The War in Western Kurdistan and Northern Syria: The Role of the US and Turkey in the Battle of Kobani

By Mahdi Darius NazemroayaStrategic Culture Foundation 11 November 2014

ypg_bayrak00 A war is being fought for control over Western Kurdistan and the northern areas of Syria, including three de facto Kurdish enclaves there. The fighting in Western Kurdistan is a means to an end and not a goal in itself. The objectives of gaining control over Syrian Kurdistan and northern Syria are critical to gaining control over the rest of the Syrian Arab Republic and entail US-supported regime change in Damascus.

Western Kurdistan is alternatively called Rojava in Kurmanji, the dialect of the Kurdish language that is used locally there and spoken by the majority of the Kurds living in Turkey. The word Rojava comes from the Kurdish root word roj, which means both sun and day, and literally means «sunset» («the sun’s end») or the «end of the day» («the day’s end») in Kurmanji and not the word «west». The confusion over its meaning arises for two main reasons. The first is that in the Sorani or Central dialect of the Kurdish language the word roj is only used to refer to the day. The second is that Rojava connotes or suggests the direction of the west, where the sun is seen to set when the day ends.

The Siege on Ayn Al-Arab or Kobani

Despite the fact that neither the Syrian military nor the Syrian government controls most of Syrian Kurdistan and that a significant amount of the locals there have declared themselves neutral, the forces of the Free Syrian Army, Al-Nusra, and the ISIL (DAISH) have launched a multiparty war on Rojava’s mosaic of inhabitants. It has only been in late-2014 that this war on Western Kurdistan has gained international attention as the Syrian Kurds in Aleppo Governorate’s northeastern district (mintaqah) of Ayn Al-Arab (Ain Al-Arab) became surrounded by the ISIL in late-September and early-October. As this happened, the behaviour of the US and its allies, specifically the neo-Ottomanist Turkish government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, exposed their true objectives in Rojava and Syria. By the time that the Syrian Kurds in northeastern Aleppo Governorate were being encircled by the ISIL, it was clear that Washington and its counterfeit anti-ISIL coalition were actually using the ISIL outbreak to redraw the strategic and ethno-confessional maps of Syria and Iraq. Many of the Syrian Kurds think that the goal is to force them eastward into Iraqi Kurdistan and to surrender to Turkish domination.

Fears of another exodus in Syria—similar to the one that was felt when Turkey assisted Jubhat Al-Nusra’s violent takeover of the mostly ethnic Armenian town of Kasab (Kessab) in Latakia Governorate in March 2014—began to materialize. Nearly 200,000 Syrians—Kurds, Turkoman, Assyrians, Armenians, and Arabs—fled across the Syrian-Turkish border. By October 9, one-third of Ayn Al-Arab had fallen to the pseudo-caliphate.

The Stances of the US over Kobani Exposes Washington’s Objectives

Washington’s stance on Ayn Al-Arab or Kobani was very revealing of where it really stood in regards to the battle over control of the Syrian border city. Instead of preventing the fall of Kobani and supporting the local defenders which were doing the heavy fighting on the ground against the ISIL and containing its pseudo-caliphate, Washington did not move.  The US position on Kobani is an important indicator that the US war initiated against the ISIL has been mere bravado and a fictitious public relations stunt aimed at hiding the real objective of getting a strategic foothold inside Syrian territory.

When the ISIL attacked the forces of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraqi Kurdistan in August 2014, the US acted quickly to help the KRG’s forces. In July, a month after the June capture of the Iraqi city of Mosul by the ISIL, which coincided with the military takeover of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk by the KRG, the ISIL began its siege of Kobani in Rojava. Up until October, the US just watched.

Even more revealing, the Pentagon announced on October 8 that the US-led bombing campaign in Syria, which it formally named Operation Inherent Resolve on October 15, could not stop the ISIL offensive and advances against Kobani and its local defenders. Instead the US began arguing and insisting for more illegal steps to be taken by NATO member Turkey. Washington began to call for Turkish soldiers and tanks to enter Kobani and northern Syria. In turn, President Erdogan and the Turkish government said that Ankara would only send in the Turkish military if a no-fly zone was established over Syria by the US and the other members of Washington’s bogus coalition.

Repackaging Plans for a Northern Buffer Zone in Syria 

Using Kobani to make a case, the US and Turkish governments took the opportunity to repackage their plans for an invasion of Syria from 2011, which called for the establishment of a Turkish-controlled northern buffer zone and a no-fly zone over Syrian airspace. This time the plans were presented under the humanitarian pretext of peacekeeping. This is why the parliamentarians in the Turkish Grand National Assembly had passed legislation authorizing an invasion of the Syrian Arab Republic and Syrian Kurdistan on October 2, 2014.

Although Turkey passed legislature to invade Syria on October 2, Ankara remained cautious. In reality, Turkey was doing everything in its power to ensure that Kobani would fall into the control of the ISIL and that Kobani’s local defenders would be defeated.

Due to a lack of coordination between the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT) and Turkish law enforcement officials, a domestic scandal even emerged in Turkey when undercover MIT trucks were detained in Adana by the Turkish gendarmerie after they were caught secretly transporting arms and ammunition into Syria for Al-Nusra and other anti-government insurgents.

In the context of Kobani, numerous reports were made revealing that large weapon shipments were delivered to the heavily armed battalions of the ISIL by Turkey for the offensive on Kobani. One journalist, Serena Shim, would pay for her life for trying to document this. Shim, a Lebanese-American working for Iran’s English-language Press TV news network, would reveal that weapons were secretly being delivered to the insurgents in Syria through Turkey in trucks carrying the logo of the UN World Food Organization. Shim would be killed shortly after in a mysterious car accident on October 19 after being threatened by the Turkish National Intelligence Organization for spying for the «Turkish opposition».

To hide its dirty hands as a facilitator, the Turkish government began claiming that it could not control its borders or prevent foreign fighters from entering Iraq and Syria. This, however, changed with the battle for Kobani. Ankara began to exercise what appeared to be faultless control of its border with Syria and it even reinforced border security. Turkey, which is widely recognized for allowing Jabhat Al-Nusra and the other foreign-backed insurgent forces to freely cross its borders to fight the Syrian military, began prevented any Kurdish volunteers from crossing the Syrian-Turkish border over to Kobani to help the besieged Syrian city and its outnumbered defenders. Only under intense domestic and international pressure did the Turkish government finally let one hundred and fifty token KRG peshmerga troops from Iraqi Kurdistan enter Kobani on November 1, 2014.

 

Turkey Takes Note of Syria’s Friends

The Syrian government rejected the suggestions coming from Ankara and Washington for foreign ground troops on its territory and for the establishment of a northern buffer zone. Damascus said these were intentions for blatant aggression against Syria. It released a statement on October 15 saying that it would consult its «friends».

In context of the US-Turkish invasion plans, the Turkish government was monitoring the reactions and attitudes of Russia, Iran, China, and the independent segments of the international community not beholden to Washington’s foreign policy objective. Both the Kremlin and Tehran reacted by warning the Turkish government to forget any thoughts about sending ground troops into Syrian Kurdistan and on Syrian soil.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksandr Lukashevych, the spokesperson of the Russian Foreign Ministry, announced that Moscow opposed the calls for a northern buffer zone on October 9. Lukashevych said that neither Turkey nor the US had the authority or legitimacy to establish a buffer zone against the will of another sovereign state. He also pointed out how the US bombardment of Syria had complicated the problem and influenced the ISIL to concentrate itself among civilian populations. His words echoed the warnings of Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, the permanent representative of Russia to the UN, that the US-led bombings of Syria will further degenerate the crisis in Syria.

On the part of Tehran, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian publicly announced that Iran had warned the Turkish government against any adventurism in Syria.

Why has Operation Inherent Resolve made the ISIL Stronger in Syria?

Is it a coincidence that the ISIL or DAISH gained ground in Syria as soon as the US declared war on it? Or is it a coincidence that Rojava contains most the oil wells inside Syria?

The inhabitants and resistance in Kobani fighting the ISIL offensive have repeatedly asked for outside help, but have defined the US-led airstrikes in Syria in no uncertain terms as utterly useless. This has been the general observation from the actual ground about the illegal US-led bombing campaign of Syria by local paramilitary and civilian leaders. Locally-selected officials in Syrian Kurdistan have repeatedly said, in one form or another, that the US-led airstrikes are a failure.

The People’s Protection Units (Yekineyen Parastina Gel, YPG; the all-female units are abbreviated as YPJ) of Kobani made multiple statements that pointed out that the US bombing campaign did nothing to stop the ISIL advance on Kobani or throughout Syria. While calling for Kurdish unity and a united front between Syria, Iraq, and Iran against the pseudo-caliphate of the ISIL, Jawan Ibrahim, an YPG officer, has said that the US and its anti-ISIL coalition are a failure as far as the YPG and Syrian Kurds are concerned, according to Fars News Agency (FNA).

Before the US officially inaugurated its campaign in Syria by lunching airstrikes on Ar-Raqqa, the ISIL’s fighters had left the positions that the US and its petro-sheikhdom Arab allies bombed. Instead of bombing the ISIL, the US has been bombing Syrian industrial and civilian infrastructure. While saying that some of these bombings, which include civilian homes and a wheat silo, were mistakes, it is clear that the Pentagon strategy of eroding an enemy state’s strength by destroying its infrastructure is being applied against Syria.

After heavy criticism and international pressure, the US began to drop token medical supplies and arms shipments for the locals and Kobani’s local defenders. Some of these US arms got into the hands of the ISIL. The Pentagon says this was the result of miscalculations and that the ISIL were not the intended recipients. Skeptics, however, believe that the Pentagon deliberately parachuted the US weapons near places that the ISIL’s battalions could easily see and obtain them. The arms caches included hand grenades, rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), and ammunition, which were all displayed in at least one video produced by the ISIL during the battle for Kobani.

In parallel to the reluctant help of the US, the Turkish government was pressured into allowing a token number of KRG peshmerga fighters from Iraq cross its border into Kobani on November 1. These pershmerga, however, are part of the security forces of the corrupt, Turkish-aligned KRG. In other words, «Turkey’s Kurds» (as in their allies; not to be mistaken for Turkish Kurds) were allowed to enter Kobani (instead of the YPG, YPJ, or volunteers). Since Turkey’s detrimental role in Kobani became widely known, Ankara was also fearful that the fall of Kobani would effectively end the peace talks between the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the Turkish government and result in a massive revolt in Turkish Kurdistan.

Useless US Bombing War Against the ISIL or Stealth US War Against Syria?

The US-led bombing campaign is not intended to defeat the ISIL, which is also doing everything it can to destroy the fabrics of Syrian society. The US-led bombing campaign in Syria is intended to weaken and destroy Syria as a functioning state. This is why the US has been bombing Syrian energy facilities and infrastructure, including transport pipes, under the excuse of preventing the ISIL from using it to sell oil and gather revenues.

The US rationale for justifying this is bogus too, because the ISIL has been transporting stolen Syrian oil shipments through transport vehicles into Turkey and, unlike the case of Iraq, not using the transport pipes. Moreover, most the oil stolen by the ISIL has been coming from Iraq and not from Syria, but the US has not taken the same steps to destroy the energy infrastructure in Iraq. Additionally, the purchases of stolen oil from both Syria and Iraq have taken place at the level of state actors. Even the European Union’s own representative to Iraq, Jana Hybaskova, has admitted that European Union members are buying stolen Iraqi oil from the ISIL.

The Pentagon’s two different approaches, one for Iraq and one for Syria, say a lot about what Washington is doing in the Syrian Arab Republic. Washington is still going after Syria and in the process it and Turkey wants to either co-opt the Syrian Kurds or to neutralize them. This is why the battle for Kobani was launched with Turkish involvement and why there was inaction by the US government. Also, when it comes down to it, the ISIL or DAISH is a US weapon.

The Syrian government knows that Washington’s anti-ISIL coalition is a façade and that the masquerade could end with a US-led offensive against Damascus if the US government and Pentagon believe that the conditions are right. On November 6, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Al-Muallem told the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar that Syria had asked the Russian Federation to accelerate the delivery of the S-300 anti-aircraft surface-to-air missile system to prepare for a possible Pentagon offensive.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-war-in-western-kurdistan-and-northern-syria-the-role-of-the-us-and-turkey-in-the-battle-of-kobani/5413303

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Bin Laden legends ‘made in USA’

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The continuing controversy over which Navy Seal supposedly killed Osama Bin Laden, and the allegedly ISIL-linked killings of two Canadian soldiers, are the latest media stunts designed to prop up the illusion of a “global war on terror” (GWOT) against radical Islam.

The GWOT master narrative features two master villains. Indeed, it is a legend with two legendary anti-heroes: The villain of Act One, Osama Bin Laden; and the villain of the present Act Two, “Caliph” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

In folklore and mythology studies, the word “legend” means “fantastic story that may or may not be true.” In espionage, the same word means: “A spy’s claimed background or biography, usually supported by documents and memorized details.” (Source: SpyMuseum.org)

Among the most fantastic stories of our time are the legends of two larger-than-life terrorists: Osama Bin Laden of al-Qaeda, and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of ISIL.

Both of these amazing individuals have accomplished near-miraculous feats: Bin Laden caused three skyscrapers to disappear at free-fall acceleration into the path of most resistance, while also making America’s air defenses disappear for two hours so he could bomb the Pentagon, the best-defended building on the planet; while Baghdadi and a ragtag bunch of amateur extremists have somehow seized control of a large swathe of  oil-rich and geo-strategically important territory against the opposition of the entire world.

Both accomplishments seem, to say the least, highly improbable.

The amazing successes of both the 9/11 attacks and “Islamic State” have been amazingly counterproductive (from an anti-imperialist Muslim point of view).

Though both al-Qaeda and ISIL have claimed to be fighting to liberate Muslims from their imperialist and Zionist enemies, the two terror groups are actually doing tremendous harm to the Muslim cause.

9/11 allowed Israel to crush Palestine and revive its failing economy with anti-terror start-ups. It also demonized Islam and gave American hawks an excuse to attack, invade, occupy, destabilize, and otherwise harm Muslim countries.

ISIL is even worse. Baghdadi’s terror group has spent most of its time, energy and money attacking its fellow Muslims, spreading chaos and internecine hatred through the House of Islam. It has also slaughtered countless innocent people and broadcast its atrocities to the world, thereby defaming Islam and Muslims in the eyes of the global public.

As Mr. Spock of Star Trek would say, the legends of al-Qaeda and ISIL are illogical. They do not compute.

To understand who or what is really behind these two spectacularly successful and spectacularly counterproductive terror groups, we must begin with a simple question: Who benefits? The answer, of course, is that the beneficiaries of 9/11 and ISIL are the very people al-Qaeda and ISIL claim to be fighting: the Zionists and imperialists.

Which raises the question: Could the legends of Bin Laden and Baghdadi also be “legends” in the espionage sense, meaning false biographies crafted by an intelligence agency?

One of the odd commonalities linking Bin Laden’s and Baghdadi’s biographies is that both alleged anti-American fanatics spent a lot of time in the company of the American military. During the 1980s, while fundraising for the Afghan Resistance against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, Bin Laden toured US military bases under the code name “Tim Osman” and helped procure Stinger missiles for the Afghan resistance fighters.

Osama Bin Laden’s close association with Americans linked to military and intelligence agencies continued long after he had issued his famous “death to Americans” proclamation in 1998 – the same year the CIA, through its agent Sgt. Ali Mohamed, bombed US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and blamed the carnage on Bin Laden.

Whistle-blowing FBI translator Sibel Edmonds says that the US maintained ‘intimate relations’ with Bin Laden
“all the way through September 11t.” These “intimate relations,” Edmonds explains, consisted of using Bin Laden’s fighters as a proxy terrorist army to attack America’s competitors including Russia and China.

In July 2001 – at precisely the same time New York Zionist mafia figures Larry Silverstein, Frank Lowy, and Lewis Eisenberg were privatizing and over-insuring the condemned-for-asbestos World Trade Center – Bin Laden was being treated for kidney failure at the American Hospital in Dubai by a US intelligence linked specialist, Dr. Terry Callaway.

Dubai CIA station chief Larry Mitchell, as well as the head of Saudi intelligence, visited Bin Laden at the hospital.

On September 11th, 2001, Bin Laden was back in the hospital. This time he was getting dialysis treatment at the Pakistani military hospital in Rawalpindi, right under the noses of US military advisors.
Why didn’t the US simply ask its client governments in Dubai and Pakistan to arrest Bin Laden, then the world’s most wanted terrorist, while he was immobilized in the hospital on dialysis? The answer, of course, is that Bin Laden was a protected US intelligence asset.

Obviously the story of Osama Bin Laden the anti-American terrorist mastermind is a “legend” in both of that word’s meanings: It is a fantastic tale; and it is the concoction of one or more intelligence agencies.

The story of Bin Laden’s supposed death in May 2011 is as fishy as the story of his life. Even the New York Times admits: “It may never be possible to say exactly who fired the fatal shot or shots, with multiple armed men wearing night-vision goggles moving quickly through the Qaeda leader’s hide-out. No autopsy was performed and no video has emerged of the shooting. The military never released a photograph of Bin Laden after he was killed and said that his body had been buried at sea.”

Actually, the military said Bin Laden was buried at sea “according to Muslim custom.” Apparently they expect us to believe that Muslims customarily throw their dead into the ocean. That is no less absurd than the notion that they would simply kill an alleged terrorist mastermind, rather than make every effort to capture him alive and interrogate him. The “fish story” of Bin Laden’s assassination is an insult to the world’s intelligence.

The legend of “Caliph” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, like that of Osama Bin Laden, is highly suspicious. Like Bin Laden, Baghdadi was a long-term guest of the American military – at a US base in Iraq rather than US bases in America. And as in the case of Bin Laden, the US military has emitted transparently false statements aimed at hiding or minimizing its relationship with Baghdadi, its supposed worst enemy.

The US says it held Baghdadi in the “terrorist training wing” of Camp Bucca for less than one year. But both American and Iraqi witnesses say it was more than five years. In any case, it would appear that the self-styled caliph was groomed for his future role while in US custody.

After his release, Baghdadi and his ISIL commanders received further training, as well as weapons and funds, at a secret CIA base in Jordan. The US worked through its regional proxies to create a formidable ISIL army aimed at overthrowing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. It seems likely that the US and its proxies also provided the intelligence that allowed ISIL to overrun the Iraqi army – which the US had intentionally disarmed – and seize oil-rich parts of Iraq.

And yet the American people are still being told that Baghdadi is their worst enemy. Like the tale of the “anti-US terrorist mastermind” Bin Laden, the story of the latest bogeyman Baghdadi is a transparently absurd legend.

If the American people ever discover how badly they have been lied to, and for what purposes their Constitution has been shredded and their economy bankrupted, they are going to be exceedingly irate.

Author: Dr. Kevin Barrett, a Ph.D. Arabist-Islamologist, is one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror. Dr. Barrett has appeared many times on Fox, CNN, PBS and other broadcast outlets, and has inspired feature stories and op-eds in the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Chicago Tribune, and other leading publications. Dr. Barrett has taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin, where he ran for Congress in 2008. He is the co-founder of the Muslim-Christian-Jewish Alliance, and author of the books Truth Jihad: My Epic Struggle Against the 9/11 Big Lie (2007) and Questioning the War on Terror: A Primer for Obama Voters (2009). His website is http://www.truthjihad.com. Courtesy: PRESSTV

http://en.shiapost.com/2014/11/11/abu-bakr-al-baghdadi-bin-laden-legends-made-in-usa/

The Anti-Empire Report #133 ~ by William Blum

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The Islamist State

You can’t believe a word the United States or its mainstream media say about the current conflict involving The Islamic State (ISIS).

You can’t believe a word France or the United Kingdom say about ISIS.

You can’t believe a word Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, or the United Arab Emirates say about ISIS. Can you say for sure which side of the conflict any of these mideast countries actually finances, arms, or trains, if in fact it’s only one side? Why do they allow their angry young men to join Islamic extremists? Why has NATO-member Turkey allowed so many Islamic extremists to cross into Syria? Is Turkey more concerned with wiping out the Islamic State or the Kurds under siege by ISIS? Are these countries, or the Western powers, more concerned with overthrowing ISIS or overthrowing the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad?

You can’t believe the so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels. You can’t even believe that they are moderate. They have their hands in everything, and everyone has their hands in them.

Iran, Hezbollah and Syria have been fighting ISIS or its precursors for years, but the United States refuses to join forces with any of these entities in the struggle. Nor does Washington impose sanctions on any country for supporting ISIS as it quickly did against Russia for its alleged role in Ukraine.

The groundwork for this awful mess of political and religious horrors sweeping through the Middle East was laid – laid deeply – by the United States during 35 years (1979-2014) of overthrowing the secular governments of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. (Adding to the mess in the same period we should not forget the US endlessly bombing Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.) You cannot destroy modern, relatively developed and educated societies, ripping apart the social, political, economic and legal fabric, torturing thousands, killing millions, and expect civilization and human decency to survive.

Particularly crucial in this groundwork was the US decision to essentially throw 400,000 Iraqis with military training, including a full officer corps, out onto the streets of its cities, jobless. It was a formula for creating an insurgency. Humiliated and embittered, some of those men would later join various resistance groups operating against the American military occupation. It’s safe to say that the majority of armored vehicles, weapons, ammunition, and explosives taking lives every minute in the Middle East are stamped “Made in USA”.

And all of Washington’s horses, all of Washington’s men, cannot put this world back together again. The world now knows these places as “failed states”.

Meanwhile, the United States bombs Syria daily, ostensibly because the US is at war with ISIS, but at the same time seriously damaging the oil capacity of the country (a third of the Syrian government’s budget), the government’s military capabilities, its infrastructure, even its granaries, taking countless innocent lives, destroying ancient sites; all making the recovery of an Assad-led Syria, or any Syria, highly unlikely. Washington is undoubtedly looking for ways to devastate Iran as well under the cover of fighting ISIS.

Nothing good can be said about this whole beastly situation. All the options are awful. All the participants, on all sides, are very suspect, if not criminally insane. It may be the end of the world. To which I say … Good riddance. Nice try, humans; in fact, GREAT TRY … but good riddance. ISIS … Ebola … Climate Change … nuclear radiation … The Empire … Which one will do us in first? … Have a nice day.

Is the world actually so much more evil and scary today than it was in the 1950s of my upbringing, for which I grow more nostalgic with each new horror? Or is it that the horrors of today are so much better reported, as we swim in a sea of news and videos?

After seeing several ISIS videos on the Internet, filled with the most disgusting scenes, particularly against women, my thought is this: Give them their own country; everyone who’s in that place now who wants to leave, will be helped to do so; everyone from all over the world who wants to go there will be helped to get there. Once they’re there, they can all do whatever they want, but they can’t leave without going through a rigorous interview at a neighboring border to ascertain whether they’ve recovered their attachment to humanity. However, since very few women, presumably, would go there, the country would not last very long.

The Berlin Wall – Another Cold War Myth

November 9 will mark the 25th anniversary of the tearing down of the Berlin Wall. The extravagant hoopla began months ago in Berlin. In the United States we can expect all the Cold War clichés about The Free World vs. Communist Tyranny to be trotted out and the simple tale of how the wall came to be will be repeated: In 1961, the East Berlin communists built a wall to keep their oppressed citizens from escaping to West Berlin and freedom. Why? Because commies don’t like people to be free, to learn the “truth”. What other reason could there have been?

First of all, before the wall went up in 1961 thousands of East Germans had been commuting to the West for jobs each day and then returning to the East in the evening; many others went back and forth for shopping or other reasons. So they were clearly not being held in the East against their will. Why then was the wall built? There were two major reasons:

1) The West was bedeviling the East with a vigorous campaign of recruiting East German professionals and skilled workers, who had been educated at the expense of the Communist government. This eventually led to a serious labor and production crisis in the East. As one indication of this, the New York Times reported in 1963: “West Berlin suffered economically from the wall by the loss of about 60,000 skilled workmen who had commuted daily from their homes in East Berlin to their places of work in West Berlin.”

It should be noted that in 1999, USA Today reported: “When the Berlin Wall crumbled [1989], East Germans imagined a life of freedom where consumer goods were abundant and hardships would fade. Ten years later, a remarkable 51% say they were happier with communism.” Earlier polls would likely have shown even more than 51% expressing such a sentiment, for in the ten years many of those who remembered life in East Germany with some fondness had passed away; although even 10 years later, in 2009, the Washington Post could report: “Westerners [in Berlin] say they are fed up with the tendency of their eastern counterparts to wax nostalgic about communist times.”

It was in the post-unification period that a new Russian and eastern Europe proverb was born: “Everything the Communists said about Communism was a lie, but everything they said about capitalism turned out to be the truth.”

It should be further noted that the division of Germany into two states in 1949 – setting the stage for 40 years of Cold War hostility – was an American decision, not a Soviet one.

2) During the 1950s, American coldwarriors in West Germany instituted a crude campaign of sabotage and subversion against East Germany designed to throw that country’s economic and administrative machinery out of gear. The CIA and other US intelligence and military services recruited, equipped, trained and financed German activist groups and individuals, of West and East, to carry out actions which ran the spectrum from juvenile delinquency to terrorism; anything to make life difficult for the East German people and weaken their support of the government; anything to make the commies look bad.

It was a remarkable undertaking. The United States and its agents used explosives, arson, short circuiting, and other methods to damage power stations, shipyards, canals, docks, public buildings, gas stations, public transportation, bridges, etc; they derailed freight trains, seriously injuring workers; burned 12 cars of a freight train and destroyed air pressure hoses of others; used acids to damage vital factory machinery; put sand in the turbine of a factory, bringing it to a standstill; set fire to a tile-producing factory; promoted work slow-downs in factories; killed 7,000 cows of a co-operative dairy through poisoning; added soap to powdered milk destined for East German schools; were in possession, when arrested, of a large quantity of the poison cantharidin with which it was planned to produce poisoned cigarettes to kill leading East Germans; set off stink bombs to disrupt political meetings; attempted to disrupt the World Youth Festival in East Berlin by sending out forged invitations, false promises of free bed and board, false notices of cancellations, etc.; carried out attacks on participants with explosives, firebombs, and tire-puncturing equipment; forged and distributed large quantities of food ration cards to cause confusion, shortages and resentment; sent out forged tax notices and other government directives and documents to foster disorganization and inefficiency within industry and unions … all this and much more.

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, of Washington, DC, conservative coldwarriors, in one of their Cold War International History Project Working Papers (#58, p.9) states: “The open border in Berlin exposed the GDR [East Germany] to massive espionage and subversion and, as the two documents in the appendices show, its closure gave the Communist state greater security.”

Throughout the 1950s, the East Germans and the Soviet Union repeatedly lodged complaints with the Soviets’ erstwhile allies in the West and with the United Nations about specific sabotage and espionage activities and called for the closure of the offices in West Germany they claimed were responsible, and for which they provided names and addresses. Their complaints fell on deaf ears. Inevitably, the East Germans began to tighten up entry into the country from the West, leading eventually to the infamous wall. However, even after the wall was built there was regular, albeit limited, legal emigration from east to west. In 1984, for example, East Germany allowed 40,000 people to leave. In 1985, East German newspapers claimed that more than 20,000 former citizens who had settled in the West wanted to return home after becoming disillusioned with the capitalist system. The West German government said that 14,300 East Germans had gone back over the previous 10 years.

Let’s also not forget that while East Germany completely denazified, in West Germany for more than a decade after the war, the highest government positions in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches contained numerous former and “former” Nazis.

Finally, it must be remembered, that Eastern Europe became communist because Hitler, with the approval of the West, used it as a highway to reach the Soviet Union to wipe out Bolshevism forever, and that the Russians in World War I and II, lost about 40 million people because the West had used this highway to invade Russia. It should not be surprising that after World War II the Soviet Union was determined to close down the highway.

For an additional and very interesting view of the Berlin Wall anniversary, see the article “Humpty Dumpty and the Fall of Berlin’s Wall” by Victor Grossman. Grossman (née Steve Wechsler) fled the US Army in Germany under pressure from McCarthy-era threats and became a journalist and author during his years in the (East) German Democratic Republic. He still lives in Berlin and mails out his “Berlin Bulletin” on German developments on an irregular basis. You can subscribe to it atwechsler_grossman@yahoo.de. His autobiography: “Crossing the River: a Memoir of the American Left, the Cold War and Life in East Germany” was published by University of Massachusetts Press. He claims to be the only person in the world with diplomas from both Harvard University and Karl Marx University in Leipzig.

Al Franken, the liberal’s darling

I receive a continuous stream of emails from “progressive” organizations asking me to vote for Senator Franken or contribute to his re-election campaign this November, and I don’t even live in Minnesota. Even if I could vote for him, I wouldn’t. No one who was a supporter of the war in Iraq will get my vote unless they unequivocally renounce that support. And I don’t mean renounce it like Hillary Clinton’s nonsense about not having known enough.

Franken, the former Saturday Night Live comedian, would like you to believe that he’s been against the war in Iraq since it began. But he went to Iraq at least four times to entertain the troops. Does that make sense? Why does the military bring entertainers to soldiers? To lift the soldiers’ spirits of course. And why does the military want to lift the soldiers’ spirits? Because a happier soldier does his job better. And what is the soldier’s job? All the charming war crimes and human-rights violations that I and others have documented in great detail for many years. Doesn’t Franken know what American soldiers do for a living?

A year after the US invasion in 2003, Franken criticized the Bush administration because they “failed to send enough troops to do the job right.” What “job” did the man think the troops were sent to do that had not been performed to his standards because of lack of manpower? Did he want them to be more efficient at killing Iraqis who resisted the occupation? The volunteer American troops in Iraq did not even have the defense of having been drafted against their wishes.

Franken has been lifting soldiers’ spirits for a long time. In 2009 he was honored by the United Service Organization (USO) for his ten years of entertaining troops abroad. That includes Kosovo in 1999, as imperialist an occupation as you’ll want to see. He called his USO experience “one of the best things I’ve ever done.” Franken has also spoken at West Point (2005), encouraging the next generation of imperialist warriors. Is this a man to challenge the militarization of America at home and abroad? No more so than Barack Obama.

Tom Hayden wrote this about Franken in 2005 when Franken had a regular program on the Air America radio network: “Is anyone else disappointed with Al Franken’s daily defense of the continued war in Iraq? Not Bush’s version of the war, because that would undermine Air America’s laudable purpose of rallying an anti-Bush audience. But, well, Kerry’s version of the war, one that can be better managed and won, somehow with better body armor and fewer torture cells.”

While in Iraq to entertain the troops, Franken declared that the Bush administration “blew the diplomacy so we didn’t have a real coalition,” then failed to send enough troops to do the job right. “Out of sheer hubris, they have put the lives of these guys in jeopardy.”

Franken was implying that if the United States had been more successful in bribing and threatening other countries to lend their name to the coalition fighting the war in Iraq the United States would have had a better chance of WINNING the war.

Is this the sentiment of someone opposed to the war? Or in support of it? It is the mind of an American liberal in all its beautiful mushiness.

http://williamblum.org/aer/read/133

William Blum’s books in foreign languages available for only the cost of shipping in the United States ($5 each)

Killing Hope

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Rogue State

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Freeing the World To Death

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America’s Deadliest Export: Democracy

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From Pol Pot to ISIS ~ By John Pilger


Left: A U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft flies over northern Iraq after conducting airstrikes in Syria, September 23, 2014. Right: President Obama at the UN Climate Summit, September 23, 2014. (Photo: Senior Airman Matthew Bruch / U.S. Air Force, John Gillespie / United Nations)

In transmitting President Richard Nixon’s orders for a “massive” bombing of Cambodia in 1969, Henry Kissinger said, “Anything that flies on everything that moves”.  As Barack Obama ignites his seventh war against the Muslim world since he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the orchestrated hysteria and lies make one almost nostalgic for Kissinger’s murderous honesty.

As a witness to the human consequences of aerial savagery – including the beheading of victims, their parts festooning trees and fields – I am not surprised by the disregard of memory and history, yet again.  A telling example is the rise to power of Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge, who had much in common with today’s Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). They, too, were ruthless medievalists who began as a small sect. They, too, were the product of an American-made apocalypse, this time in Asia.

According to Pol Pot, his movement had consisted of “fewer than 5,000 poorly armed guerrillas uncertain about their strategy, tactics, loyalty and leaders”. Once Nixon’s and Kissinger’s B52 bombers had gone to work as part of “Operation Menu”, the west’s ultimate demon could not believe his luck.

The Americans dropped the equivalent of five Hiroshimas on rural Cambodia during 1969-73. They levelled village after village, returning to bomb the rubble and corpses. The craters left monstrous necklaces of carnage, still visible from the air. The terror was unimaginable. A former Khmer Rouge official described how the survivors “froze up and they would wander around mute for three or four days. Terrified and half-crazy, the people were ready to believe what they were told … That was what made it so easy for the Khmer Rouge to win the people over.”

A Finnish Government Commission of Enquiry estimated that 600,000 Cambodians died in the ensuing civil war and described the bombing as the “first stage in a decade of genocide”.  What Nixon and Kissinger began, Pol Pot, their beneficiary, completed.  Under their bombs, the Khmer Rouge grew to a formidable army of 200,000.

ISIS has a similar past and present. By most scholarly measure, Bush and Blair’s invasion of Iraq in 2003 led to the deaths of some 700,000 people — in a country that had no history of jihadism. The Kurds had done territorial and political deals; Sunni and Shia had class and sectarian differences, but they were at peace; intermarriage was common. Three years before the invasion, I drove the length of Iraq without fear. On the way I met people proud, above all, to be Iraqis, the heirs of a civilization that seemed, for them, a presence.

Bush and Blair blew all this to bits. Iraq is now a nest of jihadism. Al-Qaeda — like Pol Pot’s “jihadists” — seized the opportunity provided by the onslaught of Shock and Awe and the civil war that followed. “Rebel” Syria offered even greater rewards, with CIA and Gulf state ratlines of weapons, logistics and money running through Turkey. The arrival of foreign recruits was inevitable. A former British ambassador, Oliver Miles, wrote recently, “The [Cameron] government seems to be following the example of Tony Blair, who ignored consistent advice from the Foreign Office, MI5 and MI6 that our Middle East policy – and in particular our Middle East wars – had been a principal driver in the recruitment of Muslims in Britain for terrorism here.”

ISIS is the progeny of those in Washington and London who, in destroying Iraq as both a state and a society, conspired to commit an epic crime against humanity. Like Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, ISIS are the mutations of a western state terror dispensed by a venal imperial elite undeterred by the consequences of actions taken at great remove in distance and culture. Their culpability is unmentionable in “our” societies.

It is 23 years since this holocaust enveloped Iraq, immediately after the first Gulf War, when the US and Britain hijacked the United Nations Security Council and imposed punitive “sanctions” on the Iraqi population – ironically, reinforcing the domestic authority of Saddam Hussein. It was like a medieval siege. Almost everything that sustained a modern state was, in the jargon, “blocked” — from chlorine for making the water supply safe to school pencils, parts for X-ray machines, common painkillers and drugs to combat previously unknown cancers carried in the dust from the southern battlefields contaminated with Depleted Uranium.

Just before Christmas 1999, the Department of Trade and Industry in London restricted the export of vaccines meant to protect Iraqi children against diphtheria and yellow fever. Kim Howells, a medical doctor and parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Blair government, explained why. “The children’s vaccines”, he said, “were capable of being used in weapons of mass destruction”. The British Government could get away with such an outrage because media reporting of Iraq – much of it manipulated by the Foreign Office — blamed Saddam Hussein for everything.

Under a bogus “humanitarian” Oil for Food Programme, $100 was allotted for each Iraqi to live on for a year. This figure had to pay for the entire society’s infrastructure and essential services, such as power and water.  “Imagine,” the UN Assistant Secretary General, Hans Von Sponeck, told me, “setting that pittance against the lack of clean water, and the fact that the majority of sick people cannot afford treatment, and the sheer trauma of getting from day to day, and you have a glimpse of the nightmare. And make no mistake, this is deliberate. I have not in the past wanted to use the word genocide, but now it is unavoidable.”

Disgusted, Von Sponeck resigned as UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator in Iraq. His predecessor, Denis Halliday, an equally distinguished senior UN official, had also resigned. “I was instructed,” Halliday said, “to implement a policy that satisfies the definition of genocide: a deliberate policy that has effectively killed well over a million individuals, children and adults.”

A study by the United Nations Children’s Fund, Unicef, found that between 1991 and 1998, the height of the blockade, there were 500,000 “excess” deaths of Iraqi infants under the age of five. An American TV reporter put this to Madeleine Albright, US Ambassador to the United Nations, asking her, “Is the price worth it?” Albright replied, “We think the price is worth it.”

In 2007, the senior British official responsible for the sanctions, Carne Ross, known as “Mr. Iraq”, told a parliamentary selection committee, “[The US and UK governments] effectively denied the entire population a means to live.”  When I interviewed Carne Ross three years later, he was consumed by regret and contrition. “I feel ashamed,” he said. He is today a rare truth-teller of how governments deceive and how a compliant media plays a critical role in disseminating and maintaining the deception. “We would feed [journalists] factoids of sanitised intelligence,” he said, “or we’d freeze them out.”

On 25 September, a headline in the Guardian read: “Faced with the horror of Isis we must act.”  The “we must act” is a ghost risen, a warning of the suppression of informed memory, facts, lessons learned and regrets or shame. The author of the article was Peter Hain, the former Foreign Office minister responsible for Iraq under Blair. In 1998, when Denis Halliday revealed the extent of the suffering in Iraq for which the Blair Government shared primary responsibility, Hain abused him on the BBC’s Newsnight as an “apologist for Saddam”. In 2003, Hain backed Blair’s invasion of stricken Iraq on the basis of transparent lies. At a subsequent Labour Party conference, he dismissed the invasion as a “fringe issue”.

Now Hain is demanding “air strikes, drones, military equipment and other support” for those “facing genocide” in Iraq and Syria. This will further “the imperative of a political solution”. Obama has the same in mind as he lifts what he calls the “restrictions” on US bombing and drone attacks. This means that missiles and 500-pound bombs can smash the homes of peasant people, as they are doing without restriction in Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Somalia — as they did in Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. On 23 September, a Tomahawk cruise missile hit a village in Idlib Province in Syria, killing as many as a dozen civilians, including women and children. None waved a black flag.

The day Hain’s article appeared, Denis Halliday and Hans Von Sponeck happened to be in London and came to visit me. They were not shocked by the lethal hypocrisy of a politician, but lamented the enduring, almost inexplicable absence of intelligent diplomacy in negotiating a semblance of truce. Across the world, from Northern Ireland to Nepal, those regarding each other as terrorists and heretics have faced each other across a table. Why not now in Iraq and Syria.

Like Ebola from West Africa, a bacteria called “perpetual war” has crossed the Atlantic. Lord Richards, until recently head of the British military, wants “boots on the ground” now. There is a vapid, almost sociopathic verboseness from Cameron, Obama and their “coalition of the willing” – notably Australia’s aggressively weird Tony Abbott — as they prescribe more violence delivered from 30,000 feet on places where the blood of previous adventures never dried. They have never seen bombing and they apparently love it so much they want it to overthrow their one potentially valuable ally,  Syria. This is nothing new, as the following leaked UK-US intelligence file illustrates:

“In order to facilitate the action of liberative [sic] forces … a special effort should be made to eliminate certain key individuals [and] to proceed with internal disturbances in Syria. CIA is prepared, and SIS (MI6) will attempt to mount minor sabotage and coup de main [sic] incidents within Syria, working through contacts with individuals… a necessary degree of fear… frontier and [staged] border clashes [will] provide a pretext for intervention… the CIA and SIS should use… capabilities in both psychological and action fields to augment tension.”

That was written in 1957, though it could have been written yesterday. In the imperial world, nothing essentially changes. Last year, the former French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas revealed that “two years before the Arab spring”, he was told in London that a war on Syria was planned.  “I am going to tell you something,” he said in an interview with the French TV channel LPC, “I was in England two years before the violence in Syria on other business. I met top British officials, who confessed to me that they were preparing something in Syria … Britain was organising an invasion of rebels into Syria. They even asked me, although I was no longer Minister for Foreign Affairs, if I would like to participate … This operation goes way back. It was prepared, preconceived and planned.”

The only effective opponents of ISIS are accredited demons of the west – Syria, Iran, Hezbollah.  The obstacle is Turkey, an “ally” and a member of Nato, which has conspired with the CIA, MI6 and the Gulf medievalists to channel support to the Syrian “rebels”, including those now calling themselves ISIS. Supporting Turkey in its long-held ambition for regional dominance by overthrowing the Assad government beckons a major conventional war and the horrific dismemberment of the most ethnically diverse state in the Middle East.

A truce – however difficult to achieve – is the only way out of this imperial maze; otherwise, the beheadings will continue. That genuine negotiations with Syria should be seen as “morally questionable” (the Guardian) suggests that the assumptions of moral superiority among those who supported the war criminal Blair remain not only absurd, but dangerous.

Together with a truce, there should be an immediate cessation of all shipments of war materials to Israel and recognition of the State of Palestine. The issue of Palestine is the region’s most festering open wound, and the oft-stated justification for the rise of Islamic extremism. Osama bin Laden made that clear. Palestine also offers hope. Give justice to the Palestinians and you begin to change the world around them.

More than 40 years ago, the Nixon-Kissinger bombing of Cambodia unleashed a torrent of suffering from which that country has never recovered. The same is true of the Blair-Bush crime in Iraq. With impeccable timing, Henry Kissinger’s latest self-serving tome has just been released with its satirical title, “World Order”. In one fawning review, Kissinger is described as a “key shaper of a world order that remained stable for a quarter of a century”. Tell that to the people of Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Chile, East Timor and all the other victims of his “statecraft”.  Only when “we” recognise the war criminals in our midst will the blood begin to dry.

Source URL

Resistance

http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/Article_67786.shtml

Legal Definition of Treason ~ Can Elected Officials Be Arrested For Knowledge Of Treasonable Plots?


THE LEGAL DEFINITION OF TREASON


POSTED BY -1CC ON JULY 02, 2013

There has been much conversation floating among grassroots Americans of treason or treasonous actions by our government at all levels. This has led to a study on what the legal definition of treason is and how it should be applied. This article is the result of that research. We never thought we would write something on this, but there are many things none of us thought we would have to do.

So, what is treason exactly? To legally define this term, we must first start with what it says in the U.S. Constitution. Article 3, Subsection 3, clause 1. It states:

Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.

We will be looking at the legal definitions of several words utilized in this definition in order to study what it actually means. All definitions provided, have been researched in Black’s Law Dictionary and have been referenced with case law backing.

http://www.icaucus.org/the_legal_def_of_treason

Can Elected Officials Be Arrested For Knowledge Of Treasonable Plots?

Misprision of treason is something none of us were aware of until the research was in process. When we found this information, it was actually quite shocking to look at the definition and the case law attached. We believe not many citizens are aware of this and wanted to bring the information out in a meaningful way. Hence this article is dedicated to only that subject.

Misprision of Treason is defined in Black’s Law Dictionary as:

“The bare knowledge and concealment of an act of treason or treasonable plot, that is, without any assent or participation therein, for if the latter elements be present the party becomes a principal.”

This is where we need to be very careful to understand what this is saying, “Knowledge and concealment of an act of treason or treasonable plot, even without assent or participation”. It can be said then that:

Read more at http://patdollard.com/2013/10/can-elected-officials-be-arrested-for-knowledge-of-treasonable-plots/#6o3sqYe7P4qKEAox.99

What is Treason? now can you give example ?

http://piazzadcara.wordpress.com/2013/08/05/question-of-the-day-what-is-treason-if-you-can-give-example-not-obummers-definition-but-reality/

 

obama-siria-from-iraq

Friends,What have we learned from the last decade of war?

Those years should have taught us that when going to war, our government must:

(1) be careful when defining a military mission,

(2) speak forthrightly with the American people about the sacrifices they will be called to make,

(3) plan more than one satisfactory end to the conflict, and

(4) be humble about what we think we know.

These lessons should be at the front of our minds when Congress votes today on whether to arm groups in Syria.

Today’s amendment ostensibly is aimed at destroying ISIS—yet you’d hardly know it from reading the amendment’s text. The world has witnessed with horror the evil of ISIS: the public beheading of innocents, the killing of Christians, Muslims, and

The amendment’s focus—arming groups fighting the Assad government in Syria—has little to do with defeating ISIS. The mission that the amendment advances plainly isn’t the defeat of ISIS; it’s the defeat of Assad.

