to be rebuilt, the parties have to be brought back together again, in the way that we got that ceasefire in the first place. And rather than hectoring Russia, rather than hectoring what they seem to regard as opponents in this, they need to be working together to bring back that trust, to bring back the people around the table, where we can get that ceasefire going. And this is not a way of going about it…” he concluded.

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Sélection d’articles du 24 au 30 septembre 2016

Bachar Al-Jaafari

Syrie : Nous sommes passés d’une guerre par procuration à une vraie guerre ! Par Dr. Bachar al-Jaafari, 25 septembre 2016

Ce 21 septembre lors d’une énième session du Conseil de sécurité de l’ONU sur la situation en Syrie, Ban Ki-moon aurait déclaré :« C’est l’occasion de rétablir la cessation des hostilités, faciliter l’aide humanitaire à Alep et dans tout le pays, maintenir au sol la force aérienne syrienne et voir une action militaire conjointe contre les groupes terroristes tels que Daech et Al Nosra… cela permettrait d’ouvrir la voie vers des négociations politiques » . Maintenir au sol la force aérienne syrienne ! Pour quoi faire, sinon légitimer les mensonges, la cruauté et la rapacité de ses donneurs d’ordre ?nPour mémoire, voici la réponse du Docteur Bachar al-Jaafari, délégué permanent de la Syrie auprès des Nations Unies.


Les « Casques Blancs » main dans la main avec les groupes terroristes en Syrie Par Silvia Cattori, 26 septembre 2016

L’entreprise commerciale américaine Netflix, qui diffuse des films et séries télévisées en ligne, a consacré aux Casques Blancs un « documentaire choc« . Diffusé depuis le 16 septembre, sur tous les continents et à grand renfort de publicité, ce film de pure propagande, à la gloire des Casques Blancs – une prétendue organisation « humanitaire syrienne » financée par les puissances qui épaulent les groupes terroristes dits « rebelles modérés » -, est destiné à entretenir la fiction que le gouvernement Assad et l’armée régulière syrienne n’agissent pas en faveur de leur peuple, mais bombardent délibérément des civils.


Jordanie – Bye bye Nahed, vous resterez à jamais vivant dans la mémoire des Levantins Par Mouna Alno-Nakhal, 26 septembre 2016

Hier et aujourd’hui, la presse écrite et télévisée du Levant honore la vie et l’œuvre de l’homme politique et écrivain engagé, Nahed Hattar, citoyen jordanien assassiné ce dimanche par un « Takfiriste », comme l’affirment les autorités jordaniennes ; une brève définition de cette catégorie d’assassins regrouperait ceux qui rejettent autrui et agissent pour réduire au silence l’autre qui ose penser autrement.


Les sanctions économiques, principal obstacle au développement de Cuba Par Salim Lamrani, 27 septembre 2016

Malgré l’établissement d’un dialogue historique avec La Havane le 17 décembre 2014 et en dépit de la visite officielle du Président Barack Obama dans l’île en mars 2016, Washington continue d’appliquer des sanctions économiques contre la population cubaine, suscitant l’incompréhension auprès de la communauté internationale.


Le Pentagone lance l’opération psychologique («Psyop») en Syrie Par Manlio Dinucci, 27 septembre 2016

Les « Psyop » (Opérations psychologiques), dont sont chargées des unités spéciales des forces armées et des services secrets étasuniens, sont définies par  comme des « opérations planifiées pour influencer à travers des informations déterminées les émotions et motivations et donc le comportement de l’opinion publique, d’organisations et de gouvernements étrangers, afin d’induire ou renforcer des attitudes favorables aux objectifs préfixés ».

Alep Damas

Si vous avez une seule capitale, mon pays en a deux : Damas et Alep! Par Dr. Bachar al-Jaafari, 28 septembre 2016

Le Conseil de sécurité s’est réuni ce dimanche, 25 septembre, à la demande des États-Unis, de la Grande-Bretagne et de la France. Inutile de relayer les discours des représentants de ces trois pays, les médias aux ordres des meneurs de la prétendue Coalition internationale de lutte contre le terrorisme se sont, très lourdement, chargés de la besogne.


Le Quai d’Orsay, l’UE et les USA financent le «Aleppo Media Centre», qui défend la cause des djihadistes Par Vanessa Beeley, 29 septembre 2016

L’histoire a fait la une partout : «Petit garçon sorti vivant des décombres». La vidéo et la photographie produites par le Aleppo Media Centre (AMC), qui montrait Omran Daqneesh, alias «le petit rescapé d’Alep» prétendument sauvé par les notoirement connus casques blancs dans la partie est d’Alep tenue par les terroristes, est aussitôt devenue virale et a été propulsée bien haut dans la stratosphère de la propagande médiatique occidentale.


Interview avec un commandant du Front al-Nosra : «Les Américains sont à nos côtés» Par Jürgen Todenhöfer, 29 septembre 2016

Cette interview menée par Jürgen Todenhöfera d’abord été publiée en allemand le 26 septembre 2016 dans le Kölner Stadtanzeiger, le principal quotidien de la région de Cologne. Interview avec un commandant du Front al-Nosra : «Les Américains sont à nos côtés»

« L’interview a été organisée par un rebelle d’Alep. J’ai des contacts avec des rebelles syriens depuis des années. L’interview s’est déroulée à l’extérieur d’Alep, dans une carrière à portée de vue – et de tir – du Front al-Nosra. Seul un membre d’al-Nosra pouvait s’y rendre sans danger. »


Al-Qaïda confirme collaborer avec la coalition internationale en Syrie Par Guillaume Borel, 29 septembre 2016

Le journal allemand Kölner Stadtanzeiger a publié lundi 26 septembre l’interview exclusive d’un des commandants du Front Al-Nosra à Alep, la branche d’Al-Qaïda en Syrie rebaptisée récemment Fatah Al-Cham et qualifiée de groupe « rebelle modéré ». Cette interview confirme un certain nombre d’analyses qui circulaient dans les médias indépendants, notamment en ce qui concerne la collaboration opérationnelle entre le Front al-Nosra et la coalition internationale, mais également la responsabilité des groupes djihadistes dans la crise humanitaire actuelle.

Ashton Carter

Le chef du Pentagone annonce les plans américains pour une guerre nucléaire avec la Russie Par Bill Van Auken, 29 septembre 2016

Le ministre de la Défense américain Ashton Carter a prononcé un discours devant des “missileers” (lanceurs de missiles) sur la base du Global Strike Command (commandement des frappes mondiales) à Minot, dans le Dakota du Sud, lundi, défendant la modernisation massive de l’arsenal nucléaire américain et émettant des menaces belliqueuses contre la Russie.


L’accord d’Alger de l’OPEP : Nécessité d’une stabilisation des prix avec les pays consommateurs Par Chems Eddine Chitour, 30 septembre 2016

L’Algérie a accueilli avec  élégance et avec sa tradition hospitalière, le 15e FIE Forum international de l’énergie et le Sommet de l’Opep dans une conjoncture plus volatile que jamais. Quand on entend le secrétaire général de l’Opep déclarer que la réunion d’Alger ne décidera de rien,  on pensait que la réunion d’Alger était un non–évènement .  Rien ne présageait en fait  une réussite du Sommet informel de l’Opep…

Annie Lacroix-Riz

Comment la France passa de l’ère allemande à l’ère américainePar Dr. Jacques R. Pauwels, 30 septembre 2016

Dans deux de ses livres, Le choix de la Défaite : les élites françaises dans les années 1930 et De Munich à Vichy, l’assassinat de la 3eRépublique 1938-1940 Annie Lacroix-Riz  a expliqué comment, dans les années trente, l’élite de la société française – politiciens, militaires de haut rang, industriels, banquiers, le haut clergé, etc. – a voulu et planifié l’ « étrange défaite » de 1940. C’est par le biais de cette trahison que l’élite put triompher de l’« ennemi intérieur » gauchiste, empêcher d’autres réformes politiques et surtout sociales comme celles introduites par le Front Populaire, et éliminer le système, trop démocratique à son goût, de la 3e République en faveur du régime autoritaire et collaborateur de Vichy.

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US officials have threatened Syria and its allies – including Russia specifically – that the collapse of a US-proposed ceasefire will lead “Gulf states” to arm militants with shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles.

A Reuters article titled, “Gulf may arm rebels now Syria truce is dead: U.S. officials,” would elaborate, claiming:

One U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss American policy, said Washington has kept large numbers of such man-portable air defense systems, or MANPADS, out of Syria by uniting Western and Arab allies behind channeling training and infantry weapons to moderate opposition groups while it pursued talks with Moscow.

But frustration with Washington has intensified, raising the possibility that Gulf allies or Turkey will no longer continue to follow the U.S. lead or will turn a blind eye to wealthy individuals looking to supply MANPADS to opposition groups.

“The Saudis have always thought that the way to get the Russians to back off is what worked in Afghanistan 30 years ago – negating their air power by giving MANPADS to the mujahideen,” said a second U.S. official.

However, in reality, ambitions to down Russian and Syrian aircraft over Syria are not Saudi in origin, but rather come from the highest levels of policy and politics within Washington.  Washington-based corporate-financier policy think tank, the Brookings Institution, in a paper titled, “What to do when containing the Syrian crisis has failed,” would admit (emphasis added):

We must also be clever about employing various options for no-fly zones: We cannot shoot down an airplane without knowing if it’s Russian or Syrian, but we can identify those aircraft after the fact and destroy Syrian planes on the ground if they were found to have barrel-bombed a neighborhood, for example. These kinds of operations are complicated, no doubt, and especially with Russian aircraft in the area—but I think we have made a mistake in tying ourselves in knots over the issue, since there are options we can pursue.

In a 2015 Fox News interview, US Senator John McCain would admit:

I might do what we did in Afghanistan many years ago, to give those guys the ability to shoot down those planes. That equipment is available.

When asked to clarify his statement as to who would be shooting down the planes, McCain would answer:

The Free Syrian Army, just like the Afghans shot down the Russian…

In essence then, the US is merely laundering anti-air weapons and the ambition to use them through Saudi Arabia, as it has done so with all the weapons, terrorists, vehicles, money, and support used to trigger and perpetuate the ongoing war in Syria – with the Saudis at best, merely partners.

The US is Knowingly Going to Arm Al Qaeda, ISIS with Anti-Air Missiles

US politicians and policymakers are already acutely aware that any weapons they send into Syria – including anti-air missiles – will immediately end up in the hands of designated foreign terrorist organizations, including Al Qaeda and ISIS. They are aware of this because thousands of anti-tank missiles the US has sent into the country, as well as fleets of Toyota trucks, ammunition, food, and other supplies have already ended up in Al Qaeda and ISIS’ hands.

This is not only through the seizure of weapons by terrorist organizations from “moderate rebels,” but because America’s “moderate rebels” have either voluntarily joined the ranks of designated terrorist organizations, including Al Qaeda and ISIS – or were affiliated with terrorists from the very beginning and even before the conflict even began.

In a particularly embarrassing episode, it was reported by the pro-war, corporate-financier funded and chaired Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) blog, The Long War Journal in an article titled, “Islamic State used US-made anti-tank missiles near Palmyra,” that:

In a new video released by the Islamic State, the jihadist group shows the capture of the ancient city of Palmyra, also known as Tadmur in Arabic. During the video, at least one US-made BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missile is seen being used against Syrian regime troops near the city.

The report continued by stating:

This is not the first time the Islamic State has shown with TOWs. Last December, the jihadist group also published photos showing its forces using TOW missiles against Free Syrian Army (FSA) forces in the Damascus countryside. The United States has supplied several FSA groups with TOW missiles, which have sometimes fallen into the hands of jihadist groups or have been used to assist jihadist groups. The TOW used in Palmyra was likely captured from battles with the FSA in other parts of Syria.

It is not only possible that any anti-air weapons sent into Syria will end up in the hands of Al Qaeda or ISIS, it is inevitable.

Any nation supplying militants with such weapons is all but intentionally ensuring they eventually end up in the hands of terrorist organizations.

America Sowing the Seeds for New Levels of Global Terrorism for Decades to Come

And what US policymakers seem unaware or unconcerned with is the possibility that such weapons may be turned against their own forces not only in Syria – including US and European warplanes – but across the region, including on the battlefield in Yemen, targeting US-made Saudi warplanes.

Also possible is that these weapon systems are spirited out of the region and used to target civilian aircraft in terrorist attacks around the world.

As the US continues leveraging the downing of MH-17 over Ukraine against Russia, it simultaneously attempts to all but ensure the most dangerous terrorist organizations on Earth gain access to anti-air weaponry. It is a clear indicator that the US, not Russia nor the Syrian government, pose a threat to global peace and stability.

The same US who knowingly created and wielded Al Qaeda against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980s before claiming to be victimized by this mercenary force on September 11, 2001 -precipitating a decade and a half of “War on Terror” – is hereby standing up a terrorist mercenary force larger and better armed than ever before. The US is sowing the seeds of global terrorism for decades to come by doing so.

America’s fueling of the Syrian conflict directly and through its Persian Gulf proxies has turned the entire Middle East and North African region into a hotbed of failed states, terrorism, and humanitarian crises. Russia’s failure to prevent US intervention in Libya has left the nation divided and destroyed, hemorrhaging refugees across the Mediterranean Sea into Europe and inviting terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda and ISIS to expand across not only the ruins of Libya, but also across the rest of the region and beyond.

Russia’s failure to stop the division and destruction of Syria will result in a catastrophe greater still – and despite the level of destruction and violence unfolding today in Syria – should Damascus collapse and militant groups be left intact – Syria will face exponentially greater violence and destruction that will make Libya’s ongoing sociopolitical and humanitarian catastrophe pale in comparison.

The US, by erasing the lines of even rhetorical sensibility, does however open a window of opportunity for Syria and its allies to respond with asymmetrical warfare, targeting US and European warplanes illegally operating over Syria in such a way as to make it difficult if not impossible to determine whether or not America’s own anti-air weapons are being used against its and its allies’ warplanes.

US policy which essentially places anti-air missiles into the hands of terrorists – is so ill-conceived and desperate, the fact that it has been tabled in the first place illustrates Washington’s increasingly weak and desperate hand. If this policy is properly exposed for what it truly implies both for Syria and the state of global security for decades to come, and should it be countered intelligently by Syria and its allies, it can be turned back against Washington and add further impetus to finally end this war in the Syrian people’s favor – not Washington’s.

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

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DANGER – Tensions Rising Sharply Between Nuclear Superpowers

septembre 30th, 2016 by Dimitris Konstantakopoulos

Tension between Russia and USA rose dangerously, on Thursday 29th of September, as the spokesman of the American Pentagon proceeded to indirect, still clear and quite unprecedented threats, about what can happen to Russian soldiers, interests and even cities, if Moscow and Damascus do not alter their policy in Syria. In the same time the US Secretary of State is threatening with suspension of talks with Russia on the situation in Syria.

Answering to these threats, the spokesman of the Russian Ministry of Defense said that (Pentagon’s spokesman Kirby’s) “words are the most frank confession by the U.S. side so far that the whole ‘opposition’ ostensibly fighting a civil war in Syria is a U.S.-controlled international terrorist alliance…What makes Kirby’s statement particularly shocking is that the scale of direct U.S. influence on terrorists’ activity is global, and that it reaches as far as Russia.”

These exchanges came only three days after US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter went to the Air Force Global Strike Command base, in Minot, South Dakota, to defend the massive modernization of the US nuclear arsenal and issue bellicose threats against Russia, essentially outlining plans for a nuclear war with Russia!

Look for more information in the following articles:







Once more, the question some observers are putting is if President Obama is really in control of the US state apparatus, or we are facing one more “revolt” of the “party of War” inside it. For eight years, Obama is trying to reverse the neocon scenario for a bigger conflict in the Middle East which would extend, after Syria and Lebanon, to a probably nuclear conflict with Iran. In this context, the Syrian war can be seen as the prelude and the preparation of the greater war against Iran.

Who is deciding US Foreign Policy, the President or the “War Party”? This is exactly the question Stephen Cohen, one of the leading and deeper students of Russian affairs in USA is putting, in his review of the new rise of Cold War in both Ukraine and Syria


Another observer, ex-British diplomat Alistair Crook also warns about the “Party of War” inside the US administration and state which is not obeying Obama’s orders


For the activities regarding Syria and Turkey of the neocon “War Party” and its friends outside the US you may see




A quarter of a century after the unilateral dissolution of Warsaw Pact and the collapse of the USSR, we are found again in a situation of a rapidly developing nuclear arms race, without the checques and balances, the Arms Control tools (like the ABM treaty) and the codes of behavior existing during the Cold War, at least after the Cuban Missile Crisis.


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The Monsanto Company has been reeling from an image crisis for several years now, one that reached a fever pitch with the first March Against Monsanto in May 2013.

The bad press and constant protests, both in its home country of the United States and especially abroad where GMOs are banned in 38 countries, have continued ever since, leading to company plans to possibly change its name and culminating with a pending, agreed-upon sale to Bayer this year.

But while the company has been universally questioned, criticized and protested against by the general citizenry, it has made inroads in large part because of its close relationships with government and academic institutions, as well as the lack of clear, concise labeling on GMO foods.

And now, Monsanto has partnered about with two of the biggest names in academia: Harvard University and MIT, for a new project that could change the face of agriculture in many unforeseen ways.

Monsanto Teams Up With Harvard, MIT for Controversial CRISPR GMOs 

The current regulatory framework for GMO crops has been roundly criticized by watchdog groups and scientists who say that Monsanto’s new crops are approved despite a lack of long-term, independent safety testing.

But it’s still at least somewhat time-consuming for new crops to make it to market, giving customers and watchdog groups a chance to be vigilant.

Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)

The highly controversial new CRISPR technology for creating genetically engineered crops could change all that, however. Also known as gene-editing, this technology allows scientists to simply “exchange a couple letters in an organism’s genetic code (either an A, G, C or T) and replace it with one that is somehow beneficial for a specific purpose,” as noted in this article from the website DigitalTrends.com. Regular GMOs swap a plant’s genes with those from an entirely different organism.

The new CRISPR technique will allow many more scientists and companies to begin experimenting with changing the genes in our natural food crops (which could be highly profitable in the long run, especially since consumers aren’t likely to know that it’s being done to their food), and now Harvard and MIT are getting in on a piece of the action.

Monsanto announced recently that it has reached an agreement with the Broad Institute (a biomedical and genomic research institute) of MIT and Harvard University, continuing a trend of corporate infiltration of academia that also included a recent $6 million dollar donation by Bill Gates to help “de-polarize” the debate on GMOs at another top university, Cornell.

The agreement will help “deliver a wide array of crop improvements in global agriculture,” the press release stated, and is considered to be the institute’s first agricultural license.

“The license to CRISPR-Cas from the Broad Institute provides access to an exciting tool for our growing body of genome-editing research,” said Dr. Tom Adams of Monsanto. “Genome-editing technology is complementary to our ongoing discovery research and provides an incredible resource to further unlock our world-leading germplasm and genome libraries.”

But what will be the unintended consequences of this strange new world in biotechnology, and will the citizens even know what types of experiments they may be eating?

Here is what the Green party/European Free Alliance group in the European parliament had to say on CRISPR GMOs according to this article from GMWatch.org. In Europe there is a push to classify them along with regular GMOs which could lead to bans and/or restrictions.

“Gene editing raises similar concerns as [genetic modification] as regards intellectual property rights and the impact on traditional and organic farming models. As such, it would make sense for gene editing to be covered by the same regulatory regime as existing GMOs,” they said in a statement. “However, the current EU legislation on GMOs is clearly in need of a major overhaul, notably to significantly improve the risk assessment process and ensure its independence, as well as to take account of the socio-economic impact of GMOs.”

Natalie Bennett, the UK Green Party leader, had this to say about the new technology: “The Green party believes that with these new technologies, with their often unknown side effects and impacts, it is important to maintain the precautionary principle. These are genetic modifications using new techniques; they should be treated accordingly.

“It was only last week that researchers writing in the prestigious journal Science expressed grave concerns about one particular use of gene editing technology, the gene drive, while the European Food Safety Authority concluded in 2012 that cisgenesis [another technology for altering plants] should be treated in terms of regulation and oversight as a GM technology, at least initially.

“With new techniques and possibilities being developed every year, now is not the time to allow a wild west of release of organisms without full safety oversight and consumer information.”

Untested, Unlabeled CRISPR Technology: Full-Speed Ahead in the U.S.

Unfortunately in the United States and despite the concerns of many others like Bennett, the CRISPR gene-editing experiment continues full-speed ahead.

As of right now there will is no regulation needed for CRISPR-created GMO plants such as a new non-browning mushroom created by a Penn State University scientist in the lab, according to the USDA in this article from the Organic Consumers Association.

The technology is also excluded from the new “GMO labeling law (which many described as toothless to begin with)” so there may come a time when such gene-edited crops flood store shelves without customers even knowing, despite the complete lack of independent, long-term safety testing.

For more on the controversial technology and the new Harvard and MIT agreement, you can click on this link.

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Suing Saudi Arabia: Overturning Sovereign Immunity in US Courts

septembre 30th, 2016 by Dr. Binoy Kampmark

It was momentous on one fundamental level. Here was the President of the United States, Barack Obama, holding the torch for a wretched ally the politicians on the Hill and others have had reservations over for many years.  Saudi Arabia, ever the thorn and asset of US interests, facing the grief of families who lost members on September 11, 2001.  This, the same ally whose theocratic bent remains the most bruising of obstacles in any claims that the US is open to a global democratic experiment.

In the end, it came down to a very American formula, one born in the court room and ligation process. It also left a good deal of mud on the Presidential power of veto.  “I would venture to say,” ventured press secretary Josh Earnest, not without some hyperbole, “that this is the single most embarrassing thing that the United States has done, possibly since 1983.”

The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act permits US courts to waive an assertion of foreign sovereign immunity, one of the treasured features of a State’s legal armoury, regarding acts of terrorism that occur on US soil.  While Saudi Arabia claims no direct role in the 9/11 attacks, it cannot say the same about its zealous nationals, with fifteen of the 19 plane hijackers boasting that nationality.

True to form, its diplomats were heating the issue and reminding US lawmakers about the consequences of JASTA becoming law.  In the cold, monetarily inclined words of Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir, “everybody will begin to think twice before they invest in a place where their assets could be seized.”[1]

Sen. Chuck Schumer, chief sponsor of the bill, explained with some solemnity that, “Overriding a presidential veto is something we don’t take lightly, but it was important in this case that the families of the victims of 9/11 be allowed to pursue justice, even if that pursuit causes some diplomatic discomforts.”[2]

Nerves through Washington duly frayed.  Playing the 9/11 card is a rotten business, but it certainly worked to convince members on both side of the aisle that the President’s veto had to be overturned.  The façade was duly taken down; and the ugly, protective mask of the relationship with Riyadh ripped off.  Admitting to an avenue of legal action, or at any rate permitting it, against an ally was tantamount to a confession.

One such individual was CIA director John Brennan, whose befuddled security mind has to juggle the plotting machinations of Riyadh with the dictates of US security.  “It would be an absolute shame if this legislation, in any way, influenced the Saudi willingness to continue to be among our best counterterrorism partners.”

President Obama was more forthright. The passage of the bill effectively meant that the various imperial efforts of the US would be compromised.  Vast, gargantuan and spread over the earth, US engagements and actions would suddenly face the prospect of legal targeting.

His concern with such actions had to with “not wanting a situation in which we’re suddenly exposed to liabilities for all the work that we’re doing all around the world, and suddenly finding ourselves subject to private lawsuits in courts where we don’t even know exactly where they’re on the up and up, in some cases.”[3]

Speculation was already being advanced by various legal authorities.  JASTA, argued Theodore Karasik, would also permit Saudi citizens an avenue to sue the US government and its employees in foreign courts. That would well accompany additional moves to amend domestic laws “to allow their citizens to sue the US government and its employees in foreign courts, most likely state security courts.”[4]

Stephen I. Vladeck of the University of Texas School of Law goes further in suggesting that the law will do little to bring home the litigious bounty for victims of 9/11 while enlarging the scope for US plaintiffs to launch suits against states for international terrorism, whether Washington deems them sponsors of terrorism or otherwise.[5]

The punch against US power, however, would come in the form of taking Washington’s policies to task in very specific cases.  Would, for instance, the Syrian regime be justified in suing the United States for its role in sponsoring Syrian rebel fighters who go on to commit acts of terrorism?  Justice can be truly blind, though the legal authorities often fear it.

Much of this fuss may be unfounded.  States continue to pursue claims against each other in the International Court of Justice, though they tend to do so with velvet gloves and utterances of mock decency.  In some cases arbitral channels over matters of wrongful death can also be used.  But States have continued over the years to cite a veil of sovereign immunity in the courts that has, at stages, begun to tear. The Nuremberg war crimes trials made a decent start of it.

Over time, the deaths of nationals has generated a basis to seek compensation, though a state might well be reluctant to part with money in the bargain.  Granting an award is no guarantee of receiving it.  But rarely has there been such an overt challenge to assumptions of sovereign immunity, a domestic effort to effectively overturn an internationally accepted rule.

Following that other accepted notion of reciprocity at international law, other countries may well see their nationals rush to the courts to seek redress for the actions of the US imperium, allies or otherwise.  They should be mindful of the comments of Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate judiciary committee: “All they want is the opportunity to present their case in a court of law.”

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


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TISA, TTIP and TPP continue to be negotiated in secret, as WikiLeaks recently released a new leak from the updated TISA (Trade in Services Agreement) core text and annexes. If you want to know what TISA means in 7 words, it’s this: total privatization and commodification of public services.

Unfortunately, once something is privatized, it becomes very difficult to ever get it back into the public hands. Of the 3 T-Treaties, TISA is the largest, encompassing 24 countries (including blocs such as the EU) which produce over 2/3 of global GDP, yet has received the least attention.

Protests against the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, negotiated primarily between the US and EU) have been strong, to the point where several European government officials have publicly stated that the treaty doesn’t look like it will pass. Protests have also been strong against the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership, negotiated primarily among the US, Japan, Canada, Australia and other Pacific nations).

Since the worldwide economy is shifting from being product-based to being service-based, TISA has the potential to become one of the most important economics treaties on Earth. Already, according to 2015 figures from the World Bank, service industries account for 78% of US GDP and 74% of EU GDP. Together, the 3 T-Treaties promise to cement massive control in the hands of the international corporatocracy, disempowering sovereign states and preventing governments from setting laws, regulations and policy to protect their nations, markets and people.

All About the Corporatocracy

It’s laughable to hear politicians defend TISA and the other treaties by trying to claim they will be good for jobs or the economy. For most people in TISA, TTIP and TPP affected nations, the results will be disastrous, as discussed in How the TPP is Going to Affect You. The aim of these treaties is to open up markets for multinational corporations to exploit new labor and consumer markets – with less governmental regulation than before. These treaties give the corporatocracy the power to force down wages. This article talks about the proposed TISA agreement:

“The “disciplines,” or treaty rules, would provide foreign services providers free access to domestic markets at “no less favorable” conditions than domestic suppliers and would restrict governments’ ability to regulate services. This would essentially change the regulation of many public and privatized or commercial services from serving the public interest to serving the profit interests of private, foreign corporations.”

You may not like tyrannical governments, but tyrannical corporations are even worse, because at least a government can be petitioned, replaced or overthrown; private corporations answer to no one except their shareholders. The point of government is protect the rights of its citizens, which includes regulating creatures like corporations who are created for the sole purpose of making as much money as possible above anything else. TISA, TTIP and TPP all gut the ability of national governments to enact laws to protect their land and citizens from marauding foreign multinationals. It’s corporate hegemony, pure and simple.

TISA, TTIP and TPP would disallow GMO and country-of-origin labeling, would essentially make Google, Facebook and any website owner a “copyright cop”, and would even require all signatory states to make their national laws conform (and be subordinate to) the ones in these treaties!

ISDS (Investor State Dispute Settlement): Parallel Legal System in All 3 T-Treaties

Much has already been written about the ISDS (Investor State Dispute Settlement), but for those who don’t know, the ISDS is a parallel legal system that only multinationals have access to. People, local companies and even national governments do not have access to it. The ISDS tribunal is staffed (of course) with corporate lawyers. ISDS even gives corporations the power to get legal damages in “expected profit”. The way it is written, a Vietnamese phone company, for example, could bring its company (with its workers paying its wages) into the US, could set up business there, and could sue if the local, state or national government tried to stop them.

Opposition to TISA, TTIP and TPP Growing

Despite the secrecy surrounding TISA, TTIP and TPP, the public and nations states alike have gained enough knowledge of them to mount widespread opposition. Recently (and surprisingly) Vietnam refused to ratify the TPP, even though some considered it would benefit greatly from the clauses dealing with wage rates. Meanwhile, literally hundreds of thousands of people protested the TTIP in Germany. The French Government has opposed the deal (French Prime Minister Manuel Valls demanded a finish to the talks) and German Vice-Chancellor and Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel revealed that TTIP negotiations had basically failed. He stated:

“In my opinion, the negotiations with the United States have de facto failed, even though nobody is really admitting it … Europeans must not give in to (the Americans’) demands.”

Those American demands he is referring to are things like Europeans accepting hormone-filled beef and chlorine-filled chicken. Europe’s food standards are much higher than those of the US, which has been more influenced and corrupted by Big Agra and Big Biotech (and their toxic array of pesticides and GMOs) more than the EU. In the US, around 70% of supermarket food is GMO and around 90% of beef is made using growth hormones, whereas the GMO rate in the EU is way lower, and hormone-fed beef is banned.

TISA, TTIP and TTP: calculated economic warfare against the BRICS nations.

3 T-Treaties: Economic Warfare Against BRICS

As much as TISA, TTIP and TTP embolden multinational corporations, the 3 T-Treaties also serve another agenda: the geopolitical plan for the US and allies to isolate the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). To understand this, you need to realize that the so-called New World Order is very much an Anglo-American-Zionist dominated agenda. It’s all about the push towards global governance or world government, by centralizing power in every area of life: political, military, educational, financial and more. TISA, TTIP and TPP represent nothing less than economic warfare against BRICS.

TTIP forges ties with the EU and surrounding nations, but deliberately excludes Russia. TPP forges ties with Japan, other Pacific nations and some South American nations, but deliberately excludes China, India and Brazil. TISA forges ties with countries all over the world (sort of a combination of TTIP and TPP) but none of them are the 5 BRICS countries. The plan is obvious: isolate, ostracize and weaken any nation which dares to challenge US supremacy. This goes hand-in-hand with US military agenda (the Pivot to Asia) which aims to inflict the same kind of weakening in a military sense.

power grab

Conclusion: TISA, TTIP and TTP are a Colossal Power Grab

TISA, TTIP and TTP are an attempt to rewrite the playing rules for a massive amount of the world economy, bring financial pressure to bear down upon the perceived opponents and enemies of the US, consolidate more power for the corporatocracy, open up new markets for exploitation without regulation, and make the public even more powerless against Big Money. These 3 T-Treaties (and others like them such as CETA being negotiated between Canada and the EU) must be first brought out of secrecy and under scrutiny. They remove sovereignty and decision-making ability away from the local and regional level. It’s yet more centralization of power – the overriding theme of the New World Order agenda. That reason alone is hopefully sufficient for anyone unsure about these T-Treaties, and new to the sphere of conspiracy research, to regard them with a large dose of distrust.

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










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William Engdahl recently explained how Washington used the corrupt Brazilian elite, which answers to Washington, to remove the duly elected President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, for representing the Brazilian people rather than the interests of Washington.

Unable to see through the propaganda of unproven charges, Brazilians acquiesced in the removal of their protector, thereby providing the world another example of the impotence of democracy.

Everyone should read Engdahl’s article. He reports that part of the attack on Rousseff stemmed from Brazil’s economic problems deliberately created by US credit rating agencies as part of Washington’s attack to down grade Brazilian debt, which set off an attack on the Brazilian currency.

Brazil’s financial openness made Brazil an easy target to attack. One might hope that Vladimir Putin would take note of the cost of “economic openness.” Putin is a careful and thoughtful leader of Russia, but he is not an economist. He has confidence in neoliberal Elvira Nabiulina, Washington’s choice to head the Russian central bank. Nabiulina is unfamiliar with Modern Monetary Theory, and her commitment to “economic openness” leaves the Russian economy as exposed as Brazil’s to Washington destabilization. Nabiuina believes that the assault on the ruble is due to impersonal “global market forces,” not to Washington’s financial clout.

Nabiulina, an indoctrinated and propagandized neoliberal, is essentially a servant of Washington, not that she is aware of her role as “useful idiot.” She delights in the applause she receives from the Washington Consensus for leaving the Russian economy open to Washington’s manipulation. Being a neoliberal, she does not understand that Russia’s central bank can create at zero cost the money with which to finance productive projects in Russia. Instead, she thinks that the money entering the economy from the central bank is inflationary, but the money entering the economy from foreign sources is not.

Money is money regardless of whether it is made available by the central bank or by foreign creditors. As long as the money, whatever its source, is used productively, the money is not inflationary.

There is a huge difference between the money created by the central bank and the money created by foreign creditors. Money lent by foreign banks in the form or US dollars or euros must be repaid with interest in the foreign exchange in which the money was lent. Money created by the central bank to finance public infrastructure projects does not have to be repaid at all, much less with interest and in foreign exchange earned by exports.

Funds acquired from borrowing abroad bring many risks. The money can be pulled out, collapsing a freely traded ruble. The interest that must be paid is a drain on Russia’s foreign currency reserves. Foreign borrowing also brings a foreign exchange risk, which rises with economic sanctions. If the ruble drops in value or is driven down with an orchestrated attack, the ruble cost of the foreign loan can rise dramatically.

None of these risks and costs are present when the central bank is the source of money. The appropriate use of the Russian central bank is to create the money with which to finance public projects and to serve as lender of last resort to private Russian companies unable to obtain funding from Russian banks. This use of the central bank insulates the Russian economy from orchestrated destabilization.

It is unfortunate for Russia that Nabiulina and prime minister Dmitry Medvedev believe that Russian debt financed by hostile foreigners is preferable to money created by Russia’s own central bank. Glazyev, alone among Putin’s advisers, understands this. We suspect that the Atlanticist Integrationists have a target on Glazyev’s back as they hope to integrate Russia with the West regardless of the costs to Russia. These Russian “America Worshipers” are Russia’s greatest problem.

For Washington, neoliberal austerity is for “export only” to countries that Washington intends to turn into dependent financial colonies. By accommodating Washington’s goal, Nabiulina is engaging in a charade. The dollars and euros borrowed from abroad are not the money that goes to the Russian borrowers. The borrowed foreign exchange is held by the central bank. Nabiulina then creates the rubles that finance the projects. There is no point whatsoever to borrowing foreign currencies as backing for domestically created rubles. Regardless of whether Russia borrows abroad, the central bank must create rubles with which to finance the projects. So there is no point to the foreign borrowing.

A Russian government that cannot understand this is in deep trouble.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the WestHow America Was Lost, and The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.

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Le «Psyops» (Operazioni psicologiche), cui sono addette speciali unità delle forze armate e dei servizi segreti Usa, sono definite dal Pentagono «operazioni pianificate per influenzare attraverso determinate informazioni le emozioni e motivazioni e quindi il comportamento dell’opinione pubblica, di organizzazioni e governi stranieri, così da indurre o rafforzare atteggiamenti favorevoli agli obiettivi prefissi».

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Le Grand Orient au Moyen Orient

L’Angleterre aura durablement façonné le Moyen-Orient à son image, plus que toute autre puissance coloniale.

Des accords Sykes-Picot, en 1916, portant démembrement de l’Empire ottoman et son partage en zone d’influence entre la France et la Grande Bretagne, à l’avantage des Anglais, à la Promesse Balfour, en 1917, portant création d’un Foyer National Juif en Palestine, à la propulsion de la dynastie wahhabite à la tête du royaume saoudien et de la dynastie hachémite sur le trône jordanien, à la mainmise enfin sur le golfe pétrolier, tout, absolument tout, aura porté la marque de son empreinte, y compris l’introduction de la Franc-Maçonnerie dans le Monde arabe et musulman. À l’ancrage du Grand Orient au Moyen Orient en vue d’accompagner le Monde arabo-musulman dans son accession à la modernité.

La première loge de la Grande Loge d’Écosse en Syrie remonte en effet à 1748, soit trente ans avant la Révolution française. Elle a été instituée d’ailleurs par Alexandre Drummondville, Consul britannique à Alep et frère de Georges Drummond, Grand Maître de la Grande loge d’Écosse (1752-1753), lui même grand provincial (1739-1747).

L’objectif sous-jacent de l’ancrage du Grand Orient au Moyen Orient sera repris d’une manière agressive, deux siècles plus tard, par les néoconservateurs américains, sous la présidence du républicain George Bush Jr (2008-2008) en vue d’édifier un «Grand Moyen Orient» sur les débris du Moyen orient, avec les désastreuses conséquences générées tant au niveau des relations entre Islam et Occident que sur le plan de la radicalisation xénophobe entre les deux rives de la Méditerranée.

Le Grand Manitou Jean Marc Aractingi ou les pesanteurs sociologiques de l’européocentrisme

Le halo de mystère qui entoure la Franc-Maçonnerie dans le Monde arabe et musulman pourrait se dissiper à la lecture de l’ouvrage en quatre tomes rédigé par l’un des siens, Jean Marc Aractingi, un hyper-capé du cursus universitaire français en même temps qu’un grand ponte de la Franc-Maçonnerie.

Maître à la Grande Loge de France et de l’Orient de Paris, membre correspondant de la célèbre loge de recherche Jean Scott européenne de la Grande Loge de France, haut dignitaire du Souverain Sanctuaire International des rites égyptiens de Memphis Misraim et Commandeur de l’Ordre de La Fayette, Jean Marc Aractingi, Grand maître du Grand Orient Arabe, est pour les initiés (33e,99e, CBCS, 7e R), autrement dit le «Grand Manitou».

Son cursus universitaire n’en est pas moins impressionnant.

Diplôme de l’École Centrale de Paris (DEA thermique), cet ingénieur en énergie solaire est titulaire d’un triple diplôme : DEA thermique-Centrale, DEA en Développement de l’Université Paris I-Sorbonne, Diplôme de 3e cycle en Diplomatie Supérieure du Centre des Études Diplomatiques et Stratégiques de Paris (CEDS), par ailleurs ancien stagiaire au Collège Interarmées de défense (anciennement École de Guerre)-Exercice COALITION 2003.

Ancien PDG du Groupe ARCORE-SOLARCORE SA, il est Président de l’Association Franco-Arabe des Diplômés des Grandes Écoles Françaises. Il est l’auteur du livre «Peintres orientalistes», Éditions vues d’Orient (2003) et co-auteur avec Christian Lochon du livre sur «Confréries soufies: secrets initiatiques en Islam et rituels maçonniques (Harmattan 2008). En préparation pour 2017 : «Les Druzes, Francs Maçons de l’Orient» aux Éditions Erik Bonnier.

Cet état de service, paradoxalement, ne lui sera d’aucune utilité devant les pesanteurs sociologiques de l’européocentrisme. La Franc-maçonnerie est certes une instance d’ouverture, sous réserve toutefois que les maçons arabes et musulmans souscrivent aux Canons de l’Occident.

Dans le cas d’espèce, le Grand Manitou» arabe détient le «Grand Chelem» faisant ses preuves avec brio dans les enceintes universitaires occidentales. Arabe et lettré, voire hyper-capé… un cursus qui fait tâche.

L’obédience maçonnique en France -Le Grand Orient Arabe- est ainsi, sinon boycottée, sinon ostracisée à tout le moins ignorée pat les grands médias français, et, fait plus grave, par la plupart des grandes obédiences, du Grand Orient de France à la Grande Loge Nationale de France (GNLF).

Pas un article, ni le moindre entrefilet, sur ses activités ou ses prises de position, alors que site central de l’obédience enregistre près de 500.000 visiteurs, en dépit de l’attrait qu’exerce, ne serait-ce qu’à titre de curiosité, cette structure à la faveur de la séquence dite du «printemps arabe».

La Franc-Maçonnerie en terre d’Islam (Turquie, Égypte, Iran, Algérie, Maroc)

Sans surprise, la franc-maçonnerie a été introduite en terre d’islam par les diplomates européens accrédités auprès des pays appartenant à l’Empire ottoman.

Ainsi les premières loges ont vu le jour à Smyrne (Turquie) et à Alep en Syrie dès 1738. Elles ont attiré les «Autochtones» issus la plupart de personnalités appartenant à l’élite (intellectuels, hauts fonctionnaires, magistrats). Plusieurs dirigeants ont appartenu à ces loges comme Ismaël Pacha le fils du khédive d’Égypte, l’émir Abdelkader en Algérie, le prince Askari Khan en Iran, le sultan Mourad V en Turquie.

Les Francs-maçons du Moyen Orient ont œuvré pour la diffusion des idées de laïcité, de tolérance et de fraternité qui ont largement contribué au déclin de l’Empire Ottoman.

Libanais, Syriens, Palestiniens se sont retrouvés en maçonnerie pour mener le même combat, celui de l’éveil des consciences politiques. Ils jouèrent un rôle important dans l’émergence de divers nationalismes (arabe, panislamique, libanais) ainsi que dans le mouvement d’éveil littéraire et social connu sous le nom de Nahda (Renaissance).

Dans la décennie 1920, cette maçonnerie connaîtra un foisonnement de loges, avec l’arrivée d’une élite comprenant des hommes politiques, écrivains (Gibran Khalil Gibran…), philosophes, journalistes, médecins ou avocats. Après le démembrement de l’Empire ottoman, elle trouvera son âge d’or en Égypte et surtout au Liban et en Syrie sous le Mandat français. Il en est de même pour les pays du Maghreb (Algérie, Tunisie et Maroc).

Des présidents et des Premiers ministres y ont adhéré :

  • Algérie : L’Émir Abdel Kader, le président Mohammad Boudiaf et le général Larbi Belkheir, un cacique de l’appareil sécuritaire algérien.
  • Égypte : Le Roi Farouk, Saad Zaghloul, premier ministre sous la monarchie, le Colonel Ahmad Orabi Pacha, chef du combat contre la présence britannique en Égypte, le Prince Ibrahim Pacha, Vice-roi d’Égypte, le prince Tawfick, Vice-roi d’Égypte.
  • Jordanie : Le Roi Hussein et son frère, le Prince Hassan.
  • Liban : Charles Debbas, Président de la République sous le mandat français (1919-1943), le président Camille Chamoun (1952-1958), Charles Malek, ministre des affaires étrangères, le premier ministre Riyad Al Solh, premier ministre de l’époque de l’indépendance et son cousin Sami Al Solh, également premier ministre, l’écrivain Jirji Zeydan, l’avocat Moussa Prince et Daher Dib, les deux grands pontes de la maçonnerie libanaise.
  • Maroc : Ahmed Réda Guédira, ministre des Affaires étrangères et ancien directeur du cabinet royal sous le règne de Hassan II, Driss Basri, redoutable ministre de l’intérieur sous Hassan II, Moulay Ahmad Al Alaoui, cousin du Roi et directeur du journal «Le Matin du Sahara», ainsi que le sultan Hafid.
  • Syrie : Ahmad Nami Bey, président de la République sous le mandat français, Quatre premiers ministres: Haqqi Bey Al Azm, Loutfi Al Haffar, Ata Al-Ayoubi, Jamil Mardam Bey, ainsi que Ibrahim Hananou, le colonel putschiste Housni Zaïm et le président post indépendance Choucri Al Kouatly.
  • Tunisie : le président Habib Bourguiba et le premier ministre Salahedinne Baccouche.
  • Turquie : Trois loges relevait du «Grand Orient de France» opéraient en Turquie :
  1. La Loge «Union d’Orient» qui comptait dans ses rangs des personnalités de haut rang le Prince Mustapha Fazil, le grand vizir (premier ministre) Ibrahim Ehdem Pacha
  2. La Loge «I Proodos» a eu comme membre le Sultan Mourad V et l’intellectuel Namik Kemal
  3. La Loge «Macedonia Risorta» qui abritera des membres de l’organisation «Jeunes Turcs» comme le grand vizir Talaat Pacha
  • Égypte : Jamal Eddine Al Afghani.
    La célèbre loge «Les Pyramides» (affiliée au Grand Orient de France) a eu comme membres le prince Abdel Halim Pacha et Ismail Pacha, le propre fils du Khédive d’Égypte était affilié à une lige maçonnique.

Jamal Eddine Al Afghani était, lui, membre du «Kawkab Al Charq» (l’Astre de l’Orient) appartenait à la Grande Loge Unie d’Angleterre. Déçu par son manque d’activité politique, il fondera sa propre loge «Al Mahfal Al Watani» (La Loge Nationale). De concert avec le Mufti Mohammad Abdo et Adib Ishaq, Jamal Eddine Al Afghani a été l’un des trois précurseurs du mouvement «An Nahda», la renaissance culturelle et politique du Monde arabe.

Iran: Amir Abbas Hoveyda

La célèbre loge «Le Réveil de l’Iran», affiliée au «Grand Orient de France» comptait parmi ses membres le prince Askari Khan et plusieurs futurs premiers ministres dont Mohammad Foroughi et Amir Abbas Hoveyda, condamné à la mort par la Révolution Islamique, passé à la postérité non pour ses méfaits mais pour l’épouvantable interview, conduite toute honte bue, à la veille de son supplice et dans la cellule de sa prison par la célèbre «Reine» Christine Ockrent.

Plus de 150 photos de francs-maçons, de listes de maçons turcs, égyptiens et iraniens, etc.. de loges célèbres illustrent cet ouvrage comme autant de «preuves par le texte» des affirmations de l’auteur dont l’objectif pédagogique est de «mettre à la portée de tous un ouvrage de vulgarisation, avec pour toile de fond, l’histoire des loges et des hommes célèbres qui ont façonné tout au long des siècles cette franc-maçonnerie arabo-musulmane si méconnue du grand public».

René Naba


L’équerre et le compas posés sur une Bible, emblèmes de la franc maçonnerie (Régis Duvignau/Reuters).





Format 145X190

372 pages

+ de 100 illustrations

EAN 9782367600611


sortie nationale août 2016

Tome 1

Tome 2

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Comment la France passa de l’ère allemande à l’ère américaine

septembre 30th, 2016 by Dr. Jacques R. Pauwels

Photo : Annie Lacroix-Riz, auteure du livre Les Élites françaises entre 1940 et 1944

Dans deux de ses livres, Le choix de la Défaite : les élites françaises dans les années 1930 et De Munich à Vichy, l’assassinat de la 3e République 1938-1940 (Paris, Armand Colin, 2010 et 2008), Annie Lacroix-Riz, spécialiste d’histoire contemporaine et professeur à l’université Paris 7, a expliqué comment, dans les années trente, l’élite de la société française – politiciens, militaires de haut rang, industriels, banquiers, le haut clergé, etc. – a voulu et planifié l’ « étrange défaite » de 1940. C’est par le biais de cette trahison que l’élite put triompher de l’« ennemi intérieur » gauchiste, empêcher d’autres réformes politiques et surtout sociales comme celles introduites par le Front Populaire, et éliminer le système, trop démocratique à son goût, de la 3e République en faveur du régime autoritaire et collaborateur de Vichy. Ce régime choya tous les éléments de l’élite du pays, mais surtout le patronat, et tandis qu’il fut un paradis pour celui-ci, il fut un enfer pour les salariés, et pour le peuple français en général ; Annie Lacroix-Riz l’a bien démontré dans un autre ouvrage, Industriels et banquiers sous l’Occupation (Armand Colin, Paris, 2013). Or, dans une toute nouvelle étude, Les Élites françaises entre 1940 et 1944 (Armand Colin, Paris, 2016), l’historienne se penche sur un autre aspect de la saga de la couche supérieure de la société française des années trente et quarante : leur passage de la tutelle allemande à la tutelle américaine.

Les défaites subies par la Wehrmacht devant Moscou (fin 1941) et surtout Stalingrad (hiver 1942-1943) ainsi que l’entrée en guerre des États-Unis et le débarquement anglo-américain en Afrique du Nord (novembre 1942) firent comprendre à l’élite française que l’Allemagne perdrait la guerre et que l’inévitable victoire soviétique impliquerait fort probablement pour la France le triomphe de la Résistance, « majoritairement ouvrière et communiste », et par conséquent une épuration des collaborateurs et des changements révolutionnaires. Afin d’éviter un tel scénario, catastrophique pour eux-mêmes et pour leur ordre socio-économique, la majorité des politiciens, militaires, industriels, banquiers, et autres « gens très bien », responsables directement ou indirectement pour la trahison de 1940 et la politique collaboratrice, répressive et même meurtrière de Vichy, commencèrent à se dissocier discrètement de la tutelle allemande et à préparer un « avenir américain ». Ils espéraient que l’occupation allemande de la France serait suivie par une occupation américaine, ce qui éviterait des « désordres », mot de passe pour les changements révolutionnaires associés avec la Résistance; et dans le contexte d’une Pax Americana engendrée par une victoire américaine leurs péchés pro-nazis seraient pardonnés et oubliés, leur permettant de conserver les privilèges traditionnels et nouveaux dont ils avaient joui grâce à Vichy. Sous les auspices du nouveau tuteur américain, la France serait un « Vichy sans Vichy ».

Il était possible de rêver à tout cela parce que les leaders américains détestaient également l’idée que, après le départ des Allemands, les Résistants communistes et autres puissent prendre le pouvoir en France, y provoquer des « mutations [politiques et socio-économiques] profondes » et ouvrir la porte à l’influence soviétique. À Washington on n’avait rien contre le régime de Vichy, avec lequel on maintenait jusqu’en janvier 1943 de bonnes relations diplomatiques ; et les autorités étatsuniennes, Roosevelt en tête, espéraient longtemps que dans l’après-guerre Pétain ou un des autres dirigeants vichyssois pas trop souillés par leur germanophilie – comme Weygand ou Darlan –  resterait au pouvoir en France, peut-être après un léger « replâtrage parlementaire » du système vichyssois. « L’avenir américain » fut préparé dans des négociations en Afrique du Nord, où les É.-U. avaient plusieurs consulats, en Espagne et en Suisse, où Berne fut le pied-à-terre de l’agent secret étatsunien Allen Dulles, qui y « veillait à l’avenir de la France » et de l’Europe en général.

Les Allemands étaient à la hauteur mais toléraient ces initiatives parce que l’élite du Reich préparait son propre « avenir américain », ce qui impliquait des industriels et banquiers allemands avec de bons contacts américains – y compris Dulles – et même des chefs de la SS/Gestapo. Afin de permettre à quelques-uns des plus fermes suppôts du nazisme au sein de de l’élite allemande, par exemple le banquier Hjalmar Schacht, de se poser en « résistants » quand le régime nazi s’écroulerait, on les enferma dans des camps de concentration comme Dachau, où ils étaient « entièrement séparés de la masse des détenus du camp proprement dit » et bien traités. De façon similaire, les autorités allemandes en France eurent la gentillesse d’arrêter de nombreux « collaborationnistes de premier plan » et de les « déporter » vers le Reich pour y attendre la fin de la guerre dans un confortable lieu de « détention d’honneur », par exemple des hôtels à Bad Godesberg et au Tyrol. Cette expérience devait servir de « brevet de ‘résistance’ » à ces personnages, leur permettant de poser en héros patriotiques à leur retour en France en 1945.

Tandis qu’à l’occasion du choix du tuteur allemand comme « protecteur des coffre-forts » en 1940, « un chef français compatible avec le guide allemand » se tenait déjà prêt dans les coulisses, à savoir Pétain, la sélection d’un chef français compatible avec le nouveau guide américain était nettement moins facile. Le tandem de l’élite française et les autorités américaines détestaient celui qui apparaît aujourd’hui comme un choix manifeste, à savoir Charles de Gaulle, le chef des « Français libres ». La raison ? Ils le regardaient comme un « fourrier du bolchevisme », « un simple tremplin vers le pouvoir des communistes ». Ce n’est que très tard, à savoir le 23 octobre 1944, donc plusieurs mois après le débarquement en Normandie et le début de la libération du pays, que de Gaulle fut reconnu officiellement par Washington comme chef du Gouvernement provisoire de la République française. La chose devint possible à cause de plusieurs facteurs. Primo, les Américains ont fini par se rendre compte que le peuple français ne tolérerait pas qu’après le départ des Allemands « le tout-Vichy [fût] maintenu en place ». Ils ont compris que, inversement, de Gaulle bénéficiait d’une grande popularité et du soutien d’un grande partie de la Résistance. Par conséquent, ils avaient besoin de lui pour « neutraliser les communistes au lendemain des hostilités ». Secundo, de Gaulle négocia auprès de Roosevelt afin d’adopter une politique « normale », ne menaçant aucunement « le statu-quo socio-économique » ; et il donna des gages en « repêchant » de nombreux collaborateurs vichyssois qui avaient été les favoris des Américains.  Tertio, le chef des « Français libres » avait pris ses distances avec l’Union Soviétique. C’est ainsi que le gaullisme s’est « respectabilisé » et que de Gaulle est devenu « un leader de la droite », acceptable à élite française aussi bien qu’aux Américains, les successeurs des Allemands dans le rôle de « protecteurs » des intérêts de cette élite. Or, du point de vue des nouveaux vrais maîtres de la France – et de la plupart du reste de l’Europe – il fut et resta une sorte de « rebelle » qui continua longtemps à leur causer des ennuis.

Les Élites françaises entre 1940 et 1944 est une étude surprenante, fascinante, rigoureusement et minutieusement documentée, comme les autres livres d’Annie Lacroix-Riz. De ceux-ci, il faut encore mentionner Aux origines du carcan européen (1900-1960) : La France sous influence allemande et américaine (Paris, Éditions Delga, 2014). On peut y apprendre comment, à la suite de la fin de la Seconde guerre mondiale, les États-Unis ont su consolider leur domination politique et économique de l’Europe occidentale par le biais de la création d’institutions européennes. Et ils l’ont fait en collaboration avec des élites françaises, allemandes et autres – y compris des collaborateurs vichyssois « recyclés » tels que Jean Monnet. Dans ce contexte aussi, leur ancien antagoniste, de Gaulle, leur a causé quelques ennuis.

 Jacques R. Pauwels

Livre d’Annie-Lacroix :

This carefully documented report by political correspondent Marwa Osman confirms that the US is supporting and arming the Al Qaeda affiliated rebels  which are the object of the Syrian government’s endeavor to Liberate Aleppo, with the support of Russia. 

Crimes against humanity are being committed by Al Qaeda with the support of its sponsors including the US, Britain, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. 

The Western media reports accusing Russia of deliberately targeting civilians are fabricated. 

The Syrian government operation is directed against the various terrorist entities with the support of Russia.

America’s air raids launched by Obama in 2014 under a fake counterterrorism label are intent upon protecting rather defeating the ISIS – Daesh terrorists.  

(M.Ch. GR Editor)


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«Si le pétrole est source de profit, il devient aussi matière à conflit.»

