Kyrgyzstan And The Battle For Central Asia

Kyrgyzstan And The Battle For Central Asia

Stop NATO

Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev was deposed five years after and in the same manner as he came to power, in a bloody uprising.

Elected president two months after the so-called Tulip Revolution of 2005 he helped engineer, he was since then head of state of the main transit nation for the U.S. and NATO war in Afghanistan.

The Pentagon secured the Manas Air Base (as of last year known as the Transit Center at Manas) in Kyrgyzstan shortly after its invasion of Afghanistan in October of 2001 and in the interim, according to a U.S. armed forces publication last June, “More than 170,000 coalition personnel passed through the base on their way in or out of Afghanistan, and Manas was the transit point for 5,000 tons of cargo, including spare parts and equipment, uniforms and various items to support personnel and mission needs.

“Currently, around 1,000 U.S. troops, along with a few hundred from Spain and France, are assigned to the base.” [1]

The White House’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke paid his first visit in his current position to Kyrgyzstan – and the three other former Soviet Central Asian republics which border it, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – in February and said “35,000 US troops were transiting each month on their way in and out of Afghanistan.” [2] At the rate he mentioned, 420,000 troops annually.

The U.S. and NATO also established military bases in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan for the war in South Asia, but on a smaller scale. (U.S. military forces were ordered out of the second country following what the government claimed was a Tulip Revolution-type armed uprising in its province of Andijan less than two months after the Kyrgyz precedent. Germany maintains a base near the Uzbek city of Termez to transit troops and military equipment to Afghanistan’s Kunduz province where the majority of its 4,300 forces are concentrated.)

In February of 2009 the Bakiyev government announced that it was also evicting U.S. and NATO forces from its country, but relented in June when Washington offered it $60 million to reverse its decision.

Kyrgyzstan borders China.

It not only borders China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, but is only separated from Russia by a single nation, Kazakhstan. To gain an appreciation of Russian and Chinese concerns over hundreds of thousands of U.S. and NATO troops passing through Kyrgyzstan, imagine a comparable amount of Chinese and Russian soldiers regularly passing through Mexico and Guatemala, respectively. For almost nine years and at an accelerating rate.

It is not only a military “hard power” but also a “soft power” threat that the Western role in Kyrgyzstan poses to Russia and China.

The nation is a member of the post-Soviet Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) along with Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – seen by many as the only counterpart to NATO in former Soviet space – and of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) with China, Russia and the three above-mentioned fellow Central Asian countries.

According to U.S. officials, during and after the Tulip Revolution of 2005 not a single U.S. or NATO flight into the Manas Air Base was cancelled or even delayed. But a six-nation CSTO exercise scheduled for days afterward was cancelled.

The uprising and the deposing of standing president Askar Akayev in March of 2005 was the third self-styled “color revolution” in the former Soviet Union in sixteen months, following the Rose Revolution in Georgia in late 2003 and the Orange Revolution in Ukraine in late 2004 and early 2005.

As the Kyrgyz version was underway Western news media were asking the question “Who’s next?” Candidates included other former Soviet states like Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova and Uzbekistan. And Russia. Along with Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan those nations accounted for ten of the twelve members of the post-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

As Agence France-Presse detailed in early April of 2005: “The CIS was founded in December 1991 on the very day the Soviet Union disappeared….But over the past year and a half, three faithful Kremlin allies were toppled in…revolutions: Eduard Shevardnadze in Georgia, Leonid Kuchma in Ukraine, and, last week, Askar Akayev in Kyrgyzstan….Even though Kyrgyzstan’s new interim leaders have vowed to continue their deposed predecessor’s Moscow-friendly policies, the lightning toppling of the government there has spawned speculation that the CIS would soon collapse.” [3]

The leader of the “color revolution” prototype, Georgia’s Mikheil Saakashvili, gloated over the Kyrgyz “regime change,” attributing the “brave” actions of the opposition in Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan “to the Georgia factor,” and added, “We are not waiting for the development of events, but are doing our best to destroy the empire in the CIS.” [4]

Shortly after the uprising former Indian diplomat and political analyst M.K. Bhadrakumar wrote of the then seemingly inexorable momentum of “color” revolts in the former Soviet Union:

“[A]ll the three countries [Georgia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan] are strategically placed in the post-Soviet space. They comprise Russia’s ‘near abroad.’

“Washington has been expanding its influence in the arc of former Soviet republics — in the Baltics…the Caucasus, and Central Asia – in recent years with a tenacity that worries Moscow.

“Ever since 2003 when Mr. Akayev decided on allowing Russia to establish a full-fledged military base in Kant he knew he was on the American ‘watch list.’ The political temperature within Kyrgyzstan began to rise.

