Control oil and you control nations,” said US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in the 1970s. “Control food and you control the people.”
Global food control has nearly been achieved, by reducing seed diversity with GMO (genetically modified) seeds that are distributed by only a few transnational corporations. But this agenda has been implemented at grave cost to our health; and if the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) passes, control over not just our food but our health, our environment and our financial system will be in the hands of transnational corporations.
Profits Before Populations
Genetic engineering has made proprietary control possible over the seeds on which the world’s food supply depends. According to an Acres USA interview of plant pathologist Don Huber, Professor Emeritus at Purdue University, two modified traits account for practically all of the genetically modified crops grown in the world today. One involves insect resistance. The other, more disturbing modification involves insensitivity to glyphosate-based herbicides (plant-killing chemicals). Often known as Roundup after the best-selling Monsanto product of that name, glyphosate poisons everything in its path except plants genetically modified to resist it.
Glyphosate-based herbicides are now the most commonly used herbicides in the world. Glyphosate is an essential partner to the GMOs that are the principal business of the burgeoning biotech industry. Glyphosate is a “broad-spectrum” herbicide that destroys indiscriminately, not by killing unwanted plants directly but by tying up access to critical nutrients.
Because of the insidious way in which it works, it has been sold as a relatively benign replacement for the devastating earlier dioxin-based herbicides. But a barrage of experimental data has now shown glyphosate and the GMO foods incorporating it to pose serious dangers to health. Compounding the risk is the toxicity of “inert” ingredients used to make glyphosate more potent. Researchers have found, for example, that the surfactant POEA can kill human cells, particularly embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells. But these risks have been conveniently ignored.
The widespread use of GMO foods and glyphosate herbicides helps explain the anomaly that the US spends over twice as much per capita on healthcare as the average developed country, yet it is rated far down the scale of the world’s healthiest populations. The World Health Organization has ranked the US LAST out of 17 developed nations for overall health.
Sixty to seventy percent of the foods in US supermarkets are now genetically modified. By contrast, in at least 26 other countries—including Switzerland, Australia, Austria, China, India, France, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Greece, Bulgaria, Poland, Italy, Mexico and Russia—GMOs are totally or partially banned; and significant restrictions on GMOs exist in about sixty other countries.
A ban on GMO and glyphosate use might go far toward improving the health of Americans. But the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a global trade agreement for which the Obama Administration has sought Fast Track status, would block that sort of cause-focused approach to the healthcare crisis.
Roundup’s Insidious Effects
Roundup-resistant crops escape being killed by glyphosate, but they do not avoid absorbing it into their tissues. Herbicide-tolerant crops have substantially higher levels of herbicide residues than other crops. In fact, many countries have had to increase their legally allowable levels—by up to 50 times—in order to accommodate the introduction of GM crops. In the European Union, residues in food are set to rise 100-150 times if a new proposal by Monsanto is approved. Meanwhile, herbicide-tolerant “super-weeds” have adapted to the chemical, requiring even more toxic doses and new toxic chemicals to kill the plant.
Human enzymes are affected by glyphosate just as plant enzymes are: the chemical blocks the uptake of manganese and other essential minerals. Without those minerals, we cannot properly metabolize our food. That helps explain the rampant epidemic of obesity in the United States. People eat and eat in an attempt to acquire the nutrients that are simply not available in their food.
Glyphosate’s inhibition of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes is an overlooked component of its toxicity to mammals. CYP enzymes play crucial roles in biology . . . . Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body. Consequences are most of the diseases and conditions associated with a Western diet, which include gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
More than 40 diseases have been linked to glyphosate use, and more keep appearing. In September 2013, the National University of Rio Cuarto, Argentina, published research finding that glyphosate enhances the growth of fungi that produce aflatoxin B1, one of the most carcinogenic of substances. A doctor from Chaco, Argentina, told Associated Press, “We’ve gone from a pretty healthy population to one with a high rate of cancer, birth defects and illnesses seldom seen before.” Fungi growths have increased significantly in US corn crops.
Glyphosate has also done serious damage to the environment. According to an October 2012 report by the Institute of Science in Society:
Agribusiness claims that glyphosate and glyphosate-tolerant crops will improve crop yields, increase farmers’ profits and benefit the environment by reducing pesticide use. Exactly the opposite is the case. . . . [T]he evidence indicates that glyphosate herbicides and glyphosate-tolerant crops have had wide-ranging detrimental effects, including glyphosate resistant super weeds, virulent plant (and new livestock) pathogens, reduced crop health and yield, harm to off-target species from insects to amphibians and livestock, as well as reduced soil fertility.
Politics Trumps Science
In light of these adverse findings, why have Washington and the European Commission continued to endorse glyphosate as safe? Critics point to lax regulations, heavy influence from corporate lobbyists, and a political agenda that has more to do with power and control than protecting the health of the people.
In the ground-breaking 2007 book Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation, William Engdahl states that global food control and depopulation became US strategic policy under Rockefeller protégé Henry Kissinger. Along with oil geopolitics, they were to be the new “solution” to the threats to US global power and continued US access to cheap raw materials from the developing world. In line with that agenda, the government has shown extreme partisanship in favor of the biotech agribusiness industry, opting for a system in which the industry “voluntarily” polices itself. Bio-engineered foods are treated as “natural food additives,” not needing any special testing.
Jeffrey M. Smith, Executive Director of the Institute for Responsible Technology, confirms that US Food and Drug Administration policy allows biotech companies to determine if their own foods are safe. Submission of data is completely voluntary. He concludes:
In the critical arena of food safety research, the biotech industry is without accountability, standards, or peer-review. They’ve got bad science down to a science.
Whether or not depopulation is an intentional part of the agenda,widespread use of GMO and glyphosate is having that result. The endocrine-disrupting properties of glyphosate have been linked to infertility, miscarriage, birth defects and arrested sexual development. In Russian experiments, animals fed GM soy were sterile by the third generation. Vast amounts of farmland soil are also being systematically ruined by the killing of beneficial microorganisms that allow plant roots to uptake soil nutrients.
In Gary Null’s eye-opening documentary Seeds of Death: Unveiling the Lies of GMOs, Dr. Bruce Lipton warns, “We are leading the world into the sixth mass extinction of life on this planet. . . . Human behavior is undermining the web of life.”
The TPP and International Corporate Control
As the devastating conclusions of these and other researchers awaken people globally to the dangers of Roundup and GMO foods, transnational corporations are working feverishly with the Obama administration to fast-track the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement that would strip governments of the power to regulate transnational corporate activities. Negotiations have been kept secret from Congress but not from corporate advisors, 600 of whom have been consulted and know the details. According to Barbara Chicherio in Nation of Change:
The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) has the potential to become the biggest regional Free Trade Agreement in history. . . .
The chief agricultural negotiator for the US is the former Monsanto lobbyist, Islam Siddique. If ratified the TPP would impose punishing regulations that give multinational corporations unprecedented right to demand taxpayer compensation for policies that corporations deem a barrier to their profits.
. . . They are carefully crafting the TPP to insure that citizens of the involved countries have no control over food safety, what they will be eating, where it is grown, the conditions under which food is grown and the use of herbicides and pesticides.
Food safety is only one of many rights and protections liable to fall to this super-weapon of international corporate control. In an April 2013 interview on The Real News Network, Kevin Zeese called the TPP “NAFTA on steroids” and “a global corporate coup.” He warned:
No matter what issue you care about—whether its wages, jobs, protecting the environment . . . this issue is going to adversely affect it . . . .
If a country takes a step to try to regulate the financial industry or set up a public bank to represent the public interest, it can be sued . . . .
Return to Nature: Not Too Late
There is a safer, saner, more earth-friendly way to feed nations. While Monsanto and US regulators are forcing GM crops on American families, Russian families are showing what can be done with permaculture methods on simple garden plots. In 2011, 40% of Russia’s food was grown on dachas (cottage gardens or allotments). Dacha gardens produced over 80% of the country’s fruit and berries, over 66% of the vegetables, almost 80% of the potatoes and nearly 50% of the nation’s milk, much of it consumed raw. According to Vladimir Megre, author of the best-selling Ringing Cedars Series:
Essentially, what Russian gardeners do is demonstrate that gardeners can feed the world – and you do not need any GMOs, industrial farms, or any other technological gimmicks to guarantee everybody’s got enough food to eat. Bear in mind that Russia only has 110 days of growing season per year – so in the US, for example, gardeners’ output could be substantially greater. Today, however, the area taken up by lawns in the US is two times greater than that of Russia’s gardens – and it produces nothing but a multi-billion-dollar lawn care industry.
In the US, only about 0.6 percent of the total agricultural area is devoted to organic farming. This area needs to be vastly expanded if we are to avoid “the sixth mass extinction.” But first, we need to urge our representatives to stop Fast Track, vote no on the TPP, and pursue a global phase-out of glyphosate-based herbicides and GMO foods. Our health, our finances and our environment are at stake.
Ellen Brown is an attorney, president of the Public Banking Institute, and author of twelve books, including the best-selling Web of Debt. In The Public Bank Solution, her latest book, she explores successful public banking models historically and globally. Her blog articles are at EllenBrown.com.
Source: Ellen Brown | CounterPunch
No doubt you have heard about the War on Drugs, the War on Terror and the War on Happiness. However, you may not be familiar with the War on God, possibly because it would be an unpopular war to discuss publicly. By the “War on God” (definition) we mean the collection of strategies, methods and techniques which have the combined effect of preventing or seriously hampering the efforts of individuals to seek or achieve legitimate Spiritual enlightenment and the Soul’s eventual return to God.
The War on God is an ancient war. While the United States and other countries play an active role in this war today, they definitely did not initiate the war. If you want to use the Christian bible as a reference, you could argue that the War on God began shortly after man was created and rejected God in favor of Satan. Clearly, in some form, the War on God has existed throughout human history.
Today, the United States has effectively broken off diplomatic relations with God. The oligarchs who run the country never physically die and so their souls stay on Earth. Apparently, the United States actually believes that its technology, occult knowledge and black magic skills place it in a position which is superior to God.
We know from whistleblowers like David Morehouse that the United States sponsors and trains a cult of psychics to carry out psychic espionage (remote viewing) and also assassinations using psychic black magic techniques. According to clips of his various interviews on YouTube, it was the training in psychic assassinations which caused Morehouse to become disillusioned, quit the secret program and blow the whistle on the operation. Other countries may well operate similar programs but the details will remain unknown until someone defects and exposes them.
The leaders of the United States have always worshiped Satan. The United States was founded by a cult of Satanists known as the Masons and remains under control of that cult today. By rebranding their cult as a nation state, the cult created the appearance of legitimacy. Cult secrets simply transitioned to state secrets. Cult threats to kill anyone telling their secrets transitioned to the crimes of treason and espionage.
Nothing really changed except for the rebranding from a cult to a government. Today, essentially all members of the CIA, NSA and NASA are Masons. All US presidents have been Masons with the two exceptions of Abraham Lincoln and John Kennedy who were both assassinated.
The term “national security” refers to the security of the cult and not to the security of the general population. The Masonic motto is “If you are not one of us, you are nothing”. The cult exists only to enrich itself.
Only two US presidents weren’t Masons, Abraham Lincoln
and John Kennedy. Both assassinated.
The Masons study and practice the occult. Serious study begins after they take a formal oath of allegiance to Satan at the 30th degree initiation. Basic occult knowledge is neutral and everyone who advances Spiritually learns it. However, Masons seek this knowledge to gain power and control over others as opposed to knowledge for personal advancement. This choice, commonly called the Left Hand Path, places them in opposition to the will of God.
If the Satanists simply wanted to sell their Souls to Satan and mind their own business, one could argue that they had that right because they had free choice. However, the situation is not that simple. The Satanic oligarchs did freely choose to worship Satan. However, they also desire a comfortable life. They don’t want to do any “grunt” work. Therefore, they have enslaved the remainder of humanity and are holding their Souls prisoner on this planet to service their needs. Therefore, if you, as an innocent Soul, ever plan to escape from this place and return to God, it is in your interest to investigate and gain an understanding of this war so that you will have an opportunity to Spiritually evolve. Otherwise, your Soul will remain a prisoner here — lifetime after lifetime — serving the Satanic overlords essentially forever.
Earth Based Religions
The phrase Earth Based Religions (definition) refers to religious schools which seek and use knowledge, including occult knowledge, to enhance their experiences during their human lifetimes as opposed to using the same knowledge to foster Spiritual development with the ultimate goal of achieving a stable non-physical Spiritual existence.
Although Pagan religions are usually grouped into this category, a more careful examination would reveal that essentially all mainstream religions are Earth based religions. Mainstream religions make constant references to God and Heaven but never explain exactly what they are talking about. Their books concentrate on historical narratives concerning how people in the past lived and coped with the basic problems of human physical existence. They never give details of any level of Spiritual existence or even any specific hints about what life beyond death will be.
Let’s try an example. Suppose you have never seen a motor vehicle. You have heard vague stories that they exist, but that is all. Then, suddenly, you find yourself behind the wheel of a car on a high speed road like the US interstate system or the A roads in Britain. What would you guess would be your chance of survival? Try less than zero.
Now suppose you physically die. Suddenly, you find yourself in your Astral body. However, no one ever told you that you have an Astral body. It does not operate under the same rules as a physical body does. It is a very pliant and nimble body. It can travel in time to the past or future, access any plane and subplane in the Astral universe and research the absolute accurate and incorruptible records system known as the Akashic Records to name just a few. But, as in the previous example, you never learned how to “drive” it.
You would have done fine on the highway if you had gradually learned to drive a motor vehicle. You would do fine after death if you had some experience and training with your Astral body. However, no one ever taught you. What practical use is any religion that constantly rants about Heaven but offers no practical advice about your life after this life?
This information may have been a guarded secret in the past, but those days are gone. You can research this information to your heart’s content on the internet, locate legitimate Spiritual groups and learn from those who can leave their physical body and explore the non-physical dimensions. But, don’t expect any help from a mainstream church.
You might do well to recall the famous quote attributed to Jesus, “The truth will set you free”. Mainstream churches are large, rich institutions. They did not get that way by “setting people free”. They got that way by terrifying their followers with ridiculous horror stories of what will happen to them if they do not obey their crazy doctrines, stay with them and give them all their money.
Gnostic and other “non-traditional” religions may be Spiritual based as opposed to Earth based. Jesus always reminded everyone that he represented a kingdom “not of this world”. If we had accurate records of his true lectures we would no doubt find practical instructions and information about this “other world”. We don’t have this information because any practical Spiritual teachings he might have given were censored out to create the simplified — but Spiritually sterile — mainstream religions we have today. They are simple to comprehend and follow but will not lead you anywhere except another physical lifetime somewhere on Earth.
Life Before Technology
Before technology life was simple. Although existence was hard, the opportunity for Spiritual experiences was greater than today. Consider, for example, all the empty time you would have as, say, a sheep herder. Nothing to do except make sure the sheep kept moving. In this situation, there was ample opportunity for the mind to wander and perhaps contemplate and glimpse other realities.
Also, and perhaps most important, no electric grid existed on the planet. Electric fields appear as solid “matter” in the Astral dimension and so can affect Astral experiences — generally in a negative way. Artificially created electromagnetic waves which blanket the planet today also have subtle and generally negative effects on living creatures.
Pagan groups generally conduct occult rituals outdoors and away from high population areas. When buildings are used, it is desirable that they be made only of wood and assembled without any metal (nails) and, of course, have no electrical wires.
Both good and evil existed before technology as they always have. It was possible to use psychological propaganda to influence and control susceptible masses of people. However, the positive and negative forces were more in balance. It was not possible for a single group to successfully dominate the planet.
Drugs existed in the form of various plants. Adepts learned how to use them to help or harm others. People with developed psychic abilities existed as they always have and white and black occult schools existed. Legitimate Spiritual masters existed.
Some techniques that thrived have essentially become extinct because the population of the planet has devolved. It is next to impossible to successfully teach Tantra (sex yoga), because today’s generation is incapable of the required level of self control. Classic Tibetan yoga techniques are still taught in isolated areas, but the masters — for good reason — will no longer consider trusting outsiders.
Information Control Techniques
Information control is essential for protecting the integrity of a compartment. People are held as slaves by constructing an information box which holds the slaves in an information prison. As long as the “walls” of the compartment remain impenetrable, the compartment — or belief system — will be stable and no slave will escape.
Considerable energy is required to achieve this. Those assigned to protect the walls obviously know that the compartment is an intellectual illusion. Therefore, they must be sworn to secrecy and intimidated in such a way that they will not compromise the integrity of the compartment. It only takes one “leak” to initiate a chain of events which could collapse the compartment and so allow the slaves to escape.
Consider, for example, the Snowden leaks. One person sharing knowledge has totally destroyed the illusion of privacy that most people had accepted as fact. It will not be possible to reconstruct this illusion. The compartment has collapsed.
Similar principles apply in the Spiritual spectrum. Because of the characteristics of the human bodies in use on this planet, most people do not retain any conscious memory of events before they were born. This is not universally true. Life forms on many other planets retain the memories of previous existences. Because humans generally do not have this recall, they are easily enslaved and can be conditioned to believe most anything.
To maintain a state of Spiritual ignorance it is important to institute methods which will prevent people from realizing that they are actually Souls experiencing a constructed illusion. People somehow reaching this state, sometimes referred to as “self realization”, will no longer respond to establishment propaganda and are generally considered a threat to the current social order.
The easiest and most direct method to achieve a stable slave population is simply not to talk about anything even vaguely esoteric. For example, how often have you heard the words astral, chakra or aura mentioned on a mainstream TV channel?
Most people will then likely “remain asleep” throughout their entire lifetime and will be no problem. Unfortunately, people have a natural desire — even though it may be an unconscious desire — to Spiritually evolve. It is, after all, the true purpose of human existence.
When someone tries to break away from the contrived illusions more direct methods are needed to return the slave to a state of ignorance. Today, various methods which cause brain damage — generally performed by psychiatrists — are used to negate any success in Spiritual evolution and return the slave to a state of vacant contentment.
Diversions and Techniques Promoting Inaction
The simplest and most effective diversionary technique is to promote scientific atheismand darwinian evolutionary philosophy as established fact. If you can get someone to buy into this philosophy, their fate is sealed. Even if they experience some contact with another dimension, such as an out-of-body experience, they will follow their programming, dismiss the experience as a delusion and refuse to investigate further. When they die, they will be totally lost and confused, flounder around on some lower Astral plane and eventually reincarnate just as Spiritually ignorant as before.
A side effect of accepting scientific atheism, which totally cripples Spiritual progress, is the acceptance of suicide as a way out of life’s problems. Suicide becomes a learned reaction. Consequently, when the Soul is sent back into another physical lifetime, it is likely to commit suicide again when faced with some unpleasant event. It never learns, and this cycle can repeat essentially indefinitely. Dealing with this is one of the most difficult problems faced by the administrators who work on the Astral planes.
For those who want more than scientific atheism, there is mainstream garden variety religion. Mainstream Christianity has developed a clever stonewalling technique that has worked to promote inaction for thousands of years. This technique is centered upon the argument that no one can make any progress until Jesus returns to show the way. In the meantime, people should just do nothing and wait. The effect of this is essentially the same as scientific atheism. No Spiritual progress is made.
Schemes designed to waste time are common. One really off the wall example is the decision in Syria to prohibit vacuum cleaners and standard flat brooms in homes. “Witch type” brooms consisting of a circular straw bundle are allowed. Surely there must be a good reason to keep these terrorist weapons out of the reach of the typical Syrian housewife. The official reason is to make basic housework as difficult and time consuming as possible so as to prevent the woman from having any free idle time which, if allowed, could lead to the emergence of “immoral thoughts”. Perfectly logical!
In the western world, complex bureaucracies seem to be deliberately designed to make the path to whatever you want as difficult as possible. Here the apparent motive is to prevent the acquisition of enough free time for any independent thought process. There are just not enough hours in a day to allow for any quiet contemplation of anything.
“Blank time” is always reported as a factor in the development of Spiritual figures. Time alone in the wilderness, time spent meditating alone in some isolated cave or at least periods of dedicated quiet time somewhere figure prominently in historical accounts of these people.
You may know or have heard of kids who spend all their waking hours playing interactive role model video games with other kids on the internet. They eat meals by the computer and never leave except to briefly sleep before returning to the all important game. Their entire life is spent in an imaginary reality. You may want to consider that your “real” life may not be all that different. You play a role. Your attributes are fixed by what society expects based upon that role. You can’t change, because others would notice. Your concept of the world beyond your little world is determined by what you see on TV. Daily, you receive your “fix” of carefully choreographed “programming” which appears unusually coherent because, as you may not know or fully comprehend, everything on TV is controlled by a few corporations and all of them are loyal to the official government party line. If you somehow had the opportunity to break from this structured “game” you play from day to day — say, the opportunity to visit other countries and see other cultures — you would likely realize that your existence has not been that much different from the kid addicted to a computer game. You would find that the actual “real” world had very little relationship to the world you had been conditioned to believe existed.
Chemical Control Techniques
“With the use of chemical brain-control agents it may be possible to control the individual and the masses and to do this unobtrusively and without the active cooperation of the victims — not a question for the future — it is here”.
This is a quote from the book by Edgar Cayce titled Edgar Cayce on Atlantis. There are references to Dr. Robert Galbraith Heath, and this book bears a copyright date of 1968. The book cites an interview that Heath gave to a newspaper called The Virginia Lighthouse and cites the above statement made by him on November 20, 1966. Heath founded the Department of Psychiatry and Neurology at Tulane University, New Orleans, in 1949 and remained its Chairman until 1980.
