Geopolitics and Foreign Policy … english and italian
Yemeni Army’s missile units targeted Saudi-led coalition forces in the Southeastern province of Ta’iz, killing or wounding at least 150 of them, local sources said on Thursday.
The sources said the Yemeni Army carried out the attack on a gathering of the Saudi-led forces in Sha’ab al-Jin near Bab al-Mandeb region, inflicting over 150 casualties on them; FNA reported.
They further added that the attack also ended in at least ten military vehicles of the Saudi-led coalition forces being destroyed.
The local sources also noted that among the casualties were militants who were recently transferred to the port city of Aden, located 170km to Bab al-Mandeb, on a Turkish plane.
The contingent of Saudi-led forces arrived in the strategic region just two days ago, apparently for a major military assault on the Yemeni forces.
On Saturday, the Yemeni security sources disclosed that the Turkish plane has transferred Al-Qaeda terrorists from Syria’s Northern city of Aleppo to Aden and evacuated wounded pro-Saudi militias to medical treatment centers outside the country when returning to Turkey.
“The Turkish airplane landed at Aden International Airport to transfer the pro-Saudi mercenaries wounded in the Yemeni forces’ offensives in Ta’iz province for treatment in Turkish hospitals,” the Arabic-language al-Ahd news website quoted informed sources as saying.
The sources noted that some 150 al-Qaeda terrorists stepped out of the plane as soon as it landed, adding that they had been relocated from Syria’s Aleppo to Aden.
(Image from Conservativeinfidel.com)
This is the full article from LevantReport published with the permission of the source (Thanks to John Esq):
ON FRIDAY, MAY 22, I contacted the DIA Public Affairs office seeking official response to my May 19 article entitled, 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency document: West will facilitate rise of Islamic State “in order to isolate the Syrian regime”. DIA Public Affairs did not respond at that time.
YESTERDAY (5/26), THE DIA CONTACTED ME via email and requested that I submit my questions. Today, May 27, DIA Public Affairs spokesman James M. Kudla contacted me via telephone at 1:37pm (Eastern Standard Time) and agreed to give an official DIA comment to my questions concerning the declassified 2012 DIA intelligence report released through Freedom of Information Act request to Judicial Watch (14-L-0552/DIA/287-293).
THE BELOW IS A FULL TRANSCRIPT of the phone interview. Permission is given by Levant Report to freely copy and circulate.*
James Kudla [JK]: In response to the questions you submitted through email… As noted in the document itself, it’s an informational report and is not finally evaluated intelligence, and the redacted sections in the document released under FOIA means it is not a complete document.
Brad Hoff [BH]: Does this document forecast in 2012 that the external powers supporting the Syrian opposition would allow an Islamic State in Eastern Syria in order to isolate or put military pressure on the Syrian regime?
JK: I have no comment on the contents of the document, nor on your interpretation of the document in your article. To reiterate, the document is raw information and has not been interpreted or analyzed, so it is not a final intelligence product.
BH: Does this document affirm that the DoD knew that what the document refers to as the West was supporting an opposition insurgency in Syria that had elements of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, or AQI, within in?
JK: I do not speak for the Department of Defense, only for the DIA. For the DoD you would have to call the Pentagon’s Public Affairs desk. I have no comment on the contents of the document.
BH: Can you confirm that this particular document FOIA released, marked 14-L-0552/DIA/287-293, was circulated among the Joint Staff, USCENTCOM, CIA, DHS, Dept. of State, SecDef office, and those agencies listed under the header?
JK: I can’t confirm how it was circulated or who read it, but we can confirm that copies were sent to its addressees listed in the header information.
BH: Are you able to dispel some current headlines that say the West aligned itself with ISIS during 2012 or at any point during the conflict in Syria?
JK: There are a lot of headlines circulating, I cannot evaluate each one. I cannot comment on that.
BH: Would you like to take this opportunity to dispel any accusations currently circulating?
JK: I have no comment on that.
BH: Are you able to at least deny that the DIA’s analysis revealed that the West backed ISIS at some point during the conflict in Syria?
JK: No comment. I have no additional comments for you.
The above is official comment given to Brad Hoff from:
JAMES M. KUDLA, PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER, OFFICE OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS, DEFENSE INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, DIA HQ N635i
*Questions or media inquiries for Brad Hoff, managing editor of Levant Report, should be directed to Levantreport(@)gmail.com
The DIA Islamic State Story & Going Out on a Limb with Independent Muckraking In “Media and Disinformation”
Will the DIA document on Syria be reported in the mainstream U.S. media? In “Interventionism”
TEHRAN (FNA)– A group of human rights activists and international figures in a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced their concern about the Yemeni people’s dire need to humanitarian aid.
According to the International Union of Unified Ummah, the letter signed by 53 international human rights figures and organizations warned of the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen, and called for an immediate stop in the Saudi-led coalition airstrikes against the poor Arab nation.
In the letter signed by activists from the US, Britain, France, Scotland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Portugal, Greece, India, Turkey, Indonesia, Malaysia, Palestine, Cambodia, South Africa and Nigeria, the signatories urged immediate dispatch of humanitarian aid to Yemen.
The International Union of Unified Ummah has also signed the letter and protested at the UN’s contradictory policies and slow pace of relief works in Yemen.
The names of figures and entities who have signed the letter are as follows:
1. Roshan Muhammad Salih, Editor, UK
2. Ahl albeit Society, Azzam Mohamad, Scotland
3. Ahlulbayt Islamic Mission, Samir al-Haidari, UK
4. Alternative Information Centre, Michel Warschawski, Jerusalem
5. Association for Justice, Peace and Development, Jamal Abdul Nasir, Cambodia
6. Association l’Ouverture, France
7. Campaign Against Criminalising Communities, Les Levidow
8. Central Committee Member of Ulama Association of Malaysia, Dr Fauzi Zakaria, Malaysia
9. Citizens International, S.M. Mohamed Idris, Malaysia
10. CODEPINK, Medea Benjamin, USA
11. Collectif francais pour la liberte des peoples, Syed Naqvi, France
12. Fondation Islamique et Culturelle d’Ahl-el-Beit, Mughees Husain, Switzerland
13. Free Palestine Movement, Paul Larudee, USA
14. Glasgow Ahlulbayt Association, Ahmed Khweir
15. India-Palestine Solidarity Forum, Feroze Mithiborwala, India
16. Institute for Global Dialogues
17. Institute for Islamic Civilisation, Mardani Ali Seria, Indonesia
18. Institute for Peace and Modernisation, Zainal Bagir, Indonesia
19. International Action Centre, Sara Flounders, USA
20. International Institute for Scientific Research, Sandew Hira, The Hague, Netherlands
21. International Union of Muslim Scholars, Sheikh Ahmad Awang, Malaysia
22. International Committee for Aiding Yemen and Ending the War, Hassan al-Amri, Switzerland
23. International Union of Unified Ummah, Salim Ghafouri, Iran
24. Islamic Human Rights Commission, Massoud Shadjareh, UK
25. Islamic Unity Convention, Imam Achmed Cassiam, South Africa
26. Malaysian Consulative Council of Islamic Organisations, Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid, Malaysia
27. Mazlumder, Ahmet Faruk Unsal, Turkey
28. Mujahid, Islamic scholar, Indonesia
29. Muslim Intellectual Forum, Salim Alware, India
30. Muslim Students Organisation of India, Shujaat Ali Quadri, India
31. Muslim Youth League and Scottish Youth Forum, Sheikh Rehan Raza al-Azhari, Scotland
32. Muslimah Association of Malaysia, Datin Hajjah Aminah Zakaria, Malaysia
33. Nahdatul Ulama, Zuhairi Misrawi, Indonesia
34. Phule-Ambedkar Intellectual Forum, Kishor Jagtap, India
35. Plataforma Gueto, Flavio Almada, Portugal
36. Red-White Holy Guard, Muh Sabana
37. Scotland Against Criminalising Communities, Richard Haley
38. Secretariat for the Ulama Assembly of Asia, Sheikh Abdul Ghani Samsudin, Malaysia
39. Secular Forum India, Dr Suresh Khairnar, India
40. Shia Rights Watch, Mustafa Akhwand, USA
41. Stop the War Coalition, Lindsey German, UK
42. Syria Solidarity Movement, Eva Bartlett, USA
43. Universal Justice Network, Mohideen Abdul Kader, Malaysia
44. Universalia Legal Aid Foundation, Ahmad Taufik, Indonesia
45. Voice of Palestine, Mujtahid Hashem, Indonesia
46. Angelos Rallis, documentary filmmaker and photojournalist, Greece
47. Houria Bouteldja, activist, France
48. Ilan Pappe, academic, UK
49. Imam Asi, Imam of Washington Mosque
50. Professor Hamid Algar, academic, University of Berkley
51. Ramon Grosfoguel, academic, University of Berkley
52. Rania Madi, attorney and activist, Geneva
53. Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, Nigeria
اهالي مديرية ازال ينظمون وفقة احتجاجية منددة بجرائم العدوان
Yemenis still protesting Saudi Genocide
31 May 2015 18:13
Saudi soldiers fled the battlefield after Yemeni troops launched a retaliatory attack and hit a kingdom’s military base in the Southwestern province of Jizan on Sunday. According to al-Masirah satellite television network, the Yemeni army, backed by popular fighters, targeted a military post by rockets and mortar rounds in Jizan and forced the Saudi troops to flee the region. The report by…
31 May 2015 18:05
The Yemeni army, backed by popular forces, captured a military base in the region of Asir in Southwestern Saudi Arabia. According to reports, the Yemeni troops took control of Ain al-Hare military base in the Saudi region of Asir after launching a retaliatory attack against Riyadh’s artillery pounding of Yemen’s border region. More than 50 Saudi soldiers were killed and 40 others…
31 May 2015 15:27
Human Rights Watch (HRW) says evidence shows Saudi Arabia has been pounding neighboring Yemen with internationally banned cluster bombs, warning that such attacks are “harming civilians.” In a report released on Sunday after a visit by HRW officials to Yemen’s northern province of Sa’ada, the New York-based rights organization said the cluster bombs have targeted civilians and residential areas. The report said…
31 May 2015 11:28
Iran played down effectiveness of the Saudi-led air attacks to bring the Yemeni nation down to its knees, and said Riyadh’s aggressions deteriorated the already unpopular image of the Saudis among the Yemeni people. Speaking in an interview with the state tv on Saturday, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani underlined the growing trend of Yemenis’ hatred…
31 May 2015 11:23
At least 23 people, including women and children, were killed after enemy of Islam Saudi regime’s warplanes flattened a number of residential neighborhoods in the Northwestern Yemeni province of Sa’ada. According to Yemeni media reports, more than 23 civilians lost their lives and dozens of others sustained injures in Ketaf district in the latest wave of Saudi regime airstrikes against the…
31 May 2015 7:41
At least one Saudi border guard has been killed and seven others wounded in mortar attacks carried out by Yemeni fighters, enemy of Islam Saudi officials say. The zionist-puppet soldier was killed in Saudi Arabia’s southwestern city of Jizan on Saturday night, officials from the Saudi regime Interior Ministry said. Yemeni retaliatory attacks on Saudi border regions began earlier this month. Dozens…
From the Port of Djibouti in North Africa, it is with great sadness and burning outrage that I announce that the voyage of the Iran Shahed Rescue Ship has concluded. We will not reach our destination at the Port of Hodiedah in Yemen to deliver humanitarian aid.
The unsuccessful conclusion of our mission is the result of only one thing: US-backed Saudi Terrorism.
Yesterday, as it appeared our arrival was imminent, the Saudi forces bombed the port of Hodiedah. They didn’t just bomb the port once, or even twice. The Saudi forces bombed the port of Hodiedah a total of eight times in a single day!
The total number of innocent dock workers, sailors, longshoremen, and bystanders killed by these eight airstrikes is still being calculated.
Furthermore, the Yemeni revolutionaries arrested 15 people yesterday, who were part of a conspiracy to attack our vessel. The plan was to attack…
View original post 989 more words
On Monday, May 18, the conservative government watchdog group Judicial Watch published a selection of formerly classified documents obtained from the U.S. Department of Defense and State Department through a federal lawsuit.
While initial mainstream media reporting is focused on the White House’s handling of the Benghazi consulate attack, a much “bigger picture” admission and confirmation is contained in one of the Defense Intelligence Agency documents circulated in 2012: that an ‘Islamic State’ is desired in Eastern Syria to effect the West’s policies in the region.
Astoundingly, the newly declassified report states that for “THE WEST, GULF COUNTRIES, AND TURKEY [WHO] SUPPORT THE [SYRIAN] OPPOSITION… THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING A DECLARED OR UNDECLARED SALAFIST PRINCIPALITY IN EASTERN SYRIA (HASAKA AND DER ZOR), AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SUPPORTING POWERS TO THE OPPOSITION WANT, IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE SYRIAN REGIME…”.
The DIA report, formerly classified “SECRET//NOFORN”…
View original post 771 more words
Saudi Aggression on Yemen Intensifies
by Stephen Lendman
On Thursday, John Kerry met with Saudi officials in Riyadh. They planned escalated aggression on Yemen harming defenseless civilians most. A so-called proposed 5-day humanitarian ceasefire is phony. Terror-bombing continues. US/Saudi enforced blockade prevents enough essentials to life from entering Yemen. Suggesting a limited pause in fighting is willful deception. Washington wants all-out terror war against 25 million Yemenis.
It wants control regained over its former client state – no matter how much mass slaughter and destruction it takes to achieve it.
It bears repeating what other articles stressed. Yemen is Obama’s war – using Saudis and other regional rogue states as US proxies.
Six weeks of terror-bombing achieved nothing strategically. Nor have thousands of imported takfiri terrorists been able to challenge Houthi rebels effectively.
Is large-scale invasion planned? Launching one assures a far greater bloodbath than already.
On Wednesday, Yemeni UN envoy Khaled Alyemany representing the illegitimate (US-installed) ousted government called for intervention by foreign ground forces.
Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin called invading Yemen “reckless – an escalation of the situation.”
“What we need is a speedy resumption of negotiations under the mediation of the United Nations,” he stressed.
Otherwise, expect endless conflict, far more deaths, destruction and mass displacement, as well as greater humanitarian crisis conditions than already.
On Thursday, UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen Johannes van der Klaauw called for an immediate halt to fighting, saying:
“Civilians were reportedly targeted while they were trying to flee to safer areas, having been trapped in Aden with limited or no access to water, food and health care for weeks.”
“People in Aden have endured extreme hardship as a result of conflict over the last six weeks and must be able to move to safer areas to seek medical and other assistance.”
“Violence towards civilians and aid workers, and attacks on hospitals and other civilian infrastructure, must stop immediately.”
On May 7, Yemeni doctors and other medical workers demonstrated in front of Sanaa’s UN office. A doctor attending the rally said:
“We have come here…to call for the UN Secretary-General to put an end to this genocide war against the Yemenis. Many patients die at the hospitals because of” no fuel or medical supplies.
Thousands have died, mostly noncombatant civilians either in harm’s way or deliberately targeted.
Thousands more were injured, many maimed for life. Hundreds of thousands have been displaced – desperate people in harm’s way wherever they go.
Continued Saudi terror-bombing and proxy takfiri terrorist attacks assure it.
Riyadh’s military spokesman Brig. General Ahmed al-Assiri responded to Houthi and tribal fighters’ cross-border attacks in retaliation against Saudi terror-bombing, ludicrously saying:
“The Houthi militias have crossed red lines and they will be dealt with differently now. (They’ll) pay a harsh and expensive price.”
“The formula has changed after Saudi towns and civilians” were shelled.
AP said Houthis and allied forces consolidated control over most of Aden while Kerry was in Riyadh. The previous day they “overwhelmed” Tawahi’s downtown district and an area presidential palace.
Reuters reported Riyadh’s vow to hit Houthis hard despite a 5-day ceasefire offer. Asseri declined to say if ground invasion is coming. All options are open, he stressed.
In a letter to UN officials, Houthis called for international action against Saudi-led aggression.
Senior Houthi official Tawfiq al-Himyary denounced Riyadh’s phony ceasefire offer – calling it “cover” for its failures.
“Saudi Arabia feels it is in trouble after more than 40 days of aggression,” Himyary said. “It did not reach its stated goals, but killed and displaced thousands of civilians.”
“Saudi Arabia has no right to attack the Yemenis or even to give them any kind of truce. There is no trust in this regime at all.”
In April, it lied claiming an end to terror-bombing – replacing it with diplomatic efforts to resolve things.
Dirty war without mercy continued – at times more intensively than earlier. Comments from Riyadh lack credibility.
Rogue regimes operate by their own rules. Ruthlessness defines them – horrific war crimes by any standard.
Expect endless conflict to continue. Yemen is being systematically raped. It’s becoming one of history’s great crimes.
Obama bears full responsibility. Saudis and other rogue regional partners share it. Millions of Yemenis suffer largely out of sight and mind.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Yemen people welcomed Truce but received more Saudi Aggression
8 May 2015 22:39
The Saudi warplanes pounded Faj Attan in the countryside of Sana’a with banned bombs a few hours ago. According to local sources, the Saudi warplanes used prohibited bombs and missiles in their today airstrikes on Faj Attan area in Southern Sana’a. There has yet been no report on the exact number of the casualties. Saudi Arabia has been striking Yemen for 44 days…
8 May 2015 22:30
Thousands of Yemenis have once again taken to the streets of the capital, Sana’a, to denounce Saudi Arabia’s deadly aggression against their country. The demonstrators on Friday chanted slogans against Saudi Arabia, the United States, and the Israeli regime amid deadly Saudi airstrikes against the country. “King Salman you are the loser you will be defeated,” the demonstrators chanted, adding “Down with…
8 May 2015 22:25
The United Nations has warned about the consequences of restrictions on Yemen’s imports of foodstuff and basic commodities as deadly Saudi air raids continue to hamper relief operations in the war-ravaged Arab state. “If restrictions on the commercial imports of food and fuel continue, then it will kill more children than bullets and bombs in the coming months,” said the UN…
8 May 2015 22:17
WATCH AND SHARE so that the whole world see who the zionist Saudi America and puppet coalition are. Let the world see what kind of massacre the Suadis do in Yemen. Is this what Erdogan who gave logistic support to Saudi Arabia said: ” The goal in Yemen has been achieved.”? http://www.islamicinvitationturkey.com/video/heartbreaking.mp4 to watch on facebook Brutality of Saudi America
8 May 2015 21:37
Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah Speech on Regional Developments TO VIEW SUBTITLES CLICK THE CC BUTTON https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_pG6xilbng&feature=youtu.be
8 May 2015 19:52
Saudi Arabia and Coalition started mass massacre in Sa’ada. Saudi Arabia warned people to evacuate the region and started targeting 9 different points in Razeh. In addition, Yemeni Al-Masera TV was banned from air.
8 May 2015 19:39
Fighter Jets of Saudi Coalition bombing Meran mountain continuously.
8 May 2015 16:28
Ten of thousands against Saudi offensives take part in popular gathering in Sana’a Yemeni capital. This popular gathering have been called by Supreme Revolutionary Council of Yemen
8 May 2015 16:21
Thousands of Yemenis have once again taken to the streets of the capital, Sana’a, to denounce Saudi Arabia’s deadly aggression against their country.
8 May 2015 16:14
The Iranian capital, Tehran, as well as other parts of the country witness demonstrations in condemnation of the Saudi aggression against Yemen. The demonstrators took to the streets after the Friday prayers. Protesters chanted slogans against Saudi Arabia. They also held the United States responsible for the military aggression, which has claimed the lives of over 1,200. The rallies in the capital featured…
8 May 2015 8:37
New military achievements were accomplished on Thursday by the tribal fighters on the border with the Saudi America. The achievements are in retaliation for the US-backed Saudi aggression against the Arab impoverished country, which has been since March 26 under brutal attack.Tribal fighters in Yemen Field sources from Yemen told al-Manar that the tribal forces managed to seize eight posts in Najran…
8 May 2015 8:33
Saudi Arabia’s “foolish” military aggression against Yemen is doomed to failure, says a senior Iranian official. “Al Saud will not achieve its goals in the aggression against Yemen, and their aggressive and foolish move in the region will face utter failure,” said Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi, who serves as a top military adviser to Leader of the Islamic Ummah and…
It bears repeating what other articles stressed. Yemen is Obama’s war – another atrocity on his rap sheet affecting an entire country and its 25 million people in dire need of humanitarian aid to survive.
Saudis and rogue regional allies are convenient US proxies – carrying out orders from Washington. They’d never attack another Arab country without America’s OK, urging and support.
Washington and Riyadh imposed air and sea blockade on Yemen – a blatantly illegal act on top of US planned and orchestrated naked aggression against an independent country posing no threat to others.
Russia called for an immediate ceasefire, an urgency to address humanitarian crisis conditions and dialogue among all sides to end fighting.
During a Friday emergency closed-door Security Council session on Yemen it called, Washington blocked its initiative.
Obama launched war. He deplores peace. He wants conflict escalated.
He wants blockade conditions maintained. He wants Yemenis starved to death or perishing from untreated wounds.
He wants no consideration whatever given to addressing essential to life humanitarian needs.
Russian envoy Vitaly Churkin expressed frustration saying “(t)his really shows an amazing lack of understanding of how things are evolving.”
“If you can’t agree to a (responsible) motherhood and apple pie statement, what can you agree on?”
Churkin pointed fingers at Washington adding:
“Clearly, they need to feel their responsibility since they are supporting the bombing of the coalition, the responsibility of the humanitarian consequences.”
Saudi-led airstrikes and blockade are lawless. No Security Council resolution authorized them.
“It is very clear from resolution 2216 that it did not authorize the use of military force,” Churkin explained.
“Some colleagues were saying that the Saudi-led coalition is trying to make sure that resolution 2216 is implemented. This is not the case. Their action is completely outside the resolution.”
Among other provisions, it banned supplying Houthis with weapons. It did nothing to stop Washington and Riyadh from arming forces fighting them – including thousands Saudi recruited takfiri terrorists.
On Thursday, an ineffective UN statement without teeth “call(ed) on all parties to ensure that humanitarian agencies and their partners have safe and reliable access to bring aid workers and supplies into Yemen and to deliver aid to millions of people in need.”
“All airports are closed to civilian traffic – some have come under direct attack – and naval shipments are being delayed.”
“Yemen’s health, water and sanitation systems and telecommunications services are on the brink of collapse.”
Yemen faces an acute shortage of food, clean water, medical supplies and other essentials to life.
