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Eye-Witness Syria: (America’s) Barbarians At The Gate

June 15, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Now that I’m back here in America after personally observing Syria’s recent presidential elections, I’ve been totally amazed at some of the fabrications, gross exaggerations and out-right lies that my country’s mainstream media has come up with regarding these vote results.

“Election fraud in Syria!” the newspapers cry over and over again.  “Assad forces Syrians to vote for him!  The elections were coerced!” plus many many other words to that effect.  And even President Obama jumped on the band wagon — after even he himself has committed election fraud of a sort, having run on a ticket of peace and more jobs and then giving us war and no jobs instead.  To say nothing of when G.W. Bush stole the Florida and Ohio elections.  Twice!

Well. I am here to tell you that what they are saying about the Syrian elections is just so much bull dookie.  And how do I know?  I was there.  In Syria.  They weren’t.  Eye-witness accounts always trump outsourced fabrications.  Hopefully.

And so in the name of setting the record straight, I’ve decided to type up all of my various 50 pages of notes that I took over there in order to show you, step by step, minute by minute, what actually happened over in Syria — to me personally.

This eye-witness account is going to be a long read — but an accurate one.  Some good stuff happened.  And some bad stuff.  And some fun stuff too (fun stuff in a war zone?  Huh?)  But I dare you to read it.  And if you do, I’m sure you will find that it will be just like you came along to Syria with me.

Here is the link.

PS:  How much do you know about America’s new “Army of One”?  It’s just not your father’s Army any more.  Or even your son’s (or your daughter’s).  The new U.S. Army appears to have gone totally mercenary — and its new source of recruits goes way far beyond just hiring some Blackwater guys sporting AK-47s or a Bangladeshi kitchen crew.

Under America’s new rules of war, recruiters don’t have offices on Main Street USA any more.  Instead they have offices in poverty-stricken countries like Chechnya, Afghanistan, Somalia and South Sudan — any godforsaken hell-hole where there is over 50% employment.  “Wanna interesting job with good pay,” American recruiters whisper into future soldiers’ ears.  But the good pay these recruiters are offering is this:  When these new soldiers come home in a box, their families might possibly be given burial expenses.

And, trust me, these new recruits are a whole different breed from your traditional G.I. Joe.  They are angry.  They are far from home.  They have had a grueling hand-to-mouth childhood.  Many of them are wingnut religious fanatics who think that the Bible and the Koran are all about slaughter and vengeance, not compassion and justice.  And they truly do not care who they kill.

And did I already mention that these new recruits work for cheap?  No need for pensions plans or VA hospitals or none of that other slacker stuff for them.  These guys are the ultimate outsourcing/cheap labor Republican wet dream.

Too bad that the neo-Nazi blood-thirsty recruits that Wall Street and War Street have hired in Ukraine are refusing to work as cheaply as the ones that they send to Syria.

However, thanks to this new recruiting policy, no one back home in America whines and bellyaches any more because their sons and daughters have been killed while defending America’s military-industrial complex’s oil either.  This is a win-win situation for American war mongers.  The Bush dynasty and Mr. Cheney must be ecstatic right now.  But Eisenhower must be rolling over in his grave.

In addition, these new fanatical terrorist jihadi wingnut recruits are actually really really good at doing what they have come to love best:  Killing and looting.  They just took over Mosul and Tikrit in Iraq, no small feat.  And they have been driving Syria bananas over the last three years, like so many psychotic bedbugs.  Forget the Marines!  These new recruits are always Semper Fi — to whoever pays them peanuts to behead civilians and rape women.  And Americans like you and me are paying billions to keep these wannabe butchers in the field.

Welcome to the new “Army of One”.

PPS:  Perhaps I may be wrong about all those crazy-eyed jihadis and wingnut foreign fighters earning almost nothing in their American paychecks.  I just read an article about how ISIS (the main jihadi gang of thugs operating in Syria) has pretty much sacked a lot of Syria’s wealth.

Basically ISIS has just swooped in and looted Syria like so many pirates — and now, with American and Saudi help, it is also looting Iraq too.  Let me make one thing clear:  These barbarians do not want to start an Islamic civil society in the Middle East.  They just want to plunder.  “Argh.”

According to Alakbar English, “ISIS currently controls many [oil] fields and is battling for control for more fields still.  According to al-Nusra sources, one oil well south of Raqqa brings in up to $1.3 million per day, while other fields in and around Raqqa like Zamla, al-Tabaqa, and Kuniko bring in $500,000 per day, in addition to unknown revenues from the Jazal and Shaer oil fields, and al-Jafra (oil and gas)

“ISIS also profits from thousands of kidnappings and ransoms involving locals and foreigners, including journalists, as well as robbery and looting, including of archaeological sites and factories.  For example, ISIS seized control of large factories in Aleppo, including the government-owned railway and cables factory, a batteries factory, and a tractor factory.  In some cases, ISIS dismantled and sold their equipment and machinery.  Al-Nusra sources put the resulting revenues at $1 million per month.

“In addition, ISIS has taken control of grains and cotton production in the eastern regions.  For instance, al-Nusra accuses Amer al-Rafdan, one of the most prominent figures in ISIS, of stealing $5 million worth of cotton in Deir al-Zour alone.  Meanwhile, al-Nusra sources say that ISIS has earned more than $25 million from al-Alia grain silos in Al-Hasakah.

“The conflict in Syria has also allowed ISIS to put its hands on a large arsenal of weaponry, consisting of both weapons seized in combat and weapons purchased directly from arms dealers, who are always willing to sell weapons to just about everyone.”

This is just plain scary.  This is just like when the barbarians sacked and burned ancient Rome.  And now the same Middle Eastern jihadi wingnuts who tried to sack and burn Syria have gone on to sack and burn Mosul and Tikrit too (not to mention Benghazi et al.)  And Baghdad is next.

And one election observer I met in Damascus also brought up another good point.  “Something about this advance does not add up.  How could 1,500 fighters hold a town or a province?  How come American satellites did not see this coming?  Major advances like that are not easily done.”  Not unless America and Saudi Arabia are offering up the technology and footing the bill.  Duh.

Wall Street and War Street should be ashamed for supporting these kinds of hoodlums.  And what if they come over here to sack and burn us next?  “Sorry, I plan to be out of town that weekend,” just isn’t gonna wash.  But, oops, too late now.  The FBI has already claimed that Saudi and Chechen barbarians have already been active in Boston and New York.

These pirating wingnuts in ISIS are psychotic.  The American military-industrial complex may think that their pirate crews in the Middle East are controllable — but, guys, this is not Halloween.  You are playing with fire.


Jane Stillwater is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice
She can be reached at: jpstillwater@yahoo.com

The Ukraine In Turmoil

May 18, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Imagine: you are dressed up for a night on Broadway, but your neighbours are involved in a vicious quarrel, and you have to gun up and deal with the trouble instead of enjoying a show, and a dinner, and perhaps a date. This was Putin’s position regarding the Ukrainian turmoil.

The Russians have readjusted their sights, but they do not intend to bring their troops into the two rebel republics, unless dramatic developments should force them.

It is not much fun to be in Kiev these days. The revolutionary excitement is over, and hopes for new faces, the end of corruption and economic improvement have withered. The Maidan street revolt and the subsequent coup just reshuffled the same marked deck of cards, forever rotating in power.

The new acting President has been an acting prime minister, and a KGB (called “SBU” in Ukrainian) supremo. The new acting prime minister has been a foreign minister. The oligarch most likely to be “elected” President in a few days has been a foreign minister, the head of the state bank, and personal treasurer of two coups, in 2004 (installing Yushchenko) and in 2014 (installing himself). His main competitor, Mme Timoshenko, served as a prime minister for years, until electoral defeat in 2010.

These people had brought Ukraine to its present abject state. In 1991, the Ukraine was richer than Russia, today it is three times poorer because of these people’s mismanagement and theft. Now they plan an old trick: to take loans in Ukraine’s name, pocket the cash and leave the country indebted. They sell state assets to Western companies and ask for NATO to come in and protect the investment.

They play a hard game, brass knuckles and all. The Black Guard, a new SS-like armed force of the neo-nazi Right Sector, prowls the land. They arrest or kill dissidents, activists, journalists. Hundreds of American soldiers, belonging to the “private” company Academi (formerly Blackwater) are spread out in Novorossia, the pro-Russian provinces in the East and South-East. IMF–dictated reforms slashed pensions by half and doubled the housing rents. In the market, US Army rations took the place of local food.

The new Kiev regime had dropped the last pretence of democracy by expelling the Communists from the parliament. This should endear them to the US even more. Expel Communists, apply for NATO, condemn Russia, arrange a gay parade and you may do anything at all, even fry dozens of citizens alive. And so they did.

Odessa

The harshest repressions were unleashed on industrial Novorossia, as its working class loathes the whole lot of oligarchs and ultra-nationalists. After the blazing inferno of Odessa and a wanton shooting on the streets of Melitopol the two rebellious provinces of Donetsk and Lugansk took up arms and declared their independence from the Kiev regime. They came under fire, but did not surrender. The other six Russian-speaking industrial provinces of Novorossia were quickly cowed. Dnepropetrovsk and Odessa were terrorised by personal army of Mr Kolomoysky; Kharkov was misled by its tricky governor.

Russia did not interfere and did not support the rebellion, to the great distress of Russian nationalists in Ukraine and Russia who mutter about “betrayal”. So much for the warlike rhetoric of McCain and Brzezinski.

Putin’s respect for others’ sovereignty is exasperating. I understand this sounds like a joke, — you hear so much about Putin as a “new Hitler”. As a matter of fact, Putin had legal training before joining the Secret Service. He is a stickler for international law. His Russia has interfered with other states much less than France or England, let alone the US. I asked his senior adviser, Mr Alexei Pushkov, why Russia did not try to influence Ukrainian minds while Kiev buzzed with American and European officials. “We think it is wrong to interfere”, he replied like a good Sunday schoolboy. It is rather likely Putin’s advisors misjudged public sentiment. « The majority of Novorossia’s population does not like the new Kiev regime, but being politically passive and conservative, will submit to its rule”, they estimated. “The rebels are a small bunch of firebrands without mass support, and they can’t be relied upon”, was their view. Accordingly, Putin advised the rebels to postpone the referendum indefinitely, a polite way of saying “drop it”.

They disregarded his request with considerable sang froid and convincingly voted en masse for secession from a collapsing Ukraine. The turnout was much higher than expected, the support for the move near total. As I was told by a Kremlin insider, this development was not foreseen by Putin’s advisers.

Perhaps the advisors had read it right, but three developments had changed the voters’ minds and had sent this placid people to the barricades and the voting booths:

1. The first one was the fiery holocaust of Odessa, where the peaceful and carelessly unarmed demonstrating workers were suddenly attacked by regime’s thugs (the Ukrainian equivalent of Mubarak’s shabab) and corralled into the Trade Unions Headquarters. The building was set on fire, and the far-right pro-regime Black Guard positioned snipers to efficiently pick off would-be escapees. Some fifty, mainly elderly, Russian-speaking workers were burned alive or shot as they rushed for the windows and the doors. This dreadful event was turned into an occasion of merriment and joy by Ukrainian nationalists who referred to their slain compatriots as “fried beetles”. (It is being said that this auto-da-fé was organised by the shock troops of Jewish oligarch and strongman Kolomoysky, who coveted the port of Odessa. Despite his cuddly bear appearance, he is pugnacious and violent person, who offered ten thousand dollars for a captive Russian, dead or alive, and proposed a cool million dollars for the head of Mr Tsarev, a Member of Parliament from Donetsk.)

2. The second was the Mariupol attack on May 9, 2014. This day is commemorated as V-day in Russia and Ukraine (while the West celebrates it on May 8). The Kiev regime forbade all V-day celebrations. In Mariupol, the Black Guard attacked the peaceful and weaponless town, burning down the police headquarters and killing local policemen who had refused to suppress the festive march. Afterwards, Black Guard thugs unleashed armoured vehicles on the streets, killing citizens and destroying property.

"That would be Great to help Glue this thing...And you know Fuck the EU" --American Diplomat, Asst. Secretary of State Nuland caught on tape.

The West did not voice any protest; Nuland and Merkel weren’t horrified by this mass murder, as they were by Yanukovich’s timid attempts to control crowds.

The people of these two provinces felt abandoned; they understood that nobody was going to protect and save them but themselves, and went off to vote.

3. The third development was, bizarrely, the Eurovision jury choice of Austrian transvestite Conchita Wurst for a winner of its song contest.

 

The sound-minded Novorossians decided they want no part of such a Europe.

Actually, the people of Europe do not want it either:

It transpired that the majority of British viewers preferred a Polish duo, Donatan & Cleo, with its We Are Slavic. Donatan is half Russian, and has courted controversy in the past extolling the virtues of pan-Slavism and the achievements of the Red Army, says the Independent.

The politically correct judges of the jury preferred to “celebrate tolerance”, the dominant paradigm imposed upon Europe.

This is the second transvestite to win this very political contest; the first one was Israeli singer Dana International.

Such obsession with re-gendering did not go down well with Russians and/or Ukrainians.

The Russians have readjusted their sights, but they do not intend to bring their troops into the two rebel republics, unless dramatic developments should force them.

RUSSIAN PLANS

 Russian President Vladimir Putin on Victory day in Sevastopol May 9, 2014. Maxim Shemetov—Reuters

Imagine: you are dressed up for a night on Broadway, but your neighbours are involved in a vicious quarrel, and you have to gun up and deal with the trouble instead of enjoying a show, and a dinner, and perhaps a date. This was Putin’s position regarding the Ukrainian turmoil.

A few months ago, Russia had made a huge effort to become, and to be seen as, a very civilized European state of the first magnitude. This was the message of the Sochi Olympic games: to re-brand, even re-invent Russia, just as Peter the Great once had, as part of the First World; an amazing country of strong European tradition, of Leo Tolstoy and Malevich, of Tchaikovsky and Diaghilev, the land of arts, of daring social reform, of technical achievements, of modernity and beyond — the Russia of Natasha Rostova riding a Sikorsky ‘copter. Putin spent $60 billion to broadcast this image.

The old fox Henry Kissinger wisely said:

Putin spent $60 billion on the Olympics. They had opening and closing ceremonies, trying to show Russia as a normal progressive state. So it isn’t possible that he, three days later, would voluntarily start an assault on Ukraine. There is no doubt that… at all times he wanted Ukraine in a subordinate position. And at all times, every senior Russian that I’ve ever met, including dissidents like Solzhenitsyn and Brodsky, looked at Ukraine as part of the Russian heritage. But I don’t think he had planned to bring it to a head now.

However, Washington hawks decided to do whatever it takes to keep Russia out in the cold. They were afraid of this image of “a normal progressive state” as such Russia would render NATO irrelevant and undermine European dependence on the US. They were adamant about retaining their hegemony, shattered as it was by the Syrian confrontation. They attacked Russian positions in the Ukraine and arranged a violent coup, installing a viciously anti-Russian regime supported by football fans and neo-Nazis, paid for by Jewish oligarchs and American taxpayers. The victors banned the Russian language and prepared to void treaties with Russia regarding its Crimean naval base at Sebastopol on the Black Sea. This base was to become a great new NATO base, controlling the Black Sea and threatening Russia.

Putin had to deal quickly and so he did, by accepting the Crimean people’s request to join Russian Federation. This dealt with the immediate problem of the base, but the problem of Ukraine remained.

The Ukraine is not a foreign entity to Russians, it is the western half of Russia. It was artificially separated from the rest in 1991, at the collapse of the USSR. The people of the two parts are interconnected by family, culture and blood ties; their economies are intricately connected. While a separate viable Ukrainian state is a possibility, an “independent” Ukrainian state hostile to Russia is not viable and can’t be tolerated by any Russian ruler. And this for military as well as for cultural reasons: if Hitler had begun the war against Russia from its present border, he would have taken Stalingrad in two days and would have destroyed Russia in a week.

A more pro-active Russian ruler would have sent troops to Kiev a long time ago. Thus did Czar Alexis when the Poles, Cossacks and Tatars argued for it in 17th century. So also did Czar Peter the Great, when the Swedes occupied it in the 18th century. So did Lenin, when the Germans set up the Protectorate of Ukraine (he called its establishment “the obscene peace”). So did Stalin, when the Germans occupied the Ukraine in 1941.

Putin still hopes to settle the problem by peaceful means, relying upon the popular support of the Ukrainian people. Actually, before the Crimean takeover, the majority of Ukrainians (and near all Novorossians) overwhelmingly supported some sort of union with Russia. Otherwise, the Kiev coup would not have been necessary. The forced Crimean takeover seriously undermined Russian appeal. The people of Ukraine did not like it. This was foreseen by the Kremlin, but they had to accept Crimea for a few reasons. Firstly, a loss of Sevastopol naval base to NATO was a too horrible of an alternative to contemplate. Secondly, the Russian people would not understand if Putin were to refuse the suit of the Crimeans.

The Washington hawks still hope to force Putin to intervene militarily, as it would give them the opportunity to isolate Russia, turn it into a monster pariah state, beef up defence spending and set Europe and Russia against each other. They do not care about Ukraine and Ukrainians, but use them as pretext to attain geopolitical goals.

The Europeans would like to fleece Ukraine; to import its men as “illegal” workers and its women as prostitutes, to strip assets, to colonise. They did it with Moldova, a little sister of Ukraine, the most miserable ex-Soviet Republic. As for Russia, the EU would not mind taking it down a notch, so they would not act so grandly. But the EU is not fervent about it. Hence, the difference in attitudes.

Putin would prefer to continue with his modernisation of Russia. The country needs it badly. The infrastructure lags twenty or thirty years behind the West. Tired by this backwardness, young Russians often prefer to move to the West, and this brain drain causes much damage to Russia while enriching the West. Even Google is a result of this brain drain, for Sergey Brin is a Russian immigrant as well. So are hundreds of thousands of Russian scientists and artists manning every Western lab, theatre and orchestra. Political liberalisation is not enough: the young people want good roads, good schools and a quality of life comparable to the West. This is what Putin intends to deliver.

He is doing a fine job of it. Moscow now has free bikes and Wi-Fi in the parks like every Western European city. Trains have been upgraded. Hundreds of thousands of apartments are being built, even more than during the Soviet era. Salaries and pensions have increased seven-to-tenfold in the past decade. Russia is still shabby, but it is on the right track. Putin wants to continue this modernisation.

As for the Ukraine and other ex-Soviet states, Putin would prefer they retain their independence, be friendly and work at a leisurely pace towards integration a la the European Union.

He does not dream of a new empire. He would reject such a proposal, as it would delay his modernisation plans.

If the beastly neocons would not have forced his hand by expelling the legitimate president of Ukraine and installing their puppets, the world might have enjoyed a long spell of peace.

But then the western military alliance under the US leadership would fall into abeyance, US military industries would lose out, and US hegemony would evaporate. Peace is not good for the US military and hegemony-creating media machine. So dreams of peace in our lifetime are likely to remain just dreams.

What will Putin do?

Putin will try to avoid sending in troops as long as possible. He will have to protect the two splinter provinces, but this can be done with remote support, the way the US supports the rebels in Syria, without ‘boots on the ground’. Unless serious bloodshed on a large scale should occur, Russian troops will just stand by, staring down the Black Guard and other pro-regime forces.

Putin will try to find an arrangement with the West for sharing authority, influence and economic involvement in the failed state. This can be done through federalisation, or by means of coalition government, or even partition. The Russian-speaking provinces of Novorossia are those of Kharkov (industry), Nikolayev (ship-building), Odessa (harbour), Donetsk and Lugansk (mines and industry), Dnepropetrovsk (missiles and high-tech), Zaporozhe (steel), Kherson (water for Crimea and ship-building), all of them established, built and populated by Russians. They could secede from Ukraine and form an independent Novorossia, a mid-sized state, but still bigger than some neighbouring states. This state could join the Union State of Russia and Belarus, and/or the Customs Union led by Russia. The rump Ukraine could manage as it sees fit until it decides whether or not to join its Slavic sisters in the East. Such a set up would produce two rather cohesive and homogeneous states.

Another possibility (much less likely at this moment) is a three-way division of the failed Ukraine: Novorossia, Ukraine proper, and Galicia&Volyn. In such a case, Novorossia would be strongly pro-Russian, Ukraine would be neutral, and Galicia strongly pro-Western.

The EU could accept this, but the US probably would not agree to any power-sharing in the Ukraine. In the ensuing tug-of-war, one of two winners will emerge. If Europe and the US drift apart, Russia wins. If Russia accepts a pro-Western positioning of practically all of Ukraine, the US wins. The tug-of-war could snap and cause all-out war, with many participants and a possible use of nuclear weapons. This is a game of chicken; the one with stronger nerves and less imagination will remain on the track.

Pro and Contra

It is too early to predict who will win in the forthcoming confrontation. For the Russian president, it is extremely tempting to take all of Ukraine or at least Novorossia, but it is not an easy task, and one likely to cause much hostility from the Western powers. With Ukraine incorporated, Russian recovery from 1991 would be completed, its strength doubled, its security ensured and a grave danger removed. Russia would become great again. People would venerate Putin as Gatherer of Russian Lands.

