We are constantly seeing and hearing our American media use the word “Regime” these days. So exactly what is a “Regime”? Apparently it is whatever you want it to be.
Whenever Wall Street and/or War Street want to vilify a country that disagrees with their policies of occupation and exploitation, they always begin their vilification program by calling that country’s form of government a “Regime”.
Here are some examples: Syria is a “Regime” — even though it has a constitution, holds elections and almost all Syrians support its president, Bashar Assad. Gaddafi in Libya also operated a “Regime” — even though his government offered the kind of free education and healthcare benefits to its citizens that most Americans can only dream about. Cuba was (and still is) considered a “Regime” in the eyes of Wall Street and War Street. Putin also runs a “Regime” — even though most Russians today support him totally.
In reverse, Saudi Arabia is not a “Regime” — even though the House of Saud uses torture, suppresses decent, beheads people, treats women badly, brutally invades other countries and supports Al Qaeda and ISIS.
The House of Saud has spent over a trillion $$$$ of its enormous petro-dollar wealth over the last half-century on killing people and being despotic. Just imagine what the Middle East would look like right now if the Saudis had chosen butter instead of guns. What a waste. And yet Saudi Arabia is still not considered to be a “Regime” by American media.
Israel never gets called a “Regime” either — even though it supplied Iran with weapons back when Khomeini was holding Americans hostage and it kills Palestinian children with impunity, foments wars whenever possible, runs secret torture prisons, is a neo-colonialist in the worst sort of way, appears to even be anti-Jewish, uses 9-11 to its advantage and has notoriously corrupt leaders.
And now America seems to have become a “Regime” as well — even though nobody ever dares to call it by that name. But if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck….
Here are at least ten reasons that cause me to suspect that Wall Street and War Street are running a “Regime” here in America too:
Reason No. 1: Torture. Black sites. Rendition. Indefinite detention of Americans. Stuff like that. Our tax dollars at work.
Reason No. 2: No one is ever allowed to examine (let alone question) election results or voting machines here in the USA. Remember GWB, for instance? Never legally won an election in his life! Or take those new voter restrictions that have suddenly become so popular in the Ol’ South. You would expect something like that in the old Soviet Union or in the bad old days of Jim Crow — but not here, not now. And yet here it is.
No one is ever allowed to examine (let alone question) election results or voting machines here in the USA. Remember GWB, for instance? Never legally won an election in his life! Or take those new voter restrictions that have suddenly become so popular in the Ol’ South. You would expect something like that in the old Soviet Union or in the bad old days of Jim Crow — but not here, not now. And yet here it is.
Reason No. 3: Spying on its citizens. NSA. The Patriot Act. Snowden and Manning are being persecuted for spying — while FaceBook, Google and NSA get a free pass.
Reason No. 4: Ferguson. Baltimore. Zuccotti Park. Oakland. Military tactics used to violently suppress the American underclass if they dare to complain that their jobs are all disappearing, their children’s education sucks eggs and their tax dollars are being spent on military adventurism in foreign lands instead of on infrastructure here at home.
Reason No. 5: Congress! Government for sale. Widespread corruption. The Koch brothers’ and K Street’s yard sale of our politicians — all bought on the cheap. A solder in Afghanistan once told me that, “The only difference between corrupt politicians in Afghanistan and corrupt politicians in America is that corrupt politicians in America pass laws to make their corruption legal and Afghan politicians do not.” (Also see Reason No. 9)
Reason No. 6: No daycare! I just threw that in because I’m now babysitting my wonderful three-month-old granddaughter so that my daughter can go back to work. Even Iraq under Saddam Hussein had free daycare! Even Cuba under Castro.
And when Sofia goes off to kindergarten in five years, then I’ll finally be able to go back to being a war correspondent again — knowing for certain that the American “Regime” will still be subsidizing despots and Endless War in the Middle East even five years from now. What a waste.
Reason No. 7: Media suppression. You think that you might have some good ideas about telling truth to power around here? Then don’t expect to get a job with the New York Times or the Washington Post any time soon. Shades of the old Pravda.
Reason No. 8: Cops and the military (again). Peaceful protests are suppressed here just like they are in Occupied Palestine. Rubber bullets and tear gas R Us! Our cops recently used tear gas on protesters even here in my own hometown. And then there are all those poor countries abroad that have been Blitzkriegged by our very own Luftwaffe and then invaded by our very own Storm Troopers. I could drone on and on about that!
Reason No. 9: Our Supreme Court. Scalia would feel right at home in Nigeria or Haiti. There’s not a single corrupt corporate take-over that he doesn’t like.
Reason No 10: Corporatism itself. Nazi Germany ran on “Corporatism”. Hitler just loved handing out corporate welfare. And so do our so-called leaders. Nazi Germany was a “Regime”. Perhaps America is too.
I rest my case.
Can one imagine how difficult it was for America’s founders to actually make the decision to separate from Great Britain? England was the Motherland. The Crown was the central government. For all of their lives, the government of Great Britain was the only government they had ever known. The history of England was their history. Not only that, these men had never experienced any other system of government. Neither was there history to guide them. A monarchical form of government was all they knew. The “divine right of kings” was inculcated into their hearts and minds via virtually every established institution, including the Church, from the time they were born.
The Magna Carta had paved the highway of philosophy for the acceptance of self-government and individual liberty, but it was hardly practiced. King John signed the charter under extreme duress and then spent the rest of his reign in bloody retaliation against those who had pressed him to accept it. For over five hundred years, the Magna Carta lay as a noble idea but with little practical application. The Enlightenment philosophers wrote and theorized much about the principles contained in the Great Charter, but, again, until America’s founding generation came on the scene, nothing much of substance had been achieved. It was America’s Founding Fathers and founding generation that took the principles of the Magna Carta and the Enlightenment philosophers and actually used those principles to birth a new nation.
But how did they come to such a decision? Imagine the consternation. Imagine the inner conflicts. Communities were divided. Friends were divided. Families were divided. Brothers were divided. Parents and children and husbands and wives were divided. Yet, make the decision, they did. They pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to the cause. They obtained liberty and independence for their posterity–at great cost.
Granted, the decision to separate from the British Crown was not made overnight. Thomas Jefferson explained the process of reasoning behind the separation in the Declaration of Independence. Hear him:
“Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.”
How could Jefferson have been any clearer? He and the rest of America’s founders were convinced of “a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism.”
Noah Webster’s Dictionary Of The English Language (1828) defines “design” as verb: “To project; to form in idea, as a scheme.” And as noun: “A scheme or plan in the mind.” And, “Purpose; intention; aim; implying a scheme or plan in the mind.”
Hence, America’s founders were convinced of a scheme, a plan, and an intention in the minds of those within the British Crown to “reduce them under absolute Despotism.” Yes, friends, America’s founders were convinced there was a CONSPIRACY within the hearts and minds of the British government to enslave them. Hear Jefferson again:
“But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design…”
When abuses and usurpations which pursue invariably the “same Object” continue unabated over a long period of time, this is NOT an act of happenstance; it is by “design.” Somewhere along the line, the eyes of America’s founders were opened to the conspiracy within the British government to enslave them. Once their eyes were opened to the conspiracy, the rest, as we say, is history.
I submit that what we have in America today are basically two groups of people: those whose eyes are opened to conspiracy, and those who eyes are blind to conspiracy. This is exactly as it was in 1775 and 1776. Christian or unchurched, Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, if one is blind to the conspiracy to “reduce [us] under absolute Despotism,” one cannot truly comprehend the real danger or the real war.
And, sadly, it appears that most people today do NOT see the CONSPIRACY. All they see is Republican and Democrat; conservative and liberal; right and left; Christian and Muslim; religious and secular; FOX News and CNN, etc. Until Americans awaken to the same “design” that our founders awakened to, they will not be able to obtain a solution to our country’s malaise, as they are blind to the real enemy.
Mind you, not everyone in the British government in 1775 had it in mind to enslave the Colonists. Not every British soldier, not every British magistrate, not every British agent had a personal goal to enslave the colonies. They were just following orders; their eyes were blind to the plans and objects of those who were orchestrating the conspiracy. And, of course, those within the colonies who supported the British Crown were, likewise, blind to the conspiracy. Thank God, enough of our forebears were enlightened to the design of the Crown to be willing to cast it off.
I will say it plainly: there is a design (conspiracy) within Washington, D.C., and its allies to reduce us under absolute despotism.
Come on, folks, think: when has it mattered to a tinker’s dam which party controlled the White House or Congress? No matter which party is in charge, the central government in D.C. continues to get bigger and bigger and more and more oppressive. Regardless of whether the President is a Democrat or Republican, NOTHING changes in regards to America’s foreign policies or our economic policies. Regardless of party, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) dominates our foreign policies and the Federal Reserve Bank (FRB) dominates our economic policies. Regardless of party, an American Police State and surveillance society continue to mushroom, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) continue to exert more and more control over the American citizenry, and states and communities continue to fall under the heel of federal overreach.
Both parties in Washington, D.C., are led by warmongering zealots who use war, not only to enrich themselves, but also to carry out their preconceived plans of perpetual war for the purpose of paving the way for international bankers to control the world’s economies and for the purpose of subjecting the American citizenry to greater and greater infringements of their liberties.
In this regard, militant Islam is but a tool of the globalists. As long as Americans think that Islam is our enemy, they are blind to who the real enemy is. Our enemy is NOT Islam; our enemy is the cabal of globalists who are manipulating militant Islamists. The same people (the CFR and their fellow travelers) who took one of our strongest allies in the Middle East (Iran) and turned it into one our (supposed) greatest enemies are the same ones who are manipulating all of the wars of the Middle East, as well as bringing Russia and China to the brink of global conflict.
I submit the conspiracy of the British Crown has returned; and what used to be an indefatigable, recalcitrant, and vigilant independent republic (the United States) has become little more than a puppet of the old European monarchy. What the Crown could not accomplish through military force, it has accomplished through international banking.
The Federal Reserve wields absolute control over U.S. economic policy, and yet, no one really knows exactly who all of the members of the FRB even are. One thing is known, many (if not most) of them are NOT even U.S. citizens. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, foreign bankers have been controlling U.S. financial policy for the better part of a century.
In like fashion, the CFR virtually controls U.S. foreign policy. And the goal of the CFR is the reduction of national sovereignty and the rise of global government. Listen to Admiral Chester Ward.
Rear Admiral Chester Ward, who was the Judge Advocate General of the Navy from 1956-1960 and a former member of the CFR, but withdrew from the organization after realizing what they were all about, warned the American people about the dangers of this and similar organizations (such as the Trilateral Commission). He said, “The most powerful clique in these elitist groups have one objective in common–they want to bring about the surrender of the sovereignty and the national independence of the United States. A second clique of international members in the CFR . . . comprises the Wall Street international bankers and their key agents. Primarily, they want the world banking monopoly from whatever power ends up in the control of global government.”
Admiral Ward also said, “The main purpose of the Council on Foreign Relations is promoting the disarmament of U.S. sovereignty and national independence and submergence into an all-powerful, one world government.”
Now, observe that the administrations of both Republican and Democrat presidents are littered with CFR members. Under President George H.W. Bush, CFR members comprised 20% of his cabinet; under President Bill Clinton, CFR members comprised 34% of his cabinet; under President G.W. Bush, CFR members comprised 22% of his cabinet; and under President Barack Obama, CFR members comprise 36% of his cabinet. And these figures do not take into account how many CFR members are scattered throughout the national news media.
Can one imagine how people would react if twenty or thirty percent of a given presidential administration’s cabinet members were from, say, the Christian Coalition–or, even the ACLU. If the Christian Coalition had that many members in a presidential administration, people on the left would be screaming bloody murder. And if the ACLU had that many members in a presidential administration, people on the right would be screaming bloody murder. As it is, the CFR DOES have that many members in EVERY presidential administration and no one from the right or the left even says “boo.” It’s because they (from both left and right) are blind to the conspiracy.
These international conspirators can be found in London, Brussels, Washington, D.C., New York City, Tel Aviv, etc. In terms of U.S. foreign policy, these conspirators completely control the neocon agenda. That doesn’t mean that every politician who embraces the neocon foreign policy agenda is him or herself aware of the conspiracy. In the same way, not every federal officer within the DHS is aware of the conspiracy. Not every soldier who is fighting these perpetual wars of aggression is aware of the conspiracy. But as with many in the old British monarchy, they are the pawns of the conspirators.
George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Sam Adams, et al., were only able to declare and fight for independence and liberty after they understood that they were dealing with “a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism.”
Until the American people, including our State legislators, governors, city mayors, councilmen, county sheriffs, district attorneys, congressmen, senators, pastors, educators, journalists, etc., awaken to the conspiracy that seeks to enslave us, we will never have the sagacity and strength of will to properly resist it. This means that many of the current battles in which good people are engaged merely play into the designs of those who seek our enslavement. We can’t win the war until we know who the real enemy is.
P.S. On Sunday, April 19 of this year, I delivered the famous sermon of Pastor Jonas Clark that was originally delivered on April 19, 1776, on the occasion of the first anniversary of the Battle of Lexington. Pastor Clark was the pastor of the men who fought that historic battle, which began America’s War for Independence. Obviously, this message was delivered just a couple of months before our Declaration of Independence was signed. I preached this message word-for-word. And I tried to deliver it with the same zeal and passion in which it was originally preached.
The vast majority of today’s Christians NEVER hear a message that remotely resembles the kind of sermons that the pastors of Colonial America delivered. And since April 19 fell on Sunday this year, I delivered Jonas Clark’s powerful message regarding the Battle of Lexington and American liberty so people could listen to the kind of preaching that Christians in Colonial America heard routinely. Pastor Clark entitled his message, “The Fate of Blood-Thirsty Oppressors and God’s Tender Care of His Distressed People.”
My delivery of this awesome message is on DVD. I offer this DVD to my readers in the hope that many of you will purchase copies of the DVD and let your friends, relatives, fellow Christians, pastor, etc., hear true Colonial American preaching. Again, this is word-for-word the message of Jonas Clark delivered on April 19, 1776, concerning the Battle of Lexington Green and America’s fight for liberty.
I have never heard anyone deliver Rev. Clark’s famous message. As far as I know, this is the only verbatim recording of this historic message in existence–preached with the same kind of passion and fervor as it was said Pastor Clark delivered it.
To order my delivery of Jonas Clark’s message, go here:
US, Turkey, Saudi Arabia In Alliance with Al Qaeda…
The Syrian war stalemate appears to be over. The regional powers surrounding Syria — especially Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, and Jordan — have re-ignited their war against the Syrian government. After over 200,000 dead and millions of refugees, the U.S. allies in the region recently re-committed to deepening the war, with incalculable consequences.
The new war pact was made between Obama’s regional darlings, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, who agreed to step up deeper military cooperation and establish a joint command in the occupied Syrian region of Idlib.