Serge Zeller


L’Algérie a accueilli avec  élégance et avec sa tradition hospitalière, le 15e FIE Forum international de l’énergie et le Sommet de l’Opep dans une conjoncture plus volatile que jamais. Quand on entend le secrétaire général de l’Opep déclarer que la réunion d’Alger ne décidera de rien,  on pensait que la réunion d’Alger était un non–évènement .  Rien ne présageait en fait  une réussite du Sommet informel de l’Opep  transformé dans l’euphorie en réunion extraordinaire par la magie d’une résilience à la fois du savoir faire technologique du staff  algérien et du savoir faire diplomatique  de l’Algérie qui est l’un des rares pays à  garder de bonnes relations avec l’Iran  mais aussi avec l’Arabie Saoudite qui respecte sans les approuver les positions iconoclastes de l’Algérie en politique notamment au sein de la Ligue Arabe .. Bref et pour être honnête  tout le monde comme nous allons le voir avait besoin de cet accord  L’objectif à tous prix de réconcilier des points de vue aux antipodes l’un de l’autre.

Une brève histoire de l’Opep

Pour rappel l’OPEP a été créée en 1960 par cinq pays, elle avait pour ambition légitime de défendre un prix juste pour le pétrole. En face il y avait des compagnies pétrolières les fameux « Le sette sorele » « Les sept sœurs »  pour reprendre l’expression d’Enrico Mattei le patron de l’ENI. Il s’agit des sept soeurs issues de l’empire Rockefeller (de la Standard Oil of Ohio à l’exception de Shell et de BP). Pendant 10 ans l’OPEP lutta pied à pied contre les multinationales. Deux évènements ont secoué l’Opep: l’entrée de l’Algérie au sein de l’OPEP en 1968 et la prise du pouvoir en septembre 1969 par El Gueddafi en Libye.

Le ton est donné, pourtant, différentes réunions internationales eurent lieu à Téhéran, Caracas, Alger, Tripoli et Riyad. En vain, les multinationales proposaient d’ajouter au prix du baril quelque cents aux deux dollars. 1971: un coup d’éclair que la nationalisation des pétroles en Algérie, le fameux «Kararna Taemime El Mahroukate»  «  Nous avons décidé de la nationalisation des hydrocarbures »,  lancé un certain 24 février par Boumediene indiquait à la face du monde que l’Algérie avait décidé de prendre en main son destin pétrolier. Ce ne fut pas simple, mais l’exemple de l’Algérie a fait tache d’huile. La Libye, l’Irak l’Iran imitèrent l’Algérie.

Pour la première fois des pays du Sud ont pu faire plier les multinationales et leurs pays. Deux pays étaient aux avant-postes de ce bras de fer. Le président Boumediene et le roi Fayçal, c’est-à-dire un petit producteur avec 1 million de barils/jour (50 millions de tonnes/ an) et le plus gros producteur, en l’occurrence l’Arabie saoudite qui produit dix fois plus. C’était l’époque où la diplomatie pétrolière algérienne était au firmament, Belaïd Abdesselam et Zaki Yamani, les deux ministres furent les représentants de l’OPEP dans une tournée européenne et américaine pour expliquer en octobre 1973 la justesse des revendications de l’OPEP.

Souvenons-nous ces trois années 1973 -1975 furent des années intenses. L’Algérie accueillait en septembre 1973 le premier Sommet des Non-Alignés, Avril 1974, l’Algérie était le porte-parole des Non-Alignés pour porter à la tribune des Nations unies le message des pays du tiers-monde qui revendiquaient un Nouvel ordre mondial plus juste. La standing ovation faite à Boumediene est restée dans l’histoire. Début 1975 l’Algérie sur sa lancée organisait au Club des Pins le Sommet des chefs d’Etat de l’Opep…le prix du baril est passé de moins de deux dollars à plus de 12 dollars.


Naissance de l’AIE et déclin de l’OPEP

Novembre 1975: Henry Kissinger secrétaire d’Etat américain annonce à la face du monde la création de l’AIE (Agence, internationale de l’énergie) dont le but était la défense des intérêts des pays occidentaux consommateurs, en clair; la destruction de l’Opep. Ce fut le début des ennuis de l’OPEP. Alors que la doctrine néolibérale est de laisser les forces du marché (offre et demande s’équilibrer toutes seules sans manipulation externe) l’AIE donne instruction à la trentaine de pays de constituer des stocks de sécurité de un à trois mois, dont le but est de parer à des chocs pétroliers, en clair, en cas de problème d’approvisionnement (embargo; guerre..) les pays déstockeront. Ce que font les pays chaque fois que les prix augmentent. De ce fait, en provoquant une abondance artificielle, ils perturbent le marché et les fondamentaux du pétrole sont faussés.

La main invisible d’Adam Smith ne travaille pas pour la régulation du marché, mais pour manipuler les marchés au strict profit des pays producteurs. C’est d’ailleurs ce qui se passe depuis deux ans, le prix du pétrole a été divisé par 2,5, tous les pays et surtout les Etats-Unis et la Chine ont constitué d’énormes stocks à des prix de pétrole bradé 1979: il y eut la révolution iranienne, les prix du pétrole atteignirent 30 dollars. L’avènement des producteurs hors OPEP telle que la Norvège et surtout la Grande-Bretagne contraint les pays de l’OPEP à agir en cartel et surtout l’indiscipline commença à régner. L’Arabie saoudite voulant garantir ses parts de marché entama une guerre des prix avec la Grande-Bretagne de Thatcher qui produisit à outrance. Conséquence: les prix chutent en 1984 à moins de 10 dollars.

Les petits producteurs comme l’Algérie perdirent de l’argent; Nicolas Sarkis avance que les pertes de l’Algérie en 1985-1989 furent de 16 milliards de dollars. Les évènements d’octobre 1988 ont été catalysés en partie par la situation économique de l’Algérie. Graduellement, l’OPEP fut dépossédée de son marker crude l’Arabian light au profit du Brent de la mer du Nord, un pétrole qui est de loin sur le déclin, mais qui sert toujours comme référence. Les années 1990 virent d’autres mécanismes de fixation avec l’apparition des marchés spots et la spéculation. On arrive à juin 2008, le pétrole grimpe à 140 dollars? Ce qu’on ne dit pas c’est que ces 140 dollars sont inférieurs en dollars constants aux 30 dollars de 1980! Dans le même ordre, les 46 dollars du 24 septembre 2016 représentent en pouvoir d’achat 10 dollars de 1980.

Etat des lieux  actuel du marché pétrolier

La situation actuelle se caractérise par «la guerre de tous contre tous» au sein de l’OPEP; envolée la solidarité et les décisions par consensus. Les pays du Golfe menés de main de maître par l’Arabie saoudite sont indifférents au sort des petits pays; Ils travaillent globalement malgré la situation actuelle pour le compte des pays occidentaux. Reste l’Iran dont la guerre de leadership avec l’Arabie saoudite déteint sur la politique pétrolière. Elle produit à plein régime et atteint les 3, 6 millions de barils avec comme objectif 4 millions de barils, l’Irak produit de plus en plus et dépasse les 2 millions de barils, le Venezuela traverse une crise profonde et lui aussi est dépendant du pétrole. Il reste la Libye, pays dévasté où chaque seigneur de la guerre vend à partir des puits qu’il a accaparés et naturellement il y a toujours des acheteurs occidentaux comme pour le pétrole de Daech qui transitait par la Turquie. Reste un producteur hors OPEP, la Russie qui produit autant que l’Arabie saoudite et dont la situation financière est délicate. Autant de contraintes pour l’OPEP Si on y ajoute la déprime de l’économie mondiale, l’avènement perturbateur, mais éphémère des pétroles de schiste, le ralentissement de la Chine et le recours massif au renouvelable, on comprend que les prix du pétrole soient orientés à la baisse. Mais cela ne va pas durer car on ne découvre plus autant de pétrole et que la production est le fait de gisements anciens. A peine 5 milliards de barils découverts en 2015 d’après le bureau d’Etudes Blomberg. La production de 96 milliards de barils ne pourra pas aller loin et ce serait difficile de se maintenir à 100 millions de barils/jour.

La chute des prix du pétrole depuis l’été 2014 a entraîné une forte baisse des investissements pétroliers en 2015 et en 2016. Moins d’investissements aujourd’hui, cela signifie moins de production à moyen terme. Et comme la consommation pétrolière mondiale continue à augmenter, il y a effectivement un risque de retournement du marché, avec une offre qui serait inférieure   à la demande. La consommation mondiale de pétrole augmentera plus que prévu

La consommation mondiale de pétrole augmentera plus que prévu en 2016 et conservera sa vigueur en 2017, tandis que la production d’or noir faiblit, permettant au marché de retrouver son équilibre au second semestre de cette année, a estimé mardi l’Agence internationale de l’énergie. La demande mondiale d’or noir devrait croître de 1,3 million de barils par jour (mbj) cette année, contre une anticipation précédente de 1,2 mbj, pour atteindre 96,1 mbj, a détaillé l’AIE dans son rapport mensuel sur le pétrole. La demande devrait progresser dans les mêmes proportions en 2017 et s’établir à 97,4 mbj, tirée essentiellement par les pays non membres de l’OCDE, qui devraient consommer 1,2 mbj sur la croissance de 1,3 mbj attendue l’an prochain. L’Inde, la Corée du Sud et la Chine figureront parmi les pays les plus gourmands.

Face à cet appétit plus marqué pour l’or noir, la production de pétrole faiblit, ce qui conduit l’AIE à anticiper «un marché pétrolier équilibré au second semestre 2016», alors qu’il est grevé depuis par une offre excédentaire depuis près de deux ans. L’impact sur les prix, qui ont remonté depuis le plancher de 27,10 dollars le baril en janvier et flirtent désormais avec la barre des 50 dollars, devrait toutefois rester limité, selon l’AIE, en raison des stocks excédentaires restant à écouler  Rien n’a réellement changé depuis 2014, quand l’OPEP avait, à la surprise générale, fermement refusé de jouer, cette fois, les ajusteurs de marché et lancé une politique de hausse de la production afin de conserver ses parts de marché face à des producteurs de schistes américains dont elle espérait que les coûts réfréneraient les velléités d’expansion. Las, les schistes ont bien résisté et ce sont les membres les plus fragiles de l’Opep qui ont le plus pâti de ce bras de fer.

Le cartel est à un moment historique de son existence. Soit il persiste dans cette stratégie attentiste, au risque de sa propre survie tant les intérêts de ses membres divergent. Soit il tente une dernière conciliation, réaffirmant son existence au risque de voir les autres producteurs combler le vide et mettre sur le marché les millions de barils qu’il n’aura pas extraits. Il n’aurait dans ce cas plus qu’à acter sa disparition, son rôle s’étant réduit comme peau de chagrin ces dernières années.

Pour rappel la chute du Brent est la conséquence du refus de l’Arabie Saoudite de fermer les vannes face à la surproduction issue du pétrole de schiste américain (4 millions de barils/jour contre zéro il y a cinq ans).   Comme il y a trente ans le bras de fer Arabie Saoudite contre Grande Bretagne a amené les prix à un niveau de 9 dollars. Il faut cependant rappeler que les 9 dollars de 1986 valent les 45 dollars actuels ! Pendant ce temps là, un flacon de Chanel n°5 coute 90 dollars  soit deux barils de pétrole. C’est cela le Nouvel Ordre imposé par le néo-libéralisme, acheter les matières premières à un prix qu’il veut grâce à ses places financières   bien fixer et vendre le  produit à un prix qu’il fixe lui-même comme il veut sans passer par les places financières

Le pétrole américain a plutôt bien résisté car les compagnies qui ont survécu ont réalisé d’importants gains de productivité. « L’an dernier, la production outre Atlantique s’élevait à 9,2 millions barils jours et aujourd’hui, elle atteint encore 8,5 millions de barils »,  . Comme dans le même temps, la Russie n’a jamais autant pompé et que l’Irak est à fond, on se retrouve aujourd’hui en surproduction. « Au premier trimestre, l’offre était de 96,5 millions de barils/jours pour une demande de « seulement » 95 millions.   A cela, il faut ajouter les stocks  américains chinois et européens qui atteignent des records.

L’accord d’Alger

On sait qu’il existe un espace de dialogue le FIE Forum international de l’énergie. Créé en 1991, il constitue un cadre informel d’échanges, de concertation et de dialogue entre les pays producteurs et consommateurs d’énergie. La 15e édition est l’occasion d’approfondir le dialogue et une initiative d’Alger en ce sens permettrait de lancer les termes d’un débat pour chercher les voies et moyens à mettre en oeuvre pour trouver des solutions aux problèmes auxquels est confronté le secteur de l’énergie au plan mondial.

Le ministre de l’Energie Nourredine Bouterfa a raison de dire que «L’Algérie est un pays conciliateur reconnu pour ses qualités de dialogue et qui a l’avantage d’être en très bonnes relations avec l’ensemble des membres de l’OPEP ceci constitue un facteur supplémentaire qui donne davantage de confiance aux autres pays.»

Les pays membres de l’OPEP ont signé  ce mercredi à Alger un accord sur la réduction de la production pétrolière, dans l’optique de faire remonter les cours du baril…  Personne ne l’avait vu venir à la surprise générale notamment des agences pays occidentaux qui misaient sur un échec, un coup d’épée dans l’eau connaissant les atermoiements des rentiers brdiés par l’intransigeance de l’Arabie Saoudite qui après  s’être battue en 1986 contre Margareth Tatcher et amené le contre choc ^pétrolier des 9 dollars , l’OPEP a perdu dans cette tragédie plus de 200 milliards de dollars, la même Arabie Saoudite jouant un bras de fer avec les producteurs de pétrole de schiste a amené le pétrole à 27 dollars  faisant perdre à l’OPEP près de 400 milliards de dollars

A la surprise générale, l’Organisation des pays exportateurs de pétrole (OPEP) a annoncé mercredi soir la signature à Alger d’un accord sur la réduction de la production de pétrole. Et, fait inattendu, Ryad, dont l’économie dépend à 73 % des pétrodollars, a même accepté que son grand rival, l’Iran, en soit exempté.

Aussitôt, les marchés boursiers ont été dopés par cette annonce, mais qui dit baisse de la production dit baisse de l’offre, donc hausse du prix du brut. La réunion d’Alger a débouché sur un projet d’accord. L’accord final, lui, devra être conclu le 30 novembre prochain lors de la prochaine Conférence de l’OPEP à Vienne.   on ne connaît pas exactement le sort réservé à l’Iran. Mais il semble acquis que Téhéran aura un traitement particulier, le ministre iranien du Pétrole s’est d’ailleurs félicité de cet accord d’Alger, lui qui la veille condamnait pourtant cette initiative. Le succès de cet accord surprise, sous réserve des suites, s’explique par deux facteurs : tous les pays producteurs souffrent plus ou moins des bas prix du pétrole et cette situation dure depuis deux ans et les investissements ont chuté de près de 40% dans  la production amenant les multinationales à réduire la voilure et à attendre de meilleurs jours. Wait and  see. A Alger ils ont comme un seul homme appelé à une  « solution »

L’accord que chacun espérait était dans l’air qui était dans l’air car aussi bien les compagnies pétrolières que tous les pays producteurs OPEP et hors OPEP et même les petits producteurs de pétrole américains souhaitaient sortir de cette situation. Cependant les positions étaient plus dogmatiques que réalistes. Il a fallu plusieurs heures de négociation à huit clos pour qu’enfin l’Arabie Saoudite -qui faut il le rappeler avait  pris la part de l’Iran quand ce dernier était sous embargo-,accepte de réduire sa production en laissant l’Iran augmenter la sienne. Le retrait de 750.000 barils/jour est un premier pas, nous verrons d’ici fin novembre si ce signal est suffisant ^pour faire repartir les  prix à la hausse.

Par ailleurs, il est très possible que la Russie fasse un geste pour consolider l’accord, l’intention a été affirmée par le Ministre  russe du pétrole. Cela aussi le cas d’autres producteurs tels que le Mexique et la Norvège .

L’AIE : la grande muette

A Alger le docteur Fatih Birol  Directeur Général de l’Agence Internationale de l’Energie a fait une belle présentation sur le marché pétrolier qui nous a laissé sur la faim. Il parle de la nécessité de faire repartir les investissements sinon il y aura un problème d’approvisionnement. Selon Fatih Birol, l’effondrement des cours pétroliers à partir de juin 2014 a engendré un recul de 40% des investissements pétroliers

Indépendamment du « quasi-miracle » de l’accord d’Alger, si l’OPEP continue sur sa lancée à savoir des réunions sans lendemain, on peut comprendre que l’OPEP des pères fondateurs, des Boumediene et Fayçal est «idéologiquement morte». L’Opep n’a plus barre sur les évènements c’est le chacun pour soi et il est utile de remarquer que dans toutes les confrontations avec les pays producteurs, l’Opep est sortie perdante depuis 30 ans  L’Opep devrait faire sa mue si elle ne veut pas disparaître à jamais. Elle devrait sortir de son ronron actuel pour engager un dialogue constructif avec les pays consommateurs représentés par l’AIE (Agence internationale de l’énergie) et le hors Opep.

Une telle initiative serait une démarche originelle car un tel dialogue assurera une stabilité pérenne à la fois pour les producteurs et les consommateurs qui seront sûrs d’avoir un approvisionnement régulier en contrepartie de recettes régulières pour les pays de l’OPEP»,. Les pays de l’OPEP (35% de la production), la Russie (12%) détiennent une partie de la solution. Ils devraient engager un dialogue sans exclusive.

Il s’agit donc de mobiliser autour d’un projet qui réponde aux préoccupations et craintes des producteurs et des consommateurs. Seul un retrait d’une partie de la production permettra de refaire les parties à la hausse vers un prix de 60 dollars qui est de fait attendu par tout le monde. Le gel de la production ne réglera pas fondamentalement le problème. L’accord de retrait de 750.000 barils ne règlera pas fondamentalement le problème de la volatilité des prix

La seule façon de faire repartir  durablement les prix à la hausse vers les 60 dollars est de réduire la production de l’Opep de 5% soit environ 2 millions de barils/jour, le gain est autrement plus important que la perte d’un volume avec un prix aussi bas. Cependant, même cette réduction ne pourrait être efficace que si elle implique à la fois les producteurs Opep et non Opep. Les 14 pays de l’Opep, en plus de la Russie et du Mexique, doivent réduire ensemble leur production.

Il faut ensuite discuter avec les pays consommateurs  représentés par l’AIE, pour qu’il n’y ait pas de perturbations et pour que tout le monde soit d’accord sur un prix moyen de pétrole autour de 60 dollars D’abord, les compagnies pétrolières qui pourraient ce faisant réenclencher les investissements dans l’industrie du pétrole et qui sont maintenant en berne. Ce prix de 60 dollars encouragerait le recours aux énergies renouvelables qui deviendraient encore plus compétitives et les stimulerait.

Ce prix de 60 dollars annulerait la spéculation en Bourse. Les pays consommateurs connaissant les recettes raisonnables peuvent enfin – après cet électrochoc de deux ans de vaches maigres- entamer un développement en connaissance de cause, notamment la nécessité d’aller à marche forcée vers les énergies renouvelables. Il ne grèverait pas beaucoup les pays consommateurs tels que les Etats-Unis ou l’Europe. On peut même faire preuve d’imagination pour concevoir un deuxième prix plus bas pour les faibles volumes nécessaires aux pays en développement qui ne disposent pas de moyens de paiement et qui consomment très peu. Ce prix de 60 dollars fixé à la fois comme prix plafond et prix plancher est une expérience à tenter. L’AIE devrait être consultée et apporter sa part à la stabilité du marché pétrolier

Le vrai défi de l’Algérie: réussir une vraie transition énergétique

En espérant que l’accord d’Alger puisse être suivi d’effet , ce n’est qu’un sursis pour les rentiers s’ils ne changent pas de fusil d’épaule et ne changent pas le paradigme de la croissance !  Jusqu’à présent, depuis les années 1980, l’Algérie et les petits pays producteurs sont considérés comme marginaux, c’est l’Arabie saoudite qui, pour le compte des pays occidentaux, dicte sa loi.  L’Algérie est astreinte à un quota qu’elle ne dépasse pas (discipline du cartel que d’autres pays ne respectent pas…). Plusieurs pays OPEP en sont sortis, c’est le cas de l’Indonésie, de l’Equateur… Nous sommes un très petit producteur, 12 milliards de barils de réserves, à peine 0,7% des réserves mondiales contre près de 20% pour l’Arabie saoudite, 10% pour l’Iran, 10% pour l’Irak. Nous produisons 3% de la production de l’OPEP et la règle actuelle est de un baril une voix alors qu’elle était dans les années 1970 de un pays, une voix.

Mais même avec cette conjoncture mondiale qui lui est défavorable, même si le prix du pétrole arrive à atteindre les 60 dollars le problème de la transition énergétique reste entier. Il ne faut surtout pas penser retrouver les années fastes dans l’immédiat à 120 dollars le barils . Cette rente potentielle doit servir si nous avons vraiment tirer la leçon de ces deux années prémonitoires de stress, à être injectées uniquement dans  l’investissement pour le développement Durable . Nous avons beaucoup de retard dans la mise en place  de ce modèle énergétique malgré les déclarations rassurantes .

L’Algérie «peut très bien s’en sortir» sans dépendre totalement du pétrole, en axant ses efforts sur le développement de ses énergies renouvelables et en économisant sa consommation énergétique. Il nous faut tenir bon. Il ne sert à rien de forcer nos puits -pour produire plus-  après les malheureuses expériences précédentes. Chaque calorie produite rationnellement devrait être convertie en une énergie renouvelable. Il nous faut mettre un frein vivement, de stopper l’hémorragie aux frontières qui fait perdre à l’Algérie, une moyenne de 2 milliards de dollars/an. La tenue urgente des états généraux de l’énergie où les universitaires, société civile, entreprises, ministères seront associés pour aboutir à une transition énergétique vers un développement durable aboutissant à un modèle énergétique accepté par chacun, avec l’obligation de résultats.

Nous devons tourner le dos à la rente et nous engager sans attendre vers une transition énergétique fruit d’un modèle énergétique vers le développement durable. Les rares gouttes qui restent doivent être laissées autant que possible pour les générations futures. «Notre meilleure banque est notre sous-sol.» La politique des énergies renouvelables attend des décisions fortes bien expliquées dans le cadre d’états généraux où la parole sera donnée aux citoyens qui, eux, auront à appliquer par conviction, une stratégie énergétique qui repose d’abord sur des économies d’énergie de l’ordre de 10 à 20%, soit plus de 6 millions de tonnes qui seront épargnées.

Les Algériens devraient savoir  qu’au sud du pays un carré de 250km de côté est suffisant pour générer de l’électricité solaire à toute la planète. Le Sahara converti en panneau solaire est capable d’alimenter 300 planètes Terre !  L’Algérie produit 500 fois moins en brûlant une ressource non renouvelable le gaz naturel!  Le Sud n’a pas révélé toutes ses potentialités qui attendent d’être mises en valeur dans le cadre d’un Schéma National d’Aménagement du Territoire  (SNAT) du XXIe siècle. Avec les énergies renouvelables  ( solaires éolien, géothermie )  avec le Barrage vert pour lutter contre l’érosion climatique , nous pouvons faire reverdir le sahara avec une jeunesse qui ne demande qu’à apporter sa part.

C’est dire que cette manne du Sud est de loin plus importante que le peu d’énergie fossile disponible qu’il nous faudra économiser d’une façon drastique avec le concours des citoyens à qui il faudrait expliquer pédagogiquement les enjeux. Justement, le dernier mot est pour l’éducation et la formation de qualité dès l’école, l’apprentissage de l’écocitoyenneté est un combat qui commence à l’Ecole puis au lycée avec le bac du développement durable comme le recommandent les Nations unies et enfin, dans la formation professionnelle et le supérieur avec les métiers du développement durable. C’est cela l’avenir de l’Algérie et non une organisation qui- même avec cette victoire inattendue ; L’accord d’Alger –  a perdu sa raison d’être.

Professeur Chems Eddine Chitour

Ecole Polytechnique enp-edu.Alger


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The Israeli Military Censor has outright banned the publication of 1,936 articles and redacted some information from 14,196 articles over the past five years. That is 1,936 articles that professional journalists and editors decided were of public interest but which never saw the light of day.

In fact, the IDF Censor redacted at least some information from one in five articles submitted to it for review since 2011, according to data provided by the Israeli army at the request of +972 Magazine, its Hebrew-language sister site Local Call, and The Movement for Freedom of Information.

Under the new chief IDF censor who entered the job last year, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of instances in which the Censor contacts publishers with demands to alter or remove items that have already been published — almost double the number of post-publication censorship attempts in years past. At the same time, the new IDF Censor is intervening slightly less in articles submitted to her office for review prior to publication.

Since the start of 2011, the years that saw the most censorship were those in which Israel was engaged in warfare in the Gaza Strip. The highest rates and frequency of censorship took place in 2014, the year of Operation Protective Edge, and the second-highest was 2012, the year of Operation Pillar of Cloud.

Furthermore, the data confirms that the IDF Censor’s office bans the publication of documents and materials from the State Archives, documents that have already approved for publication, and some of which have already been published in the public domain.

The Israeli military censor in Israel draws its authority from emergency regulations put in place during the British Mandate period, many of which have remained on Israel’s law books for upwards of 70 years.

While other countries have formal mechanisms for requesting that journalists refrain from publishing certain information relating to national security, Israel is all but alone among Western democratic states that have a legally binding state censor. Nowhere else must reported materials be submitted for prior review.

Media outlets in Israel, lately expanded to include independent blogs and websites (like +972 Magazine) are required to submit to the IDF Censor for prior review any articles that fall under a broad list of topics relating to national security and foreign relations. The Censor may forbid publication of part or all of the article. That said, the decision of which articles and news items are submitted to the censor for review is made on a case-by-case basis by news organizations and editors themselves. However, once an article has been censored by the military, the journalist is forbidden from revealing what information has been removed, or even to indicate that information has been censored.

Adding to the lack of transparency is the fact that the IDF Censor is technically a part of IDF Intelligence branch. Because of that institutional association, “it is not subject to freedom of information laws,” explains Attorney Nirit Blayer, executive director of the Movement for Freedom of Information. “Nevertheless, the person in charge of freedom of information in the IDF has an approach of publishing anything that can be published.” Therefore, we received the requested information quickly and without much difficulty.


Here is the data:

Between the years 2011 and August of 2016, between 13,000 and 14,000 items were submitted to the IDF Censor for prior review each year. During 2011 and 2013, between 20 and 22 percent of items submitted for review by the IDF Censor were redacted either in part or in full, although in the vast majority only part(s) of the item was blocked for publication.

In 2014 there was a significant spike in the frequency of censorship, most likely explained by the war in Gaza that year. Of the articles submitted for prior review by the censor that year, 26 percent (3,719 articles) were partially or fully blocked for publication (22 percent were partially redaction, 4 percent were fully censored).

In the past two years, however, there has been a slight reduction in the percentage of articles that were redacted or censored. The IDF Censor partially or fully censored 19 percent of items submitted for review prior to publication. From the start of 2016 through August, that number dropped even further to 17 percent — the lowest rate of censorship intervention in the past five-and-a-half years.

The IDF Censor is actually redacting fewer of the articles submitted for review prior to publication in the past year.

However, from the very beginning of her tenure as the current IDF Censor last year, Col. Ariella Ben-Avraham has been expanding the scope of the IDF Censor’s purview, putting an emphasis on Facebook pages and blogs that self-identify as news or media pages. In late 2015, she contacted dozens of such Facebook pages (including +972 Magazine’s) and sent them a military censorship order requiring them to submit relevant materials prior to publication.

It is now apparent that Ben-Avraham’s proactive policies are not limited to demanding the submission of materials. The current IDF Censor has also been actively seeking the removal, in part or in whole (the data we received does not distinguish), of materials that have already been published.

Between 2011 and 2013 the IDF Censor sought the removal of already-published materials, on average, 9, 19 and 16 times per month, and 37 times a month during 2014 (when a war took place). In 2015, a year that saw no wars take place, the IDF Censor contacted publishers on average of 23 times a month with demands to remove content that had already been published. Thus far in 2016 (through August), that number has soared to an average of 37 times a month, the same rate as in wartime, or in other words, nearly two-times more frequently than in 2012.

The frequency of attempts to redact information after it has been published is on the rise.

The censor also revealed that between 2014 and 2016, roughly 9,500 files from the State Archives relating to national security were submitted for review. According to the censor, roughly 0.5 percent of those documents were partially or fully censored. It was not clear how many individual documents were contained in the 9,500 files.

The IDF Censor, in response to our questions, said that it has never approached third-party hosts of news or media (like ISPs or social media platforms) in order to seek the removal of information that was published despite its censorship attempts. However, authorities in Israel use other means of controlling the flow of information and censorship online, even when that information was not published by a person who falls under Israeli jurisdiction, as was reported on +972 earlier this summer.

In that case, like many others, the state used another tool for blocking the publication of information it sought to keep secret — judicial gag orders. Gag orders are issued by judges, often without much deliberation and almost always without any consideration of the public interest to know. The number and frequency of judicial gag orders in Israel has grown dramatically in recent years.

The number of gag orders issued by Israeli courts has more than tripled in the past 15 years, according to soon-to-be published research conducted by Noa Landau, editor of Haaretz’s English edition, during a fellowship at the Reuters Institute at Oxford last year. Collecting data from Israeli police, the court system, the Israeli army, and Haaretz, Landau found that in the past five years alone, the number of gag order requests went up by roughly 20 percent.

So while the IDF Censor — with the exception of during wartime — is keeping the use of its powers at levels that remain relatively static, in some ways even reducing the them, Israeli authorities have found a work-around in judicial gag orders.

The one piece of data that is missing from the picture, however, is self-censorship. How often do journalists and editors decide on their own not to investigate, look into or write about sensitive topics because they believe the military censor or a judge will stop them from publishing their story? How many stories simply disappear that way every year? We’ll never know.

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Lors d’une rencontre informelle des ministres de la Défense de l’Union européenne (UE) mardi à Bratislava, le ministre britannique de la Défense, Michael Fallon, a dénoncé les projets franco-allemands pour une union européenne militaire et une éventuelle création d’une armée européenne.

« Il y a des États-membres qui aimeraient voir […] un réservoir unique de forces. Je vois là une armée européenne et nous nous y opposerions », a-t-il dit aux journalistes. « L’OTAN doit rester la pierre angulaire de notre défense et de la défense de l’Europe ».

Fallon insiste sur le fait qu’il incombe à l’OTAN et non à l’Union européenne de défendre l’Europe contre la Russie. En s’en prenant vivement aux projets élaborés à Berlin et à Paris pour créer un quartier général militaire commun de l’UE, Fallon a déclaré : « L’Europe regorge de quartiers généraux, nous n’avons pas besoin d’en avoir un nouveau ». Il a juré « de continuer à s’opposer à toute idée d’une armée européenne ou d’un quartier général pour une armée européenne qui reviendrait simplement à saper l’OTAN ».

Fallon a dit que la Suède, les Pays-Bas, la Pologne, la Lettonie et la Lituanie ont également notifié leurs préoccupations quant aux projets franco-allemands.

D’autres pays ont proposé des projets concurrents pour la militarisation de l’UE. Un document italien vu par le journal en ligne EUObserver propose une « force multinationale européenne (EMF) » regroupant les « États-membres qui sont disposés à partager les forces armées, le commandement et le contrôle, les manœuvres et les capacités stratégiques. » Il aspire à une intégration militaire plus approfondie à l’avenir en appelant l’EMF le « noyau initial d’une future force armée européenne intégrée ».

Le document finlandais serait plus faible que les projets de militarisation italiens ou franco-allemands. Il propose une nouvelle « planification civile et militaire commune permanente et une capacité de conduite des opérations » pour la direction « d’opérations militaires non exécutives ». Il a implicitement désigné la Russie comme étant l’ennemi principal, en exhortant l’UE à cibler les « menaces hybrides », un terme associé habituellement à la Russie dans le contexte de l’actuel renforcement de l’OTAN en Europe de l’est.

Les remarques faites par Fallon signalent l’éruption de conflits profondément enracinés au sein des puissances européennes après le vote de la Grande-Bretagne de sortir de l’UE. Sur fond de crise de guerre sans précédent avec la Russie et au Moyen-Orient, et du discrédit de l’UE en raison de sa politique d’austérité anti-ouvrière, les États les plus puissants d’Europe continentale tentent de maintenir la cohésion de l’UE en la transformant en une alliance militaire. Et pourtant des responsables à Londres et ailleurs en Europe considèrent ceci comme étant une menace intolérable à l’égard de l’OTAN, et notamment des relations de l’Europe avec les États-Unis.

Les responsables allemands et français ont réagi au sommet de Bratislava à la déclaration de Fallon en minimisant tout conflit entre leurs ambitions militaires et celles de l’OTAN.

Ensemble, la ministre allemande de la Défense, Ursula von der Leyen, et son homologue français, Jean-Yves Le Drian, ont affirmé qu’il n’existait pas de projets d’établir une armée européenne rivale de l’OTAN. « Au contraire », a dit von der Leyen, « Il est question de regrouper les diverses forces des pays européens afin de pouvoir agir rapidement ». Elle a prétendu que « tout ce qui renforce l’Europe en termes de défense renforce aussi l’OTAN ».

Le secrétaire général de l’OTAN, Jens Stoltenberg a formulé une déclaration quelque peu identique quoique plus réservée. Lors d’une conférence de presse, il a dit, « Tant ce que ceci est en complément de l’OTAN, et tant que ceci n’entraîne pas un doublement des efforts de l’OTAN, je pense que nous devrions saluer une défense européenne plus forte, parce que c’est bénéfique à l’Europe, c’est bénéfique à l’Union européenne et c’est bénéfique pour l’OTAN ».

Il n’existe pas de bases objectives à l’affirmation de von der Leyen selon laquelle un réarmement de l’impérialisme allemand et de ses alliés européens renforcera inévitablement l’alliance de l’OTAN qui est menée par les États-Unis. En fait, l’opposition de Londres aux projets d’une UE militaire « stratégiquement autonome » reflète des conflits qui sont profondément enracinés parmi les puissances de l’OTAN.

Durant le quart de siècle qui s’est écoulé depuis la dissolution stalinienne de l’Union soviétique et la fin de la Guerre froide, l’Allemagne et la France étaient entrés maintes fois en conflit avec la politique belliciste américaine qui est fermement appuyée par l’impérialisme britannique. Ils avaient rejeté l’invasion illégale de l’Irak en 2003 par Washington et Londres.

Alors que Berlin et Paris se sont après coup de nouveau alignés sur Washington, le conflit au sujet de leur politique et de celle de Washington sur fond de l’actuelle course à la guerre contre la Russie et la Chine devient de plus en plus apparente. Ils ont ignoré, au même titre que Londres, la pression exercée par les États-Unis pour ne pas rallier l’année dernière la Chine dans la Banque asiatique d’investissement pour les infrastructures. Ils ont aussi accepté de négocier les accords de Minsk avec la Russie et l’Ukraine afin de prévenir une guerre totale avec la Russie en empêchant l’armement par les États-Unis des milices ukrainiennes d’extrême-droite contre des forces pro-russes dans l’est de l’Ukraine suite au coup d’État perpétré il y a deux ans avec l’appui de l’OTAN.

L’objectif de la politique franco-allemande n’est toutefois pas la paix, mais la poursuite de leurs propres intérêts impérialistes. Dans un contexte de tensions croissantes d’un risque de guerre, Berlin et Paris sont en train d’élaborer une stratégie à long terme afin de développer la capacité d’organiser des interventions impérialistes dans le monde entier sans l’aval de – c’est-à-dire, éventuellement en opposition à – Washington et Londres. Autrement dit, ils ne sont pas contre, mais ils contribuent à, la poussée des principales puissances impérialistes en direction d’une guerre totale.

Du reste, Berlin et Paris ont publiquement annoncé qu’un objectif essentiel du plan militaire de l’UE était la sécurité interne, ou bien comme les ministres des Affaires étrangères Frank-Walter Steinmeier et Jean-Marc Ayrault l’écrivaient dans une récente tribune, « l’interaction entre les menaces externes et les faiblesses internes. » Le recours du gouvernement français à l’état d’urgence pour s’attaquer aux manifestations contre sa réactionnaire loi travail montre que l’objectif central est l’opposition politique au sein de la classe ouvrière.

Avant le premier sommet de l’UE le 16 septembre sans la participation de la Grande-Bretagne, la ministre allemande de la Défense, von der Leyen, et son homologue français, Le Drian, avaient publié un document relatif à la politique militaire, « Renouvellement de la PSDC [Politique de sécurité et de défense commune] : Vers une défense complète, réaliste et crédible au sein de l’UE ».

Ce document préconise un « plan d’action concret » pour « rapidement » appliquer « une nouvelle stratégie globale pour l’UE en matière de politique étrangère et de sécurité (EUGS, EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy) » présentée par la haute représentante de l’Union pour les affaires étrangères et la politique de sécurité, Federica Mogherini, lors du premier sommet post-Brexit en juillet. En plus « d’un quartier général de l’UE pour les missions militaires et civiles et pour les opérations, » ils réclament « le soutien des missions militaires de la PSDC [Politique de sécurité et de défense commune], le développement des capacités militaires et de la coopération européenne en matière de défense ainsi qu’un soutien concret à l’industrie européenne de la défense ».

Sur cette base, une « autonomie stratégique est garantie » et une industrie européenne de la défense « forte, compétitive et innovatrice » sera construite, précise le document.

Dans le contexte actuel de tensions explosives entre les États-Unis et l’UE au sujet de questions militaires et économiques, il n’y a pas de doute que la création de telles structures militaires dans l’UE défierait l’OTAN en aggravant les conflits inter-impérialistes qui ont par deux fois entraîné au vingtième siècle une guerre mondiale en Europe.

Lors du sommet du 15 septembre, le président François Hollande a exprimé les préoccupations de l’UE selon lesquelles en particulier après les prochaines élections présidentielles américaines, Washington pourrait s’avérer être un allié peu fiable. Il a dit, « Si les États-Unis font un choix de s’éloigner, l’Europe doit être capable de se défendre par elle-même. La défense européenne, c’est pour l’Europe le défi. Notre tâche est de peser dans le destin du monde, de se donner la capacité de projeter une force |…] et d’assurer notre défense, pour la France et pour l’Europe. »

Parallèlement, les conflits économiques entre l’Europe et les États-Unis s’aggravent. Le mois dernier, les responsables français ont demandé la fin des pourparlers économiques avec les États-Unis au sujet du partenariat transatlantique de commerce et d’investissement sur fond de conflits entre les négociateurs commerciaux américains et européens. Ce mois-ci, au moment où les actions de la Deutsche Bank continuent leur plongeon historique, les régulateurs américains ont imposé à la banque une amende de 14 milliards de dollars qui risque de précipiter la faillite de la plus grande banque allemande.

Johannes Stern et Alex Lantier

Article original, WSWS, paru le 28 septembre 2016

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Le ministre de la Défense américain Ashton Carter a prononcé un discours devant des “missileers” (lanceurs de missiles) sur la base du Global Strike Command (commandement des frappes mondiales) à Minot, dans le Dakota du Sud, lundi, défendant la modernisation massive de l’arsenal nucléaire américain et émettant des menaces belliqueuses contre la Russie.

Le voyage de Carter à Minot a été le premier qu’il a fait à une base de missiles nucléaires depuis qu’il est devenu ministre de la défense en février 2015. Il a coïncidé avec l’escalade constante des conflits opposant les États-Unis à la Russie et à la Chine, toutes deux dotées d’armes nucléaires, qui menacent de déclencher une nouvelle guerre mondiale.

L’axe principal du discours de Carter était la défense de la proposition du plan du Pentagone de 348 milliards de dollars pour reconstruire la « triade » nucléaire de Washington de bombardiers stratégiques, de missiles et de sous-marins. On estime que sur une période de 30 ans, ce renforcement nucléaire drainera la somme de mille milliards de dollars de l’économie américaine.

Prononcé devant les officiers et les soldats professionnels chargés de lancer des missiles balistiques intercontinentaux Minuteman III, chacun portant des têtes portant de 60 fois la capacité de destruction des bombes larguées sur Hiroshima et Nagasaki en 1945, le discours semble parfois faire écho au titre du film satyrique de 1964 Docteur Folamour ou : comment j’ai appris à ne plus m’en faire et à aimer la bombe.

Cette énorme machine de mort américain, a insisté Carter, fournirait « le fondement de la sécurité » qui « a permis à des millions et des millions de se lever le matin pour aller à l’école, d’aller travailler, de vivre leur vie, de rêver leurs rêves et de donner à leurs enfants un avenir meilleur ».

Il a continué prédisant que « compte tenu de ce que nous voyons dans l’environnement de sécurité d’aujourd’hui, il est également probable que nos enfants et leurs enfants doivent probablement vivre dans un monde où il existe des armes nucléaires ». En réalité, en supposant la poursuite de

« l’environnement de sécurité » actuel et l’existence continue des armes nucléaires, il y a de bonnes raisons de craindre que le monde sera incinéré du vivant de « nos enfants et de leurs enfants ».

Tout en utilisant le jargon anodin du Pentagone, « notre entreprise nucléaire » pour désigner

l’arsenal américain de guerre nucléaire, le discours de Carter contenait des passages faisant allusion au fait indéniable que la menace d’une conflagration nucléaire est maintenant plus concrète qu’à n’importe quel moment depuis le plus fort de la Guerre froide.

Il a averti que si « au cours des plus de sept décennies depuis 1945, les armes nucléaires n’ont pas encore été utilisées dans la guerre, ce n’est pas quelque chose que nous pouvons prendre pour définitivement acquis ».

Il a ajouté : « Dans le contexte de l’environnement de sécurité actuel, qui est radicalement différent de la dernière génération, et certainement de la génération d’avant celle-là, nous faisons face à un paysage nucléaire qui continue de poser des défis […] qui continue à évoluer, à certains égards, de manière moins prévisible que durant la Guerre froide, même si beaucoup de gens dans le monde entier et même certains aux États-Unis restent figés dans leurs conceptions héritées de la guerre froide ».

Ce qui a changé dans le sillage de la Guerre froide et de la dissolution par la bureaucratie stalinienne de l’Union soviétique en 1991, est l’éruption du militarisme américain, fondé sur la conviction de l’establishment américain selon laquelle, avec la disparition de l’URSS, il pourrait librement employer sa puissance militaire dans le but d’affirmer l’hégémonie mondiale et d’inverser le déclin économique mondial du capitalisme américain.

Les guerres menées au cours du dernier quart de siècle, en particulier au Moyen-Orient, ont produit une série de débâcles et une catastrophe historique mondiale pour les peuples de la région. En même temps, elles se sont métastasées en des conflits plus larges opposant les États-Unis de plus en plus directement à la Russie et à la Chine.

Dans une conférence de presse après son discours, Carter a donné libre cours à la frustration grandissante à Washington sur l’échec de sa guerre par procuration depuis cinq ans pour le changement de régime en Syrie. Cela a pris la forme de dénonciations de plus en plus hystériques contre la Russie pour des « crimes de guerre » – Cela de la part d’un gouvernement responsable de plus d’un million de morts dans la région.

« Ce qui se passe maintenant en Syrie est tragique, honteux, évitable, et, comme tout le monde l’a souligné pendant le week-end, la Russie et le régime syrien portent la responsabilité de la violence, en particulier contre des civils », a déclaré Carter aux médias.

La véritable préoccupation à Washington n’est pas la perte de vies civiles, mais plutôt la perspective que le gouvernement syrien, soutenu par la force aérienne russe, est sur le point de reprendre l’est d’Alep, l’un des derniers bastions des milices affiliées à Al-Qaïda qui constituent la force de combat principale dans la guerre américaine orchestrée pour un changement de régime.

Attaquant la Russie dans son discours, Carter a déclaré : « les rodomontades récentes et la construction de nouveaux systèmes d’armes nucléaires de Moscou soulèvent de sérieuses questions quant à l’engagement de ses dirigeants envers la stabilité stratégique, leur respect pour l’ horreur profondément ancrée face à l’utilisation des armes nucléaires et leur respect de la profonde prudence que les dirigeants de l’époque de la guerre froide avaient montré par rapport à l’étalage menaçant d’armes nucléaires ».

Le gouvernement Obama, qui a récemment signalé sa décision d’abandonner même la prétention du président démocrate de renoncer à une première frappe nucléaire comme la politique officielle des États-Unis, a tenté de présenter la Russie comme responsable pour avoir déclenché une nouvelle course aux armements nucléaires. Étant donné que le budget militaire de la Russie est un peu plus d’un dixième de celui des États-Unis, et inférieur à celui du plus proche allié arabe de Washington, l’Arabie Saoudite, cela revient à un prétexte absurde.

Les rodomontades nucléaires sont le fait du gouvernement américain, et le déplacement de Carter à Minot en a fait partie.

Le ministre de la Défense a décrit les bombardiers et missiles nucléaires comme une force qui a servi à « permettre » aux troupes américaines « d’accomplir leurs missions conventionnelles dans le monde entier ».

« Comme vous le savez, elles sont aux côtés de nos alliés de l’OTAN et tiennent tête à l’agression de la Russie en Europe », a-t-il dit, se référant également aux opérations américaines dans « la région vitale de l’Asie-Pacifique », « en dissuadant les provocations de la Corée du Nord » et « en s’opposant aux activités malveillantes de l’Iran au Moyen-Orient ».

Se référant au renforcement militaire sans relâche des États-Unis et de l’OTAN contre la Russie, Carter a déclaré : « De l’autre côté de l’Atlantique, nous mettons à jour le manuel de stratégies nucléaires de l’OTAN afin de mieux intégrer la dissuasion conventionnelle et nucléaire pour nous permettre à nous entraîner et planifier comme cela se produirait au combat et à dissuader la Russie d’envisager même qu’elle puisse bénéficier de l’ utilisation d’arme nucléaire dans un conflit avec l’OTAN, et au lieu de faire monter la pression, de la désamorcer, comme certains l’appellent là-bas ».

Les États-Unis et leurs alliés de l’OTAN déploient des milliers de soldats à la frontière occidentale de la Russie et ont créé une force de réaction rapide de 40 000 soldats en préparation à cette guerre. L’engagement déclaré à « intégrer les forces conventionnelles et nucléaires » comme partie intégrante de cet effort, ont fait que l’éclatement d’une guerre nucléaire ne tient qu’à un fil.

La semaine dernière, l’agence de presse russe Tass a cité le commandant de la force de missiles stratégiques de la Russie, Sergey Karakayev, comme indiquant que les systèmes de missiles balistiques mobiles les plus récentes, les Yars, sont déployés dans la région de Tver, le centre de commandement des ICBM (missile balistique intercontinentale) le plus à ouest du pays. Moscou mène ce déploiement en réponse à l’installation par Washington d’un système de défense antimissile en Roumanie qui prévoit de mettre en place des batteries similaires en Pologne. Alors que le prétexte des États-Unis est que ces systèmes sont dirigés contre l’Iran, qui n’a pas d’armes nucléaires, Moscou voit les déploiements comme une tentative de rendre plus réalisable une première frappe contre la Russie. Moscou affirme également que les systèmes ABM peuvent être facilement convertis pour tirer des missiles nucléaires de longue et moyenne portée.

Dans son discours de lundi, Carter a également fait une brève référence à un effort du Pentagone pour stimuler le moral des militaires affectés à lancer une guerre nucléaire, en disant qu’il « portait ses fruits ». En 2013 et 2014, plus de 100 officiers et personnel incorporé dans les bases nucléaires ont été impliqués dans un scandale de toxicomanie, de tricherie dans les tests de compétence et de violations caractérisées des règles de sécurité. Dans le commandement de la guerre nucléaire une série de hauts officiers s’est vue également écartée de leurs postes.

L’affirmation que le moral s’est amélioré depuis a été remise en cause, cependant, lorsque la cour martiale a inculpe en juin un membre des forces de sécurité à la base de missiles nucléaires F.E Warren dans le Wyoming pour avoir utilisé et distribué de la drogue hallucinogène LSD. Quatorze autres membres du personnel de l’armée de l’Air ont été mis à pied pour usage présumé de cette drogue là-bas.

Bill Van Auken

Article paru en anglais, WSWS, le 28 septembre 2016

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He was a Jordanian Journalist, a Leftist, a self-proclaimed “anti-Imperialist”. He was a pro-Syria activist and a fierce supporter of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad’s Government against the West’s war of aggression for regime change in that country. And now he is the victim of Jordan’s first ever political assassination.

Nahed Hattar, a secular Jordanian author and writer, was shot dead on September 25th, at the steps leading to the High Court Of Justice in Amman, the very court he was about to be tried in for “offending the Islamic religion” after sharing a “caricature” drawing mocking ISIS’s skewed version of Islam on his personal Facebook page.

Let that mental image sink in for a second: a man shared a controversial image on an online platform (something millions around the world do on a daily basis), and now he is dead with three (maybe four) bullets to the head.

Hattar, a father of two, was an ardent advocate of the Syrian government, Hizbollah’s Resistance movement, and a relentless opponent of the Muslim Brotherhood and Takfiri groups in his journalistic writings, TV appearances… and on his personal Facebook page, which evidently got him killed.

It all began on August 3rd, 2016, when Hattar shared a cartoon drawing portraying Heaven and God from the perspective of Islamic extremists (i.e. depicting a bearded man in bed, surrounded by virgins and alcohol); a maelstrom of public anger and backlash bordering on organized mob madness ensued, prompting Hattar to swiftly delete the post and apologize for unintentionally offending Muslims, lambasting at the same time those who took his post out of its strictly political context and distorted his intentions.

But it was too late; the anti-Nahed Hattar screed had already intensified and caught frenzied traction on a public level, especially among conservatives and religious groups which permeate Jordanian society. An avalanche of blind recriminations and accusations of offending Islam and Muslims coupled with numerous death threats and personalized insults were unleashed against Hattar in what now appears to have been an organized effort to take aim at the 56 year-old writer and settle scores with him due to his political stance, especially with regards to the Syrian conflict.

Many called for the man’s execution, and Facebook groups calling for “avenging Islam” and “killing” Hattar popped up everywhere with hundreds of supporters and enthusiasts applauding the witch hunt, culminating in the eventual arrest of Hattar by Jordanian authorities for offending Islam and religious agitation. The “Islamic Action Front” (Jordan’s branch of the Muslim Brotherhood group) joined in the incitement orgy by calling the Jordanian Government to give Hattar “the severest of punishments” for his deed.

And what was his “deed” exactly?

Sharing a satire sketch (one that he did not draw by the way!) on his personal Facebook Page, to hammer home his viewpoints as a secularist on what is currently happening in a region marred only by sectarianism and religious bloodletting.

It wasn’t an anti-Islam rant or a sectarian post; it was a political one, driven primarily by Hattar’s well-known positions on the Syrian War, and his avowed political enmity towards the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, Takfiri movements and Islamic extremism, Hattar himself even titled the post with the tag: “ISIS’s God”.

Hattar was assassinated by a radical Islamic preacher (a lone wolf?) who decided to take matters into his own hands and “avenge Islam” on behalf of the many who called for exactly that.

I find myself wondering what thoughts were going through Nahed Hattar’s mind in that split second (or what, more than a month later, turned out to be a fateful moment) when he clicked on the “share” button of a silly caricature mocking the mentality and the sexually-driven ideology of ISIS.

Maybe Hattar was thinking of Syria; and the systematic destruction wrought upon that country, which he loved and passionately defended, courtesy of the various incarnations of western funded Islamist extremists. Maybe he was thinking of all those graphic videos of beheadings, guttings, suicide bombings, and sectarian lynchings of civilians in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen. Maybe he was getting sick of the sectarianism that has engulfed the Arab World ever since the so-called Arab spring laid dreadful waste to the entirety of the Middle East region.

Or maybe he wasn’t thinking anything at all really, just another harmless post on a personal Facebook page; I mean how many of us give two thoughts before publishing anything, let alone a silly cartoon, on our own social media web pages. How many of us contemplate the ramifications of an impulsive comment, “like” or share of a Facebook post before “braving through” with it.

One thing is for sure, Nahed Hattar did not foresee that sharing an anti-ISIS satire drawing, an act that he later came to apologize for, would lead to a ghastly death at the hands of a living, breathing, walking incarnation of the very caricature he had shared on his page.

Ahmad Barqawi, a freelance columnist and writer 

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L’autre visage de Shimon Peres

septembre 29th, 2016 by Ben White

Shimon Peres (1923-2016).

Mieux connu en Occident pour son rôle dans les accords d’Oslo. 

Sa famille s’était installée en Palestine dans les années 1930. 

A combattu avec la Haganah durant la Nakba. Présenté comme l’architecte du programme nucléaire clandestin d’Israël.

Percevait les citoyens palestiniens comme une « menace démographique ».

A joué un rôle majeur dans les premiers jours des implantations en Cisjordanie.

Responsable du massacre de Qana au Liban, en 1996.

A soutenu le blocus de Gaza et les récentes offensives israéliennes.

Shimon Peres, décédé ce mercredi à l’âge de 93 ans, après avoir subi une crise cardiaque le 13 septembre dernier, incarnait la disparité entre l’image d’Israël en Occident et la réalité de la politique coloniale sanglante d’Israël en Palestine et dans l’ensemble de la région.

Peres était né en 1923 dans ce qui, plus tard, allait devenir la Biélorussie, et sa famille s’était installée en Palestine dans les années 1930. Jeune homme, Peres s’était enrôlé dans la Haganah, la milice responsable en tout premier lieu de l’épuration ethnique des villages palestiniens en 1947-1949, durant la Nakba.

Bien que le déplacement par la violence des Palestiniens fasse l’objet de rapports historiques, Peres a toujours insisté sur le fait que les forces sionistes « avaient gardé la pureté des armes », au cours de l’installation de l’État d’Israël. En effet, prétendait-il même avant l’existence d’Israël, « il n’y avait rien, ici ».

Durant sept décennies, Peres a servi en tant que Premier ministre (à deux reprises) et président, bien qu’il n’ait jamais remporté directement la moindre élection nationale. Il a été membre de 12 cabinets et a assumé les tâches de ministre de la Défense, des Affaires étrangères et des Finances.

Il est peut-être mieux connu en Occident pour son rôle dans les négociations qui ont abouti aux accords d’Oslo, en 1993, et qui lui ont valu le prix Nobel de la paix en compagnie de Yitzhak Rabin et de Yasser Arafat.

Pourtant, pour les Palestiniens et leurs voisins du Moyen-Orient, le palmarès dePeres est très différent de sa réputation en Occident d’infatigable « colombe » de la paix. Ce qui suit n’est en aucun cas un résumé complet du palmarès de Peres au service du colonialisme et de l’apartheid.

Les armes nucléaires

Entre 1953 et 1965, Peres a d’abord servi comme directeur général du ministère israélien de la Défense et, ensuite, comme vice-ministre de la Défense. En raison de ses responsabilités de l’époque, Peres a été décrit comme « l’un des architectes du programme d’armement nucléaire d’Israël » qui, à ce jour, « a toujours échappé à la surveillance de l’Agence internationale de l’énergie atomique (AIEA) ».

En 1975, comme l’ont révélé depuis des documents secrets, Peres rencontrait le ministre sud-africain de la Défense Pieter Willem Botha et « proposait de vendre des ogives nucléaires au régime de l’apartheid ». En 1986, Peres autorisait l’opération du Mossad au cours de laquelle le lanceur d’alerte nucléaire Mordechai Vanunuallait être kidnappé à Rome.

Le ciblage des citoyens palestiniens

Peres a joué un rôle clé dans le régime militaire imposé aux citoyens palestiniens jusqu’en 1966, régime sous lequel les autorités ont massivement volé des terres et déplacé des populations.