Americans stood overwhelmingly against entangling our Armed Forces in the Syrian civil war a year ago. If Congress chooses to arm groups in Syria, it must explain to the American people not only why that mission is necessary but also the sacrifices that that mission entails.

The Obama administration has tried to rally support for U.S. involvement in the Syrian civil war by implying that our help would be at arm’s length. The amendment Congress will vote on broadly authorizes “assistance” to groups in Syria. It does not specify what types of weapons our government will give the groups. It does not prohibit boots on the ground. (The amendment is silent on the president’s power to order our troops to fight in the civil war; it states only that Congress doesn’t provide “specific statutory authorization” for such escalation.) It does not state the financial cost of the war.

As we should have learned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we must plan for multiple satisfactory ends to military conflicts before we commence them.

If the Syrian groups that are “appropriately vetted” (the amendment’s language) succeed and oust Assad, what would result? Would the groups assemble a coalition government of anti-Assad fighters, and would that coalition include ISIS? What would happen to the Alawites and Christians who stood with Assad? To what extent would the U.S. government be obligated to occupy Syria to rebuild the government? If each of the groups went its own way, would Syria’s territory be broken apart, and if so, would ISIS control one of the resulting countries?

If the Syrian groups that we support begin to lose, would we let them be defeated? If not, is there any limit to American involvement in the war?

Perhaps some in the administration or Congress have answers to these questions. But the amendment we’ll vote on today contains none of them.

Above all, when Congress considers serious actions—especially war—we must be humble about what we think we know. We don’t know very much about the groups we propose to support or even how we intend to vet those groups. Reports in the last week suggest that some of the “appropriately vetted” groups have struck deals with ISIS, although the groups dispute the claim. The amendment requires the administration to report on its efforts to prevent our arms and resources from ending up in the wrong hands, but we know little about those precautions or their effectiveness.

Today, I will vote against the amendment to arm groups in Syria. There is a wide misalignment between the rhetoric of defeating ISIS and the amendment’s actual mission of arming certain groups in the Syrian civil war. The amendment provides few limits on the type of assistance that our government may commit, and the exit out of the civil war is undefined. And given what’s happened in our country’s most recent wars, our leaders seem to have unjustified confidence in their own ability to execute a plan with so many unknowns.

Some of my colleagues no doubt will come to different judgments on these questions. But it’s essential that they consider the questions carefully. That the president wants the authority to intervene in the Syrian civil war is not a sufficient reason to give him that power. Under the Constitution, it is Congress’s independent responsibility to commence war.

We are the representatives of the American people. The government is proposing to take their resources and to put their children’s lives at risk. I encourage all my colleagues to give the decision the weight it is due.

Sincerely,

Justin Amash
Member of Congress
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

H.Amdt. 1141 (McKeon) to H.J.Res. 124: An amendment printed in Part B of H.Res. 722 to authorize the Secretary of …

This was a vote to approve or reject an amendment to H.J.Res. 124, H.Amdt. 1141 (McKeon) to H.J.Res. 124: An amendment printed in Part B of H.Res. 722 to authorize the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Secretary of State, to train and equip appropriately vetted elements of the Syrian opposition and other app.

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/113-2014/h507

ISISophobia or “The Mooslims Are Coming” ~ by RICHARD SILVERSTEIN

isis ny daily news

Why would the NY Daily News or any publication believe an anonymous Saudi source concerning any subject?

ISIS has become the scare du jour of world politics.  While ISIS is a profoundly disturbing phenomenon for which the world should develop some sort of response, the problem is that the Islamist movement has become a useful foil for many varied political interests from Israel to the U.S.  Islamophobes among the Euro-nationalist far-right and the U.S. Tea Party have latched onto ISIS as their political gravy train.  Bibi Netanyahu, ever alert to memes he can exploit to promote Israel’s interests, made the memorable, and profoundly mendacious statement: “Hamas is ISIS and ISIS is Hamas.”  Senator Bill Nelson, who has a huge elderly Jewish constituency and is allied closely with the Israel Lobby, said this today:

“Any group that sets them [sic] up as a religious caliphate and says that they will not stop until the black flag of ISIS is flying over the White House — I take that pretty seriously,” he said.

No ISIS leader has ever made such a statement.  But Nelson appears to be watching FoxNews, because it claimed ISIS said so.  The fact that a major national political leader would air such nonsense is disturbing.  There is enough to hate about ISIS without making things up out of whole cloth.

Then we have the tried and true Wall Street Journal, always good for a bit of Islamophobic hysteria.  This is the headline for Ryan Crocker’s op-ed: Islamic State Is Getting Stronger, and It’s Targeting America.  The neo-cons are on the warpath demanding that we “eviscerate” ISIS, that we engage in some sort of a counter-jihad.  Which is just what both the world and America need, yet another war against Islam in the Mideast.

Similarly, Israeli media have reported that a freed French journalist held hostage by ISIS identified the Belgian museum attacker as an adherent of ISIS.  While the journalist, who worked for the right-wing French daily Le Point, did say Mehdi Nemmouche tortured and abused him and others while he was held in custody, he never made any statement about the alleged terrorist’s affiliations.  So when Nemmouche left Syria was he affiliated with ISIS? Why did he leave?  Had he broken with ISIS?  Had ISIS broken with him? And if so, why?

The implication of this Israeli reporting was that the attack which killed two Israeli intelligence agents may’ve been the work of ISIS.  In fact, no one knows whether Nemmouche was acting on his own or on behalf of another Islamist group.  Any speculation to the contrary is just that.

Open Democracy has published an incisive piece raising uncomfortable similarities between ISIS and Israel’s religion-derived claims of authority and sovereignty.

All this leads to the next logical question: what threat does ISIS really pose to U.S. national interests?  If it doesn’t pose such a threat, then what should our response to it be?  Does it threaten other interests or values that are important to us?  And what will be the outcome of any form of intervention we choose to take?

Last September, Pres. Obama was on the verge of assaulting Pres. Assad of Syria for alleged use of chemical weapons.  In the meantime, a new and more dangerous foe has arisen to take his place as the Arab bogeyman: ISIS.  The group was hardly a gleam in Assad’s eye a year ago and now it’s the foremost enemy of western civilization.

It seems to me that stopping America’s reckless pursuit of war against Assad was beneficial to our stance in the world.  The question is whether taking on ISIS will lead to good or ill for U.S. foreign policy objectives.  To what extent will turning ISIS into the “mother of all evils” help or hinder our objectives?  The first Pres. Bush turned Saddam into precisely such a demonic figure.  But at least his objectives were somewhat limited thanks to the GOP realists who directed his foreign policy apparatus.

His son tried to complete the unfinished business of the Gulf War to disastrous results.  So the question arises: which role will Obama embrace?  Will he pursue limited objectives and then have the discipline to withdraw when they are achieved (even if his political opponents deride him for withdrawing)?  Or will he gradually get sucked into a expanded presence in Syria and Iraq, as he has in embracing much of Bush’s counter-terror policy (drones, targeted killings, etc.)?

The jury is very much out on this.  My hunch is that there is a very real chance Obama could allow himself to get sucked into yet another Mideast quagmire.

Let’s take a cold, hard look at ISIS.  Though it has coldly and brutally executed western citizens, in broad terms it doesn’t endanger any direct U.S. interest.  Indirectly, you may say that we’ve made such a huge investment in Iraq, that threatening that investment as ISIS does, harms our interests.  But throwing good money after bad in trying to salvage a dysfunctional, sectarian Iraqi state, may not be the best use of our resources.  If Iraq’s leaders can’t manage to form a government and mount a response to the ISIS threat, then why should be come like the cavalry to the rescue?  What business is this of ours?

My problem with the U.S. as Mideast policeman is that we refused to play a constructive role when the Arab Spring promised to topple authoritarian regimes and replace them with populists who bore the promise of democracy.  Why have circumstances changed now that ISIS threatens to topple other authoritarian Arab leaders and replace them with Islamist authoritarians?  In other words, we had a chance to encourage precisely the sorts of governments that would’ve more close reflected our values than their strongmen predecessors.  Yet we refused to act.  Now, all of a sudden we think those same authoritarian leaders are fine because Islamists might take their place.

This, as I’ve said many times here, is a totally dysfunctional approach to the region.  We don’t base our policy on creating societies reflecting democracy and tolerance–positive values we claim to embody.  Instead we base it on stopping the worst guy out there from taking power.  Instead of sharing a dream, our policy is “anything but them.”  How will that inspire anyone to embrace our views or emulate our values?

As a sidebar, I wanted to raise some questions about the tragic case of Steven Sotloff.  I’ve asked a number of journalists covering the region what they knew of his case.  Two veteran reporters told me they find it almost impossible to believe that ISIS didn’t know Sotloff was Jewish.  After all, these are savvy, modern insurgents who know how to use the internet.  Sotloff’s reporting included subjects on Jewish themes.  He was a citizen of Israel (first traveled there on a Birthright trip).

If ISIS did know that Sotloff was Jewish, then when it killed him it didn’t kill him as a Jew.  But rather it killed him as anAmerican.  The Islamist group may hate Jews, but it hates the west and Arab leaders more.  This means that ISIS has made a deliberate choice of who its enemies are and right now that isn’t Israel.  Which means Netanyahu’s attempt to conflate Hamas and ISIS is a total fraud.  Both groups have particular interests that are specific to their particular situations.  Hamas wants Palestinian freedom.  ISIS wants something else entirely.  Distorting reality as Bibi does harms Israel’s interests and harms the prospects for creating any equilibrium or stability in the region.

http://www.richardsilverstein.com/2014/09/09/isisophobia-or-the-mooslims-are-coming/

On the sequence of events leading up to the Israeli invasion of Gaza ~ Bill the Butcher

Intro:

This article is meant as a description of a sequence of events to help the reader understand the current so-called “war” in Gaza, and to find one’s way through the many dense layers of lies and propaganda.

For the purposes of this article, I shall use the terms “Israel” and “Israeli” instead of “Zionistan”, the term I prefer; but the use of those terms do not signify any legitimisation or approbation of the Zionist entity.

I shall – for the purposes of this section of the article – treat HAMAS as an organisation independent of Zionist control. I shall discuss that point further in the concluding section of this article.

The reason I am doing this not to pretend that there can be some kind of moral equivalence between a racist apartheid “nation” with billions yearly in aid from the American Empire on one side, and the inmates of a starved open-air concentration camp on the other. This is so any reader who wishes to can cite this article, or copy it, to other discussions without being accused of bias.

I repeat: you are welcome to cite or copy this article elsewhere.

I  strongly recommend you follow up the links I have provided in the text and at the end – they provide additional information that is beyond the scope of this article.

So let us begin.

*******************************

In general, the Israeli propaganda machine, and those who repeat its claims, say that the aggression against Gaza is justified to prevent HAMAS rockets from falling on Israeli cities. Let’s examine this claim.

It is perfectly true that HAMAS is firing Qassam rockets at Israeli cities. It is completely true that Israeli families have hidden in bomb shelters from the incoming rockets.

Nothing else about Israeli claims is true.

Before we go further, let me mention a word about these Qassam rockets. They aren’t guided ballistic missiles or anything of that nature. What they are, is a steel tube packed with fertiliser as propellant, and sometimes (not always) with a crude warhead at the other end. When the propellant is ignited, the rocket – hopefully – takes off from the launching rails without crashing, and flies through the air until said propellant runs out and it falls on something. If there is a warhead, and if the rocket strikes the ground at an angle that impacts the nail (which is generally what is used as a striker), the warhead may or may not explode. If it does explode, the usual damage is a smear of black powder residue.

The statistics make it clear: Israelis are more likely to die from peanut allergies than Qassam fire.

What is the military utility of the Qassams? Nothing. What is their non-military value? Immense. The Qassam is a symbol of continued resistance, that oppression and blockade haven’t destroyed the will to fight back.

But, as I said, in military terms the Qassams’ value is less than negligible. And if we are to take the Israeli claim about the effectiveness of their Iron Dome defence at face value – something which reputable scientists have dismissed – the value of the Qassams drops to farcical levels. This is not the equivalent of the US’ Ukrainian allies rocketing and shelling Lugansk, something  the White House seems perfectly willing to let go on.

But, the HAMAS did fire Qassams without provocation on Israel, right? They did provoke the current round of violence?

Let’s see!

If we aren’t to take the route of arbitrarily declaring that a certain point is the “beginning” of the sequence of events leading to a particular situation – something that has been called “Historical Creationism” and is meant to point blame in one particular direction – we should take a longer view. We should start further back in time and see how things led up, action begetting reaction, to the situation of the moment.

The Beginning:

If there is a point where the story begins, it could be 2006, when HAMAS won a free and democratic election in Gaza. This was greeted by shock in Western capitals, which had aided in the election in the fond belief that the Palestinians would vote for the hyper-corrupt and effete Fatah in preference over HAMAS. Discord over the election resulted in an internecine HAMAS-Fatah civil war in 2007, in which Fatah was eliminated in Gaza and HAMAS virtually ceased to exist in the West Bank.

This was followed by a punishment Israeli (and Egyptian) blockade of Gaza, meant to, in the words of an Israeli minister, “put Gaza on a diet” for having the temerity to back HAMAS. This “diet” was quite literal, with a per capita limit of 2279 calories per day.Also,

All exports were banned, and just 131 truckloads of foodstuffs and other essential products were permitted entry per day. Israel also strictly controlled which products could and could not be imported. Prohibited items have included A4 paper, chocolate, coriander, crayons, jam, pasta, shampoo, shoes and wheelchairs.

Apparently, shoes et al were “dual use items” – as was A4 paper, and presumably coriander and jam could only be used to “feed terrorists”, who would then attack on wheelchairs with shampoo bottles firing crayons, if one were to go by the Israeli “logic”. Also, Gaza fishermen were restricted to a narrow coastal zone, which rapidly became depleted of fish due to the inevitable overfishing involved.

Not surprisingly, this could not sustain the population of Gaza, and smuggling rapidly became a major industry. Since Gaza is a tiny territory, under constant Israeli control and surveillance (even after the 2005 Israeli “withdrawal” from the territory), there was no way to carry out this smuggling except via tunnels. These tunnels, from Gaza’s border with Egypt – the only non-Israel border the strip has – rapidly became a major conduit for all supplies, and the Gazans became expert at tunnel-building. Time magazine even did a photo feature on them.

I repeat – these tunnels were built in the first place as a direct response to the Israeli blockade, because it was the only way the people of Gaza could survive in anything resembling civilised conditions.

These tunnels also suited HAMAS fine, because it could tax all the smuggling activities and raise funds from them. (It must not be imagined for a moment that HAMAS was, or is, the only resistance group in the Gaza Strip – there is also Islamic Jihad, which is no friend of HAMAS, and several smaller outfits. This should be kept in mind.)

Mowing the lawn”:

Roughly every two years after imposing their blockade, the Israelis have launched major attacks on Gaza. It happened in 2008, in which over a thousand Palestinians were killed, and again in 2012, in which 139 Palestinians died. In between, there were more, indeed constant, minor attacks on Gaza. On each occasion, the overwhelming majority of casualties were Palestinian civilians, something difficult to understand in view of the Israeli pretence of having a “moral army” which “goes to extreme lengths to avoid civilian casualties.” In fact, as we shall see, what is remarkable is not that civilians were killed, but that – for a nation claiming that HAMAS presented a threat to its very existence – Israel went to great lengths not to destroy HAMAS.

Had it been determined to end Hamas rule it could easily have done so, particularly while Hamas was still consolidating its control over Gaza in 2007, and without necessarily reversing the 2005 disengagement. Instead, it saw the schism between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority as an opportunity to further its policies of separation and fragmentation, and to deflect growing international pressure for an end to an occupation that has lasted nearly half a century.

Israel called this process of regular attacks “mowing the lawn”. Apparently no one chose to notice that this reduced the Palestinians to the status of grass.

But HAMAS accepted a ceasefire after the 2012 “mowing”, and not only did it adhere to this ceasefire for over nineteen months, it prevented the other Palestinian resistance groups in Gaza from attacking Israel. It even stopped peaceful protests against Israel.

I repeat: from 2012 to 2014, HAMAS was in total ceasefire mode with Israel, despite constant provocations. Not only was it in ceasefire, it enforced the ceasefire on Islamic Jihad and other resistance groups.

HAMAS and the Syrian “Civil War”:

One of the few nations that had stood by HAMAS and the Gaza resistance was Bashar al Assad of Syria, as well as his ally, Iran. Now, the ideological mentor of HAMAS is the Muslim Brotherhood, the organisation which had been suppressed throughout North Africa from Algeria to Libya to Egypt, and in Syria as well. In the wake of the so-called “Arab Spring” in 2011, as various old tyrants were overthrown by what seemed to be a tide of democracy, the Muslim Brotherhood scored an important victory. The dictator of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, was overthrown by a popular revolution, and a MB led government replaced him. Life became easier for Gaza residents, with the MB significantly easing the blockade and in fact pressuring Israel to an early ceasefire when it last attacked Gaza in 2012.

At the same time, in Syria, the violence was escalating as terrorist gangs sponsored by Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and NATO attempted to take over the country. HAMAS – at the time based in Damascus – made a blunder so colossal that it has, to date, never recovered from it and perhaps never will. It chose to believe the fantasy that Assad’s fall was imminent and inevitable (something I, a mere foreigner half a world away, had at the time accurately stated was neither) and ditched him for Qatar. HAMAS men began using the techniques taught them by Hizbollah against Hizbollah, as at the battle of Al Qusayr, a turning point in the conflict. All this swiftly led to the funds being provided by Iran and Syria drying up – and Assad showed no signs of falling.

Soon enough, there was more trouble with Qatar, too, when in a very murky episode the HAMAS leadership was asked to leave the country. And in Egypt, the MB government was overthrown by a military dictatorship under al Sisi, one so aggressively anti-MB that it was far more anti-HAMAS than the earlier Mubarak dictatorship had been.

So, from having the full support of Syria and Iran and at least being tolerated by Egypt, HAMAS – by its own blunders – suddenly ended up with no friends whatsoever, bar the doubtful “friendship” of Israel’s friend and ally Turkey. It had no money and no way to make any more. Even the old reliable tunnel network had collapsed since the al Sisi dictatorship was aggressively demolishing them. By early 2014, HAMAS was on the ropes; unable to pay salaries of the Gaza employees, the economy almost nonexistent, sewage accumulating in the streets, massive daily power cuts, rising popular discontent, and no way out except a unity deal with its arch rival, Fatah.

Unity moves with Fatah:

Ever since the 2007 break with Fatah, there had been several attempts to forge a unity government. The closest that it came to one was in 2011, but went nowhere. But now, in 2014, with the situation in Gaza turning increasingly desperate, HAMAS decided to form a unity government with its arch rival. In real terms it was an unconditional surrender for HAMAS, since it accepted almost completely the Fatah positions (which in turn were dictated to Mahmoud Abbas by Israel). HAMAS wouldn’t even have a single cabinet post in this unity government, so total was its surrender. All it would gain in return was continued control over the Gaza strip and the reopening of the border crossing with Egypt, no more.

Not too surprisingly, this was greeted with relief by a lot of people in the West, including the US, which had grown increasingly uneasy at the situation in Gaza. In April, the agreement was signed, and on the 2nd June, the government was inaugurated.

With barely a protest from the Islamists, Abbas repeatedly and loudly proclaimed that the government accepted the Middle East Quartet’s demands: that it recognise Israel, renounce violence and adhere to past agreements. He also announced that Palestinian security forces in the West Bank would continue their security collaboration with Israel.

It did not, however, suit the Israeli government at all. All this time, the Israeli attempt had been to play off the Palestinians against each other, but a unity government would put an end to the game and put real pressure on the Netanyahu regime to allow a Palestinian state, something the Israeli prime minister had stated he would never allow. It became imperative to find a way to sabotage the unity government.

The opportunity came not in Gaza, but in the West Bank.

The West Bank:

All this time, the West Bank remained under the corrupt and effete Fatah “government” – the Palestinian Authority, as it is called, though it has no authority – of Mahmoud Abbas. The security services of this “government” acted in close alliance with the Israeli forces – so much so that the West Bank people joke bitterly that they’re enduring two occupations, one by Israel and one by the PA. In the West Bank there is no armed resistance activity; with few exceptions, the only weapons are in the hands of the “security services”. Not a single Qassam has been launched from the West Bank. And in return for this the West Bank people are rewarded with…

…massive, constant Israeli settlement construction – which always takes the best land from the Palestinians – with institutionalised apartheid (Arabs are not permitted to use roads meant for settlers, for example); “security walls” which cut off villages from their fields and children from their schools; over five hundred military checkpoints;  “price tag” attacks from settlers; the destruction of their olive groves and houses in mass punishments; and no prospect of ever gaining independence as a reward for their “good behaviour”.

Please keep this in mind when you hear any Israeli claim that they are interested in living peacefully alongside the Palestinians. They simply are not.

Professor Ilan Pappé has said that Israel made a conscious decision to become aracist apartheid state instead of a democratic one. Today, ultra-right, openly racist and fascist opinion is rising in Israel, with chants of “Death to Arabs” even at football matches. This should not be forgotten either.

In May, on the day commemorating the Nakba – the Palestinian Holocaust of expulsion by Israel in 1948 – there were demonstrations in support of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners in the West Bank. Israeli troops opened fire with live ammunition, killing two unarmed Palestinian teenagers. The incident was captured on closed circuit TV, and after initial denials the Israelis fell into sullen silence, not admitting the murders but unable to plausibly continue to deny them.

The kidnappings:

Some days later, on 11th June, Israel bombed Gaza, killing two Palestinians – one of them a ten year old boy. The very next day, three settler teenagers were kidnapped in the West Bank. Israel, without providing any proof whatsoever, immediately blamed HAMAS for the kidnappings – though HAMAS denied any involvement. Despite knowing – from a phone call made by one of the kidnapped teenagers – that they were almost certainly dead, Israel lied (even to the parents, as they later testified), and launched a massive and aggressive “search operation” in the West Bank. Hundreds of Palestinians were arrested, including over sixty released as part of a previous prisoner swap for the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Nine Palestinians were killed, and houses demolished and looted. During this time Abbas’ PA security forces worked in close collaboration with the Israelis.

Much later, the teenagers were found dead – only a short distance from where they were kidnapped – and by tourist guides at that. Apparently the “thorough” search wasn’t thorough enough to check the neighbourhood of the kidnap. In response, the Israeli government immediately announced three more settlements in the West Bank.

Let me mention at this point that all these settlements are clearly illegal under international law.

Meanwhile, in Israel and the West Bank, ultra-right racist Jewish organisations had been hard at work, stoking up anti-Palestinian hatred.  Straight from an anti-Arab demonstration, six of these ultra-right Jews attempted to kidnap a Palestinian boy but failed – because the nine-year-old boy’s mother began hitting the attempted kidnapper over the head with her cellphone. Can you imagine the paeans in the media if it had been an Israeli mother protecting her son from Arabs? I think you can.

It wasn’t enough deterrence. The next day they returned, successfully abductedMuhammad Abu-Khdeir, poured petrol into his mouth, and burned him to death.

Even at this stage, HAMAS did not retaliate. Despite being repeatedly attacked, falsely accused of the kidnap of the teenagers (even the Israeli police later admitted HAMAS had had nothing to do with the kidnappings), it still did not retaliate. The nineteen-month ceasefire was still on.

The Qassams begin:

The facts show that Israel, as one article laconically states, had to work quite hard to get HAMAS to end its ceasefire. That finally happened on 7th July, when it bombed a HAMAS group in a tunnel inside Gaza. This group had had nothing to do with attacking Israeli positions.

Between 01:00 and 16:00, the bodies of 5 members of the ‘Izziddin al-Qassam Brigades (the armed wing of Hamas) were recovered from a tunnel dug near Gaza International Airport in the southeast of the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah.  They were identified as: Ibrahim Dawod al-Bal’awi, 24; ‘Abdul Rahman Kamal al-Zamli, 22; Jum’a ‘Atiya Shallouf, 26; and Khaled ‘Abdul Hadi Abu Mur, 21, and his twin brother, Mustafa.  Another three members were recovered alive, but one was in a serious condition.

Only then – after being repeatedly attacked in the West Bank as well as Gaza – did HAMAS retaliate; and the retaliation was by the Qassams, which, as we have seen, are utterly useless for all practical purposes.

That they are useless isn’t even a matter of opinion – the Israeli reaction proves they are useless. While simultaneously claiming that they are an existential threat, Israel reacted angrily to international flights being held back from its airports; apparently the existential threat wasn’t threatening enough to potentially harm its tourist industry. And while Qassams were touted as a massive threat, Israelis were sitting out on hillsidescheering the bombing of Gaza – exposed to these same Qassams.

Therefore the sequence of events, leading up to the invasion of Gaza, clearly shows that not only was HAMAS not to blame, but that at every stage, the Palestinians werereacting to Israeli provocation.

Let me also repeat a point I made earlier: HAMAS is not the only resistance group active in Gaza. There’s Islamic Jihad and several smaller groups; and even Israel admitted that HAMAS had stopped them rocketing Israeli cities. An attack blamed on HAMAS is not necessarily an attack launched by HAMAS, or even an attack HAMAS knew about or had any sympathy for.

It’s a different matter that right now the various resistance groups are standing together against the enemy offensive – but not surprising. It’s United We Stand and Divided We Fall; and if the Israeli attack is one thing which will bring the resistance together permanently, so much the better for it.

*******************************************

Having handled the sequence of events up to the launch of Qassams, which Israel cites as the casus belli of its war massacre in Gaza, let me move on to some other points.

The HAMAS human shield myth:

When all else fails, the Israeli counterargument about Gaza hinges a few shopworn arguments:

The first is the argument that HAMAS uses human shields and stores weapons in mosques and houses. That this is not true isn’t even a new thing: it was exposedseveral years ago, by Amnesty International among others, which said that the only instances of human shield use had been by Israelis. HAMAS did not, and has not now, used human shields. That is a lie. Nor has it stored weapons in homes or mosques except on two occasions when it stored weapons in empty UNRWA schools – UNRWA condemned the incident, and nobody has ever found any evidence that it was repeated.
Actually, this is by no means a new Israeli tactic. It had accused Hizbollah of similar tactics in 2006 – and then, too, it was conclusively proved by Human Rights Watch that Israel was lying. In fact, there is so much evidence piling up on this that this is something even Israeli Hasbara propagandists are becoming wary of citing.

(There’s an interesting twist to this; as one of the few old Zionists still alive, Uri Avnery,says, in the Israeli “war of independence” it was the Jewish groups which hid weapons in schools, hospitals and synagogues.)

Nor is it true that the Israelis “warn” the people to flee before bombing their house. Often they don’t, and even when they do, there is neither time to run or anywhere to run to.

The tunnels:

Another argument is that HAMAS used its tunnels to attack Israelis. This is a strange argument – apparently invented post facto – after the Qassam excuse didn’t wash as well as it seemed it would. I have been able to only find one instance of Palestinians – perhaps HAMAS, perhaps someone else – attacking a kibbutz using the tunnels; and that was on 17th July, ten days after the beginning of full scale hostilities. Since the tunnels have been around for many years, it’s, in any case, at least disingenuous to pretend that they are a proximate cause for attacking Gaza.

The tunnels, as I said, were originally invented for smuggling, not for fighting; but they do seem to have been used with increasing effectiveness by the resistance to target the Israeli attackers. In retaliation, it is the Israelis who have been killing Palestinian civilians; that over 80% of Palestinian casualties have been civilians is proof, if any were needed, who is actually striking at civilian targets. In contrast almost all Israeli dead and wounded have been military personnel.

It is, in fact, the phenomenon of Gazan resistance and Israel’s retaliatory massacres of civilians that has led to the attackers’ destruction of the strip’s only power station; it was to drain Gaza’s laptops and mobile phones of power so that the people of the strip could no longer Tweet and Instagram photos and appeals for assistance to the world. Massacres are difficult to continue if exposed to the world in real time.

That this kills babies is incidental, of course.

The ceasefire:

The third Israeli argument is that HAMAS rejected a peace proposal – a ceasefire “proposed” by Egypt. It was a ceasefire HAMAS was never going to accept, and forexcellent reasons. First, it was not consulted at all on what terms it was ready to accept; it has said repeatedly that what it wants is a lifting of the blockade. Secondly, the ceasefire was rubber stamped by the Egyptian dictator al Sisi, the man most responsible for the plight of the Gazans – much more so than even the Israelis. Third, though the proposal was rubber stamped by Egypt, it was an Israeli proposal, which gave Gaza nothing at all in return for ceasing hostilities. It would be a return to the status quo ante, as was the case in 2012. As we have seen, though the Gazans honoured the ceasefire, it was the Israelis who broke it. There is absolutely no reason to imagine it would be different this time round.

In return, HAMAS – and, very significantly, Islamic Jihad – made a counter-proposal; they would offer a ten-year ceasefire in response for lifting the blockade and other minor concessions. The response from the other side? Dead silence.

At the moment, fighting continues, and another “ceasefire” was broken within two hours by the Israelis, citing the “capture” of one of its soldiers. HAMAS has denied that it captured the soldier; in any case, the Israelis prefer to murder their own troops rather than let them be captured, as it seems to have done in this case. And seeing the number of times the Israelis have lied, it is by no means impossible that this “capture” is nothing more than another lie meant to continue the fighting.

In any case, the Israeli insistence on demolishing the tunnels is somewhat bizarre. Tunnels, surely, can be easily re-constructed when demolished? Isn’t someone bright enough to have thought of that? And, in the exposed Gaza strip, tunnels are not just vital to the defence – they are the only way the defence can be conducted. As Uri Avnery says, HAMAS uses the tunnels for “…attacks, command posts, operational centers (sic) and arsenals.”

As bizarre as this tunnel fixation is the Israeli insistence that it, and it alone, has the right to decide what a “ceasefire” entails. Thus, after declaring a 72-hour ceasefire, it still sent troops to attack a tunnel, apparently in the beliefthat it can destroy Palestinian infrastructure with impunity, but it’s a ceasefire violation when the resistance fights back. That is at least delusional.

Either way, we can more or less say with confidence that the invasion isn’t going anywhere near as well as the Israelis thought.

************************************

A word about HAMAS:

Throughout this article, I have treated HAMAS as an independent resistance movement, “terrorist”, if you will, but independent. Actually, it was nothing of the kind. According to Uri Avnery, it was set up with the knowledge and tacit encouragement of Shin Bet (the Israeli military intelligence service, more honest and less murderous than Mossad).According to other sources, the Israeli involvement in setting it up was much more direct. Either way, HAMAS – at least in its upper echelons – is far from being as independent of the Israelis as most people believe.

There’s an interesting little fact. For all the talk about how HAMAS is “sworn to destroy Israel”, the Israelis have actually taken great care not to destroy or even seriously harm the group. In fact, even in the current confrontation, Netanyahu wants HAMAS to stay.

If you look at it, the only side that really wins in this conflict is…HAMAS. Israel is well on the way to becoming a pariah state, its propaganda collapsing, with huge numbers even in Europe now turned firmly against its racist apartheid policies. However, HAMAS, the raison d’être of Israel’s continuing blockade of Gaza – HAMAS, which was on the ropes only months ago – has suddenly regained its lost position as the only defender of the Palestinians (excepting Islamic Jihad and minor groups). While Mahmoud Abbas continues to do nothing in the West Bank, HAMAS is steadily fighting the Israeli war machine to a virtual standstill. Who wins here?

I am not saying that Israel is deliberately sacrificing its soldiers to strengthen HAMAS. Even Netanyahu is not so stupid as that. The resistance of the lower ranks of HAMAS is real and effective; they didn’t melt away as the regime in Jerusalem thought they would. Increasingly, the Israelis are looking at a no-win situation. They aren’t losing though; not yet. Not as long as the US empire continues paying them, no questions asked.

The ones who are actually losing are the people of Gaza; but apart from the copy-pasted, hypocritical comments of Hasbara propagandists, nobody in a position of power cares about them.

Further reading:

http://m.thenation.com/article/180783-five-israeli-talking-points-gaza-debunked

http://mondoweiss.net/2014/07/tomorrow-children-israeli.html

http://www.salon.com/2014/07/28/debunking_the_myths_about_gaza_the_truth_behind_israeli_and_palestinian_talking_points/

http://www.loonwatch.com/2014/07/israeli-commander-declares-holy-war-on-palestinians/

http://chris-floyd.com/component/content/article/1-latest-news/2413-blockading-the-truth-obamas-big-lie-about-gaza.html

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/7/13/gaza-civilians-bombed.html

And, oh, by the way, Zionists do not represent Jews. Thank you for remembering that.

Copyright B Purkayastha 2014

 

http://bill-purkayastha.blogspot.com/2014/08/on-sequence-of-events-leading-up-to.html

President al-Assad: “Syria’s war on terrorism is a battle of existence”

Originally posted on the real SyrianFreePress Network:

general-bashar-al-assad-

President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday addressed the Syrian Arab army through Jaish al-Shaab (The Army of the People) magazine on the 69th anniversary of its foundation.

In his address, President al-Assad extended heart-felt congratulations to the Syrian army’s commanders and rank and file on the occasion, saying that they held up a shining example in giving, sacrifice and loyalty to homeland.

Since its inception, the Syrian army has proved to be the nation’s impregnable fortress and the defender of its rights and dignity, the President said.

“Since its foundation and until this day, the Syrian army continues to prove that it is competent enough to carry out the mission that the Syrian people entrusted them with; that is to preserve security, stability and defend land, and to stand up for what is right,” the President said.

President al-Assad added that the Syrian Army carries on every day the war…

View original 240 more words

Israeli calls for Palestinian blood ring at fever pitch David Sheen The Electronic Intifada 15 July 2014

Right-wing nationalists attack activists protesting Israel’s air strikes on Gaza in central Tel Aviv on 12 July.
(Oren Ziv / ActiveStills)

Concerned humanists may have hoped that when a group of Jewish Israelis confessed to kidnapping and killing Muhammad Abu Khudair, a Palestinian teenager in Jerusalem — forcing him to drink gasoline and torching him to death from inside his body — that top Israeli legislators and rabbis would have been horrified at what their revenge rhetoric had triggered, and seriously scaled back their calls for war.

These hopes would have been in vain. In the days since the lynchers were arrested, the anti-Arab rhetoric has continued to ring at a fever pitch. Even as the Israeli army pummels the Gaza Strip with explosives — more than 1,500 tons have been dropped on Gaza by the time of this writing, killing 193 people and wounding approximately 1,200, the vast majority of them civilians — Israeli political, religious and cultural leaders continue to incite sectarian divisions for political profit.

On the eve of Abu Khudair’s lynching, Member of Knesset (Israel’s parliament) and government faction whip Ayelet Shaked issued a call over Facebook to ethnically cleanse the land, declaring “the entire Palestinian people is the enemy.” She advocated their complete destruction, “including its elderly and its women,” adding that these must be slaughtered, otherwise they might give birth to more “little snakes.”

It would be hard to find a more explicit call for genocide.

Days after the lynch, Shaked tried to cover her tracks, angrily insisting that she had merely quoted another person’s call to genocide, not issued one of her own. Yet a week later, Shaked posted another fiery Facebook message in Hebrew, this time warning her constituents that the Jewish cemetery in Jaffa had been torched, subtly implying that Palestinians had purposefully destroyed the graveyard.

In fact, not even a single headstone was singed — Shaked had used news of a fire next door to weave a wicked blood libel.

Scalping foreskins

One day before the lynch, the head of the largest religious Jewish youth group in the world, Rabbi Noam Perel of Bnei Akiva, openly called on his Facebook page for the killing of at least 300 Palestinians, and for scalping their foreskins and taking them as trophies. As most Palestinians are Muslims who circumcise their male children, Perel may well have been calling to murder and scalp not just Palestinians, but Palestinian babies.

After the lynch, Perel issued an apology, clarifying that the Israeli army should have a monopoly on dispensing violence against Palestinians. He did not express any regret for his call to harvest human skin from the penises of Palestinians. A week later, the youth group’s ruling council met and decided not to remove Perel from his post or censure him in any way, saying: “The consensus was … the vast majority of the countries where Bnei Akiva operates were quite happy with the apology.”

Also just hours before Abu Khdeir was burnt to death, the rich and powerful Jerusalem city councillor in charge of municipal security, Aryeh King, issued a similar barely-veiled call to mutilate and murder Palestinians. Speaking on stage to a large assembly of ultra-Orthodox Jews from the Chabad sect, he said, “I am calling out to all the Pinchases that are here … Moses didn’t act, Pinchas acted … every one of us has a mission … The Rebbe, who is here with us, expects us to commit acts of Pinchas.”

Pinchas in the Torah — called Phineas in the English-language Old Testament — was so incensed by miscegenation that he took a sword and plunged it through both bodies of an interracial (Jewish-Midianite) couple in the middle of their lovemaking. The point of King’s sermon might have been lost on a secular audience, but its coded call to murder and mutilate non-Jews, and the Jews willing to mix with them, was understood loud and clear by the crowd of Torah scholars.

Thugs

On Saturday night, after nearly a week of Gaza being bombarded, a few hundred Israelis gathered in a public square in downtown Tel Aviv to protest the assault and Israeli control over Palestinian lives. They were met there by a gang of secular Jewish thugs who had answered the call of popular Israeli rapper HaTzel to descend on and attack the rally. Israeli police allowed the thugs to charge the crowd and take out their rage on the demonstrators,smashing chairs over their heads.

It did not surprise anyone to see some of these thugs wearing the insignia of the founding father of Zionist fascism, Rabbi Meir Kahane, and the political movement he founded, Kach. But the adoption of a second set of iconography shocked many observers.

أوقفوا العدوان على غزّة Stop the Massacre In Gaza Demo. 2 TLV 12.7.2014

As shown in the video above, some of the HaTzel thugs wore clothes emblazoned with “Good Night Left Side,” iconography that is popular among European neo-Nazi groups.

The Israeli version replaced the Iron Crosses of the original with Jewish Stars of David. This was a call to physically attack leftists opposed to Israel’s attacks on Gaza.

Israeli ultra-nationalists wear clothes emblazoned with “Good Night Left Side,” iconography used by European neo-Nazi groups. (screenshot)

Since the beginning of July, raging crowds of Jewish Israelis just like these have marched through Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Nazareth and Beer Sheva, chanting “Death to Arabs” and “Death to Leftists,” swarming and attacking vulnerable victims. While a tiny contingent of radical Israelis have formed a loose “anti-fascist” network that tries to patrol city streets and prevent additional lynchings, they are extremely few in numbers and cannot be everywhere at all times.

While Israeli leaders unleash conscripted soldiers to bombard Gaza, they dispatch ultra-nationalist vigilantes to conquer cities inside Israel. With the incitement to murder Palestinians (and the few Israeli allies they have) continue unabated, it seems to be only a matter of time before the bubbling bloodlust boils overs into a bloodbath.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that “Good Night Left Side” is a European neo-Nazi group, rather than iconography associated with European neo-Nazi groups. It has been corrected.

David Sheen is an independent writer and filmmaker. Born in Toronto, Canada, Sheen now lives in Dimona. His website is www.davidsheen.com and he can be followed on Twitter: @davidsheen.

http://electronicintifada.net/content/israeli-calls-palestinian-blood-ring-fever-pitch/13578

The Anti-Empire Report #130 By William Blum – Published July 12th, 2014


What would a psychiatrist call this? Delusions of grandeur?


US Secretary of State John Kerry, July 8, 2014:
“In my travels as secretary of state, I have seen as never before the thirst for American leadership in the world.”

President Barack Obama, May 28, 2014:
“Here’s my bottom line, America must always lead on the world stage. If we don’t, no one else will.”

Nicholas Burns, former US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, May 8, 2014:
“Where is American power and leadership when the world needs it most?”

Mitt Romney, Republican Party candidate for President, September 13, 2012:
“The world needs American leadership. The Middle East needs American leadership and I intend to be a president that provides the leadership that America respects and keep us admired throughout the world.”

Paul Ryan, Congressman, Republican Party candidate for Vice President, September 12, 2012:
“We need to be reminded that the world needs American leadership.”

John McCain, Senator, September 9, 2012:
“The situation in Syria and elsewhere ‘cries out for American leadership’.”

Hillary Clinton, September 8, 2010:
“Let me say it clearly: The United States can, must, and will lead in this new century. Indeed, the complexities and connections of today’s world have yielded a new American Moment — a moment when our global leadership is essential, even if we must often lead in new ways.”

Senator Barack Obama, April 23, 2007:
“In the words of President Franklin Roosevelt, we lead the world in battling immediate evils and promoting the ultimate good. I still believe that America is the last, best hope of Earth.”

Gallup poll, 2013:

Question asked: “Which country do you think is the greatest threat to peace in the world today?”

Replies:

  • United States 24%
  • Pakistan 8%
  • China 6%
  • Afghanistan, Iran, Israel, North Korea, each 5%
  • India, Iraq, Japan, each 4%
  • Syria 3%
  • Russia 2%
  • Australia, Germany, Palestinian territories, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Korea, UK, each 1%

The question is not what pacifism has achieved throughout history, but what has war achieved?

Remark made to a pacifist: “If only everyone else would live in the way you recommend, I would gladly live that way as well – but not until everyone else does.”

The Pacifist’s reply: “Why then, sir, you would be the last man on earth to do good. I would rather be one of the first.”

Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, 1947, words long cherished by a large majority of the Japanese people:

“Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.

“In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.”

This statement is probably unique amongst the world’s constitutions.

But on July 1, 2014 the government of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, without changing a word of Article 9, announced a “reinterpretation” of it to allow for military action in conjunction with allies. This decision can be seen as the culmination of a decades-long effort by the United States to wean Japan away from its post-WW2 pacifist constitution and foreign policy and set it back on the righteous path of being a military power once again, only this time acting in coordination with US foreign policy needs.

In the triumphalism of the end of the Second World War, the American occupation of Japan, in the person of General Douglas MacArthur, played a major role in the creation of this constitution. But after the communists came to power in China in 1949, the United States opted for a strong Japan safely ensconced in the anti-communist camp. For pacifism, it’s been downhill ever since … step by step … MacArthur himself ordered the creation of a “national police reserve”, which became the embryo of the future Japanese military … visiting Tokyo in 1956, US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles told Japanese officials: “In the past, Japan had demonstrated her superiority over the Russians and over China. It was time for Japan to think again of being and acting like a Great Power.” … various US-Japanese security and defense cooperation treaties, which called on Japan to integrate its military technology with that of the US and NATO … the US supplying new sophisticated military aircraft and destroyers … all manner of Japanese logistical assistance to the US in Washington’s frequent military operations in Asia … repeated US pressure on Japan to increase its military budget and the size of its armed forces … more than a hundred US military bases in Japan, protected by the Japanese military … US-Japanese joint military exercises and joint research on a missile defense system … the US Ambassador to Japan, 2001: “I think the reality of circumstances in the world is going to suggest to the Japanese that they reinterpret or redefine Article 9.” … Under pressure from Washington, Japan sent several naval vessels to the Indian Ocean to refuel US and British warships as part of the Afghanistan campaign in 2002, then sent non-combat forces to Iraq to assist the American war as well as to East Timor, another made-in-America war scenario … US Secretary of State Colin Powell, 2004: “If Japan is going to play a full role on the world stage and become a full active participating member of the Security Council, and have the kind of obligations that it would pick up as a member of the Security Council, Article Nine would have to be examined in that light.” …

The George W. Bush administration continued the pressure on Tokyo. In 2012 Japan was induced to take part in a military exercise with 21 other countries, converging on Hawaii for the largest-ever Rim of the Pacific naval exercises and war games, with a Japanese admiral serving as vice commander of the combined task force. And so it went … until, finally, on July 1 of this year, the Abe administration announced their historic decision. Abe, it should be noted, is a member of the Liberal Democratic Party, with which the CIA has had a long and intimate connection, even when party leaders were convicted World War 2 war criminals.

If and when the American empire engages in combat with China or Russia, it appears that Washington will be able to count on their Japanese brothers-in-arms. In the meantime, the many US bases in Japan serve as part of the encirclement of China, and during the Vietnam War the United States used their Japanese bases as launching pads to bomb Vietnam.