However, Russian efforts to appear as a modern peaceful progressive state would have been wasted; it would be seen as an aggressor and expelled from international bodies. Sanctions will bite; high tech imports may be banned, as in the Soviet days. The Russian elites are reluctant to jeopardize their good life. The Russian military just recently began its modernization and is not keen to fight yet, perhaps not for another ten years.

But if they feel cornered, if NATO moves into Eastern Ukraine, they will fight all the same.

Some Russian politicians and observers believe that Ukraine is a basket case; its problems would be too expensive to fix. This assessment has a ‘sour grapes’ aftertaste, but it is widespread. An interesting new voice on the web, The Saker, promotes this view. “Let the EU and the US provide for the Ukrainians, they will come back to Mother Russia when hungry”, he says. The problem is, they will not be allowed to reconsider. The junta did not seize power violently in order to lose it at the ballot box.

Besides, Ukraine is not in such bad shape as some people claim. Yes, it would cost trillions to turn it into a Germany or France, but that’s not necessary. Ukraine can reach the Russian level of development very quickly –- in union with Russia. Under the EC-IMF-NATO, Ukraine will become a basket case, if it’s not already. The same is true for all East European ex-Soviet states: they can modestly prosper with Russia, as Belarus and Finland do, or suffer depopulation, unemployment, poverty with Europe and NATO and against Russia, vide Latvia, Hungary, Moldova, Georgia. It is in Ukrainian interests to join Russia in some framework; Ukrainians understand that; for this reason they will not be allowed to have democratic elections.

Simmering Novorossia has a potential to change the game. If Russian troops don’t come in, Novorossian rebels may beat off the Kiev offensive and embark on a counter-offensive to regain the whole of the country, despite Putin’s pacifying entreaties. Then, in a full-blown civil war, the Ukraine will hammer out its destiny.

On a personal level, Putin faces a hard choice. Russian nationalists will not forgive him if he surrenders Ukraine without a fight. The US and EU threaten the very life of the Russian president, as their sanctions are hurting Putin’s close associates, encouraging them to get rid of or even assassinate the President and improve their relations with the mighty West. War may come at any time, as it came twice during the last century – though Russia tried to avoid it both times. Putin wants to postpone it, at the very least, but not at any price.

His is not an easy choice. As Russia procrastinates, as the US doubles the risks, the world draws nearer to the nuclear abyss. Who will chicken out?

(Language editing by Ken Freeland)


A native of Novosibirsk, Siberia, a grandson of a professor of mathematics and a descendant of a Rabbi from Tiberias, Palestine, he studied at the prestigious School of the Academy of Sciences, and read Math and Law at Novosibirsk University. In 1969, he moved to Israel, served as paratrooper in the army and fought in the 1973 war.

After his military service he resumed his study of Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, but abandoned the legal profession in pursuit of a career as a journalist and writer. He got his first taste of journalism with Israel Radio, and later went freelance. His varied assignments included covering Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia in the last stages of the war in South East Asia.

In 1975, Shamir joined the BBC and moved to London. In 1977-79 he wrote for the Israeli daily Maariv and other papers from Japan. While in Tokyo, he wrote Travels with My Son, his first book, and translated a number of Japanese classics.

Email at: info@israelshamir.net

Israel Shamir is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

Avoiding WWIII

March 14, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

There Is A Great Risk of WWIII Over Ukraine / Crimea. But it could be avoided if Russia and China act fast, dumping their dollar reserves, breaking the US dollar, thereby breaking the US economy.They don’t need all of the BRICS for that.

Mr. Putin knows it, Mr. Xi knows it and Mr. Obama knows it – that Washington is holding the shorter stick.

What do the gentlemen Putin and Xi wait for?

For more brazen actions by Washington and its European lackeys and puppets?

It’s already widely known that the snipers in Kiev who killed almost 100 people were mercenaries paid for and were following US orders – straight from the US embassy in Kiev.

Blackwater and other US mercenaries – proxy armies – are roaming the streets of Kiev and other Ukrainian western cities who have indicated their desire to stay allied with Russia.

Mr. Putin knows it.

What else is needed to show the empire and its marionettes that they are naked? That they will be severely hurt if they follow Obama’s and the Pentagon’s unconscious war cries? – If they continue to allow the presstitute media to numb their brains?

Why doesn’t Russia start ‘sampling’ what it could do? Like cutting of gas supplies to Europe – for starters? That seems to be easy enough.

Of course, Washington needs wars not only to reach global hegemony, but also for its mickey-mouse economy to survive; this hell-bound military / security industrial economy that produces about 60% of the US GDP – plus the endless production of unbacked dollars not worth the paper they are printed on – debt that is bought the world over in the form of Treasury Bonds as reserve currency – which is the driver of the American economy’s (sic) senseless consumerism – accounting for almost the reminder of US economic output.

What would be easier than to cut the world lose from this strangling chain – and send Washington and its stooges down the drain of national bankruptcy?

And starting a new segment of civilization, a new currency, a basket of moneys from sound and healthy economies?

There are plenty of countries who would like to participate in such a new beginning, even if the BRICS cannot get their act together fast enough — Vietnam, Malaysia, Iran, Venezuela with the planet’s largest known hydrocarbon reserves – as well as Central Asian and other hydrocarbon producers.

The world populations may have to go through some dry stretches and trying periods – but would come out of it as winners – happy winners of a fairer global economy, where long-lost national sovereignties would be reinstated, with new partnerships and with of a new sense of human and societal solidarity.

Very likely, the presstitute, the propaganda whores of today’s linchpins would want to switch seats to side with the ‘winners’, as they imagine it’s with them that new lucre is waiting.

Wrong. These media criminals, who have millions of lives – or deaths – on their spineless backs, would be shed, floored, ignored annihilated.

New and truth journalism would flourish, instead.

Why is it so difficult to imagine such a new-born and healthy world? – And act on it fast? – Before our hapless humanity allows to be self-destroyed by a nuclear WWIII?

Peter Koenig is an economist and former World Bank staff. He worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources.

The Ukrainian Pendulum

March 9, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The stakes are high in the Ukraine: after the coup, as Crimea and Donbas asserted their right to self determination, American and Russian troops entered Ukrainian territory, both under cover.

The American soldiers are “military advisors”, ostensibly members of Blackwater private army (renamed Academi); a few hundred of them patrol Kiev while others try to suppress the revolt in Donetsk. Officially, they were invited by the new West-installed regime. They are the spearhead of the US invasion attempting to prop up the regime and break down all resistance. They have already bloodied their hands in Donetsk.

Besides, the Pentagon has doubled the number of US fighter jets on a NATO air patrol mission in the Baltics; the US air carrier entered the Black Sea, some US Marines reportedly landed in Lvov “as a part of pre-planned manoeuvres”.

The Russian soldiers ostensibly belong to the Russian Fleet, legally stationed in Crimea. They were in Crimea before the coup, in accordance with the Russian-Ukrainian treaty (like the US 5th fleet in Kuwait), but their presence was probably beefed up. Additional Russian troops were invited in by deposed but legitimately elected President Yanukovych (compare this with the US landing on Haiti in support of the deposed President Aristide ). They help the local pro-Russian militia maintain order, and no one gets killed in the process. In addition, Russia brought its troops on alert and returned a few warships to the Black Sea.

It is only the Russian presence which is described as an “invasion” by the Western media, while the American one is hardly mentioned. ”We have a moral duty to stick our nose in your business in your backyard a world away from our homeland. It’s for your own good”, wrote an ironic American blogger.

Moscow woke up to trouble in Ukraine after its preoccupation, nay obsession, with the Winter Olympic games had somewhat abated, — when people began to say that “Putin won the games and lost the Ukraine”. Indeed, while Putin watched sports in Sochi, the Brown Revolution succeeded in Ukraine. A great European country the size of France, the biggest republic of the former USSR (save Russia), was taken over by a coalition of Ukrainian ultra-nationalists and (mainly Jewish) oligarchs. The legitimate president was forced to flee for his very life. Members of Parliament were manhandled, and in some cases their children were taken hostage to ensure their vote, as their houses were visited by gunmen. The putsch was completed. The West recognised the new government; Russia refused to recognise it, but continued to deal with it on a day -to-day basis. However the real story is now developing in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine, a story of resistance to the pro-Western takeover.

The Putsch

The economic situation of Ukraine is dreadful. They are where Russia was in the 1990s, before Putin – in Ukraine the Nineties never ended. For years the country was ripped off by the oligarchs who siphoned off profits to Western banks, bringing it to the very edge of the abyss. To avoid default and collapse, the Ukraine was to receive a Russian loan of 15 billion euros without preconditions, but then came the coup. Now the junta’s prime minister will be happy to receive a mere one billion dollars from the US via IMF. (Europeans have promised more, but in a few years’ time…) He already accepted the conditions of the IMF, which will mean austerity, unemployment and debt bondage. Probably this was the raison d’être for the coup. IMF and US loans are a major source of profit for the financial community, and they are used to enslave debtor countries, asPerkins explained at length.

The oligarchs who financed the Maidan operation divided the spoils: the most generous supporter, multi-billionaire Igor “Benya” Kolomoysky, received the great Russian-speaking city of Dnepropetrovsk in fief. He was not required to give up his Israeli passport. His brethren oligarchs took other Russian-speaking industrial cities, including Kharkov and Donetsk, the Ukrainian Chicago or Liverpool. Kolomoysky is not just an ‘oligarch of Jewish origin’: he is an active member of the Jewish community, a supporter of Israel and a donor of many synagogues, one of them the biggest in Europe. He had no problem supporting the neo-Nazis, even those whose entry to the US had been banned because of their declared antisemitism. That is why the appeals to Jewish consciousness against the Brown putsch demonstrably failed.

Now came the nationalists’ crusade against Russian-speakers (ethnic Russians and Russian-speaking Ukrainians – the distinction is moot), chiefly industrial workers of East and South of the country. The Kiev regime banned the Communist Party and the Regions’ Party (the biggest party of the country, mainly supported by the Russian-speaking workers). The regime’s first decree banned the Russian language from schools, radio and TV, and forbade all official use of Russian. The Minister of Culture called Russian-speakers “imbeciles” and proposed to jail them for using the banned tongue in public places. Another decree threatened every holder of dual Russian/Ukrainian nationality with a ten-years jail sentence, unless he gives up the Russian one right away.

Not empty words, these threats: The storm-troopers of the Right Sector, the leading fighting force of the New Order, went around the country terrorising officials, taking over government buildings, beating up citizens, destroying Lenin’s statues, smashing memorials of the Second World War and otherwise enforcing their rule A video showed a Right Sector fighter mistreating the city attorney while police looked other way. They began to hunt down riot policemen who supported the ex-president, and they burned down a synagogue or two. They tortured a governor, and lynched some technicians they found in the former ruling party’s headquarters. They started to take over the Orthodox churches of the Russian rite, intending to transfer them to their own Greek-Catholic Church.

The instructions of US State Dept.’s Victoria Nuland were followed through: the Ukraine had had the government she prescribed in the famous telephone conversation with the US Ambassador. Amazingly, while she notoriously gave “fuck” to the EU, she did not give a fuck about the Russian view of Ukraine’s immediate future.

Russia was not involved in Ukrainian developments: Putin did not want to be accused of meddling in Ukrainian internal affairs, even when the US and EU envoys assisted and directed the rebels. The people of Russia would applaud him if he were to send his tanks to Kiev to regain the whole of Ukraine, as they consider it an integral part of Russia. But Putin is not a Russian nationalist, not a man of Imperial designs. Though he would like the Ukraine to be friendly to Russia, annexing it, in whole or in part, has never been his ambition. It would be too expensive even for wealthy Russia: the average income in the Ukraine is just half of the Russian one, and tits infrastructure is in a shambles. (Compare to the very costly West German takeover of the GDR.) It would not be easy, either, for every Ukrainian government in the past twenty years has drenched the people with anti-Russian sentiment. But involvement was forced upon Putin:

Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians voted with their feet and fled to Russia, asking for asylum. Two hundred thousand refugees checked in during the weekend. The only free piece of land in the whole republic was the city of Sevastopol, the object of a French and British siege in 1852 and of a German siege in 1941, and the home base of the Russian Black Sea fleet. This heroic city did not surrender to the Kiev emissaries, though even here some local deputies were ready to submit. And at that last moment, the people began their resistance. The awful success of the putsch was the beginning of its undoing. The pendulum of Ukraine, forever swinging between East and West, began its return movement.

The Rising

The people of Crimea rose, dismissed their compromise-seeking officials and elected a new leader, Mr Sergey Aksyonov. The new leadership assumed power, took over Crimea and asked for Russian troops to save them from the impending attack by the Kiev storm troopers. It does not seem to have been necessary at this stage: there were plenty of Crimeans ready to defend their land from the Brown invaders, there were Cossack volunteers and there is the Russian Navy stationed in Crimea by treaty. Its Marines would probably be able to help the Crimeans in case of trouble. The Crimeans, with some Russian help, manned the road blocks on the narrow isthmus that connects Crimea to the mainland.

The parliament of Crimea voted to join Russia, but this vote should be confirmed by a poll on March 16 to determine Crimea’s future — whether it will revert to Russia or remain an autonomous republic within the Ukraine. From my conversation with locals, it seems that they would prefer to join the Russian Federation they left on Khrushchev’s orders only a half century ago. Given the Russian-language issue and the consanguinity, this makes sense: Ukraine is broke, Russia is solvent and ready to assume its protection. Ukraine can’t pay salaries and pensions, Russia had promised to do so. Kiev was taking away the lion’s share of income generated in Crimea by Russian tourists; now the profits will remain in the peninsula and presumably help repair the rundown infrastructure. Real estate would likely rise drastically in price, optimistic natives surmise, and this view is shared by Russian businessmen. They already say that Crimea will beat out Sochi in a few years’ time, as drab old stuff will be replaced by Russian Imperial chic.

Perhaps Putin would prefer the Crimea gain independence, like Kosovo, or even remain under a token Ukrainian sovereignty, as Taiwan is still nominally part of China. It could become a showcase pro-Russian Ukraine to allow other Ukrainians to see what they’re missing, as West Berlin was for the East Germans during the Cold War. Regaining Crimea would be nice, but not at the price of having a consolidated and hostile Ukraine for a neighbour. Still Putin will probably have no choice but to accept the people’s decision.

There was an attempt to play the Crimean Tatars against the Russians; apparently it failed. Though the majlis, their self-appointed organisation, supports Kiev, the elders spoke up for neutrality. There are persistent rumours that the colourful Chechen leader Mr Kadyrov, a staunch supporter of Mr Putin, had sent his squads to the Tatars to strong-arm them into dropping their objections to Crimea’s switch to Russia. At the beginning, the Tatars supported Kiev, and even tried to prevent the pro-Russian takeover. But these wise people are born survivors, they know when to adjust their attitudes, and there is no doubt they will manage just fine.

Russian Nazis, as anti-Putin as Ukrainian Nazis, are divided: some support a “Russian Crimea” whilst others prefer pro-European Kiev. They are bad as enemies, but even worse as friends: the supportive Nazis try to wedge between Russians and Ukrainians and Tatars, and they hate to see that Kadyrov’s Chechnya actually helps Russian plans, for they are anti-Chechen and try to convince people that Russia is better off without Chechens, a warlike Muslim tribe.

As Crimea defied orders from Kiev, it became a beacon for other regions of the Ukraine. Donbas, the coal and steel region, raised Russian banners and declared its desire for self-determination, “like Crimea”. They do want to join a Russian-led Customs Union; it is not clear whether they would prefer independence, autonomy or something else, but they, too, scheduled a poll – for March 30. There were big demonstrations against the Kiev regime in Odessa, Dnepropetrovsk, Kharkov and other Russian-speaking cities. Practically everywhere, the deputies seek accommodation with Kiev and look for a way to make some profit, but the people do not agree. They are furious and do not accept the junta.

The Kiev regime does not accept their quest for freedom. A popularly-elected Mayor of Donetsk was kidnapped by the Ukrainian security forces and taken to Kiev. There are now violent demonstrations in the city.

The Ukrainian navy in the Black Sea switched its allegiance from Kiev to Crimea, and they were followed by some units of the air force with dozens of fighter jets and ground troops. Troops loyal to Kiev were blocked off by the Crimeans, but there was no violence in this peaceful transfer of power.

The junta appointed an oligarch to rule Donbas, Mr Sergey Taruta, but he had difficulty assuming power as the local people did not want him, and with good reason: Taruta had bought the major Polish port of Gdansk and brought it to bankruptcy. It seems he is better at siphoning capital away than in running serious business. Ominously, Mr Taruta brought with him some unidentified, heavily armed security personnel, reportedly guns-for-hire from Blackwater (a.k.a. Academi) fresh from Iraq and Afghanistan. He will need a lot more of them if he wants to take Donbas by force.

In Kharkov, the biggest Eastern city, erstwhile capital of Soviet Ukraine, local people ejected the raiding force of the Right Sector from government offices, but police joined with the oligarchs. While the fake revolution took place in Kiev under the tutelage of US and EC envoys, the real revolution is taking place now, and its future is far from certain.

The Ukraine hasn’t got much of an army, as the oligarchs stole everything ever assigned to the military. The Kiev regime does not rely on its army anyway. Their attempt to draft able-bodied men failed immediately as hardly anybody answered the call. They still intend to squash the revolution. Another three hundred Blackwater mercenaries landed Wednesday in Kiev airport. The Kiev regime applied for NATO help and expressed its readiness to allow US missiles to be stationed in the Ukraine. Missiles in the Ukraine (as now stationed in Poland, also too close for Russian comfort) would probably cross Russia’s red line, just as Russian missiles in Cuba crossed America’s red line in 1962. Retired Israeli intelligence chief Yaakov Kedmi, an expert on Russia, said that in his view the Russians just can’t allow that, at any price, even if this means all-out war.

Putin asked the upper house of the Russian parliament for permission to deploy Russian troops if needed, and the parliament unanimously approved his request. They will probably be deployed in order to defend the workers in case of attack by a Right Sector beefed up by Blackwater mercenaries. Humanitarian catastrophe, large-scale disturbances, the flow of refugees or the arrival of NATO troops could also force Putin’s hand, even against his will.

The President in exile

President Yanukovych will be historically viewed as a weak, tragic figure, and he deserves a better pen with a more leisured pace than mine. He tried his best to avoid casualties, though he faced a full-scale revolt led by very violent Brown storm-troopers. And still he was blamed for killing some eighty people, protesters and policemen.

Some of the victims were killed by the Right Sector as they stormed the ruling party offices. The politicians left the building well in advance, but the secretarial staff remained behind — many women, janitors and suchlike. An engineer named Vladimir Zakharov went to the besieging rebels and asked them to let the women out. They killed him on the spot with their bats. Another man was burned alive.

But the majority of casualties were victims of sniper fire, also blamed on Yanukovych. The Kiev regime even asked the Hague tribunal to indict the President as they had President Milosevic. But now, a telephone conversation between EC representative Catherine Ashton and Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet reveals that the EC emissaries were aware that dozens of victims of sniper fire at the Maidan were killed by Maidan rebel supporters, and not by police or by President Yanukovych, as they claimed. Urmas Paet acknowledged the veracity of this conversation at a press conference, and called for an independent enquiry. It turned out that the rebel snipers shot and killed policemen and Maidan protesters alike, in order to shed blood and blame it on the President.

This appears to be a staple feature of the US-arranged revolutions. Snipers killing both protesters and police were reported in Moscow’s 1991 and 1993 revolutions, as well as in many other cases. Some sources claim that famed Israeli snipers were employed on such occasions, which is plausible in view of Mr Kolomoysky’s Israeli connection. A personal friend of Mr Kolomoysky, prominent member of the then-opposition, Parliamentarian and present head of administration Sergey Pashinsky was stopped by police as he removed a sniper’s rifle with a silencer from the scene of murder. This discovery was briefly reported in the New York Times, but later removed. This revelation eliminates (or at least seriously undermines) the case against the President. Probably it will be disappear down the memory hole and be totally forgotten, as were the Seymour Hersh revelations about Syria’s sarin attack.

Another revelation was made by President Putin at his press-conference of March 4, 2014. He said that he convinced (read: forced) President Yanukovych to sign his agreement of February 21, 2014 with the opposition, as Western ministers had demanded. By this agreement, or actually capitulation act, the Ukrainian President agreed to all the demands of the Brown rebels, including speedy elections for the Parliament and President. However, the agreement did not help: the rebels tried to kill Yanukovych that same night as he travelled to Kharkov.

Putin expressed amazement that they were not satisfied with the agreement and proceeded with the coup anyway. The reason was provided by Right Sector goons: they said that their gunmen will be stationed by every election booth and that they would count the vote. Naturally, the agreement did not allow for that, and the junta had every reason to doubt their ability to win honest elections.

It appears Yanukovych hoped to establish a new power base in Kharkov, where a large assembly of deputies from East and South of Ukraine was called in advance. The assembly, says Mr Kolomoysky, was asked to assume powers and support the President, but the deputies refused. That is why President Yanukovych, with great difficulty, escaped to Russia. His landing in Rostov made quite an impression on people as his plane was accompanied by fighter jets.