Turkey and Saudi Arabia are now openly backing Islamic extremists under the newly rebranded “Conquest Army” The on-the-ground leadership of this “new” coalition consists of Jabhat al-Nusra — the “official” al-Qaeda affiliate — and Ahrar al-Sham, whose leader previously stated that his group was the “real al-Qaeda.”
The Huffington Post reports:
“The Turkish-Saudi agreement has led to a new joint command center in the northeastern Syrian province of Idlib. There, a coalition of groups — including Nusra and other Islamist brigades such as Ahrar al-Sham that Washington views as extremist — are progressively eroding Assad’s front. The rebel coalition also includes more moderate elements of the Free Syrian Army that have received U.S. support in the past.”
The article admits that the Free Syrian Army — that Obama previously labeled as “moderates” and gave cash and guns to — has been swallowed up by the extremist groups.
This dynamic has the potential to re-engulf the region in violence; deep Saudi pocketbooks combined with reports of looming Turkish ground forces are a catastrophe in the making.
Interestingly, the Saudi-Turkish alliance barely raised eyebrows in the U.S. media. President Obama didn’t think to comment on the subject, let alone condemn it.
The media was focused on an odd narrative of Obama reportedly being “concerned” about the alliance, but “disengaged” from what two of his close allies were doing in a region that the U.S. has micromanaged for decades.
It seems especially odd for the media to accept that Obama has a “hands off” approach in Syria when at the same time the media is reporting about a new U.S. program training Syrian rebels in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.
It’s inconceivable that Obama would coordinate deeply with Turkey to set up a Syrian rebel training camp on Turkish soil, while at the same time be “disengaged” from the Turkish-Saudi war coalition in Syria.
One possible motive behind the fake narrative of “non-cooperation” between Obama and his Turkish-Saudi allies is that the U.S. is supposed to be fighting a “war on terrorism.”
So when Turkey and Saudi Arabia announce that they’re closely coordinating with terrorists in Syria — like al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham — Obama needs an alibi to avoid being caught at the crime scene. He’s not an accomplice, simply “disengaged.”
This is likely the reason why Obama has insisted that his new “moderate” rebels being trained in Turkey will fight ISIS, not the Syrian government. But this claim too is ridiculous.
Is Obama really going to throw a couple hundred newly-trained “moderate” Syrian rebels at ISIS while his Turkish-Saudi allies focus all their fire on the Syrian Government? The question answers itself.
The media has made mention of this obvious conundrum, but never bothers to follow up, leaving Obama’s lame narrative unchallenged. For example, the LA Times reports:
“The White House wants the [U.S. trained rebel] proxy force to target Islamic State militants, while many of the Syrian rebels — and the four host nations [where Syrian rebels are being trained] — want to focus on ousting Syrian President Bashar Assad.”
The article simply shrugs its shoulders at the irreconcilable. The article also fails to mention that Obama’s “new” training camps aren’t new at all; he’s been arming and training Syrian rebels since at least 2012, the only difference being that the “new” training camps are supposedly meant to target ISIS, compared to the training camps that were openly used to target the Syrian government.
Here’s the LA Times in 2013:
“The covert U.S. training [of Syrian rebels] at bases in Jordan and Turkey began months before President Obama approved plans to begin directly arming the opposition to Syrian President Bashar Assad, according to U.S. officials and rebel commanders.”
This is media amnesia at its worse. Recent events can’t be understood if the media doesn’t place events in context. In practice this “forgetfulness” provides political cover to the Obama administration, shielding his longstanding direct role in the Syrian war, allowing him to pretend to a “passive,” “hands off” approach.
When it was reported in 2012 that the Obama administration was funneling weapons to the Syrian rebels, the few media outlets that mentioned the story didn’t bother to do any follow up. It simply fell into the media memory hole. After the weapons funneling report came out, Obama incredulously stated that he was only supplying “non lethal” support to the rebels, and the media printed his words unchallenged.
Consequently, there was no public discussion about the consequences of the U.S. partaking in a multi-nation proxy war against Syria, a country that borders war ravaged Iraq.
In 2013 when Obama announced that he would be bombing the Syrian government in response to a supposed gas attack, the U.S. media asked for no evidence of the allegation, and strove to buttress Obama’s argument for aggression.
And when Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour Hersh wrote an article exposing Obama’s lies over the aborted bombing mission, the article didn’t see the light of day in the U.S. media. Critically thoughtful voices were not welcome. They remain unwelcome.
In 2015 direct U.S. military intervention in Syria remains a real possibility. All the conditions that led to Obama’s decision to bomb Syria in 2013 remain in place.
In fact, a U.S. intervention is even more likely now that Turkey and Saudi Arabia are fighting openly against the Syrian government, since the Saudi-Turkish alliance might find itself in a key battle that demands the special assistance that only the U.S. air force can offer.
Unsurprisingly, there has been renewed discussion of a U.S. enforced “no fly zone” in Syria. ISIS doesn’t have an air force, so a no fly zone would be undeniably aimed at the Syrian government to destroy its air force. The new debate over a “no fly zone” is happening at the same time as a barrage of new allegations of “chemical weapons” use are being made against the Syrian government.
If a no fly zone is eventually declared by the Obama Administration it will be promoted as a “humanitarian intervention, that strives to create a “humanitarian corridor” to “protect civilians” — the same rhetoric that was used for a massive U.S.-led NATO bombing campaign in Libya that destroyed the country and continues to create a massive refugee crisis.
As the Syrian war creates fresh atrocities the Obama administration will be pressured to openly support his Saudi-Turkish allies, just as he came out into the open in 2013 when he nearly bombed the Syrian government.
History is repeating itself. But this time the stakes are higher: the region has already been destabilized with the wars in Iraq, Libya, and Syria, and the regional conflicts have sharpened between U.S. allies on one hand, and Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Russia on the other.
Such a volatile dynamic demands a media willing to explain the significance of these events. The truth is that Obama has been a proxy war president that has torn apart the Middle East as badly as his predecessor did, and if the U.S. public remains uninformed about developing events, an even larger regional war is inevitable.
“Iraq’s fate was sealed from the moment we invaded: it has no future as a unitary state … Iraq is fated to split apart into at least three separate states…This was the War Party’s real if unexpressed goal from the very beginning: the atomization of Iraq, and indeed the entire Middle East. Their goal, in short, was chaos – and that is precisely what we are seeing today.”
— Justin Raimondo, editor Antiwar.com
A bill that could divide Iraq into three separate entities has passed the US House Armed Services Committee by a vote of 60 to 2. The controversial draft bill will now be debated in the US House of Representatives where it will be voted on sometime in late May. If approved, President Barack Obama will be free to sidestep Iraq’s central government in Baghdad and provide arms and assistance directly to Sunnis and the Kurds that are fighting ISIS. This, in turn, will lead to the de facto partitioning of the battered country into three parts; Kurdistan, Shiastan, and Sunnistan.
The plan to break up Iraq has a long history dating back to Oded Yinon’s darkly prophetic 1982 article titled “A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties”. Yinon believed that Israel’s survival required that the Jewish state become a imperial regional power that “must effect the division of the whole area into small states by the dissolution of all existing Arab states … The Zionist hope is that sectarian-based states become Israel’s satellites and, ironically, its source of moral legitimation.” (The Zionist Plan for the Middle East, Israel Shahak)
The GOP-led House Armed Services Committee’s bill embraces Yinon’s vision of a fragmented Iraq. (Note: Under the current bill, which is part of the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), as much as 60% of the proposed funds, or $429m, would flow directly to the “Kurdish Peshmerga, the Sunni tribal security forces with a national security mission, and the Iraqi Sunni National Guard”.) Providing weapons to Sunni militias and the Kurdish Peshmerga will inevitably lead to the disintegration of the country, the ramping up of sectarian hostilities, and the strengthening of extremist groups operating in the region. It’s a prescription for disaster. Here’s a brief excerpt from Yinon’s piece on Iraq:
“Iraq, rich in oil on the one hand and internally torn on the other, is guaranteed as a candidate for Israel’s targets. Its dissolution is even more important for us than that of Syria. Iraq is stronger than Syria. In the short run it is Iraqi power which constitutes the greatest threat to Israel … Every kind of inter-Arab confrontation will assist us in the short run and will shorten the way to the more important aim of breaking up Iraq into denominations as in Syria and in Lebanon. In Iraq, a division into provinces along ethnic/religious lines as in Syria during Ottoman times is possible. So, three (or more) states will exist around the three major cities: Basra, Baghdad and Mosul, and Shi’ite areas in the south will separate from the Sunni and Kurdish north.” ( “A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties”, Oded Yinon)
The fact that US and Israeli strategic objectives match up so closely calls into question the ISIS invasion of Iraq in 2014 when a two mile-long column of white land rovers loaded with 15,000 jihadis barreled across the open desert from Syria spewing clouds of dust into the atmosphere without being detected by US AWACs or state-of-the-art spy satellites. The logical explanation for this so called “intelligence failure” is that it was not a failure at all, but that Washington wanted the operation to go forward as it coincided with US-Israeli strategic aims. As it happens, the areas now controlled by the Kurds, the Sunnis and the Shia are very close to those projected by Yinon suggesting that the ISIS invasion was part of a broader plan from the very beginning. That’s not to say that ISIS leaders take orders directly from Langley or the Pentagon. No. It merely implies that Washington uses the marauding horde for their own purposes. In this case, ISIS provides the pretext for arming the Sunnis and Kurds, imposing new borders within the existing state, creating easier access to vital resources, and eliminating a potential rival to US-Israel regional hegemony. The US needs an enemy to justify its constant meddling. ISIS provides that justification. Check this out from the Daily Star:
“The present ISIS lightning war in Iraq is the creation of an illusion to initiate the fulfillment of a pre-planned agenda of the West in close alliance with Israel to redraw the map of the entire region as the “New Middle East…..The chaos, destruction and devastation caused by the ISIS in its process of establishing the Sunni Islamic Caliphate in Iraqi and Syrian territories is the realisation of the intended policy of the US and the West to change public perception that the “War on Terror” was never a war waged by the West against Islam but a “war within Islam” along religious, ethnic and sectarian lines in the Islamic world…
The division of Iraq into three separate entities had also been strongly advocated by US Vice-President Joe Biden. Biden’s heritage and an analysis of his electoral constituents will help understand better his support for the fragmentation of Iraq under the Yinon Plan.” (The Yinon Plan and the role of ISIS, The Daily Star)
The Biden-Gelb plan, which was proposed in an op-ed in the New York Times in May 2006, called for the establishment of “three largely autonomous regions” with Baghdad becoming a “federal zone.” In other words, the powers of the Iraqi central government would be greatly reduced. The authors tried to soft-peddle their radical scheme as “decentralization” which is a milder term than the more accurate “partition”. The authors, both of who are members of the powerful Council on Foreign Relations, obscure the real aims of the plan which is to weaken the country through dismemberment and to leave it in “a permanent state of colonial dependency.” (Chomsky)
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has denounced the proposed bill as an attempt to undermine his authority and rip the country apart. In a recent phone conversation with Vice President Biden, Abadi expressed his opposition to the bill insisting that “only the Iraqi people can decide the future of their country.”
Also, according to Press TV, Iraqi cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, warned that if congress passed the bill, he would order his Mahdi Army to resume hostilities against the US targets in Iraq.
“We are obliged to lift the freeze on our military wing … and begin hitting US interests in Iraq and outside it,” said Sadr, who once led the powerful Mahdi Army and still enjoys huge influence among the Shia population.
Although Obama doesn’t approve of the new bill’s wording, his opposition is far from convincing. Here’s what State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said on the matter at a recent briefing: “The policy of this Administration is clear and consistent in support of a unified Iraq. We’ve always said a unified Iraq is stronger, and it’s important to the stability of the region as well.”
“Clear and consistent”? When has US policy in the Middle East ever been clear and consistent? Is it clear and consistent in Libya, Syria, or Yemen where jihadi militias are armed and supported either directly or indirectly by Washington or its allies? Is US policy clear and consistent in Ukraine where far-right neo-Nazi extremists are trained and given logistical support by the US to fight a proxy war against Russia?
Sure, Obama wants to make it look like he opposes the bill, but how much of that is just public relations? In truth, the administration is on the same page as the Congress, they just want to be more discreet about it. Here’s Harf again: “We look forward to working with Congress on language that we could support on this important issue.”
Indeed, the administration wants to tweak the wording for the sake of diplomacy, but that’s the extent of their opposition. In fact, the House Armed Services Committee has already complied with this request and removed the offending clause from the bill (asking for recognition of the Peshmerga and Sunni tribal militias as “countries”) while, at the same time, “maintaining that some of the military aid should go directly to the two forces fighting ISIS….”
So they deleted a couple words from the text but meaning remains the same. Also, according to Huffington Post:
“Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said Sunday he wants to identify “a way to streamline the process of getting the weapons to both the Sunni tribes and the [Kurds] … while at the same time not undermining the government of Iraq in Baghdad.”
There’s no way to “streamline the process” because the two things are mutually exclusive, Abadi has already said so. If Obama gives weapons to the Sunnis and the Kurds, the country is going to split up. It’s that simple.
So how has Obama responded to these latest developments?
Last week he met with Kurdish president Masoud Barzani in Washington. Here’s what happened:
“Asked by Kurdish outlet Rudaw whether he had secured any commitments on a change to the policy from President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden when he met with them Tuesday, Barzani responded, “Both the vice president and the president want the peshmerga to get the right weapons and ammunition. … The important point here is that the peshmerga get weapons. How they will come, in which way, that’s not as important as the fact that peshmerga need weapons to be in their hands.” (Kurdish Leader Aligns With White House Over Congress On ISIS Strategy, Huffington Post)
So Obama basically told Barzani he’d get the weapons he wanted. (wink, wink)
Can you see what a sham this is? Iraq’s fate is sealed. As soon as Congress approves the new defense bill, Obama’s going to start rushing weapons off to his new buddies in the Kurdish north and the so called Sunni triangle. That’s going to trigger another vicious wave of sectarian bloodletting that will rip the country to shreds.
And that’s the goal, isn’t it: To split the country into three parts, to improve access to vital resources, and to eliminate a potential rival to US-Israel regional hegemony?
You know it is.
Several people have asked me recently why I always seem to be writing about the Middle East. “Why don’t you ever write about anything else?”
Of course I write about other stuff — but the Middle East is so much more interesting and entertaining than anything else! The Middle East is definitely more interesting, entertaining and even weirder than any soap opera, reality show or action flick that Hollywood could ever produce. Fascinating stuff.
I’m always amazed that so few other Americans aren’t just totally fascinated by the Middle East too. Or even that there isn’t at least one daytime soap opera devoted solely to the subject — if for no other reason than that the Middle East has some of the greatest villains of all time!
Take America, for instance. Our very own Wall Street and War Street are currently starring as top-billing major actors in the Middle East, playing in prime-time roles — as the biggest villains in the script so far too. America practically invented ISIS, for goodness sakes! You can’t get more villainous than that.
Or can you?
