It is no secret that Barack Obama is one of the supreme illusionists of modern times. The disconnect between his words and his deeds is so profound as to be almost sublime, far surpassing the crude obfuscations of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Their projections of unreality were more transparent, and in any case were merely designed to put a little lipstick on the pig of policies they were openly pushing. For example, they openly wanted to conquer Iraq and expand the militarist state, they openly wanted to redistribute national wealth to the elite, so they just gussied up this unhidden agenda with some fantasies about WMD and the occult magic of “tax cuts,” whereby enriching the rich and degrading all notion of the common good would somehow create a utopia of prosperity (for deserving white folk, at least).
There was a disconnect between their rhetoric and reality, to be sure, but it was easily seen through (except, of course, by the highly-paid credulous cretins of our national media). Indeed, the Bushists seemed unconcerned by how threadbare their lies were; they delivered their lines like bored performers at the end of a long stage run, not caring whether they were believed or not — just as long as they got to do what they wanted.
But Obama has taken all this to another level. He is a consummate performer, and strives to “inhabit” the role and mouth his lines as if they make sense and convey some sort of emotional truth. Also, most of the time his rhetoric, his role, his emotional stance are in stark opposition to his actual policies. He is not just gilding his open agenda with some slap-dash lies; he is masking a hidden agenda with a vast array of artifice, expending enormous effort not to prettify an ugly reality but to create an entire counter-reality, an alternate world that does not exist. Again, no one one was in any doubt about the Bushists’ militarism, their dedication to the financial elite or their disdain for anyone who was not, in their view, a “normal American” (white, traditionalist, bellicose, greedy). In fact, that’s exactly why millions of “normal Americans” voted for them. But Obama’s image — cool, compassionate, progressive, peace-seeking, non-traditionalist, anti-elitist — is so far at odds with his actual policies, and with the world as it actually exists, that you can get severe whiplash turning from his rhetoric to reality.
Take his astonishing attack on Vladimir Putin for “interfering” in Ukraine. That Obama could make this charge with a straight face — days after his own agents had been exposed (in the infamous “Fuck the EU” tape) nakedly interfering in Ukraine, trying to overthrow a democratically elected government and place their own favorites in charge — was brazen enough. But in charging Putin with doing exactly what the Americans have been doing in Ukraine, Obama also fabricated yet another alternate world, turning reality on its head.
Speaking at a summit in Mexico, Obama unilaterally declared that Ukraine should overturn the results of its democratic election in 2010 (which most observers said was generally “fair and free” — perhaps more “fair and free” than national elections in, say, the United States, where losing candidates are sometimes wont to take power anyway, and where whole states dispossess or actively discourage millions of free citizens from voting). Instead, the Ukrainians should install an unelected “transitional government” in Kiev. Why should they do this? Because, says Obama, now channeling all Ukrainians in his own person, “the people obviously have a very different view and vision for their country” from the government they democratically elected. All of the people of Ukraine have a different vision, you understand; every last one of them. And what is their vision, according to Obama the Ukrainian Avatar? To enjoy “freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, fair and free elections.” Something you might think they had enjoyed by having fair and free elections in 2010, and exercising freedom of speech and assembly to such a degree that a vast opposition force had occupied much of the central government district for months. But the Avatar knows better, of course.
Now, this is not a defense of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s government. It is, by all accounts, a highly corrupt enterprise given to insider deals for well-connected elites who influence government policy for their own benefit. I guess this might be a reason for overthrowing a democratically elected government with an armed uprising supported by foreign countries, but I would be careful about espousing this as a general rule if I were an American president. The old saw about stones and glass houses comes to mind.
The reality (if anyone cares about such a thing) is that the situation in Ukraine is complex. Opposition forces have a legitimate beef against a corrupt and heavy-handed government. The Kremlin is obviously trying to manipulate events and policies in Ukraine, just the United States is doing. (Obama’s remarks on this topic are comedy gold: “Our approach in the United States is not to see [this] as some cold war chessboard in which we’re in competition with Russia. Our goal is to make sure that the people of Ukraine are able to make decisions for themselves about their future.” Yes, as long as they make the right decisions, unlike in 2010, when they voted for the wrong person.) Ukraine is polarized along several different lines — political, ethnic, historical, religious, linguistic – but these lines are not clear-cut, and often intersect, intermingle, are in flux. The pull away from Russia’s orbit is strong in many people; the desire to retain close relations to Russia is equally strong in others. (Although any attempt by Russia to quash Ukraine’s independence would likely unite all factions in resistance.) Many people look to the West as a model, even a saviour, although the EU deal that Yanukovych turned down, precipitating the outpouring of opposition, actually offered Ukraine very little other than Greek-style financial servitude, while the Kremlin, at least, proffered cash on the barrelhead. The opposition itself is not a monolith of moral rectitude; one of its driving forces is an ultra-nationalist faction that happily harks back to Ukraine’s fascist collaborators with Nazi invaders and spouts vile anti-Semitic rhetoric. It is likely that the ultra-nationalists are chiefly behind the opposition’s turn toward violent resistance, overshadowing the young, moderate, West-yearning, anti-corruption factions that have been the face of the uprising thus far.
And the fact is, not a single one of the Western governments now denouncing Ukraine for its repression would have tolerated a similar situation. Try to imagine thousands of, say, Tea Partiers, having declared that the elected government of Barack Obama was too corrupt and illegitimate to stand, setting up an armed camp in the middle of Washington, occupying the Treasury Building and Justice Department for months on end, while meeting with Chinese and Russian leaders, who then begin demanding a ‘transitional government’ be installed in the White House. What would be the government’s reaction? There is no doubt that it would make even Yanukovych’s brutal assault this week look like a Sunday School picnic.
So the situation in Ukraine is many-sided, complex, filled with ambiguity, change, nuance and chaos. Protest against a specific unpopular government policy first turned into a broader opposition to the government in general and is now threatening to turn into civil war. Such things do happen in the world, and yes, great powers do seek to influence and direct these events to their own advantage. It would be good if Ukraine could be rid of rule by corrupt elites; it is not all clear that a civil war led, at least in part, by racist nationalists, would lead to this happy outcome. But one thing that is not happening in Ukraine is Barack Obama’s fantasy that the entire Ukrainian people is rising to rid themselves of a tyrant so they can hold fair and free elections. They had such elections in 2010; and if the entire Ukrainian people now wants to get rid of their president, there are free elections scheduled for 2015. It is highly likely that Yanukovych’s corrupt and maladroit performance in office — not least his reaction to the protest movement itself — would have guaranteed his peaceful defeat at the ballot box next year. But it is also likely that these elections will not be held now. One way or another, Yanukovych will be forced out of office by the violent chaos that he, and sections of the opposition, and the machinations of Moscow and Washington have together produced. In any case, there is almost certainly more needless suffering in store for ordinary Ukrainians.
This is the reality, and tragedy, of the situation. But in the artfully hallucinated world of Barack Obama – a fantasy-land in which the entire American political and media elite also live – none of this matters. All that matters is the real agenda (which was also the agenda of George W. Bush, and Vladimir Putin for that matter): advancing the dominance of a brutal ruling class through manipulation, militarism, and deception, whenever the opportunity arises.
Chris Floyd is an American journalist. He is the author of Empire Burlesque: High Crimes and Low Comedy in the Bush Imperium, and is co-founder and editor of the “Empire Burlesque” political blog. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. http://twitter.com/empireburlesque
In 1979, Iran shocked the world—and directly confronted America’s hegemonic ambitions in the Middle East — by charting its own revolutionary course toward participatory Islamist governance and foreign policy independence. Over the past thirty-five years the Islamic Republic of Iran has held dozens of presidential, parliamentary, and local council elections and attained impressive developmental outcomes—including more progressive results at alleviating poverty, delivering health care, providing educational access, and (yes) expanding opportunities for women than the last shah’s regime ever achieved. Furthermore, the Islamic Republic has done these things while withstanding significant regional challenges and mounting pressure from the United States and its allies. Below, Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett suggest that like 1979, 2014 is likely to be, in unique ways, another Year of Iran, when Tehran’s foreign policy strategy will either finally compel Western acceptance of Iran’s sovereign rights—especially to enrich uranium under international safeguards—or fundamentally delegitimise America’s already eroding pretensions to Middle Eastern hegemony.
Hassan Rohani’s election as Iran’s president seven months ago caught most of the West’s self-appointed Iran “experts” by (largely self-generated) surprise. Over the course of Iran’s month-long presidential campaign, methodologically-sound polls by the University of Tehran showed that a Rohani victory was increasingly likely. Yet Iran specialists at Washington’s leading think tanks continued erroneously insisting (as they had for months before the campaign formally commenced) that Iranians could not be polled like other populations and that there would be “a selection rather than an election,” engineered to install Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s “anointed” candidate—in most versions, former nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili. On election day, as Iranian voters began casting their ballots, the Washington Post proclaimed that Rohani “will not be allowed to win”—a statement reflecting virtual consensus among American pundits.
Of course, this consensus was wrong—as have been most of the consensus judgments on Iran’s politics advanced by Western analysts since the country’s 1979 revolution. After Rohani’s victory, instead of admitting error, America’s foreign policy elite manufactured two explanations for it. One was that popular disaffection against the Islamic Republic—supposedly reflected in Iranians’ determination to elect the most change-minded candidate available to them—had exceeded even the capacity of Khamenei and his minions to suppress. This narrative, however, rests on agenda-driven and false assumptions about who Rohani is and how he won.
“The Islamic Republic aims to replace American hegemony with a more multi-polar distribution of power and influence. It seeks to achieve this by using international law and by leveraging participatory Islamist governance and foreign policy independence to accumulate real “soft power”.”
At sixty-five, Rohani is not out to fundamentally change the Islamic Republic he has worked nearly his entire adult life to build. The only cleric on the 2013 presidential ballot, Rohani belongs to Iran’s main conservative clerical association, not its reformist antipode. While he has become the standard bearer for the Islamic Republic’s “modern” (or “pragmatic”) right, with considerable support from the business community, his ties to Khamenei are also strong. After Rohani stepped down as secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council in 2005, Khamenei made Rohani his personal representative on the Council.
Backing Rohani was thus an unlikely way for Iranian voters to demand radical change, especially when an eminently plausible reformist was on the ballot—Mohammad Reza Aref, a Stanford Ph.D. in electrical engineering who served as one of reformist President Mohammad Khatami’s vice presidents. (Methodologically-sound polls showed that Aref’s support never exceeded single digits; he ultimately withdrew three days before Iranians voted.) The outcome, moreover, hardly constituted a landslide—not for Rohani and certainly not for reformism: Rohani won by just 261,251 votes over the 50-percent threshold for victory, and the parliament elected just one year before is dominated by conservatives.
The other explanation for Rohani’s success embraced by American elites cites it as proof that U.S.-instigated sanctions are finally “working”—that economic distress caused by sanctions drove Iranians to elect someone inclined to cut concessionary deals with the West. But the same polls that accurately predicted Rohani’s narrow win also show that sanctions had little to do with it. Iranians continue to blame the West, not their own government, for sanctions. And they do not want their leaders to compromise on what they see as their country’s sovereignty and national rights—rights manifest today in Iran’s pursuit of a civil nuclear program.
The Iranian Challenge
Iran’s presidential election and the smooth transfer of office to Rohani from term-limited incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stand out in today’s Middle East. Compared to Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Syria, and Tunisia, the Islamic Republic is actually living up to former U.S. President Jimmy Carter’s description of Iran as “an island of stability” in an increasingly unsettled region. And compared to some Gulf Arab monarchies, where perpetuation of (at least superficial) stability is purchased by ever increasing domestic expenditures, the Islamic Republic legitimates itself by delivering on the fundamental promise of the revolution that deposed the last shah thirty-five years ago: to replace Western-imposed monarchical rule with an indigenously generated political model integrating participatory politics and elections with principles and institutions of Islamic governance.
“Partnering with Tehran would require Washington and its friends in London and Paris to accept the Islamic Republic as the legitimate government of a fully sovereign state with legitimate interests.”
These strengths have enabled the Islamic Republic to withstand sustained regional and Western pressure, and to pursue a foreign policy strategy likely to reap big payoffs in 2014. This strategy aims to replace American hegemony, regionally and globally, with a more multi-polar distribution of power and influence. It seeks to achieve this by using international law and institutions, and by leveraging the Islamic Republic’s model of participatory Islamist governance, domestic development, and foreign policy independence to accumulate real “soft power”—not just with a majority of Iranians living inside their country, but (according to polls) with hundreds of millions of people across the Muslim world and beyond, from Brazil to China and South Africa. Such soft power was on display, for example, in the last year of Ahmadinejad’s presidency, when, during a trip to China, he won a standing ovation from a large audience at Peking University, where a representative sample of next-generation Chinese elites showed themselves deeply receptive to his call for a more equitable and representative international order.