Yanukovych tried to contact President Putin, but the Russian president did not want to leave the impression that he wants to force Yanukovych on the people of Ukraine, and refused to meet or to speak with him directly. Perhaps Putin had no time to waste on such a weak figure, but he publicly recognised him anyway as the legitimate President of the Ukraine. This made sense, as President Yanukovych requested Russian troops to bring peace to his country. He still may make a comeback – as the president of a Free Ukraine, if such should ever be formed in some part of the country, – or as the protagonist of an opera.

English language editing by Ken Freeland.


A native of Novosibirsk, Siberia, a grandson of a professor of mathematics and a descendant of a Rabbi from Tiberias, Palestine, he studied at the prestigious School of the Academy of Sciences, and read Math and Law at Novosibirsk University. In 1969, he moved to Israel, served as paratrooper in the army and fought in the 1973 war.

After his military service he resumed his study of Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, but abandoned the legal profession in pursuit of a career as a journalist and writer. He got his first taste of journalism with Israel Radio, and later went freelance. His varied assignments included covering Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia in the last stages of the war in South East Asia.

In 1975, Shamir joined the BBC and moved to London. In 1977-79 he wrote for the Israeli daily Maariv and other papers from Japan. While in Tokyo, he wrote Travels with My Son, his first book, and translated a number of Japanese classics.

Email at: info@israelshamir.net

Israel Shamir is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

Boston Black Ops: Manufacturing Terror

April 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Mounting evidence suggests state-sponsored terrorism. Expect more later to confirm it. Cui bono matters most. Powerful interests benefit hugely. Ordinary people lose out.

War on terror 2.0 looms. Innocent people will suffer. Expect more repressive laws. Military spending will increase. Homeland security will be boosted. Fundamental freedoms will die. Full-blown tyranny may follow. It’s already a hair’s breath away.

Imperial wars on humanity will continue. New targets will be chosen. Independent governments will be attacked. New world order rules demand unchallenged global dominance. The worst of all possible outcomes may follow. State-sponsored terror facilitates it.

What’s ongoing resembles post-9/11 events. Media scoundrels misreport. They do so round-the-clock. Readers and viewers are willfully misinformed.

Fear-mongering, lies and damn lies replace truth and full disclosure. Muslims became public enemy number one. Who’ll suffer most with them this time?

Vital information is suppressed. Fingers point the wrong way. Innocent victims are blamed for state-sponsored terror. More on that below.

National emotions are aroused. At issue is enlisting public support. Post-9/11, Bush addressed an Episcopal National Cathedral prayer and remembrance ceremony.

“(O)ur country was attacked with deliberate and massive cruelty,” he said. “We have seen the images of fire and ashes and bent steel.”

He omitted what’s most important. Washington bore full responsibility. The worst of all possible worlds followed.

On April 18, Obama addressed a Holy Cross Cathedral interfaith prayer service. “(I)n an instant, the day’s beauty was shattered,” he said. “A celebration became a tragedy. And so we come together to pray and mourn and measure our loss.”

“We will find you,” he added. “And yes, you will face justice. We will hold you accountable.” Truth and full disclosure always loses out.

Early Friday, newly released FBI photos showed alleged bombing suspects. They’re brothers. They were called “armed and extremely dangerous.” Allegedly they had “explosives and guns.” Official reports lack credibility.

One suspect was arrested. The other fled. He’s now in hospitalized in serious condition. Police discovered his whereabouts and shot him. Officials later said the one taken into custody died. Allegedly he was killed in a “violent standoff.” Cold-blooded murder is more likely.

A “massive manhunt” continues. Officials said suspects came from Chechnya or nearby. Doing so implies Islamofascists. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews alleged they’re Arabs. Perhaps from Yemen, he said. Media scoundrels feature this type misreporting ad nauseam.

Mossad-connected DEBKAfile called them “Chechen Wahhabi cell” members. Saudi Arabia funds it, it said. Older brother Tamerlan was 26. Police likely killed him in cold blood. He was a boxer and Bunker Hill Community College engineering student.

Younger brother Dzhokhar fled. He’s 19 years old. He’s a Cambridge Rindge and Latin School graduate. His father calls him a “true angel.” He’s a Greater Boston League all-star wrestler.

He won a city of Cambridge $2,500 scholarship. He’s a second year medical student. His father said both brothers were “set up.” They “killed my older son Tamerlan,” he added.

Over 10 years ago, both brothers came to America with their family. They’re not terrorists.

Officials said greater Boston public transportation shut down. The FAA ordered a no-fly zone over a 3.5 radius of the bombing site. Watertown, Cambridge, Newton, Brookline, Waltham, Belmont, and other suburban area residents were advised to stay home.

Colleges and universities closed for the day. Local businesses were told not to open. Thousands of officers made house-to-house searches. Swat teams are involved. Some areas were evacuated. Helicopters patrol overhead. Police cars are everywhere.

Greater Boston’s never seen anything like this before. It’s surreal. It resembles a bad film plot. It gets round-the-clock coverage. Managed news misinformation substitutes for cold hard facts.

Infowars headlined “Did Boston Bombing Suspect Try to Surrender?” An image showed him lying prone with his arms outstretched. He held no weapon. None appeared near him.

One suspect killed. Perhaps another to follow. What better way to bury truth. Dead men tell no tales. Exculpating evidence perhaps won’t surface. Media scoundrels won’t report what does.

Lots more went on. On marathon day, eyewitnesses reported bomb drills, training exercises and rooftop snipers. Authorities denied them.

University of Mobile cross country coach Alastair Stevenson contradicted them, saying:

“At the starting line this morning, they had bomb sniffing dogs and the bomb squad out there. They kept announcing to runners not to be alarmed, that they were running a training exercise.”

On April 17, Anthony Gucciardi headlined “Craft International Private Military Forces at Boston Marathon?”

Images showed two men “with earpieces and military-esque gear….(T)hey may likely be employees of the Blackwater-style private military/security firm Craft International.”

Their attire was later “revealed to be standard issue Craft International clothing.” The skull logo on one man’s cap identifies Craft.

Why were both men and others with them in Boston? Images show around 10 wearing similar attire. Nearly all had on black backpacks. They resembled those alleged to contain pressure cooker bombs.

Investigators said they contained explosives, nails and ball bearings. They detonated moments apart.

Four or more Craft operatives wore tan combat boots, tan BDUs (battle dress uniforms), black jackets, and had tactical communications gear. At least one had an “inspector radiation alert.” It’s used to detect dirty bomb or nuclear attack emissions.

Why were they near the marathon’s finish line? Perhaps their mission was a black ops. They’re experts in these type operations.

Why did FBI operatives join them? Images show them talking. An FBI truck was visible. Why were FBI agents searching for one bombing suspect before the incident took place?

Why have media scoundrels ignored this? These and related questions demand answers. Coverup and denial reflect official policy. Vital facts are suppressed. What’s most important isn’t reported. Misinformation substitutes.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Flooding Syria With Foreign Arms: A View From Damascus

November 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Across Syria these days, one is able to examine massive evidence that this ancient civilization, the historic bastion of nationalist Arabism and since the 1948 Nabka, an essential pillar of the growing culture of Resistance to the Zionist occupation of Palestine, is becoming awash with foreign arms being funneled to “rebels” by countries advocating regime change.

This observer has been researching foreign arms transfers into certain Middle East countries since last summer in Libya, where to a lesser degree the identical foreign actors were involved in facilitating the transfer of arms and fighters to topple the then, “Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.”

During a recent stay in Syria, I was able to observe first hand, substantial demonstrative evidence supporting the thesis that American, Zionist and Gulf intelligence agencies as well as private arms dealers from these countries top the list of more than two dozen countries benefiting from the crisis in Syria by injecting arms. These countries gain politically and financially, via governmental and black market arms transfers.

Which countries are sending the most weapons into Syria to arm militia?

A list of the top 24  countries, among the more than three dozen that are currently involved in sending weapons to Syria to achieve regime change include: USA, Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain, UK, France, Canada, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Brazil, Portugal, Poland, Yugoslavia, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, and Argentina.


Photo:  fplamb

Above:  one of the periodic lists complied of foreign weapons confiscated from foreign fighters in Syria. Aug.-late September, 2012

Nearly two-thirds of the above listed arms suppliers are members of NATO and constitute almost half of NATO’s 28 country membership.

Russia is not included in the above list because it is the main supplier of arms to the Syrian government.  Yet, one finds older USSR era weapons and even some more recent vintage Russian arms in rebel hands, the latter from the decade (12/79-2/89) of Soviet, occupation of Afghanistan. Also offering Russian weapons are a growing number of black market arms dealers of whom there is no shortage along the Turkey-Syrian border and elsewhere.  This recent visitor to Syria was offered near the Old City, AK 47’s (Russian Kalashnikovs) or Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG) for $ 1,800 (in Lebanon today and before the Syrian crisis the price was around $800.  After some bargaining and starting to walk away a couple of times, the “special one-time only price for an American friend” dropped to $ 750 each. Russian made Dragunov sniper rifles are being offered at $ 6,500 but can be bought for around $ 5000.Buying arms these days in Syria is a caveat emptor proposition. Fake weapons and military rejects/defects are also being offered by hustlers from nearby countries including Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey.

The involvement of numerous countries in the Syrian crisis as arms suppliers and political operatives was tangentially referenced by the recent UN Security Council Statement of 12/25/12 which admits the existence of foreign actors and implies their arms supplying activities by urging “all regional and international actors to use their influence on the parties concerned to facilitate the implementation of the (Eid al Adha) ceasefire and cessation of violence.”

Syria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Bashar al-Jaafari observed last week: “This part of the [Security Council] press statement, mentioned for the first time, proves Syria’s view repeated since the beginning of the crisis on the existence of Arab, regional and international parties influencing the armed groups negatively or positively. Therefore, those parties need to be addressed.”

One of the key challenges for  the UN and Arab League envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi whose aides told this observer at the Dama Rose hotel on 10/22/12 where we were staying, is:  “We  need to persuade key countries in the Middle East, but also internationally,  not to support the rebels with arms.

The failed initiative of envoy El  Brahimi, was the third ceasefire attempt to date following the December 2011Arab League proposal and the April 2012 Kofi Annan initiative, both of which were endorsed by the Syrian government and most of the world community.  Some rebel militia, but not nearly enough, did endorse the Brahimi four day Eid al Adha ceasefire only to have it collapse this past weekend.  To his credit, Brahimi continues his work.

The same Brahimi sources suggested that the United States may also be supplying man-portable air-defense systems (Manpods) to rebels in Syria.   According to Russian Foregin Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich, speaking on 12/15/12: “At the same time, it is also well-known that Washington is aware of supplies of various types of arms to illegal armed groups operating in Syria. Moreover, the United States, judging by admissions by American officials that have also been published in American media, is conducting coordination and providing logistical support for such supplies.” NBC News, based in New York reported in July that Syrian insurgents had obtained two dozen US MANPADS, delivered from Turkey.

A month after the October 2011 death of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced in Tripoli that the U.S. was committing $40 million to help Libya “secure and recover its weapons stockpiles.”  Congressional sources report that the Obama administration is fully aware that quantities of these arms are current in Syria and more in transit.

With respect to arms moving from Libya to Syria, on the night of Sept. 11 Libya time, in what was his last public meeting, US Ambassador Christopher Stevens met with the Turkish Consul General Ali Sait Akin, and accompanied him to the consulate front gate just before the assault began. Although what was discussed has not yet been made public, Washington sources including the pro-Zionist Fox News speculate that Stevens may have been in Benghazi negotiating a weapons transfer, from Libya to Syria.

Earlier this year, Assistant Secretary of State for Political and Military Affairs Andrew Shapiro expressed concerns that the increasing flow of Libya arms was far from under control. Speaking to the Stimson Center in Washington D.C. on 2/10/12 Shapiro said: “This raises the question — how many weapons and missiles are still missing? The frank answer is we don’t know and probably never will.”

According to a 10/14/12 report by the Times of London, a vessel flying the Libyan flag named Al Entisar (Victory), loaded with more than 400 tons of cargo, docked in southern Turkey 35 miles from the Syrian northern border. While some of the undeclared cargo was likely humanitarian, staff accompanying UN envoy Brahimi during his recent Syrian trip report the Al Entisar also carried the largest consignment of foreign weapons to date, including surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles, RPG’s and MANPADS destined for Syria.

Partly because of the jihadists and arms entering Syria from its northern border, southern Turkey is increasingly referred to here in Damascus as “New Afghanistan”, given its matrix of jihadists, salafists, wahabists, and battle-hardened panoply of arriving foreign would-be mujahedeen  and al Qaeda affiliates.

One teenage al Qaeda wannebe explained to the author that his specialty was making and using homemade specialized knives as shown in this photo.  He also delivered a mini-lecture he said was based on a Koranic Hadith explaining why severing heads of animals and adversaries is actually the most humane method. He gave earnest assurances that if allowed to perform a one-time demonstration, this observer would feel no pain and he would post the photo on Facebook!

Remarkably, as was witnessed in 2007, during the conflict at the Nahr al Bared Palestinian refugee camp in north Lebanon, some of the arriving eager jihadists in “New Afghanistan”  actually believe that they are fighting against Zionist forces near occupied Palestine and not killing fellow Arabs in Syria.

Some, but not all of the  many types of small arms flowing into Syria in large numbers, and viewed by this observer include:

7.62mm Tabuk (Yugoslavia) rifles, Mass rifles (UK), 7.62 mm rifles (Poland), 12 mm rifles (Italy), 7.62 mm Kalashnikovs (several countries versions), 9 mm ‘fast gun’, (Austria), 7.62 mm Val (Belgium), G3 7.62 mm G3 rifles (Germany), 7.5mm model 36 rifles (France), M16 and a variety of sniper and other rifles (USA), 7.62 rifles (Bulgaria, 10.5 Uzi and other automatic machine guns, three types of hand grenades  (Israel), 9 mm guns (Canada), 7 mm guns (Czech Republic), 7 mm guns (Brazil).


Photo:  10.23.12 Syria

Israeli weapons are among the most frequently found in Syria as was the case in Libya. Israeli arms dealers are claimed to have recently intensified links with Blackwater International and also are currently smuggling through the Golan Heights, the tri-border area of south Lebanon, occupied Palestine and Syria.

The observer also examined and was briefed on M72 LAW and AT-3 anti-tank missiles developed by the United States. But the extent of their use is difficult to verify. Most of the arms shown in accompanying photos are from the main urban centers and near the Turkish, Iraqi, Lebanese and Jordanian borders.

In tightly built up urban areas such as Homs, Idlib and Aleppo, door to door fighting includes a battle among snipers. According to one Syrian military intelligence source in whose Damascus office this observer discussed the subject, the most frequently confiscated sniper rifles currently being found in the hands of “rebels” include:

·  the  U.S. Army & USMC M1903-A4 (also: USMC M1903-A1/Unertl), the U.S. Army & USMC M1C & M1D and U.S. Army M21;


Photo:  Damascus 10/23/12:  American weapons from Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkey and NATO stores are entering Syria with the aid of Qatar and Saudi Arabia and black market arms dealers.

·  the Israeli M89SR Technical Equipment International 7.62x51mm NATO Semi-automatic, Galil Sniper Rifle and the T.C.I. M89-SR,
·  the British  .243 Winchester, 7.62x51mm NATO/.308 Winchester,.300 Winchester Magnum, and the 338 Lapua Magnum Bolt action sniper rifles.


Photo: Syria 10/13/12:  The most frequently confiscated sniper rifles currently being found in the hands of “rebels” in Syria include the above shown U.S. Army & USMC M1903-A4. Other US sniper rifles include the USMC M1903-A1/Unertl), the U.S. Army & USMC M1C & M1D and U.S. Army M21

A few Afghanistan era Russian Dragonov SVD and SV-98 sniper rifles have also been confiscated among an assortment of others.

Foreign jihadists have some access to Soviet-era DShK heavy machine guns or ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft cannons which are used for anti-aircraft and fire support. Both use fairly scarce high-explosive rounds and armor-piercing rounds, which are capable of penetrating the armor of the Syrian military’s BMP infantry fighting vehicles. The ZU-23-2 “Sergey”, also known as ZU-23, is a Soviet towed 23 mm anti-aircraft cannon. Vehicle mounted Zu-23-2’s are relatively easy to spot by government aircraft and artillery units are used to attack a target and quickly flee to avoid counter strikes.

On 10/25/12 Russia reiterated its claims that the US assists and coordinates arms deliveries to foreign-sponsored insurgents battling the Syrian government forces. Russia’s chief military officer said that Syrian armed groups have acquired US-made weapons, including Stinger anti-aircraft missiles. This observer saw many weapons from more than a dozen types of IED’s (improvised explosive device) to medium sized artillery pieces but no missiles.


Photo:  10/24/12 Damascus, Syria

Improvised Explosive Devices are a key rebel weapon with many arriving from Iraq and camps near Hataya, Turkey. Many DIY (do it yourself) improvisations have been uncovered across Syria in both urban and rural areas. This observer examined and was briefed on several types, including those shown above.

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry issued statement of 10/25/12, “Washington is aware of the deliveries of various weapons to illegal armed groups active in Syria. Moreover, judging by the declarations of US officials published in US media, the US coordinates and provides logistical assistance in such deliveries.”

Some analysts in Damascus claim that Syria’s potential military strength has not been as effective as it could be in the current urban fights against rebels. The government appears very strong militarily if one studies the statistics regarding Syria’s large and disciplined army which continues its support and also given its sophisticated long range missiles, air defense systems that have deterred an airborne attack from Israel. One reason progress has at times appeared slow against the “rebels” according to some local analysts was a certain initial unpreparedness to confront highly motivated guerrilla militia in downtown densely populated areas. These kinds of battles, it is claimed, require a mobile infantry, armored flexibility and very effective use of light arms.  The Assad government’s “adapt, catch up and go on the offensive” paradigm is developing rapidly according to US Senate Armed Service Committee sources who assert that the Syria army has actually become battle hardened,  tougher, stronger and more disciplined over the past several months. But it has taken time and has incurred a significant cost.

Weapons examined by this observer in Syria during 10/12 include some of the more than 1,750 new American sniper rifles channeled from Iraq and NATO supply stores to rebel militia.

How foreign weapons are entering Syria

As widely speculated particularly in the regional media, foreign supplied weapons to “rebels” arrive by air, sea and mainly by land from Iraq, Turkey, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and occupied Palestine.

Israel is reported, by some researchers in Damascus who have been covering the crisis for nearly 20 months, to be sending arms to Syria from Kurdistan, having had much experience in Africa, South America and Eastern Europe via Mossad and Israeli black market arms dealing. What Israel did in Libya in terms of a wide spread arms business it is also trying to do in Syria.  Israeli arms, according to Syrian and Lebanese sources are being transported into Syria from along the tri-border area of South Lebanon, near Shebaa Farms, close to Jabla al-Saddaneh, and Gadja. In addition, Israeli smugglers have increasingly, over the past five months, been seen by locals moving arms inside Syria via the Golan Heights. These violations of  Syrian and Lebanese sovereignty raise serious questions about the vigilance of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force Zone (UNDO) based in the Golan Heights as well as the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and the Lebanese Army as well as National Lebanese Resistance units near the ‘blue line’ to stop the illicit Israeli arms transfers.

The recent arrival in southern Turkey and along the northern Syrian border of Blackwater mercenaries is expected to increase the foreign arms flow.  Currently using the name Academi (previously known as Xena- Xe Services LLC, Blackwater USA and Blackwater Worldwide) Academi is currently, according to Jane’s Defense Weekly, the largest of the US governments “private security” contractors.  Details of its relationship with the US Defense Department and the CIA are classified.
Is there a coherent US policy toward the Syrian crisis?

Secretary of State Clinton has been announcing recently that the U.S. is increasing its “non-lethal support” (i.e. direct shipments as opposed to boots on the ground or ballistic weapons) according to her Congressional liaison office. She also confirmed that Washington is working with its friends and allies to promote more cohesion among the disparate Syrian opposition groups with the aim of producing a new leadership council following meetings scheduled for Doha in the coming weeks.


Photo:  Syria:  10/24/12

Examples of US, UK and NATO “non-lethal aid” equipment taken from militia in south and north Syria between 5/2011 and 10/2012.

However, to the consternation of the State Department, General David Petraeus the former US commander of NATO forces in Iraq, now director of the CIA acknowledged, during his senate confirmation hearings. “Non-lethal aid to combatants, including communication equipment, is sometimes more lethal and important than explosive devices due to the logistical advantages they provides on the battlefield.”

In tandem with the US, the UK and several European governments are supplying “non-lethal” aid to the Syrian opposition, including satellite communications equipment according to Syria security sources.

There is also plenty of anecdotal and demonstrative and probative evidence in Syria of human weapons patterned on the “Zarqawi model” which refers to the bloody al Qaeda in Mesopotamia campaign named for its leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi after U.S. troops occupied Iraq.

