155 of Saddam’s and Obama’s MEK Terrorists Shipped To Albania


Bosnian El Mujahedeen Unit–The Republican Policy Committee, January 16, 1997 Report on Clinton and Bosnian Islamists

[Obama repeating Clinton’s mistakes in Albania, then Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia (SEE: The Mujahedin and Islamists in Bosnia ; Our terrorists ). ]

Large Group of MKO Terrorists Leave Iraq for Albania: Report

tasnim news

بدرود بغداد

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – 155 members of the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) are believed to have flown from Iraq to Albania on a civil aircraft, according to reports suggesting that the transfer was in coordination with American military forces and Saudis.

The MKO members had been residing in Camp Liberty near the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, and are said to be among the highest-ranking members of the terrorist group, including some of the aides and closest assistants of the group’s ringleader, Massoud Rajavi.

The early Thursday’s flight was bound for Tirana, Albania, the reports noted, saying it was planned to fly to Europe via a special flight path.

Informed sources in Iraq said the terrorist were scheduled to get out of the camp at 5 a.m. local time, Thursday.

A charter flight was expected to land in Baghdad’s airport, apparently in coordination with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), to transfer the MKO terrorists, but the US military forces and Saudis are believed to be involved as well.

Just a couple of days ago, an MKO ringleader, Sorayya Shahri, along with several other members of the terrorist group fled from Camp Liberty, a former US military camp outside Baghdad.

The MKO – listed as a terrorist organization by much of the international community – fled Iran in 1986 for Iraq and was given a camp by former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

They fought on the side of Saddam during the Iraqi imposed war on Iran (1980-88). They were also involved in the bloody repression of Shiite Muslims in southern Iraq in 1991 and the massacre of Iraqi Kurds.

The notorious group is also responsible for killing thousands of Iranian civilians and officials after the victory of the Islamic revolution in 1979.

More than 17,000 Iranians, many of them civilians, have been killed at the hands of the MKO in different acts of terrorism including bombings in public places, and targeted killings.

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Rule By the Elite, the “Natural Order,” Or A Pre-Revolutionary State?

[The following article would not normally merit posting on this site, considering its Pro-Democrat slant…Nonetheless, despite this shortcoming (which I attribute to the author being an Indian writer transplanted to the City of London, who is trying hard to turn his piece into another commentary on the American election), some very important and relevant issues are raised therein.  The “Pareto principle,” on control by the elite (20% control 80% of the wealth, 20% are troublemakers, who create 80% of the problems, etc.), vs-powder-keg politics, which teaches that an explosive rebellion by the oppressed 80% is inevitable.

ANY THOUGHTS?]

America’s New Normal is Threatening the ‘Naturalness’ of Elite Rule

wire

Bernie Sanders' popularity represents Americans' unhappiness with the elite who run the country and Hillary Clinton can feel it too. Credit: Reuters/Jim Young

Bernie Sanders’ popularity represents Americans’ unhappiness with the elite who run the country and Hillary Clinton can feel it too. Credit: Reuters/Jim Young

“Looks like the Pareto principle has been proven to be correct once again … Don’t mean to sound cynical but whether people are becoming poorer and desperate or expressing deep discontent, nothing is going to change. The [top] 20% are still going to dictate terms with their immense control over media and money.”

The quote above is one thoughtful reader’s response to the US presidential election campaign. Donald Trump appears to be losing ground – largely through his own off-the-cuff bigotry and xenophobia – and Bernie Sanders’ leftist challenge seems to have fizzled out as the Democratic Party unifies behind Hillary Clinton, all to defeat their common enemy: Trump.

The Pareto principle – named after the work of Italian political sociologist, Vilfredo Pareto, is part of a larger theory that may be summed up as the inevitability and ‘naturalness’ of elite power. The history of power in all societies everywhere is one of elites – some fox-like and cunning (elite democracy), others leonine and masculine (rule by force) – circulating in an endless series of births, deaths and re-births. And quite right too, as ‘elitists’ assert.

