Pak-India Corridor Competion—Victory Goes To Side Which Overcomes Terrorist Roadblocks

[SEE:  India-Pakistani Competition Translates Into Competing Economic/Transit Corridors]

cpec BALOCHISTANRAW targeting CPEC, trying to destablise Pakistan: COAS

the nation pakistan

GWADAR: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif has reaffirmed Pakistan Army’s resolve to provide security for $46bn China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects and said that completion of the project will not only bring a true economic transformation to Balochistan but country and region as well.

Addressing a seminar on CPEC in Gwadar on Tuesday, Army Chief General Raheel Sharif said that in the place of today’s rugged mountains and lifeless barren deserts, we look forward to the emergence of modern infrastructure, special economic zones, health facilities and universities which will bring enduring benefits for our people.

“CPEC is a lifetime opportunity for Pakistan to improve the socio-economic equation of its [less privileged] areas and populace. I assure the people of Balochistan that it is [them] who will benefit the most from the fruits of this project,” the COAS added.

The army chief explained that the corridor ranged from Western China to the plains and coasts of Pakistan and promised that it will also benefit the country’s “remotest” areas of Gilgit-Baltistan.

General Raheel termed the CPEC as a “grand manifestation” of deep-rooted ties between China and Pakistan. “CPEC is indeed a corridor of peace and prosperity, not only for the people of Pakistan and China but also for the region and beyond,” he said.

The COAS termed transparency and good management as extremely important factors for the sustainability of the project.

“Socio-economic justice resulting from the balanced development will also increase people’s stakes in national unity and cohesion. For our enduring progress and prosperity, this sense of coherence will be our greatest asset,” the army general said.

General Raheel said that the project was being appreciated by world powers who consider it to be a “catalyst of economic transformation of the entire region”.

The COAS, while briefing the seminar about the positives of the project, also discussed the gravity of the prevailing challenges faced by the country with respect to CPEC.

“I must highlight that India, our immediate neighbor, has openly challenged this development initiative. We all know that hostile intelligence agencies are averse to this grand project.

“I would like to make a special reference to Indian Intelligence Agency, RAW, that is blatantly involved in destabilizing Pakistan. Let me make it clear that we will not allow anyone to create impediments and turbulence in any part of Pakistan,” said General Raheel.

The army chief assured the attendees that the security of CPEC was Pakistan Army’s “national undertaking” and that they will not leave “any stone unturned”. “We will continue to keep a close watch at its every step,” he added.

General Raheel said that a force comprising fifteen thousand men was responsible to secure the project under the ambit of Special Security Division.

“CPEC, besides being at the core of our national resolve, is a reflection of Pakistan-China friendship. It will be truly realized, whatever it takes.”

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.”

Large Group of French Legislators Visits Crimea

No grounds to keep Russia sanctions in place – French MPs visiting Crimea

Russia-Today

There are no grounds to keep Russia sanctions in place, said member of the French National Assembly Thierry Mariani, who heads the parliamentary delegation currently on a two-day visit to Crimea.

“As the US is lifting Cuba blockades, I see no reasons for Europe to keep Russia sanctions in place,” Mariani told reporters after speaking at the Crimean Parliament in Simferopol on Thursday. He added that he felt the effect of sanctions as the delegation’s mobile phones stopped operating because European companies refuse to provide service in the area.

The Crimean status referendum held on March 16, 2014 made it possible for the Crimean peninsula to avoid the scenario unfolding in eastern Ukraine, he said.

READ MORE: French MPs to make historical visit to reunited Crimea

Mariani noted that he “observed the devastation and the people’s suffering with horror” while he was visiting war-torn Donbass two months ago.

“We congratulate you that you managed to avoid that,” he said at a meeting with Crimea’s Parliament speaker Vladimir Konstantinov. “We welcome the courage of the Crimean Parliament because it was able to make this decision despite the difficult situation and a great risk of escalation [of tensions],” he added.

He reiterated that the visit of the French delegation aims to understand the situation in Crimea. He added that his first impression was great weather and no military personnel on the streets.

“I’m very happy to be here,” he told the Crimean lawmakers in Russian adding that the visit of the delegation caused an uproar in France.

He said the current visit proves the freedom and independence of the French lawmakers. “Regardless of our political orientation, we adhere to the views of Charles de Gaulle, who believed that above all is the will of the people.”

Konstantinov, in turn, thanked the French delegation for making “a courageous political step” by visiting Crimea. He said that he is “proud” of the fact that the referendum was made possible and that the “lawmakers stood up for protection of their people for the first time for many years.”

He added that during those days the Crimean residents “lived through turmoil.”

“The outcome of the referendum was a reaction of the whole Crimean community to the events in Ukraine,” he said.

“Ukraine was like a boiling pot and the people were frightened of the situation in Kiev. After the funerals of people killed in Kiev, a wave of spontaneous protests swept through Crimea…The task set before the parliament was not to let the protests grow into unconstrained actions. A civil war seemed to be the main threat those days.”

READ MORE: EU prolongs economic sanctions against Crimea till June 2016
Crimea rejoined Russia last March following a referendum where more than 96 percent of people voted in favor of reunification. The decision to hold a referendum was sparked by the refusal to recognize the new coup-imposed government in Kiev as legitimate. Crimea, which is home to an ethnic majority Russian population, feared that the new leadership would not represent their interests and respect their rights.

Considering Crimea’s decision illegal, the US and EU accused Moscow of annexing the peninsula and imposed economic sanctions on Russia. Following the escalation of violence Donbass, the Western states imposed further sanctions on Russia with Moscow responding with retaliatory restrictions.

Last April, Kiev launched a military operation in the country’s southeast after the Donetsk and Lugansk regions refused to recognize the new administration in Kiev. According to a recent UN report, the conflict has killed nearly 6,500 people, wounded over 16,000 and left 5 million people in need of humanitarian aid in the past year.

On Thursday Mariani told Rossiya’24 news channel that the public opinion in France is gradually shifting in Russia’s favor.

The public opinion in France is changing step by step,” Mariani said. “We’ve had that story involving the Mistrals and many people in France think it is simply stupid, as a commodity that was promised was not delivered eventually and the contract was disrupted.”

“I think public opinion is making a gradual evolution,” he concluded. “I hope our trip to Russia will speed up this evolution, as the French government will have to give a bigger measure of attention to this opinion at a certain point.”

“Soldiers for Peace” (Soldaten für den Frieden)–Text

heinz-kessler-y-fritz-streletzHeinz Kessler y Fritz Streletz

Theodor Hoffmann
Admiral Theodor Hoffmann (Photo: SRK)

Horst Stechbarth2
Horst Stechbarth

cosmonaut Sigmund Jena
Cosmonaut Sigmund Jena

“Experience shows that Russians better friend than enemy.”

Soldiers for Peace

jung welt

Documented: The leadership of the former East German Forces warns of war and calls for cooperation rather than confrontation with Russia

As military personnel who were employed in responsible positions in the GDR, we turn seriously concerned for the preservation of peace and the survival of civilization in Europe to the German public.

In the years of the Cold War, in which we experienced a long period of confrontation and militarization under the threshold of open conflict, we have used our military knowledge and skills for the maintenance of peace and the protection of our socialist state GDR. The National People’s Army has been involved in a single day armed conflicts, and it has played a leading part in the events in 1989-90 that no weapons were used. Peace has always been the most important maxim of our actions. That is why we are firmly opposed to the military factor is again the determining instrument of policy. It is a secure experience, that the burning questions of our time can not be solved by military means.

It should be recalled here that the Soviet Army has borne the brunt during the crackdown of fascism in World War II. Only 27 million Soviet citizens gave their lives for this historic victory. You as well as the Allies, applicable on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of our thanks.

Now we note that the war has once again become a constant companion of mankind. Run by the US and its allies reorganization of the world has led in recent years to wars in Yugoslavia and Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and Sudan, Libya and Somalia. Nearly two million people were victims of these wars, and millions are fleeing.

Now the war events, in turn, reached Europe. Obviously, the US strategy aims to eliminate Russia as a competitor and to weaken the European Union. In recent years, NATO has approached ever closer to Russia’s borders. With an attempt to make the Ukraine in the EU and in NATO, the cordon sanitaire should be concluded by the Baltic states to the Black Sea in order to isolate Russia from the rest of Europe. Under American calculus also a German-Russian alliance would be difficult or impossible.

In order to influence the public in this sense, takes place an unprecedented media campaign in the incorrigible politicians and corrupt journalists stir the drums of war. In this heated atmosphere, the Federal Republic of Germany should play a supportive role for peace. The areas both its geopolitical situation and the historical experiences of Germany and the objective interests of its people. This is contradicted by the requirements of the Federal President for more military responsibility and stirred up in the media war hysteria and Russophobia.

The accelerated militarization of Eastern Europe is not playing with fire – it is a game of war!

Being aware of the destructive forces of modern wars and in discharge our responsibilities as citizens we say in all clarity: Here already a crime against humanity begins.

Are the many dead of World War II, the vast destruction throughout Europe, the refugees and the endless suffering of the people already forgotten? Have the recent wars the United States and NATO have not already brought enough misery and demanded many lives?

Understand you do not, which would mean a military conflict on the densely populated continent of Europe?

Hundreds warplanes and armed drones, equipped with bombs and missiles, thousands of tanks and armored vehicles, artillery systems would be used. In the North and Baltic Sea, the Black Sea träfen another modern combat ships and in the background stands the nuclear weapons in readiness. The boundaries between front and hinterland would blur. Million mothers and children would order their men to cry their fathers and brothers. Millions of victims would be the result. From Europe a ruined desert landscape would be.

Can we get here? No, no!

Therefore, we turn to the German public:
Such a scenario must be prevented.
We do not need war rhetoric, but Friedenspolemik.
We do not need Bundeswehr missions abroad and also no army of the European Union.
We do not need more funds for military purposes, but more funds for humanitarian and social needs.
We do not need war agitation against Russia but more mutual understanding and peaceful coexistence and cooperation.
We do not need military dependence on the US, but the ownership of the peace. Instead of a “Rapid Reaction Force of NATO” on the eastern borders, we need more tourism, youth exchange and peace meetings with our Eastern neighbors.
We need a peaceful Germany in a peaceful Europe.
May recall in this sense, our generation, our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Because we know very well what war means, we raise our voices against the war, for peace.

Army retired general. Heinz Kessler

Retired Admiral Theodor Hoffmann

The Supreme General aD Horst Stechbarth; Fritz Streletz; Fritz Peter

The Lieutenant Generals retired. Klaus Baarß; Ulrich Bethmann; Max Butzlaff; Manfred Gehmert; Manfred Gratz; Wolfgang Kaiser; Gerhard Kunze; Gerhard Link; Wolfgang Neidhardt; Walter Paduch; Werner Rothe; Artur Seefeldt; Horst Skerra; Wolfgang Steger; Horst Sylla; Ehrenfried Ullmann; Alfred Vogel; Manfred Volland; Horst Zander

Vice Admiral retired. Hans Hofmann

The major generals retired Olivier Anders; Heinz Bilan; Bernhard Beyer; Günter Brodowsky; Kurt Brunner; Heinz Calvelage; Sebald thumb; Willi Dörnbrack; Alfred Dziewulski; John Fritzsche; Egon Gleau; Otto Gereit; Roland Large; Peter Herrich; Karl-Heinz Hess; Günter Hiemann; Lothar Hübner; Siegmund Jähn; Günter year; Manfred Jonischkies; Günter Kaekow; John Kaden; Helmut Klabunde; Klaus Klenner; Raimund Kokott; Kurt Kronig; Manfred Lange; Bernd Leistner; Hans Leopold; Klaus Listemann; Heinz Lipski; Hans Georg Löffler; Rudi Mädler; Manfred Merkel; Günter Moeckel; Dieter Nagler; John Oreschko; Rolf Pitschel; Hans Christian kingdoms; Fritz Rothe; Günter Sarge; Dieter Schmidt; Horst Schmieder; Gerhard Schoenherr; Gerhard Seifert; Kurt summer; Erich Stach; Manfred Thieme; Wolfgang Thonke; Henry Thunemann; Walter Tzschoppe; Günter Voigt; Gerd Weber; Dieter Wendt; Klaus Wiegand; Henry Winkler; Heinz-Günther Wittek; Erich Wöllner; Werner Zaroba; Manfred Zeh; Alois Zieris

The retired Rear Admirals. Herbert Bernig; Eberhard Grießbach; Hans Hess; Werner Henninger; Klaus Kahnt; Werner Kotte; Helmut Milzow; Gerhard Müller; Joachim Münch

Name a large number of colonels and captains at sea aD Volker Bednara; Frithjof Banisch; Bernd Biedermann; Karl Dlugosch; Thomas Förster; Günter Gnauck; Günter Leo; Friedemann Munkelt; Werner Murzynowski; Gerhard Matthes; Lothar Matthäus; Friedrich Peters; Helmut Schmidt; Fritz Schneider; Heinz Schubert; Helmar Tietze; Wilfried Wernecke; Rolf Zander; Lieutenant Colonel Günter Ganßauge

Other members of the NVA from the ranks of officers, ensigns, sergeants and soldiers express their consent.

The Human Race Must Choose To Evolve Mentally and Spiritually, Or Perish By Our Own Hands

[SEE: “THE ONE TRUE RELIGION” Human Nature Is the Enemy of the State ; Changing Images of Man]

It’s always said with a sigh of resignation — “You can’t change the world” — and every time I hear it, I feel crucified. No, I’m not under the illusion that I’m Jesus Christ. But, to be honest, I think I understand him.

I am living in two worlds. I have part of my brain firmly planted in reality, and the rest of it resides in its opposite: our immediate situation, where some of us are intent upon “making this a better world to live in.”

Politicians talk about reducing the number of weapons and reducing the use of fossil fuel. Worshippers pander to a selectively empathic, rewarding and punitive image of ultimate power. We feed the hungry, clothe the poor, stave off disaster through myriad worthy causes, and all while we collectively continue to head toward disaster. We’re not likely to survive unless we engage in an all-out, worldwide effort to accelerate our spiritual development and change the world.

We’re afraid. We sense we’re being misled, and feel powerless. Some of us seek comfort in the doctrine of our childhood, some of us have thrown the spirit out with religion, and some of us try to believe whatever we choose to believe — usually feel-good nonsense. We refuse to see, hear or understand yet, ironically, we want our opinions to be respected. We work hard, play hard, mind our own business, pray that God will save us, while we are judging, condemning and punishing each other out of existence.

We cling to the notion that our judgment is rational, our condemnation righteous. We call vengeance “justifiable retaliation.” We are criminals punishing the innocent for our abusive past, and victims punishing criminals for our abusive present. Games of slaughter and revenge are moneymaking entertainment poisoning our children’s developing brains. We march toward extinction in chains of abuse.

We have not yet learned to “hate the crime, not the criminal.” We have not learned that we are “one body,” and that forgiveness of ourselves and forgiveness of all come with the realization that we are all made of the same material. We punish those we condemn, lock wrongdoers in cages, even torture and kill them, while all over the world tricksters attain wealth and high places in our world’s rich/poor, slave/master system.

We plead before merciless leaders, while we are intimidated into aiding them with our labor and blood to enrich their personal lives with endless war that is destroying our planet and our children’s future.

The image of God that is stunting our growth is going to have to go. The misconception, the cruel image of power that has browbeaten us into accepting a fearful/fearsome system as a way of life has to be replaced. Fear of an archaic image has led us to compete for favors from our “superiors,” to obey authority without question, and to be careful not to offend our peers with unpleasant facts or ideas they are too fragile to contemplate. Fear has prevented us from speaking the truth. We have worshipped a mentor that has enslaved us.

Gandhi said, “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.”

When an overwhelming number of us has the self-respect to put the past in its place, and to embrace an image of ultimate goodness that is appropriate for our stage of development, the power of our collective effort to embody that image will lead us toward reality.

God is a feeling. A feeling more powerful than an image of fear. A feeling that is beyond our reasoning, a feeling that informs our behavior when we give up our pride and ask for help to do everything we can to help our collective self. Jesus said, “God is love.” So do I.

All over the world, our closets are crowded with saviors who, having been ridiculed by the arrogant, are afraid and ashamed of their own higher level of awareness. It’s time for saviors’ liberation.

Gretchen Nielsen is a published poet and a preacher without a church. Contact her at gretchenn@netzero.com

Dumb-Ass Republican Leadership Frothing At the Mouth For MORE WAR!

[SEE:  Half of the US Senate Publicly Undermines and Embarasses the President of the United States (Cotton and 46 Fellow Senators to Send Open Letter to the Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran)]

GOP’s New Foreign Policy Hero Is a Surveillance-Loving Interventionist Nightmare

reason

In soviet America, Cotton picks you! |||
Freshman Sen. Tom Cotton wants to invade Iran and Syria, jail journalists and whistleblowers, eavesdrop on Americans, and keep the ‘savages’ locked up in Gitmo.

Matt Welch

He’s “the star of the 2014 Senate class,” proclaims The Washington Post. A “conservative superstar,” deems The Atlantic. The “leading GOP national security hawk,” says The Washington Post again. Even a “dark horse” 2016 candidate for president, says The New Republic. So just who exactly is the new letter-writing chairman of the Senate Armed Services Airland Subcommittee, and what does his prominence say about the contemporary GOP?

Beyond being a Harvard-educated Army veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol’s biggest new political protégé, and also a target of sustained affection from National Review, Cotton is a politician who has already taken plenty of policy positions. Among them:

* That the U.S. should pre-emptively invade Iran, topple the mullahs, and ensure “replacement with [a] pro-western regime.”

* That “we should be proud for the way we treated these savages at Guantanamo Bay,” and that “the only problem with Guantanamo Bay is that there are too many empty beds.”

* That we should keep at least 10,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan for the forseeable future to finally get the job done there.

* That the U.S. should deploy ground troops against ISIS.

* That President Barack Obama should have taken “decisive, effective military action” against Syria after the regime crossed the administration’s “red line” in 2013.

* That the National Security Agency needs to be able to collect bulk metadata on unsuspecting Americans, because “Folks, we are at war. You may not like that truth … Do not take this tool away from our warriors on the front lines.”

* That Edward Snowden is a “traitor.”

* That defense spending needs to be jacked up: “We need to restore money not only cut by the sequester but the $1 trillion [reduced before that].”

* That, “Far from restraining the use of drones […] through unwise and unconstitutional mechanisms, we should continue and probably expand their use in our war against radical Islam.”

* That Iraq was a “just and noble war.”

* That, concerning pre-emptive military intervention, “George Bush largely did have it right, that we can’t wait for dangers to gather on the horizon, that we can’t let the world’s most dangerous people get the world’s most dangerous weapons, and that we have to be willing to defend our interests and the safety of our citizens abroad even if we don’t get the approval of the United Nations.”

* That ending President Barack Obama’s negotiations with Iran “is very much an intended consequence” of Cotton’s efforts in the Senate; “a feature, not a bug.”

* That, concerning the Obama administration’s November 2013 agreement with Iran in Geneva, “I fear that future generations may view what happened in Geneva as we have viewed Munich for 75 years. What makes this moment worse is that the West appeased Hitler at Munich out of fear and weakness. President Obama capitulated at Geneva even though we were in a position of strength given the sanctions regime. One can only imagine the thinking behind this grievous, historic mistake.”

Cotton first came to prominence as an Army lieutenant in Iraq in 2006, when he wrote a soon-to-be-viral open letter to then-New York Times executive editor Bill Keller and reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau criticizing the paper’s investigative piece about administration efforts to disrupt terrorist financing. The letter closes with a desire to see the journalists deprived of their freedom:

And, by the way, having graduated from Harvard Law and practiced with a federal appellate judge and two Washington law firms before becoming an infantry officer, I am well-versed in the espionage laws relevant to this story and others — laws you have plainly violated. I hope that my colleagues at the Department of Justice match the courage of my soldiers here and prosecute you and your newspaper to the fullest extent of the law. By the time we return home, maybe you will be in your rightful place: not at the Pulitzer announcements, but behind bars.

It is no wonder that neoconservatives such as Washington Free Beacon founder Michael Goldfarb wish “there were 20 Tom Cottons.” The open question, as it pertains to the new GOP majority, is whether Goldfarb is correct in his assessment that “At the end of the day, the Republican base is for bombing bad people.”

 

Zbig, the Polish Defector Pushes Congress To Fight Russia In Eastern Europe

satanski

The ‘Democrat’ Brzezinski Says Russia’s Putin Wants to Invade NATO

rinf news

 

Eric Zuesse

Zbigniew Brzezinski, U.S. President Obama’s friend and advisor on Russia, is a born Polish aristocrat who has hated Russia his whole life but who hid that hatred until after the communist Soviet Union collapsed and he then publicly came out as hating and fearing specifically Russia — the nation, its people, and their culture. In 1998, he wrote The Grand Chessboard, arguing for an unchallengeable U.S. empire over the whole world, and for the defeat of Russia as the prerequisite to enabling that stand-alone global American empire to reign over the planet.

He now has told the U.S. Congress (on February 6th but not reported until March 6th, when the German Economic News found the clip) that Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin “seized” Crimea and that Putin will probably try to do the same to Estonia and Latvia, unless the U.S. immediately supplies weapons and troops to those countries and to Ukraine. Here is his stunning testimony (click on the link under it, to hear it, but the key part is quoted in print below):

“I wonder how many people in this room or this very important senatorial committee really anticipated that one day Putin would land military personnel in Crimea and seize it. I think if anybody said that’s what he is going to do, he or she would be labeled as a warmonger. He did it. And he got away with it. I think he’s also drawing lessons from that. And I’ll tell you what my horror, night-dream, is: that one day, I literally mean one day, he just seizes Riga, and Talinn. Latvia and Estonia. It would literally take him one day. There is no way they could resist. And then we will say, how horrible, how shocking, how outrageous, but of course we can’t do anything about it. It’s happened. We aren’t going to assemble a fleet in the Baltic, and then engage in amphibious landings, and then storm ashore, like in Normandy, to take it back. We have to respond in some larger fashion perhaps, but then there will be voices that this will plunge us into a nuclear war.”

He continues there by saying that we must pour weapons and troops into the nations that surround Russia, in order to avoid a nuclear conflict: deterrence, he argues, is the way to peace; anything else than our sending in troops and weapons now would be weakness and would invite World War III. 

He says that American troops must be prepositioned in these countries immediately, because otherwise Putin will think that America won’t respond to a Russian attack against those countries.

The most serious falsehoods in his remarkable testimony are three, and they’ll be taken up here in succession:

(1) The crucial background for what Brzezinski there calls the “seizure” of Crimea by Russia on 16 March 2014 was an extremely aggressive action by the United States, a violent coup in Kiev that climaxed prior, during February 2014, which used the “Maidan” demonstrations there as a cover in order to take over Ukraine’s Government, a violent coup which the founder of the “private CIA” firm Stratfor subsequently (and correctly) referred to as “the most blatant coup in history,” and which the President of the Czech Republic says should not be compared at all to Czechoslovakia’s 1968 “Velvet Revolution,” and that only “ignorant” people don’t know that it was a coup instead of a revolution. But not only was it an incredibly bloody coup, but the leader of the post-coup Government who became officially designated on 26 February 2014 turned out to be exactly the same person whom Obama’s controlling agent on the entire matter had explicitly selected and informed her underling on 4 February 2014 to get appointed to become the new leader; so, she not only knew that the coup would soon be occurring, but she had already selected by no later than 18 days beforehand the person who would replace the then sitting, democratically elected, President of Ukraine. Furthermore, Ukraine is a country bordering Russia, and so this coup was far worse for Russia than even the 1959 communist takeover of Cuba was for the United States. The U.S. many times tried to overthrow Castro — so, how much gall does the United States have today for its refusing even to acknowledge that our extremely violent takeover of Ukraine, on Russia’s very border, constitutes an existential threat against Russia? (And even the top EU leadership knows that this was a U.S. coup, not any authentic revolution.) For Brzezinski to say nothing at all about any of this is simply scandalous (an obvious intention by him to deceive), but for the U.S. Senate to invite such a man to address it is even worse: it is as if the U.S. Congress in 1933 had invited Hitler to lecture it about “the Jewish threat.” It’s worse than insane; it is bloody dangerous in a nuclear-armed world.

(2) As I recently documented with links to the direct sources, headlining “The Entire Case for Sanctions Against Russia Is Pure Lies,” Gallup polls in Crimea both before and after the 16 March 2014 plebiscite on whether to stay within Ukraine, which Crimea had been part of since 1954, or instead to rejoin with Russia, which Crimea had been part of between 1783 and 1954, showed that by more than 90%, Crimeans wanted to be part of Russia and held both the U.S. and EU in extremely low esteem. Furthermore, because Russia’s key Black Sea Fleet had been stationed there since 1783, Russia always had troops there and didn’t need to “land military personnel in Crimea and seize it.” There was no invasion, no “seizure” at all. The plebiscite was entirely peaceful, because the public craved it (on account of the recent bloody coup in Ukraine) and because the already-existing presence of Russian troops to protect them to have it so that Ukraine wouldn’t send in their army to prevent it, enabled it to be carried out peacefully. There is no military base of any sort from Russia anywhere in Latvia nor in Estonia, nor in any other NATO country. The very idea put forth by Brzezinski, that the two situations are at all analogous, is insane and can be understood only within the context of the bizarre hatred held by this born aristocrat who learned his hatred since birth and who is now obsessed with it in his old age. The very fact that U.S. Senators would invite such a person to testify is scandalous, and is an indication of their ignorance or else of their sharing Brzezinski’s rabidly counterfactual and extremely dangerous beliefs. Russia should take that as being a clear indication of hostile intent from the U.S. Congress, because Brzezinski’s statements are entirely out of line and an irrational outburst that’s based on nothing but hatred and a distorted portrayal of the clearly documented realities to the contrary of Brzezinski’s selective and false description of Russia, Ukraine, Putin, and NATO.

(3) The basis of the NATO Treaty is its mutual-defense provision: that all members are committed to the defense of each member. How crazy does Brzezinski have to be to think that in order to prevent Putin from invading NATO, the U.S. must now send weapons and troops in to each one of the 12 NATO member-nations that were formerly Russia’s allies? Brzezinski’s alarmist and sensationalistic lies and distortions go well beyond standard propaganda into the realm of the insane: propaganda that’s directed at fools and yet that’s being presented to U.S. Senators. Are they crazy, too?

Russia has every reason to believe that the U.S. Government is set upon surrounding it by armed and dangerous hostile nations and taking it over by force. This isn’t at all about Putin; it is about U.S. President Barack Obama, and the U.S. Congress.

For whatever democratic nations that still exist in the EU and NATO not to quit those organizations is for them to consent to being ruled by the U.S. dictatorship, which means that they themselves are dictatorships serving the American aristocracy. This is a dictarorship by America’s aristocracy, the very same people who are ruining the United States and who are now determined to take over every other aristocracy in the entire world — determined to reign over the entire planet.

Testimony such as Brzezinski presented to the U.S. Senate yesterday is shocking and damning against the Senate itself. Brzezinski accuses Russia of planning to invade NATO when instead the United States has been surrounding Russia by formerly-Russian-allied nations, which are new members of America’s anti-Russian military club, NATO. The preparations for an all-out nuclear war have begun. The U.S. aristocracy definitely started this incipient war; for them, it’s a war of choice. It’s not a war of choice for anyone in Russia. (Ukraine’s oligarchs, especially the White-House-connected Ihor Kolomoysky, are ripping off everything they can from it.) The significance of the Ukrainian conflict is that it’s the beachhead to take over Russia. And the Ukrainian post-coup leadership have stated proudly, many times, that this is their ultimate aim. It clearly is Obama’s.

Why are Americans not marching by the millions against this rogue government in Washington? How much longer will the American people continue to tolerate it — an affront against not only the American people but the entire world?

Brzezinski’s testimony to Congress on February 6th was so brazen because he’s like he describes Putin as being: he does what he can get away with doing. It’s way over the line. If there is no public revulsion expressed against it, then we are all heading into danger that’s unprecedented since 1962’s Cuban Missile Crisis, when the shoe was on the other foot and the United States was the country facing the existential threat.

Russia has already let things go too far, with 12 former Warsaw-Pact allies already being members of the NATO alliance against Russia. If Putin doesn’t draw the line at Ukraine, as being over the line, then he might as well do everything that America’s President demands him to do. But America’s Presidency no longer represents the American people; it now represents the American aristocracy. So: for the welfare of everyone except America’s aristocrats, Putin should stand firm. But the danger of America to the world exists no matter what he does.

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010,  and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

Gen.”Strange”-love (Breedlove) Sabotaging Minsk Deal With “false claims and exaggerated accounts”

Breedlove’s Bellicosity: Berlin Alarmed by Aggressive NATO Stance on Ukraine

der spiegel

By SPIEGEL Staff

Top NATO commander General Philip Breedlove has raised hackles in Germany with his public statements about the Ukraine crisis.Top NATO commander General Philip Breedlove has raised hackles in Germany with his public statements about the Ukraine crisis.

 

US President Obama supports Chancellor Merkel’s efforts at finding a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine crisis. But hawks in Washington seem determined to torpedo Berlin’s approach. And NATO’s top commander in Europe hasn’t been helping either.

It was quiet in eastern Ukraine last Wednesday. Indeed, it was another quiet day in an extended stretch of relative calm. The battles between the Ukrainian army and the pro-Russian separatists had largely stopped and heavy weaponry was being withdrawn. The Minsk cease-fire wasn’t holding perfectly, but it was holding.

On that same day, General Philip Breedlove, the top NATO commander in Europe, stepped before the press in Washington. Putin, the 59-year-old said, had once again “upped the ante” in eastern Ukraine — with “well over a thousand combat vehicles, Russian combat forces, some of their most sophisticated air defense, battalions of artillery” having been sent to the Donbass. “What is clear,” Breedlove said, “is that right now, it is not getting better. It is getting worse every day.”German leaders in Berlin were stunned. They didn’t understand what Breedlove was talking about. And it wasn’t the first time. Once again, the German government, supported by intelligence gathered by the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, did not share the view of NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR).

The pattern has become a familiar one. For months, Breedlove has been commenting on Russian activities in eastern Ukraine, speaking of troop advances on the border, the amassing of munitions and alleged columns of Russian tanks. Over and over again, Breedlove’s numbers have been significantly higher than those in the possession of America’s NATO allies in Europe. As such, he is playing directly into the hands of the hardliners in the US Congress and in NATO.

The German government is alarmed. Are the Americans trying to thwart European efforts at mediation led by Chancellor Angela Merkel? Sources in the Chancellery have referred to Breedlove’s comments as “dangerous propaganda.” Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier even found it necessary recently to bring up Breedlove’s comments with NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg.

The ‘Super Hawk’

But Breedlove hasn’t been the only source of friction. Europeans have also begun to see others as hindrances in their search for a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine conflict. First and foremost among them is Victoria Nuland, head of European affairs at the US State Department. She and others would like to see Washington deliver arms to Ukraine and are supported by Congressional Republicans as well as many powerful Democrats.

Indeed, US President Barack Obama seems almost isolated. He has thrown his support behind Merkel’s diplomatic efforts for the time being, but he has also done little to quiet those who would seek to increase tensions with Russia and deliver weapons to Ukraine. Sources in Washington say that Breedlove’s bellicose comments are first cleared with the White House and the Pentagon. The general, they say, has the role of the “super hawk,” whose role is that of increasing the pressure on America’s more reserved trans-Atlantic partners.

A mixture of political argumentation and military propaganda is necessary. But for months now, many in the Chancellery simply shake their heads each time NATO, under Breedlove’s leadership, goes public with striking announcements about Russian troop or tank movements. To be sure, neither Berlin’s Russia experts nor BND intelligence analysts doubt that Moscow is supporting the pro-Russian separatists. The BND even has proof of such support.But it is the tone of Breedlove’s announcements that makes Berlin uneasy. False claims and exaggerated accounts, warned a top German official during a recent meeting on Ukraine, have put NATO — and by extension, the entire West — in danger of losing its credibility.

There are plenty of examples. Just over three weeks ago, during the cease-fire talks in Minsk, the Ukrainian military warned that the Russians — even as the diplomatic marathon was ongoing — had moved 50 tanks and dozens of rockets across the border into Luhansk. Just one day earlier, US Lieutenant General Ben Hodges had announced “direct Russian military intervention.”

Senior officials in Berlin immediately asked the BND for an assessment, but the intelligence agency’s satellite images showed just a few armored vehicles. Even those American intelligence officials who supply the BND with daily situation reports were much more reserved about the incident than Hodges was in his public statements. One intelligence agent says it “remains a riddle until today” how the general reached his conclusions.

Much More Cautious

“The German intelligence services generally appraise the threat level much more cautiously than the Americans do,” an international military expert in Kiev confirmed.

At the beginning of the crisis, General Breedlove announced that the Russians had assembled 40,000 troops on the Ukrainian border and warned that an invasion could take place at any moment. The situation, he said, was “incredibly concerning.” But intelligence officials from NATO member states had already excluded the possibility of a Russian invasion. They believed that neither the composition nor the equipment of the troops was consistent with an imminent invasion.

The experts contradicted Breedlove’s view in almost every respect. There weren’t 40,000 soldiers on the border, they believed, rather there were much less than 30,000 and perhaps even fewer than 20,000. Furthermore, most of the military equipment had not been brought to the border for a possible invasion, but had already been there prior to the beginning of the conflict. Furthermore, there was no evidence of logistical preparation for an invasion, such as a field headquarters.

Breedlove, though, repeatedly made inexact, contradictory or even flat-out inaccurate statements. On Nov. 18, 2014, he told the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that there were “regular Russian army units in eastern Ukraine.” One day later, he told the website of the German newsmagazine Stern that they weren’t fighting units, but “mostly trainers and advisors.”

He initially said there were “between 250 and 300” of them, and then “between 300 and 500.” For a time, NATO was even saying there were 1,000 of them.

The fact that NATO has no intelligence agency of its own plays into Breedlove’s hands. The alliance relies on intelligence gathered by agents from the US, Britain, Germany and other member states. As such, SACEUR has a wide range of information to choose from.

Influencing Breedlove

On Nov. 12, during a visit to Sofia, Bulgaria, Breedlove reported that “we have seen columns of Russian equipment — primarily Russian tanks, Russian artillery, Russian air defense systems and Russian combat troops — entering into Ukraine.” It was, he noted, “the same thing that OSCE is reporting.” But the OSCE had only observed military convoys within eastern Ukraine. OSCE observers had said nothing about troops marching in from Russia.

Breedlove sees no reason to revise his approach. “I stand by all the public statements I have made during the Ukraine crisis,” he wrote to SPIEGEL in response to a request for a statement accompanied by a list of his controversial claims. He wrote that it was to be expected that assessments of NATO’s intelligence center, which receives information from all 33 alliance members in addition to partner states, doesn’t always match assessments made by individual nations. “It is normal that not everyone agrees with the assessments that I provide,” he wrote.

He says that NATO’s strategy is to “release clear, accurate and timely information regarding ongoing events.” He also wrote that: “As an alliance based on the fundamental values of freedom and democracy, our response to propaganda cannot be more propaganda. It can only be the truth.”

The German government, meanwhile, is doing what it can to influence Breedlove. Sources in Berlin say that conversations to this end have taken place in recent weeks. But there are many at NATO headquarters in Brussels who are likewise concerned about Breedlove’s statements. On Tuesday of last week, Breedlove’s public appearances were an official item on the agenda of the North Atlantic Council’s weekly lunch meeting. Several ambassadors present criticized Breedlove and expressed their incredulity at some of the commander’s statements.

The government in Berlin is concerned that Breedlove’s statements could harm the West’s credibility. The West can’t counter Russian propaganda with its own propaganda, “rather it must use arguments that are worthy of a constitutional state.” Berlin sources also say that it has become conspicuous that Breedlove’s controversial statements are often made just as a step forward has been made in the difficult negotiations aimed at a political resolution. Berlin sources say that Germany should be able to depend on its allies to support its efforts at peace.

Pressure on Obama

German foreign policy experts are united in their view of Breedlove as a hawk. “I would prefer that Breedlove’s comments on political questions be intelligent and reserved,” says Social Democrat parliamentarian Niels Annen, for example. “Instead, NATO in the past has always announced a new Russian offensive just as, from our point of view, the time had come for cautious optimism.” Annen, who has long specialized in foreign policy, has also been frequently dissatisfied with the information provided by NATO headquarters. “We parliamentarians were often confused by information regarding alleged troop movements that were inconsistent with the information we had,” he says.

The pressure on Obama from the Republicans, but also from his own political camp, is intense. Should the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine not hold, it will likely be difficult to continue refusing Kiev’s requests for shipments of so-called “defensive weapons.” And that would represent a dramatic escalation of the crisis. Moscow has already begun issuing threats in anticipation of such deliveries. “Any weapons deliveries to Kiev will escalate the tensions and would unhinge European security,” Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of Russia’s national security council, told the Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda on Wednesday.

Although President Obama has decided for the time being to give European diplomacy a chance, hawks like Breedlove or Victoria Nuland are doing what they can to pave the way for weapons deliveries. “We can fight against the Europeans, fight against them rhetorically,” Nuland said during a private meeting of American officials on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference at the beginning of February.

In reporting on the meeting later, the German tabloid Bild reported that Nuland referred to the chancellor’s early February trip to Moscow for talks with Putin as “Merkel’s Moscow stuff.” No wonder, then, that people in Berlin have the impression that important power brokers in Washington are working against the Europeans. Berlin officials have noticed that, following the visit of American politicians or military leaders in Kiev, Ukrainian officials are much more bellicose and optimistic about the Ukrainian military’s ability to win the conflict on the battlefield. “We then have to laboriously bring the Ukrainians back onto the course of negotiations,” said one Berlin official.Nuland Diplomacy

Nuland, who is seen as a possible secretary of state should the Republicans win back the White House in next year’s presidential election, is an important voice in US policy concerning Ukraine and Russia. She has never sought to hide her emotional bond to Russia, even saying “I love Russia.” Her grandparents immigrated to the US from Bessarabia, which belonged to the Russian empire at the time. Nuland speaks Russian fluently.

She is also very direct. She can be very keen and entertaining, but has been known to take on an undiplomatic tone — and has not always been wrong to do so. Mykola Asarov, who was prime minister under toppled Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, recalls that Nuland basically blackmailed Yanukovych in order to prevent greater bloodshed in Kiev during the Maidan protests. “No violence against the protesters or you’ll fall,” Nuland told him according to Asarov. She also, he said, threatened tough economic and political sanctions against both Ukraine and the country’s leaders. According to Asarov, Nuland said that, were violence used against the protesters on Maidan Square, information about the money he and his cronies had taken out of the country would be made public.

Nuland has also been open — at least internally — about her contempt for European weakness and is famous for having said “Fuck the EU” during the initial days of the Ukraine crisis in February of 2014. Her husband, the neo-conservative Robert Kagan, is, after all, the originator of the idea that Americans are from Mars and Europeans, unwilling as they are to realize that true security depends on military power, are from Venus.

When it comes to the goal of delivering weapons to Ukraine, Nuland and Breedlove work hand-in-hand. On the first day of the Munich Security Conference, the two gathered the US delegation behind closed doors to discuss their strategy for breaking Europe’s resistance to arming Ukraine.

On the seventh floor of the Bayerischer Hof hotel in the heart of Munich, it was Nuland who began coaching. “While talking to the Europeans this weekend, you need to make the case that Russia is putting in more and more offensive stuff while we want to help the Ukrainians defend against these systems,” Nuland said. “It is defensive in nature although some of it has lethality.”

Training Troops?

Breedlove complemented that with the military details, saying that moderate weapons aid was inevitable — otherwise neither sanctions nor diplomatic pressure would have any effect. “If we can increase the cost for Russia on the battlefield, the other tools will become more effective,” he said. “That’s what we should do here.”

In Berlin, top politicians have always considered a common position vis-a-vis Russia as a necessary prerequisite for success in peace efforts. For the time being, that common front is still holding, but the dispute is a fundamental one — and hinges on the question of whether diplomacy can be successful without the threat of military action. Additionally, the trans-Atlantic partners also have differing goals. Whereas the aim of the Franco-German initiative is to stabilize the situation in Ukraine, it is Russia that concerns hawks within the US administration. They want to drive back Moscow’s influence in the region and destabilize Putin’s power. For them, the dream outcome would be regime change in Moscow.

A massive troop training range is located in Yavoriv in western Ukraine near the Polish border. During Soviet times, it served as the westernmost military district in the Soviet Union. Since 1998, though, it has been used for joint exercises by Ukrainian forces together with the United States and NATO. Yavoriv is also the site where US soldiers want to train members of the Ukrainian National Guard for their future battle against the separatists. According to the Pentagon’s plans, American officers would train the Ukrainians on how to use American artillery-locating radar devices. At least that’s what US Army in Europe commander Lt. Gen. Hodges announced in January.

The training was actually supposed to start at the beginning of March. Before it began, however, President Obama temporarily put it on hold in order to give the ceasefire agreement reached in Minsk a chance. Still, the hawks remain confident that they will soon come a step closer to their goal. On Tuesday, Hodges said during an appearance in Berlin that he expects the training will still begin at some point this month.

By Matthias Gebauer, Christiane Hoffmann, Marc Hujer, Gordon Repinski, Matthias Schepp, Christoph Schult, Holger Stark and Klaus Wiegrefe

Netanyahu Addresses His Sheep–US CONGRESS (Israeli subsidized)

[It is only natural that Netenyahu would address the Congress, which has been bought and paid-for by AIPAC, Israel’s arm in America (he first stopped by AIPAC to thank them for their hard work).  Congress represents the Zionist state, in all matters.  Along with the White House, Congress has faithfully carried-out Net’s “Clean Break” strategy throughout North Africa and the Middle East, bringing ruin for the region and for the American and global economies.  It is only right that such a noted crowd as this bow in submission before their master, or at least their “paymaster.”  Congress has been bought and the United States has been sold to that piss-ant shit-hole, which other paid-for politicians planted in Palestine, NOT ISRAEL.  God does not protect the Israeli abomination, the Pentagon does. 

Their God is Money…PERIOD.]

Congress gave Netanyahu right to veto American policy

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If Netanyahu succeeds in foiling an accord and attacks Iran’s nuclear installations, who will bear the responsibility for the destruction wreaked by this armed confrontation?

netanyahu and his sheepPrime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to Congress on March 3, 2015. Photo by AFP
By Jonathan Lis

The speech is over, with applause duly resounding on Capitol Hill, and negotiations with Iran ahead of a framework agreement continue. Criticism of the Israeli spectacle in the United States capital addressed all there was to be said, and critics will now start to gauge the temperature of the cold shoulder the U.S. administration will show toward Israel.

During the entire noisy exchanges that took place the responsibility of one person, House Speaker John Boehner, never came up for discussion. He was the one who invited Netanyahu to speak before a joint session of the representatives of the American people. The argument is not over Boehner’s right to invite whoever he wants to, just as Netanyahu is far from being an unwilling captive. Netanyahu initiated the invitation, he coordinated the timing and his political goals are plainly in sight.

However, it is precisely the U.S. Congress, which is so friendly toward Israel and so concerned about its security and well-being, that could have been expected to remove an obstacle before the blind, especially when he is driving under the influence.

A demonstration meant to shame the speaker, staged by a few dozen Democrats who stayed away, is no substitute for good advice, especially since it was only part of the partisan political struggle in the U.S. The voice of close friends, who unconditionally ratify the annual aid package to Israel – larger than that given to any other country receiving U.S. aid – should have been heard loud and clear. It should have stated that “Netanyahu’s appearance is dangerous to Israel. It will damage strategic relations with the Administration and may insult a large part of the American public which foots the bill for the aid, and if Netanyahu doesn’t understand this we must him help do so.”

The Congress doesn’t need Netanyahu to explain the essence of the accord with Iran. It has the authority to legislate laws that will foil its signing. It can impose new sanctions on Iran and withhold increasing the budget required for the monitoring system that will supervise Iran’s nuclear installations, thus voiding the accord of any content. However, when it invites Netanyahu to deliver a speech it makes Israel a partner in decision-making over the future of Iran’s nuclear program, making the U.S. a negotiator on behalf of Israel.

The Congressmen who applauded him gave him “power of attorney,” enabling him to determine that the accord shaping up is “bad,” even though its details have yet to be worked out. Moreover, members of Congress, led by Boehner, will use Netanyahu to prove that the accord, when it is signed, endangers Israel and the world. They thereby gave Netanyahu a right to veto American policy.

There could be no greater and more important political victory than the status granted to Netanyahu. However, this victory is fraught with danger. Members of Congress did not ask him, nor did he offer an answer to the question of what happens if no deal is reached. They already know the answer, since Tuesday they gave him approval to use the “Israeli option” if he doesn’t succeed in thwarting the accord.

Netanyahu’s Israel will not wait to see if Iran attains nuclear weapons. The very existence of a nuclear program is the real threat in its view. Let’s assume that Netanyahu succeeds in foiling the reaching of an accord and Iran continues with its uranium enrichment program and Israel decides to attack its nuclear installations. Who will bear the responsibility for the destruction wreaked by this armed confrontation? John Boehner, who only provided the stage for Netanyahu’s rhetoric? Members of Congress who rose to their feet but didn’t warn him or Israel of the calamity that might befall Israel as a result of the sweeping success of the speech? They were only being polite.