In the current regional and international context, the West is increasingly challenged to come to terms with the Islamic Republic as an enduring entity representing legitimate national interests. In Tehran, the United States and its European allies could have a real partner in countering al-Qa’ida-style terrorism and extremism, in consolidating stable and representative political orders in Syria and other Middle Eastern trouble spots, and in resolving the nuclear issue in a way that sets the stage for moving toward an actual WMD-free zone in the region. But partnering with Tehran would require Washington and its friends in London and Paris to accept the Islamic Republic as the legitimate government of a fully sovereign state with legitimate interests—something that Western powers have refused to accord to any Iranian government for two centuries.
President Obama’s highly public failure to muster political support for military strikes against the Assad government following the use of chemical weapons in Syria on August 21, 2013 has effectively undercut the credibility of U.S. threats to use force against Iran. On November 24, 2013, this compelled an American administration, for the first time since the January 1981 Algiers Accords that ended the embassy hostage crisis, to reach a major international agreement with Tehran—the interim nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1—largely on Iranian terms. (For example, the interim nuclear deal effectively negates Western demands—long rejected by Tehran but now enshrined in seven UN Security Council resolutions—that Iran suspend all activities related to uranium enrichment).
But recent Western recognition of reality is still partial and highly tentative. The United States and its British and French allies continue to deny that Iran has a right to enrich uranium under international safeguards. They also demand that, as part of a final deal, Tehran must shut down its protected enrichment site at Fordo, terminate its work on a new research reactor at Arak, and allow Western powers to micromanage the future development of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. Such positions are at odds with the language of the interim nuclear deal and of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). They are also as hubristically delusional as the British government’s use of the Royal Navy to seize tankers carrying Iranian oil on the high seas after a democratically-elected Iranian government nationalised the British oil concession in Iran in 1951—and as London’s continued threat to do so even after the World Court ruled against Britain in the matter.
If Western powers can realign their positions with reality on the nuclear issue and on various regional challenges in the Middle East, Iran can certainly work with that. But Iranian strategy takes seriously the real prospect that Western powers may not be capable of negotiating a nuclear settlement grounded in the NPT and respectful of the Islamic Republic’s legal rights—just as Britain and the United States were unwilling to respect Iran’s sovereignty over its own natural resources in the early 1950s. Under such circumstances, more U.S.-instigated secondary sanctions that illegally threaten third countries doing business with Iran will not compel Tehran to surrender its civil nuclear program. Rather, Iran’s approach—including a willingness to conclude what the rest of the world other than America, Britain, France, and Israel would consider a reasonable nuclear deal—seeks to make it easier for countries to rebuild and expand economic ties to the Islamic Republic even if Washington does not lift its own unilaterally-imposed sanctions.
“Continuing hostility toward the Islamic Republic exacerbates America’s inability to deal with popular demands for participatory Islamist governance elsewhere in the Middle East.”
Likewise, Iranian strategy takes seriously the real prospect that Washington cannot disenthrall itself from Obama’s foolish declaration in August 2011 that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must go—and therefore that America cannot contribute constructively to the quest for a political settlement to the Syrian conflict. If the United States, Britain, and France continue down their current counter-productive path in Syria, Tehran can play off their accumulating policy failures and the deepening illegitimacy of America’s regional posture to advance the Islamic Republic’s strategic position.
How Will the West Respond?
Coming to terms with the Islamic Republic will require the United States to abandon its already eroding pretensions to hegemony in the Middle East. But, if Washington does not come to terms with the Islamic Republic, it will ultimately be forced to surrender those pretensions, as it was publicly and humiliatingly forced to do in 1979. Moreover, continuing hostility toward the Islamic Republic exacerbates America’s inability to deal with popular demands for participatory Islamist governance elsewhere in the Middle East. Less than a month after Rohani’s election, it was widely perceived that the United States tacitly supported a military coup that deposed Egypt’s first democratically elected (and Islamist) government. The coup in Egypt hardly obviates the fact that, when given the chance, majorities in Middle Eastern Muslim societies reject Western intervention and choose to construct participatory Islamist orders. Refusing to accept this reality will only accelerate the erosion of U.S. influence in the region.
The United States is not the first imperial power in decline whose foreign policy debate has become increasingly detached from reality—and history suggests that the consequences of such delusion are usually severe. The time for American elites to wake up to Middle Eastern realities before the United States and its Western allies face severe consequences for their strategic position in this vital part of the world is running out.
About the Authors
Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett are authors of Going to Tehran: America Must Accept the Islamic Republic of Iran (New York: Metropolitan, 2013), which has just been released in paperback, with a new Afterword. They had distinguished careers in the U.S. government before leaving their positions on the National Security Council in March 2003, in disagreement with Middle East policy and the conduct of the war on terror. They teach international relations, he at Penn State, she at American University.
Source: The World Financial Review
The response from the NY Times to the following two exclusive submissions was the Auto-Reply that they were received.
For the next 12 Days before Christmas I will be TWEETING the short link to this post to the NY TIMES, such as this:
I also will be TWEETING it to every Media outlet I can find at TWITTER; but first a little background:
I learned about Vanunu while researching my first historical novel and wrote him into the Chapter THANKSGIVING EVE 1987
A few months later, I met Vanunu during my first of 8 journeys to both sides of The Wall in Israel Palestine and wrote that experience in the Chapter 16 Days in Israel Palestine
The last time I saw Vanunu was a week before Thanksgiving 2013:
One correction I have repeatedly addressed on the WWW is the legend of Cindy/Cheryl and the “honey trap”:
When I asked Vanunu what he was thinking when he took off with Cindy, he maintained eye contact and readily replied,
“It wasn’t like THAT-when Maxwell’s paper published my photo without ever talking to me and some of the stolen Dimona photos with a very bad story against me, I knew the Mossad was after me. Cindy said she had a sister in Rome and I thought I would be safe there until I could return to London.
“We went to movies and art galleries. I trusted her.
“But, as soon as I got into the apartment, I was hit on the head and drugged. When I woke up and they took me for interrogation, they threw the Times article on the table and said, ‘Look, what you did.’ I was so relieved they had published it and that I had done what I did.”
What ‘Cindy’ did was masquerade as an American beautician on holiday in London. In reality, ‘Cindy’ was the American Mossad agent, Cheryl Hanin Bentov who was using her sister-in-laws passport!
It is illegal under American-Israeli diplomatic protocols for the Mossad to operate in America.
MY Submissions to The New York Times:
Dear New York Times,
As the current leader of the International Cause dedicated to help free Mordechai Vanunu, I am informing you of Mordechai Vanunu’s mid December Appeal.
On 6 December, Vanunu wrote: ”Court hearing against the restrictions not to leave Israel, schedule hearing in the Supreme court will be Dec’ 16, 2013. The same Appeal was in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. The court can send me free and end all this case from 1986-2013.”
In 1986, Israel kidnapped Vanunu from Rome and after a closed door trial, convicted him of espionage and treason. Although released on 21 April 2004, Israel has denied Vanunu the right to “get on the first plane out of here.”
In 1985, Vanunu suffered a crisis of conscience, when he realized he was “a bolt” in the manufacturing of WMD.
After a supervisor carelessly left the keys in the shower room, Vanunu seized his opportunity to document top secret locations within Israel’s 7-story underground nuclear facility and he spent a few intense hours doing just that!
View Vanunu’s photos of the Dimona at his YouTube Channel:
A few months later, Vanunu leaves Israel and travels throughout Europe with the two rolls of undeveloped film. After meeting Peter Hounam, a reporter for the London Sunday Times, Vanunu shares all he knew in his position as a mid-level technician and the two develop the film.
A total of 1,200 pages of transcript of Vanunu’s closed door trial have been released.
Defense witness Peter Hounam stated, “We did not pay him money, but only covered his expenses…Money did not motivate him.”
During my conversations with Vanunu beginning in 2005, he told me:
“All the secrets I had were published in 1989 in an important book, by [Nuclear Physicist] Frank Barnaby, The Invisible Bomb: Nuclear Arms Race in the Middle East.”
Barnaby testified, “I found Vanunu very straightforward about his motives for violating Israel’s secrecy laws he explained to me that he believed that both the Israeli and the world public had the right to know about the information he passed on. He seemed to me to be acting ideologically.
“Israel’s political leaders have, he said, consistently lied about Israel’s nuclear-weapons programme and he found this unacceptable in a democracy.
“The knowledge that Vanunu had about Israel’s nuclear weapons, about the operations at Dimona, and about security at Dimona could not be of any use to anyone today. He left Dimona in October 1985.”
Vanunu also told me:
“Did you know that President Kennedy tried to stop Israel from building atomic weapons? In 1963, he forced Prime Minister Ben Guirion to admit the Dimona was not a textile plant, as the sign outside proclaimed, but a nuclear plant. The Prime Minister said, ‘The nuclear reactor is only for peace.’
“Kennedy insisted on an open internal inspection. He wrote letters demanding that Ben Guirion open up the Dimona for inspection.
“The French were responsible for the actual building of the Dimona. The Germans gave the money; they were feeling guilty for the Holocaust, and tried to pay their way out.
“When Johnson became president, he made an agreement with Israel that two senators would come every year to inspect. Before the senators would visit, the Israelis would build a wall to block the underground elevators and stairways. From 1963 to ’69, the senators came, but they never knew about the wall that hid the rest of the Dimona from them.
“Nixon stopped the inspections and agreed to ignore the situation. As a result, Israel increased production. In 1986, there were over two hundred bombs. Today, they may have enough plutonium for ten bombs a year.”
Contact Vanunu through his website HERE
Eileen Fleming ###
November 9, 2013
Dear New York Times,
Photo of Mordechai Vanunu, by me 24 November 2013, east Jerusalem.
As the current leader of the international cause dedicated to free Mordechai Vanunu I write to alert you that on 9 December, Vanunu wrote:
“Changes in date, Court hearing against the restrictions not to leave Israel, schedule hearing in the Supreme court will be Dec’ 25, 2013, moved from the Dec’ 16, the same Appeal was 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. The court can send me free and end all this case from 1986-2013.”
The restrictions that have subjected Vanunu to 24/7 surveillance [his movements, phone calls and emails] since he emerged from 18 years behind bars on 21 April 2004, come from the Emergency Defense Regulations, which were implemented by Britain against Palestinians and Jews after World War II.
Attorney Yaccov Shapiro, who later became Israel’s Minister Of Justice, described the Emergency Defense Regulations as “unparalleled in any civilized country: there were no such laws in Nazi Germany.”
View Vanunu moments after emerging from 18 years behind bars:
On 2 October 2009, The Washington Times reported that President Obama agreed to keep Israel’s nukes ‘secret’ and reaffirmed a 4-decade-old understanding that has allowed Israel to keep a nuclear arsenal without opening it to international inspections.
Three officials spoke on the condition that they not be named because they were discussing private conversations, but all said Obama pledged to maintain the agreement when he first hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House in May 2009.
On 24, November 2006, Vanunu wrote:
“My lawyer succeeded to reveal a few very important facts: This General of the Army also was not allowed to see all the secrets that he is required to protect by these restrictions that they claim I know them. So, he gave orders of restrictions without knowing what he is protecting or that he is also following orders blindly, and Mossad Sheen Bet using its authority for just punishing me.
“He testified that it is not a crime for me to talk with foreigners in general anywhere. He testified that I can speak freely to any Israeli citizens about anything; it is not his concern what I am saying to them. These Israelis can give this information to any foreigners. It was difficult for the Judge to understand why this dichotomy exits between foreigners and Israelis. It means that it is not about secrecy but about something else.”
In 2004, Yossi Melman wrote for Haaretz:
“This is the secret that hasn’t yet been told in the affair: the story of the security fiasco that made it possible for Vanunu to do what he did, and the story of the subsequent attempts at cover-up, whitewashing and protection of senior figures in the defense establishment, who were bent on divesting themselves of responsibility for the failure.”
Will the New York Times shine a light on Israel’s Nuclear Whistle Blower’s nearly 10 year struggle for freedom from Israel before his Christmas Day appeal?
In my last column I emphasized that it was important for American citizens to demand to know what the real agendas are behind the wars of choice by the Bush and Obama regimes. These are major long term wars each lasting two to three times as long as World War II.
Forbes reports that one million US soldiers have been injured in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
RT reports that the cost of keeping each US soldier in Afghanistan has risen from $1.3 million per soldier to $2.1 million per soldier.