During this period, Tulane University actively participated in the CIA mind control project known as MK Ultra . Also, during this period, Tulane became an active member of the secret Institute for Defense Analyses, or IDA, a corporation whose only client is the US government. Heath reportedly performed many experiments there involving electrical stimulation of the brain via surgically implanted electrodes. This work was reportedly partially financed by the CIA and the US military. Heath is now “officially”  deceased.
You have been drugged since you were conceived — before you were even born. Your mother was drugged. Soon after birth, you were injected with mercury containing vaccines. And the systematic process of poisoning you never stopped.
By some estimates at least eighty percent of the food in the average supermarket is poison either because it is genetically modified or laced with pesticides and other additives. Even the air is poison now because of geoengineering chemicals sprayed into the upper atmosphere.
It should be noted that things are different in the separate but parallel world of the elite. The Max Keiser show  discussed the secret gardens in Japan. These gardens are surrounded by high walls and guarded by the military. They produce the food for the ruling elite. Every plant in the garden has its own health certificate certifying that is pure, healthy and not genetically modified. Obviously, every developed country must have a similar secret supply chain of legitimate food for its ruling class. Certainly the elite know better than anyone that the food supply for the ordinary people is poison. They’re not fools. They wouldn’t touch the stuff.
Vaccines used for the elite are prepared without the mercury and other toxic additives found in vaccines given to the ordinary people.
Various agents — mainly from plants — have always existed which could be used by those aware of them to harm others or control people by altering their state of consciousness. However, only recently has it become practical to wreck the health of essentially everyone on the planet at the same time. Genetic modification of plants and other life forms used for food has made this possible. Now, quietly, people throughout the world can be sterilized, crippled with serious health problems or even killed by altering the genetic makeup of the food supply. Ordinary people remain generally ignorant of the fact that this awesome power exists and is presently being used against them.
Mind control has become a science. You can’t major in it in college because this science is essentially entirely secret. The United States and other countries have spent the equivalent of billions of US dollars investigating and perfecting mind control.
Many secret research projects using unsuspecting or perhaps kidnapped people — some of whom were killed — have been conducted in the past and continue today. We only know about a very few of these projects such as MK Ultra, MK Naomi and Project Other. Even in these projects, specific details are sketchy. From these experiments, practical techniques for creating manchurian candidates and implanting created false personalities and identities have been developed and are in common use today within the secret communities.
Everyone has likely been the victim of some degree of mind control to some extent. Chemical weapons designed to mentally cripple people and render them drooling idiots are freely sold as prescription drugs in drugstores and are available to doctors to use as they please.
The lives of many kids are destroyed by these “drugs” because they have no ability to resist and their parents are ignorant and believe doctors can “do no harm”. Actually, today’s doctors are agents of the state. Many have top secret clearances and embrace classic Nazi philosophies such as eugenics. Their function is to watch you and make sure you “die appropriately” so as not to burden society. Anything they learn about you and anything you tell them is freely available to anyone in the intelligence community who is curious about you.
Only members of the super elite who are entitled to access top secret medicine will receive legitimate supportive medical care. Ordinary people will be deliberately allowed to die even though doctors with top secret clearances know of effective treatments which would cure them but which are classified and reserved for the chosen elite.
There is no such thing as an incurable disease any more. All the cures have been discovered. If you die, it is because you are not considered important enough to live and not because the cure does not exist.
Common sense should suggest to you that the lives of the elite have statistically different characteristics. For example, members of congress do not live sheltered lives. They work in close quarters and travel extensively both locally and internationally. They are always hanging out with prostitutes as well as playing with the young congressional pages.
Washington D.C. is reported to have more brothels than fast food joints. Strangely, however, these people do not get sick. Have you ever heard that congress had to shut down because everyone was coming down with some infection. It happens in other close populations, so what would make them exempt?
Understanding Astral Damage
Living things have an Astral component. For example, when you cut a leaf and then see the complete leaf on a Kirlian photo you are viewing the Astral component which was unaffected by cutting the physical component because it does not exist in the physical dimension.
Over one hundred years ago, practical techniques for viewing the human Aura were developed by Walter J. Kilner . The original technique used dicyanin dye and a later technique used special glasses. You can’t find either one today. In his research, Kilner was able to demonstrate that defects in the human Aura appeared before some corresponding disease manifested in the physical body.
Therefore, he was able to detect and prevent an adverse physical condition before it ever physically materialized. So, you ask, why don’t we have this marvelous medical technique available today? Well, we do. It is in use in top secret medicine. However, only the approved elite now have access to it. The information has been removed from public knowledge and classified.
In conventional allopathic medicine, which is based upon scientific atheism and sold to the general public, there is officially no such thing as an Astral body. Conventional medicine denies the existence of anything beyond the physical dimension. Since the Astral body officially does not exist, it is not recognized as a crime to deliberately harm it.
Damage to the Astral body can be compared to damage to the physical body. If you punch holes in the physical body by cutting it, shooting bullets at it or whatever, blood runs out and germs get in. If you cause enough damage, the body dies. Astral bodies do not die, but can suffer critical energy losses. Similar to physical bodies, punching holes in the Astral body allows essential energy to escape and harmful energies to enter.
There are many events which can harm your Astral body. It is in your interest to understand these events because your Astral body will be your primary body when your physical body dies. If it has been damaged, you will be at a severe disadvantage. The chosen elite have perfect Auras because they can use the Aura balancing machines available to them at any top secret medicine provider. However, you cannot.
Also, the ruling elite seem to take some delight in causing harm to the “ordinary” people. Consequently, many drugs, food additives, GMO foods and industrial chemicals found in the environment cause Astral damage. Chemicals recognized as poisons and banned in other countries can be freely added to foods given to ordinary people in the US.
Obviously, there must exist a secret supply chain of safe food and water which is available to the chosen since they know of the contamination and certainly would not want to harm themselves or their friends.
There are ways to closely duplicate the secret techniques available only to the elite. If you can see auras or can find a reputable psychic who can, you can approximate the techniques developed by Kilner and available to everyone over a hundred years ago. Although the secret aura balancing machines are more accurate, a competent psychic healer can do the same thing. Actually, since psychics have always existed, similar techniques have been available throughout the ages to those who were aware.
The concept of adding fluoride to drinking water for the purpose of mind control is said to have originated in the 1930′s as a result of collaboration between German and Russian scientists . Sodium fluoride was originally used and was found to cause a “mild lobotomy” in people who consumed small quantities. The effects were considered to be non reversible after one year of continuous use of the tainted water. Hitler added sodium fluoride to the water in his concentration camps to make the prisoners docile and cooperative as they waited for death.
Sodium fluoride (NaF) is used today in personal products like toothpaste. To poison the water supply of an entire country with sodium fluoride would be expensive. However, it just so happens that there is a waste product created during the manufacture of phosphate fertilizers, Fluorosilicic acid (H2SiF6), which is classified as hazardous waste and would be expensive to dispose of under EPA guidelines.
There is lots of this stuff available. This is the poison added to the public water supply in the US and some other countries. It is actually economical for industry because they don’t have to pay for hazardous waste disposal. They just pump it into the public water supply.
In the human body, fluoride has an affinity for the pineal gland in the brain. The pineal gland is associated with the “third eye”. Everyone has this third eye, but few are aware of it or know how to activate and use it.
Although the pineal gland is part of the physical body, the associated third eye is part of the Astral body and so is invisible in the physical dimension. The third eye allows you to see and communicate with the non-physical dimensions while fully awake and functioning in the physical dimension. So, you could see and carry on a conversation with someone in the physical dimension while invisibly also viewing and communicating with some entity on another plane of existence.
The standard Christian bible refers to the third eye with the phrase, “If thy eye be single thy whole body will be filled with light”. However, only students of mysticism would recognize the true meaning of this quote.
Obviously, having this ability would be a threat to the security of any totalitarian society. Poisoning with fluoride destroys this ability and so solves that problem. Literature is available if you wish more detailed information. Simply search using the phrase “fluoride third eye”.
On the chance that fluoride in the water is not sufficient to destroy any psychic abilities you may have, there are more aggressive ways to get fluoride into your brain. Here are some structural models of popular psychiatric drugs:
Fluphenazine (sold as Prolixin and forced on people through court ordered drugging)
Haloperidol (sold as Haldol and forced on people through court ordered drugging)
Notice that the element Fluorine (symbolized by its standard chemical symbol “F”) figures prominently in all these compounds.
These drugs are used to cause “chemical lobotomy”. By blocking communication channels with the higher levels of the human brain, they effectively convert the victim into a lower form of animal. Lower animals do not have the frontal lobes possessed by humans. That is what makes humans special. Disabling the frontal lobes effectively transforms a natural human being into, basically, a docile and obedient house pet which can be trained like a dog.
Incidentally, Fluorine also figures prominently in Sarin nerve gas.
For a more in depth study search YouTube for the free documentary Flouridegate — An American Tragedy by David Kennedy.
They All Drink From the Same Trough
If you casually look out upon the institutions of the world, it may appear to you that they are independent, discrete entities. However, they are not. They are all components of a collective which has successfully hidden its existence and true nature from the general population for generations.
Let’s begin with the media in the US. Although it may appear to you that there are thousands of independent sources reporting “news”, 90% of all media is controlled by six corporations. They are General Electric, News-Corp, Disney, Viacom, Time-Warner and CBS.
In the US, people believe they are protected from tyranny by the concept of “separation of powers” — that the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government are staffed by independent thinkers who “check and balance” each other. This is also a deception.
Once a year, at the end of July, there is a secret gathering on private property in the redwood forest of California called the Bohemian Grove. Although this annual meeting has been going on for over one hundred years, it is only during the last several years that outsiders have begun to learn of its existence. The only reason they have is because of the internet and independent journalism. Leaders from the mainstream media are all members of this secret club and so never even report its existence.
Who else goes to this annual secret “party”? Well, for want of a better name, we will call them the “Trusted Satanists”. They are the leaders of all the major corporations, banks and representatives from all the major branches of the US government as well as foreign governments.
Although these men outwardly support the concept of capitalism for the masses, this elite group, among themselves, are perhaps best described as “rich socialists”. Only men are allowed. For recreation, a stable of prostitutes — both male and female — are kept nearby off-site. The male prostitutes could theoretically enter the Grove.
The “party” begins with a Satanic ritual called “Cremation of Care” (i.e., “we don’t care”) which features the burning of a coffin at the base of a huge statue of an owl. Walter Cronkite reportedly was the official announcer at the grove until his death.
A secretly filmed video of this event is available on YouTube. It is supposed to be a “simulated” child sacrifice. However, since the CIA, FBI and NSA attend the ritual, who is going to complain on the chance it is a real sacrifice of a human child? After all, they are all trusted Satanists.
Most attendees from the United States are members of the Republican party. This is completely predictable in view of the fact that the US Republican party flaunts its affiliation with the “dark side” by prominently using the inverted star symbol on its official logo.
During the two week period, corporate leaders, the “independent” government regulators who supposedly keep corporations honest, the leaders from the executive, legislative and judicial branches of US government who are supposed to be “checking and balancing” each other, as well as the media moguls who we “trust” to report the truth, are all running around naked in the woods — pissing on the trees, playing with each other, and the male prostitutes as well as the off-site female prostitutes, and “having discussions”.
Well, what are they “having discussions” about? They are discussing what they plan to do with “their world”. The Manhattan Project to develop the first atomic bomb was reportedly planned at one of these discussions years ago. What about you? What about your future? What about any expectation of happiness you may have? Well, you see, you “don’t need to know”. Remember, “If you are not one of us, you are nothing”.
Blueprints For the New World
If this link  is still active, it would be in your interest to read through it. This document is a transcript of a speech given by one of the insiders in the year 1969. He boldly states,“Everything is in place and no one can stop us now”.
The article details how people (“people” means the slave class who are “nothing”; recall: “If you are not one of us, you are nothing”) will just have to get used to changes such needing permission to have children, accepting mandated euthanasia as the law and total surveillance. Essentially all goals are now achieved, although some still remain guarded secrets.
The 1960′s was the period when physical death was eliminated. Of course, this “privilege” is only available to the select Satanic oligarchs. Effective cures for all diseases were also developed. The speaker  states that the cures are on file in the Rockefeller Institute. Of course, most are classified and only available to the chosen elite.
The PBS documentary, Top Secret America , presents a good overview of the secret world of the elite. You may think no one is paying attention to the infrastructure in America because streets are in disrepair and bridges are falling down. However, you would be wrong. A tremendous amount of money is being spent on infrastructure in America — for the chosen elite. You will never see it and you will have no need for the decaying bridges and streets because you won’t be around to use them. You, as well as 90+ percent of the current population, will be killed in the “Great Culling”.
The new infrastructure is quite elaborate as the documentary explains. It consists of thousands of buildings which have a few stories visible above ground but which then extend for 90+ stories underground. All amenities are available within these secret structures which are basically self-sufficient.
It is important for the buildings to reach deep underground so that the lower levels can connect to the secret underground transport network. This network is global and provides safe high speed transport for the elite. Whenever the network crosses a tectonic plate, massive amounts of silicone are used to allow the transport tunnel to flex as needed. The network has access points in all countries. However, these points remain secret in countries which have yet to be subdued and co-opted into the new world order.
NWO Enabling Documents
The treaty known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership appears to be the formal enabling document for the new world. The actual document is secret and only high level corporate executives and politicians are allowed to see it.
Even after the treaty goes into force, its contents will remain secret. Because, in the United States, treaties must be openly debated in congress, the treaty is being called an “agreement” to circumvent the law and keep its contents secret. However, some details have become known.
Although the planet is officially divided into “sovereign” countries, it is overlaid with a network of transnational corporations. This network basically forms a parallel government which encircles the globe. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is designed to cause any country which signs on to surrender its national sovereignty to a secret committee composed of corporate executives. This committee can then alter the constitution and laws of any country which has accepted the treaty as suits their whim. There will be no appeal against this.
Under the treaty, there will be only one purpose to human life. That purpose will be to maximize the profits of the cabal of transnational corporations which will now be essentially a single global corporation in absolute control of the world. This effectively institutionalizes the new world order.
What does this mean for you? Well, to begin with, there can be no retirement. Paying for retirement would negatively impact corporate profits. So, if you can’t work, you will be killed. Taking care of sick people would also drain corporate profits. It would be more profitable just to kill the sick and replace them with young, healthy slaves. Disabilities — forget it — disabled kids will never make it out of the womb alive.
To come into compliance with the philosophy of the new world, people will need to be reeducated. Military instruction documents  are already teaching that the Founding Fathers of the United States were extremists and anyone who thinks like them would not be suited for today’s military.
Well, what did these radical extremists think?
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Obviously, these principles are not compatible with the new world. The idea of a “Creator” conflicts with the official doctrine of Evolution. We can’t have that. People must accept that they and the universe they live in is simply an “accident”.
People are already realizing that Liberty and Happiness are gone. They know now that they live under constant surveillance and their lives get worse year after year. How about the right to Life? Can’t have that. People need to be reeducated to believe that it is their “duty to die” when they are no longer useful to the state (which is now the global corporation).
Of course, the global elite will live physically forever but ordinary people will not know this.
If a world where people are conditioned to want to die and do not want kids but just sleep around for fun sounds vaguely familiar to you, you might recall that this is the future society described in Huxley’s classic novel, Brave New World.
Please refer to  as a reference source. Today’s “great thinkers” seem to be coming into agreement that most people are unnecessary and need to be exterminated for the convenience of the elite. Bill Gates, who has now been accepted into the super exclusive Bilderberg group, has reportedly taken the task of exterminating the third world population by giving them “free” vaccinations which will render them sterile.
Lots of groups are working on secret sterilization methods. European tests of Monsanto’s GM soybeans on hamsters showed the animals became sterile by the third generation . A new gene known as Epicyte  is planned to be added to GM corn which will cause immediate sterilization.
Additionally, people are being “eased into” accepting the concept of “after birth abortion”. Intellectuals are trying to get people to accept the argument that living human children under three or perhaps even five years old are really “not people but advanced feotuses”. Since abortion is already legal, a simple change in the definition of “feotus” would allow young kids to be killed at will for any reason.
Another “new thought” gradually being programmed into the young is the pleasure of the “childless lifestyle”. This propaganda seeks to convince people that having kids is too much trouble and they will be happier if they just get sterilized and then run around having lots of sex purely for fun.
These “evolutionary” population control techniques are already in effect. However, the elite likely are not willing to wait several generations to get rid of those they do not need. This brings us to the more direct method commonly called “The Great Culling” which will allow the elite to kill off most of the world’s population quickly.
The most likely method will be the release of new designer viruses for which no one will have any natural immunity. Of course, the elite will all get the classified antidote. Preparations for the disposal of the bodies is already complete and stockpiles of plastic coffins — each designed to hold three bodies and manufactured under government contract by Halliburton — have been photographed and documented. Everything is now in place awaiting the “go” command.
Some types of designer children have already been approved for “production”. Britain has approved three parent babies  and China has proposed a process to artificially fertilize most of a woman’s eggs and then examine them to determine which is likely to produce a child with the highest IQ. This will be the only selected egg because Chinese women are only allowed to have one child and must then be sterilized.
In the new world where the only purpose of people will be to do slave labor to serve the elite corporate masters, the concept of allowing the existence of children conceived naturally clearly cannot be allowed. There would be an unexceptable chance for some kind of error that could result, for example, in the creation of a being capable of independent thought who might challenge the establishment.
A man’s true worth is measured by the amount of other people’s happiness that he can possess and destroy
This is a quote from the docudrama The American Ruling Class . It is worthy of discussion because it is so prophetic.
The Satanic oligarchs who run this world basically exist and thrive on the misery of others. It is not enough just to use and abuse you — they want to consume your Soul. Your misery and suffering is, essentially, their “food”. It is the source of their energy.
Ordinary innocent Souls are sustained by the life energy which flows from the Creator. However, since the oligarchs hate God, this energy flow is not available to them. So, they essentially survive by consuming the life energy of the innocent Souls they have captured and enslaved.
Ordinary people do not naturally choose to spend their lives in a state of constant war. They have to be somehow coerced into this behavior. Otherwise, they would likely seek a quiet, peaceful life. The atrocities the US and other warmonger nations force their citizens to commit are so contrary to basic human nature that the US loses more soldiers to suicide than it does to the enemy. The once innocent soldiers find that they simply cannot continue to live with what they have become and the memories of the horrors they have caused to others. The Satanic rulers who create wars, of course, have no problem with this.
Promotions within the inner circles of power are based upon how much evil one has done. The more harm you cause to others the greater your respect. You may have noticed that the stock market, which is a measure of the success of the elite, shows gains during periods when the average person is suffering and losses during periods when, somehow, life for the ordinary person seems to improve. The stock market set a new all time high, for example, during the Vietnam War when innocent young kids were being drafted and slaughtered in Vietnam while peaceful protesters at Penn State were executed by government forces for daring to dissent.
Why You Should Care
On the low Astral planes you will find people — Souls — who are totally lost and confused and seem to move in slow motion. They do not realize they have died. These “people” are not there because they tore up the Bible or burned the Koran or some other offensive act. They are there simply because it is the best they can do. They are using all of the Spiritual energy they have just to maintain this miserable existence. Whatever activities they engaged in while alive had no Spiritual merit and had no effect on developing or increasing their Spiritual energy level. Since the opportunity to do this ended when they died, they will remain strung out in this condition until they reincarnate again at which point they will have another chance to choose activities which enhance Spiritual energies.
You should care because the things you do and the things you fail to do during your brief life here will affect your existence for millions of years in the future.
The other dimensions operate under exact scientific rules just like this dimension. However, the rules are not the same. Because alternate sources of information are available today — mainly because of the internet — it is in your interest to at least investigate the available literature on Spirituality, energy raising techniques and various first-hand reports from people who have successfully visited the neighboring dimensions.
Goldman Sachs is the epitome of the word “evil.” If one wants to know what the evil central bankers are up to, one only needs to pay attention to the actions of Goldman Sachs. The power elite residing inside of this country does not begin and end with the Federal Reserve, that privilege is reserved for the interrelationship between Goldman Sachs, the Federal Reserve, the corrupt World Bank and the IMF. And now, Goldman Sachs is running the European financial system into the ground as another Goldman Sachs boy, “Super” Mario Monti, has taken over Italy to finish off what is left of the Italian financial system. Monti is also the head of the European Trilateral Commission as well as a Bilderberg member. And yet another Goldman Sachs boy is finishing off the job in Greece. It is the mission of Goldman Sachs to implode the global economy with massive debt arising from the failed derivatives market, in which the debt totals 16 times the total GDP of the planet and that debt has been passed on to the governments of the world. There is no way that any country will ever pay off this debt. The world’s financial system will be collapsed and then reorganized under the Bank of International Settlement. Goldman Sachs is merely the grim reaper in this unholy process.
The Goals of Goldman Sachs
The purpose of this article is to expose the three pronged attack, directed at the American people, by Goldman Sachs, and its partners at the Federal Reserve, the US Treasury Department, the IMF and the World Bank. These central banker controlled institutions are engaged in a plot which is designed to accomplish the following:
- The destruction of America’s domestic economy through the introduction of derivative debt which is 16 times greater than the world’s GDP. This goal has been accomplished as evidenced by the fact that America now has more workers on welfare (101 million) as opposed to actual full time workers (97 million).
- Setting the chessboard in such a way that WWIII is a foregone conclusion. This is near completion as the US and Israel are poised to go to war with China and Russia, over Syria and Iran, in order to preserve the Petrodollar.
- Initiating a false flag event which will culminate in martial law and the elimination to all opposition to both the coming WWIII and the imposition of a tyrannical world government as well as a one world economic system.
