The Ku Klux Klan: America’s Long History of Accepting White Terrorist Organizations

Thursday marked the 150th anniversary of the founding of America’s deadliest terrorist organization: the Klu Klux Klan.

Since September 11, extremists associated with various far-right wing ideologies, including the KKK and Jewish extremists, have killed far more people in the United States than extremists motivated by radical Islam.

One centuries’ old example of US government double standards when it comes to terrorism, is the infamous Klu Klux Klan. The Klan has terrorized and killed far more Americans than Islamic terrorists ever have; and despite being America’s oldest terrorist organization, the US government does not officially consider the KKK a terrorist organization, classifying it merely as a “hate group”.

By classifying the KKK’s actions as hate rather than terror, the US government allows the Klan, unlike ISIS, to freely hold rallies in America, fundraise, and even appear on TV to promote their ideology. Recently Franc Ancona, a KKK leader, appeared on national television and threatened “lethal force” against black protestors.

The KKK was founded just days after slavery was abolished in America; and ever since then, bombings, lynchings, tar-and-featherings, and other violent forms of terrorism on those challenging white supremacy have always been the hallmark of the Klan. At its peak in the 1920’s, Klan membership exceeded the equivalent of 8 million Americans nationwide.

The simple fact that, to this day, the U.S. Government refuses to designate the KKK as a domestic terrorist organization speaks volumes about the nation’s commitment to combating terrorism and promoting racial equality.

The deadliest terrorist attack on US soil, prior to 9/11, was the Oklahoma City bombing, which was masterminded by Timothy McVeigh, a man who had deep ties to far-right Nazi militant circles. In 2011, Kevin Harpham, who was a war veteran, placed a bomb along the route of a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade. In 2012, Wade Michael Page killed six innocent people in a shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin. Page was a member of a white supremacist band and associated with the Hammerskins, a violent neo-Nazi group. A few months ago an Imperial Grand Wizard of the KKK from Kansas, went on a killing spree whilst shouting “Heil Hitler”, in which a fourteen-year-old boy was among the dead.

Despite the growing number of mass shootings and terrorist attacks by the far right, the media chooses to focus almost exclusively on the lesser threat of radical Islam. Media pundits routinely demand that moderate Muslims condemn acts of violence perpetrated by Muslims. When was the last time that you have seen white priests being pressured to go on television to denounce violence by white supremacists in order to show that “not all Christians” are like that? How long would a Muslim group, with as violent a record as the KKK, be allowed to operate freely before it was shut down by Homeland Security? Clearly racism, as much as oil, fuels the War on Terror.

The threat of homegrown Islamic terrorism has been largely manufactured so that the so-called War on Terror can promote profitable militarism abroad and erode civil liberties at home.

Fourteen years after 9/11, al Qaeda has not successfully conducted another attack inside the United States. According to a recent Harvard University report, named The Exaggerated Threat of Home Grown Terror:

“… since 2001, despite warnings by public officials and terrorism analysts, there is little evidence that the risk of terrorist attacks in the United States by American Muslims is especially serious or growing.”

So why then has the United States spent over $6 trillion dollars on the War on Terror?

FBI data from 1980 to 2005 show that Jewish terrorists committed 7 percent of the acts of terrorism within the United States, which was more than the 6 percent committed by Islamist extremists. This statistic is made even more remarkable by the fact that the FBI drastically undercounts instances of terrorism perpetrated by Jewish extremists because of institutional racial double standards. How many Americans can name the Jewish Defense League or Jewish Armed Resistance, both terror groups that have committed more acts of terror than their Muslim counterparts?

The infamous Jewish Defense League has been operating in the U.S. for over half a century. A Department of Energy report on terror threats to nuclear facilities notes:

“…for more than a decade, the Jewish Defense League has been one of the most active terrorist groups in the United States.”

Unbeknown to many Americans, these Jewish extremists have mail-bombed police, targeted UN ambassadors, and firebombed civilians at a Symphony Orchestra performance.

If the U.S. Government is serious about combating domestic terror and mass shootings, the FBI’s statistics suggest that it should be aggressively surveilling white males. The simple fact that U.S. law enforcement has not infiltrated and spied on conservative Christian or Jewish communities to disrupt violent rightwing extremism confirms what Muslims in America know in their bones: to worship Allah is to be a suspect.

Muslim-Americans increasingly feel as though they are living in a totalitarian police state with worsening harassment, profiling, and surveillance by the state. Researcher, Arun Kundnani, has shown how the FBI has 1 counterterrorism spy for every 94 Muslims in the US, which approaches totalitarian East Germany’s infamous spy agency Stasi’s ratio of 1 spy for every 66 citizens.

White Christians and Jews don’t have to worry that an undercover agent or informant has infiltrated their churches, student groups, or social clubs.

For centuries, white terrorists in America have been allowed ample breathing room to spread their ideology and to plan and orchestrate their attacks, which explains both the greater relative lethality of white supremacist terrorism, and also the much lower rate of indictment for white perpetrators.

In America Brown and Black people are reflexively considered terrorists, thugs and gangbangers, deserving of society’s derision, whereas white people who commit terrorist attacks are simply “mentally disturbed” loners who were in need of society’s help.

Society’s decision to call a particular act of violence ‘terrorism’ indicates that the act belongs to a more widespread pattern that needs consideration beyond normal crime fighting. Calling mass shootings by white supremacists merely “hate” or murder, rather than terrorism, downplays the significant role of the perpetrator’s racist motives and avoids tough questions about the prevalence of racism in American society.

Recently, James Holmes shot over 80 people in a movie theatre but he was brought in alive by law enforcement and the media refused to call his actions terrorism, focusing instead on portraying Mr. Holmes as an “awkward” and tender “loner”. Similarly, white supremacist Dylan Roof massacred nine black churchgoers in Charlestown and not only was Roof brought in alive by law enforcement, but also the police described Roof at the time of his arrest as “very quiet, very calm … not problematic.” The police even went so far as to buy Mr. Roof lunch at Burger King, moments after he unleashed terror on innocent churchgoers. Contrasted with the police’s countless modern day lynchings of innocent and often unnamed black boys and men, it is clear that US law enforcement is as tolerant of white terrorism as it is institutionally racist to its core.

Clearly, there is a costly and unhealthy obsession among U.S. society and law enforcement, with preventing violence perpetrated by American Muslims, one that ignores both the real threat of white terrorism and the ongoing terrorism by police towards Black American citizens.


About the author: Garikai Chengu is a scholar at Harvard University. Contact him on garikai.chengu@gmail.com

The Dirty War on Syria: Washington Supports the Islamic State (ISIS)

“It is always difficult to play a double game: declaring a fight against terrorists and simultaneously trying to use some to place pieces on the Middle Eastern chess board to pursue their own interests … [but do the] so-called moderate bandits behead people moderately?” – Vladimir Putin (2015)

Reports that US and British aircraft carrying arms to ISIS were shot down by Iraqi forces (Iraqi News 2015) were met with shock and denial in western countries. Yet few in the Middle East doubt that Washington is playing a ‘double game’ with its proxy armies in Syria. A Yemeni AnsarAllah leader says ‘Wherever there is U.S. interference, there is al Qaeda and ISIS. It’s to their advantage’ (al-Bukaiti 2015). However key myths remain important, especially to western audiences. Engaging with those myths calls for reason and evidence, not just assertion.

There is no doubt that the Arab and Muslim peoples of the Middle East hate the terrorist monstrosity called ISIS, ISIL or DAESH. Polling by the Washington-based Pew Research Centre found that 99% of Lebanese, 94% of Jordanians and 84% of Palestinians had an ‘unfavourable’ view of ISIS. As Lebanon’s constitutional system requires sectarian identification it was also found that 98% of Lebanese Sunni Muslims rejected ISIS (Poushter 2015). That latter finding discredits the common western assertion that ISIS somehow springs from Sunni communities. Less than 1% in Lebanon, 3% in Jordan and 6% in Palestine viewed the banned terrorist group favourably. The remainder did not express an opinion. Of all Syria’s neighbours, Turkey had the lowest ‘unfavourable’ view of ISIS, at 73%; the favourable score was 8% (Poushter 2015). The aim of this chapter is to help clarify what role Washington has had in creating or turning loose this Frankenstein’s monster.

Washington maintains two closely linked myths as regards terrorism in the Middle East. Then there is a ‘fall-back’ story. The first ‘existential myth’ is that, from 2014, the US became engaged in a war against extremist terrorists, in both Iraq and Syria. This followed several years of trying to topple the Syrian Government by backing illegal armed groups, which it calls ‘moderate’. Through this myth the US claims to be playing a protective role for the benefit of the peoples of the region. The second myth is that there is a significant difference between the ‘moderate rebels’ the US arms, finances and trains, and the extremist terrorists (DAESH or ISIS) it claims to be fighting.

These claims represented a shift in the rationale for the war on Syria, from one of ‘humanitarian intervention’ to a revival of the Bush era ‘war on terror’. The ‘fall back’ story, advanced by some of Washington’s domestic critics, is that US practice in the region has created a climate of resentment amongst orthodox Sunni Muslim communities, and the extremist groups emerged as a type of ‘organic reaction’ from those communities to repeated US interventions. This story hides the more damaging conclusion that Washington and its allies directly created the extremist groups.

However there is little point in simply asserting that last version, without evidence. The ‘existential myth’ of a western war on terrorism is so insistent and pervasive, and backed by such a commitment in political capital, arms and finance, that it is very difficult for western audiences to accept this new ‘war’ might be a charade. Further, diplomacy requires that stated policy positions be pursued to their logical conclusions, and that the aims be tested. For these reasons I suggest we should document the key elements of evidence, on Washington’s relationship with the sectarian terrorists. After that we can draw better informed conclusions.

It is certainly true that prominent ISIS leaders were held in US prisons. The Afghan recruiter for ISIS, Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost, spent three years in the US prison at Guantanamo (Bienaimé 2015). ISIS leader, Ibrahim al-Badri (aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi) is said to have been held for between one and two years at Camp Bucca in Iraq (Giovanni 2014). In 2006, as al-Baghdadi and others were released, the Bush administration announced its plan for a ‘New Middle East’, a plan which would employ sectarian violence as part of a process of ‘creative destruction’ in the region (Nazemroaya 2006). While there have been claims that al-Baghdadi is a CIA or Mossad trained agent, these have not yet been backed up with evidence.

Nevertheless, according to Seymour Hersh’s article, ‘The Redirection’, the US planned to make use of ‘moderate Sunni states’, in particular the Saudis, to contain alleged ‘Shiia gains’ in Iraq brought about by the 2003 US invasion. These ‘moderate Sunni’ forces would carry out clandestine operations to weaken Iran and Hezbollah, key enemies of Israel (Hersh 2007). This plan brought the Saudis and Israel closer as, for somewhat different reasons, both fear Iran.

In mid-2012, US intelligence reported two important facts about the violence in Syria. Firstly, most of the armed ‘insurgency’ was being driven by extremist al Qaeda groups, and second, the sectarian aim of those groups was ‘exactly’ what the US and its allies wanted. The DIA wrote:

‘The Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood and AQI are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria … There is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers [The West, Gulf monarchies and Turkey] to the [Syrian] opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime’ (DIA 2012).

The US also observed (and certainly did not stop) the channelling of arms from Benghazi in Libya to ‘al Qaeda groups’ in Syria, in August 2012. These arms were detailed as including 500 Sniper rifles, 100 RPG launchers with 300 rounds and 400 howitzers missiles, of 125mm and 155mm calibre, all shipped to the Ports of Banias and Borj Islam, in Syria (Judicial Watch 2015). According to Michael Flynn, the former head of the DIA, and consistent with that intelligence, President Obama made a ‘wilful decision’ to support al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and other ‘jihadist’ groups (Newman 2015). This all confirms motive, complicity and consistency of the process, from the early days of the Syrian conflict, building on former President Bush’s ‘New Middle East’ plan. Washington covertly approved the arming of al Qaeda groups in Syria, seeing its own advantage in that.

Probably the most convincing confirmation of US complicity with its terrorist ‘enemy’ has been the admissions from several senior officials that their main regional allies have financed ISIS. Those officials include the US Vice-President, the head of the US Armed Forces and the Chair of the US Armed Forces Committee. In September 2014 General Martin Dempsey, head of the US military, told a Congressional hearing ‘I know major Arab allies who fund [ISIS]’ (Rothman 2014). Senator Lindsey Graham, of the Armed Services Committee, responded with a justification, ‘They fund them because the Free Syrian Army couldn’t fight [Syrian President] Assad, they were trying to beat Assad’ (Rothman 2014; Washington’s Blog 2014). These were honest, if criminal, admissions.

The next month, US Vice President Joe Biden went a step further, explaining that Turkey, Qatar, the UAE and Saudi Arabia ‘were so determined to take down Assad … they poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens, thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad … [including] al Nusra and al Qaeda and extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world … [and then] this outfit called ISIL’ (RT 2014; Usher 2014). Once again, these were consistent and credible admissions, except that Biden sought to exempt the US from this operation by blaming key allies. That caveat is simply not credible. The Saudis in particular are politically dependent on Washington and could not mount any major initiative without US approval. Not only that, the US systematically controls, by purchase contract and re-export license, the use of its weapons (Export.Gov 2015).

Washington’s relationship with the Saudis, as a divisive sectarian force in the region against Arab nationalism, goes back to the 1950s, when Winston Churchill introduced the Saudi King to President Eisenhower. More recently, British General Jonathan Shaw acknowledged the contribution of Saudi Arabia’s extremist ideology: ‘this is a time bomb that, under the guise of education. Wahhabi Salafism is igniting under the world really. And it is funded by Saudi and Qatari money’, Shaw said (Blair 2014). He was right.

Other evidence undermines western attempts to maintain a distinction between what came to be called the ‘moderate rebels’, by 2013 openly armed and trained by the US, and supposedly more extreme groups such as Jabhat al Nusra and ISIS. While there has indeed been some rivalry, the absence of real ideological difference is best shown by cooperation and mergers. For example the collection of US-backed groups called the ‘Free Syrian Army’ fought alongside ISIS and against the Syrian Army for several months in 2013, to gain control of Syria’s Menagh air base, near Aleppo (Paraszczuk 2013). Hoff points out that one of the ISIS commanders in the Menagh operation, Chechen Abu Omar al Shisani, ‘received American military training as part of an elite Georgian army unit in 2006’ and continued to receive US support in 2013, through his FSA alliance (Hoff 2015).

Long term cooperation between these ‘moderate rebels’ and the foreign-led Jabhat al-Nusra was seen around Daraa in the south, along the mountainous Lebanese border, in Homs-Idlib, along the Turkish border and in and around Aleppo. The words Jabhat al Nusra actually mean ‘support front’, that is, foreign support for the Syrian Islamists. Back in December 2012, as Jabhat al Nusra was banned in various countries, 29 of these groups reciprocated the solidarity in their declaration: ‘We are all Jabhat al-Nusra’ (West 2012). Soon after the 29 group signatories became ‘more than 100’ (Zelin 2012). There was never any real ideological difference between these sectarian anti-government groups.

The decline of the ‘Free Syrian Army’ network and the renewed cooperation between al Nusra and the string of reinvented US and Saudi backed groups (Dawud, the Islamic Front, the Syrian Revolutionary Front, Harakat Hazm) helped draw attention to Israel’s support for al Nusra, around the occupied Golan Heights. Since 2013 there have been many reports of ‘rebel’ fighters, including those from al Nusra, being treated in Israeli hospitals (Zoabi 2014). Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu even publicised his visit to wounded ‘rebels’ in early 2014. That led to a public ‘thank you’ from a Turkey-based ‘rebel’ leader, Mohammed Badie (Israel Today 2014). Semi-covertly, Israel backed all the armed groups against Syria, occasionally assisting them with its own missile attacks (Kais 2013).

The UN peacekeeping force based in the occupied Golan reported its observations of the Israeli Defence Forces ‘interacting with’ al Nusra fighters at the border (Fitzgerald 2014). At the same time, Israeli arms were captured by Syrian forces from the extremist groups (Kais 2012; Winer 2013). In November 2014 members of the Druze minority in the Golan protested against Israeli hospitals being used to help wounded al Nusra and ISIS fighters (Zoabi 2014). This led to questions by the Israeli media, as to whether ‘Israel does, in fact, hospitalize members of al-Nusra and Daesh [ISIS]’. A military spokesman’s reply was hardly a denial: ‘In the past two years the Israel Defence Forces have been engaged in humanitarian, life-saving aid to wounded Syrians, irrespective of their identity’ (Zoabi 2014). In fact, not even a humble farmer gets across the heavily militarised Occupied Golan border to retrieve a stray goat. ‘Humanitarian’ treatment for al Qaeda terrorists is different.

The artificial distinction between ‘rebel’ and ‘extremist’ groups has been mocked by multiple reports of large scale defections and transfer of weapons, to the extremists. In July 2014 one thousand armed men in the Dawud Brigade defected to ISIS in Raqqa (Hamadee and Gutman 2014; Ditz 2014). In November defections to Jabhat al Nusra from the US-backed Syrian Revolutionary Front were reported (Newman 2014; Sly 2014).

In December, Adib Al-Shishakli, representative at the Gulf Cooperation Council of the exile ‘Syrian National Coalition’, said ‘opposition fighters’ were ‘increasingly joining’ ISIS ‘for financial reasons’ (Zayabi 2014). In that same month, the Al Yarmouk Shuhada Brigades, backed and trained for two years by US officers, were reported as defecting to ISIS, which had by this time began to establish a presence in Syria’s far south (OSNet 2014). Then, over 2014-2015, three thousand ‘moderate rebels’ from the US-backed ‘Harakat Hazzm’ collapsed into Jabhat al Nusra, taking a large stock of US arms including anti-tank weapons with them (Fadel 2015a). Video posted by al-Nusra showed these weapons being used to take over the Syrian military bases, Wadi Deif and Hamidiyeh, in Idlib province (Bacchi 2015). Debka File, a site linked to Israeli intelligence, says the heavy weaponry provided to the Syrian ‘opposition’ by the USA, Israel, the Saudis, Jordan, Turkey and Qatar includes tanks, armoured vehicles, rockets launchers, machine-guns, anti-aircraft weapons and ‘at least four types of anti-tank weapons’ (Debka 2015). The scale and consistency of the ‘defections’ strongly suggests management to channel these arms, along with fighters, to make ISIS the best equipped group. A similar conclusion was noted by US Senator John Kiriakou (Sputnik 2015b).

Recruitment of fighters for ISIS was certainly a heavily financed affair, and not an ‘organic’ drift of resentful ‘Sunni’ youth. In late 2014 the Afghan Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost was said to be ‘leading efforts in northern Pakistan to recruit fighters for ISIS’ (Bienaimé 2015). Soon after this report, Syrian jihadist Yousaf al Salafi, arrested in Pakistan, said he had been hired to recruit young men in Pakistan to fight with ISIS in Syria. He says he received $600 for each fighter he sent, working with a Pakistani sheikh and using US money (Variyar 2015). Who knows what the middle-men took, but this sum is several times the salary of an average Syrian soldier. As with Jabhat al Nusra, recruits came from a wide range of countries. Cuban journalists interviewed four captured ISIS jihadists from Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan. They were recruited in a larger group which had passed freely through Turkey and across the border into Syria. They were assisted to participate in this ‘holy war’ by offers of a house, a good salary and a bride. More than 300 people were killed by their car bombs (PL 2015).

ISIS had US weapons by various means in both Iraq and Syria when, in late 2014, a ‘non-aggression pact’ was reported in the southern area of Hajar al-Aswad between ‘moderate rebels’ and ISIS, as both recognised a common enemy in Syria: ‘the Nussayri regime’, a sectarian way of referring to Alawi Muslims. Some reported ISIS had purchased weapons from the ‘rebels’ (AFP 2015).

With ‘major Arab allies’ directly backing ISIS and a steady stream of fighters and arms passing to ISIS from the collapsing US-backed ‘moderate rebel’ groups, it is a small leap to recognise that US and ‘coalition’ flights to ISIS areas (supposedly to ‘degrade’ the extremists) might also have become covert supply lines. That is precisely what senior Iraqi sources began saying, in late 2014 and early 2015 (Iraq News 2014). In mid-2014 ISIS began seizing US weapons, but this was put down to incompetence on the part of the Iraqi Army (Sharma and Nestel 2014).

However, soon after that, US air drops of arms were seized by ISIS troops on the ground. Was this US incompetence or US planning? As reported by both Iraqi and Iranian media, Iraqi MP Majid al-Ghraoui said in January that ‘an American aircraft dropped a load of weapons and equipment to the ISIS group militants at the area of al-Dour in the province of Salahuddin’ (Sarhan 2015). Photos were published of ISIS retrieving the weapons. The US admitted seizures of its weapons but said this was a ‘mistake’ (MacAskill and Chulov 2014). Then in February Iraqi MP Hakem al-Zameli said the Iraqi army had shot down two British planes which were carrying weapons to ISIS in al-Anbar province. Again, photos were published of the wrecked planes. ‘We have discovered weapons made in the US, European countries and Israel from the areas liberated from ISIL’s control in Al-Baqdadi region’, al-Zameli said (FNA 2015a).

The Al-Ahad news website quoted Head of Al-Anbar Provincial Council Khalaf Tarmouz saying that a US plane supplied the ISIL terrorist organization with arms and ammunition in Salahuddin province (FNA 2015b). Also in February an Iraqi militia called Al-Hashad Al-Shabi said they had shot down a US Army helicopter carrying weapons for ISIL in the western parts of Al-Baqdadi region in Al-Anbar province. Again, photos were published (FNA 2015a). After that, Iraqi counter-terrorism forces were reported as having arrested ‘four foreigners who were employed as military advisors to the ISIL fighters’, three of whom were American and Israeli (Adl 2015). Israel’s link to ISIS seems to have passed well beyond its border areas. In late 2015 an Israeli Colonel Yusi Oulen Shahak was said to have been arrested with an ISIS group in Iraq.

The Iraqi Government linked militia said Shahak, from the Golani brigade, was a colonel who ‘had participated in the Takfiri ISIL group’s terrorist operations’ (FNA 2015c). Six senior Iraqi officials have been cited detailing US weaponry and intelligence support for ISIS. Captured ISIS fighters said the US had provided ‘intelligence about the Iraqi forces’ positions and targets’ (FNA 2015d). The western media avoided these stories altogether, because they are very damaging to Washington’s ‘existential myth’ of a ‘War on ISIS’. However they certainly help explain why Baghdad does not trust the US military.

In Libya in 2015 a key US collaborator in the overthrow of the Gaddafi government announced himself the newly declared head of the ‘Islamic State’ in North Africa (Sputnik 2015a). Abdel Hakim Belhaj was held in US prisons for several years, then ‘rendered’ to Gaddafi’s Libya, where he was wanted for terrorist acts. As former head of the al-Qaeda-linked Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, then the Tripoli-based ‘Libyan Dawn’ group, Belhaj was, in the past, defended by Washington and praised by US Congressmen John McCain and Lindsey Graham (Sputnik 2015a).

Evidence of the covert relationship between Washington and ISIS is substantial and helps explain what Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faysal Mikdad called Washington’s ‘cosmetic war’ on ISIS (SANA 2015). The terrorist group was herded away from the Kurdish areas of northern Iraq but allowed to operate freely in Eastern Syria, against the Syrian Army (Fadel 2015b). The extremist group is used to justify a foothold Washington keeps in the region, weakening both Syria and Iraq. But Washington’s ‘war’ on ISIS has been ineffective. Studies by Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgent database showed that ISIS attacks and killings in Iraq increased strongly in the months after US air attacks began (Lestch 2014). The main on-the-ground fighting has been carried out by the Syrian Army, with its allies, and the Iraqi armed forces, with support from Iran (Lister 2015).

All this has been reported perversely in the western media. The same channels that prominently report (virtually celebrating) the ISIS killing of Syrian soldiers have also claimed the Syrian Army was avoiding or ‘not fighting’ ISIS (Richter 2014; Vinograd and Omar 2014). That alleged ‘unwillingness’ was part of the justification for US bombing inside Syria, another false pretext. While it is certainly the case that Syrian priorities remained in the heavily populated west, multiple media reports make it clear that, well before the strikes by the Russian air force in October 2015, the Syrian Arab Army was the major force engaged with ISIS (YNet 2014; al Arabiya 2014; Reuters 2015), as also suffering the worst casualties from that terrorist group (Webb 2014). When it comes to avoiding ISIS, the reverse has been the case. The evidence tells us that Washington’s lack of will against ISIS is linked to the fact that the terrorist group remains a key tool against the Syrian Government. That also explains why the US refuses to coordinate with the Syrian Army against ISIS (King 2015). This is consistent with the central ongoing aim of ‘regime change’ in Damascus or, failing that, dismemberment of the country. Such an aim was rejected by the US and others at a Vienna conference (Daily Star 2015); but US practice speaks louder than its words.

The contradictions of the US position – of claiming to fight ISIS while covertly protecting it – were thrown into sharp relief when in late September 2015 Russia decided to add air power to the Syrian Army’s efforts, against all the terrorist groups. When the US refused to cooperate with Russia, Washington’s media and NGO cheer squads immediately shifted their chorus of Syrian Government ‘killing civilians’ to that of Russia ‘killing civilians’. That had little effect on matters. At the time of writing, with that powerful Russian assistance, ISIS and the others are retreating and the Syrian Arab Army and its allied militia are gradually reclaiming areas that have been occupied for some time (AFP 2015).

Closer cooperation between Russia, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon’s Hezbollah threaten to seriously degrade US dominance in the region. In the Iraqi military’s recent offensive on ISIS-held Tikrit, the Iranian military emerged as Iraq’s main partner. Washington was sidelined, causing consternation in the US media. General Qasem Suleimani, head of Iran’s Quds Force was said to have been a leading player in the Tikrit operation (Rosen 2015). Not least amongst the new developments has been the creation of an intelligence centre based in Baghdad and shared by Russia, Syria, Iraq and Iran plus Hezbollah (4+1). This signals a new measure of independence for the Baghdad government, long thought to be a puppet captured by Washington (Boyer and Scarborough 2015).

This article has presented sufficient evidence for us to safely draw these conclusions.

First, Washington planned a bloody wave of regime change in its favour in the Middle East, getting allies such as the Saudis to use sectarian forces in a process of ‘creative destruction’.

Second, the US directly financed and armed a range of so-called ‘moderate’ terrorist groups against the sovereign state of Syria while its key allies the Saudis, Qatar, Israel and Turkey financed, armed and supported with arms and medical treatment every anti-Syrian armed group, whether ‘moderate’ or extreme.

Third, ‘jihadists’ for Jabhat al Nusra and ISIS were actively recruited in many countries, indicating that the rise of those groups was not due to a simple anti-western ‘Sunni’ reaction within the region.

Fourth, NATO member Turkey functioned as a ‘free transit zone’ for every type of terrorist group passing into Syria.

Fifth, there is testimony from a significant number of senior Iraqi officials that US arms have been delivered directly to ISIS.

Sixth, the ineffective, or at best selective, US ‘war’ against ISIS tends to corroborate the Iraqi and Syrian views that there is a controlling relationship. In sum we can conclude that the US has built a command relationship with all of the anti-Syrian terrorist groups, including al Nusra ISIS, either directly or through its close regional allies, the Saudis, Qatar, Israel and Turkey. Washington has attempted to play a ‘double game’ in Syria and Iraq, using its old doctrine of ‘plausible deniability’ to maintain the fiction of a ‘war on terrorism’ for as long as is possible.

References

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Author: Prof. Tim Anderson

NATO: Seeking Russia’s Destruction Since 1949

In 1990, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, U.S. president George H. W. Bush through his secretary of state James Baker promised Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev that in exchange for Soviet cooperation on German reunification, the Cold War era NATO alliance would not expand “one inch” eastwards towards Russia. Baker told Gorbachev: “Look, if you remove your [300,000] troops [from east Germany] and allow unification of Germany in NATO, NATO will not expand one inch to the east.”

In the following year, the USSR officially dissolved itself. Its own defensive military alliance (commonly known as the Warsaw Pact) had already shut down. The Cold War was over.

So why hasn’t NATO also dissolved, but instead expanded relentlessly, surrounding European Russia? Why isn’t this a central question for discussion and debate in this country?

NATO: A Cold War Anti-Russian Alliance 

Some challenge the claim that Bush’s pledge was ever given, although Baker repeated it publicly in Russia. Or they argue that it was never put in writing, hence legally inconsequential. Or they argue that any promise made to the leadership of the Soviet Union, which went out of existence in 1991, is inapplicable to subsequent U.S.-Russian relations. But it’s clear that the U.S. has, to the consternation of the Russian leadership, sustained a posture of confrontation with its Cold War foe principally taking the form of NATO expansion. This expansion hardly receives comment in the U.S. mass media, which treats the entry of a new nation into NATO much as it does the admission of a new state into the UN—as though this was altogether natural and unproblematic.

But recall the basic history. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was formed in April 4, 1949, initially consisting of the U.S., Canada, U.K., France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Portugal, as a military alliance against the Soviet Union, and principally the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.

It was formed just four years after the Soviets stormed Berlin, defeating the Nazis. (As you know, Germany invaded Russia six months before Japan attacked Pearl Harbor;  the U.S. and USSR were World War II allies versus the fascists; the key victories in the European war—Moscow, Stalingrad, Kursk—were Soviet victories over the Nazis; that U.S. soldiers only crossed the Rhine on March 22 as the Red Army was closing in on Berlin, taking the city between April 16 and May 2 at a cost of some 80,000 Soviet dead. If you don’t know these things, you’ve been denied a proper education.)

In the four-year interim between Hitler’s suicide and the formation of NATO, the two great victors of the war had divided Europe into spheres of influence. The neighboring Soviet Union had contributed disproportionately to the fascist defeat: over eight million military and over 12 million civilians dead, as compared to the far-off U.S., with losses of around 186,000 dead in the European theater and 106,000 in the Pacific.

It might seem strange that the lesser hero in this instance (in this epochal conflict against fascism) gets all the goodies in the battle’s aftermath: the U.S. created a bloc including Britain, France, Italy, most of Germany, the Low Countries, Portugal, and most of Scandinavia, while the Soviets asserted hegemony—or tried to—over their generally less affluent client states. But the Soviets were not in any case interested primarily in drawing the richest nations into their fold; were that the case, they would not have withdrawn their troops from Austria in 1955.

Rather Russia, which had historically been invaded many times from the west—from Sweden, Lithuania, Poland, France, and Germany multiple times—wanted preeminently to secure its western border. To insure the establishment of friendly regimes, it organized elections in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and elsewhere. (These had approximately as much legitimacy as elections held under U.S. occupation in Iraq or Afghanistan in later years, or at any point in Latin America). They brought the Eastern European “people’s republics” into existence.

The U.S. and British grumbled about the geopolitical advances of their wartime ally. In March 1946 former British Prime Minister Churchill while visiting the U.S. alluded to an “iron curtain” falling across Europe. (Perhaps he was unwittingly using the expression that Josef Goebbels had used just thirteen months earlier. The German propaganda minister had told a newspaper that “if the German people lay down their weapons, the Soviets…would occupy all of Europe…An iron curtain would fall over this enormous territory…”) Very scary.

But the U.S. was working hard at the time to consolidate its own bloc in Europe. In May 1947 the U.S. CIA forced the Italian and French governments to purge Communist members of cabinets formed after electoral successes the previous year. (The U.S. had enormous clout, bought through the $ 13 billion Marshall Plan begun in April 1947, designed to revive European capitalism and diminish the Marxist appeal.)

The CIA station chief in Rome later boasted that “without the CIA,” which funded a Red Scare campaign and fomented violent, even fatal clashes at events, “the Communist Party would surely have won the [Italian] elections in 1948.” (Anyone who thinks Soviets rigged elections while the U.S. facilitated fair ones as a matter of principle is hopelessly naïve.)

Meanwhile—before the establishment of NATO in April 1949—the U.S. and Britain had been fighting a war in Greece since 1946 on behalf of the monarchists against the communist-led forces that had been the backbone of the anti-fascist movement during the World War II. The Communists had widespread support and may well have won the civil war if the Soviets had only supported them. But observing the understanding about spheres of influence agreed to at Yalta and Potsdam, Stalin refused appeals for Soviet aid from the Greek (and Yugoslav) Communists. The Greek partisans surrendered in Oct. 1949, six months after the formation of NATO. (But NATO was in fact not deployed in this military intervention in Greece, seen as the first Cold War U.S. military operation under the broadly anticommunist “Truman Doctrine.”)

Just a month after NATO was formed, the pro-U.S. leaders in west Germany unilaterally announced the establishment of the Federal Republic of Germany. (The pro-Soviet German Democratic Republic was declared only six months later. As in Korea, the Soviets promoted reunification of occupied sectors. But the U.S. was intent on establishing client states, and dividing nations if necessary to stem Soviet inroads. This was also the case with Vietnam.)

Four months after the creation of NATO the Soviets conducted their first successful nuclear test. The Cold War was underway in earnest.

NATO was thus formed to aggressively confront the USSR and exploit fears of a supposed threat of a westward Soviet strike (to impose the Soviet social system on unwilling peoples). That threat never materialized, of course. The Soviets cordoned off East Berlin from the west by the Berlin Wall in 1961 to prevent embarrassing mass flight.  But they never invaded West Germany, or provoked any clash with a NATO nation throughout the Cold War. (Indeed, in light of the carnage visited on Europe since 1989, from civil wars in the Balkans and Caucasus to terrorist bombings in London, Madrid and Paris to the neo-fascist-led putsch in Ukraine last year, the Cold War appears in retrospect as a long period of relative peace and prosperity on the continent.)

Comparing U.S. and Russian/Soviet Aggression during the Cold War

NATO expanded in 1952,  enlisting the now-pacified Greece and its historical rival, Turkey. In 1955 it brought the Federal Republic of Germany into the fold. Only then—in May 1956, seven years after the formation of NATO—did the Soviets establish, in response, their own defensive military alliance. The Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation, and Mutual Assistance (Warsaw Pact) included a mere eight nations (to NATO’s 15): the USSR, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Albania.

Warsaw Pact forces were deployed only once during the Cold War, to crush the reform movement in Czechoslovakia in 1968. (They were not used during the suppression of the “Hungarian Revolution” of 1956, occurring five months after the founding of the alliance. That operation was performed by Soviet troops and loyalist Hungarian forces.) The Czechoslovakian intervention occasioned Albania’s withdrawal from the pact, while Romania protested it and refused to contribute troops. Thus practically speaking, the Warsaw Pact was down to six members to NATO’s 15. The western alliance expanded to 16 when Spain joined in 1982.

Between 1945 and 1991 (when the Warsaw Pact and the USSR  both dissolved themselves), the U.S. had engaged in three major wars (in Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf); invaded Grenada and Panama; and intervened militarily in Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Lebanon, Cuba, Cambodia, Laos, Nicaragua, Haiti and other countries.

During that same period, the Soviets invaded eastern European nations twice (Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968), basically to maintain the status quo. Elsewhere, there was a brief border conflict with China in 1969 that killed around 150 soldiers on both sides. And the Soviets of course invaded Afghanistan in 1979 to shore up the secular regime faced with Islamist opposition. That’s about it. Actually, if you compare it to the U.S. record, a pretty paltry record of aggression for a superpower.

That Islamist opposition in Afghanistan, as we know, morphed into the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and the group founded in Iraq by one-time bin Laden rival Abu Musab al-Zarqawi that’s now called ISIL or the Islamic State. Referred to—almost affectionately—by the U.S. press in the 1980s as the “Mujahadeen” (“those engaged in jihad”), these religious militants were lionized at the time as anti-communist holy warriors by Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski.

Brzezinski told the president six months before the Soviets sent in troops that by backing the jihadis the U.S. could “induce a Soviet military intervention.” The U.S., he declared, had “the opportunity of giving the USSR its Vietnam War” and could now “bleed” the Soviets as they had bled the U.S. in Vietnam.

(Linger for a moment on the morality here. The Soviets had helped the Vietnamese fight an unpopular, U.S.-backed regime and confront the horrors of the U.S. assault on their country. Now—to get back, as Brzezinski out it—the U.S. could help extreme Islamists whose minds are in the Middle Ages to “induce” Soviet intervention, so as to kill conscript Soviet boys and prevent the advent of modernity.)

The anti-Soviet jihadis were welcomed to the White House by President Ronald Reagan during a visit in 1985. Reagan, perhaps already showing the signs of Alzheimer’s disease, trumpeted them as “the moral equivaent of America’s founding fathers.” This is when the great bulk of U.S. (CIA) aid to the Mujahadeen was going into the coffers of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a vicious warlord now aligned with the Taliban. One of many former U.S. assets (Saddam Hussein included) who had a falling-out with the boss, he was the target of at least one failed CIA drone strike in 2002.

Thus the Soviets’ one and only protracted military conflict during the Cold War, lasting from December 1979 to February 1989 and costing some 14,000 Soviet lives, was a conflict with what U.S. pundits have taken to calling “Islamist terrorism.”

The Soviets were surely not facing anticommunists pining for “freedom” as this might be conceptualized in some modern ideology. The enemy included tribal leaders and clerics who objected to any changes in the status of girls and women, in particular their dress, and submission to patriarchal authority in such matters as marriage.

The would-be Soviet-backed revolutionaries faced religious fanatics ignorant about women’s medical needs, hostile to the very idea of public clinics, and opposed to women’s education, (In fact the Soviets were able to raise the literacy rate for women during the 1980s—a feat not matched by the new occupiers since 2001—but this was mainly due to the fact that they maintained control over Kabul, where women could not only get schooling but walk around without a headscarf.)

Those days ended when the Soviet-installed regime of Mohammad Najibullah was toppled by Northern Alliance forces in April 1992.  Things only became worse. Civil war between the Pastun Hekmatyar and his Tajik rivals immediately broke out and Hekmatyar’s forces brutally bombarded the capital—something that hadn’t happened during the worst days of the Soviet period.

As civil war deepened, the Taliban emerged, presenting itself as a morally upright, Sharia-based leadership. Acquiring a large social base, it took Kabul in September 1996. Among its first acts was to seize Najibullah, who had taken refuge in the UN compound in the city three years earlier, castrate him, and hang him publicly, denying him a proper Muslim burial.

Just as the neocons were crowing about the triumph of capitalism over communism, and the supposed “end of history,” the Frankenstein’s monster of Islamism reared up its ugly head. There were no tears shed in western capitals for Najibullah. But the Taliban were viewed with concern and distaste and the UN seat remained with the former Northern Alliance regime controlling just 10% of the country.

How the Cold War Encouraged “Radical Islam”

Surely the U.S.—which had packed up and left after the Soviet withdrawl, leaving the Pakistanis with a massive refugee problem and Afghanistan in a state of chaos—had bled the Soviets, and anyone daring to ally with them. And surely this experience contributed to the realization of Brzezinski’s fondest wish: the collapse of the Soviet Union.

But it also produced Islamist terrorism, big time, while the U.S.—having once organized the recruitment and training of legions of jihadis from throughout the Muslim world to bleed the Soviets—was and is now obliged to deal with blow-back, and in its responses invariably invites more terror.

Is it not obvious that U.S. military actions against its various “terrorist” targets in the “Greater” Middle East, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Libya have greatly swelled the ranks of al-Qaeda branches as well as ISIL?

And does not the course of events in Afghanistan—where the Kabul government remains paralyzed and inept, warlords govern the provincial cities, the Supreme Court sentences people to death for religious offenses, much of the countryside has been conceded to the Talibs and the militants are making inroads in the north—convince you that the U.S. should not have thrown in its lot with the jihadis versus the Soviet-backed secular forces thirty-five years ago?

In a 1998 interview by Jeffrey St. Clair and Alexander Cockburn Brzezinski was asked if he regretted “having given arms and advice to future [Islamist] terrorists.”

Brzezinski: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?

Q: Some stirred-up Moslems? But it has been said and repeated: Islamic fundamentalism represents a world menace today.

Brzezinski: Nonsense! It is said that the West had a global policy in regard to Islam. That is stupid. There isn’t a global Islam. Look at Islam in a rational manner and without demagoguery or emotion. It is the leading religion of the world with 1.5 billion followers. But what is there in common among Saudi Arabian fundamentalism, moderate Morocco, Pakistan militarism, Egyptian pro-Western or Central Asian secularism? Nothing more than what unites the Christian countries.

In other words, winning the contest with Russia—bleeding it to collapse—was more important than any risk of promoting militant Islamic fundamentalism. It is apparent that that mentality lingers, when, even in the post-9/11 world, some State Department officials would rather see Damascus fall to ISIL than be defended by Russians in support of a secular regime.

NATO to the Rescue in the Post-Cold War World

Since the fall of the USSR, and the disappearance of the Warsaw Pact, what has NATO been up to? First of all, it moved to fill a power vacuum in the Balkans. Yugoslavia was falling apart. It had been neutral throughout the Cold War, a member of neither NATO nor the Warsaw Pact. As governments fell throughout Eastern Europe, secessionist movements in the multiethnic republic produced widespread conflict. U.S. Secretary of State  Baker worried that the breakup of Yugoslavia’s breakup would produce regional instability and opposed the independence of Slovenia.

But the German foreign minister, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, and Chancellor Helmut Kohl—flushed with pride at Germany’s reunification and intent on playing a more powerful role in the world—pressed for Yugoslavia’s dismantling. (There was a deep German historical interest in this country. Nazi Germany had occupied Slovenia from 1941 to 1945, establishing a 21,000-strong Slovene Home Guard and planting businesses. Germany is now by far Slovenia’s number one trading partner.) Kohl’s line won out.

Yugoslavia, which had been a model of interethnic harmony, became torn by ethnic strife in the 1990s. In Croatia, Croatians fought ethnic Serbs backed by the Yugoslav People’s Army; in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs quarreled over how to divide the land. In Serbia itself, the withdrawal of autonomy of the provinces of Kosovo and Vojvodina produced outrage among ethnic Albanians. In 1995 images of emaciated Bosniak men and boys in Serb-constructed prison camps were widely publicized in the world media as Bill Clinton resolved not to let Rwanda (read: genocide!) happen again. Not on his watch. America would save the day.

Or rather: NATO would save the day! Far from being less relevant after the Cold War, NATO, Clinton claimed, was the onlyinternational force capable of handling this kind of challenge. And thus NATO bombed, and bombed—for the first time ever, in real war—until the Bosnian Serbs pleaded for mercy. The present configuration of Bosnia-Herzegovina, a dysfunctional federation including a Serbian mini-republic, was dictated by U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher and his deputy Richard Holbrooke at the meeting in Dayton, Ohio in November 1995.

Russia, the traditional ally of the Serbs, was obliged to watch passively as the U.S. and NATO remapped the former Yugoslavia. Russia was itself in the 1990s, under the drunken buffoon Boris Yeltsin, a total mess. The economy was nose-diving; despair prevailed; male longevity had plummeted.  The new polity was anything but stable. During the “Constitutional Crisis” of September-October 1993, the president had even ordered the army to bombard the parliament building to force the legislators to heed his decree to disband. In the grip of corrupt oligarchs and Wild West capitalism, Russians were disillusioned and demoralized.

Then came further insults from the west. During Yeltsin’s last year, in March 1999, the U.S. welcomed three more nations into: Czechoslovakia (later the Czech Republic and Slovakia), Hungary, and Poland. These had been the most powerful Warsaw Pact countries aside from the USSR and East Germany. This was the first expansion of NATO since 1982 (when Spain had joined) and understandably upset the Kremlin. What possible reason is there to expand NATO now? the Russians asked, only to be assured that NATO was not against anybody.

The Senate had voted to extend membership to Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia in 1998. At that time, George Kennan—the famous U.S. diplomat who’d developed the cold war strategy of containment of the Soviet Union—was asked to comment.

I think it is the beginning of a new cold war,” averred the 94-year-old Kennan. “I think the Russians will gradually react quite adversely and it will affect their policies. I think it is a tragic mistake. There was no reason for this whatsoever… It shows so little understanding of Russian history and Soviet history. Of course there is going to be a bad reaction from Russia, and then [the NATO expansion advocates] will say that we always told you that is how the Russians are–but this is just wrong. 

NATO Versus Serbia

In that same month of March 1999, NATO (including its three new members) began bombing the Serbian capital of Belgrade, the first time since World War II that a European capital was subjected to bombardment. The official reason was that Serbian state forces had been abusing the Albanians of Kosovo province; diplomacy had failed; and NATO intervention was needed to put things right. This rationale was accompanied by grossly exaggerated reports of Serbian security forces’ killings of Kosovars, supposedly amounting to “genocide.”

This was largely nonsense. The U.S. had demanded at the conference in Rambouillet, France, that Serbia withdraw its forces from Kosovo and restore autonomy to the province. Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic had agreed. But the U.S. also demanded that Belgrade accept NATO forces throughout the entire territory of Yugoslavia—something no leader of a sovereign state could accept. Belgrade refused, backed by Russia.

A “senior State Department official” (likely U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright) boasted to reporters that at Rambouillet “we intentionally set the bar too high for the Serbs to comply. . . . The Serbs needed a little bombing to see reason.”Henry Kissinger (no peacenik) told the press in June: “The Rambouillet text, which called on Serbia to admit NATO troops throughout Yugoslavia, was a provocation, and excuse to start bombing. Rambouillet is not a document that an angelic Serb could have accepted. It was a terrible diplomatic document that should never have been presented in that form.”

The U.S. had obtained UN approval for the NATO strikes on Bosnia-Herzegovina four years before. But it did not seek it this time, or try to organize a UN force to address the Kosovo problem. In effect, it insisted that NATO be recognized as the representative of “the international community.”

It was outrageous. Still, U.S. public opinion was largely persuaded that the Serbs had failed to negotiate peace in good faith and so deserved the bombing cheered on by the press, in particular CNN’s “senior international correspondent,” Christiane Amanpour, a  State Department insider who kept telling her viewers, “Milosevic continues to thumb his nose at the international community”—because he’d refused a bullying NATO ultimatum that even Kissinger identified as a provocation!

After the mass slaughter of Kosovars became a reality (as NATO bombs began to fall on Kosovo), and after two and a half months of bombing focused on Belgrade, a Russian-brokered deal ended the fighting. Belgrade was able to avoid the NATO occupation that it had earlier refused. (In other words, NATO had achieved nothing that the Serbs hadn’t already conceded in Rambouillet!)

As the ceasefire went into effect on June 21, a column of about 30 armored vehicles carrying 250 Russian troops moved from peacekeeping duties in Bosnia to establish control over Kosovo’s Pristina Airport. (Just a little reminder that Russia, too, had a role to play in the region.)

This took U.S. NATO commander Wesley Clark by surprise. He ordered that British and French paratroopers be flown in to seize the airport but the British General Sir Mike Jackson wisely balked. “I’m not going to have my soldiers start World War III,” he declared.

I think it likely this dramatic last minute gesture at the airport was urged by the up-and-coming Vladimir Putin, a Yeltsin advisor soon to be appointed vice-president and then Yeltsin’s successor beginning in December 1999. Putin was to prove a much more strident foe of NATO expansion than his embarrassing predecessor.

Cooperation Meets with Provocation

Still, recall how two years later—after 9/11, 2001, when the U.S. invoking the NATO charter called upon its NATO allies to engage in war in Afghanistan—Putin offered to allow the alliance to transport war material to Afghanistan through Russian territory. (In 2012 Foreign Minister Lavrov offered NATO the use of a base in Ulyanovsk to transport equipment out of Afghanistan.) This Afghan invasion was only the third actual deployment of NATO forces in war, after Bosnia and Serbia, and Moscow accepted it matter-of-factly. It even muted its concerns when the U.S. established military bases in the former Soviet Central Republics of Uzbekistan and Kirghizia.

But in 2004, NATO expanded again—to include Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, all of which had been part of the USSR itself and which border Russia. At the same time Bulgaria, Romania and Slovenia were admitted, along with Slovakia, which had become separate from the Czech Republic. Russians again asked, “Why?”

In 2007 the U.S. began negotiating with the Poles to install a NATO missile defense complex in Poland, with a radar system in the Czech Republic. Supposedly this was to shoot down any Iranian missiles directed towards Europe in the future!  But Moscow was furious, accusing the U.S. of wanting to launch another arms race. Due largely to anti-militarist sentiment among the Poles and Czechs, these plans were shelved in 2009. But they could be revived at any time.

In 2008, then, the U.S. recognized its dependency Kosovo, now hosting the largest U.S. Army base (Camp Bondsteel) outside the U.S., as an independent country. Although the U.S. had insisted up to this point that it recognized Kosovo as a province of Serbia (and perhaps even understood its profound significance as the heartland of Serbian Orthodoxy), it now (through Condoleezza Rice) proclaimed Kosovo a “sui generis” (one of a kind) phenomenon. So forget about international law; it just doesn’t apply.

In this same year of 2008, NATO announced boldly that Georgia and Ukraine “will become members of NATO.” ThereuponGeorgia’s comical President Mikheil Saakasvili bombarded Tskhinvali, capital of the self-declared Republic of South Ossetia that had resisted integration into the current Republic of Georgia since the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991. In this instance Russia defended South Ossetia, invading Georgia. It then recognized the independence, both of South Ossetia and of the Republic of Abkhazia, from Georgia. (This may be seen as a tit-for-tat response to the U.S.’s decision to recognize Kosovo’s independence from Serbia six months earlier.)

It was a six-day war, resulting in about 280 military fatalities (including 100 on the South Ossetian-Russian side) and about 400 civilian deaths. And there has been no Russian war since. Crimea was not “invaded” last year but simply seized by Russian forces in place, with general popular support. And there’s little evidence that the regular Russian military is confronting Ukrainian state forces; ethnic Russians are doing so, receiving no doubt support from cousins across the historically changeable border. But the charge of a “Russian invasion of Ukraine” is a State Department talking point—propaganda automatically parroted by the official press sock-puppet pundits, not a contemporary reality.

Georgia’s Saakasvili perhaps expected the U.S. to have his back as he provoked Moscow in August 2008. But while he received firm support from Sen. John McCain, who declared “We are all Georgians now,” he received little help from the George W. Bush State Department wary of provoking World War III. Georgia was not yet a NATO member able to cite the NATO charter’s mutual defense clause

Saakasvili left office in 2010 and is now under indictment by the Georgian courts for abuses in office. After a brief stint at the Fletcher School of International Law and Diplomacy in 2014, he acquired Ukrainian citizenship—losing his Georgian citizenship as a result—and (as one of many examples of how crazy the current Kiev leadership including Yatsenyev and Poroshenko can be) was appointed governor of Odessa last May!

Given the debacle of 2008, countries such as Germany are unlikely to accept Georgian admission any time soon. They do not see much benefit in provoking Russia by endlessly expanding the Cold War “defensive” alliance. Still, Croatia and Albania were added to NATO in 2009, in the first year of the Obama administration—just in time to participate in NATO’s fourth war, against Libya.

Again there was no reason for a war. Colonel Gadhafy had been downright cordial towards western regimes since 2003, and closely cooperated with the CIA against Islamist terrorism. But when the “Arab Spring” swept the region in 2011, some western leaders (headed by French president Nicolas Sarkozy, but including the always hawkish Hillary Clinton) convinced themselves that Gadhafy’s fall was imminent, and so it would be best to assist the opposition in deposing him and thus get into the good graces of any successors.

The UN Security Council approved a resolution to establish a no-fly zone for the protection of civilians from Gadhafy’s supposedly genocidal troops. But what NATO unleashed was something quite different: a war on Gadhafy, which led to his brutal murder and to the horrible chaos that has reigned since in Libya, now a reliable base for al-Qaeda and ISIL. Russia and China both protested, as the war was still underway, that NATO had distorted the meaning of the UN resolution. It’s unlikely that the two Security Council permanent members will be fooled again into such cooperation.

We can therefore add the failed state of Libya to the dysfunctional states of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo and Afghanistan, to our list of NATO achievements since 1991. To sum up: Since the collapse of the USSR,  the U.S. and some allies (usually in their capacity as NATO allies) have waged war on Bosnian Serbs, Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, while striking targets in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere with impunity. Russia has gone to war precisely once: for eight days in August 2008, against Georgia.

And yet every pundit on mainstream TV news tells you with a straight face that Putin’s the one who “invades countries.”

What Is the Point of NATO Expansion?

So while NATO has expanded in membership, it has showing a growing proclivity to go to war, from Central Asia to North Africa. One must wonder, what is the point?

The putative point in 1949 was the defense of “Western Europe” against some posited Soviet invasion. That rationale is still used; when NATO supporters today speak in favor of the inclusion of Lithuania, for example, they may state that, if Lithuania had remained outside the alliance—the Russians would surely have invaded by now on the pretext of defending ethnic Russians’ rights, etc.

There is in fact precious little evidence for Russian ambitions, or Putin’s own ambitions, to recreate the tsarist empire or Soviet Union.  (Putin complained just a few days ago, “We don’t want the USSR back but no one believes us.” He’s also opined that people who feel no nostalgia for the Soviet Union—as most citizens of the former USSR young enough to remember it say they do—have no heart, while those who want to restore it have no brains.)

As NATO expanded inexorably between 1999 and 2009, Russia responded not with threats but with calm indignation.

Putin’s remarks about the dissolution of the Soviet Union being a “geopolitical tragedy,” and his occasional words addressing the language and other rights of Russians in former SSRs, do not constitute militarist threats. As always the neocons cherry-pick a phrase here and there as they try to depict Putin as (yet) “another Hitler.” In fact the Russians have, relatively speaking, been voices of reason in recent years, Alarmed at the consequences of U.S. actions in the Middle East, they have sought to restrain U.S. imperialism while challenging Islamist terrorism.

