There was a time during the 30-month covert dirty war on Syria when the Western governments and mainstream media would make a clamor over reported massacres.
Why? Because it is increasingly clear that the groups committing these crimes against thousands of Syrian civilians are the foreign-backed mercenaries, whom the Western media and their governments have tried to lionize as “rebels” fighting for “democratic freedom”.
That charade is rapidly disintegrating, exposing not just criminal Western governments sponsoring the violence against civilians, but an entire media industry that is also guilty of war crimes through its willful complicity.
This is not mere hyperbole. To disseminate false information and lies about conflict – under the guise of independent news – is to be complicit in covering up war crimes. You can hardly get more serious misconduct than to tell lies about crimes against humanity.
These toxic lies and propaganda are now being exposed as the Western-backed plot to subvert the sovereign state of Syria unravels; this unraveling is accentuated by the West’s death squads becoming even more unhinged as they stare at looming defeat at the hands of the Syrian army.
The latest massacre occurred in the town of Khan al-Assal in the northern province of Aleppo. Some 150 people, mostly civilians, were reportedly slaughtered in cold blood. Many of the victims were shot in the head execution-style. The groups claiming responsibility are the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front and Ansar al Khalifa.
Reliable sources say that the killers tried to cover up their barbaric crimes by mutilating the corpses and burning the remains. Only days before this orgy of murder, the same groups are believed to have massacred at least seven civilians in the town of Maqbara in the province of Hasakah.
Elsewhere, as the Syrian national army makes searing advances against the militants, it is apparent from the identities of the dead that the majority of these fighters are foreigners, from Saudi Arabia, Libya, Jordan, Turkey, as well as from the US and Europe, including Britain, France and Germany.
Just last week, it was reported that Saudi Arabia bought $50 million-worth of heavy arms from Israel to supply this foreign network in its endeavor to terrorize the people of Syria into submission.
Already, the US, Britain and France have stumped up over $200 million which they claim is provided to “the Syrian opposition” in the form of “non-lethal aid”.
This is just cynical semantics to cover up the fact that the Western governments and their regional Turk, Arab and Israeli proxies are sponsoring genocide in Syria.
Over the weekend as the mass murders in Khan al-Assal and Maqbara emerged there was a telling silence in the Western media. A cursory glance at outlets such as New York Times, Washington Post, Voice of America, the Guardian, BBC, France 24, Deutsche Welle, Reuters, among others, showed no or negligible reports on the atrocities.
A notable exception was the London-based Financial Times, which headlined: “Syria opposition condemns rebel attack”. The FT tried to obfuscate the mass murder of civilians by claiming that “extremist rebels” had executed captured Syrian army soldiers and by giving prominence to condemnation of the “abuses” by the exile non-entity group, the Syrian National Coalition.
Similar Western silence followed another massacre last month in the village of Hatlah in the eastern province of Deir al-Zour. In mid-June, more than 60 mainly Shia inhabitants were slaughtered again by Western-backed foreign militants. Most of the victims were women and children. Syrian government appeals for international condemnation
at the United Nations were ignored.
Contrast this void in Western government and media reaction to earlier massacres. In May and June 2012, the Western media went viral with reports of mass killings in the villages of Houla and Qubair where some 108 and 78 inhabitants were murdered, many of them with throats slit. Immediately, the Western media then claimed or implied that the perpetrators were Syrian state forces and roundly condemned President Bashar al-Assad.
Back then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accused Assad of “ruling by murder and fear” and led the chorus of Western governments calling for Assad to step down.
It later transpired that the Houla and Qubair massacres were the work of the Western-backed foreign militants. But Western media did not follow-up with corrective reporting. This is the conduct of a propaganda ministry, not independent journalism.
The same propaganda formula of sensationalist headlines and innuendo, with minimal evidence, was repeated in subsequent massacres, such as in Tremseh in July 2012, or the bomb attack on Aleppo University in January this year in which more than 80 were killed. Also in that same month, more than 100 bodies were fished out of the Queiq River in the Bustan al-Qasr district of Aleppo – all of those victims with gunshot wounds to the head. Never mind that the district was under the control of foreign militants, the Western media continued their campaign of innuendo that it was the Syrian state forces that carried out the executions.
The Syrian government has consistently alleged that all these mass killings are the work of Western-backed militants. This sickening terrorist methodology concatenates with the Takfiri mentality of killing everyone who is deemed to be an infidel – Sunni, Shia, Alawite, Christian, non-believer alike, who does not subscribe to their fundamentalist twisted theology.
It is entirely in keeping that Western governments and Wahhabi Arab despots sponsor such groups given the long history of collusion between these protagonists, going back to the creation of al-Qaeda by Western military intelligence in Afghanistan during the 1980s to fight the then Soviet-backed government in Kabul.
The indiscriminate murder of civilians in wholesale massacres by Western-backed death squads operating in Syria to overthrow the Assad government is also consistent with the countless no-warning car bombs that have ripped through markets, streets, hospitals and schools all across Syria. Days before the latest slaughter in Khan al-Assal, a car bomb killed at least 10 in the Jaramana district of the capital, Damascus.
A few months earlier, another deadly bomb attack also targeted Jaramana, killing more than 30. The district is a mixed community of Muslim, Christian and Druze, which is largely supportive of the Assad government. As with the many other massacres in Syria, the aim is to terrorize the civilian population, to sow sectarianism and to coerce
the populace to relinquish support for the government.
As the foreign criminal conspiracy to force regime change in Syria flounders – with the turning point being the Syrian army victory in Qusayr early last month – the Western-sponsored terrorists are resorting to more and more desperate methods. This depravity was manifested yet again in the slaughter of civilians in Khan al-Assal and Maqbara. Tragically and despicably, we can expect more such atrocities in the coming weeks and months as the Western criminal conspiracy suffers more defeats.
But what is truly remarkable is how the Western governments and their propaganda machine, known euphemistically as the mainstream news media, are ignoring these latest massacres. That is because their vile game is up. They can no longer dissimulate on the reality of who is carrying out these massacres and how it is all part of a criminal genocidal campaign directed from Washington, London and Paris. That is why they are feigning to ignore such atrocities. To look into them honestly would uncover the ugly face of Western imperialism and the unconscionable role played all along by so-called Western news media.
Meanwhile, proper journalistic services like Press TV that are reporting the reality of what the Western governments are really doing in Syria via their death squads are being banned from satellite networks controlled by Western authorities.
Indeed, a very real extension of this censorship is how Press TV correspondent Maya Nasser was murdered last September by Western-backed death squads in Damascus for the very reason that he was helping to uncover the truth about what is being inflicted on Syria. Assassination is just an extreme act of censorship, as the Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw once noted.
Western government and media silence over the latest massacres in Syria is not just a matter of indifference or sloppy journalism. It is indicative of their complicity in the covert genocidal war on Syria.
Finian Cunningham, originally from Belfast, Ireland, was born in 1963. He is a prominent expert in international affairs. The author and media commentator was expelled from Bahrain in June 2011 for his critical journalism in which he highlighted human rights violations by the Western-backed regime. He is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in journalism. He is also a musician and songwriter. For many years, he worked as an editor and writer in the mainstream news media, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. He is now based in East Africa where he is writing a book on Bahrain and the Arab Spring.He co-hosts a weekly current affairs programme, Sunday at 3pm GMT on Bandung Radio
Source: Press TV
They’re US proxy fighters. They’re imported from dozens of countries. They’re waging war against sovereign Syrian independence. Don’t expect duplicitous Western politicians or media scoundrels to explain.
Assad’s military outguns and outflanks Washington’s shock troops. Reinforcements keep coming. Libya 2.0 looks possible. Perhaps likely.
Russia hopes for a September international peace conference. Originally a June one was planned. Why bother when Washington prioritizes war. It spurns peace. Last year’s conference failed.
Expect nothing different this time. Peace remains elusive. Advocates have no partners.
According to European Council president Herman Van Rompuy:
“A military solution to the crisis is impossible. (T)he solution is only diplomatic.” Conflict can end soon. It can happen if Washington calls off its dogs. It shouldn’t have unleashed them in the first place.
Syria is Obama’s war. He began it. He can end it. Not according to some reports. On July 18, London’s Guardian headlined ”Obama considering military power in Syria, top general tells Senate.”
Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey said he provided Obama with “options for the use of force.” He declined to explain more.
“(I)t would be inappropriate for me to try to influence the decision with me rendering an opinion in public about what kind of force we should use.”
John McCain’s super-hawkish. He’s not alone. He asked the wrong question. He asked Dempsey what carries greater risk: continued limited Washington intervention or more robust tactics.
He favors more heavily arming terrorist fighters. They’re getting plenty of weapons already. He wants no-fly zone protection implemented.
Doing so’s an act of war. It’s illegal without Security Council authorization. So is meddling in Syria’s internal affairs politically, economically, and/or militarily (directly or indirectly).
McCain’s dismissive of international law. So are other congressional hawks. Dempsey said he favors “building a moderate opposition and supporting it.”
“The question whether to support it with direct kinetic strikesâ¤|is a decision for our elected officials, not for the senior military leader of the nation.”
Kinetic strikes refer to missiles, bombs, drone attacks, and other military initiatives. According to Dempsey, they’re “under deliberation inside of our agencies of government.”
Asked about Dempsey’s comments, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama always asks military commanders for options. It’s “true in an arena like Syria” and elsewhere.
Obama’s reviewing them, he added. According to Vice Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral James Winnefeld:
“There are a whole range of options that are out there. We are ready to act if we’re called on to act.”
These type comments aren’t new. Whether direct US intervention follows remains to be seen.
Senator Carl Levin wants it. He wants Syria bombed. He urged Obama to attack “airfields, airplanes and massed artillery.” He supports terrorist insurgent invaders. He does so shamelessly. More on him below.
Armed Services Committee members are considering whether to renominate Dempsey and Winnefield for second terms. McCain’s opposed.
Democrats have majority say. Expect both top commanders to be approved.
At the same time, anti-Assad forces are fighting each other. Extremist Al Nusra insurgents are clashing with Free Syria Army elements. Unity remains elusive.
Things escalated dramatically. Whether full-scale internecine conflict follows remains to be seen. If so, maybe each side will annihilate the other. That’s one way to wind things down.
On July 19, Russia Today headlined “Al Qaeda’s planned emirate in Syria is West’s own doing.” Syrians want a secular state.
Al Qaeda wants its own. Syrian unity is threatened. So far insurgent extremists lack enough strength to prevail.
Assad forces consistently rout them. Without US intervention, they don’t have a chance. They can prolong conflict.
They can cause many more deaths, injuries and displacements. They can’t prevail without Libya 2.0 help.
On July 17, London’s Telegraph headlined ”Army chief: We risk war with Syria.”
General David Richards is UK outgoing armed forces chief. Britain must be prepared to “go to war” with Syria, he said. “(I)f you want to have the material impact on the Syrian regime’s calculations that some people seek…ground targets” must be “hit.”
“There is a lack of international consensus on how to take this forward,” he said.
“We are trying to cohere the opposition groups, but they are difficult to cohere because there are many different dimensions to them.”
“So it is work in progress. So I am very clear in my military advice to the government that we need to understand what the political objective is before we can sensibly recommend what military effort and forces should be applied to it.”
“That is something we debate a lot, from the Prime Minister downwards. We also need to do this with our allies.”
“Allies have different views on the way ahead. Understandably there is a great reluctance to see Western boots on the ground in a place like Syria.”
“If you wanted to have the material impact on the Syrian regime’s calculations that some people seek, a no fly zone per se is insufficient.”
“You have to be able, as we did successfully in Libya, to hit ground targets.”
“You have to establish a ground control zone. You have to take out their air defences.”
“You also have to make sure they can’t manoeuvre – which means you have to take out their tanks, and their armoured personnel carriers and all the other things that are actually doing the damage.”
“If you want to have the material effect that people seek you have to be able to hit ground targets and so you would be going to war if that is what you want to do.’
“That is rightly a huge and important decision. There are many arguments for doing it, but there are many arguments for not doing so too.”
Syria’s situation is “highly complex,” he stressed. Escalated war risks cross-border conflict. It’s happening in Lebanon.
It could affect all Syria’s neighbors. Perhaps other regional states. The entire region could become embroiled. Global conflict could follow.
Richards knows the risks. So do other high-level military commanders. They’re warriors, not peacemakers.
Richards called himself a “moral soldier.” His remark is offensive. It’s oxymoronic on its face. He said Afghanistan’s a “good war.”
Others know better. Benjamin Franklin said “(t)here is no such thing as a good war or a bad peace.”
Russia said it won’t let Assad be toppled militarily. It has strategic interests at stake. Perhaps it wants Syria to be Obama’s regional Waterloo.
Halting his imperial rampaging’s important. If Russia and China aren’t committed, who will be? United they stand the best chance. It’s time they stepped up to the plate and acted.
America wages wars on small nations. It prefers weaker ones it can roll over. It abstains from challenging more equal rivals militarily. Bullies operate that way.
Jimmy Carter believes “America does not at the moment have a functioning democracy.” It never had one. Carter didn’t explain.
He’s pessimistic. He’s got good reason to be. He called Snowden’s leaks “beneficial.”
He thinks NSA spying undermines US credibility worldwide. It constitutes “the invasion of human rights and American privacy.” It’s “gone too far.”
“I think that the secrecy that has been surrounding this invasion of privacy has been excessive,” he said.
“So I think that the bringing of it to the public notice has probably been, in the long term, beneficial.”
He criticized Obama’s policies earlier. He condemned his drone attacks. He called targeted assassinations lawless.
Imperial policies undermine America’s “role as the global champion of human rights,” he said.
“America’s violation of international human rights abets our enemies and alienates our friends.”
America lacks moral authority. It lost it multiple ways. Carter’s no saint. Compared to Obama, he looks that way.
A Final Comment
On July 18, Senators Carl Levin (D. MI) and Angus King (I. ME) headlined ”For Syria, lessons from the Balkan war.”
Levin chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee. King serves on it with him. Both express hawkish views. They visited the region. They did so for propaganda purposes.
They deplore peace. They support escalated war. They may get what they wish for. They’ll be accountable for lots more blood on their hands.
“We believe the United States should join with its partners and allies in the region and elsewhere to pursue an end to the bloodshed,” they said.
“An international coalition that strengthens the military and political capabilities of thoroughly vetted anti-Assad forces should supply equipment and training.”
