ThereAreNoSunglasses

American Resistance To Empire

The Imperial Demolition of the Middle East—Western ace in the hole

[The author of the following does an excellent job of laying-out the primary strands of the Middle East knot.  The architects of the “Arab Spring” understood these strands and many more, giving them intimate knowledge of the primary “buttons” to be pushed, in order to set the Middle East on fire.  This is what the amazing CIA psywarriors did, by intention, NOT by accident. 

The problem has been in getting Western leaders to admit that their policies have been wrong since the beginning of the terror war, following policies which multiplied terrorism wherever US counter-terrorism took hold.  It is not just that Obama’s policies which have been misguided, because he has continued to follow the same Pentagon policies which managed Bush’s war.  American policies in general, since 2001, have been to tear countries apart, without consideration for what would come next. 

Now that the contradictions between America’s words and actions have become apparent to the people of the world, popular opinion is turning against the Empire, breaking the American global dictatorship (new world order).  Next comes worldwide realization that this has all been intentional, NOT by accident, or through a series of devastating mistakes.  The objective of the “Arab Spring” has always been to create chaos throughout the Muslim world, to be achieved through total destruction.

Convincing Western leaders to admit that the demolition of the existing order has been intentional all along will prove to be an existential struggle for anyone willing to make the attempt to reason with power.  The power elite can never admit that their objective has been to sow chaos in foreign lands, because doing so would create conscious linkage to our own Nation’s internal demolition.  We stand a better chance of witnessing a global realization about American intentions to create disorder, than we do of seeing changes arising from within.  It has now become clear to the rest of humanity that there has been NO real “regime change,” only regime destruction. The world is about to rightfully blame America for everything

The emergence of new, more rational world leadership comes in the person of Vladimir Putin.  Screams of outrage and urgency immediately rise-up against him from the usual warmongering crowd, while a hushed silence descends upon the rest of the world, where saner minds join together to pray, once more, for WORLD PEACE.  Putting an end to the Imperial destruction of Syria, Libya and Yemen is the first step towards finding that lasting peace in the Middle East.]

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The Roots of Conflict in the Middle East 

FAIR OBSERVER

Only rule of law and a culture of diversity can overthrow autocracy and religious fundamentalism in the Middle East.

One fundamental problem for Middle Eastern countries is that a majority of the rulers are illegitimate. While each country has its own history and trajectory, common patterns prevail across the region: Those in power have not received their positions from a fair and transparent electoral process. They see themselves as above the law and misuse their absolute power.

These autocrats act as a guardian of the people or treat them as an enemy. Sets of tribal and religious convictions replace law in many countries in the Middle East and North Africa, and power is fundamentally linked to tribalism or religion.

How have power struggles, religious conflict, discrimination, security issues, colonialism and Western hegemony, values and intervention shaped the Middle East? This author spoke to PhD students, academics and university lecturers to learn more.

Muhammad Waladbagi, a PhD candidate at Durham University working on Turkey-Iraqi Kurdistan relations, states that the modern history of the Middle East has witnessed frequent interstate wars, numerous revolutions, coup d’états, civil wars and economic problems:

“These are signs of fundamental problems in the region’s political culture that at times has set the ruling regimes against their people. It is quite difficult to identify and explain the reasons behind such phenomena in a few sentences as the origins of the problems differ in each specific case, and Middle Eastern states are not homogeneous as they have many differences.”

The role of religion

The feeling of attachment to tribalism and fake patriotism under the umbrella of religion is stronger and more apparent than respect for human rights and pluralism in the Middle East. Patriotism is used as a tool to accumulate wealth and oppress the rights of minorities, while religion and tribalism are often militarized, making the use of violence legitimate and normal.

Sabir Hasan, a lecturer at the University of Human Development and a PhD student at the University of Leeds, says religion—specifically Islam—is an inseparable part of Middle Eastern society, and it is one of the most influential domains of Kurdish social life:

“It is not surprising that different tribal and so-called patriotic groups resort to religion to gain legacy and popularity. As for ‘fake patriotism’, as you termed it, we need a simple glance at the contemporary history of Middle Eastern regimes, including Kurdistan, to see what abuses and scandals have been committed in the name of patriotism. It is axiomatic that those who first claimed to be loyal patriots have eventually become millionaires, all at the expense of the public. Those who misuse religion and patriotism can be regarded, at best, as opportunists.” 

In a region where exchange of power often causes destruction and chaos, the psychology of the rulers is structured in such a way that they consider themselves to always be right, thus there is no need for an election. Humans are not seen as humans, but as either friend or foe. Ironically, one has to act like an enemy to be a friend and a friend to be an enemy. That is to say, one has to be the enemy of freedom to be the friend of an oppressor, and to be a protector of an oppressor to be the enemy of democracy.

Middle East

Power struggles

Analyzing the issue of power struggles from a psychoanalytic perspective, Mohammed Akoi, an assistant lecturer in Raparin University in Sulaymaniyah, says:

“Sigmund Freud talks in detail about the Oedipus complex; that is, the unconscious rivalry between the father and the son. I see a similar type of complex when it comes to rulers in the Middle East. There is a myth in Kurdish folklore that could say a lot about father-son rivalry in the Middle-Eastern context.

“The story goes that a father, after having lost all his sons but one, arranges a wedding for his last son, Saidawan. As the party ends, Saidawan goes hunting to the mountains, and so does his father. Saidawan dresses in a wild goat’s clothing in order to attract other goats and thus hunt them. His father, on the other hand, seeing a supposed wild goat and not knowing it is his son in disguise, kills him and thus loses his last son.

“The story is often told as a tragic misfortune on the part of the father. However, approaching the incident from a Freudian interpretation, it is the father who kills his son unconsciously. Much has been said about the Middle Eastern father as an example of divine authority who is always there to punish the son.”

Akoi argues that rulers in the Middle East play the role of a typical superior who enjoys the authority of the father. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that democracy, the product of Western consciousness, always fails to shake the Middle Eastern father’s position.

The dictators of Middle Eastern countries see armed struggle as a pathway to their eternal need for power. Instead of promoting coexistence, they embrace war and military confrontation; instead of building legitimate institutions, they destroy the country’s infrastructure; and instead of organizing an inclusive, lawful military force, they establish militia units for the sake of adding fuel to the sectarian disputes. This paves the way for the dictators to remain in power as long as they want or until they are forcefully deposed.

For Sarkawt Shamsulddin, a political analyst at the Kurdish Policy Foundation specializing in governance and security and NRT TV’s bureau chief in Washington DC, two issues are of pivotal importance: the abuse of religion and a lack of good governance. The focus here is on governance.

“The rulers in the Middle East have been oppressing their people for decades and they have used different means to do so, such as undermining human rights, democracy, freedom of speech and civil society as a whole. They have undermined opposition groups. They have mostly invested in military and security institutions. Therefore, when revolutions or what is called the ‘Arab Spring’ emerged, they use their military capability to stay in power.”  

In the underdeveloped countries of the Middle East, security and military forces are dominated and ruled by tribal chiefs and religious figures. Infringement of political rights is authorized through elastic rules, and the confiscation of democratic values is fallaciously considered a religious duty. The public sphere is in total chaos, and the government has too much influence through the media, economy, education and even on the private lives of the people. This abuse of power has become an inherent part of governments’ mechanism to uproot any kind of freedom—be it freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of conscience or freedom of the press.

Zubir Rasool, a PhD candidate of Middle East politics at the University of Exeter, argues that there are numerous problematic issues that can contribute to the structure of current conflict in the Middle East. The main issue in this regard has to do with the structure of the so-called “nation-state” on the one hand, and its political, social and economic functions on the other hand.

“The evolution of the nation-state did not come from a natural process in the Middle East. Large groups of Middle Eastern countries were the results of colonial operations—whether it was from the Ottoman Empire or European colonialism. Both of these historical moments’ legacies share a responsibility for the creative chaos in the Middle East nowadays. The terms nation-building or state-building was just a figurative cover for the combination of different ethnic, tribal, linguistic and cultural identities. The legacy of the Ottoman Empire is based on the distinction between Muslims and non-Muslims; also, non-Muslims were divided among their ethnicities and religious sects.”

The middle-class has deteriorated and the professional workforce is almost non-existent. A lack of public facilities, low income and high unemployment keep people frustrated. A lack of food quality and stable electricity, poor health care and stagnant education keep people over-occupied and struggling. This way, people do not have the means to revolt. They are more occupied with providing the basic needs to survive, let alone the strenuous dangers of migration and the perpetual challenges of resettlement, identity, discrimination and cultural integration.

Refugees

Ramyar Hassani, a human rights observer in Latin America, Europe and Kurdistan, says that in a Middle East that is burning because of sectarian wars and extremist organizations, being a refugee has become a normal phenomenon.

“On the one hand, the proxy wars of regional powers have forced thousands of Middle Easterners to flee and leave everything behind. On the other hand, the wrong policies of Western and world powers led the Middle East into a clash of extremists, which resulted in thousands of refugees [heading] to a safer country [and] dreaming of a life without violence.”

With that in mind, whenever there is a revolution, the faces change, but the mentalities are the same. That is to say, a new despotic clan will take over power, establishing the same sort of mechanism to replace and then rule in the same manner as the ousted autocrat. Each clan or tribe controls a certain territory with their own armed force and militia in hand and their own rules in place.

That being said, constitutional legitimacy is threatened by political outbidding and revolution. The legitimate exchange or handover of power and social justice are vulnerable in the face of political and economic corruption, which is why disorder, instability and war have always been part of the autocrat’s culture and mentality.

Sherko Kirmanj, a visiting senior lecturer at the University of Utara Malaysia and the author of Identity and Nation in Iraq, believes the question of legitimacy is one problem that faces the Middle East.

“One of the major problems confronting Middle Eastern societies is that the process of modernity in the region is not home-grown, but rather an imposed one. Modernity with all its dimensions and outcomes, including the nation-state, secularism, democratization, freedom, etc, were alien concepts introduced into Middle Eastern societies in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The introduction of these concepts and the values that embrace such equality, justice, fairness, freedom of speech and freedom of religion—just to name a few—led to a clash with local and traditional values of these societies.”

In the End

Western leaders and institutions have a limited understanding and familiarity with Middle Eastern societies, cultures and politics. This often leads to a focus on increasing arms and ammunition supplies and offering military training, especially in times of a violent insurgency, instead of the much-needed humanitarian, educational and developmental aid. This creates an ongoing cycle, wherein whoever has the most military strength holds power and steps into the same pattern of governmental rule.

What has blinded the West is the age-old misconception that Middle Eastern societies are anti-civil society, anti-democracy and anti-multiculturalism. This thinking leads to the conclusion that these societies are doomed to remain in bloodshed, where the best treatment is the importing of more and more weapons. This approach fails to address the root problems and instead contributes to the cycle of violence.

The West must realize that the real danger lies in the empowerment of religious fanatics and systemic corruption that have replaced true critical thinking, quality education and effective institutions.

By publishing and glamorizing radical groups’ propaganda on media platforms such as YouTube, the West can demonstrate how significant a culture of diversity and rule of law is for consolidating democracy. These two elements—rule of law and a culture of diversity—are the only means through which autocracy and religious fundamentalism can be overthrown.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.

Photo Credit: Robert Hale / StrelsShutterstock.com

Aras Ahmed MhamadAras Ahmed Mhamad is a freelance journalist and regular contributor for Fair Observer.

Destroying the Syrian Nation For the Sake of Gas

Don’t let anyone fool you: Sectarian strife in Syria has been engineered to provide cover for a war for access to oil and gas, and the power and money that come along with it.

Refugees and migrants wait to cross the border from the northern Greek village of Idomeni to southern Macedonia, Monday, Sept. 7, 2015. Greece has borne the brunt of a massive refugee and migration flow of people heading into the European Union. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)

Refugees and migrants wait to cross the border from the northern Greek village of Idomeni to southern Macedonia, Monday, Sept. 7, 2015. Greece has borne the brunt of a massive refugee and migration flow of people heading into the European Union. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)


 

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect recent Wikileaks revelations of US State Department leaks that show plans to destabilize Syria and overthrow the Syrian government as early as 2006.  The leaks reveal that these plans were given to the US directly from the Israeli government and would be formalized through instigating civil strife and sectarianism through partnership with nations like Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and even Egypt to break down the power structue in Syria to essentially to weaken Iran and Hezbolla. The leaks also reveal Israeli plans to use this crisis to expand it’s occupation of the Golan Heights for additional oil exploration and military expansion. 


 

MINNEAPOLIS — Images of Aylan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian boy who washed up dead on Mediterranean shores in his family’s attempt to flee war-torn Syria, have grabbed the attention of people around the world, sparking outrage about the true costs of war.

The heart-wrenching refugee crisis unfolding across the Middle East and at European borders has ignited a much needed conversation on the ongoing strife and instability that’s driving people from their homes in countries like Syria, Libya and Iraq. It’s brought international attention to the inhumane treatment these refugees are receiving if — and it is a major “if” — they arrive at Europe’s door.

In Syria, for example, foreign powers have sunk the nation into a nightmare combination of civil war, foreign invasion and terrorism. Syrians are in the impossible position of having to choose between living in a warzone, being targeted by groups like ISIS and the Syrian government’s brutal crackdown, or faring dangerous waters with minimal safety equipment only to be denied food, water and safety by European governments if they reach shore.

Other Syrians fleeing the chaos at home have turned to neighboring Arab Muslim countries. Jordan alone has absorbed over half a million Syrian refugees; Lebanon has accepted nearly 1.5 million; and Iraq and Egypt have taken in several hundred thousand.

Although it’s not an Arab nation or even part of the Middle East, Iran sent 150 tons of humanitarian goods, including 3,000 tents and 10,000 blankets, to the Red Crescents of Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon via land routes to be distributed among the Syrian refugees residing in the three countries last year.

Turkey has taken in nearly 2 million refugees to date. Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Erdogan made international headlines for opening his nation’s arms to migrants, positioning himself as a kind of savior in the process.

A paramilitary police officer carries the lifeless body of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi after he drowned when the boat he and his family members were in capsized near the Turkish resort of Bodrum early Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015. (Photo: Nilüfer Demir/DHA)

Meanwhile, Gulf Arab nations like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have provided refuge to zero Syrian refugees.

While there’s certainly a conversation taking place about refugees — who they are, where they’re going, who’s helping them, and who isn’t — what’s absent is a discussion on how to prevent these wars from starting in the first place. Media outlets and political talking heads have found many opportunities to point fingers in the blame game, but not one media organization has accurately broken down what’s driving the chaos: control over gas, oil and resources.

Indeed, it’s worth asking: How did demonstrations held by “hundreds” of protesters demanding economic change in Syria four years ago devolve into a deadly sectarian civil war, fanning the flames of extremism haunting the world today and creating the world’s second largest refugee crisis?

While the media points its finger to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s barrel bombs and political analysts call for more airstrikes against ISIS and harsher sanctions against Syria, we’re four years into the crisis and most people have no idea how this war even got started.

This “civil war” is not about religion

Citing a lack of access on the ground, the United Nations stopped regularly updating its numbers of casualties in the Syrian civil war in January 2014. Estimates put the death toll between 140,200 and 330,380, with as many as 6 million Syrians displaced, according to the U.N.

While there is no question that the Syrian government is responsible for many of the casualties resulting from its brutal crackdown, this is not just a Syrian problem.

Foreign meddling in Syria began several years before the Syrian revolt erupted.  Wikieaks released leaked US State Department cables from 2006 revealing US plans to overthrow the Syrian government through instigating civil strife, and receiving these very orders straight from Tel Aviv.  The leaks reveal the United State’s partnership with nations like Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and even Egypt to use sectarianism to divide Syria through the Sunni and Shiite divide to destabilize the nation to weaken Iran and Hezbolla.  Israel is also revealed to attempt to use this crisis to expand it’s occupation of the Golan Heights for additional oil exploration.

According to major media outlets like the BBC and the Associated Press, the demonstrations that supposedly swept Syria were comprised of only hundreds of people, but additional Wikileaks cables reveal CIA involvement on the ground in Syria to instigate these very demonstrations as early as March 2011.

FILE - In this Monday, Dec. 19, 2011 file photo, Syrians hold a large poster depicting Syria's President Bashar Assad during a rally in Damascus, Syria. Some activists expressed regret that one year later their "revolution" against President Bashar Assad's rule had become mired in violence. (AP Photo/Muzaffar Salman, File)

 

Just a few months into the demonstrations which now consisted of hundreds of armed protesters with CIA ties, demonstrations grew larger, armed non-Syrian rebel groups swarmed into Syria, and a severe government crackdown swept through the country to deter this foreign meddling. It became evident that the United States, United Kingdom, France, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey would be jumping on the opportunity to organize, arm and finance rebels to form the Free Syrian Army as outlined in the State Department plans to destabilize Syria. (Just a few months ago, WikiLeaks confirmed this when it released Saudi intelligence that revealed Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia had been working hand in hand to arm and finance rebels to overthrow the Syrian government since 2012.)

These foreign nations created a pact in 2012 called “The Group of Friends of the Syrian People,” a name that couldn’t be further from the truth. Their agenda was to divide and conquer in order to wreak havoc across Syria in view of overthrowing Syrian President Bashar Assad.

A Free Syrian Army soldier carries his weapon at the northern town of Sarmada, in Idlib province, Syria, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012. (AP Photo)

The true agenda to hijack Syria’s revolt quickly became evident, with talking heads inserting Syria’s alliance with Iran as a threat to the security and interests of the United States and its allies in the region. It’s no secret that Syria’s government is a major arms, oil and gas, and weapons ally of Iran and Lebanon’s resistance political group Hezbollah.

But it’s important to note the timing: This coalition and meddling in Syria came about immediately on the heels of discussions of an Iran-Iraq-Syria gas pipeline that was to be built between 2014 and 2016 from Iran’s giant South Pars field through Iraq and Syria. With a possible extension to Lebanon, it would eventually reach Europe, the target export market.

Perhaps the most accurate description of the current crisis over gas, oil and pipelines that is raging in Syria has been described by Dmitry Minin, writing for the Strategic Cultural Foundation in May 2013:

“A battle is raging over whether pipelines will go toward Europe from east to west, from Iran and Iraq to the Mediterranean coast of Syria, or take a more northbound route from Qatar and Saudi Arabia via Syria and Turkey. Having realized that the stalled Nabucco pipeline, and indeed the entire Southern Corridor, are backed up only by Azerbaijan’s reserves and can never equal Russian supplies to Europe or thwart the construction of the South Stream, the West is in a hurry to replace them with resources from the Persian Gulf. Syria ends up being a key link in this chain, and it leans in favor of Iran and Russia; thus it was decided in the Western capitals that its regime needs to change.

It’s the oil, gas and pipelines, stupid!

Indeed, tensions were building between Russia, the U.S. and the European Union amid concerns that the European gas market would be held hostage to Russian gas giant Gazprom. The proposed Iran-Iraq-Syria gas pipeline would be essential to diversifying Europe’s energy supplies away from Russia.

Turkey is Gazprom’s second-largest customer. The entire Turkish energy security structure relies on gas from Russia and Iran. Plus, Turkey was harboring Ottoman-like ambitions of becoming a strategic crossroads for the export of Russian, Caspian-Central Asian, Iraqi and Iranian oil and even gas to Europe.

The Guardian reported in August 2013:

“Assad refused to sign a proposed agreement with Qatar and Turkey that would run a pipeline from the latter’s North field, contiguous with Iran’s South Pars field, through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and on to Turkey, with a view to supply European markets – albeit crucially bypassing Russia. Assad’s rationale was ‘to protect the interests of [his] Russian ally, which is Europe’s top supplier of natural gas.’”

Note the purple line which traces the proposed Qatar-Turkey natural gas pipeline and note that all of the countries highlighted in red are part of a new coalition hastily put together after Turkey finally (in exchange for NATO’s acquiescence on Erdogan’s politically-motivated war with the PKK) agreed to allow the US to fly combat missions against ISIS targets from Incirlik. Now note which country along the purple line is not highlighted in red. That’s because Bashar al-Assad didn’t support the pipeline and now we’re seeing what happens when you’re a Mid-East strongman and you decide not to support something the US and Saudi Arabia want to get done.

Knowing Syria was a critical piece in its energy strategy, Turkey attempted to persuade Syrian President Bashar Assad to reform this Iranian pipeline and to work with the proposed Qatar-Turkey pipeline, which would ultimately satisfy Turkey and the Gulf Arab nations’ quest for dominance over gas supplies. But after Assad refused Turkey’s proposal, Turkey and its allies became the major architects of Syria’s “civil war.”

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/G1p_tFnKqMA?rel=0&showinfo=0

Much of the strategy currently at play was described back in a 2008 U.S. Army-funded RAND report, “Unfolding the Future of the Long War”:

“The geographic area of proven oil reserves coincides with the power base of much of the Salafi-jihadist network. This creates a linkage between oil supplies and the long war that is not easily broken or simply characterized. … For the foreseeable future, world oil production growth and total output will be dominated by Persian Gulf resources. … The region will therefore remain a strategic priority, and this priority will interact strongly with that of prosecuting the long war.”

In this context, the report identifies the divide and conquer strategy while exploiting the Sunni-Shiite divide to protect Gulf oil and gas supplies while maintaining a Gulf Arab state dominance over oil markets.

“Divide and Rule focuses on exploiting fault lines between the various Salafi-jihadist groups to turn them against each other and dissipate their energy on internal conflicts. This strategy relies heavily on covert action, information operations (IO), unconventional warfare, and support to indigenous security forces. … the United States and its local allies could use the nationalist jihadists to launch proxy IO campaigns to discredit the transnational jihadists in the eyes of the local populace. … U.S. leaders could also choose to capitalize on the ‘Sustained Shia-Sunni Conflict’ trajectory by taking the side of the conservative Sunni regimes against Shiite empowerment movements in the Muslim world…. possibly supporting authoritative Sunni governments against a continuingly hostile Iran.”

The report notes that another option would be “to take sides in the conflict, possibly supporting authoritative Sunni governments against a continuingly hostile Iran.”

This framework crafted an interesting axis: Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, U.S., Britain and France vs. Syria, Iran and Russia.

Divide and conquer: A path to regime change

With the U.S., France, Britain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey — aka, the new “Friends of Syria” coalition — publicly calling for the overthrow of Syrian President Bashar Assad between  2011 and 2012 after Assad’s refusal to sign onto the gas pipeline, the funds and arms flowing into Syria to feed the so-called “moderate” rebels were pushing Syria into a humanitarian crisis. Rebel groups were being organized left and right, many of which featured foreign fighters and many of which had allied with al-Qaida.

Saudi Arabia's permanent representative to the League of Arab States Ahmad al-Qattan, center, attends the Arab League summit in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, March, 29, 2012. The annual Arab summit meeting opened in the Iraqi capital Baghdad on Thursday with only 10 of the leaders of the 22-member Arab League in attendance and amid a growing rift between Arab countries over how far they should go to end the one-year conflict in Syria. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)

The Syrian government responded with a heavy hand, targeting rebel held areas and killing civilians in the process.

Since Syria is religiously diverse, the so-called “Friends of Syria” pushed sectarianism as their official “divide and conquer” strategy to oust Assad. Claiming that Alawites ruled over a majority Sunni nation, the call by the “moderate” U.S.-backed rebels became one about Sunni liberation.

Although the war is being sold to the public as a Sunni-Shiite conflict, so-called Sunni groups like ISIS,  the Syrian al-Qaida affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra (the Nusra Front) and even the “moderate” Free Syrian Army have indiscriminately targeted Syria’s Sunnis, Shiites, Christians and Jews. At the same time, these same foreign nations supported and even armed the Bahraini government, which claims to be Sunni, in its violent crackdown on the majority Shiite pro-democracy demonstrations that swept the nation.

The Syrian government army itself is over 80 percent Sunni, which indicates that the true agenda has been politically — not religiously — motivated.

In addition to this, the Assad family is Alawite, an Islamic sect that the media has clumped in with Shiites, though most Shiites would agree that the two are unrelated. Further, the Assad family is described as secular and running a secular nation. Counting Alawites as Shiites was simply another way to push a sectarian framework for the conflict: It allowed for the premise that the Syria-Iran alliance was based on religion, when, in fact, it was an economic relationship.

This framework carefully crafted the Syrian conflict as a Sunni revolution to liberate itself from Shiite influence that Iran was supposedly spreading to Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

But the truth is, Syria’s Sunni community is divided, and many defected to join groups like the Free Syrian Army, ISIS and al-Qaida. And as mentioned earlier, over 80 percent of Assad’s military is Sunni.

As early as 2012, additional rebels armed and financed by Arab Gulf nations and Turkey like al-Qaida and the Muslim Brotherhood, declared all-out war against Shiites. They even threatened to attack Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Iraq’s government after they had overthrown the Assad government.

Soon after, the majority of the Muslim Brotherhood rebels became part of al-Qaida-affiliated groups. Together, they announced that they would destroy all shrines — not just those ones which hold particular importance to Shiites.

Hezbollah entered the scene in 2012 and allied itself with the Syrian government to fight al-Nusra and ISIS, which were officially being armed and financed by Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. And all the arms were actively being sold to these nations by the United States. Thus, US arms were falling into the hands of the same terror group the US claims to be fighting in its broader War on Terror.

Hezbollah fighters carry the coffin of Hezbollah member Mohammad Issa who was killed in an airstrike that killed six members of the Lebanese militant group and an Iranian general in Syria, during his funeral procession, in the southern village of Arab Salim, Lebanon, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015. Hezbollah has accused Israel of carrying out Sunday's airstrike, which occurred on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights. Issa was the highest-ranking among the group, and was among the senior cadres who headed the group's operations in Syria against the Sunni-led rebellion. (AP Photo/Mohammed Zaatari)

According to reports, Hezbollah was and has been been active in preventing rebel penetration from Syria to Lebanon, being one of the most active forces in the Syrian civil war spillover in Lebanon. Despite this, the U.S. sanctioned both the Syrian government and Hezbollah in 2012.

Also that year, Russia and Iran sent military advisers to assist the Syrian government in quelling the terror groups, but Iranian troops were not on the ground fighting during this time.

What was once a secular, diverse and peaceful nation, was looking more like it was on its way to becoming the next Afghanistan; its people living under Taliban-style rule as jihadists took over more land and conquered more cities.

Effects of foreign meddling outweigh self-determination

If you think that was hard to follow, you’re certainly not alone.

Most sectarian civil wars are purposely crafted to pit sides against one another to allow for a “divide and conquer” approach that breaks larger concentrations of power into smaller factions that have more difficulty linking up. It’s a colonial doctrine that the British Empire famously used, and what we see taking place in Syria is no different.

So, let’s get one thing straight: This is not about religion. It might be convenient to say that Arabs or Muslims kill each other, and it’s easy to frame these conflicts as sectarian to paint the region and its people as barbaric. But this Orientalist, overly simplistic view of conflict in the Middle East dehumanizes the victims of these wars to justify direct and indirect military action.

If the truth was presented to the public from the perspective that these wars are about economic interests, most people would not support any covert funding and arming of rebels or direct intervention. In fact, the majority of the public would protest against war. But when something is presented to the public as a matter of good versus evil, we are naturally inclined to side with the “good” and justify war to fight off the supposed “evil.”

The political rhetoric has been carefully crafted to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable. Ultimately, no matter the agendas, the alliances or instability brought on by foreign meddling, the calls for freedom, democracy and equality that erupted in 2011 were real then and they’re real today. And let’s not forget that the lack of freedom, democracy and equality have been brought on more by foreign meddling to prop up brutal dictators and arm terror groups than by self-determination.

Migrant men help a fellow migrant man holding a boy as they are stuck between Macedonian riot police officers and migrants during a clash near the border train station of Idomeni, northern Greece, as they wait to be allowed by the Macedonian police to cross the border from Greece to Macedonia, Friday, Aug. 21, 2015. Macedonian special police forces have fired stun grenades to disperse thousands of migrants stuck on a no-man's land with Greece, a day after Macedonia declared a state of emergency on its borders to deal with a massive influx of migrants heading north to Europe. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

The people in the Middle East once stood united and strong together against foreign meddling, exploitation and colonialism no matter their religious or cultural background. But today, the Middle East is being torn to shreds by manipulative plans to gain oil and gas access by pitting people against one another based on religion. The ensuing chaos provides ample cover to install a new regime that’s more amenable to opening up oil pipelines and ensuring favorable routes for the highest bidders.

And in this push for energy, it’s the people who suffer most. In Syria, they are fleeing en masse. They’re waking up, putting sneakers on their little boys and girls, and hopping on boats without life jackets, hoping just to make it to another shore. They’re risking their lives, knowing full well that they may never reach that other shore, because the hope of somewhere else is better than the reality at home.

force West Asian nations to “stop deadly politics in the name of Islam”

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Refugee crisis: RSS hits out at ‘oil-rich’ Arab nations

siasat daily

New Delhi: Amid the ongoing refugee crisis, RSS mouthpiece ‘Organiser’ has called for building international opinion to force West Asian nations to “stop deadly politics in the name of Islam”.

It also hit out at Arab nations including Saudi Arabia and Kuwait for refusing to help the refugees from strife-torn Syria despite having capacities and resources.

“…Not only Europe but even countries like Bharat (India) and China cannot afford to sit back and wait for the crisis to subside. The time is ripe to build international opinion and force West Asian countries to stop deadly politics in the name of Islam,” it said.

An editorial, “Refuge behind refugees”, in the RSS organ also said Indian “clerics issuing fatwa against the inhuman actions of IS is exemplary in this regard”.

Hitting out at the Arab countries, it said, “The worst culprits are the Arab countries. After financing terrorist groups in many countries, the oil rich West Asian countries have shamed the ‘Arab Conscience’ by refusing to take in any refugee.”

“…Why are some Muslim governments seemingly indifferent to the plight of refugees? They have all the capacities, resources and space but for them the cause espoused by IS is greater than the humanitarian concerns,” it said.

The organ said Saudi Arabia has openly declared that it will not allow any Syrian refugee into the kingdom, while Kuwaiti official argued that ‘they would not fit in’ with the Kuwaiti culture.

The ‘Organiser’ said European powers, who are planning refugee quotas and are now vouching for the humanitarian laws, cannot forget the fact that the situation in Syria or other West Asian countries is the outcome of their colonial legacy.

“They had redrawn the boundaries and created Assads and Saddams under the US leadership. Taliban and IS are their ‘liberal’ contributions to the world. Now when the humanitarian crisis is at the zenith, they cannot overlook the real menace that is barbarism of IS,” it said.

It said the Syrian conflict has created over four million refugees and two million more are expected to flee due to persecution in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and Yemen.

“There are reports that Islamic State (IS) militants are being smuggled in Europe in the guise of refugees. The IS operative claimed some 4,000 fighters were already waiting in Europe aiming to attack around the globe,” the RSS organ said.

Noting that more than 2,50,000 people have already died and many are being tortured, it said asylum to refugees can be a temporary solution but not a permanent one.

“Europe cannot hide behind the garb of refugees and neglect the real problem,” it said.

Refugees Flee American Aggression

It must be stated unequivocally that these are regime change refugees.”

Freedom Rider: Refugees Flee American Aggression

black agenda report

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Americans are made uncomfortable by pictures of drowned refugee children, but most cannot accept that their own government’s “unrelenting effort at regime change in Syria is the cause of this crisis.” U.S. corporate media parrot Washington’s lies, keeping tally of the displaced and doomed, but blaming Syria’s government for defending itself against western-backed jihadists. Rather than demand the West leash its dogs, “they call for more war.”

The ongoing migrant crisis in Europe is a direct result of American and NATO interventions and aggressions in the Middle East. Had those partners in crime not exacted regime change in Libya, that country would not be a magnet for human trafficking and an embarkation point for desperate people. The plan to produce the same result in Syria has failed thus far but there is still chaos and suffering on a mass scale. These refugees exist because of imperialism which has laid waste to nation after nation.

Millions of people around the world are asking how they can help the refugees now streaming into Europe. Personal generosity may seem commendable but in this case it ought to be discouraged. The individuals who want to help should instead spend time demanding that their governments cease intervening in the affairs of other nations. They should also demand that the truth of imperialist guilt be exposed.

Americans were largely unaware of the growing crisis until images of dead children appeared in the media. In particular the photograph of two year-old Aylan Kurdi, who drowned on a beach off the coast of Turkey, will go down in history as an image which brought this crisis to international attention. The Kurdi family were trying to flee a region of Syria overrun by ISIS when the mother and two children drowned. An estimated 2,500 others have also died in attempts to reach Europe.

The corporate media cover the journeys of the would-be migrants and act as though the cause of the catastrophe is somehow mysterious. They never state what is true and obvious, that the western nations created this misery. They and their allies among the Persian Gulf monarchies are entirely to blame.

These refugees exist because of imperialism.”

The United States and other NATO governments have not been shy in exposing their support for so-called rebels in Syria and continue to utter the loathsome phrase, “Assad must go.” In the topsy-turvy immoral universe of the United States it is acceptable to destroy Syria without one word of condemnation coming from the nation’s editorial pages. Instead politicians and the press repeat their lies and when they speak of war at all they lay blame at the feet of the Syrian government which has a right to defend its territory and sovereignty.

The sight of the dead child seemed to galvanize what other horror stories could not. More than 200 people drowned near the Libyan city of Zuwarah at the same time that the Kurdis attempted their escape. Some 70 bodies of refugees were discovered suffocated in a truck in Austria. The reactions of horror are understandable but they must be met with simple but powerful actions. First, it must be stated unequivocally that these are regime change refugees. They would be living peacefully in their native lands if NATO and their henchmen hadn’t destroyed their countries.

Secondly, call out the liars. The politicians, so-called journalists and “humanitarian” organizations have political agendas which never blame the true culprits. While the corporate media print and broadcast false tales about Russian troops in Syria the lies must be labeled as such. Racism must be exposed as well. Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban openly said, “Please don’t come” and added for good measure that he didn’t want too many Muslims to enter his country. Orban said out loud what other European leaders say behind closed doors. He has merely expressed in public what others say in private. Non-white people need not apply.

In the topsy-turvy immoral universe of the United States it is acceptable to destroy Syria without one word of condemnation coming from the nation’s editorial pages.”

While officials In Washington, London and Paris dissemble because their hands are dirty, the corporate media ratchet up the call to “do something.” If they did their job they would tell readers and viewers why families with small children risk their lives in unseaworthy boats. Instead they all call for more war. They repeat official propaganda and make up some of their own. The unrelenting effort at regime change in Syria is the cause of this crisis and more destruction will only increase the awful toll on human beings.

Sending money to aid organizations is an easy out. Democratic nations are supposed to respond to popular demand. The people of Europe and the United States should therefore start demanding that their nations cease the entire imperial project, and not just in Syria. Aylan Kurdi is not the only child killed by intervention and invasion. Children are dead in Somalia and Gaza and Libya and Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan and in Syria too. Sadly, there will be more unless those who claim to be horrified actively oppose their own leaders who are all accessories to many crimes.

Margaret Kimberley’s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at http://freedomrider.blogspot.com. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.

Lying Saudis Boast of Taking-In “MILLIONS” of the Syrians They Have Made Into Refugees

cnn refugees

[SEE:  EXPOSED: How Oil-rich Gulf states have failed to resettle a SINGLE Syrian refugee]

Saudi Arabia Says Accepted ‘Millions’ of Syrians, Facts Disagree

telesur

A Syrian refugee prays on a rail track at the Greek-Macedonian border, near the village of Idomeni, August 22, 2015A Syrian refugee prays on a rail track at the Greek-Macedonian border, near the village of Idomeni, August 22, 2015 | Photo: Reuters Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia dismissed criticism over having zero Syrian refugees, saying it has welcomed millions. However, all of them are temporary workers.

Saudi Arabia defended itself Friday against mounting criticism the government is facing for not accepting Syrian refugees since the conflict began four years ago. The criticism come after photos of the dead body of Syrian three-year-old boy Aylan Kurdi went viral and prompted international outcry against Europe and other rich countries around the world for refusing to admit Syrian refugees. The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) cited an unnamed official source in the foreign ministry as saying that the kingdom found it “important to clarify these efforts with facts and numbers in response to media reports, which included false and misleading accusations about the Kingdom.” RELATED: Negative Freedom, US Liberals and Saudi Arabia People around the Arab world took to social media and Twitter using the hashtag “Arab conscience,” in English and Arabic languages, to express their outrage over the fact that Saudi Arabia and the other five Arab Gulf states from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman – were hosting no Syrian refugees. The Saudi official said that the Kingdom “has received around 2.5 million Syrians since the beginning of the conflict. In order to ensure their dignity and safety, the Kingdom adopted a policy that does not treat them as refugees or place them in refugee camps.” However, the country and its five allies are not signatories of the United Nation’s convention on refugees, which has governed international law on asylum since World War II. Thus, those countries do not have a legal category for refugees. In fact, the GCC countries, including Saudi Arabia, accepted those Syrians as well as those of other nationalities only on temporary work visas, which they must have before they arrive to the country, or on temporary residence visas for minors as dependents on their close relatives who have already been residing there. Jane Kinninmont, the assistant head of the Middle East and North Africa program at Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, said in a recent article that those Syrians allowed in GCC countries were on temporary visas, which are hard to obtain in most cases. “The lack of recognition for refugees has far less to do with attitudes to the Syrian crisis than with the potential claims that could arise from larger migrant populations—many of whom come from unstable or repressive countries—and the general reluctance of Gulf governments to give permanent residency to anyone beyond a small pool of citizens, with few exceptions,” said Kinninmont. RELATED: Saudi Arabia – Facing A Serf Revolt In the GCC, those who are not citizens are treated as expatriates even after working in those countries for decades. They are also forced to leave the country whenever they lose their jobs or reach a retirement age. Minors, who are dependents on their parents, are required to leave the country by the age of 18 even if they were born in the country, as they also have temporary residence visas since the day they are born. Migrants make up the majority of the workforce in all the Arab Gulf countries, and in the UAE and Qatar, more than 80 percent of the population are migrants who lack civil rights despite having lived in the country for years. In addition to not taking refugees, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and regional Arab nations have been bombing Yemen for the past six months, producing millions of refugees and internally displaced people. This content was originally published by teleSUR at the following address:
“http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Saudi-Arabia-Says-Acepted-Millions-of-Syrians-Facts-Disagree-20150911-0049.html”. If you intend to use it, please cite the source and provide a link to the original article. http://www.teleSURtv.net/english

Saudi Scum Bans Adoption of Syrian Or Iraqi Orphans Who Manage To Survive Wahhabi Terror Onslaught

syrian orphansBan on adopting Syrian, Iraqi orphans

SaudiGazette

 

DAMMAM — The Ministry of Social Affairs has prohibited Saudi families from adopting children of foreign or Arab nationalities and said the ministry is only concerned with taking care of Saudi orphans. According to Al-Hayat newspaper on Thursday, the ministry said the children who lose their parents in areas of conflicts such as Iraq and Syria are the concern of the international humanitarian organizations. Latifa Al-Tamimi, director of the women social supervision office in the Eastern Province, said the ministry is also looking after children of Saudi fathers with foreign wives abandoned abroad.

The USA and NATO have destroyed Iraq and Libya with their military intervention, bombs and missiles

Leader of Austria’s Far-right Blames Migrant Crisis on U.S., NATO

haaretz logo

Heinz-Christian Strache says intervention in Iraq and Syria created infrastructure for ISIS.

Michael Shields and Shadia Nasralla

Austrian Freedom party leader Heinz-Christian Strache
Austrian Freedom party leader Heinz-Christian Strache delivers a speech during a protest against an Islamic mosque in Vienna May 14, 2009.Reuters

REUTERS – The leader of Austria’s far-right Freedom Party (FPO) has blamed the United States and the NATO Western military alliance for triggering the refugee crisis that has overwhelmed Europe.

“The USA and NATO have destroyed Iraq and Libya with their military intervention, bombs and missiles; provided financial, logistical and military support to the opposition against President Assad in Syria, and thus made possible the destruction, chaos, suffering and radical Islamism (IS) in the region,” Heinz-Christian Strache said on his Facebook page.

Strache’s opposition FPO party, which leads opinion polls ahead of the centrist Social Democrats and People’s Party coalition partners, typically espouses anti-Muslim and isolationist approaches to dealing with foreign policy.
Refugees at Westbahnhof station in Vienna, Austria. September 5, 2015.
Strache, who is running for mayor in Vienna elections next month, scoffed at what he called U.S. President Barack Obama’s suggestions that Europe is primarily responsible for handling the wave of migrants flooding the continent from crisis spots in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

“The USA for decades has started fires in the Middle East and then has then the chutzpah to claim that responsibility for the flood of refugees unleashed lies with Europe. That’s geostrategic destabilization at its finest,” he wrote.

In a separate interview with Austrian broadcaster ORF, he called for erecting an army-patrolled fence along neutral Austria’s eastern border with Hungary and for letting in Christian and Jewish refugees rather than Muslims.

“We don’t want an Islamisation of Europe. We don’t want our Christian-Western culture to perish,” he said.

Obama’s Presumed Innocence In Projecting Middle Eastern Refugees To Pressure Europe

[Putin is not the only one, nor is he the first, to grasp the obvious fact that wars of aggression inevitably drive entire populations to the roadways, forcing sane families to do the insane, in order to increase their odds for survival.  Obama has always understood this hard fact and he has consistently used it to his advantage, using refugees as another passive weapon, to be used against our European allies.]

The War Crime of Intentional Refugee Creation

Obama’s War-Generated Tsunami of Dark-Skinned People Turning Mediterranean Into Massive Watery Cemetery

Who Will Save America from Obama’s “Responsibility To Protect (R2P)” liberal Ideals?

The Humanitarian Disaster Named Barack Obama

British Claim Mediterranean Refugee Rescue Operation “Bad Example” Which Invites Others To Drown

EU Plans To Streamline Illegal Immigration Operations–Increasing Rescues and Repatriations

Obama’s Human Flotsam Washes Ashore In Macedonia—Repelled By Tear Gas

Securing the Fate of Refugees Will Pull the Plug On the Terror War

“Pushing Back” the Boat People In Asia and In Europe, Symptom of Universal Insanity

The True Cost of War On Terror Can Be Measured By the Number of Refugees

Obama’s Wars Have Created More Refugees Than Hitler and Tojo Combined

Destroy Countries, Create Refugees—NOW DEAL WITH THEM

Turkish Plans To “Weaponize” Refugees from Syria, Exporting Them To Europe

EU refugee crisis ‘absolutely expected’ – Putin

Russia-Today

Russian President Vladimir Putin © Evgeny Byatov
Russia has frequently warned of major problems which Europe would face as a result of Western policies in the Middle East and North Africa and jihadist groups terrorizing people, so the current refugee crisis in the EU doesn’t come as a surprise, said the President of Russia.

“I think the crisis was absolutely expected,” President Vladimir Putin told journalists at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok.

“We in Russia, and me personally a few years ago, said it straight that pervasive problems would emerge, if our so-called Western partners continue maintaining their flawed … foreign policy, especially in the regions of the Muslim world, Middle East, North Africa, which they pursue to date,” said Putin.

LIVE UPDATES: Worst refugee crisis since WWII

According to the Russian president, the main flaw of Western foreign policy is the imposition of their own standards worldwide without taking into account the historical, religious, national and cultural characteristics of particular regions.

The only way to reverse the refugee flow streaming into Europe is to help people resolve problems at home. And the first step should be by creating a common and united front against jihadist groups such as Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) and fighting them at their core.

“We really want to form some kind of an international coalition, therefore we conduct consultations with our US partners,” Putin said, noting that he spoke about it with President Obama.

However it is premature to discuss “direct” Russian involvement in military actions against ISIS, needless to say joining the US-led coalition, as Moscow is currently considering “other options,” said Putin.

The issue of rebuilding local economies and social spheres to convince terrified people to move back would only arise after terrorism is rooted out, Russian President said. But international support for rebuilding the statehood of the countries which have suffered at the hand of ISIS should only occur with full respect for history, culture and local traditions.

“But if we act unilaterally and argue about the quasi-democratic principles and procedures for certain areas, that will lead us to an even greater impasse,” Putin concluded.

The Russian leader emphasized that he was being critical to figure out “what is happening, and what to do next,” rather than to tease or to point out that Western policies were “shortsighted.”

Putin noted that the US is not facing a refugee crisis of the same magnitude as the EU, which has been “blindly following American orders.”

Prior to Putin’s speech, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that the EU could actually learn something from Russia in terms of offering proper living conditions to those fleeing conflict zones.

Reminding Brussels of Russia’s experience in dealing with the influx of civilians fleeing Kiev’s so-called “anti-terrorist operation” in neighboring Ukraine, the ministry’s spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova said that hundreds of thousands of refugees who fled to Russia were provided with “shelter, food and aid.”

Destroy Countries, Create Refugees—NOW DEAL WITH THEM

The Western Powers have created a global war refugee crisis through their Imperial adventures and now have to deal with the consequences of their actions.  Even though the United States is the primary creator of refugees in most of those wars, we are largely unaffected by this human tidal wave.  America’s European partners in crime in starting these criminal wars have no choice but to confront the immorality of the situation set in motion by Western governments. 

Since the EU is incapable of finding a consensus opinion on the proper course for getting these Syrian, Libyan, Yemeni, Somali refugees to safety, the matter must be resolved by the individual countries of Europe.  Where the EU and NATO have failed to establish a common border, the states are erecting individual barriers to the human flow.  Claiming that the walls steer the refugees to established safe zones (Schengen areas), everybody “passes the buck” on individual responsibility to help our fellow man, whenever collective responsibility would solve Europe’s refugee problem.

Fix settlement quotas in Europe, establish common control at the Mediterranean, systematically create safe corridors, safe sheltering and safe conduct to their designated settlement areas.  Anything less than that is immoral and inhumane.  

BETTER YET—END THE WAR….STOP CREATING NEW REFUGEES.

A Spanish tourist watches Pakistani migrants arriving at a beach in the Greek island of Kos after paddling an engineless dinghy from the Turkish coast August 15, 2015. United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) called on Greece to take control of the "total chaos" on Mediterranean islands, where thousands of migrants have landed. About 124,000 have arrived this year by sea, many via Turkey, according to Vincent Cochetel, UNHCR director for Europe. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

Africa: Calais Migrants – a Microcosm of a Misunderstood Crisis

all africa

analysis

If tabloid headlines are anything to go by, the United Kingdom is fighting off the greatest invasion force threatening the island since the Blitz. The invaders this time are migrants and asylum seekers sneaking a ride on lorries, trains and ferries to get across – or underneath – the English Channel.

News footage of groups of young men climbing fences and breaking into trucks at Calais look dramatic, but the ‘swarm’ of migrants at Calais, as depicted by British Prime Minister David Cameron, is in fact 3,000 to 5000 people, many of whom are not actually trying to get into the UK at all. A sizeable minority have applied for asylum in France and are staying in the informal settlement near Calais known as the Jungle while waiting for the outcome of their application.

All over Europe, fences are going up, physically and metaphorically. Hungary expects to complete its new border fence by the end of August. Macedonia announced a state of emergency and deployed riot police at the border last week. Until then it had dealt with the influx by giving migrants 72-hour transit papers, enough time for them to buy a ticket, cram onto a train and cross further into Europe to become somebody else’s problem. First among those ‘somebody else’ is Germany, which expects to receive more than 750,000 new asylum applications in 2015.

A Europe unable to cope?

The challenge is certainly great for Germany, where new arrivals are sleeping on floors in makeshift accommodation. But it is in southern Europe that a real humanitarian crisis is unfolding. The EU border agency, Frontex, have recorded 340,000 ‘migrants detected’ from January to July this year, almost three times as many as the same period last year. Of those, around 160,000 have taken the relatively new route from the Middle East and Turkey to the easternmost islands of Greece. More than 50,000 have arrived in Greece in the month of July alone. Wracked by economic and political crisis, Greece is rife with xenophobic attitudes towards migrants.