In August 2013 Obama threatened to attack Syria, ostensibly to punish the regime for using chemical weapons against its people. (The original accusation has been discredited by Seymour Hersh among others.) Deft intervention by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and the refusal of the British House of Commons to support an attack (insuring it would not, like the Iraq War, win general NATO endorsement), and domestic opposition all helped avert another U.S. war in the Middle East.

But it’s as though hawks in the State Department, resentful at Russia’s success in protecting its Syrian ally from Gadhafy’s fate, and miffed at its continued ability to maintain air and naval facilities on the Syrian coast, were redoubling their efforts to provoke Russia. How better to do this than by interfering in Ukraine, which had not only been part of the Soviet Union but part of the Russian state from 1654 and indeed was the core of the original Kievan Rus in the tenth century?

NATO had been courting Ukraine since 1994—five years before the alliance expanded to include Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia. Kiev signed the NATO Membership Action Plan in 2008 when Viktor Yushchenko was president, but this was placed on hold when Viktor Yanukovych was elected in 2010. Enjoying the solid support of the Russian-speaking east, Yanukovich won what international observers called a free and fair election.

Yanukovich did not want Ukraine to join NATO: he wanted a neutral Ukraine maintaining the traditional close relationship between the Ukraine and Russia. This infuriated Victoria Nuland, the head of the Eurasia desk at the State Department, who has made it her life’s project to pull Ukraine into NATO. This would be NATO’s ultimate prize in eastern Europe: a country of 44 million well-educated people, the size of France, strategically located on the Black Sea historically dominated by the Russian Black Sea Fleet. An ethnically divided country, with a generally pro-Russian and Russian-speaking east, and a more western-oriented Ukrainian-speaking west with an unusually vigorous and fiercely anti-Russian neofascist movement—just there waiting to be used.

Nuland, a former Cheney aide whose neocon worldview drew Hillary Clinton’s favorable attention, resulting in her promotion, is the wife of neocon pundit and Iraq War cheerleader Robert Kagan. (Kagan was a founding member of the notorious Project for a New American Century “think tank”.)  The couple represents two wings of incessant neocon plotting: those who work to destroy Russia, and those who work to destroy the Middle East, consciously using lies to confuse the masses about their real goals.

At the National Press Club in December 2013, Nuland boasted that the U.S. (through such “NGOs” as the National Endowment for Democracy) had spent $ 5 billion in Ukraine in order to support Ukraine’s “European aspirations.”  This deliberately vague formulation is supposed to refer to U.S. support for Kiev’s admission into the European Union. The case the U.S. built against Yanukovich was not that he rejected NATO membership; that is never mentioned at all. She built the case on Yanukovich’s supposed betrayal of his people’s pro-EU aspirations in having first initialed, and then rejected, an association agreement with the trading bloc, fearing it would mean a Greek-style austerity regime imposed on the country from without.

From November 2013 crowds gathered in Kiev’s Maidan to protest (among other things) Yanukovich’s change of heart about EU membership. The U.S. State Department embraced their cause. One might ask why, when the EU constitutes a competing trading bloc, the U.S. should be so interested in promoting any country’s membership in it. What difference does it make to you and me whether Ukraine has closer economic ties to Russia than to the EU?

The dirty little secret here is that the U.S. goal has merely been to use the cause of “joining Europe” to draw Ukraine into NATO, which could be depicted as the next natural step in Ukraine’s geopolitical realignment.

Building on popular contempt for Yanukovich for his corruption, but also working with politicians known to favor NATO admission and the expulsion of Russian naval forces from the Crimean base they’ve had since the 1780s, and also including neo-fascist forces who hate Russia but also loath the EU, Nuland and her team including the ubiquitous John McCain popped up at the Maidan passing out cookies and encouraging the crowd to bring down the president.

It worked, of course. On Feb. 22, within a day of signing a European-mediated agreement for government reforms and new election, and thinking the situation defused, Yanukovich was forced to flee for his life. The neofascist forces of Svoboda and the Right Sector served as storm troops toppling the regime. Nuland’s Machiavellian maneuverings had triumphed; a neocon Jew had cleverly deployed open anti-Semites to bring down a regime and plant a pro-NATO one in its place.

It seemed as though, after 14 years of expansion, NATO might soon be able to welcome a huge new member into its ranks, complete the encirclement of Russia and, booting out the Russian fleet, turn the Black Sea into a NATO lake.

Alas for the neocons and “liberal interventionists”—the new regime of Nuland’s chosen Arseniy Yatsenyuk and his Svoboda Party allies immediately alienated the eastern Russian-speaking population, which remains up in arms making the country ungovernable, even as its economy collapses; and the notion of expelling the Russians from Sevastopol has become unimaginable.

But what do NATO planners want? Where is all the expansion and reckless provocation heading?

Russia:  an “Existential Threat”?

First of all, the NATO advocates, however often they repeat that “We’re not against Russia, this isn’t about Russia,” do indeed posit an enduring Russian threat. Thus General Sir Adrian Bradshaw, the most senior British officer in NATO, stated last February that Russia poses “an obvious existential threat to our whole being.” Gen. Joseph Votel, head of the U.S. Special Operations Command told the Aspen Security Forum in July that “Russia could pose an existential threat to the United States.”

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) warned Obama to sign a military appropriations bill because Russia poses “an existential threat” to the U.S.  Philanthropist George Soros (who likes to finance “color revolutions”) wrote in the New York review of Books in October that “Europe is facing a challenge from Russia to its very existence.”

These are wild, stupid words coming from highly placed figures. Isn’t it obvious that Russia is the one being surrounded, pressured and threatened? That its military budget is a fraction of the U.S.’s, its global military presence miniscule in relation to the U.S. footprint?

But anyone watching the U.S. presidential candidates’ debates—and who can perceive the prevalence of paranoia about Russia, the unthinking acceptance of the “Putin as Hitler” theme, and the obligatory expression of determination to make America more “strong”—can understand why the expansion of NATO is so horribly dangerous.

People who do not think rationally or whose minds are twisted by arrogance can look at the maps of NATO expansion and think proudly, “This is how it should be! Why would anyone question the need for nations to protect themselves by allying with the United States? It’s alliances like NATO that preserve peace and stability in the world.”

(Some are able to believe that, perhaps, but the fact is the world has become less peaceful and far less stable than it was during the Cold War when the two superpowers checked one another’s moves. Thereafter the U.S. emerged as what a French diplomat has called an “hyper-puissance” or hyper-power intervening with impunity in multiple countries and producing new, often ugly forms of resistance.)

People looking at the NATO map of Europe can mentally color in Montenegro too. A tiny republic on the Adriatic with under 650,000 people, it was formally invited by NATO to submit its membership application on December 2. What other countries have yet to sign?

As mentioned, in 2008 NATO announced that Georgia and Ukraine would join. But their cases actually seem to be on hold. Belarus, wedged between Poland and Russia, has been under the self-styled “authoritarian” President Alexander Lukashenko since 1994. The regime, considered close to Moscow, was targeted by an abortive U.S.-funded “color revolution” in March 2006. The U.S. favored Mikhail Marynich, a former ambassador to Latvia and proponent of NATO membership. (He participated in a closed-door NATO “War and Peace” conference in Riga in November 2006.)

Then there is Moldova, the former Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic located between Rumania and Ukraine. To its east is the breakaway republic of

Transnitria, where ethnic Moldovans are a minority and Russians and Ukrainians make up almost 60% of the population. It is a “frozen conflict” zone. The neocon dream is to ultimately change all their regimes and draw them all into the warm embrace of NATO.

One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them

One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

in the Land or Mordor where the shadows lie

What do you do after you complete the western encirclement of Russia? Why, you destabilize the country itself, hoping to slice it up! Russia remains a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural nation. There are tensions and secessionist movements to exploit in the Caucasus particularly, but also on the Karelian Peninsula and in Siberia.

If Russia is an existential threat, its own existence is a threat, right? So why not cut it up?

Doesn’t the logic of NATO expansion require an enemy, and doesn’t America lead the world in defeating enemies?

Or if not, isn’t NATO itself the real threat?  (After all, didn’t it, in its last major project, totally wreck the modern state of Libya, and as a result destabilize Mali?)

Shouldn’t we welcome tensions within NATO, and failures of member states to devote the required 2% of GDP to military expenses? Shouldn’t we welcome resistance to further expansion, complaints about U.S. arm-twisting, and calls for cooperation with Russia rather than confrontation and destruction?


About the author:

Gary Leupp is Professor of History at Tufts University, and holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Religion. He is the author of Servants, Shophands and Laborers in in the Cities of Tokugawa JapanMale Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan; and Interracial Intimacy in Japan: Western Men and Japanese Women, 1543-1900. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, (AK Press). He can be reached at: gleupp@tufts.edu

Declassified Documents Reveal Pentagon’s 1950s Planned Nuclear Holocaust

GR Editor’s Note

Publicly available military documents confirm that pre-emptive nuclear war is still on the drawing board  of the Pentagon.

Compared to the 1950s, the nuclear weapons are more advanced. The delivery system is more precise. In addition to China and Russia, Iran, Syria and North Korea are targets for pre-emptive nuclear war.  

Let us be under no illusions, the Pentagon’s plan to blow up the planet using advanced nuclear weapons is still on the books. 

Should we be concerned?  Blowing up the planet through the use of nuclear weapons is fully endorsed by presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who believes that nuclear weapons are instruments of peace-making. Her campaign is financed by the corporations which produce WMDs. 

Scientists on contract to the Pentagon have endorsed the use of tactical nuclear weapons: they are “harmless to civilians because the explosion is underground.”

The people at the highest levels of government who make the decision regarding the use of nuclear weapons haven’t  the foggiest idea as to the implications of their actions. 

Michel Chossudovsky, December 27, 2015

*        *       *

Recently-declassified nuclear targeting documents from 1959 describe how Washington planned to obliterate the capital cities of what are now America’s NATO allies in Eastern and Central Europe. The revelation casts doubt on Washington’s Cold War commitment to the protection of what it referred to as «captive nations» in Europe. The documents are contained in a report titled, «SAC (Strategic Air Command) Atomic Weapons Requirements Study for 1959».

The US Air Force study called for the «systematic destruction» of such major population centers as Warsaw, East Berlin, Prague, Bucharest, Tallinn, and others, as well as Peiping (Beijing), Leningrad (St. Petersburg), and Moscow.

Excerpt of list of 1200 cities targeted for nuclear attack in alphabetical order

Atomic bombs eight times to destructive force of that dropped by the United States on Hiroshima were trained on a number of targets in Moscow and St. Petersburg. There were 179 «designated ground zeros» for atomic bombs in Moscow and 145 in St. Petersburg.

US atomic weapons would have laid waste to Wittstock, just upwind of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s hometown of Templin in Brandenburg in the former East Germany. It is most certain that had the US launched an atomic attack on Europe, Merkel, her parents Horst and Herlind Kasner, and brother Marcus would have been vaporized in the massive pre-targeted strike on East Berlin and the regions surrounding it.

Budapest would have been completely destroyed after the US hit the Tokol military airfield on the banks of the Danube River with one of its «city-busting» nuclear weapons. The blast would have rendered the Danube a radioactive drainage ditch and anyone exposed to the poisonous Danube waters downriver would have succumbed to an agonizing death from radiation sickness. Adding to the misery of anyone living alongside the Danube was the fact that Bratislava, also on the banks of the Danube, was also targeted for nuclear annihilation. The first major urban center casualties outside of Hungary and then-Czechoslovakia from the radioactive Danube would have been in Belgrade, the capital of neutral Yugoslavia.

The nuclear targeting of Vyborg on the Finnish border would have brought death and destruction to the border region of neutral Finland. Four atomic bombs were targeted on the former Finnish city: Koyvisto, Uras, Rempeti airfield, and Vyborg East.

Nuclear weapons, as the United States knew in 1959 and very well knows today, are not «precision-guided munitions».

For all of its propaganda beamed to Eastern Europe on Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, the United States was willing to sacrifice the very peoples it proclaimed to want to «free» from the Soviet bloc. America’s «mutually assured destruction» policy was based on increasing the «mega-death» count around the world by having the ability to hit the enemy with more nuclear «throw weight».

Increasing the mega-death count was why the United States targeted such large population centers as Peiping (Beijing), Shanghai, Mukden (Shenyang), and Tientsin in China. The pummeling of metro Moscow with atomic bombs was also designed to increase body count. The formerly Top Secret nuclear targeting document lists the following areas of Moscow for nuclear bombardment: Bykovo airport, central Moscow, Chertanovo, Fili, Izmaylovo, Khimki, Kuchino, Lyubertsy, Myachkovo airport, Orlovo, Salarevo, Shchelkovo, and Vnukovo airport.

Eighteen nuclear targets were programmed for Leningrad: Central Leningrad (including the historic Hermitage), Alexandrovskaya, Beloostrov, Gorelovo, Gorskaya, Kamenka North, Kasimovo, Kolomyagi, Kolpino, Krasnaya Polyana, Kudrovo, Lesnoy, Levashovo, Mishutkino, Myachkovo, Petrodvorets, Pushkin, Sablino, Sestroretsk, Tomilino, Uglovo, and Yanino.

Bucharest, Romania, was the target for three city busters aimed at Baneasa, Otopeni airport, and Pipera. Ulan Bator, the capital of the present America-idolizing Mongolia, would not have been spared. The Pentagon nuclear target list does not even list Mongolia as a separate country. The entry for the nuclear strike reads: «Ulaan Baatar, China».

Two uncomforting facts stand out from the disclosure of the targeting list. First, the United States remains as the only country in history that used nuclear weapons in warfare – hitting the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Second, some Pentagon officials, notably Air Force Chief of Staff Curtis LeMay and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Lyman Lemnitzer, called for a nuclear first strike on the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies. In fact, while the USSR, China, and France rejected the first use of nuclear weapons, NATO and the United States, on the other hand, chiseled in stone the first use of tactical nuclear weapons in the event of a Soviet invasion of Western Europe. But, as seen with the wishes of LeMay, Lemnitzer, and others, a massive pre-emptive nuclear strike on the Soviet Union and its allies, including China, was on the wish list of the Pentagon’s top brass.

Because the Soviet Union had virtually no intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) in 1959 and hinged its nuclear warfare capabilities on strategic bombers, the Pentagon brass wanted to hit the Soviet Union in a pre-emptive strike before they reached missile parity with the United States. At the heart of the crazed Pentagon reasoning was what the nuclear warfare champions called the «missile gap».

There is not much of a leap from the «black comedy» nuclear Armageddon film «Dr Strangelove» to actual Cold War era meetings on pre-emptive nuclear strikes held in the White House and Pentagon. Attorney General Robert Kennedy walked out of one such meeting in disgust while Secretary of State Dean Rusk later wrote: «Under no circumstances would I have participated in an order to launch a first strike». In 1961, President John F Kennedy questioned the motives of his generals and admirals after one such nuclear war pep talk from the Pentagon brass by stating, «And we call ourselves the human race».

Kennedy and his brother Robert had every reason to be fearful that the Pentagon would circumvent civilian authority and launch a nuclear strike either against Cuba, the Soviet Union, or both during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. According to Nikita Khrushchev’s memoirs, Robert Kennedy told Soviet ambassador to Washington Anatoly Dobrynin during the height of the crisis that «the President is not sure that the military will not overthrow him and seize power. The American military could get out of control».

Today, the peoples of Central and Eastern Europe continue having their love affair with NATO and the Americans. Yet, it was the same NATO and the forefathers of the present gung ho military interventionists in Washington who once wanted to rain nuclear fire upon the cities of Warsaw (six ground zeroes: Ozarow, Piastow, Pruszkow, Boernerowo, Modlin, and Okecie), Prague (14 designated ground zeroes at Beroun, Kladno, Kralupy nad Vltavou, Kraluv Dvor, Neratovice, Psary, Radotin, Roztoky, Slaky, Stechovice, Velvary, Kbely, Ryzyne, and Vodochody), Budapest, Bucharest, Sofia (three ground zeroes: Bozhurishte, Kumaritsa, and Vrazhdebna),  Bratislava, Kiev (three nuclear targets: Bortnichi, Post-Volynskiy airport, and Svyatoshino airport), Leipzig (where seven atomic bombs were targeted on Altenhain, Boehlen, Delitzsche, Grimma, Pegau, Wurzen, and Brandis), Weimar, and Wittenberg.

Also not to be spared nuclear annihilation were Potsdam, Vilnius (five nuclear ground zeroes: Novo Vilnya, Novaya Vileyka, Vilnyus (Center), Vilnyus East, and Vilnyus Southwest), Lepaya (Latvia), Leninakan (Gyumri) in Armenia, Alma Ata (Kazakhstan), Poznan, Lvov (three ground zeroes: Gorodok, Lvov Northwest, and Sknilov), Brno, Plovdiv in Bulgaria, Riga (four ground zeroes: Salaspils, Skirotava, Spilve, and Riga West), Ventspils in Latvia (two targets: Ventspils South and Targale), Tallinn (two ground zeroes: Lasnamae and Ulemiste), Tartu, Tirana, Vlone (Albania), Berat/Kucove (Albania), Kherson (Ukraine), Baku/Zabrat, Birobidzhan in the Jewish Autonomous Republic, Syktyvkar in the Komi Autonomous Republic, Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic on the Iranian border, Osh in Kyrgyzstan, Stalinabad (Dushanbe) in Tajikistan, Tashkent in Uzbekistan, and Tbilisi (seven ground zeroes at: Tbilisi central, Agtaglya, Orkhevi, Sandar, Sartichala, Soganlug, and Vaziani).

NATO and neo-conservative propagandists continue to paint Russia as an enemy of the peoples of central and eastern Europe. However, it was not Russia that had nuclear weapons once trained on the cities of the Eurasian land mass but the United States. Had the Pentagon generals and admirals had their way, today the eastern front of a rapidly expanding NATO would have been nothing more than a smoldering and radioactive nuclear wasteland, all courtesy of Uncle Sam’s nuclear arsenal.


Targeting Key Individuals, Stifling Free Speech, Arbitrary Detention, Withdrawing Rights

The Conservative party released its plan to scrap the Human Rights Act if it won the General Election. Secretary of State Chris Grayling said they’d also be prepared to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights, unless they were allowed to veto judgements from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

They won and the plan is going ahead.

Included in the Human Rights Act are fundamental rights and freedoms that all individuals within the UK have access to – such as the right to life, the freedom from torture and inhuman or degrading treatment, and the right to a fair trial. But those rights extend much deeper than most people think.

After World War II, the UK was instrumental in devising a list of rights – along with representatives from the 47 other countries that comprise the United Nations – that everybody across the world should enjoy. This became the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was created with the aim of never letting the atrocities of the Second World War happen again. A few years later, these rights were used to form the basis of the European Convention of Human Rights, which was drafted by the Council of Europe – the continent’s 47-strong human rights watchdog. This was led by a British MP and lawyer. This led to the establishment of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg and gave ordinary people a legal framework to work within, if they felt their rights had been violated.

Amnesty said “Any attack on the Human Rights Act poses a real threat to the freedoms we enjoy in this country – it must be defended.”

“Human rights are for everyone,” explains Sanchita Hosali, deputy director at the British Institute of Human Rights (BIHR). “They’re not only for certain groups. They protect all of us. Relating human rights to specific groups is wrong. They’re for everyone. They’re for the people we like and the people we don’t like – that’s what it means to live in a democratic society where we have a rule of law and we have respect for life.”

The Act helps us hold the government to account. Without it, the government would be free to do as it pleased. And it is doing exactly that – doing as it pleases

In the speech launching the party’s manifesto, David Cameron made it clear that he isn’t worried about anything as petty as civil liberties. He said: “Other parties might be wary of causing offence, or of being criticised by those who see every single measure as an affront to their civil liberties.” That’s why he is promising to dismantle the powers of the individual against the state – something he’s been working on for the last five years, such as through cuts to legal aid, making the right to a fair trial something only for those who can afford it.

Now, workplace rights are under threat as well. Unite, the workers union urged the government just last week to abandon its Trade Union bill, warning that the legislation heralds a new era of divisive industrial relations ill-befitting a modern economy. Further, it would tilt power in an increasingly unequal Britain still further towards the rich and big business.

Condemned as ‘not fit for purpose’ by its own advisors, the bill has attracted widespread criticism from human rights’ organisations saying it will contaminate decades of work to improve industrial relations, forcing employers and trade unions into longer, more bitter disputes.

Meanwhile, the state has become more pervasive than ever when it comes to policing, therefore advancing its agenda. The Metropolitan Police claim an investigation into the possibility of prosecuting journalists for their role in publishing secrets leaked by Edward Snowden will be kept secret. The revelation that information won’t be disclosed due to a “possibility of increased threat of terrorist activity” follows the relentless demands for information from journalists at The Intercept.

In July 2013 GCHQ turned up at The Guardian’s HQ and demanded the complete destruction of hard-drives that may contain any of Edwards Snowden’s encrypted files. As The Guardian themselves said “This extraordinary moment was half pantomime, half Stasi. But it was not yet the high tide of British official heavy-handedness. That was still to come”.

Julian Assang has never been charged in Sweden or the UK. The US Department of Justice is trying to prosecute him for “espionage”. This is the reason he was given asylum by Ecuador. He has been confined to the premises of Ecuador’s embassy in London, unable to see his family, because the UK refuse him safe passage to Ecuador. Julian Assange, like Edward Snowden is a whistleblower and there is no evidence that either divulged state secrets that we didn’t need to know. Policing the embassy costs £10,000 a day. And their human rights?

Straight after the Conservative election in May some who attended demonstrations against more austerity accused police of using violent tactics and of keeping peaceful protesters and even tourists caught up in the melee “kettled” for several hours.

“I have never experienced such extreme force of police violence,” said Daphne Wikken. “For me what is particularly scary is the fact that the government is already cracking down on dissent so badly just days after the general election.”

Staffordshire Police were accused of making a “heavy-handed” intervention during a protest outside an Israeli arms factory organized to mark the anniversary of last year’s Gaza conflict. An activist with London Palestine Action, told RT that the demonstration was meant to be a “fun, creative” experience, but was met with “aggressive and forceful police tactics.”

Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly. This is a right closely linked to the right to freedom of expression. It provides a means for public expression and is one of the foundations of a democratic society. Or it used to be.

In Britain today, members of student unions are being told to sign gagging orders preventing any public criticism of the university. In other incidents student are threatened with the police for even taking about a protest and are arrested for being in one.

Where universities were historically places of free expression, for students, that now comes in the form of a crackdown on dissent.

Of course dissent is something that Britain’s home secretary, Theresa May, is an expert on. She recently won the backing of MPs for her controversial plan to strip British terror suspects of their UK passports. One should mention the salient word ‘suspected’.

Meanwhile, May insists that the UK isn’t a surveillance state, but she can’t tell you why, because revealing the secrets of the UK surveillance state might put the public at risk! She’s been pushing strongly for outlawing thought crimes, which would allow her to prevent people from sharing their views on the internet or at events, if she deems them to inappropriate. With new laws being enacted through parliament,  if government doesn’t like you or what you believe, you will be silenced.

It is terrifying to read Theresa May’s speech delivered to the Metropolitan Police’s counter-terrorism conference. Given the audience, perhaps it shouldn’t be too surprising that May would go off the deep end of Orwellian absurdity.

“Time and again we are seeing what we are now up against: the powerful allure of propaganda pumped out by ISIL and others to recruit and brainwash British men and women, the access social media and modern communications give terrorists to vulnerable people, and the desire of those terrorists to poison others against our values and our way of life”.

At the end of the speech, she says that the best way to counter this threat is to highlight the “positive vision” of the UK and its “values.”

The idea that the way to counter Isis and its on-line propaganda through censorship, surveillance, threats, arrests and stripping citizens of passports, rather than direct engagement seems to confuse the message of claiming the UK is about “values”, freedom and democracy.

The Conservative party is promising to strip us of our freedoms and our rights, promising to snoop, investigate and scrutinise our lives in minute detail and crack down on non-violent protest and on the speakers allowed in colleges and universities.

The remaining ability of those on low or middle incomes to access legal rights and services are plainly being stripped away.

This crack-down extends to the broadcasters.

The definition of non-violent extremism will likely be formulated according to Theresa May’s assessment of ‘British values’. Suddenly, the home secretary is wielding a de-facto veto over who may appear in British current affairs programmes. Where would this end? Anti-terrorism laws brought in by labour 15 years ago are now being used to hunt down unpaid speeding and parking fines, dog fouling and even under age sun-bed use and smoking bans.

She is planning on granting herself powers to tell places of learning who they may or may not invite to speak. Amid the crisis of free speech on campus – both from students themselves and from authorities – the government’s only response is to worsen the situation and join the ranks of those who would limit thought and debate.

We have just witnessed Britain’s first cases of extra-judicial assassinations – irrespective of your thoughts on the two misguided individuals involved – these killings were illegal and brings the basis of democracy into question.

The powers of the individual against the state are being dismantled right before our eyes by a neoliberal party hell bent on a command and control vision of Britain.


Graham Vanbergen – TruePublica

First appeared at: http://truepublica.org.uk/united-kingdom/targeting-key-individuals-stifling-free-speech-arbitrary-detention-withdrawing-rights/

Kosovo: An evil little war (almost) all US candidates liked

Although the 2016 presidential election is still in the primaries phase, contenders have already brought up America’s failed foreign wars. Hillary Clinton is taking flak over Libya, and Donald Trump has irked the GOP by bringing up Iraq. But what of Kosovo?

The US-led NATO operation that began on March 24, 1999 was launched under the “responsibility to protect” doctrine asserted by President Bill Clinton and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair. For 78 days, NATO targeted what was then the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia – which later split into Serbia and Montenegro – over alleged atrocities against ethnic Albanians in the southern province of Kosovo. Yugoslavia was accused of “ethnic cleansing” and “genocide” as bombs rained on bridges, trains, hospitals, homes, the power grid and even refugee convoys.

NATO’s actions directly violated the UN Charter (articles 53 and 103), its own charter, the 1975 Helsinki Final Act and the 1980 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. The war was a crime against peace, pure and simple.

Though overwhelmed, Yugoslavia did not surrender; the June 1999 armistice only allowed NATO to occupy Kosovo under UN peacekeeping authority, granted by Resolution 1244 – which the Alliance has been violating ever since.

US Secretary of State at the time, Madeleine Albright, was considered the most outspoken champion of the “Kosovo War.” She is now a vocal supporter of candidate Clinton, condemning women who don’t vote for her to a “special place in Hell.”

Clinton visited the renegade province in October 2012, as the outgoing Secretary of State. She stood with the ‘Kosovan’ government leaders – once considered terrorists, before receiving US backing – and proclaimed unequivocal US support for Kosovo’s independence, proclaimed four years prior.

“For me, my family and my fellow Americans this is more than a foreign policy issue, it is personal,” Clinton said. Given the Kosovo Albanians had renamed a major street in their capital ‘Bill Clinton Avenue’ and erected a massive gilded monument to Hillary’s husband, her comments were hardly a surprise.

She is unlikely to be condemned for those remarks by her rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. While arguing that Congress should have a say in authorizing the intervention, Sanders entirely bought into the mainstream narrative about the conflict, seeing it as a case of the evil Serbian “dictator” Slobodan Milosevic oppressing the unarmed ethnic Albanians. He saw “supporting the NATO airstrikes on Serbia as justified on humanitarian grounds.”

One Sanders aide, Jeremy Brecher, resigned in May 1999 arguing against the intervention as it unfolded, since the “goal of US policy is not to save the Kosovars from ongoing destruction.”

Trouble is there was no “destruction.” Contrary to NATO claims of 100,000 or more Albanians purportedly massacred by the Serbs, postwar investigators found fewer than 5,000 deaths – 1,500 of which happened after NATO occupied the province and the Albanian pogroms began.

Western media, eager to preserve the narrative of noble NATO defeating the evil Serbs, dismissed the terror as “revenge killings.” NATO troops thus looked on as their Albanian protégés terrorized, torched, bombed and pillaged across the province for years, forcing some 250,000 Serbs, Jews, Roma, and other groups into exile.

After George W. Bush was re-elected in 2004, his administration adopted the Clinton-era agenda for the Balkans, including backing an independent Albanian state in Kosovo. None of the Republicans, save 2012 contender Ron Paul, have criticized the Kosovo War since.

Billionaire businessman Donald Trump actually has been critical – though back in 1999, long before he became the Republican front-runner and the bane of the GOP establishment. In October that year, Trump was a guest on Larry King’s CNN show, criticizing the Clintons’ handling of the Kosovo War after a fashion.

“But look at what we’ve done to that land and to those people and the deaths that we’ve caused,” Trump told King. “They bombed the hell out of a country, out of a whole area, everyone is fleeing in every different way, and nobody knows what’s happening, and the deaths are going on by the thousands.”

The problem with Trump, then as now, is that he is maddeningly vague. So, these remarks could be interpreted as referring to the terror going on at that very moment – the persecution of non-Albanians under NATO’s approving eye – or the exodus of Albanians earlier that year, during the NATO bombing. Only Trump would know which, and he hasn’t offered a clarification.

Though he has the most delegates and leads in the national polls for the Republican nomination, the GOP establishment is furious with Trump because he dared call George W. Bush a liar and describe the invasion of Iraq as a “big fat mistake.” According to the British historian Kate Hudson, however, the 2003 invasion was just a continuation of the “pattern of aggression,” following the precedent set with Kosovo.

Last week Secretary of State John Kerry reluctantly branded the actions of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in Iraq and Syria “genocidal” towards the Christians, Yazidis, Shiites and other groups. He cited examples of how IS destroyed churches, cemeteries and monuments, and murdered people simply because of who they were.

It was March 17, eight years to the day since 50,000 Albanians began a three-day pogrom in Kosovo, doing the very same things – while their activists in the US were raising funds for the very same John Kerry, as he ran for president as the Democratic candidate.


By Nebojsa Malic

24-03-2016

Source: RT

Kosovo: An evil little war

Six Years Later, Kosovo Still Wrong

In the early hours of March 24, 1999, NATO began the bombing of what was then the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. For some reason, many in the targeted nation thought the name of the operation was “Merciful Angel.” In fact, the attack was code-named “Allied Force” – a cold, uninspired and perfectly descriptive moniker. For, however much NATO spokesmen and the cheerleading press spun, lied, and fabricated to show otherwise (unfortunately, with altogether too much success), there was nothing noble in NATO’s aims. It attacked Yugoslavia for the same reason then-Emperor Bill Clinton enjoyed a quickie in the Oval Office: because it could.

Most of the criticism of the 1999 war has focused on its conduct (targeting practices, effects, “collateral damage”) and consequences. But though the conduct of the war by NATO was atrocious and the consequences have been dire and criminal, none of that changes the fact that by its very nature and from the very beginning, NATO’s attack was a war of aggression: illegal, immoral, and unjust; not “unsuccessful” or “mishandled,” but just plain wrong.

Illegal

There is absolutely no question that the NATO attack in March 1999 was illegal. Article 2, section 4 of the UN Charter clearly says:

“All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”

Some NATO members tried to offer justification. London claimed the war was “justified” as a means of preventing a “humanitarian catastrophe,” but offered no legal grounds for such a claim. Paris tried to create a tenuous link with UNSC resolutions 1199 and 1203, which Belgrade was supposedly violating. However, NATO had deliberately bypassed the UN, rendering this argument moot.

Article 53 (Chapter VIII) of the UN Charter clearly says that:

“The Security Council shall, where appropriate, utilize such regional arrangements or agencies for enforcement action under its authority. But no enforcement action shall be taken under regional arrangements or by regional agencies without the authorization of the Security Council.” (emphasis added)

Furthermore, Article 103 (Chapter XVI) asserts its primacy over any other regional agreement, so NATO’s actions would have been illegal under the UN Charter even if the Alliance had an obligation to act in Kosovo. Even NATO’s own charter – the North Atlantic Treaty of 1949 – was violated by the act of war in March 1999:

“Article 1

“The Parties undertake, as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, to settle any international dispute in which they may be involved by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security and justice are not endangered, and to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations. […]

“Article 7

“This Treaty does not affect, and shall not be interpreted as affecting in any way the rights and obligations under the Charter of the Parties which are members of the United Nations, or the primary responsibility of the Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security.” (emphasis added)

The attack violated other laws and treaties as well: the Helsinki Final Act of 1975 (violating the territorial integrity of a signatory state) and the 1980 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (using coercion to compel a state to sign a treaty – i.e., the Rambouillet ultimatum).

Yugoslavia had not attacked any NATO members, nor indeed threatened the security of any other country in the region; it was itself under an attack by a terrorist, irredentist organization. What NATO did on March 24, 1999 was an act of aggression, a crime against peace.

Illegitimate

Perfectly aware that the bombing was illegal, NATO leaders tried to create justifications for it after the fact. They quickly seized upon a mass exodus of Albanians from Kosovo, describing it as “ethnic cleansing” and even “genocide.” But as recent testimonies of Macedonian medical workers who took care of Albanian refugees suggest, the Western press was engaging in crude deceit, staging images of suffering refugees and peddling the most outrageous tall tales as unvarnished truth.

Stories abounded of mass murder, orchestrated expulsions, mass rapes, seizure of identity papers, even crematoria and mine shafts filled with dead bodies. Little or no evidence was offered – and not surprisingly, none found afterwards. The stories were part of a Big Lie, aimed to justify the intervention, concocted by professional propagandists, and delivered by the KLA-coached refugees. The KLA ran every camp in Macedonia and Albania, and there are credible allegations they organized the exodus in many instances. Albanians who did not play along were killed.

Eventually, the “genocide” and other atrocity stories were debunked as propaganda. But they had served their purpose, conjuring a justification for the war at the time. They had allowed NATO and its apologists to claim the war – though “perhaps” illegal – was a moral and legitimate affair. But there should be no doubt, it was neither.

Unjust

Even if one can somehow gloss over the illegal, illegitimate nature of the war and the lies it was based on, would the war still not be justified, if only because it led to the return of refugees? Well, which refugees? Certainly, many Kosovo Albanians – and quite a few from Albania, it appears – came back, only to proceed to cleanse it systematically of everyone else. Jews, Serbs, Roma, Turks, Ashkali, Gorani, no community was safe from KLA terror, not even the Albanians themselves. Those suspected of “collaborating” were brutally murdered, often with entire families.

According to the Catholic doctrine of “just war,” a war of aggression cannot be just. Even if one somehow fudges the issue, “the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated.”

The evil conjured by NATO’s and KLA’s propaganda machine was indeed grave. But it was not real. In contrast, what took place after the war – i.e., under the NATO/KLA occupation – is amply documented. At the beginning of NATO’s aggression, there were fewer dead, fewer refugees, less destruction, and more order than at any time since the beginning of the occupation. NATO has replaced a fabricated evil with a very real evil of its own.

Monument to Evil

What began six years ago may have been Albright’s War on Clinton’s watch, but both Albright and Clinton have been gone from office for what amounts to a political eternity. For four years now, the occupation of Kosovo has continued with the blessing – implicit or otherwise – of Emperor Bush II, who launched his own illegal war in Iraq. Kosovo is not a partisan, but an imperial issue; that is why there has been virtually no debate on it since the first missiles were fired.

Six years to the day since NATO aircraft began their onslaught, Kosovo is a chauvinistic, desolate hellhole. Serbian lives, property, culture, and heritage been systematically destroyed, often right before the eyes of NATO “peacekeepers.” Through it all, Imperial officials, Albanian lobbyists, and various presstitutes have been working overtime to paint a canvas that would somehow cover up the true horror of occupation.

Their “liberated” Kosovo represents everything that is wrong about the world we live in. It stands as a monument to the power of lies, the successful murder of law, and the triumph of might over justice. Such a monument must be torn down, or else the entire world may end up looking like Kosovo sometime down the line. If that’s what the people in “liberal Western democracies” are willing to see happen, then their civilization is well and truly gone.


By Nebojsa Malic

25-03-2005

Source: Antiwar.com

Syria: It’s Not a Civil War and it Never Was

The weapons are foreign, the fighters are foreign, the agenda is foreign. As Syrian forces fight to wrest control of their country back and restore order within their borders, the myth of the “Syrian civil war” continues on. Undoubtedly there are Syrians who oppose the Syrian government and even Syrians who have taken up arms against the government and in turn, against the Syrian people, but from the beginning (in fact before the beginning) this war has been driven from abroad. Calling it a “civil war” is a misnomer as much as calling those taking up arms “opposition.” It is not a “civil war,” and those fighting the Syrian government are not “opposition.”

Those calling this a civil war and the terrorists fighting the Syrian state “opposition” hope that their audience never wanders too far from their lies to understand the full context of this conflict, the moves made before it even started and where those moves were made from.

When did this all start? 

It is a valid question to ask just when it all really started. The Cold War saw a see-sawing struggle between East and West between the United States and Europe (NATO) and not only the Soviet Union but also a growing China. But the Cold War itself was simply a continuation of geopolitical struggle that has carried on for centuries between various centers of power upon the planet. The primary centers include Europe’s Paris, London and Berlin, of course Moscow, and in the last two centuries, Washington.

In this context, however, we can see that what may be portrayed as a local conflict, may fit into a much larger geopolitical struggle between these prominent centers of special interests. Syria’s conflict is no different.

Syria had maintained close ties to the Soviet Union throughout the Cold War. That meant that even with the fall of the Soviet Union, Syria still had ties to Russia. It uses Russian weapons and tactics. It has economic, strategic and political ties to Russia and it shares mutual interests including the prevailing of a multipolar world order that emphasizes the primacy of national sovereignty.

Because of this, Western centers of power have sought for decades to draw Syria out of this orbit (along with many other nations). With the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the fractured Middle East was first dominated by colonial Europe before being swept by nationalist uprising seeking independence. Those seeking to keep the colonial ties cut that they had severed sought Soviet backing, while those seeking simply to rise to power at any cost often sought Western backing.

The 2011 conflict was not Syria’s first. The Muslim Brotherhood, a creation and cultivar of the British Empire since the fall of the Ottomans was backed in the late 70s  andearly 80s in an abortive attempt to overthrow then Syrian President Hafez al-Assad, father of current Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The armed militants that took part in that conflict would be scattered in security crackdowns following in its wake, with many members of the Muslim Brotherhood forming a new US-Saudi initiative called Al Qaeda. Both the Brotherhood and now Al Qaeda would stalk and attempt to stunt the destiny of an independent Middle East from then on, up to and including present day.

There is nothing “civil” about Syria’s war

In this context, we see clearly Syria’s most recent conflict is part of this wider struggle and is in no way a “civil war” unfolding in a vacuum, with outside interests being drawn in only after it began.

The Muslim Brotherhood and its Al Qaeda spin-off were present and accounted for since the word go in 2011. By the end of 2011, Al Qaeda’s Syrian franchise (Al Nusra) would be carrying out nationwide operations on a scale dwarfing other so-called rebel groups. And they weren’t this successful because of the resources and support they found within Syria’s borders, but instead because of the immense resources and support flowing to them from beyond them.

Saudi Arabia openly arms, funds and provides political support for many of the militant groups operating in Syria since the beginning. In fact, recently, many of these groups, including allies of Al Qaeda itself, were present in Riyadh discussing with their Saudi sponsors the future of their joint endeavor.

Together with Al Nusra, there is the self-anointed Islamic State (IS). IS, like the Syrian conflict itself, was portrayed by the Western media for as long as possible as a creation within a vacuum. The source of its military and political strength was left a mystery by the otherwise omniscient Western intelligence community. Hints began to show as Russian increased its involvement in the conflict. When Russian warplanes began pounding convoys moving to and from Turkish territory, bound for IS, the mystery was finally solved. IS, like all other militant groups operating in Syria, were the recipients of generous, unending stockpiles of weapons, equipment, cash and fighters piped in from around the globe.

The Syrian conflict was borne of organizations created by centers of foreign interests decades ago who have since fought on and off not for the future of the Syrian people, but for a Syria that meshed more conveniently into the foreign global order that created them. The conflict has been fueled by a torrent of weapons, cash, support and even fighters drawn not from among the Syrian people, but from the very centers of these foreign special interests; in Riyadh, Ankara, London, Paris, Brussels and Washington.

How to settle a civil war that doesn’t exist?

If the Syrian conflict was created by foreign interests fueling militant groups it has used for decades as an instrument of executing foreign policy (in and out of Syria), amounting to what is essentially a proxy invasion, not a civil war, how exactly can a “settlement” be reached?

Who should the Syrian government be talking to in order to reach this settlement? Should it be talking to the heads of Al Nusra and IS who clearly dominate the militants fighting Damascus? Or should it be talking to those who have been the paramount factor in perpetuating the conflict, Riyadh, Ankara, London, Paris, Brussels and Washington, all of whom appear involved in supporting even the most extreme among these militant groups?

If Damascus finds itself talking with political leaders in these foreign capitals, is it settling a “civil war” or a war it is fighting with these foreign powers? Upon the world stage, it is clear that these foreign capitals speak entirely for the militants, and to no one’s surprise, these militants seem to want exactly what these foreign capitals want.

Being honest about what sort of conflict Syria is really fighting is the first step in finding a real solution to end it. The West continues to insist this is a “civil war.” This allows them to continue trying to influence the outcome of the conflict and the political state Syria will exist in upon its conclusion. By claiming that the Syrian government has lost all legitimacy, the West further strengthens its hand in this context.

Attempts to strip the government of legitimacy predicated on the fact that it stood and fought groups of armed militants arrayed against it by an axis of foreign interests would set a very dangerous and unacceptable precedent. It is no surprise that Syria finds itself with an increasing number of allies in this fight as other nations realize they will be next if the “Syria model” is a success.

Acknowledging that Syria’s ongoing conflict is the result of foreign aggression against Damascus would make the solution very simple. The solution would be to allow Damascus to restore order within its borders while taking action either at the UN or on the battlefield against those nations fueling violence aimed at Syria. Perhaps the clarity of this solution is why those behind this conflict have tried so hard to portray it as a civil war.

For those who have been trying to make sense of the Syrian “civil war” since 2011 with little luck, the explanation is simple, it isn’t a civil war and it never was. Understanding it as a proxy conflict from the very beginning (or even before it began) will give one a clarity in perception that will aid one immeasurably in understanding what the obvious solutions are, but only when they come to this understanding.


About the author:

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

Washington’s “Humanitarian” War And The KLA’s Crimes

Revelations of fascistic crimes carried out by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) prior to, during and after NATO’s war against the former Yugoslavia should provide a salutary lesson whenever Washington again cites humanitarian concerns to justify its predatory war aims. A new report prepared by Swiss Council of Europe deputy Dick Marty slams Kosovo leader Hachim Thaci for organ trafficking and other abominable crimes, deftly shaded by the U.S. in pursuit of their own self-interests.

GIF - 87 kb“Professional and honorable” KLA posing with the severed heads of Serbs they butchered in Kosovo

A report by the Council of Europe describes Kosovo today as a country subject to “mafia-like structures of organised crime”. It accuses KLA commander and current prime minister, Hachim Thaci, of heading a criminal network involved in murder, prostitution and drug trafficking.

This may come as no surprise to those who have witnessed his rise from terrorist thug to head of the newly “independent” state. But what will be a shock to many is the grotesque way in the KLA helped finance its operations—by removing and selling body organs from kidnapped Serb and Kosovan Albanian civilian prisoners. The practice recalls the barbaric human experiments carried out by the Nazi “Angel of Death” Josef Mengele in the Auschwitz concentration camp.

The KLA’s crimes only came to light at all because of the unravelling of an ongoing cover-up by the US, the United Nations and other major powers. Information about KLA detention facilities in Kosovo and across the border in Albania first reached the International Centre for the Red Cross in 2000, after KLA fighters reported that Serb civilians were taken there in 1999 and their organs removed and sold abroad for transplant operations. The allegations surfaced once again in a BBC investigation in April last year and in the publication of the memoirs of International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte, revealing that a 2008 investigation into the “organ harvesting” had been dropped because it was supposedly “impossible to conduct.”

Any prosecution of the KLA was made “impossible” by Washington, which has been its main sponsor since at least 1998. Following the Bosnian war of 1995, the KLA, seeking to capitalise on popular resentment among Kosovan Albanians against the regime of Slobodan Milosevic in Serbia, pursued a strategy of destabilising Kosovo by acts of terrorism in the hope of provoking Western intervention.

GIF - 52 kbFormer Secretary of State Madeleine Albright with protégé Hachim Thaci

NATO was forced to admit that the KLA was “the main initiator of the violence” and its actions a “deliberate campaign of provocation”. But Washington was shifting its policy from proscribing the KLA as a terrorist organisation to one of covert support. During the 1999 Rambouillet negotiations, then US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright promoted Thaci as the legitimate representative of the Kosovar people and seated him at the head of the Kosovo delegation. State Department spokesman James Rubin brushed aside concerns about the criminal nature of Washington’s new partner, claiming, “We simply don’t have information to substantiate allegations that there was a KLA leadership-directed program of assassinations or executions”, and that the State Department had no “credible evidence” the KLA was involved in drug trafficking.

The adoption of the KLA as an ally was vital to Washington’s strategy of breaking up the Yugoslav republic into its constituent parts, ensuring its own hegemony within the Balkan region and threatening the broader geo-strategic interests of Russia. Germany, Britain and other NATO allies all colluded in glorifying the KLA as a liberation movement fighting to free Kosovo from Serbian oppression. To this end, US Senator Joseph Lieberman declared that “Fighting for the KLA is fighting for human rights and American values,” while British Prime Minister Tony Blair famously proclaimed, “This is a just war, based not on any territorial ambitions but on values.”

The US has continued to protect Thaci and his criminal gang as it pursued its goals of ethnic separatism. In 2007, the UN’s special envoy in Kosovo, Martti Ahtisaari, started to promote Kosovo’s independence from Serbia. Just 11 months later, on February 17, 2008, Kosovo’s Assembly declared independence. It exists now as a US fiefdom, heavily dependent on international aid and with all major decisions pertaining to the economy, public spending, social programmes, security and trade controlled by the US, which has established its largest base in the Balkans at Camp Bondsteel.

GIF - 98.6 kbCamp Bondsteel is the main base of U.S. armed forces in Kosovo. It is currently the largest base of its kind in south east Europe and also serves as a NATO headquarters for the area housing around 7,000 troops

Only two trials of KLA personnel have ever been held at the ICTY, compared to the scores involving Serbs. In the second trial the then prime minister Ramush Haradinaj was acquitted of war crimes charges with the trial judge complaining about the “significant difficulties” securing witness testimony. This prompted Del Ponte to complain about the protection Haradinaj was receiving from Western governments and officials. It was as a result of the Haradinaj trial, when the first reports of the body organ trade first emerged, that the Council of Europe was asked by Del Ponte to carry out an investigation.

Equally culpable in concealing the KLA’s criminal activities are the various ex-liberal and “left” individuals and groups that threw their support behind the NATO bombing campaign—with claims that this was a humanitarian intervention in support of the KLA’s struggle for “self-determination”.

At that time, the arch-Conservative opponent of the war and former Defence Minister, Alan Clark MP, was moved to ask in the Observer, “What amazes me about the Yugoslav crisis is the credulity of the Left, and of progressive thinkers, who seem to get a vicarious thrill from seeing B52s taking off from Fairford. I address them: How have you swallowed whole the CIA-funded propaganda that demonises the Serbs? Are you not familiar with the duplicity and intimidation of United States foreign policy? That Ambassador Walker, in charge of monitoring forces in Bosnia, was financing the Contras? Have you no recall of that ’Free World’ crap that embraced Batista, Noriega, Syngman Rhee, Bao Dai, Lee Van Thieu and Sukarno?

In an accompanying editorial, “There is no alternative to this war”, the Observer responded to critics of its “allegedly inconsistent standards” with the rejoinder, “We say so what? … We have to live in the world as it is, not some Utopia.”

The indifference to the realities of imperialist policy aims, and the embrace of the KLA and ethnic separatism, was of a piece with the evolution of this social layer ever since the first Balkan war in 1991—during which the selective citation of “humanitarian” considerations was first employed to justify making peace with imperialism. And nothing will change as a result of the latest revelations. The liberal media has been largely silent on the charges against Thaci and wholly silent as regards any editorial mea culpa—denoting their own agreement with the propaganda mouthpiece of US imperialism, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, which insisted, “Regardless of the truth behind the charges against Thaci and members of the KLA, one should not abandon the broader perspective, as some otherwise reliable commentators have done.”


By Chris Marsden & Paul Mitchell

Source: World Socialist Web Site – http://www.wsws.org

Chomsky: NATO Is A U.S.-Run Intervention Force

How did Russia and the West slip back into what seems like the Cold War all over again? How dangerous is the current confrontation? Should the world be ready to face a nuclear war? We ask somebody who’s renowned for his insights. World-famous academic, linguist, philosopher and political commentator Noam Chomsky is on Sophie&Co today.

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Sophie Shevardnadze: World-renowned academic Noam Chomsky, Professor Noam Chomsky, welcome to the show, it’s a great pleasure to have you with us today. Now, today U.S.-Russia relations are at a Cold War low. Rhetoric resembles what we heard in the 80-s. What is the worst-case scenario we could see this turn into? Can the Cold War turn hot? Does U.S. want war?

Noam Chomsky: The worst-case scenario, of course, would be a nuclear war, which would be terrible. Both states that initiate it will be wiped out by the consequences. That’s the worst-case. And it’s come ominously close several times in the past, dramatically close. And it could happen again, but not planned, but just by the accidental interactions that take place – that has almost happened. It’s worth remembering that just one century ago, the First World War broke out through a series of such accidental interchanges. The First World War was horrifying enough, but the current reenactment of it means the end of the human race.

SS: President Obama came to power promising to work towards complete global nuclear disarmament. Well, now there are plans to spend one trillion dollars on nuclear arms in the next 30 years.With major powers only acquiring more nukes, it’s only obvious that others will want to as well, so could we see the nuclear non-proliferation regime crumble in the near future?

NC: We can think back as far as 1955, when Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein produced an appeal, a joint appeal to the people of the world, in which they said to all of us, you have a choice that is stark, unavoidable, the question is, will you eliminate war or will you eliminate human race? These are your choices. And we’ve come awfully close, several times since: the missile crisis in 1962 was described by Kennedy’s close associate, historian Arthur Schlesinger, as “the most dangerous moment in human history”, and he was quite right, we came very close to a nuclear war. There have been many cases, not that serious, but pretty close, where human intervention with a few-minutes choice has prevented a nuclear war. You can’t guarantee that’s going to continue. It may not be a high probability each time, but when you play a game like that, with low probability risks of disaster over and over again, you’re going to lose. And now, especially in the crisis over Ukraine, and so-called missile-defense systems near the borders of Russia, it’s a threatening situation.

SS: Professor, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said the U.S. needs to deal with “Russia’s army on NATO’s doorstep”. But as you yourself put it: “America’s redlines are firmly placed at Russia’s borders”. What are American redlines doing on Russian borders?

NC: Well, this statement was interesting. Of course, it’s correct. But NATO’s borders have been expanded to reach Russia’s borders. This takes us back to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990, there was an agreement between Gorbachev and President Bush, Bush number one, that NATO would not expand one inch to the east. That meant to East Germany, that was the agreement. As soon as the agreement was made, NATO was expanded to East Germany, Gorbachev was naturally infuriated, but he was informed by President Bush and his Secretary of State, James Baker, that this was only a verbal agreement, there was nothing on paper, which is true, there was nothing on paper. And Gorbachev had no choice, but to accept it. President Clinton came along, the next president, and in a couple of years they expanded NATO even further. In fact, one might ask why NATO even continued to exist. The official justification for NATO was that its purpose was to defend Western Europe from Russian hordes who might attack Western Europe. Can’t ask how plausible that explanation was, but that at least that was the official explanation. Well, 1990-1991 – no Russian hordes. Natural conclusion – ok, let’s disband NATO. The opposite happens – NATO expanded. Its mission changed. The official mission of NATO became to control the international, the global energy system, pipelines. That means, to control the world. Of course, its U.S.-run intervention force, as in Kosovo and Serbia in 1999 – it was a U.S.-run intervention force. That’s the new NATO and it did expand to Russian borders, so Hagel is correct, Russia is on NATO’s borders, but it’s as if the Warsaw Pact had expanded to Mexico and Canada, and then the Russian premier said, well, the United States is on the Warsaw Pact’s borders, which would have been true, but it would be misleading.

SS: You know, watching and reading the U.S. media, it’s hard not to be surprised at the calls for war in one form or another. I mean, there are wordings like “red lines”, “no options off the table”, “lethal aid”, “troops on the ground”, and all this is presented like it’s no big deal. And not only in press, but by the government officials as well. Now, you are a scientist of words, of mind, you are a political activist, what do you make of it? Why are the Americans apparently so ready to go to war?

NC: Well, I don’t think they are ready to go to war, but the commitment to sort of control the world is very strong. And pretty natural. After all, this is one global super-power. And this all goes a way back. So, the peak of American power in history was around 1945. In 1945 the United States literally had half the world’s wealth. And very naturally American leaders wanted to design and organize a world system, which would benefit primarily domestic centers of power that essentially means U.S. corporate system. The origins of multi-national corporations began to develop at that time… And there were detailed plans for assigning to every part of the world, what was called, a function within the global system. That began to collapse very quickly. There is a lot of talk these days about American decline, which is correct, but it’s rarely recognized that the decline began at once. In 1949 there was a serious blow to the U.S. global hegemony – China’s independence. There’s a name for that in U.S. history and Western history. It is called “the loss of China”. Just think about this phrase for a minute. “Loss of China”. I mean, I can lose my computer, I can’t lose your computer, right? I can only lose what I own. And the assumption, the tacit assumption is – we own China, we own the world.So, if any part of it becomes independent, there’s the loss of China, or the loss of Indo-China, the loss of the Middle East, and so on. However it is worth recognizing, going back to your comment, that there is criticism of this in very prestigious places. So, the leading establishing journal in the United States is “Foreign Affairs”, the journal of the Council on Foreign Relations, that’s as central to the ruling establishment as you can get. In their last issue, the lead article advertised on the front page, was an article by a well-known international relations specialist, John Mearsheimer, with the headline, something like “The West is Responsible for the Crisis in Ukraine”. And it’s a critic of U.S. and Western policy that has driven things to the point where there is a serious crisis in Ukraine, the crisis that, as Mearsheimer points out, has serious effects on Russian geostrategic concerns and would do so, no matter who was in charge in Russia, just because of the geostrategic nature of the circumstances. That’s right in the main establishing journal, the lead article so it’s not like this is going on without critical discussion. There’s some. Not enough I think. But some.

