The Dream of a Stateless Society

Originally posted on The Most Revolutionary Act:

Engines of Domination
Mark Corske (2014)

Film Review

In Engines of Domination, filmmaker Mark Corske lays out a historical and philosophical argument for anarchism – a stateless society people run themselves via direct democracy.

He begins by comparing class society to sheep herding. The latter began around 10,000 BC. Class society began around 5,000 BC when institutions of power (initially kings and priests and later nations and corporations) began domesticating people as well as plants and animals. The goal of this kind of domestication is to capture the energy of an entire community. Initially chattel slavery was the primary mechanism employed to domesticate human beings.

Since no one agrees voluntarily to being treated this way, this has to be done through a combination of force and deception.  The methods employed were developed over centuries through a process of trial and error. “Engines of domination” are the historical institutions that…

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25th Anniversary of El Salvador Jesuit Murders ~ By Kate Doyle

salvadorian-jesuits

Commemorative drawings of the victims of the 1989 massacre at UCA (Photo: Steve Rhodes, 2009)

Washington, DC. – Twenty five years have passed since the horrifying murders in El Salvador of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter, during a rampage by Salvadoran security forces in the early morning hours of November 16, 1989, on the campus of the University of Central America (UCA) in the country’s capital. It has been twenty five years of grieving by the victims’ families and the Jesuit community; and twenty five years of waiting for justice to identify and prosecute the killers.

As they have done on so many other anniversaries of the brutal crime, thousands of Salvadorans and international visitors gathered in San Salvador to commemorate the lives of Father Ignacio Ellacuría Bescoetxea, UCA’s rector at the time of his assassination; Father Ignacio Martín-Baró; Father Segundo Montes; Father Armando López; Father Juan Ramón Moreno; Father Joaquín López y López; Julia Elba Ramos and her 13-year-old child Celina Maricet Ramos.

But this year’s anniversary is a little different. Although the perpetrators have yet to be brought to trial for their role in planning and ordering the crime, human rights lawyers at the San Francisco-based Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA) believe they are closer than ever to achieving some measure of justice. A case that CJA opened in 2008 before the Spanish National Court under the principle of universal jurisdiction is inching forward, with presiding Judge Eloy Velásquez ruling just over a month ago to continue prosecuting the Jesuit killings , despite the reluctance of the Spanish Parliament to allow Spain to pursue international human rights cases. Velásquez has indicted twenty senior members of El Salvador’s military for planning, ordering, or participating in the crime .

The National Security Archive has spent the past quarter of a century collecting declassified US documents on El Salvador, including the Jesuit murders. Hundreds of those documents have been entered as evidence into CJA’s Spanish case . Thousands are published in two Digital National Security Archive collections. Today, in commemoration of the deaths, the Archive posts ten documents written by US officials on the day of the murders and during the week that followed.

Taken together, the documents indicate the striking initial unwillingness on the part of the United States to acknowledge the possibility that its closest Central American ally — the Salvadoran armed forces — may have been behind the atrocity. Despite overwhelming evidence of the Army’s bitter hostility toward the Jesuits — as documented by the UN Truth Commission report — the first reaction of United States officials on the day of the murders was the imprecise speculation that often served as a default US setting whenever political violence struck in El Salvador: that “extremists on either the right or the left may be responsible,” as Ambassador William G. Walker wrote in his earliest cable to Washington about the crime.

The theory was expanded in a lengthy CIA memorandum the following day that dwelled on indications that the killers could have been from the guerrilla forces of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), citing such evidence as, “Civilians reported the presence of 100 insurgents eating and resting on the highway behind the Hoescht factory [near] Ciudad Merliot … two kilometers southwest of the University of Central America …. ” On the other hand, wrote the Agency, the killers might have been “rightist extremists,” an encoded reference to polarizing rightwing politicians such as Roberto D’Aubuisson — a leading member of the ruling party ARENA — who reportedly made threatening comments about the priests in a talk given hours after they had already been killed. Nowhere in the CIA’s analysis was the military mentioned as a possible perpetrator.

In addition to ignoring signs that members of the armed forces had carried out the crime, US officials sought to bolster Salvadoran President Alfredo Cristiani as he prepared to face the possibility that his own party’s leadership was responsible for what Walker called “a barbarous and incredibly stupid action.” On November 19, Ambassador Walker sent an impassioned (and profoundly wrong) telegram to the State Department focusing on the alleged responsibility of ARENA extremists and proposing that he tell Cristiani that “with the USG [US Government], the leadership and majority of the armed forces officer corps, and the decent forces of Salvadoran society on his side, he can and must once and for all separate himself from those responsible for this barbarism.” Meanwhile, Secretary of State James Baker asked his ambassador in Madrid to urge Spain not to cut aid to El Salvador, which it had announced it would do in response to the murder of the Spanish-born priests.

As evidence began to emerge pointing to the Army’s role in the killings, the US documents reflected the alarm felt in Washington about its implications. Secretary Baker wrote directly to the Director of the CIA William Webster to request his agency’s assistance. “We would appreciate on an urgent basis information regarding the military units present in the area at the time of the killings, and the orders issued to such units.” US Assistant Secretary of State Bernard Aronson warned Ambassador Walker to hurry the investigations, arguing that allowing them to become drawn out would likely lead to stonewalling on the part of the Salvadoran government and impunity for the killers. Aronson evidently feared the consequences of publicly airing US suspicions about military responsibility for the killings, pressing Walker to keep his findings secret.

“I cannot stress enough the importance of building as solid a case as possible and then working closely with Cristiani on a strategy. We may be asking Cristiani to do what has never been done, actions which may involve moving against elements of his own party and perhaps even divide the Army. Please hold this information very closely.”

By the following year, in 1990, the US could no longer hide what its own investigation had uncovered: that the Salvadoran armed forces “at the highest levels” made the decision to kill the Jesuits.

Now, 25 years later, the United States has a decision to make. Although the Salvadoran government has so far rejected Spain’s request for the extradition of suspects in the crime, one of the indicted officers — Col. (Ret.) Inocente Orlando Montano — pled guilty in 2012 to charges of immigration fraud and perjury in a Boston courtroom and was sentenced in 2013 to 21 months in federal prison. Spanish Judge Velásquez is seeking the extradition of Montano to Madrid following completion of his jail term. A US ruling in favor of extradition would permit the Spanish case to proceed to trial and offer families of the eight victims a chance at justice in what has been a long and painful odyssey.

Research Assistance by Alexandra Smith


THE DOCUMENTS

Document 1: Jesuit Rector of UCA Shot Dead; Seven Others Killed
DNSA No. EL01044
U.S. Embassy in El Salvador
Confidential Cable
November 16, 1989

This confidential cable represents the U.S. Embassy’s first reaction to the assassination of Father Ignacio Ellacuria and five other Jesuit priests, along with a housekeeper and her daughter, at the Central American University. The cable includes the names and positions of each of the victims, and summarily describes information collected by the Country Team regarding events at the University prior to the murders.

Document 2: Situation Report As of 1430 Hours Local Time
DNSA No. EL00278
Central Intelligence Agency
Cable, Classification Excised
November 16, 1989

This cable from the Central Intelligence Agency illustrates the early understanding that the murders of Father Ignacio Ellacuria and his colleagues could have been perpetrated by the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN). The news is buried in a general summary of FMLN activities, including the takeover of Police Detachment headquarters in Cuscatancingo, and discussion of the armed forces’ “slow” progress in battling insurgents.

Document 3: Movement of 1,000 Fresh FMLN Troops to San Salvador; Planned Role of Ellacuria in Effecting New Negotiations Between the FMLN and the Government 
DNSA No. EL00279
Central Intelligence Agency
Cable, Classification Excised
November 17, 1989

This CIA cable summarizes talks between Father Ignacio Ellacuria and members of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front regarding negotiations with the government of El Salvador. The cable states that Ellacuria approved of the idea, and suggests that he was acting as a go-between for the two groups.

Document 4: Killing of Dr. Ignacio Ellacuria
DNSA No. EL00281
Central Intelligence Agency
Intelligence Memorandum, Classification Excised
November 17, 1989

An intelligence summary suggesting possible perpetrators of the UCA murders, this CIA cable indicates: “deaths could have been perpetrated by extremists of left or right.” The military is not mentioned in this document, despite their prevalence in other sources.

Document 5: Ellacuria Murder Et Al: Request for FBI Assistance
DNSA No. EL01046
U.S. Embassy in El Salvador
Limited Official Use Cable
November 18, 1989

In this official use cable reporting President Cristiani’s request for assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the investigation of the recent murders, Ambassador Walker insists that this crime should not go the way of all the other human rights crimes that had occurred in the 1980′s, and presses for a “credible investigation.”

Document 6: Ellacuria Assassination
DNSA No. EL01047
U.S. Embassy in El Salvador
Secret Cable
November 19, 1989

Ambassador Walker reports finding the “first substantive evidence” that members of the Nationalist Republican Alliance “might have triggered events which led to [the] murder” of the Jesuit priests at UCA. The Ambassador calls on President Cristiani to recognize the truth about “the right” in his party, and stand up for democracy.

Document 7: [Letter from Secretary of State to CIA Director Requesting Help with Investigation of Jesuit Murders]
DNSA No. EL01048
Department of State, Office of the Secretary
Secret Letter
November 20, 1989

Secretary of State Baker requests help from the Central Intelligence Agency in “developing information” about the perpetrators of the murder of Father Ellacuria and his colleagues. This request shows that the State Department was beginning to understand that the Army of El Salvador was involved in the crime.

Document 8: Government Investigation of Killings in El Salvador
DNSA No. EL00282
Central Intelligence Agency
Intelligence Memorandum, Classification Excised
November 21, 1989

This CIA intelligence memorandum examines political constraints on President Cristiani as he decides how to move against the perpetrators of the Jesuit murders. The document focuses on the “circumstantial evidence” against Roberto D’Abuisson and the ARENA party. The memo states that Cristiani is “highly sensitive to international criticism of human rights abuses in El Salvador.”

Document 9: Demarche on Spanish Policy Toward El Salvador
DNSA No. 01049
Department of State
Confidential Cable
November 22, 1989

This State Department demarche requests that Ambassador Walker counsel Spain to take caution in steps against El Salvador, after reports of suspended aid and the potential for further “retaliatory actions” in response to the murder of the Spanish-born Jesuit priests. The cable includes talking points that emphasize the idea that “too much pressure at this delicate moment could play into the hands of the FMLN guerillas.”

Document 10: Ellacuria Assassination
DNSA No. EL01050
Department of State
Secret Cable
November 22, 1989

Assistant Secretary of State Bernard Aronson urges Ambassador Walker to work with President Cristiani to move the case of the Jesuit murders hastily to its next stage. He states: “drawing it out will give those involved the chance to abort our efforts as they did in Romero assassination,” referring to the 1980 murder of Archbishop Oscar Romero by killers associated with ARENA leader Roberto D’Aubuisson. Aronson goes on to say that this may involve asking the president to “do what has never been done, actions which may involve moving against elements of his own party.” Aronson closes his note with the addendum: “Please hold this information very closely.”

http://www.globalresearch.ca/25th-anniversary-of-el-salvador-jesuit-murders/5414498

George Santayana: If dreadful outer world became troublesome, it would be necessary to make war on it and teach it a lesson

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

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

American writers on peace and against war

George Santayana on war and militarism

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George Santayana
From The Last Puritan: A Memoir in the Form of a Novel (1935)

Santayana_2

Her moral ideal was democracy, but a democracy of the elect. There could be no oppression in imposing uniformity on people who were really all alike; and such a society exacted from its members only what, if they were honourable, they would exact from themselves. She couldn’t conceive life except in a clan, where all the peers should have equal rights and similar virtues. Beyond the pale there could be nothing but utter darkness – an alien, heathen, unintelligible world, to be kept as remote as possible. If they couldn’t grow tea at home, she supposed they must get it from China or Ceylon. And she supposed that if occasionally that dreadful…

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The Art and Science of State Terrorism

Originally posted on The Most Revolutionary Act:

state terrorism

Part 4 of Counter-intelligence: Shining a Light on Black Operations

“Necrophilous” is Part 4 of a five part documentary by Scott Noble called Counter-Intelligence: Shining a Light on Black Operations.

In Part 4, filmmaker Scott Noble examines the sadistic fixation of the National Security State with death, pain and permanent injury of individuals and groups whose democratic yearnings conflict with the financial interests of US corporations. He likens this fixation to the psychopathology that motivates serial killers.

Necophilous is defined as having an abnormal fascination with death and the dead. Part 4 begins by examining the decision, in 1945, to drop two atomic bombs on Japan.

A nuclear bomb deliberately targets civilians, a war crime under the Geneva Convention. Truman’s claim that nuking Japan spared GIs the bloodshed of a land invasions turns out to be completely bogus.

He already knew the Japanese were on the verge of surrendering…

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Iraqis prove that ISIS is a paper tiger


The Iraqis have done it at last. It took some touches at the level of organization and tactic with the guidance of General Qassem Soleimani to say that ISIS is not invincible, that it is a bogeyman that was inflated deliberately, and that its victory is not inevitable. To understand this, skeptics only have to ask about the ‘epic’ battle in Jaref al-Sakher [Rocky Cliff], which Iraqis now like to call Jaref al-Nasr [Victory Cliff].

ISIS is not a supernatural entity. It is an organization with formidable combat capabilities, yes, and it has thousands of fighters willing to die. But it is not invincible. The bogeyman that it has become, deliberately to make it into an icon of terror that cannot be broken, has indeed been shattered recently. ISIS has been exposed as a paper tiger, provided that it is taken on seriously.

This was proven around 3 weeks ago in Iraq, in the region of Jaref al-Sakher. Of course, the US and Western media will not bother to highlight what happened there, nor will the oil-funded Arab media. However, according to information obtained by Al-Akhbar from sources on the ground there, it is possible to say without hesitation that the ‘epic’ battle that took place there is equivalent in importance to what happened in the Qusair region of Syria, more than a year ago, if not more important.

What happened in Jaref al-Sakher was a historical achievement for the men of the Popular Mobilization group that consists of multiple military factions, which had previously fought the US occupation. They include: Hezbollah Brigades, League of the Righteous, the Badr Organization, and Saraya al-Salam (of the Sadrist movement), in addition to other factions. General Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Qods Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, was the undisputed “hero” of the battle. There have been pictures spreading of the shadowy man, who has been coming out into the light in recent months, and is said to be from Jaref al-Sakher. The man’s role in helping Iraqi forces logistically and even in combat is no longer a secret.

The lesson of Jaref al-Sakher is that the Iraqi people are a force to be reckoned with when well organized and activated, and can reverse much of the ISIS tide in the country.
This force – as has indeed happened – can crush the ISIS hordes, even forcing the ISIS leadership there to retreat in humiliation. This is in line with what Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had told Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi last month: “We believe that Iraq, its government and people, especially the youth of this country, have the ability to defeat the terrorists and restore security. There is no need for foreign presence in the country.”

What does Jaref al-Sakher represent and what happened there exactly?

That region, in the province of Babel, is dominated by geographical features that include palm forests and artificial lakes. For ISIS it was a staging ground for an offensive into the Shia south. Jaref al-Sakher is located halfway between Baghdad and Karbala, slightly closer to the second. It is also a southern extension of the Fallujah province, which is one of the strongholds of al-Qaeda and now ISIS in Iraq. This is how that region came to be called the triangle of death after 2003, as it was the source of most car bombs into Baghdad.