L’un des outils de ce régime n’était autre que l’article 125, qui permettait de déclarer des terres palestiniennes zones militaires fermées. Une fois que leurs occupants s’en voyaient interdire l’accès, les terres étaient alors confisquées nomme « non cultivées ». Peres encensait cet article 125 comme un moyen de « poursuivre directement la lutte pour l’implantation et l’immigration des Juifs ».

Une autre des responsabilités de Peres dans ses attributions de directeur général du ministère de la Défense consistait à « judaïser » la Galilée, c’est-à-dire à poursuivre une politique censée réduire dans la région la proportion entre les citoyens palestiniens et les citoyens juifs.

En 2005, en tant que vice-Premier ministre du cabinet d’Ariel Sharon, Peres réitéra ses attaques contre les citoyens palestiniens via des plans visant à encourager lesIsraéliens juifs à s’installer en Galilée. Son plan de « développement »couvrait 104 communautés – dont 100 juives.

Lors d’entretiens secrets avec des hauts fonctionnaires américains cette même année, Peres prétendit qu’Israël avait« perdu un million de dounams [100 000 hectares, soit 1 000 kilomètres carrés] de terres du Néguev au profit des Bédouins », ajoutant que le « développement » du Néguev et de la Galilée pouvait « atténuer ce qu’il appelait une menace démographique ».

Soutien aux colonies illégales en Cisjordanie

Alors que le projet israélien d’implantation en Cisjordanie a été associé en premier lieu au Likoud et à d’autres partis nationalistes de droite, c’est en fait le Parti travailliste qui donna les premiers coups de fouet à la colonisation du territoire palestinien nouvellement conquis – et Peres y participa avec enthousiasme.

Durant le mandat de Peres en tant que ministre de la Défense, de 1974 à 1977, le gouvernement Rabin installa un certain nombre de colonies clés en Cisjordanie,parmi lesquelles Ofra, dont d’importantes sections furent construites sur des terres confisquées à leurs propriétaires palestiniens.

Plus récemment, après avoir joué un rôle clé dans les premiers jours de l’entreprise d’implantation, Peres intervint également pour annuler toute espèce de mesure, aussi modeste ait-elle été, visant à sanctionner les colonies illégales et ce, chaque fois, naturellement, sous le prétexte de protéger les « négociations de paix ».

Le massacre de Cana

En 1996, en tant que Premier ministre, Peres ordonna et supervisa l’opération« Raisins de la colère », lorsque les forces armées israéliennes tuèrent quelque 154 civils au Liban et en blessèrent 351 autres. L’opération, dont on croit généralement qu’elle fut une démonstration de force pré-électorale, ciblait intentionnellement des civils libanais.

L’incident le plus notoire de la campagne fut le massacre de Cana, qui vit Israëlbombarder une enceinte des Nations unies et tuer ainsi 106 civils qui s’y étaient réfugiés. Un rapport de l‘ONU expliqua à l’époque que, contrairement aux dénégations israéliennes, il était « improbable » que le bombardement «eût été le résultat d’erreurs techniques et/ou de procédure ».Selon le site Internet officiel des Forces aériennes israéliennes (en hébreu, pas en anglais), l’opération impliquait « le bombardement massif des villages chiites du Sud-Liban afin de provoquer un exode de civils vers le Nord, en direction de Beyrouth, appliquant ainsi des pressions sur la Syrie et sur le Liban afin qu’ils freinent le Hezbollah ».

Plus tard, les artilleurs israéliens dirent à la télévision israélienne qu’ils ne regrettaient aucunement le massacre, puisque les morts n’étaient « qu’un ramassis d’Arabes ». Quant à Peres, sa conscience était tout aussi propre : « Tout a été accompli selon une logique claire et de façon responsable », dit-il. « Je suis en paix. »

Gaza – La justification du blocus et de la brutalité

Peres connut sa consécration comme l’un des plus importants ambassadeurs d’Israël dans le monde de ces dix dernières années, au moment où la bande deGaza était soumise à un blocus dévastateur et à trois offensives majeures. En dépit de la colère mondiale à l’égard de cette politique, Peres ne cessa jamais de soutenir les punitions collectives et la violence militaire.

En janvier 2009, par exemple, malgré les appels des « organisations israéliennes des droits de l’homme pour que soit mis un terme à l’opération  »Plomb durci » », Peresdécrivit « la solidarité internationale derrière les opérations militaires »comme « les plus belles heures d’Israël ». Selon Peres, le but de l’offensive « était d’asséner un coup très dur aux gens de Gaza afin de leur faire passer l’envie de tirer [des missiles] sur Israël ».

Lors de l’opération « Pilier de défense », en novembre 2012, Peres  « prit sur lui la tâche de contribuer à l’effort israélien en matière de relations publiques en transmettant le discours israélien aux dirigeants mondiaux », pour reprendre les termes utilisés dans Ynetnews. À la veille de l’offensive israélienne, « Peres prévint le Hamas que s’il voulait que les gens de Gaza puissent mener une existence normale, il devait cesser de lancer des missiles contre Israël ».

En 2014, lors d’une vague de bombardements sans précédent sur Gaza, Peres se dressa une fois de plus pour blanchir ces crimes de guerre. Après que les forces israéliennes eurent tué quatre petits enfants qui jouaient sur une plage, Peres sut parfaitement sur qui jeter le blâme – sur les Palestiniens : « Nous avions mis en garde que nous allions bombarder cette zone », dit-il. « Et, malheureusement, ils n’ont pas fait partir les enfants. »

Le blocus honteux, internationalement condamné comme une forme de punition collective interdite, a également été défendu par Peres – sur les bases, précisément, qu’il s’agit d’une punition collective. Comme le disait Peres en 2014 :« Si Gaza cessait ses tirs, il n’y aurait pas besoin de blocus. »

Le soutien de Peres aux punitions collectives s’étendait également à l’Iran. En 2012, commentant des rapports disant que six millions d’Iraniens souffrant de cancer ne pouvaient recevoir de traitement en raison des sanctions, Peres déclara : « S’ils veulent retrouver une existence normale, qu’ils redeviennent donc normaux. »

Pas un mot d’excuse jusqu’à la fin

Peres a toujours été clair à propos du but de l’accord de paix avec les Palestiniens. Il déclara en 2014 : « La première priorité est de préserver Israël en tant qu’État juif. Voilà notre but prioritaire, c’est pour cela que nous nous battons. » L’an dernier, il réitéra ces sentiments dans une interview accordée à AP, en disant : « Israël devrait appliquer la solution à deux États dans son propre intérêt », de façon à ne pas« perdre notre majorité [juive] ».

Ceci, rappelons-le, est ce qui a donné forme au soutien du Parti travailliste auxaccords d’Oslo. Rabin, parlant devant la Knesset peu de temps avant d’être assassiné en 1995, avait été clair en disant que ce qu’Israël cherchait dans les accords d‘Oslo était une « entité » palestinienne qui serait « moins qu’un État ».Jérusalem serait la capitale non divisée d’Israël, les colonies clés seraient annexées et Israël resterait implanté dans la vallée du Jourdain.

Il y a quelques années, Peres décrivait les Palestiniens comme des gens « se posant eux-mêmes en victimes ». Et poursuivait : « Ils se victimisent eux-mêmes. Ils sont les victimes de leurs propres erreurs, qu’ils commettent sans aucune nécessité. »Une condescendance aussi cruelle caractérisait bien un homme pour qui la « paix »fut toujours synonyme de pacification coloniale.

Ben White

Article original : Shimon Peres: Israeli war criminal whose victims the West ignored, The Middle East Monitor,  28 septembre 2016

Traduction : Jean-Marie Flémal pour le site Pour la Palestine


Ben White est un journaliste dont les travaux ont été notamment publiés dans le quotidien britannique The Guardian, dans The New Statesman, ainsi que par Al Jazeera etElectronic Intifada. Il est l’auteur de Israeli Apartheid (Ed. Pluto Press – 2009) et de « Être Palestinien en Israël » (Ed. La Guillotine – 2015)

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Dr. Léopold Munyakazi was deported to Rwanda early this morning. Immigration attorney Ofelia Calderón defended the gentle professor pro bono from the time of his arrest in 2009 to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, where she gave oral argument earlier this year. 

Dr. Munyakazi is a linguist, scholar, and former French professor at Goucher College, who was arrested after giving several lectures at northeastern campuses in which he challenged the Rwandan government’s official, legally enforced description of the Rwandan massacres of the 1990s as « genocide against the Tutsi. » The U.S. government and the Clinton dynasty are both deeply committed to the same description, which has become a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy. Top officials including the U.S. president, UN Ambassador and Secretary of State frequently tell us that we are obliged to intervene in other sovereign nations to stop genocide because we failed to do so in Rwanda.

Munyakazi said that the Rwandan massacres were the result of a longstanding class conflict, not an ethnic conflict, and that they were therefore incorrectly characterized as genocide. Hutus and Tutsis, he said, are not properly understood as ethnicities. They share the same language and culture, eat the same food, and marry each other, and the vast majority are Christian.

Although Dr. Munyakazi was arrested shortly after giving his controversial talks, anonymous witnesses soon accused him of genocide crime in Rwanda in 1994. These accusations were made more than ten years after the genocide, and despite the fact that Dr. Munyakazi had been a free man in Rwanda before emigrating to the United States.

Christine Frechard, Dr. Munyakazi’s friend in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, said that she was able to speak to him on the phone before he boarded the plane and that he remained in good spirits. Responding to her distress, she said, he told her not to worry, that it was going to be all right, and that he remained committed to his truth. Frechard said that she is contacting Amnesty International, the International Red Cross, and foreign embassies in Kigali to ask them to keep watch over Léopold’s welfare in custody.

Dr. Munyakazi joins three other celebrated political prisoners in Rwanda. They are Victoire Ingabire, who attempted to run against President Paul Kagame in 2010, Deo Mushayidi, the former president of the Rwandan Journalists Association, and Kizito Mihigo, a popular Rwandan gospel singer who recorded a song in which he sang that members of both groups, Hutu and Tutsi, were victims in the Rwandan war and that both must be remembered in order for Rwandans to heal.

Mihigo was arrested shortly after recording that song and sentenced to ten years for plotting to murder the president and bring down the Rwandan government.

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Photo : Les mercenaires d’Al-Nosra /al-Qaida soutenus au commencement par la France et le Qatar, partout en Syrie dès octobre 2011

Le journal allemand Kölner Stadtanzeiger a publié lundi 26 septembre l’interview exclusive d’un des commandants du Front Al-Nosra à Alep, la branche d’Al-Qaïda en Syrie rebaptisée récemment Fatah Al-Cham et qualifiée de groupe « rebelle modéré ». Cette interview confirme un certain nombre d’analyses qui circulaient dans les médias indépendants, notamment en ce qui concerne la collaboration opérationnelle entre le Front al-Nosra et la coalition internationale, mais également la responsabilité des groupes djihadistes dans la crise humanitaire actuelle. Il est donc fort probable que les grands médias occidentaux engagés dans une nouvelle campagne de diabolisation du gouvernement syrien et de son allié russe ne lui donnent pas le moindre écho…

L’interview réalisée par le journaliste allemand Jürgen Todenhöfer, est d’une importance capitale. Outre les risques que comportait une telle opération en plein cœur des zones tenues par les groupes armés en Syrie, elle livre des informations de première main sur la collaboration entre les divers groupes djihadistes, au premier rang desquels Al-Nosra, et la coalition occidentale. Elle a ainsi été rapidement traduite en anglais, notamment par le média indépendant états-unien Moon of Alabama, et reprise par Zero Hedge  [Voir la traduction en français]

La source interrogée par Jürgen Todenhöfer est l’un des commandants d’Al-Nosra, Abou al-Ezz.

La fiction des « rebelles modérés »

Le gouvernement syrien a maintes fois dénoncé la fiction des groupes « rebelles modérés » prétendument distincts des factions djihadistes qui bénéficient dans les faits du soutien opérationnel de certaines chancelleries occidentales et de la coalition. La campagne de bombardements aériens engagée par la Russie en septembre 2015 avait ainsi donné lieu à un florilège de réactions indignées en Occident dénonçant les frappes contre de prétendus « groupes d’opposition » au « régime » alors que les cibles des bombardements avaient été clairement identifiées par la Russie comme étant des groupes affiliés à Al-Qaïda, comme Ahrar al-Cham.

En février 2016, un reportage de la chaîne France 2 intitulé « Syrie le grand aveuglement« , réalisé parmi les groupes djihadistes d’Alep, montrait clairement la logique salafiste à l’œuvre dans les différents groupes djihadistes ainsi que la porosité entre les différentes factions de combattants se revendiquant toutes de la même idéologie. L’un des groupuscules djihadistes filmé par la chaîne exhibait ainsi son armement provenant de l’étranger, dont des missiles antichars MILAN de fabrication française.


Mercenaires d’al-Nosra/al-Qaida à Idlib en 2012

Au final, le reportage confirmait les affirmations de Damas selon lesquelles il n’existait pas de groupes d’opposition « modérée » opérant en Syrie, l’Armée syrienne libre (ASL) apparaissant notamment comme une fiction marketing à destination de l’opinion publique occidentale. Voici ce que dit à ce sujet le commandant d’Al-Nosra interviewé par Jürgen Todenhöfer :

« Ils sont tous avec nous. Nous formons tous le Front al-Nosra. Un groupe se crée et prend le nom d’« Armée de l’islam»ou de «Fateh al-Sham». Chaque groupe a son propre nom, mais la croyance est homogène. Le nom global est Front al-Nosra. Une personne a, disons, 2 000 combattants. Elle forme alors un nouveau groupe et l’appelle «Ahrar al-Sham». La croyance, les pensées et les buts de ces frères sont identiques à ceux du Front al-Nosra. […] Si quelqu’un vient vous voir, fait de vous un «rebelle modéré» et vous offre à boire et à manger, allez-vous accepter son offre ou non ? »

Les déclarations Abou al-Ezz viennent ainsi confirmer une nouvelle fois la fiction de l’existence d’une « rébellion modérée ». Selon lui, Al-Nosra est soutenu militairement par différents pays de la coalition, dont la Turquie et les Etats-unis :

« Nous avons remporté des batailles grâce à des missiles TOW. Nous sommes parvenus à un équilibre des forces avec le régime grâce à ces missiles. Nous avons reçu des chars de la Libye par l’entremise de la Turquie, ainsi que des BM (lance-roquettes multiples). Le régime ne nous domine que par ses avions de chasse, ses missiles et ses lance-missiles. Nous avons capturé une partie de ces lance-missiles et en avons reçu pas mal d’ailleurs. Mais ce sont les TOW américains qui nous ont permis d’avoir la situation bien en main dans certaines régions. »

Des conseillers militaires étrangers sont également présents aux côtés du Front al-Nosra sur le terrain afin de former les combattants, notamment au maniement des armes et au travail de renseignement :

« Lorsque la «route» était fermée et que nous étions assiégés, il y avait ici présents des agents de la Turquie, du Qatar, de l’Arabie saoudite, d’Israël et des États-Unis. […] Des experts dans l’utilisation des satellites, des missiles, des caméras de vidéo surveillance thermiques, du travail de reconnaissance… »

Si la collaboration entre Al-Nosra et Israël, notamment sur le plateau du Golan, avait déjà été documentée par les casques bleus de l’ONU, ainsi que l’implication de la Turquie, la présence de formateurs militaires américains aux côtés du groupe terroriste fait encore l’objet de vives dénégations de la part de l’état-major US. Le porte-parole du Département d’Etat Mark Toner, a ainsi réagit à une question d’une journaliste de Russia Today sur ce sujet en déclarant : « C’est des conneries », mais en admettant toutefois que d’autres pays de la coalition pouvaient effectivement fournir du matériel militaire au groupe terroriste. Les États-Unis se retranchent ainsi derrière une position officielle très hypocrite, se dégageant de toute responsabilité directe mais laissant comme souvent leurs alliés régionaux réaliser le sale boulot en toute connaissance de cause, ce que confirme l’interview du commandant d’Al-Nosra :

« Oui, les Etats-Unis soutiennent l’opposition[syrienne], mais pas directement. Ils soutiennent les pays qui nous soutiennent. »

En ce qui concerne la France, la présidence a reconnu que cette dernière fournissait de l’aide militaire par l’intermédiaire de la DGSE aux groupes rebelles depuis 2012, dont des missiles antichar MILAN…

Les groupes djihadistes s’opposent à la livraison de l’aide humanitaire

Les chancelleries occidentales ont récemment dénoncé à l’ONU le bombardement d’un convoi humanitaire à destination des zones sous contrôle des groupes armés dans la région d’Alep en l’attribuant aux armées russes et syriennes. Cette attaque a été le prétexte à une nouvelle offensive diplomatique en faveur d’un cessez-le-feu dans le but officiel de permettre l’acheminement de l’aide à la population civile. Comme je le mentionnais dans un précédent article, la situation humanitaire constitue un argument de propagande destiné à décrédibiliser l’action militaire des gouvernements russes et syriens contre les groupes djihadistes soutenus par la coalition et ses alliés régionaux. Le but est d’imposer un cessez-le-feu à l’armée syrienne et à son allié russe afin de redonner des marges de manœuvres aux combattants rebelles dont la situation à Alep est très précaire. Cette analyse est confirmée par les propos d’Abou al-Ezz qui affirme :

« Nous ne reconnaissons pas le cessez-le-feu. Nous allons repositionner nos groupes. Nous allons lancer dans les prochains jours une attaque massive contre le régime. »

Cette attaque a bien eu lieu après le bombardement des positions de l’armée syrienne près de l’aéroport de Deir ez-Zor le 17 septembre – qui auraient fait entre 80 morts et plus de cent blessés parmi les militaires syriens – qui a coïncidé avec une offensive de l’Etat Islamique. Si les États-Unis ont parlé d’un « accident », cette version ne tient pas selon le président Al-Assad :

« Ce n’était pas un accident, tout d’abord parce qu’il n’y a pas eu qu’un seul avion impliqué dans l’attaque. […] Il s’agissait de quatre avions, qui ont attaqué sans relâche les positions des troupes syriennes, durant un heure environ. Vous ne commettez pas une erreur pendant plus d’une heure.»

Alors que les missiles anti-chars TOW et MILAN ont permis aux groupes djihadistes affiliés à Al-Nosra, de tenir tête au régime et de rééquilibrer le rapport de force militaire au sol, la campagne actuelle de propagande utilisant le prétexte humanitaire a également pour but de faire progresser l’idée, notamment dans les opinions publiques, de la nécessité d’une zone d’exclusion aérienne qui priverait l’armée régulière syrienne de son seul avantage et du soutien essentiel de l’aviation russe. C’est aussi ce que confirme Abou al-Ezz lorsqu’il affirme : « Le régime ne nous domine que par ses avions de chasse, ses missiles et ses lance-missiles. »

Le secrétaire d’état américain John Kerry a ainsi demandé l’imposition d’une zone d’« exclusion aérienne » sur les secteurs contrôlés par les « rebelles » sous prétexte d’assurer la livraison de l’aide humanitaire mercredi dernier au conseil de Sécurité des Nations Unies. Pourtant, là encore, le commandant d’Al-Nosra Abou al-Ezz contredit la version occidentale et confirme celle du gouvernement syrien qui affirmait que les groupes rebelles empêchaient le déploiement de l’aide humanitaire dans la région d’Alep :

« Nous avons des conditions. Tant que le régime est positionné le long du chemin Castillo, à al-Malah et dans le secteur nord, nous ne laisserons pas ces camions passer. Le régime doit se retirer de tous ces secteurs avant que ces camions ne puissent passer. »

S’il est très improbable que cette interview soit reprise dans les médias traditionnels, qui jouent depuis le début du conflit le rôle de relais et d’amplificateurs de la campagne de propagande orchestrée par les États-Unis et les membres de la coalition internationale, la présence de l’armée russe sur le théâtre syrien a cependant permis l’émergence d’une autre version des faits qui se déploie dans les médias russes, notamment Russia Today ou Sputnik, et les médias indépendants, mais également dans les institutions internationales comme le Conseil de Sécurité des Nations Unies. Malgré les différentes initiatives des États-Unis et de leurs alliés pour contrer ou faire taire ces voix divergentes dans un contexte de guerre de l’information, elles restent aujourd’hui le principal rempart contre l’imposition d’une réalité falsifiée qui avait permis l’imposition d’une zone d’exclusion aérienne et la destruction de la Libye en 2011, il est d’autant plus vital de les soutenir, de les relayer, et de les faire vivre aujourd’hui…

Guillaume Borel

Guillaume Borel, documentaliste, analyste politique, est l’auteur de l’ouvrage Le travail,histoire d’une idéologieÉditions Utopia: 2015. Il s’intéresse aux questions de macro-économie, à la géopolitique et aux questions de propagande et d’intoxications médiatiques.

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Brazil: Get Lula! Now! Or Else…

septembre 29th, 2016 by Pepe Escobar

A powerful array of institutional/oligarchic interests is behind the rabid demonization of all things Workers’ Party.

The interminable, ghastly telenovela aiming at turning Brazil, the seventh-largest economy in the world, into a Banana Republic of Scoundrels while destroying its economy, is—like the infamous GWOT (Global War on Terror)—a gift that keeps on giving.

No, this would never qualify as a Shakespearean tragedy or even a Monty Python sketch. Neither tragic nor funny; just nasty, brutish and overwhelmingly pathetic.

Center stage once again is Sergio Moro, the puny provincial prosecutor with an Elliott Ness complex in charge of the blatantly one-sided Car Wash corruption investigation. Moro is a pure product of Hollywood screenwriting. He is investigator, judge, executioner; in sum, he incarnates The Law. A Magnum-deprived Dirty Harry, but armed with plenty of cheap suits.

After the golpeachment of Dilma Rousseff, it didn’t take long for Moro to play his joker: Lula in jail by all means necessary.

It started with a—pathetically amateurish—Powerpoint presentation by the provincial crusaders in the southern Brazilian state which doubles as Car Wash’s seat, insisting they are “convinced” Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva is guilty of being the Don Corleone in a vast corruption ring. But they have no proof.

Ooops. They did it again (for the third time, actually). So sub-Elliott Ness had to run back to his handlers—in the belly of the Empire of Chaos—for new “instructions.” Moro, after all, was the lucky recipient of all that savory NSA spying on Petrobras, the Brazilian Energy Ministry and (regime-changed) President Rousseff.

Lula, ever the old fox, nailed it—observing how Moro has built, alongside the ultra-right-wing Globo media empire, a framework according to which Brazilian mainstream media is able to condemn anyone at will: “There are leaks and no one knows who leaked. Before proof is presented on whether the leak is true or false, five headlines are out. Then, you are guilty.”

Lula was referring to Moro’s by-the-book application of the 1990s Italian Mani Puliteproceedings—when all guilty verdicts were media-induced. In the remixed Brazilian version, the Public Ministry, the Federal Police and the Judiciary as a whole have been totally monopolized by political interests—all of them opposed to the Workers’ Party—with full corporate media support. The whole Brazilian political system is astonishingly corrupt to the core; but Car Wash only targets the Workers’ Party.

Will Rats Have Their 9/11?

Immediately after this (third-time-lucky?) “new” condemnation of Lula as Mob chief, the real (judicial) Mob doubled down, ordering the arrest of former Finance Minister Guido Mantega (then quietly revoked three hours later).

The ineptness of the whole thing became even more flagrant when it was proved, by lawyers defending disgraced former billionaire Eike Batista, that Mantega had never asked for hush money linked to the Petrobras racket.

It took a former minister and founder of the PSDB party—the former social democrats turned neoliberal enforcers—to confirm, on the record, Lula’s analysis; “Brazil is now under a regime in which you just need to be accused by someone in trouble with the law for it to be taken to the media and justify a preemptive arrest.”

The gift will continue to keep on giving. The next “police story” will certainly be directed against impeached President Rousseff—who has lost her political immunity. Mantega was hit because he had been chairman of the board at Petrobras. So was Dilma. It will just take another rat to accuse her out of the blue for Dilma to be “condemned.”

The “logic” of the whole enterprise remains inexorable. This is what’s been happening in Brazil in a nutshell. Various factions of the Brazilian parliamentary opposition—threatened by corruption investigations, Car Wash included—went for a new form of Hybrid War, supported to the hilt by the State Department, aiming simultaneously at a golpeachment against Dilma and dragging Lula’s name into the mud.

Golpeachment worked—based on a dodgy reading of a constitutional procedure targeting a “crime of responsibility.” Dilma did not commit any crime—responsibility or otherwise—and still she was impeached. It’s no wonder that no less than 8,000 irate Brazilian jurists have launched a “Campaign for Legality.”

A powerful array of institutional/oligarchic interests is behind the rabid demonization of all things Workers’ Party; virtually the whole judicial system, the Globo media empire, the absolute majority of the Supreme Court.

So it’s no wonder Brazil has been reduced to the slimy status of a Banana Scoundrel so-called Republic, where due legal process, burden of proof, right of defense, presumption of innocence have all been swept under the (rotten) carpet.

Rats scurrying for an escape route underneath now mirror rats mingling in the tower of power. The masterplan—with Moro as poster boy—is vicious; no less than to destroy the whole project—initiated by Lula—of autonomously developing Brazil as a top multipolar leader in parallel with wealth redistribution. It’s no wonder the illegitimate and vastly unpopular Temer The Usurper “government” is already accelerating the destruction of Petrobras and handing out exploitation of the pre-salt oil reserves to foreign corporations.

A Sub-Empire of Rats is in effect. Perhaps not for too long. Before 9/11 I published a story headlined « Get Osama! Now! Or Else » … 9/11 happened roughly 10 days later. Failing to take out Lula—so he’s back to win the 2018 presidential elections – may end up being a 9/11 for the Sub-Empire of Rats.

Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the US to East Asia. He is the former roving correspondent for Asia Times Online, where he wrote the column The Roving Eye from 2000 to 2014. Born in Brazil, he’s been a foreign correspondent since 1985,  He is the author of « Globalistan » (2007), « Red Zone Blues » (2007), « Obama does Globalistan » (2009) and « Empire of Chaos » (2014), all published by Nimble Books. His latest book is « 2030 », also by Nimble Books, out in December 2015. He currently lives between Paris and Bangkok. Follow him on Facebook.

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Les pays non alignés… Sur qui ?

septembre 29th, 2016 by Pepe Escobar

Le sommet des pays non alignés (PNA) s’est réuni à Isla Margarita, au Venezuela, sans la moindre référence dans les médias grand public occidentaux.

De nos jours, les PNA regroupent tous les pays africains sauf le Sud-Soudan, la majorité de l’Amérique latine sauf le Brésil, l’Argentine et le Mexique (qui y sont membres observateurs) et la plupart de l’Asie et du Moyen-Orient (la Chine est un observateur).

Qu’est il sorti de ce formidable rassemblement de nations globalement représentatives ? Apparemment pas grand-chose, sauf un long documentque peu de gens liront, rappelant les thèmes habituels de non-ingérence et plaidant pour une paix et une coopération mondiale.

Après que l’Iran a passé le témoin au Venezuela qui dirige les PNA pour les trois prochaines années – années qui seront secouées par des turbulences socio-économico-politiques (voici un bon résumé de là où nous en sommes) – le président Maduro n’a pas hésité à dénoncer l’offensive de Washington contre l’Amérique latine et son administration en particulier, offensive centrée sur des changements de régime par le biais d’une guerre économique. Son diagnostic est globalement exact.Et cela amplifie les problèmes si vous êtes un non-aligné dans une époque de modernité liquide, digitale. Géopolitiquement et géo-économiquement, vous êtes alors une proie facile pour toutes sortes de manipulations algorithmiques.

La guerre du pétrole, conduite surtout par l’Arabie saoudite et qui repose sur la spéculation électronique, a dévasté l’économie vénézuélienne dont le budget dépend à 96% du pétrole. Le manque de nourriture et de médicaments atteint des niveaux alarmants, tout comme le taux d’inflation, un des plus fort au monde actuellement.

Au cours de réunions parallèles, Caracas a désespérément cherché un consensus pour geler la production de pétrole avant la prochaine réunion cruciale de l’OPEC d’Alger, à la fin du mois. Le gouvernement vénézuélien a correctement analysé que l’OPEC a été politisée pour faire chuter le prix du pétrole pour cette guerre économique saoudienne, dans le but de frapper l’Iran, la Russie et le Venezuela. Maduro demande maintenant que l’OPEC arrête d’opérer sur le marché libre, à cause de cette surproduction.

Mais c’est la manipulation électronique qui décide. Même si la politique, bien sûr, joue encore un rôle : dans les discussions sur le prix du pétrole, mais aussi dans la récente décision du Mercosur d’empêcher le Venezuela d’exercer la présidence temporaire du bloc commercial sud-américain.

Alors, Maduro a, durant ce sommet des PNA, cherché un soutien auprès de ses quelques alliés restants, comme Rafael Correa d’Équateur, Evo Morales de Bolivie et Hassan Rouhani d’Iran. Pourtant, aucun d’eux n’a la possibilité d’influencer le jeu de l’Arabie saoudite et de son maître.

Mais il n’y a pas eu que le Venezuela. D’autres nations ont, pendant ce sommet, accusé les exceptionnalistes d’interférence. C’est la Corée du Nord qui a chopé le pompon, en menaçant de tout faire péter sans prévenir.

Où est le nouveau Sukarno ?

Le début des années 1960 fut l’époque des Nehru, Sukarno, Nasser et Tito. Sans oublier l’événement fondateur du mouvement des PNA, la conférence de Bandung de 1955, hébergée par l’Indonésie de Sukarno. Ce fut là que le gratin de l’ancien Tiers Monde, devenu maintenant le Sud global, Sukarno, Nasser, Nehru, Tito, Ho Chi Minh, Zhou Enlai, Sihanouk, U Thant et Indira Gandhi, adoptèrent une «déclaration pour la promotion de la paix et coopération mondiale» en demandant collectivement de pouvoir rester neutres dans la Guerre froide de l’époque.

L’esprit de Bandung est encore vivant, car les PNA restent engagés contre l’impérialisme, le colonialisme, le néocolonialisme, le racisme, l’interférence et l’agression étrangère, l’occupation et l’hégémonie. On pourrait appeler cela les PNA contre l’Empire. Pourtant, l’empire postmoderne est beaucoup plus subtil dans ses mécanismes d’interférence, utilisant les myriades de déclinaisons de la guerre hybride, des révolutions de couleur aux guerres économique, jusqu’à la dernière farce institutionnelle/parlementaire/judiciaire/médiatique/changement de régime brésilienne.

La Guerre froide continue, ré-étiquetée Guerre Froide 2.0, mettant surtout l’OTAN face à la Russie, en parallèle à l’endiguement de la Chine grâce au Pivot vers l’Asie.La Russie et la Chine sont les deux menaces annoncées ouvertement par le Pentagone, ces deux pays devraient donc, dans un but pragmatique, aligner leur propre partenariat stratégique avec celui des PNA.

L’esprit des PNA les empêche de s’aligner avec une structure géopolitique militaire ; alors que le projet chinois Une Ceinture, une Route (OBOR) progresse, les nouvelles Routes de la soie vont finalement se joindre à l’Union économique eurasienne (UEE) conduite par la Russie ; tout cela est un progrès conforme aux intérêts des PNA.

Ces projets sont les seuls projets d’intégration mondiale dans un futur prévisible, centrés bien sûr sur l’Eurasie, mais avec de multiples ramifications à travers l’Asie, l’Afrique et même l’Amérique latine. Le projet chinois de ligne de chemin de fer reliant le Pérou sur la côte Pacifique, au Brésil sur la côte Atlantique, par exemple, peut être perçu comme une ramification sud-américaine des Routes de la soie.

La sainte trinité des PNA, le multilatéralisme, l’égalité et la non-agression est aussi reprise par les BRICS, dont le sommet du mois prochain à Goa devrait faire avancer le développement pratique de mécanismes tels que la Nouvelle banque de développement (NBD) qui, pour des raisons bien pratiques, devrait aussi progresser dans l’intérêt du Sud global.

L’un des chemins de sortie pour le Venezuela est de renforcer ses alliances avec les groupes d’intégration latino-américains, côte à côte avec les PNA et en connexion avec les BRICS et le G20, tous recherchant un monde multipolaire, loin du pathétique genre de punition médiévale incarnée par les sanctions du Pays exceptionnel.

Un sujet non ordinaire fut discuté pendant ce sommet. Un processus de réorganisation, comme l’a nommé Maduro, du système des Nations unies, en particulier le Conseil de sécurité. En realpolitik, cela n’arrivera pas, car la Russie est actuellement le seul membre ouvert à ce genre de discussion.

La realpolitik va aussi faire que les nations des PNA continueront à être marginalisées, et rudement exploitées, par des mécanismes néocoloniaux sophistiqués, engrainés dans la logique unipolaire. C’est donc les PNA contre le Pays exceptionnel. Les PNA contre la globalisation néolibérale et ses torrents d’inégalités. Les PNA contre l’économie casino.

La route sera longue et sinueuse. Les PNA n’ont pas grand-chose, à part un Centre pour la coopération Sud-Sud basé à Jakarta et un certain nombre de comités conjoints entre ce groupe de 77 nations en développement. Mais le moral reste bon dans ce combat pour un monde plus égalitaire, équilibré et décent.

Pepe Escobar

Article original en anglais : Non-Aligned to… Nowhere?, Strategic Culture Foundation, 22 septembre 2016..

Traduit par Wayan, relu par nadine pour le Saker Francophone.

Pepe Escobar est l’auteur de Globalistan : How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues : a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009), Empire of Chaos (Nimble Books) et le petit dernier, 2030, traduit en français.

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  • Commentaires fermés sur Les pays non alignés… Sur qui ?

French imperialism is exceedingly busy these days. Since April 2012 the DGSE, France’s equivalent of the CIA, have been helping French terrorists enter Syria so they can behead children and eat their body parts in the name of ‘human rights’.

Though we have been saying this for some time, the French Ministry of Truth has now discreetly admitted that we were right all along.


In 2012, the French overran Mali with terrorists they had been using in Libya. The bombing campaign helped France, in the words of the French foreign minister ‘reconquer’ Mali. The country is now destroyed, divided but very much open for the French and American business of resource extraction.

Central African Republic

A year later, the French overran the Central African Republic (RCA) with Saudi-funded Seleka Takfiri terrorists. The Seleka terrorists cut a lot of heads but had spokesmen in the French media with impeccable French.  The previous French-installed dictator of RCA Francois Bozizé, whom former French president Nicolas Sarkozy described as the “autistic fool of Bangui”, had signed major oil deals with Beijing. Bozizé ‘s handlers in Paris were outraged.


The French have been coordinating Boko Haram terrorists against the intransigent and sinophilic Biya regime of Cameroon. In January 2015, French special forces were, according to Afrique Media, arrested by the Cameroon military fighting alongside the Takfiri terrorists and discreetly repatriated to France on orders from the Elysee Palace.

The French used the RCA operation to provide them with reinforcements for the destabilisation of Cameroon. Cameroon President Paul Biya called on China to lend military support in fighting terrorism. A prominent Cameroon security consultant told Afrique Media that a French rat-line of terrorists going from RCA capital Bangui to Chadian capital Ndjamena had been routed by the intervention of Chinese special forces based in Algeria. There is no way of confirming whether or not the information is true. But if it is accurate, the suggests that China may be flexing its muscles more in Africa, getting tough on terrorism – French terrorism! The presence of a Chinese military base in former French colony Djibouti has not pleased Paris either.


The Chinese have been causing lots of trouble in former French equatorial Africa too. The French attempted a coup against their former puppet Denis Sassou-Ngueso some months ago. Sassou-Nguesso is turned increasingly to China in recent years, to the chagrin of Paris and Washington.

French agent General Mokoko is now languishing in a Brazzaville jail for treason. A video of the general was leaked to the press where he was exposed conspiring with the DGSE to overthrow the Sassou-Ngueso regime on behalf of French imperial interests. He had promised to be loyal to France and for that the Empire’s information service has been most flattering in its portrayal of the Alcibiadian general. We are told he is currently reading hefty books on Napoleon while digesting the classics of French literature. Ah French imperial nostalgia and its erudite African acolytes!


Burundi, a progressive country with Africa’s most popular president Pierre Nkurunziza, has been fighting off French media disinformation since 2010 but Paris and former colonial slave-owner Belgium, have been waging a secret war against the country since April 2015.

Nkurunziza’s ambitious development programme and proclivity towards BRICS investment is not in the European Union’s interest. The EU has been using false pretexts of constitutional issues to oust Nkurunziza together with gangs of crazy, violent youth called ‘peaceful protesters’. The United States has been heavily involved in the neocolonial war too, through the ubiquitous enemy of all things African, US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power. For readers unfamiliar with Samatha Power, she is the woman who overran a seven year old boy and didn’t stop! Samantha has Africa in her heart!

The United Nations, under Power’s stewardship, has issued a mendacious report claiming that the Burundi government is planning genocide against the Tutsi minority in the country. Thousands of Tutsis and Hutus have protested against the UN’s outrageous lies.

But Burundi has a strong military and intelligence apparatus. They have managed to resist for over a year and look like they may well hold out.

Democratic Republic of Congo

Meanwhile, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, there is trouble once again.

Since nominal independence from Belgium in 1960, the country has been a neo-colony of Western interests and has been maintained in a permanent state of war and poverty. The Congo is the world’s richest nation. But its people are poor. The contradiction is called capitalism. Since the CIA and Belgian intelligence agents assassinated the country’s first Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba in 1961, puppet leaders have proven untrustworthy.

Sese Seko Mobuto ran the country on behalf of Atlanticist neo-colonialism for several decades. Mobuto was ‘our man in the Congo’ until, relying on a burgeoning national bourgeoisie for legitimacy Mobuto, began to disagree with Belgium, Paris and Washington. Washington lost no time and dispatched special forces to Rwanda to help newly-installed genocidaire Paul Kagame mount an invasion force of the DRC in 1996. Rwanda was helped by Yoweri Museveni’s Uganda and the revolutionary forces of Laurent-Désiré Kabila.  Mobutu stepped aside. The death toll of the US-instigated wars is estimated to be between 5 than 6 million. But many say the figure is much higher.

However, once Kabila took power, he quickly turned against his US-backers, cut ties with Kagame and Museveni and declared his preference for Chinese investment.  The ‘gods of empire’ were not pleased and Kabila was promptly assassinated.  The country was now suffering the predations of Kagame’s US backed militia who were murdering en masse in the province of mineral-rich Kivu, with strong support from Western imperialism.

Since taking power in 2001, Joseph Kabila has managed to bring a high degree of stability. He has liberated much of the country from terrorism. The Congolese national bourgeoisie wanted progress and an end to the casino capitalism of the Western-backed marauders such as Kagame. In 2011 President Kabila launched the tautological sounding slogan  »revolution of modernity’. With major new dams and power stations, roads, housing projects and transport, Kabila has, to his credit, transformed the country. He has the support of popular forces such as the Congolese Communist Party, who want to revive the spirit of Lumumba and Pierre Mulele. It is not a good thing to see a strong leader like Kabila leaving office next year at the latest. The DRC should consider changing the constitution to abolish term limits. Term limits and multi-party democracy are a front for neocolonial interests. What the country needs is unity and strong nationalist leadership.

Jewish power has a lot to do with the current unrest. The Israelis have dominated the country’s diamond industry and they now have a puppet who even claims to be a Jew. His name is Moise Katumbi and he promises to, in the words of Benjamin Netanyahu “open up Africa to Israel”. In fact, Israel was built on the gold extracted from slave labour in the Congo. But the Congolese holocaust doesn’t matter as they are not Jewish.

Katumbi is a multi-millionaire who is clearly the Empire’s choice for the upcoming elections. The problem is that the electoral authorities have decided to postpone the elections until July 2017. The decision is wise, as they have not yet registered all voters. The self-proclaimed ‘international community’is unhappy about that as it wants Kabila out of the way. Kabila has surrounded himself with nationalistic politicians who want to escape from the Western neo-colonial stranglehold. China has massive infrastructural projects in the country. In fact, the Democratic Republic of Congo is Chinese imperialism’s most ambitious African project.  Chinese state-monopoly capitalism builds infrastructure, pays more for natural resources and wouldn’t dream of issuing insulting, neo-colonial statements like the recent condemnation of Kinshasa by President Hollande. The Kabila ‘regime’ did not mince its words in responding to Hollande, firmly reminding the French president in a press conference that the Democratic Republic of Congo was not a French territory.

The Western imperial press is tripping over itself in its faithful mission to disinform the well-intentioned European reader. An article in Le Monde states that the protesters in Kinshasa calling for the president to ‘step down’ have stones in their hands. It admits that they have already lynched policemen and violently attacked civilians and destroyed public buildings. It also admits that the police have kept a distance from the rioters. Yet in the same article we see Soros-funded Human Rights Watch condemning the police for their brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters! One can only imagine what would happen in Paris were one to demonstrate without permission, armed, lynching police and burning down government buildings!


In oil-rich French neo-colony of Gabon, a presidential election in July erupted in violence after the French-backed candidate Jean Ping lost to the incumbent Ali Bongo. Jean Ping has called on the old colonial master to intervene. French Africa experts such as Antoine Glaser are saying the same things they said before the French assault on the Ivory Coast in 2011, namely that France has no real interests there. It is not true. France has a military base in the former colony and has enjoyed laissez-faire economics for several decades through the imposition of corrupt dictators. Ali Bongo took power in a military coup in 2009 with help from the French. He was supposed to serve the French elite. But instead, Bongo betrayed his masters. He gave lucrative oil contracts to China and enlisted Chinese help in the development of the country’s agricultural industry. Not only that, the Gabon state is currently pursuing French oil giant Total for 805 million dollars in unpaid taxes. Paris says Bongo has to go! There are signs that Ali Bongo might be different to his father. He has pledged to give his father’s inheritance to the state. One should not have any illusions about Bongo’s benevolence. But what is clear is that he now standing for African capitalist interests rather than those of the Empire. Jean Ping is the former husband of Pascaline Bongo, one of the directors of Total. Ping has a personal stake in Total’s fraudulent practices. Total hates Bongo and so does the ‘international community’.

The ‘revolutionary’ scramble for Africa

Western imperialism is running amok in Africa. The continent’s youth are being held hostage by NGOs who specialise in the manipulation of youthful rebelliousness; they use Trotskyite propaganda perfected during the Arab Spring. The Western imperial elite say they want to spread the Arab Spring all over Africa. They are doing a good job. Francois Hollande told the United Nations recently that “ France has a big idea for the world”  Youth of France, have you any idea what your old men  are doing to foreign countries?  Do you really believe everything they tell you about these countries you know they exploit and dominate? How can you listen to the owner of Le Monde, Lezard Bank director Matthieu Pigasse tell you he wants to see the Arab Spring spread all over Africa, and not understand what he means, not understand what the information service he owns means when it uses terms like ‘international community’ and ‘civil society’? Youth of France, Pig Ass wants revolution. Give it to him!

Youth of Africa, kick out all NGOs now and revive the spirit of Sankara, Lumumba and Mulele! Educate your youth on imperialism’s strategems!

France, bursting with debt and sinking in the mire of its own imperial hubris, has embarked upon one last, rape spree in the Dark Continent – it’s part of France’s “big idea for the world”. On September the 11th 1991, after the dissolution of the USSR, President George Bush told the US Congress that New World Order was on the way and it was a “big idea”. The millions of rotting corpses of French and American imperial wars in the Ivory Coast, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Cameroon, Gabon, Burundi, Central African Republic, Rwanda, Democratic African Republic, Republic of Congo – the list is far greater – have borne witness to the evil meaning of Western imperialism’s ‘big idea for the world’.

Gearóid Ó Colmáin, AHT Paris correspondent, is a journalist and political analyst. His work focuses on globalization, geopolitics and class struggle. His articles have been translated into many languages. He is a regular contributor to Global Research, Russia Today International, Press TV, Sputnik Radio France, Sputnik English , Al Etijah TV , Sahar TV Englis, Sahar French and has also appeared on Al Jazeera. He writes in English, Irish Gaelic and French.
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  • Commentaires fermés sur France’s “Big Idea for the World”. French Terrorists Dispatched to Subsaharan Africa…

Cette interview menée par Jürgen Todenhöfera d’abord été publiée en allemand le 26 septembre 2016 dans le Kölner Stadtanzeiger, le principal quotidien de la région de Cologne.

Interview avec un commandant du Front al-Nosra : «Les Américains sont à nos côtés»

C’était la septième fois que mon fils Frederick et moi allions en Syrie, ce pays déchiré par la guerre civile. Nous y sommes restés 13 jours. Les mots ne suffisent pas à décrire l’ampleur des dommages et de la souffrance subis des deux côtés.

Il y a dix jours, nous avons mené une interview avec un commandant du Front al-Nosra, affilié à al-Qaïda. Abou al-Ezz a parlé ouvertement de ses bailleurs de fonds que sont l’Arabie saoudite, le Qatar et le Koweït. Nous sommes parvenus à établir l’identité de l’homme et savons pratiquement tout à son sujet.

Une interview menée dans une carrière de pierre à Alep

L’interview a été organisée par un rebelle d’Alep. J’ai des contacts avec des rebelles syriens depuis des années. L’interview s’est déroulée à l’extérieur d’Alep, dans une carrière à portée de vue – et de tir – du Front al-Nosra. Seul un membre d’al-Nosra pouvait s’y rendre sans danger.

Ses combattants n’étaient que partiellement masqués, donc facilement identifiables. Une partie de ses affirmations a été pratiquement confirmée verbalement peu après par un mufti à Alep. D’autres assertions au sujet du désintérêt des rebelles à l’égard d’un cessez-le-feu et du convoi humanitaire international ont été corroborées également, tout comme ses prévisions au sujet des activités militaires planifiées dans plusieurs villes de la Syrie.

Le commandant Abou al-Ezz affirme ceci à propos du Front al-Nosra (al-Qaïda) :

«Nous formons l’une des composantes d’al-Qaïda. Nos principes sont le combat contre le vice, la pureté et la sécurité. La conduite de nos affaires et notre façon d’agir ont changé. Par exemple, nous avons maintenant le soutien d’Israël, parce qu’Israël est en guerre contre la Syrie et le Hezbollah.

Les USA aussi ont changé d’opinion à notre égard. Au départ, Daesh et nous ne formions qu’un groupe. Mais Daesh a été utilisé dans l’intérêt de grands États comme les USA, pour des raisons politiques, et a été détourné de nos principes. Il est devenu évident pour nous que la plupart de ses dirigeants travaillent avec les services secrets de sécurité. Nous, au Front al-Nosra, faisons les choses à notre façon. Avant, Daesh était avec nous et nous soutenait.

Notre but est la chute du régime dictatorial, du régime tyrannique, du régime de l’apostat. Notre but est de faire des conquêtes, à la manière de Khald ibn al-Walid [le grand général arabe], d’abord dans le monde arabe, puis en Europe.»

Partie 2 – L’interview de Jürgen Todenhöfer avec le commandant rebelle Abou al-Ezz

Jürgen Todenhöfer : – Quel est l’état de vos relations avec les États-Unis? Les USA soutiennent-ils les rebelles?

Abou al-Ezz : – Oui, les USA soutiennent l’opposition, mais pas directement. Ils soutiennent les pays qui nous soutiennent. Mais nous ne sommes pas encore satisfaits de ce soutien. Ils devraient nous soutenir en nous fournissant des armes ultra perfectionnées. Nous avons remporté des batailles grâce à des missiles TOW. Nous sommes parvenus à un équilibre des forces avec le régime grâce à ces missiles. Nous avons reçu des chars de la Libye par l’entremise de la Turquie, ainsi que des BM (lance roquettes multiples). Le régime ne nous domine que par ses avions de chasse, ses missiles et ses lance-missiles. Nous avons capturé une partie de ces lance-missiles et en avons reçu pas mal d’ailleurs. Mais ce sont les TOW américains qui nous ont permis d’avoir la situation bien en main dans certaines régions.

– À qui ces missiles des USA étaient-ils destinés avant qu’on ne vous les apporte? Ces missiles ont-ils été livrés par les USA à l’Armée syrienne libre, puis à vous ensuite? 

– Non. Les missiles nous ont été livrés directement. Ils ont été livrés à un certain groupe. Lorsque la «route» était fermée et que nous étions assiégés, il y avait ici présents des agents de la Turquie, du Qatar, de l’Arabie saoudite, d’Israël et des États-Unis.

– Que faisaient ces agents?

Du travail d’expert! Des experts dans l’utilisation des satellites, des missiles, des caméras de vidéo surveillance thermiques, du travail de reconnaissance…

– Est-ce qu’il y avait aussi des experts américains?

– Oui, des experts de plusieurs pays.

– Y compris des Américains?

Oui. Les Américains sont à nos côtés, mais pas autant qu’ils le devraient. Par exemple, on nous disait : nous devons capturer et conquérir le «bataillon 47». L’Arabie saoudite nous a remis 500 millions de livres syriennes. Pour prendre l’école d’infanterie al-Muslimiya, il y a plusieurs années de cela, nous avons reçu du Koweït 1,5 million de dinars koweïtis et 5 millions de dollars US de l’Arabie saoudite.

– Des gouvernements ou de particuliers?

– Des gouvernements.

– La lutte est difficile, le régime est fort et il a le soutien de la Russie…? 

– Nous allons combattre jusqu’à la chute du régime. Nous allons combattre la Russie et l’Occident, parce que l’Occident ne se tient pas vraiment à nos côtés. L’Occident ne fait que nous envoyer des moudjahidines, il facilite l’entrée de ces combattants. Pourquoi l’Occident ne nous soutient-il pas convenablement? Nous avons beaucoup de combattants de l’Allemagne, de la France, de la Grande-Bretagne, des États-Unis, de tous les pays occidentaux.

– Le Front al-Nosra compte-t-il dans ses rangs beaucoup de combattants européens à Alep?

– Beaucoup, beaucoup, beaucoup!

– Combien?

– Beaucoup.

Que pensez-vous du cessez-le-feu?

– Nous ne reconnaissons pas le cessez-le-feu. Nous allons repositionner nos groupes. Nous allons lancer dans les prochains jours une attaque massive contre le régime. Nous avons redéployé nos forces armées dans toutes les provinces, à Homs, Alep, Idlib et Hama.

– Vous ne voulez pas que les 40 camions remplis de matériel humanitaire parviennent dans la partie est d’Alep? 

– Nous avons des conditions. Tant que le régime est positionné le long du chemin Castillo, à al-Malah et dans le secteur nord, nous ne laisserons pas ces camions passer. Le régime doit se retirer de tous ces secteurs avant que ces camions ne puissent passer. Si un camion passe malgré tout, le conducteur sera arrêté.

– Pourquoi une partie de vos groupes s’est-elle repliée à un kilomètre ou à 500 mètres du chemin Castillo? 

– Le régime a utilisé des armes très perfectionnées contre nous, ce qui a causé un vif émoi. C’est pourquoi nous nous sommes repliés silencieusement, le temps de récupérer et de reprendre l’attaque contre le régime. Mais cette attaque doit entraîner la chute du régime.

– C’était donc une astuce? Une tactique militaire?

– Oui, c’était une tactique militaire.

– Est-ce que le but de cette tactique était de recevoir des aliments ou le redéploiement des combattants?

– Nous n’étions pas d’accord avec le cessez-le-feu.

– Cela s’applique-t-il seulement au Front al-Nosra ou à tous les autres groupes, le reste de vos alliés?

– Cela s’applique à tous les groupes intégrés à nous, qui sont nos alliés.

– Le Front islamique? L’Armée de l’islam?

– Ils sont tous avec nous. Nous formons tous le Front al-Nosra. Un groupe se crée et prend le nom d’«Armée de l’islam» ou de «Fateh al-Sham». Chaque groupe a son propre nom, mais la croyance est homogène. Le nom global est Front al-Nosra. Une personne a, disons, 2 000 combattants. Elle forme alors un nouveau groupe et l’appelle «Ahrar al-Sham». La croyance, les pensées et les buts de ces frères sont identiques à ceux du Front al-Nosra.

– Est-ce votre opinion personnelle ou l’opinion du haut commandement aussi?

– C’est l’opinion générale. Si quelqu’un vient vous voir, fait de vous un «rebelle modéré» et vous offre à boire et à manger, allez-vous accepter son offre ou non?

– Cette guerre a tué 450 000 personnes. Je suis allé à Alep et à Homs. Bien des parties sont détruites. Si la guerre se poursuit, tout le pays sera détruit. Des millions vont mourir… En Allemagne, nous avons déjà eu la «guerre de Trente Ans»…

– Nous n’en sommes qu’à notre cinquième année de guerre, c’est court en comparaison!

– Accepteriez-vous la présence d’un représentant du régime d’Assad dans un gouvernement de transition? 

– Nous n’acceptons personne du régime d’Assad ou de l’Armée syrienne libre, qu’on appelle les modérés. Notre but est la chute du régime et la création d’un État islamique fondé sur les règles de la charia islamique.

– Les gens d’Allouche, qui se sont déplacés à Genève pour les négociations, ont accepté l’idée d’un gouvernement de transition.

– Ce sont des mercenaires syriens. Allouche combattait avec le Front al-Nosra. Les groupes qu’abrite la Turquie à l’origine de la création de l’Armée syrienne libre ont déjà été aux côtés du Front al-Nosra. Ce sont des gens faibles, qui ont reçu beaucoup d’argent, qui se sont vendus. Ils doivent suivre les ordres de leurs commanditaires.

– Le Front islamique et l’Armée de l’islam négocient à Genève.

– Parce que leurs dirigeants ont été formés en Occident. Ils sont conseillés et payés par les services secrets occidentaux et les services secrets des pays du Golfe pour atteindre les objectifs de ces pays.

Nous sommes ici au point d’observation le plus avancé du secteur de Sheik Saïd. Ce secteur est sous notre contrôle. Derrière ces maisons et al-Majbal, se trouvent les soldats du régime. Nos forces armées sont à 200 mètres d’ici.

 Jürgen Todenhöfer


Article original en allemand, traduit de l’allemand par Moon of Alabama :

Members of al Qaeda's Nusra Front gesture as they drive in a convoy touring villages in the southern countryside of Idlib

Interview With Jabhat al-Nusra (Al Qaeda) Commander in Syria: “The Americans Stand on our Side”. Our Objective is the Islamic State…

Vous pouvez lire la version originale en allemand de cette interview donnée au Kölner Stadtanzeiger.

Traduit par Daniel, édité par Wayan, relu par Diane pour le Saker francophone.


Escalades : Retrouvez un point de situation sur la Syrie sur le blog des chroniquesdugrandjeu.com qui donne son avis sur cet interview.

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This morning at 9:50 am, women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here.

When asked why they are going, the women gave a variety of responses. Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate from Ireland, notes that “theysay that ‘silence is golden’, but regarding the plight of Palestinians in Gaza the silence of the world, especially concerning their little children, shows a lack of moral and ethical leadership from the international community. Why has it lasted so long?”

For two of the women, their countries’ own historical struggles for human rights played an important role in their decision to join the Women’s Boat to Gaza. Leigh-Ann Naidoo, an Olympic volleyball player from South Africa, feels that “South Africans understand the importance of international solidarity in fighting regimes that practice segregation.” Marama Davidson, a Maori Member of Parliament from New Zealand, carries with her a strong personal connection to Palestinian women in Gaza. “As an indigenous woman myself, I want to stand alongside the women of Gaza and to draw attention to the ongoing humanitarian crisis there.”

The Amal-Hope II has been making final preparations to sail and is scheduled to depart from Messina soon. Both boats are expected to arrive in Gaza in early October.