In a speech this week in Zagreb, Croatia, this week, Secretary of State Clinton insisted that any group seeking to oust President Bashar al-Assad must reject attempts by extremists to “hijack” a legitimate revolution.  She added, “There are disturbing reports of heavily armed foreign extremists going into Syria and attempting to take over.” Clinton used her strongest words to date concerning risks that the uprising in Syria could be overtaken by militants who do not seek a democratic replacement or the reforms that the current government claims it is trying to implement. She told her conferees:  “We made it clear that the SNC can no longer be viewed as the visible leader of the opposition. They can be part of a larger opposition, but that opposition must include people from inside Syria and others who have a legitimate voice. We also need an opposition that will be on record strongly resisting the efforts by extremists to hijack the Syrian revolution. There are disturbing reports of heavily armed extremists going into Syria and attempting to take over.” Clinton advised her colleagues that the US has become convinced that the SNC does not represent the interests of all ethnic and religious groups in Syria and that it has little legitimacy among on-the-ground activists and fighters, and has done little to stem the infiltration of Islamist extremists into the opposition forces.

Clinton’s language is being interpreted by some as evidence that a post-election Obama Whitehouse, she he win on November,  may move toward the Russian, Chinese, and Iranian position and away from, what one Congressional source  derisively  labeled,  “ the view from the Gulf gas stations”  i.e. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and some other despotic monarchies.
The intervention in Syria by more than three dozen countries supplying weapons must be stopped. Both sides of the Syrian crisis need to manifest by actions, not just words, a serious commitment to meaningful dialogue. The above noted arms supplying countries, and others off stage, have a solemn obligation to their citizens and to the world community to immediately halt the shipment of arms.

They should, and their people should demand that they do without further delay, honor the words of Isaiah 2:3-5….”and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”

Granted, perhaps a cliché and certainly far easier said than done.

Yet, as Oregon’s late great US Senator Wayne Morse used tell audiences around America during the Vietnam War, quoting General George Marshall, “The only way we human beings can win a war is to prevent it.”

It’s time for the international community to end the Syrian crisis diplomatically, stop funneling arms and cash fueling hoped for regime change elements. Instead, they must demand that all the involved parties immediately engage in serious dialogue and settle their differences.


Dr. Franklin Lamb is Director, Americans Concerned for Middle East Peace, Beirut-Washington DC, Board Member of The Sabra Shatila Foundation, and a volunteer with the Palestine Civil Rights Campaign, Lebanon. He is the author of The Price We Pay: A Quarter-Century of Israel’s Use of American Weapons Against Civilians in Lebanon and is doing research in Lebanon for his next book. He can be reached at fplamb@gmail.com

Dr. Franklin Lamb is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

How To Identify The True Enemies Of Freedom

October 10, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The greatest and most often exploited weakness of any revolution for freedom is the inability of the downtrodden populace to identify the true enemy.  History is littered with the shattered remnants of rebellions that were built upon legitimate causes but suffered because of misdirection and faulty assumptions.  For centuries, the real culprits of tyranny have found ways to redirect the ire of those they harmed in their quest for power, usually by offering a tempting scapegoat that appeals to the public’s darker impulses; their biases, their prejudices, their fears, etc.  Usually, this ends in an even more pervasive totalitarian environment as the insurgents and the scapegoats decimate each other while the elites sit back and enjoy the show.

Even the most successful battles against despotism, like the American Revolution, often only had a distant sense of who they were really fighting against.  This is what makes the 21st Century extraordinarily unique in the annals of civilization.  For the first time in human record, the common man has all the information necessary to examine and define the real culprits behind his subjugation.  The truth is at our fingertips, all we have to do is reach out and take it…

Because of the decentralized nature of information flowing through the alternative web media, our ability to generate opposition to organized elitism has never been greater.  However, this also means the stakes have never been higher.  The establishment understands well that their criminality is clearly visible, and eventually, they will be personally subject to the rage of the people.  The next fight could very well be the last for them.

Their playbook may be old, but the tactics they use can always be applied on a grander and more terrible scale.  Not only will they pursue whatever menacing distractions necessary to occupy the attentions of the public, they will also attempt to pose as guiding lights in the darkness they themselves created.  They will hide behind broad generalized target groups; fabricated boogie men, branded and prepackaged like franchise coffee shops on every street corner of America’s collective psyche.  Terrorists, traitors, saboteurs, whatever ethnic group happens to be convenient at the moment, whoever is easiest to present as a target for our projected malice; false enemies will be rolled out like a nightmare buffet.

If our nation and the rest of the world have any chance of achieving peace and liberty, it will be because those who choose to dissent against the totalitarian tide focus on the authentic virus invading and assimilating our culture.  Some call them “elitists”, “collectivists”, “centralists”, etc.  They sometimes even refer to themselves as such, but the most prominent and useful label today is that of “globalist”.   That said, we must ask what it is that defines these people?  What makes them who they are?  The following is a list of behaviors and characteristics that have been common to oligarchs through most of history.  Regardless of how a political or financial leader presents himself through rhetoric, if he displays these properties in action, he is more likely than not an opponent of individual freedom and an adversary to the principles of honor and conscience that all good men strive for.

1)  They Seek Centralization Of Power 

Does your favorite political candidate, corporate “guru”, or media shill have a history of promoting globalization, economic harmonization, socialization, etc., sacrificing the protections of sovereignty in the name of some “greater good” that never seems to come?  Does every action they take only appear to benefit a select elite?  Do they regimentally remove options and choices from the system?  Do all of their solutions ultimately lead to the same outcome?  Do all the roads they build converge towards less liberty for the masses and more control for government?  Is their answer for every crisis to remove checks and balances and borders?  Do they constantly claim that sovereign and Constitutional protections get in the way of “progress”?  Do they use phrases like “the greater good” or “sustainable development” on a regular basis?  Add them to your list of potential mass murderers, and unfriend them on your social media accounts.  They do not have your best interests at heart…

2)  They Enforce Policies Despite Widespread Disapproval 

In any healthy Republic, the political class is supposed to be the servant of the people.  Their employment is supposed to be predicated on their willingness to hear and understand the wishes of their constituency.  If a bill or policy arises that threatens the civil liberties or financial safety of the people, and they call for a representative to oppose it, that is exactly what he is supposed to do.  If he does otherwise, and supports a damaging or unconstitutional bill while fully aware of massive voter resistance, it means he is not in fear for his job, which means his job has not necessarily been secured by our votes, which means he is likely working for somebody else; somebody who will benefit from the bill in question.

Two perfect examples would be the passage of the banker bailout bills, and the indefinite detention provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act.  Both were vehemently opposed by a majority of Americans on both sides of the so called political “aisle”, and yet, they were given a majority support by our representatives in government.  This reveals an ulterior motivation within our government that is, to put it bluntly, treasonous.  If they voted for a liberty killing bill, then cross them off your roster of principled leaders and add them to your list of enemies…

3)  They Find Ways To Rationalize Any Behavior 

Sociopaths and psychopaths operate on their own personal form of twisted rationalism.  The magic of pure cold logic untempered by conscience or intuitive wisdom is that truth can become whatever we want it to become as long as our inner voice remains repressed.  For them, any crime can be vindicated as long as a perceived benefit can somehow be derived.  For a globalist oligarch, however, psychopathy goes far beyond mechanical moral relativism.  They are well aware that their actions are an affront to human conscience, and, they couldn’t care less.  Instead, they use rationalism as a way to manipulate the public into accepting their maniacal behavior so that they can continue without interference.

Globalists are so convinced of their own intellectual superiority that they feel no desire for redemption, or to compartmentalize their own evil.  They embrace that evil fully as if it were a form of strength.  One weakness of this philosophy is that it comes with a strange obsession; a desperate drive to inject moral relativism into all people around the globalist.  This exposes an inherent reliance on surrounding environment, and dependency on one’s environment to reinforce a belief system is a significant psychological weakness.

The great power that truth holds over the empire of lies is that the truth is not contingent on mass perception; it exists regardless of how many people believe in it.  It is autonomous.  The truth has its own soul, and arises from the ashes again and again without the benefit of mass recognition.  Lies and perverted rationalizations require an astounding amount of energy and armies of the ignorant in order to exist.  A foundation of lies is inferior, and thus, anyone who depends upon the existence of that foundation is also, by association, inferior.  Globalist are, therefore, a sub-species, an unnecessary and outdated remnant of social evolution that should be allowed to finally fade out and die away.

4)  They Promote Economic Dependency

Anyone who consistently tells you that you need them in order to survive has something to gain by your dependency.  A good person or government seeks to make people INDEPENDENT and self reliant, so that they can survive on their own merits and participate in the construction of their own destinies.  A manipulative person or government needs people to believe that without the services the despot provides all will come to ruin.  Totalitarian control cannot exist unless WE hand that control to them.  If the man before you claims that there is no other way to live except through him or his system, no matter how charmingly he phrases it, add him to your list as a danger to your freedom.

5)  They Belong To A Think Tank

I am usually apprehensive about using a broad brush to paint any single group or subset as fully criminal and beyond repair.  This kind of methodology is used daily by globalists to create rifts in societies and lure people into destroying each other.  However, I have tried to the utmost of my ability to find an influential think tank with ties to the government in our modern era that does not display the despicable behaviors listed so far, and for the life of me, I can’t find a single one.  From the the CFR, to the Rand Corporation, to the Washington Institute For Near East Policy, you will find the many of the same exact writhing globalist tapeworms and most certainly the same exact philosophies of moral relativism on display.  If they belong to a mainstream think tank, they are not a friend to liberty.

6)  They Cast No Reflection In The Mirror

Or perhaps I’m thinking of a different kind of monster…

7)  They Promote Military Force As The Primary Means To Achieve Their Ideological Objectives

Do they confront the dynamic of every social and diplomatic problem with the use of military force and the death of those who disagree with them?  Does every conflict between them and another culture end with the destruction of thousands if not millions?  Do they flaunt a distinct kind of “my way or the highway to hell” kind of attitude?  Do they seem to crave war to the point that they are willing to manufacture excuses to fire the first missile?  If they are a warmonger, then they are your enemy, even when they happen to be trying to kill people you don’t necessarily like at the moment.

8)  They Offer Promises They Never Intend To Keep

If a politician promises to end an illegal war and pull American troops from the battlefield if elected to office, and then doesn’t, or, pretends to pull troops out while maintaining permanent bases and shifting private Blackwater-style contractors into the field to take their place, then he is a liar.  It’s that simple.  If a central banker promises fiat printing and massive stimulus programs will unfreeze credit markets and generate an employment recovery within a couple of years, and the fiscal situation only becomes worse afterwards, then he is a liar.  It’s that simple.

If a person in a position of power continuously makes promises that are impossible to fulfill, or that he obviously knows cannot be fulfilled, then he is buying time.  But buying time for what?  Well, usually, he is buying time so that he can consolidate more power, and he is hoping the public will be duped into giving that power to him in exchange for false hopes and empty dreams.  Any entity, corporate or governmental, that is unable to attain the public’s consent without conning them, is an enemy to the welfare of the public, and should be removed like a throbbing tick.

9) You Wouldn’t Leave Your Children Alone With Them

Ask yourself, could you leave your children in a room with this person or group and feel safe about it?  If the answer is an honest “No”, then how could you leave your country and your children’s future in their hands instead…?

In the coming years, the American people will face numerous threats; some real, some imagined in the sterile conference rooms of a black-hearted think tanks.  But, the most terrifying threat to our cultural roots of free thought, expression, and prosperity is wielded by a very particular and exclusive group of thin-blooded ego-maniacs.  Identifying them is not difficult.  Hiding their true nature is nearly impossible for a person or institution whose narcissism is so pronounced.  They adore their own insanity and wish to share it with the world.  If they fit the profile listed above, it is a guarantee that they will wreak havoc upon your life, directly or indirectly, someday.  Know who they are, so that when that time comes you know who to blame, and who to bring to justice.

Source: Brandon Smith | Alt-Market

How To Avoid Voting For A Globalist Puppet

January 25, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Only a few days ago I attended a community meeting here in the Flathead Valley of Montana which revolved around the first of a series of gubernatorial debates covered by webcast across the state.  The number of Republican candidates vying in the primaries of this election is a bit absurd, and after witnessing the half-hearted or outright fake performances by most of them, I can see quite clearly that the state of Montana is being targeted by Neo-Con interests posing as Constitutionalists in an attempt to neutralize the extraordinary advance of the Liberty Movement here.  What struck me most sharply was  the fact that almost every candidate competing for the governor’s slot had taken on elements of the Liberty Movement philosophy.  The elections of 2012 and the immense success of the Ron Paul campaign have so far proven without a doubt that the anti-globalist, anti-totalitarian, anti-collectivist stance is now part of a growing majority in America.  Just as we have forced Neo-Con candidates in the Presidential primaries to at least pretend that they care about freedom (quite a change from the Bush years), so too are Republican impostors forced to mimic us in the battle for state offices.

With so many political candidates now at the very least paying lip-service to the concepts of Constitutional freedoms, limited Federal influence, and State’s rights, it may become increasingly difficult for voters to discern who is a snake-oil peddler and who is the real deal.  Many who supported the rise of the Tea Party (originally launched by Ron Paul back in 2007-2008), suddenly found their efforts for a free America being hijacked by establishment fakes in 2010.  Out of nowhere, gutter dwelling pro-globalist imposters like Rick Santorum could be found headlining forums at Constitutional rallies, and even veteran globalists like Newt Gingrich have tried to jump on the bandwagon.

The light at the end of the tunnel, though, is ironically visible in the destructive nature of these candidates.

The NDAA, despite the inherent horror of its provisions, has been a spectacular litmus test for traitorous politicians. Self-styled liberty candidates like Allen West of Florida, winning with Tea Party support, have been exposed because of their backing of the NDAA.  Shockingly, West not only voted for the NDAA, but helped to COMPOSE the bill!  Now, due to a growing public outcry over the rendition and indefinite detention provisions of the NDAA, legislators like West are scrambling to cover their own asses by knowingly misinterpreting the bill’s language and denying it applies to American citizens:

Three amendments to the NDAA were put forward by senators Udall, Paul, and Feinstein, specifically designed to ensure that American citizens would be protected from the draconian detainment provisions of the NDAA, and all three were struck down.  Yet, Allen West and others continue to perpetuate the lie that Americans are safe from such tyranny.

Exposure after the fact is better than nothing, but these difficult days require more vigilance.  How can the people of this country avoid making the mistake of voting for such disingenuous candidates when they seem so adept at telling us what we want to hear until they are comfortably in office?

The key is to stop listening to what they SAY, and start looking closely at what they DO.  We must ignore their rhetoric, their speeches written by proxy, and their bad jokes slapped together by hired staff, and begin examining their actions and their backgrounds.  Because the Liberty Movement has gained so much influence and so much voice over the past four years, it is time that we start setting some ground rules for political candidates we will accept, and those we will not accept, to represent us.

We need to ask ourselves, and them, some very pointed questions.  How have they consistently voted in the past?  Are they truly protecting our rights as Americans and as a human beings as described in the Constitution and the Bill Of Rights?  Have they done anything to stall or dismantle corruption in the government and in the banking industry?  Or, have every one of their propositions and “solutions” involved the continuation of destabilizing policies designed to aid an elite few at the expense of average Americans?   The following is a list of warning signs that can help you, your family, and your friends, no matter what their party affiliation, in determining if a favorite politician is a legitimate statesman, or a puppet bought and paid for by global corporate interests…

1)  Have They Ever Promised To Investigate, Audit, Or Dissolve The Private Federal Reserve Bank?

The Federal Reserve is the primary culprit in the creation of the derivatives and credit bubble.  Its use of artificially low interest rates inflated the housing market and by extension the U.S. economy, energizing international banking fraud and producing perhaps the greatest financial black hole in history.  It is currently staving off the effects of this collapse through the constant printing of fiat money from thin air, setting up the U.S. for a currency implosion of epic proportions.

If your candidate has never made more than a passing sound bite comment on the Federal Reserve and what they plan to do about the poisonous debt and dollar devaluation that the private central bank has generated, then it is likely they are either too ignorant to understand how the institution operates, or, they know full well the problem, and plan to do nothing about it.  Ask directly any politician you plan to vote for; will they promise to fully audit and or shut down the Federal Reserve, especially if foul play or corruption is discovered?  If they defend the Fed, or dance around the question, then they are not on your side, nor on the side of true free markets and a stable economy.

2)  Did They Vote For The Banker Bailouts?  Do They Continue To Defend Them?

If a candidate or representative voted for or openly supports the continuance of bailout measures for international banks which taxpayers must eventually cover, then this politician is not for you.  The bailouts have accomplished nothing that was promised by the Bush Administration, the Obama Administration, or state representatives who gave a platform for their passage.  Credit markets have not been unfrozen, the housing market has not stopped its endless decline, and consumer activity has not returned to levels anywhere near those of 2006.  Nearly 80% of Americans on both sides of our twisted two party spectrum voiced opposition to the bailouts and have continued to fight against quantitative easing measures on the part of the Federal Reserve.  This is not a case of our government knowing better for us than we do for ourselves.  This is a case of the government ignoring the will of the people and serving the interests of select elites.  If you plan to support a man or woman running for elected office, make absolutely sure they are not proponents of further bailouts and inflationary printing for the sake of propping up big banks, foreign institutions, and the highly manipulated stock market.

3)  Do They Support The Domestic Spying Measures Of The FISA Act And The Dissolution Of The 4th Amendment?

Any politician who has the audacity to argue that you must sacrifice your privacy and your liberty for “safety” is not on your side, or the side of the Constitution.  The 4th Amendment strictly prohibits illegal search and seizure of a citizen’s property without a warrant and without probable cause, and this includes your personal information and communications.  However, over time, the protections of the 4th Amendment have been slowly eroded away.  Today, almost every aspect of our lives is an open book for the government to peruse at their slightest convenience.

With the advent of new measures executed through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, no electronic transfer of data is safe, and corporate entities which handle these communications are completely immune from civil suits involved in the release of private information.  Under FISA, and under any act which authorizes mass surveillance of the public, every citizen is treated as guilty until proven innocent.  This is not Constitutional.  If your candidate has his hands into FISA or other pieces of legislation that open the door to domestic spying, drop them like a bad habit, or find yourself in deep regret later down the road.

4)  Do They Support The NDAA, SOPA, PIPA, The AUMF, The Expatriation Act, Etc.?

The fascinating thing about the response by legislators to the fury over the NDAA is that they now refuse to acknowledge that the bill actually pertains to American citizens.  This tells me they are afraid to confront those opposed to the bill on the grounds that indefinite detention and suspension of Habeas Corpus is necessary.  Arguments from men like Allen West (or Denny Rehberg here in Montana) revolve around one line in the bill from Sec. 1022 which they use completely out of context:

1) UNITED STATES CITIZENS- The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.

What they consistently refuse to explain is the word “requirement” in this line.  If they were to place the line in the context of all the provisions involving indefinite detainment, the word “requirement” pertains to foreign prisoners that fall under the definition of “covered persons” in Sec. 1021 (a covered person could essentially be anyone the government decides to accuse of being a terrorist).  So, to put this as simply as possible; the government and the U.S. military is “required” under the NDAA to indefinitely detain without jury trial those foreign prisoners designated as enemy combatants or terrorists.  The government is NOT required to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens under the NDAA, but THEY CAN IF THEY WANT TO!  This precedent was set by the passage of the Authorization For The Use Of Military Force (AUMF), and was further strengthened (not obstructed as some propagandists claim) by the Supreme  Court’s decision in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld.  The NDAA gives the highly unconstitutional practice the Congressional stamp of approval.

With the NDAA, Americans must adopt a scorched earth policy before it is too late.  Every single sitting legislator that supports this bill must be removed from office.  Every political candidate running this year who proclaims support for the NDAA should be avoided like a plague ridden corpse.  SOPA, PIPA, the Expatriation Act, and other pieces of legislation operate on the same principle as the NDAA; they create a grey area within the law that allows government to accuse any person of a crime without evidence and inflict punishment without due process.  If we allow political vampires who nurture these measures into seats of power, then America ceases to be.  Without our liberties and the means to protect them, our country becomes nothing more than a doomed land mass devoid of principles or honor.

5)  Do They Have Overt Ties To The Military Industrial Complex?

The last thing this nation needs is another ‘chicken hawk’ candidate thirsty for war in far off lands as long as he doesn’t ever have to do any of the actual fighting.  However, what we need even less are candidates who have made their livings and their careers dispensing war for quick cash.  In Montana, it is disconcerting to be confronted with the likes of Neil Livingstone, who gave audiences a brief chuckle when he claimed that he would like to reintroduce the gray wolf to Washington D.C. instead of Montana to see how they liked it.  Very funny, but if the audience really knew Livingstone’s history, they wouldn’t be laughing.

Livingstone’s background in private mercenary warfare and Blackwater-like businesses leaves a bad smell in the air, not to mention his attempt to lobby for Gaddafi and make a buck or two (or ten million) off the NATO debacle unleashed in Libya:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2063465/Revealed-How-US-mercenaries-offered-Gaddafi-10m-deal-flee-Libya.html

All that aside though, this “terrorism expert” suddenly decides to move back to Montana just last year, taking a break from his lucrative war driven wheeling and dealing, to enter the race for governor?  Should I not be at least a little suspicious?  In the meantime, his running mate, Ryan Zinke, a former Navy SEAL whose unit purportedly went on to “kill Bin Laden”, is now visiting Montana election meet-ups dressed in the most insincere cowboy costume I have ever laid eyes on complete with ten-gallon hat and giant gold belt buckle with “Montana” etched in bold letters, as if to say “hey ya’ll, I’m just like you!”  At the end of the meeting I attended, Zinke suggested that Montana solve its employment issues with “predator drone factories” (of course).  As he left, he actually exclaimed “go predator drones!”