According to journalist Daniel Lazare, “After years of hemming and hawing, the Obama administration has finally come clean about its goals in Syria. In the battle to overthrow Bashar al-Assad, it is siding with Al Qaeda.” War Street, you’ve been busted as the Bad Guy — and on national television too!
Or take Saudi Arabia another shining example of epic villain-a-lishious-ness at its best. That country has been playing the villain since way back in 1930 — when it invaded the Republic of Yemen for the first time after Yemen actually dared to become a democracy. Then the Saudi regime went on to help America create Osama bin Ladin, finance the Taliban and dirty their hands with 9-11. And now the Saudi regime is financing and training ISIS. Doesn’t get more juicy than that.
No, wait, yes it does. The Saudi regime is now using American-supplied cluster bombs on Yemen. Juicy soap opera at its best, better even than TMZ — unless of course you are living in Yemen.
And then there is Syria. What is going on there right now is even better than “One Life to Live”. How many Americans even know who Bashar Assad is? The poor guy has a couple of corrupt, sleazy relatives that the Saudi, American, Turkish and Israeli regimes have spent the last four years trying to put into power. Why? Because power corrupts — so Assad’s relatives are already trained to be as corrupt as their sponsors. How “Dallas” can you get?
And of course Turkey is now in the mix too — just can’t keep its hands off of ISIS, the designated “fem fatale” in this reality show. But Turkey had better watch out. ISIS is a psychopath and Turkish citizens do not like President Erdogan cheating on them and messing around with her instead.
Or take Iraq — the ultimate reality show. Outwit, outlast and outplay. Plus all the principle soap opera characters are there in Iraq too. You got the lying bitch (mostly America), the BFF (mostly Britain and France), the scheming scoundrel who will stop at nothing to get rich (mostly Bibi Netanyahu) and the struggling anti-hero (mostly Syrians trying to chase ISIS out of Syria) trying to thwart the Bad Guys (mostly ISIS, but with ISIS’s secret suppliers Saudi Arabia, Israel, America and Turkey thrown in).
You just gotta love all that plotting, counter-plotting and backstabbing now taking place in the Middle East — such as when General Sisi in Egypt overthrew a democratically-elected government in order to be America’s date to the prom. Or when the Saudi Arabian regime, source of 9-11 and Osama bin Ladin, comes out smelling like a rose and being America’s BFF. Or not.
You want action and drama? No problem there either. The Middle East has it all! America, NATO, Britain and France get together and bomb the crap out of Libya (for her own good), put Al Qaeda in charge of Libya for even more raping and pillaging fun (she asked for it) — but then deserts fair Libya in her darkest hour of need. And even though Libya is not technically actually in the Middle East, you can still just sit back and watch the fun.
And ditto for Afghanistan. Lots of action, drama, lies and skullduggery there too — even though it also is not technically located in the Middle East.
And now apparently ISIS (that tramp!) is also off having a hot illicit affair with the American-sponsored neo-Nazi Ukraine regime, also not in the Middle East — but this new daytime drama may soon to be playing on European TV instead — as ISIS slips off to gay Paree after dumping her thug boyfriend in Kiev.
Plus who wouldn’t want to hear the exciting story about brave and heroic Palestinians fighting for their freedom — only to be called angry sluts by the American media. Or how the brave and heroic Yemenis, fighting for their freedom, get bombed back to the Stone Age by the despotic Saudis who still somehow manage to come out as the Good Guys — even after training and financing ISIS. How do they do that? How do they just keep getting away with that again and again? Will they ever get their comeuppance? Apparently not. But stay tuned.
And then there is the Israeli regime, staring as the “scheming patriarch” character, forcing America to do its dirty work so it can take over the Middle East. Bibi Netanyahu is like a Mafia don or the villain on “The Bold and the Beautiful” or “Dark Shadows” — always scheming behind the scenes. He’s like Angelique Bouchard or Sheila Carter. What’s not to love about him?
Why would anybody who loves soap operas and/or reality shows, action movies or even murder-mysteries and thrillers even think of ever not keeping up with events in the Middle East? Entertainment at its best!
Too bad, however, that more than a million lives have been lost so far in these productions — but, for Wall Street and War Street, that’s just one of the costs of being in show business.
“The sand beneath our feet is saturate with blood of martyrs; and these rifted stones are awful witnesses against a people whose pleasure was the pain of dying men.” Cavalieri, in “Michael Angelo: A Fragment”, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The Mayweather-Pacquiao fight is coming up and regardless of the result Mayweather will be millions of dollars richer than he is today. Tickets printed at prices of $1,500 to $7,500 and are being scalped in the six figure range. Mayweather recently voiced a typical Black attitude when he complained that his current net worth of $275 million would be in the billions if he was White. Read here. It is very difficult to please people who are void of gratitude.
America’s Black population has been primed for resentment for the past several decades. Slavery has been publicized with the same vigor as the Holocaust and has been used to indict succeeding generations for prejudices and actions they neither harbor nor approve.
Invariably missing in the racial dialogue is the inordinate statistical difference in the Black crime rate which is about 7 times higher than the White population. The American press never publishes the correct figures instead it presents the public with a destructive distortion.
For every Black killed by a White person 18 Whites are killed by Blacks. When the Black crime rate Is adjusted for population the figure 7 times higher rises to an astounding 50 times higher. Read here.
The Neocon owners of the American press and media seem devoted to inciting Black citizens to riot. See current unrest in Baltimore here. Their coverage is not only biased but blatantly fosters a view of the Black condition that is false. Pat Buchanan writes, “We are now half a century on from the Civil Rights Act of 1964. African Americans have risen out of poverty and the working class to become successes as actors, artists, athletes, executives, politicians, TV anchors, journalists, scholars, generals, authors, etc.”
In spite of the tyrannical legislation that mandated Black equality the Black race has steadily progressed. The progress is never recognized because the press and Black leaders falsely create the impression that prejudice is keeping then from realizing success.
Sadly, a larger portion of American Blacks remain convinced that the White population is their enemy. Instead of gratitude they harbor a feeling that killing or stealing from a White person is a badge of honor. As long as their leaders and the powerful American press cultivate this attitude peace will be impossible.
Society views Jewish Americans and Black Americans sympathetically as oppressed and suffering races – the Jews from the Holocaust and the Blacks from Slavery. Both of these archaic tragedies have been used to create sacrosanctity. This eminence makes honest discourse impossible and allows racial problems to fester. That this attitude has been created with ulterior motives by our press and media and power hungry Black and Jewish leaders does not alter reality. The hatred for American society is very real.
Blacks and Jews are pragmatic and they use their power despitefully against a system that has been their benefactor. Until truth begins to permeate the current scene personal threats and riots will be used to further bleed a benevolent system.
As America continues to digest the riots in Ferguson, Missouri, and the current riots in Baltimore it is interesting to note that our nation has a history of violent behavior that goes back to the founding era!
In the mid-Seventeenth Century before the America Revolution, Britain claimed ownership of the colonies and the right to levy taxes ostensibly to cover the cost of protecting the colonies.
The right to tax was upheld by most of the members of Parliament and by some colonial leaders; but to the citizens, who had created civilization in the New World, taxation without representation was anathema.
There were strong feelings involved in this conflict. Colonial citizens wanted and thought they deserved some independence while in Britain the Parliament was affronted that their dominion was being challenged.
With help from a stirring oratory by young Patrick Henry an angry resistance developed against a British tax called the Stamp Act. Though the potential taxes collected under the act would probably have been insignificant the act of levying this tax created suspicions of tyranny that aroused freedom-loving citizens. British troops had been left in the colonies following the Seven Year War . and the presence of these troops contributed to as barrage of conspiracy theories that swept through the colonies.
According to Robert Middlekauff’s book “The Glorious Cause” fighting between factions in Massachusetts had already been vicious before the passage of the Stamp Act; “clubs, bricks, stones, and fists” were instruments of warfare. The new affront to their freedom solidified these mobs against the common enemy and put British agents in the colonies in danger. Andrew Oliver supposedly appointed as a Distributor of Stamps in Massachusetts was one of these men.
It was rumored that Oliver stood to profit from the Stamp Act this incensed the mob which created an image of Oliver and beheaded it in front of his house. They burned the beheaded image and proceeded to break all of the windows in the house. There was a call to find Oliver and kill him. They searched his house but he had already fled. Frustrated, they broke up his furniture. It turned out that Oliver’s appointment had not yet arrived from Britain and he promised to resign as soon as it did.
A few day later another British agent, Thomas Hutchinson, came under the ire of the mob. He was related to Oliver and was considered brave and proud. His house was big and luxurious. Seeking to humble him the mob patiently destroyed his beautiful home. Middlekauff writes, “Virtually everything moveable within was destroyed or stolen – papers, plate, furniture, clothing, and sterling – and what could not be moved – walls, partitions, and roof – were severely battered. The handsome cupola was cut off, a demolition that took three hours, and much of the slate roof was pulled down.” The wrecking crew worked until dawn and when they were finished a part of the roof and several brick walls were all that survived.
United States of America was founded by immigrants coming from tyrannical regimes in Europe. They found freedom in the new world. Freedom was the object of the great sacrifice necessary to travel to the new world. It was the ultimate jewel. The loss of freedom was fresh in the minds of these hardy people and when any sign of superiority reared its ugly head they were quick to react in violence.
Though the government was often dishonest with the Indian population it was the citizens themselves who often defied the proscribed borders and settled land that was designated for the Indians.
Policemen played a minor role in Colonial culture. This, coupled with an action oriented populace allowed frequent rioting. In his book “Rioting in America” Paul Gilje records a litany of colonial riots.
In 1677 a group of fishermen in Marblehead, Massachusetts captured two Indians they planned to barter for property the tribe had stolen from them while they fished off the shores of Maine. When they brought the Indians into Marblehead Indian hating housewives stoned them to death and cut off their heads.
War and violent behavior has been common to every civilization. When opposing perspectives meet each finds truth and justice in their view. Humanistic atheism has a perspective that conflicts with Theonomic Christianity. This battle is currently raging in the world
Human beings are maligned by sin. Sin causes us to make improper decisions and to react with anger when our ideas and plans are challenged. We really do not want to obey God, instead we want to be God and decide for ourselves what is right and wrong. Sin is ubiquitous; it can be seen in Christians as well as pagans. Sin leads to the creation of opposing religions and plants the seed for war and strife.
Our hope is in the progress of Christianity in the world; more and more people must view the world from a Christian perspective. When God brings in His harvest and Christians begin to obey Him by making His Law the basis for civil behavior the world will have a chance at peace. There are encouraging signs in China where a Christian revival is challenging the Communist government. Read here.
As the Twenty-First Century progresses the White population of the United States of America is surprisingly placid. Violence seems to be the domain of American imperialism, of Blacks, and of the nation’s local police forces.
War has resulted in a serious potential loss of freedom but neither the loss of freedom nor the wars have had much effect on our way of life. While are military forces are killing thousands of civilians, destroying property, and creating chaos in the Middle East, life at home goes on with little notice.
Both the Black and the White population suffer from the absolute authority now vested in our police. It is more noticeable in Black communities because crime is more common. Blacks protest but Whites remain silent. Black citizens are a danger to White Americans and most are willing to put up with police despots for protection.
From being keepers of the peace policemen have become unequivocal enforcers of the law. They are no longer responsible for using reasonable judgment. A mere traffic violation can escalate into an arrest and even a death. Innocent civilians are unnecessarily ordered about by policemen and charged with crimes if they disobey. This kind of arrogance produces resentment.
Our problem with police officers comes from the basic rules that govern their behavior. In another era they were called peace officers and were vested with the responsibility of maintaining a just and peaceful society. Today they are law enforcement officers vested with the responsibility of enforcing the law. The difference is quite substantial: enforcement has a strong arm connotation while peace is conciliatory.
In the presence of a police officer citizens have no rights. They are the consummate dictators whose every word must be immediately obeyed. Failure to obey results in arrest and handcuffs. This attitude comes from their leadership. The police are taught to demand acquiescence.
It is no longer the duty of police to protect citizens; their duty is to arrest law breakers. This is the reason savvy lawyers advise us to call the police only under the most dire conditions.
Suicide by police has become a recognized procedure. Police will shoot first and ask questions later. Point a gun at a policeman and you will be killed in a hail of bullets.
When policemen enter your home they may make a note of a theft or a burglary but they will also arrest you if they find any breach of current legal standards and since they know more about the law than most citizens you are at a disadvantage.
Policemen are paid to be public servants and it is time they are taught to respect innocent civilians. Convicted criminals have lost their right to be free but innocent civilians have not; Black or White, they should be treated with respect even when minor violations are involved.
They are public servants they are not dictators. Even though we have so many laws there can be reason to arrest almost anyone, the general public should always be treated with respect. Necessary instructions should be obeyed but requests should be courteous and reasonable.
If law and order is ever to return to our society the police must regain the respect of the general public.
Saudi Arabia has been dominating the Middle Eastern news recently. Its bombing of the Shia Houthis in Yemen, supported by Washington, and its ambivalent stand on ISIS, concealed in Washington, should raise questions about the nature and long-term ambitions of the desert kingdom. On those key issues there is an apparent conspiracy of silence in the American mainstream media and the policy-making community.
Saudi Arabia, the most authentically Muslim country in the world, is a polity based on a set of religious, legal, and political assumptions rooted in mainstream Sunni Islam. To understand its pernicious role in the ongoing Middle Eastern crisis, and to grasp the magnitude of its ongoing threat to America’s long-term strategic interests and security, we should start with the early history of that strange and unpleasant place.
MUHAMMAD IBN ABD AL-WAHHAB was born in central Arabia over three centuries ago, but his legacy is alive and well. Wahhab was a zealous Muslim revivalist who lived in the period of the Ottoman Empire’s early decline. He felt that Islam in general, and Arabia in particular, needed to be spiritually and literally re-purified and returned to the true tenets of the faith. Like Islam’s prophet he married a wealthy woman much older than himself, whose inheritance enabled him to engage in theological and political pursuits. His Sharia training, combined with a brief encounter with suffism – which he rejected – produced a powerful mix. From the suffis he took the concept of a fraternal religious order, but rejected initiation rituals and music in any form. He also condemned the decorations of mosques, however non-representational, and sinful frivolities such as smoking tobacco. This Muslim anabaptist rejected veneration of saints and sites and objects connected with them, and gave rise to a movement that sees itself as the guardian of true Islamic values. His ideas were espoused in the Book of Unity which gave rise to the name of the movement, al-Muwahhidun, or Unitarians.
By the middle of the 18th century Wahhab, like Muhammad eleven centuries earlier, found a politically powerful backer for his cause. In 1744 he struck a partnership with Muhammad ibn-Saud, leader of a powerful clan in central Arabia, and moved to his “capital,” the semi-nomadic settlement of ad-Dir’yah (Riyadh). Since that time the fortunes of the Wahhabis and the Ibn Said family have been intertwined. Under ibn-Saud’s successor Abdul-Aziz, the Wahhabis struck out of their desert base at Najd with the fury unseen in a millennium. In what looked for a while like the repetition of Muhammad’s and the Four Caliphs’ phenomenal early success a millennium earlier, they temporarily captured Mecca and Medina, marched into Mesopotamia – forcing the Ottoman governor to negotiate humiliating terms – and invaded Syria.