It is no secret that Goldman Sachs runs Wall Street. After the first bail out, Goldman Sachs cut the head off of Shearson Lehman and several other Wall Street competitors when they used their undue influence to determine winners and losers after the first round of TARP. Even Ray Charles could see that Goldman Sachs is in near complete control of our government as evidenced by the former Goldman Sachs gangsters who have run our economy into the ground (e.g., Clinton’s Secretary of Treasury Goldman Sachs’ Rubin, Bush’s Secretary of Treasury Goldman Sachs’ “too big to fail” Hank Paulson, etc.). Make no mistake about it, the introduction of the massive derivatives debt was a power consolidation move designed to collapse the economy and hand over essential control to Goldman Sachs and its partners.
History Repeats Itself
Today’s events parallel the imperialists of the early 2oth Century which resulted in World War I. The Wall Street led depression of the 1930’s led to the rise of political extremism and ultimately to World War II. Today, Goldman Sachs and their fellow Wall Street cronies are currently running, or dare I say ruining the global economy and the consequences are going to result in the culmination of World War III from which these same gangster bankster’s will profit from the buildup, the death and destruction of billions of innocent people as well as profiting from the lucrative clean up which follows every war.
The ultimate prize for the coming war will be the ruination of the planet in order that the power structure of the earth can be reinvented in a manner that not even George Orwell could imagine. Remember, as the globalists like to say in reference to their favorite Hegelian Dialectic quote, “Out of chaos comes order.” Of course, it won’t be Goldman Sachs’ money that pays for the destruction of humanity in the coming world war. This coming war and its subsequent blood money will be your money and my money. It goes without saying that it won’t be the executives of Goldman Sachs children who are pressed into military service and will be eventually sacrificed on the battlefields of WWIII. It will be your children and my children who will be sacrificed in the name of furthering the bottom line of the Goldman Sachs Mafia and their masters at the Bank of International Settlement. Meanwhile, the Goldman Sachs children who will be safely tucked away as the world’s final chapter plays out as we know it.
Goldman Sachs Destroying the American Middle Class
This swath of international destruction being promulgated by Goldman Sachs is also being visited upon the daily lives of the American public here at home. Courtesy of the Goldman Sachs gangsters, there are no more safe financial havens for American citizens. Your bank account, your pension fund, your investment accounts and your home mortgages are no longer safe. These collective funds are not in jeopardy because of the risk of falling victim to the failing economy as much as these funds are subject to confiscation by Goldman Sachs and its shell corporations along with the complicit support of the federal government. Most of these public officials are former Goldman Sachs employees. A clear case in point lies in what happened with MF Global.
MF Global, a shell corporation beholding to Goldman Sachs, was led to the slaughter by the former Goldman Sachs executive and former New Jersey Governor and senator, John Corzine. Corzine’s criminal actions directly victimized 150,000 Americans by stealing an estimated $900 million dollars of his clients’ money from their supposedly secure private accounts. There is also another $600 million missing dollars from MF Global which is still unaccounted for today. Meanwhile, Corzine avoids sharing a prison cell with Bernie Madoff by purchasing a “get-out-of-jail card” through the sponsorship of a $35,000 per plate fundraiser for that great Wall Street puppet, Barack Hussein Obama. And what are the government watch dogs doing to protect our money from this new generation of robber barons? The short answer is that key federal officials are actually partners with Goldman Sachs in this monumental violation of the public trust. Take Gary Gensler, a former Goldman Sachs executive partner, who like so many other Goldman Sachs gangsters, have been placed into key governmental oversight positions in order to protect the Goldman Sachs co-conspirators from prosecution as they continue their reign of terror upon the global economy.
…but a Goldman Sachs cop on the take.
Gary “the gangster” Gensler is the former Undersecretary of the Treasury(1999-2001) and Assistant Secretary of the Treasury (1997-1999) and the current director of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. In his position at the time of the MF Global debacle, Gensler had the authority to go after Corzine for his role in the MF Global theft of customer funds and order restitution. However, Gensler has decided to protect a fellow member of the Goldman Sachs Mafia by not looking into the massive fraud and theft by Corzine and his cronies. Your tax dollars, paying the salary of federal officials, are overseeing the most massive illegal private transfer of wealth in the history of the planet. And this debt is payable to Goldman Sachs and their criminal enterprise partners.
You may not be one of the current 150,000 Goldman Sachs/MF Global victims. However, this Robin Hood-in-reverse-scenario, in which the rich are plundering what’s left of the middle class, will soon be visited upon your bank account, your home mortgages and your pensions. Whether it is the MERS mortgage fraud or the theft being perpetrated upon Federal employee retirement accounts, these criminal banksters are in the process of stealing it all and what are you going to do about it? Our nation of entrenched sheep will do nothing. The American citizens are going to lie down and take their beating in the face of the largest unfolding criminal syndicate in human history.
While you and the rest of America are trying to collectively remove your “deer in the headlight” glaze, you, as an American, have far more serious issues to concern yourself with and you are not going to have to wait long to have your worst fears to be born out.
Something Wicked This Way Comes
Some, who have heard my expressed sense of outrage, have asked me if I favor a violent overthrow the United States Government. To that question, I answer in the negative. However, show me a way to be involved in the overthrow of the gangsters who have hijacked my country’s government, and I will be the first in line. However, before that day arrives, we have some very formidable obstacles to face with regard to what is looming just around the corner.
Goldman Sachs Is the Financial Kingpin of False Flag Attacks
If one wants to predict the next false flag attack, one merely has to watch the actions and the money movements of Goldman Sachs.
In the days leading up to the attacks on 9/11, Goldman Sachs “shorted” the sale of airline stocks which plummeted in the aftermath of the attacks. Just a coincidence you say?
In the days leading up to the housing bubble, Goldman Sachs shorted housing stocks which ignited the bubble. The Federal government fined Goldman Sachs, but in typical fashion, nobody went to jail. Just another coincidence you say?
As I documented in my seven part series, The Great Gulf Coast Holocaust, Goldman Sachs executed a “put option” for preferred insiders invested in Transocean stock, thus protecting the profits of these preferred insiders on the morning of the explosion. Transocean was the owner of the ill-fated oil rig. Goldman Sachs also sold the lion’s share of its stock less than two weeks before that fateful day on April 20, 2010. Nalco was the subsidiary of Goldman Sachs and BP at the time of the explosion. Who is Nalco? Nalco was the exclusive manufacturer of the deadly oil dispersant, Corexit. Corexit has done more to wreck the ecology of the Gulf as well as the health of the Gulf Coast residents than the oil spill itself. Again, this is all documented in my seven part series. By the way, I count another three coincidences in this paragraph alone and if you are keeping score, we are looking at a total of five amazing coincidences. But wait, there is more!
The moral of this story is clear, if there is to be a significant false flag event, the financial actions of Goldman Sachs will prove to be the key. And Goldman Sachs’ actions have signaled yet another oncoming false flag. As I reported on in April, Goldman Sachs instructed its brokers to sell short on gold stocks. And then after the bulk of the gold market panicked and the price of gold plummeted in a massive sell off, the Goldman Sachs boys did it again. The Goldman Sachs brokers began to purchase gold in massive amounts, for its elite clients, at a greatly depressed price. By the way, Goldman Sachs employed the EXACT same strategy with regard to the Gulf Oil tragedy. When Goldman Sachs sold off BP stock in the days before the explosion, they purchased massive amounts of BP stock at a greatly reduced price in June of 2010. The coincidence meter is now up to seven.
Why Goldman Sachs Cornered the Gold Market
The global elite would only want massive amounts of gold because something bad is about to happen to the dollar. When the dollar collapses, the elite, courtesy of the Goldman Sachs brokers will be sitting in a great position in which they hold the only sustainable medium of exchange following the collapse. But when will the collapse come? What form will it take?
As I reported, less than two weeks ago, the Bank of International Settlement ordered the central banks, including the Federal Reserve, to greatly decrease loans as a protection to the coming bad financial times. So, now we are getting warned and the narrowing down of where this is leading, is getting easier to predict.
It is important to remember that Goldman Sachs and the rest of the international banking community desperately want to wage war in Syria and eventually Iran over the demise of the Petrodollar caused by Iran in which they are selling oil for gold to India, China and Russia. There is also big money to be made by the banks in an upcoming global conflict. More importantly, and just as the world witnessed in the aftermath of WWII, consolidation of power can be achieved following a major war. Additionally, Goldman Sachs and the rest of the international bankers are not about to let China and Russia thumb their noses at the prevailing economic system. Gold will not be allowed to be used as a medium of exchange for nation states, because a nation on the gold standard, is a nation that controls its debt levels and financial security. This is unacceptable to the central bankers who kill national leaders, such as Gadaffi and Sadam Hussein, for daring to break from the plan and achieve financial independence. What the globalists also need is a game changing event which will destroy all opposition to the coming war. And the financial intentions of Goldman Sachs clearly speaks to the fact that a false flag attack is imminent which will implicate Syria and Iran and provide the pretext for the US and Israel to attack.
The Nature of the Coming False Flag Attack
The coming false flag attack which will plunge America into martial law, for our own protection of course, will result in WWIII. The false flag event could take two forms. It was reported two weeks ago, that the US was missing a nuclear weapon from a military base in Texas. This prompted Senator Lindsay Graham to state that the harbor in Charleston, SC. would be nuked if the US did not attack Syria. This is the first scenario.
The other scenario, and the far more likely one, has the power grid going down on November 13th. The Grid Ex II drill being conducted by DHS, FEMA, 150 corporations and the 50 governors, will simulate a power grid take down by terrorists on that same date. How many times have we witnessed a drill which turns into a false flag attack? This happened with 9/11, the 7/7 bombings and the Boston Marathon. There is a good chance it is going to happen here
In this scenario, once the grid is taken down, a banking collapse can be instituted and most will not notice because by the third day of a blackout, total chaos will ensue and nobody will be paying attention to the banks. Martial law will be imposed and Syria and Iran will be blamed.
The CEO of Goldman Sachs, Llloyd Blankfein, is on the record stating that an economic collapse is imminent. Need I say more?
Regardless of the form that an upcoming false flag event will follow, Goldman Sachs has tipped their false flag hand. A false flag event is coming and it is a safe bet that it will culminate in martial law. This would certainly explain DHS’ collecting of 2.6 billion rounds of ammunition and 2700 armored personnel carriers. There is also going to be a resulting third world war. The globalists know humanity is waking up. They are running out time and they are desperate. This could all be over in a few months. Do you not feel the collective sense of dreaded anticipation that has overtaken the country? At the unconscious level, we all know what is coming.
The November power grid drill is worth watching and I predict in the upcoming weeks, there will be many articles written about how to survive the coming events. I would advise all to pay attention, but most of all, I would advise people to get their spiritual affairs in order. We come into the world with nothing and all we leave with is the sum total of our spiritual experiences. It is time to attend to that detail in the present time frame.
Source: The Common Sense Show
All historians are familiar with how Hitler was able to seize and consolidate power within the German Reichstag. He simply had his henchmen burn the German legislative building to the ground and then blame the Communists, one of the Nazi’s chief rivals. Subsequently, Hitler assumed total dictatorial power, as a pretense to protect the German people, and he was able to eliminate the Communists and the rest, as they say, was history.
Obama Is Under Immense Pressure
Obama is under enormous pressure, from the Banksters to take out the Iranian regime. The need to take down Iran is necessitated because the Petrodollar is in real trouble because of Iran’s insistence on selling oil to India, China and Russia in exchange for gold.
Gold is a four letter word to the Banksters. The Banksters must maintain their fiat currency schemes. Subsequently, the Banksters must dominate the purchase of oil and the distribution of gold for three reasons:
- The Banksters thrive on fiat currency which is backed by virtually nothing and this is coupled with fractional reserve practices in order to acquire real material wealth based on their creation of worthless paper and the introduction of gold threatens this Ponzi scheme;
- Since Breton Woods, the world has been forced by the Banksters to play in their Ponzi scheme game by first purchasing Federal Reserve dollars which is in turn used to purchase oil. Saddam Hussein failed to play by the Petrodollar rules by selling oil for Euros and paid for his disobedience with his life; and,
- Once the Banksters collapse the currencies of the world, they want to be the ones controlling gold, the only remaining currency, in a post economic Armageddon.
Obama Is In Deep Trouble
This is what happens to those who say no the central banking cartel.
If Obama wants to complete his second term, he must get help from the globalists in managing the enormous Watergate type of scenarios which surfaced in May of 2013 that included (1) The Ed Snowden NSA spy revelations; (2) The IRS harassing the Tea Party members at the behest of Obama; (3) The administration’s spying on AP reporters; (4) the Michael Hastings murder (June 2013); and, (5) The Benghazi Affair which refuses to go away. Any of these five events provides sufficient cause for Obama’s removal from office as they dwarf Nixon’s misdeeds in the Watergate Scandal.
The country is three months removed from the near simultaneous revelations, the likes, never seen in this quantity and severity in American history. I stopped believing in coincidences a long time ago. The release of the scandalous information related to these events is being orchestrated and controlled by the overlords and their media minions. Why?
Obama is dragging his feet on Middle East intervention and the globalists are attempting to move him off of the mark with some friendly blackmail.
As previously stated, Iran is undermining the Petrodollar. Iran must be taken down. Sadly America, if the Banksters do not get their way and conduct a regime change in Iran, the dollar will collapse and America will witness its darkest days ever. Conversely, China and Russia have threatened to “nuke” the United States if they invade Syria and Iran over the issue of gold for oil. Make no mistake about it. Iran is the chief prize. Egypt is a tragic, but useful distraction because of the loss of life. The events in Syria are merely a means to an end and only serves as the preliminary event in preparation for the main event, the destruction of Iran. Syria must be taken down first, then Iran will surely follow. Mark my words, Assad will be hanging from a noose, Saddam style, in a few short months.
Why Attack Syria Before Iran?
If Iran is the prize, then why is the United States on the precipice of attacking Syria? Simple, all roads to Teheran run through Damsacus. Syria is one of Iran’s few remaining allies and controlling Syria is the key to a successful invasion of Iran. Most importantly, capturing Syria largely blocks a Russian land force military incursion into Syria so long as the U.S. is successful in quickly setting up its short and medium range missile batteries inside of Syria. These batteries are a crucial element in blocking Russian military troop movements into Syria.
Another victim of the central banksters.
For Obama to take out Syria, he has to neutralize their command and control structure. This means taking out their aerial surveillance capabilities, its Air Force, controlling the movement of their tanks and other heavy military equipment as well as isolating Syrian military units from the air and preventing them from reinforcing Damascus. This leaves Assad vulnerable.
Once the Syrian military is isolated and divided, the CIA backed al-Qaeda forces will turn the tide of the CIA backed Syrian civil war and this will effectively take care of Assad in the same manner that they took care of Gaddafi in Libya.
In order to launch a successful air campaign, the U.S. needs a pretext so horrific, so terrible that global opinion will demand a military incursion to “save the innocent Syrian people.” To accomplish this goal, Obama has already done what he does best, create a Reichstag moment (i.e. false flag).
The CIA Backed al-Qaeda Lights the Fuse
Syria has just experienced its Reichstag moment. Three Damascus hospitals supported byDoctors Without Borders state that they are treating 3,600 patients who are exhibiting neurotoxic symptoms, which occurred in one brief, three hour period on August 21, 2013. Of the 3,600 patients, 355 have died. This is Syria’s Reichstag moment as Assad is being framed for this chemical weapons attack.
The Assad forces have been widely accused for perpetrating this crime against humanity through the purposeful release of neurotoxic agents. However, only a fool with no common sense would believe that Assad is behind the chemical weapons attacks. Assad would avoid at all costs doing that one thing that could invite U.S. or NATO intervention into Syria. The use of chemical weapons by Assad would provide NATO with the pretext to launch airstrikes which would tip the balance of power in Syria in the same manner as it did in Libya.
As I write these words, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is moving American attack forces into range of Syria and these forces are awaiting a “presidential decision.” Russia is showing signs of backing down as they have encouraged Assad to allow UN inspectors into Syria. My assessment is that Russia and China will stand down with regard to American airstrikes into Syria because they know that this chemical weapons false flag attack, perpetrated by the CIA backed al-Qaeda forces, has proven successful and these two nations cannot be seen as supporting such a criminal regime.
China and Russia have one main objective, save Iran and they can still stand down in Syria and be able to discourage an American led invasion of Iran. The Chinese and Russians will also still possess the nuclear option at their disposal in protecting their “gold for oil” investment in Iran. Subsequently, the U.S. will continue to support al-Qaeda backed Syrian rebels as they overthrow Assad and consolidate their gains over the next few weeks. As in Iraq, look for BP and EXXON to control Syrian oil and prevent any further undermining of the Petrodollar in Syria as in Iran.
Think Like a Genocidal Maniac
Once one covers the establishment’s game plan related to a multitude of issues, their next moves become relatively simple to predict because the Banksters predictably use the same playbook time after time. In order to predict their next moves, we have to, God forbid, think like the genocidal maniac banksters.
As the United States consolidates its holdings in Syria, negates Russian land force incursions and begins to bring money into the Federal Reserve and the Bank of International Settlement through their soon-to-be Syrian holdings, plans will be implemented to manipulate an excuse for an invasion of Iran.
Ask yourself, what could be the one thing that Iran could be accused of doing that would gather the support of the world for invading Iran and force the Chinese and the Russians to stand down? The answer is undoubtedly a false flag operation, the likes that the world has never seen. What could be so horrific, so terrible that Iran could be framed as the perpetrator? The globalists have already set the stage for the next false flag event. What has Iran been repeatedly accused of? They have been accused of attempting to develop nuclear weapons. The American public has already been conditioned to associate nuclear weapons with Iran, even though many legitimately question this association.
If you are still thinking like a genocidal maniac, there are two variables to consider, a nuclear detonation on American soil and/or a massive and virulent chemical weapons attack launched against America citizens. I believe it is likely that the Boston Marathon bombing was the dress rehearsal for what is coming. As in Boston, we will see quick apprehensions of alleged Iranian terrorists. Summary execution of the so-called perpetrators will follow an imaginary standoff and evidence will be planted so there is no question of Iranian guilt. Look for a group of U.S. veterans to be implicated as well as it will solidify the justification for the imposition of martial law. DHS will then take to the streets in their new 2700 armored vehicles.
Predicting Dates Is Normally a Fool’s Errand
Syria will fall in September. A false flag event would likely happen in October and it will be game over in Iran by Thanksgiving. I do not predict dates, ever. However, in this instance, I am going to make an exception.
There are two dates that loom large in our future over the next four months that have the globalists highly concerned. The globalists do not want to raise conscious awareness of the Bankster controlled organized crime syndicate which hijacked our government in 2008.
The first date that the globalists are concerned about is the lead up to November 22nd. This is the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination. The forces behind the JFK assassination were big oil, the military industrial complex and radical fringe elements of the military and Secret Service. The plot was organized by the CIA and facilitated by the Operation Mongoose forces of the CIA and the Mafia backed forces seeking to overthrow Castro. A whole new generation, who has never looked at the JFK assassination, will be awakened to the undue influence of some of the aforementioned forces who still yield in their perverse influence over America in 2013.
The second date that must be very troubling to the globalists is the 100th anniversary of the creation of the Federal Reserve. Talk shows and websites will be abuzz with revelations about these criminal bankers and the fact that the dollar is actually worth about 3 cents. People who have never heard of fractional reserve currency and a fiat currency will hear about it from November 22-December 23. The Banskters do not want to contend with an increasingly awake America. This would make the subjugation of this country much more difficult.
These are the reasons that the globalists are expediting their timetable for subjugation of this country. This is why Obama’s hand is being forced by holding five Watergate type scandals over his head at the same time. Following the coming false flag attacks, the country will be in lockdown and against these tyrants will be increasingly difficult and November 23rd and December 23rd will be dates that will come and pass without much fanfare.
These events are only possible if we have a psychopathic, genocidal set of maniacs calling the shots. The more awake among us know are fully aware that this is the case.
America presently has some very disturbing variables which have been simultaneously put into play. World War III is a definite possibility. False flag attacks on American soil is a likely event over the next 60 days. These are times of unparalleled danger in America.
Exxon has a play book assembled long in advance of any spill. At each step they lie, evade the issues, stall, and work on victims to entice and threaten them to settle when the victims are still numb with shock and have no idea what they are facing in terms of their health.
The Kalamazoo Spill of 2010, from Enbridge Energy Partners spilled into Talmadge Creek near Marshall, Michigan continuing downstream into the Kalamazoo River. The health impact on residents continues to this day. The financial cost is now estimated at over $1 billion. The BP Disaster in the Gulf is also far from resolution, for people or the environment and BP has recently warned that it will be “irreparably harmed unless the compensation system is reformed fast.
People, struggling for a return to health lose many things. An environment also struggles, ripples from the event impacting far more land, water, and people than were harmed at first.
In time, the costs become monumental financially. But the cost to all of us in terms of lost trust, outrage, and grief are also real, though more difficult to calculate.
It would have cost Exxon less to act immediately in Mayflower, as it would have cost other oil companies less in the long run to limit the impact on people and the environment. So, we can only conclude, sadly, oil companies have adopted a role which mandates doing the ‘wrong thing,’ as policy.
We don’t think this needs to continue, however. Therefore, we present this alternative scenario for both the public, and Exxon, arguably, the largest oil company. Continuing a ‘policy’ which is unethical in a country which is growing increasingly aware of and angry at the costs, is not a solution.
Our point is, what if Exxon had done the right thing last March 29th, having examined and taken into account their enormous potential for liability? What if they had been ready and used the resources at their disposal to act responsibly, both because the legal liabilities had finally become real to them and because, in good conscience, they saw their actions were insupportable?
The facts are clear in regards to the Pegasus Pipeline and the XL.