Matthew J. Nasuti reports in the Kabul Press that it cost US taxpayers $50 million to kill one Taliban soldier. That means it cost $1 billion to kill 20 Taliban fighters. This is a war that can be won only at the cost of the total bankruptcy of the United States.
Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes have estimated that the current out-of-pocket and already incurred future costs of the Afghan and Iraq wars is at least $6 trillion.
In other words, it is the cost of these two wars that explain the explosion of the US public debt and the economic and political problems associated with this large debt.
What has America gained in return for $6 trillion and one million injured soldiers, many very severely?
In Iraq there is now an Islamist Shia regime allied with Iran in place of a secular Sunni regime that was an enemy of Iran, one as dictatorial as the other, presiding over war ruins, ongoing violence as high as during the attempted US occupation, and extraordinary birth defects from the toxic substances associated with the US invasion and occupation.
In Afghanistan there is an undefeated and apparently undefeatable Taliban and a revived drug trade that is flooding the Western world with drugs.
The icing on these Bush and Obama “successes” are demands from around the world that Americans and former British PM Tony Blair be held accountable for their war crimes. Certainly, Washington’s reputation has plummeted as a result of these two wars. No governments anywhere are any longer sufficiently gullible as to believe anything that Washington says.
These are huge costs for wars for which we have no explanation.
The Bush/Obama regimes have come up with various cover stories: a “war on terror,”
“we have to kill them over there before they come over here,” “weapons of mass destruction,” revenge for 9/11, Osama bin Laden (who died of his illnesses in December 2001 as was widely reported at the time).
None of these explanations are viable. Neither the Taliban nor Saddam Hussein were engaged in terrorism in the US. As the weapons inspectors informed the Bush regime, there were no WMD in Iraq. Invading Muslim countries and slaughtering civilians is more likely to create terrorists than to suppress them. According to the official story, the 9/11 hijackers and Osama bin Laden were Saudi Arabians, not Afghans or Iraqis. Yet it wasn’t Saudi Arabia that was invaded.
Democracy and accountable government simply does not exist when the executive branch can take a country to wars in behalf of secret agendas operating behind cover stories that are transparent lies.
It is just as important to ask these same questions about the agenda of the US police state. Why have Bush and Obama removed the protection of law as a shield of the people and turned law into a weapon in the hands of the executive branch? How are Americans made safer by the overthrow of their civil liberties? Indefinite detention and execution without due process of law are the hallmarks of the tyrannical state. They are terrorism, not a protection against terrorism. Why is every communication of every American and apparently the communications of most other people in the world, including Washington’s most trusted European allies, subject to being intercepted and stored in a gigantic police state database? How does this protect Americans from terrorists?
Why is it necessary for Washington to attack the freedom of the press and speech, to run roughshod over the legislation that protects whistleblowers such as Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden, to criminalize dissent and protests, and to threaten journalists such as Julian Assange, Glenn Greenwald, and Fox News reporter James Rosen?
How does keeping citizens ignorant of their government’s crimes make citizens safe from terrorists?
These persecutions of truth-tellers have nothing whatsoever to do with “national security” and “keeping Americans safe from terrorists.” The only purpose of these persecutions is to protect the executive branch from having its crimes revealed. Some of Washington’s crimes are so horrendous that the International Criminal Court would issue a death sentence if those guilty could be brought to trial. A government that will destroy the constitutional protections of free speech and a free press in order to prevent its criminal actions from being disclosed is a tyrannical government.
One hesitates to ask these questions and to make even the most obvious remarks out of fear not only of being put on a watch list and framed on some charge or the other, but also out of fear that such questions might provoke a false flag attack that could be used to justify the police state that has been put in place.
Perhaps that was what the Boston Marathon Bombing was. Evidence of the two brothers’ guilt has taken backseat to the government’s claims. There is nothing new about government frame-ups of patsies. What is new and unprecedented is the lockdown of Boston and its suburbs, the appearance of 10,000 heavily armed troops and tanks to patrol the streets and search without warrants the homes of citizens, all in the name of protecting the public from one wounded 19 year old kid.
Not only has nothing like this ever before happened in the US, but also it could not have been organized on the spur of the moment. It had to have been already in place waiting for the event. This was a trial run for what is to come.
Unaware Americans, especially gullible “law and order conservatives,” have no idea about the militarization of even their local police. I have watched local police forces train at gun clubs. The police are taught to shoot first not once but many times, to protect their lives first at all costs, and not to risk their lives by asking questions. This is why the 13-year old kid with the toy rifle was shot to pieces. Questioning would have revealed that it was a toy gun, but questioning the “suspect” might have endangered the precious police who are trained to take no risks whatsoever.
The police operate according to Obama’s presidential kill power: murder first then create a case against the victim.
In other words, dear American citizen, you life is worth nothing, but the police whom you pay, are not only unaccountable but also their lives are invaluable. If you get killed in their line of duty, it is no big deal. But don’t you injure a police goon thug in an act of self-defense. I mean, who do you think you are, some kind of mythical free American with rights?
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. His latest book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is now available
Source: Paul Craig Roberts
It is natural for a society to search for explanations and motivations in the wake of a man-made tragedy. It is also somewhat natural for people to be driven by their personal biases when looking for someone or something to blame. In recent years, however, our country has been carefully conditioned to view almost every criminal event from an ideological perspective.
The mainstream media now places far more emphasis on the political affiliations and philosophies of “madmen” than it does on their personal disorders and psychosis. The media’s goal, or mission, if you will, is to associate every dark deed whether real or engineered to the political enemies of the establishment, and to make the actions of each individual the collective shame of an entire group of people.
I could sift through a long list of terror attacks and mass shootings in which the establishment media jumped to the conclusion that the perpetrators were inspired by the beliefs of Constitutional conservatives, “conspiracy theorists”, patriots, etc. It is clear to anyone paying attention that the system is going out of its way to demonize those who question the officially sanctioned story, or the officially sanctioned world view. The circus surrounding the latest shooting of multiple TSA agents at Los Angeles International Airport is a perfect example.
Paul Ciancia, the primary suspect in the shooting, was immediately tied to the Liberty Movement by media outlets and the Southern Poverty Law Center, by notes (which we still have yet to see proof of) that law enforcement claims to have found on his person. The notes allegedly use terms such as “New World Order” and “fiat money”, commonly covered by those of us in the alternative media. The assertion is, of course, that Paul Ciancia is just the beginning, and that most if not all of us involved in the exposure of the globalist agenda are powder kegs just waiting to “go off.” The label often used by the MSM to profile people like Ciancia and marginalize the organizational efforts of liberty based culture is “anti-government.”
The establishment desires to acclimate Americans to the idea that being anti-government is wrong; that it is a despicable philosophy embracing social deviance, aimless violence, isolation and zealotry. Looking beyond the mainstream position, my question is, is it really such a bad thing to be anti-government today?
The terms “anti-government” and “conspiracy theorist” are almost always used in the same paragraph when mainstream media pundits espouse their propaganda. They are nothing more than ad hominem labels designed to play on the presumptions of the general population, manipulating them into dismissing any and all alternative viewpoints before they are ever heard or explained. The establishment and the media are ill-equipped to debate us on fair terms, and understand that they will lose control if Americans are allowed to hear what we have to say in a balanced forum. Therefore, their only fallback is to bury the public in lies so thick they won’t want to listen to us at all.
The Liberty Movement now has the upper hand in the war for information. The exposure of multiple conspiracies in the past several years alone has given immense weight to our stance, and reaffirmed warnings we gave long ago.
When we spoke out against the invasion of Iraq, commissioned by George W. Bush on the dubious claim that Iraqi weapons of mass destruction were an immediate threat to the security of our nation, we were called “liberals” and “traitors.” Today, Bush and Cheney have both openly admitted that no WMD’s were ever present in the region. When we attempted to educate the masses on the widespread surveillance of innocent people by the NSA, some of them laughed. Today, it is common knowledge that all electronic communications are monitored by the Federal government. When we refused to accept the official story behind the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Fast and Furious program, we were called “kooks”. Today, it is common knowledge that the Obama Administration purposely allowed U.S. arms to fall into the hands of Mexican cartels. When we roared over the obvious hand the White House played in the Benghazi attack, we were labeled “racists” and “right wing extremists.” Today, it is common knowledge that the White House ordered military response units to stand down and allow the attack to take place. I could go on and on…
Events that were called “conspiracy theory” by the mainstream yesterday are now historical fact today. Have we ever received an apology for this slander? No, of course not, and we don’t expect one will ever surface. We have already gained something far more important – legitimacy.
And what about Paul Ciancia’s apparent belief in the dangers of the “New World Order” and “fiat money”? Are these “conspiracy theories”, or conspiracy realism? The Liberty Movement didn’t coin the phrase “New World Order”, these political and corporate “luminaries” did:
Is economic collapse really just a fairytale perpetrated by “anti-government extremists” bent on fear mongering and dividing society? Perhaps we should ask Alan Greenspan, who now openly admits that he and the private Federal Reserve knew full well they had helped engineer the housing bubble which eventually imploded during the derivatives collapse of 2008.
Or, why not ask the the White House, which just last month proclaimed that “economic chaos” would result if Republicans did not agree to raise the debt ceiling.
Does this make Barack Obama and the Democratic elite “conspiracy theorists” as well?
It is undeniable that government conspiracies and corporate conspiracies exist, and have caused unquantifiable pain to the American people and the people of the world. Knowing this, is it not natural that many citizens would adopt anti-government views in response? Is it wrong to distrust a criminal individual or a criminal enterprise? Why would it be wrong to distrust a criminal government?
The Purpose Behind The Anti-Government Label
When the establishment mainstream applies the anti-government label, they are hoping to achieve several levels propaganda. Here are just a few:
False Association: By placing the alleged “anti-government” views of violent people in the spotlight, the establishment is asserting that it is the political philosophy, not the individual, that is the problem. They are also asserting that other people who hold similar beliefs are guilty by association. That is to say, the actions of one man now become the trespasses of all those who share his ideology. This tactic is only applied by the media to those on the conservative or constitutional end of the spectrum, as it was with Paul Ciancia. For example, when it was discovered that Arizona mass shooter Jared Loughner was actually a leftist, the MSM did not attempt to tie his actions to liberals in general. Why? Because the left is not a threat to the elitist oligarchy within our government. Constitutional conservatives, on the other hand, are.
False Generalization: The term “anti-government” is so broad that, like the term “terrorist”, it can be applied to almost anyone for any reason. The establishment does not want you to distinguish between those who are anti-government for the wrong reasons, and those who are anti-government for the right reasons. Anyone who questions the status quo becomes the enemy regardless of their motives or logic. By demonizing the idea of being anti-government, the establishment manipulates the public into assuming that all government by extension is good, or at least necessary, when the facts actually suggest that most government is neither good or necessary.
False Assertion: The negative connotations surrounding the anti-government stance also suggest that anyone who defends themselves or their principles against government tyranny, whether rationally justified or not, is an evil person. Just look at how Washington D.C. has treated Edward Snowden. Numerous political elites have suggested trying the whistle-blower for treason, or assassinating him outright without due process, even though Snowden’s only crime was to expose the criminal mass surveillance of the American people by the government itself. Rather than apologizing for their corruption, the government would rather destroy anyone who exposes the truth.
False Shame: Does government criminality call for behavior like that allegedly taken by Paul Ciancia? His particular action was not morally honorable or even effective. It helped the establishment’s position instead of hurting it, and was apparently driven more by personal psychological turmoil rather than political affiliation. But, would it be wrong for morally sound and rational Americans facing imminent despotism within government to physically fight back? Would it be wrong to enter into combat with a totalitarian system? The Founding Fathers did, but only after they had exhausted all other avenues, and only after they had broken away from dependence on the system they had sought to fight. Being anti-government does not mean one is a violent and dangerous person. It does mean, though, that there will come a point at which we will not allow government to further erode our freedoms. We will not and should not feel shame in making that stand.
I do not agree with every element of the “anti-government” ethos that exists in our era, but I do see the vast majority of reasons behind it as legitimate. If the establishment really desired to quell the quickly growing anti-government methodology, then they would stop committing Constitutional atrocities and stop giving the public so many causes to hate them. If they continue with their vicious bid to erase civil liberties, dominate the citizenry through fear and intimidation and steal and murder in our name, then our response will inevitably be “anti-government”, and we will inevitably move to end the system as we know it.
Source: Brandon Smith | Alt-Market
The Israelis are not very impressed with Hassan Rouhani, the new Iranian president. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu ordered Israel’s delegation to boycott his appearance at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday and later denounced Rouhani’s address there as “a cynical speech that was full of hypocrisy.”