US-initiated/Saudi-led aggression bears full responsibility. In mid-April, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said food reserves in Yemen were fast running out. Millions of Yemenis face possible starvation.
The ICRC reported an alarming shortage of virtually everything needed to sustain life.
Its surgical team had to abandon Aden’s Al Jamhouria hospital when Saudis terror-bombed it. ICRC’s Cedric Scheizer issued a statement saying:
“We are shocked by the lack of respect for the hospital, as a neutral health facility, by the fighting parties.”
“Under no circumstances should this be happening, and under no circumstances should hospitals be targeted or used for fighting purposes.”
“Our team had been working in that hospital for three weeks but, after all the patients and staff were put at risk, the hospital had to be vacated.”
Washington supplies Riyadh with targets to strike. They include hospitals, residential neighborhoods, schools, mosques, power facilities, food storage areas and civilian infrastructure – blatant illegal acts.
Sanaa’s Al Kuwait Hospital administrator Issa Alzugh said “(w)e are facing tremendous logistical difficulties in trying to keep this hospital working.”
“We are running out of diesel. Our ambulances can no longer transport patients. Only half of our staff can come to work as the hospital buses have stopped running.”
Dr. Zine El Abidine said severe shortages of lifesaving supplies are crippling operations.
An entire country is on the brink of collapse. Appalling human suffering affects millions.
On Friday, thousands of Yemenis protested in Sanaa. They chanted anti-US/Saudi/Israeli slogans.
Women, children and elderly participants addressed the huge crowd. It was the second mass protest since mid-April – organized by Yemen’s Supreme Revolutionary Council.
On Friday, Saudis terror-bombed an area 200 meters from Russia’s Sanaa embassy – perhaps a shot across the bow. Its diplomats remain in Sanaa.
Its embassy is official Russian territory. Saudis perhaps sent a message indicating a future strike won’t miss.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest reiterated Washington’s full support for Saudi terror-bombing.
Claiming Riyadh is “reacting to legitimate concerns…about the security situation along their border” is a brazen Big Lie.
US-planned, sponsored and orchestrated naked aggression continues – endless war against 25 million Yemenis, genocide by any standard.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Suggestions for the name of this movie are welcome.
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CopyrightB Purkayastha 2015
The Geneva peace talks, meant to resolve the crisis in Libya where rival militias and their respective governments are at war over the control of the country, so far failed to be fruitful. It in fact is believed that the lame leading the blind would have yielded better results than the UN-brokered mediation, facilitated by a Bilderberg Group member named Bernardino Léon, between a government of CIA assets and a rival government of Al Qaeda terrorists and the like. The latter, self-proclaimed Tripoli-based government, on January 19 proposed to move the talks from Geneva to the Libyan desert town of Ghat, which led to the suspension of the dialogue. Two days earlier the rival factions called for a ceasefire starting on January 18 at midnight, even though the Libya Dawn militia, which is terrorizing the capital of Tripoli since last July, was not represented at the talks. And with ongoing heavy fighting in several Libyan cities – including near Ghat – as well as heavy clashes near oil ports and fields, the ceasefire already has proven to be just another empty notion. The only clear outcome of the talks so far seems to be that Libya Dawn was given the opportunity to run away with the bone that the other factions were feebly negotiating on in Geneva.
But it wasn’t the representatives of the Libya Dawn militia that were the big absentee at the Geneva peace talks. While a motley crew of terrorist gangs and extremist figures was invited to the mediation, no seats were reserved for the Libyan Popular National Movement (LPNM), which was founded in early 2012 as the political body of the majority of the Libyans who support the Jamahiriya, also known as the Green Resistance. This however did not prevent the LPNM from issuing an announcement on the event. In an Arabic-language post on its official Facebook page, the movement on January 18 published an eight-point statement addressing the actual, in-country problems Libya is experiencing and the ineffectiveness and ill-informedness of the solutions that the Geneva talks try to provide, saying:
1. In order to achieve the goals and ambitions as aimed for at the Geneva talks, meaning freedom and stability, the reconstruction of the state institutions and the law, the presence of all political parties, social forces, tribes and human rights organizations is required, as well as various political visions. At the Geneva dialogue, no opposition to the so-called February 17 revolution was present. The success of the talks depend on the majority of the Libyan people, which include:
2. We acknowledged there was no clear basis and no regulations for the Geneva talks; on the contrary, they merely serve the principles of the so-called February 17 revolution. First of all the interlocutors should reach a consensus on which strategy should be pursued towards the restoration of security and stability, the rebuilding of the state institutions and the defeat of the widespread terrorism throughout Libya. It is very important that the interlocutors agree on this before engaging in dialogue. The basis of dialogue is a united, independent Libya and the Libyan people’s right to security, stability and self-determination and to freely choose the political system of their choice.
3. Before thinking about any operational or political mechanisms, this dialogue should provide radical solutions leading to a ceasefire, the withdrawal of weapons and the withdrawal of the militants. It should bring all armed actions in the country to an end, because no effective political process will succeed as long as there is no control over the arms and over the formal institutions of the country.
4. There should be consensus about all operational regulations. The problem of the militias should be addressed in a way that avoids their crimes being left unpunished, as they are crimes against the nation and its citizens. Impunity would undermine security and stability in any future opportunity.
5. The internationally recognized Libyan parliament is elected by a small part of the Libyan people, yet it is the body entrusted with the legislation and formation of the government and all judicial and executive institutions. There should be a united government which should repeal all legislation that has led to congestion, which was imposed by force of arms on the former General National Congress, such as the Political Isolation law, the law of Transitional Justice and the law of Custody.
6. It is impossible to create a positive political climate while tens of thousands of people are detained in secret or public prisons outside the authority of the state, and with thousands of missing persons. There is an urgent need for interlocutors to take urgent decisions to put an end to the unjust imprisonment and kidnapping. All hostages and unlawfully detained prisoners should be released, and the judiciary should take lawful and just actions regarding all parties.
7. After the culmination of all of these procedures and after confidence building between all parties by consensus to form a national unity government in which all parties are represented in a balanced manner, a period of dialogue should be installed in order to return stability, so that the government can proceed with its tasks. The most important tasks should be the compliance management among all parties in accordance with a constitution that meets the aspirations of the Libyan people for freedom, democracy, justice and equality. The unity government should reorganize and restructure the military, the security bodies and the police institutions. It should broadcast and handle all grievances and reparations on a broad cross-section of citizens over the past years and deal with economic problems and issues of basic services to citizens throughout the country, and should culminate the political process permanently and for everyone.
8. There should be a notice of motion to the head of the United Nations mission to become aware of the urgent need of a national unity government, without the before mentioned limited dialogue with only the pro-February 17 factions. The head of the United Nations mission should be told that the continuation of this methodology will likely lead to sliding into chaos and all-out civil war, which could be avoided if dialogue includes all political factions, so that solutions could be gradually and carefully implemented on the basis of consensus.
Taking into account that almost two million Libyans – one-third of the population – marched in support of the Jamahiriya on July 1, 2011 alone while NATO was unsuccessfully trying to bomb its rebels into power for already almost four months, those millions who currently largely live in exile and who now have reorganized themselves in the Libyan Popular National Movement, most certainly should not be excluded from any real political solution in the country. However, the UN last Friday announced that the talks “will resume on Monday, representatives of influential municipalities will hold discussions on Wednesday and armed militias will enter the talks next Friday.” With the dialogue being limited again to rival groups that emerged from the so-called February 17 revolution and without a clear plan on the table, all that can be expected from the upcoming talks is further disunity, leading to more chaos, more division and more bloodshed in the once most prosperous country of Africa.
And maybe that was the plan all along. Just like Libya was bombed into the stone age under the guise of protecting civilians, lofty-sounding peace talks hosted by the UN will ultimately only contribute to the division of Libya in three parts, so that the West can gain total control over these geographically and politically weak regions, like the former spokesperson of the Jamahiriya, dr. Moussa Ibrahim, said earlier this month. A strong, united and independent Libya as it was under Gaddafi is the last thing the West wants to see, so let’s not fall in the pro-peace trap again.
Warning: There will be disturbing images in this post.
And probably unwelcome viewpoints, which will offend your sensibilities.
But then you probably knew that already.
So, apparently, the world is incensed about the burning alive of a Jordanian fighter pilot by ISIS.
That’s all good. I totally don’t condone anyone’s being burned alive. This is something that should not happen.
Actually, I have watched the video of the Burning Alive, and I must say I strongly share the doubts of many online commentators about the episode. Before going on further, I’ll just summarise them for you:
The scene opens with a slick, professionally shot image of a ruined city. We see our protagonist, the pilot, walking alone and unescorted, dressed in an orange jumpsuit, towards the camera, and towards men dressed in desert camouflage pattern uniforms (hitherto unnoticed among the photos of ISIS I’ve seen, by the way) who are waiting in line.
The production is, actually, very, very slick, and we then see him in a cage with the camera jump-cutting repeatedly to his face to catch his expression.
Then one of the uniformed men takes a torch and touches it to the ground some distance from the cage, whereupon it races towards him in a line of fire he stands watching. I don’t know about you, but if I were in that position, I’d have – I don’t know, run to the other side of the cage? Tried to climb to the top? Tried to run away before ever being even put in the cage? I mean, what the hell could they do, shoot me?
And then there’s a pool of fire around his feet, and the camera angle changes as he slowly and dramatically collapses into the exact centre of the pool of fire occupying the middle of the cage, and apparently only the middle of the cage. The last we see is a poignantly kneeling figure, enveloped in flames.
Damn, real or not, I’ve seen less competent production in major professionally edited movies.
By the way, I’ve heard it said that he didn’t move because he couldn’t – his feet were tied in place. That’s obviously not true going by the photos above, which show clearly that not only were they not tied together, but they weren’t tied to the cage floor…because there isn’t a cage floor.
Anyway, the point isn’t whether the video was real or not, and even if it was faked, as I strongly suspect, the chances are extremely great that the pilot, Muath al-Kaseasbeh, is no longer with us; it would be most inconvenient if he turned up alive at a later stage in proceedings. The point is the tidal wave of condemnation that “poured in”, riding on a sea of hypocrisy.
Hypocrisy? Yes, hypocrisy.
Let’s assume that this young pilot was actually immolated alive as depicted in the video. Let’s also assume that it was actually ISIS which burned him, and on its own, not because it had been told to by someone with a vested interest. I’ll also ignore the ISIS justification for burning him alive – that he was treated as he treated those he bombed – as immaterial.
Let’s also take it as read that burning is somehow worse than, say, beheading someone, or droning schools, or bombing TV stations, or eating someone’s heart on video. Let’s call burning a unique crime. All right.
Well, and so what do we have?
We have Dresden, where tens of thousands, at least, were burned alive by a deliberately created firestorm – all of whom were innocent, in a city with no military value whatsoever, just so Churchill could make a point to Stalin.
And it is these people who are crying outrage.
We have the memory of Vietnamese villages napalmed by US planes, children, clothes burned off their bodies, running screaming at the camera. We have – in that same decade of the 1960s – black Americans burned to death by cheering lynch mobs in the deep south of the United States. We have the Highway of Death in 1991, when retreating Iraqi troops were firebombed for hours by American planes, even though the soldiers had stopped fighting, were withdrawing, and were not attempting to shoot back. We have these same Americans using white phosphorus incendiaries on Fallujah in 2004, incinerating people en masse.
These are the people now crying outrage.
We have the Zionists who as recently as 2009 used white phosphorus on Gaza, in full glare of the cameras, to burn children.
And they are the ones who are outraged.
We have the Japanese who in Nanjing raped women to death, or raped them half to death and burned what was left.
And they are the ones outraged.
We have the hundred or more unarmed protestors burned alive by a Nazi mob in Odessa in May 2014, while police watched, doing nothing; the same Nazis coddled and protected by Supreme Warmonger-in-Chief Barack Obama and the rest of the Western coalition allegedly “fighting” ISIS.
And it is the same West which is “outraged”.
We have the Hindunazis in India, who in January 1999 burned alive an Australian missionary, Graham Staines, and his two young children. These Hindunazis, only three years later, murdered perhaps two thousand Muslims in Gujarat, a huge number of them by burning alive. In one case a pregnant woman was raped, disembowelled by a sword, the foetus pulled out of her belly and impaled on a spike before being burned. And then she was thrown into the fire.
And it is these people who are “outraged”.
At this point in time I don’t know what to be more outraged by, their actions…or by their outrage.
Look, here’s a Japanese soldier who was incinerated on Guadalcanal, and his head stuck on his tank.
Tell him all about their outrage.
Damascus, SANA – With the beginning of the new year, President Bashar al-Assad visited army and popular defense forces at the fire lines of Jobar, Damascus countryside.
President al-Assad toured a number of posts and military units which face armed terrorist groups, hailing and appreciating forces’ victories and sacrifices to keep the people of Damascus and its surrounding, as well as their properties, protected and safe.
“On the new year, families meet together, but you wanted to be here to protect your people and country, leave your families behind” President al-Assad addressed the soldiers, affirming that .. “receiving a new year is everybody’s hope, but the bigger hope is the victory of our armed forces and of all those who fought alongside with them, in our battle against terrorism”.
Greeting families, soldiers of the Syrian army and popular defense forces, the President wished quick recovery for injured ones, affirming that sacrifices of martyrs, injured soldiers and the determination of their families were the most important basis for Syria’s steadfastness.
The president also hailed soldiers on the fire lines in Jobar and all those who carried arms for defending the homeland in all hot spots of Syria, where terrorists attacked their people, and addressed soldiers by saying.. “we do embrace you, as a society and people, but we derive our morale from you and your high morale”.
For their part, the soldiers affirmed that they will keep defending Syria preserving its soil and pride till defeating terrorism and restoring safety and security to the homeland.
R. al-jazaeri/ Barry
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.
Left: A U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft flies over northern Iraq after conducting airstrikes in Syria, September 23, 2014. Right: President Obama at the UN Climate Summit, September 23, 2014. (Photo: Senior Airman Matthew Bruch / U.S. Air Force, John Gillespie / United Nations)
In transmitting President Richard Nixon’s orders for a “massive” bombing of Cambodia in 1969, Henry Kissinger said, “Anything that flies on everything that moves”. As Barack Obama ignites his seventh war against the Muslim world since he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the orchestrated hysteria and lies make one almost nostalgic for Kissinger’s murderous honesty.
As a witness to the human consequences of aerial savagery – including the beheading of victims, their parts festooning trees and fields – I am not surprised by the disregard of memory and history, yet again. A telling example is the rise to power of Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge, who had much in common with today’s Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). They, too, were ruthless medievalists who began as a small sect. They, too, were the product of an American-made apocalypse, this time in Asia.
According to Pol Pot, his movement had consisted of “fewer than 5,000 poorly armed guerrillas uncertain about their strategy, tactics, loyalty and leaders”. Once Nixon’s and Kissinger’s B52 bombers had gone to work as part of “Operation Menu”, the west’s ultimate demon could not believe his luck.
The Americans dropped the equivalent of five Hiroshimas on rural Cambodia during 1969-73. They levelled village after village, returning to bomb the rubble and corpses. The craters left monstrous necklaces of carnage, still visible from the air. The terror was unimaginable. A former Khmer Rouge official described how the survivors “froze up and they would wander around mute for three or four days. Terrified and half-crazy, the people were ready to believe what they were told … That was what made it so easy for the Khmer Rouge to win the people over.”
A Finnish Government Commission of Enquiry estimated that 600,000 Cambodians died in the ensuing civil war and described the bombing as the “first stage in a decade of genocide”. What Nixon and Kissinger began, Pol Pot, their beneficiary, completed. Under their bombs, the Khmer Rouge grew to a formidable army of 200,000.
ISIS has a similar past and present. By most scholarly measure, Bush and Blair’s invasion of Iraq in 2003 led to the deaths of some 700,000 people — in a country that had no history of jihadism. The Kurds had done territorial and political deals; Sunni and Shia had class and sectarian differences, but they were at peace; intermarriage was common. Three years before the invasion, I drove the length of Iraq without fear. On the way I met people proud, above all, to be Iraqis, the heirs of a civilization that seemed, for them, a presence.
Bush and Blair blew all this to bits. Iraq is now a nest of jihadism. Al-Qaeda — like Pol Pot’s “jihadists” — seized the opportunity provided by the onslaught of Shock and Awe and the civil war that followed. “Rebel” Syria offered even greater rewards, with CIA and Gulf state ratlines of weapons, logistics and money running through Turkey. The arrival of foreign recruits was inevitable. A former British ambassador, Oliver Miles, wrote recently, “The [Cameron] government seems to be following the example of Tony Blair, who ignored consistent advice from the Foreign Office, MI5 and MI6 that our Middle East policy – and in particular our Middle East wars – had been a principal driver in the recruitment of Muslims in Britain for terrorism here.”
ISIS is the progeny of those in Washington and London who, in destroying Iraq as both a state and a society, conspired to commit an epic crime against humanity. Like Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, ISIS are the mutations of a western state terror dispensed by a venal imperial elite undeterred by the consequences of actions taken at great remove in distance and culture. Their culpability is unmentionable in “our” societies.
It is 23 years since this holocaust enveloped Iraq, immediately after the first Gulf War, when the US and Britain hijacked the United Nations Security Council and imposed punitive “sanctions” on the Iraqi population – ironically, reinforcing the domestic authority of Saddam Hussein. It was like a medieval siege. Almost everything that sustained a modern state was, in the jargon, “blocked” — from chlorine for making the water supply safe to school pencils, parts for X-ray machines, common painkillers and drugs to combat previously unknown cancers carried in the dust from the southern battlefields contaminated with Depleted Uranium.
Just before Christmas 1999, the Department of Trade and Industry in London restricted the export of vaccines meant to protect Iraqi children against diphtheria and yellow fever. Kim Howells, a medical doctor and parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Blair government, explained why. “The children’s vaccines”, he said, “were capable of being used in weapons of mass destruction”. The British Government could get away with such an outrage because media reporting of Iraq – much of it manipulated by the Foreign Office — blamed Saddam Hussein for everything.
Under a bogus “humanitarian” Oil for Food Programme, $100 was allotted for each Iraqi to live on for a year. This figure had to pay for the entire society’s infrastructure and essential services, such as power and water. “Imagine,” the UN Assistant Secretary General, Hans Von Sponeck, told me, “setting that pittance against the lack of clean water, and the fact that the majority of sick people cannot afford treatment, and the sheer trauma of getting from day to day, and you have a glimpse of the nightmare. And make no mistake, this is deliberate. I have not in the past wanted to use the word genocide, but now it is unavoidable.”
Disgusted, Von Sponeck resigned as UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator in Iraq. His predecessor, Denis Halliday, an equally distinguished senior UN official, had also resigned. “I was instructed,” Halliday said, “to implement a policy that satisfies the definition of genocide: a deliberate policy that has effectively killed well over a million individuals, children and adults.”
A study by the United Nations Children’s Fund, Unicef, found that between 1991 and 1998, the height of the blockade, there were 500,000 “excess” deaths of Iraqi infants under the age of five. An American TV reporter put this to Madeleine Albright, US Ambassador to the United Nations, asking her, “Is the price worth it?” Albright replied, “We think the price is worth it.”
In 2007, the senior British official responsible for the sanctions, Carne Ross, known as “Mr. Iraq”, told a parliamentary selection committee, “[The US and UK governments] effectively denied the entire population a means to live.” When I interviewed Carne Ross three years later, he was consumed by regret and contrition. “I feel ashamed,” he said. He is today a rare truth-teller of how governments deceive and how a compliant media plays a critical role in disseminating and maintaining the deception. “We would feed [journalists] factoids of sanitised intelligence,” he said, “or we’d freeze them out.”
On 25 September, a headline in the Guardian read: “Faced with the horror of Isis we must act.” The “we must act” is a ghost risen, a warning of the suppression of informed memory, facts, lessons learned and regrets or shame. The author of the article was Peter Hain, the former Foreign Office minister responsible for Iraq under Blair. In 1998, when Denis Halliday revealed the extent of the suffering in Iraq for which the Blair Government shared primary responsibility, Hain abused him on the BBC’s Newsnight as an “apologist for Saddam”. In 2003, Hain backed Blair’s invasion of stricken Iraq on the basis of transparent lies. At a subsequent Labour Party conference, he dismissed the invasion as a “fringe issue”.
Now Hain is demanding “air strikes, drones, military equipment and other support” for those “facing genocide” in Iraq and Syria. This will further “the imperative of a political solution”. Obama has the same in mind as he lifts what he calls the “restrictions” on US bombing and drone attacks. This means that missiles and 500-pound bombs can smash the homes of peasant people, as they are doing without restriction in Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Somalia — as they did in Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. On 23 September, a Tomahawk cruise missile hit a village in Idlib Province in Syria, killing as many as a dozen civilians, including women and children. None waved a black flag.
The day Hain’s article appeared, Denis Halliday and Hans Von Sponeck happened to be in London and came to visit me. They were not shocked by the lethal hypocrisy of a politician, but lamented the enduring, almost inexplicable absence of intelligent diplomacy in negotiating a semblance of truce. Across the world, from Northern Ireland to Nepal, those regarding each other as terrorists and heretics have faced each other across a table. Why not now in Iraq and Syria.
Like Ebola from West Africa, a bacteria called “perpetual war” has crossed the Atlantic. Lord Richards, until recently head of the British military, wants “boots on the ground” now. There is a vapid, almost sociopathic verboseness from Cameron, Obama and their “coalition of the willing” – notably Australia’s aggressively weird Tony Abbott — as they prescribe more violence delivered from 30,000 feet on places where the blood of previous adventures never dried. They have never seen bombing and they apparently love it so much they want it to overthrow their one potentially valuable ally, Syria. This is nothing new, as the following leaked UK-US intelligence file illustrates:
“In order to facilitate the action of liberative [sic] forces … a special effort should be made to eliminate certain key individuals [and] to proceed with internal disturbances in Syria. CIA is prepared, and SIS (MI6) will attempt to mount minor sabotage and coup de main [sic] incidents within Syria, working through contacts with individuals… a necessary degree of fear… frontier and [staged] border clashes [will] provide a pretext for intervention… the CIA and SIS should use… capabilities in both psychological and action fields to augment tension.”
That was written in 1957, though it could have been written yesterday. In the imperial world, nothing essentially changes. Last year, the former French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas revealed that “two years before the Arab spring”, he was told in London that a war on Syria was planned. “I am going to tell you something,” he said in an interview with the French TV channel LPC, “I was in England two years before the violence in Syria on other business. I met top British officials, who confessed to me that they were preparing something in Syria … Britain was organising an invasion of rebels into Syria. They even asked me, although I was no longer Minister for Foreign Affairs, if I would like to participate … This operation goes way back. It was prepared, preconceived and planned.”
