Damascus – It is Winter Solstice in the Levant. This is the day which astronomically marks the reversal of the gradual lengthening of nights and shortening of days—a day which, since ancient times, has been celebrated with festivals, gatherings, rituals, feasting, singing, dancing and bonfires. Historically it has been viewed as a significant annual event because communities were not certain of living through the winter and had to prepare during the previous nine months for dramatic rises in starvation, communicable diseases, and infant deaths due to hypothermia. For this reason, and because such deaths were particularly common, the first months of winter became known as “the famine months” in the northern hemisphere.
Preparing for a tough next few months is what the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is doing these days, and the UN specialized agency is working in the face of daunting odds. UNWRA was founded in 1949, and for more than 60 years it has been plagued by harassments, intimidation, and countless conspiracies to close it down, efforts waged by the international Zionist lobby and designed to “put it out of its misery” as Prime Minister Netanyahu recently demanded from the US Congress.
UNRWA has a regional headquarters in Beirut, opposite the Shatila Camp, and one in Damascus, on Mezzah Boulevard, where this observer is a regular visitor these days and where talk often inevitably centers upon the grim link between the Syrian crisis and the conditions of over half a million Palestinian refugees living in 57 UNRWA camps. Other major concerns for UNRWA are the nearly one million Syrian refugees fleeing the civil war, as well as the more than one million refugees in Gaza suffering from climatic conditions exacerbated by the brutal Zionist occupation of Palestine.
The UNRWA Syria Regional Crisis Response Plan for 2014, published this week, sets out the agency’s hoped-for projects to strengthen the resilience of Palestine refugees, and to help them weather the current dangers of frigid temperatures and lack of heat and sanitation. This winter solstice the outlook for Palestine refugees from Syria is increasingly bleak in Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt, as communities, livelihoods, assets and support networks, painstakingly built over decades, are being destroyed.
Displacement among Palestinians is proportionally much higher than that of Syrians, and the threats to safe refuge in Syria, combined with severely restricted options for flight, has confronted Palestine refugees with unprecedented challenges. UNRWA emergency assistance is normally delivered as part of its well-established programs in health, education, community development, microfinance, relief, youth training and employment. Delivered by Palestinian staff, this support is a critical cornerstone, fostering resilience and continuity for both communities and families, in the face of growing hardship. Of the 540,000 Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA in Syria, about 270,000 are displaced within the country, and an estimated 85,000 have fled. Fifty-one thousand of these have reached Lebanon, 11,000 have identified themselves in Jordan, 5,000 are in Egypt, and smaller numbers have reached Gaza, Turkey and farther afield. Those who have managed to land in Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt face risky legal limbos compounded with living conditions so difficult that many decide to return to the dangers of Syria.
Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by expanding need, deepening poverty, and the growing numbers of registered refugees. As a result, the agency’s general fund, which supports UNRWA’s core activities and is 97 percent reliant on voluntary contributions, begins each year with a large projected deficit. UNRWA officials cite an immediate need for US$417.4 million to respond adequately to the needs of Palestinian refugees in Syria; US$90.4 million for those in Lebanon; and US$14.6 for the ones in Jordan. An additional US$2.4 million is required for emergency response needs outside the purview of the UNRWA’s field offices, including token cash assistance for Palestinian families from Syria in Gaza.
Winter storm Alexa, the fiercest storm to hit Gaza and the West Bank in over 100 years, is still wreaking havoc and bringing misery to thousands. As of 12/19/13, some 40,000 people in Gaza have been driven from their homes due to extreme flooding. The situation has been exacerbated by the fuel crisis that has left people without power for up to 21 hours a day and forced raw sewage to flow through the streets. People’s lives and health are at grave risk. Gaza’s Hamas government said 4,306 in all had been evacuated to schools and other centers used as makeshift shelters in the past four days. The strip’s 1.8 million people, trying to survive in one of the most densely populated tracts on earth, have also endured blackouts of around 12 hours a day since the lone power plant was switched off last month due to a fuel shortage. The territory lacks much basic civil infrastructure and lives under an Egyptian-Israeli blockade curbing imports of fuel, building supplies and basic goods. Moreover, reports from UNRWA staff indicate that conditions are worsening due to severe Israeli restrictions on the camps. For instance, emergency responders cannot reconnect power lines downed due to the heavy snow, and the populace has little access to basic necessities such as running water. The crisis is deepening, and the problems are similar in virtually all of the vulnerable refugee camps. People face severe power outages, while some in the West Bank also face systematic attacks by the Israeli army.
Other problems weighing heavily on UNWRA include strikes and threats of strikes by UNWRA employees protesting claimed low wages. Dismay has also been expressed at what is widely perceived as the UNRWA’s weak humanitarian role in Gaza, where normal, day-to-day problems are compounded by the blockade and, most recently, the flood. The workers’ union at the UN agency for Palestinian refugees in Gaza continued protests this week, calling for salary increases. One Hamas official has accused UNRWA officials of receiving exorbitant salaries, charging that the agency at the same time is not up to the tasks it is assigned to do. UNWRA officials who this observer spoke with denied this, but declined any information about any UNWRA salaries.
Like many aid agencies working in Syria, the UNRWA continues to lose staff. UNRWA teacher Suzan Ghazazweh, a popular and accomplished teacher at the Abbasyyeh School in Muzeirib, was killed by shrapnel when a shell struck her home on December 2, 2013. She is the tenth UNRWA staffer killed in Syria.
Enter Professor Alan Dershowitz!
Adding to UNWRA’s myriad problems is the fact that Professor Alan Dershowitz for some reason chose this winter solstice to retire after 46 years on the job at the Harvard Law School. Within hours, if he has not already done so, Alan will depart Harvard’s hallowed halls to devote more time to his current central cause, one which arguably poses his most difficult challenge—“saving Israel from itself and from UNWRA!” as he told a Harvard Crimson stringer on background recently.
The past few years Professor Dershowitz, apparently wanting to make a strong impression on his new students, would start off the beginning of semester classes by offering them his essential view of the law. During the first or second class meeting he reportedly often made references to some of the 13 out of 15 major cases he “won” for the likes of Mike Tyson, Patty Hearst, Jim Bakker, Claus von Bulow and O. J. Simpson to name a few. He would explain to his classes:
“All my big cases I won on a legal technicality! Those cases were lost causes. Otherwise, why would these clients come to me? The first thing to remember as you continue your legal studies is to forget what the law says or even what the facts of a case are! American appellate courts will decide the facts and the law of a case based on what the best advocate says they are. That’s why I win!”
To one public international law class Professor Dershowitz is reported to have sneered, “And you can forget about claims of human rights based on international law and universal standards of morality. You’ll never win s— with that malarkey.”
As he begins preparation for his “legitimization case” on behalf of the last remaining 19th century colonial enterprise—the Zionist theft and continuing illegal occupation of Palestine—Alan, some associates claim, plans to come out swinging against the UNRWA. Throughout his teaching career, Dershowitz has been a loyal supporter, and some say main instigator, of AIPAC. Little surprise, then, that he has joined the Zionist Lobby’s more than two decades of attacks on the UNRWA, seeking to have the agency’s funding cut off. But until now, he has not been “lead attorney of record.”
One source who meets with Professor Dershowitz from time to time in Washington claims that Alan insists that UNWRA is another one of Israel’s growing number of existential threats, this because the UN agency “keeps the Palestinian refugee issue alive and allows human rights types to keep the issue of wrongful dispossession of their homes and land before the global community and with no end in sight.”
Though he makes regular trips to Israel, Alan doesn’t come around Lebanon or Syria much, and frankly this observer has only met him a couple of times. He claims to have a photographic memory and maybe that is why he doesn’t seem to cotton much to this observer. Perhaps he remembers, and even holds a grudge of some kind, from our first meeting more than a quarter century ago. On that day, Alan came to see me in my Congressional House Judiciary office in the Rayburn building. I am not sure who referred him, but only an hour earlier, my boss, Congressman John Conyers, Chairman of Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, called to give me a last minute assignment. It was simple enough, and I had done it before. Congressman Conyers wanted me to escort a visiting judicial official from another country, in this case the chief justice from Egypt’s highest court, across the lawn from Rayburn for a meeting at the Supreme Court with our CJ, Warren Burger. An easy enough assignment it was, because Burger invariably was pleasant, with a southern style aura of gentility about him, but fifteen minutes before the Egyptian CJ was due to join me, an intense, smallish, fast-talking guy shows up, announces he is from the Harvard Law School, and must join “the Egyptian” during his meeting with Burger. Frankly it did not matter much to me one way or the other, but I did call my supervisor, Hayden Gregory, for advice. Basically his reply was, “Not a chance! No way!” Only later did I learn Alan had rubbed Hayden the wrong way over proposed “federal determinate sentencing guidelines,” an issue before our committee at the time.
Long story short, Alan would not take no for an answer. When I made it clear he was not invited and could not join the meeting he became angry and stormed off.
He may still remember, but with me it was not personal, and in any event all this is by way of saying that UNWRA had better baton down its hatches because they have more problems coming their way than they realize or are ready for.
Addressing the annual Jamestown Foundation conference of terror experts on December 12, former CIA chief Michael Hayden outlined three possible outcomes of the ongoing conflict in Syria. The first would be further escalation of violence between ever more extreme Sunni and Shiite factions. The second possible outcome—which Hayden described as the most likely but also the most destabilizing for the region—is the dissolution of Syria and the end of a single state within the borders defined by the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement. “Option three is Assad wins,” Hayden went on, “and I must tell you at the moment, as ugly as it sounds, I’m kind of trending toward option three as the best out of three very, very ugly possible outcomes.”
The first option is not really an “outcome,” but a discrete stage in the conflict which is practically over: Sunni jihadists have already defeated the Free Syrian Army (FSA), the dwindling fighting force of the U.S.-backed Supreme Military Council (SMC). Two weeks ago General Salim Idris, the FSA commander, even suggested that he might join forces with the government army in fighting Al Qaeda. On December 6 fighters belonging to the Islamic Front—a recently founded, Saudi-backed alliance of seven jihadist groups—captured the SMC bases and warehouses near the Turkish border, where vehicles and other U.S.-supplied “nonlethal” equipment were kept. They also forced Gen. Idris too flee Syria for Turkey. He later tried to put a brave face on the debacle, but the FSA is finished as a viable player.
The Administration initially reacted by suspending the $260 million rebel aid program, but there have been signs in recent days that the White House may give up on the “moderates” altogether and divert future supplies to hard-core Islamist groups, provided they are not affiliated to al-Qaeda. “It’s a pivotal point,” a senior U.S. official told the CNN. “We need to figure out, what extremists do we deal with?”
Dealing with Islamic extremists is never a good idea, but the White House will likely resolve it by calling the Islamic Front “moderate.” As it happens, the Islamic Front’s charter, released on November 26, calls for the establishment of an Islamic state and the imposition of Sharia. It also endorses jihad and welcomes the Muhajireen (foreign fighters) as “brothers.” One of the seven groups within the Islamic Front, the Ahrar al Sham, routinely conducts joint raids with al-Qaeda’s two Syrian branches, the Al Nusrah Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). The assault on the Christian town of Malula last September was one such joint operation.
Michael Hayden should be commended for stating so bluntly what we have repeatedly argued since the beginning of the Syrian conflict, that Bashar al-Assad’s victory would be the least bad outcome for Western interests in the region. This view is gaining credence. “We need to start talking to the Assad regime again” about counterterrorism and other issues of shared concern, Ryan Crocker, a respected veteran diplomat, told the New York Times on December 3. “It will have to be done very, very quietly. But bad as Assad is, he is not as bad as the jihadis who would take over in his absence.” As The Independent reported on the same day, Western security agencies now believe that returning jihad-veterans pose the most serious threat of terrorism in Europe and the United States.
Bashar’s army and police have performed surprisingly well for almost three years now. Over the past year they have been able to consolidate their positions in about one-half of the country they still control, but eradicating the rebellion altogether will prove impossible for as long as weapons and money are provided by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, and jihadist volunteers keep arriving from all over the Sunni Muslim world. The current stalemate may create conditions for Syria’s eventual disintegration along both religious and ethnic lines.
The fragmentation of Syria and its end as a single state within the borders defined by the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement may not be as destabilizing as General Hayden suggests. There is nothing sacrosanct about the lines of partition of the Ottoman Empire into Anglo-French spheres of influence, drawn rather arbitrarily by a British civil servant and a French diplomat almost a century ago. Syria’s effective partition along ethno-religious lines was introduced in 1922, during the French Mandate.
It is arguable that the breakup has already happened, and that Syria no longer exists as a single political entity. The government enjoys majority support along a wide belt extending from the heavily Druze southern border with Jordan and the Israeli-held Golan Heights, through Damascus and Homs, and up to the disputed city of Aleppo in the northwest. This belt—about 40 percent of Syria’s territory, with one-half of its people—also includes Syria’s strategically important Mediterranean coastline, which is inhabited mainly by Bashar’s fellow Alawites and Christians. The rebels are overwhelmingly Sunni Muslims—which is not to say that all Syrian Sunnis support the rebels—and they control extensive tracts in the north and center of the country, and along the valley of the Euphrates to the sparsely populated Iraqi border in the east. The front lines are fluid, but it is a safe guess that the rebels dominate in one-half of Syria, with perhaps 40 percent of the population. Finally, Syria’s two million Kurds, ten percent of its people, have set up a de facto state in the northeast of the country (ca. 10% of Syria’s territory), with its own armed forces, police, courts, license plates, and Kurdish-language schools. They say that they would only seek autonomy within a future federalized Syria, but at the same time they reject any solution that would fall short of that goal.
Syria’s effective breakup would be followed by population exchanges, which is preferable to the chaotic ethno-religious cleansing of which Syria’s Christians have been the main victims. It is likely that, in addition to Alawites, Christians, Shia and Druze, many educated, urban Sunnis would also opt for the multi-ethnic and multi-confessional state of southern and coastal Syria, governed by secularists, in preference to the putative Islamic Caliphate in the north and along east, with rival factions vying for power. It is also possible that outside forces—Turkey in particular—will insist on the maintenance of a single-state façade. It is not possible for Syria to be recreated as a centralized, secularist-governed state, however, and it is equally impossible for the jihadists to terrorize two-thirds of Syria’s 23 million people into submission.
Adam Smith said governments are “instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor.” Wars are waged to make them richer.
Howard Zinn called war “terrorism magnified a hundred times.” Make it many thousands of times.
Michael Parenti said “the best way to win a Nobel Peace Prize (is) to wage war or support those who wage (it) instead of peace.”
In his book titled “The Face of Imperialism,” he discusses a richly financed military/industrial complex. Peter Phillips and Mickey Huff call it the “military-industrial media complex.”
Waging wars requires selling them. Public support is needed. Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky call it “Manufacturing Consent.”
Propaganda works as intended. Minds are manipulated to support war. Truth is suppressed. Fear is stoked. Patriotism, national security, and democratic values are highlighted.
Longstanding US policy facilitates earning obscene amounts from militarism, wars, homeland security, and related operations.