This was an unacceptable challenge to the Sultan, the heir to the caliphate and “protector of the holy places.” In 1811 he obtained the agreement of Ali Pasha, Egypt’s de facto autonomous ruler following Napoleon’s withdrawal, to launch a campaign against the Wahhabis. After seven years they were routed. Later in the century, however, the sect revived under Faysal to provide the focus of Arab resistance to the Ottoman Empire, which they considered degenerate and corrupt.
In 1902 a daring and bellicose prince of the ibn-Saud family, named after Abdul-Aziz “the warrior,” returned from exile with 40 horsemen and took control of Riyadh. He exploited the terminal weakness of the Ottoman Empire, soon to be embroiled in revolution and beset by external threats to its crumbling empire in the Balkans and Libya. Fired by the spirit of Wahhabism, Abdul Aziz embarked on a campaign to recover control over the whole of Arabia. In 1912 the Wahhabi revival prompted the founding of a religious settlement at Artawiyah, 300 miles north of Riyadh, under the auspices of theIkhwan, the Brotherhood. This was a stern Arabian variety of Plymouth, a Muslim New Jerusalem in which people were dragged from their homes and whipped for failing to attend Friday prayers.
IN THE CHAOTIC YEARS after the demise of the Ottoman Empire the Ikhwan proved to be an able and fanatical fighting force, securing victory for Ibn Saud, their leader and the founder of the present royal dynasty. In 1925 they carried out Ibn Saud’s order that all revered burial sites in Mecca and Medina be destroyed, including the “heavenly orchard” in Medina, where relatives and many early companions of Muhammad were buried. In 1926 they proclaimed Abdul-Aziz the King of Hejaz. Within a decade he had united the rest of Arabia and imposed the Wahhabist view of the world, man, law, and Allah, on most of the peninsula.
It is incorrect to say that the Wahhabi movement is to Islam what Puritanism is to Christianity, however. While Puritans could be regarded as Christianity’s Islamicists sui generis with their desire to turn Christianity into a druly scriptural, literalist theocracy, Wahhabism is unmistakably “mainstream” in its demand for the return to the original glory of the early Islamic Ummah. Their iconoclastic zeal notwithstanding, the Wahhabis were no more extreme or violent than the models for Islam – the “prophet” and his companions – have been in all ages and to this day.
THE HEIRS OF ABDUL WAHHAB are still heading the Saudi religious establishment. They resisted the introduction of “heathen” contraptions such as radio, cars, and television, and relented only when the King promised to use those suspect mediums to promote the faith. They stopped the importation of all alcohol, previously sold to foreigners (1952), and banned women driving motor vehicles (1957). The Kuran and Sunna are formally the country’s constitution and the source of its legal code. The original sources of Islamic orthodoxy – the Kuran and Hadith – provide ample and detailed evidence that Saudi Arabia is as close as we can get to an Islamic state and society. The State Department report on human rights in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia published 15 years ago offers an accurate glimpse of that vision in action:
Freedom of religion does not exist. Islam is the official religion and all citizens must be Muslims. Neither the Government nor society in general accepts the concepts of separation of religion and state, and such separation does not exist. Under Shari’a conversion by a Muslim to another religion is considered apostasy. Public apostasy is a crime punishable by death -if the accused does not recant. Islamic religious education is mandatory in public schools at all levels. All children receive religious instruction… Citizens do not have the right to change their government. The Council of Senior Islamic Scholars… reviews the Government’s public policies for compliance with Shari’a. The Government [views] Islamic law as the only necessary guide to protect human rights. There is legal and systemic discrimination based on sex and religion.
Nothing has changed since: the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the most intolerant Islamic regime in the world. While the Saudis continue to build mosques all over the world, tens of thousands of Christians among the millions of foreign workers from Asia, Europe and America must worship in secret, if at all. They are arrested, lashed or deported for public display of their beliefs. The Saudi religious police, known as the Committee to Promote Virtue and Prevent Vice, continues to routinely intimidate, abuse, and detain citizens and foreigners. In 2002 they pushed girls escaping from burning school buildings back into the inferno and certain death because they did not have their heads properly covered. Its detainees are routinely subjected to beatings, sleep deprivation and torture. Punishments include flogging, amputation, and public execution by beheading, stoning, or firing squad – over 50 were performed so far this year.
Women are second class citizens: according to the CIA world factbook, 82.2% of females are literate, in comparison to 90.8% literacy rates in males. The testimony of one man equals that of two women, and female parties to court proceedings must deputize male relatives to speak on their behalf. Women are not admitted to a hospital for medical treatment (often for wounds resulting from domestic violence) without the consent of a male relative. In public a woman is expected to wear an abaya (a black garment that covers the entire body) and to cover her head and face. Daughters receive half the inheritance awarded to their brothers. Women must demonstrate Sharia-specified grounds for divorce, but men may divorce them without giving any cause. In addition women must not drive cars, must not be driven except by an employee, or husband, or a close relative, and even then must not occupy the front seat. Women may study abroad if accompanied by a spouse or an immediate male relative. Women may own a businesses, but they must deputize a male relative to represent it.
Political detainees commonly are held incommunicado in special prisons during the initial phase of an investigation, which may last weeks or months, without access to lawyers. Defendants usually appear without an attorney before a judge, who determines guilt or innocence in accordance with Shari’a standards. Most trials are closed, and crimes against Muslims receive harsher penalties than those against non-Muslims. A sentence may be changed at any stage of review, except for punishments stipulated by the Koran.
The only expanding industry in Saudi Arabia is that of Islamic obscurantism. Some examples are grotesque: in 1966 the Vice-President of the Islamic University of Medina complained that Copernican theory was being taught at Riyadh University; it has been banned ever since. Three hundred years after the Christian theologians had to concede that the Earth went around the Sun, the geocentric theory was reaffirmed in the centers of Saudi learning. Segregation of the sexes at schools is set at age nine, which is the age for girls to start to wear the veil.
The opinions of the ullema are the only internal check and balance on the ruling family. Five Saudi Islamic universities produce thousands of clerics, many more than will ever be hired to work in the country’s mosques. Thousands end up spreading and promoting Wahhabism abroad. The King of the Saudis remains their Imam. He and the Wahhabi religious establishment see it as their sacred duty and purpose to evangelize the world. The petro-dollar windfall has paid for the construction of some ten thousand mosques and “Islamic centers” in the United States and other parts of the world. All along, needless to say, no churches (let alone synagogues) can be built in Saudi Arabia, and all non-Muslim religious practice is strictly forbidden.
“It is essential to recognize that Iran does not currently have a nuclear weapons program, nor does it possess a nuclear weapon. On February 26, James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Ayatollah Khomenei, the supreme leader of Iran, ended his country’s nuclear weapons program in 2003 and “as far as we know, he’s not made the decision to go for a nuclear weapon.” This repeats the “high-confidence” judgement of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) that was first made in November 2007.” -Micah Zenko, Putting Iran’s Nuclear Program in Context, Council on Foreign Relations
It always helps to start with the truth, and in Iran’s case, the truth is quite simple. Iran has no nuclear weapons, it has no nuclear weapons program, and it’s never been caught diverting nuclear fuel for other purposes. Iran has pursued nuclear technology for peaceful purposes alone.
These are the facts. They may not jibe with the lies propagated in the western media, but they are the facts all the same. Iran is not guilty of anything. It’s merely a victim of Washington’s power-crazy attempt to control vital resources in the Middle East and enhance Israel’s regional hegemony. That’s what’s really going on. It’s all geopolitics. It has nothing to do with nukes.
Media coverage of the so called nuclear negotiations in Laussanne and now in Vienna has focused maniacally on the number of centrifuges, IAEA monitoring programs, uranium enrichment capability, and myriad other arcane topics that are meant to divert attention from the fact that Iran has no nuclear weapons program and no interest in developing one. By poring over the details of these issues in excruciating detail, the reader is left feeling that Iran must be hiding something and therefore must pose a real threat to US national security. But of course that’s precisely what the authors of these articles hope to achieve, they want to pull the wool over the public’s eyes and get people to believe something that is transparently false.. The fact is, Iran is not doing anything underhanded or illegal. They are merely demanding that their right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes under the terms of the NPT be respected. Iran will not allow itself to be bullied by the US or treated like a second class citizen. Iran has behaved honorably from the beginning, which is a helluva a lot more than can be said of the US.
The media doesn’t want to discuss the “additional protocols” that Iran accepted in order to build confidence among members on the United Nations, because then people would realize that Iran has gone the extra mile many times in the past only to be slapped with more spurious accusations of noncompliance or foul play. But where’s the evidence of noncompliance or foul play? There isn’t any. It’s all just fear-mongering speculation and vitriolic BS spewed by the dissembling media. There’s not a word of truth to any of it.
The media’s latest scam centers on the term “breakout time”, which refers to the amount of time it would take for Iran to build a nuclear weapon if it was so inclined, which it isn’t.
“Breakout time” is the new propaganda buzzword reiterated thousands of times in the media suggesting that Tehran is just hours away from building an atomic weapon that it will immediately use to annihilate Israel. It’s a ridiculous fairy tale that assumes that–since the US is a rouge-homicidal state that goes around bombing the bejesus out of anything that moves–that other states are bound to behave the same if given half a chance. This is wrong on many levels. First of all, Iran doesn’t want nukes and, secondly, leaders in other countries are not power-mad megalomaniacs whose only joy in life is reducing broad swathes of the planet to smoldering rubble. That behavior is particular to US leaders alone. Others don’t suffer from the same sociopathic disorder.
The nuclear issue has nothing to do Iran’s fictitious nuclear weapons program. That’s just a smokescreen. The real problem is that Iran is a sovereign country with an independent foreign policy. Washington doesn’t like independent nations. Washington likes nations that shut up and do what they’re told. Nations that refuse to take orders are Washington’s enemies, they’re placed on a hit list. And that’s where the sanctions come into play. Sanctions are the way that Washington weakens its enemies before bombing them to kingdom come. They’re the stick the US uses to beat its rivals into submission.
If you’ve been following the news lately, you know that something very strange is going on. The US has done an about-face and changed its policy towards Iran. It’s a shocking development. The US has maintained the same savage policy towards Cuba for 60 years without changing a thing. Whether the policy works or not, has never mattered; what matters is inflicting maximum pain on the people Washington’s doesn’t like. So why the sudden change with Iran? Why is Obama trying to reach an agreement with a country that US elites openly despise?
And, keep in mind, that what Obama’s doing is extremely unpopular with many powerful groups; the congress, the media, Israel and even high ranking officials in his own State Department. Could it be that the powerbrokers who pull Obama’s strings and tell him what to do have suddenly seen the light and want to open a new era of reconciliation and friendship with Iran?
Of course not. No one believes that. The only reason Obama would strike a deal with Iran is because the US wants something in return. And the US does want something in return. The US wants a substitute for Russian gas flowing to the Europe so it can destroy Russia economically and implement its strategic plan to spread US power across Asia so US mega-corporations can maintain their dominant position in the global economy. Obama is playing nice with Iran so he can pivot to Asia as easily as possible.
So how plausible is it for Iran to replace Russian gas in the lucrative EU market?
Check out this clip from an article written in 2014 that anticipated the very scenario we see developing today, that is, the US trying to prevent an integrated EU-Russian free trade zone that would dwarf the US GDP and leave the exceptional nation to face years of precipitous decline. The article is titled “EU turns to Iran as alternative to Russian gas”:
The European Union is quietly increasing the urgency of a plan to import natural gas from Iran, as relations with Tehran thaw, while those with top gas supplier Russia grow colder…
“Iran is far towards the top of our priorities for mid-term measures that will help reduce our reliance on Russian gas supplies,” the source said. “Iran’s gas could come to Europe quite easily and politically there is a clear rapprochement between Tehran and the West.”….
While sanctioned itself, Iran has the world’s second largest gas reserves after Russia and is a potential alternative given talks between Tehran and the West to reach a deal over the Islamic Republic’s disputed nuclear programme.
“High potential for gas production, domestic energy sector reforms that are underway, and ongoing normalization of its relationship with the West make Iran a credible alternative to Russia,” said a paper prepared for the European parliament…
“Given Russia’s current strategy politically, which is one of confrontation with Europe, I see the EU having little choice but to find alternative gas supplies,” he added…
“Iran’s interest to deliver gas to Europe is very big. Parts of Iran’s economical and political elite as well as Western companies are preparing for an end of the sanctions,” said Frank Umbach, energy research director at King’s College in London…
Iran has long lobbied to build a designated pipeline that would connect its huge South Pars gas field with European customers – the so-called Persian Pipeline.
“It’s an extremely ambitious project,” Handjani said. “Even if half of it gets built it would be major accomplishment for both Europe and Iran.”…
Independent feasibility studies show that if sanctions were to be eased and investments started soon, Iran could supply 10-20 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas a year to Turkey and Europe by the early 2020s.
(EU turns to Iran as alternative to Russian gas, euractiv.com)
This is why Obama wants to ease sanctions; it’s because he needs to find an alternate source of gas for Europe while he prosecutes his war on Russia. Defeating Russia has become Washington’s top strategic priority. The United States is willing to risk everything –even nuclear war– to maintain its stranglehold on global power and to extend its hegemony into the next century.
Does anyone in the country want to see another Bush vs. Clinton presidential race? If they do, they have a death wish for America.
It is not uncommon these days to hear people refer to Jeb and Hillary as the “royals.” And, while I’m glad that a lot of people seem to have a natural revulsion to having another Bush or Clinton in the White House, the fact is, the Bushes and Clintons are not two “royals.” They are one CRIME FAMILY.
One of the greatest hoaxes of modern times was the façade that the Bush and Clinton families were political adversaries, when the truth is, they have all been “best buds” for most (if not all) of their political careers. For anyone who wants to research the veracity of what I am saying (with an honest and open mind), it will take almost no time to be convinced. The recent reports about foreign influence and money that have poured into the Clinton coffers are nothing new and are just the tip of the iceberg.
While there is no way that we can know the totality of all that this international Crime Family is guilty of, there is enough evidence and eyewitness testimony out there to convince even the most stubborn skeptic that these people are among the most despicable trolls in the world. If we had a semblance of a free and independent national news media, the Bushes and Clintons would have already been exposed as the miscreants they are and would be serving life sentences in prison–which is where they all belong. (Of course, that could be said for a bunch of those criminals in Washington, D.C.)