“The Americans made it clear in many ways that they desired a regime change in Bishkek….The ‘revolution’ in the Central Asian state of Kyrgyzstan has already thrown up surprises. A comparison with the two earlier ‘colour revolutions’ in Georgia and Ukraine will be a good starting point.

“First, the striking similarities between the three ‘revolutions’ must be duly noted. All three are meant to signify the unstoppable spread of the fire of liberty lit by the United States in Afghanistan and Iraq in the aftermath of 9/11.

“But behind the rhetoric, the truth is that the U.S. wanted regime change in Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan because of difficulties with the incumbent leadership. The leaders of all the three countries — Eduard Shevardnadze in Georgia, Leonid Kuchma in Ukraine, and Askar Akayev in Kyrgyzstan — had enjoyed the support of the U.S. during most of their rule.

“Washington had cited them repeatedly as the beacons of hope for democracy and globalisation in the territories of the former Soviet Union.

“Their trouble began when they incrementally began to edge towards a resurgent Russia under Vladimir Putin.” [5]

Seven weeks after Bhadrakumar’s column appeared his analysis would be confirmed by no less an authority on the matter than U.S. President George W. Bush.

Visiting the capital of Georgia a year and a half after its “Rose Revolution,” he was hosted by his counterpart Mikheil Saakashvili, former State Department fellowship recipient and U.S. resident, who seized power in what can only be described as a putsch but nevertheless said:

“Georgia will become the main partner of the United States in spreading democracy and freedom in the post-Soviet space. This is our proposal. We will always be with you in protecting freedom and democracy.”

Bush reflected Saakashvili’s inflated estimate of himself: “You are making many important contributions to freedom’s cause, but your most important contribution is your example. Hopeful changes are taking places from Baghdad to Beirut and Bishkek [Kyrgyzstan]. But before there was a Purple Revolution in Iraq or Orange Revolution in Ukraine or a Cedar Revolution in Lebanon, there was a Rose Revolution in Georgia.” [6]

A few days after the Kyrgyz coup Bush welcomed Ukraine’s “orange” president Viktor Yushchenko – who this January only received 5.45 per cent of the vote in his reelection bid – and applauded his U.S.-assisted ascent to power, saying it “may have looked like it was only a part of the history of Ukraine, but the Orange Revolution represented revolutions elsewhere as well….We share a goal to spread freedom to other nations.” [7]

Beyond the threat of the dissolution of the CIS and of the CSTO, in April of 2005 Der Spiegel featured a report with the title “Revolutions Speed Russia’s Disintegration.”

In part it revealed the prime movers behind the events in Kyrgyzstan:

“As early as February,” Roza Otunbayeva – now the apparent head of the provisional government – “pledged allegiance to a small group of partners and sponsors of the Kyrgyz revolution, to ‘our American friends’ at Freedom House (who donated a printing press in Bishkek to the opposition), and to George Soros, a speculator who previously helped unseat Edward Shevardnadze’s government in Georgia.

“Trying to help the democratic process, the Americans poured some $12 million into Kyrgyzstan in the form of scholarships and donations – and that was last year alone. Washington’s State Department even funded TV station equipment in the rebellious southern province town of Osh.” [8]

In June George Soros was obliging enough to confirm Otunbayeva’s gratitude was not without foundation by stating, “I provided for Georgian public servants to get $1,200 a month….And now I am ready to support the creation of a fund like this in Kyrgyzstan.” [9]

The two Georges – Bush and Soros – were not alone in fathering the “color” geostrategic transformations from the Balkans to the former Soviet Union and the Middle East. They received generous assistance from the likes of Freedom House, the National Endowment for Democracy, the National Democratic Institute, the International Republican Institute and other alleged non-governmental organizations.

A week after the “tulip” takeover the project director for Freedom House, Mike Stone, summed up the role of his organization with two words: “Mission accomplished.” [10]

A British newspaper that interviewed him added, “US involvement in the small, mountainous country is higher proportionally than it was for Georgia’s ‘rose’ revolution or Ukraine’s ‘orange’ uprising.” [11]

Assistance also was provided by Western-funded and -trained “youth activists” modeled after and trained by those organized in Yugoslavia to topple the government of Slobodan Milosevic in 2000:

Compare the names:

Yugoslavia: Otpor! (Resistance!)
Ukraine: Pora! (It’s Time!)
Georgia: Kmara (Enough)
Kyrgyzstan: KelKel (Stand Up and Go)

Behind them all, deposed Kyrgyz president Askar Akayev identified the true architects of his ouster. On April 2 he stated “There were international organisations who supported and financed the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan.

“A week before these events I saw a letter on the internet signed by the US ambassador to Kyrgyzstan. It contained a detailed plan for the revolution.” [12]

The Kyrgyz Tulip (formerly Lemon, Pink and Daffodil) Revolution was as unconstitutional and as disruptive to the nation as its Georgian and Ukrainian predecessors were, but far more violent. Deaths and injuries occurred in the southern cities of Osh and Jalal Abad (Jalalabad, Jalal-Abad) and in the capital of Bishkek.

