For 300 years Britain has outsourced mayhem. Finally it’s coming home

[It is a great day in the Western media when the British confess that their government is the biggest, longest-running criminal enterprise in human history.  For humanity’s sake let us pray that The Crown is finished.]

For 300 years Britain has outsourced mayhem. Finally it’s coming home

Opium, famine and banks all played their part in this country’s plundering of the globe. Now it’s over, we find it hard to accept

George Monbiot

Why now? It’s not as if this is the first time Britain’s representatives have been caught out. The history of governments in all countries is the history of scandal, as those who rise to the top are generally the most ambitious, ruthless and unscrupulous people politics can produce. Pushing their own interests to the limit, they teeter perennially on the brink of disgrace, except when they fly clean over the edge. So why does the current ballyhoo threaten to destroy not only the government but also our antediluvian political system?

The past 15 years have produced the cash-for-questions racket, the Hinduja and Ecclestone affairs, the lies and fabrications that led to the invasion of Iraq, the forced abandonment of the BAE corruption probe, the cash-for-honours caper and the cash-for-amendments scandal. By comparison to the outright subversion of the functions of government in some of these cases, the is small beer. Any one of them should have prompted the sweeping political reforms we are now debating. But they didn’t.

The expenses scandal, by contrast, could kill the Labour party. It might also force politicians of all parties to address our unjust voting system, the unelected Lords, the excessive power of the executive, the legalised blackmail used by the whips, and a score of further anachronisms and injustices. Why is it different?

I believe that the current political crisis has little to do with the expenses scandal, still less with Gordon Brown’s leadership. It arises because our economic system can no longer extract wealth from other nations. For the past 300 years, the revolutions and reforms experienced by almost all other developed countries have been averted in Britain by foreign remittances.

The social unrest that might have transformed our politics was instead outsourced to our colonies and unwilling trading partners. The rebellions in Ireland, India, China, the Caribbean, Egypt, South Africa, Malaya, Kenya, Iran and other places we subjugated were the price of political peace in Britain. After decolonisation, our plunder of other nations was sustained by the banks. Now, for the first time in three centuries, they can no longer deliver, and we must at last confront our problems.

There will probably never be a full account of the robbery this country organised, but there are a few snapshots. In his book Capitalism and Colonial Production, Hamza Alavi estimates that the resource flow from India to Britain between 1793 and 1803 was in the order of £2m a year, the equivalent of many billions today. The economic drain from India, he notes, “has not only been a major factor in India’s impoverishment … it has also been a very significant factor in the industrial revolution in Britain”. As Ralph Davis observes in The Industrial Revolution and British Overseas Trade, from the 1760s onwards India’s wealth “bought the national debt back from the Dutch and others … leaving Britain nearly free from overseas indebtedness when it came to face the great French wars from 1793″.

In France by contrast, as Eric Hobsbawm notes in The Age of Revolution, “the financial troubles of the monarchy brought matters to a head”. In 1788 half of France’s national expenditure was used to service its debt: the “American War and its debt broke the back of the monarchy”.

Even as the French were overthrowing the ancien regime, Britain’s landed classes were able to strengthen their economic power, seizing common property from the country’s poor by means of enclosure. Partly as a result of remittances from India and the Caribbean, the economy was booming and the state had the funds to ride out political crises. Later, after smashing India’s own industrial capacity, Britain forced that country to become a major export market for our manufactured goods, sustaining industrial employment here (and avoiding social unrest) long after our products and processes became uncompetitive.

Colonial plunder permitted the British state to balance its resource deficits as well. For some 200 years a river of food flowed into this country from such places as Ireland, India and the Caribbean. In The Blood Never Dried, John Newsinger reveals that in 1748 Jamaica alone sent 17,400 tons of sugar to Britain; by 1815 this had risen to 73,800. It was all produced by stolen labour.

