ThereAreNoSunglasses

American Resistance To Empire

Comic-Strip Nation

[SEE:  Guts & glory: the making of the American military image in film One Minute to Zero: Camp Carson ;‘LET THERE BE LIGHT,’ JOHN HUSTON VS. THE ARMY ]

Comic-Strip Propaganda

reason

How Washington officials inserted ideas into the funny pages

The U.S. government has a history of inserting propaganda into popular culture, sometimes overtly and sometimes behind the scenes. Comics historian Jeet Heer has dug up a particularly interesting example: Roy Crane’s strip Buz Sawyer. Crane not only coordinated his storylines with Washington during World War II and the Cold War, but he sometimes allowed officials to dictate the details of his plots.

In 1952, for example—just a year before a CIA-assisted coup in Iran—Crane set a story in that country. As part of the process of producing it,

And then to get Mosaddeq out, amirite? 

Roy Cranea State Department official named Eugene V. Brown sent Crane a ten-page memo, explaining in precise detail the plot points the government wanted for Buz Sawyer, along with what purpose those points served. These included finding a way to “stress [the] importance of Private Enterprise” and to portray “the manner in which Communism attempts to discredit development and improvement programs of the West.” Crane, meanwhile, should do his best to steer clear of certain delicate topics. “It would be best to avoid any reference to OIL in discussing Iran.” Because winning hearts and minds was key, Brown wanted a story showing “a strong bond of friendship” between Buz and an Iranian pilot named Sandhu, the purpose of which was to “provide entry of Buz into local situation on common level with indigenous forces.” (Crane followed this direction, although he used the name Ali instead of Sandhu.) Other plot points were designed to provide “further evidence of machinations of Communism” and “display American individual’s ingenuity in coping with operations.” Six months after the strip appeared, Crane praised Brown’s contribution in a letter to Dean Acheson, Truman’s secretary of state and one of the key architects of the cold war…

As Heer notes, the “millions of Americans who read Buz Sawyer in 1952 would have gotten a very distorted image of Iran. They would have seen a country where Americans were chiefly helping to avert a famine, where the major threat of disorder came from Soviet spies, where Americans were good-hearted aid officials, where control of the oil supply wasn’t a factor, and where the U.S. government had no conflict with the democratically elected government.” Such storylines weren’t good for the cartoonist’s craft either, Heer argues: “As Crane became more concerned with tailoring his strips to a political message, they lost the spark that had once made them special.”

To read Heer’s whole article, go here. To read about the government’s efforts to influence radio programs during World War II, go here. For a more recent story of this sort—the messages that the Clinton-era Office of National Drug Control Policy inserted into prime-time TV shows—go here.

US Judge Rules Saudi Arabia Has Complete Immunity for Sept. 11, 2001

Saudi Arabia has sovereign immunity from 9/11 damage claims, judge rules

cbc news

Information from imprisoned Zacarias Moussaoui ruled irrelevant due to immunity

By Nate Raymond, Thomson Reuters

This undated file photo provided by the Sherburne County Sheriff Office shows Zacharias Moussaoui, who figured in the lawsuit by the families of 9/11 victims.

This undated file photo provided by the Sherburne County Sheriff Office shows Zacharias Moussaoui, who figured in the lawsuit by the families of 9/11 victims. (Sherburne County, Minn., Sheriff’s Office/AP)

A U.S. judge on Tuesday dismissed claims against Saudi Arabia by families of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, who accused the country of providing material support to al Qaeda.

U.S. District Judge George Daniels in Manhattan said Saudi Arabia had sovereign immunity from damage claims by families of the nearly 3,000 people killed in the attacks, and from insurers that covered losses suffered by building owners and businesses.

“The allegations in the complaint alone do not provide this court with a basis to assert jurisdiction over defendants,” Daniels wrote.

The victims had sought to supplement their case with new allegations to avoid that result, including based on testimony they secured from Zacarias Moussaoui, a former al-Qaeda operative imprisoned for his role in the attacks.

Daniels said even if he allowed the plaintiffs to assert those new claims, doing so would be “futile, however, because the additional allegations do not strip defendants of sovereign immunity.”

Lawyers for the plaintiffs said they would appeal. Sean Carter, one the lawyers, said he believed the ruling was also the consequence of the U.S. government’s decision to keep classified evidence that could be favourable to their cause.

“Obviously, we respectfully disagree with Judge Daniels’s ruling,” he said

A lawyer for Saudi Arabia declined comment.

The ruling came just over 14 years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, in which airliners hijacked by al Qaeda militants brought death and destruction upon the United States.

Most of the 19 attackers were Saudi nationals who hijacked planes and flew them into the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon near Washington, D.C., and into a field in Pennsylvania after passengers revolted.

The case against Saudi Arabia has had a complicated history, with trial judges including Daniels twice before ruling that Saudi Arabia was entitled to immunity under the federal Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.

But in 2013, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York revived the lawsuit, in light of a 2011 decision that allowed similar claims to proceed against Afghanistan.

The case is In re Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 03-md-01570.

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”

rss_refugees

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.

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.

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.

Saudis Foot the Bill for Zionist TV Campaign Against Iran

Photo: Kaster Pool/Reuters /Landov

Television stations across the country are being flooded with $6 million of advertisements from a group called the “American Security Initiative” urging citizens to call their U.S. Senators and oppose the nuclear deal with Iran.

Though the American Security Initiative does not reveal donor information, the president of the new group, former Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., is a registered lobbyist for Saudi Arabia. Coleman’s firm, Hogan Lovells, is on retainer to the Saudi Arabian monarchy for $60,000 a month. In July 2014, Coleman described his work as “providing legal services to the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia” on issues including “legal and policy developments involving Iran and limiting Iranian nuclear capability.”

The co-chairs of the American Security Initiative include former Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., former Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., and former Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga. Chambliss works at DLA Piper, another lobbying firm retained to influence U.S. policy on behalf of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia.

The advertising effort is part of a fierce lobbying campaign to convince senators to support legislation expressing disapproval of the international accord with Iran, which will lift economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for inspections of the Iranian nuclear industry to ensure that it remains peaceful. The vote is scheduled to take place in September.

Saudi Arabia and other Sunni-led Persian Gulf governments have long viewed Iran as a regional adversary. The rivalry stems from the Sunni-Shiite sectarian divide, and experts also believe Iranian oil exports could challenge Saudi Arabia’s dominance in the market. The crises in Syria and in Yemen have become proxy wars between the two nations as Saudi Arabia and Iran are playing an active role in fueling opposing sides in both conflicts.

Last month, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced that senior Saudi officials have reversed course and now express support for the Iran deal.

But analysts believe that Saudi Arabia is still trying to kill the deal, just not in public. As Newsweek reported, Saudi officials speaking on condition on anonymity have attacked the deal. And Saudi media outlets tied to the royal family have also widely condemned it.

Photo: (L-R) U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter meets with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdul Aziz and his security leadership at the Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, July 22, 2015 to reassure the kingdom of America’s support after Washington struck a nuclear deal with Iran.

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

Escaping The Age Of Mass Delusion—Humanity’s Only Hope

“Human rebellion and dissent cannot be forever suppressed: ‘They await only one breath of freedom in order to awake once more.’”

[How about uniting the non-delusional thinkers around the idea of impeaching our dictator?  (SEE: Bringing Barack Obama To Justice For War Crimes Committed and Crimes In Progress).]

How To Escape The Age Of Mass Delusion

How To Escape The Age Of Mass Delusion

the federalist

Stella Morabito

By

Mass delusion is an important tool of oppressors because they can’t survive free expression. That’s why the First Amendment’s a target.

Nearly 100 years ago, Walter Lippmann wrote about “the manufacture of consent” in his classic work, “Public Opinion.” On the heels of that book, Edward Bernays penned a little volume called “Propaganda,” in which he stated that an elite would always be responsible for making the public aware of “new ideas” which the public would then act upon as the elite nudged them into it. Related, but more in-depth is Jacques Ellul’s 1962 book, “Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes.”

Political propaganda aims to mobilize the masses to move an agenda forward. That’s most effectively done when the masses are unaware of the process. It’s what “community organizers” work towards, whether they know it or not. Once the masses are mobilized to push for a cause, the propagandists’ goals can be put into law.

In fact, many newly propagandized ideas seem to have taken America by storm just in the past decade or so. Same-sex marriage is only one of those ideas. Transgenderism is now eclipsing that notion, and its propaganda techniques—wrapped in the language of civil rights—are getting Americans on board with the idea of erasing all sex distinctions in law, including their own. It’s as though Americans are buying into a fast-talking sales pitch without being allowed to read the print, whether it’s large print or small.

There’s more on the horizon: a singles’ rights movement that promises to end legal recognition of all marriage. Then there is transhumanism, which includes a push to end “fleshism” by enacting laws that protect non-biological entities from discrimination.

Propaganda Is Directing Us Leftward

American conservatives are by and large clueless about propaganda methods and tactics. And it shows. There are virtually no conservative social psychologists around. You’d think once a liberal social psychologist hits the public over the head with this fact some on the Right would take notice and at least try to get clued in.

American conservatives are by and large clueless about propaganda methods and tactics. And it shows.

Meanwhile, the Left has been employing social psychology and depth psychology on the masses for decades. President Obama’s campaign staff was filled with social psychologists. In this context, those who believe conservatives can subsist on reason and logic alone are kidding themselves. It’s no wonder GOP leaders are caving on so many principles, and being absorbed so easily into the Left’s machine.

A lot of people are scratching their heads today, wondering how life got to be so surreal, so fast in the United States of America. Based on the silencing tactics revealed by the LGBT lobby, many observers are likely now thinking: “Gee, I thought marriage equality was merely a gay rights movement. I didn’t realize that fascism was part of that package.” The Great Unraveling continues at a rapid clip when slipping on a pronoun in these days of transgender rule could cost you your career or earn you massive social media rallies chanting “hater” at you.

Even benign reminders of the First Amendment—embodied in Religious Freedom Restoration Acts—are quickly dispatched by mob hysteria. One day a supposedly principled leader like Indiana Gov. Mike Pence promotes the RFRA, and the next day he folds and essentially signs on with the mob.

Even benign reminders of the First Amendment are quickly dispatched by mob hysteria.

There seem to be few independent thinkers left. But even they don’t seem to know what hit them. A woman gets banned by her gym and labelled a bigot because she told management that a man—who she only later learned “identified as female”—entered the locker room while she was getting undressed. Comedians who dare tread into trans territory are shut down. Never before have the media and pop culture dictated in such a draconian manner how each and every one of us is supposed to think about identity. Our own identity.

The list goes on. The unrest and rioting from Ferguson to Baltimore seem to be happening on cue also, with media propaganda that urges it on. There is no real debate on the merits of policies that depend on a blind faith in man-made global warming: those who disagree are labelled “deniers.”

Our Age of Mass Delusion and Logicide

But it was all so predictable.

One of the best books that cracks the code on what we are living through was written by Dutch psychiatrist Joost A. M. Meerloo about 60 years ago. Mull over the first line of his book’s forward, and you will think he is writing about today: “This book attempts to depict the strange transformation of the free human mind into an automatically responding machine – a transformation which can be brought about by some of the cultural undercurrents in our present-day society as well as by deliberate experiments in the service of a political ideology.”

When it comes to understanding the inner workings of social psychology and political correctness, we seem to be at a loss.

That’s from “The Rape of the Mind: The Psychology of Thought Control, Menticide, and Brainwashing” (1956). There is indeed a war on the private mind, as Kevin Williamson explained in a recent National Review column. Unfortunately, too many Americans have been sleeping through most of its propaganda battles, and for a very long time. When it comes to understanding the inner workings of social psychology and political correctness, we seem to be at a loss.

Meanwhile, the power elites who now control the media, academia, and Hollywood seem to understand social psychology well enough to exploit it on a massive scale. They have engaged in psychological warfare against the private mind by inducing “collective belief formation.” There’s really nothing new here. Conditioning and nudging the masses into groupthink is a very old trick of all wannabe dictators. The bloody twentieth century is filled to the gills with examples.

Yet it feels like we’ve awakened to an ambush. A lot of Americans watched in shock while cultish mobs suddenly attacked the RFRA that Pence initially defended. But the groundwork for mass hysteria like this was stealthily laid for decades, and the minefields sown.

The groundwork for mass hysteria like this was stealthily laid for decades, and the minefields sown.

Family breakdown led to community breakdown, which we can see in the decline of trust in society. Ignorance was cultivated in the schools through political correctness and squashing free debate. The academy’s disparaging of western civilization virtually wiped out respect for any serious study of history and civics, as well as for the Socratic method and the rules of civil discourse. Political correctness sewed confusion into the language, particularly regarding identity politics. Youth are now set to be programmed for conformity through the K-12 “Common Core” curriculum mandates.

All of that and more promotes the semantic fog that allows for mind rape. It amounts to an act of “logicide,” to borrow a term from Meerloo, whom I will continue to quote below. To kill logic and reason that might stand in their way, wannabe dictators “fabricate a hate language in order to stir up mass emotions.” Leaders in Indiana, Arkansas, and Louisiana have been unable to understand this tactic and are grossly unprepared to deal with it. So they simply surrendered. In effect, they joined the mob, further endangering everybody’s freedom.

The Link Between Crowds and Power

The whole image of such mass delusion in America is surrealistic, especially to comfortably insulated Americans who believe our first freedoms could never really be thrown away in the face of such a full-frontal, PC-induced attack. Most cannot grasp that such mobs are mentally detached from reality. And participants in the mob action cannot comprehend that they are actually cutting off their own freedom of expression, as well as everybody else’s.

Why would anyone want to build such a culture of coercion? In a word, power.

Why would anyone want to build such a culture of coercion? In a word, power. “Equality” is not the reason for what is happening with such mobs. It is the pretext for what they are doing. Like all such deceptions, its sole purpose is as a vehicle to transfer power from individuals to an increasingly centralized state. The fuel, as usual, is the emotional blackmail of people of goodwill, the uses of mass mobilization to exploit that goodwill, then, finally, to render all such goodwill meaningless.

Most who protest the RFRA laws are more likely pawns than true believers. Like the “Occupy Wall Street” crowd, they tend to be atomized individuals who are drawn to the psychic thrill of being part of a mobilized mass that feeds on emotions and can feel a sense of righteousness in the stated pretext. (In the RFRA case, it’s the semantic device of “marriage equality,” but it’ll just as easily be something else tomorrow.) “The ecstatic participation in mass elation is the oldest psycho drama in the world,” wrote Meerloo.

Crowds and Power,” by Elias Canetti, is a classic work that explores in detail the draw of the crowd for human beings. With the continued chipping away of the organic family of mother-child-father, human relationships inevitably become diluted and more subservient to a mass state. This detachment cultivates human alienation, which draws more people to answer to the call of the mass state’s mob.

Detachment cultivates human alienation, which draws more people to answer to the call of the mass state’s mob.

Such protesters and their scores of clueless apologists in the media are also utterly detached from the reality of the meaning of laws such as an RFRA. The RFRA only clarifies that the government doesn’t get to coerce us in private thought or to dictate what we are allowed to feel, believe, think, and express. In other words, the First Amendment is not negotiable if we are to have any semblance of freedom in this country.

But the emotional stew in which we are now boiling doesn’t allow logic or reason to prevail. We can never fight back as long as we are in the dark about how our minds can be manipulated. So we absolutely must try to fully understand the methods and tactics of mental coercion and share that knowledge with others as much as possible.

Brainwashing—Mind Rape—Is for Real

Meerloo published “The Rape of the Mind: The Psychology of Thought Control, Menticide and Brainwashing” in 1956 after years immersed in the study of social psychology and countless interviews with victims of mental coercion, including Nazi officers and American prisoners of war in Korea. This treasure of insights was written for the layman. It is an absolute must-read for anyone who hopes to uphold the dignity of the individual. The book offers the psychic defenses so lacking among those who submit to logicide.