The profit to be gained from transporting oil for other companies, most especially Koch Industries, are far too low to justify the risks they are taking or the cost of bringing the Pegasus Pipeline up to an acceptable standard for safety.
If this had sunk in, and instead of obfuscating, they had adopted a different view of their business and its place in our world, they would not, today, be viewed with growing hostility and distrust. They would have taken the initiative, handling a disaster such as Mayflower, very differently. Exxon has the resources of a nation state and possessed all of the resources outlined here, at their disposal, many from within their own corporation.
Let’s examine the path not taken, which they, and other oil companies, have done so consistently. A different decision, a new direction, made at the right time, can change the world.
Drones are a weapon of war, presently being used by the U.S. Military using assertions not supported by facts. These weapons are manufactured and sold to the military by companies which own the technologies and thereby profit. The right or wrong of the war is ignored in their calculations, which focus on the profit to be made.
The membership organization which lobbies for the use of drones for the corporations which comprise its membership is the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. The growth of this industry is now measured in the billions of dollars, with applications for drone usage growing out into law enforcement within the United States on a weekly basis.
These are facts, supportable by contracts reflecting sales.
Facts are generally inconvenient for parties attempting to ‘win’ the battle for public opinion. These facts are true for drone contractors today and were true of the Military Industrial Complex on January 17, 1961 when Dwight D. Eisenhower gave his farewell address, and warning about the influence of these corporations, to the American People.
Eisenhower warns us of the military industrial complexLoading...
Manufacturing opinion in Americans results in increased sales and a limiting of the options they see as possible. This is at the heart of the strategy by which the Multi-National Corporations have build their business plan from the time of World War I – present day.
Propaganda had been used to influence groups and nations for as long as we have recorded history. But the practice was codified with a set of rules by Edward Bernays, a cousin of Sigmund Freud, in the 1020s. There are seven principles of propaganda, which include:
Seven Main Principles
Bandwagon – Follow the Crowd.
Card stacking – Tell them ONLY what you want them to know.
Glittering Generalities – Use words which let the listener fool themselves.
Name Calling - Negative, derogatory langauge to describe the enemy in speech, images, and writing.
Plain Folks – Taking on language, idioms, jokes, and accent to increase of the target audience to increase familiarity and elicit acceptance and trust.
Assertion – Say it, and say it again with conviction
Lesser of Two Evils – Limit the choices to this or that, ignoring all other possibilities.
Pinpointing the Enemy – Name an individual, group, or nation as the ‘problem.’ Ignore refuting facts.
Simplification (Stereotyping) – Similar to Pinpointing. Ignore refuting facts.
The opinions held by Americans are largely the product of propaganda today, though this is now changing through access to the Internet.
Public Relations professionals know the public forgets about scandals, both corporate and politically, in only a few months or years. Today, major scandals of the early 90s have vanished from the collective memory.
Main Stream Media
Controlling the Main Stream Media, which is owned entirely my major corporations, ensured this would remain true. America originally saw independent journalism as an essential protection for the rights of the people. Newspapers were mostly owned locally, reflecting a diversity of voices.
Local ‘government,’ which was understood to be a service center used by the People, who together were and are the real government under American theory and law, was used to carry out those functions deemed of mutual benefit by the People.
Until the rise of the Internet, Americans had, in large part, lost connection with their own history and the foundations for American government. A reading of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, theBill of Rights, and survey of the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers shows this to be the case.
The rising power of corporations, asserting itself through government, began to change this in the late 1800s. World War I and World War II enormously enriched the same corporations and banks named by Eisenhower in his speech. A significant number of these were simultaneously in business with Nazi Germany before and during World War II and also Russia. In his book, “Creature from Jekyll Island,” G. Edward Griffin provides documentation for this.
Major General Smedley Butler was the most respected and decorated military figure in America in the first half of the 20th Century. Having spent his life serving his country as a Marine in wars dictated by the economic wishes of corporations for decades he realized he and the troops he commanded had been used by those corporations. In response, he wrote, “War is a Racket.”
VIDEO – Major General Smedley Butler & The Fascist Takeover Of The USA – A Warning From History
The General conveniently, and very suddenly, died in 1940 before our entry into World War II. War was building immense wealth within a small number of corporations, who were determined this flow of power and money continue.
Wars for Profit
The Second World War was opposed by Conservative Republican congressional leader Robert A. Taft, “who articulated a non-interventionist foreign-policy vision sharply at odds with the internationalism of Truman and Eisenhower. Although derided as ostrich-like, Taft was prescient on several points, such as the structural weakness of the United Nations and the propping up of repressive regimes that would result from U.S. interventionism.”
After World War II Conservatism was targeted by the Rockefeller Republicans, who today we know as NeoConservatives. To accomplish this they used an array of tools which included the C. I. A., an agency which recruited from a social elite who had strong connections to the corporate world.
Today, the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy on November 22, 1963, is credited to a cooperative effort between the C.I.A., and corporations in such first hand and authoritative books as “Mary’s Mosaic,”by Peter Janney. Janney is the son of Wistar Janney, a high level operative in the C. I. A. from close to the time of it’s inception after World War II through the 1960s.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall the world appeared to be heading for a long-awaited peace. But this was not in alignment with the business plans of the Military Industrial Complex.
Managing American Fear
The public relations people for the corporations had used boogymen to persuade Americans to the necessity of war and vast expenditures in military spending from World War I until the Wall came down. For this purpose they had first vilified the ‘Hun,’ and then ‘Communism.’
They chose a new boogyman in the last years of the Reagan Administration.
“The Power of Nightmares,” produced by the BBC, digs into the history of the C.I.A., and its manipulation of Islam and placement of operatives to stymy their move toward liberalization, which threatened the oil companies. The issue of a threat from a radical Islam must be considered outside the narrowing confines of propaganda, the corporate tool used to herd Americans, keeping us within the limits which powers their profits. This is especially true for the strategies of Pinpointing the Enemy, and Stereotyping.
If you identify the location of the major world sources of oil you will notice much of the world reserves are located in land controls by Islamic people. Until this became known Islam was never presented as a threat. Once this took place, this changed.
Multiple operations in these countries by the CIA and its corporate partners caused shifts in attitudes within the people living in these countries. Ron Paul, using the term coined by the CIA, called it “Blow-Back.” John Perkins, in his book, “Confessions of an Economic Hit-Man,” explains the means used to defraud smaller nations of their natural resources, oil chief among these.
People resent being manipulated, bombed, and defrauded. Where we did not have enemies, they were created.
VIDEO – Confessions of an Economic Hit Man: How the U.S. Uses Globalization to Cheat Poor Countries Out of Trillions
For a century corporations have used the military and government of our country to make war on people around the world. They have done this for profit and without showing a shred of conscience.
Today, the world is fed up. If the roles were reversed, we would have taken action long since.
These same interests understand well Americans are waking from their long sleep. This why drone technologies are now being deployed within the United States.
Washington knows no heresy in the Third World but genuine independence. In the case of Salvador Allende independence came clothed in an especially provocative costume – a Marxist constitutionally elected who continued to honor the constitution. This would not do. It shook the very foundation stones upon which the anti-communist tower is built: the doctrine, painstakingly cultivated for decades, that “communists” can take power only through force and deception, that they can retain that power only through terrorizing and brainwashing the population. There could be only one thing worse than a Marxist in power – an elected Marxist in power.
There was no one in the entire universe that those who own and run “United States, Inc.” wanted to see dead more than Hugo Chávez. He was worse than Allende. Worse than Fidel Castro. Worse than any world leader not in the American camp because he spoke out in the most forceful terms about US imperialism and its cruelty. Repeatedly. Constantly. Saying things that heads of state are not supposed to say. At the United Nations, on a shockingly personal level about George W. Bush. All over Latin America, as he organized the region into anti-US-Empire blocs.
Long-term readers of this report know that I’m not much of a knee-reflex conspiracy theorist. But when someone like Chávez dies at the young age of 58 I have to wonder about the circumstances. Unremitting cancer, intractable respiratory infections, massive heart attack, one after the other … It is well known that during the Cold War, the CIA worked diligently to develop substances that could kill without leaving a trace. I would like to see the Venezuelan government pursue every avenue of investigation in having an autopsy performed.
Back in December 2011, Chávez, already under treatment for cancer, wondered out loud: “Would it be so strange that they’ve invented the technology to spread cancer and we won’t know about it for 50 years?” The Venezuelan president was speaking one day after Argentina’s leftist president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, announced she had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. This was after three other prominent leftist Latin America leaders had been diagnosed with cancer: Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff; Paraguay’s Fernando Lugo; and the former Brazilian leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
“Evo take care of yourself. Correa, be careful. We just don’t know,” Chávez said, referring to Bolivia’s president, Evo Morales, and Rafael Correa, the president of Ecuador, both leading leftists.
Chávez said he had received words of warning from Fidel Castro, himself the target of hundreds of failed and often bizarre CIA assassination plots. “Fidel always told me: ‘Chávez take care. These people have developed technology. You are very careless. Take care what you eat, what they give you to eat … a little needle and they inject you with I don’t know what.” 1
When Vice President Nicolas Maduro suggested possible American involvement in Chávez’s death, the US State Department called the allegation absurd. 2
Several progressive US organizations have filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the CIA, asking for “any information regarding or plans to poison or otherwise assassinate the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, who has just died.”
I personally believe that Hugo Chávez was murdered by the United States. If his illness and death were NOT induced, the CIA – which has attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders, many successfully 3 – was not doing its job.
When Fidel Castro became ill several years ago, the American mainstream media was unrelenting in its conjecture about whether the Cuban socialist system could survive his death. The same speculation exists now in regard to Venezuela. The Yankee mind can’t believe that large masses of people can turn away from capitalism when shown a good alternative. It could only be the result of a dictator manipulating the public; all resting on one man whose death would mark finis to the process.
It’s the end of the world … again
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) recent convention in Washington produced the usual Doomsday talk concerning Iran’s imminent possession of nuclear weapons and with calls to bomb that country before they nuked Israel and/or the United States. So once again I have to remind everyone that these people – Israeli and American officials – are not really worried about an Iranian attack. Here are some of their many prior statements:
In 2007, in a closed discussion, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said that in her opinion “Iranian nuclear weapons do not pose an existential threat to Israel.” She “also criticized the exaggerated use that [Israeli] Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is making of the issue of the Iranian bomb, claiming that he is attempting to rally the public around him by playing on its most basic fears.” 4
2009: “A senior Israeli official in Washington”, reported the Washington Post (March 5), asserted that “Iran would be unlikely to use its missiles in an attack [against Israel] because of the certainty of retaliation.”
In 2010 the Sunday Times of London (January 10) reported that Brigadier-General Uzi Eilam, war hero, pillar of the Israeli defense establishment, and former director-general of Israel’s Atomic Energy Commission, “believes it will probably take Iran seven years to make nuclear weapons.”
January 2012: US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta told a television audience: “Are they [Iran] trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No, but we know that they’re trying to develop a nuclear capability.” 5
Later that month we could read in the New York Times (January 15) that “three leading Israeli security experts – the Mossad chief, Tamir Pardo, a former Mossad chief, Efraim Halevy, and a former military chief of staff, Dan Halutz – all recently declared that a nuclear Iran would not pose an existential threat to Israel.”
Then, a few days afterward, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, in an interview with Israeli Army Radio (January 18), had this exchange:
Question: Is it Israel’s judgment that Iran has not yet decided to turn its nuclear potential into weapons of mass destruction?
Barak: People ask whether Iran is determined to break out from the control [inspection] regime right now … in an attempt to obtain nuclear weapons or an operable installation as quickly as possible. Apparently that is not the case.
In an April 20, 2012 CNN interview Barak repeated this sentiment: “It’s true that probably [Iranian leader] Khamenei has not given orders to start building a [nuclear] weapon.” 6
And on several other occasions, Barak has stated: “Iran does not constitute an existential threat against Israel.” 7
Lastly, we have the US Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, in a January 2012 report to Congress: “We do not know, however, if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons.” … There are “certain things [the Iranians] have not done” that would be necessary to build a warhead.8
So why, then, do Israeli and American leaders, at most other times, maintain the Doomsday rhetoric? Partly for AIPAC to continue getting large donations. For Israel to get massive amounts of US aid. For Israeli leaders to win elections. To protect Israel’s treasured status as the Middle East’s sole nuclear power.
Listen to Danielle Pletka, vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at America’s most prominent neo-con think tank, American Enterprise Institute:
The biggest problem for the United States is not Iran getting a nuclear weapon and testing it, it’s Iran getting a nuclear weapon and not using it. Because the second that they have one and they don’t do anything bad, all of the naysayers are going to come back and say, “See, we told you Iran is a responsible power. We told you Iran wasn’t getting nuclear weapons in order to use them immediately.” … And they will eventually define Iran with nuclear weapons as not a problem. 9
Osama bin Laden, Bradley Manning, & William Blum
Bradley Manning has the charge of “Aiding the enemy” hanging over his head. This could lead to a sentence of life in prison. As far as can be deduced, the government believes that the documents and videos that Manning gave to Wikileaks, which Wikileaks then widely distributed to international media, aided the enemy because it put US foreign policy in a very bad light.
Manning’s attorneys have asked the prosecution more than once for specific examples of how “the enemy” (whoever that may refer to in a world full of people bitterly angry at the United States because of any of many terrible acts carried out by the US government) has been “aided” by the Wikileaks disclosures. Just how has the enemy made use of the released material to harm the United States? The government has not provided any such examples, probably because what really bothers Washington officials is the embarrassment they have experienced before the world resulting from the documents and videos; which indeed are highly embarrassing even to genuine war criminals; filled with violations of international law, atrocities, multiple lies to everyone, revelations of gross hypocrisy, and much more.
So our splendid officials are considering putting Bradley Manning in prison forever simply because they’re embarrassed. Hard to find much fault with that.
But now the prosecutors have announced that a Navy Seal involved in the killing of Osama bin Laden is going to testify at the court martial that bin Laden possessed articles about the Wikileaks documents that Manning leaked. Well, there must be a hundred million other people in the world who have similar material on their computers. The question remains: What use did the enemy make of that?
The Iraqi government made use of the material, inducing them to refuse immunity to US troops for crimes committed in Iraq, such as the cold-blooded murders revealed by the Wilileaks videos; this in turn led the US to announce that it was ending its military engagement in Iraq. However, Manning was indicted in May 2010, well before the Iraqi decision to end the immunity.
In January, 2006 bin Laden, in an audio tape, declared: “If Bush decides to carry on with his lies and oppression, then it would be useful for you to read the book ‘Rogue State’ [by William Blum], which states in its introduction … ” He then went on to quote the opening of a paragraph I wrote (which appears actually in the Foreword of the British edition only, that was later translated to Arabic), which in full reads:
“If I were the president, I could stop terrorist attacks against the United States in a few days. Permanently. I would first apologize – very publicly and very sincerely – to all the widows and the orphans, the impoverished and the tortured, and all the many millions of other victims of American imperialism. I would then announce that America’s global interventions – including the awful bombings – have come to an end. And I would inform Israel that it is no longer the 51st state of the union but – oddly enough – a foreign country. I would then reduce the military budget by at least 90% and use the savings to pay reparations to the victims and repair the damage from the many American bombings and invasions. There would be more than enough money. Do you know what one year of the US military budget is equal to? One year. It’s equal to more than $20,000 per hour for every hour since Jesus Christ was born.
“That’s what I’d do on my first three days in the White House. On the fourth day, I’d be assassinated.”
Thus, Osama bin Laden was clearly making use of what I wrote, and the whole world heard it. And I was thus clearly “aiding the enemy”. But I was not prosecuted.
The United States would like to prove a direct use and benefit by “the enemy” of the material released by Wikileaks; but so far it appears that only possession might be proven. In my case the use, and presumed propaganda benefit, were demonstrated. The fact that I wrote the material, as opposed to “stealing” it, is irrelevant to the issue of aiding the enemy. I knew, or should have known, that my criticisms of US foreign policy could be used by the foes of those policies. Indeed, that’s why I write what I do. To provide ammunition to anti-war and other activists.
The Department of Justice and socialism
For many years when I’ve been asked to explain just what I mean by “socialism” I’ve usually replied simply: “Putting people before profits”. There are a thousand-and-one details that would have to be considered in a transformation from a capitalist society to a socialist society, but rather than going into all that it’s much simpler to leave it with just that motto, which expresses theessence of my socialist society. In any event, in that glorious future world things will evolve in ways that could not be wholly predicted. The structure could take any one of many forms, but the essence must remain the same if it’s going to be called socialist.
Thus was I both surprised and amused in reading a news article about the current trial in New Orleans which is attempting to determine, amongst other things, the extent of blame of various companies, particularly BP, involved in the 2010 historic accident which took the lives of 11 workers and dumped an estimated 172 million gallons of crude oil in the Gulf of Mexico. The US Justice Department attorney declared in his opening statement: “The evidence will show that BP put profits before people, profits before safety and profits before the environment.” 10
Well, imagine that. The Justice Department certainly captured the essence of corporate behavior. The attorney chose such words because he knew that the sentiments expressed would appeal to the average American sitting on a jury. The members of the jury would understand that BP had blatantly ignored and violated certain cherished ideals like people, safety and the environment. Prosecuting the corporation would sound fair and just to them.
Yet, when someone like me expresses such sentiments – and I have used the exact same words on occasion – I run the risk of being written off as an “extremist”, a “radical”, and other bad-for-you labels; not long ago it was “commie”.
The irony runs even deeper. If a corporation flagrantly ignores putting profits before everything else, stockholders can sue the executives.
This just in! The real reason the Pope resigned!
He’s losing his mind.
In January, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta met with Pope Benedict XVI to receive his blessing. Afterward, Panetta said the pontiff told him, “Thank you for helping to keep the world safe.” 11
The precious art of assassinating legally
Obama hopeium addicts can soon be expected to call for support of the president’s increasing use of drones for assassination on the ground of their being good for the environment. My White House agent informs me that Obama is going to announce that all American drones will soon be composed 85% of recyclable material and will be solar-powered. And each drone missile will have the following painted on its side: “He was a bad guy. Just take our word for it!”
- The Guardian (London), December 29, 2011 ↩
- Huffington Post, March 7, 2013 ↩
- http://killinghope.org/bblum6/assass.htm ↩
- Haaretz.com (Israel), October 25, 2007; print edition October 26 ↩
- “Face the Nation”, CBS, January 8, 2012 ↩
- Washington Post, August 1, 2012 ↩
- Iran Media Fact Check, “Does Israel Consider Iran an ‘Existential Threat’?” ↩
- The Guardian (London), January 31, 2012 ↩
- Political Correction, “American Enterprise Institute Admits The Problem With Iran Is Not That It Would Use Nukes” ↩
- Associated Press, February 26, 2013 ↩
- Washington Post, January 17, 2013 ↩
Apparently, it’s a no-brainer. Mali holds 15.8 million people – with a per capita gross domestic product of only around US$1,000 a year and average life expectancy of only 51 years – in a territory twice the size of France (per capital GDP $35,000 and upwards). Now almost two-thirds of this territory is occupied by heavily weaponized Islamist outfits. What next? Bomb, baby, bomb.
So welcome to the latest African war; Chad-based French Mirages and Gazelle helicopters, plus a smatter of France-based
Rafales bombing evil Islamist jihadis in northern Mali. Business is good; French president Francois Hollande spent this past Tuesday in Abu Dhabi clinching the sale of up to 60 Rafales to that Gulf paragon of democracy, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The formerly wimpy Hollande – now enjoying his “resolute”, “determined”, tough guy image reconversion – has cleverly sold all this as incinerating Islamists in the savannah before they take a one-way Bamako-Paris flight to bomb the Eiffel Tower.
French Special Forces have been on the ground in Mali since early 2012.
The Tuareg-led NMLA (National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad), via one of its leaders, now says it’s “ready to help” the former colonial power, billing itself as more knowledgeable about the culture and the terrain than future intervening forces from the CEDEAO (the acronym in French for the Economic Community of Western African States).
Salafi-jihadis in Mali have got a huge problem: they chose the wrong battlefield. If this was Syria, they would have been showered by now with weapons, logistical bases, a London-based “observatory”, hours of YouTube videos and all-out diplomatic support by the usual suspects of US, Britain, Turkey, the Gulf petromonarchies and – oui, monsieur – France itself.
Instead, they were slammed by the UN Security Council – faster than a collection of Marvel heroes – duly authorizing a war against them. Their West African neighbors – part of the ECOWAS regional bloc – were given a deadline (late November) to come up with a war plan. This being Africa, nothing happened – and the Islamists kept advancing until a week ago Paris decided to apply some Hollandaise sauce.
Not even a football stadium filled with the best West African shamans can conjure a bunch of disparate – and impoverished – countries to organize an intervening army in short notice, even if the adventure will be fully paid by the West just like the Uganda-led army fighting al-Shabaab in Somalia.
To top it all, this is no cakewalk. The Salafi-jihadis are flush, courtesy of booming cocaine smuggling from South America to Europe via Mali, plus human trafficking. According to the UN Office of Drugs Control, 60% of Europe’s cocaine transits Mali. At Paris street prices, that is worth over $11 billion.
General Carter Ham, the commander of the Pentagon’s AFRICOM, has been warning about a major crisis for months. Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy. But what’s really going on in what the New York Times quaintly describes as those “vast and turbulent stretches of the Sahara”?
It all started with a military coup in March 2012, only one month before Mali would hold a presidential election, ousting then president Amadou Toumani Toure. The coup plotters justified it as a response to the government’s incompetence in fighting the Tuareg.