Just as grain was sucked out of Ireland at the height of its great famine, so Britain continued to drain India of food during its catastrophic hungers. In Late Victorian Holocausts, Mike Davis shows that between 1876 and 1877 wheat exports to the UK from India doubled as subsistence there collapsed, and several million died of starvation. In the North-Western provinces famine was wholly engineered by British policy, as good harvests were exported to offset poor English production in 1876 and 1877.

Britain, in other words, outsourced famine as well as social unrest. There was terrible poverty in this country in the second half of the 19th century, but not mass starvation. The bad harvest of 1788 helped precipitate the French revolution, but the British state avoided such hazards. Others died on our behalf.

In the late 19th century, Davis shows, Britain’s vast deficits with the United States, Germany and its white dominions were balanced by huge annual surpluses with India and (as a result of the opium trade) China. For a generation “the starving Indian and Chinese peasantries … braced the entire system of international settlements, allowing England’s continued financial supremacy to temporarily co-exist with its relative industrial decline”. Britain’s trade surpluses with India allowed the City to become the world’s financial capital.

Its role in British colonisation was not a passive one. The bankruptcy, and subsequent British takeover, of Egypt in 1882 was hastened by a loan from Roths­child’s bank whose execution, Newsinger records, amounted to “fraud on a massive scale”. ­Jardine Matheson, once the biggest narco-trafficking outfit in history (it dominated the Chinese opium trade), later formed a major investment bank, Jardine Fleming. It was taken over by JP Morgan Chase in 2000.

We lost our colonies, but the plunder has continued by other means. As Joseph Stiglitz shows in Globalisation and its Discontents, the capital liberalisation forced on Asian economies by the IMF permitted northern traders to loot hundreds of billions of dollars, precipitating the Asian financial crisis of 1997-98. Poorer nations have also been strong-armed into a series of amazingly one-sided treaties and commitments, such as trade-related investment measures, bilateral investment agreements and the EU’s economic partnership agreements. If you have ever wondered how a small, densely populated country which produces very little supports itself, I would urge you to study these asymmetric arrangements.

But now, as John Lanchester demonstrates in a fascinating essay in the London Review of Books, the City could be fatally wounded. The nation that relied on financial services may take generations to recover from their collapse. The great British adventure – three centuries spent pillaging the labour, wealth and resources of other countries – is over. We cannot accept this, and seek gleeful revenge on a government that can no longer insulate us from reality.

www.monbiot.com

The American Ship They Just Couldn’t Sink

The American Ship They Just Couldn’t Sink

Tuesday, 09 June 2009 05:03 Phillip Marlowe

A Photographic Essay of Israel’s Treachery

The USS Liberty, June 8, 1967

The American Ship They Just Couldn't Sink
Damage from Zuni rockets (possibly US made) fired from unmarked Israeli Jets. The machine gun damage probably came from the Israeli torpedo boats later. This attack came out of the blue after apparently friendly Israeli reconnaissance overflights — which would definitely have seen the large US flag and hull markings.
The American Ship They Just Couldn't Sink
Israeli Mystere Jet (French made) lacking national insignia (a war crime), during one of the strafing runs and photographed by Captain McGonagle with a 35mm camera kept on bridge. The crew had no idea just who was attacking them until the torpedo boats showed up.
The American Ship They Just Couldn't Sink
Photograph taken during high-speed turn to evade Israeli torpedo boat attack.
The American Ship They Just Couldn't Sink
One of the 3 Israeli torpedo boats. These boats actually machine-gunned the deployed lifeboats from the ship (a war crime). One took aboard a shot-up inflatable raft, probably as a souvenir.
The American Ship They Just Couldn't Sink
Israeli helicopter, possibly with a commando boarding party, circles stricken ship before being called off by home base. It appeared to be looking for a place to set down on the ship and crew members described seeing armed, helmeted soldiers ready to disembark. Were they planning on gunning down the crew at close quarters and sinking the ship with explosives?
The American Ship They Just Couldn't Sink
Marked for death: Dazed, but lucky survivors shortly after the attack. Many are covered in blood from their shipmates.
The American Ship They Just Couldn't Sink
In this stark color photo, Napalm (to burn alive the bridge crew), Zuni rockets, machine gun and cannon fire damage is easily seen. The Israeli’s first attack priority was on the communications antennas and bridge — to stop any revealing maydays. Only by the crewman using a jury-rigged spare antenna, managed to save the entire crew from a watery grave — the Israelis must have intercepted their calls for help to the US Sixth fleet and, once realizing the jig was up, called off the rest of the attack.
The American Ship They Just Couldn't Sink
A US helicopter from the Sixth Fleet comes to give aid long after attackers had left.
The American Ship They Just Couldn't Sink
The Liberty limps under her own power 14 hours after. When attacked, the ship was in international waters, 14 miles off the coast of Gaza and the Egyptian Sinai.
The American Ship They Just Couldn't Sink
Arrival at port in Malta (when it should have been ordered to the much closer Crete). The Israelis could not sink her, but they sure tried. The only real question left: Were they the only ones trying?
The American Ship They Just Couldn't Sink
Defense Secretary Robert McNamara with President Johnson. They called off supporting US planes* from the US Sixth fleet and Johnson is said to have known they were Israelis before the crew even did. McNamara’s memory of the day remained “foggy” and dismissive to the end.