The only effective opponents of ISIS are accredited demons of the west – Syria, Iran, Hezbollah. The obstacle is Turkey, an “ally” and a member of Nato, which has conspired with the CIA, MI6 and the Gulf medievalists to channel support to the Syrian “rebels”, including those now calling themselves ISIS. Supporting Turkey in its long-held ambition for regional dominance by overthrowing the Assad government beckons a major conventional war and the horrific dismemberment of the most ethnically diverse state in the Middle East.
A truce – however difficult to achieve – is the only way out of this imperial maze; otherwise, the beheadings will continue. That genuine negotiations with Syria should be seen as “morally questionable” (the Guardian) suggests that the assumptions of moral superiority among those who supported the war criminal Blair remain not only absurd, but dangerous.
Together with a truce, there should be an immediate cessation of all shipments of war materials to Israel and recognition of the State of Palestine. The issue of Palestine is the region’s most festering open wound, and the oft-stated justification for the rise of Islamic extremism. Osama bin Laden made that clear. Palestine also offers hope. Give justice to the Palestinians and you begin to change the world around them.
More than 40 years ago, the Nixon-Kissinger bombing of Cambodia unleashed a torrent of suffering from which that country has never recovered. The same is true of the Blair-Bush crime in Iraq. With impeccable timing, Henry Kissinger’s latest self-serving tome has just been released with its satirical title, “World Order”. In one fawning review, Kissinger is described as a “key shaper of a world order that remained stable for a quarter of a century”. Tell that to the people of Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Chile, East Timor and all the other victims of his “statecraft”. Only when “we” recognise the war criminals in our midst will the blood begin to dry.
POSTED BY -1CC ON JULY 02, 2013
There has been much conversation floating among grassroots Americans of treason or treasonous actions by our government at all levels. This has led to a study on what the legal definition of treason is and how it should be applied. This article is the result of that research. We never thought we would write something on this, but there are many things none of us thought we would have to do.
So, what is treason exactly? To legally define this term, we must first start with what it says in the U.S. Constitution. Article 3, Subsection 3, clause 1. It states:
Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.
We will be looking at the legal definitions of several words utilized in this definition in order to study what it actually means. All definitions provided, have been researched in Black’s Law Dictionary and have been referenced with case law backing.
Misprision of treason is something none of us were aware of until the research was in process. When we found this information, it was actually quite shocking to look at the definition and the case law attached. We believe not many citizens are aware of this and wanted to bring the information out in a meaningful way. Hence this article is dedicated to only that subject.
Misprision of Treason is defined in Black’s Law Dictionary as:
“The bare knowledge and concealment of an act of treason or treasonable plot, that is, without any assent or participation therein, for if the latter elements be present the party becomes a principal.”
This is where we need to be very careful to understand what this is saying, “Knowledge and concealment of an act of treason or treasonable plot, even without assent or participation”. It can be said then that:
Friends,What have we learned from the last decade of war?
Those years should have taught us that when going to war, our government must:
(1) be careful when defining a military mission,
(2) speak forthrightly with the American people about the sacrifices they will be called to make,
(3) plan more than one satisfactory end to the conflict, and
(4) be humble about what we think we know.
These lessons should be at the front of our minds when Congress votes today on whether to arm groups in Syria.
Today’s amendment ostensibly is aimed at destroying ISIS—yet you’d hardly know it from reading the amendment’s text. The world has witnessed with horror the evil of ISIS: the public beheading of innocents, the killing of Christians, Muslims, and
The amendment’s focus—arming groups fighting the Assad government in Syria—has little to do with defeating ISIS. The mission that the amendment advances plainly isn’t the defeat of ISIS; it’s the defeat of Assad.
Americans stood overwhelmingly against entangling our Armed Forces in the Syrian civil war a year ago. If Congress chooses to arm groups in Syria, it must explain to the American people not only why that mission is necessary but also the sacrifices that that mission entails.
The Obama administration has tried to rally support for U.S. involvement in the Syrian civil war by implying that our help would be at arm’s length. The amendment Congress will vote on broadly authorizes “assistance” to groups in Syria. It does not specify what types of weapons our government will give the groups. It does not prohibit boots on the ground. (The amendment is silent on the president’s power to order our troops to fight in the civil war; it states only that Congress doesn’t provide “specific statutory authorization” for such escalation.) It does not state the financial cost of the war.
As we should have learned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we must plan for multiple satisfactory ends to military conflicts before we commence them.
If the Syrian groups that are “appropriately vetted” (the amendment’s language) succeed and oust Assad, what would result? Would the groups assemble a coalition government of anti-Assad fighters, and would that coalition include ISIS? What would happen to the Alawites and Christians who stood with Assad? To what extent would the U.S. government be obligated to occupy Syria to rebuild the government? If each of the groups went its own way, would Syria’s territory be broken apart, and if so, would ISIS control one of the resulting countries?
If the Syrian groups that we support begin to lose, would we let them be defeated? If not, is there any limit to American involvement in the war?
Perhaps some in the administration or Congress have answers to these questions. But the amendment we’ll vote on today contains none of them.
Above all, when Congress considers serious actions—especially war—we must be humble about what we think we know. We don’t know very much about the groups we propose to support or even how we intend to vet those groups. Reports in the last week suggest that some of the “appropriately vetted” groups have struck deals with ISIS, although the groups dispute the claim. The amendment requires the administration to report on its efforts to prevent our arms and resources from ending up in the wrong hands, but we know little about those precautions or their effectiveness.
Today, I will vote against the amendment to arm groups in Syria. There is a wide misalignment between the rhetoric of defeating ISIS and the amendment’s actual mission of arming certain groups in the Syrian civil war. The amendment provides few limits on the type of assistance that our government may commit, and the exit out of the civil war is undefined. And given what’s happened in our country’s most recent wars, our leaders seem to have unjustified confidence in their own ability to execute a plan with so many unknowns.
Some of my colleagues no doubt will come to different judgments on these questions. But it’s essential that they consider the questions carefully. That the president wants the authority to intervene in the Syrian civil war is not a sufficient reason to give him that power. Under the Constitution, it is Congress’s independent responsibility to commence war.
We are the representatives of the American people. The government is proposing to take their resources and to put their children’s lives at risk. I encourage all my colleagues to give the decision the weight it is due.
Member of Congress
This was a vote to approve or reject an amendment to H.J.Res. 124, H.Amdt. 1141 (McKeon) to H.J.Res. 124: An amendment printed in Part B of H.Res. 722 to authorize the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Secretary of State, to train and equip appropriately vetted elements of the Syrian opposition and other app.
President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday addressed the Syrian Arab army through Jaish al-Shaab (The Army of the People) magazine on the 69th anniversary of its foundation.
In his address, President al-Assad extended heart-felt congratulations to the Syrian army’s commanders and rank and file on the occasion, saying that they held up a shining example in giving, sacrifice and loyalty to homeland.
Since its inception, the Syrian army has proved to be the nation’s impregnable fortress and the defender of its rights and dignity, the President said.
“Since its foundation and until this day, the Syrian army continues to prove that it is competent enough to carry out the mission that the Syrian people entrusted them with; that is to preserve security, stability and defend land, and to stand up for what is right,” the President said.
President al-Assad added that the Syrian Army carries on every day the war…
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Saddam Hussein’s Last Words: “To the Hell that is Iraq!?”
This article was first published by Global Research on January 31, 2007.
“On the Holy day of Eid, the world watched in horror at the barbaric lynching of President Saddam Hussein of Iraq, allegedly for crimes against humanity. This public murder was sanctioned by the War Criminals, President Bush and Prime Minister Blair.
The entire trial process was a mockery of justice, no less a Kangaroo Court. Defence counsels were brutally murdered, witnesses threatened and judges removed for being impartial and replaced by puppet judges. Yet, we are told that Iraq was invaded to promote democracy, freedom and justice.”
(Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, former Prime Minister of Malaysia, 30 December 2006)
The barbaric lynching of Saddam Hussein, the former president of Iraq, was a choreographed event, a carefully staged U.S. sponsored PSYOP, with a view to triggering social divisions and fomenting sectarian violence within Iraq and the broader Middle East.
In its coverage of the execution, the international media, in a highly convoluted fashion, combined the transcript of Saddam Hussein’s execution with “recollections” of so-called witness statements.
Moreover, the transcripts were often presented to readers without context or explanation. More generally, the translations from the Arabic were the object of manipulation and media distortion.
The execution of the Iraqi leader was carefully timed to occur during a sensitive time for Muslims. The execution fell during Eid ul-Adha, a holy day for Muslims. The date of the execution is perhaps one of the most compromising signals that the execution was indeed a psychological operation (PSYOP) launched by the United States.
The execution date was deliberately chosen during a sacred period for Muslims to exploit a divide between Shiite and Sunni. This sacred day was marked on Saturday, December 30, 2007 by Sunni Muslims in Iraq and was observed a day later on Sunday, December 31, 2007 by Iraq’s Shiites.
This is a strategic difference in dates that the execution of Saddam Hussein sought to expose and exploit to create sedition and division between Iraqis and Muslims. The day of the execution was deliberately chosen by its U.S. sponsors to occur on Saturday, December 30, 2006, the day that Sunni Muslims observed Eid ul-Adha.
The execution took place on December 30, with a view to enraging Sunni Muslims against Shiite Muslims in Iraq and the Middle East. Concurrently, both the media and official U.S. statements pointed to the Shiite Muslims (and the so-called “Shiite government”) as being responsible for the execution.
Aside from the religious context, the execution was also illegal under the Iraqi legal code and constitution. This has been articulated by Rizgar Mohammad Amin, an Iraqi Kurd and one of the former judges in the questionable trial of Saddam Hussein.
The execution was carried out, as a psychological weapon, to usher in sectarian violence and division throughout the Middle East. The timing also coincided with several announcements and news reports of war plans by the United States and Israel in regards to Syria and Iran.
It is no coincidence that shortly after the execution the U.S. President identified Syria and Iran as the enemies of Iraq and raided an Iranian Consulate in Iraqi Kurdistan.
The media disinformation campaign pertaining to the execution was coordinated with the instruments of war propaganda emanating from the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence.
In the immediate wake of the execution, the global networks of the corporate media went into full gear to propagate the misinformation that the Pentagon wanted to convey to the general public.
The translated transcripts of Saddam Hussein’s last words, which had been scrupulously manipulated and distorted, were fed into the global news chain.
Presented below is the Global Research translation from the Arabic original audio-video believed to have been recorded on a cell phone. Also presented for purposes of comparison are several other “translations” from the same Arabic original.
Transcript: Our translation from the Arabic original
Background voices, which are very hard to hear, are having a conversation in the background and someone calls someone else in the execution chamber by “Ali” or is looking for “Ali.”
Saddam Hussein: “I testify that Mohammed is the Messenger of God.”
Saddam Hussein: “Oh God.” [saying this in preparation, as is Middle Eastern custom, as the noose is put around his neck]
One voice leads customary Muslim prayer (called a salvat): “May God’s blessings be upon Mohammed and his companions/household [family].”
All Voices, including Saddam Hussein, repeat the customary prayer: “May God’s blessings be upon Mohammed and his companions/household [family].”
A group of voices: “Moqtada…Moqtada …Moqtada.” [Meaning the young Shiite cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr] …
Saddam with amusement: “Moqtada…Moqtada! Do you consider this bravery?” [This can also be translated as meaning “Is this your manhood?”]
Several individuals say several times: “To Hell [hell-fire]!” [This can be translated as “Go to Hell!”]
Saddam Hussein mockingly replies/asks: “To the hell that is Iraq!?”
Others voices: “Long live Mohammed Baqir Al-Sadr.”
Single Voice: “Please do not [stop]. The man is being executed. Please no, please stop.”
Saddam Hussein starts recitation of final Muslim prayers: “I bear witness that there is no god but God and I testify that Mohammed is the Messenger of God. I bear witness that there is no god but God and I testify that Mohammed…” [Saddam Hussein is suddenly interrupted without finishing his prayer with the opening of the trap door.]
Several Voices: “The tyrant [dictator] has collapsed!”
Other voices: “May God’s blessings be upon Mohammed and his household (family).”
Single Voice: “Let him hang for eight minutes.”
Many conversations continue in the background about Saddam Hussein.
Note on the Original Video
The Global Research translation is based on an Arabic video. The release of this video was in all likelihood part of the U.S. sponsored intelligence operation. The video was allegedly taken from a cell phone camera belonging to one of the executioners. Viewer discretion is advised; the video is gruesome and upsetting in nature and does not resemble a state-run execution. To view click here
Corporate Media Translations
Below are several transcripts of translations. Some of these transcripts demonstrate a major deviation from the original (Arabic) word by word dialogue. A look at the CNN or BBC versions of the video clearly reveals a deliberate attempt to distort Saddam Hussein’s statements and portray the Shiite Muslims of Iraq as those behind the Iraqi leaders hanging in Baghdad.
The corporate media’s translations add or interject what was reportedly said by Saddam Hussein to what was recorded.
The Fox News transcript fails to even give a glimpse of Saddam Hussein’s last words. It only gives an ominously detailed translation of the start of the video. One should ask is there a reason why the full transcript was not given and why this partial transcript was portrayed as the transcript of the execution in its entirety.
Fox News Transcript
A new videotape surfaced Monday on the Web appearing to show the body of former Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein after he was hanged on Dec. 30, 2006. This is the translation of the audio conversation on that 27-second video among individuals with access to the body and someone apparently using a cell phone camera:
(Inaudible)— Abu Ali
Hurry up! Hurry up!
— Hurry up!
— Let’s go my friend…Come on man!
I’ll fix it up for you.
— I am coming. I am coming.
— Just a moment, one moment
— I am coming. I am coming.
— Abu Ali, Abu Ali… You take care of this.
— Ok let’s go, let’s go
— Come on my friend! Come on my friend!
Ok, I am coming. I am coming.
The BBC’s transcript fails also to give a glimpse of Saddam Hussein’s last words, besides painting the executioners as savage Shiites. Nor does the BBC report acknowledge Washington’s role in ordering this execution.
Moreover, Saddam Hussein’s last words about Iraq being turned into a living Hell are conveniently omitted. The BBC transcript also uses phrases that portray the executioners as Shiites. This is done by the chosen reference in the phrase referring to Prophet Mohammed’s family and the statement “And may God hasten their appearance and curse their enemies,” which is a reference to Imam Mahdi, a Muslim figure, that Shiite Muslims’ distinctly place special emphasis on in regards to most Sunni Muslims.
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Transcript
Translation of Arabic subtitles accompanying the latest execution footage as broadcast on al-Jazeera TV station:
[Saddam] Oh God.
[Voices] May God’s blessings be upon Muhammad and his household.
[Voices] And may God hasten their appearance and curse their enemies.
[Voices] Moqtada [Al-Sadr]…Moqtada…Moqtada.
[Saddam] Do you consider this bravery?
[Voice] Long live Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr.
[Voice] To hell.
[Voice] Please do not. The man is being executed. Please no, I beg you to stop.
[Saddam] There is no God but Allah and I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of God. There is no God but Allah and I testify that Muhammad…
At this point the video stops and the sound of the trapdoors opening is heard in the background.
The Independent (U.K.)
The Independent, a British daily, that gives a fairly progressive view on international events seems to have also carried a version of the translation of the transcript of the execution of Saddam Hussein that has omitted Saddam Hussein’s last words indicating that Iraq has been turned into a “Hell on earth.”
The Independent (U.K.) Transcript: Dictator’s last words
Saddam: “Oh God.”
Voices: “May God’s blessings be upon Mohamed and his household. And may God hasten their appearance and curse their enemies.”
Voices: “Moqtada [al-Sadr] … Moqtada … Moqtada.”
Saddam: “Do you consider this bravery?”
Voice: “Long live Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr.”
Voice: “To hell.”
Voice: “Please do not. The man is being executed. Please no, I beg you to stop.”
Saddam: “There is no God but Allah and I testify that Mohamed is the messenger of God. There is no God but Allah and I testify that Mohamed…”
Analysis and Implications
Internationally and especially in the Arab World and the Middle East, the barbaric lynching was casually presented as a Shiite Muslim initiative, when in fact the Anglo-American occupation forces were in control of every phase of this gruesome venture.
Ironically, the individuals and leaders who played a major role in ordering the lynching of Saddam Hussein are now saying quite emphatically that they were opposed to his execution. Prime Minister Tony Blair is reported to have stated that “the manner in which former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was executed was ‘completely wrong.’”
Meanwhile, the dictators and autocratic leaders of the Arab World have also jumped aboard in expressing their opposition to Saddam Hussein’s lynching.
Criticism expressed by the House of Saud in Saudi Arabia, the Hashemite family in Jordan, and President Mubarak of Egypt, amongst others, constitutes an empty form of posturing geared towards raising their popularity amongst their own citizens.
The Role of the Iraqi Puppet Government
In these various reports, there has been a deliberate and calculated attempt to place the responsibility for the execution of Saddam Hussein squarely on the shoulders of the so-called “Iraqi government,” without acknowledging that this government cannot act without the consent of the United States. The Iraqi government, which is best described as a U.S.-controlled puppet regime, is invariably portrayed in press reports as a “Shiite Muslim government” or a “Shiite Muslim-dominated government.” This is also an integral part of the U.S. PSYOP designed to break down solidarity between Shiite Muslims and Sunni Muslims against the Anglo-American invaders and occupiers.
The present Iraqi “government” is an appendix of the U.S. Occupation administration and gets it orders from Washington and London. It is neither Shiite Muslim in character nor is it a real government. With regards to its powerless composition, it is almost evenly divided between Iraqi Kurds, Shiite Arabs, and Sunni (Sunnite) Arabs.
To expose the manufactured portrayal of power in Iraq, one should look back at the composition of Iraqi government institutions during the era of Saddam Hussein. Prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Shiite Arabs had a greater representation than Sunni Arabs within the civilian bureaucracy as well as within the security and military apparatus, largely because of the demographic realities of Iraq.
But this fact has long been forgotten. Nothing has changed in regards to the composition of the bureaucracy, administrative bodies, security forces, and military apparatus of Iraq. Prior to the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq, about 60% of the Iraqi military were Shiite Arabs. This 60% fought against neighbouring Iran which is a predominantly Shiite Muslim nation.
In reality, the real divisions in the Middle East are not based on or around religious, sectarian, and ethnic considerations, but on those nations and forces, which either oppose or support the Anglo-American agenda in the Middle East.
The media focus on sectarian divisions is intended to divert the attention of public opinion from the fact that the U.S. and its Coalition partners are the root cause of anarchy and violence, resulting in countless deaths and atrocities in Iraq.
Saddam Hussein’s Last Moments
In his last moments, the words of Saddam Hussein were very compelling. When he was told to “go to Hell” by his executioners, the Iraqi leader replied, “[You mean] to the hell that is Iraq!?”
Who turned Iraq into a living Hell? Who is to be blamed? These words were so powerful that several major media outlets conveniently omitted them from their translations, including the BBC and CNN. Any meaningful revelation or coverage of the correct final statements of Saddam Hussein could have severe and negative implications for the Anglo-American military roadmap in the Middle East. “To the hell that is Iraq!?” could become a powerful political slogan, serving to rally public opinion throughout the Muslim World against America’s imperial ambitions.
The Iraqi leader’s final words carry great weight because they describe the situation created in Iraq under military occupation. This final statement could also have political ramifications in the U.S. and Britain, as public opinion becomes increasingly aware that these last words, “the living Hell,” describes what Iraq has been turned into, under U.S. and British military occupation.
The late Saddam Hussein’s words could have strong implications for rallying resistance in the Arab World against the U.S.-U.K. occupation of Iraq. In this regard, the Arab mainstream media has played a calculated role in furthering the Anglo-American military agenda by shifting the blame for Saddam Hussein’s execution onto the Shiite Iraqis.
Outside the Arab World, if allowed to be heard freely and unadulterated, Saddam Hussein’s last words (“To the hell that is Iraq!?”), which describe the realities of an occupied country, could potentially backlash on the legitimacy of the U.S. administration and its indefectible British ally.
The mainstream sources, which reported his statement conveyed the impression, through a highly distorted and convoluted analysis, that Saddam Hussein was blaming the Shiite Arabs and the “Shiite dominated Iraqi government” for destroying Iraq. But nothing could be further from the truth. The evidence amply confirms that since the early days of the occupation of Iraq the United States and Britain have not only created a situation of insecurity, but have also been involved in covert acts of violence, including random massacres and suicide attacks directed against civilians.
This deliberate media portrayal of an emerging “Shiite ascension” in Iraq and the Middle East is part of a multifaceted strategy geared towards creating tensions within the predominately Muslim populations of the Middle East. It is a typical “divide and conquer” strategy, which is supported by the long tentacles of the intelligence apparatus of the United States. The hidden agenda is to trigger “civil war” and to redraw the map of the Middle East. The ultimate objective is the domination of the Middle East by the United States, Britain and their coalition partners, including Israel and proxy Arab leaders. The active collaboration of the frontline Arab governments, which have military cooperation agreements with NATO and the U.S., are also tied into this agenda.
Divisions and animosity within their respective populations is what has allowed these pro-U.S. Arab authoritarian figureheads, which increasingly act as proxies, to remain in power.
Since the Anglo-American sponsored Israeli siege of Lebanon, the coalition building phase of the military roadmap has been launch. The United States has been constructing the “Coalition of the Moderate,” which includes Israel, Saudi Arabia, Mahmoud Abbas, the Lebanese government, Egypt, the U.A.E., Turkey, and Jordan. While this has been going on there is a continuous attempt to build public consensus in support of dividing Iraq and military strikes against Syria and Iran. The media in North America, Europe, and the Arab World have played an important role in demonizing the Syrians and the Iranians.
As the United States gears up for the next stage of the Middle East war, the drive to divide the populations of the region now encompasses a broad area extending from Lebanon and Palestine to the Persian Gulf.
The life of Saddam Hussein was used by the United States as firewood to further fuel discord and division in Iraq and the Middle East before the next phase of its military roadmap, which is directed against Iran and Syria.
Global Research Exclusive: In online posting of this article, kindly indicate the original title, source, date of publication, copyright and hyperlink to the original article.