So whatever the political label or rhetoric, elites always rule. The Pareto principle contends that about 20% of any population basically produces 80% of the desired results – whether we refer to police officers fighting crime or teachers educating students, or the ownership of wealth and the earning of income. Adding to this tradition, other major elite theorists, such as Robert Michels, have argued for an iron law of oligarchy: whichever political party – revolutionary or reactionary, fascist, communist or democratic, conservative or liberal – gains power, it is bound to be ruled by an elite minority that is better organised, more gifted, and effective, justly easing out the masses from real power.

Elitism certainly confirms the cynical belief that nothing ever truly can or ever will change. But its take on reality suggests that the future looks just like the past, effectively defying radical historical shifts in power be it between classes or races or nations.

Elitists like Pareto seemed to revere hereditary aristocracies where the ‘talents’ reigned supreme and democracy posed a threat, and Marxism threatened complete annihilation. Pareto’s birth in 1848 – a year of democratic revolutions in Europe as well as the publication of the Communist manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels – and his death in 1923 in an era of rising fascism, tells its own story of the fear of change and the desire to return Italy to the past glories of the Roman empire.

The end point of Pareto’s predictions is also open to question and worth exploring in the US context. The change that Sanders and Trump represent is explicable only in the context of recent political history – increasing dissatisfaction with elites on the right and left exemplified by insurgencies from the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Street movement, respectively. The Occupy movement spread across the nation, involved millions of people and expressed deep public discontent and anger – much of it shared among tea partiers on the right – especially in the areas of military spending, corporate welfare and opposition to special interests, especially the big banks that were bailed out by taxpayers after the 2008 financial meltdown.

Those movements were the tinder-wood for the Trump and Sanders insurgencies against their respective party elites in the 2016 primaries. According to American sociologist Alvin Gouldner, that means where there is an iron law of oligarchy, there is an equal and opposite law of struggle for democracy, an axiom especially true in the modern era. It is just a matter of time before the democratic eruption comes.

It might be worth considering another Italian thinker – Antonio Gramsci – who wrote about intellectual hegemony, political power, and political transformation: hegemony is almost always contested more or less openly and maintaining hegemony is no easy process. Gramsci offers hope through struggle and exposes the superficiality and inherent instability of elite domination, its openness to challenges from below.

Gramsci died in one of Benito Mussolini’s prisons but practised what he preached – “pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will” – and his work inspired millions to keep pushing for change, because change itself is inevitable, given time and the balance of power between the status quo and change makers, those who make real history.

Apply that principle to history and we see that things do change even if the change is partial, incomplete and unsatisfactory to many – the end of apartheid in South Africa, political independence for the colonial world, relative peace in Northern Ireland, major advances in racial power relations in the US, the transformation in women’s rights across (most of) the world. And if we apply Gramsci to American politics today, perhaps we might see a more complex picture – movements for change albeit tempered by a reassertion by status quo forces, the tentative, uncertain steps towards the domestication of a radical agenda with the original impulse hardly extinguished.

Hence, we see that Clinton and her running mate Tim Kaine have been forced to reject the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement due to the power of the Sanders movement and because of its appeal to rust-belt white workers, a portion of which are die-hard Trump supporters.

Clinton may not be a fully convinced opponent of Wall Street and big money politics – after all, she and former President Bill Clinton make millions annually in speaking fees paid by the likes of UBS and Goldman Sachs – but she does feel the direction of the political wind changing. We may see some movement on instituting a financial transaction tax on speculative behaviour, the strengthening of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – that senator Elizabeth Warren fought to establish – and action against corporate concentration.

Warren’s reputation has been enhanced by her stream of effective attacks on Trump and her campaign to rein in the power of the big banks seems to have been renewed by the Sanders movement. Sanders is acting as a major sponsor of the Warren-John McCain bill to restore key provisions of the Glass-Steagall Act – passed in the wake of the Wall Street crash of 1929 but repealed 70 years later during Bill’s presidency. The Act prevented banks from speculating with ordinary peoples’ hard-earned savings. Clinton is committed to pushing a modernised version of Glass-Steagall.