Reports from officers on board the USS Saratoga say that planes took off for Egypt, carrying nukes for a preplanned attack, but were soon recalled when it was found out the ship still floated and that sailors had survived.

Back in the port, the crew were threatened to stay silent about it all, with John McCaine’s admiral father heading a phoney investigation. The US government has covered up much about all this, even 42 years after. One Texas clown was President for a false-flag attack on the US in 1967 and another Texas clown was President in 2001. Think about it!

The American Ship They Just Couldn't Sink
Torpedo (probably US made) damage from Israeli torpedo boats. Looks a lot like what happened to the USS Cole after a terrorist attack in Yemen that killed 17 US sailors. The USS Liberty lost 25 sailors and communications analysts from this torpedo explosion alone and only by fluke did the ship not break apart and sink. No Hebrew translators were on board. 34 lives were lost in total and about 174 wounded, some terribly.

“The ground control station stated that the target was American and for the aircraft to confirm it,” Forslund recalled.

“The aircraft did confirm the identity of the target as American, by the American flag.

“The ground control station ordered the aircraft to attack and sink the target and ensure they left no survivors.”

Forslund said he clearly recalled “the obvious frustration of the controller over the inability of the pilots to sink the target quickly and completely.

“He kept insisting the mission had to sink the target, and was frustrated with the pilots’ responses that it didn’t sink.”

Read the Chicago Tribune Article on the evidence of Israeli duplicity.

Ask yourself these things:

If this was a mistake by Israel, like they still try to say, then why would they spray paint out the insignia on their attacking Jets and launch 3 different kinds of attacks on her? All trying to sink her and kill the 300 man crew. And why would Johnson and McNamara call off US Jets on their way to help?

My blog posting on this: A Treacherous False Flag Attack Foiled by Fate

“People may dismiss what I say as the rantings of an angry old man, but given what is taking place today regarding the war in the Middle East and everything that may happen, my suggestion is that–while there is time–people turn off the Britney Spears, the Desperate Housewives and the football games and listen, listen carefully to what happened, as it is likely to happen again, because, as the old saying goes, ‘a leopard does not change its spots.’”-– Phil Tourney, A Survivor’s Blog (excellent) here at WordPress

The tragedy though (and certainly the part hardest to swallow by patriotic Americans who would just as soon take their own lives as betray their fellow countrymen) is that there have been and are players on the American side of the equation whose hands are just as dirty as those of their Israeli counterparts. – Mark Glenn American Free Press

‘These rats,’ he said, referring to Israel and her defenders. ‘They lie about everything. You can’t believe a word they say’ he told AFP. – Insider Tells the Truth about Attack

Excellent blog synopsis of this event: Slow Decline blog posting

* Sometimes the excuse is given that the planes happened to be carrying nuclear weapons (which actually leads to even more inconvenient questions) and could not respond so equipped, but how many other planes on hand could have been vectored easily to the scene with conventional armaments? This shows you just one of the many lies of our government in covering all this up.