Yudit Ilany, an Israeli participant who has sailed with the Zaytouna-Oliva since Barcelona, said “The blockade of Gaza is a crime against humanity being committed in my name, and it is my duty to protest it in any way possible.”

CONTACT: Ellen Huttu Hansson

E-mail: [email protected]gmail.com

Freedom Flotilla Italy Lucia Intruglio / Palmira Mancuso

Email: [email protected]com /[email protected]messinaora.it

The Women’s Boat to Gaza is an initiative of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition composed of civil society organizations and campaigns from more than a dozen countries. For more information, visit www.womensboattogaza.org.

The Women’s Boat to Gaza is an initiative of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition composed of civil society organizations and campaigns from more than a dozen countries.


You can support the Women’s Boat to Gaza by donating online: http://canadaboatgaza .org/donate/

Those who can benefit from a U.S. tax receipt can contribute online at

https://womensboatgaza-nonviol enceinternational.nationbuilde r.com/contribute

Other ways to get involved:

Follow us at www.canadaboatgaza.org and  freedomflotilla.org

www.facebook.com/FreedomFlotil laCoalition/ and www.facebook. com/CanadaBoatGaza/

Twitter @GazaFFlotilla  @Canad aBoatGaza

Canadian Boat to Gaza:  www.canadaboatgaza.org  email: [email protected]

Bateau Canadien pour GAZA:  www.canadaboatgaza.org  courriel: [email protected]

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In July 2016 the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin signed a law to ban the cultivation and breeding of genetically modified plants and animals (GMO), except in cases where they will be used in testing and scientific research. In fact, this law makes Russia the world’s largest GMO-free territory and offers a great platform for the development of organic agriculture.

This decision made by the Russian government was also influenced by environmental organizations, farmers and other representatives of Russian society, concerned by the absence of reliable scientific studies on the long-term (‘long-term’ comes here with an emphasis) risks of GMO food to human health and the environment. The Kremlin has also apparently taken into consideration the interests of national food security, as the world market of genetically modified (GM) seeds is monopolized by transnational, mostly American, German and Swiss based companies.

Author Elena Sharoykina

original article in Russian at http://www.vz.ru/opinions/2016/9/21/833682.html

Many European Union countries, unlike the U.S., have already applied restrictions on GMOs, similar to the ones implemented now in the Russian Federation. Only five EU countries (Spain, Portugal, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania) have been cultivating GM crops, but even they have begun to decrease the area of GM crop cultivation gradually.

The U.S., represented by its biotechnology corporations, has been trying to conquer the EU agricultural sector and to make it a part of the GMO global market. This agricultural misalliance would be officially named Transatlantic trade and investment partnership (TTIP), and the mass media has already named it ‘economic NATO’. It’s interesting to note that the GMO question appears to be one of the main bones of contention in the negotiation process around TTIP.

Amidst this discussion in the middle of September 2016 it was announced that German chemical & pharmaceutical giant Bayer agreed to buy US seeds and pesticides corporation Monsanto in a $66 billion takeover deal.  If the sides finalize the agreement (which is to be signed by the end of 2017) and regulatory authorities in USA and EU approve it, it will create a ‘transatlantic monster’, the likes of which the world has never seen before.  The new company will to a great extent dictate to the whole world what to eat, what medicine to take and how to run agriculture.

Let’s try to find out what is behind this news and what it means for Russia, Europe and for everyone worldwide. To begin with a few words about the principal characters in this play – the companies Bayer and Monsanto.

The Bayer company was founded in 1863. It was mainly known for marketing heroin as cough suppressant and aspirin.  Nowadays the company produces a wide range of agrochemical, pharmaceutical and medical products and one of its branches carries out studies in the field of genetic engineering (Bayer CropScience).

The historical connection between Bayer and the ‘death industry’ is however not so well-known:  it was a manufacturer of chemical weapons for the German government during World Wars I and II. We know as well very little about almost hundred years of ‘special relationships’ with the U.S..  According to distinguished historian, the Stanford University professor Anthony C. Sutton,  the I. G. Farben cartel (Interessen-Gemeinschaft Farbenindustie AG) was formed in 1925 by Herman Shmitz out of six already giant German chemical companies, including Bayer, with Wall Street financial assistance.

“Twenty years later the same Hermann Schmitz was put on trial at Nuremburg for war crimes committed by the I.G. cartel… but the American affiliates of I.G. Farben and the American directors of I.G. itself were quietly forgotten; the truth was buried in the archives… Without the capital supplied by Wall Street, there would have been no I.G. Farben in the first place and almost certainly no Adolf Hitler and World War II”, Sutton wrote in his book ‘Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler’.

In the post-war period the ‘scientific’ potential of Bayer was again in demand – but this time the Nazis were replaced by NATO generals. The connections of Bayer with the western military-industrial complex in fact never ceased.

The second participant in the ‘deal of the year’ – U.S. company Monsanto – is famous today mostly for its achievement in the fields of genetic modification of seeds and production of pesticides for GM crops. However, like Bayer, shortly after its foundation in 1901, Monsanto became deeply involved in purely military projects. In its Dayton laboratory in Ohio, as a part of the Manhattan project, the first polonium-based neutron initiators were constructed. They were used in the atomic bombs, which the USA dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (leaving more than 200 thousand dead).

During the Vietnam War Monsanto was the largest supplier of Agent Orange for the U.S. army. It was used as chemical weapon (nearly 3 million people were affected, half a million were killed).

In other words, Bayer and Monsanto should be considered as very unusual companies. They are not only the largest representatives of the chemical and biotechnological industries of the Old and the New World, but, in some ways, they also fully represent their military-industry group.  That is why the deal in question must not only be studied from the economic point of view, but also assessed as a geopolitical issue reflecting the current balance of power between the USA and EU.

To my mind, it is not that much about a take-over, it’s a merger between Bayer-Monsanto, and it creates a new transnational structure. If this was not the case, the influence of the EU in the relationship between Washington and Brussels would grow significantly, but it is completely different in reality. Moreover, taking into consideration the importance of the GMO factor in U.S. foreign policy, it is difficult to imagine that the White House would let this huge assets flow into anybody’s hands, certainly not into the hands of the Germans.

Apparently, the merger of these two giants is part of a backstage U.S.-EU agreement and trade-offs within the TTIP negotiations process.  Brussels, in exchange for a ‘back-down’ on some disputable issues, has gained an extra share in the global biotechnology industry. Monsanto, on the other hand, by re-branding a U.S.-company to a European one, expects to open the E.U. market for its GM production.

Let me remind you that the first $ 62 billion offer, made by Bayer in May 2016, was declined by Monsanto. However, after loud statements made by leaders of Germany and France in August, saying that the negotiations on TTIP actually had failed, the parties ‘suddenly’ reached a consensus.  It is obvious that the parties had a ‘package deal’, and it was agreed on a state-to-state level. If this is the case, the progress in Bayer-Monsanto merger deal will be followed by progress in the  TTIP negotiations.

For European citizens, the  vast majority of whom, just like the Russian people, have taken a stand against the spread of GMO agriculture, such a ‘package deal’ would be a betrayal of public interests by the European bureaucracy machine.

The fall of Europe as one of the few ‘green bastions’ in the world under the pressure of U.S. corporations would mean trouble for Russia too.   ‘Genetically modified NATO’ has been moving closer to our borders, threatening our biological, genetic and food security.

We want to believe that one day, in some miracle, corrupted European bureaucrats will be replaced by nationally oriented leaders. It is possible then, if it is not too late, we will form a ‘green axis’ Paris-Berlin-Moscow and through our joint efforts expand the borders of the continental GMO-free zone. That would allow us to protect the traditions of agriculture in the Old World, to develop organic agriculture and to reform the world economy according to the principles of sustainable development.

But can Europeans afford to wait for a miracle? Or is it high time to act?

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America in Syria: How to Build a Terror-State

septembre 29th, 2016 by Tony Cartalucci

A nation is its institutions, and should those institutions weaken, the nation itself will be weakened. And should those institutions be destroyed, the nation, for all intents and purposes, will also be destroyed.

A dramatic example of how to destroy a nation unfolded in 2003 in Iraq as a US led axis invaded and occupied it, intentionally targeting and destroying Iraqi institutions and essential infrastructure, including the police, military, and the government as well as bridges, electricity, and communications.

In the ruins left in the wake of the US-led invasion, through the “Coalition Provisional Authority,” US and European corporations were invited in to not only rebuild these institutions and infrastructure, but to do so in a manner making them dependent on and profitable to US-European corporate-financier interests well into the foreseeable future.

The West’s vast influence in Iraq today is owed to this process. While it is likely the West envisioned a client state far more obedient and subservient to Western interests than Iraq is today, the complicity it does receive across Iraq and even across the wider region, is vastly greater than before the 2003 invasion.

The US State Department through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) continue to undermine local, independent institutions and infrastructure in favor of US-funded and directed institutions as well as US-controlled infrastructure. It is the mechanics of modern day empire.
While Iraq is an extreme example of just how far and overt this process can be, the United States is repeating this same process the world over through direct and indirect military operations or more subtly through the use of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).

America’s Burgeoning Terror-State in the Levant 

In Syria, the United States has engineered and perpetuated a proxy war against the government in Damascus and its Russian and Iranian allies beginning in 2011. Before even the armed conflict began in 2011, the United States admittedly poured resources into opposition groups including the Muslim Brotherhood to prepare the ground for violent subversion.In 2007, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh would write in his 9-page report, “The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefitting our enemies in the war on terrorism?” that:

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

Hersh’s now prophetic report would also reveal US support for the Muslim Brotherhood:

There is evidence that the Administration’s redirection strategy has already benefitted the Brotherhood. The Syrian National Salvation Front is a coalition of opposition groups whose principal members are a faction led by Abdul Halim Khaddam, a former Syrian Vice-President who defected in 2005, and the Brotherhood. A former high-ranking C.I.A. officer told me, “The Americans have provided both political and financial support. The Saudis are taking the lead with financial support, but there is American involvement.”

The US, through backing a large, alternative political front, was already well on its way in 2007 toward creating a parallel state within Syria to eventually undermine and overthrow before eventually absorbing the Syrian nation.

As hostilities began, the US augmented its proxy political party with both opposition media fronts and armed militant groups – essentially the creation of mass media and an army for its growing parallel terror state.

The New York Times in 2013 would admit in an article titled, “Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With Aid From C.I.A.,” that:

With help from the C.I.A., Arab governments and Turkey have sharply increased their military aid to Syria’s opposition fighters in recent months, expanding a secret airlift of arms and equipment for the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, according to air traffic data, interviews with officials in several countries and the accounts of rebel commanders.

As the war has continued on, the United States and its Arab and European allies have steadily built other institutions to augment the political, military, and media capabilities of this burgeoning terror-state, including hospitals operated in Al Qaeda-held territory by Western NGOs, and of course the so-called “White Helmets,” described on their own website as:

The volunteers save people on all sides of the conflict – pledging commitment to the principles of “Humanity, Solidarity, Impartiality” as outlined by the International Civil Defence Organisation. This pledge guides every response, every action, every life saved – so that in a time of destruction, all Syrians have the hope of a lifeline.

In reality, the “White Helmets” operate solely in terrorist-held territory, as the nation of Syria already has an effective, professional, and well organized civil defense organization. The “White Helmets” appear to be “targeted intentionally” because they are operating side-by-side designated terrorist organizations including Al Nusra, quite literally Al Qaeda in Syria.

In one graphic instance (GRAPHIC VIDEO), these “White Helmet” Al Qaeda auxiliaries can be seen literally standing by as Al Nusra terrorists execute a prisoner, before rushing in to remove the body. Had Syrian or Russian warplanes struck these terrorists in the midst of carrying out war crimes, these “White Helmets” would have rightfully been liquidated side-by-side the terrorists they were aiding and abetting.

Despite the “White Helmets” severing quite literally as Al Qaeda auxiliaries, the US through USAID and more recently, the German government, have provided the faux-NGO millions in funding.

US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner in April 2016, according to a US State Department official transcript, would admit:

Well, I can tell you that we provide, through USAID, about $23 million in assistance to them [the “White Helmets”].

Toner was responding to queries by journalists regarding why a US-funded organization was receiving millions of dollars in assistance, but whose leader is banned from traveling to the United States. Toner attempted to claim the situation was “complicated,” but in reality, it is a simple matter of the US once again arming and funding terrorists abroad while simultaneously attempting to pose as fighting them back home.

More recently, AP would report in an article titled, “Germany ups financial support for Syria’s White Helmets,” that:

Germany’s Foreign Ministry says it is increasing financial support for the Syria Civil Defense group, also known as the White Helmets. 

The ministry said in a statement Friday that it has raised its funding for the group this year from 5 million euros ($5.61 million) to 7 million euros ($7.85 million).

With a sectarian extremist political party like the Muslim Brotherhood, an armed force comprised of Al Qaeda and other extremist groups, and an array of complicit alleged NGOs including the “White Helmets,” the US and its allies have attempted to create a parallel state within Syria – a parallel state it hopes will eventually inherit the entirety of Syria’s territory, just as violent sectarian terrorist factions have assumed control over Libya – deconstructing it as a functioning nation state and plunging its people into open-ended, perpetual catastrophe that is reverberating across the planet in the form of terrorism and migrant crises.

The US and its partners are posing as fighting against terrorism, while carving out entire nations for Al Qaeda and its affiliates everywhere from the North African nation of Libya, to the  ‎Levantine nation of Syria. It is a foreign policy in reality that cannot be sustained with the unraveling rhetoric used to promote and perpetuate it on the global stage, particularly in front of the UN.

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

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Monday night’s debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump plumbed new depths in the degradation of American politics. A billionaire and a multi-millionaire, both widely hated, traded false promises, platitudes, attack lines and reactionary bromides without seriously addressing any of the pressing issues facing the American people.

On social policy, Trump combined calls for trade war with a program of sweeping corporate tax cuts and the elimination of all regulations on business, at one point boasting of his own evasion of federal income taxes. Responding to Clinton’s criticism that he benefited personally from the housing market collapse, he declared, “That’s called business.”

Clinton, who has the closest ties to Wall Street, said the financial crisis of 2008 was the product of “tax policies that slashed taxes on the wealthy, failed to invest in the middle class, took their eyes off Wall Street.” She evidently hoped that no one would pick up on the fact that her husband’s administration and the Democratic Party as a whole played a central role in this process.

But the heart of the debate, as far as the ruling class is concerned, lay in foreign and military policy, where Clinton has focused the majority of her attacks on Trump, presenting herself as a more ruthless and militaristic future commander-in-chief.

Clinton continued the war-mongering diatribes against Russia that have dominated her campaign since the run-up to the Democratic National Convention in July, along with her attacks on Trump from the right, branding him a stooge of Russian President Vladimir Putin. She repeated the claim, never substantiated, that Putin was responsible for hacking the email of the Democratic National Committee.

In response to alleged cyber attacks by “Russia, China, Iran or anybody else,” she declared, “We are not going to sit idly by… and we’re going to have to make it clear that we don’t want to use the kinds of tools that we have. We don’t want to engage in a different kind of warfare. But we will defend the citizens of this country. And the Russians need to understand that.”

This language echoes her remark at a September 7 forum on national security policy in New York City, where she declared that a Clinton administration would treat cyber attacks as acts of war and respond with military force.

Besides suggesting war with Russia—possessor of the world’s second largest stockpile of nuclear weapons—Clinton called for stepped-up US military operations in the Middle East, including intensified air strikes on ISIS and the wider use of drone missile assassinations, targeting, in particular, ISIS leader Abu Baker al-Baghdadi. Such state killings should become “one of our organizing principles,” Clinton concluded.

Trump was typically bombastic in his threats of military action in the Middle East, but less explicit about war against more formidable targets such as Russia and China. But the logic of his “Fortress America” appeals to economic nationalism and trade war, and his identification of Mexico, China and other countries as US enemies, leads inexorably to the same program of global military aggression.

Moderator Lester Holt of NBC News did not ask Clinton how many millions of lives she was prepared to sacrifice in a potential war with Russia. However, indicative of discussions going on behind the scenes, he did ask the candidates’ opinions on reports that Obama “considered changing the nation’s longstanding policy on first use” of nuclear weapons. This was a reference to articles revealing that Obama had considered adopting an explicit no-first-use nuclear policy, a proposal he ultimately discarded after it came under attack from within his own administration.

Trump first said that he would “not do first strike,” before adding, “I can’t take anything off the table.” Clinton pointedly did not reply to the question.

In the aftermath of the debate, the media and most of the political establishment declared Clinton the “winner.” This is because she is seen as the more reliable instrument of US imperialism’s aggressive global policy, involving a vast escalation of military violence after the election.

Clinton is seeking to mobilize behind this policy privileged, pro-war sections of the upper-middle class who support the Democratic Party on the basis of identity politics. This was the essential significance of her pointed reference (in relation to police violence) to “systemic racism” in the United States.

The 2016 election campaign was dominated for many months by explosive popular disaffection with the whole political and corporate establishment. But it has concluded in a contest between two candidates who personify that establishment—one a billionaire from the criminal world of real-estate swindling, the other the consensus choice of the military-intelligence apparatus and Wall Street.

This outcome has an objective character. The two-party system is a political monopoly of the capitalist class. Both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are political instruments of big business. The claims of Bernie Sanders and his pseudo-left apologists that it is possible to reform or pressure the Democrats—and even carry out a “political revolution” through it—have proven to be lies.

With six weeks to go until Election Day, it is more clear than ever that whoever wins, the people of the United States and the entire world confront immense dangers, including the threat of a military conflict involving nuclear powers such as Russia and China. The greatest danger, however, is the gulf that exists between the advanced state of the war plans of the ruling class and the level of popular consciousness. Everything must be done to alert workers and young people to what is being planned and build a political leadership to oppose war and the capitalist system that produces it.

The working class must prepare itself politically for the struggles to come. This is the essential significance of the Socialist Equality Party’s election campaign and its candidates, Jerry White for president and Niles Niemuth for vice president. We urge workers and young people to support our campaign and attend the November 5th conference on “Socialism vs. Capitalism and War,” being held in Detroit.

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Internal United Nations assessments obtained by The Intercept reveal that U.S. and European sanctions are punishing ordinary Syrians and crippling aid work during the largest humanitarian emergency since World War II.

The sanctions and war have destabilized every sector of Syria’s economy, transforming a once self-sufficient country into an aid-dependent nation. But aid is hard to come by, with sanctions blocking access to blood safety equipment, medicines, medical devices, food, fuel, water pumps, spare parts for power plants, and more.

In a 40-page internal assessment commissioned to analyze the humanitarian impact of the sanctions, the U.N. describes the U.S. and EU measures as “some of the most complicated and far-reaching sanctions regimes ever imposed.” Detailing a complex system of “unpredictable and time-consuming” financial restrictions and licensing requirements, the report finds that U.S. sanctions are exceptionally harsh “regarding provision of humanitarian aid.”

U.S. sanctions on Syrian banks have made the transfer of funds into the country nearly impossible. Even when a transaction is legal, banks are reluctant to process funds related to Syria for risk of incurring violation fees. This has given rise to an unofficial and unregulated network of money exchanges that lacks transparency, making it easier for extremist groups like ISIS and al Qaeda to divert funds undetected. The difficulty of transferring money is also preventing aid groups from paying local staff and suppliers, which has “delayed or prevented the delivery of development assistance in both government and besieged areas,” according to the report.

Trade restrictions on Syria are even more convoluted. Items that contain 10 percent or more of U.S. content, including medical devices, are banned from export to Syria. Aid groups wishing to bypass this rule have to apply for a special license, but the licensing bureaucracy is a nightmare to navigate, often requiring expensive lawyers that cost far more than the items being exported.

Syria was first subjected to sanctions in 1979, after the U.S. designated the Syrian government as a state sponsor of terrorism. More sanctions were added in subsequent years, though none more extreme than the restrictions imposed in 2011 in response to the Syrian government’s deadly crackdown on protesters.

In 2013 the sanctions were eased but only in opposition areas. Around the same time, the CIA began directly shipping weapons to armed insurgents at a colossal cost of nearly $1 billion a year, effectively adding fuel to the conflict while U.S. sanctions obstructed emergency assistance to civilians caught in the crossfire.

An internal U.N. email obtained by The Intercept also faults U.S. and EU sanctions for contributing to food shortages and deteriorations in health care. The August email from a key U.N. official warned that sanctions had contributed to a doubling in fuel prices in 18 months and a 40 percent drop in wheat production since 2010, causing the price of wheat flour to soar by 300 percent and rice by 650 percent. The email went on to cite sanctions as a “principal factor” in the erosion of Syria’s health care system. Medicine-producing factories that haven’t been completely destroyed by the fighting have been forced to close because of sanctions-related restrictions on raw materials and foreign currency, the email said.

As one NGO worker in Damascus told The Intercept, there are cars, buses, water systems, and power stations that are in serious need of repair all across the country, but it takes months to procure spare parts and there’s no time to wait. So aid groups opt for cheap Chinese options or big suppliers that have the proper licensing, but the big suppliers can charge as much as they want. If the price is unaffordable, systems break down and more and more people die from dirty water, preventable diseases, and a reduced quality of life.

Such conditions would be devastating for any country. In war-torn Syria, where an estimated 13 million people are dependent on humanitarian assistance, the sanctions are compounding the chaos.

In an emailed statement to The Intercept, the State Department denied that the sanctions are hurting civilians.

“U.S. sanctions against [Syrian President Bashar al-Assad], his backers, and the regime deprive these actors of resources that could be used to further the bloody campaign Assad continues to wage against his own people,” said the statement, which recycled talking points that justified sanctions against Iraq in 1990s. The U.S. continued to rationalize the Iraq sanctions even after a report was released by UNICEF in 1999 that showed a doubling in mortality rates for children under the age of 5 after sanctions were imposed in the wake of the Gulf War, and the death of 500,000 children.

“The true responsibility for the dire humanitarian situation lies squarely with Assad, who has repeatedly denied access and attacked aid workers,” the U.S. statement on Syria continued. “He has the ability to relieve this suffering at any time, should he meet his commitment to provide full, sustained access for delivery of humanitarian assistance in areas that the U.N. has determined need it.”

Meanwhile, in cities controlled by ISIS, the U.S. has employed some of the same tactics it condemns. For example, U.S.-backed ground forces laid siegeto Manbij, a city in northern Syria not far from Aleppo that is home to tens of thousands of civilians. U.S. airstrikes pounded the city over the summer, killing up to 125 civilians in a single attack. The U.S. replicated this strategy to drive ISIS out of KobaneRamadi, and Fallujah, leaving behindflattened neighborhoods. In Fallujah, residents resorted to eating soup made from grass and 140 people reportedly died from lack of food and medicine during the siege.

Humanitarian concerns aside, the sanctions are not achieving their objectives. Five years of devastating civil war and strict economic sanctions have plunged over 80 percent of Syrians into poverty, up from 28 percent in 2010. Ferdinand Arslanian, a scholar at the Center for Syrian Studies at the University of St. Andrews, says that reduction in living standards and aid dependency is empowering the regime.“Aid is now an essential part of the Syrian economy and sanctions give regime cronies in Syria the ability to monopolize access to goods. It makes everyone reliant on the government. This was the case in Iraq, with the food-for-oil system,” explained Arslanian.

“Sanctions have a terrible effect on the people more than the regime and Washington knows this from Iraq,” argues Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. “But there’s pressure in Washington to do something and sanctions look like you’re doing something,” he added.

Despite the failure of sanctions, opposition advocates are agitating for even harsher measures that would extend sanctions to anyone who does business with the Syrian government. This, of course, would translate into sanctions against Russia.

“The opposition likes sanctions,” says Landis. “They were the people who advocated them in the beginning because they want to put any pressure they can on the regime. But it’s very clear that the regime is not going to fall, that the sanctions are not working. They’re only immiserating a population that’s already suffered terrible declines in their per capita GDP,” he added.

Read the report:

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Ukraine as the Border of NATO Expansion

septembre 29th, 2016 by Jan Oberg

The Ukraine conflict has a 25-years history. Instead of dissolving NATO, the alliance was expanded. Relieved from there being a Soviet Union and a Warsaw Pact, the alliance went as fast it could to do all it wanted. Remember, a series of WW III scenarios has been written in which that war would start with some uncontrollable event in Yugoslavia. Now it could be chopped up – freely and without risk. Serbia was bombed and Kosovo carved out without a UN mandate whatsoever (1999).

How did they think about that in the Kremlin at the time, one must wonder?

Clinton literally did not give a damn about all the promises made to Soviet leader Gorbachev by US leaders such as Bush, James Baker and German leaders including Hans-Dietrich Genscher. (Yes, they were not written down but confirmed by those involved and present).

He began the expansion of NATO in 1994 – in Georgia (see what I refer to elsewhere in this series). All around a Russia on its knees Americans were placed in the offices of prime ministers, defence and foreign ministers – I saw it myself in former Yugoslavia – and met CIA people in Croatia disguised as humanitarian workers. And had a long conversation with the representative of the US in Tblisi in 1994. Historical moment!

The bad Christians, the Orthodox, were the Serbs and Russians and Greeks – all should be antagonized and the good guys in Yugoslavia were those who had been on the fascist side in WWII – the leaderships in Croatia, Muslims in Bosnia and the Kosovo Albanians. The Serb minority that had lived 400 years as a minority in the Croatian republic were, in the common Western discourse, invaders masterminded by strongman Slobodan Milosevic – whom Clinton without hesitation called the new ’Hitler of Europe’.

Ukraine was – and remains – what its name says: the border areas (like Krajina in Croatia). This is where NATO can establish itself as little as Chruschev could get away with deploying nukes in Cuba – considerably further away from the US, but anyhow.

Imagine – with a little bit of empathy (not necessarily sympathy) how Washington would react if today Putin’s Russia was 12 times stronger militarily than the alliance-free US (NATO dissolved 25 years ago) and tried with his alliance of 27 other members to make Canada or Mexico the 29th member. Perhaps most people in the US and Europe would have some sympathy for the negative reaction of Washington. Rand remember, Trump wants to build a wall to Mexico…

The main reason, it is stated again and again, in the Western press, NATO and other political circles is: Ukraine and Crimea. The lie about Putin’s aggression on Ukraine is told so many times that it is becoming the truth. Just see these two recent articles by Newsweek as two of hundreds of articles.

Here’s the chosen story in politics and media alike

The narrative is simplified beyond recognition and goes like this:

Putin (there is always just one top guy in Western eyes and it is one leader at the top like Milosevic, Mohamed Farah Aideed, Saddam Hussein, Moammar Khaddafi, al-Assad) is a bad guy and you know that because out of the blue his suddenly annexed Crimea. By that he changes the borders of Europe and then he gets his disguised soldiers into Eastern Ukraine – a Ukraine that we, in contrast to Bush Senior, care very very much about today.

We care so much about it that we’d like Ukraine to be in both the EU and NATO, sooner or later. That’s where it belongs and that’s where the Ukrainians want to be, particularly when we have influenced them with our civil society funds, media and corporate capital/management.

At least two significant omissions stand out in NATO, EU and Western mainstream media discourses:

One, it is never mentioned that Russia’s military expenditures is 8% of NATOs and that – for that reason alone – it is completely irrational to argue that it is a serious threat to NATO countries; and secondly:

Way before Putin annexed Crimea neocons in Washington – lead by the wife of one of their leading advocates (Robert Kagan), Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland – decided by means of some US $ 5 billion poured into Ukraine’s civil society over a few years to instigate a regime change in Kiev. Funnily, it is all on record and denied by Western politicians.

They did so with some little help from neo-Nazis, Sector Right people and others – whereafter the (corrupt) President Yanokovich was sent fleeing and threatened on his life hours after he had signed a reconciliatory agreement between government and opposition, monitored by high-level Western politicians present. How did that happen?

Russia’s move in Crimea must be seen as basically re-active. It doesn’t make it legal, legitimate or wise. But ask yourself what Western politicians would have done in such a situation?

The significance of this annexation was not that this was a hugely important thing to the West, it wasn’t. And NATO has already expanded with 10 former Warsaw Pact countries and has kind-of won the game.

But it was hugely important to Russia because of its legally leased base there, the largest in the region and the way out to the Mediterranean. Russia would begin to see a future Ukraine in NATO and wonder how to maintain a super-important military base there in a NATO country? And what about the 30+ year lease?

No, the annexation was a very counterproductive move and a violation of international law too. But to not foresee that Russia would react to the regime change in Kiev was utterly naive or a sign that Realpolitik logic no longer is an element among decision-makers in Washington.

The Crimea annexation as pretext and blame game

The annexation gave the West a brilliant pretext for covering up its own huge blunder of not having understood that Ukraine was a no-go for NATO. Most experienced, even right-wing ‘hard’ Realpolitik experts such as Kissinger and Brzezinski warned that this would have terrible consequences and that Ukraine should be seen like Finland was seen during the first Cold War – i.e. neutral and helpful to both sides.

Others have, sensibly, argued that the best for Ukraine would be for both sides to ”use” it and help it, an object of co-operation for all – and for it to have relations to both the EU and the Russia-led economic community or customs union.

One could also argue that of course there should have been an autonomy arrangement for the Tartars and anybody there who did not like to be annexed to Russia. Fair enough, it should have been done.

Undoubtedly, annexing Crimea was to change a European border. But – the famous “but” – there can’t be different principles for different states in a lawful international society. It therefore begs the simple question:

What did the West/NATO countries do in former Yugoslavia? They split it up in six republics knowing full well, or being woefully ignorant, about the fact that that could be done only through bloodshed. Then they bombed Serbia to carve out Kosovo that has never been an independent state and makes, somewhat strangely, makes the second Albanian state in Europe (and still failed today). All this was done by applying almost limitless violence – of which there was very little in the annexation of Crimea.

And while we talk about violations of international law:

What about NATO countries in changing coalitions doing what they did in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia etc. during the 25 years when Russia was very weak? None of these were on the right side of international law.

At some kind of objective international court Putin’s Russia may deserve punishment for annexing Crimea but it would be small compared with that of the US, France, Britain, Italy, Denmark etc.

Russia seeks to influence opinions. Doesn’t the West?

But that of course is lost upon people who create and consume Western mainstream media narrative according to which the West, much to its chagrin and against its best will, has to sacrifice itself for noble values such as democracy, freedom, women’s liberation, human rights and – à la a modern version of the White Man’s burden to offer/transmit/enforce civilisation’s true, highest values – the ’mission civilisatrice’ – upon barbarians for their own best.

And Ukraine of course should be freed from the claws of the Russian barbarian bear. NATO and EU members only meant well when its members infiltrated Ukraine’s various constituencies and brought about regime change. And pity that stupid, dictatorial and corrupt Putin who doesn’t understand our NATO’s exclusively benevolent, non-offensive intentions and policies:

Says Secretary-General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg repeatedly: ”We do not want a new Cold War, we do not want a new arms race and we do not seek new confrontation. As we strengthen our deterrents and our defense, we continue to seek a constructive dialogue with Russia.”

It doesn’t strike the people in those narrow(minded) circles, in this group think that increasingly protects itself from independent and dissenting voices out, that this kind of statement is either woefully anti-intellectual or purely deceptive and must be seen differently in Moscow, whether you like it or not.

And please Mr. Secretary-General of NATO: You speak as if you are perfectly aware subconsciously of the utter incompatibility of your aims – no intended confrontation by de facto confrontation – and that you are telling the world and Russia to not see it exactly the way it must rather logically be seen.

Empathy isn’t a common feature in security politics.

Also pity poor Putin that he does not understand that the Ballistic Missile Defence has nothing to do with Russia but is a shield against a (de facto non-exiting) threat to Europe by the nasty Iranians. Pity that he gets it so wrong to construe it as a gross de-stabilization of the whole philosophy of the post-1945 nuclear deterrence doctrine, the Mutually Assured Destruction, and the confidence-building between the two sides. Pity that he – like the Americans during the Cuba Missile Crisis – does not like offensive systems next to his mainland’s border.

Or, pity actually that Russians are so nasty or foolish to place their motherland so close to our missiles, nukes and bases – and don’t see how well-intentioned NATO actually is!

It’s time for a very different narrative and for true dialogue – before it is too late

No reason to go on. Russia is not innocent. It too has a MIMAC (Military-Industrial-Media- Academic Complex). Indeed, some would say that it is a MIMAC because, after all, what else is Russia good at producing and selling in the high-tech field but weapons? And, yes, it does have formidable nuclear arsenals and doesn’t (yet) have a democracy of the Western kind.

But behind the tremendous propaganda of the Western MIMAC there is a larger truth, namely that Russia is an economic, ideological and military dwarf – dwarf – compared with NATO.

And that therefore it is not a threat. Unless, that is, NATO continues to make it one.

It worth repeating the classical truth known by more careful and intellectual European politicians than those we have today: Whether you like it or not, Europe can only create security and peace together with Russia, not against it.

It’s time for a new narrative, a genuine dialogue and the abolition of conventional as well as nuclear deterrence. It has never led to anything but more weapons.

It’s time for ending the militarism and head for intelligent conflict-handling with both defensive military and civilian means.

And time isn’t unlimited.

Jan Oberg is director of the Transnational Foundation for Peace & Future Research in Lund, Sweden.

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Reports issued this week by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) point to worsening stagnation in the global economy and a consequent rise of nationalist tensions.

The WTO forecast that global trade would grow by only 1.7 percent this year, compared to the already low rate of 2.8 percent it had predicted in April. In the analytic chapters of its latest “World Economic Outlook” (WEO) report, the IMF warned that “broad-based” low inflation and outright deflation could lead to a full-blown deflationary cycle in which lower prices, combined with falling investment, lead to a further economic contraction.

“Disinflation has been taking place across a broad range of countries and regions,” the report stated. “By 2015 inflation rates were below medium-term expectations in more than 85 percent of a broad sample of 120 economies—20 percent of which were actually experiencing outright deflation.”

The WTO report focused on the rapid downturn in global trade, particularly over the past three years. Since the 1980s, world trade has grown at a rate 1.5 to 2 times faster than the growth in global gross domestic product. This year, the trade growth rate will only be 80 percent of GDP, the first time trade growth has dipped below GDP growth since 2001 and only the second time since 1982.

“The dramatic slowing of trade growth is serious and should serve as a wake-up call,” said WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo. Having earlier pointed to the rise of protectionist measures, especially by major countries, the WTO again raised its concerns over this issue. It was necessary to ensure that the slowdown did not “translate into misguided policies that could make the situation much worse, not only from the perspective of trade but also for job creation and economic growth and development.”

“This is a moment to heed the lessons of history and recommit to openness in trade, which can help to spur economic growth,” Azevêdo said.

The reference to the “lessons of history” was an allusion to the experience of the Great Depression of the 1930s, when all of the major economic powers reacted to a contraction in world markets by imposing increased tariff barriers and forming currency blocs, further exacerbating the downward spiral and contributing to the conflicts that erupted in 1939 in the Second World War.

His remarks were echoed in a speech delivered by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde in Chicago yesterday. She said the world economy faced the danger of constrictions on trade and increased protectionism.

“Restricting trade is a clear case of economic malpractice,” she said. Limiting economic openness was “sure to worsen the growth outlook for the world,” and it was necessary to “reverse the trend toward protectionism and restore a climate that supports a rebound in trade.”

The IMF drew attention to the slowdown of trade in its WEO report, noting that it was a symptom of sluggish growth. “Empirical analysis suggested that up to three-fourths of the shortfall in real trade growth since 2012 compared with 2003-2007 can be traced to globally weaker economic growth, notably subdued investment.”

The decline in investment is particularly significant because investment is the driving force of economic expansion in the capitalist economy. Investment is carried out in the expectation of future profits, leading in turn to higher employment and greater demand for raw materials and industrial goods, thereby promoting broader economic expansion. But as profit expectations decline, investment falls, bringing about economic contraction and a turn to financial speculation and manipulation to boost profits.

The IMF warned that the “quantitative easing” measures of central banks, carried out with the rationale that low interest rates will lift inflation and stimulate investment in the real economy, but in reality only boosting speculation, were reaching their limit. It said “bold policy actions” were needed to avoid the risk of chronically undershooting inflation targets and eroding the credibility of monetary policy, especially in the advanced economies.

The IMF has been calling for some time for increased government spending on infrastructure programs in order to provide an economic boost.

This call was repeated by Lagarde in her Chicago speech. She said governments with so-called fiscal space, such as Canada, Germany and South Korea, had to more aggressively pursue government spending. She also called for greater coordination among major countries. The IMF has been regularly making such calls at meetings of the G20 in the recent period, but has failed to elicit any concrete action.

“No doubt, the current situation is different from the 2008 crisis, which required a prompt, massive and coordinated fiscal response,” Lagarde said. “But as our ‘new mediocre’ is less acute, it is also more divisive and subtle than a full-blown crisis, and it could prove just as toxic as the recovery has so far proven elusive.”

She said if all countries worked to stimulate their own growth, this would bring “positive spillovers” that would “reinforce each other” and benefit the world economy as a whole. While such an approach might appear to be in accord with logic and reason, however, it runs into the objective obstacle of the division of the world into rival great powers with conflicting interests. All the major powers are in favour of such action, provided someone else does it.

The US, for example, wants to see increased spending by Germany to boost the European economy, thereby benefiting American exporters and investors. Germany, on the other hand, fears that such measures will weaken its financial position to the benefit of US banks and investment houses.

Consequently, rather than increased collaboration, the world economy is marked by increased national tensions and rivalries. The rise of protectionist measures—initiated in the main by the advanced economies—is accompanied by outright economic warfare, expressed most sharply in the European Union’s demand for a €13 billion back tax payment from Apple, the sinking of the US-based Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership by Germany and France, and the US Justice Department’s $14 billion fine against Deutsche Bank, which threatens to send the German banking giant into bankruptcy.

The intractable contradictions gripping the world economy were highlighted in another part of the IMF’s WEO analysis, where it called for China to pull back from “unsustainably high growth targets” by reining in credit growth. China has responded to the global economic slowdown by increasing credit by 13 percent this year—the fastest expansion since the 2008 financial crisis.

But with the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio at 250 percent and rising, these measures could set off a financial crisis. The IMF called for a comprehensive plan to address “vulnerabilities” in the financial sector. “A disorderly deleveraging … could trigger contagion in emerging market financial markets,” it said.

Thus, while calling for increased global growth, the IMF wants the world’s second largest economy, where the growth rate of 6.5 percent is far higher than most of the rest of the world, to cut back on stimulus lest this set off a financial crisis with global repercussions.

The remarks by both Lagarde and Azevêdo point to fears in policy-making circles that the world economy is increasingly riven by nationalist tensions which, despite their warnings, they are unable to reduce.

There are other, related concerns, generally referred to somewhat euphemistically as a “backlash” against globalisation. At heart, this is a reference to mounting social opposition to the growth of social inequality and hostility to the entire political and corporate establishment, a phenomenon reflected in contradictory ways in the support for Bernie Sanders in the US presidential race, the Brexit vote in the UK, the crisis of the traditional ruling parties and rise of right-wing populist parties in Europe, and the elevation of Donald Trump as the Republican presidential candidate in the US.

Fear is mounting within the international capitalist class of this opposition taking the form of a conscious struggle by the working class on the basis of a socialist perspective. Some of what is being discussed behind closed doors was revealed in an editorial published earlier this month by the British Economist magazine, which warned that the present economic climate bore a striking similarity to the “backlash” that led to the Russian Revolution.

A century later, the Economist wrote, what may be taking place is a return to “1917 and all that.”

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Just a few links …

The White House and State Department are miffed that Syria and Russia are cleaning up their Jihadis in Aleppo city.

There is a false claims evolving in western « news » that the current Aleppo operation led to the breakdown of the ceasefire agreement. Two points on this: 1. The ceasefire did not « break down ». It expired after a previously agreed period. Both sides did not agree to a prolongation. 2. The most important ceasefire point was the physical separation of al-Qaida and other U.S. proxy rebels. The U.S. was unable (or unwilling) to fulfill that point.

See: Moscow Makes Public Full Text of Russia-US Deal on Syria

The main priority in Syria, according to the document, is the demarcation of territory controlled by Daesh and al-Nusra Front terrorist groups and territories controlled by Syrian rebels.

After the end of the ceasefire the U.S. and its subaltern allies are flooding Syria with new weapons:

Both rockets and MANPADs are part of a « Plan-B » the CIA had already developed in May 2015 but which was held back until now. There are likely additional military elements to this plan. On the diplomatic side the U.S. (and its stooges) -obviously unable to act rationally- now imitate defiant children. « If we can’t get exactly what we want we will never again talk to you. »

A very major issue for Syria (and one reason why many Syrians flee the country) are U.S. and EU sanctions. Their consequences were so far hardly ever reported. Here is the first major piece in U.S. media about them: U.S. and EU Sanctions Are Punishing Ordinary Syrians and Crippling Aid Work, U.N. Report Reveals

In a 40-page internal assessment commissioned to analyze the humanitarian impact of the sanctions, the U.N. describes the U.S. and EU measures as “some of the most complicated and far-reaching sanctions regimes ever imposed.” Detailing a complex system of “unpredictable and time-consuming” financial restrictions and licensing requirements, the report finds that U.S. sanctions are exceptionally harsh “regarding provision of humanitarian aid.”

An internal U.N. email obtained by The Intercept also faults U.S. and EU sanctions for contributing to food shortages and deteriorations in health care.

The email went on to cite sanctions as a “principal factor” in the erosion of Syria’s health care system.

The piece also explains that the Syrian and Russian behavior towards insurgent occupied cities is in no way more severe than the usual U.S. procedures:

Meanwhile, in cities controlled by ISIS, the U.S. has employed some of the same tactics it condemns. For example, U.S.-backed ground forces laid siege to Manbij, a city in northern Syria not far from Aleppo that is home to tens of thousands of civilians. U.S. airstrikes pounded the city over the summer, killing up to 125 civilians in a single attack. The U.S. replicated this strategy to drive ISIS out of Kobane, Ramadi, and Fallujah, leaving behind flattened neighborhoods. In Fallujah, residents resorted to eating soup made from grass and 140 people reportedly died from lack of food and medicine during the siege.

To help with the sanctions and other issues China had recently agreed with Syria to provide medical support. But just like Russia, China is now considered a U.S. enemy and the CIA and Pentagon are eager to fight it.

Risky business: Is US supporting anti-Chinese militants in Syria? 

With war hawks in US/Turkey/Qatar/Saudi arming and funding anti-Chinese militants in Syria that are planning more attacks on Chinese embassies and interests abroad, coupled with US gunboat diplomacy in the South China Sea, this dangerous “deterring the dragon” combination risks turning into a “provoking the dragon” scenario, and may escalate into a military conflict between two nuclear powers.

(The piece also includes this vignette about the anti-Chinese TIP Uighurs in Syria:

Later videos emerged of US/UK-funded White Helmet members with two captured young Syrian soldiers in Kahn Touman, and taunting “Assad, Russia, Iran and China, are they stronger than god?” The two soldiers were later executed by TIP militants.)

U.S. official: THAAD to be deployed to deter North Korea threats

THAAD is a long range missile defense system. Putting it into South Korea makes no sense if one wants to counter shorter ranged North Korean missiles. The target here is obviously China. This will have consequences.

A lot of hype is made today about two hospitals in east-Aleppo that were allegedly bombed:

The second piece, in the Washington Post, originally included this sentence:

Neither hospital was seriously damaged and both are expected soon to function again, …

I pointed that out several times today to « bombing » hypers including to Washington Post writers. Soon after that the piece was « updated » and the sentence changed to:

Both hospitals are expected to be repaired, but they are badly damaged.

Still, according to the piece, only two people were killed in the relevant strikes and three injured. Had the attacks actually targeted the crowded hospitals both would have been destroyed and many more people would be dead. Instead the hospitals seem to have received only collateral damage from strikes on nearby military targets. But pointing that out does not fit the U.S. propaganda line.

Meanwhile the U.S. and its allies continue their daily business of killing people in Syria and elsewhere.

I somewhat agree with this election take by Peter Hitchens:

The world’s fixated on Trump. But Hillary could drag us ALL into a catastrophic war

After Monday’s TV show with Clinton and Trump CNN had published a poll claiming that Clinton was the winner of the debate by a wide margin. CNN later released (pdf) the poll data. It turns out (page 9) that only white people and only those above 50 years of age responded to the question. The poll was also heavily skewed towards democratic voters. In other words: it was completely fictional and useless besides giving Clinton additional (false) media momentum.

Scott Adams’ take: Clinton won the debate last night. And while she was doing it, Trump won the election. He had one thing to accomplish – being less scary – and he did it.

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North Dakota police with military-style equipment surrounded Native Americans gathered in prayer against the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline on Wednesday, disrupting their plan to cross sacred and treaty-protected land in protest of a project they fear will destroy their livelihood.

“ND authorities deploy armed personnel with shotguns and assault rifles, military vehicles, and aerial spray on peaceful Water Protectors gathered in prayer,” wrote the Sacred Stone Camp, in a Facebook post.

Officers with military-style armored vehicles and shotguns threatened the protesters, who call themselves “water protectors” for defending the Missouri River from imminent pollution, reported Unicorn Riot. Up to 21 were arrested, the channel reported.

Witnesses filmed the crackdown but said their access their Facebook was blocked. One participant, Thomas H. Joseph II, posted a chilling video narrating the mobilization and his getaway. Helicopters are heard as he says that tear gas is being dropped, and an officer loads his gun as protesters, some on horseback, chant, « We have no guns. »

In the video, Joseph said that “one guy’s about ready to blast us” but later added that no fires were shot.

“We gathered in prayer un-armed, prayed, sang songs, and attempted to leave, » he later wrote in a Facebook post. « No threats, No vandalism, No violence was taken on our part.”

Police and private security personnel have been more aggressively cracking down on actions against the pipeline since the governor declared a state of emergency. The state is currently investigating an incident in which contracted private security film Frost Kennels unleashed dogs during a nonviolent direct action, ending with six bitten, including a pregnant woman and a child, according to organizers at the action.

Alternative media outlet Unicorn Riot previously accused Facebook of censoring its livestream of police repression, saying they received a popup security alert when they tried to post the video.

“We will not let them stop our mission to amplify the voices of people who might otherwise go unheard, and broadcast the stories that might otherwise go untold,“ they told RT.

The pipeline, expected to transport over half a million barrels of oil a day through four states, has united over 300 tribes in resistance. Several lawsuits are pending against the company, which has retaliated with restraining orders. The White House halted construction on federal land, which makes up three percent of the pipeline’s path, but has not issued any other statement against the pipeline—motivating Facebook users to demand a response after Wednesday’s crackdown.

President Barack Obama met with tribal representatives on Monday but only made an indirect reference to the historic native gathering: “I know that many of you have come together across tribes and across the country to support the community at Standing Rock,“ he said. “And together, you’re making your voices heard.“

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L’armée japonaise a fait décoller d’urgence hier un avion de chasse au moment où la force aérienne chinoise envoyait plus de 40 avions militaires dans le Pacifique occidental via le détroit de Miyako près de l’île Okinawa dans le chapelet d’îles ancré au sud du Japon. L’exercice chinois et la réaction japonaise sont un nouveau signe des vives tensions qui règnent dans le nord-est de l’Asie sur fond du « pivot vers l’Asie » des États-Unis et du renforcement militaire en cours dans la région.

Alors que Beijing a décrit ses exercices comme relevant de la routine, le nombre d’avions impliqués est exceptionnellement élevé. Un porte-parole militaire, Shen Jinke, a dit que différents types d’avion en faisaient partie dont des bombardiers H-6 K stratégiques de longue portée, des avions de chasse Su-30 et des avions ravitailleurs. La manœuvre consistait à effectuer « des missions de reconnaissance et d’alerte précoce, des attaques contre des cibles à la surface de la mer et des ravitaillements en vol pour tester la capacité de combat de la force aérienne en haute mer ».

Le ministère japonais de la Défense a reconnu qu’aucun des avions chinois n’avait empiété sur l’espace aérien japonais mais a indiqué qu’un chasseur japonais a décollé d’urgence au moment où huit avions chinois survolaient le détroit. L’avion est passé entre l’île d’Okinawa et l’île Miyako, qui est l’une des îles la plus méridionale du Japon. Le détroit de Miyako est l’une des voies navigables internationales par laquelle passent les navires et les avions allant de la Mer de Chine orientale vers le Pacifique occidental.

L’armée chinoise est gênée par ce qu’elle appelle le premier chapelet d’îles : la série d’îles au large du continent chinois qui court des îles russes des Kouriles au nord, en passant par les îles japonaises jusqu’à Taïwan, puis aux Philippines et Bornéo au sud. Dans le cadre de leur expansion militaire, les États-Unis ont renforcé leurs liens avec leurs alliés militaires, le Japon et les Philippines.

Les États-Unis avaient officiellement occupé Okinawa, qui occupe une position stratégique, jusqu’en 1972, année de son retour au Japon. Environ 26 000 soldats américains sont stationnés sur l’île, répartie sur 32 bases et 48 camps d’entraînement couvrant quelque 25 pour cent du territoire.

Les avions de la force aérienne chinoise avaient pour la première fois survolé le détroit de Miyako en mai de l’année dernière. L’exercice de dimanche eut lieu suite à une manœuvre plus tôt ce mois-ci lors de laquelle des bombardiers, des chasseurs, des avions d’alerte avancée et des avions ravitailleurs chinois avaient survolé le détroit de Bashi entre Taïwan et l’île de Luçon au nord des Philippines. L’armée chinoise a annoncé à l’issue de cette manœuvre que la force aérienne pratiquerait régulièrement des exercices au-delà de ce premier chapelet d’îles.

Le tout récent vol chinois viserait ainsi à adresser un message au Japon après que le ministre de la Défense Tomomi Inada a déclaré la semaine passée que la marine japonaise effectuerait des patrouilles conjointes avec des bâtiments de guerre américains en Mer de Chine méridionale. Les États-Unis ont au cours de ces cinq dernières années délibérément envenimé des conflits territoriaux en Mer de Chine méridionale entre la Chine et ses voisins en encourageant notamment les Philippines en faisant valoir plus résolument leurs revendications envers Beijing.

Le Japon est d’ores et déjà impliqué dans une acerbe confrontation avec la Chine au sujet des îles contestées en Mer de Chine méridionale qui sont appelées Senkaku au Japon et Diaoyu en Chine. Avec l’appui des États-Unis, Tokyo a accentué en 2012 le différend en achetant à un propriétaire privé japonais ces îles rocailleuses. Depuis son arrivée au pouvoir, le premier ministre Shinzo Abe a refusé de même reconnaître qu’un conflit existait avec la Chine au sujet de ces îles.

En conséquence, des navires et des avions chinois et japonais sont régulièrement impliqués dans des quasi-accidents dans les eaux territoriales des îles Senkaku/Diaoyu. Durant l’année fiscale qui s’est achevée en mars 2016, la force aérienne japonaise avait ordonné aux chasseurs de décoller d’urgence 571 fois en réaction à des avions militaires et de reconnaissance chinois. Un grand nombre de ces incidents se seraient produits dans les environs des îles contestées.

Le risque qu’un incident ne résulte en un conflit a été mis en évidence en juin lorsque le ministre chinois de la Défense a accusé des chasseurs japonais d’avoir « verrouillé », c’est-à-dire braqué un radar de conduite de tir sur des bombardiers chinois SU-30 survolant la Mer de Chine méridionale. À l’époque, Ian Storey, un analyste de l’Institut des Études d’Asie du sud-est, avait dit au Financial Times que le verrouillage radar était « très dangereux » parce l’avion ciblé n’avait que quelques secondes pour décider à la fois s’il était attaqué et comment réagir.

Alors qu’une énorme attention médiatique a mis l’accident sur le risque de heurts en Mer de Chine méridionale, le conflit entre le Japon et la Chine en Mer de Chine orientale est tout aussi dangereux. Le président américain Barack Obama a affirmé que le traité de sécurité avec le Japon couvrirait les îles Senkadu/Diaoyu. En d’autres termes, les États-Unis et leur arsenal nucléaire soutiendraient le Japon dans une guerre avec la Chine au sujet de ces petits îlots inhabités.

Un récent sondage réalisé par le Pew Research Centre, qui a son siège à Washington, a établi que 35 pour cent des interrogés étaient « très inquiets » et 45 autres pour cent étaient « un peu inquiets » que le différend au sujet des îles Senkaku/Diaoyu ne dégénère en un conflit ouvert avec la Chine.

Dans son rapport annuel d’avril au congrès sur l’armée chinoise, le Département américain de la Défense a affirmé que les vols des forces aériennes chinoises dans le Pacifique occidental étaient susceptibles de mettre les troupes américaines sur l’île de Guam en risque d’être ciblées par des missiles de croisière lancée par des bombardiers à longue portée.

Cette affirmation représente le monde à l’envers. Depuis qu’Obama a annoncé le « pivot vers l’Asie » en 2011, le Pentagone a rapidement lancé le redéploiement de 60 pour cent de son personnel aérien et maritime dans la région Asie-Pacifique qui sera complété d’ici 2020. Ce renforcement militaire est allé de pair avec le renforcement systématique de liens et de partenariats militaires à travers l’Asie dans le but d’encercler la Chine en vue de préparer la guerre.

La réaction à l’exercice de dimanche de l’aviation chinoise souligne le risque qu’une erreur, de calcul ou autre, puisse précipiter un conflit de bien plus grande envergure.

Peter Symonds

Article original, WSWS,paru le 26 septembre 2016

  • Posted in Francais @fr
  • Commentaires fermés sur Le Japon a fait décoller d’urgence un avion de chasse afin d’intercepter un avion militaire chinois

L’histoire a fait la une partout : «Petit garçon sorti vivant des décombres». La vidéo et la photographie produites par le Aleppo Media Centre (AMC), qui montrait Omran Daqneesh, alias «le petit rescapé d’Alep» prétendument sauvé par les notoirement connus casques blancs dans la partie est d’Alep tenue par les terroristes, est aussitôt devenue virale et a été propulsée bien haut dans la stratosphère de la propagande médiatique occidentale.

Pratiquement tous les grands organes de presse du monde entier ont montré la vidéo et ce qui est devenu depuis la célèbre photographie d’Omran, le «petit rescapé d’Alep». Le garçon couvert de poussière et de sang a été placé sur une chaise dans ce qui semble être une ambulance en parfait état, malgré sa présence dans une prétendue zone de guerre, pour ensuite être photographié en rafale par un nombre incalculable de caméras et de téléphones portables. Pendant tout ce temps, personne ne lui a prodigué des soins, comme s’il s’agissait d’une séance photo montée de toutes pièces.

Personne ne l’a réconforté, n’a pansé ses prétendues plaies, ne lui a posé un collier cervical ou ne l’a placé dans une civière au cas où il aurait subi des lésions cervicales (procédure de premiers soins habituelle), lui qui venait d’être sauvé de «sous les décombres» d’un immeuble bombardé qui, selon l’AMC, était visé par des «frappes aériennes russes et syriennes».

CARREFOUR DE LA PROPAGANDE : Le Aleppo Media Centre fournit des images appelant à un changement de régime en Syrie aux médias des États-Unis, du Royaume-Uni, des États membres de l’OTAN, à Al Jazeera du Qatar et à bien d’autres, en appui à la campagne de relations publiques en faveur d’organisations terroristes reconnues actives en Syrie.  