Doing so has nothing to do with external or internal threats. It’s unrelated to spreading democracy. It isn’t about humanitarian intervention.
It about advancing America’s imperium. Parenti calls the process “the most powerful force in world history over the last four or five centuries. (It) “carves up whole continents.”
“(T)he dominant politico-economic interests of one nation expropriate for their own enrichment the land, labor, raw materials, and markets of another people.”
Capitalist imperialism differs from earlier forms. It dominates other economies and political systems. It accumulates enormous amounts of wealth.
It uses money to make more of it. It gains market control. It exploits resources and labor.
According to Marx and Engels:
Bourgeois capital “chases over the whole surface of the globe. It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connections everywhere…It creates a world after its own image.”
Societies are destroyed and remade to do it. Nations are pillaged for profit. Populations become disenfranchised. Workers become serfs. Local cultures become mass-market consumer ones.
Agribusiness replaces local farming. Competitive industries are eliminated. Foreign investment crowds out local capital.
Dominance legitimizes capital’s divine right. Plunder assures obscene profits. Capital accumulation demands more. Profiteering becomes a be-all-and-end-all.
Businesses price according to what the market will bear. Profiteers take advantage of emergency or other out-of-ordinary conditions to cash in excessively.
WikiLeaks calls profiteering “a pejorative term for the act of making profit by methods considered unethical.”
Price fixing is illegal. Price gouging reflects grabbing all you can. It’s charging more than what’s considered reasonable and fair.
War profiteers are in a class by themselves. They thrive on war. They depend on it. Their businesses require conflicts and instability to prosper. The more ongoing, the greater the potential profits.
Lot of players profit from wars. Companies develop technologies with military applications. Black marketeers cash in.
Politicians taking campaign contributions, special favors or bribes benefit handsomely. Nations do by acquiring control over territory, resources and exploitable people.
Private military contractors include companies offering a wide range of services. They provide everything from tactical combat to security to consulting to logistics to technical support.
In his book titled “Halliburton’s Army: How a Well-Connected Texas Oil Company Revolutionized the Way America Makes War,” Pratap Chatterjee describes a company tainted by sweetheart deal no-bid contacts, bribes, kickbacks, inefficiency, shoddy work, corruption, fraud, gross overcharging, worker exploitation, and other serious offenses.
Other companies operate the same way. Military spending is hugely wasteful. Fraud and abuse are rampant. War is extremely profitable. Why else would so many be waged.
Mercenaries are guns for hire. They’re for sale to the highest bidder. They’re in it for the money. They’re unchecked, unaccountable and unprincipled.
Arms and munitions companies benefit most. Amounts spent are mind-bogging.
Bloomberg says defense budgets “contain hundreds of billions of dollars for new generations of aircraft carriers and stealth fighters, tanks that even the Army says it doesn’t need and combat vehicles too heavy to maneuver in desert sands or cross most bridges in Asia, Africa, or the Middle East.”
According to BusinessWeek, redundancy wastes lots of money. “One need only spend 10 minutes walking around the Pentagon or any major military headquarters to see” it.
Why doesn’t Congress trim fat? Because politicians want lots of pork for constituents. It’s a great vote-getter.
BusinessWeek explained more, saying:
“Why is sensible military budgeting so difficult? Because lawmakers, including small-government Republicans, protect defense business in their home states with the ferocity of Spartans.”
“Even if the Pentagon offered up (sensible) cuts…Congress would almost certainly reject them.”
“The senators and representatives don’t have the political courage to face voters and tell them that the republic simply does not need the weapon under construction in their hometown.”
Trillions of dollars are spent. Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta once said DOD “is the only major federal agency that cannot pass an audit today.”
Even during October’s 16 day shutdown, huge amounts of wasteful spending continued.
Ralph Nader calls now the time to address bloated military spending. Let’s “start shutting down the waste and fraud in our military budget,” he stresses.
Billions get tossed around mindlessly. Profiteers never had it better. Government watchdogs identify hundreds of billions of potential savings from unneeded weapons, defective ones, no-bid excess, overpayments, and outright fraud.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) conducts research on security, war and peace.
“A world in which sources of insecurity are identified and understood, conflicts are prevented or resolved, and peace is sustained,” it says.
It reports on “recent trends in military expenditure(s).”
Amounts spent are huge. In 2012, nominal global military spending exceeded $1.7 trillion. It’s around historic highs.
In real terms, it exceeds peak amounts spent during the Cold War. Post-9/11, spending increased sharply. America led the way.
In 2012, 15 nations accounted for over 80% military spending. SIPRI lists them as follows:
- America: $682 billion – 39%
- China: $166 billion – 9.5%
- Russia: $90.7 billion – 5.2%
- Britain: $60.8 billion – 3.5%
- Japan: 59.3 billion – 3.4%
- France: $58.9 billion – 3.4%
- Saudi Arabia: $56.7 billion – 3.2%
- India: $46.1 billion – 2.6%
- Germany: $45.8 billion – 2.6%
- Italy: $34 billion – 1.9%
- Brazil: $33.1 billion – 1.9%
- South Korea: $31.7 billion – 1.8%
- Australia: $26.2 billion – 1.5%
- Canada: $22.5 billion – 1.3%
- Turkey: $18.2 billion – 1%
- Others 18%
SIPRI calculates nominal military spending. Amounts America spends far exceeds annual defense authorizations.
Other allocations are for the Energy Department, State Department, Department of Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security, Treasury, NASA, military construction, various categories related to security, and interest attributable to past defense outlays.
Black intelligence, Pentagon and other budgets add many tens of billions more. So do supplemental military allocations. Foreign aid is mostly military related.
The Library of Congress listed the top 10 2012 recipients and amounts as follows:
Israel: $3.075 billion
Note: Israel gets special benefits provided no other nations.
They include annual $3 billion + direct appropriations, undisclosed additional amounts, state-of-the-art weapons and technology, billions in loan guarantees, military loans as grants, privileged contracts for Israeli companies, trade exemptions, and more.
Special allocations are buried in various agency budgets. Low or no-interest loans are provided. Some are never repaid. Most often, whatever Israel wants it gets.
- Afghanistan: $2.327 billion
- Pakistan: $2.102 billion
- Iraq: $1.683 billion
- Egypt: $1.557 billion
- Jordan: $676 million
- Kenya: $652 million
- Nigeria: $625 million
- Ethiopia: $580 million
- Tanzania: $531 million
US defense related spending exceeds $1.5 trillion annually. It’s half or more what other nations spend in total.
Militarism defines America. So do permanent wars. They’re a national addiction. They’re part of the national culture.
Violence is the American way. Wars are glorified. Pacifism is considered sissy. Peace is deplored. Conflicts persist with no end.
War profiteers gorge themselves at the public trough. Their operations thrive on war. They depend on it.
They’re waged for profit and dominance. They continue without end. Peace is verboten. It’s a convenient illusion.
Howard Zinn once asked “(h)ow can you have a war on terrorism when war itself is terrorism?”
“There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.”
Why most Americans put up with it they’ll have to explain. Doing so lets Washington get away with mass murder and then some. It lets war profiteers benefit at our expense.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Turkey is a secular state. So claim its government and nearly all mainstream Western media. They are mistaken.
In civilized, democratic countries, secularism means not only a respectful separation between church and state but also freedom of religion. As we shall demonstrate, Turkish policies have long been the antithesis of secularism.
The Turkish government massively supports and funds Islam – specifically Sunni Islam – inside the country. Turkey simultaneously represses religions such as Alevism, and bullies and persecutes indigenous Christians, most of whom it liquidated in 20th century genocides. Moreover, it uses Islam to project Turkish political power into Europe, Asia, and elsewhere. Turkey’s system is more properly termed State Islam.
This article is not a criticism of Islam or its faithful. We respect both. Turkey’s secularism myth, nevertheless, cries out to be laid bare.
The Directorate of Religious Affairs – known as the Diyanet – is the government body that represents and directs all of Sunni Islam in Turkey. Created in 1924, a year after the Republic of Turkey was formed, the Diyanet is enshrined in Article 136 of the Turkish Constitution. The Diyanet is huge and powerful. Operating under the Prime Minister, it employs about 100,000. All Sunni clergy are salaried civil servants of the Diyanet.
The Diyanet’s $2 billion annual outlay exceeds the combined budgets of Turkey’s Foreign, Energy, and Environmental Ministries. By law a political party can be dissolved if it dares to advocate the Diyanet’s abolition.
Until recently, the Diyanet wrote all the sermons for its clergy, but reportedly now sometimes allows them to write their own, though their contents are controlled.
Would the U.S. – or any democratic Western country – be termed “secular” if it funded a huge Christian government agency that employed all Christian clergy and controlled their sermons? Obviously not.
Who ownsTurkey’s 80,000 mosques? It’s not always clear. Even many Turks wonder. For sure, however, the Diyanet controls all mosques. (Shiite Muslims represent only about 3% of Turkey’s 80 million people and are largely independent of the Diyanet.)
Two large mosques to be built on Istanbul’s Camlica Hill and Taksim Square are personal projects of Prime Minister Erdogan. The government is apparently paying most of the costs, not something a secular state would do.
The Diyanet operates not only in Turkey but worldwide. Turkish foreign policy and the Diyanet are intertwined. The latter promotes the country’s political influence abroad.
The Diyanet has a Foreign Affairs department that sends religious consultants not only into Muslim countries, such as those in Central Asia and Africa, but also into the United States, France, Germany, Great Britain, Sweden, and other European countries.
Indeed, some Turkish embassies and consulates have a religious affairs department and attachés that work with local Diyanet representatives. Turkey is very active, for instance, in the Netherlands where it reportedly pays the salaries of the Diyanet-affiliated Dutch Islamic Foundation’s staff.
In partnership with Turkey’s Religious Foundation, the Diyanet has in the last two decades constructed or renovated mosques in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia, northern Cyprus, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and elsewhere.
A $100 million, 15-acre Turkish American Culture and Civilization Center (TACCC), which includes a large mosque, is being built in Lanham, Maryland, 14 miles from Washington, D.C. It is “a project of the government of Turkey” and the Turkish American Community Center. The latter’s older mosque is “related to the Republic of Turkey and the Department of Religious Affairs [Diyanet].” Several months ago, PM Erdogan placed a ceremonial stone at the TACCC construction site.
No truly secular state would do these things. Nor would it persecute persons of other religions.
Last year the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), established by Congress, placed Turkey in its worst category, a “Country of Particular Concern,” alongside Burma, China, Pakistan, and a dozen others.
Turkey, noted the USCIRF, “significantly restricts religious freedom, especially for non-Muslim religious minority communities – including the Greek, Armenian, and SyriacOrthodoxChurches, the Roman Catholic and ProtestantChurches, and the Jewish community.”
Restrictions that “deny non-Muslim communities the rights to train clergy, offer religious education, and own and maintain places of worship, have led to their decline, and in some cases their virtual disappearance.”
Such mistreatment of Christians, numbering only about 100,000, is particularly reprehensible given that Turkey carried out genocide from 1915 to 1923 against millions of indigenous Christian Armenians, Greeks, and Syriacs, including many Catholics and Protestants.
The persecution of non-Muslims continued even after the Turkish Republic came about in 1923. The infamous Capital Tax (Varlik Vergisi) program during World War II, as but one example, deliberately taxed Christians and Jews at extortionate rates that often exceeded their income. Men were sent to labor camps in the interior when unable to pay. Families were bankrupted. Only an international outcry stopped the program.
Thousands of Christian churches, schools, hospitals, orphanages, cemeteries, and other community properties have been continually seized by Turkey in the past several decades.
Though Turkey has recently returned some of these properties under international pressure, the vast majority has not been, and probably will not be, returned.
Countless ancient Armenian churches and monasteries, such as Saint Mark’s (Nshan) in Sivas, have been deliberately destroyed, sometimes with explosives. Others serve as stables. Earlier this year in the cities of Iznik and Trabzon, old Greek churches were converted to mosques.
Alevism is a religion that has some 10 to 20 million adherents in Turkey. Complex and somewhat mysterious, it contains elements of Shia Islam, Sufism, paganism, and other spiritual and religious traditions. Alevis worship in houses called cemevis, not mosques. Alevis and cemevis are not recognized by the Turkish government. Alevis complain bitterly, to little avail.
Alevis have long been the victims of discrimination and even violent attacks, such as in Sivas in 1993 when 35 leading Alevis were murdered by mobs, and most recently this year in Ankara, when police fired tear-gas at protesting Alevis.
“Turkey may look like a secular state on paper,” says Izzettin Dogan, a leading Alevi, “but in terms of international law it is actually a Sunni Islamic state.” He is correct, but most of the outside world is oblivious to voices such as his.
Some Turks feel that their country is secular because the Diyanet’s hegemony moderates Islam against extremist tendencies. There may be some truth to that.
But as secularism must include a respectful distance between religion and state, Turkey would still not qualify. Along with Turkey’s domestic religious repression, and employing the Diyanet in foreign policy, the claim of secularism is simply fallacious.
The Turkish government is in full-blown denial about secularism and religious freedom, as evidenced by PM Erdogan’s preposterous claim two years ago that “Turkey is a secular state where all religions are equal.”
If Turkey is ever to be secular, it must allow the free exercise of all religions – including Islam – and guarantee the rights of the faithful to be free from harassment and compulsion. The Turkish government’s acknowledgement of its past and present wrongs, especially to the non-Turkish and non-Muslim communities, and making genuine amends, must be part of this process.
Until then – particularly in the West – mainstream media, governments, religious leaders, academicians, and political analysts should cease swallowing Turkey’s fraudulent claim of secularism.
Some people want to give Fox News’s Megyn Kelly a lump of coal for Christmas after she remarked on Wednesday that Jesus and Santa Claus were white and that those who had a problem with it should just get over it. Well, I’m making a list and checking it twice, and I can tell you that, in this case, Kelly’s critics are naughty and Kelly is nice.
That is to say, you critics, you will have to get over it because Jesus and Santa are white. It’s really not a hard matter to sort out, either.
We should first be clear on what the various racial classifications actually are. Anthropologists generally define only three, and sometimes four, races. They are Caucasoid, Negroid and Mongoloid (Asian) — and Australoid would be the fourth. And especially relevant here are Caucasoid’s subgroups: Aryans, Hamites and Semites.
So as far as Jesus goes, the answer should already be clear. Assuming He was Semitic — which isn’t disputed too much — He was white. And, yes, Arabs and Persians are technically white as well.
As for Santa, it’s also a slam dunk, as all the possible sources of his tradition involve white figures, whether real or fictional. The most common one, Saint Nicholas, was a fourth-century Christian bishop of what was then Myra, in Lycia, Anatolia, but is now part of Turkey. Of course, one could point out that Turks are mainly Caucasoid with a bit of Mongoloid influence, but even that’s deceptive. Anatolia was Christian and Greek in the fourth century and part of the Roman Empire, and Saint Nicholas was a Greek. As for other possible Santa influences, such as Germanic paganism, Odin and Father Christmas, they are all European and, again, involve white characters.