Source: Incog Man

ADL’s Abe Foxman Is a Big Fat Crybaby

db090531Doonesbury comic strip is ‘anti-Semitic’ bemoans ADL’s Abe Foxman

 

(by David West, published Tuesday, 09 June 2009 06:21)

 

New York, NY, June 1, 2009 — The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today released the text of a letter to cartoonist Garry Trudeau concerning his Doonesbury strip of May 31, 2009:

(read here)

 

CIA tells judge not to release terror interrogation documents

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CIA Director Leon Panetta told a federal judge Monday that releasing documents about the agency’s terror interrogations would gravely damage national security.

Panetta sent a 24-page missive to New York federal judge Alvin Hellerstein, arguing that release of agency cables describing tough interrogation methods used on al-Qaida suspects would tell the enemy far too much about U.S. counterterrorism work.

The CIA director filed the papers in a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union. The suit has already led to the unveiling of Bush administration legal memos authorizing harsh methods — among them waterboarding, a type of simulated drowning, and slamming suspects into walls — and a fight over releasing long-secret photos of abused detainees.

“I have determined that the disclosure of intelligence about al-Qaida reasonably could be expected to result in exceptionally grave damage to the national security by informing our enemies of what we knew about them, and when, and in some instances, how we obtained the intelligence,” Panetta wrote.

Panetta acknowledges in the court papers that the CIA destroyed 92 videotapes of detainee interrogations that took place in 2002. Officials have previously said that a dozen of those tapes showed the so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques,” which critics call torture. The destruction of the videotapes has spurred a criminal investigation into why they were destroyed.

The tapes — and the interrogations — are also an issue in the ACLU’s lawsuit.

The CIA is fighting efforts to force release of the documents, including dozens of agency cables. The cables, Panetta said, describe in detail the methods used on terror suspects, the information gleaned from them, and what U.S. officials still did not know at the time the suspects were being questioned…

FEMA Military Exercise in Prevention and Protection From Homegrown Terrorism

[It is simply astounding to observe the docile American people sitting by passively watching the instrument of our enslavement unfolding before our eyes, with actions such as these executed in preparation for the day when it all becomes real.  The reality at that time will not be the pretend scenario of armies of invading terrorists, but the cold reality of a state taking absolute control of its people for no other reason than for convenience sake, or for consolidation of profits.  Martial law will arrive soon enough; must we wait while they perfect their killing science?]

National Level Exercise 2009 (NLE 09)

National Level Exercise 2009 (NLE 09) is scheduled for July 27 through July 31, 2009. NLE 09 will be the first major exercise conducted by the United States government that will focus exclusively on terrorism prevention and protection, as opposed to incident response and recovery.

NLE 09 is designated as a Tier I National Level Exercise. Tier I exercises (formerly known as the Top Officials exercise series or TOPOFF) are conducted annually in accordance with the National Exercise Program (NEP), which serves as the nation’s overarching exercise program for planning, organizing, conducting and evaluating national level exercises. The NEP was established to provide the U.S. government, at all levels, exercise opportunities to prepare for catastrophic crises ranging from terrorism to natural disasters.

NLE 09 is a White House directed, Congressionally- mandated exercise that includes the participation of all appropriate federal department and agency senior officials, their deputies, staff and key operational elements.  In addition, broad regional participation of state, tribal, local, and private sector is anticipated.  This year the United States welcomes the participation of Australia, Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom in NLE 09.

EXERCISE FOCUS

NLE 09 will focus on intelligence and information sharing among intelligence and law enforcement communities, and between international, federal, regional, state, tribal, local and private sector participants.