Le Aleppo Media Centre a vraiment réussi un beau coup de propagande, qui a suscité bien des appels en faveur d’une zone d’exclusion aérienne et d’une intervention occidentale, donnant ainsi un nouveau souffle à la feuille de route fripée des États-Unis préconisant un « changement de régime » en Syrie. Cependant, un certain nombre de journalistes indépendants internationaux, d’analystes des médias et de militants pour la paix ont commencé à avoir des doutes sur l’image et sa source, en révélant des détails extrêmement troublants non seulement à propos de la photo, mais surtout au sujet de l’organisation qui l’a fournie aux médias occidentaux avides de sensationnalisme.

«Récemment, la photo poignante d’un enfant syrien ensanglanté et apparemment en état de choc, assis dans une ambulance à Alep, a été largement diffusée et commentée dans les médias nationaux et internationaux. En réponse, des journalistes ont appelé l’administration Obama à prendre des mesures, y compris le bombardement de cibles militaires du gouvernement syrien.» – Déclaration du groupe Veterans for Peace

Une analyse rétrospective de cette histoire montre que toute cette fureur médiatique pilotée par Washington, Londres, l’Europe, les pays du Golfe, la Turquie et Israël a été délibérément montée en épingle. En plus de servir de catalyseur aux réactions concertées des gouvernements néocolonialistes, elle est parvenue aussi à ériger un écran de fumée pour mieux dissimuler les massacres quotidiens commis par les terroristes soutenus par les États-Unis, l’OTAN et les pays du Golfe, ces soi‑disant «rebelles modérés» à l’est d’Alep (où il reste environ 220 000 personnes, dont de nombreux terroristes et membres de leurs familles), contre des civils syriens comptant parmi les 1,5 million d’habitants à l’ouest d’Alep, un secteur sous le contrôle et la protection du gouvernement syrien et des forces armées nationales syriennes.

Dans les deux premières semaines d’août seulement, 143 civils ont été tués par des tirs de mortier du Front aI-Nosra visant l’ouest d’Alep, dont 54 enfants et 23 femmes. Cette information a été fournie à Vanessa Beeley par le Dr Zahar Buttal, directeur de la Aleppo Medical Association lorsqu’elle s’est rendue à l’ouest d’Alep le 14 août 2016.

C’est le photographe de l’AMC Mahmoud Raslan qui a remis la photo de la mise en scène montrant Omran aux médias occidentaux avides de sensationnalisme.

Les suspects habituels

Si la BBC, CNN, le New York Times, le Washington Post, Al Jazeera et consorts avaient fait une recherche rapide sur Internet, ils seraient vite tombés sur ce que des médias plus consciencieux ont découvert.

Le prétendu photographe d’Omran, le «petit rescapé d’Alep», s’appelle Mahmoud Raslan [ou Rslan], qui se décrit comme un «photo-journaliste militant». L’examen de son propre profil et de ses photos sur les médias sociaux a révélé que Raslan est un sympathisant terroriste à part entière, ce qu’ont très rapidement rapporté un certain nombre de médias respectables et fiables dont Telesur et Sputnik News :

«Des photos circulant en ligne tirées du compte du photographe d’Omran sur les médias sociaux, un homme du nom de Mahmoud Raslan, le montrerait en train de sympathiser avec les tueurs d’un autre enfant, un gamin de 12 ans appelé Abdullah Tayseer Issa, qui a été décapité de façon grotesque par des rebelles modérés soutenus par les USA le mois dernier […]. Les photos circulant sur les médias sociaux, qui ont été recueillies par LiveLeak (avertissement, images choquantes), montrent des captures d’écran de la page Facebook de Raslan, dont une photo qui le montre posant et souriant avec les mêmes terroristes du mouvement Nour al-Din al-Zenki qui ont tué Issa de sang-froid.»

Raslan a su tirer parti de sa nouvelle gloire médiatique en livrant un témoignage poignant, en commençant par The Telegraph qui a repris son histoire en omettant, semble-t-il, de se pencher sur ses racines terroristes :

«Mes larmes ont commencé à couler quand j’ai pris la photo. Ce n’est pas la première fois que je pleurais. J’ai pleuré bien souvent en filmant des enfants traumatisés. Je pleure toujours. Nous, les photographes de guerre, pleurons tout le temps.» 

Apparemment, les mauvais traitements, la torture et la décapitation d’Abdullah Issa, un gamin de 12 ans (par les tueurs d’enfants posant avec lui sur la photo ci‑dessous), n’ont pas réussi à faire couler les mêmes larmes de crocodile des yeux de Raslan, le sympathisant terroriste.


Au cours de ses diverses incursions dans l’univers trouble des médias oiseaux moqueurs sous le contrôle de l’État profond, Raslan a toujours soutenu être un «pigiste» travaillant en dilettante auprès d’Al Jazeera et de l’AFP «affilié» au Aleppo Media Centre.

Sarah Flounders, la directrice du International Action Centre, a affirmé ceci à RT :

«Non, je crois que ce photographe est bien connu sur Facebook et YouTube, où il publie continuellement des images, des photos faisant l’éloge de la milice Zinki, qui était en fait une organisation terroriste bien connue avant même cette décapitation horrible d’un enfant palestino-syrien. Il est bien loin d’être un militant des droits de la personne. Il se décrit comme un militant des médias, mais son rôle consiste à applaudir et à soutenir les activités terroristes en Syrie.»

Entre autres déclarations, Raslan a écrit sur sa page Facebook que «certains des meilleurs moments que j’ai passés, c’est avec des kamikazes». 

Dans une interview accordée plus tard à Al Babwa, Raslan fait de son mieux pour réparer les dommages causés à sa réputation :

«Je ne travaillerais jamais avec un groupe qui s’inscrit en faux contre mes croyances personnelles, mais il faut parfois se faire prendre en photo avec eux.» Il poursuit : «Je prends habituellement des centaines de selfies avec tous ceux que je rencontre sur le front. Nous qui travaillons dans les médias prenons des centaines de photos que nous gardons dans nos archives.»

Ces propos nous amènent à déduire que la prochaine fois que Raslan sera «au front», ses pages Facebook et Twitter seront inondées de selfies le montrant avec des partisans de Daesh, du Front al-Nosra (al-Qaïda), d’Arar al-Sham, de Nour al-Din al-Zenki et de quiconque s’y trouvera.

Suivons la trace de l’argent : qui finance le Aleppo Media Centre ?

Lorsqu’on suit la trace de l’argent, les choses deviennent plus intéressantes encore. Anne Barnard du New York Times a rédigé un compte rendu émouvant de l’histoire d’Omran. Rappelons qu’elle a aussi rendu un bel hommage à un kamikaze il n’y a pas si longtemps. Dans son reportage, elle décrit le Aleppo Media Centre comme suit :

«Un groupe constitué de longue date qui réunit des militants et des citoyens journalistes, hostiles au gouvernement, qui rendent compte du conflit (…).»

Lorsqu’on suit cette guerre sale en Syrie avec un esprit critique, les termes «militants» et «citoyens journalistes» dans la même phrase ont de quoi rendre perplexe. En ajoutant qu’ils sont «hostiles au gouvernement», elle brosse ainsi un beau tableau de propagande.

Ce que Anne Barnard du NYT ne dit pas à ses lecteurs, c’est que cette terminologie [employée par les médias assurant les relations publiques de l’OTAN] laisse planer une préférence pour les barbus wahhabites, qui scandent la formule du takbir[Dieu est grand] en faisant déferler une pluie de missiles sur des civils, ainsi qu’une adhésion à un processus de sélection des «rebelles modérés» qui veille à ce que ceux qui n’adhèrent pas à leur idéologie extrémiste soient déclarés infidèles et sommairement exécutés.

La trace de l’argent

Commençons par examiner les sources de financement de ce groupe de citoyens journalistes militants intégrés à la ribambelle de groupes terroristes extrémistes religieux et à d’autres au service des États-Unis et de l’OTAN, localisés exclusivement dans les secteurs à l’est d’Alep dominés par le Front al-Nosra, d’où sont lancés quotidiennement les canons de l’enfer qui brisent les vies des 1,5 million de Syriens demeurant à l’ouest d’Alep, sous le contrôle de l’armée syrienne.

Comme l’a souligné à juste titre le site Sott.net, le Aleppo Media Centre est un «projet» de la Syrian Expatriates Organization [SEO] :

«La SEO est exactement ce que son nom laisse entendre, c’est-à-dire un groupe de citoyens américains d’origine syrienne qui a ses bureaux sur K Street à Washington D.C., une rue reconnue pour être le cœur de l’industrie du lobbying politique aux USA, où se trouvent une multitude d’organes de réflexion, de lobbyistes et de groupes de défense.»~ Sott.net

Le site Web de la SEO nous apprend qu’elle a joué un rôle déterminant dans la création du Aleppo Media Centre :

«Les reportages de nouvelles et la sensibilisation des médias sont des tâches jugées cruciales au soulèvement civil en Syrie. Le Aleppo Media Centre, un centre de nouvelles spécialisé qui dessert Alep et ses banlieues, a été mis sur pied grâce à une généreuse contribution de la SEO. Depuis octobre 2012, la SEO est responsable d’assurer la coordination du Aleppo Media Centre et de lui procurer une aide technique et logistique, en plus de l’aide financière qu’elle lui a fourni.»  

Cependant, la SEO n’est pas l’unique mécène de ce centre des médias fréquemment cité, bien ancré dans le territoire du Front al-Nosra. En décembre 2015, Canal France International (CFI), un organisme de l’État français, était tout heureux d’annoncer que la radio du Aleppo Media Centre allait commencer à émettre sur les ondes FM dans les villes d’Alep, d’Idlib et d’Hama. Idlib et Hama, ainsi que l’est d’Alep, sont tous des bastions du Front al-Nosra.

L’annonce du lancement de la radio du AMC se trouve sur le site Web de CFI :

«Le Aleppo Media Centre, qui rassemble de manière permanente une vingtaine de journalistes basés en Syrie, produit et diffuse depuis 2012 une information continue sur l’actualité de la région, publiant des articles, des photos et des vidéos sur son site Internet et les réseaux sociaux.

Grâce au soutien de l’incubateur des médias syriens de Gaziantep (Turquie), ce centre voit désormais se concrétiser un nouveau projet : créer une radio locale à Alep, qui sera diffusée deux heures par jour sur la fréquence FM 99.00 et environ 15 heures par jour sur Internet.

En 2015, l’Incubateur a proposé aux journalistes du Aleppo Media Center plusieurs formations dans le domaine de la radio et de la vidéo. En novembre, il a soutenu l’achat d’équipements pour le studio, l’installation du studio, et formé l’équipe à son utilisation. 

En décembre, deux membres du centre ont aussi bénéficié d’une formation de formateur qui leur permettra de former à leur tour des citoyens journalistes à l’intérieur même de la Syrie.»

Le Aleppo Media Centre reçoit donc aussi le «soutien» d’une organisation appelée l’incubateur des médias syriens basée à Ganziatep, en Turquie. Le choix du nom est intéressant, puisque la Turquie aussi a servi d’incubateur aux mercenaires terroristes de tout acabit soutenus par les États-Unis et l’OTAN, les pays du Golfe et Israël qui ont envahi la Syrie par la frontière turque avec leurs armes et leur équipement. C’est d’ailleurs la principale cause du prolongement du conflit syrien en cours, qui a engendré ce cycle perpétuel de misère et de carnage que subit le peuple syrien.

C’est ici que les choses deviennent plus croustillantes. «L’incubateur des médias syriens» est un projet financé par Canal France International (CFI), l’agence de coopération et opérateur du ministère des Affaires étrangères de la France dans le domaine des médias. Oui, c’est bien le Quai d’Orsay qui finance le Aleppo Media Centre, la principale source d’«informations» sur Alep larguées à l’ensemble des médias de masse au Royaume-Uni, aux États-Unis et en Europe.

C’est écrit en bleu, blanc et rouge sur le site Web du gouvernement  français :

«Canal France International (CFI), agence française de coopération, opérateur du ministère français des Affaires étrangères dans le domaine des médias, vient de signer deux contrats importants (2,7M€) avec l’Union européenne pour développer des projets en faveur des médias indépendants du monde arabe.

Le premier contrat de deux ans concerne un projet d’accompagnement du développement de médias syriens, principalement par le biais de formations.

D’un montant de 1,5 million d’euros, il est financé à hauteur de 1,2 million par l’Union européenne. L’objectif principal du projet est de préparer une nouvelle génération de journalistes syriens capables, aujourd’hui, de produire une information de qualité et professionnelle, et demain de constituer les piliers des médias de l’après-crise.

Dès le mois d’avril 2014, CFI ouvrira les portes d’un centre de médias, baptisé «Syrian Media Incubator», dans la ville turque de Gaziantep, à 60 km de la frontière syrienne, au nord d’Alep. Cet espace de travail collectif vise à fournir des outils modernes de télécommunication et à accompagner les journalistes syriens décidés à continuer, coûte que coûte, de relayer l’information de leur pays.»

Cet aveu du gouvernement français n’est rien de moins que spectaculaire. Examinons de près cette annonce : la France et l’UE, qui sont loin d’être des observateurs impartiaux de la guerre que livrent en Syrie les États-Unis et leurs alliés de l’OTAN, les pays du Golfe et Israël, financent et soutiennent un organe de presse qui attise le feu de la propagande à des points stratégiques dans la bataille que livre l’Armée arabe syrienne pour libérer Alep des griffes des gangs terroristes de la coalition des États-Unis. Le feu qu’il attise permet de détourner le regard du public des véritables atrocités commises par les entités terroristes contre des civils syriens à Alep et de relancer les appels en faveur d’une zone d’exclusion aérienne, l’outil ultime que veut se procurer l’OTAN pour réduire la Syrie à un État en déliquescence comme la Libye.

Il convient de noter aussi que l’UE est aussi l’une des principales sources de financement de cette autre ONG de «l’opposition syrienne» qu’est l’Observatoire syrien des droits de l’homme (SOHR), un one-man show basé en Grande-Bretagne donné par un ancien condamné syrien appelé Rami Abdelrahman (dont le véritable nom est Osama Ali Suleiman ; photo, à gauche). Celui-ci travaille en coordination avec le ministère britannique des affaires étrangères et du Commonwealth. Il est important d’en parler parce qu’à l’instar du Aleppo Media Centre, l’Observatoire est la source d’où l’ensemble des médias institutionnels occidentaux, ainsi que le département d’État des États-Unis et leurs alliés, puisent toutes leurs «nouvelles» et leurs «données» à propos de ce qui se passe prétendûment en Syrie.

Qu’il s’agisse de l’histoire d’Omran ou des récentes allégations d’attaque au chlorepar l’armée syrienne, toutes ces nouvelles font partie d’un programme qui a peu à voir avec le bien-être de la Syrie et relève bien plus de la volonté d’atteindre l’objectif politique de changement de régime déclaré des États-Unis et de l’OTAN, qui était en tête de liste des choses à faire en Syrie bien avant 2011 (lorsque la guerre sale planifiée en cours en Syrie a vraiment commencé à prendre de l’ampleur) par les agences de Washington responsables de l’édification [destruction] de la nation.

UN HOMME TRANSPORTE UN ENFANT, D’AUTRES ONT L’AIR OCCUPÉS : mise en scène familière d’une image émouvante par le Aleppo Media Centre (Source : AMC/Washington Times)

Là encore, nous voyons les mêmes «citoyens journalistes» autoproclamés bien enracinés dans les colonies terroristes nouvellement établies, ces enclaves terroristes qui regorgent de criminels fanatiques sous l’effet de la drogue, instables et violents, qui n’hésitent pas à lancer aveuglément sur les zones résidentielles densément peuplées de l’ouest d’Alep des contenants emplis de verre, d’éclats, de chlore ou d’explosif.

Ces «citoyens journalistes» apprécient leurs rôles et leur cantonnement en territoire terroriste et ne craignent aucunement les meurtriers qui n’éprouvent aucun scrupule à commettre les pires atrocités, y compris la décapitation d’un gamin de 12 ans émacié et fiévreux, Abdullah Issa, dont il a été question précédemment.

Nous assistons à la création d’une autre composante de l’État de l’ombre de l’Occident, qui se cache derrière toute une série de projets des ONG qu’il finance, et qui s’échafaude dans le brouillard de la guerre, brique après brique, jusqu’à ce que se dresse une barrière infranchissable entre le grand public et la vérité sur ce à quoi la Syrie et le peuple syrien sont réellement confrontés.

Cette enclave de médias de l’ombre s’installe dans la caisse de résonance de la propagande érigée par les États-Unis et l’OTAN, qui réduit au silence les appels provenant de la Syrie qu’on entendrait normalement, au profit d’une image faussée et artificielle et de reportages tordus qui utilisent sans ambages les termes «rebelles»et «combattants de la liberté» pour décrire des terroristes islamistes.

L’appel authentique est celui de la majorité de ce qui forme le peuple syrien, et non pas les cris de guerre de «l’opposition» choisie par les États-Unis et l’OTAN, dont la plupart des partisans ne vivent même pas en Syrie.

La méthode

«Pour mémoire, en partenariat avec International Media Support (IMS) et Reporters sans frontières (RSF), CFI a notamment contribué en 2013 à la création de la radio syrienne indépendante Radio Rozana qui émet depuis Paris et s’appuie sur un réseau de 30 correspondants basés en Syrie. Ces derniers ont bénéficié en 2013 de plusieurs formations organisées par CFI.» 

Les pays visés

«Le second contrat signé avec l’Union européenne, d’une durée de trois ans, permettra à CFI de financer des projets visant à développer l’information en ligne en Algérie, au Maroc, en Tunisie, en Libye, en Égypte, en Jordanie, en Palestine, au Liban et en Syrie.»

Leur objectif clair et la fin en soi

«Dans un paysage arabe en pleine mutation, CFI renforce ainsi ses efforts pour accompagner les médias indépendants appelés à jouer un rôle majeur dans les fragiles processus de démocratisation en cours.»

L’aval du gouvernement français

«Le ministère des Affaires étrangères et du Développement international (MAEDI) confie à CFI la mission de mettre en œuvre sa politique d’appui au développement des médias publics et privés, et plus généralement du secteur audiovisuel dans une perspective tri‑media, dans les pays bénéficiaires de l’aide publique au développement.

Ses objectifs demeurent la diffusion de l’information [propagande], la consolidation de la société civile et de l’État de droit et l’appui aux nouvelles démocraties ou “États fragiles”. Son endossement à France Télévisions et Arte France est le garant de son professionnalisme.»

Des organes de presse comme le Aleppo Media Centre sont décrits dans une étude de CFI«en opposition à la propagande de Damas». Pourtant, lorsqu’on sait que la soi‑disant propagande de Damas est aussitôt rejetée de tous les côtés par les gouvernements de la coalition menée par les États-Unis, leurs médias d’État, les groupes de défense des droits de la personne, les groupes d’opposition contrôlés, toutes les ONG antisyriennes financées par Soros, les chouchous de l’OTAN que sont  les casques blancs et, enfin, les groupes de réflexion alignés sur l’OTAN, il est difficile de comprendre cet appel à une opposition en présence d’un si puissant lobby international opposé à l’État syrien.

L’aval des Israéliens

Rappelons qu’Israël, qui est le principal bénéficiaire de la guerre menée par la coalition des États-Unis en Syrie selon Bouthaina Shaaban (conseillère politique et médiatique du président syrien Bachar Al Assad), tenait une page consacrée aux reportages du Aleppo Media Centre sur le site Web du Times of Israel jusqu’en mars 2015. Cet honneur n’est réservé qu’à ceux qui s’inscrivent dans le cadre très étroit de la vision géopolitique sioniste préconisant la fragmentation du Moyen‑Orient et le déchirement de la Syrie, son rival de toujours, le long de lignes de fracture sectaires, une politique menée par Israël et par son complice de crime, plus exposé que jamais, qu’est l’Arabie saoudite.

Les principaux acteurs

Zein Al Rifai, cofondateur du Aleppo Media Centre. Photo : Rozana.fm

Un des cofondateurs du Aleppo Media Centre est Zein Al Rifai, l’autre étant Youcef Seddik. Dans une interview accordée au  Syria Deeply, une autre étoile de la constellation des centres des médias nouvellement constitués pour diffuser de la propagande contre l’État syrien et son armée nationale, Al Rifai répond aux questions en proférant les mêmes clichés et mensonges éhontés.

«Alep a été l’une des premières villes à protester. Les manifestations qui ont eu lieu à l’Université d’Alep étaient importantes, mais malheureusement, les médias ne parlaient pas d’Alep à cette époque et les premières manifestations ne sont pas bien documentées, explique Al Rifai.»

Se pourrait-il que ces «premières manifestations» n’aient pas été bien documentées parce qu’elles n’ont pas eu lieu, contrairement à ce qu’affirme Zein Al Rifai, fondateur du Aleppo Media Centre ?

NOTA – Syria Deeply est financé par la Asfari Foundation, dirigée par son PDG Ayman Asfari, qui a aussi attribué un financement de démarrage de 300 000 dollars pour la campagne syrienne, dont l’équipe est à l’origine du plus grand succès de l’intervention d’agents de l’OTAN sur le terrain : les Casques blancs.

Voici la réponse du Dr Tony Sayegh, un éminent chirurgien basé à l’ouest d’Alep, lorsqu’on lui a demandé comment c’était à Alep avant le conflit :

«C’est en juillet 2012 que tout a changé. Mais ce ne sont pas les résidents d’Alep qui se sont rebellés contre les dirigeants. Des parties de la ville ont été envahies par des groupes armés provenant d’ailleurs en Syrie et d’autres pays.» Tony Sayegh croit que les intérêts en cause dans cette invasion dépassaient largement le contrôle d’une seule ville.

«La tentative de renverser le gouvernement de la Syrie par les armes et les émeutes avait échoué. Ils ont alors décidé de se concentrer sur Alep, pour faire buter toute l’économie syrienne. Les groupes armés ont pris les services d’eau et les centrales électriques afin de stopper l’approvisionnement des résidents, puis ont jeté leur dévolu sur les industries. Des usines au complet ont été démantelées et transportées en Turquie. Ils ont tout volé. C’est à ce moment que tout a chamboulé et que le malheur d’Alep a commencé.»

Image sur la page Facebook de Zein Al Rifai : tous ces drapeaux associés à l’opposition syrienne expriment clairement où se situent ses sympathies. Photo : page Facebook

Une recherche sur les activités d’Al Rifai et de Seddik révèle que ces deux «citoyens journalistes» opposés au gouvernement syrien n’ont aucune difficulté à entrer en France pour y faire des tournées promotionnelles, ce qui est quand même extraordinaire quand on sait qu’il est pratiquement impossible pour la majorité des citoyens syriens laïcs favorables au gouvernement [ou simplement opposés à l’intervention de l’OTAN] d’obtenir un visa, en raison des dures sanctions que les États-Unis et l’UE imposent contre l’État syrien, qui affectent avant tout le peuple syrien.

En outre, les deux hommes sont immanquablement décrits par la presse française comme des «opposants à Bachar el-Assad» et des «journalistes» qui n’ont pas d’objection à maintenir des relations avec des entités terroristes comme le Front al-Nosra (Al-Qaida en Syrie), puisqu’ils partagent le même but, qui est de renverser le président Assad.

«Nous maintenons de bonnes relations avec la plupart des factions de l’opposition. Nous partageons tous le même objectif : libérer la Syrie de la tyrannie, sauf que chacun d’entre nous suit sa propre voie pour y parvenir. Nous avons couvert des secteurs sous le contrôle du Front al-Nosra à Alep et à Idlib. Ils nous ont toujours laissés tranquilles.» ~ Zein Al Rifai à Syria Deeply

En plus de manifester leur attachement à une organisation qui est responsable d’un pourcentage énorme des atrocités commises contre la majeure partie du peuple syrien et ailleurs, les deux hommes se font souvent accompagner dans leurs tournées par nulle autre qu’Hala Kodmani, la soeur de la directrice du Conseil national syrien, Basma Kodmani (photo, à gauche).

Les qualifications de Basma Kodmani comme candidate de l’opposition favorisée par l’OTAN, qui a participé deux fois aux réunions du Groupe Bilderberg, ont été passées au peigne fin par Charlie Skelton du quotidien The Guardian :

«Il en ressort que Kodmani est un fidèle lieutenant de l’industrie de la promotion de la démocratie anglo-américaine. Sa «province d’origine» (selon le site Web du Conseil national syrien) est Damas, mais son parcours professionnel est lié étroitement et depuis longtemps aux pouvoirs qu’elle supplie d’intervenir en Syrie.»


Une recherche très rapide à partir des termes Aleppo Media Centre + Omran fait ressortir le rôle crucial de cet organe de presse soutenu par l’Occident dans le moulin de la propagande des médias alignés à l’OTAN. Pratiquement tous les grands médias institutionnels utilisent les vidéos et les reportages du AMC pour encourager et maintenir le flot incessant de chroniques de la coalition des États-Unis anti Assad. The Guardian, Channel 4, la BBCThe Telegraph, CNN, Fox News, Time, FT et bien d’autres dépendent tous du AMC pour livrer le produit qu’ils nous concoctent à propos de la Syrie.

Bref, c’est le Smart Power (pouvoir de l’intelligence) en action, l’instauration d’un monde meilleur où les gros bonnets des médias, dans le confort de leurs tours de bureaux à Londres, Paris et Manhattan, n’ont plus à se salir les mains en zone de guerre, laissant le soin aux «militants» et aux «citoyens journalistes» de faire le boulot à leur place.

Le problème du point de vue professionnel et éthique c’est que, dans le cas du Aleppo Media Centre, ses reportages ne sont pas équilibrés ni objectifs. Le AMC est financé par le Quai d’Orsay, l’UE et les États-Unis, qui ont tous investi massivement dans l’opération militaire de la coalition menée par les États-Unis, dans la «feuille de route» pour la Syrie et dans l’hypothétique changement de régime qu’ils souhaitent ardemment.

Pire encore, le Aleppo Media Centre est intégré exclusivement au Front al-Nosra, à Arar al-Sham et dans les secteurs contrôlés par les terroristes. Ceux qui en font partie disent eux-mêmes qu’ils travaillent en étroite collaboration avec le Front al-Nosra, puisque tous partagent le même objectif qui est un changement de régime, peu importe le nombre de civils syriens massacrés en cours de route, ce qui ne manque pas de se produire à Alep.

Le AMC constitue un élément crucial d’un réseau beaucoup plus vaste et sinistre formé de partisans de la démocratisation et de prédateurs néocolonialistes. Il est aussi mis en valeur par Israël, le bénéficiaire principal d’un conflit et d’un chaos perpétuels en Syrie et dans la région.

Finalement, tout ce beau monde cherche à promouvoir l’idée que pour améliorer la Syrie, il faut commencer par la détruire. Sur la base de l’ensemble des renseignements pertinents disponibles, il est clair que les médias commandités par les États occidentaux sont des agences de relations publiques chargées de vendre cette idée à la population délibérément mal informée.

Ces mêmes médias syriens intégrés, ainsi que les médias institutionnels qu’ils alimentent, ne se gênent pas pour coller l’étiquette Hitler sur le dos du président Assad, une forme de diabolisation à rabais qu’eux et leurs équipes du Smart Powerutilisent à répétition pour obtenir les changements de régime qu’ils convoitent, que ce soit en Libye (Mouammar Kadhafi), en Irak (Saddam Hussein) ou en Yougoslavie/Serbie (Slobodan Milosevic), pour citer quelques exemples.

Ces campagnes d’«hitlérisation» s’avèrent fructueuses, mais on ne peut s’empêcher de constater, à la lecture de la propre thèse d’Hitler à propos de la propagande, qu’il est évident que les États du Nord et la machine médiatique institutionnelle respectent rigoureusement la vue de l’esprit décrite en détail par Hitler lui-même, qui considérait la propagande comme l’élément essentiel pour contrôler les masses et garantir l’acceptation d’une guerre éternelle.

«L’art de la propagande consiste à être capable d’éveiller l’imagination publique en faisant appel aux sentiments des gens, en trouvant des formules psychologiquement appropriées qui attireront l’attention des masses et toucheront les cœurs.»~ Hitler, Mein Kampf

Vanessa Beeley

Article original en anglais :


War Propaganda and the ‘Aleppo Media Centre’, Funded By French Foreign Office, EU and US

EXCLUSIVE: ‘Aleppo Media Centre’ Funded By French Foreign Office, EU and US

Traduit par Daniel, édité par Wayan et relu par Cat pour le Saker Francophone.

Vanessa Beeley est contributrice à 21WIRE, et depuis 2011, elle a passé la majeure partie de son temps au Moyen-Orient, reportant les événements qui s’y déroulent – comme chercheuse indépendante, écrivain, photographe et militante pour la paix. Elle est également membre du Comité directeur du Mouvement Solidarité Syrie, et une bénévole de la Campagne mondiale pour le retour en Palestine. Voir son travail sur son blog The Wall Will Fall.

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Selon le département d’Etat américain, si la Russie n’arrête pas sa violence en Syrie, les extrémistes vont exploiter le chaos dans le pays pour attaquer les intérêts russes et même son territoire.

«Les groupes extrémistes continueront d’exploiter les vides en Syrie pour étendre leurs activités, ce qui pourrait inclure des attaques contre les intérêts russes, peut-être même les villes russes. La Russie continuera de renvoyer ses troupes au pays dans des sacs mortuaires et continuera de perdre des ressources, peut-être même des avions», a déclaré John Kirby, porte-parole du département d’Etat américain, lors d’une conférence de presse.

Selon lui, si la guerre continue «de plus en plus de vies russes seront perdues, de plus en plus d’avions russes seront abattus».

Au matin du 28 septembre, le secrétaire d’Etat américain John Kerry a menacé de mettre fin à toute coopération entre les Etats-Unis et la Russie en Syrie, à moins que les forces russes et le gouvernement syrien ne cessent leurs bombardements sur Alep.

Le ministre russe des Affaires étrangères, Sergueï Lavrov, a présenté une version différente de l’appel lancé par son homologue américain, rappelant que les Etats-Unis devaient avant tout contraindre les forces syriennes d’opposition à se séparer des groupes terroristes tels que l’ex-Front Al-Nosra, rebaptisé Front Fatah al-Cham, depuis qu’il a annoncé qu’il avait rompu avec le groupe terroriste Al-Qaïda.

Sergueï Lavrov a également rappelé, que de nombreux groupes rebelles considérés comme «modérés» par Washington venaient grossir les rangs du groupe Front Fatah al-Cham, qui selon les déclarations récentes de plusieurs dirigeants du groupes terroriste, recevaient un appui militaire de la part des Etats-Unis.

John Kirby a précisé que les Etats-Unis avaient «une influence sur certains groupes, mais pas tous».

«D’autres nations ont une influence [sur les groupes en action en Syrie]. Nous admettons que tous les groupes d’opposition n’ont pas rejoint le cessez-le-feu, mais nous continuons de travailler dans ce sens», a ajouté John Kirby.

Lire aussi : «Les USA savent que leurs armes finissent entre les mains des terroristes», dit un journaliste à RT

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Violence: The American Way of Life

septembre 28th, 2016 by John Kozy

This article by Philosophy Professor John Kozy was first published by Global Research in January 2013

The United States of America was conceived and nurtured by violence.

Americans not only engage in violence, they are entertained by it.

Killing takes place in America at an average of 87 times each day. Going to war in Afghanistan is less dangerous than living in Chicago.

The Romans went to the Coliseum to watch people being killed. In major cities, Americans just look out their windows. Baseball, once America’s national game, a benign, soporific sport, has been replaced by football which is so violent it destroys the brains of those who play it. Violent films, euphemized as action flicks, dominate our motion picture theatres and television sets. Our children play killing video games.

So do you really believe that gun control will miraculously make America into a tranquil nation? Do you really believe that outlawing products and practices will make Americans peace loving? A culture cannot be changed by laws, change requires a sustained effort over several generations. Are Americans  up to the task?

Carry Amelia Moore Nation was born on November 25, 1846. She became a radical member of the temperance movement which opposed the consumption of alcohol. She described herself as « a bulldog running along at the feet of Jesus, barking at what He doesn’t like, » and claimed a divine ordination to promote temperance by destroying bars. She began her temperance work in Medicine Lodge, Kansas by starting a local branch of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union and campaigning for the enforcement of Kansas’ ban on the sales of liquor. She became infamous by vandalizing taverns. Often accompanied by hymn-singing women and musicians, she would march into a bar and sing and pray while smashing bar fixtures and stock with a hatchet. Between 1900 and 1910 she was arrested around 30 times for « hatchetations, » as she called them. She died on June 9, 1911 and was buried in an unmarked grave in Belton, Missouri. The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union later erected a stone inscribed « Faithful to the Cause of Prohibition, She Hath Done What She Could. » Had she lived just eight years longer, she would have seen prohibition become the law of the land.

But, of course, it didn’t last. Prohibition was repealed on December 5, 1933. It lasted a mere 14 years. It had absolutely no beneficial effects on society. In fact, it helped establish organized crime in America.

Yet Americans do not give up easily. In this anti-intellectual society where people are told more scientists are needed, unscientific practices prevail. What is shown not to work is repeated over and over again. So in 1971, the Nixon administration declared war on drugs. Now, almost 50 years later, the walls of the trenches are beginning to collapse. This long effort at prohibition too has just not worked, and it too has had absolutely no beneficial effects on society. In fact, it has resulted in the deaths of thousands in America and abroad, has ruined countless lives of young people, and squandered vast amounts of money. Just as Prohibition did, it has fostered the creation of international criminal cartels. What people with a scientific bent would have abandoned as ineffective, Americans have put into practice with greater and greater vigor. One would think that someone would recognize the folly. But no, the crowd is again clamoring. Now it’s about guns.

Don’t misread this piece. I own no guns; I can think of no reason why people living in a civilized state should need guns. Guns have one purpose and one purpose alone—to kill! People in a civilized state should have no need or reason to do that. If guns are needed for self-protection, the state has failed in its primary function of insuring domestic tranquility. (Read your Constitution!) A nation that cannot provide even that has thoroughly failed. And the fact that there are those in America who insist on owning guns says more about them and the nation’s failure than it says about guns.

But another attempt at prohibition is nothing but an emotional attempt to do something even if it is something that won’t have any significant effect on the level of violence in America. Some have referred to gun control laws as « feel good » acts. Perhaps, but feel good acts are better than feel bad acts, and I know of no good reason to oppose gun control. What I object to is the Pollyanna belief that gun control will significantly reduce violence in American society. Guns are not the cause of this violence; the violent nature of American society is the cause of the American love affair with guns.

The United States of America was conceived and nurtured by violence. The Europeans who colonized America were neither tolerant or enlightened; they were the dregs of society, and they even despised each other. The totally impure Puritans of Massachusetts despised the Quakers of Pennsylvania and the Catholics of Maryland. In the Pequot War, English colonists commanded by John Mason, launched a night attack on a large Pequot village on the Mystic River and burned the inhabitants in their homes and killed all survivors. By conservative estimates, the population of the United states prior to European colonization was greater than 12 million. Four centuries later, the count has been reduced to 237,000. Four centuries of continuous violence against native Americans, and the violence persists.

Abraham Lincoln, enshrined as the great emancipator, freed the slaves by inciting a war that killed somewhere around 750,000 Americans. Emancipation came to the slaves by previously unheard of violence. In contrast and at about the same time in history, the autocratic Tsar Alexander II of Russia emancipated more than 23 million serfs without killing a single person. Oh, those horrid Russian Tsars!

After the Civil War, Americans pushed the frontiers of America all the way to the Pacific Ocean. They did it with the gun. The Winchester Model 1873 repeating rifle and Colt Peacemaker revolver of 1873 are colloquially known as « The Guns that Won the West » for their predominant roles in the hands of Western settlers. Americans shot their way from the Mississippi to the Pacific.

American foreign policy for decades has consisted primarily of military misadventures—foreign policy through the barrel of a gun! Today, the gun has become the drone and the bullet, the hellfire missile. General Smedley Butler (1881-1940), one of only two Americans to win the Medal of Honor on two separate occasions, wrote:

« I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. . . . I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested. » Now, of course, we’re using the gun to make the Middle East and Southeast Asia « safe for democracy. »

But the attempt isn’t faring very well.

Violence pervades this culture. Americans not only engage in violence, they are entertained by it. Killing takes place in America more often than the Sun rises, currently at an average of 87 times each day. Going to war in Afghanistan is less dangerous than living in Chicago. The Romans went to the Coliseum to watch people being killed. In major cities, Americans just look out their windows. Baseball, once America’s national game, a benign, soporific sport, has been replaced by football which is so violent it destroys the brains of those who play it. Violent films, euphemized as action flicks, dominate our motion picture theatres and television sets. Our children play killing video games.

So do you really believe that gun control will miraculously make America into a tranquil nation? Do you really believe that outlawing products and practices will make Americans peace loving? A culture cannot be changed by laws; the only function of law is to justify vengeance. No law in all of recorded history has been enacted that eliminated the practices it was meant to reduce. The oldest profession has been outlawed since the dawn of recorded history. It still is carried on. The truth of the matter is that a society based on law is a lawless society.

American society is violent not because of guns but because of the attitudes of Americans. When Europeans first came to the Americas, they thought that they had discovered a new world. Instead they found a land already inhabited by people with their own ways of life. Christian intolerance required the use of violence. Just as the Romans took the parts of Europe they wanted, these Europeans took the Americas. Violence was in their souls. Current day Americans have inherited it.

Wayne LaPierre, a National Rifle Association spokesman, has said, « The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. » Someone should tell him that many consider him to be a bad guy with a gun.

So sure, enact legislation to control the proliferation of guns, but don’t get sanguine about it. Such legislation may help, but don’t count on it. Unless you can change the American character, our violent nature will endure until we exterminate ourselves. Live by the. . . . Oh, you know how that goes. Cultures are extremely difficult to change; changing them requires a sustained effort over several generations. I doubt that Americans are up to the task.

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

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Su-25 aircraft

More lies prevail with regard to MH17. Recent press reports quoting the Dutch Safety Board’s October 2015 final report point to « a surface-to-air missile [which] exploded near the left side of the passenger plane bringing down the aircraft. »

Although the Dutch report concluded that the Russian-made BUK surface-to-air missile with a 9N314M warhead brought down the Boeing 777, it did not mention which side was responsible for firing the missile…  (International Business Times, March 8, 2016

The evidence presented in this Global Research article (below) first published on July 31, 2014 contradicts the report of the Dutch Safety Board and provides evidence:  

The evidence amply confirms that Malaysian Airlines MH17 was not brought down by a surface to air missile. It was brought down by military aircraft. 

The West continues to accuse Russia and the Donbass separatists of having brought down the plane with a surface to air missile. IT’S A LIE. The Dutch investigation has been twisted. 

UPDATE, August 7, 2016

Washington’s agenda in liaison with the Kiev regimes is to blame Russia. In recent developments (August 3, 2016), Ukraine president Poroshenko has visited Malaysia for discussions with Prime Minister Razak Najib:

« Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said Malaysia will work with Ukraine to bring the perpetrators to justice. « We will do whatever we can to find the truth for the sake of families who lost their loved ones in this tragic incident. « We are waiting for the criminal investigation report, which is expected to be tabled by the year-end, followed by a meeting to decide on the next course of action, » said Najib.(New Straights Times, August 4, 2016)

The evidence available in September 2014 –including a BBC report which the BBC decided to suppress– refutes the official story. 

As we recall, the alleged role of Russia in bringing down the plane was used as a justification to implement the economic sanctions regime against Moscow. Although not explicitly mentioned by the Dutch investigators, Moscow remains the « main suspect » in this twisted and fraudulent investigation, which will no doubt be the object of a new gush of media lies and distortions. Moscow has expressed its disagreement.

« They are fundamentally wrong, the lack of logic there is beyond comparison… I had a feeling that the commission was cherry-picking the evidence to suit a theory they had chosen. » Deputy head of Russia’s federal air transport agency Oleg Storchevoi (quoted by the Associated Press

Meanwhile, the Dutch investigators have decided to temporarily withhold their final verdict:  

« it soon should determine the exact launch site of the missile that brought down the plane, killing all 298 people on board.

But Fred Westerbeke, the prosecutor leading the international probe, warned Monday that completing the investigation would take much longer. He declined to name a possible finishing date.

After briefing relatives of victims on the investigation, Westerbeke pledged to complete the investigation « as quickly as possible, if only because of the frustration among the families. » (AP, March 7, 2016)

Since July 2014, Global Research has compiled evidence and analysis which refutes the official story.

Our message to the families: The Dutch investigators are lying.

Numerous authors and specialists have contributed to the MH17 dossier, which is available on the Global Research website. Unequivocally this dossier refutes the official story. 

Click Here to access an archive of 100 Global Research articles and reports on the downing of MH17. 

See the detailed study of Peter Haisenko:

Revelations of German Pilot: Shocking Analysis of the “Shooting Down” of Malaysian MH17. “Aircraft Was Not Hit by a Missile” By Peter Haisenko, July 30, 2014

Michel Chossudovsky, September 2016

*     *     *

« Support MH17 Truth »: OSCE Monitors Identify « Shrapnel and Machine Gun-Like Holes » indicating Shelling. No Evidence of a Missile Attack. Shot Down by a Military Aircraft

by Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research

July 31, 2014 

According to the report of German pilot and airlines expert Peter Haisenko, the MH17 Boeing 777 was not brought down by a missile.

What he observed from the available photos were perforations of the cockpit: 

 The facts speak clear and loud and are beyond the realm of speculation: The cockpit shows traces of shelling! You can see the entry and exit holes. The edge of a portion of the holes is bent inwards. These are the smaller holes, round and clean, showing the entry points most likely that of a 30 millimeter caliber projectile. (Revelations of German Pilot: Shocking Analysis of the “Shooting Down” of Malaysian MH17. “Aircraft Was Not Hit by a Missile” Global Research, July 30, 2014)

[click image right to enlarge]

Based on detailed analysis Peter Haisenko reached  the conclusion that the MH17 was not downed by a missile attack:

This aircraft was not hit by a missile in the central portion. The destruction is limited to the cockpit area. Now you have to factor in that this part is constructed of specially reinforced material

The OSCE Mission

It is worth noting that the initial statements by OSCE observers (July 31) broadly confirm the findings of Peter Haisenko:

Monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe reported that shrapnel-like holes were found in two separate pieces of the fuselage of the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines aircraft that was believed to have been downed by a missile in eastern Ukraine.

Michael Bociurkiw of the OSCE group of monitors at his daily briefing described part of the plane’s fuselage dotted with « shrapnel-like, almost machine gun-like holes. » He said the damage was inspected by Malaysian aviation-security officials .(Wall Street Journal, July 31, 2014)

The monitoring OSCE team has not found evidence of a missile fired from the ground as conveyed by official White House statements. As we recall, the US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power stated –pointing a finger at Russia– that the Malaysian MH17 plane was « likely downed by a surface-to-air missile operated from a separatist-held location »:

The team of international investigators with the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) are uncertain if the missile used was fired from the ground as US military experts have previously suggested, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported. (Malay Mail online, emphasis added)

The initial OSCE findings tend to dispel the claim that a BUK missile system brought down the plane.

Evidently, inasmuch as the perforations are attributable to shelling, a shelling operation conducted from the ground could not have brought down an aircraft traveling above 30,000 feet.

Ukraine Su-25 military aircraft within proximity of MH17

Peter Haisenko’s study is corroborated by the Russian Ministry of Defense which pointed to a Ukrainian Su-25 jet in the flight corridor of the MH17, within proximity of the plane.

Ironically, the presence of a military aircraft is also confirmed by a BBC  report conducted at the crash site on July 23.

All the eyewitnesses  interviewed by the BBC confirmed the presence of a Ukrainian military aircraft flying within proximity of Malaysian Airlines MH17 at the time that it was shot down: 

Eyewitness #1: There were two explosions in the air. And this is how it broke apart. And [the fragments] blew apart like this, to the sides. And when …

Eyewitness #2: … And there was another aircraft, a military one, beside it. Everybody saw it.

Eyewitness #1: Yes, yes. It was flying under it, because it could be seen. It was proceeding underneath, below the civilian one.

Eyewitness #3: There were sounds of an explosion. But they were in the sky. They came from the sky. Then this plane made a sharp turn-around like this. It changed its trajectory and headed in that direction [indicating the direction with her hands].

BBC Report below


The original BBC Video Report published by BBC Russian Service on July 23, 2014 has since been removed from the BBC archive.

In a bitter irony, The BBC is censoring its own news productions.

This is the BBC Report, still available on Youtube  

It has now been blocked [March 8, 2016] once more by the BBC. It is called suppressing the evidence.


Media Spin

The media has reported that a surface to air missile was indeed fired and exploded before reaching its target.  It was not the missile that brought down the plane, it was the shrapnel resulting from the missile explosion (prior to reaching the plane) which punctured the plane and then led to a loss of pressure.

According to Ukraine’s National security spokesman Andriy Lysenko in a contradictory statement, the MH17 aircraft « suffered massive explosive decompression after being hit by a shrapnel missile. »  (See IBT, Australia)

In an utterly absurd report, the BBC quoting the official Ukraine statement  says that:

The downed Malaysia Airlines jet in eastern Ukraine suffered an explosive loss of pressure after it was punctured by shrapnel from a missile.

They say the information came from the plane’s flight data recorders, which are being analysed by British experts.

However, it remains unclear who fired a missile, with pro-Russia rebels and Ukraine blaming each other.

Many of the 298 people killed on board flight MH17 were from the Netherlands.

Dutch investigators leading the inquiry into the crash have refused to comment on the Ukrainian claims.

« Machine Gun Like Holes »

The shrapnel marks should be distinguished from the small entry and exit holes « most likely that of a 30 millimeter caliber projectile » fired from a military aircraft. These holes could not have been caused by a missile explosion as hinted by the MSM.

While the MSN is saying that the « shrapnel like holes » can be caused by a missile (see BBC report above), the OSCE has confirmed the existence of what it describes as « machine gun like holes », without however acknowledging that these cannot be caused by a missile.

In this regard, the GSh-302 firing gun operated by an Su-25 is able to fire 3000 rpm which explains the numerous entry and exit holes.

According to the findings of Peter Haisenko:

If we now consider the armament of a typical SU 25 we learn this: It is equipped with a double-barreled 30-mm gun, type GSh-302 / AO-17A, equipped with: a 250 round magazine of anti-tank incendiary shells and splinter-explosive shells (dum-dum), arranged in alternating order. The cockpit of the MH 017 has evidently been fired at from both sides: the entry and exit holes are found on the same fragment of it’s cockpit segment (op cit)

The accusations directed against Russia including the sanctions regime imposed by Washington are based on a lie.

The evidence does not support the official US narrative to the effect that the MH17 was shot down by a BUK missile system operated by the DPR militia.

What next? More media disinformation, more lies?


Revelations of German Pilot: Shocking Analysis of the “Shooting Down” of Malaysian MH17. “Aircraft Was Not Hit by a Missile” By Peter Haisenko, July 30, 2014

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Jose Manuel Barroso had closer contact with Goldman Sachs during his tenure as European Commission chief than he has previously admitted, according to Portuguese media.

Correspondence obtained by Portuguese daily Publico under a freedom of information request suggests that Barroso, who took a job with the US bank earlier this year, held unregistered meetings with Goldman’s top people.

In one email dated 30 September 2013, Goldman boss Lloyd Blankfein thanked Barroso for their “productive discussions” and said the bank’s senior partners were delighted about their “extremely fruitful meetings”.

Publico reported that Goldman executives were happy to suggest “on a confidential basis” changes to EU policies, which Barroso’s cabinet read “with great interest”.

The newspaper also found that one of Barroso’s advisers was “unfavourable” to putting down in the commission’s records meetings between his boss and the bank.

Filing meetings between EU top officials and interest representatives was not mandatory at the time, so Barroso’s meetings were registered only when his cabinet deemed it suitable.

Barroso told Publico in a written statement he kept in touch with major banks as part of his job as president of the EU executive in a time of financial crisis.

“This was not only to understand the market sentiment, but also to pass clear messages on the position of the Commission and the European Union,” he wrote.

The European Commission has so far not commented on these revelations.

The Portuguese politician also complained of discrimination on Friday (23 September), during his first meeting with journalists since the announcement of his new job.

Revolving doors

Nine of 26 commissioners that left office in 2014 have since taken up positions in organisations with links to big business, according to Corporate Observatory Europe, a transparency campaign group in Brussels.

In one example, former antitrust and digital agenda boss Neelie Kroes took up a job in May with Uber, a tech firm that she vocally supported while in office.

Barroso’s successor Jean-Claude Juncker claimed over the summer that Barroso had followed the rules, but that there was a political problem in his choice of employer.

Goldman Sachs traded complex financial instruments around subprime mortgages, helping to cause the 2007 global financial crisis. The bank also helped Greece to conceal its debt figures, complicating the subsequent EU sovereign debt crisis.

The bank is known for cultivating close ties with politicians, which earned it the nickname ‘Government Sachs’.

Former commissioner Mario Monti took up a job at Goldman after leaving the commission, and was Goldman’s international adviser when he was appointed as Italy’s prime minister in 2011.

The current president of the European Central Bank (ECB), Mario Draghi, also worked for the bank prior to becoming the governor of the Bank of Italy and then taking up the ECB post.

The EU Commission has defended its code of conduct as “the world’s strictest”.

At a time of high public mistrust in the EU institutions, it has taken some steps to tighten up its rules – including making it mandatory to register all meetings between officials and interest representatives.

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Washington has unmasked plans to arm militants with MANPADS to oppose the Russian air grouping operating in Syria. On September 27, the so-called “unnamed US officials” told Reuters that the US has kept high numbers of MANPADS out of Syria by uniting the US Western and Middle Eastern allies, but now it’s a matter of time when the air defense systems will be supplied.

The unnamed sources one more time blamed Russia and Syria for air strikes on militant targets and emphasized that that “The opposition has a right to defend itself and they will not be left defenseless in the face of this indiscriminate bombardment.”

The same day, the Syrian government forces launched a full-scale offensive on the militant-controlled eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo city. The operation started after five days of intense air and artillery strikes on militant targets in the besieged areas and after previous gains in the Sheikh Sa’eed Neighborhood. By September 28, the loyalists have fully secured the Farafira Neighborhood, the area northwest of the Aleppo Citadel and Osama Bin Zaid Mosque. The advance is ongoing.


The army and Liwaa Al-Quds also attacked the Handarat refugee camp in northern Aleppo. The loyalists entered the camp after securing the Shaher area.

The Syrian government forces, led by the Tiger Forces, have launched a counter-attack against Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra), Jund al-Aqsa (a terrorist group with links to Al Qaeda and Jabhat al-Nusra) and the Free Syrian Army in the northern part of Hama province where the joint terrorist forces seized few sites yesterday. The loyalists have entered the villages of Talisiyah and Sha`tha controlled by terrorists and engaged the terrorist alliance in the area of Ma’ardas. Clashes have been also ongoing in the areas east of Sha`tha.

[GR Editor: According to the Los Angeles Times:

It is not clear if these weapons would be effective against the Russian air force. The Russian planes are equipped with more sophisticated weaponry and avionics, and can strike their targets from a higher altitude than their Syrian counterparts and stay beyond the reach of the operational ceiling of MANPADS found in Syria. Most of the downed planes have been the low-flying jets and helicopters of the government, with older, overworked airframes from the ’50s and ’60s that have been mothballed by the world’s armed forces elsewhere.]

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Les diplomates américains et alliés ont attaqué la Russie lors d’une réunion du Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies dimanche, accusant Moscou de façon provocatrice de « crimes de guerre » en Syrie et démontrant qu’ils étaient prêts à risquer une confrontation militaire directe avec cette puissance disposant de l’arme nucléaire.

La réunion d’urgence du Conseil de sécurité a été convoquée par les membres permanents dont les États-Unis, la Grande-Bretagne et la France, dans le but explicite de faire des allégations non fondées de crimes de guerre contre la Russie.

Se référant à l’attaque d’un convoi d’aide de l’ONU lundi dernier, l’ambassadeur américain à l’ONU Samantha Power a déclaré à la réunion, « Ce que la Russie fait et sponsorise n’est pas du contre-terrorisme, c’est de la barbarie ».

Elle a ensuite dit que le gouvernement syrien, qui a commencé une offensive jeudi pour reprendre les secteurs d’Alep tenus par les rebelles, a bombardé sans distinction des zones résidentielles avec le soutien russe. « Au lieu de poursuivre la paix, la Russie et Assad font la guerre. Au lieu d’aider à l’acheminement d’une aide de premiers secours pour les civils, la Russie et Assad bombardent les convois humanitaires, les hôpitaux, et les premiers intervenants humanitaires qui tentent désespérément de garder les gens en vie », selon Power.

Le ministre britannique des Affaires étrangères, Boris Johnson est allé encore plus loin, en disant dans une interview sur la BBC dimanche que la Russie devrait être le sujet d’une enquête pour crimes de guerre.

Les gesticulations éplorées des États-Unis et des politiciens britanniques sur les allégations de violations des droits de l’homme sont tout à fait hypocrites. En vérité, l’a rupture du cessez-le-feu d’une semaine au début de la semaine dernière a été déclenchée par le bombardement délibéré des positions de l’armée syrienne par des avions américains, des positions qui étaient bien connues des forces de la coalition. L’attaque a permis aux combattants de l’État islamique de prendre le contrôle de la zone. En outre, les « rebelles » soutenus par les États-Unis, qui sont dominés par le Front al-Nosra, l’ancienne filiale syrienne d’Al-Qaïda, ont systématiquement violé les termes du cessez-le-feu à plusieurs reprises. L’attaque ultérieure sur le convoi d’aide aurait pu être commise par ces forces, qui ont été accusées d’empêcher les civils à s’enfuir.

L’ambassadeur russe à l’ONU Vitaly Churkin a déclaré que parvenir à un accord de paix en Syrie était « presque impossible » en raison de l’appui continu de Washington pour al-Nosra. « Ils sont armés de chars, pistolets mitrailleurs, artillerie, lance-roquettes multiples […] des dizaines et des dizaines d’unités, y compris des armes lourdes […] Bien sûr, ils n’ont pas pu avoir fait cet équipement eux-mêmes. Ils ont reçu tout cela et ce matériel leurs est toujours expédié grâce aux bailleurs de fonds occidentaux généreux, avec les États-Unis qui vraisemblablement ferment les yeux », a commenté Churkin lors de la réunion du Conseil de sécurité. Il a poursuivi en accusant al-Nosra d’avoir bloqué l’aide humanitaire à Alep et lancé des attaques aveugles sur les zones tenues par le gouvernement.

Les affrontements se sont intensifiés dans tout le pays dimanche. Entre 26 et 43 civils ont été tués dans des raids de bombardement sur l’est d’Alep, qui est contrôlé par les forces anti-Assad dominées par al-Nosra. Pendant ce temps, les rebelles ont bombardé Masyaf contrôlé par le gouvernement pour une deuxième journée consécutive.

Il devient de plus en plus évident que Washington et ses alliés n’ont jamais considéré la trêve comme un moyen de mettre fin à ce conflit de cinq ans. Au lieu de cela, ils ont accepté l’accord, le temps de ravitailler leurs forces par procuration, qui subissaient une pression croissante des troupes d’Assad, avec le soutien de combattants iraniens et du Hezbollah, et de préparer une intensification massive de la guerre pour un changement de régime à Damas.