Will anyone be able to complain that the Administration is not cooperating with Israel in its war with Iran after Netanyahu vetoed an accord?

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA V. TERRY L. LOEWEN—the FBI builds another fake bomb plot

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA V. TERRY L. LOEWEN

Terry Lee Loewen…a clearcut example of FBI entrapment and leading the individual into terrorist activity.  Loewen may have been self-radicalized, but it took FBI agents to radicalize the suspect to a new level of militant committment which didn’t exist prior to their radicalization efforts.  Terry was just another insignificant, disillusioned, middle-age, middle-class, American worker, with a broken marriage, who paid close attention to national news on the terror war. 

This was what originally motivated (“radicalized”) him into hating the American terror war, filling him with shame for the great pain we were inflicting upon the Muslim world.   Terry was known by his wife and son as a mild-mannered, quiet family guy.  His family does not know this other guy, the one who experienced a moment of epiphany, finally understanding the war and its ultimate cost inflicted upon the Muslim world.

Until baited by FBI seducers into taking part in an imaginary crime, Terry Loewen would have been no different than a lot of us.  Like most of the “bomb plots” busted here in the US since the start of the war, the FBI, once again, was the instigator of this terrorist plot to build a bomb facsimile and to draw clueless suckers to it.   There was no crime before the FBI created one, except for being another malcontent.  The man admitted himself, that he would not have been likely to follow his violent fantasies to fruition without “FBI agent 1” and “FBI agent 2” to supply a bomb for him.

Terry Lee Loewen first became “radicalized” on YouTube, where he came to closely follow the rantings of a group of three disillusioned Americans, who called themselves Revolution Muslim (even though the leader is Jewish).  All three of these flakes supposedly converted to Islam and adopted Muslim names after listening to the rhetoric of a Jamaican “Imam,” Abdullah el-Faisal

Loewen learned about Islam from a Jamaican Internet preacher and three East Coast deadbeats who were fronting a probable Mossad operation (the Jewish dude spent years in an Israeli rabbinical seminary).   He never met any real AQAP terrorists.

Zachary Adam Chesser, a.k.a., Abu Talhah Al-Amrikee and Jesse “Younes Abdullah Muhammad” Morton were the two “terrorists” who threatened South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker over anti-Islamic depictions of Mohammed.

Peter Chamberlin

peter.chamberlin@hotmail.com

Terry-Lee-LoewenTerry Lee Loewen

Feds say man ‘well on his way’ to becoming violent terrorist

kake news

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a man accused of plotting a suicide bomb attack at a Wichita, Kansas, airport was “well on his way” to becoming a violent terrorist before authorities began investigating him.

A heavily redacted government filing Monday seeks to counter defense arguments that an undercover FBI agent radicalized Terry Loewen. The defense contends the government conduct in the operation was entrapment and that terrorism-related charges against Loewen should be dismissed.

But prosecutors argued it would have been outrageous for the FBI to leave Terry Loewen to his own devices, trolling the internet for someone to help him.

Loewen was arrested in December 2013 when the former avionics technician tried to bring a van filled with inert explosives onto the tarmac at Mid-Continent Airport.

Loewen has pleaded not guilty.

Al-Khattab, a.k.a. Joseph Leonard Cohen Al-Khattab, a.k.a. Joseph Leonard Cohen, rabbinical studies in Israel, Revolution Muslim Leader Who Threatened Jews Pleads Guilty–ADL

Al-Khattab, a.k.a. Joseph Leonard Cohen2

Jesse Younes Abdullah Muhammad Morton and  Zachary Abu Talhah Chesser
Jesse “Younes Abdullah Muhammad” Morton & Zachary “Abu Talhah” Chesser
Morton spent time in Saudi

Chasidic Man Who Converted To Islam Admits Making Threats Against Jewish Groups

yeshiva world

alkA New Jersey man who co-founded a radical Islamic website has pleaded guilty to using the Internet to make threats against Jewish groups.

Forty-five-year-old Yousef Mohamid al-Khattab of Atlantic City started the Revolution Muslim website in 2007 with partner Jesse Curtis Morton.

Al-Khattab, who converted from Judaism and was previously known as Joseph Cohen, is the third person connected with Revolution Muslim to be convicted in federal court in Alexandria. Morton and another man, Zachary Chesser, admitted using the site to deliver thinly veiled threats against the creators of the “South Park” television show for perceived insults to the prophet Muhammad.

Al-Khattab’s guilty plea, announced Thursday, does not mention the “South Park” threats. In court documents, al-Khattab admits encouraging readers to “deal with” Jewish leaders or take other actions.

US v. Chesser, Zachary

ipt

[EDVA] Zachary Adam Chesser (a/k/a Abu Talhah Al-Amrikee) was arrested on charges that he provided material support to Al-Shabaab, a designated foreign terrorist organization. Chesser admitted to federal agents that he attempted on two occasions to travel to Somalia to join Al-Shabaab as a foreign fighter. According to the affidavit, Chesser maintained several online profiles dedicated to extremist jihad propaganda. These profiles were allegedly used by Chesser to post pro-jihad messages and videos online. In October 2010, Chesser pleaded guilty to a three-count criminal indictment that included charges of communicating threats against the writers of the “South Park” television show, soliciting violent jihadists to desensitize law enforcement, and attempting to provide material support to Al-Shabaab. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison in February 2011.

In May 2011, Jesse Curtis Morton, (aka Younus Abdullah Mohammad) is charged with communicating threats in the “South Park” episode. Morton helped run a website, RevolutionMuslim, with Zachary Chesser. In a jointly drafted statement for the group Revolution Muslim, convicted terrorist Zachary Chesser and Morton, threatened “South Park” producers with murder over illustrated depictions of the Prophet Muhammad. Morton pleaded guilty to his role in threatening the producers of “South Park” for their depiction of the Prophet Muhammad and related charges. He was sentenced to 138 months for using the Internet to solicit murder and encourage violent extremism. In October 2013, Yousef Mohamid al-Khattab (a.k.a. Joseph Cohen) of Atlantic City, NJ, pleaded guilty to using the Internet to support violent jihad and threaten Jewish organizations. Al-Khattab helped Morton found the Revolution Muslim website in 2007.

Obama Dancing On Reagan’s Grave, Running Tanks Up To Putin’s Doorstep

Cross-Eyed-Bill-Clinton--58648

[SEE:  BILL CLINTON: FIRST NEOCON PRESIDENT ]

Bill Clinton’s Epic Double-Cross: How “Not An Inch” Brought NATO To Russia’s Border

zero hedge

“It began as a pledge by the first Bush Administration to Gorbachev that in return for German unification and liberation of the “captive nations” there would be “not an inch” of NATO expansion. It ended up its opposite, and for no plausible reason of American security whatsoever. In fact, NATO went on to draft nearly the entire former “Warsaw Pact”, expanding its membership by 12 nations. So doing, it encroached thousands of kilometers from its old Cold War boundaries to the very doorstep of Russia.”

“Bill Clinton used NATO enlargement to advertise his assertiveness in foreign policy and America’s status as the “world’s indispensable nation.” Clinton bragged about proposing NATO enlargement at his first NATO summit in 1994, saying it “should enlarge steadily, deliberately, openly.” He never explained why.”

“Such a decision may be expected to inflame the nationalistic, anti-Western and militaristic tendencies in Russian opinion; to have an adverse effect on the development of Russian democracy; to restore the atmosphere of the cold war to East-West relations, and to impel Russian foreign policy in directions decidedly not to our liking.”–George Kennan, father of the “containment” doctrine and Truman’s aggressive anti-Soviet policy,

US armor paraded 300m from Russian border

Russia-Today

U.S. soldiers attend military parade celebrating Estonia's Independence Day near border crossing with Russia in Narva February 24, 2015. (Reuters/Ints Kalnins)

U.S. soldiers attend military parade celebrating Estonia’s Independence Day near border crossing with Russia in Narva February 24, 2015. (Reuters/Ints Kalnins)

NATO member Estonia has held a military parade in border town of Narva, just 300 meters from the Russian border. Tallinn is a long-time critic of Moscow, which it accuses of having an aggressive policy towards the Baltic nation.

Tuesday’s military parade was dedicated to Estonia’s Independence Day. Chief military commander Lt. Gen. Riho Terras headed the troops as President Toomas Hendrik Ilves reviewed them.

Over 140 pieces of NATO military hardware took part in the parade, including four US armored personnel carriers M1126 Stryker flying stars-and-stripes. Another foreign nation, the Netherlands, provided four Swedish-made Stridsfordon 90 tracked combat vehicles (designated CV9035NL Mk III by the Dutch).

Estonia also showed off its own howitzers, anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons, armored vehicles and other hardware. Over 1,400 troops also marched the streets of Narva.

The parade is an obvious snub at Estonia’s eastern neighbor Russia, whom it accuses of pushing aggressive policies in Eastern Europe. The Estonian government is among several vocally accusing Russia of waging a secret war against Ukraine by supplying arms and troops to anti-Kiev forces in the east.

Moscow denies the accusations, insisting that the post-coup government in Kiev alienated its own people in the east and started a civil war instead of resolving the differences through dialogue.

NATO seized the Ukrainian conflict as an opportunity to argue for a military build-up in Eastern Europe, supposedly to deter a Russian aggression. The three Baltic States are among the most vocal proponents of this policy.

Russia sees it as yet another proof that NATO is an anti-Russian military bloc that had been enlarging towards Russia’s border and compromised its national security.

The Estonian government defended its right to hold whatever military maneuvers it wants in its territory.

“Narva is a part of NATO no less than New York or Istanbul, and NATO defends every square meter of its territory,” Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas said in a speech in capital, Tallinn.

Historically Narva was a point of centuries of confrontation between Russia and Sweden, when the two nations fought for dominance in the region. The city changed hands several times and ended up under Russian control in 1704, serving as a military outpost for decades.

The city was again contested in the wake of the Bolshevik revolution of 1917 and the dissolution of the Russian Empire it triggered. Narva took turns between being governed by the self-proclaimed Estonian Republic, occupying German troops and the Red Army until eventually becoming Estonian again under a peace treaty between Estonia and Russia.

It then changed hands between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union along with the rest of the Baltics during World War II and went on to be part of an independent Estonia in 1991.

The city has a large number of ethnic Russians and a strong pro-autonomy movement, with some Estonian politicians fearing that it could be exploited now by Russia to saw dissent. Commenting on the issue in an interview with Washington Post, President Ilves said seeing Narva as a potentially separatist region “is stupid.”

One Out of Five Germans Ready For Revolution

One fifth of Germans want revolution: report
A left-wing demo in Leipzig in May 2014. Photo: DPA

One fifth of Germans want revolution: report

the local.de

Anti-capitalism, anti-fascism and anti-racism were all are prominent positions according to the study entitled ‘Against state and capital – for the revolution’, which has revealed a public much further to the left than previously thought.

In the report, 20% of the people surveyed agreed with the statement that “Living conditions won’t be improved by reforms – we need a revolution”.

A similar percentage of people said they saw the rise of a new fascism in Germany as a real danger, while as many as a third agreed that capitalism inevitably leads to poverty and hunger.

Reflecting the massive media attention given to a wave of anti-Islam Pegida demonstrations, the report highlighted that 48 percent thought that a deep-rooted xenophobia existed in modern day Germany.

East-West divide

An ideological divide between the former East and West was also very prominent, with left-wing statements generally garnering more support in the eastern states.

Among Germans living in the east, 60 percent considered socialism to be a good idea that so far has merely been poorly implemented – compared to only 37 percent of people in the west.

The statement that most people (62 percent) agreed to in the survey was that German democracy isn’t real democracy, because it is the economy not the electorate that has the biggest say.

This is as clear a message as any for the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, who commissioned the study as part of their ‘Strengthening Democracy’ initiative.

State against dissidents

Almost 50 percent of respondents said they had noticed an increased surveillance of left-wing dissidents by police and the state.

And 27 percent fear that by spying on its citizens, Germany is on its way towards a dictatorship.

A more damning finding of the report, which aimed to provide a comprehensive portrayal of left-wing extremism in Germany, was that left-wing related violence had seen a stark increase in recent years.

Police and right-wing extremists were the most regular targets of far-left violence.

An attack on a Leipzig police station in January, with hooded people throwing rocks, bottles and paint bombs and burning vehicles, was the most visible far-left outburst in recent times.

But left-wing extremists were the prime suspects in the vandalizing of posters for the Hamburg local elections belonging to right-wing party AfD (Alternative for Germany).

The report looked into previous studies, discussions on the notion of extremism and interviews with former and current activists.

Researchers deemed it important to analyse the “structural similarities between right and left-wing extremism”, which include a doctrinal fanaticism that can be prone to conspiracy theories.

by Matty Edwards

For more stories about Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Ukraine President Drags Poland and Lithuania Into His Quagmire

[SEE:  Poland to move thousands of troops to border with Ukraine]

Ukrainian President ratifies joint 4,500-strong military unit with Poland and Lithuania

Russia-Today
Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko.(Reuters / Valentyn Ogirenko)

Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko.(Reuters / Valentyn Ogirenko)

Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko has signed a law ratifying the creation of a joint military unit with Poland and Lithuania. The unit is set to carry out tasks which have been given a UN Security Council mandate.

“The Agreement provides for the establishment of joint Ukrainian-Polish-Lithuanian military unit and determines the general purpose, principles of activity, decision-making process, security guarantees and other organizational measures related to the activity of the brigade,” the Ukrainian president’s official website says.

The brigade is to become a UN and EU peacekeeping force. Other states can join it under joint invitation from the three states.

The Ukrainian commitment is planned at 545 soldiers, according to the country’s defense ministry. Poland and Lithuania were expected to contribute up to 3,800 and 350 servicemen respectively. The funding will be separate for each country’s contingent and it will be provided by the governments of the participants. The HQ is going to be situated in Lublin in Eastern Poland.

The defense ministers of the three countries agreed to form the unit last September in Warsaw, and plan to conduct the first joint military drill in 2015. Ukraine’s parliament ratified it on February 4.

The idea to create a joint Ukrainian-Polish-Lithuanian brigade was first put forward in 2007, when the three states decided to establish a joint battalion.

A year later, a more ambitious plan of assembling an entire brigade of Ukrainian, Lithuanian, and Polish troops was put forward.

Former Ambassador, Robert Ford, Blasts Obama’s Syrian Policy As “a huge failure,” “singularly unsuccessful”

Once a top booster, ex-U.S. envoy no longer backs arming Syrian rebels

McClatchy

By Hannah Allam

Congress SyriaRobert Ford, former U.S. ambassador to Syria, arrives to testify to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about the conflict in Syria, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 31, 2013.

J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE — AP

WASHINGTON — Robert Ford was always one of the Syrian rebels’ loudest cheerleaders in Washington, agitating from within a reluctant administration to arm vetted moderates to fight Bashar Assad’s brutal regime.

In recent weeks, however, Ford, the former U.S. ambassador to Syria who made news when he left government service a year ago with an angry critique of Obama administration policy, has dropped his call to provide weapons to the rebels. Instead, he’s become increasingly critical of them as disjointed and untrustworthy because they collaborate with jihadists.

The about-face, which is drawing murmurs among foreign policy analysts and Syrian opposition figures in Washington, is another sign that the so-called moderate rebel option is gone and the choices in Syria have narrowed to regime vs. extremists in a war that’s killed more than 200,000 people and displaced millions.

On the heels of meetings with rebel leaders in Turkey, Ford explained in an interview this week why his position has evolved: Without a strong central command or even agreement among regional players that al Qaida’s Nusra Front is an enemy, he said, the moderates stand little chance of becoming a viable force, whether against Assad or the extremists. He estimated that the remnants of the moderate rebels now number fewer than 20,000. They’re unable to attack and at this point are “very much fighting defensive battles.”

In short: It makes no sense to keep sending help to a losing side.

“We have to deal with reality as it is,” said Ford, who’s now with the Middle East Institute in Washington. “The people we have backed have not been strong enough to hold their ground against the Nusra Front.”

Ford today sounds like a different person from the optimist who only six months ago wrote an essay in Foreign Policy that began: “Don’t believe everything you read in the media: The moderate rebels of Syria are not finished. They have gained ground in different parts of the country and have broken publicly with both the al Qaida affiliate operating there and the jihadists of the Islamic State.”

Now, however, on panels and in speeches, Ford has accused the rebels of collaborating with the Nusra Front, the al Qaida affiliate in Syria that the U.S. declared a terrorist organization more than two years ago. He says opposition infighting has worsened and he laments the fact that extremist groups now rule in most territories outside the Syrian regime’s control.

Ford said part of the problem was that too many rebels – and their patrons in Turkey and Qatar – insisted that Nusra was a homegrown, anti-Assad force when in fact it was an al Qaida affiliate whose ideology was virtually indistinguishable from the Islamic State’s. The Obama administration already has suffered a string of embarrassments involving supplies it’s donated to the rebels ending up in the hands of U.S.-designated terrorist groups.

“Nusra Front is just as dangerous, and yet they keep pretending they’re nice guys, they’re Syrians,” Ford said. “The second problem is, some of our stuff has leaked to them.”

As his calls to arm the rebels have become more muted, Ford has grown more vocal about the relationship between the rebels and Nusra, something U.S. officials have preferred to ignore, at least in public.

At a seminar last month where the audience included prominent Syrian dissidents he’d worked with for years, Ford began with a disclaimer that what he was about to say was “not going to be popular” among the opposition crowd.

He then launched into an indictment of the moderate rebels, pulling no punches as he told them they could forget about outside help as long as they kept collaborating with Nusra. He suggested that supportive U.S. officials had grown tired of covering for them before an administration and an American public that are skeptical of deeper U.S. involvement in Syria.

“For a long time, we have looked the other way while the Nusra Front and armed groups on the ground, some of whom are getting help from us, have coordinated in military operations against the regime,” Ford said. “I think the days of us looking the other way are finished.”

Most audience members were familiar with Ford’s record, and they were visibly surprised at the tongue lashing; they knew him as a relentless defender of the rebels, someone who’d ended a long diplomatic career a year ago this month with scathing words about the Obama administration’s refusal to arm them. Ford is often described as the first senior official to come out so vocally against U.S. policy toward Syria; the White House is still furious with his decision to go off-message.

Ford hasn’t softened his stance against the U.S. role in the Syrian catastrophe – he still describes American policy as “a huge failure” and “singularly unsuccessful” – but now he doesn’t spare the rebels their share of the blame. He has little patience for the argument that they were forced to work with Nusra and other unpalatable partners because of broken Western promises of assistance. There needs to be agreement, he said, that an al Qaida affiliate is off-limits as a partner.

“It becomes impossible to field an effective opposition when no one even agrees who or what is the enemy,” he said.

Ford said the latest U.S. approach of ditching the old rebel model to build a new, handpicked paramilitary to focus on the Islamic State was doomed; Syrian rebels are more concerned with bringing down Assad than with fighting extremists for the West, and there are far too few fighters to take the project seriously.

“The size of the assistance is still too small,” he said. “What are they going to do with 5,000 guys? Or even 10,000 in a year? What’s that going to do?”

The Assad regime is eager to present itself as an alternative, but Ford said the Syrian military had been severely weakened and that it was doubtful the regime could pull off a successful campaign against the extremists. Then there’s the political and moral fallout that would come from a U.S. détente with a man American officials have described since 2011 as a butcher who’s lost the legitimacy to rule.

Ford said the time had come for U.S. officials and their allies to have a serious talk about “boots on the ground,” though he was quick to add that the fighters didn’t need to be American. He said a professional ground force was the only way to wrest Syria from the jihadists.

And any parallel effort to build up a local rebel movement would have to be streamlined through a central, Syrian chain of command, he said. International partners, Ford said, have to ditch the current “nonsensical” framework in which regional powerhouses each fund client groups in an uncoordinated tangle that he said would be comical if the results weren’t so tragic.

And if those steps can’t be achieved, said the man known for advocating greater U.S. involvement, “then we have to just walk away and say there’s nothing we can do about Syria.”

Email: hallam@mcclatchydc.com; Twitter: @HannahAllam.

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2015/02/18/257024/once-a-top-booster-ex-us-envoy.html#storylink=cpy

RAGE—because there is no rage

[The following was sent by a reader of the site.  I sympathize with Al, but, for a man with his varied political interests, one would think that his disillusionment with the left would have set in during Obama’s first term.  I have two suggestions–stop reading anyone related to the London School, and look for different sources (Chossudofsky banned me from Global Research years ago).  You have been officially marginalized.  You will have zero chance of being heard, unless you manage to arrange a very public heckling arrest.  If that happens, let me know and I will let others know.    Peter]

RAGE—because there is no rage

-al perry

NEWS FROM THE STREET #2
(february 16, 2015)
wow…what a night…i found out a few days ago that world-renowned leftist and co-editor of new left review (a publication i subscribed to for 10 years) tariq ali was to appear at a bookstore on the lower east side…i’m a long time fan but have never met him or heard him speak in public…ever since 2000 or 2001 i’ve occasionally provided links from my band’s website to his essays and articles…one particular article he wrote, a scathing critique of obama’s first term, i must have read over 10 times…so i was excited to hear he’d be in new york today….
i packed a bottle of water, a used marcuse book to read on the journey, and a whole bunch of cd’s of my, now defunct, folk rock band, “losing touch”…our cd was entitled”with time” and was released in 2002…i have quite a few left gathering dust and figured i can hand some out for free to friends i may make, including possibly tariq, along the way…my band and i performed a few gigs in manhattan and new jersey at the time but i hated performing (i’m the singer and acoustic guitarist) so we got nowhere…well, actually we were played several times on a commercial rock station in n.j., wdha…quite a feat for an unsigned band…we also received kudos from some big names like neal casal (of the chris robinson brotherhood), evan dando of the lemonheads, and even actress ally sheedy…i know this may seem like i’m trying to brag or something, but i’m not…i feel i have to get in a quick bio because many on the left, it seems, think i’m some kind of informant…or maybe agent provocateur…nothing could be further from the truth…true, i do not disguise my rage but a cold hard look at today’s political climate should have ANY sensitive individual GOING INSANE!…
 i’m a lifelong chronic depressive and anti-depressants, and even medical marijuana!, have unpleasant effects on me – they don’t work…in 2005 i moved to tucson, arizona and became more of a recluse…luckily my mother moved out there too so by the time i left and returned to the east coast my social circle was composed of 2 people…3 if you count me…i had to leave tucson – the police didn’t like my one man protesting with my guitar…they even locked me up a couple of times…i decided to protest in the rich part of town…one time they followed me with a crime chopper!…
well, i returned to the east coast, after some failed attempts at trying to feel better in n.j. and killorglin, ireland…the state i was raised in, n.j., was way too expensive for a guy like me to live in…i had to stop working in 2010…i couldn’t function even as a night security guard…food stamps and family charity – the feds won’t give me cash assistance and i’ve been waiting for years now for disability assistance but nada…i guess they don’t like radicals…having an outstanding warrant for my arrest in the state of arizona, i guess, doesn’t help…it’s only a misdemeanor so it’s not extradictable…i refused to leave the entrance of a church because they locked the door on me and wouldn’t tell me why they wouldn’t let me in…the police told me to move along but i refused until i received a proper reply…shockingly, it was not forthcoming!…the religious hypocrites would rather have me in jail than answer any questions!…i didn’t show up at the trial…the state already wanted me badly and i know when i’m being railroaded…this all involved my exposing of the pax americana…and 911…my one friend chuck aubrey, himself a rabble rouser, was often there for support…he’s got a clip on youtube where he’s interviewing richard gage of 911 truth…
my chronic depression and overwhelming desire for isolation has gotten progressively worse over the years…my sister helen took her own life on feb. 1, 2007…she was living in gouda, holland…tragedy hit again with superstorm sandy…i’ve been a life long collector of vinyl records and books…i lost over 1,000 books and 1,500 vinyl records…the passaic river in new jersey overflowed and most of what i owned in storage was underneath dirty river water for several days…i also lost all my recording equipment, my stereo system and musical instruments…most of my cd’s were salvageable…i’m 47 years old…that was a lifetime of collecting i lost…i’ll never be able to afford or find most of those records again…i don’t care about the recording equipment…
i’m living now in easton, pennsylvania…i’ve contacted my band members for a possible  reunion…but, unfortunately, they’re not quite interested…my new songs are incorrigibly very angry and they, having spouses, children, etc. don’t seem to want any trouble…they’re involved in other “safer” musical projects…

although a recluse, rage always seems to get me out of the house…rage at war…rage at imperialism…rage at innocents dying…rage at drone warfare…rage at lies…rage at compromise with the pax americana…etc….can rage be therapeutic?…i however have never hurt anyone physically whilst enraged…verbally, but not physically…i am confrontational, however, and am afraid of NO ONE…
well, today i had a 100 bucks to spend so i boarded a bus for 45 dollars at the easton station and arrived at the new york port authority bus terminal a couple hours later…i had some time to kill so i went to the “revolution” book store on west 26th street…i purchased two cheap used books by harry magdoff…(i used to subscribe to monthly review a few years ago – around the time harry passed away)…the elderly gentleman who was at the register, who’s name escapes me now, was extremely friendly…he too had lost a lot of books, records, photographs, etc. when his basement flooded years ago…i can’t believe i forgot to mention my music and i didn’t give him a free cd of mine…after all, i’m trying to get rid of them…next time…he did put me on the bookstore’s mailing list…here’s hoping the compromising, scared, disrespectful, machiavellian left doesn’t get to him…
i then walked a few blocks to the “democracy now” studio on west 25th…the security guard told me i needed an appointment to visit…”no problem”, i told him…i watch the program religiously and have emailed them quite often…sometimes to encourage them and sometimes to criticize them…i’ve never received a response but i’m sure they get tons of emails…i’ve been pretty persistent however when criticism is warranted but always in a spirit of respect…i thought i’d drop by today, introduce myself to whoever was there…(it was a little before 5p.m.)…and drop off some free cds…and tell them they could criticize me if they wanted…all in good fun…oh well, “next time”, i thought…
i then headed south through the streets of manhattan…surprised at all the changes…i used to work and commute into the city back in the nineties…and used to go to the shops until i moved to arizona…i performed with my band at a venue called “kenny’s castaways” on bleeker st. back in 2002…springsteen’s new york debut venue i was told at the time…sadly it’s no longer there…the “bottom line” tragically is also gone…it used to be on e. 4th…i saw and met john martyn there a few times!…tom rush…jorma kaukonen…dino valenti…etc….legends!…it’s nice to know “other music” is still there…i had some pizza on 2nd ave…and a pint of guinness on houston…
i arrived at the bookstore a couple minutes early…the place was packed…standing room only…all the chairs were taken…i stood near the entrance…i didn’t have much choice…it was basically an interview with tariq conducted by someone from “jacobin” magazine…tariq first spoke about the greek syriza party and then discussed the events in spain dealing with the “podemos” party…i have an estranged father who is living in portugal near the spanish border so lately i’ve been a bit curious about what’s been going on over there…when tariq seemed to conclude the spanish topic, i innocently raised my hand…i was going to ask him if the catalan and basque independence movements in spain are complicating the “podemos” situation…are these break away movements merely populist capitalist or do they have their own political factions?…i was ignored and rightly so because the question session was reserved for the end of the interview…however, i realized i was getting some ugly looks from some people…including what seemed like to me from the jacobin interviewer….i quickly shrugged it off thinking i’m paranoid and, of course, i should get out more…
tariq then discussed the topic of his recent book, the “extreme center”…a clipboard was passed around and i entered my name and email address…a money jar was also passed around (though they did make it clear that a contribution was not necessary)…i threw a 20 dollar bill in the jar…(once again, not bragging – just trying to make clear my pure intentions)…
when the audience question session started, i didn’t raise my hand right away (feeling a bit embarrased about raising it prematurely earlier)…i did, however, raise my hand after the first question was asked and answered…and i raised it again…and i raised it again…and i raised it again…and i raised it again…and i raised it again…the jacobin interviewer looked straight at me every time…i soon realized that my initial discomfort was actually well founded…people who had only raised their hand ONCE were getting chosen!…even one girl standing right next to me!…i persisted and while LOOKING RIGHT AT ME, the interviewer stated there would be no more questions taken…i came a long way to get a chance to ask tariq a question…i intended to purchase his book and if possible say hi, give him a free cd, and maybe get an autographed copy…i also wanted to MEET other leftists and sort of network…remember, this is not exactly easy for me…my only visitor in easton is my mother! who lives nearby in bethlehem…i’m coming off a decade of a 2 person social circle!…while raising my hand six or seven times, i was debating whether to address the spanish issue or the extreme center issue…
after raising my hand one last time, and being told again “no more questions”, i immediately realized that i was singled out right from the beginning!…some of them knew who i was…particularly the interviewer…they couldn’t have made it any clearer…i have been sending constructive criticism to many “left” outlets for a couple of years now…WELL WARRANTED CRITICISM…AND THEY KNOW THAT!…yes, i’m al perry…the guy who knows fires cannot pulverize concrete and steel and bring down steel high rises into their own footprint at freefall speed…yeah, al, the guy who feels the rage of the 911 victim’s family members, and thousands of demolition experts, pilots, firefighters, construction engineers, etc. who want answers…yeah, al perry, the guy who doesn’t believe the bullshit “beheading” videos presented by the zionist s.i.t.e. intelligence group to justify war where thousands are killed by satanic drone warfare which violates international law…yes, the al perry that’s completely flabberghasted as to why there are no major war protests!…why so called leaders of the left ignore these issues without TELLING US WHY and INSULT those who RIGHTFULLY are ENRAGED!!!
they think they know who i am and are afraid i might bring up a topic they didn’t want to discuss…maybe if they had showed some respect and spoken to me respectfully beforehand OR ANSWERED the myriad amounts of emails i’ve sent throughout the years, they would have known who i really am…
i have gotten NO RESPONSE throughout the years from “democracy now”, monthly review, new left review, the intercept, greenwald, scahill, klein, the nation…the list goes on and on…literally hundreds of emails asking perfectly valid questions and many times i offered words of ENCOURAGEMENT…NO REPLY AT ALL…
who have responded to my emails?…short list…tom hayden! (i was shocked…the godfather of protest!)…he understood my rage!…russell brand who tolerates my angry posts on his site…mike davis, who i emailed directly and although extremely busy, answered a few of my questions in detail…i’ll never bother him again out of respect and appreciation…
after realizing that i’ve been set up to look like public enemy number one, i became very angry and did something COMPLETELY UNPLANNED…COMPLETELY IMPROMPTU…ON THE SPUR OF THE MOMENT…AND I FELT EXHILIRATED!…
as half the audience was getting ready to leave, i suddenly shouted “SO I GUESS WE’RE NOT GONNA HEAR ABOUT 911 TONIGHT!…I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU TRAVEL TO NEW YORK CITY AND DON’T BRING UP 911!…AND WHAT ABOUT THE FAKE BEHEADINGS PROVIDED BY THE S.I.T.E. INTELLIGENCE GROUP?!……AND WHERE ARE THE PROTESTS?!!!…THERE’S A WAR GOING ON, YOU FUCKS!!!..THERE’S A WAR TO PROTEST!!!…HIT THE STREETS!!!…WHERE ARE THE PROTESTS…PEOPLE ARE DYING!!!…” and other words to that effect…i was then asked by an employee of the bookstore to leave…i was already on my way out…i hadn’t intended the night to end this way so i left…when outside, still enraged, i slammed my backpack on the storefront window…
I FELT GREAT!…TARIQ, YOU HAD IT COMING…PERHAPS I’VE EVEN STATED..YELLED…THINGS YOU’D LIKE TO SAY BUT FIND YOURSELF FOR SOME REASON UNABLE TO UTTER…
IT’S OBVIOUS THAT MANY ON THE LEFT ARE ENGAGED IN A CONCERTED EFFORT NOT TO MENTION CERTAIN TOPICS…THEY’VE AVAILED THEMSELVES OF MACHIAVELLIAN STRATEGIES WHICH THEY OBVIOUSLY THINK THE RABBLE WOULD NOT UNDERSTAND!!!!!!!!!!…….BUT WHEN THEY DESIST FROM PROTESTING  WAR…THE DEATHS OF THOUSANDS…DRONE WARFARE…THEY’VE GONE TOO FAR!!!…OFTEN, THESE LEFT OUTLETS SHAMEFULLY ECHO NEWS I HEAR ON THE MAINSTREAM WITHOUT QUESTIONING IT!!!…MAKING THEMSELVES BLOODGUILTY!!!!!…AND AREN’T THEY SUPPOSED TO BE ORGANIZING PROTESTS?!…SHOULDN’T THEY TELL US WHERE THE FUCK TO MEET?!…
AND I’M SICK AND TIRED OF FUCKING WORDS!!!…HIT THE STREETS!!!!…SCARE THE STATUS QUO!!!!…..I CANNOT BELIEVE HOW EASY IT HAS BEEN FOR THE PAX AMERICANA TO RAMPAGE THROUGHOUT THIS EARTH THESE LAST FEW YEARS!!!…MOST OF THE LEFT IS EITHER SCARED OR COMPROMISING AND LYING!!!!……THAT’S RIGHT, LYING!!!…BEING DISINGENUOUS IS LYING!!!!!!!!…..AND THOUSANDS ARE DYING BECAUSE OF THIS BULLSHIT!!!!!….YOU’RE GONNA REGRET IT!…MARK MY WORDS!!!….
IF ANYONE OUT THERE WANTS FEARLESS, UNCOMPROMISING REPORTING GO TO THE GLOBAL RESEARCH WEBSITE RUN BY MICHEL CHOSSUDEVSKY AND BARRY ZWICKER IN CANADA…THEY ARE TRULY NOT BLOODGUILTY…and i’m sure would let me ask any question i like…
i now realize there’s a david and goliath situation in this country…if any of you authentic leftists want to protest war and drones this year, you’ll probably be alone…don’t worry…THINK OF BRIAN HAW!!!…that always gets me going…print some leaflets and signs…even if you’re alone, you can be very effective…there are courageous leftists out there organizing…for example, i was involved recently with the lepoco group of pennsylvania…a month ago 53 of us showed up at a drone command center in horsham, pa. to protest…it will soon be a monthly event…most cars driving by that reacted to the protest honked their approval…you can even go door to door in your neighborhood alerting people about what’s really going on in their world and what the scared left is afraid to mention…
i do not regret what i did tonight…it should’ve been done a long time ago…and i’m just getting started…
– al perry

Thousands Take to the Streets of Europe Ahead of Greece, EU Meeting

B94t9g1IUAEKUpNThousands Take to the Streets Ahead of Greece, EU Meeting

telesur

A day before a euro zone finance ministers’ meeting in Brussels, thousands hit the streets of Europe to show support for the Greek people and their newly-elected left-wing government which is looking to undo years of imposed austerity programs.

Demonstrations in cities across the UK, France and Spain stood in solidarity with massive crowds in Greece that also went out to express support for the Syriza government led by new prime minister, Alexis Tsipras.

Meanwhile, Syriza officials told media that they remained committed to making good on their promises to Greek voters and improve their country.

“I expect difficult negotiations; nevertheless I am full of confidence,” Tsipras told Germany’s Stern magazine. “I promise you: Greece will then, in six months’ time, be a completely different country.”

“The Greek government is determined to stick to its commitment towards the public … and not continue a program that has the characteristics of the previous bailout agreement,” Greek government spokesman Gabriel Sakellaridis said to Greece’s Skai television.

People walk in front of the parliament during an anti-austerity and pro-government demonstration in Athens February 15, 2015.
People walk in front of the parliament during an anti-austerity and pro-government demonstration in Athens February 15, 2015. Photo:Reuters
People gather in front of the parliament during an anti-austerity and pro-government demonstration in Athens February 15, 2015.
People gather in front of the parliament during an anti-austerity and pro-government demonstration in Athens February 15, 2015. Photo:Reuters
Protesters wave Greek, Portuguese and Spanish flags in front of the parliament during an anti-austerity and pro-government demonstration in Athens February 15, 2015.
Protesters wave Greek, Portuguese and Spanish flags in front of the parliament during an anti-austerity and pro-government demonstration in Athens February 15, 2015. Photo:Reuters
Solidarity Demonstration at Trafalgar Square, UK.
Solidarity Demonstration at Trafalgar Square, UK. Photo:Louise Regan/ Facebook
Solidarity Demonstration in Nottingham, UK.
Solidarity Demonstration in Nottingham, UK. Photo:Ra H/ Facebook
Solidarity Demonstration at Trafalgar Square, UK.
Solidarity Demonstration at Trafalgar Square, UK. Photo:Ra Ha/ Facebook
Demonstrations in Paris
Demonstrations in Paris Photo:Florian Martiny/ Twitter
At Royal Palace, Dam Square, Amsterdam.
At Royal Palace, Dam Square, Amsterdam. Photo:Greek Rebel News/ Twitter

Tsipras Awakens Greece From the Neoliberal Nightmare

banknote-10000-greek-drachma-1995-georgios-papanikolaou Greek 10,000 Drachmae

Tsipras ends the neoliberal nightmare for Greece

failed revolution
by system failure
In his recent speech, the Greek PM, Alexis Tsipras, ignored all the threats by the bank-occupied eurocrats and clearly declared that he will focus on the programme announced by SYRIZA before the Greek elections. Tsipras actually confirmed that the Troika programme is over.
As expected, most of the global mainstream media opposed Tsipras’ declarations, saying that he is walking against the eurozone partners. Tsipras ignored the threats and chosen to show determination to support the initial line of the Greek government, which is to finish Troika and apply specific measures for the relief of the poorest parts of the Greek society heavily hit by the catastrophic measures in the Greek experiment.
Germans now are in a very difficult position because they don’t want to show that they retreat, they fear that the experiment may end for good since the other countries of the periphery will ask for further relief from the cruel austerity. The German leadership is being pressed also by the US leadership to retreat from the hard austerity line, as the Americans see a serious danger for Greece to slip towards the Sino-Russian bloc.
The German leadership is also in a difficult position because the public opinion in Germany understands that the cruel austerity is causing big problems and may be applied one day to themselves if the experiment in Greece end “successfully” for the plutocratic elites.
Merkel is not going to retreat easily, she seeks a decent exit from the dead end she caused. Meanwhile the Greeks appear determined to face all the consequences. The return to national currency is not a nightmare anymore. There are signs showing that the Greek government is making some moves to prepare for a Grexit. The war will be hard. European people should understand that this is a class war, not an ethnic one. The battle in Greece is just a crucial field right now.
Related:

Russia confirms participation in Minsk quartet meeting over Ukraine crisis

Russia confirms participation in Minsk quartet meeting over Ukraine crisis

Xinhua net

MOSCOW, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) — Russian President Vladimir Putin said leaders of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine have agreed to meet in Minsk next Wednesday, provided that certain positions are agreed upon by then, Interfax news agency reported Sunday.

“I have just finished conversations with leaders of Germany, France and Ukraine in the so-called Normandy Format,” Putin said during a meeting with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

Meanwhile, the Belarusian president confirmed that the summit would be held on Wednesday evening local time, adding that Minsk will properly organize the meeting to achieve calm “in our common house.”

A Russian diplomatic source told Interfax that deputy foreign ministers of the four parties will meet in Berlin on Monday to prepare for the upcoming summit of their leaders.

General Philip “Strangelove” Blasts EU Peace Overtures As “completely unacceptable”

NATO top commander in Europe says ‘military option’ possible in Ukraine

Russia-Today 
U.S. General Philip Breedlove, NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe (Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko)
U.S. General Philip Breedlove, NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe (Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko)

NATO’s commander in chief says the West should not rule out arming Ukraine. General Philip Breedlove said no troops would be sent to the region, but providing Kiev with weapons and equipment was on the cards.

Speaking to reporters at a security conference in Munich on Saturday, Breedlove said: “I don’t think we should preclude out of hand the possibility of the military option.”

His strong comments come as the US is considering sending weapons to help Kiev in its fight against anti-government militias.

The chief commander of NATO said the proposal made by Russian President Vladimir Putin to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine was “completely unacceptable,” and added “there is no conversation about putting boots on the ground.”

The head of the Russian Duma committee on CIS affairs and Eurasian integration, Leonid Slutsky, slammed Breedlove’s comments as“absolutely cynical.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is expected to meet US Secretary of State John Kerry in Munich and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, while US Vice-President Joe Biden is also due to give a speech.READ MORE: 30,000 troops, 6 rapid units: NATO increases military power in Eastern Europe

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has already said the organization’s Response Force in Europe may increase to 30,000 troops – more than double the current 13,000 – with the majority to be posted near Russia’s borders.

However, there are reports that NATO and the US have been arming the Kiev forces. Russia’s ambassador to the organization, Aleksandr Grushko, says “there is a bulk of evidence that Western-made arms are being used in Ukraine,” mentioning lethal munitions such as NATO standard artillery shells. He has asked the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to investigate the claims.

READ MORE: US mulls providing Kiev forces with ‘defensive’ weapons – report

Moscow has urged Washington not to send weapons to Ukraine, which could include military hardware currently being pulled out of Afghanistan. The White House admitted on February 5 that arming Kiev could increase bloodshed in the region.

“They are telling us in NATO they aren’t supplying anything, that lethal weapons are not supplied [to Ukraine] … that NATO has no [standard] arms and all weapons are national and there are no NATO systems as such. In reality, this is not true,” Grushko said.

READ MORE: Kerry in Kiev: Shifting blame from Poroshenko govt as US mulls arms for Ukraine

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has asked the West to provide his country with weapons on numerous occasions. US President Barack Obama is expected to make his decision on the possibility of sending lethal aid to Ukraine next week, Secretary of State John Kerry announced during a visit to Kiev.

The secretary of state says Obama’s choice will be based on his [Kerry’s] comments and recommendations following his visit to the country, and will also take into account Angela Merkel’s visit to Ukraine.

The question of supplying Kiev with weapons seems to have split the EU-US alliance. France, Germany and Britain amongst others have already ruled out sending lethal aid to Ukraine, but the Baltic States and Poland are keen on the idea.

“More weapons in this area will not bring us closer to a solution, and will not end the suffering of the population,” German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen told reporters in Brussels.

READ MORE: Putin meets Merkel, Hollande behind closed doors in Moscow

Merkel Rejects New Cold War Paradigm, Pushes Mutual Cooperation Instead of Confrontation

1017929246

Merkel Wants West to Build Security in Europe With Russia, Not Against It

Sputnik

German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated that crisis in Ukraine cannot be solved by using military force.

MUNICH, (Sputnik) – The West is striving to build security in Europe together with Russia and not against it, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said during the Munich Security Conference in Germany on Saturday.“We want to build security in Europe together with Russia and not against it,” Merkel said.

The European Union has been cooperating with NATO on the issue of the region’s security, recently allowing the placement of six new command and control units in Eastern Europe close to the Russian border.

Moscow has expressed concern over the buildup of NATO presence near its western border and said it would make “adequate” changes in the country’s military planning.

The crisis in Ukraine cannot be solved by using military force and Russia needs to contribute to settling the conflict, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated.

“Russia must contribute to settling the conflict in Ukraine. The crisis cannot be solved using military means,” Merkel said.

The creation of an “expansive Europe” from Vladivostok to Lisbon is impossible without solving the crisis situation in Ukraine, German Chancellor Angela Merkel added.

“The conditions and the foundation for [creating an ‘expansive Europe’] lie on the solving the crisis in Ukraine while observing international law,” Merkel said.

The Ukraine crisis is one of the central issues of the 51st Munich Security Conference being held in the Bavarian capital on February 6-8.

The ongoing military operation in the southeast of Ukraine was launched by Kiev authorities in April 2014 to suppress independence supporters in Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was unsure of the results of the recent talks on the Ukrainian crisis in Moscow.

French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were in Moscow Friday to hold a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the crisis situation in Ukraine. Hollande and Merkel traveled to Kiev the day before to discuss the same issue with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

“After yesterday’s talks with President Hollande, I must say that we still don’t know if they will bring any success, but the visit was important. This was our duty to those who are suffering,” Merkel said.

No one is interested in a new split in relations within Europe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.

“No one is interested in a new split in Europe, moreover, no one’s interested in a confrontation that is escalating more and more,” Merkel said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Saturday that she cannot guarantee that the Minsk Agreement will be observed by Kiev and the eastern regions of Ukraine.

“I don’t have any theoretical guarantees [on Ukraine]…there is a great disappointment. After this type of experience, I’m careful about guarantees. The only thing that is guaranteed is that there is an agreement and it must be fulfilled,” Merkel said during the Munich Security Conference in Germany.

The delivery of arms will not help in solving the crisis in Ukraine, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday during the Munich Security Conference in Germany.

“I understand the discussion, but I think that greater amounts of weapons delivered to Ukraine are not the way to reach progress. I seriously doubt this,” Merkel said.

“This conflict cannot be solved using military,” she added.

The propaganda war in regard to the Ukrainian crisis should be considered carefully, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.

“The issue of hybrid warfare is something we should take a careful look at,” Merkel said.

A solution to the Syrian crisis would be easier working with Russia rather than without it, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated.

“This is a reality and as a minimum it needs to be known how to replace [Syrian President Bashar] Assad so as to end the destabilization. I believe that at the moment it would be easier to find a solution together with Russia than without Russia,” Merkel said.