Personally, I’m sick and tired of people trying to revise our culture. You have to be hung up worse than a Christmas stocking to want to question Jesus’ and Santa’s race in the first place and a mighty dim bulb to not be able to figure out what it most certainly was. And, really, what we’re seeing here are people who want it both ways. While these critics dislike Western culture on an emotional level, they’re nonetheless emotionally attached to certain elements of it (I apply this only to Santa; I wouldn’t limit Jesus by defining Him as part of only a certain culture). So they want to co-opt those elements and remake them in a politically correct image.
Look, you leftists, if you don’t like our culture, there’s a whole diverse world out there offering a smorgasbord of possibilities. Heck, some of it even hates our culture almost as much as you do. So follow your hearts, and if they take you where they apparently already are — away from the US — don’t let the door hit ya’ on the way out.
Damascus – The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states—Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates—along with certain Arab League countries, plus Turkey and Israel, have this past week reportedly committed themselves to raising nearly $6 billion to “beef up” the just-hatched Islamic Front (IF) in Syria. These “best friends of America” want the Obama administration to sign onto a scheme to oust the Syrian government by funding, arming, training, facilitating and generally choreographing the movement of fighters of this new front, a front formed out of an alliance of seven putatively “moderate” rebel factions.
Representatives of Saudi intelligence chief Bandar bin Sultan reportedly told staff members on Capitol Hill that committing several billions to defeat the Assad regime by supporting the IF makes fiscal sense and will cost much less than the six trillion dollar figure tallied by the recent study by Brown University as part of its Costs of War project. According to the 2013 update of the definitive Brown study, which examined costs of the US wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, the total amount for all three topped six trillion dollars. This never before released figure includes costs of direct and indirect Congressional appropriations, lost equipment, US military and foreign contractors fraud, and the cost of caring for wounded American servicemen and their families.
Among the Islamist militia joining the new GCC-backed coalition are Aleppo’s biggest fighting force, Liwa al-Tawhid (Tawhid Brigade), the Salafist group Ahrar al-Sham, Suqour al-Sham, al-Haq Brigades, Ansar al-Sham and the Islamic Army, which is centered around Damascus. The Kurdish Islamic Front also reportedly joined the alliance.
IF’s declared aim is to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government, whatever the human and material cost it may require, and replace it with an “Islamic state.” Abu Firas, the new coalition’s spokesman, declared that “we now have the complete merger of the major military factions fighting in Syria.”
Formally announced on 11/22/13, the IF includes groups from three prior umbrella organizations: the Syrian Islamic Front (SIF), the Syrian Islamic Liberation Front (SILF), and the Kurdish Islamic Front (KIF). From the SIF, Harakat Ahrar al-Sham al-Islamiyya (HASI), Kataib Ansar al-Sham, and Liwa al-Haqq all joined, as did the KIF as a whole, and former SILF brigades Suqur al-Sham, Liwa al-Tawhid, and Jaish al-Islam. None of these groups have been designated foreign terrorist organizations by the US, and therefore, as an Israeli official argued in a meeting with AIPAC and Congress this week, nothing stands in the way of US funding and support for them. The Israeli official in question is the country’s new national security advisor, Yossie Cohen, who assures key congressional leaders that the tens of thousands of rebels making up the IF will all support “one policy and one military command.” Cohen also pledges that the new group is not as “insane” as other Muslim militia—Daash or al-Nusra or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, for instance—that comprise the IF’s chief rivals. Cohen and AIPAC are further telling Congress members and congressional staffers that the emergence of the IF is one of the war’s most important developments, and he vows that the new organization in effect brings seven organizations into a combined force that will fight under one command, a force estimated by the CIA to number at around 75,000 fighters. Reportedly the objective will link the fight in the north with that in the south in a manner that will stretch loyalist forces, and the Saudi-Israel team is also asking the Obama Administration to more than double the monthly “graduation class” of CIA-trained rebels in Turkey, Syria and Jordan—from its current level of 200 per month, up to 500 a month.
What the GCC/Arab League/Israeli team is asking of its western allies (meaning of course mainly the US) is to immediately fund the IF to the tune of $ 5.5 billion. This, Israeli security officials argue, is pocket change compared to the $6 trillion spent in US terrorist wars of the past decade. Plus it will have the presumed “benefit” of toppling the Assad regime and truncating Iran’s growing influence. The plan has reportedly been dismissed by some in the Obama administration as “risible and pathetic.” Nonetheless, Tel Aviv, the US Congressional Zionist lobby, and to a lesser extent Ankara, are pressing ahead under the assumption that linking with the IF now makes sense and that they can take their chances will al-Qaeda later. Ironically these are some of the same voices from AIPAC’s Congressional Team who four years ago were claiming that al-Qaeda was “on the ropes and will soon collapse.” Yet they are optimistic that if Assad goes, “we can deal with the terrorists and it won’t cost six trillion dollars.”
One House member who strongly agrees with AIPAC is Representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA), who recently declared that “in my heart I am a Tea Party guy.” A member of the House Armed Services Committee, Hunter believes the US should use nuclear weapons against Tehran. In a Fox TV interview this week he declared his opposition to any talks with Iran, insisting that US policy should include a “massive aerial bombardment campaign” utilizing “tactical nuclear devices” to set Iran “back a decade or two or three.”
According to sources in Aleppo and Damascus, the IF’s top leadership positions have been parceled out among five of the seven groups. This at least is as of 12/5/13. Four days after the IF was announced, the organization released an official charter. In terms of its basic architecture, the document is similar to that put out by the SIF in January, but the new version is filled with more generalities than other militia proclamations, and seems designed to accommodate differing ideas among member groups. The charter calls for an Islamic state and the implementation of sharia law, though it does not define exactly what this means. The IF is firmly against secularism, human legislation (i.e., it believes that laws come from God, not people), civil government, and a Kurdish breakaway state. The charter states that the group will secure minority rights in post-Assad Syria based on sharia, which could mean the dhimma (“protected peoples”) system, or de facto second-class citizenship for Christians and other minorities. According to Saudi officials in Lebanon, the IF seeks to unify other rebel groups so long as they agree to acknowledge the sovereignty of God. Given this ‘moderate’ wording, the expectation of some is that that the southern-based Ittihad al-Islami li-Ajnad al-Sham will join the IF.
According to the Netanyahu government, the IF’s leading foreign cheerleader, this new coalition gives substance to that which states who have been wanting regime change in Syria have been calling for. One analyst on the Syrian conflict, Aron Lund, believes a grouping of mainstream and hardline Islamists, excluding any al-Qaeda factions, is significant. “It’s something that could be very important if it holds up,” he explained. “The Islamic Front’s formation was a response to both regime advances and the ‘aggressive posture’ of jihadists against other rebels, plus a good deal of foreign involvement, not least of which is Saudi and GCC pushing to unify the rebels.”
Contrary to reports out of Occupied Palestine that the Netanyahu regime is not worried about or much interested in the crisis in Syria, a measure of delight seems to be felt in Tel Aviv that Muslims and Arabs are once more killing each other, along with smugness over Hezbollah’s loss of key mujahedeen as it faces, along with Iran, its own “Vietnam experience.” Yet all this notwithstanding, near panic is reported to have been felt in Israeli government circles over Hezbollah’s achievements in Syria. Truth told, Tel Aviv knows that despite manpower losses by Hezbollah, the dominant Lebanese political party is bringing about major enhancements of its forces. It also knows that there is no substitute for urban battlefield experience with regard to effecting such force regeneration, and Israeli officials have also stated their belief that the Resistance is organizing non-Hezbollah brigades that share one goal in common despite disparate beliefs. That sacred goal is liberating Al Quds by any and all means.
A US Congressional source summarized the Obama administration’s take on this week’s assassination of a key Hezbollah commander as part of a major new Netanyahu government project to weaken Hezbollah. Hassan Houlo Lakkis’ assassination on the night of December 3-4 is deemed in Washington to be particularly significant since Lakkis was in charge of strategic files related to Israel and the Palestinians and also oversaw a number of key operations. The Resistance commander was deeply involved in the development of drones for Hezbollah, as well as smuggling weapons to Gaza via Egypt. He also had good relationships with the Palestinian factions in Gaza, Syria, and Lebanon. Lakkis was known by Washington to be a highly important cadre and a second rank Hezbollah official. According to one analyst “Israel appeared as if it was telling Hezbollah, come and fight me. Israel is upset over the Western-Iranian agreement. It is also upset over the new position that the West has concerning Hezbollah whereby the West is now viewing the party as a force that opposes the Takfiris. Thus, Israel’s objective behind the assassination is to lure the party into a confrontation thus allowing Tel Aviv to tell the West: Hezbollah is still a terrorist organization.”
According to sources on the US Foreign Relations Committee, the White House is being heavily pressured by the US Zionist lobby and the Netanyahu government to take “remedial measures” for the “catastrophic historic mistake” it made in defusing the Iranian nuclear issue and refusing to bomb Damascus. The measures being pushed for, of course, are funding and support for the IF, though doubts persist in Washington as to how “remedial” they will in fact be. The $5.5 billion “investment” is to be paid in large part by GCC/Arab League countries, with US and Zionist contributions. Cash from the latter two sources will come directly and indirectly out of the pockets of American taxpayers—with Israel paying nothing.
Some Washington officials and analysts are wondering if US participation would help unify notoriously hostile rebel ranks and curtail the growing power of al-Qaeda in Syria, or whether it is simply another zany Bander bin Sultan-concocted project, the latest of many—in this case to create a hierarchical revolutionary army with the aim of fighting the Syrian regime essentially alongside al-Qaeda? Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel expressed his personal suspicions this week that “the Israel-Saudi team is trying to drag the US back into a potentially deepening morass,” alluding to what apparently is an effort to head off any plans the Obama administration may have of living with the Assad government until such time as Geneva II happens, that is if it happens, according to one congressional staffer.
Many among the American public also have doubts because they have been told that their government was ‘winding down’ its Middle East wars in favor of rebuilding America’s infrastructure, roads, health care and education systems, all of which, especially the latter, appear to be suffering dramatically. According to the most recent international survey, released this week, the average Chinese student, aged fifteen in Shanghai, is two full years ahead of America’s best students surveyed in Massachusetts. Recent top scores among secondary school youngsters, particularly in math, reading and science, were considerably lower than those achieved by students in Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan or Japan. The US is far down the list and declining, and the survey suggests that the gap is widening.
It’s too early to say whether this latest Saudi-Israel-Arab League collaboration will fail as others have recently, but given the continuing Obama administration efforts at taking back US Middle East policy from Tel Aviv, plus the perceptible movement away from support for the Netanyahu government along with growing angst among American taxpayers over funding the occupation of Palestine, it just might collapse.
I remember as a young child that the key to winning a lot of the neighborhood games in football and basketball was all about who got picked first. If you were lucky enough to get Michael on your team, then you knew you were going to win. If you were in a foreign park playing against kids you did not know, Michael was the great equalizer. I also knew that getting the right kids on my side helped in spelling bees and walking home from the movies so I didn’t get beat up. Learning how to organize my team with the right people, served me well when I became a men’s college head basketball coach in terms of winning the recruiting wars. I always felt the April recruiting wars was the deciding factor in many games in the following December.
America is in the choosing sides phase of the coming civil war. To use a college recruiting phrase, it is accurate to state that the letters of intent to join one side or another side, have mostly been signed and the commitments offered. However, there is one big uncommitted piece, but very soon the sides will be drawn.
The Chess Pieces of Civil War
What is going on today in America is all about choosing sides. There are clear lines being formed in the United States. The recruiting pool consists of the Department of Homeland Security, the American military, local law enforcement, the Russian troops pouring into the United States, the trickle of Chinese troops coming into the country through Hawaii and, of course, the poor, the middle class and elite. This is the recruiting pool which will form the chess pieces of the coming American Civil War.
The Contextual Background for Civil War
Even if all parties in this country wanted the country to continue, even in its present mortally wounded state, it would be foolish to believe that it could continue for much longer.
There are three paramount numbers that every American should be paying attention to and they are (1) national deficit ($17 trillion dollars), (2) the unfunded liabilities debt ($238 trillion dollars), and (3) the derivatives/futures debt (one quadrillion dollars which is 16 times the entire wealth of the planet. The net result of these staggering numbers can only end one way, and that is with a financial collapse, followed by a bank holiday, rioting in the streets and the full roll out of martial law. These financial numbers guarantee that the party cannot continue much longer.
Since America, in her present form, cannot continue much longer without experiencing a cataclysmic shift, we would be wise to realize what resources are going to be the impetus for civil war. When you play the board game, Monopoly, the properties on Boardwalk are among the most coveted. It is no different in real life. The biggest prize of the coming conflict is real estate. Homes, office buildings and shopping malls are the most coveted prize. The MERS mortgage fraud continues unabated as millions of homes have been confiscated through mortgage fraud. When the dollar is worthless and is awaiting its replacement (e.g. the Amero or the Worldo), real estate will be more valuable than gold.
Other big game that is being hunted by both sides in the coming civil war will be bank accounts, which must be looted before the dormant computer digits we call money, can be converted into hard assets. That is why my advice is, and has been, convert your cash into tangible assets which can enhance your survivability in the upcoming crash.
Also, your pensions, your 401K’s and your various entitlement programs are also at risk as evidenced by Secretary of Treasury Jack Lew’s “borrowing” from various Federal retirement accounts in order to increase the debt ceiling fight that will resurface in Congress, again, early next year.
Again, my advice is to convert your assets in tangible items which will aid in getting you through some very dark days coming up in the near future. Before the cognitive dissonance crowd rears their ugly heads and accuses me of fear mongering, ask yourself what the elite did prior to the crash of the economy in 1929. For example, Joseph Kennedy took his money out of the stock market the day BEFORE it crashed. Rockefeller, Westinghouse, et al., all took their money out just prior to the crash, leaving the ignorant masses unaware of what was coming. Don’t make the same mistake.
Barring a false flag event, US martial law will have a trigger event, which will lead to martial law, that will be a financial collapse and it will naturally occur as we are already on a collision course with destiny. I am not ruling out other events, but the economic crash scenario is easily the most likely event.
Building Fences Around the Ignorant
Please allow me to ask you an ignorant question. If you knew that a virus was coming to your neighborhood which would infect much of the local canine population, wouldn’t it be prudent to build a fence around all of the dogs in the neighborhood in order to isolate any potentially infected dogs? Well, this is how the elite view you.
Many of us, devoid of financial resources, will soon become like a pack of rabid dogs and we must be contained. As I have written about recently, it is becoming very difficult to get your money out of the country. Banks, such as JP Morgan Chase and HSBC have already imposed withdrawal limits. If you withdraw more than $10,000 cash, you run a good chance of being investigated by the IRS. One layer of fencing has already been placed around you and your assets.