SS: Russia’s President Vladimir Putin says the West can’t isolate Russia through confrontation and sanctions. What do you think, is he right?

NC: It can’t isolate Russia, but it could cause serious harm to Russia, but what it’s likely to do and is beginning to do – I’m not the only one to point this out, it’s obvious – what it’s doing, it’s driving Russia towards the East, towards closer relations with China. There’s plenty of hostility way back between China and Russia, but there are also some common interests, and the sanctions and other pressure against Russia are almost compelling Russia to move towards closer relations with China. China is the center of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a very substantial international system based on China, which includes India, includes Russia, includes Pakistan, includes the Central Asian States – Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and others – it’s a big international system. Current Western policies are driving Russia towards closer interaction with this Chinese-based system. In this interaction Russia is actually the weaker partner, so it’s making concessions, but the U.S. is openly creating a system of power, which could significantly diminish U.S. domination in the world. This a confrontation, it’s part of Obama’s pivot to Asia.There is a Trans-Pacific Partnership, so-called, a huge commercial treaty, designed to incorporate the Asian countries, not China, but the other Asian countries, crucially not China, including Japan, Australia, India, the southern hemisphere, Chile, Brazil and so on. An enormous trade pact, exactly, what it is we don’t know, it is kept secret. These things are negotiated in secret, then given to the Parliaments to sign – yes or no, meaning yes. No discussion, no choices. So it’s not a sure thing by any means. But that’s the plan and it’s the kind of economic counterpart to the military pivot to Asia, and the sanctions on Russia are helping to create a counter-course based on Shanghai Cooperation Organization, or an extension of it, which would include Russia, and may begin to move across Eurasia, the whole Eurasian region, first to Turkey, then to parts of Western Europe, which have their own close relations with Russia and the East, Germany in particular. Those are the things that are developing recently, and the sanctions are part of it.

SS: Professor, I want to talk about crisis around ISIS a little bit. You’ve said that the appearance of ISIS and the spread of extremism is a natural consequence of U.S. actions in Iraq. But the emergence of ISIS seemed a surprise to all, how did U.S. intelligence miss it?

NC: I suggest that you look up on the Internet a recent article by Graham Fuller. He is a very highly regarded commentator on Middle Eastern affairs, coming straight out of the U.S. establishment with a long background in the CIA, a highly respected, very knowledgeable commentator. What he says is and I’m quoting him: “The United States created ISIS”. And then he goes on to say: “The U.S. didn’t plan ISIS of course”. These conspiracy tales have no basis. But the U.S. actions in region, including the invasion, have created the circumstances, under which ISIS emerged, and I think he is correct. What happened is the U.S. basically hit Iraq with a kind of sledgehammer. U.S. forces instantly instituted a governmental structure, which was sectarian in nature, they designed a system with particular participation by Shiites and Sunnis in various proportions, but they had to be divided that way. That, along with the counter-insurgency operations – there was of course resistance to the invasion – counter-insurgency operations are always very brutal and destructive. All of this came together to create sectarian conflicts, which had not existed before. If you look back at Bagdad in 2000, Shiites and Sunnis were intermarried, living in the same areas, they often didn’t even know who’s a Sunni and who’s Shia, it’s kind of like knowing which Protestant sect your neighbor belongs to, you may not know and you may not care. If you look at Bagdad ten years later, five years later, it’s broken up into separate regions, walled off from one another, brutal military conflicts, much of the population expelled. That has since expanded, and now it’s tearing the whole region apart. Syria is one element of it. Iran-Saudi confrontation is another aspect. And out of this emerged ISIS. Graham Fuller is quite correct.

SS: You just quoted a man that you respect a lot, who said, it’s the United States who involuntarily actually created ISIS, so if it’s the United States actions that brought about ISIS, isn’t it only fair that the United States should lead the fight against it today? I mean, it’s only obvious that political and diplomatic means to solve this mess aren’t there. So, do you support the U.S.-led bombing campaign?

NC: There are ways to respond diplomatically, one conceivable possibility, conceivable, is to act in accordance with the law. There is a reign of international law, that’s in principal. It debars the use of force or the threat of force in international affairs, except under authorization by the UN Security Council. A law-abiding state would go to the Security Council, ask for a declaration by the Security Council of a threat to peace, and request the Security Council to organize direct response to it. And that could be done. The U.S. could then participate in it, but so could Iran. Remember, look at the Iraqi Foreign Office, what they want is for Iran to become involved. It’s a major military force. If it did enter it would probably wipe out ISIS in no time. But the U.S. won’t permit that. The U.S.-run coalition, which is in violation of basic international law, excludes Iran, excludes the PKK and its affiliates, which apparently are doing the ground-fighting – according to the U.S., they are terrorist group. Turkey, which is closest U.S. ally, is opposed to them. The central U.S. ally, Saudi Arabia – that’s been the source of funding, the main source of the funding of ISIS, but also it’s the ideological source. It’s the Wahabi-Salafi extremists, that’s radical Islamic doctrines, which are kind of a fringe of Islam in Saudi Arabia, a fringe of that radical doctrine is ISIS. So, this coalition is kind of a meaningless coalition, apart from being illegal. There would be ways of handling, at least approaching the problem legally, which could work.

SS: And just my final question, on a different topic. The FBI is now looking into an apparent second Edward Snowden, but previous whistleblower revelations have failed to make any real dent in the system. Why would this be any different? Talking about NSA spying isn’t stopping NSA spying.

NC: It’s not stopping NSA spying, it’s not stopping the spying being done by Britain, the spying being done by France, the spying being done by other countries, I’m sure Russia’s doing it. States are very resistant to interference with their powers. Of course, the NSA system, U.S. is far and away the technologically most advanced country in the world, so it’s more extensive in the United States, but it’s duplicated in China, Britain, Russia, no doubt, other countries. And, yes, you’re right, it hasn’t stopped, now in fact it’s expanding. It’s a real major attack on human rights. And the major threat is if it becomes sort of passively accepted, because of the fact that it’s not stopped, this is just going to go on, go on to the point where there are literally tiny drones, fly-size drones, that can be on the ceiling of your living room, listening to what you’re saying and sending it back to the central government office. There are no limits to this. Already, if you have a cellphone, even if it’s off, you can be tracked by NSA and other technologies. So this is a really dangerous development. Snowden made a major contribution by exposing it, but there’s a long way to go. There has to be a citizen reaction, which would put an end to this practice.

SS: Professor Chomsky, thank you so much for this interview. We were talking to world-renowned academic, American linguist, thinker, activist Noam Chomsky.We were talking about what’s in store for Russia-U.S. relations, also the crisis around ISIS, and if the next whistleblower scandal is going to be any different from the one around Edward Snowden. Thanks a lot for this interview. That’s it for this edition of Sophie&Co, see you next time.


07-11-2014

Source: www.rt.com

Kosovo: The Hidden Growth Of Islamic Extremism

The recent arrest of 40 alleged Islamic radicals in Kosovo together with the arrest of one of the Kosovo Imams suspected of being an inspirer of jihad in the region brought serious questions about the radicalisation of Islam and terrorism in Kosovo, in the Balkans and in Europe. Even though the issue of Kosovo Albanian volunteers or mercenaries fighting alongside the anti-Bashar forces in Syria and supporting the radical leadership of the Islamic State (earlier the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) has been present in the public debate in Kosovo for at least a year, the debate itself was rather shallow and trivial.

The constant development of Islamic influences in Kosovo remained unnoticed for a long time by most observers. But it was not invisible. The ignorance perfectly represents the power of discourse and clichés in the politics in the Balkans. Kosovo has always been perceived as a secular state with a liberal Muslim majority. Kosovo Islam was meant to be moderate. Kosovo was supposed to be the example of a Muslim state in the middle of Europe that does not struggling with religious and cultural challenges. Kosovo may have problems with trafficking, organised crime and corruption; but not Islam.
Kosovo Albanian Islam is different both from the Arab Gulf Islam, the Islam of the East Bank of the Mediterranean See and Islam in the other Balkan states. It was strongly influenced by the Yugoslav ideas and values, evolved under both socialism and cosmopolitism and is deeply mixed with the Albanian culture, a culture very different from the surrounding Slavic cultures in the region. Until the 1980s, religion in Kosovo was a private thing. Under pressure from the Slobodan Milošević regime, it transformed into a nation-building and freedom-fighting issue.

Finally after 1999, and especially after the 2008 independence, Kosovo Albanian Islam once again became private and non-political. The evolution makes the Kosovo Islam very difficult to frame and control, the changes are happening at the kitchen tables inside homes, just as – in Jeffrey Goldfarb’s words – the dismantling of the Soviet bloc was run by “the politics of small things” initiated in discussions around kitchen tables in Warsaw, Prague and Bucharest.

The growth of importance of religion in Kosovo is happening casually en passant and on a very grassroots level; and so is the social base for recruitment of potential Islam fighters. Several years ago, the holy month of Ramadan was unnoticeable in Kosovo’s capital, Pristina. Today the group of people fasting from dawn to dusk is clearly visible in the city. The usually full cafeterias and restaurants in the main boulevard, boulevard of Mother Theresa, are empty during the day, the city becomes peaceful and quite until the Iftar dinner time comes. The status of traditional Albanian national heroes like Mother Theresa or Skandenberg is now being questioned, as they were Catholics not Muslims. Unlike just a few years ago covered women and men with a beard wearing pants above his ankles is a common sight nowadays in Pristina, not to mention the conservative cities and regions such as Kaçanik or Hani i Elezit.

It’s becoming common practice to pay people in their initial phase of religiosity for regular visits to mosques, wearing a hijab or a beard. Several hundreds of euros are frequently donated to parents, or even more preferably to single mothers, for their daily expenses or education of their kids as a payoff for making the children follow the ahadith, the traditions.

As fasting and hijabs are clearly apparent, the recruitment of volunteer freedom fighters to Syria and the Islamic State remains out of sight. The recruitment and indoctrination is happening deep in the society, mostly in its lower classes and among people who are often unaware of the process they are participating in. Recent arrests show that the authorities are capable of identifying individuals who have already been actively involved in the Middle East conflicts, but they do very little in order to fight the cause of the problem. In March 2014, the Kosovo Assembly passed a draft law on the prohibition of Kosovo citizens of joining armed conflicts outside Kosovo; however the dissolution of the Parliament in May, early elections held in June and the inability of the political parties to form a new government undermine the future of the bill.

The specific number of Kosovo Albanians fighting in Iraq and Syria is unknown, the authorities claim to have information about several dozen of them, but most analysts suggest that the number definitely exceeds 100. Until now 16 of them died in combat. The ones arrested last week are accused of supporting the Islamic State and the al-Nusra Front, and together with the arrests a significant number of weapons, explosives and electronic equipment have been confiscated. Even though these are men who constitute the vast majority of “freedom fighters”, women are sent from the Balkans to the Middle East in order to “fulfil their duty in Jihad Al-Nikah – thesex jihad”.

The recruitment process itself is rather flexible and also therefore difficult to track down. The crucial part of the process is the selection of potential candidates and identification of individuals vulnerable and susceptible to influence. Even though the economic situation in Kosovo is bad and the unemployment rate is almost 50 per cent of the whole population, and over 70 per cent among the youth, the economic promises seem not to be a decisive factor.

The bad economic situation should be regarded, rather, as an indirect factor which creates an advantageous environment for recruitment. The lack of opportunities, lack of occupation and simply an excess of free time are some of the reasons that push young people into the radicals’ arms. Another crucial reason – an identity crisis – is a more complex one. Kosovo Albanians, or Kosovars, experience trouble with defining who they are. They are not emotionally attached to the blue and yellow Kosovo flag, so they use the Albanian red flag with a silhouetted black double-headed eagle in the centre. They are Albanians but they feel distinguished from the Albanians in Albania. They fought for independence and sovereignty, but they feel their country is run by foreign embassies. Religion offers a clear identity and a sense of belonging.

There is still a strong belief in the Kosovo society that religion and state should be separated. When the Macedonian Albanians were protesting in July against the authorities in Skopje, the protests enjoyed strong support from the Kosovo Albanians, but faced a critique regarding the strong religious component of the protest, including the use of the green Muslim flags and organisation of the demonstrations in front of mosques. At the same time, terrorism has a long tradition in Kosovo and it is difficult to distinguish Islamic terrorism from the general phenomenon of terrorism in the country executed by paramilitary organisations or other politically driven groups.

The unexpectedness of the developments is personified by the self-declared commander of the ethnic Albanian fighters in the Islamic State, Lavdrim Muhaxheri, who used to work in Camp Bondsteel, the Kosovo base for the US Military, and later joined the American mission in Afghanistan. Today, he is fighting in the Middle East, streaming his call for jihad in Arabic on YouTube and posting photos of him cutting off a man’s head on Facebook.

So far, this is a phenomenon in the Kosovo society. The role of the new government and the international community in Pristina will be to not let it turn into a widespread societal process of religious radicalisation. “This land has been created by warriors and poets, and various gods,” sang Bajaga, a famous Yugoslav singer, back in 1993. There is a space in Kosovo for various gods, but there cannot be space for extremism.


About the author:

Ida Orzechowska is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Political Science of the University of Wroclaw, Poland, obtaining a degree in political science. Her main research interests relate to international security, the Western Balkans and conflict studies

24-08-2014

Source: www.globalresearch.ca

The Quisling Of Belgrade

Tributes to Zoran Djindjic, the assassinated prime minister of Serbia, have been pouring in. President Bush led the way, praising his “strong leadership”, while the Canadian government’s spokesman extolled a “heralder of democracy” and Tony Blair spoke of the energy Djindjic had devoted to “reforming Serbia”.

In western newspaper obituaries Djindjic has been almost universally acclaimed as an ex-student agititator who bravely led a popular uprising against a tyrannical dictator and endeavoured to steer his country into a new democratic era.

But beyond the CNN version of world history, the career of Zoran Djindjic looks rather different. Those who rail against the doctrine of regime change should remember that Iraq is far from being the first country where the US and other western governments have tried to engineer the removal of a government that did not suit their strategic interests. Three years ago it was the turn of Slobodan Milosevic’s Yugoslavia.

In his recent biography of Milosevic, Adam LeBor reveals how the US poured $70m into the coffers of the Serb opposition in its efforts to oust the Yugoslav leader in 2000. On the orders of Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, a covert US Office of Yugoslav Affairs was set up to help organise the uprising that would sweep the autocratic Milosevic from power.

At the same time, there is evidence that underworld groups, controlled by Zoran Djindjic and linked to US intelligence, carried out a series of assassinations of key supporters of the Milosevic regime, including Defence Minister Pavle Bulatovic and Zika Petrovic, head of Yugoslav Airlines.

With Slobo and his socialist party finally toppled, the US got the “reforming” government in Belgrade it desired. The new President Vojislav Kostunica received the bouquets, but it was the State Department’s man, Zoran Djindjic, who held the levers of power – and he certainly did not let his Washington sponsors down.

The first priority was to embark on a programme of “economic reform” – new-world-order-speak for the selling of state assets at knockdown prices to western multinationals. Over 700,000 Yugoslav enterprises remained in social ownership and most were still controlled by employee-management committees, with only 5% of capital privately owned. Companies could only be sold if 60% of the shares were allocated to workers.

Djindjic moved swiftly to change the law and the great sell-off could now begin. After two years in which thousands of socially owned enterprises have been sold (many to companies from countries which took part in the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia), last month’s World Bank report was lavish in its praise of the Djindjic government and its “engagement of international banks in the privatisation process”.

But it wasn’t just state assets that Djindjic was under orders to sell. Milosevic had to go too, for a promised $100m, even if it effectively meant kidnapping him in contravention of Yugoslav law, and sending him by RAF jet to a US-financed show trial at the Hague. When a man has sold his country’s assets, its ex-president and his main political rivals, what else is there to sell? Only the country itself. And in January this year Djindjic did just that. Despite the opposition of most of its citizens, the “heralder of democracy” followed the requirements of the “international community” and after 74 years the name of Yugoslavia disappeared off the political map. The strategic goal of its replacement with a series of weak and divided protectorates had finally been achieved.

Sometimes, though, even the best executed plans go awry. Despite the western eulogies, Djindjic will be mourned by few in Serbia. For the great majority of Serbs, he will be remembered as a quisling who enriched himself by selling his country to those who had waged war against it so mercilessly only a few years earlier. Djindjic’s much lauded reforms have led to soaring utility prices, unemployment has risen sharply to over 30%, real wages have fallen by up to 20% and over two-thirds of Serbs now live below the poverty line.

It is still unclear who fired the shots that killed Zoran Djindjic. The likelihood is that it was an underworld operation, his links to organised crime finally catching up with him. But, harsh though it sounds, there are many in Serbia who would willingly have pulled the trigger. On a recent visit to Belgrade, I was struck not only by the level of economic hardship, but by the hatred almost everyone I met felt towards their prime minister, whose poll ratings had fallen below 10%.

The lesson from Serbia for today’s serial regime changers is a simple one. You can try to subjugate a people by sanctions, subversion and bombs. You can, if you wish, overthrow governments you dislike and seek to impose your will by installing a Hamid Karzai, General Tommy Franks or a Zoran Djindjic to act as imperial consul. But do not imagine that you can then force a humiliated people to pay homage to them.


By Neil Clark

Neil Clark is writing a book about the recent history of Yugoslavia

neil.clark@bushinternet.com

Original source of the article  is:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2003/mar/14/serbia.comment

Originally published at 14-03-2003 by The Guardian, UK

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The Age Of Imperial Wars: From Regional War, “Regime Change” To Global Warfare

2015 has become a year of living dangerously.

Wars are spreading across the globe. 

Wars are escalating as new countries are bombed and the old are ravaged with ever greater intensity.

Countries, where relatively peaceful changes had taken place through recent elections, are now on the verge of civil wars.

These are wars without victors, but plenty of losers; wars that don’t end; wars where imperial occupations are faced with prolonged resistance.

            There are never-ending torrents of war refugees flooding across borders.  Desperate people are detained, degraded and criminalized for being the survivors and victims of imperial invasions.

            Now major nuclear powers face off in Europe and Asia:  NATO versus Russia, US-Japan versus China.  Will these streams of blood and wars converge into one radiated wilderness drained of its precious life blood?

Living Dangerously: The Rising Tide of Violent Conflicts

            There is no question that wars and military threats have replaced diplomacy, negotiations and democratic elections as the principal means of resolving political conflicts.  Throughout the present year (2015) wars have spread across borders and escalated in intensity.

            The NATO allies, US, Turkey and the EU have openly attacked Syria with air strikes and ground troops.  There are plans to occupy the northern sector of that ravaged country, creating what the Erdogan regime dubs a ‘buffer zone’ cleansed of its people and villages.

            Under the pretext of ‘fighting ISIS’, the Turkish government is bombing Kurds (civilians and resistance fighters) and their Syrian allies.  On Syria’s southern border, US Special Forces have accelerated and expanded operations from their bases in Jordan on behalf of the mercenary terrorists – funded by the monarchist Gulf States.

            Over 4 million Syrians have fled their homes as refugees and over 200,000 have been killed since the US-EU-Turkey-Saudi-sponsored war against the secular Syrian government was launched four years ago.

            Dozens of terrorist, mercenary and sectarian groups have carved up Syria into rival fiefdoms, pillaged its economic and cultural resources and reduced the economy by over ninety percent.

            The US-EU-Turkish military intervention extends the war into Iraq, Lebanon and…. Turkey – attacking secular governments, ethnic minority groups and secular civil society.

The feudal, monarchist Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have invaded Yemen with tanks, launching air strikes against a country without any air defenses.  Major cities and towns are devastated.  Saudi ground troops and armored carriers are killing and wounding thousands – mostly civilians.   The brutal Saudi air and sea blockade of Yemen’s ports have led to a humanitarian crisis, as ten million Yemenis face starvation deliberately imposed by a grotesque and obscenely rich monarchy.

The Yemeni resistance fighters, driven out of the major cities, are preparing for prolonged guerrilla warfare against the Saudi monsters and their puppets.  Their resistance has already spread across the frontiers of the absolutist Saudi dictatorship.

The brutal Israeli occupation troops, in collaboration with armed ‘settler’ colonists, have accelerated their violent seizure of Palestinian lands.  They have stepped up the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, Bedouins, Druze and Christian inhabitants replacing their communities with racist ‘Jews-only’ colonial settlements.

Daily assaults against the huge ‘concentration camps’ of Gaza accompany an armed blockade of land, air and water, preventing the reconstruction of the tens of thousands of homes, schools, hospital, factories and infrastructure, destroyed by last year’s Israeli blitzkrieg.

Israel’s continued annexation and ethnic cleansing of Palestinian territory precludes any diplomatic process; colonial wars have been and continue to be Israel’s policy of choice in dealing with its Arab neighbors and captive populations.

Africa’s wars, resulting from earlier US-EU interventions, continue to ravage-the Continent.  Somalia, Sudan, Kenya, Libya are riven by bloody conflicts between US-EU backed regimes and armed Islamic and nationalist resistance movements.

Throughout North and Sub-Sahara Africa, US-EU backed regimes have provoked armed upheavals in Libya, Nigeria (Boko Harem), Egypt (ISIS, Moslem Brotherhood et al), Chad, Niger, South Sudan, Somalia and elsewhere.

Imperial client Egyptian and Ethiopian dictators rule with iron fists – financed and armed by their EU and US sponsors.

Imperial wars rage throughout the Middle East and South Asia.  Hundreds of experienced Baathist Iraqi military officers, who had been expelled or jailed and tortured by the US Occupation army, have now made common cause with Islamist fighters to form ISIS and effectively occupy a third of Iraq and a strategic swath of Syria.

There are daily bombings in Baghdad undermining its US client.  Strategic advances by ISIS are forcing the US to resume and escalate its direct combat role

The US-Baghdad retreat and the defeat of the US-trained Iraqi military in the face of the Baathist-Islamist offensive is the opening salvo of a long-term, large-scale war in Iraq and Syria.  The Turkish air-war against the Kurds in Iraq will escalate the war in Northern Iraq and extend it into southeast Turkey.

Closer to ‘home’, the EU-US-backed coup (‘regime change’) in Kiev and the attempt to impose dictatorial-pro-West oligarchic rule in Ukraine have detonated a prolonged civil-national war devastating the country and pitting NATO’s proxies against Russian-backed allies in the Donbas.

US, England, Poland and other NATO powers are deeply committed to pushing war right up to Russia’s borders.

There is a new Cold War, with the imposition of wide-ranging US-EU economic sanctions against Russia and the organizing of major NATO military exercises on Russia’s doorsteps.  It is no surprise that these provocations are met with a major counter-response – the Russian military build-up.  The NATO power grab in Ukraine, which first led to a local ethnic war, now escalates to a global confrontation and may move toward a nuclear confrontation as Russia absorbs hundreds of thousands of refugees from the slaughter in Ukraine.

The US puppet regime in Afghanistan has faced a major advance of the Taliban in all regions, including the capital, Kabul.

The Afghan war is intensifying and the US-backed Kabul regime is in retreat.  US troops can scarcely advance beyond their bunkers.

As the Taliban military advances, its leaders demand total surrender of the Kabul puppets and the withdrawal of US troops.  The US response will be a prolonged escalation of war.

Pakistan, bristling with US arms, faces a major conflict along its borders with India and permanent war in its semi-autonomous Northwest frontier states with Islamist and ethnic Pashtu guerrilla movements backed by mass regional political parties.  These parties exercise de facto control over the Northwest region providing sanctuary and arms for Taliban militants operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Armed ethno-religious conflicts persist in western China, Myanmar and northern India. There are large-scale popular resistance movements in the militant northeast Thailand opposed to the current military-monarchist dictatorship in Bangkok.

In the 21st century, in South and Southeast Asia, as in the rest of the world, war and armed conflicts have become central in resolving ethnic, social, tribal and regional differences with central states: diplomacy and democratic elections have been rendered obsolete and inefficient.

Latin America – On the Verge

Burgeoning violent extra-parliamentary right-wing movements, intent on overthrowing or ‘impeaching’ elected center-left Latin American governments face major confrontations with the state and its mass supporters.

In Ecuador, Venezuela and Brazil, US-backed opposition groups are engaged in violent demonstrations, directed toward ousting the elected regimes.  In the case of Ecuador, ‘popular sectors’, including some indigenous leaders and sectors of the trade union movement, have called for an ‘uprising’ to oust President Correa.   They seem oblivious of the fact that the hard-right oligarchs who now control key offices in the three principal cities (Guayaquil, Quito and Cuenca) will be the real beneficiaries of their ‘uprisings’.

The resurgent Right envisions violent ‘regime change’ as the first step toward ‘wiping the slate clean’ of a decade of social reforms, independent regional organizations and independent foreign policies.

Civil war’ may be too strong a word for the situation in Latin America at this time – but this is the direction which the US-backed opposition is heading.  Faced with the mess and difficulty of dislodging incumbent regimes via elections, the US and its local proxies have opted for the choreography of street violence, sabotage, martial law and coups – to be followed by sanitized elections – with US-vetted candidates.

War and violence run rampant through Mexico and most of Central America.  A US-backed military coup ousted the popularly elected, independent President Zelaya in Honduras.  The ensuing US-proxy regime has murdered and jailed hundreds of pro-democracy dissidents and driven thousands to flee the violence.

The 1990’s US-brokered ‘Peace Accords’ in El Salvador and Guatemala effectively blocked any agrarian reform and income redistribution that might have led to the rebuilding of their civil societies.  This has led to over two decades of mass disaffection, the rise of armed ‘gangs’ numbering over 100,000 members and an average of six to ten thousand homicides a year with El Salvador becoming the ‘murder capital of the hemisphere’ on a per capita basis.  The annual murder toll under the US-brokered ‘Peace Accords’ now exceeds those killed each year during the civil war.

The real ‘carnage capital’ of the hemisphere is Mexico.  Over 100,000 people have been murdered during the decade-long, US-backed ‘war on drugs’ – a war which has become a state-sponsored war on the Mexican people.

The internal war has allowed the Mexican government to privatize and sell the crown jewels of the national economy – the petroleum industry. While thousands of Mexicans are terrorized and slaughtered, the US and EU oil companies are curiously shielded from the drug lords.  The same Mexican government, its police, officials and military, who collaborate with the drug lords in dividing up the billions of drug dollars, protect foreign oil companies and their executives.  After all, narco-dollars are laundered by banks in New York, Miami, Los Angeles and London to help fuel the speculation!

From Regional to Nuclear Wars

Regional and local wars spread under the shadow of a looming world war.  The US moves its arms, planes, bases and operations to the Russian and Chinese borders.

Never have so many US troops and war planes been placed in so many strategic locations, often less than an hour drive from major Russian cities.

Not even during the height of the Cold War, did the US impose so many economic sanctions against Russian enterprises.

In Asia, Washington is organizing major trade, military and diplomatic treaties designed to exclude and undermine China’s growth as a trade competitor.  It is engaged in provocative activities comparable to the boycott and blockade of Japan which led to the Second World War in Asia.

Open ‘warfare by proxy’ in Ukraine is perhaps the first salvo of the Third World War in Europe.  The US-EU-sponsored coup in Kiev has led to the annexation of Western Ukraine.  In response to the threat of violence toward the ethnic Russian majority in Crimea and the loss of its strategic naval base on the Black Sea, Russia annexed Crimea.

In the lead-up to the Second World War, Germany annexed Austria.  In a similar manner the US-EU installed a puppet regime in Kiev by violent putsch as its own initial steps toward major power grabs in Central Asia.  The military build-up includes the placement of major, forward offensive military bases in Poland.

Warsaw’s newly elected hard-right regime of President Andrzej Duda has demanded that Poland become NATO’s central military base of operation and the front line in a war against Russia.

Wars and More Wars and the Never-ending Torrents of Refugees

The US and EU imperial wars have devastated the lives and livelihoods of scores of millions of people in South Asia, North and Sub-Sahara Africa, Central America, Mexico, the Balkans and now Ukraine.

Four million Syrian refugees have joined millions of Afghan, Pakistani, Iraqi, Yemeni, Somali, Libyan, Palestinian and Sudanese refugees fleeing US-EU bombs, drones and proxy mercenaries ravaging their countries.

Millions of war refugees escape toward safety in Western Europe, joining the millions of economic refugees who have fled free market destitution in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, the Balkans and other EU satellites.

Panic among the civilian population of Western Europe sets in as hundreds of thousands cross the Mediterranean, the Aegean and the Balkans.

Droves of refugees perish each day.  Tens of thousands crowd detention centers.  Local labor markets are saturated.  Social services are overwhelmed.

The US builds walls and detention camps for the millions trying to escape the harsh consequences of imperial-centered free markets in Mexico, narco-terror and the fraudulent ‘peace accord’-induced violence in Central America.

As Western wars advance, the desperate refugees multiply.  The poor and destitute clamber at the gates of the imperial heartland crying: ‘Your bombs and your destruction of our homelands have driven us here, now you must deal with us in your homeland’.

Fomenting class war between the refugees and ‘natives’ of the imperial West – may not be on the agenda . . . for now, but the future for ‘civil’ society in Europe and the US is bleak.

Meanwhile, more and even bigger wars are on the horizon and additional millions of civilians will be uprooted and face the choice of starving, fleeing with their families or fighting the empire.  The ranks of seasoned and infuriated resistance fighters are swelling in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Ukraine and elsewhere.

The US and EU are becoming armed fortresses.  US police deal with the marginalized citizenry as an occupying army, assaulting African-Americans, immigrants and dissidents – while looting poor communities . . . and protecting the rich…

Conclusion

War is everywhere and expanding:  No continent or region, big or small, is free from the contagion of war.

Imperial wars have spawn local wars . . . igniting mass flights in a never-ending cycle.  There are no real diplomatic success stories!  There are no enduring, viable peace accords!

Some pundits may protest this analysis:  They point to the recent US – Cuba rapprochement as a ‘success’.  They conveniently forget that the US is still subverting Cuba’s biggest trading partner, Venezuela; that Washington’s major regional proxies are demanding regime change among Cuba’s allies in Ecuador, Brazil and Bolivia and that Washington is increasingly threatening Cuba’s alternative markets in Russia and China.  The vision of the US flag flapping in the breeze outside its embassy in Havana does little to cover Washington’s iron fist threatening Cuba’s allies.

Others cite the US – Iran peace accord as a major ‘success’.  They ignore that the US is backing the bloody Saudi invasion of neighboring Yemen and the massacre of Shiite communities; that the US has provided Israel with a road map detailing Iran’s entire defense system and that the US and EU are bombing Iran’s Syrian ally without mercy.

As for the US – Cuba and Iranian agreements– are they enduring and strategic or just tactical imperial moves preparing for even greater assaults?

The war epidemic is not receding.

War refugees are still fleeing; they have no homes or communities left.

Disorder and destruction are increasing, not decreasing; there is no rebuilding the shattered societies, not in Gaza, not in Fallujah, not in the Donbas, not in Guerrero, not in Aleppo.

Europe feels the tremors of a major conflagration.

Americans still believe that the two oceans will protect them.  They are told that placing NATO missiles on Russia’s borders and stationing warships off China’s shores and building electrified walls and laying barbed wire along the Rio Grande will protect them.  Such is their faith in their political leaders and propagandists.

What a packet of lies!  Inter-continental missiles can ‘rain down’ on New York, Washington and Los Angeles.

It is time to wake up!

It is time to stop the US – EU headlong race to World War III!

Where to start?  Libya has been irrevocably destroyed; it is too late there!  Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan are aflame.  We are being plunged deeper into war while being told we are withdrawing!  Ukraine sucks in more guns and more troops!

Can we really have peace with Iran if we cannot control our own government as it dances to the Israelis tune?  And Israel insists on war – our waging war for them!  As the Israeli war criminal General and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon once told some worried American Zionists: “Trouble with the US?  We lead them by the nose…!” 

Just look at the terrified families fleeing carnage in the Middle East or Mexico.

What is to be done?

When will we cut our losses and shake off the bonds of these war makers – foreign and domestic?


By Prof. James Petras

2015-08-22

The Srebrenica Massacre: Some Victims Are More Equal Than Others

Last month was the 18th anniversary of the attack on the Serbian village of Kravica committed by Moslem forces from Srebrenica under the command of Naser Orić on Orthodox Christmas day, January 7, 1993. Several dozen villagers were killed in the attack, the remaining Serbian population was forced to flee to safety, and many homes were pillaged, demolished and torched during the several weeks that Kravica was forcibly occupied by neighbours from nearby Srebrenica. Regardless of arcane debates of who started the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, on a human level the attack on the village of Kravica and the ensuing slaughter and expulsion of its inhabitants was a crime, just as the firebombing of Dresden and the slaughter of that city’s citizens, without any apparent military purpose and at the very end of World War II, was also a crime.

The position taken by many Western institutions and even human rights monitoring organisations toward the destruction of Kravica says a great deal about their honesty and helps to put in perspective the Serbian public’s unyielding skepticism about Western even-handedness. We shall use the anniversary of Kravica to cite a few examples.

[1] On the occasion of the acquittal of Naser Orić, the Srebrenica Moslem warlord, in 2006, Human Rights Watch [HRW],[1] had also some comments to make concerning Kravica. This is what HRW said about Kravica in its statement published on 11 July, 2006:

“The ultra-nationalist Serbian Radical Party launched an aggressive campaign to prove that Muslims had committed crimes against thousands of Serbs in the area. The campaign was intended to diminish the significance of the July 1995 crime, and many in Serbia were willing to accept that version of history.

But as the Oric judgment makes clear, the facts do not support the equivalence thesis. Take the events in the village of Kravica, on the Serb Orthodox Christmas on January 7, 1993, for example. The alleged killing of scores of Serbs and destruction of their houses in the village is frequently cited in Serbia as the key example of the heinous crimes committed by the Muslim forces around Srebrenica. In fact, the Oric judgment confirms that there were Bosnian Serb military forces present in the village at the time of attack.”[2]

One is tempted to ask: What does HRW see as its essential task? Is it to focus attention on human rights violations or to haggle about them? The presence of Bosnian Serb military forces in the village Kravica (even if true, that hardly would be a surprise or require excuses given the preceding seven-month campaign of destruction and slaughter by Moslem forces from Srebrenica against the surrounding Serbian villages) does not relieve Human Right Watch of the obligation to address the fate of Kravica’s civilian inhabitants during the Christmas Day attack and to hold the perpetrators “accountable for their crimes,” exactly as its Mission Statement promises that it would.

[2] Unfortunately, the United Nations were scarcely more forthright in dealing with the general issue of attacks on Serbian villages from Srebrenica. In UN Secretary-General’s 1999 report on the “Fall of Srebrenica” we read the following:

“The Serbs repeatedly exaggerated the extent of the raids out of Srebrenica as a pretext for the prosecution of a central war aim: to create geographically contiguous and ethnically pure territory along the Drina, while freeing their troops to fight in other parts of the country.”[3]

But as with the HRW comment, this analysis begs the question. Even if the speculation about Serbian war aims were correct, as an organisation endowed with a humanitarian and peacekeeping mission the UN is obliged to take a clear stand on the murder and mistreatment of civilians, because under international law they continue to enjoy protection even if they happen to be ethnically affiliated with the “wrong“ side. Even if we grant, for the sake of argument that the extent of Moslem army raids from Srebrenica was “exaggerated,” something must have happened to begin with in order to be exaggerated. Has the UN anything morally relevant to say about the factual core of these “exaggerated” Serbian reports? Do the innocent human casualties that they refer to matter, once conscientious UN investigators have stripped the “exaggerated” reports of their hyperbole and reduced them to a more credible level? Apparently not.

[3] The judgment that was rendered by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia at The Hague in the Naser Orić case, where the attack on Kravica played a prominent role, was also very discouraging to the Serbian public as a means of building trust in the conclusions of international institutions. With regard to the Kravica attack, its background, and consequences, the ICTY chamber issued the following surrealistic findings:

“The fighting intensified in December 1992 and the beginning of January 1993, when Bosnian Muslims were attacked by Bosnian Serbs primarily from the direction of Kravica and Ježestica. In the early morning of the 7 January 1993, Orthodox Christmas day, Bosnian Muslims attacked Kravica, Ježestica and Šiljkovići. [par. 662] Convincing evidence suggests that the village guards were backed by the VRS [Bosnian Serb Army], and following the fighting in the summer of 1992, they received military support, including weapons and training. A considerable amount of weapons and ammunition was kept in Kravica and Šiljkovići. Moreover, there is evidence that besides the village guards, there was Serb and Bosnian Serb military presence in the area. [par. 664,665] The Trial Chamber is not satisfied that [the destruction of homes in the village] can be attributed solely to Bosnian Muslims. The evidence is unclear as to the number of houses destroyed by Bosnian Muslims as opposed to those destroyed by Bosnian Serbs. In light of this uncertainty, the Trial Chamber concludes that the destruction of property in Kravica between 7 and 8 January 1993 does not fulfill the elements of wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages not justified by military necessity. [par. 671]”[4]

Setting aside the chamber’s professed dilemma about the extent of destruction that Bosnian Serbs might have inflicted on their own village, and its consequent inability to lay the charge of “wanton destruction” of Kravica at the door of the Moslem attackers from Srebrenica, it is evident that the chamber views with disfavor the fact that weapons and ammunition were kept in the village and that there was “Serb and Bosnian Serb military presence in the area.” Would leaving the village utterly disarmed and defenceless have pleased the chamber more and helped it to conclude that, after all, Kravica was devastated in contravention of the laws and customs of war and without a semblance of military necessity?

But more to the point: Are Serb civilian victims of Kravica, however few or many, of any concern to the chamber at all?

[4] It is, of course, technically true that a court cannot in its deliberations exceed the scope of the indictment and that its findings are confined to the evidence that is offered to it in the course of trial. But that is also a huge reason why a verdict convenient to Naser Orić was a foregone certainty even before the opening of his trial. Orić was charged with but a small and relatively insignificant fraction of his actual crimes. It is as if Hitler had been arrested in 1945 and put on trial in Nuremberg on the charge of traffic violations. It should have been expected that under the circumstances he would have been acquitted or merely fined with a suspended sentence. That was essentially the verdict that was read out to Naser Orić.

Trivialising the indictment was one efficient method that the prosecution used to ensure that the result would be maximally indulgent to Orić, thus avoiding the embarrassing prospect of a comparative scrutiny of both sides’ Srebrenica crimes. The other, equally efficient method of making inconvenient facts disappear, was to define Serbian Srebrenica victims (in this specific instance in Kravica) away.

The way that system works was described in ample detail and with salutary candour by long-time ICTY Prosecution porte-parole, Florence Hartman in one of her weekly press briefings:[5]

“First of all, the OTP is always very careful in the use of the word ‘victim’. Military or Police casualties from combat should not be considered victims in a criminal investigation context, in the same way people are victims from war crimes, such as summary executions.”

Fair enough, that is an accurate summary of the applicable principles. She then goes on to erect a straw man:

“Before speaking about the whole area of Podrinja, including at least the municipalities of Srebrenica, Bratunac, Vlasenica and Skelani, I would comment on the various figures circulating around the Kravica attack of January 1993. The figures circulating of hundreds of victims or claiming that all 353 inhabitants were ‘virtually completely destroyed’ do not reflect the reality.”

There is of course no expectation that the Prosecution would charge Orić, or anyone else, with crimes that are not based on realistic figures. So what would be a realistic number for Kravica victims?

“During the attack by the BH army on Kravica, Jezestica, Opravdici, Mandici and the surrounding villages (the larger area of Kravica), on the 7th & 8th January 1993, 43 people were killed, according to our information. Our investigation shows that 13 of the 43 were obviously civilians. Our findings are matching with the Bratunac Brigade military reports of battle casualties which are believed in the OTP to be very reliable because they are internal VRS reports.”

But even conceding that the actual number of Serbian Kravica victims can be whittled down to 13, that is still a war crime and someone must still be held accountable for their death. It is the job of ICTY Prosecution to see to it that this happens. What is the purpose of conducting a trial if in the end responsibility is not imputed to anyone at all? But that precisely is what happened at ICTY.

“For the whole region,” Ms. Hartman went on in her briefing, “i.e the municipalities of Srebrenica, Bratunac, Vlasenica and Skelani, the Serb authorities claimed previously that about 1400 people were killed due to attacks committed by the BH Army forces for the period of May 1992 to March 1995, when Srebrenica was under the control of Naser Oric. Now the figure has become 3,500 Serbs killed. This figure may have been inflated. Taking the term ‘victims’ as defined previously, these figures just do not reflect the reality.”

It goes without saying that both victims and perpetrators on all sides need to be identified with meticulous precision and great care. It is indeed a point well taken in Ms. Hartman’s remarks that a careful eye should be kept out for “inflated” numbers. Some exuberant figures certainly need to be dismissed, but that should not apply only to figures proposed by Serbs. The figure of 8,000 executed prisoners claimed by Moslems, asserted by the Prosecution, and adjudicated without proper evidence by ICTY chambers, also must be carefully re-examined in order to determine how consistently it “reflects the reality”. To decline to do so would be an exercise in gross hypocrisy.

This brief survey should make it clear, using the example of the razed and decimated Serbian village of Kravica that, on the international level, the treatment of Serbian victims, even when by perfidious haggling their numbers are diminished to the barest minimum, still amounts to a parody of justice. It is a situation which paraphrased Orwell still encapsulates the best: Some victims are more (in this case apparently less) equal than others.

The hypocritical arguments of Western “jurists” and humanitarians which aim to rationalize the systematic trivialization of Serbian victims of Kravica are sufficient to shock any normal conscience. But for the dimensions of their insolence to be unmistakably clear it is worth studying this document which contains the report of General Rasim Delić, BiH army chief of staff during the war. Delić says very clearly (p. 3) that BiH authorities had managed to deliver about 23 tons of arms to “demilitarized” Srebrenica and (p. 4) he gives a breakdown of these illegal shipments by category. If a few shotguns in Kravica justify the slaughter that was visited upon the villagers in January of 1993, then following the same logic what are we to say about this dramatic post festum admission in relation to the events of July of 1995?

This document was hardly unknown to the Hague Tribunal. It is in fact in its electronic database, number 01854595.

SKUP_TINA RBIH – VOJNI IZVJE_TAJ O RAZLOZIMA PADA SREBRENICE

____________________

[1] It describes itself as “one of the world’s leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights. By focusing international attention where human rights are violated, we give voice to the oppressed and hold oppressors accountable for their crimes.” http://www.hrw.org/en/about [2] http://www.scribd.com/doc/31231969/Naser-Oric-Srebrenica-Genocide-and-Serbian-Lies [3]Report of the Secretary-General pursuant to General Assembly resolution 53/35, The Fall of Srebrenica, section: B, par. 479 [4] All paragraph references are to the trial judgment in Prosecutor v. Orić. [5] ICTY Weekly Press Briefing,: 06.07.2005.

****


Source: Srebrenica Historical Project ^ | February 2011 | Srebrenica Historical Project

The Geopolitics Of American Global Decline: Washington Versus China In The 21st Century

For even the greatest of empires, geography is often destiny. You wouldn’t know it in Washington, though. America’s political, national security, and foreign policy elites continue to ignore the basics of geopolitics that have shaped the fate of world empires for the past 500 years. Consequently, they have missed the significance of the rapid global changes in Eurasia that are in the process of undermining the grand strategy for world dominion that Washington has pursued these past seven decades.

A glance at what passes for insider “wisdom” in Washington these days reveals a worldview of stunning insularity. Take Harvard political scientist Joseph Nye, Jr., known for his concept of “soft power,” as an example. Offering a simple list of ways in which he believes U.S. military, economic, and cultural power remains singular and superior, he recently argued that there was no force, internal or global, capable of eclipsing America’s future as the world’s premier power.
For those pointing to Beijing’s surging economy and proclaiming this “the Chinese century,” Nye offered up a roster of negatives: China’s per capita income “will take decades to catch up (if ever)” with America’s; it has myopically “focused its policies primarily on its region”; and it has “not developed any significant capabilities for global force projection.” Above all, Nye claimed, China suffers “geopolitical disadvantages in the internal Asian balance of power, compared to America.”

Or put it this way (and in this Nye is typical of a whole world of Washington thinking): with more allies, ships, fighters, missiles, money, patents, and blockbuster movies than any other power, Washington wins hands down.

If Professor Nye paints power by the numbers, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s latest tome, modestly titled World Order and hailed in reviews as nothing less than a revelation, adopts a Nietzschean perspective. The ageless Kissinger portrays global politics as plastic and so highly susceptible to shaping by great leaders with a will to power. By this measure, in the tradition of master European diplomats Charles de Talleyrand and Prince Metternich, President Theodore Roosevelt was a bold visionary who launched “an American role in managing the Asia-Pacific equilibrium.” On the other hand, Woodrow Wilson’s idealistic dream of national self-determination rendered him geopolitically inept and Franklin Roosevelt was blind to Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin’s steely “global strategy.” Harry Truman, in contrast, overcame national ambivalence to commit “America to the shaping of a new international order,” a policy wisely followed by the next 12 presidents.

Among the most “courageous” of them, Kissinger insists, was that leader of “courage, dignity, and conviction,” George W. Bush, whose resolute bid for the “transformation of Iraq from among the Middle East’s most repressive states to a multiparty democracy” would have succeeded, had it not been for the “ruthless” subversion of his work by Syria and Iran. In such a view, geopolitics has no place; only the bold vision of “statesmen” and kings really matters.

And perhaps that’s a comforting perspective in Washington at a moment when America’s hegemony is visibly crumbling amid a tectonic shift in global power.

With Washington’s anointed seers strikingly obtuse on the subject of geopolitical power, perhaps it’s time to get back to basics. That means returning to the foundational text of modern geopolitics, which remains an indispensible guide even though it was published in an obscure British geography journal well over a century ago.

Sir Halford Invents Geopolitics

On a cold London evening in January 1904, Sir Halford Mackinder, the director of the London School of Economics, “entranced” an audience at the Royal Geographical Society on Savile Row with a paper boldly titled “The Geographical Pivot of History.” This presentation evinced, said the society’s president, “a brilliancy of description… we have seldom had equaled in this room.”

Mackinder argued that the future of global power lay not, as most British then imagined, in controlling the global sea lanes, but in controlling a vast land mass he called “Euro-Asia.”  By turning the globe away from America to place central Asia at the planet’s epicenter, and then tilting the Earth’s axis northward just a bit beyond Mercator’s equatorial projection, Mackinder redrew and thus reconceptualized the world map.

His new map showed Africa, Asia, and Europe not as three separate continents, but as a unitary land mass, a veritable “world island.”  Its broad, deep “heartland” — 4,000 miles from the Persian Gulf to the Siberian Sea — was so enormous that it could only be controlled from its “rimlands” in Eastern Europe or what he called its maritime “marginal” in the surrounding seas.

Mackinder’s Concept of the World Island, From The Geographical Journal (1904)

The “discovery of the Cape road to the Indies” in the sixteenth century, Mackinder wrote, “endowed Christendom with the widest possible mobility of power… wrapping her influence round the Euro-Asiatic land-power which had hitherto threatened her very existence.” This greater mobility, he later explained, gave Europe’s seamen “superiority for some four centuries over the landsmen of Africa and Asia.”

Yet the “heartland” of this vast landmass, a “pivot area” stretching from the Persian Gulf to China’s Yangtze River, remained nothing less than the Archimedean fulcrum for future world power. “Who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island,” went Mackinder’s later summary of the situation. “Who rules the World-Island commands the world.” Beyond the vast mass of that world island, which made up nearly 60% of the Earth’s land area, lay a less consequential hemisphere covered with broad oceans and a few outlying “smaller islands.”  He meant, of course, Australia and the Americas.

For an earlier generation, the opening of the Suez Canal and the advent of steam shipping had “increased the mobility of sea-power [relative] to land power.” But future railways could “work the greater wonder in the steppe,” Mackinder claimed, undercutting the cost of sea transport and shifting the locus of geopolitical power inland. In the fullness of time, the “pivot state” of Russia might, in alliance with another power like Germany, expand “over the marginal lands of Euro-Asia,” allowing “the use of vast continental resources for fleet-building, and the empire of the world would be in sight.”

For the next two hours, as he read through a text thick with the convoluted syntax and classical references expected of a former Oxford don, his audience knew that they were privy to something extraordinary. Several stayed after to offer extended commentaries. For instance, the renowned military analyst Spenser Wilkinson, the first to hold a chair in military history at Oxford, pronounced himself unconvinced about “the modern expansion of Russia,” insisting that British and Japanese naval power would continue the historic function of holding “the balance between the divided forces… on the continental area.”

Pressed by his learned listeners to consider other facts or factors, including “air as a means of locomotion,” Mackinder responded: “My aim is not to predict a great future for this or that country, but to make a geographical formula into which you could fit any political balance.” Instead of specific events, Mackinder was reaching for a general theory about the causal connection between geography and global power.  “The future of the world,” he insisted, “depends on the maintenance of [a] balance of power” between sea powers such as Britain or Japan operating from the maritime marginal and “the expansive internal forces” within the Euro-Asian heartland they were intent on containing.

Not only did Mackinder give voice to a worldview that would influence Britain’s foreign policy for several decades, but he had, in that moment, created the modern science of “geopolitics” — the study of how geography can, under certain circumstances, shape the destiny of whole peoples, nations, and empires.

That night in London was, of course, more than a long time ago.  It was another age. England was still mourning the death of Queen Victoria.  Teddy Roosevelt was president.  Henry Ford had just opened a small auto plant in Detroit to make his Model-A, an automobile with a top speed of 28 miles per hour.  Only a month earlier, the Wright brothers’ “Flyer” had taken to the air for the first time — 120 feet of air, to be exact.

Yet, for the next 110 years, Sir Halford Mackinder’s words would offer a prism of exceptional precision when it came to understanding the often obscure geopolitics driving the world’s major conflicts — two world wars, a Cold War, America’s Asian wars (Korea and Vietnam), two Persian Gulf wars, and even the endless pacification of Afghanistan.  The question today is: How can Sir Halford help us understand not only centuries past, but the half-century still to come?

Britannia Rules the Waves

In the age of sea power that lasted just over 400 years — from 1602 to the Washington Disarmament Conference of 1922 — the great powers competed to control the Eurasian world island via the surrounding sea lanes that stretched for 15,000 miles from London to Tokyo.  The instrument of power was, of course, the ship — first men-o’-war, then battleships, submarines, and aircraft carriers. While land armies slogged through the mud of Manchuria or France in battles with mind-numbing casualties, imperial navies skimmed over the seas, maneuvering for the control of whole coasts and continents.

At the peak of its imperial power circa 1900, Great Britain ruled the waves with a fleet of 300 capital ships and 30 naval bastions, bases that ringed the world island from the North Atlantic at Scapa Flow through the Mediterranean at Malta and Suez to Bombay, Singapore, and Hong Kong.  Just as the Roman Empire enclosed the Mediterranean, making it Mare Nostrum (“Our Sea”), British power would make the Indian Ocean its own “closed sea,” securing its flanks with army forces on India’s Northwest Frontier and barring both Persians and Ottomans from building naval bases on the Persian Gulf.

By that maneuver, Britain also secured control over Arabia and Mesopotamia, strategic terrain that Mackinder had termed “the passage-land from Europe to the Indies” and the gateway to the world island’s “heartland.” From this geopolitical perspective, the nineteenth century was, at heart, a strategic rivalry, often called “the Great Game,” between Russia “in command of nearly the whole of the Heartland… knocking at the landward gates of the Indies,” and Britain “advancing inland from the sea gates of India to meet the menace from the northwest.” In other words, Mackinder concluded, “the final Geographical Realities” of the modern age were sea power versus land power or “the World-Island and the Heartland.”

Intense rivalries, first between England and France, then England and Germany, helped drive a relentless European naval arms race that raised the price of sea power to unsustainable levels. In 1805, Admiral Nelson’s flagship, the HMS Victory, with its oaken hull weighing just 3,500 tons, sailed into the battle of Trafalgar against Napoleon’s navy at nine knots, its 100 smooth-bore cannon firing 42-pound balls at a range of no more than 400 yards.

In 1906, just a century later, Britain launched the world’s first modern battleship, the HMS Dreadnought, its foot-thick steel hull weighing 20,000 tons, its steam turbines allowing speeds of 21 knots, and its mechanized 12-inch guns rapid-firing 850-pound shells up to 12 miles. The cost for this leviathan was £1.8 million, equivalent to nearly $300 million today. Within a decade, half-a-dozen powers had emptied their treasuries to build whole fleets of these lethal, lavishly expensive battleships.

Thanks to a combination of technological superiority, global reach, and naval alliances with the U.S. and Japan, a Pax Britannica would last a full century, 1815 to 1914. In the end, however, this global system was marked by an accelerating naval arms race, volatile great-power diplomacy, and a bitter competition for overseas empire that imploded into the mindless slaughter of World War I, leaving 16 million dead by 1918.