But the people arriving on Greek holiday islands in leaky dinghies are not migrants. While those taking the route from Libya to Italy have tended to be a mix of refugees, especially from Syria and Eritrea, and economic migrants, particularly from West Africa, the composition of the boat people arriving in Greece this August has been, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, over 80% Syrians, 15% Afghans and the rest mostly Iraqis. The vast majority will qualify for refugee status.

The crisis Europe is not facing

The United Kingdom is not facing an invasion of illegal immigrants launched from Calais. Nor is the rest of Europe facing a migration crisis. Certainly, there are well-established economic migration routes from the poorer parts of the world to the richer. Since there are no longer any legal ways for low-skilled migrants to enter Europe, many choose to travel irregularly.

The journey they make has been made both easier and more dangerous for the migrants by the political collapse of Libya and turmoil in Egypt. Human smuggling networks can work with near impunity in both countries, mistreating migrants en route, before packing them onto unseaworthy vessels and steering them towards European waters in hope of rescue. An estimated 2,500 people have perished in the attempt so far this year.

A humanitarian crisis

Southern and South-Eastern European countries, particularly Greece, are facing a humanitarian crisis, where saving lives and providing food and shelter must take precedence over immigration control, regardless of whether those arriving are ‘illegal’ economic migrants or refugees. Despite the rush to build fences, secure borders and pass the buck, there is a growing appreciation across European capitals that ‘illegal migration’ is not a crime punishable by a watery death sentence. Prompted by one of the largest Mediterranean disasters in history, where 800 people drowned, the EU relaunched a large-scale search-and-rescue operation in April.

A global displacement crisis needs global solutions

The reason for the enormous rise in the number of people making the perilous journey across the Mediterranean is not economic migration, but war, persecution and violence. In short, Europe is experiencing its share of a global displacement crisis driven by an upsurge in conflict across the world, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. The world has not seen so many people uprooted by conflict and persecution since the end of World War Two.

More than 80% of all refugees remain in their near region, many in refugee camps, others self-settled in nearby urban centres. But life in camps is getting increasingly destitute and devoid of hope for many refugees, particularly those fleeing never-ending conflicts, like those in Somalia, Syria and Iraq. Syria’s neighbours are coping with around four million refugees – in Lebanon refugees make up one in four of the country’s population. Humanitarian aid, while at record levels, does not cover the basic needs of refugees.

If European governments want to see a sustainable and ethically viable end to the chaotic and deadly passage across the Mediterranean, a first step would be to provide more financial support to refugee hosting countries, not only to support refugees, but to bolster domestic stability in host-countries. Beyond that, a global burden-sharing mechanism for resettling refugees would both alleviate the pressure on countries of first asylum and make refugee arrivals in Europe more orderly and manageable.

For this to happen, European governments must first acknowledge that the situation at Calais, Lampedusa and Kos are not a European migration crisis, but a global refugee crisis.

Dr Anne Hammerstad is a research associate of the South African Institute of International Affairs, and an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the School of Politics and IR, University of Kent, Canterbury. She is the author of The Rise and Decline of a Global Security Actor: UNHCR, Refugee Protection and Security.

Saudi War In Middle East Aims To Forcefully Convert Or Kill All Shia Muslims and Christians

[Anyone who can’t see by now that the real “Sunni Caliphate” will be “Greater Saudi Arabia” has not been paying attention to Saudi aggression in the region.  This has been Obama’s goal from the beginning, to hand control over the problematic Middle East to his Saudi patrons. 

(This seems to confirm the normally scoffed-at conspiracy theory, that it has been the Saudis, NOT THE JEWS, who have controlled this so-called “war on terror” from the beginning.)

  War-mongering king Salman has been arrogantly open about his intentions to cleanse the Middle East of Shiites and other religious apostates (this would include Christians, obviously), even whike he pretends to be fighting against the Caliphate of ISIS.  The Saudi royals and their Gulf subordinates have been creating their own Sunni Caliphate, right before our eyes.  The fact that the world’s only hope for humanitarianism, the United Nations, would allow a tribal Arab king to murder thousands of Shia Houthis while conducting its religious ethnic-cleansing operation on the rest of them is proof that human compassion is just another commodity that can be bought and sold like anything else.]

 We will destroy the Houthis if they do not come to reason [i.e., convert to Sunni Islam–ed.].”–Saudi ambassador to the United States, Adel Al-Jubeir

[Such is the human condition, when laid bare before us. 
Where is God in this equation?]

[SEE:UN Capitulation To Saudi Demands Equals Partnership In Ethnic-Cleansing of Middle East]

Religious eugenics

Russia-Today

How Saudi Arabia is sponsoring a frightening new movement in the ME

Catherine Shakdam

© Khaled Abdullah
Blanketed by its wealth and protected by political alliances, Saudi Arabia has covertly run and promoted a new movement in the Middle East: religious eugenics, under the false pretense of opposing the rise of Iran. From Syria to Bahrain and Yemen the evidence is overwhelming.

Earlier this August, the Red Cross added its voice to those of other humanitarian and rights groups in its condemnation of Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, lifting the lid on Riyadh’s little house of horrors in southern Arabia.

In no uncertain terms Peter Maurer, the head of the international Red Cross told reporters he had seldom witnessed such degree of devastation. He said: “Yemen after five months looks like Syria after five years … The images I have from Sanaa and Aden remind of what I have seen in Syria.”

He stressed “the firepower with which this war is fought on the ground and in the air is causing more suffering than in other societies, which are stronger and where infrastructures are better off and people are wealthier and have reserves and can escape.”

A country in ruins, Yemen is also a nation in permanent mourning, as every day its people are relentlessly slain – casualties of a violent and murderous colonial war – the latest victims of Riyadh’s expansionist military campaign in the Middle East.

According to official UNICEF tallies, “close to 2,800 people have been killed and almost 13,000 people injured (including 279 children killed and 402 injured, respectively). An estimated 1 million people have been internally displaced (an increase of 122 percent since the crisis began), and some 400,000 people have sought protection in neighboring countries.”

While such figures are horrifying, they fall short of the truth. Agencies on the ground have already said that well over 500 children have been killed in Saudi-led air raids, most specifically in northern Yemen, where the war has been most devastating and aggressive. On average, children account for a quarter of all deaths and casualties.

For those who have managed to find shelter, living conditions are catastrophic. With no water, no electricity, little food and no access to health facilities ten million children are at risk of disease and starvation – again, North Yemen has suffered the brunt of this crisis.

Never in its history has Yemen experienced such a degree of pain and utter despair. But while wars are generally ugly affairs since they require their fill of blood before the canons finally fall silent, Saudi Arabia’s campaign in Yemen is far from ordinary.

But not only that, Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy in the Middle East is betraying a disturbing and rather ominous covert agenda, one which resonates with ethnic engineering and religious eugenics.

And if so far few have connected the dots, their hands tied by Riyadh’s overbearing and overarching control on media outlets and the grand political narrative, it is high time we learn to recognize Al Saud’s campaign for what it really is: a concerted effort to cleanse the region of all religious minorities, beginning with Shia Islam, its self-appointed nemesis.

To put it in simple terms – under Saudi Arabia’ suffocating grip, religious minorities are dying a slow and painful death.

From Syria to Bahrain, the kingdom’s eugenics campaign threatens the region’s religious and ethnic patrimonies, in a fashion reminiscent of Nazi Germany, when Jews and Gypsies were labeled undesirables.

Saudi Arabia is now building 600 mile wall to keep dangerous people out. What a concept! #tcot#pjnet#FoxNewspic.twitter.com/u056SB7HxW

In an interview this April, the Saudi ambassador to the United States, Adel Al-Jubeir lifted the veil on Riyadh’s determination to carry through its agenda, no matter the price, no matter the impact. He asserted: “This campaign is having a huge impact in Yemen and it is not over yet. For us failure is not an option. We will destroy the Houthis if they do not come to reason.”

If subtitles were running they would read – the Houthis will be destroyed because they represent a religious challenge to Wahhabism’s hegemony in the region. The Houthis, and the majority of all northerners in Yemen are Zaidis, a branch of Shia Islam.

Is it then a surprise that while South Yemen has benefited from humanitarian aid, North Yemen has witnessed a spike in violence, its seaports targeted to prevent food and medicine to be ferried in? Riyadh is quite simply profiling aid to carry out its religious cleansing, punishing millions for their rejection of Riyadh’s religion.

Saudi Arabia is an absolute theocracy, and as such its very raison d’ être is rooted within its violent and reactionary interpretation of Islam: Wahhabism, the ideology which inspired the likes of Al Qaeda and Islamic State. One of the main tenets of Wahhabism actually calls for the destruction of all religious sects, Islamic or otherwise. For Wahhabis there can be no greater glory than to massacre “apostates.”

And while Riyadh’s neo-eugenics movement has taken on different forms, operating under various denominations depending on the countries it has targeted, the underlying current has been the destruction of religious pluralism.

Let me ask you this: Is there a real difference between Manama’s campaign to strip Shia Bahrainis from their nationality because the House of Al Khalifa seeks to eliminate all political and religious competition, and Islamic State’s murderous rampage against religious minorities in Iraq and Syria? And though Bahrain’s campaign might appear more “elegant” in that it is more covert and pernicious, the intent remains the same.

From the language used to the policies it has carried out in the Middle East, Riyadh has pushed the sectarian card, christening the resistance movement against its eugenics movement, the so-called Shia crescent threat.

The real threat here lies with Riyadh’s twisted crusade and sickening sectarian agenda.

Catherine Shakdam
Catherine Shakdam is a political analyst, writer and commentator for the Middle East with a special focus on radical movements and Yemen. Her writings have been published in world-renowned publications such as Foreign Policy Journal, Mintpress News, the Guardian, Your Middle East, Middle East Monitor, Middle East Eye, Open Democracy, Eurasia Review and many more. A regular pundit on RT, she has also contributed her analyses to Etejah TV, IRIB radio, Press TV and NewsMax TV. Director of Programs at the Shafaqna Institute for Middle Eastern Studies and consultant for Anderson Consulting, her research and work on Yemen were used by the UN Security Council in relation to Yemen looted funds in 2015.

Obama’s Human Flotsam Washes Ashore In Macedonia—Repelled By Tear Gas

Macedonian police teargas thousands of refugees crossing from Greece – reports

Russia-Today

Migrants camp near the village of Idomeni at the Greek-Macedonian border, August 20, 2015. © Alexandros Avramidis / Reuters
Macedonian police fired tear gas at crowds of thousands of migrants and refugees trying to cross the border from Greece, Reuters reported. The country declared a state of emergency on Thursday over the migrant crisis.

Police fired tear gas from behind barbed wire as an angry crowd demanded passage through Macedonia.

READ MORE: Macedonia declares state of emergency over surge in migrants & refugees, ready to deploy army

Thousands of migrants were stranded near the Macedonian town of Gevgelija trying to get in from Greece, where they entered Europe. They aim to travel on to prosperous northern European countries.

Macedonian government sent riot police and army troops to restore order and deal with the inflow of people choking rail hubs.

Greece and other Southern European countries are being deluged by tens of thousands of refugees from troubled regions of the Middle East and North Africa. The EU is struggling to deal with the arrivals, with members bickering over quotas to accept them.

State Terrorism Is State Terrorism, Even When It Is Made By America

[This is a blast from the past, one of the first articles posted on No Sunglasses, 8-19-2008.  The message remains the same,

war criminals
even though Barack Obama has since replaced the Bush dictatorship and multiplied US state terrorism exponentially. 

When read in tandem with the following piece, the message seems highly relevant today (SEE: Escaping The Age Of Mass Delusion—Humanity’s Only Hope).]

If We Could Speak to the People, What Would We Say?

Peter Chamberlin

If we could reach beyond the news filter that keeps real news from the
American people, what would we say? If we figured-out how to get one message
out to the people, what could we say that would actually motivate them to
take a stand for themselves, for their families, for their country and their
world?

The same studies that power the social planners claim that barely 10% of any
group of people follow reason, meaning they cannot be reasoned with. The
same studies also predict that a clear majority of any targeted population
will respond to fear in a shock scenario. We might try reasoning with the
sleeping sheeple, but we would have better odds if we tried to scare them
awake. If we can convey a true image of the evil being done with our
consent, then we might shock the people into the harsh light of reality.

Our leaders are about to allow the economic collapse of the United States,
without telling you beforehand, or helping American citizens to make
emergency preparations.

Their solution to the problem is to seize control of the post-collapse world
militarily, eliminating everyone who gets in the way. This military solution
accepts a very large loss of human lives as necessary “collateral damage” to
the brave plan to take control of the world. When the American people are
overwhelmed by the economic catastrophe, they will hardly notice large
planned population reductions.

All of this is an acceptable solution to our government. For those who try
to protest after the “hammer goes down,” there are hundreds of detention
camps, capable of holding thousands of dissidents, waiting to accept your
silent screams.

But until we get to that point of no return, steps are being taken to reduce
and eventually eliminate all protests to governmental violence.
The Constitution is being reduced piecemeal to a powerless piece of paper.
The courts are bowing down to executive decrees.

Mankind is being kept in check by his own fear. In the face of fear we react
like herd animals, bunching together in search of elusive safety, making us
easily manipulated by those who have mastered the psychology of fear.

Terror is a key element of American politics. Votes are obtained by
frightening the people into your corner, or away from your “unsafe”
opponent. Candidacies are won and lost by negative campaigns of lies and
half-truths that paint your opponent as an unreasonable madmen and yourself
as a heroic messianic figure. US leaders depend upon political terrorism to
get their way in the world, from the local level of “Homeland Insecurity,”
to the international arena, where acts of bloody terrorism are routinely
committed to frighten the locals into political compliance.

“Terrorism–n. The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a
person or an organized group against people or property with the intention
of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological
or political reasons.”

State terrorism has been an integral part of American government for many
decades. Beginning with the terror campaign of carpet-bombing and
fire-bombing of civilian centers in Germany at the end of World War II (and
the a-bombs), American and British scientists have studied the psychology of
mass fear. This wholesale terror campaign was a new type of warfare,
targeting civilians, instead of concentrating on government centers. The aim
was political terrorism, to turn the citizens of Germany into political
tools to be used to force the German government into submission. By studying
the socio-economic repercussions of the fire-bombing, the American and
British psychologists and sociologists learned how to herd entire
populations through the tactics of fear.

Acts of violent terrorism for political and economic gains have continued
since “the Great War,” against both friend and foe.
Historically, American terror operations like “Operation Gladio” have been
aimed at our allies in Europe even more than against our enemies.
In “Gladio,” (as in all American terror campaigns committed under the banner
of “democracy”), public figures and officials are assassinated, attacks are
carried-out upon police and military forces of sympathetic governments,
trains are bombed with great loss of life, and “madmen”
go on public shooting sprees, all for the sake of scaring European national
opinion into America’s corner.

As always, American terror is hidden by the use of proxies and mercenary
forces, who are blamed for attacks committed covertly by our military and
intelligence agencies. The “war on terror” itself is probably the world’s
longest-running terrorist operation, intended to create the impression that
American-sponsored terror attacks are really the work of a new non-existent,
highly-organized global terrorist adversary. In simpler terms, the United
States government
is the center of world terrorism. Our own government, our
“defender”
against terrorism, is responsible for most terrorist attacks upon innocent
people in the world, that thousands of American troops are defending
against. American-trained forces are killing American soldiers who then
retaliate further against innocent civilian populations where the terrorists
choose to hide.

“Our government” is not really ours at all, having long ago surrendered our
national sovereignty to a consortium of global financiers through the
Federal Reserve System that controls the US.

“Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes her laws.”
Mayer Amschel Rothschild

In the process of bringing the US under the control of the international
financiers, represented by the Rothschild interests centered in Europe,
American industry has been destroyed (except for the military-industrial
complex
, needed to pound the recalcitrant world into submission), while the
sham called “democracy” was constructed to create the impression amongst the
unruly people that they actually have power. When the self-appointed
American aristocracy allowed the common man the “right” to vote, it was done
to stave-off more violent opposition and to deceive with the impression of
shared power. Today, decent folk, believing in the illusion of “fair
elections,” remain a real obstacle to saving American freedom from the
hidden dictatorship, which owns all the candidates produced in the
“two-party” system. As long as the majority believes in the system and
continues to empower its candidates, the dictatorship can remain hidden. In
order to expose the hidden machinations of the secret dictators we have to
burst the bubble of illusory democratic power.

At the same time, the fact that the dictatorship wishes to remain hidden,
playing the game of democracy, pretending to seek the counsel of the people,
then they are vulnerable. If they choose to continue the charade of
democratic government, then they have to limit their actions to those which
appear to be “freely” granted by the people through their “representatives.”
As long as those representatives hold the seats of power given them by the
overlords, they will answer only to them. But if enough people call the
representatives to task for failing American democracy they can at least be
forced to publicly answer the charges of failure. If the masses put the fear
of democracy and righteous retribution into the minds of the Congressional
slaves of the money-powers, then they too will begin to retreat from their
open support for measures calling for more war and less freedom. If the
people fully use the First Amendment powers to make democracy work then we
can turn the tide against the center.

They cannot openly carry-out the violent measures required for creating a
world dictatorship and a permanent state of war, taking the brazen violent
steps that have been planned, such as launching nuclear first strikes, or
using biologic attacks to “cull the herd.” As long as the real terrorists
are pretending to be democrats they must act accordingly. Until the world
rises-up against the American imperialist forces in sufficient numbers to
frighten the American people into becoming willing participants in the
genocide of half the earth, other lesser, though equally as threatening,
provocations will continue to be found to frighten us into authorizing the
slaughter.

By placing the will of the people into their formula, they have created a
time lag between cause and effect, where the planned actions must be
preceded by a provocation that motivates the people into consenting to their
own destruction. By incorporating a basically moral people into a completely
immoral plan for world domination, the master controllers have constructed a
flawed plan that depends upon a scientific effort to change good people into
bad. In a country as religious-natured as this one, the great leaders may
have falsely calculated that they can make a nation fear so much for its
life that it would sell its soul for a little peace of mind.

American state terrorism has also been directed against the citizens of the
United States themselves, through more subtle “silent weapons.”
For the entire duration of American terrorist operations against the world,
our government has waged war upon the minds of its loyal citizens through an
arsenal of psychological, economic, and legislative weaponry. The purpose of
these attacks has always been to destroy the American economy and the minds
of the people, while using the economic destruction to justify the full use
of the American military power against the rest of the world.

American leaders consistently work against American interests, while
enriching themselves and their wealthy sponsors who reap opportunity from
our Nation’s demise. In order for these anti-American power-brokers to force
the world into a global dictatorship with them at the helm, they have to
play the “democracy” card, while simultaneously undermining it. Our leaders
have to persuade us into allowing them to destroy democracy in the name of
preserving it. We the People have to be persuaded to peacefully allow the
planned destruction to take place before it can take place. We have to
accept our bleak fates, before it can become our fates.

But the scary truth about the American state terrorist acts that have been
committed so far is that they have provided the needed practice for the
despicable acts that are yet to come. The American war upon the human race
will utilize every weapon in our arsenal, once the way for their use has
been cleared. Weapons of mass destruction come in many forms. In a war for
control of the earth’s resources it would seem more logical to use the
weapons that kill, such as biological weapons, as opposed to those which
merely destroy everything. Instant Death is about to enter the world through
American hands.

The tragedy of our time, perhaps the ultimate tragedy of all time, is
roaring down the highway of life right at us, or is the greater tragedy the
weakness of the mind of man which is allowing this to happen? If we have the
power of change within us and we do nothing, inaction is an act of suicide.

We have to overcome this innate human weakness to prepare our fellow man for
the things that are about to befall this battered planet. So many things are
avoidable in this existence through the use of foresight; if only it was a
common human trait. Any sane person who sees oncoming danger will
automatically step out of its way. As a rule, we humans rarely choose to
step out of the way. Mankind has never been called “sane,” by anyone’s
definition. We must secretly harbor a deep desire to become “road kill” on
the cruel highway of life.

peter.chamberlin@hotmail.com

Bringing Barack Obama To Justice For War Crimes Committed and Crimes In Progress

war criminals

Where is the hope for humanity when “the leader of the free world” actually leads a global war of aggression?

What else could you call the war on terror but a war of aggression, when it is clearly a war of the wealthiest nations against the poorest, a class-war of nations?

aleppo-abandoned-ghost-town-3What do you call it when the richest nations use their modern militaries to devastate poor, backward (Third World) nations, pounding them into dust in order to subjugate them?

Palestinian women sit on the rubble of their home in Beit Hanoun, Gaza Strip, Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. A three-day Gaza cease-fire that began Friday quickly unraveled, with Israel and Hamas accusing each other of violating the truce. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

When there is no power on earth capable of stopping, or reversing this global process of dehumanization, then what hope do our children and grandchildren really have in this world?

wolves-eatingIn this brave new world, all of them will either be one of the wolves, or one of the sacrificial lambs.  Is it humane or moral to will such a legacy to our own children, or to the children of other fellow human beings?

Is it time to pray for divine intervention, or time “MAN UP” and do the right thing for a change?

SANLIURFA, TURKEY - JANUARY 30 : Syrian kids fled from the civil war, living in Suruc refugee camp are seen in Sanliurfa, Turkey on January 30, 2015. Syrian kids will be able to continue their education with the Foreign Students Education Operation System in Turkey. (Photo by Orhan Cicek/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

therearenosunglasses@hotmail.com

Obama’s Participation In the Ongoing War Crimes In Yemen

On July 30, 2015, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, famous for decrying genocide as the greatest scourge of humanity, feigned concern over the desperate plight of millions in Yemen who currently risk starvation due to the Saudi-led air strikes and siege upon that country. Thus, Power (@AmbassadorPower) sent out the following tweet:

7/30/15, 8:15 AM
.@UNReliefChief described the critical situation in #Yemen: Of a population of 26m, 21m are in need of aid bit.ly/1Mu1wDm

This message by Ambassador Power, written as it is in the passive tense, is quite curious in that it attempts to put distance between Power herself and the Yemeni crisis, though, in fact, the very author of this crisis is none other than Power’s own boss, the U.S. President.

As the LA Times reported today, the

Saudi-led military offensive against Houthi rebels in Yemen has scored major gains this month . . . after the Pentagon more than doubled the number of American advisors to provide enhanced intelligence for airstrikes.

The role of about 45 U.S. advisors, up from 20, at joint military operations centers in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain has been vastly overshadowed by the far larger U.S.-led air war against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. So has Yemen’s toll of civilian casualties and refugees.

The LA Times further relates that:

The Obama administration is providing intelligence, munitions and midair refueling to coalition aircraft, and U.S. warships have helped enforce a blockade in the Gulf of Aden and southern Arabian Sea intended to prevent weapons shipments from Iran to the Houthis. . . .

Human rights groups say the sea cordon also cuts Yemen off from imports of basic commodities, including food and fuel, adding to the nation’s miseries.

Indeed, the Saudi-led war against Yemen for which the U.S. is providing critical support cannot be understated. Thus, as Reuters just reported:

“The humanitarian situation is nothing short of catastrophic. Every family in Yemen has been affected by this conflict,” [International Committee of the Red Cross President] Maurer said in a statement.

Some 4,345 people have been killed and 22,110 injured since March 19, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday, citing figures from Yemeni health care facilities.

Moreover, the airstrikes and blockade the U.S. is assisting with may actually constitute war crimes, in that they appear to be a means of intentionally starving out the Yemeni population. Again, Reuters relates that

Hilal Elver, United Nations special rapporteur on the right to food, said 12.9 million people in Yemen lacked basic food supplies and 850,000 children faced acute malnutrition.

Sieges in a number of governorates, including Aden, Al Dhali, Lahj and Taiz, have been preventing staple food items, such as wheat, from reaching the civilian population, while air strikes have reportedly targeted local markets and trucks laden with food items,” Elver said in a statement.

She said the “deliberate starvation of civilians” caught in armed conflict might constitute a war crime.

In short, the U.S. is contributing to the deaths of quite possibly millions of civilians in Yemen, including nearly a million children. And yet, one barely hears a peep from the mainstream media over this. And meanwhile, you have the curious figure of Samantha Power — for me, the symbol of the U.S.’s moral hypocrisy — who claims to be a warrior for human rights, at least when U.S. enemies are allegedly violating them, but who remains silent in the face of the U.S.’s role in gross human rights abuses.

As a human rights lawyer and instructor, I am deeply concerned about how human rights is increasingly being used by the West, and especially by the U.S., as a bludgeon to justify armed intervention against other nations (e.g., Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Ukraine) while these interventions generally result in a worse humanitarian situation than existed prior to the intervention, and while the human rights violations of countries like the U.S. are generally ignored if not outright tolerated. Yemen is a quintessential example of such a destructive “human rights” doctrine, and Samantha Power is the quintessential apologist and enabler of it.

Obama’s “Shock and Awe”—Skeletonized Human Beings Line the Beach Near Tripoli, Libya

EXCLUSIVE: The Mediterranean’s grim tide – shocking never before seen pictures of migrants’ bodies washed up on beach in Libya

daily mail

  • WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
  • Bodies of hundreds of migrants who drowned trying to reach Europe by sea are washing up on Libyan beaches
  • Volunteers from the Libyan Red Crescent Society collect the remains every day along a 100-mile coastline stretch 
  • Remains, some just piles of bones, handed to authorities who record the deaths and bury them in unmarked graves

The dead bodies of desperate migrants who were bundled onto overcrowded boats destined for Europe, which capsized killing those on board, are washing up on Libya’s beaches.

Their bones, half submerged in the sand, will be buried in unmarked graves, their relatives unaware their loved ones have perished.

 

Volunteers from Libyan Red Crescent Society collect the bodies which were swallowed and spat out by the Mediterranean Sea as they risked their lives on the perilous journey from Libya bound for the island of Lampedusa off the Italian coast.

Meanwhile, more than 1,000 men, women and children who were able to survive treacherous journeys to Europe continued to be rescued off the coasts of Italy and Greece each day.

Remains: Some of the bodies have been reduced to just piles of bones after they were swallowed and spat out by the Mediterranean sea

Bodies: Migrants desperate to reach Europe take on the treacherous journey across the Mediterranean but hundreds of their bodies have washed up on the beaches of Libya

Heartbreaking: Many migrants are forced to board dilapidated boats with their children, knowing that they may not reach their destination

Buried: The migrants’ bones poke out from under the sand after they drowned while desperately trying to flee their war-torn homelands

Shocking new photographs taken in Zuwara, on the west coast of Libya close to the Tunisian border, show the true extent of the migrant crisis.

Bodies, some of which are barely more than a pile of bones, are being picked up on a 100-mile stretch of the war-torn country from Garaboli to Zuwara.

One heartbreaking picture is of a skeleton, which has been washed up on the beach with the still wearing the pair of yellow trousers and black leather belt they set off in.

Taha Sultan, head of health at Libyan Red Crescent Society, an organisation working on the ground to help the country’s vulnerable population, said hundreds of bodies had been washing up over the past year.

Speaking to MailOnline from Benghazi in the east of the country, he said: ‘We have been dealing with this for more than a year along the west coast.

‘It happens every day. These kind of things happen all the time in Libya.’

Desperate: More than 1,000 people are rescued off the coasts of Italy and Greece every day, but many don’t manage to finish their journeys

Unidentified: Bodies of the migrants are collected by volunteers along the Libyan coastline and are buried by authorities in the country

Record highs: The number of migrants who have successfully arrived in Europe by sea so far this year is already approaching 250,000

Explaining the mindset of the people who board the boats, sometimes with their young families, Mr Sultan said: ‘People are desperate to leave because it’s dangerous, or they fear for their lives.

‘We have war – people get killed and there is no help coming. We also have ISIS here now. It’s very dangerous to live here.’

Libya is split between two governments backed by armed factions fighting each other but which control limited territory.

Islamic State and other armed groups have exploited a growing security vacuum on the ground to expand.

Libya Dawn, an alliance of armed groups, drove the internationally recognised government out of the capital, Tripoli, and declared its own government a year ago, leaving the oil-rich country on the verge of anarchy.

Libya: Bodies are washing up on a 100-mile stretch of the west of the war-torn country from Garaboli to Zuwara, near the Tunisian border

Volunteers: Workers from the Libyan Red Crescent Society, an organisation working on the ground, are collecting more bodies every day

Tragedy: Many of the migrants attempting to gain access to Europe are fleeing violence, natural disasters and poverty in their homelands

Mr Sultan said that those who try to leave the country by legal means are unable to get visas, so opt for dangerous trips across the sea on rickety ships.

Migrants who have arrived in Italy say human traffickers based in lawless Libya charge them between £770 and £1,150 for a place on the deck of boats. Those crammed in the hold pay about half as much as those above.

On Saturday, more than 40 migrants died in the Mediterranean off the Libyan coast after suffocating below the deck of an overcrowded boat.

The vessel was carrying around 400 people when it was intercepted south of the Italian island of Lampedusa.

Footage of the rescue showed two navy vessels helping men, women and children off the dangerously overcrowded ship.

The boat was ‘starting to sink’ when it was spotted by an Italian navy helicopter, around 21 miles off the Libyan coast.

Rescuers discovered the dead migrants when the boarded the boat.

Collected: The bodies are removed from the beaches and are handed over to the authorities in the country to be buried in unmarked graves

Deaths: On Saturday, 40 migrants died off the Libyan coast after suffocating below the deck of an overcrowded boat, carrying 400 people

Frequent loss: Hundreds of bodies of migrants have washed up on the beaches of the western coast of Libya over the past year

Survivors of such hazardous journeys have told of how traffickers lock migrants who paid less for the journey in the hold underneath.

These people endure extreme heat in the ship’s hold and there is a high risk of death if it capsizes.

And around 200 migrants were presumed killed earlier this month off the coast of Libya when their boat capsized.

According to the International Organization for Migration, the number of migrants and asylum seekers who have arrived in Europe by sea so far this year is approaching 250,000.

The death toll has risen to at least 2,300, but the figure is likely to be higher because some of the dead are never recovered.

Mr Sultan explained that the bodies are handed over to authorities, which photograph them and document the deaths before burying them.

More than 100,000 migrants have crossed the Channel of Sicily from Libya to reach safety in Italy so far this year.

Death toll: At least 2,300 migrants are known to have died this year while trying to reach Europe by sea, but the real figure will be higher

Frequent fatalities: About 200 migrants were presumed killed earlier this month off the Libyan coastline when their boat capsized

Route: An estimated 102,000 migrants have successfully crossed the Channel of Sicily from Libya to reach safety in Italy this year

The Impulse Towards Fascism and the Homogenized Society

Why aren’t we living in H.G. Wells’ scientific dictatorship?

IEET


Rick Searle

By Rick Searle
Utopia or Dystopia

 

One of the more depressing things to come out of the 2008 financial crisis was just how little it managed to effect our expectations about the economy and political forms of the future. Sure, there was Occupy Wall Street, and there’s been at least some interesting intellectual ferment here and there with movements such as Accelerationist Marxism and the like, but none have really gone anywhere. Instead what we’ve got is the same old system only now with even more guarantees and supports for the super rich. Donald Trump may be a blowhard and a buffoon, but even buffoons and blowhards can tell the truth as he did during last Thursday’s debate when he essentially stated that politicians were in the pocket to those with the cash, such as himself, who were underneath it all really running the show.

The last really major crisis of capitalism wasn’t anything like this. In the 1930’s not only had the whole system gone down, but nearly everyone seemed convinced that capitalism, (and some even thought the representative democracy that had emerged in tandem with it) was on the way out.

Then again, the political and economic innovation of the early 20th century isn’t the kind of thing any of us would wish for. Communists, which to many born after 1989 may seem as much like antiquated creatures from another world as American revolutionaries in powdered wigs, was by the 1930’s considered one of the two major ways the society of the future would likely be organized, and its’ competitor over the shape of the future wasn’t some humane and reasoned alternative, but the National Socialism of Hitler’s dark Reich.

things to come

If one wants to get a sense of the degree to which the smart money was betting against the survival of capitalism and democracy in the 1930’s one couldn’t do much better than that most eerily prescient of science-fiction prophets – H.G. Wells. In many ways, because he was speaking through the veneer of fiction Wells could allow himself to voice opinions which would have led even political radicals to blush. Also, because he was a “mere” fiction author his writings became one of the few ways intellectuals and politicians in liberal societies could daydream about a way out of capitalism’s constant crises, democracy’s fissiparousness and corruption, and most importantly for the survival of humanity in light of the nation-state’s increasingly destructive wars.


Well’s 1933 The Shape of Things to Come,

published not long after the Nazis had come to power in Germany, is perhaps his best example of a work that blurs the boundaries between a work of fiction and a piece of political analysis, polemic, and prediction. In the guise of a dream book of a character who has seen the future of the world from the 1930’s to the middle of the beginning of the 22nd century, Wells is able to expound upon the events of the day and their possible implications- over a century into the future.

Writing six years before the event takes place Well’s spookily imagines World War II beginning with the German invasion of Poland. Also identifying the other major aggressor in a world war still to come, Wells realizes Japan had stepped into a quagmire by invading China from which much ill would come.

These predictions of coming violence (Wells forecast the outbreak of the Second World War to be 1940- one year off) are even more chilling when one watches the movie based upon the book, and know that the bombings of cities it depicts is not some cinematographer’s fantasy, but will no doubt have killed some of those who watched the film in theaters in 1936- less than five years later.

Nevertheless, Wells gets a host of very important things, not only about the future but about his present, very wrong. He gets it ass backwards in generally admiring the Soviet Union and seeing its’ problem not being the inhuman treatment by the Communist regime of its citizens, but the fact that they have wed themselves to what Well’s believes is an antiquated, dogmatic theory in Marxism.

Indeed, Wells will build his own version of dictatorship in The Shape of Things to Come (though versions of it can be seen in his earlier work) using the ideas of two of Soviet communism’s founders- Trotsky’s idea of a global revolutionary movement which will establish a worldwide government and Lenin’s idea of an intellectual nucleus that will control all the aspects of society.

Nor, did Wells really grasp the nature of Nazism or the strange contradiction of a global alliance of fascist regimes that ostensibly worship the state. Wells saw Hitler as a throwback to a dying order based on the nation-state. His only modernity being

“…control by a self-appointed, self-disciplined élite was a distinct step towards our Modern State organization.” (192)

Wells therefore misses the savagery born of the competition between world shaping ideologies and their mobilization of entire societies that will constitute the Second World War and its aftermath.

Ironically, Wells mistakenly thinks WWII will be short and its fatalities low because he gets his technological predictions right. He clearly foresees the role of the importance of the tank, the airplane, and the submarine to the future war and because of them even anticipates the Nazi idea of blitzkrieg. At one point he seems to have a glimmer of the death spirit that will seize over humankind during the war when he compares the submarine to a sacrificial altar:

The Germans supplied most of the flesh for this particular altar; willing and disciplined, their youngsters saluted and carried their kit down the ladder into this gently swaying clumsy murder mechanism which was destined to become their coffin. (70)

Nevertheless, he fails to see that the Second World War will unleash the kinds of violence and fanaticism formerly only seen in religious wars.

Two decades after Wells’ novel many would think that because of the introduction of nuclear weapons wars would be reduced to minutes. Instead conflict became stretched out across multiple decades. What this is should teach us is that we have no idea how any particular technology will ultimately affect the character of war – especially in terms of its intensity or duration- thus those hoping that robotic or cyber weapons will return us to short decisive conflicts are likely seeing a recurrent mirage.

Wells perhaps better understood than other would be revolutionaries and prophets of the time just how robust existing societies were despite their obvious flaws. The kind of space for true political innovation had seemingly occurred only during times of acute stress, such as war, that by their nature were short lived. A whole new way of organizing society had seemingly revealed itself during World War I in which the whole industrial apparatus of the nation was mobilized and directed towards a particular end. Yet the old society would reassert itself except in those societies that had experienced either defeat and collapse or Pyrrhic victory (Italy, Japan) in the conflict.

Wells thus has to imagine further crises after economic depression and world war to permanently shatter Western societies that had become fossilized into their current form. The new kind of war had itself erased the boundary between the state and the society during war, and here Wells is perhaps prescient in seeing the link between mass mobilization, the kinds of wars against civilians seen in the Second World War and insurgency/terrorism. Yet he pictures the final hammer blow not in the form of such a distributed conflict but coming in the form of a global pandemic that kills half of the world’s people. After that comes the final death of the state and the reversion to feudalism.

It is from a world ruled by warlords that Wells’ imagined “Air Dictatorship” will emerge. It is essentially the establishment of global rule by a scientific technocracy that begins with the imposition of a monopoly over global trade networks and especially control over the air.

To contemporary ears the sections on the Air Dictatorship can be humorously reminiscent of an advertisement for FedEx or the US Navy. And then the humor passes when one recalls that a world dominated by one global straddling military and multinational corporations isn’t too far from the one Wells pictured even if he was more inspired by the role of the Catholic Church in the Dark Ages, the Hanseatic League or the what the damned Bolsheviks were up to in Russia.

Oddly enough, Wells foresaw no resistance to the establishment of a world-state (he called it The Modern State) from global capitalists, or communists or the remnant of the security services of the states that had collapsed. Instead, falling into a modernist bias that remains quite current, Wells sees the only rival to the “Modern State” in the form of the universal religions which the Air Dictatorship will therefore have to destroy. Wells’ utopians declare war on Catholics (Protestants oddly give no resistance) forcefully close Mecca and declare war on Kosher foods. And all this deconstruction to be followed by “re-education” Wells thinks could be done without the kinds of totalitarian nightmares and abuses which are less than two decades away from when he is writing The Shape of Things.

I am not particular fan of the universal confusion called post-modernism, but it does normally prevent most of us from making zingers like Wells’ such as this:

They are going to realize that there can be only one right way of looking at the world for a normal human being and only one conception of a proper scheme of social reactions, and that all others must be wrong and misleading and involve destructive distortions of conduct. (323)

Like any self-respecting version of apocalypse, Wells imagines that after a period of pain and violence the process will become self sustaining and neither will be required, though most honorably for the time Wells thinks this world will be one of racial equality that will never again suffer the plague of extreme want.

Analogous to the universal religions, after the establishment of the Modern State all of humankind will become party to ultimate mission of the scientific endeavor which the protagonist in the movie version sums up manically in this crazy speech at the end of the film:

For man, no rest, he must go on. First this little planet and its’ winds and ways, and then all of the laws of mind and matter that restrain him. Then the planets above and at last out across immensity to the stars. And when he conquers all the depths of space and all of time still he will not be finished.

All the universe or nothing! Which shall it be?

(As a side note Ken Stanley Robinson seems to think this modernist’s dream that the destiny of humanity is to settle the stars is still alive and kicking. In his newest novel he is out to kill it. Review pending. )

To return to our lack of imagination and direction after 2008: we, unlike Wells, know how his and similar modernist projects failed, and just how horribly they did so. Nevertheless, his diagnosis remains largely sound. It might take a crisis the scale none of us would wish for to engender real reform let alone the taking of radically new directions. Given historical experience such crises are much more likely to give rise to monsters than anything benign.

Anarchists seem to grasp the shape of the time but not its implications. In a globalized world power has slipped out of the grasp of democratic sovereignty and into the hands of networked organizations- from multinational corporations, to security services, to terrorists and criminal groups able to transcend these borders. Yet it is tightly organized “machine like” organizations rather than decentralized/anarchic ones that seem to thrive in this feudal environment, and whereas that very feudalism and its competition makes achieving a unified voice in addressing urgent global problems even more difficult, and where despite our current perceptions, war between the armed groups that represent states the gravest existential threat to humanity, we, unlike Wells, know that no one group of us has all the answers, and that it is not only inhumane but impossible to win human unity out of the barrel of a ray gun


Rick Searle, an Affiliate Scholar of the IEET, is a writer and educator living the very non-technological Amish country of central Pennsylvania along with his two young daughters. He is an adjunct professor of political science and history for Delaware Valley College and works for the PA Distance Learning Project.

Hiroshima—haunting humanity for 70 years

hiroshima memorialThe Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

Hiroshima survivors: haunted 70 years on, determined to remember

asahi shimbun

REUTERS

HIROSHIMA–Hiroshi Harada remembers how his leg sank into one of the bodies blocking a narrow Hiroshima street 70 years ago, as he fled the spreading fire ignited by the atomic bomb.

“My leg slid deep into one of them. Then it was very hard to pull my leg out … To escape, I had no choice,” said Harada, the 75-year-old former head of an atomic bomb museum.

Later that day, a woman grabbed Harada, then just 6 years old, by the leg and asked for water. He stepped back in horror to find a chunk of flesh from her hand sticking to his leg.

As the 70th anniversary of the world’s first nuclear attack approaches, many survivors still find it too painful to talk about. But with their ranks dwindling, others are determined to pass on their experiences to younger generations.

“The number of survivors will be shrinking and their voices getting smaller,” Harada said. “But Hiroshima needs to keep on sending a message to the world that things like this should never happen again.”

Hiroshima survivors often refrain from talking about their experiences even with their own children, some from a feeling that the past is too horrific and others from fear of discrimination against themselves and their offspring.

This year’s anniversary comes as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seeks to ease the constraints of Japan’s postwar, pacifist constitution on the military.

Critics fear that could lead the nation again down a mistaken path to war, while proponents argue the change is needed to deter growing regional threats.

FEELING OF SHAME

A U.S. bomber dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, killing about 140,000 by the end of the year, out of the 350,000 who lived in the city. The city still has some 60,000 survivors but their average age is approaching 80.

The United States dropped a second atomic bomb on Nagasaki three days after Hiroshima. Japan surrendered on Aug. 15.

Shortly after the bombing, 15-year-old Shigeo Ito was hurrying home and was asked by a woman to help rescue a person trapped under a collapsed house. He ignored the plea since fire was approaching the bridge he needed to cross to get home.

“Even long after that, I could not help feeling ashamed of myself every time I saw that bridge,” said the 84-year-old Ito, who now lectures to school children about his experience.

Shuntaro Hida, 98, was an army surgeon at the time of the bombing. When he first went out after the explosion, he saw a woman with what he thought were tattered clothes hanging from her torso. Then he realized he was seeing her sloughed-off skin.

For Hida, however, the real horror of the nuclear attack lay in its often invisible health effects. “The cruelest aspect of a nuclear attack is not the savage destruction of human bodies or visible burns, but its life-destroying after-effects,” said Hida, who treated and advised some 10,000 atomic bomb survivors.

Hiroshima began to see an increased number of leukemia patients five year after the bombing.

Fumiaki Kajiya, 76, lost his sister to the atomic bomb blast. Their parents had moved her to a rural area to keep her safe, but just before the bombing, they brought her back to the city, succumbing to her pleas to stay with the family.

Kajiya’s mother would weep for hours on end in front of the Buddhist alter as Aug. 6 came around every year. Kajiya now performs “picture shows” for children with hand-drawn art to pass on the horror of the atomic bomb.

“If we forget Hiroshima, the world would be a dangerous place,” Kajiya said.

Does Saudi Immunity For 911 Somehow Transfer Guilt To Iran?

[SEE:  Saudi Royals Request Removal From 911 Lawsuit ]

Michael D. Goldhaber, The Am Law Daily

Photo by Sander Lamme via Wikimedia Commons

Victims of September 11, who seek to hold funders of the 2001 terror attacks accountable in court, came to Manhattan federal court in Foley Square on Thursday with serious evidence that Saudi Arabia supported the al Qaeda bombers. U.S. District Judge George Daniels promised to decide within 90 days whether to put the Kingdom on trial.

Saudi Arabia chided the 9/11 families that this hearing was “not a political seminar.” It was, however, a seminar on history and epistemology. After 12 years of halting progress against Saudi charities, the 9/11 plaintiffs have revived a powerful claim against the Kingdom. But the quest for historical truth threatens to founder on the judge’s futile desire for direct knowledge of espionage.

Much of the day turned on what exactly we know about a February 2000 chat between alleged Saudi spies Omar al Bayoumi and Fahad al Thumairy. Judge Daniels had no time for Saudi’s contention that it didn’t “technically” employ Bayoumi when it paid his salary for a no-show cover job. But at the heart of the Saudi spy plot posited by the 9/11 families, the judge seemed to struggle with the obvious.

“You don’t have any evidence as to what conversations [Thumairy] had with Bayoumi,” said Daniels. “What’s the factual basis for you to allege that when he met with Bayoumi he said, ‘Give lodging to the hijackers, assist them and give financial support to the hijackers so that they can carry out the 9/11 attacks?’”

What one spy said to the other can be inferred from the full circumstantial evidence, replied 9/11 attorney Sean Carter of Cozen O’Connor—and must be. Consider the timing and sequence of these events, as laid out by the plaintiffs.

Osama bin Laden sent the 9/11 hijackers Nawaf al Hazmi and Khalid al Mihdhar to Los Angeles in mid-January 2000 knowing that they didn’t speak a word of English and would be helpless on their own. Two weeks later, the Saudi spy Bayoumi met with the Islamist diplomat-imam Thumairy at the Saudi consul’s Islamic Affairs section, which the FBI knew to serve as Saudi Arabia’s radical Islamist fifth column.

Bayoumi drove straight from this not-so-mysterious chat to meet the two hijackers at Thumairy’s mosque. Three days later, Bayoumi moved the two hijackers into his own family apartment in San Diego. Bayoumi proceeded to open bank accounts and rent new apartments for the hijackers with his own money. Bayoumi connected the hijackers with another alleged Saudi agent who procured them fake IDs and admission to language and flight school. Bayoumi’s wife allegedly channeled $150,000 in support payments from a Saudi princess to the hijackers. In early 2000 Bayoumi received a promotion at his no-show cover job, and a significant raise in the salary and stipend covered by the Kingdom. Over the same three months, he talked repeatedly by phone with Saudi diplomats in L.A. and D.C., not to mention the hijackers’ San Diego imam Anwar Aulaqi, who went on to become a senior al Qaeda leader.

When questioned by the 9/11 Commission under the watchful eye of the Saudi secret police, Thumairy clumsily denied knowing Bayoumi, and Bayoumi pretended to be surprised that Thumairy worked at the consulate.

Add it all up, and the two spies in L.A. were not chatting about the traffic on the Santa Monica Freeway. The judge must understand that historical intelligence doesn’t get any stronger. We go to war with Iraq over yellowcake, and we won’t go to a jury with two bad guys twirling their mustaches at Wahhabi central?

According to the complaint, a top FBI official has stated that “We [the FBI] firmly believed that he [Bayoumi] had knowledge [of the 9/11 plot], and that his meeting with them [Hazmi and Mihdhar] that day was more than coincidence.” It’s “implausible,” adds 9/11 commissioner John Lehman, “that the broad spectrum of evidence developed by the 9/11 Commission concerning the relationships among Omar al Bayoumi, Fahad al Thumairy, the Islamic Affairs Department of Saudi diplomatic missions, and 9/11 hijackers Nawaf al Hazmi and Khalid al Mihdhar can be explained away as merely coincidental.”

To 9/11 victims like Matthew T. Sellito, who flew in for the hearing from Florida, the evidence is clear. Sellitto, whose 23 year-old son Matthew C. of Cantor Fitzgerald was the youngest victim of the twin towers, said it pained him that the U.S. held the wrong country accountable in the Iraq War.

What about the 9/11 Commission itself? According to Carter, the staffers who studied the evidence concluded that Saudi Arabia was implicated—but that conclusion was removed from the 9/11 Report at the eleventh hour because senior staff wanted 100 percent certainty for such politically explosive allegations.