‘The transformation of the free human mind to an automatically responding machine’ is essentially the story of the transformation of the United States.

“The transformation of the free human mind to an automatically responding machine” is essentially the story of the transformation of the United States of America we are watching in real time today. Delusion is an important element, because tyrannies do not stand up to logic. It seems very sudden, but it’s not. We’re only at this tipping point because we let our defenses down. In fact, if the First Amendment collapses, it would simply indicate a return to humanity’s tribal default position, in which a sort of Nietzschean “Will to Power” rules the day.

Mass delusion is an important tool of oppressors because they can’t survive where free exercise of expression and association is practiced. Unfortunately, delusion can be induced anywhere.

“It is simply a question of organizing and manipulating collective feelings in the proper way. If one can isolate the mass, allow no free thinking, no free exchange, no outside correction and can hypnotize the group daily with noises, with press and radio and television, with fear and pseudo-enthusiasms, any delusion can be instilled.”

Free Speech Is the Only Antidote to Mass Delusion

“The Rape of the Mind” could have served as a terrific manual to inoculate many against political correctness and groupthink, had it not collected so much dust since it was published in 1956. More of us could have learned how free speech is essential to preventing mass delusion.

Free expression is always the prime target of tyrants because it promotes logic, the search for truth, and friendship.

Free expression is always the prime target of tyrants because it promotes logic, the search for truth, and friendship. America is exceptional precisely because it rejects the tyrants’ rule.

Yet as our speech becomes more restricted, we end up more separated from one another and more susceptible to mass delusions. As Meerloo wrote: “Where thinking is isolated without free exchange with other minds, delusion may follow.” He added, chillingly, “Is this not what happened in Hitler Germany where free verification and self-correction were forbidden?”

In his book, Meerloo also shows immense compassion for our human frailties. He understood just how difficult it is to push back against the social pressures to conform. When it comes to brainwashing, every one of us has our breaking point. But we absolutely must push back once we understand those tactics: “The totalitarian potentate, in order to break down the minds of men, first needs widespread mental chaos and verbal confusion, because both paralyze his opposition and cause the morale of the enemy to deteriorate – unless his adversaries are aware of the dictator’s real aim.”

Of course, it’s really hard for control freaks to do their work on us if we are speaking freely with one another in friendship, and especially if we all understand what they are up to and can call them on it in one voice. So their first order of business is to separate us. A sense of enforced isolation is a cruel and effective tool for instilling loneliness and then delusion in people.

According to Meerloo, manipulators accomplish this through the knowledge that “far below the surface, human life is built up of inner contradictions.” Our hopes and fears and longing to avoid social rejection are exploited through the dictates of political correctness, which is the tool that separates people today, especially in that one place where ideas and ideals are supposed to be tested most vigorously in adulthood: the university.

A sense of enforced isolation is a cruel and effective tool for instilling loneliness and then delusion in people.

By squashing free thought in the one place where it is supposed to be especially respected, political correctness circumvents Meerloo’s warning that “the only way to strengthen one’s defenses against an organized attack on the mind and will is to understand better what the enemy is trying to do to outwit him.”

Of course, the fear of isolation isn’t always enough to silence some people. So manipulators repeat lies and sloganeer endlessly to condition their subjects to repress unauthorized speech and thought: “The techniques of propaganda and salesmanship have been refined and systematized; there is scarcely any hiding place from the constant visual and verbal assault on the mind. The pressures of daily life impel more and more people to seek an easy escape from responsibility and maturity.”

It’s sobering to realize that the above words predate the Internet by nearly half a century. They describe perfectly how transgenderism has become such a “thing” and why so few are willing to admit that the emperor has no clothes.

Love and Laughter Dissipate Delusion

As more people succumb to PC conditioning and cede their freedom of thought, it becomes more difficult for the rest of us to maintain integrity of mind. Our audience shrinks. As we encounter more and more drone-like personalities in daily life, the world seems to sink into surrealism, like so many in Rod Serling’s old “Twilight Zone” episodes.

‘The totalitarian mind does not observe and verify its impressions of reality; it dictates to reality how it shall behave, it compels reality to conform to its fantasies.’

Meerloo testified to this feeling of disorientation: “Many victims of totalitarianism have told me in interviews that the most upsetting experience they faced in the concentration camps was the feeling of loss of logic, the state of confusion in which they had been brought – the state in which nothing had any validity.”

That’s because in the mass centralized state, “peaceful exchange of thoughts in free conversation will disturb the conditioned reflexes and is therefore taboo.” On a hopeful note, Meerloo writes that “love and laughter break through all rigid conditioning.”

I think the reason there is so little “comedy” that’s funny today is the genre itself has been hijacked by the humorless PC crowd. Why is their humor so unamusing and so dependent upon mean-spiritedness? Consider this possibility: “The totalitarian mind is like the schizophrenic individual; it has a contempt for reality. Think for a moment of Lysenko’s theory and its denial of the influence of heredity. The totalitarian mind does not observe and verify its impressions of reality; it dictates to reality how it shall behave, it compels reality to conform to its fantasies.”

Along these lines, Meerloo offers a prescription: “We must learn to treat the demagogue and aspirant dictator in our midst just as we should treat our external enemies in a cold war – with the weapon of ridicule. The demagogue himself is almost incapable of humor of any sort, and if we treat him with humor, he will begin to collapse. Humor is, after all, related to a sense of perspective. If we can see how things should be, we can see how askew they can get, and we can recognize distortion when we are confronted with it.”

Freedom Requires Self-Awareness

Before human beings can preserve true freedom, they must first be aware of their individual inner contradictions: “Democracy, by its very nature will always have to fight against dictatorship from without and destructiveness from within. Democratic freedom has to battle against both the individual’s inner will to power and his urge to submit to other people . . . Essentially, democracy means the right to develop yourself and not to be developed by others. Yet to develop yourself is impossible without the duty of giving your energy and attention to the development of others.”

Freedom means cultivating the art of friendship, boldly exercising our rights to free association and to communicate our thoughts to others.

So, in the end, freedom truly depends upon breaking down the walls of separation that tyranny builds. It means cultivating the art of friendship, boldly exercising our rights to free association and to communicate our thoughts to others. It means cultivating knowledge instead of cultivating ignorance.

After all, political correctness is primarily a tool for crushing people’s ability to have open conversations in friendship and mutual respect. In this context, it seems very much like a tool to bring all personal relationships under state control. And it shouldn’t surprise us that this is being done today in the name of equality for certain kinds of personal relationships. Tyrannies always pretend to promote the very thing they seek to destroy.

Resistance Is Not Futile

So, where do we go from here? We need to take philosopher George Santayana’s warning to heart, that those who don’t learn from the past are condemned to repeat it. We need to remind leaders who are tempted to cave in to mob hysteria that resistance to tyranny is not as futile as submission to tyranny.

Resistance to tyranny is not as futile as submission to tyranny.

Nearly 60 years ago, Meerloo warned his readers that we absolutely must equip ourselves for this war on the private mind: “In the future, as our psychological understanding grows, leading politicians will have to be better educated in the principles of modern psychology. Just as a soldier must know how to handle his physical weapons, so the politicians must know how to face and handle the mental strategy of human relationships and diplomacy. He will have to become aware of the pitfalls in all human communication and the frailties of his own mind.”

In retrospect, it’s tragic that virtually all well-positioned people of goodwill seem to have been unaware of that warning, or able to effectively act on it. Worse, many end up caving to tyrants because they are unaware of the tactics on the propaganda battlefield.

Our hope, as Meerloo concluded, is in the reality that human rebellion and dissent cannot be forever suppressed: “They await only one breath of freedom in order to awake once more.”

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.

Obama Throws Coal States Under the Bus To Appease Environmentalists

[SEE:  Wind, Solar Cheer as Coal Vows Battle on Obama’s Energy PlanObama ignores California’s green power experience]

article-imageAbandoned Solar Two Tower (photograph by Marcin Wichary)

Like the vanished, money making dreams that spawned them, it can be hard to find abandoned solar and wind farms.

The most impressive are in the United States, where investors slammed up wind turbines and solar panels in the aftermath of the 1970s energy crisis. Everyone expected oil to get even more expensive, and government subsidies and tax breaks for renewable energy were easy to get. But oil prices didn’t climb as anticipated, and as the subsidies went away, so too did many developers of wind and solar farms, no longer interested when the money wasn’t right. Projects were sold, or left in the sun and wind.

Solar panels and wind turbines are not brick, concrete, or stone. They’re relatively easy to remove, and most are built with a plan to tear them down at some point. But there are a few places you can still go to wander among abandoned dreams of wind and light.
THERE FOR ALL TO SEE

Tehachapi and Altamont Wind Energy Areas
California

article-imageTehachapi wind turbines (photograph by TomSaint11/Wikimedia)

Tehachapi and Altamont are the granddaddies of them all — sites of a 1970s-1980s wind energy rush gone wrong. Federal subsidies sparked developers into action, crowding what are now considered antique, poorly functioning turbines into particularly windy areas of California.

At Tehachapi in hapless Kern County, north of Los Angeles, officials had no provision in law requiring developers to cover the future tear-down costs of the wind turbines. At first, that may not have seemed like a big deal. But the federal tax breaks soon dried up and the developers vanished, leaving behind thousands of rusty, cranking turbines standing in rows like soldiers on the windy plain outside Tehachapi.

article-imageTehachapi Pass Wind Farm (photograph by Ikluft/Wikimedia)

Estimates vary on how many of the turbines in the Tehachapi area are defunct. Some range as high as 4,000, but others are lower. No matter how many are abandoned, Tehachapi is definitely a wind turbine boneyard.

To get there:
For a loop drive with great view of the area’s turbines, drive south from Tehachapi on Tehachapi Willow Springs Road, hang a left on Oak Creed Road heading east to Mojave. Take Highway 58 north and west back toward Tehachapi to complete the loop.

article-image Altamont Pass Wind Farm (photograph by David J Laporte)

In Altamont, one hour’s drive east of San Francisco, California, there are approximately 5,000 wind turbines. All were installed in the early 1980s in the wake of generous federal and state subsidies for renewable energy. Subsequent decades have brought larger, more efficient wind turbines, but there are plenty of aged turbines in the Altamont area, with their telltale lattice-work towers.

The older, smaller turbines are unfortunately efficient bird slicers, and will soon get upgraded by operators in the area to larger, slower speed turbines under a deal to avoid more bird deaths.

article-image Altamont Pass Wind Farm (photograph by David J Laporte)

To get there:
For a good view of the Altamont area wind turbines, drive east from Livermore, California, on Interstate 580. Take the West Grant Line Road exit and either go north to make a left and head east on Altamont Pass Road, or better, go south to wander among the turbines that stretch between the interstate and Patterson Pass road that runs east-west to the south.

Solar One/Solar Two
Daggett, California

article-imageSolar Two tower (via eeremultimedia.energy.gov)

The Department of Energy’s Solar One plant was based on a simple if somewhat wild idea: line up nearly 2,000 mirrors to reflect sunlight on a focal point to heat water, make steam, and generate power.

The plant was completed in 1981, in cooperation with Southern California Edison, L.A. Dept. of Water and Power, and the California Energy Commission. It spread across 126 acres 10 miles east of Barstow, California, generated about 10 megawatts of power, and was in operation from 1982 to 1986. In 1995, additional mirrors were added to the site, which now heated a molten salt solution that could store energy while clouds passed overhead.

article-imageSolar Two heliostat (via Wikimedia)

Solar One proved the viability of the molten salt energy storage concept. The site was decommissioned in 1999 and converted by University of California-Davis into a kind of telescope that measures gamma rays hitting the atmosphere.

To get there:
Drive on Interstate 40 east of Barstow, take the Daggett exit, skip past historic Highway 66 and instead take Santa Fe Street east for about three miles. Solar One/Solar Two will be on your left, to the north.
THE DEARLY DEPARTED

Kamaoa Wind Farm
Hawaii’s Big Island, Southern tip

article-imageKamaoa Wind Farm in 2006 (photograph by Rebecca Stanek)

A cluster of 37 wind turbines formerly marked the spot of the Kamaoa Wind Farm, at the far south end of Hawaii’s Big Island. The small wind farm opened in 1987 and was decommissioned 20 years later after a deal for the turbines’ power expired.

Yet the Mitsubishi turbines cranked on, became an ever-worse eyesore, and maddened those who wanted good views of the coast and Pacific Ocean. The farm’s owner, Apollo Energy Corp., finally removed the turbines in 2012 and sold them as scrap to China.

article-imageKamaoa Wind Farm in 2007 (photograph by Christian Razukas)

ARCO Carrizo Plain Solar Farm
San Luis Obispo County, California

article-imageAbandoned Carrizo Plain’s solar power plant (via Center for Land Use Interpretation

There’s nothing left of an ambitious plan to generate power from the sun at one of the sunniest places in California, about 70 miles west of Bakersfield. But for 11 years — from 1983 to 1994 — Carrizo Plain hosted a 5.2 megawatt solar farm built by Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO).

ARCO, traditionally an oil company, was a pioneer in solar power after the 1970s energy crisis. It built its own solar cells and deployed them on Carrizo Plain. ARCO sold the 177-acre solar farm to Carrizo Solar Corp. in 1990, which dismantled the farm in 1994.

PG&E Pilot Solar Plant
Kerman, California

Near the town of Kerman, California, sits the new Five Points Solar site, the direct descendent of Pacific Gas & Electric’s pilot solar plant in Kerman, demolished in 2011. The 10-acre site was built in 1992, retired in 1997, and its panels were removed 14 years later after neighbors complained.

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.

Saudi Royals Request Removal From 911 Lawsuit

[Every news report about this Saudi request for immunity begins with the same disclaimer.]

“Saudi Arabia had nothing to do with the 11 September, 2001, attacks and should be dismissed from lawsuits.”

Two Planes Crash into World Trade Center

 

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.”

Erdogan Launches Witch-Hunt Against Democratic Kurdish Opposition Leader

Turkish prosecutors open probe against Kurdish leader Demirtas

daily star LEB

Selahattin Demirtas  Peoples' Democratic Party HDP
The leader of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtas answers a question during an interview with Reuters in Ankara, Turkey, July 30, 2015. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

ISTANBUL: Turkish prosecutors on Thursday opened a probe against the leader of Turkey’s main Kurdish party over bloody October 2014 protests, the official Anatolia news agency reported.

Prosecutors in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir have started an investigation against Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) leader Selahattin Demirtas for inciting people to take up arms during the protests that left dozens dead, the agency said.

If the case comes to court, he could face up to 24 years in jail, it added. The investigation comes as Turkey presses on with a military campaign against Kurdish militants.

The investigation comes as Turkey presses on with a military campaign against the Kurdish militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq.

Should the investigation conclude that Demirtas should be charged, prosecutors will ask that his parliamentary immunity be removed, the report said.

The news comes hours after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched a fierce personal attack on Demirtas, telling him to “know his place” and referring to the presence of his elder brother Nurettin among the PKK fighters in Iraq.

“He would run there [too] if he found the opportunity,” Erdogan said on a visit to China.

This is the first such probe to be opened against Demirtas, whose party upset the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) with a strong performance in June 7 elections.

The probe refers to a statement made by the executive committee of the HDP on October 6, 2014, urging its supporters to take to the streets to protest the policies of the Turkish government in Syria.

According to the official toll, 35 people including two police were killed in three days of rioting across the country.

The demonstrations were over the fate of the mainly Kurdish Syrian town of Kobani, which at the time was falling into the hands of ISIS jihadis. The HDP has long accused the government of collaborating with ISIS, allegations it denies.

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.