But Israel seems to be alone this time. Both the United States and other Western nations appeared to warmly welcome the new Iranian president at the UN.
But did Rouhani present any radical change? Did he deliver new promises? Not at all. Like his predecessor, he made it clear that Iran is not going to give up on its right to proceed and develop nuclear energy. Like Ahmadinejad, Rouhani contended that “nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction have no place in Iran’s security and defence doctrine, and contradict our fundamental religious and ethical convictions. Our national interests make it imperative that we remove any and all reasonable concerns about Iran’s peaceful nuclear program.”
The President also suggested that the world should recognise Iran’s basic right to carry out all parts of its nuclear fuel cycle. In short, Iran is going ahead with its nuclear project. And this is indeed very good news.
So what changed really? Only one thing, I guess. The nations seem to have changed their appetite. And they are somehow brave enough to admit it to themselves.
Due to some intense Jewish lobbying and the submissive nature of contemporary Western politicians, not many Western governments dare criticise Israel. They clearly fear Netanyahu and his network of ‘800 pound gorillas’. By means of kindness towards Israel’s ‘enemy’, our weak politicians have managed to find a way to deliver a message to Israel. Welcoming Rouhani at the UN was a clear message to the Jewish State and its supportive lobby: beware, we are gradually becoming tired of your dirty politics and pushing for wars.
Being an avid reader of Jewish history, I allow myself to say that the failure to read the writing on the wall is intrinsic to Jewish identity politics and culture. One might expect Israel and the Lobby to back off at this point. But this is not going to happen. Israel and the Lobby will act more obnoxiously. They will use every trick in their book to close this opening window of a dialogue and reconciliation.
Israel is doomed to bring a tragedy on itself and the region. Even God won’t be able to save his chosen people from themselves. But there is something the UN can do: stripping Israel of its chemical, biological and nuclear arsenal. I can see such a demand brewing up and I would love to see it materialising soon.
“Engage people with what they expect; it is what they are able to discern and confirms their projections. It settles them into predictable patterns of response, occupying their minds while you wait for the extraordinary moment — that which they cannot anticipate.”–Sun Tzu, The Art of War
The definition of what makes an “enemy” may vary from person to person. But I would say that, generally, an enemy is one who has an active ability to do irreparable harm to you or your essential values. He is motivated by destruction, the destruction of all that you hold dear. He is capable and unrelenting. He is a legitimate threat. He will not compromise. He will not waver. He will do anything to wound you. He will not stop. He is possessed.
Americans have spent the better part of a century being told who their enemies are with very little explanation or substantiation. We have blindly rallied around our patriotic prerogative without knowing the root cause of the conflict or the nature of the target we are told to annihilate. We have been suckered into war after war, conjured by international interests in order to lure us into accepting greater centralization and concentrated globalism. As a culture, I’m sorry to say, we have been used. We are a tool of unmitigated doom. We are the loaded gun in the hand of the devil.
This paradigm has done irreparable harm to our standing in the eyes of the peoples of the world. But until recently, it has done very little harm to us as a society. We have allowed ourselves to be used like a bloody club, but we have not yet felt the true pain or the true cost. We have been insulated from consequence. However, this comfortable situation is quickly coming to an end.
When one applies the above definition of “the enemy” to Syria, one comes away with very little satisfaction. The Syrian government poses absolutely no immediate threat to the United States. In fact, the civil war that now rages within its borders has been completely fabricated by our own government. The insurgency has been funded, armed, trained and ultimately directed by the U.S. intelligence community. Without U.S. subversion, the civil war in Syria would not exist.
So, the question arises: If Syria is not the real enemy, who is?
I point back to the core issue. That is to say, I would examine who pose a legitimate threat to our country and our principles. The Syrian government under Bashar Assad clearly has no capability to threaten our freedom, our economic stability, our social stability, or our defensive capabilities. There is, though, a group of people out there who do, in fact, pose a significant threat to the American way of life on every conceivable level. These people do not live on the other side of the world. They do not wear foreign garb or speak another language. Most of them do not have pigmented skin or Asian features. They look just like you and I, and they live in Washington D.C.
If the so-called “debate” over a possible military strike in Syria has done anything, it has certainly brought the American public’s true enemies frothing to the surface like so much sewage. Men who posed as liberal proponents of peace not long ago now salivate over the prospect of bloodshed. Men who once posed as fiscal conservatives now clamor for more Federal funding to drive the U.S. war machine. Men who claimed to represent the citizenry now ignore all calls for reason by the public in the pursuit of global dominance.
I have warned of the considerable dangers of a war in Syria for years — long before most people knew or cared about the Assad regime. Being in this position has allowed me to view the escalating crisis with a considerable amount of objectivity. In the midst of so much chaos and confusion, if you know who stands to gain and who stands to lose, the progression of events becomes transparent, and the strategy of the actual enemy emerges.
So what have I observed so far?
If you want to know who has malicious intent toward our Constitutional values, simply move your eyes away from the Mideast and focus on our own capital. The ill will toward liberty held by the leadership of both the Democratic and Republican parties is obvious in the Congressional support of the banker bailouts, the Patriot Acts, the National Defense Authorization Act, the President’s domestic assassination directives, the hands-off approach to National Security Agency mass surveillance, etc. But even beyond these litmus tests, the Syrian debate has unveiled numerous enemies of the American people within our own government.
The catastrophe inherent in a Syrian strike is at least partially known to most of the public. We are fully aware that there will be blowback from any new strike in the Mideast (limited or unlimited), economically as well as internationally. So if the average American with little political experience understands the consequences of such an action, the average politician should be more than educated on the dangers. Any representative who blatantly ignores the calamity ahead is either very stupid or has an agenda.
I find it fascinating that politicians and bureaucrats from both sides of the aisle are now coming out of the woodwork to cheerlead alongside each other for war and the state.
For those who are predominantly preoccupied with Barack Obama as the source of all our ills, I would gladly point out that Republican leader and House Speaker John Boehner has also thrown his support behind a Syrian strike, even before the U.N. investigative report on Syrian chemical weapons use has been released.
In the meantime, self-proclaimed Republican stalwarts like John McCain (R-Ariz.) have argued that Obama’s “limited strike” response is “not enough.” This is the same man, by the way, who has been instrumental in the monetary and military support of Al Qaeda in Syria. McCain has recently called for avid pursuit of the new Russian proposal for chemical disarmament in Syria, not because he wants to find a peaceful solution to the situation, but because he believes the deal can be used as a bargaining chip to convince Congress to VOTE FOR military force, in order to “keep pressure on Assad”.
Secretary of State John Kerry, who not long ago ran for President on the platform of being an anti-war Democrat, now regularly begs the American people to back further war based on the same dubious evidence for which he once criticized the George W. Bush Administration. In fact, Kerry has made it clear that even if Congress votes “no” against a strike, he believes Obama has the right to set one in motion anyway.
Senator Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), the man who openly admits in mainstream interviews that he believes the President has the right to indefinitely detain or assassinate American citizens without trial or oversight, has loudly indicated his support for a war on Syria. His criticisms parallel McCain’s in that he believes the Obama Administration should have attacked without Congressional approval or should commit to an all-out military shift into the region. That is to say, he believes the goal of the White House should be invasion and regime change, not just disarmament. Graham consistently fear mongers in the mainstream media, often warning that without a hard, immediate strike against Syria, catastrophe will befall Israel, and chemical andnuclear weapons will rain on America.
All I have to say to Graham is, if chemical or nuclear weapons are used against the American people, it will be because the establishment ALLOWED it to happen — just as it has allowed numerous attacks in the past to occur in order to facilitate pretext for a larger war. (The Gulf of Tonkin is a fitting example considering the many similarities between the Syrian debacle and Vietnam, the only difference being that this time the establishment is throwing its support on the side of the insurgency, rather than the prevailing government).
For those out there in the movement who are hoping for reason and logic to prevail during a Congressional debate on the Syrian issue, I would suggest that they do not hold their breath. This vote was decided before Obama ever allowed it to go to the Hill. The vote has been cast. The debate is a sideshow designed to make the American people feel as if their system of government still functions as it should. Remember, no Congress in the history of the United States has ever refused the request of a President to make war.
The more than 150 Congressmen who demanded a vote on the Syrian crisis did so because they wanted to be included in the process, not because they necessarily opposed a war. That leaves nearly 300 representatives who had NO PROBLEM whatsoever with Obama attacking Syria unilaterally without any checks or balances. The Senate panel that initiated the voting process on the strike plan passed the initiative 10-7. I have no doubt that Obama has the votes to confirm the use of force, even with all the talk of uncertainty in evidence or planning.
The Russian offer of organizing chemical disarmament has barely made a dent in the White House’s war rhetoric, as was evident in Barack Obama’s address to the nation yesterday. When asked in an interview with NBC if he has made up his mind whether or not he will forge ahead with military action if Congress votes his proposal down, Obama stated:
“It’s fair to say that I haven’t decided…”
Putting on the airs of a Roman Emperor, Obama’s thumb remains in the neutral position over the gladiator pit of Syria, but as he clearly points out, he can give the thumbs down anytime he chooses. If anything, the White House and the elitist machine are simply using the next few weeks (the approximate time being discussed for chemical disarmament) to establish further precedent, or conjure new atrocities, in order to garner a minimal public backing for violent action in the region.
And, let’s not forget our friendly enemies in the mainstream media. The MSM is in rare form the past week, fabricating numerous arguments as to why the average American “just doesn’t get the Syrian situation”. The latest disinformation campaigns seem to be revolving around generating alternative motivations for a strike -
Obama’s “red line” was crossed and we must strike in order to save face amongst our allies.
A refusal to strike Syria will “embolden Iran” and lead them to use their own WMD’s in terrorist acts (WMD’s which are still not proven to exist).
And my favorite argument: That refusing to strike would mean “abandoning” the Syrian rebelsin their war on Assad. You know, the same rebels permeated with psychopathic Al Qaeda operatives that our government trained and funded.
The mainstream media steamroller is barreling forward, searching for ANY talking point that will hook the American populace into rationalizing an attack. I have to say, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many pencil-necked weaklings call for so much blood. The strategy seems to be an attempt to shift America’s attention away from the alleged chemical attack alone, and discombobulate us with multiple sales pitches of death in case Congressional support turns sour (which I doubt).
But let’s say Obama does not get his Congressional approval; as stated earlier his office has asserted on numerous occasions that he has the authority to trigger war regardless. A “no” vote in Washington means nothing today due to war powers granted after 9/11. The probable scenario, though, is the most common scenario. Congress will likely authorize the “use of limited military force” without directly declaring war on the Assad regime. This is exactly what Congress did in the wake of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. There was no evidence of an Al Qaeda support structure and no evidence of weapons of mass destruction, but war exploded nonetheless. Congress gave Bush a blank check to do whatever he saw fit, and I believe Congress will do the same for Obama.
America is being set up to look like the bad guy or the fool, but why?
Our political leadership is devoted to the ideology of globalization, not sovereignty or U.S prosperity. A Syrian strike places the United States in tremendous peril, the likes of which have not been seen since the Cuban missile crisis. Syria itself is a vacuum of suffocating calamity; a black hole swirling in a void of economic and sociological interdependency. Where the United States enters, so follows Iran, so follows Israel, so follows Saudi Arabia, so follows Lebanon, so follows Jordan, so follows Egypt, so follows Russia, so follows China and on and on.
In my analysis of Syria over the years, I have exposed this domino effect of war as well as the possible calamities of an economic chain reaction. Escalating conflict in Syria will eventually lead to the end of the dollar’s world reserve status and the collapse of the U.S. financial system. Knowing that this is the ultimate result of a strike in the region, many people would ask WHYthe White House and so many prominent figures in Congress would be so hell-bent on setting such wheels in motion. I would stand back from the chaos and ask what I always ask: Who gains the most from the disaster?
The demise of American currency dominance and the degradation of the American spirit do indeed benefit a select few. For the most part, central banks and globalists have taken a hands-off approach to the Syrian debacle. Perhaps that’s because doing so makes it easier for them to survey the inevitable collapse from a distance and swoop in later as our “saviors,” ready to rebuild the world according to their own ideals. Having a debased and desperate U.S. populace certainly makes the transition to total globalization and centralization much easier.
My original query was: Who is the real enemy? No matter what happens in the coming months and years, never forget that question. Who poses the greatest threat to our freedom: Syria or the political ghouls trying to convince us to decimate Syria?
Who claims the power to take everything we have? Who claims the power to take our liberty and our lives at a whim? Who claims the power to kill innocents in our name? Who disregards the checks and balances of Constitutionalism at every turn? Who truly threatens our future and the future of our children?