Michael Kellogg of Kellogg Huber Hansen Todd Evans & Figel, arguing for the defense, prefers the final draft of the 9/11 Report. Even after 12 years, he says the 9/11 families can’t meet the high standard of evidence required by the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. He also argued that the case against Saudi Arabia and the Saudi High Comission for Relief of Bosnia & Herzegovina must be dismissed because they do not satisfy the “whole tort” exception, the “discretionary functions” clause, or the causation requirement of the FSIA. Those legal arguments are likely to be resolved at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit—unless Congress steps in to resolve them first. But this case ain’t going to trial against Saudi unless Judge Daniels is willing to connect the dots.

The irony is that Judge Daniels already entered a $6 billion default judgment against Iran on far weaker evidence. The allegations that Iran helped Hezbollah to cooperate with al-Qaeda, and let al-Qaeda terrorists pass through Iran, would seem to fail the test that the whole tort occurred on U.S. soil.

Yet after 3 hours of agonizing over the Saudi spy evidence, the judge treated the contention that Iran is liable for another $150 billion as an afterthought.

At the end of Thursday’s hearing, James Kreindler of Kreindler & Kreindler announced that the 857 members of his 9/11 plaintiff group, headlined by the Ashton family, had a claim against Iran. And therefore, they were entitled to the same default judgment received in 2011 by the 47 members of the plaintiff group headlined by the Havlish family. Kreindler said that the $6 billion awarded in Havlish implied damages of $150 billion for the Ashton plaintiffs . But for fear of disrupting diplomacy, Kreindler said he was only seeking a finding of liability—to stake a claim in the political settlement likely to resolve Iranian terror claims. The judge said he’d hold a Jan. 14 conference and “see where we are.”

In the meantime here’s free advice from The Global Lawyer. Iran should show up in court before a mega-judgment jeopardizes its historic deal. And Judge Daniels should let a jury see the evidence against the nation that actually bears blame for 9/11. We owe it to Matthew T. and Matthew C. Sellitto.

UN Capitulation To Saudi Demands Equals Partnership In Ethnic-Cleansing of Middle East

“the U.N. de facto institutionalized aid segregation by allowing humanitarian relief to be conditional to certain criteria: political affiliation and religious orientation.

With Yemen set as a precedent, who’s to say that a similar setup will not be replicated in other countries in the region — mainly, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Libya?”

source

[This is the standard by which Middle Eastern human beings will be granted the right to eat by the Royal Saudi Caliphate.  Anyone who can’t see the real “Sunni Caliphate” by now has not been paying attention to Saudi aggression in the region.  War-mongering king Salman has been arrogantly open about his intentions to cleanse the Middle East of Shiites and other religious apostates (this would include Christians, obviously). even whike he pretends to be fighting against the Caliphate of ISIS.  The Saudi royals and their Gulf subordinates have been creating a Saudi Caliphate, right before our eyes.  The fact that the world’s only hope for humanitarianism, the United Nations, would allow a tribal Arab king to enforce Draconian standards on simple aid intended to keep civilians alive (amidst a hot, desert war), is proof that human compassion is just another commodity that can be bought and sold like anything else. 

Such is the human condition, when laid bare before us. 
Where is God in this equation?]

Saudi Arabia opened its checkbook in response to a U.N. appeal for funds to cover the most urgent humanitarian aid to Yemen. But that aid would come at a steep price and with more than a few strings attached.

A Yemeni man looks at a World Food Program ship at the port of Aden, Yemen, Tuesday, July 21, 2015. The WFP ship carrying badly needed aid arrived in Yemen's war-torn southern city of Aden on Tuesday, the first vessel chartered by the U.N. agency to berth there since Saudi-led airstrikes on Shiite rebels in the country began in March. (AP Photo/Ahmed Sameer)

SANAA, Yemen — Five months have passed since Saudi Arabia declared war on Yemen, and for all its might, political resolve and military arsenal, the kingdom has yet to bring the poorest nation on the Arabian Peninsula to heel.

Its institutions in tatters, its military apparatus reduced to rubbles, and with no economy to speak of, Yemen’s imminent collapse has been foretold time and time again by experts and state officials. Yet these predictions have not quite come to fruition.

In its match against Goliath, David is resisting. In rallies, demonstrations and even an open letter signed by 18 Yemen scholars and experts living in the United States and Britain, tens of thousands of Yemenis and others around the world have decried Riyadh’s actions, calling for an end to all violence.

Yet this dedication to opposing Riyadh’s actions doesn’t mean Yemenis aren’t suffering. The World Health Organization issued a statement in June, warning that a “major health crisis is unfolding in Yemen, where hospitals have been destroyed, health workers killed and critical shortages of food, medical supplies and fuel are causing large-scale suffering.”

In early July, the United Nations declared the situation in Yemen to be the highest level of humanitarian emergency. According to a U.N. report published July 7, over 1,500 civilians have been killed, 3,600 have been injured, and over a million have been displaced in the ongoing conflict.

A “major health crisis is unfolding in Yemen, where hospitals have been destroyed, health workers killed and critical shortages of food, medical supplies and fuel are causing large-scale suffering.”

-World Health Organization

By U.N. estimates, about 80 percent of all Yemenis — more than 20 million people — are in need of humanitarian aid.

In late March, Amnesty International confirmed the deaths of at least six children under the age of 10 during a Saudi-led air raid that killed 25 people. The report read: “The organization spoke to medical personnel at four different hospitals where the dead were taken after being pulled from the rubble of 14 houses that were hit in a residential neighbourhood near the city’s international airport.”

Already the poorest and most vulnerable population in the Peninsula and arguably the Greater Middle East, Yemenis have seen their livelihoods and freedom of movement disintegrate under Saudi Arabia’s war momentum. In late April, Saudi Arabia bombed Sanaa International Airport, effectively trapping civilians within Yemen’s borders.

Despite mounting evidence of abuses and war crimes, it would take the international rights community several months to stand up to the oil giant. On July 27, Human Rights Watch unequivocally slammed Saudi Arabia for a litany of human rights violations. The report reads:

Saudi-led coalition airstrikes that killed at least 65 civilians, including 10 children, and wounded dozens in the Yemeni port city of Mokha on July 24, 2015, are an apparent war crime. Starting between 9:30 and 10 p.m., coalition airplanes repeatedly struck two residential compounds of the Mokha Steam Power Plant, which housed plant workers and their family members.”

With fierce battles raging across Yemen, and as warplanes continue to rain lead onto heavily populated areas, Saudi Arabia has been looking for innovative ways to exert pressure onto the resistance movement. It is now withholding humanitarian aid to Yemen’s civilians to tame the growing insurrection movement against its rule and thus secure victory in the face of international law — all under the guise of the United Nations.

The kingdom is holding hostage not just Yemen but to some extent the international community, using the United Nations’ humanitarian institutions to wage war. It’s using institutions meant to offer relief as a means of weaponizing aid.

Hassan Jayache, a senior leader of the Houthi movement, which took control of Yemen earlier this year, told MintPress News that local NGOs have found themselves caught in a political web, forced to surrender their neutrality to secure not just funding but access to areas where aid is needed.

“The Saudis have exerted political pressures onto local NGOs and international aid organizations, demanding that aid be restricted to pre-approved segments of the population, based on political affiliations and according to religious criteria,” Jayache said.

“In other words, Al Saud has decided to starve the Shias of Yemen, hoping to break the Houthis’ momentum.”

Turning aid agencies into weapons of war

Mohammed Al-Emad, a Yemen-based journalist and political commentator, says Saudi Arabia called on several media organizations in the Middle East, the United States and Europe, demanding that “coverage on Yemen be sanitized and in keeping with Riyadh’s chosen political narrative.”

Wikileaks Comic While Al-Emad’s claims could be considered bias, WikiLeaks published a series of confidential cables pointing to systematic media/PR manipulation on the part of the Saudis.

But if the international community had been standing silent before Saudi Arabia’s war crimes, exploiting what Al-Emad describes as a convenient media blackout to avoid addressing some sticky legal points, Riyadh’s move against the U.N. might prove one indiscretion too many for anyone to ignore.

The work of King Salman and his allies to sabotage U.N.-organized aid to Yemen started on April 17 in the wake of a U.N. emergency flash appeal for $274 million to respond to the most pressing humanitarian needs over the following three months.

Speaking on Yemenis’ hardship, Humanitarian Coordinator Johannes Van Der Klaauw stressed:

“The devastating conflict in Yemen takes place against the backdrop of an existing humanitarian crisis that was already one of the largest and most complex in the world … Thousands of families have now fled their homes as a result of the fighting and airstrikes. Ordinary families are struggling to access health care, water, food and fuel – basic requirements for their survival.”

Saudi Arabia immediately volunteered the exact amount requested. But the aid would come with strings attached.

Vice News reported in June that Saudi officials leaned on U.N. officials to sabotage aid deliveries, threatening to close the kingdom’s checkbook should U.N. agencies deny Riyadh’s requests.

Based on a U.N. memo obtained by Vice, the media outlet reported that the Saudi government imposed unprecedented conditions on aid agencies, demanding that assistance be limited to Saudi-approved areas and confined to strictly Sunni civilian populations.

A Yemeni volunteer carries bags of rice to displaced people

“If such despicable logic can somehow be expected from a power which has wielded sectarianism to sow discord and from chaos rise a tyrant, what of the UN, an institution which claims itself impartial and fair?” Hasan Sufyani, a leading political analyst at the Sana’a Institute for Arabic Studies, asked MintPress.

He added:

If humanitarian organizations are to be subjected to the rules of realpolitik then truly the world has reached a dark chapter in its history and reverted back to organized barbarism.

Still, no well-thinking Western powers has thought to challenge Saudi Arabia’s war crimes in Yemen. In a world system where capitalism reigns king, the rich and haughty stand above the pettiness of the rule of law.”

As a rule of thumb, and to avoid political entanglements, humanitarian organizations tend to shy away from donations which come with strings attached, especially when they fall under the umbrella of the OCHA.

Meant as a supranational institution, OCHA was never intended to be manipulated as an instrument of pressure, legal absolution or, in the case of Yemen, a weapon of war.

$244M, split nine ways

Playing aid as both a military tactic and a PR exercise to redeem its atrocious human rights record and whitewash its war crimes in Yemen, Saudi Arabia has held the U.N. hostage to its policies.

Such shadowing and lobbying on the part of Saudi Arabia had Yemeni officials waving the political red flag.

Ali al-Bukhaiti, a prominent member of the Houthis’ political arm, told MintPress his office has vehemently denounced Riyadh’s attempts to “buy the U.N. out to better corner Sana’a government and foil the resistance movement.”

Yet it appears the train was already far too out of the station for anyone to hit the brakes.

By late June, amid reports of a worsening humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen, the Saudi government finally announced that out of its initial pledge of $274 million, $244 million would be divided among nine U.N. agencies.

On the heels of this announcement Stephen O’Brien, the U.N. undersecretary for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, sent a letter to the Interagency Standing Committee, a global humanitarian coordinating body, which includes both U.N. humanitarian agencies and outside NGOs.

Vice News confirmed the letter was attached to a Saudi press release announcing the nine-way cut, explaining how the funds would go through the recently created King Salman Center for Relief Humanitarian Works (KSC).

“Having agreed to the overall envelopes, however, the KSC would like to negotiate individual Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with each recipient agency,” O’Brien told Vice, openly admitting to Riyadh’s lobby.

Boys carry relief supplies to their families who fled fighting in the southern city of Aden, during a food distribution effort by Yemeni volunteers, in Taiz, Yemen.

“Interestingly few media outlets picked up on this Orwellian development! After unilaterally and, let’s be frank, after illegally declaring war on Yemen, the Saudi government wants also to dictate how humanitarian relief is distributed in the very country it is attacking,” Sheikh al-Matari, the head of Yemen’s Rasoul Akram Foundation, an aid organization, told MintPress.

Vice News quoted a U.N. aid official in Yemen as saying: “The UN has punted and handed off the problems to these agencies. I’ve never seen that before.”

The official continued:

“The charitable way of saying it is this is a compromise — the less charitable way of saying it is that they folded. It’s really unusual for a single donor to have any substantive role once they contribute funds, let alone negotiate individual MoU’s with agencies.”

When asked about this very public U.N. capitulation before Al Saud’s millions, O’Brien attempted to rationalize the situation by arguing a massive deficit funding gap.

O’Brien wrote: “With regard to NGOs, I am aware that there are sensitivities in receiving funding directly from the KSC and we therefore must work actively to mobilize additional funds to be allocated directly, or via the Pooled Fund, to our front-line partners.”

Yet, as al-Matari noted:

“That’s only half of the story. What O’Brien is not telling is that by accepting Saudi Arabia’s conditions on aid distribution and aid funding in relation to Yemen, the U.N. de facto institutionalized aid segregation by allowing humanitarian relief to be conditional to certain criteria: political affiliation and religious orientation.

With Yemen set as a precedent, who’s to say that a similar setup will not be replicated in other countries in the region — mainly, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Libya?”

‘Institutionalizing war crimes’

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, left, meets with King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, right

“From the onset of this conflict King Salman has walked outside international law. There is nothing remotely legal about attacking a sovereign nation. The argument Saudi Arabia aimed to preemptively strike Yemen in order to stop the so-called ‘Shia crescent’ from further strengthening its hold on the region is both legally erroneous and redundant. What is troubling is the speed at which the kingdom is institutionalizing war crimes,” Al-Emad, the journalist and political commentator based in Yemen, told MintPress.

Al-Emad added: “It is one thing to declare war against a country and another to select a segment of population for annihilation. How long before Saudi Arabia’s ill intentions against all Zaidis and Shias in Yemen are understood for what they are? Genocidal.”

Although no legal action has been taken against Saudi Arabia, the kingdom’s humanitarian and human rights violations in Yemen have come to define the very nature of its war on the tiny, impoverished nation.

Even the sectarian aspect of Riyadh‘s wrath has transpired in official reports, giving weight to Yemenis’ mounting accusations of ethnic cleansing. The Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights raised concerns in this area, as well, as a U.N. report issued in July notes: “The UN rights office is also acutely worried about increasing attacks against places of worship, pointing to the targeting of five Zaydi mosques with car bombs over the past few weeks as an alarming trend to create sectarian divisions.”

Additionally, Cécile Pouilly, spokesperson for the OHCHR, confirmed mounting abuses against civilians when she explained: “Since 17 June, there has been further destruction of civilian infrastructure, with at least 36 buildings, including hospitals, schools, court houses, power generation facilities and communications institutions partially or totally damaged in the governorates of Sana’a, Aden, Taiz, Al-Jawf, Al-Mahwit, and Hajjah.”

The Saudis have not been alone in violating international law, though. The Houthis have also committed their share of war crimes. In May, for example, Human Rights Watch accused pro-Houthi forces of killing civilians and holding aid workers hostage in the southern seaport of Aden. But it is the sectarian intent and systematicity behind Riyadh’s military campaign which has rights activists ringing the alarm.

Speaking to MintPress, Hussain Abu Salem, a human rights activist based in Saada, a northern province of Yemen, located south of Saudi Arabia, who personally documented Saudi air raids against identified Zaidi-targets in northern Yemen, compared Riyadh’s actions against Yemen’s Zaidi community to Israel’s attacks against Palestinians:

“Saudi Arabia knowingly and willingly targets Zaidi villages and Zaidi monuments. It seeks the destruction of Yemen Zaidi heritage. It wants to surgically remove all Zaidi Yemenis from political, religious, economic and social life. The kingdom is following in the footsteps of Israel in all impunity. It is exactly the same logic, the same methods and of course the same justifications.”

“This is the thing about right violations,” he added, “when the world does nothing to impose the law, when the powerful can oppress the weak, then injustice becomes the rule of law.”

imagine a ‘nuclear war’ of information

Russia vs. US: Total War is the Obliteration of Reality

fort russ blog
By: Joaquin Flores
When the methods of Information War in Fourth Generation Warfare are used in Total War, it results in a war upon the psyche, a war upon cognition, a war upon our very conception and understanding of reality.  This will be an increasing feature of our relationship with reality.
As global conflict increases qualitatively and quantitatively, it is important to understand the new methods of warfare in which the conflict in Ukraine serves as an excellent case study.  Understanding these methods, in combination with a syncretic approach to various competing schools and across several otherwise or previously unrelated fields, has been the key to our ability to accurately forecast any number of events and dynamics in the situation in Ukraine.
The struggle between the Atlanticist and Eurasianist spheres not only acquires forms in the traditional areas of diplomacy, trade, intelligence, and military strength – but also in the increasingly dominating realm of synthetic, manufactured hyper-reality.  These are important elements of fourth generation warfare (4GW) in the realm of information war and also what is termed ‘hybrid warfare’ – a feature of 4GW which blurs the lines between civilian and military groups, and allows power groups to dissemble the reality of their role in support.  This creates the element of plausible deniability, that power groups are not involved when in fact they are.
Following the various media reports and statements from the various official spokespeople of the groups involved in the Ukrainian conflict, it is problematic to take these at face value and equate statements about their role or position as being the actual role or position.
In a manner similar to ISIS or Al Qaeda – which are largely US-Saudi-Israeli joint projects, it is typical to hear statements from the Pravy Sektor that they oppose NATO, imperialism (whether US or Russian), and propose instead other elements of platform which confuse the discourse and disguise their actual supporters.  Of course, like with ISIS and the like, most all of the commanders and all of the rank and file supporters and fighters completely believe they are opposed to the very power groups which support them.  It only requires one or two decision makers at the very top to align the actual activities with US control or influence.
Naturally like ISIS, Pravy Sektor and similar are also developed to be self-sustaining projects to a large extent, can subsist for long periods of time using the standard methods of apparent self-funding, including organized crime or the seizure of businesses and enterprises. They can also, as we have written previously, be used and swayed by other actors not including the US, and in certain moments may act – willingly or unwillingly – against the US’s actual interests (not just stated interests).  This may occur for reasons which are complex but imaginable.
US and Russian approaches to the conflict in Ukraine are based in discernible desired positions, but the strategies change in various stages based upon real-world changes and results, push-back, and the actions of the other players. Thus, strategies are employed in relation to changes, and tactics evolve in real-time.   This is why many contingency plans are built into general planning.  Indeed, the various and even contradictory contingencies themselves should be considered ‘the plan’.
The US exerts degrees of control and influence upon several distinct power groups in Ukraine, such as various volunteer battalions, the government itself, mainstreamed opposition to that government, and Pravy Sektor related groups up to and including Yarosh himself.  These wane and wax in relation either to the US’s need or to the US’s ability to exert its power.  These are not unidirectional; US attempts to exert influence or control do not necessarily result in a success in that endeavor: the targets of influence and control may be compelled to act – either in an instance or in a general pivot – contrary to the needs of the US for reasons of their own survival, and/or as a result of Russian successes to exert influence and control.
Difficulties in assessing the situation then arise from this: an established method in 4GW as it works through media and new-media (information war) is to dissemble actual reality, and to manufacture a new reality.  The US can exert fluctuating degrees of influence and control over its proxies.
It is difficult to use language to describe reality because words have definitions which often exclude that which they are contrasted with. Reality on the other hand is fluid and real situations can be simultaneously described by more than one word, even if such words when counterpoised to each other may seem to have opposite meanings.  Reality can morph into conditions that are better described by some words, only to shift at any time later into a condition which is better described otherwise.  Thus, without special care, a syllogistic or axiomatic approach will usually fail.
**
In October of 2014, we wrote:
“From the syncretic work we have produced on this subject, drawing from numerous schools such as Baudrillard’s post-structuralism and Kuhn’s theory of the structure of scientific revolutions […] we have attempted to explain both some features of the information war and how the present schema or paradigm is constructed, and how that construct contains certain features which can be manipulated and exploited through the use of simulacrum and hyper-reality.”
“More to the point, we have based much of our understanding on the premise that societies composed of managers and the managed must create a paradigm which has exploitable features for the purpose of social control.  The Ukraine civil war is the first war in history in which both actual sides (US and Russia) struggle for supremacy using similarly derived theories of new media and their connection to 4GW.  While the use of proxies has long been a feature of war, that both sides use proxies in the sense of 4GW doctrines, and that the ‘stories’ being told extend from new media, is a new phenomenon.”
“There are some problems, however, for both the US and Russian information and reality managers.  Being able to create hyper-reality does not, in the first place, require having a solid footing in the actual reality.  In many ways, ‘actual reality’ may be an ever-elusive thing which can never fully be grasped.  We are, as human beings, a species which is already born into a reality comprised of the previous generation’s interwoven combination of actual reality and hyper-reality.”
“Our society, a social construct, is an outgrowth of our genetic potential.  The creation of various primitive forms of hyper-reality is as natural to humanity as the bird constructing its nest.  But just as the invention of the train or automobile changed forever our relationship with distance, and even the relative size of the earth, the invention of new media has changed our relationship with actual reality and the kinds of reality and hyper-reality we construct. “
“It is not difficult, then, for even the agent of social control, working at the think tank, to lose sight of reality itself.  What was that individual’s origin point?  Everyone working today on these projects was already born into a world of machines, production of the means of creation and destruction, automated wars, electricity, and mass media.”
“From an analytic point of view, this creates a conundrum.  Analysis, discourse, map-drawing etc. are themselves a form of hyper-reality creation.  Analysis is done in the mind of the analyst, and is drawn from, at best primary sources, but are generally not the primary source itself.  It must go through the medium of language and contrived/presented imagery (photos, etc.) before it gets to the analyst.  Additionally, even when the analyst is the witness percipient, their interpretations and written or spoken analysis reflect their prior biases, beliefs, prejudices, and thought processes; which in short can be described as defective by way of their subjectivity.”
“Thus from the analyst:  all words, language; things signifying and signified; which pertain to actual reality, are themselves indistinguishable from hyper-reality.  Analysis based on interpreting actual reality and analysis based in interpreting the simulacrum are both, in many ways, hyper-real presentations.  The map is not the terrain.”
“To problematize ‘objective’ reporting and analysis, is really to lay-out the problems with the concept of objectivity, which leaves us with only a remaining intersubjective agreement [20].  Therefore we can see the power of new-media (which is based on the echoing of information through many subjects, peer to peer), and the transformation of the simulacrum from being a distinct hyper-reality unto itself, into a totalizing entity which subsumes, devours, and overtakes reality into itself.  It becomes, then, within the liberal, emotional state, of the Popperian ‘critical rationalist’ paradigm, most appropriate and ‘reasonable’ to uphold the hyper-reality as the actual reality [21]. “
**
In conclusion, we might imagine a ‘nuclear war’ of information. The fall-out also contaminates information managers and builders.  In an increasing way, even the reality and information managers themselves are suffering from the ‘radiation poisoning’ of information war; they can no longer distinguish between the reality they are creating, or that was created by their opponent, from the reality which they began to work from.  It increasingly becomes one and the same.
If this is true for them, who have access to much more real information than we do, then it is even more true for us; we who have all along been working largely with information which by definition is manufactured and itself is a social construct.
Understanding the world then becomes increasingly difficult and creates very real epistemic problems.
Liberalism and its sub-ideology of pragmatism is steeped in anti-intellectualism and a misuse of Ockham’s razor or lex parsimoniae (law of parsimony).  It is wrongly used as an arbiter between two theories, in which the simplest theory is viewed as more accurate even when not accounting for all the information, as opposed to a heuristic technique in the development of a model.
It is an attractive idea that the complexities of war and strategy can be explained away as being the product of random accidents; that the divergence between stated aims and actual results are a product of blunder and incompetence and not intrigue and dissemblance.
Analyzing the motives of conscious actors is not like observing other phenomena in a few important ways; conscious actors may have a strong motivation to conceal their real aims or methods, whereas basic physical, chemical, or biological processes can be observed empirically and claims made about these are falsifiable.
Rather, we must look at circumstantial and other non-physical evidence; known theories, past practice, the body of scholarly work on the subject, and instead approach the questions from a prosecutorial perspective.
To understand one epistemic dilemma in the use of Ockham’s Razor to describe phenomena, let us look at these well known quotes about this heuristic tool.
“Entities should not be multiplied without necessity.” (William of Ockham)
“Nature operates in the shortest way possible.” (Aristotle)
“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” (Albert Einstein)
Warfare does not generally operate on the basis of ‘nature’ in the sense that Aristotle describes – as there are consciously acting players being observed who do not want to be accurately observed, nor upon the economy of modeling that Ockham proposes.
In warfare, most entities should be multiplied and made as complex as possible for a number of reasons.  One radar tower may cover an entire area, but many radar towers for a single area are preferable because then radar coverage is not lost when the opponent successfully neutralizes one of them.
Likewise in strategy:  a simple strategy may at first seem preferable in terms of viability and execution,  but in the context of a conscious opponent, the complexity of a strategy will aid tremendously in keeping it from being understood and unraveled.  In that sense, as with the radar example, more layers are better.
The science of economy and efficiency takes on entirely different applications in the context of a struggle between strategic players.  One aspect of victory in a war is production, but not only physical production of soldiers and hardware, but in the production of complex strategy, relying on more virtual resources, theories, etc.  The side which can afford more inefficiencies has a strategic advantage in any number of scenarios.
We must not approach reality at face value, but as a consciously created illusion itself which is constructed specifically with the aim of pursuing a long-term strategic objective, one that includes both the accidental and intentional creation of a false, distorted, manufactured hyper-reality built upon layers of both real and hyper-real foundations.
**
Joaquin Flores is a Mexican-American expat based in Belgrade. He is a full-time analyst and director at the Center for Syncretic Studies, a public geostrategic think-tank and consultancy firm, as well as the co-editor of Fort Russ news service, and President of the Berlin based Independent Journalist Association for Peace. His expertise encompasses Eastern Europe, Eurasia, and he has a strong proficiency in Middle East affairs. Flores is particularly adept at analyzing ideology and the role of mass psychology, as well as the methods of the information war in the context of 4GW and New Media. He is a political scientist educated at California State University. In the US, he worked for a number of years as a labor union organizer, chief negotiator, and strategist for a major trade union federation.

American Police State Needs More Easy-Bake-Terrorists

FBI Tracked Chattanooga Shooter’s Family for Years

land destroyer

July 17, 2015 (Tony Cartalucci – LD) – Once again, another convenient shooting has helped supercharge anger, hatred, fear, and division across the Western World after an alleged “Islamist extremist” opened fire on and killed 4 US Marines at a recruiting station in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Without any knowledge of how the US has in fact created Al Qaeda and its many global affiliates, including vicious terrorist groups plaguing Southeast Asia, and the most notorious to date, the so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS), the American public will predictably react in a manner that will simply further justify America’s meddling across the globe amid its self-created and perpetuated “War on Terror.” It will also help in efforts to further tighten control over the American public itself, with increased justifications for expanding police state measures and future pushes to disarm the American people.

Yahoo News would report in their article, “Shootings at Chattanooga military facilities leave 4 Marines, gunman dead; act called ‘domestic terrorism‘,” that:

A U.S. official told the Associated Press that Abdulazeez had not been on the radar of federal law enforcement before Thursday’s shooting. 

But also added:

His father had been investigated several years ago for “possible ties to a foreign terrorist organization” and added to the U.S. terrorist watch list, according to a report in the New York Times, but that probe did not surface information about Abdulazeez, the paper said.

This means that yet another case of “domestic terror” has involved someone either investigated by the FBI, entrapped by an active FBI operation where FBI investigators posed as terrorist leaders and walked a patsy through every step of a terrorist attack before arresting them and thus “foiling” the attack, or linked directly to someone the FBI was investigating.

Ironically, the immense omnipresent police state the West has erected to combat the so-called “terrorist” threat, including the total surveillance of all communications online and across all telecommunication networks, at home and abroad under the National Security Agency (NSA) will only expand, despite it once again apparently failing, and despite attempts by special interests on Wall Street and in Washington to claim this latest attack “again” somehow circumvented these already sweeping measures.

Meanwhile, The US Continues Supporting Extremists Abroad

And while this latest attack is passed off as a “domestic terrorist attack” and the result of “Islamic extremists,” rather than a false flag event, the US continues to openly support the very “terrorists” it claims threatens its homeland and has inspired these sort of attacks.

Just recently, the Washington Post literally allowed a spokesman of Al Qaeda to defend his faction’s role in the fighting in Syria, and his condemnation of the United States for not rendering more aid for the cause of overrunning and destroying the Syrian nation – a goal the US itself is likewise pursuing.

Labib Al Nahhas, “head of foreign political relations” for terrorist organization Ahrar al-Sham, wrote in his Washington Post op-ed titled, “The deadly consequences of mislabeling Syria’s revolutionaries,” that:

Stuck inside their own bubble, White House policymakers have allocated millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to support failed CIA efforts to support so-called “moderate” forces in Syria. But these “moderate” groups have proved to be a disappointment on nearly every count, not least of all in confronting the Islamic State.

He also states:

That question should prompt Washington to admit that the Islamic State’s extremist ideology can be defeated only through a homegrown Sunni alternative — with the term “moderate” defined not by CIA handlers but by Syrians themselves.

Essentially, the Washington Post afforded a terrorist organization space to make an appeal to the American public for military support. Ahrar al-Sham regularly coordinates with and fights within operations led by Al Qaeda’s Al Nusra Front, a US State Department designated terrorist organization from which ISIS itself sprung.

Al Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham are described as the “closest” of allies by Western think-tanks and media reports. It is also revealed that Ahrar al-Sham worked along side ISIS itself.

A Stanford University report under “Mapping Militant Organizations” explained (emphasis added):

Ahrar al-Sham quickly became one of the largest military organizations operating in Syria, and it has been active in efforts to unite the Islamist opposition under a single banner. It rejects the idea of Western intervention but sometimes works alongside Free Syrian Army brigades. It routinely cooperates with al-Nusra and, until relations soured in 2013, also worked with ISIS. In February 2014, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence called Ahrar al-Sham one of the three most effective rebel groups in Syria.

The Washington Post isn’t the only voice in the Western media promoting Al Qaeda. Foreign Policy in 2012 abhorrently proclaimed, “Two Cheers for Syrian Islamists: So the rebels aren’t secular Jeffersonians. As far as America is concerned, it doesn’t much matter.” As much as an admission that the US is backing what is essentially terrorism in Syria, the Foreign Policy article attempted even then to promote the alleged “pragmatism” of supporting Al Qaeda to eliminate America’s foreign enemies.

Image: 100’s of trucks a day pass over Turkey’s border with Syria, destined for ISIS territory. NATO literally is supplying ISIS with an endless torrent of supplies, weapons, and fighters meaning that no matter how many token airstrikes the US carries out, many times more fighters and materiel will fill the void. 

And while Foreign Policy and terrorists writing in the pages of the Washington Post demand more weapons and support from the West, it is already a documented fact that immense and constantly flowing supply convoys are streaming out of both NATO-member Turkey and US-ally Jordan’s territory, into Syria and Iraq, for the purpose of resupplying ISIS. This explains ISIS’ otherwise inexplicable ability to not only maintain its impressive fighting capacity as it simultaneously wages war against both the Syrian and Iraqi armies, but to expand its fighting to all fronts opposed to US regional hegemony.

This includes Yemen, Libya, and even Egypt where ISIS most recently managed to hit an Egyptian naval vessel with a missile. Foreign Policy would again weigh in. Their article, “Islamic State Sinai Affiliate Claims to Have Hit Egyptian Ship With Missile,” states:

The use of a guided missile to strike an Egyptian ship represents a higher level of technological sophistication than what has been previously observed in Sinai attacks. It is unclear, however, exactly what kind of missile was used in the attack, beyond the militant group’s claim that it was a guided munition.

Militant groups in the region have in the past used guided missiles to attack government ships in the Mediterranean. During the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, an Iranian anti-ship missile fired by the militant group struck the Israeli warship Hanit, badly damaging the vessel and killing four crew members.

Of course, Foreign Policy and others across the Western media will be quick to point out that Hezbollah is a state-sponsored militant organization which receives its weapons from Syria and Iran. The question then becomes how ISIS replicated this level of “technological sophistication,” and which state-sponsors put the missiles into their hands.

The US supporting Al Qaeda is not really news. Al Qaeda was initially a joint US-Saudi venture to create a mercenary army to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan during the 1980’s. This mercenary army would again fight Russian interests in Serbia and Chechnya before eventually being used as the pretext for US invasions and occupations of both Afghanistan and Iraq from 2001 onward. In 2007, it was revealed that the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel sought to use the terrorist organization to raise a proxy military front to overthrow Syria and Iran. The resulting bloodbath in Syria beginning in 2011 is the operational execution of this documented conspiracy.

Al Qaeda and its various affiliates serve both as a proxy mercenary front to strike where Western forces cannot, and a pretext to invade abroad. It also serves as a constant justification for increased tyranny at home. With the most recent shooting carried out by yet another target of the FBI’s “investigations,” and the predictable divisive backlash that will follow, it is assured that the American public will be further blinded to the fact that this so-called “Islamic extremism” was born in Washington and on Wall Street, in Riyadh and Tel Aviv, not in a mosque or springing forth from the pages of the Qu’ran.

In fact, the vast majority of the world’s Islamic people are locked in mortal combat with the West’s mercenary terrorist forces, with tens of thousands of them having shed their blood fighting Al Qaeda everywhere from Libya to Egypt, to Iraq and Syria. While the US attempts to pose as the leading power in the fight against extremism, its token airstrikes deep within Syrian territory are quickly undone by the torrent of supplies it itself oversees flooding into Syrian territory. For every fighter killed by a US airstrike, 10 more are being trafficked in through US and NATO-run networks stretching as far afield as Xinjiang, China.

The US presence in Iraq and Syria serves simply as one of several planned stepping stones to eventually and directly intervene militarily in toppling either or both governments, before moving on to Tehran.

The “War on Terror” is a fraud, and each “terrorist attack” a carefully orchestrated means of further perpetuating that fraud.

“Cyber-Berkut” Hackers Capture Staged ISIS Beheading Video From John McCain Staffer In Ukraine

[SEE:  Al Jazeera’s fake Green Square; Syria: Qatar about to release “resounding fall” fake video]

Footage obtained from McCain staffer shows ISIL executions shot in studio

PressTV

A screen grab from leaked footage showing the filming of ISIL execution videos being taken in a studioA screen grab from leaked footage showing the filming of ISIL execution videos being taken in a studio

Leaked footage obtained from a staffer of US Senator John McCain shows the making of an ISIL “execution” video similar to the videos portraying the beheading of James Foley and other victims.

In the three-and-a-half minute video, ISIL executioner Jihadi John (aka Mohammed Emwazi) can be seen standing in front of a green screen, beside a kneeling hostage wearing an orange jumpsuit and a green screen hood in a fully equipped studio in the presence of a production crew, the Leaksource website recently reported.

The desert style set and wind machine effects, share similarities to the beheading videos ISIL released of Steven Sotloff, David Haines, and Alan Henning.

The following is an example showing the similarities between the leaked footage and Foley’s alleged beheading.

 

According to the report, the video was obtained in Ukraine from the cellphone of a member of McCain’s staff by the Hactivist group, CyberBerkut.

“Dear Senator McCain! We recommend you next time in foreign travel, and especially on the territory of Ukraine, not to take confidential documents.

On one of the devices of your colleagues, we found a lot of interesting things. Something we decided to put: this video should become the property of the international community!” the group is quoted as saying in the report.

MacCain’s ironic response to the claims can be seen below.

 

According to British forensic experts, Foley’s execution was probably staged with the use of “camera trickery and slick post-production techniques.”

A terrorism expert stated that the videos of Japanese hostages Kenji Goto and Haruna Yukawa was probably taken in an indoor studio.

The ISIL video purporting to show the execution of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians on a beach in Libya is also fake, said Hollywood horror film director Mary Lambert.

“In the opening shot all the figures might be animated. They never had more than six men on the beach… The close-ups of jihadists on the beach are most likely green screen… The sea turning red is obviously FX,” she said.

Saudis Turning Yemen Into the Next Al Qaeda “Caliphate,” and NOBODY CARES

https://i0.wp.com/www.adentribune.com/wp-content/uploads/yemen-popular-committees.jpg[SEE: Guantanamo and The Saudi Rehabilitation Program Behind AQAP–(Intentional, or Major Fowl-UP?) ; Embassy Bombing Trial Confirms “al Qaida” in Yemen Is Mossad]

Al Qaeda’s Hadramawt emirate

brookings

The war in Yemen has one local winner, Al Qaeda. The Saudis seem oddly unconcerned.

Since early April, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has controlled Yemen’s fifth largest city, Mukkalla, and much of the surrounding governorate of Hadramawt. The Hadramawt is Yemen’s largest governorate and home of about one-third of Yemen’s oil production before the war. Mukkalla is the country’s second largest port on the Indian Ocean after Aden. Hundreds of AQAP supporters have gone to Mukkalla after jail breaks in other parts of Yemen since the start of the war.

AQAP rules Mukkalla in association with other local Salafist groups. Initially, it avoided imposing strict Islamic law to keep public support. It officially banned qat chewing, the drug enjoyed by most Yemenis, but enforcement was apparently nominal at first. Now, AQAP is becoming more rigorous — religious police enforce strict rules on behavior, Sufi religious sites have been destroyed, and the ban on qat is becoming more strict.

AQAP faces opposition in Hadramawt from the Islamic State, which has carried out small attacks there. Northern Hadramawt is controlled by Yemeni army forces loyal to former president Ali Abdallah Saleh, but they generally avoid conflict with AQAP.

American drones have struck Al Qaeda targets in and around Mukkalla with significant success since April, including killing AQAP leader Nasir Al Wuhayshi in June. Wuhayshi reportedly was not targeted specifically; a so-called signature strike killed him. He was immediately replaced as emir of the group by Qasim al Raymi, the military commander of AQAP. He was involved in the 2009 attempt to blow up an airliner en route to Detroit from Amsterdam on Christmas Day.

From its base in Hadramawt, AQAP carries out deadly terrorist attacks on Houthi targets in Sanaa and other cities. Using the base in Mukkalla, the jihadists target Shia mosques, Houthi leaders and patrols, and other targets.

Since the start of the Yemen war, the Royal Saudi Air Force and its coalition partners have not targeted AQAP’s Hadramawt emirate. It has not been subjected at all to the bombing other Yemeni cities are enduring. As a consequence, Yemeni internally displaced persons have sought shelter and protection in Mukkalla. The port has also remained open for some traffic unlike ports controlled by the Zaydi Shia Houthi rebels.

Riyadh’s apparent willingness to tolerate an Al Qaeda stronghold on its southern border has raised conspiracy theories in Yemen that the Saudis implicitly at least welcome AQAP as an ally against the Zaydis. There are also longstanding suspicions that the Kingdom would like to annex Hadramawt to give it access to the Indian Ocean and a route for an oil pipeline to Mukkalla that would allow oil to reach the sea without transiting the Straits of Hormuz.

AQAP now sometimes calls itself “the Sons of Hadramawt” — perhaps to secure local support. It has not abandoned its global jihadist agenda, however, nor its animus toward Saudi Arabia. It is a safe assumption that AQAP’s master bomb maker Ibrahim Al Asiri has his lab somewhere in the Hadramawt preparing more attacks on America and the Kingdom.

FACING A POWER THAT CAN MAKE YOU BELIEVE THE IMPOSSIBLE

Mankind cannot evolve until we confront the evil which overpowers us with our own fears.

THERE IS NO WAR ON TERROR, THERE IS ONLY US TERRORIZING THE WORLD.  IF WE COULD DO THIS TO OURSELVES, THEN IMAGINE WHAT WE HAVE PLANNED FOR THE REST OF MANKIND.

COLLECTIVE EVOLUTION–911

9/11 Firefighters Reveal Bombs Destroyed WTC lobby

Newly obtained video that was reluctantly released by NIST after a lawsuit by the International Center for 9/11 Studies shows two firefighters on 9/11 discussing how secondary explosions occurred immediately before the collapse of the twin towers, providing damning new evidence that explosive devices were used to bring down the buildings. Firemen discuss how bombs were going off in the lobby of WTC1 as they were staging to move up the building. They explain how the building had already been hit by the plane and fires were already burning. After two explosions in the lobby, a third went off and the whole lobby collapsed. I’m sorry 9/11 truth deniers, you now have another smoking gun that you can’t deny!

NATO’s Never-Ending War Games On Russian Border Since 2014

THIS IS NOT RUSSIAN FORCES STAGING PROVOCATIVE WAR GAMES ON THE MEXICAN OR CANADIAN BORDER, IT IS AMERICANS TRYING TO PUSH-IN RUSSIA’S FRONT DOOR.

AMERICANS WANT MORE WAR, MORE KILLERS TO BE PROUD OF AND TO MOURN.

..WE CANNOT LIVE WITH OURSELVES WITHOUT IT.

NATO PROVOCATIONSSOURCE

Crazed Chechen Islamist Battalions Under Command of Nazis, Slaughtering Ukraine’s Enemies

Ukraine Merges Nazis and Islamists

Exclusive: Ukraine’s post-coup regime is now melding neo-Nazi storm troopers with Islamic militants – called “brothers” of the hyper-violent Islamic State – stirring up a hellish “death squad” brew to kill ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine, on Russia’s border, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

In a curiously upbeat account, The New York Times reports that Islamic militants have joined with Ukraine’s far-right and neo-Nazi battalions to fight ethnic Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine. It appears that no combination of violent extremists is too wretched to celebrate as long as they’re killing Russ-kies.

The article by Andrew E. Kramer reports that there are now three Islamic battalions “deployed to the hottest zones,” such as around the port city of Mariupol. One of the battalions is headed by a former Chechen warlord who goes by the name “Muslim,” Kramer wrote, adding:

The insignia of the Azov battalion, using the neo-Nazi symbol of the Wolfsangel.

“The Chechen commands the Sheikh Mansur group, named for an 18th-century Chechen resistance figure. It is subordinate to the nationalist Right Sector, a Ukrainian militia. … Right Sector … formed during last year’s street protests in Kiev from a half-dozen fringe Ukrainian nationalist groups like White Hammer and the Trident of Stepan Bandera.

“Another, the Azov group, is openly neo-Nazi, using the ‘Wolf’s Hook’ symbol associated with the [Nazi] SS. Without addressing the issue of the Nazi symbol, the Chechen said he got along well with the nationalists because, like him, they loved their homeland and hated the Russians.”

As casually as Kramer acknowledges the key front-line role of neo-Nazis and white supremacists fighting for the U.S.-backed Kiev regime, his article does mark an aberration for the Times and the rest of the mainstream U.S. news media, which usually dismiss any mention of this Nazi taint as “Russian propaganda.”

During the February 2014 coup that ousted elected President Viktor Yanukovych, the late fascist Stepan Bandera was one of the Ukrainian icons celebrated by the Maidan protesters. During World War II, Bandera headed the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists-B, a radical paramilitary movement that sought to transform Ukraine into a racially pure state. At times coordinating with Adolf Hitler’s SS, OUN-B took part in the expulsion and extermination of tens of thousands of Jews and Poles.

Though most of the Maidan protesters in 2013-14 appeared motivated by anger over political corruption and by a desire to join the European Union, neo-Nazis made up a significant number and spearheaded much of the violence against the police. Storm troopers from the Right Sektor and Svoboda party seized government buildings and decked them out with Nazi insignias and a Confederate battle flag, the universal symbol of white supremacy.

Then, as the protests turned bloodier from Feb. 20-22, the neo-Nazis surged to the forefront. Their well-trained militias, organized in 100-man brigades called “sotins” or “the hundreds,” led the final assaults against police and forced Yanukovych and many of his officials to flee for their lives.

In the days after the coup, as the neo-Nazi militias effectively controlled the government, European and U.S. diplomats scrambled to help the shaken parliament put together the semblance of a respectable regime, although four ministries, including national security, were awarded to the right-wing extremists in recognition of their crucial role in ousting Yanukovych.

At that point, virtually the entire U.S. news media put on blinders about the neo-Nazi role, all the better to sell the coup to the American public as an inspirational story of reform-minded “freedom fighters” standing up to “Russian aggression.” The U.S. media delicately stepped around the neo-Nazi reality by keeping out relevant context, such as the background of national security chief Andriy Parubiy, who founded the Social-National Party of Ukraine in 1991, blending radical Ukrainian nationalism with neo-Nazi symbols. Parubiy was commandant of the Maidan’s “self-defense forces.”

Barbarians at the Gate

At times, the mainstream media’s black-out of the brown shirts was almost comical. Last February, almost a year after the coup, a New York Times article about the government’s defenders of Mariupol hailed the crucial  role played by the Azov battalion but managed to avoid noting its well-documented Nazi connections.

That article by Rick Lyman presented the situation in Mariupol as if the advance by ethnic Russian rebels amounted to the barbarians at the gate while the inhabitants were being bravely defended by the forces of civilization, the Azov battalion. In such an inspirational context, it presumably wasn’t considered appropriate to mention the Swastikas and SS markings.

Nazi symbols on helmets worn by members of Ukraine's Azov battalion. (As filmed by a Norwegian film crew and shown on German TV)

Now, the Kiev regime has added to those “forces of civilization” — resisting the Russ-kie barbarians — Islamic militants with ties to terrorism. Last September, Marcin Mamon, a reporter for the Intercept, reached a vanguard group of these Islamic fighters in Ukraine through the help of his “contact in Turkey with the Islamic State [who] had told me his ‘brothers’ were in Ukraine, and I could trust them.”

The new Times article avoids delving into the terrorist connections of these Islamist fighters. But Kramer does bluntly acknowledge the Nazi truth about the Azov fighters. He also notes that American military advisers in Ukraine “are specifically prohibited from giving instruction to members of the Azov group.”

While the U.S. advisers are under orders to keep their distance from the neo-Nazis, the Kiev regime is quite open about its approval of the central military role played by these extremists – whether neo-Nazis, white supremacists or Islamic militants. These extremists are considered very aggressive and effective in killing ethnic Russians.

The regime has shown little concern about widespread reports of “death squad” operations targeting suspected pro-Russian sympathizers in government-controlled towns. But such human rights violations should come as no surprise given the Nazi heritage of these units and the connection of the Islamic militants to hyper-violent terrorist movements in the Middle East.

But the Times treats this lethal mixture of neo-Nazis and Islamic extremists as a good thing. After all, they are targeting opponents of the “white-hatted” Kiev regime, while the ethnic Russian rebels and the Russian government wear the “black hats.”

As an example of that tone, Kramer wrote: “Even for Ukrainians hardened by more than a year of war here against Russian-backed separatists, the appearance of Islamic combatants, mostly Chechens, in towns near the front lines comes as something of a surprise — and for many of the Ukrainians, a welcome one. … Anticipating an attack in the coming months, the Ukrainians are happy for all the help they can get.”

So, the underlying message seems to be that it’s time for the American people and the European public to step up their financial and military support for a Ukrainian regime that has unleashed on ethnic Russians a combined force of Nazis, white supremacists and Islamic militants (considered “brothers” of the Islamic State).

[For more on the Azov battalion, see Consortiumnews.com’s “US House Admits Nazi Role in Ukraine.”]

ISIS, AQAP, Saudi Arabia, US, UK and France–Anti-Shia Coalition In Yemen

ISIS, AQAP and Saudi Arabia in anti Shia Tripartite Attack against Yemen: US, UK and France Supports?

modern tokyo times MODERN TOKYO TIMES

ISIS, AQAP and Saudi Arabia in anti Shia Tripartite Attack against Yemen: US, UK and France Supports?

Murad Makhmudov, Noriko Watanabe and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

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The tripartite sectarian nature of ISIS (Islamic State), Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the Saudi Arabia led coalition is in full swing and aimed at crushing the Shia Houthis. At the same time, Sunni loyalists who oppose being pawns of Saudi Arabia are in the firing line. After all, given the nature of ISIS, AQAP and Saudi Arabia, then radical clerics will be on the frontline in deeming all and sundry with being apostates. However, the real targets for AQAP, ISIS and Saudi Arabia applies to the Shia Houthis because of the sectarian nature of all forces that are destabilizing Yemen.