Mackinder’s Century

As the eminent imperial historian Paul Kennedy once observed, “the rest of the twentieth century bore witness to Mackinder’s thesis,” with two world wars fought over his “rimlands” running from Eastern Europe through the Middle East to East Asia.  Indeed, World War I was, as Mackinder himself later observed, “a straight duel between land-power and sea-power.” At war’s end in 1918, the sea powers — Britain, America, and Japan — sent naval expeditions to Archangel, the Black Sea, and Siberia to contain Russia’s revolution inside its “heartland.”

Reflecting Mackinder’s influence on geopolitical thinking in Germany, Adolf Hitler would risk his Reich in a misbegotten effort to capture the Russian heartland as Lebensraum, or living space, for his “master race.” Sir Halford’s work helped shape the ideas of German geographer Karl Haushofer, founder of the journal Zeitschrift für Geopolitik, proponent of the concept of Lebensraum, and adviser to Adolf Hitler and his deputy führer, Rudolf Hess. In 1942, the Führer dispatched a million men, 10,000 artillery pieces, and 500 tanks to breach the Volga River at Stalingrad.  In the end, his forces suffered 850,000 wounded, killed, and captured in a vain attempt to break through the East European rimland into the world island’s pivotal region.

A century after Mackinder’s seminal treatise, another British scholar, imperial historian John Darwin, argued in his magisterial survey After Tamerlane that the United States had achieved its “colossal Imperium… on an unprecedented scale” in the wake of World War II by becoming the first power in history to control the strategic axial points “at both ends of Eurasia” (his rendering of Mackinder’s “Euro-Asia”). With fears of Chinese and Russian expansion serving as the “catalyst for collaboration,” the U.S. won imperial bastions in both Western Europe and Japan. With these axial points as anchors, Washington then built an arc of military bases that followed Britain’s maritime template and were visibly meant to encircle the world island.

America’s Axial Geopolitics

Having seized the axial ends of the world island from Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan in 1945, for the next 70 years the United States relied on ever-thickening layers of military power to contain China and Russia inside that Eurasian heartland. Stripped of its ideological foliage, Washington’s grand strategy of Cold War-era anticommunist “containment” was little more than a process of imperial succession.  A hollowed-out Britain was replaced astride the maritime “marginal,” but the strategic realities remained essentially the same.

Indeed, in 1943, two years before World War II ended, an aging Mackinder published his last article, “The Round World and the Winning of the Peace,” in the influential U.S. journal Foreign Affairs.  In it, he reminded Americans aspiring to a “grand strategy” for an unprecedented version of planetary hegemony that even their “dream of a global air power” would not change geopolitical basics. “If the Soviet Union emerges from this war as conqueror of Germany,” he warned, “she must rank as the greatest land power on the globe,” controlling the “greatest natural fortress on earth.”

When it came to the establishment of a new post-war Pax Americana, first and foundational for the containment of Soviet land power would be the U.S. Navy. Its fleets would come to surround the Eurasian continent, supplementing and then supplanting the British navy: the Sixth Fleet was based at Naples in 1946 for control of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea; the Seventh Fleet at Subic Bay, Philippines, in 1947, for the Western Pacific; and the Fifth Fleet at Bahrain in the Persian Gulf since 1995.

Next, American diplomats added layers of encircling military alliances — the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (1949), the Middle East Treaty Organization (1955), the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (1954), and the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty (1951).

By 1955, the U.S. also had a global network of 450 military bases in 36 countries aimed, in large part, at containing the Sino-Soviet bloc behind an Iron Curtain that coincided to a surprising degree with Mackinder’s “rimlands” around the Eurasian landmass. By the Cold War’s end in 1990, the encirclement of communist China and Russia required 700 overseas bases, an air force of 1,763 jet fighters, a vast nuclear arsenal, more than 1,000 ballistic missiles, and a navy of 600 ships, including 15 nuclear carrier battle groups — all linked by the world’s only global system of communications satellites.

As the fulcrum for Washington’s strategic perimeter around the world island, the Persian Gulf region has for nearly 40 years been the site of constant American intervention, overt and covert. The 1979 revolution in Iran meant the loss of a keystone country in the arch of U.S. power around the Gulf and left Washington struggling to rebuild its presence in the region. To that end, it would simultaneously back Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in its war against revolutionary Iran and arm the most extreme of the Afghan mujahedeen against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

It was in this context that Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter, unleashed his strategy for the defeat of the Soviet Union with a sheer geopolitical agility still little understood even today. In 1979, Brzezinski, a déclassé Polish aristocrat uniquely attuned to his native continent’s geopolitical realities, persuaded Carter to launch Operation Cyclone with massive funding that reached $500 million annually by the late 1980s. Its goal: to mobilize Muslim militants to attack the Soviet Union’s soft Central Asian underbelly and drive a wedge of radical Islam deep into the Soviet heartland. It was to simultaneously inflict a demoralizing defeat on the Red Army in Afghanistan and cut Eastern Europe’s “rimland” free from Moscow’s orbit. “We didn’t push the Russians to intervene [in Afghanistan],” Brzezinski said in 1998, explaining his geopolitical masterstroke in this Cold War edition of the Great Game, “but we knowingly increased the probability that they would… That secret operation was an excellent idea. Its effect was to draw the Russians into the Afghan trap.”

Asked about this operation’s legacy when it came to creating a militant Islam hostile to the U.S., Brzezinski, who studied and frequently cited Mackinder, was coolly unapologetic. “What is most important to the history of the world?” he asked. “The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the Cold War?”

Yet even America’s stunning victory in the Cold War with the implosion of the Soviet Union would not transform the geopolitical fundamentals of the world island. As a result, after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Washington’s first foreign foray in the new era would involve an attempt to reestablish its dominant position in the Persian Gulf, using Saddam Hussein’s occupation of Kuwait as a pretext.

In 2003, when the U.S. invaded Iraq, imperial historian Paul Kennedy returned to Mackinder’s century-old treatise to explain this seemingly inexplicable misadventure. “Right now, with hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops in the Eurasian rimlands,” Kennedy wrote in the Guardian, “it looks as if Washington is taking seriously Mackinder’s injunction to ensure control of ‘the geographical pivot of history.’” If we interpret these remarks expansively, the sudden proliferation of U.S. bases across Afghanistan and Iraq should be seen as yet another imperial bid for a pivotal position at the edge of the Eurasian heartland, akin to those old British colonial forts along India’s Northwest Frontier.

In the ensuing years, Washington attempted to replace some of its ineffective boots on the ground with drones in the air. By 2011, the Air Force and the CIA had ringed the Eurasian landmass with 60 bases for its armada of drones. By then, its workhorse Reaper, armed with Hellfire missiles and GBU-30 bombs, had a range of 1,150 miles, which meant that from those bases it could strike targets almost anywhere in Africa and Asia.

Significantly, drone bases now dot the maritime margins around the world island — from Sigonella, Sicily, to Icerlik, Turkey; Djibouti on the Red Sea; Qatar and Abu Dhabi on the Persian Gulf; the Seychelles Islands in the Indian Ocean; Jalalabad, Khost, Kandahar, and Shindand in Afghanistan; and in the Pacific, Zamboanga in the Philippines and Andersen Air Base on the island of Guam, among other places. To patrol this sweeping periphery, the Pentagon is spending $10 billion to build an armada of 99 Global Hawk drones equipped with high-resolution cameras capable of surveilling all terrain within a hundred-mile radius, electronic sensors that can sweep up communications, and efficient engines capable of 35 hours of continuous flight and a range of 8,700 miles.

China’s Strategy

Washington’s moves, in other words, represent something old, even if on a previously unimaginable scale.  But the rise of China as the world’s largest economy, inconceivable a century ago, represents something new and so threatens to overturn the maritime geopolitics that have shaped world power for the past 400 years. Instead of focusing purely on building a blue-water navy like the British or a global aerospace armada akin to America’s, China is reaching deep within the world island in an attempt to thoroughly reshape the geopolitical fundamentals of global power. It is using a subtle strategy that has so far eluded Washington’s power elites.

After decades of quiet preparation, Beijing has recently begun revealing its grand strategy for global power, move by careful move. Its two-step plan is designed to build a transcontinental infrastructure for the economic integration of the world island from within, while mobilizing military forces to surgically slice through Washington’s encircling containment.

The initial step has involved a breathtaking project to put in place an infrastructure for the continent’s economic integration.  By laying down an elaborate and enormously expensive network of high-speed, high-volume railroads as well as oil and natural gas pipelines across the vast breadth of Eurasia, China may realize Mackinder’s vision in a new way.  For the first time in history, the rapid transcontinental movement of critical cargo — oil, minerals, and manufactured goods — will be possible on a massive scale, thereby potentially unifying that vast landmass into a single economic zone stretching 6,500 miles from Shanghai to Madrid. In this way, the leadership in Beijing hopes to shift the locus of geopolitical power away from the maritime periphery and deep into the continent’s heartland.

“Trans-continental railways are now transmuting the conditions of land power,” wrote Mackinder back in 1904 as the “precarious” single track of the Trans-Siberian Railway, the world’s longest, reached across the continent for 5,700 miles from Moscow toward Vladivostok. “But the century will not be old before all Asia is covered with railways,” he added. “The spaces within the Russian Empire and Mongolia are so vast, and their potentialities in… fuel and metals so incalculably great that a vast economic world, more or less apart, will there develop inaccessible to oceanic commerce.”

Mackinder was a bit premature in his prediction. The Russian revolution of 1917, the Chinese revolution of 1949, and the subsequent 40 years of the Cold War slowed any real development for decades.  In this way, the Euro-Asian “heartland” was denied economic growth and integration, thanks in part to artificial ideological barriers — the Iron Curtain and then the Sino-Soviet split — that stalled any infrastructure construction across the vast Eurasian land mass. No longer.

Only a few years after the Cold War ended, former National Security Adviser Brzezinski, by then a contrarian sharply critical of the global views of both Republican and Democratic policy elites, began raising warning flags about Washington’s inept style of geopolitics.  “Ever since the continents started interacting politically, some five hundred years ago,” he wrote in 1998, essentially paraphrasing Mackinder, “Eurasia has been the center of world power. A power that dominates ‘Eurasia’ would control two of the world’s three most advanced and economically productive regions… rendering the Western Hemisphere and Oceania geopolitically peripheral to the world’s central continent.”

While such a geopolitical logic has eluded Washington, it’s been well understood in Beijing.  Indeed, in the last decade China has launched the world’s largest burst of infrastructure investment, already a trillion dollars and counting, since Washington started the U.S. Interstate Highway System back in the 1950s. The numbers for the rails and pipelines it’s been building are mind numbing. Between 2007 and 2014, China criss-crossed its countryside with 9,000 miles of new high-speed rail, more than the rest of the world combined. The system now carries 2.5 million passengers daily at top speeds of 240 miles per hour. By the time the system is complete in 2030, it will have added up to 16,000 miles of high-speed track at a cost of $300 billion, linking all of China’s major cities.

China-Central Asia Infrastructure Integrates the World Island (Source: Stratfor)

Simultaneously, China’s leadership began collaborating with surrounding states on a massive project to integrate the country’s national rail network into a transcontinental grid. Starting in 2008, the Germans and Russians joined with the Chinese in launching the “Eurasian Land Bridge.” Two east-west routes, the old Trans-Siberian in the north and a new southern route along the ancient Silk Road through Kazakhstan are meant to bind all of Eurasia together. On the quicker southern route, containers of high-value manufactured goods, computers, and auto parts started travelling 6,700 miles from Leipzig, Germany, to Chongqing, China, in just 20 days, about half the 35 days such goods now take via ship.

In 2013, Deutsche Bahn AG (German Rail) began preparing a third route between Hamburg and Zhengzhou that has now cut travel time to just 15 days, while Kazakh Rail opened a Chongqing-Duisburg link with similar times. In October 2014, China announced plans for the construction of the world’s longest high-speed rail line at a cost of $230 billion.  According to plans, trains will traverse the 4,300 miles between Beijing and Moscow in just two days.

In addition, China is building two spur lines running southwest and due south toward the world island’s maritime “marginal.” In April, President Xi Jinping signed an agreement with Pakistan to spend $46 billion on a China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.  Highway, rail links, and pipelines will stretch nearly 2,000 miles from Kashgar in Xinjiang, China’s westernmost province, to a joint port facility at Gwadar, Pakistan, opened back in 2007.  China has invested more than $200 billion in the building of this strategic port at Gwadar on the Arabian Sea, just 370 miles from the Persian Gulf. Starting in 2011, China also began extending its rail lines through Laos into Southeast Asia at an initial cost of $6.2 billion. In the end, a high-speed line is expected to take passengers and goods on a trip of just 10 hours from Kunming to Singapore.

In this same dynamic decade, China has constructed a comprehensive network of trans-continental gas and oil pipelines to import fuels from the whole of Eurasia for its population centers — in the north, center, and southeast. In 2009, after a decade of construction, the state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) opened the final stage of the Kazakhstan-China Oil Pipeline. It stretches 1,400 miles from the Caspian Sea to Xinjiang.

Simultaneously, CNPC collaborated with Turkmenistan to inaugurate the Central Asia-China gas pipeline. Running for 1,200 miles largely parallel to the Kazakhstan-China Oil Pipeline, it is the first to bring the region’s natural gas to China. To bypass the Straits of Malacca controlled by the U.S Navy, CNPC opened a Sino-Myanmar pipeline in 2013 to carry both Middle Eastern oil and Burmese natural gas 1,500 miles from the Bay of Bengal to China’s remote southwestern region. In May 2014, the company signed a $400 billion, 30-year deal with the privatized Russian energy giant Gazprom to deliver 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually by 2018 via a still-to-be-completed northern network of pipelines across Siberia and into Manchuria.

Sino-Myanmar Oil Pipeline Evades the U.S. Navy in the Straits of Malacca (Source: Stratfor)

Though massive, these projects are just part of an ongoing construction boom that, over the past five years, has woven a cat’s cradle of oil and gas lines across Central Asia and south into Iran and Pakistan. The result will soon be an integrated inland energy infrastructure, including Russia’s own vast network of pipelines, extending across the whole of Eurasia, from the Atlantic to the South China Sea.

To capitalize such staggering regional growth plans, in October 2014 Beijing announced the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. China’s leadership sees this institution as a future regional and, in the end, Eurasian alternative to the U.S.-dominated World Bank. So far, despite pressure from Washington not to join, 14 key countries, including close U.S. allies like Germany, Great Britain, Australia, and South Korea, have signed on. Simultaneously, China has begun building long-term trade relations with resource-rich areas of Africa, as well as with Australia and Southeast Asia, as part of its plan to economically integrate the world island.

Finally, Beijing has only recently revealed a deftly designed strategy for neutralizing the military forces Washington has arrayed around the continent’s perimeter. In April, President Xi Jinping announced construction of that massive road-rail-pipeline corridor direct from western China to its new port at Gwadar, Pakistan, creating the logistics for future naval deployments in the energy-rich Arabian Sea.

In May, Beijing escalated its claim to exclusive control over the South China Sea, expanding Longpo Naval Base on Hainan Island for the region’s first nuclear submarine facility, accelerating its dredging to create three new atolls that could become military airfields in the disputed Spratley Islands, and formally warning off U.S. Navy overflights. By building the infrastructure for military bases in the South China and Arabian seas, Beijing is forging the future capacity to surgically and strategically impair U.S. military containment.

At the same time, Beijing is developing plans to challenge Washington’s dominion over space and cyberspace.  It expects, for instance, to complete its own global satellite system by 2020, offering the first challenge to Washington’s dominion over space since the U.S. launched its system of 26 defense communication satellites back in 1967. Simultaneously, Beijing is building a formidable capacity for cyber warfare.

In a decade or two, should the need arise, China will be ready to surgically slice through Washington’s continental encirclement at a few strategic points without having to confront the full global might of the U.S. military, potentially rendering the vast American armada of carriers, cruisers, drones, fighters, and submarines redundant.

Lacking the geopolitical vision of Mackinder and his generation of British imperialists, America’s current leadership has failed to grasp the significance of a radical global change underway inside the Eurasian land mass. If China succeeds in linking its rising industries to the vast natural resources of the Eurasian heartland, then quite possibly, as Sir Halford Mackinder predicted on that cold London night in 1904, “the empire of the world would be in sight.”


Alfred W. McCoy, a TomDispatch regular, holds the Harrington Chair in History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the editor of Endless Empire: Spain’s Retreat, Europe’s Eclipse, America’s Decline and the author of Policing America’s Empire: The United States, the Philippines, and the Rise of the Surveillance State, among other works.

Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch Book, Nick Turse’s Tomorrow’s Battlefield: U.S. Proxy Wars and Secret Ops in Africa, and Tom Engelhardt’s latest book, Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World.

Copyright 2015 Alfred McCoy

2015-06-07

Source: http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/176007/tomgram%3A_alfred_mccoy%2C_washington%27s_great_game_and_why_it%27s_failing_

The USA Has Been At War 93% Of The Time (222 Out Of 239 Years – Since 1776)

The U.S. Has Only Been At Peace For 21 Years Total Since Its Birth

In 2011, Danios wrote:

Below, I have reproduced a year-by-year timeline of America’s wars, which reveals something quite interesting: since the United States was founded in 1776, she has been at war during 214 out of her 235 calendar years of existence.  In other words, there were only 21 calendar years in which the U.S. did not wage any wars.

To put this in perspective:

* Pick any year since 1776 and there is about a 91% chance that America was involved in some war during that calendar year.

* No U.S. president truly qualifies as a peacetime president.  Instead, all U.S. presidents can technically be considered “war presidents.”

* The U.S. has never gone a decade without war.

* The only time the U.S. went five years without war (1935-40) was during the isolationist period of the Great Depression.

*  *  *

Here is a graphic depiction of U.S. wars:

And here is the year-by-year timeline of America’s major wars:

****

Year-by-year Timeline of America’s Major Wars (1776-2011)

1776 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamagua Wars, Second Cherokee War, Pennamite-Yankee War

1777 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Second Cherokee War, Pennamite-Yankee War

1778 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War

1779 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War

1780 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War

1781 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War

1782 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War

1783 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War

1784 – Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War, Oconee War

1785 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War

1786 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War

1787 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War

1788 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War

1789 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War

1790 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War

1791 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War

1792 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War

1793 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War

1794 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War

1795 – Northwest Indian War

1796 – No major war

1797 – No major war

1798 – Quasi-War

1799 – Quasi-War

1800 – Quasi-War

1801 – First Barbary War

1802 – First Barbary War

1803 – First Barbary War

1804 – First Barbary War

1805 – First Barbary War

1806 – Sabine Expedition

1807 – No major war

1808 – No major war

1809 – No major war

1810 – U.S. occupies Spanish-held West Florida

1811 – Tecumseh’s War

1812 – War of 1812, Tecumseh’s War, Seminole Wars, U.S. occupies Spanish-held Amelia Island and other parts of East Florida

1813 – War of 1812, Tecumseh’s War, Peoria War, Creek War, U.S. expands its territory in West Florida

1814 – War of 1812, Creek War, U.S. expands its territory in Florida, Anti-piracy war

1815 – War of 1812, Second Barbary War, Anti-piracy war

1816 – First Seminole War, Anti-piracy war

1817 – First Seminole War, Anti-piracy war

1818 – First Seminole War, Anti-piracy war

1819 – Yellowstone Expedition, Anti-piracy war

1820 – Yellowstone Expedition, Anti-piracy war

1821 – Anti-piracy war (see note above)

1822 – Anti-piracy war (see note above)

1823 – Anti-piracy war, Arikara War

1824 – Anti-piracy war

1825 – Yellowstone Expedition, Anti-piracy war

1826 – No major war

1827 – Winnebago War

1828 – No major war

1829 – No major war

1830 – No major war 

1831 – Sac and Fox Indian War

1832 – Black Hawk War

1833 – Cherokee Indian War

1834 – Cherokee Indian War, Pawnee Indian Territory Campaign

1835 – Cherokee Indian War, Seminole Wars, Second Creek War

1836 – Cherokee Indian War, Seminole Wars, Second Creek War, Missouri-Iowa Border War

1837 – Cherokee Indian War, Seminole Wars, Second Creek War, Osage Indian War, Buckshot War

1838 – Cherokee Indian War, Seminole Wars, Buckshot War, Heatherly Indian War

1839 – Cherokee Indian War, Seminole Wars

1840 – Seminole Wars, U.S. naval forces invade Fiji Islands

1841 – Seminole Wars, U.S. naval forces invade McKean Island, Gilbert Islands, and Samoa

1842 – Seminole Wars

1843 – U.S. forces clash with Chinese, U.S. troops invade African coast

1844 – Texas-Indian Wars

1845 – Texas-Indian Wars

1846 – Mexican-American War, Texas-Indian Wars

1847 – Mexican-American War, Texas-Indian Wars

1848 – Mexican-American War, Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War

1849 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians

1850 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Yuma War, California Indian Wars, Pitt River Expedition

1851 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, Yuma War, Utah Indian Wars, California Indian Wars

1852 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Yuma War, Utah Indian Wars, California Indian Wars

1853 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Yuma War, Utah Indian Wars, Walker War, California Indian Wars

1854 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians

1855 – Seminole Wars, Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Yakima War, Winnas Expedition, Klickitat War, Puget Sound War, Rogue River Wars, U.S. forces invade Fiji Islands and Uruguay

1856 – Seminole Wars, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, California Indian Wars, Puget Sound War, Rogue River Wars, Tintic War

1857 – Seminole Wars, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, California Indian Wars, Utah War, Conflict in Nicaragua

1858 – Seminole Wars, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Mohave War, California Indian Wars, Spokane-Coeur d’Alene-Paloos War, Utah War, U.S. forces invade Fiji Islands and Uruguay

1859 Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, California Indian Wars, Pecos Expedition, Antelope Hills Expedition, Bear River Expedition, John Brown’s raid, U.S. forces launch attack against Paraguay, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1860 – Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Paiute War, Kiowa-Comanche War

1861 – American Civil War, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Cheyenne Campaign

1862 – American Civil War, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Cheyenne Campaign, Dakota War of 1862,

1863 – American Civil War, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Cheyenne Campaign, Colorado War, Goshute War

1864 – American Civil War, Texas-Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Cheyenne Campaign, Colorado War, Snake War

1865 – American Civil War, Texas-Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Colorado War, Snake War, Utah’s Black Hawk War

1866 – Texas-Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Snake War, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Red Cloud’s War, Franklin County War, U.S. invades Mexico, Conflict with China

1867 – Texas-Indian Wars, Long Walk of the Navajo, Apache Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Snake War, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Red Cloud’s War, Comanche Wars, Franklin County War, U.S. troops occupy Nicaragua and attack Taiwan

1868 – Texas-Indian Wars, Long Walk of the Navajo, Apache Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Snake War, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Red Cloud’s War, Comanche Wars, Battle of Washita River, Franklin County War

1869 – Texas-Indian Wars, Apache Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Comanche Wars, Franklin County War

1870 – Texas-Indian Wars, Apache Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Comanche Wars, Franklin County War

1871 – Texas-Indian Wars, Apache Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Comanche Wars, Franklin County War, Kingsley Cave Massacre, U.S. forces invade Korea

1872 – Texas-Indian Wars, Apache Wars, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Comanche Wars, Modoc War, Franklin County War

1873 – Texas-Indian Wars, Comanche Wars, Modoc War, Apache Wars, Cypress Hills Massacre, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1874 – Texas-Indian Wars, Comanche Wars, Red River War, Mason County War, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1875 – Conflict in Mexico, Texas-Indian Wars, Comanche Wars, Eastern Nevada, Mason County War, Colfax County War, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1876 – Texas-Indian Wars, Black Hills War, Mason County War, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1877 – Texas-Indian Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Black Hills War, Nez Perce War, Mason County War, Lincoln County War, San Elizario Salt War, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1878 – Paiute Indian conflict, Bannock War, Cheyenne War, Lincoln County War, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1879 – Cheyenne War, Sheepeater Indian War, White River War, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1880 – U.S. forces invade Mexico

1881 – U.S. forces invade Mexico

1882 – U.S. forces invade Mexico

1883 – U.S. forces invade Mexico

1884 – U.S. forces invade Mexico

1885 – Apache Wars, Eastern Nevada Expedition, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1886 – Apache Wars, Pleasant Valley War, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1887 – U.S. forces invade Mexico

1888 – U.S. show of force against Haiti, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1889 – U.S. forces invade Mexico

1890 – Sioux Indian War, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Ghost Dance War, Wounded Knee, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1891 – Sioux Indian War, Ghost Dance War, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1892 – Johnson County War, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1893 – U.S. forces invade Mexico and Hawaii

1894 – U.S. forces invade Mexico

1895 – U.S. forces invade Mexico, Bannock Indian Disturbances

1896 – U.S. forces invade Mexico

1897 – No major war

1898 – Spanish-American War, Battle of Leech Lake, Chippewa Indian Disturbances

1899 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1900 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1901 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1902 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1903 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1904 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1905 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1906 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1907 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1908 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1909 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1910 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1911 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1912 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1913 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars, New Mexico Navajo War

1914 – Banana Wars, U.S. invades Mexico

1915 – Banana Wars, U.S. invades Mexico, Colorado Paiute War

1916 – Banana Wars, U.S. invades Mexico

1917 – Banana Wars, World War I, U.S. invades Mexico

1918 – Banana Wars, World War I, U.S invades Mexico

1919 – Banana Wars, U.S. invades Mexico

1920 – Banana Wars

1921 – Banana Wars

1922 – Banana Wars

1923 – Banana Wars, Posey War

1924 – Banana Wars

1925 – Banana Wars

1926 – Banana Wars

1927 – Banana Wars

1928 – Banana Wars

1930 – Banana Wars

1931 – Banana Wars

1932 – Banana Wars

1933 – Banana Wars

1934 – Banana Wars

1935 – No major war

1936 – No major war

1937 – No major war

1938 – No major war

1939 – No major war

1940 – No major war

1941 – World War II

1942 – World War II

1943 – Wold War II

1944 – World War II

1945 – World War II

1946 – Cold War (U.S. occupies the Philippines and South Korea)

1947 – Cold War (U.S. occupies South Korea, U.S. forces land in Greece to fight Communists)

1948 – Cold War (U.S. forces aid Chinese Nationalist Party against Communists)

1949 – Cold War (U.S. forces aid Chinese Nationalist Party against Communists)

1950 – Korean War, Jayuga Uprising

1951 – Korean War

1952 – Korean War

1953 – Korean War

1954 – Covert War in Guatemala

1955 – Vietnam War

1956 – Vietnam War

1957 – Vietnam War

1958 – Vietnam War

1959 – Vietnam War, Conflict in Haiti

1960 – Vietam War

1961 – Vietnam War

1962 – Vietnam War, Cold War (Cuban Missile Crisis; U.S. marines fight Communists in Thailand)

1963 – Vietnam War

1964 – Vietnam War

1965 – Vietnam War, U.S. occupation of Dominican Republic

1966 – Vietnam War, U.S. occupation of Dominican Republic

1967 – Vietnam War

1968 – Vietnam War

1969 – Vietnam War

1970 – Vietnam War

1971 – Vietnam War

1972 – Vietnam War

1973 – Vietnam War, U.S. aids Israel in Yom Kippur War

1974 – Vietnam War

1975 – Vietnam War

1976 – No major war

1977 – No major war

1978 – No major war

1979 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan)

1980 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan)

1981 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua), First Gulf of Sidra Incident

1982 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua), Conflict in Lebanon

1983 – Cold War (Invasion of Grenada, CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua), Conflict in Lebanon

1984 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua), Conflict in Persian Gulf

1985 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua)

1986 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua)

1987 – Conflict in Persian Gulf

1988 – Conflict in Persian Gulf, U.S. occupation of Panama

1989 – Second Gulf of Sidra Incident, U.S. occupation of Panama, Conflict in Philippines

1990 – First Gulf War, U.S. occupation of Panama

1991 – First Gulf War

1992 – Conflict in Iraq

1993 – Conflict in Iraq

1994 – Conflict in Iraq, U.S. invades Haiti

1995 – Conflict in Iraq, U.S. invades Haiti, NATO bombing of Bosnia and Herzegovina

1996 – Conflict in Iraq

1997 – No major war

1998 – Bombing of Iraq, Missile strikes against Afghanistan and Sudan

1999 – Kosovo War

2000 – No major war

2001 – War on Terror in Afghanistan

2002 – War on Terror in Afghanistan and Yemen

2003 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, and Iraq

2004 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen

2005 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen

2006 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen

2007 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen

2008 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen

2009 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen

2010 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen

2011 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen; Conflict in Libya (Libyan Civil War)

In most of these wars, the U.S. was on the offense. Danios admits that some of the wars were defensive.   However, Danios also leaves out covert CIA operations and other acts which could be considered war.

Let’s update what’s happened since 2011:

2012 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Syria and Yemen

2013 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Syria and Yemen

2014 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Syria and Yemen; Civil War in Ukraine

2015 – War on Terror in Somalia, Somalia, Syria and Yemen; Civil War in Ukraine

So we can add 4 more years of war. That means that for 222 out of 239 years – or 93% of the time – America has been at war. (We can quibble with the exact numbers, but the high percentage of time that America has been at war is clear and unmistakable.)

Indeed, most of the military operations launched since World War II have been launched by the U.S.

And American military spending dwarfs the rest of the world put together.

No wonder polls show that the world believes America is the number 1 threat to peace.


“Je Suis CIA”

Note: This article was first published in January 2015.

Since 9/11, the imperial playbook has consisted of a favorite and time-tested tactic: the false flag operation.

Carry out or facilitate a spectacular atrocity. Blame it on the enemy of choice. Issue a lie-infested official narrative, and have the corporate media repeat the lie. Rile up ignorant militant crowds, stoke the hatred, and war-mongering imperial policy planners and their criminal functionaries get what they want: war with the public stamp of approval.

Here we are again.

The Charlie Hebdo incident is being sold as “the French 9/11”. It certainly is, in all of the most tragic ways: France, like the United States on 9/11, has been used. The masses of the world have been deceived, and march in lockstep to NATO’s drumbeat again.

All signs lead from French intelligence back to Washington—and Langley, Virginia—directly and indirectly. Red herrings and deceptions comprise the official narrative.

The Al-Qaeda narrative, the classic CIA deception, gets fresh facelift. The fact that Al-Qaeda is CIA-created Anglo-American military-intelligence is ignored. The agenda behind the ISIS war—a massive and elaborate regional CIA false flag operation—registers even less.

The Charlie Hebdo terrorists have ties to Anglo-American intelligence and the Pentagon that the masses do not bother to think about. They are also tied to the (conveniently dead) 9/11-connected Al-Qaeda mastermind/CIA military-intelligence asset Anwar Al-Awlaki. These and other obvious connections to Washington and the CIA do not raise alarm bells among the ardent ones waving Je Suis Charlie signs (which “magically” appeared, and seem to have been mass-produced in advance).

Signs of an inside job and a still unfolding cover-up are significant, from pristine, undamaged passports found on scene to the convenient suicide of Helric Fredou, the Paris police commissioner in charge of the Hebdo investigation.

The Kouachi brothers and Amedy Coulibaly were not only well known by French authorities, French intelligence and the CIA. The Kouachis were tracked and monitored—guided—over the course of many years, arrested many times, yet were allowed to continue training and plotting with fellow Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Yemen, Syria, etc. These are telltale signs of a guided military-intelligence operation. A blatantly obvious terror cell, known to authorities, “drops out of sight”, and then set loose at an appropriate moment. And then executed.

None of these things, which alarm seasoned observers, registers among the emotional masses; the lemmings who willfully refuse to address its real source: the architects of Anglo-American war policy.

Only the NATO war agenda benefits from any of this.

“France’s 9/11” is more accurately France’s latest Operation Gladio. As noted by Paul Craig Roberts, there is a reason why the Charlie Hebdo attacks took place when it did:

France is suffering from the Washington-imposed sanctions against Russia. Shipyards are impacted from being unable to deliver Russian orders due to France’s vassalage status to Washington, and other aspects of the French economy are being adversely impacted by sanctions that Washington forced its NATO puppet states to apply to Russia.

This week the French president said that the sanctions against Russia should end (so did the German vice-chancellor).

This is too much foreign policy independence on France’s part for Washington. Has Washington resurrected “Operation Gladio,” which consisted of CIA bombing attacks against Europeans during the post-WW II era that Washington blamed on communists and used to destroy communist influence in European elections? Just as the world was led to believe that communists were behind Operation Gladio’s terrorist attacks, Muslims are blamed for the attacks on the French satirical magazine.

Now France is militarized, just as the US was in the wake of 9/11. And the French right-wing has newfound cache.

The hostile takeover of the public mind

Notice that the last two false flag operations in recent months—the false flagging of North Korea over Sony and the film The Interview, and the Charlie Hebdo deception—both revolve around the ideas of “free speech” and “free expression”.

This is a phantom battle, choreographed by those who could not care less for “freedoms”. In fact, the masses are being manipulated towards supporting war and mass murder, and police state agendas that specifically curtail freedoms.

What more creative way to take away freedoms than to make people give them up voluntarily?

The hordes of American citizens that supported the “war on terrorism” to “defend freedom” got the Patriot Act, which gutted what liberties they had; the Constitution and the Bill of Rights will not be restored. This process continues all over the world. Ask the average uninformed French citizen today suffering from post-traumatic stress, and they will gladly give up their rights, anything so that “terrorists” are stopped.

Note how the powers that be have taken to inserting their pro-war messages even more forcefully where the ignorant public spends the majority of its time: in popular entertainment. In Hollywood products, in their cartoons, in their magazines, in their celebrities.

Let George Clooney, Seth Rogen and James Franco transmit the messages of war for the CIA and the Pentagon.

Weaponize stupid movies like The Interview and crude magazines like Charlie Hebdo, and watch people become bloodthirsty, vengeful, unthinking and war-loving.

It is the CIA’s ongoing mission to plant its assets and its propaganda into the media and the arts, controlling the perception of culture as well as framing all debate. It is making a huge push at the moment, relishing the speed and effectiveness of technology and social media.

Hundreds and thousands of innocent lives have been lost in this endless, brutal and criminal war. Yet its architects and functionaries remain untouched.

Je Suis Langley

No Anglo-American war of conquest, no Charlie Hebdo massacre.

No CIA, no Militant Islam, no Al-Qaeda, no ISIS, no Charlie Hebdo massacre.

No 9/11, no “war on terrorism”, no ISIS deception, no Charlie Hebdo massacre.

No war against Russia, no Charlie Hebdo massacre.

Je Suis Charlie? No.

To the naïve ones who believe the lies and march on the streets carrying the signs, you are the victims, the gullible, the dupes, the pawns.

Tu es CIA.

Tu es NATO.


Is Barack Obama Actually Trying To Start World War III?

Why has Barack Obama airdropped 50 tons of ammunition into areas that “moderate rebels” in Syria supposedly control? This is essentially the equivalent of poking the Russians directly in the eyes. Much of this ammunition will end up in the hands of those that the Russians are attempting to bomb into oblivion, and so to Russia it appears that we are attempting to make their job much harder. And of course the truth is that there aren’t really any “moderate rebels” in Syria at all. Nearly all of the groups that are fighting are made up primarily of radical jihadists and/or hired mercenaries. Personally, I don’t see anyone over there that you could call “the good guys”. At the end of the day, the U.S. supports just about anyone that wants to get rid of the Assad regime, and the Russians are working very hard to keep Assad in power. Just like the civil war in Ukraine, the conflict in Syria is in great danger of being transformed into a proxy war between the United States and Russia, and many fear that these conflicts could eventually be setting the stage for World War III.

The ferocity of Russian airstrikes in Syria has surprised observers all over the planet, and over the past couple of days these airstrikes have been extended to include some new areas…

Russian Air Forces have extended the range of their airstrikes on Islamic State positions in Syria to four provinces, focusing primarily on demolishing fortified installations and eliminating supply bases and the terrorists’ infrastructure.

Over the last 24 hours Russian aircraft have attacked terrorist positions in the Hama, Idlib, Latakia and Raqqa provinces of Syria. In total, 64 sorties targeted 63 Islamic State installations, among them 53 fortified zones, 7 arms depots, 4 training camps and a command post.

When I read reports like this, I am deeply troubled. The Obama administration claims that it has been bombing ISIS positions in Syria for over a year. So why in the world do these targets still exist?

Was the U.S. military incapable of finding these installations?

That doesn’t seem likely.

So why weren’t they destroyed long ago?

Did the Obama administration not want them destroyed for some reason?

What seems abundantly clear is that the Russians are doing what the Obama administration was either unwilling or unable to do. There is now mass panic among ISIS fighters, and thousands of them are fleeing the country…

An estimated 3,000 Islamic State fighters as well as militants from other extremist groups have fled Syria for Jordan fearing a renewed offensive by the Syrian army in addition to Russian airstrikes, a military official has told RIA news agency.

“At least 3,000 militants from Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), al-Nusra and Jaish al-Yarmouk have fled to Jordan. They are afraid of the Syrian army having stepped up activities on all fronts and of Russian airstrikes,” the RIA source said.

The mainstream media in the United States is not talking much about this, are they?

But the U.S. media is reporting on this latest airdrop of ammunition to rebel groups in Syria. For example, the following comes from CNN…

U.S. military cargo planes gave 50 tons of ammunition to rebel groups overnight in northern Syria, using an air drop of 112 pallets as the first step in the Obama Administration’s urgent effort to find new ways to support those groups.

Details of the air mission over Syria were confirmed by a U.S. official not authorized to speak publicly because the details have not yet been formally announced.

C-17s, accompanied by fighter escort aircraft, dropped small arms ammunition and other items like hand grenades in Hasakah province in northern Syria to a coalition of rebels groups vetted by the US, known as the Syrian Arab Coalition.

If you were the Russians, how would you feel about this?

I know how I would feel.

And just as Joe Biden has previously admitted, the “moderate middle” in Syria simply does not exist. The following is an extended excerpt from a piece that was originally written by investigative journalist Nafeez Ahmed…

The first Russian airstrikes hit the rebel-held town of Talbisah north of Homs City, home to al-Qaeda’s official Syrian arm, Jabhat al-Nusra, and the pro-al-Qaeda Ahrar al-Sham, among other local rebel groups. Both al-Nusra and the Islamic State have claimed responsibility for vehicle-borne IEDs (VBIEDs) in Homs City, which is 12 kilometers south of Talbisah.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reports that as part of “US and Turkish efforts to establish an ISIS ‘free zone’ in the northern Aleppo countryside,” al-Nusra “withdrew from the border and reportedly reinforced positions in this rebel-held pocket north of Homs city”.

In other words, the US and Turkey are actively sponsoring “moderate” Syrian rebels in the form of al-Qaeda, which Washington DC-based risk analysis firm Valen Globals forecasts will be “a bigger threat to global security” than IS in coming years.

Last October, Vice President Joe Biden conceded that there is “no moderate middle” among the Syrian opposition. Turkey and the Gulf powers armed and funded “anyone who would fight against Assad,” including “al-Nusra,” “al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI),” and the “extremist elements of jihadis who were coming from other parts of the world”.

In other words, the CIA-backed rebels targeted by Russia are not moderates. They represent the same melting pot of al-Qaeda affiliated networks that spawned the Islamic State in the first place.

It has been well documented that many of these so-called “moderate rebel groups” in Syria have fought alongside ISIS and have sold weapons to them. So this false dichotomy that Barack Obama keeps trying to sell us on is just a giant fraud. The following comes from a recent Infowars report…

In September, 2014 a commander with the FSA admitted cooperating with ISIS and the al-Nusra Front.

“We are collaborating with the Islamic State and the Nusra Front by attacking the Syrian Army’s gatherings in … Qalamoun,” Bassel Idriss said. “Let’s face it: The Nusra Front is the biggest power present right now in Qalamoun and we as FSA would collaborate on any mission they launch as long as it coincides with our values.”

In July of 2014 a report in Stars and Stripes documented how the 1,000 strong Dawud Brigade, which had previously fought alongside the FSA against al-Assad, had defected in its entirety to join ISIS.

The same month factions within the FSA — including Ahl Al Athar and Ibin al-Qa’im — pledged services to the Islamic State.

Members of the Islamic State claim to cooperate with the FSA and buy weapons provided by the U.S.

“We are buying weapons from the FSA. We bought 200 anti-aircraft missiles and Koncourse anti tank weapons,” ISIS member Abu Atheer told al-Jazeera. “We have good relations with our brothers in the FSA. For us, the infidels are those who cooperate with the West to fight Islam.”

U.S. anti-tank weapons are playing a critical role in the Syrian conflict. As reported by the Washington Post, U.S.-made anti-tank missiles are being used by the rebels to destroy lots of Russian-made tanks that are being used by the Syrian army…

So successful have they been in driving rebel gains in northwestern Syria that rebels call the missile the “Assad Tamer,” a play on the word Assad, which means lion. And in recent days they have been used with great success to slow the Russian-backed offensive aimed at recapturing ground from the rebels.

Since Wednesday, when Syrian troops launched their first offensive backed by the might of Russia’s military, dozens of videos have been posted on YouTube showing rebels firing the U.S.-made missiles at Russian-made tanks and armored vehicles belonging to the Syrian army. Appearing as twirling balls of light, they zigzag across the Syrian countryside until they find and blast their target in a ball of flame.

Like I said earlier, this is looking more and more like a proxy war between the United States and Russia.

Could that be what Obama actually wants?

Obama is poking China in the eyes lately too. CNN is reporting that U.S. warships may soon be sailing into territorial waters around the Spratly Islands. These are islands that the Chinese government claims ownership over, but the U.S. government disputes that claim, and Obama seems determined to flex his muscles in the area…

The United States (US) may soon deploy war ships near China’s artificial islands in the South China Sea.

It wants to send a message that it does not recognize China’s territorial claims over the area.

This is according to a Financial Times report quoting a senior U.S. official who said its ships will sail within 12-nautical-mile zones that China claims as its territory around the Spratly Islands within the next two weeks.

If Obama sends warships into that area, there is a very real chance that they could get shot at. According to Newsweek, the Chinese are saying that they will not permit U.S. ships to violate those territorial waters under any circumstances…

“We will never allow any country to violate China’s territorial waters and airspace in the Spratly Islands, in the name of protecting freedom of navigation and overflight,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in response to a question about possible U.S. patrols. “We urge the related parties not to take any provocative actions, and genuinely take a responsible stance on regional peace and stability.”

Such exchanges appear to be moving China and the U.S. toward a much feared, yet long expected, military confrontation. Just as unsettling, both sides seem confident they can prevail.

Over the past couple of years our relations with China have really gone downhill very rapidly, and if the trading relationship between the two largest economies on the planet breaks down, that would have massive implications for the entire global economy.

In addition to everything above, the civil war in Ukraine continues to rage on. The United States funded, equipped, trained and organized the forces that violently overthrew the democratically-elected government in Ukraine, and then once those thugs (which actually included some neo-Nazis) took power, the Obama administration immediately recognized them as the legitimate government of Ukraine.

The Russians were absolutely infuriated by this, and they have been providing soldiers, equipment and supplies to the rebel groups that are fighting back against this new government. Of course the Russians deny that they are doing this, but it is exceedingly obvious that they are.

The rebel groups that the Russians have been backing have been doing very well and have been steadily taking ground, and this is not how the power brokers in D.C. envisioned things playing out in Ukraine. So in a desperate attempt to shift the momentum of the conflict, a bill is going through Congress that would provide “lethal military aid” to the government in Kiev. Initially the bill would have provided 200 million dollars in lethal aid, but now it has been upped to 300 million dollars. There are some that believe that the final figure will be significantly higher.

Once this bill gets passed, it will be an extremely important event. For the Russians, it will mean crossing a red line that never should have been crossed. You see, the truth is that Ukraine is Russia’s most important neighbor. Just imagine how we would feel if the Russians helped overthrow Canada’s government and then start feeding weapons to the new pro-Russian government that they helped install. That is exactly how the Russians view our meddling in Ukraine.

Earlier this year, I wrote an article in which I discussed an opinion poll that showed that 81 percent of all Russians now view the United States negatively, and only 13 percent of Russians have a positive view of this nation. Not even during the height of the Cold War were the numbers that bad.

The stage is being set for World War III, but most Americans are completely and totally oblivious to all of this because they are so wrapped up in their own little worlds.

Most Americans still seem to assume that the Russians and the Chinese are our “friends” and that any type of conflict between major global powers is impossible.

Well, the truth is that conflict has already begun in Ukraine and Syria, and tensions are rising with each passing day.

It won’t happen next week or next month, but we are on the road to World War III.

So what will the end result be? Please feel free to share your thoughts by posting a comment below…


By Michael Snyder

Source: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/is-barack-obama-actually-trying-to-start-world-war-iii

America’s Hegemonic Ambitions: The US “International Dictatorship”, Its Friends, Its Enemies

In a speech delivered in the southern suburbs of Beirut on October 23, 2015, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, a resistance organization rooted in Lebanon’s Shia community, presented a description of US imperialism that largely comports with that of secular leftwing anti-imperialists in the West.

Hezbollah was established in the early 1980s to end Israel’s occupation of Lebanon. With Israel’s withdrawal in 2000, and a subsequent Israeli incursion in 2006 repulsed by Hezbollah fighters, the resistance organization remains on the qui vive against future Israeli aggressions. It is now assisting the Syrian Arab Army in its death struggle against extreme sectarian Sunni Islamists, among them ISIS and Jabhat al Nusra. These al-Qaeda offshoots pose an existential threat to the Shia community in Lebanon, explaining why Hezbollah has chosen to enter the conflict.

The following (in italics) is a distillation of Nasrallah’s remarks [1].

The United States wants the Middle East to be under its political, military, security, economic and cultural domination.

Washington uses Israel as a tool to promote this agenda.

Israel depends for its existence on the United States. If the financial, economic and military support that Washington grants Tel Aviv stops, Israel will cease to exist.

The victims of Israel are the Palestinians and the Lebanese, both of whom have suffered occupation and massacres at Israel’s hands.

Blame for Israeli actions, then, lies more with Washington, Israel’s master, than with Netanyahu and his terrorist army.

Therefore, Palestinians and Lebanese are the primary victims of the US domination project in the Middle East.

US foreign policy is aimed at plundering the region’s oil, gas and riches. It is driven by the owners of oil and weapons companies, not by human rights organizations.

Indeed, all of Washington’s talk about human rights and democracy is meaningless. The biggest dictatorships in the region are sponsored by the United States. These dictatorships violate human rights and disdain elections (a reference to US allies Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Bahrain).

US allies in the region are nothing but local administrations headed by a king or a president answerable to Washington. The decisions of war, peace, foreign policy and markets are in the hands of their master, the United States.

The punitive aspects of US foreign policy are aimed at anyone who refuses to submit to US domination, which is to say, refuses to become local extensions of the US government (and by implication, of the large oil and weapons companies that dominate it.) He who takes his own decision on the basis of his country’s interests is unacceptable to the United States.

For example, all of Washington’s hostility to Iran is traceable to the latter’s wanting to be a free and independent country that owns and controls its own economy and preserves the dignity of its people. This rejects US hegemony and therefore is unacceptable to Washington.

Washington launches proxy wars against those countries that seek to become independent and strong. The United States is waging a proxy war in the Middle East on everyone who refuses to submit to US domination. The proxies are the extreme sectarian Sunni Islamist jihadists, or takfiris, (including ISIS and the Nusra Front, both progeny of al-Qaeda, and the latter now reframed deceptively by US propagandists as “moderate” rebels.) The real leader and coordinator of the takfiris is the United States, assisted by its regional allies (a reference to Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.)

Today, Washington tells us that we will either be slaves of the United States or it will besiege us and send suicide bombers.

The ongoing war is not for the sake of reforms, democracy, human rights, elimination of poverty or countering ignorance, but for subjugating those who reject the United States’ hegemonic ambitions.

Nasrallah calls Israel “an executive tool in implementing US hegemony” in the Middle East. This calls to mind an observation made by the Palestinian scholar Walid Khalidi: “To many Arabs, Israel is the beachhead of US imperialism in the Middle East and its executor,” a not unreasonable understanding given the evidence.

Nasrallah describes US foreign policy as predicated on a universalist model of US leadership that leaves little room for other countries to define and follow their own path. At least one person close to US foreign policy acknowledges that this view is accurate. Ana Montes, who on the eve of 9/11 was the top Cuba analyst at the Pentagon, denounced US foreign policy for having “never respected Cuba’s right to make its own journey towards its own ideals of equality and justice,” [2] paralleling Nasrallah’s complaint that Washington is unwilling to allow Iran to “be a free and independent country” that owns and controls its economy and preserves the dignity of its people, and that it punishes countries “that seek to become independent and strong.”

Montes struggled unsuccessfully to understand why Washington continued “to dictate how the Cubans should select their leaders, who their leaders cannot be, and what laws are appropriate in their land,” as much as many Syrians must struggle to understand, in Washington’s insistence that their president step aside, why the United States dictates how they should select their leaders and who their leaders cannot be.

“Why,” Montes wondered, “can’t we let Cuba pursue its own internal journey, as the United States has been doing for over two centuries?”

And why can’t Washington let Syria and Iran do the same?

The answer, from Nasrallah’s analysis, is clear. Neither Syria nor Iran, anymore than Cuba, can be allowed to own and control their own economies because this conflicts with the aspirations of the corporate elite that dominates policy-making in the United States.

Troubled by the absence in Washington of “tolerance and understanding for the different ways of others”, Montes followed her conscience. She fed Cuban authorities intelligence on the eavesdropping platforms that US spies had secretly installed in Cuba to help undermine Cuba’s right to make its own journey.

For her efforts to impede an injustice, she was sentenced to almost 25 years in prison for espionage. She has been called “the most important spy you’ve never heard of” [3] but is also among the most important prisoners of conscience you’ve never heard of, and one Amnesty International, a purported champion of prisoners of conscience, won’t touch. This simply adds to the tally of lapses on the side of US imperialism that the compromised human rights organization has become infamous for, including:

• Criticizing Wikleaks for leaking US secrets; [4]

• Propagating without evidence the claim that Iran has a nuclear weapons program; [5]

• Disappearing US sanctions against North Korea—the most comprehensive and longstanding program of economic warfare ever carried out in human history–in a report on the country’s “crumbling health care system.” Instead, Amnesty attributed North Korea’s health care difficulties solely to decisions taken by Pyongyang, roughly equivalent to blaming the death of numberless Iraqi children during the 1990s on Saddam Hussein, and not the US-led sanctions regime; [6]

• Appointing US State Department official Suzanne Nossel to the post of executive director of Amnesty International USA, a woman who supported the illegal US invasion of Iraq as well as a military option to coerce Iran into relinquishing its right under international law to process uranium for peaceful purposes; [7]

• Confining its criticism of US military aggressions to the question of whether they are conducted in compliance with the rules of war and not whether they are initiated in violation of international law. [8] This prioritizes the concept of jus in bello (justice in how a war is conducted) and fails to address altogether the concept of jus ad bellum (the justness of a war), a strategy which spares Amnesty from calling out the most egregious crimes of the United States and its allies, since Washington’s wars, and those of its subalterns, almost invariably fail to meet jus ad bellum standards;

• Calling for an international arms embargo on the Syrian government but not on the rebels who are supplied by the United States and its allies, among which is Saudi Arabia, a human rights abomination. [9]

While Amnesty was critical of the human rights record of apartheid South Africa, it alone among human rights organizations refused to denounce apartheid itself. [10] The organization also refused to condemn the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia [11], even though it was an exercise in imperial predation that denied the rights of many innocent Yugoslavs to life, security of the person and employment. Amnesty excused its inaction on grounds that it is not an antiwar organization, as if war and human rights are not often inextricably bound. But Amnesty’s most egregious service to the propaganda requirements of US foreign policy came in 1991, when the rights group released a report in the run-up to the Gulf War claiming that Iraqi soldiers had thrown Kuwaiti babies from incubators. This was a hoax, perpetrated by the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States, orchestrated by the public relations firm Hill & Knowlton, which had been hired to launch a propaganda campaign to galvanize public support for a US war on Iraq. When US President George H.W. Bush appeared on television to announce that he was readying for war on Iraq, he had a copy of the Amnesty report in his hands. [12]

Washington promoted human rights in the 1980s as a cudgel with which to wage a propaganda war against the Soviet Union. It has been used since to extend the war to countries that refuse to submit to Washington’s hegemonic ambitions. Is it not predictable that a Western-based human rights organization, which apparently sees nothing amiss in appointing a former US State Department official to head its US branch, should take center stage in prosecuting this propaganda battle?

The United States and its allies are, according to the preferred narrative—and one largely supported by Amnesty—champions of human rights whose aggressions abroad are aimed at enemies of human rights, and therefore, are valid, and even laudable. The idea that US foreign policy is inspired by human rights, as Nasrallah shows, is complete nonsense. An accurate description of the instrumental role played by human rights in US foreign policy is provided by a senior US State Department official:

“The countries that cooperate with us get at least a free pass (on human rights), whereas other countries that don’t cooperate, we ream them as best we can.” [13]

The Amnesty-ignored prisoner of conscience Ana Montes remains defiant, despite her decade and a half of incarceration in the highest security women’s prison in the United States. “Prison is one of the last places I would have ever chosen to be in,” Montes says, “but some things in life are worth going to prison for.” [14]

How pathetically weak-kneed and addled is the imperialist-friendly Amnesty against the honest analysis and courage of Ana Montes; how contemptible is its collusion with imperialism against the defiance of Nasrallah and the countless other opponents of the international dictatorship of the United States and the bankers, billionaire investors, oil companies and weapons manufacturers in whose service it operates and who hold sway over it.

David Rovic’s Song for Ana Belen Montes.