Paris Court Finds Turkish Intelligence Agent Guilty In Murder of 3 PKK Leaders

water cannonSultangazi police attacked the crowd gathered to walk Gunay Özaslan’s funeral was killed in an operation held yesterday in the Gazi district in Bağcılar. Tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowd streets after the intervention was made ​​with water. (DHA)

SEE:  Marxist radical killed in Istanbul police raids: reports]

Günay ÖzarslanA female member(Günay Özaslan’) of a radical Turkish Marxist group was killed Friday in clashes with police during an operation to arrest suspected militants, the official Anatolia news agency reported.  The woman was a member of the far-left Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party Front (DHKP-C)

Assassination of Kurdish activists in Paris: justice emphasizes the involvement of Turkish secret services

Le cercueil de l'une des trois militantes kurdes assassinées, à Villiers-le-Bel (Val-d'Oise), le 15 janvier 2013.
The coffin of one of three Kurdish activists murdered in Villiers-le-Bel (Val-d’Oise), 15 January 2013.

On 9 January 2013, at lunch time, three Kurdish activists are murdered in central Paris, in the Rue La Fayette apartment hosting a community association. Sakine Cansız, 54, a founding member of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party), Fidan Dogan, 29, nicknamed “the diplomat” and Saylemez Leyla, 25, known as “the warrior”, were coldly shot several bullets in the head.

After two and a half years of investigation, the Paris prosecutor rendered on 9 July, the final indictment, that Le Monde was able to consult. He asks, as revealed by Le Canard chained in its edition of July 22, referral to an Assize Court of the main suspect, Omer Guney, for murder in relation to a terrorist undertaking. This document of over 70 pages is unique: for the first time, the French justice evokes the possible involvement of a foreign intelligence service, namely MIT (Turkish equivalent of the Directorate General of Internal Security) in a political crime committed in France.

Having failed to positively identify the sponsors of this crime, the prosecution remains cautious about the degree of involvement of MIT. This service is in fact run by a relative of the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, engaged since 2012 in a peace process with the PKK that deeply divides the Turkish state apparatus. After the instruction, the trail of a conspiracy by factions opposed to negotiations is still on the table.

“Many elements of the procedure allow MIT to suspect involvement in instigating and preparing the killing, the prosecutor wrote. Indeed, it is established that Omer Guney had proven espionage, he had numerous secret contacts with or individuals located in Turkey (…). However, it should be noted that the investigation did not establish whether the MIT agents attended these facts officially, with the approval of their superiors, or if they did it to the Unbeknownst to their service, to discredit or undermine the peace process.

“Grey Wolf”

If an “uncertainty” remains on the identity of the originator, the performer, he was promptly arrested and imprisoned for ten days only after the fact: Omer Guney, a 32 year old Turk arrived in France to Age 9 years. Its presence in the streets of La Fayette apartment the alleged time of the crime is proven, traces of gunpowder were found on her purse and partial DNA of one victim on his parka. He has continued to deny the facts.

When arrested, the young man nevertheless commits an illuminating slip requesting that the Turkish Embassy in Paris is alerted. Surprising reflex on the part of an individual who continues to run the police as a “heart of Kurd” PKK sympathizer. His family, themselves, qualify it as “ultranationalist” fierce opponent of the Kurdish cause, and claim that it defined itself as a “gray wolf”, the name of the youth branch of the MHP, the Turkish nationalist party .

This feigned sympathy for the PKK had allowed him to infiltrate a year earlier the Kurdish community of Ile-de-France. French perfectly, he regularly acted as interpreter and driver in the movement of senior living in Paris. Thus he made the acquaintance of Sakine Cansız emblematic figure of the PKK, a political refugee in France after spending eleven years in Turkish jails. He was also responsible to escort the car to the street Lafayette apartment the day she fell under the bullets with his two comrades.

A “mysterious correspondent”

The investigation has established that Omer Guney made three trips to Turkey in the six months before the murders. He used the occasion of his travels a phone line “secret”, reserved for specific contacts. One particular interest to investigative services. A “mystery caller” who has never been identified, the Turkish authorities refused “strangely” to respond to the letters rogatory sent to this effect, makes it clear the floor. Which illustrates an understatement as the frustration of French justice that the disorder role of Ankara in this case.

In this context opaque, it is ultimately the Turkish press that will give a dramatic boost to education. Sign of violent conflict reveal that these murders within the state apparatus, innumerable information will in turn feed the thesis of state crime and internal conspiracy. Three weeks after the murder, a former Turkish intelligence agent said in a newspaper Güney Omer is an agent of MIT and that “the massacre of Paris is the business of the tough faction in the MIT.” Heard by the judge, it will return on all its declarations.

On 12 January 2014, a voice recording of three men is posted on YouTube from Germany. In voice-over, the author of the video says that this recording was made by Omer Güney himself, during a meeting in Turkey with two members of the MIT to “plan” its mission. We hear the three individuals mentioned targets among European Kurdish activists.


“Sabotage” peace process

Two months later, on 14 March, a Turkish website opens a new track: he says that the two unidentified voice on the record is that of a certain Omer Kozanli, billed as “the police imam Gülen movement “, a moderate Islamist current. The movement of Fethullah Gülen, exiled in the United States, supported the rise to power of Erdogan before taking his distance, while remaining very influential within the state apparatus.

peace, “Who did this? An individual of Pennsylvania, the servants of the individual, his supporters. Of course, these people have also infiltrated the judiciary. Unfortunately, they are also in the police and other state institutions … “

The efforts of Erdogan to distance themselves from the triple murder are partly ruined with the publication on 14 January 2014 another Turkish site of an internal note of MIT, presented as a project to assassinate PKK executives in Europe. The same day, MIT published a denial. Several sources confirm later the German newspaper Der Spiegel the document’s authenticity.

Who ordered the murder of three Kurdish activists in Paris on 9 January 2013? The Turkish government, to upset a peace process that he himself had committed? A hard MIT factions infiltrated by the Gülen movement? Or the MHP, the Nationalist Action Party, close to the army, which was said Omer Güney near?

Faced with this investigation without fulfillment, Antoine Comte, civil party lawyer, praised the quality of the work of French justice. “This is the first time that the judicial authority shall also clear position on the possible involvement of a foreign State in a political assassination. Political power, he has always been careful not to comment on the case.


The PKK and the “process of Imrali”

The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a Kurdish nationalist organization, was founded in 1978 by Abdullah Ocalan to promote the creation of an independent Kurdish state on the borders of Turkey, Iraq and Syria. A series of attacks earned him to be considered a terrorist organization by several European countries, including France in 1993. Captured in 1999, Ocalan is serving a life prison on Imrali Island. The PKK then engages in a peace process with Turkey and renounces the claim of a Kurdish state in favor of federalism recognizing Kurdish identity.

End of 2012, Ocalan from his cell launches the “process of Imrali,” a round of negotiations with the AKP, the ruling party in Turkey. This process is strongly criticized Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Turkish state apparatus, infiltrated by more radical currents. It is in this complex context that three Kurdish activists were murdered in Paris on 9 January 2013.

picture: http://s2.lemde.fr/image/2014/04/26/24×24/1100512122_4_cc4f_13985325317617-photo-5-bis-copie_41b05cf75dfd64085ec59f9ca778eae7.jpg
Soren Seelow
Reporter

Obama Capitalizes Upon Suruç Bombing Reactions To Seal Erdogan’s Free Syrian Army Enclave/NO FLY ZONE

“In cutting the deal, Barack Obama chose his moment well.”

[After Turkey drew its Mare-Jarablus line, and brainwashed ISIS-affiliated Turkish-Kurdish boys were used to bomb Kurds in Suruç, and Turkish forces began to bomb ISIS positions in Syria, Obama knew that Erdogan had begun to soften.  This is the moment O has been waiting for, implicating the CIA in the Suruç attack.]

Turkey was already preparing to carve-out a piece of Northern Syria, before the Suruç bombing.  The alleged ISIS attack facilitated that move.

[The following shot from Google Maps shows the new Mare-Jarablus line, a.k.a., the southern boundary of Erdogan’s shrunken Free Syrian Army enclave (SEE:  Partial no-fly zone included in US-Turkey consensus: Turkish sources).]


Mare-Jarablus line

[One question remains…what will Assad do, whenever the Syrian Air Force is targeted?]

Turkey says west of Euphrates ‘red line’ in northern Syria

TRT WORLD

Turkey to consider any incursion west of Euphrates River in northern Syria by PKK affiliate Democratic Union Party as violation of ‘red line’ set by governmentTurkey will consider any incursion west of the Euphrates River in northern Syria along the Turkish border by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), as well as any attack north of Idlib by Syrian regime forces, as violation of a “red line.” The government made the decision  at a National Security Council (MGK) meeting on June 29, media reports say.The MGK released a statement saying that “developments in Syria were comprehensively discussed, possible threats were evaluated, and possible additional security measures were stressed,” following the meeting.The Turkish government aims to convey a strong message to both the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) and the PYD. Any move by these groups west of the Euphrates River, where the city of Jarablus is located, was declared a red line by Turkey because the river has become a natural border between ISIS and its nemesis PYD in northern Syria after Tal Abyad was captured by the Kurdish militia from ISIS on June 15.

The PYD is considered by Turkey to be the Syrian affiliate of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK). Both ISIS and the PKK are recognised as terrorist groups by Turkey.

Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin stated that, “It is not healthy to interpret the necessary measures which aim to ensure our border security as ‘Turkey is entering a war’,” speaking on Tuesday  at a press conference in Ankara.

Kalin also emphasised that Turkey has never used the terminology of a “buffer zone,” but spoke about a need to establish a no-fly zone and a safe zone in the area for civilians. Turkey’s stance on this issue remains unchanged and these possible moves are continuing to be discussed with its allies, he added.

The Turkish government has been alarmed by both ISIS’ moves near the Syrian towns of Azaz and Mare and the enlargement of northern Kurdish enclaves under the control of the PYD along its long border line with Syria.

ISIS reportedly recently attacked an area between Azaz and Mare, which are situated in northwestern Syria, which controlled by the Free Syrian Army (FSA). This move by ISIS came after it lost Tal Abyad to the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the militant wing of the PYD, which was able to join the Kobane and Jazira “cantons,” along the Turkish border by capturing the district.

ISIS already controls a zone between Jarablus and Mare, also along the Turkish border.

In the worst case scenario for Turkey, as it becomes further threatened by ISIS between Azaz and Mare, the Free Syrian Army (FSA) could ask for assistance from the YPG in order to protect the areas of northwestern Syria they hold. This might then allow the Kurdish group to extend its reach to Afrin, another isolated Kurdish “canton” declared by the PYD in the far west of Syria.

The PYD needs to overrun Jarablus and pass west of the Euphrates to reach the Azaz-Mare region if this scenario is to be realised. Then, the PYD might take full control of the Turkish-Syrian border, leading to fears in Turkey that it might end up neighbouring a hostile Kurdish state which could use its control of the border to undermine Turkey’s internal security.

These are reasons, Turkey has laid down a red line regarding advances by either ISIS or the PYD west of the Euphrates. According to the Turkish daily Milliyet, if the PYD undertakes  any operation past this point the Turkish Armed Forces will carry out a cross border operation without providing notice.

If ISIS captures the area it will able to take control of the Oncupinar border crossing with Turkey, and could get closer to reaching another border crossing at Cilvegozu. Therefore, Turkey would virtually lose control of its border to two hostile militant groups.

In addition, the fighting involved in capturing the crossings as well as any ethnic cleansing or massacres by the two groups could lead to a new wave of refugees from Syria to Turkey, another concern which is also behind Turkey’s decision to issue the second red line regarding any attack by the Assad regime attack north of Idlib, the Milliyet report said.

It is feared that if the Syrian regime launches an attack north of Idlib there will be another huge flow of refugees into Turkey, which already hosts more than 1.7 million Syrian refugees who fled the violence in their country after the escalation of the civil war there.

Turkey and the US-led anti-ISIS coalition forces appear to have differences in terms of priorities in northern Syria, despite mostly sharing the same interests. Turkey is concerned by the PYD’s activities in northern Syria along the Turkish border as much as it is concerned with the actions of ISIS and the Assad regime.

However, the US-led coalition is highly supportive of the PYD’s activities against ISIS, which has been heavily bombarded by the coalition in coordination with attacks by the PYD.

US State Department Spokesman John Kirby at  Washington’s daily press briefing on June 30 reacted to Turkish demands by saying that, “The Defense Department has made it clear that they don’t believe there’s a need for that at this time, and that the use of coalition military assets in trying to effect a zone like that would entail an awful lot in terms of logistics, time, resources, and effort.”

When asked about the difference between a buffer zone and a safe haven Kirby stated that, “In military terms, I’m not sure that there’s technical definitions for either one. I think it depends on the context in which you’re using it. I don’t know that there’s much – it depends on how you define it and how you want that area defended and protected.”

However, he also said, “They would have to decide how they would both make the decision, defend the decision, and implement it. That’s a national decision that they would have to speak to.”

 

Source: TRT World and agencies

“F” the EU Nuland Uses Doctored Wiretaps To Pull-Off Another Regime Change, This One In Macedonia

[SEE: Intelligence Agencies Behind “Bomba” Tapes In Macedonia ]

NULAND KAGAN
Macedonia’s political leaders have reached agreement on an interim government and an independent investigation into allegations of illegal wiretapping, electoral fraud and state-backed corruption in the former Yugoslav republic.Political leaders said the deal brought to an end a poisonous political dispute in the EU candidate country, which had been gripped by mass demonstrations and deadly clashes that echoed the country’s 2001 violent inter-ethnic conflict.

Johannes Hahn, the EU enlargement commissioner who mediated the talks, told local reporters on Wednesday that the country’s leaders had brought Macedonia closer to its ambition of EU membership by reaching a deal.

The crisis began in February, when the opposition SDSM party began releasing thousands of secret recordings of government phone calls which revealed a “massive invasion of fundamental rights” according to an expert report produced for the European Commission in June.

Reinhard Priebe, author of the EU report, said the tapes suggested senior government officials appeared to be directly involved in “electoral fraud, corruption, abuse of power and authority, conflict of interest, blackmail, extortion, criminal damage.”

The government in turn accused opposition leaders of treason and espionage and said the tapes had been manufactured by foreign intelligence services.

Tensions reached a peak in May, when at least 18 people were killed in a special forces operation against an armed group in Kumanovo, a town in the north of the country.

The violence sparked fears of a return to unrest in the ethnically divided country of 2m, where an estimated 130 were killed in inter-ethnic strife in 2001 before a 3,500 strong NATO force arrived to quell the unrest. The latest violence prompted EU and US mediators to launch talks between Macedonia’s leaders in May.

The political parties agreed last month to prepare for early elections in April but the role of Nikola Gruevski as prime minister remained a key obstacle, with the opposition claiming free and fair elections would be impossible without his resignation.

Talks remained stalled for much of June but people familiar with the discussions said the arrival of Victoria Nuland, US assistant secretary of state, in Skopje this week added urgency to the efforts to reach an agreement.

Macedonia-map

Mr Gruevski has now agreed to resign in early January, allowing an interim leader 100 days to prepare for the elections on April 24. SDSM MPs will return to parliament at the beginning of September and nominate key ministers to take up positions in October. A special prosecutor will be appointed on September 15 to investigate the wiretap recordings.

Observers welcomed the agreement but warned that previous commitments had been discarded by both the government and opposition and urged the EU and US to hold the country’s leaders to their commitments.

“Without close and continuous monitoring of the deal, both by Brussels and member states, the government may well return to business as usual,” warned Goran Buldioski, co-director of the Open Society Initiative for Europe.

“A key test of this [agreement] will be appointing the new special prosecutor to investigate the wiretapping revelations; will it be an independent outsider from the Balkan region or simply another insider?” he added.

Members of the Democratic Union for Integration party, Mr Gruevski’s ethnic Albanian coalition partner, said by agreeing to investigate abuses of power, the country had moved closer to EU membership.

“We need a catharsis of the political scene,” said Artan Grubi, a DUI member of parliament. “This is the key moment when we can embrace Europe by ensuring that corruption and abuse of power is unacceptable.”