Greece Breeches the Ramparts of European Oligarchy

ramparts
source

Plutocrats and their puppets expose themselves in every level

failed revolution
by system failure
The phrase of the new Greek Minister for Health, Panagiotis Kouroumplis, during the ceremony of taking duties from the former minister Makis Voridis, was impressively characteristic: “Α patrician leaves and a plebeian comes.”
The magnitude of the unprecedented political change in Greece and Europe, can be more easily understood from various pictures and actions during the last week.
Right after his election, Alexis Tsipras chosen to visit the memorial in Kaisariani, the spot where 200 political activists – mostly communists – were executed by Nazi forces on May Day 1944. (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/26/alexis-tsipras-greece-syriza-kaisariani-nazi-german)
A blind man was chosen for the position of the Minister for Health. Panagiotis Kouroumplis has a good knowledge and shows sensitivity on public health issues but he was also blinded at the age of 10, from the explosion of a German hand-grenade, a remnant of World War II.
The most powerful symbolism, however, was when the former PM, Antonis Samaras, chosen not to be present to deliver to Tsipras. This is probably the best proof so far of what the previous regime represented: an oligarchy which considers itself as a permanent owner of the power. Local plutocrats have been exposed by their puppet Antonis.
In the European level, the picture of plutocrats’ representative, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, is also characteristic. Dijsselbloem appeared extremely nervous, especially when Varoufakis clarified that Greece will no longer tolerate austerity. This was actually a reaction of an establishment which considers itself as the only legal and rational holder of the power. An establishment in which no one is allowed to propose an alternative, outside the “official” line.
This establishment is in panic. It behaves with extreme arrogance and nervousness. And, the reason for this behaviour is that for the first time the unthinkable may happen: the power will truly go to the people. Plutocrats will fight fiercely against such a perspective, but at least show that inside panic they can easily expose themselves.
Read also:

Obama Waging Lawyer’s War To Brand Putin As “WAR CRIMINAL” Without Implicating Himself

[From the selection of news headlines given below, it is apparent that Obama’s war against Putin has taken a new, even riskier path.  Instead of continuing to simply threaten, bribe and browbeat the EU allies into closing ranks behind his scheme to isolate Putin, he intends to attempt to charge Putin with “WAR CRIMES” in the UN Security Council, branding him a “ROGUE,” Russia an “AGGRESSOR STATE” and the Novo-Russians (Eastern Ukrainian) as “TERRORISTS,” terms which Obama himself has already been branded with hundreds of times on the battlefield of the free Internet. 

Thanks to Obama a battle for a “Free Europe” will be settled upon the “Ukrainian battlefield,” by “Good Guys,” who are really “Bad Guys” of the worst sort, expecting us to believe and support them, as they turn Europe into a new tinderbox, for no good reason.  When it all boils down, there is no reason for the division and animosity between Ukraine and Russia, except for the pain left over from mistakes that are now past and the universal Ukrainians unwillingness to pay the real cost of keeping their homes warm in the wintertime.]

Ukrainian MPs call on UN, NATO & PACE to recognize Russia as ‘aggressor state’

Russia Is Turning Into a Rogue State

US Official:’ A Free Europe Rises or Falls With Ukraine’

Pro-Russian rebels officially labelled terrorists by Ukraine government

Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Secretariat

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted the Resolution “On the Statement of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to the United Nations, European Parliament, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, NATO Parliamentary Assembly, GUAM Parliamentary Assembly and international parliaments on

recognizing the Russian Federation the aggressor state”

( Information Department of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Secretariat )

The people’s deputies adopted the Statement of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to the United Nations, European Parliament, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, NATO Parliamentary Assembly, GUAM Parliamentary Assembly and international parliaments on recognizing the Russian Federation the aggressor state.

271 people’s deputy voted in favor.

 

 

 

Bashar al-Assad Refutes Western Media Lies In Foreign Affairs Interview

Syria’s President Speaks

A Conversation With Bashar al-Assad

foreign affairs

The president in Damascus, January 2015.

The president in Damascus, January 2015. (Media and Communications Office, Presidency of Syria)

The civil war in Syria will soon enter its fifth year, with no end in sight. On January 20, Foreign Affairs managing editor Jonathan Tepperman met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus to discuss the conflict in an exclusive interview.

I would like to start by asking you about the war. It has now been going on for almost four years, and you know the statistics: more than 200,000 people have been killed, a million wounded, and more than three million Syrians have fled the country, according to the UN. Your forces have also suffered heavy casualties. The war cannot go on forever. How do you see the war ending?
All wars anywhere in the world have ended with a political solution, because war itself is not the solution; war is one of the instruments of politics. So you end with a political solution. That’s how we see it. That is the headline.

You don’t think that this war will end militarily?
No. Any war ends with a political solution.

Your country is increasingly divided into three ministates: one controlled by the government, one controlled by ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra, and one controlled by the more secular Sunni and Kurdish opposition. How will 

you ever put Syria back together again?
First of all, this image is not accurate, because you cannot talk about ministates without talking about the people who live within those states. The Syrian people are still with the unity of Syria; they still support the government. The factions you refer to control some areas, but they move from one place to another—they are not stable, and there are no clear lines of separation between different forces. Sometimes they mingle with each other and they move. But the main issue is about the population. The population still supports the state regardless of whether they support it politically or not; I mean they support the state as the representative of the unity of Syria. So as long as you have the Syrian people believing in unity, any government and any official can unify Syria. If the people are divided into two, three, or four groups, no one can unify this country. That’s how we see it.

You really think that the Sunnis and the Kurds still believe in a unified Syria?
If you go to Damascus now, you can see all the different, let’s say, colors of our society living together. So the divisions in Syria are not based on sectarian or ethnic grounds. And even in the Kurdish area you are talking about, we have two different colors: we have Arabs more than Kurds. So it’s not about the ethnicity; it’s about the factions that control certain areas militarily.

A year ago, both the opposition and foreign governments were insisting that you step down as a precondition to talks. They no longer are. Diplomats are now looking for an interim settlement that would allow you to keep a role. Just today, The New York Times had an article that talked about increased U.S. support for the Russian and UN peace initiatives. The article refers to “the West’s quiet retreat from its demands that Syria’s president step down immediately.” Given this shift in the Western attitude, are you now more open to a negotiated solution to the conflict that leads to a political transition?
From the very beginning, we were open. We engaged in dialogue with every party in Syria. Party doesn’t mean political party; it could be a party, a current, or some personality; it could be any political entity. We changed the constitution, and we are open to anything. But when you want to do something, it’s not about the opposition or about the government; it’s about the Syrians. Sometimes you might have a majority that doesn’t belong to any side. So when you want to make a change, as long as you’re talking about a national problem, every Syrian must have a say in it. When you have a dialogue, it’s not between the government and the opposition; it’s between the different Syrian parties and entities. That’s how we look at dialogue. This is first. Second, whatever solution you want to make, at the end you should go back to the people through a referendum, because you’re talking about the constitution, changing the political system, whatever. You have to go back to the Syrian people. So engaging in a dialogue is different from taking decisions, which is not done by the government or the opposition.

So you’re saying that you would not agree to any kind of political transition unless there is a referendum that supports it?
Exactly. The people should make the decision, not anyone else.

Does that mean there’s no room for negotiations?
No, we will go to Russia, we will go to these negotiations, but there is another question here: Who do you negotiate with? As a government, we have institutions, we have an army, and we have influence, positive or negative, in any direction, at any time. Whereas the people we are going to negotiate with, who do they represent? That’s the question. When you talk about the opposition, it has to have meaning. The opposition in general has to have representatives in the local administration, in the parliament, in institutions; they have to have grass roots to represent on their behalf. In the current crisis, you have to ask about the opposition’s influence on the ground. You have to go back to what the rebels announced publicly, when they said many times that the opposition doesn’t represent us—they have no influence. If you want to talk about fruitful dialogue, it’s going to be between the government and those rebels. There is another point. Opposition means national; it means working for the interests of the Syrian people. It cannot be an opposition if it’s a puppet of Qatar or Saudi Arabia or any Western country, including the United States, paid from the outside. It should be Syrian. We have a national opposition. I’m not excluding it; I’m not saying every opposition is not legitimate. But you have to separate the national and the puppets. Not every dialogue is fruitful.

Does that mean you would not want to meet with opposition forces that are backed by outside countries?
We are going to meet with everyone. We don’t have conditions.

No conditions?
No conditions.

You would meet with everyone?
Yes, we’re going to meet with everyone. But you have to ask each one of them: Who do you represent? That’s what I mean.

If I’m correct, the deputy of the UN representative Staffan de Mistura is in Syria now. They’re proposing as an interim measure a cease-fire and a freeze in Aleppo. Would you agree to that?
Yes, of course. We implemented that before de Mistura was assigned to his mission. We implemented it in another city called Homs, another big city. We implemented it on smaller scales in different, let’s say, suburbs, villages, and so on, and it succeeded. So the idea is very good, but it depends on the details. De Mistura came to Syria with headlines. We agreed upon certain headlines, and now we are waiting for him to bring a detailed plan or schedule—A-to-Z plan, let’s say. We are discussing this with his deputy.

In the past, you insisted as a precondition for a cease-fire that the rebels lay down their weapons first, which obviously from their perspective was a nonstarter. Is that still your precondition?
We choose different scenarios or different reconciliations. In some areas, we allowed them to leave inhabited areas in order to prevent casualties among civilians. They left these areas with their armaments. In other areas, they gave up their armaments and they left. It depends on what they offer and what you offer.

I’m not clear on your answer. Would you insist that they lay down their weapons?
No, no. That’s not what I mean. In some areas, they left the area with their armaments—that is what I mean.

Are you optimistic about the Moscow talks?
What is going on in Moscow is not negotiations about the solution; it’s only preparations for the conference.

So talks about talks?
Exactly—how to prepare for the talks. So when you start talking about the conference, what are the principles of the conference? I’ll go back to the same point. Let me be frank: some of the groups are puppets, as I said, of other countries. They have to implement that agenda, and I know that many countries, like France, for example, do not have any interest in making that conference succeed. So they will give them orders to make them fail. You have other personalities who only represent themselves; they don’t represent anyone in Syria. Some of them never lived in Syria, and they know nothing about the country. Of course, you have some other personalities who work for the national interest. So when you talk about the opposition as one entity, who’s going to have influence on the other? That is the question. It’s not clear yet. So optimism would be an exaggeration. I wouldn’t say I’m pessimistic. I would say we have hope, in every action.

It seems that in recent days, the Americans have become more supportive of the Moscow talks. Initially, they were not. Yesterday, Secretary of State Kerry said something to suggest that the United States hopes that the talks go forward and that they are successful.
They always say things, but it’s about what they’re going to do. And you know there’s mistrust between the Syrians and the U.S. So just wait till we see what will happen at the conference.

So what do you see as the best way to strike a deal between all the different parties in Syria?
It’s to deal directly with the rebels, but you have two different kinds of rebels. Now, the majority are al Qaeda, which is ISIS and al-Nusra, with other similar factions that belong to al Qaeda but are smaller. Now, what’s left, what Obama called the “fantasy,” what he called the “moderate opposition”—it’s not an opposition; they are rebels. Most of them joined al Qaeda, and some of them rejoined the army recently. During the last week, a lot of them left those groups and came to the army.

Are these former defectors who came back?
Yes, they came back to the army. They said, “We don’t want to fight anymore.” So what’s left of those is very little. At the end, can you negotiate with al Qaeda, and others? They are not ready to negotiate; they have their own plan. The reconciliation that we started and Mr. de Mistura is going to continue is the practical solution on the ground. This is the first point. Second, you have to implement the Security Council resolution, no. 2170, on al-Nusra and ISIS, which was issued a few months ago, and this resolution is very clear about preventing anyone from supporting these factions militarily, financially, or logistically. Yet this is what Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar are still doing. If it’s not implemented, we cannot talk about a real solution, because there will be obstacles as long as they spend money. So this is how we can start. Third, the Western countries should remove the umbrella still referred to by some as “supporting the moderate opposition.” They know we have mainly al Qaeda, ISIS, and al-Nusra.

Would you be prepared to take any confidence-building measures in advance of the talks? For example, prisoner exchanges, or ending the use of barrel bombs, or releasing political prisoners, in order to build confidence on the other side that you’re willing to negotiate in good faith?
It’s not a personal relationship; it’s about mechanisms. In politics, you only talk about mechanisms. You don’t have to trust someone to do something. If you have a clear mechanism, you can reach a result. That is what the people want. So the question is, what is the mechanism that we can put in place? This takes us back to the same question: Who are they? What do they represent? What’s their influence? What is the point of building trust with people with no influence?

When two parties come together, it’s often very useful for one party to show the other that it’s really interested in making progress by taking steps unilaterally to try and bring down the temperature. The measures that I described would have that effect.
You have something concrete, and that is reconciliation. People gave up their armaments; we gave them amnesty; they live normal lives. It is a real example. So this is a measure of confidence. On the other hand, what is the relation between that opposition and the prisoners? There’s no relation. They are not their prisoners anyway. So it is completely a different issue.

So have you offered amnesty to fighters?
Yes, of course, and we did it many times.

How many—do you have numbers?
I don’t have the precise numbers, but it’s thousands, not hundreds, thousands of militants.

And are you prepared to say to the entire opposition that if you lay down your weapons, you will be safe?
Yes, I said it publicly in one of my speeches.

And how can you guarantee their safety? Because they have reasons to distrust your government.
You cannot. But at the end, let’s say that if more than 50 percent succeed, more than 50 percent in such circumstances would be a success. So that’s how. Nothing is absolute. You have to expect some negative aspects, but they are not the major aspects.

Let me change the subject slightly. Hezbollah, Iran’s Quds Force, and Iranian-trained Shiite militias are all now playing significant roles in the fight against rebels here in Syria. Given this involvement, are you worried about Iran’s influence over the country? After all, Iraq or even Lebanon shows that once a foreign military power becomes established in a country, it can be very difficult to get them to leave again.
Iran is an important country in this region, and it was influential before the crisis. Its influence is not related to the crisis; it’s related to its role, its political position in general. When you talk about influence, various factors make a certain country influential. In the Middle East, in our region, you have the same society, the same ideology, many similar things, the same tribes, going across borders. So if you have influence on one factor, your influence will be crossing the border. This is part of our nature. It’s not related to the conflict. Of course, when there is conflict and anarchy, another country will be more influential in your country. When you don’t have the will to have a sovereign country, you will have that influence. Now, the answer to your question is, Iran doesn’t have any ambitions in Syria, and as a country, as Syria, we would never allow any country to influence our sovereignty. We wouldn’t accept it, and the Iranians don’t want it either. We allow cooperation. But if you allowed any country to have influence, why not allow the Americans to have influence in Syria? That’s the problem with the Americans and with the West: they want to have influence without cooperation.

Let me just push you a little bit further. Last week, a commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, of their airspace command, Hajizadeh, said in an interview in Der Spiegel that Iran’s supreme leader has ordered his forces to build and operate missile plants in Syria. That suggests that Iran is playing a greater role and doing it on its own.
No, no. Playing a role through cooperation is different from playing a role through hegemony.

So everything that Iran is doing … ?
Of course, in full cooperation with the Syrian government, and that’s always the case.

Now Iran is one thing to deal with because it’s a country. But you also have militias, which are substate actors and therefore more complicated. One problem with working with these groups is that, unlike a government, they may not be willing to cooperate and it’s not always clear who to talk to. Are you worried about your ability to control these forces and to rein them in if you need to? And, a related question, this week, Israel attacked Hezbollah forces in the Golan Heights, and the Israelis suggest that they attacked them because Hezbollah was planning an attack on Israel from Syrian territory. Doesn’t this also highlight the danger of allowing militias with their own agendas, not necessarily your agenda, to come into the war?
Do you mean Syrian, or any other militias in general?

I mean especially Hezbollah and the Iraqi Shiite militias.
It’s natural to say that only the institutions of the government, of the state, let’s say, are the guarantee for stability and to put things in order. Any other factor that would play a role in parallel with the government could be positive, could be good in certain circumstances, but it will always have side effects, negative side effects. That is a natural thing. And having militias who support the government is a side effect of the war. You have it, but you’re going to try to control this side effect. Nobody will feel more comfortable than if they are dealing with government institutions, including the army and the police and so on. But talking about what happened in Quneitra is something completely different. Never has an operation against Israel happened through the Golan Heights since the cease-fire in 1974. It has never happened. So for Israel to allege that there was a plan for an operation—that’s a far cry from reality, just an excuse, because they wanted to assassinate somebody from Hezbollah.

But the Israelis have been very careful since the war began to not get involved except when they felt their interests were directly threatened.
That’s not true, because they’ve been attacking Syria now for nearly two years, without any reason.

But in each case, they say it’s because Hezbollah was being given weapons from Iran through Syria.
They attacked army positions. What is the relation between Hezbollah and the army?

Those were cases where the army accidentally shelled …
Those are false allegations.

So what do you think Israel’s agenda is?
They are supporting the rebels in Syria. It’s very clear. Because whenever we make advances in some place, they make an attack in order to undermine the army. It’s very clear. That’s why some in Syria joke: “How can you say that al Qaeda doesn’t have an air force? They have the Israeli air force.”

To return to my question about militias, do you feel confident that you’ll be able to control them when this war ends? Because after all, to have effective sovereignty, any government has to have what’s called a monopoly of force, and that’s very hard when you have these independent armed groups running around.
That’s self-evident: the state cannot fulfill its commitment to society if it’s not the only master of order.

But you see in Iraq how hard that is. It is now very difficult for the government to control all the Shiite militias that were empowered during the war.
There’s a very important reason in Iraq: it’s because Paul Bremer didn’t create a constitution for the state; he created one for factions. Whereas in Syria, why did the army stand fast for four years in spite of this embargo, this war, tens of countries around the world attacking Syria and supporting the rebels? Because it has a real constitution, a real, secular constitution. That is the reason. In Iraq, it is sectarian. When you talk about a sectarian constitution, it’s not a constitution.

But what will you do about these militias when the war ends?
Things should go back to normal, like before the war.

And you’re confident … ?
Yes. We don’t have any other option. That is the role of the government. This is self-evident.

What impact are falling oil prices having on the war in Syria? After all, your two closest allies and supporters, Iran and Russia, are very dependent on oil prices, and they have suffered tremendous damage to their budgets in recent months as the price of oil has fallen. Do you worry about their ability to continue helping you?
No, because they don’t give us money, so it has no effect on Syria. Even if they are going to help us, it would be in the form of loans. We’re like any other country: we have loans. Sometimes we pay; sometimes we take loans.

But their military support costs them money, and if they have less money to pay for their own militaries, won’t that become a problem?
No, because when you pay for armaments or any other goods, you don’t have a problem.

So you’re saying everything you’re getting from the Russians and the Iranians … ?
So far, we haven’t seen any changes, so what the influence is on them, I cannot answer.

You’ve said in past interviews that you and your government have made mistakes in the course of the war. What are those mistakes? Is there anything that you regret?
Every government, every person, makes mistakes, so that’s again self-evident; it’s a given. But if you want to talk about political mistakes, you have to ask yourself, what are the major decisions that you took since the crisis started? We took three main decisions: First of all, to be open to all dialogue. Second, we changed the constitution and the law according to what many in the opposition were saying, allegedly, that this is the reason of the crisis. Third, we took the decision to defend our country, to defend ourself, to fight terrorists. So I don’t think those three decisions can be described as wrong or mistakes. If you want to talk about practice, any official in any place can make mistakes, but there’s a difference between practice mistakes and policy mistakes.

Can you describe some of the practical mistakes?
I would have to go back to officials on the ground; there’s nothing in my mind. I would rather talk about policies.

Do you feel there have been any policy mistakes that you’re responsible for?
I mentioned the major decisions.

But you said those are not mistakes.
To defend the country from terrorism? If I wanted to say that it’s a mistake, then to be correct would be to support the terrorists.

I’m just wondering if there’s anything you did that you wish in retrospect you had done differently.
Regarding these three main decisions, they were correct, and I am confident about this.

In terms of lower-level practical mistakes, are people being held accountable, say, for human rights abuses, for the excessive use of force, or the indiscriminate targeting of civilians, those kinds of things?
Yes. Some people were detained because they breached the law in that regard, and that happens of course in such circumstances.

In terms of their treatment of civilians or protesters, is that what you’re referring to?
Yes, during the protests at the very beginning, yes.

Since the United States began its air campaign against the Islamic State, Syria and the United States have become strange kinds of partners and are effectively cooperating in that aspect of the fight. Do you see the potential for increased cooperation with the United States?
Yes, the potential is definitely always there, because we’ve been talking about or asking for international cooperation against terrorism for 30 years. But this potential needs will. The question that we have is, how much will does the United States have to really fight terrorism on the ground? So far, we haven’t seen anything concrete in spite of the attacks on ISIS in northern Syria. There’s nothing concrete. What we’ve seen so far is just, let’s say, window-dressing, nothing real. Since the beginning of these attacks, ISIS has gained more land in Syria and Iraq.

What about the air strikes on Kobani? Those have been effective in slowing down ISIS.
Kobani is a small city, with about 50,000 inhabitants. It’s been more than three months since the beginning of the attacks, and they haven’t finished. Same areas, same al Qaeda factions occupying them—the Syrian army liberated in less than three weeks. It means they’re not serious about fighting terrorism.

So are you saying you want greater U.S. involvement in the war against ISIS?
It’s not about greater involvement by the military, because it’s not only about the military; it’s about politics. It’s about how much the United States wants to influence the Turks. Because if the terrorists can withstand the air strikes for this period, it means that the Turks keep sending them armaments and money. Did the United States put any pressure on Turkey to stop the support of al Qaeda? They didn’t; they haven’t. So it’s not only about military involvement. This is first. Second, if you want to talk about the military involvement, American officials publicly acknowledge that without troops on the ground, they cannot achieve anything concrete. Which troops on the grounds are you depending on?

So are you suggesting there should be U.S. troops on the ground?
Not U.S. troops. I’m talking about the principle, the military principle. I’m not saying American troops. If you want to say I want to make war on terrorism, you have to have troops on the ground. The question you have to ask the Americans is, which troops are you going to depend on? Definitely, it has to be Syrian troops. This is our land; this is our country. We are responsible. We don’t ask for American troops at all.

So what would you like to see from the United States? You mentioned more pressure on Turkey …
Pressure on Turkey, pressure on Saudi Arabia, pressure on Qatar to stop supporting the rebels. Second, to make legal cooperation with Syria and start by asking permission from our government to make such attacks. They didn’t, so it’s illegal.

I’m sorry, I’m not clear on that point. You want them to make legal … ?
Of course, if you want to make any kind of action in another country, you ask their permission.

I see. So a formal agreement between Washington and Damascus to allow for air strikes?
The format we can discuss later, but you start with permission. Is it an agreement? Is it a treaty? That’s another issue.

And would you be willing to take steps to make cooperation easier with Washington?
With any country that is serious about fighting terrorism, we are ready to make cooperation, if they’re serious.

What steps would you be prepared to make to show Washington that you’re willing to cooperate?
I think they are the ones who have to show the will. We are already fighting on the ground; we don’t have to show that.

The United States is currently training 5,000 Syrian fighters who are scheduled to enter Syria in May. Now, U.S. General John Allen has been very careful to say that these troops will not be directed at the Syrian government, but will be focused on ISIS alone. What will you do when these troops enter the country? Will you allow them to enter? Will you attack them?
Any troops that don’t work in cooperation with the Syrian army are illegal and should be fought. That’s very clear.

Even if this brings you into conflict with the United States?
Without cooperation with Syrian troops, they are illegal, and are puppets of another country, so they are going to be fought like any other illegal militia fighting against the Syrian army. But that brings another question, about those troops. Obama said that they are a fantasy. How did fantasy become reality?

I think with this kind of training program.
But you can’t make extremism moderate.

There are still some moderate members of the opposition. They are weaker and weaker all the time, but I think the U.S. government is trying very carefully to ensure that the fighters it trains are not radicals.
But the question is, why is the moderate opposition—if you call them opposition; we call them rebels—why are they weaker and weaker? They are still weaker because of developments in the Syrian crisis. Bringing 5,000 from the outside will make most of them defect and join ISIS and other groups, which is what happened during the last year. So that’s why I said it’s still illusory. It is not the 5,000 that are illusory but the idea itself that is illusory.

Part of what makes Washington so reluctant to cooperate with you more formally are the allegations of serious human rights abuses by your government. These allegations aren’t just from the U.S. government; they are also from the UN Human Rights Commission, the independent Special Investigative Commission of the UN. You are familiar with these allegations, I’m sure. They include denying access for relief groups to refugee camps, indiscriminate bombing of civilian targets, photo evidence provided by the defector code-named Caesar, who made a presentation to the U.S. Congress showing terrible torture and abuse in Syrian prisons. Are you prepared to take action on these issues in order to make cooperation with the United States easier?
The funny thing about this administration is that it’s the first one in history to build its evaluation and later decisions on social media. We call it a social media administration, which is not politics. None of these allegations you mentioned are concrete; all of them are allegations. You can bring photos from anyone and say this is torture. Who took the pictures? Who is he? Nobody knows. There is no verification of any of this evidence, so it’s all allegations without evidence.

But Caesar’s photos have been looked at by independent European investigators.
No, no. It’s funded by Qatar, and they say it’s an anonymous source. So nothing is clear or proven. The pictures are not clear which person they show. They’re just pictures of a head, for example, with some skulls. Who said this is done by the government, not by the rebels? Who said this is a Syrian victim, not someone else? For example, photos published at the beginning of the crisis were from Iraq and Yemen. Second, the United States in particular and the West in general are in no position to talk about human rights. They are responsible for most of the killings in the region, especially the United States after getting into Iraq, and the United Kingdom after invading Libya, and the situation in Yemen, and what happened in Egypt in supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, and terrorism in Tunisia. All these problems happened because of the United States. They were the first ones to trample international law and Security Council resolutions, not us.

That may or may not be true, but those are separate issues, and that does not absolve your government of responsibility.
No, no. The United States accused, so we have to answer that part. I’m not saying if there’s any human rights breach or infringement, the government has no responsibility. That is another issue. The second part of your question is about the allegations. They’re still allegations. If you want me to answer, I have to answer about something that is concrete, proved, and verified.

Are you prepared to categorically deny that there’s torture and abuse of prisoners in Syria?
If there’s any unbiased and fair way to verify all those allegations, of course we are ready. That would be in our interest.

What impact would a U.S.-Iranian nuclear deal have on Syria?
Nothing, because the crisis here was never part of the negotiations, and Iran refused to make it such. And that is correct, because there is no link between the two.

But many in the United States anticipate that if Iran and the United States strike a deal, it will make cooperation between the two countries much easier. People therefore wonder if Iran might decide to reduce its support for Syria as a favor to the U.S. government.
We have never had any positive information about such a thing, never. I cannot discuss something which I don’t have any information about.

Describe whether you think the war is going well from the government’s perspective. Independent analysts have suggested that your government currently controls 45 to 50 percent of the territory of Syria.
First of all, if you want to describe the arena—it’s not a war between two countries, between two armies where you have an incursion and you lost some territory that you want to regain. It’s not like this. We’re talking about rebels that infiltrate areas inhabited by civilians. You have Syrian terrorists that support foreign terrorists to come and hide among civilians. They launch what you call guerrilla attacks. That is the shape of this war, so you cannot look at it as being about territory. Second, wherever the Syrian army has wanted to go, it has succeeded. But the Syrian army cannot have a presence on every kilometer of Syrian territory. That’s impossible. We made some advances in the past two years. But if you want to ask me, “Is it going well?” I say that every war is bad, because you always lose, you always have destruction in a war. The main question is, what have we won in this war? What we won in this war is that the Syrian people have rejected the terrorists; the Syrian people support their government more; the Syrian people support their army more. Before talking about winning territory, talk about winning the hearts and minds and the support of the Syrian people. That’s what we have won. What’s left is logistical; it’s technical. That is a matter of time. The war is moving in a positive way. But that doesn’t mean you’re not losing on the national level. Because you lose lives, you lose infrastructure; the war itself has very bad social effects.

Do you think you will eventually defeat the rebels militarily?
If they don’t have external support, and no, let’s say, supply and recruitment of new terrorists within Syria, there will be no problem defeating them. Even today we don’t have a problem militarily. The problem is that they still have this continuous supply, mainly from Turkey.

So Turkey seems to be the neighbor that you’re most concerned about?
Exactly. Logistically, and about terrorist financing from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, but through Turkey.

Do you blame Erdogan personally? This is a man you once had a fairly good relationship with.
Yes. Because he belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood ideology, which is the base of al Qaeda; it was the first political Islamic organization that promoted violent political Islam in the early twentieth century. He belongs strongly and is a staunch believer in these values. He’s very fanatical, and that’s why he still supports ISIS. He is personally responsible for what happened.

Do you see any other potential partners in the region? For example, General el-Sisi in Egypt?
I wouldn’t talk about him personally, but as long as Egypt and the Egyptian army and the government are fighting the same kind of terrorists as in Iraq, of course, we can consider these countries eligible to cooperate with in fighting the same enemy.

Two final questions, if I may. Can you imagine a scenario in which Syria returns to the status quo as it was before the fighting started almost four years ago?
In what sense?

In the sense that Syria is whole again, it is not divided, it controls its borders, it starts to rebuild, and it is at peace and a predominantly secular country.
If you look at a military map now, the Syrian army exists in every corner. Not every place; by every corner, I mean north, south, east, west, and between. If you didn’t believe in a unified Syria, that Syria can go back to its previous position, you wouldn’t send the army there, as a government. If you don’t believe in this as a people, you would have seen people in Syria isolated into different ghettos based on ethnic and sectarian or religious identity. As long as this is not the situation, the people live with each other; the army is everywhere; the army is made up of every color of Syrian society, or the Syrian fabric. This means that we all believe Syria should go back to the way it was. We don’t have any other option, because if it doesn’t go back to its previous position, that will affect every surrounding country. It’s one fabric—it’s a domino effect that will have influence from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

If you were able to deliver a message to President Obama today, what would it be?
I think the normal thing that you ask any official in the world is to work for the interests of his people. And the question I would ask any American is, what do you get from supporting terrorists in our country, in our region? What did you get from supporting the Muslim Brotherhood a few years ago in Egypt and other countries? What did you get from supporting someone like Erdogan? One of the officials from your country asked me seven years ago in Syria at the end of a meeting, “How do you think we can solve the problem in Afghanistan?” I told him, “You have to be able to deal with officials who are not puppets, who can tell you no.” So for the United States, only looking for puppet officials and client states is not how you can serve the interests of your country. You are the greatest power in the world now; you have too many things to disseminate around the world: knowledge, innovation, IT, with its positive repercussions. How can you be the best in these fields yet the worst in the political field? This is a contradiction. That is what I think the American people should analyze and question. Why do you fail in every war? You can create war, you can create problems, but you cannot solve any problem. Twenty years of the peace process in Palestine and Israel, and you cannot do anything with this, in spite of the fact that you are a great country.

But in the context of Syria, what would a better policy look like?
One that preserves stability in the Middle East. Syria is the heart of the Middle East. Everybody knows that. If the Middle East is sick, the whole world will be unstable. In 1991, when we started the peace process, we had a lot of hope. Now, after more than 20 years, things are not at square one; they’re much below that square. So the policy should be to help peace in the region, to fight terrorism, to promote secularism, to support this area economically, to help upgrade the mind and society, like you did in your country. That is the supposed mission of the United States, not to launch wars. Launching war doesn’t make you a great power.

NSA–“Your data is our data, your equipment is our equipment.”

The Digital Arms Race: NSA Preps America for Future Battle

der spiegel

By Jacob Appelbaum, Aaron Gibson, Claudio Guarnieri, Andy Müller-Maguhn, Laura Poitras, , Leif Ryge, and

Photo Gallery: 'Controlled Escalation' Photos
DPA

The NSA’s mass surveillance is just the beginning. Documents from Edward Snowden show that the intelligence agency is arming America for future digital wars — a struggle for control of the Internet that is already well underway.

Normally, internship applicants need to have polished resumes, with volunteer work on social projects considered a plus. But at Politerain, the job posting calls for candidates with significantly different skill sets. We are, the ad says, “looking for interns who want to break things.”

Politerain is not a project associated with a conventional company. It is run by a US government intelligence organization, the National Security Agency (NSA). More precisely, it’s operated by the NSA’s digital snipers with Tailored Access Operations (TAO), the department responsible for breaking into computers.Potential interns are also told that research into third party computers might include plans to “remotely degrade or destroy opponent computers, routers, servers and network enabled devices by attacking the hardware.” Using a program called Passionatepolka, for example, they may be asked to “remotely brick network cards.” With programs like Berserkr they would implant “persistent backdoors” and “parasitic drivers”. Using another piece of software called Barnfire, they would “erase the BIOS on a brand of servers that act as a backbone to many rival governments.”

An intern’s tasks might also include remotely destroying the functionality of hard drives. Ultimately, the goal of the internship program was “developing an attacker’s mindset.”

The internship listing is eight years old, but the attacker’s mindset has since become a kind of doctrine for the NSA’s data spies. And the intelligence service isn’t just trying to achieve mass surveillance of Internet communication, either. The digital spies of the Five Eyes alliance — comprised of the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand — want more.

The Birth of D Weapons

According to top secret documents from the archive of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden seen exclusively by SPIEGEL, they are planning for wars of the future in which the Internet will play a critical role, with the aim of being able to use the net to paralyze computer networks and, by doing so, potentially all the infrastructure they control, including power and water supplies, factories, airports or the flow of money.

During the 20th century, scientists developed so-called ABC weapons — atomic, biological and chemical. It took decades before their deployment could be regulated and, at least partly, outlawed. New digital weapons have now been developed for the war on the Internet. But there are almost no international conventions or supervisory authorities for these D weapons, and the only law that applies is the survival of the fittest.

Canadian media theorist Marshall McLuhan foresaw these developments decades ago. In 1970, he wrote, “World War III is a guerrilla information war with no division between military and civilian participation.” That’s precisely the reality that spies are preparing for today.

The US Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force have already established their own cyber forces, but it is the NSA, also officially a military agency, that is taking the lead. It’s no coincidence that the director of the NSA also serves as the head of the US Cyber Command. The country’s leading data spy, Admiral Michael Rogers, is also its chief cyber warrior and his close to 40,000 employees are responsible for both digital spying and destructive network attacks.

Surveillance only ‘Phase 0’

From a military perspective, surveillance of the Internet is merely “Phase 0” in the US digital war strategy. Internal NSA documents indicate that it is the prerequisite for everything that follows. They show that the aim of the surveillance is to detect vulnerabilities in enemy systems. Once “stealthy implants” have been placed to infiltrate enemy systems, thus allowing “permanent accesses,” then Phase Three has been achieved — a phase headed by the word “dominate” in the documents. This enables them to “control/destroy critical systems & networks at will through pre-positioned accesses (laid in Phase 0).” Critical infrastructure is considered by the agency to be anything that is important in keeping a society running: energy, communications and transportation. The internal documents state that the ultimate goal is “real time controlled escalation”.

One NSA presentation proclaims that “the next major conflict will start in cyberspace.” To that end, the US government is currently undertaking a massive effort to digitally arm itself for network warfare. For the 2013 secret intelligence budget, the NSA projected it would need around $1 billion in order to increase the strength of its computer network attack operations. The budget included an increase of some $32 million for “unconventional solutions” alone.

In recent years, malware has emerged that experts have attributed to the NSA and its Five Eyes alliance based on a number of indicators. They include programs like Stuxnet, used to attack the Iranian nuclear program. Or Regin, a powerful spyware trojan that created a furor in Germany after it infected the USB stick of a high-ranking staffer to Chancellor Angela Merkel. Agents also used Regin in attacks against the European Commission, the EU’s executive, and Belgian telecoms company Belgacom in 2011.Given that spies can routinely break through just about any security software, virtually all Internet users are at risk of a data attack.

The new documents shed some new light on other revelations as well. Although an attack called Quantuminsert has been widely reported by SPIEGEL and others, documentation shows that in reality it has a low success rate and it has likely been replaced by more reliable attacks such as Quantumdirk, which injects malicious content into chat services provided by websites such as Facebook and Yahoo. And computers infected with Straitbizarre can be turned into disposable and non-attributable “shooter” nodes. These nodes can then receive messages from the NSA’s Quantum network, which is used for “command and control for very large scale active exploitation and attack.” The secret agents were also able to breach mobile phones by exploiting a vulnerability in the Safari browser in order to obtain sensitive data and remotely implant malicious code.

In this guerilla war over data, little differentiation is made between soldiers and civilians, the Snowden documents show. Any Internet user could suffer damage to his or her data or computer. It also has the potential to create perils in the offline world as well. If, for example, a D weapon like Barnfire were to destroy or “brick” the control center of a hospital as a result of a programming error, people who don’t even own a mobile phone could be affected.

Intelligence agencies have adopted “plausible deniability” as their guiding principle for Internet operations. To ensure their ability to do so, they seek to make it impossible to trace the author of the attack.

It’s a stunning approach with which the digital spies deliberately undermine the very foundations of the rule of law around the globe. This approach threatens to transform the Internet into a lawless zone in which superpowers and their secret services operate according to their own whims with very few ways to hold them accountable for their actions.

Attribution is difficult and requires considerable forensic effort. But in the new documents there are at least a few pointers. Querty, for example, is a keylogger that was part of the Snowden archive. It’s a piece of software designed to surreptitiously intercept all keyboard keys pressed by the victim and record them for later inspection. It is an ordinary, indeed rather dated, keylogger. Similar software can already be found in numerous applications, so it doesn’t seem to pose any acute danger — but the sourcecode contained in it does reveal some interesting details. They suggest that this keylogger might be part of the large arsenal of modules that that belong to the Warriorpride program, a kind of universal Esperanto software used by all the Five Eyes partner agencies that at times was even able to break into iPhones, among other capabilities. The documents published by SPIEGEL include sample code from the keylogger to foster further research and enable the creation of appropriate defenses.‘Just a Bunch of Hackers’

The men and women working for the Remote Operations Center (ROC), which uses the codename S321, at the agency’s headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland, work on one of the NSA’s most crucial teams, the unit responsible for covert operations. S321 employees are located on the third floor of one of the main buildings on the NSA’s campus. In one report from the Snowden archive, an NSA man reminisces about how, when they got started, the ROC people were “just a bunch of hackers.” Initially, people worked “in a more ad hoc manner,” the report states. Nowadays, however, procedures are “more systematic”. Even before NSA management massively expanded the ROC group during the summer of 2005, the department’s motto was, “Your data is our data, your equipment is our equipment.”

The agents sit in front of their monitors, working in shifts around the clock. Just how close the NSA has already gotten to its aim of “global network dominance” is illustrated particularly well by the work of department S31177, codenamed Transgression.The department’s task is to trace foreign cyber attacks, observe and analyze them and, in the best case scenario, to siphon off the insights of competing intelligence agencies. This form of “Cyber Counter Intelligence” counts among the most delicate forms of modern spying.

 

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Two anti-torture protesters arrested at Dick Cheney’s house

Reuters

(Reuters) – Two protesters were arrested at the McLean, Virginia, home of former Vice President Dick Cheney on Saturday after 20 demonstrators, some in orange prison jumpsuits, walked onto his property to mark the 14th anniversary of the opening of Guantanamo Bay prison.

The protesters from the anti-war group Code Pink walked up to the house before police arrived and asked them to leave, said Fairfax County police spokesman Roger Henriquez. Two members who refused to go were arrested on trespassing charges, he said.

Police identified the two as Tighe Barry, 57, and Eve Tetaz, 83, both of Washington DC. The pair face misdemeanor charges of trespassing and disorderly conduct, police said.

Another Code Pink group demonstrated without incident outside the home of CIA Director John Brennan, also in the Washington, D.C. suburb of McLean, as part of its “Guantanamo Anniversary Weekend Torturers Tour.”

A U.S. Senate report last month said the CIA misled the White House and public about its torture of detainees after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and acted more brutally and pervasively than it acknowledged.

Cheney has defended the CIA’s use of harsh interrogation techniques on terrorism suspects in the aftermath of al Qaeda’s hijacked plane attacks, which killed more than 3,000 people in New York and Washington.

The prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was opened in January 2002 to house suspected militants and still holds 127 detainees, despite President Barack Obama’s pledge to close the facility. Obama continues to face obstacles posed by Congress to the goal of emptying the prison before he leaves office, not least of which is a ban on transfer of prisoners to the U.S. mainland.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Alan Crosby)

 

In Defense of Free Speech

Soapbox: Without free speech, civilization can’t survive

In perhaps the most profound message on the importance of man’s freedom, John Milton published “Aeropagitica” in 1644 “in order to deliver the press from the restraints with which it is encumbered” at a time when England censored and required approval of speech and publications. Now, most nations, political groups and religions wish to shackle their populace by inhibiting speech, thought, behavior and the right to disagree and to offend.

These self-appointed censors seek to impose their will directly through blasphemy laws, speech codes, limitations on place and time of expression, the criminalizing and disparaging of differing views, and by invidious animosity and violence against those with whom they disagree.

Suppression by censorship encompasses an astounding litany of examples: the “UN Human Rights Council and the Organization of the Islamic Conference” calls for criminal penalties for the “defamation of religions;” a 16-year-old boy is jailed for criticizing Turkey’s president Erdogan; North Korea threatens Sony Pictures over a satirical movie; Tunisian courts convict rappers for insulting the police; a Modesto College student attempts to pass out the U.S. Constitution, but campus police restrict him to a designated place; a Malaysian Muslim court rules a Christian newspaper may not use the word “Allah”; Condoleezza Rice cancels delivery of an address at Rutgers University; Brandeis University cancels Ayaan Ali’s appearance as a speaker because of her perceived anti-Muslim beliefs; Bill Maher speaks at Berkeley, but the “Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian Coalition” boycotts: “It’s not an issue of freedom of speech, it’s a matter of campus climate. That’s a privilege his racist and bigoted remarks don’t give him;” a Virginia Tech conservative student group was de-funded because of claims that they violated principles of “common humanity”; China controls its internet with a cadre of censors.

This ever-expanding restraint on speech and belief is a tsunami of intolerance, not limited by country, politics, race, or religion. There can be no contrary opinions.

Like the English Star Chamber, groups call for the banning of books, forms of expression, speech and media they define as offensive, blasphemous, pornographic or heresy. They wish to recreate the time when the English Church (the State itself) “regulate[d] Printing: that no book, pamphlet, or paper shall be printed, unless the same be first approved and licensed…,” all in the name of religious doctrinal (or political) purity. Progressives and their political class in the U.S. and Europe, confident in their moral and intellectual superiority, wish to assert control over divergent ideas and expressions by an active intolerance that stifles divergence.

But we must exercise rigor in the defense of free speech against this new thought polizei. The right to dissent, offend, protest, publish or speak contrary ideas, including against any religion or form of government, is the foundation of a free people, the first of the Constitutional amendments.

As Milton said, those who wish to be free must defend against censure, tyranny and superstition: “He who kills a man kills a reasonable creature … but he who destroys a good book (or speech, movie, drawing or debate) destroys reason itself.”

So where are the defenders of freedom and reason now who will speak against this suppression, even if not politically expedient? Without free thought and speech, no civilization can survive.

Gary Callahan lives in Fort Collins.

NED (National Endowment for Revolution) NGOs In Ukraine

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AHALAR Center for Humane Technologies
NGO Strengthening
$35,230
Furthering Ukraine’s Democratic Transition
To increase civil society’s influence on Ukraine’s democratic transition by facilitating cooperation between NGOs and the media. AHALAR will organize three training seminars for 60 representatives from the media and civil society, a four-day study trip to Warsaw for 12 participants focusing on successful examples and best practices of cooperation between civil society and the media in the Polish context, a small grants competition and an online networking platform at http://www.activarte.org.ua.

Alliance Center
Accountability
$24,758
Promoting Accountability in Eastern Ukraine
To increase the accountability of local governments in eastern Ukraine. The Donetsk-based Alliance will conduct four workshops and convene eight working groups to strengthen the capacity of newly formed local civic councils. The events will focus on using tools and strategies for networking, monitoring and advocacy campaigns to help the councils be more effective in engaging and influencing local government activities. Alliance will also develop and maintain a resource library to disseminate information and best practices and hold a three-day final conference for 30 council members.

Association of Ukrainian Law Enforcement Monitors
Human Rights
$38,334
Monitoring Human Rights Compliance by Law Enforcement Agencies
To promote Ukraine’s adherence to international human rights standards. The Association will conduct three trainings in Ukraine’s regions for a total of 60 NGO activists, monitor human rights violations by the police, and publish the results in its annual report, as well as develop recommendations to prevent future abuses. The Association will also print and distribute 300 copies of the report in Ukrainian and English.

Center for International Private Enterprise
Developing Market Economy
$357,707
Building Advocacy Momentum
To build the capacity of Ukrainian business associations and improve the entrepreneurial climate through coalition-based advocacy. CIPE will build the skills of reform-minded business leaders through training seminars, workshops and small grants designed to stimulate advocacy on targeted issues. CIPE will also support partner business associations to advocate for improvements in the entrepreneurial environment with a focus on reducing corruption and improving public-private dialogue.