Do not be distracted by stories of foreign monsters far away when the real monsters lurk so quietly under your bed. Even if we can find a successful strategy to pressure Congress into avoiding a Syrian conflict, I say remain vigilant. America is one global hiccup away from oblivion. And if this is what the establishment wants, they will find a way to make it happen. The threat of continuous U.S. catastrophe will only end when the poison is removed from our very veins, and that process of purification begins with the removal of the criminal political structures and banking structures in Washington.
Source: Brandon Smith | Alt-Market
A US drone has just taken a photo of Mullah Omar riding on a motorcycle through the streets of Damascus. 1
So what do we have as the United States refuses to rule out an attack on Syria and keeps five warships loaded with missiles in the eastern Mediterranean?
- Only 9 percent of Americans support a US military intervention in Syria. 2
- Only 11% of the British supported a UK military intervention; this increased to 25% after the announcement of the alleged chemical attack. 3
- British Prime Minister David Cameron lost a parliamentary vote August 29 endorsing military action against Syria 285-272
- 64% of the French people oppose an intervention by the French Army. 4 “Before acting we need proof,” said a French government spokesperson. 5
- Former and current high-ranking US military officers question the use of military force as a punitive measure and suggest that the White House lacks a coherent strategy. “If the administration is ambivalent about the wisdom of defeating or crippling the Syrian leader, possibly setting the stage for Damascus to fall to Islamic fundamentalist rebels, they say, the military objective of strikes on Assad’s military targets is at best ambiguous.” 6
- President Obama has no United Nations approval for intervention. (In February a massive bombing attack in Damascus left 100 dead and 250 wounded; in all likelihood the work of Islamic terrorists. The United States blocked a Russian resolution condemning the attack from moving through the UN Security Council)
- None of NATO’s 28 members has proposed an alliance with the United States in an attack against Syria. NATO’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that he saw “no NATO role in an international reaction to the [Syrian] regime.” 7
- The Arab League has not publicly endorsed support of US military action in Syria; nor have key regional players Saudi Arabia and Qatar, concerned about a possible public backlash from open support for US intervention. 8
- We don’t even know for sure that there was a real chemical attack. Where does that accusation come from? The United States? The al-Qaeda rebels? Or if there was such an attack, where is the evidence that the Syrian government was the perpetrator? The Assad regime has accused the rebels of the act, releasing a video showing a cave with alleged chemical-weapon equipment as well as claiming to have captured rebels possessing sarin gas. Whoever dispensed the poison gas – why, in this age of ubiquitous cameras, are there no photos of anyone wearing a gas mask? The UN inspection team was originally dispatched to Syria to investigate allegations of earlier chemical weapons use: two allegations made by the rebels and one by the government.
- The United States insists that Syria refused to allow the UN investigators access to the site of the attack. However, the UN request was made Saturday, August 24; the Syrian government agreed the next day. 9
- In rejecting allegations that Syria deployed poison gas, Russian officials have argued that the rebels had a clear motivation: to spur a Western-led attack on Syrian forces; while Assad had every reason to avoid any action that could spur international intervention at a time when his forces were winning the war and the rebels are increasingly losing world support because of their uncivilized and ultra-cruel behavior.
- President George W. Bush misled the world on Iraq’s WMD, but Bush’s bogus case for war at least had details that could be checked, unlike what the Obama administration released August 29 on Syria’s alleged chemical attacks – no direct quotes, no photographic evidence, no named sources, nothing but “trust us,” points out Robert Parry, intrepid Washington journalist.
So, in light of all of the above, the path for Mr. Obama to take – as a rational, humane being – is of course clear. Is it not? N’est-ce pas? Nicht wahr? – Bombs Away!
Pretty discouraging it is. No, I actually find much to be rather encouraging. So many people seem to have really learned something from the Iraqi pile of lies and horror and from decades of other American interventions. Skepticism – good ol’ healthy skepticism – amongst the American, British and French people. It was stirring to watch the British Parliament in a debate of the kind rarely, if ever, seen in the 21st-century US Congress. And American military officers asking some of the right questions. The Arab League not supporting a US attack, surprising for an organization not enamored of the secular Syrian government. And NATO – even NATO! – refusing so far to blindly fall in line with the White House. When did that last happen? I thought it was against international law.
Secretary of State John Kerry said that if the United States did not respond to the use of chemical weapons the country would become an international “laughingstock”. Yes, that’s really what America and its people have to worry about – not that their country is viewed as a lawless, mass-murdering repeat offender. Other American officials have expressed concern that a lack of a US response might incite threats from Iran and North Korea. 10
Now that is indeed something to laugh at. It’s comforting to think that the world might be finally losing the stars in their eyes about US foreign policy partly because of countless ridiculous remarks such as these.
United States bombings, which can be just as indiscriminate and cruel as poison gas. (A terrorist is someone who has a bomb but doesn’t have an air force.)
The glorious bombing list of our glorious country, which our glorious schools don’t teach, our glorious media don’t remember, and our glorious leaders glorify.
- Korea and China 1950-53 (Korean War)
- Guatemala 1954
- Indonesia 1958
- Cuba 1959-1961
- Guatemala 1960
- Congo 1964
- Laos 1964-73
- Vietnam 1961-73
- Cambodia 1969-70
- Guatemala 1967-69
- Grenada 1983
- Lebanon 1983, 1984 (both Lebanese and Syrian targets)
- Libya 1986
- El Salvador 1980s
- Nicaragua 1980s
- Iran 1987
- Panama 1989
- Iraq 1991 (Persian Gulf War)
- Kuwait 1991
- Somalia 1993
- Bosnia 1994, 1995
- Sudan 1998
- Afghanistan 1998
- Yugoslavia 1999
- Yemen 2002
- Iraq 1991-2003 (US/UK on regular no-fly-zone basis)
- Iraq 2003-2011 (Second Gulf War)
- Afghanistan 2001 to present
- Pakistan 2007 to present
- Somalia 2007-8, 2011 to present
- Yemen 2009, 2011 to present
- Libya 2011
- Syria 2013?
The above list doesn’t include the repeated use by the United States of depleted uranium, cluster bombs, white phosphorous, and other charming inventions of the Pentagon mad scientists; also not included: chemical and biological weapons abroad, chemical and biological weapons in the United States (sic), and encouraging the use of chemical and biological weapons by other nations; all these lists can be found in William Blum’s book “Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower”.
A story just released by Foreign Policy magazine, based on newly-discovered classified documents, reports how, in 1988, the last year of the 8-year Iraq-Iran War, America’s military and intelligence communities knew about and did nothing to stop a series of nerve gas attacks by Iraq far more devastating than anything Syria has seen. 11 Indeed, during that war the United States was the primary supplier to Iraq of the chemicals and hardware necessary to provide the Saddam Hussein regime with a chemical-warfare capability. 12
Now, apparently, the United States has discovered how horrible chemical warfare is, even if only of the “alleged” variety.
Some of those currently advocating bombing Syria turn for justification to their old faithful friend “humanitarian intervention”, one of the earliest examples of which was the 1999 US and NATO bombing campaign to stop ethnic cleansing and drive Serbian forces from Kosovo. However, a collective amnesia appears to have afflicted countless intelligent, well-meaning people, who are convinced that the US/NATO bombing took place after the mass forced deportation of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo was well underway; which is to say that the bombing was launched to stopthis “ethnic cleansing”. In actuality, the systematic forced deportations of large numbers of people from Kosovo did not begin until a few days after the bombing began, and was clearly a Serbian reaction to it, born of extreme anger and powerlessness. This is easily verified by looking at a daily newspaper for the few days before the bombing began the night of March 23/24, and the few days after. Or simply look at the New York Times of March 26, page 1, which reads:
… with the NATO bombing already begun, a deepening sense of fear took hold in Pristina [the main city of Kosovo] that the Serbs would NOW vent their rage against ethnic Albanian civilians in retaliation.
On March 27, we find the first reference to a “forced march” or anything of that sort.
But the propaganda version is already set in marble.
If you see something, say something. Unless it’s US war crimes.
“When you sign a security clearance and swear oaths, you actually have to abide by that. It is not optional.” – Steven Bucci, of the neo-conservative Heritage Foundation, speaking of Chelsea Manning (formerly known as Bradley) 13
Really? No matter what an individual with security clearance is asked to do? No matter what he sees and knows of, he still has to ignore his conscience and follow orders? But Steven, my lad, you must know that following World War II many Germans of course used “following orders” as an excuse. The victorious Allies of course executed many of them.
Their death sentences were laid down by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, Germany, which declared that “Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring.”
Nuremberg Principle IV moreover states: “The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.”
Manning, and Edward Snowden as well, did have moral choices, and they chose them.
It should be noted that Barack Obama has refused to prosecute those under the Bush administration involved in torture specifically – he declares – because they were following orders. Has this “educated” man never heard of the Nuremberg Tribunal? Why isn’t he embarrassed to make this argument again and again?
I imagine that in the past three years that Manning has had to live with solitary confinement, torture and humiliation, adding mightily to her already existing personal difficulties, the thought of suicide has crossed her mind on a number of occasions. It certainly would have with me if I had been in her position. In the coming thousands and thousands of days and long nights of incarceration such thoughts may be Manning’s frequent companion. If the thoughts become desire, and the desire becomes unbearable, I hope the brave young woman can find a way to carry it out. Every person has that right, including heroes.
The United States and its European poodles may have gone too far for their own good in their attempts to control all dissenting communication – demanding total information from companies engaged in encrypted messaging, forcing the closure of several such firms, obliging the plane carrying the Bolivian president to land, smashing the computers at a leading newspaper, holding a whistle-blowing journalist’s partner in custody for nine hours at an airport, seizing the phone records of Associated Press journalists, threatening to send a New York Times reporter to jail if he doesn’t disclose the source of a leak, shameless lying at high levels, bugging the European Union and the United Nations, surveillance without known limits … Where will it end? Will it backfire at some point and allow America to return to its normal level of police state? On July 24, a bill that would have curtailed the power of the NSA was only narrowly defeated by 217 to 205 votes in the US House of Representatives.
And how long will Amnesty International continue to tarnish its image by refusing to state the obvious? That Cheleas Manning is a Prisoner of Conscience. If you go to Amnesty’s website and search “prisoner of conscience” you’ll find many names given, including several Cubans prominently featured. Can there be any connection to Manning’s omission with the fact that the executive director of Amnesty International USA, Suzanne Nossel, came to her position from the US Department of State, where she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Organizations?
A phone call to Amnesty’s office in New York was unable to provide me with any explanation for Manning’s omission. I suggest that those of you living in the UK try the AI headquarters in London.
Meanwhile, at the other pre-eminent international human rights organization, Human Rights Watch, Tom Malinowski, the director of HRW’s Washington office, has been nominated by Obama to be Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. Is it really expecting too much that a high official of a human rights organization should not go to work for a government that has been the world’s leading violator of human rights for more than half a century? And if that designation is too much for you to swallow just consider torture, the worst example of mankind’s inhumanity to man. What government has been intimately involved with that horror more than the United States? Teaching it, supplying the manuals, supplying the equipment, creation of torture centers in much of the world, kidnaping people to these places (“rendition”), solitary confinement, forced feeding, Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Chicago … Lord forgive us!
One of the reactions of the United States to Russia granting asylum to Edward Snowden was reported thus: “There was a blistering response on Capitol Hill and calls for retaliatory measures certain to infuriate the Kremlin. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), long one of the Senate’s leading critics of Moscow, blasted the asylum decision as ‘a slap in the face of all Americans’ and called on the administration to turn up the pressure on Moscow on a variety of fronts, including a renewed push for NATO expansion and new missile-defense programs in Europe.” 14
But we’ve long been told that NATO expansion and its missiles in Europe have nothing to do with Russia. And Russia has been told the same, much to Moscow’s continuous skepticism. “Look,” said Russian president Vladimir Putin about NATO in 2001, “this is a military organization. It’s moving towards our border. Why?” 15 He subsequently described NATO as “the stinking corpse of the cold war.” 16
We’ve been told repeatedly by the US government that the missiles are for protection against an Iranian attack. Is it (choke) possible that the Bush and Obama administrations have been (gasp) lying to us?
America’s love affair with Guns
Adam Kokesh is a veteran of the war in Iraq who lives in the Washington, DC area. He’s one of the countless Americans who’s big on guns, guns that will be needed to protect Americans from their oppressive government, guns that will be needed for “the revolution”.