The US policies and propaganda not only got rid of the annoying Article 9, but along the way it gave rise to a Japanese version of McCarthyism. A prime example of this is the case of Kimiko Nezu, a 54-year-old Japanese teacher, who was punished by being transferred from school to school, by suspensions, salary cuts, and threats of dismissal because of her refusal to stand during the playing of the national anthem, a World War II song chosen as the anthem in 1999. She opposed the song because it was the same one sung as the Imperial Army set forth from Japan calling for an “eternal reign” of the emperor. At graduation ceremonies in 2004, 198 teachers refused to stand for the song. After a series of fines and disciplinary actions, Nezu and nine other teachers were the only protesters the following year. Nezu was then allowed to teach only when another teacher was present.

Yankee Blowback

The number of children attempting to cross the Mexican border into the United States has risen dramatically in the last five years: In fiscal year 2009 (October 1, 2009 – September 30, 2010) about 6,000 unaccompanied minors were detained near the border. The US Department of Homeland Security estimates for the fiscal year 2014 the detention of as many as 74,000 unaccompanied minors. Approximately 28% of the children detained this year are from Honduras, 24% from Guatemala, and 21% from El Salvador. The particularly severe increases in Honduran migration are a direct result of the June 28, 2009 military coup that overthrew the democratically-elected president, Manuel Zelaya, after he did things like raising the minimum wage, giving subsidies to small farmers, and instituting free education. The coup – like so many others in Latin America – was led by a graduate of Washington’s infamous School of the Americas.

As per the standard Western Hemisphere script, the Honduran coup was followed by the abusive policies of the new regime, loyally supported by the United States. The State Department was virtually alone in the Western Hemisphere in not unequivocally condemning the Honduran coup. Indeed, the Obama administration has refused to call it a coup, which, under American law, would tie Washington’s hands as to the amount of support it could give the coup government. This denial of reality still persists even though a US embassy cable released by Wikileaks in 2010 declared: “There is no doubt that the military, Supreme Court and National Congress conspired on June 28 [2009] in what constituted an illegal and unconstitutional coup against the Executive Branch”. Washington’s support of the far-right Honduran government has been unwavering ever since.

The questions concerning immigration into the United States from south of the border go on year after year, with the same issues argued back and forth: What’s the best way to block the flow into the country? How shall we punish those caught here illegally? Should we separate families, which happens when parents are deported but their American-born children remain? Should the police and various other institutions have the right to ask for proof of legal residence from anyone they suspect of being here illegally? Should we punish employers who hire illegal immigrants? Should we grant amnesty to at least some of the immigrants already here for years? … on and on, round and round it goes, decade after decade. Those in the US generally opposed to immigration make it a point to declare that the United States does not have any moral obligation to take in these Latino immigrants.

But the counter-argument to this last point is almost never mentioned: Yes, the United States does indeed have a moral obligation because so many of the immigrants are escaping a situation in their homeland made hopeless by American intervention and policy. In addition to Honduras, Washington overthrew progressive governments which were sincerely committed to fighting poverty in Guatemala and Nicaragua; while in El Salvador the US played a major role in suppressing a movement striving to install such a government. And in Mexico, though Washington has not intervened militarily since 1919, over the years the US has been providing training, arms, and surveillance technology to Mexico’s police and armed forces to better their ability to suppress their own people’s aspirations, as in Chiapas, and this has added to the influx of the oppressed to the United States, irony notwithstanding.

Moreover, Washington’s North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), has brought a flood of cheap, subsidized US agricultural products into Mexico, ravaging campesino communities and driving many Mexican farmers off the land when they couldn’t compete with the giant from the north. The subsequent Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) has brought the same joys to the people of that area.

These “free trade” agreements – as they do all over the world – also result in government enterprises being privatized, the regulation of corporations being reduced, and cuts to the social budget. Add to this the displacement of communities by foreign mining projects and the drastic US-led militarization of the War on Drugs with accompanying violence and you have the perfect storm of suffering followed by the attempt to escape from suffering.

It’s not that all these people prefer to live in the United States. They’d much rather remain with their families and friends, be able to speak their native language at all times, and avoid the hardships imposed on them by American police and other right-wingers.

M’lady Hillary

Madame Clinton, in her new memoir, referring to her 2002 Senate vote supporting military action in Iraq, says: “I thought I had acted in good faith and made the best decision I could with the information I had. And I wasn’t alone in getting it wrong. But I still got it wrong. Plain and simple.”

In a 2006 TV interview, Clinton said: “Obviously, if we knew then what we know now, there wouldn’t have been a vote. And I certainly wouldn’t have voted that way.”

On October 16, 2002 the US Congress adopted a joint resolution titled “Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq”. This was done in the face of numerous protests and other political events against an American invasion.

On February 15, 2003, a month before the actual invasion, there was a coordinated protest around the world in which people in some 60 countries marched in a last desperate attempt to stop the war from happening. It has been described as “the largest protest event in human history.” Estimations of the total number of participants involved reach 30 million. The protest in Rome involved around three million people, and is listed in the 2004 Guinness Book of World Records as the largest anti-war rally in history. Madrid hosted the second largest rally with more than 1½ million protesters. About half a million marched in the United States. How many demonstrations in support of the war can be cited? It can be said that the day was one of humanity’s finest moments.

So what did all these people know that Hillary Clinton didn’t know? What information did they have access to that she as a member of Congress did not have?

The answer to both questions is of course “Nothing”. She voted the way she did because she was, as she remains today, a wholly committed supporter of the Empire and its unending wars.

And what did the actual war teach her? Here she is in 2007, after four years of horrible death, destruction and torture:

“The American military has done its job. Look what they accomplished. They got rid of Saddam Hussein. They gave the Iraqis a chance for free and fair elections. They gave the Iraqi government the chance to begin to demonstrate that it understood its responsibilities to make the hard political decisions necessary to give the people of Iraq a better future. So the American military has succeeded.”

And she spoke the above words at a conference of liberals, committed liberal Democrats and others further left. She didn’t have to cater to them with any flag-waving pro-war rhetoric; they wanted to hear anti-war rhetoric (and she of course gave them a tiny bit of that as well out of the other side of her mouth), so we can assume that this is how she really feels, if indeed the woman feels anything. The audience, it should be noted, booed her, for the second year in a row.

“We came, we saw, he died.” – Hillary Clinton as US Secretary of State, giggling, as she referred to the uncivilized and utterly depraved murder of Moammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Imagine Osama bin Laden or some other Islamic leader speaking of September 11, 2001: “We came, we saw, 3,000 died, ha-ha.”

1
Notes

Los Angeles Times, September 23, 1994
Washington Post, July 18, 2001
BBC, August 14, 2004
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, June 23 and July 2, 2012
Tim Weiner, “Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA” (2007), p.116-21
Washington Post, August 30, 2005
Washington Post, June 6, 2014
Speaking at the “Take Back America” conference, organized by the Campaign for America’s Future, June 20, 2007, Washington, DC; this excerpt can be heard on the June 21, 2007 edition of Democracy Now!

Any part of this report may be disseminated without permission, provided attribution to William Blum as author and a link to this website are given.

http://williamblum.org/aer/read/130

Saddam Hussein’s Last Words: “To the Hell that is Iraq!?” What the Media has Deliberately Concealed


By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

Saddam Hussein’s Last Words: “To the Hell that is Iraq!?”

This article was first published by Global Research on January 31, 2007.

“On the Holy day of Eid, the world watched in horror at the barbaric lynching of President Saddam Hussein of Iraq, allegedly for crimes against humanity. This public murder was sanctioned by the War Criminals, President Bush and Prime Minister Blair.

The entire trial process was a mockery of justice, no less a Kangaroo Court. Defence counsels were brutally murdered, witnesses threatened and judges removed for being impartial and replaced by puppet judges. Yet, we are told that Iraq was invaded to promote democracy, freedom and justice.”

(Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, former Prime Minister of Malaysia, 30 December 2006)

The barbaric lynching of Saddam Hussein, the former president of Iraq, was a choreographed event, a carefully staged U.S. sponsored PSYOP, with a view to triggering social divisions and fomenting sectarian violence within Iraq and the broader Middle East.

In its coverage of the execution, the international media, in a highly convoluted fashion, combined the transcript of Saddam Hussein’s execution with “recollections” of so-called witness statements.

Moreover, the transcripts were often presented to readers without context or explanation. More generally, the translations from the Arabic were the object of manipulation and media distortion.

The execution of the Iraqi leader was carefully timed to occur during a sensitive time for Muslims. The execution fell during Eid ul-Adha, a holy day for Muslims. The date of the execution is perhaps one of the most compromising signals that the execution was indeed a psychological operation (PSYOP) launched by the United States.

The execution date was deliberately chosen during a sacred period for Muslims to exploit a divide between Shiite and Sunni. This sacred day was marked on Saturday, December 30, 2007 by Sunni Muslims in Iraq and was observed a day later on Sunday, December 31, 2007 by Iraq’s Shiites.

This is a strategic difference in dates that the execution of Saddam Hussein sought to expose and exploit to create sedition and division between Iraqis and Muslims. The day of the execution was deliberately chosen by its U.S. sponsors to occur on Saturday, December 30, 2006, the day that Sunni Muslims observed Eid ul-Adha.

The execution took place on December 30, with a view to enraging Sunni Muslims against Shiite Muslims in Iraq and the Middle East. Concurrently, both the media and official U.S. statements pointed to the Shiite Muslims (and the so-called “Shiite government”) as being responsible for the execution.

Aside from the religious context, the execution was also illegal under the Iraqi legal code and constitution. This has been articulated by Rizgar Mohammad Amin, an Iraqi Kurd and one of the former judges in the questionable trial of Saddam Hussein.

The execution was carried out, as a psychological weapon, to usher in sectarian violence and division throughout the Middle East. The timing also coincided with several announcements and news reports of war plans by the United States and Israel in regards to Syria and Iran.

It is no coincidence that shortly after the execution the U.S. President identified Syria and Iran as the enemies of Iraq and raided an Iranian Consulate in Iraqi Kurdistan.

The media disinformation campaign pertaining to the execution was coordinated with the instruments of war propaganda emanating from the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence.

In the immediate wake of the execution, the global networks of the corporate media went into full gear to propagate the misinformation that the Pentagon wanted to convey to the general public.

The translated transcripts of Saddam Hussein’s last words, which had been scrupulously manipulated and distorted, were fed into the global news chain.

Presented below is the Global Research translation from the Arabic original audio-video believed to have been recorded on a cell phone. Also presented for purposes of comparison are several other “translations” from the same Arabic original.

Transcript: Our translation from the Arabic original

Background voices, which are very hard to hear, are having a conversation in the background and someone calls someone else in the execution chamber by “Ali” or is looking for “Ali.”

Saddam Hussein: “I testify that Mohammed is the Messenger of God.”

Saddam Hussein: “Oh God.” [saying this in preparation, as is Middle Eastern custom, as the noose is put around his neck]

One voice leads customary Muslim prayer (called a salvat): “May God’s blessings be upon Mohammed and his companions/household [family].”

All Voices, including Saddam Hussein, repeat the customary prayer: “May God’s blessings be upon Mohammed and his companions/household [family].”

A group of voices: “Moqtada…Moqtada …Moqtada.” [Meaning the young Shiite cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr] …

Saddam with amusement: “Moqtada…Moqtada! Do you consider this bravery?” [This can also be translated as meaning “Is this your manhood?”]

Several individuals say several times: “To Hell [hell-fire]!” [This can be translated as “Go to Hell!”]

Saddam Hussein mockingly replies/asks: “To the hell that is Iraq!?”

Others voices: “Long live Mohammed Baqir Al-Sadr.”

Single Voice: “Please do not [stop]. The man is being executed. Please no, please stop.”

Saddam Hussein starts recitation of final Muslim prayers: “I bear witness that there is no god but God and I testify that Mohammed is the Messenger of God. I bear witness that there is no god but God and I testify that Mohammed…” [Saddam Hussein is suddenly interrupted without finishing his prayer with the opening of the trap door.]

Several Voices: “The tyrant [dictator] has collapsed!”

Other voices: “May God’s blessings be upon Mohammed and his household (family).”

Single Voice: “Let him hang for eight minutes.”

Many conversations continue in the background about Saddam Hussein.

Note on the Original Video

The Global Research translation is based on an Arabic video. The release of this video was in all likelihood part of the U.S. sponsored intelligence operation. The video was allegedly taken from a cell phone camera belonging to one of the executioners. Viewer discretion is advised; the video is gruesome and upsetting in nature and does not resemble a state-run execution. To view click here

Corporate Media Translations

Below are several transcripts of translations. Some of these transcripts demonstrate a major deviation from the original (Arabic) word by word dialogue. A look at the CNN or BBC versions of the video clearly reveals a deliberate attempt to distort Saddam Hussein’s statements and portray the Shiite Muslims of Iraq as those behind the Iraqi leaders hanging in Baghdad.

The corporate media’s translations add or interject what was reportedly said by Saddam Hussein to what was recorded.

Fox News

The Fox News transcript fails to even give a glimpse of Saddam Hussein’s last words. It only gives an ominously detailed translation of the start of the video. One should ask is there a reason why the full transcript was not given and why this partial transcript was portrayed as the transcript of the execution in its entirety.

Fox News Transcript

A new videotape surfaced Monday on the Web appearing to show the body of former Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein after he was hanged on Dec. 30, 2006. This is the translation of the audio conversation on that 27-second video among individuals with access to the body and someone apparently using a cell phone camera:

(Inaudible)— Abu Ali

Hurry up! Hurry up!

— Hurry up!

(Inaudible)

— Let’s go my friend…Come on man!

I’ll fix it up for you.

— I am coming. I am coming.

— Just a moment, one moment

— I am coming. I am coming.

— Abu Ali, Abu Ali… You take care of this.

— Ok let’s go, let’s go

— Come on my friend! Come on my friend!

Ok, I am coming. I am coming.

BBC Transcript

The BBC’s transcript fails also to give a glimpse of Saddam Hussein’s last words, besides painting the executioners as savage Shiites. Nor does the BBC report acknowledge Washington’s role in ordering this execution.

Moreover, Saddam Hussein’s last words about Iraq being turned into a living Hell are conveniently omitted. The BBC transcript also uses phrases that portray the executioners as Shiites. This is done by the chosen reference in the phrase referring to Prophet Mohammed’s family and the statement “And may God hasten their appearance and curse their enemies,” which is a reference to Imam Mahdi, a Muslim figure, that Shiite Muslims’ distinctly place special emphasis on in regards to most Sunni Muslims.

British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Transcript

Translation of Arabic subtitles accompanying the latest execution footage as broadcast on al-Jazeera TV station:

[Saddam] Oh God.

[Voices] May God’s blessings be upon Muhammad and his household.

[Voices] And may God hasten their appearance and curse their enemies.

[Voices] Moqtada [Al-Sadr]…Moqtada…Moqtada.

[Saddam] Do you consider this bravery?

[Voice] Long live Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr.

[Voice] To hell.

[Voice] Please do not. The man is being executed. Please no, I beg you to stop.

[Saddam] There is no God but Allah and I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of God. There is no God but Allah and I testify that Muhammad…

At this point the video stops and the sound of the trapdoors opening is heard in the background.

The Independent (U.K.)

The Independent, a British daily, that gives a fairly progressive view on international events seems to have also carried a version of the translation of the transcript of the execution of Saddam Hussein that has omitted Saddam Hussein’s last words indicating that Iraq has been turned into a “Hell on earth.”

The Independent (U.K.) Transcript: Dictator’s last words

Saddam: “Oh God.”

Voices: “May God’s blessings be upon Mohamed and his household. And may God hasten their appearance and curse their enemies.”

Voices: “Moqtada [al-Sadr] … Moqtada … Moqtada.”

Saddam: “Do you consider this bravery?”

Voice: “Long live Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr.”

Voice: “To hell.”

Voice: “Please do not. The man is being executed. Please no, I beg you to stop.”

Saddam: “There is no God but Allah and I testify that Mohamed is the messenger of God. There is no God but Allah and I testify that Mohamed…”

Analysis and Implications

Internationally and especially in the Arab World and the Middle East, the barbaric lynching was casually presented as a Shiite Muslim initiative, when in fact the Anglo-American occupation forces were in control of every phase of this gruesome venture.

Ironically, the individuals and leaders who played a major role in ordering the lynching of Saddam Hussein are now saying quite emphatically that they were opposed to his execution. Prime Minister Tony Blair is reported to have stated that “the manner in which former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was executed was ‘completely wrong.’”

Meanwhile, the dictators and autocratic leaders of the Arab World have also jumped aboard in expressing their opposition to Saddam Hussein’s lynching.

Criticism expressed by the House of Saud in Saudi Arabia, the Hashemite family in Jordan, and President Mubarak of Egypt, amongst others, constitutes an empty form of posturing geared towards raising their popularity amongst their own citizens.

The Role of the Iraqi Puppet Government

In these various reports, there has been a deliberate and calculated attempt to place the responsibility for the execution of Saddam Hussein squarely on the shoulders of the so-called “Iraqi government,” without acknowledging that this government cannot act without the consent of the United States. The Iraqi government, which is best described as a U.S.-controlled puppet regime, is invariably portrayed in press reports as a “Shiite Muslim government” or a “Shiite Muslim-dominated government.” This is also an integral part of the U.S. PSYOP designed to break down solidarity between Shiite Muslims and Sunni Muslims against the Anglo-American invaders and occupiers.

The present Iraqi “government” is an appendix of the U.S. Occupation administration and gets it orders from Washington and London. It is neither Shiite Muslim in character nor is it a real government. With regards to its powerless composition, it is almost evenly divided between Iraqi Kurds, Shiite Arabs, and Sunni (Sunnite) Arabs.

To expose the manufactured portrayal of power in Iraq, one should look back at the composition of Iraqi government institutions during the era of Saddam Hussein. Prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Shiite Arabs had a greater representation than Sunni Arabs within the civilian bureaucracy as well as within the security and military apparatus, largely because of the demographic realities of Iraq.

But this fact has long been forgotten. Nothing has changed in regards to the composition of the bureaucracy, administrative bodies, security forces, and military apparatus of Iraq. Prior to the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq, about 60% of the Iraqi military were Shiite Arabs. This 60% fought against neighbouring Iran which is a predominantly Shiite Muslim nation.

In reality, the real divisions in the Middle East are not based on or around religious, sectarian, and ethnic considerations, but on those nations and forces, which either oppose or support the Anglo-American agenda in the Middle East.

The media focus on sectarian divisions is intended to divert the attention of public opinion from the fact that the U.S. and its Coalition partners are the root cause of anarchy and violence, resulting in countless deaths and atrocities in Iraq.

Saddam Hussein’s Last Moments

In his last moments, the words of Saddam Hussein were very compelling. When he was told to “go to Hell” by his executioners, the Iraqi leader replied, “[You mean] to the hell that is Iraq!?”

Who turned Iraq into a living Hell? Who is to be blamed? These words were so powerful that several major media outlets conveniently omitted them from their translations, including the BBC and CNN. Any meaningful revelation or coverage of the correct final statements of Saddam Hussein could have severe and negative implications for the Anglo-American military roadmap in the Middle East. “To the hell that is Iraq!?” could become a powerful political slogan, serving to rally public opinion throughout the Muslim World against America’s imperial ambitions.

The Iraqi leader’s final words carry great weight because they describe the situation created in Iraq under military occupation. This final statement could also have political ramifications in the U.S. and Britain, as public opinion becomes increasingly aware that these last words, “the living Hell,” describes what Iraq has been turned into, under U.S. and British military occupation.

The late Saddam Hussein’s words could have strong implications for rallying resistance in the Arab World against the U.S.-U.K. occupation of Iraq. In this regard, the Arab mainstream media has played a calculated role in furthering the Anglo-American military agenda by shifting the blame for Saddam Hussein’s execution onto the Shiite Iraqis.
Outside the Arab World, if allowed to be heard freely and unadulterated, Saddam Hussein’s last words (“To the hell that is Iraq!?”), which describe the realities of an occupied country, could potentially backlash on the legitimacy of the U.S. administration and its indefectible British ally.

The mainstream sources, which reported his statement conveyed the impression, through a highly distorted and convoluted analysis, that Saddam Hussein was blaming the Shiite Arabs and the “Shiite dominated Iraqi government” for destroying Iraq. But nothing could be further from the truth. The evidence amply confirms that since the early days of the occupation of Iraq the United States and Britain have not only created a situation of insecurity, but have also been involved in covert acts of violence, including random massacres and suicide attacks directed against civilians.

This deliberate media portrayal of an emerging “Shiite ascension” in Iraq and the Middle East is part of a multifaceted strategy geared towards creating tensions within the predominately Muslim populations of the Middle East. It is a typical “divide and conquer” strategy, which is supported by the long tentacles of the intelligence apparatus of the United States. The hidden agenda is to trigger “civil war” and to redraw the map of the Middle East. The ultimate objective is the domination of the Middle East by the United States, Britain and their coalition partners, including Israel and proxy Arab leaders. The active collaboration of the frontline Arab governments, which have military cooperation agreements with NATO and the U.S., are also tied into this agenda.

Divisions and animosity within their respective populations is what has allowed these pro-U.S. Arab authoritarian figureheads, which increasingly act as proxies, to remain in power.

Since the Anglo-American sponsored Israeli siege of Lebanon, the coalition building phase of the military roadmap has been launch. The United States has been constructing the “Coalition of the Moderate,” which includes Israel, Saudi Arabia, Mahmoud Abbas, the Lebanese government, Egypt, the U.A.E., Turkey, and Jordan. While this has been going on there is a continuous attempt to build public consensus in support of dividing Iraq and military strikes against Syria and Iran. The media in North America, Europe, and the Arab World have played an important role in demonizing the Syrians and the Iranians.

As the United States gears up for the next stage of the Middle East war, the drive to divide the populations of the region now encompasses a broad area extending from Lebanon and Palestine to the Persian Gulf.

The life of Saddam Hussein was used by the United States as firewood to further fuel discord and division in Iraq and the Middle East before the next phase of its military roadmap, which is directed against Iran and Syria.

Global Research Exclusive: In online posting of this article, kindly indicate the original title, source, date of publication, copyright and hyperlink to the original article.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/saddam-hussein-s-last-words-to-the-hell-that-is-iraq/4620

U.S. Embassy in Ankara Headquarter for ISIS War on Iraq – Hariri Insider

Originally posted on the real SyrianFreePress Network:

CarBombISIS

~ Post’s pubblication suggested by “GUEST” ~

By Christof Lehmann (nsnbc) :The green light for the use of ISIS brigades to carve up Iraq, widen the Syria conflict into a greater Middle East war and to throw Iran off-balance was given behind closed doors at the Atlantic Council meeting in Turkey, in November 2013, told a source close to Saudi – Lebanese billionaire Saad Hariri, adding that the U.S. Embassy in Ankara is the operation’s headquarter.

A “trusted source” close to the Saudi – Lebanese multi-billionaire and former Lebanese P.M. Saad Hariri told on condition of anonymity, that the final green light for the war on Iraq with ISIS or ISIL brigades was given behind closed doors, at the sidelines of the Atlantic Council’s Energy Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, on November 22 – 23, 2013.

The Atlantic Council is one of the most influential U.S. think tanks with…

View original 980 more words

Three Points On Ukraine ~ Bill the Butcher

Note: I realise I’ve already said all this on Raghead, which nowadays serves the purpose of both satire and political comment, but it went over like a lead balloon with readers. Apparently one has to say things out loud and clear.

So let me make three points on Ukraine.

1. There are Nazis in Ukraine.

To anyone with half a brain, this is more than obvious. The entire western Ukraine, based around Lvov, which was Polish territory between the wars is a Nazi hotbed. Western media – such as Britain’s Channel 4 – even admitted during the (bought and paid for) Euromaidan “protests” that the “protestors” included open Nazis. However, afterwards, they suddenly fell silent on that point and till today have stayed stubbornly silent.

Are there Nazis in Ukraine?

They act like Nazis, openly identify with Nazis, use Nazi symbols and slogans, and venerate people who actually fought in SS divisions created by the Nazis. I mean, they do all that, but still according to the official Western mythology they are not Nazis.

Here are some of these non-Nazis:

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Now, these Nazis/non-Nazis are not just in the streets – they are also in the illegitimate putschist “government” of Ukraine, holding on to key positions. Among these are(check the link below for the positions they hold):

Andriy Parubiy (Андрій Парубій), Dmytro Yarosh (Дмитро Ярош), Oleksandr Sych (Александр Сыч), Ihor Shvaika (Игорь Швайка), Dmytro Boulatov (Дмитрий Булатов), Oleh Makhnitsky (Олег Махницкий) and Tetiana Tchornovol (Татьяна Черновол)

[Source]

The existence of these Nazis is something the West would love to deny, just as it kept denying the existence of jihadists in Syria, and for the same reason: the jihadists, and the Nazis, are the allies of the moment.

But their actions underline the fact that they are well aware of the existence of the Nazis; for instance, they advised the Nazis to tone down their Nazism and lay off the swastikas and slogans.

Not too surprisingly, the Nazis ignored it.

2. The putschist “government” of Ukraine and its EU controllers hate and fear the Nazis.

This seems to be a strange thing to say, seeing that key posts in the “government” are occupied by the Nazis, and the openly Nazi Pravii Sektor are the storm troops of the selfsame “government” in Eastern Ukraine since the army is neither willing nor capable of handling the job of fighting the separatist militias. But the facts are clear.

The Nazis, like all Nazis, are not just racists but, very significantly, ultra-nationalists. As such, they will never, ever, accept domination by the European Union, the American Empire, and its assorted hangers-on like Canada and Australia. The purpose of the putsch in Kiev, we should remember, was twofold – for the EU to control the Ukrainian economy, and for the Americans to control Ukraine as a military base. The Nazis would, of course, accept neither.

For the EUthanasia Project for Ukraine, the Nazis are just as much an obstacle as the Russians, and the EU and their oligarchs (known as the EUgarchy for convenience from this point on in this article) know it well.

The Nazis didn’t even make any attempt to hide the fact that the alliance was merely a marriage of convenience:

“The participation of Ukrainian nationalism and Svoboda in the process of EU [European Union] integration,” admits Svoboda political council member Yury Noyevy, “is a means to break our ties with Russia.”

[Source]

The Nazi-EU-US alliance of convenience at the time of Euromaidan fell apart almost immediately afterwards, when the Pravii Sektor’s Number Two, war criminal Oleksandr Muzychko, was shot by the “government’s” police, allegedly while “resisting arrest”. In other words, the putschists were already beginning to fight among themselves over the spoils.

If the uprising in Eastern Ukraine – led by ethnic Russians who are, justifiably, alarmed at the prospect of being ruled by either Nazis or EUgarchs with their “austerity measures”, or a combination of both – had not happened, by now, Western Ukraine would have been openly in civil war against itself; the rudiments of the state versus the Nazis. Instead, the Pravii Sektor and other Nazi organisations were diverted into the so-called National Guard, and sent off to fight the hated ethnic Russians (“Moskals”) in Eastern Ukraine. If and when the Eastern Ukraine crisis ends, in whatever form, the Nazis and the EUgarchy will immediately be at each other’s throats again.

In fact, as far as the EUgarchs are concerned, the war in Eastern Ukraine, no matter how badly it goes, is a godsend.

- It keeps the Nazis busy.

- It keeps the population in west and central Ukraine docile, with the “threat” of an external enemy (Russia) serving to keep them from questioning the actions of their masters.

- It keeps their American and EU paymasters sending more billions in “aid”, which can be siphoned off without questions being asked and

- By creating an “us-versus-them” mindset, it improves their chances of polarising votes to win future elections in a rump Ukraine.

But the war can’t go on forever, and there’s no denying that the Nazis aren’t doing too well against the motivated Eastern Ukrainian “separatists” (who should really be called “federalists”, since they started off demanding autonomy in a federal Ukraine with rights to decide their own economic future, not independence). The resistance is shooting Nazi planes out of the sky like clay pigeons with captured MANPADS, the Nazi assaults against the cities aren’t exactly going to schedule, and there will be a point reached when they will realise what’s happening, turn round in their tracks, and march back on Kiev. That point is dangerously close. In fact, it’s already beginning.

Only one thing can stop that from happening: Russia.

Which brings us to our third point:

3. The EUgarchs and the Empire are desperately attempting to provoke a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

This is again something that would seem, on the surface, totally counter-intuitive, but it’s obvious when one thinks about it. As I said, the EUgarchs hate and fear the Nazis, and know that they can’t control them. If and when a showdown comes, the Nazis are at least as powerful as the rump Ukrainian state. This same rump Ukraine also knows something very well: it can’t, ever, control the majority Russian areas of the country for any time at all. The ethnic Russians will never, ever, accept Ukrainian and EU domination. It will be a permanent drain of effort and resources to keep them under control, and even if the EUgarchs manage to occupy it, a low level guerrilla campaign lasting years is the least to be expected.

Then there is the fact that in the post-Soviet era, Eastern Ukraine has mostly turned into a rust belt. The factories are obsolete, the coal mines are worked out, the population largely poverty-stricken. To make the area profitable for exploitation – meaning to make money for the oligarchs – will take an enormous amount of funds and effort, quite apart from the resistance of the locals.

Resistance fighters - anti-Nazis and anti-Empire

Resistance fighters – anti-Nazis and anti-Empire

Seen in that light, what good would a Russian invasion do for the EUgarchy?

- It would start by wiping out the Nazis. They could never put up any effective fight against the Russian army, and would be faced with a choice. They could either be killed and/or surrender, or they could withdraw in defeat to Western Ukraine. The first choice would destroy them. The second choice would destroy their credibility beyond recovery. “Patriotic ultra-nationalists” who turn tail and run don’t retain any cred. Either way, the Nazis would be as good as finished, and leave the field open for the EUgarchs. Yes, I am saying that the Nazis are being set up by the EUgarchs, and if they’re too stupid to see that yet, that’s not too surprising. After all, they’re Nazis.

- It would also take the problems of the rust belt off the EUgarchs’ hands. All the problems, henceforth, from the worked out mines to the corroding factories, the aging population and the crumbling infrastructure, would be Russia’s responsibility. It would be an economic burden nobody wants.

- It would make the EUgarchy’s hold over West-Central Ukraine a permanent one. They could push themselves as the only bulwark against a total Russian takeover of the country, and “do all that was necessary” to protect what was left of the country. Any and all opposition (which would mount as the rump economy collapses completely under the weight of EU “austerity measures”) could be crushed as traitors to the nation. As we in India well know, a running sore of a territorial dispute works wonders to divert people from the problems of daily life.

- It would make NATO almost incredibly happy. Even if the EUgarch rump didn’t immediately join NATO (it probably would), the rest of the US’ puppets in Central and Eastern Europe would line up either to join or to reaffirm their membership. As we all know, NATO has long since passed its sell-by date, and after the defeat in Afghanistan, its appeal is beginning to wear a bit thin. NATO needs a new Cold War. It needs a new Cold War very badly indeed, and has been attempting desperately to ignite one since at least circa 2008 when Georgia started, and lost, a war with Russia.

Yes, the EUgarchs would love nothing more than a Russian invasion, and are trying to provoke one by all means. So far these have included shelling cities, burning unarmed protestors alive in Odessa, lies about Russian intervention, and finally, when all else failed, an attack on the Russian embassy in Kiev.

So far Putin has not taken the bait, and I am convinced that he will not take the bait. He has a far better option: to do exactly nothing. And that is what he’s been doing so far to help the uprising in Eastern Ukraine – nothing. Despite all the media rage in Russia, he has kept his head, and will keep it. At most he will keep the pressure up on the EUgarchy, by perhaps quietly supplying missiles to the resistance (just as Obama is now doing openly to the jihadists in Syria while pretending to fight them in Iraq), and economic measures, like asking them to pay for the gas they’re buying. All’s fair in love and proxy war.

Militarily, the Nazis can’t keep fighting much longer without, as I said, realising that they’re being set up. When that moment comes, and they recoil on the EUgarchs, the rump Kiev regime, already tottering on the verge of bankruptcy, will collapse in infighting and disorder. Whatever rises from the ruins will have to compromise with Russia, and be at least neutralist. The EU/US managed coup’s failure will be obvious to everyone, and provide a signal lesson to other potential targets of Western-imposed regime change.

If in the meantime, the resistance manages to carve out a South Abkhazia or Transdniestria-style independent entity in Novorussia and/or Donbass, that’s fine too from Putin’s point of view. He can supply aid without taking responsibility for the problems.

Meanwhile, Russia is now busy converting Crimea’s infrastructure and economy back to Russian standards. It will be a while before the investment begins providing returns – and during that time the last thing that Putin needs is to be saddled with Eastern Ukraine as well.

So, no, despite all the American propaganda and lies, and all the increasingly desperate provocation by the EUgarchy, Russia is not going to invade.

It was a great plan on paper, really: Putin invades, takes the rust belt and its assorted problems, destroys the Nazis, energises NATO, does the EUgarchy’s dirty work for it, and, best of all, ends up with all the blame. But it’s not going to happen.

Fortunately.

http://bill-purkayastha.blogspot.com/2014/06/three-points-on-ukraine.html?utm_source=BP_recent

Syria in the Crosshairs: Obama Confirms Airstrikes Will Not Be Limited to Iraq ~ (comprende una versione in italiano, tradotta, riveduta e corretta)

Originally posted on the real SyrianFreePress Network:

obama-siria-from-iraq

The Obama administration is making it clear that airstrikes targeting ISIS would extend into Syria.

One year ago the Obama administration was doing their very best to build up public support for U.S. military intervention in Syria. Even though that attempt failed, no one who has been following this crisis closely believed for a moment that this was the end. They would regroup and try again from another angle.

The angle they chose was surprising. Iraq has been off the media radar for so long that almost no one was factoring it in as an important geopolitical variable. ISIS (or ISIL) changed that.

In our video “The Fall of Iraq What You’re Not Being Told” we covered the history of U.S. tinkering in Iraq dating back to 1963, and showed how the U.S. government’s push to topple Assad by funding and arming extremists in Syria enabled ISIS to gain a…

View original 1,470 more words

ISIS Militants Have US Passports! ‘Mother of All False Flags’

‘White phosphorus’ reports: Ukraine military ‘dropped incendiary bombs’ on Slavyansk

photo_verybig_6064Residents of Slavyansk and its suburbs were awoken overnight on Thursday by what they say were incendiary bombs that were dropped on their city by Kiev’s military. Witnesses and local media reports suggested that the bombs might be phosphorous.

Much of the village of Semyonovka, located in the Slavyansk suburbs, was set ablaze. Local residents told RT that the ground didn’t stop burning for some time.

“We all saw what happened here yesterday. They used rocket launchers as well as incendiary bombs against us. The ground was on fire. How can the ground burn by itself. It burned for about forty minutes,”resident Roman Litvinov told RT over the phone.

“Starting from 2 a.m. everyone I’ve met has a sore throat and is coughing all the time. I think this is because of the burning. I think we’ll feel the true consequences later. There are still a lot of people here, a lot of children we haven’t managed to get out yet,” resident Tatyana told RT.

The use of incendiary bombs – designed to start fires using materials such as napalm, white phosphorus or other dangerous chemicals – is strictly prohibited by the UN.

 

Kiev authorities have denied reports that such weapons were used against civilians. The National Guard also refuted reports that phosphorous ammunition was used, its press service stated.

During the latest news briefing, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki veered away from answering an AP journalist’s question about the reported use of white phosphorus bombs by Kiev’s army. But when cornered, she let it slip that she was quite clueless as to the situation on the ground – saying she thought the reference was to the Russians using the bombs.

When asked about the report for the second time, Psaki replied: “By whom? By Russians?”

The journalist replied: “No, by the Ukrainians,” specifying that there is video and photographic evidence of the attack.

Psaki replied by saying, “No, I didn’t see those reports.”

Slavyansk, an industrial city in southeastern Ukraine with a population of over 100,000 people, has been a focal point of the government’s crackdown against the region. The city’s residential area has been under regular artillery fire for weeks.

“It does appear that there is at least a case to be argued that something similar, if not itself white phosphorous, was used overnight. I’ve seen the video, I’ve looked at it closely…[there are] whole signs, whole marks of white phosphorous use. For example, a very bright light burning and multiple burns coming down from the sky. It’s an airburst weapon that has been used, such as a mortar or a manned aircraft,”Charles Shoebridge, a former army officer, Scotland Yard detective, and counter-terrorism intelligence officer who has recently returned from Ukraine, told RT.

“White phosphorous cannot be put out with the use of water” and it will “burn through one’s body to the bone,” Shoebridge added. “If there is going to be large amounts used it can also be a poison – large amounts can be set to contaminate water supply.”

According to the video, “it’s very likely that white phosphorus” was used, Shoebridge added. “It’s very difficult to fabricate the video we saw combined with the evidence on the ground.”

Moscow demanded an immediate investigation into the reported use of incendiary bombs in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday.

“We are concerned to hear reports that the Ukrainian military forces use incendiary bombs and some other indiscriminate weapons,” he said. “These reports should be probed into immediately.”

On Thursday, Russia introduced a draft resolution to the UN Security Council that condemns attacks on residential quarters and civilian facilities in southeastern Ukraine, said Vitaly Churkin, Russian envoy to the UN.

He also voiced concern over reports of the use of prohibited ammunition, including incendiary bombs, during the military crackdown.

The draft resolution calls for an immediate end to all violence and for a lasting ceasefire.

“The draft resolution will aim to stop the violence and support the political efforts the OSCE has been undertaking in vain so far. We urge the UN Secretary-General to support them,” Churkin said, adding that its adoption would demonstrate the UNSC’s support for the crisis settlement efforts.

RT

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2014/06/13/ukraine-military-dropped-incendiary-bombs-slavyansk.html

The New West African Gas Pipeline ~ 2005 Nigeria #Obama “Bring my oil home”


Project enshrines energy monopoly of Chevron and Shell in the region


By Friends of the Earth International
Global Research, September 09, 2005

africa_continent_5NEW AFRICAN GAS PIPELINE WORRIES CIVIL SOCIETY

ACCRA (GHANA) September 9, 2005 – Civil society groups from West Africa met in Accra today, just two weeks after the construction of the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) began off the Ghanaian coast.

The groups warned that the pipeline project and the so-called WAGP Treaty seriously undermine the national sovereignty of Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria and subvert these countries’ rights to seek alternative energy options. At the same time, the project enshrines the energy monopoly of oil giants Chevron and Shell in the region.

The groups maintain that the pipeline project risks prolonging ongoing conflicts in the oil and gas-rich Niger delta in Nigeria.

Representatives from communities living near the pipeline route in Nigeria and Ghana report that they have not been properly consulted, suggesting that the World Bank, one of the main project financiers with its 40 million USD guarantee, may be violating its own commitment to invest only in projects that have broad community support.

According to Asume Osuoka of Friends of the Earth Nigeria/Environmental Rights Action in Nigeria, “The compensation1 available to displaced community people in Nigeria is a mockery, as low as USD 20. This constitutes a gross violation of livelihood security.”

The West African Gas Pipeline, one of the region’s largest trans-boundary investments, is projected to cost 617 million USD and will ultimately transport gas from Nigeria through Benin and Togo to Ghana.

The World Bank and project sponsors like Shell and Chevron claim that the pipeline will contribute to putting an end to dangerous gas flaring in Nigeria, that it will provide cheap energy, and that it will promote regional integration.

However, to date there is no evidence to supports these claims, according to Friends of the Earth International, the world’s largest grassroots environmental federation.

Gas flaring, the burning of natural gas associated with oil extraction, has gone on for decades in the Niger Delta despite the fact that it is a human rights, environmental and economic disaster [1].

Shell, Chevron and the World Bank claim that the West African Gas Pipeline will channel away ‘associated gas’ from existing Nigerian oil fields where it is now burned, but environmentalists are unconvinced.

According to Asume Osuoka of Friends of the Earth Nigeria/Environmental Rights Action in Nigeria, “In the current plans, there is no evidence of the intention to capture associated gas from existing oil fields, which leads us to believe that gas would be sourced from new gas fields and increase existing problems in the Niger Delta.”

In Nigeria, 66% of the population lives below the poverty line and the benefits of nearly half a century of oil production have flowed almost exclusively to oil multinationals and corrupt local elite.

Civil society representatives also do not believe that the pipeline would provide cheap energy or promote regional integration.

According to Noble Wadzah of Friends of the Earth Ghana, “The West African Gas Pipeline contracts lock our country into a long-term costly energy supply. The ordinary Ghanaian citizen or small business may not be able to access this energy, which is primarily destined for large businesses.”

Some Ghanaians think that long-time tensions in the Niger Delta would render the gas supply unreliable.

“Gas coming from the Niger Delta, an area of social conflicts and environmental tragedies, could hardly be the basis for the sound integration of our region. This project is more likely to foster regional disintegration and social and political tensions in West Africa,” said Noble Wadzah.

“Energy must be available not just for the elite and industry, but also for everyone else who needs it, especially rural communities,” he added.

WAGP Map

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

Asume Osuoka of Environmental Rights Action, Nigeria: +233-243726168 (only Sept.9) or +234 84 236365 (after September 10) or email oilwatch@phca.linkserve.com

In Ghana: Noble Wadzah, Friends of the Earth Ghana, Tel: + 233-215123 11-12-13 emailkowadzah9@yahoo.com

In the US: Michelle Medeiros, Friends of the Earth in Washington DC + 1-202-222 0717 (office) or + 1 202 321 1510 (mobile) or email mmedeiros@foe.org

In the UK: Hannah Ellis, Friends of the Earth in London +44 207 566 1601 or emailhannahe@foe.co.uk

In the Netherlands: Janneke Bruil, Friends of the Earth International , +31-6-52118998 or emailjanneke@foei.org

[1] The gas flaring report is available online here: http://www.climatelaw.org/gas.flaring/report

PICTURES

High-resolution photos of scenes of gas flaring in Nigeria can be freely downloaded athttp://www.idspicturedesk.com/picturedesk/I?k=icn85ZN347-49423&u=aGO

 http://www.idspicturedesk.com/picturedesk/I?k=Om4Noo55XK-66585&u=yFf

Interview: Calling Out NATO Warmongers

Originally posted on Stop NATO...Opposition to global militarism:

The Corbett Report
May 8, 2014

As Ukraine remains on a knife-edge of military tension, the NATO forces continue their Eastern European expansion and military provocations. In this must-listen interview, Rick Rozoff of Stop NATO International breaks down the history of NATO’s global partnership program, its decades-long build-up in Eastern Europe, the people and organizations in whom the fate of the world is increasingly hanging in the balance, and the small glimmer of hope that an informed, galvanized public can derail this headlong rush to war.

View original

After 99 years of Turkish massacres against Armenians, Erdogan repeats his grandparents’ black history

erdteste1Damascus, SANA, Ninety-nine years have passed and the blood of nearly a million and a half Armenians perished at the hands of the sultans of the Ottoman Empire have not dried out yet and still waiting for the descendants of the killers to recognize their dirty history in killing, bloodshed , looting and confiscation of peoples’ capabilities.

Thousands of documents and testimonies confirm the death of more than a million and a half Armenians by Ottomans in 1914 and still the Neo-Ottomans deny that and turn deaf ears, brag about freedom and democracy and ignore the chronicles of the historians as one of the survivors from the clutches of Erdogan’s grandparents says, “They held women like bags and set fire to the sides and throw them down .. all screaming yelling .. when I got inside I jumped to find myself trembling and wounded in one corner of hell, and I was gone unconscious .. to wake up the next day and see how the bodies of women and children were spread and their stomachs ripped open.”

April 24, 1915 is officially the beginning of genocide against the Armenians when the young Turkish governors, including three leaders Talaat Pasha and Anwar Pasha and Jamal Pasha, ordered collecting the Armenian intellectuals in Istanbul and deporting them out of the country and killing many of them in the same day, leading to the elimination of an entire generation of the most prominent representatives of Armenian culture. During the next three days, 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman authorities and the rest were displaced to Iraq, Lebanon and Syria through desert areas that witnessed the death of many of them due to starvation and disease.

According to assessments of some historians , the systematic extermination of the Armenians began at the end of the nineteenth century 1894-1895 as chapters of history reveal ruthless mass killings committed by the sultans of the Ottoman Empire against the Armenians.

The documents show that the Armenians staged a demonstration in Istanbul in order to deliver a petition to the Ottoman authorities which ordered their forces to disperse the demonstration which was followed by the horrible massacres in Istanbul and other Turkish cities where within ten days about 100 thousand Armenians had been killed.

Mass killings of Armenians continued in the reign of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk , until 1922 , where troops entered the Turkish city of Izmir in September 1922 and committed a massacre against of the population of Armenians as their neighborhoods were entirely set ablaze. The massacre lasted 7 days and resulted in the loss of about 100,000 people’s lives.