Center for Research on Social Perspectives in the Donbas
Freedom of Information
$34,995
Supporting Independent Regional Media
To continue disseminating independent information about and for Ukraine’s regions. The Center will maintain its popular news website, OstriV (www.ostro.org). NED support will cover the costs of three correspondents, including two in the Donetsk region and one in Kyiv, who will produce more than 100 analytical and 5,000 informational items for the website. Assistance will also be used to cover a portion of the Center’s basic operating costs.

Center for Society Research
Human Rights
$24,850
Promoting Freedom of Assembly
To promote greater awareness of the freedom of assembly. As part of a larger, national advocacy campaign, the Center will monitor freedom of assembly throughout the country, including the reaction of the authorities, and disseminate the results of its monitoring via a website.

Center UA
Accountability
$22,600
Promoting the Accountability of Public Officials
To increase the accountability of public figures in Ukraine. The Center UA will continue to operate its unique interactive website, Vladometr.org (Powermeter), which monitors, documents and assesses promises made by politicians, officials and prominent public figures.

Cherkasy Regional Organization of Committee Voters of Ukraine
Accountability
$22,000
Promoting Civic Activism and Government Accountability in Central Ukraine
To promote civic activism and government accountability in the Cherkasy region. The Cherkasy CVU will hold five workshops for activists and local councilors on increasing cross-sectoral communication, improving interaction between voters, civil society and local government, and working with the public to solve pressing local issues. The CVU will also conduct a campaign to monitor local councilors, MPs and mayors of major cities from the region that will analyze pre-election platforms of those elected officials and assess their performance since the elections. Results will be posted on a special section of the CVU’s website, deputat.ck.ua.

Chernihiv City Youth Organization Educational Center “Initiative”
NGO Strengthening
$28,270
Promoting Local Activism in Chernihiv Region
To strengthen civil society in the northern Ukrainian region of Chernihiv. The Initiative will organize a series of nine workshops and trainings for NGO representatives, journalists and members of district councils from seven districts in the Chernihiv region to resolve local problems through inter-sectoral cooperation. Following the trainings, six teams of participants will receive small grants to address local challenges. The Initiative will also publish seven issues of its newspaper and convene a final conference.

Chernivtsi Committee of Voters of Ukraine
Accountability
$33,650
Promoting Accountability in Southwestern Ukraine
To foster government accountability and transparency in southwestern Ukraine. The Chernivtsi CVU will monitor the activities of city council deputies in the Chernivtsi and Khmelnytsky regions, produce four monitoring reports and publish them in its Krok Zakhid newspaper with a print run of 1,600 copies. It will hold seven roundtables to advocate for creating legal norms on public participation in self-governing bodies and to foster relations between deputies and the public. The CVU will also convene seven training seminars and produce 600 copies of an advocacy manual for deputies, and launch an information campaign to promote public participation in local communities. During the campaign, the CVU will survey 2,000 people and disseminate 1,500 copies of a “how to” booklet on civic activism.

Chernivtsi Society “Ukrainian People’s House in Chernivtsi”
NGO Strengthening
$25,020
Enhancing Civic Journalism and NGO Cooperation
To develop the communication skills of youth activists and enhance cooperation of NGOs in the Chernivtsi and Kirovohrad regions. The Society will organize a four-month course in civic journalism and a media competition for 70 youth leaders, as well as produce a website, guidebook and two issues of its Toloka (Community) newspaper. The NGO will also organize a study tour for the eight most promising participants and bring together 100 activists for a final conference.

Coalition of Cherkassy Youth NGOs “Moloda Cherkaschyna”
NGO Strengthening
$31,855
Promoting Youth Activism in Central Ukraine
To strengthen youth involvement in civil society by enhancing a network of activists and organizations in central Ukraine. The Coalition will organize two networking seminars and a six-day training for approximately 50 youth activists in four regions of central Ukraine: Kremenchug, Cherkassy, Kirovohrad and Poltava. The Coalition will also conduct an information and monitoring campaign on youth policy in the four regions, along with four civic actions developed by participating young activists

Dniprovsky Center for Social Research
Freedom of Information
$23,830
Promoting Freedom of Information and Accountability in Dnipropetrovsk
To increase access to independent news and information in Ukraine’s eastern region of Dnipropetrovsk. The Center will continue producing its online newspaper Novyi Format (www.nf.dp.ua), which features regional news and analysis in Ukrainian and Russian. The Center will monitor the activities of elected officials, conduct an opinion poll, and convene three roundtables to strengthen the professionalism of 20 journalists and NGO representatives. The Center will also maintain and update its website on NGO developments in the region at http://www.dcsi.dp.ua.13-880

Donetsk Press Club
Freedom of Information
$38,000
Fostering Freedom of Information in Eastern Ukraine
To increase the capacity of journalists and improve the professionalism of media in eastern Ukraine. The Press Club will organize 20 meetings covering important national and regional issues for journalists and media outlets throughout the Donetsk region. It will also convene six online workshops on solving pertinent local problems for 60 representatives of Donetsk-based NGOs, media, local authorities and experts.  All activities will be publicized on the Club’s website at http://pclub.dn.ua.

Donetsk “Committee of Voters of Ukraine”
Freedom of Information
$49,440
Promoting Civic Journalism in Eastern Ukraine
To promote civic journalism in the eastern Donetsk region. The Donetsk CVU will develop an online platform for civic journalism by holding a new media barcamp for bloggers and conducting a four-month school of multimedia journalism for 20 civic journalists. Twelve of the most promising participants will be selected to intern for six months at the CVU’s portal, NGO.donetsk.ua. The CVU will also hold a public competition for reporting by civic journalists and bloggers on the “Unexpected Donbass.”

Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation (DIF)
Democratic Ideas and Values
$41,298
Stimulating Dialogue on Transition Processes
To stimulate informed debate and dialogue among civil society, government and the general public on issues relating to Ukraine’s transition to democracy. Through three national polls, eight expert surveys, 10 roundtables, monthly bulletins and a quarterly scholarly journal, DIF will help ensure that Ukraine’s leaders are informed about public opinion, while at the same time making the public aware about important policy debates.

Independent Association of Broadcasters
Human Rights
$44,875
Promoting Youth Human Rights Awareness
To raise awareness of human rights, protect freedom of speech, and educate youth about the role of media in democratic society. The Association will organize its fourth annual Kinomedia Festival, which will include film screenings and public lectures at universities in nine Ukrainian cities. The Association will also conduct a short film contest, focusing on media freedom, democracy and human rights, for students and young professionals from throughout Ukraine.

Institute of Mass Information
Freedom of Information
$36,450
Monitoring Freedom of the Media in Ukraine
To analyze current and pending legislation on the media and monitor violations of press freedom and attacks on journalists in Ukraine. The Institute will conduct independent field investigations into cases of extreme pressure or intimidation against journalists, publish an annual report on its monitoring, and disseminate the findings to media outlets and the public though three press conferences and its website, http://imi.org.ua.

Institute of Political Education
Accountability
$38,500
Strengthening Local Democracy
To foster democratic local and regional government in Ukraine. The Institute will conduct three-day training seminars in the Lviv, Chernihiv, Donetsk and Kyiv regions for 125 newly elected local and regional councilors. The trainings will promote a better understanding of the role and responsibilities of an elected official and how to best address local needs.

Institute of the Republic
Human Rights
$32,609
Promoting Freedom of Assembly
To promote of freedom of assembly. As part of a larger, national advocacy campaign to defend and advance this human right following the 2012 parliamentary elections, the Institute will conduct two training sessions for 24 campaign activists, organize six roundtables and six lectures in the regions on proposed legislation regulating freedom of assembly in Ukraine and the country’s international commitments, convene three press conferences in Kyiv, and print and distribute 15,000 leaflets publicizing campaign events.

International Republican Institute
Accountability
$275,000
Fostering Good Governance
To promote democratic governance practices in Ukraine. IRI will expand an innovative project model that has increased the capacity of the Cherkasy municipality to implement best practices in good governance. IRI will expose new municipalities to the innovative reform ideas currently being implemented in Cherkasy, and mentor the administrations in Ternopil and Ivano-Frankivsk during the reform process, bolstering existing demand for democratic reform amongst the citizenry, and developing the advocacy capacity of civil society to channel that demand.

Journal Krytyka Ltd.
Freedom of Information
$33,304
Promoting Media Sustainability
To strengthen independent media and democratic ideas and values. The Journal will launch an online version of its prominent intellectual publication, which contains analytical pieces on important political, economic and social issues related to Ukraine’s democratic transition. The new website, Krytyka Online, will also serve as a networking platform, attracting a new generation of readers and contributing to the journal’s sustainability strategy. Endowment funds will be used to support the re-design and re-launch of the Krytyka website and networking platform at http://krytyka.com.

Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KHRPG)
Human Rights
$32,717
Providing Information and Analysis on Human Rights Issues
To promote and safeguard human rights. During a year in which Ukraine’s human rights behavior will come under scrutiny while it holds the OSCE chairmanship, the KHRPG will produce a series of publications on human rights in Ukrainian, Russian, and English; maintain a virtual human rights library on its website http://www.khpg.org; and operate a separate website documenting and assisting victims of human rights abuses. It will also continue monitoring draft legislation and providing recommendations to lawmakers. Finally, the KHRPG will organize a School for Human Rights Leaders, enabling 40 activists from human rights organizations to develop management and financial skills.

Kherson City Association of Journalists “South”
Human Rights
$31,195
Promoting Human Rights through a Documentary Film Festival
To cover the partial costs of its 10th annual human rights film festival, Docudays UA. The theme of this year’s anniversary festival is ‘Vybor – Yest!’ (There is a Choice!). The unique event will again feature domestic and international human rights documentary films and will include public discussions and debates led by human-rights NGO representatives and experts. Endowment support will be used to cover part of the festivals’ seven-day inauguration in Kyiv in March 2013.

Kherson City Association of Journalists “South”
Human Rights
$42,429
Promoting Human Rights through a Traveling Film Festival
To raise public awareness of human rights. The Association will organize the traveling version of its 10th annual human rights film festival, Docudays UA, in 24 regions of Ukraine. The traveling festival will feature 25 domestic and international human rights documentary films and will include over 260 public discussions, seminars, performances and debates led by human rights activists and NGO representatives.

Kherson Committee of Voters of Ukraine
Accountability
$40,310
Promoting Government Accountability in Southern Ukraine
To monitor the work of local and regional councils in southern Ukraine. The Kherson CVU will track the implementation of local election platforms and promises in the Kherson region. Focus groups in Kherson, Novokakhovsk, Kakhovsk, Tsurupynsk and Skadovsk will inform local citizens and officials about the monitoring program. The CVU will produce an analytical report, online postings, two special editions of a newspaper, and a summary booklet for distribution during four seminars, a roundtable and press conference.

Kherson Regional Charity and Health Foundation
Accountability
$24,540
Fostering Accountability and Transparency in Southern Ukraine
To increase the accountability of local and regional authorities in the southern region of Kherson. The Foundation, which publishes the popular regional newspaper Vgoru, will increase citizens’ access to information about the activities of local and regional governments by conducting and publishing a bimonthly newspaper supplement titled ‘People and the Authorities.’ The supplement will include columns focusing on different aspects of government performance and the activities of elected officials, as well as four in-depth investigative journalism pieces on pressing issues in the region’s rural areas. All materials will be available online on the newspaper’s website, http://www.vgoru.org.

Lion Society
NGO Strengthening
$48,084
Promoting Local Activism
To continue promoting cooperation and local activism in central, southern and eastern Ukraine. The Society will organize 14 seminars for up to 220 local activists and representatives of local authorities to promote best practices in engaging local governments to resolve local issues, Sixteen promising participants from NGOs will take part in two, four-day study tours in western Ukraine, including two seminars in Lviv. The Society will also publish three brochures containing the seminar materials in print runs of 300 copies each and distribute them to local activists, community leaders, local government representatives and the media.

National Democratic Institute for International Affairs
NGO Strengthening
$371,000
Building Capacity for Domestic Election Monitoring
To build the capacity of an indigenous monitoring initiative in Ukraine and promote a freer and fairer May 2014 presidential election. NDI will assist Opora in improving the governance, management, communications, strategic planning, and technical aspects of its election observation work by implementing a series of recommendations from an NDI-administered assessment.-020GG

New Generation Youth Organization
NGO Strengthening
$33,879
Strengthening Local Civil Society in Rural Communities
To increase the capacity of civic initiatives in rural regions of southern Ukraine. The organization will hold two, three-day trainings, one in each of the neighboring Mykolaiv and Kherson regions, for 25 representatives of local NGOs. New Generation will work with 10 of the best participants to carry out work plans to strengthen their local organizations. To assist local groups with solving problems in their communities, New Generation will award eight mini-grants of up to $700. A conference, bringing together all 50 participants, will be convened at the end of the project to facilitate an exchange of lessons learned and further collaboration.

Odesa Committee of Voters of Ukraine
Political Processes
$44,085
Monitoring Local Government in Southern Ukraine
To monitor the work of local elected officials in southern Ukraine. The Odesa CVU will conduct two training seminars on monitoring for 10 activists. It will continue to monitor regional and local councils in Odessa, Kotovsk, Rozdilnya, Bilhorod-Dnistrovsk, Izmail, Pozdilnya Izmail, and Reni. To disseminate its findings, the CVU will produce and distribute 6,000 copies of the preliminary monitoring results and 12,000 copies of the final monitoring results in its bulletin IzbirKom, regularly publish related articles through local online and print media, including its website at http://www.izbirkom.od.ua, and convene three roundtable discussions.

Open Society Foundation (OSF) – Ukraine
Accountability
$33,980
Promoting Legislative Accountability
To continue monitoring and publicizing the activities of deputies and political parties represented in the Ukrainian parliament. The OSF will publish quarterly monitoring reports, prepare two versions of its annual monitoring report, and a series of regionally-focused quarterly reports all of which focus on the performance of elected officials. All the reports will be available online at the OSF’s website, http://www.deputat.org.ua, and distributed electronically to parliamentarians, NGOs and the media. It will also conduct nine regional public roundtables on the program for elected officials and NGO  representatives.

Polissya Foundation for International and Regional Research
Accountability
$20,000
Improving the Accountability Skills of Journalists
To increase the analytical skills of journalists so they can hold accountable deputies in the Chernihiv region. Polissya will conduct three trainings focusing on new media and analytical journalism for 12 local journalists. Each journalist will create a blog to monitor the fulfillment of electoral promises by local deputies. In addition, Polissya will produce and distribute an analytical report and convene two press conferences on the project.

Public Organization Telekritika
Freedom of Information
$58,250
Promoting a Pluralistic and Balanced Media Environment in Ukraine
To foster transparency and promote the professionalism of the media sector. While serving as an independent resource to assist journalists, Telekritika will continue to monitor Ukraine’s media outlets for censorship, restrictions on freedom of the press, and harassment and physical attacks against journalists. The monitoring results will be published on Telekritika’s website (www.telekritika.kiev.ua) and in its print journal, Telekritika.

Regional Press Development Institute (RPDI)
Accountability
$50,000
Promoting Government Transparency
To promote government transparency and accountability by improving the quality and responsiveness of government-run websites and e-governance initiatives. RPDI will monitor the effectiveness of 56 government websites, disseminate the findings of its monitoring, and work with government bodies on improving the sites’ contents and performance. To mark the end of the three-year project, RPDI will produce a comprehensive analytical report and present it at a press conference in Kyiv.

School for Policy Analysis of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy
Democratic Ideas and Values
$52,650
Promoting Constitutional Reform
To promote constitutional reform. Building on previous NED-supported projects, which developed a series of proposals for constitutional reform, the organization will deepen public engagement and broaden debate on the issue by conducting a nation-wide poll, publishing a set of online informational resources, producing 1,500 copies of a brochure and a series of monthly articles, and convening a roundtable with 30 experts, government officials and NGO representatives.

Sumy Regional Committee of Youth Organizations
NGO Strengthening
$49,866
Promoting Civic Activism in Northeastern Ukraine
To foster the development of civil society in rural areas of northeastern Ukraine. The Committee will work with its network of over 30 NGOs to increase civil society initiatives in the Sumy and Kharkiv regions. It will hold three trainings for 60 NGO activists, maintain its website at http://www.molod.sumy.ua, publish seven issues of its bulletin Spalakh, support five local initiatives through a mini-grants competition, and convene a regional conference for 30 activists. 2013-88

Ukrainian Catholic University
Human Rights
$32,740
Promoting Religious Freedom
To promote freedom of conscience through an informed analysis of religious rights and obstructions to religious freedom. The Ukrainian Catholic University will continue to operate its Religious Information Service of Ukraine (RISU), an online news agency (www.risu.org.ua) that covers issues of church-state relations, religious rights, and conflicts between Ukraine’s various faith-based communities. NED support will cover the costs of staff salaries, website development and maintenance, news correspondents, and two roundtables. The unique website will publish more than 2,000 articles and analyses during the coming year.

Ukrainian Center for Economic and Political Research Named After Oleksandr Razumkov
Democratic Ideas and Values
$26,660
Analyzing Ukraine’s Democratic Development
To continue publishing National Security and Defense, one of the most widely read policy journals in Ukraine. NED support will be used to produce two issues in 2013. Each issue, to be published in an edition of 3,000 copies in Ukrainian and 800 copies in English, will provide a thorough examination of issues of particular importance to Ukraine’s democratic transition.

Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research (UCIPR)
Political Processes
$79,250
Promoting Transparency in Political Processes
To promote public discussion on democracy-related topics in Ukraine. UCIPR will conduct nine research projects on various aspects of democratic development. The think tank will organize four focus groups bringing together representatives of civil society and the authorities, three roundtables, two in the country’s regions and one in Kyiv, and a conference. This year, UCIPR will focus on political party transparency and reform as well as examine the state of local democracy. Two studies, on local democracy and political party communications, will be published in 500 copies each.

Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union
Human Rights
$49,960
Promoting Human Rights
To raise awareness about human rights in Ukraine. The Union will produce the 2012 edition of its annual report on the country’s human rights situation, publish 1,500 copies in Ukrainian and 300 copies in English, prepare 300 copies on compact disc, and make the document available on its website at http://www.helsinki.org.ua. The Union will also organize a press conference and a roundtable to highlight the report’s findings.

Ukrainian Youth Association of Ukraine (SUM)
NGO Strengthening
$40,070
Strengthening Civil Society in Central and Eastern Ukraine
To strengthen youth civil society organizations in the Chernihiv, Donetsk, Zaporizha and Kirovohrad regions of Ukraine. SUM will conduct three training seminars for 30 potential civic leaders in the Zaporizha region as well as one seminar for 30 NGO leaders from all four regions; organize four working meetings for 35 NGO leaders and a two-day conference for 40 participants and hold a mini-grant competition that will provide funding for six local civic initiatives.

Vinnytsia Regional Committee of Youth Organizations
NGO Strengthening
$33,170
Mobilizing Communities in the Vinnytsia Region
To develop the skills of local civil society leaders to more effectively mobilize communities and engage them in solving pertinent local problems. The program will include four trainings and three study visits for local activists, as well as a mini-grant program that will provide support to five community activism projects. The Committee will produce five video clips and three interviews about successfully implemented projects and publicize them through local websites, radio and TV stations and a press conference.

Youth Alternative
Democratic Ideas and Values
$68,170
Preparing Ukraine’s Future Leaders
To promote youth activism and engagement in government processes. Youth Alternative will continue and expand its government internship program. The organization will select 35 students from leading Kyiv universities to serve eight-month fellowships in the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s national legislature. In addition, it will select 140 students to serve five-month fellowships at local councils in 20 regions. Interns will participate in 47 related events, including orientation, training seminars and roundtables. They will also produce educational booklets, with a total print run of 500 copies.

Zhytomyr Youth Civic Organization “Modern Format”
Democratic Ideas and Values
$39,962
Promoting Civic Engagement Among Youth in Northern Ukraine
To engage youth in the process of strengthening and implementing democratic ideas and values in their communities. Modern Format will organize two, parallel, year-long schools that will present the core ideas and values of democracy and human rights through two different perspectives. One school will target journalists; the other will be for civic activists. A total of 100 youth people in the Zhytomyr region will take part in the program.

Accountability
$31,293
Strengthening Transparency in Northeastern Ukraine
To promote transparency and accountability in the use of public funds in northeastern Ukraine. The organization will train civic activists to identify corruption in local governments. It will also produce a final report to be disseminated through press conferences.

Freedom of Information
$21,139
Strengthening Investigative Journalism and Intersectoral Cooperation
To boost the capacity for investigative journalism and increase cooperation between journalists and civil society. The organization will hold basic trainings and advanced workshops for journalists and support a series of investigative pieces. It will also work with local community councils to monitor the impact of the investigative articles and produce a final report on best practices and lessons learned from the program.

$36,882
Analyzing Regional Security
To stimulate public discussion on and policy responses to threats to democracy in Ukraine’s regions. The organization will identify and foster debate on key issues while developing and advocating for policy responses. It will organize roundtables, print and distribute its bulletin, and publish articles in regional newspapers.

$13,674
Promoting Civic Journalism
To stimulate civic journalism among youth. The organization will trainings in for youth activists from local communities and NGOs. Young people will learn how to develop and create content focusing on issues that affect the lives of citizens for social media. The most active participants will be selected to take part in a master class with a well-known Ukrainian journalist.

Human Rights
$20,287
Defending Human Rights
To educate and inform youth about defending their basic civil rights. The organization will conduct seminars and trainings on recognizing, addressing and resolving day-to-day civic rights violations. To inform and educate a wider audience, the organization will produce and post a series of online training videos and informational materials, as well as publish 1,000 copies of a legal handbook.

$40,892
Promoting Awareness of Rights and Freedoms in Southern Ukraine
To raise awareness of legal and human rights in southern Ukraine. The organization will maintain a legal clinic providing free legal aid to the public and organize a series of events drawing attention to rights abuses, including roundtables for representatives of the local authorities, roundtables for the NGO community, and public lectures on legal rights. It will also conduct an extensive advertising campaign on rights issues, including leaflets and other materials, billboards, banners and TV spots. It will also publish bimonthly columns in local newspapers and disseminate a monthly e-bulletin on legal and human rights.

$30,000
Fostering Human Rights Networks
To strengthen a network of human rights organizations. The organization will convene a training for representatives of human rights NGOs and initiative groups, conduct trainings in towns and villages, and operate and publicize a human rights hotline and reception centers that will provide free legal assistance to citizens.

$21,790
Promoting Human Rights
To promote human rights. The organization will conduct a training for regional activists to improve human rights monitoring. Following the training, the organization will organize volunteer groups of training participants, lawyers, elected officials and other activists to monitor human rights abuses. These groups will track reported cases and utilize the information for broader advocacy campaigns.

NGO Strengthening
$29,469
Fostering Intersectoral Cooperation in Central Ukraine
To inform, educate and activate civil society. The organization will organize trainings on proposal writing, project development, and community and civil society development projects, as well as on project implementation, to foster civil society.

$19,920
Promoting Community Activism in Southern Ukraine
To stimulate civic activism in southern Ukraine. The organization will conduct trainings in villages and towns to facilitate the implementation of local projects targeting community problems, and convene a roundtable webinar with community representatives to present project outcomes and lessons learned for representatives from Ukrainian and international NGOs.

$19,507
Strengthening the Capacity of Youth NGOs
To strengthen youth activism. The organization will support a network of youth organizations and initiative groups through a series of trainings to increase members’ capacity and professionalism. It will provide informational and technical support for the youth organizations’ events and activities. The organization will promote the network by holding a press conference and disseminating a booklet highlighting the organizations’ activities to local government offices, media, schools, and other NGOs.

Grant descriptions are from the 2013 NED Annual Report.

National Endowment for Democracy
1025 F Street NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20004 / (202) 378-9700
info@ned.org

Recovery From Regional Nuclear War–(highly technical)

Multidecadal global cooling and unprecedented ozone loss

post nuke war

Everything Is A Rich Man’s Trick/The Brotherhood of the Bell


JFK to 911 Everything Is A Rich Man’s Trick 


The Brotherhood of the Bell

we are the bloodthirsty warmongers

Villain or victim? Vladimir Putin in aggressive form - but we may be pushing him too far
PETER HITCHENS: Forget ‘evil’ Putin – we are the bloodthirsty warmongers 

daily mail

This is a time of year for memories, and the ones that keep bothering me are from my childhood, which seemed at the time to be wholly happy and untroubled.

Yet all the adults in my life still dwelt in the shadow of recent war. This was not the glamorous, exciting side of war, but the miserable, fearful and hungry aspect.

My mother, even in middle-class suburban prosperity, couldn’t throw away an eggshell without running her finger round it to get out the last of the white. No butcher dared twice to try to cheat her on the weights.

Haunted all her life by rationing, she would habitually break a chocolate bar into its smallest pieces. She had also been bombed from the air in Liverpool, and had developed a fatalism to cope with the nightly danger of being blown to pieces, shocking to me then and since.

I am now beset by these ingrained memories of shortage and danger because I seem surrounded by people who think that war might be fun. This seems to happen when wartime generations are pushed aside by their children, who need to learn the truth all over again.

It seemed fairly clear to me from her experiences that war had in fact been a miserable affair of fear, hunger, threadbare darned clothes, broken windows and insolent officials. And that was a victory, more or less, though my father (who fought in it) was never sure of that.

Now I seem surrounded by people who actively want a war with Russia, a war we all might lose. They seem to believe that we are living in a real life Lord Of The Rings, in which Moscow is Mordor and Vladimir Putin is Sauron. Some humorous artists in Moscow, who have noticed this, have actually tried to set up a giant Eye of Sauron on a Moscow tower.

We think we are the heroes, setting out with brave hearts to confront the Dark Lord, and free the saintly Ukrainians from his wicked grasp.

This is all the most utter garbage. Since 1989, Moscow, the supposed aggressor, has – without fighting or losing a war – peacefully ceded control over roughly 180 million people, and roughly 700,000 square miles of valuable territory.

The EU (and its military wing, Nato) have in the same period gained control over more than 120 million of those people, and almost 400,000 of those square miles.

Until a year ago, Ukraine remained non-aligned between the two great European powers. But the EU wanted its land, its 48 million people (such a reservoir of cheap labour!) its Black Sea coast, its coal and its wheat.

So first, it spent £300 million (some of it yours) on anti-Russian ‘civil society’ groups in Ukraine.

Then EU and Nato politicians broke all the rules of diplomacy and descended on Kiev to take sides with demonstrators who demanded that Ukraine align itself with the EU.

PUTIN: The crisis should be resolved at some point

Fall: There is a complacent joy about the collapse of the rouble. Above, the dollar-rouble rate on Friday

Imagine how you’d feel if Russian politicians had appeared in Edinburgh in September urging the Scots to vote for independence, or if Russian money had been used to fund pro-independence organisations.

Then a violent crowd (20 police officers died at its hands, according to the UN) drove the elected president from office, in violation of the Ukrainian constitution.

During all this process, Ukraine remained what it had been from the start – horrendously corrupt and dominated by shady oligarchs, pretty much like Russia.

If you didn’t want to take sides in this mess, I wouldn’t at all blame you. But most people seem to be doing so.

Taking sides: Britain and the US have backed the Gulf states' desire to destroy the Assad government in Syria. While Russia has been a major obstacle

There seems to be a genuine appetite for confrontation in Washington, Brussels, London… and Saudi Arabia.

There is a complacent joy abroad about the collapse of the rouble, brought about by the mysterious fall in the world’s oil price.

It’s odd to gloat about this strange development, which is also destroying jobs and business in this country. Why are the Gulf oil states not acting – as they easily could and normally would – to prop up the price of the product that makes them rich?

I do not know, but there’s no doubt that Mr Putin’s Russia has been a major obstacle to the Gulf states’ desire to destroy the Assad government in Syria, and that the USA and Britain have (for reasons I long to know) taken the Gulf’s side in this.

But do we have any idea what we are doing? Ordinary Russians are pretty stoical and have endured horrors unimaginable to most of us, including a currency collapse in 1998 that ruined millions. But until this week they had some hope.

If anyone really is trying to punish the Russian people for being patriotic, by debauching the rouble, I cannot imagine anything more irresponsible. It was the destruction of the German mark in 1922, and the wipeout of the middle class that resulted, which led directly to Hitler.

Stupid, ill-informed people nowadays like to compare Mr Putin with Hitler. I warn them and you that, if we succeed in overthrowing Mr Putin by unleashing hyper-inflation in Russia, we may find out what a Russian Hitler is really like. And that a war in Europe is anything but fun.

So, as it’s almost Christmas, let us sing with some attention that bleakest and yet loveliest of carols, It Came Upon The Midnight Clear, stressing the lines that run ‘Man at war with man hears not the love song which they bring. Oh, hush the noise, ye men of strife, and hear the angels sing’.

Or gloat at your peril over the scenes of panic in Moscow.

Kill the Banker

Kill the Banker

vice

Aftermath of the Wall Street bombing of 1920. Photo by New York Daily News via Getty Images 

A little violence can sometimes work to defend against predatory bankers. Consider the farmers of Le Mars, Iowa. The year was 1933, the height of the Great Depression.

A finance bubble on Wall Street had crashed the economy, the gears of industrial production had ground to a halt, and 13 million Americans had lost their jobs. Across the Corn Belt, farmers couldn’t get fair prices for milk and crops, their incomes plummeted, and their mortgages went unpaid. Seeing opportunity, banks foreclosed on their properties in record numbers, leaving the farmers homeless and destitute.

So they organized. Under the leadership of a boozing, fist-fighting Iowa farmer named Milo Reno, who had a gift for oratory, several thousand farmers across the Midwest struck during 1933, refusing to sell their products. “We’ll eat our wheat and ham and eggs” went the popular doggerel of the movement. “Let them”—the bankers—”eat their gold.”

They called it a farmers’ holiday and named their group the Farmers’ Holiday Association. In speeches across the Midwest, Reno inveighed against “the destructive program of the usurers”—by which he meant, of course, the ruinous policies of Wall Street and the banking industry. Farmers, he said, had been “robbed by a legalized system of racketeering.” He said that the “forces of special privilege” were undermining “the very foundations of justice and freedom upon which this country was founded.” He compared the farmers’ fight to that of the Founders, who had taken up arms. He warned that the farmers might have to “join hands with those who favor the overthrow of government,” a government that he considered a servant of corporations. “You have the power to take the great corporations,” he said, and “shake them into submission.” One of his deputies in Iowa, John Chalmers, ordered FHA men to use “every weapon at their command.” “When I said weapons,” Chalmers added, “I meant weapons.”

In Le Mars, the weapon of choice was the hanging rope. On April 27, 1933, in a series of incidents that would become national news, hundreds of farmers descended on a farm that was being foreclosed under the eye of the local sheriff and his deputies. They smacked the lawmen aside, stopped the foreclosure, and dragged the sheriff to a ball field in town, where they brandished their noose. Instead of hanging the sheriff, however, they went for a bigger prize: the county judge, Charles C. Bradley, who was presiding over the foreclosures.

Bradley was seized at his bench, dragged from the courtroom, driven into the countryside, dumped on a dusty road, stripped naked, “beaten, mauled, smeared with grease and jerked from the ground by a noose as [the] vengeful farmers shouted their protests against his foreclosure activities,” reported the Pittsburgh Press. According to one account, the mob “pried his clenched teeth open with a screwdriver and poured alcohol down his throat.” An oily hubcap was placed on his head, the oil running down his face as the farmers smashed Iowa dirt into his mouth. “That’s his crown,” they said.

The judge was hauled into the air on the hanging rope, until he fell unconscious, and was then hauled up again. When he revived, the farmers told him to pray. “Only a prayer for Divine guidance which Judge Bradley uttered as he knelt in the dust of a country road sobered the mob,” reported the Pittsburgh Press, decrying the event as a harbinger of “open revolution.”

The farmers, knowing they were about to involve themselves in murder, spared Bradley. He was bloodied, covered in filth, humiliated, and this was enough.

The threat of continued unrest fomented by Reno and the FHA had its intended effect: State legislatures across the Midwest enacted moratoriums on farm foreclosures. By 1934, the country was seething with revolt. Industrial laborers in Toledo, Ohio, and Minneapolis, Minnesota; dockworkers across the West Coast; and textile workers from Maine to the Deep South mounted strikes and protests demanding fair pay, worker protections, and union representation. They encountered brute force at the hands of local authorities and thugs in the pay of business interests. The strikers in Toledo and Minneapolis responded not by peaceably dispersing but by fighting back with clubs and rocks. According to the newspapers, a savage battle unfolded between autoworkers and the militia of the Ohio National Guard in Toledo, with the tear-gassed strikers unleashing their own gas barrage against the authorities, “matching shell for shell with the militiamen.” Truck drivers fought in bloody hand-to-hand combat against the enforcers of the pro-business Citizens’ Alliance in the streets of Minneapolis. A prominent corporate leader in the city was said to have announced, “This, this—is revolution!”

Indeed, it was in part the specter of violent revolution during the 1930s that spurred Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Congress to legislate the historic reform of capitalism called the New Deal. The government protected labor from the cruel abuses of big business, legalized unions, established the social security system, and put the usurers on Wall Street under the thumb of the Securities and Exchange Commission and other federal watchdogs, locking them in the regulatory cage where they belonged. The people had spoken and forced the government to listen.

Milo Reno of the Farmers’ Holiday Association speaking at Cooper Union in New York City in 1934. Photo by Bettmann/Corbis

Following the Wall Street crash of 2008, which sent the country into the debacle of the Great Recession, I began writing a futurist novel inspired by my readings about the Le Mars revolt. I titled it Kill the Banker, in honor of William “Wild Bill” Langer, two-time governor of North Dakota during the 1930s, US senator from 1941 to 1959, and staunch supporter of the Farmers’ Holiday Association. During a campaign stop at the height of the Depression, he told voters, “Shoot the banker if he comes on your farm. Treat him like a chicken thief.” We don’t have politicians like Wild Bill anymore.

In the novel I imagined a cabal of terrorists who wage a campaign against Wall Street. Like the Red Army Faction—Marxist maniacs who from the 1970s through the 90s spread terror across Europe—my terrorists, who call themselves the Strangers, assassinate members of the elite banking class who have escaped justice. The Strangers go after Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, and Credit Suisse. They bomb the New York Stock Exchange. They have no ideology except slaughter of their perceived enemy, killing for the sake of killing, much as a man makes money for the sake of money—as an expression of power.

The Strangers take their hapless captives from Bank of America to a basement in the mountains of upstate New York, where they hold mock trials that they post to YouTube, passing judgment before the American masses: death by torture. The Wall Streeters protest their innocence as mere cogs in the machine. The Strangers strap them to a steel chair bolted to the floor, piss in their mouths, tear off their fingernails, spear out their eyes, smash their testicles with a ball-peen hammer, remove their intestines with a pair of pliers, string their guts like Christmas lights, and behead the sobbing victims with a rusty saw.

It was a lousy novel from the start, more agitprop than storytelling, and I abandoned the project after 30,000 words of gore, concluding that terrorists are as tediously predictable in fiction as they are loathsome in real life. The farmers of Le Mars would have wanted nothing to do with the Strangers.

Part of my research for the book was the historical precedent of terrorism against Wall Street. Until the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995—eclipsed only by the attacks of 9/11—the Wall Street bombing of September 16, 1920, was the most destructive act of terrorism on American soil. At noon, a horse and buggy, laden with 100 pounds of dynamite and 500 pounds of cast-iron sash weights for shrapnel, pulled up in front of 23 Wall Street, the offices of J. P. Morgan, the richest, most powerful, most ruthless investment banker of his time. Morgan had manipulated the national economy to his benefit, exploited workers, and destroyed lives. He was, like our current crop of financiers, a vicious bastard, and he was the likely target of the bomb.

The driver fled, and minutes later there was a terrible explosion. A “mushroom-shaped cloud of yellowish, green smoke,” said one observer, “mounted to a height of more than 100 feet, the smoke being licked by darting tongues of flame,” as “hundreds of wounded, dumb-stricken, white-faced men and women” fled in panic. Instantly, bodies were “blown to atoms”; a woman’s head, hat still on, was sent hurling into a concrete wall, where it stuck; and “great blotches of blood appeared on the white walls of several of Wall Street’s office buildings.”

Thirty-eight people were killed, 143 wounded. No group ever claimed responsibility, and the crime was never solved. It was likely the work of Italian socialist revolutionaries who had been on a bombing campaign across the US during the previous year, hitting elected officials and law enforcement. The Wall Street bombing was supposed to be their finest hour. Mostly they killed clerks, stenographers, and brokers—lowly office workers. J. P. Morgan wasn’t even in town that day. The attack, which caused $2 million in damage (about $24 million in today’s money), produced in the public only fear and revulsion and a newfound sympathy for Wall Street.

The ideology of revolutionary terrorism targeting big finance in the US originated with a Bavarian-born immigrant named Johann Most, who, upon his arrival in New York in 1882, observed—as accurately then as today—that “whoever looks at America will see: the ship is powered by stupidity, corruption, or prejudice.” He denounced Wall Street and the ruling class as “the reptile brood.” He wrote that “the existing system will be quickest and most radically overthrown by the annihilation of its exponents. Therefore, massacres of the enemies of the people must be set in motion.” In 1885 he published a book, Revolutionary War Science, to bring on the massacre. It had a helpful subtitle: A Little Handbook of Instruction in the Use and Preparation of Nitroglycerine, Dynamite, Gun-Cotton, Fulminating Mercury, Bombs, Fuses, Poisons, Etc.

Most was a deformed runt, his days spent in a fever of resentment, and in the end, though he traveled the country making speeches and fostering hatred, he didn’t throw a single bomb. He did, however, inspire others to eliminate the reptile brood. In 1892, Alexander Berkman, an anarchist agitator, tried to kill Henry Frick, partner of Andrew Carnegie in the Carnegie Steel Company, which was notorious for its maltreatment of workers. Later, Berkman was allegedly involved in the failed 1914 plot to kill industrialist John D. Rockefeller, who had presided over massacres of his striking employees. It was a catalogue of failures, whose sole result, perversely, was to turn public opinion in favor of the enemies of the people.

In the 1970s, carrying the banner of revolutionary destruction, the Weather Underground, a radical offshoot of Students for a Democratic Society, bombed a Bank of America branch as part of an anti-capitalist campaign whose targets included military installations, courthouses, corporate headquarters, the State Department, the Pentagon, and the US Capitol building. The Weathermen, as they were known, were gentlemanly in their attacks: Prior to detonation, they often issued an anonymous warning to evacuate the targeted site, in order that no person would be harmed. The scores of bombings in the 70s proved totally ineffective in achieving the Weathermen’s main goal: “the creation of a mass revolutionary movement” for the overthrow of the US government.

An unidentified man stands in the blown-out doorway of a downtown Oklahoma City business after the bombing in 1995. Photo by Rick Bowmer/AP 

On September 29, 2009, a 64-year-old Phoenix resident named Kurt Aho, who was suffering from cancer, stood outside his foreclosed home with a .357 Magnum and shot out the tires of two trucks sitting in his driveway. It was three years after the bursting of the housing bubble, and almost exactly one year after the onset of the Great Recession. Millions of homeowners, desperate and fearful, without jobs or revenue, couldn’t keep up with their mortgage payments. And the banksters came calling to kick them out.

The cars belonged to two real estate investors who said they had purchased Aho’s home out of foreclosure from Bank of America. Now they wanted to see their new property. Aho was in shock. He had lived in the house for 29 years, had raised his children there.

According to his daughter, Tammy Aho, he was experiencing financial troubles. He was a construction contractor. Unable to find enough work, he was living off credit and struggling with his illness. In June 2009, Aho had contacted Bank of America to ask for a loan modification. Bank representatives told him—”not directly,” said Tammy, “but in a roundabout way”—that he needed to fall behind on his payments. “They told him that if you get six months behind on your mortgage they will help you modify the loan.”

It would be a strategic default. He followed the advice. Bank of America assured him the modification was being processed. They assured him of this up to the very minute the property was sold at auction on September 29, when Aho found the two investors standing on his lawn.

Aho asked the investors for proof of ownership, but they had none at hand. They claimed the paperwork was still being completed. He told them to get off the property. They refused. That’s when the gun came out and the tires went flat and the two men fled. Aho, for the moment, had stopped the taking of his home.

Aho was responding not simply to his own personal crisis but to the widespread perception that the banks were coming after everyone. Starting roughly in 2000, more than a dozen financial institutions, Bank of America most prominently, colluded with mortgage lenders to extend home loans to anyone who could fog a mirror—basically a long line of suckers who were told they could own a big house with only a waitress’s tips. These risky loans, pooled into mortgage-backed securities that the banks knew to be lousy investments, were marketed as AAA-rated bonds and sold to institutional investors worldwide for trillions of dollars.

The banks, flush with cash, pumped more money into more shoddy home loans, with the lenders on the Street scamming to get more warm bodies to sign on the line. Real estate prices skyrocketed in the largest financial bubble in history. And when it burst, producing this country’s most severe housing-market collapse ever—worse than during the Great Depression—homeowners like Aho were left holding overpriced mortgages on houses whose real value had plummeted.

Between 1990 and 2014, the finance, insurance, and real estate sectors spent $3.8 billion lobbying Congress, and it was during those years that lawmakers in both parties increasingly did the bidding of their buyers by massively deregulating the finance industry. Congress overturned FDR’s banking reforms of the 1930s, allowing mega-mergers of banking, securities, and insurance companies. It relaxed the laws governing the operations of the mega-banks and opened financial markets to the abuses of instruments like mortgage-backed securities. And in the revolving door of corporatocracy and government, by the mid 1990s the bankers themselves had nailed jobs heading up the very institutions—the Federal Reserve, the SEC, the Department of the Treasury—mandated to enforce what few laws remained to keep the industry from preying whole-hog on the public.

Bank of America eventually settled at least 21 lawsuits from investors and regulators over securities fraud related to its peddling worthless mortgage-backed securities. The gamut of its frauds ranged from the obscene sophistication of junk mortgage bonds to the paper-pushing thuggery of predatory lending and unlawful foreclosure. According to the National Association of Attorneys General, Bank of America was among five mega-banks that organized the infamous “robo-signing” of illegal foreclosure affidavits, producing forged and fabricated documents to speed the eviction of homeowners so that the properties could be re-sold for more profit.

The bank played cruel games with homeowners, routinely promising them loan modifications—as in the case of Kurt Aho—only to claim to lose the paperwork, bullying ahead with the foreclosure. A class-action suit settled last February found the bank engaged in a “kickback scheme inflating the cost of insurance that homeowners were forced to buy.” The Department of Justice reported that one of the bank’s subsidiaries “wrongfully foreclosed upon active duty servicemembers without first obtaining court orders.” According to investigative journalist Matt Taibbi, the totality of Bank of America’s corruption and venality meant rigged bids in 2008’s multitrillion municipal bond market, dubious arbitration disputes with its credit-card holders, and rampant charging of account holders with bogus overdraft fees, robbing its own customers of $4.5 billion.

And this is just Bank of America. At least a dozen other large banks and mortgage lenders have been implicated in similar frauds.

Instead of handing out prison sentences, the government gave bailouts to Bank of America and its allies. The company would have flushed itself down the shitter after the 2008 crash if the Department of the Treasury hadn’t stepped in with a $45 billion infusion of cash in 2009. By 2011, according to Taibbi, the Federal Reserve had put taxpayers on the hook for as much as $55 trillion of the bank’s bad investments.

The tens of billions of dollars in fines forced by federal regulators on Bank of America and a dozen other financial behemoths were pittances measured against the real cost to the economy of the bank-created bubble and crash, which the US Government Accountability Office has conservatively estimated at $12.8 trillion. The government nevertheless crowed victory over a chastised Wall Street. Congress’s own specially appointed Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission found that executives at the highest level likely knew about—and possibly even condoned—the frauds committed by their companies. Yet only one executive went to jail. In a nation whose government has been captured by its bankers, this farce of enforcement, effectively a legalized system of racketeering, is the accepted norm.

Liberty Plaza in New York City on September 11, 2001. Photo by Susan Meiselas/Magnum Photos

Yet those who fought back against Wall Street did go to jail, or worse. In May 2009, for example, Daniel Gherman defended his home in Riverside, California, by booby-trapping it with phony bombs after it had been foreclosed. The bombs were ineffectual, but the homeowner was charged with four counts of possessing facsimile explosives.

In July 2010, a homeowner facing foreclosure drove his car to a PNC bank branch in Illinois late one evening and ignited a bomb, destroying the car and shattering the windows of the bank. No one was hurt, and the homeowner, David Whitesell, waited across the street for the cops to arrive. It’s been reported that his intention was to make a political statement. He was charged with arson and criminal damage to property with an incendiary device.

In February 2011, a man named Elias Mercado, of San Marcos, California, drove his car into the front door of a Bank of America branch at 4 AM. According to news reports, he plowed through two sets of glass double doors and hit a coffee table, a wall, a cubicle, a teller counter, and several plants. He backed up two times, hitting more furniture, and departed via the newly created exit where the double doors had stood. His car left a trail of bank parts, and he was later caught and charged with burglary of a building and evading arrest.