~ Post’s pubblication suggested by “GUEST” ~
By Christof Lehmann (nsnbc) :The green light for the use of ISIS brigades to carve up Iraq, widen the Syria conflict into a greater Middle East war and to throw Iran off-balance was given behind closed doors at the Atlantic Council meeting in Turkey, in November 2013, told a source close to Saudi – Lebanese billionaire Saad Hariri, adding that the U.S. Embassy in Ankara is the operation’s headquarter.
A “trusted source” close to the Saudi – Lebanese multi-billionaire and former Lebanese P.M. Saad Hariri told on condition of anonymity, that the final green light for the war on Iraq with ISIS or ISIL brigades was given behind closed doors, at the sidelines of the Atlantic Council’s Energy Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, on November 22 – 23, 2013.
The Atlantic Council is one of the most influential U.S. think tanks with…
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Note: I realise I’ve already said all this on Raghead, which nowadays serves the purpose of both satire and political comment, but it went over like a lead balloon with readers. Apparently one has to say things out loud and clear.
So let me make three points on Ukraine.
1. There are Nazis in Ukraine.
To anyone with half a brain, this is more than obvious. The entire western Ukraine, based around Lvov, which was Polish territory between the wars is a Nazi hotbed. Western media – such as Britain’s Channel 4 – even admitted during the (bought and paid for) Euromaidan “protests” that the “protestors” included open Nazis. However, afterwards, they suddenly fell silent on that point and till today have stayed stubbornly silent.
Are there Nazis in Ukraine?
They act like Nazis, openly identify with Nazis, use Nazi symbols and slogans, and venerate people who actually fought in SS divisions created by the Nazis. I mean, they do all that, but still according to the official Western mythology they are not Nazis.
Here are some of these non-Nazis:
Now, these Nazis/non-Nazis are not just in the streets – they are also in the illegitimate putschist “government” of Ukraine, holding on to key positions. Among these are(check the link below for the positions they hold):
Andriy Parubiy (Андрій Парубій), Dmytro Yarosh (Дмитро Ярош), Oleksandr Sych (Александр Сыч), Ihor Shvaika (Игорь Швайка), Dmytro Boulatov (Дмитрий Булатов), Oleh Makhnitsky (Олег Махницкий) and Tetiana Tchornovol (Татьяна Черновол)
The existence of these Nazis is something the West would love to deny, just as it kept denying the existence of jihadists in Syria, and for the same reason: the jihadists, and the Nazis, are the allies of the moment.
But their actions underline the fact that they are well aware of the existence of the Nazis; for instance, they advised the Nazis to tone down their Nazism and lay off the swastikas and slogans.
Not too surprisingly, the Nazis ignored it.
2. The putschist “government” of Ukraine and its EU controllers hate and fear the Nazis.
This seems to be a strange thing to say, seeing that key posts in the “government” are occupied by the Nazis, and the openly Nazi Pravii Sektor are the storm troops of the selfsame “government” in Eastern Ukraine since the army is neither willing nor capable of handling the job of fighting the separatist militias. But the facts are clear.
The Nazis, like all Nazis, are not just racists but, very significantly, ultra-nationalists. As such, they will never, ever, accept domination by the European Union, the American Empire, and its assorted hangers-on like Canada and Australia. The purpose of the putsch in Kiev, we should remember, was twofold – for the EU to control the Ukrainian economy, and for the Americans to control Ukraine as a military base. The Nazis would, of course, accept neither.
For the EUthanasia Project for Ukraine, the Nazis are just as much an obstacle as the Russians, and the EU and their oligarchs (known as the EUgarchy for convenience from this point on in this article) know it well.
The Nazis didn’t even make any attempt to hide the fact that the alliance was merely a marriage of convenience:
“The participation of Ukrainian nationalism and Svoboda in the process of EU [European Union] integration,” admits Svoboda political council member Yury Noyevy, “is a means to break our ties with Russia.”
The Nazi-EU-US alliance of convenience at the time of Euromaidan fell apart almost immediately afterwards, when the Pravii Sektor’s Number Two, war criminal Oleksandr Muzychko, was shot by the “government’s” police, allegedly while “resisting arrest”. In other words, the putschists were already beginning to fight among themselves over the spoils.
If the uprising in Eastern Ukraine – led by ethnic Russians who are, justifiably, alarmed at the prospect of being ruled by either Nazis or EUgarchs with their “austerity measures”, or a combination of both – had not happened, by now, Western Ukraine would have been openly in civil war against itself; the rudiments of the state versus the Nazis. Instead, the Pravii Sektor and other Nazi organisations were diverted into the so-called National Guard, and sent off to fight the hated ethnic Russians (“Moskals”) in Eastern Ukraine. If and when the Eastern Ukraine crisis ends, in whatever form, the Nazis and the EUgarchy will immediately be at each other’s throats again.
In fact, as far as the EUgarchs are concerned, the war in Eastern Ukraine, no matter how badly it goes, is a godsend.
– It keeps the Nazis busy.
– It keeps the population in west and central Ukraine docile, with the “threat” of an external enemy (Russia) serving to keep them from questioning the actions of their masters.
– It keeps their American and EU paymasters sending more billions in “aid”, which can be siphoned off without questions being asked and
– By creating an “us-versus-them” mindset, it improves their chances of polarising votes to win future elections in a rump Ukraine.
But the war can’t go on forever, and there’s no denying that the Nazis aren’t doing too well against the motivated Eastern Ukrainian “separatists” (who should really be called “federalists”, since they started off demanding autonomy in a federal Ukraine with rights to decide their own economic future, not independence). The resistance is shooting Nazi planes out of the sky like clay pigeons with captured MANPADS, the Nazi assaults against the cities aren’t exactly going to schedule, and there will be a point reached when they will realise what’s happening, turn round in their tracks, and march back on Kiev. That point is dangerously close. In fact, it’s already beginning.
Only one thing can stop that from happening: Russia.
Which brings us to our third point:
3. The EUgarchs and the Empire are desperately attempting to provoke a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
This is again something that would seem, on the surface, totally counter-intuitive, but it’s obvious when one thinks about it. As I said, the EUgarchs hate and fear the Nazis, and know that they can’t control them. If and when a showdown comes, the Nazis are at least as powerful as the rump Ukrainian state. This same rump Ukraine also knows something very well: it can’t, ever, control the majority Russian areas of the country for any time at all. The ethnic Russians will never, ever, accept Ukrainian and EU domination. It will be a permanent drain of effort and resources to keep them under control, and even if the EUgarchs manage to occupy it, a low level guerrilla campaign lasting years is the least to be expected.
Then there is the fact that in the post-Soviet era, Eastern Ukraine has mostly turned into a rust belt. The factories are obsolete, the coal mines are worked out, the population largely poverty-stricken. To make the area profitable for exploitation – meaning to make money for the oligarchs – will take an enormous amount of funds and effort, quite apart from the resistance of the locals.
Seen in that light, what good would a Russian invasion do for the EUgarchy?
– It would start by wiping out the Nazis. They could never put up any effective fight against the Russian army, and would be faced with a choice. They could either be killed and/or surrender, or they could withdraw in defeat to Western Ukraine. The first choice would destroy them. The second choice would destroy their credibility beyond recovery. “Patriotic ultra-nationalists” who turn tail and run don’t retain any cred. Either way, the Nazis would be as good as finished, and leave the field open for the EUgarchs. Yes, I am saying that the Nazis are being set up by the EUgarchs, and if they’re too stupid to see that yet, that’s not too surprising. After all, they’re Nazis.
– It would also take the problems of the rust belt off the EUgarchs’ hands. All the problems, henceforth, from the worked out mines to the corroding factories, the aging population and the crumbling infrastructure, would be Russia’s responsibility. It would be an economic burden nobody wants.
– It would make the EUgarchy’s hold over West-Central Ukraine a permanent one. They could push themselves as the only bulwark against a total Russian takeover of the country, and “do all that was necessary” to protect what was left of the country. Any and all opposition (which would mount as the rump economy collapses completely under the weight of EU “austerity measures”) could be crushed as traitors to the nation. As we in India well know, a running sore of a territorial dispute works wonders to divert people from the problems of daily life.
– It would make NATO almost incredibly happy. Even if the EUgarch rump didn’t immediately join NATO (it probably would), the rest of the US’ puppets in Central and Eastern Europe would line up either to join or to reaffirm their membership. As we all know, NATO has long since passed its sell-by date, and after the defeat in Afghanistan, its appeal is beginning to wear a bit thin. NATO needs a new Cold War. It needs a new Cold War very badly indeed, and has been attempting desperately to ignite one since at least circa 2008 when Georgia started, and lost, a war with Russia.
Yes, the EUgarchs would love nothing more than a Russian invasion, and are trying to provoke one by all means. So far these have included shelling cities, burning unarmed protestors alive in Odessa, lies about Russian intervention, and finally, when all else failed, an attack on the Russian embassy in Kiev.
So far Putin has not taken the bait, and I am convinced that he will not take the bait. He has a far better option: to do exactly nothing. And that is what he’s been doing so far to help the uprising in Eastern Ukraine – nothing. Despite all the media rage in Russia, he has kept his head, and will keep it. At most he will keep the pressure up on the EUgarchy, by perhaps quietly supplying missiles to the resistance (just as Obama is now doing openly to the jihadists in Syria while pretending to fight them in Iraq), and economic measures, like asking them to pay for the gas they’re buying. All’s fair in love and proxy war.
Militarily, the Nazis can’t keep fighting much longer without, as I said, realising that they’re being set up. When that moment comes, and they recoil on the EUgarchs, the rump Kiev regime, already tottering on the verge of bankruptcy, will collapse in infighting and disorder. Whatever rises from the ruins will have to compromise with Russia, and be at least neutralist. The EU/US managed coup’s failure will be obvious to everyone, and provide a signal lesson to other potential targets of Western-imposed regime change.
If in the meantime, the resistance manages to carve out a South Abkhazia or Transdniestria-style independent entity in Novorussia and/or Donbass, that’s fine too from Putin’s point of view. He can supply aid without taking responsibility for the problems.
Meanwhile, Russia is now busy converting Crimea’s infrastructure and economy back to Russian standards. It will be a while before the investment begins providing returns – and during that time the last thing that Putin needs is to be saddled with Eastern Ukraine as well.
So, no, despite all the American propaganda and lies, and all the increasingly desperate provocation by the EUgarchy, Russia is not going to invade.
It was a great plan on paper, really: Putin invades, takes the rust belt and its assorted problems, destroys the Nazis, energises NATO, does the EUgarchy’s dirty work for it, and, best of all, ends up with all the blame. But it’s not going to happen.
By Friends of the Earth International
Global Research, September 09, 2005
ACCRA (GHANA) September 9, 2005 – Civil society groups from West Africa met in Accra today, just two weeks after the construction of the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) began off the Ghanaian coast.
The groups warned that the pipeline project and the so-called WAGP Treaty seriously undermine the national sovereignty of Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria and subvert these countries’ rights to seek alternative energy options. At the same time, the project enshrines the energy monopoly of oil giants Chevron and Shell in the region.
The groups maintain that the pipeline project risks prolonging ongoing conflicts in the oil and gas-rich Niger delta in Nigeria.
Representatives from communities living near the pipeline route in Nigeria and Ghana report that they have not been properly consulted, suggesting that the World Bank, one of the main project financiers with its 40 million USD guarantee, may be violating its own commitment to invest only in projects that have broad community support.
According to Asume Osuoka of Friends of the Earth Nigeria/Environmental Rights Action in Nigeria, “The compensation1 available to displaced community people in Nigeria is a mockery, as low as USD 20. This constitutes a gross violation of livelihood security.”
The West African Gas Pipeline, one of the region’s largest trans-boundary investments, is projected to cost 617 million USD and will ultimately transport gas from Nigeria through Benin and Togo to Ghana.
The World Bank and project sponsors like Shell and Chevron claim that the pipeline will contribute to putting an end to dangerous gas flaring in Nigeria, that it will provide cheap energy, and that it will promote regional integration.
However, to date there is no evidence to supports these claims, according to Friends of the Earth International, the world’s largest grassroots environmental federation.
Gas flaring, the burning of natural gas associated with oil extraction, has gone on for decades in the Niger Delta despite the fact that it is a human rights, environmental and economic disaster .
Shell, Chevron and the World Bank claim that the West African Gas Pipeline will channel away ‘associated gas’ from existing Nigerian oil fields where it is now burned, but environmentalists are unconvinced.
According to Asume Osuoka of Friends of the Earth Nigeria/Environmental Rights Action in Nigeria, “In the current plans, there is no evidence of the intention to capture associated gas from existing oil fields, which leads us to believe that gas would be sourced from new gas fields and increase existing problems in the Niger Delta.”
In Nigeria, 66% of the population lives below the poverty line and the benefits of nearly half a century of oil production have flowed almost exclusively to oil multinationals and corrupt local elite.
Civil society representatives also do not believe that the pipeline would provide cheap energy or promote regional integration.
According to Noble Wadzah of Friends of the Earth Ghana, “The West African Gas Pipeline contracts lock our country into a long-term costly energy supply. The ordinary Ghanaian citizen or small business may not be able to access this energy, which is primarily destined for large businesses.”
Some Ghanaians think that long-time tensions in the Niger Delta would render the gas supply unreliable.
“Gas coming from the Niger Delta, an area of social conflicts and environmental tragedies, could hardly be the basis for the sound integration of our region. This project is more likely to foster regional disintegration and social and political tensions in West Africa,” said Noble Wadzah.
“Energy must be available not just for the elite and industry, but also for everyone else who needs it, especially rural communities,” he added.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Asume Osuoka of Environmental Rights Action, Nigeria: +233-243726168 (only Sept.9) or +234 84 236365 (after September 10) or email email@example.com
In Ghana: Noble Wadzah, Friends of the Earth Ghana, Tel: + 233-215123 11-12-13 firstname.lastname@example.org
In the US: Michelle Medeiros, Friends of the Earth in Washington DC + 1-202-222 0717 (office) or + 1 202 321 1510 (mobile) or email email@example.com
In the UK: Hannah Ellis, Friends of the Earth in London +44 207 566 1601 or firstname.lastname@example.org
In the Netherlands: Janneke Bruil, Friends of the Earth International , +31-6-52118998 or email@example.com
 The gas flaring report is available online here: http://www.climatelaw.org/gas.flaring/report
High-resolution photos of scenes of gas flaring in Nigeria can be freely downloaded athttp://www.idspicturedesk.com/picturedesk/I?k=icn85ZN347-49423&u=aGO
By January 2012, the State Department will do something it’s never done before: command a mercenary army the size of a heavy combat brigade. And no one outside State knows anything more, as the department has gone to war with its independent government watchdog to keep its plan a secret.
Obama and the US State Dept have their own Private Army and they will use them on Americans as well as Eastern Europe or Syria. Wake up! This is not a party issue when hired killers take aim at civilians on US soil. This is global land grab, the UN , Monsanto and big oil are running the BLM, the Bundy ranch is just tip of iceberg. Obama has sold US out and destroyed constitution … we are all Syrians now.
The EPA is in the process, right this very minute, of seizing control over all private land in the United States. They are following the United Nations blueprint, their minion Gina McCarthy is implementing it, and B. Hussein Obama is facilitating it.
Anywhere in America where it rains or where water collects or through which water moves will now, according to this new rule change they are implementing, be under their control. Not because Congress or the people give them that authority or jurisdiction, but simply because they are seizing the power. It is just another component of the illegitimate tyranny which is oppressing the American people.
On Tuesday the agency which operates as the misnamed Environmental Protection Agency unveiled their proposed change to the Clean Water Act, which would extend their regulatory control to temporary wetlands and waterways.
This definition consists of any water, including seasonal ponds, streams, runoff and collection areas and irrigation water. It could include runoff from watering your lawn, or puddles on your own property. They will control the presence of and can prohibit through regulation, your right to the water and your actions regarding water upon your own land. The opportunities for their abuse would be limitless.
Louisiana Senator David Vitter, the ranking Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, offered an understated precautionary objection stating, “The … rule may be one of the most significant private property grabs in U.S. history.”
The EPA proposal would extend their authority to include “pollution regulations” to “intermittent and ephemeral streams and wetlands” – which are created temporarily during wet seasons or following rainfall.
Recognize this for what it is America; The EPA is giving themselves legal jurisdiction to replace our rights with their permissions anywhere it rains or water exists.
They are expanding the same kind of California fish-based drought or Nevada tortoise land restrictions or Oregon spotted owl tyranny to every square inch of the United States.
The EPA is asserting that all ground water, whether temporary or not and regardless of size is part of the “waters of the United States.”
Their position is in contradiction to the Supreme Court rulings in 2001 and 2006, restricting the EPA to flowing and sizeable, “relatively” permanent bodies of water such as “oceans, rivers, streams and lakes.” Of course, progressives just keep trying until they get what they want, and they never have enough.
The proposed rule change is now in a 90 day comment period during which they will assess just how much they can get away with, based upon public outcry and pushback.
Senator Vitter accused the EPA of “picking and choosing” their science and of attempting to “take another step toward outright permitting authority over virtually any wet area in the country.” He also warned that if approved, more private owners could expect to be sued by “environmental groups.”
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) shares Vitter’s concerns, warning of potential economic damage and questioning the EPA’s motivations.
She said, “[I]t appears that the EPA is seeking to dramatically expand its jurisdictional reach under the Clean Water Act. If EPA is not careful, this rule could effectively give the federal government control of nearly all of our state.
Of course, that is exactly what they are after, as well as 49 other states and territories.
Since March 1, 2013, Neil Kornze has been leading the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) as the agency’s Principal Deputy Director. Kornze oversees the agency’s management of more than 245 million acres of public land nationwide.
Prior to serving in his current role, Kornze was the BLM’s Acting Deputy Director for Policy and Programs starting in October 2011. Kornze joined the organization in January 2011 as a Senior Advisor to the Director. In these roles, he worked on a broad range of issues, including renewable and conventional energy development, transmission siting, and conservation policy.
Kornze was a key player in the development of the Western Solar Plan and the agency’s successful authorization of more than 10,000 megawatts of renewable energy, surpassing a congressionally-established goal 3 years ahead of schedule. He has also been active in tribal consultation, especially as it relates to oil and gas and renewable energy development.
Before coming to the BLM, Kornze worked as a Senior Policy Advisor to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada. In his work for Senator Reid, which spanned from early 2003 to early 2011, he worked on a variety of public lands issues, including renewable energy development, mining, water, outdoor recreation, rural development, and wildlife. Kornze has also served as an international election observer in Macedonia, the Ukraine, and Georgia, and he is co-author of an article in “The Oxford Companion to American Law.”
Raised in Elko, Nevada, Kornze is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate with a degree in Politics from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. He earned a master’s degree in International Relations at the London School of Economics.
November 1, 2011
Jose L. Gomez del Prado
The Government has now declared this area a new flight zone! We believe it is a reaction towards our aerial view of inside the compound as well as flying around the compound! There could be many other reasons as to why this has happened but up to this point we speculate that is was due to being able to still see within the restricted areas! You can find more information >>HERE<<
By Ulson Gunnar
Recent rumors of notorious Blackwater US mercenaries operating inside of Ukraine invoked a plausible narrative so convincing even news outlets across the West began echoing it.
With huge cutbacks slated for the U.S. military, the Marines and Army in particular, private security firms are sure to be getting a boost.The Army is cutting 50,000 soldiers over the next few years and the Marines are looking to shave about 20,000 servicemembers over the same period of time.
So while business was booming for this group private military contractors, who take their military training and offer it to the highest bidder, it’s likely to grow even more.
Modern-day mercenaries are stationed throughout the world fighting conflicts for governments that are reluctant to use their own troops or where foreign troops are unable or unwilling to go.
An army of 5,000 heavily-armed contractors recently replaced official American forces in Iraq, and many more were recruited to protect private interests in the region.
These mercenaries (Mercs) are sent to many places that may surprise you.
With more than 625,000 employees, this listed security giant is the second-largest private employer in the world (behind Wal-Mart). While some of its business is focused on routine bank, prison and airport security, G4S also plays an important role in crisis-zones right around the world.
In 2008, G4S swallowed up Armorgroup, whose 9,000-strong army of guards has protected about one third of all non-military supply convoys in Iraq (it’s also notorious for its wild parties and for having Afghan warlords on its payroll).
But the combined group has a security presence in more than 125 countries, including some of the most dangerous parts of Africa and Latin America, where it offers government agencies and private companies heavily-armed security forces, land-mine clearance, military intelligence and training.
With more than 1,200 staff worldwide, the Australian-owned Unity Resources has been able to grow its presence in Iraq as sovereign armies withdraw. Its management consists of veterans from Australia, the U.S. and Great Britain.
The private military firm is best-known for guarding the Australian embassy in Baghdad, where, as of 2010, it had trained Chilean soldiers to man gates and machine-gun nests. Unity personnel were also responsible for two controversial car shootings in Iraq: one killed an Australian professor, another resulted in the deaths of two civilian women.
Outside Iraq, Unity has assisted with security during parliamentary elections in Lebanon and helped evacuate private oil companies from crisis zones in Bahrain. The firm also operates throughout Africa, the Americas, Central Asia and Europe.
Erinys has also followed U.S. State Department contracts to Iraq. Its biggest mission in recent years took 16,000 of its guards to 282 locations around the country, where they protected key oil pipelines and other energy assets.
The group also maintains a presence in Africa, where it has traditionally focused its operations. Erinys was recently awarded two contracts in the Republic of Congo, for security at major iron ore and oil and gas projects.
Formerly owned by Hashmat Karzai, the first cousin of Afghan president Hamid Karzai, Asia Security Group is a major local force in the war-torn nation. It employs about 600 guards.
The private army, headquartered in Kabul, has been awarded millions of dollars in contracts from the U.S. military and is said to protect Coalition supply convoys traveling in Afghanistan’s south. Mercenaries from Asia Security Group have also been recruited by DynCorp, a U.S.-owned contractor with a big footprint in the region.
DynCorp, based in Virginia, is one of eight private military firms specially chosen by the U.S. State Department to remain in Iraq as official American forces pull out.
But the huge group, which brings in about$3.4 billion in revenue every year, is also active throughout Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin America, with a staff in excess of 10,000. The firm earned a trigger-happy reputation as its soldiers fought rebel groups in Columbia in the early 2000s. Its troops have also engaged in anti-drug missions in Peru and were sent to disarm fighters in Somalia, Liberia and southern Sudan.
Another of the eight contractors recruited to replace official U.S. forces in Iraq, Triple Canopy has an army of about 1,800 troops in the country — mostly from Uganda and Peru — on contracts worth up to $1.5 billion.