Since it became clear that Saudi Arabia would intervene in Yemen with the backing of many mainly Sunni Muslim dominated nations, then ISIS also began to emerge in what appears to be a twin assault by stealth. At the same time, AQAP is gaining from the Saudi Arabia led coalition and increasing terrorist attacks by ISIS. Therefore, AQAP was able to attack Mukalla in the province of Hadramawt in the southeast and then consolidate because of the tripartite attack against the people of Yemen.

Once more, the nations of America, France and the United Kingdom are siding with Saudi Arabia. In other words, AQAP, ISIS, the Saudi Arabia led coalition and the usual Western powers are all on the same side – irrespective if from a distance or based on different motives. This brutal reality highlights the severe plight that the Shia Houthis face and likewise for the people of Yemen irrespective of faith.

Last month the BBC reported: “Yemen has been in turmoil since Houthi rebels overran Sanaa last September, forcing the government of President Mansour Abdrabbuh Hadi to flee… In late March, a coalition led by Saudi Arabia began targeting the rebels with air strikes. Since then, more than 2,000 people have been killed in the conflict, including at least 1,400 civilians, according to the UN.”

Since this report by the BBC the death total keeps on rising and the growing menace of ISIS is also abundantly clear. AQAP also knows full well that the Shia Houthis are being overstretched and while they fear the growing rise of ISIS, given internal Takfiri butchering in Syria, at the moment AQAP can consolidate based on the intrigues of the Saudi Arabia led coalition.

This reality renders the policies of America, France and the United Kingdom to be morally bankrupt when it comes to Yemen. After all, are internal security agencies in these nations worried about al-Qaeda affiliates and ISIS – or do they fear the Shia Houthis? Obviously, the internal and external threat internationally applies to al-Qaeda affiliates, ISIS and Gulf petrodollars that are spreading indoctrination and hatred.

In the latest ISIS terrorist attack AFP reports: “An attack on Houthi rebel leaders in Yemen’s capital claimed by the Islamic State group killed at least 28 people, medics said Tuesday, the latest anti-Shiite assault by the Sunni extremists.”

At the same time, fresh airstrikes by the Saudi Arabia led coalition is killing civilians. Indeed, even the United Nations is alarmed by the mass instability and indiscriminate nature of the bombing campaign that is being led by Saudi Arabia. On top of this, AQAP is consolidating its power base because clearly the tripartite assault is focused on the Shia and destabilizing the nation.

Sadly, the political elites in America, France and the United Kingdom are once more dragging their respective democracies through the mud by assisting brutal sectarian forces on the whims of Saudi Arabia.

Obama’s Wars Have Created More Refugees Than Hitler and Tojo Combined

[Why bother pointing-out the fact that there are now more refugees lost on the road, looking to escape the wars which uprooted them, than there were in World War II, if no one cares to delegate blame for this human travesty?  America’s “humanitarian wars” and alleged “wars on terror,” as well as the State Dept’s “colored revolutions”/”Arab Spring” are the root of all this violence in the world, which drives huge herds of displaced humans, looking for a safe place to land.  When Hitler drove the dispossessed from the heart of Europe, it was called a ‘war of aggression.’  What do we call America’s deadly interventions and multiple wars with no end?]

turkish-soldiers-stand-guard-syrian-refugees-wait-behind-border-fencesThere Have Never Been More Displaced People Across the World Than Now

time

If the number of displaced persons formed a nation, it would be the 24th largest country in the world

The total number of people forcibly displaced by war, conflict and persecution rose to a record 59.5 million at the end of 2014, the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) has said.

The agency’s annual Global Trends Report: World at War, released Thursday, found forced displacement worldwide has reached unprecedented levels, with a record annual rise of 8.3 million more displaced people since 2013. Some 38.2 million of the total were internally displaced in their own countries.

If the number of displaced persons formed a nation, the report said, it would be the 24th largest country in the world.

Speaking in Turkey on Thursday, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres confirmed worldwide displacement was at the highest ever recorded.

“When you see the news in any global network, we clearly get the impression that the world is at war,” he said. “Indeed many areas of the world are today in a completely chaotic situation and the result is this staggering escalation of displacement, the staggering escalation of suffering, because each displaced person is a tragic story,” he said.

Syria overtook Afghanistan to become the biggest source of refugees last year, with 1.77 million Syrians having fled the nation’s ongoing civil war.

Just over half of all refugees under UNHCR’s responsibility worldwide came from just three countries: Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia. The report also pointed to new and continuing conflicts in South Sudan, Ukraine and Iraq, among others, which have caused suffering and widespread displacement.

Guterres warned that humanitarian organizations were “no longer able to clean up the mess.”

“U.N. agencies, NGOs, the Red Cross — we no longer have the capacities and the resources to respond to such a dramatic increase in humanitarian needs,” he said.

Turkey overtook Pakistan to become the nation hosting the most refugees in the world with 1.59 million people currently displaced within its borders. Guterres praised Turkey’s willingness to keep its frontiers open and called on richer countries to do more.

“That has a special meaning in a world where so many borders are closed or restricted,” he said. “And where new walls are being built or announced.”

Terrorism and American Foreign Policy–Published September 25, 2001

Terrorism and American Foreign Policy

tanbou

—by Robert Elias September 25, 2001
Professor of politics at University of San Francisco, California

T

he US has suffered terrible crimes from the terrorist attacks two weeks ago. They have taken a horrible toll in lost lives, and have shaken the nation to its foundations. We’ve felt a rush of emotions, including horror, fear, grief, sorrow, anger and even calls for revenge. As a person from New York, I take the terrorism very personally. I have family, friends and acquaintances there, and I’m still not sure about all of them. I’m very angry about the senseless deaths.

These terrorists and their acts are despicable, and the perpetrators must be brought to justice.

In response to these acts, our emotions are understandable, and we should do nothing to belittle these feelings. It almost seems blasphemous to suggest that we add to these emotions a part of us that also thinks about what happened and why. And yet there’s a need, beyond our feelings, also to understand. Why did this happen to us? Our leaders in Washington have rushed in with their response, and there’s the danger that we, the people, will be left behind or left completely susceptible to Washington’s lead rather than making up our own minds about why this happened, and what to do.

Unfortunately, in trying to understand why this terrorism has occurred, we’ve been given little help by those upon which we rely for information. Our educational system has provided us neither the history nor the critical perspective to understand. Our officials refuse to ask the question “why,” except in terms of stereotypes that divert us from the causes and focus us instead on the symptoms. And most crucially, our mainstream media has almost exclusively parroted official analyses and solutions, acting not like watchdogs but rather like lapdogs. Officials and our media operate essentially under the assumption that there can be no question of “why,” since there’s nothing we could have conceivably done that has anything to do with provoking terrorism.

To the extent that “why” is considered at all, it’s almost completely superficial. Our officials tell us that: “The terrorists hate us, they are different from us, they are evil, they want to hurt or destroy us for no good reason, and we—the strongest and most armed nation in the world—have nevertheless been too weak in defending ourselves, and must respond with war to root out the perpetrators and make sure this never happens again. We deplore this and all acts of violence, officials tell us, and we will violently retaliate against this outrage.” And our media repeat this level of non-analysis and contradiction almost verbatim. As media critic I.F. Stone once said, “The Washington press corps is like a group of stenographers with amnesia,” dutifully printing official handouts and reporting events with little or no historical or critical perspective.

So we need to think for ourselves. And to do this will require a great deal of courage. If, as President Bush has suggested, America is a strong and great nation, then we can afford to have the courage to ask difficult questions and to consider new ways of thinking about and acting in the world. A part of doing so will require that we examine American foreign policy.

In subsequent meetings, America’s economic and other policies abroad will be considered. Today we’d like to focus on some of our foreign, military and human rights policies. We’d like to consider the possibility that there’s a relationship between some of our policies abroad and acts of terrorism committed against us. It’s true that many peoples around the world hate us but the reasons are far more complicated than the simplistic explanations that officials and the media have been giving us. So we must ask why.

But by asking why, and by trying to truly understand, we must remember that acts of terrorism like the ones we’ve just experienced can never be justified. I repeat: nothing we’ve ever done, none of our policies, no matter how questionable, can ever justify terrorism. But if terrorism can never be justified, that does not mean that it cannot be explained or understood. No matter how apparently extreme we might find the views of terrorists, we’re not talking about people who act for no reason. What are the reasons, and why do many people outside the US hate us?

Another caveat for our discussion today. If we shed a critical light on American policies, shall we be viewed as unpatriotic, or even as traitors? If we view patriotism as blindly waving the flag, as supporting the nation right or wrong, and as America, love it or leave it, then the answer is “yes.” But I’d like to suggest a more enlightened view of patriotism, as stated by the Nobel Prize writer Albert Camus, who said that “The true patriot is one who gives his highest loyalty not to his country as it is, regardless of what it does, but rather to what it can and ought to be.” In other words, the real patriot insists that his or her nation live up to its ideals.

Americans are a great people. But what are we great for? For the amount of violence we’re capable of delivering? For the wars we’ve decided to fight? For the level of revenge we’ve sought and accomplished? Is this what makes us great? We keep hearing how Americans are “strong” but strength is inconsequential compared to a people who are decent, generous, caring, heroic, courageous and compassionate. And those things we are! Those are things we should be proud of.

But can we say the same for our foreign policies? Are these policies compassionate and courageous, or something quite different? Most Americans would be shocked if they really knew or if they really comprehended and felt the violence that has been done abroad by US foreign policy in their name.

Most officials, however, are well aware of our past and present policies. In the rare instance when they are reminded of the shady aspects and negative consequences of those policies, there’s almost never any debate about the facts. Most of our underhanded policies were revealed by the US Congressional Hearings chaired by Senator Frank Church, and have been corroborated by many other official and non-official sources. Actually, there’s a widespread agreement among both the proponents and the opponents of US foreign policy about the kinds of actions we’ll be describing for you today.

The disagreement instead stems from the rationale for our policies, and whether those policies—no matter how distasteful—are nevertheless justified. Defenders of US foreign policy argue that our actions are warranted. Generally speaking, they subscribe to what has been called, in international relations, the “realist” school of thinking. That perspective argues that of course the US has done unsavory things abroad but it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there, and everyone is doing unsavory things. We’ve done, they argue, what we’ve done not only to survive but also to make sure we’re the top dog in the world—and it’s a good thing that peace and freedom-loving people like us are the ones directing the show. For example, in 1992, George Bush Sr. observed that: “A world once divided into two armed camps now recognizes one sole and preeminent power, the USA. And they regard this with no dread. For the world trusts us with power, and the world is right. They trust us to be fair, and restrained. They trust us to be on the side of decency. They trust us to do what’s right.”

The realist school further argues that anything other than an “ends justify the means” approach to world politics makes the false presumption that peoples and nations will be more good than evil. That, according to the realists, is a mistakenly positive view of human nature. Anyone, they argue, who believes that human nature is basically good, or that humans can be induced to act good, and that peoples and nations can peacefully and freely coexist is hopelessly idealistic.

Of course, the critics of US foreign policy, or the idealists, see things differently. They believe we can and should take peace and human rights seriously. For this, they are labeled as unrealistic and even utopian. But the idealists argue that those who are truly the utopians, in the sense of believing something that cannot come true, are actually the realists, since the realists harbor pie-in-the-sky notions that we can keep pursuing violent and underhanded policies without our having to pay some consequences or without the world eventually blowing itself to bits. The idealists argue that the realists make unnecessarily negative assumptions about people and the world, and then adopt cutthroat policies that turn those assumptions into self-fulfilling prophecies.

And the debate between the two sides rages. But while the debate continues, the policy battles have always been won by the realists, who justify our often-violent policies. So, if you’re happy about the world you see, then thank the realists. If, however, you have some concerns about our policies and about the state of our nation and the world, then you might want to consider some alternatives.

This may be painful for us to hear but let’s begin examining the history of our foreign policy by stating the bottom line: more than any other tool, the US has used violence as the main vehicle of its policies toward peoples and nations abroad. For example, in its little more than 200 years of history, the US has intervened militarily in other nations about 200 times; about once a year. The interventions have varied from minor to outright war but most of them have been serious. Now if this sounds like someone’s wild-eyed ravings, keep in mind that in the early 1980s, President Reagan admitted to 125 US military interventions, and his government added several more during his time in office. Reagan not only acknowledged this number of interventions, he bragged about them. One of the major studies of US military intervention was conducted again not by some wild radical but rather by Republican Senator Jacob Javits in the 1970s, and by his count we were already up to 150 military interventions by then. It would be interesting to examine each of these interventions but that would take far too much time. Instead, we’ll focus on the period since 1945.

Unfortunately, the shorter time period won’t improve the picture. From 1945 to 2000, for example, the US attempted to overthrow more than 40 foreign governments, usually successfully, and crushed more than 30 populist movements struggling against dictatorships, killing several million people in the process, and condemning millions more to a life of misery. Those are shocking numbers but keep in mind that defenders of US foreign policy rarely quarrel with these numbers but rather only try to show why they were necessary. Beyond these actions abroad, it’s also instructive to examine US policies that have created terrorists, carried out torture and assassinations, developed death squads, provided training manuals for repression, granted safe haven for terrorists and war criminals, used weapons of mass destruction against civilian populations, promoted and used chemical and biological weapons, perverted foreign elections and otherwise intervened in foreign political systems, and undermined hundreds of UN resolutions and treaties (with the US often the only dissenting vote among the world’s nations).

Woodrow Wilson, who was elected President based on a platform that promised to keep the US out of World War I, nevertheless pushed the US into the War after his election, and justified our participation, arguing that the goal of US foreign policy was to “make the world safe for democracy.” Perhaps if we try hard we can find instances where our policy has produced democracy but it’s far easier to find endless examples where our policy has undermined it. This may be because the real objective of our foreign policy has instead been “making the world safe for capitalism,” and for the US to control as much of the world as possible, shaping it into the American image. In that, our policies have been very successful. In 1997, Der Spiegel, Germany’s leading newsmagazine, editorialized that: “Never before in history has a country dominated the earth so totally as the United States does today… America is the Schwarzenegger of international politics: showing off muscles, intrusive, intimidating… The Americans, in the absence of limits put to them by anybody or anything, act as if they own a kind of blank check in their very own “McWorld.”

In 1996, the Annual Report of the world’s leading human rights organization, Amnesty International, concluded that: “It is a paradox that a nation that did so much to articulate and codify human rights in its foundation documents has so consistently resisted and undermined the effective functioning of an international framework to protect these principles and values.” “…repression, torture and terror has occurred disproportionately among countries in the American sphere of influence.” “Throughout the world, on any given day, a man, a woman, or child is likely to be displaced, tortured, killed, or “disappeared” at the hands of governments or armed political groups. More often than not, the United States shares the blame.” How can Amnesty International say these things about us?

Many years ago, the Chinese writer Moh-Tze said: “To kill one person is murder. To kill thousands is foreign policy.” This seems to be reflected in American policies abroad. So let’s quickly review the list of offenses.

US Use of Weapons of Mass Destruction

The indiscriminate use of bombs by the US, usually outside a declared war situation, for wanton destruction, for no military objectives, whose targets and victims are civilian populations, or what we now call “collateral damage.”

Japan (1945) China (1945–46) Korea & China (1950–53)
Guatemala (1954, 1960, 1967–69) Indonesia (1958) Cuba (1959–61)
Congo (1964) Peru (1965) Laos (1964–70)
Vietnam (1961–1973) Cambodia (1969–70) Grenada (1983)
Lebanon (1983–84) Libya (1986) El Salvador (1980s)
Nicaragua (1980s) Iran (1987) Panama (1989)
Iraq (1991–2000) Kuwait (1991) Somalia (1993)
Bosnia (1994–95) Sudan (1998) Afghanistan (1998)
Pakistan (1998) Yugoslavia (1999)
Macedonia (1999)

US Use of Chemical & Biological Weapons

The US has refused to sign Conventions against the development and use of chemical and biological weapons, and has either used or tested (without informing the civilian populations) these weapons in the following locations abroad:

Bahamas (late 1940s–mid-1950s)
Canada (1953)
China and Korea (1950–53)
Korea (1967–69)
Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia (1961–1970)
Panama (1940s–1990s)
Cuba (1962, 69, 70, 71, 81, 96)

And the US has tested such weapons on US civilian populations, without their knowledge, in the following locations:

Watertown, NY and US Virgin Islands (1950)
SF Bay Area (1950, 1957–67)
Minneapolis (1953)
St. Louis (1953)
Washington, DC Area (1953, 1967)
Florida (1955)
Savannah GA/Avon Park, FL (1956–58)
New York City (1956, 1966)
Chicago (1960)

And the US has encouraged the use of such weapons, and provided the technology to develop such weapons in various nations abroad, including:

Egypt
South Africa
Iraq

US Political and Military Interventions since 1945

The US has launched a series of military and political interventions since 1945, often to install puppet regimes, or alternatively to engage in political actions such as smear campaigns, sponsoring or targeting opposition political groups (depending on how they served US interests), undermining political parties, sabotage and terror campaigns, and so forth. It has done so in nations such as

China (1945–51) South Africa (1960s–1980s)
France (1947) Bolivia (1964–75)
Marshall Islands (1946–58) Australia (1972–75)
Italy (1947–1975) Iraq (1972–75)
Greece (1947–49) Portugal (1974–76)
Philippines (1945–53) East Timor (1975–99)
Korea (1945–53) Ecuador (1975)
Albania (1949–53) Argentina (1976)
Eastern Europe (1948–56) Pakistan (1977)
Germany (1950s) Angola (1975–1980s)
Iran (1953) Jamaica (1976)
Guatemala (1953–1990s) Honduras (1980s)
Costa Rica (mid-1950s, 1970–71) Nicaragua (1980s)
Middle East (1956–58) Philippines (1970s–90s)
Indonesia (1957–58) Seychelles (1979–81)
Haiti (1959) South Yemen (1979–84)
Western Europe (1950s–1960s) South Korea (1980)
Guyana (1953–64) Chad (1981–82)
Iraq (1958–63) Grenada (1979–83)
Vietnam (1945–53) Suriname (1982–84)
Cambodia (1955–73) Libya (1981–89)
Laos (1957–73) Fiji (1987)
Thailand (1965–73) Panama (1989)
Ecuador (1960–63) Afghanistan (1979–92)
Congo (1960–65, 1977–78) El Salvador (1980–92)
Algeria (1960s) Haiti (1987–94)
Brazil (1961–64)
Peru (1965) Albania (1991–92)
Dominican Republic (1963–65) Somalia (1993)
Cuba (1959–present) Iraq (1990s)
Indonesia (1965) Peru (1990–present)
Ghana (1966) Mexico (1990–present)
Uruguay (1969–72) Colombia (1990–present)
Chile (1964–73) Yugoslavia (1995–99)
Greece (1967–74)

US Perversions of Foreign Elections

The US has specifically intervened to rig or distort the outcome of foreign elections, and sometimes engineered sham “demonstration” elections to ward off accusations of government repression in allied nations in the US sphere of influence. These sham elections have often installed or maintained in power repressive dictators who have victimized their populations. Such practices have occurred in nations such as:

Philippines (1950s)
Italy (1948–1970s)
Lebanon (1950s)
Indonesia (1955)
Vietnam (1955)
Guyana (1953–64)
Japan (1958–1970s)
Nepal (1959)
Laos (1960)
Brazil (1962)
Dominican Republic (1962)
Guatemala (1963)
Bolivia (1966)
Chile (1964–70)
Portugal (1974–75)
Australia (1974–75)
Jamaica (1976)
El Salvador (1984)
Panama (1984, 89)
Nicaragua (1984, 90)
Haiti (1987, 88)
Albania (1991–92)
Russia (1996)
Mongolia (1996)
Bosnia (1998)

US Versus World at the United Nations

The US has repeatedly acted to undermine peace and human rights initiatives at the United Nations, routinely voting against hundreds of UN resolutions and treaties. The US easily has the worst record of any nation on not supporting UN treaties. In almost all of its hundreds of “no” votes, the US was the “sole” nation to vote no (among the 100–130 nations that usually vote), and among only 1 or 2 other nations voting no the rest of the time. Here’s a representative sample of US votes from 1978–1987:

US Is the Sole “No” Vote on Resolutions or Treaties

For aid to underdeveloped nations
For the promotion of developing nation exports
For UN promotion of human rights
For protecting developing nations in trade agreements
For New International Economic Order for underdeveloped nations
For development as a human right
Versus multinational corporate operations in South Africa
For cooperative models in developing nations
For right of nations to economic system of their choice
Versus chemical and biological weapons (at least 3 times)
Versus Namibian apartheid
For economic/standard of living rights as human rights
Versus apartheid South African aggression vs. neighboring states (2 times)
Versus foreign investments in apartheid South Africa
For world charter to protect ecology
For anti-apartheid convention
For anti-apartheid convention in international sports
For nuclear test ban treaty (at least 2 times)
For prevention of arms race in outer space
For UNESCO-sponsored new world information order (at least 2 times)
For international law to protect economic rights
For Transport & Communications Decade in Africa
Versus manufacture of new types of weapons of mass destruction
Versus naval arms race
For Independent Commission on Disarmament & Security Issues
For UN response mechanism for natural disasters
For the Right to Food
For Report of Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination
For UN study on military development
For Commemoration of 25th anniversary of Independence for Colonial Countries
For Industrial Development Decade in Africa
For interdependence of economic and political rights
For improved UN response to human rights abuses
For protection of rights of migrant workers
For protection against products harmful to health and the environment
For a Convention on the Rights of the Child
For training journalists in the developing world
For international cooperation on third world debt
For a UN Conference on Trade & Development

US Is 1 of Only 2 “No” Votes on Resolutions or Treaties

For Palestinian living conditions/rights (at least 8 times)
Versus foreign intervention into other nations
For a UN Conference on Women
Versus nuclear test explosions (at least 2 times)
For the non-use of nuclear weapons vs. non-nuclear states
For a Middle East nuclear free zone
Versus Israeli nuclear weapons (at least 2 times)
For a new world international economic order
For a trade union conference on sanctions vs. South Africa
For the Law of the Sea Treaty
For economic assistance to Palestinians
For UN measures against fascist activities and groups
For international cooperation on money/finance/debt/trade/development
For a Zone of Peace in the South Atlantic
For compliance with Intl Court of Justice decision for Nicaragua vs. US.
**For a conference and measures to prevent international terrorism (including its underlying causes)
For ending the trade embargo vs. Nicaragua

US Is 1 of Only 3 “No” Votes on Resolutions and Treaties

Versus Israeli human rights abuses (at least 6 times)
Versus South African apartheid (at least 4 times)
Versus return of refugees to Israel
For ending nuclear arms race (at least 2 times)
For an embargo on apartheid South Africa
For South African liberation from apartheid (at least 3 times)
For the independence of colonial nations
For the UN Decade for Women
Versus harmful foreign economic practices in colonial territories
For a Middle East Peace Conference
For ending the embargo of Cuba (at least 10 times)

In addition, the US has:

Repeatedly withheld its dues from the UN
Twice left UNESCO because of its human rights initiatives
Twice left the International Labor Organization for its workers rights initiatives
Refused to renew the Antiballistic Missile Treaty
Refused to sign the Kyoto Treaty on global warming
Refused to back the World Health Organization’s ban on infant formula abuses
Refused to sign the Anti-Biological Weapons Convention
Refused to sign the Convention against the use of land mines
Refused to participate in the UN Conference Against Racism in Durban
Been one of the last nations in the world to sign the UN Covenant on Political &
Civil Rights (30 years after its creation)
Refused to sign the UN Covenant on Economic & Social Rights
Opposed the emerging new UN Covenant on the Rights to Peace, Development & Environmental Protection

Sampling of Deaths From US Military Interventions & Propping Up Corrupt Dictators (using the most conservative estimates)

Nicaragua 30,000 dead
Brazil 100,000 dead
Korea 4 million dead
Guatemala 200,000 dead
Honduras 20,000 dead
El Salvador 63,000 dead
Argentina 40,000 dead
Bolivia 10,000 dead
Uruguay 10,000 dead
Ecuador 10,000 dead
Peru 10,000 dead
Iraq 1.3 million dead
Iran 30,000 dead
Sudan 8–10,000 dead
Colombia 50,000 dead
Panama 5,000 dead
Japan 140,000 dead
Afghanistan 10,000 dead
Somalia 5000 dead
Philippines 150,000 dead
Haiti 100,000 dead
Dominican Republic 10,000 dead
Libya 500 dead
Macedonia 1000 dead
South Africa 10,000 dead
Pakistan 10,000 dead
Palestine 40,000 dead
Indonesia 1 million dead
East Timor 1/3–1/2 of total population
Greece 10,000 dead
Laos 600,000 dead
Cambodia 1 million dead
Angola 300,000 dead
Grenada 500 dead
Congo 2 million dead
Egypt 10,000 dead
Vietnam 1.5 million dead
Chile 50,000 dead

Other Lethal US Interventions

CIA Terror Training Manuals

Development and distribution of training manuals for foreign military personnel or foreign nationals, including instructions on assassination, subversion, sabotage, population control, torture, repression, psychological torture, death squads, etc.

Specific Torture Campaigns

Creation and launching of direct US campaigns to support torture as an instrument of terror and social control for governments in Greece, Iran, Vietnam, Bolivia, Uruguay, Brazil, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Panama

Supporting and Harboring Terrorists

  • The promotion, protection, arming or equiping of terrorists such as:
  • Klaus Barbie and other German Nazis, and Italian and Japanese fascists, after WW II
  • Manual Noriega (Panama), Saddam Hussein (Iraq), Rafael Trujillo (Dominican Republic), Osama bin Laden (Afghanistan), and others whose terrorism has come back to haunt us
  • Running the Higher War College (Brazil) and first School of the Americas (Panama), which gave US training to repressors, death squad members, and torturers (the second School of the Americas is still running at Ft. Benning GA)
  • Providing asylum for Cuban, Salvadoran, Guatemalan, Haitian, Chilean, Argentinian, Iranian, South Vietnamese and other terrorists, dictators, and torturers

Assassinating World Leaders

Using assassination as a tool of foreign policy, wherein the CIA has initiated assassination attempts against at least 40 foreign heads of state (some several times) in the last 50 years, a number of which have been successful, such as: Patrice Lumumba (Congo), Rafael Trujillo (Dominican Republic), Ngo Dihn Diem (Vietnam) Salvador Allende (Chile)

Arms Trade & US Military Presence

  • The US is the world’s largest seller of weapons abroad, arming dictators, militaries, and terrorists that repress or victimize their populations, and fueling scores of violent conflicts around the globe
  • The US is the world’s largest provider of live land mines which, even in peacetime, kill or injure at least several people around the world each day
  • The US has military bases in at least 50 nations around the world, which have led to frequent victimization of local populations.
  • The US military has been bombing one Middle Eastern or Muslim nation or another almost continuously since 1983, including Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Iran, the Sudan, Afghanistan, and Iraq (almost daily bombings since 1991)

This, then, is a sampling of American foreign policies over the last 50 years. The FBI uses the following definition for Terrorism: “The unlawful use of force or violence committed by a group or individual, who has some connection to a foreign power or whose activities transcend national boundaries, against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.” This sounds like the terrorism we just experienced. It also sounds a lot like the US policies and actions since 1945 that I’ve just described.

In response to these policies, it wouldn’t be surprising if eventually the US suffered some backlash. In fact, US officials have a word for the repercussions: “blowback,” which describes the way questionable and often deplorable policies often come back to haunt us. Even former US Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger admitted, a few years ago, that: “We’ve presented to the rest of the world a vision of the bully on the block who pushes a button, people out there die, and we don’t pay anything except the cost of a missile… that’s going to haunt us in trying to deal with the rest of the world in the years ahead.”

In one of its recent, official reports, the US State Department concludes that if the people of a rogue nation experience enough suffering, they will overthrow their rulers, or compel them to adopt more sensible behavior. This view has been used by the US to promote suffering and subversive policies from Nicaragua to Iraq. But now the policy has apparently been turned against us: Islamic fundamentalists have concluded that Americans need to begin suffering in order to change US policies towards the Muslim world.

If the recent terrorism was carried out by Osama bin Laden, then why has he struck? Describing bin Laden is a long story that will be told, in detail, in a subsequent session of this forum. Briefly, we know that bin Laden is a fanatical Islamic fundamentalist who was not created by the US but who, along with a legion of terrorist followers, was nevertheless trained, equipped, and financed by the CIA to oppose the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. These followers, the mujahedeen (mujahidin), numbered between 15,000 and 50,000 people, and they went on to play a terrorist role in Chechnya, Bosnia, China, France, the Philippines, the Middle East, and elsewhere. They are a good example of blowback from US policy.

While President, Ronald Reagan welcomed members of the Mujahadin to the White House in 1985, and about them he said: “These are the moral equivalent of America’s founding fathers.” (Earlier, he had said the same thing about the contra terrorists the US created to overthrow the Sandinista government in Nicaragua.) In effect, then, we are about to go to war, in Afghanistan, against the moral equivalent of America’s founding fathers!

Bin Laden and his followers are fascists. But they also oppose corrupt and repressive Middle East regimes (e.g., Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Egypt) supported by US, the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands, the genocide against Bosnian Muslims, the Indian occupation of Kashmir, the US military bases in Saudi Arabia, the US war against Iraq, and the daily humiliation suffered by Palestinians and other Arabs, who have seen their resources stolen, their lands taken, and their lives jeopardized by war and other violence.

Interestingly enough, a very recent Wall Street Journal interview of prominent Muslims and other Middle Easterners, including bankers, businessmen, professionals, and many with close ties to the US, shows that the grievances of these “non-terrorists” were almost identical to those of bin Laden and his followers. Apparently, it doesn’t take a crazy terrorist to recognize these injustices.

President Bush claims that America is the “brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world,” but to the contrary, the US is seen by tens of millions of people abroad as the main enemy of their human and democratic rights, and the main source of their oppression. Right now, many Americans want revenge for the deaths we’ve suffered from the recent terrorism; so, too, do some of the people who have been the victims of our violence also want revenge.

President Bush claims that terrorists attack us because they oppose freedom, but others believe, to the contrary, that we’re targets because our policies deprive other peoples of the freedom they so desperately want. In his speech the other night, Bush actually said that terrorists were envious of our democratically elected government! I’m sure Al Gore would wholeheartedly agree! Bush claims the terrorism was an attack on “civilization” but what kind of civilization commits its own terrorism, and designs its response to the terrorism committed by others in terms of “blood revenge?” Our policy is riddled with double standards, and only perpetuates the cycle of violence. When they attack, they’re terrorists. When we attack, we’re only retaliating. When they respond to our retaliation with further attacks, they’re terrorizing us again. When we respond with further attacks, we’re only retaliating again. And on and on.

Former US Senator J. William Fulbright warned us, during the Vietnam period, against the “arrogance of power” in US foreign policy. Now, at the start of the 21st century, the US is the most heavily armed nation on earth, and yet our arms and our persistent, violent use of them has not prevented us from now feeling more vulnerable than ever to outside attack. What went wrong? The explanation has to be more complicated than merely our failure to fight outside violence with enough violence of our own.

Despite the abuses of American foreign policy, we could take the realist view, and conclude that it was all somehow necessary. Even so, shouldn’t we expect some consequences? Is this really the best we can do? It’s time to repeat what I said earlier: Nothing can ever justify terrorism. But can’t we learn something from this incident, not only about how best, strategically, to respond to the recent terrorism but also how to respond intelligently to the problem, generally?

Some have argued that for some strange reason the historic violence of US foreign policy had nothing to do with the particular motives bin Laden had for the terrorism we just experienced. We’ll hear more about bin Laden and US Middle East policy in one of our subsequent forums, but does this sound plausible to you? Even if true, isn’t it likely that some other acts of terrorism will be forthcoming against us for policies such as the ones we’ve pursued?

One of the best ways of adding to the US policy of violence would be, of course, to pursue the war that US officials have begun to launch. It’s the wrong thing to do, and will likely make the situation much worse. The hardline, conservative Institute for Strategic Studies in Great Britain, for example, has argued that: “Going after the Taliban regime in Afghanistan will likely destabilize its friendly neighbor Pakistan and throw a nuclear-armed country into the hands of the militants.” Former Soviet military leaders have warned us against an invasion of Afghanistan; guerilla and terrorist forces defeated Russia’s best soldiers. We risk another Vietnam-style quagmire against an elusive target that can never be defeated militarily. And we risk the possible re-establishment of the military draft in the US, and the sacrifice of another generation of Americans to a fruitless war. Even if we care nothing for other peoples, we should be concerned about the senseless deaths of our own soldiers, which are likely to come.

Going to war, such as by bombing or invading Arab and Muslim states, and thereby potentially killing thousands of innocent people, will only convince more people that bin Laden is right about the US, and create thousands of new volunteers for anti-American terrorism. Collateral damage doesn’t just kill innocent people; it also creates martyrs and fanatical avengers. Besides, military strikes can never be effective in successfully targeting mobile terrorist headquarters.

We already had a war on terrorism in the 1980s, and back then we worried about Latin American terrorists as much as Middle Eastern. That war failed because terrorism is a political not a military problem, and because the US refused to honestly examine the sources of the violence. During our war on terrorism, the US was itself creating and arming terrorists in Nicaragua, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Critics have argued that we lost the last war on terrorism because the CIA was handcuffed; but to the contrary, the CIA remains one of the main sponsors of terrorism around the world.

It’s curious that when Timothy McVeigh bombed the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, we didn’t declare war on all right-wing fascist groups in the US, and chalk up to collateral damage any others who might have gotten killed or injured in the process of conducting that war. Yet that’s what we’re prepared to do in Afghanistan and other nations. Is that because American fascists are not as evil as Islamic fundamentalist fascists? (One doesn’t have to endorse fascist views—any more than fundamentalist views—to recognize that McVeigh’s actions had causes: the government’s assaults at Waco and Ruby Ridge and its contamination of its own soldiers in the Gulf War—in which McVeigh served.)

President Bush is right in using the word, “justice,” but war and militarism can never accomplish justice. This terrorism is a crime against humanity, and that’s how it should be pursued: as a crime against which we and the international community must bring all the forces of law enforcement and criminal prosecution to bear. This is a job for international police work not the military.

Let’s get tough on terrorism. The only way to do this is by examining the sources and not merely the symptoms of terrorism, even if means admitting our own role in the violence. For all the warmongering and saber-rattling, Washington’s proposed actions provide only a weak and superficial response that will never get to the roots of the problem and will instead only multiply the symptoms. That takes no courage whatsoever.

I love America for many things, but I don’t love it for its foreign policies; I don’t love it for the way we’ve treated other peoples and nations. I would love America more if we were to fundamentally change those policies. Albert Einstein once said that: “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we used when we created them.” Those words hold two insights: first, that we must change the way we think about and act in the world, and second, that we must look at ourselves and not merely at others. If we’re a great nation, then we should be strong enough for self-examination. If we value life and freedom so much, then we need to act like it. We need real courage, which is not a matter of knee-jerk revenge but rather of having the guts to reexamine what we’ve been doing in the world while we also take seriously the symptoms and the perpetrators of the horrible terrorism that has struck us.

The True Cost of War On Terror Can Be Measured By the Number of Refugees

amnesty intl boat people

World leaders’ neglect of refugees condemns millions to death and despair

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

Worst refugee crisis since World War II.

· One million refugees desperately in need of resettlement.
· Four million Syrian refugees struggling to survive in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt.
· More than three million refugees in sub-Saharan Africa, and only a small fraction offered resettlement since 2013.
· 3,500 people drowned while trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea in 2014 — 1,865 so far in 2015.
· 300 people died in the Andaman Sea in the first three months of 2015 due to starvation, dehydration and abuse by boat crews.

World leaders are condemning millions of refugees to an unbearable existence and thousands to death by failing to provide essential humanitarian protection, said Amnesty International as it published a new briefing in Beirut today, ahead of World Refugee Day on 20 June.

The Global Refugee Crisis: A conspiracy of neglect explores the startling suffering of millions of refugees, from Lebanon to Kenya, the Andaman Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, and calls for a radical change in the way the world deals with refugees.

“We are witnessing the worst refugee crisis of our era, with millions of women, men and children struggling to survive amidst brutal wars, networks of people traffickers and governments who pursue selfish political interests instead of showing basic human compassion,” said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.

We are witnessing the worst refugee crisis of our era, with millions of women, men and children struggling to survive amidst brutal wars, networks of people traffickers and governments who pursue selfish political interests instead of showing basic human compassion.
Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.

“The refugee crisis is one of the defining challenges of the 21st century, but the response of the international community has been a shameful failure. We need a radical overhaul of policy and practice to create a coherent and comprehensive global strategy.”

Amnesty International is setting out a proposal to reinvigorate the system for refugee protection and urging states to make firm commitments to live up to their individual legal obligations and renew their commitment to international responsibility-sharing. Amongst the actions Amnesty International is urging governments to take are:

· A commitment to collectively resettle the one million refugees who currently need resettlement over the next four years.

· To establish a global refugee fund that will fulfil all UN humanitarian appeals for refugee crises and provide financial support to countries hosting large numbers of refugees.
· The global ratification of the UN Refugee Convention.

· To develop fair domestic systems to assess refugee claims and guarantee that refugees have access to basic services such as education and healthcare.

“The world can no longer sit and watch while countries like Lebanon and Turkey take on such huge burdens. No country should be left to deal with a massive humanitarian emergency with so little help from others, just because it happens to share a border with a country in conflict,” said Salil Shetty.

The world can no longer sit and watch while countries like Lebanon and Turkey take on such huge burdens. No country should be left to deal with a massive humanitarian emergency with so little help from others, just because it happens to share a border with a country in conflict.
Salil Shetty.

“Governments across the world have the duty to ensure people do not die while trying to reach safety. It is essential that they offer a safe haven for desperate refugees, establish a global refugee fund and take effective action to prosecute trafficking gangs. Now is the time to step up protection for refugees, anything less will make world leaders accomplices in this preventable tragedy.”

Syria: World’s largest refugee crisis
More than four million refugees have fled Syria, 95% of them are in just five main host countries: Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt.

These countries are now struggling to cope. The international community has failed to provide them, or the humanitarian agencies supporting refugees with sufficient resources. Despite calls from the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, far too few resettlement places have been offered to Syrian refugees.

The situation is so desperate that some of Syria’s neighbours have resorted to deeply troubling measures, including denying desperate people entry to their territory and pushing people back into the conflict.

Since the beginning of 2015, Lebanon has severely restricted entry to people fleeing Syria. The Lebanese authorities issued new guidelines whereby Syrian nationals are required to fulfil specific criteria in order to enter. Since these criteria were imposed, there has been a significant drop in registration of Syrian refugees – in the first three months of 2015 UNHCR registered 80% fewer Syrian refugees than in the same period in 2014.

Mediterranean: The most dangerous sea route
The Mediterranean is the most dangerous sea route for refugees and migrants. In 2014, 219,000 people made the crossing under extremely dangerous conditions and 3,500 died attempting it.

In 2014, the Italian authorities rescued over 170,000 people. However in October 2014, Italy, under pressure from other EU member states, cancelled the rescue operation, Mare Nostrum, which was replaced by the much more limited Operation Triton (by the EU border agency, Frontex).

Operation Triton did not have a sufficiently broad search and rescue mandate, had fewer vessels and a significantly smaller area of operation. This contributed to a dramatic increase in the number of lives lost in the Mediterranean. As of 31 May 2015, 1,865 people had died attempting the Mediterranean crossing, compared to 425 during the same period in 2014 (according to the IOM).

Follow several horrific cases of loss of life in the Mediterranean, at the end of April, European leaders finally increased resources for search and rescue. Triton’s resources and area of operation were increased to match Mare Nostrum’s. In addition European states such as Germany, Ireland and the UK have deployed ships and aircrafts, additional to Operation Triton resources to further boost capacity for assisting people at sea. These measures, which had long been advocated for by Amnesty International, are a welcome step towards increasing safety at sea for refugees and migrants.

The European Commission also proposed that EU states offer 20,000 additional resettlement places to refugees from outside the EU. While this proposal is a step forward, 20,000 is too small a number to adequately contribute to international responsibility-sharing.

For example, Syrian refugees faced with reduced humanitarian assistance in the main host countries and with no prospect of returning home in the near future, are likely to continue to attempt to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe. Without sufficient safe and legal alternative routes for refugees – but also for migrants – people will continue to risk their lives.

Africa: Forgotten crises
There are more than three million refugees in sub-Saharan Africa. Outbreaks of fighting in countries including South Sudan and the Central African Republic (CAR), have led to an increasing number of people on the move – fleeing conflict and persecution. Of the top 10 countries globally from which people are fleeing as refugees, five are in are in sub-Saharan Africa. Four of the top ten refugee-hosting countries are in sub-Saharan Africa

The conflicts and crises in the region have led to an influx of refugees to neighbouring countries, many of which already host tens of thousands of long-standing refugee populations from countries such as Somalia, Sudan, Eritrea and Ethiopia, among others.

In some of these situations, as in the case of South Sudan and Sudan, refugees are hosted by countries that are themselves beset by conflict.

The refugee crises in Africa receive little or no attention in regional or global political forums. In 2013 fewer than 15,000 refugees from African countries were resettled and UN humanitarian appeals have been severely underfunded. For example, as a result of the conflict which broke out in South Sudan in December 2013, more than 550,000 people became refugees, the majority of whom are now in Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya and Uganda. Only 11% of the UN’s South Sudan regional refugee response plan was funded as of 3 June 2015.

South East Asia: Turning away the desperate

In the first quarter of 2015, UNHCR reported that some 25,000 people attempted to cross the Bay of Bengal. This is approximately double the figure for the same period in 2014. This Bay of Bengal sea route is predominantly used by Muslim Rohingya from Myanmar and Bangladeshi nationals.

On 11 May, the International Organization for Migration estimated that there were 8,000 people stranded on boats close to Thailand. Many of those aboard were believed to be Rohingya fleeing state-sponsored persecution in Myanmar.

During May, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand turned back boats carrying hundreds of refugees and migrants desperate for help, despite the dangers they faced. UNHCR estimates that 300 people died at sea in the first three months of 2015 due to “starvation, dehydration and abuse by boat crews”.

On 20 May Indonesia and Malaysia changed course, announcing that they would provide “temporary shelter” for up to 7,000 people still at sea. However, this temporary protection would only last for up to a year, and on condition that the international community would help with repatriation or resettlement of the people. Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand have not ratified the UN Refugee Convention.

Elsewhere, a terrible precedent has been set in the region by the Australian government whose hard-line approach to asylum-seekers attempting to arrive by boat has, under the guise of saving lives, violated its responsibilities under refugee and human rights law.

“From the Andaman to the Mediterranean people are losing their lives as they desperately seek safe haven. The current refugee crisis will not be solved unless the international community recognizes that it is a global problem that requires states to significantly step up international cooperation. Later this week UNHCR will release their annual statistics on refugees and we will likely find that the crisis is getting worse. It is time for action,” said Salil Shetty.

Read more: 

Global Refugee Crisis in Numbers (Feature, 15 June 2015)

The Global Refugee Crisis: A conspiracy of neglect (Report, 15 June 2015)

Pushed to the edge: Syrian refugees face increased restrictions in Lebanon (Briefing, 15 June 2015)

Aljazeera Arabic Teaches “Jihadi 101”, Including Bomb-Making and Social Agitation

[SEE:  Aljazeera and ‘The Arab Spring’]

  • Al-Jazeera — in Arabic — encourages terrorist attacks in Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula by the Muslim Brotherhood, and preaches the destruction of Israel, non-stop.
  • Recently Al-Jazeera has been broadcasting a “documentary” series glorifying Hamas and the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, its military-terrorist wing. The entire series is devoted to idealizing Islamist terrorism and encouraging mass-casualty terrorist attacks against Jews, in the name of radical Islamist ideology.
  • One of the stars is the Palestinian arch-terrorist, Abd al-Karim al-Hanini, who was released from prison in Israel and found safe haven in Qatar.
  • No one has even tried to prevent Qatar’s participation in a global anti-terrorism forum.

The EU and the U.S. have recently been holding meetings in Brussels and Ankara with Turkey and Qatar, two of the major funders of terror groups, to form an “anti-terrorism task force” — while the very Islamists they support have been spiritedly spreading out. Turkey and Qatar have even agreed to help fight ISIS, apparently on the condition that the Turkish-trained forces also try to unseat Syria’s President, Bashar al-Assad.

Turkey, under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated AKP Party, has been a supporter of terrorists, such as Hamas and ISIS.

Turkish President (then Prime Minister) Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, meeting with Hamas leaders Khaled Mashaal (center) and Ismail Haniyeh on June 18, 2013, in Ankara, Turkey. (Image source: Turkey Prime Minister’s Press Office)

Meanwhile, Qatar’s TV channel, Al-Jazeera, regularly incites terrorism against Egyptian President el-Sisi’s pro-Western regime. El-Sisi’s heroic pro-Western stance is apparently unreciprocated: the U.S. State Department just hosted an official meeting for his arch-enemy, the Muslim Brotherhood, father of Hamas, while Al Jazeera — in Arabic — encourages terrorist attacks in Egypt and Sinai Peninsula by the Muslim Brotherhood, and preaches the destruction of Israel, non-stop.

It was Al-Jazeera that created the “Arab Spring” by twisting a story about a Tunisian fruit-seller, who set himself on fire because he could not get a work permit, into a story of Tunisian oppression. The station ran the story again and again, whipping up Tunisians to overthrow their secular leaders and bring in Islamist leaders. To the Tunisians’ credit, like the Egyptians, after a few years of Islamist rule, they also threw the Islamist leaders out.

Recently, Al-Jazeera has been broadcasting a “documentary” series glorifying Hamas and the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, its military-terrorist wing. The entire series is devoted to idealizing Islamist terrorism and encouraging mass-casualty terrorist attacks against Jews, in the name of radical Islamist ideology.

One of the stars of the series is the Palestinian arch-terrorist, Abd al-Karim al-Hanini, who was released from prison in Israel and found a safe haven in Qatar. He explains how to construct explosives from agricultural substances, such as chemical fertilizer and sulfur; how to fill an empty gas balloon with the explosives, and how to detonate the bomb mechanically, electronically or with a suicide-bomber (shaheed), in order to kill as many Israelis as possible.

Al-Hanini boasts about his terrorist activities killing Israeli civilians and soldiers, and details tactics that mujahideen will use in their jihadi “inner struggles,” and presumably also their outer ones. These tactics can be used as blueprints by future terrorists. The series can easily be viewed by all intelligence agencies in the world, but so far no one has tried to prevent it from being broadcast — or has even criticized Qatar for broadcasting it.

No one has even tried to prevent Qatar’s participation in a global anti-terrorism forum.

Bassam Tawil is a scholar based in the Middle East.

Saudi Arabia seeks leadership of UN Rights Council

‘Kingdom of Dystopia’: Saudi Arabia seeks leadership of UN Rights Council

Russia-Today
saudibeheading2

​The very country which brought the world one of the most brutal and intolerant religious ideologies – Wahhabism, while operating the most oppressive modern-day theocracy, is vying for the presidency of the UN Human Rights Council.

Saudi Arabia has come to represent many things over the decades – theocracy, oppression, brutality and even at times downright barbarism. And seeing how the Kingdom has become infamous for carrying out death sentences by beheading, it’s safe to say that upholding the principles of human rights is not exactly the regime’s forte.

Yet, King Salman, the new self-proclaimed custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, did not flinch when he declared on May, 20 that, “The Saudi Arabian government guarantees freedom of expression and opposes discrimination.”