In April 2012, a man named James Ferrario, armed with an assault rifle, gunned down and killed a sheriff’s deputy and locksmith in Modesto, California, as the two men served an eviction on his apartment. And so on. A man in Florida, charged with arson and attempted manslaughter, set his home on fire when it was foreclosed. Another Florida man bulldozed his home to the ground before the bank could seize it. A California man fearing homelessness and suffering from a fatal illness robbed a Bank of America of $107,000 to fund his 17 percent mortgage.

It’s a depressing litany. No citizens came to their aid, no farmers with a rope rallied at their door, no Homeowners’ Holiday Association had their backs. The acts of defiance were rabid, isolated, hopeless, and ultimately meaningless.

Foreclosure #2, St. George, Utah, 2007. Photo by Steven B. Smith

In September 2011, Occupy Wall Street erupted on the scene. Here was a movement that held out the promise of uniting against the banking industry. I spent a good deal of time at Zuccotti Park—the protesters’ headquarters—as a reporter, though I was also a believer in the movement. When I saw a young woman holding a sign that said WALL STREET: THE ENEMY OF HUMANITY, I wanted to hug her. I wanted to tell her about Milo Reno and Wild Bill Langer.

The postmortem offered by the media was that the movement’s inability to formulate tangible goals, its lack of demands, its steadfast adherence to the principles of “non-hierarchy,” its refusal to elect or bow to a leadership, its unwillingness to embrace the traditional system of interest-group politics—all resulted in its self-destruction. Occupy, we were meant to believe, committed suicide because of its untenable framework.

This was not the whole story, of course. A movement that vowed to undo Wall Street was undone, at least in part, by federal and state and local governments bent on protecting Wall Street. We know this because of the work of the nonprofit Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, which in 2012 obtained a ream of documents from the US Department of Justice, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security—memos, emails, briefings—detailing how Occupy was targeted for destruction. The documents show that the FBI, the DHS, and local police departments coordinated to surveil, infiltrate, and undermine Occupy encampments across the nation.

“From its inception the FBI treated the Occupy movement as a potential criminal and terrorist threat,” said Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, executive director of the PCJF. Anti-terrorist branches of the FBI swung into action to deal with the threat of the Occupiers—who, it should be remembered, avowed and practiced a philosophy of nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience. The heavily redacted documents even state that members of the Occupy movement in New York, Seattle, Austin, Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio, Texas, were targeted for assassination by a person or persons the FBI refused to identify. According to the documents, “[ name redacted] planned to gather intelligence against the leaders of the protest groups and obtain photographs, then formulate a plan to kill the leadership via suppressed sniper rifles.” The FBI never informed Occupiers of the danger.

According to Verheyden-Hilliard, instead of protecting citizens from possible assassination, federal law enforcement ended up as “a de facto intelligence arm of Wall Street and Corporate America.” And when the final blow came, as journalist Dave Lindorff reported, the FBI and DHS helped local law enforcement plan and execute the raids on the encampments that drove out the Occupiers in Zuccotti Park and in dozens of other cities. Those raids were characterized by a terrific show of force. Beating, tear-gassing, mass arrest of peaceful protesters: This is how Occupy came to an end. The Occupiers offered no organized resistance. They scattered like leaves.

Sociologist Max Weber once observed that “the modern state is a compulsory association which organizes domination. It [seeks] to monopolize the legitimate use of physical force as a means of domination.” This monopoly on violence is the distinguishing characteristic of the modern nation-state, according to Weber. But Weber warns that the state’s use of physical force comes with a caveat: The state must prove its legitimacy by protecting the interests of the public—say, when police defend a crowd against a gun-wielding maniac.

The maniacs on Wall Street, of course, have friends at the highest rungs of government—a bought-and-sold government whose work as a servant of the wealthy and the powerful is unexcelled, but whose legitimacy as a protector of the public interest looks increasingly suspect. The people have a moral right to rise up against such a government and, ultimately, to question its monopoly on violence; this is the imperative of revolution. Good luck with that in the age of crowd-control devices, militarized police units, Hellfire drones, mass-surveillance systems, and the panoply of domestic laws that render even peaceful protest a potentially criminal act. The apparatus of state domination has grown ever larger, more powerful, complex, effective, and terrifying—at the same time, the domination of the state by corporate interests has been perfected as never before. One doubts the farmers of Le Mars these days would survive ten minutes with their pathetic length of hanging rope.

Police arrest demonstrators of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Photo by Christopher Anderson/Magnum Photos

When Kurt Aho shot out the tires of the cars of the two investors, a swarm of Phoenix police officers descended on his residence, including an armored-car unit, a SWAT unit, and sniper teams on adjacent rooftops. According to police, Aho was told to come out of the house, drop his weapon, and approach the armored car with his hands over his head. He appeared in his doorway, half-dressed, pistol in one hand, a beer in the other. There was a round of negotiations. Aho refused to depart from the premises. “You’re gonna have to kill me,” he said.

Tammy Aho raced to her father’s house and pleaded with officers to let her talk with him. She had recently lost her own house to foreclosure, and she was in the process of moving in with her father. “Not only would he be homeless if we lost this place,” Tammy told me—”my kids and I would be homeless.”

The cops rebuffed her. “I told the police, if you’re gonna shoot him, shoot him in the knees—buckle his knees. But they didn’t listen.”

An hour passed in the standoff. Kurt drank his beer. What happened next is disputed. Police claimed that Kurt opened fire, and the police answered with rubber bullets, hitting him in the arm and knocking him down. Tammy Aho says the cops fired without provocation, and that only then did Aho squeeze off several rounds, hitting the armored car. A well-placed bullet in his chest killed him instantly on his front lawn. “After they killed him,” Tammy told me, “the cops sat around eating pizza and taking pictures of each other and laughing like it was no big deal.”

Pleading With the Conscience Of A Nation With No Soul

Washington Post Op-ed: CIA report shows need for national conscience

Our belief in the national image is astonishingly resilient. Over more than two centuries, our conviction that we are a benign people, with only the best of intentions, has absorbed the blows of darker truths, and returned unassailable. We have assimilated the facts of slavery and ethnic cleansing of Native Americans, and we are still a good people; we became an empire, but an entirely benevolent one; we bombed Southeast Asia on a scale without precedent, but it had to be done, because we are a good people.

Even the atrocities of Abu Ghraib have been neutralized in our conscience by the overwhelming conviction that the national image transcends the particulars of a few exceptional cases. And now the Senate torture report has made the unimaginable entirely too imaginable, documenting murder, torture, physical and sexual abuse, and lies, none of them isolated crimes, but systematic policy, endorsed at the highest levels, and still defended by many who approved and committed them.

Again, it has become a conversation about the national image, this phoenix of self-deception that magically transforms conversations about what we have done into debates about what we look like. The report, claimed headlines, “painted a picture of an agency out of control,” and “portrays a broken CIA devoted to a failed approach.” The blow to the U.S. reputation abroad was seen as equally newsworthy as the details themselves, and the appalling possibility that there will never be any accountability for having broken our own laws, international law and the fundamental laws of human decency.

The national image is essentially a metaphor, and that metaphor operates differently in the United States than outside. Today, when we speak of how we are perceived in the wider world, we don’t seem to mean a coherent set of ideals about what America represents, or even an image at all, but rather something like a stock ticker that registers upticks and downdrafts in the value of our international brand. What people envision when they think about America isn’t really knowable, and in any case, it’s far easier to simply poll for the favorable and unfavorables. In April, a Gallup poll gave us the latest news from the market: up in Asia, recovering (after the spying scandals) in Europe, flat in South America, falling off peak in Africa. Expect a bear market in coming months.

The idea of a national image as essentially like a marketplace is an appealing one, especially in a country so in love with the market, so convinced they always rise, always recover, always recalibrate. America is always right, and markets are always right, so any deviation from a high-value assessment of the American brand is necessarily temporary. This conviction helps us keep at bay the thought that in many parts of the world, the national image includes scenes of waterboarding, of Americans smashing heads, forcing men to stand on broken limbs, killing by hypothermia and “rectal feeding,” which is rape.

At home, our sense of ourself is more psychologically constructed, like an amalgam of individual pictures. We bring to it the deep love of the lives we lead, so it becomes a composite, made of innumerable images of family and friends, of grandfathers who fought in the war, Thanksgiving dinners and the nice people from church who tend to the soup kitchen. It is a mostly stable image that comprises sepia-toned data points and the sentimental soft colors of Polaroid snapshots of picnics, beaches and candles on the birthday cake. This is who we are.

But that is not at all who we are. As long as the crimes done in our name remain unpunished, they remain our crimes. The lives we love — as many apologists for torture now openly claim — are purchased at the cost of extreme violence and brutality perpetrated on other people, many of them innocent, none of them deserving of torture.

We have come to a critical moment in the debate about torture. It’s no longer possible, as it was when the images of Abu Ghraib emerged in 2004, to pretend that these events were rare, exceptional or the work of a few rogue agents. Nor will it be easy to assimilate them into that beloved average image of our national goodness. We are confronted with our own barbarity, as we have been confronted with the barbarity of the Islamic State. We torture, they behead. We beat men senseless, slam their heads into walls, strip them naked and leave them to die, while they march men into a field and put bullets in their heads. We might still cling to the idea that our crimes are not quite so bad as theirs. But to quibble over the degree of cruelty we tolerate is to acknowledge that cruelty is now standard practice. Unless we punish the guilty, we can have no more illusions that there is anything fundamental about who we are, how we are governed or what religion we practice, that distinguishes us from the worst in the world.

How does the national image survive this? The usual forces will struggle to resist the new information. Some will wear blinders; others will see things selectively. But what do the rest of us do, everyone one of us who woke up, yesterday, to a powerful feeling of helplessness and shame? If the report leads to no further investigation, no indictments or prosecution, does it then just lay there, on the side of history, as something that can’t be assimilated, while the national image slowly comes back to its usual, gauzy, soft focus on our own unquestionable goodness?

If no one in public life is capable of punishing the guilty, if nothing comes of this but more denials and obfuscations, if the CIA is indeed more powerful than the president, the Congress and the Constitution, what is left of our beloved and benign national image?

Moral revolution begins at home, with a revolution in one’s own values. If you are horrified by what has happened, then you must remake your own mental picture of America, in yourself, in your own mind, ruthlessly and mercilessly, until it conforms to the truth of who we are. The first duty is not to look away.

But the crimes are so horrible, the injustice so vast, that it must go further than that. We should take our cues from a species of painting made throughout the Renaissance, vanitas images, which were a type of still life laden with reminders of death: skulls and hourglasses, guttering candles and fruit going bad. Vanitas elements, which also occurred in other kinds of paintings, reminded the living of the inexorable fact of death and Christians of the inevitable day of judgment. They compelled the faithful to see the skull always under the skin.

We are all, to some degree, narcissists, in love with our lives. But we must re-envision those lives with the hard truth of vanitas paintings. We must have the discipline to see the extent of our national depravity. We must bring it home to the very texture of the lives we lead. When you look at your children, remember dead children, torn to shreds by our smart bombs. When you sit by a warm fire, remember the windowless dungeons we made to break our enemies — and not infrequently innocent men accidentally caught up in our wars. When you fall asleep in your bed, remember the sleep deprivation “for up to 180 hours, usually standing or in stress positions, at times with their hands shackled above their heads.”

If you can, if only for a day, or an hour, let every comforting thought be infected with the truth of what we have done.

And will that right the national image? Will it correct its contours, average in a little ugliness? Perhaps not. But we must atone. And we must learn that the national image is a hollow conceit. What we desperately need is a national conscience.

Another Humanitarian Convoy Heading for Russian Enclave In Moldova

Russian ‘Humanitarian Convoy’ Heads for Separatist Moldovan Region

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A Russian NGO with close ties to the Kremlin plans to send a 60-lorry ‘humanitarian convoy’ into Moldova’s pro-Russian separatist region, amidst growing tension in the small former Soviet state after pro-EU parties defeated  the pro-Russian Socialist party in last week’s parliamentary elections.

The first three lorries had arrived in Moldova’s self-declared Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic by Wednesday, with more to follow according to Alexander Argunov, director of the Moscow-based organisation in charge of the convoy, Eurasian Integration.

“We do not know how the situation in Pridnestrovie will develop, which is why we prefer to send equipment immediately,” Argunov told Moldovan news agency PMR.

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No violence has been reported in Moldova since the election, however tension between the pro-Russian and pro-EU blocs in the country has increased since a three party pro-EU coalition joined forces to form a government instead of the pro-Russian socialist party, which won the most votes.

Eurasian Integration were not available to comment on why the east Moldavian region required humanitarian help when major fighting in the region ceased in 1992.

Argunov did say, however that the convoy has been and will continue to be delivered through Ukraine, as Moldova has no direct border with Russia.

“Initially we sent the simplest cargo – furniture. Using the furniture as an example we wanted to see how the convoy would cross through Ukraine, what requirements the Ukrainian authorities would make of us.”

Although Ukraine has closed all but its eastern, separatist-held borders with Russia, Argunov says the piecemeal delivery of the cargo has encountered “no major difficulties”.

“We tried and assessed what happened there and then we began sending more expensive medical equipment,” Argunov said.

The Moldavian separatist government’s customs committee has confirmed Argunov’s account and said it will make “every effort to ensure continuity of the process and to facilitate Eurasian integration”.

Russia caused consternation from Kiev and the West in August when it sent a convoy of 260 white trucks carrying what it said were humanitarian supplies across its border and into separatist-held areas of Ukraine. The Kiev government called the convoy’s arrival a “direct invasion”.

Speaking to Newsweek a NATO official said the alliance had no knowledge of the convoy and insisted its plans to further its partnership with the newly elected Moldovan authorities will go on undeterred.

“The Moldovan people made their choice and everyone must respect it,” NATO’s general secretary Jens Stoltenberg said earlier this week.

Russia complained of “gross violations” after the pro-Russian party Patria was excluded from running in the last minute.

After Crimea’s ascension into the Russian federation in March, the unrecognized separatist government in Moldova’s east voted to do the same.

“Not In Our Name!” 60 German Intellectuals Issue Appeal Against WWIII

Roman Herzog, Antje Vollmer, Wim Wenders, Gerhard Schröder and many other demanding an appeal for dialogue with Russia. ZEIT ONLINE documented the call.

Politik, Ukraine-Krise, Russland, Europa, Krieg, Gerhard Schröder, Horst Teltschik, Antje Vollmer, Bundesregierung, Eberhard Diepgen, Hans-Jochen Vogel, Klaus von Dohnanyi, Manfred Stolpe, Roman Herzog, Klaus Mangold, Mario Adorf, Moskau

American and Polish soldiers during an exercise in Poland in May 2014. | © Kacper Pempel / Reuters

More than 60 personalities from politics, economy, culture and media warn forcefully in an appeal against a war with Russia and calling for a new policy of détente in Europe. Their call they make to the federal government, members of parliament and the media.

Initiated the call by former Chancellor advisor Horst Teltschik (CDU), former defense secretary of state Walther Stützle (SPD) and former Vice-President of the Bundestag Antje Vollmer (Green). “We are talking about a political signal that the justified criticism of the Russian Ukraine’s policy does not mean that the progress we have achieved over the past 25 years in relations with Russia will be terminated,” Teltschik says the motivation for the appeal.

Have signed the text, inter alia, the former leaders of Hamburg, Berlin and Brandenburg, Klaus von Dohnanyi, Eberhard Diepgen and Manfred Stolpe, former SPD chairman Hans-Jochen Vogel, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, former German President Roman Herzog and actor Mario Adorf.

The call in the wording:

Another war in Europe? Not in our name!

No one wants war. But North America, the European Union and Russia inevitably drive up to him if they did not finally halt the disastrous spiral of threat and counter-threat stop. All Europeans, including Russia, have joint responsibility for peace and security. Only he who does not lose sight of this goal, avoiding wrong turns.

The Ukraine-conflict shows that the addiction to power and domination is not overcome. 1990 at the end of the Cold War, we were all hoping. But the success of the policy of detente and peaceful revolutions have made sleepy and careless. In East and West alike. When Americans, Europeans and Russians is the guiding principle to banish war from their relationship permanently lost. It is a different Russia menacing expansion of the West to the East without simultaneous deepening cooperation with Moscow, as well as the illegal annexation of the Crimea by Putin, not to explain.

In this moment of great danger for the continent Germany has a special responsibility for the preservation of peace. Without the reconciliation of the people of Russia, without the foresight of Mikhail Gorbachev, without the support of our Western allies and without the prudent action by the then Federal Government, the division of Europe had not been overcome. To allow the German unit peacefully, was a tall, shaped by reason gesture of the victorious powers. A decision of historic proportions. From overcome division a solid European peace and security from Vancouver to Vladivostok should grow up, as it had been agreed by all 35 Heads of State and Government of the CSCE Member States in November 1990 in the “Charter of Paris for a New Europe”. On the basis of agreed principles and first concrete measures a “common European home” should be established, in which all the States concerned should learn the same security. This goal of the post-war policy is not redeemed until today. People in Europe have to fear again.

We, the undersigned, call on the federal government to assume their responsibility for peace in Europe to meet. We need a new policy of détente in Europe. This is only possible on the basis of equal security for all and equal and mutually respected partners. The German government is no special way, if they continue to call in the stalemate for calm and dialogue with Russia. The need for security of the Russians is legitimate and severe as the Germans, the Poles, the Balts and the Ukrainians.

We must also urge European Russia. That would be unhistorical, unreasonable and dangerous for peace. Since the Congress of Vienna in 1814 Russia is a recognized global players in Europe. All who have tried to change that are violent, bloody failed – the last megalomaniac Hitler’s Germany, in 1941, murdering set out to subjugate Russia.

We call upon the Members of the German Bundestag, as delegated by the people politicians to be the seriousness of the situation, and attentive to watch via the peace obligation of the federal government. Who builds only enemy and tampered with unilateral blame, exacerbated tensions at a time in which the signals should be included on relaxation. Embed held exclude must be a guiding German politicians.

We appeal to the media, their obligation to comply with unprejudiced reporting more convincing than before. Editorialists and commentators demonize whole nations, without crediting the story enough. Each foreign policy savvy journalist will understand the fear of the Russians, invited members of NATO since 2008, Georgia and Ukraine to become members of the alliance. It’s not about Putin. State leaders come and go. Europe is at stake. It comes back to take the people’s fear of war. For this purpose, a responsible, based on solid research coverage can help a lot.

On October 3, 1990, the Day of German Unity, German President Richard von Weizsäcker said: “The Cold War is overcome freedom and democracy have soon enforced in all states … Now they can have their relationships so compact and secure institutional,.. that it is a common life and peace order can first be. so begins a completely new chapter for the peoples of Europe in their history. His goal is a pan-European project. It is a huge target. We can do it, but we can also miss . We are facing the clear alternative to some or fall back according painful historical examples again in nationalist conflicts Europe. “

Until Ukraine conflict we thought we were in Europe on the right track. Richard von Weizsäcker’s reminder is today, a quarter of a century later, more relevant than ever.

The signatories

Mario Adorf, Actor
Robert Antretter (Bundestag retd.)
Prof. Dr. Wilfried Bergmann (Vice – President of the Alma Mater Europaea)
Prince Luitpold of Bavaria (Royal Holding KG and license)
Achim von Borries (director and writer)
Klaus Maria Brandauer (actor, director)
Dr. Eckhard Cordes (Chairman of the Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations)
Prof. Dr. Herta Däubler-Gmelin (Minister of Justice Retired)
Eberhard Diepgen (Former Governing Mayor of Berlin)
Dr. Klaus von Dohnanyi (Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg)
Alexander van Dülmen (A-Board Company Filmed Entertainment AG)
Stefan Dürr (Managing Partner and CEO Ekosem-Agrar GmbH)
Dr. Erhard Eppler (Federal Minister for Development and Cooperation Retired)
Prof. Dr. Dr. Heino Falcke (Propst iR)
Prof. Hans-Joachim Frey (CEO Semper Opera Ball Dresden)
Father Anselm Grün (Father)
Sibylle Havemann (Berlin)
Dr. Roman Herzog (Former President)
Christoph Hein (writer)
Dr. Dr. hc Burkhard Hirsch (Bundestag Vice President aD)
Volker horns (Academy Director iR)
Josef Jacobi (organic farmer)
Dr. Sigmund Jähn (former astronaut)
Uli Jörges (journalist)
Prof. Margot Käßmann (former EKD Council President and Bishop)
Andrea von Knoop (Moscow)
Prof. Dr. Gabriele Krone-Schmalz (former correspondent for the ARD in Moscow)
Friedrich Küppersbusch (journalist)
Vera Gräfin von Lehndorff (artist)
Irina Liebmann (writer)
Dr. hc Lothar de Maizière (Former Prime Minister)
Stephan Märki (Director of the Theatre of Bern)
Prof. Dr. Klaus Mangold (Chairman Mangold Consulting GmbH)
Reinhard Mey and Hella (Songwriter)
Ruth Misselwitz (Protestant pastor Pankow)
Klaus Prömpers (journalist)
Prof. Dr. Konrad Raiser (eh. General Secretary of the World Council of Churches World)
Jim rocket (Photographer)
Gerhard Rein (journalist)
Michael Röskau (Secretary Retired)
Eugen Ruge (writer)
Dr. hc Otto Schily (Federal Minister of the Interior Retired)
Dr. hc Friedrich Schorlemmer (ev. Theologian, civil rights)
Georg Schramm (comedian)
Gerhard Schröder (Chancellor aD)
Philipp von Schulthess (Actor)
Ingo Schulze (writer)
Hanna Schygulla (actress, singer)
Dr. Dieter Spöri (Minister of Economics)
Prof. Dr. Fulbert Steffensky (Cath. Theologian)
Dr. Wolf-D. Stelzner (Managing Partner: Institute for WDS analyzes in cultures mbH)
Dr. Manfred Stolpe (Former Prime Minister)
Dr. Ernst-Jörg von Studnitz (Ambassador)
Prof. Dr. Walther Stützle (secretary of defense Retired)
Prof. Dr. Christian R. Supthut (Board Member Retired)
Prof. Dr. hc Horst Teltschik (former adviser at the Federal Office for Security and Foreign Policy)
Andres Veiel (director)
Dr. Hans-Jochen Vogel (Federal Minister of Justice Retired)
Dr. Antje Vollmer (Vice-President of the German Bundestag Retired)
Bärbel Wartenberg-Potter (Lübeck Bishop Retired)
Dr. Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker (scientists)
Wim Wenders (Director)
Wenzel (Songwriter)
Gerhard Wolf (writer, publisher)

Putin Cancels South Stream/Netanyahu Peddles His Hot Gas To Europe

[When the Noble Energy company first discovered the massive Tamar and Leviathan gas fields off the shore of Israel, there was no foreseeable buyer of the “gas bonanza.”  It didn’t take long after for the PTB (powers that be) to destroy Russia’s energy franchise to Europe, by disrupting principle flow lines, running mainly through Ukraine.  Due to EU anti-Russian sanctions making the South Stream pipeline impossible, Putin cancelled the project.  In steps Israel (SEE:  Gazprom Signs 20-Year LNG Purchase Deal with Israel).  This is the first, concrete example of the EU cutting its own throat, to bow to Imperialist-Zionist directives.  Stoking the fires in Ukraine has always been the key to US Imperialist war plans for Russia.  If Israel captures the southern European gas market, beating-out both NABUCCO and SOUTH STREAM, then rest assured, that there will be no opposition to them running a four-foot diameter undersea gas line through the eastern Mediterranean war zone. 

It is logical to suspect, at this point, to label the Ukrainian civil war as a Mossad operation.  After all, key elements of the Maidan movement are composed of Jewish militants, some even forming their own brigades (SEE:  In Kiev, an Israeli army vet led a street-fighting unit).]

Ministers of Cyprus, Greece and Israel to meet Energy Union Commissioner

Cyprus mail

Ministers of Cyprus, Greece and Israel to meet Energy Union Commissioner

Energy Ministers of Cyprus, Greece and Israel will meet next Monday with EU Commissioner on Energy Union Maros Sefcovic to promote a joint project on a pipeline to transfer natural gas from the Eastern Mediterranean offshore fields to Europe.

Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis told the Cyprus News Agency that the three Ministers had signed a letter requesting a meeting with Sefcovic.
The three Ministers will promote a planned pipeline connecting Israel Cyprus, Greece with Europe in view of the new call by the European Commission for projects of common interest in the first quarter of 2015.
Sources told CNA that the ministers would request the approval of the project which emerged after a merger of two separate projects (Cyprus Trans Med pipeline and Greece`s East Med pipeline) to be implemented by the Greek Gas Corporation (DEPA as a project of common interest (PCI)  that will give access to EU funding for technical and feasibility studies.
Projects that will be considered as PCI’s will be entitled to request funding from the Connecting Europe Facility with a budget of €5.85 billion.
The same sources made clear that only new reserves would be channeled through the pipeline, as Cyprus is in consultations with Egypt for a possible sale of the Aphrodite reservoir (estimated at 4.5 trillion cubic feet) located in block 12 of Cyprus` EEZ. Egyptian Minister Serif Ismail said during a Cyprus, Greece and Egypt Energy Ministers meeting that his country could absorb Cyprus` natural gas reserves.
Italy`s ENI is carrying out an exploratory drilling in block 9 with the results expected by January the latest. ENI also has been granted concessions for exploratory drilling in blocs 2 and 3. French TOTAL which has concessions over blocks 10 and 11 will begin exploratory drilling in the second half of 2015.

Davutoglu Visits Athens Over Cypriot Gas/Hollande Visits Putin In Moscow Over Mistral Carrier Transfer

[SEE:  Hollande to discuss Ukraine crisis with Putin in Moscow]

Davutoglu in Athens amid rising tensions over Cyprus gas [Update]

ekathimerini

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu arrived in Athens on Friday afternoon for talks with his Greek counterpart Antonis Samaras, and participation in the 3rd Greek-Turkish High-Level Cooperation Council, as tensions rise over Ankara’s violation of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Ahead of his talks with Samaras on Friday, Davutoglu met President Karolos Papoulias who stressed the importance of good relations. “We are and will remain neighbors and therefore we must be good neighbors,” Papoulias said. “You’re right, it’s possible to change everything except geographical location,” Davutoglu responded.

The visit came as Cypriot media report that the Turkish research vessel Barbaros has detected large quantities of hydrocarbons in the Cypriot EEZ.

In an interview with Kathimerini ahead of the visit, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu indicated that Turkey will not back down from its position that Cyprus will have to stop exploring for hydrocarbons in its exclusive economic zone for the Turkish research vessel Barbaros to depart the area. He added that he was optimistic that stalled Cyprus talks would resume.

Davutoglu, who was flanked by some 10 Turkish ministers on his visit, was to meet Samaras at the Maximos Mansion before addressing a joint business forum at 8.30 p.m. and co-chairing the high-level council on Saturday with Samaras.

Security was increased in the capital ahead of Davutoglu’s visit and amid fears of protests to commemorate the killing of a teenager by a policeman on Saturday and against a scheduled parliamentary vote on next year’s budget on Sunday.

The Importance Of The Cancellation Of South Stream—(Vinyard of the Saker)

[SEE:  Turkey Gets 63 Billion Cubic Meter Gas Line That Europe No Longer Wanted]

RIA Novosti / Ramil Sitdikov [SEE: Hungary Begins Laying Pipe for South Stream System ]

The Importance Of The Cancellation Of South Stream

vinyard of the saker
by Alexander Mercouris

The reaction to the cancellation of the Sound Stream project has been a wonder to behold and needs to be explained very carefully.

In order to understand what has happened it is first necessary to go back to the way Russian-European relations were developing in the 1990s.

Briefly, at that period, the assumption was that Russia would become the great supplier of energy and raw materials to Europe. This was the period of Europe’s great “rush for gas” as the Europeans looked forward to unlimited and unending Russian supplies. It was the increase in the role of Russian gas in the European energy mix which made it possible for Europe to run down its coal industry and cut its carbon emissions and bully and lecture everyone else to do the same.

However the Europeans did not envisage that Russia would just supply them with energy. Rather they always supposed this energy would be extracted for them in Russia by Western energy companies. This after all is the pattern in most of the developing world. The EU calls this “energy security” – a euphemism for the extraction of energy in other countries by its own companies under its own control.

It never happened that way. Though the Russian oil industry was privatised it mostly remained in Russian hands. After Putin came to power in 2000 the trend towards privatisation in the oil industry was reversed. One of the major reasons for western anger at the arrest of Khodorkovsky and the closure of Yukos and the transfer of its assets to the state oil company Rosneft was precisely because is reversed this trend of privatisation in the oil industry.

In the gas industry the process of privatisation never really got started. Gas export continued to be controlled by Gazprom, maintaining its position as a state owned monopoly gas exporter. Since Putin came to power Gazprom’s position as a state owned Russian monopoly has been made fully secure.

Much of the anger that exists in the west towards Putin can be explained by European and western resentment at his refusal and that of the Russian government to the break up of Russia’s energy monopolies and to the “opening up” (as it is euphemistically called) of the Russian energy industry to the advantage of western companies. Many of the allegations of corruption that are routinely made against Putin personally are intended to insinuate that he opposes the “opening up” of the Russian energy industry and the break up and privatisation of Gazprom and Rosneft because he has a personal stake in them (in the case of Gazprom, that he is actually its owner). If one examines in detail the specific allegations of corruption made against Putin (as I have done) this quickly becomes obvious.

His agenda of forcing Russia to privatise and break up its energy monopolies has never gone away. This is why Gazprom, despite the vital and reliable service it provides to its European customers, comes in for so much criticism. When Europeans complain about Europe’s energy dependence upon Russia, they express their resentment at having to buy gas from a single Russian state owned company (Gazprom) as opposed to their own western companies operating in Russia.

This resentment exists simultaneously with a belief, very entrenched in Europe, that Russia is somehow dependent upon Europe as a customer for its gas and as a supplier of finance and technology.

This combination of resentment and overconfidence is what lies behind the repeated European attempts to legislate in Europe on energy questions in a way that is intended to force Russia to “open up” its the energy industry there.

The first attempt was the so-called Energy Charter, which Russia signed but ultimately refused to ratify. The latest attempt is the EU’s so-called Third Energy Package.

This is presented as a development of EU anti-competition and anti-monopoly law. In reality, as everyone knows, it is targeted at Gazprom, which is a monopoly, though obviously not a European one.

This is the background to the conflict over South Stream. The EU authorities have insisted that South Stream must comply with the Third Energy Package even though the Third Energy Package came into existence only after the outline agreements for South Stream had been already reached.

Compliance with the Third Energy Package would have meant that though Gazprom supplied the gas it could not own or control the pipeline through which gas was supplied.

Were Gazprom to agree to this, it would acknowledge the EU’s authority over its operations. It would in that case undoubtedly face down the line more demands for more changes to its operating methods. Ultimately this would lead to demands for changes in the structure of the energy industry in Russia itself.

What has just happened is that the Russians have said no. Rather than proceed with the project by submitting to European demands, which is what the Europeans expected, the Russians have to everyone’s astonishment instead pulled out of the whole project.

This decision was completely unexpected. As I write this, the air is of full of angry complaints from south-eastern Europe that they were not consulted or informed of this decision in advance. Several politicians in south-eastern Europe (Bulgaria especially) are desperately clinging to the idea that the Russian announcement is a bluff (it isn’t) and that the project can still be saved. Since the Europeans cling to the belief that the Russians have no alternative to them as a customer, they were unable to anticipate and cannot now explain this decision.

Here it is important to explain why South Stream is important to the countries of south-eastern Europe and to the European economy as a whole.

All the south eastern European economies are in bad shape. For these countries South Stream was a vital investment and infrastructure project, securing their energy future. Moreover the transit fees that it promised would have been a major foreign currency earner.

For the EU, the essential point is that it depends on Russian gas. There has been a vast amount of talk in Europe about seeking alternative supplies. Progress in that direction had been to put it mildly small. Quite simply alternative supplies do not exist in anything like the quantity needed to replace the gas Europe gets from Russia.

There has been some brave talk of supplies of US liquefied natural gas replacing gas supplied by pipeline from Russia. Not only is such US gas inherently more expensive than Russian pipeline gas, hitting European consumers hard and hurting European competitiveness. It is unlikely to be available in anything like the necessary quantity. Quite apart from the probable dampening effects of the recent oil price fall on the US shale industry, on past record the US as a voracious consumer of energy will consume most or all of the energy from shales it produces. It is unlikely to be in a position to export much to Europe. The facilities to do this anyway do not exist, and are unlikely to exist for some time if ever.

Other possible sources of gas are problematic to say the least. Production of North Sea gas is falling. Imports of gas from north Africa and the Arabian Gulf are unlikely to be available in anything like the necessary quantity. Gas from Iran is not available for political reasons. Whilst that might eventually change, the probability is when it does that the Iranians (like the Russians) will decide to direct their energy flow eastwards, towards India and China, rather than to Europe.

For obvious reasons of geography Russia is the logical and most economic source of Europe’s gas. All alternatives come with economic and political costs that make them in the end unattractive.

The EU’s difficulties in finding alternative sources of gas were cruelly exposed by the debacle of the so-called another Nabucco pipeline project to bring Europe gas from the Caucasus and Central Asia. Though talked about for years in the end it never got off the ground because it never made economic sense.

Meanwhile, whilst Europe talks about diversifying its supplies, it is Russia which is actually cutting the deals.

Russia has sealed a key deal with Iran to swap Iranian oil for Russian industrial goods. Russia has also agreed to invest heavily in the Iranian nuclear industry. If and when sanctions on Iran are lifted the Europeans will find the Russians already there. Russia has just agreed a massive deal to supply gas to Turkey (about which more below). Overshadowing these deals are the two huge deals Russia has made this year to supply gas to China.

Russia’s energy resources are enormous but they are not infinite. The second deal done with China and the deal just done with Turkey redirect to these two countries gas that had previously been earmarked for Europe. The gas volumes involved in the Turkish deal almost exactly match those previously intended for South Stream. The Turkish deal replaces South Stream.

These deals show that Russia had made a strategic decision this year to redirect its energy flow away from Europe. Though it will take time for the full effect to become clear, the consequences of that for Europe are grim. Europe is looking at a serious energy shortfall, which it will only be able to make up by buying energy at a much higher price.

These Russian deals with China and Turkey have been criticised or even ridiculed for providing Russia with a lower price for its gas than that paid by Europe.

The actual difference in price is not as great as some allege. Such criticism anyway overlooks the fact that price is only one part in a business relationship.

By redirecting gas to China, Russia cements economic links with the country that it now considers its key strategic ally and which has (or which soon will have) the world’s biggest and fastest growing economy. By redirecting gas to Turkey, Russia consolidates a burgeoning relationship with Turkey of which it is now the biggest trading partner.

Turkey is a key potential ally for Russia, consolidating Russia’s position in the Caucasus and the Black Sea. It is also a country of 76 million people with a $1.5 trillion rapidly growing economy, which over the last two decades has become increasingly alienated and distanced from the EU and the West.

By redirecting gas away from Europe, Russia by contrast leaves behind a market for its gas which is economically stagnant and which (as the events of this year have shown) is irremediably hostile. No one should be surprised that Russia has given up on a relationship from which it gets from its erstwhile partner an endless stream of threats and abuse, combined with moralising lectures, political meddling and now sanctions. No relationship, business or otherwise, can work that way and the one between Russia and Europe is no exception.

I have said nothing about the Ukraine since in my opinion this has little bearing on this issue.

South Stream was first conceived because of the Ukraine’s continuous abuse of its position as a transit state – something which is likely to continue. It is important to say that this fact was acknowledged in Europe as much as in Russia. It was because the Ukraine perennially abuses its position as a transit state that the South Stream project had the grudging formal endorsement of the EU. Basically, the EU needs to circumvent the Ukraine to secure its energy supplies every bit as much as Russia wanted a route around the Ukraine to avoid it.

The Ukraine’s friends in Washington and Brussels have never been happy about this, and have constantly lobbied against South Stream.

The point is it was Russia which pulled the plug on South Stream when it had the option of going ahead with it by accepting the Europeans’ conditions. In other words the Russians consider the problems posed by the Ukraine as a transit state to be a lesser evil than the conditions the EU was attaching to South Stream .

South Stream would take years to build and its cancellation therefore has no bearing on the current Ukrainian crisis. The Russians decided they could afford to cancel it is because they have decided Russia’s future is in selling its energy to China and Turkey and other states in Asia (more gas deals are pending with Korea and Japan and possibly also with Pakistan and India) than to Europe. Given that this is so, for Russia South Stream has lost its point. That is why in their characteristically direct way, rather than accept the Europeans’ conditions, the Russians pulled the plug on it.

In doing so the Russians have called the Europeans’ bluff. So far from Russia being dependent on Europe as its energy customer, it is Europe which has antagonised, probably irreparably, its key economic partner and energy supplier.

Before finishing I would however first say something about those who have come out worst of all from this affair. These are the corrupt and incompetent political pygmies who pretend to be the government of Bulgaria. Had these people had a modicum of dignity and self respect they would have told the EU Commission when it brought up the Third Energy Package to take a running jump. If Bulgaria had made clear its intention to press ahead with the South Stream project, there is no doubt it would have been built. There would of course have been an almighty row within the EU as Bulgaria openly flouted the Third Energy Package, but Bulgaria would have been acting in its national interests and would have had within the EU no shortage of friends. In the end it would have won through.

Instead, under pressure from individuals like Senator John McCain, the Bulgarian leadership behaved like the provincial politicians they are, and tried to run at the same time with both the EU hare and the Russian hounds. The result of this imbecile policy is to offend Russia, Bulgaria’s historic ally, whilst ensuring that the Russian gas which might have flown to Bulgaria and transformed the country, will instead flow to Turkey, Bulgaria’s historic enemy.

The Bulgarians are not the only ones to have acted in this craven fashion. All the EU countries, even those with historic ties to Russia, have supported the EU’s various sanctions packages against Russia notwithstanding the doubts they have expressed about the policy. Last year Greece, another country with strong ties to Russia, pulled out of a deal to sell its natural gas company to Gazprom because the EU disapproved of it, even though it was Gazprom that offered the best price.

This points to a larger moral. Whenever the Russians act in the way they have just done, the Europeans respond bafflement and anger, of which there is plenty around at the moment. The EU politicians who make the decisions that provoke these Russian actions seem to have this strange assumption that whilst it is fine for the EU to sanction Russia as much as it wishes, Russia will never do the same to the EU. When Russia does, there is astonishment, accompanied always by a flood of mendacious commentary about how Russia is behaving “aggressively” or “contrary to its interests” or has “suffered a defeat”. None of this is true as the rage and recriminations currently sweeping through the EU’s corridors (of which I am well informed) bear witness.

In July the EU sought to cripple Russia’s oil industry by sanctioning the export of oil drilling technology to Russia. That attempt will certainly fail as Russia and the countries it trades with (including China and South Korea) are certainly capable of producing this technology themselves.

By contrast through the deals it has made this year with China, Turkey and Iran, Russia has dealt a devastating blow to the energy future of the EU. A few years down the line Europeans will start to discover that moralising and bluff comes with a price. Regardless, by cancelling South Stream, Russia has imposed upon Europe the most effective of the sanctions we have seen this year. .

Censorship Through Search-Engine Tampering

[In case anyone hasn’t noticed, or hasn’t been paying attention, Google’s infamous “secret algorithm” has been squeezing most blogs out of search results.  Even blogs which are treasure troves of information on the Imperial war on humanity, such as No Sunglasses, can no longer be found by “stumbling-upon” them in concerted searches on specific topics, using Google searches.  Prior to Google’s previous reworking of its search algorithm, called “Panda” (SEE:  Getting Squeezed-Out of Google Searches With the Panda Logarithm), which devastated the Alexa Ratings Index for this website and others like it,

snapshot no sun  Dec. 3, 2014

This site lost over 100,000 points in the Alexa system, because readership is down that much, 400+ daily visitors difference.  Before, “therearenosunglasses” nearly always came up in most web searches, pertaining to the American dictatorship or resistance to it.  Now, after the new algorithm rework, we are faced with Google’s next generation search barricade, called “Hummingbird” (SEE: Hummingbird Unleashed), which has flat-lined most of us.  The proof of Hummingbird censorship has been summed-up in this article from aangirfan, “TRUTH BLOGS UNDER ATTACK.”  It is impossible at this stage of the game to determine whether this can all be written-off to more of the same govt/corporate censorship of truth-tellers (a.k.a., “conspiracy theorists”), or it can be partially explained by the move to hand-held computers and the tendency to turn everything into another “APP” (SEE: Lets talk about Hummingbird—Parts 1 and 2)]

peter.chamberlin@hotmail.com

 

google-chains

City of London Freaks, Frantic with Fear Over Impending Anti-Capitalist World Revolution

We-will-not-tolerate-this-system-any-more-it-is-time-for-a-world-revolution-together-we-will-change-the-world-join-us

Inclusive Capitalism Initiative is Trojan Horse to quell coming global revolt

guardian

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales talks to Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary fund, before the start of the Inclusive Capitalism Conference at the Mansion House on May 27, 2014 in London, United Kingdom.
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales talks to Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary fund, before the start of the Inclusive Capitalism Conference at the Mansion House on May 27, 2014 in London, United Kingdom. Photograph: WPA Pool/Getty Images

Yesterday’s Conference on Inclusive Capitalism co-hosted by the City of London Corporation and EL Rothschild investment firm, brought together the people who control a third of the world’s liquid assets – the most powerful financial and business elites – to discuss the need for a more socially responsible form of capitalism that benefits everyone, not just a wealthy minority.

Leading financiers referred to statistics on rising global inequalities and the role of banks and corporations in marginalising the majority while accelerating systemic financial risk – vindicating the need for change.

While the self-reflective recognition by global capitalism’s leaders that business-as-usual cannot continue is welcome, sadly the event represented less a meaningful shift of direction than a barely transparent effort to rehabilitate a parasitical economic system on the brink of facing a global uprising.

Central to the proceedings was an undercurrent of elite fear that the increasing disenfranchisement of the vast majority of the planetary population under decades of capitalist business-as-usual could well be its own undoing.

The Conference on Inclusive Capitalism is the brainchild of the Henry Jackson Society (HJS), a little-known but influential British think tank with distinctly neoconservative and xenophobic leanings. In May 2012, HJS executive director Alan Mendoza explained the thinking behind the project:

“… we felt that such was public disgust with the system, there was a very real danger that politicians could seek to remedy the situation by legislating capitalism out of business.”

He claimed that HJS research showed that “the only real solutions that can be put forward to restore trust in the system, and which actually stand a chance of bringing economic prosperity, are being led by the private, rather than the public, sector.”

The Initiative for Inclusive Capitalism’s recommendations for reform seem well-meaning at first glance, but in reality barely skim the surface of capitalism’s growing crisis tendencies: giant corporations should invest in more job training, should encourage positive relationships and partnerships with small- and medium-sized businesses, and – while not jettisoning quarterly turnovers – should also account for ways of sustaining long-term value for shareholders.

The impetus for this, however, lies in the growing recognition that if such reforms are not pursued, global capitalists will be overthrown by the very populations currently overwhelmingly marginalised by their self-serving activity. As co-chair of the HJS Inclusive Capitalism taskforce, McKinsey managing director Dominic Barton, explained from his meetings with over 400 business and government leaders worldwide that:

“… there is growing concern that if the fundamental issues revealed in the crisis remain unaddressed and the system fails again, the social contract between the capitalist system and the citizenry may truly rupture, with unpredictable but severely damaging results.”

Among those “damaging results” – apart from the potential disruption to profits and the capitalist system itself – is the potential failure to capitalise on the finding by “corporate-finance experts” that “70 to 90 percent of a company’s value is related to cash flows expected three or more years out.”

Indeed, as the New York Observer reported after the US launch of the Henry Jackson Initiative for Inclusive Capitalism, the rather thin proposals for reform “seemed less important than bringing business leaders together to address a more central concern: In an era of rising income inequality and grim economic outlook, people seemed to be losing confidence in capitalism altogether.”

Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild, who co-hosted yesterday’s conference, told the NY Observer why she was concerned:

“I think that a lot of kids have neither money nor hope, and that’s really bad. Because then they’re going to get mad at America. What our hope for this initiative, is that through all the efforts of all of the decent CEOs, all the decent kids without a job feel optimistic.”

Yep. Feel optimistic. PR is the name of the game.

“I believe that it is our duty to help make all people believe that the elevator is working for them… that whatever the station of your birth, you can get on that elevator to success,” de Rothschild told Chinese business leaders last year:

“At the moment, that faith and confidence is under siege in America… As business people, we have a pragmatic reason to get it right for everyone – so that the government does not intervene in unproductive ways with business… I think that it is imperative for us to restore faith in capitalism and in free markets.”

According to the very 2011 City of London Corporation report which recommended funding the HJS inclusive capitalism project, one of its core goals is undermining public support for “increased regulation” and “greater state” involvement in the economy, while simultaneously deterring calls to “punish those deemed responsible for having caused the crisis”:

“Following the financial crisis of 2008, the Western capitalist system has been perceived to be in crisis. Although the financial recovery is now underway in Europe and America, albeit unevenly and in some cases with the risk of further adjustments, the legacy of the sudden nature of the crash lives on.”

The report, written by the City of London’s director of public relations, continues to note that “the fabric of the capitalist system has come in for protracted scrutiny,” causing governments to “confuse the need for reasoned and rational change” with “the desire to punish those deemed responsible for having caused the crisis.” But this would mean that “the capitalist model is liable to have the freedoms and ideology essential to its success corroded.”