It was also the first “color” revolt in a nation bordering China. Not only did Russia and China voice grave concerns over the developments in Kyrgyzstan, Iran did also, seeing where the trajectory of “regime change” campaigns was headed.

….

In the four decades of the Cold War political changes through elections or otherwise in any nation in the world – no matter how small, impoverished, isolated and seemingly insignificant – assumed importance far exceeding their domestic effects. World political analysts and policy makers asked the key question: Which way would the new government align itself, with the U.S. or the Soviet Union?

In the post-Cold War period the question is no longer one of political philosophy or socio-economic orientation, but this: How will the new administration support or oppose U.S. plans for regional and global dominance?

With Roza Otunbayeva as now official head of a new Kyrgyz interim “people’s government,” there is reason to believe that Washington will not be dissatisfied with the overthrow of her former “tulip” partner Bakiyev. She has already confirmed that the American base at Manas will not be closed.

Having earlier served as her nation’s first ambassador to the U.S. and Britain, less than two months after the 2005 coup Otunbayeva, then acting foreign minister, met with her U.S. counterpart Condoleezza Rice in Washington during which the latter assured her that “the U.S. administration will continue to help the Kyrgyz government promote democratic processes in the country.” [13]

Shortly after the March “democratic transformation,” its patron saint, Georgia’s Mikheil Saakashvili, boasted that “Roza Otunbayeva worked in Tbilisi in recent years and was the head of UN office in Abkhazia. During the Rose Revolution she was in Georgia and knew everything that was happening…the Georgian factor was a catalyst of many things going on there [in Kyrgyzstan].”[14]

From the U.S. perspective she appears to have reliable bona fides.

Russia has put its air base in Kyrgyzstan on high alert, though comments from leading Russian government officials – Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in particular – indicate an acceptance of the uprising which has already caused 65 deaths and hundreds of injuries.

But Russia attempted to put the best face on the revolt five years ago also.

Which direction the next Kyrgyz government takes will have repercussions far greater than what the nation’s small size and population (slightly over five million) might indicate.

It could affect U.S. and NATO plans for the largest military offensive of the Afghan war scheduled to begin in two months in Kandahar province.

It could determine the future of the Collective Security Treaty Organization and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the two major potential barriers to Western military penetration of vast tracts of Eurasia.

The stakes could hardly be higher.

1) Stars and Stripes, June 16, 2009
2) Agence France-Presse, March 4, 2010
3) Agence France-Presse, April 3, 2005
4) The Messenger, March 31, 2005
5) The Hindu, March 28, 2005
6) Civil Georgia, May 10, 2005
7) Associated Press, April 4, 2005
8) Der Spiegel, April 4, 2005
9) Russian Information Agency Novosti, June 16, 2005
10) The Telegraph, April 2, 2005
11) Ibid
12) Associated Press, April 2, 2005
13) Interfax, June 15, 2005
14) Civil Georgia, March 30, 2005

BLOWBACK: SOROS AND THE CIA CRASH IN KYRGYZSTAN

BLOWBACK: SOROS AND THE CIA CRASH IN KYRGYZSTAN

This is a black ‘blowback’ day for the criminal cartel’s war machine, which relies heavily on it’s Manas base there. Not only for the transfer of armed ‘errand boys’ aka ‘troops’ for the illegal occupation, but also for Big Pharma’s billion dollar drug industry in Afghanistan.* To make matters worse: apart from their Kant base, Moscow also wants a second base.

Henk Ruyssenaars

April 8th 2010 – Five years after the global criminal cartel* via their front; the U.S. administration and with armed ‘gofers’ from the NSA/CIA and their ‘Tulip Revolution’ – with war criminal and speculator George Soros financing a lot – their ‘president’ Bakiyev was deposed the same way as he came to power: in a bloody uprising.* Bakiyev by the way – who now has fled – symbolically named the building where his totalitarian adminstration was seated on it’s bloody throne the same as in Washington: the ‘White House.’ Usurped by the criminal cartel here as there…

The battle among those gory and Gargantuan giants, has as always absolutely nothing to do with human beings. They are – in the eyes of the profiteers – only ‘colletaral damage.’ This is about power and profit from the wars and the drugs.

The latest US TIME magazine: “In a March 5 interview with TIME, an Obama Administration senior official said it had been a close call for the U.S. “That we have the Manas base in Kyrgyzstan is a great achievement,” he said. “Russia didn’t want to allow us to have that. They put down $2 billion to get us out. But Obama had very frank discussions with [Russian President Dmitri] Medvedev.