In 2010, it became known as the capital of ISIS’ ‘southern state.’ From there, suicide bombers set off to attack civilian communities in Musayyib, Alexandria, Hilla, Karbala, and Baghdad. After the fall of Mosul, ISIS considered Jaref al-Sakher “a dagger in the side of the Shia,” from which they would be defeated in Baghdad, Babel, Karbala, and Najaf, all the way to Basra.

For this reason, ISIS strengthened its military presence in the villages and rural areas of Jaref al-Sakher, and in March, even began moving on the center of Musayyib district center and reached an area several hundred meters from the city’s famed roundabout, which is considered the gateway to Karbala in the south. At the time, organized Shia militias repelled ISIS and limited its advance.

Attacks on the pilgrims to the holy Shia city along the road are innumerable. Hundreds of innocents were killed by bombs, machine guns, beheadings, and crucifixions. Many massacres were engraved into the memory of the Iraqis from that region, and yet, received little coverage in the media. On one occasion, throngs of ISIS fighters crossed the road in question and the Musayyib Bridge, forcing the convoys of pilgrims and other travellers to divert their course to Jaref al-Sakher. There, according to reliable sources, indescribable crimes took place against the elderly, children, women, and men. Some women were raped, others were taken salves, and many of them were killed a while after.

Historically, under Saddam Hussein, Jaref al-Sakher was known as a safe haven for criminal gangs, including narcotics dealers and killers. Even Saddam avoided the region, and never raided it. Before Jaref was liberated, according to sources, the US army told the Iraqi side that it would not be able to carry out that offensive. For the Americans, “the Jaref al-Sakher problem was difficult to resolve militarily, given its terrain covered by old palm trees, and the presence of a large ISIS force there.”

[W]hat the Americans could not do, or what the Americans feared to do, was achieved by the forces of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization backed by the Qods Force led by General Soleimani.

In other words, what the Americans could not do, or what the Americans feared to do, was achieved by the forces of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization backed by the Qods Force led by General Soleimani. Soleimani reportedly was involved closely in leading the battle, as happened in other Iraqi regions in the past.

Jaref al-Sakher has an area of approx. 25 km by 4 km. The assault began from three axes, with the area being showered by gunfire to soften the targets for nearly half an hour. The attacking force then advanced from three directions: from the village of Fadiliyah, to isolate the region from Amiriyat al-Fallujah in the north, with the advance from this axis being led by the League of the Righteous. From the south, the Hezbollah Brigades advanced directly from the village of al-Bahbahan. From the center, the remainder of the force advanced to take a number of villages controlled by ISIS including Abed Ways and al-Farisiyah.

The battle began. Close range and even face-to-face combat ensued with ISIS. The fighters of the Popular Mobilization saw firsthand how ISIS fighters could be killed, and how those who survived struggled to flee the area. In the beginning, ISIS terrorists defended their lines using snipers and explosive devices they had planted in large quantities between the palm trees. The line collapsed however, after the concentrated attack by the fighters of the Iraqi factions (who incidentally are not very well trained, but are indeed well organized and followed a tight plan).

Within hours, the attacking force entered the last areas controlled by ISIS, whose fighters were surprised to see they were surrounded and their supply lines cut off. All ISIS’s attempts to hold its ground were futile. In less than 48 hours, the area, which the US and Iraqi armies could not retake throughout the better part of a decade, was liberated.

Sources that closely followed the battle, quoting security officials, say that Baghdadi, after receiving news from the ground about the rout suffered by his forces, gave his orders to prevent anyone from his group to be captured. Dozens of bodies were thus burned or dumped in the river, the sources say. Baghdadi’s message reached his fighters as they were fleeing from Jaref al-Sakher, at the same time the factions of the attacking force coming from multiple directions merged in al-Shahban and al-Hujeir. ISIS fighters left behind 4 APCs and 3 Humvees, and had to retreat on foot or in other words: run.

Though the US mobilized an international alliance against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, it could not liberate a single village in Iraq or Syria. Meanwhile, the Iraqi Popular Mobilization units are taking the initiative on the ground in multiple regions of Iraq, as happened in Amirli before Jaref al-Sakher, and is happening today in Sad al-Azim, Jalawla, and al-Saadia.

Sources say that the lessons to be learned from all these battles is that morale among the anti-ISIS factions is very high, after the psychological barrier this radical jihadi group built through massacres against its opponents was broken. Sources say the coming days will reveal more about this.

After the epic battle in Jaref al-Sakher, and Soleimani’s photos from the field smiling, a fighter from the Iraqi factions sent a message to his friend to reassure him about the situation. He wrote, “We have leveled the rocks, Qassem.”

Source: Al Akhbar

http://www.electronicresistance.net/2014/11/iraqis-prove-that-isis-is-a-paper-tiger/

NATO Readies 25,000-Troop Strike Force Against Russia

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

Stars and Stripes
November 13, 2014

Naples command trains to lead NATO response force
By Steven Beardsley

NAPLES, Italy: Ground forces in Germany, air assets in France, maritime forces off the coast of Spain — assembling NATO’s parts into a single fighting force is complicated by distance and communication.

The events of the past year have added new challenges as the NATO command staff here prepares to assume control of the 25,000-strong NATO Response Force, which is viewed as a counterweight to expanded Russian operations in the east.

NATO Joint Forces Command Naples is in the middle of a two-week exercise testing its ability to direct the response force, a ready-to-assemble force comprised of units set aside by member states and commanded on a rotational basis by staffs in Naples and Brunssum, the Netherlands. The exercise, called Trident Juncture, is a capstone to a year of training for the smaller…

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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

Kurdish Fighters Resisting and Gain Ground in Kobani

Originally posted on the real SyrianFreePress Network:

20141113_Kurdist-2

Kurds battling Daesh terrorist in Kobani reportedly made advances in the south of the flashpoint Syrian town on the border with Turkey.

Top Kurdish officials told AFP their fighters were advancing street by street, voicing confidence that the ISIL would soon be ejected.

The Kurdish YPG recaptured streets and buildings in the south of Kobani, after a fierce battle against the Daesh-ISIL.

On Monday night, the US-led coalition hit ISIL positions in Kobani’s southeast.

Syria’s Kurds are being backed by Iraqi peshmerga fighters in their bid to reclaim the town from terrorists hands.

Syrian Kurdish chief Saleh Muslim said the YPG were advancing “street by street” and that they would “recapture the town in a very short time”. And the Kurds’ top field commander in Kobane, Narin Afrin, a 40-year-old woman, said by telephone: “We have been resisting for 56 days in very difficult conditions.”

~

Source: AFP News

SFP/patriot

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ISIS Fires American-Made Missiles At Syrian Army

By Brandon Turbeville ~ Activist Post 10 November 2014

bombs-us-flag Art – Susan Ohanion

The fact that the United States and NATO are arming the death squads fighting the secular government of Bashar al-Assad is, by now, accepted news in both the alternative and mainstream media circles. However, due to the U.S. State Department’s and its media mouthpieces’ incessant claims that there is such a thing as “moderate” rebels vs. extremist rebels in Syria, it is not considered “credible” or mainstream to suggest that the United States is, in fact, arming extremists.

Of course, the reality is that there is no such thing as “moderate rebels” in Syria. The truth is that the FSA, largely presented as “moderate,” is, in actuality, the same thing as Al-Qaeda, Al-Nusra, and ISIS.

Regardless, the mainstream press and the governments that it represents continue to push the deception of “moderates” as well as the claim that NATO is opposed to ISIS. These claims, however, are becoming increasingly difficult to maintain as more and more evidence emerges from the Syrian front demonstrating them to be patently false.

Such evidence involves reports producing evidence of ISIS’ possession of American military hardware and strong suspicion that the United States is providing direct guidance and assistance to the terrorist organization.

For instance, in a report published by The Independent, entitled, “How did Islamists receive American weapons? See the evidence from guided missile that exploded near Syrian front line,” Robert Fisk writes that

Syria’s special forces troops are strung out across a pinnacle of hills here just north east of Lattakia on one of the country’s most dangerous front lines, under daily missile attack from reinforced rebel forces now supported by Isis.

The officers, all of whom are paratroopers, speak of new tactics and upgraded weapons used against them since Isis seized the Iraqi city of Mosul – and some of the radio traffic they listen to from their enemy is in the Chechen or Georgian languages.

Intelligence reports speak of a unification of various rebel factions calling themselves the “Legion of the Coast”, a clear sign that the Isis-inspired rebels – including Isis supporters themselves – intend to strike westwards towards the Mediterranean, scarcely eight miles away.

It’s fair bet that a big battle is shaping up in these pine-covered mountains.

[…]

The soldiers themselves talk of the thermal heat-seeking missiles fired at them with detailed knowledge, and agree that the mixture of Islamist groups above and to the east of them are carrying out daily probing attacks to test their defences.

Intriguingly, their surveillance patrols are returning at dawn to report the sound of unidentified night-time aircraft flying into Syrian airspace from Turkey and then east, deep into Syria.

The aircraft flying overhead at nighttime is obviously suspected to be American or at least NATO-operated flights, although the Syrian forces are unsure of exactly who the aircraft belongs to or even if the flights are actual planes or drones.

Fisk continues with his description of the arms that ISIS militants have recently procured by writing,

But their officers talk of the new TOW anti-armour weapons that have appeared in rebel hands.

One officer showed me an Islamist website videotape of rebels firing a heat-seeking rocket at his own encampment just to the north of here at Qastel Ma’af. The missile can be seen exploding but in fact disintegrated against concrete revetments around a tank.

Most notably, Fisk recounts how parts of an ISIS-fired missile, which were brought in for evaluation by the Syrian Special Forces, actually contained damning proof that the weapons were American made. He writes,

But when a corporal dragged a sack load of missile parts into a room in this Syrian hill-top fortress, it contained some fascinating evidence of the rebel armoury. Most missiles fragment into thousands of pieces on detonation but just over a month ago – on 26 September – a guided missile exploded deep beneath sand and earth and the fragments clearly show the name of its American arms manufacturer, circuit boards and the coding of the weapon.

Part of the missile identifies the “Eagle-Piche IND (Indiana) INC.” company as the manufacturer and says, in English, that it is “helium charged”, adding – rather ironically as it turns out — the words: “CAUTION — CONTAINS 6400 PSIG He (high explosive), FEDERAL LAW FORBIDS TRANSPORATION IF REFILLED — PENALTY UP TO $25,000 AND FIVE YEARS IMPRISONMENT (49 USC 1809). The Syrians do not know how this weapon – which appears to have been manufactured as long ago as 1989 – made its way from the US to the hands of their country’s Islamist rebels – but it would not be difficult for the Americans to find out. Its full computer coding reads: DOT-E7694 NRC6400/11109/M1033 79294 ASSY 39317 MFR 54080.

A battery tube from another missile fired on the fourth of last month carries an inscription indented in the metal: “132964 Battery thermal MFG DATE 12/90 LOT No (indecipherable numeral then 912 S/N 005959.”

These codes should make it easy for the Americans to identify the purchaser – or receiver – of the weapon, if they choose to do so.

Fisk goes on to ask the pertinent question of “How did the Islamists receive these American weapons? On the international arms market? Or from ‘moderate’ rebels who were given American weapons and then sold them to the highest bidder?”

The answer, of course, is clear.

ISIS received these weapons because the United States and NATO have been funding and arming ISIS from the very beginning. The U.S. has been arming the terrorists ever since 2010, when violence, shootings, and indiscriminate killings erupted in Syria (reported as “peaceful protests” in Western media). Before, during, and ever since, the United States and NATO have continued to support, train, arm, fund, and direct the death squads attempting to overthrow the Assad government.

From covert CIA assistance to actual coordination from death squad experts like Robert Ford, the United States and NATO were directly responsible for the Syrian crisis. By supporting the “rebels” early on, NATO was, in fact, supporting ISIS, since ISIS is nothing more than the current name for what was already in place in Syria when NATO embarked on its destabilization campaign in 2010.

Similar assistance was provided by Syria’s neighbors and fellow Middle Eastern countries with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and a number of other Gulf State Feudal monarchies providing many of the terrorists and the money needed to pay and supply them. Jordan provided training grounds and logistics, Turkey provided the conduit and air support, and Israel provided air cover and intelligence.

Such coordination and military support continues in 2014, with the U.S. now engaging in air strikes that are aimed not at ISIS but at Syrian infrastructure.

In addition, many death squad fighters were recently re-armed by having arms passed from the United States to terrorist brigades that are presented as “moderate” by the mainstream media. These terrorists then immediately passed these arms to Jobhat al-Nusra.

While the revelations that ISIS forces have access to as well as possession of U.S.-made missiles are by no means shocking revelations, they are yet one more puzzle piece fitting together the tangled web of deception that the United States and NATO have woven in their effort to overthrow Bashar Al-Assad and the secular Syrian government.

Brandon Turbeville is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Francis Marion University and is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom7 Real ConspiraciesFive Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1and volume 2, and The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria. Turbeville has published over 300 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV.  He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com. 

http://www.globalresearch.ca/isis-fires-american-made-missiles-at-syrian-army/5413381

50 civilians killed in US-led airstrikes in Syria: Report



Attacks in Syria by the US-led coalition have killed more than 860 people, including at least 50 civilians.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said on Wednesday that at least 50 civilians, including eight children and five women, were killed by US-led coalition airstrikes since mid-September.

The UK-based group added that 746 ISIL militants and 68 al-Nusra Front terrorists had also been killed.

This comes as the US-led coalition carried out three fresh airstrikes against ISIL positions near the Syrian city of Kobani on Tuesday, killing a number of militants.

Meanwhile, top local officials in Syria said on the same day that Kurdish forces were advancing street by street in the southern areas of Kobani, which is close to the Syrian border with Turkey.

They said the ISIL terrorists would soon be pushed out of Kobani.

The UK-based SOHR said, “The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) recaptured streets and buildings in the south of Kobani after a fierce battle against ISIS (ISIL) that began yesterday [Monday] evening.”

A recent report by the SOHR says more than 1,000 people have lost their lives since the ISIL militants entered the border city.

The ISIL militants have committed terrible atrocities in Syria and Iraq, including mass executions and the beheading of local residents as well as foreign nationals.

The US and its allies started their air campaign in Syria in September under pretext of targeting ISIL militants. However, they have also hit Syrian infrastructure including oil and gas facilities and attacked the provinces where ISIL militants are not active.

The US and its allies have been staunch supporters of the al-Qaeda-linked militants fighting the Syrian government.

Source-Press TV

http://www.electronicresistance.net/2014/11/50-civilians-killed-in-us-led-airstrikes-in-syria-report/

Al-Jaafari: Syria regrets international community’s disregard of facts in Syria

Al-Jaafari-no-to-Israhell-for-Decolonization Committee New York, SANA- Syria’s permanent envoy to the UN Bashar al-Jaafari said Syria regrets the international community’s disregard of the facts in Syria and the blind insistence on submitting international politicized, selective and unilateral resolutions every year to the committees concerned under so-called “boosting and protecting the Syrian human rights.”

“Terrorism has been striking Syria since 4 years while its people have lived in light of a silence which approaches the scandal and an unlimited support to Takfiri terrorists who perpetrate the most ugliest forms of killing and violations of the rights of the Syrian people,” Al-Jaafari said in a speech at a session for the 3rd committee in the UN General Assembly to propose a Saudi-Qatari draft resolution on human rights in Syria.