The NDAA constitutes another big fence being built around the people in which all due process will soon be gone. The NDAA will allow the administration the “legal” right to secretly remove any burgeoning leadership of citizen opposition forces. The second provision which will allow this country to quickly transition to martial law is Executive Order (EO) 13603 which allows the President to take control over any resource, property and even human labor within the United States. This EO gives the President unlimited authority including the ability to initiate a civilian draft as well as a military draft. In short, this spells the potential enslavement of the American people. For those of you who still have your blinders on, research the NDAA and EO 13603 and then when you realize that I am correct in my interpretation, ask yourself one question; If the powers that be were not going to seize every important asset, then why would the government give itself the power to do just that? And while you are at it, remember the Clean Water Act gives the EPA to control all private property as well as the precious resources of all water. And then of course, the FDA and the conflicts with local farmers is escalating. And if this is not enough to convince the sheep of this country that the storm clouds are overhead, then take a look at HR 347 which outlaws protesting and takes away the First Amendment. This unconstitutional legislation makes it illegal to criticize the President and the government, as a whole, in the presence of Federal officials. I have news for you, there are Federal officials in every town, city and county in America. If one violates HR 347, they will be immediately arrested and charged with a felony.
I just saw the Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire, and this is eerily similar to what I saw in a lot of movies in that the people are being provoked to revolution. In fact, in the TV show, Revolution, the most evil entity in the series is the re-emergence of the United States government and the heroes of the show are rebelling against the abuse. It seems like everywhere we turn in the media, the people are being encouraged to rise up now and challenge authority. I am sure the establishment would rather confront a small group of dissidents and squelch the rebellion now, before the numbers can become significant and overwhelming to the establishment and this theme is being carried out in the media on a large scale.
Along these same lines, Obama has done nothing but agitate the middle class. I like to ask Obama supporters, can you name one thing Obama has done, on behalf of the establishment elite, to improve the plight of the American middle class? I can’t think of even one thing.
The fences have been built around the soon-to-be rabid dog population, so when the infected dogs go crazy, the pieces will have been put in place to deal with the uprisings that will surely follow the loss of everything. Containment is nearly complete. The final action will consist of gun confiscation and one side of the coming conflict is attempting to position themselves to do that in the near future and that would be the DHS, the Russians and the Chinese. I cannot think of another legitimate reason which would describe why these foreign troops are here.
Cognitive dissonance only relieves some of psychological distress for so long.
I have told you what is at risk before the inevitable economic crash. Now it is time to take stock of the sides of this coming civil war and a very clear picture is emerging.
The poor have no resources other than their food stamps which are already under attack. The middle class and their resources are the target for the coming conflict. And most of the middle class has no idea that they have been targeted. Soon the divide and conquer strategies will lose their effectiveness and the poor and the middle class will be on the same team because they will both have lost everything.
As most of you know, I have been screaming from the roof tops that the “Russians are coming, the Russians are coming”, in reference to a bilateral agreement signed between the Russian military and FEMA. Well, the Russians are not coming, they are here and so are the Chinese. As most of you also know the Russians are Chinese have threatened to nuke the United States over Iran and Syria in the past several months. Yet, this administration thinks it is a good idea to include the Russians and Chinese in participating in highly secure operations with profound national security implications in such drills as Grid EX II and the upcoming RIMPAC war games which we used to use to fight against the imaginary Chinese and Russian forces. This is insanity, however, in athletic parlance, one side conducted a trade and is now receiving the services of their once arch-rival.
The sides of the coming civil war looks like this. On one side, we find the evil empire consisting of the elite, their government puppets, the DHS the Chinese, the Russians and perhaps the military. The other side, for the moment consists of the middle class and now the poor as they move towards having their entitlements incrementally taken away. Unless the military and the police can be swayed to the side of the people, the people are going to lose badly.
There is one big prize and its allegiance has not yet been determined and that is the American military and it is a game changer.
Carving Up the Military Like a Thanksgiving Turkey
Obama is purging the military like no president has ever done. Bush fired two Generals. Obama has fired hundreds of command level officers. Why? Because the military leadership is the key to the coming civil war. Who will the military support? Will the military support an out of control administration who would use foreign military assets against the people? Or, will they support the people that they are sworn to defend?
Obama has the Russians and the Chinese military coming into the country because our military cannot be trusted to do what needs to be done when the economic crash occurs. They are needed to confiscate the guns. Obama knows that the military is conditioned to protect the people. He is hoping that he can change the entire structure of the military and thus, change its mission through changing its leadership.
I personally do not think Obama can change the rank and file of the military. I think he can only have a minimal effect on the leadership of the military. If Obama’s purge of the military is anything but for the purpose of commandeering its services for the upcoming civil war, I would really like to hear another explanation, because, for the life of me, I cannot see another purpose to Obama’s house cleaning of the military. .
Obama needs to be impeached and convicted for treason.
Commanding Military Officers Terminated By Obama
-General John R. Allen-U.S. Marines Commander International Security Assistance Force [ISAF] (Nov 2012)
-Major General Ralph Baker (2 Star)-U.S. Army Commander of the Combined Joint Task Force Horn in Africa (April 2013)
-Major General Michael Carey (2 Star)-U.S. Air Force Commander of the 20th US Air Force in charge of 9,600 people and 450 Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (Oct 2013)
-Colonel James Christmas-U.S. Marines Commander 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit & Commander Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response Unit (July 2013)
-Major General Peter Fuller-U.S. Army Commander in Afghanistan (May 2011)
-Major General Charles M.M. Gurganus-U.S. Marine Corps Regional Commander of SW and I Marine Expeditionary Force in Afghanistan (Oct 2013)
-General Carter F. Ham-U.S. Army African Command (Oct 2013)
-Lieutenant General David H. Huntoon (3 Star), Jr.-U.S. Army 58th Superintendent of the US Military Academy at West Point, NY (2013)
-Command Sergeant Major Don B Jordan-U.S. Army 143rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command (suspended Oct 2013)
-General James Mattis-U.S. Marines Chief of CentCom (May 2013)
-Colonel Daren Margolin-U.S. Marine in charge of Quantico’s Security Battalion (Oct 2013)
-General Stanley McChrystal-U.S. Army Commander Afghanistan (June 2010)
-General David D. McKiernan-U.S. Army Commander Afghanistan (2009)
-General David Petraeus-Director of CIA from September 2011 to November 2012 & U.S. Army Commander International Security Assistance Force [ISAF] and Commander U.S. Forces Afghanistan [USFOR-A] (Nov 2012)
-Brigadier General Bryan Roberts-U.S. Army Commander 2nd Brigade (May 2013)
-Major General Gregg A. Sturdevant-U.S. Marine Corps Director of Strategic Planning and Policy for the U.S. Pacific Command & Commander of Aviation Wing at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan (Sept 2013)
-Colonel Eric Tilley-U.S. Army Commander of Garrison Japan (Nov 2013)
-Brigadier General Bryan Wampler-U.S. Army Commanding General of 143rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command of the 1st Theater Sustainment Command [TSC] (suspended Oct 2013)
Nearly 160 Majors through the rank of Colonel have been let go by Obama.
Commanding Naval Officers Terminated by Obama
-Rear Admiral Charles Gaouette-U.S. Navy Commander John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group Three (Oct 2012)-Tried to rescue Ambassador Chris Stevens but was arrested during the attempt.
-Vice Admiral Tim Giardina(3 Star, demoted to 2 Star)-U.S. Navy Deputy Commander of the US Strategic Command, Commander of the Submarine Group Trident, Submarine Group 9 and Submarine Group 10 (Oct 2013)
-Lieutenant Commander Kurt Boenisch-Executive Officer amphibious transport dock Ponce (Apr 2011)
-Rear Admiral Ron Horton-U.S. Navy Commander Logistics Group, Western Pacific (Mar 2011)
-Lieutenant Commander Martin Holguin-U.S. Navy Commander mine countermeasures Fearless (Oct 2011)
-Captain David Geisler-U.S. Navy Commander Task Force 53 in Bahrain (Oct 2011)
-Commander Laredo Bell-U.S. Navy Commander Naval Support Activity Saratoga Springs, NY (Aug 2011)
-Commander Nathan Borchers-U.S. Navy Commander destroyer Stout (Mar 2011)
-Commander Robert Brown-U.S. Navy Commander Beachmaster Unit 2 Fort Story, VA (Aug 2011)
-Commander Andrew Crowe-Executive Officer Navy Region Center Singapore (Apr 2011)
-Captain Robert Gamberg-Executive Officer carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower (Jun 2011)
-Captain Rex Guinn-U.S. Navy Commander Navy Legal Service office Japan (Feb 2011)
-Commander Kevin Harms- U.S. Navy Commander Strike Fighter Squadron 137 aboard the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln (Mar 2011)
-Commander Etta Jones-U.S. Navy Commander amphibious transport dock Ponce (Apr 2011)
-Captain Owen Honors-U.S. Navy Commander aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (Jan 2011)
-Captain Donald Hornbeck-U.S. Navy Commander Destroyer Squadron 1 San Diego (Apr 2011)
-Commander Ralph Jones-Executive Officer amphibious transport dock Green Bay (Jul 2011)
-Commander Jonathan Jackson-U.S. Navy Commander Electronic Attack Squadron 134, deployed aboard carrier Carl Vinson (Dec 2011)
-Captain Eric Merrill-U.S. Navy Commander submarine Emory S. Land (Jul 2011)
-Captain William Mosk-U.S. Navy Commander Naval Station Rota, U.S. Navy Commander Naval Activities Spain (Apr 2011)
-Commander Timothy Murphy-U.S. Navy Commander Electronic Attack Squadron 129 at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, WA (Apr 2011)
-Commander Joseph Nosse-U.S. Navy Commander ballistic-missile submarine Kentucky (Oct 2011)
-Commander Mark Olson-U.S. Navy Commander destroyer The Sullivans FL (Sep 2011)
-Commander John Pethel-Executive Officer amphibious transport dock New York (Dec 2011)
-Commander Karl Pugh-U.S. Navy Commander Electronic Attack Squadron 141 Whidbey Island, WA (Jul 2011)
-Commander Jason Strength-U.S. Navy Commander of Navy Recruiting District Nashville, TN (Jul 2011)
-Captain Greg Thomas-U.S. Navy Commander Norfolk Naval Shipyard (May 2011)
-Commander Mike Varney-U.S. Navy Commander attack submarine Connecticut (Jun 2011)
-Commander Jay Wylie-U.S. Navy Commander destroyer Momsen (Apr 2011)
Forty one more were fired in 2012. One hundred and fifty seven were fired in 2013.
Source: The Common Sense Show
Should we trust Obama to be honest in his peace talks with Iran and Syria? His lightning shift from warmonger to peacemaker surprised everyone, including his closest regional allies — Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey — not to mention the entire U.S. congress, many of whom seem intent on sabotaging the Iran peace talks by imposing more war-provoking sanctions.
Let’s not forget that Obama was minutes away from blasting Syria into the Stone Age, but as he stared into the abyss of war he blinked at the last moment. Obama hid the consequent humiliation behind a hastily agreed upon chemical weapons deal proposed by Russia, which served to buy him time to think about the regional war he damn near started.
And now suddenly Obama is acting uncharacteristically rational. He’s agitating for peace among his anti-Syria coalition of close regional allies, namely Turkey and the Gulf Monarchy Sunni Islam dictatorships (Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, etc.). Obama is pressuring them to stop sending money, arms, and Sunni Islamic extremist fighters into Syria to topple Assad, so that peace can be pursued instead, a 180 degree shift in strategy. This has already seemed to have had an effect with Qatar and Turkey.
It’s crucial to remember that Obama could have pursued a peaceful path for well over a year, when Russia and Syria first proposed peace talks. Obama ignored the proposals and John Kerry publicly ridiculed them, so confident they were that the U.S.-backed rebels would topple Assad. This strategy pushed Syrian civilization into barbarism, and peace talks were again proposed last spring — but Obama’s rebels boycotted the talks, since Obama had a plan to help the rebels topple the regime via a Libyan-style U.S. military bombing campaign.
So Syrian blood was allowed to keep flowing. For at least two years Obama oversaw and coordinated — via the CIA — the Syrian “arms trafficking pipeline” — as The New York Times called it — which has helped drive the death count to over 100,000 and made millions more refugees.
Without the massive support from the U.S., its allies, and “private donors” (oil-rich “royalty” from the Gulf state monarchies), this “civil war” would have unquestionably ended long ago.
It was only after Obama decided not to bomb Syria — and shifted towards peace talks — did his prized Syrian rebels agree to go to the negotiating table (keep in mind that Obama’s rebels are mostly talking heads with no real power on the ground; the Islamic extremist rebels dominate the ground and continue to boycott negotiations).
Obama had long insisted that “Assad must go,” but Assad is still in power and stronger than ever, with large sections of the population — though especially the ethnic and religious minorities — choosing him over the Islamic extremist rebels who would come to power in his place — the same rebels who are fighting to transform Syria into a Taliban-era Afghanistan.
The rebels already have a mini-Afghanistan in portions of the “liberated” areas of Syria where Raqqa is considered to be the largest city ever administered by al-Qada-style Islamic extremists. Shockingly, there remain some stubborn holdouts among the political left who consider these extremist-controlled areas to be “liberated” proof of a “revolution” in Syria.
Now, the U.S.-Russia initiated “Geneva II” Syria peace accords appear to be serious negotiations, not only because Obama’s rebels were finally encouraged to participate, but also because Obama’s regional allies are furious, Saudi Arabia and especially Israel, who expressed its anger by using fighter jets to yet again bomb Syria, the fourth time this year.
Ultimately, Obama will have to prove via action that he is sincere in peace talks. It’s entirely possible that the peace talks are a mere tactic intended to engage in a more strategic war.
For example, if the Syrian government can be blamed for the possible failure of the Geneva II peace talks, a new war motive will be ready-made for Obama to sell to the American public, more convincing than the prior chemical weapons attack.
How will we know Obama is pursuing peace talks with good intentions? If he puts forth proposals that are universally accepted as reasonable, as opposed to provocative.
If he makes unreasonable demands on the Syrian government, we’ll know he intends to bait Assad into rejecting the proposal in an attempt to prime the U.S. and European public for war. Identifying such a provocative proposal will be easy: the purpose of such peace negotiations would be to copy the conditions on the battlefield and paste them to a peace treaty; the side winning the war wins the peace.
The Syrian government is in the dominant position on the battlefield, and thus has huge leverage in sincerely conducted peace talks. But if Obama demands that a precondition to any talks is the removal of President Assad, this will be an obvious provocation to ruin the talks. Obama has recently implied that he’s backing off of this proposal that’s popular among the rebels, but it’s still possible that he may make a similarly unrealistic proposal with the intention of provoking a rejection, with the intention to wage war.
It’s possible that Obama recently attempted this aggressive negotiating tactic against Iran during the ongoing nuclear talks. The initial peace deal that was offered — that Iran was willing to accept — was a bad deal for Iran, proving that Iran was overeager for peace and sanctions relief.
It is also possible that by offering such a lousy deal Obama meant to provoke Iran — as Peter Lee recently suggested in an excellent article — but the failure of the talks fell on the French, who at the last minute ruined the deal by making additional unreasonable demands which the Iranians did not accept. This suggests that events didn’t go as Obama intended, since he’d prefer that Iran be blamed for any failure rather than the French.