We hear much talk about the “lesser of two evils.” Well, folks, I’m here to tell you that Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton are the worst of evils. Both of these people are owned lock, stock, and barrel by the international elite who are hell-bent on destroying capitalism, free enterprise, constitutional government, and yes, the sovereignty and independence of the United States. There is no substantial difference between them. They may have two different last names, and claim to represent two different political parties and ideologies, but, again, they are members of the same cabal of international gangsters. And between the two, Jeb is probably more dangerous.
Despite the best attempts by the propaganda press to keep Hillary’s crimes under wraps, the skeletons are starting to fall out of the closet. It will be virtually impossible to keep them from developing into full-fledged scandals in forthcoming months. Hillary is damaged goods. In fact, Hillary is NOT even electable. I repeat: Hillary is NOT electable. The only way that Hillary will even obtain the Democratic nomination is if the power elite want to offer her up as a political sacrifice so Jeb (or another controlled Republican) can be the next President. The fact that New York newspapers are already breaking the foreign-cash scandal against Hillary is illustrative of what I’m saying. But if it looks like they cannot cram Jeb Bush down the throat of the Republican Party, and there is too much popular resistance to Bush, they might decide to let so many skeletons out of the closet that Hillary would not be able to even win the nomination.
As for Jeb Bush, he is the quintessential neocon: he loves Big Business, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and, especially, Big Banks and the Federal Reserve. He loves perpetual war; he loves the military-industrial complex; he loves open borders; he loves the DHS, the Patriot Act, and a domestic Police State. And Jeb Bush knows where the bodies are buried. He knows virtually every skeleton in every closet in Washington, D.C.–and in foreign capitals.
Jeb and his fellow globalist robot, Benjamin Netanyahu, are international gangsters of the highest (or lowest, depending on how one looks at it) order. With the two of them in power at the same time, WATCH OUT! The Warfare State and Police State would grow exponentially. War in the Middle East would become as hot as hot can be. Jeb and Bibi would take the world to the precipice of, or into, World War III.
Skull & Bones, the Rothschilds, Bohemian Grove, CFR, Trilateral Commission, Bilderbergs: Jeb is in the shadow of all of it. Jeb Bush is the Darth Vader of 2016. And with virtually unlimited money and a questionable voting system–not to mention the support of virtually the entire international banking system, military-industrial system, and corrupt foreign leaders in his pocket–he is going to be a most formidable candidate. The media is already skewing poll numbers to make it appear that Jeb Bush is popular with grassroots Republicans. Media manipulation of opinion in favor of Bush has only begun. It will proliferate tremendously in the months to come.
If Jeb Bush is elected President of the United States, he will make Barack Obama’s terms in office look downright benign by comparison.
However, the global elite do not always get their way. Jeb’s nomination is far from locked up. He is almost universally despised among grassroots conservatives. They know he is a Big Government neocon. His support for Obama’s executive amnesty for illegals, his support for Common Core, his support for Loretta Lynch, his infatuation with Lyndon Johnson, etc., have raised major red flags with genuine conservatives. It is yet to be seen if GOP grassroots conservatives can rise up against Bush in sufficient numbers to derail his candidacy–but they might.
Of course, the second scenario is that the power elite might use Bush as a smokescreen to pave the way for someone equally controlled. The field of GOP contenders is littered with neocons: Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee, Lindsey Graham, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, John Kasich, Bobby Jindal, Bob Sasse, etc. (Forget about Mike Pence; he killed any presidential aspirations he may have had with his embarrassing flip flop over the religious freedom issue in his home State of Indiana.) If conservatives derail Jeb Bush in the primaries–and if the media keeps Hillary Clinton in the race–you can know that this second scenario is the one the elites are using.
Again, if the elites plan on a Democrat taking the White House next year, they will remove Hillary from the race. Otherwise, they plan to play the same old “throw-the-bums-out” game and replace a controlled establishment Democrat with a controlled establishment Republican in 2016. In like manner, they replaced a controlled establishment Republican with a controlled establishment Democrat in 2008. In that race, John McCain was the sacrificial lamb. If this is the same game plan for 2016, Hillary Clinton will be the sacrificial lamb. This two party charade has been going on forever. One would think that sooner or later the American people would catch on; but they seem to never do.
Thus far, the only two Republican candidates who are outside the blessing of the global elite are Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. So, you can mark this down and take it to the bank: the Republican establishment and propaganda media will do everything in their power (which is substantial) to make sure that neither of these men obtain the nomination.
I have written preliminary reviews of both Ted Cruz and Rand Paul.
My review of Ted Cruz is here:
My review of Rand Paul is here:
Without a doubt, New World Order globalists have been active in many presidential administrations, beginning with the man who started it all: Abraham Lincoln. Of course, some administrations have been worse than others: Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, for example. But in the modern era, George H.W. Bush introduced America to the neocon agenda–complete with perpetual war and a burgeoning Police State. And every single presidential administration since Bush I (Clinton, Bush II, and Obama) has merely continued and escalated this agenda. For all intents and purposes, America has had only one continuous presidential administration since Bush I. And the globalists will do their very best to insure that this agenda continues unabated into the next presidential administration, be it Republican or Democrat.
But Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton represent the very pinnacle of the ideal globalist-controlled candidate. If you value your liberties at all, you better pray to God that neither of these people is elected President next year. As I said, anyone who would want to see a Jeb Bush vs. Hillary Clinton presidential race in 2016 has a death wish for America.
“The U.S. must show the leadership necessary to establish and protect a new order that holds the promise of convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests…..We must, however, be mindful that…Russia will remain the strongest military power in Eurasia and the only power in the world with the capability of destroying the United States.”
“For America, the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia…and America’s global primacy is directly dependent on how long and how effectively its preponderance on the Eurasian continent is sustained.”
-THE GRAND CHESSBOARD – American Primacy And It’s Geostrategic Imperatives, Zbigniew Brzezinski, page 30, Basic Books, 1997
The Laussanne negotiations between Iran and the so called P5+1 group (the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany) have nothing to do with nuclear proliferation. They are, in fact, another attempt to weaken and isolate Russia by easing sanctions, thus allowing Iranian gas to replace Russian gas in Europe. Laussanne shows that Washington still thinks that the greatest threat to its dominance is the further economic integration of Russia and Europe, a massive two-continent free trade zone from Lisbon to Vladivostok that would eventually dwarf dwindling US GDP while decisively shifting the balance of global power to Asia. To counter that threat, the Obama administration toppled the elected government of Ukraine in a violent coup, launched a speculative attack on the ruble, forced down global oil prices, and is presently arming and training neo-Nazi extremists in the Ukrainian army. Washington has done everything in its power to undermine relations between the EU and Russia risking even nuclear war in its effort to separate the natural trading partners and to strategically situate itself in a location where it can control the flow of vital resources from East to West.
Laussanne was about strategic priorities not nukes. The Obama administration realizes that if it can’t find an alternate source of gas for Europe, then its blockade of Russia will fail and the EU-Russia alliance will grow stronger. And if the EU-Russia alliance grows stronger, then US attempts to extend its tentacles into Asia and become a major player in the world’s most prosperous region will also fail leaving Washington to face a dismal future in which the steady erosion of its power and prestige is a near certainty. This is from an article titled “Removing sanctions against Iran to have unfavorable influence on Turkey and Azerbaijan”:
“If Washington removes energy sanctions on Iran…then a new geopolitical configuration will emerge in the region. Connecting with Nabucco will be enough for Iran to fully supply Europe with gas…
Iran takes the floor with inexhaustible oil and gas reserves and as a key transit country. Iran disposes of the 10% of the reported global oil reserves and is the second country in the world after Russia with its natural gas reserves (15%). The official representatives of Iran do not hide that they strive to enter the European market of oil and gas, as in the olden days. Let’s remember that the deputy Minister of Oil in Iran, Ali Majedi, offered to revive project of Nabucco pipeline during his European tour and said that his country is ready to supply gas to Europe through it…
“Some months earlier the same Ali Majedi reported sensational news: ‘two invited European delegations’ discussed the potential routes of Iranian gas supply to Europe,” the article reads.” … It is also noted that the West quite materially reacted to the possibility of the Iranian gas to join Nabucco.” (Removing sanctions against Iran to have unfavorable influence on Turkey and Azerbaijan, Panorama)
So, is this the plan, to provide “energy security” to Europe by replacing Russian gas with Iranian gas?
It sure looks like it. But that suggests that the sanctions really had nothing to do with Iran’s fictitious nuclear weapons program but were merely used to humiliate Iran while keeping as much of its oil and gas offline until western-backed multinationals could get their greasy mitts on it.
Indeed, that’s exactly how the sanctions were used even though the nuclear issue was a transparent fake from the get go. Get a load of this from the New York Times:
“Recent assessments by American spy agencies are broadly consistent with a 2007 intelligence finding that concluded that Iran had abandoned its nuclear weapons program years earlier, according to current and former American officials. The officials said that assessment was largely reaffirmed in a 2010 National Intelligence Estimate, and that it remains the consensus view of America’s 16 intelligence agencies.” (U.S. Agencies See No Move by Iran to Build a Bomb, James Risen, New York Times, February 24, 2012)
See? The entire US intelligence establishment has been saying the same thing from the onset: No Iranian nukes. Nor has Iran ever been caught diverting nuclear fuel to other purposes. Never. Also, as nuclear weapons physicist, Gordon Prather stated many times before his death, “After almost three years of go-anywhere see-anything interview-anyone inspections, IAEA inspectors have yet to find any indication that Iran has — or ever had — a nuclear weapons program.”
The inspectors were on the ground for three freaking years. They interviewed everyone and went wherever they wanted. They searched every cave and hideaway, every nook and cranny, and they found nothing.
Get it? No nukes, not now, not ever. Period.
The case against Iran is built on propaganda, brainwashing and bullshit, in that order. But, still, that doesn’t tell us why the US is suddenly changing course. For that, we turn to an article from The Brookings Institute titled “Why the details of the Iran deal don’t matter” which sums it up quite well. Here’s a clip:
“At heart, this is a fight over what to do about Iran’s challenge to U.S. leadership in the Middle East and the threat that Iranian geopolitical ambitions pose to U.S. allies, particularly Israel and Saudi Arabia. Proponents of the deal believe that the best way for the United States to deal with the Iranian regional challenge is to seek to integrate Iran into the regional order, even while remaining wary of its ambitions. A nuclear deal is an important first step in that regard, but its details matter little because the ultimate goal is to change Iranian intentions rather destroy Iranian capability.” (Why the details of the Iran deal don’t matter, Brookings)
Notice how carefully the author avoids mentioning Israel by name although he alludes to “the threat that Iranian geopolitical ambitions pose to U.S. allies”. Does he think he’s talking to idiots?
But his point is well taken; the real issue is not “Iranian capability”, but “Iran’s challenge to U.S. leadership in the Middle East”. In other words, the nuclear issue is baloney. What Washington doesn’t like is that Iran has an independent foreign policy that conflicts with the US goal of controlling the Middle East. That’s what’s really going on. Washington wants a compliant Iran that clicks its heals and does what its told.
The problem is, the strategy hasn’t worked and now the US is embroiled in a confrontation with Moscow that is a higher priority than the Middle East project. (The split between US elites on this matter has been interesting to watch, with the Obama-Brzezinski crowd on one side and the McCain-neocon crowd on the other.) This is why the author thinks that easing sanctions and integrating Iran into the predominantly US system would be the preferable remedy for at least the short term.
Repeat: “The best way for the United States to deal with the Iranian regional challenge is to integrate Iran into the regional order.” In other words, if you can’t beat ‘em, then join ‘em. Iran is going to be given enough freedom to fulfill its role within the imperial order, that is, to provide gas to Europe in order to inflict more economic pain on Russia. Isn’t that what’s going on?
But what effect will that have on Iran-Russia relations? Will it poison the well and turn one ally against the other?
Probably not, mainly because the ties between Iran and Russia are growing stronger by the day. Check this out from the Unz Review by Philip Giraldi:
“Moscow and Tehran are moving towards a de-facto strategic partnership, which can be easily seen by the two groundbreaking announcements from earlier this week. It’s now been confirmed by the Russian government that the rumored oil-for-goods program between Russia and Iran is actually a real policy that’s already been implemented, showing that Moscow has wasted no time in trying to court the Iranian market after the proto-deal was agreed to a week earlier. Providing goods in exchange for resources is a strategic decision that creates valuable return customers in Iran, who will then be in need of maintenance and spare parts for their products. It’s also a sign of deep friendship between the two Caspian neighbors and sets the groundwork for the tentative North-South economic corridor between Russia and India via Iran.” (A Shifting Narrative on Iran, Unz Review)
But here’s the glitch: Iran can’t just turn on the spigot and start pumping gas to Europe. It doesn’t work that way. It’s going to take massive pipeline and infrastructure upgrades that could take years to develop. That means there will be plenty of hefty contracts awarded to friends of Tehran –mostly Russian and Chinese–who will perform their tasks without interfering in domestic politics. Check this out from Pepe Escobar:
“Russia and China are deeply committed to integrating Iran into their Eurasian vision. Iran may finally be admitted as a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) at the upcoming summer summit in Russia. That implies a full-fledged security/commercial/political partnership involving Russia, China, Iran and most Central Asian ’stans’.
Iran is already a founding member of the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB); that means financing for an array of New Silk Road-related projects bound to benefit the Iranian economy. AIIB funding will certainly merge with loans and other assistance for infrastructure development related to the Chinese-established Silk Road Fund…” (Russia, China, Iran: In sync, Pepe Escobar, Russia Today)
Get the picture? Eurasian integration is already done-deal and there’s nothing the US can do to stop it.
Washington needs to rethink its approach. Stop the meddling and antagonism, rebuild relations through trade and mutual trust, and accept the inevitability of imperial decline.
Asia’s star is rising just as America’s is setting. Deal with it.
Be careful of what you wish for…
Despite appearing to have a few slightly-differing opinions on just a handful of petty foreign-policy details such as how many meaningless negotiation-bones they should throw at Iran, or how many meaningless knock-off hand-slappings they should throw at Zionist neo-colonials, the routinely cooperative, agreeable and in-sync actual actions of President Obama, Congress, Wall Street and War Street clearly speak for themselves.
Judging by their actions alone, we can immediately tell that Obama, Congress, Wall Street and War Street are clearly in strong, almost-total agreement regarding their basic foreign-policy vision for America. Hey, goodie for them.
However, unfortunately for the rest of us Americans who are actually having to pay for these actions, Obama & Company’s strong vision for America also includes doing everything that they possibly can to start World War III. Ouch!
When it comes to his domestic policy, President Obama has occasionally actually tried to be helpful to his fellow Americans — as compared to John McCain’s domestic policy, for instance. Had McCain been elected in 2008 instead of Obama, he would have tried to financially eviscerate almost every single American in our middle class — if said evisceration would have given even just one more penny of our tax dollars to Wall Street and War Street instead of to us.
However, compared to Obama & Company’s current (both overt and covert) foreign policies, McCain’s 2008 foreign-policy platform appears to have been almost a walk in the park.