The NLE 09 scenario will begin in the aftermath of a notional terrorist event outside of the United States, and exercise play will center on preventing subsequent efforts by the terrorists to enter the United States and carry out additional attacks. This scenario enables participating senior officials to focus on issues related to preventing terrorist events domestically and protecting U.S. critical infrastructure.

NLE 09 will allow terrorism prevention efforts to proceed to a logical end (successful or not), with no requirement for response or recovery activities.

NLE 09 will be an operations-based exercise to include: activities taking place at command posts, emergency operation centers, intelligence centers and potential field locations to include federal headquarters facilities in the Washington D.C. area, and in federal, regional, state, tribal, local and private sector facilities in FEMA Region VI, which includes the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

EXERCISE OBJECTIVES

Through a comprehensive evaluation process, the exercise will assess prevention and protection capabilities both nationally and regionally. Although NLE 09 is still in the planning stages, the exercise is currently designed to validate the following capabilities:

  • Intelligence/Information Sharing and Dissemination
  • Counter-Terrorism Investigation and Law Enforcement
  • Air, Border and Maritime Security
  • Critical Infrastructure Protection
  • Public and Private Sector Alert/Notification and Security Advisories
  • International Coordination

VALIDATING THE HOMELAND SECURITY SYSTEM

Exercises such as NLE 09 are an important component of national preparedness, helping to build an integrated federal, state, tribal, local and private sector capability to prevent terrorist attacks, and rapidly and effectively respond to, and recover from, any terrorist attack or major disaster that occurs.

The full-scale exercise offers agencies and jurisdictions a way to test their plans and skills in a real-time, realistic environment and to gain the in-depth knowledge that only experience can provide. Participants will exercise prevention and information sharing functions that are critical to preventing terrorist attacks. Lessons learned from the exercise will provide valuable insights to guide future planning for securing the nation against terrorist attacks, disasters, and other emergencies.

For more information about NLE 09, contact the FEMA News Desk: 202-646-4600.

FEMA leads and supports the nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation, to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the nation from all hazards including natural disasters, acts of terrorism and other man-made disasters.

Military sends gunships to support Upper Dir tribesmen

Military sends gunships to support Upper Dir tribesmen

Hundreds of tribesmen in the district took up arms on Saturday and stormed villages where militants are holed up. — AFP

PESHAWAR: The military sent helicopter gunships to a northwest region Tuesday to support armed villagers who have risen up against Taliban to avenge a deadly mosque blast, an official said.

Hundreds of tribesmen in Upper Dir district took up arms Saturday, a day after 38 people were killed in a mosque suicide bombing there, and have stormed villages where extremists are holed up killing 14 fighters, the army has said.

The militia — known locally as a lashkar — were on Tuesday surrounding Shatkas and Ghazigai villages, where militants are believed to be hiding.

Upper Dir borders Swat valley, the centre of a fierce six-week military offensive aimed at crushing a Taliban insurgency.

‘Lashkar men are positioned on surrounding mountains and keeping a vigil on the movement of Taliban militants,’ said a military official who did not want to be named as he was not authorised to speak to the media.

He said army helicopter gunships and artillery pounded suspected militant hideouts in Upper Dir, adding: ‘The shelling was in support of the lashkar.’

Pakistan’s government has in the past encouraged the formation of lashkar militias to help the official armed forces in their fight against militants, and say they want to build up and arm such community forces in the northwest.

Up to 1,200 villagers carrying firearms are reported to have taken on about 200 Taliban in a handful of remote Upper Dir hamlets.

Friday’s mosque bombing was the latest in a series of attacks on civilian and security targets — attacks widely seen as retribution by militants for a blistering offensive by the Pakistan army.

Taliban take 100 TNSM men hostage

Taliban take 100 TNSM men hostage

LAHORE: The Taliban have taken 100 members of the TNSM hostage including the local chief from Mamoond area of Bajaur, a private TV channel reported on Monday. The channel said that differences between the Taliban and the TNSM had intensified, while on the other hand a group of Taliban had refused to fight the military.