If Obama is acting honestly about completing peace talks with Iran and Syria, the entire Middle East will have to change as a consequence, since U.S. allies in the region went “all in” against Syria at Obama’s request, upsetting their domestic populations via massive war-immigration flows and fighting that spilled over the borders of Lebanon, Turkey, and Iraq.
Political and social tension rose throughout the Middle East, infecting several countries with heavy doses of religious sectarianism, the main weapon used against the Syrian Government. Even if peace is secured for the moment, the thousands of foreign fighters in Syria will return home as heroes to many, destabilizing their countries as happened after the Afghanistan Jihad that gave birth to al-Qada and the Taliban — also backed by the U.S. and the Gulf monarchies.
Shifting the entire Middle East back to a peaceful status quo won’t be easy; Obama used U.S. foreign power as a lever that pivoted the entire Middle East against Syria and Iran, and pivoting back isn’t so simple. Close allies have lost faith in the promises of the U.S. and will be less willing in the future to follow Obama into wild adventures that destabilize the Middle East with absolutely nothing to show for it, except blood, corpses, and general misery.
Obama’s peace talks could be easily sabotaged — even if he is acting with sincerity. Several recent events in the region were likely conducted with the intention of undermining the talks. The recent terrorist bombing near the Iranian embassy in Lebanon, the continued Israel airstrikes against Syria, and the possibility of more U.S. sanctions against Iran could undermine any potential peace, while strengthening the right wing of Iran, Israel, and the U.S, which would inevitably lead back to yet another pivot, shifting back to the path of war and a resumption of a U.S. bombing campaign against Syria.
Even if talks are successful, the Middle East will remain a turbulent region, as long as competing world powers — the U.S., EU, China, and Russia — are competing for raw materials, markets, and other profitable business activity. In fact, the shift in strategy is only a different means to accomplish the same end: to push Russian and Chinese influence out of the region all the while maintaining U.S. hegemony.
If Obama is serious about peace talks, he must prove it by pressuring his regional allies publicly and privately to do what’s necessary for peace, as well as condemning Israel in front of the world stage if it continues to act provocatively, while also publicly denouncing the Democrats and Republicans if they try to provoke war with fresh sanctions.
Only this kind of consistency is capable of ensuring a temporary peace with Iran and Syria, and anything less will prove that Obama is implicitly pursuing the path of war by other means.
We came, we saw, we stayed. Forever. That’s the essence of the so-called Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) to be struck between the Obama administration and Afghanistan – over 12 years after the start of the never-ending War on Terror.
President Obama and US Secretary of State John Kerry define it as a ‘strategic partnership’. If that’s the case, it’s one of the most lopsided in history; Afghan President Hamid Karzai is no more than a sartorially impeccable American puppet.
Kerry announced the so-called BSA in Washington on Wednesday even before a Loya Jirga (‘Grand Council’, in Pashto) of 2,500 Afghan tribal leaders, clerics, members of parliament and merchants started their four-day deliberations in a tent on the grounds of the Polytechnical University in Kabul on Thursday.
But then Karzai, probably in his last major speech as president, pulled off a fabulous stunt. He knows he is, and will be, accused of selling Afghanistan down the (Panjshir) river. He knows he is sacrificing Afghan sovereignty for years to come – and there will be nasty blowback for it.
So once again he channeled Hamid the Actor, and played his best honest broker impersonation, stressing the BSA should be put off until the Afghan presidential elections in April 2014, and be signed by his successor.
It was high drama
“There’s a mistrust between me and the Americans. They don’t trust me and I don’t trust them. I have always criticized them and they have always propagated negative things behind my back,” he claimed.
I have been to Jirgas in Afghanistan; even looking at those inscrutable, rugged tribal faces is a spectacle in itself. So what were they thinking in Kabul? Of course they did not trust the Americans. But did they trust Karzai? Could they see this was all an act?
A consultative Loya Jirga cannot veto the BSA. Even the Jirga chairman, Sibghatullah Mojadeddi, stressed Karzai may sign without any consultation. Yet Karzai insists he will not sign without the Loya Jirga’s approval.
Many members of the Afghan parliament and the entire Afghan opposition already voted with their feet, boycotting the Jirga. Not to mention the Taliban – essential to any agreement on the future of Afghanistan – and the still fully weaponized Hezb-e-Islami. Everyone is eagerly waiting to hear Taliban supremo Mullah Omar’s take on the whole kabuki.
The BSA ‘negotiation’ has been like an extended Monty Python sketch. Washington has always insisted US soldiers can break into Afghan homes at will and remain immune to any sort of Afghan prosecution. Otherwise the Americans will leave for good at the end of 2014, leaving just the poorly trained and largely corrupt Afghan National Army (ANA) to fight the Taliban.
Up until Karzai’s latest stunt, the Obama administration considered the deal was in the bag. Just look at the letter Obama sent to Karzai.
And by the way, no apologies. National Security Advisor Susan Rice said Washington does not need to apologize for killing and injuring tens of thousands of civilians in Afghanistan since 2001, not to mention occupying vast swathes of the country. Earlier, a Karzai spokesman said that would be the case.
If in doubt, just listen to super-hawk US Senator Lindsay Graham, who told Reuters, “I’m stunned. Apologize for what? Maybe we should get the Afghan president to apologize to the American soldiers for all the hardship he’s created for them.”
There’s nothing ‘residual’ about a US occupation to be disguised as ‘forces’ necessary to train and ‘advise’ the roughly 350,000 soldiers and police which are part of ANA, built from scratch over the last few years.
And what we’re talking about here is a deal starting in 2015 and in effect up to 2024 ‘and beyond’.
The final agreement is not much different from this previously leaked working draft. An update has been circulating this week in the Pentagon and the US Congress. The Pentagon, via Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, justifies the whole thing by the proverbial need to ‘maintain Afghanistan’s security’ and make sure foreign aid is not being squandered (as it has always been).
There will be plenty of US military outposts and bases; Afghan bases and other bases of which the US has ‘exclusive use’. Bagram, Kandahar, Jalalabad and Mazar-e-Sharif are inevitably on the list. Once again, this is the US Empire of Bases – so well characterized by the late Chalmers Johnson – in pristine form.
Marine General Joseph Dunford, the current US/NATO military commander in Afghanistan, wants up to 13,000 troops to stay, not including security guards and the cream of the crop, the counterterrorism gang. In theory, these forces won’t engage in combat “unless otherwise mutually agreed.” The draft text emphasizes, “US military operations to defeat Al-Qaeda and its affiliates may be appropriate in the common fight against terrorism.”
Translation: a future festival of raids by Special Forces, and a counter-terror free-for-all.
The draft text only mentions, vaguely,” full respect for Afghan sovereignty and full regard for the safety and security of the Afghan people, including in their homes,” as Obama also mentioned in his letter to Karzai.
And there’s absolutely nothing on the critical issue of drones based in Afghan bases that have been used for incinerating the odd commander but also scores of innocent civilians in the Pakistani tribal areas.
All about pivoting to Asia
The Maliki government in Baghdad had the balls to confront the Pentagon and veto the immunity for US forces – effectively kicking out the occupying force in Iraq. Hamid Karzai, for his part, caved in on virtual every US demand. The key question in the next few months is for what; Mob-style protection if he stays in Afghanistan, or the equivalent of the FBI’s witness protection program if he moves to the US?
Even assuming the Loya Jirga endorses the BSA (not yet a done deal) and Karzai’s successor signs it (with Karzai removing himself from the tight spot), to say this opens a new Pandora’s box is an understatement.
The occupation, for all practical purposes, will continue. This has nothing to do with fighting the War on Terror or jihad. There’s no Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. The few remnants are in Waziristan, in Pakistani territory. The US is – and will remain – essentially at war with Afghan Pashtuns who are members of the Taliban. And the Taliban will keep staging their spring and summer offensives as long as there are any foreign occupiers on Afghan soil.
The drone war will continue, with the Pentagon and the CIA using these Afghan bases to attack Pashtuns in Pakistan’s tribal areas. Not to mention that these US bases, to be fully operational, need unrestricted access to the Pakistani transit routes from the Khyber Pass and the Quetta-to-Kandahar corridor. This means Islamabad keeps profiting from the scam by collecting hefty fees in US dollars.
No one knows yet how the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) will respond to this. Not only Russia and China – who are adamantly opposed to US bases in Afghanistan – but also Iran and India, SCO observers and two countries that can sway Afghanistan away from the Taliban in a non-military way.
We just need to picture, for instance, a practically inevitable future development; Washington deciding to deploy the US missile defense system in Afghanistan (it already happened in Turkey). Russia and China already see that the US may have lost the economic race for Central Asia – as China clinches deal after deal in the context of expanding its New Silk Road(s) grand strategy. What’s left for Washington is – guess what – bits and pieces of the same old Pentagon Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine, as in military bases to ‘monitor’ both China and Russia very close to their borders.
What’s certain is that both Russia and China – not to mention Iran – all see this Operation Occupy Afghanistan Forever for what it is; yet another (military) chapter of the American ‘pivoting to Asia’.
Pepe Escobar is the roving correspondent for Asia Times/Hong Kong, an analyst for RT and TomDispatch, and a frequent contributor to websites and radio shows ranging from the US to East Asia.
The day that John Kennedy was murdered, was the day that Americans lost their country. Since that fateful day in November of 1963, our slide into tyranny has accelerated.
Nearly every form of tyranny which has overrun our country has its roots in the post-JFK assassination event. JFK was seemingly the last watchman on the wall against the encroaching tyranny of the newly created national surveillance security police state grid.
There have only been two prominent politicians who have stood up to the tyranny of the New World Order since the death of JFK. These two men would be Reagan (until he was shot by Hinckley) and Ron Paul.
The Missed Opportunity Connected to the 50th Anniversary
Last summer, I predicted that the upcoming 50th anniversary of JFK’s murder would awaken a whole new generation as to the tyranny that the country has fallen under and who is responsible for that tyranny. I wrongly believed that the co-conspirators, the interlocking pieces of the JFK assassination cabal, namely, David Rockefeller, the Federal Reserve, the oil companies, the military industrial complex and the CIA and their mafia assets, would be exposed with all the attention that the 50th anniversary would provide.
I wrongly believed that these groups with their current and undue influence on America would also be readily identified for what they did to JFK and to the country on November 22, 1963. I further believed that today’s younger generation would easily build the bridge linking the corruption and undue influence of these 1963 groups to today’s political landscape and this would be an easy association. Unfortunately, my predictions were in error because we in the alternative media dropped the ball.
The 2013 Establishment Propaganda Machine Is Rolled Out
The day that JFK was murdered was the day that Rockefeller won the world’s biggest lottery.
With the marking of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, there have been over 2,000 books written on the subject and countless radio and television shows devoted to the topic. This fall, the globalist news corporations have produced a rash of new JFK “investigations” which all purport to show different ways to prove that Oswald, and Oswald alone, killed John Kennedy. The new productions (e.g. National Geographic) are so bad and so faulty, that they are laughable.
Media Propagandists Ignore the Government’s Final Conclusion of a Conspiracy
The modern day propagandists are winning the day with regard to the control of the narrative surrounding the assassination. During the height of America’s skepticism regarding the 1964 Warren Report which stated that Lee Oswald killed John Kennedy and that he acted alone, most Americans rejected the “official explanation. What the modern day public, as well as the establishment propagandists, seem to have forgotten is that in 1977, the House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded that Oswald had help and JFK was killed as a result of a conspiracy. This was the final word on the subject from our government on the assassination. However, the history revisionists do not want a hint of a conspiracy because this could give birth to a modern day JFK assassination renaissance in a search for the co-conspirators who killed JFK. Once that search would begin, the descendants of the perpetrators organizations would not be able to escape public scrutiny. We in the alternative and truthful media missed a golden opportunity to wake up the country on this 50th Anniversary of JFK’s death. This fall, if we had devoted a significant amount of time and effort to covering the assassination, and we had been relentless in our efforts, the under 40 crowd would understand who their present enemies are and they would have been awakened to the present day tyranny. We allowed our voices to be drowned out by the mainstream fictional media with their new JFK cover up pieces. Sadly, we lost a golden opportunity to wake up millions of young Americans.
At the height of JFK conspiracy fervor in the 1970′s-1990′s, according to the Gallup Poll, as many as 80% of Americans believed that there was a conspiracy to kill JFK. Today, that number has slipped to 61% thanks in large part to the new propaganda productions which are influencing our younger Americans.
In the 1990′s, Oliver Stone produced JFK and Bill Kurtis and Nigel Turner produced separate investigations into the assassination (i.e. The Men Who Killed Kennedy). In the 1990′s, the country was spellbound by the new revelations which were also bolstered by JFK admirer, Bill Clinton, as he forced the release of millions of classified JFK documents. However, the evil empire struck back around the year, 2000, and today, you see almost nothing on TV which does not show that Oswald was acting alone.
Follow the Money
What is conspicuously missing in most, if not all of the accounts related to the assassination of John F. Kennedy, is the fact that normal homicidal investigative strategies have not been employed by people in the government who would have the power to do so. One of the hallmark phrases in murder investigations is to “follow the money”.
Every year at this time, I become reflective as I wonder what America, and the rest of the world might have looked like if JFK had survived, been re-elected and served a second term as President. This year I decided to follow the money and put my thoughts on paper. So, let’s briefly follow the money.
Everybody knows that the Pentagon was frothing at the mouth to get into an armed conflict in Vietnam and/or Laos. In 1961, JFK resisted the military pressure to place troops in Laos, as he clearly instructed diplomat, Averell Harriman, to get the Laos issue settled because JFK was determined to not put combat units on the ground in Southeast Asia.
It is true that JFK was manipulated by his military advisers to place troops on the ground in Vietnam but solely in the role as “combat advisers”. JFK’s anti-Vietnam war stance frequently gets overlooked because of this. However, in October 1963, a mere month before his death, JFK signed National Security Action Memorandum 263 which called for the withdrawal of 1,000 troops from Vietnam by the end of 1963 and a total withdrawal of all of the combat advisers by the end of 1965. This was one nail in the coffin of JFK.
JFK gave many speeches in which he clearly stated he was opposed to widening U.S. military involvement in the war. South Vietnamese leader, Diem and his brother Nhu were opposed to U.S. attempts to control his regime and Diem and his brother were adamantly opposed U.S. full-scale U.S. military involvement beyond the 16,000 combat advisers stationed in the country. On November 1, 1963, Diem and Nhu were murdered by the CIA against JFK’s wishes. Three weeks later, to the day, John F. Kennedy was murdered. Within nine months following the assassination, the LBJ administration launched the now discredited false flag event, the Gulf of Tonkin attack, and 100,000 combat troops were subsequently sent to Vietnam. Many researchers have proven the involvement of the same CIA and its Mafia connections which dates back to 1942 when the CIA was known as the OSS.
Knowing that the CIA and Mafia were involved in JFK’s murder, does not tell you who ordered the assassination. Any guesses on who profited the most from the Vietnam War? In radio parlance, you will have to stay tuned, the answer will be revealed at the end.