The comment was aimed at Bandar Al-Aiban, president of the Human Rights Commission (HRC), Mufleh Al-Qahtani, president of the National Society for Human Rights, and other senior officials during their visit to Riyadh.

The King went on confidently, “The pillars of this state are built on Islamic law that calls for the protection of human rights; and governance in the country is based on justice, consultation and equality.”

But since those pillars the King is so keenly referring to are themselves based on the Wahhabi interpretation of Islam – a sect by its very nature reactionary and fiercely oppressive towards all it does not approve of or understand – Saudi Arabia’s justice system is merely a reflection of such dystopian ideology.

Wahhabism is actually so intrinsically violent and foreign to the concept of interfaith cohesion and peaceful social coexistence that it gave birth to the so-called jihadist movement that is currently holding the Middle East and North Africa hostage – Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

Wahhabism is a sect that came to be in the 18th century at the command of Mohammed Abdel-Wahhab. To put things further into historical context, the Wahhabis, or the Ikhwan as they called themselves then, under the banner of Wahhabism raided and ransacked both the holy city of Karbala (Iraq) and Medina before marching into Mecca as conquerors. Those “faithful” hordes turned Arabia crimson red to the swing of their blades as they pillaged and massacred along the way.

Fast forward a few centuries and Wahhabism is as bloodthirsty and intolerant as ever.

When all which is not Wahhabi Islam is considered apostasy, talks of equality and justice are as intangible as mirages – and yet the Kingdom would like the world to believe in its gospel of justice.

Not content with professing the righteousness of his rule, King Salman now harbors ambitions for the Kingdom to head the United Nations Human Rights Council.

On the very same week Saudi Arabia called for “experienced swordsmen” to join the Kingdom’s execution squad, reports confirmed Riyadh is preparing to lobby the United Nations to become the next head of the Human Rights Council, after Germany’s term end in 2016.

As Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch said, “that would be the final nail in the coffin for the credibility of the HRC.”

saudibeheading

Neuer added rather eloquently, “Electing Saudi Arabia as the world’s judge on human rights would be like making a pyromaniac as the town fire chief.”

And indeed, in a country like Saudi Arabia, where women are no more than commodities to be traded off, where political prisoners are subjected to abject torture, and where beheadings are commonplace, the idea that such a regime could ever be granted such a position on the world stage rings with intolerable cynicism.

Since King Salman was declared the legitimate claimant to the throne of Saudi Arabia, 85 men and women have been put to death in macabre public displays. Among the Kingdom’s latest victims was a woman suspected of mental illness named Siti Zainab Binti Duhri Rupa. She was publicly beheaded in April.

Philip Luther, Middle East and North Africa Programme Director at Amnesty International, said at the time in a statement: “Imposing the death penalty and executing someone with a suspected mental illness smacks of a basic lack of humanity.” But, of course, such condemnations and calls for restraint have mainly fallen on deaf ears since the Kingdom wields the most powerful weapon of all – petrodollars.

Saudi Arabia, it appears, cannot be made to abide by international standards, since international law does not hold sway over the Kingdom. If the world has somewhat come to terms with the principles of American exceptionalism, perhaps the era of all-encompassing Saudi impunity is now at hand – Saudi Orwellianism anyone?

And even if both the US and EU insist on courting Riyadh – for its coffers are home to billions of dollars in arm deals and other lucrative investments – it would be difficult to whitewash 85 state-sanctioned murders, one unilateral war on Yemen, and a brutal religious crackdown against the Kingdom’s Shia community.

And if, as King Salman claimed, “There is no difference between citizens or regions. All citizens are equal in rights and duties,” then why are religious figureheads like Sheikh Al Nimr languishing in prison?

Is it fairness when cluster-bombs are unleashed over Yemen’s northern region of Saada where, as it so happens, Zaidi Muslims are the majority – a branch of Islam Wahhabi clerics have branded as takfir (infidels)? Is it right when children are left to starve under a Riyadh-run blockade on Yemen?

Allowing the Kingdom to head the UN Human Rights Council would quite simply equate to rewarding inhumanity, but then again, since values such as civil liberties and human rights have become the latest casualties in the Western powers’ eternal ‘war on terror’, maybe a theme is beginning to emerge.

Back in 2013, the US and EU failed to oppose Saudi Arabia’s election to the council. Let us see how they hold up before the petrodollar super-power this time around.

Catherine Shakdam for RT.

Catherine Shakdam is a political analyst and commentator for the Middle East with a special emphasis on Yemen and radical movements.

A consultant with Anderson Consulting and leading analyst for the Beirut Center for Middle East Studies, her writings have appeared in MintPress, Foreign Policy Journal, Open-Democracy, the Guardian, the Middle East Monitor, Middle East Eye and many others.In 2015 her research and analysis on Yemen was used by the UN Security Council in a situation report.

THE WHOLE WORLD HAS ITS HEAD BURIED IN THE SAND–Truth About Isis

[THE WHOLE WORLD HAS ITS HEAD BURIED IN THE SAND, when it comes to ISIS.  No authority has protested in the past, nor do they protest today, the fact that ISIS is wholly a US/SAUDI-owned entity.  They nurtured it together in the prison camps of Iraq and Saudi, until it was ready to stand on its own two legs in Syria.  There is no surprise here, except for the great astonishment everyone experiences when learning the truth about this state-sponsored terrorism, and the fact that no government (‘cept Russia) dares to mention this dire truth.]

[THE FOLLOWING EXCERPT IS FROM PGS. 287-293, DEFENSE INTELLIGENCE AGENCY REPORT]

isis documents

isis documents2

isis documents3

isis head collection

‘No one can bury heads in sand:’ Hezbollah leader calls for help fighting ISIS in Syria

Russia-Today
Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah
Lebanon’s Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.(Reuters / Sharif Karim)

 

Calling it a global existential threat, Lebanon’s Hezbollah leader, Hassan Nasrallah, has urged supporters to join the fight against the Islamic State, confirming that his Shiite militant group has been fighting the Sunni extremists all across Syria.

READ MORE: ‘No will’ to fight ISIS? US Defense Sec blasts Iraqi troops

“Today we are facing a kind of danger that is unprecedented in history, which targets humanity itself,” Nasrallah said Sunday during a televised broadcast referring to Islamic State (IS, previously ISIS/ISIL).

“This is not just a threat to the resistance in Lebanon or to the regime in Syria or the government in Iraq or a group in Yemen,” the Shiite movement’s head continued. “This is a danger to everyone. No one should bury their heads in the sand.”

He called on volunteers to stand up against IS extremist fighters: “We invite everyone in Lebanon and the region to take responsibility and confront this danger and end their silence and hesitation and neutrality.”

Read more
First confession: Pentagon admits 2 Syrian children killed in US airstrikes

Nasrallah’s comments were made ahead of Monday’s anniversary of the retreat of Israeli troops from Lebanon in 2000.

The leader has confirmed for the very first time that Hezbollah members are fighting Islamic State together with Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces in various parts of Syria and not just around the border regions.

“We are fighting alongside our Syrian brothers, alongside the army and the people and the popular resistance in Damascus and Aleppo and Deir Ezzor and Qusayr and Hasakeh and Idlib,” he said. “We are present today in many places and we will be present in all the places in Syria that this battle requires.”

READ MORE: Mortar attack on Russian embassy in Damascus an ‘act of terror’ – Moscow

Nasrallah also expressed disappointment with the US-led coalition against Islamic State, saying it was not effective and had not stopped jihadists from moving around freely.

Read more
​ISIS taking advantage of Syrian conflict, opposition & govt should cease fire – UN envoy tells RT

At the same time, he addressed the opposition, stressing that any support for the anti-Assad movement within Syria would only lead to more power in the hands of jihadists.

Sunni forces in Lebanon have been critical of Hezbollah’s role in Syria, as the group has not supported uprisings against Assad.

Lebanon is heavily affected by the Syrian conflict, as the majority of the refugees seeking shelter there are from the bordering war-torn state, with their number currently estimated at over 1.2 million.

The civil war in Syria started four years ago, when the Western-backed opposition began an armed rebellion against Assad’s government. By 2013, large portions of eastern Syria and western Iraq had fallen under control of militants from the Islamic State, which emerged amid the turmoil of the conflict, along with other extremist groups fighting against both Assad and the opposition. The conflict in Syria has claimed over 200,000 lives so far.

Fighting Terrorists By Creating Terrorists

[We have armed every nation in the Middle East “to the teeth,” yet now we fight to keep them from murdering each other with those very same weapons.  We have intentionally ramped-up local antagonisms, in order to create the desire for more weapons.  Every Middle Eastern nation spends most of its money and everything that it can borrow to purchase every weapon that they can get, because that is what American leaders want.  American militarists and Empire Builders have pushed through every political barrier, in order to entangle American interests in this morass, so that later we could play at “world policeman.”  Why would American leaders have acted so maliciously towards future victims of their policies? 

Why do they purposely create the circumstances which will compel future military interventions?  If the goal is simply the introduction of American forces, then why not just move those forces in, instead of trying to arm every side and then send in American forces to keep the killing below an “acceptable” threshold as justification for impending aggression?  Answering certain questions exposes the aggression in American humanitarianism.  Human lives mean nothing to an unrestrained military aggressor, except when they prove to be an embarassment or reveal America’s true nature.]

America’s Virulent, Extremist Counterterrorism Ideology

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America’s Virulent, Extremist Counterterrorism Ideology

Throughout the 13-plus years of the war on terrorism, one line of effort that everyone in Washington agrees on is the necessity to counter the ideology put forth by terrorist groups. Unfortunately, everyone also agrees that U.S. government agencies have done a terrible job at achieving this. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) recently derided the State Department’s counter-ideology efforts as “laughable” compared with the propaganda of the Islamic State. Whether termed “strategic communications,” “counter-messaging,” or “countering violent extremism,” there is a rare Washington consensus that this essential task is also the one that the United States has been the worst at accomplishing. But it’s not just about building a less-pathetic State Department Twitter feed. By extension, “success” mandates changing how terrorist groups think and communicate, and influencing individuals deemed susceptible to terrorists’ messaging.

Focusing on terrorists’ ideology is attractive because it requires altering the brains of enemies and neutral third parties, while, more importantly, requiring no change in America’s own thinking. Yet in the past six months there has been a little noticed, but significant, shift in America’s own counterterrorism ideology.

The language senior officials and policymakers are increasingly using to characterize terrorist threats — and to describe the projected length of the war on terrorism — has diversified and metastasized. The enemy, once identified as simply al Qaeda and affiliated groups, now includes amorphous concepts like “Islamic extremism” or “violent extremists.” Meanwhile, any shared understanding of when the war might end has basically vanished from public discourse. Where there was once an aspiration in Washington to wind down the era of “perpetual war,” there is now an agreement that America faces a “multigenerational” threat.

With little awareness of the consequences of this shift in discourse, U.S. counterterrorism ideology has become far more nebulous, less concrete, and gradually more open-ended. The war on terrorism is going poorly: The number, estimated strength, lethality (within countries they operate in, not against Americans), and social media influence of jihadi terrorist groups is growing. Yet, the same tough-sounding clichés and wholly implausible objectives are repeated over and over, with no indication of any strategic learning or policy adjustments. If this virulent and extremist — virulent in that it’s poisonous and harmful and that repeatedly espousing it ensures continued strategic failure, and extremist in that it proclaims the most extreme objectives that will never be achieved — U.S. counterterrorism ideology goes unchecked, it will further delude government officials and U.S. citizens into the false belief that the current courses of action are normal and acceptable and require no modification.

This latest ideological change is most conspicuous in descriptions of who the United States is at war with. The enemy has always been overly classified and somewhat hidden, but at least there was once a recognized list of discrete groups. Now, the adversary is an undefined and contested category of groups or people allegedly connected with the act of terrorism. If the U.S. government were as imprecise with its bombs as with its descriptions of its terrorist enemies, it would be a war crime. This matters: If you cannot name your opponents, you certainly cannot know them, much less measure progress in defeating them.

Consider the nebulous jumble of abstract enemies that officials have pronounced. In February, President Barack Obama said, “We are at war with people who have perverted Islam” and said that the international community must “eradicate this scourge of violent extremism.” Similarly, when attempting to describe the enemy, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, claimed that the United States is in a fight “against the group that has perverted Islam.” In February, National Security Advisor Susan Rice contextualized the U.S. mission as “to cut off violent extremism at the knees.” Earlier that month, she attempted to describe the undefined enemy: “As al Qaeda core has been decimated, we have seen the diffusion of the threat to al Qaeda affiliates, ISIL, local militia[s], and homegrown violent extremists.” Eric Holder, then the attorney general, claimed, also in February, that the United States is simply “combating the threat of violent extremism.” Gen. Lloyd Austin, commander of U.S. Central Command, said the enemy is “ISIL and other violent extremist groups.”

Some policymakers have been even vaguer. When asked to define the enemy, Secretary of State John Kerry said, “I call them the enemy of Islam.” Let’s set aside the fact that Kerry is now presuming to interpret what is legitimate faith for 1 billion Muslims. Just who is this enemy precisely?

Meanwhile, the Republican presidential candidates are outdoing one another in blurring the enemy and exponentially expanding the number of individuals whom the United States must defeat. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) coined the Taken doctrine: “On our strategy on global jihadists and terrorists, I refer them to the movie Taken … Liam Neeson. He had a line, and this is what our strategy should be: ‘We will look for you, we will find you, and we will kill you.’” Less theatrically, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) merely pledged, “We will stand up and defeat radical Islamic terrorism.” Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry said, “We are in the early years of a struggle with violent Islamic extremists that will last many decades.” Meanwhile, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), while touting his alleged willingness to name the enemy, called them “radical Islam” and “haters of mankind.” Again, it’s fine, though meaningless, to talk tough, but whom are these threats being made against?

The other threatening recent shift in U.S. counterterrorism ideology relates to the end state in the war on terrorism and when this might come about. Although Obama once claimed that this war, “like all wars, must end,” officials and policymakers no longer pretend that the war on terrorism will ever end; nor do they offer any narrative for how this war would end. Rather, they are attempting to normalize the war on terrorism as something all Americans should accept and get used to. As Defense Secretary Ashton Carter admitted, “We need to be thinking about terrorism more generally as a more enduring part of our national security mission.”

This shift was crystallized in a remarkable recent observation by CIA Director John Brennan. Three years ago, Brennan, then Obama’s closest counterterrorism advisor, pledged, “We’re not going to rest until al Qaeda the organization is destroyed and is eliminated from areas in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Africa, and other areas. We’re determined to do that.” Yet, last month, when asked at Harvard University when the war on terrorism will end, he responded philosophically: “It’s a long war, unfortunately. But it’s been a war that has been in existence for millennia.… So this is going to be something, I think, that we’re always going to have to be vigilant about.” In other words, defeating terrorism is eschatological and eternal.

Similarly, Obama and his senior aides have come to repeatedly reframe the war in decades. The new National Security Strategy describes it as “a generational struggle in the aftermath of the 2003 Iraq war and 2011 Arab uprisings, which will redefine the region as well as relationships among communities and between citizens and their governments.” Meanwhile, Dempsey, the most senior uniformed military official, warned of Islamic terrorism: “I think this threat is probably a 30-year issue.”

Likewise, on Capitol Hill, this view has become standardized. Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) said it is a “multigenerational struggle” with “no cheap way to win this fight.” Similarly, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) called it “a generational fight for civilization against brutal enemies.” Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) went even further than Brennan, noting, “We’ve been fighting this radical Islamist ideology for 1,400 years.” In other words, long before the United States was even established. Forget who the enemy is; who is this “we”?

What is most disheartening about this radicalized counterterrorism discourse is that these same officials and policymakers still pretend that these diffuse terrorist threats will be “destroyed,” “defeated,” or “eliminated.” This quite simply will not happen because the United States and its partners keep applying the same strategies and policies while foolishly hoping for a different result. Officials claim that terrorists’ ideology is their “center of gravity,” a term the Pentagon defines as: “The source of power that provides moral or physical strength, freedom of action, or will to act.” Yet, again, because nothing has succeeded at countering that ideology, we are supposed to become accustomed to an endless war against a nondescript concept.

The only ideology that the United States can influence or control is its own. Instead, Washington has busied itself conflating local militancy with threats to the homeland, refusing to identify the enemy, proclaiming tough-sounding and implausible strategic objectives, and demonstrating no meaningful learning or adjustments over 13 years. The lack of precision employed when defining America’s adversaries in the war on terrorism and the absence of any end state (combined with those unachievable objectives) comprise a dangerous and extremist set of beliefs for U.S. officials and policymakers to hold. If the war on terrorism is really all about ideology and ideas, then the United States should spend as much time analyzing its own ideology as it does its enemies’. The emerging counterterrorism ideology that Washington is expressing is hazardous, illusory, and sadly unchallenged.

Photo credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Roger Waters to Dionne Warwick–“Israeli…society lacks basic belief in equal human value”

Roger Waters to Dionne Warwick:

“You Are Showing Yourself to be Profoundly Ignorant of What Has Happened in Palestine Since 1947”
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Roger Waters, what a stand up guy! Or really I should say this is a good man!

Dionne Warwick called me out by name in asserting she’d play Tel Aviv. Here’s what she misunderstands

inger and U.N. global ambassador Dionne Warwick recently released an interesting if puzzling statement asserting that she would, and I quote, “never fall victim to the hard pressures of Roger Waters, from Pink Floyd, or other political people who have their views on politics in Israel.”

“Waters’ political views are of no concern,” I assume she means to her, the statement read. “Art,” she added, “has no boundaries.”
Until today, I have not publicly commented on Ms. Warwick’s Tel Aviv concert or reached out to her privately. But given her implicit invitation, I will comment now.
First, in my view, Dionne Warwick is a truly great singer. Secondly, I doubt not that she is deeply committed to her family and her fans.
But, ultimately, this whole conversation is not about her, her gig in Tel Aviv, or even her conception of boundaries and art, though I will touch on that conception later. This is about human rights and, more specifically, this is about the dystopia that can develop, as it has in Israel, when society lacks basic belief in equal human value, when it strays from the ability to feel empathy for our brothers and sisters of different faiths, nationalities, creeds or colors.
It strikes me as deeply disingenuous of Ms. Warwick to try to cast herself as a potential victim here. The victims are the occupied people of Palestine with no right to vote and the unequal Palestinian citizens of Israel, including Bedouin Israeli citizens of the village of al-Araqib, which has now been bulldozed 83 times by order of the Israeli government.
I believe you mean well, Ms. Warwick, but you are showing yourself to be profoundly ignorant of what has happened in Palestine since 1947, and I am sorry but you are wrong, art does know boundaries. In fact, it is an absolute responsibility of artists to stand up for human rights – social, political and religious – on behalf of all our brothers and sisters who are being oppressed, whoever and wherever they may be on the surface of this small planet.
Forgive me, Ms. Warwick, but I have done a little research, and know that you crossed the picket line to play Sun City at the height of the anti-apartheid movement. In those days, Little Steven, Bruce Springsteen and 50 or so other musicians protested against the vicious, racist oppression of the indigenous peoples of South Africa. Those artists allowed their art to cross boundaries, but for the purpose of political action. They released a record that struck a chord across the world. That record, “I Ain’t Gonna play Sun City,” showed the tremendous support of musicians all over the world for the anti-apartheid effort.
Those artists helped win that battle, and we, in the nonviolent Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, will win this one against the similarly racist and colonialist policies of the Israeli government of occupation. We will continue to press forward in favor of equal rights for all the peoples of the Holy Land. Just as musicians weren’t going to play Sun City, increasingly we’re not going to play Tel Aviv. There is no place today in this world for another racist, apartheid regime.
As I’m sure you know, Lauryn Hill canceled her gig in Tel Aviv last week. She did not explicitly cite Israeli oppression of Palestinians as her reason for canceling, but the subtext of her actions is clear and we thank her for her principled stand.
Dionne, I am of your generation. I remember the road to Montgomery, I remember Selma, I remember the struggles against the Jim Crow laws here. Sadly, we are still fighting those battles, whether here in the USA in Ferguson or Baltimore, or in Gaza or the Negev, wherever the oppressed need us to raise our voices unafraid. We need to stand shoulder to shoulder with them, our brothers and sisters, until true equality and justice are won.
Remember, “Operation Protective Edge,” the Israeli bombing of Gaza last summer, resulted in the deaths of over 2,000 Palestinians, most of them civilians, including more than 500 Palestinian children. It is hard for us over here to imagine what it is like to be exiled, disenfranchised, imprisoned, rendered homeless and then slaughtered, with no place to flee. Hopefully, in the end, love will triumph. But love will not triumph unless we stand up to such injustice and fight it tooth and nail, together.
Dionne, your words indicate that part of you is set on going through with your concert. I am appealing to another part of you, to implore that other part to join us. We will welcome you. It is more than likely that you harbor reservations in your heart about what Israel is doing to the Palestinians, that when you see a mother’s child in ruins you wonder what if that child were mine? It is not too late to hear those reservations, to listen to that other voice, to value freedom and equality for all over the value you place on your concert in Tel Aviv.
When global pressure finally forces Israel to end its occupation, when the apartheid wall comes down, when justice is served to Palestinian refugees and all people there are free and equal, I will gladly join you in concert in the Holy Land, cross all the boundaries and share our music with all the people.

“Pushing Back” the Boat People In Asia and In Europe, Symptom of Universal Insanity

By Amy Sawitta Lefevre and Fransiska Nangoy

BANGKOK/JAKARTA (Reuters) – Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia gave no response on Wednesday to a United Nations appeal for them to rescue thousands of migrants, many of them hungry and sick, adrift in boats in Southeast Asian seas.

There were conflicting statements on whether regional governments would continue to push back migrant boats in the face of the UN warning that they risked a “massive humanitarian crisis”.

“Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand have decided not to receive boat people, as far as I am aware,” Major General Werachon Sukhondhapatipak, spokesman for Thailand’s ruling junta, told Reuters.

He declined to comment on the UN refugee agency UNHCR’s appeal on Tuesday for an international search and rescue operation for the many stranded on the seas between Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

The UN has said several thousand migrants were abandoned at sea by smugglers following a Thai government crackdown on human trafficking.

Malaysia’s Home Ministry also declined to comment on the U.N. rescue appeal.

The issue would be discussed at a meeting of 15 countries, to be held in Bangkok on May 29, Thai junta spokesman Werachon said.

But the Royal Thai Navy said on Wednesday that its policy was not to send the boats back to sea.

“If they come to Thai waters we must help them and provide food and water,” Rear Admiral Kan Deeubol told Reuters. “For human rights reasons, we will not send them back to sea.”

Earlier this week, a junta spokesman said that a surge in migrants to Indonesia and Malaysia from Bangladesh and Myanmar had been caused by the crackdown and by Thai authorities blocking boats from landing.

Thailand ordered a clean-up of suspected traffickers’ camps last week after 33 bodies, believed to be of migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh, were found in shallow graves near the Malaysian border.

That has made traffickers wary of landing in Thailand, the preferred destination for the region’s people smuggling networks, leading to many migrants being left out at sea.

‘IT’S A POLICY MATTER’

A senior Malaysian maritime official said on Tuesday, after more than 1,000 people arrived on the Malaysian island of Langkawi at the weekend, that any more boats trying to land would be turned back

“We don’t allow them in,” said First Admiral Tan Kok Kwee, northern region head of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency. “It’s a policy matter.”

Indonesia provided food, water and medical supplies to around 500 passengers on a boat off the coast of the northwestern province of Aceh on Monday, before sending the vessel towards Malaysia.

The Indonesian Navy said the passengers of the boat they sent onwards wanted to go to Malaysia, not Indonesia.

A day earlier and also in Aceh, Indonesia rescued nearly 600 migrants from overcrowded wooden boats. Those migrants were brought ashore and remain on Aceh.

The Indonesian policy was to offer food and shelter to refugees and coordinate with international migrant and refugee bodies, Foreign Ministry spokesman Armanatha Nasir told reporters on Wednesday. This it had done with the nearly 600 migrants it rescued on Sunday, he added.

“What we do not do is load them on to the ship and push it to the ocean,” he said.

But advocacy group ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights criticised the Indonesian government for sending the boat back to sea on Monday.

“Towing migrants out to sea and declaring that they aren’t your problem any more is not a solution to the wider regional crisis,” ABHR Chairperson and Malaysian lawmaker Charles Santiago said in a statement.

Many of the arrivals are Rohingya, a stateless Muslim minority from Myanmar described by the United Nations as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world.

‘BLOOD ON THEIR HANDS’

An estimated 25,000 Bangladeshis and Rohingya boarded rickety smugglers’ boats in the first three months of this year, twice as many in the same period of 2014, the UNHCR has said.

“When countries such as Thailand implement a push back policy, we find Rohingya bodies washing ashore,” said Sunai Phasuk at Human Rights Watch in Thailand.

“If these three countries move forward with push backs, blood will be on their hands.”

Malaysia’s police chief said that joint work with the Thai police force had helped Malaysian police smash seven syndicates involved in smuggling and trafficking in March and April.

The syndicates operated in northern Malaysia and southern Thailand, Khalid Abu Bakar told reporters on the Thai island of Phuket, where members of the two police forces met this week for annual talks on international crime.

Among 38 people arrested were two Malaysian policemen, he said.

As well as trafficking, Malaysian police believe the syndicates were involved in forging UNHCR documents, he said.

(Additional reporting by Fransiska Nangoy in JAKARTA and Apichai Thornoi in PHUKET, Thailand; Writing by Simon Webb; Editing by Nick Macfie and Alex Richardson)

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Milliband’s “Truth-Bomb”

[SEE: Latest Med “Boat People” Tragedy Resulting From Anti-Libyan U.N. Sec. Council Res. 1973 ; The Obscenity of Humanitarian Warfare]

Nigel Farage: David Cameron ‘directly caused’ Libyan migrant crisis

“Ukip leader says Britain should offer refuge to Christians from Libya, as up to 700 die in latest disaster at sea.”

Cameron hits back after Labour suggests he is responsible for migrant deaths

“Prime minister says Miliband’s comments about failures of post-conflict plans in Libya are ill-judged, as Labour says Tories have manufactured the row.”

branded“shameful and absolutely unacceptable” by Number 10.

Miliband riles Tories with ‘bombing Libya led to migrant crisis’ claim

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Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband arrives at a campaign event in Ipswich, eastern England April 22, 2015 (Reuters / Darren Staples)

Britain’s opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband arrives at a campaign event in Ipswich, eastern England April 22, 2015 (Reuters / Darren Staples)

Ed Miliband’s claims that David Cameron and other European leaders failed Libya and in part contributed to the migrant boat catastrophe in which 800 people drowned were branded “shameful and absolutely unacceptable” by Number 10.

The Labour leader, who has not yet given the speech, plans to say world leaders have not supported Libya in the wake of coalition airstrikes, which contributed to the downfall of Colonel Gaddafi, leading to growing numbers of migrants dying in the Mediterranean.

Despite having voted in favor of military action against Libya, Miliband will say there were “failures in post-conflict planning.” He will say the refugee situation could have been anticipated.

“In Libya, Labour supported military action to avoid the slaughter Gaddafi threatened in Benghazi,” Miliband will say.

“But since the action, the failure of post-conflict planning has become obvious. David Cameron was wrong to assume that Libya’s political culture and institutions could be left to evolve and transform on their own.”

“The tragedy is that this could have been anticipated. It should have been avoided. And Britain could have played its part in ensuring the international community stood by the people of Libya in practice rather than standing behind the unfounded hopes of potential progress only in principle.”

His comments echo those of UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who said on Monday that EU leaders were responsible for the deaths of the migrants, suggesting airstrikes had de-stabilized the country and forced more migrants to flee.

The airstrikes carried out in 2011 by a UN-authorized coalition of France, the UK and the US saw Colonel Gaddafi’s regime collapse. The country has since been plagued by political insecurity, with no single functioning government.

Since the toppling of Gaddafi, a civil war between tribal militias throughout the country has ensued.

The Conservatives responded with anger, with Environment Secretary Liz Truss saying the remarks should be withdrawn. She said Miliband’s comments were not the way current affairs should be discussed.

Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander, however, said the speech was not intended to create public argument, blaming Number 10 for fabricating the row.

Alexander insisted “the state of Libya is a failure for postwar conflict-planning for which the international community faces responsibility.

“I don’t think anyone disputes that we are witnessing a situation where Libya is perilously close to becoming a completely failed state on the southern shores of the Mediterranean. That is not a matter of dispute; that is simply a matter of fact,” he said.

Miliband will make a rare foray into foreign affairs in a speech at Chatham House on Friday, which is unusual for any politician during election campaign season.

He is expected to say that Cameron’s discourse on an EU referendum has given the world the impression the UK is slowly isolating itself from international affairs.

Using Yemeni Battle Ground To Settle “Schism” Within Islam

[Saudi “Decisive Storm” is a religious “ethnic cleansing” operation, meant to either eliminate the troublesome Shia minority on the Arabian Peninsula, or to excommunicate all Shiites from the House of Islam.  There is extreme danger that the Saudi coalition has bigger plans than just housecleaning in Yemen, going way beyond the political contest with Iran. ultimately mutating into a Wahhabi holy war to eliminate the “schism” within Islam (by slaughtering all of the “kfirs/disbelievers”).  

A religious slaughter of this magnitude will automatically trigger the retaliatory the wrath of the “civilized world” (despite US efforts to profit from this jihad), in order to eliminate the danger to the oil fields of the Middle East, even though it will be called a “humanitarian effort.”  As the world becomes aware of the bloody truth about this Saudi power grab, the diplomatic pressure will build, forcing an end to this lunacy, or at least a pause in the bombing for the evacuation of trapped civilian populations and humanitarian relief to take place (SEE: Groups call for ‘pause’ in Yemen ; Iraqi leader decries Saudis on Yemen role).]

UN slams Saudi airstrikes’ violence on Yemeni civilians

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SANAA

The United Nations’ expert on internally displaced people accused Saudi Arabia on Wednesday of intentionally bombing a camp for people who’d fled Yemen’s violence last week and said airstrikes also had hit hospitals, schools and “other civilian buildings.”

Chaloka Beyani, the U.N.’s rapporteur for internally displaced persons, said at least 25 people had been killed when Saudi aircraft bombed the al Mazraq camp in northern Yemen on March 30, and that another 37, including 12 children, had been injured. He called the attack “a grave violation against some of the most vulnerable of the vulnerable civilians.”

Beyani’s denunciation of the Saudi air campaign, which began March 26, came on the same day that global humanitarian agencies, including the World Health Organization and the International Committee of the Red Cross, said they were preparing for a massive humanitarian crisis in Yemen. In Washington, a coalition of Arab-American groups said they would sue the Obama administration to force it to evacuate Americans trapped in Yemen.

A State Department official said the U.S. government, which is providing logistical support for the Saudi campaign, believes it is too dangerous to risk a military operation to rescue Americans. “There are no current U.S. government-sponsored plans to evacuate private U.S. citizens from Yemen,” the official said. “We encourage all U.S. citizens to shelter in a secure location until they are able to depart safely.”

The World Health Organization said Wednesday that between March 19 and Monday, 643 people had been killed in Yemen’s violence, including 74 children. WHO said another 2,226 people had been injured. Separately, Beyani said at least 311 civilians had been killed.

According to estimates from the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the capital, Sanaa, had the highest death toll, with 88 civilians killed. Eighty-five civilians died in Aden and 43 have been killed in al Dhale. The U.N. office estimated that of 37 public buildings bombed around the country, five were hospitals.

Beyani warned that “the picture on the ground is extremely bleak” as fighting intensifies between Houthi rebels and the government, whose president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, fled to Saudi Arabia two weeks ago.

“Humanitarian responses must be stepped up as a matter of urgency,” Beyani said, predicting that thousands more people are likely to flee their homes as the fighting worsens. Already, the U.N. estimates, 100,000 people have been displaced and 14 of Yemen’s 22 provinces have seen fighting or bombing raids.

Fighting is most intense in Aden, Sanaa, Sadah and Dhale, the U.N. said.

Sitara Jabeen, a spokeswoman for the International Committee of the Red Cross, told McClatchy that the agency has secured clearance from the Saudi-led coalition to fly in humanitarian supplies. Jabeen said that two flights, one carrying 16 tons of medical supplies from Amman, Jordan, and the other carrying 32 tons of water and sanitation and medical supplies from Liege, Belgium, had been cleared to arrive at Sanaa’s airport.

Separately, Jabeen said a Red Cross medical team of five arrived in Aden late Wednesday after a 12-hour journey by sea from Djibouti. She said the ICRC now has more than 250 national and international staff working in Yemen, she said.

Paul Garwood, a WHO spokesman, told McClatchy that the agency was providing health kits for 240,000 people throughout the country and enough trauma supplies for 400 operations at 18 hospitals throughout the country. The supplies included 11,000 bags of blood and intravenous fluids.

While the United States did not launch an evacuation of its citizens, other countries did, among them India, which rescued 232 people from 26 countries, including an unspecified number of Americans.

Hannah Allam in Washington contributed to this report.

Zarocostas is a McClatchy special correspondent.

What Was The True Mission In Iraq, To Create Chaos Or To Contain It?

Accusations Emerge That the U.S. Is Aiding ISIS – The Latest “Conspiracy Theory” Circulating in Iraq

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My belief is, we will, in fact be greeted as liberators.

– Dick Cheney on NBC’s Meet the Press, March 16, 2003

But that enmity for the United States circulates beyond the militias that once fought U.S. soldiers, surfacing also in parliamentary debates and Iraqi media reports and even at the highest ranks of the national armed forces that the United States is aiding.

“Everybody knows that the Americans are dropping supplies to Daesh,” said Brig. Gen. Abed al-Maliki, a senior Iraqi army commander based in the city of Samarra, about 80 miles north of Baghdad, using another term for the Islamic State.

What’s more, he said, during some of the fiercest fighting around Samarra last year, U.S. Special Operations forces dropped behind enemy lines to assist Islamic State militants.

“They came in with parachutes, and they were helping to bomb the city,” he said.

U.S. airstrikes against the Islamic State, he contended, are probably just a cover for efforts to support the group.

“It’s just a show,” he said, sitting in the city’s army command headquarters. “If the Americans want to finish something, they will finish it. If they wanted to liberate Iraq, they could.”

– From the Washington Post article, In Fight for Tikrit, U.S. Finds Enemies on Both Sides of the Battle Lines, March 27, 2015

How do you know your foreign policy is a complete and total destructive nightmare? When the country you supposedly “liberated” not only turns into a horrific war zone, but all sides fighting accuse you of helping the enemy. This seems to be precisely what is happening in Iraq at the moment.

Just last week, I was shocked to read in the Wall Street Journal that the U.S. military was preparing to coordinate action against ISIS in Tikrit, alongside Iranian backed militias. I highlighted this in the post, Can’t Make This Up – U.S. Providing Aid in Fight Against ISIS in Iraq Alongside Iranian Troops. Here’s the key excerpt:

The U.S. has started providing Iraq with aerial intelligence in the stalled battle to oust Islamic State from Tikrit, drawing the American military into closer coordination with Iranian-backed militias spearheading the offensive. 

Military officials said they aren’t working directly with Iran. But the intelligence will be used to help some 20,000 Iranian-backed Shiite militia fighters who make up the bulk of the force that has been struggling for weeks to retake the strategic city.

Incredibly, only a few days later, we learn from the Washington Post that one of the most popular “conspiracy theories” circulating in Iraq at the moment is that the U.S. is directly supplying and aiding ISIS in Iraq. Significantly, these accusations aren’t just emerging from random corners of the internet, but from senior military figures within the Iraqi army. Can’t make this up indeed.

From the Washington Post:

 As American forces open another front of battle in Iraq, they find themselves on the same side as an array of armed groups that not only consider the United States an enemy but also accuse it of actively supporting Islamic State militants.

Since the U.S.-led coalition planes launched their first airstrikes in the Islamic State-held city of Tikrit on Wednesday night, threats and accusations from ­Shiite militias who were leading the battle there have grown. Several of the Iranian-backed groups accused coalition aircraft of bombing a headquarters for pro-government fighters in the city on Friday, promising retribution.

The claim was the latest in a long string of accusations leveled at the United States since its first airstrikes against the Islamic State in August. Rumors of coalition planes dropping weapons supplies to Islamic State militants and attacking pro-government fighters are now widely held beliefs in a country where conspiracy theories are rife.

But that enmity for the United States circulates beyond the militias that once fought U.S. soldiers, surfacing also in parliamentary debates and Iraqi media reports and even at the highest ranks of the national armed forces that the United States is aiding.

“Everybody knows that the Americans are dropping supplies to Daesh,” said Brig. Gen. Abed al-Maliki, a senior Iraqi army commander based in the city of Samarra, about 80 miles north of Baghdad, using another term for the Islamic State. 

What’s more, he said, during some of the fiercest fighting around Samarra last year, U.S. Special Operations forces dropped behind enemy lines to assist Islamic State militants.

“They came in with parachutes, and they were helping to bomb the city,” he said.

U.S. airstrikes against the Islamic State, he contended, are probably just a cover for efforts to support the group.

“It’s just a show,” he said, sitting in the city’s army command headquarters. “If the Americans want to finish something, they will finish it. If they wanted to liberate Iraq, they could.”

When such accusations appear in the Iraqi media, they are normally accompanied by an image from an Islamic State video from Kobane in Syria last year, showing the militants displaying a load of weapons accidently dropped from a U.S. plane — an incident the United States acknowledged.

Whoops, sorry, our mistake! At this point, who doesn’t have access to hundreds of millions of U.S. weaponry?

Visiting U.S. officials are left to fend off questions about whether they support the group. The topic was the first to be broached in questions when Gen. John Allen, special envoy for the coalition to counter the Islamic State, met with Iraqi journalists in January.

The theories are stoked by U.S. involvement in the wider region, where Sunni states such as Saudi Arabia are battling for influence against Shiite Iran. While the United States has backed the same side as Saudi Arabia in conflicts in Syria and Yemen, in Iraq it finds itself on the other side of the battle.

A wildly popular trailer for an Iraqi TV program launched last year that mocked the Islamic State played off that speculation. It showed Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi hatching out of an egg after a marriage between characters representing Israel and America.

If this is how Iraqis greet their liberators, I don’t want to be invited to the party they throw for enemies.

Seriously though, it doesn’t even matter if these accusations are true or not. What matter is that Iraq is a total disaster zone, and everyone suffering from the chaos knows full well the U.S. government is responsible. Over the past decade, the clowns running American foreign policy have gone from promising the world that the Iraqis would greet U.S. soldiers as liberators, to all sides accusing the USA of aiding the enemy; whether that enemy be the Iraqi army, Iranian backed militias, or ISIS.

This is not a recipe for success. Unless of course, success is determined by the ability to create as much chaos and death overseas as possible via a divide and conquer strategy in which all combatants attempt to slay each other using weapons purchased from American defense companies. In that case, the Iraq war can be defined as a resounding success.

US Policy Is Driving Force Behind the Call To Jihad

[A very strong case is made that it is US foreign policy which fuels Islamist anger and drives the call to “jihad.”  American policy has been humiliating to every Muslim since 2001, in particular, the policies of torture, secret renditions and drone assassinations, all of which have been designed to destroy the collective psyche of all Muslim males.  

Murder by drone and rendition have demonstrated to every Muslim family that none of them are safe in their beds, or in their homes anymore.  What more reason would a sensible young man need than this, to drive him to take-up arms against the American aggressors?   Yemen hosted a US drone/counter-insurgency base, allegedly used to “hunt al-Qaeda,” which was probably the driving force in Yemen’s destabilization.  The more the US and the Saudis bombed Yemen, the greater grew the unrest of all sectarian derivations. 

The ease of recruitment for ISIS (and the Middle Eastern radicals in general) is a pretty direct measure of the effectiveness of US psychological warfare.  The more we humiliate Muslims, the more jihadis answer the call to battle. 

But, I would argue that that has been the objective of the entire war on terror since its inception…find those who would be jihadis and kill them all.  It doesn’t matter to the Pentagon/CIA that they are feeding the cycle that they have been fighting to stop?  Instead of trying to kill the Muslim world to get all the survivors to “LIKE” us, we should try to disengage long enough for the Arabs to fight among themselves and settle their tribal/religious feuds which we had no right to interfere with, at all.]

Smith College religion professor, historian says US should stay out of Middle East battles

MASS live

sum.JPG

By Diane Lederman | dlederman@repub.com

 

Smith College religion professor Suleiman A. Mourad believes the United States should not be involved in the Middle East. (Diane Lederman/The Republican)

 

NORTHAMPTON – This week, Saudi Arabia took on rebels in Yemen, the latest action in the escalating conflict in the Middle East. It’s a confusing muddle of alliances.

As the New York Times reports the United States is supporting the Saudi campaign to dislodge Iranian-backed Houthi rebels but in Iraq and Syria, the United States is on the same side as Iran in the fight against the Islamic State.

And while some Congress debate whether to send in ground troops, Smith College religion professor Suleiman A. Mourad believes the United States should not be involved.

In fact anger against the United States is fueling the antagonism and serves as a recruiting tool for Isis and other extremists.

Mourad, who also studies jihad, explained some of the roots of the conflict and the reasons he believes that it needs to play out there without United States intervention.

He doesn’t think the warring parties are ready or able to talk to each other nor does he see any diplomat in the United States able to bring the parties to the table.

In fact, he said the United States is hated abroad. A native of Lebanon he returned recently and said the level of animosity between Sunnis and Shia towards the United States was extreme.

Middle Eastern leaders don’t trust or respect the United States.

The wars between Sunnis and the Shia – different sects within the Muslim community with different customs – have both modern and historical roots.
According to the BBC, most of the Muslims are Sunnis – estimates suggest the figure is somewhere between 85 to 90 percent.

Historically, Sunnis consider themselves as the orthodox or traditional form of Islam where the Shia the political faction, according to the BBC.

“There are historical grievances historical reasons that speak to the current grievances,” Mourad said, much in the way slavery here is linked to issue of race in America.

He said at the same time, some Shia are aligned with some Sunnis and vice versa. Also he said Shias in Yemen are different than the Shias of Iran. “They don’t have a common history. There’s much animosity.”

Each political leader has his own agenda and uses the rebel groups to support that just as long they don’t topple their own regime. “Every dictator has interests.”

While the Middle East was under the control of such leaders as Saddam Hussein, the militant factions were squelched but as those leaders were toppled the militant groups were able to emerge.
And what makes the modern conflict unprecedented is how widespread the uprisings are. The battle “across the Muslim world is unprecedented.”

He said the modern day Sunni militant movements began in the 1960s-1970s with the ideas of Sayyid Qutb of Egypt and Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi of Pakistan being put into practice.

They believed that Muslims rulers “were in the pockets of the West.:” And he said those militant ideologues were in “pursuit of a great Islam” and urged Muslims to jihad and unity.

Later there was a split where one group wanted a less militant approach and instead advocated for activism. The idea was “to just do activism to take control of the Sunnis. Teach ideas to ultimately unify Islam.”

But with such things as the overthrow of the Shah in Iran and Ayatollah Khomeini becoming the supreme leader and the defeat of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, these militants groups realized they had power and could demonstrate that militarism could achieve their goals.

Isis too feels like it has power with the attention it garners with the beheadings of Americans or its connection to attacks in France at Charlie Hebdo, the satirical magazine in January.

“(In their minds) It puts them on equal footing with the west,” Mourad said. And if “we are equal to the West, we can defeat the West.”

Each regime, meanwhile, in the Middle East has its own agenda but leaders are not able or willing right now to talk about what that is and how to meet their needs. Some take advantage of groups like Isis to push for their respective interests and agendas.

So the wars have to play out until they are willing to talk. Meanwhile he said, “We have no business being (there.)”

He said the Iranians during the overthrow of the Shah said, “America is Satan” and wanted to destroy the country. That hatred has only worsened as the United States has gotten more involved in the battles of the countries in the Middle East.

UN Calling Humanitarian Disaster In Syria A “Situation”

 

UN: Humanitarian situation in Syria dramatically worsened

daily sabah
Istanbul
UN: Humanitarian situation in Syria dramatically worsened

The United Nations has more than doubled its estimate of Syrians who are living in besieged areas, who risk death by starvation, dehydration and a lack of medical care, to roughly 440,000. The U.N.’s top humanitarian official said that the life expectancy of a Syrian is expected to be 20 years lower than when the conflict started. The U.N. also said that the war, which has recently entered its fifth year, has killed more than 220,000 people. It was also claimed that at least $8.5 billion is needed this year to meet the needs of Syrians.

The Arab uprisings, which euphorically swept across the Middle East and North Africa, attracted Syrians who had lived under the dictatorship of the Assad family since 1970, when Bashar’s father Hafiz Assad seized power. Since then the majority Sunnis were forced to live in a police state that tried to control every movement, organization or business through the use a wide-ranging intelligence service. In March of 2011, Syrians were emboldened enough to raise their voices against the dictatorship. However, the regime’s response was not as peaceful as the protests. And the country was subsequently dragged into a deadly civil war after opposition groups took up arms against the government. The opposition groups have also been divided internally. While moderate opposition groups like the Western-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) were struggling for a democratic Syria where all religious and political groups would be free to exist, radical elements like al-Qaida’s Syrian branch Nusra Front or the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) aimed to establish a new Syria, ruled by an extremist religious jurisprudence.

The fate of the country was changed since the war started. United Nations’ top humanitarian official said that the inability of the international community to stop the war means millions of Syrians will continue to suffer. Valerie Amos said the situation has “dramatically worsened.” In just the past month, she noted that the number of Syrians living in what are considered “besieged” areas has doubled, from 212,000 to 440,000. Nearly 5 million Syrians live in hard-to-reach areas. “The inability of this Council, and countries with influence over the different parties at war in Syria, to agree on the elements for a political solution in the country means that the humanitarian consequences will continue to be dire for millions of Syrians,” said Amos. As the world has taken stock this month of Syria on the anniversary of the conflict, Amos pointed out some of the more grim findings: “Today, a Syrian’s life expectancy is estimated to be 20 years less than when the conflict started,” she said. “Unemployment is around 58 percent, up from around 10 percent in 2010; nearly two-thirds of all Syrians are now estimated to be living in extreme poverty.” Amos later told reporters that $8.5 billion is needed this year to address the crisis both in and outside Syria, whose neighbors say they are overwhelmed by millions of refugees. Many aid groups and others in the international community say the divided council has failed the Syrian people on this and other issues. Russia, Syria’s ally, has blocked actions such as an attempted referral of the country’s situation to the International Criminal Court, though some diplomats say they’d like to try again for a referral.

Doing To The Entire Islamic World What We Have Done To Iraq

Instability in the Islamic world

The Hindu

G PARTHASARATHY

Three major developments require careful attention. These are the emergence of the ISIS, the growing Persian-Arab and sectarian Shia-Sunni tensions, and the possibility of a negotiated end to the Iranian nuclear impasse. All this is occurring amidst the fall in global oil and gas prices, which is imposing a strain on the economies of countries in the Persian Gulf.

American subversion

The entire polity of what is known as the ‘Greater Middle East’ (extending from Pakistan to Turkey) has been destabilised by American-led subversion and invasions in Iraq, Syria and Libya, to oust secular but authoritarian governments, without having viable alternatives in sight. In Syria, American-supported destabilisation efforts have led to millions fleeing their homes and the emergence of diverse groups embroiled in a seemingly neverending civil war. The invasion of Iraq has led to Shia-Sunni bloodletting that has spread across the entire region. Libya has been fragmented by similar intervention and has emerged as another centre of Shia-Sunni conflict. More importantly, the intervention in Syria has led to the emergence of the Islamic State of Levant (ISIS). It now controls large parts of Syria and northern Iraq and has made inroads in Libya while establishing links with religious extremists in Nigeria, Somalia and elsewhere.