He said, If you believe we have a common enemy in Afghanistan, then this is going to help us fight that common enemy. Had we lost that, it would have been a major blow. It is a major hub for getting our soldiers in and out of there.” – [end quote]*

It’s all a battle about power and profit for the war criminals in Central Asia, and Al Jazeera* – which years ago turned into a propaganda broadcaster for the cartel’s war machine, justifying more or less the illegal invasions – writes today about the Kyrgyz opposition which ‘seizes power’ – and because al Jazeera is advocating the cartel – it’s written in brackets:

Kyrgyz opposition ‘seizes power’

Opposition leaders in Kyrgyzstan say they have seized power after taking control of security headquarters, state television and other government buildings following a day of deadly unrest. “The security service and the interior ministry, all of them are already under the management of new people,” Rosa Otunbayeva, a former foreign minister, told the Russian-language Mir TV channel on Thursday.

The opposition claim came after Kurmanbek Bakiyev, the president, fled the capital Bishkek amid violent clashes between anti-government protesters and riot police on Wednesday. Reports said that Bakiyev is currently in the southern city of Osh.” – [end quote]*

But Soros’ role in the criminal cartel’s ‘Tulip Revolution’ disaster is evident. Website encyclopedia Wikipedia – which also is managed by Soros’ ‘Brethren in the Faith’ – writes this about him:

“George Soros (pronounced /ˈsɔroʊs/ or /ˈsɔrəs/,[3] Hungarian IPA: [ˈʃoroʃ]; born August 12, 1930, as Schwartz György) is a Hungarian-American currency speculator, stock investor, businessman, philanthropist, and political activist. The [jewish] family changed its name in 1936 from Schwartz to Soros, in response to growing anti-semitism with the rise of Fascism.”*

Soros, who is part and parcel of the criminal actions globally going on, is always up-front, albeit often ‘covered’. Soros, like the rest of those humanoids, makes money out off the blood, sweat and tears of human beings everywhere.

The treacherous ‘Soros Foundation’ – which through those so called ‘colored revolutions’ only ‘helps’ itself, the CIA and the criminal cartel – also had an official office at 55A, Logvinenko St. in Bishkek, 720040, Kyrgyzstan. – Url.: http://www.soros.kg/?lang=en

You can imagine what Soros and his collaborators did to these 5 million people too. No wonder the Soros collaborators are silent now… And run…

The Peace Pipeline

The Peace Pipeline

By:  Peter Chamberlin

Obama is a flexible puppet in the empire-builders hands, readily facilitating the decades-old scheme to seize control of the former Soviet satellite nations and all of their vast energy resources.  But, unlike Bush and Cheney, he seems to have a strong sense of conscience that is occasionally revealed on his face as a furrowed brow or clenched lips, whenever he is taking another immoral step for Empire, which carries a heavy human toll.

If this guilt for the actions he is taking is real moral guilt and not more stage-acting, then it is his weakness, that could potentially be exploited to compel our President to create actual change.  He has a lot of fresh blood on his hands for the decisions he has made so far, but even more because of the ones he has resisted making.

The fresh blood of several hundred Kyrgyz citizens is merely the freshest blood to stain Obama’s hands, wafting upwards into his face, filling his nostrils with the warm stench of mortal wounds.  Maybe the disgust he feels can linger in his brain long enough to interfere with his programming.

The pipeline project and the accompanying psychological warfare program intended to bring it about is directly responsible for both the “colored revolutions” of Central Asia and the terror attacks upon Russia.  These things are all part of the process of exporting democratic-revolution.

The depths of the treachery involved in putting together this plan to take control of former Russian territories is unfathomable to most of us. The twisted machinations used to carry it all out are unbelievably complex, even so, it all threatens to fall apart over the Kyrgyz fiasco.

If things unfold as they seem to be heading, then we are very likely witnessing a replay of the Georgia/South Ossetia conflict, with Obama replacing Bush in the paradigm of the latest confrontation with Putin.  The outcome will seal the fate of the planned Northern Distribution Network, and with it, the outcome of the Afghan “exit strategy.”  In truth, the world will see that the only real need for the northern supply route is to carry the Afghan war deep into former Russian territory.  It will also see that carrying the war into Central Asia is the real reason for prolonging the Afghan war.  Obama has rolled the dice on this scheme and it may have come up “snake eyes.”

If this prediction holds true, then our president of change will either have to settle-up, or double his bet—and the United States has little of the needed economic, military, or psychological capital needed to double our present enormous American commitment to the plans of conquest.  Maybe the obstacles to the plan that have arisen in Kyrgyzstan (coupled with the repellent thought of anticipated new waves of death) will motivate Obama to side with the people over the puppet-masters, who pull his strings.  It is a long shot, but it remains a realistic hope.