An official review of the firm’s team in Iraq concluded it was a “well-trained, professional work force with significant prior experience.” But the private military — whose name refers to the canopies in the jungles where its founding Army specialists received their training — also employs another 3,000 personnel globally.
Contracts in other parts of the world have taken Triple Canopy to Haiti, where it guarded the U.S. embassy, and to Israel, where agents provided personal protective services for the U.S. State Department.
Aegis supplies forces for private clients, U.N. missions and the U.S. government, especially in Iraq.
But its staff, estimated to be as big as 5,000, is also spread across offices in Afghanistan and Bahrain, where the contractor offers emergency response, risk assessments, and protects private oil interests.
The private military contractor is probably best-known for a video that surfaced in 2005, which allegedly showed Aegis forces firing at Iraqi civilians.
In the past, Triple Canopy has recruited heavily from the ranks of Defion Internacional, which sources and trains private military personnel from Latin America for jobs right around the world.
Headquartered in Peru, and with offices in Dubai, Iraq, Philippines and Sri Lanka, the firm contracts and trains bodyguards, drivers, static guards and logistics specialists from a number of developing countries. In some cases, these agents are paid as little as $1,000 per month, which has drawn international ire — especially for jobs linked to the U.S. State Department.
At one stage there were more than 1,000 Latin Americans guns-for-hire in the Middle East, although it is unclear how many of those fighters Defion was responsible for given that it is not required to disclose numbers.
Formerly Blackwater, then Xe Services, Academi runs a 7,000 acre training facility deep in the North Carolina wilderness — one of the biggest and most complex private military training grounds in the world.
According to a book written on Blackwater in 2007, the facility had by then produced an army of 20,000 troops, 20 aircraft, a fleet of armored vehicles and trained war dogs. Most of those resources were shipped to Iraq and Afghanistan on U.S. government contracts.
Academi probably scaled back after a number of wrongful shootings and other controversiesangered the Iraq government and jeopardized important contracts.
Outside the Middle East, Academi was recruited to protect the streets of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. It has also protected Japan’s missile defence systems and assisted with the war on drugs around the world.
Take a course at Academi’s premier training facility in North Carolina.
The firm offers custom courses for allied security forces and corporates, such as live-fire driving instruction, counter-terrorism training — including dealing with weapons of mass destruction — and executive risk assessment.
You can also get equipped at the Academi web store, which stocks everything from protective sunglasses to sniper mission logs — even branded gifts.
and old harry thought he might as well cash in on the land grab …
(Before I begin: I suspect I may be about to upset a great many applecarts with this article; if I do so, you may not agree with my conclusions, but at least I will have made you think. And for that I do not apologise. All sources have been cited at the end of the article and are available on the internet.)
I belong to a school of thought – probably there aren’t very many of us – which holds that so-called “iconic” individuals and occurrences in history, things that are so taken for granted that to question them is tantamount to sacrilege, need revisionist historical analysis. If, after that revisionist historical analysis, the original version, or some semblance thereof, holds up, fine. But if one finds that the revered original version is critically flawed, one usually has clear indications from the flaws of just why it’s allowed to survive at the expense of the truth.
I intend, therefore, to submit to critical examination one of the “defining” occurrences of our time, the so-called Tiananmen Square “massacre” that is said to have occurred on the night of 4 June 1989, just twenty years and six months ago. I intend to prove my hypothesis that the actual course of events was deliberately misreported and propagandised in the Western media. I intend to attempt to prove my hypothesis that the Chinese government of the time acted correctly and in the best interests of the Chinese people and the Chinese nation by cracking down, in whatever form, on the demonstrations. And I intend to try and prove my contention that destroying the protests was of immense positive significance to the world at large, today, almost a generation later.
(In order to be strictly fair, I should lay on record that I’m not an unbiased commentator. I’m a Sinophile in many respects. While my ideology isn’t equivalent to any “-ism”, it most closely parallels Marxism. I admire the Chinese Revolution, the Long March, and Mao Zedong. I view with deep suspicion any and all Western media pronouncements about the non-Western world; and I believe that after the invasion of Afghanistan on false pretences and of Iraq on pretences that weren’t just false but deliberately and cynically cooked up, my suspicions are more than justified.)
We all know, or we have been reminded in great detail over the years, of the occurrences of 1989 that culminated in the (alleged) “Tiananmen Square Massacre”. In brief, they were these: that 1989 was the year when so-called “peoples’ revolutions” were clearing away (never very enthusiastic) Communist regimes across Europe. It was the year when the world seemed suddenly about to become free for the triumph of Western style capitalism. The Eastern European regimes were crashing. The Soviet Union, where Mikhail Gorbachev had begun a programme of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring), was, mostly as a consequence, tottering on the verge of implosion. Only the great monolith of China still held out, refusing to be blown away by the winds of change.
Actually, at the time, China was already into its twelfth year of its own version of perestroika; the then leader, Deng Xiaoping, had begun a programme of economic reform since 1978. China wasn’t the equivalent of the state-driven economies of Eastern Europe. It was already moving towards a mix of socialism (for most American readers: to the non-American world, believe it or not, socialism is not a dirty word) and market-driven capitalism. This kind of transit has characteristic features, including a sharp rise in prices, a widening rich-poor divide, and rising levels of corruption and social unrest. It’s been seen so often worldwide that it should be included as one of the defining characteristics of a privatising society.
I mentioned that there was social unrest. There were those who hoped and expected that the Communist Party would evaporate like the artificial parties of Eastern Europe and usher in unbridled capitalism. There were those old Maoists who felt the Communist Party was betraying the Revolution. There was opposition, too, from quite ordinary people from a non-ideological viewpoint; people against the negative aspects of the privatisation, against the price rise and the corruption; people who were, in effect, opposed to the first, free-marketeer, lot. All these diverse protesting groups were themselves divided in just what they wanted and were united in just one thing – opposition to the Chinese government. They had absolutely nothing else in common, and it’s important to remember that.
The so-called Tiananmen Square protests began in this atmosphere. They began on a relatively small scale on 15 April 1989 after the death of deposed and “pro-reform” Communist party General Secretary Hu Yaobang; they comprised mourning for Hu on college campuses across China and calls for reform. At this stage the protestors comprised almost entirely students who wanted change. They weren’t sure what kind of change they wanted, reform of the system or its overthrow. All they wanted was change.
By 17 April, groups of students had begun holding protests outside the Great Hall of the People in Tiananmen Square, issuing a list of demands, and the next day they had begun blocking access to and affecting the functioning of the seat of the Chinese government at the Zhongnanhai Building. Police with linked arms formed a human cordon that prevented these students from physically forcing their way into the Zhongnanhai complex. It was only on 20 April that the police finally broke up the student demonstrations outside Zhongnanhai, using force – said force being the limited use of batons. Not even tear gas was employed at this stage.
The next day, some 100,000 students occupied Tiananmen Square while others boycotted classes. On 27 April, after the government had made an official pronouncement accusing small groups of plotters of fomenting unrest (more on that later) 50,000 students gathered in Beijing’s streets. By now other demonstrations were taking place in many other Chinese cities, including Shanghai, Urumqi and Chongqing. It’s important to remember that these protests occurred, and it will be important to see how they turned out.
In the first days of May, there were renewed student protests, including marches on Beijing’s streets and by 13 May there was a hunger strike by students in Tiananmen Square, with the demand that the government negotiate. However, the government only agreed to talk to the approved student’s organisations, which these students had abandoned in favour of their own, unrecognised organisations. The hunger strike went on, drawing increasing national concern, and early on the morning of 19 May Zhao Ziyang, General Secretary of the Communist party, and Li Peng, Prime Minister of China, went personally to the hunger strikers on Tiananmen Square to persuade them to abandon their hunger strike. It had no effect, but it’s important to remember that they did go.
At this time – to all appearances – the Communist party hierarchy was itself divided about its attitude to the students. It is clear that at least a good section were sympathetic to the students’ concerns about corruption, and so far the government had refrained from violence despite the virtual paralysis of the capital for weeks. Parts of the government, including Zhao Ziyang, were willing to negotiate – but negotiate with whom? The protestors had many and often mutually exclusive agendas. With whom should the government have negotiated? On 20 May, faced with an apparently insoluble dilemma, the government declared martial law.
Martial Law and Thereafter
The army tried to enter Beijing, but the streets were blocked with throngs of protestors. The army made no attempt to force its way through them, but withdrew on 24 May. The students made no attempt to meet the government halfway – the hunger strike was approaching its fourth week and with public discontent rising, the government either had to cave in completely to a disunited and disorganised mass of conflicting interest groups – an invitation to utter chaos – or take action. It decided to take action. Zhao Ziyang, who had consistently supported the students, was ousted. The “hardliners” took over. The students had sown the wind, and they were about to reap the whirlwind.
Not that this seems to have occurred to the students in the square. By 30 May, they had set up a plaster statue of the “Goddess of Democracy” in the square. The next day, the government sent in soldiers again; reportedly the 27th and either the 28th or 38th Armies of the People’s Liberation Army (accounts differ). They were supposed to take control of the city and restore normalcy.
It is at this point that the accounts from the “sources” which are usually quoted by the Western media and the other sources begin to differ. According to the Western media’s “sources” (I have deep and abiding suspicion of any “source” whose account is accepted uncritically by Western media – remember the Iraq “sources”? – hence the quotes) the two armies sent in were armed and ready to shoot. According to the Chinese government, and, crucially, according to the US embassy in Beijing, the soldiers were sent in unarmed (see link below for documentation on this point).
As rumours spread of thousands of troops converging on the square, a large part of the people of Beijing came out on the streets, burned buses – government property – and set up barricades. The unarmed troops could not penetrate through these barricades. Soldiers were attacked with stones and Molotov cocktails; some were beaten or burned to death and their bodies strung up. Finally, armed troops were sent in, and they were met with the same reception. Officers were pulled from tanks and killed. After an armoured personnel carrier was incinerated and its crew killed, the soldiers fired at the people throwing Molotov cocktails. That there were barricades and people throwing firebombs isn’t something that any Western media “source” has even attempted to refute. This was not a massacre; it was somewhere between a riot and an insurrection.
I wonder what the reaction would have been if American occupation troops in Kabul or Baghdad were similarly barricaded and attacked with petrol bombs? Actually, I don’t need to wonder; the actions of the occupation forces in Iraq and Afghanistan speak for themselves in such situations.
To get back…
The Tiananmen Square “Massacre”
Finally, at 1am on 4 June, the army cleared the streets and reached Tiananmen Square. What did the soldiers do then? Go in shooting? No – according to even the “sources” which are quoted by the Western media, they waited for governmental orders. By then – again, this is not doubted – a large majority of the students had left the square. Only a few thousand remained. The army offered these students amnesty to leave. At 4 am, the students put the matter to vote – whether to go or to remain and face the consequences. Again, this is a matter that is not at dispute. The army did not go in, shooting blindly, and killing everyone in the square. First, according to everyone, they gave the students a chance to save themselves.
Now things get rather interesting. According to the standard Western media account of this episode, the tanks went in about 4 or 5am, shooting and crushing the students. This is the famous “massacre”, which is so inscribed in the modern consciousness. The bloodthirsty Chinese government had let loose a rain of terror on the poor peace-loving democracy-craving people of their own capital city. You know the stuff.
However, Spain’s ambassador to Beijing at the time, Eugenio Bregolat, notes that Spain’s TVE channel had a television crew in the square at the time, and if there had been a massacre, they would have been the first to see it and record it. Did they? No. If they had, wouldn’t there have been videos all over the internet, not to mention TV, of the massacre itself? But there are none. Bregolat also claims that most of the journalists who filed “eyewitness” accounts of the massacre were – at the time when they were allegedly witnessing the massacre – away from the Square, in the Beijing Hotel.
Similarly, Graham Earnshaw, a journalist in the square who was interviewing student leaders and was present during the night of June 3-4, claims (link below) that all the few hundred remaining students were persuaded to leave by the army, and when the tanks entered from one side of the Square, the last remaining students were withdrawing peacefully from the other side. Earnshaw agrees that the students’ “tent city” was crushed under the tanks’ treads as they came in, but he says there was nobody sleeping in the tents at the time to be crushed by the armour. Anyone who has ever been anywhere near a tank with its engine running will agree with his contention that nobody (except, I assume, the profoundly deaf) could have remained sleeping through the episode to be crushed, even without the earlier drama of the amnesty offer and the vote.
Then again, Xiaoping Li, a former China dissident, now resident in Canada, writing in the Asia Sentinel and quoting Taiwan-born Hou Dejian who had been on a hunger strike on the square to show solidarity with the students, said: “Some people said 200 died in the square and others claimed that as many as 2,000 died. There were also stories of tanks running over students who were trying to leave. I have to say I did not see any of that. I was in the square until 6:30 in the morning.”
And these are the words of a dissident, and more, of a dissident who now lives abroad and presumably has nothing to fear.
Then there is the circumstantial evidence. Most of the “Tiananmen Square Massacre” crowd repeat, ad nauseam, lists of student leaders arrested in the aftermath of the “massacre”. Many of these student “eyewitnesses” also claim to have seen tanks shooting and crushing people in the Square. Well, in that case, there’s an obvious question: how come all these leaders and/or eyewitnesses who were present in the Square all survived the “massacre” unscathed? How come not one of them can state the name of anyone who was killed in the Square itself, given that they had all been protesting together there for weeks? Wasn’t a single person of those hundreds or thousands killed a friend or comrade or classmate of these students? Why isn’t there one single, miserable photo showing the massacre in the Square itself?
I’m not saying there weren’t killings in Beijing that night. I’m saying that said killings were restricted to the fighting in the streets leading to the square, essentially between barricaders and soldiers trying to get through the barricades. I cannot find one single bit of incontrovertible proof that there was a single killing in the Square itself, let alone a massacre.
If you – therefore – try and maintain an impartial attitude to the sources, there is at least reasonable grounds for doubt about whether there was a single episode of firing, a single death, in Tiananmen Square on the night of 3/4 June 1989; let alone the famous “massacre”.
Deconstructing a famous photograph.
It’s called one of the “100 most famous photographs of all time”; actually, there are several versions of the photo, and there’s a video of the episode as well, which has its own peculiar significance. Taken on the morning of 5th June 1989, it shows a lone man, in white shirt and dark trousers, with what seems to be shopping bags in his hands. He stands in front of a line of tanks. In the most well-known version, that taken by Jeff Widener of the Associated Press, there are four tanks. In other photos, taken from further away, there are more tanks behind those four. They are Chinese Type 59 tanks, with the crew “buttoned up” inside; i.e. the hatches shut.
As seen in the video, the man gestures angrily to the tank with his bags. The tank swerves to one side in order to drive around him. The man steps again in front of the tank, and the heavy vehicle again tries to steer around him. Finally, it stops, and the man clambers on it, has a brief exchange with the crew, and descends. As the tank tries to drive on, he again steps in front of it and again it stops. People from the crowd then pull the man to safety and the tanks drive on (this last bit is typically excised from videos of this episode posted on such sites as YouTube).
According to the standard mythology of the event, one so standard that it’s practically sacrilege not to believe it, the man displayed almost unbelievable courage in the face of overwhelming Chinese military aggression. This “lone hero” became an instant icon, known as the “Tank man” and a symbol of courage worldwide.
Now let’s take a close look at the photograph, one from a strictly neutral viewpoint, and there are several extremely interesting features, which go well beyond the particular episode itself and reveal a lot about the entire Tiananmen Square affair.
First, and most obviously, the crew of the tanks have sealed themselves inside. This is extremely significant because as far as possible tank crews avoid doing this. Even in combat, whenever they can get away with it, they try to keep the hatches open. There are several reasons for this; one is that vision from inside a “buttoned down” tank is very limited and it’s almost impossible to hear sounds from outside; for a fairly primitive tank like the Type 59 (of which surviving examples are now relegated to training and second-line duties), this is even truer. All the driver can see when his hatch is shut, through two “vision blocks,” is to the front and slightly to the right. The commander in the turret can do little better (for details on the capabilities of the Type 59 tank, see link below). And a sealed up tank, especially an early model one like the Type 59, is extremely hot and cramped and difficult for the crew to operate in for prolonged periods.
So why did the crew seal themselves inside? There can be only one reason: to protect themselves against Molotov cocktails and attacks from mobs.
Secondly: take a close look at the photo. The first, third and fourth tanks can clearly be seen to have caps covering the muzzles of their main guns. The second may have a black muzzle cap or the muzzle may be open, but the rest certainly have capped muzzles. Muzzle caps, which are meant to protect the interiors of the guns from dirt and dust, are never taken into a situation where the main guns may need to be fired. This is proof positive that the tanks were sent in without any intention of firing the main guns, come what may.
Similarly, the tanks being sealed up means the crews cannot use the machine guns on the turret roofs (the blocky objects on the right of each tank turret, sticking out to the side). The Type 59, admittedly, has two other machine guns; of them more anon.
Then, there are the shopping bags carried by the “tank man” himself. Obviously, if you go shopping – and nobody has ever suggested the shopping bags meant anything else – there must be shops open. Take it from one who has been in riot situations: shops never open when there is a possibility of serious violence. The shop owners have too much to lose from riots and looting. If there are shops open, the quantum of violence must be much lower than usually thought.
Now, if we look at the video, we see the tank shifting to the right and back again in an effort to avoid the man. If the Chinese troops had already shot and crushed down hundreds to thousands of unarmed civilians, and according to standard mythology they were, even on this 5th of June, shooting students trying to re-enter the Square, why would the tank have gone to such trouble to save the life of one miserable counter-revolutionary? There can be no reasonable explanation but the fact that the tankers were exercising the maximum restraint in the face of provocation. (Again, suppose an Iraqi or an Afghan were to do this to an American armoured column, or a Palestinian to an “Israeli” Merkava, as many in fact have done; what do you think would he have been called even as he was being blown away? A terrorist!)
Incidentally, this is the photo that first made me doubt the entire story of the massacre. The action of the crew of those tanks was so completely opposed to the conventional tale of the “massacre” that it merited a closer look. So, in all, I am thankful to the photographer and the “tank man” – for reasons directly contrary to the usual Western media accounts.
Also, Widener’s own account of the prelude to the photo is interesting. He was confined to his hotel – he says – because he had flu and was injured by a protestor who threw a brick at him, smashing one of his other cameras and giving him a concussion. Nice nonviolent protestors, eh?
Deconstructing an ancillary photo.
Before we reach a final conclusion on the Tank Man, though, let’s take a look at another photo, taken from ground level and published only in June 2009. Taken shortly before the “iconic” images, it shows the distant tanks coming towards the camera, and, in the middle left distance, what is alleged (there is no direct proof of this) to be the “tank man” himself, waiting beside a bulldozer, all ready to step in the way of the armoured column, shopping bags and all. In the right distance a bicyclist pedals unhurriedly on, and in the left foreground a man (also carrying a shopping bag) seems about to flash a thumbs-up sign at the camera. In the right foreground is the only sign of hurry or panic; a young man who appears to be sprinting or trying to duck.
Terrill Jones of the Associated Press, who took this photo, claims that – in order to avoid firing – he and others took shelter and could no longer see what happened afterwards. This is one of those stories that need to be examined carefully. First: If there indeed was firing, why is the cyclist so unconcernedly pedalling on? Even if it is true that the man in the left distance is the “tank man” himself, and even if he is willing to sacrifice his life in order to stop the tanks and so is unconcerned, why is the shopping bag man in the foreground obviously not in any panic or fear? Why is he apparently about to break into a huge grin? Why is the only man in a hurry the one in the right front, dashing towards the photographer?
Then, if there was indeed firing, where was it coming from? Certainly not from the tanks; as I said, the main guns were capped and the anti-aircraft machine guns unattended by the buttoned-up crew. The Type 59 has two other machine guns, both of 7.62 mm calibre. One is a coaxial gun, which fires along the line of the main gun, in whichever direction the main gun is pointing. In this case all the tanks had their main guns elevated at normal position, so the firing wasn’t coming from the coaxial guns – the bullets would have gone into the sky. The third gun is one fixed in the front of the tank and firing straight ahead through a very small aperture in the glacis plate (the tank’s front armour) and operated by the driver. It’s a nearly useless weapon, since it can only be aimed by turning the entire tank to point it directly at the target. If the hull gun was firing, only the lead tank could have been firing it, as the fire from others in the line would have struck the tanks in front of them. And in that case, what was the hull gun firing at? And again – why on earth did the tank save “tank man’s” life? It doesn’t make any sense.
Similarly, if “tank man” was spirited away by the crowd to safety, then there was enough of a crowd to take him away to safety, and that in turn means that there wasn’t any firing. Whoever the man was, there’s no evidence as to what happened to him; accounts of his execution are balanced by accounts that he is living in Taiwan (link below). If he’s dead, why aren’t any acquaintances coming forward to say who he was? If he is alive, why isn’t he coming out of the shadows, if necessary after smuggling himself out of China? Absolutely nobody seems to be sure who he is. Or is he, as some have suggested, mentally ill? A madman wouldn’t be the best expression of defiance of a tyrannical regime, would he?
All in all, the conclusion is clear: far from being a symbol of courage, “tank man” was in no real danger from military units exercising restraint in the face of provocation. In fact, what the photos and video clearly demonstrate is the reverse of what the official iconography, if I can put it that way, of this episode claims.
The Death Toll
How many people died in the entire Tiananmen Square affair? The Chinese Red Cross was alleged to have said 2600 died, but denied having ever given any such figure. “Unbiased” Western media alleges that the Red Cross backed down after pressure from the Chinese government, but fails to either provide any evidence of either this pressure or just who were these 2600 who died. At least some hundreds of their relatives could have been cited? The official Chinese government figure is 241 dead, including the soldiers who were burned and battered to death when they tried to make an unarmed approach to the Square. There are various other estimates. And, according to the Tiananmen Mothers, only 186 names of the alleged thousands dead have been confirmed as of June 2006, and that includes people whose deaths weren’t necessarily due to army action, including one who committed suicide.
Does it matter how many died? Yes, it does; it marks the difference between a unilateral massacre and fighting on both sides. For such an allegedly enormous death toll, the evidence seems to be scanty indeed.
It was – I think – Zhou Enlai who, when asked about the significance of the French Revolution, said “It’s too early to tell.” At the time, the Chinese government was probably not looking to the long term; in a year when fellow Communist governments were being toppled by mass street protests and governmental paralysis, it was looking to its own survival when it decided to use force, in whatever form, against the students. However, in deciding to use force, it put a permanent full stop to a chain of events which – going by what happened in other nations at the time – would have led to unravelling of Central governmental authority, collapse of the state, disintegration of the economy and more than likely of the nation, and anarchy leading to mass impoverishment and mafia rule.