“That coalition should also plan for steps that would place even greater military pressure on the Assad regime, including possible strikes against the missiles, aircraft and other heavy weapons that are the instruments of Assad’s campaign of terror.”
Both senators know Washington directly aids Al Qaeda and other extremist groups. They’re supplied weapons, funding, training and direction. It’s been ongoing since conflict began. CIA and US special forces are involved. It’s an open secret.
Levin and King believe the best way to end war is wage more of it. They believe war is peace. They stop short of recommending US boots on the ground. Perhaps they will later. Who knows?
No matter the risks involved, they said, “the costs of inaction are equally high. Assad’s survival, with support from Iran and Hezbollah, would surely strengthen them, to our great detriment.”
They barely stopped short of urging regional war against nonexistent threats.
They blame Assad for Washington’s crimes. It’s standard imperial duplicity. Obama bears full responsibility. Don’t expect them to explain.
“â¤|.US national interests are at stake,” they claim. So are neighboring countries “Israel, Turkey and Jordan.”
They propose international action against Assad. They want “a comprehensive strategy” agreed on as soon as possible.
They want all-out war. They want it against an independent, nonbelligerent sovereign state. They ignore inviolable international law principles.
They turned truth on its head, saying:
A “widespread insurgency has strong popular support.”
False! The vast majority of Syrians support Assad. Independent polls show it. The longer conflict persists, the more his support grows.
Syrians depend on him for whatever protection he can provide. When Syrian forces liberate insurgent held areas, residents express gratitute openly.
Levin and King want America to “help the Syrian people end the senseless slaughter they are suffering” by inflicting more of it.
They, likeminded congressional members, Obama, and complicit administration officials reflect diabolical forces of evil. They’re unmatched in human history.
They’re waging war on humanity. Perhaps they believe the best way to save it is destroy it.
They support permanent war. They want unchallenged US global dominance. They’ll stop at nothing to achieve it.
Imagine the worst ahead. They endorse what’s likely coming. Survival’s up for grabs.
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.
“Tikun Olam” – This story keeps getting weirder and more interesting: RT reports based on a “reliable source” that Turkey allowed Israeli air-force jet bombers to use one of its military bases to attack the Syria port of Latakia, where the government had stored Russian-made Yakhonts anti-ship missiles. Israel believed the armaments were destined for Hezbollah, which would use them in the next war in Lebanon to neutralize Israel’s naval forces. For a discussion of the weapons system and the role it might play in such a battle, read this report.
Given that this story keeps getting curiouser and curiouser, I believe the story is very possibly true. So now we have to ask ourselves a number of questions:
Why would a Turkish government nursing a deep grudge against Israel for killing 9 of its citizens in the Mavi Marmara massacre, all of a sudden turn around and lend an air base for an attack on a third country? Further, why would Turkey cooperate with Israel in attacking Syrian missiles destined for Hezbollah? Turkey has no quarrel with the Lebanese militant group.
There are several answers. Turkey is opposed to the Assad government and anything that will weaken it may cause Turkey to relax its former animosity toward Israel. Also, Hezbollah has escalated its involvement in the Syrian conflict by sending thousands of its fighters to capture Qusayr. This would be a way for Turkey to make the Islamist group pay a steep price for its intervention. It would be yet another way for both Israel and Turkey to say to Assad that he faces a looming alliance among former enemies who are now united (at least covertly) in their opposition to his rule.
Second, if Israel wanted to attack Syria without violating its airspace it could just as easily have flown north from Israel to a point west of Latakia and attacked from the Mediterranean. Why did the Israeli air force feel it needed to attack from Turkey? The answer may lie in the fact that attacking from Turkey would allow Israel to attack from the north rather than the west. Syria would not have expected an attack on Latakia from the north and therefore might not have defended against it. This would give the Israeli attackers an element of surprise.
If this account is true, it proves that Middle East relations are based far more on shared interests than on principles. In other words, pragmatism and even cynicism is the rule of the day. Turkey, which trumpets its dedication to the Palestinian cause and its implacable opposition to Israel’s Occupation, can do the unthinkable and allow Israeli military forces to use its sovereign territory to attack an enemy. So much for the notion of Muslim solidarity. And so much for the Islamist criticism of Muslim states (Saudi Arabia, etc.) that allow non-Muslim military forces (U.S., etc.) to attack fellow Muslim states, thereby betraying Islam.
For Erdogan, the opportunity to bloody Assad’s nose trumped all those considerations. The other problem with Turkey’s decision is that it will give Israel the impression that since Turkey granted access to its military bases, it will also fold regarding its support of the Palestinians.
Alternately, we may see that Israel retracts its opposition to paying $1-million to each of the families of the victims of the Mavi Marmara attack. Israeli capitulation on that score may signal a quid pro quo for Turkey’s help in attacking Latakia.
One way to gauge this is by whether Erdogan follows through on his commitment to visit Gaza. He was supposed to come last month. But the turmoil in both Egypt and Turkey caused a delay. If he does visit Gaza Israel should know this alliance is extremely tactical and targeted at a very narrow range of issues. If he doesn’t, then we’ll know that Israel has succeeded in co-opting yet another opponent of Occupation.
Finally, it’s interesting that the source for this report is a Russian media outlet. Remember that Russia’s missiles were targeted and destroyed in Israel’s attack. Vladimir Putin has not responded in any way to this. Alex Fishman, in yesterday’s Yediot, took his silence as a confirmation that Putin is at heart nothing but a cynical weapons merchant who doesn’t care what happens to his weapons as long as he’s paid for them. As with so much of what he wrote in that article, I think it’s a crock.
Israel’s attack is an affront not only to Hezbollah and Assad, but to Russia as well. Putin is not the disinterested arms dealer Fishman makes him out to be. There will be an accounting for this act of aggression by Israel. The only question is where and when and under what circumstances. If RT’s reporter learned her information from a Russian intelligence source, I wouldn’t be at all surprised.
I am trying through DC and Turkey-based journalists with U.S. or Turkish military-intelligence sources to confirm this story.
Headlines cheered America’s June report. Bloomberg said “US Employers Added More Workers in June Than Forecast.”
“Employment roared ahead in June.” America’s “economy is poised for faster growth as it shakes off the impact of tax increases and budget cuts.”
The Wall Street Journal headlined “Job Gains Show Staying Power,” saying:
June showed “solid promise.” Doing so suggests “the economy might be strong enough to grow with less help from the Federal Reserve.” More on that below.
Bond investors “rush(ed) to sell.” Ten-year Treasuries spiked above 2.7%. In May, yields were about 1.6%. Friday’s level was the highest since August 2011.
According to ED&F Man Capital Markets fixed income analyst Tom di Galoma:
“A huge bond bubble was created, and that will take some time to resolve itself.”
Thirty-year Treasury yields jumped from 3.45% in April to 4% in June. Junk bonds spiked from 5.79% in April to 7.72% in June.
Vanguard Group bond manager Gregory Nassour expects trouble. “The market is saying (it) think(s) tapering is going to happen much faster than anticipated and that cash flows are going to get very negative.”
Fixed income analyst Mike Larson compared what’s happening to the dot.com bust.
He calls the bond bubble bigger than late 1990s tech mania. Follow the money, he says. The more speculative investment in asset classes, the greater the risk.
Values skyrocket to irrational levels. “(W)hen everyone (piles in), you can be sure valuations will get ridiculous, and that the groundwork will be laid for a painful bust.”
From 2009 through April 2013, investors poured $1.15 trillion into bonds. Doing so excludes ETF investments. They include around another $300 billion.
Last month, another $80 billion overall was added. Bond bubble mania awaits unwinding. It’ll likely come incrementally. Expect many months south ahead. Forewarned is forearmed.
Irrational exuberance affects equity investors. Momentum profits don’t last forever. Analyst Graham Summers understands. He knows bubbles when he sees them.
He warns about ugly times ahead. He expects worse trouble than 2008. Perhaps it already began, he suggests. No one rings a bell and says so. Markets fluctuate.
Ordinary investors stick with what works. They’re mindless of huge risks. Most don’t know they’ve been had until too late. Current problems are too important to ignore.
China faces a potential liquidity crisis. It’s slowing its economy to avoid greater trouble later on. Despite unprecedented QE, Japan’s economy shows weakness.
Multiple indicators flash America’s economy heading south. Corporate profits are down. Europe’s back in crisis mode.
Disruptive protests rage in Egypt and Turkey. Others do intermittently in Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy, and elsewhere across Europe.
Washington’s war on Syria rages. It spilled cross border to Lebanon. It threatens regional stability.
QE may slow sooner than expected. Economist David Rosenberg expects it.
It’s no longer justifiable, he said. He’s not alone saying so. More on that below.
Paul Craig Roberts commented on Friday’s job report. “No Hope on The Jobs Front: Rising Unemployment in America,” he headlined.
“For the umpteenth consecutive month and year,” he said, June’s report was less than meets the eye. High-paying/good benefit jobs weren’t created. They haven’t been for years. America’s being thirdworldized.
June added 195,000 jobs. Hold the cheers. A Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reportexplained, saying:
Leisure and hospitality: +75,000
Professional and business services: +37,000
Healthcare (mostly ambulatory services): +20,000
Financial activities: +17,000
Federal government: -5,000 (down 65,000 year-over-year)
“Employment in most other major industries, including mining and
logging, construction, manufacturing, and transportation and
warehousing, showed little change in June.”
In other words, except for modest financial services gains and some highly sought skill areas, virtually zero high-quality jobs were created.
The average workweek and overtime hours were unchanged. Year-over-year hourly earnings rose 2.2%. At around 9% based on 1980s calculations, inflation is multiple times higher than official numbers.
According to economist John Williams, full-time June employment plunged by 240,000. “Economic issues accounted for 75% of” part-time jobs. “Payroll gains were warped heavily by inconsistent seasonal factors.”
Discouraged workers rose by 197,000. Involuntary part-time ones spiked by 322,000. Real unemployment’s 23.4%. The headline 7.6% figure is fake.
According to Roberts:
“This deplorable report provided the cover for the market riggers to take the stock market up and the gold market down.”
“Remember that economic theory about ‘rational markets?’ Another deception.”
For weeks, Fed officials suggested slowing QE ahead. Only its timing remains uncertain. According to Graham Summers, investors hoping for continuity “are in for a rough surprise.”
QE did wonders for equity investors. It didn’t land on Main Street. When consumers have money, they spend it. Doing so stimulates growth. Jobs are created. Maybe better ones than now.
Central banks are losing control, said Summers. Big trouble ahead looms, he suggests.
Martin Feldstein’s an establishment economist. He’s National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) president emeritus. On July 1, he headlined ”The Fed Should Start to ‘Taper’ Now,” saying:
It shouldn’t wait. It “should emphasize that the pace of quantitative easing must adjust to the likely effectiveness of the program itself, and to the costs and risks of continuing to buy large quantities of bonds.”
“Although the economy is weak, experience shows that further bond-buying will have little effect on economic growth and employment.”
“Meanwhile, low interest rates are generating excessive risk-taking by banks and other financial investors.”
Doing so “could have serious adverse effects on bank capital and the value of pension funds.”
“In Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s terms, the efficacy of quantitative easing is low and the costs and risks are substantial.”
Where was Feldstein earlier? QE’s been ongoing since late 2008. Mortgaged-backed securities (MBS) were bought. QE continued wrongly directed. It’s done nothing for economic growth.
Bernanke suggested slowing it weeks earlier. He reiterated doing it in June. He made it conditional on labor market improvement. He said judgment depends on more than the (U-3) unemployment rate.
Year-over-year, there’s been “no increase in the ratio of employment to population, no decline in the teenage unemployment rate, and virtually no increase in the real average weekly earnings of those who are employed,” said Feldstein.
“The decline in the number of people in the labor force in the past 12 months (way) exceed(s) the decline in the number of unemployed (based on U-3 calculations).”
Real unemployment’s the highest in decades. It reflects Depression levels. It’s shows a troubled economy. It’s getting worse, not better. Half of more of US households are impoverished or bordering on it.
Social safety net protections are eroding when increasing them is vital. Force-fed austerity assures harder than ever hard times. Growing millions are affected.
Creating money for speculation excludes it for economic growth. America’s economy is weak, not strong. Conditions are bleak. Nothing ahead looks promising.
Manufacturing is slowing. Exports are down. So is personal income. Corporate profits are declining. Aggregate demand’s weak. Rising interest rates spell trouble. Investors accepting significant risks do so at great peril.
“The danger of mispricing risk is that there is no way out without investors taking losses,” said Feldstein. “And the longer the process continues, the bigger those losses could be.”
“That’s why the Fed should start tapering this summer before financial market distortions become even more damaging.” He suggests ending it entirely by mid-2014.
Equitable QE works. Bernanke spurned it. He’s Wall Street’s man in Washington. He threw money at banks. He’s doing it now. What can’t go on forever, won’t.
Wrongheaded policy continues. It’s been that way far too long. Greenspan and Bernanke prioritized money printing/bond buying recklessness. Push eventually meets shove. A day of reckoning looms.
The longer money printing madness continues, the greater the eventual trouble. Feldstein’s partly right. Money printing madness should be slowed en route to ending it altogether. It should be done as quickly as possible.
At the same time, he omitted explaining what matters most. Money printing works when done responsibly. David Stockman was Reagan’s Office of Management and Budget Director.
In late 2010, he said:
QE “is injecting high grade monetary heroin into the financial system of the world, and one of these days it is going to kill the patient.”
In early 2009, Michael Hudson said America “reached its debt limit and is entering its insolvency phase. We are not in a cycle but (at) the end of an era. The old world of debt pyramiding to a fraudulent degree cannot be restored.”
Delaying the inevitable postpones a painful day of reckoning. QE helped wreck America’s economy. It didn’t have to be this way. Responsible officials would have prevented it. America’s not run that way.
Monied interests alone are served. Popular needs go begging. Safety net protections are quaint and out-of-date. Speculative gains matter most.
Money printing madness reflects one of the greatest disconnects of all time. It robs poor Peter to benefit rich Paul. It prioritizes rising markets. It’s done so at the expense of economic and human wreckage.
QE works when used constructively. Money injected responsibly into the economy creates growth. America once was sustainably prosperous. It can be again. It won’t be with rogues making policy. Feldstein didn’t explain.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
“Edward Snowden must be caught and punished at any cost.” Who said that? Was it some overbearing British sovereign back in 1776 who said it? Had Edward Snowden just signed the American colonies’ famous Declaration of Independence? The way that Snowden has been hounded and pursued and intimidated in the last few weeks, one would certainly think so.