Bottom line, whether you are dealing with presidential candidates, or state candidates, a record of getting into bed (and into business) with the military industrial complex is probably not a good sign that the representative will respect civilian rights or the Constitution.  Certainly, he will say that he loves liberty, but by being instrumental in the spread of globalism, he has proven otherwise, and is not to be trusted.

6)  Does It Feel Like They Are Just Telling You What You Want To Hear?

Every candidate at the first gubernatorial debates in Montana was quick to use the words “states rights”, at least when it came to the EPA and resource development.  Livingstone even served up a vague threat of arresting federal representatives who cross into Montana (which, oddly, doesn’t seem to have the same bite after learning his background).  However, only one candidate, Bob Fanning (and running mate Chuck Baldwin) was willing to put himself on the line, promising to nullify federal incursions into Montana, protect medical marijuana, build a state sponsored militia (as the Constitution demands), deny the socialist doctrines of Obamacare, and insulate Montana’s economy using decentralized methods and legitimate free markets.

The difference between Fanning and the other candidates was evident after hearing his goals and solutions.  Their plans were broad, and dubious.  His were direct and decisively outlined.  Their stances against Federal encroachment felt hollow, or deceitful, while Fanning’s resolve was absolute.  Sometimes, intuition is as good a measure of a candidate as factual research.  If your gut is telling you the man in front of you is a fake, it may be wise to ponder the thought for a moment.

7)  Where Are They Getting Their Money From?

In the 2012 presidential elections, only one candidate is raising the majority of his funds from average citizens instead of corporate backers.  Only one candidate has received a majority support from active serving military.  Only one candidate has done all of this through grassroots methods, despite being relentlessly attacked or ignored by the mainstream media.  Of course, I’m talking about Ron Paul.

If global banking interests are pumping their donations into a particular candidate’s campaign, that candidate should be automatically categorized as unelectable.  Sadly, this is not how our world works right now.  “Follow the money” should be the first rule of the American voter.  If Mitt Romney, for instance, is being backed by the exact same corporate financiers as Barack Obama, then one should be led to question whether or not there is absolutely any difference between them.  Apparently, global banks don’t seem to think so, so why should you?

If elitists refuse to spend a single penny on a specific candidate, then it is a sure bet that candidate is a threat to the status quo, and therefore, should be on the top of your list as a potential representative.

In the end, it will be difficult if not impossible to change this country in the midst of the current political climate.  This means that the climate must evolve or be done away with completely.  I believe 2012 may be our last chance to establish a governmental environment conducive to freedom.  If we fail to educate ourselves and others on the warning signs listed above, then political options will disappear.  We will be left with no other choice but a violent and prolonged conflict with those who would demolish American Constitutionalism.  Perhaps this is inevitable regardless of election results, but the fact remains that we must try every other available avenue first.

I have never been a fan of politics, but I know that this is only because the system now in place is constructed to discourage me, and everyone else, from trying to make a difference.  Playing by the rules of the establishment system is useless, but there are other roads we might take.  We can, indeed, make our own rules, and start a new game on more even ground, as long as we find the right candidates, cast off agents of distraction, and at the very least, attack the issues at a local level with every ounce of strength we have.  Putting a Constitutional candidate like Ron Paul into the Oval Office, though excitingly possible, will not be enough.  We must also pursue the same standards in our states, and draw a line in the sand around our respective communities.

Even with rigged electronic voting, media manipulation, and political co-option, I feel our efforts this year will resonate for many decades to come.  Whether we are able to take back social power for regular citizens is not as important as making them aware that they have allowed themselves to lose that power in the first place.  The elections of 2012, ultimately, should be treated as a vehicle for enlightenment, and this enlightenment begins when we are able to recognize the lies we live, and the men who sell them to us…

 

Source: Brandon Smith | Alt-Market

Who’s Beating Iran War Drums?

December 7, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Dwight D Eisenhower

Dwight D Eisenhower: in 1961 the retiring president warned fellow Americans of the danger in allowing too close a relationship between politicians and the defence industry. Photograph: W. Eugene Smith/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image.

In the 14th century there were two pandemics. One was the Black Death, the other was the commercialisation of warfare. Mercenaries had always existed, but under Edward III they became the mainstay of the English army for the first 20 years of what became the Hundred Years war. Then, when Edward signed the treaty of Brétigny in 1360 and told his soldiers to stop fighting and go home, many of them didn’t have any homes to go to. They were used to fighting, and that’s how they made their money. So they simply formed themselves into freelance armies, aptly called “free companies”, that proceeded around France pillaging, killing and raping.

One of these armies was called the Great Company. It totalled, according to one estimate, 16,000 soldiers, larger than any existing national army. Eventually it descended on the pope, in Avignon, and held him to ransom. The pope made the mistake of paying off the mercenaries with huge amounts of cash, which only encouraged them to carry on marauding. He also suggested that they move on into Italy, where his arch-enemies, the Visconti, ran Milan. This they did, under the banner of the Marquis of Monferrato, again subsidised by the pope.

The nightmare had begun. Huge armies of brigands rampaging through Europe was a disaster second only to the plague. It seemed as if the genie had been let out of the bottle and there was no way of putting him back in. Warfare had suddenly turned into a profitable business; the Italian city states became impoverished as taxpayers’ money was used to buy off the free companies. And since those who made money out of the business of war naturally wished to go on making money out of it, warfare had no foreseeable end.

Wind forward 650 years or so. The US, under George W Bush, decided to privatise the invasion of Iraq by employing private “contractors” like the Blackwater company, now renamed Xe Services. In 2003 Blackwater won a $27m no-bid contract for guarding Paul Bremer, then head of the Coalition Provisional Authority. For protecting officials in conflict zones since 2004, the company has received more than $320m. And this year the Obama government contracted to pay Xe Services a quarter of a billion dollars for security work in Afghanistan. This is just one of many companies making its profits out of warfare.

In 2000 the Project for the New American Century published a report,Rebuilding America’s Defenses, whose declared aim was to up the spending on defence from 3% to 3.5% or 3.8% of American gross domestic product. In fact it is now running at 4.7% of GDP. In the UK we spend about $57bn a year on defence, or 2.5% of GDP.

Just like the taxpayers of medieval Italian city-states, we are having our money siphoned off into the business of war. Any responsible company needs to make profits for its shareholders. In the 14th century the shareholders in the free companies were the soldiers themselves. If the company wasn’t being employed by someone to make war on someone else, the shareholders had to forgo their dividends. So they looked around to create markets for themselves.

Sir John Hawkwood’s White Company would offer its services to the pope or to the city of Florence. If either turned his offer down, Hawkwood would simply make an offer to their enemies. As Francis Stonor Saunders writes in her wonderful book, Hawkwood – Diabolical Englishman: “The value of the companies was the purely negative one of maintaining the balance of military power between the cities.” Just like the cold war.

Two decades ago I picked up an in-house magazine for the arms industry. Its editorial was headed “Thank God For Saddam”. It explained that, since the collapse of communism and end of the cold war, the order books of the arms industry had been empty. But now there was a new enemy, the industry could look forward to a bonanza. The invasion of Iraq was built around a lie: Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction, but the defence industry needed an enemy, and the politicians duly supplied one.

And now the same war drums, encouraged by the storming of the British embassy last week, are beating for an attack on Iran. Seymour Hersh writes in the New Yorker: “All of the low enriched uranium now known to be produced inside Iran is accounted for.” The recent IAEA report which provoked such outcry against Iran’s nuclear ambitions, he continues, contains nothing that proves that Iran is developing nuclear weapons.

In the 14th century it was the church that lived in symbiosis with the military. Nowadays it is the politicians. The US government spent a staggering $687bn on “defence” in 2010. Think what could be done with that money if it were put into hospitals, schools or to pay off foreclosed mortgages.

The retiring US president, Dwight D Eisenhower, famously took the opportunity of his farewell to the nation address in 1961 to warn his fellow countrymen of the danger in allowing too close a relationship between politicians and the defence industry.

“This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience,” he said. “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” It exists. The genie is out of the bottle again.

Source: The Guardian

Revulsion, Resistance & Angry words from Tripoli University

October 26, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Tripoli University — The people I had hoped most to be able to find on returning to Libya were eight students from Fatah University (now renamed Tripoli University) who became my friends during three months in Libya this summer. They had all been strongly opposed to what NATO was doing to their country (NATO bombs destroyed some classrooms at the University during final exams in late May) and I was very keen to sit with them again if possible since the August 23rd fall of Tripoli when most of them scattered given the uncertainties of what would happen and we lost contact.

Thanks to Ahmad who was waiting for me we re-united quickly. Some excerpts and impressions from yesterday’s all night gathering with Ahmad, Amal, Hind, Suha, Mohammad and Rana:

“I know Sanad al-Ureibi”, Ahmad said disgustedly about the 22 year old who is claiming he fired two bullets at close range into Muammar Gadhafi on October 22nd.

Amal, Ahmad’s fiancée interrupted him: “We are very angry but not really surprised by what Sanad did. He’s a stupid guy and I am sure someone whispered in his ear that he would become famous and rich if he did NATO’s dirty job by killing Colonel Gadhafi. NATO did more than 1000 bombing attacks “to protect Libyan civilians” but killed thousands of us instead. For sure NATO and their puppets want as many of our leader’s dead as possible in order to avoid years of a court trial that would expose NATO’s many crimes and those of certain western leaders.”

Ahmad: “Sanad told my cousin the day after he assassinated Colonel Gadhafi that he is promised protection and that the TNC will not arrest him despite their, for western ears only, announcement of a planned “investigation” of how Muammar and Mutassim died. Everyone in Libya knows that the investigation of the assassination of the rebel military commander Abdel Fattah Younes last July has gone nowhere because the Islamist faction who committed the Younes murder is close to Jalil.”

Ahmad continued, “Like some of his friends, Sanad did fight for a while with the rebels and he sometimes changed units because it was fun and now he plans to form a gang to protect rich Libyans and foreigners as they continue to arrive here to help, as they claim, to rebuild our destroyed country and make democracy. Now we all so exhausted from all the needless killing I am not sure what kind of democracy we will have or even want. American democracy? It’s very great? Sometimes it seems you have more problems than we do. At least we have free education, free medical care, and homes and are not living on the streets without jobs.

Mohammad joined in: “One Israeli-American Company has offered Sanad and other young men who refuse to give up their guns a job recruiting former fighters for proper training as Libyan police. There are some Blackwater (XE) people here are also trying to do business with NATO agents for private police forces around Libya. Anyone who thinks NATO is going to leave us in peace is mistaken. More of them arrive every day.”

Hind, who has not wavered since last summer in her opposition to what she calls “NATO’s team” also voiced strong offense and condemnation of certain pro-rebel Sheiks who have declared that Gadhafi was not a Muslim. “Everyone knows he was a devout Muslim. His last Will stated, “I do swear that there is no other God but Allah and that Mohammad is God’s Prophet, peace be upon him. I pledge that I will die as Muslim.”

Hind added, “Please tell me who are these TNC Sheiks to say who is are and who is not a Muslim. In Islam it’s between each of us and Allah and nobody else’s business. If these Sheiks were better Muslims they would have opposed what has been done to his body and that of his son and friend in Sirte and Misrata. It is haram. I am very angry and disgusted.”

Suha complained about “the views of NTC leader Mustafa Abdul-Jalil toward women and that with the already announced repeal of the marriage law, Libyan women have lost the right to keep the family home if they divorce. It is a disaster for Libyan women. Under Gadhafi leadership women in Libya had more rights than in any other country in the Middle East.”

Ahmad explained: “ I am ashamed of what some Muslims are doing. Our religion does not allow for this mutilation and the freak show the TNC put on in that refrigerator. I was in Misrata with friends to pay our respects and was surprised how many others were doing the same as our group and for the same reasons. When the bodies were first exhibited curious people came and some said bad insults. But by the next day the atmosphere has completely changed. People came to honor Colonel Gadhafi for his courage in dying for what he believed was best for Libya and that was to keep Libya free from colonialism. I don’t believe the media is accurately reporting this. Our leader died a hero like Omar Muktar in my opinion and history will prove this someday.”

Again, his fiancée Amal interrupted Ahmad, “As Colonel Gadhafi revealed in his Will, NATO made him several offers if he would abandon his country to them. Foolish and criminal NATO established our leader forever as a great resister to colonialism and a patriot for Libya, for all of Africa and for the Middle East. I believe that Colonel Gadhafi died a far more honorable death than the leaders of NATO will. He has more dignity in death than Hilary Clinton and her absence of dignity shown by her stupid comments about his death.”

Amal then said, “I became ill when I left him. His skin was almost black and his body was rotting quickly with fluids leaking on the floor. They must give him immediately to his family and ask Allah to forgive themselves for their haram. One of the guards told me Colonel Gadhafi was sodomized with a rifle by NTC fighters. He showed the video on his mobile but I would not look. ”

Suha spoke: “We also visited the Mahari Hotel in Sirte where we saw more than 50 bodies of Gadaffi supporters. Some had their hands behind them bound by plastic handcuffs and were executed at close range. Others had been taken from hospital beds and murdered. This crime is just one more example of the lies of the NTC and NATO. NATO forces commanded and controlled their rebels and knew what they have been doing. NATO is responsible for destroying much of our country and for what will surely happen in the coming days.”

I first met Ahmad what now seems like a couple of years ago, but in actuality it was only last June. We sat at an outdoor cafe on Green Square (now renamed Martyrs’ Square) and talked about NATO’s obvious plans for Libya. Since August 23rd and the precipitous collapse of the loyalist resistance in Tripoli, which Ahmad had been organizing some of the neighborhoods to participate in, he has been on the lam as friends got word to him that NTC death squads were on his trail even staking out the Radisson Hotel lobby where he used to meet with journalists and western friends. Ahmad blames the lack of a real defense of Tripoli, that took us all by surprise, as “our incompetence and some high ranking traitors” for the non-implementation of plans to defend Tripoli from NATO’s rebels.

His first words after we hugged were: “Now the real resistance will begin! The Libyan people are now even surer than they were during this summer that the NTC sold our country to the NATO colonial countries. As NATO continues to hunt down Saif al Islam, many around our country are making Saif the new leader of the resistance to colonialism in Libya and in Africa. I personally pledge my support for him and pray that Allah will protect him. Watch what the Gadhafi tribe and my Waffala tribe do together in the coming weeks—but also starting today. Maybe NATO can be said in some ways to have won round one. But let’s see what happens in the many rounds to come.”


Dr. Franklin Lamb is Director, Americans Concerned for Middle East Peace, Beirut-Washington DC, Board Member of The Sabra Shatila Foundation, and a volunteer with the Palestine Civil Rights Campaign, Lebanon. He is the author of The Price We Pay: A Quarter-Century of Israel’s Use of American Weapons Against Civilians in Lebanon and is doing research in Lebanon for his next book. He can be reached at fplamb@gmail.com

Dr. Franklin Lamb is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

Is Nobel Peace Prize Winner Obama More Brutal than Bush?

April 3, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

From: Washington’s Blog…

Bush - ObamaBush is correctly regarded as a lying, war-mongering, torturing tyrant.

Is Nobel peace prize winner Obama even worse?

Many governments, U.S. congressmen and other individuals have demanded that Obama return his Nobel peace prize for bombing Libya without congressional approval.

Bush got us into 2 wars to protect our strategic national interests in … er … broccoli. Obama just got us into a third war for the same reason. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq was met with large protests. Similarly, most Americans didn’t want Obama to get involved in Libya.

The Bush administration funded terrorist groups (and see confirming articles hereand here). Obama is allegedly funding terrorist groups in Iran, and is now aiding the Libyan “rebels”, even though there are allegations that 1,000 of them are Al Qaeda radicals (and there are some indications that their leader is a CIA asset).

Obama has increased the number of drone attacks in Afghanistan, PakistanYemenand elsewhere. Indeed, most people who have looked at the numbers believe that Obama has killed many more civilians with drone attacks than Bush did using the same method.

The Brookings Institution noted in 2009:

Critics correctly find many problems with this program, most of all the number of civilian casualties the strikes have incurred. Sourcing on civilian deaths is weak and the numbers are often exaggerated, but more than 600 civilians are likely to have died from the attacks. That number suggests thatfor every militant killed, 10 or so civilians also died.

And drone strikes are often based on scant evidence in the first place. And killing innocent civilians with drones is one of the main things which increases terrorism(and see this).

Former constitutional law teacher Glenn Greenwald says that – in his defense of state secrecy, illegal spying, preventative detention, harassment of whistleblowers and other issues of civil liberties – Obama is even worse than Bush.

Indeed, Obama has authorized “targeted assassinations” against U.S. citizens. Even Bush didn’t openly do something so abhorrent to the rule of law.

Obama is trying to expand spying well beyond the Bush administration’s programs. Indeed, the Obama administration is arguing that citizens should never be able to sue the government for illegal spying.

Obama’s indefinite detention policy is an Orwellian nightmare, which will create more terrorists.

And as I noted in 2009, in a post entitled “Can Nobel Prize Winner Obama At LEAST Stop the Torture?”:

 

You may assume that things have changed after President Obama was sworn in.

However, the Obama Department of Justice is trying to protect torture memo writer John Yoo. As constitutional law expert Jonathan Turley notes:

The president literally has gotten onto a plane this evening to go to Norway to accept the Nobel Prize, while his Justice Department is effectively gutting a major part of Nuremberg.

The Obama administration is arguing not only that they shouldn’t be prosecuted, but it’s now saying that you shouldn’t even be able to sue them civilly …. It’s an international disgrace.

 

Well, it may be a disgrace, but at least torture isn’t continuing under the Obama administration, right?

In fact, many reporters have said that the Bagram prison facility in Afghanistan is worse than Guantanamo ever was. Moreover, abuse is apparently still occurring there.
As Spiegel wrote on September 21, 2009, in an article entitled “Prisoner Abuse Continues at Bagram Prison in Afghanistan”:

US President Barack Obama has spoken out against CIA prisoner abuse and wants to close Guantanamo. But he tolerates the existence of Bagram military prison in Afghanistan, where more than 600 people are being held without charge. The facility makes Guantanamo look like a “nice hotel,” in the words of one military prosecutor…

Bagram is “the forgotten second Guantanamo,” says American military law expert Eugene Fidell, a professor at Yale Law School. “But apparently there is a continuing need for this sort of place even under the Obama administration.

“From the beginning, “Bagram was worse than Guantanamo,” says New York-based attorney Tina Foster, who has argued several cases on behalf of detainee rights in US courts. “Bagram has always been a torture chamber.”

And what does Obama say? Nothing. He never so much as mentions Bagram in any of his speeches. When discussing America’s mistreatment of detainees, he only refers to Guantanamo.

Obama still never mentions Bagram.

Spiegel continues:

From the beginning, Bagram was notorious for the brutal forms of torture employed there. Former inmates report incidents of sleep deprivation, beatings and various forms of sexual humiliation [and rape with sticks]…

At least two men died during imprisonment. One of them, a 22-year-old taxi driver named Dilawar, was suspended by his hands from the ceiling for four days, during which US military personnel repeatedly beat his legs. Dilawar died on Dec. 10, 2002. In the autopsy report, a military doctor wrote that the tissue on his legs had basically been “pulpified.” As it happens, his interrogators had already known — and later testified — that there was no evidence against Dilawar…

However attorney Tina Foster feels that the new initiative is just a cosmetic measure. “There is absolutely no difference between the Bush administration and the Obama administration’s position with respect to Bagram detainees’ rights,” she says during an interview with SPIEGEL in her office in the New York borough of Queens.

And see this.

Moreover, Obama is still apparently allowing “rendition flights” – where prisoners are flown to countries which freely torture – to continue. This itself violates the Geneva Convention and the War Crimes Act of 1996.

Specifically, to the extent that the U.S. is sending prisoners to other countries for the express purpose of being tortured are true, violation of the war crimes act by the highest officials of our country would be probable. For who else but Obama, Gates and other top officials would have the ability to authorize such flights? How could such a program be undertaken without their knowledge? And how could such a program be anything but the intentional “ordering” of torture, or at least “knowing about it” and “failing to take steps to stop it”?

Finally, Jeremy Scahill – the reporter who broke most of the stories on Blackwater – says that some forms of torture at Guantanamo have continued under Obama, and may even have gotten worse. For example, Scahill points out that:

The Center for Constitutional Rights released a report titled “Conditions of Confinement at Guantánamo: Still In Violation of the Law,” which found that abuses continued. In fact, one Guantanamo lawyer, Ahmed Ghappour, said that his clients were reporting “a ramping up in abuse” since Obama was elected.

As Marjorie Cohen – professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, past president of the National Lawyers Guild – writes at the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy:

 

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, who is facing court-martial for leaking military reports and diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks, is being held in solitary confinement in Quantico brig in Virginia. Each night, he is forced to strip naked and sleep in a gown made of coarse material. He has been made to stand naked in the morning as other inmates walked by and looked. As journalist Lance Tapley documents in his chapter on torture in the supermax prisons in The United States and Torture, solitary confinement can lead to hallucinations and suicide; it is considered to be torture. Manning’s forced nudity amounts to humiliating and degrading treatment, in violation of U.S. and international law.