The necessity of higher wages – backed by a new federal minimum wage of $15 per hour – was forced on Clinton by Sanders’ representatives on the Democratic platform committee at the national convention.

Clinton was also forced to flip-flop on the abolition of college tuition fees – she is now committed to making state universities and colleges free for students from families earning less than $125,000 annually – over 80% of all students.

From significant plans for an infrastructure bank to lead the renewal of the US’ roads, railways, ports and bridges, to higher taxes on the 0.1% of top income earners, to a public option for healthcare cost reduction, to greater intra-party democracy, including reforming the super-delegates system, Sanders’ legacy may yet live on should Clinton win the White House.

As professor Bastiaan van Apeldoorn of the Free University of Amsterdam argues, “The old order may no longer be sustainable; but we may be witnessing an interregnum, with the old order dying and a new one struggling to be born. The choice may increasingly [have to] be one between a real radical (left) reformism or fascism or Trumpism” or whatever form white ethno-nationalist bigotry may take.

“These are critical, transformative, times,” Apeldoorn comments. “With the (still likely) election of Clinton the neoliberal, Open Door, elite will get another lease of life but I cannot imagine it will be a sustained return to normalcy. Both the Trump and Sanders campaigns have made that clear.”

It may not be quite the political revolution Sanders demanded, but it is a major step away from the Trump counter-revolution, and an important nod towards the demands of the Sanders movement and parts of Trump’s working class political base and possibly a slightly fairer society. Things could be a lot worse.

But the cost to the American people will have to be paid in energetic vigilance – to ensure a level of political mobilisation to guard against a smooth return to ‘normalcy’ and the Pareto principle.

Inderjeet Parmar is the head of the International Politics department at the School of Social Sciences, City University, London.  

Pentagon Records Account for Less Than Half of U.S. Arms Transfers to Iraq, Afghanistan

Pentagon Records Account for Less Than Half of U.S. Arms Transfers to Iraq, Afghanistan

Iraqi security forces fire at ISIS militants positions from villages south of Mosul /

Iraqi security forces fire at ISIS militants positions from villages south of Mosul / AP

BY:

The Pentagon has records for fewer than half of the firearms the United States dispensed to partner forces in Afghanistan and Iraq since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

A compilation of Pentagon contract records related to the proliferation of rifles, pistols, machine guns, and associated attachments and ammunition found that the Pentagon provided more than 1.45 million firearms to security forces in Afghanistan and Iraq over a 14-year span. Those transfers were part of Defense Department small arms contracts totaling $4 billion. The Pentagon issued over $40 billion in total contracts, according to the report.

The transfers included more than 978,000 rifles, 266,000 pistols, and nearly 112,000 machine guns, according to the data obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests. The report was compiled by Iain Overton, a former BBC reporter who is now the executive director of Action on Armed Violence, a London-based charity group that advocates against weapons proliferation.

Pentagon data shows that the U.S. transferred over 700,000 small arms to Iraq and Afghanistan—an amount accounting for only 48 percent of the total arms supplied by the U.S. government.

The Pentagon said the gap between the counts is in part because the U.S. military was attempting to build up two governments that were both at war in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

“Speed was essential in getting those nations’ security forces armed, equipped, and trained to meet these extreme challenges,” Mark Wright, a Pentagon spokesman, wrote in an email to the Times. “As a result, lapses in accountability of some of the weapons transferred occurred.”

Wright said the Pentagon’s practices have since improved, and that to confirm “that equipment is only used for authorized purposes,” its representatives “inventory each weapon as it arrives in country and record the distribution of the weapon to the foreign partner nation.”

Still, Wright said that once a U.S. weapon is distributed to another force, “It is their responsibility to account for that weapon.”

The New York Times noted, “Anyone who has served in a military unit knows that documenting who received what weapon is both a fundamental task and a habit that fits easily into a routine. It takes no more time than issuing a uniform to a soldier or feeding him a meal. But often the Pentagon did not require these steps.”