According to an essay entitled “The Price They Paid,” signers of the original Declaration of Independence of 1776 were also hounded, imprisoned and even tortured and killed because they stood up for their beliefs.
And here we are now, 237 years later, out celebrating the Fourth of July like it actually meant something — while true patriots like Edward Snowden are being hunted down like dogs on the highway by the FBI, the CIA and the NSA. And nobody here seems to either notice or care.
And ditto for Bradley Manning.
According to a recent article by Paul Rogers on current revolts in Egypt, Brazil, Tunisia, Turkey, etc., “The sheer unpredictability of mass protest [is] a matter of great concern to political elites and their security cohorts across the world. That really is deeply worrying for them, and something that will cause them to double their efforts to track what is happening and predict its evolution — an effort no doubt aided by the use of PRISM and the other forms of mass surveillance. What, though, if even those systems don’t have a proper handle on what is happening [or can actually keep a lid on it either]? That will give political elites sleepless nights in the weeks and months to come.” http://www.opendemocracy.net/
First comes Occupy Wall Street. Then comes the Arab Spring. And then Wikileaks, Edward Snowden, Julian Assange and Bradley Manning, not necessary in that order. Like in the spring of 1776, popular revolts against economic tyranny seem to be popping up all over like wack-a-moles. No wonder George III was afraid.
“So what’s your point, Jane,” you might ask. Hmmm. I guess my point is that working class people, little people, the salt of the earth people like you and me are making our current economic ruling classes just a tiny bit wary on this Fourth of July weekend of 2013.
But they still haven’t started to get pee-your-pants afraid quite yet. They still have armies and police and the NSA. And trillions of dollars stashed away in the Caymans and penthouses on Wall Street and Michelin-starred restaurants to eat at. “What me worry?” Not quite yet.
But they are worried enough — that the salt of the earth might someday finally get tired of being used, trod on and taken advantage of while they continue to be corporate welfare queens — that they are out there stalking Edward Snowden and torturing Bradley Manning and fretting about what is happening in Egypt and Brazil and Turkey.
But the economic elite almost certainly know that the little people here in America will never get uppity because they know that most Americans are under their thumb; out celebrating the Fourth of July by watching fireworks displays on TV, drinking Cokes and going shopping at dollar stores.
Speaking at the end of the meeting of the EU-Ukraine Cooperation Council in Luxembourg on June 24, European Enlargement Commissioner Štefan Füle warned Ukraine that “time is running preciously short” for the government in Kiev to meet all European Union conditions in time to sign a free trade and association agreement in November. “Ukraine has made good progress in some areas,” Füle said, but added that “more needs to be done for Ukraine to achieve tangible progress on all the benchmarks,” including “increased determination and reinforced action”—an obvious reference to the case of Yulia Tymoshenko.
While stressing that closer links with the EU remain its priority, in recent weeks the Ukrainian government has also probed the possibilities of strengthening its ties with the Customs Union formed in 2010 by Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Moscow would like to see Ukraine in the “Common Economic Space,” but it is reluctant to grant it a half-way status that would fall short of full membership. Kiev would prefer that option in order not to sever its EU connection.
The dilemma has received scant attention in the Western media. Considering its size and strategic importance, it is curious how underreported Ukraine remains 22 years after independence. The second largest country in Europe—the true link (and a key energy corridor) between Russia and the Old Continent’s heartland west of the Carpathian Mountains—has just under fifty million people, a rich agricultural base, and a long Black Sea shoreline which includes the all-important naval bases in the Crimea. Its geopolitical significance cannot be overstated.
Kiev’s current quandary is real, but it should not overshadow Ukraine’s promise as a pivotal player in the development of regional cooperation with its EU neighbors to the West, former CIS countries to the north and east, and emerging regional powers further afield. On my recent visits to Ukraine—most recently as an election observer last October – I was struck by the tendency of some local analysts to focus on the role of their country as an object of geopolitical rivalry of others, and to neglect its potential as a significant actor in its own right.
That potential is real. The importance of food as a key strategic commodity will continue to grow in the decades ahead, and Ukraine has an enormous, still untapped capability to become a global-scale producer. In 2012 Ukrainian agricultural sector raised $2bn in capital investments, which is 11 percent higher than in 2011 but still short of what is needed to unleash its potential. If and when Ukraine’s farmers gain reliable and affordable access to finance, they will be able to compete with, and perhaps out-produce, their peers in the American Midwest or Canada. Cooperation with key EU agricultural producers, such as France, is proceeding apace and should continue regardless of what happens in Vilnius next November. The same applies to Kiev’s cooperation with the EU in the energy sector in 2013—an important step in making Ukraine’s role as a key energy conduit more stable, predictable and transparent.
Bilateral cooperation can flourish even in the absence of speedy integrations, as recent experience suggests. Ukraine’s merchandise trade deficit narrowed to $608.5 million in April, which is markedly less than a year ago. Exports increased 4.7% year-on-year, while imports declined 8.1%. Most of its minerals, steel, coal, petroleum products and grains go to other former Soviet republics, but Germany and Poland have been gaining importance in recent years. Trade with Hungary, Sweden, and other smaller EU members has also recorded significant increases. Outside the EU and the former Soviet Union, Ukraine’s key partners are Turkey (second-largest overall, after Russia) and China. Ukraine will sign an agreement on a free tradearea (FTA) with Turkey in October, and its trade with China is expected to double to $20bn in the next few years.
Regardless of its hoped-for integrations, Ukraine can and should project more resolutely its “soft power” in the region. Its rich cultural heritage and still underdeveloped tourist industry are by no means the only assets. The 2012 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly referred to as Euro 2012—jointly hosted by Poland and Ukraine—was an expensive but useful step in the right direction. There are still too few foreign students, researchers and guest-lecturers in Kiev, Kharkov, Lvov or Odessa, considering the quality of their institutions of higher learning.
The perennial issue of Ukraine’s geopolitical strategy—should it lean to the East or to the West—is on the whole somewhat artificial. Experts note that recent trends in the country’s foreign trade have created preconditions for growth even if it joins neither the European Union nor the Moscow-led customs union. It is noteworthy that even some EU leaders take the view that Ukraine should follow a two-track approach.
Stability in Europe and the continent’s long-term integration devoid of the Cold War, zero-sum-game mentality, requires a new paradigm in Kiev. It should be based on further diversification of political and economic options, which is not incompatible with Ukraine’s quest for optimal forms of association with its eastern and western neighbors.
Zombies rush the Israeli wall. Message: 1. Wall is justified 2. Palestinians (and others so determined) are subhuman and need to be exterminated
This is no surprise of course. What’s interesting is how they’re positioning Zionism and Israel in the apocalyptic finale. It certainly is playing a big role in bringing the world into World War 3 which has actually already begun since the US and Israel pulled the pin out of the grenade with 9/11.
Since then the number of countries drawn into these increasing staged middle eastern conflicts meets the definition of a world war.
World war: Merriam-Webster: “a war that involves all or most of the principal nations of the world” or the MacMillan dictionary says “a war that is fought between many countries from different parts of the world”. Looks like we’re there, people, and it’s just going to keep escalating. Clever how they slipped us into this unending conflict that only gathers momentum by the day.
World War for Zion
This WWZ type of predictive programming is standard fare in the media. It’s gone on for centuries via books and embedded religious teaching, but now with modern media they can really mash it down the mass mind with abandon – and they do.
Of course they call it “entertainment”. The definition? “Something that amuses, pleases, or diverts, especially a performance or show.” Remember diverts. Overall might sounds innocent enough, but we know better. It’s like the word “amusement”. The original meanings were “to divert the attention of so as to deceive”, “to occupy the attention of: absorb, distract, bewilder.” Now? “to entertain or occupy in a light, playful, or pleasant manner”.
It’s a tactic for diversion more than anything, while the war mongers carry out their Machiavellian plan.
WWZ – Predictive Programming Propaganda
This world war Z is just another propaganda flick, using the popularized zombie meme to the max to get the biggest bang for the buck. It’s written by the son of long time Hollywood Zionist insider Mel Brooks no less, so you can be sure he got all the right coaching, input, directions and help. And of course using another CFR/CIA type gofer in Brad Pitt who’s about to marry confirmed CFR member Angelina Jolie.
Predictive programming is very powerful, using the power of suggestion via carefully crafted emotionally charged scenarios to implant an idea for easier later acceptance as the actual scenarios roll out at the hands of the social programmers.
Alan Watt explains Predictive Programming:
“Hollywood is the magician’s wand (holly-holy) which has been used to cast a spell on the unsuspecting public.”
“Things or ideas which would otherwise be seen as bizarre, vulgar, undesirable or impossible are inserted into films in the realm of fantasy.”
“When the viewer watches these films, his/her mind is left open to suggestion and the conditioning process begins.”
“These same movies which are designed to program the average person, can give the discerning viewer a better understanding of the workings and the plan of the world agenda. ‘Be-aware’”
“Predictive Programming – The power of suggestion using the media of fiction to create a desired outcome.”
Enjoy this perceptive write up on “Z is for Zionism” as I call it, he nails it nicely:
Zombie Hasbara: ‘World War Z’ and Hollywood’s Zionist Embrace
I went to the Drive-In in Atlanta Friday night, to celebrate a friend’s birthday, a beautiful night under an almost full moon. We watched This is The End and Fast and Furious 6, and two of us stayed for the 2:00 am screening of World War Z. I’m not a zombie fanatic, so other than watching the Walking Dead, I had few expectations beyond the trailers that have been on TV since the Super Bowl. So I was surprised, jarred out of the movie really, when right in the middle of the narrative, Brad Pitt’s character, Gerry Lane, travels to Israel and spends more than 10 minutes in a full-on pro-Israel propaganda piece that was as corny as it was crazy.
The Times of Israel may be only slightly exaggerating when it calls this “the greatest piece of cinematic propaganda for Israel since Otto Preminger’s “Exodus.” Not only is Israel’s fanatical Wall Building proven to be justified, against the hordes of undead invaders, and not only are Jewish victimizations paraded to justify the aggrandizement of Israeli military prowess, but it’s Israel’s supposed humanism, and multicultural inclusiveness, which in the end weakens the fragile post-apocalyptic state and allows the zombies to overrun everything. Its pretty heady stuff.
It’s all a smokescreen, with a few hints at what’s really going on behind the scenes. Analyzing and looking for meaning in this mass propaganda we’re being sprayed with is like looking for corn in a dung heap. But see through it we must, and then wash our minds clean of the stench and stain.
Beware how much you take on board, this type of stuff is toxic and loaded with occult symbolism, trigger words and subliminal messages meant to drag you down to their low vibration where you become even more susceptible.
Stay clear, but see these phony projections for what they are. Same with the news. We’re getting what they want us to get in these “breaking” stories, no matter how “revelatory” some of these spying and government and finance “revelations” are. It’s under control, and timed releases to test for reaction as well as let people vent some outrage and feel they have some say so are a common tactic.
I just don’t take the whole world geopolitical picture that gets painted as a reality. It’s a construct and tool of manipulation by its very nature.
Don’t let them define your reality by unwittingly adopting their parameters or living within their prescribed playing field.
We’re not separate to be put at variance against each other at the drop of a hat. Humanity is one, sharing a common consciousness. The entities that deny and attempt to erase this knowledge are the enemy.
First, get your mind and spirit truly free. Then you will know what you are to do.
Then do it.
All of it.
[Hat tip: Bob Hitt - tx!]
Protests in Brazil indicate what goes way, way beyond a cheap bus fare.
When, in late 2010, Dilma Rousseff was elected President after eight years of the impossibly popular Lula, a national narrative was already ingrained, stressing that Brazil was not the “country of the future” anymore; the future had arrived, and this was a global power in the making.
This was a country on overdrive – from securing the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics to a more imposing role as part of the BRICS group of emerging powers.
Not unlike China, Brazil was breathlessly exploiting natural resources – from its hinterland to parts of Africa – while betting heavily on large agribusiness mostly supplying, you guess it, China.
But above all Brazil fascinated the world by incarnating this political UFO; a benign, inclusive giant, on top of it benefitting from a lavish accumulation of soft power (music, football, beautiful beaches, beautiful women, endless partying).
The country was finally enjoying the benefits of a quarter of a century of participative democracy – and self-satisfied that for the past ten years Lula’s extensive social inclusion policies had lifted arguably 40 million Brazilians to middle class status. Racial discrimination at least had been tackled, with instances of the Brazilian version of affirmative action.
Yet this breakneck capitalist dream masked serious cracks. Locally there may be euphoria for becoming the sixth or seventh world economy, but still social exclusion was far from gone. Brazil remained one the most (deadly) unequal nations in the world, peppered with retrograde landowning oligarchies and some of the most rapacious, arrogant and ignorant elites on the planet – inevitable by-products of ghastly Portuguese colonialism.
Students take part in a demonstration at Praca da Se, in Sao Paulo, Brazil on June 18, 2013 (AFP Photo / Miguel Schincariol)
And then, once again, corruption raised its Hydra-like head. Here’s a first parallel with Turkey. In Brazil as in Turkey, participative democracy was co-opted, ignored or forcefully diluted among an orgy of “mega-projects” generating dubious profits for a select few. In Turkey it revolves around the ruling party AKP’s collusion with business interests in the “redevelopment” of Istanbul; in Brazil around public funds for the hosting of the World Cup and the Olympics.
The new capitalist dream could not mask that the quality of life in Brazil’s big cities seemed to be on a downward spiral; and that racism – especially in the police – never went away while the demonization of peasant and Native Brazilian leaders was rampant; after all they were obstructing the way of powerful agribusiness interests and the “mega-projects” craze.
What can a poor boy do
There’s no Turkey Spring – as there’s no Brazilian Spring. This isn’t Tunisia and Egypt. Both Turkey and Brazil are democracies – although Prime Minister Erdogan has clearly embarked on a polarizing strategy and an authoritarian drive. What links Turkey and Brazil is that irreversible pent-up resentment against institutional politics (and corruption) may be catalyzed by a relatively minor event.
In Turkey it was the destruction of Gezi park; in Brazil the ten-cent hike in public bus fares was the proverbial straw that broke the (white) elephant’s back. In both cases the institutional response was tear gas and rubber bullets. In Turkey the popular backlash spread to a few cities. In Brazil it went nationwide.