Nevertheless, President Barack Obama defended Manning’s treatment, saying, “I’ve actually asked the Pentagon whether or not the procedures . . . are appropriate. They assured me they are.” Obama’s deference is reminiscent of President George W. Bush, who asked “the most senior legal officers in the U.S. government” to review the interrogation techniques. “They assured me they did not constitute torture,” Bush said.

***

After State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley criticized Manning’s conditions of confinement, the White House forced him to resign. Crowley had said the restrictions were “ridiculous, counterproductive and stupid.” It appears that Washington is more intent on sending a message to would-be whistleblowers than on upholding the laws that prohibit torture and abuse.

***

Torture is commonplace in countries strongly allied with the United States. Vice President Omar Suleiman, Egypt’s intelligence chief, was the lynchpin for Egyptian torture when the CIA sent prisoners to Egypt in its extraordinary rendition program. A former CIA agent observed, “If you want a serious interrogation, you send a prisoner to Jordan. If you want them to be tortured, you send them to Syria. If you want someone to disappear – never to see them again – you send them to Egypt.” In her chapter in The United States and TortureNew Yorker journalist Jane Mayer cites Egypt as the most common destination for suspects rendered by the United States.

And see thisthisthis and this.

Whether or not Obama is worse than Bush, he’s just as bad.

While we had Bush’s “heck of a job” response to Katrina, we had Obama’s equally inept response and false assurances in connection with the Gulf oil spill, and Obama’sfalse assurances in connection with the Japanese nuclear crisis.

And Bush and Obama’s response to the financial crisis are virtually identical: bail out the giant banks, let Wall Street do whatever it wants, and forget the little guy.

The American voters asked for change. Instead, we got a different branch of the exact same Wall Street/military-industrial complex/Big Energy (BP, GE)/Big Pharma party.

 


In Re Barak, “Bullahs,” Blackwater, Bounties & the Special Tribunal for Lebanon

February 26, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Beirut…

BlackwaterWhen the US marines were in and out of Lebanon in 1983-1984 some of those I met, when visiting their barracks with American journalist Janet Stevens, to discuss Israel’s use of American cluster bombs against civilians had the habit, as did sailors from the USS New Jersey, of referring  to the Lebanese Capital simply as “Root.” Or sometimes they would call it: “The Root” as in, “We came to “The Root” to kick some butt!”

The Marines were responsible for unexploded ordnance clearance in the area around Beirut airport while Italian, French and a small British force worked in adjoining areas of West Beirut, following the Israeli siege, which sometimes included intensive carpet shelling. The Marines did a good job in their area trying to make it safe for civilians and took 12 casualties, two fatal, from Israeli dropped American cluster bombs. Unfortunately President Reagan ordered the American forces to support the Israeli backed Phalange government of Amin Gemayel against the popular Lebanese resistance and the marines were soon viewed as being partisan participants in a domestic conflict. This led to the Marines departure following events of October 1983 and despite recent Israeli proposals, it is fairly unlikely that either American or NATO forces will arrive in Lebanon anytime soon.

But Blackwater USA just might.

Despite a series of publicly announced “disassociations” periodically issued from the media offices at the Pentagon and State Department, plus a couple of image polishing name changes including currently,  Xe Services LLC ( Xe being short for Xena, the mythical goddess of war) the hydra headed Blackwater (BW), founded in 1997 by Erik Prince and Al Clark is still quite active.

BW continues to sign US tax payer funded contracts whilst spreading its tentacles around the region, ever scanning the horizon and sniffing out softer underbelly money makers to meet the payroll of its $500 per day operatives. Prince told the US Congress last year that his organization is “A professional organization serving as a solutions provider to the U.S. government. We operate in the defense, training, logistics, and intelligence spaces, priding ourselves on getting the job done right”.

Two weeks ago in Leidschendam-Voorburg, which abuts The Hague and is the site of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Blackwater USA representatives looking to land a lucrative bounty hunter contract with the STL’s registrar’s office, preferred to label Hezbollah simply as ‘Bullahs’. Apparently it’s some sort of BW macho lingo term from the organizations combat training bases in North Carolina and California.  Some Blackwater mercenaries also used the “Bullahs” label in Iraq in addition to racist terms like “Ragheads”, “Hajiis”, and “Sand Niggers.”

In addition, Black water representatives, presumably offering “to get the job done right,” have reportedly met with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and will again during Barak’s current visit to Washington.  According to an email message from a Congressional Staffer who works for a Committee that receives intelligence briefings, BW has been getting cozy with Israel and may be in the process of setting up a BW “training center” in occupied Palestine north of Kabri which is about 20 miles south of UNIFIL’s HQ in Naqoura along the Lebanon-Palestine ‘blue line’.

Barak, according to the same source, will meet on February 26 with National Security chief Tom Donilon and Dennis Ross to discuss Iran, Hezbollah the STL and the impact of recent regional events on the Israeli-Iranian strategic balance in the region. During his meetings with BW representatives his message to BW may be along the lines of “Hey, don’t worry. We’ll hold your coats” as Israel increasingly considers following the American lead and hires mercenaries to confront its enemies.

Barak may in point of fact have a job for BW.

Based on sources who attended the recent Special Tribunal for Lebanon media briefings, as well as sources in Congress and North Carolina, it appears that the STL Registrar’s 1/17/11 announcement that the Court might be seeking help of the International community to arrest and deliver to the Hague those against whom Judge Daniel Frensen is widely expected to issue arrest warrants, is indeed generating applications.

Following the STL’s implied job announcement, Blackwater’s HQ, still based in Moyock, North Carolina was abuzz with talk of “business opportunities.”  According to a stringer for the Daily Southerner in nearby Tarboro, NC, who claims that she dates “BW special forces guys”: “Who better to go after the terrorists with arrest warrants from that Court than our local Confederate bounty hunters par excellence?”

By the morning of 1/20/11 and again on 1/21/11, Blackwater representatives, who arrived two days earlier in The Hague on a flight from Israel, tried to convince the Office of the STL Registrar, and, that evening, anyone listening in the nearby Hilton Hotel Grand Café Pearl, that Blackwater could do the job better than Interpol.  All they needed to know was that the proposed per head bounty dollar amount was guaranteed and they would do the rest.

After a dinner of pan fried wild sea bass and enjoying bottles of German wine, the more they drank and partied, which reportedly lasted until the wee hours, the more the Blackwater reps claimed to actually relish a long overdue fight with “Bullahs.” One BW operative, according to two Dutch journalists who were present for part of the evening, told  the groups  ”tourist hostess”  attractive dates, “ when even one of them “Bullahs” needs to get his butt busted, cuffed, and dragged to the Hague, we can do the job young ladies!  Ya got our word on that!”

Will Blackwater help  reoccupy Lebanon?

Ehud Barak’s statements this week about Israel reoccupying south Lebanon might lead some to muse whether the Defense Minister perhaps forgot why, when he was prime minister, he ordered the precipitous Israeli nighttime stealth pullout,  during which some local villagers claim they saw some elements of the Golani brigade  literally skidding down the hill at Maron al Ras during the night of May 23, 2000  on their back sides as other IDF units fled across the  exit points south of Aita Schab and Bint Jbeil with resistance fighters hot on their tails.

In fact the reason then Israeli Prime Minister Barak ordered the IDF out of Lebanon, was partially under electoral pressure from the Israeli public, because Israeli casualties were skyrocketing. Barak also acted on the advice of his well-paid campaign advisor and Bill Clinton confidant, James Carville who advised Barak that ‘moderate Israelis’ would vote for him if he did. As it turned out James underestimated the number of ‘moderate Israelis’, and Barak lost the election by a wide margin to Ariel Sharon who got 1,698,077 (62.39%) to Barak’s 1,023,944 (37.61%).

“Funny Jimmy” as he’s known in the Big Easy where he grew up, returned to the “James Carville and Mary Matlin show.”  Not one to easily give up on lost causes, it is being rumored in Washington that James, the apparent eternal devotee of Le and La Clinton, is spending much of his time these days trying to figure out how to get Hilary elected President and he is studying the odds for the 2012 Democratic primary. Carville, and others including remnants of his former campaign team in Israel, see the possibility of the Democrats dumping Obama, as doable if former IDF reservist, Rahm Emanuel, the new Mayor of Chicago, will dump Obama, sign on with Hilary, and bring the US Israeli lobby and their cash with him.

In his free time James is working as an adman for Miracle Whip in a TV commercial which features “ Funny Jimmy”  Carville and others expressing either their love or hate for the imitation mayonnaise spread.  “If you’ve got these fancy, dancy mustards and stuff like that, that’s kind of an elite thing,” says Carville. “Miracle Whip is the essence of America. We are a simple people, very trusting and only wanting to do God’s will.”

Contrary to the Israeli lobby spin that Israel left Lebanon in May of 2000 as a unilateral goodwill gesture to advance the fake “peace process”, IDF statistics leading up to Hezbollah’s expulsion of the IDF and the collapse of its collaborationist South Lebanese Army (SLA) match those explained recently by Hezbollah’s Deputy Secretary-General, former chemistry professor Naim Qassim who is perhaps the leading expert on exactly what transpired in South Lebanon during this period. Professor Qassim’s book, “Hezbollah from Within” is the most authoritative volume on the subject of Hezbollah…to date.

Also, Israeli TV audiences had grown weary of watching footage-often courtesy of Al Manar, of Israeli soldiers killed in Lebanon as a result of Resistance operations. Even today, fighters who were on the scene in the spring of 2000, report that they were surprised at the Israeli debacle as were the Israeli SLA Lebanese collaborators. In some instances, retreating Israeli soldiers used their former Lebanese “partners and brothers” as human shields hoping that the Lebanese resistance would not fire on fellow Lebanese as the Israelis fled. The IDF did not inform their SLA allies that they were withdrawing. Ever hopeful of igniting a civil war in Lebanon, the new IDF Chief of Staff  Benny Gantz and Israeli intelligence meticulously left behind lists of the names of many of its Lebanese collaborators, hoping for a Lebanese-Lebanese bloodbath. As it turned out Hezbollah quickly, and some say reluctantly, instructed their units to adhere to a strict policy or no retribution and to “let bygones be bygones.”  Only modest punishment was administered by the Lebanese State Judiciary partly because the number of Israeli (US taxpayer) paid killers was high and there was not enough prison space to house them and also because Hezbollah wanted to avoid sectarian strife since a large percentage of the collaborators were from one Lebanese sect and cries of “sectarian targeting” were predictable. The issue of whether Hezbollah was too lenient with these collaborators following the expulsion of the IDF is, eleven years later, still sometimes discussed in Southern villages among families who lost loved ones to the turncoats.—many of the latter living today, as next door neighbors to their victims’ families.

If the STL does decide to hire Blackwater USA to execute any arrest warrants in Lebanon or if Israel decides to hire ”seek and kill” Blackwater units during its predicted coming invasion, whatever that does for Xe’s Stock prices, its BW’s stock of mercenaries that will be eagarly anticipated in Lebanon.

As for Baraks boast that the new IDF Chief Benny Gantz “knows south Lebanon” the career assassin might want to recall, as he remembers why Israel withdrew from Lebanon in May of 2000, that as one Hezbollah veteran told this observer this week, “South Lebanon knows Benny Gantz”.


Dr. Franklin Lamb is Director, Americans Concerned for Middle East Peace, Beirut-Washington DC, Board Member of The Sabra Shatila Foundation, and a volunteer with the Palestine Civil Rights Campaign, Lebanon. He is the author of The Price We Pay: A Quarter-Century of Israel’s Use of American Weapons Against Civilians in Lebanon and is doing research in Lebanon for his next book. He can be reached at fplamb@gmail.com

Dr. Franklin Lamb is a regular columnist for Novakeo.com

Constitutional Judo

December 30, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

By Giordano Bruno | Neithercorp Press…

judoIn all things, there exists a ‘point of balance’; a line that, if crossed, results in the sudden and expedient loss of our self-determinism and makes us subservient to the fickle whims of social, political, and physical gravity. We are “thrown” into the air, as it were, and the landing is rarely ever pleasant. The U.S. Constitution and the civil liberties it outlines is itself one of these historic points of balance. Its original purpose was to temper the most epic of grappling matches ever ignited; between the relentless constructs of government, and the individual freedoms of the common man. The ultimate problem inherent in this struggle is one of consistency, vigilance, and labor…

While the concept of the Democratic Republic and the Constitution was meant to remove suffocating class warfare from our political life and free us from the numerous dangers of elitism, invariably, those men who thirst for power over others find a way to insinuate themselves into any system, regardless of checks and balances, especially when the populace does not fulfill its necessary role as watchdog and tireless sentinel. Many Americans often assume that ‘the people’ derive their power from the Constitution, but the reality is actually reverse; the Constitution, in fact, derives its power from the people. Our duty (which some have forgotten) has always been to protect the rights and liberties inscribed on those pages of parchment. Not just to know those rights, or recite them, but to implement and defend them in our day-to-day existence. Without the constant nurturing cultural pulse of sound minds and courageous hearts, the Constitution dies.

Many in our society, instead of taking on the responsibility of preserving their freedoms, have instead handed it over to the trappings of government. The fatal error here is obvious; the corporatized and over-centralized political landscape of America’s government today does not hold the same values as the people it is determined to lord over. We have witnessed the parasitic possession of our system, know it to be corrupt, yet still seem to expect this bureaucratic monstrosity to cradle our liberties in good faith!

Government is a tool; a mechanical apparatus that can be used to either preserve freedom, or annihilate it. Its use depends upon those men who wield it, and the men who wield our government today certainly do not have the expansion of freedom in mind. In this article, we will examine the many points of contention (balancing points) brewing as our exceedingly globalist leaning political leaders overstep their bounds. Any one of these points, if allowed to falter by Americans, could throw the whole of our heritage into disarray…

Death By A Thousand Cuts

If you’ve been living at the center of the Earth for the past decade, or playing online games till daybreak battling for dominion of Castle Grayskull, then you may have missed out on the numerous attempts by our Government (under both major parties) to erode our freedoms one precious layer at a time. Some of these attempts have so far fallen flat, while others have been frighteningly successful. Here is just a sample of various recent actions and legislation designed specifically to swindle away your rights, if not the shirt right off your back:

Patriot Acts I & II: The Patriot Act is what I call “chameleon legislation”; it’s designed to be “open to interpretation” by officials and to be modified for whatever purpose they happen to deem fit at the moment. Ultimately, both Patriot Acts opened a terrible gateway to a world where any freedom is expendable, especially if it means stopping terrorists and “evil doers”. Of course, the manner in which terrorism is defined by proponents of the Patriot Act is wildly general. ANYONE could be defined as a terrorist, and any threat could be construed as a matter of national security. The true goal of this legislation was not to protect the public, but to untie the hands of the establishment when implementing further destructive actions, as well as to plant the fog of doubt into the minds of Americans as to the continued validity of the Constitution itself.

The Enemy Belligerents Act: The Enemy Belligerents Act is a perfect example of how the leadership caste of the Democrats and Republicans (who are neo-cons, not true conservatives) work in tandem to institute globalist policy. In this case, the act was introduced by the dastardly duo of John McCain and Joe Lieberman. To put it simply, this legislation, if fully imposed, would allow the government to label any person they choose, even an American citizen, as an enemy combatant. This means you could be arrested without being officially charged, imprisoned without a trial or legal council for an unspecified length of time, and no one, not even your family, would be told where you were. They should just re-name it the ‘Shanghai Act’, because it basically legalizes government piracy. The only problem is that this shanghai is less likely to end with tropical island adventure and more likely to end with you being tossed in a dark stinky hole in the middle of another Abu Ghraib surrounded by Blackwater mongoloids with a penchant for naked man dog-piles. Again, this is the kind of poison your government thinks up on a regular basis…

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h111-645

The John Warner Defense Authorization Act: A bill passed by George W. Bush in 2007 with very little initial media coverage. Allows the Federal Government at the direction of the president to subvert Posse Comitatus and use the military within the borders of the U.S. as a police force without any consent from state governments. Also gives the office of the president unprecedented powers over the National Guard. Just add any real or engineered national disaster and what you get is a perfect recipe for Hurricane Katrina deluxe. Martial Law, here we come…

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h109-5122

Establishment Of Northcom: Northcom (United States Northern Command) is, at bottom, the teeth behind legislation like the John Warner Defense Act. If martial law is declared in the U.S., it will be Northcom and its assigned military units that will stand at the forefront. Northcom’s stated mission is to “defend the homeland”, supposedly against terrorism, however, much of Northcom’s focus in annual exercises like ‘Vigilant Shield’ has been to prepare for civil unrest and continuity of government. Meaning, they train under the assumption that YOU will be the enemy. The first person posted to command Northcom was General Ralph Eberhart, the same man who was in charge of NORAD on 9/11. Apparently, if you ignore available intelligence and fail completely in your assigned duties, you get a promotion in the upper echelons of the military today, unless I missed something, and he didn’t fail…

Presidential Directive 51: A presidential action shrouded in secrecy and general cloak and dagger spookiness. When ignorant yuppies accuse the Liberty Movement of “paranoia”, I always point out PDD 51, and ask them if they are at least intelligent enough to be concerned. This order was initiated by George W. Bush and continued by Barack Obama, and is designed to give the president virtual dictatorial powers during a state of “national emergency”. It dissolves all states rights and places the entire country under the purview of Northcom, and Homeland Security. The guise of “continuity of government” is used as a rationale. Also allows the president to declare a state of emergency for almost any reason. Members of Congress and even some members of Homeland Security who have requested to read the entire directive have been denied. The bill is apparently so disturbing that Obama doesn’t even want those with security clearance to view the full document. Though I’m sure there is some grey area that can be exploited where classified materials are concerned, as far as I can tell from my research, Obama’s withholding of information on a directive such as PDD 51 from Congress is wholly illegal.

http://www.fas.org/irp/offdocs/nspd/nspd-51.htm

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA): Supported by both Bush and Obama. The word “foreign” is highly misleading. FISA allows telecom companies to supply the personal data and communications of anyone, including Americans, to the government without threat of civil retribution (lawsuit). Under Constitutional law, any invasion of privacy by government authorities must first be approved through an individualized warrant. The person or premises to be monitored must be specified, and the reason behind the surveillance must be clearly explained. FISA does away with all of these protections to your privacy and gives free reign to government to spy on whoever they choose without any oversight whatsoever. It even allows for mass surveillance, or data collation, on entire subsections of the populace. What I find most interesting about FISA is the way in which it brazenly breaks the barrier between government and corporate power. We all know about the revolving door in Washington, but in the past, the idea of the barrier was at least somewhat maintained for appearances, if nothing else. The trick to FISA is that “technically”, it is the telecoms that are doing the actual surveillance, and not government. This is, I’m sure, the argument that will be used by the Feds if FISA is ever taken to the Supreme Court under the Fourth Amendment. The reality, though, is that the telecoms and the government are one in the same, and to treat them as two separate legal entities is to blind one’s self to the facts. Now, Mussolini’s definition of fascism (the melding of government and corporate infrastructure into a single entity with a single purpose) absolutely seems to apply to the U.S.

Big Brother Technotronic Super Villain-esqe Surveillance Grid: Ever feel like you are being watched? Get used to it, says Homeland Security! CCTV cameras have doubled in most U.S. cities over the past two years, while New York has tripled theirs in only six months. The TSA has been given invincible IRS-like goon squad status and now fondles and x-rays airport travelers at will, storing biometric data without consent and generally treating people worse than cattle. Don’t care because you don’t fly? Don’t worry! Naked body scanners are coming to bus and train stations near you! Hell, if we don’t put a stop to this horror soon, the TSA may roll scanners out on street corners.

A friend of mine was recently on a trip to Boston and went to see the U.S.S. Constitution, the oldest commissioned American war vessel still afloat. He related to me that his excitement was soon smothered when he realized visitors had to pass through metal detectors and security just to see the boat. I’m sure that the government is merely trying to prevent Al Qaeda from sneaking on board with box cutters, hijacking the ship, and sailing it into the Sears tower, causing the building to implode at near freefall speed.

The reason he was disenchanted with the experience was because he knew the metal detectors and security served little purpose, except to condition people into accepting that this was the norm. Everywhere you go, there DHS is.

Next of course would be easily tracked national ID cards, which were attempted a couple of years ago with little success under the Real ID Act. State compliance for the Real ID was postponed until May 2011, which is right around the corner. We’ll see if the states cave, or stand their ground. Finally, no surveillance society would be complete without citizen spies. Homeland Security is establishing its new “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign in your local Walmart. Yes, imagine the ghoulish face of cave troll Janet Napolitano leering down at aisle five as you attempt to save a dollar on frozen buffalo wings. She slobbers rhetoric about how you are surrounded by terrorists while you try to find that economy sized box of Count Chocula. Wouldn’t we all just feel safer?