In total, the Erdogan government ‘s support for the armed terrorist groups which committed massacres against the Syrians is the completion of the massacres and crimes against the Armenians 99 years ago, and it will go down in history and peoples’ memory that Erdogan, besides his ancestors and the Zionists, are among the most ruthless thugs of the age.

F.Allafi

http://sana.sy/eng/22/2014/04/23/540715.htm

Iranian Christians protest Turkey support for Kessab occupation

Iranian Christians attend a rally in central city of Isfahan to voice concerns over Turkey’s role in the occupation of the ancient Armenian village of Kessab in Syria, whose residents have fled after rebels seized control…. (Continue reading)

Terrorists invading Kessab were mostly Moroccans, Tunisians and Kuwaitis and they all came through Turkey

Syria’s Jaafari: the last wave of terrorists invading Kessab were mostly Moroccans, Tunisians and Kuwaitis and they all came through Turkey…. (Continue reading)

Exclusive- The Kessab operation by 5000 terrorists armed by Turkish Government and 7 tanks driven by Turkish officiers

The Kessab operation by 5000 terrorists armed by Turkish Government and 7 tanks driven by Turkish officiers According to the Syrian sources the Turkish Government supplied terrorists in Kessab with weapons. the sources indicated that the Turkish Armed forces and… (Continue reading)

raid-on-occupy-taksim-park-in-istambul-turkey-g

Americans are not ready to admit they cannot run the show

Obama and US State Dept Hired Killers ~ Ukraine or Nevada same Hired Guns

800px-US_Sniper_Slunj-1560x690_c

By January 2012, the State Department will do something it’s never done before: command a mercenary army the size of a heavy combat brigade.  And no one outside State knows anything more, as the department has gone to war with its independent government watchdog to keep its plan a secret.

http://www.wired.com/2011/07/iraq-merc-army/

Obama and the US State Dept have their own Private Army and they will use them on Americans as well as Eastern Europe or Syria.  Wake up! This is not a party issue when hired killers take aim at civilians on US soil.  This is global land grab, the UN , Monsanto and big oil are running the BLM, the Bundy ranch is just tip of iceberg.  Obama has sold US out and destroyed constitution … we are all Syrians now.

New EPA Land Grab, Complete Control Over All Private Land in America

Rick Wells

Obama’s role: Plotting the Killings, Selecting the Victims ~ by Bill Van Auken

The EPA is in the process, right this very minute, of seizing control over all private land in the United States. They are following the United Nations blueprint, their minion Gina McCarthy is implementing it, and B. Hussein Obama is facilitating it.

Anywhere in America where it rains or where water collects or through which water moves will now, according to this new rule change they are implementing, be under their control. Not because Congress or the people give them that authority or jurisdiction, but simply because they are seizing the power. It is just another component of the illegitimate tyranny which is oppressing the American people.

On Tuesday the agency which operates as the misnamed Environmental Protection Agency unveiled their proposed change to the Clean Water Act, which would extend their regulatory control to temporary wetlands and waterways.

This definition consists of any water, including seasonal ponds, streams, runoff and collection areas and irrigation water. It could include runoff from watering your lawn, or puddles on your own property. They will control the presence of and can prohibit through regulation, your right to the water and your actions regarding water upon your own land. The opportunities for their abuse would be limitless.

Louisiana Senator David Vitter, the ranking Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, offered an understated precautionary objection stating, “The … rule may be one of the most significant private property grabs in U.S. history.”

The EPA proposal would extend their authority to include “pollution regulations” to “intermittent and ephemeral streams and wetlands” – which are created temporarily during wet seasons or following rainfall.

Recognize this for what it is America; The EPA is giving themselves legal jurisdiction to replace our rights with their permissions anywhere it rains or water exists.

They are expanding the same kind of California fish-based drought or Nevada tortoise land restrictions or Oregon spotted owl tyranny to every square inch of the United States.

The EPA is asserting that all ground water, whether temporary or not and regardless of size is part of the “waters of the United States.”

Their position is in contradiction to the Supreme Court rulings in 2001 and 2006, restricting the EPA to flowing and sizeable, “relatively” permanent bodies of water such as “oceans, rivers, streams and lakes.” Of course, progressives just keep trying until they get what they want, and they never have enough.

The proposed rule change is now in a 90 day comment period during which they will assess just how much they can get away with, based upon public outcry and pushback.

Senator Vitter accused the EPA of “picking and choosing” their science and of attempting to “take another step toward outright permitting authority over virtually any wet area in the country.” He also warned that if approved, more private owners could expect to be sued by “environmental groups.”

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) shares Vitter’s concerns, warning of potential economic damage and questioning the EPA’s motivations.

She said, “[I]t appears that the EPA is seeking to dramatically expand its jurisdictional reach under the Clean Water Act. If EPA is not careful, this rule could effectively give the federal government control of nearly all of our state.

Of course, that is exactly what they are after, as well as 49 other states and territories.

http://gopthedailydose.com/2014/04/10/new-epa-land-grab-complete-control-over-all-private-land-in-america/

Neil Kornze, Principal Deputy Director, Bureau of Land Management

Neil KornzeSince March 1, 2013, Neil Kornze has been leading the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) as the agency’s Principal Deputy Director. Kornze oversees the agency’s management of more than 245 million acres of public land nationwide.

Prior to serving in his current role, Kornze was the BLM’s Acting Deputy Director for Policy and Programs starting in October 2011. Kornze joined the organization in January 2011 as a Senior Advisor to the Director. In these roles, he worked on a broad range of issues, including renewable and conventional energy development, transmission siting, and conservation policy.

Kornze was a key player in the development of the Western Solar Plan and the agency’s successful authorization of more than 10,000 megawatts of renewable energy, surpassing a congressionally-established goal 3 years ahead of schedule. He has also been active in tribal consultation, especially as it relates to oil and gas and renewable energy development.

Before coming to the BLM, Kornze worked as a Senior Policy Advisor to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada. In his work for Senator Reid, which spanned from early 2003 to early 2011, he worked on a variety of public lands issues, including renewable energy development, mining, water, outdoor recreation, rural development, and wildlife. Kornze has also served as an international election observer in Macedonia, the Ukraine, and Georgia, and he is co-author of an article in “The Oxford Companion to American Law.”

Raised in Elko, Nevada, Kornze is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate with a degree in Politics from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. He earned a master’s degree in International Relations at the London School of Economics.

http://www.doi.gov/whoweare/blm-dir.cfm

UN, Monsanto, mining, oil & gas companies directing BLM plans for our public land

November 1, 2011

http://ppjg.me/2011/11/01/monsanto-mining-oil/

Bundy-ranch

usmercs

The Privatization of War: Mercenaries, Private Military and Security Companies (PMSC)

Beyond the WikiLeaks Files

Jose L. Gomez del Prado

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-privatization-of-war-mercenaries-private-military-and-security-companies-pmsc/21826

Bundy Ranch

The Government has now declared this area a new flight zone! We believe it is a reaction towards our aerial view of inside the compound as well as flying around the compound! There could be many other reasons as to why this has happened but up to this point we speculate that is was due to being able to still see within the restricted areas! You can find more information >>HERE<<

come and take it2

Why The Standoff At The Bundy Ranch Is A Very Big Deal

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-12/why-standoff-bundy-ranch-very-big-deal

sniper

Feds End Standoff on Bundy Ranch

http://freebeacon.com/issues/feds-end-standoff-on-bundy-ranch/

Massacre at Ruby Ridge

http://www.stormfront.org/ruby.htm

 

Protest Movement in Eastern Ukraine: Security Forces Integrated by Foreign Mercenaries Hired by Private U.S. Military Outfit

http://www.globalresearch.ca/crisis-in-eastern-ukraine-security-forces-integrated-by-foreign-mercenaries/5377018

Western Mercenaries in Ukraine?

By Ulson Gunnar

Recent rumors of notorious Blackwater US mercenaries operating inside of Ukraine invoked a plausible narrative so convincing even news outlets across the West began echoing it.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/western-mercenaries-in-ukraine/5374815

 

A Look At The Largest Private Armies In The World

SOURCE
Night Drop

US Army

With huge cutbacks slated for the U.S. military, the Marines and Army in particular, private security firms are sure to be getting a boost.The Army is cutting 50,000 soldiers over the next few years and the Marines are looking to shave about 20,000 servicemembers over the same period of time.

So while business was booming for this group private military contractors, who take their military training and offer it to the highest bidder, it’s likely to grow even more.

Modern-day mercenaries are stationed throughout the world fighting conflicts for governments that are reluctant to use their own troops or where foreign troops are unable or unwilling to go.

An army of 5,000 heavily-armed contractors recently replaced official American forces in Iraq, and many more were recruited to protect private interests in the region.

These mercenaries (Mercs) are sent to many places that may surprise you.

Security giant G4S is the second-largest private employer on earth

Security giant G4S is the second-largest private employer on earth

YouTube

With more than 625,000 employees, this listed security giant is the second-largest private employer in the world (behind Wal-Mart). While some of its business is focused on routine bank, prison and airport security, G4S also plays an important role in crisis-zones right around the world.

In 2008, G4S swallowed up Armorgroup, whose 9,000-strong army of guards has protected about one third of all non-military supply convoys in Iraq (it’s also notorious for its wild parties and for having Afghan warlords on its payroll).

But the combined group has a security presence in more than 125 countries, including some of the most dangerous parts of Africa and Latin America, where it offers government agencies and private companies heavily-armed security forces, land-mine clearance, military intelligence and training.

Unity Resources Group is active in the Middle East, Africa, the Americas and Asia

Unity Resources Group is active in the Middle East, Africa, the Americas and Asia

Al Jazeera

With more than 1,200 staff worldwide, the Australian-owned Unity Resources has been able to grow its presence in Iraq as sovereign armies withdraw. Its management consists of veterans from Australia, the U.S. and Great Britain.

The private military firm is best-known for guarding the Australian embassy in Baghdad, where, as of 2010, it had trained Chilean soldiers to man gates and machine-gun nests. Unity personnel were also responsible for two controversial car shootings in Iraq: one killed an Australian professor, another resulted in the deaths of two civilian women.

Outside Iraq, Unity has assisted with security during parliamentary elections in Lebanon and helped evacuate private oil companies from crisis zones in Bahrain. The firm also operates throughout Africa, the Americas, Central Asia and Europe.

Erinys has guarded most of Iraq’s vital oil assets

Erinys has guarded most of Iraq's vital oil assets

YouTube

Erinys has also followed U.S. State Department contracts to Iraq. Its biggest mission in recent years took 16,000 of its guards to 282 locations around the country, where they protected key oil pipelines and other energy assets.

The group also maintains a presence in Africa, where it has traditionally focused its operations. Erinys was recently awarded two contracts in the Republic of Congo, for security at major iron ore and oil and gas projects.

Asia Security Group is a powerful Afghan force linked to president Karzai

Asia Security Group is a powerful Afghan force linked to president Karzai

AP

Formerly owned by Hashmat Karzai, the first cousin of Afghan president Hamid Karzai, Asia Security Group is a major local force in the war-torn nation. It employs about 600 guards.

The private army, headquartered in Kabul, has been awarded millions of dollars in contracts from the U.S. military and is said to protect Coalition supply convoys traveling in Afghanistan’s south. Mercenaries from Asia Security Group have also been recruited by DynCorp, a U.S.-owned contractor with a big footprint in the region.

DynCorp has battled Colombian rebels and drug-runners in Peru

DynCorp has battled Colombian rebels and drug-runners in Peru

YouTube

DynCorp, based in Virginia, is one of eight private military firms specially chosen by the U.S. State Department to remain in Iraq as official American forces pull out.

But the huge group, which brings in about$3.4 billion in revenue every year, is also active throughout Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin America, with a staff in excess of 10,000. The firm earned a trigger-happy reputation as its soldiers fought rebel groups in Columbia in the early 2000s. Its troops have also engaged in anti-drug missions in Peru and were sent to disarm fighters in Somalia, Liberia and southern Sudan.

Triple Canopy has won a security contract in Iraq worth up to $1.5 billion

Triple Canopy has won a security contract in Iraq worth up to $1.5 billion

Triple Canopy

Another of the eight contractors recruited to replace official U.S. forces in Iraq, Triple Canopy has an army of about 1,800 troops in the country — mostly from Uganda and Peru — on contracts worth up to $1.5 billion.

An official review of the firm’s team in Iraq concluded it was a “well-trained, professional work force with significant prior experience.” But the private military — whose name refers to the canopies in the jungles where its founding Army specialists received their training — also employs another 3,000 personnel globally.

Contracts in other parts of the world have taken Triple Canopy to Haiti, where it guarded the U.S. embassy, and to Israel, where agents provided personal protective services for the U.S. State Department.

Aegis Defense Services works with the UN, US, and oil companies

Aegis Defense Services works with the UN, US, and oil companies

YouTube

Aegis supplies forces for private clients, U.N. missions and the U.S. government, especially in Iraq.

But its staff, estimated to be as big as 5,000, is also spread across offices in Afghanistan and Bahrain, where the contractor offers emergency response, risk assessments, and protects private oil interests.

The private military contractor is probably best-known for a video that surfaced in 2005, which allegedly showed Aegis forces firing at Iraqi civilians.

Defion Internacional recruits thousands of fighters from developing countries

Defion Internacional recruits thousands of fighters from developing countries

YouTube

In the past, Triple Canopy has recruited heavily from the ranks of Defion Internacional, which sources and trains private military personnel from Latin America for jobs right around the world.

Headquartered in Peru, and with offices in Dubai, Iraq, Philippines and Sri Lanka, the firm contracts and trains bodyguards, drivers, static guards and logistics specialists from a number of developing countries. In some cases, these agents are paid as little as $1,000 per month, which has drawn international ire — especially for jobs linked to the U.S. State Department.

At one stage there were more than 1,000 Latin Americans guns-for-hire in the Middle East, although it is unclear how many of those fighters Defion was responsible for given that it is not required to disclose numbers.

Academi owns and runs one of the most advanced private military training facilities in the world

Academi owns and runs one of the most advanced private military training facilities in the world

Formerly Blackwater, then Xe Services, Academi runs a 7,000 acre training facility deep in the North Carolina wilderness — one of the biggest and most complex private military training grounds in the world.

According to a book written on Blackwater in 2007, the facility had by then produced an army of 20,000 troops, 20 aircraft, a fleet of armored vehicles and trained war dogs. Most of those resources were shipped to Iraq and Afghanistan on U.S. government contracts.

Academi probably scaled back after a number of wrongful shootings and other controversiesangered the Iraq government and jeopardized important contracts.

Outside the Middle East, Academi was recruited to protect the streets of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. It has also protected Japan’s missile defence systems and assisted with the war on drugs around the world.

BONUS: Starting out as a mercenary?

BONUS: Starting out as a mercenary?

Academi

Take a course at Academi’s premier training facility in North Carolina.

The firm offers custom courses for allied security forces and corporates, such as live-fire driving instruction, counter-terrorism training  — including dealing with weapons of mass destruction — and executive risk assessment.

You can also get equipped at the Academi web store, which stocks everything from protective sunglasses to sniper mission logs — even branded gifts.

http://www.businessinsider.com/worlds-most-powerful-mercenary-armies-2012-06?op=1#ixzz2ylFSWNYl

Breaking: Sen. Harry Reid Behind BLM Land Grab of Bundy Ranch

 and old harry thought he might as well cash in on the land grab … 

http://www.infowars.com/breaking-sen-harry-reid-behind-blm-land-grab-of-bundy-ranch/

 

On the Day a Tragic Era Started by Milos Markovic

The Plight of Yugoslavia. ~On the Day a Tragic Era Started by Milos Markovic
http://www.globalresearch.ca 8 April 2003
The URL of this article is: http://globalresearch.ca/articles/MAR304A.html

I am writing these lines at the dawn of 24 March 2003, on the very day when the NATO, four years ago, started the destruction of my country, which in the meantime has lost even its name. I ask my profession for forgiveness if in this text emotions, even traumas, should give it more a character of a confession than a critical and analytical review. However, even though various feelings overwhelm me, I will not do injustice to facts or to logic resulting from these facts. It is not only a memory of commemorative character, but another kind of nightmare, an everlasting trauma, pain, insufferable grief. And while I watch the destruction of Baghdad by the Americans on the screen, it seems to me that each missile hits Belgrade, Serbia, destroying the bridges over the Danube, the Ibar, the Morava, striking schools, hospitals, churches.

As if once again I was suffocating from the smoke in the demolished basement of the devastated building of the Television of Serbia, as if I heard the screams of my colleagues that night and saw their bewildered eyes. The pictures of terror, chaos, catastrophe, death come alive. Between the floors of the destroyed building the body of a helpless man hangs upside down, quivering, while doctors on firemen’s ladders try to save his life. As if now, in my mind’s eye, I saw parts of the bodies of the killed on the roof of St. Marco’s church. As if I saw before me the images of the victims. I hear the cries for help, weeping, sobbing, screams. It seems to me that I am committing a sin when trying to push back such memories and feelings, when trying to calmly, collectedly and very rationally make an inventory of those tragic things. It seems to me that it would also be a kind of indifference no one is entitled to. I cannot agree to that, no matter how much the present government insist on ignoring this said anniversary.

On 24 March, not a single newspaper even mentioned on the front page that event, that is tragic not only for this country and its people, but also a tragic proclamation that the planet and the human civilization will be governed by the most brutal power, the one serving American interests. And all in the guise of human rights, freedom, democracy, humanness. What absurdity, what hypocrisy, what cynicism, what lies! And the Serbs as victims of the NATO bombing, as to date the greatest victims of American hegemony policy, they are forced to forget their tragedy! And not only forget it, but forgive and justify it as well! They can still, quite conventionally, almost discreetly and rather superficially mention it in the last minutes of news programs and back pages of the newspapers. Almost all the media in Serbia devoted more attention and time and space to the American Academy Awards, to winning Oscars, than to the anniversary of the beginning of the NATO bombing of our country! What is killed in that manner and how the bombing of this people is continued by other means – that is hopefully clear to every man capable of though at the level of an average teenager!

How many thousands of victims, how many thousands of missiles, how many thousands of kilos of explosive, how many cluster bombs, how many depleted uranium bombs, were used on Serbia? How many tens of bridges were destroyed, how many thousands of people are there with post-traumatic consequences? How many deformed children will be born, not only in Serbia, but in the whole of Europe as well? When the NATO protectors of Albanian terrorism came to Kosovo and Metohija, almost all of the Serbs were exiled, tens of thousands of their homes were burned down, hundreds of their churches and monasteries were destroyed. During almost four years of absolute domination of the NATO forces in Kosovo and Metohija, the alleged guarantor of the safety for the return to their homes, not even one percent of the exiled Serbs could go back to their homes! With all those wonders, all those terrible crimes in accordance with the American script, only one man was charged and sentenced! Only one!

The law of Hamurabi, ancient Roman laws, all the codes and legal systems of all countries must feel humiliation before this fact. So many killed, so many crimes of all kinds – and only one man sentenced!? How will the Minister of Justice in Serbian government find a logical, even in a most formal semblance of logic, answer that makes even a ghost of justice? This legal absurd, this corruption of law can take its place in any anthology of meaninglessness and humiliation of law. How is it possible – so many crimes, so many victims, and only one man guilty?

Let us see who that wonder man is, what his crime is, and what justifies the verdict and the sentence of the District Court in Belgrade.

The only one guilty for all the NATO crimes is Dragoljub Milanovic. He was a general manager of the Radio Television of Serbia. He held the same position at the time of the NATO bombing of the FR Yugoslavia. All the 78 days of aggression against our country he stayed in the RTS building until after midnight.

In the night between 22 and 23 April 1999 I was the chief editor on duty in the News Department of the RTS. That fact gives me not only the right, but also the duty of the highest moral order to say what happened and how it happened. One newspaper story is too short for such a delicate story, for such a monstrous crime, for such a big tragedy. I am saving all this for the book I am writing, and which will hopefully explain through arguments what happened in the night the television building was bombed, what had happened before, and what was to happen after.

In the night when the building was hit, manager Milanovic asked me, as the chief editor on duty, and in connection with the statement from Moscow regarding the talks Milosevic – Chernomyrdin, which were on the previous day (22 April 1999) in Belgrade. It was about 1 o’clock after midnight, or a couple of minutes to 1. Bearing in mind that the translation of the text was rather confusing, I saw right away that this important news would not be ready for the news program at 1 o’clock. After checking the translation and some stylistic interventions, I went out of Mr. Milanovic’s office. The time was about ten minutes past one. Milanovic stayed in his office with a man I did not know. The said news I prepared for the news program at 2 o’clock. My last editor’s action of that tragic night was to advise the news presenter Slobodan Kovacevic to read the said statement very clearly, since there were some linguistic adjustments in the translation.

Some time before 2 o’clock after midnight I was sitting in the office of the Culture Department, where I had spent twenty-five years as a journalist. There were Ljuba Vucicevic, in charge that night for the correspondents’ network, my colleague from the culture department, Dragan Srdanovic, and the secretary, Maja Andjelkovic. At 5 or 6 minutes after 2 – it struck! The building shook, we fell. There are moments in a great drama that the rational powers in man withdraw, and some miraculous instinct for self-preservation takes lead. I was trying to keep calm, collected, aware. I wanted to extend it to the others as well. I was afraid that panic would overwhelm me, the panic there were so many reasons for. All the stumbling, falling, running into the walls of the building basement, did not cause any pain, since, it seems to me, the organism in some wonderful way – was auto-anesthetized! Many things in those terrible events, not even four years later, cannot be explained, as if they were untranslatable to the language of logic.

It is not important now for this text. No less strange, irrational things happened even after that, and following the end of the NATO aggression against the FR Yugoslavia. There is rumor, even claims that it was known that the TV building would be bombed, and that we were, for propaganda goals, similar to those of Muslims in Sarajevo, to be sacrificed. I could not believe it. Such madness, such moral crime – no normal man could do it. However, those dilemmas, their final solutions, discovering the political layers of the whole case, both in the country and abroad – let us save it for the book.

Milanovic was in the top part of the ruling Socialist party of Serbia (SPS), the man of great, even greatest trust of the government and President Milosevic. They cannot have wanted to sacrifice him! He was in the building about half an hour before the bombing. General Wesley Clark or Xavier Solana cannot have called him on the mobile phone to tell him to go out, because their Merciful Angel was on the way to visit the RTS building! There were many enough assurances from various international institutions, even from Brussels itself, that the RTS building would not be targeted. Even the International Association of Journalists assured us of it! Our facilities were, for the reasons of safety, located on three different sites, outside Belgrade, and several of them in the basements and garages in the vicinity of the TV building. We had to be near the main building due to technical reasons, and the other building with similar facilities was located in such a manner hat it really represented an easy target for the NATO missiles. In the close vicinity of the main building in Aberdareva street there is General Post Office, National Bank of Yugoslavia, Russian church, St. Marco’s church, children’s theatre “Dusko Radovic”, Fifth Belgrade Highschool, and many residential buildings. We believed that the “Merciful Angel” would not target them. However, the RAF Harrier plane, with the necessary laser and other support from the ground, found the way to place his “smart missile” among us.

By means of the new regime in Serbia, on 5 October 2000, many things take on different shapes, which is quite understandable when it comes to politics. The symbol of the coming of the new policy was setting fire to the Federal Assembly building and the RTS building. At that time the documents of priceless value burned. The film history of a nation, collected there for almost half a century. Plentiful evidence of the NATO crimes were burned down, the film records on all the crimes, especially terrorist crimes, in Kosovo and Metohija, film documents on the war in Croatia and Bosnia. Several thousand cassettes where similar materials were kept were also burned to ashes. No one was ever charged for that, let alone convicted! The attitude towards the NATO also underwent some changes. Those in that military alliance most responsible for the bombing campaign against FR Yugoslavia are all of a sudden treated as friends, and the previous, even formal court sentences, were annuled and they were therefore absolved of all guilt. This was carried out by the Supreme Court of Serbia, of course by the orders of the new regime. They were absolved and promoted to friends, and the trial of Dragoljub Milanovic started, with the argument that he was responsible for the death of 16 employees of the RTS Television Belgrade, who had died in the bombing campaign of the NATO alliance. The hunt against journalist who were in the building that night started. The newly appointed manager of the RTS, Nenad Ristic, on the second anniversary of that tragic event, passed a judgement on us journalists – for having survived that awful night. He, with evident bitterness, in the live broadcast, yelled (I quote): “And the journalist, editors and propagators were not killed!” To the people who wondered at such a monstrous attitude towards the former colleagues, I “explained” that in that way Nenad Ristic was criticizing the NATO alliance – for inefficiency! By the way, Nenad Ristic spent all his working life (over thirty years) in high positions on that same television! He was an editor of this and that, a party chief known by frequently reporting fellow journalists to the police and party committees! Almost all of the journalist who were in the building on that tragic night, lost their right to work! I myself was told that I was “vocally and visually – undesirable”! After 28 years of working in that unfortunate Television, with all the highest domestic awards and prizes for my professional activities, I was left without means!

In such an atmosphere, what could have been expected in the court trial of Dragoljub Milanovic? As a witness, I did not want to take the side of defense nor the side of prosecution. I just wanted to contribute to the objective insight into the whole event. It was not my fault that the facts were on Milanovic’s side. I was not his friend, we just had a professional relationship. However, the Court Council interrupted me in my testifying when I announced that I was just about to shed light on some facts important for reviewing the whole event. It was clear to me immediately that the verdict had already been passed, and that the entire trial was just sheer formality, and a disguise for a political verdict. He was sentenced to ten years in prison, and that based on the non-existing document, a draft of the internal decision that was not signed nor stamped, without any legal effect. The known perpetrator of the crime was absolved, made a friend, and the one who objectively could not have done anything for our safety was convicted. Simply, the victim was convicted as a criminal, and the true criminal was promoted into a true merciful angel.

The convicted Milanovic did not report to the penitentiary to serve his sentence. It is not known where he is. It is clear that running away from justice is a new criminal act and it is clear that it is present in the penal codes of all countries. Formally and legally, Milanovic escaped justice, the court sentence. I do not know whether some legal expert in some legal manner can explain – running away from injustice?! Judging by the most common human sense of justice, Milanovic suffered great injustice. If I though that he was guilty, I myself would be the first to blame him for the great and consequential traumas of that night! Unless somebody convinces me that it is my fault for having survived! And such attempts, what absurdity, have already taken place! However, it is but one element in the delicate, and in good part irrational, reality in my country, which has found itself in the position of an American protectorate of the most humble kind. And, while I am trying to complete this text somehow, overwhelmed by dark thoughts and many associations, I hear on the radio that the Americans bombed the Iraqi television building in Baghdad! Like in some kind of a novel! It seems, when we think of what is happening to us, and especially what is yet to happen, that Orwell was a great – optimist.

Only now did I remember – Hans Frisch, Geobels’ deputy in Hitler’s ministry of propaganda, was found not guilty at the International Court in Nuremberg in 1946, with the explanation that he could not significantly influence the course of war! He was not guilty, and Dragoljub Milanovic is convicted! Goodbye, reason!

Note: If you would like to cooperate, if you have different thoughts or would like to say something, write to us – and sign your name!

Milos Markovic is a Yougoslav journalist based in Belgrade.He can reached at infograf@beograd.com Copyright Milos Markovic, 2003. For fair use only/ pour usage équitable seulement .

http://globalresearch.ca/articles/MAR304A.html

The Tiananmen Square “Massacre”: A New Look ~ Bill the Butcher


Bill the Butcher’s Hell’s Gate Blogspot ~ (January 2010)

(Before I begin: I suspect I may be about to upset a great many applecarts with this article; if I do so, you may not agree with my conclusions, but at least I will have made you think. And for that I do not apologise. All sources have been cited at the end of the article and are available on the internet.)

I belong to a school of thought – probably there aren’t very many of us – which holds that so-called “iconic” individuals and occurrences in history, things that are so taken for granted that to question them is tantamount to sacrilege, need revisionist historical analysis. If, after that revisionist historical analysis, the original version, or some semblance thereof, holds up, fine. But if one finds that the revered original version is critically flawed, one usually has clear indications from the flaws of just why it’s allowed to survive at the expense of the truth.

I intend, therefore, to submit to critical examination one of the “defining” occurrences of our time, the so-called Tiananmen Square “massacre” that is said to have occurred on the night of 4 June 1989, just twenty years and six months ago. I intend to prove my hypothesis that the actual course of events was deliberately misreported and propagandised in the Western media. I intend to attempt to prove my hypothesis that the Chinese government of the time acted correctly and in the best interests of the Chinese people and the Chinese nation by cracking down, in whatever form, on the demonstrations. And I intend to try and prove my contention that destroying the protests was of immense positive significance to the world at large, today, almost a generation later.

(In order to be strictly fair, I should lay on record that I’m not an unbiased commentator. I’m a Sinophile in many respects. While my ideology isn’t equivalent to any “-ism”, it most closely parallels Marxism. I admire the Chinese Revolution, the Long March, and Mao Zedong. I view with deep suspicion any and all Western media pronouncements about the non-Western world; and I believe that after the invasion of Afghanistan on false pretences and of Iraq on pretences that weren’t just false but deliberately and cynically cooked up, my suspicions are more than justified.)

We all know, or we have been reminded in great detail over the years, of the occurrences of 1989 that culminated in the (alleged) “Tiananmen Square Massacre”. In brief, they were these: that 1989 was the year when so-called “peoples’ revolutions” were clearing away (never very enthusiastic) Communist regimes across Europe. It was the year when the world seemed suddenly about to become free for the triumph of Western style capitalism. The Eastern European regimes were crashing. The Soviet Union, where Mikhail Gorbachev had begun a programme of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring), was, mostly as a consequence, tottering on the verge of implosion. Only the great monolith of China still held out, refusing to be blown away by the winds of change.

The Background.

Actually, at the time, China was already into its twelfth year of its own version of perestroika; the then leader, Deng Xiaoping, had begun a programme of economic reform since 1978. China wasn’t the equivalent of the state-driven economies of Eastern Europe. It was already moving towards a mix of socialism (for most American readers: to the non-American world, believe it or not, socialism is not a dirty word) and market-driven capitalism. This kind of transit has characteristic features, including a sharp rise in prices, a widening rich-poor divide, and rising levels of corruption and social unrest. It’s been seen so often worldwide that it should be included as one of the defining characteristics of a privatising society.

I mentioned that there was social unrest. There were those who hoped and expected that the Communist Party would evaporate like the artificial parties of Eastern Europe and usher in unbridled capitalism. There were those old Maoists who felt the Communist Party was betraying the Revolution. There was opposition, too, from quite ordinary people from a non-ideological viewpoint; people against the negative aspects of the privatisation, against the price rise and the corruption; people who were, in effect, opposed to the first, free-marketeer, lot. All these diverse protesting groups were themselves divided in just what they wanted and were united in just one thing – opposition to the Chinese government. They had absolutely nothing else in common, and it’s important to remember that.

The so-called Tiananmen Square protests began in this atmosphere. They began on a relatively small scale on 15 April 1989 after the death of deposed and “pro-reform” Communist party General Secretary Hu Yaobang; they comprised mourning for Hu on college campuses across China and calls for reform. At this stage the protestors comprised almost entirely students who wanted change. They weren’t sure what kind of change they wanted, reform of the system or its overthrow. All they wanted was change.

By 17 April, groups of students had begun holding protests outside the Great Hall of the People in Tiananmen Square, issuing a list of demands, and the next day they had begun blocking access to and affecting the functioning of the seat of the Chinese government at the Zhongnanhai Building. Police with linked arms formed a human cordon that prevented these students from physically forcing their way into the Zhongnanhai complex. It was only on 20 April that the police finally broke up the student demonstrations outside Zhongnanhai, using force – said force being the limited use of batons. Not even tear gas was employed at this stage.

The next day, some 100,000 students occupied Tiananmen Square while others boycotted classes. On 27 April, after the government had made an official pronouncement accusing small groups of plotters of fomenting unrest (more on that later) 50,000 students gathered in Beijing’s streets. By now other demonstrations were taking place in many other Chinese cities, including Shanghai, Urumqi and Chongqing. It’s important to remember that these protests occurred, and it will be important to see how they turned out.

In the first days of May, there were renewed student protests, including marches on Beijing’s streets and by 13 May there was a hunger strike by students in Tiananmen Square, with the demand that the government negotiate. However, the government only agreed to talk to the approved student’s organisations, which these students had abandoned in favour of their own, unrecognised organisations. The hunger strike went on, drawing increasing national concern, and early on the morning of 19 May Zhao Ziyang, General Secretary of the Communist party, and Li Peng, Prime Minister of China, went personally to the hunger strikers on Tiananmen Square to persuade them to abandon their hunger strike. It had no effect, but it’s important to remember that they did go.

At this time – to all appearances – the Communist party hierarchy was itself divided about its attitude to the students. It is clear that at least a good section were sympathetic to the students’ concerns about corruption, and so far the government had refrained from violence despite the virtual paralysis of the capital for weeks. Parts of the government, including Zhao Ziyang, were willing to negotiate – but negotiate with whom? The protestors had many and often mutually exclusive agendas. With whom should the government have negotiated? On 20 May, faced with an apparently insoluble dilemma, the government declared martial law.

Martial Law and Thereafter

The army tried to enter Beijing, but the streets were blocked with throngs of protestors. The army made no attempt to force its way through them, but withdrew on 24 May. The students made no attempt to meet the government halfway – the hunger strike was approaching its fourth week and with public discontent rising, the government either had to cave in completely to a disunited and disorganised mass of conflicting interest groups – an invitation to utter chaos – or take action. It decided to take action. Zhao Ziyang, who had consistently supported the students, was ousted. The “hardliners” took over. The students had sown the wind, and they were about to reap the whirlwind.

Not that this seems to have occurred to the students in the square. By 30 May, they had set up a plaster statue of the “Goddess of Democracy” in the square. The next day, the government sent in soldiers again; reportedly the 27th and either the 28th or 38th Armies of the People’s Liberation Army (accounts differ). They were supposed to take control of the city and restore normalcy.

It is at this point that the accounts from the “sources” which are usually quoted by the Western media and the other sources begin to differ. According to the Western media’s “sources” (I have deep and abiding suspicion of any “source” whose account is accepted uncritically by Western media – remember the Iraq “sources”? – hence the quotes) the two armies sent in were armed and ready to shoot. According to the Chinese government, and, crucially, according to the US embassy in Beijing, the soldiers were sent in unarmed (see link below for documentation on this point).

As rumours spread of thousands of troops converging on the square, a large part of the people of Beijing came out on the streets, burned buses – government property – and set up barricades. The unarmed troops could not penetrate through these barricades. Soldiers were attacked with stones and Molotov cocktails; some were beaten or burned to death and their bodies strung up. Finally, armed troops were sent in, and they were met with the same reception. Officers were pulled from tanks and killed. After an armoured personnel carrier was incinerated and its crew killed, the soldiers fired at the people throwing Molotov cocktails. That there were barricades and people throwing firebombs isn’t something that any Western media “source” has even attempted to refute. This was not a massacre; it was somewhere between a riot and an insurrection.

I wonder what the reaction would have been if American occupation troops in Kabul or Baghdad were similarly barricaded and attacked with petrol bombs? Actually, I don’t need to wonder; the actions of the occupation forces in Iraq and Afghanistan speak for themselves in such situations.

To get back…

The Tiananmen Square “Massacre”

Finally, at 1am on 4 June, the army cleared the streets and reached Tiananmen Square. What did the soldiers do then? Go in shooting? No – according to even the “sources” which are quoted by the Western media, they waited for governmental orders. By then – again, this is not doubted – a large majority of the students had left the square. Only a few thousand remained. The army offered these students amnesty to leave. At 4 am, the students put the matter to vote – whether to go or to remain and face the consequences. Again, this is a matter that is not at dispute. The army did not go in, shooting blindly, and killing everyone in the square. First, according to everyone, they gave the students a chance to save themselves.

Now things get rather interesting. According to the standard Western media account of this episode, the tanks went in about 4 or 5am, shooting and crushing the students. This is the famous “massacre”, which is so inscribed in the modern consciousness. The bloodthirsty Chinese government had let loose a rain of terror on the poor peace-loving democracy-craving people of their own capital city. You know the stuff.

However, Spain’s ambassador to Beijing at the time, Eugenio Bregolat, notes that Spain’s TVE channel had a television crew in the square at the time, and if there had been a massacre, they would have been the first to see it and record it. Did they? No. If they had, wouldn’t there have been videos all over the internet, not to mention TV, of the massacre itself? But there are none. Bregolat also claims that most of the journalists who filed “eyewitness” accounts of the massacre were – at the time when they were allegedly witnessing the massacre – away from the Square, in the Beijing Hotel.

Similarly, Graham Earnshaw, a journalist in the square who was interviewing student leaders and was present during the night of June 3-4, claims (link below) that all the few hundred remaining students were persuaded to leave by the army, and when the tanks entered from one side of the Square, the last remaining students were withdrawing peacefully from the other side. Earnshaw agrees that the students’ “tent city” was crushed under the tanks’ treads as they came in, but he says there was nobody sleeping in the tents at the time to be crushed by the armour. Anyone who has ever been anywhere near a tank with its engine running will agree with his contention that nobody (except, I assume, the profoundly deaf) could have remained sleeping through the episode to be crushed, even without the earlier drama of the amnesty offer and the vote.

Then again, Xiaoping Li, a former China dissident, now resident in Canada, writing in the Asia Sentinel and quoting Taiwan-born Hou Dejian who had been on a hunger strike on the square to show solidarity with the students, said: “Some people said 200 died in the square and others claimed that as many as 2,000 died. There were also stories of tanks running over students who were trying to leave. I have to say I did not see any of that. I was in the square until 6:30 in the morning.”

And these are the words of a dissident, and more, of a dissident who now lives abroad and presumably has nothing to fear.

Then there is the circumstantial evidence. Most of the “Tiananmen Square Massacre” crowd repeat, ad nauseam, lists of student leaders arrested in the aftermath of the “massacre”. Many of these student “eyewitnesses” also claim to have seen tanks shooting and crushing people in the Square. Well, in that case, there’s an obvious question: how come all these leaders and/or eyewitnesses who were present in the Square all survived the “massacre” unscathed? How come not one of them can state the name of anyone who was killed in the Square itself, given that they had all been protesting together there for weeks? Wasn’t a single person of those hundreds or thousands killed a friend or comrade or classmate of these students? Why isn’t there one single, miserable photo showing the massacre in the Square itself?

I’m not saying there weren’t killings in Beijing that night. I’m saying that said killings were restricted to the fighting in the streets leading to the square, essentially between barricaders and soldiers trying to get through the barricades. I cannot find one single bit of incontrovertible proof that there was a single killing in the Square itself, let alone a massacre.

If you – therefore – try and maintain an impartial attitude to the sources, there is at least reasonable grounds for doubt about whether there was a single episode of firing, a single death, in Tiananmen Square on the night of 3/4 June 1989; let alone the famous “massacre”.

Deconstructing a famous photograph.

It’s called one of the “100 most famous photographs of all time”; actually, there are several versions of the photo, and there’s a video of the episode as well, which has its own peculiar significance. Taken on the morning of 5th June 1989, it shows a lone man, in white shirt and dark trousers, with what seems to be shopping bags in his hands. He stands in front of a line of tanks. In the most well-known version, that taken by Jeff Widener of the Associated Press, there are four tanks. In other photos, taken from further away, there are more tanks behind those four. They are Chinese Type 59 tanks, with the crew “buttoned up” inside; i.e. the hatches shut.

As seen in the video, the man gestures angrily to the tank with his bags. The tank swerves to one side in order to drive around him. The man steps again in front of the tank, and the heavy vehicle again tries to steer around him. Finally, it stops, and the man clambers on it, has a brief exchange with the crew, and descends. As the tank tries to drive on, he again steps in front of it and again it stops. People from the crowd then pull the man to safety and the tanks drive on (this last bit is typically excised from videos of this episode posted on such sites as YouTube).

According to the standard mythology of the event, one so standard that it’s practically sacrilege not to believe it, the man displayed almost unbelievable courage in the face of overwhelming Chinese military aggression. This “lone hero” became an instant icon, known as the “Tank man” and a symbol of courage worldwide.

Now let’s take a close look at the photograph, one from a strictly neutral viewpoint, and there are several extremely interesting features, which go well beyond the particular episode itself and reveal a lot about the entire Tiananmen Square affair.

First, and most obviously, the crew of the tanks have sealed themselves inside. This is extremely significant because as far as possible tank crews avoid doing this. Even in combat, whenever they can get away with it, they try to keep the hatches open. There are several reasons for this; one is that vision from inside a “buttoned down” tank is very limited and it’s almost impossible to hear sounds from outside; for a fairly primitive tank like the Type 59 (of which surviving examples are now relegated to training and second-line duties), this is even truer. All the driver can see when his hatch is shut, through two “vision blocks,” is to the front and slightly to the right. The commander in the turret can do little better (for details on the capabilities of the Type 59 tank, see link below). And a sealed up tank, especially an early model one like the Type 59, is extremely hot and cramped and difficult for the crew to operate in for prolonged periods.

So why did the crew seal themselves inside? There can be only one reason: to protect themselves against Molotov cocktails and attacks from mobs.

Secondly: take a close look at the photo. The first, third and fourth tanks can clearly be seen to have caps covering the muzzles of their main guns. The second may have a black muzzle cap or the muzzle may be open, but the rest certainly have capped muzzles. Muzzle caps, which are meant to protect the interiors of the guns from dirt and dust, are never taken into a situation where the main guns may need to be fired. This is proof positive that the tanks were sent in without any intention of firing the main guns, come what may.

Similarly, the tanks being sealed up means the crews cannot use the machine guns on the turret roofs (the blocky objects on the right of each tank turret, sticking out to the side). The Type 59, admittedly, has two other machine guns; of them more anon.

Then, there are the shopping bags carried by the “tank man” himself. Obviously, if you go shopping – and nobody has ever suggested the shopping bags meant anything else – there must be shops open. Take it from one who has been in riot situations: shops never open when there is a possibility of serious violence. The shop owners have too much to lose from riots and looting. If there are shops open, the quantum of violence must be much lower than usually thought.

Now, if we look at the video, we see the tank shifting to the right and back again in an effort to avoid the man. If the Chinese troops had already shot and crushed down hundreds to thousands of unarmed civilians, and according to standard mythology they were, even on this 5th of June, shooting students trying to re-enter the Square, why would the tank have gone to such trouble to save the life of one miserable counter-revolutionary? There can be no reasonable explanation but the fact that the tankers were exercising the maximum restraint in the face of provocation. (Again, suppose an Iraqi or an Afghan were to do this to an American armoured column, or a Palestinian to an “Israeli” Merkava, as many in fact have done; what do you think would he have been called even as he was being blown away? A terrorist!)

Incidentally, this is the photo that first made me doubt the entire story of the massacre. The action of the crew of those tanks was so completely opposed to the conventional tale of the “massacre” that it merited a closer look. So, in all, I am thankful to the photographer and the “tank man” – for reasons directly contrary to the usual Western media accounts.

Also, Widener’s own account of the prelude to the photo is interesting. He was confined to his hotel – he says – because he had flu and was injured by a protestor who threw a brick at him, smashing one of his other cameras and giving him a concussion. Nice nonviolent protestors, eh?

Deconstructing an ancillary photo.

Before we reach a final conclusion on the Tank Man, though, let’s take a look at another photo, taken from ground level and published only in June 2009. Taken shortly before the “iconic” images, it shows the distant tanks coming towards the camera, and, in the middle left distance, what is alleged (there is no direct proof of this) to be the “tank man” himself, waiting beside a bulldozer, all ready to step in the way of the armoured column, shopping bags and all. In the right distance a bicyclist pedals unhurriedly on, and in the left foreground a man (also carrying a shopping bag) seems about to flash a thumbs-up sign at the camera. In the right foreground is the only sign of hurry or panic; a young man who appears to be sprinting or trying to duck.

Terrill Jones of the Associated Press, who took this photo, claims that – in order to avoid firing – he and others took shelter and could no longer see what happened afterwards. This is one of those stories that need to be examined carefully. First: If there indeed was firing, why is the cyclist so unconcernedly pedalling on? Even if it is true that the man in the left distance is the “tank man” himself, and even if he is willing to sacrifice his life in order to stop the tanks and so is unconcerned, why is the shopping bag man in the foreground obviously not in any panic or fear? Why is he apparently about to break into a huge grin? Why is the only man in a hurry the one in the right front, dashing towards the photographer?