Far from acknowledging the predatory and unequalising impact of neoliberal capitalism, the document shows that the inclusive capitalism project is concerned with PR to promote “a more nuanced view of society,” without which “there is a risk that… we will be led down a policy path of increased regulation and greater state control of institutions, businesses and the people at the heart of them, which will fatally cripple the very system that has been responsible for economic prosperity.”

The project is thus designed “to influence political and business opinion” and to target public opinion through a “media campaign that seeks to engage major outlets.”

The Henry Jackson Initiative for Inclusive Capitalism is therefore an elite response to the recognition that capitalism in its current form is unsustainable, likely to hit another crisis, and already generating massive popular resistance.

Its proposed reforms therefore amount to token PR moves to appease the disenfranchised masses. Consequently, they fail to address the very same accelerating profit-oriented systemic risks that will lead to another financial crash before decade’s end.

Their focus, in de Rothschild’s words in the Wall Street Journal, is cosmetic: repairing “capitalism’s bruised image” in order to protect the “common long-term interests of investors and of the capitalist system.”

That is why the Inclusive Capitalism Initiative has nothing to say about reversing the neoliberal pseudo-development policies which, during capitalism’s so-called ‘Golden Age’, widened inequality and retarded growth for “the vast majority of low income and middle-income countries” according to a UN report – including “reduced progress for almost all the social indicators that are available to measure health and educational outcomes” from 1980 to 2005.

Instead, proposed ‘reforms’ offer ways to rehabilitate perceptions of powerful businesses and corporations, in order to head-off rising worker discontent and thus keep the system going, while continuing to maximise profits for the few at the expense of the planet.

This is not a surprise considering the parochial financial and political interests the Henry Jackson Society appears to represent: the very same neoconservative elites that lobbied for the Iraq War and endorse mass NSA surveillance of western and non-western citizens alike.

Indeed, there is little “inclusive” about the capitalism that HJS’ risk consultancy project, Strategic Analysis, seeks to protect, when it advertises its quarterly research reports on “the oil and gas sector in all twenty” countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Those reports aim to highlight “the opportunities for investors” as well as “risks to their business.”

Just last month, HJS organised a conference on mitigating risks in the Arab world to discuss “methods for protecting your business interests, assets and people,” including “how to plan against and mitigate losses… caused by business interruption.” The focus of the conference was protecting the invariably fossil fueled interests of British and American investors and corporates in MENA – the interests and wishes of local populations was not a relevant ‘security’ concern.

The conference’s several corporate sponsors included the Control Risks Group, a British private defence contractor that has serviced Halliburton and the UK Foreign Office in postwar Iraq, and is a member of the Energy Industry Council – the largest trade association for British companies servicing the world’s energy industries.

The “inclusivity” of this new brand of capitalism is also apparent in HJS’ longtime employment of climate denier Raheem Kassam, who now runs the UK branch of the American Breitbart news network, one of whose contributors called for Americans “to start slaughtering Muslims in the street, all of them.”

Perhaps the final nail in the coffin of HJS’ vision of capitalist “inclusivity” is associate director Douglas Murray’s views about Europe’s alleged Muslim problem, of which he said in Dutch Parliament: “Conditions for Muslims in Europe must be made harder across the board.”

Earlier this year, Murray’s fear-mongering targeted the supposed “startling rise in Muslim infants” in Britain, a problem that explains why “white British people” are “losing their country.” London, Murray wrote, “has become a foreign country” in which “‘white Britons’ are now in a minority,” and “there aren’t enough white people around” to make its boroughs “diverse.”

So abhorrent did the Conservative front-bench find Murray’s innumerable xenophobic remarks about European Muslims, reported Paul Goodman, the Tory Party broke off relations with his Center for Social Cohesion before he revitalised himself by joining forces with HJS.

Yet this is the same neocon ideology of “inclusive” market freedom around which the forces of global capitalism are remobilising, in the name of “sustainable” prosperity for all.

They must be having a laugh.

Dr. Nafeez Ahmed is an international security journalist and academic. He is the author of A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It, and the forthcoming science fiction thriller, Zero Point. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter @nafeezahmed. [Emphasis in quotes was added]

Bulgarian Islamic State “Witch Hunt” Pissing Innocent Muslims Off and Propagating Dangerous Ideas

[Here is a perfect example of how following the American “war on terror” formula, other misled nations are actually fomenting Islamist radicalism and helping to give it widespread media coverage.]

Bulgarian Authorities Popularizing Radical Islam – Expert

novinite_logo4_gray

photo_big_165045 [A TV and VCR with a drawing of an IS taped over top of the set’s controls?  Pretty damning stuff, huh?–ed.] 
Photo by BGNES

Everything around the anti-terrorist operation conducted in Bulgaria this week is helping radical Islam to rise to popularity, a former security official says.

Nikolay Radulov, a former Chief Secretary at the Interior Ministry, believes the operation shows lack of understanding of this phenomenon.

“Radical Islamists seek publicity, this is why they release photos, footage. From this point of view they have achieved their goal. For some reason the prosecution and DANS [State Agency for National Security] are helping them promote it,” Radulov told private national channel NOVA TV.

He asserted there were no “sleeping cells” of Islamic State (IS), since that would be a conspiring terror organization and would neither appear on the Internet nor promote itself on Facebook.

Services are trying to make themselves stand out at a time when the budget is being drafted, and also when “various people” are reportedly eyeing the position of DANS head Vladimir Pisanchev, Radulov claimed, adding this might be another explanation as to why the operation was conducted amid media fuss.

In his words, Imam Ahmed Musa Ahmed “gained much more popularity with this operation than the one he had had until now.”

With such activities the security forces run the risk of creating “martyrs”.

– See more at: http://www.novinite.com/articles/165045/Bulgarian+Authorities+Popularizing+Radical+Islam+-+Expert#sthash.sMAo1qPp.dpuf

Obama Stops Lying About Afghanistan–We are there Forever, To Do Anything or Kill Anyone We Want

[Many observers have been stating the obvious for years, that America would NEVER LEAVE AFGHANISTAN(SEE: Manufacturing Justification for the NATO Takeover of Central Asia–Smashing Greater Central Asia – (Part One); (Part  Two) Risking the World; (Part III) Smashing Greater Central Asia; (Part IV) Smashing Greater Central Asia).]

Obama secretly extends US combat operation in Afghanistan

Russia-Today
U.S. President Barack Obama.(AFP Photo / Ethan Miller)

U.S. President Barack Obama.(AFP Photo / Ethan Miller)

President Barack Obama has secretly signed an order that expands the United States’ direct combat role in Afghanistan throughout 2015, the New York Times reported.

Signed over the last few weeks, the secret order permits American forces to continue to battle the Taliban and other militants that pose a threat to either the Afghan government or US personnel. According to the Times, US jets, bombers, and drones will be able to aid ground troops – be they Afghan or US forces – in whatever mission they undertake.

Under the order, ground troops could join Afghan troops on missions, and airstrikes could be carried out in their support.

If true, this marks a significant expansion of America’s role in Afghanistan in 2015. Previously, President Obama said US forces would not be involved in combat operations once the new year begins. He did say troops would continue training Afghan forces and track down remaining Al-Qaeda members.

Obama signed the secret order after tense debates within the administration. The military reportedly argued that it would allow the US to keep the pressure on the Taliban and other groups should details emerge that they are planning to attack American troops. Civilian aides, meanwhile, said the role of combat troops should be limited to counter-terror missions against Al-Qaeda.

The Times said an administration official painted the secret order’s authorization as a win for the military, but another said the US would not carry out “offensive missions” against the Taliban in 2015.

“We will no longer target belligerents solely because they are members of the Taliban,” the official said. “To the extent that Taliban members directly threaten the United States and coalition forces in Afghanistan or provide direct support to Al Qaeda, however, we will take appropriate measures to keep Americans safe.”

The change in direction came as the administration faces pointed criticism from those who say the US withdrew from Iraq too quickly, allowing the so-called Islamic State to make rapid gains in a country whose military proved to be easily intimidated and defeated.

Meanwhile, new Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has a much softer position on the US presence in his country compared to his predecessor Hamid Karzai. Ghani reportedly asked the US to keep battling the Taliban into 2015. He also removed restrictions against US airstrikes and joint raids that were implemented by Karzai.

It appears that the number of troops that will be operating in Afghanistan next year will remain unchanged from previous plans. There will be 9,800 soldiers left throughout next year, and that number will be cut in half by the end of the year.

By the end of 2016, the remaining troops are scheduled to leave Afghanistan, ending the US military presence in the country.

Arming Kyiv With New Advanced Heavy Weapons Is Putin’s Line In the Sand

[SEE: Putin: ‘Russia Will Not Allow Ukraine to Defeat Rebels]

Russia warns US against supplying ‘lethal defensive aid’ to Ukraine

Russia-Today

Members of the "Donbass" self-defence battalion attend a ceremony to swear the oath to be officially included into the reserve battalion of the National Guard of Ukraine near Kiev June 23, 2014. (Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko)

Members of the “Donbass” self-defence battalion attend a ceremony to swear the oath to be officially included into the reserve battalion of the National Guard of Ukraine near Kiev June 23, 2014. (Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko)

Moscow has warned Washington a potential policy shift from supplying Kiev with “non-lethal aid” to “defensive lethal weapons”, mulled as US Vice President visits Ukraine, would be a direct violation of all international agreements.

A Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson said that reports of possible deliveries of American “defensive weapons” to Ukraine would be viewed by Russia as a “very serious signal.”

“We heard repeated confirmations from the [US] administration, that it only supplies non-lethal aid to Ukraine. If there is a change of this policy, then we are talking about a serious destabilizing factor which could seriously affect the balance of power in the region,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevichcautioned.

Ukrainian army soldiers with an artillery field gun maneuver on the coastline near the eastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol on October 21, 2014. (AFP Photo/Alexander Khudoteply)

Ukrainian army soldiers with an artillery field gun maneuver on the coastline near the eastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol on October 21, 2014. (AFP Photo/Alexander Khudoteply)

His remarks follow US deputy National Security Advisor Tony Blinken Wednesday’s statement at a hearing before the Senate Committee for Foreign Affairs, in which he said that Biden may offer the provision of “lethal defensive weapons” as he visits Ukraine. Lethal assistance “remains on the table. It’s something that we’re looking at,” Blinken said.

“We paid attention not only to such statements, but also to the trip of representatives of Ukrainian volunteer battalions to Washington, who tried to muster support of the US administration,” Lukashevich said.

The Ministry made it clear that such a move by Washington would violate a number of agreements.

“This is a very serious signal for several reasons. First of all, this is a direct violation of agreements, including the ones achieved in partnership with the United States. I mean the Geneva Declaration from 17 April,” said the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman.

US Vice President Joe Biden (AFP Photo/Jim Watson)

US Vice President Joe Biden (AFP Photo/Jim Watson)

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko requested lethal aid from the US during a visit to Washington in September.

READ MORE: Obama declines to give Ukraine ‘lethal aid’ despite Poroshenko’s plea

The American Vice President who has arrived in Kiev late Thursday has not yet made any official announcement, but Reuters’ sources point to the possibility that US might increase a “non-lethal” aid package to Kiev instead of opting to supply arms.

Under the non-lethal aid package, the US could deliver to Ukraine first Humvee vehicles and radars but as officials pointed out such deliveries would unlikely alter the conflict. Previous non-lethal aid to Ukraine announced in September included military equipment such as counter-mortar detection units, body armor, binoculars and other gear worth $53 million.

At the same time the US diplomatic branch announced that it will continue to send advisers to Kiev and has allocated funds to Ukraine to battle what both the US and Ukraine see as a threat from Russia.

Medical volunteers unpack individual first aid kits similar to those used by NATO during a ceremony where they were donated by Kiev's Mayor Vitaly Klitschko in Kiev October 31, 2014. (Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko)

Medical volunteers unpack individual first aid kits similar to those used by NATO during a ceremony where they were donated by Kiev’s Mayor Vitaly Klitschko in Kiev October 31, 2014. (Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko)

“The United States, as you’re no doubt aware, is providing about $116 million in security assistance to help Ukraine in this effort,”State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said Thursday. “This assistance also includes advising and training, and the United States will continue to send advisory teams to Kiev to help improve Ukraine’s combat medical care and to identify areas for additional security assistance.”

Rathke also said that lethal assistance to Ukraine is not yet “off the table.”

“Our position on lethal aid hasn’t changed. Nothing is off the table, and we continue to believe there’s no military solution. But we, in light of Russia’s actions, as the nominee mentioned yesterday in his testimony, this is – as he indicated, this is something that we should be looking at,” Rathke said.

For now all will be decided Friday when Biden is expected to hold talks with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and President Petro Poroshenko. Following the talks, Biden and Poroshenko will make a joint press statement.

If Obama Pushes Putin Into WWIII, Then We Will Lose

Russia prepares nuclear surprise for NATO

pravda

Russia prepares nuclear surprise for NATO. 53936.jpeg

On September 1, 2014 the US State Department published a report, in which it was stated that for first time since the collapse of the USSR, Russia reached parity with the US in the field of strategic nuclear weapons. Thus, Washington admitted that Moscow regained the status that the Soviet Union had obtained by mid-70’s of the XX century and then lost.

According to the report from the State Department, Russia has 528 carriers of strategic nuclear weapons that carry 1,643 warheads. The United States has 794 vehicles and 1,652 nuclear warheads.

It just so happens that today, Russia’s strategic nuclear forces (SNF) are even more advanced in comparison with those of the US, as they ensure parity on warheads with a significantly smaller number of carriers of strategic nuclear weapons. This gap between Russia and the United States may only grow in the future, given the fact that Russian defense officials promised to rearm Russia’s SNF with new generation missiles.

The progress was made possible thanks to the treaty on the limitation of nuclear weapons, also known as START-3. The treaty was signed by Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama on 8 April 2010 in Prague (came into force on 5 February 2011). In accordance with the document, nuclear warheads of the parties are to be reduced to 1,550 by 2021. The number of carriers (intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles and heavy bombers) is supposed to be cut to 700 units.

It was the first strategic agreement, after the treacherous policy of democrats, in which Russia managed to win significant advantages. In the treaty, the Americans, for the first time in history, undertook to reduce their strategic nuclear potential, while Russia won an opportunity to increase it. Furthermore, the new treaty removed important limitations that existed in the previous START 1 and START 2 treaties. It goes about the size of areas for the deployment of mobile ICBMs, the number of multi charge ICBMs, and the possibility to build railway-based ICBMs. Russia did not make any concessions.

Having written off Moscow as a serious geopolitical rival, flying on the wings of inaccessible military and technological superiority, Washington drove itself into a trap, from which it does not see a way out even in a medium-term perspective.

Recently, a lot has been said about so-called “sixth-generation wars” and high-precision long-range weapons that should ensure victory over enemy without coming into direct contact with its armed forces. This concept is highly questionable (The US failed to achieve victory in such a way both in Iraq and Afghanistan). Yet, this is the point, where Russia enters the parity line as well. The proof is long-range cruise missiles of a new generation that will soon be deployed on submarines of the Black Sea Fleet and missile ships of the Caspian Flotilla.

In today’s Russia, many find this hard to believe. This is a common belief for many of those, who still enthusiastically remain in captivity of the myths about the absolute “weakness” of Russia and the absolute “superiority” of the West. The myth was made up in the 90’s under the influence of Boris Yeltsin and his betrayal of Russian national interests. One has to admit that during that time, the myth was real, if one may say so.

Times have changed. One can easily understand the new state of affairs.

For example, let’s consider the potential of conventional weapons of Russia and the West in the European Theater of Operations (ETO). In this area, it is generally believed that NATO is a lot stronger than Russia. Yet, a first encounter with reality smashes this misbelief into pieces.

As is known, the main striking force, the core of combat power of the ground forces is tanks. By the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian Armed Forces had about 20,000 tanks in the ETO.

The Americans, in turn, deployed 6,000 heavy Abrams tanks on the territory of the allied group. Despite this, the combined potential of NATO forces in Europe was still significantly inferior to the Soviet potential. To compensate this imbalance, NATO strategists were forced to resort to tactical nuclear weapons (TNW).

In the first half of the 1950s, NATO conducted a research about what kind of forces the bloc should have to show reliable resistance to large-scale ground offensive of superior forces of the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact countries. The calculations showed then that one required at least 96 full-fledged divisions for the purpose. Yet, the cost of armament for one of such divisions exceeded $1 billion. Plus, one required two or three more billion to maintain such a large group of troops and build appropriate infrastructure. This burden was clearly beyond the power of the economy of the West.

The solution was found in a move to deploy a group of US tactical nuclear weapons on the continent, and that was done soon. By early 1970s, the US arsenal of tactical nuclear weapons counted about 7,000 units of ammunition. The highest achievement in the area was the creation of weapons of selective action – neutron warheads (for guns of 203-mm and 155-mm caliber, and for Lance missiles) with a capacity from 1 to 10 kilotons. The warheads were seen as the key in combating land forces personnel, particularly Soviet tank crews.

Given the nuclear factor, to reflect “Soviet aggression,” NATO required to deploy only 30, rather than 96 divisions, and so they were deployed.

How do things work in this area now? In early 2013, the Americans withdrew the last group of heavy Abrams tanks from Europe. In NATO countries, over the last 20 years, one new tank would replace 10-15 old, yet still capable, tanks. At the same time, Russia was not decommissioning its tanks.

As a result, today Russia is the absolute leader in this regard. In mid-2014, the balance of the Defense Ministry had as many as 18,177 tanks (T-90 – 400 pcs., T-72B – 7,144 pcs., T-80 – 4,744 pcs, T-64 – 4,000 pcs, T-62 – 689 pcs, and T-55 – 1200 pcs.).

Of course, only a few thousand tanks are deployed in permanent readiness units, and most of them remain at storage bases. Yet, NATO has the same picture. Therefore, the decisive superiority of Russian tanks has not gone anywhere since the times of the USSR.

Here is another surprise. As for tactical nuclear weapons, the superiority of modern-day Russia over NATO is even stronger.

The Americans are well aware of this. They were convinced before that Russia would never rise again. Now it’s too late.

To date, NATO countries have only 260 tactical nuclear weapons in the ETO. The United States has 200 bombs with a total capacity of 18 megatons. They are located on six air bases in Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Turkey. France has 60 more atomic bombs. That is pretty much it. Russia, according to conservative estimates, has 5,000 pieces of different classes of TNW – from Iskander warheads to torpedo, aerial and artillery warheads! The US has 300 tactical B-61 bombs on its own territory, but this does not change the situation against the backdrop of such imbalance. The US is unable to improve it either, as it has destroyed the “Cold War legacy” – tactical nuclear missiles, land-based missiles and nuclear warheads of sea-based Tomahawk cruise missiles.


Top 5 Russian arms NATO is afraid of

How can Russia – the country that lost the Cold War – be ahead of NATO in terms of military power? One should look into the history of the problem to try to understand.

It is believed that by the beginning of 1991, the USSR had about 20-22,000 units of tactical nuclear weapons. They are nuclear warheads of air bombs, warheads for tactical missiles “Luna”, “Tochka”, “Oka”, nuclear warheads of antisubmarine weapons of the fleet, special warheads of air defense system missiles, nuclear mines and nuclear artillery shells of the Ground Forces.

This impressive arsenal was the result of forty years of an intensive arms race. Noteworthy, it was not the “totalitarian” USSR that started the arms race, but the liberal and democratic USA, which began developing and testing various types of tactical nuclear weapons in the early 1950s. The first example of a warhead of this class was the warhead for a 280-mm gun with the capacity of 15 kilotons. The warhead was tested in May 1953. Afterwards, nuclear warheads would be produced smaller in size, thus leading to the creation of warheads for self-propelled howitzers of 203-mm and 155-mm caliber that had a capacity from one to ten kilotons. Until recently, they were remaining in the arsenal of US troops in Europe.

Afterwards, the US Armed Forces received the following tactical missiles outfitted with nuclear warheads: Redstone (range 370 km), Corporal (125 kilometers), Sergeant (140 kilometers), Lance (130 kilometers) and several others. In the middle of the 1960s, the USA finalized the development of tactical missiles Pershing-1 (740 kilometers).

In turn, the Soviet military and political leadership decided that the equipment of American forces in Europe with TNW was creating a fundamentally new balance of forces. The USSR took decisive steps to create and deploy multiple types of Soviet tactical nuclear weapons. Already in the early 1960s, tactical missiles T-5, T-7, “Luna” were passed into service. Later, the non-strategic nuclear arsenal was expanded with medium-range missiles RSD-10, P-12, P-14 medium-range bombers Tu-22 and Tu-16, as well as tactical missiles OTR-22, OTR-23 and  tactical ones – P-17, “Tochka”, nuclear artillery of 152 mm, 203 mm and 240 mm caliber, tactical aviation aircraft Su-17, Su-24, MiG-21, MiG-23.

Noteworthy, the Soviet leadership had repeatedly offered Western leaders to start negotiations on the reduction of tactical nuclear weapons. Yet, NATO would persistently reject all Soviet proposals on this subject. The situation changed considerably only when the Union started shattering as a result of Gorbachev’s “perestroika”. It was the time, when Washington decided to take advantage of the moment to weaken and disarm its main geopolitical rival.

In September 1991, US President George H. Bush launched an initiative on the reduction and even elimination of certain types of tactical nuclear weapons. Gorbachev, in turn, also announced plans to radically reduce similar weapons in the USSR. Subsequently, the plans received development in the statement from Russian President Boris Yeltsin “On Russia’s policy in the field of arms limitation and reduction” from January 29, 1992. The statement pointed out that Russia stopped producing nuclear artillery shells and warheads for land-based missiles and undertook to destroy a stockpile of such weapons. Russia promised to remove tactical nuclear weapons from surface ships, attack submarines and eliminate one-third of those weapons. A half of warheads for anti-aircraft missiles and aircraft munitions was to be destroyed too.

After such reductions, the arsenals of tactical nuclear weapons of Russia and the United States were to keep 2,500-3,000 tactical nuclear warheads.

However, it turned out otherwise. The illusion of world supremacy played a cruel joke on Washington.

American strategists wrote off the “democratic” Russia after the collapse of the USSR. At the same time, during the Gulf War, US high-precision weapons successfully completed several large-scale combat tasks that had been previously planned for TNW. This prompted Washington to putting all stakes on a technological breakthrough. This led to the creation of “smart” weapons that were  becoming more and more expensive. The USA was gradually cutting the production of such weapons, and NATO’s high-tech arms proved to be completely inadequate for conducting large-scale combat actions with an enemy that would be at least approximately equal to the West from the point of view of its technological level.

Meanwhile in Russia, experts were quick to agree that against the backdrop of the post-Soviet geostrategic situation, reducing and eliminating tactical nuclear weapons was unacceptable. After all, it is tactical nuclear weapons that serve as a universal equalizer of forces, depriving NATO of its military advantage. In these circumstances, Russia simply borrowed NATO’s thesis of the need to compensate enemy superiority in conventional weapons by deploying tactical nuclear arsenal on the European Theater of Operations.

The situation had been developing according to the above-mentioned scenario for over two decades. The West, having discarded Russia, had been cutting its tanks and destroying tactical nuclear weapons. Russia, feeling its own weakness, kept all tanks and tactical nuclear weapons.

As a result, Russia overcome the inertia of collapse and started reviving its power, while the West, being lulled by sweet day-dreams of the liberal “end of history,” castrated its armed forces to the point, when they could be good for leading colonial wars with weak and technically backward enemies. The balance of forces in Europe has thus changed in Russia’s favor.

When the Americans realized that, it was too late. In December 2010, Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, Rose Gottemoeller, sounded the alarm. The Russians had more tactical nuclear systems than the USA, she said.  According to her, the reduction of tactical nuclear weapons was to be the next step.

In 2010, the Europeans, in the face of foreign ministers of Poland and Sweden, insolently demanded Russia should single-handedly establish two nuclear-free zones – the Kaliningrad region (enclave) and the Kola Peninsula – the territories of priority deployment of Russian tactical nuclear weapons. The regions serve as the main bases for the Baltic and Northern Fleets. In case of the Northern Fleet, the region is a base for most of Russian SNF.

Since then, the Americans have repeatedly offered Russia to follow the flawed way of solving the “problem of tactical nuclear weapons.” They stubbornly insist on reaching an agreement to eliminate disparities on stocks of tactical nuclear weapons. They even tried to stipulate a condition for the effect of the START-3 Treaty. Thus, in accordance with Senator Lemieux’s amendment (Amendment 4/S.AMDN.4908), the START-3 was to come into force after the Russian side agreed to start negotiations on the so-called liquidation of imbalance of tactical nuclear weapons in Russia and the US.

On February 3, 2011, Barack Obama wrote in a letter to several key senators saying that the United States was going to start negotiations with Russia to address disparity between tactical nuclear weapons of the Russian Federation and the United States to reduce the number of tactical nuclear warheads in a verifiable way.  Alas, in 2012, Putin returned to the Kremlin, and the hopes of the West to deceive Russia though unilateral disarmament failed.


Russia won’t cut nuclear arsenal

Russian and Chinese Navies To Conduct Joint Exercises In Mediterranean In 2015

China’s President Xi Jinping (right) and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, attend a welcome ceremony at the Xijiao State Guest Hotel, before the fourth Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia summit in Shanghai, on May 20, 2014. Reuters/Carlos Barria

The navies of Russia and China have agreed to conduct naval exercises in the Mediterranean Sea and Pacific Ocean in spring 2015, according to a statement issued by the Russian navy on Wednesday. That brings two potential U.S. adversaries closer together and sees China assert its presence in a region, the Mediterranean, far from its shores in another development that marks its emergence as a serious military power.

Russian Defense Minister Gen. Sergei Shoigu made the announcement after holding talks with his Chinese counterpart, Col. General Chang Wanquan, on Tuesday in Beijing. “We plan to hold another joint naval exercise in the spring of next year in the Mediterranean Sea and also joint doctrine navy exercises are planned in the Pacific,” said Shoigu.

Shoigu remarked that cooperation between the two countries’ militaries has improved in recent years and joint exercises are now a regular military feature. An exercise in May marked the third time the two had worked together and the first time sailors worked on combat exercises in mixed groups.

The planned exercises are part of a new military relationship between Russia and China that has become warmer in recent years, and they represent a shift from Mao Zedong’s army-centric military to a more flexible and capable fighting force that includes the navy and air force. In 2014, a Chinese crew performed in the World Championships Tank Biathlon and in Aviadarts, a large-scale aerial gunnery, navigation, formation and reconnaissance competition. Both were held in Russia. And while having conducted exercises in the Mediterranean as recently as January 2014 and July 2012, Chinese warships appearing in the region is still a relatively new development for an area that normally just supports NATO exercises.

Speaking of China’s armed forces, Shoigu said, “They have demonstrated that the morale and training of Chinese soldiers meet the highest standards.” He also expressed the view that such joint activities “are a good format for the exchange of experiences,” concluding that “our cooperation in the military field has great potential, and the Russian side is ready for its development on a wide range of areas.”

The Spinning Top of 9/11–(Kenny’s Sideshow)

[Kenny, thanks for fighting the lies.  Maybe we will actually get to meet, once they put us all behind the wire.  Peter]

The Spinning Top of 9/11

 kennys sideshow
13 years is a mighty long time. What can be said that hasn’t been said a thousand times before? 
We know a few things. The official story is a 100% lie. It was a psychological operation against the entire world. It was an inside/outside false flag operation. The media is complicit in the cover-up. Treason lies at the heart of the event. There were some who benefited greatly, most did not.
Truth is out there. Somewhere. In spite of the so called truth movement which was part of the original planning and infiltrated from day one in anticipation of a great number of individuals seeing through the operation and speaking out. The perpetrators made a lot of mistakes, some so sloppy that they couldn’t be totally hidden. Obfuscation worked to cloud reality. Cognitive dissonance became a new meme in an effort to stop truth in its tracks. There are those who sell themselves for a few nickels to act as deceivers, confusers, shills and trolls in the effort to divide us, to control us.
Yet we persist. We may not agree on all the specific points of the how but we get the gist. The whos in the criminal conspiracy are well known although there are some deep within the world wide central banking system that remain somewhat hidden under the layers of deceit.
9/11 was the big lie of our time. It set the stage for more wars, more theft, an increasing police state and even more false flags and staged events.
Just where do we go from here? Spinning like a top forever with no disclosure, closure or justice?
Once again, thanks to all who have not given up and remain a voice of sanity in an insane world. It may seem like it’s all shouting into the wind and no one is listening but that would be a defeatist attitude and we are never going to take that route. Nor will we ever forgive.

Thievery Corporation Live At The 930 club

When they present any problem like 9/11 they offer the solution, war on terror, loss of freedom. Housing bubble, economic collapse, bailout tax theft. Swine flu, imminent death, forget about torture & the economy, hate foreigners & take the poison vaccines bought by tax dollars. They attack from above & below. They create the problems & offer the solutions, usually a choice between two evils, one lesser than the other. The same as the coming choice between Corrupt UN control of a global government or corrupt corporate control of the global government. You’re getting one world government & it’s going to be a tyranny, you just get to choose which one. Inevitably it’s the same owners at the top

The CIA Fakes is a catchphrase term used to describe a group which includes:
-Covert Operatives of the CIA, NSA and DIA; of the U.S. Corporate/Military Industrial Complex; of the intelligence services of U.K. Spain, France Holland, Germany, & Russia
-Political Agents working within the Democratic Party, Republican Party, Democratic Black Caucus, Green Party, & Patriot Movement
-Politicians in the U.S., U.K. Spain, France, Germany and Russia — who pose as 9/11 skeptics & Conspiracy theorists
-Media, including Mainstream, Alternative Media and Internet broadcasting media who either front for, cooperate with, or are directly employed by intelligence services mentioned aboveThe primary objectives of the CIA FAKES are:

-To leverage the Fakes into position as the leadership/spokespersons for the Conspiracy movement
-To splinter and divide that movement
-To promote lame, tame and/or booby-trapped questions about Conspiracy
-To be sufficiently over-the-top as to prevent the Conspiracy issue getting any traction in the media or left-wing
-To ensure that the movement would not have a politically-active leadership capable of turning it into an effective political lobby campaignThe questions about 9/11 were bound to be asked, the important aspect for the perpetrators was & is …by whom?

Turn off the tell lie vision. If you think it enriches your life, provides crucial information, is a socially acceptable pastime & will deliver you & your family to Utopia you may be too far gone already. Fakery TV is how they can control entire populations in their corporate debt slave central bank income tax pyramid scam. The world is nothing but a bunch of corporate slave coloniesPolitics is irrelevant, stop validating it by participating. Create a new artifact, design something, an open communicative cooperative community of planet earth.

38 comments:

  1. My mother knew a retired opera singer – she lived in my hometown. I don’t know how they met, but Marie knew a lot about things – she had sung on the same stage with Caruso and was a star during the golden age of opera. This is a picture http://digitalcollections.lib.washington.edu/cdm/ref/collection/sayre/id/20407

    She used to dine at the Rockefeller estates in Europe – she said she got a lot of information from their servants – for one thing, they said that the Rockefellers were Turkish Jews whose original name was something like Raw-ghen-mute or Row-ghen-mute.

    She once said that whenever you see these weird happenings, it means a dictatorship is coming soon. She was talking about some incident prior to WWI – some guy rushes out of a shop somewhere in Europe, starts slashing someone’s horses to death with a butcher knife. It’s basically the same m.o., these days on a much bigger scale.

    Reply

  2. You should have used a dreidel for the graphic. ;)

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  3. When I was a kid we were taught you never talk about politics or religion in polite company. We adhered to it, avoiding a lot of controversy and family fights. Except for our uncles. Get togethers were fraught with political discussions and eventually verbal fights. And I mean the left-right wing, public-private kind of thing.

    Now, I ask myself how can politics or religion be irrelevant if they are a crucial part of people’s lives? How can you even try to make a change if you don’t talk about the necessary ingredients? It’s not like we live in a vacuum, tend to our gardens and say high to our neighbours once in a while. Politics decides if the potholes in my neighbourhood are getting fixed or the public pool is open.

    Politics is the thing going on at City Hall. I know it isn’t easy to come up with different alternatives. Someone still has to show me it is possible the way society works at present. My fear is that we really need a major upheaval in order to be able to make real changes. Just turning off the TV isn’t going to do it.

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  4. I’ve been asking those same questions my entire life, MachtNichts. I can’t even talk about the weather anymore without being called a conspiracy kook. “just in case” I wear a duct tape bangle bracelet for laughs now when I get together with the family

    well…..actually – come to think of it — I don’t get invited to go out much anymore

    don’t know what I’d do w/o blogs like this

     

  5. You mean weather like in cesium skies, tic-tac-toe artificial clouds, rain that’s either coming down in a deluge or sometimes even doesn’t touch the ground?

    I know, I wish they would give me a buck for every one of their weird looks. I’d be rich.

     

  6. Great site, Kenny’s Sideshow. Became also a portal to the many links you have some yeaers ago. When I googled ‘ exposing the jewish crime network behind 911’ I entered a Crimi as the Germans call the crime movies. You can check out out any time you like but you can never leave. Kali’s fornuis. Kali’s stove in (in Dutch fornuis). Mossad – in Tel Aviv talk: ‘the institute’- has not yet succeeded to do me de das om. To tighten the scarf the tie around me neck, imho I did that to them.

    www we will win

    Gabreal Jones / Sam Hita

    CIA O

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  7. What is meant with imho i did it to them should be read as i=we did it to them. Not really able to describe exactly all that is happening on the gross and subtle planes since…..Turning off the TV is a must. Having faith as big as the size of a mustardseed the second that will open your own magic box that is full of weaponry to slay these evil forces. Think everyone here knows that…..

    www we will win, is this nonsense or what? Absolutely not. The G4S 2012 Olympic terror attack did not come about as the rockefeller foundation report so arrogantly boasted in retrospect. Not due to this former childactor Ben…

    Kenny, you write here key words: NOR WILL WE EVER FORGIVE. Last Walpurgis night (the Christmas of the Satanists) 30 april-1may i spent in the most heavy what i called now ‘stralen bunker’ radio frequency bunker in the PIL Penitantiary Institution Lelystad, in Lelystad, Holland. After having a esp visit in another prisoncell by Jacob R. the head of the cabal.
    Someone close to me taught me via esp in that PIL that very night the difference between the different satanic magica judaica lines. And said- while i was again bombarded by frequencies and also by the not so fresh air from the airconditioning of that isolation cell- and kept emphasizing you should never ever forgive (like the JC faith prescribes) cause when you don’t forgive the person with whom i had a heart contact and who monitored me via a very sophisticated chip placed in me and who is an agent for the nazizionsatanists of jr- for what he did to you then he is dismantled by his higherups his ultimate higherup is of course Jabulon or whatever name this very real entity has…..I survived that night…..and still survive.

    The jacob r. story published in a comment by gj at Dublinmick’s Here Comes The Sun 30 june has taken a definite different turn. He did not die the 25th but as far as i can conclude he did now.

    Hope you will publish this Kenny. No forgiveness, not turning the other cheek, The Master Key to our survival and victory over these satanists. Which means no atonement with them. As Benjamin F. and the like suggest. That would be classjustice optima forma. How is forgiveness possible for 9/11 , Fukushima, g.o.d.=Gulf Oil Disaster, MH17 and the like…..Enfin

    CIA O

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  8. We may use a little different terminology but we are seeing things essentially the same. There is no forgiveness for the most heinous of crimes. Only after true justice could we even begin to let it go.

     

  9. I’ve read that the actual “quote” reads:

    Forgive them NOT, Father, for they know what they do.

    Somehow it got lost in translation by moving a few words around.

     

  10. Truth really matters even if all the idiots who watch TV can’t stand to hear it…

    Truth is “we” have a right to know the truth that precedes “their” so-called “right” to print
    the currency and LIE on the TV…and we have a right to self defense that precedes their
    “right” to commit mass murder….with “Taxpayer” so-called “dollars”.

    http://www.ini-world-report.org/2014/09/07/the-master-list/

    It is an either or situation…even if the braindeadgoy don’t …”get it”.

    sincerely

    Davy

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  11. I’ll be gone for the rest of the day and will get to the comments later. Wish I could leave the thread open without moderation but I’m afraid it won’t work. Thanks…..

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  12. “Turn off the tell lie vision. If you think it enriches your life, provides crucial information, is a socially acceptable pastime & will deliver you & your family to Utopia you may be too far gone already. Fakery TV is how they can control entire populations in their corporate debt slave central bank income tax pyramid scam. The world is nothing but a bunch of corporate slave colonies”

    Bingo! – No tell a vision at my house. No cable. No satellite. No telly all day long. Hubby watches a few shows, but, other then that- zero, zip, zilch

    “Politics is irrelevant, stop validating it by participating. Create a new artifact, design something, an open communicative cooperative community of planet earth”

    Last election here in Ontario, Canada I declined my ballot- Officially
    It has to be marked that way- I went to the poll and declined my paper ballot
    This sends a message that there is no one to vote for
    And even worse- I spoke loudly with someone else who was there about our frustration with the offerings and how sick we were of the whole situation. I will vote for my locals, though.

    -I am still paying with cash except for large purchases- non trackable and my privacy intact
    -I go to my local farmers for food we can’t grow ourselves
    and Yes I have a garden- who else does?

    I am not on facebook and don’t want to be- it’s too creepy, tracks you everywhere on line and what with all those friend connections much dirt can be dug
    Bad enough to be on blogger,but, in order to get news out, someone has to do it? Keep personal info to the minimum

    And I talk, I drop memes to everyone- Yes, I actually think of short, direct sentences to drop at appropriate times that I hope will get people to think about reality- or what is presented to us as reality

    And tell people all the time, stop allowing yourself to be ‘moved along’ like cattle to the slaughterhouse, because that is exactly what is happening-

    And one last think I urge everyone to do- drop your smart phone- it’s just an addiction inducing device and is equal to an ankle bracelet some criminal is forced to wear, which anyone would feel resentful of being forced to wear, but, willingly drag their smart phone everywhere with them? I don’t get it?!

    I am one person doing everything I possibly can to clog the gears, if everyone did this the paradigm would shift

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  13. Hey Penny, all great advice. Most of which I strive for. Yes, had/have a garden. Ate and put up a lot but it’s all played out except for jalapenos and okra, do you guys eat breaded fried okra where you are? Lately I’ve been getting some Amish grown organic produce at a local fruit stand. Those people don’t fool around when it comes to their crops.

    Yard sales are also an outside the system source for necessities, at least for me. Even men are discarding their almost new cotton with no logos t-shirts, shirts, shorts, jeans, everything I need for 50 cents or a dollar. I hope to never pay retail and sales tax for clothes again. :)

     

  14. Hi Kenny
    Okra is not a big food in this area- Is it good? I would try it?
    I can get it at the grocery store, but not at the local market.
    We had a cool summer, so, unfortunately my peppers and eggplant were duds
    And yes the garden is just about finished here also
    We planted a late batch of pole beans and they have been going gangbusters
    Everything else did good. I have been freezing, vacuum sealing and prepping food

    A few years back yard sales used to be frequent and plentiful, but now not so much
    It’s quite depressed where I live, lots of unemployment
    I have watched globalization destroy a once solid community
    It’s pitiful :(

     

  15. The purpose of “9/11” was to induce a trauma based fear into Americans in order to control them. It is that simple. The less you are traumatized the less they have control over you. In fact, they can’t control you. They can only control the system. You can not be made to do anything you don’t want to do. They can only create conditions that force you to comply because you fear the repercussions in noncompliance. The spinning top only stops in the real world. In the dream state (believing in fakery or make believe), the top spins forever. In my view, the “9/11” spinning top no longer spins. There may be another “9/11” in the works. If it does, it won’t have any effect on me.

    “The organizing principle of any society is for war. The basic authority of a modern state over its people, resides in its war powers. Today its oil. Tomorrow, water. Its what we like to call the GOD business. Guns, oil, and drugs. But there is a problem. Our way of life. Its over. Its unsustainable and in rapid decline. Thats why we implement “demand destruction”. We continue to make money as the world burns. But for this to work, the people have to remain ignorant of their problems until its too late. Thats why we have triggers in place, 9/11, 7/7, WMDs, a population in a permanent state of fear does not ask questions. Our desire for war, becomes its desire. A willing sacrifice. You see, fear is justification, fear is control, fear…is money.”

    Fear is control.

    ArisReply

  16. Very wise words Aris. Thank you for adding them to this narrative.

     

  17. The Jews have hated us GOYIM for centuries and centuries, killing us in batches when they get the chance, whether its killing nearly 3,000 on 9/11 or nearly 3,000 back in Biblical times to placate their psycho G-d.

    Yes, I know, not being politically correct and saying Zionists, but we don’t have enough time left for niceties.

    From the Book of Exodus, Chapter 32: 26-29:

    26 Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD’S side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him.

    27 And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.

    28 And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.

    http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Exodus-Chapter-32/

    Reply

  18. Supposedly the Hebrews were wandering around in the desert, but their camp had gates!? :-/

     

  19. Personally I don’t think anything in the ‘hebrews’ book they wrote actually happened to them . The stole all the stores from prior ones and put their own often perverted spin on them.

     

  20. All Bible history makes sense IF one wants to understand it, but understanding is based on believing in the existence and divine power of God — as revealed in the Bible that revisionists don’t want to believe. Selectively choosing theological talking points is a form of revisionism just as is the Jewish version of history is today. Truth is what anyone wants it to be, that is why so much information is censored, and why so many people become victims of oppression and death. The power on earth belongs to Satan and his ruling agents — Jews like the Rothschilds, Even the Bible states this. That is why real Christians do not base their faith on earthly realms and rulers, because these people have gotten their power and kingdoms from Satan. Even the occultic State of Israel exists because of Satan and not by the power of a Holy God. But then, Satan can’t be real — he is only a made up character from a made-up Bible.

     

  21. Re 9/11 justice in the United States…all you need is one honest judge. Is there even one honest judge in the US who will listen to the evidence? So far….all these long, painful years of grief…it appears not.

    Reply

  22. There may be some honest judges here but none that have the courage.

     

  23. An honest judge will never be allowed to hear the case, and I’m not sure how many truly honest judges there are. Can you act honestly in a dishonest/corrupt/rigged system. Also, honesty requires courage in my opinion.

    Alex in vermont

     

  24. The US doesn’t even have an honest Att. General, Eric Holder, or DOJ, or Supreme Court. I agree with Alex in Vermont. Courage often means death when someone even tries to counter the “dishonest/corrupt/rigged system.” One current example being the cop, Darren Wilson. Eric Holder has already promised black protesters that Wilson will be held guilty for murder. Right now the system is being corruptly rigged so that even if Wilson gets a trial, it will only be a show one. Straight out of the former Soviet Union’s Communist playbook. Remember how Americans used to deride them for their fake, public trials? Now it is done here!

    — mtw —

     

  25. Spot on, Kenny. I’d also add, movies deserve to be shunned as well.

    Oh, and I love Thievery Corp but their new album – waaaay too sedate. Still, hoping they’re coming up to Cascadia this fall. Have you listened to Ancient Astronauts? Give the album Into Bliss and Time a listen. Trip Hop Happiness.

    Reply

  26. I’ve listened to the Thievery live show I linked in the background, fairly loud, a couple of times. I like the groove. The industry has promoted them a little but has not really made them ‘stars.’ With up to 24 members in the band, they are different. The live show would be exceptional to see.

     

  27. I have a feeling you would love this album
    Whipped Cream and Other Delights ReWhipped
    http://www.anthonymarinelli.com/Anthony_Marinelli/Albums_ReWhipped.html
    (Thievery does Lemon Tree)

     

  28. Dreidel Song
    Dreidel music with lyrics
    By Chayim B. Alevsky
    Chorus:
    My dreidel’s always playful
    It loves to dance and spin
    A happy game of dreidel
    Come play now, let’s begin!
    http://www.chabad.org/multimedia/media_cdo/aid/797123/jewish/Dreidel-Song.htm

    Israel And The Art Of War, Spin And Slaughter
    By Michael Brull
    The real story about the destruction of Gaza by Israel, and the targetting of civilians, schools, hospitals and other infrastructure must be told. Michael Brull explains.
    https://newmatilda.com/2014/07/24/israel-and-art-war-spin-and-slaughter

    — mtw —

    Reply

  29. actually there are no “Jews” in the Old Testament…

    and the deity of the Talmud is a stool sculpture…named Lucifer

    if the Almighty gave you a brain…why not use it

    http://forward.com/articles/205421/steven-salaita-speaks-out/

    sincerely

    Davy

    Reply

  30. “Truth really matters even if all the idiots who watch TV can’t stand to hear it…” Neither can some bloggers.
    PC spin keeps lies in circulation, the dreidel version that is.

    Making vulnerable persons aware of the truth can save lives. Warnings could save unwitting victims from harmful attacks. Censoring truthful facts by claiming it is racial prejudice is applied only to black criminal behavior; not white. Why do bloggers not care about whites being the victims, often very violently assaulted? Why hide the truth that is becoming a more and more abusive societal norm under Obama/Holder? It is a crisis subject, too, for Black power and Jewish power are intertwined on a destructive agenda for America. — mtw —

    EDOMS THORN ON WHITE GENOCIDE: GUEST POST

    Wanting to preserve our White Nations is RACIST!
    There is a cure for wanting that, It is called WHITE GENOCIDE!
    “Anti-Racist is a code-word for Ant-White.”