He added that Syria has repeatedly warned against the danger of that takfiri terrorism on the region and the world, describing the resolutions taken by the international community regarding the situation of human rights in Syria as “resolutions that harm the rights of the Syrian citizen and distort his image, in particular, resolutions which are submitted by countries that sponsor the Saudi, Qatari Wahhabi terrorism in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and other countries.”

Al-Jaafari said Syria is confident that all became aware that those resolutions have proved failure in dealing with the reasons behind the crisis in Syria.

He underlined that the only goal of the Saudi-Qatari draft resolution is to defame the Syrian government and ignore its constructive efforts to combat terrorism, supported by governments of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, France and Israel.

Al-Jaafari added that the Syrian delegation to the UN distributed two formal notes to the member countries on November 10 and October 23rd, 2014 during which it presented an explanation on the contradictions and mistakes included in the draft resolution.

Mazen Eyon

http://www.sana.sy/en/?p=17700

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

DAASH-MADE-IN-USA

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/

Daesh-IS is “America’s Dream Rebel Army”

Originally posted on the real SyrianFreePress Network:

daesh-ignorant

ISIS is America’s Dream Rebel Army

US policy paper reveals desire for construction of full-scale extraterritorial army to invade Syria. Such an army is being built in Iraq and Turkey and it’s called “ISIS.”  

The corporate-financier funded and directed policy think tank, the Brookings Institution, has served as one of several prominent forums documenting and disseminating US foreign policy. It would host in part the architects of the so-called “surge” during the nearly decade-spanning US occupation of Iraq, as well as battle plans for waging a covert war against Iran now well under way.

Part of this covert war against Iran involved the arming and backing of listed terrorist groups, and in particular, the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK) which has killed US servicemen, American civilians, as well as countless innocent Iranians over the decades. Among those signing their name to this plan found within Brookings’ “Which Path to Persia?” report

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Exclusive: Aleppo Ceasefire Proposal Details Revealed ~ by Leith Fadel

A special United Nations convoy arrived in the Syrian capital of Damascus two days ago in order to tour U.N. camps and present a proposal for a potential ceasefire in the volatile Aleppo Governorate. The contingency was presented to the Syrian President, Dr. Bashar Al-Assad, and to members of the Syrian Arab Army’s Central Command during the first scheduled meeting between the Syrian Government and the U.N. delegates. The Syrian President and members of the Central Command agreed to take this ceasefire plan under consideration; however, no information was revealed by the Syrian Government that would outline the details of the proposal.

Sources close to Al-Masdar News have revealed portions of the proposal presented to Dr. Bashar Al-Assad, including specific areas that would be affected by this contingency. The source stated the proposal outlined a deal involving the Islamic Front (Jabhat Al-Islamiyya) and the SAA to adhere to a ceasefire inside the city of Aleppo; specifically, in the Hanano, Bani Zaid, Salahaddeen, Al-Ramouseh, Handarat, Sheikh Sa’eed, and Al-Layramoun Districts. The only area that was not mentioned in the proposal was the YPG-controlled Sheikh Miskeen District; it is likely due to the lack of hostilities in this area.

Similar to the ceasefire agreement in the Old Homs Quarter, the SAA will allow for the militants to leave the city of Aleppo without any violent confrontation and to provide them transportation. The militants from the Islamic Front will be required to give-up their weapons before they are mass transported to areas on the Turkish border with Aleppo. Upon their absence from the city of Aleppo, the SAA will have to allow U.N. groups inside the war-torn areas, while the former is allowed to reestablish checkpoints inside the once militant-controlled districts in the city.

The source stated that there has been no formal acceptance for this proposal by the Syrian Government or the militant groups, but there is a willingness to ease the violence in the former economic capital of Syria.

http://www.almasdarnews.com/article/exclusive-aleppo-ceasefire-proposal-details-revealed/

French Military Intervention in the Levant? War with Hezbollah on the Horizon?


France to Deliver Military Equipment and Advisors to Lebanon for at least 10 Years with Saudi Arabian Funds ~ By Timothy Alexander Guzman

French soldiers walk past a hangar they are staying at the Malian army air base in Bamako Saudi Arabia is funding the French government’s military apparatus for a future conflict involving the Lebanese government and the terrorist groups such as ISIS and Al-Nusra. Reuters reported that “France will start delivering military equipment to the Lebanese army in the first quarter of 2015 as part of a $3 billion contract to help the force fight jihadis from neighboring Syria, a French defense ministry source said on Wednesday.” No surprise that the Saudi Monarchy would fund France’s own Military-Industrial Complex because they claim that they are concerned with both the “Sunni and Shi’ite threat” of these organizations. What is more relevant to this development is what Reuters reported concerning the Saudi Monarchy:

The contract has been funded by Sunni Muslim power Saudi Arabia which is keen to beef up Lebanon’s ability to counter what it sees as threats to the region from both hardline Sunni groups and Lebanon’s own Shi’ite Muslim movement Hezbollah.

Is Hezbollah, a threat to the region? A Shi’ite movement that has supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against Western backed rebels”? Reuters reported what France will send beginning in 2015:

The deal will involve about 20 French companies and cover a mix of land, sea and air equipment, including armored vehicles, heavy artillery, anti-tank missiles, mortars and assault weapons, the source said. “We are aiming to start delivery from the first quarter of 2015, then every six months, until the delivery of helicopters,” over a total period of 36 months, said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity. Intelligence and surveillance material, including drones, would also be sent and Paris would provide lightly-armed armed patrol boats as well as combat and transport helicopters, the source told Reuters.

It is important to note that the report did not state how long French military advisors will stay in Lebanon. It also means that France is on board with the U.S. and Israel’s long term strategy of destabilizing Syria:

Beyond the technical training for the equipment, France also agreed to provide operational training which will mean that the contract won’t end after the final delivery and will last 10 years,” the source added, declining to say how many French military advisers would stay on.

What Lebanon’s government officials are saying is that they fear these terrorists groups will eventually “open up new supply routes between Syria and Lebanon as winter unfolds” according to Reuters. What the Saudi’s and the French are preparing for is war against Hezbollah as I wrote back in 2013 in an article called ‘Israel in Preparation for another War with Hezbollah.’ It stated what the U.S. and its allies have been planning for some time:

The Anti-Assad rebels recently have been also targeting Hezbollah territories with rockets fired from Syria and in Lebanon. The United States and its allies have been using the “divide and conquer” strategy to ignite tensions between Sunnis and Shiites with the purpose of creating chaos in the volatile area between Israel and Syria.

The Saudi’s are hoping that France could assist the U.S. and Israel in defeating Hezbollah. That is the real reason behind the Saudi-French deal. According to Reuter’s source, “Riyadh had been concerned that some of the weapons could fall into Hezbollah’s hands” and that “We’ll be there for 10 years. I don’t see how Hezbollah is going to drive away with a Caesar tank if we are around,” the source said. “The fact we’ll be on the ground is a sort of insurance for our client and partners.” Yes, insurance for Western Imperialism to rule over the natural resource rich Middle East. That is the bottom line.

Al Jazeera reported back in 2010 that Wikileaks exposed Saudi Arabia’s intentions, “Saudi Arabia has proposed setting up an Arab force to fight Hezbollah group in Lebanon with the help of the United States, UN and Nato, a leaked US diplomatic cable claims” which means that Saudi Arabia has been in talks with the West for a plan to defeat Hezbollah for some time. “The cable, which was revealed by WikiLeaks on Tuesday, quotes Saud al-Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister, as saying in a meeting with US ambassador to Iraq David Satterfield in May 2008 that a “security response” was needed to the “military challenge” posed to Beirut by the Iran-backed group” the report said. The Middle East is now a powder keg ready to explode. Keep in mind that U.S. midterm elections produced a Republican controlled U.S. Senate with warmonger John McCain, who is expected to become chairman of the Armed Services Committee in January 2015.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/french-military-intervention-in-the-levant-war-with-hezbollah-on-the-horizon/5412446

NATO’s War of Aggression Against Yugoslavia ~ By Prof Michel Chossudovsky


On September 10, 2014, at a Ceremony at the University of Ottawa, Michel Chossudovsky was granted the Gold Medal of Merit of the Republic of Serbia for his writings on NATO’s war against the people of Yugoslavia. The gold medal was granted by HE The Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia to Canada, Mr. Mihailo Papazoglu on behalf of Serbia’s President Tomislav Nicolic.  

The ceremony was chaired by the head of the Economics Department Professor Y. Dissou in the presence of the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences Professor Marcel Merette, professors, support staff and graduate students. The granting of the gold medal to Professor Chossudovsky was confirmed by The Governor General’s office as contained in the Canada Gazette  (May 31, 2014). 

From Left to Right Professor Y Dissou, HE Ambassador Mihailo Papazoglu, Professor Michel Chossudovsky, Dean Marcel Merette

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Author’s Note

I am much indebted to the people of Serbia for this award, to Serbia’s President Tomislav Nicolicand Ambassador Mihailo Papazoglu.  I also wish to thank my colleagues in the Department of Economics and the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Ottawa for their support.

In the course of last 15 years, the West has been rewriting the history of the 1999 US-NATO war of aggression against Yugoslavia.  The crimes committed by the Western military alliance have been casually blamed on the victims.  NATO’s intervention is heralded as a humanitarian endeavour. 

This article written at the height of the 1999 bombing campaign of Yugoslavia documents the insidious framework of US foreign policy as well as the hideous crimes committed against the people of Yugoslavia including the use of cluster bombs and depleted uranium ammunition.  According to Walter J. Rockler, former prosecutor of the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials:

“The bombing war also violates and shreds the basic provisions of the United Nations Charter and other conventions and treaties; the attack on Yugoslavia constitutes the most brazen international aggression since the Nazis attacked Poland to prevent “Polish atrocities” against Germans. The United States has discarded pretensions to international legality and decency, and embarked on a course of raw imperialism run amok.”

The article was first published by several online publications in June 1999. It was subsequently published by Global Research in 2003.  Much of what is recorded in this article in the course of war has been erased ad dismissed by the Western media. The objective of US-NATO is to rewrite and distort history. It is, therefore, important that the historical record of these war crimes should not be forgotten. The battle for the truth is an ongoing process. There is no such thing as a “humanitarian war”. The war criminals and political architects of the 1999 war on Yugoslavia must be  identified and ultimately brought  to justice. 

Michel Chossudovsky, November 4, 2014 

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General Wesley Clark, NATO’s Supreme commander in Europe, confirmed in late May that “NATO’S air campaign has not reached its peak yet and the alliance should be prepared for more civilian casualties.”. General Clark also confirmed that “he would be seeking to increase the number of air strikes in Kosovo and expand the range of targets.

As the bombings entered their third month, there was also a noticeable change in “NATO rhetoric”. The Alliance had become increasingly unrepentant, NATO officials were no longer apologising for civilian casualties, claiming that the latter were contributing to “helping Milosevic’s propaganda machine.”

Low Intensity Nuclear War

With NATO air-strikes entering their third month, a new stage of the War has unfolded. NATO’s “humanitarian bombings” have been stepped up leading to mounting civilian casualties and human suffering. Thirty percent of those killed in the bombings are children.1 In addition to the use of cluster bombs, the Alliance is waging a “low intensity nuclear war” using toxic radioactive shells and missiles containing depleted uranium. Amply documented, the radioactive fall-out causes cancer potentially affecting millions of people for generations to come. According to a recent scientific report, “the first signs of radiation on children including herpes on the mouth and skin rashes on the back and ankles” have been observed in Yugoslavia since the beginning of the bombings.2

In addition to the radioactive fall-out which has contaminated the environment and the food chain, the Alliance has also bombed Yugoslavia’s major chemical and pharmaceutical plants. The bombing of Galenika, the largest medicine factory in Yugoslavia has contributed to releasing dangerous, highly toxic fumes. When NATO forces bombed plants of the Pancevo petrochemical complex in mid-April “fire broke out and huge quantities of chlorine, ethylene dichloride and vinyl chloride monomer flowed out. Workers at Pancevo, fearing further bombing attacks that would blow up dangerous materials, released tons of ethylene dichloride, a carcinogen, into the Danube.”3

Nato to the “Rescue of Ethnic Albanians”

Ethnic Albanians have not been spared by NATO air raids. Killing ethnic Albanians in Kosovo is said to be “inevitable” in carrying out a “humanitarian operation on behalf of ethnic Albanians”. In addition to the impacts of the ground war between the KLA and the Yugoslav Armed Forces, the bombings and the resulting radioactive fall-out in Kosovo have been more devastating than in the rest of Yugoslavia.

Presented as a humanitarian mission, the evidence amply confirms that NATO’s brutal air raids of towns and villages in Kosovo have triggered the exodus of refugees. Those who have fled their homes to refugee camps in Macedonia and Albania have nothing to return to, nothing to look forward to… An entire country has been destroyed, its civilian industry and public infrastructure transformed into rubble. Bridges, power plants, schools and hospitals are displayed as “legitimate military targets” selected by NATO’s Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) in Vicenza, Italy and carefully “validated prior to the pilot launching his strike.”

With the “diplomatic shuttle” still ongoing, the Alliance is intent on inflicting as much damage on the Yugoslav economy (including Kosovo) as possible prior to reaching a G8 brokered “peace initiative” which will empower them to send in ground troops. “Allied commanders have steadily widened their list of economic targets… Increasingly, the impact of NATO air strikes has put people out of work… causing water shortages in Belgrade, Novi Sad and other Serbian cities. … [T]he effect was to shut down businesses, strain hospitals’ ability to function and cut off water…”4. Some 115 medical institutions have been damaged of which several have been totally demolished. And hospital patients –including children and the elderly– are dying due to the lack of water and electricity…5

General Wesley Clark, NATO’s Supreme commander in Europe, confirmed in late May that “NATO’S air campaign has not reached its peak yet and the alliance should be prepared for more civilian casualties.”6. General Clark also confirmed that “he would be seeking to increase the number of air strikes in Kosovo and expand the range of targets.7 As the bombings entered their third month, there was also a noticeable change in “NATO rhetoric”. The Alliance had become increasingly unrepentant, NATO officials were no longer apologising for civilian casualties, claiming that the latter were contributing to “helping Milosevic’s propaganda machine.”

Extending the Conflict Beyond the Balkans

Drowned in the barrage of media images and self-serving analyses, the broader strategic interests and economic causes of the War go unmentioned. The late Sean Gervasi writing in 1995 had anticipated an impending War. According to Gervasi, Washington’s strategic goals stretched well beyond the Balkans. They largely consisted in “installing a Western-style regime in Yugoslavia and reducing the geographic area, power and influence of Serbia to a minimum….”8

In this context, the installation of American power in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean also constitutes a step towards the extension of Washington’s geopolitical sphere of influence beyond the Balkans into the area of the Caspian Sea, Central Asia and West Asia.

In this regard, NATO’s military intervention in Yugoslavia (in violation of international law) also sets a dangerous precedent. It provides “legitimacy” to future military interventions. To achieve its strategic objectives, national economies are destabilised, regional conflicts are financed through the provision of covert support to armed insurgencies… In other words, the conflict in Yugoslavia creates conditions which provide legitmacy to future interventions of the Alliance into the “internal affairs of sovereign nations”.

The consolidation of American strategic interests in Eastern Europe, the Balkans (and beyond) was not only marked by the enlargement of NATO (with the accession of Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic as NATO members) barely two weeks before the beginning of the bombings, the War in Yugoslavia also coincided with a critical split in geopolitical alignments within the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

In late April, Georgia, the Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Moldava signed a pact in Washington, creating GUUAM, a regional alliance which lies strategically at the hub of the Caspian oil and gas wealth, “with Moldava and the Ukraine offering [pipeline] export routes to the West”.9 This geopolitical split bears a direct relationship to the crisis in Yugoslavia. The region is already unstable marked by nationalist conflicts and separatist movements.