Then, if there was indeed firing, where was it coming from? Certainly not from the tanks; as I said, the main guns were capped and the anti-aircraft machine guns unattended by the buttoned-up crew. The Type 59 has two other machine guns, both of 7.62 mm calibre. One is a coaxial gun, which fires along the line of the main gun, in whichever direction the main gun is pointing. In this case all the tanks had their main guns elevated at normal position, so the firing wasn’t coming from the coaxial guns – the bullets would have gone into the sky. The third gun is one fixed in the front of the tank and firing straight ahead through a very small aperture in the glacis plate (the tank’s front armour) and operated by the driver. It’s a nearly useless weapon, since it can only be aimed by turning the entire tank to point it directly at the target. If the hull gun was firing, only the lead tank could have been firing it, as the fire from others in the line would have struck the tanks in front of them. And in that case, what was the hull gun firing at? And again – why on earth did the tank save “tank man’s” life? It doesn’t make any sense.

Similarly, if “tank man” was spirited away by the crowd to safety, then there was enough of a crowd to take him away to safety, and that in turn means that there wasn’t any firing. Whoever the man was, there’s no evidence as to what happened to him; accounts of his execution are balanced by accounts that he is living in Taiwan (link below). If he’s dead, why aren’t any acquaintances coming forward to say who he was? If he is alive, why isn’t he coming out of the shadows, if necessary after smuggling himself out of China? Absolutely nobody seems to be sure who he is. Or is he, as some have suggested, mentally ill? A madman wouldn’t be the best expression of defiance of a tyrannical regime, would he?

All in all, the conclusion is clear: far from being a symbol of courage, “tank man” was in no real danger from military units exercising restraint in the face of provocation. In fact, what the photos and video clearly demonstrate is the reverse of what the official iconography, if I can put it that way, of this episode claims.

The Death Toll

How many people died in the entire Tiananmen Square affair? The Chinese Red Cross was alleged to have said 2600 died, but denied having ever given any such figure. “Unbiased” Western media alleges that the Red Cross backed down after pressure from the Chinese government, but fails to either provide any evidence of either this pressure or just who were these 2600 who died. At least some hundreds of their relatives could have been cited? The official Chinese government figure is 241 dead, including the soldiers who were burned and battered to death when they tried to make an unarmed approach to the Square. There are various other estimates. And, according to the Tiananmen Mothers, only 186 names of the alleged thousands dead have been confirmed as of June 2006, and that includes people whose deaths weren’t necessarily due to army action, including one who committed suicide.

Does it matter how many died? Yes, it does; it marks the difference between a unilateral massacre and fighting on both sides. For such an allegedly enormous death toll, the evidence seems to be scanty indeed.

The Significance

It was – I think – Zhou Enlai who, when asked about the significance of the French Revolution, said “It’s too early to tell.” At the time, the Chinese government was probably not looking to the long term; in a year when fellow Communist governments were being toppled by mass street protests and governmental paralysis, it was looking to its own survival when it decided to use force, in whatever form, against the students. However, in deciding to use force, it put a permanent full stop to a chain of events which – going by what happened in other nations at the time – would have led to unravelling of Central governmental authority, collapse of the state, disintegration of the economy and more than likely of the nation, and anarchy leading to mass impoverishment and mafia rule.

For comparison, we should look to the Soviet Union and the so-called putsch of 19 August 1991, which temporarily overthrew Mikhail Gorbachev and tried to maintain the unity of the nation, something the Soviet people had themselves largely approved of in a referendum. The coup collapsed in three days almost entirely because the new junta refused to use overwhelming force against the protestors, led by Boris Yeltsin, later to preside, marinated in alcohol, over the descent of Russia into a corrupt oligarchy with the collapse of social services, skyrocketing corruption, and plummeting life expectancy. Almost exactly the same thing would likely have happened to China if the Tiananmen Square protestors hadn’t been neutralised.

In fact, it’s likely that the entire crackdown could have been avoided if the Beijing authorities had acted early and severely, incarcerating ringleaders and shutting down their media outlets, as Jiang Zemin, then the mayor of Shanghai, had done. This had nipped in the bud developing disturbances in China’s second city. Allowing the students weeks of a free hand was in itself an error, and China has taken care not to repeat that error in later years.

One look at China today, with its roaring economy and its people – who are far more prosperous than they were two decades ago – and a comparison with where Russia is even now, when it’s finally beginning to get to its feet again, and it should be clear that the Chinese government acted in the best long-term interests of its own people when it ended the protests.

But – what about freedom? Aren’t the Chinese people deprived of freedom? That is an oft-heard argument, a rich argument indeed when one thinks of the status of the “freed” citizens of such nations as Iraq or Afghanistan; or indeed of Russia, whose starving and impoverished people were called “free” but now that they are, at last, slightly better off are no longer called “free”. Strange are the definitions of freedom, and bizarre are the uses of the word.

For the record, I believe democracy, as practiced today, is an eyewash and does not equal freedom. I believe that the right to live with dignity is more important than the right to vote, and I believe that a nation which provides the necessities for the maximum number of its people is freer than one which allows them to vote but takes no steps to ensure they have a roof over their heads and clothes on their backs.

There is also the question of the significance of the crackdown to the world at large, two decades later. As we all know (or should know), China is one of the most significant nations in the world today, and certainly the fastest-rising one. It’s also the only country which serves as a counterweight to the global hegemon and self-declared world policeman, the United States of America. The US is a power in decline, but is still the only nation which believes in war as a policy of first resort and seeks to impose its will – by force – on the rest of the world. But even the US has to tread warily on Chinese economic might.

Can one imagine how much more arrogant and lethal the USA’s war against the world would have been without China providing some kind of balance?

The Media Lies

As should be obvious by now, I believe the mass of the Western media lied, cynically and repeatedly, and continues to lie about the Tiananmen Square incident. Much of the lying is due to a phenomenon called “pack journalism” (see link below) where media fall in line, quite unthinkingly, and without checking facts, on a particular “plausible” story. One only has to remember the tales of Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Distraction, sorry, Destruction, for a recent example.

Also, the Western media have never hidden their anti-China bias, even in these days when they have to treat China with respect. So the 2001 incident when an American spy plane collided with a Chinese fighter and was compelled to land in China was an “intolerable act of aggression”, without regard to the facts. Actually, the facts never really mattered, as we saw in 2008 when the Lhasa rioting was deliberately and cynically misreported with propaganda from Tibetan exile groups (speedily exposed through the Chinese blogosphere) of how the PLA soldiers were responsible for dressing up as monks and rioting, and so on.

But media sources have to take their inspiration from somewhere. That inspiration is almost always from the people who actually control these media, people who have the most to gain from the lies the media disseminate. In Iraq, we know who benefitted the most from the invasion, which firms saw their stock prices jump through the ceiling. Similarly, a collapsed and disintegrating China would have freed a lot of space for certain business interests and allowed certain nations a free hand in East Asia. So it was entirely predictable that they would react violently to firm action that made it less likely that any such collapse would occur, besides painting all Communists with the same genocidal brush.

The conventional truth about Tiananmen Square – in summary – is not the truth. But the truth is out there for those who care to know, the evidence visible for those who wish to see.

Statutory Disclaimer: The opinions stated herein are mine. I am in no way responsible for any fights, quarrels, or breaks in relations caused by the contents of this article. Be warned.

Further reading:

If the links below don’t work, please copy and paste to your browser

(I wish to express my gratitude to blogger “Bobby Fletcher” – http://tiananmenmyth.blogspot.com/ – for bringing some of the links below to my attention)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiananmen_Square_protests_of_1989 (The wikipedia entry on the Tiananmen Square protests)

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB16/documents/09-02.htm (US Embassy note stating that the Chinese troops had initially been unarmed.)

http://www.earnshaw.com/memoirs/content.php?id=5 (Graham Earnshaw’s account of Tiananmen Square, where he states unambiguously that “most of the deaths did not happen on or near the Square.”)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tank_Man#cite_note-NYTNewPhoto-1 (About the Tank Man, with a description of the original video)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_59 (All about the Type 59 tank)

http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/03/behind-the-scenes-tank-man-of-tiananmen/ (Jeff Widener’s account of how he was hit in the face by a rock and also claims how the photographers of the “iconic” image saw armoured personnel carriers firing at the crowds. Where are the photos of that episode?)

http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/04/behind-the-scenes-a-new-angle-on-history/?hp (Terrill Jones’ account claiming the tanks were firing at the time of the “tank man” incident)

http://www.yachtingnet.com/time/time100/leaders/profile/rebel2.html (A Time Magazine article on the “tank man,” typical of Western media reportage of the incident. Note the unattributed and unsubstantiated allegations that the Chinese shot “hundreds of workers and students and doctors and children, many later found shot in the back.”)

http://dajiyuan.com/b5/6/6/1/n1336133.htm (Chinese language article claiming “tank man” still lives. I don’t speak Chinese so have to take it at its word)

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/eo20080721gc.html (An article by the former Canadian ambassador to Japan, Gregory Clark, examining the myth of the “massacre”)

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=CLA20060410&articleId=2245 (By the same author; an examination of the phenomenon of pack journalism)

http://www.frontlineonnet.com/fl2510/stories/20080523251000400.htm (A discussion of other anti-Chinese western media propaganda)

The Eisenhower Doctrine claims another backyard for America ~ The Middle East 1957-1958


by William Blum “Killing Hope”

On 9 March 1957, the United States Congress approved a presidential resolution which came to be known as the Eisenhower Doctrine. This was a piece of paper, like the Truman Doctrine and the Monroe Doctrine before it, whereby the US government conferred upon the US government the remarkable and enviable right to intervene militarily in other countries. With the stroke of a pen, the Middle East was added to Europe and the Western hemisphere as America’s field of play.

The resolution stated that “the United States regards as vital to the national interest and world peace the preservation of the independence and integrity of the nations of the Middle East.” Yet, during this very period, as we have seen, the CIA initiated its operation to overthrow the government of Syria.

The business part of the resolution was contained in the succinct declaration that the United States “is prepared to use armed forces to assist” any Middle East country “requesting assistance against armed aggression from any country controlled by international communism”. Nothing was set forth about non-communist or anticommunist aggression which might endanger world peace.

Wilbur Crane Eveland, the Middle East specialist working for the CIA at the time, had been present at a meeting in the State Department two months earlier called to discuss the resolution. Eveland read the draft, which stated that “many, if not all” of the Middle East states “are aware of the danger that stems from international communism”.

Later he wrote:

I was shocked. Who, I wondered, had reached this determination of what the Arabs considered a danger? Israel’s army had just invaded Egypt and still occupied all of the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip. And, had it not been for Russia’s threat to intervene on behalf of the Egyptians, the British, French, and Israeli forces might now be sitting in Cairo, celebrating Nasser’s ignominious fall from power.1

The simplistic and polarized view of the world implicit in the Eisenhower Doctrine ignored not only anti-Israeli sentiments but currents of nationalism, pan-Arabism, neutralism and socialism prevalent in many influential quarters of the Middle East. The framers of the resolution saw only a cold-war battlefield and, in doing so, succeeded in creating one.

In April, King Hussein of Jordan dismissed his prime minister, Suleiman Nabulsi, amidst rumors, apparently well-founded, of a coup against the King encouraged by Egypt and Syria and Palestinians living in Jordan. It was the turning point in an ongoing conflict between the pro-West policy of Hussein and the neutralist leanings of the Nabulsi regime. Nabulsi had announced that in line with his policy of neutralism, Jordan would develop closet relations with the Soviet Union and accept Soviet aid if offered. At the same time, he rejected American aid because, he said, the United States had informed him that economic aid would be withheld unless Jordan “severs its ties with Egypt” and “consents to settlement of Palestinian refugees in Jordan”, a charge denied by the State Department. Nabulsi added the commentary that “communism is not dangerous to the Arabs”.

Hussein, conversely, accused “international communism and its followers” of direct responsibility for “efforts to destroy my country”. When pressed for the specifics of his accusation, he declined to provide any.

When rioting broke out in several Jordanian cities, and civil war could not be ruled out, Hussein showed himself equal to the threat to his continued rule. He declared martial law, purged the government and military of pro-Nasser and leftist tendencies, and abolished all political opposition. Jordan soon returned to a state of relative calm.

The United States, however, seized upon Hussein’s use of the expression “international communism” to justify rushing units of the Sixth Fleet to the eastern Mediterranean—a super aircraft carrier, two cruisers, and 15 destroyers, followed shortly by a variety of other naval vessels and a battalion of marines which put ashore in Lebanon—to “prepare for possible future intervention in Jordan”.2

Despite the fact that nothing resembling “armed aggression from any country controlled by international communism” had taken place, the State Department openly invited the King to invoke the Eisenhower Doctrine.3 But Hussein, who had not even requested the show of force, refused, knowing that such a move would only add fuel to the fires already raging in Jordanian political life. He survived without it.

Sometime during this year the CIA began making secret annual payments to King Hussein, initially in the millions of dollars per year. The practice was to last for 20 years, with the Agency providing Hussein female companions as well. As justification for the payment, the CIA later claimed that Hussein allowed American intelligence agencies to operate freely in Jordan. Hussein himself provided intelligence to the CIA and distributed part of his payments to other government officials who also furnished information or cooperated with the Agency.4

A few months later, it was Syria which occupied the front stage in Washington’s melodrama of “International Communism”. The Syrians had established relations with the Soviet Union via trade, economic aid, and military purchases and training. The United States chose to see something ominous in this although it was a state of affairs engendered in no small measure by John Foster Dulles, as we saw in the previous chapter. American antipathy toward Syria was heightened in August following the Syrian government’s exposure of the CIA-directed plot to overthrow it.

Washington officials and the American media settled easily into the practice of referring to Syria as a “Soviet satellite” or “quasi-satellite”. This was not altogether objective or spontaneous reporting. Kennett Love, a New York Times correspondent in close contact to the CIA (see Iran chapter), later disclosed some of the background:

The US Embassy in Syria connived at false reports issued in Washington and London through diplomatic and press channels to the effect that Russian arms were pouring into the Syrian port of Latakia, that “not more than 123 Migs” had arrived in Syria, and that Lieutenant Colonel Abdel Hameed Serraj, head of Syrian intelligence, had taken over control in a Communist-inspired coup. I travelled all over Syria without hindrance in November and December [1956] and found there were indeed “not more than 123 Migs”. There were none. And no Russian arms had arrived for months. And there had been no coup, although some correspondents in Beirut, just a two-hour drive from Damascus, were dispatching without attribution false reports fed to them by embassy visitors from Damascus and a roving CIA man who worked in the guise of a US Treasury agent. Serraj, who was anti-Communist, had just broken the clumsy British-US-Iraqi-supported plot [to overthrow the Syrian government]. Syria was quiet but worried lest the propaganda presage a new coup d’etat or a Western-backed invasion.5

As if to further convince any remaining skeptics, Eisenhower dispatched a personal emissary, Loy Henderson, on a tour of the Middle East. Henderson, not surprisingly, returned with the conclusion that “there was a fear in all Middle East countries that the Soviets might be able to topple the regimes in each of their countries through exploiting the crisis in Syria”.6 He gave no indication as to whether the Syrians themselves thought they were going through a crisis.

As an indication of how artificial were the crises announced by the White House, how arbitrary were the doomsday pronouncements about the Soviet Union, let us consider the following from a Department of Defense internal memorandum of June 1957, about two months before Henderson went to the Middle East:

The USSR has shown no intention of direct intervention in any of the previous Mid-Eastern crises, and we believe it is unlikely that they would intervene, directly, to assure the success of a leftist coup in Syria.7

In early September, the day after Henderson returned, the United States announced that the Sixth Fleet was once again being sent to the Mediterranean and that arms and other military equipment were being rushed to Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey. A few days later, Saudi Arabia was added to the list. The Soviet Union replied with arms shipments to Syria, Egypt and Yemen.

The Syrian government accused the US of sending warships dose to her coast in an “open challenge” and said that unidentified planes had been flying constantly over the Latakia area day and night for four days, Latakia being the seaport where Soviet ships arrived.

Syria further claimed that the US had “incited” Turkey to concentrate an estimated 50,000 soldiers on Syria’s border. The Syrians ridiculed the explanation that the Turkish troops were only on maneuvers. Eisenhower later wrote that the troops were at the border with “a readiness to act” and that the United States had already assured the leaders of Turkey, Iraq and Jordan that if they “felt it necessary to take actions against aggression by the Syrian government, the United States would undertake to expedite shipments of arms already committed to the Middle Eastern countries and, further, would replace losses as quickly as possible.” The president had no quarrel with the idea that such action might be taken to repel, in his words, the “anticipated aggression” of Syria, for it would thus be “basically defensive in nature” (emphasis added).8

The American role here may have been more active than Eisenhower suggests.

One of his advisers, Emmet John Hughes, has written of how Under-Secretary of State Christian Herter, later to replace an ailing John Foster Dulles as Secretary, “reviewed in rueful detail… some recent clumsy clandestine American attempts to spur Turkish forces to do some vague kind of battle with Syria”.9

Dulles gave the impression in public remarks that the United States was anxious to somehow invoke the Eisenhower Doctrine, presumably as a “justification” for taking further action against Syria. But he could not offer any explanation of how this was possible. Certainly Syria was not going to make the necessary request.

The only solution lay in Syria attacking another Arab country which would then request American assistance. This appears to be one rationale behind the flurry of military and diplomatic activity directed at Syria by the US. A study carried out for the Pentagon some years later concluded that in “the 1957 Syrian crisis … Washington seem[ed] to seek the initial use of force by target”10 (emphasis added; “‘target” refers to Syria).

Throughout this period, Washington officials alternated between striving to enlist testimonials from other Arab nations that Syria was indeed a variety of Soviet satellite and a threat to the region, and assuring the world that the United States had received a profusion of just such testimony. But Jordan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia all denied that they felt threatened by Syria. Egypt, Syria’s closest ally, of course concurred. At the height of the “crisis”, King Hussein of Jordan left for a vacation in Europe. The Iraqi premier declared that his country and Syria had arrived at a “complete understanding”. And King Saud of Saudi Arabia, in a message to Eisenhower, said that US concern over Syria was “exaggerated” and asked the president for “renewed assurances that the United States would refrain from any interference in the internal affairs of Arab states”. Saud added that “efforts to overturn the Syrian regime would merely make the Syrians more amenable to Soviet influence”, a view shared by several observers on all sides.

At the same time, the New York Times reported:

From the beginning of the crisis over Syria’s drift to the left, there has been less excitement among her Arab neighbors than in the United States. Foreign diplomats in the area, including many Americans, felt that the stir caused in Washington was out of proportion to the cause.

Eventually, Dulles may have been influenced by this lack of support for the American thesis, for when asked specifically to “characterize what the relation is between Soviet aims in the area and the part that Syria adds to them”, he could only reply that “The situation internally in Syria is not entirely clear and fluctuates somewhat.” Syria, he implied, was not yet in the grip of international Communism.

The next day, Syria, which had no desire to isolate itself from the West, similarly moderated its tone by declaring that the American warships had been 15 miles offshore and had continued “quietly on their way”.11

It appears that during this same restless year of 1957, the United States was also engaged in a plot to overthrow Nasser and his troublesome nationalism, although the details are rather sketchy. In January, when King Saud and Iraqi Crown Prince Abdul Illah were in New York at the United Nations, they were approached by CIA Director Allen Dulles and one of his top aides, Kermit Roosevelt, with offers of CIA covert planning and funding to topple the Egyptian leader whose radical rhetoric, inchoate though it was, was seen by the royal visitors as a threat to the very idea of monarchy.

Nasser and other army officers had overthrown King Farouk of Egypt in 1952. Ironically, Kermit Roosevelt and the CIA have traditionally been given credit for somehow engineering this coup. However, it is by no means certain that they actually carried this out.12

“Abdul Illah,” wrote Eveland, “insisted on British participation in anything covert, but the Saudis had severed relations with Britain and refused. As a result, the CIA dealt separately with each: agreeing to fund King Saud’s part in a new area scheme to oppose Nasser and eliminate his influence in Syria; and to the same objective, coordinating in Beirut a covert working group composed of representatives of the British, Iraqi, Jordanian, and Lebanese intelligence services.”13

The conspiracy is next picked up in mid-spring at the home of Ghosn Zogby in Beirut. Zogby, of Lebanese ancestry, was the chief of the CIA Beirut station. He and Kermit Roosevelt, who was staying with him, hosted several conferences of the clandestine planners. “So obvious,” Eveland continued, “were their ‘covert’ gyrations, with British, Iraqi, Jordanian and Lebanese liaison personnel coming and going nightly, that the Egyptian ambassador in Lebanon was reportedly taking bets on when and where the next U.S. coup would take place.” At one of these meetings, the man from the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) informed the gathering that teams had been fielded to assassinate Nasser.

Shortly afterwards, Eveland learned from a CIA official that John Foster Dulles, as well as his brother Allen, had directed Roosevelt to work with the British to bring down Nasser. Roosevelt now spoke in terms of a “palace revolution” in Egypt.14

From this point on we’re fishing in murky waters, for the events which followed produced more questions than answers. With the six countries named above, plus Turkey and Israel apparently getting in on the act, and less than complete trust and love existing amongst the various governments, a host of plots, sub-plots and side plots inevitably sprang to life; at times it bordered on low comedy, though some would call it no mote than normal Middle East “diplomacy”.

Between July 1957 and October 1958, the Egyptian and Syrian governments and media announced the uncovering of what appear to be at least eight separate conspiracies to overthrow one or the other government, to assassinate Nasser, and/or prevent the expected merger of the two countries. Saudi Arabia, Iraq and the United States were most often named as conspirators, but from the entanglement of intrigue which surfaced it is virtually impossible to unravel the particular threads of the US role.15

Typical of the farcical goings-on, it seems that at least one of the plots to assassinate Nasser arose from the Dulles brothers taking Eisenhower’s remark that he hoped “the Nasser problem could be eliminated” to be an order for assassination, when the president, so the story goes, was merely referring to improved US-Egyptian relations. Upon realizing the error, Secretary Dulles ordered the operation to cease.16

(Three years later, Allen Dulles was again to “misinterpret” a remark by Eisenhower as an order to assassinate Patrice Lumumba of the Congo.)

Official American pronouncements during this entire period would have had the world believe that the Soviet Union was the eminence grist behind the strife in Jordan, the “crisis” in Syria, and unrest generally in the Middle East; that the Soviet aim was to dominate the area, while the sole purpose of US policy was to repel this Soviet thrust and maintain the “independence” of the Arab nations. Yet, on three separate occasions during 1957—in February, April and September—the Soviet Union called for a fourpower (US, USSR, Great Britain and France) declaration renouncing the use of force and interference in the internal affairs of the Middle Eastern countries. The February appeal had additionally called for a four-power embargo on arms shipments to the region, withdrawal of all foreign troops, liquidation of all foreign bases, and a conference to reach a general Middle East settlement.

The Soviet strategy was clearly to neutralize the Middle East, to remove the threat it had long felt from the potentially hostile control of the oil region by, traditionally, France and Great Britain, and now the United States, which sought to fill the “power vacuum” left by the decline of the two European nations as Middle East powers.

History does not relate what a Middle East free from big-power manipulation would have been like, for neither France, Great Britain, nor the United States was amenable to even calling the Soviet “bluff”, if that was what it was. The New York Times summarized the attitude of the three Western nations to the first two overtures as one that “deprecated the Soviet proposals as efforts to gain recognition of a Soviet right to a direct voice in the affairs of the Middle East. They have told the Russians to take up their complaints through the United Nations.”

Following the September proposal, John Foster Dulles, replying to a question at a press conference, said that “the United States is skeptical of these arrangements with the Soviet Union for ‘hands-off. What they are apt to mean is our hands off and their hands under the table.” This appears to be the only public comment the US government saw fit to make on the matter.17

It may be instructive to speculate upon the reaction of the Western nations if the Soviet Union had announced a “Khrushchev Doctrine”, ceding to itself the same scope of action in the Middle East as that stipulated in the Eisenhower Doctrine.

In January 1958, Syria and Egypt announced their plans to unite, forming the new nation of the United Arab Republic (UAR). The initiative for the merger had come from Syria who was motivated in no small part by her fear of further American power plays against her. Ironically, under the merger arrangement, the Communist Party, already outlawed in Egypt, was dissolved in Syria, an objective which a year and a half of CIA covert activity had failed to achieve.

Two weeks after the birth of the UAR, and in direct response to it, Iraq and Jordan formed the Arab Union, with the United States acting as midwife. This union was short lived, for in July a bloody coup in Iraq overthrew the monarchy, the new regime establishing a republic and promptly renouncing the pact. The trumpets of Armageddon could once more be heard distinctly in the Oval Office. “This somber turn of events,” wrote Eisenhower in his memoirs, “could, without vigorous response on our part, result in a complete elimination of Western influence in the Middle East.”18

Although the president would not be so crass as to mention a concern about oil, his anxiety attack was likely brought on by the fact that one of the greatest oil reserves in the world was now under rule of a government which might well prove to be not as pliable an ally as the previous regime, and too independent of Washington.

The time for a mere show of force was over. The very next day, the marines, along with the American navy and air force, were sent in—not to Iraq, but to Lebanon.

Of all the Arab states, Lebanon was easily the United States’ closest ally. She alone had supported the Eisenhower Doctrine with any enthusiasm or unequivocally echoed Washington’s panic about Syria. To be more precise, it was the president of Lebanon, Camille Chamoun, and the foreign minister, Charles Malik, a Harvard Ph.D. in philosophy, who had put all their cold-war eggs into the American basket. Chamoun had ample reason to be beholden to the United States. The CIA apparently played a role in his 1952 election,19 and in 1957 the Agency furnished generous sums of money to Chamoun to use in support of candidates in the Chamber of Deputies (Parliament) June elections who would back him and, presumably, US policies. Funds were also provided to specifically oppose, as punishment, those candidates who had resigned in protest over Chamoun’s adherence to the Eisenhower Doctrine.

As is customary in such operations, the CIA sent an “election specialist” along with the money to Beirut to assist in the planning. American officials in Washington and Lebanon proceeded on the assumption, they told each other, that Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia would also intervene financially in the elections. The American ambassador to Lebanon, Donald Heath, argued as well, apparently without ironic intention, that “With both the president and the new chamber of deputies supporting American principles, we’d also have a demonstration that representative democracy could work” in the Middle East.

To what extent the American funding helped, or even how the money was spent, is not known, but the result was a landslide for pro-government deputies; so much so, that it caused considerable protest within Lebanon, including the charge that Chamoun had stacked the parliament in order to amend the constitution to permit him to seek an otherwise prohibited second six-year term of office the following year.20

By late April 1958, tensions in Lebanon had reached bursting point. The inordinate pro-American orientation of Chamoun’s government and his refusal to dispel rumors that he would seek a second term incensed both Lebanese nationalists and advocates of the Arab nationalism, which Nasser was promoting throughout the Middle East. Demands were made that the government return to the strict neutrality provided for in the National Pact of 1943 at the time of Lebanon’s declaration of independence from France.

A rash of militant demonstrations, bombings and clashes with police took place, and when, in early May, the editor of an anti-government newspaper was murdered, armed rebellion broke out in several parts of the country, and US Information Agency libraries in Tripoli and Beirut were sacked. Lebanon contained all the makings of a civil war.

“Behind everything,” wrote Eisenhower, “was out deep-seated conviction that the Communists were principally responsible for the trouble and that President Chamoun was motivated only by a strong feeling of patriotism.”

The president did not clarify who or what he meant by “Communists”. However, in the next paragraph he refers, without explanation, to the Soviet Union as “stirring up trouble” in the Middle East. And on the following page, the old soldier writes that “there was no doubt in our minds” about Chamoun’s charge that “Egypt and Syria had been instigating the revolt and arming the rebels”.21

In the midst of the fighting, John Foster Dulles announced that he perceived “international communism” as the source of the conflict and for the third time in a year the Sixth Fleet was dispatched to the eastern Mediterranean; police supplies to help quell rioters, as well as tanks and other heavy equipment, were airlifted to Lebanon.

At a subsequent news conference, Dulles declared that even if international communism were not involved, the Eisenhower Doctrine was still applicable because one of its provisions stated that “the independence of these countries is vital to peace and the national interest of the United States.” “That is certainly a mandate,” he said, “to do something if we think that out peace and vital interests are endangered from any quarter.”22 Thus did one of the authors of the doctrine bestow upon himself a mandate.

Egypt and Syria, from all accounts, supported the rebels’ cause with arms, men and money, in addition to inflammatory radio broadcasts from Cairo, although the extent of the material support is difficult to establish. A UN Observation Group went to Lebanon in June at the request of Foreign Minister Malik and reported that they found no evidence of UAR intervention of any significance. A second UN report in July confirmed this finding. It is open to question, however, what degree of reliance can be placed upon these reports, dealing as they do with so thorny an evaluation and issued by a body in the business of promoting compromise.

In any event, the issue was whether the conflict in Lebanon represented a legitimate, home-grown civil war, or whether it was the doing of the proverbial “outside agitators”. On this point, historian Richard Barner has observed:

No doubt the Observation Group did minimize the extent of UAR participation. But essentially they were correct. Nasser was trying to exploit the political turmoil in Lebanon, but he did not create it. Lebanon, which had always abounded in clandestine arsenals and arms markets, did not need foreign weapons for its domestic violence. Egyptian intervention was neither the stimulus nor the mainstay of the civil strife. Once again a government that had lost the power to rule effectively was blaming its failure on foreign agents.23

President Eisenhower—continuing his flip-flop thinking on the issue—wrote that it now seemed that Nasser “would be just as happy to see a temporary end to the struggle … and contacted our government and offered to attempt to use his influence toend the trouble.”24

Camille Chamoun had sacrificed Lebanon’s independence and neutrality on the altar of personal ambition and the extensive American aid that derived from subscribing to the Eisenhower Doctrine. Lebanese Muslims, who comprised most of Chamoun’s opposition, were also galled that the Christian president had once again placed the country outside the mainstream of the Arab world, as he had done in 1956 when he refused to break relations with France and Great Britain following their invasion of Egypt.

Chamoun himself had admitted the significance of his pro-American alignment in a revealing comment to Wilbur Crane Eveland. Eveland writes that in late April, I’d suggested that he might ease tensions by making a statement renouncing a move for reelection. Chamoun had snorted and suggested that I look at the calendar: March 23 was a month behind us, and no amendment to permit another term could legally be passed after that date. Obviously, as he pointed out, the issue of the presidency was not the real issue; renunciation of the Eisenhower Doctrine was what his opponents wanted.25

Instead of renouncing the doctrine, Chamoun invoked it. Although scattered
fighting, at times heavy, was continuing in Lebanon, it was the coup in Iraq on 14 July that tipped the scales in favor of Chamoun making the formal request for military assistance and the United States immediately granting it. A CIA report of a plot against King Hussein of Jordan at about the same time heightened even further Washington’s seemingly unceasing sense of urgency about the Middle East.

Chamoun had, by this time, already announced his intention to step down from office when his term expired in September. He was now concerned about American forces helping him to stay alive until that date, as well as their taking action against the rebels. For the previous two months, fear of assassination had kept him constantly inside the presidential palace, never so much as approaching a window. The murder of the Iraqi king and prime minister during the coup was not designed to make him feel more secure.

The Eisenhower Doctrine was put into motion not only in the face of widespread opposition to it within Lebanon, but in disregard of the fact that, even by the doctrine’s own dubious provisions, the situation in Lebanon did not qualify: It could hardly be claimed that Lebanon had suffered “armed aggression from any country controlled by international communism”. If further evidence of this were needed, it was provided by veteran diplomat Robert Murphy who was sent to Lebanon by Eisenhower a few days after the US troops had landed. Murphy concluded, he later wrote, that “communism was playing no direct or substantial part in the insurrection”.26

Yet, Eisenhower could write that the American Government “was moving in accord with the provisions of the Middle East Resolution [Eisenhower Doctrine], but if the conflict expanded into something that the Resolution did not cover, I would, given time, go to the Congress for additional authorization”.27 Apparently the president did not place too much weight on John Foster Dulles having already determined that the Resolution’s mandate was open-ended.

Thus it was that American military forces were dispatched to Lebanon. Some 70 naval vessels and hundreds of aircraft took part in the operation, many remaining as part of the visible American presence. By 25 July, the US forces on shore totaled at least 10,600. By August 13, their number came to 14,000, more than the entire Lebanese Army and gendarmerie combined.28

“In my [radio-TV] address,” wrote Eisenhower, “I had been careful to use the term ‘stationed in’ Lebanon rather than ‘invading’.”29 This was likely a distinction lost upon many Lebanese, both high and low, supporters of the rebels and supporters of the government, including government tank forces who were prepared to block the entrance into Beirut of US troops; only the last-minute intercession on the spot by the American ambassador may have averted an armed clash.30

At a meeting between Robert Murphy and Lebanese Commander-in-Chief General Faud Chehab—related by Eveland who was briefed by Murphy afterwards— the American diplomat was warned that the Lebanese people were “”restless, resentful, and determined that Chamoun should resign and U.S. troops leave at once. Otherwise the general could not be responsible for the consequences. For fifteen years his officers had acted behind his back; now, he feared, they might revolt and attack the American forces.”

Murphy had listened patiently, Eveland relates, and then …

escorted the general to a window overlooking the sea. Pointing to the supercarrier Saratoga, swinging at anchor on the horizon, the President’s envoy had quietly explained that just one of its aircraft, armed with nuclear weapons, could obliterate Beirut and its environs from the face of the earth. To this, Murphy quickly added that he’d been sent to be sure that it wouldn’t be necessary for American troops to fire a shot. Shehab [Chehab], he was certain, would ensure that there were no provocations on the Lebanese side. That, Murphy told me, ended the conversation. It now seemed that the general had “regained control” of his troops.31

None of the parties seem to have considered what would have been the fate of the thousands of American military personnel in a Beirut obliterated from the face of the earth.

Civil warfare in Lebanon increased in intensity in the two weeks following the American intervention. During this period, CIA transmitters in the Middle East were occupied in sending out propaganda broadcasts of disguised origin, a tactic frequently employed by the Agency. In the case of one broadcast which has been reported, the apparent aim was to deflect anti-US feelings onto the Soviet Union and other targets.

But the residents of the Middle East were not the only ones who may have been taken in by the spurious broadcast, for it was picked up by the American press and passed on to an unwitting American public; the following appeared in US newspapers:

BEIRUT, July 23 (UPI)—A second mysterious Arab radio station went on the air yesterday calling itself the “Voice of Justice” and claiming to be broadcasting from Syria. Its program heard here consisted of bitter criticism against Soviet Russia and Soviet Premier Khrushchev. Earlier the “Voice of Iraq” went on the air with attacks against the Iraqi revolutionary government. The “Voice of Justice” called Khrushchev the “hangman of Hungary”and warned the people of the Middle East they would suffer the same fate as the Hungarians if the Russians got a foothold in the Middle East.32

On 31 July, the Chamber of Deputies easily chose General Chehab to succeed Chamoun as president in September, an event that soon put a damper on the  fighting in Lebanon and marked the beginning of the end of the conflict which, in the final analysis, appears to have been more a violent protest than a civil war. Tension was further eased by the US announcement shortly afterwards of its intention to withdraw a Marine battalion as a prelude to a general withdrawal.

The last American troops left Lebanon in late October without having fired a shot in anger. What had their presence accomplished?

The authors of the Pentagon study referred to earlier concluded that “A balanced assessment of U.S. behavior in the Lebanon crisis is made difficult by the suspicion that the outcome might have been much the same if the United States had done nothing.

Even Eisenhower expressed some doubt on this score.”33

American intervention against the new Iraqi government was more covert. A secret plan for a joint US-Turkish invasion of the country, code-named Operation CANNON-BONE, was drafted by the US joint Chiefs of Staff shortly after the coup in 1958. Reportedly, only Soviet threats to intercede on Iraq’s side forced Washington to hold back. But in 1960, the United States began to fund the Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq who were fighting for a measure of  autonomy.34

At the same time, the Iraqis, under Brig. General Abdul Karim Kassem, started to work towards the creation of an international organization to counter the power of the Western oil monopolies. This was to become OPEC, and was not received with joy in certain Western quarters. In February 1960, the Near East Division of the CIA’s clandestine services requested that the Agency find a way to “incapacitate” Kassem for “promoting Soviet bloc political interests in Iraq”. “We do not consciously seek subject’s permanent removal from the scene,” said the Near East Division. “We also do not object should this complication develop.”

As matters turned out, the CIA mailed a monogrammed handkerchief containing an “incapacitating agent” to Kassem from an Asian country. If the Iraqi leader did in fact receive it, it certainly didn’t kill him. That was left to his own countrymen who executed him three years later.35

The significance of the Lebanese intervention, as well as the shows of force employed in regard to Jordan and Syria, extended beyond the immediate outcomes. In the period before and after the intervention, Eisenhower, Dulles and other Washington officials offered numerous different justifications for the American military action in Lebanon: protecting American lives; protecting American property; the Eisenhower Doctrine, with various interpretations; Lebanese sovereignty, integrity, independence, etc.; US national interest; world peace; collective self-defense; justice; international law; law and order; fighting “Nasserism” … the need to “do something” …36

In summing up the affair in his memoirs, president Eisenhower seemed to settle upon one rationale in particular, and this is probably the closest to the truth of the matter. This was to put the world—and specifically the Soviet Union and Nasser—on notice that the United States had virtually unlimited power, that this power could be transported to any corner of the world with great speed, that it could and would be used to deal decisively with any situation with which the United States was dissatisfied, for whatever reason.37

At the same time, it was a message to the British and the French that there was only one Western superpower in the post-war world, and that their days and that their days as great powers in the Lands of Oil were over.

Washington and Syria ~ 1956-1957


weather events took out internet giving me time to study some history, which is a good thing.  the present can always be understood better by studying the past …. found this jewel of excerpt from“Killing Hope” by William Blum


Purchasing a New Government

“Neutrality,” proclaimed John Foster Dulles in 1956, “has increasingly become an obsolete conception, and, except under very exceptional circumstances, it is an immoral and shortsighted conception.”1

The short-sightedness of the neutralist government lay perhaps in its inability to perceive that its neutralism would lead to John Foster Dulles attempting to overthrow it.

Syria was not behaving like Washington thought a Third World government should. For one thing, it was the only state in the area to refuse all US economic or military assistance.

Damascus did not much care for the strings which came attached— the acceptance of military aid usually meant the presence of American military advisers and technicians; furthermore, the US Mutual Security Act of 1955 specified that the recipient country agree to make a contribution to “the defensive strength of the free world”, and declared it US policy “to encourage the efforts of other free nations … to foster private initiative and competition [i.e., capitalism].”2

Another difficulty posed by Syria was that, although its governments of recent years had been more or less  conservative and had refrained from unpleasant leftist habits like nationalizing American-owned companies, US officials—suffering from what might be called  anti-communist paranoia or being victims of their own propaganda—consistently saw the most ominous handwritings on the walls. To appreciate this, one has to read some of the formerly-secret-now-declassified documents of the National Security Council (NSC), based in part on reports received from the American embassy in Damascus during 1955 and 1956 …

“If the popular leftward trend in Syria continues over any considerable period, there is a real danger that Syria will fall completely under left-wing control either by coup or usurpation of authority” … “the fundamental anti-US and anti-West orientation of the Syrians is  stimulated by  inevitable political histrionics about the Palestine problem” …

“Four successive short-lived governments in Syria have permitted continuous and increasing  Communist activities” … “the Communists support the leftist cliques [in] the army” … “apathy towards Communism on the part of politicians and army officers” is a threat to security … “the Arab Socialist Resurrectionist Party (ASRP)” and “the Communist Party of Syria are capable of bringing about further deterioration of Syrian internal security” … danger of ASRP “coup d’etat” and “increased Communist penetration of government and army” … “Of all the Arab states.

Syria is at the present time the most wholeheartedly devoted to a neutralist policy with strong anti-Western overtones” … “If the present trend continues there is a strong possibility that a Communist-dominated Syria will result, threatening the peace and stability of the area and endangering the achievement of out objectives in the Near East”  … we “should give priority consideration to developing courses of action in the Neat East designed to affect the situation in Syria and to recommending specific steps to combat communist subversion” …3

It would appear that the idea of military men who were leftist and/or apathetic to communists must truly have been an incongruous phenomenon to the American official mind. But nowhere in any of the documents is there mention of the  leftists/Communists/ASRP having in fact done anything illegal or wicked, although the language employed is similar to what we saw in the Guatemala chapter: These people don’t join anything, they “infiltrate”, they “penetrate”; they “control”, they’re “opportunistic”.

In actuality, the behavior described is like that of other political animals: trying to influence key sectors of the society and win allies. But to the men holding positions of responsibility in the National Security Council and the State Department, the evil intent and danger of such people was so self-evident as not to require articulation.

There is one exception, perhaps expressed to explain away an uncomfortable observation:

In fact, the Communist Party does not appear to have as its immediate objective seizure of power. Rather it seeks to destroy national unity, Co strengthen support for Soviet policies and opposition to Western policies and to exacerbate tensions in the Arab world. It has made significant progress coward these objectives.4

There is no indication of what the author had in mind by “national unity”.

A leftist-oriented or communist-dominated Syrian government, reasoned the US ambassador to Syria, James Moose, Jr., would clearly threaten American interests in neighboring Turkey, which, in turn, could outflank all the states of the NATO alliance, and so forth and so on.5 It was clear that since the Syrian government could not be relied upon to do anything about this major impending disaster, something would have to be done about the Syrian government.

To this we add the usual Middle-Eastern intrigue: in this case, Iraq plotting with the British to topple the governments in both Syria and Nasser’s Egypt; the British pressuring the Americans to join the conspiracy;6 and the CIA compromising—leave Nasser alone, at least for the time being, and we’ll do something about Syria.7

An implausible scenario, scandalous, but in the time-honored tradition of the Middle East. The British were old hands at it. Dulles and the Americans, still exulting in their king-making in Iran, were looking to further remake the oil region in their own image.

Wilbur Crane Eveland was a staff member of the National Security Council, the high-level inter-agency group in Washington which, in theory, monitors and controls CIA clandestine activities. Because of Eveland’s background and experience in the Middle East, the CIA had asked that he be lent to the Agency for a series of assignments there.

Archibald Roosevelt was, like his cousin Kermit Roosevelt, a highly-placed official of the CIA; both were grandsons of Teddy. Kermit had masterminded the overthrow of the Iranian government in 1953. Archie had fond hopes of doing the same in Syria.

Michail Bey Ilyan had once served as Syria’s foreign minister. In 1956 he was the leader of the conservative Populist Party.

At a meeting of these three men in Damascus, Syria on 1 July 1956, as described by Eveland in his memoirs, Roosevelt asked Ilyan “what would be needed to give the Syrian conservatives enough control to purge the communists and their leftist sympathizers. Ilyan responded by ticking off names and places: the radio stations in Damascus and Aleppo; a few key senior officers; and enough money to buy newspapers now in Egyptian and Saudi hands.”

“Roosevelt probed further. Could these things, he asked Ilyan, be done with U.S. money and assets alone, with no other Western or Near Eastern country involved?”

“Without question, Ilyan replied, nodding gravely.”

On 26 July, Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser announced that his government was taking over the operation of the Suez Canal. The reaction of the Britishand French was swift and inflamed. The United States was less openly hostile, though it was critical and Egyptian government funds in the US were frozen. This unexpected incident put a crimp in the CIA’s plans, for—as Ilyan explained to Eveland in despair— Nasser was now the hero of the Arab world, and collaboration with any Western power to overthrow an Arab government was politically indefensible.

Eventually the coup was scheduled for 25 October. The logistics, as outlined by Ilyan, called for senior colonels in the Syrian army to: take control of Damascus, Aleppo, Homs, and Hamah. The frontier posts with Jordan, Iraq, and Lebanon would also be captured in order to seal Syria’s borders until the radio stations announced that a new government had taken over under Colonel Kabbani, who would place armored units at key positions  throughout Damascus. Once control had been established, Ilyan would inform the civilians he’d selected that they were to form a new government, but in order to avoid leaks none of them would be told until just a week before the coup.