If America had a president of the people, then he would turn this into a true moment of change.  The great change that we all so desperately need at this time is an end to the pipeline wars.

This means that the contest to control the gas and oil must end here and now, to be replaced with a more peaceful path of mutual cooperation.  The competition between two blocks to control this resource must be replaced by a consortium of all nations, under an international treaty, to build “Peace Pipelines,” to bring these vital resources to the world and to return the profits from the gas and oil to their rightful owners, the people of the “Stans,” and to those nations that supply the access routes.

The people of the world need what the people of Central Asia have to sell.  It is up to the real leaders and statesmen of the world to ensure that this transaction comes about in a peaceful manner, not it the dog-eat-dog struggle that has engulfed and bankrupted the entire world.

peterchamberlin@naharnet.com

Faux Elections Are the Hallmark of Western “Democracy” At Home and In Our War Zones

[“Western Democracy” is revolutionary and subversive.  It undermines the people’s rights, wherever it raises its ugly head, from the corrupted American Supreme Court decision to allow the corporate takeover over the electoral process, to the countless puppet regimes put in place by the State Dept. machinery of subversion and the limitless NROs (Non governmental organizations) who spread the unrest, intended to foment the next flowered revolution.  The American people are the world’s greatest cowards for allowing such a situation to develop and spread like a vile contagion–all for the sake of greed.  It’s past time that we put this sickness to an end.]

As democracy unravels at home, the west thuggishly exports it elsewhere

While the US and Britain slide towards oligarchy, the forced elections in Afghanistan and Iraq have brought no good

The west’s proudest export to the Islamic world this past decade has been democracy. That is, not real democracy, which is too complicated, but elections. They have been exported at the point of a gun and a missile to Iraq and Afghanistan, to “nation-build” these states and hence “defeat terror”. When apologists are challenged to show some good resulting from the shambles, they invariably reply: “It has given Iraqis and Afghans freedom to vote.”

As British electors don democratic finery and troop to the polls next month, elections in both war-torn countries are looking sick. Last month’s poll in Iraq, blessed (or cursed) with a Westminster-style constitution, has failed to yield a coherent government. It appeared to show the incumbent prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, just beaten by his predecessor, Ayad Allawi. If so, it would be a remarkable case of a developing world democracy actually ejecting a sitting leader. In that respect, Iraq would be ahead of Britain, where the opposition must lead by at least 10 percentage points to be certain of power.

For the time being, Baghdad’s government has been in abeyance. The Sunni militias, reportedly backed by al‑Qaida, have returned to the streets, and the death rate is again soaring. Kurdistan is all but a separate country, and the odds are on the Sunnis being forced back into a semi-autonomous region. Tens of thousands of Iraqis have died and millions been driven from their homes – including almost all Iraq’s ancient population of Christians. The import of democracy has so far just inflamed local tension and fuelled fundamentalism. Like precious porcelain, elections were exported without instructions on their care. In the absence of adequate security, they are little more than tribal plebiscites.

At least in Iraq western troops are leaving the country to its fate. The west’s guilt at the mayhem left behind will start to diminish with time. People will blame George Bush and Tony Blair, leaving them, as they wish, to render their account not to the Iraqis but only to God.

In Afghanistan, a similar saga has been running for nine years, and is growing ever more tragic. Last year saw the deaths of more Afghans (2,412) and more western troops (520) than since the 2001 invasion. Nato is locked in a struggle to hold Helmand province for the government of the president, Hamid Karzai, against insurgents who can wait as long as they like to defeat the hated invaders.

Nato is only now seeking control, nine years on, of the country’s second city of Kandahar, in which the Taliban is dominant and the president’s brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, is the power broker. Karzai is said to have told local elders that there will be no assault on Kandahar “without their permission”. If Nato cannot negotiate a deal over the city, rather than reduce it to rubble, its mission is surely doomed.

The fact that Hamid Karzai was elected, by whatever dubious means, seems to infuriate western leaders. Barack Obama, Gordon Brown and their respective foreign ministers rage and telephone and pay visits and expostulate. The repetitive criticism hurled at Karzai for being corrupt and in the pocket of drug lords has become near comical, not least because of his eccentric response. Last week he threatened privately to swear allegiance to the Taliban himself (which might solve many problems).

The west is constantly telling Karzai to “clean up his act” or, as the New York Times harrumphs, “stop doing whatever he and his aides choose”. This is not because there is any likelihood of his obeying, but to help make the domestic case for the war look less shaky. As the joke in Kabul goes, as long as the west pretends to uphold his regime, Karzai must “pretend to be Swedish”. He is America’s exhibit A for world democracy. The idea that he might regard himself as the elected representative of the Afghan people, warts and all, with a future to consider and his neck on the line, is beyond consideration.