Bailout Bills (All Variations): I find that a lot of people like to blame our current economic doomfest on one political party or the other, stumbling about in the dark in a sad attempt to trace the roots of the credit and mortgage collapse back to Obama, Bush II, Clinton, Bush I, etc. Everyone is desperate to play cheerleader for their team, not realizing that both teams are fake and almost every president since the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913 is to blame for selling out the American people to global banks. Let’s not forget, both Obama and Bush supported bailout legislation which is now widely considered to be an abject failure. The majority of Americans according to most polls opposed these bills, and yet they were still passed. What do the bailouts have to do with the loss of Constitutional rights? When the entirety of your country’s financial future is poured into the coffers of international banking elites and your currency is subsequently debased if not destroyed, leaving you with nothing but debt and supranational centralization, it is a certainty that a total loss of your rights will soon follow.

FDA Food Safety Modernization Act S. 510: Currently being considered for passage in the House. Yet another bill written in such a way as to make it wide open for interpretation by the authorities. First of all, the FDA has never been synonymous with “safety”, considering half the products they approve end up causing cancer or shrinking your testes. They would approve rat urine for mass consumption if a company like Monsanto wanted to market it. The FDA’s true roll has been to let major corporations violate safety regulations unobstructed while ruthlessly bringing the hammer down on smaller businesses. Now, the FDA has set its aim upon not just small farms, but personal gardens!

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s111-510

The bill gives the FDA far reaching powers over what it terms “food production facilities”, which are defined as “any farm, ranch, orchard, vineyard, aquaculture facility, or confined animal-feeding operation”. It also places all food production under the control of Homeland Security in the event of a “national emergency” (there’s that poorly defined phrase again). I have heard some organic growers and ranchers shrug off the bill, believing that the FDA would never take advantage of the broad interpretation and bring pressure on private gardens or food trade. This kind of naivety is always astonishing to me. When has a society ever opened a door to power that its government has not taken quick advantage of? In fact, the FDA has already begun harassing the Amish, of all people, for private farm trade, even without S. 510:

http://foodfreedom.wordpress.com/2010/02/08/fda-agents-invade-amish-farm-in-pa/

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/brooklyn/2008/05/01/2008-05-01_raw_milk_lovers_upset_over_amish_arrest.html

These are non-commercial farms, yet the FDA believes it has the authority to dictate their food production activities. If the government is willing to set its laser guided sites on a pacifist group that still rides around in horse and buggy, then they’ll definitely have no qualms going after the rest of us.

Anti-Constitutional Arguments For Dummies

Most people enjoy the advantages of freedom and are naturally conservative towards government, whether they realize it or not. Because of the rather unsavory past actions of the neo-cons (globalists), the word “conservative” has been sullied, and is now associated with corporatism and big government. However, real conservatism has always been quite revolutionary. True conservatives believe in the principle of limited government, and individualism above collectivism, which means they usually find themselves the target of establishment fury. True conservatives are almost always in rebellion against the system, because the system is almost always operated by those who are anti-freedom. Show me a self proclaimed conservative who supports proliferation of government with a smile and I’ll show you a very confused man.

The label “Conservative” should really be interchangeable with “Constitutionalist”, and once this is understood, anti-Constitutional arguments can be viewed without the blurred distractions of the false left/right paradigm. We begin to understand that the conflict is not between Democrat and Republican, Liberal or Conservative, because those terms have been warped and their meaning eroded. The conflict we face is instead between individualists (Constitutionalists), and collectivists (globalists).

We’ve all heard the gamut of anti-Constitutional arguments in the past, but almost always through the left/right filter. Let’s set that filter aside for a moment and consider a few of them once again more objectively…

Argument 1 – The Constitution is an outdated document and is no longer practical for the modern world:

I’ve heard this argument from both sides of the aisle once again indicating that left vs. right is all fantasy. Does a good idea ever become outdated? What about inborn instincts? Can the desire for freedom ever be impractical?

The suggestion that the Constitution is “too old” is ludicrous for many reasons. First, the idea of an independent republic is painfully new compared to the long wash of human empires filled with vast stretches of feudalism and tyranny. Globalism is often touted as the next step in the cultural evolution of man, but it is really a giant leap backwards compared to Constitutionalism, representing yet another old centralist autocracy marketed in a modern way. A global feudal state is still a feudal state.

Second, the guidelines of the Constitution are built upon social necessities that have never and will never disappear. The right to speak openly one’s opinions or observations without fear of government reprisal is not a right that we will ever find ourselves too modern to appreciate. The right to bear arms and defend oneself will always be essential to a culture that wishes to prevent despotism in its various forms. The right to privacy from all people, including the government, will never be programmed out of the public entirely. Every man has an innate need to live without being examined and judged as though he were under constant suspicion. Every aspect of the Constitution is archetypal, and therefore, as much a part of us as our own eyes and ears. These things do not lose their usefulness, no matter what era we live in.

Third, I have yet to see a political dynamic that is more sincere and honorable than the U.S. Constitution. I have yet to see a social concept presented as an alternative to the Constitution that does not have an ulterior motive attached. If someone, anyone, can present a new system that improves upon the Constitution while retaining the liberties described in the Constitution, I would love to see it. I hear a lot of criticism of the Constitution by globalists, but I have never seen any of them present a workable replacement that the public would respect, or willingly accept.

Argument 2 – Some rights must be given up for the greater good:

I’ll tell you a little secret; there is no “greater good”, unless you are talking about personal conscience. If your version of the “greater good” demands that you supplant your personal conscience, then it is not “greater”, and it is not “good”.

Safety is usually the catalyzing issue that leads to relinquished liberties, but safety itself is an illusion. No government can promise you true safety. Life is dangerous, and filled with the unexpected. Get over it and stop projecting your fears on the rest of us. If someone really feels that they are in immediate danger of a terrorist attack, then they should build a concrete bunker for themselves and stay in it, instead of trying to impose a collective bunker made out of unconstitutional laws and government surveillance around all of us.

Ultimately, what IS the greater good in this situation? Is it an unaccountable globalist nanny state and the dissolution of all individual and national sovereignty for the sake of a few people’s delusions of security? Maybe I’m just reckless, but I’m not buying it…

Argument 3 – National sovereignty must be removed if we are to achieve world peace:

World peace sounds very nice, I admit, but anyone who thinks removing Constitutional boundaries and bowing to globalism is the cure for war is smoking something laced with a serious amount of something. Almost every war of the past century alone has been funded, facilitated, or outright ignited by the same types of global elitists who now demand that we centralize world economic and political power into their hands to end war. This isn’t irony, it’s actually very well thought out Hegelian gaming; a sort of anti-Karma that rewards evil and punishes the respectable.

We have been led to believe that peace requires some kind of Faustian trade; freedom for harmony. But, legitimate freedom is a harbinger of peace, and nothing, not even the promise of harmony, is worth trading it away.

Argument 4 – The government could never undo Constitutional liberties because we would just vote them out:

This argument shows a serious lack of insight into how our government actually functions. As I have pointed out, most of the anti-Constitutional legislation described in this article was supported by both major parties. Therefore, it would be logical to then consider that voting out one party and replacing them with the other makes little difference as to the policies the government pursues. Unless you are voting for third party or liberty based candidates, your stop at the ballot box was a big waste of time. Sorry, that’s just reality. The people who write in Mickey Mouse have more sense than most of the voting public. The point? Elections change very little on a federal level.

The argument is also sometimes reversed by nihilists, who claim that the American public is to blame for government corruption because they voted for said politicians in the first place. Again, how the public votes has little bearing on most major elections because they have not been given a real choice. I get more excitement when deciding between Coke or Pepsi.

Argument 5 – The Founding Fathers couldn’t live up to their Constitutional ideals:

Yes, Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, and he also tried to implement a gradual emancipation for all slaves. It’s a contradiction. Jefferson, like all the Founding Fathers, was living in the midst of a revolutionary age filled with contradictions and conflict. The fact that they were able to sort through much of this and form a nation that at least aspired towards equal rights and independence is nothing short of a miracle. Washington made many mistakes, and so did Adams. In the context of the era in which they lived, they still did extraordinarily well, and this world is immensely better off because of their contributions.

This argument is perhaps the most dishonest of those I’ve heard, because it seeks to dismantle the very tangible and beneficial accomplishments of the revolutionary period by defaming men who cannot defend themselves because they are long since dead. It is successful when used to target people who know only historical events or dates but do not know more about the characters of the figures involved. That is not to say we should blindly idolize the Founding Fathers, on the contrary, we should endeavor to see them as real human beings with strengths, as well as flaws. Those flaws do not discredit what they built. What men are able to achieve in spite of their flaws is often far more meaningful and valuable than what they lose because of them.

Moral Ambiguity In Times Of Crisis

Liberty is most threatened in moments of great duress. Desperation breeds reckless abandon, and such an atmosphere is suffocating to wisdom. Each point of balance in the struggle for freedom requires considerable focus, and that focus can be twisted, flipped, and wrenched by the shock of disaster. The preservation of Constitutional rights depends greatly on our ability to maintain a sense of integrity and discipline as a culture, even when all the world seems to crumble around us.

Fear makes the insane seem reasonable. Financial collapse, war, civil unrest, all of these calamities can tempt us to silence our dissent, to do things we would not normally do, or to concede that which is precious to us. Even now, that kind of fear has led to many unfortunate compromises. The good news is, there is no freedom taken, that cannot be taken back.

The question is, how much are we willing to endure to see that our ideals survive? How hard are we willing to work? How much of our time, effort, and energy are we willing to expend? If the answer is not “all of it”, then we have failed already. What we have covered so far is the present situation, and by no means does it have to continue. When drawing a line in the sand, that line must first be drawn within. We must promise ourselves that it is here we will not bend, we will not lose balance, we will not be thrown. All liberty depends most on this.

The United States of War Criminals

December 15, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

People from poorer places and poorer countries have to call upon their compassion not to be angry with ordinary people in America.” – Arundhati Roy

du birth defectsMore than half (53.3%) of US tax dollars go to a criminal enterprise known as the US Department of Defense (sic), a.k.a. the worst polluter on the planet. We hear about tax cuts this and budget that and all kinds of other bullshit from the US government and the corporations that own it…but the reality remains: Roughly one million tax dollars per minute are spent to fund the largest military machine (read: global terrorist operation) the world has ever known.

What do we get for all that money? To follow, is but one tiny example that mostly slipped through the cracks earlier this year.

On July 23, 2010, Tom Eley at Global Research wrote:

“According to the authors of a new study, ‘Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex-Ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005–2009,’ the people of Fallujah are experiencing higher rates of cancer, leukemia, infant mortality, and sexual mutations than those recorded among survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the years after those Japanese cities were incinerated by US atomic bomb strikes in 1945.”

For those unfamiliar with the US attacks on Fallujah, first of all: You should be fuckin’ ashamed of yourselves. Secondly, here’s Patrick Cockburn’s basic description :

“US Marines first besieged and bombarded Fallujah, 30 miles west of Baghdad, in April 2004 after four employees of the American security company Blackwater were killed and their bodies burned. After an eight-month stand-off, the Marines stormed the city in November using artillery and aerial bombing against rebel positions. US forces later admitted that they had employed white phosphorus as well as other munitions. In the assault US commanders largely treated Fallujah as a free-fire zone to try to reduce casualties among their own troops. British officers were appalled by the lack of concern for civilian casualties.”

Of crucial importance is this: A high proportion of the weaponry used by the US in the assault contained depleted uranium (DU).

And you and I paid for it all.

The aforementioned study found that the cancer rate “had increased fourfold since before the US attack” and that the forms of cancer in Fallujah are “similar to those found among the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb survivors, who were exposed to intense fallout radiation.”

Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Yeah, Americans paid for those bombs, too.

In September 2009, Fallujah General Hospital had 170 newborn babies:

  • 24 percent were dead within the first seven days
  • 75 percent of the dead babies were classified as deformed

Cockburn writes of a “12-fold increase in childhood cancer in under-14s. Infant mortality in the city is more than four times higher than in neighboring Jordan and eight times higher than in Kuwait.”
Dig this: After 2005, thanks to this “major mutagenic event” (DU), the proportion of girls born in Fallujah has increased sharply likely because “girls have a redundant X-chromosome and can therefore absorb the loss of one chromosome through genetic damage,” explains Eley.

And you and I paid for it all.

“The impact of war on civilians was more severe in Fallujah than anywhere else in Iraq because the city continued to be blockaded and cut off from the rest of the country long after 2004,” adds Cockburn.

While I could go on with the gory details, I’d much rather you ask a few questions:

  •  Now that you know these facts (and they are just the tiniest proverbial tip of a massive proverbial iceberg), how do you feel and what are you going to do about it?
  • Is it time you stop buying military video games, hanging yellow ribbons, and allowing our hard-earned money to finance mass murder?
  •  Can enjoy “the holidays” while women in Fallujah are petrified to have children?
  • Are you still able to insulate yourself with all those cute puppy videos on YouTube?
  • Are you ready to stop believing there’s a difference between the two wings of the same corporate/military party and start accepting that they’re all accessories to heinous crimes?
  • Will you still “support” the volunteer mercenaries as “heroes” or will you recognize them as willing—and paid—accomplices to war crimes?
  • Are you okay with 85.1% of US wealth being owned by the top 20% while 53.3% of your tax dollars subsidize atrocities, torture, oppression, occupation, and the literal destruction of the planet’s eco-system?
  • What is your threshold? Which taxpayer-funded horror story is the one that will finally make you scream “enough”?
  • When you’ve screamed “enough,” what can/will you do and how soon will you start doing it?

You don’t have to tell me your answers. I’m a co-conspirator just like you.

Save your answers for the children of Fallujah. I’m sure they’re wondering why the fuck we all choose to remain silent and inactive.

Mickey Z. is probably the only person on the planet to have appeared in both a karate flick with Billy “Tae Bo” Blanks and a political book with Howard Zinn. He is the author of 9 books—most recently Self Defense for Radicals and his second novel, Dear Vito—and can be found on the Web at http://www.mickeyz.net.

Mickey Z is a regular columnist for Novakeo.com

Can Israel Defeat Hezbollah In The Coming War?

October 10, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Part I “Know thyself” Sun Tzu

HezbollahOn any day, but particularly since 9/21/10, you can also see beefed up Zionist military patrols, assorted electronic listening posts, sundry spy devices, new Raytheon-produced surveillance equipment, two new supposedly camouflaged cinder block one room shacks with Zionist soldiers peering out menacingly while talking on their (Hezbollah-monitored) cell phones to girlfriends, mothers, pals and their HQ’s. They frequently glare from windows heavily-screened to keep out stones that tourists on the Lebanon side of the ‘blue line’ regularly throw at them when UNIFIL guys aren’t paying attention or shoo them away. You can also see land mine fields, wide soft sand swatches along the wire fences to detect trespassing neighbors footprints, a couple of orchards, and the edges of three colonial settlements. And if one were to squint, like really squint, or better yet, risk getting shot between the eyes by a Zionist sniper with an American 7.62 mm, Sniper Weapon System, M24 (called a “system” because it can be used with various detachable telescopic sights and other accessories) and were to use some Barska Cosmos 25X100 binoculars, one might see, well, vent holes.

These air ducts, according to imaginative and joking village kids, are guarded by specially trained scorpions, the holes bringing in fresh air for scores of 130 feet plus bunkers that some miscreants are rumored to have gone and built all over northern Palestine as far south as Safad.

The increase in activity along the Blue line, especially near Fatima’s Gate is only partially in preparation for the rumored visit of Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in mid- October. An Israeli invasion could be launched at any time and locals explain that, for their part, they have selected their targets, completed their surveillance, so far eluded capture and are ready to attack deep into Palestine when commanded.

President Ahmadinejad is also expected to appear and speak at Maron al Ras, presumably without binoculars and resisting the temptation to cast a few stones in solidarity with the Palestinian intifadas. UNIFIL personnel at the scene reveal that several Israeli military leaders have been visiting the area this past month, including Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi.

It is here in this ancient verdant, war scared hillside village of Maron al Ras where tradition instructs that Jesus (Issa) from Nazareth, less than a day’s walk to the South, accompanying his sainted mother Mary (Miriam), paused to rest on their trek to a wedding feast at Qana, some 30 km west.

At Qana, the site of unspeakable massacres in 1996 and 2006, two of the more than 60 committed by Zionist forces over the past six decades, the bearded Palestinian “terrorist”, so-listed by the Sanhedrin judges, performed at his mother’s request his first miracle. Qana residents are quick to point out that it was this same Sanhedrin that would later pay Judas Iscariot 30 pieces of silver to deliver up Jesus for trial on false death penalty charges of Blasphemy and would sentence his brother James to death by stoning.* According to a local priest who conducts tours of the Grotto of the Virgin Mary in Qana, where Mary and her son visited with the family of the soon to be newlyweds, “By turning water into wine, Jesus dutifully fulfilled his mother Mary’s request to provide additional refreshment for the larger than expected gathering of nearby villagers.” The priest explains to visitors that the parents of the bride and groom wanted to avoid the acute social embarrassment of running out of refreshments and were concerned for the comfort of last minute uninvited guests, who they anticipated would arrive for their children’s wedding as word quickly spread that Jesus and his mother would be attending.

One guest who is receiving invitations even from March 14 pro-Saudi political parties for frank discussions this month and who has already been invited to Qana, but who probably won’t imbibe the local “miracle wine” sold by local entrepreneurs, (from under the tent so to speak) will be the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He is said to be a devotee of Prophet Issa and Miriam, both venerated in the Holy Qur’an.

In Lebanon, it sometimes appears even to the “particularly obtuse” – to borrow a phrase from my favorite constitutional law professor and scholar, Henry Paul Monaghan, who sometimes called us first year law students “particularly obtuse” – that everything is viewed thru the smoky prism of local politics and sects. Two lovely and politically passionate Qana villagers (one giggling and claiming to be a “Shia-Christian” and her friend interjecting “I’m a Christian-Shia!”), both Muslims who follow the teachings of “Prophet Issa”, explained to this foreigner that many Rabbis disparage Jesus’ miracle in Qana by claiming that it was the Hebrew Moses who was first able to turn water into another substance. They then gleefully counter that “Moses may well have done it, but Moses turned water into blood as a message of harsh judgment and violence, whereas “our” Palestinian Issa turned water into wine as a message of love, generosity and hospitality.” The discussion ended when an American Yeshiva student from Brooklyn appeared and entered the discussion announcing to the villagers that both Bible stories “suck” and that when the next war comes Qana may witness itself being miraculously turned into depleted uranium dust.

In both Maron al Ras and Qana, villagers believe it’s just a matter of time before Israel will invade Lebanon and it’s a subject of rare unanimous sectarian consensus in all of Lebanon. For example, in the course of no more than two hours the other day, while running errands around Beirut, this observer was informed, without even bringing up the subject, by (1) my Shia Muslim Hezbollah motorcycle mechanic patching up my bike after a slight mishap (again!) (2) Miss Idriss, the Maronite Christian lady who works at the corner bank and who truly adores “al Hakim” Samir Geagea, leader of the Lebanese Forces (since 2006, Geagea and the LF has been siphoning off alienated cadres and youth from the ranks of Geagea’s rivals including the Gemayals’ Phalange and Michel Aoun’s Christian pro-Hezbollah Free Patriotic Movement, and (3) my Sunni Muslim greengrocer lady who has absolutely no use for any of the above, that a major war is coming and probably sooner rather than later.

Purveyors of Israeli Hasbara are also keeping busy with predictions of a World War I type inevitability of major war in Lebanon given the claimed rapid arming of the national Lebanese resistance led by Hezbollah, and the Israeli touted collection of yet more new ‘ultra-tech super weapons’ including robotic insects, new stealth drones, Iron Domes, David Sling I and II missile shields, yet even more improvements to the “impenetrable” Merkava Mark IV tank that took such a beating in 2006 that three countries, including Belgium, cancelled Merkava purchase orders. Israel and its “academic agents” tout more than 20 other spectacular “game changing” technological breakthroughs ‘just since the 2006 war which, according to Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic & International Studies and Jane’s Defense Weekly, likely will not function in real war conditions – despite the largess of the unknowing American taxpayers who pick up the tab for their R & D.

Virtually the whole waterfall of Hasbara studies, many handsomely paid for by various Israel lobby funders, conclude that the next Hezbollah Israel war will be nothing like the 2006 July War. In addition, pro-Israel authors routinely skew their research to reassure their paymasters that Hezbollah will lose to the spruced up, better-equipped and trained Israeli soldiers and that their defeat will not only shatter Hezbollah, but destroy Syria and Iran’s political power base and fundamentally change the political scene in Beirut.

This they confidently predict will lead to a pro-American and Israel-tolerant realignment of political parties and even achieve the long sought Lebanon-Israel “peace treaty.” Some “Lobby papers” conclude that the next battle will deliver changes as far away as Iran, and destroy Hamas.

Designed to bolster the increasingly dubious Israeli public opinion, some Israeli think tanks claim that the massive US taxpayer funded therapy program for returning 2006 Israeli troops has succeeded in lowering the rates of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and has lowered the percentage of “shell shock” disability cases in Israel. No mention of the skyrocketing rates of PTSD among US troops returning from various deployments in the Middle East which are skyrocketing, and American family complaints that needed medical help is being denied due to Pentagon budget “priorities.” A Rand study in 2008 estimated the total number of American service members who served in Iraq and Afghanistan who returned with PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), or “had their bell rung” to use the terminology employed by some staff in Ward E7 at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, outside Washington, is more than 320,000. Today the figure is thought to be near 350,000. Only a small percentage are being properly treated according to the Department of Veterans Affairs and Bethesda medical staff, both of which admit they are not equipped to handle them—most severely maimed for life. Increasingly, some family members are becoming bitter and complaining about budget cuts. One mother recently complained to Congressman Steny Hoyer (veteran not of the US military but of more than a dozen US taxpayer paid trips to Israel) that “Israel always comes first and we pay for treatment and therapy for their soldiers and we sent our boys and girls to Iraq and Afghanistan because they told us to.”