Cela a été rendu évident dimanche, quand une déclaration signée par une grande collection de groupes rebelles, dont beaucoup sont soutenus par les États-Unis, a rejeté tous pourparlers pour mettre fin à la guerre. « Les négociations dans les conditions actuelles ne sont plus utiles et sont dénuées de sens », affirme la déclaration.

Dans une démonstration publique du fait qu’ils n’accepteraient rien de moins que la capitulation totale du gouvernement Assad conformément à leurs plans pour un changement de régime, Samantha Power et les ambassadeurs français et britannique à l’ONU ont quitté la salle du Conseil de sécurité au moment où l’ambassadeur syrien tenait la parole.

L’objectif transparent de la dénonciation agressive de la Russie est de fournir un prétexte frauduleux pour la guerre. De l’affirmation selon laquelle le dirigeant libyen Mouammar Kadhafi se préparait à massacrer des civils à Benghazi en mars 2011, aux allégations que les forces gouvernementales syriennes avaient lancé une attaque au gaz toxique en août 2013 et maintenant les allégations non fondées de « crimes de guerre » contre la population civile par la Russie, Washington et ses alliés ont systématiquement exploité de telle propagande sur les droits de l’Homme pour légitimer une vaste escalade de la violence militaire à travers le Moyen-Orient.

Les médias contrôlés par le grand patronat ont passé à la vitesse supérieure dans leurs efforts pour diaboliser la Russie et dépeindre les États-Unis comme un spectateur moralement outragé. Les articles et reportages de télévision citent régulièrement l’attaque sur le convoi d’aide, qu’ils attribuent à la Russie et au gouvernement syrien sans aucune preuve tangible, comme la cause de la rupture du cessez-le-feu.

Le New York Times a publié un autre billet de propagande samedi intitulé, « Du paradis à l’enfer : comment un convoi d’aide en Syrie a été anéanti » dans lequel les auteurs Anne Barnard et Somini Sengupta tiennent quasiment sans détour la Russie comme responsable. Sur la base de conversations avec des sources anonymes, y compris certaines alignées sur les rebelles pro-américains et anti-Assad, le Times a proclamé, « Dans leur ensemble, les interviews et autres documents indiquent qu’il y a eu une attaque prolongée et coordonnée menée par des avions russes ou syriens, probablement les deux ».

Puis, des reportages sont apparu dimanche alléguant que des bombes à sous-munitions, du phosphore blanc, des armes chimiques et des bombes barils ont été déployés contre les quartiers d’Alep.

La guerre pour le changement de régime en Syrie incitée par les États-Unis a déjà coûté la vie à près de un demi-million de personnes, forcé plus de la moitié de la population du pays à quitter leurs foyers et d’avantage déstabilisé toute la région.

La diabolisation de la Russie prépare le terrain pour une guerre qui entraînerait rapidement les grandes puissances dans un conflit régional et mondial. Cela a été souligné par les remarques du général Joseph Dunford au Congrès la semaine dernière. Interrogé par le sénateur républicain Roger Wicker à savoir si l’armée pourrait prendre des mesures décisives pour imposer une zone d’exclusion aérienne, Dunford a répondu : « Pour l’instant, pour que nous puissions contrôler tout l’espace aérien en Syrie, cela nous obligerait à déclarer la guerre à la Syrie et la Russie. C’est une décision assez fondamentale qui n’est certainement pas de mon ressort ».

La hiérarchie militaire du Pentagone n’a jamais soutenu l’accord de cessez-le-feu et n’a pas eu l’intention de le respecter. Comme Dunford l’a franchement admis aux sénateurs, « La Russie est la menace la plus importante pour nos intérêts nationaux ».

En dépit de la reconnaissance ouverte qu’une zone d’exclusion aérienne signifierait la guerre, cette politique incendiaire trouve un soutien croissant, y compris du ministre des affaires étrangères John Kerry. En août, les États-Unis ont soutenu une incursion turque dans le nord de la Syrie pour évincer les rebelles kurdes de la région frontalière. Le président turc Recep Tayyip Erdogan a promis d’établir une zone dite sûre à travers une grande partie du nord de la Syrie. Cela impliquerait la présence permanente de troupes d’un État membre de l’OTAN en Syrie, créant ainsi une autre poudrière avec la Russie ».

La marche téméraire de Washington vers la guerre au Moyen-Orient se heurte à l’ intransigeance croissante de ses adversaires à Damas et Moscou. Prenant la parole lors du débat de l’Assemblée générale de l’ONU la semaine dernière, le ministre syrien des Affaires étrangères Walid Muallem a qualifié le bombardement américain de l’avant-poste de l’armée syrienne, qui a tué plus de 60 soldats et blessé plus de 100 autres, d’acte délibéré. Damas « met toute la responsabilité de l’agression sur les États-Unis », a-t-il poursuivi, avant d’ajouter : « Cette agression ignoble prouve que les États-Unis et leurs alliés sont complices de l’État islamique et d’autres groupes terroristes ».

Muallem a également dénoncé l’incursion de la Turquie sur des tons véhéments, déclarant que l’opération soutenue par les Américains était une violation flagrante de la souveraineté syrienne.

Dans un long entretien accordé à la télévision russe samedi, le ministre des Affaires étrangères Sergueï Lavrov a averti que le Kremlin était de plus en plus réticent à faire des compromis face à des actes de provocation de Washington. Lavrov a accusé qu’aucun progrès n’a été fait pour séparer le Front al-Nosra et d’autres forces djihadistes de la soi-disant opposition modérée. À moins que Washington ne prenne des mesures pour ce faire, « nos soupçons que tout cela est fait pour soulager al-Nosra vont être renforcés », a-t-il déclaré.

Réitérant les commentaires encore plus explicite qu’il a fait jeudi, le ministre des Affaires étrangères a poursuivi : « Si tout se résume à demander de nouveau aux forces aériennes de la Syrie et de la Russie de prendre des mesures unilatérales, telles que « Donnez-nous encore trois ou quatre jours et après nous allons persuader tous les groupes de l’opposition que cela est grave et qu’il faut couper les liens avec le Front al-Nosra », de tels discours ne seront plus pris au sérieux par nous. »

Jordan Shilton

Article paru en anglais, WSWS, le 26 septembre 2016

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The Politics of Bombing: Wholesale, Retail and Improvised

septembre 28th, 2016 by Prof. James Petras

Bombs, domestic and foreign, are defining the nature of politics in the United States, the European Union and among radical Islamist groups and individuals.  The scale and scope of bomb-politics varies with the practitioner.  ‘Wholesale bombers’ are state actors, who engage in large-scale, long-term bombing designed to destroy adversary governments or movements.  ‘Retail bombers’ are groups or individuals engaging in small-scale, sporadic bombings, designed to provoked fear and secure symbolic outcomes.

Apart from planned bombings, there are improvised bombings committed by deranged individuals who engage in suicide attacks without any political backing or coherent purpose.

In this paper we will focus on the nature of ‘wholesale’ and ‘retail’ bombings, their frequency, political consequences and long-term impact on global political power.

Bombing as Everyday Events

Prof. James Petras

The US and EU are the world’s foremost practitioners of ‘wholesale bombing’.  They engage in serial attacks against multiple countries without declaring war or introducing their own citizen ground troops.  They specialize in indiscriminate attacks on civilian populations – unarmed women, children, elders and non-combatant males.   In other words, for the ‘wholesale bombers’, unleashing terror on societies is an everyday event.

The US and EU practice ‘total war’ from the skies, not sparing a single sphere of everyday, civilian life.  They bomb neighborhoods, markets, vital infrastructure,  factories, schools and health facilities. The result of their daily, ‘ordinary’ bombing is the total erasure of the very structures necessary for civilized existence, leading to mass dispossession and the forced migration of millions in search of safety.

It is not surprising that the refugees seek safety in the countries that have destroyed their means of normal existence.  The wholesale bombers of the US-EU do not bomb their own cities and citizens – and so millions of the dispossessed are desperate to get in.

Wholesale bomb policies have emerged because prolonged ground wars in the targeted countries evoke strong domestic opposition from their citizens unwilling to accept casualties among US and EU soldiers.  Wholesale bombing draws less domestic opposition because the bombers suffer few losses.

At the same time, while mass aerial bombing reduces the political risks of casualties at home, it expands and deepens violent hostility abroad.  The mass flight of refugees to US-EU population centers allows the entry of violent combatants who will bring their own version of the total war strategies to the homes of their invaders.

Secular resistance has generally targeted enemy soldiers, whether they are imperial invaders or jihadi mercenaries.  Their targets are more focused on the military.  But faced with the politics of long-distance, wholesale bombing, the secular opposition becomes ineffective.  When the ‘secular opposition’ diminishes, ethno-religious combatants troops emerge.

The Islamists have taken command of the resistance, adopting their tactics to the imperial policy of total serial wars.

Retail Bomb-Warfare

Lacking an air force, Islamist terrorists engage in ground wars to counter imperial air wars.  Their response to drone warfare, is hand-made improvised bombs, killing hundreds of civilians.  Their victims may be decapitated with hand-held swords, rather than computer-controlled missiles. They capture hostile population, committing pillage, torture and rapine, rather than bomb from a distance, to dispossess and drive into exile.

Retail bomb’ terrorists are generally decentralized and may be recruited overseas.  Their bombs are crude and indiscriminant.  But like the wholesale bombers, they target population centers and seek to provoke panic and despair among the civilian population.

Islamist ‘retail bombers’ seek to expand their range by attacking the home countries of ‘wholesale bombers’ – the US and Europe.  These attacks are exclusively for propaganda and do not constitute any threat to strategic imperial military targets.  They expose the vulnerability of their enemies’ civilian population.

While imperial bombers and Islamists bombers have been at war against each other, they have also served as allies of convenience.  Several recent examples come to mind.

US-EU ‘wholesale bombing’ campaigns against Libya, Syria and Yemen worked in tandem with Islamist mercenary ground fighters.  ‘Wholesale bombers’ devastated the infrastructure and military installations of the governments of Syria and Libya in support of advancing Islamist ground troops.  In other words, ‘wholesale bombings’ are not sufficient to achieve targeted ‘regime change’, thus the resort to terrorist ‘retail bombers’ and jihadi ‘head choppers’ to advance on regional and local targets.

The most blatant recent example of the convergence of imperial wholesale bombers in support of Islamist retail bombers and terrorists was the September 17, 2016 US-EU attack on a Syrian military installation, killing and wounding almost two hundred Syrian soldiers who had been engaged in combat against ISIS terrorists.  While Washington claimed that the hours-long aerial bombardment of Syrian government soldiers was a ‘mistake’, it allowed the jihadi ‘retail bombers’ to take the offensive and overrun the base.  Acting as air-support for ISIS, the US Pentagon effective shut down any possibility for peace negotiations and sabotaged a fragile ceasefire.   This was a major victory for Washington’s politics of permanent wholesale bombing and ‘regime change’.

Just as the US launched its propaganda and wholesale bombing attack against the Syrian government, an improvised ‘retail bombing campaign’ was launched in the US – in Manhattan and New Jersey!  The latest series of retail bombing attacks in the US led to three dozen, mostly minor, injuries, while the brutal US wholesale bombing of Syrian troops killed over 62 government soldiers and wounded many more.  The political impact and consequences of wholesale and retail terror bombings in both regions was highly significant.  The US had no more right to launch an air attack on Syrian government troops engaged in defending their country, than the US-based retail terrorist (an Afghan-American) had in planting improvised bombs in US cities.  Both actions are illegal.

Political Consequences of Bombing Warfare

The US-ISIS coordinated bombing of Syrian soldiers has set the stage for all-out warfare.  Peace talks were violently sabotaged by the Obama Administration.  Syria and Russia now face the combined forces of ISIS, Turkey and the US with no hope for a negotiated solution.  The battle for control of Aleppo will intensify.  Russian negotiators have failed to check their cynical American ‘allies’ in their much-ballyhooed ‘war on terror’.   They have no choice but to continue to supply air cover for their Syrian government allies.

The US has embraced the Turkish invasion of Syria, betraying both their Kurdish allies and some element among their ISIS partners.  Bombing continues to be Washington’s main option in the Middle East.

The recent retail terror bombing in the US has the predicted consequence – a mass media whipped into a frenzy of fear mongering.  New York City is further militarized.  The face of the ‘enemy’ (a young Afghan-American, whose own father had tried to turn over to the FBI for his jihadi connections) is on a hundred million TV screens continuously.  The electoral campaign salivates in anticipation of a terror war for whoever wins the presidency.  Blind fear rather than concrete economic demands take the place of political debate.

Immigrants, Muslims and terrorists replace Wall Street tax evaders, profiteers and speculators as the villains in a country mired in economic and social crises.  Economic policies, which have created mass insecurity and misery, are obscured by the militarist rhetoric.

 Militarism, war and wholesale bombing replace the incremental advances in improving peaceful productive relations with Cuba and Iran.

 the politics of bombing, as a strategy and way-of-life affects domestic and foreign policy . . . even as the vast majority of American voters look for alternatives, for jobs, housing, and education and seek to live without fear and threats.

Wholesale wars lead to retail wars.  Overseas bombs lead to bombs at home.  Invasions and occupations provoke outrage and retaliation.  The answer is not to do unto others what you don’t want done on yourself.

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America in Syria: How to Build a Terror-State

septembre 28th, 2016 by Tony Cartalucci

A nation is its institutions, and should those institutions weaken, the nation itself will be weakened. And should those institutions be destroyed, the nation, for all intents and purposes, will also be destroyed.

A dramatic example of how to destroy a nation unfolded in 2003 in Iraq as a US led axis invaded and occupied it, intentionally targeting and destroying Iraqi institutions and essential infrastructure, including the police, military, and the government as well as bridges, electricity, and communications.

In the ruins left in the wake of the US-led invasion, through the “Coalition Provisional Authority,” US and European corporations were invited in to not only rebuild these institutions and infrastructure, but to do so in a manner making them dependent on and profitable to US-European corporate-financier interests well into the foreseeable future.

The West’s vast influence in Iraq today is owed to this process. While it is likely the West envisioned a client state far more obedient and subservient to Western interests than Iraq is today, the complicity it does receive across Iraq and even across the wider region, is vastly greater than before the 2003 invasion.

The US State Department through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) continue to undermine local, independent institutions and infrastructure in favor of US-funded and directed institutions as well as US-controlled infrastructure. It is the mechanics of modern day empire.
While Iraq is an extreme example of just how far and overt this process can be, the United States is repeating this same process the world over through direct and indirect military operations or more subtly through the use of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).

America’s Burgeoning Terror-State in the Levant 

In Syria, the United States has engineered and perpetuated a proxy war against the government in Damascus and its Russian and Iranian allies beginning in 2011. Before even the armed conflict began in 2011, the United States admittedly poured resources into opposition groups including the Muslim Brotherhood to prepare the ground for violent subversion.In 2007, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh would write in his 9-page report, “The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefitting our enemies in the war on terrorism?” that:

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

Hersh’s now prophetic report would also reveal US support for the Muslim Brotherhood:

There is evidence that the Administration’s redirection strategy has already benefitted the Brotherhood. The Syrian National Salvation Front is a coalition of opposition groups whose principal members are a faction led by Abdul Halim Khaddam, a former Syrian Vice-President who defected in 2005, and the Brotherhood. A former high-ranking C.I.A. officer told me, “The Americans have provided both political and financial support. The Saudis are taking the lead with financial support, but there is American involvement.”

The US, through backing a large, alternative political front, was already well on its way in 2007 toward creating a parallel state within Syria to eventually undermine and overthrow before eventually absorbing the Syrian nation.

As hostilities began, the US augmented its proxy political party with both opposition media fronts and armed militant groups – essentially the creation of mass media and an army for its growing parallel terror state.

The New York Times in 2013 would admit in an article titled, “Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With Aid From C.I.A.,” that:

With help from the C.I.A., Arab governments and Turkey have sharply increased their military aid to Syria’s opposition fighters in recent months, expanding a secret airlift of arms and equipment for the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, according to air traffic data, interviews with officials in several countries and the accounts of rebel commanders.

As the war has continued on, the United States and its Arab and European allies have steadily built other institutions to augment the political, military, and media capabilities of this burgeoning terror-state, including hospitals operated in Al Qaeda-held territory by Western NGOs, and of course the so-called “White Helmets,” described on their own website as:

The volunteers save people on all sides of the conflict – pledging commitment to the principles of “Humanity, Solidarity, Impartiality” as outlined by the International Civil Defence Organisation. This pledge guides every response, every action, every life saved – so that in a time of destruction, all Syrians have the hope of a lifeline.

In reality, the “White Helmets” operate solely in terrorist-held territory, as the nation of Syria already has an effective, professional, and well organized civil defense organization. The “White Helmets” appear to be “targeted intentionally” because they are operating side-by-side designated terrorist organizations including Al Nusra, quite literally Al Qaeda in Syria.

In one graphic instance (GRAPHIC VIDEO), these “White Helmet” Al Qaeda auxiliaries can be seen literally standing by as Al Nusra terrorists execute a prisoner, before rushing in to remove the body. Had Syrian or Russian warplanes struck these terrorists in the midst of carrying out war crimes, these “White Helmets” would have rightfully been liquidated side-by-side the terrorists they were aiding and abetting.

Despite the “White Helmets” severing quite literally as Al Qaeda auxiliaries, the US through USAID and more recently, the German government, have provided the faux-NGO millions in funding.

US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner in April 2016, according to a US State Department official transcript, would admit:

Well, I can tell you that we provide, through USAID, about $23 million in assistance to them [the “White Helmets”].

Toner was responding to queries by journalists regarding why a US-funded organization was receiving millions of dollars in assistance, but whose leader is banned from traveling to the United States. Toner attempted to claim the situation was “complicated,” but in reality, it is a simple matter of the US once again arming and funding terrorists abroad while simultaneously attempting to pose as fighting them back home.

More recently, AP would report in an article titled, “Germany ups financial support for Syria’s White Helmets,” that:

Germany’s Foreign Ministry says it is increasing financial support for the Syria Civil Defense group, also known as the White Helmets. 

The ministry said in a statement Friday that it has raised its funding for the group this year from 5 million euros ($5.61 million) to 7 million euros ($7.85 million).

With a sectarian extremist political party like the Muslim Brotherhood, an armed force comprised of Al Qaeda and other extremist groups, and an array of complicit alleged NGOs including the “White Helmets,” the US and its allies have attempted to create a parallel state within Syria – a parallel state it hopes will eventually inherit the entirety of Syria’s territory, just as violent sectarian terrorist factions have assumed control over Libya – deconstructing it as a functioning nation state and plunging its people into open-ended, perpetual catastrophe that is reverberating across the planet in the form of terrorism and migrant crises.

The US and its partners are posing as fighting against terrorism, while carving out entire nations for Al Qaeda and its affiliates everywhere from the North African nation of Libya, to the  ‎Levantine nation of Syria. It is a foreign policy in reality that cannot be sustained with the unraveling rhetoric used to promote and perpetuate it on the global stage, particularly in front of the UN.

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

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Syrian religious leaders representing the republic’s three largest churches (Greek Orthodox, Melkite Catholic, and Syrian Orthodox) recently issued a statement calling for an end to the economic sanctions on Syria, which they blamed for impoverishing the Syrian people.

That the west predictably ignored these calls is symptomatic of their abject refusal to address the most important truth about the war, which is that the militias waging war on the Syrian state are infinitely more dependent on an external predatory alliance of nations for constant flows of foreign mercenaries, funding, weapons, training, and even direct assistance on the battlefield than they are on any internal discontent with the Syrian government.

Those predatory nations include NATO states such as the United States, Britain, France and Turkey, and their regional allies, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and Israel, as well as other governments that fall in the ‘western sphere’ such as Canada and Australia, both of whom have co-signed the objectives of the proxy-war on Syria.

Those who live in these predatory nations, especially so-called ‘westerners’, are ironically encouraged to imagine themselves as the probable saviours of those living under siege IN Syria while being mostly oblivious to the fact that their governments have imposed an economic siege ON Syria.

Lifting the economic siege ON Syria would be a lot easier, but it would require westerners to come to terms with the reality that their governments are the problem, not the solution.

Targeted sanctions? 

The notion that the sanctions on Syria are ‘targeted’ in the sense that they only affect ‘regime officials’ is the oldest lie used to justify economic aggression – this same lie was used to justify the sanctions on Iraq after the first gulf war.

When Madeleine Albright (then US Ambassador to the UN) was asked whether she believed the colossal death-toll of Iraqi children caused by these sanctions was worth it, she famously replied in the affirmative, saying ‘we think the price is worth it’.

In terms of achieving US foreign policy objectives she was correct since healthy children are potential Iraqi soldiers capable of defending their country against US aggression, so it’s much more effective to bring the country to its knees first, even if it means killing children.

Today Syria is being ‘softened up’ by sanctions that are just as ‘comprehensive’ as those imposed on Iraq.

Visa, Mastercard and Paypal all suspended services to Syria in August 2011 after the announcement of Executive Order 13582 by the US Treasury, prohibiting US persons (corporate entities included) from providing any services to Syria, which is a severe blow given that global financial transactions are dominated not just by these corporations but by corporations based in countries that impose financial sanctions on Syria in general.

This means that even people living in countries that never went along with the sanctions are unable to send money to Syria using these three services on the grounds that these three corporations are technically US persons and thus subject to US laws.

It also blocks the ability of many among the Syrian diaspora to send remittances back to their families, which is particularly cruel given that remittances are one source of revenue that would logically increase during a war, due to greater efforts made by the diaspora to support their relatives back home, and also because of the money that Syrians made refugees by the war would wish to send back, assuming they find sources of income abroad.

Of the $1.6b (current USD) that Syria earned in remittances in 2010 (which is the last year for which accurate World Bank figures are publicly available), 75% came from countries that now impose financial sanctions on Syria

In the case of the GCC states, which contributed 37% of Syria’s pre-war remittance revenues, the move to block remittances was a defensive move by Damascus itself because of the colossal financial support that Saudi Arabia and Qatar in particular have offered the Islamist proxies. As for the other 38% (which in addition to the previous 37% equals the 75% figure quoted earlier), this is made up of Jordan (16%), Turkey (14%), the EU (5%) and the Anglosphere bloc of the US, Canada, Australia and the UK (3%), all of which impose financial sanctions to varying degrees.

While it’s unclear what Syria’s remittance earnings actually are at present (especially given the cash-in-hand transfers that go unaccounted for and other informal methods) there’s no doubt that Germany in particular will host a sizable Syrian diaspora community in the near future and therefore may feel compelled to accommodate growing demands for financial sanctions to be lifted.

The exhaustive nature of the sanctions helps explain the pattern of corporations ‘over-complying’, that is refusing to do business with Syrian persons or entities altogether to avoid heavy penalties.

In March 2015 Paypal was ordered to pay $7.7m to the US Treasury for facilitating transactions worth a measly $44,000 between Cuba, Sudan and Iran that were in violations of US sanctions – that’s a $7.7m penalty for transferring up to $44,000, of which Paypal would have early taken only a small fraction in operating revenues.

With penalties that are orders of magnitude higher than the amounts violating the sanctions, why wouldn’t Paypal (and others) ‘over-comply’ with the sanctions just to play it safe?

Sanctions on Syrian oil exports only apply to the government (not ISIS) 

A currency depreciates when a country imports more than it exports, which is why the rising demand for heating fuels to keep Syrians warm in the coming winter months predictably led to Syria’s Central Bank announcing a 6% devaluation of the Syrian pound, which now officially trades at 517.4 against the US dollar.

Although Syria was an importer of petroleum products even prior to the conflict, this import bill was at least offset by export earnings from the sale of crude oil.

In the eleven years prior to the conflict (from 2000 to 2010 inclusively) 53.1% of Syria’s total export earnings of $81.9b (current USD) came from the sale of crude oil, however this percentage fell dramatically to around the 6.5% mark from 2012 onwards

The reason? In September 2011 the EU imposed sanctions which banned the importation of Syrian oil – a major blow given that in 2010 (the year prior to the conflict) the EU bloc was Syria’s single largest export-destination, earning 41.4% of total export revenues (exports in 2010 were $12.2b in current USD.

These sanctions were later lifted in May 2013, but only after the al Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al Nusra (now known as Jabhat Fateh al Sham) had seized control of Syria’s oil fields in the north-east of the country.

A month later in April 2013 a split within the ranks of al Nusra produced ISIS which has been selling stolen Syrian ever since, largely thanks to the EU’s willingness to be their customers.

At the time, the EU’s decision (to begin funding al Qaeda via the theft of Syria’s natural resources) was promoted by the Guardian as a way ‘to help the moderate opposition’ despite their report also acknowledging that ‘al-Qaida and other extreme Islamist groups control the majority of the oil wells in Deir Ezzor province’.

To the extent that ISIS has developed a Frankenstein-like independence from its original backers, it’s because they can sell this stolen oil, meaning that they don’t rely on their sponsors as much as their so-called ‘moderate’ rivals.

READ  Syrian Army captures large parts of East Ghouta

Should oil prices rise again to above $100/barrel thereby making it viable for Syria to resume oil exports (that is if Saudi Arabia stops driving down prices) Europe will have to make a choice – either lift the sanctions and buy from the government, or continue funding ISIS.

Sanctions are destroying Syria’s healthcare system 

The sanctions, by helping to demolish the value of the Syrian pound by a factor of twelve (it’s pre-war value was 45 pounds per USD in 2010), has raised the price of imports by roughly the same factor, meaning that sanctions needn’t even formally prohibit the sale of medicines to Syria to make them unaffordable and scarce.

Maintaining the perception in the west that President Assad is almost solely to blame for the deterioration in public health is perhaps why the perspectives of Syrian doctors, who are in the best position to comment on the relationship between sanctions and healthcare, are routinely ignored.

Dr. Nabil Antaki, a medical practitioner who works in the government-held western Aleppo, had this to say about the sanctions, “we are disgusted by these sanctions because these sanctions and these embargoes have not been implemented against the Syrian government but against the Syrian people, all the Syrian people”.

Just as the sanctions on Iraq resulted in the deterioration of the water treatment systems by blocking the importation of the spare parts needed to fix them, Syria’s medical staff are experiencing similar difficulties when it comes to fixing their equipment.

Describing the bureaucratic hurdles in sourcing parts, “I wanted to replace one part of a piece of medical equipment. Normally this would take one week, it took a year and a half to get hold of the part because we couldn’t import it from Japan as it was a multi-national company”, Dr Antaki said.

Another doctor from Aleppo Dr. Tony Sayegh also blames sanctions, “something that makes life even more tough are the economic sanctions that the US and EU have imposed on Syria. The sanctions do not hit the government but the people”.

When I visited Syria in July 2015 as part of a delegation we met with Syria’s Health Minister Dr. Nizar Yazigi who pointed out that of the 70 pharmaceutical factories Syria once had, now only 20 remain.

These factories are what enabled Syria to achieve remarkable levels of self-sufficiency in the production of medicines prior to the war. According to the Syrian Economic Forum (which is critical of the government), 91% of the medicines consumed in Syria a year prior to the war (2010) were produced domestically.

The decimation of Syrian industrial capacity is not just a symptom of the generally destructive nature of war, but also because proxy-armies have looted industrial areas.

This is why after Sheikh Najjar’s industrial complex was taken back by the Syrian government in July 2014 (from Al Nusra, Ahrar al Sham and other smaller FSA militias) Aleppo’s industrialists, represented by the ‘Aleppo Chamber of Industry and Commerce’, began proceedings to take the Turkish government to The Hague (International Court of Justice) for their complicity in the plundering of ‘more than 300 factories’ including those used to produce medicines.

The combined strategy of plundering Syria’s productive capacity and then imposing sanctions on Syria to hinder the process of reconstruction looks like an attempt to shift the dependence of the Syrian public away from the government and towards to the forces seeking to topple the government.

This would also explain why the emphasis in the west is on directing charity towards organisations based outside Syria’s borders mainly in neighbouring countries, like Turkey, Lebanon or Jordan, on the pretext that it’s needed to help Syrian refugees, who, ironically, left Syria due to the policies of these countries (except Lebanon) in the first place.

By contrast, charities that operate in government-held Syria (where the vast majority of Syrians live), such as the Syrian Trust for Development, are often starved of donations from wealthier nations because those same nations either enforce the sanctions, or have online payment systems that are dominated by corporations that enforce the sanctions.

Other ‘charities’ however, like the Islamic Humanitarian Relief Foundation based in Turkeyand the Qatari Red Crescent, that have been caught smuggling weapons to the proxy-armies inside Syria, experience no such online blockades.

If the key concern was Syrian welfare then it would be far more effective to stop strangling the healthcare system that already exist, which Syrians spent decades building, and which serves the vast majority of the Syrian public.

Decades of progress in human development, wiped out 

To those unfamiliar with the region, Syria today epitomises nothing but war, which is why it may surprise them to know that prior to the conflict, Syria was actually something of a post-colonial success story, a feat largely achieved by a decades-long legacy of free healthcare, free education and a strong public sector.

Crunching the numbers (available from the World Bank and IMF databanks) gives one the impression that Syria ‘punched above its weight’ in terms of human development.

In the year prior to the war (2010), countries that were wealthier than Syria did only marginally better in terms of life expectancy on average, while countries with lower life expectancies than Syria did so on much higher incomes on average (weighted by population).

If China is excluded from the sample of nations wealthier than Syria, and if Peru is included to keep the sample at twenty nations, then Syria does better on life expectancy by 2.3 years than the revised sample average of 70.

As for the sample of nations with lower life expectancies than Syria (again, a sample of twenty nations) their average income works out at $11,385 (current international dollars) which is $5,010 higher than Syria – in other words, Syria did more for its people relative to its income than nations in the same proverbial ballpark.

Punching above its weight, Syria’s achievements on the eve of the war are only diminished by the inclusion of China – nothing to be ashamed of given China’s remarkable achievements in human development.

End the sanctions 

To those living in the so-called ‘west’, regardless of what you may think of the manner in which the Syrian government conducts itself militarily, this is not something you have much control over, however you do have some agency in opposing your own government’s policies that are fuelling this war.

Whether those policies include arming the death-squads that the Syrian government is predictably resisting, or imposing the cruel sanctions that are killing Syrians quietly, either through artificially inflated food prices and medicine shortages or by preventing them from receiving remittances from abroad, these are the actions you have some agency to oppose.

Westerners, if you want to ‘break the sieges’ (a reference to the PR slogan promoted by the ‘moderate’ mercenaries who for years have demanded NATO intervention on their behalf) you should start with the economic sieges imposed by YOUR governments against Syria.

Jay Tharappel is a Sydney-based political commentator, and active member of the organisation Hands Off Syria.

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An Environmental Working Group review of government water analysis data reveals that 75% of drinking water in America is contaminated with cancer-causing hexavalent chromium (also known as chromium-6). In a widely publicized report, EWG warns that 200 million Americans are right now being exposed to this toxic chemical in their water.

This is on top of our own efforts at EPAwatch.org where my lab tested hundreds of municipal water samples from across the country and found high levels of lead and other heavy metals in 6.7% of samples.

Yet another problem is hexavalent chromium, which is used in industrial operations such as chrome plating and the manufacturing of plastics and dyes. It has been linked to liver and kidney damage in animals as well as to leukemia, stomach cancer, and other cancers. Hexavalent Chromium has been found in the tap water of thirty-one out of thirty-five cities sampled. Of these cities, twenty-five had levels that exceeded safety standards. Sadly, even if your water is not contaminated with any of these substances, it may still be unsafe to drink. – The Great American Health Hoax – The Surprising Truth About Modern Medicine by Raymond Francis

America’s infrastructure collapsing into Third World status

As Donald Trump said recently at a rally in Michigan, we used to make cars in Flint and you couldn’t drink the water in Mexico. Now the cars are being made in Mexico, and you can’t drink the water in Flint. Nor can you safely drink public water almost anywhere in America, as it’s almost universally contaminated with chromium-6, heavy metals or other toxic chemicals.

This doesn’t even cover the deliberate poisoning of public water systems with fluoride, a neurotoxic chemical purchased in bulk from Chinese chemical plants (or sometimes acquired as a waste product from fertilizer manufacturing factories). Fluoride is dumped into public water supplies under the quack science claim that every person in the nation is deficient in fluoride — a blatantly false and highly irresponsible claim. In reality, many children suffer from fluorosis, a dark mottling and discoloration of the teeth caused by too much exposure to toxic fluoride.

Avoid fluoride. A highly toxic metal, fluoride accumulates in certain areas of the brain (the pineal gland and hippocampus) and has been shown to significantly lower IQ and interfere with memory and complex brain functions. Studies have shown that even concentrations of 0.5 parts per million (ppm) can damage cells and microvessels in the brain. Yet, 60 percent of our public drinking water is fluorinated at higher levels of 1 to 1.3 ppm. – Dr. Blaylock’s Prescriptions for Natural Health – 70 Remedies for Common Conditions by Russell L. Blaylock

What’s astonishing in all this is just how quickly America’s infrastructure is collapsing into « Third World » status under the rule of a corrupt political establishment. The education system has become nothing more than a propaganda indoctrination system; the food supply is inundated with unlabeled GMOs and toxic herbicides like glyphosate; and now the water is too toxic to drink almost everywhere.

California, a corrupt regime run by incompetent communists and « progressive » idiots, went right along with the toxic chemical industry to allow an astonishing 500 times higher levels of chromium-6 than what’s known to be safe.

From the EWG report:

The California scientists based their public health goal of 0.02 parts per billion solely on protecting people from cancer and other diseases. Public health goals are not legally enforceable, but legal limits are supposed to be set as close as possible to health goals « while considering cost and technical feasibility. »But the California Department of Public Health relied on a flawed analysis that exaggerated the cost of treatment and undervalued the benefits of stricter regulation, and adopted a legally enforceable limit of 10 parts per billion.

But, wait… according to the lunatics selling contaminated « superfoods, » chromium-6 is all just fine because it’s « naturally occurring »…

Adding even more lunacy and catastrophic humor to this issue, there exist some highly unethical superfood / raw foods companies that claim eating heavy metals is GOOD for you because lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium are all « naturally occurring. »

Well then, according to the EPA, chromium-6 causes cancer and it’s also « naturally occurring. » I guess that means you’re supposed to drink more, right? From the EPA website:

Chromium-6 occurs naturally in the environment from the erosion of natural chromium deposits. It can also be produced by industrial processes. There are demonstrated instances of chromium being released to the environment by leakage, poor storage, or inadequate industrial waste disposal practices.

I guess soon, you’ll see Whole Foods carrying a brand new « superfood » product called « VitaChromium Six, » promoted by a young, hyperactive nitwit guru with an obedient following of brainwashed (and brain damaged) worshippers who don’t realize they’re all members of a chemical suicide cult. (Yeah, I said it.)

Who needs to drink the Kool-Aid when you’ve got super nutritious VitaChromium Six on sale at Whole Foods?

If you aren’t filtering your water, you’re committing chemical suicide

After becoming aware of all the toxic metals and chemicals in the drinking water these days, if you aren’t filtering your water with a reputable, lab-verified water filter, you’re basically participating in the chemical suicide of humanity.

Fortunately, the solution is very simple: Buy and use a reputable water filter!

At my online store, we sell the lab-verified Big Berkey gravity filter, which also doubles as an emergency system requiring no electricity whatsoever.

I’ve also personally tested and helped launch the AquaTru countertop filter, which removes chromium-6 and hundreds of other toxic chemicals and heavy metals.

Finally, if you want to test the heavy metals in your own water (or your supplements or even your hair!), check out this heavy metals test kit we offer, which analyzes your sample for 20 elements, including heavy metals and various trace minerals. (The kit does not, however, quantitate chromium-6.)


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Fresh video evidence from the province of Latakia indicates that Russia has likely increased its air grouping operating in Siria. The video entitled “Syria: Army relaunches offensive against militias in Latakia” and posted by RUPTLY on September 24, 2016 shows the Su-25SM attack aircraft supporting an advance of the Syrian army against terrorists.

There have been no Russian Su-25SM aircraft in Syria since the partial withdrawal of the Russian air grouping from the country. Now, Su-25SM jets are operating in the Syrian airspace. The Syrian Arab Air Force does not have such warplanes.


This means that Moscow has deployed SU-25SM strike-fighters in order to increase the air power involved in operations against terrorists. There is no information about numbers of Russian SU-25SM attack aircraft that are now operating from Russia’s Khmeimim Air Base.

On September 25, Maj. Gen. Suheil al-Hassan, commander of the Syrian army’s Tiger Forces, arrived the Syrian province of Hama in order to inspect the government forces deployed there and contribute to the plans of long-awaited counter-offensive against the Jund al-Aqsa terrorist group and its US-backed allies.

The prominent commander arrived Hama after the joint terrorist forces captured the strategic town of Ma’an and nearby hilltops from the Syrian army and the National Defense Forces (NDF). Terrorist military commanders have likely seen the offensive in Hama as a false maneuver aimed to draw the Syrian government attention from the ongoing clashes in Aleppo. However, the recent gains of terrorist forces in the province demonstrate that their actions can pose a significant threat to the Syrian army and its allies in the province.

On September 26, the Syrian government forces attacked the village of Kbareah controlled by Jund al-Aqsa. It’s expected that the government forces will launch a wide scale operation to re-take Ma’an in the nearest future.

The Syrian army, the NDF and Hezbollah, supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces, have been advancing against Jabhat Fatah al-Shab (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra) and its allies inside the eastern part of Aleppo city. The pro-government forces have entered the Sheikh Sa’eed Neighborhood, advancing along the road leading to the Hajj roundabout. They seized a number of building blocks along the road According to pro-government sources, the army’s battle tanks and artillery also set fire control of the southern part of Karm ad-Da’da Neighborhood.

On September 25, the pro-government forces were pushed to retreat from the recently captured Handarat Refugee Camp in northern Aleppo due to heavy counter-attacks of Jabhat Fatah al-Sham and its allies. However, the Syrian military continued attempts to take control of this strategic site. Last night, fresh reinforcements (reportedly units of the Syrian army’s Republican Guard) arrived in the area in order to strengthen the forces involved in the operation.

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


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The Debates of Loathing: Trump and Clinton at Hofstra

septembre 28th, 2016 by Dr. Binoy Kampmark

“It’s all words, it’s all soundbites.” — Donald Trump, Hofstra University, Sep 26, 2016

It really doesn’t matter that these two creatures loathed and feared in varying degrees should even be conducting a debate.  What, after all, is there to dispute?  Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump inhabit worlds of the disparately dislikeable, and reaped the bounty of the US with varying degrees of ruthlessness.

Of course, the assessment from the pundits resembled everything that had transpired before.  Take the NBC live coverage, filled with the tepid, the unsure and the stunned.  The presidential debate had been “surreal”; Clinton was “overly prepared” yet pleasant, placing Trump on the defensive at points.

For The Donald, he was reactive, filled with emotion, using shock as substitute for substance.  “Not a knock-out evening.”  The Donald then resorted to “bombast”.  The NBC crew suggested that he was pugilistic – and could not help but refer to those pugilistic voters.

What did matter on this occasion was that neither candidate could manage matters quite as they had hoped.  Clinton had had her coaching sessions, but, as the German military theorist Helmuth von Moltke made clear, the eventuality one is prepared for is exactly the one that does not happen on the field of battle.  The skill will always lie in dealing with the unanticipated.

Nothing in this entire affair had been anticipated.  Clinton at stages could not remove that sense of disbelief around her conduct, visibly taken aback by seeing a character who refused to remain a peripheral creation.  Yet this peripheral phenomenon has shrunk the advantage she has in the polls, having toned down elements of his frequent outrage and capitalised on her mistakes.

Trump did his usual business trick, treating the United States as a pawnshop business gone wrong, and in need of a general audit.  The industrious Chinese, of course, were doing better.  Then came the Mexicans with their various advantages on tax in sending goods back into the country.

Regulations were attacked as lethal for US business, and there was the pressing issue of the jobs situation.  “How do you bring the jobs back?” asked the moderator Lester Holt, losing a grip on the unmanageable Donald.

Fantasy then intruded, wearing The Donald’s mask.  “The first thing you do,” he shot back, “is not let them leave.”  The protectionist instinct kicked in, one entirely at odds with neoliberal orthodoxy – if such companies are to manufacture products outside the US and then export to the United States, they must, in turn, pay a tax.

He then played the “Secretary Clinton” card – “Is that okay with you?” (The Donald would subsequently claim that he was being all too soft on Clinton, as he did not “want to hurt anyone’s feelings.”)

Debates that take place in the realm of the hypothetical suit Hillary Clinton. Her arguments offer a layer cake of false projections bolstered by an army of fact checking soldiers: plans for clean energy, a green vision with a modern electric grid, sound accounting and a promise for a more secure world in face of threats.  “I have tried to be specific on what we can and what we do.”

On energy, Trump brought matters back to business, ever his default position.  Investing in solar panels had been disastrous. Naturally, he did not stay at that terminus, moving rapidly to the issue of the ballooning debt.  The focus, again, was always “keeping jobs” and “companies to build companies”.  Shadows chasing shadows; mirages breeding mirages.

Then, his interest was piqued by the comment about how “my husband did a good job”.  NAFTA and the issue of trade deals came into the debate with some punchiness, with Clinton finding herself having to avoid the issue of that “devastation” it had caused. Refusing to accept the social calamity of NAFTA, Clinton put on an air of balance, claiming that she had been discriminatory about such deals.

As for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, Clinton had to explain the gyrations of her approach.  Again, having initially considered it the “gold standard,” the good Secretary had to veer away from Trump’s suggestion that she could not be trusted on it.  She had seen the material, and was not convinced it was good for the United States.

A deal of the debate focused on that now redundant entity known as “facts”.  Clinton spoke about checking facts in “real time” with plans that would avoid creating debt, and streamline regulations for small business.  Raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy were matters she believed in, and anything Trump said in response to that could be “fact checked”.

Such false meticulousness, masquerading and reliability, is the hallmark of the Clinton technique.  Trump might have reaped more from that aspect, but chose not to, succumbing to such dismissive remarks as “No wonder you have been fighting ISIS all your adult life!”  Yes, it was true that Clinton was the “typical politician” but his procured dagger remained at the surface.

An example of this caution was Trump’s counter on the “law and order issue”.  Trump openly spoke of police endorsements, while Clinton was more cautious.  She preferred to back the black community, a point that Trump only capitalised on in reminding her about those “super predators” that were stalking the land during the 1990s.  Was Madame Secretary’s mind slipping?

The cynical metre of the entire proceeding was well caught by a catty language of bartering.  If Clinton released those valuable emails that had been sent on a private server, he would release his tax returns.  Clinton’s response focused on his potential deceptions.  Was he truly as wealthy as he claimed?  She, it must be said, is a rather adept hand at this, being rather practised in the field of mendacity.

Racism, often in the closet of presidential campaigns, was trundled out on wheels laced with venom.  There was sniping over the birther issue (“hurtful” to the President, according to Clinton); racial discrimination by Trump and his comments on Mexico.

Whether any of these comments actually registers an advantage at all is impossible to say.  In an environment of polarising, untrustworthy candidates, prejudices tend to be re-enforced rather than alleviated. Come November, Trump is guaranteed a decent showing.  Whether that showing of loathing is enough to push him across the line is not necessarily something these debates will change.  That battle will be won off the screen, and will not necessarily be helped by any degree of “fact checking”.

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

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Pentagon Chief Outlines US Plans for Nuclear War with Russia

septembre 28th, 2016 by Bill Van Auken

US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter delivered a speech to “missileers” at the Air Force Global Strike Command base in Minot, South Dakota Monday, defending the massive modernization of the US nuclear arsenal and issuing bellicose threats against Russia.

Carter’s trip to Minot was the first he has taken to a nuclear missile base since becoming secretary of defense in February 2015. It coincided with the steady escalation of conflicts pitting the US against nuclear-armed Russia and China that threaten to ignite a new world war.

The thrust of Carter’s speech was a defense of the Pentagon’s proposed $348 billion plan to rebuild Washington’s so-called nuclear triad of strategic bombers, missiles and submarines. Estimates are that over a 30-year period, this nuclear buildup will siphon fully $1 trillion out of the American economy.

Delivered to the officers and enlisted personnel tasked with launching Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles, each carrying warheads with 60 times the destructive capacity of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, the speech at times seemed to echo the title of the satiric 1964 film Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.

This massive US death machine, Carter insisted, provided “the bedrock of security” that has “enabled millions and millions to get up in the morning to go to school, to go to work, to live their lives, to dream their dreams and to give their children a better future.”

He went on to predict that “given what we see in today’s security environment, it’s also likely that our children and their children will probably have to live in a world where nuclear weapons exist.” In reality, assuming the continuation of the present “security environment” and the continued existence of nuclear weapons, there is good reason to fear that the world will be incinerated in the lifetimes of “our children and their children.”

While using the anodyne Pentagon jargon of “our nuclear enterprise” to refer to the US nuclear war arsenal, Carter’s speech contained passages hinting at the undeniable fact that the threat of a nuclear conflagration is now greater than at any time since the height of the Cold War.

He warned that while “in the more than seven decades since 1945, nuclear weapons have not again been used in war, that’s not something we can ever take for granted.”

He added: “In today’s security environment, one that’s dramatically different from the last generation, and certainly the generation before that, we face a nuclear landscape that continues to pose challenges…that continues to evolve, in some ways less predictably than during the Cold War, even though many around the world and even some in the United States are stuck in the Cold War in their thinking.”

What has changed in the wake of the Cold War and the Stalinist bureaucracy’s dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 is the eruption of American militarism, based on the conviction of the US ruling establishment that, with the demise of the USSR, it could freely employ its military might in a bid to assert world hegemony and reverse the global economic decline of American capitalism.

The wars fought over the last quarter century, particularly in the Middle East, have produced a series of debacles and a world historic catastrophe for the peoples of the region. At the same time, they have metastasized into broader conflicts pitting the US ever more directly against Russia and China.

In a press conference after his speech, Carter gave vent to the mounting frustration in Washington over the failure of its five-year-old proxy war for regime change in Syria. This has taken the form of ever more hysterical denunciations of Russia for “war crimes”—this from a government responsible for well over a million deaths in the region.

“What’s going on now in Syria is tragic, disgraceful, preventable, and—as I think everyone around the world has been emphasizing over the weekend—Russia and the Syrian regime bear responsibility for the violence, particularly against civilians,” Carter told the media.

The real concern in Washington is not the loss of civilian lives, but rather the prospect that the Syrian government, backed by Russian airpower, is on the verge of overrunning east Aleppo, one of the last bastions of the Al Qaeda-affiliated militias that constitute the main fighting force in the US-orchestrated war for regime change.

Attacking Russia in his speech, Carter said: “Moscow’s recent saber rattling and building of new nuclear weapons systems raises serious questions about its leaders’ commitment to strategic stability, their regard for long-established abhorrence of using nuclear weapons and whether they respect the profound caution that Cold War-era leaders showed with respect to brandishing nuclear weapons.”

The Obama administration, which recently signaled its decision to abandon even the Democratic president’s pretense of renouncing a nuclear first strike as official US policy, has attempted to portray Russia as responsible for igniting a new nuclear arms race. Given that Russia’s military budget is little more than one-tenth that of the US, and less than that of Washington’s closest Arab ally, Saudi Arabia, this amounts to an absurd pretext.

The nuclear saber rattling is being carried out by the US government, and Carter’s trip to Minot was part of it.

The defense secretary described the nuclear bombers and missiles as a force that served to “enable” US troops “to accomplish their conventional missions around the world.”

“As you know, they’re standing with our NATO allies and standing up to Russia’s aggression in Europe,” he said, referring as well to US operations in “the vital Asia-Pacific region,” “deterring North Korea’s provocations” and “countering Iran’s malign activities in the Middle East.”

Referring to the relentless US-NATO military buildup against Russia, Carter declared: “Across the Atlantic, we’re refreshing NATO’s nuclear playbook to better integrate conventional and nuclear deterrence to ensure we plan and train like we’d fight and to deter Russia from thinking it can benefit from nuclear use in a conflict with NATO, from trying to escalate to de-escalate, as some there call it.”

The US and its NATO allies are deploying thousands of troops on Russia’s western border and have created a 40,000-strong rapid reaction force in preparation for war. The stated commitment to “integrate conventional and nuclear” forces in this effort has placed the threat of nuclear war on a hair trigger.

Last week, the Russian news agency Tass quoted the commander of Russia’s Strategic Missile Force, Sergey Karakayev, as reporting that the latest Yars mobile ballistic missile systems are being deployed to the Tver region, the country’s westernmost ICBM command. Moscow is carrying out the deployment in response to Washington’s positioning of an antimissile defense system in Romania and plans to set up similar batteries in Poland. While the US pretext is that the systems are directed against Iran, which has no nuclear weapons, Moscow sees the deployments as an attempt to make a first strike against Russia more feasible. It also charges that the ABM systems can easily be converted to fire short- and medium-range offensive nuclear missiles.

In his speech Monday, Carter also made a brief reference to a Pentagon effort to boost morale among the military personnel assigned to launch a nuclear war, saying it was “bearing fruit.” In 2013 and 2014, over 100 officers and enlisted personnel at nuclear bases were implicated in a scandal involving drug abuse, cheating on proficiency tests and gross security violations. The nuclear war command also saw a series of top officers removed from their posts.

The claim of improved morale was called into question, however, with the court martial in June of one member of the security forces at the F.E. Warren nuclear missile base in Wyoming on charges of using and distributing the hallucinogenic drug LSD. Fourteen other airmen have been suspended for suspected drug use there.

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Turkey’s operation ‘Euphrates Shield’ that had originally begun as the operation to drive the Kurdish militias back to the eastern side of Euphrates River is now turning into a mission to create a ‘safe zone’ inside Syria to reinforce not only its own position in the region but also to buttress the Turkey-backed militias controlling the eastern part of Aleppo city.

The decision has come at a time when US-Russia sponsored ceasefire has failed to hold and when battles on various fronts have once again escalated to the point of extremely heightened confrontation. This particular course of action is likely to put Turkey back on confrontation course with Syria and Russia and pave the way for the NATO forces’ direct entry in the conflict. Some recent most developments strongly indicate that things are now turning to this direction.

President Recep Erdogan redefined the scope of ‘Euphrates Shield’ in a major statement on Monday, September 19. Having first taken over the Syrian border towns of Jarablus al-Rab, Turkish troops are “now going down as far as al-Bab”, i.e., 30 kilometres further inside the Syrian territory, as he put it. Erdogan posed the question that is on everyone’s lips: “But why are you going down there?” Then, he offered an answer himself: “We need to rid these places from being a threat to us”. Simple though it looks, Turkey’s decision indicates the critical turn the Syrian-conflict is likely to take in the montsh to come.

One day after Erdogan’s announcement, the Turkish government submitted a motion to the parliament for extending the mandate authorizing the Turkish Armed Forces to take military action in Syria. The proposal seeks one more year authorization for the government to carry out cross-border military operations against “terrorist threats” and allows deployment of foreign troops on Turkish territory too.

The new plan, to put is simplest terms, is to create a safe zone in Syria the size of the Grand Canyon, a campaign that could be one of the biggest foreign military interventions in its modern history. Needless to say, Erdogan’s new plan involves political and military risks. Militarily, this plan implies deployment of thousands of Turkish soldiers in Syria for years and increase risks of a possible military confrontation with Syrian forces as also with its biggest allies: Russia and Iran. Politically, it is likely to put its relations with regional and extra-regional powers on an entangled path. Already, Erdogan has largely ignored the criticism from Moscow, Tehran and Damascus that the Turkish incursion is a violation of international law and an infringement of Syria’s sovereignty (read: Erdogan outlined this plan only four days after the visit by the Russian Chief of General Staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov to Ankara on September 15).

However, it is not this side of the conflict that Erdogan is set to annoy, his drive against Kurds, many believe, is also likely to further fracture Turkey’s relations with the US. However, given the lukewarm attitude of Western powers, including the US, towards the concept of ‘safe zone’, this is least likely to happen. It is so because Erdogan seems to have anticipated that when a zone actually materializes, its raison d’etre as a strategic foothold inside Syria will at once become obvious to NATO. Hence, the September 20 motion, which is most likely to be passed by the parliament in its upcoming session, to authorize deployment of foreign (NATO/US) troops in Turkey and the related authorization to use Turkish territory as a transit route too.

Needless to say, there is no love lost between Erdogan and Kurdish militias and Turkey’s moves directly indicate that its primary motivation is to contain the Kurdish militias in a corner. In the first week of September, Turkey’s defence minister said the YPG should not be allowed to lead any operation on Raqqa and that “local forces” should be used instead. He added that Turkey would not tolerate the YPG extending their territory “by using the Daesh operations as an excuse”.

On Tuesday, September 5, Erdogan was reported to have said he and the US president Barack Obama were seeking to work together to push ISIL out of Raqqa. But like Turkey’s fight for Jarabulus and towns on the Syrian border, the battle for Raqqa carries more significance for Erdogan than the removal of ISIL, for it is mainly about limiting the gains of the YPG and expanding Turkey’s influence in Syria.

“Raqqa is one of the issues the US and Turkey are currently discussing. We need to demonstrate our presence in the region. If not, the terrorist groups such as Daesh, the PKK and the Syrian offshoot the People’s Protection Units [YPG] will occupy the vacuum,” he said, according to the pro-government Daily Sabah newspaper.

This is quite evident that any on-the-ground involvement in the push for Raqqa by Turkey would bring its forces on to a battlefield that the YPG-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have long been contesting. The move could also see Turkey’s troops, along with the rebel groups it supports, passing through or near areas which Syrian Kurds regard as their heartland.

In this context, the current push for the control of al-Bab carries a double advantage for Ankara. Firstly, Ankara estimates that it would give a major push for its project to create a ‘safe zone’ inside Syria, which will be free of attack by Russian and Syrian jets or ground forces and become a de facto Turkish enclave. Secondly, it also estimates that the control of al-Bab, which is only 50 kilometres northeast of Aleppo city, would enable Turkey to significantly reinforce the rebel forces controlling the eastern part of Aleppo city.

The primary question that one must be asking is: what critical objective(s) Erdogan is seeking to materialize out of this expanded military presence in Syria? By pushing for the control of al-Bab, Raqqa and Aleppo city at the same, not only is Turkey planning to drive the Kurds out of the focus but also preparing to become a major negotiator/stakeholder, alongside and on part with US and Russia, in any final settlement of the conflict. How did Erdogan achieve this feat? Simply put, he has quite stealthily inserted Turkey into the crucial fault lines in regional politics by cunningly exploiting the geopolitical rivalry between the US and Russia in Syria and the related ‘great game’ unfolding in the Black Sea region. His plan, in this context, is to maintain enough Syrian territory under his occupation for as long as the new US president arrives next year and the agenda for “regime change” in Syria is reborn.

Salman Rafi Sheikh, research-analyst of International Relations and Pakistan’s foreign and domestic affairs, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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Dams surrounding the stricken Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) have become de facto storage facilities for high concentrations of radioactive cesium as the element continues to accumulate.

With no effective countermeasures in sight, the government insists that water from the dams is safe, but to local residents, the government’s stance comes across as the shelving of a crucial problem.

« It’s best to leave it as it is, » an official from the Ministry of the Environment says, with the knowledge that in 10 dams in Fukushima Prefecture, there is soil containing concentrations of cesium over the limit set for designated waste — or over 8,000 becquerels per kilogram.