The Frustration of American War Hawks

[SEE:  ‘Winning the Cold War with propaganda’: New Dutch-Polish ‘content factory’ to challenge Russia]

рус.jpg

American war hawks are angry over the fact that RussiaToday is much better at getting “NEWS” out than “Radio Free Europe.”  RT is being condemned for serving the same purpose in Russia that AlJazeera served in the wars on Libya and Syria.  AlJazeera served as a tool of American “public diplomacy” in the propaganda war in the Middle East, just as RT serves Russian diplomacy in Russia and Eastern Europe.  RT doesn’t spread disinformation, it spreads NEWS that the Western powers actively suppress.  Radio Liberty and RFE do spread Western disinformation, instead of news.  Because people are able to understand this, they turn away from these NEWS sources.  War Hawks hate this (they hate everything).

RussiaToday helps Russians to avoid Western traps laid for them.  Russian and Moldavian crowds are harder to incite to violence because of RT.  This really pisses-off the hawks.  What makes them even madder, is that Americans cannot be agitated with war fever without first seeing mobs of civilians getting mowed-down by guns or tanks.

Against the background of the aggressive anti-Russian rhetoric of many leaders of NATO member states, voters in these countries are not ready to support such a policy.  In particular, this contradiction between the official position and public opinion is most noticeable in Germany.”–Russian Information Agency

The majority of Americans have grown weary of war.  Most doubt the reasons given for prolonging our wars or for starting new ones.  No American with any measure of sense wants to go to war against Russia.  We have spent most of our lives dreading accidental war against Russia, so why would we support a decision to fight another European war?

“Russia’s aim, though, is not so much to accumulate its own “soft power” as to undermine the west’s ability to act against it.”–Guardian

The information war is needed to neutralize Russia’s ability to ignore and evade American provocations, without having to resort to violence to pacify seditious mobs.  Russian “propaganda” is really defensive, in nature, helping Putin’s govt defuse planned disruptions and social actions.  John McCain, Barack Obama, and other politicians of the American war party, are offended that Russia has cultivated this capability to defend itself against planned military aggression, using only the “NEWS” as its “soft” defensive weapon.  All Putin has to do to defeat war plans, which are based entirely upon lies, is to broadcast the truth.

Western Propaganda organs plan to fight this truth using only lies and half-truths as offensive weapons.  The first lie is that RussiaToday and others only broadcast disinformation.  The truth that comes from RT becomes “disinformation,” simply because American sources say so.  America’s information war is not fought to be won, but only until a path to war between Europe and Russia is opened-up.

The John McCains are pissed-off that they can no longer force new wars upon the American people without endangering their political immunity.  People like McCain, who claim to be “war heroes,” due to no action of their own (other than enlisting), are molded into leading politicians by the people who have laid all of that money at their feet.   Mad dogs like McCain get red-faced, fighting mad, whenever the American people dare to cross their war plans.

Pompous windbags cannot accept the fact that they have no authority of any kind, over other nations.

peter.chamberlin@hotmail.com

 

 

Qatar Minister Bypasses Baghdad, To Mediate Between Kurds and ISIL In Erbil

“Qatar is supporting Islamic State”, Iraqi MP claims

Qatari Foreign Minister visits Erbil on Monday

BAGHDAD – There is concern within the Iraqi central government that Qatari diplomats are making a direct trip to Erbil without visiting Baghdad officials first.

State of Law MP Aliyeh Nousaif claims that the Qatari Foreign Minister has violated diplomatic protocol by visiting Erbil directly and treating the Kurdistan Region President as the head of an independent state.

“Massoud Barzani is acting like the president of an independent country against the central government in Baghdad,” she said.

Qatari Foreign Minister Khaleed bin-Mouhammed al-Atiyyeh visited Erbil on Sunday 19th July to meet with senior Kurdish officials including President Massoud Barzani.

Aliyeh released which expressed his concerns, saying that the Qatari foreign minister violated international and diplomatic principles by visiting the region directly and neglecting officials in the capital.

Furthermore, Aliyeh accuses the Qatari government of supporting Islamic State (IS) and promoting the division of Iraq.

PKK Calls ISIS Turkish Intelligence Agents In Different Clothes

[SEE:  Kurdish Socialist Rally Bombed In Turkey, Near Kobani ]

“No longer possible to distinguish ISIS members from the Turkish intelligence agents.”

PKK Blames Turkish Government for Suruc Attack

BAS NEWS

Blast kills at least 28 people

The explosion happened during a demonstration

SURUC – The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in a statement blamed the recent suicide attack in Suruc on the Turkish government.The KCK, the executive council of the PKK, accused the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of creating the Islamic State threat in Syria and Turkey, and that it was ‘no longer possible to distinguish ISIS members from the Turkish intelligence agents’.

According to the PKK the AKP government supports ISIS in order to undermine the Syrian Kurds in Syria. “As a result of this policy, the border between Turkey and Syria became a haven for ISIS and gangs from all over the world used this border for logistical and mobilization purposes,” the PKK said.
“It is obvious that responsibility for this massacre is of the Turkish state that unrestrainedly commits massacres on the basis of animosity towards Kurds,” the PKK added.

The PKK finally called on the Kurds and democratic powers to enhance the struggle against the AKP government.

Selahattin Demirtaş, co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) called on Kurds on Monday to provide for their own security and also blamed the Turkish government for the attacks.

The Kurdish leader called on people to protest the massacre in Turkey everywhere.

At least 28 civilians were killed in suicide attack in the town of Suruc on Monday morning.

Turkish officials suggest the attack was carried out by the Islamic state.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has condemned the bombing.

Deputy Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan condemned the “despicable” incident on Twitter, saying such terrorist attacks on Turkey’s integrity and peace would never reach their goal, the Daily Sabah reported.

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.

Modi, Obama’s Snake Charmer, Tries Seduction In Central Asia

[SEE:  Obama Trying To Make Rape Look Like Seduction]

[Indian military writers always rely upon what I call “strategic hopefulness.” They always seek to explain how the current American paradigm in east Asia can be worked-out, as long as India continues to play the leading role that Pentagon planners have cut-out for her. even doubling-down upon that. The current paradigm is a formula for failure and no amount of twisting and spinning will change that.

Mr. Gokhale is correct that Russia will never return in force to Afghanistan. India thinks that Pakistan can be replaced and a deal worked out with the Taliban to enable TAPI to proceed. There will be NO TAPI, until Pakistan exerts pressure on Taliban, or Pakistani troops are brought-in to protect the pipeline. Anyone who thinks that Pakistan does not maintain ultimate control over the Taliban should consider where the relatives of the Taliban are. Most are in Pak. Afghan refugee camps. The rest live in known locations. Control the families to control the fighters who fight for them.]

India, Central Asia and Afghanistan

abp live

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has now set his eyes on recalibrating New Delhi’s outreach to the resource-rich Central Asian Republics (CARs) in an attempt to limit if not match China’s dominant presence in those countries. His current sojourn to the five  countries in Central Asia is clearly designed to build upon last 25 years of India’s diplomatic  investment in the region.

In the 1990s, when the CAR countries had just broken away from the Soviet Union, New Delhi had made it a point to immediately establish diplomatic relations with them. Prime Minister Narasimha Rao, architect of India’s economic liberalisation, realised the importance of charting out a relationship with the newly-independent republics and was first off the block to visit a couple of them in the mid-1990s.Since then Central Asia has been part of India’s ‘extended neighbourhood.’ Although India has had ancient civilisational links with some those countries (because of the famous Silk Route which linked India to the vast expanse of what is now Central Asia), contemporary relations with them are largely driven by two major factors: security and counter-terrorism cooperation on one hand and economic ties and connectivity on the other.

Since then, New Delhi has steadily engaged with the CARs, offering them assistance in Information Technology, education, health care and infrastructure and supplying them with tea, garments, drugs and pharmaceuticals.

In return, these republics have been a major source of supply of uranium, non-ferrous metals,isotopes, radioactive chemical elements, oil and petroleum products.  And yet, India’s overall trade with the Central Asian Republics has remained at a paltry 500 million dollars, mainly constrained by the lack of direct land connectivity.

However, of late many new factors have entered the equation. The breakthrough in nuclear talks between the big powers and Iran has allowed India a little more manoeuvring space in its dealing with Tehran. India has promptly re-activated its assistance to improving the Chabahar port in eastern Iran which serves as a crucial link between Iran and Afghanistan and further into Central Asia. The port, when fully developed, will give India a crucial sea-land link into Afghanistan bypassing Pakistan. Iran has already constructed a number of smaller roads to the Afghanistan border where it can be linked to the Zaranj-Delaram Highway, constructed by India. The Zaranj-Delaram Highway is connected to the Garland Highway that leads into Central Asia.

Chabahar is not the only port though that will enable India to connect to Central Asia and Eurasia. Bandar Abbas, Iran’s other important port that is likely to emerge as a key link in a major north-south  corridor.

At the moment New Delhi cannot match China’s economic clout and its ability to pour in money into smaller countries but by undertaking the proposed connectivity projects more vigorously, it can provide an alternative to the Central Asian Republics in order to lessen their dependence on ‘big brother’ China.

Which brings us to the situation in Afghanistan and India’s diminishing role in Kabul. As long as President Hamid Karzai was in power in Kabul, India was assured of a firm foothold in that country. New Delhi’s 2 billion dollar worth of assistance to Afghanistan for non-security sectors has earned a lot of goodwill but all that benevolence is in danger of being lost after President Abdul Ghani has taken over the reins of power.

Decidedly cold towards India and friendlier to Pakistan than Karzai, Ghani has introduced an element of uncertainty in the India-Afghanistan relations as well India’s foray into Central Asia since New Delhi was hoping to use Afghanistan as a springboard for its outreach into CARs. Afghanistan is also crucial for the TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) gas pipeline. It was bad enough that India-Pakistan relations are fraught, now even Afghanistan may not be India’s friend.

So despite optimism expressed by India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), there is a major question mark over the operationalisation of TAPI gas project in the near future.

So what should India do to remain relevant in Afghanistan and step up its involvement in CAR? Three essential aspects stand out. One, to keep its foothold in Kabul intact, India must work with Washington, Beijing and Moscow to limit the Pakistani Army’s role in Afghanistan. India, China and Russia in fact agreed to back a “broad and inclusive peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan that is Afghan-led and Afghan-owned, as well as to help Afghanistan’s integration into the region through its expanded trade and transport networks and regional connectivity.”

Two, India, must realise that it has–more than Russia and China–a larger stake in Afghanistan simply because any instability in Kabul and the return of Taliban would spell trouble for India’s security environment. China, in the Indian policymakers’ eyes, is using the minor unrest in Xianjiang province as an excuse to remain relevant in any Afghan solution but is unwilling to do much beyond paying lip service while Moscow, it feels, will not like to return to Kabul in any significant role given its past bitter experience in Afghanistan. And three, at the moment Ashraf Ghani may have put all his eggs in the Pakistani basket but he will sooner than later realise that Islamabad’s narrow objective of gaining a ‘strategic depth’ against India in the form of Afghanistan, is not compatible with what Kabul wants, i.e, peace and reconciliation with the Taliban.

In the near and long term, India and to a lesser extent Washington, must do all it can, to help the Afghan people. India’s cultural and civilisational ties with the majority Afghan people are strong and notwithstanding the temporary setback India has suffered in Kabul, it will eventually prevail. India must therefore continue with its development programmes in Afghanistan and think of helping Kabul in capacity building of its human resource as well as that of its armed forces.

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.”]

Kremlin Kicks-Out Soros/NED NGOs Fomenting Revolution

George Soros | Photo by EPA

Russia to bar Soros, other foreign NGOs

politico

 

Kremlin threatens anyone working with a dozen pro-democracy NGOs with up to six years in prison.

By Karen Shainyan

 

MOSCOW — Russia is moving to ban the MacArthur Foundation, George Soros’s Open Society Institute and 10 other foreign groups under a law on “unwelcome organizations” adopted this spring.

The Federation Council, the upper house of the Russian parliament, on Tuesday unveiled the initial names on what the Kremlin and its allies call a “Patriotic STOP-list.”

President Vladimir Putin in May signed the law, the latest step by the Kremlin to restrict the activities of non-governmental organizations in Russia.

The others on the ban list are Freedom House, a U.S. democracy advocacy group; the U.S.-government backed National Endowment for Democracy; two arms of the main American political parties that help parties abroad, the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute; the Michigan-based Charles Stewart Mott Foundation; the Education for Democracy Foundation and the East European Democratic Center, which are both in Warsaw; the Toronto-based Ukrainian World Congress; the International Ukrainian Coordination Union in Kiev; and the Crimean field mission for human rights, which is overseen by the Ukrainian parliament.

The list, which is to be voted on Wednesday, would be forwarded to the Prosecutor General’s office and the foreign ministry for inclusion on the official “unwelcome” register.

Under the law, anyone in Russia who works for or collaborates with these banned groups faces financial penalties as well as up to six years in prison.

Since the 2011 mass protests in Moscow against fraudulent elections for parliament, the Kremlin has steadily moved to crack down on dissent. The Russian parliament has passed laws that require any Russian NGO or charity that gets funding from abroad register as a “foreign agent” and that bloggers register with the state.

Authors:

Karen Shainyan

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

fullsizerender-228-1

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.

NATO Forces Swarming All Over Georgia, Prepared To Correct 2008 Fiasco?

Multinational NATO military exercise begins in Georgia

Military officials from all over the world are in Georgia to participate in a multinational military exercise run by the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance (NATO).

For the next 14 days soldiers from the United States, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Latvia are rubbing shoulders with Georgian servicemen within the Agile Spirit 2015 military exercise.

A special opening ceremony was held today to mark the official beginning of the military drills. The ceremony was held at the Vaziani Military Base and attended by Chief of General Staff of the Georgian Armed Forces (GAF), Major-General Vakhtang Kapanadze.

The NATO military training is being held under the NATO-Georgia substantial package, which outlined NATO trainings on Georgian soil as one of the deal’s top priorities. The training involved representatives from NATO partner countries including the United States, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Latvia. Armenia and Moldova will participate as observers.

Major-General Kapanadze addressed the multinational servicemen and congratulated them for participating in the joint training.

“Georgian soldiers took part in many international operations and are continuing to contribute to global peace alongside our partners. Our cooperation is more than just a partnership – it is brotherhood of arms,” he said.

I am confident that a lot of hard work will be needed but there will also be a joy of success. Professionalism and bravery has no nationality. I want to thank everyone, each military and political figure, who made the Agile Spirit 2015 a multinational training,” Kapanadze noted.

The joint military training involved command post and field training and will continue until July 22.

Representing the Georgian side in the exercise is the IV Mechanised Brigade of the 42nd battalion, the US is being represented by 220 Marine Corps and other countries’ platoon-level units will participate in the drills.

Hypocrite Obama Prevents Delivery of Heavy Weapons To Kurds, Bombing of ISIL

US blocks attempts by Arab allies to fly heavy weapons directly to Kurds to fight Islamic State

the telegraph

Middle East allies accuse Barack Obama and David Cameron of failing to show strategic leadership in fight against Isil, as MPs could be given vote on whether to bomb Syria.

President Barack Obama pauses speaks at Taylor Stratton Elementary School in NashvillePresident Barack Obama pauses speaks at Taylor Stratton Elementary School in Nashville Photo: AP

 

The United States has blocked attempts by its Middle East allies to fly heavy weapons directly to the Kurds fighting Islamic State jihadists in Iraq, The Telegraph has learnt.

Some of America’s closest allies say President Barack Obama and other Western leaders, including David Cameron, are failing to show strategic leadership over the world’s gravest security crisis for decades.

They now say they are willing to “go it alone” in supplying heavy weapons to the Kurds, even if means defying the Iraqi authorities and their American backers, who demand all weapons be channelled through Baghdad.