The coup leader was one Captain Amadou Haya Sanogo, who happened to have been very cozy with the Pentagon; that included his four-month infantry officer basic training course in Fort Benning, Georgia, in 2010. Essentially, Sanogo was also groomed by AFRICOM, under a regional scheme mixing the State Department’s Trans Sahara Counter Terrorism Partnership program and the Pentagon’s Operation Enduring Freedom. It goes without saying that in all this “freedom” business Mali has been the proverbial “steady ally” – as in counterterrorism partner – fighting (at least in thesis) al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
Over the last few years, Washington’s game has elevated flip-flopping to high art. During the second George W Bush administration, Special Forces were very active side by side with the Tuaregs and the Algerians. During the first Obama administration, they started backing the Mali government against the Tuareg.
An unsuspecting public may pore over Rupert Murdoch’s papers – for instance, The Times of London – and its so-called defense correspondent will be pontificating at will on Mali without ever talking about blowback from the Libya war.
Muammar Gaddafi always supported the Tuaregs’ independence drive; since the 1960s the NMLA agenda has been to liberate Azawad (North Mali) from the central government in Bamako.
After the March 2012 coup, the NMLA seemed to be on top. They planted their own flag on quite a few government buildings, and on April 5 announced the creation of a new, independent Tuareg country. The “international community” spurned them, only for a few months later to have the NMLA for all practical purposes marginalized, even in their own region, by three other – Islamist – groups; Ansar ed-Dine (“Defenders of the Faith”); the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO); and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
Meet the players
The NMLA is a secular Tuareg movement, created in October 2011. It claims that the liberation of Azawad will allow better integration – and development – for all the peoples in the region. Its hardcore fighters are Tuaregs who were former members of Gaddafi’s army. But there are also rebels who had not laid down their arms after the 2007-2008 Tuareg rebellion, and some that defected from the Malian army. Those who came back to Mali after Gaddafi was executed by the NATO rebels in Libya carried plenty of weapons. Yet most heavy weapons actually ended up with the NATO rebels themselves, the Islamists supported by the West.
AQIM is the Northern African branch of al-Qaeda, pledging allegiance to “The Doctor”, Ayman al-Zawahiri. Its two crucial characters are Abu Zaid and Mokhtar Belmokhtar, former members of the ultra-hardcore Algerian Islamist outfit Salafist Group for Predication and Combat (SGPC). Belmokhtar was already a jihadi in 1980s Afghanistan.
Abu Zaid poses as a sort of North African “Geronimo”, aka Osama bin Laden, with the requisite black flag and a strategically positioned Kalashnikov featuring prominently in his videos. The historical leader, though, is Belmokhtar. The problem is that Belmokhtar, known by French intelligence as “The Uncatchable”, has recently joined MUJAO.
MUJAO fighters are all former AQIM. In June 2012, MUJAO expelled the NMLA and took over the city of Gao, when it immediately applied the worst aspects of Sharia law. It’s the MUJAO base that has been bombed by the French Rafales this week. One of its spokesmen has duly threatened, “in the name of Allah”, to respond by attacking “the heart of France”.
Finally, Ansar ed-Dine is an Islamist Tuareg outfit, set up last year and directed by Iyad ag Ghali, a former leader of the NMLA who exiled himself in Libya. He turned to Salafism because of – inevitably – Pakistani proselytizers let loose in Northern Africa, then engaged in valuable face time with plenty of AQIM emirs. It’s interesting to note in 2007 Mali President Toure appointed Ghali as consul in Jeddah, in Saudi Arabia. He was then duly expelled in 2010 because he got too close to radical Islamists.
Gimme ‘a little more terrorism’
No one in the West is asking why the Pentagon-friendly Sanogo’s military coup in the capital ended up with almost two-thirds of Mali in the hands of Islamists who imposed hardcore Sharia law in Azawad – especially in Gao, Timbuktu and Kidal, a gruesome catalogue of summary executions, amputations, stonings and the destruction of holy shrines in Timbuktu. How come the latest Tuareg rebellion ended up hijacked by a few hundred hardcore Islamists? It’s useless to ask the question to US drones.
The official “leading from behind” Obama 2.0 administration rhetoric is, in a sense, futuristic; the French bombing “could rally jihadis” around the world and lead to – what else – attacks on the West. Once again the good ol’ Global War on Terror (GWOT) remains the serpent biting its own tail.
There’s no way to understand Mali without examining what Algeria has been up to. The Algerian newspaper El Khabar only scratched the surface, noting that “from categorically refusing an intervention – saying to the people in the region it would be dangerous”, Algiers went to “open Algerian skies to the French Mirages”.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Algeria last October, trying to organize some semblance of an intervening West African army. Hollande was there in December. Oh yes, this gets juicier by the month.
So let’s turn to Professor Jeremy Keenan, from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at London University, and author of The Dark Sahara (Pluto Press, 2009) and the upcomingThe Dying Sahara (Pluto Press, 2013).
Writing in the January edition of New African, Keenan stresses, “Libya was the catalyst of the Azawad rebellion, not its underlying cause. Rather, the catastrophe now being played out in Mali is the inevitable outcome of the way in which the ‘Global War on Terror’ has been inserted into the Sahara-Sahel by the US, in concert with Algerian intelligence operatives, since 2002.”
In a nutshell, Bush and the regime in Algiers both needed, as Keenan points out, “a little more terrorism” in the region. Algiers wanted it as the means to get more high-tech weapons. And Bush – or the neo-cons behind him – wanted it to launch the Saharan front of the GWOT, as in the militarization of Africa as the top strategy to control more energy resources, especially oil, thus wining the competition against massive Chinese investment. This is the underlying logic that led to the creation of AFRICOM in 2008.
Algerian intelligence, Washington and the Europeans duly used AQIM, infiltrating its leadership to extract that “little more terrorism”. Meanwhile, Algerian intelligence effectively configured the Tuaregs as “terrorists”; the perfect pretext for Bush’s Trans-Saharan Counter-Terrorism Initiative, as well as the Pentagon’s Operation Flintlock – a trans-Sahara military exercise.
The Tuaregs always scared the hell out of Algerians, who could not even imagine the success of a Tuareg nationalist movement in northern Mali. After all, Algeria always viewed the whole region as its own backyard.
The Tuaregs – the indigenous population of the central Sahara and the Sahel – number up to 3 million. Over 800,000 live in Mali, followed by Niger, with smaller concentrations in Algeria, Burkina Faso and Libya. There have been no less than five Tuareg rebellions in Mali since independence in 1960, plus three others in Niger, and a lot of turbulence in Algeria.
Keenan’s analysis is absolutely correct in identifying what happened all along 2012 as the Algerians meticulously destroying the credibility and the political drive of the NMLA. Follow the money: both Ansar ed-Dine’s Iyad ag Ghaly and MUJAO’s Sultan Ould Badi are very cozy with the DRS, the Algerian intelligence agency. Both groups in the beginning had only a few members.
Then came a tsunami of AQIM fighters. That’s the only explanation for why the NMLA was, after only a few months, neutralized both politically and militarily in their own backyard.
Round up the usual freedom fighters
Washington’s “leading from behind” position is illustrated by this State Department press conference. Essentially, the government in Bamako asked for the French to get down and dirty.
And that’s it.
Not really. Anyone who thinks “bomb al-Qaeda” is all there is to Mali must be living in Oz. To start with, using hardcore Islamists to suffocate an indigenous independence movement comes straight from the historic CIA/Pentagon playbook.
Moreover, Mali is crucial to AFRICOM and to the Pentagon’s overall MENA (Middle East-Northern Africa) outlook. Months before 9/11 I had the privilege to crisscross Mali on the road – and by the (Niger) river – and hang out, especially in Mopti and Timbuktu, with the awesome Tuaregs, who gave me a crash course in Northwest Africa. I saw Wahhabi and Pakistani preachers all over the place. I saw the Tuaregs progressively squeezed out. I saw an Afghanistan in the making. And it was not very hard to follow the money sipping tea in the Sahara. Mali borders Algeria, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Senegal, the Ivory Coast and Guinea. The spectacular Inner Niger delta is in central Mali – just south of the Sahara. Mali overflows with gold, uranium, bauxite, iron, manganese, tin and copper. And – Pipelineistan beckons! – there’s plenty of unexplored oil in northern Mali.
As early as February 2008, Vice Admiral Robert T Moeller wassaying that AFRICOM’s mission was to protect “the free flow of natural resources from Africa to the global market”; yes, he did make the crucial connection to China, pronounced guilty of ” challenging US interests”.
AFRICOM’s spy planes have been “observing” Mali, Mauritania and the Sahara for months, in thesis looking for AQIM fighters; the whole thing is overseen by US Special Forces, part of the classified, code-named Creek Sand operation, based in next-door Burkina Faso. Forget about spotting any Americans; these are – what else – contractors who do not wear military uniforms.
Last month, at Brown University, General Carter Ham, AFRICOM’s commander, once more gave a big push to the “mission to advance US security interests across Africa”. Now it’s all about the – updated – US National Security Strategy in Africa, signed by Obama in June 2012. The (conveniently vague) objectives of this strategy are to “strengthen democratic institutions”; encourage “economic growth, trade and investment”; “advance peace and security”; and “promote opportunity and development.”
In practice, it’s Western militarization (with Washington “leading from behind”) versus the ongoing Chinese seduction/investment drive in Africa. In Mali, the ideal Washington scenario would be a Sudan remix; just like the recent partition of North and South Sudan, which created an extra logistical headache for Beijing, why not a partition of Mali to better exploit its natural wealth? By the way, Mali was known as Western Sudan until independence in 1960.
Already in early December a “multinational” war in Mali was on the Pentagon cards.
The beauty of it is that even with a Western-financed, Pentagon-supported, “multinational” proxy army about to get into the action, it’s the French who are pouring the lethal Hollandaise sauce (nothing like an ex-colony “in trouble” to whet the appetite of its former masters). The Pentagon can always keep using its discreet P-3 spy planes and Global Hawk drones based in Europe, and later on transport West African troops and give them aerial cover. But all secret, and very hush hush.
Mr Quagmire has already reared its ugly head in record time, even before the 1,400 (and counting) French boots on the ground went into offense.
A MUJAO commando team (and not AQIM, as it’s been reported), led by who else but the “uncatchable” Belmokhtar, hit a gas field in the middle of the Algerian Sahara desert, over 1,000 km south of Algiers but only 100 km from the Libyan border, where they captured a bunch of Western (and some Japanese) hostages; a rescue operation launched on Wednesday by Algerian Special Forces was, to put it mildly, a giant mess, with at least seven foreign hostages and 23 Algerians so far confirmed killed.
The gas field is being exploited by BP, Statoil and Sonatrach. MUJAO has denounced – what else – the new French “crusade” and the fact that French fighter jets now own Algerian airspace.
As blowback goes, this is just the hors d’oeuvres. And it won’t be confined to Mali. It will convulse Algeria and soon Niger, the source of over a third of the uranium in French nuclear power plants, and the whole Sahara-Sahel.
So this new, brewing mega-Afghanistan in Africa will be good for French neoloconial interests (even though Hollande insists this is all about “peace”); good for AFRICOM; a boost for those Jihadis Formerly Known as NATO Rebels; and certainly good for the never-ending Global War on Terror (GWOT), duly renamed “kinetic military operations”.
Django, unchained, would be totally at home. As for the Oscar for Best Song, it goes to the Bush-Obama continuum: There’s no business like terror business. With French subtitles, bien sur.
Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His most recent book is Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009). He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Asia Times Online
Ashtabula, Ohio, is facing problems which could overload their already struggling social welfare services. Across America more people are being forced onto food stamps or facing starvation. Some of these have lost their jobs. Others can no longer work because of disabilities which can be accounted for in other ways.
This appears to be especially true, and becoming more so, in Ashtabula, a small town of 29,000 inhabitants which sits at the epicenter of four superfund sites, one of the most in any county in Ohio today.
While many of the companies responsible for the toxic waste have packed up and moved operations to third world countries, others have moved in, continuing the same practices. From the perspective of such companies, for instance Millennium, the attractions of the area include the history of previous pollution. Although the impact on the people and environment, calculated monetarily, would be enormous the company has routinely paid a tiny stipend, frequently around $50,000 a year in fines to the EPA.
Diseases and conditions which, two generations ago, were barely known, now account for a significant number of the individuals now requiring aid. Among these conditions are Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis, both neurological in origin, both becoming far more common in Ashtabula.
From multiple directions and sources indications now affirm something has changed. Tracking the incidence of these devastating diseases could result in nothing but more rapid action to identify the conditions which are increasing their incidence in Americans. Yet legislation which would accomplish this is stalled in Congress. In 2010, the House passed H.R. 1362, a act similar to the stalled Senate bill, S. 425: National Neurological Diseases Surveillance System Act of 2011.
The House bill passed with 206 cosponsors. The nearly identical Senate bill has 14 cosponsors, nine Democrats and five Republicans.. Both would provide for the establishment of permanent national surveillance systems for multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurological diseases and disorders. But until both pass and are signed into law, this cannot happen.
Having information freely available not only enables better choices for all of us, today it may well spell the difference between life and death for many Americans. Not knowing forces us to struggle in ignorance of facts essential for our health and well-being. And since these facts widely include information collected and retained by those in public service, whose salaries are paid by taxpayers, this calls into question the motives of those working for government.
In Steve Lerner’s book, “Sacrifice Zones: The Front Lines of Toxic Chemical Exposure in the United States,” we see the unstated policy of ignoring corporate impact in specific areas for reasons which are never stated, also applied to the lives of the people who live there. The section of the Lerner book, which outlines the impact of Manganese poisoning in Marietta, Ohio, could well have been written about Ashtabula.
By so doing, the joining of corporate interests with the power of the state to externalize their costs and so augment their profits. In a rational world destroying the present value of resources which are common to all of us as the life-spans, intellectual and health of people are diminished and destroyed would be automatically treated as crimes.
Evading the consequences of these crimes by using the institutions of government smacks of a violation under color of law. Now, we must ask ourselves if the present compilation of policies is random, or planned.
A“National Sacrifice Zone” is defined as an area so contaminated or depleted of its resources as to have little or no future use. The term has been applied to areas which are badly polluted through previous corporate abuse of resources which go far beyond any right of ownership which can, rationally, be claimed by those responsible. Of the enormous number of examples presently in the forefront of public consciousness are fracking and manganese poisoning.
But the ‘sacrifice zones’ go beyond land, air, water, and the environment of which these are elements. It also includes people. In Ashtabula, and across both Ohio and Indiana, the sacrifice made to corporate prosperity included people’s health, their lives, and an additional cost has been paid in the slow, but inevitable shock suffered as they individually discovered the institutions, for which we pay, were actually working against them.
As you read Lerner’s book you hear the words of ordinary Americans, struggling to understand what is happening to them and why their lives and well being do not matter.
“We thought we had the American dream,” says Lesley Kuhl, who since 2002 has lived with her husband and two young children on a quiet, leafy street in Marietta, Ohio.
Mrs. Kuhl is a Republican, who considered herself conservative, when the threat to her children forced her into action along with both environmental activists and others in her town, like Caroline Beidler, who could no longer ignore the visible impact of pollutants on the health of their families.
Caroline Beidler and her husband, Keith Bailey, a carpenter, had built their “dream home,” in Marietta, Ohio. At the time they were unaware that their little piece of heaven was only four miles, as the crow flies, from the French-owned ferroalloy plant of Eramet Marietta, Inc.
According to Steve Lerner, author of “Sacrifice Zones,” “Eramet (which uses manganese, cadmium, and lead, among other feedstocks, to strengthen steel and purify chromium) releases tons of heavy metal dust into the air. It is one of the county’s top polluters.”
Their efforts transitioned from an informal club which logged the ugly odors carried by the breeze from the plant to increasingly organized efforts to stop the emissions. These struggles began in 2002. They continue today.
Tetrachloroethylene, “a chemical that can cause dizziness, headaches, nausea, unconsciousness, and even death.,” was only one of the pollutants being emitted. Tetrachloroethylene was not even on the long list of chemicals that Eramet admitting having released. In 2004, the company did, “emit 15,000 pounds of chromium compounds into the air and 75,000 pounds into the river and 500,000 pounds of airborne manganese.”
Manganese is a known neurotoxin. Manganese poisoning mimics Parkinson’s Disease, among many other conditions.
At first, Beidler was reluctant to make trouble. Over time she realized just how many road blocks existed between the safety of her children. Little help was forthcoming from state regulatory officials.
They discovered how many ways accountability could be evaded by companies which routinely spend money to influence government but never enough to solve the problems they create. Fingers were pointed in every possible direction but little changed.
According to Lerner, “Total releases of toxic chemicals by Eramet reported to federal officials were radically cut from about 12 million pounds when the company was purchased in 2000 to about 6 million pounds of TRI releases in 2004.”
In December 2005 a report by David Pace of the Associated Press listed Eramet as the top factory nationwide “whose emissions created the most potential health risk for residents in the surrounding community.” Washington County was ranked number one for the “highest health risk from industrial pollution in 2000.”
This was the year Lesley Kuhl really confronted the problem.
The group which formed around Beidler and Kuhl, “began to collect information about air quality in their region and make their network of members aware of key regulatory developments, scientific studies, health studies, and emissions at Eramet.”
The bottom-line motive was the continuing threat to children, their children. In December 2005 Mrs. Kuhl read an article in the local newspaper on the impact of elevated levels of air-borne heavy metals their possible impact on the development of the brains of very young children. The Kuhl children had suffered numerous sinus infections that had to be treated with antibiotics, and one of whom was diagnosed with a developmental disorder. Loss of IQ points was also listed as a possibility.
Further research revealed older people could experience mood and movement problems from exposure. Suggestions for a ‘study,’ to take three years, was not a solution.
Also, the families realized even moving was no guarantee of a safe haven. How could they know where was safe? Their children began to be tested for manganese exposure.
The Kuhls and others continued to be shocked at the disregard for the health and well being of their children. Their knowledge of the problem, and how long it had been known, increased.
Dick Wittberg, another resident, who heads the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department, had carried out a pilot study in the late 1990s. The study compared the ability of children in Marietta to perform physical tasks and answer academic questions. These were compared the results from Marietta with, “a control sample of children from a similar-sized town in Athens, Ohio, located forty-five miles away.”
A battery of 13 tests were administered to fourth-graders in both cities. The children were matched, “for age, sex, and parental education. The tests measured such things as educational proficiency, balance, visual contrast sensitivity, and short-term memory.”
The results were disturbing: “across the board: the Marietta youngsters scored significantly lower on the tests than did those from Athens.” In his opinion, “the study points to some neurological differences and one has to suspect manganese. Nobody knows, for kids, how much [exposure] is too much.”
The stalling tactics continue from Aramet.
Protocols for handling potential pollutants, thus eliminating the danger of impact exist today. This is not rocket science. The only impact to be felt if such procedures become standard is to end a threat to public health, the need for clean-up, all too often paid for by taxpayers, and awaken corporate balance sheets to the reality of a real free market. There is no inherent freedom to cause harm to others.
It is time to get specific about what protocols must be applied and on the issue of liability.
This is how a free market is applied. You can tell if it is a free market because if government can intervene to limit liability or allow acts which are, by their nature criminal, what you are seeing is corporate fascism.
As bad as the situation is in Marietta, what is facing Ashtabula could be far worse. The toxic releases of Manganese are double what is present in Marietta, the source of pollution, Millennium, is far closer to population centers, and a clock, of which we have only recently become aware, is ticking toward a point of no return for many people.
A study, Parkinsonism Induced by Chronic Manganese Intoxication– An Experience in Taiwan, by Chin-Chang Huang, MD, includes the troubling facts, “Excessive manganese exposure may induce a neurological syndrome called manganism, which is similar to Parkinson’s disease (PD). However, close observation of patients with manganism reveals a clinical disease entity different from PD, not only in the clinical manifestations, but also in therapeutic responses. “ “…after long-term follow-up studies, patients with manganism showed prominent deterioration in the parkinsonian symptoms during the initial 5-10 years, followed by a plateau during the following 10 years.”
The summary, in large part quoted above, ends with, “Although typical patients with manganism are different from patients with PD, the potential risk of inhaling welding fumes, which may accelerate the onset of PD or even induce PD, has been raised during recent years. This controversial topic requires further investigation.
The results of this study should be considered along with this graph showing money spent on lobbying by the American Chemical Council. Source: Open Secrets While it is nearly impossible to know how the money was spent the timing is telling.
Also available to influence legislators are the many corporations who readily donate to non-profits which, people believe, are working solely to protect them. These include, “3M, Amoco, Chevron, Dow Chemical, Exxon, General Motors, Occidental Petroleum, Philip Morris, Proctor & Gamble and W.R. Grace,” according to Integrity in Science, who routinely tracks such relationships.
The people of Ashtabula are not inhaling fumes from working as welding. They are getting it directly and it is time action was taken to establish real standards backed up by real disincentives as those impacted are compensated. In so doing, Ashtabula can begin the process of returning America to a nation of law and justice.
For more information contact Ashtabula Renewal – The Clean-Up ashtabulanenewal.org
Melinda Pillsbury-Foster, Organizing Director, Dave Lincoln, Technical Director
The New World Order, designed around a functional police state that is encouraged by continuous popular cultural messages, is apparent to even the most avid establishment apologist. Liberty and freedom, hardly ever mentioned in a positive light by the mass media, is a direct threat to the ruling class. The proliferation of degenerate behavior is lauded so that those who object to such conduct will be demeaned as outcasts of the decadent society. The imposition of a police state is necessary to coerce decent people into forced obedience.
Cultural celebrities and icons come and go, but their art often rings on for good or bad. Political propaganda, embedded in media projects, has transcended subliminal messages and now emphasizes in your face brashness. The breakdown of the traditional value society is so complete, that what was once viewed as insulting political disinformation now passes as a promotion for a loyalist NWO drama.