For this operation, money would have to change hands. Ilyan asked for and received half a million Syrian pounds (approximately $167,000). The Syrian further stipulated that to guarantee their participation the Syrian plotters would require assurance from the highest level of the American government that the US would both back the coup and immediately grant recognition to the new government. This, Ilyan explained, could be communicated as follows: in April, President Eisenhower had said that the United States would oppose aggression in the Middle East, hut not without congressional approval. Could the president repeat this statement, in light of the Suez crisis, he asked, on a specified date when Ilyan’s colleagues would be told to expect it?

Eisenhower’s words would provide the guarantees they were seeking.

An affirmative reply to Ilyan’s plan arrived in Damascus from Washington the next day. A proper occasion for the requested statement would have to be found and Secretary Dulles would be the one to use it. The scheme was for Dulles to make public reference to Eisenhower’s statement between 16 and 18 October, thus giving Ilyan the week he needed to assemble his civilian team.

Before long, John Foster Dulles held a press conference. In light of recent Israeli attacks on Jordan, one of the  reporters present asked whether the United States might come to Jordan’s aid per “our declaration of April 9″.

Yes, replied the Secretary of State, repeating the reference to the April statement. The date was 16 October.

But following close on the heels of this was a message from Ilyan in Damascus to Eveland in Beirut postponing the date of the coup for five days to 30 October because Colonel Kabbani had told Ilyan that his people weren’t quite ready.

The postponement was crucial. Early in the morning of the 30th, a very distraught Michail Ilyan appeared at Eveland’s door. “Last night,” he cried, “the Israelis invaded Egypt and are right now heading for the Suez Canal! How could you have asked us to overthrow our government at the exact moment when Israel started a war with an Arab state?”8

The leftist-trend-in-Syria bell continued to ring in Washington. In January 1957, wrote President Eisenhower later, CIA Director Alien Dulles “submitted reports indicating that the new Syrian Cabinet was oriented to the left”.9

Two months later, Dulles prepared a “Situation Report on Syria” in which he wrote of an “increasing trend toward a decidedly leftist, pro-Soviet government”. Dulles was  concerned with “organized leftist officers belonging to the Arab Socialist Resurrection Party”.10 That same month, a State Department internal document stated:

The British are believed to favor active stimulation of a change in the present regime in Syria, in an effort to assure a pro-Western orientation on the part of future Syrian governments. … The United States shares the concern of the British Government over the situation in Syria.11

Then, in June, an internal Department of Defense  memorandum spoke of a possible “leftist coup”. This was to be carried out, according to the memo, against “the leftist Syrian Government”.12

Thus it was that in Beirut and Damascus, CIA officers were trying their hands again at stage-managing a Syrian coup. On this occasion, Kermit Roosevelt, rather than cousin Archibald, was pulling the strings.

He arranged for one Howard (“Rocky”!) Stone to be transferred to Damascus from the Sudan to be sure that the “engineering” was done by a “pro”. Stone was, at thirty-two, already a legend in the CIA’s clandestine service as the man who had helped Kim Roosevelt overthrow the Iranian government four years earlier, though what Stone’s precise contribution was has remained obscure.

The proposed beneficiary of this particular plot was to be Adib Shishakly, former right-wing dictator of Syria, living covertly in Lebanon. Shishakly’s former chief of security, Colonel Ibrahim Husseini, now Syrian military attache in Rome, was secretly slipped into Lebanon under cover of a CIA-fabricated passport. Husseini was then to be smuggled across the Syrian border in the trunk of a US diplomatic car in order to meet with key Syrian CIA agents and provide assurances that Shishakly would come back to rule once Syria’s government had been overthrown.

But the coup was exposed before it ever got off the ground.

Syrian army officers who had been assigned major roles in the operation walked into the office of Syria’s head of intelligence, Colonel Sarraj, turned in their bribe money and named the CIA officers who had paid them. Lieut. Col. Robert Molloy, the American army attache, Francis Jeton, a career CIA officer, officially Vice Consul at the US Embassy, and the legendary Howard Stone, with the title of Second Secretary for Political Affairs, were all declared personae -non gratae and expelled from the country in August.

Col. Molloy was determined to leave Syria in style. As his car approached the Lebanese border, he ran his Syrian motorcycle escort off the road and shouted to the fallen rider that “Colonel Sarraj and his commie friends” should be told that Molloy would “beat the shit out of them with one hand tied behind his back if they ever crossed his path again.”

The Syrian government announcement which accompanied the expulsion order stated that Stone had first made contact with the outlawed Social Nationalist Party and then with the army officers. When the officers reported the plot, they were told to continue their contacts with the Americans and later met Shishakly and Husseini at the homes of US Embassy staff members.

Husseini reportedly told the officers that the United States was prepared to give a new Syrian government between 300 and 400 million dollars in aid if the government would make peace with Israel.

An amusing aside to the affair occurred when the Syrian Defense Minister and the Syrian Ambassador to Italy disputed the claim that Husseini had anything to do with the plot. The Ambassador pointed out that Husseini had not been in Syria since 20 July and his passport showed no indication that he had been out of Italy since that time.

The State Department categorized the Syrian charge as “complete fabrications” and retaliated by expelling the Syrian ambassador and a Second Secretary and recalling the American ambassador from Syria. It marked the first time since 1915 that the United States had expelled a chief of mission of a foreign country.13

In the wake of the controversy, the New York Times reported that:

There are numerous theories about why the Syrians struck at the United States.

One is that they acted at the instigation of the Soviet Union. Another is that the Government manufactured an anti-U.S. spy story to distrait public attention from the significance of Syria’s negotiations with Moscow.14

In the same issue, a Times editorial speculated upon other plausible-sounding explanations.15

Neither in its news report nor in its editorial did the New York Times seem to consider even the possibility that the Syrian accusation might be true.

President Eisenhower, recalling the incident in his memoirs, offered no denial to the accusation. His sole comment on the expulsions was: “The entire action was shrouded in mystery but the suspicion was strong that the Communists had taken control of the government. Moreover, we had fresh reports that arms were being sent into Syria from the Soviet bloc.”16

Syria’s neutralism/” leftism” continued to obsess the United States. Five years later, when John F. Kennedy was in the White House, he met with British Prime Minister Macmillan and the two leaders agreed, according to a CIA report, on “Penetration and cultivation of disruptive elements in the Syrian armed forces, particularly in the Syrian army, so that Syria can be guided by the West.”17

Decades later, Washington was still worried, though Syria had still not “gone communist”.

***************
Killing Hope PDF Here … lots more info

What Really Happened in the “Yom Kippur” War?

side note from me after reading this: have been digging for why Egypt decided to attack, and now I know why, it was set up. this is same time frame of the attack on USS Liberty (a two hour long attack, where US Govt turned help for ship back around and were told to stand down, like Benghazi). this, in my opinion, is when US really started militarizing Israel as beachhead in ME, and in return for the favor Israel government wants to run USA.

What Really Happened in the “Yom Kippur” War?

by ISRAEL SHAMIR

Moscow

Here in Moscow I recently received a dark-blue folder dated 1975. It contains one of the most well-buried secrets of Middle Eastern and of US diplomacy. The secret file, written by the Soviet Ambassador in Cairo, Vladimir M. Vinogradov, apparently a draft for a memorandum addressed to the Soviet politbureau, describes the 1973 October War as a collusive enterprise between US, Egyptian and Israeli leaders, orchestrated by Henry Kissinger. If you are an Egyptian reader this revelation is likely to upset you. I, an Israeli who fought the Egyptians in the 1973 war, was equally upset and distressed, – yet still excited by the discovery. For an American it is likely to come as a shock.

According to the Vinogradov memo (to be published by us in full in the Russian weekly Expert next Monday), Anwar al-Sadat, holder of the titles of President, Prime Minister, ASU Chairman, Chief Commander, Supreme Military Ruler, entered into conspiracy with the Israelis, betrayed his ally Syria, condemned the Syrian army to destruction and Damascus to bombardment, allowed General Sharon’s tanks to cross without hindrance to the western bank of the Suez Canal, and actually planned a defeat of the Egyptian troops in the October War. Egyptian soldiers and officers bravely and successfully fought the Israeli enemy – too successfully for Sadat’s liking as he began the war in order to allow for the US comeback to the Middle East.

He was not the only conspirator: according to Vinogradov, the grandmotherly Golda Meir knowingly sacrificed two thousand of Israel’s best fighters – she possibly thought fewer would be killed — in order to give Sadat his moment of glory and to let the US secure its positions in the Middle East. The memo allows for a completely new interpretation of the Camp David Treaty, as one achieved by deceit and treachery.

Vladimir Vinogradov was a prominent and brilliant Soviet diplomat; he served as ambassador to Tokyo in the 1960s, to Cairo from 1970 to 1974, co-chairman of the Geneva Peace Conference, ambassador to Teheran during the Islamic revolution, the USSR Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. He was a gifted painter and a prolific writer; his archive has hundreds of pages of unique observations and notes covering international affairs, but the place of honor goes to his Cairo diaries, and among others, descriptions of his hundreds of meetings with Sadat and the full sequence of the war as he observed it unfold at Sadat’s hq as the big decisions were made. When published, these notes will allow to re-evaluate the post-Nasser period of Egyptian history.

Vinogradov arrived to Cairo for Nasser’s funeral and remained there as the Ambassador.

three year war

He recorded the creeping coup of Sadat, least bright of Nasser’s men, who became Egypt’s president by chance, as he was the vice-president at Nasser’s death. Soon he dismissed, purged and imprisoned practically all important Egyptian politicians, the comrades-in-arms of Gamal Abd el Nasser, and dismantled the edifice of Nasser’s socialism.

Vinogradov was an astute observer; not a conspiracy cuckoo. Far from being headstrong and doctrinaire, he was a friend of Arabs and a consistent supporter and promoter of a lasting and just peace between the Arabs and Israel, a peace that would meet Palestinian needs and ensure Jewish prosperity.

The pearl of his archive is the file called The Middle Eastern Games. It contains some 20 typewritten pages edited by hand in blue ink, apparently a draft for a memo to the Politburo and to the government, dated January 1975, soon after his return from Cairo. The file contains the deadly secret of the collusion he observed. It is written in lively and highly readable Russian, not in the bureaucratese we’d expect.

Two pages are added to the file in May 1975; they describe Vinogradov’s visit to Amman and his informal talks with Abu Zeid Rifai, the Prime Minister, and his exchange of views with the Soviet Ambassador in Damascus. Vinogradov did not voice his opinions until 1998, and even then he did not speak as openly as in this draft. Actually, when the suggestion of collusion was presented to him by the Jordanian prime minister, being a prudent diplomat, he refused to discuss it.

The official version of the October war holds that on October 6, 1973, in conjunction with Hafez al-Assad of Syria, Anwar as-Sadat launched a surprise attack against Israeli forces.

They crossed the Canal and advanced a few miles into the occupied Sinai. As the war progressed, tanks of General Ariel Sharon crossed the Suez Canal and encircled the Egyptian Third Army.

The ceasefire negotiations eventually led to the handshake at the White House.

For me, the Yom Kippur War (as we called it) was an important part of my autobiography. A young paratrooper, I fought that war, crossed the canal, seized Gabal Ataka heights, survived shelling and face-to-face battles, buried my buddies, shot the man-eating red dogs of the desert and the enemy tanks. My unit was ferried by helicopters into the desert where we severed the main communication line between the Egyptian armies and its home base, the Suez-Cairo highway. Our location at 101 km to Cairo was used for the first cease fire talks; so I know that war not by word of mouth, and it hurts to learn that I and my comrades-at-arms were just disposable tokens in the ruthless game we – ordinary people – lost. Obviously I did not know it then, for me the war was a surprise, but then, I was not a general.

Vinogradov dispels the idea of surprise: in his view, both the canal crossing by the Egyptians and the inroads by Sharon were planned and agreed upon in advance by Kissinger, Sadat and Meir. The plan included the destruction of the Syrian army as well.

At first, he asks some questions:

“how the crossing could be a surprise if the Russians evacuated their families a few days before the war? The concentration of the forces was observable and could not escape Israeli attention. Why did the Egyptian forces not proceed after the crossing but stood still? Why did they have no plans for advancing? Why there was a forty km-wide unguarded gap between the 2d and the 3d armies, the gap that invited Sharon’s raid? How could Israeli tanks sneak to the western bank of the Canal? Why did Sadat refuse to stop them? Why were there no reserve forces on the western bank of the Canal?”

Vinogradov takes a leaf from Sherlock Holmes who said: when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. He writes:

“These questions can’t be answered if Sadat is to be considered a true patriot of Egypt. But they can be answered in full, if we consider a possibility of collusion between Sadat, the US and Israeli leadership – a conspiracy in which each participant pursued his own goals. A conspiracy in which each participant did not know the full details of other participants’ game. A conspiracy in which each participant tried to gain more ground despite the overall agreement between them.”

 

Sadat’s Plans

Before the war Sadat was at the nadir of his power: in Egypt and abroad he had lost prestige. The least educated and least charismatic of Nasser’s followers, Sadat was isolated. He needed a war, a limited war with Israel that would not end with defeat. Such a war would release the pressure in the army and he would regain his authority. The US agreed to give him a green light for the war, something the Russians never did. The Russians protected Egypt’s skies, but they were against wars. For that, Sadat had to rely upon the US and part with the USSR. He was ready to do so as he loathed socialism.

He did not need victory, just no defeat; he wanted to explain his failure to win by deficient Soviet equipment. That is why the army was given the minimal task: crossing the Canal and hold the bridgehead until the Americans entered the game.

 

Plans of the US

During decolonisation the US lost strategic ground in the Middle East with its oil, its Suez Canal, its vast population. Its ally Israel had to be supported, but the Arabs were growing stronger all the time. Israel had to be made more flexible, for its brutal policies interfered with the US plans. So the US had to keep Israel as its ally but at the same time Israel’s arrogance had to be broken. The US needed a chance to “save” Israel after allowing the Arabs to beat the Israelis for a while. So the US allowed Sadat to begin a limited war.

 

Israel

Israel’s leaders had to help the US, its main provider and supporter. The US needed to improve its positions in the Middle East, as in 1973 they had only one friend and ally, King Feisal. (Kissinger told Vinogradov that Feisal tried to educate him about the evilness of Jews and Communists.) If and when the US was to recover its position in the Middle East, the Israeli position would improve drastically. Egypt was a weak link, as Sadat disliked the USSR and the progressive forces in the country, so it could be turned. Syria could be dealt with militarily, and broken.

 

The Israelis and Americans decided to let Sadat take the Canal while holding the mountain passes of Mittla and Giddi, a better defensive line anyway. This was actually Rogers’ plan of 1971, acceptable to Israel. But this should be done in fighting, not given up for free.

As for Syria, it was to be militarily defeated, thoroughly. That is why the Israeli Staff did sent all its available troops to the Syrian border, while denuding the Canal though the Egyptian army was much bigger than the Syrian one. Israeli troops at the Canal were to be sacrificed in this game; they were to die in order to bring the US back into the Middle East.

However, the plans of the three partners were somewhat derailed by the factors on the ground: it is the usual problem with conspiracies; nothing works as it should, Vinogradov writes in his memo to be published in full next week in Moscow’s Expert.

Sadat’s crooked game was spoiled to start with. His presumptions did not work out. Contrary to his expectations, the USSR supported the Arab side and began a massive airlift of its most modern military equipment right away. The USSR took the risk of confrontation with the US; Sadat had not believed they would because the Soviets were adamant against the war, before it started. His second problem, according to Vinogradov, was the superior quality of Russian weapons in the hands of Egyptian soldiers — better than the western weapons in the Israelis’ hands.

As an Israeli soldier of the time I must confirm the Ambassador’s words. The Egyptians had the legendary Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifles, the best gun in the world, while we had FN battle rifles that hated sand and water. We dropped our FNs and picked up their AKs at the first opportunity. They used anti-tank Sagger missiles, light, portable, precise, carried by one soldier. Saggers killed between 800 and 1200 Israeli tanks. We had old 105 mm recoilless jeep-mounted rifles, four men at a rifle (actually, a small cannon) to fight tanks. Only new American weapons redressed the imbalance.

Sadat did not expect the Egyptian troops taught by the Soviet specialists to better their Israeli enemy – but they did.

They crossed the Canal much faster than planned and with much smaller losses.

Arabs beating the Israelis – it was bad news for Sadat. He overplayed his hand. That is why the Egyptian troops stood still, like the sun upon Gibeon, and did not move. They waited for the Israelis, but at that time the Israeli army was fighting the Syrians. The Israelis felt somewhat safe from Sadat’s side and they sent all their army north. The Syrian army took the entire punch of Israeli forces and began its retreat. They asked Sadat to move forward, to take some of the heat off them, but Sadat refused. His army stood and did not move, though there were no Israelis between the Canal and the mountain passes.

Syrian leader al Assad was convinced at that time that Sadat betrayed him, and he said so frankly to the Soviet ambassador in Damascus, Mr Muhitdinov, who passed this to Vinogradov. Vinogradov saw Sadat daily and asked him in real time why he was not advancing. He received no reasonable answer: Sadat muttered that he does not want to run all over Sinai looking for Israelis, that sooner or later they would come to him.

The Israeli leadership was worried: the war was not going as expected. There were big losses on the Syrian front, the Syrians retreated but each yard was hard fought; only Sadat’s passivity saved the Israelis from a reverse. The plan to for total Syrian defeat failed, but the Syrians could not effectively counterattack.

This was the time to punish Sadat: his army was too efficient, his advance too fast, and worse, his reliance upon the Soviets only grew due to the air bridge. The Israelis arrested their advance on Damascus and turned their troops southwards to Sinai.

The Jordanians could at this time have cut off the North-to-South route and king Hussein proposed this to Sadat and Assad. Assad agreed immediately, but Sadat refused to accept the offer. He explained it to Vinogradov that he did not believe in the fighting abilities of the Jordanians. If they entered the war, Egypt would have to save them. At other times he said that it is better to lose the whole of Sinai than to lose a square yard on the Jordan: an insincere and foolish remark, in Vinogradov’s view. So the Israeli troops rolled southwards without hindrance.

During the war, we (the Israelis) also knew that if Sadat advanced, he would gain the whole of Sinai in no time; we entertained many hypotheses why he was standing still, none satisfactory. Vinogradov explains it well: Sadat ran off his script and was waited for US involvement. What he got was the deep raid of Sharon.

This breakthrough of the Israeli troops to the western bank of the Canal was the murkiest part of the war, Vinogradov writes. He asked Sadat’s military commanders at the beginning of the war why there is the forty km wide gap between the Second and the Third armies and was told that this was Sadat’s directive. The gap was not even guarded; it was left wide open like a Trojan backdoor in a computer program.

Sadat paid no attention to Sharon’s raid; he was indifferent to this dramatic development. Vinogradov asked him to deal with it when only the first five Israeli tanks crossed the Canal westwards; Sadat refused, saying it was of no military importance, just a “political move”, whatever that meant. He repeated this to Vinogradov later, when the Israeli foothold on the Western bank of became a sizeable bridgehead. Sadat did not listen to advice from Moscow, he opened the door for the Israelis into Africa.

This allows for two explanations, says Vinogradov: an impossible one, of the Egyptians’ total military ignorance and an improbable one, of Sadat’s intentions. The improbable wins, as Sherlock Holmes observed.

The Americans did not stop the Israeli advance right away, says Vinogradov, for they wanted to have a lever to push Sadat so he would not change his mind about the whole setup. Apparently the gap was build into the deployments for this purpose. So Vinogradov’s idea of “conspiracy” is that of dynamic collusion, similar to the collusion on Jordan between the Jewish Yishuv and Transjordan as described by Avi Shlaim: there were some guidelines and agreements, but they were liable to change, depending on the strength of the sides.

 

Bottom line

The US “saved” Egypt by stopping the advancing Israeli troops. With the passive support of Sadat, the US allowed Israel to hit Syria really hard.

The US-negotiated disengagement agreements with the UN troops in-between made Israel safe for years to come

(In a different and important document, “Notes on Heikal’s book Road to Ramadan”, Vinogradov rejects the thesis of the unavoidability of Israeli-Arab wars: he says that as long as Egypt remains in the US thrall, such a war is unlikely. Indeed there have been no big wars since 1974, unless one counts Israeli “operations” in Lebanon and Gaza.)

The US “saved” Israel with military supplies.

Thanks to Sadat, the US came back to the Middle East and positioned itself as the only mediator and “honest broker” in the area.

Sadat began a violent anti-Soviet and antisocialist campaign, Vinogradov writes, trying to discredit the USSR. In the Notes, Vinogradov charges that Sadat spread many lies and disinformation to discredit the USSR in the Arab eyes.

His main line was:

“the USSR could not and would not liberate Arab soil while the US could, would and did.”

Vinogradov explained elsewhere that the Soviet Union was and is against offensive wars, among other reasons because their end is never certain.

However, the USSR was ready to go a long way to defend Arab states. As for liberation, the years since 1973 have proved that the US can’t or won’t deliver that, either – while the return of Sinai to Egypt in exchange for separate peace was always possible, without a war as well.

After the war, Sadat’s positions improved drastically. He was hailed as hero, Egypt took a place of honor among the Arab states. But in a year, Sadat’s reputation was in tatters again, and that of Egypt went to an all time low, Vinogradov writes.

The Syrians understood Sadat’s game very early: on October 12, 1973 when the Egyptian troops stood still and ceased fighting, President Hafez el Assad said to the Soviet ambassador that he is certain Sadat was intentionally betraying Syria. Sadat deliberately allowed the Israeli breakthrough to the Western bank of Suez, in order to give Kissinger a chance to intervene and realise his disengagement plan, said Assad to Jordanian Prime Minister Abu Zeid Rifai who told it to Vinogradov during a private breakfast they had in his house in Amman. The Jordanians also suspect Sadat played a crooked game, Vinogradov writes. However, the prudent Vinogradov refused to be drawn into this discussion though he felt that the Jordanians “read his thoughts.”

When Vinogradov was appointed co-chairman of the Geneva Peace Conference, he encountered a united Egyptian-American position aiming to disrupt the conference, while Assad refused even to take part in it.

Vinogradov delivered him a position paper for the conference and asked whether it is acceptable for Syria. Assad replied: yes but for one line. Which one line, asked a hopeful Vinogradov, and Assad retorted:

“the line saying “Syria agrees to participate in the conference.”

Indeed the conference came to nought, as did all other conferences and arrangements.

Though the suspicions voiced by Vinogradov in his secret document have been made by various military experts and historians, never until now they were made by a participant in the events, a person of such exalted position, knowledge, presence at key moments. Vinogradov’s notes allow us to decipher and trace the history of Egypt with its de-industrialisation, poverty, internal conflicts, military rule tightly connected with the phony war of 1973.

A few years after the war, Sadat was assassinated, and his hand-picked follower Hosni Mubarak began his long rule, followed by another participant of the October War, Gen Tantawi.

Achieved by lies and treason, the Camp David Peace treaty still guards Israeli and American interests. Only now, as the post-Camp David regime in Egypt is on the verge of collapse, one may hope for change. Sadat’s name in the pantheon of Egyptian heroes was safe until now. In the end, all that is hidden will be made transparent.

Postscript. In 1975, Vinogradov could not predict that the 1973 war and subsequent treaties would change the world. They sealed the fate of the Soviet presence and eminence in the Arab world, though the last vestiges were destroyed by American might much later: in Iraq in 2003 and in Syria they are being undermined now. They undermined the cause of socialism in the world, which began its long fall. The USSR, the most successful state of 1972, an almost-winner of the Cold war, eventually lost it. Thanks to the American takeover of Egypt, petrodollar schemes were formed, and the dollar that began its decline in 1971 by losing its gold standard – recovered and became again a full-fledged world reserve currency. The oil of the Saudis and of sheikdoms being sold for dollars became the new lifeline for the American empire.

Looking back, armed now with the Vinogradov Papers, we can confidently mark 1973-74 as a decisive turning point in our history.

ISRAEL SHAMIR has been sending dispatches to CounterPunch from Moscow.

*************

Related …..

A veteran of the October 1973 “Yom Kippur” war (“Harb Ramadan”), Henry Lowi ~ Sharon – the End of an Era?

Israel’s Coming “Civil War”: The Haredi Jews Confront the Militarized Secular Zionist State


By Prof. James Petras

Israel is heading towards a profound internal crisis: a Jew-on-Jew confrontation, which has major implications for its relations with the Palestinians, as well as its Arab neighbors.  The conflict is between the highly militarized Zionist state and the Haredi religious movement over a number of issues, including recent proposals by the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to end the religious exemption of Haradi youth from serving in Israel ’s colonial armed forces.

Haredim and the Zionist Colonial State

Even before the forcible imposition (‘founding’) of the state of Israel , the Haredim were opposed to Zionism.  Today the vast majority of Haredim in Israel remain staunchly opposed to the Zionist state for religious, ethical and political reasons.  Haredi religious teaching claims that the Jewish people are bound by three oaths: (1) not to settle in Israel by using force or violence, (2) not to make war with other nations and (3) not to act as if the other nations of the world would persecute Israel .

Haredim opposed Israel ’s violent ethnic cleaning of over 850,000 Palestinians in the course of establishing the Israeli State and continues to oppose Israeli settlers’ violently land grabs against Palestinians.  Unlike other so-called ‘ultra-Orthodox’ sects, who support Zionist colonialism and bless the Israeli military, the Haredim maintain that militarism corrupts the spirit and that Zionists have transformed Jews from righteous followers of the Torah into rabid ethnocentric supporters of a militarist state.  For the Haredim, ‘state worship’, especially the waving of the Israeli flag in the temple, is a sacrilege comparable to the renegade Jews condemned by Moses for worshipping the Golden Calf.

The majority of Haredim boycott elections, organize their own schools (Yeshivas), encourage students to deepen their religious studies, emphasize community and family values (of a profoundly patriarchal sort) with numerous children and strongly reject the Zionist state’s efforts to conscript Haredi youth into their colonial occupation army, the so-called Israeli Defense (sic) Force (IDF).  All major Zionist political parties and the ruling colonial regime unite to demonize the Haredim, claiming they are shirking their patriotic military responsibilities. Via the mass media and public pronouncements Zionist politicians and the state incite Israeli hatred against the Haredim:  A study in 2006 claimed that over a third of Israeli Jews identified the Haredim as the most unpopular group in Israel .

The Haredim, on the other hand, have reason to fear and loath the secular militarist Zionist state and politicians:  They claim that after World War II in the Zionist-controlled relocation camps for refugee Jewish children in Teheran, the Jewish Agency imposed Zionist ideology and militarist anti-religious policies in order to cut Haredim children off from their spiritual roots.  According to one Haredim report many religious Jewish youth from Poland , mostly survivors of the Holocaust and Soviet Russia, were subjected to “unimaginable mental and physical cruelty with one goal in mind: (the) obliteration of Judaism”.  Given the Israeli drive today to harness a corrupted form of Judaism to serve colonial militarism, the Haredim have every reason to believe that the conscription of their sons and daughters will be accompanied by cruel, systematic Zionist brainwashing to ensure they make efficient (brutal) occupation soldiers.

Haredim versus Israeli State Values

The Haredim fervently believe in and practice the Biblical teaching: “Be fruitful and multiply”. They have large families and the median age among the Haredim is 16 years.  Their peaceful message to the militarist Zionists could be summed up as: “Make babies, not bombs”.

Some Haredim leaders have met with Palestinian and Iranian officials and, in line with their religious doctrine, have declared their support for peaceful resolution of conflicts and denounced Israel ’s aggressive military posture.

Haredim are intensely religious and dedicate their time to discuss and debate the readings of their great religious scholars:  Their message to the Zionists is to read Maimonides’ ethical treatises rather than listen to Netanyahu’s bellicose, blood curdling rants.

Haredim live and study largely within the confines of their close communities.  They insist on sending their sons to the yeshivas to study religious doctrine rather than to the West Bank to kill Palestinians. They call on their children to serve G-d – not the IDF.  They seek truth in the Torah – not in conquest via the Preventive War Doctrines espoused by prestigious Israeli and overseas Zionist academic militarists.

Haredim focus on building a better life within their community; they reject the efforts of the Zionist state to entice them into joining the violent self-styled ‘Jewish’ settlers engaged in brutal land grabs in the West Bank , in the name of “contributing to society (sic)”.  The ‘introverted Haredi way of life’ is seen as a righteous alternative to the crass militarism, money laundering, financial speculation, human body part trafficking and real estate swindles rife among the elite Israelis and among sectors of overseas Zionists engaged in procuring multi- billion dollar tribute from the US Treasury.

Haredim believe, with exemplary evidence, that conscripting their youth into the Israeli colonial army would destroy their moral values, as their sons would be forced to grope and search Arab women at checkpoints, break the legs of stone-throwing Palestinian children, defend lawless self-styled ‘Jewish’  settlers as they paint obscene graffiti in mosques and churches and attack Arab children on their way to school … not to speak of the ill effects of what secular Israeli Jews call a “modern education”, full of historical fabrications about the origins of Israel, scientific readings on high tech war-making and “advanced” economic doctrines proclaiming the sacred role of the free market, and  justifying the 60% poverty rate among Haredim as “self-induced”.

The Haredim demand that the Israeli Jewish elite stop trying to conscript their youth into the IDF and stop the job discrimination, which has trippled the unemployment rate among Haredim.

The Coming ‘Civil War’:  Zionist State versus the Haredim

The elected leader, Yair Lapid, of newly formed Yesh Atid Party, dubbed a “centrist” by the New York Times,  and a ‘moderate’ by the leading ideologues of the US Zionist “lobby”, ran on a platform of forcibly ending the Haredi exemption from conscription into the colonial military service.  Yair Lapid, in the run-up to joining a new Netanyahu coalition regime, has launched a vicious attack on the Haredim. Lapid premises his agreement to joining Netanyahu’s war machine on his plans to forcibly confront the Haredi leadership.  Yair Lapid taps the class and secular resentments of Israel’s upwardly mobile youth who bitterly complain of having to serve in the army, thus delaying their money-making opportunities, while the poor, semi-literate “blacks” (a derogatory term referring to the clothing of Haredim) engage in “worthless studies” of the Torah.  Lapid, using the same perverted logic as Netanyahu, claims that “Ten percent of the population cannot threaten 90 percent with civil war”, (Financial Times, 2/14/13, p. 6.).

Once again, the executioner (Lapid) accuses the victim (Haredim) of the violence he is about to commit.  Lapid’s Yesh Atid, the centrist (sic) party, has allied with Naftali Bennett’s neo-fascist ‘Jewish Home Party’ (pushing for the annexation of all of Palestine and expulsion of non-Jews) in smashing Haredi exemption to military conscription.  They hold veto power over the next cabinet.  This rabidly secular militarist assault has provoked great opposition and united the otherwise Zionist-religious parties:  The Shas Party (Sephardic Haredim) and United Torah Judaism have taken up the defense of the Haredim.

Lines are being drawn far beyond a Haredim-Zionist State confrontation.

The Larger Meaning of the Haredim-Zionist Conflict

The Haredim hostility to the secular Zionist state is in part based on its opposition to military conscription, thus calling into question Israeli militarism, in general, and specifically its policy of colonial occupation and regional aggression.  While some Haredim may oppose conscription for religious reasons and seek exemption solely for its own youth, objectively, the effect is to undermine Israel ’s violation of Palestinian rights and to call into question the entire apartheid system.  By speaking to spiritual values, they deny the legitimacy of the idea of a Jewish police state based on force, violence, torture and disappearance of political prisoners.  Their questioning of the institutional configuration upholding Jewish supremacy and Israel as the homeland of the Chosen People, they strike a powerful blow at the ideological underpinnings of the overseas activity of the Zionist power configuration.  Their animosity to the fusion of Jewish chauvinism and religious rituals and the tribal deification of the Israeli state is counterposed to their embrace of Moses Ten Commandments.

The Haredim study the teaching of the profound Judaic philosopher Maimonides and abhor Zionist militaristic strategists like Walzer, Dershowitz, Kagan, Feith, Netanyahu, etc. who preach colonial “just war” doctrines.  Representing 10% of the Israeli population and a far greater percentage of military age youth, the Haredim are in a position to sharply limit the scope of future Zionist wars. If they succeed in blocking conscription, they would provide a lasting contribution to making the world in general, and the Middle East in particular, a more secure and peaceful place to live.

Facing the prospect of a loss of future cannon fodder to sustain its colonial ventures, and in their frenzied attacks on the Haredim, the Israeli-Zionist elite have incited the majority of Israeli Jews to demonize them as ‘backward’, illiterate, freeloaders and to blame the religious curriculum for their growing and current 60% rate of poverty and high unemployment.  Israel ’s war machine needs fresh recruits to maintain its imperial quest for a Greater Israel.

Demographics – with families exceeding five children –indicate the Haredim are likely to double their percentage of the Israeli population over the next two decades.  Faced with the ‘facts on the ground and in the cradle’, the colonial expansionist imperative drives all the leading Zionist parties to end Haredi exemptions.  In response Haredi leaders threaten to engage in massive civil disobedience if the Zionists impose conscription, rightly seeing conscription of its youth as an assault on its most profoundly held spiritual and family values and as an opening wedge in destroying traditional community solidarity and reciprocal relations.

The Haredim share a common plight with Israel ’s Arab population:  Both communities face increasing police harassment, discrimination, religious persecution and rising levels of poverty.  A Haredim-Arab alliance would unite 30% of the population against a common secular militarist and plutocratic enemy.  Farfetched as it seems on the subjective level, there are objective historical and structural processes which are driving the two groups together.

It is one of the great ironies of history that the world’s modern secular anti-imperialist movements should find their most consequential allies among Israel ’s most traditional and deeply religious movement.

Defeat and Victory ~ Bill the Butcher

I get it – I understand your message
In terms of blood and iron.
You are strong
You have power over me.

And so –
What use is your power?

What is the worst you can do to me
Kill me?
Tear apart my body
Leave me a bleeding corpse?

Yes, you can do that
If you want. Is that your victory?

Everyone has to die someday.
Killing me is not your victory.

I will not bow to you
You will not make me cower
In fear. You can kill me
But you can’t frighten me
You can’t keep me silent.

You can crush me
But you can’t frighten me
You can defeat me
But you can’t conquer me.

And you can knock me down
But you can’t make me bow down
And that is your defeat
That is my victory.

 

Copyright B Purkayastha 2013

 

Civil Resistance / First Lady Asmaa’ Al Assad

Civil Resistance / First Lady Asmaa’ Al Assad ~ By Daniel Mabsout


The greatest of challenges are facing Syria and the Syrians and the president of Syria . The forces who succeeded in carrying on the western scheme of destabilization and chaos in countries like Iraq and Libya are trying to do the same in Syria . Under the pretext of removing a dictator , they are destroying the country . It is not that they want to …replace something with something else; what they seek rather is the destruction of Syria , they seek the decomposition of the constituents of the society as such . They seek the despair of people and their turning against the president and the regime ; they target the children and mothers with such pressure seeking that they give up on the struggle and give in to the intervention out of despair and wanting to stop more blood spilling . Therefore the society in all its colors and categories should answer the call and face this challenge and refuse to be cornered and blackmailed and deprived of its alternatives by the forces of evil . Everything depends on and lies within the capacity of the Syrians to stand up to the challenge and not bend before the difficulty or give up or run away or be trapped in the fear of destiny and panic of want . What is required –in other terms- is Resistance , all kinds of Resistance , forbearance and Resistance : peoples’ Resistance and social Resistance .The enemy is betting on your surrender and weakness and testing your abilities and valor . Syria has become the center of the world . The outcome of this assault is not be decided in the battleground itself but in the capacity of the Syrians to resist .

The choices are not many and the alternatives are limited, and what is at stake is the capacity of the people , of all people and of any people to continue existing with dignity without being affiliated to western powers and subdued to Israel and to predator countries . The Syrians have to prove themselves, to prove that they can survive the circumstance and the challenge and come out of it safe and wholesome and mentally and emotionally sound . There is no greater defeat for the enemy than seeing Syrians undergoing bravely all these circumstances without giving up their basic principles of co-existence and solidarity and openness .

In this instance we salute lady Asmaa’ al Assad – the first Lady of Syria -who is leading the Resistance of the civilians : the Resistance of the mothers and sisters and children of Syria by standing by and supporting her people and their army and embodying the true example of commitment . God bless the first lady and bless each mother and father and brother in Syria who is refusing to sell Syria cheap to its enemies . Thus Syria shall reap victory over all and this should be the victory of all.

Posted by Daniel Mabsout

Satyagraha – A Poem

By Abdul Karim Sabawi – Gaza 

I testify,

There are no weapons more lethal than yours

No men and horses mightier than yours

And of all those who have occupied my land

Yours is the darkest, most dreadful occupation

You choose to kill

But killing is a parasite

It will eat away your spirit
Take aim

Kill

Until you’re exhausted

I am not like you

I wont allow you to stain my soul

And to seduce me into killing you

Three things stop me

My beliefs*, values and heritage
I am not like you

Ignorant

Arrogant of your ignorance

Why not ask the sea waves

Ask the sand

where did the past invaders go?

Visit the museums,

The size of your head is no different to theirs

Neither is the size of your shoes

Nor will your fate be any different
I am not like you

Raised in isolation

In closed communities

Apart from all the others

I am an Arab

My seas are wide open

My sky is without end

With enduring sunshine

I am not looking to eat someone’s food

Or steal someone’s land

I inherited my land

From my father and his ancestors

I inherited all religions

And I pray on Friday, Saturday and on Sunday
I am not like you

Pretending to sit on God’s lap

Carrying a vengeful sword

Starting war after war

My God is in my heart

Light, love and mercy

I walk slowly

I plant a seed for charity

It yields a tree

I dig for water wells with a needle

I build an ark for the survivors

And wait for the rain

Which will bring in the flood

I wait for the breeze of revolution

To come and take away the oppressors
I am in no hurry

The sun that will set today

Will rise again tomorrow

I have patience

I have strength

I have mercy

I have forgiveness

My God is compassion

In his name

I will liberate my land

And all the lands.

I will restore humanity

In the soul of man

I am not like you

So take aim

Kill

Until you’re exhausted

- Abdul Karim Sabawi is Palestinian poet from Gaza. This poem was contributed to PalestineChronicle.com.

*Satyagraha is the Philosophy of nonviolent protest, or passive resistance. Mohandas K. Gandhi introduced it in South Africa (1906) and, from 1917, developed it in India in the period leading up to independence from Britain.

*Islam has strict rules for killing in the battlefield and forbids the intentional targeting of civilians in times of war.
If you like this article, please consider making a contribution to the Palestine Chronicle.

Link to this Article

ISIS traffics human organs, moves them into Saudi Arabia and Turkey

London, SANA – The terrorist organization of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has turned its hand to human organ trafficking to fund its terror activities across the Middle East, Daily Mail newspaper said.

Mathew Blake wrote in an article published yesterday on the British newspaper’s website that ISIS has added human organ trade to “‘a variety of shadowy sources including oil production, human trafficking and drug smuggling,” which it has been depending on to raise money to carry out their attacks and seize areas, particularly in Syria and Iraq.

The writer highlighted that ISIS has been “recruiting foreign doctors for months to harvest the internal organs not only from the bodies of their own dead fighters but also from living hostages – including children – snatched from minority communities in Iraq and Syria.”

The Daily Mail article referred to a report by al-Monitor news website which cited an Iraqi ear, nose and throat doctor named Siruwan al-Mosuli as saying that ISIS leaders have hired foreign doctors to run an extensive organ trafficking system from a hospital in the city of Mosul, northern Iraq, that is already beginning to generate huge profits.

It added that the terrorist organization is believed to having even set up “a specialist organ- smuggling division whose sole responsibility is to sell human hearts, livers and kidneys on the lucrative international black market.”

In further evidence of the Turkish and Saudi regimes’ involvement in the crimes committed by ISIS through the unlimited support they have offered the organization in terms of money, armament, training and movement, the article noted that most of the organs harvested are being smuggled out of Syria and Iraq into neighboring countries like Saudi Arabia or Turkey “where criminal gangs sell them on to shady buyers across the globe,” citing the Assyrian International News Agency.

The Daily Mail also referred to drug smuggling is one of ISIS most lucrative revenue streams another, citing Al Monitor’s report as saying that ISIS traffics Afghan heroin into Europe from the city of Nineveh, with this drug business becoming so successful in recent months that reports claim that ISIS now supplies half of Europe’s entire heroin market.

Haifa Said

http://www.sana.sy/en/?p=22336

Fascism and War: Elite Tools to Crush and Kill Dissent ~ Julie Lévesque

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor in 1937 with Adolf Hitler.

Dr. Jacques Pauwels is not the kind of historian you often hear about in the mainstream media. He’s obviously not the kind of “expert” they refer to for historical facts. Actually, one crucial propaganda method consists in excluding current events from their historical context.

Listening to Pauwels makes one realize the scope of the lies we’ve been fed about the Second World War, fascism and democracy, and how myths related to previous wars need to be upheld in the mainstream discourse to satisfy never ending war propaganda needs.

In a speech held December 15 in Montreal, he explained that World Wars I and II were all about crushing mass revolutionary movements.

The myth of the Good War

Every time Westerners’ approval for war is required, the myth of the good war surfaces: the Second World War was a good war, a necessity to quench Hitler’s blood thirst. Pauwels tears this myth apart, uncovering the vicious nature of the western elite.

The reasons for the US involvement in World War II lie in the social-economic conditions of the time, not in an outpouring of compassion destined to save humanity from fascism. The US elite was actually in favor of fascism, a very convenient tool to crush the mass revolutionary movement embodied by the Russian Revolution and the USSR.

WWII was in fact a continuity of WWI. “We are always told that WWI started with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, but it’s not true”, Pauwels says. It is indeed a well established myth carried on by various sources, whether history is written by “thousands of eminent experts, scholars, and leaders” like in Encyclopedia Britannica, or by just about anybody, like in Wikipedia:

The outbreak of war

With Serbia already much aggrandized by the two Balkan Wars (1912–13, 1913), Serbian nationalists turned their attention back to the idea of “liberating” the South Slavs of Austria-Hungary. Colonel Dragutin Dimitrijević, head of Serbia’s military intelligence, was also, under the alias “Apis,” head of the secret society Union or Death, pledged to the pursuit of this pan-Serbian ambition. Believing that the Serbs’ cause would be served by the death of the Austrian archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir presumptive to the Austrian emperor Francis Joseph, and learning that the Archduke was about to visit Bosnia on a tour of military inspection, Apis plotted his assassination. (World War I, Encyclopedia Britannica)

The immediate trigger for war was the 28 June 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, by Yugoslav nationalist Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo. This set off a diplomatic crisis when Austria-Hungary delivered an ultimatum to the Kingdom of Serbia,[10][11] and international alliances formed over the previous decades were invoked. Within weeks, the major powers were at war and the conflict soon spread around the world. (World War I, Wikipedia)

Both WWI and WWII had two dimensions: the vertical dimension, namely the rivalry between empires, and the horizontal one, class warfare, Pauwels explains.

These wars were actually the best way for the western elite to cope with the ever growing revolutionary and democratic movements fueled by dire economic conditions and which threatened the established order.

In Nietzsche’s view for example, Pauwels says “war was the solution against revolution, since in a war, there are no discussions, like there is in a democracy. In a war, the minority, the elite, decides and the majority, the proletarians, obey.”

For members of the elite like Malthus, “the system could not be the cause of poverty since they were profiting from it. The cause of poverty was the poor: there were too many of them. Therefore the solution to poverty and threatening revolutionary movements was simply to eliminate poor people and what better solution than war to kill poor people?”

After WWI though, “revolution was no longer a simple idea but rather something concrete: the Soviet Union.” That’s when fascism came to the rescue. “Fascism was the instrument used by the elite to further the objectives of 1914, namely put an end to revolutions and communism.”

Communism and socialism were gaining worldwide momentum after WWI. “The German industrial and financial elite wished to crush the revolutionary movement and destroy the Soviet Union. Adolf Hitler was their instrument.”

According to popular belief Western leaders were defending democracy, engaged in a war against Germany to save humanity from fascism and the US involvement in the war led to the downfall of Hitler’s war machine. Nothing is further from the truth. “Hitler was supported by other European countries and the US because they wanted him to destroy the USSR, the cradle of the revolution.” The exact opposite occurred: it was the USSR that defeated Nazi Germany, losing over 20 million souls in the battle.

The US even recruited the best Nazi scientists, technicians and engineers to work for them after the war. That piece of history called Operation Paperclip (picture below) has yet to find its way in Encyclopedia Britannica.