Democracy in both America and Britain is coming under scrutiny these days. Quite apart from the antics of MPs and congressmen, it is said to be sliding towards oligarchy, with increasing overtones of autocracy. Money and its power over technology are making elections unfair. The military-industrial complex is as powerful as ever, having adopted “the menace of global terrorism” as its casus belli. Lobbying and corruption are polluting the government process. In a nutshell, democracy is not in good shape.

How strange to choose this moment to export it, least of all to countries that have never experienced it in their history. The west not only exports the stuff, it does so with massive, thuggish violence, the antithesis of how self-government should mature in any polity. The tortured justification in Iraq and Afghanistan is that elections will somehow sanctify a “war against terrorism” waged on someone else’s soil. The resulting death and destruction have been appalling. Never can an end, however noble, have so failed to justify the means of achieving it.

The high-minded attacks on corruption in Muslim states from London and Washington is futile. In most countries corruption is the lubricant of power. Nor is the west that clean. Britain showered corruption on the Saudis to obtain arms contracts. The activities of American firms in “rebuilding” Iraq were wholly corrupt. In 2001 the British in Kabul – in the person of Clare Short no less – were put in charge of suppressing Afghan opium, fuel of most of that country’s corruption. Britain allowed it to continue, when the Taliban had been in the process of stamping it out.

The Tories and Liberal Democrats are dishonest to say that the Afghan war is justified “provided” Karzai ends corruption, stops rigging elections, and trains his army and police. None of this will happen, and is merely cover to avoid saying what these politicians know to be true – that British soldiers are dying for a dud hypothetical.

As Britons go the polls, they should challenge their candidates to justify what is being done in their name. A system of government that they have spent two centuries evolving and still not perfected is being rammed down the throats of poor and insecure people, who are then hectored for not handling it properly. Why should they? The invasions of their countries was not their choice. They did not ask to be a model for Britain’s moral exhibitionism. They did not plead for their villages to be target practice for western special forces.

Karzai is told he will lose Nato protection if he continues to associate with drug dealers and warlords – many of whom appear to be his relatives. He knows – as we know – that this is bluff. There can be no counter-insurgency without a client regime. Obama and Brown need him as much as he needs them.

Amid this bluff the only certainty for Karzai is that, one day, Nato will get fed up and leave him to his fate, as it is now leaving Maliki in Baghdad. If he wants to live, he must make his peace with Afghans, not Americans, and that means on Afghan terms. Free and fair elections and a stop to corruption will have no part to play in that survival game. Democracy has been greatly oversold.

Another organ trafficking ring surfaces in Israel

Another organ trafficking ring surfaces in Israel

Saed Bannoura

8scheperhughes_organ_trafficked.jpg
Brazilian man whose kidney was sold via an Israeli broker (photo Nancy Scheper-Hughes)

IMEMC

Just months after the Israeli government’s chief pathologist was exposed admitting years of involvement in organ trafficking involving both Israeli and Palestinian civilians without their consent, another major organ trafficking ring has been exposed by Israeli police on Wednesday.

According to Israeli police reports, six suspects were arrested in a sting operation of the organ trafficking ring on Wednesday, including two lawyers and a retired Brigadier General from the Israeli military who was the recipient of a Medal of Valour in the 1967 war.

“We ran an undercover investigation and we were shocked by the proportions of this”, said Israeli police superintendent Ahron Galor. The six suspects arrested in the raid have had their remand extended for an additional six days, according to the Magistrate for the District of Nazareth in northern Israel.

The lawyers involved in the scandal allegedly forged documents, including Israeli medical records and travel documents, in order for desperate Palestinians with Israeli citizenship to travel abroad to have a kidney or other organ removed. The trafficking ring would then sell the organ in Israel or abroad for $140,000. This meant quite a profit for those involved, as the person would be paid as little as $20,000 for their organ.

Several victims were named in the case, including a 50-year old woman from Nazareth who was flown to Azerbaijan to have her kidney removed, and was promised $100,000, which she never received. An 18-year old teen was flown to the Philippines, and offered $80,000, which he never received.

This is not the first time an Israeli organ-trafficking ring has been uncovered – despite Israeli claims that such allegations are ‘blood libel’ and ‘anti-Semitism’. When the Swedish paper Aftonbladet published an article in August 2009 quoting Palestinian sources who claimed that loved ones who were killed during Israeli military operations sometimes had their bodies returned with missing organs. The article raised an uproar, including calls for censorship by the Israeli government, petitions for the removal of the article’s author signed by the heads of major Jewish organizations, the recall of the Israeli ambassador to Sweden, and numerous op-eds asserting that the article was indicative of a trend of ‘growing anti-Semitism’ in Sweden and throughout Europe. But months afterward, when a video surfaced documenting Israel’s chief pathologist confirming the claims made in the Aftonbladet article, few media outlets reported it.