On July 4 the 31-year-old Kokesh had a video made of himself holding a shotgun and loading shells into it while speaking into the camera as he stood in Freedom Plaza, a federal plot of land in between the Washington Monument and the Capitol. This led to a police raid of his home and his being arrested on the 25th for carrying a firearm outside his home or office. The 23-second video can be seen on YouTube. 17
I sent Kokesh the following email:
“Adam: All your weapons apparently didn’t help you at all when the police raided your house. But supposedly, people like you advocate an armed populace to protect the public from an oppressive government. I’ve never thought that that made much sense because of the huge imbalance between the military power of the public vs. that of the government. And it seems that I was correct.”
I received no reply, although his still being in jail may explain that.
Kokesh, incidentally, had a program on RT (Russia Today) for a short while last year.
- The three preceding jokes are courtesy of my friend Viktor Dedaj of Paris ↩
- Reuters/Ipsos poll, August 26, 2013 ↩
- Sunday Times (UK), YouGov poll, August 25 ↩
- Le Parisien, August 30, 2012 ↩
- Christian Science Monitor, August 29, 2013 ↩
- Washington Post, August 29, 2013 ↩
- The Wall Street Journal, August 30, 2013 ↩
- Washington Post, August 31, 2013 ↩
- UN Web TV, August 27, 2013 (starting at minute 12:00) ↩
- The Washington Post, August 31, 2013 ↩
- Shane Harris and Matthew M. Aid, “CIA Files Prove America Helped Saddam as He Gassed Iran”, Foreign Policy, August 26, 2013 ↩
- William Blum, “Anthrax for Export”, The Progressive (Madison, Wisconsin), April 1998 ↩
- Washington Post, August 22, 2013 ↩
- Washington Post, July 31, 2013 ↩
- Associated Press, June 16, 2001 ↩
- Time magazine, December 2007 ↩
- Washington Post, August 13, 2013 ↩
I think it’s true to say that the days of creating ‘dodgy dossiers‘(pdf) are now over, at least if the latest ‘dodgy report’ is anything to go by. Put out by the UK’s Joint Intelligence Committee, it purports to offer proof that Assad gassed his own people. But aside from the fact that it offers not a shred of proof, it’s also amateurish and clearly put together in a panic.
We…have a limited but growing body of intelligence which supports the judgement that the regime was responsible for the attacks and that they were conducted to help clear the Opposition from strategic parts of Damascus. Some of this intelligence is highly sensitive but you have had access to it all. – UK Joint Intelligence Organisation, 29 August 2013
The ‘intelligence’ report (pdf) is short, barely two pages of text and short not only in size, it’s also short of any real content that backs up the mantra,’Assad, the brutal dictator did it’. Not a single fact is presented. Here are are the relevant ‘proofs’ offered by the JIC’s report:
JIC assessment of 27 August on Reported Chemical Weapons use in DamascusIt is not possible for the opposition to have carried out a CW attack on this scale. The regime has used CW on a smaller scale on at least 14 occasions in the past. There is some intelligence to suggest regime culpability in this attack.
Run this past me again? “It is not possible for the opposition to have carried out a CW attack on this scale”, ergo, it must have been Assad. This is evidence? It’s a pathetic, not to say ludicrous attempt and obviously hastily assembled from thin air. Aside from anything else, it’s just not true, there is definitive proof that the ‘rebels’ had sarin gas.
Then the ‘report’ resorts to using the numerous videos to be found on Youtube as somehow proof that Assad used toxic gas on its citizens but again the videos don’t show who did it, how could they?
Extensive video footage attributed to the attack in eastern Damascus (which we assess would be very difficult to falsify) is consistent with the use of a nerve agent, such as sarin, and is not consistent with the use of blister or riot control agents. – JIC Report
This ‘report’ is pure hokum. After you take away all the padding which constitutes 90% of the document, there’s nothing left except the allegation that because the ‘rebels’ couldn’t have done it, it had to be Assad.
I suspect that the political class here (and in the US) really didn’t expect to have so much trouble convincing people to support more Anglo-Saxon slaughter and got caught off-guard as it were, hence the paucity of the document, rushed out in a few days and aside from an alleged Syrian Army conversation (see below), nothing at all to work with.
Ok, I think I’ve dispensed with the disinfo put out by the UK Cabinet Office, it doesn’t amount to much. But I suppose the time constraints imposed by Cameron jumping the gun, all gung ho to kill some more ‘rag-heads’, forced the Empire’s hand.
The Israeli connection
To understand how this false flag operation got started we need to go back to the first article published on the debkafile website 21 August 2013.
Syrian opposition activists report between 200 and 650 dead and hundreds more wounded in a poison gas strike by Bashar Assad’s forces on rebel-held areas of eastern Damascus. They claim nerve gas canisters were dropped by Syrian Air Force fighter planes which were seen flying over the area after the attack, the most extensive reported till now. Their claim has not been verified. The regime denied the accusation, saying there was “no truth whatsoever” in reports that chemical gas was used near Damascus, and maintaining over state television that the Syrian army was conducting a conventional attack on rebel positions south and east of Damascus. – ’Reported Syrian gas attack killing hundreds after first US-trained rebel incursion from Jordan‘, debkafile, 21 August 2013 (my emph. WB)
The gas attack, according to debka was actually just part of a three-pronged attack (masterminded in Tehran), carried out to counter a major incursion from Jordan, commanded by US personnel, into Syria, in order to extend the Israeli-imposed ‘buffer zone’ between Syria and the occupied Golan Heights.
debkafile reports exclusively that Assad is acting to counter the first organized incursion of US-trained Syrian rebels from Jordan into southern Syria. The first group of 250 rebels, trained in special operations tactics by US and Jordanian instructors, entered Syria Saturday, Aug. 17, armed with weapons of Russian provenance supplied by the US and Saudi Arabia.
They are fighting under US and Jordanian commanders based in the Hashemite Kingdom.
A second group of 300 fighters crossed into Syria from Jordan Monday.
They are linking up with local rebel groups chosen from amongst those with no ties with the jihadist Jabhat al-Nusra (Al Qaeda in Syria).
According to our military sources, the rebel units are advancing at speed along the Syrian-Israeli border. They have forced the Syrian brigades posted there into retreating from positions inside a strip of 1-25 kilometers from the border, and captured the villages of Raihaniya, Breiqa and Beer Ajam.
This tactic has moved the Syrian army back from the area opposite the Israeli Golan, and started marking out a buffer zone between Israeli and Syrian forces in the Horan province.
This Jordan-based rebel offensive was launched shortly after Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint US Chiefs of Staff, visited US forces in Jordan and inaugurated the underground US war room near Amman for commanding the operation in Syria.
Syrian ruler Bashar Assad has more than once declared that if the Syrian capital Damascus came under threat, he would resort to chemical warfare and the entire Middle East including Israel would go up in flames. For now, his army is fighting to keep the rebels from taking control of southern Syria. -ibid
Dragon – sorry Tehran
But by 24 August, the situation had changed and so had debka’s story. Now the poison gas shells were,
…fired from the big Mount Kalmun army base south of Damascus, one of the three repositories of Syria’s chemical weapons. In response to a demand from Moscow last December, Assad collected his chemical assets in three depots. The other two are Dummar, a suburb 5 kilometers outside Damascus, and the Al-Safira air base, west of Aleppo. – ‘The sarin shells fired on Damascus – by Syrian 4th Division’s 155th Brigade – were followed by rockets on Israel and car bombings in Lebanon‘, debkafile, 24 August 2013
And here comes the alleged Iranian connection,
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu commented Thursday, Aug. 22 that Iran is using Syria as its testing ground while closely monitoring international responses to its actions [like gassing hundreds of people?].
The debka piece continues,
debkafile’s military sources affirm that, just as the Assad brothers orchestrated the chemical shell attack on Syrian civilians, so too did Hizballah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah set in motion the rocket attack on Israel.
Then, on Friday night, two car bombs blew up outside Sunni mosques in the northern Lebanese town of Tripoli, killing 42 people and injuring 500.
The triple coordinated outrages added up to a dire warning from Tehran and Damascus about what they have in store for the region, and especially Syria’s neighbors, as payback for foreign intervention in the Syrian civil war. – ibid
Then there’s that conversation…
Then we have the ‘evidence’ leaked separately to Focus magazine in Germany, also from Mossad which I’ve dealt with elsewhere, concerning the alleged Israeli monitoring of Syrian communications. Remember all of this ‘intelligence’ originates with Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency, no matter that it’s repeated by other, Western governments as ‘their’ intelligence.
As I noted before, this monitored communication is interesting because apparently, the Israeli 8200 intelligence unit only started listening after the bombs/missiles had been launched. And why wait three days to inform the world (Focus published the story on the 24 August)? And given that Syria is on a knife edge, why not release these recordings now? (And we are still waiting for the US’ declassified report that we should have had yesterday, the 29 August, why the delay?)
It’s all hearsay; talk of a panicked army officer, the implication being that it was a ‘rogue’ soldier wot did it? No identities, it’s all conveniently left vague. Not exactly a smoking gun. And I think it explains why the political class on both sides of the (polluted) pond are all stirred up and agitated.For once, they’ve not been able to to get their way, yet…
So there we have it, all the essential elements of a false flag operation, initiated by Mossad but with the obvious collusion of the US and possibly even the UK, that used the media to insert the story ‘sideways’, first via debka and Focus, followed by Ynet, the Times of Israel and then the leap across to the UK Guardian and all points West.
But clearly, what started as a military/psyops campaign centred around the Golan Heights and designed to drag Iran into it, rapidly morphed into something far larger, perhaps because whoever was responsible for the carnage, ‘overcooked’ it and killed far too many people? But the change does explain much about the nature of the propaganda campaign and how the story has ‘evolved’.
But the fact that the Empire is not lobbing cruise missiles in Syria’s direction just yet is a temporary victory for the forces of progress. Moreover, I think independent journalism is starting to have some impact on events, perhaps at last we can begin to think about neutralising or effectively countering the MSM and the state’s massive propaganda onslaught, especially if it’s as badly managed as this one has been.
1. It was more than ten years ago when Tony Blair, his spin doctor and MI5 cooked up the Dodgy Dossier that formed the basis for the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.
2. Could this have anything to do with extending the occupied Golan Heights, the illegal drilling for oil by Israel on Syrian territory?
Genie Energy (NYSE: GNE, GNEPRA), said today that the government of Israel has awarded its subsidiary, Genie Israel Oil and Gas, Ltd., an exclusive petroleum exploration license covering 396.5 square kilometers in the Southern portion of the Golan Heights, and look who at who are on the board: Dick Cheney, Rupert Murdoch, and Lord Jacob Rothschild. See: ‘Israel has granted oil exploration rights inside Syria, in the occupied Golan Heights‘ by Craig Murray, Global Research, 21 February 2013
Source: William Bowles
A Growing Precariat Class…
I knew a man whose wife divorced him and who never remarried. He liked women and for the remainder of his life he had affairs with several. His exuberant intentions were good but he was blind to the preferences of the people he intended to help (usually women friends) and they often resisted his plans. He went through life intending to do good deeds that were often barely tolerated.
Public television recently ran a documentary on the Rockefeller family. My friend and the Rockefeller family had a common goal of bettering the lives of others whether they like it or not. David Rockefeller promotes the new world order because he sincerely believes world government benefits mankind. He and other like minded individuals seem to have the power to move their goal forward but they are meeting heavy resistance from multitudes who cherish freedom, hate tyranny and prefer to make their own choices.
Competition is a fitting impetus to a healthy business environment. But competition produces winners and losers. Unfortunately, all men are not created equal. (Jefferson’s claim in the Declaration of Independence notwithstanding). Some men have superior abilities, allowing them an advantage over their fellows. Men who win in the money war become wealthy while losers become relatively poor. The libertarian nature of the early American business culture provided a realistic example of the outcome of free Capitalism. Several families accumulated massive fortunes and were able to shelter their wealth allowing an extended influence on the culture.
John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937). was raised in poverty by a Christian mother. His father was often absent. The family lived in Ohio during the birth of the oil industry. He was an astute competitor who successfully used the freedom of Capitalist system to gain control of a majority of the industry. In spite of government intervention he preserved the family fortune allowing his descendents to wield the power of great wealth through successive generations.
J. P. (John Pierpont) Morgan (1837-1913) was a key recipient of the bounty of Capitalism. A Connecticut banker Morgan gained control over much of the country’s manufacturing base. He formed U. S. Steel Corporation and on at least two occasions (one with Rothschild help) bailed out the U. S. government.
Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) came to the United States from Scotland in his early teens. He was an astute businessman who enjoyed success in several different enterprises. Ultimately he became extremely wealthy by creating the world’s largest steel mill. The mill was finally sold to J. P. Morgan and became a major part of U. S. Steel Corporation.
Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794-1877) was an uneducated farm boy of Dutch and English extraction, his thrifty ways allowed him to prosper by moving goods by steamship around New York City. As the railroads took over the freight moving business he used his profits to invest in the railroads. Though uncouth in manner he was astute in business.
Henry Ford (1863-1947) made his fortune in a later era. He reduced manufacturing costs and made products available to the general population by using an assembly line to mass produce automobiles. Mass production was the crown of the industrial revolution making its benefits available to everyone.
Bill Gates (1955 - ) a contemporary “robber baron” started and nurtured software giant Microsoft into the world’s pre-eminent producer of computer software. He was criticized for his business practices and called before congress but he warded off the government wolves and saved his company. He and his wife Melinda are now busy managing their Foundation. .
Hundreds of fortunes have been made in the United States. These six are well known. All had the advantage of living in times when the conduct of their businesses was largely unencumbered and they could garner great riches from a wealthy nation. They were criticized for cutting prices and buying up competition but both of these practices are legal in a free Capitalist system; they did it better than their competitors.
Corporations and Foundations are stores of wealth and power. They are artificial entities that function as individuals. They can and often do grow into quasi-monopolies that can be controlled with a small percentage of the outstanding stock. Real Estate appreciation and the steep rise in value of hard assets produces riches but the primary source of great wealth is the huge increase in value of the stock of a successful company. Foundations are usually spawned with shares of stock. They depend upon profits from stocks for their income. Stocks are a store of wealth.
Bill Gates became one of the wealthiest men in the world through ownership of stock in Microsoft Corporation, a company he nurtured to greatness. Using that stock he and his wife Melinda have formed the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest in United States and second largest in the world.
The stock market uncouples the cost of a stock from its real value as an ownership unit and allows speculation to determine value. In a bull market a popular stock, as a fractional unit of owner ship, might have a real value of $10.00 but sell on the market for $100.00. Owners of successful business enterprises who retain or purchase large blocks of stock can enjoy a massive increase in wealth that has no relation to value or effort.
We see this principle play out in the price of gasoline. The real cost of oil at the well head might be $10.00 a bbl. but on the commodities market it sells for $100.00. Consumers pay the inflated market price and the well owners enjoy a massive increase in income.
Before the revolution English Corporations had exploited the colonies and in its early years the United States government was wary of corporate power. . For decades, until the Civil War, corporations were strictly regulated.
The Internet page Reclaiming Democracy provides this information:
- Corporate charters (licenses to exist) were granted for a limited time and could be revoked promptly for violating laws.
- Corporations could engage only in activities necessary to fulfill their chartered purpose.
- Corporations could not own stock in other corporations nor own any property that was not essential to fulfilling their chartered purpose.
- Corporations were often terminated if they exceeded their authority or caused public harm.
- Owners and managers were responsible for criminal acts committed on the job.
- Corporations could not make any political or charitable contributions nor spend money to influence law-making.
The Civil War brought an end to restrictions on corporate power. Corporate agents infested both state and federal governments; they bribed officials, enjoyed huge profits, gained limited liability, more autonomy, and extended charters. The corporate demon was loosed!
Most Americans know of Foundations but few know much about them. Foundations are tax-free instruments that allow the winners of the money war to protect their wealth from taxation and exert some control over how it is used According to “The Non-Profit Times” private foundations have at least four characteristics:
- It is a charitable organization and thus subject to the rules applicable to charities generally;
- Its financial support came from one source, usually an individual, family, or company;
- Its annual expenditures are funded out of earnings from investment assets, rather than from an ongoing flow of contributions; and,
- It makes grants to other organizations for charitable purposes, rather than to its own programs
Foundations have few restrictions. They are not dogged by the media or overseen by congress. Wealthy donors are seldom confronted by elected officials who might at some point seek their donations.
Billions of dollars are sheltered by Foundations and the income earned is frequently used to support an elite agenda. The world is often impacted and sometimes altered by the organizations these Foundations support but people are usually unaware of the source of the change. Foundations are big supporters of world government; they supported the Feminist Movement and donate heavily to woman’s rights, the homosexual agenda enjoys large grants, as does Planned Parenthood, there are also big efforts to influence other nations. The Global Fund for women is a relatively new foundation but their U. S. giving provides a glimpse of the humanist agenda supported by the Foundation culture.
Writing in “Intelligence and National Security” (Vol. 18, No. 2, 2003) Valerie Aubourg contends that the Bilderberg meetings were organized by European Elites with help from American sources as well as the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation and the CIA.
The Foundation Center lists some past foundation grants, “dissidents and intellectuals in Eastern Europe in the 1970s and 1980s, funded legal challenges to apartheid in South Africa starting in the 1970s, and helped human rights groups in Latin America in the 1970s and 80s. Foundations supported work on AIDS at home and abroad when those with the disease were stigmatized; they pushed for public policies to address climate change when the U.S. federal government denied there was a problem of global warming; and they established a dialogue with Iran when the U.S. and Iranian governments were not talking directly to each other. Building on the early vision and practice of Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Ford, today’s foundation leaders see these problems in global, not just American terms; seek to address them on a worldwide scale; and directed considerable resources around the world to that end.”
In the Washington Post, Michael McFaul, a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institute, describes Foundation interventions: “Did Americans meddle in the internal affairs of Ukraine? Yes. The American agents of influence would prefer different language to describe their activities — democratic assistance, democracy promotion, civil society support, etc. — but their work, however labeled, seeks to influence political change in Ukraine. The U.S. Agency for International Development, the National Endowment for Democracy and a few other foundations sponsored certain U.S. organizations, including Freedom House, the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute, the Solidarity Center, the Eurasia Foundation, Internews and several others to provide small grants and technical assistance to Ukrainian civil society. The European Union, individual European countries and the Soros-funded International Renaissance Foundation did the same.”
Large amounts of U. S. Foundation money go to organizations located in Switzerland and England. Open the link, (wait for it to load) click on Switzerland and England and note the number of grants to International organizations. While American citizens sign petitions and hold rallies, powerful U. S. Foundations often finance the programs concerned citizens groups are trying to prevent.
The Rockefeller Foundation is one of three funds supported by the Rockefeller family. The other two are The Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Rockefeller Family Fund. The Rockefellers are famous for supporting studies on Eugenics. here and here They are also big supporters of Globalism and according to Andrew Gavin Marshall one of the most powerful families in the world. He describes the breadth of Rockefeller influence: “Initially through the Standard Oil empire, which was broken up into corporations we now know as ExxonMobil, Chevron and others, Rockefeller influence was prominent in universities (notably the University of Chicago and Harvard), in finance, with Chase Manhattan Bank (now JPMorgan Chase), in the creation and maintenance of major foundations (Rockefeller Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Rockefeller Family Fund) and in the establishment and leadership of major think tanks (Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, Bilderberg), all of which created access to political and social power that shaped institutions, ideologies and individuals on a vast scale.”
The Financial Times reported in May of 2012,”Two of the best-known business dynasties in Europe and the US will come together after Lord Jacob Rothschild’s listed investment trust and Rockefeller Financial Services agreed to form a strategic partnership, with the Rothschild-owned RIT Capital Partners purchasing a 37% stake in the Rockefeller family’s ‘wealth advisory and asset management group.’This ‘transatlantic union’, noted the Financial Times, ‘brings together David Rockefeller, 96, and Lord Rothschild, 76 – two family patriarchs whose personal relationship spans five decades.’”
I could not find a Foundation for the descendents of J. P. Morgan but Jamie Dimon, CEO of J. P. Morgan Chase, the world’s largest bank ($13 trillion assets), describes their current philosophy this way, “Diversity is a cornerstone of our global corporate culture, and we continue to build upon it by: Linking management rewards to progress in achieving diversity; identifying top talent and building development plans accordingly; seeking a diverse slate of candidates for all key job openings; building a pipeline for diverse talent by working closely with universities and key industry groups; actively involving our people – through employee networking groups, annual forums, open discussions with senior leaders, seeking input on multicultural marketing efforts, and partnering on community activities; and, offering a comprehensive set of policies, programs and benefits to meet the changing needs of a wide spectrum of individuals”
The Carnegie Foundation lists many of its recipients in this database: Most of the big Foundations support world peace and feminism. Many make donations to the Council on Foreign Relations and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The boards of directors of the large foundations and the major international corporations are made up of individuals who know each other, have a common agenda and often serve together on more than one board.
I did not find a contemporary Foundation for the Vanderbilt Family. The Vanderbilt fortune suffered losses during the Twentieth Century but the family is still prominent; Gloria Vanderbilt and her son, Anderson Cooper, are well known descendents.
The Ford Foundation has an interesting history. John J. McCloy became president of the Ford Foundation in 1954. McCloy, a consummate insider, used the foundation as a cover for CIA agents making it almost a subsidiary of the U. S. Government. Henry Ford exposed the Talmudist Jewish conspiracy and when the Foundation gave some support to the Palestinians it was excoriated as an anti-Semitic organization. It repented and ceased supporting Paletinian causes. The Ford Foundation provides serious support for National Public Radio and like many others it helps finance the Council on Foreign Relations. Both the Rockefeller Family Fund and the Ford Foundation support the Third Wave Foundation, a fast growing, fifteen year old organization that “supports young people creating new models of leadership that strengthen community efforts to resist oppression and ensure justice, that are led by and for young women, transgender, and gender non-conforming youth and queer youth of color.”
Please take time to click on the Foundation links and look over the recipients of grants. A short study will help you understand the nature of the organizations they support. Foundations hold billions of dollars in assets. The common interests of those that control these assets allow them to support programs outside and sometimes against the governments of the nations of the world. Not only can they go around governments but they can and often do control them. They are a powerful force for the privileged one percent.
The addiction to wealth often culminates in a quest for power. This hunger to control has become more evident in the Twenty-First Century as the world’s neo-Feudal Lords have begun to exert their power for world dominance in the public realm. They have succeeded in gaining control of the world’s most powerful nation and are using it to insert their tentacles into all corners of the Globe. The theft of knowledge has succeeded through control of public education and the theft of wealth is well underway. Failure to curtail the centralization of power has exposed the world to the domination of an amoral, cruel and Godless oligarchy that is well on the way to enslaving mankind.
World corporations have become fewer and fewer and bigger and bigger. International corporations benefit from globalization by acquiring multiple new marketing opportunities. Wealthy corporations and foundations exert influence on the governments of the nations of the world. Their leaders are members of the secret elite groups that meet and determine policy. So far David Rockefeller’s dreams are progressing at a formidable rate.
It is not unusual for Christians to ignore significant scriptures. The Law of the Sabbath Year has been significantly neglected for centuries. It is doubtful that even ancient Israel practiced it properly. The Bible describes the year of Jubilee like this: “You shall thus consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim a release through the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family.” Land is to be returned to its original owners, debts are to be forgiven, and slaves are to be freed!
God created the world in six days and on the seventh day He rested. Sunday, the Sabbath, is a day of rest. God also applies this principle to years. We are to plant and harvest for six consecutive years and on the seventh year the land is to lay fallow. Jubilee is to be celebrated in the year following seven Sabbaths of years – the fiftieth year.
There are several important principles contained in the 25th Chapter of Leviticus: God makes a distinction between the people He has chosen and others. He supports competition but does not want permanent, burgeoning inequities of wealth among His people. Benevolent slavery is condoned but His people are to be freed at jubilee. Foreigners do not enjoy the provisions of jubilee. They can be used as slaves until their debts are paid. Usury is forbidden among God’s people but not among foreigners.
Erroneous interpretations of scripture often nullify important principles. Arminianism and modern methods of evangelism urge people to choose God destroying the Biblical doctrine of selection. God’s chosen people are granted legal benefits that are lost in the doctrine of universal atonement. The Bible teaches that Christians are a chosen people who have special legal rights that are not afforded to others.
Jubilee is God’s remedy for the inordinate accumulation of wealth and power. It is a resource to correct the inequities that develop in a competitive society without depending on the arbitrary, emotion driven policies of frivolous politicians.
Today, in the United States the disparity between the wealthy and the remainder of our population is greater than ever before. One percent of our population own 40 percent of the nation’s wealth. Turn on your speakers, watch and listen to this video. The Middle Class is being destroyed and a permanent underclass is growing. In the 1970s the upper 1 percent received 8 percent of the nation’s income, in 2010 that figure had risen to 21 percent. The 400 wealthiest Americans own more than the bottom 150 million. According to Andrew Gavin Marshall almost all of the wealth gains over the previous decade went to the top 1%. In the mid-1970s, the top 1% earned 8% of all national income; this number rose to 21% by 2010.