There were huge financial incentives for the American defense industry to participate in the murder of JFK. Yes, that would be the military industrial complex which Ike warned us about in his 1960 farewell address. In 1963, Chrysler corporation and its subsidiaries received the lion’s share of defense contracts for the war, most of which were resold to smaller corporations. Corporations such as Bell Helicopter enjoyed unparalleled growth during the height of the war. There are some interesting and notable parties which controlled the Chrysler defense industry interests in 1963.
Very powerful parties would have stood to have lost a lot of money had the war not materialized into a full-scale air and ground war. Who am I speaking about? All will be revealed when I connect the dots at the end. Oh by the way, the forerunner to the bid rigging and recipient of no bid contracts in Iraq, KBR, was also found guilty of the same thing in Vietnam when they were given the responsibility for building South Vietnam’s military infrastructure. The more things change, the more they do stay the same.
Making Enemies with the CIA: The Bay of Pigs
It was very well known that JFK refused to support and sanction the CIA backed Cuban refugee invasion of Cuba by refusing to allow air cover. The invasion failed and the careers of CIA Director, Dulles, and CIA Assistant Director, Cabal, were over. The proverbial line in the sand had been drawn and the CIA and JFK became mortal enemies with JFK threatening to break up the agency into a “thousand pieces”. Add to this fact, is the fact that it is well-known that the darker parts of the CIA act as mercenaries for certain groups who are not on the government payroll. Today, we would call these shadowy forces, the New World Order.
It is clear that with the advent of the Bay of Pigs, the brain trust for the assassination had been born and they would double down as this agency would perpetrate the cover-up, such as losing the President’s brain during the autopsy to hide the fact that JFK’s fatal head shot came from an exploding bullet, which means that Oswald’s defective Italian rifle could not have been used in the commission of the crime. Maybe this is also why LBJ had the Presidential limousine “cleaned up” immediately following the crime and the vehicle was never subsequently examined as any other crime scene would have been. LBJ should have gone to prison for obstruction of justice, but I digress. Jim Marrs and other researchers have clearly implicated the CIA as the masterminds of the assassination. I agree with Marrs, however, the CIA were not the original planners, they merely were tasked with carrying out the assassination. Regardless, the rich and famous wanted Cuba back and JFK had destroyed their plans for continued domination of the Island state.
Ten days following the Bay of Pigs, JFK gave his famous “secret society” speech. He is the first, and the only President to ever identify the globalists as the enemy of America and humanity as a whole.
If you have never listened to the speech, you should take the time to listen now, for if you do, the events of today will make a great deal more sense.
The Cuban Missile Crisis
Havana had become a play place for the rich and famous prior to the Castro led revolution. Upon seizing power, Castro promptly nationalized all gaming resorts and the Mafia lost their insanely high profits and the rich and famous lost their financial cut, as well as their 1960 version of Bohemian Grove. In the eyes of the rich and powerful, JFK had one more opportunity to get control over Cuba with the opportunity presented by the Cuban Missile Crisis.
In 1962, in response to America’s placing offensive nuclear weapons in Turkey, close to the Soviet border, the Russians did the same in Cuba. This event brought the U.S. and the Soviet Union to the brink of nuclear war. All of JFK’s military advisers wanted to invade Cuba with ground troops. JFK opted for the ever-contracting naval blockade. Although history has proven that our invading troops would have been nuked, and that JFK pursued the correct course of action, the powerful military was now lining up against JFK. And, again, the rich and famous were thwarted in their desire to reassert control over Cuba and the defense contractors smelled the end of the gravy train.
Then in June of 1963, JFK gave an incredible speech at American University in which he called for the total destruction of nuclear weapons. This would have resulted in the end of the financially lucrative Cold War and the “Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war”, and a movement toward “general and complete disarmament” would have begun. A few months later JFK signed a Limited Test Ban Treaty with Nikita Khrushchev. What would happen to the profits of Raytheon and Martin Marietta (now Lockheed Martin) if there was no cold war? The executives at the defense plants could relax because when JFK was killed, LBJ ordered the single largest increase in U.S. history and before the ink was even dry on JFK’s death certificate.
America Cannot Have Peace, It Is Bad For Business
Please take the time and listen to JFK’s, American University Speech, June 10, 1963, and if you understand what it means to be an American, it will bring tears to your eyes and I believe that this speech also brought a bullet to JFK’s brain, because he was poking a stick into the eyes of the military industrial complex.
The Federal Reserve
On June 4, 1963, President Kennedy issued Executive Order 11110 and this accompanied the Kennedy act which was the beginning of an attempt to strip the Federal Reserve Bank of its power to loan money, at interest, to the government. JFK was on his way of stripping the then 50 year history of fleecing the American people. In effect, JFK, by issuing 4.3 billion dollars of U.S. notes based upon silver held in reserve, JFK was going to be able to wipe away the beginnings of national debt which, today, has mortally wounded the American economy. Please take note of the fact that this event was only a little over 5 months before the assassination. When JFK was murdered, LBJ failed to continue with the program.
Who stood to lose the most money if the Federal Reserve had lost its stranglehold on the American economy? You would be right if you answered Chase-Manhattan Bank with its 6,389,445 shares of Federal Reserve Board Stock valued at 32.3% of the total value of stock at the Fed. Also, Citibank had a lot to lose by this move as well as they were invested in the Federal Reserve shares to the tune of 4,051,851, or 20.5% of the total value. I think you might be getting an idea who owned and/or controlled the majority interests in these two banks in 1963, but there is more before we answer the question on who profited the most from the murder of a sitting President in 1963.
The Oil Depletion Allowance
By the end of 1962, the robber barons which ran the oil industry estimated, that their earnings on foreign investment capital would fall to 15 percent, compared with 30 percent in 1955 if the oil depletion allowance was diminished in accordance with JFK’s proposal.
JFK’s attack upon the oil depletion allowance, which permitted oil producers to deduct up to 27.5% of their income as tax exempt provided the robber barons of oil a lower tax rate and a competitive business advantage, not shared by any other business interests. JFK targeted the oil depletion allowance and it was estimated the government might retain more than $300 million in tax revenue each year if the depletion allowance was reduced. Although the oil depletion allowance remained intact, due to the congressmen who were recipients of oil company campaign contributions, JFK made some very powerful enemies in the oil industry.
It was the oil depletion allowance which made drilling for oil a no risk venture. An oil speculator could drill five wells and if four were dry wells and only the fifth struck oil, the speculator would still make money because of tax breaks resulting from the depletion allowance deducted from owed taxes. President Kennedy pointed out the obvious when he stated “… no one industry should be permitted to obtain an undue tax advantage over all others.”
JFK had made an enemy out of the oil industry and its biggest tycoon, David Rockefeller with the proposal to reduce the oil depletion allowance. Do you know the two banks which controlled 53% of the Federal Reserve in 1963? Rockefeller owned the controlling interest in both banks. How about Chrysler, KBR, Bell Helicopter and the Vietnam War? You are way ahead if you said, David Rockefeller. And what about the nuclear arms race, to which the cessation of the cold war, would have meant the loss of profits to the defense industry? And who controls the defense industry? David Rockefeller. We had to have a cold war, then, for the same reasons we need a war on terror today. It is good for business and with the subsequent growth of government power which comes with war, the erosion of Constitutional liberties increases. All roads for the motivations of the JFK assassination leads to David Rockefeller as being the first mover in the plot.
Do I have the smoking gun that I can place in Rockefeller’s hand? The short answer is no. However, it is safe to say that the day that John Kennedy died, there were no tears shed at the Rockefeller estate.
If JFK’s murder had been anything but the killing of the President, any police detective worth his salt, would have followed the money trail and arrests would have been made based on the known facts. It is unacceptable that as we race toward the 50th Anniversary of the event, this next week, that not one person has been brought to justice in a court of law for the assassination of John Kennedy. Instead, a patsy, Lee Oswald,who never fired a gun on November 22, 1963, was framed and used as the patsy. And before Oswald could talk, he was murdered two days later under very mysterious circumstances. Over the next several days, I am going to publish mini-excerpts on facts about the JFK assassination which are not being covered by the MSM. My first entry will focus on how we know that Oswald did not kill JFK.
Reflections on What Could Have Been
If JFK would have lived, we would have not lost 58,000 lives in Vietnam. Millions of Vietnamese would have been spared. We would have an economy that is backed by silver and we would virtually have no debt because the corrupt Federal Reserve would have faded into oblivion as it did during the Andrew Jackson Administration. America would have schools that would the envy of the world, not the butt of jokes, because we would not spending money to kill people, but rather to educate, improve health care and we could have even afforded to pay off all privately held mortgages if we had only remembered the words of JFK when he reminded the faculty and staff at American University on June 10, 1963, that “We all breathe the same air…”
We would live in a far better place had we lived out JFK’s expressed ideals. I write this piece, not just to remind America of what we lost and how America suffered with Jack Kennedy’s death, I write this piece for those who know little of nothing of what happened on November 22, 1963, mostly young people, in order that they can know that the tyranny being imposed upon us, need not exist. There is a better way and for a moment when I listen to his speeches, I can imagine a better world.
The international crisis may be over, but the multisided war in Syria is continuing. On Friday government planes bombarded rebel positions in the eastern city of Deir al-Zor after heavy clashes claimed the life of one of President Bashar al-Assad’s top military intelligence officers. In the long-contested city of Aleppo, a renewed rebel assault on the city’s central prison has run out of steam. The Syrian Army is preparing an offensive in the Qalamoun region east of Damascus and secure the key road connecting the capital with Homs, near the border with Lebanon. Last Wednesday dozens of fighters were reported killed in clashes between the Kurdish YPG militia and al-Nusra Front jihadists in the oil-rich Hasake province in northeastern Syria.
The fighting will continue, but no strategically decisive event is on the horizon. A military stalemate is taking shape. The rebels are controlling large areas in the north and east of the country, while government forces have extended control over their strongholds in Damascus, the coastal strip, and the areas along the border with Lebanon. The capture of the town of Qusair in June and the failure of the U.S. military intervention to materialize in September have given the government a major boost, while accentuating political divisions among the rebels.
On October 16 dozens of rebel groups in southern Syria announced that they have severed links with the Turkey-based Syrian National Coalition, the political arm of the Free Syrian Army. Only weeks earlier several powerful rebel factions in the north of the country broke with the Coalition and declared support for the introduction of Sharia in the country. The rebels’ foreign backers are increasingly exasperated at the fighting groups’ failure to conceal their Jihadist agenda and their inability to present a coherent front. A major snag for the Obama Administration is the opposition’s reluctance to attend a peace conference in Geneva, tentatively scheduled for November 23-24 and jointly sponsored by the U.S. and Russia. The discord in opposition ranks casts serious doubts over whether any credible representatives will turn up. The Western powers and the Arab Gulf states are promising fresh assistance if they do attend, but no opposition leader seems willing to allow the possibility of a transitional government in which President Bashar al-Assad would play a role.
The rebels’ insistence on Bashar’s exclusion is unrealistic, now that the American military intervention is no longer on the cards and the Syrian government’s cooperation is essential in the process of dismantling the country’s chemical weapons arsenal. Unfortunately for the rebels, the program is proceeding smoothly and Washington is not interested in jeopardizing its success by supporting the rebels’ unreasonable demands. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons announced last Wednesday that its inspectors have so far visited 11 of more than 20 sites linked to the chemical weapons program. The team destroyed “critical equipment” at six sites as well as unloaded chemical weapons munitions, said the OPCW. At the same time there have been fresh calls on the rebels to provide inspectors with unhindered access. On Friday The New York Times quoted a Western diplomat as saying that “however divided the opposition might be, it would look very bad if the government was seen to be cooperating fully, while inspections were held up because of problems with the opposition.”
The U.N. peace envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, insists that the Geneva conference is needed because everyone in Syria is at military and political dead-end. “Geneva is a way out for everyone: the Americans, Russia, the Syrian regime and the opposition,” he said in a veiled warning to Bashar’s foes to get their act together. “Whoever realizes this first will benefit. Whoever does not realize it will find himself overboard, outside the political process.” The International Crisis Group (ICG), which has advocated robust U.S. engagement in the past, now says that the Syrian opposition “should develop a realistic strategy towards what remains the best hope for ending the war,” including “reaching internal consensus on workable negotiation parameters.” The Guardian, long an advocate of Western intervention, now notes that “mainstream opposition figures are alarmed at the growing success of the Syrian government’s argument that the country now faces a stark choice between Assad and al-Qaida.”
The rebels’ behavior in those areas they control has given ample credence to that argument. Cold-blooded executions of captured government soldiers have been going on for months, but the mass murder of unarmed villagers is a novelty. Proportionate to their numbers, the Christians are the main victims, as we have repeatedly warned they would be. According to Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregorios III, more than 450,000 Christians out of a total population of 1.75 million had been displaced or left the country. Similar warnings came from Archbishop Cyril Karim of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch in the United States, who last summer led protests against the possibility of an American military strike on Syria.
Feeling abandoned by the West, Syria’s Christians are turning to Russia for protection. Tens of thousands want to apply for Russian citizenship, not in order to flee Syria but to be “under the protection of Russia if we face the threat of being physically eliminated by terrorists.” Over 50,000 Syrian Christians signed the address, including doctors, engineers, lawyers and businessmen from the Kalamoun area near Damascus. Their appeal follows President Vladimir Putin’s strong attack last July on the infringement of the rights of Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East and elsewhere around the world.
The United States, in the meantime, continues to supply the rebels with arms and training, directly or by proxy. The Administration is also preparing a new massive arms shipment to our good friends in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates—$13 billion worth of “various munitions and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support.” This comes at a time of ongoing sabre-rattling from Gulf leaders who “threaten to stand steadfast to the cause—in spite of US ‘weakness’—determined to remake the Middle East in their authoritarian image.”
Will the slights and salt-in-wound exacerbations ever end? It’s not enough that white people are cast as the source of all the world’s woes as people find that we, increasingly, leave a bad taste in their mouths. Now we hear that even man’s best friend doesn’t find us very palatable. Writes The Independent in a piece titled “’Racist’ LA police dogs only bite Latinos and African-Americans”:
Police officers in Los Angeles have long faced accusations of institutional racism, but now it appears their dogs may be unjustly discriminatory, too.
A new report focusing on the Canine Special Detail of the LA Sherriff’s Department (LASD) has uncovered a vast increase in the number of minority individuals bitten by police dogs since 2004.
And in the first six months of this year, every single victim of a bite by a LASD dog was African-American or Latino.
…the number of Latino individuals bitten by LASD canines went up 30 per cent between 2004 and 2012, from 30 to 39 bites. The number of African-Americans bitten increased by 33 per cent over the same period.
Of course, some people will point out that L.A. is already “majority-minority” and that its percentage of non-Hispanic whites continues to decline steadily. They will say that even in New York City — which has a larger white population than L.A. — blacks and Hispanics commit 96 percent of all crime. So who would we expect police dogs to bite in a big city? “I mean,” these apologists will say, “K-9s generally don’t bite random people on the street.”