Right now, Obama & Company’s actual, action-based foreign policies seem to include:
- Supporting anyone and everyone who can create chaos in the Middle East — including but not limited to Israel, the Saudis and even ISIS and Al Qaeda.
- Hitting the BRICS (especially Russia and China) every chance they can get — including spinning outright lies, spreading false propaganda, using false flags, supplying massive amounts of weaponry to the neo-Nazis in Ukraine and even shooting down civilian aircraft.
- Supporting almost every single despot in the world today and alienating almost every single non-despotic government and/or democratically-elected in the Middle East, South America, Africa and the EU too.
- Preemptive nuclear strikes? Those don’t seem to be off the table at all. Those boys in DC and NATO have been reading far too much Herman Kahn!
But none of these things are cool things to do and all of them can rapidly lead to circumstances far beyond Obama & Company’s (and our) control — up to and including World War III, to be fought both abroad and at home!
Not since 1864 has America known war on its shores. Except for 9-11, the occasional violent suppression of civil rights marches and a few gun battles here and there involving bad guys and/or police, it’s been pretty calm around here for the last one hundred years.
If Obama & Company keeps on pushing their current foreign-policy agendas as hard in the future as they are doing right now in Syria, Ukraine, Yemen, Palestine, Afghanistan, Mexico, Honduras, Africa, Iraq, etc., and rattling their sabres like they were McCain, GWB and Dick Cheney combined, then we may start to know war on our own native soil a whole lot better than we would ever want to.
But perhaps at this point you might be asking yourself, “What is the problem with you, Jane? First, there’s never going to be another war here in America. And, second, even if the denizens of War Street do make a huge profit and even if 50% of American children do go without schools or shoes as a result, won’t it all still be worth it — to see America continue to be the world’s top dog?”
You just keep on telling yourself that — but only if you don’t really mind butchering a few million (or billion) innocent women and children (and subsequently rot in Hell) to get to the top.
Plus not only do we now have to worry about military wars coming to our shores, apparently we now have to worry about economic wars arriving here too! My friend Judy just e-mailed me a whole laundry-list of stuff that is also wrong with Obama & Company’s foreign-policy vision — from a financial perspective. Here is just one small item on that list:
“I myself believe,” wrote Judy, “that the new multinational corporations don’t care about the US any more than they care about any other country. They have proved again and again to us that, for them, it is always and only about making money. And, bearing that reality in mind, consider that on the one hand China’s new banking initiatives could shut down the US empire if or when — and I would say when — the balance of resources shifts away from the dollar. That is what a lot of these military attacks on Russia and China have been about. But on the other hand, however, most likely it will be no problem at all for the multinationals to pivot their markets and financial bases to Asia — leaving America financially high and dry.”
But with the above-described humungous financial calamity also lapping at our shores, it probably won’t even matter whether America wins World War III — or not.
America’s current domestic and foreign policies clearly suck eggs. But why? Because these policies far-too-closely resemble my own definition of fascism/corporatism/ despotism, which is: “Instead of a country spending its government’s money to better the lives of all of its citizens equally, said government’s money is only poured into the coffers of an ‘elite’ few.”
And speaking of false flags, here are the five signs to look for:
- Horrific images are over-used to shock the public
- Drills for a similar attack appear on the same day in the same area.
- Eyewitness accounts do not match the official story
- Conflicting evidence is not repeated by the media
- Used as an excuse to curtail rights or to start a war
And while we’re still on the subject of false flags, excuse me for stating the obvious here — but with so many false flags in the American spy-craft industry having come to light again and again recently, how come 9-11 alone has become the sacrosanct hands-off Lady Madonna that can never ever be properly investigated or even mentioned in the same breath as the words “false” and “flag”?
Also with regard to false flags, let us now paraphrase philosopher Harry G. Frankfurt. “How can we ever truly gauge what dangers we are in — if we are lied to about their existence, their causes and their effects?” For this reason alone, truth is vital to every society — and history has demonstrated again and again that societies based on lies are basically doomed.
How can we Americans use good judgment in order to keep ourselves safe when we are constantly bombarded with lies about Iraq, Syria, Ebola, voting-machine data, Ukraine, weapons lobbies, our post offices, Big Pharma, GMO crops, net neutrality, nuclear safety, what really happened in Palestine, that banks are too big to fail, that Jesus hated poor people — and goodness knows what all else! We can’t even get a clear story about whether or not there is still gold in Fort Knox. And the New York Times, our most vital “newspaper of record,” is constantly getting caught out for their lies.
According to Frankfurt, unless we can reinvent ourselves as a more truthful society ASAP, then we are doomed.
“The interventions of US imperialism, with the direct collaboration of the Saudi monarchy, have plunged the entire Middle East into chaos and bloodshed—from the destruction of Iraq, to the transformation of Libya into a militia-ravaged “failed state,” to the ongoing carnage inflicted upon Syria … This predatory imperialist offensive threatens to ignite a region-wide conflagration, even as Washington deliberately ratchets up military tensions with both Russia and China. The threat of these separate conflicts coalescing into a third world war grows by the day.”
— Bill Van Auken, Obama’s criminal war against Yemen, WSWS
“Will the reactionary rulers of Saudi Arabia manage to break the legitimate hopes and enthusiastic dreams burning in the hearts of thousands of young people of the Arabian Peninsula? Never!”
— Gamal Abd al-Nasser, President of Egypt 1956 to 1970
In its ongoing effort to prevent the rise of “any popularly supported government in the region”, the US has joined Saudi Arabia’s savage war of annihilation against Yemen’s northern tribal rebels, the Houthis. The Pentagon has expedited the delivery of bombs, ammunition and guidance systems to assist the Saudi-led campaign and is providing logistical support to maximize the impact of its bombing raids. The US has also set up a “joint fusion center”, provided “aerial re-fueling platforms” and “advanced US-made weaponry” with the explicit intention of suppressing a militant group that overthrew the US-backed puppet government in the capital of Sanaa in the fall of 2014. The level of coordination between the makeshift Arab coalition (The Gulf Cooperation Council or GCC) and the US suggests that Washington is not only fully aware that food depots, water facilities, refugee camps and critical civilian infrastructure are being deliberately targeted and destroyed, but that the White House has given the green light to actions that will inevitably lead to widespread famine and social collapse. Here’s a little background from an article in The National:
“Yemen Economic Corporation, one of Yemen’s largest food storage centres, was destroyed by three coalition missile strikes in Hodeidah last Tuesday, according to the Houthi-controlled defence ministry. The corporation had enough food for the entire country. The government’s military food storage centre in Hodeidah was also targeted and destroyed on Tuesday, according to the defence ministry.
Also in Hodeidah, country’s second largest dairy plant was hit by five Saudi missiles on Wednesday, killing at least 29 people, mostly employees, and injuring dozens of others.” (Yemeni civilians struggle to get by amid conflict, The National)
This is from Channel News Asia:
DUBAI: Warships from the Saudi-led coalition have blocked a vessel carrying more than 47,000 tonnes of wheat from entering a Yemeni port, demanding United Nations guarantees that the cargo would not go to military personnel, shipping sources said on Thursday.” (Saudi-led coalition bars wheat ship from entering Yemen port – sources, Channel News Asia)
This is from WSWS:
“Airstrikes as well as fighting on the ground has knocked out electrical infrastructure, cutting off power in many urban areas and stopping the operation of crucial pumps that supply Yemen’s cities with drinking water. “We’re worried that this system will break down shortly; Aden is a dry, hot place, and without water people will really suffer,” UNICEF representative Harneis told reporters…
The no-fly zone and blockade enforced by Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners has effectively blocked the delivery of medical aid and supplies for the last two weeks, exacerbating the developing crisis.” WSWS
Live reports on the ground confirm that food depots have been bombed across the country; ” in Asr (west) hit as well as Urdhi complex (center) & Noqum (east).
This is how America fights its wars, by precipitating massive humanitarian crises that help it to achieve its political objectives. If that isn’t terrorism, then what is?
Here’s more from the Washington Post:
“As tons of desperately needed medical supplies await clearance to be flown into Yemen, aid workers warned Tuesday of an unfolding humanitarian crisis, saying at least 560 people, including dozens of children, have been killed, mostly in a Saudi-led air campaign and battles between Shiite rebels and forces loyal to the embattled president. More than 1,700 people have been wounded and another 100,000 have fled their homes as fighting intensified over the past three weeks, the World Health Organization said.” (560 dead amid fears of humanitarian collapse in Yemen, Washington Post)
The Saudis launched this latest aggression invoking the thinnest of pretexts, that it wanted to “restore the legitimate government” and protect the “Yemeni constitution and elections.” As CNN’s Ali Alahmed sardonically quipped:
“The need to protect constitutions and elections is a rather strange message from the representative of an absolute monarchy … The kingdom’s real motives seem clear if one looks at Saudi monarchy’s history of not allowing regional competition of any kind, while consistently combating efforts to build democratic governments that empower the people…
The Saudi goal is simple: Prevent the rise of any popularly supported government in the region that seeks self-determination. And the excuse of “resisting Iran’s influence,” meanwhile, appears to be nothing but sectarian bluster.” (What Saudi Arabia wants in Yemen, CNN)
While we agree with Alahmed’s basic thesis, we think the rule applies more to the United States than Saudi Arabia. After all, it’s the US that has gone from one country to the next, toppling governments, installing puppets, and spreading anarchy wherever it goes. Whatever role the Saudis might have played in Washington’s grand plan to redraw the map of the Middle East and project US tentacles into Eurasia, it is quite small by comparison. It’s the US that refuses to allow an independent government to emerge in a region that it’s committed to control. And it’s the US that is facilitating the attacks on innocent Yemenis by providing the bombs, weaponry and logistical support to the reactionary Saudi leadership. Check this out from Gregory Johnson at Buzzfeed:
“A consensus appears to be building in Riyadh, Cairo, and Islamabad toward inserting ground troops into the conflict in Yemen. One Egyptian military official told BuzzFeed News the decision had already been made. “Ground forces will enter the war,” the official said on condition of anonymity in order to discuss classified military operations.
The timing of such a move, which would be a significant escalation in the Saudi-led air campaign in Yemen, is still being discussed. But the Egyptian military source said it could happen as soon as “two or three days.” (Ground Forces Seen Joining Bloody War In Yemen, Buzzfeed)
So after two weeks of nonstop bombing, the coalition is now planning to intensify the conflict by putting boots on the ground. But that will only prolong the hostilities and plunge the country deeper into crisis. It will also increase the risk of Houthi retaliation, which appears to already be taking place. According to Al Arabiya English, fighting broke out in the Southern Saudi city of Narjan on April 11. (#BREAKING Asiri: Houthi militias are amassing close to the Saudi-Yemeni border… #BREAKING: Asiri: clashes reported near the Saudi city of Najran)
While no one expects the Houthis to invade their northern neighbor, there are some analysts who think the monarchy has taken on more than it can chew and will eventually suffer blowback from its incursion. One such critic is Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, Secretary General of the Lebanese paramilitary organization Hezbollah. In a recent interview, Nasrallah suggested that the Houthis have the means to curtail vital energy supplies, strike a blow against Saudi Arabia, and send financial markets tumbling at the same time. Here’s an excerpt from the interview:
“There is now a demand on the Yemeni leaders… who have not taken the decision to close (the strategic Strait) of Bab al-Mandeb, which they could do at any time. (It is only 20 kilometres-large, they are quite capable of it.) And they could also hit targets inside Saudi Arabia with missiles, or even enter the interior of Saudi Arabia, although they have not yet made this decision, so far … There is currently a Yemeni popular demand: “Let us go to Saudi Arabia.” Leadership thus far has not taken such a decision. I wanted to indicate this.”…
Nasrallah again: “I am absolutely certain that Saudi Arabia will undergo a major defeat. And its defeat will impact its internal situation, the royal family … and the entire region.” (“Hassan Nasrallah: The war in Yemen announces the end of the House of Saud”, The Vineyard of the Saker)
So the Houthis could close the Bab Al Mandeb straits and prevent millions of barrels of oil from getting to market? That changes the calculus entirely. How would that effect Washington’s plan to crash Russia’s economy with plunging oil prices? How would it impact global stock markets which are already jittery over the Fed’s projected rate hikes? What effect would it have on al Nusra, ISIS and other Al Qaeda-linked groups that would then seek to launch similar attacks against critical energy infrastructure as the best way to achieve their aims?
There are things the Houthis can do to discourage Saudi aggression. They can take matters into their own hands and strike where it hurts most. Washington is so convinced of its own invincibility, that no one has even thought of this. Without the slightest hesitation, the Obama troupe has embroiled a key ally in bloody conflagration that could backfire and seriously undermine US interests in the region. Saudi Arabia is the cornerstone of US power in the Middle East, but it is also its Achilles heel. By supporting the attack on the Houthis instead of seeking a political solution, Washington has strengthened Al Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) which poses the greatest single threat to the monarchy. As Nasrallah notes: “they (the US and SA) protect Al Qaeda and Daesh in Yemen, and more, they drop them weapons by air. This is an achievement? This goes against the interests of Saudi Arabia.”
Indeed, it does. Al Qaeda has much greater ability to infiltrate Saudi Arabia and either launch terrorist attacks or foment popular revolution. The Houthis present no such security threat, they’re only interest is to maintain their own sovereignty, borders, and independent foreign policy. A 2003 article in the Atlantic by CIA Bureau Chief Robert Baer titled “The Fall of the House of Saud” provides a window into Riyadh’s vulnerabilities and draws the ominous conclusion that the kingdom’s days are numbered. Here’s a clip from the article:
“Saudi oil is controlled by an increasingly bankrupt, criminal, dysfunctional, and out-of-touch royal family that is hated by the people it rules and by the nations that surround its kingdom…
Signs of impending disaster are everywhere, but the House of Saud has chosen to pray that the moment of reckoning will not come soon—and the United States has chosen to look away. So nothing changes: the royal family continues to exhaust the Saudi treasury, buying more and more arms and funneling more and more “charity” money to the jihadists, all in a desperate and self-destructive effort to protect itself.
The most vulnerable point and the most spectacular target in the Saudi oil system is the Abqaiq complex—the world’s largest oil-processing facility, which sits about twenty-four miles inland from the northern end of the Gulf of Bahrain. All petroleum originating in the south is pumped to Abqaiq for processing. For the first two months after a moderate to severe attack on Abqaiq, production there would slow from an average of 6.8 million barrels a day to one million barrels, a loss equivalent to one third of America’s daily consumption of crude oil. For seven months following the attack, daily production would remain as much as four million barrels below normal—a reduction roughly equal to what all of the opec partners were able to effect during their 1973 embargo…
I served for twenty-one years with the CIA’s Directorate of Operations in the Middle East, and during all my years there I accepted on faith my government’s easy assumption that the money the House of Saud was dumping into weaponry and national security meant that the family’s armed forces and bodyguards could keep its members—and their oil—safe … I no longer believe this … sometime soon, one way or another, the House of Saud is coming down.” (The Fall of the House of Saud, Robert Baer, The Atlantic)
Neither the United States nor Saudi Arabia have any right to interfere in Yemen’s internal affairs or to install their own political puppets to head the government. That is the right of the Yemeni people. And while the current process of regime change might be messy and violent, the Houthi rebels better represent the interests of the indigenous population than anyone in Riyadh or Washington. The Saudi-US war is merely aimed at controlling the outcome so Yemen remains within the imperial grip. As Nasrallah says, “The real goal of the war is to retain control and domination of Yemen (but) the Yemeni people will not put up with this aggression and humiliation. They will fight to defend their dignity, their existence, their families, and their territory. And they will be victorious.”