    “Sadly the vast majority of the peoples opinions are not based on fact, rather they are based in Agenda Driven Rhetoric, wrapped in emotion. Based on ‘feelings,’ or ‘acceptable opinions’ (dogma) that, while ‘some what’ rooted in fact, having been wrapped in emotion, it is only to hide an agenda, that is DESIGNED for their own destruction.”

    http://buelahman.wordpress.com/2014/09/10/edoms-thorn-on-white-genocide-guest-post/

    Feb 20 2014
    Google Cracks Down on WND for Reporting Racial Mob Violence

    The world’s most powerful Internet search engine has accused WND of using “hate speech” and has threatened to block ads on the news site over its use of the term “black mobs” in news stories and columns reporting on a two-year epidemic of racial attacks in the U.S.

    A little background:

    Two years ago, WND began investigating and reporting on a spree of unprovoked attacks by groups of blacks on non-black victims, spearheaded by accounts compiled by journalist Colin Flaherty, author of “White Girl Bleed A Lot.” The book has been endorsed prominently and repeatedly by celebrated black scholar Thomas Sowell for connecting the dots between hundreds of incidents taking place in cities across the country. Flaherty’s reporting also first identified the phenomenon known as “the knockout game,” in which groups or individual black people have targeted non-black victims for unprovoked attacks designed to knock them unconscious with a surprise blow to the head.

    If not for sites like WND, the mainstream media never would have acknowledged this nationwide and extremely alarming phenomenon even as briefly as it did. Cut off from reality by liberal censorship, unwitting victims would continue to wander into situations that put their lives at risk, like teenagers who never received John Derbyshire’s talk.

    As Sowell puts it:
    “Most of the media see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil. In such an atmosphere, the evil not only persists but grows.”

    Google’s policy is totalitarianism wrapped in the usual squishy-soft coating of politically correct “tolerance”:

    http://moonbattery.com/?p=42589

    — mtw —

    Reply

  31. Cannot watch any of the media ‘outrage porn’ of 9/11 today as it highlights what I already know…what a horrible job they do of informing the public. [sigh]

    After 9/11, America was so outraged by the deaths of thousands of innocent American civilians over a political beef, that in response we killed hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians over a political beef. ~ LanceThruster

    Reply

  32. This is a good one for today from Visible…

    “Today we celebrate the incredible and mind blowing ignorance of the American public, not only their ignorance but also their cowardice and arrogant sense of entitlement. We celebrate the many wars generated by the dual national Israeli neo-cons who used the lies woven around 9/11 in order to justify attacking one country after another in the Middle East to fulfill their Ersatz Israel Zionista fantasies. Millions have died and millions more displaced. There was no reason for these wars because these wars all came out of a ridiculous presumption that a handful of stone age Arabs had masterminded this colossal event, when, in fact, it was masterminded and carried out by agents of Israel and compromised and corrupt intelligence agencies.”

    more here

    http://www.smoking-mirrors.com/2014/09/we-celebrate-anniversary-of-israeli.html

    Reply

  33. hmmm

    Sibel Edmonds via Washington’s Blog calls out the ‘masterminds’ of 9/11 but leaves Israel out of the mix.

    FBI Whistleblower: Pentagon, CIA, NATO and MI6 Were Masterminds Behind 9/11

    Reply

  34. Here’s an interesting exchange [edited]:

    Alananda: …I believe, based on reading your site’s posting for a couple years, you — like Stephen Lendman, Paul Craig Roberts, Michel Chossudovsky, and (now with sorrow I have to add) “Cognitive Dissonance” — serve in part as a “gatekeeper”, directing attention away from those who actually carried out 9/11/2001, lifted the load, so to speak, the same cadre who carried out the attack on the USS Liberty, the bombing of the London Underground, and so may more “false flags” and mass killings. “Limited hangouts” this 13th Anniversary of the murders and destruction on 9-11 (WTC 1 & 2 & 7, Pentagon) and later (murders of witnesses, investigators, journalists) seem all the rage. I recommend ZH’ers look up Lasha Darkmoon’s collage of quotes from that period, currently posted on veteranstoday.com and on the website devoted to her work. GOOGLE still returns legitimate links for Lasha Darkmoon at last try. She told the truth about 9-11 without shrinking from, and skirking, the task of describing the “elephant in Room 911”.

    George Washington [of Washington’s Blog]: If Israel was involved, it was a SUBCONTRACTOR to bigger players.

    Also, alot of what Veteran’s Today writes is disinfo.

    Alananda: …I have to disagree and then question on what authority you assert that “If Israel was involved, it was a subcontractor to bigger players.” What dots did YOU connect for that conclusion? Is that something you know you know with high certainty? Let’s refer to the essay of Cognitive Dissonance, then, shall we?

    As for your assertion and link that “what VeteransToday.com writes is disinfo” — VT has “columnists and contributors and editors”, some of which (Stephen Lendman comes to mind), you yourself post on YOUR blog. I have had a run in with Mr. Gordon Duff (senior editor and contributor, VT) about his ill-advised statement that 40% of what “he” writes is disinfo. He “outed me” — posted my own real name, called me a paid troll or shill (I can’t recall which as I type), and left it like that. Irrascible for sure, Mr. Duff. I would recommend your reading the postings of Jonas Alexis and Jim Fetzer and others, though. Tell me when you do that what they write is “disinfo”!

    One man’s disinfo, I suppose, in your and Cognitive Dissonance’s epistemology, is another’s truth, and vice versa. All relative, right? There is no Truth, correct? Sounds like the formula that dumbed down America and corrupted what values remained among the common folk, those not chosen, the goyim, so to speak.

    I submit to you that lies of omission — especially omitting facts and verified information about (1) the role of the “State of Israel” (a poor and misleading construct, I think, perhaps “agencies and corporations serving interests associated with that ‘state'” is more precise), (2) the role of many people who hold dual Israeli-US citizenship, most if not all are “Jews” — whatever that appellation means today — and (3) the evidence of their involvement in events leading up to and including the murders and destruction on 9-11-2001 along with murders and cover-ups since — identify “gatekeepers” just as certainly as those who espouse the “offical government conspiracy theory”, one or two of whom I knew professionally if not personally…

    Alananda’s comments begin at the following link, although the link won’t take you directly to the comment — you’ll have to search the page for the comment number, and the comment may be on a different page than it is now:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-09-10/911-ultimate-litmus-test#comment-5205289

     

  35. The upper level perpetrators of 9-11 and every other mass-media-orchestrated major PsyOp are the bankers, of course, predominantly Jews from the Rothschilds on down. Nothing ‘world-changing’ or even just society-changing gets done without their given go-ahead. However, any list of the lower-level operational perps of 9-11, no matter how many tribe members it contains, that does not include the names Steven Rosenbaum, Rick Leventhal, Joel Meyerowitz, Charles Hirsch, Kenneth Feinberg, Alvin Hallerstein, Howard Lutnick, Matt Lauer, Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer, etc. is amateurishly incomplete at best and completely ignorant of proven image-fakery and merely dogmatic movie-criticism passing as ‘real research’ at worst.

    The fact that most 9-11 truthers and especially the plane-huggers have never even heard of Rosenbaum, Lutnick and the rest shows you how well the gatekeeping has worked in the alternative media. The fact that not just the video of building seven, given as a red herring on a Silverstein platter on Jew-owned PBS to the troofers, was faked ahead of time, but even the birds flying in the sky

    goes to show how unafraid of possible discovery and brazen the planners of the PsyOp were and how knowledgeable of what it takes to permanently install divide-&-conquer from the root up, the root being PROPER PROCEDURE in criminal investigations which always puts IMAGE VERIFICATION ahead of any analysis based on images. They not only brazenly put Silverstein, an obvious Jew, in there as a front man, when they could have easily paid him off and got a gentile front-man, but they had the unmitigated audacity and balls to put false-trails in the PsyOp further promoted by their agents in the alternative media for practically EVERYBODY, knowing that it’s all a numbers game and a few marginalized people on the internet pointing directly to Jews and Israel means practically nothing in the grand scheme of things, as long as they get to use their Weapon of Mass Deception, the mass-media (both mainstream and a large chunk of the alternative) to churn-out these mostly media-faked PsyOps over and over again and re-trigger the FEAR-&-TRAUMA-BASED programming constantly.

    http://www.davidicke.com/forum/showthread.php?t=224648&page=7

    Furniture – Brilliant Mind Lyrics

    Artist: Furniture

    Album: The Wrong People

    I’m at the stage
    Where everything I thought meant something
    Seems so unappealing
    I’m ready for the real thing
    But nobody’s selling
    Except you and yours
    Saying open up your eyes and ears
    And let me in

    You must be out of your brilliant mind

    You’re at the stage
    You want your empty words heard
    And everybody’s ready
    They want to know your secret
    But you are not telling
    You’re just gesturing saying open up your arms and hearts
    And let me in

    You must be out of your brilliant mind

    I’m at the stage
    Where I want my words heard
    When no one wants to listen
    Because everybody’s yelling
    About you and yours
    And how I’d have the answer if I’d only open up, up, up
    And let you in

    They must be out of their brilliant minds

    I said shame
    Shame on you
    Shame
    Shame on you
    Shame
    Shame on you

    You must be out of your brilliant mind
    And they must be out of their brilliant minds
    Everyone out of their brilliant minds
    I’m must be out of my brilliant mind
    My brilliant mind

    ~ Negentropic MK IReply

  36. Flashback. A reminder to all those who were called morons by one unreliable blogger who assured everyone that Sandy Hook was real and a missile hitting the Pentagon, only very stupid people could believe that. Never rely on just one know-it-all disinfo agent whose purpose is to foggy up truth. — mtw —

    Ryan Dawson: Sandy Hook Was Real, Morons
    By Jesse Herman On January 2, 2013

    “Youtube has been absolutely blowing up with conspiracy theories regarding Sandy Hook. People are claiming that the because the father of Emily Parker was giggling and asking for money before a speech that he was a paid actor. There have been in-depth analyses of how actors are meant to act and paralleled with his motions.

    They have also pointed to the movie Dark Knight and the fact that a town called “Sandy Hook” was pointed to on a map and that there was a building called Aurora. There is another video that shows past victims, such as Caylee Anthony whose mom allegedly killed her, whose pictures are popping up as if they are still alive. These people claim that there is a network of psyop mind control at play here, maybe by the CIA or other underground agency. These are all rabbit holes, which will never produce real answers, only further rabbit holes to chase.

    Don’t get me wrong, the chase can be fun, in a sick and twisted sort of way. For the people that do this research, they exist for a reason and they have a purpose to serve. For the people who believe every rabbit hole they peak into, they have a purpose to serve as well. As for Ryan Dawson, his purpose is to call these people out.”

    “It is exactly as the conspiracy site claim for Sandy Hook and other massacres. It is all too real. It’s hard to be hard on “Conspiratards” as Ryan Dawson calls them. They are just participating in the illusion like the rest of us, no matter what side of the fence you happen to fall.”

    Sandy Hook fake?
    Ry Dawson
    Published on Jan 1, 2013

    http://www.naturalindependent.com/archives/10482/ryan-dawson-sandy-hook-was-real-morons/
    Reply

  37. Obama has started another war on 9/11/2014. Never, ever again support any more the US military murderers who don’t have the guts to refuse! Cowards in uniform! A shame for any DECENT American family! — mtw —

    Thursday, September 11, 2014

    THAT DIDN’T TAKE LONG! ON THE SAME DAY that the god damned JEWS GLOATED that they Got Obama to BOMB SYRIA.. the JEWS now, INSTANTLY DEMAND “US BOOTS ON GROUND” in Syria.. = A US INVASION of Syria! SEND THE TERRORIST SUPPORTING JEW WAR-PIG TRAITORS TO THE HAGUE for INSTIGATING MASS-MURDER TERROR WARS and CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY!
    THAT DIDN’T TAKE LONG!
    ON THE SAME god damned DAY that the JEW war pigs GLOATED that they got their blackmailed homosexual puppet of a U.S. president, Barack Obama, to BOMB SYRIA…
    a “policy” that was SOLD TO AMERICANS as being “only” “low cost, low-threat drone ‘srikes’ that would only attack ISIS terrrorists”…
    the evil jew owned press/media now, instantly!, DEMANDS “US BOOTS ON GROUND” in Syria to go along with their “camel’s nose in the tent” DRONE STRIKES”
    = AN OPEN-ENDED US INVASION of Syria!

    IS THERE NO ONE ON PLANET EARTH who can PREVENT THESE DEMONIC JEW WAR PIG vampire ghouls FROM INSTIGATING TERRORIST ATTACKS ACROSS the planet…
    and then getting their BRIBED & BOUGHT-OFF, blackmailed, extorted, and MASS-MURDEROUSLY CORRUPT U.S. government & congressional COWARDS
    to SEND IN THE U.S. MILITARY TO FINISH OFF THE VICTIMS???

    SEND THE TERRORIST SUPPORTING genocidal JEW WAR-PIG TRAITORS
    at USA Today TO THE HAGUE!
    SOMEONE AUTHORIZE some “DRONE STRIKES” ON THE ISIS TERRORIST SUPPORTING NETANYAHU and ALL HIS GENOCIDAL, 9-11 perpetrating JEWISH WAR PIGS!

    http://thejewishwars.blogspot.com/2014/09/that-didnt-take-long-on-same-day-that.html

    Syria airstrikes need boots on the ground, AF officer says
    Tom Vanden Brook, USA TODAY 11:26 p.m. EDT September 11, 2014

    WASHINGTON — U.S. special operations forces will be needed on the ground in Syria to make the expanded air war President Obama has ordered there more effective, a senior Air Force commander told USA TODAY.

    The spy planes flying missions over Iraq and Syria can develop a list of potential Islamic State targets, said the commander who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe what the war might look like. But it’s “absolutely crucial that pilots are talking to an American on the ground” who can verify that the target is legitimate.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/09/11/is-obama-bomb/15463535/

    Reply

  38. Flashback: President Obama should already have been forcibly, and legally removed from office by designated US Military commanders. Should they have tried, undoubtedly they would have been removed first by Obama’s military loyalists. Perhaps a “7 Days In May” has actually happened. Any of the last few Presidents have certainly deserved removal. “America’s Coups Blues” should be a song. — mtw —

    Thursday, March 24, 2011
    Obama A Traitor And War Criminal – Where’s Congress?

    On the eighth anniversary of the day President George W. Bush ordered US troops into Iraq in 2003, with the full support of the US Congress and majority support from the UN Security Council, Barack Obama launched a Tomahawk missile assault on the sovereign nation of Libya with no majority support in the UN and without even consulting congress.

    Acting alone while congress was away on recess, solely at the command of the United Nations and without constitutional authority, Barack Obama dropped over $70 million worth of Tomahawk missiles on the sovereign nation of Libya in a dictatorial maneuver to force regime change of a foreign land.

    He launched a military assault on Libya under what authority? To be certain, Gadhafi is no prize, but what Obama just did is far worse. Acting all alone in a truly imperialistic fashion, Obama violated his Oath of Office, Article I and II of the US Constitution and The War Powers Act all in one mindless kneejerk decision.
    Article II – Section II of the US Constitution identifies the US President as the civilian oversight of the US Military and Commander-in-Chief. But it gives the US President no authority to use military might to enforce its political will upon foreign nations.

    Article I – Section VIII of the US Constitution rests the power to declare war solely with the US Congress. It requires both the Commander-in-Chief and Congress to commit US troops to combat, without which the act is wholly unconstitutional.

    [MORE]

    http://newsthatmakesyoumad.blogspot.com/2011/03/obama-traitor-and-war-criminal-wheres.html

    Reply

Revealing The Truth About Obama’s Illegal Actions Would Force the American People To Take Him Down

Steven Seagal: If The Truth Came Out, Obama Would Be Removed from Office

The Dangerous Nazification of Ukrainian Airwaves

[Ukrainian TV HAS to be even more boring than Russian TV.  Let’s see how long Svoboda can contain the restless longings of the Ukrainian masses if they are all bored beyond the point of their capacity to be mesmerized by inanity.]

OSCE slams Ukraine’s repressive censorship of Russian TV channels

Russia-Today

Neo Nazi Svoboda leader Oleh Tyahnybok

The OSCE has criticised Kiev’s “repressive” move to shut down the broadcasting of Russian TV channels after the media watchdog reported over 50% of providers have already fulfilled the order allegedly aimed at “ensuring national security and sovereignty.”

“As of 11:00 GMT, March 11th, 50 percent of providers throughout Ukraine have disabled broadcasting of foreign channels,” others are preparing to follow, the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council of Ukraine, said on its website.

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe has voiced strong concerns over the decision.

“I repeat my call to the authorities not to initiate these repressive measures,” OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović said. “Banning programming without a legal basis is a form of censorship; national security concerns should not be used at the expense of media freedom.”

“While I deplore any kind of state propaganda and hate speech as part of the current information war, everyone has the right to receive information from as many sources as he or she wishes,” Mijatovic said. “Switching off and banning channels is not the way to address these problems; any potentially problematic speech should be countered with arguments and more speech.”

So far at least 5 Russian channels have been excluded from the list of options, following an appeal by the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine last week.

“The National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council of Ukraine requires the program service providers to stop the broadcast of the Russian TV channels Vesti, Russia 24, Channel One (worldwide transmission), RTR ‘Planeta’, and NTV-World in their network,” the National Council order says.

More than half of Ukraine’s population speaks Russian regularly and one third say it’s their native tongue. In Crimea over 90 percent of the population uses Russian on an everyday basis.

Participants of a rally on Yevpatoria's central square voice their support to Russia. (RIA Novosti/Andrey Stenin)Participants of a rally on Yevpatoria’s central square voice their support to Russia. (RIA Novosti/Andrey Stenin)

On Sunday, Republic of Crimea began broadcasting Russian TV channels on frequencies earlier occupied by Ukrainian television. It has been done because of “legal reasons and moral principles,” Crimea’s information minister Dmitry Polonsky told Itar-tass.

“From the moral point of view, all Ukrainian TV channels were rigidly censored by Kiev’s illegitimate authorities. In violation of fundamental principles they broadcast only one point of view – Crimean politicians, community leaders and Crimeans were unable to comment on the situation,” Polonsky said, adding that their round the clock false reporting of “Russia occupying Crimea” or “declaring war on Ukraine” did not correspond to reality and was used to aggravate the situation and escalate violence.

Polonsky also said that existing contracts should be brought into line with the “current legal situation”, as he urged Ukrainian TV channels to renegotiate contracts for new frequencies with the Crimean broadcasting authorities.

Following the move Ukraine’s media watchdog Goskomteleradio demanded an immediate resumption of Ukrainian TV channels broadcast in Crimea, accusing Russia of “aggression.”

“We regard this as a manifestation of undisguised information aggression against Ukraine by the Russian Federation,” the statement reads.

Russia has long voiced concerns over banning Russian media broadcasts on Ukraine’s national frequencies, calling it a violation of human rights.

“We are aware of proposals to prohibit broadcasts in Ukraine by companies of countries that are not signatories to the European Broadcasting Convention,” Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said late February after the proposal to ban some channels were first introduced by Svoboda Party in Ukraine.

“Russia is not a signatory to this convention, but this circumstance has not stopped us from broadcasting across Europe. Such broadcasts have not encountered any problems in any country of the European Union. If such a decision is adopted in Ukraine, it will be serious violation of freedom of speech,” Lavrov added.

Putin Doctrine in Action

Transfer of forces to Crimea, assignment of soldiers on the border and encouragement of pro-Russian demonstrations. Yakov (Yasha) Kedmi outlines the moves of the Russian President in the struggle for the future of Ukraine

Russia sees in the current events in Ukraine “intervention and a subversive action of the US and Europe” for change of regime through use of force, and an overthrow of a legitimate regime, which was democratically elected.

Putin did not meet with the deposed President Yanukovych, and neither he nor anyone of the Russian leadership has declared any support in the ousted president. Also there was not an official statement of recognition or non-recognition of the new regime. Statements were made only on the seizure of power through brutal violence and on the involvement of radical nationalists and fascist elements.

According to the Russian perception, in Ukraine today there is no central government and the state is dominated with governmental anarchy and lack of stability and security to its citizens. According to Russia’s security doctrine, non-stability of neighboring countries is a threat to the Russian security. Moreover, Russia sees what is happening in Ukraine as a conspiracy planned by the US and NATO, in its ultimate goal to make Ukraine a NATO member state within a certain time.

The expansion of NATO eastward, towards Ukraine, at the risk of placing NATO bases in the territory of Ukraine, first ands foremost missile bases, is preserved by Russia as an existential threat. Apparently, some kind of a Putin Doctrine was expected in Russia, which means zero concessions to the West and the US in their attempt to expand their influence in the territory of the former Soviet Union.

The first indication of the existence of such a doctrine was the war with Georgia. Russia also does not rely on negotiations and agreements with Europe and the US, following the failed attempt of agreement in Libya, and the latest agreement in Ukraine, with guarantees signed by European foreign ministers, violated several hours after it was signed.

Russia decided to openly intervene in Ukraine and to outweigh by itself the governmental status of Ukraine according to its interests. The first step is putting troops in Crimea. About six thousand soldiers were moved into Crimea using the Russian Navy. 10 cargo aircraft were as well positioned in Crimea, 10 fighter jets and 30 APCs (armored personnel carriers). This indicates that Crimea may be a military base for a quick movement of forces to other regions of Ukraine.

In the South-Eastern regions of Ukraine, with considerable Russian population such as Crimea, a local government stabilization process against the Kiev authorities has begun, with a request for assistance from Russia. It is possible that these areas will be inserted with Russian troops as well. In any case those areas began establishing local forces on the basis of military personnel, police and local volunteers, assisted by the Russian army. It is possible, upon completion of the construction of these units, they will begin to move towards other regions of Ukraine to take control of Kiev and the rest of the state.

At this point, Russia is not interested in the dividing of Ukraine. First of all because of the fear that some parts which would not remain in the pro-Russian Ukraine will serve as the basis of a NATO member state, with all that entails. During the next few days, there may be a Russian takeover of nuclear power plants in Ukraine (there are two) in order to prevent acts of sabotage that could cause a nuclear disaster “Chernobyl-style”, or even worst, and takeover of strategic points and missile and naval bases.

Special attention will be given to the airports in Ukraine, especially the main ones, those which the Russian army could control, both for the benefit of its operations and to prevent reinforcements shipments flown to Ukraine. The South-Eastern regions, where most of Ukraine’s industry is concentrated, may stop the transfer of goods and money to other areas of Ukraine and Kiev, and by that exacerbate the economic and financial condition. Russia may in return increase the economic aid to those areas.

On the other side stands the Ukraine army. This army is weak. A substantial share of it has been acquiring hostile feelings towards the regime in Kiev. Perhaps, a part of it will support the government in Kiev, while the other part will support its opponents in the South-Eastern regions. In any case, the units which will support the pro-Russian forces will receive the support of the Russians and their army. The units which will stand against and try to exert power might be attacked by the Russian army.

Transfer of forces to Crimea, assignment of soldiers on the border and encouragement of pro-Russian demonstrations. Yakov (Yasha) Kedmi outlines the moves of the Russian President in the struggle for the future of Ukraine

Russia sees in the current events in Ukraine “intervention and a subversive action of the US and Europe” for change of regime through use of force, and an overthrow of a legitimate regime, which was democratically elected.

Putin did not meet with the deposed President Yanukovych, and neither he nor anyone of the Russian leadership has declared any support in the ousted president. Also there was not an official statement of recognition or non-recognition of the new regime. Statements were made only on the seizure of power through brutal violence and on the involvement of radical nationalists and fascist elements.

According to the Russian perception, in Ukraine today there is no central government and the state is dominated with governmental anarchy and lack of stability and security to its citizens. According to Russia’s security doctrine, non-stability of neighboring countries is a threat to the Russian security. Moreover, Russia sees what is happening in Ukraine as a conspiracy planned by the US and NATO, in its ultimate goal to make Ukraine a NATO member state within a certain time.

The expansion of NATO eastward, towards Ukraine, at the risk of placing NATO bases in the territory of Ukraine, first ands foremost missile bases, is preserved by Russia as an existential threat. Apparently, some kind of a Putin Doctrine was expected in Russia, which means zero concessions to the West and the US in their attempt to expand their influence in the territory of the former Soviet Union.

The first indication of the existence of such a doctrine was the war with Georgia. Russia also does not rely on negotiations and agreements with Europe and the US, following the failed attempt of agreement in Libya, and the latest agreement in Ukraine, with guarantees signed by European foreign ministers, violated several hours after it was signed.

Russia decided to openly intervene in Ukraine and to outweigh by itself the governmental status of Ukraine according to its interests. The first step is putting troops in Crimea. About six thousand soldiers were moved into Crimea using the Russian Navy. 10 cargo aircraft were as well positioned in Crimea, 10 fighter jets and 30 APCs (armored personnel carriers). This indicates that Crimea may be a military base for a quick movement of forces to other regions of Ukraine.

In the South-Eastern regions of Ukraine, with considerable Russian population such as Crimea, a local government stabilization process against the Kiev authorities has begun, with a request for assistance from Russia. It is possible that these areas will be inserted with Russian troops as well. In any case those areas began establishing local forces on the basis of military personnel, police and local volunteers, assisted by the Russian army. It is possible, upon completion of the construction of these units, they will begin to move towards other regions of Ukraine to take control of Kiev and the rest of the state.

At this point, Russia is not interested in the dividing of Ukraine. First of all because of the fear that some parts which would not remain in the pro-Russian Ukraine will serve as the basis of a NATO member state, with all that entails. During the next few days, there may be a Russian takeover of nuclear power plants in Ukraine (there are two) in order to prevent acts of sabotage that could cause a nuclear disaster “Chernobyl-style”, or even worst, and takeover of strategic points and missile and naval bases.

Special attention will be given to the airports in Ukraine, especially the main ones, those which the Russian army could control, both for the benefit of its operations and to prevent reinforcements shipments flown to Ukraine. The South-Eastern regions, where most of Ukraine’s industry is concentrated, may stop the transfer of goods and money to other areas of Ukraine and Kiev, and by that exacerbate the economic and financial condition. Russia may in return increase the economic aid to those areas.

On the other side stands the Ukraine army. This army is weak. A substantial share of it has been acquiring hostile feelings towards the regime in Kiev. Perhaps, a part of it will support the government in Kiev, while the other part will support its opponents in the South-Eastern regions. In any case, the units which will support the pro-Russian forces will receive the support of the Russians and their army. The units which will stand against and try to exert power might be attacked by the Russian army.

On martyrdom

نايلة تويني

نايلة تويني

Martyr   الشهيد

On martyrdom in Lebanon

al-arabiya-logo

What allows the Lebanese to continue living in a country whose history, and perhaps future, is contaminated with blood is the will of life which is stronger than all circumstances. Nations establish peace for a better future for themselves and their sons while we drown in a sea of blood for the sake of causes which many don’t know the results and aims of. All nations sacrificed blood to reach their aims. Successes and victories cannot be achieved without sacrifices. If successes are not achieved, the blood which was shed is cheapened. This is what we do not want for Lebanon’s martyrs who fell at more than one place at many different times. All parties in Lebanon gave martyrs for the country’s sake. Some of them gave martyrs for the sake of other countries. But in all cases, they believed in a cause, defended it and sacrificed what is precious for its sake. Perhaps most Lebanese reached the conclusion that dialogue is the best for reaching goals and that martyrs – all martyrs – are a loss to Lebanon. The long war that lasted for 15 years shed a lot of blood, and it didn’t end until a political agreement, sponsored by certain countries and agreed upon by other countries, was reached.

But martyrdom itself is a cause that must be restudied; the basis and conditions of which must be specified considering some youths are being deceived. They are being deceived into believing in causes which are not actually patriotic, religious or humane but which actually serve certain parties’ personal aims.

Religious and social scholars must contribute to clarifying the concepts and conditions of martyrdom

Nayla Tueni

Therefore, religious and social scholars must contribute to clarifying the concepts and conditions of martyrdom instead of settling at condemnations that change nothing.

Martyrdom is a noble act as it signifies a cause in which the martyr sacrifices himself for the sake of his country’s independence and for the sake of protecting it and defending it and its people. But he who destroys his country, blows up its institutions, kills it citizens, destroys his family, gives up his humanity and threatens his society is certainly not a martyr. This is what religious figures must say. So, will they dare?

This article was first published in al-Nahar on Feb. 3, 2014.

_____________________

Nayla Tueni is one of the few elected female politicians in Lebanon and of the two youngest. She became a member of parliament in 2009 and following the assassination of her father, Gebran, she is currently a member of the board and Deputy General Manager of Lebanon’s leading daily, Annahar. Prior to her political career, Nayla had trained, written in and managed various sections of Annahar, where she currently has a regular column. She can be followed on Twitter @NaylaTueni
نايلة تويني

نايلة تويني

Martyr   الشهيد

annahar

 

2014

إنها ارادة الحياة الاقوى من كل الظروف التي تسمح للبنانيين باستمرار العيش في بلد تاريخه، وربما مستقبله، ملوث بالدماء. الامم تبني سلاما من أجل مستقبل أفضل لها ولأبنائها من بعدها، فيما نحن لا نزال نغرق في بحر من الدماء من أجل قضايا لا يعرف كثيرون نتائجها واهدافها. كل الامم بذلت دماء غالية من أجل بلوغ أهدافها الخاصة الواضحة المعالم، فالنجاحات والانتصارات لا تتحقق من دون تضحيات، أما اذا لم تتحقق النجاحات، فتصير الدماء التي اهرقت رخيصة. وهذا ما لا نريده لشهداء لبنان الذين سقطوا في اكثر من مكان وزمان. فكل الاطراف في لبنان قدموا شهداء من أجل الوطن، وبعضهم من أجل وطن آخر، لكنهم في كل حال آمنوا بقضية ما ودافعوا عنها وبذلوا الغالي من اجلها. وربما وصل معظم اللبنانيين الى استنتاج مفاده ان الحوار هو الافضل لبلوغ الاهداف، وان الشهداء، كل الشهداء، هم خسارة للبنان، بما لدى كل منهم من طاقة كان يمكن ان تفيد لبنانه في المجالات المختلفة. فالحرب الطويلة التي استمرت 15 سنة، قبل ان تسكت المدافع، اراقت دماء غزيرة، ولم توقف الا باتفاق سياسي رعته دول واتفقت عليه دول أخرى.

لكن الشهادة في ذاتها قضية يجب ان يعاد درسها وتحديد اسسها وشروطها، اذ ان عدداً من الشبان يغرر بهم لقضايا ليست في حقيقتها وطنية ولا دينية ولا انسانية، بل تخدم مآرب اصحابها وأنانياتهم وحساباتهم الشخصية، وربما ارتباطاتهم الاستخبارية. من هنا، على العلماء في الدين والمجتمع ان يساهموا في توضيح مفاهيم الشهادة واسسها وشروطها، عوض الاكتفاء باستنكارات لا تقدم ولا تؤخر.
الشهادة عمل نبيل في ذاته، اذ يحمل قضية يتحول معها الشهيد قربانا يقدم على مذبح الوطن، من اجل استقلاله، ومن أجل صونه، والدفاع عنه، وعن أهله. اما ان يدمر الواحد بلده، ويفجّر مؤسساته، ويقتل مواطنيه، ويدمر عائلته، ويفرّط في انسانيته، ويهدد كيان مجتمعه، فلن يكون هذا بالتأكيد شهيداً. وهذا ما يجب ان يقوله رجال الدين. فهل يتجرأون؟

Silencing al-Majed Before He Exposes the Saudi Connection To 9/11

[Here is an outstanding piece of analysis from Belgium, which makes the first efforts towards tying together several leads concerning “Saudi intelligence/terrorists,” professional Saudi intelligence killers who serve Riyadh as terrorist leaders.  The idea of an “intelligence/terrorist” is not a new concept, but up until now it has been restricted to Pakistan in discussions in Western media. 

Discussion of the phenomenon “intelligence agent/terrorists, must begin in Pakistan, where all known Sunni terrorist organizations had their origins in ISI intelligence, with agents serving both as terrorist trainers and as militant leaders.  The majority of the most notorious of all famous Pak terrorists were military men (men like Omar Sheikh, Amjad Farooqi, “Dr. Usman,” Ilyas Kashmiri. etc.).  Extending the concept from Pak ISI to Saudi intelligence is a natural progression in the analysis of Sunni terrorism….One short step away from the concept of “CIA-TERRORISTS.” 

The capture, interrogation and subsequent death of Saudi national, “Majed Mohammed Abdullah al-Majed,” is surrounded in mystery.  Unraveling his entanglement with Saudi intelligence will solve most major controversies concerning the true nature of the “war on terrorism,” beginning in the present with the shenanigans of the “Abdullah Azzam Brigades.  Working backward, to discover the terrorist pedigree of this dead Saudi, uncovers his connections with Al-Qaeda In Iraq, Fatah al-Islam, al-Nusrah, al-Qaeda and the anti-Assad terrorists who have frequented Lebanon since the murder of Rafik Hariri in 2005 .  Majed’s period in hiding in Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp near Sidon, which is officially off-limits to Lebanese authorities, provides the cohesion in the narrative now being generated.  

The speculation about American military involvement in the Lebanese Army capture of this key Saudi agent, revolves around the fine line that separates the CIA from “military intelligence.”  This all comes at a particularly troubling juncture of Saudi-American relations, when the 911 lawsuit against the Saudi royals has just been given the GREEN LIGHT.  In hindsight, Bandar and Abdullah must be questioning the wisdom of their own council in making their grab for the entire “Greater Middle East,” at this time in the struggle.  It is not yet apparent to the royals the ultimate price of their treachery, becoming the next target for regime change.  Bandar’s idiotic activation of the old “al-Qaeda” network will definitely blow-up in his face, whenever his “holy warriors” realize that they will not be allowed to liberate Jerusalem and Palestine.  The war that they have been duped into volunteering for is not to be against the Zionist oppressors, but against their fellow Muslims, in a Saudi vanity war to settle old scores against the secular Assad dynasty. 

All are left to ponder the question that is now haunting half of all intelligence agents in the Middle East–Is it possible to prosecute the Saudis as the world’s primary sponsor of all terrorism without exposing everybody’s secrets, most of them implicating THE CIA, the Saudi royal family’s official sponsor?]

peter.chamberlin@hotmail.com

The liquidation of Majed and 9/11

dedefensa.org

Initially, there is the importance and the various mysteries of the “arrest” (quotes required), 24 or 26 December 2013 in Lebanon by the Lebanese army, it seems, Majed al-Majed, important figure of Saudi nationality, terrorist leader of a close al-Qaeda (AAB or Abudullah Azzam Brigade group, linked to the ISIS group or Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, linked to al-Qaeda or so to say and so on …), but maybe, even probably, a prominent member of the Saudi SR with important information. And then there is his mysterious death, January 3, 2014 probably while he was hospitalized, according to an “official” version because it would have succumbed to severe illness from which he suffered, according to other versions speculative but based on the extreme importance of the character, when he was interrogated and even tortured, or even more steeply because it was “just” liquidated …

The importance of character, especially one reads the text of Ibrahim al-Amin, editor-in-chief of Al-Akhbar English, a Lebanese daily “pro-resistance” of 4 January 2014 . The text was written while Majed was supposed still living under the title “We must prevent Majed be wound” with a notice of “update” last minute “Majed al-Majed died while in custody on January Lebanese 4 “. Some excerpts from the text with the emphasis we (underlined bold) on what is important to us to highlight.

“As security officers Closely Involved In His case attest, Majed is a strong face Among His supporters and followers. The security sources say Majed That’s associates-have the carried out acts That Demonstrate Their conviction and faith in him, to the extent of Being willing to sacrifice for Their Lives Majed. […]

“Majed, According To experts on extremist groups, is privy to the secrets of a long era spanned at least That 10 years of live action. Took him His journey from Saudi Arabia to Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, and Afghanistan and Pakistan aussi, falling on All which he Became Acquainted with quite a Few Individuals Have you would go on to join al-Qaeda. Majed aussi Review: had a key role to play in helping jihadists grouped in Decentralized frameworks Following the US-led invasion of Afghanistan and the Dismantling of al-Qaeda’s leadership.

“The information supposedly in His possession covers a wide number of operatives, operational details, the form of sleeper cells and targets, and Introduced amendments to the modus operandi of jihadi groups partner after the US-led invasion of Iraq and Then the Syrian crisis. Majed Also has intricate knowledge of how the group’s leaders and members are Financed, Where the funds are Spent, and aussi Many of the group’s political, security, military, and Economic contacts That Helped it operate in several countries, Including in Lebanon … […]

“More importantly, Majed, DESPITE His illness, Remained in touch with the cells tasked with attacking Hezbollah and the Lebanese army across Lebanon. Possibly the man knows everything about the database of targets His group intends to attack, aim above all, he holds the Most Important secrets about ties to Arab and Western Governments and agencies, Especially Saudi’s shadow men in the Levant and Iraq.

“Yet as much as Majed Was a high-value target That Many agencies in the area and the world Were tracking down, and as much as His arrest Was a major achievement – Regardless of how and why it succeeded – his case is shrouded in mystery , prompting one to infer His capture That Was a difficulty matter for Those Who Decided to do it, and now That He Has Become a burden.

• The circumstances of the arrest, various mysteries and unknowns appear clearly according to sources. DEBKAfiles, announcing the news on January 1, 2014 , is fairly eloquent speculative and contrary to his habits, sticking to operational information type plunging into the multitude disorder terrorist organizations, Islamists, etc.., Syria. Al-Akhbar, again, gives the 3 January 2014 , from the pen of one of its journalists, Razdwan Mortada various indications substantivant the mysterious and complex nature of this arrest. At this time point, so one day before the item indicated above its editor-in-chief, Mortada stands by the version of the disease but involves interesting sources as a basis for operation, making its “Arrest” nothing less than an emergency medical intervention to try to save Majed Again, a little stressed in bold …

“Nothing about this operation WAS ordinary, as Majed himself WAS no ordinary man. He is one of the emir of the international jihad’s Most prominent and mysterious organisms. Ten days ago, U.S. military intelligence feels an urgent cable to the Strategic Security at the Lebanese Defense Ministry, Majed was in. That revealing a mountainous area near the Lebanese border town of Ersal Branch year. Later, He Was Moved to a house inside the town due to His critical health conditions. Two days later, indicating indication Reviews another cable arrived there WAS talk of Majed Transporting to a Beirut hospital to Undergo an urgent dialysis. On December 24, an ambulance Took Majed from Ersal to Makassed Hospital in Beirut, and Another cable confirmed the transfer.

• Then there is the Saudi intervention and pressures and Iranian issues. On this last point that is justified by the claim that Majed conducted the attack against the Iranian embassy in Beirut, the demand for an Iranian parliamentary joint autopsy Majed (PressTV.ir, supported by the agency Trends.News the 5 January 2014 ) following the Iranian interventions to meet Mejed prisoner, together with the Saudis who had initiated this procedure, and the refusal of the Saudis Iranian presence. Finally, the Saudis have agreed to an autopsy, but because the only Saudi, that being justified by nationality (Saudi) of death. (According to Now, the Lebanese daily on 5 January 2014 .)

• Meanwhile, Iranian sources said that Saudi had offered $ 3 billion to the Lebanese government for the extradition of Mejed. (A long text FARS agency on January 4, 2014 , Majed links to Saudi intelligence Prince Bandar, recalling the various adventures and intrigues of Bandar, particularly vis-à-vis the Russians and on Olympic security Sochi.) A dispatch from the FARS reported January 4 2014 intervention of an Iranian member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs on this aspect of the case Mejed, adding that Iran is entitled to file a complaint with the UN against Saudi, because of the bomb attack against the Iranian embassy in Beirut on 25 November.

“Earlier today, senior parliamentary Officials in Tehran Saudi Arabia Disclosed That HAS to pay $ 3bln offert to the Lebanese government in return for the extradition of Al-Majed, the Suspected head of the Abdullah Azzam Brigades Ziad al-Jarrah â Battalion, that ‘Claimed responsibility for the November attack on the Iranian embassy in Beirut All which killed 25 people. “The Saudi government HAS Considered $ 3bln for the extradition of the individual behind the Iranian embassy blast in Lebanon, indicating indication That the remarks he might make are vitally significant for the Saudi government,” Vice-Chairman of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Mansour Haqiqatpour Told FNA on Saturday. “Saudi Arabia HAS Demanded Lebanon to extradite Majed in return for $ 3bln,” he reiterated. Underlined Haqiqatpour aussi That Tehran is Entitled to file a lawsuit at the UN against Saudi Arabia Because the mid November attack WAS Conducted on the Iranian embassy in Beirut.

• Finally, on 5 January 2014 , Lebanese TV al-Jahud relayed by the Iranian agency FAS, and in this case, the ThereAreNoSunGlasses.wordpress.com website says a Saudi diplomat visited Majed shortly before death of the prisoner. This tour is presented in the umbrella title text as “the kiss of death” to Saudi Majed (“Did Saudi diplomat Majed give the kiss of death?”): “The Lebanese al-Jadid TV channel reported about That A Saudi embassy attaché in Beirut puts Majed at the hospital Where He Was Kept dialysis for 24 hours before His death.

• We see that there is enough evidence to immediately arrest and interpret this death very fast, of course oh so suspicious next claims that Majed had been “arrested” for emergency rather be treated as more dramatic element in a case that mixes many entanglements, some important, concerning the situation of various terrorism, Saudi, and in particular, in the background, links to Saudi Arabia with the U.S. … For it is this latter aspect that chooses MK Bhadrakumar to write a very short note, the January 5, 2014 , on his blog (Indian PunchLine) under the title ambiguous enough considering the content of his text “Majed won ‘t talk but Obama shoulds worry.

Bhadrakumar is generally well informed on these complex cases in the Middle East, involving Iran and Arabia, and the multiple ramifications of terrorism largely funded by Saudi. In addition, as a former respected diplomat, he has no sensationalism or so-called “complotistes” theses … The reference he mentions about the new situation in Washington where the U.S. Justice allowed the examination of the possible involvement of Saudi in the attack of 11 September 2001 (see December 26, 2013 ) in various trials being from families of victims of the attack, is the main point of interest to us in terms of what would be “double-hatting” of Majed (AAB terrorist leader but also a member of the Saudi intelligence informed ” Most Important secrets about ties to Arab and Western Governments and agencies “). Here is the excerpt from Bhadrakumar we actually interested text also focuses on the potential impact the fate of Majed Lebanon, with the risk of a new civil war …

“The Saudi intelligence Feared That Would Have Majed e-Majed might spill the beans about the AAB’s links with Al-Qaeda. The Point is, AAB is backed by the Saudi intelligence, altho it is listed by the U.S. as a terrorist organization. The Saudi doublespeak is typical – Majed Al-Majed is in Riyadh’s list of wanted terrorists aim AAB enjoys covert support. In short, he HAD beens left alive, There Was the dangerous possibility That The U.S. Would Have Been Compelled to examine Saudi Arabia’s links with the al-Qaeda. Recently the U.S. Appeal Court ordered That the Saudi role in the 9/11 attacks shoulds bear scrutiny.

“All this once again highlights the U.S. That’s ties with Saudi Arabia need a Careful think by the Barack Obama administration. The thesis That if the U.S. antagonized saudi Arabia, the lathing might look for new alliances is an ingenuous argument. The core issue is Whether it is in the U.S. ‘and the Western world’s (the Middle East’s gold) Interests if Saudi Arabia is allowed to get away with icts links with Al-Qaeda groups. Syria Becomes the test case. The Continued U.S. ambivalence on this score only the suspicion That Strengthens Washington too might-have HAD uses of Al-Qaeda groups as instruments of regional policies icts: such as Afghanistan or Iraq.

It is unclear what exactly Bhadrakumar means when he writes in his song “Obama should be worried.” Are the implications of the USA-type al-Qaeda terrorism financed mainly by Saudi, where the US-Saudi antagonism become extreme, with revelations that may arise on these implications, voluntarily or not disseminated by Saudi who would have replaced complicity with the U.S. by the confrontation? No doubt, but does it then go to the heart about watching these implications with terrorism, combining U.S. and Saudi, can go up to 9/11 when the U.S. Justice has authorized the ongoing trial to investigate the possibility of Saudi involvement in the attack – at a time, in 2001, where the triangular connections US-Saudi terrorist-type al-Qaeda gave full? These issues today all have their meaning in the light of Majed case-terrorist intelligence officer supposed to know a lot about the relationship between Saudi and Western SR (U.S., of course) compared to terrorism such al-Qaeda, and that while sources indicate that it was the U.S. military-intelligence (DIA?) that would have “fixed” Majed to designate the Lebanese army. (The latter also also ambiguous with given accuracy, connecting military [U.S.] Military [Lebanese] may very well be independent of other intelligence forces involved [U.S., Lebanon, Saudi Arabia] or purposes antagonism with them, for example “save” Majed who knows-as-of-things.)