“Instead, Homeland presents a retuned version of the same unshakeable assurance that, even when things are really complicated, American values are the fairest, the most right and the best. Sure, the series shows US forces doing terrible things: covering up a drone attack that kills civilians in Iraq; trigger-happy in a US mosque, leaving innocents dead there, too. But these are presented as necessary acts in pursuit of far worse crimes. Homeland’s core message is that the US means well, but sometimes has to do bad things; while the Arab and/or Muslim enemy doesn’t mean well and hence does unfathomably bad things. Not much of a progression really, is it?”
When the postmortem of the Patriotic Act era is dissected, the treason of intelligence community operations will be written in their full horror. The police state glorified in Homeland episodes is meant to prepare the public for the next stage of centralized oppression.
While cable or broadcast TV is so removed from Little House on the Prairie, today’s programming is designed to facilitate the psychological acceptance of the transition into a maximum lock down prison society.
In the essay, Mass Mind Control Through Network Television, Alex Ansary warns of the prison industrial complex.
“Turn on your local newscast. You have a few minutes of blue-collar crime, hardly any white collar crime, a few minutes of sports, misc. chit chat, random political jibber-jabber, and a look at the weather that no one is forecasting correctly. Is that what happened in your town? And we’re supposed to own the airwaves! The mainstream media openly supports the interests of the prison industrial complex. The stories focus on minority criminal groups, and exploit the real threat to appear much more dangerous than they are. Think about the growing per capita number of prisoners in the country. Then remember that this is happening at the same time that our prison boom began. The police on our streets have created criminals. The focus is to keep us in a state of fear, that way the elitists can attack any group they want to without fear of consequence. This is why the media is continuing to craft the timeless art of dehumanization.”
The cutting edge of mind control has long included the use of music and lyrics that produce subconscious meanings. Now the fascist messages in street music indoctrinate not only the youth but target to reinforce the despotic aspirations of TSA flunkies.
The article, The Transhumanist and Police State Agenda in Pop Music, provides two examples of globalist messages disguised as performances by Rihanna and Beyonce.
“In hip-hop slang, the term “hard” usually refers to someone who is street-savvy, gritty, rebellious and who is decisively “not down with police”. Hard transposes this term to a military context. Her militaristic video features a gang of uniformed men dancing under the orders of “General Rihanna”. We’ve come a long way from Public Enemy’s Fight the Power…it is now Submit to the Power. All of this military/dictatorial imagery is mixed with Rihanna’s sexy moves and outfits, appealing to the masses’ basest instinct: sex.”
“Beyonce walks on stage with a bunch of men dressed in riot gear… the type of unit a police state would use to repress opposition during popular turmoil. What are they doing in Beyonce’s performance? Contributing to permeate popular culture with police-state imagery.”
In the follow-up account, you can read the description mentioned in this report.
“Two recent examples of the perpetuation of the police state agenda in popular culture are Jay-Z and Kanye West’s music video No Church in the Wild and Adam Lambert’s Never Close our Eyes. In spite of, or perhaps because of, the fact that these songs are two different genres that aim to reach two different markets, they both contribute to the saturation of popular culture with police state imagery. While the authorities are not necessarily portrayed as the “good guys”, they are nevertheless there, as if their presence at any kind of public demonstration is normal.”
Contrast this dark brute force portrayal, with an age of optimism and hope. The peace and love themes in the music and political actions of John Lennon offer a rudimentary alternative to the grisly atrocities that the establishment commits routinely in the name of national security.
Gangster rap has little in common with All You Need is Love.
Rebellion of youth is natural, but resigned acceptance for submission to the police state is repression. The thirty-two years since his assassination has been one long road into oblivion. Read the “Interview With Investigative Reporter Jack Jones” for insights into the elimination of a dangerous messenger of peace.What a long way away from John Lennon’s lyrics in the song Revolution.
You say you’ll change the constitution
Well, you know
We all want to change your head
You tell me it’s the institution
Well, you know
You’d better free your mind instead
But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
You ain’t gonna make it with anyone anyhow
Now, transition from the mental liberation of the Beetle era, and go back and examine the overt war crimes of the premier American despot, Abraham Lincoln. Biographer and jingoism jezebel LBJ groupie, Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln served as the backdrop of Steven Spielberg’s production of the recent released Lincoln film.
Alec Ryan writes in the American Renaissance:
“In the modern Hollywood narrative, all American history revolves around the Sacred Black Experience. Lincoln confirms this, bending historical truth to paint the most ruthless, bloody-minded, strong-willed American leader in history as some kind of smug, pre-post-modern storyteller croaking gamely through the difficulties like a paleface Obama sans teleprompter. The few Southerners are snarling, greasy bigots, recoiling before the erect, scowling black Union guards as they slink by during a meeting that led to the Hampton Roads peace conference of February 1865.
The film has throughout a sense of hushed awe, as if kowtowing to its own self-evident righteousness. There is no balance, no complexity, no sense of inner struggle or desperation. No opposing arguments. Its simplistic outlook more closely resembles the popcorn-psychology Avengers or Justice League rather than the serious historical movie that it clearly wishes to be acclaimed.”
The point of evaluating the worship adoration of the destroyer of the Republic with the authoritarianism of the newly re-elected president is to equate the despotism of both of their regimes. The imposition of the police state is part of the master plan to enslave the inherent autonomy of free citizens.
The insidious popular culture strips the institutions of traditional constitutional protections and separations of powers by diminishing the will of sovereign citizens to fight tyranny. The goal of imposing savage dehumanizing ruthlessness seeks to spread the Sons of Anarchy mindset into positions of authority. The merging of law enforcement into the ranks of criminal organizations becomes a common occurrence in the police state environment.
Once upon a time, the peace officer maintained order and balance. Now law enforcement deems that natural rights are arbitrary and conditional on obedience to government dictates.
911 provided the excuse to inflict a “War of Terror” under the disguise of national security. The Homeland program scripts that foster the ends justify the means are repugnant to every liberty advocate. Each day, the evolving police state is becoming more invasive and punitive.
A culture that glorifies jack booted thugs that order innocent citizens around as sinister terrorists destroys the essence of the nation. The New World Order essentially uses depressing indoctrination of the inevitability for submission to their mind game matrix.
The walking dead that accept a dependent society administered by bureaucratic goons, willingly tolerant a fate of bondage. Since texting is all the rage and the written language is sorely deficient, maybe the best way to communicate though the popular culture is to withdraw from the experience as much as possible. Try one on one contact; you might be surprised with the results.
You think that America’s corporate-owned government has its drawbacks? Wait until you hear what the corporate-owned government in Nigeria is up to! You think that the results of having corporate Big Money buying off America’s politicians has been scary and sad? Then you obviously haven’t ever been to Nigeria — where they have definitely gone way far beyond merely “scary” or “sad”.
When it comes to having a corporate-owned government, apparently Nigeria has become the prototype, the ideal, the epitome of what corporate-owned government can really achieve if it puts its mind to it. Corporations in America like Citibank and Monsanto and Georgia-Pacific and Chevron can only hope to aspire to the high levels of corporatism that have been achieved in Nigeria.
Nigeria today has broken the mold and set the bar really high.
But how do I know all this? From an interview with an expert on Nigeria that took place yesterday in a local park in Berkeley over tuna-fish sandwiches.
“So. What’s up in Nigeria?” I asked him, immediately diving right in.
“Don’t even ask,” he replied. “For one thing, our government is composed of mainly puppet thugs put into office by corporate neo-colonialists — but these office-holders have no power at all. They are only there as a showcase, an illusion, a shadow puppet show created to make it look like someone with dark skin is in charge over there and to give corporations someone to officially sign the documents that have handed Nigeria over to them.”
That’s ironic. In America, corporations try to dig up shadow puppets with light skin.
“When we were children in Nigeria,” continued the expert, “all of us wanted to go off to college because those in our villages who had gone to college would come home and everyone would honor them. But not any more. Now the children in the villages and towns of Nigeria all want to grow up to be government thugs! To drive big shiny cars and take money from oil companies and beat people up.”
“Something like that has happened in America too,” I replied. “Little kids used to want to grow up to be doctors or firefighters or scientists. High school kids wanted to go to college and become architects or engineers or Bob the Builder. Now all they want to do is study business so they can rush off to Wall Street and make a killing. Who wants to be a doctor when they can orchestrate pension-plan takeovers and outsource American jobs. Or go into politics.” Yeah. And become corporate-owned government thugs like in Nigeria.
“And it used to be that everyone in Nigeria at least had a chance of going to high school,” said the expert. “But the levels of available education there are falling fast.” Keep them barefoot and dumb? Seems to be the trend here in America too.
“Whenever we thought of America when we were children, we all wanted to be like that — democracy and all. Owning something that said ‘Made in America’ on it was a very big deal. And now it’s all made in China. But what amazes me most about Americans today is that they all sit back and take this and say nothing. They just listen to Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck and Fox News and accept their fate like lambs to the slaughter.”
I know what he means. And in my humble opinion, it all started back in 1963 when no one really questioned who shot JFK — and who benefited most. Who had the motive, means and opportunity? It surely wasn’t Cuba or even the USSR. “Who killed the Kennedys? After all it was you and me,” sang the Rolling Stones — and they nailed it. Then most Americans went on to never question the lack of preparedness before 9-11http://www.paulcraigroberts.
“Don’t Tread on Me” is now history, sent off to America’s outdated memorabilia rubbish heap.
“When the BP oil spill happened over here in the Gulf,” my expert continued, “BP spent a lot of money on maintaining their public image in America and making excuses. Well, Nigeria has a big oil spill almost every day. Oil spills like that are common in Nigeria. But the major difference between there and here is that BP doesn’t even bother to make excuses in Nigeria. They don’t even consider Nigerians important enough to even make excuses. They treat us like some kind of annoying pests that they just have to put up with while extracting our oil. Not really human.” Definitely beyond sad.
Imagine all those photos of shorebirds on the Gulf Coast covered with oil — and then imagine Nigerians covered with oil like that too. The toxic “body burden” that many Nigerian villagers are bearing these days is tragic.
“Have you ever been to Nigeria?” he asked me. “Rich people there live in securely gated communities and behind high walls. There is no walking down the streets in Nigeria for rich people. Why would anyone ever want to live like that? To always be guarded and gated and stuck behind walls? That’s no way to live. Having economic equality leads to more freedom — even for the rich.”
But as the rich become more and more separated from the poor here in America too, that’s definitely the direction we also are going in. Freedom, like money, does not trickle down.
Next we discussed a whole bunch of other reasons why having a corporate-owned government has led to a failed nation in Nigeria — and will also lead to a failed nation here. But I forgot to take notes and can’t remember the rest of what all we discussed. But you get the gist. Government of the people, by the people and for the people is good. Corporate-owned government is proving to be very very bad.
To paraphrase a recent saying that’s now making the rounds on FaceBook, “If Romney’s proposed corporatist policies actually work, then George W. Bush would have given the keynote speech at the Republican convention — and Nigeria would be a proud role model for democracy and freedom, not just another miserable failed state.”
PS: Has anyone started to miss Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi yet? If he hadn’t been brutally murdered and his corpse dragged through the streets of Sirte, Ambassador Stevens would still be alive and well too.
And does anybody but me find it ironic that the rockets used to attack the American consulate in Benghazi probably came from the same stockpile of weapons supplied to NATO’s allies, the al-Qaeda-linked Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, and paid for by America’s corporate-owned government?
Shades of Ronald Reagan’s favorite “freedom fighters” in Afghanistan — Osama bin Ladin and friends.
The greatest crimes of human history are made possible by the most colorless human beings. They are the careerists. The bureaucrats. The cynics. They do the little chores that make vast, complicated systems of exploitation and death a reality. They collect and read the personal data gathered on tens of millions of us by the security and surveillance state. They keep the accounts of ExxonMobil, BP and Goldman Sachs. They build or pilot aerial drones. They work in corporate advertising and public relations. They issue the forms. They process the papers. They deny food stamps to some and unemployment benefits or medical coverage to others. They enforce the laws and the regulations. And they do not ask questions.
Good. Evil. These words do not mean anything to them. They are beyond morality. They are there to make corporate systems function. If insurance companies abandon tens of millions of sick to suffer and die, so be it. If banks and sheriff departments toss families out of their homes, so be it. If financial firms rob citizens of their savings, so be it. If the government shuts down schools and libraries, so be it. If the military murders children in Pakistan or Afghanistan, so be it. If commodity speculators drive up the cost of rice and corn and wheat so that they are unaffordable for hundreds of millions of poor across the planet, so be it. If Congress and the courts strip citizens of basic civil liberties, so be it. If the fossil fuel industry turns the earth into a broiler of greenhouse gases that doom us, so be it. They serve the system. The god of profit and exploitation. The most dangerous force in the industrialized world does not come from those who wield radical creeds, whether Islamic radicalism or Christian fundamentalism, but from legions of faceless bureaucrats who claw their way up layered corporate and governmental machines. They serve any system that meets their pathetic quota of needs.
These systems managers believe nothing. They have no loyalty. They are rootless. They do not think beyond their tiny, insignificant roles. They are blind and deaf. They are, at least regarding the great ideas and patterns of human civilization and history, utterly illiterate. And we churn them out of universities. Lawyers. Technocrats. Business majors. Financial managers. IT specialists. Consultants. Petroleum engineers. “Positive psychologists.” Communications majors. Cadets. Sales representatives. Computer programmers. Men and women who know no history, know no ideas. They live and think in an intellectual vacuum, a world of stultifying minutia. They are T.S. Eliot’s “the hollow men,” “the stuffed men.” “Shape without form, shade without colour,” the poet wrote. “Paralysed force, gesture without motion.”
It was the careerists who made possible the genocides, from the extermination of Native Americans to the Turkish slaughter of the Armenians to the Nazi Holocaust to Stalin’s liquidations. They were the ones who kept the trains running. They filled out the forms and presided over the property confiscations. They rationed the food while children starved. They manufactured the guns. They ran the prisons. They enforced travel bans, confiscated passports, seized bank accounts and carried out segregation. They enforced the law. They did their jobs.
Political and military careerists, backed by war profiteers, have led us into useless wars, including World War I, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. And millions followed them. Duty. Honor. Country. Carnivals of death. They sacrifice us all. In the futile battles of Verdun and the Somme in World War I, 1.8 million on both sides were killed, wounded or never found. In July of 1917 British Field Marshal Douglas Haig, despite the seas of dead, doomed even more in the mud of Passchendaele. By November, when it was clear his promised breakthrough at Passchendaele had failed, he jettisoned the initial goal—as we did in Iraq when it turned out there were no weapons of mass destruction and in Afghanistan when al-Qaida left the country—and opted for a simple war of attrition. Haig “won” if more Germans than allied troops died. Death as score card. Passchendaele took 600,000 more lives on both sides of the line before it ended. It is not a new story. Generals are almost always buffoons. Soldiers followed John the Blind, who had lost his eyesight a decade earlier, to resounding defeat at the Battle of Crécy in 1337 during the Hundred Years War. We discover that leaders are mediocrities only when it is too late.
David Lloyd George, who was the British prime minister during the Passchendaele campaign, wrote in his memoirs: “[Before the battle of Passchendaele] the Tanks Corps Staff prepared maps to show how a bombardment which obliterated the drainage would inevitably lead to a series of pools, and they located the exact spots where the waters would gather. The only reply was a peremptory order that they were to ‘Send no more of these ridiculous maps.’ Maps must conform to plans and not plans to maps. Facts that interfered with plans were impertinencies.”
Here you have the explanation of why our ruling elites do nothing about climate change, refuse to respond rationally to economic meltdown and are incapable of coping with the collapse of globalization and empire. These are circumstances that interfere with the very viability and sustainability of the system. And bureaucrats know only how to serve the system. They know only the managerial skills they ingested at West Point or Harvard Business School. They cannot think on their own. They cannot challenge assumptions or structures. They cannot intellectually or emotionally recognize that the system might implode. And so they do what Napoleon warned was the worst mistake a general could make—paint an imaginary picture of a situation and accept it as real. But we blithely ignore reality along with them. The mania for a happy ending blinds us. We do not want to believe what we see. It is too depressing. So we all retreat into collective self-delusion.
In Claude Lanzmann’s monumental documentary film “Shoah,” on the Holocaust, he interviews Filip Müller, a Czech Jew who survived the liquidations in Auschwitz as a member of the “special detail.” Müller relates this story:
“One day in 1943 when I was already in Crematorium 5, a train from Bialystok arrived. A prisoner on the ‘special detail’ saw a woman in the ‘undressing room’ who was the wife of a friend of his. He came right out and told her: ‘You are going to be exterminated. In three hours you’ll be ashes.’ The woman believed him because she knew him. She ran all over and warned to the other women. ‘We’re going to be killed. We’re going to be gassed.’ Mothers carrying their children on their shoulders didn’t want to hear that. They decided the woman was crazy. They chased her away. So she went to the men. To no avail. Not that they didn’t believe her. They’d heard rumors in the Bialystok ghetto, or in Grodno, and elsewhere. But who wanted to hear that? When she saw that no one would listen, she scratched her whole face. Out of despair. In shock. And she started to scream.”
Blaise Pascal wrote in “Pensées,” “We run heedlessly into the abyss after putting something in front of us to stop us from seeing it.”
Hannah Arendt, in writing “Eichmann in Jerusalem,” noted that Adolf Eichmann was primarily motivated by “an extraordinary diligence in looking out for his personal advancement.” He joined the Nazi Party because it was a good career move. “The trouble with Eichmann,” she wrote, “was precisely that so many were like him, and that the many were neither perverted nor sadistic, that they were, and still are, terribly and terrifyingly normal.”
“The longer one listened to him, the more obvious it became that his inability to speak was closely connected with an inability to think, namely, to think from the standpoint of somebody else,” Arendt wrote. “No communication was possible with him, not because he lied but because he was surrounded by the most reliable of all safeguards against words and the presence of others, and hence against reality as such.”
Gitta Sereny makes the same point in her book “Into That Darkness,” about Franz Stangl, the commandant of Treblinka. The assignment to the SS was a promotion for the Austrian policeman. Stangl was not a sadist. He was soft-spoken and polite. He loved his wife and children very much. Unlike most Nazi camp officers, he did not take Jewish women as concubines. He was efficient and highly organized. He took pride in having received an official commendation as the “best camp commander in Poland.” Prisoners were simply objects. Goods. “That was my profession,” he said. “I enjoyed it. It fulfilled me. And yes, I was ambitious about that, I won’t deny it.” When Sereny asked Stangl how as a father he could kill children, he answered that he “rarely saw them as individuals. It was always a huge mass. … [T]hey were naked, packed together, running, being driven with whips. …” He later told Sereny that when he read about lemmings it reminded him of Treblinka.
Christopher Browning’s collection of essays, “The Path to Genocide,” notes that it was the “moderate,” “normal” bureaucrats, not the zealots, who made the Holocaust possible. Germaine Tillion pointed out “the tragic easiness [during the Holocaust] with which ‘decent’ people could become the most callous executioners without seeming to notice what was happening to them.” The Russian novelist Vasily Grossman in his book “Forever Flowing” observed that “the new state did not require holy apostles, fanatic, inspired builders, faithful, devout disciples. The new state did not even require servants—just clerks.”
“The most nauseating type of S.S. were to me personally the cynics who no longer genuinely believed in their cause, but went on collecting blood guilt for its own sake,” wrote Dr. Ella Lingens-Reiner in “Prisoners of Fear,” her searing memoir of Auschwitz. “Those cynics were not always brutal to the prisoners, their behavior changed with their mood. They took nothing seriously—neither themselves nor their cause, neither us nor our situation. One of the worst among them was Dr. Mengele, the Camp Doctor I have mentioned before. When a batch of newly arrived Jews was being classified into those fit for work and those fit for death, he would whistle a melody and rhythmically jerk his thumb over his right or his left shoulder—which meant ‘gas’ or ‘work.’ He thought conditions in the camp rotten, and even did a few things to improve them, but at the same time he committed murder callously, without any qualms.”
These armies of bureaucrats serve a corporate system that will quite literally kill us. They are as cold and disconnected as Mengele. They carry out minute tasks. They are docile. Compliant. They obey. They find their self-worth in the prestige and power of the corporation, in the status of their positions and in their career promotions. They assure themselves of their own goodness through their private acts as husbands, wives, mothers and fathers. They sit on school boards. They go to Rotary. They attend church. It is moral schizophrenia. They erect walls to create an isolated consciousness. They make the lethal goals of ExxonMobil or Goldman Sachs or Raytheon or insurance companies possible. They destroy the ecosystem, the economy and the body politic and turn workingmen and -women into impoverished serfs. They feel nothing. Metaphysical naiveté always ends in murder. It fragments the world. Little acts of kindness and charity mask the monstrous evil they abet. And the system rolls forward. The polar ice caps melt. The droughts rage over cropland. The drones deliver death from the sky. The state moves inexorably forward to place us in chains. The sick die. The poor starve. The prisons fill. And the careerist, plodding forward, does his or her job.
Source: Chris Hedges | Truthdig
Two Years After The BP Oil Spill, Is The Gulf Ecosystem Collapsing?
The BP oil spill started on April 20, 2010. We’ve previously warned that the BP oil spill could severely damage the Gulf ecosystem.