In last month’s Anti-Empire Report I brought you the latest adventure of US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki trying to defend the indefensible. She said then: “As a matter of longstanding policy, the United States does not support political transitions by non-constitutional means,” which prompted me to inform my readers: “If you know how to contact Ms. Psaki, tell her to have a look at my list of more than 50 governments the United States has attempted to overthrow since the end of the Second World War.”
On March 13 her regular attack on all things Russian included this exchange with Associated Presswriter Matthew Lee:
Lee: On this issue, did you get any more about this request to the Vietnamese on Cam Ranh Bay and not allowing the Russians to – and not wanting them to allow – you not wanting them to refuel Russian planes there?
Psaki: Well, just to be clear – and maybe I wasn’t as clear yesterday, so let me try to do this again – it’s – our concern is about activities they might conduct in the region, and the question is: Why are they in the region? It’s not about specifically refueling or telling the Vietnamese not to allow them to refuel. [emphasis added]
Lee: So there hasn’t been a request to stop refueling them, or there has?
Psaki: It’s more about concerns. It’s not as much about Vietnam as much as it – as it is about concerns about what activities they would be in the region for.
Lee: Okay. Well, you – I mean, there are U.S. planes flying over there all the time.
Psaki: Sure, there are.
Lee: So you don’t want Russian planes flying there, but it’s okay for U.S. planes to fly there? I mean, I just – it gets to the point where you – the suggestion is that everything the Russians are doing all the time everywhere is somehow nefarious and designed to provoke. But you can’t – but you don’t seem to be able to understand or accept that American planes flying all over the place, including in that area, is annoying to the Chinese, for one, but also for the Russians. But the suggestion is always that the American flights are good and beneficial and don’t cause tension, and that other people’s flights do cause tension. So can you explain what the basis is for your concern that the Russian flights there in the Southeast Asia area are – raise tensions?
Psaki: There just aren’t more details I can go into.
Cold War 2.0, part II
On Saturday, the Obama administration released a series of satellite images that it said showed the Russian army had joined the rebels in a full-scale assault to surround troops in the area around the city. Russia has denied that it is a party to the conflict, and it was impossible to verify the three grainy black-and-white satellite images posted to Twitter by the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt.
According to the United States, the images, commissioned from the private Digital Globe satellite company, showed artillery systems and multiple-rocket launchers Thursday in the area near Debaltseve.
“We are confident these are Russian military, not separatist, systems,” Pyatt tweeted. (Washington Post, February 15, 2015)
When the time comes to list the ways in which the United States gradually sunk into the quicksand, slowly metamorphosing into a Third-World state, Washington’s campaign of 2014-15 to convince the world that Russia had repeatedly invaded Ukraine will deserve to be near the top of the list. Numerous examples like the above can be given. If I were still the jingoistic nationalist I was raised to be I think I would feel somewhat embarrassed now by the blatant obviousness of it all.
For a short visual history of the decline and fall of the American Empire, see the video “Imperial Decay” by Class War Films (8:50 minutes).
During Cold War 1.0 the American media loved to poke fun at the Soviet media for failing to match the glorious standards of the Western press. One of the most common putdowns was about the two main Russian newspapers – Pravda (meaning “truth” in Russian) and Izvestia (meaning “news”). We were told, endlessly, that there was “no truth in Pravda and no news in Izvestia.”
As cynical as I’ve been for years about the American mainstream media’s treatment of ODE (Officially Designated Enemies), current news coverage of Russia exceeds my worst expectations. I’m astonished every day at the obvious disregard of any kind of objectivity or fairness concerning Russia. Perhaps the most important example of this bias is the failure to remind their audience that the US and NATO have surrounded Russia – with Washington’s coup in Ukraine as the latest example – and that Moscow, for some odd reason, feels threatened by this. (Look for the map online of NATO bases and Russia, with a caption like: “Why did you place your country in the middle of our bases?”)
Cold War 2.0, part III
Following the murder of Russian opposition leader, and former Deputy Prime Minister, Boris Nemtsov in Moscow on February 27, the West had a field day. Ranging from strong innuendo to outright accusation of murder, the Western media and politicians did not miss an opportunity to treat Vladimir Putin as a football practice dummy.
The European Parliament adopted a resolution urging an international investigation into Nemtsov’s death and suggested that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the European Council, and the United Nations could play a role in the probe.
US Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham introduced a Senate Resolution condemning the Nemtsov murder. The Resolution also called on President Obama and the international community to pursue an independent investigation into the murder and redouble efforts to advance free speech, human rights, and the rule of law in Russia. In addition, it urged Obama to continue to sanction human rights violators in the Russian Federation and to increase US support to human rights activists in Russia.
So it went … all over the West.
Meanwhile, in the same time period in Ukraine, outside of the pro-Russian area in the southeast, the following was reported:
- January 29: Former Chairman of the local government of the Kharkov region, Alexey Kolesnik, hanged himself.
- February 24: Stanislav Melnik, a member of the opposition party (Partia Regionov), shot himself.
- February 25: The Mayor of Melitopol, Sergey Valter, hanged himself a few hours before his trial.
- February 26: Alexander Bordiuga, deputy director of the Melitopol police, was found dead in his garage.
- February 26: Alexander Peklushenko, former member of the Ukrainian parliament, and former mayor of Zaporizhi, was found shot to death.
- February 28: Mikhail Chechetov, former member of parliament, member of the opposition party (Partia Regionov), “fell” from the window of his 17th floor apartment in Kiev.
- March 14: The 32-year-old prosecutor in Odessa, Sergey Melnichuk, “fell” to his death from the 9th floor.
The Partia Regionov directly accused the Ukrainian government in the deaths of their party members and appealed to the West to react to these events. “We appeal to the European Union, PACE [Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe], and European and international human rights organizations to immediately react to the situation in Ukraine, and give a legal assessment of the criminal actions of the Ukrainian government, which cynically murders its political opponents.”
We cannot conclude from the above that the Ukrainian government was responsible for all, or even any, of these deaths. But neither can we conclude that the Russian government was responsible for the death of Boris Nemtsov, the American media and politicians notwithstanding. A search of the mammoth Nexus news database found no mention of any of the Ukrainian deceased except for the last one above, Sergey Melnichuk, but this clearly is not the same person. It thus appears that none of the deaths on the above list was ascribed to the Western-allied Ukrainian government.
Where are the demands for international investigations of any of the deaths? In the United States or in Europe? Where is Senator McCain?
Torture via sanctions
Discussions on constraining Iran’s nuclear program have been going on for well over a year between Iran and the P5+1 (the five nuclear powers of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany), led by the United States. Throughout this period a significant stumbling block to reaching an agreement has been the pronouncements of Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The IAEA is the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, and its inspections are considered a key safeguard against countries using civilian nuclear energy technology to produce weapons. Amano has consistently accused Iran of failing to reply fully and substantially to queries about “possible military dimensions” of present and past nuclear activities, or failing to provide sufficient access to nuclear facilities.
Failure by Iran to comply fully with IAEA demands undermine Tehran’s efforts to win the lifting of crippling UN, US and other sanctions, which currently prohibit foreign companies from doing business with Iran and deny access to the global financial system. Media coverage of the negotiations regularly emphasize Amano’s claims of Iran’s insufficient responses to IAEA’s demands. It is thus worth inquiring just who is this man Amano.
In 2009 Japanese diplomat Yukiya Amano became the head of the IAEA. What the Western media routinely fail to remind its audience is that a US embassy cable of October 2009 (released by Wikileaks in 2010) said Amano “took pains to emphasize his support for U.S. strategic objectives for the Agency. Amano reminded the [American] ambassador on several occasions that … he was solidly in the U.S. court on every key strategic decision, from high-level personnel appointments to the handling of Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program.”
Even if Iran makes a superior effort to satisfy IAEA and Washington’s demands on all issues, it would remain questionable to what extent and how rapidly the sanctions would be removed, particularly under a Republican-controlled Congress. Iran specialist and author Gareth Porter recently wrote that “the United States and its allies have made no effort to hide the fact that they intend to maintain the ‘sanctions architecture’ in place for many years after the implementation of the agreement has begun. Last November, administration officials explained that US sanctions would only be removed after the International Atomic Energy Agency had verified that ‘Tehran is abiding by the terms of a deal over an extended period of time’ in order to ‘maintain leverage on Iran to honour the accord’.”
To appreciate the extraordinary degree of pressure and extortion the United States can impose upon another country we should consider the case of Libya in the decade-plus following the destruction of PanAm Flight 103 in 1988 over Scotland. To force Libya to “accept responsibility” for the crime, Washington imposed heavy sanctions on the Gaddafi regime, including a ban on international flights to Libya and payment of billions of dollars to the families of the victims. Libya eventually did “accept responsibility” for the crime, although it was innocent. As difficult as this may be to believe, it’s true. Read my account of it here.
Even after Libya accepted responsibility it still took years for the US to wipe out the sanctions, and it’s not clear that at the time of Gaddafi’s death in 2011 all of them had been removed. Once a nation becomes an Officially Designated Enemy of the empire the methods of torture can be exquisite and endless. Cuba is presently negotiating the end of US sanctions against Havana. They will need to be extremely careful.
“Like others of his ilk – such as David Horowitz and Christopher Hitchens – he learned too much in college and too little since.” Sam Smith
I’ve never been too impressed by what college a person went to, or even if they attended college at all. Gore Vidal did not attend any college; neither did H. L. Mencken; nor did Edward Snowden, who has demonstrated a highly articulate and educated mind. Among the many other notables who skipped a college education are George Bernard Shaw, Ernest Hemingway, and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
Then we have graduates from Ivy League colleges like George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Tom Cotton. I don’t have to present the case for Bush’s less-than educated mind; we’re all only too familiar with its beauty. But Obama has matched Georgie Boy for stupidity and inanity time and time again. My favorite, which he’s used on at least five occasions, is his reply to questions about why his administration has not prosecuted Bush, Cheney, et al for torture and other war crimes: “I prefer to look forward rather than backwards”. Picture a defendant before a judge asking to be found innocent on such grounds. It simply makes laws, law enforcement, crime, justice, and facts irrelevant. Picture Chelsea Manning and other whistle blowers using this argument. Picture the reaction to this by Barack Obama, who has become the leading persecutor of whistleblowers in American history.
Is there anyone left who still thinks that Barack Obama is some kind of improvement intellectually over George W. Bush? Probably two types still think so: (1) Those to whom color matters a lot; (2) Those who are very impressed by the ability to put together grammatically correct sentences.
And now we have Mr. Cotton, Senator from Arkansas and graduate of Harvard undergraduate and law schools. He’ll be entertaining us for years to come with gems like his remark on “Face the Nation” (March 15): “Moreover, we have to stand up to Iran’s attempts to drive for regional dominance. They already control Tehran and, increasingly, they control Damascus and Beirut and Baghdad. And now, Sana’a as well.”
Heavens, Iran controls Tehran! Who knew? Next thing we’ll hear is that Russia controls Moscow! Sarah Palin, move over. Our boy Cotton is ready for Saturday Night Live.
- Washington Post, February 15, 2015, “Amid doubts, truce in Ukraine appears to take hold”
- RT, March 12, 2015, “EU lawmakers demand international investigation into Nemtsov’s death”
- John McCain website, Press Release, “Senators John Mccain And Lindsey Graham Introduce Resolution Condemning Murder Of Russian Opposition Leader Boris Nemtsov”
- Research for this section was done by a person who was raised in the Soviet Union and now lives in the United States.
- Middle East Eye, March 27, 2015, “Sanctions and the fate of the nuclear talks”
I’ve been spending a lot of time reading books lately — and learning a lot from them too.
First I read a book by David J. Morris entitled “The Evil Hours: A Bibliography of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder” — and my main takeaway from it was this: People are more susceptible to PTSD if the way that they were traumatized involved an act of injustice.
Knowing this, it came as no surprise to me the other day when I was wandering around the buildings and grounds of that massive VA hospital complex in San Francisco and got yelled at by a young Iraq vet who obviously had PTSD. “Injustice!” he screamed. “The Iraq war was unjust? The whole freaking world is unjust!” And that’s the way this vet saw the world, post 9-11.
However, this guy looked hauntingly like he might have been a young post-Vietnam-era vet, just stepped out of a time machine from the 1960s. And there was certainly lots of injustice back in Vietnam too — wherein only the poor jerks in the Mai Lai massacre got caught while all the higher-ups such as Henry Kissinger and various weapons manufacturers just made money on that Tonkin Gulf scam.
Next I read Nicholas Carr’s book, “The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains,” all about how human beings think and how our brains’ working structures are constantly being influenced by stuff in our environment. Even learning to read has changed our brains. Even clocks did that too. And from this information, I concluded that hate changes our brains too. Jesus was right. Hate is a slippery slope.
After that, I read Steven Gore’s new murder-mystery, “Night is the Hunter”. Steven Gore’s books always keep us on the edge of our seats — and also teach us stuff about power and its ability to corrupt those who hold it as well. http://www.amazon.com/Night-
Then I read a book by murder-mystery author Chelsea Cain, who I had heard speak up in her home town of Portland last week. “Even as a child I was always on the look-out for dead bodies.” Boy, she should go off to Yemen right now — where the U.S. and the Saudis are bombing women and children there like there was no tomorrow and charred corpses of babies are just lying around like driftwood on a beach.
Cain mostly writes about serial killers. And apparently, according to Carr’s POV, serial killers’ brains can get stuck in a groove where, “If you are a hammer, all the world looks like a nail.”
“I’m also always looking for good places to dump bodies,” said Cain. And apparently the American war machine is too! She should try checking out Afghanistan or Libya or Gaza. Lots of places for mass graves there for sure.
Then I decided to take a break from books and watch some old seasons of “Survivor” on Roku. And while watching a season that had been taped in June of 2001, I noticed that all the contestants were really friendly and sweet to each other. Is that really what life was like before 9-11? Season 23 of Survivor is far more merciless and cut-throat. Or is it just that they cast more villains in the power roles?
Have Americans become so much more immune to violence these days? Have our brains simply stopped caring that over a million people in the Middle East have died directly or indirectly by our hands since 9-11? Or that for every American killed in the 9-11 tragedy, approximately 40 innocent women and children have had their bodies burned, their heads blown off or their intestines spread out all over the sidewalk by American weapons, bullets, bombs and brains? http://www.paulcraigroberts.