But I say save it. Don’t spit down my back and tell me it’s rainin’. This clearly is culinary bias that, given dogs’ perceived reputation for being good judges of people, serves to further demonize whites.
And the experts are on my side in recognizing the dangers of racial gastronomic distress. As The Telegraph wrote in 2008:
The National Children’s Bureau [in Britain]…has issued guidance to play leaders and nursery teachers advising them to be alert for racist incidents among youngsters in their care.
This could include a child of as young as three who says “yuk” in response to being served unfamiliar foreign food.
Also consider that the National Children’s (Polit?)Bureau warned that another sign of bias can be indicated by a child saying “they smell.”
Now note that dogs find that we smell.
In fact, I can’t tell you how many times a canine has gone sniffing about my person.
Without ever taking a bite!
What gives? I mean, I wash — with soap. What do these beasts of bias find so off-putting?
But now I will take to heart the U.K. bureau’s advice that “[n]o racist incident should be ignored….” and propose some remedies:
- Police dogs must receive sensitivity training and be warned about gratuitous and racially disparate sniffing.
- The word “odor” must not be used. The dogs should be understood to practice “aroma detection.” Moreover, olfactory activity should not be pursued in an obvious and offensive manner. Excessive nose twitches are to be avoided.
- Quotas for canine bites must be instituted. Whites must be afforded bite events in accordance with their percentage of the population. Consider that even in a place such as L.A. there is no shortage of white people in the street who could receive a self-esteem-buttressing tasting.
Having said all this, what pains me most is that I’ve been part of the problem. Why, when I eat chicken or turkey, I’m definitely not partial to the white meat.
So maybe there’s a deeper truth here. Even so, do the media really have to rub our Caucasian noses in it?
“U.S. hopes of winning more influence over Syria’s divided rebel movement faded Wednesday after 11 of the biggest armed factions repudiated the Western-backed political opposition coalition and announced the formation of an alliance dedicated to creating an Islamist state. The al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra, designated a terrorist organization by the United States, is the lead signatory of the new group.” 1
Pity the poor American who wants to be a good citizen, wants to understand the world and his country’s role in it, wants to believe in the War on Terrorism, wants to believe that his government seeks to do good … What is he to make of all this?
For about two years, his dear American government has been supporting the same anti-government side as the jihadists in the Syrian civil war; not total, all-out support, but enough military hardware, logistics support, intelligence information, international political, diplomatic and propaganda assistance (including the crucial alleged-chemical-weapons story), to keep the jihadists in the ball game. Washington and its main Mideast allies in the conflict – Turkey, Jordan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia – have not impeded the movement to Syria of jihadists coming to join the rebels, recruited from the ranks of Sunni extremist veterans of the wars in Chechnya, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, while Qatar and the Saudis have supplied the rebels with weapons, most likely bought in large measure from the United States, as well as lots of of what they have lots of – money.
This widespread international support has been provided despite the many atrocities carried out by the jihadists – truck and car suicide bombings (with numerous civilian casualties), planting roadside bombs à la Iraq, gruesome massacres of Christians and Kurds, grotesque beheadings and other dissections of victims’ bodies (most charming of all: a Youtube video of a rebel leader cutting out an organ from the chest of a victim and biting into it as it drips with blood). All this barbarity piled on top of a greater absurdity – these Western-backed, anti-government forces are often engaged in battle with other Western-backed, anti-government forces, non-jihadist. It has become increasingly difficult to sell this war to the American public as one of pro-democracy “moderates” locked in a good-guy-versus-bad-guy struggle with an evil dictator, although in actuality the United States has fought on the same side as al Qaeda on repeated occasions before Syria. Here’s a brief survey:
Afghanistan, 1980-early 1990s: In support of the Islamic Moujahedeen (“holy warriors”), the CIA orchestrated a war against the Afghan government and their Soviet allies, pouring in several billions of dollars of arms and extensive military training; hitting up Middle-Eastern countries for donations, notably Saudi Arabia which gave hundreds of millions of dollars in aid each year; pressuring and bribing Pakistan to rent out its country as a military staging area and sanctuary.
It worked. And out of the victorious Moujahedeen came al Qaeda.
Bosnia, 1992-5: In 2001 the Wall Street Journal declared:
It is safe to say that the birth of al-Qaeda as a force on the world stage can be traced directly back to 1992, when the Bosnian Muslim government of Alija Izetbegovic issued a passport in their Vienna embassy to Osama bin Laden. … for the past 10 years, the most senior leaders of al Qaeda have visited the Balkans, including bin Laden himself on three occasions between 1994 and 1996. The Egyptian surgeon turned terrorist leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri has operated terrorist training camps, weapons of mass destruction factories and money-laundering and drug-trading networks throughout Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Bosnia. This has gone on for a decade. 2
A few months later, The Guardian reported on “the full story of the secret alliance between the Pentagon and radical Islamist groups from the Middle East designed to assist the Bosnian Muslims – some of the same groups that the Pentagon is now fighting in “the war against terrorism”. 3
In 1994 and 1995 US/NATO forces carried out bombing campaigns over Bosnia aimed at damaging the military capability of the Serbs and enhancing that of the Bosnian Muslims. In the decade-long civil wars in the Balkans, the Serbs, regarded by Washington as the “the last communist government in Europe”, were always the main enemy.
Kosovo, 1998-99: Kosovo, overwhelmingly Muslim, was a province of Serbia, the main republic of the former Yugoslavia. In 1998, Kosovo separatists – The Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) – began an armed conflict with Belgrade to split Kosovo from Serbia. The KLA was considered a terrorist organization by the US, the UK and France for years, with numerous reports of the KLA having contact with al-Qaeda, getting arms from them, having its militants trained in al-Qaeda camps in Pakistan, and even having members of al-Qaeda in KLA ranks fighting against the Serbs. 4
However, when US-NATO forces began military action against the Serbs the KLA was taken off the US terrorist list, it “received official US-NATO arms and training support” 5 , and the 1999 US-NATO bombing campaign eventually focused on driving Serbian forces from Kosovo.
In 2008 Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia, an independence so illegitimate and artificial that the majority of the world’s nations still have not recognized it. But the United States was the first to do so, the very next day, thus affirming the unilateral declaration of independence of a part of another country’s territory.
The KLA have been known for their trafficking in women, heroin, and human body parts (sic). The United States has naturally been pushing for Kosovo’s membership in NATO and the European Union.
Nota bene: In 1992 the Bosnian Muslims, Croats, and Serbs reached agreement in Lisbon for a unified state. The continuation of a peaceful multi-ethnic Bosnia seemed assured. But the United States sabotaged the agreement. 6
Libya, 2011: The US and NATO to the rescue again. For more than six months, almost daily missile attacks against the government and forces of Muammar Gaddafi as assorted Middle East jihadists assembled in Libya and battled the government on the ground. The predictable outcome came to be – the jihadists now in control of parts of the country and fighting for the remaining parts. The wartime allies showed their gratitude to Washington by assassinating the US ambassador and three other Americans, presumably CIA, in the city of Benghazi.
Caucasus (Russia), mid-2000s to present: The National Endowment for Democracy and Freedom House have for many years been the leading American “non-government” institutions tasked with destabilizing, if not overthrowing, foreign governments which refuse to be subservient to the desires of US foreign policy. Both NGOs have backed militants in the Russian Caucasus area, one that has seen more than its share of terror stretching back to the Chechnyan actions of the 1990s. 7
“Omission is the most powerful form of lie.” – George Orwell
I am asked occasionally why I am so critical of the mainstream media when I quote from them repeatedly in my writings. The answer is simple. The American media’s gravest shortcoming is much more their errors of omission than their errors of commission. It’s what they leave out that distorts the news more than any factual errors or out-and-out lies. So I can make good use of the facts they report, which a large, rich organization can easier provide than the alternative media.
A case in point is a New York Times article of October 5 on the Greek financial crisis and the Greeks’ claim for World War Two reparations from Germany.
“Germany may be Greece’s stern banker now, say those who are seeking reparations,” writes theTimes, but Germany “should pay off its own debts to Greece. … It is not just aging victims of the Nazi occupation who are demanding a full accounting. Prime Minister Antonis Samarass government has compiled an 80-page report on reparations and a huge, never-repaid loan the nation was forced to make under Nazi occupation from 1941 to 1945. … The call for reparations has elicited an emotional outpouring in Greece, where six years of brutal recession and harsh austerity measures have left many Greeks hostile toward Germany. Rarely does a week go by without another report in the news about, as one newspaper put it in a headline, ‘What Germany Owes Us’.”
“The figure most often discussed is $220 billion, an estimate for infrastructure damage alone put forward by Manolis Glezos, a member of Parliament and a former resistance fighter who is pressing for reparations. That amount equals about half the country’s debt. … Some members of the National Council on Reparations, an advocacy group, are calling for more than $677 billion to cover stolen artifacts, damage to the economy and to the infrastructure, as well as the bank loan and individual claims.”
So there we have the morality play: The evil Germans who occupied Greece and in addition to carrying out a lot of violence and repression shamelessly exploited the Greek people economically.
Would it be appropriate for such a story, or an accompanying or follow-up story, to mention the civil war that broke out in Greece shortly after the close of the world war? On one side were the neo-fascists, many of whom had cooperated with the occupying Germans during the war, some even fighting for the Nazis. Indeed, the British Foreign Secretary, Ernest Bevin, acknowledged in August 1946 that there were 228 ex-members of the Nazi Security Battalions – whose main task had been to track down Greek resistance fighters and Jews – on active service in the new Greek army. 8
On the other side was the Greek left who had fought the Nazis courageously, even forcing the German army to flee the country in 1944.
So guess which side of the civil war our favorite military took? … That’s right, the United States supported the neo-fascists. After all, an important component of the Greek left was the Communist Party, although it wouldn’t have mattered at all if the Greek left had not included any Communists. Support of the left (not to be confused with liberals of course) anywhere in the world, during and since the Cold War, has been verboten in US foreign policy.
The neo-fascists won the civil war and instituted a highly brutal regime, for which the CIA created a suitably repressive internal security agency, named and modeled after itself, the KYP. For the next 15 years, Greece was looked upon much as a piece of real estate to be developed according to Washington’s political and economic needs. One document should suffice to capture the beauty of Washington’s relationship to Athens – a 1947 letter from US Secretary of State George Marshall to Dwight Griswold, the head of the American Mission to Aid Greece, said:
During the course of your work you and the members of your Mission will from time to time find that certain Greek officials are not, because of incompetence, disagreement with your policies, or for some other reason, extending the type of cooperation which is necessary if the objectives of your Mission are to be achieved. You will find it necessary to effect the removal of these officials. 9
Where is the present-day Greek headline: “What The United States Owes Us”? Where is the New York Times obligation to enlighten its readers?
The latest step in the evolution of America’s Police State
“If you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to fear.”
So say many Americans. And many Germans as well.
But one German, Ilija Trojanow, would disagree. He has lent his name to published documents denouncing the National Security Agency (NSA), and was one of several prominent German authors who signed a letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel urging her to take a firm stance against the mass online surveillance conducted by the NSA. Trojanow and the other authors had nothing to hide, which is why the letter was published for the public to read. What happened after that, however, was that Trojanow was refused permission to board a flight from Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, to Miami on Monday, September 30. Without any explanation.
Trojanow, who was on his way to speak at a literary conference in Denver, told the Spiegel magazine online website that the denial of entry might be linked to his criticism of the NSA. Germany’s Foreign Ministry says it has contacted US authorities “to resolve this issue”. 10
In an article published in a German newspaper, Trojanow voiced his frustration with the incident: “It is more than ironic if an author who raises his voice against the dangers of surveillance and the secret state within a state for years, will be denied entry into the ‘land of the brave and the free’.”11
Further irony can be found in the title of a book by Trojanow: “Attack on freedom. Obsession with security, the surveillance state and the dismantling of civil rights.”
Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr., who oversees the NSA and other intelligence agencies, said recently that the intelligence community “is only interested in communication related to valid foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes.” 12
It’s difficult in the extreme to see how this criterion would apply in any way to Ilija Trojanow.
The story is a poignant caveat on how fragile is Americans’ freedom to criticize their Security State. If a foreigner can be barred from boarding a flight merely for peaceful, intellectual criticism of America’s Big Brother (nay, Giant Brother), who amongst us does not need to pay careful attention to anything they say or write.
Very few Americans, however, will even be aware of this story. A thorough search of the Lexis-Nexis media database revealed a single mention in an American daily newspaper (The St. Louis Post-Dispatch), out of 1400 daily papers in the US. No mention on any broadcast media. A single one-time mention in a news agency (Associated Press), and one mention in a foreign English-language newspaper (New Zealand Herald).
- Washington Post, September 26, 2013 ↩
- Wall Street Journal, November 1, 2001 ↩
- The Guardian (London), April 22, 2002 ↩
- RT TV (Moscow), May 4, 2012 ↩
- Wall Street Journal, November 1, 2001 ↩
- New York Times, June 17, 1993, buried at the very end of the article on an inside page ↩
- Sibel Edmonds’ Boiling Frogs Post, “Barbarians at the Gate: Terrorism, the US, and the Subversion of Russia”, August 30, 2012 ↩
- Parliamentary Debates, House of Commons, October 16, 1946, column 887 (reference is made here to Bevin’s statement of August 10, 1946) ↩
- Foreign Relations of the United States, 1947, Vol. V (U.S. Government Printing Office, 1971), pp. 222-3. See William Blum, Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, chapter 3 for further details of the US role in postwar Greece. ↩
- Associated Press, October 2, 2013 ↩
- Huffington Post, “Ilija Trojanow, German Writer, Banned From US For Criticizing NSA”, October 1, 2013 ↩
- Washington Post, October 5, 2013 ↩
There is a considerable amount of debate in alternative economic circles as to whether a federal government shutdown would be a “good thing” or a “bad thing”. Frankly, even I am partially conflicted. I love to read mainstream news stories about how a shutdown in the capital would be “horrible” because Barack Obama might have to reduce the White House cleaning staff and wash his own laundry:
It’s about time that sellout bastard did something to clean up his own act. I also love the idea of the federal government out of the picture and removed from the U.S. dynamic. Americans need to learn again how to live without the nanny state, even if only for a few weeks, and what better way than to go cold turkey. I can hear the tortured sobs of the socialists now, crying for their SNAP cards and low grade government healthcare. It’s like…beautiful music…
That said, as much as centralized government needs to be erased from the face of the planet, there are, indeed, consequences that must be dealt with. It is foolish to believe otherwise. No social system, and I mean NO SOCIAL SYSTEM, changes without pain to the population. I am not among those that cheer a federal shutdown, because I understand that the only people to ultimately feel suffering will be average citizens, not the establishment itself. The sheeple may be ignorant and blind, but no one deserves the kind of unmitigated hellfire that could rain down upon our country if a shutdown continues for an extended period of time. Call me a humanitarian…
As I write this, mainstream media projections estimate a 90% chance of government shutdown by midnight on September 30th. Though technically, government funds will not run out until October 17th:
We have dealt with this kind of talk before over the past few years, and it’s interesting to see the kind of cynicism that has developed over the idea of a shutdown event. After all, the last time a government shutdown occurred was at the end of 1995, lasting only a couple of weeks into 1996. The GOP has folded so many times over the U.S. budget and debt ceiling that most of the public expects they will obviously do it again. It is certainly possible that the Republicans will roll over, however, I am not so sure of that this time around. Why? Not because Obamacare is on the table. Obamacare is just a distraction. No, I’m far more interested in the circumstances surrounding the U.S. dollar.