Notes

1. “Zeinab Essa, “Sayyed Nasrallah vows from Sayyed Shudadaa Complex: We’re to defeat ‘Israel”, US-Takfiri scheme,” Alahed, October 24, 2015.

2. Montes statement, October 16, 2002, The Centre for Counter-Intelligence and Security Studies, The Ana Belen Montes Case, , Latinamericanstudies.org, Studieshttp://www.latinamericanstudies.org/espionage/montes-articles.pdf

3. Jim Popkin, “Ana Montes did much harm spying for Cuba. Chances are, you haven’t heard of her,” The Washington Post Magazine, April 18, 2013.

4. John F. Burns and Ravi Somaiya, “WikiLeaks founder on the run, trailed by notoriety”, The New York Times, October 23.

5. Joe Emersberger, “Debating Amnesty about Syria and Double Standards”, MRZine, July 6, 2012.

6. Stephen Gowans, “2010 Amnesty International botches blame for North Korea’s crumbling healthcare,” what’s left, July 20, 2010.

7. Emersberger.

8. Daniel Kovalick “Amnesty International and the Human Rights Industry,” counterpunch.org, November 8, 2012.

9. Emersberger.

10. Francis A. Boyle and Dennis Bernstein, “Interview with Francis Boyle. Amnesty on Jenin”, Covert Action Quarterly, Summer, 2002. http://cosmos.ucc.ie/cs1064/jabowen/IPSC/php/art.php?aid=4573

11. Alexander Cockburn, “How the US State Dept. Recruited Human Rights Groups to Cheer On the Bombing Raids: Those Incubator Babies, Once More?” Counterpunch, April 1-15, 1999.http://cosmos.ucc.ie/cs1064/jabowen/IPSC/articles/article0005098.html

12. Boyle and Bernstein.

13. Craig Whitlock, “Niger rapidly emerging as a key U.S. partner,” The Washington Post, April 14, 2013.

14. Popkin.


By Stephen Gowans

Source: http://www.globalresearch.ca/americas-hegemonic-ambitions-the-us-international-dictatorship-its-friends-its-enemies/5484606

Time Is Running Out For Pax Americana’s Apologists

The paradox of the current global crisis is that for the last five years, all relatively responsible and independent nations have made tremendous efforts to save the United States from the financial, economic, military, and political disaster that looms ahead. And this is all despite Washington’s equally systematic moves to destabilize the world order, rightly known as the Pax Americana (“American peace”).

Since policy is not a zero-sum game, i.e., one participant’s loss does not necessarily entail a gain for another, this paradox has a logical explanation. A crisis erupts within any system when there is a discrepancy between its internal structure and the sum total of available resources (that is, those resources will eventually prove inadequate for the system to function normally and in the usual way).

There are at least three basic options for addressing this situation:

  1. Through reform, in which the system’s internal structure evolves in such a way as to better correspond to the available resources.
  2. Through the system’s collapse, in which the same result is achieved via revolution.
  3. Through preservation, in which the inputs threatening the system are eliminated by force, and the relationships within the system are carefully preserved on an inequitable relationship basis (whether between classes, social strata, castes, or nations).

The preservation method was attempted by the Ming and Qing dynasties in China, as well as the Tokugawa Shogunate in Japan. It was utilized successfully (in the 19th century) prior to the era of capitalist globalization. But neither of those Eastern civilizations (although fairly robust internally) survived their collision with the technologically more advanced (and hence more militarily and politically powerful) European civilization. Japan found its answer on the path of modernization (reform) back in the second half of the 19th century, China spent a century immersed in the quagmire of semi-colonial dependence and bloody civil wars, until the new leadership of Deng Xiaoping was able to articulate its own vision of modernizing reforms.

This point leads us to the conclusion that a system can be preserved only if it is safeguarded from any unwanted external influences, i.e., if it controls the globalized world.

The contradiction between the concept of escaping the crisis, which has been adopted the US elite, and the alternative concept – proposed by Russia and backed by China, then by the BRICS nations and now a large part of the world – lay in the fact that the politicians in Washington were working from the premise that they are able to fully control the globalized world and guide its development in the direction they wish. Therefore, faced with dwindling resources to sustain the mechanisms that perpetuate their global hegemony, they tried to resolve the problem by forcefully suppressing potential opponents in order to reallocate global resources in their favor.

If successful, the United States would be able to reenact the events of the late 1980s – early 1990s, when the collapse of the Soviet Union and the global socialist system under its control allowed the West to escape its crisis. At this new stage, it has become a question of no longer simply reallocating resources in favor of the West as a collective whole, but solely in favor of the United States. This move offered the system a respite that could be used to create a regime for preserving inequitable relationships, during which the American elite’s definitive control over the resources of power, raw materials, finance, and industrial resources safeguarded them from the danger of the system’s internal implosion, while the elimination of alternative power centers shielded the system from external breaches, rendering it eternal (at least for a historically foreseeable period of time).

The alternative approach postulated that the system’s total resources might be depleted before the United States can manage to generate the mechanisms to perpetuate its global hegemony. In turn, this will lead to strain (and overstrain) on the forces that ensure the imperial suppression of those nations existing on the global periphery, all in the interests of the Washington-based center, which will later bring about the inevitable collapse of the system.

Two hundred, or even one hundred years ago, politicians would have acted on the principle of “what is falling, that one should also push” and prepared to divvy up the legacy of yet another crumbling empire. However, the globalization of not only the world’s industry and trade (that was achieved by the end of the 19th century), but also global finance, caused the collapse of the American empire through a policy that was extremely dangerous and costly for the whole world. To put it bluntly, the United States could bury civilization under its own wreckage.

Consequently, the Russian-Chinese approach has made a point of offering Washington a compromise option that endorses the gradual, evolutionary erosion of American hegemony, plus the incremental reform of international financial, economic, military, and political relations on the basis of the existing system of international law.

America’s elite have been offered a “soft landing” that would preserve much of their influence and assets, while gradually adapting the system to better correspond to the present facts of life (bringing it into line with the available reserve of resources), taking into account the interests of humanity, and not only of its “top echelon” as exemplified by the “300 families” who are actually dwindling to no more than thirty.

In the end, it is always better to negotiate than to build a new world upon the ashes of the old. Especially since there has been a global precedent for similar agreements.

Up until 2015, America’s elite (or at least the ones who determine US policy) had been assured that they possessed sufficient financial, economic, military, and political strength to cripple the rest of the world, while still preserving Washington’s hegemony by depriving everyone, including (at the final stage) even the American people of any real political sovereignty or economic rights. European bureaucrats were important allies for that elite – i.e., the cosmopolitan, comprador-bourgeoisie sector of the EU elite, whose welfare hinged on the further integration of transatlantic (i.e., under US control) EU entities (in which the premise of Atlantic solidarity has become geopolitical dogma) and NATO, although this is in conflict with the interests of the EU member states.

However, the crisis in Ukraine, which has dragged on much longer than originally planned, Russia’s impressive surge of military and political energy as it moved to resolve the Syrian crisis (something for which the US did not have an appropriate response) and, most important, the progressive creation of alternative financial and economic entities that call into question the dollar’s position as the de facto world currency, have forced a sector of America’s elite that is amenable to compromise to rouse itself (over the last 15 years that elite has been effectively excluded from participation in any strategic decisions).

The latest statements by Kerry  and Obama which seesaw from a willingness to consider a mutually acceptable compromise on all contentious issues (even Kiev was given instructions “to implement Minsk “) to a determination to continue the policy of confrontation – are evidence of the escalating battle being fought within the Washington establishment.

It is impossible to predict the outcome of this struggle – too many high-status politicians and influential families have tied their futures to an agenda that preserves imperial domination for that to be renounced painlessly. In reality, multibillion-dollar positions and entire political dynasties are at stake.

However, we can say with absolute certainty that there is a certain window of opportunity during which any decision can be made. And a window of opportunity is closing that would allow the US to make a soft landing with a few trade-offs. The Washington elite cannot escape the fact that they are up against far more serious problems than those of 10-15 years ago. Right now the big question is about how they are going to land, and although that landing will already be harder than it would have been and will come with costs, the situation is not yet a disaster.

But the US needs to think fast. Their resources are shrinking much faster than the authors of the plan for imperial preservation had expected. To their loss of control over the BRICS countries can be added the incipient, but still fairly rapid loss of control over EU policy as well as the onset of geopolitical maneuvering among the monarchies of the Middle East. The financial and economic entities created and set in motion by the BRICS nations are developing in accordance with their own logic, and Moscow and Beijing are not able to delay their development overlong while waiting for the US to suddenly discover a capacity to negotiate.

The point of no return will pass once and for all sometime in 2016, and America’s elite will no longer be able to choose between the provisions of compromise and collapse. The only thing that they will then be able to do is to slam the door loudly, trying to drag the rest of the world after them into the abyss.


2015-11-11

About the author:

Rostislav Ischenko is the President of Centre for System Analysis and Forecasting (Kiev) currently living in Moscow.

Source: http://orientalreview.org/2015/11/11/time-is-running-out-for-pax-americanas-apologists/

The US And China Can Avoid A Collision Course – If The US Gives Up Its Empire

The problem is America’s global hegemony comes with insistence on maintaining military and economic dominance right in China’s backyard.

To avoid a violent militaristic clash with China, or another cold war rivalry, the United States should pursue a simple solution: give up its empire.

Americans fear that China’s rapid economic growth will slowly translate into a more expansive and assertive foreign policy that will inevitably result in a war with the US. Harvard Professor Graham Allison has found: “in 12 of 16 cases in the past 500 years when a rising power challenged a ruling power, the outcome was war.” Chicago University scholar John Mearsheimer has bluntly argued: “China cannot rise peacefully.”

But the apparently looming conflict between the US and China is not because of China’s rise per se, but rather because the US insists on maintaining military and economic dominance among China’s neighbors. Although Americans like to think of their massive overseas military presence as a benign force that’s inherently stabilizing, Beijing certainly doesn’t see it that way.

According to political scientists Andrew Nathan and Andrew Scobell, Beijing sees America as “the most intrusive outside actor in China’s internal affairs, the guarantor of the status quo in Taiwan, the largest naval presence in the East China and South China seas, [and] the formal or informal military ally of many of China’s neighbors.” (All of which is true.) They think that the US “seeks to curtail China’s political influence and harm China’s interests” with a “militaristic, offense-minded, expansionist, and selfish” foreign policy.

China’s regional ambitions are not uniquely pernicious or aggressive, but they do overlap with America’s ambition to be the dominant power in its own region, and in every region of the world.

Leaving aside caricatured debates about which nation should get to wave the big “Number 1” foam finger, it’s worth asking whether having 50,000 US troops permanently stationed in Japan actually serves US interests and what benefits we derive from keeping almost 30,000 US troops in South Korea and whether Americans will be any safer if the Obama administration manages to reestablish a US military presence in the Philippines to counter China’s maritime territorial claims in the South China Sea.

Many commentators say yes. Robert Kagan argues not only that US hegemony makes us safer and richer, but also that it bestows peace and prosperity on everybody else. If America doesn’t rule, goes his argument, the world becomes less free, less stable and less safe.

But a good chunk of the scholarly literature disputes these claims. “There are good theoretical and empirical reasons”, wrote political scientist Christopher Fettweis in his book Pathologies of Power, “to doubt that US hegemony is the primary cause of the current stability.” The international system, rather than cowering in obedience to American demands for peace, is far more “self-policing”, says Fettweis. A combination of economic development and the destructive power of modern militaries serves as a much more satisfying answer for why states increasingly see war as detrimental to their interests.

International relations theorist Robert Jervis has written that “the pursuit of primacy was what great power politics was all about in the past” but that, in a world of nuclear weapons with “low security threats and great common interests among the developed countries”, primacy does not have the strategic or economic benefits it once had.

Nor does US dominance reap much in the way of tangible rewards for most Americans: international relations theorist Daniel Drezner contends that “the economic benefits from military predominance alone seem, at a minimum, to have been exaggerated”; that “There is little evidence that military primacy yields appreciable geoeconomic gains”; and that, therefore, “an overreliance on military preponderance is badly misguided.”

The struggle for military and economic primacy in Asia is not really about our core national security interests; rather, it’s about preserving status, prestige and America’s neurotic image of itself. Those are pretty dumb reasons to risk war.

There are a host of reasons why the dire predictions of a coming US-China conflict may be wrong, of course. Maybe China’s economy will slow or even suffer crashes. Even if it continues to grow, the US’s economic and military advantage may remain intact for a few more decades, making China’s rise gradual and thus less dangerous.

Moreover, both countries are armed with nuclear weapons. And there’s little reason to think the mutually assured destruction paradigm that characterized the Cold War between the US and the USSR wouldn’t dominate this shift in power as well.

But why take the risk, when maintaining US primacy just isn’t that important to the safety or prosperity of Americans? Knowing that should at least make the idea giving up empire a little easier.


By John Glaser

2015-06-02

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/may/28/conflict-us-china-not-inevitable-empire

Paul Craig Roberts’ Address To The International Conference On The European/Russian Crisis Created By Washington

Paul Craig Roberts’ address to the Conference on the European/Russian Crisis, Delphi, Greece, June 20-21, 2015


Paul Craig Roberts, formerly Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury for Economic Policy, Associate Editor, Wall Street Journal, Senior Research Fellow, Stanford University, William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

The United States has pursued empire since early in its history, but it was the Soviet collapse in 1991 that enabled Washington to see the entire world as its oyster

The collapse of the Soviet Union resulted in the rise of the neoconservatives to power and influence in the US government. The neoconservatives have interpreted the Soviet collapse as History’s choice of “American democratic capitalism” as the New World Order.

Chosen by History as the exceptional and indispensable country, Washington claims the right and the responsibility to impose its hegemony on the world. Neoconservatives regard their agenda to be too important to be constrained by domestic and international law or by the interests of other countries. Indeed, as the Unipower, Washington is required by the neoconservative doctrine to prevent the rise of other countries that could constrain American power.

Paul Wolfowitz, a leading neoconservative, penned the Wolfowitz Doctrine shortly after the Soviet collapse. This doctrine is the basis of US foreign and military policy.

The doctrine states:

“Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.”

Notice that Washington’s “first objective” is not peace, not prosperity, not human rights, not democracy, not justice. Washington’s “first objective” is world hegemony. Only the very confident so blatantly reveal their agenda.

As a former member of the Cold War Committee on the Present Danger, I can explain what Wolfowitz’s words mean. The “threat posed formerly by the Soviet Union” was the ability of the Soviet Union to block unilateral US action in some parts of the world. The Soviet Union was a constraint on US unilateral action, not everywhere but in some places. Any constraint on Washington is regarded as a threat.

A “hostile power” is a country with an independent foreign policy, such as the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) have proclaimed. Iran, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Argentina, Cuba, and North Korea also proclaim an independent foreign policy.

This is too much independence for Washington to stomach. As Russian President Vladimir Putin recently stated, “Washington doesn’t want partners. Washington wants vassals.”

The Wolfowitz doctrine requires Washington to dispense with or overthrow governments that do not acquiesce to Washington’s will. It is the “first objective.”

The collapse of the Soviet Union resulted in Boris Yeltsin becoming president of a dismembered Russia. Washington became accustomed to Yeltsin’s compliance and absorbed itself in its Middle Eastern wars, expecting Vladimir Putin to continue Russia’s vassalage.

However at the 43rd Munich Conference on Security Policy, Putin said: “I consider that the unipolar model is not only unacceptable but also impossible in today’s world.”

Putin went on to say:
“We are seeing a greater and greater disdain for the basic principles of international law, and independent legal norms are, as a matter of fact, coming increasingly closer to one state’s legal system. One state and, of course, first and foremost the United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way. This is visible in the economic, political, cultural and educational policies it imposes on other nations. Well, who likes this? Who is happy about this?”

When Putin issued this fundamental challenge to US unipower, Washington was preoccupied with its lack of success with its invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Mission was not accomplished.

By 2014 it had come to Washington’s attention that while Washington was blowing up weddings, funerals, village elders, and children’s soccer games in the Middle East, Russia had achieved independence from Washington’s control and presented itself as a formidable challenge to Washington’s uni-power. Putin blocked Obama’s planned invasion of Syria and bombing of Iran. The unmistakable rise of Russia refocused Washington from the Middle East to Russia’s vulnerabilities.

Ukraine, long a constituent part of Russia and subsequently the Soviet Union, was split off from Russia in the wake of the Soviet collapse by Washington’s maneuvering. In 2004 Washington had tried to capture Ukraine in the Orange Revolution, which failed to deliver Ukraine into Washington’s hands. Consequently, according to neocon Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, Washington spent $5 billion over the following decade developing Ukrainian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that could be called into the streets of Kiev and in developing Ukrainian political leaders willing to represent Washington’s interests.

Washington launched its coup in February 2014 with orchestrated demonstrations that, with the addition of violence, resulted in the overthrow and flight of the elected democratic government of Victor Yanukovych. In other words, Washington destroyed democracy in a new country with a coup before democracy could take root.

Ukrainian democracy meant nothing to Washington. Washington was intent on seizing Ukraine in order to present Russia with a security problem and also to justify sanctions against “Russian aggression” in order to break up Russia’s growing economic and political relationships with Europe. Washington feared that these relationships could undermine Washington’s hold on Europe.

Sanctions are contrary to Europe’s interests. Nevertheless European governments accommodated Washington’s agenda. The reason was explained to me several decades ago by my Ph.D. dissertation committee chairman who became Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. I had the opportunity to ask him how Washington managed to have foreign governments act in Washington’s interest rather than in the interest of their own countries. He said, “money.” I said, “you mean foreign aid?” He said, “no, we give the politicians bags full of money. They belong to us. They answer to us.”

Recently, the German journalist Udo Ulfkotte wrote a book, Bought Journalists, in which he reported that every significant European journalist functions as a CIA asset.

This does not surprise me. The same is the situation in the US.

As Europe is an appendage of Washington, a collection of vassal states, Europe enables Washington’s pursuit of hegemony even to the extent of being driven into conflict with Russia over a “crisis” that is entirely a propaganda creation of Washington’s.

The media disguises the reality. During the Clinton regime, six mega-media companies were permitted to acquire 90% of the US print, TV, radio, and entertainment media, a concentration that destroyed diversity and independence. Today the media throughout the Western world serves as a Propaganda Ministry for Washington. The Western media is Washington’s Ministry of Truth. Gerald Celente, the trends forecaster, calls the Western media “presstitutes,” a combination of press prostitutes.

In the US Putin and Russia are demonized around the clock. Every broadcast alerts us to “the Russian threat.” Even Putin’s facial expressions are psychologically analyzed. Putin is the New Hitler. Putin has ambitions to recreate the Soviet empire. Putin invaded Ukraine. Putin is going to invade the Baltic states and Poland. Putin is a threat on the level of ebola and the Islamic State. US Russian experts, such as Stephen Cohen, who state the facts are dismissed as “Putin apologists.” Any and every one who takes exception to the anti-Putin, anti-Russian propaganda is branded a “Putin apologist,” just as 9/11 skeptics are dismissed as “conspiracy theorists.” In the Western world, the few truth-tellers are demonized along with Putin and Russia.

The world should take note that today, right now, Truth is the most unwelcome presence in the Western world. No one wants to hear it in Washington, London, Tokyo, or in any of the political capitals of Washington’s empire.

The majority of the American population has fallen for the anti-Russian propaganda, just as they fell for “Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction,” “Assad’s use of chemical weapons against his own people,” Iranian nukes,” the endless lies about Gaddafi, 9/11, shoe bombers, underwear bombers, shampoo and bottled water bombers. There is always a new lie to keep the fear factor working for Washington’s endless wars and police state measures that enrich the rich and impoverish the poor.

The gullibility of the public has enabled Washington to establish the foundation for a new Cold War or for a preemptive nuclear strike on Russia. Some neoconservatives prefer the latter. They believe nuclear war can be won, and they ask, “What is the purpose of nuclear weapons if they cannot be used?”

China is the other rising power that the Wolfowitz Doctrine requires to be constrained. Washington’s “pivot to Asia” creates new naval and air bases to control China and perpetuate Washington’s hegemony in the South China Sea.

We come to the bottom line. Washington’s position is not negotiable. Washington has no interest in compromising with Russia or China. Washington has no interest in any facts. Washington’s deal is this: “You can be part of our world order as our vassals, but not otherwise.”

European governments and, of course, the lapdog UK government, are complicit in this implicit declaration of war against Russia and China. If it comes to war, Europeans will pay the ultimate price for the treason of their leaders, such as Merkel, Cameron, and Hollande, as Europe will cease to exist.

War with Russia and China is beyond Washington’s capability. However, if the demonized “enemy” does not succumb to the pressure and accept Washington’s leadership, war can be inevitable. Washington has launched an attack. How does Washington back off? Don’t expect any American regime to say, “we made a mistake. Let’s work this out.” Every one of the announced candidates for the American presidency is committed to American hegemony and war.

Washington believes Russia can be isolated from the West and that this isolation will motivate those secularized and westernized elements in Russia, who desire to be part of the West, into more active opposition against Putin. The Saker calls these Russians “Atlanticist integrationists.”

After two decades of Russia being infiltrated by Washington’s NGO Fifth Columns, the Russian government has finally taken action to regulate the hundreds of Western-financed NGOs inside Russia that comprise Washington’ subversion of the Russian government. However, Washington still hopes to use sanctions to cause enough disruption of economic life within Russia to be able to send protesters into the streets. Regime change, as in Ukraine, is one of Washington’s tools. In China the US organized the Hong Kong “student” riots, which Washington hopes will spread into China, and Washington supports the independence of the Muslim population in the Chinese province that borders Kazakhstan.

The problem with a government in the control of an ideology is that ideology and not reason drives the action of the government. As the majority of Western populations lack the interest to search for independent explanations, the populations impose no constraint on governments.
To understand Washington, go online and read the neoconservative documents and position papers. You will see an agenda unconstrained by law, by morality, by compassion, by common sense. You will see an agenda of evil.

Who is Obama’s Assistant Secretary of State for the Ukrainian part of the world? It is the neoconservative Victoria Nuland who organized the Ukrainian coup, who put in office the new puppet government, who is married to the even more extreme neoconservative, Robert Kagan.

Who is Obama’s National Security advisor? It is Susan Rice, a neoconservative.

Who is Obama’s Ambassador to the UN? It is Samantha Power, a neoconservative.

Now we turn to material interests. The neoconservative agenda of world hegemony serves the powerful military/security complex whose one trillion dollar annual budget depends on war, hot or cold.

The agenda of American hegemony serves the interests of Wall Street and the mega-banks. As Washington’s power and influence spreads, so does American financial imperialism. So does the reach of American oil companies and American agribusiness corporations such as Monsanto.

Washington’s hegemony means that US corporations get to loot the rest of the world.

The danger of the neoconservative ideology is that it is in perfect harmony with powerful economic interests. In the US the left-wing has made itself impotent. It believes all the foundational government lies that have given America a police/warfare state incapable of producing alternative leadership. The American left, what little remains, for emotional reasons believes the government’s 9/11 story. The anti-religious left-wing believes the threat posed to free thought by a Christian Russia. The left-wing, convinced that Americans are racists, believes the government’s account of the assassinations of Martin Luther King.

The left-wing accepts the government’s transparent 9/11 fable, because it is emotionally important to the American left that oppressed peoples strike back. For the American left, it is emotionally satisfying that the Middle East, long oppressed and exploited by the French, British and Americans, struck back and humiliated the Unipower in the 9/11 attack.

This emotional need is so powerful for the left that it blinds the left-wing to the improbability of a few Saudi Arabians, who could not fly airplanes, outwitting not merely the FBI, CIA, and NSA, which spies on the entire world, but as well all 16 US intelligence agencies and the intelligence agencies of Washington’s NATO vassal states and Israel’s Mossad, which has infiltrated every terrorist organization, including those created by Washington itself.

Somehow these Saudis were able to also outwit NORAD, airport security, causing security to fail four times in one hour on the same day. They were able to prevent for the first time ever the US Air Force from intercepting the hijacked airliners. Air traffic control somehow lost the hijacked airliners on radar. Two airliners crashed, one into the Pennsylvania country side and one into the Pentagon without leaving any debris. The passport of the leader of the attack, Mohammed Atta was reported to be found as the only undamaged element in the debris of the World Trade Center towers. The story of the passport was so preposterous that it had to be changed.

This implausible account did not raise any eyebrows in the tame Western print and TV media.

The right-wing is obsessed with immigration of darker-skinned peoples, and 9/11 has become an argument against immigration. The left-wing awaits the oppressed to strike back against their oppressors. The 9/11 fable survives as it serves the interests of both left and right.

I can tell you for a fact that if American national security had so totally failed as it is represented to have failed by the official explanation of 9/11, the White House, the Congress, the media would have been screaming for an investigation. Heads would have rolled in agencies that permitted such massive failure of the national security state. The embarrassment of a Superpower being so easily attacked and humiliated by a handful of Arabs acting independently of any intelligence agency would have created an uproar demanding accountability.

Instead, the White House resisted any investigation for one year. Under pressure from the 9/11 families who lost family members in the World Trade Center Towers, the White House created a political commission consisting of politicians managed by the White House. The commission sat and listened to the government’s account and wrote it down. This is not an investigation.

In the United States the left-wing is focused on demonizing Ronald Reagan, who had nothing whatsoever to do with any of this. The left-wing hates Reagan because he had to use anti-communist rhetoric in order to keep his electoral basis while he strove to end the Cold War in the face of the powerful opposition of the military/security complex.

Is the left-wing more effective in Europe? Not that I can see. Look at Greece for example. The Greek people are driven into the ground by the EU, the IMF, the German and Dutch banks and the New York hedge funds. Yet, when presented with candidates who promise to resist the looting of Greece, the Greek voters give the candidates a mere 36% of the vote, enough to form a government, but not enough to have any clout with creditors.

Having hamstrung their government with such low electoral support, the Greek people further impose impotence on their government by demanding to remain in the EU. If leaving the EU is not a realistic threat, the Greek government has no negotiating power.

Obviously, the Greek population is so throughly brainwashed about the necessity of being part of the EU that the population is willing to be economically dispossessed rather than to leave the EU. Thus Greeks have forfeited their sovereignty and independence. A country without its own money is not, and cannot be, an independent country.

Once European intellectuals signed off on the EU, they committed nations to vassalage, both to the EU bureaucrats and to Washington. Consequently, European nations are not independent and cannot exercise an independent foreign policy.

Their impotence means that Washington can drive them to war. To fully understand the impotence of Europe look at France. The only leader in Europe worthy of the name is Marine Le Pen. Having said this, I am immediately denounced by the European left as a fascist, a racist, and so forth. This only shows the knee-jerk response of the European left.

It is not I who shares Le Pen’s views on immigration. It is the French people. Le Pen’s party won the recent EU elections. What Le Pen stands for is French independence from the EU. The majority of French see themselves as French and want to remain French with their own laws and customs. Only Le Pen among European politicians has stated the obvious: “The Americans are taking us to war!”

Despite the French desire for independence, the French will elect Le Pen’s party to the EU but will not give it the vote to be the government of France. The French deny themselves their independence, because they are heavily conditioned by brainwashing, much coming from the left, and are ashamed to be racists, fascists, and whatever epithets have been assigned to Le Pen’s political party, a party that stands for the independence of France.

The European left-wing, once a progressive force, even a revolutionary one, has become a reactionary force. It is the same in the US. I say this as one of CounterPunch’s popular contributors.

The inability even of intellectuals to recognize and accept reality means that restraints on neoconservatives are nowhere present except within Russia and China. The West is impotent to prevent Armageddon. It is up to Russia and China, and as Washington has framed the dilemma, Armageddon can only be prevented by Russia and China accepting vassal status.

I don’t believe this is going to happen. Why would any self-respecting people submit to the corrupt West?

The hope is that Washington will cause its European vassals to rebel by pushing them too hard into conflict with Russia. The hope that European countries will be forced into an independent foreign policy also seems to be the basis of the Russian government’s strategy.

Perhaps intellectuals can help to bring this hope to fruition. If European politicians were to break from Washington’s hegemony and instead represent European interests, Washington would be deprived of cover for its war crimes. Washington’s aggressions would be constrained by an independent European foreign policy. The breakdown of the neoconservative unipower model would be apparent even to Washington, and the world would become a safer and better place.


By Paul Craig Roberts

Source: http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2015/06/19/paul-craig-roberts-address-international-conference-europeanrussian-crisis-created-washington/

Will Washington Kill Us All?

Did you know that Washington keeps 450 nuclear ICBMs on “hair-trigger alert”? Washington thinks that this makes us “safe.” The reasoning, if it can be called reason, is that by being able to launch in a few minutes, no one will try to attack the US with nuclear weapons. US missiles are able to get on their way before the enemy’s missiles can reach the US to destroy ours.

If this makes you feel safe, you need to read Eric Schlosser’s book, Command and Control.

The trouble with hair-triggers is that they make mistaken, accidental, and unauthorized launch more likely. Schlosser provides a history of almost launches that would have brought armageddon to the world.

In Catalyst, a publication of the Union of Concerned Scientists, Elliott Negin tells the story of Soviet Lt. Col. Stanislav Petrov. Just after midnight in 1983 the Soviet Union’s early warning satellite system set off the alarm that 5 US ICBMs were headed for the Soviet Union.

Col. Petrov was supposed to inform the Soviet leader, who would have 8 to 10 minutes to decide whether to launch in retaliation. Who knows what he would have decided. Instead Col. Petrov used his judgment. There was no reason for the US to be attacking the Soviet Union. Moreover, Petrov reasoned that an American attack would involve hundreds of ICBMs, possibly thousands. He checked whether Soviet ground-based radar had detected incoming ICBMs, and it had not. Petrov decided it was a false alarm, and sat on it.

It turned out that the early warning system had mistaken a pattern of sunlight reflection on clouds as missiles. This was a close call, but Negin reports that “a failed computer chip, and an improperly installed circuit card are some of the culprits” that could initiate nuclear war. In other words, the sources of false alarms are numerous.

Fast forward to today. Imagine an American officer monitoring the US early warning system. This officer has been listening to 15 years of war propaganda accompanied by US invasions and bombings of 8 countries. Terrorist warnings and security alerts abound, as do calls from American and Israeli politicians for nuking Iran. The media has convinced him that Russia has invaded Ukraine and is on the verge of invading the Baltics and Poland. American troops and tanks have been rushed to the Russian border. There is talk of arming Ukraine. Putin is dangerous and is threatening nuclear war, running his strategic bombers close to our borders and holding nuclear drills. The American officer has just heard a Fox News general again call for “killing Russians.” The Republicans have convinced him that Obama is selling out America to Iran, with Senator Tom Cotton warning of nuclear war as a consequence. We will all be killed because there is a Muslim in the White House.

Why isn’t anyone standing up for America, the patriotic American officer wonders, just as the alarm goes off: Incoming ICBMs. Are they Russian or Iranian? Was Israel right after all? A hidden Iranian nuclear weapons program? Or has Putin decided that the US is in the way of his reconstruction of the Soviet Empire, which the American media affirms is Putin’s goal? There is no room for judgment in the American officer’s mind. It has been set on hair-trigger by the incessant propaganda that Americans call news. He passes on the warning.

Obama’s Russophobic neocon National Security Advisor is screaming: “You can’t let
Putin get away with this!” “It might be a false alarm,” replies the nervous and agitated president. “You liberal pussy! Don’t you know that Putin is dangerous!? Push the button!”

And there goes the world.

Considering the extreme Russophobia being created among Americans by the Ministry of Propaganda, the demonization of Vladimir Putin–the “new Hitler,” Vlad the Impaler– the propagandistic creation of “the Russian threat,” the crazed neocon desire for US world hegemony, the hatred of Russia and China as rising rivals capable of exercising independent power, the loss of American Uni-power status and unconstrained unilateral action. In the midst of these emotions and minds swayed not by facts but by propaganda, hubris, and ideology, there is a great chance that Washington’s response to a false alarm will bring the end of life on earth.

How much confidence do you have in Washington? How many times has Washington–especially the crazed neocons–been wrong?

Remember the 3-week “cakewalk” Iraq war that would cost $70 billion and be paid out of Iraqi oil revenues? Now the cost is $3,000 billion and rising, and after 12 years the radical Islamic State controls half of the country. To pay for the wars the Republicans want to “privatize,” that is, take away, Social Security and Medicare.

Remember “Mission Accomplished” in Afghanistan? Twelve years later the Taliban again control the country and Washington, after murdering women, children, funerals, weddings, village elders, and kids’ soccer games, has been driven out by a few thousand lightly armed Taliban.

The frustrations of these defeats have mounted in Washington and in the military. The myth is that we lost because we didn’t use our full force. We were intimidated by world opinion or by those damn student protesters, or blocked from victory by some gutless president, a liberal pussy who wouldn’t use all of our power. For the right-wing, rage is a way of life.

The neocons believe fervently that History has chosen America to rule the world, and here we are defeated by Vietnamese guerrillas, by Afghan tribesmen, by Islamist fundamentalists, and now Putin has sent his missiles to finish the job.

Whoever the White House fool is, he will push the button.

The situation is deteriorating, not improving. The Russians, hoping for some sign of intelligence in Europe, contradict Washington’s anti-Russian lies. Washington calls truthful contradiction of its own propaganda to be Russian propaganda. Washington has ordered the Broadcasting Board of Governors, a US government agency, headed by Andrew Lack, a former chairman of NBC news, to counteract an alleged, but non-existent, “Kremlin Troll Army” that is outshouting the Western prostitutes and “perpetuating a pro-Russian dialogue” on the Internet. In case you don’t remember, Lack is the idiot who declared RT to be a “terrorist organization.” In other words, in Lack’s opinion, one that he can enforce, a truth-teller is a terrorist.

Lack epitomizes well Washington’s view of truthful reporting: If it doesn’t serve Washington’s propaganda, it is not true. It is terrorism.

Lack hopes to control RT with intimidation: In effect, he has told RT to shut up and say what we want or we will close you down as a terrorist organization. We might even arrest your American employees as aiders and abettors of terrorism.

To counteract a Revanchist Russia and its Internet Troll Army, the Obama regime is handing $15,400,000 to the insane Lack to use to discredit every truthful statement that emerges from the English language versions of Russian media. This amount, of course, will rise dramatically. Soon it will be in the billions of dollars, while Americans are evicted from their homes and sent to prison for their debts.

In his budget request, Lack, who seems to lack every aspect of humanity, including intelligence, integrity, and morality, justified his request, which will be granted, for the hard-earned money of Americans, whose standard of living is falling, with the wild assertion that Russia “threatens Russia’s neighbors and, by extension, the United States and its Western allies.”

Lack promises to do even more: “The US international media is now set forth to refute Russian propaganda and influence the minds of Russians and Russian-speakers in the former Soviet Union, Europe and around the world.” Lack is going to propagandize against Russia inside Russia.

Of course, the CIA organizations–the National Endowment for Democracy and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty–will be enriched by this anti-Russian propaganda campaign and will support it wholeheartedly.

Therefore, the Union of Concerned Scientists’ call for cooperation with Russia to take ICBMs off hair-trigger status is unlikely to occur. How can nuclear tensions be reduced when Washington is building tensions as fast as it possibly can? Washington’s Ministry of Propaganda has reconstructed Putin as Osama bin Laden, as Saddam Hussein, demonized figures, bogymen who evoke fear from the brainwashed American sheeple. Russia is transformed into al Qaeda lusting for another attack on the World Trade Center and for the Red Army (many Americans think Russia is still communist) to roll across Europe.

Gorbachev was a trick. He deceived the old movie actor. The deceived Americans are sitting ducks, and here come the ICBMs. The crazed views of the American politicians, military, and people are unable to comprehend truth or to recognize reality.

The propagandistic American “media” and the crazed neoconservatives have set humanity on the path to destruction.

The Union of Concerned Scientists, of which I am a member, need to come to their senses. It is impossible to work out a reduction in nuclear threat as long as one side is going all out to demonize the other. The demonization of Russia and its leader by the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, Fox News, and the rest of the American Propaganda Ministry, by almost the entirety of the House and Senate, and by the White House makes reducing the threat of nuclear war impossible.

The American people and the entire world need to understand that the threat to life on earth resides in Washington and that until Washington is fundamentally and totally changed, this threat will remain as the worse threat to life on earth. Global Warming can disappear instantly in Nuclear Winter.


About the author:

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 West and How America Was Lost.
2015-04-15
Source: http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2015/04/15/will-washington-kill-us-paul-craig-roberts/

How Corrupt Is The American Government?

Government corruption has become rampant:

  • Senior SEC employees spent up to 8 hours a day surfing porn sites instead of cracking down on financial crimes
  • NSA spies pass around homemade sexual videos and pictures they’ve collected from spying on the American people
  • Investigators from the Treasury’s Office of the Inspector General found that some of the regulator’s employees surfed erotic websites, hired prostitutes and accepted gifts from bank executives … instead of actually working to help the economy
  • The Minerals Management Service – the regulator charged with overseeing BP and other oil companies to ensure that oil spills don’t occur – was riddled with “a culture of substance abuse and promiscuity”, which included “sex with industry contacts
  • Agents for the Drug Enforcement Agency had dozens of sex parties with prostitutes hired by the drug cartels they were supposed to stop (they also received money, gifts and weapons from drug cartel members)
  • The former chief accountant for the SEC says that Bernanke and Paulson broke the law and should be prosecuted
  • The government knew about mortgage fraud a long time ago. For example, the FBI warned of an “epidemic” of mortgage fraud in 2004. However, the FBI, DOJ and other government agencies then stood down and did nothing. See this and this. For example, the Federal Reserve turned its cheek and allowed massive fraud, and the SEC has repeatedly ignored accounting fraud (a whistleblower also “gift-wrapped and delivered” the Madoff scandal to the SEC, but they refused to take action). Indeed, Alan Greenspan took the position that fraud could never happen
  • Paulson and Bernanke falsely stated that the big banks receiving Tarp money were healthy when they were not. The Treasury Secretary also falsely told Congress that the bailouts would be used to dispose of toxic assets … but then used the money for something else entirely
  • The American government’s top official in charge of the bank bailouts wrote, “Americans should lose faith in their government. They should deplore the captured politicians and regulators who distributed tax dollars to the banks without insisting that they be accountable. The American people should be revolted by a financial system that rewards failure and protects those who drove it to the point of collapse and will undoubtedly do so again.”
  • Congress has exempted itself from the healthcare rules it insists everyone else follow
  • Law enforcement also grabs massive amounts of people’s cash, cars and property … even when people aren’t CHARGED with – let alone convicted of – any crime
  • Private prisons are huge profit-making centers for giant companies, and private prison corporations obtain quotas from the government, where the government guarantees a certain number of prisoners at any given time
  • The government covered up the health risks to New Orleans residents associated with polluted water from hurricane Katrina, and FEMA covered up the cancer risk from the toxic trailers which it provided to refugees of the hurricane. The Centers for Disease Control – the lead agency tasked with addressing disease in America – covered up lead poisoning in children in the Washington, D.C. area (the Centers for Disease Control has also been outed as receiving industry funding)
  • In response to new studies showing the substantial dangers of genetically modified foods, the government passed legislation more or less PUSHING IT onto our plates
  • Government scientists originally pushed fluoridation of water as “safe and effective” because fluoride is a major byproduct of making nuclear weapons … and the government ordered them to downplay the risks of fluoride exposure in order to prevent massive lawsuits by those suffering injury from poisoning
  • The Bush White House worked hard to smear CIA officers, bloggers and anyone else who criticized the Iraq war
  • The FBI smeared top scientists who pointed out the numerous holes in its anthrax case. Indeed, the head of the FBI’s investigation agrees that corruption was rampant
  • Warmongers in the U.S. government knowingly and intentionally lied us into a war of aggression in Iraq. The former head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – the highest ranking military officer in the United States – said that the Iraq war was “based on a series of lies”. The same is true in Libya, Syria and other wars. Indeed, the U.S. has often launched or proposed launching wars based upon FALSE PREMISES
  • When the American government got caught assassinating innocent civilians, it changed its definition of “enemy combatants” to include all young men – between the ages of say 15 and 35 – who happen to be in battle zones. When it got busted killing kids with drones, it changed the definition again to include kids as “enemy combatants”
  • The government treats journalists who report on government corruption as CRIMINALS OR TERRORISTS. And it goes to great lengths to smear them. For example, when USA Today reporters busted the Pentagon for illegally targeting Americans with propaganda, the Pentagon launched a SMEAR CAMPAIGN against the reporters. But  journalists who act as mere cheerleaders for the government who never criticize are protected and rewarded

The biggest companies own the D.C. politicians. Indeed, the head of the economics department at George Mason University has pointed out that it is unfair to call politicians “prostitutes”. They are in fact pimps … selling out the American people for a price.

Government regulators have become so corrupted and “captured” by those they regulate that Americans know that the cop is on the take. Institutional corruption is killing people’s trust in our government and our institutions.

Neither the Democratic or Republican parties represent the interests of the American people. Elections have become nothing but scripted beauty contests, with both parties ignoring the desires of their own bases.

Indeed, America is no longer a democracy or republic … it’s officially an oligarchy. And the allowance of unlimited campaign spending allows the oligarchs to purchase politicians more directly than ever.

No wonder polls show that the American people say that the system is so thoroughly corrupt that government corruption is now Americans’ number one fear.

And politicians from both sides of the aisle say that corruption has destroyed America. And see this.

Moreover, there are two systems of justice in Americaone for the big banks and other fatcats … and one for everyone else. Indeed, Americans have .

Big Corporations Are Also Thoroughly Corrupt

But the private sector is no better … for example, the big banks have literally turned into criminal syndicates engaged in systemic fraud.

Wall Street and giant corporations are literally manipulating every single market.

And the big corporations are cutting corners to make an extra penny … wreaking havoc with their carelessness. For example:

  • U.S. military contractors have pocketed huge sums of money earmarked for humanitarian and reconstruction aid. And see this (whistleblowers alerted the government about the looting of Iraq reconstruction funds, but nothing was done)
  • There is systemic corruption among drug companies, scientific journals, university medical departments, and medical groups which set the criteria for diagnosis and treatment

(Further examples here, here, here, here and here.)

We’ve Forgotten the Lessons of History

The real problem is that we need to learn a little history:

  • We’ve known for thousands of years that – when criminals are not punished – crime spreads
  • We’ve known for centuries that powerful people – unless held to account – will get together and steal from everyone else

2016-01-05

Original source of the article:

Trolling Russia

The edifice of the post-1991 world order is collapsing right before our eyes. President Putin’s decision to give a miss to the Auschwitz pilgrimage, right after his absence in Paris at Charlie festival, gave it the last shove. It was good clean fun to troll Russia, as long as she stayed the course. Not anymore. Russia broke the rules.

Until now, Russia, like a country bumpkin in Eton, tried to belong. It attended the gathering of the grandees where it was shunned, paid its dues to European bodies that condemned it, patiently suffered ceaseless hectoring of the great powers and irritating baiting of the East European small-timers alike. But something broke there. The lad does not want to belong anymore; he picked up his stuff and went home. Just when they needed him to kneel in Auschwitz.

The Auschwitz gathering is an annual Canossa of the Western leaders where they bewail their failure to protect the Jews and swear their perennial obedience to them. This is a more important religious rite in our days, the One Ring to rule them all, established in 2001, when the Judeo-American empire reached the pinnacle of its power. The Russian leader duly attended the events. This year, they will have to do without him. Israeli ministers already have expressed their deep dissatisfaction for this although it was Russia’s Red Army that saved the Jews in Auschwitz. Absence of Russia turns the Holocaust memorial day into a parochial, West-only, event. Worse, Russia’s place will be taken by Ukraine, with its Nazi-glorifying regime.

This comes after the French Charlie demo, also spurned by Russia. The West hinted that Russia’s sins would be forgiven, up to a point, if she joined, first the demo, and later, the planned anti-terrorist coalition, but Russia did not take the bait. This was a visible change, for previously, Russian leaders eagerly participated in such events and voted for West-sponsored resolutions. In 2001, Putin fully supported George Bush’s War on Terrorism in the UN and on the ground. As recently as 2011, Russiaagreed with sanctions against North Korea and Iran. As for coming to a demonstration, the Russianscould always be relied upon. This time, the Russians did not come, excepting the token presence of the foreign minister Mr. Lavrov. This indomitable successor of Mr. Nyet had left the event almost immediately and went – to pray in the Russian church, in a counter-demonstration, of sorts, against Charlie. By going to the church, he declared that he is not Charlie.

For the Charlie Hebdo magazine was (and probably is) explicitly anti-Christian as well as anti-Muslim. One finds there some most obnoxious cartoons offending the Virgin and Christ, as well as the pope and the Church. (They never offended Jews, somehow). A Russian blogger who’s been exposed to this magazine for the first time, wrote on his page: I am ashamed that the bastards were dealt with by Muslims, not by Christians. This was quite a common feeling in Moscow these days. The Russians could not believe that such smut could be published and defended as a right of free speech. People planned a demo against that Charlie, but City Hall forbade it.

Remember, a few years ago, that Pussy Riot profaned the St Saviour of Moscow in the way that Femen had profaned some great European cathedrals, from Notre Dame de Paris to Strasbourg. The Russian government did not wait for vigilante justice being meted upon the viragos, but had given them up to two years of prison. At the same time, the Russian criminal law has been changed to include ‘sacrilege’ among ordinary crimes, by general consent. The Russians do feel about their faith more strongly than what EC rulers prescribe.

In Charlie’s France, Hollande’s regime frogmarched the unwilling people into a quite unnecessary gay marriage law, notwithstanding one-million-strong demonstrations of Catholics. The Femen despoiling the churches were never punished; but a church warden who tried to prevent that, was heavily fined. France has a long anti-Christian tradition, usually described as “laic”, and its grand anti-Church coalition of Atheists, Huguenots and Jews coalesced in the Dreyfus Affair days. Thus Lavrov’s escape to the church was a counter-demonstration, saying: Russia is for Christ, and Russia is not against Muslims.

While the present western regime is anti-Christian and anti-Muslim, it is pro-Jewish to an extent that defies a rational explanation. France had sent thousands of soldiers and policemen to defend Jewish institutions, though this defence antagonises their neighbours. While Charlie are glorified for insulting Christians and Muslims, Dieudonné has been sent to jail for annoying Jews. Actually, Charlie Hebdodismissed a journalist for one sentence allegedly disrespectful for Jews. This unfairness is a source of aggravation: Muslims were laughed out of court when they complained against particularly vile Charlie’s cartoons, but Jews almost always win when they go to the court against their denigrators. (Full disclosure: I was also sued by LICRA, the French Jewish body, while my French publisher was devastated by their legal attacks).

The Russians don’t comprehend the Western infatuation with Jews, for Russian Jews are well assimilated and integrated in general society. The narrative of Holocaust is not popular in Russia for a simple reason: so many Russians of every ethnic background lost their lives in the war, that there is no reason to single out Jews as supreme victims. Millions died at the siege of Leningrad; Belarus lost a quarter of its population. More importantly, Russians feel no guilt regarding Jews: they treated them fairly and saved them from the Nazis. For them, the Holocaust is a Western narrative, as foreign as JeSuisCharlie. With drifting of Russia out of Western consensus, there is no reason to maintain it.

 

This does not mean the Jews are discriminated against. The Jews of Russia are doing very well, thank you, without Holocaust worship: they occupy highest positions in the Forbes list of Russia’s rich, with a capital of $122 billion, while all rich ethnic Russians own $165 billion, according to the Jewish-owned resource. Jews run the most celebrated media shows in prime time on the state TV; they publish newspapers; they have full and unlimited access to Putin and his ministers; they usually have their way when they want to get a plot of land for their communal purposes. And anti-Semitic propaganda is punishable by law – like anti-Christian or anti-Muslim abuse, but even more severely. Still, it is impossible to imagine a Russian journalist getting sack like CNN anchor Jim Clancy or BBC’s Tim Willcox for upsetting a Jew or speaking against Israel.

Russia preserves its plurality, diversity and freedom of opinions. The Pro-Western Russian media – Novaya Gazeta of oligarch Lebedev, the owner of the British newspaper Independent – carries the JeSuis slogan and speaks of Holocaust, as well as demands to restore Crimea to the Ukraine. But the vast majority of Russians do support their President, and his civilizational choice. He expressed it when he went to midnight Christmas mass in a small village church in far-away province, together with orphans and refugees from the Ukraine. And he expressed it by refusing to go to Auschwitz.

Neither willingly nor easily did Russia break the ranks. Putin tried to take Western baiting in his stride: be it Olympic games, Syria confrontation, gender politics, Georgian border, even Crimea-related sanctions. The open economic warfare was a game changer. Russia felt attacked by falling oil prices, by rouble trouble, by rating downgrades. These developments were considered acts of hostility, rather than the result of “the hidden hand of the market”.

Russians love conspiracies, as James Bond used to say. They do not believe in chance, coincidence nor natural occurrences, and are likely to consider a falling meteorite or an earthquake – a result of hostile American action, let alone a fall in the rouble/dollar exchange rate. They could be right, too, though it is hard to prove.

Regarding oil price fall, the jury is out. Some say this is an action by the Saudis aimed at Americanfracking companies, or alternatively a Saudi-American plot against Russia. However, the price of oil is not formed by supply-and-demand, but by financial instruments, futures and derivatives. This virtual demand-and-supply is much bigger than the real one. When hedge funds stopped buying oil futures, the price downturn became unavoidable, but were the funds directed by politicians, or did they act so because Quantitative Easing ended?

The steep fall of the rouble could be connected to the oil price downturn, but not necessarily so. The Rouble is not involved in forming oil prices. It could be an action by a very big financial institution. Soros broke the back of the British pound in 1991; the Korean won, Thai bhat and Malaysian ringgit suffered similar fates in 1998. In each case, the attacked country lost about 40% of its GDP. It is possible that Russia was attacked by financial weapons directed from New York.

The European punitive sanctions forbade long-term cheap credit to Russian companies. The Russian state does not need loans, but Russian companies do. The combination of these factors put a squeeze on Russian pockets. The rating agencies kept downgrading the Russian rating almost to junk level, for political reasons, I was told. As they were deprived of credit, state companies began to hoard dollars to later pay their debts, and they refrained from converting their huge profits to roubles, as they had done until now. The rouble fell dramatically, probably to levels much lower than necessary.

This is not pinpoint sanctions aimed at Putin’s friends. This is a full-blown war. If the initiators expected Russians will be mad at Putin, they miscalculated. The Russian public is angry with the American organisers of this economic warfare, not with its own government. The pro-Western opposition tried to demonstrate against Putin, but very few people joined them.

Ordinary Russians kept a stiff upper lip. They did not notice the sanctions until the rouble staggered, and even then they rather shopped like mad than protested. In face of shrinking money, they did not buy salt and sugar, as their grandparents would. Their battle cry against hogging was “Do not take more than two Lexus cars per family, leave something for others!”

Perhaps, the invisible financiers went too far. Instead of being cowed, the Russians are preparing for a real long war, as they and their ancestors fought – and won. It is not that they have a choice: though Americans insist Russia should join their War-on-Terrorism-II, they do not intend to relinquish their sanctions.

The Russians do not know how to deal with the financial attack. Without capital restrictions, Russia will be cleaned out. The Russian Central Bank and Treasury people are strict monetarists, capital restrictions are anathema for them. Putin, being a liberal himself, apparently trusts them. Capital flight took huge proportions. Unless Russia will use the measures successfully tried by Mohammad Mahathir of Malaysia, it will continue. Meanwhile, we do not see signs for change.

This could be the incentive for Putin to deal with Ukraine. If the Russians do not know how to shuffle futures and derivatives, they are expert in armour movements and tank battles. The Kiev regime is also spoiling for a fight, apparently pushed by the American neocons. It is possible that the US will get more than what it bargained for in the Ukraine.

One can be certain that Russians will not support the Middle Eastern crusade of NATO, as this military action was prepared at the Charlie demo in Paris. It is far from clear who killed the cartoonists, but Paris and Washington intend to use it for reigniting war in the Middle East. This time, Russia will be in opposition, and probably will use it as an opportunity to change the uncomfortable standoff in the Ukraine. Thus supporters of peace in the Middle East have a reason to back Russia.

The New World Order est mort. Vive the Future!


About the author:

Israel Shamir works in Moscow and Jaffa; he can be reached on adam@israelshamir.net

Source: http://orientalreview.org/2015/01/23/trolling-russia/

The International Criminal Court (ICC) Does Not Prosecute War Criminals

The International Criminal Court (ICC) was established to prosecute culpable individuals for crimes of war, against humanity and genocide.

Its mandate calls for “end(ing) impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern.”

US and Israeli officials are guilty of the highest of high crimes. Yet none of their officials ever were held accountable – not by their own courts or the ICC.

The international body operates on the principle of complementarity. It can only prosecute when governments won’t or can’t – even against officials of non ICC-member countries like America and Israel.

On December 31, 2000, Bill Clinton signed the Rome Statute of the ICC. Over 130 other countries are members. Clinton lied saying “(t)he US has a long history of commitment to the principle of accountability…and for bringing to justice perpetrators of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.”

America commits these crimes and others against one country after another, as well as persecuting its own most disadvantaged people in violation of international and constitutional laws.

It partners with the high crimes of key allies like Israel. When Bush succeeded Clinton, his Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton stripped off the mask of US accountability by unsigning the Rome Statute – an unprecedented political act.

More followed, including enactment of the American Service-Members Protection Act (the so-called Hague Invasion Act).

It prohibits providing funds to the ICC and authorized the president to use “all necessary measures (including force) to protect United States military personnel and other elected and appointed officials of the United States government against criminal prosecution by an international criminal court to which the United States is not party.”