As reported by former CIA analyst Ray McGovern writing in Counterpunch recently, “Just this past week at Fort Hood, Texas, four decorated veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan took their own lives, adding to the 14 other suicides this year at Fort Hood alone.”

Timur Goskel, former advisor to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), is dismissive of many of these “Research Papers” and their (almost without exception) Zionist authors: “They don’t know the other side of the story. They don’t know what is happening here in Lebanon or what is Hezbollah doing or what Hezbollah is capable of. They will likely be shocked when they find out. They guess from newspapers and whatever and Hezbollah is not the organization you can read about in newspapers accurately. They don’t talk too much.” Goskel added.

Some of the Israeli Lobby think tank predictions may indeed materialize but the history of Hezbollah and Israel on the battlefield and other factors, ignored by pro-Israel “scholars” who either aren’t aware of them, or don’t want to risk their sinecures by mentioning unpleasant facts to their employers, suggest that Israel will lose its next aggression against Lebanon.

It is clear that Hezbollah has been studying its enemy.

Scorecard: Four Hezbollah conflicts with Israeli forces

The June 1982 Israeli invasion is not included in this brief consideration because Hezbollah was not fully organized and in fact its birth was partially the result of the 1982 “Peace for Galilee” aggression that slaughtered nearly 20,000 Lebanese civilians and Palestinian refugees as well as setting the stage for the Sabra-Shatila Massacre. On August 30, 1982, Israel did achieve its goal of expelling most of its PLO nemesis but catastrophically failed in its main objective of ending Lebanese resistance activity, as a PLO replacement Hezbollah quickly became a far stronger and more sophisticated adversary.

Many fighters who eventually joined Hezbollah but who fought in 1982 with the PLO or with a variety of affiliated militia inflicted much damage on Israeli forces during numerous mountain battles and at Khaldeh on the coast south of Beirut.

  • 1985: Hezbollah pushes their Zionist enemy out of the mountain areas

Between 1978 to 1985, Zionist forces occupied approximately 1/3 of Lebanon including 801 towns and villages. The newly forming Hezbollah never stopped its resistance attacks. An important Hezbollah political victory against Israel was achieved on March 5, 1984 when its work to achieve the Lebanese Council of Ministers cancellation of the U.S.-Israel created May 17, 1983 agreement that would have yielded significant Lebanese sovereignty and territory to Israel. Another was the expulsion of foreign “peacekeeping forces” that increasingly attacked the civilian population of Lebanon on behalf of Israel and its local allies.

During this period Hezbollah and its allies surprised and hit Israeli forces hard all over the mountains and valleys and on January 14, 1985 Israel began withdrawing from 168 villages, being 55% of South Lebanon or 11% of Lebanon including Sidon, Tyre, Nabatieh and parts of the Western Bekaa.

  • The July 1993 Aggression—so called “Operation Accountability”

Israeli Chief of Staff Ehud Barak, told the Lebanese government on 7/31/93, “Disarm Hezbollah or watch Israeli do it.” He said about the same thing to the Obama administration on 9/30/10 at the Pentagon.

Despite, 1,224 bombing attacks, according to UNIFIL data, and firing of more than 30,000 artillery shells and rockets, Hezbollah retaliated with what AFP on 7/25/93 called, “A hell of a shelling last[ing] 10 hours without a pause.” For seven days resistance forces conducted at least 30 operations along the Blue line targeting Zionist forces and their Lebanese surrogates. The US and Israel, shocked that the CIA-Mossad intelligence estimates that Hezbollah had only 500 rockets and this supply would be depleted in three days, decided to call for a cease-fire. The “July Accord” took effect at 6 p.m. on 7/31/93 and Israel withdrew and stood down, failing to achieve any of its objectives which frankly are always the same– Disarm the Resistance, break Hezbollah’s relationships with the Lebanese public, and force the Lebanese government to dismantle the Resistance. On 8/19/93 Israel’s PM Rabin told his cabinet: “ I regret saying this, but Hezbollah has defeated us.”

  • The April 1996 Aggression:–the so-called “Grapes of Wrath”

This aggression started on April 11, 1996 with bombing attacks in Baalbeck and down south in Tyre at the Lebanese army base and for the first time since 1982, attacks on Dahiyeh in South Beirut. Israel bombed a wider area than in 1993 over a period of 16 days.

This invasion became known among some in South Lebanon as the “Four Massacres aggression”: Suhmor on 4/12/96; the bombing of the Al-Mansouri ambulance on 4/13/96; Nabatieh on Day 7; and the Qana massacre on the same day when 118 civilians were slaughtered and 127 injured. Hundreds of thousands were displaced with 7,000 homes completely or partially destroyed. Total civilian casualties exceeded 250.

Having studied each preceding war with its enemy, Hezbollah succeeded in anticipating Israeli tactics, paths of entrance into Lebanon and targeting actions. Israel, not being able to find any, failed to target a single resistance fighter or to prevent any rocket pads from launching at will. Until the moment the US-Israel requested ceasefire took hold, having been arranged by US Sec. of State Warren Christopher, Hezbollah’s retaliation with Katuysha rockets continued unabated. Israel’s goals were again those noted above. There was one addition and that was to present Shimon Peres with a military victory to help his election campaign which was backed by President Clinton and staffed with some key Clinton campaign staff. On May 29, 1996 Peres lost the election and Hezbollah emerged from “Grapes of Wrath” victorious and widely perceived in Washington and Tel Aviv as having exposed Israeli battle field errors, or what the Resistance called “impotence”.

  • The May 24, 2000 withdrawal of Israeli forces and the complete collapse of their surrogate collaborationist Lahdist forces. Israel’s notorious prison at Khiam was liberated by villagers and their loved ones freed. This resistance victory was perhaps its sweetest to date. No cheap political deals to help the Zionists save faced. Total defeat as Israeli faces snuck out during one night without even telling their collaborators. A half century after Israel started its inroads into Lebanon, except for some border enclaves like Shebaa, Kfar Kouba and Ghajar that Hezbollah and the Lebanese army aims to recover during the coming war, it was out. This victory was especially valuable to the Resistance and Lebanon as it demonstrated qualities that will determine the outcome of the next war. It blended a deep belief in God, magnanimous in victory, human treatment of the vanquished, care for the families of martyrs, insistence on dialogue with internal adversaries, confidence in the victory of good over evil, and thorough preparation for future aggressions and acceptance of sacrifice.
  • The July 2006 War, the mis-named “ Second Lebanon War”

The results of the 2006 33-day Israeli aggression are well known and documented, with none of Israel’s stated goals–namely destroying Hezbollah, acquiring a treaty with Lebanon, breaking popular Lebanese support for the National Lebanese Resistance–being achieved. Hezbollah’s victory resulted in a deep sea change in Lebanese sectarian attitude towards Israel partly because during the war all of Lebanon saw through the Hasbara articles produced for cash at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP was set up by AIPAC in 1985), the American Enterprise Institute, the Hudson Institute, the Saban Center at the Brookings Institution, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies , and the Foreign Policy Initiative, among several others.

  • Preparing for the coming war- knowing the enemy

Sometimes Hezbollah members complain to this observer, as one did recently, that:

We spend so much time studying every imaginable aspect of the Zionist forces and their corrupt society, from their psychology, strengths and weaknesses on the battle field, every battle and every little encounter over the past 28 years, favorite foods, drugs, and video games. Really, I don’t find them all that interesting I just want to expel them from the rest of Lebanon and all of Palestine. The sooner the better!

Among past wars involving Israel that Hezbollah is said to microscopically study (in addition to all its own battles during Israeli wars and invasions) are those of 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973, and 1978. As well as the serial aggressions inside occupied Palestine including Gaza.

Hezbollah believes Israel will indeed attack Lebanon and that the Zionist battle plan will include the use of the following Israeli units which Hezbollah has been carefully studying and preparing to confront. Among these are the 91st “Galilee Division” which Hezbollah believes will be backed by multiple regular and reserve brigades trying to seal Lebanon’s southern border to stop Resistance/Lebanese Army units from moving deep inside occupied Palestine.

Additionally, Hezbollah is preparing to seek out and cripple the 162nd Armored Division which it damaged regularly during the 2006 war as well as confronting the 36th Armored Division normally assigned to the Golan Heights, (unless Syria fights this time) and at least three reserve armored divisions (Hezbollah sources believe probably the 366th and 319th).

Hezbollah has prepared meticulous plans to destroy the 98th Paratroop Division, the much touted “Special Forces Quality” Golani Infantry Brigade (which Hezbollah reserve forces mauled badly in 2006), the 35th Paratroop

Brigade, the 551st “Spearhead” Brigade, the Givati Infantry Brigade, the Alexandroni Reserve Infantry Brigade, the Kfir Infantry Brigade specializing in “Urban Warfare”, the Carmeli Infantry Reserve Brigade, the Sayeret Matkal Reconnaissance Unit, the Sayeret Egoz reconnaissance unit attached to the Golani Brigade, the Shayetet 13 Naval Commando Reconnaissance and Raiding Unit, the Sayeret Yael Engineering Unit, plus a variety of units specializing in combat intelligence, supply, transport and communications.

Both Hezbollah and Israel have declined comment on current rumors coming from concerned Pentagon staff in Washington that Hezbollah intelligence agents inside Israel have provided the Lebanese Resistance with the names, addresses, mobile phone numbers and email addresses of each personnel assigned to every one of the above units to be in its crosshairs when the battle begins.

Is Hezbollah prepared to fight Israeli collaborators on additional fronts?

Lebanese national resistance allies in and around Parliament are claiming that the US is frantically trying to organize a “northern second front” to help Israel in the coming war by enticing right wing Christian militias, Al Qaeda mixed-bag “Salafists for lease”, and anyone else willing to fight a back door war against the Resistance while Israel kicks in the front door north of Safad and Nahariyah down south. The White House has reportedly vetoed one scheme to bring in Blackwater type private contractors.

Former MP Nasr Kandil who is close to Hezbollah stated on 9/30/10: “Egypt is also training hundreds of young gunmen in military camps in northern Lebanon that were set up under the guise of mobile hospitals while Jordan is training more than 700 Sunni militia members” at the behest of the US Embassy in Beirut and Jordan as part of “subversive initiatives against Lebanon for Israel’s benefit”.

These militia are claimed by Kandil and other politicians in Lebanon (including Senior Arab Democratic Party member Rifat Ali Eid) to be Salafi groups with links to Al Qaeda organized by the CIA and Saudi Intelligence Services similar to the Fatah al Islam group that fought a summer long battle from the Palestinian camp of Nahr al Bared in 2007, and whose ranks are being replenished in Lebanon.

This week the Lebanese Forces were accused by Hezbollah’s Sheik Naim Qassim, Deputy to SG Hassan Nasrallah, of running new LF militia training camps with speculation that they are being trained on Russian-made BKC machine guns and the American MAG and small mortars. If so, they are not the only ones participating in an arms acquisition frenzy. A weapons run ignited during the May 8, 2008 violence, cooled down over the past two years but flared up again last month with virtually all political parties and many private citizens buying up available stocks of M4’s (with a launcher $12,000) M16’s ($1,500) and AK47 Kalashnikov’s rifles (ranging between $750-$1,000) out of the back of cars or on road sides and alleys. Truck loads have been reported arriving from Iraq hauling US military supplies ‘shrinkage’.

Some analysts believe that once the Israeli attack date is imminent, northern Sunni militia being clustered around Tripoli and Akkar and other locations will attack Shia targets diverting Hezbollah units and weakening its southern and eastern (Bekaa) resistance.

They expect beefed up Saudi financed “Security-Plus Inc.” type units that were attempted in May of 2008. It may be recalled that effort soon fizzled and was ridiculed in Lebanese media as “Security-Minus Inc.” because when the green recruits got off their buses down in Hamra they quickly defected en masse deciding they did not want to fight Hezbollah “second team” forces after all.

For the past three years, Israel has been instructing the White House and Congress, as Ehud Barak told Bill Clinton on 9/21/10 at the opening of the Clinton Global Initiative in NYC: “This time Hezbollah must be totally eradicated from Lebanon. We don’t even want to find their residue after the next operation!”

Despite Barak’s instructions, the Pentagon’s J-8 Directorate for Force Structure Resources and Assessment, which among other duties conducts analysis, assessments, and evaluates strategies for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and some special American friends, agrees with Israeli military planners and Hezbollah on at least one subject–The next Hezbollah-Israel war will not see Israel using many ground forces outside of armored personnel carriers once they enter Lebanon. The reason is that all three agree with the Pentagon’s J-8 Directorates’ opinion that based on previous battlefield performance, it will likely require 5 Israeli soldiers to offset one Hezbollah defender’s battlefield acumen.

Can Israel Defeat Hezbollah In The Coming War? Part 2

Dr. Franklin Lamb is Director, Americans Concerned for Middle East Peace, Beirut-Washington DC, Board Member of The Sabra Shatila Foundation, and a volunteer with the Palestine Civil Rights Campaign, Lebanon. He is the author of The Price We Pay: A Quarter-Century of Israel’s Use of American Weapons Against Civilians in Lebanon and is doing research in Lebanon for his next book. He can be reached at fplamb@gmail.com

Dr. Franklin Lamb is a regular columnist for Novakeo.com

Monsanto, Blackwater and GM crop saboteurs

September 19, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Monsanto, BlackwaterAgribusiness giant Monsanto, which genetically modifies plants to exude or tolerate pesticide or to produce nonviable seed, hired the services of the mercenary firm Blackwater to spy on activists, Jeremy Scahill reports. A death-tech firm weds a hit squad.

This is no doubt in response to a decade of GM crop sabotage efforts around the globe.  Since the publicly-announced introduction of GM crops in 1996, concerned citizens have vandalized such crops every single year somewhere on the planet. Several thousand GM plants have been partially or wholly destroyed. (See brief history below.)

Blackwater is most notorious for its Nisour Square Massacre in 2007. Seventeen innocent civilians died when Blackwater goons opened fire in a busy market square. The hit team was later acquitted in a U.S. court.

Scahill reports that through its web of companies, Blackwater (now Xe Services) spied on and/or infilitrated groups opposing Monsanto in 2008 thru earily 2010.  He writes:

“The relationship between the two companies appears to have been solidified in January 2008 when Total Intelligence chair Cofer Black traveled to Zurich to meet with Kevin Wilson, Monsanto’s security manager for global issues.

“After the meeting in Zurich, Black sent an e-mail to other Blackwater executives, including to [then-president Erik] Prince and [former CIA paramilitary officer Enrique] Prado at their Blackwater e-mail addresses.

“Black wrote that Wilson ‘understands that we can span collection from internet, to reach out, to boots on the ground on legit basis protecting the Monsanto [brand] name…. Ahead of the curve info and insight/heads up is what he is looking for.’

“Black added that Total Intelligence ‘would develop into acting as intel arm of Monsanto.’ Black also noted that Monsanto was concerned about animal rights activists and that they discussed how Blackwater ‘could have our person(s) actually join [activist] group(s) legally’….

“…Wilson confirmed he met Black in Zurich and that Monsanto hired Total Intelligence in 2008 and worked with the company until early 2010. He denied that he and Black discussed infiltrating animal rights groups, stating ‘there was no such discussion.’”

Monsanto said only publicly available information was monitored. Scahill writes of Monsanto’s security manager Kevin Wilson:

“He claimed that Total Intelligence only provided Monsanto ‘with reports about the activities of groups or individuals that could pose a risk to company personnel or operations around the world which were developed by monitoring local media reports and other publicly available information. The subject matter ranged from information regarding terrorist incidents in Asia or kidnappings in Central America to scanning the content of activist blogs and websites.’”

Tom Philpott of Grist notes:

“I can confirm that Monsanto likes to keep a close eye on blogs and websites. Back in 2005, I got my break as a food-politics writer after a Monsanto lawyer slapped my blog, with its all of 30 readers, with a cease-and-desist letter.”

Monsanto has also openly engaged with activists on blogs. During my tenure as Senior Editor at OpEdNews.com, site owner Rob Kall approved membership for Brad Mitchell, Monsanto’s public relations chief.  Mitchell particularly focused on articles by Linn Cohen-Cole. (See e.g. the comments on Monsanto’s dream bill, HR 875.)  Cohen-Cole claimed that after her articles at OEN received widespread attention, she noticed surveillance vehicles on her street.

That early 2009 decision at OEN spiked the ire of food writers. They objected to a forum for ordinary people granting equal access to a multi-billion dollar corporation which can publish in mainstream media, and hire professional psyops agents like Burson-Marstellar. B-M represents genocidal regimes, claimed the Bhopal disaster wasn’t so bad, promotes secret vote counting software, and is generally the go-to spindoctor for the world’s worst enterprises.

By a wide majority, OEN members condemned Kall’s approval of Monsanto membership, forcing him to rescind it. Two months later, in May 2009, he demoted and/or banned several “radicals,” including those of us who deride GM foods. In fact, my banishment prompted the inception of Food Freedom, a website that includes coverage of GM foods and Monsanto.

But, no matter how many bloggers it tries to silence, the biotech industry has lost in the court of public opinion. This is why it lobbies to ensure genetically modified foods are not labeled. Not even Burson-Marstellar has been able to overcome the “frankenfood” reputation.

GM Crop Sabotage in Defense of Biodiversity

But it isn’t just public opinion that concerns Monsanto.  Monsanto didn’t hire assassins to sway public opinion. GM crop sabotage, which originated in Europe, has been an ongoing global effort since at least 1997.

In 1999, Andrew Hund compiled several reports of GM crop sabotage around the world, some of which are included in the timeline below.

Just focusing on the U.S., Gordon Rausser documented thousands of GM plant destructions in 1999 alone. Citizens targeted GM corn, sugar beets, sunflowers, melons, tomatoes, walnuts, and strawberries. The attacks occurred in Maine, Vermont, Minnesota, New York, and California.

Kathryn Brown reported in Scientific American that in 2000, “in Maine, midnight raiders hacked down more than 3,000 experimental poplar trees. And in San Diego, protesters smashed sorghum and sprayed paint over greenhouse walls.”

This year, Marcel Kuntz described 70 instances of GM crop sabotage in England, Switzerland, France and Germany from 1999 thru 2010.

The timeline below is but a brief sampling of such actions. It shows a wide variety of crops on several continents. And, it shows unending interest in ridding the planet of this technology. (Too numerous to list, the cases of GM crop sabotage in the US are not included. See sources above.)

1997 Irish destroy GM sugar beets
1998 Irish destroy GM sugar beets
1998 French destroy GM corn
1998 Brits destroy GM crops on over 40 separate plots
1999 Indian farmers burn GM cotton
1999 New Zealanders destroy GM potato
1999 Canadians destroy GM trees
1999 Brits destroy GM corn
2000 Brits destroy GM corn
2001 Brits destroy GM corn
2001 Brazilians destroy GM corn and soy
2001 Brits destroy six separate fields of GM corn and rapeseed
2002 Indian farmers destroy GM cotton
2003 French destroy GM rapeseed (canola)
2004 French Guiana activists destroy GM coffee
2005 French destroy 50 acres of GM corn
2006 Germans destroy GM corn in several attacks
2006 French destroy GM corn
2007 Brits destroy GM potatoes
2008 Brazilians destroy GM corn
2008 Swiss destroy GM wheat
2009 Swiss destroy GM wheat
2009 Icelanders destroy GM barley
2009 Brits destroy GM potatoes
2009 Brits destroy GM apple trees
2010 Swiss destroy GM wheat
2010 Spaniards destroy GM corn
2010 Italians destroy GM corn
2010 French destroy GM grapes

Not everyone has the luxury of destroying GM crops. In India, under a new biotech bill known as BRAI, people can be imprisoned and fined simply for “misleading” others about GMOs.  Since the entire biotech industry is based on “misleading” information (e.g. one protein-one gene, or that GMOs are substantially equivalent to normal food), one has to wonder if Monsanto executives will get a pass, while only those who disparage the technology become the law’s target.

Elsewhere, dissent has been met with violence.

Last month in La Leonesa, Argentina, 100 thugs attacked local farmers who gathered to hear a scientific presentation on the toxicity of glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup. The Chaco provincial government had previously reported a tripling of childhood cancers and a quadrupling of birth defects in the area in the ten years since “the expansion of glyphosate and other agrochemical spraying in the province.”

Monsanto, by hiring a mercenary army and former CIA field agents, is deadly serious about protecting its deadly products. Yet, this contract further discredits the company. The public can now paint an even bleaker picture of the firm that brought us Agent Orange, PCBs, rBST, DDT, aspartame and, now, hitmen.


Rady Ananda is a regular columnist for Novakeo.com

Rady Ananda’s work has appeared in several online and print publications, including three books on election fraud. She holds a BS in Natural Resources from The Ohio State University’s School of Agriculture.

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