For comparison, we should look to the Soviet Union and the so-called putsch of 19 August 1991, which temporarily overthrew Mikhail Gorbachev and tried to maintain the unity of the nation, something the Soviet people had themselves largely approved of in a referendum. The coup collapsed in three days almost entirely because the new junta refused to use overwhelming force against the protestors, led by Boris Yeltsin, later to preside, marinated in alcohol, over the descent of Russia into a corrupt oligarchy with the collapse of social services, skyrocketing corruption, and plummeting life expectancy. Almost exactly the same thing would likely have happened to China if the Tiananmen Square protestors hadn’t been neutralised.
In fact, it’s likely that the entire crackdown could have been avoided if the Beijing authorities had acted early and severely, incarcerating ringleaders and shutting down their media outlets, as Jiang Zemin, then the mayor of Shanghai, had done. This had nipped in the bud developing disturbances in China’s second city. Allowing the students weeks of a free hand was in itself an error, and China has taken care not to repeat that error in later years.
One look at China today, with its roaring economy and its people – who are far more prosperous than they were two decades ago – and a comparison with where Russia is even now, when it’s finally beginning to get to its feet again, and it should be clear that the Chinese government acted in the best long-term interests of its own people when it ended the protests.
But – what about freedom? Aren’t the Chinese people deprived of freedom? That is an oft-heard argument, a rich argument indeed when one thinks of the status of the “freed” citizens of such nations as Iraq or Afghanistan; or indeed of Russia, whose starving and impoverished people were called “free” but now that they are, at last, slightly better off are no longer called “free”. Strange are the definitions of freedom, and bizarre are the uses of the word.
For the record, I believe democracy, as practiced today, is an eyewash and does not equal freedom. I believe that the right to live with dignity is more important than the right to vote, and I believe that a nation which provides the necessities for the maximum number of its people is freer than one which allows them to vote but takes no steps to ensure they have a roof over their heads and clothes on their backs.
There is also the question of the significance of the crackdown to the world at large, two decades later. As we all know (or should know), China is one of the most significant nations in the world today, and certainly the fastest-rising one. It’s also the only country which serves as a counterweight to the global hegemon and self-declared world policeman, the United States of America. The US is a power in decline, but is still the only nation which believes in war as a policy of first resort and seeks to impose its will – by force – on the rest of the world. But even the US has to tread warily on Chinese economic might.
Can one imagine how much more arrogant and lethal the USA’s war against the world would have been without China providing some kind of balance?
The Media Lies
As should be obvious by now, I believe the mass of the Western media lied, cynically and repeatedly, and continues to lie about the Tiananmen Square incident. Much of the lying is due to a phenomenon called “pack journalism” (see link below) where media fall in line, quite unthinkingly, and without checking facts, on a particular “plausible” story. One only has to remember the tales of Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Distraction, sorry, Destruction, for a recent example.
Also, the Western media have never hidden their anti-China bias, even in these days when they have to treat China with respect. So the 2001 incident when an American spy plane collided with a Chinese fighter and was compelled to land in China was an “intolerable act of aggression”, without regard to the facts. Actually, the facts never really mattered, as we saw in 2008 when the Lhasa rioting was deliberately and cynically misreported with propaganda from Tibetan exile groups (speedily exposed through the Chinese blogosphere) of how the PLA soldiers were responsible for dressing up as monks and rioting, and so on.
But media sources have to take their inspiration from somewhere. That inspiration is almost always from the people who actually control these media, people who have the most to gain from the lies the media disseminate. In Iraq, we know who benefitted the most from the invasion, which firms saw their stock prices jump through the ceiling. Similarly, a collapsed and disintegrating China would have freed a lot of space for certain business interests and allowed certain nations a free hand in East Asia. So it was entirely predictable that they would react violently to firm action that made it less likely that any such collapse would occur, besides painting all Communists with the same genocidal brush.
The conventional truth about Tiananmen Square – in summary – is not the truth. But the truth is out there for those who care to know, the evidence visible for those who wish to see.
Statutory Disclaimer: The opinions stated herein are mine. I am in no way responsible for any fights, quarrels, or breaks in relations caused by the contents of this article. Be warned.
If the links below don’t work, please copy and paste to your browser
(I wish to express my gratitude to blogger “Bobby Fletcher” – http://tiananmenmyth.blogspot.com/ – for bringing some of the links below to my attention)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiananmen_Square_protests_of_1989 (The wikipedia entry on the Tiananmen Square protests)
http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB16/documents/09-02.htm (US Embassy note stating that the Chinese troops had initially been unarmed.)
http://www.earnshaw.com/memoirs/content.php?id=5 (Graham Earnshaw’s account of Tiananmen Square, where he states unambiguously that “most of the deaths did not happen on or near the Square.”)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tank_Man#cite_note-NYTNewPhoto-1 (About the Tank Man, with a description of the original video)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_59 (All about the Type 59 tank)
http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/03/behind-the-scenes-tank-man-of-tiananmen/ (Jeff Widener’s account of how he was hit in the face by a rock and also claims how the photographers of the “iconic” image saw armoured personnel carriers firing at the crowds. Where are the photos of that episode?)
http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/04/behind-the-scenes-a-new-angle-on-history/?hp (Terrill Jones’ account claiming the tanks were firing at the time of the “tank man” incident)
http://www.yachtingnet.com/time/time100/leaders/profile/rebel2.html (A Time Magazine article on the “tank man,” typical of Western media reportage of the incident. Note the unattributed and unsubstantiated allegations that the Chinese shot “hundreds of workers and students and doctors and children, many later found shot in the back.”)
http://dajiyuan.com/b5/6/6/1/n1336133.htm (Chinese language article claiming “tank man” still lives. I don’t speak Chinese so have to take it at its word)
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/eo20080721gc.html (An article by the former Canadian ambassador to Japan, Gregory Clark, examining the myth of the “massacre”)
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=CLA20060410&articleId=2245 (By the same author; an examination of the phenomenon of pack journalism)
http://www.frontlineonnet.com/fl2510/stories/20080523251000400.htm (A discussion of other anti-Chinese western media propaganda)
On 9 March 1957, the United States Congress approved a presidential resolution which came to be known as the Eisenhower Doctrine. This was a piece of paper, like the Truman Doctrine and the Monroe Doctrine before it, whereby the US government conferred upon the US government the remarkable and enviable right to intervene militarily in other countries. With the stroke of a pen, the Middle East was added to Europe and the Western hemisphere as America’s field of play.
The resolution stated that “the United States regards as vital to the national interest and world peace the preservation of the independence and integrity of the nations of the Middle East.” Yet, during this very period, as we have seen, the CIA initiated its operation to overthrow the government of Syria.
The business part of the resolution was contained in the succinct declaration that the United States “is prepared to use armed forces to assist” any Middle East country “requesting assistance against armed aggression from any country controlled by international communism”. Nothing was set forth about non-communist or anticommunist aggression which might endanger world peace.
Wilbur Crane Eveland, the Middle East specialist working for the CIA at the time, had been present at a meeting in the State Department two months earlier called to discuss the resolution. Eveland read the draft, which stated that “many, if not all” of the Middle East states “are aware of the danger that stems from international communism”.
Later he wrote:
I was shocked. Who, I wondered, had reached this determination of what the Arabs considered a danger? Israel’s army had just invaded Egypt and still occupied all of the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip. And, had it not been for Russia’s threat to intervene on behalf of the Egyptians, the British, French, and Israeli forces might now be sitting in Cairo, celebrating Nasser’s ignominious fall from power.1
The simplistic and polarized view of the world implicit in the Eisenhower Doctrine ignored not only anti-Israeli sentiments but currents of nationalism, pan-Arabism, neutralism and socialism prevalent in many influential quarters of the Middle East. The framers of the resolution saw only a cold-war battlefield and, in doing so, succeeded in creating one.
In April, King Hussein of Jordan dismissed his prime minister, Suleiman Nabulsi, amidst rumors, apparently well-founded, of a coup against the King encouraged by Egypt and Syria and Palestinians living in Jordan. It was the turning point in an ongoing conflict between the pro-West policy of Hussein and the neutralist leanings of the Nabulsi regime. Nabulsi had announced that in line with his policy of neutralism, Jordan would develop closet relations with the Soviet Union and accept Soviet aid if offered. At the same time, he rejected American aid because, he said, the United States had informed him that economic aid would be withheld unless Jordan “severs its ties with Egypt” and “consents to settlement of Palestinian refugees in Jordan”, a charge denied by the State Department. Nabulsi added the commentary that “communism is not dangerous to the Arabs”.
Hussein, conversely, accused “international communism and its followers” of direct responsibility for “efforts to destroy my country”. When pressed for the specifics of his accusation, he declined to provide any.
When rioting broke out in several Jordanian cities, and civil war could not be ruled out, Hussein showed himself equal to the threat to his continued rule. He declared martial law, purged the government and military of pro-Nasser and leftist tendencies, and abolished all political opposition. Jordan soon returned to a state of relative calm.
The United States, however, seized upon Hussein’s use of the expression “international communism” to justify rushing units of the Sixth Fleet to the eastern Mediterranean—a super aircraft carrier, two cruisers, and 15 destroyers, followed shortly by a variety of other naval vessels and a battalion of marines which put ashore in Lebanon—to “prepare for possible future intervention in Jordan”.2
Despite the fact that nothing resembling “armed aggression from any country controlled by international communism” had taken place, the State Department openly invited the King to invoke the Eisenhower Doctrine.3 But Hussein, who had not even requested the show of force, refused, knowing that such a move would only add fuel to the fires already raging in Jordanian political life. He survived without it.
Sometime during this year the CIA began making secret annual payments to King Hussein, initially in the millions of dollars per year. The practice was to last for 20 years, with the Agency providing Hussein female companions as well. As justification for the payment, the CIA later claimed that Hussein allowed American intelligence agencies to operate freely in Jordan. Hussein himself provided intelligence to the CIA and distributed part of his payments to other government officials who also furnished information or cooperated with the Agency.4
A few months later, it was Syria which occupied the front stage in Washington’s melodrama of “International Communism”. The Syrians had established relations with the Soviet Union via trade, economic aid, and military purchases and training. The United States chose to see something ominous in this although it was a state of affairs engendered in no small measure by John Foster Dulles, as we saw in the previous chapter. American antipathy toward Syria was heightened in August following the Syrian government’s exposure of the CIA-directed plot to overthrow it.
Washington officials and the American media settled easily into the practice of referring to Syria as a “Soviet satellite” or “quasi-satellite”. This was not altogether objective or spontaneous reporting. Kennett Love, a New York Times correspondent in close contact to the CIA (see Iran chapter), later disclosed some of the background:
The US Embassy in Syria connived at false reports issued in Washington and London through diplomatic and press channels to the effect that Russian arms were pouring into the Syrian port of Latakia, that “not more than 123 Migs” had arrived in Syria, and that Lieutenant Colonel Abdel Hameed Serraj, head of Syrian intelligence, had taken over control in a Communist-inspired coup. I travelled all over Syria without hindrance in November and December  and found there were indeed “not more than 123 Migs”. There were none. And no Russian arms had arrived for months. And there had been no coup, although some correspondents in Beirut, just a two-hour drive from Damascus, were dispatching without attribution false reports fed to them by embassy visitors from Damascus and a roving CIA man who worked in the guise of a US Treasury agent. Serraj, who was anti-Communist, had just broken the clumsy British-US-Iraqi-supported plot [to overthrow the Syrian government]. Syria was quiet but worried lest the propaganda presage a new coup d’etat or a Western-backed invasion.5
As if to further convince any remaining skeptics, Eisenhower dispatched a personal emissary, Loy Henderson, on a tour of the Middle East. Henderson, not surprisingly, returned with the conclusion that “there was a fear in all Middle East countries that the Soviets might be able to topple the regimes in each of their countries through exploiting the crisis in Syria”.6 He gave no indication as to whether the Syrians themselves thought they were going through a crisis.
As an indication of how artificial were the crises announced by the White House, how arbitrary were the doomsday pronouncements about the Soviet Union, let us consider the following from a Department of Defense internal memorandum of June 1957, about two months before Henderson went to the Middle East:
The USSR has shown no intention of direct intervention in any of the previous Mid-Eastern crises, and we believe it is unlikely that they would intervene, directly, to assure the success of a leftist coup in Syria.7
In early September, the day after Henderson returned, the United States announced that the Sixth Fleet was once again being sent to the Mediterranean and that arms and other military equipment were being rushed to Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey. A few days later, Saudi Arabia was added to the list. The Soviet Union replied with arms shipments to Syria, Egypt and Yemen.
The Syrian government accused the US of sending warships dose to her coast in an “open challenge” and said that unidentified planes had been flying constantly over the Latakia area day and night for four days, Latakia being the seaport where Soviet ships arrived.
Syria further claimed that the US had “incited” Turkey to concentrate an estimated 50,000 soldiers on Syria’s border. The Syrians ridiculed the explanation that the Turkish troops were only on maneuvers. Eisenhower later wrote that the troops were at the border with “a readiness to act” and that the United States had already assured the leaders of Turkey, Iraq and Jordan that if they “felt it necessary to take actions against aggression by the Syrian government, the United States would undertake to expedite shipments of arms already committed to the Middle Eastern countries and, further, would replace losses as quickly as possible.” The president had no quarrel with the idea that such action might be taken to repel, in his words, the “anticipated aggression” of Syria, for it would thus be “basically defensive in nature” (emphasis added).8
The American role here may have been more active than Eisenhower suggests.
One of his advisers, Emmet John Hughes, has written of how Under-Secretary of State Christian Herter, later to replace an ailing John Foster Dulles as Secretary, “reviewed in rueful detail… some recent clumsy clandestine American attempts to spur Turkish forces to do some vague kind of battle with Syria”.9
Dulles gave the impression in public remarks that the United States was anxious to somehow invoke the Eisenhower Doctrine, presumably as a “justification” for taking further action against Syria. But he could not offer any explanation of how this was possible. Certainly Syria was not going to make the necessary request.
The only solution lay in Syria attacking another Arab country which would then request American assistance. This appears to be one rationale behind the flurry of military and diplomatic activity directed at Syria by the US. A study carried out for the Pentagon some years later concluded that in “the 1957 Syrian crisis … Washington seem[ed] to seek the initial use of force by target”10 (emphasis added; “‘target” refers to Syria).
Throughout this period, Washington officials alternated between striving to enlist testimonials from other Arab nations that Syria was indeed a variety of Soviet satellite and a threat to the region, and assuring the world that the United States had received a profusion of just such testimony. But Jordan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia all denied that they felt threatened by Syria. Egypt, Syria’s closest ally, of course concurred. At the height of the “crisis”, King Hussein of Jordan left for a vacation in Europe. The Iraqi premier declared that his country and Syria had arrived at a “complete understanding”. And King Saud of Saudi Arabia, in a message to Eisenhower, said that US concern over Syria was “exaggerated” and asked the president for “renewed assurances that the United States would refrain from any interference in the internal affairs of Arab states”. Saud added that “efforts to overturn the Syrian regime would merely make the Syrians more amenable to Soviet influence”, a view shared by several observers on all sides.
At the same time, the New York Times reported:
From the beginning of the crisis over Syria’s drift to the left, there has been less excitement among her Arab neighbors than in the United States. Foreign diplomats in the area, including many Americans, felt that the stir caused in Washington was out of proportion to the cause.
Eventually, Dulles may have been influenced by this lack of support for the American thesis, for when asked specifically to “characterize what the relation is between Soviet aims in the area and the part that Syria adds to them”, he could only reply that “The situation internally in Syria is not entirely clear and fluctuates somewhat.” Syria, he implied, was not yet in the grip of international Communism.
The next day, Syria, which had no desire to isolate itself from the West, similarly moderated its tone by declaring that the American warships had been 15 miles offshore and had continued “quietly on their way”.11
It appears that during this same restless year of 1957, the United States was also engaged in a plot to overthrow Nasser and his troublesome nationalism, although the details are rather sketchy. In January, when King Saud and Iraqi Crown Prince Abdul Illah were in New York at the United Nations, they were approached by CIA Director Allen Dulles and one of his top aides, Kermit Roosevelt, with offers of CIA covert planning and funding to topple the Egyptian leader whose radical rhetoric, inchoate though it was, was seen by the royal visitors as a threat to the very idea of monarchy.
Nasser and other army officers had overthrown King Farouk of Egypt in 1952. Ironically, Kermit Roosevelt and the CIA have traditionally been given credit for somehow engineering this coup. However, it is by no means certain that they actually carried this out.12
“Abdul Illah,” wrote Eveland, “insisted on British participation in anything covert, but the Saudis had severed relations with Britain and refused. As a result, the CIA dealt separately with each: agreeing to fund King Saud’s part in a new area scheme to oppose Nasser and eliminate his influence in Syria; and to the same objective, coordinating in Beirut a covert working group composed of representatives of the British, Iraqi, Jordanian, and Lebanese intelligence services.”13
The conspiracy is next picked up in mid-spring at the home of Ghosn Zogby in Beirut. Zogby, of Lebanese ancestry, was the chief of the CIA Beirut station. He and Kermit Roosevelt, who was staying with him, hosted several conferences of the clandestine planners. “So obvious,” Eveland continued, “were their ‘covert’ gyrations, with British, Iraqi, Jordanian and Lebanese liaison personnel coming and going nightly, that the Egyptian ambassador in Lebanon was reportedly taking bets on when and where the next U.S. coup would take place.” At one of these meetings, the man from the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) informed the gathering that teams had been fielded to assassinate Nasser.
Shortly afterwards, Eveland learned from a CIA official that John Foster Dulles, as well as his brother Allen, had directed Roosevelt to work with the British to bring down Nasser. Roosevelt now spoke in terms of a “palace revolution” in Egypt.14
From this point on we’re fishing in murky waters, for the events which followed produced more questions than answers. With the six countries named above, plus Turkey and Israel apparently getting in on the act, and less than complete trust and love existing amongst the various governments, a host of plots, sub-plots and side plots inevitably sprang to life; at times it bordered on low comedy, though some would call it no mote than normal Middle East “diplomacy”.
Between July 1957 and October 1958, the Egyptian and Syrian governments and media announced the uncovering of what appear to be at least eight separate conspiracies to overthrow one or the other government, to assassinate Nasser, and/or prevent the expected merger of the two countries. Saudi Arabia, Iraq and the United States were most often named as conspirators, but from the entanglement of intrigue which surfaced it is virtually impossible to unravel the particular threads of the US role.15
Typical of the farcical goings-on, it seems that at least one of the plots to assassinate Nasser arose from the Dulles brothers taking Eisenhower’s remark that he hoped “the Nasser problem could be eliminated” to be an order for assassination, when the president, so the story goes, was merely referring to improved US-Egyptian relations. Upon realizing the error, Secretary Dulles ordered the operation to cease.16
(Three years later, Allen Dulles was again to “misinterpret” a remark by Eisenhower as an order to assassinate Patrice Lumumba of the Congo.)
Official American pronouncements during this entire period would have had the world believe that the Soviet Union was the eminence grist behind the strife in Jordan, the “crisis” in Syria, and unrest generally in the Middle East; that the Soviet aim was to dominate the area, while the sole purpose of US policy was to repel this Soviet thrust and maintain the “independence” of the Arab nations. Yet, on three separate occasions during 1957—in February, April and September—the Soviet Union called for a fourpower (US, USSR, Great Britain and France) declaration renouncing the use of force and interference in the internal affairs of the Middle Eastern countries. The February appeal had additionally called for a four-power embargo on arms shipments to the region, withdrawal of all foreign troops, liquidation of all foreign bases, and a conference to reach a general Middle East settlement.
The Soviet strategy was clearly to neutralize the Middle East, to remove the threat it had long felt from the potentially hostile control of the oil region by, traditionally, France and Great Britain, and now the United States, which sought to fill the “power vacuum” left by the decline of the two European nations as Middle East powers.
History does not relate what a Middle East free from big-power manipulation would have been like, for neither France, Great Britain, nor the United States was amenable to even calling the Soviet “bluff”, if that was what it was. The New York Times summarized the attitude of the three Western nations to the first two overtures as one that “deprecated the Soviet proposals as efforts to gain recognition of a Soviet right to a direct voice in the affairs of the Middle East. They have told the Russians to take up their complaints through the United Nations.”
Following the September proposal, John Foster Dulles, replying to a question at a press conference, said that “the United States is skeptical of these arrangements with the Soviet Union for ‘hands-off. What they are apt to mean is our hands off and their hands under the table.” This appears to be the only public comment the US government saw fit to make on the matter.17
It may be instructive to speculate upon the reaction of the Western nations if the Soviet Union had announced a “Khrushchev Doctrine”, ceding to itself the same scope of action in the Middle East as that stipulated in the Eisenhower Doctrine.
In January 1958, Syria and Egypt announced their plans to unite, forming the new nation of the United Arab Republic (UAR). The initiative for the merger had come from Syria who was motivated in no small part by her fear of further American power plays against her. Ironically, under the merger arrangement, the Communist Party, already outlawed in Egypt, was dissolved in Syria, an objective which a year and a half of CIA covert activity had failed to achieve.
Two weeks after the birth of the UAR, and in direct response to it, Iraq and Jordan formed the Arab Union, with the United States acting as midwife. This union was short lived, for in July a bloody coup in Iraq overthrew the monarchy, the new regime establishing a republic and promptly renouncing the pact. The trumpets of Armageddon could once more be heard distinctly in the Oval Office. “This somber turn of events,” wrote Eisenhower in his memoirs, “could, without vigorous response on our part, result in a complete elimination of Western influence in the Middle East.”18
Although the president would not be so crass as to mention a concern about oil, his anxiety attack was likely brought on by the fact that one of the greatest oil reserves in the world was now under rule of a government which might well prove to be not as pliable an ally as the previous regime, and too independent of Washington.
The time for a mere show of force was over. The very next day, the marines, along with the American navy and air force, were sent in—not to Iraq, but to Lebanon.