When the US Federal Bureau of Investigation busted a major crime ring in New Jersey in July 2009, including Rabbis, Mayors and Congressmembers, one of the most shocking parts of the crime ring was the exposure of an international organ trafficking trade between Israel, the US and other countries around the globe, led by Levy Itzak Rosenbaum of Brooklyn. At that time, the leading expert in organ trafficking in the US, Professor Nancy Scheper-Hughes, said that she was not surprised by Rosenbaum’s arrest, adding that she had told law enforcement agencies about his involvement in organ trafficking way back in 2001. But according to Scheper-Hughes, although most of the trade originated in Israel, “It was a public secret,” she said, “It was normalized in Israel.”

George W. Bush ‘knew Guantánamo prisoners were innocent’

[One in seven detainees released from Guantanamo returns to the battlefield, according to a classified Defense Intelligence Agency report that was leaked to the New York Times in May.  But this is nowhere near as important as how many of these former prisoners actually turned to the battlefield against the US military, after the way they were humiliated and abused by American torturers at Guantanamo?]

George W. Bush ‘knew Guantánamo prisoners were innocent’

Tim Reid

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April 8, 2010

George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld covered up that hundreds of innocent men were sent to the Guantánamo Bay prison camp because they feared that releasing them would harm the push for war in Iraq and the broader War on Terror, according to a new document obtained by The Times.

The accusations were made by Lawrence Wilkerson, a top aide to Colin Powell, the former Republican Secretary of State, in a signed declaration to support a lawsuit filed by a Guantánamo detainee. It is the first time that such allegations have been made by a senior member of the Bush Administration.

Colonel Wilkerson, who was General Powell’s chief of staff when he ran the State Department, was most critical of Mr Cheney and Mr Rumsfeld. He claimed that the former Vice-President and Defence Secretary knew that the majority of the initial 742 detainees sent to Guantánamo in 2002 were innocent but believed that it was “politically impossible to release them”.

General Powell, who left the Bush Administration in 2005, angry about the misinformation that he unwittingly gave the world when he made the case for the invasion of Iraq at the UN, is understood to have backed Colonel Wilkerson’s declaration.

Colonel Wilkerson, a long-time critic of the Bush Administration’s approach to counter-terrorism and the war in Iraq, claimed that the majority of detainees — children as young as 12 and men as old as 93, he said — never saw a US soldier when they were captured. He said that many were turned over by Afghans and Pakistanis for up to $5,000. Little or no evidence was produced as to why they had been taken.

He also claimed that one reason Mr Cheney and Mr Rumsfeld did not want the innocent detainees released was because “the detention efforts would be revealed as the incredibly confused operation that they were”. This was “not acceptable to the Administration and would have been severely detrimental to the leadership at DoD [Mr Rumsfeld at the Defence Department]”.

Referring to Mr Cheney, Colonel Wilkerson, who served 31 years in the US Army, asserted: “He had absolutely no concern that the vast majority of Guantánamo detainees were innocent … If hundreds of innocent individuals had to suffer in order to detain a handful of hardcore terrorists, so be it.”

He alleged that for Mr Cheney and Mr Rumsfeld “innocent people languishing in Guantánamo for years was justified by the broader War on Terror and the small number of terrorists who were responsible for the September 11 attacks”.

He added: “I discussed the issue of the Guantánamo detainees with Secretary Powell. I learnt that it was his view that it was not just Vice-President Cheney and Secretary Rumsfeld, but also President Bush who was involved in all of the Guantánamo decision making.”

Mr Cheney and Mr Rumsfeld, Colonel Wilkerson said, deemed the incarceration of innocent men acceptable if some genuine militants were captured, leading to a better intelligence picture of Iraq at a time when the Bush Administration was desperate to find a link between Saddam Hussein and 9/11, “thus justifying the Administration’s plans for war with that country”.

He signed the declaration in support of Adel Hassan Hamad, a Sudanese man who was held at Guantánamo Bay from March 2003 until December 2007. Mr Hamad claims that he was tortured by US agents while in custody and yesterday filed a damages action against a list of American officials.

Defenders of Guantánamo said that detainees began to be released as early as September 2002, nine months after the first prisoners were sent to the jail at the US naval base in Cuba. By the time Mr Bush left office more than 530 detainees had been freed.

A spokesman for Mr Bush said of Colonel Wilkerson’s allegations: “We are not going to have any comment on that.” A former associate to Mr Rumsfeld said that Mr Wilkerson’s assertions were completely untrue.

The associate said the former Defence Secretary had worked harder than anyone to get detainees released and worked assiduously to keep the prison population as small as possible. Mr Cheney’s office did not respond.

There are currently about 180 detainees left in the facility.