High level officials from Gulf and other states have told this newspaper that all attempts to persuade Mr Obama of the need to arm the Kurds directly as part of more vigorous plans to take on Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) have failed. The Senate voted down one attempt by supporters of the Kurdish cause last month.

The officials say they are looking at new ways to take the fight to Isil without seeking US approval.

“If the Americans and the West are not prepared to do anything serious about defeating Isil, then we will have to find new ways of dealing with the threat,” said a senior Arab government official. “With Isil making ground all the time we simply cannot afford to wait for Washington to wake up to the enormity of the threat we face.” The Peshmerga have been successfully fighting Isil, driving them back from the gates of Erbil and, with the support of Kurds from neighbouring Syria, re-establishing control over parts of Iraq’s north-west.

But they are doing so with a makeshift armoury. Millions of pounds-worth of weapons have been bought by a number of European countries to arm the Kurds, but American commanders, who are overseeing all military operations against Isil, are blocking the arms transfers.

One of the core complaints of the Kurds is that the Iraqi army has abandoned so many weapons in the face of Isil attack, the Peshmerga are fighting modern American weaponry with out-of-date Soviet equipment.

At least one Arab state is understood to be considering arming the Peshmerga directly, despite US opposition.

The US has also infuriated its allies, particularly Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Gulf states, by what they perceive to be a lack of clear purpose and vacillation in how they conduct the bombing campaign. Other members of the coalition say they have identified clear Isil targets but then been blocked by US veto from firing at them.

“There is simply no strategic approach,” one senior Gulf official said. “There is a lack of coordination in selecting targets, and there is no overall plan for defeating Isil.”

THE AMERICAN POLICE STATE–we don’t need no stinking prison walls

[SEE:  THEY LIVE, We Have No Special SUNGLASSESJuly 14, 2008, 2nd article on There Are No Sunglasses website]

Prisons Without Walls: We’re All Inmates In The American Police State

zero hedge

Submitted by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

“It is perfectly possible for a man to be out of prison and yet not free—to be under no physical constraint and yet be a psychological captive, compelled to think, feel and act as the representatives of the national state, or of some private interest within the nation wants him to think, feel and act. . . . To him the walls of his prison are invisible and he believes himself to be free.”—Aldous Huxley, A Brave New World Revisited

Free worlders” is prison slang for those who are not incarcerated behind prison walls.  Supposedly, those fortunate souls live in the “free world.” However, appearances can be deceiving.

“As I got closer to retiring from the Federal Bureau of Prisons,” writes former prison employee Marlon Brock, “it began to dawn on me that the security practices we used in the prison system were being implemented outside those walls.” In fact, if Brock is right, then we “free worlders” do live in a prison—albeit, one without visible walls.

In federal prisons, cameras are everywhere in order to maintain “security” and keep track of the prisoners. Likewise, the “free world” is populated with video surveillance and tracking devices. From surveillance cameras in stores and street corners to license plate readers (with the ability to log some 1,800 license plates per hour) on police cars, our movements are being tracked virtually everywhere. With this increasing use of iris scanners and facial recognition software—which drones are equipped with—there would seem to be nowhere to hide.

Detection and confiscation of weapons (or whatever the warden deems “dangerous”) in prison is routine. The inmates must be disarmed. Pat downs, checkpoints, and random searches are second nature in ferreting out contraband.

Sound familiar?

Metal detectors are now in virtually all government buildings. There are the TSA scanning devices and metal detectors we all have to go through in airports. Police road blocks and checkpoints are used to perform warrantless searches for contraband. Those searched at road blocks can be searched for contraband regardless of their objections—just like in prison. And there are federal road blocks on American roads in the southwestern United States. Many of them are permanent and located up to 100 miles from the border.

Stop and frisk searches are taking place daily across the country. Some of them even involve anal and/or vaginal searches. In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court has approved strip searches even if you are arrested for a misdemeanor—such as a traffic stop. Just like a prison inmate.

Prison officials open, search and read every piece of mail sent to inmates. This is true of those who reside outside prison walls, as well. In fact, “the United States Postal Service uses a ‘Mail Isolation Control and Tracking Program’ to create a permanent record of who is corresponding with each other via snail mail.” Believe it or not, each piece of physical mail received by the Postal Service is photographed and stored in a database. Approximately 160 billion pieces of mail sent out by average Americans are recorded each year and the police and other government agents have access to this information.

Prison officials also monitor outgoing phone calls made by inmates. This is similar to what the NSA, the telecommunication corporation, and various government agencies do continually to American citizens. The NSA also downloads our text messages, emails, Facebook posts, and so on while watching everything we do.

Then there are the crowd control tactics: helmets, face shields, batons, knee guards, tear gas, wedge formations, half steps, full steps, pinning tactics, armored vehicles, and assault weapons. Most of these phrases are associated with prison crowd control because they were perfected by prisons.

Finally, when a prison has its daily operations disturbed, often times it results in a lockdown. What we saw with the “free world” lockdowns following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the melees in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, Maryland, mirror a federal prison lockdown.

These are just some of the similarities between the worlds inhabited by locked-up inmates and those of us who roam about in the so-called “free world.”

Is there any real difference?

To those of us who see the prison that’s being erected around us, it’s a bit easier to realize what’s coming up ahead, and it’s not pretty. However, and this must be emphasized, what most Americans perceive as life in the United States of America is a far cry from reality. Real agendas and real power are always hidden.

As Author Frantz Fanon notes, “Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief.”

This state of denial and rejection of reality is the essential plot of John Carpenter’s 1988 film They Live, where a group of down-and-out homeless men discover that people have been, in effect, so hypnotized by media distractions that they do not see their prison environment and the real nature of those who control them—that is, an oligarchic elite.

Caught up in subliminal messages such as “obey” and “conform,” among others, beamed out of television and various electronic devices, billboards, and the like, people are unaware of the elite controlling their lives. As such, they exist, as media analyst Marshall McLuhan once wrote, in “prisons without walls.” And of course, any resistance is met with police aggression.

A key moment in the film occurs when John Nada, a homeless drifter, notices something strange about people hanging about a church near the homeless settlement where he lives. Nada decides to investigate. Entering the church, he sees graffiti on a door: They live, We sleep. Nada overhears two men, obviously resisters, talking about “robbing banks” and “manufacturing Hoffman lenses until we’re blue in the face.” Moments later, one of the resisters catches Nada fumbling in the church and tells him “it’s the revolution.” When Nada nervously backs off, the resister assures him, “You’ll be back.”

Rummaging through a box, Nada discovers a handful of cheap-looking sunglasses, referred to earlier as Hoffman lenses. Grabbing a pair and exiting the church, he starts walking down a busy urban street.

Sliding the sunglasses on his face, Nada is shocked to see a society bombarded and controlled on every side by subliminal messages beamed at them from every direction. Billboards are transformed into authoritative messages: a bikini-clad woman in one ad is replaced with the words “MARRY AND REPRODUCE.” Magazine racks scream “CONSUME” and “OBEY.” A wad of dollar bills in a vendor’s hand proclaims, “THIS IS YOUR GOD.”

What’s even more disturbing than the hidden messages, however, are the ghoulish-looking creatures—the elite—who appear human until viewed them through the lens of truth.

This is the subtle message of They Live, an apt analogy of our own distorted vision of life in the American police state. These things are in plain sight, but from the time we are born until the time we die, we are indoctrinated into believing that those who rule us do it for our good. The truth, far different, is that those who rule us don’t really see us as human beings with dignity and worth. They see us as if “we’re livestock.”

It’s only once Nada’s eyes have been opened that he is able to see the truth: “Maybe they’ve always been with us,” he says. “Maybe they love it—seeing us hate each other, watching us kill each other, feeding on our own cold f**in’ hearts.” Nada, disillusioned and fed up with the lies and distortions, is finally ready to fight back. “I got news for them. Gonna be hell to pay. Cause I ain’t daddy’s little boy no more.”

What about you?

As I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the warning signs have been cautioning us for decades. Oblivious to what lies ahead, most have ignored the obvious. We’ve been manipulated into believing that if we continue to consume, obey, and have faith, things will work out. But that’s never been true of emerging regimes. And by the time we feel the hammer coming down upon us, it will be too late.

As Rod Serling warned:

All the Dachaus must remain standing. The Dachaus, the Belsens, the Buchenwalds, the Auschwitzes—all of them. They must remain standing because they are a monument to a moment in time when some men decided to turn the earth into a graveyard, into it they shoveled all of their reason, their logic, their knowledge, but worst of all their conscience. And the moment we forget this, the moment we cease to be haunted by its remembrance. Then we become the grave diggers.

The message: stay alert.

Take the warning signs seriously. And take action because the paths to destruction are well disguised by those in control.

This is the lesson of history.

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.

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

ForeignPolicyLogo

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

“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)

reuters_tickers

US Repeatedly Provokes Albanian Extremism with Ideas of ‘Greater Albania’

[The unimaginative CIA goons keep repeating the same pattern throughout the world, wherever there are unrealized dreams of some “greater glory,” there are fiendish, fevered spooks twisting things into a volatile scenario.  It is the same story from “Greater Balochistan,” to “Greater Kurdistan,” to “Greater Albania,” to the greatest concentration of unrestrained evil and idiocy, the nightmarish vision of “Greater Israel.”  All of these false visions are played upon by the CIA master deceivers, to keep the world in flames.

Playing with terrorists and manufacturing even more of the deranged mother-f—— is the CIA’s plan for creating an American world order.  Use state-manipulated terrorism to burn the world down, so that American corporations can rule over the ashes.]

Global Energy Game: ‘Greater Albania’ Used by West to Destabilize Balkans

in serbia

The recent spike in violence and tension between Macedonian security forces and groups of ethnic Albanians is an ongoing product of western intervention and NATO bombing of the region in the 1990s, according to Balkan political analysts.

Photo from: militaryphotos.net

The issue of ethnic tension within Macedonia has gained global headlines after eight police officers and 14 others were killed during a two-day shootout between police and what the Macedonian government described as an armed paramilitary group of ethnic Albanians in the northern city of Kumanovo.

The incident is the latest and bloodiest in a string of clashes between Macedonians and ethnic Albanians, who make up approximately 30 percent of the country’s population.

These deaths have once again raised fears of rising ethnic tensions and concerns that the country may be heading for another civil war, similar to one fought between Macedonian forces and Albanian paramilitary groups in 2001.

Fear of ‘Greater Albania’

Photo: Tanjug

Many analysts suggest that central to the conflict is the idea within Macedonia and other Balkan states that ethnic Albanian groups are aiming to create a ‘Greater Albania’ as part of expansionist ambitions.

Although Albanian officials have dismissed the concept, there has been a heightened concern of potential Albanian expansion, particularly after Prime Minister Edi Rama recently said the unification of his country and the former Serbian province of Kosovo — which has a majority Albanian population — was “inevitable.”

Political analyst Andrew Korybko told Sputnik that the mistrust and division between Albania and other states in the Balkans was exacerbated by the late 1990s US and UK-led intervention in the region.

He said that the West’s decision to take sides in the conflict and back Albanian groups has further destabilized the region and spurred on ethnic tensions.

“The important thing to understand here is that it [NATO intervention] showed outside support for Albanian separatism, and afterwards, all Albanians,” Korybko said.

Macedonia was purposely kept from the brink of disintegration

Hasim-Taci-Bernar-Kusner-Agim-Ceku-Vesli-Klark-1-650x4911

Korybko also says the decision to protect the Macedonian state during the conflict, and further negotiate a generous agreement for Albanian groups, following the 2001 Macedonian war, was a strategic move by the West, aimed at trying to increase their influence in the area.

“Macedonia was purposely kept from the brink of disintegration so that the ethnic explosion [of violence] could be externally activated at a future time if need be.”

Just why western powers would want to leave the option of ‘Greater Albania’ open and further destabilize countries in the Balkans is down to greater geopolitical games, analysts say.

The Global Energy Game

albania-650x4331

Dusan Prorokovic, an expert in Balkan affairs told Sputnik that the recent trouble in Macedonia has been stirred up to try and prevent the creation of the proposed ‘Turkish stream’ project, which plans to transport Russian gas to Europe via Turkey and the Balkans.

“The concept of Greater Albania is once again relevant but it won’t see any progress without the help of the North Atlantic bloc. I think why all of that happened is more linked to the ‘Turkish stream’ and the defeat of the US in Ukraine, than to local Albanian interests.”

Andrew Korybko agrees, saying: “Greater Albania is a geopolitical tool to be deployed in stopping not only Russia’s Balkan Stream pipeline [northern extension of the Turkish stream] but also China’s Balkan Silk Road.”

Violence in Macedonia could spill over into Kosovo

Photo from: Novosti.rs

The violence in Macedonia could spill over into Kosovo-Metohija, especially as individuals from Kosovo-Metohija are involved in the clashes there, Serbian and ethnic Albanian analysts in Kosovo-Metohija have warned.

Analyst Zivojin Rakocevic told Tanjug Monday that Kosovo-Metohija has essentially been destabilised, with chaos just spilling over into the surrounding systems which, basically, only formally exist for ethnic Albanians.

“Most ethnic Albanians in Macedonia do not recognise Macedonia, most ethnic Albanians in the south of central Serbia do not recognise Serbia, and most ethnic Albanians in Montenegro do not see the Montenegrin system as a part of their system,” he said.

It is no surprise that ethnic Albanians from Kosovo are involved in the clashes in Macedonia because practically no borders exist for them, Rakocevic said.

Analyst Nedzmedin Spahiu told Tanjug that, after Macedonia, Kosovo could be the next to be destabilised, which is not in the interest of the citizens.

“Things that are going on at your neighbour’s are something you can also expect to see in your own house, especially because some of the protagonists of the events there are from Kosovo,” Spahiu warned, noting that the situation in Kosovo-Metohija is very fragile.

Dangers of violence overflowing

Kosovo Deputy Prime Minister Branimir Stojanovic warned on Tuesday against the danger of violence overflowing in the Balkans, noting that everything should be done to stabilise the situation in Macedonia.

In an interview for Tanjug, Stojanovic said that there is always a danger of violence overflowing in the Balkans and that the past has shown that borders do not mean anything in such events.

It is important for the situation in Macedonia to calm down as soon as possible and for all bodies in charge of security to be hired, Stojanovic said.

He underscored that it is especially important for the international bodies to be alert and pay attention to everything that should jeopardise the safety of Serbs in Kosovo-Metohija.

Subscribe to Our Feed

1 COMMENT

  1. Valerie Hopkins ‏@VALERIEin140 May 10
    .@PeterKGeoghegan I understand why they can’t write everything, hard to prove conspiracy theories. But looks like there are 50 ppl hostage..
    0 retweets 1 favorite
    Reply Retweet Favorite1
    novinar napise ovo i niko ne zna o cemu je rec niti kaze o cemu se radi

Leave a Reply

TSIPRAS TO FIRE BANK OF GREECE BOSS FOR ‘UNDERMINING SYRIZA POSITION’

GREECE EXCLUSIVE: TSIPRAS TO FIRE BANK OF GREECE BOSS FOR ‘UNDERMINING SYRIZA POSITION’

the slog

gunptnet

Syriza aims smoking gun at Central Bank Governor

Former Nia Demokrita Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras asked to leave BoG

Sources within Athens media and finance told The Slog last night that Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras will be quitting his post today (Sunday). Alexis Tsipras will ask for his resignation in the light of documentary proof that the former New Democracy Finance Minister personally gave specific briefs to a top journalist about “putting the most negative spin possible on the news” about Greek finances.

Influential Greeks have long suspected that Troika sympathisers in the banking system were working in close-knit coordination with the creditors to destabilise the Syriza government led by Alexis Tsipras and Yanis Varoufakis. But the smoking gun apparently emerged last week in the shape of briefing documents from the central bank’s Governor to “a leading influential Greek journalist”.