Of all the Arab states, Lebanon was easily the United States’ closest ally. She alone had supported the Eisenhower Doctrine with any enthusiasm or unequivocally echoed Washington’s panic about Syria. To be more precise, it was the president of Lebanon, Camille Chamoun, and the foreign minister, Charles Malik, a Harvard Ph.D. in philosophy, who had put all their cold-war eggs into the American basket. Chamoun had ample reason to be beholden to the United States. The CIA apparently played a role in his 1952 election,19 and in 1957 the Agency furnished generous sums of money to Chamoun to use in support of candidates in the Chamber of Deputies (Parliament) June elections who would back him and, presumably, US policies. Funds were also provided to specifically oppose, as punishment, those candidates who had resigned in protest over Chamoun’s adherence to the Eisenhower Doctrine.
As is customary in such operations, the CIA sent an “election specialist” along with the money to Beirut to assist in the planning. American officials in Washington and Lebanon proceeded on the assumption, they told each other, that Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia would also intervene financially in the elections. The American ambassador to Lebanon, Donald Heath, argued as well, apparently without ironic intention, that “With both the president and the new chamber of deputies supporting American principles, we’d also have a demonstration that representative democracy could work” in the Middle East.
To what extent the American funding helped, or even how the money was spent, is not known, but the result was a landslide for pro-government deputies; so much so, that it caused considerable protest within Lebanon, including the charge that Chamoun had stacked the parliament in order to amend the constitution to permit him to seek an otherwise prohibited second six-year term of office the following year.20
By late April 1958, tensions in Lebanon had reached bursting point. The inordinate pro-American orientation of Chamoun’s government and his refusal to dispel rumors that he would seek a second term incensed both Lebanese nationalists and advocates of the Arab nationalism, which Nasser was promoting throughout the Middle East. Demands were made that the government return to the strict neutrality provided for in the National Pact of 1943 at the time of Lebanon’s declaration of independence from France.
A rash of militant demonstrations, bombings and clashes with police took place, and when, in early May, the editor of an anti-government newspaper was murdered, armed rebellion broke out in several parts of the country, and US Information Agency libraries in Tripoli and Beirut were sacked. Lebanon contained all the makings of a civil war.
“Behind everything,” wrote Eisenhower, “was out deep-seated conviction that the Communists were principally responsible for the trouble and that President Chamoun was motivated only by a strong feeling of patriotism.”
The president did not clarify who or what he meant by “Communists”. However, in the next paragraph he refers, without explanation, to the Soviet Union as “stirring up trouble” in the Middle East. And on the following page, the old soldier writes that “there was no doubt in our minds” about Chamoun’s charge that “Egypt and Syria had been instigating the revolt and arming the rebels”.21
In the midst of the fighting, John Foster Dulles announced that he perceived “international communism” as the source of the conflict and for the third time in a year the Sixth Fleet was dispatched to the eastern Mediterranean; police supplies to help quell rioters, as well as tanks and other heavy equipment, were airlifted to Lebanon.
At a subsequent news conference, Dulles declared that even if international communism were not involved, the Eisenhower Doctrine was still applicable because one of its provisions stated that “the independence of these countries is vital to peace and the national interest of the United States.” “That is certainly a mandate,” he said, “to do something if we think that out peace and vital interests are endangered from any quarter.”22 Thus did one of the authors of the doctrine bestow upon himself a mandate.
Egypt and Syria, from all accounts, supported the rebels’ cause with arms, men and money, in addition to inflammatory radio broadcasts from Cairo, although the extent of the material support is difficult to establish. A UN Observation Group went to Lebanon in June at the request of Foreign Minister Malik and reported that they found no evidence of UAR intervention of any significance. A second UN report in July confirmed this finding. It is open to question, however, what degree of reliance can be placed upon these reports, dealing as they do with so thorny an evaluation and issued by a body in the business of promoting compromise.
In any event, the issue was whether the conflict in Lebanon represented a legitimate, home-grown civil war, or whether it was the doing of the proverbial “outside agitators”. On this point, historian Richard Barner has observed:
No doubt the Observation Group did minimize the extent of UAR participation. But essentially they were correct. Nasser was trying to exploit the political turmoil in Lebanon, but he did not create it. Lebanon, which had always abounded in clandestine arsenals and arms markets, did not need foreign weapons for its domestic violence. Egyptian intervention was neither the stimulus nor the mainstay of the civil strife. Once again a government that had lost the power to rule effectively was blaming its failure on foreign agents.23
President Eisenhower—continuing his flip-flop thinking on the issue—wrote that it now seemed that Nasser “would be just as happy to see a temporary end to the struggle … and contacted our government and offered to attempt to use his influence toend the trouble.”24
Camille Chamoun had sacrificed Lebanon’s independence and neutrality on the altar of personal ambition and the extensive American aid that derived from subscribing to the Eisenhower Doctrine. Lebanese Muslims, who comprised most of Chamoun’s opposition, were also galled that the Christian president had once again placed the country outside the mainstream of the Arab world, as he had done in 1956 when he refused to break relations with France and Great Britain following their invasion of Egypt.
Chamoun himself had admitted the significance of his pro-American alignment in a revealing comment to Wilbur Crane Eveland. Eveland writes that in late April, I’d suggested that he might ease tensions by making a statement renouncing a move for reelection. Chamoun had snorted and suggested that I look at the calendar: March 23 was a month behind us, and no amendment to permit another term could legally be passed after that date. Obviously, as he pointed out, the issue of the presidency was not the real issue; renunciation of the Eisenhower Doctrine was what his opponents wanted.25
Instead of renouncing the doctrine, Chamoun invoked it. Although scattered
fighting, at times heavy, was continuing in Lebanon, it was the coup in Iraq on 14 July that tipped the scales in favor of Chamoun making the formal request for military assistance and the United States immediately granting it. A CIA report of a plot against King Hussein of Jordan at about the same time heightened even further Washington’s seemingly unceasing sense of urgency about the Middle East.
Chamoun had, by this time, already announced his intention to step down from office when his term expired in September. He was now concerned about American forces helping him to stay alive until that date, as well as their taking action against the rebels. For the previous two months, fear of assassination had kept him constantly inside the presidential palace, never so much as approaching a window. The murder of the Iraqi king and prime minister during the coup was not designed to make him feel more secure.
The Eisenhower Doctrine was put into motion not only in the face of widespread opposition to it within Lebanon, but in disregard of the fact that, even by the doctrine’s own dubious provisions, the situation in Lebanon did not qualify: It could hardly be claimed that Lebanon had suffered “armed aggression from any country controlled by international communism”. If further evidence of this were needed, it was provided by veteran diplomat Robert Murphy who was sent to Lebanon by Eisenhower a few days after the US troops had landed. Murphy concluded, he later wrote, that “communism was playing no direct or substantial part in the insurrection”.26
Yet, Eisenhower could write that the American Government “was moving in accord with the provisions of the Middle East Resolution [Eisenhower Doctrine], but if the conflict expanded into something that the Resolution did not cover, I would, given time, go to the Congress for additional authorization”.27 Apparently the president did not place too much weight on John Foster Dulles having already determined that the Resolution’s mandate was open-ended.
Thus it was that American military forces were dispatched to Lebanon. Some 70 naval vessels and hundreds of aircraft took part in the operation, many remaining as part of the visible American presence. By 25 July, the US forces on shore totaled at least 10,600. By August 13, their number came to 14,000, more than the entire Lebanese Army and gendarmerie combined.28
“In my [radio-TV] address,” wrote Eisenhower, “I had been careful to use the term ‘stationed in’ Lebanon rather than ‘invading’.”29 This was likely a distinction lost upon many Lebanese, both high and low, supporters of the rebels and supporters of the government, including government tank forces who were prepared to block the entrance into Beirut of US troops; only the last-minute intercession on the spot by the American ambassador may have averted an armed clash.30
At a meeting between Robert Murphy and Lebanese Commander-in-Chief General Faud Chehab—related by Eveland who was briefed by Murphy afterwards— the American diplomat was warned that the Lebanese people were “”restless, resentful, and determined that Chamoun should resign and U.S. troops leave at once. Otherwise the general could not be responsible for the consequences. For fifteen years his officers had acted behind his back; now, he feared, they might revolt and attack the American forces.”
Murphy had listened patiently, Eveland relates, and then …
escorted the general to a window overlooking the sea. Pointing to the supercarrier Saratoga, swinging at anchor on the horizon, the President’s envoy had quietly explained that just one of its aircraft, armed with nuclear weapons, could obliterate Beirut and its environs from the face of the earth. To this, Murphy quickly added that he’d been sent to be sure that it wouldn’t be necessary for American troops to fire a shot. Shehab [Chehab], he was certain, would ensure that there were no provocations on the Lebanese side. That, Murphy told me, ended the conversation. It now seemed that the general had “regained control” of his troops.31
None of the parties seem to have considered what would have been the fate of the thousands of American military personnel in a Beirut obliterated from the face of the earth.
Civil warfare in Lebanon increased in intensity in the two weeks following the American intervention. During this period, CIA transmitters in the Middle East were occupied in sending out propaganda broadcasts of disguised origin, a tactic frequently employed by the Agency. In the case of one broadcast which has been reported, the apparent aim was to deflect anti-US feelings onto the Soviet Union and other targets.
But the residents of the Middle East were not the only ones who may have been taken in by the spurious broadcast, for it was picked up by the American press and passed on to an unwitting American public; the following appeared in US newspapers:
BEIRUT, July 23 (UPI)—A second mysterious Arab radio station went on the air yesterday calling itself the “Voice of Justice” and claiming to be broadcasting from Syria. Its program heard here consisted of bitter criticism against Soviet Russia and Soviet Premier Khrushchev. Earlier the “Voice of Iraq” went on the air with attacks against the Iraqi revolutionary government. The “Voice of Justice” called Khrushchev the “hangman of Hungary”and warned the people of the Middle East they would suffer the same fate as the Hungarians if the Russians got a foothold in the Middle East.32
On 31 July, the Chamber of Deputies easily chose General Chehab to succeed Chamoun as president in September, an event that soon put a damper on the fighting in Lebanon and marked the beginning of the end of the conflict which, in the final analysis, appears to have been more a violent protest than a civil war. Tension was further eased by the US announcement shortly afterwards of its intention to withdraw a Marine battalion as a prelude to a general withdrawal.
The last American troops left Lebanon in late October without having fired a shot in anger. What had their presence accomplished?
The authors of the Pentagon study referred to earlier concluded that “A balanced assessment of U.S. behavior in the Lebanon crisis is made difficult by the suspicion that the outcome might have been much the same if the United States had done nothing.
Even Eisenhower expressed some doubt on this score.”33
American intervention against the new Iraqi government was more covert. A secret plan for a joint US-Turkish invasion of the country, code-named Operation CANNON-BONE, was drafted by the US joint Chiefs of Staff shortly after the coup in 1958. Reportedly, only Soviet threats to intercede on Iraq’s side forced Washington to hold back. But in 1960, the United States began to fund the Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq who were fighting for a measure of autonomy.34
At the same time, the Iraqis, under Brig. General Abdul Karim Kassem, started to work towards the creation of an international organization to counter the power of the Western oil monopolies. This was to become OPEC, and was not received with joy in certain Western quarters. In February 1960, the Near East Division of the CIA’s clandestine services requested that the Agency find a way to “incapacitate” Kassem for “promoting Soviet bloc political interests in Iraq”. “We do not consciously seek subject’s permanent removal from the scene,” said the Near East Division. “We also do not object should this complication develop.”
As matters turned out, the CIA mailed a monogrammed handkerchief containing an “incapacitating agent” to Kassem from an Asian country. If the Iraqi leader did in fact receive it, it certainly didn’t kill him. That was left to his own countrymen who executed him three years later.35
The significance of the Lebanese intervention, as well as the shows of force employed in regard to Jordan and Syria, extended beyond the immediate outcomes. In the period before and after the intervention, Eisenhower, Dulles and other Washington officials offered numerous different justifications for the American military action in Lebanon: protecting American lives; protecting American property; the Eisenhower Doctrine, with various interpretations; Lebanese sovereignty, integrity, independence, etc.; US national interest; world peace; collective self-defense; justice; international law; law and order; fighting “Nasserism” … the need to “do something” …36
In summing up the affair in his memoirs, president Eisenhower seemed to settle upon one rationale in particular, and this is probably the closest to the truth of the matter. This was to put the world—and specifically the Soviet Union and Nasser—on notice that the United States had virtually unlimited power, that this power could be transported to any corner of the world with great speed, that it could and would be used to deal decisively with any situation with which the United States was dissatisfied, for whatever reason.37
At the same time, it was a message to the British and the French that there was only one Western superpower in the post-war world, and that their days and that their days as great powers in the Lands of Oil were over.
weather events took out internet giving me time to study some history, which is a good thing. the present can always be understood better by studying the past …. found this jewel of excerpt from“Killing Hope” by William Blum
“Neutrality,” proclaimed John Foster Dulles in 1956, “has increasingly become an obsolete conception, and, except under very exceptional circumstances, it is an immoral and shortsighted conception.”1
The short-sightedness of the neutralist government lay perhaps in its inability to perceive that its neutralism would lead to John Foster Dulles attempting to overthrow it.
Syria was not behaving like Washington thought a Third World government should. For one thing, it was the only state in the area to refuse all US economic or military assistance.
Damascus did not much care for the strings which came attached— the acceptance of military aid usually meant the presence of American military advisers and technicians; furthermore, the US Mutual Security Act of 1955 specified that the recipient country agree to make a contribution to “the defensive strength of the free world”, and declared it US policy “to encourage the efforts of other free nations … to foster private initiative and competition [i.e., capitalism].”2
Another difficulty posed by Syria was that, although its governments of recent years had been more or less conservative and had refrained from unpleasant leftist habits like nationalizing American-owned companies, US officials—suffering from what might be called anti-communist paranoia or being victims of their own propaganda—consistently saw the most ominous handwritings on the walls. To appreciate this, one has to read some of the formerly-secret-now-declassified documents of the National Security Council (NSC), based in part on reports received from the American embassy in Damascus during 1955 and 1956 …
“If the popular leftward trend in Syria continues over any considerable period, there is a real danger that Syria will fall completely under left-wing control either by coup or usurpation of authority” … “the fundamental anti-US and anti-West orientation of the Syrians is stimulated by inevitable political histrionics about the Palestine problem” …
“Four successive short-lived governments in Syria have permitted continuous and increasing Communist activities” … “the Communists support the leftist cliques [in] the army” … “apathy towards Communism on the part of politicians and army officers” is a threat to security … “the Arab Socialist Resurrectionist Party (ASRP)” and “the Communist Party of Syria are capable of bringing about further deterioration of Syrian internal security” … danger of ASRP “coup d’etat” and “increased Communist penetration of government and army” … “Of all the Arab states.
Syria is at the present time the most wholeheartedly devoted to a neutralist policy with strong anti-Western overtones” … “If the present trend continues there is a strong possibility that a Communist-dominated Syria will result, threatening the peace and stability of the area and endangering the achievement of out objectives in the Near East” … we “should give priority consideration to developing courses of action in the Neat East designed to affect the situation in Syria and to recommending specific steps to combat communist subversion” …3
It would appear that the idea of military men who were leftist and/or apathetic to communists must truly have been an incongruous phenomenon to the American official mind. But nowhere in any of the documents is there mention of the leftists/Communists/ASRP having in fact done anything illegal or wicked, although the language employed is similar to what we saw in the Guatemala chapter: These people don’t join anything, they “infiltrate”, they “penetrate”; they “control”, they’re “opportunistic”.
In actuality, the behavior described is like that of other political animals: trying to influence key sectors of the society and win allies. But to the men holding positions of responsibility in the National Security Council and the State Department, the evil intent and danger of such people was so self-evident as not to require articulation.
There is one exception, perhaps expressed to explain away an uncomfortable observation:
In fact, the Communist Party does not appear to have as its immediate objective seizure of power. Rather it seeks to destroy national unity, Co strengthen support for Soviet policies and opposition to Western policies and to exacerbate tensions in the Arab world. It has made significant progress coward these objectives.4
There is no indication of what the author had in mind by “national unity”.
A leftist-oriented or communist-dominated Syrian government, reasoned the US ambassador to Syria, James Moose, Jr., would clearly threaten American interests in neighboring Turkey, which, in turn, could outflank all the states of the NATO alliance, and so forth and so on.5 It was clear that since the Syrian government could not be relied upon to do anything about this major impending disaster, something would have to be done about the Syrian government.
To this we add the usual Middle-Eastern intrigue: in this case, Iraq plotting with the British to topple the governments in both Syria and Nasser’s Egypt; the British pressuring the Americans to join the conspiracy;6 and the CIA compromising—leave Nasser alone, at least for the time being, and we’ll do something about Syria.7
An implausible scenario, scandalous, but in the time-honored tradition of the Middle East. The British were old hands at it. Dulles and the Americans, still exulting in their king-making in Iran, were looking to further remake the oil region in their own image.
Wilbur Crane Eveland was a staff member of the National Security Council, the high-level inter-agency group in Washington which, in theory, monitors and controls CIA clandestine activities. Because of Eveland’s background and experience in the Middle East, the CIA had asked that he be lent to the Agency for a series of assignments there.
Archibald Roosevelt was, like his cousin Kermit Roosevelt, a highly-placed official of the CIA; both were grandsons of Teddy. Kermit had masterminded the overthrow of the Iranian government in 1953. Archie had fond hopes of doing the same in Syria.
Michail Bey Ilyan had once served as Syria’s foreign minister. In 1956 he was the leader of the conservative Populist Party.
At a meeting of these three men in Damascus, Syria on 1 July 1956, as described by Eveland in his memoirs, Roosevelt asked Ilyan “what would be needed to give the Syrian conservatives enough control to purge the communists and their leftist sympathizers. Ilyan responded by ticking off names and places: the radio stations in Damascus and Aleppo; a few key senior officers; and enough money to buy newspapers now in Egyptian and Saudi hands.”
“Roosevelt probed further. Could these things, he asked Ilyan, be done with U.S. money and assets alone, with no other Western or Near Eastern country involved?”
“Without question, Ilyan replied, nodding gravely.”
On 26 July, Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser announced that his government was taking over the operation of the Suez Canal. The reaction of the Britishand French was swift and inflamed. The United States was less openly hostile, though it was critical and Egyptian government funds in the US were frozen. This unexpected incident put a crimp in the CIA’s plans, for—as Ilyan explained to Eveland in despair— Nasser was now the hero of the Arab world, and collaboration with any Western power to overthrow an Arab government was politically indefensible.
Eventually the coup was scheduled for 25 October. The logistics, as outlined by Ilyan, called for senior colonels in the Syrian army to: take control of Damascus, Aleppo, Homs, and Hamah. The frontier posts with Jordan, Iraq, and Lebanon would also be captured in order to seal Syria’s borders until the radio stations announced that a new government had taken over under Colonel Kabbani, who would place armored units at key positions throughout Damascus. Once control had been established, Ilyan would inform the civilians he’d selected that they were to form a new government, but in order to avoid leaks none of them would be told until just a week before the coup.
For this operation, money would have to change hands. Ilyan asked for and received half a million Syrian pounds (approximately $167,000). The Syrian further stipulated that to guarantee their participation the Syrian plotters would require assurance from the highest level of the American government that the US would both back the coup and immediately grant recognition to the new government. This, Ilyan explained, could be communicated as follows: in April, President Eisenhower had said that the United States would oppose aggression in the Middle East, hut not without congressional approval. Could the president repeat this statement, in light of the Suez crisis, he asked, on a specified date when Ilyan’s colleagues would be told to expect it?
Eisenhower’s words would provide the guarantees they were seeking.
An affirmative reply to Ilyan’s plan arrived in Damascus from Washington the next day. A proper occasion for the requested statement would have to be found and Secretary Dulles would be the one to use it. The scheme was for Dulles to make public reference to Eisenhower’s statement between 16 and 18 October, thus giving Ilyan the week he needed to assemble his civilian team.
Before long, John Foster Dulles held a press conference. In light of recent Israeli attacks on Jordan, one of the reporters present asked whether the United States might come to Jordan’s aid per “our declaration of April 9”.
Yes, replied the Secretary of State, repeating the reference to the April statement. The date was 16 October.
But following close on the heels of this was a message from Ilyan in Damascus to Eveland in Beirut postponing the date of the coup for five days to 30 October because Colonel Kabbani had told Ilyan that his people weren’t quite ready.
The postponement was crucial. Early in the morning of the 30th, a very distraught Michail Ilyan appeared at Eveland’s door. “Last night,” he cried, “the Israelis invaded Egypt and are right now heading for the Suez Canal! How could you have asked us to overthrow our government at the exact moment when Israel started a war with an Arab state?”8
The leftist-trend-in-Syria bell continued to ring in Washington. In January 1957, wrote President Eisenhower later, CIA Director Alien Dulles “submitted reports indicating that the new Syrian Cabinet was oriented to the left”.9
Two months later, Dulles prepared a “Situation Report on Syria” in which he wrote of an “increasing trend toward a decidedly leftist, pro-Soviet government”. Dulles was concerned with “organized leftist officers belonging to the Arab Socialist Resurrection Party”.10 That same month, a State Department internal document stated:
The British are believed to favor active stimulation of a change in the present regime in Syria, in an effort to assure a pro-Western orientation on the part of future Syrian governments. … The United States shares the concern of the British Government over the situation in Syria.11
Then, in June, an internal Department of Defense memorandum spoke of a possible “leftist coup”. This was to be carried out, according to the memo, against “the leftist Syrian Government”.12
Thus it was that in Beirut and Damascus, CIA officers were trying their hands again at stage-managing a Syrian coup. On this occasion, Kermit Roosevelt, rather than cousin Archibald, was pulling the strings.
He arranged for one Howard (“Rocky”!) Stone to be transferred to Damascus from the Sudan to be sure that the “engineering” was done by a “pro”. Stone was, at thirty-two, already a legend in the CIA’s clandestine service as the man who had helped Kim Roosevelt overthrow the Iranian government four years earlier, though what Stone’s precise contribution was has remained obscure.
The proposed beneficiary of this particular plot was to be Adib Shishakly, former right-wing dictator of Syria, living covertly in Lebanon. Shishakly’s former chief of security, Colonel Ibrahim Husseini, now Syrian military attache in Rome, was secretly slipped into Lebanon under cover of a CIA-fabricated passport. Husseini was then to be smuggled across the Syrian border in the trunk of a US diplomatic car in order to meet with key Syrian CIA agents and provide assurances that Shishakly would come back to rule once Syria’s government had been overthrown.
But the coup was exposed before it ever got off the ground.