The internet may have changed the way that our brains now physically function, but our so-called leaders’ post-9-11 thinking has certainly changed our hearts into cold unthinking inhuman stone.
In any case, please remember just this one thing during the 2015 Easter season: Our American brains clearly have changed since September 11, 2001 — and even though Christ has risen, Americans have sunk.
American aircraft went into action against Islamic State positions in Tikrit on March 25 in direct support of a stalled Iraqi offensive. The following day General Lloyd Austin, top commander in the Middle East, told Congress that he would like his forces to protect the Syrian “moderate” rebels who are currently trained and armed by the U.S. Also this week a major new theater was opened in Yemen, where a Sunni Arab coalition started sustained air strikes against Shia rebels with Washington’s explicit support.
The alarming aspect of these new developments is that the U.S. role appears to be entirely reactive and not based on a coherent long-term strategy. The engagement in Tikrit has the obvious short-term objective of countering Iran’s growing influence in Iraq, rather than inflicting a decisive defeat on the IS.According to a report in Thursday’s New York Times, President Obama approved the airstrikes, requested by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, on the condition that Iranian-backed Shiite militias move aside to allow a larger role for Iraqi forces that have worked closely with U.S. troops. They went into action only after Qassim Suleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps who has been advising anti-IS forces around Tikrit, was reported to have left the area:
The United States has struggled to maintain influence in Iraq, even as Iran has helped direct the war on the ground against the Islamic State. But as the struggles to take Tikrit mounted, with a small band of Islamic State militants holding out against a combined Iraqi force of more than 30,000 for weeks, American officials saw a chance not only to turn the momentum against the Islamic State but to gain an edge against the Iranians.
According to a Pentagon statement issued on Wednesday, the purpose of the strikes was to hit ISIS targets and to enable “Iraqi forces under Iraqi command to continue offensive operations.” The meaning is clear when we consider General Martin Dempsey’s statement at the onset of the offensive that Iraq’s 24,000 forces included 20,000 “Iranian-trained and somewhat Iranian-equipped” [sic!] Shia militiamen. Those militiamen “pulled back” east of Tikrit once the U.S. began conducting airstrikes, General Lloyd Austin, the U.S. Central Command commander, told Congress on Thursday: “I will not – and I hope we will never – coordinate or cooperate with Shiite militias. Preconditions for us to provide support were that the Iraqi government had to be in charge of this operation. We had to know exactly who was on the ground.”
This means that Tikrit will remain under IS control, unlike the city of Amerli where the IS jihadists were driven back by a militia-led ground offensive backed by U.S. airstrikes. According to Gen. Austin, 4,000 Iraqi soldiers and police were now fighting in Tikrit. This is but a fraction of the 23,000 Shiite militia and government forces previously attacking the city. It is obvious that this force cannot complete the job, airstrikes or no airstrikes. “Never, ever coordinating or cooperating” has tangible military consequences.
The U.S. military, as of now, is willing to provide extensive air support only to those Iraqi units that have no obvious Iranian or Shia connection – even if this means that the overall numbers of combatants on the ground and their effectiveness is woefully inadequate to the task of pushing back the battle-hardened IS veterans. Even if Tikrit eventually falls to the small “Iraqi government-commanded” force – an unlikely proposition – the far more important city of Mosul, 140 miles further north, will remain safely under IS control for many months to come. This is exactly what “Caliph” al-Baghdadi wants.
This is no way to fight a battle, let alone a war. Iraq is a sectarian mayhem in which the U.S. should not intervene yet again. It threatens to become but another example of improvised, ad-hoc American involvement in pursuit of unattainable political objectives – such as a “substantial Sunni component” in the Iraqi army – or the exclusion of Iran’s influence from Baghdad which has been made possible by George W. Bush’s war.
General Austin’s statement that he would like his forces to protect the Syrian “moderate” rebels is no less incongruous. Protected from whom, exactly? Most of them want to fight Bashar al-Assad, rather than the IS. “Protecting” them means putting American boots on the Syrian ground in support of an utterly unreliable and untested force in a Hobbesian nightmare, with the possibility that the U.S. gets directly involved against the only army in the region able and willing to fight the IS. Again, this is just what al-Baghdadi would like to happen.
Sadly, Orientalism has not yet run its course. On the contrary, it has assumed different forms and has gained momentum in recent years.
No doubt, this love child of Imperialism which has helped create an inconceivable chasm between the East and the West has naturally done away with any possibly constructive interfaith and intercultural interaction in the world.
In fact, the emergence of extremist groups such as Daesh or ISIL in the name of Islam is a byproduct of this systematic effort by the West. By way of cementing its misrepresentation of the East in general and Islam in particular, Imperialism proceeds with its long-pursued agenda of creating stereotypes in the world and portraying the easterners as ‘despotic and clannish’ when they are placed in positions of power and conniving and sycophantic when in subservient positions. No wonder, extremism is generously funded and promoted by the West.
Lending an absurd quality of strangeness to the easterners, Imperialism generally depicts women as the beleaguered class and the dissidents as victims of the most monstrous forms of human rights violations while it itself masquerades as champion of truth and freedom.
As Edward Said encapsulates this notion in his seminal work Orientalism (1978), this attitude reflects a political vision of reality whose structure promotes the difference between the familiar (Europe, West, us) and the strange (the Orient, the East, “them”).
Thus, demonizing and otherizing the easterners serve as effective tools in the hands of Imperialism. After all, the ulterior motive behind Orientalism is the intellectual colonization of public opinion on the one hand and on the other, a ravenous desire to seek a safety-valve to the colonization of the natural resources of a certain country.
To Demonize or not to Demonize; that is the Question
Demonizing operates on two levels: they demonize you because they simply wish to colonize you; 2. they demonize you because they dread your increasing power, i.e. they are afraid of your emerging power which they fear to confront or/and which they find impossible to subjugate.
As part of this pernicious practice, Islamophobia can be defined as any concerted effort to demonize the glorious faith as monolithically bad, to consequently fabricate a fear of it and all that is considered Islamic and to ultimately dispel the mounting spread of the faith in the world.
In a similar vein, Iranophobia can be viewed as an extension of the demonization process by the West and as a new form of neo-Orientalism.
The new harbingers of neo-Orientalism sometimes infiltrate the Muslim communities under the guise of scholars, philosophers and intellectuals. Some of them are either well paid by Imperialism or they may be following their own fiendish agenda which may spring from their inveterate fear of or loathing to the Muslims or the easterners.
In modern times, these self-styled intellectuals infiltrate the eastern communities through modern means such as seminars, conferences and symposiums in order to avail themselves of a double pleasure, that is, to visit the country and subsequently deliver a ‘believably’ twisted account of their observations in the first place and to quench their voyeuristic quest for adventurism for the Orient which has long been on their wish list in the second.
Something Wicked this Way Comes
In November 2014, Harvard scholar Stephen Greenblatt readily accepted an offer to serve as the keynote speaker to the First International Shakespeare Conference in Iran at the University of Tehran without asking for any honorarium or travel costs as is the wont especially for someone of his fame and in view of his “busy schedule”.
“In April 2014 I received a letter from the University of Tehran, inviting me to deliver the keynote address to the first Iranian Shakespeare Congress.”
This came rather as a big surprise to one of the organizers who initially broke the matter to him as a shot in the dark, for his earlier efforts to invite other celebrated scholars to lecture at the Shakespeare Conference had failed like water off a duck’s back due to the lack of financial support.
So, Greenblatt was more than available and he was a well-known scholar in the field to boot. Besides, he had made some name in New Historicism School which made him even a far better candidate for the job. Given that, the organizers took the bait and decided to go on with necessary arrangements without thinking even for a moment that the Harvard scholar might be pursuing other than anything academic. Parenthetically, the professor had in his first email expressed his insatiable passion to visit the land of his dreams and how he was fascinated as a child by the photos he had seen of Isfahan and Persepolis.
That was how he had shrewdly obliterated any room for mistrust. Of course, once by way of dismissing any gaping suspicion, he had briefly asked who would pay for him or if any of his costs would be covered by the conference only after all arrangements had been made. And he secretly gloated over his easy triumph in outsmarting the organizers.
Eventually the promised day arrived and he deplaned at one in the morning at Imam Khomeini International Airport while the first organizer against whom he later spewed out his spiteful diatribe in an unmanly essay received him warmly at the airport.
“And there, waiting for me when I deplaned at 1:00 AM, was none other than the author of the articles denouncing the secret Zionist investors who controlled the world. He was smiling, gregarious, urbane.”
Eventually, the next morning, Greenblatt delivered a rather incoherent keynote speech at the conference as though he had not even spent a reasonable amount of time in preparing himself to deliver a decent lecture and later paid a two-day luxury visit to Isfahan and Shiraz to fulfill his dreams which inflicted an exorbitant cost on the University of Tehran.
Once back home, Greenblatt declined to convey even a word of gratitude to the first organizer who had spent two sleepless nights because of him through email or through any means of communication hitherto invented by human beings. That was extremely odd especially for a man who made a display of etiquette and gentlemanly manners to be so precociously unappreciative.
Et tu, Brute?
A few weeks later, the professor wrote an essay titled ‘Shakespeare in Tehran’ in the New York Review of Books and made a relentless attack on the first organizer and censured him to extremity, exhausting all his linguistic competence to this end. Unlike the established code of conduct by critics, Greenblatt numerously quoted him out of context from the different articles he had written in condemnation of Israeli atrocities. In the attitude of traditional Orientalists, he had cherry-picked some anti-Zionist rhetoric which seemed to have enormously pained the professor.
To everyone’s chagrin, Greenblatt implicitly voiced his support for Israel and Zionism.
“Did my prospective host—someone who had presumably grappled with the humane complexity of Shakespeare’s tragedies—actually believe these fantasies reminiscent of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion? A simple check online showed me that one of the scholars who signed my letter of invitation had written, in addition to essays on “The Contradictory Nature of the Ghost in Hamlet” and “The Aesthetic Response: The Reader in Macbeth,” many articles about the “gory diabolical adventurism” of international Zionism. “The tentacles of Zionist imperialism,” he wrote, “are by slow gradation spread over [the world].” “A precocious smile of satisfaction breaks upon the ugly face of Zionism.” “The Zionist labyrinthine corridors are so numerous that their footprints and their agents are scattered everywhere.”
Of course, that was the beginning of Greenblatt’s invasion on the organizer’s personality which can be interpreted as an egregious instance of character assassination.
There was a time when I transiently presumed that the age of stereotyping and otherizing is over but unfortunately, Greenblatt’s essay proves that the Orientalist viewpoint still prevails, that there is a cosmic gap between the West and the East and that this trend of stereotyping is painfully promoted by some western scholars.
One May Smile, and Smile, and be a Villain
Now it tragically transpired to everyone that the scholar who seemed so politically naïve, never expressed a political word and persistently presented himself as an agreeably smiling man with intellectual resources suddenly proved to a be a covert pro-Zionist who may even garner a medal of honor from Mr. Netanyahu.
Unfortunately, his superficial account did not end here.
Apparently overwhelmed by paranoid fear and ‘New Historical’ conspiracy theories, he saw himself surrounded by spies and intelligence agents at the faculty site.
“I also noticed among the men a few who stood apart and did not seem to be either students or faculty. It was not difficult to imagine who these might be.”
At the dinner table, when I asked him about Shakespeare’s anti-Semiticism (without consciously trying to hurt his delicacy as he was a Jew; besides, Greenblatt seemed affable and somehow likeable), he felt extremely agitated, saying that “Shakespeare was just curious about the Jews.” It was then when I came to understand the multilayered meanings of curiosity which was until then to me a naked word.
However, another instance of Greenblatt’s brazenly distorted representation of Iran is about Bagh-e Fin in Kashan:
“I wanted to see the late-sixteenth-century Baghe Fin, one of the walled enclosures that in old Persian were called “paradises.” (Other English borrowings from Persian include the words peach, lemon, and orange, along with cummerbund, kaftan, and pajama.)”
Here, the professor ridicules this paradise which was to him “a relatively small, dusty, square garden with very old cedar trees lined up in rows along very straight paths. A twinge of disappointment is built into the fulfillment of any desire that has been deferred for too long, so it is not surprising that my experience of paradise, in the form of the Bagh-e Fin, was a slight letdown.”
To deliver Greenblatt from his cocoon of ignorance as to the wonders of Iran, it should be noted that Bagh-e Fin is a garden in the midst of the desert. Iranians are noted and praised for their exceptional talent in building paradisal gardens in the heart of the desert such as Bagh-e Fin in Kashan and Bagh-e Shazd-e in Kerman.
But how can a man evidently endowed with critical intelligence fail to understand this simple fact?
What, Can the Devil Speak True?
In his depiction of Iran, Greenblatt is judgmentally biased and even before coming to the country, he had carried with him his baggage of pride and prejudice but what he observed in Iran fiercely challenged his entrenched expectations and dealt a heavy blow to his hidebound beliefs as well as to the hatred he had so keenly harbored in his heart in years about the Islamic Republic of Iran.
To his bewilderment just before him stood women and men who spoke courageously, intelligently, and boldly. Before his very eyes, he beheld women and men whom he had surreptitiously denigrated.
“… and there began a question period, a flood of inquiries and challenges stretching out for the better part of another hour. Most of the questions were from students, the majority of them women, whose boldness, critical intelligence, and articulateness startled me.”
But now his eyes reeled and his head swam when he found himself incapacitated to imbibe all that grandeur of a great nation where he had come with an agenda pushed under his arm by the Zionists before coming to Iran. In fact, the illusion of ‘American Exceptionalism’ which was clearly discernible in his condescending attitude towards the Iranian scholars and students as well as the conference organizers was shattered to smithereens.
That is how the scholar’s neo-Orientalist mission failed altogether. There are serious responses to his illogical and biased essay in Iran and abroad. Even Iranian runaway malcontents like Hamid Dabashi have blasted him for his essay.
The similitude of Greenblatt is as the similitude of a non-practicing scholar whom the Persian poet Sa’di compares to “a bee without honey. Tell that harsh and ungenerous hornet/As thou yield no honey, wound not with thy sting.”
The Rest Is Silence
In Literary Theory Course for PhD program which I am teaching this semester, my students vehemently refused to cover any of Greenblatt’s theories, insisting that I skip him as a critic in our course which I welcomed as I perceived their wounded pride and their monumental mistrust of New Historical theories and other lies represented by Greenblatt.
This commendable display of resilience and patriotism on the part of Iranian students evinced an unbreakable bond between them and their country as well as an overpowering repugnance to the enemies of Iran and those who wish to tarnish the image of the nation.
I can’t say for sure if I for one regard any respect for Stephen Greenblatt as a scholar not because he has made craven efforts to assassinate my character in his cabalistically dictated essay but because he has unforgivably insulted my nation. As William Shakespeare rightly put it, “To be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man picked out of ten thousand.”