This goes way, way beyond a cheap bus ride – although the public transport scene in Brazil’s big cities would star in Dante’s ninth circle of hell. A manual worker, a student, a maid usually spend up to four hours a day back-and-forth in appalling conditions. And these are private transport rackets controlled by a small group of businessmen embedded with local politicians, who they obviously own.
Students protest in Sao Paulo, Brazil on June 18, 2013 (AFP Photo / Daniel Guimaraes)
Arguably the nationwide, mostly peaceful protests have scored a victory – as nine cities have decided to cancel the bus fare hike. But that’s just the beginning.
The mantra is true; Brazilians pay developed world taxes and in return get sub-Saharan Africa quality of service (no offense to Africa). The notion of “value for money” is non-existent. It gets even worse as the economic miracle is over. That magical “growth” was less than 1% in 2012, and only 0.6% in the first quarter of 2013. The immensely bloated state bureaucracy, the immensely appalling public infrastructure, virtually no investment in education as teachers barely get paid $300 a month, non-stop political corruption scandals, not to mention as many homicides a year as narco-purgatory Mexico – none of this is going away by magic.
Football passion apart – and this is a nation where everyone is either an expert footballer or an experienced coach – the vast majority of the population is very much aware the current Confederations Cup and the 2014 World Cup are monster FIFA rackets. As a columnist for the Brazilian arm of ESPN has coined it, “the Cup is theirs, but we pay the bills.”
Public opinion is very much aware the Feds played hardball to get the “mega-events” to Brazil and then promised rivers of “social” benefits in terms of services and urban development. None of that happened. Thus the collective feeling that “we’ve been robbed” – all over again, as anyone with a digital made in China calculator can compare this multi-billion dollar orgy of public funds for FIFA with pathetically little investment in health, education, transportation and social welfare. A banner in the Sao Paulo protests said it all;“Your son is ill? Take him to the arena.”
A demonstrator holds a Brazilian national flag during a protest turned violent, in downtown Rio de Janeiro on June 17, 2013 (AFP Photo / Christophe Simon)
Remember “Standing Man”
The neo-liberal gospel preached by the Washington consensus only values economic “growth” measured in GDP numbers. This is immensely misleading; it does not take into account everything from rising expectations for more participative democracy to abysmal inequality levels, as well as the despair of those trying to just survive (as in the orgy of expanded credit in Brazil leaving people to pay annual interest rates of over 200% on their credit cards).
So it takes a few uprooted trees in Istanbul and a more expensive shitty bus ride in Sao Paulo to hurl citizens of the “emerging markets” into the streets. No wonder the Brazilian protests left politicians – and “analysts” - perplexed and speechless. After all, once again this was people power – fueled by social media – against the 1%, not that dissimilar from protests in Spain, Portugal and Greece.
Unlike Erdogan in Turkey – who branded Twitter “a menace” and wants to criminalize social networking – to her credit Rousseff seems to have listened to the digital (and street) noise, saying on Tuesday that Brazil “woke up stronger” because of the protests.
The Brazilian protests are horizontal. Non-partisan; beyond party politics. No clear leaders. It’s a sort of Occupy Brazil – with a cross-section of high-school and college students, poor workers who struggle to pay their bus fare, vast swathes of the tax-swamped middle class who cannot afford private health insurance, even homeless people, who after all already live in the streets. Essentially, they want more democracy, less corruption, and to be respected as citizens, getting at least some value for their money in terms of public services.
The die is cast. Once again, it’s people power vs. institutional politics. Remember “Standing Man” in Taksim Square. The time to take a stand is now.
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.
In perfect Bush-like fashion, President Obama has invented a bogus pretense for military intervention in yet another Middle East country. The president’s claim that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons — and thus crossed Obama’s imaginary “red line” — will likely fool very few Americans, who already distrust their president after the massive NSA spying scandal.
Obama has officially started down a path that inevitably leads to full-scale war. At this point the Obama administration thinks it has already invested too much military, financial, and diplomatic capital into the Syrian conflict to turn back, and each step forward brings the U.S. closer to a direct military intervention.
Much like Obama’s spying program, few Americans knew that the United States was already involved, neck deep, with the mass killings occurring in Syria. For example, Obama has been directly arming the Syrian rebels for well over a year. The New York Times broke the story that the Obama administration has — through the CIA — been illegally trafficking thousands of tons of guns to the rebels from the dictatorships of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. If not for these Obama-trafficked guns, thousands of deaths would have been prevented and the Syrian conflict over.
But even after the gun trafficking story broke, the mainstream media largely ignored it, and continued “reporting” that the U.S. has only been supplying the Syrian rebels with “non-lethal aid,” a meaningless term in a war setting, since all military aid directly assists in the business of killing.
The U.S. media also buried the truth behind the ridiculous chemical weapons claims by the Obama administration, which, like Bush’s WMDs, are based on absolutely no evidence. Having learned nothing from Iraq, the U.S. media again shamelessly regurgitates the “facts” as spoon-fed to them by the government, no questions asked. In reality, however, a number of independent chemical weapons experts have publicly spoken out against Obama’s accusations.
The U.S. media also refuses to ask: on what authority does the United States have to determine the usage of chemical weapons in other countries? This is the job of the UN. What has the UN said on the matter?
“According to the testimonies we have gathered, the [Syrian] rebels have used chemical weapons, making use of sarin gas.”
Again, the “rebels” have used chemical weapons, not the Syrian government, according to the UN representative. Many analysts have pointed out the obvious fact that the Syrian government would have zero military or political motive to use chemical weapons, especially when they have access to much more effective conventional weapons. Obama’s Bush-like lies are too familiar to the American public, who overwhelmingly do not support military intervention in Syria, or giving direct military aide to the Syrian rebels.
What has the UN said on giving military aid to the rebels?
UN chief Ban Ki-moon has called the Obama’s decision “a bad idea” and “not helpful.” This is because pouring arms into any country where there is a conflict only increases the bloodshed and risks turning the conflict into a broader catastrophe.
But like Bush, Obama is ignoring the UN, and there’s a logic to his madness. Obama has invested too much of his foreign policy credibility in Syria. His administration has been the backbone of the Syrian rebels from the beginning, having handpicked a group of rich Syrian exiles and molded them into Obama’s “officially recognized” government of Syria, while pressuring other nations to also recognize these nobodies as the “legitimate Syrian government.” Assad’s iron grip on power is a humiliation to these diplomatic efforts of Obama, and has thus weakened the prestige and power of U.S. foreign policy abroad.
More importantly, Obama’s anti-Syria diplomacy required that diplomatic relations between Syria and its neighbors — like Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey — be destroyed. These nations have peacefully co-existed for decades with Syria, but have now agreed — under immense U.S. pressure — to sever diplomatic relations while helping destroy the Syrian government by funneling guns and foreign fighters into the country, further destabilizing a region not yet recovered from the Iraq war. Obama’s Syria policy has turned an already-fragile region into a smoldering tinderbox.
If Obama were to suddenly tell his anti-Syria coalition that he’s realized his efforts at regime change have failed and that he would instead pursue a peaceful solution, his allies and Middle East lackeys would be less willing in the future to prostitute themselves for the foreign policy of the United States; and the U.S. would thus find it more difficult in the future to pursue “regime change” politics abroad. If Obama doesn’t back up his “Assad must go” demand, the U.S. will be unable to make such threats in the future; and U.S. foreign policy is heavily dependent on this type of political bullying.
Furthermore, Obama’s anti-Syria puppet coalition is taking tremendous political risks when it shamelessly follows in Obama’s footsteps, since the U.S. is terribly unpopular throughout the Arab world. This unpopularity is further proof that the “official” Syrian opposition that is asking for U.S. intervention has zero credibility in Syria, since very few Syrians would like to invite the U.S. military to “liberate” their country, especially after the “successful” liberations of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya.
Obama, too, is worried about domestic politics in his own country over Syria. He knows that Americans are sick of Middle East wars, while the American public is also worried that arming the Syrian rebels would mean giving guns to the very same people that America is supposedly fighting a “war on terror” against.
In response to this concern Obama has said that the U.S. will only give arms to “moderate” rebels. A European Union diplomat mockingly responded:
“It would be the first conflict where we pretend we could create peace by delivering arms… If you pretend to know where the weapons will end up, then it would be the first war in history where this is possible. We have seen it in Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq. Weapons don’t disappear; they pop up where they are needed.”
In Syria U.S. weapons will thus end up in the hands of the extremists doing the majority of the fighting. These are the people who will be in power if Syria’s government falls, unless a full U.S. invasion and Iraq-style occupation occurs. It’s difficult to decide which outcome would be worse for the Syrian people.
It’s now obvious that President Obama is escalating the Syrian conflict because his prized rebels have been beaten on the battlefield. Obama has thus chosen the military tactic of brinksmanship, a risky strategy that involves intentionally escalating a conflict in the hopes that either your opponent gives in to your demands (regime change), or your opponent gives you an excuse to invade.
Here’s how former U.S. General Wesley Clark explains Obama’s brinkmanship tactic in a New York Times op-ed, which is worth quoting at length:
“President Obama’s decision to supply small arms and ammunition to the rebels is a step, possibly just the first,toward direct American intervention. It raises risks for all parties, and especially for Mr. Assad, who knows that he cannot prevail, even with Russian and Iranian military aid, if the United States becomes fully engaged. We used a similar strategy against the Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic in Kosovo in 1999, where I commanded American forces, and showed that NATO had the resolve to escalate.
“The risk of going beyond lethal aid to establishing a no-fly zone to keep Mr. Assad’s planes grounded or safe zones to protect refugees — options under consideration in Washington — is that we would find it hard to pull back if our side began losing. Given the rebels’ major recent setbacks, can we rule out using air power or sending in ground troops?
“Yet the sum total of risks — higher oil prices, a widening war — also provide Syria (and its patrons, Iran and Russia) a motive to negotiate.” [emphasis added]
Clark’s innocent sounding “no-fly zone” is in fact a clever euphemism for all-out war, since no-fly zones require you destroy the enemy’s air force, surface to air missiles, and other infrastructure.
In Libya Obama swiftly turned a no-fly zone into a full-scale invasion and regime change, in violation of international law. A no-fly zone in Syria would also immediately turn into an invasion and “regime change,” with the possibility that the U.S. or Israel would exploit the “fog of war” to attack Iran.
All of this madness could be stopped immediately if Obama publicly announced that the Syrian rebels have lost the war — since they have — and will be cut off politically, financially, and militarily by the U.S. if they do not immediately proceed to negotiations with the Syrian government. But this peaceful approach will instead be ignored in favor of untold thousands more dead, millions more made refugees, and a broader regional fracturing of Middle East civilization.
While the global elite construct underground bunkers, eat organic and hoard seeds in Arctic vaults; the global poor are being slowly starved thanks to high commodity prices and poisoned with genetically modified (GMO) food. Austerity measures aimed largely at the poor are being imposed on all the nations of the world. Weather events grow more deadly and brushfire wars more frequent. An AK-47 can be obtained for $49 in the markets of West Africa. The depopulation campaign of the inbred Illuminatibankers is accelerating.
In 1957 President Dwight Eisenhower, who later warned of a “military-industrial complex”, commissioned a panel of scientists to study the issue of overpopulation. The scientists put forth Alternatives I, II and III, advocating both the release of deadly viruses and perpetual warfare as means to decrease world population.
The first supposition dovetailed nicely with the pharmaceutical interests of the Rockefellers. According to Nexus magazine, the Rockefellers own one-half of the US pharmaceutical industry, which would reap billions developing medicines to “battle” the deadly viruses about to be released.
In 1969 the Senate Church Committee discovered that the US Defense Department (DOD) had requested a budget of tens of millions of taxpayer dollars for a program to speed development of new viruses which target and destroy the human immune system. DOD officials testified before Congress that they planned to produce, “a synthetic biological agent, an agent that does not naturally exist and for which no natural immunity could be acquired… Most important is that it might be refractory to the immunological and therapeutic processes upon which we depend to maintain our relative freedom from infectious disease.” House Bill 5090 authorized the funds and MK-NAOMI was carried out at Fort Detrick, Maryland.
Out of this research came the AIDS virus which was targeted at “undesirable elements” of the population. The first AIDS viruses were administered through a massive smallpox vaccine campaign in central and southern Africa by the World Health Organization in 1977. A year later ads appeared in major US newspapers soliciting “promiscuous gay male volunteers” to take part in a Hepatitis B vaccine study. 
The program targeted male homosexuals age 20-40 in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, St. Louis and San Francisco. It was administered by the US Centers for Disease Control which, under its earlier incarnation as the US Public Health Department in Atlanta, oversaw the Tuskegee syphilis experiments on African American males. 
San Francisco has been a target of numerous CIA experiments, due to its high population of left-leaning and gay citizens, which the Illuminati views as “undesirables”. According to Dr. Eva Snead, San Francisco has one of the highest cancer rates in the country. For years, malathion – first developed by the Nazis – was sprayed over the city by helicopters from the CIA’s Evergreen Air, whose Arizona base is used, according to author William Cooper, as CIA transshipment point for Columbian cocaine. The mysterious Legionnaire’s Disease occurs often in San Francisco and the CIA’s MK-ULTRA mind control bad acid program was based there.
The intellectual force behind the introduction of AIDS was the Bilderberger Group, which became fixated on population control after WWII. Author Cooper says the Policy Committee of the Bilderbergers gave orders to DOD to introduce the AIDS virus. The Bilderbergers are close to the Club of Rome, which was founded on a Rockefeller estate near Bellagio, Italy and is backed by the same European Black Nobility who frequent Bilderberger meetings. A 1968 study by the Club of Rome advocated lowering the birth rate and increasing the death rate. Club founder Dr. Aurelio Peccei made a top-secret recommendation to introduce a microbe that would attack the auto-immune system, then develop a vaccine as a prophylactic for the global elite. 
One month after the 1968 Club of Rome meeting Paul Ehrlich published The Population Bomb. The book hints at a draconian depopulation plan in the works. On page seventeen Ehrlich writes, “The problem could have been avoided by population control…so that a ‘death rate solution’ did not have to occur.” A year later MK-NAOMI was born. Peccei himself authored the Club of Rome’s much-touted Global 2000 report, which President Jimmy Carter pushed on his BCCI shakedown cruise of Africa. Peccei wrote in the report, “Man is now vested with unprecedented, tremendous responsibilities and thrown into the role of moderator of life on the planet- including his own”.