Syrian army officers who had been assigned major roles in the operation walked into the office of Syria’s head of intelligence, Colonel Sarraj, turned in their bribe money and named the CIA officers who had paid them. Lieut. Col. Robert Molloy, the American army attache, Francis Jeton, a career CIA officer, officially Vice Consul at the US Embassy, and the legendary Howard Stone, with the title of Second Secretary for Political Affairs, were all declared personae -non gratae and expelled from the country in August.
Col. Molloy was determined to leave Syria in style. As his car approached the Lebanese border, he ran his Syrian motorcycle escort off the road and shouted to the fallen rider that “Colonel Sarraj and his commie friends” should be told that Molloy would “beat the shit out of them with one hand tied behind his back if they ever crossed his path again.”
The Syrian government announcement which accompanied the expulsion order stated that Stone had first made contact with the outlawed Social Nationalist Party and then with the army officers. When the officers reported the plot, they were told to continue their contacts with the Americans and later met Shishakly and Husseini at the homes of US Embassy staff members.
Husseini reportedly told the officers that the United States was prepared to give a new Syrian government between 300 and 400 million dollars in aid if the government would make peace with Israel.
An amusing aside to the affair occurred when the Syrian Defense Minister and the Syrian Ambassador to Italy disputed the claim that Husseini had anything to do with the plot. The Ambassador pointed out that Husseini had not been in Syria since 20 July and his passport showed no indication that he had been out of Italy since that time.
The State Department categorized the Syrian charge as “complete fabrications” and retaliated by expelling the Syrian ambassador and a Second Secretary and recalling the American ambassador from Syria. It marked the first time since 1915 that the United States had expelled a chief of mission of a foreign country.13
In the wake of the controversy, the New York Times reported that:
There are numerous theories about why the Syrians struck at the United States.
One is that they acted at the instigation of the Soviet Union. Another is that the Government manufactured an anti-U.S. spy story to distrait public attention from the significance of Syria’s negotiations with Moscow.14
In the same issue, a Times editorial speculated upon other plausible-sounding explanations.15
Neither in its news report nor in its editorial did the New York Times seem to consider even the possibility that the Syrian accusation might be true.
President Eisenhower, recalling the incident in his memoirs, offered no denial to the accusation. His sole comment on the expulsions was: “The entire action was shrouded in mystery but the suspicion was strong that the Communists had taken control of the government. Moreover, we had fresh reports that arms were being sent into Syria from the Soviet bloc.”16
Syria’s neutralism/” leftism” continued to obsess the United States. Five years later, when John F. Kennedy was in the White House, he met with British Prime Minister Macmillan and the two leaders agreed, according to a CIA report, on “Penetration and cultivation of disruptive elements in the Syrian armed forces, particularly in the Syrian army, so that Syria can be guided by the West.”17
Decades later, Washington was still worried, though Syria had still not “gone communist”.
Killing Hope PDF Here … lots more info
Israel is heading towards a profound internal crisis: a Jew-on-Jew confrontation, which has major implications for its relations with the Palestinians, as well as its Arab neighbors. The conflict is between the highly militarized Zionist state and the Haredi religious movement over a number of issues, including recent proposals by the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to end the religious exemption of Haradi youth from serving in Israel ’s colonial armed forces.
Haredim and the Zionist Colonial State
Even before the forcible imposition (‘founding’) of the state of Israel , the Haredim were opposed to Zionism. Today the vast majority of Haredim in Israel remain staunchly opposed to the Zionist state for religious, ethical and political reasons. Haredi religious teaching claims that the Jewish people are bound by three oaths: (1) not to settle in Israel by using force or violence, (2) not to make war with other nations and (3) not to act as if the other nations of the world would persecute Israel .
Haredim opposed Israel ’s violent ethnic cleaning of over 850,000 Palestinians in the course of establishing the Israeli State and continues to oppose Israeli settlers’ violently land grabs against Palestinians. Unlike other so-called ‘ultra-Orthodox’ sects, who support Zionist colonialism and bless the Israeli military, the Haredim maintain that militarism corrupts the spirit and that Zionists have transformed Jews from righteous followers of the Torah into rabid ethnocentric supporters of a militarist state. For the Haredim, ‘state worship’, especially the waving of the Israeli flag in the temple, is a sacrilege comparable to the renegade Jews condemned by Moses for worshipping the Golden Calf.
The majority of Haredim boycott elections, organize their own schools (Yeshivas), encourage students to deepen their religious studies, emphasize community and family values (of a profoundly patriarchal sort) with numerous children and strongly reject the Zionist state’s efforts to conscript Haredi youth into their colonial occupation army, the so-called Israeli Defense (sic) Force (IDF). All major Zionist political parties and the ruling colonial regime unite to demonize the Haredim, claiming they are shirking their patriotic military responsibilities. Via the mass media and public pronouncements Zionist politicians and the state incite Israeli hatred against the Haredim: A study in 2006 claimed that over a third of Israeli Jews identified the Haredim as the most unpopular group in Israel .
The Haredim, on the other hand, have reason to fear and loath the secular militarist Zionist state and politicians: They claim that after World War II in the Zionist-controlled relocation camps for refugee Jewish children in Teheran, the Jewish Agency imposed Zionist ideology and militarist anti-religious policies in order to cut Haredim children off from their spiritual roots. According to one Haredim report many religious Jewish youth from Poland , mostly survivors of the Holocaust and Soviet Russia, were subjected to “unimaginable mental and physical cruelty with one goal in mind: (the) obliteration of Judaism”. Given the Israeli drive today to harness a corrupted form of Judaism to serve colonial militarism, the Haredim have every reason to believe that the conscription of their sons and daughters will be accompanied by cruel, systematic Zionist brainwashing to ensure they make efficient (brutal) occupation soldiers.
Haredim versus Israeli State Values
The Haredim fervently believe in and practice the Biblical teaching: “Be fruitful and multiply”. They have large families and the median age among the Haredim is 16 years. Their peaceful message to the militarist Zionists could be summed up as: “Make babies, not bombs”.
Some Haredim leaders have met with Palestinian and Iranian officials and, in line with their religious doctrine, have declared their support for peaceful resolution of conflicts and denounced Israel ’s aggressive military posture.
Haredim are intensely religious and dedicate their time to discuss and debate the readings of their great religious scholars: Their message to the Zionists is to read Maimonides’ ethical treatises rather than listen to Netanyahu’s bellicose, blood curdling rants.
Haredim live and study largely within the confines of their close communities. They insist on sending their sons to the yeshivas to study religious doctrine rather than to the West Bank to kill Palestinians. They call on their children to serve G-d – not the IDF. They seek truth in the Torah – not in conquest via the Preventive War Doctrines espoused by prestigious Israeli and overseas Zionist academic militarists.
Haredim focus on building a better life within their community; they reject the efforts of the Zionist state to entice them into joining the violent self-styled ‘Jewish’ settlers engaged in brutal land grabs in the West Bank , in the name of “contributing to society (sic)”. The ‘introverted Haredi way of life’ is seen as a righteous alternative to the crass militarism, money laundering, financial speculation, human body part trafficking and real estate swindles rife among the elite Israelis and among sectors of overseas Zionists engaged in procuring multi- billion dollar tribute from the US Treasury.
Haredim believe, with exemplary evidence, that conscripting their youth into the Israeli colonial army would destroy their moral values, as their sons would be forced to grope and search Arab women at checkpoints, break the legs of stone-throwing Palestinian children, defend lawless self-styled ‘Jewish’ settlers as they paint obscene graffiti in mosques and churches and attack Arab children on their way to school … not to speak of the ill effects of what secular Israeli Jews call a “modern education”, full of historical fabrications about the origins of Israel, scientific readings on high tech war-making and “advanced” economic doctrines proclaiming the sacred role of the free market, and justifying the 60% poverty rate among Haredim as “self-induced”.
The Haredim demand that the Israeli Jewish elite stop trying to conscript their youth into the IDF and stop the job discrimination, which has trippled the unemployment rate among Haredim.
The Coming ‘Civil War’: Zionist State versus the Haredim
The elected leader, Yair Lapid, of newly formed Yesh Atid Party, dubbed a “centrist” by the New York Times, and a ‘moderate’ by the leading ideologues of the US Zionist “lobby”, ran on a platform of forcibly ending the Haredi exemption from conscription into the colonial military service. Yair Lapid, in the run-up to joining a new Netanyahu coalition regime, has launched a vicious attack on the Haredim. Lapid premises his agreement to joining Netanyahu’s war machine on his plans to forcibly confront the Haredi leadership. Yair Lapid taps the class and secular resentments of Israel’s upwardly mobile youth who bitterly complain of having to serve in the army, thus delaying their money-making opportunities, while the poor, semi-literate “blacks” (a derogatory term referring to the clothing of Haredim) engage in “worthless studies” of the Torah. Lapid, using the same perverted logic as Netanyahu, claims that “Ten percent of the population cannot threaten 90 percent with civil war”, (Financial Times, 2/14/13, p. 6.).
Once again, the executioner (Lapid) accuses the victim (Haredim) of the violence he is about to commit. Lapid’s Yesh Atid, the centrist (sic) party, has allied with Naftali Bennett’s neo-fascist ‘Jewish Home Party’ (pushing for the annexation of all of Palestine and expulsion of non-Jews) in smashing Haredi exemption to military conscription. They hold veto power over the next cabinet. This rabidly secular militarist assault has provoked great opposition and united the otherwise Zionist-religious parties: The Shas Party (Sephardic Haredim) and United Torah Judaism have taken up the defense of the Haredim.
Lines are being drawn far beyond a Haredim-Zionist State confrontation.
The Larger Meaning of the Haredim-Zionist Conflict
The Haredim hostility to the secular Zionist state is in part based on its opposition to military conscription, thus calling into question Israeli militarism, in general, and specifically its policy of colonial occupation and regional aggression. While some Haredim may oppose conscription for religious reasons and seek exemption solely for its own youth, objectively, the effect is to undermine Israel ’s violation of Palestinian rights and to call into question the entire apartheid system. By speaking to spiritual values, they deny the legitimacy of the idea of a Jewish police state based on force, violence, torture and disappearance of political prisoners. Their questioning of the institutional configuration upholding Jewish supremacy and Israel as the homeland of the Chosen People, they strike a powerful blow at the ideological underpinnings of the overseas activity of the Zionist power configuration. Their animosity to the fusion of Jewish chauvinism and religious rituals and the tribal deification of the Israeli state is counterposed to their embrace of Moses Ten Commandments.
The Haredim study the teaching of the profound Judaic philosopher Maimonides and abhor Zionist militaristic strategists like Walzer, Dershowitz, Kagan, Feith, Netanyahu, etc. who preach colonial “just war” doctrines. Representing 10% of the Israeli population and a far greater percentage of military age youth, the Haredim are in a position to sharply limit the scope of future Zionist wars. If they succeed in blocking conscription, they would provide a lasting contribution to making the world in general, and the Middle East in particular, a more secure and peaceful place to live.
Facing the prospect of a loss of future cannon fodder to sustain its colonial ventures, and in their frenzied attacks on the Haredim, the Israeli-Zionist elite have incited the majority of Israeli Jews to demonize them as ‘backward’, illiterate, freeloaders and to blame the religious curriculum for their growing and current 60% rate of poverty and high unemployment. Israel ’s war machine needs fresh recruits to maintain its imperial quest for a Greater Israel.
Demographics – with families exceeding five children –indicate the Haredim are likely to double their percentage of the Israeli population over the next two decades. Faced with the ‘facts on the ground and in the cradle’, the colonial expansionist imperative drives all the leading Zionist parties to end Haredi exemptions. In response Haredi leaders threaten to engage in massive civil disobedience if the Zionists impose conscription, rightly seeing conscription of its youth as an assault on its most profoundly held spiritual and family values and as an opening wedge in destroying traditional community solidarity and reciprocal relations.
The Haredim share a common plight with Israel ’s Arab population: Both communities face increasing police harassment, discrimination, religious persecution and rising levels of poverty. A Haredim-Arab alliance would unite 30% of the population against a common secular militarist and plutocratic enemy. Farfetched as it seems on the subjective level, there are objective historical and structural processes which are driving the two groups together.
It is one of the great ironies of history that the world’s modern secular anti-imperialist movements should find their most consequential allies among Israel ’s most traditional and deeply religious movement.
I get it – I understand your message
In terms of blood and iron.
You are strong
You have power over me.
And so –
What use is your power?
What is the worst you can do to me
Tear apart my body
Leave me a bleeding corpse?
Yes, you can do that
If you want. Is that your victory?
Everyone has to die someday.
Killing me is not your victory.
I will not bow to you
You will not make me cower
In fear. You can kill me
But you can’t frighten me
You can’t keep me silent.
You can crush me
But you can’t frighten me
You can defeat me
But you can’t conquer me.
And you can knock me down
But you can’t make me bow down
And that is your defeat
That is my victory.
Copyright B Purkayastha 2013
By Abdul Karim Sabawi – Gaza
There are no weapons more lethal than yours
No men and horses mightier than yours
And of all those who have occupied my land
Yours is the darkest, most dreadful occupation
You choose to kill
But killing is a parasite
It will eat away your spirit
Until you’re exhausted
I am not like you
I wont allow you to stain my soul
And to seduce me into killing you
Three things stop me
My beliefs*, values and heritage
I am not like you
Arrogant of your ignorance
Why not ask the sea waves
Ask the sand
where did the past invaders go?
Visit the museums,
The size of your head is no different to theirs
Neither is the size of your shoes
Nor will your fate be any different
I am not like you
Raised in isolation
In closed communities
Apart from all the others
I am an Arab
My seas are wide open
My sky is without end
With enduring sunshine
I am not looking to eat someone’s food
Or steal someone’s land
I inherited my land
From my father and his ancestors
I inherited all religions
And I pray on Friday, Saturday and on Sunday
I am not like you
Pretending to sit on God’s lap
Carrying a vengeful sword
Starting war after war
My God is in my heart
Light, love and mercy
I walk slowly
I plant a seed for charity
It yields a tree
I dig for water wells with a needle
I build an ark for the survivors
And wait for the rain
Which will bring in the flood
I wait for the breeze of revolution
To come and take away the oppressors
I am in no hurry
The sun that will set today
Will rise again tomorrow
I have patience
I have strength
I have mercy
I have forgiveness
My God is compassion
In his name
I will liberate my land
And all the lands.
I will restore humanity
In the soul of man
I am not like you
So take aim
Until you’re exhausted
– Abdul Karim Sabawi is Palestinian poet from Gaza. This poem was contributed to PalestineChronicle.com.
*Satyagraha is the Philosophy of nonviolent protest, or passive resistance. Mohandas K. Gandhi introduced it in South Africa (1906) and, from 1917, developed it in India in the period leading up to independence from Britain.
*Islam has strict rules for killing in the battlefield and forbids the intentional targeting of civilians in times of war.
If you like this article, please consider making a contribution to the Palestine Chronicle.
Yemeni forces have captured a Saudi military base in the kingdom’s border region of Najran during a retaliatory operation, killing several of the troops stationed there.
(Presstv) — A video released by the Houthi Ansarullah movement on Wednesday shows the Yemeni forces ambush the base, using simple weaponry.
According to the al-Masirah television network, the Yemeni forces seized Saudi weapons after capturing the base.
In response, Saudi helicopters hovered over the base and bombarded the area without hitting a specific target, the report said.
There has been no exact information about the number of Saudi casualties during Riyadh’s war on Yemen, as the kingdom has sought to cover up the issue.
On Tuesday, the Ansarullah movement released footage of the moment its forces shot down a Saudi F-15 fighter jet flying over the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, by a surface-to-air missile.
Saudi Arabia, backed by a coalition of its allies, started the war on Yemen in March 2015, hoping that with blunt force, it would be able to restore power in a matter of weeks to a former Riyadh-friendly Yemeni regime.
The Saudi regime has, however, been unable to accomplish the objectives of its military aggression some three years into the war, which has claimed around 13,600 lives.
Despite the coalition’s superior aggregate military power, Riyadh has been bogged down in the war against mostly tribal fighters with limited fighting equipment.
Saudi Arabia, already economically challenged, has decided to pay out an extra 5,000 Saudi riyals (1,333 US dollars) monthly to the troops fighting on the front lines in the war on Yemen, where reports have drawn a dark picture of the Saudi-led military personnel’s morale.
1:11 pm, 29 December
Israel continues with a campaign of targeting mosques, places of worship, which are embedded in towns and densely-packed camps, in addition to strikes on other civilian infrastructure. The al-Burno Mosque [photos] across from Shifa hospital was bombed late on the 1st night, completely leveling it. Three were targeted in Jabaliya camp, not far from the hospital where I and other internationals were staying to monitor the situation. Another 2 mosques in Gaza’s southeastern Khan Younis city were targeted.
Emad Akal mosque
The first mosque, Emad Akal mosque, was leveled, killing 5 young girls, ages 4, 8, 12, 14, 17, and endangering the lives of a 1-week old baby, a 1.5 year old child, and countless other civilians living and sleeping in their homes next to the mosque when the F-16’s missile struck it, causing the walls and rooves of neighbouring homes and buildings to…
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December 8, 2014, Crescent-online
Beirut, Eva Bartlett:
As the Zionist state increasingly and openly reveals its criminal, genocidal nature, more and more citizens from around the world are waking up and standing in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for justice. Activists, academics, journalists, unions and ordinary people are confronting the lies of Zionist propaganda, rendering the Zionist narrative weak and its genocidal, colonial agenda opaque.
Rather than leaving the issues of justice, the return of Palestinian refugees, the release of Palestinian Political Prisoners from Zionist jails, the Palestinian just struggle for sovereignty, and ending the siege on the Palestinians of Gaza to institutions and governments, Palestinians and supporters take matters into their own hands, among other actions organizing conferences to share strategies and successes and build networks.
Over 80 delegates from around the world attended the Second “Global Convention of Solidarity With Palestine” in…
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An interview on The Last American Vagabond, November 18. Please do check out his other videos and support his work! Follow him here:
In his introductory remarks, he writes:
“In a time of universal deceit, telling the Truth is truly a revolutionary act, and that has never been more apparent than in today’s hyper-partisan climate, where facts no longer hold sway, and one’s opinion is now only as strong as the crowd that surrounds it. It has been conditioned over many years into the masses that the way they feel, is now more important than the facts at hand. Now some may say that is a good thing, that information is so manipulated today, that all we have is the way we feel, our gut instincts. But once we realize that our feelings have long been programmed and manufactured by way of news media and entertainment, the very feelings we…
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Everything the American people detested so much about Barack Obama has not only characterized the presidency of his successor, it’s arguably gotten much worse.
The partisan liberal media narrative that Trump is undoing what Obama did is as fake as fake news can get.
Don’t believe me?
The following is a list of 100 ways Donald Trump is just like Barack Obama.
We might as well consider Donald Trump a third Obama term on steroids.
Donald Trump is Barack Obama 2.0
Nov 2, 2017, RT Op Edge
As if we have no memory, corporate media continues to recycle accusations of starvation, chemical weapons, and more, in the propaganda war on Syria.
In Syria, there never was a “revolution.” Instead, it was a premeditated war on Syria by foreign powers (namely the US, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, and Israel) who armed even Al-Qaeda (something Qatar recently admitted).
In support of the conflict comes some of the most egregious war propaganda, endorsed by media, Hollywood celebs, and faux human rights groups. The following is a brief outline of some of the most obvious hoax personalities and purveyors of misinformation on Syria.
Irrefutable documentation reveals that the group known as the White Helmets and portrayed as “neutral, volunteer, rescuers,” are obscenely-funded by Western nations, work solely in Al-Qaeda and co-extremist areas, and have…
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Photo © Eva Bartlett. A group of schoolgirls pause for a portrait photo at Pyongyang’s zoo. Watch a clip from the zoo.
By Eva Bartlett
*all photos/videos by Eva Bartlett
PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA — North Korea (the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or DPRK) is one of the least understood and most lied about countries on Earth. In Western corporate media renditions, most news about the country is alarmist (of “the North Koreans want to kill you” type), fake (“all men have to have the same haircut,” a story originating from Washington itself), or about the North’s military.
Accounts of the nation’s military prowess and threat generally ignore (as noted here) the presence of the 28,500 U.S. troops occupying South Korea, their 38 military installations, and more recently their Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery in South Korea — “a U.S. radar system opposed by the…
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War Street, n.
Definition: Collective noun for financial institutions which make immense profits out of fomenting wars, “humanitarian interventions”, weapons sold to be used in those wars and “humanitarian interventions”, and in the loot of resources and “reconstruction” which is intended to follow said wars and “humanitarian interventions”.
Synonyms: Wall Street, military-industrial complex.
Alwaght– The Russian Defense Ministry has questioned the US quick move to help newly-liberated Syrian city of Raqqa as suspicious and a cover-up for devastation caused by the US-led coalition’s “barbaric bombings” and Washington-backed mainly Kurdish militias during months-long operation.
The so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), predominantly-Kurdish Militia forces that is backed by the US, has recently took control of Raqqa after several hundred ISIS terrorists and their family members left the ruined city to ISIS-controlled parts of Deir ez-Zor governorate under a a deal struck with the SDF.
The victory, however, came at the high cost of the virtual annihilation of the city itself and killing pf some 2,000 civilians.
“Raqqa has not managed to cool down after bombings of the international coalition and the high-ranking officials from Washington, Paris and Berlin have started making statements about the urgent allocation of tens of millions dollars and euros to Raqqa. These millions should allegedly help to restore peaceful life in the city. We welcome such generosity, but we have questions,” Sputnik cited Russian Defense Ministry spokesman as saying on Sunday.
Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov called the urgent intention of the US-led coalition members to allocate financial aid to the Syrian Raqqa suspicious amid repeated refusals to deliver humanitarian aid to the Syrians affected by the civil war.
“[The only explanation of this] is an aspiration to quickly cover up the tracks of the barbaric bombings of the United States and the coalition’s aircraft that have buried thousands of civilians liberated from ISIS under the ruins of Raqqa,” Defense Ministry spokesman explained.
The spokesman added that the statements made by the US authorities, including the White House, the Pentagon and the State Department, about the crucial role of the Raqqa’s liberation in the struggle against the terrorists and the contribution of the US-led coalition to this fight, also could puzzle.
He assumed that Washington might consider Raqqa was the only place controlled by ISIS in Syria, “a provincial town, with the prewar population of about 200,000 and with the population of no more than 45,000 before the beginning of the coalition’s operation to liberate it that lasted for five months.”
At the same time, Konashenkov claimed, the Syrian army supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces liberated the city of Deir ez-Zor in 10 days, while it was inhabited by more than 500,000 before the conflict.