The world has seldom, if ever, seen a group as fanatical, revivalist and ruthless as the ISIS, which has drawn thousands of armed cadres, not just from Arab and Islamic countries but from across Europe and America. Its practices include arbitrary killing of non-Muslims and Shias. It forcibly takes non-Muslim women as slaves, extorts payment of jiziya tax by non-Muslims, and practises beheading and crucifixion. The only other recent case of similar behaviour was by the Afghan Taliban which persecuted Shias and required Hindus to display their identity by sporting yellow scarves/armbands.

Another barbaric trait the two share is the destruction of ancient shrines, artefacts, statues and art. If the Taliban vandalised and dynamited the historic Bamiyan Buddha statues, the ISIS destroyed or sold the priceless ancient treasures of Nimrud, Tikrit and Mosul.

The Sunni Arab alliance

The escalating tensions in the Greater Middle East have resulted in a Sunni Arab Alliance led by Saudi Arabia and Egypt, facing off a Shia, Iranian-led grouping, including Iraq and Syria. We also have the strange situation of Iran and the US making common cause, to assist Iraqi security forces to drive out the ISIS from the Sunni majority Tikrit, Mosul and across the Anbar province. The US provides the air power, while the Iranian Revolutionary Guards train, arm, equip and fight alongside the Iraqi Shia militia.

Yet another strange meeting of minds is that of Israel and the Sunni Arab leadership from countries such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt. While the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the US congress in Washington to voice his opposition to an agreement being negotiated between the US, Russia, China, the UK, France and Germany, on the one hand, and Iran on the other, to end sanctions against Iran, the Sunni Arab countries launched a diplomatic offensive to get the US to scuttle the proposed deal.

Quite obviously chary of an Iranian ‘Shia bomb’, Saudi Arabia and its Arab Gulf partners held discussions with the US Secretary of State John Kerry on March 4 and voiced their reservations about a prospective US-led Iranian nuclear deal. The Saudis simultaneously fear not only an American-Iranian rapprochement, but also the prospects of the growing ISIS presence along their borders and in the Arab world. They know that the US is no longer dependent on them for oil supplies. The Americans, in fact, now have oil and gas reserves to meet current levels of demand for 85 years. Saudi Arabian oil is no longer vital for meeting the US’ energy needs.

It is in these circumstances that Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was received at Riyadh airport on March 3 by King Salman bin Abdul Aziz, Crown Prince Mukri and the entire Saudi cabinet. This was a rare honour for a head of government, especially from a bankrupt country that has survived on Saudi and American doles for decades. Interestingly, barely a month earlier, the chairman of Pakistan’s joint chiefs of staff committee Gen Rashad Mahmoud, the seniormost military officer in Pakistan’s Nuclear Command Authority which has operational command and control of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, visited Saudi Arabia.

Old ties

Pak-Saudi nuclear links go back to the 1990s when AQ Khan paid visits to Saudi Arabia, following a visit to the Kahuta nuclear and missile facilities by the Saudi defence minister, Prince Salman. Interestingly, Pakistan tested, for the first time, a nuclear capable missile, Shaheen 3, with a range of 2,750 km, capable of striking targets beyond India, just after Sharif’s visit to Riyadh. This missile could be an asset to target Iran from Saudi Arabia. The already complicated situation in the Greater Middle East could become more tense if Pakistan agrees to send troops to guard Saudi Arabia’s frontiers, or provides the desert kingdom a ‘Sunni nuclear shield’ to counter Iran. Given the tensions on its borders with India, Afghanistan and Iran, it remains to be seen how Pakistan responds to Saudi requests for military assistance, conventional and nuclear.

New Delhi has just gone through a significant effort in building viable security architecture with neighbouring Indian Ocean island-states. There is now need for careful consideration of the impact of recent developments across the Islamic world on India’s security, and the welfare of its nationals in the Arab Gulf states.

The author is a former High Commissioner to Pakistan

(UPDATED)Brits Now On the Ground Preparing Ukrainians To Kill Russians, Pentagon Troops To Follow

[A funny thing happened on the way to this article’s posting yesterday…NOT REALLY…I was cyber-attacked while on the Russia Today site obtaining this post.  My new computer (courtesy of my computer guru) seized-up and became inoperable.  After the second try at a “hard boot,” I managed to get things working well enough to post the post.  The rest of the day, was marked by several more seizures, before retiring.  Today, the computer will not boot-up, period.  My daughter guru managed to get it functioning somewhat after a complete restart and wipe of the computer.  It is trying to recompile itself now, standing at 15%, after an hour at it.  Whoever planted the virus or trojan, wanted to disable my computer completely and they did that…but this is not the first time that this has happened, nor is it the same computer…computer #3 for this scenario.  Two older XPs could not be recovered.  This latest one is Vista 8.1.

Considering the article subject, UK TROOPS, then I can only assume that this latest breech of my right to occupy Internet space was by the British Government, or by their CIA masters.

FUCK THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT.]

UK troops start training Ukraine’s army, US confirms own mission

Russia-Today
British Prime Minister David Cameron poses with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (R).(Reuters / Eric Vidal)

British Prime Minister David Cameron poses with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (R).(Reuters / Eric Vidal)

UK military personnel have arrived in Ukraine and are beginning their training mission there, Britain’s Ministry of Defence has announced. Meanwhile the US will send nearly 300 paratroopers to start training the country’s national guard next month.

The deployment of foreign troops has started amid a barely holding cease-fire in the country’s east.

With the aim of helping Kiev’s army to fight anti-government forces, according to the UK MoD, its training mission is now operating in Ukraine, with the numbers of involved personnel “depending on the schedule.”

“The first elements of the training package began in March…we have got troops out there training,” a ministry spokeswoman told AP. According to the BBC, 35 personnel are now in the country’s south, deployed as part of a two-month mission.

Last month, British ministers announced that up to 75 troops at a time would be involved in a six-month-long mission, training Kiev’s military “to strengthen the defensive capability of the Ukrainian armed forces and build the resilience that they need.”

The UK also announced plans to send a “gift” of non-lethal equipment to support president Poroshenko’s forces, but has ruled out any lethal aid supplies to the country.

Russia has expressed its concerns over the military training missions, saying such actions do not support the conflict settlement in eastern Ukraine.

“[The move] certainly does not contribute neither to strengthening of trust, nor to de-escalation of tensions in the conflict,” Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman for the Russian president, said, as quoted by RIA Novosti.

US training mission to begin ‘late April’

The US also plans to launch military training mission in Ukraine soon. American vice-president Joe Biden has spoken to Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko over the phone and informed him about the start of such a mission in the near future, the Ukrainian presidential press service announced. According to the statement, Biden informed Poroshenko of President Obama’s decision to train 780 Ukrainian military by US specialists.

Pentagon spokeswoman Eileen Lainez confirmed on Thursday that US soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade, based in Vincenza, Italy, will travel to western Ukraine sometime in late April.

“This assistance is part of our ongoing efforts to help sustain Ukraine’s defense and internal security operations,” Lainez said as quoted by the Hill. An exact date for the US training mission initially announced last year has not yet been finalized.

After a final review of the mission, it now includes 290 American military trainers, according to Lainez. The training will take place in the western town of Yavoriv, near the Polish border.

The training will include six Ukrainian national guard units, “with a focus on internal security and territorial defense,” Lainez added, according to AFP.

Last week Washington announced an additional $75 million worth of non-lethal military aid which includes armored and unarmored Humvees, Raven drones, anti-mortar radars and night vision goggles.

Western Financial System Is Driving It to War

Western Financial System Is Driving It to War

russia insider

Leading Russian intellectual Starikov believes the unsustainable nature of amoral finance capitalism is driving western countries to a catastrophic war, which he sees as an existential threat to peace for Russia and the rest of the world

To Russian eyes the west is on a war footing
In the course of life today, we’ve grown accustomed to using terms whose meaning we might not fully understand. We throw them around casually, not realizing that they lose their meaning and sometimes even come around to stand for their exact opposite. This is precisely why the sense has arisen today in society that there is a need to determine in a clear and understandable manner exactly what is happening on the global chessboard in front of all of our eyes – the Big Story, written online.

Even those people the very furthest from politics are feeling the need for understanding and explaining to themselves the reasons for the things they encounter even just moving through their own lives. Why have prices in stores started to go up? What’s the reason for the fact that, quietly and nearly unnoticed, belief in a brighter tomorrow is slipping? When and why did talk about a possible war stop being speculative and distant? These and dozens of other questions have driven millions of yesterday-apolitical citizens to seek answers. They feel the need to find those answers and to construct a new worldview in which what-comes-tomorrow is not simply a lottery ticket, but a predictable and logical continuation of today. Predictable and, hopefully, not frightening.

This atmosphere, unfortunately, is a breeding grounds for attempts to brainwash our citizens and to stuff their heads with ideas which will be devastating to them personally. But this devastation will come hidden within banal attempts stubbornly do good. So let’s try to dissect the methods and means of manipulating the people’s conscience which we have already started to encounter. And, which will grow in direct proportion to the problems being encountered by our geopolitical opponents.

1. THE ROOTS AND SOURCE OF TODAY’S ECONOMIC AND GEOPOLITICAL CRISIS.

Today, the world is in a situation that can be characterized as a dead end that the liberal financial-oriented world economy drove itself into after remaining the dominant economic system following the collapse of the USSR. Not going into much more detail on that theme, since doing so would require a whole other in-depth discussion, I will simply point out that, as historical experience and logical consideration confirm, this economic system cannot work without theft. On its own, without infusions from outside, it is not able to sustain itself, therefore a long period in which no one goes to war and no one is robbed, for countries sitting at the top of the liberal “food chain”, will always mean a crisis of the economic system itself. The need for war or theft is a matter of life and death for many (if not for all) countries of the West. The danger for the West today is that “potential victims” are nowhere to be found. In the world of today, the approximate parity of strength is like it was before two world wars, which itself increases many times over the risk of a new world conflict. A classical conflict, as during the previous two world wars, or as a hybrid, hidden beneath a large number of local conflicts (the main goal of which will be not to allow the nuclear weapons deterrent to be used!) together with informational and economic aggression.

What goals are the wars’ organizers aiming for? 

First and foremost is a breaking of established economic ties, a deepening everywhere of the economic slide, except for in agreed-upon “economic growth spots”. In the First and Second World Wars this zone was the USA and once again they are trying to repeat this scenario. In addition, a goal of starting wars is the nullification or depreciation of “pre-war” debts and a restart of the world economy. An analysis of the upcoming conflict’s probable zones of destruction and (or) thievery which will permit the world economy to be restarted while preserving the existing economic model and the currently-constituted “economic food chain” for the existing financial elites shows that the level of accumulated contradictions can only be resolved at the expense of Russia and her demolition. The situation in the disparate and ailing enclaves of Europe and Asia, surrounded by the raging chaos that will come from the destruction of our country, will allow the United States to retain for itself the role of regulator of the world’s economy, island of stability, and the source point for new growth. Growth for itself, for Europe, and for Asia under the USAs security guarantees, paid for by the robbery of our country and our people.

How do the interests balance in the quadrilateral: USA, Europe, Russia, and China? 

The USA and Russia in this are antagonists. Why? Because retaining the privileged role of the USA is only possible at the expense of Russia, and under the circumstances of a weakened China and Europe. That being the case, such aspirations make it very unlikely that there will be an “amicable” consensus between Russia and the USA without a change (or a solidifying via Russia’s defeat) in the established order of things. That means that in the absence of a “Neo-Gorbachevism” we will inevitably be forced to stand against the States — just to be able to survive and retain ourselves. This is unavoidable. Europe in this case is the sole ally of the United States. Today’s “European submissiveness” to the will of the USA is the result of deeper causes, and unlikely solely due to “bought and blackmailed” leadership. Europe, lacking its own combat-capable armed forces and its own independent financial system capable of providing a sufficient level of financial sovereignty, is forced to follow in America’s wake. Which, for better or worse, is providing her both the first and the second.

Is this situation final and irrevocable? It seems to me that it isn’t. Europe will cry, but will eat the cactuses like the mice in the joke, for just as long as the USA is able to guarantee her safety and economic stability (though maybe in lesser amounts). The threat of losing all of this can flip Europe from the USA’s side in search of new guarantors of its separate and privileged position. In the event of a “fall of Russia”, Europe will become “frontline” territory at whose borders there will be aggressive instability. Europe will be most satisfied with Russia in a “USSR variant”, where the state, in “Gorbachev’s manner”, withdraws and enthusiastically permits itself to be robbed like a masochist. But the variant where Russia resists, and from this the country springs up as, not a “zone of robbery”, but a “zone exporting aggressive instability” (like today in the former Ukraine) will not please Europe. In sum, we will have a situation where Europe supported the USA in its attempted “blitzkrieg” against Russia as the better of its available courses. However, continuing Russian resistance changes the situation and in the future will inevitably lead to Europe, though with numerous reservations and attempts to negotiate preferential treatment, having to distance itself from the American policies directed towards the destruction of Russia. China in this quadrilateral (USA-Europe-Russia-China) is our natural and situational ally in its own opposition to the collective West. After all, today it is becoming a competitor to China in the economic as well as the political sphere. Any kind of strengthening of Russia will automatically result in a weakening of the West as a competitor to China. Therefore, so long as China can trust that it will no longer have to run up against Khrushchev-Gorbachev-Yeltsin-type “wiggly” unpredictable policies from Moscow, we can count on the economic and political support of China. Let’s sum it up. We are dealing with opposition between the USA and Russia, in which Europe and China play the part of tactical (within certain bounds) allies of the battling sides as they pursue their own goals in the confrontation. Therefore, neither Europe nor China is interested – unlike the USA – in the total destruction of Russia. After all, in that event both Europe and China would be weakened and would stand alone against a strengthened USA, as well as surrounded territorially by Eurasian chaos.

The USA needs Russia to die quickly. Europe was ready for a blitzkrieg under the management of the USA, but Europe is not ready for a drawn-out, long, and “expensive” conflict. China is prepared for a “game of debts” and is prepared to weaken both the USA and Europe in economical and political support of Russia, but is not prepared in this conflict to “take the bit between their teeth”, since it is still not ready to throw its entire weight into opposition, burdened as it is with its own problems and a worries due to the “Gorbachev effect”.

Given the shortage of time, the only path to survival for the USA is to demolish Russia from within and have her collapse. Either that, or a radical change of power in Russia which would abruptly turn the country’s ship of state around and permit the subsequent chaos and war. This would, in turn, give the States the necessary conditions for breaking the financial and economic channels of interaction in Eurasia and the weakening of both Europe and China, but at the “fault” of the new Russian government. We have a situation where the organization of an internal explosion in Russia displacing the legal government is for the USA a question of its own survival.

2. INFORMATION WARFARE IN RUSSIA – A QUESTION OF SURVIVAL FOR THE USA.

In the beginning of the article I mentioned that the current situation is forcing Russian citizens to actively seek answers to many questions. This pursuit of information, this struggle between various points of view, opinions and ideas opens a “window of opportunity” for those attempting to influence foreign policies of the country by influencing internal political situation. Chaos and war are once again becoming the one and only weapon of choice for the dollar. Russia, despite being subject to Western economic and information aggression, still:

  • continues to strengthen its economy;
  • continues its shift towards East;
  • retains the role of an economic and political bridge between Europe and Asia;
  • preserves its leading military and political position on the continent;
  • possesses decisive energy, scientific and manufacturing potential;
  • continues to adapt to hostile economic and political relations with a certain part of the world;

Such Russia is not in the interests of the USA. Stronger Russia will play a stronger stabilizing role in the world. Not only it is not going to become the source of chaos and war in Eurasia, it also has a high potential to distance Europe from the “leading and directing” role of the USA, which is totally unacceptable for America. Hence the question – what can US do in this situation?

First, US needs to instill chaos and war in the minds of Russian citizens, to have this chaos reach the “critical mass” needed to enable them to either influence the actions of the government on international stage or, which would be even “better”, tear down the government altogether, similar to how it was done in February of 1917 or August of 1991. Today, citizens of Russia have many questions, which is a great opportunity to provide answers which will lead them to actions that would ultimately be in US interests.

And such “answers” have already been prepared by the all-knowing well-wishers…

3. CAUTION: MANIPULATION!

Let’s reiterate that this is very important. In order to survive and preserve its leading role on international stage, US desperately needs to plunge Eurasia into chaos, to cut economic ties between Europe and APR (Asia-Pacific Region). The States need to turn the territory that lies between them (Russia, Central Asia, Middle East) into a zone with local armed conflicts, falling economies, deficient governments and general instability. Middle East is already very close to a state of total chaos, US-created ISIL is working to further complicate the situation in that region. Central Asia is a potentially very unstable region and it has been “farmed out” to the revived Taliban, but so far it has kept the appearance of stability. Russia is the only territory within this potential zone of instability that is capable of resistance. It is the only state that is ready to confront the Americans. Undermining Russia’s political will for resistance, shifting its foreign policy – is a vitally important task for America.

How can this be achieved given that the will of the President of Russia can be clearly defined as anti-American and the ability to realize this will is as strong as ever, thanks to the stability of the ruling establishment? The only way to achieve this is to drag the leadership of the country into a long and debilitating stand-off with its own people.

Liberal scenario (ineffective) 

In the long term, the unity of Russian people and their leadership can be broken by providing liberal answers to questions that are important for the apolitical majority. To achieve this, long forgotten “weathered soldiers” of ideological battles, who were not part of the events of 2011-12, have been brought out of nonexistence (Stankevich, Nadezhin and others). They are working to convince the Russian society that today’s Russia is “in over its head”. In other words, Russia, by protecting its geopolitical interests and by breaking every imaginable international rule, is behaving in a way that is unacceptable for a “gas station” country. Therefore, not having the required economic potential and sufficient international weight, Russia is bound to end up in international economic and political isolation. This will impact the lives of average citizens by significantly lowering their standard of living, the government will lose control over the state affairs and, ultimately, the state itself will be torn apart. Of course the proposed remedy for all these ailments is this: “fold” to US, recognize the leading role of US in the world and generally follow in the footsteps of American policies. This means that Russia must give up its national geopolitical interests, return Crimea, take on the burden of supporting Ukraine and then, just like in the 90’s, follow directions of Western advisors who will determine the path of political and economic development of the country.

Today, the level of “immunity” of Russian society against this liberal scenario is quite high. The nineties and the “liberal shift” attempt in 2011-12 served well to create a stable “anti-liberal” sentiment within Russian society. That’s why realization of this scenario is not possible in the short term, but our Anglo-Saxon enemies always plan well ahead. This liberal point of view will be kept alive and will be cultivated among a certain type of urban intellectuals who are traditionally aligned with Western values. And, in case society becomes fed up with patriotism, these intellectuals will be the ones to present Russian society with a point of view that will be in line with Western interests.

Patriotic scenario (main) 

The States don’t really care what particular scenario will sink the territory of Eurasia (Russia – Customs Union) into chaos or what will cut the strong economic ties along the EU-Russia-Customs Union-China line. Whether Russia follows the liberal scenario described above, dissolves the way USSR did or willingly plunges into chaos and localized armed conflicts – makes no difference to US. If Russia starts throwing its weight around and using force to assert its own views and interpretations of international rules of co-existence, the US will just as well reach its intended goals. The important expression here is “using force”. That will result in chaos and war in Eurasia, which is all US needs.

Russian society has overcome the virus of liberalism and is not ready to become infected with it again, and that is exactly why instead of the “liberal scenario of voluntary dissolution” they are being offered the “patriotic scenario” that instills in their minds an arrogant faith in success. In practice, this translates into certain public figures, who are consistently viewed as being patriotic, persistently offering… scenarios which require use of force in future developments in Eurasia. They are also interpreting past events using assumptions that every event was dealt with from the position of force, position of power. These interpretations are exactly what US needs. As a matter of fact, these interpretations, and the part of Russian society that is behind them, are so closely aligned with US interests that Western political and public figures have been focusing solely on this particular part of Russian society, using them in propaganda and diplomatic efforts directed against the current leadership of the President in the Russian Federation. It is possible to assert that a certain part of those who consider themselves to be patriots of Russia willingly or unwillingly are working in the interests of Western aggressors. Interpreting the events of 2014 as “Russia using force to apply pressure on Ukraine”, calling for a wider and more profound use of force in Ukraine in the future and accusing Russian leadership of not providing sufficient military and technical support for Donbass militia, they are allowing Western diplomats to interpret all their statements as “proof of Russian aggression”. And a very valuable proof at that, because, according to Western views and practice of legal precedents, a witness account of Russian use of force in Ukraine, coming from those who took part in the events (Strelkov-Girkin), is an indisputable and necessary proof that the USA and the collective West are acting appropriately against “aggressor Russia”. This is a case of remedy being more dangerous than the ailment. This “proof of Russian aggression” is allowing Washington to justify sanctions and cutting relations with Moscow. The logic of confrontation with Russia includes mechanisms designed to rupture Eurasian economic ties, which will inevitably lead to chaos across the entire Eurasian continent. And that is exactly what the US is trying to achieve.

Russian “patriots”, who are, in reality, defending US interests (regardless of what they themselves think), in fact… are probing the Russian society to figure out just how possible it is to organize mass protests in the country. With today’s strong leadership that is stirring Russia towards absolute sovereignty, this task seems nearly impossible. But if their point of view starts affecting the mindset of the majority of Russian citizens, an attempt to use “street democracy” to push Russia towards “use of force” scenario in Ukraine can be made. And that will be a 100% American victory over Europe and China. Therefore, we can safely conclude that “street democracy” using popular “patriotic” slogans instead of the unpopular liberal ones is the most desired development within Russia for the USA. So desirable that the States will nurture and support (financially, using media and PR) those “patriotic” Russian figures who, willingly or unwillingly, are acting in line with American interests. Impartial analysis of information and media shows that this is exactly how events are unfolding in Russia.

How can this be fought and how can the ill-fated path of 1914-style “destructive patriotism” be averted? The victory over the minds and hearts of Russian citizens can only be achieved by spreading the truth and disclosing the methods of manipulation used by Russian “patriots” who are currently helping our eternal enemies in their information war against Russia.

Some Examples of Manipulation. 

The mass manipulation of consciousness, in the first-order is the implicit substitution of desires from genuine goals to manufactured goals. Any conscious ‘exposure’ of this process, even though it identifies these first-order manufactured goals, is itself manufactured (‘second order’) on the very basis of this ‘exposure’. The methodolical manufacture of this second order phenomenon logically enables a pure inversion of genuine desires and thus by direct implication, reality.

For example, those ‘ultra-patriotic’ chaps working, doubtlessly part-time, for the U.S. State Department will state that ‘We should militarily intervene in the Ukraine. Working on an emotional level (the most commonly applied method of ‘softening up’ for manipulation) they will tell us of the unspeakable ordeals endured by the people of the Donbass. It is surely the healthy reaction of any human being to wish to give assistance and support. An example would be the incursion of Russian troops into the Ukraine with the aim of averting a humanitarian catastrophe and putting a halt to the genocide of the Russian population. Moreover, we can confirm that this incursion cannot be dangerous for Russia insofar as Russia is already under the most onerous sanction regime imaginable which the Russian people bear unjustly. Simultaneously the public is ‘calmed’ by the belief that NATO will under no circumstances allow itself to be drawn into armed conflict with Russia, in possession of nuclear weapons which can be used as a ‘trump card’ in any negotiations. Strelkov-Girkin has developed the knack of projecting a statesmanly wisdom. He endlessly affirms that those speaking of peace are in denial about the ongoing war scares Russians with the spectre of NATO forces. These self-same NATO forces, in turn, simply swallow any half-baked statements and perceive any movement of Russian forces as having the goal of overthrowing the regime in Kiev. Why? Because it allegedly can’t directly oppose Russia because of her well supplied army and her nuclear forces.

So how do we apply, to the current situation, the concept of the implicit substitution of desires to manufactured goals? Well the point is that instead of the actual escalating Hybrid war, being fought with the aim of exhausting the enemy, using the full spectrum of potential threats with the exception of Nuclear weapons, we see that the public is presented with the traditional threat of a second world war confrontation (replete with Nazis and Swastikas).

Such wars can be characterized by opponents openly trying to destroy each other mainly by military confrontation. In such conflicts, the aim is simply to destroy or take control of the opposition center of political decision making by military means. This was sufficient as it destroyed the ‘brain’ of the enemy. In modern hybrid war the political decisions will be taken in the Western Centers remote from the military conflict (Brussels, Washington). The military conflicts will be delegated to peripheral centers (the Kievan ‘Junta’; the Donbass ‘Novorossiya’; ISIS (Islamic State) active in the North Caucasus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, perpetrating terrorist activities in the Volga region; the Taliban active in Central Asia, the Urals and the far east of Russia). Correspondingly, economic aggression will be applied from the financial bloc controlled by the West. Engaging militarily in the Donbass, Russia in the short term will be on the receiving end of a series of strikes in the above regions and in its urban centers. Countering these blows (dependent on the scale of the territory destabilized) will demand the dramatic strengthening of the Russian military including the special services and the transformation of the economy as well as everyday life onto a war footing, which of course is neglected in the patriotic narrative projected by the ‘manipulators’. Such ‘surprises’ for the Russian society, who are simply geared up for a “small victorious war in the Donbas” under the current patriotic narrative will incline public opinion towards direction the liberal activists, those supporters of the “peaceful dissolution” of Russia. Such appeals will sound repeatedly to “rest under the wing” under the American world order and the popularity of such ideas will dramatically grow. In summary, we witness the re-emergence of the provocateurs of the sort we had in 1914, these ‘Hurray Patriots’ who paved the way for the provocateurs of February 1917.

These same liberal capitalists are ready for the widest possible cooperation with the West on its terms in the ordering of Russian life. However, even if against the odds, Russia will pull off another “Russian miracle” and be able resolve, through military means, the numerous military conflicts both along its borders and within its territory, even this great victory will not destroy the Western center of decision-making. Washington and Brussels will remain out of reach of the Russian army, as they are not directly participating in any of these conflicts.

While Russia will face outside the military and terrorist aggression forming an existential threat to the state, Europe without an efficient army, dogged by controversy and lack of a single center of decision-making will be in no better straites. Europe will be forced, against the background of a Russia “which is on fire,” to simply forget about their own geopolitical interests and stand in line with the Americans. At the same time, Europeans will be forced to acquiesce to a significant decline in their living standards, and be subordinated to all the other American adventures. As a direct consequence, economic cooperation through Europe – Russia – Trans-Siberian will decline to an absolute minimum, if it survives at all.

China, similarly faced with instability in its own underbelly in Central Asia and facing growing aggression from NATO allies in Taiwan and Japan, will be forced to limit its military, political and economic support to Russia, awaiting the outcome of the confrontation and eventually breaking its ties with the United States. As a result, we see the realization of the US plan: economic cooperation between Europe – Russia – TC – China, minimized or neutralized, and the existence between China and Europe of zone of global instability and local wars. Russia will have to exert all its strength to survive, which will eliminate its opportunities for political maneuver and peace-building and economic development.

4. WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE?

Firstly, we need to look objectively, without emotions at the root cause of the issue. Collectively, the West enslaved by its ineffective liberal, finance oriented economic model, will inevitably be forced to engage in local or planetary plunder to fulfil its own dynamic requirements for existence. A suitable metaphor would be a car running out of fuel with the engine running. Any delay will dramatically increase the chances of the engine ‘seizing up’ which will render further motion impossible. The driver of the car facing such threats is prone to panic and make mistaken decisions when trying to refuel. Assuming that one is not inclined to help the driver the natural course of action would be to let the driver make all these mistakes and for the engine to be allowed to seize up.

Russia’s actions in the contemporary situation should be based on several principles: 

First, we must understand that every day we delay the onset of full scale hybrid war strengthens us and weaken our enemies. Each day of delay – allows us to establish economic ties to the Eurasian space, making Russia less vulnerable. Each day of delay – it is an additional burden on the “western car” and its fuel consumption.

Today, the West and the United States are incurring significant costs maintaining its hybrid “War Infrastructure” (the junta in Kiev, Islamic State, the Taliban, 5th Columns inside China and Russia), but it is still investing without accruing dividends. Each day of delay signifies a new weapon for the Russian army, new production in Russia and an increase in readiness for difficult times.

Secondly, using the tactics of “viscous defense” when every new step on the occupied territory carries obvious loss for the occupier, Russia increases the chance of a split in the “Euro-Atlantic Coalition” The weak point of the West is that it is not monolithic. I.e. the “slaves” are always ready to betray the “masters” if the cost / risk associated with coalition leads to an unjustified increase in the level of risk. Today, the West is stuck in Ukraine. “Blitzkrieg” failed. The original plan to separate the Ukraine from Russia, reorientation its markets to Europe, while maintaining the previous level of Russian economic support for Ukraine, is now firmly in the past. For the US the Ukraine forms and outstanding catalyst for Eurasian Chaos. However for Europe, Ukraine is a “White Elephant” with severe and infectious behavioral issues which has kindly donated by the Americans to them. For the sake of countering “Russian Aggression” Europe is ready to consolidate and bear hardships, but to preserver Poroshenko and Co., still less, for the sake of geopolitical dispute between Russia and the United States, the willingness to bear hardships becomes a lot less.

Thirdly, we must remember that the advantage in war is to those who choose their time and terrain. This is critical. Start a war when we see the result will not be to win these peripheral conflicts i.e. the Kievan ‘Junta’, the Islamic state or the Taliban, but rather to achieve victory over the “center of real political decision making” in Washington. A war should be fought for this goal and none other.

On the basis of the above, we can see that every victory of Assad in Syria, and every victory of the militia of the Donbass and Lugansk Republics saves lives of Russian soldiers and Russian territory from ruin. We see a unique situation, the first time in Russian history, when the forces of aggression against Russia are based on the distant outskirts of our country. Russia is obliged, according to her own interests, to furnish every assistance and support, to weaken the Western Coalition, thus expanding the cracks of various interests in the allegedly monolithic Euro-American unity.

5. CONCERNING “PATRIOTIC” MANIPULATORS.

On January 28, 2015 in St. Petersburg, the Russian party “Great Society” organized a cultural gathering with the writer, essayist and translator Dmitry Y. Puchkov as keynote speaker. Dmitry Y. was predictably humble, consumed by his own thoughts and interests, which were genuinely, without excessive sophistication, quite profound. I was unfortunately unable to attend this meeting, as due to a business trip in Nizhny Novgorod.

However, when I watched recordings of the proceedings, I was immediately struck by the savage accuracy of the metaphor of the Russian intelligentsia, worshiping the West, with the liberal intelligencia playing the role of “Evil Shepherds”, leading their flock of sheep to the slaughter. The allegory is devastatingly accurate. The West have maintained their dominance by the means of murder and robbery on a planetary scale. They “manufacture their image” in the eyes of future victims, using these “evil shepherds” from the intelligentsia. Without these “Evil Shepherds”, any potential victim from the Soviet Union to Ukraine today, could be saved from plunder and mobilize their own self-preservation instinct. It is only the conscious and pro-active manipulation that these, “intellectuals” practice, performing the role of administrators of “spiritual chloroform”, which has allowed public opinion to be so manipulated.

Events of the last year and especially the last few months have unfortunately led me to be convinced that that the existence of the “Evil Shepherds” may not only be among those enthralled by the west, but also among those administrating “patriotic” rhetoric to the public.

However, I am deeply convinced that our Russian society, representatives of all the peoples of our country have a sufficient high level of consciousness to counter this pseudo-patriotic manipulation which works for the benefit of the United States. After all, our people were able to emerge from the liberal manipulation of a few years earlier. The memory “of Greeks bearing gifts” battered us in the 90s, battered us until our pores wept sweat and blood.  As for me, I will, to the best of my ability, resist these new attempts to deceive our society under the renewed and pseudo-patriotic slogans.

 

Nikolai Starikov is Russian writer, political activist and influential public intellectual. For a wider introduction see here.

Right or wrong, he is an indicator of what thousands or millions of Russians believe.

This article originally appeared at the author’s blog. It was translated by: DzhMM, Mikhael and Gideon at The Vineyard of the Saker 

Bemoaning the Human Tragedy of Syria, Without Blaming Obama For It

[The US military has created so many new wars throughout the region that it should have fully absorbed the lessons of those wars by now, in particular, the grieveous human cost of ill-advised, or outright foolish military adventurism. Unleashing tnunamis of war refugees is a bi-product of all war, contingencies should have been prepared years ago (before starting new wars) to humanely deal with the refugees in surrounding countries. Blaming any of this upon ISIS should be unacceptable since it was the US/Saudi sponsorship of Islamists within Syria that created the monster in the first place. The ISIS/refugee problems which arose offer proof that the Pentagon either suffers from a total lack of foresight or the slightest degree human compassion. It is no wonder that so many returning war vets suffer from PTSD. Any legislation passed to deal with the refugee crisis now, should have already been enacted after the first regime-change disaster in Iraq, or before the consecutive disasters in Libya, Syria, Yeman, and Ukraine (?).]

npr
Syrian girls, carrying school bags provided by UNICEF, walk past the rubble of destroyed buildings on their way home from school on March 7 in the rebel-held al-Shaar neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria. So many people have fled the city and so much of its infrastructure has been destroyed that nighttime satellite images show 97 percent less light compared to four years ago.

Syrian girls, carrying school bags provided by UNICEF, walk past the rubble of destroyed buildings on their way home from school on March 7 in the rebel-held al-Shaar neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria. So many people have fled the city and so much of its infrastructure has been destroyed that nighttime satellite images show 97 percent less light compared to four years ago.  Zein al-Rifai/AFP/Getty Images

 

The conflict in Syria is entering its fifth year, and two new reports suggest it just keeps getting worse for civilians there.

One United Nations agency says life expectancy has plummeted by 20 years in the once-developed nation, while another new study based on nighttime satellite imagery finds that, in the past four years, 83 percent of the country’s lights have gone off.

And that’s just the average, says Michael Klosson, vice president for policy at aid group Save the Children. In areas like Aleppo, where much of the populace has fled and infrastructure has been pulverized, researchers found that light has been reduced as much as 97 percent.

Klosson says he thinks the satellite images illustrate that the hopes for Syria’s children — his aid group’s focus — are darkening.

“You’ve got 5.5 million kids who need humanitarian assistance — that’s equivalent to the population of the entire state of Maryland,” he says. “That’s a lot of kids in need.”

Meanwhile the U.N. report says life expectancy has fallen from nearly 76 years to under 56 in Syria, that the nation’s education system has collapsed and that the country is descending into poverty.All that despite a UN Security Council resolution passed last year to open up aid routes. Activists say it’s had little impact.

“The U.N. and the world have failed, and things have gotten worse for civilians,” says Gawain Kripke, director of policy and research at Oxfam America. “Our ability to provide assistance has been limited, and there are more people in places that are hard to reach now, than there were before the U.N. took action.”

Aid groups can’t get to about 4.8 million people in Syria, Kripke says, 2.5 percent higher than in 2013. The rise of the self-proclaimed Islamic State certainly plays a role, but Kripke says Washington has been too focused on that.

“We’re spending a lot of time, money and resources focusing on parts of the problem — like ISIS — but it’s not a comprehensive solution to the conflict,” he says. “And it’s ignoring the suffering that’s going on.”

The problem is so enormous — former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on Wednesday said, “What is happening on the ground in Syria is a humanitarian and human rights catastrophe of the first order” — that some worry people may decide it’s a lost cause.

“It has the danger of people switching off, because it’s hard to imagine what can be done,” says Nigel Pont, who is stationed in Beirut for Mercy Corps. “While we are not able to put an end to this war, and while we can’t alleviate everyone’s suffering, we are able to help millions of people a year.”

Save the Children’s Klosson also worries that the world’s attention is shifting away, and is urging the U.S. and other world powers to step up humanitarian assistance and work harder to find a solution the conflict.

“That’s how you get the lights back on,” he says.

Dumb-Ass Republican Leadership Frothing At the Mouth For MORE WAR!

[SEE:  Half of the US Senate Publicly Undermines and Embarasses the President of the United States (Cotton and 46 Fellow Senators to Send Open Letter to the Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran)]

GOP’s New Foreign Policy Hero Is a Surveillance-Loving Interventionist Nightmare

reason

In soviet America, Cotton picks you! |||
Freshman Sen. Tom Cotton wants to invade Iran and Syria, jail journalists and whistleblowers, eavesdrop on Americans, and keep the ‘savages’ locked up in Gitmo.

Matt Welch

He’s “the star of the 2014 Senate class,” proclaims The Washington Post. A “conservative superstar,” deems The Atlantic. The “leading GOP national security hawk,” says The Washington Post again. Even a “dark horse” 2016 candidate for president, says The New Republic. So just who exactly is the new letter-writing chairman of the Senate Armed Services Airland Subcommittee, and what does his prominence say about the contemporary GOP?

Beyond being a Harvard-educated Army veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol’s biggest new political protégé, and also a target of sustained affection from National Review, Cotton is a politician who has already taken plenty of policy positions. Among them:

* That the U.S. should pre-emptively invade Iran, topple the mullahs, and ensure “replacement with [a] pro-western regime.”

* That “we should be proud for the way we treated these savages at Guantanamo Bay,” and that “the only problem with Guantanamo Bay is that there are too many empty beds.”

* That we should keep at least 10,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan for the forseeable future to finally get the job done there.

* That the U.S. should deploy ground troops against ISIS.

* That President Barack Obama should have taken “decisive, effective military action” against Syria after the regime crossed the administration’s “red line” in 2013.

* That the National Security Agency needs to be able to collect bulk metadata on unsuspecting Americans, because “Folks, we are at war. You may not like that truth … Do not take this tool away from our warriors on the front lines.”

* That Edward Snowden is a “traitor.”

* That defense spending needs to be jacked up: “We need to restore money not only cut by the sequester but the $1 trillion [reduced before that].”

* That, “Far from restraining the use of drones […] through unwise and unconstitutional mechanisms, we should continue and probably expand their use in our war against radical Islam.”

* That Iraq was a “just and noble war.”

* That, concerning pre-emptive military intervention, “George Bush largely did have it right, that we can’t wait for dangers to gather on the horizon, that we can’t let the world’s most dangerous people get the world’s most dangerous weapons, and that we have to be willing to defend our interests and the safety of our citizens abroad even if we don’t get the approval of the United Nations.”

* That ending President Barack Obama’s negotiations with Iran “is very much an intended consequence” of Cotton’s efforts in the Senate; “a feature, not a bug.”

* That, concerning the Obama administration’s November 2013 agreement with Iran in Geneva, “I fear that future generations may view what happened in Geneva as we have viewed Munich for 75 years. What makes this moment worse is that the West appeased Hitler at Munich out of fear and weakness. President Obama capitulated at Geneva even though we were in a position of strength given the sanctions regime. One can only imagine the thinking behind this grievous, historic mistake.”

Cotton first came to prominence as an Army lieutenant in Iraq in 2006, when he wrote a soon-to-be-viral open letter to then-New York Times executive editor Bill Keller and reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau criticizing the paper’s investigative piece about administration efforts to disrupt terrorist financing. The letter closes with a desire to see the journalists deprived of their freedom:

And, by the way, having graduated from Harvard Law and practiced with a federal appellate judge and two Washington law firms before becoming an infantry officer, I am well-versed in the espionage laws relevant to this story and others — laws you have plainly violated. I hope that my colleagues at the Department of Justice match the courage of my soldiers here and prosecute you and your newspaper to the fullest extent of the law. By the time we return home, maybe you will be in your rightful place: not at the Pulitzer announcements, but behind bars.

It is no wonder that neoconservatives such as Washington Free Beacon founder Michael Goldfarb wish “there were 20 Tom Cottons.” The open question, as it pertains to the new GOP majority, is whether Goldfarb is correct in his assessment that “At the end of the day, the Republican base is for bombing bad people.”

 

Kerry Denies Obvious US Destabilization/Civil War Agenda

Kerry Re-writes History of U.S. Support for Color Revolutions

strategic culture foundation

Wayne MADSEN | 06.03.2015 | 00:00

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry either has a blind spot when it comes to the last 15 years of U.S. foreign policy or he told a big whopping lie in Geneva. Kerry, in defining U.S. action in Ukraine, said that «We [the United States] are not involved in multiple color revolutions». Someone in Kerry’s position should know better. After all, he is not only the chief foreign policy officer of the United States but he served as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 2009 to 2013 and was a member of the committee from the very outset of America’s «themed» or «color» revolutions, beginning with the October 5th Revolution, which overthrew Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic in 2000.

The chief of the Russian Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, correctly said that the United States is funding Russian opposition groups and using sanctions over Ukraine to promote civil society discontent leading to a color revolution in Russia. The alarming record of U.S. support for color revolutions around the world speaks for itself.

What is even more galling about Kerry’s denial of U.S. operations aimed at overthrowing various governments is that it was he who chaired a series of hearings of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 1987 to 1989 on the covert Central Intelligence Agency war to overthrow the Sandinista government of Nicaragua. In 25 years, Kerry has gone from a firebrand opponent of CIA coup d’état and destabilization operations to a consummate cover-up artist for these activities.

After the overthrow of Milosevic in 2000 in a street protest-turned-revolution that followed the Gene Sharp/CIA manual to the tee and which was backed by the granddaddy of all NGO protest groups, OTPOR!, there were some 20 themed revolutions in rapid succession. These were followed by the «Arab Spring» themed revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, and Yemen. Soros and his NGOs’ fingerprints were found on smaller attempted revolutions from Honduras to Maldives. OTPOR personnel were even dispatched to some of these countries, courtesy of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), to assist in the fomenting of rebellion.

 

Mr. Kerry says Washington was not involved in «multiple color revolutions». Why did he use the term «multiple color revolutions?» Because there has been repeated U.S. support for multiple color revolutions as the following list attests:

The United States supported the Rose Revolution in Georgia, the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon, the Olive Tree Revolution in Palestine (that saw Hamas come to power and effectively split the Palestinian independence movement), the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan, the Purple Revolution in Iraq (that saw a Shi’a-dominated government friendly to Iran come to power, spelling the end of the unified Iraqi state), Blue Revolution in Kuwait, Saffron Revolution in Burma (one that was crushed by the military) and the Crimson Revolution in Tibet (put down by the Chinese security forces), and the abortive Green Revolution in Iran. There were also attempted themed revolutions in Moldova (the Grape Revolution), Mongolia (the Yellow Revolution, which was partially successful), Uzbekistan (the Cotton Revolution), the autonomous Russian Republic of Bashkortostan (Orange Revolution), Ecuador (the Police Revolution), Bolivia (the Gas Revolution in the four secessionist natural gas-producing provinces), and Belarus (the Denim Revolution).

Not to be omitted is the Orange Democratic Movement’s uprising in Kenya, one that saw thousands murdered before the Orange movement’s leader Raila Odinga became Prime Minister in a power-sharing government. These color revolutions were followed by the U.S. – and Soros – supported Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia, the Lotus Revolution in Egypt, the Twitter Revolution in Syria, and the uprising in Yemen. From the Middle East, the revolution engineers set out to attempt themed coups in Maldives (Yellow Revolution), Indonesia (the ill-fated «Sandal Revolution»), and the «Pots and Pans Revolution in Venezuela. Soros’s “Yellow Revolution” government in Maldives was ousted in a counter-coup by the vice president and police.

After the CIA-engineered coup against the democratically-elected president of Honduras Manuel Zelaya in 2009, the military-backed junta received the support of the wealthy elites who marched in the streets in support of the junta and adopted the color white in support of the military-installed president Roberto Micheletti. What did then-Senator Kerry say about that themed coup, the first carried out by the Obama administration? Kerry supported Zelaya’s goal of returning to power because Zelaya was the democratically-elected president of Honduras. Today, Kerry does not support the return of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to power in Kiev even though he too was democratically-elected and forced out unconstitutionally. When the Law Library of the U.S. Congress concluded that Zelaya’s removal was unconstitutional, it was Senator Kerry who demanded that the finding be reversed. Surely, Mr. Kerry learned the meaning of the word «hypocrite» while attending Yale and Boston College.

The history of U.S. support for themed revolutions continued well after the Arab Spring. After the second Ukrainian themed revolution against the Yanukovych presidency, the so-called «Euromaidan Revolution,» there were also attempted themed uprisings in Russia (the «Blue Bucket Revolution») and Macedonia.

There is no way on earth that Kerry can deny the themed color nature of U.S.-funded uprisings. As first seen with the Orange Revolution in Kiev in 2004, which was most definitely a Soros- and CIA-funded revolution that denied presidential winner Yanukovych the presidency and installed pro-U.S. Viktor Yushchenko and the corrupt Yulia Tymoshenko into power, flags and orange banners were ubiquitous on Kiev’s Central Square. In the most recent Ukrainian «Euromaidan» revolution, revealed by America’s bread-distributing maven of European affairs, Victoria Nuland, to have cost the U.S. taxpayers $5 billion, factory fresh red and black Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) flags appeared on Kiev’s Central Square, renamed Maidan Square, and throughout Kiev.

In the NED- and USAID-financed themed revolutions in Libya and Syria, factory-fresh flags of the former regimes, the King Idris regime of Libya and post-colonial and pro-French «Syrian Republic,» respectively, appeared practically overnight on the streets of Benghazi and Tripoli, as well as Aleppo, Homs, and Damascus. The old Kingdom of Libya standard is now the national flag of the dysfunctional “Republic of Libya,” which is split between rival governments in Tripoli and Tobruk. In the case of Syria, the pre-Assad flag is now used by the Salafist-allied Free Syrian Army and is recognized as the flag of Syria by the United States, NATO, and the European Union.

China has not been immune to the American color revolutions. China’s defenses against such operations were tested first in Tibet and most recently in Hong Kong. Soros’s daughter, Andrea Soros Colombel, is the founder and president of the Trace Foundation and the co-founder, along with her husband, of the Tsadra Foundation. Both organizations directly support the Tibetan government-in-exile and their fingerprints were on the 2008 bloody rebellion in Tibet. Soros’s OSI Burma Project/Southeast Asia also had its fingerprints on the 2007 Buddhist monks’ rebellion in Burma, the so-called Saffron Revolution, the same theme applied to the Tibetan uprising in 2008. In 2011, a call went out for a Jasmine Revolution from the U.S.-based Chinese-language website Boxun.com.

The color revolution concept was on display in Calgary, Alberta where Conservative Naheed Nenshi, a Shi’a Ismaili, rode into the mayor’s office in a so-called «Purple Revolution». While not a coup, the elevation of Nenshi was heralded as a great «multicultural» success for an otherwise xenophobic and racist political party. Nenshi made no secret of his support for the Keystone XL pipeline and his disdain for the First Nation treaties that govern Ottawa’s relations with native tribal territories. Nenshi and his Conservatives are now trying to abrogate treaties with the First Nations and seize their hydrocarbon resources, something that is akin to a coup d’état against tribal sovereignty.

Kerry’s entire State Department top echelon has supported color revolutions under the Obama administration’s R2P (Responsibility to Protect) rubric since 2009. Many of the interventionists, including Nuland, her human rights point man Thomas Melia, and Jeffrey Feltman (now the Political Undersecretary General under UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon after having served as the chief point man for the Arab Spring at the State Department) are either holdovers from the discredited George W. Bush administration or well-known neo-conservative political hacks. They are joined by the «neo-liberal» R2P architects, most notably national security adviser Susan Rice and UN ambassador Samantha Power.

John Kerry claims there has been no U.S. support for multiple color revolutions. Mr. Kerry should be sent Crayola’s 64 crayon pack as a reminder that there has been at least that number of color revolutions either hatched or planned by the United States since the October 5th Revolution in Belgrade.