WWII was the victory of American Imperialism, a term which is rarely used today even if it best describes the reality the world has been living in ever since.

But even more surprising is the surviving myth that we are going to war to save the world from evil dictators or terrorists and that the western world fights for freedom and democracy. Thanks to the “stenographers of power”, the tactic is still reliable and used several decades later.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/fascism-and-war-elite-tools-to-crush-and-kill-dissent/5420224

The Anti-Empire Report #135 ~ William Blum

obama-emperor1

American Exceptionalism and American Torture


In 1964, the Brazilian military, in a US-designed coup, overthrew a liberal (not more to the left than that) government and proceeded to rule with an iron fist for the next 21 years. In 1979 the military regime passed an amnesty law blocking the prosecution of its members for torture and other crimes. The amnesty still holds.

That’s how they handle such matters in what used to be called The Third World. In the First World, however, they have no need for such legal niceties. In the United States, military torturers and their political godfathers are granted amnesty automatically, simply for being American, solely for belonging to the “Good Guys Club”.

So now, with the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture, we have further depressing revelations about US foreign policy. But do Americans and the world need yet another reminder that the United States is a leading practitioner of torture? Yes. The message can not be broadcast too often because the indoctrination of the American people and Americophiles all around the world is so deeply embedded that it takes repeated shocks to the system to dislodge it. No one does brainwashing like the good ol’ Yankee inventors of advertising and public relations. And there is always a new generation just coming of age with stars (and stripes) in their eyes.

The public also has to be reminded yet again that – contrary to what most of the media and Mr. Obama would have us all believe – the president has never actually banned torture per se, despite saying recently that he had “unequivocally banned torture” after taking office.

Shortly after Obama’s first inauguration, both he and Leon Panetta, the new Director of the CIA, explicitly stated that “rendition” was not being ended. As the Los Angeles Times reported at the time: “Under executive orders issued by Obama recently, the CIA still has authority to carry out what are known as renditions, secret abductions and transfers of prisoners to countries that cooperate with the United States.”

The English translation of “cooperate” is “torture”. Rendition is simply outsourcing torture. There was no other reason to take prisoners to Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Egypt, Jordan, Kenya, Somalia, Kosovo, or the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia, amongst other torture centers employed by the United States. Kosovo and Diego Garcia – both of which house large and very secretive American military bases – if not some of the other locations, may well still be open for torture business, as is the Guantánamo Base in Cuba.

Moreover, the key Executive Order referred to, number 13491, issued January 22, 2009, “Ensuring Lawful Interrogations”, leaves a major loophole. It states repeatedly that humane treatment, including the absence of torture, is applicable only to prisoners detained in an “armed conflict”. Thus, torture by Americans outside an environment of “armed conflict” is not explicitly prohibited. But what about torture within an environment of “counter-terrorism”?

The Executive Order required the CIA to use only the interrogation methods outlined in a revised Army Field Manual. However, using the Army Field Manual as a guide to prisoner treatment and interrogation still allows solitary confinement, perceptual or sensory deprivation, sensory overload, sleep deprivation, the induction of fear and hopelessness, mind-altering drugs, environmental manipulation such as temperature and noise, and stress positions, amongst other charming examples of American Exceptionalism.

After Panetta was questioned by a Senate panel, the New York Times wrote that he had “left open the possibility that the agency could seek permission to use interrogation methods more aggressive than the limited menu that President Obama authorized under new rules … Mr. Panetta also said the agency would continue the Bush administration practice of ‘rendition’ … But he said the agency would refuse to deliver a suspect into the hands of a country known for torture or other actions ‘that violate our human values’.”

The last sentence is of course childishly absurd. The countries chosen to receive rendition prisoners were chosen precisely and solely because they were willing and able to torture them.

Four months after Obama and Panetta took office, the New York Times could report that renditions had reached new heights.

The present news reports indicate that Washington’s obsession with torture stems from 9/11, to prevent a repetition. The president speaks of “the fearful excesses of the post-9/11 era”. There’s something to that idea, but not a great deal. Torture in America is actually as old as the country. What government has been intimately involved with that horror more than the United States? Teaching it, supplying the manuals, supplying the equipment, creation of international torture centers, kidnaping people to these places, solitary confinement, forced feeding, Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Chicago … Lord forgive us!

In 2011, Brazil instituted a National Truth Commission to officially investigate the crimes of the military government, which came to an end in 1985. But Mr. Obama has in fact rejected calls for a truth commission concerning CIA torture. On June 17 of this year, however, when Vice President Joseph Biden was in Brazil, he gave the Truth Commission 43 State Department cables and reports concerning the Brazilian military regime, including one entitled “Widespread Arrests and Psychophysical Interrogation of Suspected Subversives.”

Thus it is that once again the United States of America will not be subjected to any accountability for having broken US laws, international laws, and the fundamental laws of human decency. Obama can expect the same kindness from his successor as he has extended to George W.

“One of the strengths that makes America exceptional is our willingness to openly confront our past, face our imperfections, make changes and do better.” – Barack Obama, written statement issued moments after the Senate report was made public.

And if that pile of hypocrisy is not big enough or smelly enough, try adding to it Bidens’ remark re his visit to Brazil: “I hope that in taking steps to come to grips with our past we can find a way to focus on the immense promise of the future.”

If the torturers of the Bush and Obama administrations are not held accountable in the United States they must be pursued internationally under the principles of universal jurisdiction.

In 1984, an historic step was taken by the United Nations with the drafting of the “Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment” (came into force in 1987, ratified by the United States in 1994). Article 2, section 2 of the Convention states: “No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.”

Such marvelously clear, unequivocal, and principled language, to set a single standard for a world that makes it increasingly difficult for one to feel proud of humanity. We cannot slide back. If today it’s deemed acceptable to torture the person who supposedly has the vital “ticking-bomb” information needed to save lives, tomorrow it will be acceptable to torture him to learn the identities of his alleged co-conspirators. Would we allow slavery to resume for just a short while to serve some “national emergency” or some other “higher purpose”?

If you open the window of torture, even just a crack, the cold air of the Dark Ages will fill the whole room.

Cuba … at long, long last … maybe …

Hopefully, it’s what it appears to be. Cuba will now be treated by the United States as a country worthy of at least as much respect as Washington offers to its highly oppressive, murdering, torturing allies in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Honduras, Israel, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.

It’s a tough decision to normalize relations with a country whose police force murders its own innocent civilians on almost a daily basis, and even more abroad, but Cuba needs to do it. Maybe the Cubans can civilize the Americans a bit.

Let’s hope that America’s terrible economic embargo against the island will go the way of the dinosaurs, and Cuba will be able to demonstrate more than ever what a rational, democratic, socialist society can create. But they must not open the economy for the Yankee blood-suckers to play with as they have all over the world.

And I’ll be able to go to Cuba not as a thief in the night covering my tracks and risking a huge fine.

But with the Republicans taking over Congress next month, all of this may be just a pipe dream.

Barack Obama could have done this six years ago when he took office; or five years ago when American Alan Gross was first arrested and imprisoned in Cuba. It would have been even easier back then, with Obama’s popularity at its height and Congress not as captured by the Know-Nothings as now.

So, Cuba outlasted all the punishment, all the lies, all the insults, all the deprivations, all the murderous sabotage, all the assassination attempts against Fidel, all the policies to isolate the country. But for many years now, it’s the United States that has been isolated in the Western Hemisphere.

Reason Number 13,336 why capitalism will be the death of us.

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria – the “superbugs” – if left unchecked, could result in 10 million deaths a year by 2050. New drugs to fight the superbugs are desperately needed. But a panel advising President Obama warned in September that “there isn’t a sufficiently robust pipeline of new drugs to replace the ones rendered ineffective by antibiotic resistance.”

The problem, it appears, is that “Antibiotics generally provide low returns on investment, so they are not a highly attractive area for research and development.”

Aha! “Low returns on investment”! What could be simpler to understand? Is it not a concept worth killing and dying for? Just as millions of Americans died in the 20th century so corporations could optimize profits by not protecting the public from tobacco, lead, and asbestos.

Corporations are programmed to optimize profits without regard for the society in which they operate, in much the same way that cancer cells are programmed to proliferate without regard for the health of their host.

Happy New Year. Here’s what you have to look forward to in 2015.

  • January 25: 467 people reported missing from a university in Mexico. US State Department blames Russia.
  • February 1: Military junta overthrows President Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela. Washington decries the loss of democracy.
  • February 2: US recognizes the new Venezuelan military junta, offers it 50 jet fighters and tanks.
  • February 3: Revolution breaks out in Venezuela endangering the military junta; 40,000 American marines land in Caracas to quell the uprising.
  • February 16: White police officer in Chicago fatally shoots a 6-year old black boy holding a toy gun.
  • March 6: Congress passes a new law which states that to become president of the United States a person must have the surname Bush or Clinton.
  • April 30: The Department of Homeland Security announces plan to record the DNA at birth of every child born in the United States.
  • May 19: The Supreme Court rules that police may search anyone if they have reasonable grounds for believing that the person has pockets.
  • May 27: The Transportation Security Administration declares that all airline passengers must strip completely nude at check-in and remain thus until arriving at their destination.
  • June 6: White police officer in Oklahoma City tasers a 7-month-old black child, claiming the child was holding a gun; the gun turns out to be a rattle.
  • July 19: Two subway trains collide in Manhattan. The United States demands that Moscow explain why there was a Russian citizen in each of the trains.
  • September 5: The Democratic Party changes its name to the Republican Lite Party, and announces the opening of a joint bank account with the Republican Party so that corporate lobbyists need make out only one check.
  • September 12: White police officer in Alabama shoots black newborn, confusing the umbilical cord for a noose.
  • November 16: President Obama announces that Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, North Korea, Sudan, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Bolivia and Cuba all possess weapons of mass destruction; have close ties to the Islamic State, al Qaeda, and the Taliban; are aiding pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine; were involved in 9-11; played a role in the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the attack on Pearl Harbor; are an imminent threat to the United States and all that is decent and holy; and are all “really bad guys”, who even (choke, gasp) use torture!
  • November 21: The United States invades Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, North Korea, Sudan, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Bolivia and Cuba.
  • December 10: Barack Obama is awarded his second Nobel Peace Prize
  • December 11: To celebrate his new peace prize, Obama sends out drones to assassinate wrong-thinking individuals in Somalia, Afghanistan and Yemen.
  • December 13: Members of Ukraine’s neo-Nazi parties, which hold several high positions in the US-supported government, goose-step through the center of Kiev in full German Storm Trooper uniforms, carrying giant swastika flags, shouting “Heil Hitler”, and singing the Horst Wessel song. Not a word of this appears in any American mainstream media.
  • December 15: US Secretary of State warns Russia to stop meddling in Ukraine, accusing Moscow of wanting to re-create the Soviet Union.
  • December 16: White police officer shoots a black 98-year-old man sitting in a wheel chair, claiming the man pointed a rifle at him. The rifle turns out to be a cane.
  • December 28: The Washington Redskins football team finish their season in last place. The White House blames Vladimir Putin.

http://williamblum.org/aer/read/135

Siegfried Sassoon: Their dreams that drip with murder, of glorious war that shatter’d all their pride

Originally posted on Stop NATO...Opposition to global militarism:

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Siegfried Sassoon: Selections on war

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Siegfried Sassoon
Suicide in the Trenches

I knew a simple soldier boy
Who grinned at life in empty joy,
Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
And whistled early with the lark.

In winter trenches, cowed and glum,
With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
He put a bullet through his brain.
No one spoke of him again.

You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
Sneak home and pray you’ll never know
The hell where youth and laughter go.

Survivors

No doubt they’ll soon get well; the shock and strain
Have caused their stammering, disconnected talk.
Of course they’re ‘longing to go out again,’ —
These boys with old, scared faces, learning to walk.
They’ll soon forget their haunted nights; their cowed
Subjection to the ghosts of friends who…

View original 38 more words

America Confronts Russia: Kiev Anti-Russian False Flag Planned? ~ USA propaganda “Could Russia’s economic meltdown lead to loose nukes?”

previous article discussed Russian economist/political analyst Mikhail Delyagin expecting a possible anti-Russian nuclear false flag.

Fort Russ now cites intelligence “about impending terrorist attacks on Ukrainian strategic objects, which will justify an attack on Donbass.”

Foreign nationals and relatives of senior Ukrainian officials were evacuated from border areas, it says.

Armored vehicles with Russian and Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) symbols and flags were seen in Donbas territory controlled by Ukraine’s military.

Suggesting a planned provocation. Other intelligence “confirmed the arrival of large numbers of mercenaries, equipment and machinery from NATO countries.”

Ukraine’s general staff press service head, Vladislav Seleznev, announced possible resumed hostilities in so-called ATO (anti-terrorist operations) areas.

As well as “possible terrorist attacks by the militia on the objects of strategic importance.” Because socio/political/humanitarian conditions remain tense, he said. In ATO and bordering areas.

“There is also the risk of a resumption of active hostilities,” Seleznev added. “However, we do not eliminate the risk of terrorist and sabotage acts in these areas, at government and military facilities, as well as mass protests and civil disobedience.”

Earlier, illegitimate oligarch president Petro Poroshenko vowed to return Crimea to Ukraine. “Crimea will be back together with us,” he said.

US-installed NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg discussed Ukraine-supportive Alliance efforts with Kiev’s illegitimate putschist prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. On Monday. In Brussels.

Pledging “NATO stands with you.” Praising “Ukraine’s commitment to its partnership with NATO despite challenging circumstances, and pledged ongoing political and practical support.”

“Your visit just underlines the strong partnership between NATO and Ukraine. We also very much appreciate that we are able to develop our partnership. And especially because the people of Ukraine have chosen the path of democracy and closer cooperation with Europe. And we welcome that. We underline that the decision by the people of Ukraine has to be respected.”

Some cold hard facts. US-installed fascist putschists run Ukraine. With no legitimacy whatever.

Governing lawlessly. Enforcing hardline rule. Committing egregious civil and human rights violations. Waging naked aggression on its own people.

So-called Poroshenko’s silence regime reflects head-fake deception. According to the Voice of Sevastopol (accessed earlier, not now except in Ukrainian):

On Monday, artillery fire was heard. In Donetsk’s western outskirts. Ukrainian drones overflew the area.

During December 14 and 15 evening hours, “Ukrainian law enforcers attacked the airport of Donetsk…” DPR freedom fighters didn’t respond in kind.

Ukrainian forces attacked their Yasnoye positions. Northwest of Dokuchayevsk. In Beryozovoye municipality.

Artillery fire was heard in Lugansk. Fighting reported at Schastye. Self-defense force Prishib village positions were attacked.

Artillery fire was reported coming from Ukrainian army controlled Chernukhino, Gorodische and Zorinsk.

An Odessa explosion was reported. In the vicinity of its refinery. At the same time, Russian humanitarian aid keeps coming. A 10th convey is imminent. With vital supplies an Christmas gifts.

US-supported Kiev fascists threaten regional security. Perhaps world peace. The respected Colonel Cassad site quoted what it called Georgi Diimitrov’s “classic definition of fascism.”

Calling it “an open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, the most chauvinistic, the most imperialistic elements of the financial capital…”

“Fascism is neither the government beyond classes nor the government of the petty bourgeois or the lumpen-proletariat over the financial capital.”

“Fascism is the government of the financial capital itself. It is an organized massacre of the working class and the revolutionary slice of peasantry and intelligentsia.”

“Fascism in its foreign policy is the most brutal kind of chauvinism, which cultivates zoological hatred against other peoples.”

Kiev terrorizes opponents. Wants them eliminated altogether.

Tactics include “physical extermination, intimidation, hostage-taking, warrantless arrests, abductions, torture, and other elements of terror.”

Kiev putschists represent “the most radical forms of the Ukrainian integral nationalism and fascism…”

Monied interests run things. Billionaires contest with millionaires for power.

Monied interests and “fascist squads (are) its instruments for building the fascist system of government, which is built on a terrorist dictatorship.”

Russophobia is Kiev’s ideological cornerstone. “(O)penly advocat(ing) oppressing and exterminating people based on their ethnicity, culture, and language.”

Colonel Cassad site saying Ukrainian conditions are “a 100% match for Dimitrov’s classical definition. (F)ascism in its most classical and pure form.”

Threatening regional peace, stability and security. Pentagon sources confirmed military buildup along Russia’s borders.

To ensure regional “peace and stability.” NATO’s “collective security commitment.” In light of Russian “interference” in Ukraine.

Moscow accused NATO of significant air activity and intelligence flights over border areas. Unjustifiable provocations. As well as NATO’s nearby land and sea presence.

In Poland and Baltic countries. Black Sea naval exercises. The equivalent of Russia conducting its own in Mexican Gulf waters. Or off America’s east or west coasts.

Imagine Washington’s response. Screaming scoundrel media headlines.

Lt. General Mikhail Mizintsev heads Russia’s Defense Ministry joint military command.

He expressed concerns “over the significant increase of NATO military activity near the Russian borders.”

Including doubled flight activity. To about 3,000 missions this year. Flying in “dangerous proximity” to long-range Russian military aircraft.

At least 55 times in 2013 and 2014. At a distance of less than 100 meters. Lack of “any mutual exchange of information” ruined chances for trust.

“All achievements in the field of trust-building and voluntary transparency that NATO and Russia have formed over the years have ceased,” said Mizintsev.

All Russian missions were “in strict compliance with international rules.”

On Tuesday, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov explained how NATO policy affects Russia.

Saying its military doctrine “says…the security risks for Russia, among other things, are NATO expansion to the East and the movement of military infrastructure of NATO closer to the Russian borders…”

“(N)ot NATO itself, but its militarized movement to the East is considered by the Russian military doctrine as a security risk and threat for Russia.”

Lavrov cited “serious reasons to believe” sanctions and other Western policies aim for regime change in Russia.

Including US-instigated oil wars. Taking advantage of weakening economic conditions. Hammering Russia’s ruble. Making its economy scream.

Wanting Putin supporters turned against him. Perhaps color revolution turbulence underway. A US specialty. Wanting Russia looking like Ukraine.

Risking open confrontation to achieve aims. Anything ahead is possible. Lavrov remains firm saying:

“I can assure you that Russia will not only survive, but will come out stronger out of this.”

“We have been in much worse situations in our history, and every time we were getting out of these fixes much stronger.”

America represents its most serious challenge. Much greater than during Cold War years. Mutually assured destruction (MAD) reasoning seems forgotten.

Lunatics making policy in Washington risk the unthinkable. Cooler heads so far unable to contain them.

Stephen Lendman, globalresearch.ca

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2014/12/18/america-confronts-russia-kiev-anti-russian-false-flag-planned.html

The War PrayerCould Russia’s economic meltdown lead to loose nukes?

Senior lawmakers alarmed by Russia’s collapsing economy fear some of the nuclear power’s atomic arsenal could fall into the wrong hands.

While officials say there’s no immediate reason to think Russia’s weapons could be sold off to the highest bidder or stolen, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) intends to hold hearings next year on what Moscow is doing to keep its nukes safe.

“We’re going to be taking on that whole issue in Armed Services Committee and we’ll be figuring out what needs to be done,” McCain, who will chair the panel in the next Congress, told The Hill.  “Particularly, the state of the nuclear inventory.”

Fellow Armed Services Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) called the arsenal — estimated in the thousands of warheads — “a source of revenue” for the Russian government, as well as negotiating leverage.

He said President Vladimir Putin “is getting pretty aggressive because he has problems at home and maybe if you go back to the old system” of being more confrontational about nuclear weapons, pressure would ease.

http://thehill.com/policy/defense/227451-could-russias-economic-meltdown-lead-to-loose-nukes

 

Mouaz Moustafa_and_McCain_with terrorists_in_Syria-3

Moscow, Tehran Have Power to Prevent Foreign Invasion to Syria: Official

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Russia and Iran have enough leverage to prevent foreign intervention in Syria, a sovereign Arab nation mired in a three-year old armed conflict, the secretary of the Syrian parliament told Sputnik Radio Wednesday.

“Iran and Russia have the real power to influence indirectly the disturbing events that are unfolding in Syria and throughout the region. That’s enough to… prevent foreign intervention into the domestic affairs of a sovereign Arab state,” Khaled Abboud, secretary with the People’s Council of Syria, said.

The Syrian lawmaker described the existing ties between Damascus, Tehran and Moscow as a “defensive alliance” saying together they were more than capable of averting Syria being split-up and the escalation of a regional conflict into a “bloodbath”.

He said Russia and Iran have been working together to support Syria financially and provide it with military intelligence. “Syria is not alone in the face of aggression and challenges… It shall overcome,” Abboud said.

Syrian Prime Minister Wael Nader Halqi is currently in Iran on the invitation of the country’s first Vice-President Isaac Jahangiri. The Syrian parliamentary secretary said the primary goal of Halqi’s visit was to secure a military alliance between the two Shia countries.

According to Abboud, the West has been shaping Middle Eastern politics for decades, with Washington building political and military alliances with many countries in the region.

“They [alliances] were taken for granted despite their negative impact on the fates of entire nations, since they were aggressive and predatory,” he said.

By contrast, the fledgling alliance between Damascus, Tehran and Moscow serves to settle the ongoing crisis in Syria. “There is no doubt this is being done in the interest of the public”.

An armed conflict between Syrian rebels and troops loyal to the government began in 2011 and escalated into an “all-out” war a year later when Islamists joined in the fight, launching attacks indiscriminately against both groups.

The Islamic State, a Sunni jihadist group, first reared its head in Syria in 2012 and has since extended its attacks to Iraq, prompting Washington to create a coalition of over 60 states in August 2014, allegedly to roll back IS insurgency. It also vowed support for what the United States called “moderate opposition” fighting the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Earlier in December, Washington said it was not going to coordinate its anti-IS campaign with Tehran, considered a major power in the region.

Sputnik

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2014/12/18/moscow-tehran-have-power-to-prevent-foreign-invasion-to-syria-official.html

Related
ISIS’ Bloody Footprints Lead From NATO Territory

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2014/12/isis-bloody-footprints-lead-from-nato.html

ISIS Suffers More Setbacks at Kobane and Ras Al-Ayn

BY LEITH FADEL ~ DECEMBER 17, 2014

The People’s Protection Units (YPG) attacked a large Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) contingent located west of Ras Al-‘Ayn at the village of Al-Mabrouka, killing scores of militants as they progressed towards Tal Khanzeer (Pig Hill). Despite claims by ISIS media sources that the YPG is losing ground in Ras Al-‘Ayn, a Kurdish military source has confirmed that this is false and he further added that the YPG is in full control of the city.

In Kobane, the YPG continued their push in the southwestern perimeter of the city, cutting off ISIS militants from their entrenched fighters in the east. Also in the city, the YPG was able to destroy an ISIS hideout on 48th Street that was used primarily as a snipers den. Among the dead ISIS fighters on 48th Street was the ISIS field commander in Kobane “Abu Yamaan Al-Shaami” (ID pending).

http://www.almasdarnews.com/article/isis-suffers-setbacks-kobane-ras-al-ayn/

The Oil Coup


about_donkey“John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, allegedly struck a deal with King Abdullah in September under which the Saudis would sell crude at below the prevailing market price. That would help explain why the price has been falling at a time when, given the turmoil in Iraq and Syria caused by Islamic State, it would normally have been rising.” (Stakes are high as US plays the oil card against Iran and Russia, Larry Eliot, Guardian)

U.S. powerbrokers have put the country at risk of another financial crisis to intensify their economic war on Moscow and to move ahead with their plan to “pivot to Asia”.

Here’s what’s happening: Washington has persuaded the Saudis to flood the market with oil to push down prices, decimate Russia’s economy, and reduce Moscow’s resistance to further NATO encirclement and the spreading of US military bases across Central Asia. The US-Saudi scheme has slashed oil prices by nearly a half since they hit their peak in June. The sharp decline in prices has burst the bubble in high-yield debt which has increased the turbulence in the credit markets while pushing global equities into a tailspin. Even so, the roiled markets and spreading contagion have not deterred Washington from pursuing its reckless plan, a plan which uses Riyadh’s stooge-regime to prosecute Washington’s global resource war. Here’s a brief summary from an article by F. William Engdahl titled “The Secret Stupid Saudi-US Deal on Syria”:

“The details are emerging of a new secret and quite stupid Saudi-US deal on Syria and the so-called IS. It involves oil and gas control of the entire region and the weakening of Russia and Iran by Saudi Arabian flooding the world market with cheap oil. Details were concluded in the September meeting by US Secretary of State John Kerry and the Saudi King…

..the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has been flooding the market with deep discounted oil, triggering a price war within OPEC… The Saudis are targeting sales to Asia for the discounts and in particular, its major Asian customer, China where it is reportedly offering its crude for a mere $50 to $60 a barrel rather than the earlier price of around $100. That Saudi financial discounting operation in turn is by all appearance being coordinated with a US Treasury financial warfare operation, via its Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, in cooperation with a handful of inside players on Wall Street who control oil derivatives trading. The result is a market panic that is gaining momentum daily. China is quite happy to buy the cheap oil, but her close allies, Russia and Iran, are being hit severely…

According to Rashid Abanmy, President of the Riyadh-based Saudi Arabia Oil Policies and Strategic Expectations Center, the dramatic price collapse is being deliberately caused by the Saudis, OPEC’s largest producer. The public reason claimed is to gain new markets in a global market of weakening oil demand. The real reason, according to Abanmy, is to put pressure on Iran on her nuclear program, and on Russia to end her support for Bashar al-Assad in Syria….More than 50% of Russian state revenue comes from its export sales of oil and gas. The US-Saudi oil price manipulation is aimed at destabilizing several strong opponents of US globalist policies. Targets include Iran and Syria, both allies of Russia in opposing a US sole Superpower. The principal target, however, is Putin’s Russia, the single greatest threat today to that Superpower hegemony. (The Secret Stupid Saudi-US Deal on Syria, F. William Engdahl, BFP)

The US must achieve its objectives in Central Asia or forfeit its top-spot as the world’s only superpower. This is why US policymakers have embarked on such a risky venture. There’s simply no other way to sustain the status quo which allows the US to impose its own coercive dollar system on the world, a system in which the US exchanges paper currency produced-at-will by the Central Bank for valuable raw materials, manufactured products and hard labor. Washington is prepared to defend this extortionist petrodollar recycling system to the end, even if it means nuclear war.

How Flooding the Market Adds to Instability

The destructive and destabilizing knock-on effects of this lunatic plan are visible everywhere. Plummeting oil prices are making it harder for energy companies to get the funding they need to roll over their debt or maintain current operations. Companies borrow based on the size of their reserves, but when prices tumble by nearly 50 percent–as they have in the last six months– the value of those reserves falls sharply which cuts off access to the market leaving CEO’s with the dismal prospect of either selling assets at firesale prices or facing default. If the problem could be contained within the sector, there’d be no reason for concern. But what worries Wall Street is that a surge in energy company failures could ripple through the financial system and wallop the banks. Despite six years of zero rates and monetary easing, the nation’s biggest banks are still perilously undercapitalized, which means that a wave of unexpected bankruptcies could be all it takes to collapse the weaker institutions and tip the system back into crisis. Here’s an excerpt from a post at Automatic Earth titled “Will Oil Kill the Zombies?”:

“If prices fall any further, it would seem that most of the entire shale edifice must of necessity crumble to the ground. And that will cause an absolute earthquake in the financial world, because someone supplied the loans the whole thing leans on. An enormous amount of investors have been chasing high yield, including many institutional investors, and they’re about to get burned something bad….. if oil keeps going the way it has lately, the Fed may instead have to think about bailing out the big Wall Street banks once again.” (Will Oil Kill the Zombies?, Raúl Ilargi Meijer, Automatic Earth)

The problem with falling oil prices is not just mounting deflation or droopy profits; it’s the fact that every part of the industry–exploration, development and production — is propped atop a mountain of red ink (junk bonds). When that debt can no longer be serviced or increased, then the primary lenders (counterparties and financial institutions) sustain heavy losses which domino through the entire system. Take a look at this from Marketwatch:

“There’s ‘no question’ that for energy companies with a riskier debt profile the high-yield debt market “is essentially shut down at this stage,” and there are signs that further pain could hit the sector, ” senior fixed-income strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management, Dan Heckman told Marketwatch. “We are getting to the point that it is becoming very concerning.” (Marketwatch)

When energy companies lose access to the market and are unable to borrow at low rates, it’s only a matter of time before they trundle off to extinction.

On Friday, the International Energy Agency (IEA) renewed pressure on prices by lowering its estimate for global demand for oil in 2015. The announcement immediately sent stocks into a nosedive. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) lost 315 points by the end of the day, while, according to Bloomberg, more than “$1 trillion was erased from the value of global equities in the week”.

The world is awash in cheap petroleum which is wreaking havoc on domestic shale producers that need prices of roughly $70 per barrel to break-even. With West Texas Intermediate (WTI) presently headed south of 60 bucks–and no bottom in sight–these smaller producers are sure to get clobbered. Pension funds, private equity, banks, and other investors who gambled on these dodgy energy-related junk bonds are going to get their heads handed to them in the months ahead.

The troubles in the oil patch are mainly attributable to the Fed’s easy money policies. By dropping rates to zero and flooding the markets with liquidity, the Fed made it possible for every Tom, Dick and Harry to borrow in the bond market regardless of the quality of the debt. No one figured that the bottom would drop out leaving an entire sector high and dry. Everyone thought the all-powerful Fed could print its way out of any mess. After last week’s bloodbath, however, they’re not nearly as confident. Here’s how Bloomberg sums it up:

“The danger of stimulus-induced bubbles is starting to play out in the market for energy-company debt….Since early 2010, energy producers have raised $550 billion of new bonds and loans as the Federal Reserve held borrowing costs near zero, according to Deutsche Bank AG. With oil prices plunging, investors are questioning the ability of some issuers to meet their debt obligations…

The Fed’s decision to keep benchmark interest rates at record lows for six years has encouraged investors to funnel cash into speculative-grade securities to generate returns, raising concern that risks were being overlooked. A report from Moody’s Investors Service this week found that investor protections in corporate debt are at an all-time low, while average yields on junk bonds were recently lower than what investment-grade companies were paying before the credit crisis.” (Fed Bubble Bursts in $550 Billion of Energy Debt: Credit Markets, Bloomberg)

The Fed’s role in this debacle couldn’t be clearer. Investors piled into these dodgy debt-instruments because they thought Bernanke had their back and would intervene at the first sign of trouble. Now that the bubble has burst and the losses are piling up, the Fed is nowhere to be seen.

In the last week, falling oil prices have started to impact the credit markets where investors are ditching debt on anything that looks at all shaky. The signs of contagion are already apparent and likely to get worse. Investors fear that if they don’t hit the “sell” button now, they won’t be able to find a buyer later. In other words, liquidity is drying up fast which is accelerating the rate of decline. Naturally, this has affected US Treasuries which are still seen as “risk free”. As investors increasingly load up on USTs, long-term yields have been pounded into the ground like a tentpeg. As of Friday, the benchmark 10-year Treasury checked in at a miniscule 2.08 percent, the kind of reading one would expect in the middle of a Depression.

The Saudi-led insurgency has reversed the direction of the market, put global stocks into a nosedive and triggered a panic in the credit markets. And while the financial system edges closer to a full-blown crisis every day, policymakers in Washington have remained resolutely silent on the issue, never uttering as much as a peep of protest for a Saudi policy that can only be described as a deliberate act of financial terrorism.

Why is that? Why have Obama and Co. kept their mouths shut while oil prices have plunged, domestic industries have been demolished, and stocks have gone off a cliff? Could it be that they’re actually in cahoots with the Saudis and that it’s all a big game designed to annihilate enemies of the glorious New World Order?

It certainly looks that way.

MIKE WHITNEY, counterpunch.org

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2014/12/16/the-oil-coup.html

Poroshenko To Biden: Obama Should Sign Ukraine Arms Bill

Originally posted on Stop NATO...Opposition to global militarism:

UNIAN
December 16, 2014

Poroshenko and Biden discuss US support for Ukraine

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Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has discussed with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden financial mechanisms to support Ukraine, the press service of the Ukrainian president reported on Tuesday.

“[Ukrainian President] Petro Poroshenko, speaking by phone, welcomed the adoption by the U.S. Congress the Freedom Support Act of Ukraine, which was submitted to Congress during his visit to the United States on September 18,” The reports says.

“The Ukrainian president expressed the hope that in the nearest future this important legislative act would be signed by U.S. President Barack Obama, and that this would testify to the solidarity of the American people with Ukraine.

“The two parties exchanged their views on financial mechanisms to support Ukraine. Biden confirmed the intention of the United States to help Ukraine and its willingness to make every effort to provide funding through the International…

View original 30 more words

Evidence of US creation of ISIS can’t be any clearer

London, SANA – The US involvement in creating the terrorist organization of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has been further exposed in a report published by The Guardian newspaper a two days ago.

The report revealed that most of the terrorist organization’s today leaders, not least Abu Bakr al- Baghdadi, were of the US’s making a decade ago.

An ISIS leader, formerly jailed in Bucca, a prison established by the US forces in southern Iraq upon their invasion in 2003, said most of ISIS leaders arising today were inmates in the same prison.
Abu Ahmad entered the US-run Camp Bucca prison as a young man a decade ago, and is now “a senior official” within ISIS, having risen through its ranks with many of the men who served time alongside him in prison, according to The Guardian.

“If there was no American prison in Iraq, there would be no IS now. Bucca was a factory. It made us all. It built our ideology,” he told the British newspaper, relating the details about how he and other detainees had been snatched by US soldiers from Iraq’s towns and cities to the infamous prison.

“Here, we were not only safe, but we were only a few hundred meters away from the entire al-Qaida leadership,” Abu Ahmad said. “We had so much time to sit and plan … It was the perfect environment. We all agreed to get together when we got out,” he continued.

Abu Ahmad noted that by 2009, many of his fellow prisoners who had got out “were back doing what we did before we were caught. But this time we were doing it better.”

And clearly from the report, it was not by chance al-Baghdadi became, or more accurately was made to become, ISIS’s chief leader.

Abu Ahmad met al-Baghdadi for the first time in Bucca, speaking of him as having been receiving privileged treatment by the US forces.

“He was respected very much by the US army,” Abu Ahmed said. “If he wanted to visit people in another camp he could, but we couldn’t.”

This “respect” had soon led to the emergence of the most dangerous terrorist group of today that has recently come to hold sway over large parts of northern Syria and Iraq, and which is keeping the whole world on edge.

By December 2004, Baghdadi, The Guardian said, was “deemed by his jailers to pose no further risk and his release was authorised.”

“And all the while, a new strategy, which [Baghdadi] was leading, was rising under their noses, and that was to build the Islamic State [also known as ISIS],” said Abu Ahmad.

The Guardian cited Hisham al-Hashimi, an analyst based in Baghdad, as highlighting that the Iraqi government estimates that 17 of the 25 most important ISIS leaders running the war in Iraq and Syria spent time in US prisons between 2004 and 2011.

In further evidence to the US’s creation of ISIS, the American newspaper Washington Post published a detailed report last month unmasking who the U.S. army had gathered and mobilized hundreds of takfiri extremist elements at Bucca prison, who were released by 2009, upon the beginning of the U.S. pullout from Iraq, obviously more radicalized and quite ready to act upon their
dangerously extremist ideology.

Rasha Milhem/Haifa Said

http://www.sana.sy/en/?p=21526

NATO To Discuss Aid To Ukraine For “Hybrid” War With Russia

Originally posted on Stop NATO...Opposition to global militarism:

Ukrinform
December 13, 2014

Yatseniuk, Stoltenberg will discuss restoration of Ukraine’s course to NATO

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KYIV: Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatseniuk and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will discuss restoration of the state’s Euro-Atlantic course and other first steps of rapprochement between Ukraine and NATO.

These issues are scheduled for discussion at a meeting of the Ukrainian government head with the NATO Secretary General on Monday, December 15, in Brussels, Yehor Bozhok, Minister Councellor of the Mission of Ukraine to NATO told a special correspondent of Ukrinform.

“An agenda of the meeting includes the restoration of the Euro-Atlantic integration, initial steps for rapprochement between Ukraine and NATO. This is, in particular, adaptation of the national legal framework on the status and interoperability to NATO standards, reformation of defense and security sectors, defense industry and the Armed Forces of Ukraine according to NATO standards, development of interoperability of the Ukrainian army…

View original 111 more words

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov: The Lessons of History. “No One has Yet Managed to Subjugate Russia”


XXII Assembly of the Council on Foreign and Defence Policy, Moscow, 22 November 2014 ~ By Sergey Lavrov

lavrov UN speech I’m happy to be at this annual Assembly of the Council on Foreign and Defence Policy (Russian abbreviation SVOP). It is always a great pleasure for me to meet people and feel the intellectual potential, which enables the Council, its leaders and representatives to respond to global developments and analyse them. Their analysis is always free from any hysteria, and its members offer well-grounded and solid arguments, taking a step back, since those caught in the midst of events can hardly adopt an unbiased perspective. We are inevitably influenced by the developments, which makes your observations, analysis, discourse and suggestions even more valuable to us.

As far as I know, this year’s Assembly will focus on prospects for accelerating domestic growth in Russia. There is no doubt that concerted efforts by our society as a whole to bring about comprehensive economic, social and spiritual development are a prerequisite for making Russia’s future sustainable. That said, by virtue of my professional duties, I have to focus on foreign policy issues, which are still relevant for the Assembly’s agenda, since in this interconnected, globalised world, isolating internal development from the outside world is impossible.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin provided a detailed analysis of the international developments at the Valdai Club meeting in Sochi, as well as in his interviews during his trip to Asia. For this reason, I won’t offer any conceptual observations, as everything has already been said. Nevertheless, I would like to share with you some considerations based on our day-to-day foreign policy efforts. It is not my intention to deliver a comprehensive or clear outlook, since at this stage all forecasts are provisional, no matter who makes them. Moreover, diplomats seek to influence developments as they unfold, not contemplate them.

Naturally, I will start with Ukraine. Long before the country was plunged into the crisis, there was a feeling in the air that Russia’s relations with the EU and with the West were about to reach their moment of truth. It was clear that we could no longer continue to put issues in our relations on the back burner and that a choice had to be made between a genuine partnership or, as the saying goes, “breaking pots.” It goes without saying that Russia opted for the former alternative, while unfortunately our Western partners settled for the latter, whether consciously or not. In fact, they went all out in Ukraine and supported extremists, thereby giving up their own principles of democratic regime change. What came out of it was an attempt to play chicken with Russia, to see who blinks first. As bullies say, they wanted to Russia to “chicken out” (I can’t find a better word for it), to force us to swallow the humiliation of Russians and native speakers of Russian in Ukraine.

Honourable Leslie Gelb, whom you know all too well, wrote that Ukraine’s Association Agreement with the EU had nothing to do with inviting Ukraine to join the EU and was aimed in the short term at preventing it from joining the Customs Union. This is what an impartial and unbiased person said. When they deliberately decided to go down the path of escalation in Ukraine, they forgot many things, and had a clear understanding of how such moves would be viewed in Russia. They forgot the advice of, say, Otto von Bismarck, who had said that disparaging the millions-strong great Russian people would be the biggest political mistake.

President Vladimir Putin said the other day that no one in history has yet managed to subjugate Russia to its influence. This is not an assessment, but a statement of fact. Yet such an attempt has been made to quench the thirst for expanding the geopolitical space under Western control, out of a mercantile fear to lose the spoils of what they across the Atlantic had persuaded themselves was the victory in the Cold War.

The plus of today’s situation is that everything has clicked into its place and the calculus behind the West’s actions has been revealed despite its professed readiness to build a security community, a common European home. To quote (singer/song-writer) Bulat Okudzhava, “The past is getting clearer and clearer.” The clarity is becoming more tangible. Today our task is not only to sort out the past (although that must be done), but most importantly, to think about the future.

Talks about Russia’s isolation do not merit serious discussion. I need hardly dwell on this before this audience. Of course, one can damage our economy, and damage is being done, but only by doing harm to those who are taking corresponding measures and, equally important, destroying the system of international economic relations, the principles on which it is based. Formerly, when sanctions were applied (I worked at the Russian mission to the UN at the time) our Western partners, when discussing the DPRK, Iran or other states, said that it was necessary to formulate the restrictions in such a way as to keep within humanitarian limits and not to cause damage to the social sphere and the economy, and to selectively target only the elite. Today everything is the other way around: Western leaders are publicly declaring that the sanctions should destroy the economy and trigger popular protests. So, as regards the conceptual approach to the use of coercive measures the West unequivocally demonstrates that it does not merely seek to change Russian policy (which in itself is illusory), but it seeks to change the regime — and practically nobody denies this.

President Vladimir Putin, speaking with journalists recently, said that today’s Western leaders have a limited planning horizon. Indeed, it is dangerous when decisions on key problems of the development of the world and humankind as a whole are taken on the basis of short electoral cycles: in the United States the cycle is two years and each time one has to think of or do something to win votes. This is the negative side of the democratic process, but we cannot afford to ignore it. We cannot accept the logic when we are told to resign, relax and take it as a given that everyone has to suffer because there are elections in the United States every two years. This is just not right. We will not resign ourselves to this because the stakes are too high in the fight against terror, the threats of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and many bloody conflicts whose negative impact goes far beyond the framework of the corresponding states and regions. The wish to do something to gain unilateral advantages or to endear oneself to the electorate ahead of another election leads to chaos and confusion in international relations.

We hear the daily repeated mantra that Washington is aware of its own exclusiveness and its duty to bear this burden, to lead the rest of the world. Rudyard Kipling spoke about “the white man’s burden.” I hope that this is not what drives Americans. The world today is not white or black, but multi-coloured and heterogeneous. Leadership in this world can be assured not by persuading oneself of one’ exclusiveness and God-given duty to be responsible for everyone, but only by the ability and craft in forming a consensus. If the US partners committed their power to this goal, this would be priceless, and Russia would be actively helping them.

However, so far, US administrative resources still work only in the NATO framework, and then with substantial reservations, and its writ does not reach beyond the North Atlantic Alliance. One proof of this is the results of US attempts to make the world community follow its line in connection with the anti-Russian sanctions and principles. I have spoken about it more than once and we have ample proof of the fact that American ambassadors and envoys across the world seek meetings at the highest level to argue that the corresponding countries are obliged to punish Russia together with them or else face the consequences. This is done with regard to all countries, including our closest allies (this speaks volumes about the kind of analysts Washington has). An overwhelming majority of the states with which we have a continuing dialogue without any restrictions and isolation, as you see, value Russia’s independent role in the international arena. Not because they like it when somebody challenges the Americans, but because they realise that the world order will not be stable if nobody is allowed to speak his mind (although privately the overwhelming majority do express their opinion, but they do not want to do so publicly for fear of Washington’s reprisals).

Many reasonable analysts understand that there is a widening gap between the global ambitions of the US Administration and the country’s real potential. The world is changing and, as has always happened in history, at some point somebody’s influence and power reach their peak and then somebody begins to develop still faster and more effectively. One should study history and proceed from realities. The seven developing economies headed by BRICS already have a bigger GDP than the Western G7. One should proceed from the facts of life, and not from a misconceived sense of one’s own grandeur.

It has become fashionable to argue that Russia is waging a kind of “hybrid war” in Crimea and in Ukraine. It is an interesting term, but I would apply it above all to the United States and its war strategy – it is truly a hybrid war aimed not so much at defeating the enemy militarily as at changing the regimes in the states that pursue a policy Washington does not like. It is using financial and economic pressure, information attacks, using others on the perimeter of a corresponding state as proxies and of course information and ideological pressure through externally financed non-governmental organisations. Is it not a hybrid process and not what we call war? It would be interesting to discuss the concept of the hybrid war to see who is waging it and is it only about “little green men.”

Apparently the toolkit of our US partners, who have become adept at using it, is much larger.

In attempting to establish their pre-eminence at a time when new economic, financial and political power centres are emerging, the Americans provoke counteraction in keeping with Newton’s third law and contribute to the emergence of structures, mechanisms, and movements that seek alternatives to the American recipes for solving the pressing problems. I am not referring to anti-Americanism, still less about forming coalitions spearheaded against the United States, but only about the natural wish of a growing number of countries to secure their vital interests and do it the way they think right, and not what they are told “from across the pond.” Nobody is going to play anti-US games just to spite the United States. We face attempts and facts of extra-territorial use of US legislation, the kidnapping of our citizens in spite of existing treaties with Washington whereby these issues are to be resolved through law enforcement and judicial bodies.