The members of this new pro-NATO political grouping not only tacitly support the bombings in Yugoslavia, they have also agreed to “low level military cooperation” with NATO while insisting that “the group is not a military alliance directed against any third party,  namely Moscow.”10

Dominated by Western oil interests, the formation of GUUAM is not only intent on excluding Russia from the oil and gas deposits in the Caspian area but also in isolating Moscow politically thereby potentially re-igniting Cold War divisions…

The War Has Stalled Nuclear Arms Controls

In turn, the War in Yugoslavia has significantly stalled nuclear arms-control initiatives leading to the cancellation of an exchange program “that would have had US and Russian nuclear weapons officers in constant contact at year’s end to prevent any launches as a result of Year 2000 computer troubles.”11

Moreover, Russia’s military has also voiced its concern “that the bombing of Yugoslavia could turn out in the very near future to be just a rehearsal for similar strikes on Russia.”12.

According to Dr. Mary-Wynne Ashford, co-president of the Nobel Peace Prize winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), the impact of NATO bombings of Yugoslavia “on nuclear weapons policy is an extremely serious development… Russians feel a sense of betrayal by the West… because NATO took this action outside the UN.”13

Aleksander Arbatov, deputy chairman of the Defence Committee of the Russian State Duma U.S.-Russian relations describes the War in Yugoslavia as the “worst most acute, most dangerous juncture since the U.S.-Soviet Berlin and Cuban missile crises.”14 According to Arbatov:

“START II is dead, co-operation with NATO is frozen, co-operation on missile defence is out of the question, and Moscow’s willingness to co-operate on non-proliferation issues is at an all-time low. Moreover, anti-U.S. sentiment in Russia is real, deep and more wide-spread than ever, and the slogan describing NATO action – “today Serbia, tomorrow Russia,” is “deeply planted in Russian’s minds.”…15 Mary-Wynne Ashford also warns that whereas Russia was moving towards integration with Europe, they [the Russians] now:

“…. perceive their primary threat from the West. Officials in [Russia’s] Foreign Affairs (Arms Control and Disarmament) told us that Russia has no option but to rely on nuclear weapons for its defence because its conventional forces are inadequate…. Even if the bombings stop now, the changes in Russia’s attitude toward the West, its renewed reliance on nuclear weapons with thousands on high alert, and its loss of confidence in international law leave us vulnerable to catastrophe…. This crisis makes de-alerting nuclear weapons more urgent than ever. To those who say the Russian threat is all rhetoric, I reply that rhetoric is what starts wars”.16

The Media War: “Silencing the Silent Majority”

This war is also “a War against the Truth”. With protest movements developing around the World, NATO has reinforced its clutch over the mass media. In a stylised (“wag the dog”) media mascarade, the Alliance is relentlessly portrayed as “the saviour of ethnic Albanian Kosovars”. A full-fledged “cover-up operation” has been set in motion with a view to thwarting public debate on the War. The hidden agenda is to “silence the silent majority.” The Western media heeding to the Alliance’s demands has blatantly misled public opinion. Casually portrayed on TV screens, civilian deaths are justified as inevitable “collateral damage”. According to the Pentagon, “there is no such thing as clean combat.”17

Meanwhile, anti-war commentators (including former ambassadors and OSCE officials) have been carefully removed from mainstream public affairs programmes, TV content is closely scrutinised, the images of civilian deaths and destruction relayed from Belgrade are seldomly and selectively displayed, journalists are under tight supervision. While the media does not hesitate to criticize NATO for having committed “errors” and “tragic mistakes”, the legitimacy of the military operation and its “humanitarian mandate” are not questioned:

“Public opinion is confronted with a loaded question which allows only one answer. In the present war, that question is, “Doesn’t ethnic cleansing have to be stopped?” This simplification allows the media to portray Yugoslavia rather than NATO as the aggressor. The alliance, in a complete inversion of reality, is presented as conducting an essentially defensive war on behalf of the Kosovar Albanians…” when in fact ethnic Albanians are the principle victims of NATO’s “humanitarian bombings.”18

According to NATO’s propaganda machine, “ethnic Albanians do not flee the bombings” and the ground war between the KLA and the Yugoslav Army. According to Diana Johnstone this makes them “nearly unique [because] throughout history, civilians have fled from war zones…. No, as we have heard repeatedly from NATO spokesmen and apologists, Kosovo Albanians run away from only one thing: brutal ethnic cleansing carried out by Serbs.”19

The refugee crisis we are told by NATO is limited to Kosovo. Yet the evidence (withheld by the Western media) confirms that people throughout Serbia are fleeing major cities:

Reliable estimates put the number of refugees who have left Belgrade to escape the bombing at 400,000. Most are women and children, as with the Kosovo Albanians. At least another 500,000 have left Serbia’s other cities, notably Novi Sad and Nish, where NATO bombing has caused air pollution, cut the water supply, and struck purely civilian targets such as market squares. Altogether, according to the Italian daily “Il Manifesto”, the NATO bombing has produced at least a million refugees in Serbia. Predrag Simic, foreign policy adviser to Serbian opposition leader Vuk Draskovic, told a Paris conference [in late May] that Kosovo was being so thoroughly devastated by NATO bombing that nobody, neither Albanians nor Serbs, would be able to go back and live there”.20

Who is Responsible for War Crimes?

Public “disapproval” of NATO bombings is immediately dismissed as “Serb propaganda”. Those who speak out against NATO are branded as “apologists of Milosevic”. While most anti-War critics in NATO countries are not defenders of the Milosevic regime, they are nonetheless expected to be “balanced” in their arguments. “Looking at both sides of the picture is the rule”: anti-war commentators are invited to echo NATO’s fabricated media consensus, to unequivocally “join the bandwagon” against Milosevic. Under these circumstances, an objective understanding and analysis of the role of the Milosovic government since the civil War in Bosnia and in the context of the present crisis in Kosovo has been rendered virtually impossible.

Media double standards? Whereas President Milosevic and four members of his government were indicted by the Hague International Criminal Tribunal (ICTY) (late May) for organising a policy of “ethnic cleansing” in Kosovo, the news media failed to mention that several parallel law suits were launched at The Hague Tribunal (ICTY), accusing NATO leaders of “crimes against humanity.”21

It is also worth mentioning that the UK government (whose Prime Minister Tony Blair is among the list of accused in one of the parallel law suits) has provided The Hague Tribunal with “intelligence on the situation within Kosovo” since the beginning of the bombings.22 Part of this intelligence material was relayed by the KLA with which British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook has been in frequent contact as well as through British Special Forces (SAS) directly collaborating with the KLA.

Law Suit Directed Against Nato Leaders

In May, a group of 15 Canadian lawyers and law professors together with the American Association of Jurists (with members in more than 20 countries) launched a suit against NATO leaders at the ICTY in the Hague.23 The suit points to “open violation” of the United Nations Charter, the NATO treaty, the Geneva Conventions and the “Principles of International Law Recognized by the Nuremberg Tribunal”. The latter makes: “planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances” a crime.24

The list of crimes allegedly committed by NATO leaders includes:

“wilful killing, wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, extensive destruction of property,… employment of poisonous weapons [implying radioactive fall-out] or other weapons to cause unnecessary suffering, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity,… “25

Under the terms of reference of the ICTY “a person who planned, instigated, ordered, committed or otherwise aided and abetted in the planning, preparation or execution of a crime shall be individually responsible for the crime” and “the official position of any accused person, whether as Head of State or Government or as a responsible Government official, shall not relieve such person of criminal responsibility or mitigate punishment.”26

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson (and former President of Ireland) confirmed in Geneva on 30 April that the Prosecutor of the War Crimes Tribunal (ICTY) has the mandate not only to prosecute Serb forces but that the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and NATO may also come under scrutiny, “if it appears that serious violations of international humanitarian law have occurred.”

According to Walter J. Rockler, former prosecutor of the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials:

“The bombing war also violates and shreds the basic provisions of the United Nations Charter and other conventions and treaties; the attack on Yugoslavia constitutes the most brazen international aggression since the Nazis attacked Poland to prevent “Polish atrocities” against Germans. The United States has discarded pretensions to international legality and decency, and embarked on a course of raw imperialism run amok.”27

Shaky Evidence of a “Humanitarian Catastrophe” Prior to the Bombings

In the course of “covering-up” the real motivations of NATO in launching the War, the international media has also failed to mention that an official intelligence report of the German Foreign Ministry (used to establish the eligibility of political refugees from Kosovo) confirmed that there was no evidence of “ethnic cleansing” in Kosovo in the months immediately preceding the bombings. Who is lying? German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer had justified NATO’s intervention pointing to a “humanitarian catastrophe”, yet the internal documents of his own ministry say exactly the opposite:

“Even in Kosovo an explicit political persecution linked to Albanian ethnicity is not verifiable. The East of Kosovo is still not involved in armed conflict. Public life in cities like Pristina, Urosevac, Gnjilan, etc. has, in the entire conflict period, continued on a relatively normal basis. The actions of the security forces [were] not directed against the Kosovo-Albanians as an ethnically defined group, but against the military opponent [KLA] and its actual or alleged supporters.”… “29

[W]ith an agreement made with the Serbian leadership at the end of 1998 … both the security situation and the conditions of life of the Albanian-derived population have noticeably improved… Specifically in the larger cities public life has since returned to relative normality.”29

The above assessments are broadly consistent with several independent evaluations of the humanitarian situation in Kosovo prior to the onslaught of the bombing campaign. Roland Keith, a former field office director of the OSCE Kosovo Verification Mission (KVM), who left Kosovo on March 20th reported that most of the violence in Kosovo was instigated by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA):

“Upon my arrival the war increasingly evolved into a mid intensity conflict as ambushes, the encroachment of critical lines of communication and the [KLA] kidnapping of security forces resulted in a significant increase in government casualties which in turn led to major Yugoslavian reprisal security operations… By the beginning of March these terror and counter-terror operations led to the inhabitants of numerous villages fleeing, or being dispersed to either other villages, cities or the hills to seek refuge… The situation was clearly that KLA provocations, as personally witnessed in ambushes of security patrols which inflicted fatal and other casualties, were clear violations of the previous October’s agreement [and United Nations Security Council Resolution 1199]. The security forces responded and the consequent security harassment and counter-operations led to an intensified insurrectionary war, but as I have stated elsewhere, I did not witness, nor did I have knowledge of any incidents of so-called “ethnic cleansing” and there certainly were no occurrences of “genocidal policies” while I was with the KVM in Kosovo. What has transpired since the OSCE monitors were evacuated on March 20, in order to deliver the penultimate warning to force Yugoslavian compliance with the Rambouillet and subsequent Paris documents and the commencement of the NATO air bombardment of March 24, obviously has resulted in human rights abuses and a very significant humanitarian disaster as some 600,000 Albanian Kosovars have fled or been expelled from the province. This did not occur, though, before March 20, so I would attribute the humanitarian disaster directly or indirectly to the NATO air bombardment and resulting anti-terrorist campaign.”30

Chronology of Nato Planning

Carefully removed from the public eye, preparations for both “the air campaign” and “the ground War” have been ongoing for almost a year prior to the beginning of NATO’s “humanitarian bombings” on March 24th 1999.

Responding to broad strategic and economic objectives, the Alliance’s first priority was to secure the stationing of armed combat troops in Macedonia on the immediate border with Kosovo. US Secretary of Defense William Cohen had travelled to Skopje in late December 1997 for discussions with the Macedonian government and Military. These high levels talks were followed a few months later by the visit of Macedonia’s Defense Minister L. Kitanoski to Washington for meetings at the Pentagon. On the agenda: the establishment of a NATO base in Macedonia.31

No time was lost: on May 6, 1998, the NATO Council met “to review alliance efforts” in the region; a major military exercise entitled “Cooperative Best Effort” was slated to take place in Macedonia in September. NATO nonetheless “reassured the international community” that the military exercise was not meant to be “a rehearsal”, rather it was to enable “NATO military authorities to study various options. Decisions on whether to execute any of those options would be a matter for future decision.”32

Largely the consequence of KLA terrorism, the deterioration of the security situation in Kosovo conveniently provided NATO with a pretext to build up its ground forces in Macedonia (composed largely of British and French troops). According to NATO, it was therefore necessary to envisage “a more complicated and ambitious [military] exercise [in Macedonia] to send a clear political signal [to Belgrade] of NATO’s involvement”.33

The Role of the Kosovo Liberation Army

In parallel with the setting up of its military operations in Albania and Macedonia, NATO had established direct links with the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). A US Department of Defense briefing confirms in this regard that “initial contacts” between the KLA and NATO had taken place by mid-1998:

“…the realization has come to people [in NATO] that we [NATO] have to have the UCK [acronym for KLA in Albanian] involved in this process because they have shown at least the potential to be rejectionists of any deal that could be worked out there with the existing Kosovo parties. So somehow they have to be brought in and that’s why we’ve made some initial contacts there with the group, hopefully the right people in the group, to try and bring them into this negotiating process. 34

While these “initial contacts” were acknowledged by NATO officially only in mid-1998, the KLA had (according to several reports) been receiving “covert support” and training from the CIA and Germany’s Bundes Nachrichten Dienst (BND) since the mid-nineties.35

The concurrent building up of KLA forces was part of NATO planning. By mid-1998 “covert support” had been gradually replaced –despite the KLA’s links to organised crime– by official (“overt”) support by the military Alliance in violation of UN Security Council Resolution UNSCR 1160 of 31 March 1998 which condemned: “…all acts of terrorism by the Kosovo Liberation Army or any other group or individual and all external support for terrorist activity in Kosovo, including finance, arms and training.”

On 24 September 1998, another key UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR 1199) was adopted which called “upon the authorities in Belgrade and the leadership of the Kosovar Albanian community urgently to enter without preconditions into a meaningful dialogue on political status issues.” It also required Belgrade to withdraw its troops from Kosovo.

Following a renewed wave of KLA terrorism, the Yugoslav authorities were blamed for the “crackdowns on ethnic Albanians” providing NATO defense ministers meeting in Vilmoura Portugal (September 24th on the same day as the adoption of UNSCR 1199) with the “justification” to issue an “activation warning” for a campaign of air strikes against Serb positions. The Vilmoura statement called upon Belgrade to “take immediate steps to alleviate the humanitarian situation…, stop repressive actions against the population and seek a political solution through negotiations with the Albanian majority”.36

This so-called “activation warning” was followed in mid-October by “an activation order” by the North Atlantic Council authorising NATO’s Supreme Commander for Europe General Wesley Clark to initiate “limited air strikes” and a “phased air campaign” … should the Yugoslav authorities refuse to comply with UNSCR 1199.37

Under the impending threat of air strikes, a partial withdrawal was carried out by Belgrade (following the adoption of UNSCR 1199) creating almost immediately conditions for the KLA to occupy positions previously held by retreating Serb forces. In turn, the strengthening of the KLA was accompanied by renewed terrorist activity and a consequent “worsening of the security situation”. NATO’s hidden objective, in this regard, was to use the KLA insurgency to further provoke ethnic tensions and generate social strife in Kosovo.