2009 German Analysis Documenting US Plan To Unleash Civil War In Ukraine

Imperial Geopolitics: Ukraine, Georgia and the New Cold War between NATO and Russia

IMI german

von: Martin Hantke | Veröffentlicht am:

1. Januar 2009

Zbigniew Brzezinski’s book The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand current and future U.S., EU and NATO policy. Over ten years ago the former National Security Advisor gave a graphic description of the imperatives of imperial geopolitics. He argued that the U.S.A.’s position of supremacy should be preserved under all circumstances. To this end NATO, acting as a “bridgehead” of the U.S.A., should expand into Eurasia and take control of geostrategically important regions so as to prevent Russia’s resurgence as a powerful political force.

Brzezinski had in mind two countries or regions in particular: “Ukraine, a new and important space on the Eurasian chessboard is a geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country helps to transform Russia. Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire. Russia without Ukraine can still strive for imperial status, but it would then become a predominantly Asian imperial state, more likely to be drawn into debilitating conflicts with aroused Central Asians, who would then be supported by their fellow Islamic states to the south.” […] “However, if Moscow regains control over Ukraine, with its 52 million people and major resources as well as access to the Black Sea, Russia automatically again regains the wherewithal to become a powerful imperial state, spanning Europe and Asia.”1 Brzezinski argued further that there was an imperative need to gain control of the southern Caucasus, i.e. Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, on Russia’s southern flank. The past master of U.S. geopolitics set out the aim and purpose of NATO policy with impressive clarity: “The United States and the NATO countries – while sparing Russia’s self-esteem to the extent possible, but nevertheless firmly and consistently – are destroying the geopolitical foundations which could, at least in theory, allow Russia to hope to acquire the status as the number two power in world politics that belonged to the Soviet Union.”2

In the years that followed, these words were systematically put into political practice with NATO taking its eastward expansion right up to Moscow’s borders. Furthermore, active Western support for the “colourful revolutions” in Georgia (2003) and Ukraine (2004) led to the sitting pro-Russian or neutral governments and presidents being ousted by pro-Western candidates.3 Russia regarded NATO’s policy as crossing the “red line”. As the war between Russia and Georgia in the summer of 2008 showed, Russia is no longer prepared to stand idly by in the face of further attempts at expansion. Nevertheless, the Western military alliance is doggedly pursuing its escalation policy, in which Ukraine and Georgia are now being offered NATO membership as a means of safeguarding the “successes” that have been scored. U.S. President Barack Obama is also in favour of these two countries joining NATO.4 The announcement that Michael McFaul, a hardliner on policy towards Moscow, is to be appointed senior director for Russian affairs at the National Security Council gives little cause for hope that Washington under its new president will abandon its aggressive, anti-Russian policy. This amounts to tacit acceptance that the New Cold War between NATO and Russia, invoked so frequently of late, will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Ukraine: “On someone else’s arse”

Even now, the approach to Ukraine is evidently still determined by Brzezinski’s recipes from the devil’s workshop of geopolitics. NATO accession and Europe’s energy supply are issues that are closely intertwined. Writing in Handelsblatt, Peter Zeihan from Strategic Forecast, the think-tank often referred to as the “shadow CIA”, described the complex geopolitical situation as follows: “On the one hand, the ‘orange’ revolution of 2004 led to the installation of a Ukrainian government hostile to Russia’s objectives. President Viktor Yushchenko would like to integrate his country into the European Union and NATO. For Russia that would be the kiss of death. Most of the infrastructure linking Russia with Europe – from pipelines to railway lines and high-voltage cables – is located in Ukraine. Industry and agriculture in both countries are closely interlinked. There are more Russians living in eastern Ukraine than anywhere else in the world outside Russia. The Russian Black Sea fleet is stationed in the Ukrainian port of Sevastopol because there are no reasonable alternatives. Ukraine stretches so far into southern Russia that a hostile power in the country could pose a threat to Moscow. Moreover, the country stretches so far eastwards that an antagonistic government there could even threaten Russia’s connections with the Caucasus. In a nutshell, if Ukraine slips out of Russia’s sphere of influence Russia will be forced completely onto the defensive in strategic terms. Vice versa, if Russia regains control in Kiev, the country could set itself up as a regional – and perhaps even a global – power.”5 It was to obviate such a scenario that Washington engaged in a further round of frenzied activity shortly before the end of U.S. President George W. Bush’s period in office. This activity was aimed at advancing Ukraine’s future membership of NATO. Martin Luther’s words to the effect that “Riding through a fire is easy on someone else’s arse” might perhaps have flashed through the mind of the then U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, as she walked up with Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Volodymyr Ohryzko, to sign the United States-Ukraine Charta on Strategic Partnership on 19 December 2008. Rice said: “The United States supports Ukraine’s integration into the Euro-Atlantic structures. And in that regard, I want to assure you that the declaration at Bucharest which foresees that Ukraine will be a member of NATO when it can meet those standards is very much at the center of our policy.” The Ukrainian Foreign Minister set great store by a strengthening of the presence of the United States in Ukraine, in particular through a diplomatic mission on the Crimean peninsula in the Black Sea.6

In addition to a programme of enhanced security cooperation intended to strengthen Ukraine’s candidacy for NATO membership, agreement was reached on close collaboration on energy issues. It was resolved inter alia that “In recognition of the importance of a well functioning energy sector, the parties intend to work closely together on rehabilitating and modernizing the capacity of Ukraine’s gas transit infrastructure.”7 This Charter on Strategic Partnership was signed against the backdrop of the gas dispute between Ukraine and Russia. Given Ukraine’s failure to pay its debts and the lack of any new agreement on deliveries of gas to Ukraine, supplies of Russian gas to Ukraine were stopped as of 1 January 2009. Within a few days the dispute began to have an effect on energy supplies throughout Europe. On 6 January 2009, Turkey, Bulgaria, Greece and Macedonia reported that deliveries through the Ukrainian transit pipelines had come to a halt. Supplies to Austria fell by 90%. There are a number of indications that Ukraine’s actions can only be explained by reference to the support it received from the U.S.A. That was the Russian view too: “The Russian gas company Gazprom has pinned responsibility for the gas dispute with Ukraine on the U.S.A. Gazprom declared on Tuesday that Ukraine’s actions are being directed by the U.S. government. Despite the deployment of EU observers the Ukraine is again removing gas from the transit pipelines. Russia is therefore unable to deliver supplies to the EU countries. Alexander Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Russian energy giant, has accused the U.S.A. of fuelling the conflict.”8

In the case of both Georgia and Ukraine there is a close link between the gas dispute and support for their admission to NATO. In April 2008 the Bertelsmann Foundation concluded that Ukraine and Georgia were already closely integrated into “NATO’s working processes”. “Ever since it was founded in 1994, both countries have been part of the Partnership for Peace programme of the North Atlantic Alliance which is intended to promote individual cooperation between NATO and non-NATO countries. Cooperation has subsequently been extended. […] In their bilateral cooperation agreements with NATO both countries see far-reaching domestic reforms as a means of moving closer to the defence alliance. Such reforms principally concern the consolidation of internal democratic structures, but priority is also given to the fight against global terrorism and support for the operations and missions of the North Atlantic Alliance. The latter was one reason why U.S. President George W. Bush emphasized his efforts to have Ukraine and Georgia included in the Membership Action Plan. The progress made in integration into NATO’s defence structures puts into perspective the question that arose at the Bucharest summit about the steps Ukraine and Georgia will take after the provisional ‘no’ to their admission to the Membership Action Plan. Their path will inevitably take them into NATO.”9

Germany is playing a double role here. On the one hand it has joined France in rejecting an accelerated accession procedure for Ukraine, which the U.S.A. favoured; on the other hand it is playing a risky game by not placing any obstacles in the path of fundamental approval of Ukraine’s accession to NATO. The German Foreign Office has itself provided an apt description of this double role: “At the NATO summit in Bucharest in April 2008 Ukraine was in principle given the prospect of membership (‘We agreed today that these countries (i.e. Ukraine and Georgia) will become members of NATO’). Ukraine was not granted a Membership Action Plan (MAP); instead, a comprehensive review process was initiated.”10 This granting of prospective membership to Ukraine for the first time, combined with Georgia’s aggression shortly afterwards against Abkhazia and South Ossetia, proved the last straw for Moscow.

Georgia: a geopolitical prize

A look at the map quickly makes it clear why the Southern Caucasus is so important. Georgia provides the only opportunity of supplying Europe with gas and oil from the resource-rich countries of Central Asia and of transporting goods and products to Europe by land from China and Kazakhstan. The Nabucco pipeline project is intended to help reduce Europe’s “dependence” on Russian gas imports, which currently account for 40% of its supplies and are expected to climb to even higher levels. According to the European press service EurActiv, “The US has long been pushing for the construction of oil and natural gas pipelines from the Caspian basin that would bypass Russia, especially via Georgia.”11 The project is a top priority for the European Union, too. During his period as representative of the EU Council President in 2006 the Austrian Minister of Economics Martin Bartenstein said: “[The] Nabucco pipeline is Europe’s most important energy project.”12

For both the EU Member States and the NATO countries Georgia provides the geographical terrain that is essential to cutting Russia off from the purchasers of its energy exports. Russia’s countermeasures include three pipeline projects – Nord Stream (Baltic Sea pipeline), South Stream (Russian-Italian gas pipeline through the Black Sea via Varna in Bulgaria) and Blue Stream (from Russia through the Black Sea into Turkey) – as well as the building of direct energy lines to western and southern Europe to ensure the unobstructed export of energy free from any checks or controls by former Eastern Bloc states very favourably disposed to the U.S.A. This was why the U.S.A., in particular, played the Georgian card in the hope of containing Russia’s political influence in Europe and preventing its rise to the status of an industrial power.

Western support for the war

Germany continues to play a significant part in the arming of Georgia. The Federal Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) mostly train Georgian officers as part of the general staff training course which includes participants from other countries. Over the past few years the Bundeswehr has been host to a steady stream of high-ranking military delegations from Georgia. In addition, G 36 rifles manufactured by Heckler & Koch have been delivered to Georgia. The bulk of the training has been carried out by the U.S.A., however. The U.S. Army has trained Georgian soldiers “to bring the armed forces of Georgia, a loyal ally of Washington, up to NATO standards as an outpost in the Caucasus.”13 In 2006 alone, says the German news magazine Der Spiegel, the U.S.A. supported Georgia to the tune of 80 million U.S. dollars, 13 million of which went on the payment of “military supplies and services” as well as the training of soldiers. In addition the U.S.A. has helped Georgia by regularly modernising its fleet and delivering helicopters free of charge.14 The considerable extent of U.S. military assistance, which has “enabled the Pentagon to overhaul Georgia’s forces from bottom to top”, is described by the New York Times as follows: “At senior levels, the United States helped rewrite Georgian military doctrine and train its commanders and staff officers. At the squad level, American marines and soldiers trained Georgian soldiers in the fundamentals of battle.”15
All told, therefore, the Georgian armed forces have over five infantry brigades each numbering 2,000 men. In addition there are the reservist units whose level of training is far inferior. The Georgian government talks officially of 37,000 soldiers and 100,000 reservists. Since Mikhail Saakashvili took office, Georgia’s military spending has increased significantly: “In 2003 it amounted to 52 million lari (24 million U.S. dollars), whereas in 2006 that figure had tripled to 139 million lari (78 million U.S. dollars). Real expenditure is much higher, however. Anyone liable to be called up for military service, for example, can buy themselves out of the army – four-fifths of the money goes straight to the ministry.”16

There is also brisk cooperation between Georgia and NATO. In July 2008, a joint manoeuvre was held as part of the Partnership for Peace Programme in which a total of 1,630 military personnel, including 1,000 Americans and 600 Georgians, took part.17 In addition, the Georgian army has been – and still is – prominently involved in the war in Iraq, which is in contravention of international law, as well as in Afghanistan and Kosovo. In 2008, Georgia had 2,000 solders in Iraq, the third-largest contingent of the “Coalition of the Willing”. However, after the Georgian army had been repulsed in South Ossetia in August 2008, the U.S. Air Force flew the Georgian units stationed in Iraq back to the home front to provide help while the fighting was still in progress. Given the massive campaign undertaken by the U.S.A. and its allies to build up the country’s military, it is barely credible that, while the U.S.A. might not actually have given the green light, it was not fully informed of the pending attack and subsequently kept silent about it.

At any rate, the Russians are certain that the attack took place with support from Washington. The Russian ambassador to NATO, Dimitri Rogozin, made a statement to the effect that Saakashvili agreed the attack with his “backers”. It is clear to whom he was referring.18 Vladimir Vasilyev, Chairman of the Duma Security Committee, summed up the Russian point of view as follows: “The longer the matter goes on, the better the world will come to understand that Georgia would never have been capable of it [the attack on South Ossetia] without the United States”.19 In an interview for the German TV station ARD the Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin made his views of the U.S.A.’s behaviour perfectly clear: “One cannot help thinking that the American leadership knew of the planned action and, indeed, participated in it […] in order to organise a small-scale but successful war. And, if things went wrong, to force Russia into the role of the enemy.”20

Russia’s counter-attack

It is, indeed, hard to believe that the Georgian attack took place without any prior consultation with the U.S.A. Yet it must have been clear to the U.S. government that the Georgian army would be crushed in battle, which was precisely what happened. The question arises, therefore, as to Washington’s motives. Did it simply miscalculate in assuming that Russia would quietly accept the Georgian advance? It is hard to imagine but conceivable nonetheless. The other explanation is that the primary objective was to stir up a conflict with Russia so as to make the European Union toe an even more anti-Russian line and that Saakashvili came in handy here in the role of useful idiot, albeit at the expense of the people in the region. The matter cannot be clarified with any degree of certainty, although the latter explanation would appear more plausible.

At all events, the calculation backfired, because Russia seized the opportunity provided by the Georgian attack to improve its own position in the Caucasus. It is also very hard to imagine that Moscow was not informed of Georgia’s invasion plans. It was evidently well prepared for such an eventuality. In July, 8,000 Russian soldiers carried out an exercise simulating the repulsion of a Georgian attack. That might also explain why the Georgian troops were halted within 24 hours and the Russian troops gained the upper hand relatively quickly. Hence to describe Georgia’s war of aggression as the result of President Saakashvili stumbling into a Russian trap is not very convincing. Whether the Russians were well prepared or not, the fact of the matter is that Georgia engaged in a war of aggression.

In the course of the conflict Russia succeeded in shattering confidence in Georgia’s reliability as a transit country for future Caspian energy supplies. Georgia’s President Mikhail Saakashvili himself said that “one of the main reasons for the Russian attack was that Georgia already has the Baku-Tblissi-Ceyhan pipeline (BTC), which has been laid one metre underground from end to end. This is intended to circumvent Russia.”21 That suspicion is not as mistaken as it might seem. After all, the opening of the BTC pipeline in May 2006, over which Washington and Moscow had wrangled bitterly for almost a decade, was one of the biggest geopolitical successes in the U.S.A.’s plans to roll back Russian influence in the region. “The Georgian security adviser, Alexander Lomaia, says that the Russians dropped six bombs but failed to hit the pipeline. If that is true, it would indicate that Russia’s military action was conducted in pursuit of other, more far-reaching strategic goals than merely preventing a humanitarian crisis in South Ossetia.”22

The Nabucco project was also dealt a heavy blow. According to Ed Chow from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, “Russia has raised serious doubts in the minds of Western lenders and investors […] as to whether a pipeline through Georgia is safe from attacks or beyond the control of the Kremlin.”23 Nevertheless, EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs attempted to give an assurance that the EU was sticking to its plan to build the Nabucco pipeline through Georgia despite the Caucasus conflict: “This infrastructure is needed”, Piebalgs said.24

For the first time since the end of the (old) Cold War Russia has thus ended a Western attempt at expansion by military means. That alone is sufficient to underline the dimensions of the Russian-Georgian war. At the same time the invasion of Georgia is a clear signal to the West that in future Russia will once again have to be taken into account in international power politics. A Strategic Forecast analysis says: “Russia has demonstrated three things with its operation in South Ossetia. Firstly, its army can carry out successful operations, which foreign observers have doubted. Secondly, the Russians can defeat forces trained by U.S. military instructors. Thirdly, Russia has shown that the U.S.A. and NATO are not in a position that would enable them to intervene militarily in this conflict.”25

Astonishing one-sidedness

It is hardly surprising that the Russian response to the Georgian invasion was fiercely criticised by the U.S., which almost unreservedly took Georgia’s side. Zbigniew Brzezinski was vociferous in his response, comparing Putin’s actions with those of Hitler. He went on to say that Moscow’s behaviour “can lead to exclusion and economic and financial sanctions. If Russia continues down this road it must ultimately be isolated within the community of states.”26
The European Union adopted an equally one-sided stance: “The European Council is gravely concerned by the open conflict which has broken out in Georgia, by the resulting violence and by the disproportionate reaction of Russia.”27 These were the words used by the European heads of state and government on 1 September in commenting on the events in the Caucasus. They failed to mention, let alone criticise, the fact that Georgia’s aggression was clearly what had unleashed the war. The statement continues by severely criticising Russia alone. Thus the heads of state and government “strongly condemn Russia’s unilateral decision to recognise the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.” In stark contrast to the policy of recognizing Kosovo that was pursued by the vast majority of EU Member States, the European Council “recalls that a peaceful and lasting solution to the conflict in Georgia must be based on full respect for the principles of independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity recognised by international law, the Final Act of the Helsinki Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe and United Nations Security Council resolutions.”27

There were occasional vehement demands for even more drastic action against Russia. The Chairman of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski (EPP), advocated an EU position that is “tougher than that of NATO.”28 The fact that the hardliners were not able to have their way entirely has to do with the specific constellation of interests that have made this appear inopportune, particularly from a German perspective. On the one hand there is a desire to show Moscow who is in charge in Europe but, on the other, there is a wish not to spoil things completely with Russia, because business there is simply too profitable.29 Nevertheless, Germany is in almost full accord with NATO’s escalation policy.

(Energy) NATO is put into position

In November 2006 U.S. Senator Richard Lugar, a leading NATO strategist, literally went on the offensive. On the fringes of the NATO summit in Riga he criticised Moscow for its attempts to use oil as a “weapon” against the West and proposed the setting up of an “Energy NATO”. The underlying idea is that in future NATO should treat any interruption of oil and gas supplies as it would a military attack (see article by Tobias Pflüger).

In January 2008, five high-ranking NATO generals published a position paper that was specifically introduced into the debate in the form of a catalogue of requirements for the forthcoming updating of NATO’s strategic concept, the idea being that it could serve as a blueprint for the NATO summit on 3/4 April 2009: “ There will be an increase in global competition for scarce resources, and this will certainly be the case for fossil fuel, which will swell the possibility of suppliers abusing their position and their leverage.. […]Dependency on oil and gas is a vulnerability that some governments will seek to exploit – the Gazprom crisis demonstrated how easily demand can be manipulated. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is – and is likely to remain – a mechanism for keeping the price of oil artificially high, and recently Russia and the United Arab Emirates have been exploring the idea of setting up a ‘Gas OPEC’. […] For this reason, it might well be worth considering using NATO as an instrument of energy security.”30

Shortly afterwards, in June 2008, Richard Lugar, who for a time was under discussion as Barack Obama’s Secretary of State for Defense, repeated his threats against Russia at a hearing of the Senate and vigorously advocated the building of the Nabucco pipeline.31 At the same hearing the new U.S. Vice-President Joseph Biden expressly praised Lugar’s work on energy policy and emphasised the importance of the conflicts in the Caspian region: “The stakes involve hundreds of billions of dollars in oil and infrastructure, the resurgence of Russia, and the energy security of Europe.. […] Russians love chess. Our strategic response on the chess board of Central Asia must be to establish a presence on parts of the board they do not yet control. That means laying down new pipelines that add alternatives […] to the monopoly Russia has enjoyed.”32

Biden is therefore likely to have welcomed one of the last major security policy initiatives launched by the Bush administration which aimed at drawing Georgia further into the Western orbit by means of a joint declaration on partnership: “The United States and Georgia officially became “strategic partners” under a charter signed by the two governments on January 9 [2009]. […] Few details have been publicized about the charter, which was signed four months after Georgia’s disastrous war with Russia. It has been widely reported, however, that the Georgian pact resembles a strategic partnership charter signed by the United States and Ukraine in December.”33 Like the United States-Ukraine Charter on Strategic Partnership the agreement with Georgia is likely to comprise intensified military cooperation and measures to expedite Ukraine’s membership of NATO. On 15 September 2008 NATO resolved to set up a commission to deepen relations with Georgia. This is intended “to coordinate Alliance efforts to assist Georgia in recovering from the recent conflict”.34

Cold War as a self-fulfilling prophecy

The aim of the policy pursued by the U.S.A. in Ukraine and Georgia is to wage a new Cold War against Russia. Russia is to be challenged by a policy of pinpricks involving “colourful revolutions”, energy blockades, NATO expansion and the stationing of missiles in Poland and the Czech Republic. By disrupting economic relations with Western Europe Washington aims to contain Russia’s global political influence and thwart its advance as a new industrial power. Should this scenario turn out to be a success, it would simultaneously ensure that the NATO allies in Western Europe are tied into a joint strategy of escalation and have to become even more heavily involved in projects designed to secure energy supplies.
Since this strategy has thus far proved successful and it cannot, unfortunately, be assumed that there will be a move away from a policy of U.S. confrontation under President Obama, there is a renewed threat of bloc confrontation. At the height of the Georgian war Russian President Dmitri Medvedev sent out a clear message to the West: “We are not afraid of anything, not even the prospect of a Cold War.”35 The anti-war movement will have to adjust to the realities of the New Cold War. The strategy of imperialism pursued by NATO and the EU must be opposed here and now in a calm and collected fashion.

Endnotes

1 Brzezinski, Zbigniew: The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives, New York 1997, p. 24 (Seitenangabe in der englischen Fassung unsicher)
2 ibid., p.27 (s.o.)
3 On Western support for the “colourful revolutions” cf. Chauvier, Jean-Marc: Westlich werden und östlich bleiben, Le Monde diplomatique, 14 January 2005
4 Carpenter, Ted: Worse than Bush? National Interest Online, 11 July 2008
5 Zeihan, Peter: Moskau wird Kiew nie dem Westen überlassen [Moscow will never leave Kiev to the West], Handelsblatt, 20 January 2009
6 United States, Ukraine Sign Security Charter, America.gov, 19 December 2008
7 United States-Ukraine Charter on Strategic Partnership, 22 December 2008, URL: http://tinyurl.com/agqc4k
8 Befeuern die USA den Gasstreit? [Is the U.S. fuelling the gas dispute?], heute.de, 13 January 2009
9 Isic, Mirela: Ein „Vielleicht” für die Ukraine und Georgien [A “maybe” for Ukraine and Georgia], Center for Applied Policy Research, CAP News, 10 April 2008
10 Auswärtiges Amt [German Foreign Office]: Ukraine, Stand: Oktober 2008 [Ukraine, status as of October 2008], URL: http://tinyurl.com/b3gvbg
11 Nabucco: ‘Pie in the sky’ after Georgia crisis?, EurActiv, 25 August 2008
12 ibid.
13 Friedmann, Matti: Sie waren nicht bereit für den Krieg mit Russland [They weren’t prepared for war with Russia], AP, 19 August 2008
14 Schröder gibt Saakaschwili die Schuld [Schröder puts the blame on Saakashvili], Der Spiegel 16 August 2008
15 Grey, Barry: Bush escalates confrontation with Russia over Georgia, World Socialist Web Site, 13 August 2008
16 Der Spiegel 16 August 2008
17 Georgien stockt Armee mit Blick auf NATO-Beitritt deutlich auf [Georgia boosts its army with a view to NATO membership], russland.ru, 16 July 2008
18 Nuclear Nightmares: The Return of M.A.D., Huffington Post, 19 August 2008
19 Chin, Larry: South Ossetia: superpower oil war, Online Journal, 13 August 2008
20 This and many other critical remarks made by Putin were cut out of the ARD broadcast. A full transcript of the interview can be found at http://www.spiegelfechter.com/wordpress/392/das-interview
21 EurActiv, 25 August 2008
22 Rosenbaum, Kaspar: Südossetien: Der Westen in der Propagandaschlacht [South Ossetia: The West in a propaganda battle], ef-online, 11 August 2008
23 EurActiv, 25 August 2008
24 Energie-Agentur sagt wachsende EU-Abhängigkeit von Importen voraus [Energy agency predicts growing EU dependence on imports], Yahoo News Finanzen, 4 September 2008
25 Stratfor: Russland hat Stärke gezeigt und wird nur auf Stärke hören [Russia has shown its strength and will only respond to strength], RIA Novosti, 11 August 2008
26 “Russlands Vorgehen ähnelt dem von Hitler” [Russia’s actions resemble those of Hitler], Die Welt, 11 August 2008
27 Extraordinary European Council, Brussels, 1 September 2008, 12594/08
28 Pflüger, Tobias: EU eskaliert den Konflikt mit Russland weiter [EU escalates the conflict with Russia], IMI-Standpunkt 2008/052
29 On Germany’s role cf. Hantke, Martin: The Georgian War and Imperial Geopolitics, in: AUSDRUCK (October 2008).
30 Naumann, Klaus et al.: Towards a Grand Strategy for an Uncertain World: Renewing Transatlantic Partnership, URL: http://tinyurl. com/5buj19, p. 47 et seq.
31 U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Senator Richard G. Lugar Opening Statement for Hearing on Oil, Oligarchs and Opportunity: Energy from Central Asia to Europe, 12 June 2008, URL: http://tinyurl.com/df7tg8
32 BIDEN: We Need to Confront Russia’s Oil Dominance with Aggressive, High Level Diplomacy, 12 June 2008, URL: http://tinyurl.com/crjhol
33 Corso, Molly: Georgia: Washington and Tbilisi sign Strategic Pact sure to irk the Kremlin, Eurasia Insight, 9 January 2009
34 Framework document on the establishment of the NATO-Georgia Commission, Tbilisi, 15 September 2008
35 Dimitri Medvedev raises spectre of new Cold War, The Times Online, 26 August 2008

Exporting Sectarian Civil War–Pioneered By Bush, reported to the deaf by Hersh

Hersh: Bush administration arranged support for militants attacking Lebanon

raw story

David Edwards and Muriel Kane
Published: Tuesday May 22, 2007

In an interview on CNN International’s Your World Today, veteran journalist Seymour Hersh explains that the current violence in Lebanon is the result of an attempt by the Lebanese government to crack down on a militant Sunni group, Fatah al-Islam, that it formerly supported.

Last March, Hersh reported that American policy in the Middle East had shifted to opposing Iran, Syria, and their Shia allies at any cost, even if it meant backing hardline Sunni jihadists.

A key element of this policy shift was an agreement among Vice President Dick Cheney, Deputy National Security Advisor Elliot Abrams, and Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi national security adviser, whereby the Saudis would covertly fund the Sunni Fatah al-Islam in Lebanon as a counterweight to the Shia Hezbollah.

Hersh points out that the current situation is much like that during the conflict in Afghanistan in the 1980’s � which gave rise to al Qaeda � with the same people involved in both the US and Saudi Arabia and the “same pattern” of the US using jihadists that the Saudis assure us they can control.

When asked why the administration would be acting in a way that appears to run counter to US interests, Hersh says that, since the Israelis lost to them last summer, “the fear of Hezbollah in Washington, particularly in the White House, is acute.”

As a result, Hersh implies, the Bush administration is no longer acting rationally in its policy. “We’re in the business of supporting the Sunnis anywhere we can against the Shia. … “We’re in the business of creating … sectarian violence.” And he describes the scheme of funding Fatah al-Islam as “a covert program we joined in with the Saudis as part of a bigger, broader program of doing everything we could to stop the spread of the Shia world, and it just simply — it bit us in the rear.”

HALA GORANI: Well, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh reported back in March that in order to defeate Hezbollah, the Lebanese government supported a Sunni militant group, the same ones they’re fighting today. Seymour joins us live from Washington. Thanks for being with us. What is the source of the financing according to your reporting on these groups, such as Fatah al-Islam in these camps of Nahr el Bared, for instance? Where are they getting the money and where are they getting the arms?

SEYMOUR HERSH: The key player is the Saudis. What I was writing about was sort of a private agreement that was made between the White House, we’re talking about Richard — Dick — Cheney and Elliott Abrams, one of the key aides in the White House, with Bandar. And the idea was to get support, covert support from the Saudis, to support various hard-line jihadists, Sunni groups, particularly in Lebanon, who would be seen in case of an actual confrontation with Hezbollah — the Shia group in the southern Lebanon — would be seen as an asset, as simple as that.

GORANI: The Senora government, in order to counter the influence of Hezbollah in Lebanon would be covertly according to your reporting funding groups like Fatah al-Islam that they’re having issues with right now?

HERSH: Unintended consequences once again, yes.

GORANI: And so if Saudi Arabia and the Senora government are doing this, whether it’s unintended or not, therefore it has the United States must have something to say about it or not?

HERSH: Well, the United States was deeply involved. This was a covert operation that Bandar ran with us. Don’t forget, if you remember, you know, we got into the war in Afghanistan with supporting Osama bin Laden, the mujahadin back in the late 1980s with Bandar and with people like Elliott Abrams around, the idea being that the Saudis promised us they could control — they could control the jihadists so we spent a lot of money and time, the United States in the late 1980s using and supporting the jihadists to help us beat the Russians in Afghanistan and they turned on us. And we have the same pattern, not as if there’s any lessons learned. It’s the same pattern, using the Saudis again to support jihadists, Saudis assuring us they can control these various group, the groups like the one that is in contact right now in Tripoli with the government.

GORANI: Sure, but the mujahadin in the ’80s was one era. Why would it be in the best interest of the United States of America right now to indirectly even if it is indirect empower these jihadi movements that are extremists that fight to the death in these Palestinian camps? Doesn’t it go against the interests not only of the Senora government but also of America and Lebanon now?

HERSH: The enemy of our enemy is our friend, much as the jihadist groups in Lebanon were also there to go after Nasrullah. Hezbollah, if you remember, last year defeated Israel, whether the Israelis want to acknowledge it, so you have in Hezbollah, a major threat to the American — look, the American role is very simple. Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state, has been very articulate about it. We’re in the business now of supporting the Sunnis anywhere we can against the Shia, against the Shia in Iran, against the Shia in Lebanon, that is Nasrullah. Civil war. We’re in a business of creating in some places, Lebanon in particular, a sectarian violence.

GORANI: The Bush administration, of course, officials would disagree with that, so would the Senora government, openly pointing the finger at Syria, saying this is an offshoot of a Syrian group, Fatah al-Islam is, where else would it get its arms from if not Syria.

HERSH: You have to answer this question. If that’s true, Syria which is close — and criticized greatly by the Bush administration for being very close — to Hezbollah would also be supporting groups, Salafist groups — the logic breaks down. What it is simply is a covert program we joined in with the Saudis as part of a bigger broader program of doing everything we could to stop the spread of the Shia, the Shia world, and it bit us in the rear, as it’s happened before.

GORANI: Sure, but if it doesn’t make any sense for the Syrians to support them, why would it make any sense for the U.S. to indirectly, of course, to support, according to your reporting, by giving a billion dollars in aid, part of it military, to the Senora government — and if that is dispensed in a way that that government and the U.S. is not controlling extremist groups, then indirectly the United States, according to the article you wrote, would be supporting them. So why would it be in their best interest and what should it do according to the people you’ve spoken to?

HERSH: You’re assuming logic by the United States government. That’s okay. We’ll forget that one right now. Basically it’s very simple. These groups are seeing — when I was in Beirut doing interviews, I talked to officials who acknowledged the reason they were tolerating the radical jihadist groups was because they were seen as a protection against Hezbollah. The fear of Hezbollah in Washington, particularly in the White House, is acute. They just simply believe that Hassan Nasrallah is intent on waging war in America. Whether it’s true or not is another question. There is a supreme overwhelming fear of Hezbollah and we do not want Hezbollah to play an active role in the government in Lebanon and that’s been our policy, basically, which is support the Senora government, despite its weakness against the coalition. Not only Senora but Mr. Ahun, former military leader of Lebanon. There in a coalition that we absolutely abhor.

GORANI: All right, Seymour Hersh of “The New Yorker” magazine, thanks for joining us there and hopefully we’ll be able to speak a little bit in a few months’ time when those developments take shape in Lebanon and we know more. Thanks very much.

HERSH: glad to talk to you.

Obama, The Devil, Is Luring the World Over the Nuclear Threshold In Ukraine

Peter Chamberlin

So many of us are still so childlike in our belief in “America,” the ideal, that we continue to sit in silent awe on the sidelines, waiting for someone, anyone, to explain to us how it is that our America consistently produces presidents who eagerly tear through the world like bulls in china shops, destroying heirloom governments without hesitation, in their zeal to create new, subservient mini-states.

Did George Washington and Abraham Lincoln have similar war ambitions?  Would they have exported war and instigated artificial revolutions to destroy nations, in order to control their energy markets (SEE: Cold War-style confrontation between US and Russia focuses on energy rather than military)?

Would the founding fathers have admired Obama and Bush as they have so outrageously used and abused the nearly sancrosanct ideals of Democracy and “human rights,” using them as “war-bait” (a set-up for war) for luring unhappy, but unwarring nations onto the path of destruction?

There was no war in Iraq, nor in Yemen, in Syria, Lebanon, Libya, nor in Ukraine, before Bush and Obama created them from thin air and unstable populations.  Were these “Noble Acts” on America’s part?

Do you think the citizens of those countries, who participated in Obama’s insurrections regret their actions?

Is there more or less terrorism in those countries now, or in the world in general, than there was before American hands created all of these conflicts?

By trusting the world into American hands all of these years, the world has been put into a very bad, very dangerous position.  All national economies, except for those of the OPEC countries, have been run into the ground, with most of the world operating solely upon the power of inflation and pure speculation.  The power of imagination can only get you so far, before someone has to stop and take stock of the reality of the situation.  You can see that reflection being expressed today by regretful diplomats and spies, like former US Ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, who once served as Obama’s regime-change ax-man, only to recently denounce those policies as “singularly unsuccessful.”

Those faulty policies are still in place, still doing more damage, still pushing and prodding to turn Syria into some type of regional war.  Escalation of existing hostilities in either Syria or Libya will endanger and damage Europe, just as it would the entire Middle East.  The flow of refugees from the burgeoning war zones emptying into Europe would quickly turn into floods, or tsunamis of starving, dark-skinned refugees, into a weary, frightened, white European populace (SEE: THE CAMP OF THE SAINTS).

Why is it that American forces cannot stop chasing the rabbit of terrorism all over the globe for just a short while, long enough to give all of us a chance to catch our breath?  Why must the US Congress hurriedly pass another war authorization for an entirely new war against ISIS (which we helped the Arabs to create)?  What is it about Barack Obama which compels him to seek, or to create new conflicts wherever American forces can demonstrate their superiority over all other forces?

For those with eyes to see, it is plain to see that Obama is pushing one European country after another into dispute with Russia, with the intention of forcing Putin’s hand and pushing Russia into open warfare with its former satellite nations.  This is being done with obvious malice, under a design which risks igniting nuclear war in Europe, which could never be contained just to Europe and Russia.

Obama is gambling with all of our lives, risking nuclear war over oil, nuclear and natural gas markets…and that is really all that ALL OF THIS is about…Who will provide the gas to heat European homes…who will supply nuclear power to light European homes.

Using national armies to sieze markets is a crime against humanity…Supporting the use of national armies to seize energy markets is a moral sin against our species and our Creator.

peter.chamberlin@hotmail.com

 

Playing Nuclear Chicken in Kiev

Playing Nuclear Chicken in Kiev

pacificfreepress

by Robert Parry – Consortium News

Ready for Nuclear War over Ukraine?

Nazi symbols on helmets worn by members of 

Ukraine’s Azov battalion. (As filmed by a 
Norwegian film crew and shown on German TV.)
A senior Ukrainian official is urging the West to risk a nuclear conflagration in support of a “full-scale war” with Russia that he says authorities in Kiev are now seeking, another sign of the extremism that pervades the year-old, U.S.-backed regime in Kiev.
During a recent visit to Canada, Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko told CBC Radio that “Everybody is afraid of fighting with a nuclear state. We are not anymore, in Ukraine — we’ve lost so many people of ours, we’ve lost so much of our territory.”
Prystaiko added, “However dangerous it sounds, we have to stop [Russian President Vladimir Putin] somehow. For the sake of the Russian nation as well, not just for the Ukrainians and Europe.” The deputy foreign minister announced that Kiev is preparing for “full-scale war” against Russia and wants the West to supply lethal weapons and training so the fight can be taken to Russia.
“What we expect from the world is that the world will stiffen up in the spine a little,” Prystaiko said.
Yet, what is perhaps most remarkable about Prystaiko’s “Dr. Strangelove” moment is that it produced almost no reaction in the West. You have a senior Ukrainian official saying that the world should risk nuclear war over a civil conflict in Ukraine between its west, which favors closer ties to Europe, and its east, which wants to maintain its historic relationship with Russia.
Why should such a pedestrian dispute justify the possibility of vaporizing millions of human beings and conceivably ending life on the planet? Yet, instead of working out a plan for a federalized structure in Ukraine or even allowing people in the east to vote on whether they want to remain under the control of the Kiev regime, the world is supposed to risk nuclear annihilation.
But therein lies one of the under-reported stories of the Ukraine crisis: There is a madness to the Kiev regime that the West doesn’t want to recognize because to do so would upend the dominant narrative of “our” good guys vs. Russia’s bad guys. If we begin to notice that the right-wing regime in Kiev is crazy and brutal, we might also start questioning the “Russian aggression” mantra.
According to the Western “group think,” the post-coup Ukrainian government “shares our values” by favoring democracy and modernity, while the rebellious ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine are “Moscow’s minions” representing dark forces of backwardness and violence, personified by Russia’s “irrational” President Putin. In this view, the conflict is a clash between the forces of good and evil where there is no space for compromise.
Yet, there is a craziness to this “group think” that is highlighted by Prystaiko’s comments. Not only does the Kiev regime display a cavalier attitude about dragging the world into a nuclear catastrophe but it also has deployed armed neo-Nazis and other right-wing extremists to wage a dirty war in the east that has involved torture and death-squad activities.

Not Since Adolf Hitler

No European government, since Adolf Hitler’s Germany, has seen fit to dispatch Nazi storm troopers to wage war on a domestic population, but the Kiev regime has and has done so knowingly. Yet, across the West’s media/political spectrum, there has been a studious effort to cover up this reality, even to the point of ignoring facts that have been well established.

The New York Times and the Washington Post have spearheaded this journalistic malfeasance by putting on blinders so as not to see Ukraine’s neo-Nazis, such as when describing the key role played by the Azov battalion in the war against ethnic Russians in the east.
On Feb. 20, in a report from Mariupol, the Post cited the Azov battalion’s importance in defending the port city against a possible rebel offensive. Correspondent Karoun Demirjian wrote:
“Petro Guk, the commander of the Azov battalion’s reinforcement operations in Mariupol, said in an interview that the battalion is ‘getting ready for’ street-to-street combat in the city. The Azov battalion, now a regiment in the Ukrainian army, is known as one of the fiercest fighting forces­ in the pro-Kiev operation.
“But … it has pulled away from the front lines on a scheduled rest-and-retraining rotation, Guk said, leaving the Ukrainian army — a less capable force, in his opinion — in its place. His advice to residents of Mariupol is to get ready for the worst.
“‘If it is your home, you should be ready to fight for it, and accept that if the fight is for your home, you must defend it,’ he said, when asked whether residents should prepare to leave. Some are ready to heed that call, as a matter of patriotic duty.”
The Post’s stirring words fit with the Western media’s insistent narrative and its refusal to include meaningful background about the Azov battalion, which is known for marching under Nazi banners, displaying the Swastika and painting SS symbols on its helmets.
The New York Times filed a similarly disingenuous article from Mariupol on Feb. 11, depicting the ethnic Russian rebels as barbarians at the gate with the Azov battalion defending civilization. Though providing much color and detail – and quoting an Azov leader prominently – the Times left out the salient and well-known fact that the Azov battalion is composed of neo-Nazis.
But this inconvenient truth – that neo-Nazis have been central to Kiev’s “self-defense forces” from last February’s coup to the present – would disrupt the desired propaganda message to American readers. So the New York Times just ignores the Nazism and refers to Azov as a “volunteer unit.”
Yet, this glaring omission is prima facie proof of journalistic bias. There’s no way that the editors of the Post and Times don’t know that the presence of neo-Nazis is newsworthy. Indeed, there’s a powerful irony in this portrayal of Nazis as the bulwark of Western civilization against the Russian hordes from the East. It was, after all, the Russians who broke the back of Nazism in World War II as Hitler sought to subjugate Europe and destroy Western civilization as we know it.
That the Nazis are now being depicted as defenders of Western ideals has to be the ultimate man-bites-dog story. But it goes essentially unreported in the New York Times and Washington Post as does the inconvenient presence of other Nazis holding prominent positions in the post-coup regime, including Andriy Parubiy, who was the military commander of the Maidan protests and served as the first national security chief of the Kiev regime. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Ukraine, Through the US Looking Glass.”]

The Nazi Reality

Regarding the Azov battalion, the Post and Times have sought to bury the Nazi reality, but both have also acknowledged it in passing. For instance, on Aug. 10, 2014, a Times’ article mentioned the neo-Nazi nature of the Azov battalion in the last three paragraphs of a lengthy story on another topic.

“The fighting for Donetsk has taken on a lethal pattern: The regular army bombards separatist positions from afar, followed by chaotic, violent assaults by some of the half-dozen or so paramilitary groups surrounding Donetsk who are willing to plunge into urban combat,” the Times reported.

“Officials in Kiev say the militias and the army coordinate their actions, but the militias, which count about 7,000 fighters, are angry and, at times, uncontrollable. One known as Azov, which took over the village of Marinka, flies a neo-Nazi symbol resembling a Swastika as its flag.” [See Consortiumnews.com’s “NYT Whites Out Ukraine’s Brownshirts.”]Similarly, the Post published a lead story last Sept. 12 describing the Azov battalion in flattering terms, saving for the last three paragraphs the problematic reality that the fighters are fond of displaying the Swastika:

“In one room, a recruit had emblazoned a swastika above his bed. But Kirt [a platoon leader] … dismissed questions of ideology, saying that the volunteers — many of them still teenagers — embrace symbols and espouse extremist notions as part of some kind of ‘romantic’ idea.”
Other news organizations have been more forthright about this Nazi reality. For instance, the conservative London Telegraph published an article by correspondent Tom Parfitt, who wrote: “Kiev’s use of volunteer paramilitaries to stamp out the Russian-backed Donetsk and Luhansk ‘people’s republics’… should send a shiver down Europe’s spine.
“Recently formed battalions such as Donbas, Dnipro and Azov, with several thousand men under their command, are officially under the control of the interior ministry but their financing is murky, their training inadequate and their ideology often alarming. The Azov men use the neo-Nazi Wolfsangel (Wolf’s Hook) symbol on their banner and members of the battalion are openly white supremacists, or anti-Semites.”
Based on interviews with militia members, the Telegraph reported that some of the fighters doubted the Holocaust, expressed admiration for Hitler and acknowledged that they are indeed Nazis.
Andriy Biletsky, the Azov commander, “is also head of an extremist Ukrainian group called the Social National Assembly,” according to the Telegraph article which quoted a commentary by Biletsky as declaring: “The historic mission of our nation in this critical moment is to lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade for their survival. A crusade against the Semite-led Untermenschen.”
The Telegraph questioned Ukrainian authorities in Kiev who acknowledged that they were aware of the extremist ideologies of some militias but insisted that the higher priority was having troops who were strongly motivated to fight.
Azov fighters even emblazon the Swastika and the SS insignia on their helmets. NBC News reported: “Germans were confronted with images of their country’s dark past … when German public broadcaster ZDF showed video of Ukrainian soldiers with Nazi symbols on their helmets in its evening newscast.”
But it’s now clear that far-right extremism is not limited to the militias sent to kill ethnic Russians in the east or to the presence of a few neo-Nazi officials who were rewarded for their roles in last February’s coup. The fanaticism is present at the center of the Kiev regime, including its deputy foreign minister who speaks casually about a “full-scale war” with nuclear-armed Russia.

An Orwellian World

In a “normal world,” U.S. and European journalists would explain to their readers how insane all this is; how a dispute over the pace for implementing a European association agreement while also maintaining some economic ties with Russia could have been worked out within the Ukrainian political system, that it was not grounds for a U.S.-backed “regime change” last February, let alone a civil war, and surely not nuclear war.

But these are clearly not normal times. To a degree that I have not seen in my 37 years covering Washington, there is a totalitarian quality to the West’s current “group think” about Ukraine with virtually no one who “matters” deviating from the black-and-white depiction of good guys in Kiev vs. bad guys in Donetsk and Moscow.
And, if you want to see how the “objective” New York Times dealt with demonstrations in Moscow and other Russian cities protesting last year’s coup against Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, read Sunday’s dispatch by the Times’ neocon national security correspondent Michael R. Gordon, best known as the lead writer with Judith Miller on the infamous “aluminum tube” story in 2002, helping to set the stage for the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Here’s how Gordon explained the weekend’s anti-coup protests: “The official narrative as reported by state-run television in Russia, and thus accepted by most Russians, is that the uprising in Ukraine last year was an American-engineered coup, aided by Ukrainian Nazis, and fomented to overthrow Mr. Yanukovych, a pro-Russian president.”
In other words, the Russians are being brainwashed while the readers of the New York Times are getting their information from an independent news source that would never be caught uncritically distributing government propaganda, another example of the upside-down Orwellian world that Americans now live in. [See, for example, “NYT Retracts Russian Photo Scoop.”]
In our land of the free, there is no “official narrative” and the U.S. government would never stoop to propaganda. Everyone just happily marches in lockstep behind the conventional wisdom of a faultless Kiev regime that “shares our values” and can do no wrong — while ignoring the brutality and madness of coup leaders who deploy Nazis and invite a nuclear holocaust for the world.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com). You also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.

Islamist Terrorists Are All Misled Religious Fanatics

[Even the King of Al-Qaeda understands what Obama is denying to be true, even though he can never acknowledge the Wahhabi roots of all Sunni terror (SEE:  Saudi King: terrorists besmirching all Muslims).]

Fanaticism, not poverty, drives Islamist terrorism

chicago sun times

Pakistani Islamists burn a French flag during a protest against the printing of satirical sketches of the Prophet Mohammad by French magazine Charlie Hebdo in Quetta on January 22, 2015. BANARAS KHAN/AFP/Getty Images

“A global summit on countering violent extremism” is the description of a three-day meeting of more than 60 nations in Washington ending Thursday. No one expects much out of this gathering. It’s worth noting that it was being watched mainly to see if anyone from the Obama administration uttered the phrase “Islamist terrorism” or “Islamic terrorism.” You don’t know whether to laugh or weep.

In his speech to the meeting, President Barack Obama continued to reject the religious foundation of Islamist terrorism by raising the false alternative of the West being portrayed as being at war against Islam. Al-Qaida and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria do not represent the majority of Muslims, but they do stand for a powerful, dangerous, religious-based movement that is driving history in the Islamic world and, to our misery, beyond. To his credit, Obama did acknowledge the anti-Western sentiment that often exists in mainstream Muslim societies and its role in aiding the fanatics in recruiting the discontented to their ranks.

But notice that the goal of the summit was “countering,” not defeating, violent extremism, a k a terrorism. As a State Department spokeswoman put it the other day, “We cannot kill our way out of this war.” We can’t talk our way out of the terrorist threat with summits either.