The Slog has posted before about coordinated withdrawals from Athenian banks, and high net worth customers being encouraged to withdraw funds soon after the Syriza election victory. This case, however, is infinitely more insidious because it potentially opens up a trail of deliberate destabilisation and dirty tricks all the way back to Brussels, Berlin….and Washington.

1. YannisStournaris was the Greek Minister of Finance from 5 July 2012 until he moved to the BoG last year. It is unlikely bordering on unthinkable that senior New Democracy colleagues didn’t have any idea this briefing was going on.

2. As a senior consultant to the BoG, he was personally involved in the entry of Greece into the euro. This is now widely known to have involved corruption on a grand scale. So Stournaras has every motive for urgently destabilising the government now investigating all aspects of EMU and Greek debt.

3. Stouranaras is a senior Governor who sits on the Board of the IMF. This gives him a serious conflict of interest….but also ready access to Christine Lagarde should he need it.

4. His media ‘order-taker’ (who is known to the Athenian cognoscenti) regularly passes these briefings on to a number of neoliberal global publications…notably Reuters.

Meanwhile, the forensic investigation into debt overstatement in 2010 and how much Greek debt can be objectively defined as ‘odious’ continues.

Hat-tip to Archie X for giving me the lead on this exclusive.

The Slog would like to thank all senior members of the Eurobnoxious tendency in the British Labour Party for its unstinting support of the Greeks, and virile attacks on the bullying control freaks of Brussels-am-Berlin. It will stand forever as a beacon of apathy among progressives in the UK, and got the reward it so richly deserved in last Thursday’s British General Election.

Saudi Arabia’s War Against Yemen

Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen

The Hindu

Yemenis hold posters of the King of Saudi Arabia Salman as they chant slogans during a rally to show support for Saudi-led airstrikes against Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, in Taiz, Yemen. AP   Yemenis hold posters of the King of Saudi Arabia Salman as they chant slogans during a rally to show support for Saudi-led airstrikes against Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, in Taiz, Yemen.

Despite growing American reservations, Saudi Arabian hardliners seem determined to impose a military solution on the Yemen crisis. Instead, Riyadh is likely to find itself mired in Yemen for a long time in an unwinnable war.

The intense fighting that resulted in the virtual takeover of Yemen by the Shia Houthis earlier this year sent foreign nationals fleeing the chaos, resulting in the recent, splendidly executed, and deservedly, well-publicised rescue of more than 5,000 Indian and foreign nationals by the Indian government. It also sent shock waves through neighbouring Saudi Arabia which chose to react robustly though there was no attack on Saudi Arabia by Yemenis.

To properly understand the situation, one first needs to study Yemen, its politics and its turbulent history. The Shia Imams ruled Yemen for over 1,000 years till 1962, when the Imamate was overthrown by nationalist military officers led by Col. Abdullah Sallal. Both Col. Sallal and Republican Yemen’s second President, Abdul Rahman Yahya Al-Iryani, were Zaydi Shias; Ali Abdullah Saleh, President for 34 years, is also a Zaydi. In fact, Mr. Saleh waged a bitter military campaign against the Houthis from 2004 to 2010. The Muslim Brotherhood is quintessentially a Sunni entity, but in Yemen, its chairman and secretary general are Zaydis. Thus, all this shows that political contestations in Yemen have always been driven by personal ambitions and political ideology, and never by sectarianism.

Chronic infighting

A unique attribute of Yemeni society is that every individual has several firearms. As a result, the country is awash with millions of weapons. Rockets and missiles, Kalashnikovs, machine guns, and even tanks have been on sale openly for decades. Also, resorting to violence is the usual medium of settling disputes. Both the Imams/Kings of Yemen in the 20th century were assassinated; a President too. Two others were overthrown in coups. In Yemen, chronic infighting is a normal thing.

Soon after Saudi Arabia was formally established in 1932, it invaded Yemen in 1934 and absorbed the Yemeni provinces of Asir, Jizan and Najran. In the Yemen civil war of 1962-1967, Saudi Arabia supported the Zaydi Imam. Since then, Saudi Arabia has sought to influence internal political dispensations by providing billions of dollars in aid.

Yemen was among the four Arab countries convulsed by massive demonstrations from February 2011 onwards. Alarmed by its protégé, Mr. Saleh’s inability to control burgeoning unrest, mediation by the Saudi-led Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) forced him to step down in February 2012, while power was redistributed among the other existing power holders — Mr. Saleh’s General People’s Congress, the Mushtarak, the “loyalist” Opposition and the Sunni Islah party, leaving out the Houthis even though they had participated very actively in the 2011 uprising. Abd Rabbuh Mansour Al Hadi, Vice-President under Mr. Saleh, was elected President without any candidate to oppose him. However, he lacks legitimacy in the eyes of the people, especially after fleeing the country and operating from Saudi Arabia. He has no tribal or political support base in northern Yemen and even in the south, outside Aden.

With both Mr. Saleh and the Houthis shut out, the stage was set for an alliance between these erstwhile bitter enemies. Having headed the Army for so long, Mr. Saleh enjoys considerable support within it and particularly among the powerful Republican Guard. The Army’s huge weapons inventory became the key factor that enabled the Houthis to take control of Sana’a in September 2014, and later, of many of the country’s main cities and ports, and more crucially, its administrative, energy, financial and governmental apparatus.

The Iranian angle

Saudi rhetoric has focussed on Iranian involvement. Yemeni Zaydi Shias are “fivers” whose ideology is closer to the Sunnis than to the Iranian “twelver” Shias. There is no record of significant Iranian involvement with the Zaydi Shias of Yemen beyond some Houthis pursuing religious studies in Iran in the early 1990s. Among them was Hussein Badr Al-Deen Houthi, the founder-leader of the Ansar Allah, during which he picked up what became the Houthi motto: “Death to America, Death to Israel, Damn the Jews, Victory to Islam.” Iranian interest was kindled by the six-year conflict between Mr. Saleh and the Houthis from 2004 to 2010 but truly meaningful interaction between the two began only after the Houthis took control in Sana’a. Direct flights between Tehran and Sana’a started in March 2015 after a gap of 25 years. Iran has signed agreements with the Houthi-led Yemeni authorities to supply Iranian oil, for help in the construction of power plants, and the modernisation of strategic ports. Implementing these agreements will take a long time, if ever. There is little credible evidence that Iran has provided large enough consignments of weapons to the Houthis to make any tangible difference on the ground; logistically, it is almost impossible to do so. However, with several airports and ports now under Houthi control, the possibilities of Iranian weapons supplies to Yemen exist, if needed. From being an interested bystander at best, Saudi actions, policies and rhetoric in the past few years have enabled Iran to acquire credible locus standi and become an active player in the processes of determining Yemen’s future.

Iran’s influence throughout West Asia has risen dramatically since the so-called Arab Spring unrest began — it has become the most influential power in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and now Yemen also. The success of negotiations between the U.S.-led P5+1 (the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, and China, facilitated by the European Union) has further augmented Iran’s regional standing while further exacerbating already mounting Saudi concerns.

The Saudi response

Saudi King Salman ascended the throne on January 23, 2015, and within hours appointed his son, less than 30 years old, with no governmental experience, as Defence Minister. Ambitious, brash, and oozing self-confidence, he is believed to be the driving force behind Saudi Arabia’s extremely muscular reaction to events in Yemen. Within hours of President Hadi fleeing Yemen, Saudi Arabia launched “Operation Decisive Stsorm” on March 25. The Defence Minister has been personally supervising these operations.

Rather impressively, Saudi Arabia has successfully forged a “grand Sunni alliance” in a matter of days and committed 100 fighter jets, 150,000 soldiers deployed along the border and some naval units, with Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates and even faraway Morocco joining the air strikes. Egypt is deploying an unspecified number of naval and air force units; ground forces will be deployed “if necessary.” The United States is only providing “logistical, intelligence and technical support”. Concerted efforts led by King Salman personally to persuade Pakistan to join have failed. This could have consequences for Pakistan later. Despite initial support for the air strikes, Turkey now feels that a negotiated solution is a better approach.

“Operation Decisive Storm” has involved extensive daily air strikes against Houthi and Saleh forces mainly in and around Sana’a, Saada, Taiz, Hodeidah and Aden. Despite almost 2,500 air strikes, the overwhelming majority by Saudi Arabia, killing many Houthi and allied fighters and resulting in the large-scale destruction of their weaponry, the Houthi/Saleh dominance has not been meaningfully dented. The air strikes are causing mounting civilian casualties and wholesale destruction of villages, sending thousands fleeing from their homes; this is causing a further alienation of Yemenis from Saudi Arabia.

The UN Secretary-General has called for an immediate ceasefire and has appealed for $274 million in aid for urgent relief and rehabilitation measures. The ceasefire demand has been rejected but King Salman has decided to contribute this entire amount immediately. However, this will not mitigate Yemeni anger. Meanwhile, by default, the al-Qaeda in Yemen is benefiting enormously.

Though the war cannot be won through air strikes, sending in ground troops will be disastrous. Given that Saudi troops performed poorly against the then much weaker and less organised Houthis in 2009-2010, and have no real combat experience, they are hardly likely to do any better this time fighting against battle hardy Yemenis on their own terrain. Nevertheless, on April 21, King Salman ordered the mobilisation of the National Guard also which has since been deployed along the border. Confusingly, later that evening, Saudi Arabia unexpectedly announced the end of “Operation Decisive Storm” and the beginning of “Operation Restore Hope”, promptly welcomed by the U.S., only for the air strikes to be resumed the very next day and which continue with increasing intensity! It is reasonable to assume that the Defence Minister was behind this since on April 29 he was also appointed Deputy Crown Prince.

Despite growing U.S. reservations, Saudi Arabian hardliners seem determined to impose a military solution; instead, Saudi Arabia is likely to find itself mired in Yemen for a long time in an unwinnable war.

The way forward

The Houthis have welcomed Yemen’s exiled President Abdurabuh Mansur Hadi’s recent appointment of Khaled Bahah, an Indian-educated former Yemeni PR to the UN and Prime Minister, as the new Vice-President; this provides an opening for negotiations which are the only way forward. Initially they should be convened by the new U.N. Special Envoy for Yemen and the Yemeni government representation should be led by Khaled Bahah. The various UN resolutions over the past four years, the Peace and Partnership agreement signed between the Houthis and Mr. Hadi in September 2014 and the outcomes of the National Dialogues in 2013 and 2014 provide a good basis for negotiations.

If Yemen is to have long-term domestic stability, it is exceedingly important that all power brokers of the past are exiled abroad for at least five to 10 years. Reports that Mr. Saleh and his family have left Yemen, probably for Oman, which has offered to mediate between the contending parties, are encouraging. However, restarting the political process will take time and getting results even longer. In the meantime, the unfortunate people of Yemen have to face an even tougher future than their difficult past.

(Ranjit Gupta was Indian Ambassador to Yemen, and in January 1968 had visited Sanaa as the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy.)

What you need to know about the crisis

Yemen on the brink

Who are fighting whom?

  • Houthis:
    The rebel group controls nine of 21 provinces now
  • Saudi-led coalition:
    Here are some of those who are participating and what they are deploying:
    Saudi Arabia: 100 fighter jets, 150,000 soldiers and some naval units
    UAE: 30 fighter jets
    Bahrain: 15 fighter jets
    Kuwait: 15 fighter jets
    Qatar:10 fighter jets
    Jordan:6 fighter jets
    Sudan:3 fighter jets
    Egypt: naval and air forces involved.
  • Yemeni security forces:
    The military is now split as units that support Mr. Hadi, units that support the Houthis, and units that support a still-influential Saleh, who is in the Houthi camp for now
  • Popular Resistance Committees:
    Militia loyal to Hadi in his stronghold of south Yemen.
  • AQAP: Mr. Hadi and Houthis are fighting al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which has staged several attacks in the country and is strong in the south. Active since 2009. AQAP has taken advantage of the power struggle.
  • IS: A new group of militants inspired by the Islamic State group has claimed major attacks, including suicide bombings which killed at least 142 people at Shia mosques in Sana’a.
  • U.S.: CIA drones have continued to target top AQAP leaders, but the campaign has suffered from Mr. Hadi’s absence. Last week, U.S. military advisers were withdrawn from a southern base as al-Qaeda militants seized a nearby city.

Who are the Houthis?

The Houthis are followers of the Shia Zaidi sect, the faith of around a third of Yemen’s population. Officially known as Ansarallah (the partisans of God), the group began as a movement preaching tolerance and peace in the Zaidi stronghold of North Yemen in the early 1990s.

After some protests pitted it against the government, the group launched an insurgency in 2004 against the then ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh that lasted till 2010. Their opponents view them as a proxy of Shia Iran. The group is hostile to the United States but has also vowed to eradicate al-Qaeda. They participated in the 2011 Arab Spring inspired revolution in Yemen that replaced Saleh with Abdrahbu Mansour Hadi.

Key dates to the Yemen conflict

  • September 21, 2014: Houthi rebels seize government and military sites in Sana’a after several days of fighting that killed more than 270 people. Rival groups sign a U.N.-brokered peace deal stipulating a Houthi withdrawal from the capital and formation of a new government.
  • October 9, 2014: Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which has declared war on the Houthis, claims an attack in Sana’a in which 47 are killed.
  • October 14, 2014: The Houthis seize the Red Sea port of Hodeida, 230 km west of Sana’a, then move toward the centre without opposition from government forces but face fierce resistance from AQAP and its tribal allies.
  • January 20, 2015: Houthis attack Mr. Hadi’s residence and seize the presidential palace, and the President and Prime Minister resign two days later.
  • February 6, 2015: The rebels announce they have dissolved Parliament and installed a presidential council to run the country. The United States and Gulf monarchies accuse Iran of backing the Houthis. In the south and southeast, authorities reject what they brand a coup attempt.
  • February 21, 2015: Mr. Hadi flees south to Aden after escaping from weeks under house arrest and urges the international community to “reject the coup,” rescinding his resignation and subsequently declaring Aden the temporary capital.
  • March 19, 2015: Clashes in which at least 11 are killed force the closure of the international airport in Aden and Mr. Hadi is moved to a more secure location after an air raid on the presidential palace there.
  • March 22, 2015: The Houthis advance southwards, seizing the airport and a nearby military base in Taez, north of Aden and a strategic entry point to Mr. Hadi’s stronghold. Houthi leader Abdelmalek al-Houthi says the rebels have moved south to combat Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group.
  • March 25, 2015: Mr. Hadi is again moved as rebel forces bear down on Aden, capturing a major airbase nearby just days after U.S. military personnel were evacuated from it.

Baltimore Wasn’t The First City To Burn, And It Won’t Be The Last

[SEE; Valdosta, Georgia — a racial powder keg?  ; In Pittsburgh, racial strife simmers in uneasy calm]

Baltimore Wasn’t The First City To Burn, And It Won’t Be The Last

90.9

A police officer walks by a blaze, Monday, April 27, 2015, during unrest following the funeral of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a Baltimore Police Department van. (Matt Rourke/AP)

Our cities have burned before. The broken spines of the Freddie Grays have, before, been the last straw, the flame to the powder keg. And before, the riots have been followed by congressional studies, journalistic reports and community healing projects. Often, public dollars have been pumped into stricken neighborhoods to spur renewal. And yet we cannot seem to pull the curtain on this four-part play.

The famed sociologist Kenneth B. Clark was one of the first witnesses to appear before the Kerner Commission that was convened in 1968 by President Lyndon B. Johnson to study the urban riots of the mid-1960s. Clark’s words then bear study now:

I read that report. . . of the 1919 riot in Chicago, and it is as if I were reading the report of the investigating committee on the Harlem riot of ’35, the report of the investigating committee on the Harlem riot of ’43, the report of the McCone Commission on the Watts riot. . . . It is a kind of Alice in Wonderland–with the same moving picture reshown over and over again, the same analysis, the same recommendations, and the same inaction.