It is impossible to extract all this a solid conclusion on the case as a complex framework of type-a-Qaeda terrorism and Saudi operations, otherwise to engage in a variety of speculations and for us free, since by substantivées nothing. For cons, the direct reference to a commentator of the caliber of the new MK Bhadrakumar examine the involvement of Arabia in 9/11 in light of the deterioration of US-Saudi ties possibility, under Majed the case has a significant implicit meaning. In general, we understand that the present tension between Saudi and the U.S., if it becomes stronger and structural, carries many different effects in current affairs, fighting, conflicts of interest, etc.., But also it now covers a key point that is extremely strong possibility, through an incident or another, a revelation either of which would seize the U.S. justice to revisit the “official version” of the attack of September 11, 2001 – now “officially” in doubt (the intervention of two U.S. parliamentarians in this sense, in the House, as reported in our text December 26, 2013 ). We must therefore confirm that this is indeed a new chapter as a result of the 9/11 attack which is open, where, indeed, the “complotisme” is no longer an argument of controversy and communication Lounge in one direction, as it was previously used by a well-oiled press system, but a concrete hypothesis and unpredictable in its effects, both operational and linked to interest (U.S. and Saudi Arabia) now antagonists, both in the strict legal proceedings of the U.S. justice.

On The Trail Of The Saudi Cutouts Who Set-UpThe 9/11 Patsies

On The Trail Of The Saudi [Cutouts] Who [Set Up] The 9/11 [Patsies], Part 4: The Cutouts

 winter patriot
A cutout is a link …

[Previous: 1: 28 Pages | 2: No Vortex | 3: The Lawsuit ]

The term “cutout” is intelligence jargon for a special sort of role that must be played in covert operations. A cutout acts as a go-between, bringing support and instructions from the planners to the perpetrators.

By doing this, the cutout becomes a link in the chain of evidence that connects the planners to the perpetrators. And the cutout’s most important job is to be “cut out” of the chain if and when necessary.

The timely disappearance of a cutout can break the trail that would otherwise lead back from the crime to the people who wanted it to happen. By making cutouts disappear, covert operators can maintain a certain level of “plausible denial,” even if the perpetrators are caught in the act, or tracked down later.

In the case of 9/11, where the “hijackers” were apparently patsies who were intended to be caught, the role of the cutouts was especially important — and especially dangerous.

… in the chain of evidence that connects …

It is sad and strange and very pathetic that we still know so little about the nature of the 9/11 attacks. It’s bad enough that that we don’t know who did it. But we don’t even know what they did! That complicates everything except the government story, the litigation based on it, and the mainstream coverage.

We do know a little bit, and presumably Walter Jones, Stephen Lynch, Bob Graham know a lot more, about some well-connected Saudis who helped to put the patsies in a position from which they could take the blame — and who then disappeared!

From Paul Sperry in the New York Post [or here]:

Some information already has leaked from the [28 redacted pages], which is based on both CIA and FBI documents, and it points back to Saudi Arabia, a presumed ally….

LOS ANGELES: Saudi consulate official Fahad al-Thumairy allegedly arranged for an advance team to receive two of the Saudi hijackers — Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi — as they arrived at LAX in 2000. One of the advance men, Omar al-Bayoumi, a suspected Saudi intelligence agent, left the LA consulate and met the hijackers at a local restaurant. (Bayoumi left the United States two months before the attacks, while Thumairy was deported back to Saudi Arabia after 9/11.)

… the planners of a covert operation …

Watch how this happens. The timing is very interesting. al-Bayoumi, who was directly connected with the patsies, disappeared two months before the attacks. Thumairy, who was connected to al-Bayoumi but not to the patsies directly, didn’t disappear until after the attacks.

SAN DIEGO: Bayoumi and another suspected Saudi agent, Osama Bassnan, set up essentially a forward operating base in San Diego for the hijackers after leaving LA. They were provided rooms, rent and phones, as well as private meetings with an American al Qaeda cleric who would later become notorious, Anwar al-Awlaki, at a Saudi-funded mosque he ran in a nearby suburb. They were also feted at a welcoming party. (Bassnan also fled the United States just before the attacks.)

Bassnan (sometimes also “Basnan”), who was also in direct contact with the patsies, also disappeared before the attacks.

WASHINGTON: Then-Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar and his wife sent checks totaling some $130,000 to Bassnan while he was handling the hijackers. Though the Bandars claim the checks were “welfare” for Bassnan’s supposedly ill wife, the money nonetheless made its way into the hijackers’ hands.

Other al Qaeda funding was traced back to Bandar and his embassy — so much so that by 2004 Riggs Bank of Washington had dropped the Saudis as a client. The next year, as a number of embassy employees popped up in terror probes, Riyadh recalled Bandar.

“Our investigations contributed to the ambassador’s departure,” an investigator who worked with the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Washington told me, though Bandar says he left for “personal reasons.”

… to the perpetrators.

Prince Bandar, who as Ambassador was under diplomatic immunity, didn’t have to disappear until he could leave for “personal reasons” by being “recalled.”

FALLS CHURCH, VA.: In 2001, Awlaki and the San Diego hijackers turned up together again — this time at the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center, a Pentagon-area mosque built with funds from the Saudi Embassy. Awlaki was recruited 3,000 miles away to head the mosque. As its imam, Awlaki helped the hijackers, who showed up at his doorstep as if on cue. He tasked a handler to help them acquire apartments and IDs before they attacked the Pentagon.

Awlaki worked closely with the Saudi Embassy. He lectured at a Saudi Islamic think tank in Merrifield, Va., chaired by Bandar. Saudi travel itinerary documents I’ve obtained show he also served as the ­official imam on Saudi Embassy-sponsored trips to Mecca and tours of Saudi holy sites. Most suspiciously, though, Awlaki fled the United States on a Saudi jet about a year after 9/11.

A cutout’s most important job…

Awlaki needed a lot of help to disappear … and he got it! Where do you suppose it came from?

As I first reported in my book, “Infiltration,” quoting from classified US documents, the Saudi-sponsored cleric was briefly detained at JFK before being released into the custody of a “Saudi representative.” A federal warrant for Awlaki’s arrest had mysteriously been withdrawn the previous day.

This timing is also very interesting, is it not? Normally, federal arrest warrants are not mysteriously withdrawn — let alone just in time to facilitate a disappearance!

HERNDON, VA.: On the eve of the attacks, top Saudi government official Saleh Hussayen checked into the same Marriott Residence Inn near Dulles Airport as three of the Saudi hijackers who targeted the Pentagon. Hussayen had left a nearby hotel to move into the hijackers’ hotel. Did he meet with them? The FBI never found out. They let him go after he “feigned a seizure,” one agent recalled.

Hussayen “feigned a seizure” to disappear. Such a clever lad. He has even disappeared from the official story, as did they all, according to Sperry:

Hussayen’s name doesn’t appear in the separate 9/11 Commission Report, which clears the Saudis.

Poof! They’re all cleared! Isn’t that amazing?

Guess who else got “help” from a high-ranking Saudi, who then disappeared?

SARASOTA, FLA.: 9/11 ringleader Mohamed Atta and other hijackers visited a home owned by Esam Ghazzawi, a Saudi adviser to the nephew of King Fahd. FBI agents investigating the connection in 2002 found that visitor logs for the gated community and photos of license tags matched vehicles driven by the hijackers. Just two weeks before the 9/11 attacks, the Saudi luxury home was abandoned. Three cars, including a new Chrysler PT Cruiser, were left in the driveway. Inside, opulent furniture was untouched.

… is to disappear …

Esam Ghazzawi disappeared in a big hurry. That’s the way it goes sometimes, especially when you’re in contact with the “ringleader.”

Some folks have more pull than others, apparently. The cutouts got away, but the senator chasing them ran into a stone wall.

Democrat Bob Graham, the former Florida senator who chaired the Joint Inquiry, has asked the FBI for the Sarasota case files, but can’t get a single, even heavily redacted, page released. He says it’s a “coverup.”

Of course it’s a coverup. Sperry asks:

Is the federal government protecting the Saudis?

But that question is beneath consideration, is it not? The interesting question is “Why is the federal government protecting the Saudis?” But perhaps Sperry can’t ask such questions in the New York Post. He does say this, though:

Case agents tell me they were repeatedly called off pursuing 9/11 leads back to the Saudi Embassy, which had curious sway over White House and FBI responses to the attacks.

… and they all did! Isn’t that amazing?

Yes, curious indeed … unless you prefer a stronger word. In my view, there is no plausible explanation, unless people in very high places wanted it to happen this way.

Just days after Bush met with the Saudi ambassador in the White House, the FBI evacuated from the United States dozens of Saudi officials, as well as Osama bin Laden family members. Bandar made the request for escorts directly to FBI headquarters on Sept. 13, 2001 — just hours after he met with the president. The two old family friends shared cigars on the Truman Balcony while discussing the attacks.

And that’s how all the cutouts disappeared. Funny how that worked, isn’t it? — probably just the way it was supposed to.

Some of the cutouts didn’t disappear safely enough. As Sperry notes,

A US drone killed Awlaki in Yemen in 2011.

We also know about some other cutouts who didn’t disappear fast enough. We’ll talk about them soon.

[to be continued]

Israeli Saudi Union On Full Display In UAE with Shimon Peres Addressing Iran War Rally

Israeli President Briefed 29 Arab and Muslim leaders in a Secret Summit Organized by UAE Against Iran

jafria news

Israeli Presidernt Shimon PeresDubai : Israeli President Shimon Peres has secretly addressed a number of Arab and Muslim politicians two weeks ago during a summit organized in Abu Dhabi. 

According to a report published in the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth on Monday, Peres appeared before 29 foreign ministers from the Persian Gulf states, Arab League countries and other Muslim nations. The king of Saudi Arabia’s son was also among the participants of the meeting.

Peres appeared on a video screen at the (Persian) Gulf States Security Summit, sitting in his office in Jerusalem with an Israeli flag behind him.

The foreign ministers of Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Yemen and Qatar were present, as well as foreign ministers from the Arab League and other Muslim countries, such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Bangladesh.

UN-Under Secretary-General Terje-Roed Larsen and U.S. Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations Martin Indyk interviewed Peres in the meeting. As agreed upon beforehand, the foreign ministers would not ask their questions and address Peres directly, and in return he would only speak with the interviewers. In addition, the organizers of the event stipulated that Peres would participate only if the content of the meeting remain confidential.

“The UAE, which organized the summit, chose Peres to open the assembly, a testimony to the importance of the Israeli president during this point in time, and more so, the importance of a good relationship with Israel against the common enemy, Iran,” the daily said.

New York Times chief analyst Thomas Friedman, who attended the event said the Israeli president Tackled many issues during his address.

According to Friedman, Peres had stressed that “Israel can be a major factor in the Middle East, and that there is an opportunity for dialogue for a common goal – a struggle against radical Islamism and a nuclear Iran, and he also talked about his vision for world peace.”

US Risking War With China To Defend Imperial Japan’s War Conquests

 

[SEE: Forget Trade Talks, Biden Is in East Asia to Stop a Potential War ]

[Obama was so frustrated with his failed attempt to engineer world war with Russia in the Middle East, that he has now “pivoted” to his next intended war front in the South “China Seas.”  The US and Japanese Navies are now skirting around the Chinese Navy and their new aircraft carrier, in order to reinforceJapan, which was forced into relinquishing its claims to the Paracel/Spratly Islands as a condition of the WWII surrender document.  The dubious claims made upon the Spratlys by the Japanese are related to Japan’s many aggressions committed against China. 

First, Obama confirmed that Bush’s terror is now his own, before he escalated the war in the Middle East against multiple nations, revealing for all to see that he is waging a true “war of aggression” against the entire world.

Next, Obama anoints the new Imperial Japanese government with his blessing, in the form of a promise to invoke the American postwar commitment to defend Japanese territory, even those defined by previous war claims.  Obama, the self-celebrated legal expert, doesn’t have a legal leg to stand on in this intricate, pre-arranged dogfight.  Is WWIII to begin with a revival of WWII?]

TREATY OF PEACE WITH JAPAN

Signed at San Francisco, 8 September 1951
Initial entry into force*: 28 April 1952

CHAPTER II, TERRITORY, Article 2, (f) Japan renounces all right, title and claim to the Spratly Islands and to the Paracel Islands.

 

The Inconvenient Truth Behind the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands

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By HAN-YI SHAW
Diaoyu Island is recorded under Kavalan, Taiwan in Revised Gazetteer of Fujian Province (1871).Han-yi ShawDiaoyu Island is recorded under Kavalan, Taiwan in Revised Gazetteer of Fujian Province (1871).

Japan’s recent purchase of the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands has predictably reignited tensions amongst China, Japan, and Taiwan. Three months ago, when Niwa Uichiro, the Japanese ambassador to China, warned that Japan’s purchase of the islands could spark an “extremely grave crisis” between China and Japan, Tokyo Governor Ishihara Shintaro slammed Niwa as an unqualified ambassador, who “needs to learn more about the history of his own country”.

Ambassador Niwa was forced to apologize for his remarks and was recently replaced. But what is most alarming amid these developments is that despite Japan’s democratic and pluralist society, rising nationalist sentiments are sidelining moderate views and preventing rational dialogue.

The Japanese government maintains that the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands are Japanese territory under international law and historical point of view and has repeatedly insisted that no dispute exists. Despite that the rest of the world sees a major dispute, the Japanese government continues to evade important historical facts behind its unlawful incorporation of the islands in 1895.

Specifically, the Japanese government asserts, “From 1885 on, our government conducted on-site surveys time and again, which confirmed that the islands were uninhabited and there were no signs of control by the Qing Empire.”

My research of over 40 official Meiji period documents unearthed from the Japanese National Archives, Diplomatic Records Office, and National Institute for Defense Studies Library clearly demonstrates that the Meiji government acknowledged Chinese ownership of the islands back in 1885.

Following the first on-site survey, in 1885, the Japanese foreign minister wrote, “Chinese newspapers have been reporting rumors of our intention of occupying islands belonging to China located next to Taiwan.… At this time, if we were to publicly place national markers, this must necessarily invite China’s suspicion.…”

In November 1885, the Okinawa governor confirmed “since this matter is not unrelated to China, if problems do arise I would be in grave repentance for my responsibility”.

“Surveys of the islands are incomplete” wrote the new Okinawa governor in January of 1892. He requested that a naval ship Kaimon be sent to survey the islands, but ultimately a combination of miscommunication and bad weather made it impossible for the survey to take place.

Letter dated May 12, 1894 affirming that the Meiji government did not repeatedly investigate the disputed islands.Japan Diplomatic Records Office.Letter dated May 12, 1894 affirming that the Meiji government did not repeatedly investigate the disputed islands.

“Ever since the islands were investigated by Okinawa police agencies back in 1885, there have been no subsequent field surveys conducted,” the Okinawa governor wrote in 1894.

After a number of Chinese defeats in the Sino-Japanese War, a report from Japan’s Home Ministry said “this matter involved negotiations with China… but the situation today is greatly different from back then.” The Meiji government, following a cabinet decision in early 1895, promptly incorporated the islands.

Negotiations with China never took place and this decision was passed during the Sino-Japanese War. It was never made public.

In his biography Koga Tatsushiro, the first Japanese citizen to lease the islands from the Meiji government, attributed Japan’s possession of the islands to “the gallant military victory of our Imperial forces.”

Collectively, these official documents leave no doubt that the Meiji government did not base its occupation of the islands following “on-site surveys time and again,” but instead annexed them as booty of war. This is the inconvenient truth that the Japanese government has conveniently evaded.

Japan asserts that neither Beijing nor Taipei objected to U.S. administration after WWII. That’s true, but what Japan does not mention is that neither Beijing nor Taipei were invited as signatories of the San Francisco Peace Treaty in 1951, from which the U.S. derived administrative rights.

When Japan annexed the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands in 1895, it detached them from Taiwan and placed them under Okinawa Prefecture. Moreover, the Japanese name “Senkaku Islands” itself was first introduced in 1900 by academic Kuroiwa Hisashi and adopted by the Japanese government thereafter. Half a century later when Japan returned Taiwan to China, both sides adopted the 1945 administrative arrangement of Taiwan, with the Chinese unaware that the uninhabited “Senkaku Islands” were in fact the former Diaoyu Islands. This explains the belated protest from Taipei and Beijing over U.S. administration of the islands after the war.

Report dated August 12, 1892 from navy commander affirming the islands were not fully investigated. Source:  Library of The National Institute for Defense Studies.Report dated August 12, 1892 from navy commander affirming the islands were not fully investigated. Source:  Library of The National Institute for Defense Studies.

The Japanese government frequently cites two documents as evidence that China did not consider the islands to be Chinese. The first is an official letter from a Chinese consul in Nagasaki dated May 20, 1920 that listed the islands as Japanese territory.

Neither Beijing nor Taipei dispute that the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands — along with the entire island of Taiwan — were formally under Japanese occupation at the time. However, per post-WW II arrangements, Japan was required to surrender territories obtained from aggression and revert them to their pre-1895 legal status.

The second piece evidence is a Chinese map from 1958 that excludes the Senkaku Islands from Chinese territory. But the Japanese government’s partial unveiling leaves out important information from the map’s colophon: “certain national boundaries are based on maps compiled prior to the Second Sino-Japanese War(1937-1945).”

Qing period (1644-1911) records substantiate Chinese ownership of the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands prior to 1895. Envoy documents indicate that the islands reside inside the “border that separates Chinese and foreign lands.” And according to Taiwan gazetteers, “Diaoyu Island accommodates ten or more large ships” under the jurisdiction of Kavalan, Taiwan.

The right to know is the bedrock of every democracy. The Japanese public deserves to know the other side of the story. It is the politicians who flame public sentiments under the name of national interests who pose the greatest risk, not the islands themselves.

Update: The author would like to include an updated image of the Qing era documents that recorded, “Diaoyutai Island accommodates ten or more large ships”, as mentioned in his blog post.

Record of Missions to Taiwan Waters (1722), Gazetteer of Kavalan County (1852), and Pictorial Treatise of Taiwan Proper (1872).National Palace Museum, Taipei, Taiwan.Record of Missions to Taiwan Waters (1722), Gazetteer of Kavalan County (1852), and Pictorial Treatise of Taiwan Proper (1872).

Han-Yi Shaw is a Research Fellow at the Research Center for International Legal Studies, National Chengchi University, in Taipei, Taiwan.

The Long-Awaited Death of the “Legitimate News”

 

 

CNN and MSNBC Lose Almost Half Their Viewers in One Year

newsbusters

 

It’s been a tough year for the liberal cable news outlets.

Data released Tuesday show CNN shedding 48 percent of total viewers since last November and MSNBC dropping 45 percent.

The numbers were even worse in the all important demographic of people aged 25 to 54 as CNN’s ratings dropped 59 percent and MSNBC’s 52 percent.

In an off-election year, and with last November’s numbers skewed higher as a result of the presidential election, it should be expected for ratings to decline.

However, Fox News didn’t see close to these losses. In total day, FNC is only down 18 percent since last November and 30 percent in the demo.

As you might imagine, prime time numbers were also down.

CNN was off 54 percent in total viewers and 62 percent in the demo. MSNBC declined 50 percent in total prime time viewers and 57 percent in the demo.

By contrast, FNC was second in all of cable in prime time this November averaging over 2 million viewers. This represented a decline of 21 percent in total viewers and 41 percent in the demo.

As such, no matter how you slice it, the liberal cable networks fared much worse in the past twelve months than their far more centrist competitor.

About the Author

Noel Sheppard is the Associate Editor of NewsBusters.

White House Fact Sheet On Iran Nuclear Deal

[Have we all misjudged the situation?  Is Obama actually a real Peacemaker, disguised as a war criminal?  By partnering with Putin to double-cross both Israel and the Saudis, Obama has largely disarmed the world’s two greatest troublemakers and state terrorists of their ability to extort concessions from us any longer.

Before this disappointment in Tel Aviv and Riyadh, there was the heartbreak felt from missing-out on a suicidal world war which they had worked so hard to force Obama into.  The chemical weapons agreement which enabled us to avert world war will do so much more than just deal with Middle Eastern WMD; it is a joint commitment by the world’s two greatest powers to work together to defuse the deadly world crisis which has been released by Bush’s terror war.  This new agreement with Iran, IF it can be made PERMANENT, will create a worldwide ban on new nuclear proliferation outside of the new global protocols that are now being created.  This will effectively limit ALL nuclear development to peaceful uses ONLY.  Between the chemical agreement and the Iranian nuclear agreement, real “weapons of mass destruction” (NOT the insipid American definition of WMD, which can be anything from an IED to a large “MENTOS” bomb) will systematically be eliminated from the Middle East, as a first step for worldwide disarmament of weapons of mass destruction.

Israel is so adamantly opposed to any controls on WMD, even to those possessed by their avowed enemy, Iran, or even treaties with them, simply because the Zionist leaders NEED their “special weapons.”   They have used them so effectively, up until now, to extort concessions from Western leaders, that they have truly given Israel control over all US foreign policy.  Fear that Israeli leaders have all been insane enough to ignite a world war in the Middle East, has made American leaders to act like the “rational” partners, forcing them to take actions that they might not have taken, in order to try to contain explosive Zionist leaders.

The Saudis, for their part, used their massive oil resources like a non-lethal “weapon of mass destruction,” since it also gave Riyadh its own veto power over US foreign policy.  The ongoing oil and gas booms in America have largely neutralized this Saudi power to wield political terrorism over American heads.  If Obama’s joint peace efforts with Putin hold together, until they can be forged into hard laws, then the world military crisis will have been defused, the two greatest sources of world terrorism will have been disarmed, and astronomical amounts of investment dollars and rubles will have been made available towards ending the world financial crisis and forging a new economic order.

So many great things could be done by Peacemakers, especially in a world which is as hungry for Peace as it is for food.]

Read the White House fact sheet on Iran nuclear deal

 

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The exact details remain unclear, but NBC’s Ann Curry says this initial first step in the deal is historic, but may set off backlash for some in Iran.

 

Below is a fact sheet released by the White House late Saturday describing the key elements of the agreement with Iran on its nuclear program:

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 23, 2013

Fact Sheet:  First Step Understandings Regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Nuclear Program

The P5+1 (the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, and China, facilitated by the European Union) has been engaged in serious and substantive negotiations with Iran with the goal of reaching a verifiable diplomatic resolution that would prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

President Obama has been clear that achieving a peaceful resolution that prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon is in America’s national security interest.  Today, the P5+1 and Iran reached a set of initial understandings that halts the progress of Iran’s nuclear program and rolls it back in key respects.  These are the first meaningful limits that Iran has accepted on its nuclear program in close to a decade.  The initial, six month step includes significant limits on Iran’s nuclear program and begins to address our most urgent concerns including Iran’s enrichment capabilities; its existing stockpiles of enriched uranium; the number and capabilities of its centrifuges; and its ability to produce weapons-grade plutonium using the Arak reactor.  The concessions Iran has committed to make as part of this first step will also provide us with increased transparency and intrusive monitoring of its nuclear program.  In the past, the concern has been expressed that Iran will use negotiations to buy time to advance their program.  Taken together, these first step measures will help prevent Iran from using the cover of negotiations to continue advancing its nuclear program as we seek to negotiate a long-term, comprehensive solution that addresses all of the international community’s concerns.

Secretary of State John Kerry lays out some of the terms of the nuclear deal with Iran.

In return, as part of this initial step, the P5+1 will provide limited, temporary, targeted, and reversible relief to Iran.  This relief is structured so that the overwhelming majority of the sanctions regime, including the key oil, banking, and financial sanctions architecture, remains in place.  The P5+1 will continue to enforce these sanctions vigorously.  If Iran fails to meet its commitments, we will revoke the limited relief and impose additional sanctions on Iran.

The P5+1 and Iran also discussed the general parameters of a comprehensive solution that would constrain Iran’s nuclear program over the long term, provide verifiable assurances to the international community that Iran’s nuclear activities will be exclusively peaceful, and ensure that any attempt by Iran to pursue a nuclear weapon would be promptly detected.  The set of understandings also includes an acknowledgment by Iran that it must address all United Nations Security Council resolutions – which Iran has long claimed are illegal – as well as past and present issues with Iran’s nuclear program that have been identified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).  This would include resolution of questions concerning the possible military dimension of Iran’s nuclear program, including Iran’s activities at Parchin.  As part of a comprehensive solution, Iran must also come into full compliance with its obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and its obligations to the IAEA.  With respect to the comprehensive solution, nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.  Put simply, this first step expires in six months, and does not represent an acceptable end state to the United States or our P5+1 partners.

Halting the Progress of Iran’s Program and Rolling Back Key Elements

Iran has committed to halt enrichment above 5%:

· Halt all enrichment above 5% and dismantle the technical connections required to enrich above 5%.

Iran has committed to neutralize its stockpile of near-20% uranium:

· Dilute below 5% or convert to a form not suitable for further enrichment its entire stockpile of near-20% enriched uranium before the end of the initial phase.

President Obama says the historic nuclear deal with Iran is a first step.  He added, the U.S. will continue to implement tough sanctions, but won’t impose new ones if Iran meets its commitments during the next six months.

Iran has committed to halt progress on its enrichment capacity:

· Not install additional centrifuges of any type.

· Not install or use any next-generation centrifuges to enrich uranium.

· Leave inoperable roughly half of installed centrifuges at Natanz and three-quarters of installed centrifuges at Fordow, so they cannot be used to enrich uranium.

· Limit its centrifuge production to those needed to replace damaged machines, so Iran cannot use the six months to stockpile centrifuges.

· Not construct additional enrichment facilities.

Iran has committed to halt progress on the growth of its 3.5% stockpile:

· Not increase its stockpile of 3.5% low enriched uranium, so that the amount is not greater at the end of the six months than it is at the beginning, and any newly enriched 3.5% enriched uranium is converted into oxide.

Iran has committed to no further advances of its activities at Arak and to halt progress on its plutonium track.  Iran has committed to:

· Not commission the Arak reactor.

· Not fuel the Arak reactor.

· Halt the production of fuel for the Arak reactor.

· No additional testing of fuel for the Arak reactor.

· Not install any additional reactor components at Arak.

· Not transfer fuel and heavy water to the reactor site.

· Not construct a facility capable of reprocessing.  Without reprocessing, Iran cannot separate plutonium from spent fuel.

Unprecedented transparency and intrusive monitoring of Iran’s nuclear program 

Iran has committed to:

· Provide daily access by IAEA inspectors at Natanz and Fordow.  This daily access will permit inspectors to review surveillance camera footage to ensure comprehensive monitoring.  This access will provide even greater transparency into enrichment at these sites and shorten detection time for any non-compliance.

· Provide IAEA access to centrifuge assembly facilities.

· Provide IAEA access to centrifuge rotor component production and storage facilities.

· Provide IAEA access to uranium mines and mills.

· Provide long-sought design information for the Arak reactor.  This will provide critical insight into the reactor that has not previously been available.

· Provide more frequent inspector access to the Arak reactor.

· Provide certain key data and information called for in the Additional Protocol to Iran’s IAEA Safeguards Agreement and Modified Code 3.1.

Verification Mechanism

The IAEA will be called upon to perform many of these verification steps, consistent with their ongoing inspection role in Iran.  In addition, the P5+1 and Iran have committed to establishing a Joint Commission to work with the IAEA to monitor implementation and address issues that may arise.  The Joint Commission will also work with the IAEA to facilitate resolution of past and present concerns with respect to Iran’s nuclear program, including the possible military dimension of Iran’s nuclear program and Iran’s activities at Parchin.

Limited, Temporary, Reversible Relief

In return for these steps, the P5+1 is to provide limited, temporary, targeted, and reversible relief while maintaining the vast bulk of our sanctions, including the oil, finance, and banking sanctions architecture.  If Iran fails to meet its commitments, we will revoke the relief.  Specifically the P5+1 has committed to:

· Not impose new nuclear-related sanctions for six months, if Iran abides by its commitments under this deal, to the extent permissible within their political systems.

· Suspend certain sanctions on gold and precious metals, Iran’s auto sector, and Iran’s petrochemical exports, potentially providing Iran approximately $1.5 billion in revenue.

· License safety-related repairs and inspections inside Iran for certain Iranian airlines.

· Allow purchases of Iranian oil to remain at their currently significantly reduced levels – levels that are 60% less than two years ago.  $4.2 billion from these sales will be allowed to be transferred in installments if, and as, Iran fulfills its commitments.

· Allow $400 million in governmental tuition assistance to be transferred from restricted Iranian funds directly to recognized educational institutions in third countries to defray the tuition costs of Iranian students.

Humanitarian Transactions

Facilitate humanitarian transactions that are already allowed by U.S. law.  Humanitarian transactions have been explicitly exempted from sanctions by Congress so this channel will not provide Iran access to any new source of funds.  Humanitarian transactions are those related to Iran’s purchase of food, agricultural commodities, medicine, medical devices; we would also facilitate transactions for medical expenses incurred abroad.  We will establish this channel for the benefit of the Iranian people.

Putting Limited Relief in Perspective

In total, the approximately $7 billion in relief is a fraction of the costs that Iran will continue to incur during this first phase under the sanctions that will remain in place.  The vast majority of Iran’s approximately $100 billion in foreign exchange holdings are inaccessible or restricted by sanctions.

In the next six months, Iran’s crude oil sales cannot increase.  Oil sanctions alone will result in approximately $30 billion in lost revenues to Iran – or roughly $5 billion per month – compared to what Iran earned in a six month period in 2011, before these sanctions took effect.  While Iran will be allowed access to $4.2 billion of its oil sales, nearly $15 billion of its revenues during this period will go into restricted overseas accounts.  In summary, we expect the balance of Iran’s money in restricted accounts overseas will actually increase, not decrease, under the terms of this deal.

Maintaining Economic Pressure on Iran and Preserving Our Sanctions Architecture

During the first phase, we will continue to vigorously enforce our sanctions against Iran, including by taking action against those who seek to evade or circumvent our sanctions.

· Sanctions affecting crude oil sales will continue to impose pressure on Iran’s government.  Working with our international partners, we have cut Iran’s oil sales from 2.5 million barrels per day (bpd) in early 2012 to 1 million bpd today, denying Iran the ability to sell almost 1.5 million bpd.  That’s a loss of more than $80 billion since the beginning of 2012 that Iran will never be able to recoup.  Under this first step, the EU crude oil ban will remain in effect and Iran will be held to approximately 1 million bpd in sales, resulting in continuing lost sales worth an additional $4 billion per month, every month, going forward.

· Sanctions affecting petroleum product exports to Iran, which result in billions of dollars of lost revenue, will remain in effect.

· The vast majority of Iran’s approximately $100 billion in foreign exchange holdings remain inaccessible or restricted by our sanctions.

· Other significant parts of our sanctions regime remain intact, including:

· Sanctions against the Central Bank of Iran and approximately two dozen other major Iranian banks and financial actors;

· Secondary sanctions, pursuant to the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act (CISADA) as amended and other laws, on banks that do business with U.S.-designated individuals and entities;

· Sanctions on those who provide a broad range of other financial services to Iran, such as many types of insurance; and,

· Restricted access to the U.S. financial system.

· All sanctions on over 600 individuals and entities targeted for supporting Iran’s nuclear or ballistic missile program remain in effect.

· Sanctions on several sectors of Iran’s economy, including shipping and shipbuilding, remain in effect.

· Sanctions on long-term investment in and provision of technical services to Iran’s energy sector remain in effect.

· Sanctions on Iran’s military program remain in effect.

· Broad U.S. restrictions on trade with Iran remain in effect, depriving Iran of access to virtually all dealings with the world’s biggest economy.

· All UN Security Council sanctions remain in effect.

· All of our targeted sanctions related to Iran’s state sponsorship of terrorism, its destabilizing role in the Syrian conflict, and its abysmal human rights record, among other concerns, remain in effect.

A Comprehensive Solution

During the six-month initial phase, the P5+1 will negotiate the contours of a comprehensive solution.  Thus far, the outline of the general parameters of the comprehensive solution envisions concrete steps to give the international community confidence that Iran’s nuclear activities will be exclusively peaceful.  With respect to this comprehensive resolution:  nothing is agreed to with respect to a comprehensive solution until everything is agreed to.  Over the next six months, we will determine whether there is a solution that gives us sufficient confidence that the Iranian program is peaceful.  If Iran cannot address our concerns, we are prepared to increase sanctions and pressure.

Conclusion

In sum, this first step achieves a great deal in its own right.  Without this phased agreement, Iran could start spinning thousands of additional centrifuges.  It could install and spin next-generation centrifuges that will reduce its breakout times.  It could fuel and commission the Arak heavy water reactor.  It could grow its stockpile of 20% enriched uranium to beyond the threshold for a bomb’s worth of uranium. Iran can do none of these things under the conditions of the first step understanding.

Furthermore, without this phased approach, the international sanctions coalition would begin to fray because Iran would make the case to the world that it was serious about a diplomatic solution and we were not.  We would be unable to bring partners along to do the crucial work of enforcing our sanctions.  With this first step, we stop and begin to roll back Iran’s program and give Iran a sharp choice:  fulfill its commitments and negotiate in good faith to a final deal, or the entire international community will respond with even more isolation and pressure.

The American people prefer a peaceful and enduring resolution that prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and strengthens the global non-proliferation regime.  This solution has the potential to achieve that.  Through strong and principled diplomacy, the United States of America will do its part for greater peace, security, and cooperation among nations.

Related stories:

Is Using the World’s Most Powerful Military Force To Punish Civilian Populations, “War” Or State Terrorism?

FOR SOME REASON,

The Powers That Be decided to trash this post, since someone deleted all of the commentary and image previously posted here.  Normally I copy my posts before hitting the post button….Screwed-up here.  I will try to recapture that which was lost.

[The following is a welcome admission by the Establishment press that our wars have been unmitigated disasters, but it is also very deceptive, falling far short of acceptable standards of journalistic integrity.  Despite the long-overdue admission that are wars have been failed efforts, this article is what is known as “limited hangout” propaganda, telling partial truths as a means for concealing more revelatory damning truths.  In this case, the writer wants his readers to begin to see our wars as huge “mistakes,” human-error caused disasters, rather than criminal wars of aggression.   The cold hard truth is that all of our wars have been resounding successes, judging by Pentagon/CIA standards.  The disastrous end-products of these wars was the intended result for all of them, destroying the Muslim countries that refused to follow American dictation.  We fully intended for the Iraqis, the Afghans, the Pakistanis, Yemenis, Syrians, Libyans and all of the rest of America’s perceived “enemies,” to experience unimaginable human suffering on a scale far greater than that which has been experienced so far.  In addition to all of this, the Imperial plan was to take advantage of the rising chorus of humanity, urging that we remedy all of this misery, as an excuse for inflicting even greater suffering and indignation on these populations under the guise of “humanitarian relief.”]    

 

“US ‘humanitarian interventionism’ is the official cover story for the planned destruction of governments and the sustained, relentless punishment of the people who supported those governments…plain and simple.

American foreign policy under Bush and Obama has been a concentrated effort to inflict maximum suffering upon civilian populations, under the cover of pretending to “help” them. America’s foreign policy is criminal…far worse than the alleged ‘crimes against humanity’ which Syria allegedly committed. The chaotic deadly conditions left in the wakes of these criminal wars have affected all of humanity and pushed civilization to the brink of complete collapse. This,makes America’s Imperial wars, by definition, ‘crimes against humanity.'”

war-on-terror-is-a-fraud

The bloody disaster of Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan is laid bare

guardian

Bombs and militia violence make clear the folly of Britain’s wars – the removal of law and order from a nation is devastating

Demonstrators Clash With Militiamen In Tripoli

A militia member patrols during clashes with demonstrators on November 15, 2013 in Tripoli, Libya. Photograph: Xinhua/Landov/Barcroft Media

Forty-three people died on Friday in clashes between militias in Libya, as did 22 on Sunday from bombs in Iraq. In Helmand, a return of the Taliban to power is now confidently expected. Why should we care? Why should it feature on our news?

The answer is that we helped to bring it about. Britain’s three foreign wars in the past decade were uninvited military interventions to topple installed governments. All have ended in disaster.

In each case – Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan – it was easy to see evil in the prevailing regime. These are bad guys that we need to go after, said the Americans. Yet the removal of law and order from a nation is devastating, however cruel that order may have been. Iraqis today repeat that, whatever the ills of Saddam Hussein, under his rule most ordinary citizens and their families could walk the streets at night without fear of murder or kidnap. Religious differences were tolerated. Iraq should have been an oil-rich modern state. Even the Kurds, scourged by Saddam in the past, enjoyed autonomy and relative peace.

In each of these cases Britain and its allies, chiefly America, intervened to overthrow the army, disband government, dismantle the judiciary and leave militias to run riot. Little or no attempt was made to replace anarchy with a new order. “Nation building” was a fiasco. The British bombs that flattened government buildings in Kabul, Baghdad and Tripoli did not replace them, or those who worked in them. Those who dropped them congratulated themselves on their work and went home.

It is hard to exaggerate the misery and chaos created by so-called “liberal interventionism”. It is hard to think of a more immoral foreign policy, roaming the (chiefly Muslim) world, killing people and sowing anarchy. That is why the blood-stained consequence should be splashed across headlines. Those who seek political kudos by visiting violence on foreign peoples should never be allowed to forget their deeds.

Syria Kurds Retake 19 Towns From the Islamist Terrorists

Syria Kurds rout jihadists across northeast: activists

daily star

A Kurdish female fighter from the Popular Protection Units (YPG) carries a walkie-talkie as she stands near fellow fighters carrying their weapons and using binoculars in the Kurdish town of Ifrin, in Aleppo's countryside October 14, 2013. REUTERS/Roshak Ahmad

A Kurdish female fighter from the Popular Protection Units (YPG) carries a walkie-talkie as she stands near fellow fighters carrying their weapons and using binoculars in the Kurdish town of Ifrin, in Aleppo’s countryside October 14, 2013. REUTERS/Roshak Ahmad

BEIRUT: Kurdish fighters have driven jihadists from 19 towns and villages across northeastern Syria in recent days, a week after capturing a key Iraqi border crossing, a monitoring group said Monday.

The Committees for the Protection of the Kurdish People (YPJ), the main Kurdish militia in Syria, has battled other rebel groups in a bid to carve out an autonomous region in the northeast, where the army is no longer deployed.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based group that relies on local activists and other sources, said that “since Saturday, a total of 19 localities have fallen into the hands of Kurdish fighters.”

“The jihadists have been trying to regroup their fighters to reclaim lost ground,” it said, referring to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the Al-Nusra Front, hardline groups linked to Al-Qaeda.

The Kurdish and jihadist fighters have long been battling for control of the northeastern Hasake province bordering Turkey and Iraq, which is rich in petroleum and grain.

The latest clashes came a week after Kurdish fighters seized the Yaarubiyeh crossing on the Iraq border, which had been a key transit point for arms and jihadist fighters carrying out attacks in both countries.

The fighting between the Kurds and rebels ostensibly struggling to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has added another level of complexity to the civil war, which has claimed an estimated 120,000 lives since early 2011.

The uprising against Assad began in March 2011 as a series of peaceful protests inspired by the Arab Spring, but soon escalated into a full-blown war after his security forces launched a brutal crackdown.

America’s Addiction to Imperialism

America’s Addiction to Imperialism

Libya 360°

“The people must demand an end to war, not because it costs trillions of dollars, but because it cost millions of lives.”

By Solomon Comissiong

The US has never gone a decade without being engaged in some sort of military conflict.”

The U.S. is Number One in weapons of war and domestic civilian gun deaths – and very little else. Historically, peace has not been a priority for the United States, which has waged war every decade since 1776. A common description for the term addiction is, the continued repetition of a behavior despite adverse consequences,or a neurological impairment leading to such behaviors…” This definition is most appropriate in regard to the world’s most destructive killing machine – the United States military. The United States government has long developed an acquired taste for war. And because much of the US population is completely obsequious to whatever their duplicitous government tells them, they, too, have become complacent to a perpetual state of war. Americans punch-drunk on nationalism fail to realize that “their” government is beholden to the interests of imperialism, not their general well being. Like well controlled puppets they chant, “USA number one”, over and over and over again, failing to ever question what “their” country is actually number one in.

The mental sickness of “American Exceptionalism” maintains the asylum known as American society. American Exceptionalism designs baseless sayings like, “USA number one.” US society is an extremely competitive and insecure environment. Ultimately, a place that encourages its citizens to ritualistically chant how good they are is not so sure of itself. Either that, or it does not wish the Hoi Polloi to ever question their government at all. The US is not number one in quality of life, education or overall healthcare. The USA is not even the happiest nation in the world, by a long shot. However, a few things the United States is number one in are: incarceration, gun related deaths and yes, military expenditure.

These are among some of the unsavory rubrics in which the US reigns supreme. If Americans meant any of those areas when they blindly chant, “USA number one”, then they would be spot on, especially when it comes to military “firepower.” With around 1,000 military bases, well over 10,000 nuclear warheads, and an almost constant state of war, the US is numero uno, without rival. The US is an imperialist monster with a voracious appetite for destruction. It has an uncontrollable appetite for war, caring little what it murders on its way toward global domination. This is evident in the vast number of civilians killed as a result of the US’s military campaigns. The vast majority of people murdered when the US decides to unleash its war machine, are, in fact, civilians. This is news to most Americans because they have been socially programmed to not even think about civilian casualties. They only worry about US military casualties as if those are the only lives that matter. Thinking about the catastrophic impact their government’s wars inflict upon innocent people, in “far off lands”, is well beyond many Americans’ social radar. This mode of thinking (or lack there of) has conditioned numerous Americans to lose vast segments of their humanity.

The vast majority of people murdered when the US decides to unleash its war machine, are, in fact, civilians.”

It is of little surprise that the United States government cares little about the “adverse consequences” that come with being constantly entrenched in war and global conflict. However, when the populace have adopted that inhumane way of thinking it paves a destructive road that we are traveling upon. The people are the ones whose responsibility it is to, not request, but demand an end to these wars of imperialism. Unfortunately, the United States’ mind control program, otherwise known as corporate media, has had a firm grip on the conscience of many Americans. This fact continues to prevent Americans from understanding that the people being terrorized by the US’s imperialist wars, are human beings – just like them. It especially prevents them from understanding that people in places like Afghanistan are, in fact, being terrorized by the US military.

Americans have bought into the orchestrated mythology that “their country,” when it enters/instigates a war, is doing so for some sort of benevolent reasons. Historically speaking, this could not be further from the truth, especially when we consider the number of civilians killed. Since World War I there has been a complete reversal of civilian deaths. During World War I, 10% of all casualties were civilians. During World War II, the number of civilian deaths rose to 50%. During the Vietnam War 70% of all casualties were civilians. In the war in Iraq, civilians account for 90% of all deaths. And when we look at the number of civilians killed by way of George Bush and Barack Obama’s drone strikes (alone), more that 90 percent of the victims have been civilians. However, don’t look at the fourth branch of the US government (the corporate media), to inform you of this. They, like the Pentagon and White House, could not give a damn about the number of innocent civilians killed. When former head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (and Secretary of State) Colin Powell was asked, in 1991, about the number of Iraqi civilians killed as a result of the US Gulf War against Iraq, he simply stated: “Its not a number I’m terribly interested in.” It is important to note that the Associated Press at the time quoted US military officials in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, estimating that the number of Iraqi dead at 100,000. However, other independent estimates place the number much higher. Not surprising, the Pentagon refused to provide an estimate of the number of dead Iraqi civilians.

The shear lack of regard for human life, especially that of civilians, is akin to that of a serial killer. The US military apparatus operates like that of a pathological killing machine with lust for war. The history of the United States more than backs up this assertion, especially when we consider the fact that since the US’s “founding” in 1776, this country has been at war 216 of those years. That’s right, out of the US’s 237 year existence it has been engaged in military conflict 216 of those years. If that is not an addiction to war, this author does not know what is. The US has never gone a decade without being engaged in some sort of military conflict.

An American life is no more valuable than that of someone from any country in which the U.S. is waging war.”

United States imperialism is destroying the world, one nation at time. And within those nations are living breathing human beings. Is it really hard to fathom why many people despise the US? It has nothing to do with Americans’ so-called “freedoms” – instead, it has everything to do with the military destruction of their countries. The politicians that ultimately control the US military care little about the soldiers they command to fight in their capitalist conquests of wealth and resources. And they certainly could not give a damn about the innocent civilians in places like Libya, Pakistan and Yemen. They are not concerned with how they are perceived by much of the globe; they are only concerned with maintaining their imperialist advancements and control. You are either “with them” or “against them”; there is no middle ground. And for these reasons it should be crystal clear why people living within the United State must care.

Organized critical masses of concerned people must serve as the moral compass, and rehabilitation, needed to end the US’s addiction to war. Bluntly put, humanity depends on it. The people must demand an end to war, not because it costs trillions of dollars, but because it cost millions of lives. There is no dollar amount that can be used to measure a human’s life. All human life must be seen as invaluable, period. An American life is no more valuable than that of someone from any country in which the U.S. is waging war. The financial cost of war is enormous and is an issue, in and of itself – however, this cost pales in comparison to the cost of human life.

We must unite and be prepared to organize to end the culture of war within the US. Ending the culture of war in this country will pave the way for wars to cease globally, especially since the US global war footprint is virtually everywhere. Creating a culture of peace begins with changing our acceptance of the United States’ addiction to war. Demanding this radical, yet humane, change to take place is paramount if we are to mold a brighter future for subsequent generations. Peace starts with all of us. It is one of the most i