In an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, Obama wrote, “We know that military force alone cannot solve this problem. Nor can we simply take out terrorists who kill innocent civilians.” Maybe not, but it must be a top priority. Our armed forces must keep killing as many of the enemy as possible. That’s a prime goal of war.

The talking point of the day was that “violent extremism” is about poverty and the lack of jobs. What’s the answer? For Congress to pass a humongous stimulus bill to fund shovel-ready projects someplace in the Muslim world? Where? In oil-rich Saudi Arabia where 15 of the 9/11 hijackers hailed from (and mostly from middle-class or well-to-do families)?

Poor people populate many parts of the world and in huge numbers, yet most of them — like most Muslims — do not commit terrorist atrocities. Religious fanaticism and the justification provided by religious text and clerics, not the absence of economic opportunity, inspire the discontented to behead Christians, burn alive Kurds and a Jordanian pilot, murder Jews wherever they can find them, enslave women and children, and slaughter fellow Muslims deemed not sufficiently Islamic.

The administration clearly is irritated by concerns over its denial of the Islamist roots of terrorism. In a speech the other day, Attorney General Eric Holder tried to defend the administration’s obscurantism and practically became a parody of it. He referred to the “very serious problems that our allies face and that we face, particularly in a particular part of the world.” What problems? And what particular part of the world would that be? Patagonia?

Islamist terrorism is reduced to violent extremism. The heartland of Islamist fanaticism, the Middle East, becomes “a particular part of the world.”

The administration is not alone in these rhetorical gymnastics. A headline in the New York Times described the second-generation immigrant responsible for killing a film director and Jew in last week’s terrorist attack in Denmark as a “native son.” Turns out the killer wasn’t named Hans Christian Anderson Jr., but Omar Abdel Hamid el-Hussein.

To defeat an enemy, you have to know it. In an Atlantic magazine article, contributing editor Graeme Wood demonstrates considerable research and writes, “Muslims can reject the Islamic State; nearly all do. But pretending that it isn’t actually a religious, millennarian group, with theology that must be understood to be combatted, has already led the United States to underestimate it and back foolish schemes to counter it. We’ll need to get acquainted with the Islamic State’s intellectual genealogy if we are to react in a way that will not strengthen it, but instead help it self-immolate in its own excessive zeal.”

Jobs, economic opportunity, improved governance in Muslim countries, and better social media and other efforts against recruitment may be part of the answer. But I suspect few Islamic State fighters will be lured away from their fanatical, ideological, religious jihad  by the prospect of a good job. Unless, that is, the Islamic State is soundly defeated on the battlefield.

Email: shuntley.cst@gmail.com

ICJ dismisses Serbia and Croatia genocide claims

ICJ dismisses Serbia and Croatia genocide claims

in serbia

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled that Serbia and Croatia did not commit acts of genocide against each other during the Balkan wars.

Speaking in court on Tuesday, Judge Peter Tomka dismissed both the Croatian claim and the Serbian counter-claim. Forces on both sides had carried out violent acts during the war, Judge Tomka said. However, neither side had provided sufficient evidence to demonstrate the “specific intent required for acts of genocide”.

The reading of the judgment on the mutual genocide lawsuits filed by Serbia and Croatia, for the crimes committed in Croatia during the 1991-1995 war, began at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague at 10 a.m. on Tuesday. The Court’s reasoning is being presented by ICJ President Peter Tomka, a judge from Slovakia. On behalf of Serbia, Justice Minister Nikola Selakovic is attending the reading of the judgment. Croatia instituted the proceedings before the ICJ on July 2, 1999, demanding financial compensation in the amount determined by the court, punishment for all war criminals, information about missing persons and return of stolen cultural heritage.  In its application, Croatia contended that, “by directly controlling the activity of its armed forces, intelligence agents, and various paramilitary detachments” in the territory of Croatia, Serbia was liable for the ‘ethnic cleansing’ committed against Croatian citizens, “a form of genocide which resulted in large numbers of Croatian citizens being displaced, killed, tortured, or illegally detained, as well as extensive property destruction.” Croatia stated that about 10,000 people were killed, while more than 7,000 were detained in camps in Vukovar, the Knin region, eastern and western Slavonia and Dalmatia. Serbia filed its counter-claim on January 4, 2010, accusing Croatia of genocide and ethnic cleansing affecting around 230,000 Serbs during Operation Storm, including the murder of about 7,000 Serbs and close to 2,000 missing, the burning and destruction of Serb property, cultural monuments and property of the Serbian Orthodox Church. The documents Serbia submitted to the ICJ contain evidence of crimes committed against Serbs in Gospic, Sisak, Pakracka Dolina, Karlovac, Osijek, Paulin Dvor, Medacki Dzep, Maslenica and during Operation Flash and Operation Storm. Serbia’s counter-claim points to the continuity of genocide, as the Croatian Nazis (Ustasha) killed several hundreds of thousands of Serbs, Jews and Roma in the Independent state of Croatia during World War II. The Serbian argument was collected in three volumes spanning over 1,000 pages and three annexes, and the answer to Croatia’s accusations totals 322 pages. Serbia wants the ICJ to declare the Croatian armed forces’ 1995 Operation Storm a genocide against the Serb people and to find Croatia guilty of violating the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Serbia wants the ICJ to order Croatia to punish all perpetrators of the crimes, pay compensation to Croatian Serbs for their losses, provide legal conditions for a safe return of Serb refugees to their homes and for their normal life and stop celebrating August 5 as a national holiday. According to estimates by the Association of refugees and other associations of Serbs from Croatia, the total value of destroyed, looted and usurped property of the Serbs expelled and displaced from Croatia amounts to over EUR 30 billion. The ICJ held the oral proceedings in relation to the claim filed by Croatia and the counter-claim submitted by Serbia from March 3 to April 1, 2014. The judgment has been delivered by 17 judges, 15 permanent and two ad-hoc judges from Serbia and Croatia. The results were: 11 votes to 6 Serbia’s claim rejected 15 votes to 2 Croatia’s claim rejected The ICJ judgment has binding force. The states do not have the right to appeal, and are obliged to adhere to the judgment.

The Perversely Bestial, Inhuman Nature of CIA Guantanamo Torturers

130423112902-exp-hunger-stirke-amanpour-00015930-horizontal-gallery

Gitmo inmate: My treatment shames American flag

cnn

Samir Naji is a Yemeni accused of serving in Osama bin Laden’s security detail and has been imprisoned for nearly 13 years without charge in Guantanamo Bay. He was cleared for release in 2009, but remains in detention. The following first-person testimony, recorded during his most recent meeting with lawyers from the international human rights organization Reprieve, has just been released by prison censors. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely his.


Also see
: Closing Guantanamo: Who’s left and what’s in the way

Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (CNN)I’ve heard that the Senate report on CIA torture is 6,000 pages long. My story, though, takes place elsewhere: in Guantanamo, away from the CIA program that the report covers. The 6,000 pages of the Senate report are just the start of what Americans have to accept happened in their name.

It starts and ends in the silence of a tiny, freezing cold cell, alone. That’s when you hold yourself in a ball, and fight to ignore the confusion of what has just happened to you, and the fear of what might be coming next. Or the fear that comes when you realize that no one is coming to help; that the life, family and friends you knew are all far, far away.

The cell door opens. The next session, seemingly the 100th in a row. I think my first period of interrogation lasted three full months. Two teams of interrogators running shifts, day and night.

Each session begins with shouting, to wake me up. Then they hit me on the face and the back. I am so desperate for sleep, my head is swimming. There are photographs of faces stuck all around the walls of this room. They demand that I identify the individuals, but I can barely focus to see if I might know them. The shouting and the insults get louder, and then they nod to a man in the corner. He injects me twice in the arm with some unknown substance. It’s the last thing I know.

The freezing cold cell. The cell door opens. This time the guards enter, making awful honking noises, like wild animals.

I tried to refuse to eat the little food they bring me, in protest at all this. The interrogator laughs at me, but then turns angry; he swears loudly, and pours an army meal pack over my head. They tell the man in the corner to start feeding me intravenously. He inserts the tube in two different places on my arm and makes it bleed.

Closing Guantanamo: Who’s left and what’s in the way

The freezing cold cell. The cell door opens. This time the guards push me on the floor and take turns trampling over my back.

I tell the interrogators that I can’t face not eating any more. They throw food on the floor of the room and tell me to eat like a pig. They won’t let me go to the restroom. They watch as it gets more painful, and laugh as they get the translator to describe how they will rape me if I pee in my pants.

The freezing cold cell. The cell door opens. They make me stand and salute the American flag.

I’m in a sort of cinema room, where I have to watch videos of other prisoners being abused. Then they tell me that I have to dance for them, and run in circles whilst they pull on my chains. Every time I try and refuse, they touch me in my most private areas.

The freezing cold cell. The cell door opens. It has rained, and there are muddy puddles everywhere. I’m shackled, so I can’t really walk; they deliberately drag me through the muddy puddles.

Now it’s the pornography room. Awful pictures everywhere. There is one with a man and a donkey. I’m stripped naked and have my beard shaved, in a gratuitous insult to my religion. I’m shown pornographic pictures of women. I’m told to make the noises of different animals, and when I refuse, they just hit me. It ends with them pouring cold water all over me.

Hours later in my cell, I am discovered, nearly frozen. The doctor tells them to bring me urgently to the clinic, where I am given a blanket and treatment. Over the next hours, they observe me as I warm up. They are just waiting for the moment that they can sign off on my return to interrogation.

Four years ago, six U.S. government security agencies sat together and reviewed my case. Their conclusion? That I was innocent of any crime and should be released. The dirty and sadistic methods I endured — which were then taken directly to Abu Ghraib — achieved nothing, except to shame that American flag hanging in the prison corridor, which I was made to salute.

One hundred and thirty-six prisoners are still being held at Guantanamo, whilst the politicians squabble over how to black out the Senate report. America cannot keep hiding from its past, and its present, like this. Our stories, and our continued detention, cannot be made to disappear.

READ: CIA misled public on torture, Senate report says

Haphazard US Yemen “Kill List” Targeting To Lose Its Half-Assed Intelligence Guidance

[SEE: Killed, Then Rekilled, Then Killed Again–the truth about OBAMA’S MURDER BY DRONE IN YEMEN]

Exclusive: U.S. armed drone program in Yemen facing intelligence gaps

Reuters

WASHINGTON Followers of the Houthi movement demonstrate to show support to the movement in Sanaa January 23, 2015.  REUTERS/Khaled AbdullahFollowers of the Houthi movement demonstrate to show support to the movement in Sanaa January 23, 2015.  Credit: Reuters/Khaled Abdullah

 

(Reuters) – The United States is facing increasing difficulty acquiring intelligence needed to run its stealth drone program in Yemen, undermining a campaign against the most lethal branch of al Qaeda after Houthi rebels seized control of parts of the country’s security apparatus, U.S. officials say.

Gaps in on-the-ground intelligence could slow America’s fight against a resurgent al Qaeda in Yemen and heighten the risk of errant strikes that kill the wrong people and stoke anti-U.S. sentiment, potentially making the militants even stronger in areas where al Qaeda is already growing.

Iran-backed Houthi rebels have taken up positions in and around several defense and intelligence installations whose teams had previously cooperated with Washington, cutting off key sources of information for drone-missile attacks, the officials told Reuters.

Turmoil in the wake of last week’s collapse of a U.S.-backed Yemeni government after days of clashes in the capital Sanaa, has already forced the U.S. State Department to reduce staff and operations at the U.S. Embassy.

U.S. officials told Reuters last week that Washington has also halted some counter-terrorism operations, but described the measures as temporary.

The turmoil has also cast doubt over the future of a key partnership for Washington in the fight against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP. Only last September President Barack Obama touted cooperation with Yemen as a model in counter-terrorism.

AQAP claimed responsibility for shootings this month in Paris that killed 17 people and has been accused of plotting attacks against American interests.

The crisis in the Arab world’s poorest country threatens to create a power vacuum that could allow AQAP to expand, while pushing Yemen toward a broader conflict between majority Sunni Muslims and minority Shi’ite Houthis, who are hostile to both the United States and al Qaeda.

U.S. officials said training of Yemeni special forces had ground to a halt in the capital, though some joint activities were continuing in the Sunni-controlled south.

Many U.S. personnel remain in place with Yemeni government forces at the southern al-Anaad air base, an intelligence post for monitoring the Al Qaeda group.

Stephen Seche, who served as U.S. ambassador to Yemen from 2007 to 2010 and now works in Washington at a law firm, said, however, he expected collaboration between U.S. and Yemeni intelligence services to suffer.

“If there’s no leadership, there’s no clear direction, there’s no real motivation to do that,” he said.

“COLLATERAL DAMAGE”

The White House and the Pentagon have said counter-terrorism efforts in Yemen will be undeterred by turmoil in the country.

“We do continue to have an ongoing security relationship with the national security infrastructure in Yemen. Some of which, much of which, is still functioning,” White House Josh Earnest told reporters.

Some U.S. officials, however, privately say the reduced intelligence sharing could undermine the armed-drone program.

Information has dried up from Yemeni security offices in Sanaa and there has been less cooperation from local security services outside the capital, the officials told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Houthis have erected checkpoints at entrances at security institutions and have stationed operatives inside, Yemeni officials say. Rebels also surround the homes of the defense minister and the head of the National Security Bureau.

U.S. authorities treat some Yemeni intelligence leads with skepticism, concerned local officials might be trying to settle scores, and typically seek corroboration from multiple sources, the officials said.

But they will now be forced to rely more on surveillance drones, spy satellites and electronic eavesdropping, as well as their own “human intelligence” sources on the ground, said one official with direct knowledge of the operations.

With little or no prospects of working with the Houthis, Washington will also face trouble mounting raids on al Qaeda hideouts similar to those carried out in the past by U.S.-trained Yemeni special forces working close with U.S. officials.

The United States will maintain some security cooperation in southern Yemen, an al Qaeda stronghold and where former president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi retains some support, even while the rebels control the capital and much of the north, the officials said.

The U.S. officials added that they can continue drone strikes such as Monday’s attack on a car in eastern Yemen that killed three men believed to be al Qaeda militants, including one identified as a youth by a Yemeni rights group.

The Central Intelligence Agency, which conducts the bulk of drone operations in Yemen, has no drone bases on Yemeni soil but operates from Saudi Arabia and Djibouti, U.S. officials say.

They also insist that while “collateral damage” is always a risk in counter terrorism operations, they do the utmost to avoid civilian casualties.

“There must be near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured – the highest standard we can set,” said Alistair Baskey, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council.

Nineteen U.S. drone strikes killed 124 militants and four civilians in Yemen in 2014, according to the New America Foundation, which maintains a database of drone operations.

(Additional reporting by Yara Bayoumy in Dubai and Warren Strobel in Washington; Writing by Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Jason Szep and Tomasz Janowski)

 

Obama Waging Lawyer’s War To Brand Putin As “WAR CRIMINAL” Without Implicating Himself

[From the selection of news headlines given below, it is apparent that Obama’s war against Putin has taken a new, even riskier path.  Instead of continuing to simply threaten, bribe and browbeat the EU allies into closing ranks behind his scheme to isolate Putin, he intends to attempt to charge Putin with “WAR CRIMES” in the UN Security Council, branding him a “ROGUE,” Russia an “AGGRESSOR STATE” and the Novo-Russians (Eastern Ukrainian) as “TERRORISTS,” terms which Obama himself has already been branded with hundreds of times on the battlefield of the free Internet. 

Thanks to Obama a battle for a “Free Europe” will be settled upon the “Ukrainian battlefield,” by “Good Guys,” who are really “Bad Guys” of the worst sort, expecting us to believe and support them, as they turn Europe into a new tinderbox, for no good reason.  When it all boils down, there is no reason for the division and animosity between Ukraine and Russia, except for the pain left over from mistakes that are now past and the universal Ukrainians unwillingness to pay the real cost of keeping their homes warm in the wintertime.]

Ukrainian MPs call on UN, NATO & PACE to recognize Russia as ‘aggressor state’

Russia Is Turning Into a Rogue State

US Official:’ A Free Europe Rises or Falls With Ukraine’

Pro-Russian rebels officially labelled terrorists by Ukraine government

Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Secretariat

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted the Resolution “On the Statement of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to the United Nations, European Parliament, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, NATO Parliamentary Assembly, GUAM Parliamentary Assembly and international parliaments on

recognizing the Russian Federation the aggressor state”

( Information Department of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Secretariat )

The people’s deputies adopted the Statement of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to the United Nations, European Parliament, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, NATO Parliamentary Assembly, GUAM Parliamentary Assembly and international parliaments on recognizing the Russian Federation the aggressor state.

271 people’s deputy voted in favor.

 

 

 

US Army Trains World Army To Fight the War for “Pax America”

[THE CULMINATION OF DECADES OF PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTATION

–the Pentagon Trains the World Armies To Fight the Phantom Threats
–Which we create
LONG-RANGE PLANNING TO INVOLVE ALL OF THE NATIONS IN A WORLDWIDE PSEUDO-WAR…ISN’T THAT PROOF OF PSYCHOPATHIC INTENT?]

ukraine trainingUS Trainers To Deploy To Ukraine

Also Will Begin Shipment of US-funded Armored Vehicles

 

U.S. Army Africa sponsors African Deployment Partnership Training in Benin/></a></td><br />
                          <td width=U.S. Army Africa sponsors African Deployment Partnership Training in Benin

 

(Jan. 15, 2015) Marine Maj. Christopher Ross, an infantry officer with the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force, looks on as Iraqi army soldiers practice maneuver techniques at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq. Ross is working with Iraq Army officers and noncommisioned officers to develop advanced training for Iraqi army recruits. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. William White)U.S. Troops headed to Syria to aid fight against ISIS

 

97814 fullUS military returns to Iraq 3 years after withdrawing

 

brits training peshmergaBritish Army Training The Peshmerga In Northern Iraq

 

Sweden is home to some 100,000 Kurdish immigrants

Sweden to send military trainers to Kurdistan

THE REAL DEAL–Rafiq Hariri Assassination

Political Assassination

crime scene 1

Crime of the Century

crime scene 2

The Candor Operation


Six Weeks prior to the Murder of  President Rafik Al Hariri

 

Most of the operations of political assassination and big crimes are planned in a manner that meant to be never revealed or discovered, such as: John Kennedy, Akino, September 11, Yasser Araffat, Rafik Al-Hariri, etc.

Who killed Rafik Al-Hariri?

Ugine Goldman, the Director of the Planning Unit of the C.I.A Supreme Council; Daniel Iceberg, the specialist in uncovering Pentagon secret information & Michael Shober, the anti-terrorist officer in the C.I.A, reveal to us the truth of what happened

American & Israeli Motivations for Political Assassinations in the Middle East:l

  1. After the occupation of Iraq, and following the issuance of UN on Sept 2, 2004, Decree (resolution) 1559, the idea of political assassination was revived in the Middle East through the Israeli Intelligence Agency .It prepared playing cards with the personalities to be assassinated which included: Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, President Emil Lahoud, President Rafik Al-Hariri, President Yasser Arafat, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, among others. The top card, ace heart, carried the photo of Rafik AlHariri. Next to his photo they wrote the most wanted. Followed by in these play cards; came the politician Ely Habekah whose photo was crossed out, for he was already assassinated in 2002. In this plan; on the electronic site, the American extreme rightist writer, Richard Pearl, and the political commentator, Daniel Pipes participated in collaboration with the Israeli Military Establishment.

  2. This idea was adopted by the Israeli Mossad, then Sharon miniature council of ministers and then C.I.A followed suit.

  3. The idea of political assassination was next blessed and approved by Bush Administration Security Council, since it lent support to the American New Middle East Project which is based upon introducing changes in the demography and geography of the Middle East through chaos, turmoil, uprisings and civil and sectarian fights between Sunnis and Shiites at first then between the other sects and minorities in the Middle East as well, and also through the formation of several weak and puppet political entities in the Middle East, beginning with Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine then extending to other Middle Eastern countries as well, in order to achieve two aims : first, to establish full and direct geographic and political control over the Middle Eastern oil; and second, to spread Israeli hegemony over the miniature divided countries in the Middle East. 

  4. From American perspective, the Syrian Army, situated in Lebanon, was a big obstacle in the face of launching chaos, turmoil and civil fight in this country.

  5. The Syrian government started to withdraw its forces from Lebanon in a radical way following the withdrawal of the Israeli forces from southern Lebanon. It carried out several withdrawals (six) and repositioned its forces on: June 14, 2001; April 3, 2002; February 19-25.2004; September 27, 2004; and finally on December 18, 2004. In the last withdrawal, and for the first time since 1976, Syria withdrew its intelligence forces out of Lebanon. Security road blocks in and near Beirut International Airport, in Beirut southern suburbs and in the northern coast of Betron city were removed. The withdrawal of the Syrian intelligence forces created a big security gap in Lebanon which led to the penetration of several intelligence Arabic and foreign agencies into Lebanon (American, Israeli, European, Jordan and Saudi). This in addition to the penetration of Al-Qaida Organization and its affiliates into Beirut then into southern and northern Lebanon. This security gap caused the decline and the endanger of security in Beirut and other Lebanese regions two months before Al-Hariri’s assassination. The consecutive withdrawals of the Syrian Army from the various Lebanese zones were in accordance with the recommendations of Al-Taif Conference on Lebanon.

  6. The Syrian opposition to the American occupation of Iraq and the non approval of the Syrian President of the American conditions advanced by the American Secretary of State, Colin Pawell, were two key factors for the American Administration to apply pressure on Syria with the aim of forcing it to withdraw its army from Lebanon; then isolate the Syrian administration; then establishing and supporting a Lebanese opposition to Syrian existence in Lebanon; then establishing and supporting a strong Sunni current to oppose the Shiite current represented by Hezbollah Party which poses a threat to the security of Israel through its missile force.

The Manipulation of the UN as a Tool in the New Middle East Project:

  1. In that context, it wasn’t foreseen to attack Syria militarily according to a decision the American Administration took in 2004, so they turned to the United Nations and its decrees and to the political and economic penalties as a means to isolate Syria, weaken it and destroy its regional influence represented: first, in Lebanon through Hezbollah and Amal. Second, Movement; in the occupied Palestinian territories through Hamas and the other Palestinian opposition parties; and third, in Iraq through its tribal and political weight

The United Nations, together with its Security Council, have been used as tools to exert pressure on Syria and Iran. This has been adopted after signing the agreement between Britain and the USA in alliance with France and Germany in the presence of Israel during 2003, after the Anglo-American occupation of Iraq which has been climaxed with the issuance of Decree 1559 on September 2, 2004,  and the decrees that followed.

2.The American Secretary of State, together with the American Embassy in Beirut, coordinated with some Lebanese personalities including Qorna Shahwan, who was received in Los Angeles; Michael Oun, who was received in Chicago; Patriarch Safeer, who was received in Washington; in addition to the Sunni current led by Rafik Al- Hariri, along with the Social Progressive Party led by Walid Jumblatt, all whom the Americans coordinated with during meetings in the American Embassy in Beirut. These events were followed by imposing the American penalties onSyria, and the adoption of Shalom Plan on which basis Decree 1559 was issued.

3.The “Pristol” opposition coalition was formed with the support and blessings of Rafik Al-Hariri to confront the Syrian support to extend President Emil Lahoud’s term, on Sept 3, 2004, for three additional years.

Picking the Political Assassination Victim in the New Middle East Project:

  1. President Rafik Al-Hariri disappointed first the American Administration, then the French one, by participating himself, his ministers and his Parliament members in the efforts to extend President Emil Lahoud’s term.

  2. The non attendance of President Rafik Al-Hariri of the meetings of the Pristol opposition block; the certainty of his leaving the opposition; and his frequent and repeated encounters in December and January with Sheikh Hassan Nasr Allah, increased the outrage and fear of the American Administration. Therefore, the assassination process was accelerated, especially since Al-Hariri withdrew his support of the Pristol block, as he himself declared to the Lebanese Newspaper “Al Safir”.

  3. Also the opposition of President Rafik Al-Hariri for the (Bechtel & Jacob) Project to build an American base in south Tripoli “Patron”, and his opposition to the construction of the largest American Embassy in the Middle East in Lebanon, again increased the outrage and fears of the American Administration. Accordingly, the C.I.A. excluded for the moment the idea of assassinating the Shiite Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah; given the difficulty of that task, and adopted instead the idea of eliminating the Sunni President Rafik Al-Hariri; for he was an easy target, and because that venture was more profitable from the point of view of its results and outcomes that help the realization of the New Middle East Project.

  4. On Aug 29, 2004, the electronic site of “the American comity for freedom of Lebanon “, nicknamed Rafik Al-Hariri “the foremost  Lebanese  agent that  works for Syria.”
  5. The assassination of Al-Hariri was a decision taken by the American Administration and Sharon government. National Security Advisor Aide, Eliot Abrams, played a key role linking the White House and Sharon Intelligence offic

The C.I.A. (UN Branch) Plans for the Assassination of Rafik Al-Hariri:

  1. While the parliamentary committees were convening in Beirut, the C.I.A. (UN Branch) , made a terrestrial map and a satellite map for the district of San George, Venezia Intercontinental Hotel and the surrounding buildings in collaboration with the Israeli Mossad (Unit 504). Next, they determined the daily appointments, timings and meetings of Rafik AlHariri. The new UN Building (Alaskwa) comprising 8 floors with glass facades was used for monitoring Hariri’s movements from and to the Lebanese Parliament, including all roads and cross roads.

  2. The C.I.A doesn’t have the capabilities for carrying out such an operation without local Lebanese help. The Israeli Mossad offered such help through their agents in the disbanded Southern Lebanese Army (Israeli Assassination Unit 504) whom have been trained in Israel.

  3. Despite the presence of those Lebanese elements who are loyal to the Mossad; such an operation must be carried in a suicidal manner that can’t be entrusted to those elements of the Mossad. Therefore, it was agreed to have the participation of some Lebanese and Palestinian elements of the “Nasra and Jihad” Group that makes part of “Gond AlSham” militia, centered around Saida, south Lebanon, in the district of Tammeer, Ein Al-Helwa, in order to carry out such suicidal operation.

  4. President Rafik Al-Hariri, in the Sunni Religious Circles, is considered to represent Saudi Arabia in Lebanon. He was chosen with the approval of Syria. It is well known that Saudi Arabia opposes the Islamic extremists and it is at war with Al-Qaida Organization. In that context, the C.I.A. in the American Embassy in Riyadh, in collaboration with the Australian Intelligence Agency and the Saudi Security Forces, contacted Al-Oteebi (Saud Al-Oteebi, the head of Al-Qaida branch in Saudi Arabia) & Al-Ghamdi Cells in Mecca. This contact was made through two C.I.A elements of Lebanese origin and with a terrorist façade. The reason was to secure a meeting to be attended by Lebanese extremists carrying Australian passports who will visit Mecca for worship.  Planning and financing were made under the nomination of Al-Qaida. Next Al-Oteebi Cell was liquidated by the Saudi Security Forces and the F.B.I. The hardest venture for the American C.I.A. was to enlist Lebanese extremists in the assassination plan without being discovered later on. Accordingly, orders and executive steps remained piecemeal, vague and unclear without fixing time, place or target. Al-Oteebi, Gond AlSham and the Australian Lebanese extremists groups were all unaware of the common link between them and the American Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A). The Australian Lebanese extremists, who were seven persons, were accommodated in a flat in Beirut, four weeks before the operation, with the help of two elements (a Lebanese and a Palestinian) of Gond Al-Sham group in coordination also with Sheikh Al Gozo.

  5. A Mitsubishi stolen truck was stolen and transported from Japan via UAE to Lebanon on October, 12, 2004. It was assembled by elements of the C.I.A in the American Embassy in Beirut, where it was equipped with several electronic devices that included: C-GUARD EXP device which is a special and counter jamming device; a thermometer; an electronic shocker; a specially developed mini navigator; a transceiver linked with the satellites via GPS-11; and a transceiver linked with unit 8200 AWACS Planes. The truck was next handed over to the Israeli Mossad. The connecting elements were always Lebanese working for the Mossad, under cover of the Federal Bureau Investigation (F.B.I) situated in the American Embassy in Beirut.

  6. Three charges of T.N.T. mixed with phosphorus, having a destructive power of one ton, were transported at consecutive times, through a narrow passage in the Israeli mine fields, by Lebanese agents working for the Mossad whose chief directly supervised the operation together with Chief of the Intelligence of the Israeli Army, Mayer Daghan. The explosives were assembled, transported and handed over by the Mossad agents and elements of Gond Al-Sham group and the seven Australian Lebanese, in the district of Al Tameer, Saida, in a place beyond the control of the Lebanese army and Hezbollah security.

  7. Two months after Syrian security withdrawals, and on day 17, Friday Jan 28, 2005, before his assassination, Rafik Al-Hariri was informed with the necessity of visiting Washington for consultation and coordination with the American Foreign Ministry and President Bush. The American Ambassador in Beirut asked President Rafik Al-Hariri to come over to the Embassy to arrange for the forthcoming meeting in Washington. On the day 13, on Tuesday Feb 1, 2005, before the assassination, President Rafik Al-Hariri visited the American Embassy in Beirut to meet the Ambassador Feldman and to have the diplomatic visa stamped on his passport for the entry of the USA. In an ordinary routine act, his cellular phone was taken from him upon his entry in the Embassy. During the meeting that lasted for one hour, AlHariri cell phone was bugged with a closed-circuit electronic chip and a navigator, thus AlHariri’s movements were monitored by the satellites and the Awacs. Also, the memory of Hariri’s cellular phone chip was copied in order to spy on the calls he  receives in order to know his movements in advance. Thus, Hariri’s movements became under control and monitoring, and completely clear unsecured.

  8. The crime theater was monitored from the ground, from sea and from air by the satellites and the Awacs.

  9. On Day 4 prior to Hariri’s  assassination (Thursday February 10, 2005), Terry Rod Larson (UN supreme emissary) warned Al Hariri of the bad situation and advised his to be cautious. The UN had appointed Larson to supervise the implementation of  the Security Council Resolution No. 1559.

  10.  The assassination operation which was planned for on Friday February 11, 2005, was postponed for three days due to a misunderstanding between the Lebanese elements working for the Mossad and the Australian Lebanese elements, whom one of them would carry out the suicidal operation, and the operations center in the UN headquarters and the American Embassy in Beirut. This because of the heavy traffic after President Rafik Al-Hariri had left Mohammed Al Amin  Mosque following Friday Prayer.

  11. Monday February 14, 2005, was the first of three days for the Parliament to debate the new electoral law.

  12. At 11:55 on the morning of February 14, 2005, Yehia Al Arab (Abu Tarek), the chief body guard of Al Hariri,  informed Al Hariri that Mr. Naguib Fregi, the UN Speaker in Beirut, and some newsmen are awaiting him in the Actuel Café located at the other side of the Nejma Square. AlHariri told Abu Tarek that he will soon join them. He was then sitting in the main room of the Parliament together with Marawan Hamada,  Ghazi AlAreedi and other colleagues discussing the electoral law.

  13.  At 12:15 on the same day, Naguib Fregi, an elegant Tunisian that smokes cigars and manages the Information Center (Of the UN branch of the C.I.A), was meeting some outstanding Lebanese newsmen to inform them about the results of a meeting that was held the previous Thursday between Terry Rod Larson and President Bashar AlAssad. Four outstanding journalists were sitting around the table in the Café with Fregi, among them Ali Hamada, from Al Nahar Lebanese Newspaper, and Walid Shuker, from Al-Hayat Newspaper. While they were talking, Abu Tarek, Al-Hariri’s bodyguard, entered the Actuel Café and informed Fregi that Al-Hariri will come within few minutes. It was customary that Fregi and Hariri take the opportunity from time to time to exchange views and information.

  14.  At 12:35 on the same day, Hariri crossed Nejma Square towards the Actuel Café , entered it and discussed with the journalists, the Parliament affairs. However, Naguib Fregi, asked Hariri to talk with him separately about Hezbollah and its disarmament. Hariri advised Fregi that the UN must deal directly with it, and told him to make sure to tell the Americans about it before he goes lest they would worry.

  15.  At 12:42 p.m., Hariri’s motorcade was waiting on one side of the road near the Parliament. Abu Tarek informed the motorcade police officer and his assistant with the road that they should follow to return to Quraitem. That was the last encounter for Hariri with the First Watchman (the C.I.A. agent in the UN Branch), Naguib Fregi, who in his turn informed the Second Watchman in the UN headquarter, on the eighth floor, who  checked  what he watches directly and indirectly via an electronic monitoring screen connected with satellites.  He watched the exit of  Hariri’s motorcade from Nejma Square through the road leading to San George. In his turn he passed on the information to the Third Watchman situated on the motorcade way. On the screen, there were two illuminated dots: a red one representing the Mitsubishi truck movement, and a green representing Hariri’s movements. In the monitoring and control center, watching the screen connected with satellites, there was the security officer of the C.I.A. , UN Branch, Ugine Goldman. On the same terminal, in the American Embassy in Beirut, another monitoring screen was being watched by Robert Miller, from the Federal Bureau Investigation (F.B.I).

  16.  At 12:53 p.m., we follow up what happened during the last minutes that preceded Hariri’s assassination before the movement of Hariri’s motorcade. The conversation ended in the Actuel Café and Hariri left accompanied by Basel Flihan. They walked towards the awaiting motorcade. Flihan entered the armored Mercedes car and accommodated himself in the front passenger seat, whereas, Hariri was smilingly waving to Fregi and the newsmen from the driver seat of the car. At the motorcade end there was an ambulance, a modified Chevrolet, which carried Rashid Hamoud, an emergency specialist in the American University Hospital. Its driver was Mahmoud Aweini. The second medical assistant was Mazen AlZahabi. A Toyota Land Cruiser, was leading the procession carrying four of the internal security police officers. It was followed by a Mercedes S-500, driven by Amer Shehada, accompanied by two private guards: Mohammed Reda, in the front seat, and Hassan Agiuz in the rear seat. Hariri’s armored Mercedes S-600 was the third in the procession, followed by other two Mercedes cars, each carries three private guards. Abu Tarek was sitting  in the front seat of the fourth car. The private guards sitting in the front seats were carrying machine pistols of the type “ Hilker & Couch”, which are small and light weight weapons, whereas those on the rear seats were carrying a “ Berta Glouk”  9 mm automatic pistol, that is hanged in a pouch near the shoulder.
  17. As the procession went around the Clock Tower in the middle of the square, and then up the street, passing by the Italian Embassy towards the northern direction, the Second Watchman, observed  from the building of the UN (the C.I.A. branch), that the procession is directing northward. Accordingly he made a communication from a cellular phone. It was the first of four calls he made in the next few minutes. That who were receiving the calls were the group of the Third Watchman, in the neighborhood, covering all possible ways that Hariri’s procession might take in the direction of Quretem. In the next few minutes, the Lebanese Mossad (Unit 504), closed down the other two roads leading to Quretem by placing barricades belonging to Beirut Municipality. The cellular phones of the Watchmen, whose calls were prepaid, were eight phones, and were acquired more than a month before. The calls that were made between these phones were between those Watchmen in order to check and control the movement of Hariri’s procession. The hierarchy of command, management, surveillance and monitoring of Hariri’s procession was as follows:

    1. The First Watchman : Naguib Fregi from the C.I.A, UN Branch.
    2. The Second Watchman : Ugine Goldman, the C.I.A.; and Robert Miller, the Federal Bureau Investigation F.B.I.
    3. The Third Watchman : Mayer Daghan, Unit 504, the Lebanese Mossad.
    4. The Fourth Watchman : Gond AlSham group and the suicidal (Ahmed Abu Alades and Khaled Taha).

One of the four persons (the Fourth Watchman)  has received a call from ( the Second Watchman)situated in the Nejma Square (the UN building). The driver of a Mitsubishi Canter white vane remained beside San George Hotel awaiting the call. The van moved very slowly on the public road. The cars and the trucks were moving quickly, whereas the van was moving at the speed of 8 km/h in accordance with the Second Watchman instructions. He over passed the small roofed entrance leading to the Beach Club of the San George Hotel. He stopped after few meters according to the instructions.

18.  At 12:55 p. m. : the driver of the white Mitsubishi truck, through the left mirror of his car, that was standing beside San George Hotel for less than a minute, was able to see the gray Toyota Land Cruiser, boarded by the  policemen, increasing in size as it was racing towards the road parallel to the yacht port of the San George Hotel, followed by the Mercedes driven by Amer Shehada, within a time interval less than a fraction of a second. The next car that passed beside the Mitsubishi was the third in the procession – Hariri’s Mercedes S-600 armored car. When it passed parallel to it, the Second Watchman pressed the automatic control key, this before the encounter of the red point with the green point on his monitoring screen, which in turn is connected with the American spy satellite. With an accuracy of milliseconds, the electronic monitoring and ignition circuit situated in the explosive truck was reacting in this second with the electronic and monitoring circuit situated in the Hariri’s motorcade at the moment of the encounter of both victims within the field of black imaginary points.

19.  On day Zero, Monday February 14, 2005 (Valentine Day), the operation was postponed for 20 minutes, for more coordination and control, during Hariri’s stopping Actuel Café after his meetings in the Parliament. With the movement of the monitoring ground group controlling the Mitsubishi truck laden with the explosives, the contacts resumed again and the movements of both Al-Hariris motorcade and the Mitsubishi truck towards the location X were ascertained. At the proper instant and timing, at 12:56:26 Beirut local time on February 14.2005,the detonation of the truck occurred through a complicated electronic network linking the detonator, navigator Al- Hariris cell phone, American satellites and AWACS planes, control room, the truck laden with the explosives and the electronic devices mentioned previously; in addition of the security-TV camera of the HSBC British bank which was already aiming at the cross roads where Al-Hariris motorcade would encounter the Mitsubishi truck laden with explosives, connected with the monitoring ground group. This cipher was there only for confusing and for reception by the receivers using the frequencies used by Al-Hariri’s motorcade and the Mitsubishi truck. The order for explosion was given at the moment the two victims encountered each other, regardless of the instructions that were given to the Mitsubishi truck driver. This order to explode the Mitsubishi truck was given at the moment the truck approached Al-Hariri’s motorcade.

20. Operation Candor was successful; which was the name given for Al-Hariri’s assassination.

21. Six of the Australian Lebanese extremists left Lebanon, leaving behind their colleague who drove the Mitsubishi suicidal truck bomb. They flew out of Beirut International Airport, three hours after Al-Hariri’s assassination, in a hurry without even taking their luggage with them. Their part in the plot was camouflaged by the C.I.A and the Australian Intelligence Agency. In the meanwhile, judge Mozahr and General Rify were messing with the crime theater. As for the suspects, the Palestinian suicidal Ahmed Abu Hades and Khaled Taha were considered lost by the International Investigation Committee. The Witness, Nawar Habib Douna was liquidated in a traffic  accident. He was a cellular phones cards seller in Tripoli, which the assassination group members of the Lebanese Mossad used.

Consequences of Al-Hariri’s Assassination for the New Middle East Project:

  1. The assassination operation succeeded, and, as planned, attention turned to Syria as the primary actor of the assassination. The American Embassy in Lebanon started to turn the Lebanese political forces against Syria, Hezbollah and against the Lebanese President Emil Lahud. The important things for them were to isolate Syria and to force her to withdraw her armed forces from Lebanon; to enforce UN Decree 1559; to hit Hezbollah and to ignite a sectarian turmoil between Sunnis and Shiites. And if it weren’t possible to assassinate Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the Shiite; then it was possible to assassinate President Rafik AlHariri, the Sunni, and achieve the same goal!
  2. The operation of AlHariri’s assassination and its consequences were reviewed in their entirety by the C.I.A Supreme Council, when Ambassador Feldman was summoned to Washington for three weeks. The American extraordinary ambassador, Satterfield, was sent to Lebanon to supervise the consecutive explosions in the Christian zones in Beirut.
  3. Robert Miller, was the supreme coordinator and the general manager of the Candor Operation in coordination with the Mossad Chief, General Mayer Daghan.
  4. The American C.I.A. embroiled the United Nations, using the C.I.A. branch there, in the operation of the assassination of Rafik AlHariri.
  5. Gihad ben Ahmed Gebril, from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Ali Hassan Saleh; one of the leaders of Hezbollah Party, the Parliament member Ely Hebeqa, commander George Hawi, and Parliament member Gibran Twini were also assassinated with planning from the C.I.A, the UN branch,  and execution by the F.B.I and the Mossad, which murdered also Ezz AlDin Sobhi Sheikh Khalil, one of the leaders of Hamas in Damascus.
  6. Technically, the deep rift theory was adopted in the selection of the assassination location in a manner that causes deep and horizontal destruction. Also, the illusory four black points theory was adopted to ensure that the explosion covers all Al-Hariri’s motorcade. These four black points distributed along the entire road from San George Hotel and the neighboring building. These four points represented the main control for the explosion and arranged the timing for launching the loaded and mobile explosives on the Mitsubishi truck.

The electronic explosion control functions only in case the explosive cars are provided with electronic control devices such as electronic jamming, alarming and monitoring devices, which were available in Al-Hariri’s motorcade. USA and Israel are the only two countries in the region that possess satellites and AWACS planes in addition to control systems with a high degree of technological sophistication. Satellites with AWACS can send signals to detonators with the size of a watch battery. Such technology is monopolized by the USA, Israel and Russia.

The passage of Al-Hariri’s motorcade, which equipped with the highly advanced electronic alarm devices and jamming devices (4 Mega Hz) through the illusory black points, allows the functioning of the explosives. The process of linking the black points with explosives is very complicated and needs very high advanced technology such as systems that can jam the devices protecting Al-Hariri’s motorcade and which depend upon the same source for the protection systems including satellites.

Whether for jamming or exploding, the illusory black points theory to hit the target during explosion, is considered the most recent theory that the Israeli discovered with the help of one of their scientists, Dioth Fasilon, a Russian Jewish scientist in 1999, and it is the same system that the USA developed and supplied the assassination groups with.


• Is it now clear who assassinated Rafik Al-Hariri ?!



• Member of the Administrative Committee of the Association of the
American Arab Physicians.

The anti-fascist struggle is class struggle–Antiwar Internationalist Movement

[SEE:  Preparing a new Gladio for the Left in Greece! ]

Antiwar Internationalist Movement: The anti-fascist struggle is class struggle

dawn gr.

Antiwar Internationalist Movement: The anti-fascist struggle is class struggle

“The battle and the struggle against fascism-nationalism is a struggle against modern totalitarian capitalism and similar manifestations in each field of action,” said in a statement Antiwar Internationalist Movement and notes that “fascism is not a phenomenon but clean face of capitalism “.

Cited entire statement issued by the Movement, on the occasion of the first anniversary of the murder of Paul Fyssas:

“To celebrate the antifascist week and one year after the murder of Paul Fyssas from Nazi gang with the police facing them, it might be a good time to do a review of that period on the subject of fascism and in context, totalitarianism. From this perspective we can not recognize that this period was unfortunately rich in events and situations from which, however, can and should come useful policy conclusions that the antifascist action and the struggle against modern totalitarianism have as possible better targeting and effectiveness of anti-capitalist-antikratika properties rather detached from a purely class analysis against oppression and social destruction we experience in this increasingly totalitarian system.

“The fascist reasonable and practical and stable channel in every aspect of the state and in large parts of the society is going to show the situation, if the revolutionary movement did not stand in the projects of local and foreign capitalist imperialist order to overcome their crisis and further our fully exploited.

From statements in TIF Prime Minister about how important the contribution of military and police in the armor of ‘democracy’ and border security to changes in antiracist baptized bills silence any free speech, fascist mentality and practice takes sovereign state nature of organization and enforcement through and new doctrines of defense and security. Essentially workers’ struggle prohibited democratic rights-Lay freedoms disappear, the claims come outlawed and searches of social liberation come outlawed poinikopoiounaii the new penal code, the University Asylum waived for competitors giving Asylum Market laws and Profit, the promiscuity of companies.

The fascist concentration camps, indirect dips boats with immigrants, refugees from the port and the stewardship-patrol of the main metropolis streets against anyone who looks more miserable by the nationalist ‘desirable’ average person creates a state of war ‘low’ power for immigrants.

The increasingly deepening fascist nationalist intolerance to security forces and the army, by chrysafgites – Nazis in all stratifications Army (ret EP.OP. to generals and current MEPs) to nationalist ‘songs’ of storm trooper and forcing the soldiers of Samothrace to sing from their superiors, and formerly the junta devoutness in Academy amid the celebration of the Polytechnic uprising, compose a mosaic of how the spread of fascism is now firmly on the tougher side enforcement the bourgeois state.

In particular, the prosecution of those who oppose the above as the political persecution of the Solidarity Committee militant exactly as opposed to the modern building of totalitarianism by creating movement in and out of the army, is a sign of nationalism and fascist state functions as the official state now ideology.

The tough battle to promote nationalism and ekfasismou society comes to be with every propaganda tool as all the mainstream media that identify each immigrant -prosfyga with terrorist-jihadists of the ISIS and promote all the dominant conception of Europe fortress.

But you should not stay only in the manifestations of fascism that have to do directly or indirectly with certain fascist ideologies. Although most blatantly make their use and support them from the countries of West and their imperialist unions (EU, NATO, etc.) as in the case of Ukraine which the West actively supports political, economic and military, the fascist government of Kiev . Who chose to declare war on the fifth and most of the population with nationalist and racist criteria and requires all Memoranda EU-IMF, the consequences of which knows better than all our people. But see the resistance of world fascism brings results,

On the other hand we have new data. The targeted THE CLASS ENEMY!

Totalitarianism in contemporary capitalism does not directly require the use of classical nationalist tools always to hit the real class enemy who are exploiting subjects and those who are opposed to the very nature and existence of this system. As recently showed the uprising in Ferguson, Missouri in the US, the state machine has begun to reorganize in order to fight the enemy in the most modern mutation of capitalism, which is none other than the ‘internal enemy disobedient’, the working class, impoverished segments society and people in general are disobedient to, bourgeois legality and oppression, dictates.

With practices fueled by war and ethnic cleansing (training American police by Israeli soldiers in dealing with protesters from their experiences in Gaza, military police tactics in attack against impoverished residents in Brazilian favelas) and the police militarization or policed ​​by the army, two bodies increasingly becomes more blurred the difference between them because of the role that now show the clean face of capitalism and the dominance of neoliberal doctrines for continuous social competition at all costs.

What must be understood is that the battle and the struggle against fascism-nationalism is a struggle against modern totalitarian capitalism and similar manifestations in each field of action.

This fight should be a global anticapitalist perspective if we want to attack the roots and move to create the anti-fascist movement in society by linking immigrants in this race as an organic part of it. By creating solidarity infrastructure and racing centers in modern metropolises of impoverished and desperate people and in confrontation with which prospect of defeat. By connecting youth struggles and workers with the antifascist struggle.

You need to create the infrastructure and the necessary resistance movements in and out of the army, the soldiers’ committees and the creation of antifascist front in the army until the creation of an anti-war anti-capitalist movement that has the potential to put a brake on urban plans for holding inside or outside the imperialist interventions.

All these require a basic condition to understand that fascism is not a phenomenon but the clean face of capitalism and that this period is not just a difficult time but the principle of complete mutation of capitalism to a higher stage of domination and exploitation towards of subjects.

The KOINOVOULEFTIKOS TOTALITARIANISM AND SOVEREIGNTY OF URBAN CHANGE ORDER NO-NO reforming overturned

The Antifascist WRESTLING IS CLASS STRUGGLE

ANTIKYVERNITIKOS-ANTIEE-ANTIKAPITALISTIKOS

RACE IS ON STRUCTURE AND SOCIAL LIBERATION “.