In July 1919, 17-year-old Eugene Williams was stoned and drowned in Lake Michigan because he sought to swim in a whites-only area. Protests broke out in Chicago’s black neighborhoods when police refused to arrest Williams’ assailant, and after eight anarchic days, 38 people lay dead.

In the summer of 1943, Robert Bandy, an African-American soldier, was shot when he tried to protect a woman from police harassment. Though Bandy was not fatally wounded, Harlemites rampaged for two days, shattering the windows of clothing stores on 125th Street and littering the sidewalks with their white mannequins.

The broken spines of the Freddie Grays have, before, been the last straw, the flame to the powder keg … And yet we cannot seem to pull the curtain on this four-part play.

On a hot August night in 1964, a traffic stop in Philadelphia went awry when an angry officer pulled Odessa Bradford out of her car and handcuffed her. Word spread that the officer had beaten the woman, whereupon the city exploded for three days.

And in 1967, two Detroit servicemen just back from Vietnam were being feted at a bar in the city’s oldest and poorest neighborhood when the vice squad closed the place down and arrested 82 customers. The riot was on, and it was a week before the fires were extinguished and the gunfire quelled.

When our president despairs because he’s “seen this movie before,” he is referring not just to the violent rebellions that scarred Watts, Newark and now Baltimore, but also to the seemingly uninterruptible cycle of loss, burial, mourning and helplessness generated by police brutality and civilian mistrust. He is reminding us that these iterative assaults, superficially distinct and historically specific, are connected in an existential, corporeal sense to the extractive atrocity of slavery.

Black critical memory conjoins the 1919 murder of 17-year-old Eugene Williams with the 2012 murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, integrating the assaults into an intractable, inevitable, intergenerational process of subordination and rebellion. When he refers to decades of inequality and neglect, Barack Obama is reminding us of the link between structural violence and the performed violence on black bodies, and urging us to observe the ties between social division and economic inequity on the one hand and historic violence on the other.

I do part company with Obama when, seeking to cast blame elsewhere, he claims he cannot federalize every state and local police department. While that may literally be true, until the 1990s, the Justice Department generally failed to use readily available tools, or to seek from Congress new remedies to control the kind of wide scale police lawlessness that has apparently plagued cities like Baltimore.

The absence of political will, not constitutional authority, explains the longstanding federal absence from the most charged arena of race relations in our national history.

Former Attorney General Eric Holder’s efforts in New Orleans, and more recently in Ferguson, to enforce constitutional standards have marked a welcome break from a century of inattention to the plight of police victims. At the historic 1963 March on Washington, Representative John Lewis pleaded for inclusion in the civil rights bill, provisions that would enhance federal power against police abuse, but the Justice Department rejected the proposals.

In 1991, Congress failed to pass a Police Accountability Act, which would have conferred power on Justice to enjoin police wrongdoing. It was only 20 years ago, in 1994, that Congress specifically authorized federal investigations of pervasive misconduct by state and local law enforcement.

The absence of political will, not constitutional authority, explains the longstanding federal absence from the most charged arena of race relations in our national history. Obama has the gravitas and voice to structure our conversation about policing black communities, but he should also acknowledge that the fault lines leading to Baltimore passed through our capitol.

The Family Curse–John Ellis “Jeb” Bush

George W. Bush acknowledges family name will hurt Jeb’s 2016 campaign

 

Barbara Believes America Has Enough President Name Bush

Barbara Believes America Has Enough President Name Bush

 

https://therearenosunglasses.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/bald-bush-2.jpg

“My dog Millie knows more about foreign affairs than these two bozos.”

 

 

U.S. Supports Renewed Saudi Airstrikes Because Houthis Are Still Moving

[SEE: Saudi Yemeni Bombing Killed Impending UN Peace Deal]

U.S. blames Houthi battlefield moves for renewed Saudi strikes

reuters_india_logo

(Reuters) – The United States squarely blamed Houthi fighters on Monday for renewed Saudi-led bombings, accusing them of using a relative lull in airstrikes meant to help set the stage for peace talks to instead pursue battlefield advances.

Saudi-led aircraft pounded Iran-allied Houthi militiamen and rebel army units on Monday, dashing hopes for a pause in fighting to let aid in as relief officials warned of a catastrophic humanitarian crisis.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said he would discuss the conflict with Iran’s foreign minister later on Monday, adding: “I will certainly urge that everybody do their part to try to reduce the violence and allow the negotiations to begin.”

Kerry and other U.S. officials said Houthis had sought more gains since Riyadh’s announcement last week that it was ending its nearly five-week-old bombing campaign, except in places where the Houthis were advancing.

“The Saudi shift … was predicated on the notion that people would freeze in place,” Kerry told a news conference in New York.

“But what happened was the Houthi began to take advantage of the absence of air campaign, moving not only additionally on Aden, but moving in other parts of the country.”

Kerry and other U.S. officials said the Houthis were shifting artillery and forces and targeting certain elements of the Yemen army.

A coalition of Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia, rattled by what they saw as expanding Iranian influence in the Arabian Peninsula, is trying to stop Houthi fighters and loyalists of former President Ali Abdullah Salah taking control of Yemen.

But the air campaign has had little success and vital aid has been reported held up by both sides.

(Reporting by Phil Stewart and Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

 

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

Russia-Today


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

miami herald

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.

Obama Clumsily Exposes Israeli/Jewish Control of American Govt, With Iranian Nuke Gambit

[SEE: Half of the US Senate Publicly Undermines and Embarasses the President of the United States]

[BREAKING—White House gives in to Congress on right to reject any Iran nuclear pact ; Israel happy at compromise deal on Iran between Congress-Obama: minister ]

[Here we have the Iranian President Rouhani asserting one fact–that the Iran nuke negotiations are with six nations, NOT JUST THE UNITED STATES–followed by the Congress demonstrating another fact–that the US Congress represents the Israeli government, NOT the American people, quickly followed by a third fact, that the American President is also a puppet of these wealthy foreign interests. 

The American govt. is pounding the US Constitution into a fine parchment powder right here for the whole world to see, as it answers its true masters, the International Jewish elite.]

In-Charge1 source

Iran leader: We are in talks with ‘the major powers,’ not the U.S. Congress

Washington_Post_Logo

 

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday that Tehran was negotiating a comprehensive nuclear deal with world powers, not the U.S. Congress, and called a Senate committee’s vote to give Congress the power to review any potential deal a domestic U.S. matter.

The Iranian leader, speaking in a televised speech in the northern Iranian city of Rasht, also repeated earlier statements that his country will not accept any comprehensive nuclear deal with world powers unless all sanctions imposed against it are lifted.

“We are in talks with the major powers and not with the Congress,” Rouhani said, Iranian state television reported. Rouhani said the U.S. Congress’ power to review a nuclear deal with Iran was a domestic U.S. matter, the Reuters news agency reported.

He said Iran wanted to end its isolation from the world by constructing “constructive interaction with the world and not confrontation.”

Rouhani’s comments came one day after a Senate committee voted unanimously to give Congress the power to review a potential Iran nuclear deal after a June 30 negotiating deadline, in a compromise with the White House that allows President Obama to avoid possible legislative disapproval of the pact before it can be completed.

Ukrainian Ambassador To US Fired (Scapegoated) Over Porky’s Push For Peace In Donbass

[Why would Porky fire his own ambassador for following the orders that he had given him?   Answer…He wouldn’t.  Therefore Porky was following the boss’ orders (Obama).  Ukraine is slated to become the 51st US State, no doubt.]

“Ukrainian President Poroshenko has once again called on the United Nations to deploy peacekeepers to eastern Ukraine – a repeated appeal that has previously been slammed as meaningless by analysts and seen as hopeless by the West.

But this time around, Poroshenko hinted, there is more support for the move – and it could be decisive in resolving the country’s ongoing conflict with pro-Russian separatists in the east.

A statement posted on the president’s website on April 4 suggested that progress had already been made on the matter, with foreign ministers of the so-called “Normandy 4″ said to have reacted positively to the idea after previously being skeptical in light of Russia’s reluctance and veto power in the UN Security Council.”–Kyiv Post

Motsyk_OlexanderOlexander Motsyk   

Ukrainian President Recalls Ambassador to US After Peacekeepers Request

Sputnik

Petro Poroshenko recalled Ukraine’s Ambassador to the United States after he called on Russia to support a resolution on peacekeepers in Donbass.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko recalled the country’s Ambassador to the United States Olexander Motsyk, according to the Ukrainian Presidency’s website.

Motsyk previously called on Russia to support a resolution which would deploy peacekeepers to the Donbass region.

Shell Oil Bows-Down Before the Gods of Predatory Capitalism, Then Buys BG

(SEE:  Obama Pushing the World To Embrace American Failure ;  Sermon from the Corporate Church)

ImageOfTheEnemy

Shell’s carpe diem a lesson for all

AFRI COM

Royal Dutch Shell’s $90 billion pitch at step-change growth is expected to trigger a tornado of consolidation across a wide landscape of global petroleum, with the Deepwater Horizon-blighted BP rated the next-most-likely landing point of acquisitive interest.

Indeed, while Shell’s interest in the British-based Mini Me that is BG Group has long been anticipated, there are some surprised by this acutely timed fulfilment, only because it was felt BP might be a more attractive target for the world’s second-biggest oil company.

The word is that Shell certainly took more than a sideways glance at the other British-born super major. But, in the end it plumped for BG, because it introduced more momentum in Shell’s transitional embrace of global gas markets as a core growth engine, would arrive in the original dual-listed giant carrying less uncertainty and reputational risk and was a deal more likely to be consummated reasonable quickly.

But there is some conviction that the mighty ExxonMobil might not feel as constrained by risk and that BP would deliver the world’s biggest listed petroleum house with massive reserve growth, at a serious discount to the cost of finding replacement barrels and with the potential of serious synergies, given the considerable geographic overlap of their resource bases.

The fact that the addition of BP would retain for any foreseeable future Exxon’s place as petroleum’s biggest listed operator might not hurt either. Given Shell is successful with the BG pitch, that title is likely to be a matter of some contention by about 2018, when the new combination’s production will outstrip that of the Exxon we see today.

Needless to say, the existing Exxon is the product of the same sort of targeted and ambitious opportunism that would be required to take on BP. It was at the depths of a slump in oil prices in 1998 that Exxon opened a campaign that ended with it paying $75 billion in paper to merge with Mobil. History says that deal was done at a discount to long-term value and generated far more in synergies than originally anticipated.

Whether Shell will extract more from BG than the $US2.5 billion ($3.25 billion) of annual savings targeted for 2018, time will tell. What is more certain though is that Shell is getting BG at a 50 per cent discount to its five-year average valuation and that more that justifies the similarly sized premium it has offered for ownership.

Well timed

Add to that the fact that Shell is using its own paper to cover 70 per cent of price and what you have is a deal as well timed as it is structured.

Interestingly enough, the man who led BG to this deal was chairman Andrew Gould. We know the former Schlumberger boss better as the lead independent director of Rio Tinto through a period that included the resistance of BHP Billiton’s attempt at mega-major consolidation in 2008.

To some degree, Gould’s readiness to accept a deal at BG highlights the polar opposite tacks being taken by mega petroleum and big mining during these days of cyclical retreat in their respective markets.

The oilmen are seizing their moment to drive tectonic change that delivers geographic diversification, with new reserves being acquired at a discount to their long-term value. Meanwhile the miners, with the notable exception of Glencore’s bellicose Ivan Glasenberg, seem content to live within the security of their known knowns.

Australia’s pair of dual-listed resource houses, for example, have been strident in their rejection of opportunistic, inorganic growth through this period of cyclical weakness across their suite of commodities. Instead both, publicly at least, are sticking resolutely to strategic rhetoric that focuses on driving growth through targeted brownfields expansions, cost management and productivity enhancement.

This focus on the known has been particularly laser-like at the world’s biggest diversified resources business, BHP Billiton. The only concession chief executive Andrew Mackenzie has made to counter-cyclical opportunism is in deep-water petroleum, where he has raised the potential of acquisitions as the most economically attractive way of filling an emerging medium-term production gap.

As we keep noting, Mackenzie’s management thesis stands unique in the resources business, because he expresses so little interest in the reserve replacement that sits central to big oil’s routine of consolidation through period of price retreat.

Eating itself

Despite throwing $35 billion annually at growth, Shell has recently been unable to find new resources at a rate fast enough to cover its production. Reserve replacement has been running at less than 80 per cent and that means Shell is eating itself.

Exxon, on the other hand, is under considerably less pressure to acquire reserves, given it has been replacing them at 101 per cent over the past three years. In other words, it has more reserves now than it did in 2012.

For all that, though, chief executive Rex Tillerson told the market in March that Exxon stood ready for a big transaction. Whether coincidence or not, there was a consensus formed that Tillerson had ambitions for BG and speculation abounds that Exxon might yet invited itself to Shell’s party.

Back at BHP, Mackenzie insists the Global Australian has its foot on all that it needs to sustain a compound production growth of 6 per cent and will, in turn, support the company’s progressive dividend strategy. Instead, the BHP strategy is aimed at maximising returns on every key measure, from operating margins to shareholder returns. Mackenzie insists, too, that being the biggest is not the point and has underlined that point by moving to release a fleet of sub-scale assets to shareholders in the form of South32.

But, given BHP’s pretty fine history of engineering growth through structural transition has enabled it to anticipate long-term shifts in commodities demand, this certainty in the sustainability of the existing BHP asset base sits just that little bit uncomfortably for some.

As one senior mining executive observed on Thursday: “To a degree, Shell is calling an end to the oil era and the transition to the gas era. But while Shell is moving to the future, to gas, the likes of BHP are committed to the past, to steel-related products and thermal coal.”

Now, while this is a pretty high-level view and one that does not account fully for intricacies of either the attributes of the Shell deal or to BHP’s portfolio investment strategy, it does effectively capture the divergence of approach to generating growth.

For a start, of course, Shell is buying a good deal more in BG than expanded exposure to export gas markets, the gas resources that sustains them and the massively expensive LNG chillers that facilitates them.

Oil prosects

BG will arrive with Brazilian oil prosects that are expected to be producing at 550,000 barrels a day by 2018 – equivalent to about 15 per cent of Shell’s current daily oil output – and that remains highly prospective exploration territory. It introduces upside too in the North Sea, Kazakhstan and Tanzania.

But the view that Shell’s BG play is an evolutionary investment holds. This is a deal driven by short-term expediency and long-term strategy and one that illuminates Shell’s view of the potential of gas as the transitional fuel for both advanced and emerging economies as they manufacture a reduction in the carbon intensity of their energy infrastructure.

The phrase “straw hats in winter” is embedded in BHP history. It was uttered in 1984 by BHP’s then chairman Sir James MacNeill to explain why he would countenance spending $US2.4 billion on a coal company during a price slump. That deal delivered two of the four pillars that support Mackenzie’s strategy – coal in the Bowen Basin coal and copper at Escondida.

And Shell’s shape-shifting approach on BG arguably offers a timely reminder that a bit of counter-cyclical carpe diem can go an awfully long way.

Guaranteed Financial Security Is A Fantasy

Guaranteed Financial Security Is A Fantasy

investing

Charles Hugh Smith Charles Hugh Smith

Guarantees based on extracting higher taxes, borrowing trillions of dollars and creating trillions more out of thin air only guarantee eventual systemic implosion.

It is difficult for those living through tectonic social and economic shifts to recognize the passing of one era and the emergence of a new era. We are clearly in such a tectonic shift, yet it is slow enough and uneven enough that those who hope the old era will somehow endure despite the erosion of its foundations can find evidence to support their beliefs.

One such cherished belief is the faith that financial security can be guaranteed. This faith has two components:

1. The faith that risk can be identified and managed to the point it cannot disrupt the payment of promised pensions, benefits, yields, etc.