The Bilderbergers were behind the Haig-Kissinger Depopulation Policy, a driving force at the State Department and administered by the National Security Council. Pressure is applied to Third World countries to reduce their populations. Those that do not comply see their US aid withheld or are subject to Pink Plan low-intensity war that targets civilians, especially women of child-bearing age. In Africa famine and brush-fire wars are encouraged. AK-47 rifles can be bought at West African markets for under $50. The same is true in the markets of Peshawar, Pakistan. In 1975, a year after attending a Club of Rome conference on the topic, Secretary of State Kissinger founded the Office of Population Affairs (OPA).
DOD officials testified before Congress that they planned to produce, “a synthetic biological agent, an agent that does not naturally exist and for which no natural immunity could be acquired… Most important is that it might be refractory to the immunological and therapeutic processes upon which we depend to maintain our relative freedom from infectious disease.”
Latin American OPA case officer Thomas Ferguson spilled the beans on OPA’s agenda when he stated, “There is a single theme behind all our work; we must reduce population levels. Either they do it our way, through nice clean methods or they will get the kind of mess that we have in El Salvador, or in Iran, or in Beirut…Once population is out of control it requires authoritarian government, even fascism, to reduce it…The professionals aren’t interested in reducing population for humanitarian reasons…Civil wars are somewhat drawn-out ways to reduce population. The quickest way to reduce population is through famine like in Africa. We go into a country and say, here is your goddamn development plan. Throw it out the window. Start looking at your population…if you don’t …then you’ll have an El Salvador or an Iran, or worse, a Cambodia”. 
Ferguson said of El Salvador, “To accomplish what the State Department deems adequate population control, the civil war (run by CIA) would have to be greatly expanded. You have to pull all the males into fighting and kill significant numbers of fertile, child-bearing age females. You are killing a small number of males and not enough fertile females to do the job…If the war went on 30-40 years, you might accomplish something. Unfortunately, we don’t have too many instances of this to study”.
Report from Iron Mountain
In 1961 Kennedy Administration officials McGeorge Bundy, Robert McNamara and Dean Rusk, all CFR and Bilderberger members, led a study group which looked into “the problem of peace”. The group met at Iron Mountain, a huge underground corporate nuclear shelter near Hudson, New York, where CFR think tank The Hudson Institute is located. The bunker contains redundant offices in case of nuclear attack for Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch/Shell and JP Morgan Chase.  A copy of the group discussions, known as Report from Iron Mountain, was leaked by a participant and published in 1967 by Dial Press.
The report’s authors saw war as necessary and desirable stating “War itself is the basic social system, within which other secondary modes of social organization conflict or conspire. (War is) the principal organizing force…the essential economic stabilizer of modern societies.” The group worried that through “ambiguous leadership” the “ruling administrative class” might lose its ability to “rationalize a desired war”, leading to the “actual disestablishment of military institutions”.
The report goes on to say, “…the war system cannot responsibly be allowed to disappear until…we know exactly what we plan to put in its place…The possibility of war provides the sense of external necessity without which no government can long remain in power…The basic authority of a modern state over its people resides in its war powers. War has served as the last great safeguard against the elimination of necessary classes.”
Historian Howard Zinn described this conundrum when he wrote, “American capitalism needed international rivalry- and periodic war- to create an artificial community of interest between rich and poor, supplanting the genuine community of interest among the poor that showed itself in sporadic movements”.
The Iron Mountain gang was not the first to discover the virtues of war. In 1909 the trustees of the Andrew Carnegie Foundation for International Peace met to discuss pre-WWI American life. Many of the participants were members of Skull & Bones. They concluded, “There are no known means more efficient than war, assuming the objective is altering the life of an entire people…How do we involve the United States in a war?”
The Report from Iron Mountain goes on to propose a proper role for those of the lower classes, crediting military institutions with providing “antisocial elements with an acceptable role in the social structure. The younger and more dangerous of these hostile social groupings have been kept under control by the Selective Service System…A possible surrogate for the control of potential enemies of society is the reintroduction, in some form consistent with modern technology and political process, of slavery…The development of a sophisticated form of slavery may be an absolute prerequisite for social control in a world at peace.”
“…the war system cannot responsibly be allowed to disappear until… we know exactly what we plan to put in its place… The possibility of war provides the sense of external necessity without which no government can long remain in power… The basic authority of a modern state over its people resides in its war powers. War has served as the last great safeguard against the elimination of necessary classes.” Report from Iron Mountain
The Iron Mountain goons, though thrilled by the idea of slavery, listed as other socioeconomic substitutions for war: a comprehensive social welfare program, a giant open-ended space program aimed at unreachable targets, a permanent arms inspection regime, an omnipresent global police and peacekeeping force, massive global environmental pollution which would require a large labor pool to clean up, socially-oriented blood sports and a comprehensive eugenics program. 
The Iraqi genocide fulfilled the dreams of the Club of Rome Zero Population Growth maniacs, while also providing a testing ground for two of the war substitutes proposed by the Iron Mountain fascists: an arms inspection regime and UN peacekeepers. Both concepts gained traction in the international community thanks to the Gulf War.
Let the Iraqi Genocide Begin
Estimates of Iraqi casualties during the Gulf War are sobering. Some organizations like Greenpeace put the death toll at near one million people. It was a war in which the media was denied access on a scale never before seen, so casualty figures vary greatly. According to Tony Murphy, a researcher at the International War Crimes Tribunal, the US attack on Iraq killed 125,000 civilians, while destroying 676 schools, 38 hospitals, 8 major hydroelectric dams, 11 power plants, 119 power substations and half the country’s telephone lines. The attacks occurred mostly at night when people were most vulnerable.
In the months following the war the death rate of Iraqi children under five tripled. Thirty-eight percent of these deaths were caused by diarrhea.  Victor Filatov, a Russian journalist reporting for Sovetskaya Rossiya from post-war Baghdad wrote, “What further bloodshed do these barbarians of the 20th century need? I thought the Americans had changed since Vietnam…but no, they never change. They remain true to themselves.”
According to former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark, the US was found guilty of nineteen war crimes against Iraq before the International War Crimes Tribunal. The US dropped 88,000 tons of bombs on Iraq during the Gulf War and has rained down countless more bombs since. Many bombs were tipped with armor piercing depleted uranium (DU) warheads, which may account for chronic Iraqi health problems. Dr. Siegwart-Horst Gunther, a German physician who came to Iraq to help its people, became gravely ill when he handled just one cigar-sized fragment from a DU warhead. Dr. Gunther measured the tiny object’s radioactivity to be 11 microSv per hour, whereas an acceptable exposure is no more than 300 microSv per year.  Three hundred tons of DU ammunition was deployed during the war.
Many believe DU is responsible for Gulf War Syndrome, which has killed and permanently injured many US soldiers who fought in the Persian Gulf theater. Since 2000, nearly 11,000 US Gulf War veterans have died from Gulf War Syndrome, while the Pentagon continues to cover up this travesty.
Satanism & Psychotronic Warfare
The US also tested numerous top-secret high-tech weapons systems in the Gulf theatre, while utilizing some old low-frequency favorites. When Iraqi ground forces surrendered, many of them were in a state of delirium and lethargy that could have been induced by extremely low-frequency radio waves, which the US used as a weapon as early as the Vietnam conflict.
Yale University and CIA psychiatrist Dr. Jose Delgado studied mind control for the Company during the 1950’s as part of the MK-ULTRA program. Delgado determined, “Physical control of many brain functions is a demonstrated fact…it is even possible to create and follow intentions…By electronic stimulation of specific cerebral structures, movements can be induced by radio command…by remote control.”
According to a military document written by Colonel Paul Valley and Major Michael Aquino titled From PSYOP to Mindwar: The Psychology of Victory, the US Army used an operational weapons system “to map the minds of neutral and enemy individuals and then to change them in accordance with US national interests”. The technique was used to secure the surrender of 29,276 armed Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army soldiers in 1967 and 1968. The US Navy was also heavily involved in “psychotronic” research.  Many US soldiers who served near the DMZ that divided North and South Vietnam claimed to see UFOs on a regular basis. The Pentagon Papers revealed that an electronic barrier was placed along the DMZ by the secretive JASON Society.
Major Michael Aquino was an Army psyops specialist in Vietnam, where his unit specialized in drug-inducement, brainwashing, virus injection, brain implants, hypnosis, and use of electromagnetic fields and extremely low-frequency radio waves. After Vietnam, Aquino moved to San Francisco and founded the Temple of Set. Set is the ancient Egyptian name for Lucifer. Aquino was now a senior US Military Intelligence official.  He’d been given a Top Secret security clearance on June, 9, 1981. Less than a month later an Army intelligence memo revealed that Aquino’s Temple of Set was an off-shoot of Anton La Vey’s Church of Satan, also headquartered in San Francisco. Two other Set members were Willie Browning and Dennis Mann. Both were Army Intelligence officers.
The Temple of Set was obsessed with military matters and political fascism. It was especially preoccupied with the Nazi Order of the Trapezoid. Aquino’s “official” job was history professor at Golden Gate College. The Temple recruited the same Hells Angels who Billy Mellon Hitchcock had used to dole out his bad CIA acid. Its members frequented prostitutes where they engaged in all manner of sadomasochistic activities.  Director of Army Counter-Intelligence Donald Press revealed that Dennis Mann was assigned to the 306 PSYOPS Battalion and that Aquino was assigned to a top secret program known as Presidio.
Presidio is also the name of a spooky complex in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which Mikhail Gorbachev reportedly frequented as the Soviet Union was falling apart. Was Aquino part of an operation to “map the mind” of the Soviet Union’s last leader and induce him into proposing both glasnost and perestroika, the two free market policies that ultimately led to the Soviet Union’s demise? Remember the curious mark which suddenly appeared on Gorbachev’s forehead? Was he implanted with some sort of microchip mind-control device to make him think “in accordance with US national interests”?
Such Orwellian technology is marketed on a regular basis throughout the world. International Healthline Corporation and others sell microchip implants in the US, Russia and Europe. The Humane Society has adopted a policy of micro-chipping all stray pets. The State of Hawaii requires that all pets be micro-chipped. Six thousand people in Sweden have accepted a microchip in their hand, which they use for all purchases. Trials are also underway in Japan. In July 2002, National Public Radio reported a similar trial beginning in Seattle. Later in 2002, after a rash of suspicious abductions of young girls, BBC reported that a British company plans to implant children with microchips so that their parents can monitor their whereabouts.
Dr. Carl Sanders, a highly acclaimed electronics engineer, revealed that a microchip project he launched to help people with severed spinal cords was taken over by Bill Colby’s Operation Phoenix in a series of meetings organized by Henry Kissinger. Sanders says the optimal spot for a microchip implant is just below the hairline on a person’s forehead, since the device can be recharged by changes in body temperatures, which are most pronounced there. Interestingly, this is the location of the pineal gland or Third Eye.
The 1986 Emigration Control Act grants the President the power to mandate any kind of ID he deems necessary.  Researchers at Southern California have developed a chip which mimics the hippocampus, the part of the brain that deals with memory. Pentagon officials are interested in using it in experiments to create a “super-soldier”.  Another microchip called Brain Gate is being implanted in paralyzed people. It allows them to control their environment by simply thinking. 
In Iraq, psychological warfare gave way to slow genocide. According to UNICEF, as of late 2001, 1.5 million Iraqi children had died as a result of sanctions, while one child in ten died before their first birthday. Thalassemia, anemia and diarrhea were the biggest killers and could have been prevented were it not for a chronic shortage of blood and medicine in Iraq due to the sanctions. UN Committee 661 served as arbiter of what constituted a “dual use” item and therefore banned for import into Iraq. As of 2001, over 1,600 Iraqi contracts with Western companies for medical equipment had been blocked by 661. 
Yale University and CIA psychiatrist Dr. Jose Delgado studied mind control for the Company during the 1950’s as part of the MK-ULTRA program. Delgado determined, “Physical control of many brain functions is a demonstrated fact…it is even possible to create and follow intentions…By electronic stimulation of specific cerebral structures, movements can be induced by radio command…by remote control.”
The Gulf War decimated Iraq’s sewer and water treatment systems. Iraqis were forced to drink polluted water, leading to numerous health problems. Iraq was not allowed to import chlorine to clean the water since 661 deemed it a potential chemical weapon. Electrical power was rationed in three-hour daily increments per household since the Iraqi government couldn’t get the parts it needed to fix its power plants after the US bombed its entire power grid. With the devaluation of the Iraqi dinar and the ban on the export of 2.4 million barrels of oil per day, the average Iraqi lived on $2.50 a month- enough to buy a pair of shoes. The only Iraqis not affected were the wealthy elite, who had long ago stashed their savings overseas in US dollars.
UNICEF estimates that 28% of Iraqi children no longer went to school. Before the war almost all children attended. Often families could only afford to send one child to school because of the cost of simple things like backpacks, shoes and notebooks. Rafah Salam Aziz, Director of Mansour Children’s Hospital, said parents were often forced to make similar decisions about their children’s lives. Aziz said, “Many times it’s easier for a family to let a baby die rather than let the whole family go hungry and get sick.”
In 1996 Clinton Defense Secretary William Perry announced a new military buildup in the Persian Gulf. Soon cruise missiles were again raining down on Baghdad. Many nations now grew weary of both US bombing and the sanctions regime, which was brutalizing the Iraqi people while strengthening the grip of Saddam Hussein. Russian President Boris Yeltsin, whose country signed a deal with Iraq to rebuild its shattered oil sector, said he was disturbed at the use of “extreme and radical force against the Arab world”. The Russian opposition offered a more scalding appraisal. Alexander Lebed stating angrily, “The US is like a strong master who spits on everybody.”
Turkey, Jordan and Syria all expressed unease over the new round of bombing. Even the Saudis, where Islamic fundamentalism was on the rise and two major bombings had occurred at US bases, now refused to allow the US to use its bases to bomb Iraq. Many countries, including France, began openly flaunting the UN embargo against Iraq in the late 1990’s.
Dennis Halliday, former Assistant Secretary of the UN who initially headed the UN Humanitarian Program to Iraq, resigned his post in protest. He said sanctions were demolishing the very class of Iraqi people who wanted to create a better government in the country. He was scornful of the UN Oil for Food Program under which the US received 70% of Iraqi oil. Halliday stated plainly, “We are guilty of committing genocide, through the Security Council, against Iraq.”