Since then, there are numerous signs that the worst-case scenario may be playing out:
- New York Times: “Gulf Dolphins Exposed to Oil Are Seriously Ill, Agency Says
- Mother Jones: Eyeless shrimp are being found all over the Gulf
- Pensacola News Journal: “Sick fish” archive
- Agence France Presse: Mystery illnesses plague Louisiana oil spill crews
- MSNBC:Exclusive: Submarine Dive Finds Oil, Dead Sea Life at Bottom of Gulf of Mexico
- AP: BP oil spill the culprit for slow death of deep-sea coral, scientists say (and see theGuardian and AFP‘s write ups)
- A recent report also notes that there are flesh-eating bacteria in tar balls of BP oil washing up on Gulf beaches
- And all of that lovely Corexit dispersant sprayed on water, land and air? It inhibits the ability of microbes to break down oil, and allows oil and other chemicals to be speed past the normal barriers of human skin. Background here. NYT: Impact of Gulf Spill’s Underwater Dispersants Is Examined Speaking on the chemical ingredients of the dispersants used, “The report finds that “Of the 57 ingredients: 5 chemicals are associated with cancer; 33 are associated with skin irritation from rashes to burns; 33 are linked to eye irritation; 11 are or are suspected of being potential respiratory toxins or irritants; 10 are suspected kidney toxins; 8 are suspected or known to be toxic to aquatic organisms; and 5 are suspected to have a moderate acute toxicity to fish.”
If you still don’t have a sense of the devastation to the Gulf, American reporter Dahr Jamail lays it out pretty clearly:
“The fishermen have never seen anything like this,” Dr Jim Cowan told Al Jazeera. “And in my 20 years working on red snapper, looking at somewhere between 20 and 30,000 fish, I’ve never seen anything like this either.”
Dr Cowan, with Louisiana State University’s Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences started hearing about fish with sores and lesions from fishermen in November 2010.
Cowan’s findings replicate those of others living along vast areas of the Gulf Coast that have been impacted by BP’s oil and dispersants.
Gulf of Mexico fishermen, scientists and seafood processors have told Al Jazeera they are finding disturbing numbers of mutated shrimp, crab and fish that they believe are deformed by chemicals released during BP’s 2010 oil disaster.
Along with collapsing fisheries, signs of malignant impact on the regional ecosystem are ominous: horribly mutated shrimp, fish with oozing sores, underdeveloped blue crabs lacking claws, eyeless crabs and shrimp – and interviewees’ fingers point towards BP’s oil pollution disaster as being the cause.
Tracy Kuhns and her husband Mike Roberts, commercial fishers from Barataria, Louisiana, are finding eyeless shrimp.
“At the height of the last white shrimp season, in September, one of our friends caught 400 pounds of these,” Kuhns told Al Jazeera while showing a sample of the eyeless shrimp.
According to Kuhns, at least 50 per cent of the shrimp caught in that period in Barataria Bay, a popular shrimping area that was heavily impacted by BP’s oil and dispersants, were eyeless. Kuhns added: “Disturbingly, not only do the shrimp lack eyes, they even lack eye sockets.”
Eyeless shrimp, from a catch of 400 pounds of eyeless shrimp, said to be caught September 22, 2011, in Barataria Bay, Louisiana [Erika Blumenfeld/Al Jazeera]
“Some shrimpers are catching these out in the open Gulf [of Mexico],” she added, “They are also catching them in Alabama and Mississippi. We are also finding eyeless crabs, crabs with their shells soft instead of hard, full grown crabs that are one-fifth their normal size, clawless crabs, and crabs with shells that don’t have their usual spikes … they look like they’ve been burned off by chemicals.”
On April 20, 2010, BP’s Deepwater Horizon oilrig exploded, and began the release of at least 4.9 million barrels of oil. BP then used at least 1.9 million gallons of toxic Corexit dispersants to sink the oil.
Keath Ladner, a third generation seafood processor in Hancock County, Mississippi, is also disturbed by what he is seeing.
“I’ve seen the brown shrimp catch drop by two-thirds, and so far the white shrimp have been wiped out,” Ladner told Al Jazeera. “The shrimp are immune compromised. We are finding shrimp with tumors on their heads, and are seeing this everyday.”
While on a shrimp boat in Mobile Bay with Sidney Schwartz, the fourth-generation fisherman said that he had seen shrimp with defects on their gills, and “their shells missing around their gills and head”.
“We’ve fished here all our lives and have never seen anything like this,” he added.
Ladner has also seen crates of blue crabs, all of which were lacking at least one of their claws.
Darla Rooks, a lifelong fisherperson from Port Sulfur, Louisiana, told Al Jazeera she is finding crabs “with holes in their shells, shells with all the points burned off so all the spikes on their shells and claws are gone, misshapen shells, and crabs that are dying from within … they are still alive, but you open them up and they smell like they’ve been dead for a week”.
Rooks is also finding eyeless shrimp, shrimp with abnormal growths, female shrimp with their babies still attached to them, and shrimp with oiled gills.
“We also seeing eyeless fish, and fish lacking even eye-sockets, and fish with lesions, fish without covers over their gills, and others with large pink masses hanging off their eyes and gills.”
Rooks, who grew up fishing with her parents, said she had never seen such things in these waters, and her seafood catch last year was “ten per cent what it normally is”.
“I’ve never seen this,” he said, a statement Al Jazeera heard from every scientist, fisherman, and seafood processor we spoke with about the seafood deformities.
Given that the Gulf of Mexico provides more than 40 per cent of all the seafood caught in the continental US, this phenomenon does not bode well for the region, or the country.
“The dispersants used in BP’s draconian experiment contain solvents, such as petroleum distillates and 2-butoxyethanol. Solvents dissolve oil, grease, and rubber,” Dr Riki Ott, a toxicologist, marine biologist and Exxon Valdez survivor told Al Jazeera. “It should be no surprise that solvents are also notoriously toxic to people, something the medical community has long known”.
The dispersants are known to be mutagenic, a disturbing fact that could be evidenced in the seafood deformities. Shrimp, for example, have a life-cycle short enough that two to three generations have existed since BP’s disaster began, giving the chemicals time to enter the genome.
Pathways of exposure to the dispersants are inhalation, ingestion, skin, and eye contact. Health impacts can include headaches, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pains, chest pains, respiratory system damage, skin sensitisation, hypertension, central nervous system depression, neurotoxic effects, cardiac arrhythmia and cardiovascular damage. They are also teratogenic – able to disturb the growth and development of an embryo or fetus – and carcinogenic.
Cowan believes chemicals named polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), released from BP’s submerged oil, are likely to blame for what he is finding, due to the fact that the fish with lesions he is finding are from “a wide spatial distribution that is spatially coordinated with oil from the Deepwater Horizon, both surface oil and subsurface oil. A lot of the oil that impacted Louisiana was also in subsurface plumes, and we think there is a lot of it remaining on the seafloor”.
Marine scientist Samantha Joye of the University of Georgia published results of her submarine dives around the source area of BP’s oil disaster in the Nature Geoscience journal.
Her evidence showed massive swathes of oil covering the seafloor, including photos of oil-covered bottom dwelling sea creatures.
While showing slides at an American Association for the Advancement of Science annual conference in Washington, Joye said: “This is Macondo oil on the bottom. These are dead organisms because of oil being deposited on their heads.”
Dr Wilma Subra, a chemist and Macarthur Fellow, has conducted tests on seafood and sediment samples along the Gulf for chemicals present in BP’s crude oil and toxic dispersants.
“Tests have shown significant levels of oil pollution in oysters and crabs along the Louisiana coastline,” Subra told Al Jazeera. “We have also found high levels of hydrocarbons in the soil and vegetation.”
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, PAHs “are a group of semi-volatile organic compounds that are present in crude oil that has spent time in the ocean and eventually reaches shore, and can be formed when oil is burned”.
“The fish are being exposed to PAHs, and I was able to find several references that list the same symptoms in fish after the Exxon Valdez spill, as well as other lab experiments,” explained Cowan. “There was also a paper published by some LSU scientists that PAH exposure has effects on the genome.”
The University of South Florida released the results of a survey whose findings corresponded with Cowan’s: a two to five per cent infection rate in the same oil impact areas, and not just with red snapper, but with more than 20 species of fish with lesions. In many locations, 20 per cent of the fish had lesions, and later sampling expeditions found areas where, alarmingly, 50 per cent of the fish had them.
“I asked a NOAA [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] sampler what percentage of fish they find with sores prior to 2010, and it’s one tenth of one percent,” Cowan said. “Which is what we found prior to 2010 as well. But nothing like we’ve seen with these secondary infections and at this high of rate since the spill.”
“What we think is that it’s attributable to chronic exposure to PAHs released in the process of weathering of oil on the seafloor,” Cowan said. “There’s no other thing we can use to explain this phenomenon. We’ve never seen anything like this before.”
Crustacean biologist Darryl Felder, in the Department of Biology with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette is in a unique position.
Felder has been monitoring the vicinity of BP’s blowout Macondo well both before and after the oil disaster began, because, as he told Al Jazeera, “the National Science Foundation was interested in these areas that are vulnerable due to all the drilling”.
“So we have before and after samples to compare to,” he added. “We have found seafood with lesions, missing appendages, and other abnormalities.”
Felder also has samples of inshore crabs with lesions. “Right here in Grand Isle we see lesions that are eroding down through their shell. We just got these samples last Thursday and are studying them now, because we have no idea what else to link this to as far as a natural event.”
According to Felder, there is an even higher incidence of shell disease with crabs in deeper waters.
“My fear is that these prior incidents of lesions might be traceable to microbes, and my questions are, did we alter microbial populations in the vicinity of the well by introducing this massive amount of petroleum and in so doing cause microbes to attack things other than oil?”
One hypothesis he has is that the waxy coatings around crab shells are being impaired by anthropogenic chemicals or microbes resulting from such chemicals.
“You create a site where a lesion can occur, and microbes attack. We see them with big black lesions, around where their appendages fall off, and all that is left is a big black ring.”
Felder added that his team is continuing to document the incidents: “And from what we can tell, there is a far higher incidence we’re finding after the spill.”
“We are also seeing much lower diversity of crustaceans,” he said. “We don’t have the same number of species as we did before [the spill].”
Felder is also finding “odd staining” of animals that burrow into the mud that cause stain rings, and said: “It is consistently mineral deposits, possibly from microbial populations in [overly] high concentrations.”
Dr Andrew Whitehead, an associate professor of biology at Louisiana State University, co-authored the report Genomic and physiological footprint of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on resident marsh fishes that was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in October 2011.
Whitehead’s work is of critical importance, as it shows a direct link between BP’s oil and the negative impacts on the Gulf’s food web evidenced by studies on killifish before, during and after the oil disaster.
“What we found is a very clear, genome-wide signal, a very clear signal of exposure to the toxic components of oil that coincided with the timing and the locations of the oil,” Whitehead told Al Jazeera during an interview in his lab.
According to Whitehead, the killifish is an important indicator species because they are the most abundant fish in the marshes, and are known to be the most important forage animal in their communities.
“That means that most of the large fish that we like to eat and that these are important fisheries for, actually feed on the killifish,” he explained. “So if there were to be a big impact on those animals, then there would probably be a cascading effect throughout the food web. I can’t think of a worse animal to knock out of the food chain than the killifish.”
But we may well be witnessing the beginnings of this worst-case scenario.
Whitehead is predicting that there could be reproductive impacts on the fish, and since the killifish is a “keystone” species in the food web of the marsh, “Impacts on those species are more than likely going to propagate out and effect other species. What this shows is a very direct link from exposure to DWH oil and a clear biological effect. And a clear biological effect that could translate to population level long-term consequences.”
Ed Cake, a biological oceanographer, as well as a marine and oyster biologist, has “great concern” about the hundreds of dolphin deaths he has seen in the region since BP’s disaster began, which he feels are likely directly related to the BP oil disaster.
“Adult dolphins’ systems are picking up whatever is in the system out there, and we know the oil is out there and working its way up the food chain through the food web – and dolphins are at the top of that food chain.”
Cake explained: “The chemicals then move into their lipids, fat, and then when they are pregnant, their young rely on this fat, and so it’s no wonder dolphins are having developmental issues and still births.”
Cake, who lives in Mississippi, added: “It has been more than 33 years since the 1979 Ixtoc-1 oil disaster in Mexico’s Bay of Campeche, and the oysters, clams, and mangrove forests have still not recovered in their oiled habitats in seaside estuaries of the Yucatan Peninsula. It has been 23 years since the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil disaster in Alaska, and the herring fishery that failed in the wake of that disaster has still not returned.”
Cake believes we are still in the short-term impact stage of BP’s oil disaster.
“I will not be alive to see the Gulf of Mexico recover,” said Cake, who is 72 years old. “Without funding and serious commitment, these things will not come back to pre-April 2010 levels for decades.”
“We’re continuing to pull up oil in our nets,” Rooks said. “Think about losing everything that makes you happy, because that is exactly what happens when someone spills oil and sprays dispersants on it. People who live here know better than to swim in or eat what comes out of our waters.”
Khuns and her husband told Al Jazeera that fishermen continue to regularly find tar balls in their crab traps, and hundreds of pounds of tar balls continue to be found on beaches across the region on a daily basis.
Meanwhile Cowan continues his work, and remains concerned about what he is finding.
“We’ve also seen a decrease in biodiversity in fisheries in certain areas. We believe we are now seeing another outbreak of incidence increasing, and this makes sense, since waters are starting to warm again, so bacterial infections are really starting to take off again. We think this is a problem that will persist for as long as the oil is stored on the seafloor.”
Did the BP Spill Ever Really Stop?
We’ve repeatedly documented that BP’s gulf Mocando well is still leaking.
Stuart Smith – a successful trial lawyer who won a billion dollar verdict against Exxon Mobil –noted recently:
New sampling data from the nonprofit Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN) provide confirmation that not only is BP’s oil still very much present in the water in Bayou La Batre, but that it still exists in a highly toxic state nearly two years after the spill.
Here are photos of brown oily foam washing ashore in Bayou La Batre (just west of Mobile Bay) on February 27, 2012:
Water samples were taken by Dennis and Lori Bosarge, LEAN members from Coden, Alabama. The lab-certified test results are in (see full lab report at bottom), and they are startling in that they suggest that oil is still leaking from the Macondo reservoir – most likely from cracks and fissures in the seafloor around the plugged wellhead. Scientists believe the cracks were caused by BP’s heavy-handed “kill” efforts.
Despite numerous opportunities to do so, the U.S. Coast Guard has never publicly denied that the Macondo field is still leaking. And these latest sampling results out of Bayou La Batre provide damning new evidence that the BP oil spill never really ended.
Government Sits On Its Hands …
The New York Times notes today:
Congress’s response to the spill has been truly pathetic. It has not passed a single bill to prevent another catastrophe, according to a report issued Tuesday by former members of a presidential commission that investigated the spill. Congress has failed even to codify the Interior Department’s sound regulatory reforms, which could be undone by a future administration.
The administration has developed new standards for each stage of the drilling process — from rig design to spill response — insisting that operators fully prepare for worst-case scenarios. But the commissioners’ report notes that the new equipment systems have not yet been tested in deep-water conditions.
Indeed, Mother Jones points out that the White House pressured scientists to underestimate BP spill size. And see this Forbes write up, and our previous reporting on the topic.
This is exactly like Fukushima and the financial mess, because government’s approach to crises is consistent, no matter what area we are talking about: let the giant companies which fund political campaigns do whatever they want … and then help them cover up the extent of the crisis once it inevitably hits.
Source: Washington’s Blog
The Lord High Almighty Pooh-Bah of Threats…
As we all know only too well, the United States and Israel would hate to see Iran possessing nuclear weapons. Being “the only nuclear power in the Middle East” is a great card for Israel to have in its hand. But — in the real, non-propaganda world — is USrael actually fearful of an attack from a nuclear-armed Iran? In case you’ve forgotten …
In 2007, in a closed discussion, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said that in her opinion “Iranian nuclear weapons do not pose an existential threat to Israel.” She “also criticized the exaggerated use that [Israeli] Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is making of the issue of the Iranian bomb, claiming that he is attempting to rally the public around him by playing on its most basic fears.” 1
2009: “A senior Israeli official in Washington” asserted that “Iran would be unlikely to use its missiles in an attack [against Israel] because of the certainty of retaliation.” 2
In 2010 the Sunday Times of London (January 10) reported that Brigadier-General Uzi Eilam, war hero, pillar of the Israeli defense establishment, and former director-general of Israel’s Atomic Energy Commission, “believes it will probably take Iran seven years to make nuclear weapons.”
Early last month, US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta told a television audience: “Are they [Iran] trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No, but we know that they’re trying to develop a nuclear capability.” 3
A week later we could read in the New York Times (January 15) that “three leading Israeli security experts — the Mossad chief, Tamir Pardo, a former Mossad chief, Efraim Halevy, and a former military chief of staff, Dan Halutz — all recently declared that a nuclear Iran would not pose an existential threat to Israel.”
Then, a few days afterward, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, in an interview with Israeli Army Radio (January 18), had this exchange:
Question: Is it Israel’s judgment that Iran has not yet decided to turn its nuclear potential into weapons of mass destruction?
Barak: People ask whether Iran is determined to break out from the control [inspection] regime right now … in an attempt to obtain nuclear weapons or an operable installation as quickly as possible. Apparently that is not the case.
Lastly, we have the US Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, in a report to Congress: “We do not know, however, if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons. … There are “certain things [the Iranians] have not done” that would be necessary to build a warhead. 4
Admissions like the above — and there are others — are never put into headlines by the American mass media; indeed, only very lightly reported at all; and sometimes distorted — On the Public Broadcasting System (PBS News Hour, January 9), the non-commercial network much beloved by American liberals, the Panetta quote above was reported as: “But we know that they’re trying to develop a nuclear capability, and that’s what concerns us.” Flagrantly omitted were the preceding words: “Are they trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No …” 5
One of Israel’s leading military historians, Martin van Creveld, was interviewed by Playboy magazine in June 2007:
Playboy: Can the World live with a nuclear Iran?
Van Creveld: The U.S. has lived with a nuclear Soviet Union and a nuclear China, so why not a nuclear Iran? I’ve researched how the U.S. opposed nuclear proliferation in the past, and each time a country was about to proliferate, the U.S. expressed its opposition in terms of why this other country was very dangerous and didn’t deserve to have nuclear weapons. Americans believe they’re the only people who deserve to have nuclear weapons, because they are good and democratic and they like Mother and apple pie and the flag. But Americans are the only ones who have used them. … We are in no danger at all of having an Iranian nuclear weapon dropped on us. We cannot say so too openly, however, because we have a history of using any threat in order to get weapons … thanks to the Iranian threat, we are getting weapons from the U.S. and Germany.”
And throughout these years, regularly, Israeli and American officials have been assuring us that Iran is World Nuclear Threat Number One, that we can’t relax our guard against them, that there should be no limit to the ultra-tough sanctions we impose upon the Iranian people and their government. Repeated murder and attempted murder of Iranian nuclear scientists, sabotage of Iranian nuclear equipment with computer viruses, the sale of faulty parts and raw materials, unexplained plane crashes, explosions at Iranian facilities … Who can be behind this but USrael? How do we know? It’s called “plain common sense”. Or do you think it was Costa Rica? Or perhaps South Africa? Or maybe Thailand?
Defense Secretary Panetta recently commented on one of the assassinations of an Iranian scientist. He put it succinctly: “That’s not what the United States does.” 6
Does anyone know Leon Panetta’s email address? I’d like to send him my list of United States assassination plots. More than 50 foreign leaders were targeted over the years, many successfully. 7
Not long ago, Iraq and Iran were regarded by USrael as the most significant threats to Israeli Middle-East hegemony. Thus was born the myth of Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction, and the United States proceeded to turn Iraq into a basket case. That left Iran, and thus was born the myth of the Iranian Nuclear Threat. As it began to sink in that Iran was not really that much of a nuclear threat, or that this “threat” was becoming too difficult to sell to the rest of the world, USrael decided that, at a minimum, it wanted regime change. The next step may be to block Iran’s lifeline — oil sales using the Strait of Hormuz. Ergo, the recent US and EU naval buildup near the Persian Gulf, an act of war trying to goad Iran into firing the first shot. If Iran tries to counter this blockade it could be the signal for another US Basket Case, the fourth in a decade, with the devastated people of Libya and Afghanistan, along with Iraq, currently enjoying America’s unique gift of freedom and democracy.
On January 11, the Washington Post reported: “In addition to influencing Iranian leaders directly, [a US intelligence official] says another option here is that [sanctions] will create hate and discontent at the street level so that the Iranian leaders realize that they need to change their ways.”
How utterly charming, these tactics and goals for the 21st century by the leader of “The Free World”. (Is that expression still used?)
The neo-conservative thinking (and Barack Obama can be regarded as often being a fellow traveler of such) is even more charming than that. Listen to Danielle Pletka, vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at America’s most prominent neo-con think tank, American Enterprise Institute:
The biggest problem for the United States is not Iran getting a nuclear weapon and testing it, it’s Iran getting a nuclear weapon and not using it. Because the second that they have one and they don’t do anything bad, all of the naysayers are going to come back and say, “See, we told you Iran is a responsible power. We told you Iran wasn’t getting nuclear weapons in order to use them immediately.” … And they will eventually define Iran with nuclear weapons as not a problem. 8
What are we to make of that and all the other quotations above? I think it gets back to my opening statement: Being “the only nuclear power in the Middle East” is a great card for Israel to have in its hand. Is USrael willing to go to war to hold on to that card?
Please tell me again … What is the war in Afghanistan about?
With the US war in Iraq supposedly having reached a good conclusion (or halfway decent … or better than nothing … or let’s get the hell out of here while some of us are still in one piece and there are some Iraqis we haven’t yet killed), the best and the brightest in our government and media turn their thoughts to what to do about Afghanistan. It appears that no one seems to remember, if they ever knew, that Afghanistan was not really about 9-11 or fighting terrorists (except the many the US has created by its invasion and occupation), but was about pipelines.
