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American Resistance To Empire

Comic-Strip Nation

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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

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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

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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.

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