Halliday’s 1998 successor was Hans Van Sponeck, who watched as the UN unfurled the UNSCOM arms inspection regime, paid for by Iraqi oil sales. US inspector Scott Ritter confirmed Iraqi suspicions that UNSCOM was gathering intelligence for CIA and Mossad. UNSCOM was just the latest CIA tool. In 1996 the Iraqi government claimed international relief agencies, including the World Food Program, which claimed to be helping the Kurds, were actually CIA operatives attempting to destabilize the country.
In fact the CIA had spent more than $20 million in its support of the Iraqi National Congress, led by long-time CIA surrogate Jalal Talibani’s PKK Kurdish faction.  In January 1997 Iraq uncovered two Mossad spy rings in one month following the attempted assassination of Saddam Hussein’s son.  Hans Van Sponeck had seen enough. He too resigned in protest.
In early 1999 it was revealed that the US had used UNSCOM to plant electronic bugging devices in the Iraqi Ministry of Defense. Arms inspector Scott Ritter said the CIA was using UNSCOM to “provoke a crisis”. In December 1998 UNSCOM, faced with the embarrassing accusations of espionage, pulled out of Iraq. On December 15th the US launched a new round of bombing. Ritter says intelligence gathered by UNSCOM was used for targeting. UNSCOM spokesman David Kay resurfaced in 2003 calling for a US invasion of Iraq. He now worked for SAIC, which landed numerous Pentagon contracts to rebuild Iraq.
Dean Henderson is the author of four books: Big Oil & Their Bankers in the Persian Gulf: Four Horsemen, Eight Families & Their Global Intelligence, Narcotics & Terror Network, The Grateful Unrich: Revolution in 50 Countries, Stickin’ it to the Matrix and Das Kartell der Federal Reserve.To subscribe to Dean’s weekly blog, Left Hook, go to www.deanhenderson.wordpress.com
-  Behold a Pale Horse. William Cooper. Light Technology Press. Sedona, AZ. 1991. p.166
-  Robot’s Rebellion: The Story of the Spiritual Renaissance. David Icke. Gateway Books. Bath, UK. 1994. p.305
-  Cooper. p.166
-  Ibid
-  Rule by Secrecy: The Hidden History that Connects the Trilateral Commission, the Freemasons and the Great Pyramids. Jim Marrs. HarperCollins Publishers. New York. 2000. p.114
-  Ibid. 116
-  “Child Death Rate Jumps in Iraq”. AP. Great Falls Tribune. 9-24-92. p.8
-  “Depleted Uranium”. Siegwart-Horst Gunther. Covert Action Quarterly. Winter 2001. p.2
-  Cooper. p.369
-  Icke. p.221
-  Cooper. p.361
-  Icke. p.223
-  Inquirer. UK. 10-25-05
-  PhysOrg News. 11-1-95 www.physorg.com/news7746.html
-  “Greetings from Missile Street”. Free Speech TV. Boulder, CO. 12-23-01
-  “US Economic Sanctions Taking Very Human Toll in Iraq”. Great Falls Tribune. 9-13-92.
-  “Slamming Saddam”. Time. 9-16-96. p.31
-  “The Unfinished War”. CNN. 1-6-02
-  Evening Edition. National Public Radio. 9-10-96
-  BBC World News. 1-8-97
Source: Dean Henderson | VeteransToday
Obama Is Making Us De Facto Allies Of Al-Qaida…
Thursday, while he was ringing in Gay Pride Month with LGBT revelers, a staffer, Ben Rhodes, informed the White House press that U.S. weapons will be going to the Syrian rebels.
For two years Obama has stayed out of this sectarian-civil war that has consumed 90,000 lives. Why is he going in now?
The White House claims it now has proof Bashar Assad used sarin gas to kill 100-150 people, thus crossing a “red line” Obama had set down as a “game changer.” Defied, his credibility challenged, he had to do something.
Yet Assad’s alleged use of sarin to justify U.S. intervention seems less like our reason for getting into this war than our excuse.
For the White House decided to intervene weeks ago, before the use of sarin was confirmed. And why would Assad have used only tiny traces? Where is the photographic evidence of the disfigured dead?
What proof have we the rebels did not fabricate the use of sarin or use it themselves to get the gullible Americans to fight their war?
Yet, why would President Obama, whose proud boast is that he will have extricated us from the Afghan and Iraq wars, as Dwight Eisenhower did from the Korean War, plunge us into a new war?
He has been under severe political and foreign pressure to do something after Assad and Hezbollah recaptured the strategic town of Qusair and began preparing to recapture Aleppo, the largest city.
Should Assad succeed, it would mean a decisive defeat for the rebels and their backers: the Turks, Saudis and Qataris. And it would mean a geostrategic victory for Iran, Hezbollah and Russia, who have proven themselves reliable allies.
To prevent this defeat and humiliation, we are now going to ship arms and ammunition to keep the rebels going and in control of enough territory to negotiate a peace that will remove Assad.
We are going to make this a fair fight.
What is wrong with this strategy? It is the policy of an amateur. It treats war like a game. It ignores the lessons of history. And, as it continues a bloodbath with no prospect of an end to it, it is immoral.
In every great civil war of modernity — the Russian civil war of 1919-1921, the Spanish civil war of 1936-1939, the Chinese civil war of 1945-49, one side triumphs and takes power.
The other loses and lives with the consequences — defeat, death, exile.
What is the likely reaction to our escalation from humanitarian aid to military aid? Counter-escalation. Russia, Iran and Hezbollah are likely to rush in more weapons and troops to accelerate the progress of Assad’s army before the American weapons arrive.
And if they raise and call, what does Obama do?
Already, a clamor is being heard from our clients in the Middle East and Congress to crater Syria’s runways with cruise missiles, to send heavy weapons to the rebels, to destroy Assad’s air force on the ground, to bomb his antiaircraft sites.
All of these are acts of war. Yet under the Constitution, Congress alone authorizes war.
When did Congress authorize Obama to take us to war in Syria? Where does our imperial president get his authority to draw red lines and attack countries that cross them?
Have we ceased to be a republic? Has Congress become a mere spectator to presidential decisions on war and peace?
As Vladimir Putin seems less the reluctant warrior, what do we do if Moscow answers the U.S. escalation by delivering on its contract to provide A-300 antiaircraft missiles to Damascus, which can cover half of Israel?
Obama has put us on the escalator to a war already spilling over Syria’s borders into Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan, a war that is now sundering the entire Middle East along Sunni and Shia lines.
He is making us de facto allies of the Al-Qaida-like al-Nusra Front, of Hamas and jihadists from all across the region, and of the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi just severed ties to Syria and is demanding a “no-fly zone,” which one imagines the United States, not the Egyptian air force, would have to enforce.
Our elites shed tears over the 90,000 dead in Syria. But what we are about to do will not stop the killing, but simply lengthen the duration of the war and increase the numbers of dead and wounded.
At the top of this escalator our country has begun to ascend is not just a proxy war with Iran in Syria, but a real war that would entail a disaster for the world economy.
If the ouster of Assad is what the Sunni powers of Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Egypt demand, why not let them do it?
Anti-interventionists should demand a roll-call vote in Congress on whether Obama has the authority to take us into this Syrian war.
Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?” To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com.
This article was originally published at Creators
Hundreds of Turkish police officers backed by armored cars moved in on Istanbul’s Taksim Square early Tuesday morning and reclaimed the site after pulling out on June 1. By midday bulldozers had removed barricades of paving stones and corrugated iron. The crackdown surprised protesters, hundreds of whom had been sleeping in a makeshift camp in the adjoining Gezi Park. Some threw stones and incendiary devices in response, but the authorities are now in control of the focal point of Turkey’s most widespread anti-government protests in decades. Prior to the police action the protests appeared to be diminishing, with fewer demonstrators gathering in Taksim on Monday night than at any time since the unrest started on May 31.
That the unrest is abating has been evident from the muted reaction of the markets. In recent days the lira registered a modest decline, reaching the October 2011 level against its dollar/euro basket, but this may be seen as good news for Turkey’s export-oriented economy. The cost of insuring Turkish debt against default rose slightly but not alarmingly: it the same now as in August of last year, well below crisis levels.
A further sign of government confidence is the continuing clampdown on the Turkish army top brass. On June 6 a criminal court in Ankara approved an indictment filed by the prosecutor’s office under which 102 retired officers (76 of whom are in prison) will be tried for allegedly staging the military coup in 1997. Right now there are 450 active and retired officers accused of either toppling former governments, or making plans to unseat the current government. As The Daily Zaman’s columnist Lale Kemal noted the other day, this raises the issue of the state of the morale of the Turkish Armed Forces at a sensitive time.
In the early days of unrest, street protests in Turkey were compared in the Western media to the misnamed “Arab Spring.” The comparison was inaccurate: no regime change was on the cards, no foreign money and logistics were in evidence, and outside a few hotspots in Istanbul, Ankara, and a few other cities Turkey’s life went on as usual. The government remained firmly in control of the state apparatus, the police proved obedient, and the army—already purged of hundreds of senior officers and no longer a significant political factor—stayed silent.
Prime Minister Rejep Tayyip Erdogan’s decade-old, increasingly personal rule is being challenged, but that challenge comes from unexpected quarters: from his fellow religious conservatives who resent his authoritarian style and arrogance.
There are many influential Turks of Islamist persuasion—both within and outside the ruling AKP (Justice and Development Party)—who are increasingly disenchanted with Erdogan. They have not been adverse to the drift away from secularism at home and to the assertive pursuit of neo-Ottomanism abroad, but they believe that the power of “the Sultan” (as Erdogan is known among his friends and foes alike) needs to be curtailed. While they do not identify with the values and aspirations of the secular and liberal urban middle class which has provided the backbone of protests, some religious conservatives see recent unrest as an opportunity to persuade the “Sultan” that he needs to listen to the neglected pashas and viziers.
For the first time since he became prime minister 11 years ago, some AKP-friendly media outlets have started to criticize Erdogan, following his near-paranoid reaction to the demonstrations. His calling protesters looters, drunks, marauders, extremists, and foreign agents, his ominous hints that his “patience is running out,” and his calls for counter-rallies by his supporters have not played well with Turkey’s more cautious conservatives, especially in the business community, who see his combative style as counterproductive. They are uncomfortable with Erdogan’s portrayal of the protest as a struggle between the “white Turks” (non-religious, upper-class, urban elites) versus the ‘black Turks’ (socially conservative, lower-middle and working class Sunnis from Anatolia). Even in his hitherto reliable power base in the Anatolian heartland, President Abdullah Gul—Erdogan’s long-time ally—is now mentioned as someone who could pursue the long-term AKP project of de-Kemalizing Turkey with greater caution and tact.
The real test will come later this year, when Erdogan will try to change the constitution and inaugurate an authoritarian presidential system. On June 6 Foreign Affairs published an interesting article by Halil Karaveli which aptly summarized the “Sultan’s” problem: “Erdogan’s own party members sense the changing tide. Indeed, even before the protests, there was widespread uneasiness within the AKP ranks. Most AKP parliamentarians had little enthusiasm for Erdogan’s plan to change the constitution and introduce an executive presidency. His scheme would have concentrated all power into the hands of a supreme leader, a position that Erdogan covets, basically neutering all other government officials.”
There is unease with Erdogan in Washington, too. Nobody in the U.S. Administration wants a regime change in Ankara, but some old Turkish hands advocate more strongly worded criticism of Erdogan’s methods as a means of reining him in. His switch from neutrality to support for the rebellion in Syria a year ago was welcomed in Washington, but his continuing public advocacy of intervention is becoming wearisome in view of Bashar’s recent battlefield successes. His open support for Hamas in the Palestinian Authority, and his close links with the putative Kurdish statelet in northern Iraq, are also deemed problematic in Washington—not to mention his strident criticism of Israel, which has decisively turned Israel’s friends on the Hill against him.
The protesters cannot threaten the overall architecture of Turkish politics because the majority of Turks are in agreement with the dual policy of de-secularization of the state and capitalist-based growth. That growth has been impressive, almost on par with China after Deng, but it has not dampened political and cultural tensions. There is an inherent discrepancy at work between the Islamic stamp on the country’s cultural and political scene which Erdogan has imposed, and the deepening gap between Turkey’s haves and the have-nots which the decade of prosperity has produced. The AKP-connected new oligarchs, in many ways similar to their uncouth Russian and East European counterparts, are Erdogan’s creation. Thanks to their party political affiliations they have profited from massive government-financed construction projects—like the proposed redevelopment at Taksim that triggered off the protests two weeks ago. To a devout yet poor, unemployed or underemployed Turk, increasing social stratification is incompatible with Erdogan’s advocacy of Islamic moral and social values which are deeply egalitarian. The losers in the process of Turkey’s transition in the villages generally do not oppose further de-secularization, but their loyalty to Erdogan personally should no longer be taken for granted.
Erdogan is in trouble because the harmless Istanbul protests showed him to be an intransigent autocrat and his rivals within the establishment sense his weakness. Having scored his third consecutive election victory in 2011, Erdogan focused on empowering his core constituency through a crony capitalism. He also pushed through a series of measures for state enforcement of conservative religious mores, like banning Turkish Airways flight attendants from wearing red lipstick and restricting the sale and consumption of alcohol, which even his supporters see as unnecessarily divisive and potentially destabilizing. Abroad, they feel that he has overplayed his hand on Syria. Most Turks, AKP supporters and Kemalists alike, are opposed to Erdogan’s support for the Syrian rebels and advocacy of foreign intervention, which is perceived as an “American,” rather than “Turkish” policy. By overplaying his hand on Syria, Erdogan has forfeited his hoped-for role as the leader of the Islamic Greater Middle East. His foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s policy of “zero problems with all neighbors” has failed, not only in Syria, but also vis-à-vis Iraq and Iran, both of which support Bashar.
A powerful Sunni imam, Fethullah Gülen, may decide Erdogan’s political future. Little-known in the West—although he has lived in self-imposed exile in rural Pennsylvania for years—Gulen controls a global empire of media outlets (including Turkey’s top circulation daily), charities, businesses and schools now known simply as Hizmet (“The Service”). Shortly after the military coup in 1997, the army leaders started a purge of the movement. Gülen went abroad, was tried in absentia for seeking to overthrow Turkey’s secular order, but he was cleared in 2006, after Erdogan came to power. His is by far the most powerful religiously-based movement in Turkey, described as the country’s third power, alongside Erdogan’s increasingly authoritarian AKP and Turkey’s decreasingly influential military. “While the group is often described as ‘shadowy’ or ‘mysterious,’ this is inaccurate,” according to journalist Claire Belinski, based in Istanbul. “Quite a bit is known about it. Its behavior is both observable and predictable.”