In the meantime, US envoy Richard Holbrooke had entered into discussions with President Milosovic. Forged under the threat of NATO air strikes, negotiations on Kosovo’s political status had also been initiated in Pristina between a Serbian delegation led by President Milan Milutinovic and Ibrahim Rugova, President of the Democratic League (DLK) representing ethnic Albanians. While Mr Christopher Hill, the US envoy had been invited as an observer to these meetings, Milutinovic had insisted that the negotiations (which proceeded from UNSCR 1199) were an internal matter.

Following the agreement between US envoy Richard Holbrooke and President Slobodan Milosevic, Yugoslavia was to complete negotiations on “a framework for a political settlement” by the 2nd of November 1998. Moreover, a Verification Mission to establish compliance with resolutions UNSCR 1160 and UNSCR 1199, was put in place in Kosovo under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). A parallel NATO air verification mission (complementing the OSCE verification mission) was established following an agreement signed in Belgrade on 15 October 1998 by the Yugoslav Chief of General Staff and NATO Supreme Allied Commander for Europe, General Wesley Clark.

The terms of both the OSCE and NATO verification agreements were subsequently embodied in UNSCR 1260 of October 24th. Whereas Belgrade was given a 96 hour “deadline for compliance”, the Alliance decided to postpone the initiation of air strikes following talks in Belgrade (October 25-26) between President Slobodan Milosevic and General Wesley Clark. According to the Alliance statement: “NATO will remain prepared to carry out air operations should they be necessary” 38. In the meantime, NATO launched Operation Eagle Eye using unarmed aircraft and unmanned predator aerial vehicles (UAVs). Eagle Eye surveillance activities were coordinated with the “ground verification” mission conducted by OSCE observer teams and by the Kosovo Diplomatic Observer Mission (KDOM).

A Former “Iran-Contragate” Official Heads the OSCE Verification Mission

In the meantime, a career US diplomat, Ambassador William G. Walker was appointed Head of the OSCE Kosovo Verification Mission (KVM). A tailor-made assignment: Walker was well-known for his role in the “Iran-Contragate” scandal during the Reagan administration. The KLA insurgency was in many regards a “carbon copy” of the Nicaraguan Contras which had also been funded by drug money with covert support from the CIA.

Well documented by court files, William G. Walker –in association with Oliver North– played a key role in channelling covert funding to the Nicaraguan Contras while serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs in the Reagan Administration. In this capacity, he became a special assistant to Assistant Secretary of State Elliot Abrams, “a figure whose name would soon be making its way into the headlines on a daily basis in connection with … the “Iran-Contra” affair.”39

William G. Walker had been involved in the so-called Nicaraguan Humanitarian Assistance Office (“NHAO”) in the State Department which was a cover-up fund whereby covert military aid was supplied to the Contras. The objective was to circumvent the so-called “Boland Amendments”, –ie. “riders” to the Department of Defense Appropriation Act, “which prohibited the [US] government from spending money for the purpose of overthrowing the government of Nicaragua”. 40 Confirmed by files of the US Court of Appeal (District of Columbia), “Walker attended some meetings of the Restricted Interagency Group for Central America, of which Oliver North was a member”.41

Walker was never indicted for criminal wrong-doings in the Iran- Contragate scandal. Upon completing his work with Oliver North, he was appointed US Ambassador to El Salvador. His stint in El Salvador coincided with the rise of the death squadrons and a period during which the country was virtually “under the grip of US sponsored State terror.”42

In Kosovo, William G. Walker applied his skills in covert operations acquired in Central America. As head of the Kosovo Verification Mission (KVM), Walker maintained close links to the KLA military command in the field.43 From the outset of his mission in Kosovo, he used his position to pursue the interests of the Alliance.

“The Racak Massacre”

The so-called “Racak massacre” occurred shortly before the launching of the Rambouillet “peace initiative”. although it turned out to be a fake, the Racak massacre nonetheless played a key role in “setting the stage” for NATO’s air raids. William Walker declared (in his capacity as head of KVM) that the Yugoslav police had carried out a massacre of civilians at Racak on January 15th. The Yugoslav authorities retorted that local police had in fact conducted an operation in this village against the Kosovo Libration Army and that several KLA soliders had died in cross-fire. As later reported by several French newspapers (Le Monde, Le Figaro and Liberation), it was confirmed that the “Racak massacre” was indeed a fake put together with a view to discrediting Belgrade:

“Eventually, even the Los Angeles Times joined in, running a story entitled “Racak Massacre Questions: Were Atrocities Faked?” The theory behind all these exposs was that the KLA had gathered their own dead after the battle, removed their uniforms, put them in civilian clothes, and then called in the observers.”44.

The Rambouillet Process

On January 22, senior officials of the so-called “Contact Group” of six countries (including the US, Russia, Britain, France, Germany and Italy) meeting in London called for a peace conference which would bring together the Yugoslav government and “representatives of ethnic Albanians.” In turn, NATO warned that it was “ready to act” if the peace plan to be finalised by the Contact Group were rejected. United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan concurred during a visit to NATO headquarters in Brussels that the threat of force was “essential” to press both sides into a settlement.45

In the meantime, while supporting the KLA insurgency on the ground, the Alliance had also contributed to spearheading KLA leader Hashim Thaci (a 29 year “freedom fighter”) into heading the Kosovar delegation to Rambouillet, on behalf of the ethnic Albanian majority. The Democratic League headed by Ibrahim Rugova had been deliberately side-stepped. The Alliance was relying on its KLA puppets (linked to organised crime) to rubber-stamp an agreement which would have transformed Kosovo into an occupied territory under NATO military rule.

While negotiations were ongoing in Rambouillet, NATO decided to increase the readiness of its assigned forces “so as to make them able to execute the operation within 48 hours”.46 In other words, “peace negotiations” had been initiated in Rambouillet (contrary to the Vienna Convention) under the threat of impending air strikes. NATO had granted a three weeks period to the parties meeting in Rambouillet to conclude negotiations.

On February 19, one day prior to the deadline, NATO Secretary General Javier Solano reaffirmed that, “if no agreement is reached by the deadline set by the Contact Group, NATO is ready to take whatever measures are necessary to avert a humanitarian catastrophe”.47 And on 22 March 1999, NATO’S North Atlantic Council authorised”the Secretary General to decide, subject to further consultations, on a broader range of air operations if necessary.”48 And on 23 March 1999, NATO’s Secretary General directed the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe General Wesley Clark to initiate air operations in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Air operations commenced on 24 March 1999 under the nickname “Operation Allied Force.”49

Sending in Ground Troups Under a G-8 “Peace Plan”

Since the brutal onslaught of the air campaign on March 24, the Alliance has continued to build up its ground combat troops on the Macedonian border in anticipation of an impending military invasion. Initially NATO had envisaged a Kosovo occupation force of 50,000 troops which could be increased to 60,000 with a larger US share than the 4,000 initially envisaged under Rambouillet.

In other words, the proposed invasion force was to be more than double that under Rambouillet (28,000 troops) while also enforcing all the normative clauses of the initial Rambouillet agreement including the “free movement” of NATO combat units throughout Yugoslavia.

In the meantime, NATO’s military establishment was forcing the pace of international diplomacy. The Alliance hinted in May that a ground offensive could be launched prior to reaching a “peace agreement” sanctioned by the G8 and ratified by the United Nations Security Council.

In addition to the 16,000 ground troops already stationed (well before the beginning of the bombings) in Macedonia (of which almost half are British), some 7000 NATO troops and “special forces” were also present in Albania, not to mention the NATO troops stationed in Bosnia-Herzegovina under Operation Joint Endeavour:

“We’ve already put quite a lot of troops in Macedonia as the nucleus of that operation”, said British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook. “There are over 12,000 there already… and last weekend [14-15 May] we committed another two and a half thousand to go there. We need to build up – actually we need to build up now…”50.

In late May, the 60,000 troops target was revised to 150,000. Alliance officials estimating that “if the alliance later decides to mobilize for a land attack … an invasion force could number more than 150,000 soldiers.”51 Prime Minister Tony Blair in a separate statement had (without any form of parliamentary debate) confirmed the sending of 50,000 British troops as part of the 150,000 invasion force.

In early June, a NATO led invasion under a bogus G8-UN peace initiative was put forth. While the latter served to appease and distract public opinion, it usefully provided the Alliance with a semblance of legitimacy under the UN Charter. It also purported to overcome the hesitation of elected politicians including German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Italian Prime Minister Massimo D’Alema. The US Administration also required the “rubber stamp” of the United Nations Security Council so as to acquire the assent of the Republican dominated Congress:

“House and Senate Democrats agree there is little support at this point for launching ground troops… even if Clinton and other NATO leaders could reach a consensus on such a dramatic shift in tactics. For now, Clinton has said he is opposed to ground troops.”52

The US House of Representatives (in what appeared to be a partisan “anti-Clinton” vote) has declined to even endorse the air campaign while signifying its refusal to authorize a “ground war” without congressional approval. In early April, Republicans and Democrats joined hands in the House and threw out a proposed “declaration of war on Yugoslavia” by an overwhelming 427-2 vote.

In late May [1999], seventeen members of Congress launched a suit against President Clinton pointing to the blatant breach of the US Constitution:

“that the Defendant, the President of the United States, is unconstitutionally continuing an offensive military attack by United States Armed Forces against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia without obtaining a declaration of war or other explicit authority from the Congress of the United States as required by Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the Constitution, and despite Congress’ decision not to authorize such action.” 53

The law suit launched in District Court (District of Columbia) also pointed to the violation of the War Powers Resolution of 1973, a Vietnam War-era legislation which requires “the sitting President congressional approval for the “introduction into hostilities” of the U.S. armed forces for longer than 60 days”:

Plaintiffs also seek a declaration that a report pursuant to Section 1543(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution was required to be submitted on March 26, 1999, within 48 hours of the introduction into hostilities in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia of United States Armed Forces. Additionally, Plaintiffs seek a declaration that, pursuant to Section 1544(b) of the Resolution, the President must terminate the use of United States Armed Forces engaged in hostilities against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia no later than sixty calendar days after March 26, 1999. The President must do so unless the Congress declares war or enacts other explicit authorization, or has extended the sixty day period, or the President determines that thirty additional days are necessary to safely withdraw United States Armed Forces from combat.54

NATO as “Peace-keepers”

Echoing the barrage of self-serving NATO propaganda, the media scam now consists in skilfully portraying Alliance ground troops as bona fide “peace-keepers”. Public opinion should not be deluded as to the meaning of a G8-UN brokered diplomatic solution.

An “international presence” consisting largely of NATO troops under the G8 proposal (ratified by the Serbian Parliament in early June) could include a token participation of “non-NATO forces” including Russia and the Ukraine. While Moscow agreed in early June that all Yugoslav forces be withdrawn from Kosovo alongside the disarmement of the KLA, Russian envoy Viktor Chernomyrdin nonetheless insisted that the command structure of the proposed international force be under the control and jurisdiction of the United Nations.

Despite his perfunctory condemnation of NATO bombings, Russian President Boris Yeltsin is a Western puppet. Chernomyrdin writing in the Washington Post had earlier warned that a continuation of the air raids could hurt US-Russian relations: “The world has never in this decade been so close as now to be on brink of nuclear war…” adding that “Russia would pull out of the negotiating process if NATO bombing, which started March 24, doesn’t stop soon.”55

In the meantime, the Alliance, however, had persisted in maintaining a unified NATO command structure (which was unacceptable to Moscow and Belgrade). NATO has also stepped up the bombings as a means of pressuring Belgrade into accepting (without prior negotiation) NATO’s “five conditions”.

If the G-8 proposal were to be ratified, NATO would first send in US Marines into Kosovo from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit in the Adriatic Sea. The Marines would be part of a so-called “Enabling Force” prior to the moving in of a force of 50,000 troops.

A G-8 “peace proposal” (implying a de facto military occupation of Kosovo) could be formally ratified at the Cologne G7-G8 Summit in mid-June. All G7 heads of government and heads of State together with President Boris Yeltsin will be in attendance at Cologne in what is hoped to be a highflown display of unity in favour of a (G8 sanctioned) NATO led invasion. NATO nonetheless warned in early June that should the diplomatic initiative not succeed, the Alliance would proceed with a ground invasion involving 150,000 troops….

The Sending in of “Special Forces”

In the meantime, an incipient undeclared ground War has already commenced: special British, French and American forces were reported to be advising the KLA in the conduct of ground combat operations against regular units of the Yugoslav Army. To support this initiative, a Republican sponsored bill was launched in the US Congress to provide direct military aid to the KLA.

These “special forces” are “advising the rebels at their strongholds in northern Albania, where the KLA has launched a major recruitment and training operation. According to high-ranking KLA officials, the [British] SAS is using two camps near Tirana, the Albanian capital, and another on the Kosovar border to teach KLA officers how to conduct intelligence-gathering operations on Serbian positions”.56 In May, three French special forces officers wearing uniforms of the French Armed Forces (“Parachutistes”) were reported killed on the Albania-Yugoslavia border by the Yugoslav daily Vecernje Novosti. According to the French daily Libration, the three men were allegedly “instructors in charge of coordinating ground war activities by the KLA…”57.

An Unholy “Marriage of Convenience”

In addition to the dispatch of Western special forces, Mujehadeen mercenaries and other Islamic fundamentalist groups (financed inter alia by Iran and Saudi financier Osmane Bin Laden) have been collaborating with the KLA in the ground war.

“[B]y early December 1997, Iranian intelligence had already delivered the first shipments of hand grenades, machine-guns, assault rifles, night vision equipment, and communications gear… Moreover, the Iranians began sending promising Albanian and UCK [KLA] commanders for advanced military training in al-Quds [special] forces and IRGC camps in Iran…58.

Bin Laden’s Al Qa’ida allegedly responsible for last year’s African embassy bombings “was one of several fundamentalist groups that had sent units to fight in Kosovo, … Bin Laden is believed to have established an operation in Albania in 1994 … Albanian sources say Sali Berisha, who was then president, had links with some groups that later proved to be extreme fundamentalists”.59

Nato in Close Liaison with KLA Ground Operations

According to Jane Defence Weekly (10 May 1999), the KLA’s new chief of staff is former Croatian Armed Forces Brigadier General Agim Ceku (an ethnic Albanian) who is currently under investigation by the War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague (ICTY) for his role in “summary executions, indiscriminate shelling of civilian populations and `ethnic cleansing’ during the War in Bosnia.”60

NATO spokesman Jamie Shea’s response to the appointment of a War criminal as KLA chief of staff was communicated in a Press Briefing:

“I have always made it clear, and you have heard me say this, that NATO has no direct contacts with the KLA. Who they appoint as their leaders, that is entirely their own affair. I don’t have any comment on that whatever.61

Shea’s statement that NATO has “no direct contacts with the KLA” is a lie. It is in overt contradiction with other Alliance statements: “I speak regularly to Hashim Thaci, the leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army who’s in Kosovo. I spoke to him at the end of last week” said British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook.62

Operations on the ground (led by the KLA and NATO Special forces) are now being carefully coordinated with the air campaign. Moreover, some 50 Canadian armed forces “are working with the KLA in Kosovo” to help report “where the bombs are falling” so they can better target “where the next bomb should go.”63

 Pentagon Sponsored Mercenaries in Kosovo

The KLA has also been provided with “a long-term training deal with Military and Professional Resources International [MPRI], a mercenary company run by former American officers who operate with semi-official approval from the Pentagon and played a key role in building up Croatia’s armed forces [during the War in Bosnia].”64 And General Brigadier Agim Ceku (despite his role in “ethnic cleansing” in Bosnia), is currently collaborating closely with the Pentagon’s mercenary outfit MPRI on behalf of the KLA.