At the same time, over 100 other nations were pressured to sign Bilateral Immunity Agreements assuring they’d never surrender a US official or soldier to the ICC.

The court functions as an imperial tool. It targets officials of Western designated states like Sudan’s Omar Hassan al-Bashir, former Libya leader Muammar and his son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi.

Or special Western tribunals are established to accomplish the same thing – against Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, Yugoslavia’s Slobodan Milosevic, and Liberia’s Charles Taylor among others.

The principle of universal jurisdiction (UJ) holds that certain crimes are too grave to ignore – including genocide, crimes of war and against humanity.

Under UJ, nations nations may investigate and prosecute foreign nationals when their country of residence or origin won’t, can’t or hasn’t for any reason.

Israel used it to prosecute, convict and execute Adolph Eichmann. A US court sentenced Charles Taylor’s son, Chuckie, to 97 years in prison.

Britain used a Spanish court provisional warrant to apprehend Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, hold him under house arrest for 18 months, and set a precedent, making other heads of state and top officials potentially vulnerable.

Pinochet’s bogus ill health claim sent him home – damaged, disgraced but unaccountable. No one deserve impunity for high crimes demanding accountability. Article 7 of the Charter of the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal states:

“The official position of defendants, whether as Head of State or responsible officials in Government departments, shall not be considered as freeing them from responsibility or mitigating punishment.”

Following through is another matter entirely – never against Western or Israeli officials so don’t expect justice now.

On April 1, Palestine joined the ICC. Months earlier, a court prosecutor began a preliminary investigation of violations “in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem since June 13, 2014″ – focusing on Israel’s 2014 summer Gaza war (Operation Protective Edge).

It’s strictly procedural with no commitment for further action. Palestine intends filing crimes of war and against humanity charges against Israel at the ICC on or about June 25 – over last summer’s Gaza war and illegal settlements.

ICC investigators are working to determine if Israeli crimes were committed warranting prosecution. A court statement said:

“As part of its preliminary examination activities, the Office of the Prosecutor conducts field visits as it has done in the past with other situations under preliminary examinations.”

“From the outset, the prosecutor has consistently made clear that the situation in Palestine will not be treated any differently from the others.”

“Therefore, the office as per normal practice, is considering a visit to the region during the course of its preliminary examination. Contrary to media reports, no date has been confirmed and further planning is required.”

UN Security Council members can delay ICC action up to two years. Russia and China indicated they’ll veto efforts to do so.

The Monday released UN Commission of Inquiry (COI) report and earlier independent investigations clearly proved grave Israeli high crimes against peace during last summer’s Gaza war.

It bears repeating. The ICC is a notorious imperial tool. Expect Palestinians denied justice like always. Expect no Israeli officials convicted of high crimes they committed demanding accountability.


About the author:

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Original source of the article: http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/

The Illegitimacy Of Israel’s Colonisation Of Land In Arab East Jerusalem, The Palestinian West Bank And The Syrian Golan Heights

‘If you buy fruit from Israel you deprive another human being of water and life’

Israel’s comparative economic success is essentially based on water stolen, since 1967, from Syria’s eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee – that provides Israel’s current primary source of fresh water. Rainwater from the Golan’s catchment area feeds into the River Jordan to provide about 30% of Israel’s current water supply.

Without this stolen water there would be no citrus fruit, melons, avocados or dates available for export under the label of ‘Produce of Israel’. And that is why the Netanyahu government is determined – with help from the U.S. Republican congress – to retain its illegally occupied land for as long as is possible.

Without the 400,000 illegal settlers in the Occupied Palestinian West Bank, Israel’s export economy would collapse unless it were able to cultivate the Negev desert that it currently utilises to develop and test its extensive, undeclared nuclear weapons program at Dimona, south of Beer Sheva.

The entire economic infrastructure of Israel is an illegitimate and unsustainable facade based on the illegal expropriation of land from the indigenous peoples of the region which is why it is increasingly condemned by the international community as a global threat to peace and a primary cause of instability in the Middle East.

Until such time as the Israeli state is compelled by the international community to return all land, and water, to its rightful owners, there will be a continuing threat of a regional nuclear war that would likely spread to Europe and around the world. Then there would be no oranges or dates and no one to eat them – even if there were some survivors still alive under the mushroom-shaped radiation cloud initiated by a Likud government operative …

The first step is for Jerusalem to now be declared an international city in accordance with UN GA resolution 181 with free access to all faiths – as confirmed, last week, by the U.S. Supreme Court. And then the return of all occupied land to its hereditary owners and the repatriation of all illegal settlers back to their homes in an Israeli state within its pre-1967 borders.

A nation state that exists only by the hijacking of essential water resources from its indigenous neighbours who now number over five million souls, is a national entity without integrity, honour or a sustainable future.


By Anthony Bellchambers

2015-06-14

Source: http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-illegitimacy-of-israels-colonisation-of-land-in-arab-east-jerusalem-the-palestinian-west-bank-and-the-syrian-golan-heights/5455524

Andrew Gavin Marshall: “The Imperial Anatomy Of Al-Qaeda”

The Imperial Anatomy of Al-Qaeda. The CIA’s Drug-Running Terrorists and the “Arc of Crisis”

Part I

Introduction

As the 9th anniversary of 9/11 nears, and the war on terror continues to be waged and grows in ferocity and geography, it seems all the more imperative to return to the events of that fateful September morning and re-examine the reasons for war and the nature of the stated culprit, Al-Qaeda.

The events of 9/11 pervade the American and indeed the world imagination as an historical myth. The events of that day and those leading up to it remain largely unknown and little understood by the general public, apart from the disturbing images repeated ad nauseam in the media. The facts and troubled truths of that day are lost in the folklore of the 9/11 myth: that the largest attack carried out on American ground was orchestrated by 19 Muslims armed with box cutters and urged on by religious fundamentalism, all under the direction of Osama bin Laden, the leader of a global terrorist network called al-Qaeda, based out of a cave in Afghanistan.

The myth sweeps aside the facts and complex nature of terror, al-Qaeda, the American empire and literally defies the laws of physics. As John F. Kennedy once said, “The greatest enemy of the truth is not the lie – deliberate, contrived, and dishonest – but the myth – persistent, pervasive, and unrealistic.”

This three-part series on “The Imperial Anatomy of Al-Qaeda” examines the geopolitical historical origins and nature of what we today know as al-Qaeda, which is in fact an Anglo-American intelligence network of terrorist assets used to advance American and NATO imperial objectives in various regions around the world.

Part 1 examines the origins of the intelligence network known as the Safari Club, which financed and organized an international conglomerate of terrorists, the CIA’s role in the global drug trade, the emergence of the Taliban and the origins of al-Qaeda.

The Safari Club

Following Nixon’s resignation as President, Gerald Ford became the new US President in 1974. Henry Kissinger remained as Secretary of State and Ford brought into his administration two names that would come to play important roles in the future of the American Empire: Donald Rumsfeld as Ford’s Chief of Staff, and Dick Cheney, as Deputy Assistant to the President. The Vice President was Nelson Rockefeller, David Rockefeller’s brother. When Donald Rumsfeld was promoted to Secretary of Defense, Dick Cheney was promoted to Chief of Staff. Ford had also appointed a man named George H.W. Bush as CIA Director.

In 1976, a coalition of intelligence agencies was formed, which was called the Safari Club. This marked the discreet and highly covert coordination among various intelligence agencies, which would last for decades. It formed at a time when the CIA was embroiled in domestic scrutiny over the Watergate scandal and a Congressional investigation into covert CIA activities, forcing the CIA to become more covert in its activities.

In 2002, the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Turki bin Faisal gave a speech in which he stated that in response to the CIA’s need for more discretion, “a group of countries got together in the hope of fighting Communism and established what was called the Safari Club. The Safari Club included France, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and Iran [under the Shah].”[1] However, “The Safari Club needed a network of banks to finance its intelligence operations. With the official blessing of George H.W. Bush as the head of the CIA,” Saudi intelligence chief, Kamal Adham, “transformed a small Pakistani merchant bank, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), into a world-wide money-laundering machine, buying banks around the world to create the biggest clandestine money network in history.”[2]

As CIA director, George H.W. Bush “cemented strong relations with the intelligence services of both Saudi Arabia and the shah of Iran. He worked closely with Kamal Adham, the head of Saudi intelligence, brother-in-law of King Faisal and an early BCCI insider.” Adham had previously acted as a “channel between [Henry] Kissinger and [Egyptian President] Anwar Sadat” in 1972. In 1976, Iran, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia formed the Safari Club “to conduct through their own intelligence agencies operations that were now difficult for the CIA,” which was largely organized by the head of French intelligence, Alexandre de Marenches.[3]

The “Arc of Crisis” and the Iranian Revolution

When Jimmy Carter became President in 1977, he appointed over two-dozen members of the Trilateral Commission to his administration, which was an international think tank formed by Zbigniew Brzezinski and David Rockefeller in 1973. Brzezinski had invited Carter to join the Trilateral Commission, and when Carter became President, Brzezinski became National Security Adviser; Cyrus Vance, also a member of the Commission, became Secretary of State; and Samuel Huntington, another Commission member, became Coordinator of National Security and Deputy to Brzezinski. Author and researcher Peter Dale Scott deserves much credit for his comprehensive analysis of the events leading up to and during the Iranian Revolution in his book, “The Road to 9/11”,* which provides much of the information below.

Samuel Huntington and Zbigniew Brzezinski were to determine the US policy position in the Cold War, and the US-Soviet policy they created was termed, “Cooperation and Competition,” in which Brzezinski would press for “Cooperation” when talking to the press, yet, privately push for “competition.” So, while Secretary of State Cyrus Vance was pursuing détente with the Soviet Union, Brzezinski was pushing for American supremacy over the Soviet Union. Brzezinski and Vance would come to disagree on almost every issue.[4]

In 1978, Zbigniew Brzezinski gave a speech in which he stated, “An arc of crisis stretches along the shores of the Indian Ocean, with fragile social and political structures in a region of vital importance to us threatened with fragmentation. The resulting political chaos could well be filled by elements hostile to our values and sympathetic to our adversaries.” The Arc of Crisis stretched from Indochina to southern Africa, although, more specifically, the particular area of focus was “the nations that stretch across the southern flank of the Soviet Union from the Indian subcontinent to Turkey, and southward through the Arabian Peninsula to the Horn of Africa.” Further, the “center of gravity of this arc is Iran, the world’s fourth largest oil producer and for more than two decades a citadel of U.S. military and economic strength in the Middle East. Now it appears that the 37-year reign of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi is almost over, ended by months of rising civil unrest and revolution.”[5]

With rising discontent in the region, “There was this idea that the Islamic forces could be used against the Soviet Union. The theory was, there was an arc of crisis, and so an arc of Islam could be mobilized to contain the Soviets. It was a Brzezinski concept.”[6] A month prior to Brzezinski’s speech, in November of 1978, “President Carter named the Bilderberg group’s George Ball, another member of the Trilateral Commission, to head a special White House Iran task force under the National Security Council’s Brzezinski.” Further, “Ball recommended that Washington drop support for the Shah of Iran and support the fundamentalist Islamic opposition of Ayatollah Khomeini.”[7] George Ball’s visit to Iran was a secret mission.[8]

Throughout 1978, the Shah was under the impression that “the Carter administration was plotting to topple his regime.” In 1978, the Queen and Shah’s wife, told Manouchehr Ganji, a minister in the Shah’s government, that, “I wanted to tell you that the Americans are maneuvering to bring down the Shah,” and she continued saying that she believed “they even want to topple the regime.”[9] The US Ambassador to Iran, William Sullivan, thought that the revolution would succeed, and told this to Ramsey Clark, former US Attorney General under the Johnson administration, as well as professor Richard Falk, when they were visiting Sullivan in Iran in 1978. Clark and Falk then went from Iran to Paris, to visit Khomeini, who was there in exile. James Bill, a Carter adviser, felt that, “a religious movement brought about with the United States’ assistance would be a natural friend of the United States.”[10]

Also interesting is the fact that the British BBC broadcast pro-Khomeini Persian-language programs daily in Iran, as a subtle form of propaganda, which “gave credibility to the perception of United States and British support of Khomeini.”[11] The BBC refused to give the Shah a platform to respond, and “[r]epeated personal appeals from the Shah to the BBC yielded no result.”[12]

In the May 1979 meeting of the Bilderberg Group, Bernard Lewis, a British historian of great influence (hence, the Bilderberg membership), presented a British-American strategy which, “endorsed the radical Muslim Brotherhood movement behind Khomeini, in order to promote balkanization of the entire Muslim Near East along tribal and religious lines. Lewis argued that the West should encourage autonomous groups such as the Kurds, Armenians, Lebanese Maronites, Ethiopian Copts, Azerbaijani Turks, and so forth. The chaos would spread in what he termed an ‘Arc of Crisis,’ which would spill over into the Muslim regions of the Soviet Union.”[13] Further, it would prevent Soviet influence from entering the Middle East, as the Soviet Union was viewed as an empire of atheism and godlessness: essentially a secular and immoral empire, which would seek to impose secularism across Muslim countries. So supporting radical Islamic groups would mean that the Soviet Union would be less likely to have any influence or relations with Middle Eastern countries, making the US a more acceptable candidate for developing relations.

A 1979 article in Foreign Affairs, the journal of the Council on Foreign Relations, described the Arc of Crisis, saying that, “The Middle East constitutes its central core. Its strategic position is unequalled: it is the last major region of the Free World directly adjacent to the Soviet Union, it holds in its subsoil about three-fourths of the proven and estimated world oil reserves, and it is the locus of one of the most intractable conflicts of the twentieth century: that of Zionism versus Arab nationalism.” It went on to explain that post-war US policy in the region was focused on “containment” of the Soviet Union, as well as access to the regions oil.[14] The article continued, explaining that the most “obvious division” within the Middle East is, “that which separates the Northern Tier (Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan) from the Arab core,” and that, “After World War II, Turkey and Iran were the two countries most immediately threatened by Soviet territorial expansionism and political subversion.”[15] Ultimately, “the Northern Tier was assured of a serious and sustained American commitment to save it from sharing the fate of Eastern Europe.”[16]

While Khomeini was in Paris prior to the Revolution, a representative of the French President organized a meeting between Khomeini and “current world powers,” in which Khomeini made certain demands, such as, “the shah’s removal from Iran and help in avoiding a coup d’état by the Iranian Army.” The Western powers, however, “were worried about the Soviet Union’s empowerment and penetration and a disruption in Iran’s oil supply to the west. Khomeini gave the necessary guarantees. These meetings and contacts were taking place in January of 1979, just a few days before the Islamic Revolution in February 1979.”[17] In February of 1979, Khomeini was flown out of Paris on an Air France flight, to return to Iran, “with the blessing of Jimmy Carter.”[18] Ayatollah Khomeini named Mehdi Bazargan as prime minister of the Provisional Revolutionary Government on February 4, 1979. As Khomeini had demanded during his Paris meeting in January 1979, that western powers must help in avoiding a coup by the Iranian Army; in that same month, the Carter administration, under the direction of Brzezinski, had begun planning a military coup.[19]

Could this have been planned in the event that Khomeini was overthrown, the US would quickly reinstate order, perhaps even place Khomeini back in power? Interestingly, in January of 1979, “as the Shah was about to leave the country, the American Deputy Commander in NATO, General Huyser, arrived and over a period of a month conferred constantly with Iranian military leaders. His influence may have been substantial on the military’s decision not to attempt a coup and eventually to yield to the Khomeini forces, especially if press reports are accurate that he or others threatened to withhold military supplies if a coup were attempted.”[20] No coup was subsequently undertaken, and Khomeini came to power as the Ayatollah of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

As tensions increased among the population within Iran, the US sent “security advisers” to Iran to pressure the Shah’s SAVAK (secret police) to implement “a policy of ever more brutal repression, in a manner calculated to maximize popular antipathy to the Shah.” The Carter administration also began publicly criticizing the Shah’s human rights abuses.[21] On September 6, 1978, the Shah banned demonstrations, and the following day, between 700 and 2000 demonstrators were gunned down, following “advice from Brzezinski to be firm.”[22]

The US Ambassador to the UN, Andrew Young, a Trilateral Commission member, said that, “Khomeini will eventually be hailed as a saint,” and the US Ambassador to Iran, William Sullivan, said, “Khomeini is a Gandhi-like figure,” while Carter’s adviser, James Bill, said that Khomeini was a man of “impeccable integrity and honesty.”[23]

The Shah was also very sick in late 1978 and early 1979. So the Shah fled Iran in January of 1979 to the Bahamas, allowing for the revolution to take place. It is especially interesting to understand the relationship between David Rockefeller and the Shah of Iran. David Rockefeller’s personal assistant, Joseph V. Reed, had been “assigned to handle the shah’s finances and his personal needs;” Robert Armao, who worked for Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, was sent to “act as the shah’s public relations agent and lobbyist;” and Benjamin H. Kean, “a longtime associate of Chase Manhattan Bank chairman David Rockefeller,” and David Rockefeller’s “personal physician,” who was sent to Mexico when the shah was there, and advised that he “be treated at an American hospital.”[24]

It is important to note that Rockefeller interests “had directed U.S. policy in Iran since the CIA coup of 1953.”[25] Following the Shah’s flight from Iran, there were increased pressures within the United States by a handful of powerful people to have the Shah admitted to the United States. These individuals were Zbigniew Brzezinski, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, John J. McCloy, former statesman and senior member of the Bilderberg Group, Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations, who was also a lawyer for Chase Manhattan, and of course, David Rockefeller.[26]

Chase Manhattan Bank had more interests in Iran than any other US bank. In fact, the Shah had “ordered that all his government’s major operating accounts be held at Chase and that letters of credit for the purchase of oil be handled exclusively through Chase. The bank also became the agent and lead manager for many of the loans to Iran. In short, Iran became the crown jewel of Chase’s international banking portfolio.”[27]

The Iranian interim government, headed by Prime Minister Bazargan, collapsed in November of 1979, when Iranian hostages seized the US Embassy in Teheran. However, there is much more to this event than meets the eye. During the time of the interim government (February, 1979 to November, 1979), several actions were undertaken which threatened some very powerful interests who had helped the Ayatollah into power.

Chase Manhattan Bank faced a liquidity crisis as there had been billions in questionable loans to Iran funneled through Chase.[28] Several of Chase’s loans were “possibly illegal under the Iranian constitution.”[29] Further, in February of 1979, once the interim government was put in power, it began to take “steps to market its oil independently of the Western oil majors.” Also, the interim government “wanted Chase Manhattan to return Iranian assets, which Rockefeller put at more than $1 billion in 1978, although some estimates ran much higher,” which could have “created a liquidity crisis for the bank which already was coping with financial troubles.”[30]

With the seizure of the American Embassy in Iran, President Carter took moves to freeze Iranian financial assets. As David Rockefeller wrote in his book, “Carter’s ‘freeze’ of official Iranian assets protected our [Chase Manhattan’s] position, but no one at Chase played a role in convincing the administration to institute it.”[31]

In February of 1979, Iran had been taking “steps to market its oil independently of the Western oil majors. In 1979, as in 1953, a freeze of Iranian assets made this action more difficult.”[32] This was significant for Chase Manhattan not simply because of the close interlocking of the board with those of oil companies, not to mention Rockefeller himself, who is patriarch of the family whose name is synonymous with oil, but also because Chase exclusively handled all the letters of credit for the purchase of Iranian oil.[33]

The Shah being accepted into the United States, under public pressure from Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski and David Rockefeller, precipitated the hostage crisis, which occurred on November 4. Ten days later, Carter froze all Iranian assets in US banks, on the advice of his Treasury Secretary, William Miller. Miller just happened to have ties to Chase Manhattan Bank.[34]

Although Chase Manhattan directly benefited from the seizure of Iranian assets, the reasoning behind the seizure as well as the events leading up to it, such as a hidden role for the Anglo-Americans behind the Iranian Revolution, bringing the Shah to America, which precipitated the hostage crisis, cannot simply be relegated to personal benefit for Chase. There were larger designs behind this crisis. So the 1979 crises in Iran cannot simply be pawned off as a spur of the moment undertaking, but rather should be seen as quick actions taken upon a perceived opportunity. The opportunity was the rising discontent within Iran at the Shah; the quick actions were in covertly pushing the country into Revolution.

In 1979, “effectively restricting the access of Iran to the global oil market, the Iranian assets freeze became a major factor in the huge oil price increases of 1979 and 1981.”[35] Added to this, in 1979, British Petroleum cancelled major oil contracts for oil supply, which along with cancellations taken by Royal Dutch Shell, drove the price of oil up higher.[36] With the first major oil price rises in 1973 (urged on by US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger), the Third World was forced to borrow heavily from US and European banks to finance development. With the second oil price shocks of 1979, the US Federal Reserve, with Paul Volcker as its new Chairman, (himself having served a career under David Rockefeller at Chase Manhattan), dramatically raised interest rates from 2% in the late 70s to 18% in the early 80s. Developing nations could not afford to pay such interest on their loans, and thus the 1980s debt crisis spread throughout the Third World, with the IMF and World Bank coming to the “rescue” with their Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs), which ensured western control over the developing world’s economies.[37]

Covertly, the United States helped a radical Islamist government come to power in Iran, “the center of the Arc of Crisis,” and then immediately stirred up conflict and war in the region. Five months before Iraq invaded Iran, in April of 1980, Zbigniew Brzezinski openly declared the willingness of the US to work closely with Iraq. Two months before the war, Brzezinski met with Saddam Hussein in Jordan, where he gave support for the destabilization of Iran.[38] While Saddam was in Jordan, he also met with three senior CIA agents, which was arranged by King Hussein of Jordan. He then went to meet with King Fahd in Saudi Arabia, informing him of his plans to invade Iran, and then met with the King of Kuwait to inform him of the same thing. He gained support from America, and financial and arms support from the Arab oil producing countries. Arms to Iraq were funneled through Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.[39] The war lasted until 1988 and resulted in over a million deaths.

This was the emergence of the “strategy of tension” in the “Arc of Crisis,” in particular, the covert support (whether in arming, training, or financing) of radical Islamic elements to foment violence and conflict in a region. It was the old imperial tactic of ‘divide and conquer’: pit the people against each other so that they cannot join forces against the imperial power. This violence and radical Islamism would further provide the pretext for which the US and its imperial allies could then engage in war and occupation within the region, all the while securing its vast economic and strategic interests.

The “Arc of Crisis” in Afghanistan: The Safari Club in Action

In 1978, the progressive Taraki government in Afghanistan managed to incur the anger of the United States due to “its egalitarian and collectivist economic policies.”[40] The Afghan government was widely portrayed in the West as “Communist” and thus, a threat to US national security. The government, did, however, undertake friendly policies and engagement with the Soviet Union, but was not a Communist government.

In 1978, as the new government came to power, almost immediately the US began covertly funding rebel groups through the CIA.[41] In 1979, Zbigniew Brzezinski worked closely with his aid from the CIA, Robert Gates (who is currently Secretary of Defense), in shifting President Carter’s Islamic policy. As Brzezinski said in a 1998 interview with a French publication:

According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.[42]

Brzezinski elaborated, saying he “Knowingly increased the probability that [the Soviets] would invade,” and he recalled writing to Carter on the day of the Soviet invasion that, “We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.” When asked about the repercussions for such support in fostering the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, Brzezinski responded, “What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?”[43]

As author Peter Dale Scott pointed out in, The Road to 9/11:*

For generations in both Afghanistan and the Soviet Muslim Republics the dominant form of Islam had been local and largely Sufi. The decision to work with the Saudi and Pakistani secret services meant that billions of CIA and Saudi dollars would ultimately be spent in programs that would help enhance the globalistic and Wahhabistic jihadism that are associated today with al Qaeda.[44]

Hafizullah Amin, a top official in Taraki’s government, who many believed to be a CIA asset, orchestrated a coup in September of 1979, and “executed Taraki, halted the reforms, and murdered, jailed, or exiled thousands of Taraki supporters as he moved toward establishing a fundamentalist Islamic state. But within two months, he was overthrown by PDP remnants including elements within the military.”[45] The Soviets also intervened in order to replace Amin, who was seen as “unpredictable and extremist” with “the more moderate Barbak Karmal.”[46]

The Soviet invasion thus prompted the US national security establishment to undertake the largest covert operation in history. When Ronald Reagan replaced Jimmy Carter in 1981, the covert assistance to the Afghan Mujahideen not only continued on the path set by Brzezinski but it rapidly accelerated, as did the overall strategy in the “Arc of Crisis.” When Reagan became President, his Vice President became George H.W. Bush, who, as CIA director during the Ford administration, had helped establish the Safari Club intelligence network and the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) in Pakistan. In the “campaign to aid the Afghan rebels … BCCI clearly emerged as a U.S. intelligence asset,” and CIA Director “Casey began to use the outside – the Saudis, the Pakistanis, BCCI – to run what they couldn’t get through Congress. [BCCI president] Abedi had the money to help,” and the CIA director had “met repeatedly” with the president of BCCI.[47]

Thus, in 1981, Director Casey of the CIA worked with Saudi Prince Turki bin Faisal who ran the Saudi intelligence agency GID, and the Pakistani ISI “to create a foreign legion of jihadi Muslims or so-called Arab Afghans.” This idea had “originated in the elite Safari Club that had been created by French intelligence chief Alexandre de Marenches.”[48]

In 1986, the CIA backed a plan by the Pakistani ISI “to recruit people from around the world to join the Afghan jihad.” Subsequently:

More than 100,000 Islamic militants were trained in Pakistan between 1986 and 1992, in camps overseen by CIA and MI6, with the SAS [British Special Forces] training future al-Qaida and Taliban fighters in bomb-making and other black arts. Their leaders were trained at a CIA camp in Virginia. This was called Operation Cyclone and continued long after the Soviets had withdrawn in 1989.[49]

CIA funding for the operations “was funneled through General Zia and the ISI in Pakistan.”[50] Interestingly, Robert Gates, who previously served as assistant to Brzezinski in the National Security Council, stayed on in the Reagan-Bush administration as executive assistant to CIA director Casey, and who is currently Secretary of Defense.

The Global Drug Trade and the CIA

As a central facet of the covert financing and training of the Afghan Mujahideen, the role of the drug trade became invaluable. The global drug trade has long been used by empires for fuelling and financing conflict with the aim of facilitating imperial domination.

In 1773, the British colonial governor in Bengal “established a colonial monopoly on the sale of opium.” As Alfred W. McCoy explained in his masterful book, The Politics of Heroin:

As the East India Company expanded production, opium became India’s main export. [. . . ] Over the next 130 years, Britain actively promoted the export of Indian opium to China, defying Chinese drug laws and fighting two wars to open China’s opium market for its merchants. Using its military and mercantile power, Britain played a central role in making China a vast drug market and in accelerating opium cultivation throughout China. By 1900 China had 13.5 million addicts consuming 39,000 tons of opium.[51]

In Indochina in the 1940s and 50s, the French intelligence services “enabled the opium trade to survive government suppression efforts,” and subsequently, “CIA activities in Burma helped transform the Shan states from a relatively minor poppy-cultivating area into the largest opium-growing region in the world.”[52] The CIA did this by supporting the Kuomintang (KMT) army in Burma for an invasion of China, and facilitated its monopolization and expansion of the opium trade, allowing the KMT to remain in Burma until a coup in 1961, when they were driven into Laos and Thailand.[53] The CIA subsequently played a very large role in the facilitation of the drugs trade in Laos and Vietnam throughout the 1960s and into the 1970s.[54]

It was during the 1980s that “the CIA’s covert war in Afghanistan transformed Central Asia from a self-contained opium zone into a major supplier of heroin for the world market,” as:

Until the late 1970s, tribal farmers in the highlands of Afghanistan and Pakistan grew limited quantities of opium and sold it to merchant caravans bound west for Iran and east to India. In its decade of covert warfare against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, the CIA’s operations provided the political protection and logistics linkages that joined Afghanistan’s poppy fields to heroin markets in Europe and America.[55]

In 1977, General Zia Ul Haq in Pakistan launched a military coup, “imposed a harsh martial-law regime,” and executed former President Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (father to Benazir Bhutto). When Zia came to power, the Pakistani ISI was a “minor military intelligence unit,” but, under the “advice and assistance of the CIA,” General Zia transformed the ISI “into a powerful covert unit and made it the strong arm of his martial-law regime.”[56]

The CIA and Saudi money flowed not only to weapons and training for the Mujahideen, but also into the drug trade. Pakistani President Zia-ul-Haq appointed General Fazle Haq as the military governor of Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), who would “consult with Brzezinski on developing an Afghan resistance program,” and who became a CIA asset. When CIA Director Casey or Vice President George H.W. Bush reviewed the CIA Afghan operation, they went to see Haq; who by 1982, was considered by Interpol to be an international narcotics trafficker. Haq moved much of the narcotics money through the BCCI.[57]

In May of 1979, prior to the December invasion of the Soviet Union into Afghanistan, a CIA envoy met with Afghan resistance leaders in a meeting organized by the ISI. The ISI “offered the CIA envoy an alliance with its own Afghan client, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar,” who led a small guerilla group. The CIA accepted, and over the following decade, half of the CIA’s aid went to Hekmatyar’s guerillas.[58] Hekmatyar became Afghanistan’s leading mujahideen drug lord, and developed a “complex of six heroin labs in an ISI-controlled area of Baluchistan (Pakistan).”[59]

The US subsequently, through the 1980s, in conjunction with Saudi Arabia, gave Hekmatyar more than $1 billion in armaments. Immediately, heroin began flowing from Afghanistan to America. By 1980, drug-related deaths in New York City rose 77% since 1979.[60] By 1981, the drug lords in Pakistan and Afghanistan supplied 60% of America’s heroin. Trucks going into Afghanistan with CIA arms from Pakistan would return with heroin “protected by ISI papers from police search.”[61]

Haq, the CIA asset in Pakistan, “was also running the drug trade,” of which the bank BCCI “was completely involved.” In the 1980s, the CIA insisted that the ISI create “a special cell for the use of heroin for covert actions.” Elaborating:

This cell promoted the cultivation of opium and the extraction of heroin in Pakistani territory as well as in the Afghan territory under Mujahideen control for being smuggled into Soviet controlled areas in order to make the Soviet troops heroin addicts.[62]

This plan apparently originated at the suggestion of French intelligence chief and founder of the Safari Club, Alexandre de Marenches, who recommended it to CIA Director Casey.[63]

In the 1980s, one program undertaken by the United States was to finance Mujahideen propaganda in textbooks for Afghan schools. The US gave the Mujahideen $43 million in “non-lethal” aid for the textbook project alone, which was given by USAID: “The U.S. Agency for International Development, [USAID] coordinated its work with the CIA, which ran the weapons program,” and “The U.S. government told the AID to let the Afghan war chiefs decide the school curriculum and the content of the textbooks.”[64]

The textbooks were “filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings,” and “were filled with talk of jihad and featured drawings of guns, bullets, soldiers and mines.” Even since the covert war of the 1980s, the textbooks “have served since then as the Afghan school system’s core curriculum. Even the Taliban used the American-produced books.” The books were developed through a USAID grant to the “University of Nebraska-Omaha and its Center for Afghanistan Studies,” and when the books were smuggled into Afghanistan through regional military leaders, “Children were taught to count with illustrations showing tanks, missiles and land mines.” USAID stopped this funding in 1994.[65]

The Rise of the Taliban

When the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989, the fighting continued between the Afghan government backed by the USSR and the Mujahideen backed by the US, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, so too did its aid to the Afghan government, which itself was overthrown in 1992. However, fighting almost immediately broke out between rival factions vying for power, including Hekmatyar.

In the early 1990s, an obscure group of “Pashtun country folk” had become a powerful military and political force in Afghanistan, known as the Taliban.[66] The Taliban “surfaced as a small militia force operating near Kandahar city during the spring and summer of 1994, carrying out vigilante attacks against minor warlords.” As growing discontent with the warlords grew, so too did the reputation of the Taliban.[67]

The Taliban acquired an alliance with the ISI in 1994, and throughout 1995, the relationship between the Taliban and the ISI accelerated and “became more and more of a direct military alliance.” The Taliban ultimately became “an asset of the ISI” and “a client of the Pakistan army.”[68] Further, “Between 1994 and 1996, the USA supported the Taliban politically through its allies Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, essentially because Washington viewed the Taliban as anti-Iranian, anti-Shia, and pro-Western.”[69]

Selig Harrison, a scholar with the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars and “a leading US expert on South Asia,” said at a conference in India that the CIA worked with Pakistan to create the Taliban. Harrison has “extensive contact” with the CIA, as “he had meetings with CIA leaders at the time when Islamic forces were being strengthened in Afghanistan,” while he was a senior associate of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. As he further revealed in 2001, “The CIA still has close links with the ISI.”[70] By 1996, the Taliban had control of Kandahar, but still fighting and instability continued in the country.

Osama and Al-Qaeda

Between 1980 and 1989, roughly $600 million was passed through Osama bin Laden’s charity front organizations, specifically the Maktab al-Khidamat (MAK), also known as Al-Kifah. The money mostly originated with wealthy donors in Saudi Arabia and other areas in the Persian Gulf, and was funneled through his charity fronts to arm and fund the mujahideen in Afghanistan.[71]

In the 1980s, the British Special Forces (SAS) were training mujahideen in Afghanistan, as well as in secret camps in Scotland, and the SAS is largely taking orders from the CIA. The CIA also indirectly begins to arm Osama bin Laden.[72] Osama bin Laden’s front charity, the MAK, “was nurtured” by the Pakistani ISI.[73]

Osama bin Laden was reported to have been personally recruited by the CIA in 1979 in Istanbul. He had the close support of Prince Turki bin Faisal, his friend and head of Saudi intelligence, and also developed ties with Hekmatyar in Afghanistan,[74] both of whom were pivotal figures in the CIA-Safari Club network. General Akhtar Abdul Rahman, the head of the Pakistani ISI from 1980 to 1987, would meet regularly with Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, and they formed a partnership in demanding a tax on the opium trade from warlords so that by 1985, bin Laden and the ISI were splitting the profits of over $100 million per year.[75] In 1985, Osama bin Laden’s brother, Salem, stated that Osama was “the liaison between the US, the Saudi government, and the Afghan rebels.”[76]

In 1988, Bin Laden discussed “the establishment of a new military group,” which would come to be known as Al-Qaeda.[77] Osama bin Laden’s charity front, the MAK, (eventually to form Al-Qaeda) founded the al-Kifah Center in Brooklyn, New York, to recruit Muslims for the jihad against the Soviets. The al-Kifah Center was founded in the late 1980s with the support of the U.S. government, which provided visas for known terrorists associated with the organization, including Ali Mohamed, the “blind sheik” Omar Abdel Rahman and possibly the lead 9/11 hijacker, Mohamed Atta.[78]

This coincided with the creation of Al-Qaeda, of which the al-Kifah Center was a recruiting front. Foot soldiers for Al-Qaeda were “admitted to the United States for training under a special visa program.” The FBI had been surveilling the training of terrorists, however, “it terminated this surveillance in the fall of 1989.” In 1990, the CIA granted Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman a visa to come run the al-Kifah Center, who was considered an “untouchable” as he was “being protected by no fewer than three agencies,” including the State Department, the National Security Agency (NSA) and the CIA.[79]

Robin Cook, a former British MP and Minister of Foreign Affairs wrote that Al-Qaeda, “literally ‘the database’, was originally the computer file of the thousands of mujahideen who were recruited and trained with help from the CIA to defeat the Russians.”[80] Thus, “Al-Qaeda” was born as an instrument of western intelligence agencies. This account of al-Qaeda was further corroborated by a former French military intelligence agent, who stated that, “In the mid-1980s, Al Qaida was a database,” and that it remained as such into the 1990s. He contended that, “Al Qaida was neither a terrorist group nor Osama bin Laden’s personal property,” and further:

The truth is, there is no Islamic army or terrorist group called Al Qaida. And any informed intelligence officer knows this. But there is a propaganda campaign to make the public believe in the presence of an identified entity representing the ‘devil’ only in order to drive the ‘TV watcher’ to accept a unified international leadership for a war against terrorism. The country behind this propaganda is the US and the lobbyists for the US war on terrorism are only interested in making money.[81]

The creation of Al-Qaeda was thus facilitated by the CIA and allied intelligence networks, the purpose of which was to maintain this “database” of Mujahideen to be used as intelligence assets to achieve US foreign policy objectives, throughout both the Cold War, and into the post-Cold War era of the ‘new world order’.

Part 2 of “The Imperial Anatomy of al-Qaeda” takes the reader through an examination of the new imperial strategy laid out by American geopolitical strategists at the end of the Cold War, designed for America to maintain control over the world’s resources and prevent the rise of competitive powers. Covertly, the “database” (al-Qaeda) became central to this process, being used to advance imperial aims in various regions, such as in the dismantling of Yugoslavia. Part 2 further examines the exact nature of ‘al-Qaeda’, its origins, terms, training, arming, financing, and expansion. In particular, the roles of western intelligence agencies in the evolution and expansion of al-Qaeda is a central focus. Finally, an analysis of the preparations for the war in Afghanistan is undertaken to shed light on the geopolitical ambitions behind the conflict that has now been waging for nearly nine years.

* [Note on the research: For a comprehensive analysis of the history, origins and nature of al-Qaeda, see: Peter Dale Scott, The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire and the Future of America, which provided much of the research in the above article.]

Andrew Gavin Marshall is a Research Associate with the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG). He is co-editor, with Michel Chossudovsky, of the recent book, “The Global Economic Crisis: The Great Depression of the XXI Century”

[1] Peter Dale Scott, The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America. University of California Press: 2007: page 62

[2] Ibid, page 63.

[3] Ibid, page 62.

[4] Ibid, page 66-67.

[5] HP-Time, The Crescent of Crisis. Time Magazine: January 15, 1979:

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,919995-1,00.html

[6] Peter Dale Scott, op. cit., page 67.

[7] F. William Engdahl, A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order. London: Pluto Press, 2004: page 171

[8] Manouchehr Ganji, Defying the Iranian Revolution: From a Minister to the Shah to a Leader of Resistance. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002: page 41

[9] Ibid, page 39.

[10] Ibid, page 41.

[11] Ibid.

[12] F. William Engdahl, A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order. London: Pluto Press, 2004: page 172

[13] Ibid, page 171.

[14] George Lenczowski, The Arc of Crisis: It’s Central Sector. Foreign Affairs: Summer, 1979: page 796

[15] Ibid, page 797.

[16] Ibid, page 798.

[17] IPS, Q&A: Iran’s Islamic Revolution Had Western Blessing. Inter-Press Service: July 26, 2008:

http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=43328

[18] Michael D. Evans, Father of the Iranian revolution. The Jerusalem Post: June 20, 2007:

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1181813077590&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull

[19] Peter Dale Scott, op cit., page 89.

[20] George Lenczowski, The Arc of Crisis: It’s Central Sector. Foreign Affairs: Summer, 1979: page 810

[21] F. William Engdahl, op cit., page 172.

[22] Peter Dale Scott, op cit., page 81.

[23] Michael D. Evans, Father of the Iranian revolution. The Jerusalem Post: June 20, 2007:

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1181813077590&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull

[24] Peter Dale Scott, op cit., page 83.

[25] Ibid, page 84.

[26] Ibid, page 81.

[27] Ibid, pages 85-86.

[28] Ibid, page 87.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Ibid, pages 88-89.

[31] Ibid.

[32] Ibid, pages 87-88.

[33] Ibid, page 85.

[34] Ibid, page 86.

[35] Ibid, page 88.

[36] F. William Engdahl, A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order. London: Pluto Press, 2004: page 173

[37] Andrew Gavin Marshall, Controlling the Global Economy: Bilderberg, the Trilateral Commission and the Federal Reserve. Global Research: August 3, 2009:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14614

[38] Peter Dale Scott, The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America. University of California Press: 2007: page 89

[39] PBS, Secrets of His Life and Leadership: An Interview with Said K. Aburish. PBS Frontline:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/saddam/interviews/aburish.html

[40] Michael Parenti, Afghanistan, Another Untold Story. Global Research: December 4, 2008:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=11279

[41] Oleg Kalugin, How We Invaded Afghanistan. Foreign Policy: December 11, 2009:

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2009/12/11/how_we_invaded_afghanistan

[42] ‘’Le Nouvel Observateur’ (France), Jan 15-21, 1998, p. 76:

http://www.ucc.ie/acad/appsoc/tmp_store/mia/Library/history/afghanistan/archive/brzezinski/1998/interview.htm

[43] Ibid.

[44] Peter Dale Scott, The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America. University of California Press: 2007: page 73

[45] Michael Parenti, Afghanistan, Another Untold Story. Global Research: December 4, 2008:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=11279

[46] Peter Dale Scott, op cit., page 78.

[47] Ibid, page 116.

[48] Ibid, page 122.

[49] Ibid, page 123.

[50] Ibid.

[51] Alfred W. McCoy, The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade. (Lawrence Hill Books: Chicago, 2003), page 80

[52] Ibid, page 162.

[53] Ibid.

[54] Ibid, pages 283-386.

[55] Ibid, page 466.

[56] Ibid, page 474.

[57] Peter Dale Scott, The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America. University of California Press: 2007: page 73

[58] Alfred W. McCoy, op cit., page 475.

[59] Peter Dale Scott, op cit., page 74.

[60] Ibid, pages 75-76.

[61] Ibid, page 124

[62] Ibid, pages 75-76.

[63] Ibid, page 124.

[64] Carol Off, Back to school in Afghanistan. CBC: May 6, 2002:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/afghanistan/schools.html

[65] Joe Stephens and David B. Ottaway, From U.S., the ABC’s of Jihad. The Washington Post: March 23, 2002:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A5339-2002Mar22?language=printer

[66] Steve Coll, Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, From the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001. Penguin Books, New York, 2004: Page 328

[67] Steve Coll, Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, From the Soviet Invasion to September 11, 2001. (London: Penguin, 2005), page 285

[68] Steve Coll, “Steve Coll” Interview with PBS Frontline. PBS Frontline: October 3, 2006:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/taliban/interviews/coll.html

[69] Robert Dreyfuss, Devil’s Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam. (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2005), page 326

[70] ToI, “CIA worked in tandem with Pak to create Taliban”. The Times of India: March 7, 2001:

http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/taliban.htm

[71] Robert Dreyfuss, Devil’s Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam. (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2005), pages 279-280

[72] Simon Reeve, The New Jackals: Ramzi Yousef, Osama bin Laden, and the Future of Terrorism. (London: André Deutsch Ltd, 1999), page 168

[73] Michael Moran, Bin Laden comes home to roost. MSNBC: August 24, 1998:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3340101/

[74] Veronique Maurus and Marc Rock, The Most Dreaded Man of the United States, Controlled a Long Time by the CIA. Le Monde Diplomatique: September 14, 2001:

http://www.wanttoknow.info/010914lemonde

[75] Gerald Posner, Why America Slept: The Failure to Prevent 9/11. (New York: Random House, 2003), page 29

[76] Steve Coll, The Bin Ladens. (New York: Penguin, 2008), pages 7-9

[77] AP, Al Qaeda Financing Documents Turn Up in Bosnia Raid. Fox News: February 19, 2003:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,78937,00.html

[78] Peter Dale Scott, The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America. University of California Press: 2007: pages 140-141

[79] Ibid, page 141.

[80] Robin Cook, The struggle against terrorism cannot be won by military means. The Guardian: July 8, 2005:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2005/jul/08/july7.development

[81] Pierre-Henri Bunel, Al Qaeda — the Database. Global Research: Nov. 20, 2005:

(Global Research, September 5, 2010)


Source: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=BUN20051120&articleId=1291

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Israel’s Secret Plan For A “Second Israel” In Ukraine

The role of Jewish figures and that of the State of Israel in the Ukrainian crisis has not gone unnoticed considering that this community represents less than 1 percent of the population. However, a secret report in the hands of the Netanyahu administration confirms that Ashkenazi Jews do not originate from the Levant, but are the descendants of the Khazars. This little-known population founded a Jewish empire in the tenth century on the banks of the Black Sea. Therefore, some Zionists see in Ukraine a possible second Israel.

The Times of Israel, an independent Israeli newspaper that counts among its staff a number of former reporters for the Israeli daily Ha’aretz, published a fascinating but largely overlooked story datelined Jerusalem and Zhitomir, Ukraine, March 16, 2014, and which was written by its respective Russian and Ukrainian correspondents, Hirsh Ostropoler and I. Z. Grosser-Spass, citing a secret report provided to the Israeli government [1]. The report, written by a select panel of scholars of Jewish history drawn from academia and other research centers, concluded that that European Jews are in fact descended from Khazars, a war-like Mongol-Tatar group that ruled over Ukraine and southern Russia, which mass-converted to Judaism in the eighth century AD.

Zionists have long argued that the land claimed by Israel was the biblical birthright of the Jewish people who were forced from the land in a so-called «diaspora» after repeated conquests by various empires. Proof that Ashkenazi Jews, which make up a majority of the Israeli Jewish population, have no historical link to Palestine would call into question the entire premise of Israel as the historical «5,000-year old» homeland of the Jewish people.

The Israeli journalists noted that any conversation of the Khazars and modern Israel has always been met with disdain by Israeli leaders. They quote Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir as once saying, «Khazar, Schmazar. There is no Khazar people. I knew no Khazars. In Kiev. Or Milwaukee. Show me these Khazars of whom you speak». DNA proof that a migratory Khazar population from Europe is now claiming ancient roots in Palestine largely eliminates Zionist claims to the region.

The evidence that eastern and central European Jews have no historical claim to Palestine has resulted in a flurry of activity in Israel and abroad. The Israeli Knesset will soon vote on a bill passed by the Israeli Cabinet that legalizes Israel as a Jewish «national state». Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who read the secret report on the Khazars, has declared that «Israel is the Jewish, nationalist state for the Jewish people». With the Ashkenazi claims to Israel tenuous, at best, Netanyahu, his Likud Party, and his Jewish Orthodox and West Bank settler party allies have no other choice but to aggressively stake their nationalist claims to not only Israel but also to the West Bank – which the nationalists refer to as «Judea and Samaria».

However, some Israelis and Jews abroad are not taking any chances. One of the main reasons why Ukrainian Jewish billionaire tycoon Ihor Kolomoisky, the governor of Ukraine’s Dnipropetrovsk province and citizen of Ukraine, Israel, and Cyprus, is spending tens of millions of dollars on the recruitment of right-wing Ukrainian nationalists and neo-Nazis from other parts of Europe to fight against the Russian-speaking majority in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine, is a fear that plans to turn Ukraine into a «second Israel» will be derailed. Russia’s protective measures for the Donbass, as well as its incorporation by referendum of Crimea, the latter prized by the resurgent Khazarian Jewish nationalists, threaten the transformation of Ukraine into a second homeland for Ashkenazi Jews who are finding their hold on Israel prime tenuous, at best.

The Times of Israel’s explosive story about the Khazarian roots of the Ashkenazis also revealed that Israel, knowing that a Palestinian state is inevitable considering the increasing pressure for it from Europe, is preparing to resettle Ashkenazi settlers in the West Bank to Ukraine. Israel’s advanced research in genetics resulted in a direct DNA line being established between Israel’s Ashkenazis and the Khazars who were dispersed across eastern and central Europe after Russia conquered the Khazarian Empire in the 11th century.

Israelis and their Zionist allies around the world have always accused proponents of the Khazarian-Ashkenazi genetic connection of deep-rooted anti-Semitism. However, the genetic research contained in the secret Israeli report confirms what Israeli historian Shlomo Sand revealed in his book, «The Invention of the Jewish People». The concept of the Khazarian bloodline was first broached by Hungarian historian Arthur Koestler in his 1976 «The Thirteenth Tribe».

The Times of Israel reporters quoted an unnamed aide to Netanyahu who revealed the plans for Israeli emigration to Ukraine: «We first thought that admitting we are really Khazars was one way to get around [Palestinian President Mahmoud] Abbas’s insistence that no Jew can remain in a Palestinian state. Maybe we were grasping at straws. But when he refused to accept that, it forced us to think about more creative solutions. The Ukrainian invitation for the Jews to return was a godsend. Relocating all the settlers within Israel in a short time would be difficult for reasons of logistics and economics. We certainly don’t want another fashlan like the expulsion of the settlers in the Gaza Hitnatkut [disengagement]».

Ostropoler and Grosser-Spass also quoted an anonymous Israeli intelligence source as saying: «We’re not talking about all the Ashkenazi Jews going back to Ukraine. Obviously that is not practical. The press as usual exaggerates and sensationalizes; this is why we need military censorship».

The Israeli and Ukrainian Jewish plan is to resettle the Ashkenazis from the West Bank in the Russian autonomous republic of Crimea after what they see will be an eventual retrocession of the peninsula to Ukraine. The ultimate plans of Ukrainian Zionists such as Kolomoisky, in addition to such American allies as Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland and U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, is to establish an autonomous Jewish region of Crimea and restore to the peninsula the original Khazarian name of Chazerai. Although the Tatars who live in Crimea and elsewhere today are largely Muslims, the plans to create a Khazar nation in Ukraine will also likely involve global proselytization by Israelis and Ukrainians who are bent on restoring Khazaria as an alternative to Israel. Current Jewish proselytization efforts among «crypto-Jewish» Catholic mestizos in Mexico; Christians, Hindus, and Buddhists in India; Russian Orthodox and Buddhists in Birobidzhan, Siberia; Muslims in Pakistan and Afghanistan; and Christians, Muslims, and animists in Uganda, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Malawi; and among small pockets of alleged Jewish descendants in China, Sao Tome and Principe, Tahiti, Suriname, Vietnam, Brazil, and Peru point to an Israeli plan intent on increasing Jewish numbers for the purpose of settlement in a number of locations outside the illegally-occupied West Bank and the Golan Heights. In addition to Ukraine, northern Iraq, eastern Libya, Alexandria in Egypt, parts of Turkey, Patagonia in Argentina, and Uganda are all being considered for potential Jewish settlements to complement the West Bank or replace it. The so-called «Lost Tribe of Israel,» the Bnei Menashe of Mizoram and Manipur states of northeast India are viewed by many Indians as not actually Jewish but desperate economic migrants looking for better lives in Israel. So desperate are the Israeli expansionists to increase their numbers, dubious Jewish DNA studies have attempted to classify the Sorbs of eastern Germany; the Bantu Lemba people of Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Mozambique; and certain groups of southern Italians, Armenians, and Greeks as «lost tribes» of Israel in order to increase Judaism’s numbers and geographical land claims.

In Ukraine, the so-called «second Israel,» Kolomoisky and Kiev have enlisted a number of ex-Israel Defense Force members in their volunteer battalions, including the Azov Battalion, One of the Israeli units is known as the «Blue Helmets of Maidan» and is commanded by an Israeli using the pseudonym «Delta». If Israel did not have a vested interest in expanding its influence in Ukraine it could easily prevent these units from going to Ukraine.

There are also Sephardic Jewish settlers in the West Bank who are descended from the Jewish Marranos of Moorish-ruled Spain who were expelled from the Iberian Peninsula during the Spanish and Portuguese inquisitions of the 15th century who have no ties to Ashkenazis or Khazaria. Recently, in a move similar to Ukraine’s invitation to the Ashkenazis from the West Bank to settle in Ukraine, Spain and Portugal have enacted legislation that would permit any Sephardic Jew anywhere in the world who can prove their descent from the Marranos expelled during the Inquisition to obtain citizenship in the two countries.

Some Russian speakers in the Donbass are wary of the intentions of pro-Israelis in the Kiev government. Oddly, Kolomoisky has recruited a number of neo-Nazis from western Ukraine and Europe to fight in his battalions whose right-wing organizations have always subscribed to the notion of a future «battle royale» between Russia and the remnants of Khazaria in Israel, Ukraine, Poland, and the Republic of Georgia to avenge Khazaria’s defeat in the 11th century by the Russian Empire.

Israel provided the Georgian government of President Mikheil Saaakashvili, which included a number of dual Israeli-Georgian nationals of Khazar descent, with military and intelligence assistance in its 2008 war against South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Similarly, the Israelis have established close ties with Azerbaijan, a country, which like Georgia and Ukraine, has ancient links to Khazaria through an indigenous group of Azeri Jews known as Subbotniks.

The anonymous Netanyahu aide is also quoted by The Times of Israel journalists as revealing why the Israeli government in making a play for large Israeli settlements in Ukraine: «As the Prime Minister has said, no one will tell Jews where they may or may not live on the historic territory of their existence as a sovereign people. He is willing to make painful sacrifices for peace, even if that means giving up part of our biblical homeland in Judea and Samaria. But then you have to expect us to exercise our historical rights somewhere else. We decided this will be on the shores of the Black Sea, where we were an autochthonous people for more than 2000 years. Even the great non-Zionist historian Simon Dubnow said we had the right to colonize Crimea. It’s in all the history books. You can look it up».

The aide revealed to the two Israeli journalists that Netanyahu appreciates the strength of the ancient Khazars and quote Netanyahu as saying, «we are a proud and ancient people whose history here goes back 4,000 years». But the aide added, «The same is true of the Khazars . . . in Europe and not quite as long. But look at the map: the Khazars did not have to live within ‘Auschwitz borders.’»

To the uninformed, which apparently includes President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, the current Israeli desire to create a new nationalist Israeli identity is tied directly to the activities of the Ukrainian leadership of Petro Poroshenko, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Kolomoisky, and their American supporters, Nuland and Pyatt, in creating a safe haven, temporary or not, for the Ashkenazi settlers of the West Bank. Thanks to The Times of Israel exposé of the secret Israeli report on the Khazars and modern-day Israel, the machinations behind the American and European Union destabilization of Ukraine becomes all the more apparent.