According to monitoring procedures carried out by the ministry, the levels of radioactive cesium detected in the dams’ waters, at 1 to 2 becquerels per liter, are well below the maximum amount permitted in drinking water, which is 10 becquerels per liter. The air radiation doses in the dams’ surrounding areas are at a maximum 2 microsieverts per hour, which the ministry says « does not immediately affect humans, if they avoid going near the dams. » This information is the main basis behind the central government’s wait-and-see stance. For the time being, the cesium appears to have attached itself to soil and is collected at the bottom of the dams, with the water above it blocking radiation from reaching and affecting the surrounding areas.

In a basic policy based on a special law, passed in August 2011, on measures for dealing with radioactive material following the onset of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the Environment Ministry stipulates the decontamination of areas necessary from « the standpoint of protecting human health. » The ministry argues that as long as high concentrations of cesium at the bottom of multiple dams in Fukushima Prefecture do not pose imminent danger to human health, there are no legal problems in the ministry refraining from taking action.

« If the dams dry up due to water shortages, we just have to keep people from getting close to them, » the aforementioned ministry official says. « If we were to try to decontaminate the dams, how would we secure water sources while the work is in progress? The impact of trying to decontaminate the dams under the current state of affairs would be greater than not doing anything. »

This stance taken by the central government has drawn protests from local residents.

« The Environment Ministry only says that it will monitor the dams’ water and the surrounding areas. They say, ‘We’ll deal with anything that comes up,’ but when asked what they plan to do if the dams break, they have no answers. It’s painful to us that we can only give town residents the answers that the Environment Ministry gives us, » says an official with the revitalization division of the Namie Municipal Government. The central government is set to lift evacuation orders for a part of the Fukushima Prefecture town of Namie in spring of 2017.

According to a Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries survey, Ogaki Dam, an agricultural dam in Namie, was estimated to have sediment totaling approximately 8 trillion becquerels of cesium as of December 2013. The agriculture ministry plans to re-survey the dam’s accumulated cesium amounts and water safety before the water is used for agricultural purposes. Agricultural and fishery products from Fukushima Prefecture are tested to ensure that radioactive substances that they contain are below the maximum permissible amounts stipulated by law before they are shipped for distribution.

Still, one town official worries how revelations of high levels of radioactive material in local dams will affect consumers.

« No matter how much they are told that the water is safe, will consumers buy agricultural products from Namie, knowing that there is cesium at the bottom of local dams? »

A 57-year-old vegetable farmer from Namie who has been evacuated to the Fukushima Prefecture city of Iwaki says, « The central government keeps on emphasizing that the dams are safe, but doesn’t seem to be considering any fundamental solutions to the problem. If this state of affairs persists, we won’t be able to return to Namie with peace of mind, nor will it be easy to resume farming. »

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Ukraine: Reconciliation Instead of Repression

septembre 28th, 2016 by Anti-imperialist Camp

Statement of European personalities in support of democratic forces

We are seriously concerned about the facts of the systematic pressure on the opposition in Ukraine.

On September 4th, right-wing radicals had the attacked “Inter” TV channel. The channel’s office was burned by nationalists, only the miracle helped to avoid human casualties. Threats of physical violence are coming against journalists and editors of “NewsOne” channel. In fact, all of the independent media are facing direct violence or the threat of violence from nationalist organizations.

We are also very concerned about information that right-wing radicals are controlled and directed by high-rank Ukrainian state officials and leadership of law enforcement authorities. Attacks on the media synchronized with the pressure of the authorities on the opposition leaders.

Alla Alexandrovska, a 68 year old former MP of the Communist Party is still imprisoned in the city of Kharkiv. Оne of the leaders of the parliamentary opposition Vadim Novinsky faced with threats of criminal prosecution soon after he tried to stop attempts of the authorities to interfere in the affairs of the Orthodox Church.

Today, Ukraine needs national reconciliation, not confrontation and witch-hunt.

We call on the leadership of Ukraine unswervingly adhere to the principles of political pluralism, respect for the independence of the media and the rights of the opposition.

First endorsers:

* Inge Höger, MP Die Linke
* Ulla Jelpke, MP Die Linke
* Alexander Neu, MP Die Linke
* Karin Binder, MP Die Linke
* Jürgen Aust, member leading body Die Linke North Rhine-Westphalia
* Thomas Zmrzly, activist, Duisburg
* Thomas Schmidt, Vice President ELDH European Association of Lawyers for Democracy & World Human Right, German section: Association of Democratic Lawyers
* Sylvia Gabelmann, scientific staff for Dr. Alexander S. Neu MB Die Linke
* Harri Grünberg, member leading body Die Linke
* Rainer Rupp, Journalist
* Heinrich Bücker, Coop Anti-War Cafe Berlin

* Stefano Fassina, former vice finance minister and MP
* Alfredo D’Attorre, MP Sinistra Italiana
* Marco Zanni, MEP for Movimento Cinque Stelle
* Moreno Pasquinelli, Programma 101

* PD Dr. Gernot Bodner, Assistant Professor at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences BOKU Vienna
* Dr. Leo Gabriel, Scientific director of the Institute for Intercultural Research and Cooperation, Member of the International Council of the World Social Forum, Co-chair of the NGO-Commitee for Sustainable Development of the United Nations, Coordinator of the international initiative www.peaceinsyria.org
* Hermann Dworczak, Austrian Social Forum
* Dr. Dipl. Ing. Mohamed Aburous, chemist and chairman Austrian-Arab Cultural Centre
* Imad Garbaya, Tunisian House
* Wilhelm Langthaler, author and activist
* Dr. Albert F. Reiterer, docent for sociology, retired
* Dr. Werner Murgg, member of Styrian regional parliament
* Martin Mair, Initiative for unemployed

* Panagiotis Sotiris, member of political secretariat of Popular Unity, Greece
* Yiannis Rachiotis, ELDH European Association of Lawyers for Democracy & World Human Right Greek section Alternative Intervention of Athens Lawyers
* Antonios Markopoulos, MP Syriza, chairman foreign policy committee of the Greek parliament

* Jacques Nikonoff, candidate of the Party of Deglobalization (Pardem) at the election of the French Republic

* Pedro Montes, President Socialismo 21

A reduced version of the call was adopted by 11 members of the European parliament.

To sign the petition:

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Uzbekistan: A Prime Target for Western Imperialism

septembre 28th, 2016 by Gearóid Ó Colmáin

“The final objective is the construction of a strong, democratic, law-governed state, and secular society, with a stable, socially-oriented market economy.”
Former Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov.

The recent death of Uzbek president Islam Karimov, who had been in power since the creation of the independent state of Uzbekistan 25 years ago, has brought the little-known Central Asian nation into the spotlight. Whenever the Western media referred to the deceased Uzbek leader, ‘dictator’ and ‘autocrat’ were the usual terms used to describe him.

But distant and unknown lands are often easily misrepresented –  particularly when misinterpretation is politically expedient. Few people have any idea of the history of Uzbekistan, nor of the complex social, economic and in particular, geopolitical context that gave rise to Karimov’s long tenure as the country’s leader. It is time to take a closer look at a nation people in the West may be hearing about more often in the near future.

Uzbek Democracy

The first thing to say about Uzbekistan is that it is a democracy, or to be more precise a bourgeois democracy. The country has a bicameral parliamentary system, with the Oliy Majlis or General Assembly and the Senat. There is separation of powers, and the electoral system has several political parties. The Western media establishment have probably told you it is a dictatorship. They are not entirely wrong. Uzbekistan is a dictatorship of those who own the means of production, just like France, the UK, the United States, Russia, China and most other countries in the world – that is what we call a bourgeois democracy.

On the 29th of March 2016, Islam Karimov was elected president for a fourth time with over 90 percent of the national vote. It would be his last term as president, as the constitution of 2002 stipulated that the president could only serve two terms. His previous two terms did not legally count, as they were before the adoption of the constitution in 2002.

The Organisation for Security and Organisation in Europe, the EU’s self-proclaimed ‘democracy’ observatory, has repeatedly dismissed the democratic election process in Uzbekistan. The reason for the EU’s hostility has nothing to do with democracy. The EU is hostile  because the Uzbek state prioritises national interests over those of the EU, the United States, and NATO. All three bodies are quick to label any country a ‘dictatorship’ if it refuses to submit obsequiously to the dictates of Western imperialism. Recent parliamentary reforms have given the Uzbek Prime Minister more powers; and Parliament now has the right to nominate the Prime Minister, who can also convene meetings of the cabinet. When one compares the powers of the Uzbek president to those of his French counterpart, it is difficult to understand how he could be called a ‘dictator’. In fact, since the reforms of the Fifth Republic, the French president has more power than most other presidents in the world. Yet no one calls him a dictator.

There are two points to consider here. European elites have perfected a form of pseudo-democracy which the French call ‘alternance’ (alternation in English)one of two or three main political parties gets elected every 5 years, so the face of power changes and it appears that the people have a say in how the country is governed, but in reality all parties represent the same class interests. In Western pseudo-democracy time limits are important and the more the leaders change the better. It is the brief temporality of an elected president which legitimises the pseudo-democracy. Presidents in European countries are usually unpopular, as they betray their own electoral promises. The public have no idea of what it is like to have a genuinely popular president. So, when they see a president such as Bashar al-Assad of Syria, Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus, or Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan getting 90% of the vote, they immediately assume the election must be rigged. This prejudice also prevents international experts from objectively analysing the country in question.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the election monitors from the Community of Independent States called the March 2016 Uzbek presidential elections “free” and “transparent”. They are not incorrect, for the democratic system in Uzbekistan is no less popular, and no less free, than the European or American systems. In fact, it is probably far more democratic. No foreign unelected parliament issues directives to Tashkent about how it manages its fiscal or economic policies, unlike all 27 states in the EU, which are subject to treaties made by bureaucrats that serve the interests of oligarchs at the worker’s expense.

Social Orientation

Since independence, Islam Karimov sought to maintain the country’s self-reliance in the face of a world rapidly deteriorating into corruption and chaos. Contrary to the advice of ‘Washington Consensus’ consultants, Uzbekistan brought finance and key sectors of the economy under state control. The Central Asian nation is rich in gold, silver, coal, oil, lead, zinc, tungsten, and uranium.  The results of Uzbekistan’s state-capitalism have been nothing short of dumbfounding. Uzbekistan has seen major economic growth at 7 and 8 percent, a thriving young population and a lowering, rather than the raising of inequalities. Western economists call it the ‘Uzbek growth puzzle’ – they cannot understand how a country which defies western financial ‘sapience’ could be so successful! Since June 2016, the Uzbek government has implemented legislation which requires foreign NGOs to seek approval from the Ministry of Justice before they can receive foreign funds. The government promotes the work of NGOS, provided they are not fronts for foreign powers attempting to subvert the democratic process.

Uzbekistan’s population is growing too, having central Asia’s largest population of 32 million people. Although Uzbekistan’s population growth is only half of what it was during the construction of socialism in the 1930s, the current healthy growth rate makes Uzbekistan one of the most promising countries in Central Asia, with over 60 percent of the nation’s population under the age of 25.

As the declassified US Nation Security Memorandum 200 on worldwide population growth published in 1974 shows, population growth in major developing countries rich in natural resources is likely to create discontent with U.S corporate exploitation of those countries due to the massive unemployment and poverty it will impose on the country’s young population. The Uzbek government is keenly aware of the importance of the country’s youth. A new law on state youth policy was promulgated by the country’s interim president Sharkat Mirziyoyev on the 14th of September and requires that new educational facilities for youth be set up around the country. Education is free in Uzbekistan, from primary to third level. As part of the state’s promotion of family values, 2016 was designated ‘Mother and Child Year’. The state is making astronomical efforts to improve health care for mothers and children. The state also provides favourable loans and in expensive accommodation to young families.

Given the fact that the Uzbek government is critical of Western attitudes towards sexuality and the family (President Karimov said that the West’s promotion of ‘democracy’ and homosexuality were part of the same anti-social agenda) there is no evidence whatsoever that the Uzbek state is engaging in practices which go against its own stated interests. Western Malthusian elites, however, regularly obsess about the ‘danger’ of population growth. It is therefore hardly surprising  that they would attribute their own criminal fantasies to their enemies. Stories of Uzbek doctors sterilising female patients have circulated in the Western media, including the BBC.

There is not a shred of evidence to support the far-fetched conspiracy theory worthy of a sci-fi movie. The false rumours have been spread by Uzbekistan pro-Western fifth columnists in the medical profession. They have a vested interest in promoting the privatisation of the country’s health care system, and as the West’s war against Syria has shown, the Hippocratic Oath is not always upheld by medical professionals. Uzbekistan provides free health care to all its children and consigns up to 9.9% of the state budget for that purpose. Americans believe they are free until they read their medical bills and realise they can no longer afford to live in a house. That never happens in the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Pornography and the promotion of violence in media are banned in Uzbekistan. Such laws contrast markedly with the United States where the promotion of violence and death is called ‘cinema’ and the sexual exploitation and reification of women is a key facette of ‘Western freedom’.

Uzbekistan has imposed extensive restrictions on genetically modified crops. GMOs in baby food were banned this year and further restrictions are likely. The development of agriculture is a major objective of the Uzbek government. The country is almost self-sufficient in the production of foodstuff and prices are kept under control by state intervention. Uzbekistan intends to become a big exporter of fruit and vegetables in the future. In 2009, I stayed in an Uzbek farmhouse. I had a chance to sample the products of local agriculture there. The quality of the fruits and vegetables I ate in Uzbekistan surpassed anything I had eaten in Europe.

During collectivisation in the 1930s, millions of poor Uzbek peasants were liberated from centuries of feudal exploitation and famine. For the first time in their history the peasants were the masters of the land. Soviet modernisation during the Stalin period brought great benefits to the toiling masses. Living standards were transformed.


However, the Khrushchevite reforms in the USSR in 1957 brought socialism to an abrupt and tragic end. Henceforth, the USSR was organised along capitalist lines. Moscow’s attitude to Uzbekistan changed too. The smaller republics lost the equal status they had enjoyed during the Stalin era and became satellite states of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RFSFR). Soviet socialism had morphed into Soviet social imperialism. Henceforth, the Uzbek Socialist Soviet Republic (Uzbek SSR) would be encouraged to concentrate on producing cotton for export to the RFSFR. Soviet monoculture was a disaster and Uzbekistan has made great strides in developing its post-Soviet model of agriculture. Like Cuba, post-soviet Uzbekistan is pursuing agricultural polices now on a capitalist basis which it would have pursued on a socialist basis were it not for the Khrushchevite counter-revolution of the 1960s.

Attitudes towards the country’s socialist past are often quite positive in Uzbekistan,( notwithstanding the anti-communist rhetoric of soviet state-capitalist apparatchiks such as Karimov!) When I visited the country in 2009, I was surprised to see that many schools still used old Soviet textbooks with quotations from Lenin on education. However, bourgeois nationalism is the ruling ideology today and most statues of Lenin have been replaced by those honouring Timurlane.

During the Stalin period, Soviet komsomols were sent to Central Asia to teach the peasantry and workers how to read and write in their own language. During this period books in the USSR were published in over 60 languages. Soviet policy required the fostering and promotion of indigenous languages and cultures. Although the USSR promoted ‘scientific atheism’, workers in the Uzbek SSR were busy renovating the country’s magnificent 14th and 15th century mosques. When the USSR was dissolved in 1991, it was the high educational level of the country’s people which enabled Uzbekistan to become the first post-soviet state to achieve pre-1989 levels of GDP. In many respects, the country’s current leadership is not too dissimilar to the Soviet period. It is precisely the social orientation of Uzbek state policy which worries Western corporate interests and their media disinformation agencies. State capitalism has enabled Uzbekistan to reduce some of the inequalities associated with neoliberalism. In 2015 the country’s decile dispersion ratio was reduced to 7.7% from 8.5 in 2010. There is hardly any other state on earth which has managed to reverse, albeit modestly, inequalities.

Lies About Uzbekistan

In order to create the impression that Uzbekistan is a ‘rogue state’ with no functioning legal and administrative system, stories which show that it has in fact such a system, are twisted and turned on their heads so as to indicate the opposite. Take, for example, the recent house arrest of Goulnara Karimova, the daughter of the former president. According to Le Monde, she was arrested due to the fact that she criticised those in power – a gigantic and ludicrous lie! Goulnara was arrested by the state authorities on serious charges of corruption, involving foreign companies in Holland, Denmark and Sweden, who attempted to bribe their way into the lucrative Uzbek telecommunications market. The affair had nothing to do with the president who continued to function. Contrary to Le Monde‘s spin, Goulnara Karimova was arrested, not because she criticised the state but because the state criticised her!

Her alleged role in the corruption case is still pending trial. It is of course, astonishing that a country could have such a strict legal system. In the West, no action is taken when the sons and daughters of ruling elites engage in corrupt business practices. No one batted an eyelid, for example, when former U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden’s son became a major stakeholder in Ukraine’s national gas companyafter the U.S.-backed coup there in 2014. The fact that former British Prime Minister David Cameron’s father had a fortune stacked away off-shore did not become a national crisis in Britain either. The son of millionaire former French foreign minister Laurent Fabius has a long list of corruption charges against him, but no one would have suggested that he was arrested due to a difference of opinion with the French government!

The Andijan Terrorist Insurgency

A major source of lies and disinformation about Uzbekistan concerns the way in which the government dealt with a terrorist insurgency in the South-Eastern city of Andijan in 2005. On the 12th/13th of May 2005, Islamist terrorists raided police barracks and administrative buildings in Andijan in an attempt to spark an Islamist insurgency against the secular state. The terrorists caused the death of up to 200 people and many police were tortured to death. Some, who escaped, had been doused in petrol and were about to be burnt alive.

The support shown for the terrorists by the United States and its European allies proves that the uprising had the support of the Central Intelligence Agency. The U.S. State Department propaganda ‘NGOs’ Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch were instrumental in providing disinformation about the terrorist insurgency to the Western media establishment, who then dutifully called the terrorists ‘peaceful protesters’, blaming the violence on the Uzbek police and military. A highly comprehensive study of the events was made by Dr Shiren Akiner of London University, who concluded that the Uzbek government’s version of events was far closer to the truth than the concocted stories of ‘oppositionists’ liberally quoted in the Western press.

The Andijan insurgency was called a ‘massacre’ and was used by the United States to impose sanctions on the country. The techniques of the Andijan insurgency were used again in 2011 by Western intelligence agencies when terrorists stormed a police barracks in Benghazi, Libya, executing several police officers, while the media claimed that they had been shot by Gaddafi’s ‘henchmen’ as they had refused to fire on ‘peaceful protesters’. The Big Lie about the Andijan Massacre is still being used today to demonise Uzbek democracy and justify Western aggression towards the country.

Boiling people to death!

Craig Murray is a former British ambassador to Uzbekistan who was dismissed from his post in 2004 by the Foreign Office, reportedly due to accusations of sexual misconduct. Murray has done much to publicise unsubstantiated allegations of prisoners being boiled to death by the Uzbek security forces. None of the allegations have ever been proven but they have become part of the propaganda arsenal used by Western imperialism against the staunchly independent Uzbek state. Murray has since turned into a ‘human rights’ activist and has accused the Uzbek government of holding thousands of ‘political prisoners’. A political prisoner is any crook or misfit stupid enough to believe that they can build a utopia by accepting Western money for the purposes of destabilising the Uzbek state.

There are many of these crooks languishing in Uzbek prisons; takfiri terrorism would have destroyed the country had it not been for carefully coordinated state repression. That is not to say that all prisoners in Uzbekistan are guilty of the crimes of which they are accused. In bourgeois states, justice invariably involves the wealthy locking up the poor. There is no reason to believe things are any different in Uzbekistan. French prisons are teeming with young paupers locked up for months and years awaiting trial, many of whom are innocent. In fact, French prisons are hell on earth, where torture is widely practised. Thousands of prisoners attempt suicide to escape the torment.


British prisons are no better, torture and misconduct by staff are common. The U.S Government openly supports the use of torture against prisoners. So, it is this context of the global problem of prison torture that one must investigate claims made by the Western political establishment against Uzbekistan. Murray has accused the Uzbek state of boiling prisoners to death. The Uzbek government has denied the allegations and have cooperated with international agencies investigating their prisons. Since 2002, the International Red Cross have been visiting Uzbek prisons and not found any evidence of torture. Rather than simply telling the truth, however, they have made vague and unsubstantiated claims that the Uzbek authorities have failed to cooperate with their investigations. Could it be that the Uzbek government’s failure to cooperate is their failure to supply the Red Cross with the proof they need to condemn the country’s treatment of prisoners? After all, the Red Cross, far from being an independent organisation, works very closely with Western governments. In fact, many of the organisation’s managers should be in jail for the embezzlement of billions of dollars in charity money, most notably in the case of Haiti.

One will recall the theatre of the absurd during the Western-backed war against the People’s Democratic Republic of Afghanistan during the 1980s when the government of that country did everything in its power to cooperate with the ‘concerns’ of Amnesty International, even opening many of its prisons to their investigators, while U.S National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, the architect of the CIA’s terror campaign, sat on Amnesty’s Board of Directors!

Since the 9/11 attacks in 2001, many leftists criticised US support for unpopular secular dictators as one of the reasons driving Islamist enmity for the United States. It is what I refer to as the ‘Angry Arab’ theory of the war on terror. The theory is popular in Soros-funded pseudo-leftist media outlets. It was the argument used by the Qatari TV station Al Jazeera to create the impression in 2011 that a ‘popular uprising’ was taking place in Tunisia and Egypt against ‘US-backed dictators’. Many leftists based their criticisms of the Tunisian and Egyptian regimes on their supposed lack of solidarity with the Palestinians and their allegedly brutal treatment of Islamists. This attitude played right into the hands of the US NGOs who instigated the notorious, right-wing, reactionary ‘Arab Spring’ – a series of people-power coups which wrecked two nation-states who were beginning to navigate away from the US sphere of influence.

The fact that Tunisia under Ben Ali had been praised by the UN for its poverty reduction programme and that Tunisia’s National Solidarity Fund was about to be adopted as a global model, was of no significance to the leftist aficionados of CIA revolutions! Murray has made no criticism of the criminals running Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International and the outrageous lies they spread in the service of war and genocide. While many see Murray as a crusader for ‘human rights’ and ‘peace’, his vilification of Uzbekistan serves British interests in the same way his comments as British ambassador that opening the country up to foreign plunder was the solution to the country’s supposed democratic deficit. Murray is lying about Uzbekistan and he has done his best to silence people with superior credentials – honest and forthright academics such as Dr. Shirin Akiner.

The ‘Big Prize’

In his 1998 book ‘The Grand Chessboard – American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperative”, Zbigniew Brzezinski calls Central Asia and Russia the ‘grand prize’ coveted by US Imperialism. With its vast mineral resources covering Mendeleev’s entire Periodic Table, its strategic position along the Silk Road, Uzbekistan is a key connecting state in the Russian and Chinese-led project of Eurasian integration. New high-speed trains linking the country’s major cities make Uzbekistan a key partner in Eurasian infrastructural integration.

Uzbekistan has close historical, religious and cultural ties with Iran and relations between the two countries have been good. Iran’s emergence as a regional power will foster further commercial and diplomatic links with Uzbekistan. The Karimov administration showed considerable dexterity in its foreign relations. In order to maintain independence from Russian imperialism, Tashkent turned more towards Beijing. On the 19th of December 2012 Uzbekistan left the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO). The decision was taken in accordance with the country’s new foreign policy concept of the ‘Four Nos’: no foreign military bases; no military blocks; no international peacekeeping operations , and no to the mediation of Central Asian conflicts by imperial powers.During the US-backed coup in the Ukraine, Karimov remained neutral.

Uzbekistan has strong economic ties with South Korea, particularly in the automobile market. Uzbekistan intends to emulate South Korean industrial development. Although US/South Korean relations are good, recent moves by South Korea to increase relations with Russia and China have troubled Washington. If the US were to destabilise Uzbekistan, South Korean interests would be greatly affected, pushing that country closer to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, and possible steps towards unification with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Recent loan cancelations from Russia have improved relations between Moscow and Tashkent. If the US decides to ‘take out’ the Uzbek state using Takfiri terrorists as foot soldiers, it will have to turn to Moscow. Moreover, Russia shares the same concerns about GMO crops as Uzbekistan. Given Chinese imperialism’s embrace of GMOS, Tashkent needs to maintain independence from Beijing’s increasingly assertive agro-business interests.

US Government foreign policy analysts have acknowledged that Uzbekistan is the key to US strategy in Central Asia. A presidential election is due to be held on the 4th of December this year. The current interim president Shavkat Miroziyoyev is considered by some circles in  the West as a ‘reformer’ – in other words, weak, corrupt and likely to be easily bought out by US interests. Whether of not that is true remains to be seen. The head of Uzbekistan’s National Security Service, Rustam Inoyatov, is considered a ‘hard-liner’. The country will need a hard-liner who will continue the Karimov legacy if it is to survive the coming years. There is a significant threat of Takfiri terrorism coming from Tajikistan, where Islamic State terrorists are being trained by the United States. On the very day Islam Karimov’s illness was made public, the border with Tajikistan was closed due to the terrorist threat. Tajik separatism in Samarkand and Bukhara could also be revived if the U.S were to apply the ‘Syrian model’ to Uzbekistan. Although Tadjiks are a small minority, their Persian ancestry and history is quite antagonistic to the Turkic Uzbeks. In 1992, The Independent newspaper wrote:

“Some young Tajiks talk darkly of the need for Samarkand and Bukhara to merge into a greater Tajikistan, an area that would correspond to that ruled by the emirate of Bukhara before Samarkand fell to the Russian empire in 1868.”

Tajik separatism was palpable when I visited Samarkand in 2009, with many people there identifying as Tajiks rather than Uzbeks. The country’s internal divisions could also be instrumentalised by imperial powers. The autonomous regions of Karakalpakstan are rumoured to be considering annexation (Crimea-style to Russia) thought there is no evidence to support these claims. Nevertheless, the US might encourage the region to secede from Uzbekistan while blaming the destabilisation on Russia. Alternatively, a US-instigated coup bringing fascists to power might move Karakalpakstan closer to Moscow. Russia could also use its influence in the region to pressure Tashkent to hold its place on the Eurasian chessboard. Moscow-based geopolitical analyst Andrew Korybko sees a possible ‘kossovisation’ of the gas-rich Karakalpakstan region by the US as a likely component of US-instigated hybrid war.

President Putin described Islam Karimov’s death as “a great loss”. Karimov helped build a modern, prosperous, independent nation in an extremely hostile international environment. Strong and competent leaders are hard to find. If you hear media reports in December of ‘peaceful, pro-democracy protesters’ being repressed by a ‘brutal dictator killing his own people’, you can safely assume that the Uzbek people have elected a popular president. Some philologists say the word Uzbek means ‘independent’. Karimov did a good job protecting the nation’s freedom. Let’s hope his legacy is continued.

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If ever needed, the American Legion stands ready to protect our country’s institutions and ideals as the Fascisti dealt with the destructionists who menaced Italy!… The American Legion is fighting every element that threatens our democratic government – Soviets, anarchists, IWW, revolutionary socialists and every other red…. Do not forget that the Fascisti are to Italy what the American Legion is to the United States. –American Legion Commander Alvin Owsley (1923)

We need a fascist government in this country… to save the nation from the communists who want to tear it down and wreck all that we have built in America. The only men who have the patriotism to do it are the soldiers, and Smedley Butler is the ideal leader. He could organize a million men overnight. — Gerald MacGuire, former commander of the Connecticut American Legion and coup-plotter in the “Business Plot” to overthrow FDR (1934)

A clique of U.S. industrialists is hell-bent to bring a fascist state to supplant our democratic government and is working closely with the fascist regime in Germany and Italy. I have had plenty of opportunity in my post in Berlin to witness how close some of our American ruling families are to the Nazi regime. … A prominent executive of one of the largest corporations, told me point blank that he would be ready to take definite action to bring fascism into America if President Roosevelt continued his progressive policies.William Dodd, U.S. Ambassador to Germany, in a letter to FDR (1936)

In December 1933, retired US Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler, winner of two Congressional Medals of Honor, toured the country on behalf of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was urging WWI veterans to organize in order to win the benefits promised to them after the war. Butler apparently believed that the American Legion was controlled by Wall Street financiers, and he believed that veterans were better served by the VFW than the American Legion. In fact, Butler once proclaimed that he had never “known one leader of the American Legion who had never sold them out–and I mean it. » 

In November 1934, Butler testified to a congressional subcommittee that representatives of powerful industrial interests and the American Legion were trying to induce him to lead American Legion veterans and other ex-WWI soldiers in a campaign to lead a military coup d’etat against President Roosevelt.

In 1934, American industrialists, such as John D. Rockefeller, the duPont family, J P Morgan and many other ultra-wealthy conservatives (including George W. Bush’s grandfather), plotted to overthrow newly elected president Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Those billionaire elites were afraid that FDR was going to implement programs of social uplift, which would eat into their fortunes and political power. FDR was indeed aiming to help out the impoverished multitudes that were suffering from the Wall Street Crash-generated Great Depression, which was caused by the financial schemes perpetrated by them in the roaring 20s.

As always, US financial elites from 80 years ago (as is true of the today’s financial elites from Brazil) met the definition of both sociopathic personality disorder AND fascist. America’s 1934 financial elites were admirers of Hitler and Mussolini, and they were more concerned about their own pocketbooks than about the suffering of others.

To the American coup-plotters, the quickest answer to “the FDR problem” was a military coup, which is probably what the ultra-rich think of first when it looks like their government is threatening to interfere with their preferred unregulated crony capitalist economic system.

The plotters tried to recruit Butler to lead the coup. He was a war hero who was trusted by his soldiers, but he was not a friend of Wall Street. In his short book, “War is a Racket”, Butler wrote:

I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

The “Business Plot” was to be secretly financed by members of the Morgan and Du Pont empires. A partial list included the following (from http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/Coup.htm).

 “Irenee Du Pont – Right-wing chemical industrialist and founder of the American Liberty League); Grayson Murphy – Director of Goodyear, Bethlehem Steel and a group of J.P. Morgan banks; William Doyle – Former state commander of the American Legion and a central plotter of the coup; John Davis – Former Democratic presidential candidate and a senior attorney for J.P. Morgan; Al Smith – Roosevelt’s bitter political foe from New York. (Smith was a former governor of New York and a co-director of the American Liberty League); John J. Raskob – A high-ranking Du Pont officer and a former chairman of the Democratic Party; Robert Clark – One of Wall Street’s richest bankers and stockbrokers; Gerald MacGuire – Bond salesman for Clark, and a former commander of the Connecticut American Legion. (MacGuire was the key recruiter of Butler.)”

Many American millionaires of that era, following the Banker’s War of 1914-1918 (WWI), were not ashamed to admire fascists like Hitler and Mussolini. Fascism provided the stability that favored capitalism over socialism. The most outspoken pro-fascist millionaires were Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller, John and Allen Dulles, along with many others with ill-gotten gains who thrived following the Wall Street Crash of 1929.  (Besides being millionaires, the two Dulles brothers would later become Eisenhower’s Secretary of State and CIA Director.)

Butler cleverly pretended to go along with the plan at first, deciding to betray it to Congress when the time was right.

When Butler went public in 1934, the plot fell apart. Under oath, he revealed the details of the coup before the House of Representative committee that would later become the infamous House Un-American Activities Committee in the paranoid 1950s. The HUAC was the committee that destroyed the careers of hundreds of innocent Americans in communist witch hunts.

The Wall Street-friendly House committee never called any of the named coup plotters to testify. They whitewashed the final report, actually deleting the names of powerful elites whose reputations “needed to be protected”. Just like today, Wall Street controlled Congress also was in bed with military groups, including Butler’s enemy, the American Legion. None of the guilty were indicted, tried or executed, despite the fact that the treason they were guilty of was a capital crime. And of course, just like today, none of the Wall Street or War Street fraudsters went to jail, and so the corruption goes on and on.

Today’s financial elites in Brazil probably learned a lot from America’s Business Plot. Below is the evidence from Brazilian liberation theologian and truth-teller Leonardo Boff.

Please note the many similarities between the cunning paths that the multinational moneyed elites in both Brazil and America have taken in order to undermine their respective constitutions and protect their own wealth and power at the expense of the 99% – whom they despise. I have minimally edited portions of Boff’s original article.

*     *     *

Brazil’s “Saddest Day”: The Parliamentary Coup of President Dilma Rousseff

By Leonardo Boff – 26 September 2016

The first half of this combined article was published at the TRANSCEND Media Service:


(The second half was emailed to me by Boff)

And it happened in those days that hired assassins disguised as Senators decided to attack an honorable and incorruptible woman who blocked their path to State power. Once in power, they would do what they had always done: take the public goods for their personal enrichment, escape the reach of Justice and carry on with their privileged situation, as always, at the expense of the people they want to exclude and marginalize as chattel.

They took sadistic pleasure in hurting an incorruptible and honorable woman, on the pretext that some of her fiscal practices had been criminal, something that the great majority of legal and economics specialists denied. They staged a farce and betrayed the Constitution.

Removing a President without having proven a crime is a coup. The correct term for it is: a “parliamentary coup.” They were petulant, hypocritically claiming that it made them feel bad, even as they spoke of ushering in “a new spring, the beginning of a new Brazil, prosperous and just.” A lie!

Keeping the Poor Illiterate and Unhealthy by Privatizing Education and Healthcare

The (coup-plotter’s) published plan, “A Bridge to the Future”, is in fact a bridge backwards, because it would eliminate the gains that the workers, women, Blacks, indigenous peoples, the LGBT communities, the poor and the invisible, had won for the first time in our history in terms of social inclusion, better salaries, health, education, labor law, retirement and access to technical and higher education. And what is worse: they want to keep the people illiterate, so that they will be silent and unable to demand their rights and dignity.

Now it is the Market that matters. Someone who wants medical treatment must go to the Market and pay. Whoever wants to go to a University must first go to the Market and pay. Everything will be turned into merchandise to be bought and sold….

At the beginning of the conquest and domination of Mexico, there was “the saddest night”, in 1520, when much of the Spanish army was destroyed. Now we have “the saddest day” when a woman President was unjustly divested of the power she gained through the ballot. In the Senate chambers and in the hallways there is spilled blood. A “political sad night” has fallen on Brazil, stealing hope from those who had climbed out of misery, and who now risk falling back into it.

And those who struggled to consolidate democracy of a social kind and to respect the will of the people, as expressed at the ballot boxes, were betrayed again. This is “the night of the long knives” using weapons raised against an honorable woman and gravely wounding the sovereignty of the people.

Today, August 31, 2016, is a day of sadness. Those who mounted that spectacle, along with their assassin-Senators, will carry the stigma of “golpistas” for the rest of their lives. (Ed note: Golpistas is Spanish for fraudster, scammer, swindler, or one who takes part in a coup d’état.)

Their consciences (if they have any) will haunt them, and their legacies will be destroyed….They smothered truth under the mantel of justice.

They will be in sinister company, the company of those who, years ago, assaulted the State, oppressed the people, tortured many, as they have done now with President Rousseff They have murdered those who sought to restore democracy.

And, at the end of their lives, they will face a greater Judge, who will expose all the injustice they have consciously committed.

The Coups of 1964 and 2016: Coups by the Same Class

The coups of 1964 and 2016 share a common structural nature.  Both were class coups, by the holders of money and power: the first used the military, the second used the parliament. …

The assault on the State happened in 1964 and hardened in 1968, with police state repression, brutality, torture and murder. The National Security Regime became the Capitalist Security Regime.

The 2016 coup has been thorough investigated by author Jesse Souza. In his “Radiography of the Coup », Souza unveils the mechanisms that allowed the moneyed elites to organize the coup, which was carried out in their name by Parliament….

As in the Rest of the World, the Elite 0.05% of Brazil are Undermining the Well-being of the Bottom 99.5%

Souza emphasizes “that all the coups, including the present one, are a fraud well perpetrated by the owners of money, who in fact are the true ‘owners of power’”.

Who makes up that elite class?

The elites are before anything the financial elites, that direct the great banks and investment funds and lead other moneyed sectors such as agribusiness, industry and commerce, supported by the means of the mass media that systematically twists and falsifies the social reality as if it were a ‘devastated land and bankrupt country’ (this is an exaggeration), hiding the corporate interests behind the fraudulent coup.

The engine of the whole process, Souza states again, is the greed of the moneyed elite, who easily appropriate the collective wealth, with other partners such as the ultraconservative means of communication, the juridical-police complex of the State, and a portion of the Supreme Federal Tribunal….

The process of impeachment went to the Senate. The Senate moved to impeach the President for the crime of fiscal responsibility. Principal jurists and economists, besides notable testimonies during the hearings and in the official reports of several institutions, roundly denied the existence of responsibility. The majority of Senators did not even bother to attend the meetings with the highly qualified specialists, because they had already made the decision to impeach….

One of the motives behind the coup was also to put beyond the reach of Justice the 49 senators (out of 81) indicted or implicated in corruption.  In this way, with the exception of the courageous defenders of President Rousseff, amoral politicians decided to remove an honest and innocent woman who had been elected president with 54 million votes. 

Back in 1964, and now in 2016, be it through the military or through Parliament, the same logic functions: the economic elites and the conservative political caste undertook the theft of a great part of the national treasure. Souza counts 71,440 people, only 0.05% of the population, as undermining the lives and well-being of the large majority of the people who have been reduced to poverty. A large part of Congress is complicit in this coup.  In this Congress the same structural intent of guaranteeing the status quo that favors their privileges and earnings.

The coup-plotter’s project, cunningly and misleadingly called “A Bridge to the Future”, is a (neo-)liberalism so shameless as to make one blush. The document reveals the purpose of the coup:

…to minimize the State, reduce salaries, liquidate the policy of revalorization of salaries, slash monies for social programs, privatize state enterprises, exclude obligatory expenses of health and education, reduce to a minimum everything that relates to culture, human rights, women and minorities. The ministry is made up of Whites, and a great part of its members are accused of corruption.  There are no women, Blacks, or representatives of the minorities.

We are in the midst of a terrifying retrogressive political-social movement, that worsens inequality, our perverse social wound, and erases the social achievements of the 13 years of the Lula-Dilma governments.

There is massive resistance and opposition in the streets, by strong social groups and intellectuals who do not accept a conspiratorial president who has no credibility. The solution would be general elections, and through popular sovereignty, a new President would be chosen who would truly represent the country.

Leonardo Boff is a Brazilian theologian, ecologist, writer and university professor exponent of Liberation Theology. He is a former friar, member of the Franciscan Order, respected for his advocacy of social causes and environmental issues. Boff is a founding member of the Earthcharter Commission.

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

http://duluthreader.com/articles/categories/200_Duty_to_Warn http://www.globalresearch.ca/authors?query=Gary+Kohls+articles&by=&p=&page_id=  or at https://www.transcend.org/tms/search/?q=gary+kohls+articles

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Must We Be Enemies? Russia, Putin and the United States

septembre 28th, 2016 by Jack A. Smith

Most Americans know very little about Russia, and what they do know is subverted by many decades of U.S. government anti-Soviet and anti-Russian propaganda. From 1917 to Dec. 26, 1991, when the USSR imploded, Washington depicted the Soviet Union as an immoral aggressor state seeking to destroy capitalism and freedom in the United States and rule the world. Again, from the early 2000s increasingly until today Russia is depicted as a pariah state and danger to the U.S. and its allies.

During the 10 years from 1991 to about 2001, while taking many bows for its Cold War « victory, » Washington worked with the new Moscow government led by pliable alcoholic President Boris Yeltsin to eliminate the last vestiges of socialism and to in time catapult the new and dependent capitalist state into the U.S. sphere of influence.

In the chaos of the USSR’s abrupt implosion after 74 years, Russia quickly transformed into a desperately poor country of impoverished citizens. Meanwhile oligarchs became fabulously wealthy purchasing much of the infrastructure of the former powerful communist state at absurdly low prices. Foreign owned businesses paid bargain basement prices to exploit the country’s natural resources.

Yeltsin was not popular. Many Russians disagreed with his decision to break apart the Soviet Union and his embrace of neoliberal economics. In early 2003 there was a massive clash between Yeltsin and parliament. He wanted to dismiss the parliament and was supported by the Bill Clinton administration in Washington. In early October 2003 there were mass protests in the street and opposition in parliament to some of his rulings. Yeltsin called out the military and ordered tanks to fire into the parliament building, causing vast destruction and the loss of lives. When the uprising was over after a few days the government said that 187 civilians were killed and 437 wounded, but critics announced that up to 2,000 people had been killed. President Clinton did not criticize the Russian leader’s action. Secretary of State Warren Christopher was soon sent to Moscow to deliver a speech praising Russian democracy.

At the same time Russian public opinion changed from positive toward the United States to largely negative, according to numerous reliable polls. At first the majority believed the U.S would partner with Russia as a friend to reconstruct the new society. But the West, led by Washington, was seen to be dubious and distrusting of the new Russia.

According to Moscow’s Levada Center polling organization:

« The U.S. bombing of Iraq in 1991 was the first major challenge to pro-American sentiment….[By] 1997, half of the Russian population believed that Russia and the West were foreign policy adversaries, while only 30% saw them as allies. At the same time, only a third perceived the U.S. as a threat to world security — something that soon changed dramatically.

 »The events of 1998-1999 were critical for Russian attitudes toward the U.S. This period marked a series of events that strained bilateral relations: NATO intervention in Yugoslavia, the start of the Second Chechen War and the West’s subsequent criticism of Russia, the U.S. withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM), and the first eastward expansion of NATO since the collapse of the Soviet Union…. Surveys showed that 55% of the population believed the U.S. position on the ABM Treaty to be against Russia’s interests. Almost the same percentage (50%) felt that Russia should respond to NATO expansion by increasing its security and defense capacities. »

Relations wavered over the years on the way toward today’s virtual Second Cold War.

Enter Putin

In August 1999 Yeltsin, who was very ill, named Vladimir Putin — a former 17-year mid-ranking officer in the foreign intelligence sector of the Committee for State Security (KGB) — to succeed him. Putin won his own presidential election the next year. He has won every election since then and even his Russian opponents acknowledge that his popularity and approval rating is 80%. A relative multitude of oligarchs still exist but are largely under Putin’s control. They do as he says, they keep their money.

After Putin’s first few years it became obvious to Washington that the new leader had every intention of keeping Russia totally independent of the United States. Worse yet, from the White House point of view, even though he never weakened his support for capitalism, it became clear to American leaders that Putin planned to rebuild Russia into a world power, not a defeated junior state in Europe subject to Washington’s whims and NATO’s muscle. Not only that, but Moscow became a major critic of American unilateral global hegemony and its aggressive foreign/military policies.

The second wave of anti-Russian/anti-Putin propaganda, building on the first, began reaching a peak several years after Putin took office, and certainly continues throughout the U.S. political system today:

President Obama on Putin: « He has a foot very much in the Soviet past. » Actually that isn’t true. Putin today is a culturally conservative capitalist member of the Russian Orthodox Church who has in recent years sharply criticized revolutionary leader V. I. Lenin and the Bolshevik government that took power in 1917. He has stated that Russia’s « destiny was crippled by the totalitarian regime » of Joseph Stalin.

Putin is staunch nationalist — and/or neo-traditionalist — dedicated to restoring Russia to the status of a major power that it enjoyed from the days of Peter the Great (1682–1725) over 300 years including the Soviet era until 1991, just a quarter-century ago. Since that beginning Russia has always been a strong centralized state and Putin is dedicated to its continuation. He conducts what has been termed a managed democracy — combining strong leadership from the chief executive in the Kremlin with rights for the people. The large majorities who vote for him are well aware he makes just about all the important decisions by himself and evidently believe he should continue, as long as they are largely correct for Russia.

U.S. press reports that suggest there is massive opposition to « dictator » Putin are incorrect. Bloomberg columnist Henry Meyer, who frequently reports on Russia, wrote this Sept. 2:

The most popular politician in Russia is among the West’s most reviled: Vladimir Putin. His personal style matches the muscular nationalism he displayed when he annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in 2014 and embarked on a surprise air campaign in Syria the following year. It resonates in a culture that admires strength. His instinctively conservative social views, reflected in an anti-gay law that he passed in defiance of foreign protests, also go down well in a country where liberal values are scarce. Rising oil income in the first part of his rule boosted living standards and allowed Russia to reassert power following a decade of post-Soviet humiliation. Now Putin’s personal appeal is being tested by economic hardship caused by a collapse in oil prices and financial and energy sanctions provoked by the Ukraine intervention. His popularity has hardly been dented. At least so far.

An article by analyst Gordon M. Hahn in the Dec. 25, 2015, Russian Insider titled Sorry to Disappoint You, but Putin Is Not a Conservative, reports: « Putin is a statist in politics, economics, and sociocultural matters. In politics, the state and political stability are almost always to be given preference over individual liberty and freedom when these principles clash. For example, if mass public demonstrations run the risk of devolving into violence or attempts to overthrow the authorities, then those demonstrations will be banned or other wise restricted.

This is not to say there is no freedom of association and speech in Russia. There are political protests held somewhere in Russia everyday, and all points of view can be heard on the state and private airwaves, print media, and Internet.

Most of Putin’s decisions relate to resolving important immediate problems and some of them are unexpected and audacious, such as annexation of Crimea (a big boost to his domestic popularity) and Russia’s entry into the Syrian civil war on the side of the government, much to Washington’s disapproval. (We discuss both these issues at length below.) He doesn’t seem to possess either an extensive long-range plan, or a strongly held ideology.

Since both the U.S. and Russia are now capitalist, there is no longer an ideological content to Washington’s aversion to a stronger Russia. It’s geopolitical, and if Russia agreed to follow U.S. global leadership the problem would dissolve (as it would for the People’s Republic of China were it to bend the knee to Uncle Sam).

Vice President Biden says Putin’s « a dictator. » He’s not. His electoral popularity keeps him in office. There were five candidates for president in March 2012, the last presidential election. Putin, the candidate of the centrist United Russia party, received 45,513,000 votes. The Communist Party candidate got 12,288,624 votes. Mikhail Prokhorov, a self-nominated billionaire oligarch, got 5,680,558. The far right Liberal Democratic Party compiled 4,448,959 votes. The social-democratic A Just Russia Party pulled in 2,755,642. There were reports of ballot stuffing but that could not possibly have determined Putin’s victory given the vote count.

The number and ideological variety of the four viable Russian parties compare quite favorably with a U.S. two-party system composed of the far right Republicans and the center right Democrats in actual contention, while election rules and government/mass media propaganda continually marginalize progressive, left and socialist third parties.

The September Election

In parliamentary elections Sept. 18, Bloomberg News reported:

« President Vladimir Putin secured a crushing victory that gave the United Russia party its biggest-ever majority. Despite Russia’s longest recession in two decades, the pro-Kremlin party will get 343 out of 450 seats in the State Duma, the lower house of parliament…. The [liberal] opposition party… failed to garner a single seat.

Here are the results: United Russia: 54.2%; Communist Party:13.4%; Liberal Democratic Party: 13.2% A Just Russia: 6.2%.

The anti-Putin New York Times couldn’t conceal that United Russia won « without many voting irregularities » (there were very few) but then charged that this evidently free and honest election indicated « Russia appears to have returned full circle to a pseudo-parliament whose only function is to give a semblance of legitimacy to an authoritarian ruler. »

The Carnegie Moscow Center (a subdivision of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington) published an important article Sept. 20 titled « Russia’s Lost Liberals » that pointed out the election results reflect a « gradual decline in support for Russian liberals over two decades….The two main liberal parties, Yabloko and PARNAS, received less than 2% and less than 1%, respectively, of votes cast…..

The current situation is indeed bleak for Russian liberal parties. Only one-third of self-proclaimed liberal party supporters in the 1990s and 2000s still support liberals. Two-thirds have grown disillusioned with liberals and tend to cast their votes for United Russia or the Communist Party. So, who still votes for liberals? Most of their supporters are educated and affluent residents of Moscow. This segment is doing better economically than most Russians. They are more confident in their future and satisfied with their present. They are, on the whole, much happier than the average Russian. Despite these differences, they approve of Putin’s performance as much as the general population.

Many U.S. Politicians Despise Putin

Politicians plus the commercial mass media despise Putin and oppose Russia. Some simply hate him, such as Sen. John McCain, who said he looked into the Russian leader’s eyes and « saw three things — a K and a G and a B. » Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates called Putin a « stone-cold killer. »

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who may become president in November, has been persistently critical of Putin and Russia for many years. During her 2008 campaign for the presidency she commented:

« He was a KGB agent. By definition, he doesn’t have a soul. »

In more recent years as Secretary of State, Clinton made her contempt toward Putin very public. During Russia’s parliamentary election of 2011 and the presidential election of 2012 she in effect accused him of rigging the outcome. Putin said at the time that her intervention generated several demonstrations against him in Moscow. He has not forgiven Clinton for this.

Now in her second presidential campaign, Clinton and the leadership of the Democratic Party seem to be launching a new Cold War against Russia. This dangerous escalation of tensions is partly the Clinton campaign’s opportunistic response to a statement by her billionaire businessman opponent Donald Trump to the effect that he wanted to create better relations between the world’s two principal nuclear powers. This was perhaps the one good thing Trump has suggested during his otherwise crudely absurd and racist, sexist, anti-Latino, anti-Muslim, nativist campaign.

Trump’s running mate, Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana, echoing his leader’s latest praise for the Russian leader, said on CNN in September, « I think it’s inarguable that Vladimir Putin has been a stronger leader in his country than Barack Obama has been in this country. » Bur another top Republican, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, told reporters on Sept: 8 « Putin is an aggressor who does not share our interests. »

The Clinton forces will continue through the campaign to excoriate Trump as a Russian dupe who will work with Moscow against U.S. interests. Her campaign manager Robby Mooch has gone to such lengths as this in characterizing the Republican contender: « Trump is just a puppet of the Kremlin. » « We need Donald Trump to explain to us the extent to which the hand of the Kremlin is at the core of his campaign. » « Trump has deep financial ties that potentially reach into the Kremlin. »

Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine has joined Clinton in criticizing Trump, saying Sept. 6: « We are entitled to get the information to get to the bottom of this cozy bromance between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. »

Clinton insists that the Russian government hacked the Democratic National Committee’s computers and passed the contents of 20,000 E-mails to WikiLeaks for worldwide dissemination. Some of the mail proved that the Democratic Committee worked to prevent Sen. Bernie Sanders from winning the nomination. At best the U.S government and FBI have expressed « high confidence » that Russia was involved, but does not maintain they actually did it and offers no proof despite possessing the most sophisticated and widespread surveillance apparatus in the world. Interestingly, the New York Times reported Sept. 8 « The FBI is investigating whether Russia hacked into [DNC] computer systems, » weeks after the initial allegations were made and they evidently are still at it.

The same Times article reported « Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter lashed out at Russia on Sept. 7, accusing the government of President Vladimir V. Putin of demonstrating a ‘clear ambition to erode’ international order and warning Russia to stay out of the American election…. Carter used language that evoked a time before the fall of the Berlin Wall, when leaders in Washington and Moscow were entrenched global adversaries. »

CNN reported Democrats asked the FBI Aug. 30 to investigate whether Trump’s campaign had any « overt and covert » connection to cyberattacks alleged to be conducted by Russian government hackers. The letter from the top ranking Democrats on the Oversight, Judiciary, Foreign Affairs and Homeland Security committees follow a similar missive from Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who also asked the FBI to look into any possible link between the campaign and Russian meddling in the U.S. election.

A measure of Trump-Russia reality was printed in the Sept. 9 issue of The Economist: « As with many of Mr. Trump’s proposals, it is unclear how committed he is to his pronouncements on Russia policy, if at all…. Foreign-policy professionals in Moscow understand the risks of Mr. Trump’s unpredictability. ‘If Trump wins, it’s an equation where everything is unknown. ‘There, x times y equals z,’ says Konstantin Kosachev, head of the Russian senate’s foreign-affairs committee. While Mrs. Clinton is seen as fiercely anti-Russian, she is a familiar figure, and even commands grudging respect. ‘As a rule, it is easier to deal with experienced professionals,’ wrote Igor Ivanov, a former foreign minister, in a recent column in Rossiskaya Gazyeta, a government newspaper. »

To all of this Putin has replied: « I would like to work with a person who can make responsible decisions and implement any agreements that we reach. » Asked who he would prefer to have at the end of the hotline when he’s trying to stabilize a threatening geopolitical situation, he responded: « Their last name doesn’t matter. » In terms of the alleged computer hacking, Putin said, « We definitely don’t do such things at a state level. » He told Bloomberg News that it was « nonsense » to suggest the Kremlin backed Trump. He also criticized both candidates for so brutally attacking each other. » He continued: « I don’t think they’re setting the best example…. But that’s the political culture of the United States. You have to take it as you find it. »

The Russian leader would be derelict if he paid no attention to a candidate of one of the two U.S. parties who didn’t hold an angry grudge against him and his country and seems to abjure the possibility of a war. This hardly means Putin is rooting for Trump or is waiting breathlessly to plow through another batch of DNC correspondence. Some Russian citizens hope Trump wins because they think he won’t start a war against them. They know little to nothing about  his domestic program.

According to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald on Democracy Now Aug. 31: « Any of us who grew up in politics or came of age as an American in the ’60s or the ’70s or the ’80s, or even the ’90s, knows that central to American political discourse has always been trying to tie your political opponents to Russia, to demonizing the Kremlin as the ultimate evil and then trying to insinuate that your political adversaries are somehow secretly sympathetic to or even controlled by Russian leaders and Kremlin operatives…. This was typically a Republican tactic used against Democrats. » Times seem to have changed.

Clinton’s nationalist political attack is not only exploiting Trump’s Putin « connection, » but is determined to make him appear unpatriotic because he recently said he disliked the expression « American Exceptionalism. » Speaking Aug. 31 to the ultra-patriotic American Legion convention in Cincinnati, Clinton — while not mentioning her opponent’s name — declared: « If there’s one core belief that has guided and inspired my every step of the way, it is this: The United States is an exceptional nation…. Part of what makes America an exceptional nation is that we are also an indispensable nation. In fact, we are the indispensable nation. People all over the world look to us and follow our lead…. When we say America is exceptional, it doesn’t mean that people from other places don’t feel deep national pride, just like we do. It means that we recognize America’s unique and unparalleled ability to be a force for peace and progress, a champion for freedom and opportunity. »

If elected in November Clinton will unquestionably assume a tougher political and military stance toward Russia  (and China as well). This would have happened anyway since the principal aspect of her foreign/military policy is to maintain and strengthen U.S. global hegemony, but now that most Democrats probably believe Moscow is seriously seeking to interfere in American elections, and hacking key computers in the process, it will be easier.

However, it is imperative to remember that there has not been a Washington administration since 1917 — with the exception of the Yeltsin years — that has not desired to bring about regime change in Russia as it has done or is doing in many countries, most recently in Iraq, Yemen, and Syria. The White House does not want a Kremlin that opposes what it seeks or that will not respect its self-appointed role of world leader. But Putin has rebuilt Russia into a world power, and it is doubtful U.S anger and criticism will translate into violence, at least in the foreseeable future.

Putin Responds

Contrary to Clinton and nearly all other U.S. politicians, the Russian leader evidences a broad and deep understanding of the relationship between the two countries. Business Insider reported Jan. 10: « Putin told the German daily newspaper BILD that he believes Russia’s deteriorating relationship with the West was the result of many ‘mistakes’ made by NATO, the U.S. and Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. ‘We have done everything wrong, he said…. From the beginning, we failed to overcome Europe’s division. Twenty-five years ago, the Berlin Wall fell, but invisible walls were moved to the East of Europe. This has led to mutual misunderstandings and assignments of guilt. They are the cause of all crises ever since,’ he said.