The KLA to Form a “Post-conflict Government”

A self-proclaimed provisional KLA government of Kosovo has been established. With KLA leader Hashim Thaci as Prime Minister designate, the KLA has already been promised a central role in the formation of a “post-conflict government”.

While openly promoting a “freedom movement” with links to the drug trade, NATO was also intent in bypassing the civilian Kosovo Democratic League and its leader Ibrahim Rugova who had earlier called for an end to the bombings. Rugova was branded as a “traitor” by the KLA. According to Albanian state-run TV, the KLA had sentenced Rugova to death accusing him of being “an agent of the regime in Belgrade.”65

In April, Fehmi Agani, one of Rugova’s closest collaborators in the Democratic League was killed. The Serbs were blamed by NATO spokesperson Jamie Shea for having assassinated Agani. According to Skopje paper Makedonija Danas quoting reliable sources in Albania: “Agani was killed… on the orders of Tirana where Thaci is located with the members of his illegal government”.66

According to a report of the Foreign Policy Institute:

“…the KLA have [no] qualms about murdering Rugova’s collaborators, whom it accused of the “crime” of moderation. Most recently, although Rugova’s recent meeting with Milosevic may well have been under duress, the KLA declared Rugova a “traitor” – yet another step toward eliminating any competitors for political power within Kosovo.”67

The KLA military regime had replaced the duly elected (by ethnic Albanians) civilian provisional Kosovar government of President Ibrahim Rugova. In a statement issued in April, the KLA considered the (parallel) “parliamentary elections” organised by the Democratic League and held in March 1998 to be invalid.

The self-proclaimed Kosovar administration is made up of the KLA and the Democratic Union Movement (LBD), a coalition of five opposition parties opposed to Rugova’s Democratic League (LDK). In addition to the position of prime minister, the KLA controls the ministries of finance, public order and defence. In the words of US State Department spokesman James Foley:

`We want to develop a good relationship with them [the KLA] as they transform themselves into a politically-oriented organization,’ ..`[W]e believe that we have a lot of advice and a lot of help that we can provide to them if they become precisely the kind of political actor we would like to see them become.’68

With the KLA poised to play a central role in the formation of a “post conflict” government, the tendency is towards the installation of a “Mafia State” with links to the drug trade. The US State Department’s position is that the KLA would “not be allowed to continue as a military force but would have the chance to move forward in their quest for self government under a ‘different context’” meaning the inauguration of a de facto “narco-democracy” under NATO protection: “If we can help them and they want us to help them in that effort of transformation, I think it’s nothing that anybody can argue with.”69

In recent developments, the Alliance, however, has sought through the intermediation of US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to reconcile divisions between Thachi, Rugova and other ethnic Albanian leaders “primarily with a view to strengthening its [the Alliance’s] own position in the region.”70

Imposing “Free Market” Reforms

Wall Street analysts concur that “war is good for business” particularly during a period of “economic slowdown”. The US Congress has approved increased budgetary allocations to finance the War in Yugoslavia which will result in multi-billion contracts for America’s Defense industry. In turn, the War will boost the military-industrial complex and its related high tech sectors in the US and Western Europe. A ground war combined with a prolonged military occupation (as in Bosnia) will prop up military spending. In turn, covert support and financing of “freedom fighters” (extending beyond the Balkans into Central Asia and the Middle East) will contribute to boosting the lucrative contraband in small arms for an expanding market of insurgent nationalist movements.

“Economic Reconstruction”

The “post conflict” agenda (under the proposed G8 “peace initiative” consists in establishing in Kosovo an occupied territory under Western administration (broadly on the same model as the 1995 Dayton Agreement imposed on Bosnia-Herzegovina).

“Free market reforms” are envisaged for Kosovo under the supervision of the Bretton Woods institutions. Article I (Chapter 4a) of the Rambouillet Agreement stipulates that: “The economy of Kosovo shall function in accordance with free market principles”.

“Civilian administration [in Kosovo] and reconstruction would be carried out by non-military bodies including the EU and the OSCE, with input from the World Bank and the IMF to rebuild war-damaged infrastructure and rehouse refugees.71

In close liaison with NATO, the Bretton Woods institutions had already analyzed the consequences of an eventual military intervention leading to the military occupation of Kosovo: almost a year prior to the beginning of the War, the World Bank conducted “simulations” which “anticipated the possibility of an emergency scenario arising out of the tensions in Kosovo”.72 The “simulations” conducted in Washington have in fact already been translated into a panoply of “emergency recovery loans” for Macedonia and Albania, and there is more to come… Since the imposition of the embargo, Yugoslavia, however, is no longer considered a member of the Bretton Woods institutions and will not be eligible for IMF-World Bank loans until the sanctions are lifted.

The proposed “Marshall Plan” for the Balkans is a delusion. We recall that in Bosnia, the costs of reconstruction were of the order of 50 billion dollars. Western donors initially pledged $3 billion in reconstruction loans, yet only a meagre $518 million dollars were granted in December 1995, part of which was tagged (under the terms of the Dayton Peace Accords) to finance some of the local civilian costs of the Implementation Force’s (IFOR) military deployment as well as repay debt arrears with international creditors.73

The eventual “reconstruction” of Yugoslavia formulated in the context of the “free market” reforms and financed by international debt largely purport to create a safe haven for foreign investors rather than rehabilitate the country’s economic and social infrastructure. The IMF’s lethal “economic medicine” will be imposed, the national economy will be dismantled, European and American banks will take over financial institutions, local industrial enterprises which have not been totally destroyed will be driven into bankruptcy. The most profitable State assets will be transferred into the hands of foreign capital under the World Bank sponsored privatisation programme. In turn, “strong economic medicine” imposed by external creditors will contribute to further boosting a criminal economy (already implanted in Albania and Macedonia) which feeds on poverty and economic dislocation.

“The Allies will work with the rest of the international community to help rebuild Kosovo once the crisis is over: The International Monetary Fund and Group of Seven industrialized countries are among those who stand ready to offer financial help to the countries of the region. We want to ensure proper co-ordination of aid and help countries to respond to the effects of the crisis. This should go hand in hand with the necessary structural reforms in the countries affected — helped by budget support from the international community.74

In turn, the so-called “reconstruction” of the Balkans by foreign capital will signify multi-billion contracts to multinational firms to rebuild roads, airports and bridges which will eventually be required (once the embargo is lifted) to facilitate the “free movement” of capital and commodities.

The proposed “Marshall Plan” financed by the World Bank and the European Development Bank (EBRD) as well as private creditors will largely benefit Western mining, petroleum and construction companies while fuelling the region’s external debt well into the third millennium. And the countries of the Balkans are slated to reimburse this debt through the laundering of dirty money in the domestic banking system which will be deregulated under the supervision of Western financial institutions. Narco-dollars from the multi-billion dollar Balkans drug trade will be recycled (through the banking system) and channelled towards servicing the external debt as well as “financing” the costs of “reconstruction”.

The pattern for Kosovo is, in this regard, similar to that of Macedonia and Albania. Since the early 1990s, the IMF’s reforms have impoverished the Albanian population while spearheading the national economy into bankruptcy. The IMF’s deadly economic therapy transforms countries into open territories. In Albania and Macedonia it has fostered the growth of illicit trade and the criminalisation of State institutions.

Moreover, even prior to the influx of refugees, NATO troops in Macedonia and Albania had already occupied civilian facilities (including hotels, schools, barracks and even hospitals) without compensating the national governments for the use of local services.75

In a cruel irony, a significant part of these incurred costs as well as those associated with the refugee crisis are now to be financed not by the Alliance but by the national governments on borrowed money:

“[T]he Albanian government’s formal structures have been paralysed by the crisis. The country’s treasury has been emptied by the initial efforts to help the refugees.”76

Who Will Pay War Reparations?

The extensive destruction of Yugoslavia, would normally require the Alliance to “pay war reparations” to Belgrade. However, following a pattern set in both Vietnam and Iraq, the Alliance will no doubt compel Belgrade “to pay for the costs” of Operation Allied Force (including the cruise missiles and radioactive shells) as a condition for the “normalisation of relations” and the lifting of the economic embargo.

We recall in this regard that whereas Vietnam never received War reparations payments, Hanoi was compelled –as a condition for the “normalisation” of economic relations and the lifting of the US embargo in 1994–, to recognize the “bad debts” of the defunct Saigon regime which were largely used to finance the US War effort. By recognizing (in a secret Paris Club agreement negotiatied in 1993) the legitimacy of these debts, Vietnam had accepted “to pay war reparation damages” to her former enemy.77

Similarly Baghdad has been “billed for the costs of the Gulf War”, – –ie. accumulated Iraqi debts including private claims against Iraq have been carefully recorded by a special unit of the UN Security Council. The recognition of these debts by Baghdad at some future date will be a condition for the lifting of sanctions on Iraq.

Notes

1. Statement by UNICEF Representative in Belgrade, quoted in Yugoslav Daily Survey, Belgrade, 23 May 1999, No. 4351.

2. Report by Dr Siegwart-Horst Guenther, meeting of the PBS (Federal Socialists), Bonn, 17 May 1999.

3. International Action Center, “NATO Bombing Unleashes Environmental Catastrophe in Europe”, Press Release, 14 May 1999).

4. Joseph Fitchett, “Is Serb Economy the True Target? Raids Seem Aimed at Bolstering Resistance to Milosevic”, International Herald Tribune, Paris, 26 May 1999.

5. Tanjug Press Release, 25 May 1999.

6. Statement to Ambassadors of 19 NATO Countries, quoted in Daily Telegraph, London, 28 May 1999.

7. Ibid.

8. Sean Gervasi, Bosnia and Vietnam, draft text, 1995.

9. Financial Times, London, 6 May 1999, p. 2.

10. Ibid.

11. The Boston Globe, 8 April 1999.

12. According to Viktor Chechevatov, a Three-star General and Commander of ground forces in Russia’s Far East, quoted in The Boston Globe, 8 April 1999

13. Dr. Mary-Wynne Ashford, “Bombings Reignite Nuclear War Fears”, The Victoria Times-Colonist. 13 May 1999, page A15. Mary-Wynne Ashford is co-president of the Nobel Peace Prize winning IPPNW.

14. Quoted in Mary-Wynne Ashford, op. cit.

15 Quoted by Dr. Mary-Wynne Ashford, op. cit.

16. Dr. Mary-Wynne Ashford, op cit.

17. Quoted in The Washington Post, May 9, 1999, page A20.

18. World Socialist Website editorial, 24 May 1999.

19. Diana Johnstone, On Refugees, Paris, 30 May 1999.

20. Ibid.

21. See “Lawyers Charge NATO Leaders Before War Crimes Tribunal”, Toronto, 6 May 1999.

22. See Financial Times, 27 May 1999.

23. See “Lawyers Charge NATO Leaders Before War Crimes Tribunal”, Toronto, 6 May 1999; see also Jude Wanniski, “Memo to US House Majority Leader”, Polyconomics, New York, 10 May 1999.

24. Lawyers Charge NATO, op cit.

25. Ibid.

26. Ibid.

27. Chicago Tribune, 10 May 1999. 28. Intelligence Report from the German Foreign Office, January 12, 1999 to the Administrative Court of Trier.

29. Status Report of the German Foreign Office, November 18, 1998 to the Upper Administrative Court at Mnster, February 24, 1999.

30. See, Roland Keith, “Failure of Diplomacy, Returning OSCE Human Rights Monitor Offers A View From the Ground in Kosovo”, The Democrat, May 1999.

31. US Department of Defense Press Release, 6 April 1999. The stated purpose of the mission was “to discuss a range of security issues with the recent ethnic clashes in Kosovo.” In Skopje, the agenda consisted in examining security arrangements to be implemented after the termination of United Nations UNPREDEP programme.

32. Background briefing by a Senior Defense Official at NATO Headquarters, Thursday, June 11, 1998.

33. Ibid.

34. US Department of Defense, Background Briefing, July 15, 1998.

35. For further details see Michel Chossudovsky, Kosovo `Freedom Fighters’ Financed by Organised Crime, Ottawa, 1999.

36. Quoted in The Daily Telegraph, London, 25 September 1998.

37. See Federation of American Scientists, “Operation Determined Force”, 24 March 1999, see also Financial Times, October 12, 1998.

38. Quoted in Federation of American Scientists, op. cit.

39. See Roland Keith, Appendix, op. cit.

40. United States Court of Appeals, for the District of Columbia Circuit, Filed January 23, 1996, Division No. 86-6, in Re: Oliver L. North.

41. Ibid.

42. Roland Keith, Appendix, op. cit.

43. Confirmed by several press reports as well as statements of the KLA, see also Radio 21 Dispatch, Tirana, February 28, 1999.

44. Roland Keith, Appendix, op cit.

45. Daily Telegraph, London, 29 January 1999.

46. Federation of American Scientists, op. cit.

47. Ibid.

48. Ibid.

49. Ibid.

50. “Margaret Warner talks with Cook about the latest developments in the Yugoslav conflict”, Jim Lehrer News Hour, 21 May 1999.

51. New York Times, 26 May 1999.

52. Washington Post, 23 May 1999.

53. Action launched in United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Complaint for Declaratory Relief, Preliminary Statement, District of Columbia, 27 May 1999.

54. Ibid., see also Truth in Media, Phoenix, 23 May 1999.

55. Washington Post, 27 May 1999.

56. Sunday Telegraph, London, 18 April 1999.

57. Libration, Paris, 19 May 1999.

58. Yossef Bodansky, “Italy Becomes Iran’s New Base for Terrorist Operations,” Defense and Foreign Affairs Strategic Policy, London, February 1998. Bodansky is Director of the US House Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare

59. Chris Steven, “Bin Laden Opens European Terror Base in Albania”, Sunday Times, London, 15 November 1998.

60. “War Crimes Panel Finds Croat Troops ‘Cleansed’ the Serbs,” New York Times, 21 March 1999.

61. NATO Press Briefing, 14 May 1999.

62. Jim Lehrer News Hour, op cit.

63. According to Canadian MP David Price, April 19, 1999, UPI Press Dispatch. 64. Sunday Telegraph, London, 18 April 1999.

65. “US Is Trying to Reconcile Ethnic-Albanian Separatists”, Belgrade, Tanjug Press Dispatch, 30 May 1999.

66. Quoted in Tanjug Press Dispatch, 14 May 1999.

67. See Michael Radu, “Don’t Arm the KLA”, CNS Commentary from the Foreign Policy Research Institute, 7 April, 1999).

68. New York Times, 2 February 1999.

69. Ibid.

70. Tanjug Press Dispatch, 30 May 1999.

71. See World Bank Development News, Washington, 27 April 1999.

72. Ibid.

73. See Michel Chossudovsky, Dismantling Yugoslavia, Colonising Bosnia, Covert Action Quarterly, No. 56. Spring 1996.

74. Statement by Javier Solano, Secretary General of NATO, published in The National Post, Toronto May 1999.

75. See Jan Oberg, Press Info, no. 59, Insecuring Macedonia, Transnational Foundation TFF, March 18, 1999.

76. Jane Intelligence Review, June 1999.

77. See Michel Chossudovsky, The Globalisation of Poverty, Impacts of IMF and World Banks Reforms, Third World Network Penang and Zed Books, 1997, chapter 8.