By Wayne Madsen

Source: Strategic Culture Foundation

  1. Leaked report: Israel acknowledges Jews in fact Khazars; Secret plan for reverse migration to Ukraine”, Jim Wald, The Times of Israel, March 16, 2014.

08-12-2014

 

Ukraine: Fascist Dictatorship Masquerading As Democracy

For the first time since WW II, overt fascists hold real power in Europe. Radicalized ultranationalists. Anti-Semites. Hate-mongers. 

Cold-blooded killers. Whitewashing high crimes. A puppet regime. America’s newest colony.

Mocking democratic values. Violating fundamental rule of law principles. Unaccountably.

Western leaders won’t explain. Nor will the media. Hard truths are buried.

Ukraine’s government usurped power forcibly. Putschist rule has no legitimacy.

Especially regimes waging war on their own people. Murdering them in cold blood. Committing horrendous human rights abuses.

Tolerating no opposition. Ruling by intimidation. Force-feeding neoliberal harshness on impoverished people. Making life unbearable overall. More on this below.

On December 4, Wall Street Journal editors published illegitimate/oligarch Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko’s op-ed headlined ”A Year Later, a New Ukraine.”

Legitimate editors wouldn’t touch this rubbish. Journal editors featured it. Beginning-to-end misinformation. Deception. Big Lies.

WSJ editorials and op-eds reinvent history. Poroshenko’s rant is Exhibit A, saying:

“For the first time since Ukraine’s independence in 1991, the nation has the opportunity to evolve into a true European democracy, thanks to the recent election of a pro-European constitutional majority to Parliament. A pro-reform and pro-European Parliament and government are now in place, and a politically reset Ukraine has been empowered to make permanent changes that have been long awaited by the Ukrainian people and by the international community.”

Fact: Ukrainian-style democracy is none at all. Pure fantasy.

Fact: Presidential and parliamentary elections were farcical. Illegitimate by any standard.

Fact: Whole families won parliamentary seats.

Fact: Poroshenko’s son, Oleksiy, represents Vinnitsa region’s No. 12 precinct.

Fact: The same one his father represented years earlier. Bequeathed to his son.

Itar Tass commented earlier, saying:

“…Ukraine’s political class is built on the foundation of nepotism and cronyism, as all the political forces display the tradition of nominating candidates on the grounds of kinship. Russia’s Foreign Ministry said parliamentary elections “were marked by an unprecedented number of gross violations of basic international standards for democratic elections, which were recorded during the election campaign, election day and vote counting. A year passed since” Maidan protests, said Poroshenko. Followed by “the Revolution of Dignity,” he claimed.

“Ukrainians were opting for freedom, not fear, choosing democracy, not dictatorship, and believing in the future, not the past. The idea of a new Ukraine was born. We had the courage to fight for it. Now we have the institutional powers to implement it.”

Fact: Right Sector neo-Nazis murdered Kiev residents and police.

Fact: Ousted President Viktor Yanukovych was wrongfully blamed.

Fact: Fascist snipers used automatic weapons. Fired from Philharmonic Hall’s rooftop and windows. Overlooking the Maidan. Clear evidence proved it.

Fact: Washington orchestrated what happened. Putschists practically lived at its embassy. It was coup d’etat headquarters.

Fact: Reuters discovered “serious flaws” in Kiev’s investigation. Including “missing evidence.” Regime officials “played roles in supporting the uprising.”

Ukrainians want democratic freedoms. Responsible governance. Verboten notions for fascists. Ruling by brute force.

Poroshenko’s governance is more deform than reform. Saying “Ukraine is finally ready to build a robust state” denies reality.

So is claiming a Moscow threat. None whatever exists. No evidence suggests otherwise.

“On the external front, we are united in fighting for our freedom and for our future as an independent nation – a fight that has implications for all of Europe and global security,” said Poroshenko.

Fascists deplore freedom. Crushing it for unchallenged control.

Ukrainian independence was lost. Washington controls its newest colony.

Poroshenko its puppet leader. Presiding over a police state apparatus. Ruling by intimidation.

Serving at America’s discretion. Remaining president as long as he remembers who’s boss.

Truth is polar opposite his Big Lies. Russia’s White Book documented hard truths. Revealing serious human rights violations. Including:

(1) Violations of human rights.

(2) Interference by the European Union and United States.

(3) Weapons and violent methods used by protesters.

(4) Restrictions on basic freedoms and crackdown on dissidents.

(5) Discrimination based on ethnic background.

(6) Religious persecution.

According to Moscow’s press service, content is “based on reports in the Russian and Western media, as well as statements by representatives of the current Kiev authorities and their supporters, eyewitness testimon(ies), observations and on-site interviews collected by Russian nongovernmental organizations.”

A second White Book covers the period April through July 2014. Calling conditions “aggravated in all areas.” Worse than ever.

Including illegitimate fascist rule. Brazen pressure and threats. Severe repression. Physical violence. Suppressing press freedom.

Terrorizing independent journalists. Harassing and beating them. No-holds-barred brutality. Like Nazi Germany.

History has a disturbing way of repeating. Core elements are unchanged. Ukrainians were betrayed. Expect worse ahead, not better.

Kiev’s dirty war continues. Without mercy. Against Donbas residents. Wanting real democracy. Rejecting fascist rule.

Putting their lives on the line for freedom. A testimony to courage. Deserving universal support.

Their liberating struggle continues. Largely on their own. Russia the only nation providing vitally needed humanitarian aid.

Kiev wanting millions of Donbas residents isolated. Denied what people need to survive. Attacked with heavy weapons. Illegal ones.

According to Russia’s Foreign Ministry Commissioner for Human Rights Konstantin Dolgov:

“For the first time, Human Rights Watch clearly recognized that the Ukrainian military are using multiple-launch missile systems and banned weapons against civilians in Donbas. This confirms the data contained in the White Book released by the Russian Foreign Ministry. Rights activists must put pressure on the West and on Kiev authorities to prevent further crimes.”

Russia’s updated White Book (its 3rd edition) contains documented evidence of new crimes and abuses.

Especially “social and economic strangling” of Donbas residents. Noting neo-Nazi mass marches.

“Why does this happen in Europe of the 21st century,” asked Dolgov? “What is happening presents a major threat to the entire international community.”

According to Russia’s updated White Book, “Ukrainian government forces used phosphorus and cluster bombs, Grad and Uragan multiple rocket launchers and Tochka-U ballistic missiles against the population in the south-east of the country.”

“Along with heavy weapons and warplanes, Ukrainian authorities used such ammunition as incendiary, phosphorous and cluster bombs, howitzer artillery and 240-mm mortar systems.”

Dolgov called Kiev’s actions serious war crimes, saying:

“Certainly, all such facts can be taken as nothing but war crimes which were committed and are still being committed against civilians.”

Mass graves discovered contained hundreds bodies of Nazi-style extrajudicial executions.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry urged international organizations and media to report non-politicized assessments of what’s ongoing.

As a way to help stop outrageous abuses. Its Ministry saying:

“We are convinced that distraction from reality and attempts to conceal it from the international community or to manipulate public opinion are a hypocritical and dead-locked path.”

Kiev caused Donbas area catastrophic conditions. Up to 60% of homes were destroyed or seriously damaged.

Regime authorities tried blocking Russian aid. Convoys of mercy. “The fundamental position of the Russian Federation remains unchanged,” its Foreign Ministry said.

“(I)n favor of strict observance of the Minsk agreement on both sides.”

“Kiev’s time to finally stop the reckless attempts to solve the problem of relations with the south-east of the country with tanks, guns and other military ways, renounce violence and to negotiate with the representatives proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics. No other way, and this without talking heads of Ukraine and their foreign patrons of the establishment of Ukrainian democracy is absurd.”

Moscow has verifiable information of unjustifiable political imprisonments.

“The period under review was characterized by the rapid degradation of the situation in the field of freedom of expression and restrict the activities of undesirable Kiev government media,” according to its updated White Paper.

“International News Safety Institute has recognized Ukraine as the most dangerous country in the world for journalists.”

Political censorship is rife. All popular Russian TV channels are blocked.

“The rapidly developing practice of political persecution and widespread persecution of the politicians supporting an approach different from Kiev held a cynical course,” Russia’s White Book says.

“For this purpose, (it notes) the murder of political opponents, the fabrication of criminal cases, illegal searches, confiscation of property, assault and bullying banal tricks such as ‘junk lustration’ and other illegal methods of influence, contrary to the principle of the rule of law and democratic standards. According to the Russian Federal Migration Service, November 20, the total number of Russian citizens are in Ukraine is 831,085 thousand people. In Russia there is deployed 795 temporary accommodation centers in which there are 38,643 people, including 12,046 children up to 18 years. 486,233 citizens of Ukraine in the territorial bodies of Russia have applied to the Russian Foriegn Ministry Service to determine their legal status. 243,141 of them apply for temporary asylum in Russia and 5,721 submitted applications for recognition as a refugees. All crimes committed during the Ukrainian crisis must be objectively, fairly and effectively investigated.”

Especially killing, terrorizing and imprisoning journalists. Maidan killings. The Odessa massacre.

Using force disproportionately. Murdering civilians. Targeting children. Downing MH17. Mass graves with extrajudicially executed victims. Use of prohibited weapons. Other war crimes too serious to ignore.

“It is crucial that the Ukrainian authorities stop the ‘bandaging’ and begin an independent, impartial, effective and transparent investigation,” Russia’s White Book said.

Accountability is long overdue. So is honest MSM journalism. Reporting hard truths.

Explaining fascist ruthlessness in Europe’s heartland. Unbridled brutality defines it. Preventing regional peace and security.

Risking the unthinkable. War without end. Spilling cross-border.

Open conflict with Russia. Nuclear war with America involved.

Risking humanity’s survival. Lunatics in Washington make anything possible.

A Final Comment

Last month, a Ukrainian citizen emailed the following comments, saying:

“Dear Mr. Lendman,

Thank you a lot (for) tell(ing) the truth. I live in Ukraine, Izmail (city in the Southwest of the country). My relatives live in Donbas. After USA brought ‘the democracy’ to Ukraine, we here cannot even tell what we’re thinking. There is really fascist power here now.”

Vladimir (I am sorry. I’m afraid to sign my last name)”


About the author:

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.  His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 
7-12-2014
Original source of the article: author’s personal blog

What About Apologizing To Ukraine, Mrs. Nuland?

Yesterday’s leak of the flagrant telephone talk between the US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey R. Pyatt has already hit the international media headlines. In short, it turned out that the US officials were coordinating their actions on how to install a puppet government in Ukraine.

In this flagrant telephone talk between the US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey R. Pyatt agreed to nominate Bat’kyvshchina Party leader Arseniy Yatseniuk as Deputy Prime Minister, to bench Udar Party leader Vitaly Klitschko off the game for a while and to discredit neo-Nazi Svoboda party chief Oleh Tiahnybok as “Yanukovych’s project”. Then Mrs. Nuland informed the US Ambassador that the Washington’s hand by the UN Secretary General, Under-Secretary for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman had already instructed Ban Ki-moon to send his special envoy to Kyiv this week “to glue the things”. Touching the European role in managing Ukraine’s political crisis, she was matchlessly elegant: “Fuck the EU”.

In a short while, after nervious attempts to blame Russians in fabricating (!) the tape (State Department: “this is a new low in Russian tradecraft”), Mrs. Nuland brought her apologies to the EU officials. Does it mean that the Washington’s repeatedly leaked genuine attitude towards the “strategic Transatlantic partnership” is much worthy of apology than the direct and clear interference into the internal affairs of a sovereign state and violation of the US-Russia-UK agreement (1994 Budapest memorandum) on security assurances for Ukraine? Meanwhile this document inter alia reads as follows:

The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the CSCE Final Act, to respect the Independence and Sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine.

The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine except in self-defense or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.

The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the CSCE Final Act, to refrain from economic coercion designed to subordinate to their own interest the exercise by Ukraine of the rights inherent in its sovereignty and thus to secure advantages of any kind.

Back to the latest Mrs. Nuland’s diplomatic collapse made public, it is hardly an unwilling and regretful fault. Andrey Akulov from Strategic Culture Foundation has published a brilliant report (Bride at every wedding [1]) a couple of days ago depicting a blatant lack of professionalism and personal intergity of Mrs. Nuland. He described in details her involvement in misinforming the US President and nation on the circumstances of the assasination of the US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens in Benghazi in September 2012 and her support of the unlawful US funding of a number of the Russian “independent” NGOs seeking to bring a color revolution to Russia.

Her diplomatically unacceptable behavior on the Ukrainian track, which culminated on YouTube this week (video and full transcript are available below), suggests that Mrs. Nuland is perhaps a wrong person in a wrong position for protecting American interests in Eurasia.

* * *

Full transcript of the telephone talk between the US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey R. Pyatt (posted on YouTube on Feb 6, 2014):

Victoria Nuland (V.N.): What do you think?

Geoffrey R. Pyatt (G.P.): I think we are in play. The Klitchko piece is obviously the most complicated electron here, especially the announcement of him as Deputy Prime Minister. You have seen my notes on trouble in the marriage right now, so we are trying to get a read really fast where he is on the staff. But I think your argument to him which you’ll need to make, I think that’s the next phone call that you want to set up is exactly the one you made to Yats (Yatsenuk’s nickname). I’m glad you put him on the spot. <…> He fits in this scenario. And I am very glad he said what he said.

V.N.: Good. I don’t think Klitsch (Klitschko’s nickname) should be in the government. I don’t think it’s necessary, I don’t think it’s a good idea.

G.P.: Yeah, I mean, I guess… In terms of him not going into the government… I’d just let him stay out and do his political homework. I’m just thinking, in terms of sort of the process moving ahead, we want to keep the moderate democrats together. The problem is gonna be with Tyahnibok and his guys. And, you know, I am sure that is part of what Yanukovych is calculating on all this.

V.N.: I think Yats is the guy. He has economic experience and governing experience. He is the guy. You know, what he needs is Klitsch and Tyahnibok on the outside. He needs to be talking to them four times a week. You know, I just think if Klitchko gets in, he’s going to be at that level working for Yatsenuk, it’s just not gonna work…

G.P.: Yeah, yeah, I think that’s right. Ok, good. Would you like us to set up a call with him as the next step?

V.N.: My understading from that call that you tell me was that the big three were going into their own meeting and that Yats was gonna offer in this context, you know, a «three plus one» conversation or a «three plus two» conversation with you. Is that not how you understood it?

G.P.: No. I think that was what he proposed but I think that knowing the dynamic that’s been with them where Klitchko has been the top dog, he’ll show up for whatever meetings they’ve got and he’s probably talking to his guys at this point. So, I think you reaching out directly to him, helps with the personality management among the three. And it also gives you a chance to move fast on all this stuff and put us behind it, before they all sit down and he explains why he doesn’t like it.

V.N.: Ok. Good. I am happy. Why don’t you reach out to him and see if he wants to talk before or after.

G.P.: Ok, I will do it. Thanks.

Nuland-YouTube V.N.: I can’t remember if I told you this or if I only told Washington this: when I talked to Jeff Feltman this morning he had a new name for the UN guy – Robert Serry. I wrote you about it this morning.

G.P.: Yeah, I saw that.

V.N.: Ok. He’s gotten now both Serry and Ban ki-Moon to agree that Serry will come on Monday or Tuesday. That would be great I think to help glue this thing and to have the UN help glue it and, if you like, fuck the EU.

G.P.: No, exactly. And I think we’ve got to do something to make it stick together because you can be pretty sure that if it does start to gain altitude that the Russians will be working behind the scenes to try to torpedo it. And again the fact that this is out there right now, I am still trying to figure out in my mind why Yanukovych <…> that. In the meantime there is a Party of Regions faction meeting going on right now and I am sure there is a lively argument going on in that group at this point. But anyway, we could land jelly side up on this one if we move fast. So let me work on Klitschko and if you can just keep… I think we just want to try to get somebody with an international personality to come out here and help to midwife this thing. The other issue is some kind of outreach to Yanukovych but we probably regroup on that tomorrow as we see how things start to fall into place.

V.N.: So on that piece, Jeff, when I wrote the note Sullivan’s come back to me V.F.R., saying you need Biden and I said probably tomorrow for an atta boy and to get the details to stick. So, Biden’s willing.

G.P.: Ok. Great, thanks.

* * *

Transcript of the telephone talk between the Deputy Secretary General EE AS External Service Helga M. Schmid (H.S.) and Jan Tombinsky (J.T.), EU Ambassador to Ukraine (rendering, starting 0:04:13 on the tape):

Helga M. Schmid: Jan, it’s Helga once again. I’d like to tell you one more thing, it’s confidential. The Americans are beating about the bush and saying that our stand is too soft. They believe we should be stronger and apply sanctions. I talked to Cathy (Cathrene Ashton – OR) and she agrees with us on the matter we were discussing last time. We will do it but we must arrange everything in a clever way.

Jan Tombinsky: You know we have other instruments.

H.S.: The journalists are already talking that the EU stand is “too soft”. What you should really know is that we are very angry that the Americans are beating about the bush. Maybe you tell the US Ambassador and draw his attention to the fact that our stand is not soft, we’ve just made a hard-line statement and took a tougher stance… I want you to know that it would be detrimental to our interests if we see in the newspapers that «The European Union does not support freedom». Cathy will not like it.

J.T.: Helga, we do not compete in a race. We should demonstrate that this situation is not a competition in diplomatic toughness. I’ve just heard about the opposition’s new proposal to the president. I’ll write Cathy about it right now.

H.S.: Ok.

Awkward attempts to question “morality” is such revelations sound especially hypocritical from a global spying power that monitors and controls most of the mobile phone and internet users activities, taps the phone lines of world leaders, and oversees the world’s most far-reaching wire-tapping program.

Endnote:

[1] US Assistant Secretary Nuland Visits Ukraine – Some Thoughts to Share, by Andrei Akulov, Part I and Part II, Strategic Culture Foundation, 5 and 6 February 2014.


07-02-2014

Source: http://www.voltairenet.org/article182064.html

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Jürgen Elsässer: “The CIA Recruited And Trained The Jihadists”

In his latest book, “How the Jihad Came to Europe”, German journalist Jürgen Elsässer unravels the Jihadist thread. Muslim fighters recruited by the CIA to fight against the Soviets in Afghanistan were used successively in Yugoslavia and Chechnya, still supported by the CIA, but perhaps sometimes out of its control. Basing himself on diverse sources, mainly Yugoslavian, Dutch, and German, he reconstructed the development of Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants at the side of NATO in Bosnia-Herzegovinia.

Silvia Cattori:Your investigation into the actions of the secret services makes a frightening report. We discover that since the 80’s the United States has invested billions of dollars to finance criminal activities and that by means of the CIA they are directly implicated in the attacks attributed to the Moslems. What is the contribution of your book?

Jurgen Elsässer: It is the only work that establishes the tie between wars in the Balkan of the 90’s and the attack of September 11, 2001. All the large attacks, in New York, in London, in Madrid, would never have taken place without the recruitment by the American and British secret services of these jihadists who have been blamed for the attacks. I bring a new light on the manipulations of the intelligence agencies. Other books than mine have noted the presence of Ossama Ben Laden in the Balkans. But their authors presented the Moslem fighters in the Balkan as enemies of the west. The information that I collected from multiple sources, demonstrate that these jihadists are puppets in the hands of the west and are not, as one pretends, enemies.

Silvia Cattori:In the case of the war in the Balkan, the manipulations of various States are clearly designated in your book. The United States supported Ben Laden whose work was to form the Mujahidines. How can anyone continue to ignore that these attempts that horrify public opinion would never have existed if these «terrorists» had not been driven and financed by the western intelligence services?

Jürgen Elsässer:Yes, indeed, it is the result of facts that one can observe. But one cannot say that the western intervention in ex – Yugoslavia had for objective to prepare attack of September 11. To be precise: these attacks are a consequence of western politics of the 90’s because NATO put these jihadists in place in the Balkans and collaborated with them. The Moslem militants who have been designated the persons responsible for the attacks of September 11 were part of this network.

Silvia Cattori:According to you, what was the interest of the United States and Germany to set the people of the Balkans one against the other?

Jürgen Elsässer: The west had a common interest to destroy Yugoslavia, to dismember it, because, after the end of the soviet bloc, it would have been a model of the intelligent combination of capitalist and socialist elements. But the west wanted to impose the neoliberal model on all countries.

Silvia Cattori:Is not Europe itself imprudently committed to a war manipulated by the neoconservatives?

Jürgen Elsässer: It is difficult to say. I believe that in the 90’s, the politics of the United States was inspired by their victory against Soviets in Afghanistan. It was the model that they wanted to apply in Balkans. If, during those years, the economy of the United States had not fallen into depression, maybe the more realistic politicians, such as Kissinger, could have kept control of American politics. I think that the coincidence between the economic depression and the aggressiveness of the neoconservative school determined what happened.

Silvia Cattori:Do you think that a leader like Blair, for example, once embarked in the neoconservative project, has become a hostage to a certain point?

Jürgen Elsässer: I don’t know the position of Blair enough well. It is easier to see what goes on in the United States. One can see that Bush is the hostage of those around him. And, as he is not very intelligent, he is not able to take decisions and must follow ideas of his entourage. It is clear that his father was against the attack on Iraq in 2003.

Silvia Cattori:Wasn’t the first Gulf war part of a plan aiming to trigger other wars thereafter?

Jürgen Elsässer: No, there was no tie with the war in Iraq in 1991. There were two phases. Until the end of the Clinton period, the politics of the United States were imperialistic, but at the same time, pragmatic. They chased the Soviets out of Afghanistan. They defeated Iraq in 1991. Their war stopped once Kuwait was free. Then they attacked Bosnia and Yugoslavia; but it occurred stage by stage. Everything went out of control after September 11.

Silvia Cattori:The neoconservatives don’t count for anything?

Jürgen Elsässer: The neoconservatives, grouped around Pearl, had written a document one year before September 11, according to which America had need of a catalyzing event similar to the attack on Pearl Harbor. September 11 was this catalyzing event. I believe that people around Pearl wished for the attacks of September 11.

Silvia Cattori:What was the objective pursued by the United States in attacking Serbia? Was it merely about, as is indicated in your book, the US getting itself installed in a strategic region situated on a transit line for the oil and the gas of central Asia? Or did the alliance of the United States with the Moslem fighters directed by Izetbegovic have a second objective: to create a Moslem extremism at the doors of Europe in order to make use of it in the setting of terrorist manipulations? And, if yes, towards what goal?

Jürgen Elsässer: The United States wanted, as did Austria at the end of the 19th century in Bosnia, to create a “European” Islam to weaken the Islamic states in the Middle East, meaning, at that time, the Ottoman empire, and today, Iran and the Arab states. The neoconservatives had other plans again: to construct a clandestine network of “fundamentalist” puppets to do the dirty work against “old” Europe.

Silvia Cattori:The result, a terrifying civil war. How could Europe have participated in the destruction of Yugoslavia, which appeared as an example of the perfectly successful cohabitation between ethnic groups? By making the Serbians the guilty party, didn’t Europe destroy a country that was one of the major constructions of the postwar era? On what legitimacy did Europe base its intervention?

Jürgen Elsässer: First, in the beginning of the 90’s, Germany led the attack based upon the principles of the self-determination of ethnic groups: in other words, Hitler’s old ruse against Czechoslovakia and Poland in 1938/39. Then, the United States took the relay and praised “human rights”, an obvious swindle.

Silvia Cattori:In your investigation Israel is never mentioned. Have you not minimized the importance of pro-Israeli neoconservatives inside the Pentagon, who serve interests of Israel more that those of the United States?

Jürgen Elsässer: There are Israelis who collaborated with the neoconservatives; it is a fact. But I am not sure of the role played by Israel in this business. Sharon was against NATO support for the Albanians of Kosovo. And, in 1998, he expressed his worry over the idea that NATO support the setting up of pro-Islamic elements in the Balkan. I also believe that he was not favorable to this war the following year.

Silvia Cattori:Don’t you see ties between the Israeli secret services and the attacks of September 11, 2001?

Jürgen Elsässer: There are ties, but I didn’t analyze the character of these ties. For example, immediately after September 11, a certain number of Israeli agents were arrested in the United States. They were present in places where the attacks were prepared. There are analysts who say this is proof that Israel was directly implicated in these attacks. But it could also mean something else. It could be that these agents were watching what happened, that they were aware that the American secret services supported these “terrorists” in the preparation of these attacks, but that they kept their knowledge to use it at the appropriate moment, and to be able to use it as blackmail when the moment came: “If you don’t increase your support for Israel, we are going to hand over this information to the media”. There is even a third possibility: that these Israeli spies wanted to warn about the attacks but failed. At the moment, we only know that these types were there and that they were arrested. Supplementary investigations are necessary.

Silvia Cattori:Do these ties put in evidence that the attacks of September 11, 2001 were part of a plan conceived a long time before?

Jürgen Elsässer: I am not certain that a plan had been established for a long time. It could be that people such as Richard Perle improvise a lot and use criminal elements that they put in place but that they don’t permanently control. As, at the time of Kennedy’s murder, it is clear that the CIA was implicated, but one doesn’t know if it had been planned at the top, at Langley [the headquarters of the CIA], or if it was conceived among the most violent Cuban exiles working for the CIA, the headquarters of the CIA limiting themselves to tolerating it.

Silvia Cattori:If tomorrow these characters grouped around Pearl were removed, would that stop the anti-Muslim war strategy of the United States and the manipulations that justify it?

Jürgen Elsässer: It stops when they lose a war.

Silvia Cattori:The war, didn’t they lose it in Iraq?

Jürgen Elsässer: The war will only be lost when they leave the country, as in Vietnam.

Silvia Cattori:These Moslems who, like Mohammed Atta, were just ordinary citizens before being enlisted by the CIA, how could they be driven to such terrifying actions, without knowing that they were being manipulated by intelligence agents of the opposite camp?

Jürgen Elsässer: There are some youth that can be turned into fanatics and manipulated very easily by intelligence services. High-placed characters are not unaware of what happens and know by who they are hired.

Silvia Cattori:Ben Laden, for example, did he know that he served the interests of the United States?

Jürgen Elsässer: I didn’t study his case. I studied the case of Al Zawahiri, Ben Laden’s right arm, who was the chief of operations in the Balkans. In the beginning of the 90’s, he traveled all through the United States with an agent of the US Special Command to collect money for the Jihad; this man knew that he participated in this collection of money as an activity that was supported by the United States.

Silvia Cattori:All of this is very troubling. You bring the proof that that attacks that have occurred since 1996 (attacks in the subway of Paris), would never have been possible if the war in the Balkan had not taken place. And you impute these attacks, that left thousands of victims, to western intelligence services. Has opinion in West therefore been deceived by governments that have embarked on terrorist actions?

Jürgen Elsässer: The terrorist network that the American and British secret services formed during the civil war in Bosnia and later in Kosovo provided a reservoir of militants that we find implicated later in the attacks in New York, Madrid, London.

Silvia Cattori:How did this happen concretely?

Jürgen Elsässer: Once the war was finished in Afghanistan, Osama Ben Laden recruited these jihadist militants. It was his work. It was he that trained them, partially with the support of the CIA, and put them in place in Bosnia. The Americans tolerated the connection between the President Izetbegovic and Ben Laden. Two years later, in 1994, the Americans began to send weapons, in a common clandestine operation with Iran. After the treaty of Dayton, in November 1995, the CIA and the Pentagon recruited best of the jihadists that had fought in Bosnia.

Silvia Cattori:How does it happen that these Moslems got into the hands of services that served ideological interests opposed to theirs?

Jürgen Elsässer: I analyzed testimonies given by some jihadists interrogated by the German judges. They said that after the treaty of Dayton, which stipulated that all foreign ex-fighters had to leave the country, they didn’t have any more money and had nowhere to go. As for those that could remain in Bosnia, because they had been provided with Bosnian passports, they were without work and without money. The day when the recruiters came and rang at their doors and proposed to pay them 3000 dollars a month to serve in the Bosnian army, they didn’t know that they were recruited and paid by emissaries of the CIA to serve the United States.

Silvia Cattori:After, when they were sent to prepare the attacks in London in July 2005, for example, did they not become aware that they were in the hands of western intelligence agents who manipulated them?

Jürgen Elsässer: It is not clear that it was really the young Moslems from the suburbs of London that committed the attacks, as the police claim. There are other indications according to which the bombs were fixed under the trains. It is possible the bombs were attached under the trains without these young men knowing about it. In that case it is not sure that the young Moslems, incriminated by the investigation, committed these attempts.

Silvia Cattori:It is hard to understand the goal that the western States pursue when they engage their services in criminal manipulations?

Jürgen Elsässer: This is not easy to say. Remember Kennedy’s murder. Who did it? It is certain that it was people from the CIA that supported the second killer, it is certain that Oswald was murdered by a man who had been mandated by the CIA. What is not clear is if these men recruited by the CIA acted on order of Johnson or Dulles, or if they were link to the milieu of extremist Cuban exiles, which means affiliated to the mafia. I don’t believe that Bush or Blairs are chiefs. I don’t believe in the theory of the big conspiracy. I believe that the secret services hire men who are ordered to carry out the dirty business; these agents act as they want. Perhaps you know that on September 11, 2001, someone tried to kill Bush. What does it mean? It is difficult to explain.

Silvia Cattori:Do you mean that Bush is, for example, himself hostage of the people who, inside the Pentagon, form a State within the state, one that also escapes the command of the American army?

Jürgen Elsässer: Yes. Bush is stupid. He is a tool in the hands of other people.

Silvia Cattori:Are you thinking about people that are under the direct influence of characters such as Pearl, Wolfowitz, Feith? Do you think that it is they who, after the war of the Balkan, would have been the real backers of these attacks and that these attacks are not separate from each other, that there is a link between Madrid and London? Does it mean that the Americans are ready to ally with the devil to sow chaos everywhere under the pretext of this anti-Muslim, anti – Arabic war waged under the banner of terrorism? A fabricated terrorism?

Jürgen Elsässer:Yes, there is a duplicate government that escapes Bush’s control. It is the neoconservatives, such as Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Pearl, the people tied into the oil and the military industries,. The global chaos is in the interest of the military industry: when there is the chaos all over the world, one can sell weapons and oil for a bigger price.

Silvia Cattori:Youssef Asckar described this State within in the state very well, to which you give credit [1]. Isn’t Israel the first country interested by this strategy of chaos, therefore by the manipulation of terrorist attacks? Doesn’t the propaganda of the pro-Israeli lobby have the tendency to make us believe that Israel is threatened by Arabs fanatics?

Jürgen Elsässer: It is not certain that this strategy can serve the interests of Israel because, if things continue this way, the whole Middle East will be in flames, including Israel. They used the same process during the war in Bosnia. In order to demonize the Serbs, the western media invented stories of concentration camps and made photo montages that compared the Serbs to the Nazis. This propaganda aimed to win opinion over to the war against Serbia, but, with regard to the United States, it was not nourished necessarily by the Jewish lobby, but by the Christian and atheist strategists. These strategists play the “Jewish” card. That is my thesis. One sees it currently with the propaganda against Iran; strategists of the war play the “Jewish” card to impress people that have more morals than intelligence.

Silvia Cattori:The recent manipulations confirm, in part, your thesis: at the same moment where the United States wanted the Security Council to pass sanctions against Iran, a Canadian newspaper wrote that Iran wanted to force Iranian Jews to wear the equivalent of a yellow star [2]]]. But I refer to these openly pro-Israeli personalities that, in France for example, play an important role in the formation of opinion because they occupy some strategic positions in the media, and whose community allegiance psuyhes them to support the policies of Israel and the United States, even if it is criminal. Remember the active support brought to Izetbegovic in Bosnia by Bernard-Henri Lévy and Bernard Kouchner. As soon as Serbia was on the knees, they immediately turned their propaganda against Arabs and Moslems; this time it was to mobilize opinion in favor of the so-called “war of civilizations”. When they spoke of “concentration camps” to associate the Serbs with Hitler, didn’t they participate in manipulations of NATO?

Jürgen Elsässer: We watched the same phenomenon in Germany. The Jewish journalists that supported the war against Yugoslavia had access to the televised studios. But the journalists that were against, whether they were Jewish or not, were excluded from the debate. I think that the media and politicians use the Jewish voices for geostrategic stakes.

Silvia Cattori:So, as you see it, what happened in the Balkan was only the repetition of what had happened in Afghanistan, what followed was part of the same process. Do you think that our authorities know risks of the wars provoked by their intelligence agencies?

Jürgen Elsässer: My hope is that there is a reaction on behalf of the military in the United States. There are among them people who know very well that all these wars are not intelligent. They know that the United States is going to lose this war. In the American army, they are imperialistic but they are not crazy, they don’t agree with what is happening. But the neoconservatives are crazy, they want to wage the Third World War against all Arabs and all Moslems, just like Hitler who wanted to kill all Jews and to attack all other countries; the German generals had warned Hitler of all that he risked.

Silvia Cattori:Is your hope that a change occurs unexpectedly?

Jürgen Elsässer: To stop this madness I see possibility of change only among those forces that remained rational. The high command of the American army wrote a letter to Bush to say that it doesn’t want to participate in an attack against Iran with nuclear weapons. Maybe Bush will attack; but the consequences would be more serious than in the case of Iraq. The same thing happened with the Nazis: they attacked, they attacked, and one day there was Stalingrad and the beginning of the defeat. But this adventure cost the lives of 60 million human beings.

Silvia Cattori:Is that what motivated your effort while writing this book: to alert people’s consciences in order to avoid new disasters and new suffering? Moreover, that after Iraq it would be Iran’s turn?

Jürgen Elsässer: Yes. But characters like Bush don’t care about all of that. I am not completely pessimistic on Iran: one could see a repetition of the Paris, Berlin, Moscow axis. Our chancellor, who is normally a puppet of the United States, offered strategic cooperation with Russia, because Germany depends entirely on Russian oil and gas. It is a strong argument. Germans are imperialists, but they are not crazy.

Silvia Cattori:In the Balkans, was it not Germany that opened the door to the war?

Jürgen Elsässer: Yes, it is true. But, today, you see that Joschka Fischer and Madeleine Albright have sent an open letter to Bush to tell him not to attack Iran. Mrs. Albright specified that one cannot attack all the people that one doesn’t like. It is rational.

Silvia Cattori:Were you able to collect these elements that illustrate the actions of the intelligence agencies because, today, people, worried of the evolution of international politics, are beginning to speak?

Jürgen Elsässer: Yes. I depended a great deal on information from people that work in the belly of “the beast”.

Silvia Cattori:Everywhere in the world?

Jürgen Elsässer: I can only tell you that it is people from Western Europe. It is people that haven’t stopped using their heads.

Silvia Cattori:To obtain the proof of the manipulations surroundeding the “Gulf of Tonkin Incident”, the incident that permitted the United States to unleash the war against the Vietnamese people, it was necessary to wait a long time. Have things therefore changed today, permitting a response in time?

Jürgen Elsässer: There is a big difference between the situation in the 60’s and the one today. In the Federal Republic of Germany, they were, for example, at that time in favor of the war against Communists in Vietnam. The official version that said our republic was in danger of being attacked by Communists was shared by a big part of public opinion. What has changed is that, today, the majority of the population is against the war, without discussion.

Silvia Cattori:You rightly underline the extremist religious character of Bosnia-Herzegovina under Izetbegovic, but, whereas you doubt the support of Israel to this sort of draft of the emirate of the Talibans, don’t you overvalue the role of Iran and Saudi Arabia? Richard Perle was the principal political advisor to Izetbegovic. Didn’t the Iranians and the Saudis raise the ante on the question of Islam hoping to take the control of a Moslem regime that only took its orders from Tel Aviv and Washington? In fact, was Izetbegovic not an agent of Israel?

Jürgen Elsässer: The Mossad helped the Bosnian Serbians, they even provided them weapons. There is nothing that indicates that the Israeli government helped Izetbegovic. It was supported by Americans, and Clinton depended upon the Zionist lobby in the United States, but this lobby didn’t have the support of the Israeli government during the war of Bosnia.

Silvia Cattori:With regard to some of your sources, can one grant credit to the assertions of Yossef Bodanski, director of the Working Group on Terrorism and Non-Conventional war close to the American Senate?

Jürgen Elsässer: I don’t trust anybody. They claim that Bodansky has ties with sources in Mossad and it renders a number of his findings suspect. On the other hand, he brings to our knowledge a lot of interesting facts that contradict the official propaganda. In my book I show the contradictions within the dominant elites of the United States, and, in this respect, Bodansky, is very interesting.

Silvia Cattori:It says in your book: “Terrorism exists in Kosovo and Macedonia, but in its majority it is not controled by Ben Laden but by US intelligence”. Do you doubt the existence of Al Qaeda?

Jürgen Elsässer: Yes, as I wrote it in my book, it is propaganda manufactured by the west.

Silvia Cattori:One has a bit the impression that, to go to the end of its logic, your investigation is not finished. Certainly, Yugoslavia was a laboratory for the manufacture of the Islamic networks, and your book shows well that these networks serve the interests of the United States. However, you seem to believe in the existence of international Islamic networks who would have a popular base in the Moslem world, whereas at the same time your research demonstrates that these networks are only mercenaries of the United States and that they have never done anything for the Moslems?

Jürgen Elsässer: Look at the example of Hamas: in the beginning of the 80’s, it was fomented by Mossad to counter the influence of the PLO. But thereafter, Hamas developed its own popular base and, now, it is part of the resistance. But I bet that there are still foreign agents inside Hamas.

Silvia Cattori:You mentioned that the inspectors of the United Nations are infiltrated by spies from the United States. Could we have some precisions?

Jürgen Elsässer: Some blue helmets of the UNPROFOR in Bosnia transported weapons to destinations of the Mujahidines.

Silvia Cattori:When Peter Handke affirms that Serbs are not the only guilty party, that they are victims of the war of the Balkans, one banish it. Who is right in this business?

Jürgen Elsässer: On all sides – Serbs, Croatians, Moslems – the ordinary people have all lost. Moslems won the war in Bosnia with the help of Ben Laden and Clinton but, now, their country is occupied by NATO. They have less independence today than at the time of Yugoslavia.

Silvia Cattori:How does your research relate to that of Andreas Von Bülow and Thierry Meyssan?

Jurgen Elsässer: We share the same opinion on the events of September 11, 2001: we think that the official version is not true. All this combined research is very useful to be able to continue to deepen the reality of the facts. My specialty is to have made the link between wars of the Balkans and September 11, while Thierry Meyssan analyzed the attack on the Pentagon to demonstrate that it was due to a missile and not to a plane, and Von Bülow arrived at the conclusion that planes were guided by a beacon.

Silvia Cattori:To having put into question the official truth, Thierry Meyssan was discredited and blocked by the media. Are you going to escape that?

Jürgen Elsässer: There is also a blockage against my book. It is not possible for one author alone to break this blockage. However, it can’t prevent our theses from making their path. The public is not in agreement with what the media says: in spite of their blockage 35 to 40% of people don’t believe what media tells them. There is the example of Kennedy’s assassination: today, 90% of people don’t believe in the official version and think that Kennedy’s murder was an action of the CIA.

Silvia Cattori:Isn’t it dangerous to uncover the manipulations of States that use their intelligence services in criminal ways?

Jürgen Elsässer: I believe that the danger only comes when one sells more than 100 000 books. In Germany, in eleven months, my book has only sold 6 000 copies.


Translated by Signs of the Times.

Source: http://www.voltairenet.org/article143050.html

Lincoln Ordered The Greatest Mass Hanging In America’s History

George Szamuely, “Bombs For Peace: NATO’s Humanitarian War On Yugoslavia”, 2013

George Szamuely.  Bombs for Peace: NATO’s Humanitarian War on Yugoslavia.  Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2013 (Distributed in the U.S. and Canada by the University of Chicago Press).  Paper.  Pp. 611.

In Bombs for Peace, George Szamuely, a senior research fellow at the Global Policy Institute at London Metropolitan University, has produced a revealing and sharply argued analysis of Western intervention in the Balkan wars of the 1990s.  The primary focus of the book is on Western diplomatic and military interventions, which played a crucial role in the breakup of Yugoslavia and the plunge into conflict.  Continued intervention fueled deeper conflict, as the United States repeatedly smashed every prospect for peaceful settlement until it could impose its control over the region.

The author places these events in a wider policy context, exploring how Western leaders capitalized on conflict in the Balkans to reorient NATO into an offensive organization suited for out-of-area operations.  From participation in the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan to the bombing of Libya, NATO’s aggressive role is firmly established.  Feeding the public with simple-minded morality tales, Western leaders distracted attention from their real goals.  “NATO,” Szamuely writes, “under constant U.S. prodding, seized on the crisis in Yugoslavia to transform itself from a defensive alliance into a global superpower, a coalition of powers that would purport to use force to secure peace and stability, a protagonist in other people’s conflicts yet also a referee.  NATO could nonetheless not admit publicly that it had now become a war-making machine.  So it came up with an ingenious formula. . . .  Humanitarian war was to become its credo.”  Non-Westerners rightly perceived NATO’s humanitarian war doctrine “as a fraud, a smokescreen to confuse the public, a mélange of wild exaggerations and deceptions to justify intervention in the affairs of small, weak states or in complicated conflicts on behalf of certain protagonists and against others.”

In his opening chapter, “Yugoslavia: Destroying States for Fun and Profit,” Szamuely lays bare the myriad diplomatic maneuvers by U.S. and Western European officials that guaranteed the destruction of the state and made war inevitable.  Western intervention was consistently one-sided and heavy-handed, aimed at the demise of Yugoslavia, the last remaining socialist nation in Europe.

Having successfully backed the secession of Slovenia and Croatia, the West then threw its support behind the separation of Bosnia-Hercegovina.  After encouraging Bosnian Muslim leader Alija Izetbegović to renounce the Lisbon Agreement that he had just signed, an accord that would have prevented war from breaking out, the United States then sabotaged the London Conference.  Quoting an approving Western media report that applauded war and derided peace negotiations, Szamuely responds: “Thus the perfect expression of that peculiar, yet fashionable, moral sentiment: continued war, more killings, more destruction of towns and villages, more displacement of populations, more detention camps, more refugees were preferable to an agreement that — perish the thought — ‘might silence the guns for a time.’  Heroism comes easily to those for whom it’s vicarious.”

As the war dragged on in Bosnia, the United States repeatedly derailed peace negotiations and blocked ceasefires.  Countless lives were lost to serve the dubious goal of imposing U.S. control over the region.

When Croatia launched Operation Storm against the Krajina region, it killed 2,500 and expelled 200,000 Serbs, dwarfing in size any single act of population removal that had taken place in Bosnia.  The Croatian forces that launched the operation were well armed with Western weaponry and had the backing of the United States, which had prepared them with military training.  U.S. warplanes provided support by bombing a Krajina Serb airfield and destroying radar installations, allowing Croatian planes free rein to bomb and strafe columns of fleeing civilians.  “U.S. officials were delighted,” Szamuely writes.  “Here was a massive humanitarian disaster that the humanitarian interventionists could celebrate.”  He goes on to quote approving statements made by several U.S. officials.

Bosnia marked NATO’s first military engagement.  In the largest of its bombing campaigns in that war, NATO launched widespread attacks against Bosnian Serb sites in support of Croatian cross-border and Bosnian Muslim offensives in 1995.  U.S. diplomat Richard Holbrooke met with Croatian President Franjo Tudjman, and urged him to extend his forces’ assault in neighboring Bosnia: “I would hope that you can take Prijedor, Sanski Most, and Bosanski Novi.”

The end of the war in Bosnia accomplished the Western goals of military occupation and political and economic control over the newly minted state that became a colony in all but name.  From the Western standpoint, there remained the problem that Yugoslavia, then comprised of Serbia and Montenegro, with its socialist-dominated economy was still in place.  A new pretext would have to be invented for war, and that was found in Western support for the secessionist Kosovo Liberation Army.  “For NATO, Kosovo was to be the test of its new post-Cold War strategy of offering military solutions to non-military problems,” Szamuely points out.

Szamuely details the maneuvers by U.S. diplomats at peace talks in Rambouillet, shortly before the NATO bombing campaign, in which they steered the outcome towards war.  The inescapable conclusion is that U.S. leaders wanted war.

The bombing of Yugoslavia provided a lesson for future interventions.  The absence of evidence to buttress wild and exaggerated propaganda claims is no impediment.  “Nothing succeeds like success.  And the measure of success is the lack of NATO casualties.  Small wonder, then, that in 2002 and 2003 U.S. and British officials and their media boosters disdainfully ignored the intelligence that raised serious doubts about Iraq’s WMDs.  The Kosovo experience had taught them that failure to find evidence to support the claims used to launch an armed attack would be quickly forgotten amid the scenes of public rejoicing and ecstatic military parades.”

That scenario was to be replayed in Libya, where Western accusations of an imagined impending massacre provided the self-justification for bombing.  “Yet, as in Yugoslavia, the Western powers made no attempt to ascertain whether a crime had been committed or was about to be committed. . . .  The NATO powers were determined to start bombing as soon as the Security Council passed its resolution.  Any delay might have led to a peaceful resolution of the crisis, an outcome the powers were as anxious to avoid in 2011 as they were in 1999.”

Szamuely is devastating in his critique of U.S. diplomatic measures leading up to NATO’s attack on Yugoslavia.  These maneuvers are essentially unknown to the Western public, including those on the Left who continue to cleave to the notion of U.S. leaders’ veracity and good intentions in regard to attacking small nations.  Only through an act of willful blindness could such a belief be sustained in the face of the mountain of evidence that Szamuely marshals.

Laced with lacerating humor, Bombs for Peace is particularly effective in its deconstruction of Western rhetoric.  Time after time, Szamuely quotes Western leaders’ words and takes them apart and subjects them to scathing logical analysis.  With sweeping eloquence, Szamuely argues his points in a compelling and authoritative manner, exposing the mendacity of the proponents of war.

The official mythology is that NATO intervention stopped the wars in the Balkans.  “As usual,” Szamuely notes, “the media were more than happy to go along with this story.  Yet the only wars the NATO powers had brought to an end were those they themselves provoked and subsequently prolonged.”

The Western role in the Balkans is an object lesson that provides the template for many of the West’s subsequent interventions and wars, and Bombs for Peace is essential for understanding the nature of that relationship.  “The complacency and arrogance of NATO’s leaders was extraordinary,” observes Szamuely.  “To people who had been subjected to Western colonial rule — most of the non-Western world — NATO’s self-satisfied assumption of a new global mission sounded an awful lot like the old ‘white man’s burden.’  NATO was the old imperial club, back together again with a plan to ensure continuing rule over the world’s backward people.”

Prodigiously researched, Bombs for Peace is graced with the elegant prose style typical of the author, and with his long-held passion for justice.  It is so beautifully written that it is hard to put down, and constitutes a damning exposé of Western policy.

Bombs for Peace: A Review
by Gregory Elich


Gregory Elich is on the Board of Directors of the Jasenovac Research Institute and the Advisory Board of the Korea Policy Institute.  He is a columnist for Voice of the People, and one of the co-authors of Killing Democracy: CIA and Pentagon Operations in the Post-Soviet Period, published in the Russian language.

Source: http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2015/elich090915.html

The Rule Of Law No Longer Exists In Western Civilization

My work documenting how the law was lost began about a quarter of a century ago. A close friend and distinguished attorney, Dean Booth, first brought to my attention the erosion of the legal principles on which rests the rule of law in the United States. My columns on the subject got the attention of an educational institution that invited me to give a lecture on the subject. Subsequently, I was invited to give a lecture on “How The Law Was Lost” at the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law in New York City.

The work coalesced into a book, The Tyranny Of Good Intentions, coauthored with my research associate, Lawrence M. Stratton, published in 2000, with an expanded edition published in 2008. We were able to demonstrate that Sir Thomas More’s warning about prosecutors and courts disregarding law in order to more easily convict undesirables and criminals has had the result of turning law away from being a shield of the people and making it into a weapon in the hands of government. That is what we witness in the saga of the Hammonds, long-time ranchers in the Harney Basin of Oregon.

With the intervention of Ammon Bundy, another rancher who suffered illegal persecution by the Bureau of Land Management but stood them off with help from armed militia, and his supporters, the BLM’s decades long persecution of the innocent Hammonds might have come to a crisis before you read this.

Bundy and militiamen, whose count varies from 15 to 150 in the presstitute media, have seized an Oregon office of the BLM as American liberty’s protest against the frame-up of the Hammonds on false charges. As I write the Oregon National Guard and FBI are on the way.

The militiamen have said that they are prepared to die for principles, and the rule of law is one of them. Of course, the presstitute media is making the militiamen into the lawbreakers—and even calling them terrorists—and not the federal government’s illegal prosecution of the Hammonds, whose crime was their refusal to sell their ranch to the government to be included in the Masher National Wildlife Refuge.

If there are only 15 militiamen, there is a good chance that they will all be killed, but if there are 150 armed militiamen prepared for a shootout, the outcome could be different.

I cannot attest to the accuracy of this report of the situation:

https://www.superstation95.com/index.php/world/723

The resources required to verify the information in this account of how the government escalated a “crisis” out of the refusal of a family to bend is beyond the resources of this website. However, the story fits perfectly with everything Lawrence Stratton and I learned over the years that we prepared our book on how the law was lost. This account of the persecution of the Hammonds is the way government behaves when government has broken free of the rule of law.

I can attest with full confidence that the United States no longer has a rule of law. The USA is a lawless country. By that I do not mean what conservative Republicans mean, which is, if I understand them, that racial minorities violate law with something close to impunity.

What I mean is that only the mega-banks and the One Percent have legal protection, and that is because these people control the government. For everyone else law is a weapon in the hands of the government to be used against the American people.

The fact that the shield of law no longer exists for American citizens is why, according to US Department of Justice statistics, only 4 percent of federal felonies ever go to trial. Almost the entirety of federal felonies are settled by coerced plea bargains that force defendants to admit to crimes that they did not commit in order to avoid “expanded indictments” that, if presented to the typical stupid, trusting, gullible American “jury of their peers,” would lock them away for hundreds of years.

American justice is a joke. It does not exist. You can see this in the American prison population. “Freedom and Democracy” America not only has the largest percentage of its population in prison than any country on the planet, but also the largest number of prisoners.

If you consider that “authoritarian” China has four times the population of the United States but fewer prisoners, you understand that “authoritarian” China has a more protective rule of law than the United States.

Compared to “freedom and democracy America,” Russia has hardly anyone in prison. Yet, Washington and its media whores have defined the President of Russia as “the new Hitler.”

The only thing we can conclude from the facts is that the United States Government and those ignorant fools who worship it are evil incarnate.

Out of evil comes dictatorship. The White House Fool, at best a two-bit punk, has decided that he doesn’t like the Second Amendment to the US Constitution any more than he likes any of the other constitutional protections of US citizens. He is looking for dictatorial methods, that is, unlegislated executive orders, to overturn the Second Amendment. He has the corrupt US Department of Justice, a criminal organization, looking for ways for the dictator to overturn both Congressional legislation and Supreme Court rulings.

The media whores have fallen in line with the would-be dictator. All we hear is “gun violence.” If only Karl Marx were still with us. He would ridicule those who turn inanimate objects into purposeful actors. It is extraordinary that the American left-wing thinks that guns, not people, kill people.

The position of the “progressive left-wing” in the United States is perplexing. Here are Americans, immersed into a police state, as are the Hammonds, and the progressive left-wing wants to disarm the population.

Whatever this “progressive left-wing opposition” is, it has nothing in common with revolutionaries. The American left-wing is totally irrevelant, a defeated force that sold out and no longer represents the people or the truth.

Even more astonishing, judging by comments on RT’s report on the situation and the readers comments, all RT and American blacks want to know is where is the National Guard in Oregon? Why isn’t it called out against the White militia protests as it was called out against the Black Ferguson protests?

https://www.rt.com/usa/327809-bundy-militia-oregon-reaction/ 

If protesting the murder of a young black American by Ferguson police is not legitimate and the protesters are “terrorists,” why aren’t the Oregon protestors terrorists for trying to protect jailbirds from their “lawful sentence”? This is the wrong question.

It really is discouraging that the American black community is unable to understand that if any American can be dispossessed, all Americans can be dispossessed.

It is also discouraging that RT decided to play the race card instead of comprehending that law is no longer a shield of the American people but is a weapon in the hands of Washington.

Why doesn’t RT at least listen to the President of Russia, who states repeatedly that America and the West are lawless.

Putin is correct. America and its vassals are lawless. No one is safe from the government.


2016-01-05

By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

Secret History: The U.S. Supported And Inspired The Nazis

Unless We Learn Our History, We’re Doomed to Repeat It

Preface:  I am a patriotic American who loves  my country. I was born here, and lived here my entire life.

So why do I frequently point out America’s warts?  Because – as the Founding Fathers and Supreme Court judges have explained – we can only make America better if we honestly examine her shortcomings.  After all:

“Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.”

Only when Americans can honestly look at our weaknesses can we become stronger. If we fail to do so, history will repeat …

While Americans rightly condemn the Nazis as monstrous people, we don’t know that America played both sides … both fighting and supporting the Nazis.

Americans also aren’t aware that the Nazis were – in part – inspired by anti-Semites in America.

Backing Nazis

Large American banks – and George W. Bush’s grandfather – financed the Nazis.

American manufacturing companies were big supporters of the Nazis.   here are 6 historical examples …

(1) IBM.  CNET reports:

IBM has responded to questions about its relationship with the Nazis largely by characterizing the information as old news.

“The fact that Hollerith equipment manufactured by (IBM’s German unit) Dehomag was used by the Nazi administration has long been known and is not new information,” IBM representative Carol Makovich wrote in an e-mail interview. “This information was published in 1997 in the IEEE Annals of the History of Computing and in 1998 in Washington Jewish Week.”