Dracula’s Army

Dracula’s Army

By Richard Neville

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Picture created by Jim Anderson

That the contents of a previously suppressed Pentagon video has come as a nasty shock to so many, highlights the noxious disinformation fog in which Western citizens are cocooned. The mainstream media may be omnipresent, yet it is by no means neutral. From day one of the Terror Wars, the slaughter of civilians depicted in the video, Collateral Damage, has been a key feature of the conflict. Both sides play dirty, but one side owns the skies.

In Afghanistan and Iraq the invaders have committed atrocities: shooting unarmed locals at check points, on the street, even while they’re tilling fields. We’ve bombed wedding parties, raided homes at midnight and murdered occupants of all ages, lying about it. We’ve stormed hospitals in Fallujah, unleashed chemical weapons (phosphorous), left a trail of depleted uranium … We’ve flattened the offices of Al Jazzera (twice), shoved “suspects” in dungeons, hid inmates from the International Red Cross and tortured prisoners to death …. and its still happening, day after day, with Drones wiping out remote villages, shredding their families, assassinating anyone we feel like.

On April 4, the New York Times revealed how a “badly bungled American Special Operations assault” tried to over-up in the deaths of three Afghan women during a night raid. Soldiers then corrupted the evidence, gouged incriminating bullets from corpses and blamed their murders on the Taliban. Australia’s covert forces have sunk into a similar mire, killing women and children at the “wrong address”. After a year’s investigation, the Australian Defence Force hasn’t managed to interview a single witness. Surely it’s time for the UN to outlaw the use of these covert forces, with a license to murder and no-one to hold them to account.

When you think about it, when you tally up the criminal carnage of the last decade, and when you listen to the brutal exchanges on the Apache gunship “please, another kill … light ’em all up” – you start to wonder what drives the spiralling of today’s military atrocities. Napoleon said an army marches on its stomach, and that may still be true, but these days you get the sense that the burgers are being washed down with lavish tumblers of blood. Often blood of innocents. It becomes an addiction, perhaps, an insatiable desire that’s part Gothic and part Surrealist, like a videogame played on a helicopter hovering over Transylvania.

When a short segment of the Collateral Damage was played last night on Sydney’s ABC TV news, viewers were told the rest of the clip was “too disturbing to watch”. Too disturbing to whom? The spin doctors? Our grandmothers? After almost a decade of war, a bit of disturbance is long overdue. It’s time see up close what a modern military invasion is capable of destroying.

A few days ago, the former head of the UN’s chief nuclear agency, Mohammed ElBaradei, told the British Guardian, that those who launched the war in Iraq were responsible for killing a million innocent people and could be tried under international law. Mmmm. The culprits are legion. George Bush, Tony Blair, John Howard and a slew of soldiers, advisors, lawyers and security aides.

Despite the claims of valiant WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange, several dark videos have surfaced over the years on the internet (see links below), as our knee jerk pro war media kept is eyes firmly averted. A positive outcome of this aversion has been the rapid rise of the online anti war community, including WikiLeaks. Even as their horror story was breaking worldwide, CNN’s front page was still desperately promoting its vital scoops on Tiger Woods and Apple’s I-Pad, as amusingly captured HERE .

“What’s the big deal?” This was a typical comment after the video release. “It’s all a haunt from the past. Move on and kill them all. Even if they had pointed sticks in a war zone or an apple cart full of grenades. War is war. It is not going for a coffee at Starbucks or walking on egg shells anymore. Laughing at the dead is nothing new”.

Thankfully, a significant number of war veterans return home from their tours of duty with seasoned eyes, and speak out against the injustices and brutality they witnessed. Instead of trying to shield viewers from the impact of Collateral Murder, a hefty chunk of it should have dominated the news. It is not the media’s job to minimise the brutalities of the war and criminality of commanders. Oh, sorry, it is their job.

In this first decade of the 21st Century, it is time to ask what kind of war machine the West has created? From the little we are allowed to know, it appears to be lawless, tech obsessed sadistic and dumb. It is an army of fat Dracula’s sucking the blood from the throats of the dispossessed, the impoverished, the ill educated, fuelled by an annual US investment of $607 billion on weapons of death.

“American and NATO troops firing from passing convoys and military checkpoints have killed 30 Afghans and wounded 80 others since last summer”, notes the New York Times, “but in no instance did the victims prove to be a danger to troops”. General McChrystal agrees: “We have shot an amazing number of people, but to my knowledge, none has ever proven to be a threat”. At last the mask slips. We get a dash of straight talking about the cruelty and futility of these odious invasions. As I write, bombs continue to explode in Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan – a legacy of the mess created by the West. How can we seek to be Godly, as we blast families in mud huts with drones? How can we send war criminals from small nations to the International Court, while our own offenders still live high on the hog, immune from rebuke. Long live WikiLeaks. May it continue to tear down the veils of illusion.