Fall 1941: Pearl Harbor and The Wars of Corporate America ~ By Jacques R. Pauwels

 

Myth: The US was forced to declare war on Japan after a totally unexpected Japanese attack on the American naval base in Hawaii on December 7, 1941. On account of Japan’s alliance with Nazi Germany, this aggression automatically brought the US into the war against Germany.

Reality: The Roosevelt administration had been eager for some time to wage war against Japan and sought to unleash such a war by means of the institution of an oil embargo and other provocations. Having deciphered Japanese codes, Washington knew a Japanese fleet was on its way to Pearl Harbor, but welcomed the attack since a Japanese aggression would make it possible to “sell” the war to the overwhelmingly anti-war American public.

An attack by Japan, as opposed to an American attack on Japan, was also supposed to avoid a declaration of war by Japan’s ally, Germany, which was treaty-bound to help only if Japan was attacked. However, for reasons which have nothing to do with Japan or the US but everything with the failure of Germany’s “lightning war” against the Soviet Union, Hitler himself declared war on the US a few days after Pearl Harbor, on December 11, 1941.

Fall 1941. The US, then as now, was ruled by a “Power Elite” of industrialists, owners and managers of the country’s leading corporations and banks, constituting only a tiny fraction of its population. Then as now, these industrialists and financiers – “Corporate America” – had close connections with the highest ranks of the army, “the warlords,” as Columbia University sociologist C. Wright Mills, who coined the term “power elite,”[1] has called them, and for whom a few years later a big HQ, known as the Pentagon, would be erected on the banks of the Potomac River.

Indeed, the “military-industrial complex” had already existed for many decades when, at the end of his career as President, and having served it most assiduously, Eisenhower gave it that name. Talking about presidents: in the 1930s and 1940s, again then as now, the Power Elite kindly allowed the American people every four years to choose between two of the elite’s own members – one labelled “Republican,” the other “Democrat,” but few people know the difference – to reside in the White House in order to formulate and administer national and international policies. These policies invariably served – and still serve – the Power Elite’s interests, in other words, they consistently aimed to promote “business” – a code word for the maximization of profits by the big corporations and banks that are members of the Power Elite.

As President Calvin Coolidge candidly put it on one occasion during the 1920s, “the business of America [meaning of the American government] is business.” In 1941, then, the tenant of the White House was a bona fide member of the Power Elite, a scion of a rich, privileged, and powerful family: Franklin D. Roosevelt, often referred to as “FDR”. (Incidentally, the Roosevelt family’s wealth had been built at least partly in the opium trade with China; as Balzac once wrote, “behind every great fortune there lurks a crime.”)

Roosevelt appears to have served the Power Elite rather well, for he already managed to be nominated (difficult!) and elected (relatively easy!) in 1932, 1936, and again in 1940. That was a remarkable achievement, since the “dirty thirties” were hard times, marked by the “Great Depression” as well as great international tensions, leading to the eruption of war in Europe in 1939. Roosevelt’s job – serving the interests of the Power Elite – was far from easy, because within the ranks of that elite opinions differed about how corporate interests could best be served by the President. With respect to the economic crisis, some industrialists and bankers were pretty happy with the President’s Keynesian approach, known as the “New Deal” and involving much state intervention in the economy, while others were vehemently opposed to it and loudly demanded a return to laissez-faire orthodoxy. The Power Elite was also divided with respect to the handling of foreign affairs.

The owners and top managers of many American corporations – including Ford, General Motors, IBM, ITT, and Rockefeller’s Standard Oil of New Jersey, now known as Exxon – liked Hitler a lot; one of them – William Knudsen of General Motors – even glorified the German Führer as “the miracle of the 20th century.”[2] The reason: in preparation for war, the Führer had been arming Germany to the teeth, and the numerous German branch plants of US corporations had profited handsomely from that country’s “armament boom” by producing trucks, tanks and planes in sites such as GM’s Opel factory in Rüsselsheim and Ford’s big plant in Cologne, the Ford-Werke; and the likes of Exxon and Texaco had been making plenty of money by supplying the fuel Hitler’s panzers would need to roll all the way to Warsaw in 1939, to Paris in 1940, and (almost) to Moscow in 1941. No wonder the managers and owners of these corporations helped to celebrate Germany’s victories against Poland and France at a big party in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York on June 26, 1940!

American “captains of industry” like Henry Ford also liked the way Hitler had shut down the German unions, outlawed all labour parties, and thrown the communists and many socialists into concentration camps; they wished Roosevelt would mete out the same kind of treatment to America’s own pesky union leaders and “reds,” the latter still numerous in the 1930s and early 1940s. The last thing those men wanted, was for Roosevelt to involve the US in the war on the side of Germany’s enemies, they were “isolationists” (or “non-interventionists”) and so, in the summer of 1940, was the majority of the American public: a Gallup Poll, taken in September 1940, showed that 88 percent of Americans wanted to stay out of the war that was raging in Europe.[3] Not surprisingly, then, there was no sign whatsoever that Roosevelt might want to restrict trade with Germany, let alone embark on an anti-Hitler crusade. In fact, during the presidential election campaign in the fall 1940, he solemnly promised that “[our] boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars.”[4]

That Hitler has crushed France and other democratic countries, was of no concern to the US corporate types who did business with Hitler, in fact, they felt that Europe’s future belonged to fascism, especially Germany’s variety of fascism, Nazism, rather than to democracy. (Typically, the chairman of General Motors, Alfred P. Sloan, declared at that time that it was a good thing that in Europe the democracies were giving way “to an alternative [i.e. fascist] system with strong, intelligent, and aggressive leaders who made the people work longer and harder and who had the instinct of gangsters – all of them good qualities”!)[5] And, since they certainly did not want Europe’s future to belong to socialism in its evolutionary, let alone revolutionary (i.e. communist) variety, the US industrialists would be particularly happy when, about one year later, Hitler would finally do what they have long hoped he would do, namely, to attack the Soviet Union in order to destroy the homeland of communism and source of inspiration and support of “reds” all over the world, also in the US.

While many big corporations were engaged in profitable business with Nazi Germany, others now happened to be making plenty of money by doing business with Great Britain. That country – in addition to Canada and other member countries of the British Empire, of course – was Germany’s only remaining enemy from the fall of 1940 until June 1941, when Hitler’s attack on the Soviet Union caused Britain and the Soviet Union to become allies. Britain was desperately in need of all sorts of equipment to continue its struggle against Nazi Germany, wanted to purchase much of it in the US, but was unable to make the cash payments required by America’s existing “Cash-and-Carry” legislation. However, Roosevelt made it possible for US corporations to take advantage of this enormous “window of opportunity” when, on March 11, 1941, he introduced his famous Lend-Lease program, providing Britain with virtually unlimited credit to purchase trucks, planes, and other martial hardware in the US. The Lend-Lease exports to Britain were to generate windfall profits, not only on account of the huge volume of business involved but also because these exports featured inflated prices and fraudulent practices such as double billing.

A segment of Corporate America thus began to sympathize with Great Britain, a less “natural” phenomenon than we would now tend to believe. (Indeed, after American independence the ex-motherland had long remained Uncle Sam’s archenemy; and as late the 1930s, the US military still had plans for war against Britain and an invasion of the Canadian Dominion, the latter including plans for the bombing of cities and the use of poison gas.)[6] Some mouthpieces of this corporate constituency, though not very many, even started to favour a US entry into the war on the side of the British; they became known as the “interventionists.” Of course, many if not most big American corporations made money through business with both Nazi Germany and Britain and, as the Roosevelt administration itself was henceforth preparing for possible war, multiplying military expenditures and ordering all sorts of equipment, they also started to make more and more money by supplying America’s own armed forces with all sorts of martial material.[7]

If there was one thing that all the leaders of Corporate America could agree on, regardless of their individual sympathies towards either Hitler or Churchill, it was this: the war in Europe in 1939 was good, even wonderful, for business. They also agreed that the longer this war lasted, the better it would be for all of them. With the exception of the most fervent pro-British interventionists, they further agreed that there was no pressing need for the US to become actively involved in this war, and certainly not to go to war against Germany. Most advantageous to Corporate America was a scenario whereby the war in Europe dragged on as long as possible, so that the big corporations could continue to profit from supplying equipment to the Germans, the British, to their respective allies, and to America herself. Henry Ford thus “expressed the hope that neither the Allies nor the Axis would win [the war],” and suggested that the United States should supply both sides with “the tools to keep on fighting until they both collapse.” Ford practised what he preached, and arranged for his factories in the US, in Britain, in Germany, and in occupied France to crank out equipment for all belligerents.[8] The war may have been hell for most people, but for American “captains of industry” such as Ford it was heaven.

Roosevelt himself is generally believed to have been an interventionist, but in Congress the isolationists certainly prevailed, and it did not look as if the US would soon, if ever, enter the war. However, on account of Lend-Lease exports to Britain, relations between Washington and Berlin were definitely deteriorating, and in the fall of 1941 a series of incidents between German submarines and US Navy destroyers escorting freighters bound for Britain lead to a crisis that has become known as the “undeclared naval war.” But even that episode did not lead to active American involvement in the war in Europe. Corporate America was profiting handsomely from the status quo, and was simply not interested in a crusade against Nazi Germany. Conversely, Nazi Germany was deeply involved in the great project of Hitler’s life, his mission to destroy the Soviet Union. In this war, things had not been going according to plan. The Blitzkrieg in the East, launched on June 1941, was supposed to have “crushed the Soviet Union like an egg” within 4 to 6 weeks, or so it was believed by the military experts not only in Berlin but also in Washington. However, in early December Hitler was still waiting for the Soviets to wave the white flag. To the contrary, on December 5, the Red Army suddenly launched a counter-offensive in front of Moscow, and suddenly the Germans found themselves deeply in trouble. The last thing Hitler needed at this point was a war against the US.[9]

In the 1930s, the US military had no plans, and did not prepare plans, to fight a war against Nazi Germany. On the other hand, they did have plans war against Great Britain, Canada, Mexico – and Japan.[10] Why against Japan? In the 1930s, the US was one of the world’s leading industrial powers and, like all industrial powers, was constantly looking out for sources of inexpensive raw materials such as rubber and oil, as well as for markets for its finished products. Already at the end of the nineteenth century, America had consistently pursued its interests in this respect by extending its economic and sometimes even direct political influence across oceans and continents. This aggressive, “imperialist” policy – pursued ruthlessly by presidents such as Theodore Roosevelt, a cousin of FDR – had led to American control over former Spanish colonies such as Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Philippines, and also over the hitherto independent island nation of Hawaii. America had thus also developed into a major power in the Pacific Ocean and even in the Far East.[11]

The lands on the far shores of the Pacific Ocean played an increasingly important role as markets for American export products and as sources of cheap raw materials. But in the Depression-ridden 1930s, when the competition for markets and resources was heating up, the US faced the competition there of an aggressive rival industrial power, one that was even more needy for oil and similar raw materials, and also for markets for its finished products. That competitor was Japan, the land of the rising sun. Japan sought to realize its own imperialist ambitions in China and in resource-rich Southeast Asia and, like the US, did not hesitate to use violence in the process, for example waging ruthless war on China and carving a client state out of the northern part of that great but weak country. What bothered the United States was not that the Japanese treated their Chinese and Korean neighbours as Untermenschen, but that they turned that part of the world into what they called the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, i.e., an economic bailiwick of their very own, a “closed economy” in with there was no room for the American competition. In doing so, the Japanese actually followed the example of the US, which had earlier transformed Latin America and much of the Caribbean into Uncle Sam’s exclusive economic playground.[12]

Corporate America was extremely frustrated at being squeezed out of the lucrative Far Eastern market by the “Japs,” a “yellow race” Americans in general had already started to despise during the 19th century.[13] Japan was viewed as an arrogant but essentially weak upstart country, that mighty America could easily “wipe off the map in three months,” as Navy Secretary Frank Knox put it on one occasion.[14] And so it happened that, during the 1930s and early 1940s, the US Power Elite, while mostly opposed to war against Germany, was virtually unanimously in favour of a war against Japan – unless, of course, Japan was prepared to make major concessions, such as “sharing” China with the US. President Roosevelt – like Woodrow Wilson not at all the pacifist he has been made out to be by all too many historians – was keen to provide such a “splendid little war.” (This expression had been coined by US Secretary of State John Hay in reference to the Spanish-American War of 1898; it was “splendid” in that it allowed the US to pocket the Philippines, Puerto Rico, etc.) By the summer of 1941, after Tokyo had further increased its zone of influence in the Far East, e.g. by occupying the rubber-rich French colony of Indochina and, desperate above all for oil, had obviously started to lust after the oil-rich Dutch colony of Indonesia, FDR appears to have decided that the time was ripe for war against Japan, but he faced two problems. First, public opinion was strongly against American involvement in any foreign war. Second, the isolationist majority in Congress might not consent to such a war, fearing that it would automatically bring the US into war against Germany.

Roosevelt’s solution to this twin problem, according to the author of a detailed and extremely well documented recent study, Robert B. Stinnett, was to “provoke Japan into an overt act of war against the United States.”[15] Indeed, in case of a Japanese attack the American public would have no choice but to rally behind the flag. (The public had similarly been made to rally behind the Stars and Stripes before, namely at the start of the Spanish-American War, when the visiting US battleship Maine had mysteriously sunk in Havana harbour, an act that was immediately blamed on the Spanish; after World War II, Americans would again be conditioned to approve of wars, wanted and planned by their government, by means of contrived provocations such as the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin Incident.) Furthermore, under the terms of the Tripartite Treaty concluded by Japan, Germany, and Italy in Berlin on September 27, 1940, the three countries undertook to assist each other when one of the three contracting powers was attacked by another country, but not when one of them attacked another country. Consequently, in case of a Japanese attack on the US, the isolationists, who were non-interventionists with respect to Germany but not with respect to Japan, did not have to fear that a conflict with Japan would also mean war against Germany.

And so, President Roosevelt, having decided that “Japan must be seen to make the first overt move,” made “provoking Japan into an overt act of war the principal policy that guided [his] actions toward Japan throughout 1941,” as Stinnett has written. The stratagems used included the deployment of warships close to, and even into, Japanese territorial waters, apparently in the hope of sparking a Gulf of Tonkin-style incident that could be construed to be a casus belli.  More effective, however, was the relentless economic pressure that was brought to bear on Japan, a country desperately in need of raw materials such as oil and rubber and therefore likely to consider such methods to be singularly provocative. In the summer of 1941, the Roosevelt administration froze all Japanese assets in the United States and embarked on a “strategy for frustrating Japanese acquisition of petroleum products.” In collaboration with the British and the Dutch, anti-Japanese for reasons of their own, the US imposed severe economic sanctions on Japan, including an embargo on vital oil products. The situation deteriorated further in the fall of 1941. On November 7, Tokyo, hoping to avoid war with the mighty US, offered to apply in China the principle of non-discriminatory trade relations on the condition that the Americans did the same in their own sphere of influence in Latin America. However, Washington wanted reciprocity only in the sphere of influence of other imperialist powers, and not in its own backyard; the Japanese offer was rejected.