President Obama declared in August 2009: “But we must never forget this is not a war of choice. This is a war of necessity. Those who attacked America on 9/11 are plotting to do so again. If left unchecked, the Taliban insurgency will mean an even larger safe haven from which al Qaeda would plot to kill more Americans.” 9
Never mind that out of the tens of thousands of people the United States and its NATO front have killed in Afghanistan not one has been identified as having had anything to do with the events of September 11, 2001.
Never mind that the “plotting to attack America” in 2001 was devised in Germany and Spain and the United States more than in Afghanistan. Why hasn’t the United States bombed those countries?
Indeed, what actually was needed to plot to buy airline tickets and take flying lessons in the United States? A room with some chairs? What does “an even larger safe haven” mean? A larger room with more chairs? Perhaps a blackboard? Terrorists intent upon attacking the United States can meet almost anywhere, with Afghanistan probably being one of the worst places for them, given the American occupation.
The only “necessity” that drew the United States to Afghanistan was the desire to establish a military presence in this land that is next door to the Caspian Sea region of Central Asia — which reportedly contains the second largest proven reserves of petroleum and natural gas in the world — and build oil and gas pipelines from that region running through Afghanistan.
Afghanistan is well situated for oil and gas pipelines to serve much of south Asia, pipelines that can bypass those not-yet Washington clients, Iran and Russia. If only the Taliban would not attack the lines. Here’s Richard Boucher, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, in 2007: “One of our goals is to stabilize Afghanistan, so it can become a conduit and a hub between South and Central Asia so that energy can flow to the south.” 10
Since the 1980s all kinds of pipelines have been planned for the area, only to be delayed or canceled by one military, financial or political problem or another. For example, the so-called TAPI pipeline (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) had strong support from Washington, which was eager to block a competing pipeline that would bring gas to Pakistan and India from Iran. TAPI goes back to the late 1990s, when the Taliban government held talks with the California-based oil company Unocal Corporation. These talks were conducted with the full knowledge of the Clinton administration, and were undeterred by the extreme repression of Taliban society. Taliban officials even made trips to the United States for discussions. 11 Testifying before the House Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific on February 12, 1998, Unocal representative John Maresca discussed the importance of the pipeline project and the increasing difficulties in dealing with the Taliban:
The region’s total oil reserves may well reach more than 60 billion barrels of oil. Some estimates are as high as 200 billion barrels … From the outset, we have made it clear that construction of the pipeline we have proposed across Afghanistan could not begin until a recognized government is in place that has the confidence of governments, leaders, and our company.
When those talks stalled in July, 2001 the Bush administration threatened the Taliban with military reprisals if the government did not go along with American demands. The talks finally broke down for good the following month, a month before 9-11.
The United States has been serious indeed about the Caspian Sea and Persian Gulf oil and gas areas. Through one war or another beginning with the Gulf War of 1990-1, the US has managed to establish military bases in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan.
The war against the Taliban can’t be “won” short of killing everyone in Afghanistan. The United States may well try again to negotiate some form of pipeline security with the Taliban, then get out, and declare “victory”. Barack Obama can surely deliver an eloquent victory speech from his teleprompter. It might even include the words “freedom” and “democracy”, but certainly not “pipeline”.
Love me, love me, love me, I’m a Liberal (Thank you, Phil Ochs. We miss you.)
Angela Davis, star of the 1960s, like most members of the Communist Party, was/is no more radical than the average American liberal. Here she is recently addressing Occupy Wall Street: “When I said that we need a third party, a radical party, I was projecting toward the future. We cannot allow a Republican to take office. … Don’t we remember what it was like when Bush was president?” 12
Yes, Angela, we remember that time well. How can we forget it since Bush, by all important standards, is still in the White House? Waging perpetual war, relentless surveillance of the citizenry, kissing the corporate ass, police brutality? … What’s changed? Except for the worse. Where’s our single-payer national health insurance? Nothing even close. Where’s our affordable university education? Still the most backward in the “developed” world. Where’s our legalized marijuana — I mean really legalized? If you think that’s changed, you must be stoned. Where’s our abortion on demand? What does your guy Barack think about that? Are the indispensable labor unions being rescued from oblivion? Ha! The ultra-important minimum wage? Inflation adjusted, equal to the mid-1950s.
Has the American threat to the environment and the world environmental movement ceased? Tell that to a dedicated activist-internationalist. Has the 50-year-old embargo against Cuba finally ended? It has not, and I can still not go there legally. The police-state War on Terror at home? Scarcely a month goes by without the FBI entrapping some young “terrorists”. Are more Banksters and Wall Street Society-Screwers (except for the harmless insider-traders) being imprisoned? Name one. The really tough regulations of the financial area so badly needed? Keep waiting. How about executives of the BP Oil Spill Company being arrested? Or war criminals, mass murderers, and torturers with names like … Oh, I don’t know, let’s see … maybe like Cheney or Bush or Rumsfeld or Wolfowitz or someone with a crazy name like Condoleezza? All walking completely free, all celebrated.
“A major decline of progressive America occurred during the Clinton years as many liberals and their organizations accepted the presence of a Democratic president as an adequate substitute for the things liberals once believed in. Liberalism and a social democratic spirit painfully grown over the previous 60 years withered during the Clinton administration.” — Sam Smith13
“A change of Presidents is like a change of advertising campaigns for a soft drink; the product itself still tastes the same, but it now has a new ‘image’.” — Richard K. Moore
- Haaretz.com (Israel), October 25, 2007; print edition October 26
- Washington Post, March 5, 2009
- “Face the Nation”, CBS, January 8, 2012; see video
- The Guardian (London), January 31, 2012″
- “PBS’s Dishonest Iran Edit”, FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting), January 10, 2012
- Reuters, January 12, 2012
- Video of Pletka making these remarks
- Talk given by the president at Veterans of Foreign Wars convention, August 17, 2009
- Talk at the Paul H. Nitze School for Advanced International Studies, Washington, DC, September 20, 2007
- See, for example, the December 17, 1997 article in the British newspaper, The Telegraph, “Oil barons court Taliban in Texas“. For further discussion of the TAPI pipeline and related issues, see this article by international petroleum engineer John Foster.
- Washington Post, January 15, 2012
- Sam Smith was a longtime publisher and journalist in Washington, DC, now living in Maine. Subscribe to his marvelous newsletter, the Progressive Review.
Has medical marijuana helped my sore knees?
I’ve just about tried everything there is to make my sore knees and right ankle feel better — physical therapy, acupuncture, SynVisc (nasty stuff), chiropractic, Advil, hydrotherapy, Tiger Balm, xi gong, steam baths, reiki, Filipino psychic surgery, hypnotherapy, Zam-Zam water, deep-tissue massage, yoga,.. You name it and I’ve tried it. But nothing has worked — until now.
Now I’ve discovered “DocGreen’s Therapeutic Healing Cream,” which is made from shea butter, palm oil, vegetable wax and cannabis. That’s right, you read that right. I am currently rubbing marijuana onto my knees.
And, yes, it’s legal. And, yes, it works.
“But where did you get this stuff?” you might ask. “While standing on a corner in West Oakland? After skipping across the border to Tijuana? By following hippies around up on Telegraph? In the evidence room at the DEA? Where?”
I got it at my friendly local marijuana dispensary http://www.
But, hey, DocGreen’s soothing therapeutic ointment worked.
Plus it also made me sort of happy — a big surprise there. Not that I was stoned or zonked or nothing, and there was definitely no slow-motion-type incapacitation or uncontrollable munchies like I’ve heard that you get from eating dope brownies or smoking a spliff. And there was none of that sudden Bob Marley “one-love” positive-vib stuff either. I still have all the same worries and troubles that I used to have before — that corporatists are still destroying our country and my tooth still hurts and I’m still overdrawn at the bank — but now I’m just a little bit less on edge about all that and a little bit more able to cope.
I figured that since just a little bit of DocGreen’s healing therapeutic moisturizer helped my soreness and also my frame of mind, then perhaps I should try a bit more. So I rubbed some of the ointment onto my sore neck as well. Wrong thing to do. An immediate headache resulted, and then I started worrying again all over — but this time more fiercely. Oh rats. I just knew it was too good to be true. Looks like I’d better go back to trying holy water and saunas.
But then I listened to Layna Berman on KPFA and she said that many people end up getting addicted to various substances by trying to “take the edge off” their lives. Hey, I wanna take the edge off! But according to Berman, no, that’s not a good idea, Apparently having worries is a good thing — because they force you to act, to try out different things that might end all those worries. Perhaps like joining OWS in order to end the corporatists’ sleazy reign of terror in Washington? Oh, okay.
Berman also stated that by using outside means of cheering oneself up, then our body loses its own ability to cheer itself up.
Then I listened to a video on “Full Disclosure” that talked about how California is being taken over by Mexican drug lords — even including taking over the legal medical marijuana trade. Yikes!
According to a recent “Full Disclosure” report, “Mexican Drug Cartels are controlling industrial farming of Marijuana while enslaving both the illegal alien laborers and the U. S. Farmers. Once entrapped by the Cartels, they are unable escape with their lives.” http://www.fulldisclosure.net/
Double yikes! Now I’m in danger of becoming a member of the Sinaloa drug cartel! Just because I’ve got bad knees.
If marijuana is illegal, shouldn’t they make all those other artificial feel-good substances illegal too? Like cigarettes and booze? Wouldn’t it be nice if you had to have a doctor’s prescription before you could set foot into a liquor store?
Someone else just recommended that I just simply stick to eating mushrooms. According to a recent TED video on the subject, mushrooms are the last best hope for this planet and we can even use them instead of fossil fuel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?
Then I went up to that dispensary on Telegraph Avenue at http://berkeleypatientscare.
Welcome to an edgy world where a single incident at an energy “chokepoint” could set a region aflame, provoking bloody encounters, boosting oil prices, and putting the global economy at risk. With energy demand on the rise and sources of supply dwindling, we are, in fact, entering a new epoch — the Geo-Energy Era — in which disputes over vital resources will dominate world affairs. In 2012 and beyond, energy and conflict will be bound ever more tightly together, lending increasing importance to the key geographical flashpoints in our resource-constrained world.
Take the Strait of Hormuz, already making headlines and shaking energy markets as 2012 begins. Connecting the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean, it lacks imposing geographical features like the Rock of Gibraltar or the Golden Gate Bridge. In an energy-conscious world, however, it may possess greater strategic significance than any passageway on the planet. Every day, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, tankers carrying some 17 million barrels of oil — representing 20% of the world’s daily supply — pass through this vital artery.
So last month, when a senior Iranian official threatened to block the strait in response to Washington’s tough new economic sanctions, oil prices instantly soared. While the U.S. military has vowed to keep the strait open, doubts about the safety of future oil shipments and worries about a potentially unending, nerve-jangling crisis involving Washington, Tehran, and Tel Aviv have energy experts predicting high oil prices for months to come, meaning further woes for a slowing global economy.
The Strait of Hormuz is, however, only one of several hot spots where energy, politics, and geography are likely to mix in dangerous ways in 2012 and beyond. Keep your eye as well on the East and South China Seas, the Caspian Sea basin, and an energy-rich Arctic that is losing its sea ice. In all of these places, countries are disputing control over the production and transportation of energy, and arguing about national boundaries and/or rights of passage.
In the years to come, the location of energy supplies and of energy supply routes — pipelines, oil ports, and tanker routes — will be pivotal landmarks on the global strategic map. Key producing areas, like the Persian Gulf, will remain critically important, but so will oil chokepoints like the Strait of Hormuz and the Strait of Malacca (between the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea) and the “sea lines of communication,” or SLOCs (as naval strategists like to call them) connecting producing areas to overseas markets. More and more, the major powers led by the United States, Russia, and China will restructure their militaries to fight in such locales.
You can already see this in the elaborate Defense Strategic Guidance document, “Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership,” unveiled at the Pentagon on January 5th by President Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. While envisioning a smaller Army and Marine Corps, it calls for increased emphasis on air and naval capabilities, especially those geared to the protection or control of international energy and trade networks. Though it tepidly reaffirmed historic American ties to Europe and the Middle East, overwhelming emphasis was placed on bolstering U.S. power in “the arc extending from the Western Pacific and East Asia into the Indian Ocean and South Asia.”
In the new Geo-Energy Era, the control of energy and of its transport to market will lie at the heart of recurring global crises. This year, keep your eyes on three energy hot spots in particular: the Strait of Hormuz, the South China Sea, and the Caspian Sea basin.
The Strait of Hormuz
A narrow stretch of water separating Iran from Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the strait is the sole maritime link between the oil-rich Persian Gulf region and the rest of the world. A striking percentage of the oil produced by Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE is carried by tanker through this passageway on a daily basis, making it (in the words of the Department of Energy) “the world’s most important oil chokepoint.” Some analysts believe that any sustained blockage in the strait could trigger a 50% increasein the price of oil and trigger a full-scale global recession or depression.
American leaders have long viewed the Strait as a strategic fixture in their global plans that must be defended at any cost. It was an outlook first voiced by President Jimmy Carter in January 1980, on the heels of the Soviet invasion and occupation of Afghanistan which had, he told Congress, “brought Soviet military forces to within 300 miles of the Indian Ocean and close to the Strait of Hormuz, a waterway through which most of the world’s oil must flow.” The American response, he insisted, must be unequivocal: any attempt by a hostile power to block the waterway would henceforth be viewed as “an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America,” and “repelled by any means necessary, including military force.”
Much has changed in the Gulf region since Carter issued his famous decree, known since as the Carter Doctrine, and established the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) to guard the Strait — but not Washington’s determination to ensure the unhindered flow of oil there. Indeed, President Obama has made it clear that, even if CENTCOM ground forces were to leave Afghanistan, as they have Iraq, there would be no reduction in the command’s air and naval presence in the greater Gulf area.
It is conceivable that the Iranians will put Washington’s capabilities to the test. On December 27th, Iran’s first vice president Mohammad-Reza Rahimi said, “If [the Americans] impose sanctions on Iran’s oil exports, then even one drop of oil cannot flow from the Strait of Hormuz.” Similar statements have since been made by other senior officials (and contradicted as well by yet others). In addition, the Iranians recently conducted elaborate naval exercises in the Arabian Sea near the eastern mouth of the strait, and more such maneuvers are said to be forthcoming. At the same time, the commanding general of Iran’s army suggested that the USS John C. Stennis, an American aircraft carrier just leaving the Gulf, should not return. “The Islamic Republic of Iran,” he added ominously, “will not repeat its warning.”
Might the Iranians actually block the strait? Many analysts believe that the statements by Rahimi and his colleagues are bluster and bluffmeant to rattle Western leaders, send oil prices higher, and win future concessions if negotiations ever recommence over their country’s nuclear program. Economic conditions in Iran are, however, becoming more desperate, and it is always possible that the country’s hard-pressed hardline leaders may feel the urge to take some dramatic action, even if it invites a powerful U.S. counterstrike. Whatever the case, the Strait of Hormuz will remain a focus of international attention in 2012, with global oil prices closely following the rise and fall of tensions there.
The South China Sea
The South China Sea is a semi-enclosed portion of the western Pacific bounded by China to the north, Vietnam to the west, the Philippines to the east, and the island of Borneo (shared by Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia) to the south. The sea also incorporates two largely uninhabited island chains, the Paracels and the Spratlys. Long an important fishing ground, it has also been a major avenue for commercial shipping between East Asia and Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. More recently, it acquired significance as a potential source of oil and natural gas, large reserves of which are now believed to lie in subsea areas surrounding the Paracels and Spratlys.
With the discovery of oil and gas deposits, the South China Sea has been transformed into a cockpit of international friction. At least some islands in this energy-rich area are claimed by every one of the surrounding countries, including China — which claims them all, and has demonstrated a willingness to use military force to assert dominance in the region. Not surprisingly, this has put it in conflict with the other claimants, including several with close military ties to the United States. As a result, what started out as a regional matter, involving China and various members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), has become a prospective tussle between the world’s two leading powers.
To press their claims, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines have all sought to work collectively through ASEAN, believing a multilateral approach will give them greater negotiating clout than one-on-one dealings with China. For their part, the Chinese have insisted that all disputes must be resolved bilaterally, a situation in which they can more easily bring their economic and military power to bear. Previously preoccupied with Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States has now entered the fray, offering full-throated support to the ASEAN countries in their efforts to negotiate en masse with Beijing.
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi promptly warned the United States not to interfere. Any such move “will only make matters worse and the resolution more difficult,” he declared. The result was an instant war of words between Beijing and Washington. During a visit to the Chinese capital in July 2011, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen delivered a barely concealed threat when it came to possible future military action. “The worry, among others that I have,” he commented, “is that the ongoing incidents could spark a miscalculation, and an outbreak that no one anticipated.” To drive the point home, the United States has conducted a series of conspicuous military exercises in the South China Sea, including some joint maneuvers with ships from Vietnam and the Philippines. Not to be outdone, China responded with naval maneuvers of its own. It’s a perfect formula for future “incidents” at sea.
The South China Sea has long been on the radar screens of those who follow Asian affairs, but it only attracted global attention when, in November, President Obama traveled to Australia and announced, with remarkable bluntness, a new U.S. strategy aimed at confronting Chinese power in Asia and the Pacific. “As we plan and budget for the future,” he told members of the Australian Parliament in Canberra, “we will allocate the resources necessary to maintain our strong military presence in this region.” A key feature of this effort would be to ensure “maritime security” in the South China Sea.
While in Australia, President Obama also announced the establishment of a new U.S. base at Darwin on that country’s northern coast, as well as expanded military ties with Indonesia and the Philippines. In January, the president similarly placed special emphasis on projecting U.S. power in the region when he went to the Pentagon to discuss changes in the American military posture in the world.
Beijing will undoubtedly take its own set of steps, no less belligerent, to protect its growing interests in the South China Sea. Where this will lead remains, of course, unknown. After the Strait of Hormuz, however, the South China Sea may be the global energy chokepoint where small mistakes or provocations could lead to bigger confrontations in 2012 and beyond.
The Caspian Sea Basin
The Caspian Sea is an inland body of water bordered by Russia, Iran, and three former republics of the USSR: Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan. In the immediate area as well are the former Soviet lands of Armenia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. All of these old SSRs are, to one degree or another, attempting to assert their autonomy from Moscow and establish independent ties with the United States, the European Union, Iran, Turkey, and, increasingly, China. All are wracked by internal schisms and/or involved in border disputes with their neighbors. The region would be a hotbed of potential conflict even if the Caspian basin did not harbor some of the world’s largest undeveloped reserves of oil and natural gas, which could easily bring it to a boil.
This is not the first time that the Caspian has been viewed as a major source of oil, and so potential conflict. In the late nineteenth century, the region around the city of Baku – then part of the Russian empire, now in Azerbaijan — was a prolific source of petroleum and so a major strategic prize. Future Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin first gained notoriety there as a leader of militant oil workers, and Hitler sought to capture it during his ill-fated 1941 invasion of the USSR. After World War II, however, the region lost its importance as an oil producer when Baku’s onshore fields dried up. Now, fresh discoveries are being made in offshore areas of the Caspian itself and in previously undeveloped areas of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.
According to energy giant BP, the Caspian area harbors as much as 48 billion barrels of oil (mostly buried in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan) and 449 trillion cubic feet of natural gas (with the largest supply in Turkmenistan). This puts the region ahead of North and South America in total gas reserves and Asia in oil reserves. But producing all this energy and delivering it to foreign markets will be a monumental task. The region’s energy infrastructure is woefully inadequate and the Caspian itself provides no maritime outlet to other seas, so all that oil and gas must travel by pipeline or rail.
Russia, long the dominant power in the region, is pursuing control over the transportation routes by which Caspian oil and gas will reach markets. It is upgrading Soviet-era pipelines that link the former SSRs to Russia or building new ones and, to achieve a near monopoly over the marketing of all this energy, bringing traditional diplomacy, strong-arm tactics, and outright bribery to bear on regional leaders (many of whom once served in the Soviet bureaucracy) to ship their energy via Russia. As recounted in my book Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet, Washington sought to thwart these efforts by sponsoring the construction of alternative pipelines that avoid Russian territory, crossing Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey to the Mediterranean (notably the BTC, or Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline), while Beijing is building its own pipelines linking the Caspian area to western China.
All of these pipelines cross through areas of ethnic unrest and pass near various contested regions like rebellious Chechnya and breakaway South Ossetia. As a result, both China and the U.S. have wedded their pipeline operations to military assistance for countries along the routes. Fearful of an American presence, military or otherwise, in the former territories of the Soviet Union, Russia has responded with military moves of its own, including its brief August 2008 war with Georgia, which took place along the BTC route.
Given the magnitude of the Caspian’s oil and gas reserves, many energy firms are planning new production operations in the region, along with the pipelines needed to bring the oil and gas to market. The European Union, for example, hopes to build a new natural gas pipelinecalled Nabucco from Azerbaijan through Turkey to Austria. Russia has proposed a competing conduit called South Stream. All of these efforts involve the geopolitical interests of major powers, ensuring that the Caspian region will remain a potential source of international crisis and conflict.
In the new Geo-Energy Era, the Strait of Hormuz, the South China Sea, and the Caspian Basin hardly stand alone as potential energy flashpoints. The East China Sea, where China and Japan are contending for a contested undersea natural gas field, is another, as are the waters surrounding the Falkland Islands, where both Britain and Argentina hold claims to undersea oil reserves, as will be the globally warming Arctic whose resources are claimed by many countries. One thing is certain: wherever the sparks may fly, there’s oil in the water and danger at hand in 2012.
Source: Michael T. Klare | TomDispatch.com