According to its doctrine of national security, the United States has the right to use force anywhere, anytime without necessarily asking the UN Security Council for approval. A coalition against the Islamic State was formed unbeknownst to the Security Council. I asked Secretary of State John Kerry why have not they gone to the UN Security Council for this.

He told me that if they did, they would have to somehow designate the status of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. Of course, they had to because Syria is a sovereign state and still a member of the UN (no one excluded it from UN membership). The secretary of state said it was wrong because the United States is combating terrorism and the al-Assad regime is the most important factor that galvanises terrorists from around the world and acts as a magnet attracting them to this region in an attempt to overthrow the Syrian regime.

I believe this is perverse logic. If we are talking about precedents (the United States adheres to case law), it is worth remembering the chemical disarmament in Syria when the Assad regime was a completely legitimate partner of the United States, Russia, the OPCW and others. The Americans maintain talks with the Taliban as well. Whenever the United States has an opportunity to benefit from something, it acts quite pragmatically. I’m not sure why the ideologically-driven position took the upper hand this time and the United States chose to believe that Assad cannot be a partner. Perhaps, this is not so much an operation against the Islamic State as paving the way for toppling al-Assad under the guise of a counter-terrorist operation.

Francis Fukuyama recently wrote the book, Political Order and Political Decay, in which he argues that the efficiency of public administration in the United States is declining and the traditions of democratic governance are gradually being replaced with feudal fiefdom ruling methods. This is part of the discussion about someone who lives in a glass house and throws stones.

All of this is happening amid the mounting challenges and problems of the modern world. We are seeing a continued “tug of war” in Ukraine. Trouble is brewing on the south border of the EU. I don’t think the Middle Eastern and North African problems will go away all by themselves. The EU has formed a new commission. New foreign actors have emerged, who will face a serious fight for where to send their basic resources: either for the continuation of reckless schemes in Ukraine, Moldova, etc., within the Eastern Partnership (as advocated by an aggressive minority in the EU), or they will listen to the Southern European countries and focus on what’s happening on the other side of the Mediterranean.

This is a major issue for the EU.

So far, those who are not guided by real problems, but rather by a desire to quickly grab things from freshly turned up ground. It is deplorable. Exporting revolutions – be they democratic, communist or others – never brings any good.

State, public and civilisational structures are actually disintegrating in the MENA region. The destructive energy released in the process can scorch states that are located far beyond this region. Terrorists (including the Islamic State) are claiming a national status. Moreover, they are already beginning to create quasi-governmental bodies there that engage in the administrative work.

On this backdrop, minorities, including Christians, are banished. In Europe, these issues are deemed not politically correct. They are ashamed when we invite them to do something about it together at the OSCE. They wonder why would we focus specifically on Christians? How is that special? The OSCE has held a series of events dedicated to keeping memories about the Holocaust and its victims alive. A few years ago, the OSCE started holding events against Islamophobia. We will be offering an analysis of the processes leading to Christianophobia.

On 4-5 December, OSCE ministerial meetings will be held in Basel, where we will present this proposal. The majority of EU member states elude this topic, because they are ashamed to talk about it. Just as they were ashamed to include in what was then the EU constitution drafted by Valery Giscard d’Estaing a phrase that Europe has Christian roots.

If you don’t remember or respect your own roots and traditions, how would you respect the traditions and values of other people? This is straightforward logic. Comparing what’s happening now in the Middle East to a period of religious wars in Europe, Israeli political scientist Avineri said that the current turmoil is unlikely to end with what the West means when it says “democratic reforms.”

The Arab-Israeli conflict is dead in the water. It’s hard to play on several boards at a time. The Americans are trying to accomplish this, but it doesn’t work for them. In 2013, they took nine months to sort out the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I will not go into the reasons, they are known, but they failed at this as well. Now, they asked for more time to try to achieve some progress before the end of 2014, so that the Palestinians wouldn’t go to the UN and sign the Statute of the International Criminal Court, etc. Suddenly, it transpired that negotiations on Iran are underway. The US State Department dumped Palestine to focus on Iran.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and I agreed to talk on this subject some time soon. It’s important to understand that you can’t keep the problem of the Palestinian state deeply frozen forever. Failure to resolve it for nearly 70 years has been a major argument of those who recruit extremists in their ranks, “there’s no justice: it was promised to create two states; the Jewish one was created, but they will never create an Arab state.” Used on a hungry Arab street, these arguments sound quite plausible, and they start calling for a fight for justice using other methods.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the Valdai Club meeting in Sochi that we need a new version of interdependence. This was a very topical statement. The leading powers must return to the negotiating table and agree on a new framework that takes into account the basic legitimate interests of all the key parties (I can’t tell you what it should be called, but it should be based on the UN Charter), to agree on reasonable self-imposed restrictions and collective risk management in a system of international relations underpinned by democratic values. Our Western partners promote respect for the rule of law, democracy and minority opinion within countries, while failing to stand up for the same values in international affairs. This leaves Russia as a pioneer in promoting democracy, justice and rule of international law. A new world order can only be polycentric and should reflect the diversity of cultures and civilisations in today’s world.

You are aware of Russia’s commitment to ensuring indivisibility of security in international affairs and holding it in international law. I won’t elaborate on this.

I would like to support the point the SVOP has been making that Russia won’t succeed in becoming a major, successful and confident power of the 21st century without developing its eastern regions. Sergei Karaganov was among the first to conceptualise this idea, and I fully agree. Taking Russia’s relations with the Asia Pacific countries to a new level is an absolute priority. Russia worked along these lines at the Beijing APEC meeting and the G20 forum. We will continue moving in this direction in the new environment created by the upcoming launch of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) on 1 January 2015.

We have been treated as “subhumans.” For over a decade, Russia has been trying to establish partnership ties with NATO through CSTO. These efforts were not just about putting NATO and CSTO “in the same league.” As a matter of fact, CSTO is focused on catching drug dealers and illegal migrants around the Afghan border, and the North-Atlantic Treaty Organisation is the backbone of the international security forces, which, among other things, were tasked with fighting the terrorist threat and eliminating its financing schemes, which involve drug trafficking. We tried everything: we pleaded and then demanded real-time contact, so that once NATO detects a caravan transporting drugs and is unable to stop it, it alerts us across the border, so that this caravan could be intercepted by CSTO forces. They simply refused to talk to us. In private conversations, our NATO well-wishers (and I actually mean this in the positive way) told us that the alliance can’t view CSTO as an equal partner for ideological reasons. Until recently, we saw the same condescending and arrogant attitude with respect to the Eurasian economic integration. And that despite the fact that countries intending to join the EAEU have much more in common in terms of their economies, history and culture than many EU members. This union is not about creating barriers with anyone. We always stress how open this union is expected to be. I strongly believe that it will make a significant contribution to building a bridge between Europe and Asia Pacific.

I can’t fail to mention Russia’s comprehensive partnership with China. Important bilateral decisions have been taken, paving the way to an energy alliance between Russia and China. But there’s more to it. We can now even talk about the emerging technology alliance between the two countries. Russia’s tandem with Beijing is a crucial factor for ensuring international stability and at least some balance in international affairs, as well as ensuring the rule of international law. We will make full use of our relations with India and Vietnam, Russia’s strategic partners, as well as the ASEAN countries. We are also open to expanding cooperation with Japan, if our Japanese neighbours can look at their national interests and stop looking back at some overseas powers.

There is no doubt that the European Union is our largest collective partner. No one intends to “shoot himself in the foot” by renouncing cooperation with Europe, although it is now clear that business as usual is no longer an option. This is what our European partners are telling us, but neither do we want to operate the old way. They believed that Russia owed them something, while we want to be on an equal footing. For this reason, things will never be the same again. That said, I’m confident that we will be able to overcome this period, lessons will be learned and a new foundation for our relations will emerge.

The idea of creating a single economic and humanitarian space from Lisbon to Vladivostok can now be heard here and there and is gaining traction. Germany’s Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, has said publicly (while we have been saying it for a long time) that the EU and the EAEU should engage in dialogue. The statement President Vladimir Putin made in Brussels in January 2014, when he proposed the first step by launching negotiations on a free-trade zone between the EU and the Customs Union with an eye on 2020, is no longer viewed as something exotic. All of this has already become part of diplomacy and real politics. Although this is so far only a matter of discussion, I strongly believe that we will one day achieve what is called “the integration of integrations.” This is one of the key topics we want to promote within the OSCE at the Ministerial Council in Basel.

Russia is about to assume BRICS and SCO presidency. The two organisations will hold their summits in Ufa. These are very promising organisations for the new age. They are not blocks (especially BRICS), but groups where members share the same interests, representing countries from all continents that share common approaches regarding the future of the global economy, finance and politics.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/russias-foreign-minister-sergey-lavrov-the-lessons-of-history-no-one-has-yet-managed-to-subjugate-russia/5419325

President al-Assad meets Bogdanov, receives message from President Putin

Damascus, SANA – President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday received the special envoy for the Russian President, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, and the accompanying delegation.


Bogdanov relayed an oral message from Russian President Vladimir Putin on bilateral relations, the standing cooperation between the two friendly countries, and Russia’s continuing support for the Syrian people in the face of the vicious terrorist attack targeting it.

The Russian envoy briefed President al-Assad on the meetings he held recently as part of Russia’s efforts to create suitable conditions to put an end to terrorism in Syria and launch a comprehensive inter-Syrian dialogue away from any foreign interference, saying that Moscow supports the Syrian government’s efforts in carrying out national reconciliations as a basic step towards reaching a solution.

President al-Assad asserted that Russia always stood on the Syrian people’s side, and that it proved its support for peoples’ right to self-determination and its respect for states’ sovereignty and international law, saying that Syria is confident that any Russian political action will be based on these principles, therefore Syria deals in a positive manner with the efforts exerted by Russia to find a solution for the crisis.

The two sides agreed that the success of any effort to resolve the crisis in Syria requires diligent work in combating terrorism and extremism by having the international community exercise real pressure on the countries that support terrorism and take deterrent actions against them.

They also affirmed the need to continue exchanging opinions and coordinating to serve the interests of the two countries’ people and to restore stability to Syria and all the region’s countries.

The meeting was attended by Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem, Presidential Political and Media Advisor Bouthaina Shaaban, Deputy Foreign Minister Fayssal Mikdad, and the Russian Ambassador in Damascus.

Answering journalists’ questions on his talks with President al-Assad, Bogdanov said “We always discuss bilateral relations, the situation between the two sides, and strengthening future relations between the two countries and our peoples.

“We also discussed the crisis in Syria, the political solution, and how we can carry it out as soon as possible. Our main and most important mission is combating terrorism which poses a threat to everyone.”

On whether there was cooperation between the US and Russia on this regard, Bogdanov added “we are in contact with the US partners, but before that, there should be cooperation with the Syrian government inside and abroad… If there is a desire at the Syrians to meet in Moscow, then we will discuss this point with the US side and others.”

On his visit to Turkey and the meeting with the Syrian opposition there, Bogdanov said “I went through Turkey and met Head of the Coalition Hadi al-Bahra.. And we discussed the same points and asked the Syrians to meet in Moscow and find a political solution to the crisis in Syria.”

If there is a possibility to reach a solution between the Syrian government and the gunmen, Bogdanov added “we believe there should be a political solution and we have to try.”

Hazem Sabbagh/ Mazen Eyon

http://www.sana.sy/en/?p=21262

U.S., NATO Exploited Afghanistan As Battleground, Testing Ground

Originally posted on Stop NATO...Opposition to global militarism:

Press TV
December 8, 2014

US used Afghanistan as testing battleground: Analyst

Video

A political commentator says the US has used Afghanistan as a testing [and] battle ground in order to advance its military agenda in other parts of the world.

Rick Rozoff, the manager of the Stop NATO International Network, said in an interview with Press TV from Chicago that the United States used Afghanistan as a “testing and battle ground” in order to integrate the armies of several countries fighting under the banner of the NATO military alliance.

The commentator said the US-led forces were now being redeployed in a number of countries such as Finland, Poland, Lithuania and Georgia in order to contain Russian influence in Eastern Europe.

Rozoff also noted that the US presence in Afghanistan has “fueled terrorism” and “increased opium production” in the troubled region.

Several militant groups now fueling violence in the region…

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New ISIS “scare video” reveals Ottawa’s unprecedented hubris

Originally posted on Aletho News:

john-maguire-isis-video

By Brandon Martinez | Non-Aligned Media | December 9, 2014

What came first, the chicken or the egg?

Canada’s puppet politicians have so little faith in the public’s ability to think critically or discern reality that they are now marketing the most ridiculous harebrained nonsense to further hoodwink an already woefully ignorant Canadian populace.

Despite the fact that Stephen Harper announced Canada’s participation in the fraudulent anti-ISIS (or “Islamic State”) coalition in Iraq many weeks in advance of any ISIS-inspired threat or attack in Canada, the professional script-readers in Ottawa are asserting that the existence of such threats is a de facto justification for this country’s involvement in the campaign.

Can Ottawa’s unprecedented hubris get any more depraved?

What’s more, the Canadian media is frenzied over the emergence of a new ISIS video featuring a Canadian citizen, John Maguire, who allegedly converted to Islam and traveled to Syria to join…

View original 849 more words

Winter is coming, Gaza still in ruins, hard to rebuild after after 50-day war

Originally posted on the real SyrianFreePress Network:

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The Zionist aggression against Gaza claimed the lives of nearly two thousand one hundred people, many of whom were civilians.

According to health officials, more than 11,000 Palestinians were injured.

Much of Gaza in ruins – with 20 thousand houses damaged or destroyed.

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NOTE: The contents of this article/speech are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The team and the editor of SyrianFreePress.NETwork do not necessarily subscribe every point of view expressed and are not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.

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The Rise of German Imperialism and the Phony “Russian Threat” ~ By Prof. James Petras



The principle Nazi ideological prop that secured massive financial and political support from Germany’s leading industrialists was the Communist and Soviet threat.  The main Nazi military drive, absorbing two-thirds of its best troops, was directed eastward at conquering and destroying Russia.  The ‘Russian Threat’ justified Nazi Germany’s conquest and occupation of the Ukraine, the Balkans, Eastern Europe and the Baltic states, with the aid of a substantial proportion of local Nazi collaborators.

After Germany’s defeat , division  and  disarmament, and with the extension of Soviet power,  the US reinstated the Nazi industrial and banking giants, officials and intelligence operatives. At first they were engaged in rebuilding their domestic economy and consolidating political power, in collaboration with the US military occupation forces.

By the late 1960’s Germany regained economic primacy in Europe and was at the forefront of European ‘integration’, in association with France and England. It soon came to dominate the principle decision – making institutions of the European Union(EU). The EU served as Germany’s instrument for conquest by stealth. Year by year, through ‘aid’ and low interest loans,the EU  facilitated German capitalist’s  market penetration and financial expansion,through out south and central Europe. Germany set the agenda for Western Europe, gaining economic dominance while benefiting from US subversion and encirclement of Eastern Europe, Russia and the Baltic and Balkan states.

Germany’s Great Leap Forward:  The Annexation of East Germany and the Demise of the USSR

Germany’s projection of power on a world scale would never have occurred if it had not annexed East Germany.  Despite the West German claims of beneficence and ‘aid’ to the East, the Bonn regime secured several million skilled engineers, workers and technicians, the takeover of factories, productive farms and, most important, the Eastern European and Russian markets for industrial goods, worth  billions of dollars.  Germany was transformed from an emerging influential EU partner, into the most dynamic expansionist power in Europe, especially in the former Warsaw Pact economies.

The annexation of East Germany and the overthrow of the Communist governments in the East allowed German capitalists to dominate markets in the former  Eastern bloc .As the major trading partner,  it seized control of major industrial enterprises via corrupt privatizations decreed  by the newly installed pro-capitalist client regimes.  As the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgarian, the Baltic States “privatized” and “de-nationalized” strategic economic, trade, media and social service sectors, ‘unified’ Germany was able to resume a privileged place.  As Russia fell into the hands of gangsters, emerging oligarchs and political proxies of western capitalists, its entire industrial infrastructure was decimated and Russia was converted into a giant raw-material export region.

Germany converted its trade relations with Russia from one between equals into a ‘colonial’ pattern:  Germany exported high value industrial products and imported gas, oil and raw materials from Russia.

German power expanded exponentially, with the annexation of the “other Germany”, the restoration of capitalism in Eastern Europe and the ascendancy of client regimes eager and willing to submit to a German dominated European Union and a US directed NATO military command.

German political-economic expansion via ‘popular uprisings’, controlled by local political clients, was soon accompanied by a US led military offensive – sparked by separatist movements.  Germany intervened in Yugoslavia, aiding and abetting separatists in Slovenia and Croatia .It backed the US-NATO bombing of Serbia and supported the far-right, self-styled Kosovo Liberation Army ( KLA),engaged in a terrorist war in  Kosovo .  Belgrade was defeated and regime change led to a neo-liberal client state.  The US built the largest military base in Europe in Kosovo. Montenegro and Macedonia became EU satellites.

While NATO expanded and enhanced the US military presence up to Russia’s borders, Germany became the continent’s pre-eminent economic power.

Germany and the New World Order

While President Bush and Clinton were heralding a “new world order”, based on  unipolar military supremacy, Germany advanced its new imperial order by exercising its  political and economic levers.  Each of the two power centers, Germany and the US, shared the common quest of rapidly incorporating the new capitalist regimes into their regional organizations –the European Union (EU) and NATO– and extending their reach globally.  Given the reactionary origins and trajectory into vassalage of the Eastern, Baltic and Balkan regimes, and given their political fears of a popular reaction to the loss of employment, welfare and independence resulting from their implementation of savage neoliberal “shock policies”, the client rulers immediately “applied” for membership as subordinate members of the EU and NATO, trading sovereignty, markets and national ownership of the means of production for economic handouts and the ‘free’ movement of labor, an escape valve for the millions of newly unemployed workers.  German and English capital got millions of skilled immigrant workers at below labor market wages, and unimpeded access to markets and resources. The US secured NATO military bases, and recruited military forces for its Middle East and South Asian imperial wars.

US-German military and economic dominance in Europe was premised on retaining Russia as a weak quasi vassal state, and on the continued economic growth of their economies beyond the initial pillage of the ex-communist economies.

For the US, uncontested military supremacy throughout Europe was the springboard for near-time imperial expansion in the Middle East, South Asia, Africa and Latin America.  NATO was ‘internationalized’ into an offensive global military alliance: first in Somalia, Afghanistan then Iraq, Libya, Syria and the Ukraine.

The Rise of Russia, The Islamic Resistance and the New Cold War

During the ‘decade of infamy’ (1991-2000) extreme privatization measures by the client rulers in Russia on behalf of EU and US investors and gangster oligarchs, added up to vast pillage of the entire economy, public treasury and national patrimony.  The image and reality of a giant prostrate vassal state unable to pursue an independent foreign policy, and incapable of providing the minimum semblance of a modern functioning economy and maintaining the rule of law, became the defining view of Russia by the EU and the USA. Post-communist Russia, a failed state by any measure, was dubbed a “liberal democracy” by every western capitalist politician and so it was repeated by all their mass media acolytes.

The fortuitous rise of Vladimir Putin and the gradual replacement of some of the most egregious ‘sell-out’ neo-liberal officials, and most important, the reconstruction of the Russian state with a proper budget and functioning national institutions, was immediately perceived as a threat to US military supremacy and German economic expansion.  Russia’s transition from Western vassalage to regaining its status as a sovereign independent state set in motion, an aggressive counter-offensive by the US-EU. They financed a neo-liberal-oligarchy backed political opposition in an attempt to restore Russia to vassalage via street demonstrations and elections .Their efforts   to oust Putin and re-establish Western vassal state failed.  What worked in 19991 with Yeltsin’s power grab against Gorbachev was ineffective against Putin.  The vast majority of Russians did not want a return to the decade of infamy.

In the beginning of the new century, Putin and his team set new ground-rules, in which oligarchs could retain their illicit wealth and conglomerates, providing they didn’t use their economic levers to seize state power.  Secondly, Putin revived and restored the scientific technical, military, industrial and cultural institutions and centralized trade and investment decisions within a wide circle of public and private decision makers not beholden to Western policymakers.  Thirdly, he began to assess and rectify the breakdown of Russian security agencies particularly with regard to the threats emanating from Western sponsored ‘separatist’ movements in the Caucuses, especially, in Chechnya, and the onset of US backed ‘color revolutions’ in the Ukraine and Georgia.

At first, Putin optimistically assumed that, Russia being a capitalist state, and without any competing ideology, the normalization and stabilization of the Russian state would be welcomed by the US and the EU.  He even envisioned that they would accept Russia  as an economic, political, and even NATO partner.   Putin even made overtures to join and co-operate with NATO and the EU.  The West did not try to dissuade Putin of his illusions .In fact they encouraged him, even as they escalated their backing for Putin’s internal opposition and prepared a series of imperial wars and sanctions in the Middle East, targeting traditional Russian allies in Iraq, Syria and Libya.

As the ‘internal’ subversive strategy failed to dislodge President Putin, and the Russian state prevailed over the neo-vassals, the demonization of Putin became constant and shrill. The West moved decisively to an ‘outsider strategy’, to isolate, encircle and undermine the Russian state by undermining allies, and trading partners

US and Germany Confront Russia:  Manufacturing the “Russian Threat”

Russia was enticed to support US and NATO wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya in exchange for the promise of deeper integration into Western markets.  The US and EU accepted Russian co-operation, including military supply routes and bases, for their invasion and occupation of Afghanistan.  The NATO powers secured Russian support of sanctions against Iran.  They exploited Russia’s naïve support of a “no fly zone” over Libya to launch a full scale aerial war.  The US financed  so-called “color revolutions” in Georgia and the Ukraine  overt, a dress rehearsal for the putsch in 2014  Each violent seizure of power allowed NATO to impose anti-Russian rulers eager and willing to serve as vassal states to Germany and the US.

Germany spearheaded the European imperial advance in the Balkans and  Moldavia, countries with strong economic ties to Russia.  High German officials “visited” the Balkans to bolster their ties with vassal regimes in Slovenia, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Croatia.  Under German direction, the European Union ordered  the vassal Bulgarian regime of Boyko “the booby” Borisov to block the passage of  Russian owned South Stream pipeline to Serbia, Hungary, Slovenia and beyond.  The Bulgarian state lost $400 million in annual revenue . . .  Germany and the US bankrolled pro-NATO and EU client politicians in Moldavia – securing the election of Iurie Leanca as Prime Minister.  As a result of Leanca’s slavish pursuit of EU vassalage, Moldavia lost $150 million in exports to Russia.  Leanca’s pro-EU policies go counter to the views of most Moldavians – 57% see Russia as the country’s most important economic partner.  Nearly 40% of the Moldavian working age population works in Russia and 25% of the Moldavians’ $8 billion GDP is accounted for by overseas remittances.

German and the US empire-builders steamroll over dissenting voices in Hungary, Serbia and Slovenia, as well as Moldova and Bulgaria, who’s economy and population suffer from the impositions of the blockade of  the Russian gas and oil pipeline.  But Germany’s, all out economic warfare against Russia takes precedent over the interests of its vassal states:  its theirs to sacrifice for the ‘Greater Good’ of the emerging German economic empire and the US – NATO military encirclement of Russia.  The extremely crude dictates of German imperial interests articulated through the EU, and the willingness of Balkan and Baltic regimes to sacrifice fundamental economic interests, are the best indicators of the emerging German empire in Europe.

Parallel to Germany’s rabid anti-Russian economic campaign, the US via NATO is engaged in a vast military build-up along the length and breadth of Russia’s frontier.  The US stooge, NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg, boasts that over the current year, NATO has increased 5-fold the warplanes and bombers patrolling Russian maritime and land frontiers, carried out military exercises every two days and vastly increased the number of war ships in the Baltic and Black Sea.

Conclusion

What is absolutely clear is that the US and Germany want to return Russia to the vassalage status of the 1990’s.  They do not want ‘normal relations’. From the moment Putin moved to restore the Russian state and economy, the Western powers have engaged in a series of political and military interventions, eliminating Russian allies, trading partners and independent states.

The emergent of extremist, visceral anti-Russian regimes in Poland, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania served as the forward shield for NATO advancement and German economic encroachment.  Hitler’s ‘dream’ of realizing the conquest of the East via unilateral military conquest has now under Prime Minister Merkel taken the form of conquest by stealth in Northern and Central Europe , by economic blackmail in the Balkans ,and by violent putsches in the Ukraine and  Georgia.

The German economic ruling class is divided between the dominant pro-US sector that is willing to sacrifice lucrative trade with Russia today in hopes of dominating and pillaging the entire economy in a post-Putin Russia (dominated by ‘reborn Yeltsin clones’); and a minority industrial sector, which wants to end sanctions and return to normal economic relations with Russia.

Germany is fearful that its client rulers in the East, especially in the Balkans are vulnerable to a popular upheaval due to the economic sacrifices they impose on the population.  Hence, Germany is wholly in favor of the new NATO rapid deployment force, ostensibly designed to counter a non-existent “Russian threat” but in reality to prop up faltering vassal regimes.

The ‘Russian Threat’, the ideology driving the US and German offensive throughout Europe and the Caucuses, is a replay of the same doctrine which Hitler used to secure support from domestic industrial bankers, conservatives and right wing overseas collaborators among extremists in Ukraine, Hungary, Rumania and Bulgaria.

The US-EU seizure of power via vassal political clients backed by corrupt oligarchs and Nazi street fighters in Ukraine detonated the current crisis. Ukraine power grab posed a top security threat to the very existence of Russia as an independent state.  After the Kiev take-over, NATO moved its stooge regime in Kiev forward to militarily eliminate the independent regions in the Southeast and seize the Crimea .thus totally eliminating Russia’s strategic position in the Black Sea. Russia the victim of the NATO power grab was labelled the “aggressor”. The entire officialdom and mass media echoed the Big Lie. Two decades of US NATO military advances on Russia’s borders and German-EU economic expansion into Russian markets were obfuscated.  Ukraine is the most important strategic military platform from which the US-NATO can launch an attack on the Russian heartland and the single largest market for Germany since the annexation of East Germany

The US and Germany see the Ukraine conquest as of extreme value in itself but also as the key to launching an all-out offensive to strangle Russia’s economy via sanctions and dumping oil and to militarily threaten Russia. The strategic goal is to reduce the Russian population to poverty and to re-activate the quasi-moribund opposition  to overthrow the Putin government and return Russia to permanent vassalage. The US and German imperial elite, looking beyond Russia, believe that if they control Russia, they can encircle ,isolate and attack China from the West as well as the East.

Wild-eyed fanatics they are not.  But as rabid proponents of a permanent war to end Russia’s presence in Europe and to undermine China’s emergence as a world power, they are willing to go to the brink of a nuclear war.

The ideological centerpiece of US-German imperial expansion and conquest in Europe and the Caucuses is the “Russian Threat”.  It is the touchstone defining adversaries and allies.  Countries that do not uphold sanctions are targeted.  The mass media repeat the lie.  The “Russian Threat” has become the war cry for cringing vassals – the phony justification for imposing frightful sacrifices to serve their imperial ‘padrones’ in Berlin and Washington –  fearing the rebellion of the ‘sacrificed’ population.  No doubt, under siege, Russia will be forced to make sacrifices.  The oligarchs will flee westward; the liberals will crawl under their beds.  But just as the Soviets turned the tide of war in Stalingrad, the Russian people, past the first two years of a bootstrap operation will survive, thrive and become once again a beacon of hope to all  people looking to get from under the tyranny of US-NATO militarism and German-EU economic dictates.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-rise-of-german-imperialism-and-the-phony-russian-threat/5418498

Israel Established ISIS Base ~ Foreign Ministry addresses two identical messages to heads of UN, UNSC on Israeli aggression


Damascus, SANA – Foreign and Expatriates Ministry on Sunday addressed two identical letters to the UN Secretary General and Chairman of the UN Security Council on the Israeli aggression on the Syrian soil.

The messages read that Israel has committed a heinous crime against the sovereignty of Syria as Israeli warplanes attacked two safe areas in al-Dimas and near Damascus International Airport in Damascus Countryside, causing material damage in a number of institutions there.

The Ministry stressed that the attack is in the framework of extending help and support to the armed terrorist groups in Syria, especially after the series of achievements made by the Syrian army in Deir Ezzor, Aleppo, Daraa and other areas.

The attack also aims at covering up the internal disputes in Israel through diverting the attention away from the collapse of the Israeli coalition government and the extremism of this government, embodied in its continued occupation of the Arab territories and violation of the international legitimacy and law in addition to UN Security Council’s resolutions, according to the Ministry.

The attack reflects the Israeli explicit involvement in supporting the armed terrorist groups in Syria, on top of which Jabhet al-Nusra, along with well-known regional and western countries.

The messages highlighted that such attacks will never dissuade Syria from countering terrorism with all its forms, types and tools on all the Syrian soil, warning against the repercussions of these attacks on the security and peace in the region and the world.

The Syrian government called for imposing deterring sanctions on Israel, which did not hide its policy in supporting terrorism, calling also for taking all procedures, in accordance with the UN Charter, to prevent Israel from repeating such attacks.

General Command of Army: Israeli aggression unmasks its involvement in supporting terrorists
In turn, the General Command of the Army and Armed Forces said the Israeli enemy targeted two areas, al-Dimas and outskirts of Damascus International Airport, in Damascus Countryside, causing material damage to a number of institutions there.

The Army Command highlighted that such attacks, which aim at providing support to terrorists, will never dissuade the army from countering terrorism with all its forms, types and tools and on all the Syrian soil.

M. Nassr

http://www.sana.sy/en/?p=20858

UNDOF report reveals scale of cooperation between Israeli enemy and terrorist organizations in Syria

New York, SANA – Observers from the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) confirmed the growing coordination and standing cooperation between the Israeli enemy’s forces and terrorist organizations, documenting more facts confirming this.

A report made by the observers revealed details of ongoing communication between leaders of terrorist organizations in Syria and Israeli army officers and officials, saying that 59 meetings between the terrorist leaders – who are labeled as “opposition” by Syria’s enemies – and Israeli officers took place from March 2013 to May, and that during this same period 89 injured terrorists were transported to Israeli hospitals, and 19 of these terrorists were returned to Syria along with two bodies.

The report said that the relations between the two sides began in March 2013 when the Israeli occupation authorities began treating injured terrorists in their hospitals, in addition to building a field hospital for them in the occupied Golan, with the report adding that observers witnessed several meetings between terrorist leaders and Israeli army forces between December 2013 and March 2014, in addition to witnessing the transportation of injured terrorists to Israeli hospitals following confrontations between the terrorists and the Syrian Arab Army.

Syria’s Permanent Representative to the UN Bashar al-Jaafari had directed several letters regarding this issue to the UN, and most recently addressed the UN General Assembly on November 25th and spoke of Israel’s support for terrorists which led to the UNDOF evacuating their posts temporarily due to successive terrorist attacks against them, with the Israeli support causing the terrorists to become more active and bold, leading to them opening fire on Syrian law enforcement forces and abducting UNDOF personnel.

The UNDOF report also noted that the Syrian Arab Army warned the UNDOF’s commander of the presence of armed terrorists in a camp built by Israeli authorities in the Golan under the false claim of it being a camp for civilians.

The report confirmed that the Israeli forces delivered to boxes with unknown contents to terrorists and allowed two of them to enter occupied Palestine, though the report didn’t mention their identity or the reason for their entry.

Mohammad Nassr/ Hazem Sabbagh

http://www.sana.sy/en/?p=20849

Syria-Flag

Army General Command: Israeli enemy targeted two areas in Damascus Countryside

Damascus, SANA – The General Command of the Army and Armed Forces said in a statement that the Israeli enemy targeted two areas in Damascus Countryside in al-Dimas and Damascus International Airport, which is a civilian airport, on Sunday afternoon, causing material damage to some facilities.

The General Command said this attack proves Israel’s direct involvement in supporting terrorists in Syria against which the Armed Forces achieved significant victories in Deir Ezzor, Aleppo, and other areas.

The statement said that this attack aimed at raising the morale of terrorist organizations, including the Al Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS, following the consecutive strikes directed against them by the Syrian Arab Army.

The General Command asserted that such acts of aggression will not dissuade it from continuing its war on terrorism in all its forms across the entirety of Syria.

The National Leadership of Al-Baath Arab Socialist Party issued a statement strongly condemning the Israeli aggression, saying that this attack comes as no surprise for the Syrians who know that the Israeli enemy will rush to aid its terrorist allies in a bid to raise their morale following the defeats they suffered at the hands of the Syrian Arab Army.

The statement said that the attack constitutes further evidence of the alliance between Israel and the terrorists against the Syrians who are committed to combating terrorism and protecting Syria’s independence and dignity, concluding by asserting that this aggression will only make Syrians more determined to persevere until victory is achieved.

Hazem Sabbagh

http://www.sana.sy/en/?p=20835

snake-israhell-snake1

Israel Establishes Syrian Rebel Base in Israel, Treats Radical Islamist Wounded

RICHARD SILVERSTEIN DECEMBER 7, 2014

http://www.richardsilverstein.com/2014/12/07/israels-offers-aid-to-radical-islamists-in-syria/

Remember the 1991 Gulf War: The Massacre of Withdrawing Soldiers on “The Highway of Death” ~ By Joyce Chediac

Demolished_vehicles_line_Highway_80_on_18_Apr_1991

 

Commission of Inquiry for the International War Crimes Tribunal 8 July 2004

I want to give testimony on what are called the “highways of death.” These are the two Kuwaiti roadways, littered with remains of 2,000 mangled Iraqi military vehicles, and the charred and dismembered bodies of tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers, who were withdrawing from Kuwait on February 26th and 27th 1991 in compliance with UN resolutions.

U.S. planes trapped the long convoys by disabling vehicles in the front, and at the rear, and then pounded the resulting traffic jams for hours. “It was like shooting fish in a barrel,” said one U.S. pilot. The horror is still there to see.

On the inland highway to Basra is mile after mile of burned, smashed, shattered vehicles of every description – tanks, armored cars, trucks, autos, fire trucks, according to the March 18, 1991, Time magazine. On the sixty miles of coastal highway, Iraqi military units sit in gruesome repose, scorched skeletons of vehicles and men alike, black and awful under the sun, says the Los Angeles Times of March 11, 1991. While 450 people survived the inland road bombing to surrender, this was not the case with the 60 miles of the coastal road. There for 60 miles every vehicle was strafed or bombed, every windshield is shattered, every tank is burned, every truck is riddled with shell fragments. No survivors are known or likely. The cabs of trucks were bombed so much that they were pushed into the ground, and it’s impossible to see if they contain drivers or not. Windshields were melted away, and huge tanks were reduced to shrapnel.

“Even in Vietnam I didn’t see anything like this. It’s pathetic,” said Major Bob Nugent, an Army intelligence officer. This one-sided carnage, this racist mass murder of Arab people, occurred while White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater promised that the U.S. and its coalition partners would not attack Iraqi forces leaving Kuwait. This is surely one of the most heinous war crimes in contemporary history.

The Iraqi troops were not being driven out of Kuwait by U.S. troops as the Bush administration maintains. They were not retreating in order to regroup and fight again. In fact, they were withdrawing, they were going home, responding to orders issued by Baghdad, announcing that it was complying with Resolution 660 and leaving Kuwait. At 5:35 p.m. (Eastern standard Time) Baghdad radio announced that Iraq’s Foreign Minister had accepted the Soviet cease-fire proposal and had issued the order for all Iraqi troops to withdraw to positions held before August 2, 1990 in compliance with UN Resolution 660. President Bush responded immediately from the White House saying (through spokesman Marlin Fitzwater) that “there was no evidence to suggest the Iraqi army is withdrawing. In fact, Iraqi units are continuing to fight. . . We continue to prosecute the war.” On the next day, February 26, 1991, Saddam Hussein announced on Baghdad radio that Iraqi troops had, indeed, begun to withdraw from Kuwait and that the withdrawal would be complete that day. Again, Bush reacted, calling Hussein’s announcement “an outrage” and “a cruel hoax.”

Eyewitness Kuwaitis attest that the withdrawal began the afternoon of February 26, 1991 and Baghdad radio announced at 2:00 AM (local time) that morning that the government had ordered all troops to withdraw.

The massacre of withdrawing Iraqi soldiers violates the Geneva Conventions of 1949, Common Article III, which outlaws the killing of soldiers who are out of combat. The point of contention involves the Bush administration’s claim that the Iraqi troops were retreating to regroup and fight again. Such a claim is the only way that the massacre which occurred could be considered legal under international law. But in fact the claim is false and obviously so. The troops were withdrawing and removing themselves from combat under direct orders from Baghdad that the war was over and that Iraq had quit and would fully comply with UN resolutions. To attack the soldiers returning home under these circumstances is a war crime.

Iraq accepted UN Resolution 660 and offered to withdraw from Kuwait through Soviet mediation on February 21, 1991. A statement made by George Bush on February 27, 1991, that no quarter would be given to remaining Iraqi soldiers violates even the U.S. Field Manual of 1956. The 1907 Hague Convention governing land warfare also makes it illegal to declare that no quarter will be given to withdrawing soldiers. On February 26,199 I, the following dispatch was filed from the deck of the U.S.S. Ranger, under the by-line of Randall Richard of the Providence Journal:

“Air strikes against Iraqi troops retreating from Kuwait were being launched so feverishly from this carrier today that pilots said they took whatever bombs happened to be closest to the flight deck. The crews, working to the strains of the Lone Ranger theme, often passed up the projectile of choice . . . because it took too long to load.”

New York Times reporter Maureen Dowd wrote, “With the Iraqi leader facing military defeat, Mr. Bush decided that he would rather gamble on a violent and potentially unpopular ground war than risk the alternative: an imperfect settlement hammered out by the Soviets and Iraqis that world opinion might accept as tolerable.” In short, rather than accept the offer of Iraq to surrender and leave the field of battle, Bush and the U.S. military strategists decided simply to kill as many Iraqis as they possibly could while the chance lasted. A Newsweek article on Norman Schwarzkopt, titled “A Soldier of Conscience” (March 11,1991), remarked that before the ground war the general was only worried about “How long the world would stand by and watch the United States pound the living hell out of Iraq without saying, ‘Wait a minute – enough is enough.’ He [Schwarzkopf] itched to send ground troops to finish the job.” The pretext for massive extermination of Iraqi soldiers was the desire of the U.S. to destroy Iraqi equipment. But in reality the plan was to prevent Iraqi soldiers from retreating at all. Powell remarked even before the start of the war that Iraqi soldiers knew that they had been sent to Kuwait to die. Rick Atkinson of the Washington Post reasoned that “the noose has been tightened” around Iraqi forces so effectively that “escape is impossible” (February 27, 1991). What all of this amounts to is not a war but a massacre.

There are also indications that some of those bombed during the withdrawl were Palestinians and Iraqi civilians. According to Time magazine of March 18, 1991, not just military vehicles, but cars, buses and trucks were also hit. In many cases, cars were loaded with Palestinian families and all their possessions. U.S. press accounts tried to make the discovery of burned and bombed household goods appear as if Iraqi troops were even at this late moment looting Kuwait. Attacks on civilians are specifically prohibited by the Geneva Accords and the 1977 Conventions.

How did it really happen? On February 26, 1991 Iraq had announced it was complying with the Soviet proposal, and its troops would withdraw from Kuwait. According to Kuwaiti eyewitnesses, quoted in the March 11, 1991 Washington Post, the withdrawal began on the two highways, and was in full swing by evening. Near midnight, the first U.S. bombing started. Hundreds of Iraqis jumped from their cars and their trucks, looking for shelter. U.S. pilots took whatever bombs happened to be close to the flight deck, from cluster bombs to 500 pound bombs. Can you imagine that on a car or truck? U.S. forces continued to drop bombs on the convoys until all humans were killed. So many jets swarmed over the inland road that it created an aerial traffic jam, and combat air controllers feared midair collisions.

The victims were not offering resistance. They weren’t being driven back in fierce battle, or trying to regroup to join another battle. They were just sitting ducks, according to Commander Frank Swiggert, the Ranger Bomb Squadron leader. According to an article in the March 11, 1991 Washington Post, headlined “U.S. Scrambles to Shape View of Highway of Death,” the U.S. government then conspired and in fact did all it could to hide this war crime from the people of this country and the world. What the U.S. government did became the focus of the public relations campaign managed by the U.S. Central Command in Riyad, according to that same issue of the Washington Post. The typical line has been that the convoys were engaged in “classic tank battles,” as if to suggest that Iraqi troops tried to fight back or even had a chance of fighting back. The truth is that it was simply a one-sided massacre of tens of thousands of people who had no ability to fight back or defend themselves.

The Washington Post says that senior officers with the U.S. Central Command in Riyad became worried that what they saw was a growing public perception that Iraqi forces were leaving Kuwait voluntarily, and that the U.S. pilots were bombing them mercilessly, which was the truth. So the U.S. government, says the Post, played down the evidence that Iraqi troops were actually leaving Kuwait.

U.S. field commanders gave the media a carefully drawn and inaccurate picture of the fast-changing events. The idea was to portray Iraq’s claimed withdrawal as a fighting retreat made necessary by heavy allied military pressure. Remember when Bush came to the Rose Garden and said that he would not accept Saddam Hussein’s withdrawal? That was part of it, too, and Bush was involved in this cover up. Bush’s statement was followed quickly by a televised military briefing from Saudi Arabia to explain that Iraqi forces were not withdrawing but were being pushed from the battlefield. In fact, tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers around Kuwait had begun to pull away more than thirty-six hours before allied forces reached the capital, Kuwait City. They did not move under any immediate pressure from allied tanks and infantry, which were still miles from Kuwait City.

This deliberate campaign of disinformation regarding this military action and the war crime that it really was, this manipulation of press briefings to deceive the public and keep the massacre from the world is also a violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the right of the people to know.

Joyce Chediac is a Lebanese-American journalist who has traveled in the Middle East and writes on Middle East issues. Her report was presented at the New York Commission hearing, May 11, 1991.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Crimes in Iraq: “As American as Apple Pie” ~ by Felicity Arbuthnot

http://globalresearch.ca/articles/ARB405A.html

There must be more ignorance in the Western world than most thought, since surprise seems to be the dominant reaction to the appalling evidence of alleged gruesome, barbaric and inhuman treatment of Iraqi prisoners by US troops and the mercenaries employed by them. The British largely appear unable to believe that “our boys” are capable of similar treatment towards detainees in their jurisdiction, in spite of graphic descriptions by the Independent’s Robert Fisk.

However, “our boys,” with their American allies of the 1991 coalition, buried young Iraqi conscripts alive in Iraq ’s southern desert. Youthful Iraqis were simply bulldozed into trenches, according to a British Army chaplain in an interview with this writer. Other soldiers tell of playing football with the heads of the dead and taking “souvenir” photographs, standing on or by burned out Iraqi tanks and vehicles – often with the near-incinerated dead still inside.

Some are ashamed now, some are mentally unstable, unable to live with their actions, some committed suicide – but they did these things on their own admission and of their own free will. War brings its own particular inhumanity and insanity. Perhaps the self-evident lawlessness of an illegal invasion brings yet another dimension, one beyond shame and almost beyond comprehension.

read in full here

http://globalresearch.ca/articles/ARB405A.html

Operation Desert Slaughter ~ [Operation Desert Storm – 1991]
by Felicity Arbuthnot

http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Iraq/Oper_Desert_Slaughter_1991.html

Afghan War: 3,400 NATO Troops Killed, 30,000 Wounded, More To Come

Originally posted on Stop NATO...Opposition to global militarism:

Stars and Stripes
December 2, 2014

NATO, Afghanistan launch post-combat mission
By Slobodan Lekic

BRUSSELS: NATO and Afghanistan on Tuesday formally launched the new training and advisory mission that will take over from departing alliance combat troops on Jan. 1.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced the long-anticipated decision during a meeting of alliance foreign ministers in Brussels.

Today we have decided to launch the Resolute Support mission…to train, assist and advise the Afghan National Security Forces,” Stoltenberg said.

Ghani paid tribute to the NATO troops who were killed or wounded in the 13-year war in Afghanistan. More than 3,400 NATO troops have died and more than 30,000 have been wounded.

“We welcome the end of the combat mission, but more significantly, we welcome the non-combat mission,” Ghani told the foreign ministers.

Ghani’s openness to NATOs’ continued involvement in Afghanistan contrasts sharply with the attitudes…

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