The continuing US provocations of Japan were intended to cause Japan to go to war, and were indeed increasingly likely to do so. “This continuing putting pins in rattlesnakes,” FDR was to confide to friends later, “finally got this country bit.” On November 26, when Washington a demanded Japan’s withdrawal from China, the “rattlesnakes” in Tokyo decided they had enough and prepared to “bite.” A Japanese fleet was ordered to set sail for Hawaii in order to attack the US warships that FDR had decided to station there, rather provocatively as well as invitingly as far as the Japanese were concerned, in 1940. Having deciphered the Japanese codes, the American government and top army brass knew exactly what the Japanese armada was up to, but did not warn the commanders in Hawaii, thus allowing the “surprise attack” on Pearl Harbor to happen on Sunday, December 7, 1941.[16]

The following day FDR found it easy to convince Congress to declare war on Japan, and the American people, shocked by a seemingly cowardly attack that they could not know to have been provoked, and expected, by their own government, predictably rallied behind the flag. The US was ready to wage war against Japan, and the prospects for a relatively easy victory were hardly diminished by the losses suffered at Pearl Harbour which, while ostensibly grievous, were far from catastrophic. The ships that had been sunk were older, “mostly 27-year old relics of World War I,” and far from indispensible for warfare against Japan. The modern warships, on the other hand, including the aircraft carriers, whose role in the war would turn out to be crucial, were unscathed, as per chance (?) they had been sent elsewhere by orders from Washington and were safely out at sea during the attack.[17] However, things did not quite work out as expected, because a few days later, on December 11, Nazi Germany unexpectedly declared war, thus forcing the US to confront two enemies and to fight a much bigger war than expected, a war on two fronts, a world war.

In the White House, the news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor had not arrived as a surprise, but the German declaration of war exploded there as a bombshell. Germany had nothing to do with the attack in Hawaii and had not even been aware of the Japanese plans, so FDR did not consider asking Congress to declare war on Nazi Germany at the same time as Japan. Admittedly, US relations with Germany had been deteriorating for some time because of America’s active support for Great Britain, escalating to the undeclared naval war of the fall of 1941. However, as we have already seen, the US Power Elite did not feel the need to intervene in the war in Europe. It was Hitler himself who declared war on the United States on December 11, 1941, much to the surprise of Roosevelt. Why? Only a few days earlier, on December 5, 1941, the Red Army had launched a counteroffensive in front of Moscow, and this entailed the failure of the Blitzkrieg in the Soviet Union. On that same day, Hitler and his generals realized that they could no longer win the war. But when, only a few days later, the German dictator learned of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, he appears to have speculated that a German declaration of war on the American enemy of his Japanese friends, though not required under the terms of the Tripartite Treaty, would induce Tokyo to reciprocate with a declaration of war on the Soviet enemy of Germany.

With the bulk of the Japanese army stationed in northern China and therefore able to immediately attack the Soviet Union in the Vladivostok area, a conflict with Japan would have forced the Soviets into the extremely perilous predicament of a two-front war, opening up the possibility that Germany might yet win its anti-Soviet “crusade.” Hitler, then, believed that he could exorcize the spectre of defeat by summoning a sort of Japanese deus ex machina to the Soviet Union’s vulnerable Siberian frontier. But Japan did not take Hitler’s bait. Tokyo, too, despised the Soviet state but, already at war against the US, could not afford the luxury of a two-front war and preferred to put all of its money on a “southern” strategy, hoping to win the big prize of resource-rich Southeast Asia, rather than embark on a venture in the inhospitable reaches of Siberia. Only at the very end of the war, after the surrender of Nazi Germany, would it come to hostilities between the Soviet Union and Japan. In any event, because of Hitler’s needless declaration of war, the United States was henceforth also an active participant in the war in Europe, with Great Britain and the Soviet Union as allies.[18]

In recent years, Uncle Sam has been going to war rather frequently, but we are invariably asked to believe that this is done for purely humanitarian reasons, i.e. to prevent holocausts, to stop terrorists from committing all sorts of evil, to get rid of nasty dictators, to promote democracy, etc.[19]

Never, it seems, are economic interests of the US or, more accurately, of America’s big corporations, involved. Quite often, these wars are compared to America’s archetypal “good war,” World War II, in which Uncle Sam supposedly went to war for no other reason than to defend freedom and democracy and to fight dictatorship and injustice. (In an attempt to justify his “war against terrorism,” for example, and “sell” it to the American public, George W. Bush was quick to compare the 9/11 attacks to Pearl Harbor.) This short examination of the circumstances of the US entry into the war in December 1941, however, reveals a very different picture. The American Power Elite wanted war against Japan, plans for such a war had been ready for some time, and in 1941 Roosevelt obligingly arranged for such a war, not because of Tokyo’s unprovoked aggression and horrible war crimes in China, but because American corporations wanted a share of the luscious big “pie” of Far Eastern resources and markets. On the other hand, because the major US corporations were doing wonderful business in and with Nazi Germany, profiting handsomely from the war Hitler had unleashed and, incidentally, providing him with the equipment and fuel required for his Blitzkrieg, war against Nazi Germany was definitely not wanted by the US Power Elite, even though there were plenty of compelling humanitarian reasons for crusading against the truly evil “Third Reich.” Prior to 1941, no plans for a war against Germany had been developed, and in December 1941 the US did not voluntarily go to war against Germany, but “backed into” that war because of Hitler’s own fault.

Humanitarian considerations played no role whatsoever in the calculus that led to America’s participation in World War II, the country’s original “good war.” And there is no reason to believe that they did so in the calculus that, more recently, led to America’s marching off to fight allegedly “good wars” in unhappy lands such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya – or will do so in the looming war against Iran.

A war against Iran is very much wanted by Corporate America, since it holds the promise of a large market and of plentiful raw materials, especially oil. As in the case of the war against Japan, plans for such a war are ready, and the present tenant in the White House seems just as eager as FDR was to make it happen. Furthermore, again as in the case of the war against Japan, provocations are being orchestrated, this time in the form of sabotage and intrusions by drones, as well as by the old-fashioned deployment of warships just outside Iranian territorial waters. Washington is again “putting pins in rattlesnakes,” apparently hoping that the Iranian “rattlesnake” will bite back, thus justifying a “splendid little war.” However, as in the case of Pearl Harbor, the resulting war may well again turn out to be much bigger, longer, and nastier than expected.

Jacques R. Pauwels is the author of The Myth of the Good War: America in the Second World War, James Lorimer, Toronto, 2002

 

Notes

[1] C. Wright Mills, The Power Elite, New York, 1956.
[2] Cited in Charles Higham, Trading with the Enemy: An Exposé of The Nazi-American Money Plot 1933-1949, New York, 1983, p. 163.
[3] Robert B. Stinnett, Day of Deceit: The Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor, New York, 2001, p. 17.
[4] Cited in Sean Dennis Cashman, America, Roosevelt, and World War II, New York and London, 1989, p. 56; .
[5] Edwin Black, Nazi Nexus: America’s Corporate Connections to Hitler’s Holocaust, Washington/DC, 2009, p. 115.
[6] Floyd Rudmin, “Secret War Plans and the Malady of American Militarism,” Counterpunch, 13:1, February 17-19, 2006. pp. 4-6, http://www.counterpunch.org/2006/02/17/secret-war-plans-and-the-malady-of-american-militarism
[7] Jacques R. Pauwels, The Myth of the Good War : America in the Second World War, Toronto, 2002, pp. 50-56. The fraudulent practices of Lend-Lease are described in Kim Gold, “The mother of all frauds: How the United States swindled Britain as it faced Nazi Invasion,” Morning Star, April 10, 2003.
[8] Cited in David Lanier Lewis, The public image of Henry Ford: an American folk hero and his company, Detroit, 1976, pp. 222, 270.
[9] Jacques R. Pauwels, “70 Years Ago, December 1941: Turning Point of World War II,” Global Research, December 6, 2011, http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=28059.
[10] Rudmin, op. cit.
[11] See e.g. Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States, s.l., 1980, p. 305 ff.
[12] Patrick J. Hearden, Roosevelt confronts Hitler: America’s Entry into World War II, Dekalb/IL, 1987, p. 105.
[13] “Anti-Japanese sentiment,” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Japanese_sentiment
[14] Patrick J. Buchanan, “Did FDR Provoke Pearl Harbor?,” Global Research, December 7, 2011,http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=28088 . Buchanan refers to a new book by George H. Nash, Freedom Betrayed: Herbert Hoover’s Secret History of the Second World War and its Aftermath, Stanford/CA, 2011.
[15] Stinnett, op. cit., p. 6.
[16] Stinnett, op. cit., pp. 5, 9-10, 17-19, 39-43; Buchanan, op. cit.; Pauwels, The Myth…, pp. 67-68. On American intercepts of coded Japanese messages, see Stinnett, op. cit., pp. 60-82. “Rattlesnakes”-quotation from Buchanan, op. cit.
[17] Stinnett, op. cit., pp. 152-154.
[18] Pauwels, “70 Years Ago…”
[19] See Jean Bricmont, Humanitarian imperialism: Using Human Rights to Sell War, New York, 2006.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/fall-1941-pearl-harbor-and-the-wars-of-corporate-america/28159

ICC decides not to prosecute Israel for Mavi Marmara massacre

Originally posted on Akashma Online News:

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Another insult to justice was just published early morning today. International Court of Justice in the Hague prosecutor said, that even though there are basis to believe war crimes were committed in the Mavi Marmara in May 2010 when Israel commands aboarded the Gaza bound flotilla and killed 8 Turkish national and one American, the evidence is not “terrible enought” to prosecute Israel, The ICC prosecutor said.

Prosecutors found that while there was a “reasonable basis” to believe IDF soldiers had committed war crimes during the raid, the crimes in question were not of sufficient gravity to fall under the court’s jurisdiction.

Exclusive: Nine Turkish men on board Mavi Marmara were shot a total of 30 times, autopsy results reveal, says the Guardian at its June 30, 2010

On November 6, 2013, Anadolu Agency published an interview with
Retired Major General Amos Yadlin who was the chief of the military intelligence during…

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“Operation Libya” and the Battle for Oil: Redrawing the Map of Africa

Originally posted on Libyan Free Press:

oilforwest460

Author’s Note:

The following article was published two years ago on March 9, 2011, at the outset of the US-NATO intervention in Libya.  Libya’s oil reserves are twice those of the United States.

In retrospect. the 2011 US-NATO led war on Libya was a multi-trillion dollar trophy for the United States. It was also, as outlined in the article a means to establishing US hegemony in North Africa, a region historically dominated by France and to lesser extent by Italy and Spain.

The US-NATO intervention was also intent upon excluding China from the region and edging out China’s National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), which was a major player in Libya.

Libya is the gateway to the Sahel and Central Africa. More generally, what is at stake is the redrawing of the map of Africa at the expense of France’s historical spheres of influence, namely a process of neo-colonial redivision.

Michel Chossudovsky…

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Camp Bucca: The US prison that became the birthplace of Isis

Iraq_prison

In March 2009, in a wind-swept sliver of Iraq, a sense of uncertainty befell the southern town of Garma, home to one of the Iraq War’s most notorious prisons. The sprawling detention center called Camp Bucca, which had detained some of the Iraq War’s most radical jihadists along the Kuwait border, had just freed hundreds of inhabitants. Families rejoiced, anxiously awaiting their sons, brothers and fathers who had been lost to Bucca for years. But a local official fretted.

“These men weren’t planting flowers in a garden,” police chief Saad Abbas Mahmoud told The Washington Post’s Anthony Shadid, estimating 90 percent of the freed prisoners would soon resume fighting. “They weren’t strolling down the street. This problem is both big and dangerous. And regrettably, the Iraqi government and the authorities don’t know how big the problem has become.”

Mahmoud’s assessment of Camp Bucca, which funneled 100,000 detainees through its barracks and closed months later, would prove prescient. The camp now represents an opening chapter in the history of Islamic State — many of its leaders, including Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, were incarcerated and likely met there. According to former prison commanders, analysts and soldiers, Camp Bucca provided a unique setting for both prisoner radicalization and inmate collaboration — and was formative in the development today’s most potent jihadist force.

Iraqi detainees walk inside the Camp Bucca detention centre located near the Kuwait-Iraq border

In all, nine members of the Islamic State’s top command did time at Bucca, according to the terrorist analyst organization Soufan Group. Apart from Baghdadi himself, who spent five years there, the leader’s number two, Abu Muslim al-Turkmani, as well as senior military leader Haji Bakr, (now deceased), and leader of foreign fighters Abu Qasim were incarcerated there, Soufan said. Though it’s likely the men were extremists when they entered Bucca, the group added, it’s certain they were when they left.

“Before their detention, Mr al-Baghdadi and others were violent radicals, intent on attacking America,” wrote military veteran Andrew Thompson and academic Jeremi Suri in the New York Times this month. “Their time in prison deepened their extremism and gave them opportunities to broaden their following. The prisons became virtual terrorist universities: the hardened radicals were the professors, the other detainees were the students, and the prison authorities played the role of absent custodian.

It’s a scenario that’s long confounded law enforcement: how do you crack down on extremism without creating more of it? From the radicalisation of white supremacists in U.S. prisons to the United Kingdom’s disastrous bid in the 1970s to incarcerate Irish Republican Army members, the problem is nothing new: prisons are pools of explosive extremism awaiting a spark.

And at Camp Bucca, there was no shortage of sparks. As news of Baghdadi’s tenure at Bucca emerged, former prison commander James Skylar Gerrond remembered many of them. “Re: Badghadi,” he wrote on Twitter in July, “Many of us at Camp Bucca were concerned that instead of just holding detainees, we had created a pressure cooker for extremism.” He worked at the prison between 2006 and 2007, when it was glutted with tens of thousands of radicals, including Baghdadi

Many were guilty of attacking American soldiers. But many more were not; “simply being a ‘suspicious looking’ military-aged male in the vicinity of an attack was enough to land20141023POD-slide-XU7H-superJumbo one behind bars,” according to the Times opinion piece. Shadid reported as much in 2009, confirming many viewed it “as an appalling miscarriage of justice where prisoners were not charged or permitted to see evidence against them and freed detainees may end up swelling the ranks of a subdued insurgency.”

That this subdued insurgency eventually caught fire isn’t much of a surprise. At the height of the Iraq surge in 2007, when the prison was glutted with 24,000 inmates, it seethed with extremism. Inhabitants were divided along sectarian lines to ameliorate tension, a military report said, and inmates settled their disputes with Islamic law. “Inside the wire at these compounds are Islamic extremists who will maim or kill fellow detainees for behavior they consider against Islam,” the military report said.

“Sharia courts enforce camp-bucca-2a lot of rules inside the compounds,” one soldier quoted in the report said. “Anyone who takes part in behavior which is seen as western is severely punished by the extremist elements of the compound. It’s quite appalling sometimes.”

Prison commanders such as Gerrond observed the growing extremism: “There was a huge amount of collective pressure exerted on detainees to become more radical in their beliefs,” he told Mother Jones. “Detainees turned to each other for support. If there were radical elements within this support network, there was always the potential that detainees would become more radical.”

But the unique setting at Bucca, which thrust together Saddam Hussein’s Baathist secularists and Islamic fundamentalists, set the stage for something perhaps worse: collaboration. At the prison, the two seemingly incongruous groups joined to form a union “more than a marriage of convenience”, Soufan reported.

Soufan found each group offered the other something it lacked. In the ex-Baathists, jihadists found organizational skills and military discipline. In the jihadists, ex-Baathists found purpose. “In Bucca, the math changed as ideologies adopted military and bureaucratic traits and as bureaucrats became violent extremists,” the Soufan report said.

From the ashes of what former inmates called an “al-Qaeda school,” rose the Islamic State. Indeed, when those inhabitants freed in 2009 returned to Baghdad, the Post reported, they spoke of two things: their conversion to radicalism — and revenge.

http://www.electronicresistance.net/2014/11/camp-bucca-the-us-prison-that-became-the-birthplace-of-isis/

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