Having supported Erdogan’s rise to power in 2002, Gülen was able to expand his network within the political establishment. The two men had a strategic partnership at first, with Gülen providing the AKP with votes while Erdogan protected the “cemaat,” as the former’s network is known. Already by 2004 one-fifth of the AKP’s members of parliament were members of the Gülen movement, including the justice and culture ministers. In 2006, former police chief Adil Serdar Sacan estimated that the “Fethullahcis” held more than 80 percent of senior positions in the Turkish police force. As we noted in these pages last August, for all his philanthropic pretenses Gülen controls a fundamentalist sect calling for a New Islamic Age based on the “Turkish-Islamic Synthesis.” By now it is all-pervasive, with many rich businessmen, judges and senior civil servants donating an average of 10 percent of their income to thecemaat.
Gülen now feels strong enough to engineer Erdogan’s comeuppance that will not disrupt the regime while increasing the power of his followers. The rift between Erdogan (a fellow imam) and Gülen is now in the open. Speaking in the U.S. last week, the latter effectively blamed Erdogan for the protests: “Are the ones at fault those who were unconcerned, who underestimated [the protest] by labeling it as ‘this and that’? … If innocent people are killed, if some are choked with gas bombs and if some are blind enough not to see this, the fire could rage.” Shortly before the protests erupted Gülen warned against the arrogance of power, saying “even if a person is a believer, they can morally be a pharaoh… He may always look at people from on high, telling them ‘stay in your place’.”
Gülen seems to think that the power structure will not be unduly strained if Erdogan is weakened or even replaced. The army has been neutered and there is no strong leader in the ranks of secularists and liberals. The protesters have unwittingly aided Fethullahcis, ominously Stalinist in their steady march through Turkey’s institutions, against Erdogan’s Trotsky-like zeal for rapid re-Islamization.
The End of Syria As We Know It?
Beirut — The short answer is Iran and Hezbollah according to Congressional sources. “The Syrian army’s victory at al-Qusayr was more than the administration could accept given that town’s strategic position in the region. Its capture by the Assad forces has essentially added Syria to Iran’s list of victories starting with Afghanistan, Lebanon, Iraq, as well as its growing influence in the Gulf.”
Other sources are asserting that Obama actually did not want to invoke direct military aid the rebels fighting to topple the Assad government or even to make use of American military power in Syria for several reasons. Among these are the lack of American public support for yet another American war in the Middle East, the fact that there appears to be no acceptable alternative to the Assad government on the horizon, the position of the US intelligence community and the State Department and Pentagon that intervention in Syria would potentially turn out very badly for the US and gut what’s left of its influence in the region. It short, that the US getting involved in Syria could turn out even worse than Iraq, by intensifying a regional sectarian war without any positive outcome in sight.
Obama was apparently serious earlier about a negotiated diplomatic settlement pre-Qusayr and there were even some positives signs coming from Damascus, Moscow, and even Tehran John Kerry claimed. But that has changed partly because Russia and the US have both hardened their demands. Consequently, the Obama administration has now essentially thrown in the towel on the diplomatic track. This observer was advised by more than one Congressional staffer that Obama’s team has concluded that the Assad government was not getting their message or taking them seriously and that Assad’s recent military gains and rising popular support meant that a serious Geneva II initiative was not going to happen.
In addition, Obama has been weakened recently by domestic politics and a number of distractions and potential scandals not least of which is the disclosures regarding the massive NSA privacy invasion. In addition, the war lobby led by Senators McClain and Lindsay Graham is still pounding their drums and claim that Obama would be in violation of his oath of office and by jeopardizing the national security interest of the United States by allowing Iran to essentially own Syria once Assad quells the uprising.” Both Senators welcomed the chemical weapons assessment. For months they have been saying that Obama has not been doing enough to help the rebels. “U.S. credibility is on the line,” they said in a joint statement this week. “Now is not the time to merely take the next incremental step. Now is the time for more decisive actions,” they said, such as using long-range missiles to degrade Assad’s air power and missile capabilities. Another neo-con, Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr. (D-Pa.) said the opposition forces risk defeat without heavier weapons, but he also warned that may not be enough. “The U.S. should move swiftly to shift the balance on the ground in Syria by considering grounding the Syrian air force with stand-off weapons and protecting a safe zone in northern Syria with Patriot missiles in Turkey,” Casey said.
According to some analysts, Obama could alternatively authorize the arming and training of the Syrian opposition in Jordan without a no-fly zone. That appears unlikely according to this observers Washington interlocutors because the Pentagon wants to end the Syrian crisis by summers end, the observer was advised “rather than working long term with a motley bunch of jihadists who we could never trust or rely on. The administration has come to the conclusion apparently that if they are in for a penny they are in for a pound, meaning would not allow Iran to control Syria and Hezbollah to pocket Lebanon.”
Secretary of State Kerry had meetings with more than two dozen military specialists on 5/13/13. The Washington Post is reporting that Kerry believes supplying the rebels with weapons might be too little and too late to actually flip the balance on the Syrian ground and this calls “for a military strike to paralyze Al-Assad’s military capacities.” A Pentagon source reported that the USA, France, and Britain are considering a decisive decision to reverse the current Assad momentum and quickly construct one in favor of the rebels” within a time period not exceeding the end of this summer.
Shortly after the meetings began, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia quickly returned to Saudi Arabia from his palace at Casa Blanca, Morocco after receiving a call from his intelligence chief, Prince Bandar Bin Sultan. Bander reportedly had a representative at the White House during the meetings with President Obama’s team. King Abdullah was reportedly advised by Kerry to be prepared for a rapid expansion of the growing regional conflict.
What happens between now and the end of summer is likely to be catastrophic for the Syrian public and perhaps Lebanon. The “chemical weapons-red line” is not taken seriously on Capitol Hill for the reason that the same “inclusive evidence” of months ago is the same that is suddenly being cited to justify what may become essentially an all-out war against the Syrian government and anyone who gets in the way. Hand wringing over the loss of 125 lives due to chemical weapons, whoever did use them, pales in comparison to the more 50,000 additional lives that will be lost in the coming months, a figure that Pentagon planners and the White House have “budgeted” as the price of toppling the Assad government.
“We are going to see a rapid escalation of the conflict”, a staffer on the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee emailed this observer: “The president has made a decision to give whatever humanitarian aid, as well as political and diplomatic support to the opposition that in necessary. Additionally direct support to the (Supreme Military Council), will be provided and that includes military support.” The staffer quoted the words of Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes to the media on 5/13/13 to the same effect.
A part of this “humanitarian assistance” the US is going to established in the coming weeks a “limited, humanitarian no-fly zone, that will begin along several miles of the Jordanian and Turkish borders in certain military areas into Syrian territory, and would be set up and presented as a limited bid to train and equip rebel forces and protect refugees. But in reality, as we saw in Libya a Syrian no fly zone would very likely include all of Syria.
Libya’s no-fly zones made plain that there is no such thing as a “limited zone”. Put briefly, a “no-fly zone” means essentially a declaration of all-out war. Once the US and its allies start a no fly zone they will expand it and intensify it as they take countless other military actions to protect its zones until the Syrian government falls. “It’s breathtaking to contemplate how this in going to end and how Iran and Russia will respond,” one source concluded.
The White House is trying to assuage the few in Congress as well as a majority of the American public that it can be a limited American involved and that the no-fly zone would not require the destruction of Syrian antiaircraft batteries. This is more nonsense. During the no-fly zone I witnessed from Libya in the summer of 2011 the US backed it up with all manner of refueling, electronic jamming, special-ops on the ground and by mid-July a kid peddling his bike was not safe. Over the 192 days of patrolling the Libyan no-fly zones, NATO countries flew 24,682 sorties including 9,204 bomb strike sorties. NATO claimed it never missed its target but that was also not true. Hundreds of civilians were killed in Libya by no-fly zone attack aircraft that either missed their targets and emptied their bomb bays before returning to base while conducting approximately 48 bombing strikes per day using a variety of bombs and missiles, including more than 350 cruise Tomahawks.
At a Congressional hearing in 2011, then US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates got it right when he explained which discussing Libya “a no-fly zone begins with an attack to destroy all the air defenses … and then you can fly planes around the country and not worry about our guys being shot down. But that’s the way it starts.”
According to the accounts published in American media, Obama could alternatively authorize the arming and training of the Syrian opposition in Jordan without a no-fly zone. That appears unlikely because the Pentagon wants to end the Syrian crisis by summers end, the observer was advised “rather than working long term with a motley bunch of jihadists who we could never trust or rely on. The administration has come to the conclusion apparently that if they are in for a penny they are in for a pound.”
In response to a question from this observer about how he thought event might unfold in this region over the coming months, a very insightful long-term congressional aid replied: “Well Franklin, maybe someone will pull a rabbit out of the hat to stop the push for war. But frankly I doubt it. From where I sit I’d wager that Syria as we have known it may soon be no more. And perhaps some other countries in the region also.”
It’s a democracy in name only. Prime Minister Erdogan is thuggish, authoritarian, hardline and despotic.
Turkey’s one of 28 NATO countries. Erdogan partners with Washington’s imperial wars. He’s unapologetic about neoliberal harshness. More on that below.
He’s been prime minister for over 10 years. Why Turks put up with him they’ll have to explain. Growing opposition demands he resign. New elections are wanted. Erdogan refuses to call them. If protests continue and grow, parliament may overrule him.
On June 11, Russia Today headlined “Turkish police oust Taksim protesters with tear gas as Erdogan cheers removal of ‘rags,’ ” saying:
“Hundreds of Turkish police clashed with protesters in Istanbul.” Doing so followed removal of barricades and banners. Erdogan’s tactics are polarizing. He called peaceful demonstrators thugs, looters, revolutionaries, marauders and extremists.
RT correspondent Ashraf El Sabbagh said “(t)here are serious clashes in the small streets surrounding (Taksim). They are running after each other tossing stones, bottles and smoke grenades. It’s a meat grinder in there.”
On June 12, RT headlined “Istanbul warzone: Thousands of protesters try to reclaim Taksim Square,” saying:
Riot police attacked protesters viciously. Clashes were fierce. “Thick smoke blankets the square. Turkish police are driving thousands into narrow side streets.”
Bystanders are attacked. Tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper spray, and water cannons target indiscriminately. A man in a wheelchair was struck. British journalist Neil Clark said “(i)f you’re in NATO, you can get away with murder.”
America, Britain, France, and most other NATO countries operate like Turkey. Dissent is verboten. Democracy exists in name only. Some NATO members are worse than others. America’s by far the worst.
Turkish protests appear to have legs. The more brutality Erdogan orders, the larger crowds grow. Growing popular sentiment opposes him. On June 11, dozens of Turkish lawyers joined protesters. They came to defend those arrested.
Police attacked them viciously. They did so in front of Caglayan Courthouse. Witnesses called what happened brutal. Lawyer Fatma Elif Koru explained, saying:
“We were just gathering to make a press statement about Gezi Park and then the police attacked. It was very brutal. Now 49 lawyer friends are in custody and many are injured.”
“They even kicked their heads. The lawyers were on the ground. They were hitting us they were pushing. They built a circle around us and then they attacked.”
On June 11, hundreds of police encircled Taksim Square. They fired rubber bullets and tear gas. They ripped down banners calling for Erdogan’s resignation.
Later on Tuesday, dozens more lawyers were arrested. Since protests began, thousands were arrested. Thousands more were injured.
On June 12, brutal attacks continued. More arrests followed. Erdogan’s uncompromising. He announced an “end to tolerance.” None existed before his pronouncement.
He dismissively ignores criticism. He governs by what he says goes. “If you call this roughness,” he said, “I’m sorry, but this Tayyip Erdogan will not change.”
His comment replicated Margaret Thatcher once saying “The lady’s not for turning.” Saying it defined her ideological harshness.
She was unapologetic. She was unforgiving. She was unprincipled. She was despised for good reason. Millions of Brits suffered from the neoliberal flimflam she endorsed.
Erdogan matches her and more. He’s way over-the-top. He reflects power politics’ dark side. He doesn’t know when to quit. He called peaceful demonstrators “a handful of plunderers.”
They’re “manipulated” to protest, he claims. He won’t let them dictate policy, he said. They’re the “greatest threat to the society.”
“For those who want to continue with the incidents,” he said, (i)t’s over. As of now, we have no tolerance for them. Not only will we end the actions, we will be at the necks of the provocateurs and terrorists and no one will get away with it. I am sorry, but Gezi Park is for taking promenades, not for occupation.”
A previous article called Turkey more police state than democracy. Press freedom is compromised. Censorship is standard practice. Dissent is verboten. Challenging government authority is called terrorism.
No country imprisons more journalists than Turkey. Television channels largely ignored protests. A bureau chief was arrested for airing what authorities wanted suppressed.
On June 11, TV channels broadcast a staged incident. Viewers saw half a dozen “demonstrators” throw molotov cocktails at police. They advanced on police lines provocatively.
They held a flag of a fringe left-wing party. It was a thinly veiled stunt. It’s commonly used during protests. America and other Western countries feature them. Doing so lets authorities claim peaceful demonstrators are violent.
So-called protesters were undercover cops. Their mock attack was staged. Expect more like it if protests continue. Expect greater violence ahead. It’s already brutal and increasing.
Instead of engaging protesters responsibly, Erdogan wants them crushed. Thousands have been arrested and/or injured. Despots operate this way.
Can Oz is an Istanbul publisher. His London Guardian op-ed headlined “I can never trust the Turkish police and government again.” Why before he’ll have to explain.
Longstanding Turkish policy is brutal. Now it’s more public, widespread and visible.
“For years I did not speak up enough, but no more,” said Oz. “I could lose everything, but I cannot live a dishonorable life any longer.”
“I am scared. With every speech that prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan gives, I feel the hatred and disgust against me and young people of my generation increase.”
“All we are after is a bit of freedom, a bit of space to live and a few trees.”
“(O)ver the past few days, I have witnessed so many lies from the police and government that I don’t think I can ever trust them again. I have spent days with the protesters – withstanding another gas attack, cheering, singing chants and sharing food in the park – and I haven’t encountered any signs of weapons or violence on their behalf.”