Obamacare is designed to fail. Anyone with any financial or mathematical sense could look at the real national debt and deficit projections of the U.S. and understand that there is no money and never will be enough money to fund universal healthcare. The GOP could simply let the program take effect, sit back, and watch it crash and burn over the next three to five years. This would entail, though, watching the whole of our economy crash and burn with it.
What we have developing in front of us is the recipe for a new false paradigm. Already, the MSM is discussing the possibility of debt default and who will be responsible under such circumstances. Not surprisingly “Tea Party” conservatives have been named the primary culprits if a shutdown goes south; even former Democratic president Bill Clinton is getting in on the blame game:
All the bickering over Obamacare is fascinating, I’m sure, but lets set the Affordable Care Act aside for a moment and look at the bigger and more important picture. The private Federal Reserve Bank has just announced to much surprise a complete reversal on its suggested QE “taper” measures, resulting in a shocked and confused marketplace. If the U.S. fiscal system is stable and sound, as the Fed has been suggesting for the past year, then why continue stimulus measures at all? Could it be that most if not all positive economic numbers released by the Fed and the Labor Department are actually fake, and that investors have been duped into assuming overall growth when America is actually in an accelerated decline? Wouldn’t that be a high speed excrement storm straight out of left field!
The first day rally over the Fed announcement faded quickly, resulting in a slow bleed of the Dow ever since. The magic of Fed stimulus is wearing off, and the investment world is not happy. If I were a member of the Federal Reserve Bank, I suppose I would appreciate a large scale distraction designed to take attention away from me and my elitist club-mates as the primary culprits behind the greatest currency implosion in the history of the world.
Sadly, a government shutdown is sizable threat to the American financial system, and few people seem to get it. Perhaps because the expectation is that any shutdown would only be a short term concern. And, this assumption might be correct. But, if a shutdown takes place, and, if “gridlock” continues for an extended period of time, I have little doubt that the U.S economy will experience renewed crisis. Here’s why:
Obamacare only tops a long list of already existing “unfunded liabilities” (otherwise known as entitlement programs). These programs are not counted in the government’s official calculations of national debt or deficit spending, but they cost taxpayers money all the same. True deficit costs and national debt costs expand every year without fail. If the debt ceiling does not rise in accordance with this exponential debt, a default is inevitable. No amount of increased taxes could ever fill the black hole already created by negative government spending.
A long term government shutdown will eventually require cuts in entitlements, if not a total overhaul of certain aid programs. Imagine an end to all disability payments, including veterans disability payments. Imagine federal employee pensions put on hold for an undesignated period of time. Imagine food stamps placed on hiatus for 50 million people. Imagine how many states now rely on federal funding just to keep municipalities from bankruptcy. Get the picture now?
End Of Foreign Faith In U.S. Treasuries
In a disgusting display of propaganda, media outlet Reuters has released an article claiming that, default or not, Asian investors and central banks are “hostage” to U.S. debt:
Their argument essentially revolves around the lie that Asian investors believe an American default to be “unthinkable”. Surely, the unnamed Japanese investment source they cite as an “insider” truly represents the whole of Asia.
The reality is, the Asians (the Chinese in particular) have been preparing for a calamity in the U.S. Treasury market for years.
Most foreign investors in U.S. Treasuries have converted their long term bond holdings to short term bond holdings; meaning, they are ready to liquidate their bonds at a moment’s notice. Overall purchase levels of treasuries are either static, or falling depending on the nation involved.
China has been internationalizing its currency, the Yuan, since 2005. China has opened Yuan “clearing houses in multiple countries to allow faster convertibility of the Yuan, quietly supplanting the dollar as the world reserve currency. These clearing houses now exist in London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and Kenya. The Federal Reserve and international banks like JP Morgan are heavily involved in the internationalization of the Yuan.
The assertion that Asia is somehow hostage to U.S. debt is a lie beyond all proportions. In truth, the U.S. economy is actually hostage to Asian holdings of U.S. debt. A call for a dump of U.S. treasury bonds by China, for example, in the face of a U.S. default, would immediately result in a global chain reaction ending in the destruction of the dollar as the world reserve currency. This is not speculation, this is mathematical fact. China is not going to sit back and do nothing while their investment in U.S. debt quickly disintegrates. Why would they take the chance when they could could just sell, sell, sell!
The very idea that Reuters is attempting to twist the fundamentals surrounding a default event leads me to believe a default event may be preordained.
What Will Be Defunded?
Non-essential personnel (which apparently includes Obama’s maids), will be the first to receive a pink slip from the federal government. Extra Pentagon staff, EPA staff, FDA staff, IRS staff, etc will all be cut. Good riddance. But what will follow will not be so pleasant.
If a shutdown stretches for months, expect cuts in all support programs and entitlements. Veterans disability checks, social security, Medicare, employee pensions, even the Postal Service is likely to undergo defunding. National Parks, and schools that receive federal aid will discover immediate cash-loss. In fact, any state or city that relies on federal funds should plan for the possibility that those funds will disappear.
Military cuts would be at the bottom of the list, but I would not discount the chance of that either.
It cannot be denied; an enormous subsection of the American public is dependent on federal money. If that money dries up, chaos will ensue. I don’t like it, but it is a concern.
A long term shutdown will be catastrophe no matter how you slice it. Foreign creditors will react harshly. The bond market will see a haircut not unlike that given to investors in Greek treasuries. Austerity will become an American way of life. The only mitigating factor will be the Federal Reserve, which I believe may institute “extraordinary measures” without congressional consent in order to continue feeding stimulus into government regardless of whether the debt ceiling is raised or not. Given enough desperation, the American public might even applaud such an action and praise the Fed as “heroic”.
In this situation, the U.S. would be facing a Weimar-style currency collapse, rather than a debt default. But in either scenario, the dollar is the final target.
Unfortunately, too many economic analysts presume that the only threat to the dollar’s value is hyperinflation (these are the same people that quote the Fed’s crooked CPI numbers). But the dollar is just as vulnerable to a debt default and loss of reserve status. Devaluation seems to be inevitable regardless of the outcome of the funding debate.
The Republicans could still surrender, and even if they don’t, real damages will not be felt until after October 17th. This is plenty of time to manipulate the public into demanding more spending even when more spending is not in our best interests in the long term. Our greatest concern, though, should be whether or not the establishment is ready to pull the plug on the dollar altogether, using the debt ceiling crisis as cover in order to distract away from the involvement of international banks in the overall problem. There is no doubt given the facts at hand that America is on the edge of a terrible pyre. Is this the event that will finally trigger collapse? We’ll know more in a week…
Source: Brandon Smith | Alt-Market
Harold Wilson was right: A week is a long time in politics. The one just behind us—the longest of Barack Obama’s presidency thus far—has provided a mix of drama, bravado, mendacity and stupidity unseen since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.
That crisis was a more serious affair than Obama’s Syrian gambit—thermonuclear war was a real possibility—but there are interesting parallels concerning the adversaries’ decision-making skills and strategies. It would be wrong, however, to compare Obama to John F. Kennedy. In fact the roles between Moscow and Washington were reversed last week. It was Obama who acted recklessly when he painted himself into the corner; and it was Putin who offered Obama an exit strategy, much in the manner of JFK offering the Soviets a face-saving formula 51 years ago.
Back then the American red line—the naval quarantine around Cuba—was upheld. The Soviets backed down and agreed to dismantle their missiles on the island in exchange for two U.S. commitments: not to invade Cuba, and to remove American medium-range Jupiter nuclear missiles from Turkey and Italy. Those concessions were cost-free for the Administration: after the Bay of Pigs no invasion remained on the cards, while Jupiter missiles were obsolete and slated for removal even before the crisis.
It was likewise no real sacrifice for the Russians to offer the removal of Bashar al-Assad’s chemical arsenal. He has no pressing military need of those weapons, in any event he cannot use them without risking American attack, and he will therefore observe the Geneva agreement reached by Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Bashar cannot afford to alienate Russia, whose continued supplies of conventional weaponry are a matter of life and death for his government; and the terms of the agreement leave little room for ambiguity, contrary to the warmongers’ claims.
Kennedy emerged victorious from the Cuban affair and his crisis management skills enhanced his reputation at home and abroad. Khrushchev was fatally wounded and less than a year later his colleagues on the Politburo had him removed from power. One of their criticisms concerned his “erratic” behavior, a veiled reference to the risky and ultimately untenable Soviet position during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Obama will not be impeached, but his standing is now much weakened by the manner in which he was refused Congress’s share of the responsibility for the attack and had to grab the Russian lifeline. His speech to the nation last Tuesday, full of distortions and half-truths, was arguably his least successful such performance to date. His grimaces were bizarre. His assurances that he opposes excessive executive power (“after a decade that put more and more war-making power in the hands of the president … while sidelining the people’s representatives from the critical decisions about when we use force”) should enter the annals of presidential hypocrisy, coming from the man who waged a seven-month air campaign against Libya two years ago without congressional authorization and who claimed constitutional authority to do so “in the best interest of American foreign policy and national security goals.”
Obama has avoided the consequences of his blunder by accepting Russia’s return to the table as a key Middle Eastern player for the first time since the era of Gorbachev. He should use that presence to look for the means of managing the Syrian civil war, rather than “ending” it. The United States and Russia have a joint interest in preventing a jihadist victory in Syria. That interest is more pronounced in Russia, which does not want yet another extremist hotbed in the proximity of the Caucasus, but a Syria controlled by al-Qaeda affiliates would also threaten stated U.S. interests by destabilizing Lebanon and Iraq immediately and Jordan eventually. Contrary to the arguments used by Netanyahu’s friends in Washington in their campaign in favor of the air strikes, a jihadist victory in Syria would also present a real, albeit more long-term threat to Israel.
In his April 12 address, Obama said he was working with U.S. allies to “provide humanitarian support, to help the moderate opposition and to shape a political settlement” for ending the war in Syria. The first and the last of those three objectives are incompatible with the middle one. Instead of helping the elusive “moderate opposition” Obama should consider the possibility of a protracted freeze on the battle lines, with neither side able to secure outright victory. It is worth exploring, now that returning to the option of air strikes at a later date is unlikely. Seasoned realists like Putin and Lavrov may find it interesting.
In a stern tone, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the West on Wednesday not to indulge any one-sided military action against Syria amid increasing fears that Washington is preparing to put this sinister idea into practical shape in cahoots with regional puppet regimes.
In an interview with Channel One television, Putin clarified his stance on the issue, saying that only the “UN Security Council can give approval for the use of force against another state,” and warned against any such move which would be considered as an act of “aggression.”
“Any other ways to justify the use of force against another sovereign and independent state are unacceptable and cannot be qualified as anything other than aggression,” Putin said.
Yet, in a not-too-clandestine move, US Secretary of State John Kerry has formed a union with regional puppet regimes including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Turkey and marshaled up their servile support for military action against the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad with the express intention of sending Assad’s ‘regime’ straight to the morgue.
The realities on the ground clearly indicate that Washington’s former partners have been replaced by new ones in its warmongering pursuits. The vocal support of Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar plus their dollar aids to those who persevere in fermenting chaos and commotion in Syria have sufficed to convince the Americans that they do not need to worry about the potentially colossal financial losses in case of a military strike as they would be taken care of. This fact, which strikes hard across the face of truth, was also reflected in the words of US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Tuesday during a hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“Key partners, including France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other friends in the region, have assured us of their strong support for US action,” Hagel said.
On Tuesday, the White House won backing for military action from two powerful Republicans e.g. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner and House majority leader Eric Cantor.
In the midst of all this came a joint missile test by the US and Israel conducted on Tuesday in the eastern Mediterranean where they fired a missile from the sea toward the Israeli coast “to test the tracking by the country’s missile defense system.”
Strangely enough, the missile test fire was initially denied by the US. However, a statement released later by the Pentagon on Tuesday confirmed US involvement in the exercise.
Pentagon press secretary George Little told CBS that the US “provided technical assistance and support to the Israeli Missile Defense Organization flight test of a Sparrow target missile over the Mediterranean Sea.”
“The United States and Israel cooperate on a number of long-term ballistic missile defense development projects to address common challenges in the region,” added Little.
Apart from the regional allies, France seems to be a stalwart supporter of aggression against the Arab country. In Paris, French President Hollande said, “A large coalition must therefore be created on the international scale, with the United States — which will soon take its decision — (and) with Europe … and Arab countries,” Hollande said.
Mitigating all irritating doubts, he made it clear that even a no-vote by the Congress would entail no changes in France’s attitude towards Syria.
If Congress votes no, France “will take up its responsibilities by supporting the democratic opposition (in Syria) in such a way that a response is provided,” he added.
In a naked lobbying effort, three pro-Israel groups i.e. by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) urged American lawmakers on Tuesday to authorize President Barack Obama to launch an attack on Syria.
In the ADL’s statement, National Chair Barry Curtiss-Lusher and National Director Abraham Foxman said that “any nation that violates international norms and obligations which threaten the peace and security of the world must face the consequences of those dangerous acts.”
As a major beneficiary to an invasion of Syria, Tel Aviv may end up a bad loser in the eventuality of a war on Syria.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad has warned that it would lob rockets at Israel if it enters the war. A high-ranking official from Islamic Jihad told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, “Up until now, there has been no decision within Islamic Jihad to bomb Israel in response to an aggression on Syria. But that may happen in one circumstance: if Israel joins that war as a principal party.”
This warning aside, Israel will have to brook the ire of the entire Muslim world for partaking of the consequential chaos and for shedding the blood of innocent Muslim blood.
Despite all the intimidating techniques of the West and the lavish Zionist lobbying against the government of Syria, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad does not appear to want to waver an inch from his position as he says he has acquired conviction that those who fight against his government are but al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist groups and that he does not have the least intention of abandoning his country into the hands of those terrorists.
In an interview with the French newspaper Le Figaro published on Monday, Mr. Assad said, “In the beginning, the solution should have been found through a dialogue from which political measures would have been born.”
“That is no longer the case,” he said, repeating his constant refrain that 90 percent of the opposition fighters are terrorists affiliated with Al Qaeda. “The only way to cope with them is to liquidate them,” he said. “Only then will we be able to discuss political measures.”
This collective effort to bring Syria down to its knees stems to a large extent from the fact that the country has always been viewed by the West as a hotbed for dramatic changes which could be geared towards the supremacy of imperialist powers if they ever seized their grasp upon the country. It is unfortunate to note that this goal is being advanced by some regional countries harnessed by the West in the course of time.
The bipolarization of the world into the West and the Rest is not a new story and an invasion of Syria is only to be seen as a continuation of that accursed legacy which has lingered since time immemorial.