***

IBM also defended Chairman Thomas Watson for his dealings with Hitler and his regime.

***

On September 13, 1939, The New York Times reports on Page 1 that 3 million Jews are going to be “immediately removed” from Poland, and they appear to be candidates for “physical extermination.” On September 9, the German managers of IBM Berlin send a letter to Thomas Watson with copy to staff in Geneva via phone that, due to the “situation,” they need high-speed alphabetizing equipment. IBM wanted no paper trail, so an oral agreement was made, passed from New York to Geneva to Berlin, and those alphabetizers were approved by Watson, personally, before the end of the month.

That month he also approved the opening of a new Europe-wide school for Hollerith technicians in Berlin. And at the same time he authorized a new German-based subsidiary in occupied Poland, with a printing plant across the street from the Warsaw Ghetto at 6 Rymarska Street. It produced some 15 million punch cards at that location, the major client of which was the railroad.

We have a similar example involving Romania in 1941, and The Sunday Times has actually placed the IBM documents up on their Web site…. When Nazi Germany went into France, IBM built two new factories to supply the Nazi war machine. This is the 1941-’42 era, in Vichy, France, which was technically neutral. When Germany invaded Holland in May 1940, IBM rushed a brand-new subsidiary into occupied Holland. And it even sent 132 million punch cards in 1941, mainly from New York, to support the Nazi activity there. Holland had the highest rate of Jewish extermination in all of Europe; 72 percent of Jews were killed in Holland, compared to 24 percent in France, where the machines did not operate successfully.

***

When Hitler came to power in 1933, his desire to destroy European Jewry was so ambitious an enterprise, it required the resources of a computer. But in 1933 no computer existed. What did exist was the Hollerith punch-card system. It was invented by a German-American in Buffalo, New York, for the Census Bureau. This punch-card system could store all the information about individuals, places, products, inventories, schedules, in the holes that were punched or not punched in columns and rows.

The Hollerith system reduced everything to number code. Over time, the IBM alphabetizers could convert this code to alphabetical information. IBM made constant improvements for their Nazi clients.

***

Our entry was of course precipitated by the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7. Shortly before that, with sudden new trading-with-the-enemy regulations in force–this is October 1941–Watson issued a cable to all IBM’s European subsidiaries, saying in effect: “Don’t tell us what you’re doing and don’t ask us any questions.” He didn’t say, “Don’t send machines into concentration camps.” He didn’t say, “Stop organizing the military forces of Nazi Germany.” He didn’t say, “Don’t undertake anything to harm innocent civilians.”

***

He then bifurcated the management of IBM Europe–one manager in Geneva, named Werner Lier, and the other one in New York, in his office, named J.L. Schotte. So all communications went from Switzerland to New York. Ultimately there was a Hollerith Department called Hollerith Abteilung–German for department–in almost every concentration camp. Remember, the original Auschwitz tattoo was an IBM number.

***

IBM put the blitz in blitzkrieg. The whole war effort was organized on Hollerith machines from 1933 to 1945. This is when information technology comes to warfare. At the same time, IBM was supporting the entire German war machine directly from New York until the fall of 1941 ….

***

IBM did more than just sell equipment. Watson and IBM controlled the unique technical magic of Hollerith machines. They controlled the monopoly on the cards and the technology. And they were the ones that had to custom-design even the paper forms and punch cards–they were custom-designed for each specific purpose. That included everything form counting Jews to confiscating bank accounts, to coordinating trains going into death camps, to the extermination by labor campaign.

That’s why even the paper forms in the prisoner camps had Hollerith notations and numbered fields checked. They were all punched in. For example, IBM had to agree with their Nazi counterparts that Code 6 in the concentration camps was extermination. Code 1 was released, Code 2 was transferred, Code 3 was natural death, Code 4 was formal execution, Code 5 was suicide. Code 7 was escape. Code 6 was extermination.

All of the money and all the machines from all these operations was claimed by IBM as legitimate business after the war. The company used its connections with the State Department and the Pentagon to recover all the machines and all the bank accounts. They never said, “We do not want this blood money.” They wanted it all.

(2) Standard Oil.   The Nazi air force – the Luftwaffe – needed tetraethyl lead gas in order to get their planes off the ground. Standard Oil sold tetraethyl to the Nazis.

After WWII began, the English became angry about U.S. shipments of strategic materials to Nazi Germany. So Standard changed the registration of their entire fleet to Panamanian to avoid British search or seizure. These ships continued to carry oil to the Nazis.

(3) Ford.  Ford made cars for the Nazis.  Wikipedia notes:

Ford continued to do business with Nazi Germany, including the manufacture of war materiel.  Beginning in 1940, with the requisitioning of between 100 and 200 French POWs to work as slave laborers, Ford-Werke contravened Article 31 of the 1929 Geneva Convention.  At that time, which was before the U.S. entered the War and still had full diplomatic relations with Nazi Germany, Ford-Werke was under the control of the Ford Motor Company. The number of slave laborers grew as the war expanded ….

(And see discussion under GM, below.)

Wikipedia also points out that Henry Ford was one of the world’s biggest anti-Semites … inspiring Hitler, Himmler and other high-level Nazis:

In Germany, Ford’s anti-Semitic articles from The Dearborn Independent were issued in four volumes, cumulatively titled The International Jew, the World’s Foremost Problem published by Theodor Fritsch, founder of several anti-Semitic parties and a member of the Reichstag. In a letter written in 1924, Heinrich Himmler described Ford as “one of our most valuable, important, and witty fighters.” Ford is the only American mentioned in Mein Kampf.  Adolf Hitler wrote, “only a single great man, Ford, [who], to [the Jews’] fury, still maintains full independence…[from] the controlling masters of the producers in a nation of one hundred and twenty millions.” Speaking in 1931 to a Detroit News reporter, Hitler said he regarded Ford as his “inspiration,” explaining his reason for keeping Ford’s life-size portrait next to his desk. Steven Watts wrote that Hitler “revered” Ford, proclaiming that “I shall do my best to put his theories into practice in Germany,” and modeling the Volkswagen, the people’s car, on the Model T.
Grand Cross of the German Eagle, an award bestowed on Ford by Nazi Germany

***

James D. Mooney, vice-president of overseas operations for General Motors, received a similar medal, the Merit Cross of the German Eagle, First Class.

***

Testifying at Nuremberg, convicted Hitler Youth leader Baldur von Schirach who, in his role as military governor of Vienna deported 65,000 Jews to camps in Poland, stated,

The decisive anti-Semitic book I was reading and the book that influenced my comrades was … that book by Henry Ford, “The International Jew.” I read it and became anti-Semitic. The book made a great influence on myself and my friends because we saw in Henry Ford the representative of success and also the representative of a progressive social policy.

(4) GM.  The Washington Post reports:

“General Motors was far more important to the Nazi war machine than Switzerland,” said Bradford Snell, who has spent two decades researching a history of the world’s largest automaker. “Switzerland was just a repository of looted funds. GM was an integral part of the German war effort. The Nazis could have invaded Poland and Russia without Switzerland. They could not have done so without GM.”

Both General Motors and Ford insist that they bear little or no responsibility for the operations of their German subsidiaries, which controlled 70 percent of the German car market at the outbreak of war in 1939 and rapidly retooled themselves to become suppliers of war materiel to the German army.

But documents discovered in German and American archives show a much more complicated picture. In certain instances, American managers of both GM and Ford went along with the conversion of their German plants to military production at a time when U.S. government documents show they were still resisting calls by the Roosevelt administration to step up military production in their plants at home.

***

When American GIs invaded Europe in June 1944, they did so in jeeps, trucks and tanks manufactured by the Big Three motor companies in one of the largest crash militarization programs ever undertaken. It came as an unpleasant surprise to discover that the enemy was also driving trucks manufactured by Ford and Opel — a 100 percent GM-owned subsidiary — and flying Opel-built warplanes ….

***

The relationship of Ford and GM to the Nazi regime goes back to the 1920s and 1930s, when the American car companies competed against each other for access to the lucrative German market.

***

In 1935, GM agreed to build a new plant near Berlin to produce the aptly named “Blitz” truck, which would later be used by the German army for its blitzkreig attacks on Poland, France and the Soviet Union. German Ford was the second-largest producer of trucks for the German army after GM/Opel, according to U.S. Army reports.

The importance of the American automakers went beyond making trucks for the German army. The Schneider report, now available to researchers at the National Archives, states that American Ford agreed to a complicated barter deal that gave the Reich increased access to large quantities of strategic raw materials, notably rubber. Author Snell says that Nazi armaments chief Albert Speer told him in 1977 that Hitler “would never have considered invading Poland” without synthetic fuel technology provided by General Motors.

As war approached, it became increasingly difficult for U.S. corporations like GM and Ford to operate in Germany without cooperating closely with the Nazi rearmament effort. Under intense pressure from Berlin, both companies took pains to make their subsidiaries appear as “German” as possible. In April 1939, for example, German Ford made a personal present to Hitler of 35,000 Reichsmarks in honor of his 50th birthday, according to a captured Nazi document.

Documents show that the parent companies followed a conscious strategy of continuing to do business with the Nazi regime, rather than divest themselves of their German assets. Less than three weeks after the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia in March 1939, GM Chairman Alfred P. Sloan defended this strategy as sound business practice, given the fact that the company’s German operations were “highly profitable.”

***

After the outbreak of war in September 1939, General Motors and Ford became crucial to the German military, according to contemporaneous German documents and postwar investigations by the U.S. Army. James Mooney, the GM director in charge of overseas operations, had discussions with Hitler in Berlin two weeks after the German invasion of Poland.

Typewritten notes by Mooney show that he was involved in the partial conversion of the principal GM automobile plant at Russelsheim to production of engines and other parts for the Junker “Wunderbomber,” a key weapon in the German air force, under a government-brokered contract between Opel and the Junker airplane company. Mooney’s notes show that he returned to Germany the following February for further discussions with Luftwaffe commander Hermann Goering and a personal inspection of the Russelsheim plant.

Mooney’s involvement in the conversion of the Russelsheim plant undermines claims by General Motors that the American branch of the company had nothing to do with the Nazi rearmament effort.

***

At GM and Ford plants in Germany, reliance on forced labor [from concentration camp inmates]increased.

***

In a court submission, American Ford acknowledges that Iwanowa and others were “forced to endure a sad and terrible experience” at its Cologne plant ….

Ford has backed away from its initial claim that it did not profit in any way from forced labor at its Cologne plant.

***

Mel Weiss, an American attorney for Iwanowa, argues that American Ford received “indirect” profits from forced labor at its Cologne plant because of the overall increase in the value of German operations during the war. He notes that Ford was eager to demand compensation from the U.S. government after the war for “losses” due to bomb damage to its German plants and therefore should also be responsible for any benefits derived from forced labor.

Similar arguments apply to General Motors, which was paid $32 million by the U.S. government for damages sustained to its German plants.

(5)  Kodak. During World War Two, Kodak’s German branch also used slave laborers from concentration camps. Several of their other European branches did heavy business with the Nazi government.

And Wilhelm Keppler – one of Hitler’s top economic advisers – had deep ties in Kodak. When Nazism began, Keppler advised Kodak and several other U.S. companies that they’d benefit by firing all of their Jewish employees.

(6) Coca Cola. Coke made soda for the Nazis.  Fanta was specifically invented for Nazi-era Germans.

Leading American financiers Rockefeller, Carnegie and Harriman also funded Nazi eugenics programs.

And the U.S. government actively backed the Nazis in Ukraine 70 years ago.

Inspired By America

As noted above, Hitler and his top henchmen were inspired by Henry Ford’s writings.

The American author Lothrop Stoddard was the source of the concept of “under-man (sub-human)” adopted by the Nazis in regards to Jews and communists.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the idea of killing Jews, communists and gypsies in gas chambers originated in the U.S.not Germany.

And Nazis were also apparently inspired by America’s treatment of Native Americans.   Specifically, retired Major in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General Corps, Todd E. Pierce – who researched and reviewed the complete records of military commissions held during the Civil War and stored at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. as part of his assignment in the Office of Chief Defense Counsel, Office of Military Commissions – notes:

Stories of the American conquest of Native Americans with its solution of placing them on reservations were particularly popular in Germany early in the Twentieth Century including with Adolf Hitler.

Finally, the Nazis copied American propaganda techniques.

Postscript: After WWII, America imported and protected many high-level Nazi scientists and spies, and put them into prominent positions within the U.S.

And many allege that we’re supporting neo-Nazis in Ukraine.


2014-03-27

Original source of the article:

US Imperialism Wages Permanent Warfare To Prevent Its Inevitable Collapse

The US has always been a warfare state. However, the character of US imperialist warfare has changed dramatically. For over two centuries, the US regime’s purpose for war, whether on indigenous peoples, Black people, or nations all over the world, was to expand the productive forces of capitalist exploitation. War preceded the vast profits accumulated from chattel slavery, land grab, and resource extraction in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The foundation of white supremacy and capitalism allowed the US regime to consolidate its expansion despite episodes of periodic crisis. Recent events, alongside a steady fall in the rate of capitalist profit, indicate that US imperialist warfare no longer produces the dominance the system seeks. Now more than ever, US imperialism wages war to prevent its inevitable collapse.

US imperialism is in a state of retraction all over the globe. Cuba’s recent victory in negotiating itself off the so-called “terrorist” list is case and point. For almost six decades, Cuba’s revolution has been a beacon of hope in the midst of the misery imposed by US imperialism in Latin America. Cuba’s continued refusal to give up Assata Shakur and its socialist system, complete with free healthcare, education, and housing, has kept the island nation an enemy of the US state. Yet, beginning in December 2014, Cuba has negotiated the freedom of the Cuban 5 and struck a deal for more fraternal relations with Washington. These major victories for the Cuban revolution have setback US imperialism’s age old plan to institute a neo-colonial government. Although Cuba will always face attacks from US imperialism as long as it exists, such diplomatic victories bring much needed security in a period of hostility.

Cuba’s major gains in the diplomatic arena are emblematic of US imperialism’s decline in Latin America generally. Cuba and Venezuela’s leadership have spearheaded a movement to build an independent and integrated Latin America, especially through the institutions of UNASUR and ALBA. What once was US imperialism’s primary sphere of influence is no longer. To counter the revolt against neo-liberalism in Latin America, US imperialism has continued to pursue the overthrow of Venezuela, Ecuador, and other non-aligned nations, while expanding its military reach in Africa and Asia.  In 2014, the US conducted 674 military operations throughout Africa and helped coordinate the destruction of socialist Libya in 2011. Furthermore, Washington has pursued a policy of destabilization alongside its Israeli and GCC allies, sponsoring terrorists in Syria while conducting a fraudulent war against ISIS in Iraq.

These developments are indicative of a geopolitical shift away from US hegemony. Even as US multinationals and financial banks flood the world with parasitic “markets that suck workers and nations dry, the crisis of imperialism has spurred the development of a multi-polar order. China and Russia’s increased relations along with the formation of the Asia Infrastructure Bank and BRICS have struck fear in the eyes of the shrinking US imperial economy. The War on Terror gave a facelift to US imperialism’s war of containment and plunder under these conditions. In the process, US imperialism has murdered millions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Somalia, and has militarized the borders of Russia and China borders in an effort to forestall the emergence of a global consensus on independent development.

Iran is seen by US imperialism as a major player in the development of a multi-polar world. US imperialism’s murderous military ventures seek to isolate and eventually overthrow Iran. In fact, NATO general Wesley Clark made this explicitly clear to Democracy Now’s audience in 2007 when he stated that Washington’s imperial design for the Middle East had Iran as its target. But Iran walked away from negotiations with the US and its allies with its sovereignty intact and S-300 missile systems from Russia as added defense. It appears that US led sanctions on the Islamic Republic and its proxy war in Syria and the region has, for the time being, failed to grant imperialism its ultimate wish of Iran’s demise. And with Russia’s agreement to distribute S-300′s to the Islamic Republic, the potential military intervention to achieve said wish is significantly reduced.

Just as Ed Snowden’s revelations didn’t stop the FBI from continuing to create the so-called terrorist attacks in the US as justification for a massive surveillance state, so too does US imperialism continue its worldwide march to war despite the geopolitical shift against it. Not long after Iran agreed to the nuclear deal put forth by imperialism, Washington sent two warships to Yemen to supposedly intercept ”Iranian weapons shipments.” This is hardly representative of a move to ease relations. The reality is that US imperialism’s primary motivation for war is to secure the resources and labor necessary to accumulate Wall Street profits. However, in the case of Iran, Washington’s maneuvers represent a calculated choice to neglect the economic benefits that could come from trade with the oil-rich nation in favor of slowing independent development in the region, all at the behest of its Zionist and Gulf allies.

US imperialism is experiencing a permanent crisis. War is the system’s primary defense mechanism to fend off collapse. But such violent vulnerability will not produce a revolutionary and transformative situation on its own. For this to occur, the movement against racism, state sponsored-murder, and the heightened exploitation of the oppressed in the US must build a relationship of solidarity to the victims of US war all over the world. Serious political actors are tasked with bringing this about in the midst of an upsurge in fascism and a serious decline in principled anti-war politics in the US political landscape. However, the question of international solidarity cannot be avoided. In it holds a large piece to the puzzle of worldwide emancipation from imperialism.


About the author:

Danny Haiphong is an organizer for Fight Imperialism Stand Together (FIST) in Boston. He is also a regular contributor to Black Agenda Report. Danny can be reached at wakeupriseup1990@gmail.com and FIST can be reached at bostonfist@gmail.com

2015-05-01

Original source of the article:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-imperialism-wages-permanent-warfare-to-prevent-its-inevitable-collapse/5446533

The Relationship Between Washington And ISIS: The Evidence

Reports that US and British aircraft carrying arms to ISIS have been shot down by Iraqi forces have been met with shock and denial in western countries. Few in the Middle East doubt that Washington is playing a ‘double game’ with its proxy armies in Syria, but some key myths remain important amongst the significantly more ignorant western audiences.

A central myth is that Washington now arms ‘moderate Syrian rebels’, to both overthrow the Syrian Government and supposedly defeat the ‘extremist rebels’. This claim became more important in 2014, when the rationale of US aggression against Syria shifted from ‘humanitarian intervention’ to a renewal of Bush’s ‘war on terror’.

A distinct controversy is whether the al Qaeda styled groups (especially Jabhat al Nusra and ISIS) have been generated as a sort of organic reaction to the repeated US interventions, or whether they are actually paid agents of Washington.

Certainly, prominent ISIS leaders were held in US prisons. ISIS leader, Ibrahim al-Badri (aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi) is said to have been held for between one and two years at Camp Bucca in Iraq. In 2006, as al-Baghdadi and others were released, the Bush administration announced its plan for a ‘New Middle East’, a plan which would employ sectarian violence as part of a process of ‘creative destruction’ in the region.

According to Seymour Hersh’s 2007 article, ‘The Redirection’, the US would make use of ‘moderate Sunni states’, not least the Saudis, to ‘contain’ the Shia gains in Iraq brought about by the 2003 US invasion. These ‘moderate Sunni’ forces would carry out clandestine operations to weaken Iran and Hezbollah, key enemies of Israel. This brought the Saudis and Israel closer, as both fear Iran.

While there have been claims that the ISIS ‘caliph’ al-Baghdadi is a CIA or Mossad trained agent, these have not yet been well backed up. There are certainly grounds for suspicion, but independent evidence is important, in the context of a supposed US ‘war’ against ISIS . So what is the broader evidence on Washington’s covert links with ISIS?

Not least are the admissions by senior US officials that key allies support the extremist group. In September 2014 General Martin Dempsey, head of the US military, told a Congressional hearing ‘I know major Arab allies who fund [ ISIS ]‘. Senator Lindsey Graham, of Armed Services Committee, responded with a justification, ‘They fund them because the Free Syrian Army couldn’t fight [Syrian President] Assad, they were trying to beat Assad’.

The next month, US Vice President Joe Biden went a step further, explaining that Turkey, Qatar, the UAE and Saudi Arabia ‘were so determined to take down Assad … they poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens, thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad … [including] al Nusra and al Qaeda and extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world … [and then] this outfit called ISIL’. Biden’s admissions sought to exempt the US from this operation, as though Washington were innocent of sustained operations carried out by its key allies. That is simply not credible.

Washington’s relationship with the Saudis, as a divisive sectarian force in the region, in particular against Arab nationalism, goes back to the 1950s, when Winston Churchill introduced the Saudi King to President Eisenhower. At that time Washington wanted to set up the Saudi King as a rival to President Nasser of Egypt. More recently, British General Jonathan Shaw has acknowledged the contribution of Saudi Arabia’s extremist ideology: ‘This is a time bomb that, under the guise of education. Wahhabi Salafism is igniting under the world really. And it is funded by Saudi and Qatari money’, Shaw said.

Other evidence undermines western attempts to maintain a distinction between the ‘moderate rebels’, now openly armed and trained by the US, and the extremist groups Jabhat al Nusra and ISIS. While there has indeed been some rivalry (emphasised by the London-based, Muslim Brotherhood-aligned, Syrian Observatory of Human Rights), the absence of real ideological difference is best shown by the cooperation and mergers of groups.

As ISIS came from Iraq in 2013, its Syrian bases have generally remained in the far eastern part of Syria. However Jabhat al Nusra (the official al Qaeda branch in Syria, from which ISIS split) has collaborated with Syrian Islamist groups in western Syria for several years. The genocidal slogan of the Syrian Islamists, ‘Christians to Beirut and Alawis to the Grave’, reported many times in 2011 from the Farouk Brigade, sat well with the al Qaeda groups. Farouk (once the largest ‘Free Syrian Army’ group) indeed killed and ethnically cleansed many Christians and Alawis.

Long term cooperation between these ‘moderate rebels’ and the foreign-led Jabhat al-Nusra has been seen around Daraa in the south, in Homs-Idlib, along the Turkish border and in and around Aleppo. The words Jabhat al Nusra actually mean ‘support front’, that is, support for the Syrian Islamists. Back in December 2012, as Jabhat al Nusra was banned in various countries, 29 of these groups reciprocated the solidarity in their declaration: ‘We are all Jabhat al-Nusra’.

After the collapse of the ‘Free Syrian Army’ groups, cooperation between al Nusra and the newer US and Saudi backed groups (Dawud, the Islamic Front, the Syrian Revolutionary Front and Harakat Hazm) helped draw attention to Israel’s support for al Nusra, around the occupied Golan Heights. Since 2013 there have been many reports of ‘rebel’ fighters, including those from al Nusra, being treated in Israeli hospitals. Prime Minister Netanyahu even publicised his visit to wounded ‘rebels’ in early 2014. That led to a public ‘thank you’ from a Turkey-based ‘rebel’ leader, Mohammed Badie (February 2014).

The UN peacekeeping force based in the occupied Golan has reported its observations of Israel’s Defence Forces ‘interacting with’ al Nusra fighters at the border. At the same time, Israeli arms have been found with the extremist groups, in both Syria and Iraq. In November 2014 members of the Druze minority in the Golan protested against Israel’s hospital support for al Nusra and ISIS fighters. This in turn led to questions by the Israeli media, as to whether ‘ Israel does, in fact, hospitalize members of al-Nusra and Daesh [ISIS]‘. A military spokesman’s reply was hardly a denial: ‘In the past two years the Israel Defence Forces have been engaged in humanitarian, life-saving aid to wounded Syrians, irrespective of their identity.’

The artificial distinction between ‘rebel’ and ‘extremist’ groups is mocked by multiple reports of large scale defections and transfer of weapons. In July 2014 one thousand armed men in the Dawud Brigade defected to ISIS in Raqqa. In November defections to Jabhat al Nusra from the Syrian Revolutionary Front were reported. In December, Adib Al-Shishakli, representative at the Gulf Cooperation Council of the exile ‘ Syrian National Coalition’, said ‘opposition fighters’ were ‘increasingly joining’ ISIS ‘for financial reasons’. In that same month, ‘rebels’ in the Israel-backed Golan area were reported as defecting to ISIS, which had by this time began to establish a presence in Syria’s far south. Then, in early 2015, three thousand ‘moderate rebels’ from the US-backed ‘Harakat Hazzm’ collapsed into Jabhat al Nusra, taking a large stock of US arms including anti-tank weapons with them.

ISIS already had US weapons by other means, in both Iraq and Syria , as reported in July, September and October 2014. At that time a ‘non aggression pact’ was reported in the southern area of Hajar al-Aswad between ‘moderate rebels’ and ISIS, as both recognised a common enemy in Syria: ‘the Nussayri regime’, a sectarian way of referring to supposedly apostate Muslims. Some reported ISIS had bought weapons from the ‘rebels’.

In December 2014 there were western media reports of the US covert supply of heavy weapons to ‘Syrian rebels’ from Libya, and of Jabhat al-Nusra getting anti-tank weapons which had been supplied to Harakat Hazm. Video posted by al-Nusra showed these weapons being used to take over the Syrian military bases, Wadi Deif and Hamidiyeh, in Idlib province.

With ‘major Arab allies’ backing ISIS and substantial collaboration between US-armed ‘moderate rebels’ and ISIS, it is not such a logical stretch to suppose that the US and ‘coalition’ flights to ISIS areas (supposedly to ‘degrade’ the extremists) might have become covert supply lines. That is precisely what senior Iraqi sources began saying, in late 2014 and early 2015.

For example, as reported by both Iraqi and Iranian media, Iraqi MP Majid al-Ghraoui said in January that ‘an American aircraft dropped a load of weapons and equipment to the ISIS group militants at the area of al-Dour in the province of Salahuddin’. Photos were published of ISIS retrieving the weapons. The US admitted the seizure but said this was a ‘mistake’. In February Iraqi MP Hakem al-Zameli said the Iraqi army had shot down two British planes which were carrying weapons to ISIS in al-Anbar province. Again, photos were published of the wrecked planes. ‘We have discovered weapons made in the US , European countries and Israel from the areas liberated from ISIL’s control in Al-Baqdadi region’, al-Zameli said.

The Al-Ahad news website quoted Head of Al-Anbar Provincial Council Khalaf Tarmouz saying that a US plane supplied the ISIL terrorist organization with arms and ammunition in Salahuddin province. Also in February an Iraqi militia called Al-Hashad Al-Shabi said they had shot down a US Army helicopter carrying weapons for the ISIL in the western parts of Al-Baqdadi region in Al-Anbar province. Again, photos were published. After that, Iraqi counter-terrorism forces were reported as having arrested ‘four foreigners who were employed as military advisors to the ISIL fighters’, three of whom were American and Israeli. So far the western media has avoided these stories altogether; they are very damaging to the broader western narrative.

In Libya, a key US collaborator in the overthrow of the Gaddafi government has announced himself the newly declared head of the ‘Islamic State’ in North Africa. Abdel Hakim Belhaj was held in US prisons for several years, then ‘rendered’ to Gaddafi’s Libya, where he was wanted for terrorist acts. As former head of the al-Qaeda-linked Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, then the Tripoli-based ‘Libyan Dawn’ group, Belhaj has been defended by Washington and praised by US Congressmen John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

Some image softening of the al Qaeda groups is underway. Jabhat al-Nusra is reported to be considering cutting ties to al Qaeda, to help sponsor Qatar boost their funding. Washington’s Foreign Affairs magazine even published a survey claiming that ISIS fighters were ‘surprisingly supportive of democracy’. After all the well published massacres that lacks credibility.

The Syrian Army is gradually reclaiming Aleppo, despite the hostile supply lines from Turkey, and southern Syria, in face of support for the sectarian groups from Jordan and Israel. The border with Lebanon is largely under Syrian Army and Hezbollah control. In the east, the Syrian Army and its local allies control most of Hasaka and Deir e-Zour, with a final campaign against Raqqa yet to come. The NATO-GCC attempt to overthrow the Syrian Government has failed.

Yet violent destabilisation persists. Evidence of the covert relationship between Washington and ISIS is substantial and helps explain what Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Fayssal Mikdad calls Washington’s ‘cosmetic war’ on ISIS. The extremist group is a foothold Washington keeps in the region, weakening both Syria and Iraq . Their ‘war’ on ISIS is ineffective. Studies by Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgent database show that ISIS attacks and killings in Iraq increased strongly after US air attacks began. The main on the ground fighting has been carried out by the Syrian Army and, more recently, the Iraqi armed forces with Iranian backing.

All this has been reported perversely in the western media. The same channels that celebrate the ISIS killing of Syrian soldiers also claim the Syrian Army is ‘not fighting ISIS’. This alleged ‘unwillingness’ was part of the justification for US bombing inside Syria. While it is certainly the case that Syrian priorities have remained in the heavily populated west, local media reports make it clear that, since at least the beginning of 2014, the Syrian Arab Army has been the major force engaged with ISIS in Hasaka, Raqqa and Deir eZour. A March 2015 Reuters report does concede that the Syrian Army recently killed two ISIS commanders (including Deeb Hedjian al-Otaibi) along with 24 fighters, at Hamadi Omar.

Closer cooperation between Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon’s Hezbollah is anathema to Israel, the Saudis and Washington, yet it is happening. This is not a sectarian divide but rather based on some clear mutual interests, not least putting an end to sectarian (takfiri) terrorism.

It was only logical that, in the Iraqi military’s recent offensive on ISIS-held Tikrit, the Iranian military emerged as Iraq’s main partner. Washington has been sidelined, causing consternation in the US media. General Qasem Suleimani, head of Iran’s Quds Force is a leading player in the Tikrit operation.  A decade after Washington’s ‘creative destruction’ plans, designed to reduce Iranian influence in Iraq, an article in Foreign Policy magazine complains that Iran’s influence is ‘at its highest point in almost four centuries’.

Select references

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya (2006) Plans for Redrawing the Middle East: The Project for a ‘New Middle East’

http://www.globalresearch.ca/plans-for-redrawing-the-middle-east-the-project-for-a-new-middle-east/3882

Seymour Hersh (2007) The Redirection

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2007/03/05/the-redirection

Al Akhbar (2011) Syria: What Kind of Revolution?

http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/540

The New Yorker (2013) Syrian Opposition Groups Stop Pretending

http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/syrian-opposition-groups-stop-pretending

RT (2014) Anyone but US! Biden blames allies for ISIS rise

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11l8nLZNPSY

Iraqi News (2015) American aircraft dropped weapons to ISIS, says MP

http://www.iraqinews.com/iraq-war/american-aircraft-airdropped-weapons-to-isis-says-mp/

Washington Post (2015) Syrian rebel group that got U.S. aid dissolves

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/syrian-fighter-group-that-got-us-missiles-dissolves-after-major-defeat/2015/03/01/286fa934-c048-11e4-a188-8e4971d37a8d_story.html

David Kenner (2015) For God and Country, and Iran, Foreign Policy

http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/03/05/for-god-and-country-and-iran/

Reuters (2015) Syrian air strike kills two Islamic State commanders

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/07/us-mideast-crisis-syria-islamicstate-idUSKBN0M30F720150307


Prof. Tim Anderson

2015-03-08

Original source of the article:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-relationship-between-washington-and-isis-the-evidence/5435405

The Middle East On The Waves Of Chaos

For some time the criminal activities of the terrorist organization “Islamic State” (ISIS) seemed to have faded into the shadows. It seemed that this organization in the near future will be broken tie with due to the “heroic” American bombing. However, the ISIS like a fabulous hydra, who immediately has a new head grown in place of a severed one, revived and made further impressive gains.

The capture of ancient Palmyra in Syria and the important city Ramadi, the main city of the Sunni province Anbar, located by the way just 100 kilometres far from Baghdad, made the world’s media and politicians speak again about the power and strength of the terrorists, which have already announced the creation of a new caliphate. Analysts give their forecasts for the near future of this region, for the plans of not only the Syrian and Iraqi leadership, but above all of Washington, whose activities in the fight against terrorism have faded and are gradually eroding to nothing.

Many people believe that this is not surprising, since the ISIS came out of the womb of Al Qaeda terrorist group, created and fostered back in the day by the United States with the help of the Saudis. And now the terrorists of the “Islamic State” are bringing chaos, tyranny, and murder in the ancient land of Mesopotamia, in accordance with the plans of the administration of Barack Obama to establish a stranglehold on the entire Middle East region and cement its dominant influence here.

And in this case for Washington, like it or not, the “Islamic State” is the most suitable to advance its plans, although it seems to be carrying out only its own plans. Who is the ISIS, what are its plans and its tacit alliance with the United States? – The ideology of the ISIS is known to be formed by Salafists, who have set themselves a number of tasks. The closest is the consolidation of already occupied territories and the seizure of the remaining lands of Syria and Iraq. In the medium term its objective is to establish its power in full in Syria and Iraq and in neighbouring countries inhabited by Sunni Muslims. It is possible that in the near future the ISIS is planning to expand into Saudi Arabia and Jordan. The long term objective for the “Islamic State” is a domination in the entire region of the Arab East. As we can see, in the face of the ISIS Washington has a good, hefty cudgel, with which it threatens not only its enemies, but its friends.

Over the whole territory controlled by the ISIS, sharia courts enforce segregation by gender, and women are obliged to wear the veil. Religious police patrols the streets, enforcing the observance of sharia law by Muslims. Alcohol, tobacco, and drugs are strictly prohibited. All this is well-suited to countries of the Persian Gulf, such as Saudi Arabia, which is the closest US ally in the region. This was once again confirmed at the recently concluded Arab-American summit at Camp David. Then none other than the US President solemnly pledged to guarantee the security of the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf, and as a first gesture – to place on their territory a US missile defence system.

According to the CIA Director John O. Brennan, the ISIS is well armed and well funded. The core of the “Islamic State” army is manned by disciplined, well-trained and battle-hardened fighters. Battle groups are covertly penetrating everywhere. The ISIS is a real threat not only to Syria and Iraq, but also to remote regions of the Middle East. The ISIS paramilitary groups, according to military experts, have over 200 thousand bayonets. This includes combat brigades, Ansar support groups, Hisbah security forces, police forces, and militias (militiamen, local self-defence units: Mukhabarat, Assas, Amniyat, Ain al-Khas, etc.), recruits undergoing military training in boot camps, and up to 22 thousand foreign fighters of almost 100 nationalities.

Now, as estimated by the world’s media, about 40% of the territory of Syria with a population of over 2.2 million people is under the reign of the ISIS. In Iraq, the ISIS controls up to 25% of the country territory, almost all the areas where most Sunnis live, more than 4.6 million people. Let us recall that on May 17 Islamists managed to capture Ramadi city, and thus, Baghdad is again in danger like in the summer of 2014. Now Ramadi continues to strengthen with militants, Islamists are mining roads and buildings. According to the UN, Anbar province has some 40 thousand people left, refugees are mainly leaving for Baghdad. But there is unrest in the capital itself, where “Islamic State” militants regularly commit acts of terrorism. As a result of one of them alone, when six bombs went off in different parts of the city at the same time, at least 40 people were killed. In all cases, parked cars were blown up.

It is noteworthy that the terrorists tried to take Ramadi before, too, but this time they did it because of the refusal of the Iraqi army (of course, at the suggestion of the United States) to use Shiite militia in the Sunni province, allegedly on the grounds that it could strengthen sectarian division. But in this case the mystery was easily solved: Washington did not want and does not want to use the Shiite groups, behind which Tehran quite reasonably stands. In other words, once again we have a clear incidence of the US playing a game for their own benefits, but at the expense of Arabs living there, who have long been tired of the wars initiated by the United States far back in 2003.

In general, the situation has been deteriorated again, and this is the result of intrigues that Washington actively schemes, and their sense is simple in fact – to prevent Iran’s active participation in the defeat of the ISIS. In this regard, the visit of the Iranian Defence Minister, Brigadier General Hossein Dehkan to Baghdad for urgent consultations with the Iraqi Defence Minister Khaled al-Obeidi as soon as the city of Ramadi fell is remarkable.

Attention is drawn to the following fact: The US Congress recently passed a law, according to which the United States will only supply weapons to the Kurds and an entity called “Sunnistan” – a territory of Iraq compactly populated by Sunnis, without approving deliveries with Baghdad. The amount of aid is about 800 million USD. Interestingly, most of the territory of “Sunnistan” is controlled by the ISIS, making it unclear, to whom the Americans intend to supply weapons. In any case, there have been already precedents, when American planes dropped weapons to the ISIS’s militants. A quite particular question that has to be answered is: whether this was an accident or a deliberate practice, the meaning of which is to use the terrorists to defeat the central government in Baghdad, which, in the opinion of Washington, is under the influence of Tehran.

This truth has been realized even in Baghdad, where the Interior Minister Mohammed Salem al-Gabbani said that the US provides insufficient support to defeat the “Islamic State”. He pointed to the poor training of the newly formed Iraqi army by the “experienced” American instructors and the lack of supplies of modern weapons.

However, instead of direct help, Washington reiterates, like a mantra, its promises. For example, the US Vice President Joseph Biden “assured” Iraqi Prime Minister al-Abadi of the intention to accelerate the supplies of the US arms to fight the “Islamic State”. Suppliers include the AT-4 portable anti-tank grenade launchers to counteract improvised explosive devices fitted on vehicles, additional uniforms, and other provisions of the Iraqi army. However, as the Baghdad press notes, these supplies should have been delivered yesterday, and today Iraqi soldiers without modern weapons simply imitate a fight against the terrorists, including around Ramadi.

The analysis of the latest developments taking place in Iraq and Syria clearly shows the chaos in which Washington, through its allies, has plunged the region, starting an unprovoked invasion of Iraq. Now this state, in the truest sense of the word, does not exit. It is just a vast territory, where the West, the Gulf countries, and Iran are sorting out their relationships.


2015-05-30

About the author:

Viktor Mikhin, member correspondent of RANS, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

Original source of the article: First appeared: http://journal-neo.org/2015/05/30/the-middle-east-on-the-waves-of-chaos/

The Hysterics Of Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė

The outbursts of anti-Russian rhetoric of Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė is certainly very bizarre in view of her curriculum vitae. Dalia Grybauskaitė is a very educated woman. Because of the free education system of the former USSR, she was able to complete her university education at the elite Saint Petersburg State University. She became a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1983, some five years before she earned a doctoral degree at the prestigious Academy of Social Sciences in Moscow. It is generally known that not every applicant is routinely accepted to become a Party member.

This outcome might be linked directly to the reputed role of her father being a long-time operative of the dread NKVD, the predecessor of the KGB. The exact reason for her voluntary participation in the Communist Party remains largely unexplained. There is no evidence that she was forced to join the Party against her will. Was she a “genuine believer of socialist ideology for the common good”? Or perhaps she had long plotted to use Communist Party membership as a convenient means for the advancement of her professional career. It is however unlikely that she was only interested to become a mere appartchika (аппара́тчика) for life. Upon the disestablishment of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1990-1991, Grybauskaitė managed somehow to re-fashion herself quickly to become a zealous ex-communist. This near-instant transformation has proved subsequently to be a very beneficial career move for this once-ardent Communist Party member.

President Grybauskaitė’s selective recall of 20th Century geopolitical history of Lithuania is grossly wanting. She is not a moron. It is generally recognized that memories of national historical events are notoriously selective. Official historical records are frequently altered or destroyed to hide shameful acts and heinous crimes. Purposeful revisions are often exploited by demagogues and others to serve a particular nation-building narrative as well as to advance personal ambition. Nevertheless, there are certain generally-agreed historical facts. At the founding of the modern Lithuanian State in early 1918, there were immediate violent border disputes against both re-born Poland and post-Romanov Russia. For the next few years, various alliances of convenience were formed and de-formed with Poland, Bolshevik Russia, Byelorussia (Belarus) and/or Germany as different Lithuanian political factions were fighting among themselves for final governing control.

The authority of any transient political regime was based solely on possession of the biggest and best-equipped army. In 1920, General Józef Piłsudski (born in Zalavas, formerly Zułów, in present-day Lithuania) led the Polish military forces to successfully reclaim the Vilnius (formerly Wilno) region of present-day Lithuania. At the time, the Wilno region has already been populated largely by Polish-speaking Slavs for more than 200 years. With the return of Wilno to Polish suzerainty, the capital of the newly-proclaimed Lithuanian state was forcibly moved to Kaunas. Five hundred years ago, Lithuania and Poland were in fact one country, namely, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Contemporary Polish national narrative routinely declares the Commonwealth to be the start of the Polish nation. In other words, the Wilno (Vilnius) region belongs rightly to Poland.

pol_6Such a contention would certainly pose a significant existential threat to the present-day Lithuanian territory. In a calculated military offensive in 1923, the new Lithuanian State seized the Memel territory (on the Baltic coast) which was under the then protection of the League of Nations. Since the 13th Century, the Memel region has been inhabited largely by German-speaking settlers. In the 15 years following the military annexation by Lithuania, repressive Lithuanisation campaign was launched by the State to expel all the German-speaking inhabitants permanently from their homeland. Under political pressure from the Third Reich, Memel was returned to the Vaterland in 1939. Later in the same year, the infamous Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact changed the control of Vilnius region from Poland to Lithuania. During much of the period of the Great Patriotic War, Lithuania was of course entirely under the rule of the Third Reich’s Reichskommissariat Ostland. In late 1944, the Soviet army finally succeeded in liberating Memel (and other historic Lithuanian territory) from the control of the Third Reich. Today Lithuania is restoring Memelland essentially for the German tourist trade. There is no intention of re-populating Memel with German-speaking people.

If Supreme USSR Leader Josef Stalin had not been obstinate in his negotiation with Churchill and Roosevelt about post-WWII borders of Eastern Europe at the Tehran and Yalta Conferences, the capital of post-USSR Lithuania would still be stuck in Kaunas today. Stalin had insisted in shifting the modern-day Polish border westward to the Oder-Neisse rivers and assigning the (Polish) Wilno region, as well as the (German) Memel territory, to Lithuania. Without Memel, there would definitely be no Klaipėda ice-free deep-sea port in Lithuania today. In retrospect, the Wilno region could have been incorporated into modern-day Belarus and the Memel territory could have been absorbed into modern-day Kaliningrad oblast of the Russian Federation. On behalf of the present-day Lithuania, Grybauskaitė should forever be grateful to Supreme USSR Leader Stalin for his stubborn geopolitical demand 70 years ago. Indeed, a large bronze statute of Stalin should be erected to be placed appropriately alongside that of Mindaugas (1203-1263 CE), the first and only King of Lithuania, in Vilnius. Various nefarious deeds of Stalin could conveniently be overlooked in the “national interest”, in the same fashion as the murderous acts committed during the reign of King Mindaugas.

Recent Deutsche Welle news headline howled about “Lithuania’s deep fear of Russia”. But what is to fear except having to acknowledge national gratitude to Stalin and the USSR? There is no logical reason to equate the foreign policies of the USSR with those of post-USSR Russian Federation. If Grybauskaitė had analyzed the underlying problem-creating issues in the discourse of the USSR legacy (See, for example, the 2014 paper of Yulia Nikitin published in Nationalities Papers, Vol. 42, pp. 1-7), she would easily realize that her anti-Russia invectives were based on an erroneous premise.

Dogmatic designation of Russia to be the successor state of the USSR appears to be driven largely by the continuing ideological war. The post-USSR successor state could logically be any one of the 15 constituent republics of the USSR. Present-day Republic of Georgia, a member republic of the former USSR, might be a good candidate for this role as Supreme USSR Leader Josef Stalin was Georgian by ethnicity. Because former USSR Leader Leonid Brezhnev was “Ukrainian by birth”, present-day Ukraine could alternatively be a suitable candidate successor state of the USSR. It would be equally non-sense to assign 1917 Bolshevik Russia to be the successor state of the Romanov Empire.

Interestingly, immediately after the end of the grinding war against Germany and its allies in Europe, the victorious Powers (notably Britain and France) invaded Russia to revive the toppled Romanov autocracy. The casus belli was to destroy communism. If this anti-communist project had succeeded and if the pre-1917 Romanov Empire was restored, independent Lithuania might not be in existence today. There is no benevolence, fairness or justice in geopolitics.

There is certainly no evidence of Russia having neo-empire building design of any kind in the post-USSR era. Dalia Grybauskaitė could readily compare the global record of Russia against that of other major military powers, in the invasion, bombardment and destruction of other countries, either overtly or covertly for whatever reasons, since the end of the USSR in the early 1990s. The belligerent EU ruling elites are undoubtedly enthralled to hear ex-communist Grybauskaitė constantly demanding action to counter Russia’s “open and brutal aggression”, with such ominous warnings as “Russia today is trying to rewrite the borders of Europe after World War Two, that is what’s going on. If we allow this to happen, next will be somebody else.” (See article here). Wait! Remember how the Vilnius and Memel territories were last acquired by Lithuania. Is Grybauskaitė genuinely ignorant or willfully disingenuous about the generally-accepted facts of 20th Century Lithuanian history?  She can easily recall how the EU had instigated the deliberate destruction of multi-ethnic Yugoslavia in the 1990s. In the aftermath of this geopolitical dismemberment exercise, borders in the Balkans were re-drawn by EU diktat. These new boundaries of Europe were definitely not created by Russia.

In extending the same nation-building narrative, Grybauskaitė might also express eternal gratitude on behalf of Lithuania to the Bundesrepublik Deutschland, the self-disavowed successor state of the Third Reich, for the eradication of Jewish citizenry from present-day Lithuania. In 1939, there were more than 260,000 Jews living in Lithuania. By 1945, there were only about 26,000 Jews left. The “pesky Jewish problem” in Lithuania was thus effectively solved by operatives of the Third Reich, to the continuing delight of some present-day Lithuanian ultra-nationalists. It follows logically that a suitable large bronze statute of the Führer of the Third Reich might also be erected in commemoration along side the other two Lithuanian nation builders, namely Supreme USSR Leader Stalin and medieval Lithuanian King Mindaugas.

In addition to her numerous tirades, Grybauskaitė never misses an opportunity to point out the human-rights failings of the post-USSR Russian Federation. The Latin phrase Terra terram accusat (attributed to Aurelius Ambrosius, circa 370 CE) is commonly paraphrased as “people living in glass houses should not throw stones”. Lithuania would appear to be much less than a poster practioner of widely-proclaimed western European democratic beliefs and practices. For example, the remaining Polish-speaking inhabitants  in Lithuania today are living under draconian coercive pressure from the State to relinguish their cultural and linguistic identities. In some districts of Wileńszczyzna/ Vilnius region, Polish-speaking Slavs are more than 50% of the total district population. They are not even Russian-speaking people. Lithuanisation portrayed euphemistically as integration is accepted to be a normal nation-building practice within the European human rights convention. Regretably, expediency allows such an ethnocentric policy to be promulgated unquestionably in the EU.

The anti-Russia rhetoric of President Grybauskaitė has certainly become increasingly hysterical, in the same laughable fashion as that of “Yats” (also known as Arseniy Yatsenyuk), the current outspoken Prime Minister of Ukraine-Kiev. In consolation, these anti-Russia outbursts of Grybauskaitė might be no deeper than her previous ardent belief in the communist ideology. Recent revelations in Lithuanian journalist Ruta Yanutene’s unauthorized investigative biography (entitled “Red Dalia” in English) of Dalia Grybauskaitė have provided substantive evidence about her relentless pursuit of power since her Komsomol days. Is her lust for power psychopathic? In order to silence her critics, President Grybauskaitė now wants the Lithuanian Parliament to pass a law to criminalize media that spread “hostile propaganda and disinformation”. In effect, all anti-Dalia public opinions will henceforth be considered to be unpatriotic and will be subject to criminal prosecution. Lithuania may be too small for fulfilling the insatiable ambition of Dalia Grybauskaitė; she might already be conniving to become the next Secretary-General of the anachronistic NATO, or even the next President of the European Union.


2015-02-27

Source Pravda

By Wong SYUH-JUEN (Singapore)

Source: http://orientalreview.org/2015/02/27/the-hysterics-of-lithuanian-president-dalia-grybauskaite/

Clinton’s Defeat and the “Fake News” Conspiracy

There is an astounding double standard being applied to the US presidential election result.

A few weeks ago the corporate media were appalled that Donald Trump demurred on whether he would accept the vote if it went against him. It was proof of his anti-democratic, authoritarian instincts.

But now he has won, the same media outlets are cheerleading the establishment’s full-frontal assault on the legitimacy of a Trump presidency. That campaign is being headed by the failed candidate, Hillary Clinton, after a lengthy softening-up operation by US intelligence agencies, led by the CIA.

According to the prevailing claim, Russian president Vladimir Putin stole the election on behalf of Trump (apparently by resorting to the US playbook on psy-ops). Trump is not truly a US president, it seems. He’s Russia’s placeman in the White House – a Moscovian candidate.

An assessment of the losing side’s claims should be considered separately from the issue of who won the popular mandate. It is irrelevant that Clinton gained more votes than Trump. For good or bad, the US has operated an inherently unrepresentative electoral college since the 18th century. That has provided plenty of time to demand electoral reform. Concern about the electoral college now, only because it elected Trump, is simply ugly partisan politics, not political principle.

Launching last week what looked like a potential comeback, Clinton stepped up the establishment’s attack on the result. She argued that Putin had personally directed the hacking operation that lost her the presidency. He had sought to foil the wishes of the US electorate in revenge for her claims in 2011, when Secretary of State, that Russia’s parliamentary elections had been rigged.

“Putin publicly blamed me for the outpouring of outrage by his own people, and that is the direct line between what he said back then and what he did in this election,” Clinton told campaign donors at meeting in New York.

CIA’s evidence-free claims

Clinton’s allegations, of course, did not arrive in a vacuum. For weeks the CIA and other intelligence agencies have been making evidence-free claims that Russia was behind the release of embarrassing emails from the Democratic party leadership. The last hold-out against this campaign, James Comey, the head of the FBI, was reported late last week to have caved in and joined the anti-Putin camp.

The Washington Post quoted CIA director John Brennan saying: “Earlier this week, I met separately with [the FBI’s] James Comey and [director of national intelligence] Jim Clapper, and there is strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election.”

Craig Murray, a former British ambassador turned whistleblower on British government collusion in torture, has said he personally received the leaked emails on behalf of Wikileaks. The data came, he said, not from Russian security agencies, or even from freelance Russian hackers, but from a disillusioned Democratic party insider. Russia experts in the US have similarly discounted the anti-Putin claims, as have former US intelligence agents.

But either way, what is being overlooked in the furore is that none of the information that has come to light about the Democratic party was false. (Though the US intelligence services did indeed try to make that claim initially). The emails are real and provide an accurate account of the Democratic party’s anti-democratic machinations, including efforts to undermine the campaign of Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s challenger.

If Russia did indeed seek to influence the election by releasing truthful information that made Clinton and her allies look bad that would be far more legitimate interference than the US has engaged in against countless countries around the globe. For decades the US has been actively involved in using its military might to overthrow regimes in Latin America and the Middle East. It has also compromised the sovereignty of innumerable states, by sending killer-drones into their airspace, manipulating their media and funding colour revolutions.

The NSA is not archiving every bit of digital information it can lay its hands on for no reason. The US seeks global dominance, whether the rest of the globe wants it or not.

The ‘fake news’ threat

The corporate media have been lapping up the CIA’s evidence-free allegations as hungrily as an underfed kitten. Not only have they been credulously regurgitating the dubious claims of the same US intelligence agencies that knowingly spread lies about Iraq’s WMD, but they have added their own dangerous spin to them.

The media have suddenly woken up to the supposed threat to western democracies posed by “fake news”. The implication is that it was “fake news” that swept Trump to power. A properly informed electorate, on this view, would never have made such a patently ridiculous choice as Trump. Instead, Clinton would have been rightfully crowned president.

“Fake news”, of course, does not concern the systematic deceptions promoted by the corporate media. It does not include the demonstrable lies – like those Iraqi WMDs – spread by western governments and intelligence agencies through the corporate media. It does not even refer to the press corps’ habitual reports – demonstrating a seemingly gargantuan gullibility – that take at face value the endless state propaganda against Official Enemies, whether Cuba, Venezuela, Libya or Syria. Or Russia and now Trump.

No, “fake news” is produced only by bloggers and independent websites, and is promoted on social media. Those peddling “fake news” are writers, journalists and activists whose pay packets do not depend on continuing employment by western state-run media like the BBC, billionaire proprietors like Rupert Murdoch, or global corporations like Times-Warner.

It is worth noting that the leaked Democratic emails, whether the leaking was done by Russia or not, were certainly not “fake news”. They were documented truth. But the leaks are being actively conflated with “fake news”.

Shutting down dissent

There have always been patently ridiculous stories in marginal, and not so marginal, mainstream media, whether it was reports of Elvis coming back from the dead or the millennium computer bug that was going to bring civilisation to an end when we entered the year 2000. That problem has not substantially changed; it has simply moved on to new platforms like social media.

Much more significantly, the systematic deceptions perpetrated by corporate media for many decades have left swaths of western publics distrustful and cynical. Social media has only added to widespread alienation because it has made it easier to expose to readers these mainstream deceptions. Trump, like Brexit, is a symptom of the growing disorientation and estrangement felt by western electorates.

But the claim of “fake news” does usefully offer western security agencies, establishment politicians and the corporate media a powerful weapon to silence their critics. After all, these critics have no platform other than independent websites and social media. Shut down the sites and you shut up your opponents.

The campaign against a Trump presidency will exploit claims of foreign, hostile interference in the US election as a pretext to crack down on homegrown dissent. Putin is not waging a war on US democracy. Rather, US democracy is proving itself increasingly inconvenient to those who expect to dictate electoral outcomes.


2016-12-18

About the author:

Jonathan Cook, based in Nazareth, Israel is a winner of the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East (Pluto Press) and Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair (Zed Books). Read other articles by Jonathan, or visit Jonathan’s website.

Source: Dissident Voice

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