Oz said he received hate mail and death threats. Participating in “passive resistance” leaves him vulnerable.
For years he feared expressing his views publicly. He failed to criticize political wrongdoing he witnessed.
He’ll no longer stay silent, he said. He listed five demands he and other protesters want:
(1) They want Gezi Park left unchanged.
(2) They want arrested protesters released.
(3) They want police brutality ended. They want responsible officials prosecuted.
(4) They want the right to protest publicly.
(5) They want Erdogan-ordered violence stopped. They want him held accountable for his actions.
Oz is a large Turkish publisher. He’s unaffected by neoliberal harshness. Most Turks want relief. Erdogan spurns popular interests. He’s beholden solely to wealth, power and privilege.
Turkish workers and youths demand social justice. Young ones are especially outraged. Their living standards significantly eroded.
They’ve tasted neoliberal harshness far too long. They know nothing else. Their ability to make ends meet troubles them. Their futures are seriously compromised. They want something better. They deserve it. Perhaps now’s their chance for change.
Turkey’s economic model features capitalism’s dark side. It includes economic freedom as a be-all-and-end-all, unrestrained profit-making, privatizations, cheap labor, deregulation, corporate-friendly tax cuts, marginalized worker rights, and speculative capital inflows.
Economic conditions are inherently unstable. Turkey suffers rolling recessions, crisis conditions, and fragile largely jobless recoveries. It’s increasingly dependent on imports of resources and capital goods.
Youth unemployment tops 22%. It’s rising. It’s socially and economically unstable. It’s untenable. It’s fuel for public rage.
When well-connected private debtors are troubled or go bankrupt, their losses are socialized. Turkey’s next crisis is certain. It’s only a matter of when.
Ordinary people are hardest hit. Youths most of all. Growing numbers have no viable futures. Profits matter more than public needs. Insecurity haunts an entire generation.
Turkish neoliberalism replicates what’s ongoing throughout Europe, America, Israel and elsewhere. Anger swells up and explodes.
The common thread is democracy in name only, inequality, political corruption, unemployment, growing poverty, insecurity, and corporate priorities over social justice.
Turkey has a long history of rebellion. Turks know what’s going on in troubled EU countries. They’ve seen it throughout the Middle East.
People only take so much before reacting. Protesting is fashionable to do. It’s unifying and energizing. It remains to be seen where things go.
Ban Ki-moon reacted as expected. He urged “calm” and “dialogue.” He ignored police brutality. It didn’t surprise. He fronts for power. He’s mindless of public needs.
He turns a blind eye to horrendous imperial crimes. He’s secretary-general because Washington installed him. White House spokesman Jay Carney also urged both sides to show restraint.
Washington supports its ally. Police brutality is commonplace in America. Thuggish cops attack peaceful protesters violently. It’s common practice. It replicates what’s ongoing in Turkey.
America’s a democracy in name only. Imperial and corporate priorities alone matter. It’s true throughout Europe, Israel and Turkey.
Unchallenged power matters most. Erdogan matches the worst of a bad lot. Turks see him for what he is. Tinpot despots can’t hide.
Turkey’s military remains a wild card. Maybe it’ll intervene. It’s done it before. It may again. If not generals, perhaps party leaders or political opposition.
Erdogan remains defiant. He looks like damaged goods. He’s vulnerable if internal interests react. He heads Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP). It may decide to cut its losses and replace him.
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.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
The peace talks are dead because the U.S.-backed rebels are boycotting the negotiations, ruining any hope for peace, while threatening to turn an already-tragic disaster into a Yugoslavia-style catastrophe…or worse.
The U.S. backed rebels are not participating in the talks because they have nothing to gain from them, and everything to lose.
In war, the purpose of peace negotiations is to copy the situation on the battlefield and paste it to a treaty: the army winning the war enters negotiations from a dominant position, since its position is enforceable on the ground.
The U.S.-backed rebels would be entering peace talks broken and beaten, having been debilitated on the battlefield. The Syrian army has had a string of victories, pushing the rebels back to the border areas where they are protected by U.S. allies Turkey, Jordan, and northern Lebanon. Peace talks would merely expose this reality and end the war on terms dictated by the Syrian government.
A rebel leader was quoted in The New York Times revealing this motive for the rebel’s abandonment of peace talks:
“What can we [rebels] ask for when we go very weak to Geneva [for peace talks]?… The Russians and the Iranians and the representatives of the [Syrian] regime will say: ‘You don’t have any power. We are controlling everything. What you are coming to ask for?’”
This is the reality as it exists in Syria, and realistic peace talks would recognize the situation in Syria and end the conflict immediately.
But first the rebel’s supporters — the United States and its lackeys Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar — must acknowledge this reality and demand that the rebels forge ahead with peace talks, on threat of being cut off politically, financially, and militarily.
If this happens, war is over.
But if the war ended tomorrow, Syrian President Bashar Assad, would still be in power, and President Obama has said repeatedly, “Assad must go.” Obama would be further humiliated by his Syria policy if he had to again recognize Assad as president after spending a year recognizing a group of rich Syrian exiles as “the legitimate government of Syria” and after his administration repeatedly announced that the Assad regime had ended over a year ago.
More importantly, if Assad stayed in power, U.S. foreign policy would appear weak internationally, which is one main reason that the U.S. political establishment wants to go “all in” for regime change in Syria: super powers must back up their threats, since otherwise other nations might choose to challenge the United States.
This is the real reason peace talks will not be held. The U.S. and its European allies want regime change in Syria, and they are prepared to allow many more people to die to make it so. This was made clear by the Obama administration. The New York Times reports:
“[Syrian] President Bashar al-Assad’s gains on the battlefield have called the United States’ strategy on Syria into question, prompting the Obama administration to again consider military options, including arming the rebels and conducting airstrikes to protect civilians and the Syrian opposition, administration officials said on Monday.”
The above quote mentions “conducting airstrikes to protect civilians.” This is the infamous language of the UN resolution that allowed U.S.-NATO to intervene in Libya; but Obama immediately overstepped “protecting civilians” and quickly jumped into “regime change,” a gross violation of international law and a Bush-like war crime.
The UN — though especially China and Russia — have learned from the Libya example and will doubtfully ever again approve of a “protect civilian” UN resolution. If the U.S. intervenes in Syria, it will do so with a Bush-style “coalition of the willing,” i.e. U.S. allies.
Obama’s dream of having a post-Assad Syria is further complicated by the fact that Assad is apparently more popular than he has ever been.
Many Syrians that didn’t previously support Assad now do, having concluded that Assad in power is better than their country being obliterated in an Iraq-style invasion, or being dominated by Islamic extremists, as the majority of the Syrian rebel groups are.
Further helping Assad’s popularity is that Israel has bombed Syria recently on multiple occasions, while Syrians watch the unpopular United States funnels massive amounts of weapons to the rebels. As a result, Assad can now successfully portray himself as a defender of Syria’s sovereignty against foreign aggression.
But, Obama will not be deterred. After it became clear that the rebels were losing the war, the U.S. and its European allies removed the remaining legal barriers to further arming the rebels, while the religious leaders of Saudi Arabia and Qatar — both U.S. allies —assisted in the war effort by calling for Jihad against the Syrian government (the same week the leader of al-Qaeda did).
Behind this frenzy of rebel support lies the sick logic that, in order for successful peace negotiations to take place, the rebels need to be in a stronger battlefield position. Arm the rebels to the teeth for peace!
In response to this twisted logic, Oxfam International — a disaster relief coalition — responded by saying:
“Sending arms to the Syrian opposition won’t create a level playing field. Instead, it risks further fueling an arms free-for-all where the victims are the civilians of Syria. Our experience from other conflict zones tells us that this crisis will only drag on for far longer if more and more arms are poured into the country.”
Ultimately, the Syrian rebels would have already been defeated — and thousands of lives spared — if they had not been receiving support from the U.S. and other countries. The U.S.-backed rebels have said that a pre-condition for peace is “Assad must go;” but this demand does not coincide with the reality on the ground: the rebels are in no position to demand this, and the U.S. is using this unrealistic demand to artificially lengthen an already-bloody war.
Obama can either use his immense influence to end this bloody conflict now by withdrawing support to the rebels, or he can extend the conflict and further tear to shreds the social fabric of the Middle East, while risking a multi-nation war that history will denounce as an easily preventable holocaust.
I have written on more than one occasion about the value of preaching and repeating to the choir on a regular basis. One of my readers agreed with this, saying: “How else has Christianity survived 2,000 years except by weekly reinforcement?”
Well, dear choir, beloved parishioners, for this week’s sermon we once again turn to Afghanistan. As US officials often make statements giving the impression that the American military presence in that sad land is definitely winding down—soon to be all gone except for the standard few thousand American servicemen which almost every country in the world needs stationed on their territory—one regularly sees articles in the mainstream media and government releases trying to explain what it was all about. For what good reason did thousands of young Americans breathe their last breath in that backward country and why were tens of thousands of Afghans dispatched by the United States to go meet Allah (amidst widespread American torture and other violations of human rights)?
The Washington Post recently cited a Defense Department report that states: The United States “has wound up with a reasonable ‘Plan B’ for achieving its core objective of preventing Afghanistan from once again becoming a safe haven for al-Qaeda and its affiliates.”
“Preventing a safe haven for terrorists”—that was the original reason given back in 2001 for the invasion of Afghanistan, a consistency in sharp contrast to the ever-changing explanations for Iraq. However, it appears that the best and the brightest in our government and media do not remember, if they ever knew, that Afghanistan was not really about 9–11 or fighting terrorists (except the many the US has created by its invasion and occupation), but was about pipelines.
President Obama declared in August 2009: “But we must never forget this is not a war of choice. This is a war of necessity. Those who attacked America on 9/11 are plotting to do so again. If left unchecked, the Taliban insurgency will mean an even larger safe haven from which al Qaeda would plot to kill more Americans.” 
Never mind that out of the tens of thousands of people the United States and its NATO front have killed in Afghanistan not one has been identified as having had anything to do with the events of September 11, 2001.
Never mind—even accepting the official version of 9/11—that the “plotting to attack America” in 2001 was devised in Germany and Spain and the United States more than in Afghanistan. Why didn’t the United States bomb those countries?
Indeed, what actually was needed to plot to buy airline tickets and take flying lessons in the United States? A room with a table and some chairs? What does “an even larger safe haven” mean? A larger room with more chairs? Perhaps a blackboard? Terrorists intent upon attacking the United States can meet almost anywhere. At the present time there are anti-American terrorist types meeting in Libya, Syria, Turkey, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, London, Paris, and many other places. And the Taliban of Afghanistan would not be particularly anti-American if the United States had not invaded and occupied their country. The Taliban are a diverse grouping of Afghan insurgents whom the US military has come to label with a single name; they are not primarily international jihadists like al-Qaeda and in fact have had an up-and-down relationship with the latter.
The only “necessity” that drew the United States to Afghanistan was the desire to establish a military presence in this land that is next door to the Caspian Sea region of Central Asia—reportedly containing the second largest proven reserves of petroleum and natural gas in the world—and build oil and gas pipelines from that region running through Afghanistan.
Afghanistan is well situated for such pipelines to serve much of South Asia and even parts of Europe, pipelines that—crucially—can bypass Washington’s bêtes noire, Iran and Russia. If only the Taliban would not attack the lines. Here’s Richard Boucher, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, in 2007: “One of our goals is to stabilize Afghanistan, so it can become a conduit and a hub between South and Central Asia so that energy can flow to the south.” 
Since the 1980s all kinds of pipelines have been planned for the area, only to be delayed or canceled by one military, financial or political problem or another. For example, the so-called TAPI pipeline (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) had strong support from Washington, which was eager to block a competing pipeline that would bring gas to Pakistan and India from Iran. TAPI goes back to the late 1990s, when the Taliban government held talks with the California-based oil company Unocal Corporation. These talks were conducted with the full knowledge of the Clinton administration, and were undeterred by the extreme repression of Taliban society. Taliban officials even made trips to the United States for discussions. 
Testifying before the House Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific on February 12, 1998, Unocal representative John Maresca discussed the importance of the pipeline project and the increasing difficulties in dealing with the Taliban:
The region’s total oil reserves may well reach more than 60 billion barrels of oil. Some estimates are as high as 200 billion barrels . . . From the outset, we have made it clear that construction of the pipeline we have proposed across Afghanistan could not begin until a recognized government is in place that has the confidence of governments, leaders, and our company.
When those talks with the Taliban stalled in 2001, the Bush administration reportedly threatened the Taliban with military reprisals if the Afghan government did not go along with American demands. On August 2 in Islamabad, US State Department negotiator Christine Rocca reiterated to the Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, Abdul Salam Zaeef: “Either you accept our offer of a carpet of gold [oil], or we bury you under a carpet of bombs.”  The talks finally broke down for good a month before 9–11.
The United States has been serious indeed about the Caspian Sea and Persian Gulf oil and gas areas. Through one war or another beginning with the Gulf War of 1990–1, the US has managed to establish military bases in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan.
The war against the Taliban can’t be “won” short of killing everyone in Afghanistan. The United States may well try again to negotiate some form of pipeline security with the Taliban, then get out, and declare “victory.” Barack Obama can surely deliver an eloquent victory speech from his teleprompter. It might even include the words “freedom” and “democracy,” but certainly not “pipeline.”
“We are literally backing the same people in Syria that we are fighting in Afghanistan and that have just killed our ambassador in Libya! We must finally abandon the interventionist impulse before it is too late.”—Congressman Ron Paul, September 16, 2012 
How it all began: “To watch the courageous Afghan freedom fighters battle modern arsenals with simple hand-held weapons is an inspiration to those who love freedom. Their courage teaches us a great lesson—that there are things in this world worth defending. To the Afghan people, I say on behalf of all Americans that we admire your heroism, your devotion to freedom, and your relentless struggle against your oppressors.”—President Ronald Reagan, March 21, 1983
1. Talk given by the president at Veterans of Foreign Wars convention, August 17, 2009
2. Talk at the Paul H. Nitze School for Advanced International Studies, Washington, DC, September 20, 2007
3. See, for example, the December 17, 1997 article in the British newspaper, The Telegraph, “Oil barons court Taliban in Texas.”
4. Pepe Escobar, Asia Times, September 12, 2012 (Information Clearing House) ↩
5. The Hill, daily congressional newspaper, Washington, DC