2. The faith that the system can pay what has been promised by one means or another.

If tax revenues are inadequate, taxes can always be raised. If tax revenues fail to rise, then the money needed to pay the promised pensions, benefits, etc. can be borrowed. If the money cannot be borrowed, then it can simply be created out of thin air by central banks or printed by government treasuries.

Before the advent of high finance, lowering risk could only be achieved by spreading the risk over a large populace. To lower the risk to individuals that their house would burn down in an accidental fire, insurance was sold to 1,000 homes. If one or two of the 1,000 homes burned down each year, the insurance could pay the claims and still build up reserves for future claims.

But if a conflagration burns down all 1,000 homes, the insurance is overwhelmed; the guaranteed coverage is rendered worthless.

The creation of a volunteer (or tax-supported) fire brigade will also lower the risk that an accidental fire could spread. But once again, such a brigade can only mitigate very limited fires; a second fire or a windstorm would exceed the capacity of the brigade to extinguish multiple fires.

The faith in guaranteed security is actually a faith that there will be no consequences from borrowing or printing enormous sums of money, and no possible risk to the system that cannot be anticipated and mitigated with some fancy financial footwork.

Is this faith reality-based? We know that borrowing immense sums of money does have consequences: interest must be paid out of future income, reducing the income that can be consumed or invested, and dependence on borrowed money creates moral hazard: rather than make difficult trade-offs, the borrower just borrows more money.

Creating money out of thin air is also not consequence-free. Fancy financial footwork can mask the consequences of creating money to pay promised pensions, benefits, etc., but eventually the reality that creating money does not create wealth intrudes on the fantasy that if tax revenues are insufficient, and borrowing has limits, then we can guarantee incomes, pensions, benefits, etc. by creating money out of thin air.

Those dependent on the promises made in the previous era will support any policy that “extends and pretends” the illusion that financial security can be guaranteed, regardless of seismic shifts in the natural and financial economies.

The irony of “extend and pretend” is these policies only push the system to extremes that guarantee systemic collapse. The more we avoid facing the intrinsic insecurities generated by tectonic shifts, the more we hasten the sudden implosion of old systems pushed beyond their limits.

Real security arises from the constant volatility, friction and insecurity of experimentation, adaptation and dissent. Guarantees based on extracting higher taxes, borrowing trillions of dollars and creating trillions more out of thin air only guarantee eventual systemic implosion.

Put another way: spreading the risk of a house fire amongst the 1,000 homeowners does not actually lessen the risk of a conflagration burning down the entire town.

Pakistan and the Saudi Dominance

saudi-pakistanPakistan and the Saudi attack on Yemen

in defense of marxism

Written by Lal Khan 

The Pakistani masses have reacted very negatively to the prospects of becoming an accomplice in the Saudi Monarchy’s brutal aggression against Yemen. This response has shocked Pakistan’s ruling elite, the state’s bosses, the media and the intelligentsia. Even some in the media have dared to reveal the vicious character of the despotic Saudi regime and its atrocious treatment of more than 2.5 million Pakistani immigrant workers banished into slavery and drudgery by these tyrannical monarchs

The hesitation, lack of any confidence, and hypocrisy of the rulers is pathetic. An official Press report stated that, “Pakistan called upon the United Nations, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the international community to play a constructive role in finding a political solution to the crisis in Yemen. An official statement from the PM House (Prime Minister’s Office) had said the meeting concluded that Pakistan remains firmly committed to supporting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Saudi Arabia in accordance with the aspirations of the people of Pakistan. It was also emphasised in the meeting that Pakistan is committed to playing a meaningful role in resolving the deteriorating situation in the Middle East.”

What a laughable, pathetic and spineless response! What is said about consulting the ‘parliament’ and informing the people is a reeking cynical farce. These rulers themselves are mere timid puppets. Usually they are only informed about military operations and crucial foreign policy decisions after the fact by the top bosses of the state and their imperialist masters. These are the real people calling the shots.

Saudi Arabia’s influence in Pakistan

The influence of Saudi Arabia in Pakistan should not be underestimated. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was granted amnesty under pressure from the Saudi Monarchs and spent his years in exile after Musharraf’s coup in 1999 in Saudi Arabia. During Sharif’s time in Saudi Arabia he was a guest of the Royal family who were also his business partners. His return to the country and his road to power was paved by the Saudi Royals. On his coming to power in 2013 he was doled out a gift of $1.5 billion by the Saudi government. Despite his frequent visits and business deals with China, Turkey and Qatar, and his bondage with his American masters, he is still most indebted to the Saudi monarchy. At the same time, Saudi Arabia regularly provides free oil for Pakistan’s military and other ‘gifts’ on regular basis. With tanks, fighter planes and naval ships running on Saudi oil, it is not an option for the Pakistani ruling class to disobey their masters orders. Pakistan’s Mullahs and religious parties from Wahhabi sects also regularly receive large donations to run their madrassas and terrorist outfits. Saudi Arabia was the first country in the whole world to recognize the Taliban government in Afghanistan back in 1996.

Saudi Arabia has always been a bossy key player in Pakistani politics for a long time. Along with doling out large sums of money for the Army and the clerics, they have been instrumental in toppling unwanted governments and bringing their favourites to power. All of this was being done in cooperation with US Imperialism. But since the US-Saudi alliance has begun to crack, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the Pakistani ruling class to serve two masters at the same time.

For the working masses, this Saudi patronage for the right wing parties and the ruling class of Pakistan has always been presented as a kindness from their religious brothers in the “holy land”. But those Pakistanis who work in this “holy land” know the disgusting truth; that for the Saudi rulers they are merely considered slaves and untouchables. They can never attain a Saudi nationality and always need a Saudi citizen’s approval to live or do any business in the country. The Saudi regime’s contemptuous attitude towards Pakistanis is laid bare by the fact that no Pakistani under the age of 40 is allowed to perform Umra – a form of pilgrimage of the holy Kaaba – in all other months than the the month of the Hajj. Only Pakistani Muslims are subjected to this prohibition.  Millions of Pakistanis, mainly from the petit bourgeoisie, visit Mecca and Medina for Hajj every year. This is a huge source of income for the Saudi regime.

Why is Saudi Arabia attacking Yemen?

On the other hand the Saudi Army, which is the fourth most costly in the world, has never gone to war. When the Saudis moved to crush the revolution in Bahrain in 2011, they relied heavily on Pakistani soldiers and mercenaries. The Saudis have also, allegedly, recently called for the Pakistani army to deploy 30,000 troops on the border between Saudi Arabia and Iraq and Syria to defend the House of Saud against an impending attack by the ISIL. It is clear that the kingdom does not trust its own forces that could just as well turn their expensive arms against the Royalty itself.  It shows the intrinsic weakness of this despotic regime and the fears of the ruling elite.

sanaa yemen rebels rallySaudi Arabian fighter aircraft have been ferociously bombing targets across Yemen, killing hundreds if not thousands of civilians, including children. It is clear that this figure will dramatically rise as the targets of the attack are moving into the civilian populated areas in Sana’a and in the northern Houthi villages which are expected to be heavily bombed.  Refugee camps, factories and congested populated civilian areas are being bombed. The infrastructure, whole towns and cities are being destroyed and turned into ruins.  Along with the ‘holy’ alliance of the Arab states, Israel has also supported the bombings. This reveals the decline of the system. These events are now exposing the farce of Saudi foreign policy towards Israel, the disingenuous anti-Israel rhetoric, and the hollow slogans of Palestinian freedom. It shows the class unity of the rulers of repressive regimes and why workers from all religions and nationalities should come together and fight against this cruel system.

Yet again, Yemen, which is the poorest Arab country, has become a target for savage attacks by the Saudi regime and its Arab and non-Arab allies.

The burgeoning domestic crisis, Saudi Arabia’s waning hegemony in the region and the rising desperation of the reactionary Al Saud family, with its growing internal conflicts, has brought desperation to the present clique that came to power along with the new King, Salman. His thirty-year-old son, Mohammad, who has been appointed the new defence minister, is a bully gone berserk. In reality they are trying to protect the Saudi ruling class and its imperialist designs in the Middle East. The Saudis could not accept the disintegration of Yemen and it falling into the hands of Iranian backed forces on its southern borders. Since the Iraq war, Iran and to a minor extent Qatar have developed into the biggest threat to the supremacy of Saudi Arabia in the region. Turkey is also expanding its influence by supporting IS in Iraq and Syria and other proxies in the region.

This conflict has exacerbated tensions and bloody conflicts between Saudi and Iranian proxies in the region in which sectarian hatred is being imposed by the warring mercenaries. The Iranian regime has not only been supporting clerics and sectarian terrorist outfits in Pakistan, but in many other countries in the region as well. Reactionary Shia clerics and religious parties are heavily funded across the Middle East by the Iranian regime. The Iranian regime also attempted to divert the revolutionary movement in Bahrain on sectarian lines. This movement was a threat to both Saudi and Iranian interests, and both regimes tried to crush it in their own way. Similarly, the Iranian regime tried to intervene in other movements of the Arab revolution and impose their own narrow agenda. The collapse of Mubarak in Egypt and the temporary retreat of the Arab revolutionary upheaval provided them with an opportunity to step up their intervention in the region. Because of the internal crisis of the Iranian State and decaying economy, they use the threat of external enemies to prop up their rule at home.

In these circumstances, the Iranian mullah regime used the rise of the IS to rally sectarian support. Similarly, Saudi aggression in Yemen will provide them with more excuses for spreading their influence. The regional proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran has been used by both regimes for this purpose. But the sectarianism they have spawned has not been able to find fertile ground to spread on a mass scale. In fact, the masses are becoming wary of the situation of which they are the victims. Although the Arab revolution has receded without achieving its ultimate goals, the possibility of sharp swings in public opinion is implicit in the situation.

The Pakistani army for hire

The intervention of Pakistan’s military in the Middle East is not a new phenomenon. They have been used as mercenaries by the reactionary and despotic regimes of the Middle East for decades. One of the most gruesome episodes was the massacre of the Palestinians in Jordan in 1970 to protect the monarchy there. From 1967 to 1970, Brigadier Muhammad Zia ul Haq was stationed in Jordan in Official Military Capacity to protect the Hashemite Kingdom. On September 15, 1970, King Hussein declared martial law in Jordan to crush a revolutionary uprising of the Palestinians. The next day, Jordanian tanks of the 60th Armoured Brigade attacked the headquarters of Palestinian organizations in Amman while the army also attacked camps in Irbid, Salt, Sweileh, Baq’aa, Wehdat and Zarqa. Then the head of the Pakistani training mission to Jordan, Brigadier Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq (later Chief of Army Staff and President of Pakistan), took command of the 2nd division. King Hussain took this extraordinary step because he was terrified that the Jordanian generals would refuse to massacre fellow Palestinians and could turn their guns against him. The American backed Jordanian army shelled the PLO headquarters in Amman and battled with Palestinian guerrillas in the narrow streets of the capital. Yasir Arafat had later claimed that the Jordanian and Pakistani troops killed between 10,000 and 25,000 Palestinians.

The intensity of the bloodletting by Zia ul Haq and King Hussain was such that one of the founder fathers of Israel, Moshe Dayan, cynically remarked:“King Hussein, with help from Zia-ul-Haq of the Pakistani army, sent in his Bedouin army on 27 September to clear out the Palestinian bases in Jordan. Hussein killed more Palestinians in eleven days than Israel could kill in twenty years.” Also, a year later, they participated in the bloody civil war and massacres in East Bengal. Again, in the 1980’s, Zia ul Haq, who was now the head of state, rented the Pakistani military institutions to American Imperialism and forged the “dollar jihad” to overthrow the Afghan revolution of 1978.

A state of crisis

However, any direct intervention of the Pakistani troops in this Saudi aggression against Yemen will be much more dangerous. This intervention would come back to bite the ruling classes and the state. It could severely harm Pakistan’s relationship with Iran and incite protest by the masses. The indecisiveness of the ruling elite exposes their fear and cowardice. Currently, the Pakistani State is quite different to what it was in the 1970s or 1980s. It is now at war with itself. A cruel operation is being carried out in Baluchistan on a vast scale in which hundreds of Baluchi militants have been killed and their mutilated bodies thrown in streets. Helicopter gunships are used to annihilate whole villages and towns in which women and children are mercilessly killed.

A so called operation against the Taliban is also being carried out in tribal regions along the Afghan border. In this fake operation, many ordinary Pashtoons are killed on the pretext of killing Taliban while real terrorists are protected by the State and its army. In Karachi, the Army is also involved in a mutually destructive conflict between the neo-fascist MQM, and Taliban terrorists and other reactionary forces.

On the eastern border, skirmishes with the Indian army are a regular occurrence. Continuous attempts are made to smuggle terrorists into Indian held Kashmir and other parts of India. The ruling class on both sides never wants to give anything up. They whip up hatred against each other in order to continue their oppressive rule at home and to justify the buildup of expensive nuclear arsenals at the expense of endless poverty and misery.

Suicide bombs, lynching by mobs and other terrorist activities in which the warring factions of the Pakistani state is involved have become a normality. The Pakistani State always relies on sectarian hatred to continue its oppression of the working masses. Saudi and Iranian Riyals for clerics and terrorist outfits are considered as donations from holy lands by the ruling class. This sectarian hatred found fertile ground amongst some layers of the middle-class in the 1980s after the defeat of the revolution. The Neo-fascist MQM in Karachi was also built in those times to divide the proletarians of Karachi on communal lines. But now, it is becoming increasingly difficult for reactionary outfits to appeal to these layers and find mass following. All attempts to organize mass marches by religious alliances, supported by secret agencies and the bourgeois media, end up as a gathering of a few hundred people. Most of these people are paid to attend or are promised benefits and perks.

The state, the army and the various secret agencies are all in a state of crisis, and the different factions within them are in open war with each other. The army has its hands in everything from real estate development to the drug trade. The distribution of heroin and other drugs from Afghanistan’s opium fields to the Arabian Sea and from there to parts of Europe and Africa is making an estimated 100 billion dollars per year. This is the main source of income for many in the ruling circles including Parliamentarians, Generals, Judges and top bureaucrats.

All of this leads to is more bloodletting as the warring factions of the state clash. At the same time, sectarianism is destabilising the army itself. If Pakistan is thrown into the Yemeni conflict this problem will get worse. A sectarian conflict can have a devastating effect on the already decaying and demoralised army. It could lead to the destabilisation of the state itself.

Pakistani society is at an impasse. Unemployment exists on a massive scale. Street crimes, prostitution, drug addiction and general decay is on the rise. All of this provides breeding ground for reactionary and terrorist outfits. Although reactionary state sponsored groups have not been able to gain mass support, lynch mobs killing people on religious grounds are normal occurrences. A conflict in Yemen could lead to further disintegration and chaos.

Class struggle

However, the Pakistani working class has a long history of struggle. Pakistani workers also have a strong bond to Yemeni workers and workers in other gulf states. However much the ruling class tries to divide the working class, class solidarity will always emerge eventually.

In the past, Baluchi student leaders defied the attempts by the Pakistani state to send Baluchis to Oman and Bahrain as mercenaries. Those student leaders had to pay for this with their lives. The reactionary acts of ruling classes of the Middle East and Pakistan can lead to a revolutionary response from the working class and revolutionary youth. Class solidarity is the only way out of this mayhem.

From the shores of the Mediterranean to the Arabian Peninsula, the Middle East is descending into bloody chaos and barbarism. This is the only outcome under capitalism. However, the Arab revolution proved that once the masses move all the reactionaries can be easily swept aside. Without the overthrow of the reactionary regimes, from the Israeli Zionists to the Saudi despotic monarchy, and from the Mullahcracy in Iran to the rotten Pakistani ruling elite, no way out is possible. Without a socialist revolution, the crisis in the middle east will not be resolved. Such is the intensity of the capitalist crisis that a revolutionary transformation in any one country can, and must, quickly spread throughout the entire region.