« NATO embarked on an ‘expansion to the east,’ allowing the post-Soviet Baltic states — Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania — to join the organization. This resulted from the U.S. desire for ‘complete victory over the Soviet Union’ after the Cold War ended in 1991,’ Putin claimed. » It is rarely mentioned in the U.S. but n 1990 Washington promised Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev — in return for the reunification of Germany — that it would not seek to recruit NATO membership from the impending dissolution of the Warsaw Pact or from the various ex-republics. The U.S. broke that promise right after the USSR imploded two years later and began the process, continuing today, of positioning NATO troops ever closer to the Russian border.

Putin, however, conceded that Russia has made its own mistakes since the end of the Cold War. « He told BILDd: ‘We were too late…. If we had presented our national interests more clearly from the beginning, the world would still be in balance today. After the demise of the Soviet Union, we had many problems of our own for which no one was responsible but ourselves: the economic downfall, the collapse of the welfare system, the separatism, and of course the terror attacks that shook our country…. In this respect, we do not have to look for guilty parties abroad.' »

The U.S., Russia and the War in Syria

Washington has not explained all its reasons for deeply involving the U.S. in the Syrian civil war for the last five years. Many Americans are unaware of the leading role of jihadists on the rebel side that their government supports. People know that over 400,000 Syrians have been killed so far and that millions have become refugees, but few realize this brutal war could have been prevented if the U.S. has opposed the plan by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey to overthrow the government of President Bashar al-Assad for geopolitical and religious reasons. The notion that they — and the U.S. — were motivated by a desire to impose democracy in Damascus is naïve. This is not to deny the legitimacy of the peaceful protests that began the conflict in northern Syria and were crushed, but to criticize the later mass intervention by the U.S. and its cohorts to support the jihadists in launching a horrendous and seemingly unending civil war.

Both the U.S. and Russia are involved on the same side in the war in Syria against the Islamic State (IS) and Jabhat al-Nusra (the al-Qaeda franchise that recently changed its name to Abhat Fatah al-Sham, which means « Conquest of Syria Front »). But they are sharply divided on the most important aspect of the conflict. Washington seeks the military overthrow of the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad while Moscow defends Assad with air power and other support for the Syrian Arab Army (SRA).

This is a complex contradiction that causes problems between the two powers. But Obama — who originally said Russia’s entry into the war would result in a « quagmire » for Moscow — now seems to understand the U.S. needs Russia if it is ever going to extricate itself from what appears to be endless Middle East wars that are distracting the White House from its main goal of  « containing » China. For its part, one reason Russia is fighting in the region is to demonstrate rather convincingly that it is a world power once again.

The U.S. began bombing Islamic State positions in Syria in September 2014. Russia began bombing IS exactly a year later in 2015, completely surprising Obama, who did not expect or want Russia to take part at that time. Russia has also been bombing some American-backed jihadi groups that are fighting to destroy Assad. Some of these groups, to make this alignment entirely confusing, occasionally collaborate with Jabhat al-Nusra — an organization the U.S. is now bombing along with Russia.

Moscow entered to support the government and to eliminate as many jihadists as possible, not least to prevent them from joining thousands of them already in Russia. The U.S. says it is fighting to free the Syrian people from a dictatorship, but there are four other powerful reasons it won’t mention (see below).

Russia’s intervention has benefitted Syria greatly. The SRA was in a weakened condition after half its troops were killed or wounded in over two years of war against IS, al-Nusra and scores of Sunni fundamentalist jihadi fighting groups plus a small secular contingent called the Free Syria Army. The SRA, supported by Russian and Syrian government aircraft has been on the offensive for the last several months.

The various rebels still occupy about half of Syria in a ghastly war that has taken some 400,000 lives.

The war began as a series of largely civilian protests in the northern part of the country in March 2011 against the Assad government in Damascus, which responded with substantial military force. The U.S. supported the demand that Assad step down from the beginning. In August of that year, President Obama imposed deep sanctions on Syria and created an anti-Assad alliance including leaders of Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the European Union that demanded Assad’s ouster. (Washington in time also tried to set up an exile government that it would control, but infighting and opposition from Iraqis living in their country rejected the idea.)

The six Sunni Muslim Arab nations of the Cooperation Council, led by Saudi Arabia and supported by the Arab League, soon began organizing for the overthrow of Assad. Other Sunni states, including NATO member Turkey, eventually associated themselves with the struggle. Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and  Qatar in particular were soon supplying tens of thousands of jihadists with weapons, salaries and other needs. The U.S. sent military supplies and money.

Washington maintains it supports the overthrow of Assad because he is a dictator who deprives his people of freedom. The real reasons, however, are rarely mentioned. Here are a few:

1. For the Saudis and their supporters (such as the U.S.) it is a war waged by Islam’s Sunni majority against the Shi’ite minority that constitutes 10% of this religion’s world population of 1.6 billion adherents. They want to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad who is a member of the Alawite Muslim branch of the Shi’ite faction governing a Sunni-majority country. The intention is to replace him with a follower of Saudi Arabia’s puritanical Wahhabism form of Sunni Islam, if possible. The U.S seeks a mainstream Sunni leader and probably would prevail. Washington further intends to exercise considerable influence over a new administration. Ironically many millions of Syrian Sunnis support Assad as do the great majority of SRA soldiers, as well as several minorities in addition to the Alawites, including Christians.

2. Another U.S.-Saudi reason for ousting Assad is to eliminate Syria as an ally of Shi’ite Iran. By toppling the secular Sunni government of President Saddam Hussein in 2003, the G.W. Bush administration destroyed Iran’s main enemy. Regime change in Syria, depriving Iran of its major regional ally, would partially compensate for Bush’s blunder. It will also serve Israel’s interests, which are totally anti-Iranian. (Iranian officers and troops plus the Shi’ite militant group Hezbollah in Lebanon are fighting against Islamaic state in Iraq and Syria, and against all the jihadists in Syria in defense of the Assad regime.)

Further, it must be recalled as an example of Washington’s ruinous participation in Middle Eastern affairs, that Iraq launched a vicious war against Iran in 1980 that lasted until 1988 and was supported by Washington which supplied Iraq with several billion dollars worth of economic aid, dual-use technology, non-U.S. origin weaponry, military intelligence, and Special Operations training, according to Wikipedia. Washington did so to in retaliation for 1979 overthrow of the U.S. puppet monarchy in Iran by the Islamic Revolution that brought Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to power. Up to a million people died in the Iraq-Iran war. Three years later the U.S. was bombing Iraq. Twelve years after that it was bombing Iraq again, resuming in 2014 up to now.

3. Washington has an additional reason for removing Assad. This would also liquidate Russia’s only outpost in the Middle East— a geopolitical step forward for the U.S. The USSR and Syria have had warm relations since 1944. The Soviet Union supported Syria’s 1944-46 fight for independence from colonial France. In return the Syrian government leased to Russia the naval base in the Mediterranean port city of Tartus in 1971. Moscow has used the base for docking, repair and replenishment ever since. Russia also uses Khmeimim airport in Syria, which was built just before the start of its air war in September 2015. It is noteworthy that Syria and the Soviet Union signed a Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation in 1980 that continues to this day and explains part of Russia’s motivation to defend the regime against another Obama administration regime change operation in the Middle East in addition to Libya, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

4. Lastly, according to a Sept. 21 analysis by Gareth Porter in Truthout:

« The U.S. decision to support Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia in their ill-conceived plan to overthrow the Assad regime was primarily a function of the primordial interest of the U.S. permanent war state in its regional alliances. The three Sunni allies control U.S. access to the key American military bases in the region, and the Pentagon, CIA, State Department and the Obama White House were concerned, above all, with protecting the existing arrangements for the U.S. military posture in the region. After all, those military bases are what allow the United States to play at the role of hegemonic power in the Middle East, despite the disasters that have accompanied that role. »

U.S.-Russian joint work in Syria continues despite misadventures and mutual accusations. Just before the seven-day truce both sides called in September to deliver food and supplies to residents of rebel-held cities, the U.S. Air Force bombed the Syrian Arab Army encampment in Deir el-Zour, killing 62 soldiers and wounding over 100. This allowed the Islamic State to rush in and take over the area. The U.S apologized for it’s « mistake, » although information about the troops was available.

Days later on Sept. 19, a night attack on a relief convoy destroyed 18 of 30 trucks carrying provisions for civilians in a rebel-held section of Aleppo. Some 20 civilians and one aid worker were killed. The U.S. blamed Russia, alleging two of its planes bombed the convoy. Russia denied the charge, which they deemed ludicrous since they had just days before agreed to call for the cease-fire. The UN refused to back up the American accusation. The same goes for the Red Crescent, which also had representatives at the scene.  Russia had two arguments against the U.S. accusation: First, the trucks burned rather than being blown apart by bombs. Second, there were no bomb craters on the ground.

It is still a mystery but new talks soon began between Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov.

U.S.-Russia Relations worsen

Despite increasing distrust between the U.S. and Russia since Putin assumed office, it wasn’t until Obama’s second term in 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea that U.S. antagonism boiled over. Washington has denounced Moscow ever since, imposing severe sanctions that have contributed mightily to its current economic difficulties. Russia Behind the Headlines reported that On Sept. 1, the U.S. Treasury Department imposed new sanctions on a range of Russian companies and individuals, including subsidiaries of energy giant Gazprom; the contractor building the bridge linking Crimea to mainland Russia across the Kerch Strait and several major shipyards.

Since the annexation of Crimea,  which I will discuss below, Washington and NATO have been suggesting Russia may now invade NATO member countries in Europe such as Poland. This is a deception to justify moving troops and equipment closer to the Russian border, supplying more weapons to allies in the region and prolonging sanctions. It is preposterous to think Moscow entertains the suicidal notion of attacking a NATO country.

Putin addressed the matter of engaging in a European war during a Sept. 1 interview conducted by Bloomberg News Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait, who asked if Russia intended to use force elsewhere in the region. The interview was conducted at the Far East Economic Forum held in Vladivostok.

Here is Putin’s response: “I think all sober-minded people who really are involved in politics understand that the idea of a Russian threat to, for example, the Baltics is complete madness. Are we really about to fight NATO? How many people live in NATO? About 600 million, correct? There are 146 million in Russia. Yes, we’re the biggest nuclear power. But do you really think that we’re about to conquer the Baltics using nuclear weapons? What is this madness? That’s the first point, but by no means the main point.

The main point is something completely different. We have a very rich political experience, which consists of our being deeply convinced that you cannot do anything against the will of the people. Nothing against the will of the people can be done. And some of our partners don’t appear to understand this. When they remember Crimea, they try not to notice that the will of the people living in Crimea —  where 70% of them are ethnic Russians and the rest speak Russian as if it’s their native language—was to join Russia. Those in the West simply try not to see this….

As far as expanding our zone of influence is concerned, it took me nine hours to fly to Vladivostok from Moscow. This is about the same from Moscow to New York, through all of Eastern and Western Europe and the Atlantic Ocean. Do you think we need to expand something?

Viktor Yanukovich Becomes U.S. Target for Regime Change

Just last month, Michael Carpenter, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense with responsibility for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia, told Voice of America: “Russia, in its invasion and illegal attempted occupation and annexation of Crimea, broke essentially every rule in the basic fundament of the international world order, from sovereignty, territorial integrity, the inviolability of borders.”

This U.S. version of Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 is one sided because it refuses to acknowledge that the deed was directly in retaliation for a major regime change operation in Ukraine supported by the Obama administration. A democratically elected president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovich — who was basically friendly to neighboring Russia — was violently ousted and replaced by an appointed anti-Russian administration economically dependent upon the United States and the European Union. The purpose was to compromise Russia’s revival as a regional power critical of U.S. policies.

As I wrote at the time, « Russia has taught the United States a stern and embarrassing lesson in Ukraine as a riposte to Washington-backed regime change in Kiev, the capital. Moscow in effect warned a thoroughly shocked Washington, ‘So far, but no further. President Vladimir Putin then annexed Crimea. Nothing quite like this move on the geopolitical chessboard has happened since the U.S. became the world’s single superpower over two decades ago. »

Ukraine became attached to the Russian Empire in 1793 after Poland lost a large portion of the Ukrainian  territory it ruled at the time . The empire ruled another part of Ukraine since 1667. When the Soviet Union was formed, Ukraine became one of 15 Soviet Socialist Republics (including the Russian Federation) under the Government of the Soviet Union, which was located in Moscow. (« Soviet » is a Russian term that means an elected local, district, or national council.) When Ukraine entered the USSR it did so without Crimea, which remained part of Russia — including its crucially important Black Sea Navy base. Of all the republics, Ukraine seemed most favored by Russia due to their long shared history, which goes back hundreds of years before it was incorporated into the czarist empire.

Constituent Soviet republics became independent as the USSR was breaking up in the early 1990s. Ukraine declared itself independent in August 1991, four months before the Soviet Union was formally dissolved. The White House sought to maneuver Ukraine from Russia’s historic orbit to that of the U.S. and European Union, hoping to enlist Ukraine into NATO and moving its military bloc up to the Russian border.

The U.S. thought it achieved its objective when it supported Ukraine’s so-called “Orange Revolution” election in December 2004 that brought pro-Western Viktor Yushchenko to the presidency. Relations between Ukraine and Russia are said to have « hit rock bottom » during his troubled reign. Yushchenko sought to integrate Ukraine into the EU and NATO. Political rivalries, infighting and treachery in a basically oligarch-controlled system prevented Yushchenko from achieving his goal, much to Washington’s great disappointment.

Viktor Yanukovich, who was defeated by Yushchenko in 2004, won the 2010 presidential election. He and his Party of Regions were considered to have good relations with their Russian neighbor. A few months later parliament, with the president’s backing, ratified an agreement to extend Russia’s lease on the Black Sea fleet base at Sevastopol in Crimea for 25 years. It also voted to abandon the previous government’s aspirations to join NATO.

The George W. Bush administration announced in 2008 that Ukraine and Georgia were becoming members of NATO. Moscow announced it would not tolerate any such maneuver, and briefly invaded Georgia on the side of separatist South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Neither Ukraine nor Georgia has become members.

In 2009, according to the prestigious German daily Der Spiegel, the EU proposed an « eastern partnership » with Ukraine as well as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Belarus — former members of the USSR. The EU offered cooperation, free trade and financial contributions in exchange for democratic reforms…. The planned partnership agreements were intended to facilitate visa-free travel, reduce tariffs and introduce European norms. The only thing that was not offered was EU membership.

The EU’s other goal, even though it was not as openly expressed, was to limit Russia’s influence and define how far Europe extends into the east. For Russia, the struggle to win over Ukraine was not only about maintaining its geopolitical influence, but also about having control over a region that was the nucleus of the Russian empire a millennium ago. The word Ukraine translates as ‘border country,’ and many feel the capital Kiev is the mother of all Russian cities. This helped create Cold War-style grappling between Moscow and Brussels [the EU capital].

This went on for years. Some former Soviet countries rejected the offer fairly quickly but Ukraine took its time. Associating with Europe and the U.S. was particularly popular in western Ukraine but highly unpopular in the east where millions of Russian speakers lived, many of whom were born in Russia. Also, the large right wing in west Ukraine, including fascists and neo-Nazis, hated Russia for its communist past and the fact that the Russian language was on an equal par with Ukrainian in their country.

The Coup d’état That Ousted Yanukovich

After years of talks the EU was under the impression Yanukovich finally was going to sign the 900-page agreement for close economic and political ties to Europe, and thus to Washington at Russia’s expense. The proposed date for this was Nov. 29, 2013, in a ceremonial summit meeting in Lithuania.

On Nov. 9, 2013, however, after years of applying considerable pressure and offering many promises to the government in Kiev, Putin secretly meet with President Yanukovich near Moscow at a military airport, and the tide began to turn, not least because Ukraine was nearly insolvent.  Der Spiegel reported: « In the end, the Russian president seems to have promised his Ukrainian counterpart several billion euros in the form of subsidies, debt forgiveness and duty-free imports. The EU, for its part, had offered Ukraine loans worth 10 million euros ($827 million), which it had increased at the last moment, along with the vague prospect of a 1 billion euro loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Russia’s was a far more comprehensive offer and Yanukovich went for it.

After a public announcement that the government had signed with Russia, not the EU, all hell broke out for three months, resulting in demonstrations and riots in the streets of Kiev, the overthrow of the Yanukovich government, the vote by 97% of the people of Crimea to secede from Ukraine and become part of Russia, and fighting between the Ukrainian military and pro-Russian militants in two regions near the border.

The entire situation could have been avoided. According to scholar, author and Russia expert Stephen Cohen, interviewed on Democracy Now at the time: « The European Union in November told the government of Ukraine, ‘If you want to sign an economic relationship with us, you cannot sign one with Russia.’ Putin asked, ‘Why not? Why don’t the three of us have an arrangement? We’ll help Ukraine. The West will help Ukraine.' » Such a deal would have benefitted Ukraine enormously.

The EU and U.S. refused because their objective was to control Ukraine for themselves and substantially weaken Russia by removing the most important country in its sphere of interest — economically, politically, and as a buffer zone through which Russia has been invaded at times in history. A corollary objective was still to move NATO directly up to the Russian border.

Cthe announcement up to100,000 people demonstrated opposition to the pact in Kiev’s Maidan Square. Breakaway right wing groups fought with police and one such gang broke into city Hall. On Dec. 8 a reported 200,000 protested in Maidan.

By now it was becoming evident that the conservative forces in opposition to Yanukovich were losing control of the demonstrations as extreme right wing organizations began setting up a battlefield in the Maidan. By mid-January Kiev appeared under siege and anti-government demonstrators expanded their protests to several cities in western Ukraine, storming and occupying government offices. Parliament then passed anti-protest laws, but they were ineffective. Prime Minister Mykola Azarov resigned near the end of January. Parliament rescinded the new laws and passed legislation dropping all charges against arrested protesters if they leave government buildings. In mid-February all 234 arrested demonstrators were released and the office occupations ended.

The real trouble began a couple of days later. Some 25,000 people were in the square when gunfire broke out, killing 11demonstrators and seven police. Hundreds were wounded. It has not been established how it began. Feb. 20 was the worst day of violence when 88 people were killed. The police were largely blamed although there were reports that provocateurs fired at both sides to create even stronger opposition to the government. The next day Yanukovich signed a substantial power sharing deal with opposition leaders, but protests, led by the extreme right, continued and government offices were again occupied. On Feb. 22, as protests continued, Yanukovich ‘fled for his life,’ ending up hours later in Russia. »

The coup was completed Feb. 23 when Parliament, including Yanukovich’s Party of the Regions, quickly capitulated to reality and oligarch instructions and voted 328-0 to impeach the absent president. They then elected Obama’s choice (which I discuss below), Arseniy Yatseniuk, interim Prime Minister. Virtually the entire U.S. mass media did not question or critically examine the implications of the White House honoring an unelected prime minister who just replaced a democratically elected president who was overthrown by mass demonstrations that included fascists, some of whom are ending up in the new government.

Washington’s role in the overthrow of Yanukovich was decisive. Neoconservative anti-Russia Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland — who revealed that over the years the U.S. spent over $5 billion to pull Kiev away from Moscow — became the point person on the ground during the tumultuous antigovernment demonstrations. She not only was photographed at the time with leading opponents of the regime, including fascists and neo-Nazis, but also was pictured laughing as she handed out pastries to some of the protesters, urging them on. She worked together with U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt.

A phone call between the two on Jan. 28, 2014, nearly a month before the overthrow, was secretly recorded by a party or parties unknown and appeared on YouTube causing a sensation. While still on the phone they agreed that the post-coup prime minister should be Arseniy Yatsenyuk an America-friendly banker, lawyer and politician.  As noted, he was named to that position after the president fled the country. Nuland and her cohort agreed with others that billionaire oligarch Petro Poroshenko should become a candidate for the presidency, which he won in late May. He vowed never to recognize Russia’s « occupation of Crimea. » Secretary of State John Kerry was a frequent visitor to Kiev during the months of anti-government protests, dashing here and there and making pompous pronouncements on behalf of President Obama.

Obama nominated Nuland and Pyatt to their positions in Ukraine about two months before the uprising began — either to work with Yanukovich when he selects the EU or — as it turned out — with the inevitable opposition should he side with Russia. (News analyst Philip Giraldi wrote in the American Conservative May 19:  » Where will Victoria Nuland be after January? Nuland is one of Hillary Clinton’s protégés at the State Department, and she is also greatly admired by hardline Republicans. (She earlier was an adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney.) This suggests she would be easily approved by Congress as secretary of state or maybe even national-security adviser. » On May 19, Obama named Pyatt ambassador to Greece, where his experiences in Ukraine may someday stand him and imperialism in good stead.

According to the calculations of progressive author William Blum, there have been 57 instances of the United States overthrowing, or attempting to overthrow, a foreign government since the end of World War II in 1945. Ukraine is number 57. In a Dec 19, 2014, interview with the Russian magazine Kommersant, George Friedman — the founder and CEO of Stratfor, the commercial intelligence network — said this:  « Russia calls the events that took place at the beginning of this year a coup d’état organized by the United States. And it truly was the most blatant coup in history…. About three years ago, in one of my books, I predicted that as soon as Russia starts to increase its power and demonstrate it, a crisis would occur in Ukraine. » Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote in his book The Grand Chessboard, « Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire » — as Washington well knows.

Washington participated in and to an important extent led the coup, but there was hardly the whisper of an outcry within the U.S. or among America’s many obedient allies. Virtually the entire U.S. mass media did not question or critically examine the implications of the White House honoring an unelected « replacement » prime minister. But the White House has been condemning, sanctioning, and militarily threatening the Kremlin ever since President Putin complied with the subsequent verdict of a Crimean popular plebiscite a month later seeking to depart from the jurisdiction of Kiev and to be readmitted to that of Moscow.

Crimeans Vote for Russian Citizenship

For reasons that never have been convincingly explained, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev transferred Crimea, where virtually the entire population had Russian citizenship, to the neighboring Soviet Republic of Ukraine in 1954.

The Crimea Russians were not consulted about the decision and they complained, but got nowhere. At least they remained in the Soviet Union, as close to each other as New York to New Jersey. Forty years later in 1994, after the USSR imploded, the people of Crimea held their first referendum on separation from Ukraine and rejoining Russia — and 80% voted for independence. Nothing came of it. Twenty years passed before the second referendum in 2014, and Crimea returned to Russia.

Without firing a shot, Moscow’s response to regime change was so adept and nonviolent it could have been choreographed by the Bolshoi. On March 11, the parliament of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea adopted a declaration of independence from Ukraine. Five days later a peaceful democratic and honest referendum was conducted in the region and 96.77% voted to return to Russia. The next day President Vladimir Putin, with overwhelming backing from the Russian people and parliament, annexed the territory.

Our best guess about the initial transfer is that Khrushchev sought to increase the number of pro-Soviet inhabitants since Ukraine at the time contained a large right wing population, many thousands of whom fought on the German side against the Soviet Union in World War II. According to The Week « At least 5.3 million Ukrainians died during the war — about one sixth of the population. About 2.25 million of those killed were Jews, targeted by both the Nazis and some Ukrainian collaborators. » Many of Ukraine’s younger fascists today look up to those earlier right wing fighters as heroes.

About 25% of Ukraine’s 46 million people claimed Russian as their mother tongue. A great many of them resided in the Russian-speaking separatist majorities in the eastern Ukraine administrative districts of Donetsk and Luhansk along the Russian border. The Putin government continues to support their independence struggle, which was launched after the coup.

Neither Russia nor Ukraine has officially declared war, but fighting between the separatists and Ukraine forces has resulted in the deaths of nearly 10,000 people, including soldiers, civilians and members of armed groups on both sides, since April 2014. All combatants agreed to measures lowering tensions in February 2015 in what is called the Minsk 2 Agreement, but fighting still continues and other aspects of the accord remain unfulfilled. The Kiev government says 1.8 million people are internally displaced and that almost 30 % are children and 59% are pensioners.

The exception to Khrushchev’s jurisdictional territorial transfer was the sprawling Russian Black Sea Fleet base, which has been in continuous use by the Russian Empire and the USSR since 1783, and the nearby city of Sevastopol. The facility is a geopolitical treasure because it is Russia’s only significant warm water port. Obviously, Moscow was worried that a U.S.-installed regime in Kiev might refuse to renew Russia’s lease on the base and its environs. (As an aside, Russia’s main warm water port outside its own territory is in the Mediterranean Sea at Tartus in Syria. From the Russian point of view, the U.S has endangered both strategic assets).

The United States and all its European and other allies know all these facts about the relationship between the coup and Crimea, but all they emphasize to the public is « Russian Aggression. »

The Problem of Consolidating Russian Society

Stratfor in 2012 offered some insights into an historic Russian problem that also cropped up after the demise of the Soviet Union: « On Aug. 11 Putin met with regional ombudsmen — intermediaries between the government and the people over social welfare, human rights, ethnic identity and overall relations. At the meeting, Putin said the ombudsmen should think of ways to help consolidate Russian society.

What Putin was touching on is something that has plagued Russia for most of its history: the fact that it is an incredibly large, diverse and socially unstable country. Currently, Russia has more than 185 different ethnic groups, 21 national republics and 85 regional subjects that span nine time zones. Every Russian leader — be they Czarist, Soviet or post-Soviet — has struggled to consolidate this disparate population of 143,500,000 today. The Czars divided the peoples of the Russian Empire into various subjects to try to keep them segregated, but this led to constant uprisings among specific regional subjects against the czars.

The Soviet strategy was to unite all citizens by referring to them as « Soviets, » creating an identity that would supersede divisions created by ethnicity, religion and political ideology. The Soviet strategy was so successful that it not only united the peoples of Russia, but also those in the surrounding 14 republics that made up the Soviet Union. The « Soviet » classification tied together peoples throughout the union — from Tajik villages to Baltic cities to the Caucasus Mountains and at every point in between. The Soviet identity was united in language, literature, institutions, culture and ideology….

After the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia plunged into a deep identity crisis. Yes, the peoples of Russia knew they were technically citizens of the new Russian Federation (even if they were not ethnically Russian), but there was no coherent idea of what that actually meant. Russia was undergoing economic, political, financial and social chaos. There was nothing uniting the peoples; they were forced to fight just to survive.

This changed when Putin was elected president in 2000; he started to consolidate the Russian peoples under his leadership. Putin was heavy-handed in his tactics. He united the majority of the peoples under one political party, he clamped down on dissidence — political or ethnic — and he purged foreign economic and social influence. Under Putin’s leadership the country began to not only stabilize but to thrive. Through this consolidation process, a mythos began to take root around Putin and his leadership. Many critics compared the myth of Putin to that of a Russian cult leader. But for most Russians the important part was that under Putin, Russia was a strong, globally important country once again.

Following is a somewhat related analysis from an article by Thomas Graham, managing director at Kissinger Associates, that he published Aug. 24 in The National Interest titled « The Sources of Russian Conduct. »: « Like his predecessors…  Putin] is adamant that Russia — as a political and spiritual community — cannot survive other than as a great power. His authority is reinforced by an elite that, save for a small minority, shares this view, which also resonates with the broader population. Putin’s departure will not likely change the essence of the Russian challenge, no matter how different his successor’s style and tactics might be….

[An] all-encompassing state has been the central and decisive actor in Russian history. It gave structure to a vast, increasingly multiethnic, multi-confessional empire…. Russia’s expansion only stopped when it ran into countervailing geopolitical forces — the Germanic powers… in the West, China and eventually Japan in the East, and the British Empire in the South. Over the centuries, this dialectic of expansion and resistance created Russia’s geopolitical space, roughly the territory of the former Soviet Union or Russian Empire. This is the sphere of influence Russian rulers consider essential to their security. This is why they have pushed back so vigorously against what they see as American encroachments on this sphere in the past 15 years through, for example, the expansion of NATO and the establishment of military bases in Central Asia, tied to operations in Afghanistan….

The internal and external imperatives have combined to feed a persistent sense of vulnerability that never lies far beneath the surface in the consciousness of Russia’s rulers…. [They] hope to replicate the success of their predecessors, and avoid the catastrophic failure of Gorbachev, by restoring and sustaining Russia’s position as a great power.

The final geopolitical element of Russia’s strategy is to rein in the United States, to compel it to take into account the interests of other great powers, including first of all Russia, as it pursues its own. That is the goal of Russia’s effort to rally support against the U.S.-led global order for a new multipolar world based on state sovereignty and mutual respect (at least among great powers).

Russia Looks Fairly Strong Today

A number of Russian intellectuals who are critical of the current regime have written articles recently about « Russia’s decline, » anticipating a change in government in the next 10 to15 years, when Putin, now 63, and his ruling circle, leave politics. One of them is Denis Volkov, a sociologist and analyst at Levada Center a think tank based in Moscow that is threatened with the possibility of being banned. In a July 6 article titled « Russia of the Mid-2020s: Breakdown of the Political Order » he argues « that the heyday of Putin’s regime is already in the past and that in the next 10 to15 years, the Russian political system may wind up in disarray. The legitimacy of the regime, which has been waning for some time, will eventually undermine its ability to maintain social order and deal with new and impending crises. »

We find this critic’s brief paragraph about the stability in Russia today — despite serious economic problems, and widespread corruption — to be enlightening:

At present, Vladimir Putin’s political regime seems stable and solid. The president himself enjoys the approval of some 80% (82% at latest count) of the population. Approval of the government’s performance has also remained high, as the Kremlin has proved rather effective in dealing with the current economic crisis, in executing covert operations to annex Crimea, and in maintaining social stability in the country. The system seems to be legitimate enough, both with the elites and the population as a whole, to suggest that the parliamentary elections of 2016 will once again result in a Duma controlled by the party in power. And, in 2018, Putin will be re-elected president should he choose to run for the office. The regime was able to maintain this legitimacy by demonstrating its vitality and ability to deal with several concurrent and successive economic and political crises. In 2005 and 2011­2012, it withstood a series of popular protests on a national scale (with mass protests on a regional level in 2009–2010); it managed to transfer presidential power from Putin to Dmitry Medvedev in 2007-2008, and back to Putin in 2011-2012; it weathered economic crises in 2009 and has coped adequately with more recent economic troubles. Further, Putin’s Russia has projected   power in the war with Georgia in 2008, the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, support for the rebels in eastern Ukraine in 2014, and the intervention in Syria in support of the Bashar al-Assad regime.

Russia’s Economic Problems

A portion of Russia’s current economic problems, according to an article in Foreign Policy Journal by Paul Craig Roberts and Michael Hudson, stems from Washington’s advice to develop a neoliberal capitalist economy to trusting Russian leaders in the early days after the downfall.

« Washington abused this trust to saddle Russia with an economic policy designed to carve up Russian economic assets and transfer ownership into foreign hands. By tricking Russia into accepting foreign capital and exposing the ruble to currency speculation, Washington made sure that the U.S. could destabilize Russia with capital outflows and assaults on the ruble’s exchange value. Only a government unfamiliar with the neoconservative aim of U.S. world hegemony would have exposed its economic system to such foreign manipulation. » The authors also note:

According to various reports, the Russian government is reconsidering the neoliberal policy that has served Russia so badly since the collapse of the Soviet Union. If Russia had adopted an intelligent economic policy, Russia’s economy would be far ahead of where it stands today. It would have avoided most of the capital flight to the West by relying on self-finance.

Russian journalist and economic correspondent Dmitry Dokuchaev noted in Russia Direct Aug. 24 that « Russian capital flight — one of the major problems complicating the recovery of the nation’s economy — has been reduced five-fold since 2015. The Russian economy is gradually recovering from the economic shock of two years ago, which occurred after the sudden drop in oil prices and the pressure from Western sanctions. In the second half of August, both Bloomberg and Moody’s announced that Russia’s recession was ending. More importantly, statistical evidence shows improvement in Russia’s economy. »

The 2018 Election and Beyond

According to an Aug. 25 article by Andrei Kolnesnikov published in the Moscow Times: « It is apparent that President Putin won’t take all members of the old guard with him in 2018 when he is expected to win another presidential election that year. Some will be replaced with younger, more efficient officials. »

Kolnesnikov, a senior associate at the Carnegie Moscow Center, continued: « The surprise Mid-August replacement of Sergei Ivanov, a longtime ally of Putin, with former head of protocol Anton Vaino as presidential chief of staff, sparked a host of speculation, most of which can be safely disregarded. But, digging through the unfounded forecasts, one can find a clear message.

A comparison of Vaino’s credentials to those of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev suggests that he may well become the new prime minister. Like Vaino, Medvedev previously worked for the central government and was also known as a businesslike and responsible official. Like Vaino, Medvedev was presidential chief of staff and was not considered an independent figure. But the main point is that the regime needs to prepare a new generation of the elite to stand by Putin in 2018, when his current presidential term ends, and beyond. As chief of staff, Vaino will be instrumental in preparing this new wave of politicians.

The recent removals of officials like Russian Railways boss Vladimir Yakunin, drug tsar Viktor Ivanov, and others are preparations for 2018. The list of retired will only get longer. They will be replaced by a generation of special service operatives, security guards, and technocrat-apparatchiks in their 40s and 50s.

Stratfor reported Sept. 22: « Less than a week after parliamentary elections affirmed the ruling party’s hold on power, Putin is once again shaking things up in the Kremlin. On Sept. 22, Putin appointed Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin to head the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) in place of longtime leader Mikhail Fradkov. In the Duma, meanwhile, Vyacheslav Volodin, Putin’s former deputy chief of staff, will likely take over as speaker, having won a seat for the ruling United Russia party in the Sept. 18 elections. Rumors of the reshuffle have circulated in the media for weeks, but the motives for the move remain unclear. »

Communist Party Critique of Putin’s Russia

The Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) — a remnant of the ruling Soviet Communist Party — is not a revolutionary party and has little power. But it speaks freely and it put forward for this year’s parliamentary elections a left agenda titled “Ten Steps Toward Life with Dignity” that calls for substantial changes in the organization of society. It’s quite revealing. Here are brief excerpts:

  • · The riches of Russia must serve the people and not a handful of oligarchs. We come out for nationalization of the oil and gas industries. This measure alone will increase the national revenue by more than three trillion rubles. Nationalization of key banks, the power industry, railways, communications systems, and defense industries would create a strong government sector in the economy. This would make Russia less dependent on foreign capital. Today the share of foreign companies in metallurgy, railway and power generating machine building already exceeds 75%. That share continues to grow in spite of the sanctions. In effect, we are talking about colonial dependence….
  • · Today Russia’s financial system is tightly linked to the centers of world capitalism. The country does not enjoy real independence. It is time to restore our economic sovereignty and protect ourselves from the diktat of the dollar. The Central Bank of Russia should be rid of the influence of the U.S. Federal Reserve System. It must serve the cause of developing the national economy and the social sphere. State control of the banking system and currency transactions will be able to stop the appalling flow of capital abroad. In recent years it has turned into an instrument of ruining Russia and robbing its citizens. In the past ten years the country lost nearly 40 trillion rubles, which equals three annual budgets….The new government will also strengthen the country’s economic sovereignty by promoting small and medium business and advanced forms of economic management. Our anti-crisis plan guarantees maximum support of people’s and collective enterprises….
  • · Enough claptrap about import replacement. It is a disgrace for our country to be in 95th place in terms of economic development. It is a disgrace to have16% of manufacturing industry in the structure of GDP. Its share has to be raised to 70-80%. In Germany the share is 83%. Russia needs a powerful modern industry based on latest discoveries and high technologies. Its key sectors should be microelectronics, robotics and machine-tool building. Only then would we be able to survive in a world where predatory globalists run the show. Thanks to the perseverance of the CPRF the Law on Industrial Policy has been passed. It has to be made to work….
  • · The land of Russia can feed its own population plus another 500 million people with choice food products. Yet half of our food is imported from abroad and it is often of inferior quality. All this can be done if two conditions are complied with. First, at least 10% of budget revenue should be directed to support agriculture. Second, active support must be given to private farmers and peasant households. It has long been proven that such enterprises are more resilient. They adapt far better to changes in the food market.
  • · In terms of living standards Russia has dropped to 91st place in the world next to Laos and Guatemala. That is not the way to live. Running the economy like this is a crime. The state is duty-bound to control prices for bare necessities, fuel and drugs. The spending on utilities and housing services must not exceed 10% of the family budget… Taxes must be fair and effective.
  • Ten percent of the population has grabbed almost 90% of the national wealth. What is the price of all this? The price is that while some people are wallowing in riches, the majority barely make ends meet. Their labor and pension rights, the right to education and healthcare are under attack.

Moscow’s Cooperation With Washington

Since Putin became Russia’s leader as prime minister and president — despite Washington’s increasing hostility — the Kremlin has cooperated with the White House on numerous occasions. For instance:

  • Moscow is the main reason why President Obama did not launch another Middle East war. It was Russia that came up with the deal in August 2013 that allowed Obama to forego his risky commitment to massively bomb Syria for allegedly crossing his « red line » that prohibited the Assad regime from using its chemical weapons against the Syrian people. The government had been accused of deploying the nerve gas Sarin to kill at least 281 civilians in Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus — an allegation the regime strongly denied and which has never been proven. (Seymour Hersh argues it was a false-flag endeavor by the terrorist organization al-Nusra and backed by Turkey to provoke U.S. bombing.) Putin arranged that the Syrian government would offer to relinquish its entire chemical weapons arsenal if the bombing was called off. Obama quickly accepted the offer, avoiding massive antiwar protests and opposition from millions of Americans and many members of Congress. The New York Times reported: “President Obama awoke up Monday (Sept. 9) facing a Congressional defeat that many in both parties believed could hobble his presidency. And by the end of the day, he found himself in the odd position of relying on his Russian counterpart, Vladimir V. Putin, of all people, to bail him out.” U.S. and British intelligence subsequently acknowledged doubts that Assad ordered the use of poison gas.
  • · Russia played a major role in the successful talks with Iran to conclude a nuclear agreement. As an ally of the Tehran government, Moscow was concerned for a number of years that Israel would fulfill its continual threats to take military action against Iran over its alleged nuclear weapons program — a program Tehran closed down years earlier according to American intelligence organizations. Russia strongly urged Iran to enter one-on-one talks with Washington and then the six party the U.S., China, Russia, Britain and France — plus Germany.
  • · Putin and George W. Bush signed the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty and declaration on a new strategic relationship between the U.S. and Russia in 2002. This was superseded in 2011 by the New Start treaty limiting more nuclear weapons.
  • · The U.S and Russia jointly announced the organization of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism in 2006. In 2009, Russia granted President Obama permission to ship U.S. weapons supplies across its territory, or through its airspace, en route to Afghanistan. Moscow has also granted NATO members Germany, France and Spain the right to use Russian territory to transit military cargos to Afghanistan.

What Now?

There should be a closer relationship and far more cooperation between Washington and Moscow instead of ever greater hostilities that could eventually lead to a most regrettable conclusion. As a socialist I certainly recognize both capitalist governments have, to say the least, shortcomings that should be corrected. But if the U.S. in effect dismounted from its high horse and sought a peaceful and mutually advantageous relationship with Russia it could succeed. Moscow would much prefer a far less antagonistic relationship.

The biggest obstacle is Washington’s insistence that the countries in the world agree to follow U.S. leadership, and virtually all of them do because of America’s unprecedented economic and military power. At the same time, those who don’t line up with the global hegemon frequently experience regime change, wars or both.

Hillary Clinton’s braggadocio about U.S. exceptionalism and indispensability means global domination in political practice. The world doesn’t need that.

There has to be an end to America’s unjust wars, support for repellent dictatorships, and continuous efforts to instigate regime change. As it stands today the U.S. is spending a trillion dollars to make its nuclear arsenal more deadly. It is surrounding both Russia and China with military bases and implicit threats that can lead to no good.

This has to change.

Jack A. Smith, editor of the Hudson Valley Activist Newsletter at http://activistnewsletter.blogspot.com, who may be reached at [email protected].

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Syria is the summation of all the errors of a dysfunctional empire collapsing upon itself. History forgotten. Science ignored. Facts denied. Propaganda cannot hide that West is supporting and killing Islamists at the same time in a World War that risks escalating into a nuclear holocaust. — Vietnam Vet, comments-line,  Sic Semper Tyrannis

The attack on Deir Ezzor was a flagrant act of betrayal. For the first time in the five year-long war,  US warplanes targeted an SAA military outpost killing 62 Syrian regulars. The surprise attacks — which lasted for the better part of an hour and were followed by a coordinated ground assault by members of ISIS– were intended to torpedo the fragile ceasefire agreement and send a message to Moscow that the US was prepared to achieve its strategic objectives in Syria whether it had to launch direct attacks on defenders of the regime or not.

The attacks–for which the Pentagon eventually accepted responsibility–were followed by a callous and thoroughly-unprofessional tirade by the administration’s chief diplomat at the United Nations, Samantha Power. Power dispelled any doubt that either she or anyone else in the Obama administration cared at all about the people who lost their lives in the bombing raid.  She also made it clear that she didn’t care if the US had violated the terms of the ceasefire just two days before critical parts of the agreement were scheduled to be implemented.

Naturally, Moscow was taken aback by Washington’s reaction, it’s blatant disregard for the soldiers they killed, and its obvious determination to sabotage the ceasefire. Having reflected on Obama’s de facto rejection of the agreement, Putin pursued the only viable option left open to him;  more war.   As a result, he has intensified his efforts on the battlefield particularly around Aleppo where the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and crack-units from Hezbollah have launched a three-prong attack that will dispose of the US-backed jihadists that have destroyed much of Syria over the last half-decade  and displaced over 7 million civilians.

Bottom line: Having foreclosed the political option for reducing the violence, the Obama administration will now face the consequences for its rejection.

Here’s an excellent summary of developments on the ground around Aleppo from decorated veteran and retired senior officer of U.S. Military Intelligence and U.S. Army Special Forces (The Green Berets) Colonel W. Patrick Lang. The article was posted on September 24:

As of today, forces have been massed at Aleppo for the purpose of eliminating the East Aleppo rebel pocket.  This pocket has now been without re-supply for an extended period.  This is true for both the jihadi rebels and the civilian population, many of whom are rebel supporters.

IMO (In my opinion) the main effort by R+6 is taking place at the SE side of the East Aleppo pocket.  That is now underway with massive CAS from Russian aerospace forces. At the same time Palestinian militia allies with CAS have attacked the fortified Handarat refugee camp at the NE corner of the pocket.  IMO this is a secondary attack intended to prevent the rebels moving forces south to oppose the main R+6 effort.

This is an excellent plan.

At the same time there is an unconfirmed report from SOHR in London (pro-rebel) that a Russian force with 3,000 men has been positioned at al-Safir about 12 km. SE of the main attacks on the Aleppo pocket.  If this report is correct this force is well positioned to reinforce the main attack or be used in a defensive move against a rebel effort elsewhere.  It would be in the Russian operational tradition to pass a reinforcing “wave” or echelon of forces through the initial assault forces when they become exhausted by combat….

The foreign policy establishment (Borg) in the West wants to believe that war is obsolete as a factor in the story of humanity….  They believe that they have inherited the earth and that their cleverness will always prevail over mere force.

We will now have a demonstration that this is not true.

(“Flash! Washpost discovers that Syria War may be “winnable.”, Sic Semper Tyrannis)

Obama’s de facto rejection of the ceasefire  has created the conditions for a decisive military defeat in Aleppo.   The fate of the CIA-trained “moderate” terrorists hunkered down in East Aleppo is not that different from that of General George Armstrong Custer at the Little Bighorn who was surrounded by a superior military force and summarily slaughtered to the man. This is the option Pentagon warlord, Ash Carter chose when he decided to sabotage the joint military implementation agreement and go rogue. Carter opposed the ceasefire deal and in doing so signed the death warrant for hundreds of US-backed extremists who chances for survival are growing slimmer by the day.

According to recent reports, pro-government forces are advancing on a number of fronts.  At the same time, the Syrian and Russian air forces have intensified their bombing campaign reducing large swathes of the city to rubble and killing several hundred Sunni militants.  While the jihadists have performed better than many had expected, their fate is no longer in doubt. The cauldron is encircled, their front lines are collapsing, their supply lines have been severed, and the end is in sight.

Aleppo will fall and the US-backed effort to topple the Assad government using a proxy army of Islamic extremists will fail.

A few things need to be said about the ceasefire to set the record straight.

First, there was never any chance that the US was going to abide by the terms of the agreement. The US has no way of separating the “moderates” from the extremists which was one of the main requirements of the deal. That was never going to happen. But, more importantly, the Pentagon –which opposed the agreement from the get-go –had no intention of complying with its demands.


Well, for one thing, as  Syrian President Bashar al Assad said himself:

…the United States doesn’t have the will to work against al-Nusra or  ISIS, because they believe that this is a card they can use for their own agenda. If they attack al-Nusra or ISIS, they will lose a very important card regarding the situation in Syria. So, I don’t believe the United States will be ready to join Russia in fighting terrorists in Syria.

Bingo. Assad is not suggesting that al-Nusra or ISIS are controlled by Langley. He’s merely saying that– inasmuch as the goals of these groups coincide with US strategic objectives (which they certainly do in Syria) Washington will continue to support their activities. In other words, Obama would rather see a “Salafist principality” emerge in Syria then allow an independent, secular government to remain in place. Everyone who has followed events closely in Syria for the last five years, knows this is true.

The other reason the Pentagon opposed the agreement was because  they didn’t want to comply with the military-to-military coordination plan. The western media has been particularly opaque on this issue. For example, according to the New York Times deal would be  “an extraordinary collaboration between the United States and Russia that calls for the American military to share information with Moscow on Islamic State targets in Syria.” (“Details of Syria Pact Widen Rift Between John Kerry and Pentagon“, New York Times)

Okay, but why is that a problem? Wouldn’t that be the most effective way to defeat ISIS and Al Qaida? Of course, it would. So, what’s the rub? Here’s more from the NYT:

Chief among Pentagon concerns is whether sharing targeting information with Russia could reveal how the United States uses intelligence to conduct airstrikes, not just in Syria but in other places, which Moscow could then use for its own advantage in the growing confrontations undersea and in the air around the Baltics and Europe. (NYT)

This is complete baloney. The fact is the Pentagon doesn’t want to have to get approval for its target-list  (identify and verify) from the Russian military. That’s what’s really going on. And the reason for this is obvious, the strategic objectives of the US are exact opposite of Moscow’s. Washington has no interest in defeating terrorism in Syria, in fact, as we pointed out earlier, Washington is just fine with terrorism as long it helps them move the ball closer to the goalpost. What the US wants is to topple the regime, replace Assad with a US-stooge, splinter the country into multiple parts, and control vital pipeline corridors. These goals cannot be achieved if the Pentagon has to get a green-light from Moscow every time they go on a bombing raid.  How are they going to assist their jihadist assets on the ground if they have to follow that rule?

They won’t be able to, which is why it’s no surprise that SECDEF Ash Carter put the kibosh on the deal by bombing the SAA positions at Deir Ezzor. The massacre effectively ended all talk about “coordination” with the Russians. Mission accomplished.

But even this does not completely explain why the Pentagon launched this unprecedented attack that killed 62 Syrian soldiers and moved the two superpowers closer to a direct confrontation. To grasp what’s really going on behind the endless recriminations, we need to understand that the Obama administration has abandoned its original plan to oust Syrian President Bashar al Assad, and moved on to Plan B; partitioning the country in a way that establishes a separate Sunni state where US troops will be based and where vital pipelines will be built to transfer natural gas from Qatar to the EU.

This ambitious plan is more than a redrawing of the Middle East and a pivot to Asia. It is a critical lifeline to a country (USA) whose economic prospects are progressively dimming, whose credit card is maxed out, and who is counting on a Hail Mary pass in Syria to save itself from cataclysmic economic collapse and ruination. Washington must succeed in Syria because, well, because it must, because the red ink has finally penetrated the pinewood hull and is fast filling the galley. A defeat in the Middle East could be the straw that broke the camel’s back, the tipping point in the agonizingly-protracted unipolar-new-world-order experiment.  In other words, it’s Syria or bust. Here’s a little background that will help to clarify what’s going on:

Washington has previously made it clear that if it cannot achieve its plan A; regime change, it will go for its plan B; to balkanize the country and help to create a Kurdish and/or Sunni state in eastern Syria…

Attacking the Syrian Army, and allowing ISIL to capture the city will make Deir Ezzor a probable target for the US-backed proxies to attack and annex.  (“The Ceasefire Failed; What happens now?“, The Vineyard of the Saker)

So, Washington wants to control Syria’s eastern quadrant (where Deir Ezzor is located) for military bases, pipeline routes, and a Sunni homeland, which is more-or-less the pretext for continued military occupation. Here’s more from an article by Christina Lin:

Writing in Armed Forces Journal4, Major Rob Taylor joined numerous other pundits in observing that the Syrian civil war is actually a pipeline war over control of energy supply, with Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey needing to remove Assad “so they can control Syria and run their own pipeline through Turkey.”….

…if the Saudi/Qatar/Turkey backed Army of Conquest can control just enough land in Syria for a salafist statelet (aka–Sunnistan) to build the Qatar-Turkey pipeline, then these sunni states can finally realize their pipeline dream. Indeed, the 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency report6 corroborates their desire to carve out a salafist statelet in Syria east of Assad-controlled territory in order to put pressure on his regime.  (“Chinese stratagems and Syrian buffer zone for Turkey-Qatar pipeline“, Christina Lin, Times of Israel)

The idea of splintering Syria into numerous fragments (and controlling the eastern portion of the state) has been promoted by western elites across the board, from neocon John Bolton  who said:

Today’s reality is that Iraq and Syria as we have known them are gone…..Washington should recognize the new geopolitics. The best alternative to the Islamic State in northeastern Syria and western Iraq is a new, independent Sunni state.

This “Sunni-stan” has economic potential as an oil producer….and could be a bulwark against both Mr. Assad and Iran-allied Baghdad.  (“To Defeat ISIS, Create a Sunni State“, New York Times)

Liberal interventionists at the Brookings Institute are pushing for the same balkanization remedy. Here’s a clip from an article at Brookings titled “Deconstructing Syria: A new strategy for America’s most hopeless war” by chief military analyst, Michael O’ Hanlon:

…the only realistic path forward may be a plan that in effect deconstructs Syria….the international community should work to create pockets with more viable security and governance within Syria over time… Creation of these sanctuaries would produce autonomous zones that would never again have to face the prospect of rule by either Assad or ISIL….

(“Deconstructing Syria: A new strategy for America’s most hopeless war“, Michael E. O’Hanlon, Brookings Institute)

So, there you have it; divide and conquer. Split up the country, install new leaders, and let the plundering begin. Sound familiar?

But the Russian’s will have none of it, in fact, Putin has responded to Carter’s escalation by escalating himself. The circle around Aleppo has closed, supply lines have been cut, the airstrikes have intensified, and the three-pronged ground assault has already begun. So while Washington may have big plans for Syria, they appear to be failing where it counts most…..on the battlefield.

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

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In a 40 minute speech opening, the September G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Chinese President Xi Jinping outlined a global vision so comprehensive and detailed that it was tantamount to a blueprint for restructuring and transforming the currently unbalanced architecture of the world economy, and replacing it with a more stable model, enhancing economic and social justice.  

The blueprint advocated by China’s President would end the dominance of predatory Western Capitalist economies predicated on the plunder of the developing world, and exploitation of the rich natural resources of Africa, Asia and Latin  America.  This plunder has fueled and sustained the monopolization of global wealth by a narcissistic and miniscule minority of .01 percent of the world’s population, while condemning the vast 99% majority of the world’s population to the doom inflicted by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse:  conquest, war, famine and pestilence.

Xi Jinping’s inclusion, as guests, of the Heads of State of formerly excluded developing countries at the G20 Hangzhou Summit provided, for the first time, the opportunity for the voices of these countries to be heard and heeded, and a new model for the G20, as China’s presidency encourages the G20 to “meet the demands of people in all countries,” by innovation of development models building an open world economy.    He asserted  the imperative that the world’s Gini coefficient, which measures inequality currently at 0.7, (exceeding the already acknowledged and alarming level of 0.6,)  must be taken seriously as evidence that the currently dangerous economic structural imbalance threatens already fragile and deteriorating global stability.  This perilously unbalanced economic order, if uncorrected, lurches toward the devastating tipping point of uncontrollable global economic and social crisis, with resultant chaos and uncontainable violence spreading throughout the world.

What Xi Jinping proposes appears to be no less than a profound restructuring of the global economic architecture, transforming it into one that redresses grievances of the overwhelming majorities of the populations of the developing world, and promotes industrialization of huge swaths of developing countries currently dependent on “monocrops,” or whose economies are dependent upon one resource, such as oil, condemning these unbalanced and underdeveloped economies to dependency and victimization as the price of these monoproducts fluctuates, often by geopolitically motivated external manipulation, with the standard of living of these dependent and too often victimized populations rising or collapsing accordingly.

The speed of China’s growth is exponential and should most probably be attributed to its socialist economic model, “with Chinese characteristics,” which is fully compatible with rapidly achieving the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development goals, a United Nations agenda which bears striking similarity to the  economic and social goals of socialism.  Although there are areas of serious inequality within China, and still impoverished places within the country, the Chinese government is aware of the vulnerability and risk that this inequality presents, and is addressing the need to eliminate poverty within China, with notable success.

This is in stark contrast with large areas of the so-called “developed world,” where austerity measures within Europe, and the dismantling of the New Deal social protections within the USA is eroding the middle class, exponentially increasing inequality, and destabilizing societies within these capitalist economies.  This is resulting in rampant and increasing violence and debased standards of education and health care,  reducing these capitalist enclaves to the level of Third World countries, as they unravel and slouch toward underdevelopment, and a form of internal colonization of impoverished majorities controlled by Wall Street.

It is possible that the participating leaders of “developed” capitalist countries in attendance at the  G20 Summit in Hangzhou, hearing President Xi Jinping’s speech, might, instead of heeding his wise prescription for win-win transformation of the global economy, could, instead, react with alarm, and reject his blueprint for a stabilizing global economic and socially equitable architecture and governance, regarding it as a threat to their centuries-long dominance of the global economic, social and military order, which benefited the tiny minority which monopolized the profits of that zero-sum order.  Such an adverse reaction to Xi Jinping’s speech at Hangzhou might lead to an escalation of confrontation, in an attempt to thwart, and ultimately cripple China’s breathtaking ascendance, which contrasts so vividly with the capitalist unipolar dominance of the world, which recently culminated, disastrously, in the global economic crisis of 2008.

The US-ROK supported THAAD missile system threatens to destabilize both China and Russia, essentially completing the encirclement of Russia, surrounded by NATO bases in the West, and now threatened by THAAD in the East.  Interestingly, however, the US military and political efforts to encircle and “contain” China seem to be effectively countered by China’s recent visits to Canada and Cuba, which cemented economic and political bonds with these close neighbors of the USA, and, perhaps inadvertently constitute a reciprocal “encirclement” of the United States.

It was significant that the grossly increased investment in advanced nuclear weapons by the USA and the UK was not discussed publicly at the G20 in Hangzhou.  Regardless of the focus of the Summit on investment in development and cooperation, the discrepancy with the countervailing investments by some G20 participants in the instruments of global destruction, however profitable, should have been of central concern.  Ignoring this discrepancy forfeits a great opportunity, and merely postpones the inevitable day of reckoning.

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