We have ignored the Word of God and are in the process of suffering the consequences. God provided The Law of Jubilee to protect His people from human tyranny. There is a righteous way of rectifying the imbalance of wealth that results from a competitive economy. God’s Law always trumps the imagination of His creatures.
Christians are often described as followers of Jesus. This definition is inadequate because Jesus is a servant to His Father. He sits on the right hand of His father and judges the world. Those who truly follow Jesus follow the Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. This concept brings the entire Bible into focus and sets up legal standards for Christian behavior.
“To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.” – - Voltaire (1694-1778)
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.
In the 21st century the two hundred year-old propaganda that the American people control their government has been completely shattered. Both the Bush and Obama regimes have made it unmistakenly clear that the American people don’t even influence, much less control, the government. As far as Washington is concerned, the people are nothing but chaff in the wind.
Polls demonstrate that 65% of the US population opposes US intervention in Syria. Despite this clear indication of the people’s will, the Obama regime is ramping up a propaganda case for more arming of Washington’s mercenaries sent to overthrow the secular Syrian government and for a “no-fly zone” over Syria, which, if Libya is the example, means US or NATO aircraft attacking the Syrian army on the ground, thus serving as the air force of Washington’s imported mercenaries, euphemistically called “the Syrian rebels.”
Washington declared some time ago that the “red line” that would bring Syria under Washington’s military attack was the Assad government’s use of chemical weapons of mass destruction against Washington’s mercenaries. Once this announcement was made, everyone with a brain immediately knew that Washington would fabricate false intelligence that Assad had used chemical weapons, just as Washington presented to the United Nations the intentional lie via Secretary of State Colin Powell that Saddam Hussein in Iraq had dangerous weapons of mass destruction. Remember National Security Advisor Condi Rice’s image of a “mushroom cloud over American cities?” Propagandistic lies were Washington’s orders of the day.
And they still are. Now Washington has fabricated the false intelligence, and president obama has announced it with a straight face, that Syria’s Assad has used sarin gas on several occasions and that between 100 and 150 “of his own people,” a euphemism for the US supplied foreign mercenaries, have been killed by the weapon of mass destruction.
Think about that for a minute. As unfortunate as is any death from war, is 100-150 deaths “mass destruction?” According to low-ball estimates, the US-sponsored foreign mercenary invasion of Syria has cost 93,000 lives, of which 150 deaths amounts to 0.0016.
In other words, 92,850 of the deaths did not cross the “red line.” But 150 did, allegedly.
Yes, I know. Washington’s position makes no sense. But when has it ever made any sense?
Let’s stretch our minds just a tiny bit farther. Assad knows about Washington’s “red line.” It has been repeated over and over in order to create in the minds of the distracted American public that there is a real, valid reason for attacking Syria. Why would Assad use the proscribed weapons of mass destruction in order to kill a measly 100-150 mercenaries when his army is mopping up the US mercenaries without the use of gas and when Assad knows that the use of gas brings in the US military against him?
As the Russian government made clear, Washington’s accusation is not believable. No informed person could possibly believe it. No doubt, many Americans wearing patriotism on their sleeves will fall for Washington’s latest lie, but no one else in the world will. Even Washington’s NATO puppets calling for attacking Syria know that the justification for the attack is a lie. For the NATO puppets, Washington’s money overwhelms integrity, for which the rewards are low.
The Russians certainly know that Washington is lying. The Russian Foreign Minister Larov said: “The [Assad] government, as the opposition is saying openly, is enjoying military success on the ground. The [Assad] regime isn’t driven to the wall. What sense is there for the regime to use chemical arms–especially in such small amounts.”
Larov is a relatively civilized person in the role of Russia’s main diplomat. However, other Russian officials can be more pointed in their dismissal of Washington’s latest blatant lies. Yury Ushakov, an aide to Russian President Putin said: “The Americans tried to present us with information on the use of chemical weapons by the [Assad] regime, but frankly we thought that it was not convincing. We wouldn’t like to invoke references to [the infamous lies of] Secretary of State Powell [at the UN alleging Iraqi WMD], but the facts don’t look convincing in our eyes.” Aleksey Pushkov, the chairman of the Russian Duma’s Foreign Affairs Committee, cut to the chase. “The data about Assad’s use of chemical weapons is fabricated by the same facility that made up the lies about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction. Obama is walking George W. Bush’s path.”
Here in America no one will ever hear straight talk like this from the US presstitutes.
Orwellian double-speak is now the language of the United States government. Secretary of State john kerry condemned Assad for harming “peace talks” while the US arms its Syrian mercenaries.
Washington’s double-speak is now obvious to the world. Not only Assad, but also the Russians, Chinese, Iranians, and every US puppet state which includes all of NATO and Japan, are fully aware that Washington is again lying through its teeth. The Russians, Chinese, and Iranians are trying to avoid confrontation with Washington, as war with the modern nuclear weapons would destroy all life on planet earth. What is striking is that despite 24/7 brainwashing by the presstitutes, a large majority of the American population opposes obama’s war on Syria.
This is good news. It means more Americans are developing the ability to think independently of the lies Washington feeds to them.
What the neocon nazis, the bush/obama regime, and the presstitute media have made clear is that Washington is going to push its agenda of world hegemony to the point of starting World War III, which, of course, means the end of life on earth.
Russia and China, either one of which can destroy the United States, have learned that the US government is a liar and cannot be trusted. The Libyan “no-fly” policy to which Russia and China agreed turned out to be a NATO air attack on the Libyan army so that the CIA-sponsored mercenaries could prevail.
Russia and China, having learned their lesson, are protesting Washington’s assault on Syria that Washington pretends is a “civil war.” If Syria falls, Russia and China know that Iran is next.
Iran is Russia’s underbelly, and for China Iran is 20% of its energy imports. Both Russian and Chinese governments know that after Iran falls, they are next. There is no other explanation for Washington surrounding Russia with missile bases and surrounding China with naval and air bases.
Both Russia and China are now preparing for the war that they see as inevitable. Washington’s crazed, demented drive for world hegemony is bringing unsuspecting Americans up against two countries with hydrogen bombs whose combined population is five times the US population. In such a conflict everyone dies.
Considering the utterly insane government ruling in Washington, if human life exists in 2020, it will be a miracle. All the worry about future Medicare and Social Security deficits is meaningless. There will be no one here to collect the benefits.
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. His latest book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is now available.
Source: Paul Craig Roberts
Why did Saddam Hussein stay in Iraq? There was every motive to leave. He had seen what happened to leaders who attempt to withstand the corporate interests who are looking for an opportunity to loot a country. While John Perkins had not yet written his book, “Confessions of an Economic Hitman,” he knew the score. He could never withstand an invasion by America. He was not suicidal. He had gotten his start as a hire for the CIA and knew what was poised to happen to him, his family, and his nation.
Cast you mind back to those dark days when we were reeling, the images of towers falling from the sky still engraved on our retinas.
Voices were being raised in objection and silenced.
Look over the time line appearing in Mother Jones, September/October 2006 Issue, titled, “Lie by Lie: A Timeline of How We Got Into Iraq,” by Jonathan Stein and Tim Dickinson.
The war against Iraq began June, 2002, with intense bombing. The U. S. military flew 21,736 sorties and attacked 349 targets between June and the official start of the war in 2003.
Bombing is an act of war.
Rove, Cheney, and the Bush Administration, thwarted with the lack of evidence Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11, falsified evidence of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Reports by debunked sources, specifically Curveball, who is known to be unreliable, are treated as trusted sources.
Every conceivable action is taken to suppress the truth and allow the spin campaign, which began as the White House Iraq Group in August of 2002. This included, Rove, Libby, Rice, as well as Karen Hughes and Mary Matalin.
Cheney personally lied, over and over again, to get Congress to acquiesce, to the media and to the public.
The Administration knew they were manufacturing, spinning, to start a war even while Saddam Hussein was offering to allow UN inspectors in (September 18, 2002) and all reports from returning CIA moles affirmed Saddam had abandoned WMD programs. This information is buried in the CIA bureaucracy.
Anything which disagrees with the drive for war in Iraq is suppressed. Lies, ‘sexing up,’ reports, are reported publicly.
The use of torture has been rationalized and is being used, despite the Geneva Conventions and Protocols on Human Rights and the Conduct of Hostilities.
The Bush Administration is, collectively, behaving like a bunch of chimps working themselves up to violence, to a person, ignoring their actions are, effectively, converting a nation dedicated to individual freedom and human rights into its antitheses.
One September 26, 2002, during a Rose Garden speech, Bush said, “”The Iraqi regime possesses biological and chemical weapons.”" The same day, during a speech in Houston Bush said of Saddam, “After all, this is a guy who tried to kill my dad.”
Two days later Bush said in his address to nation: ”‘The Iraqi regime possesses biological and chemical weapons, is rebuilding the facilities to make more, and, according to the British government, could launch a biological or chemical attack in as little as 45 minutes after the order is given.”‘
In an ominous foreshadowing of what was to come, Bush delivered a speech on October 7, 2002, in which he stated, “‘Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof—the smoking gun—that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.”‘ Today we know effective deployment of drone technology was far beyond anything available to anyone – but the U. S.
Battered and intimidated, on October 11th, “Congress—including all serious Democratic contenders—votes to grant Bush power to go to war.” On November 5th, control of the Congress moved to the GOP. The campaign of lies, using fear and their love of country, had allowed the ongoing theft of elections by Karl Rove to work again.
On November 10th the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1441 offering Iraq ‘”a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations.”” Iraq immediately agreed and UN weapons inspectors returned.
Saddam Hussein would have known of every comment and been forced to consider his options. His country was being hammered by bombs, his plans to sell oil to partners other than the U. S. were, therefore stymied. It would be a compelling reality for him to consider an exit strategy at this point.
Only one event could now stop the War in Iraq from going forward, for Saddam to offer to leave Iraq. Given his options, this would have been the only safe thing for him to do. All previous events, now clear to us and documented, show he was being set up. His very life, and those of his family members, were on the line.
Saddam made just this offer in November of 2002.
Clearly, the Bush Administration would ignore this request. Saddam, therefore, made contact with the previous administration. The Clintons, through their associate Sidney Blumenthal, former White House and his son, Max, pulled out all of the stops to ensure the one event which could derail plans to invade Iraq.
The offer was made by Saddam, via email, through Max Blumenthal, this forwarded on to his father. With the Clintons assurances, they were able to persuade Saddam to stay in Iraq.
Sidney was then unaware his computer had been hacked. A keylogger was sending his emails to another party, who reported this to the CIA. The same party then found themselves subject to a barrage of harassment and threats beginning as the Iraqi Invasion began.
How much was it worth to keep Saddam in place? Could pay-offs have been made to ensure the cooperation, and silence, of the Clintons and Blumenthals?
According to a Los Angeles Times article, titled, “Clintons disclose wealth,”published April 05, 2008| written by Peter Nicholas, Robin Fields and Dan Morain,when the Clinton’s left the White House, “in January 2001, they (The Clintons) had amassed more than $11 million in legal debts, incurred during investigations into the Whitewater controversy and the former president’s affair with Monica S. Lewinsky.” Within the next year or so their, “returns show that the family’s annual income shot up after her husband left the White House, rising from $358,000 in 2000 to $16 million a year later, when Bill Clinton listed his occupation as “speaking and writing.” “
Sidney Blumenthal also left the White House in less than prosperous financial condition. The cause was also a law suit stemming from elements of the NeoCon cabal which went into the White House in 2001.
In 1997, Blumenthal had filed a $30 million libel lawsuit against Internet blogger Matt Drudge and AOL, Drudge’s employer, because of a false claim Drudge made of spousal abuse.
In fact, the article was the brain child of Drudge and John Fund, then still on the Editorial Board of the Wall Street Journal. Drudge had attributed the story to “top GOP sources.” Drudge later retracted the story.
Drudge publicly apologized to the Blumenthals and the lawsuit was dropped with Blumenthal, who, ironically, settled by making a small payment to Drudge over a missed deposition.
In his book, The Clinton Wars, Blumenthal claimed he was forced to settle because he could no longer financially afford the suit, which had proven to be expensive. Drudge, who was guilty, had managed to receive support from both solicitations, claiming he was being harassed, and likely from operatives working for the NeoCons.
Saddam’s actions, in offering to leave, were entirely predictable.
Soliciting support from the Clintons, by the Bush White House, resulted a cooperative relationship between the former and then president which was mutually beneficial, ending any threat from the Clintons and sealing them into a role within the power elite, which they continue to enjoy today.
Has Syria crossed the “red line” that warrants a U.S. military invasion? Has it not? The political establishment in the United States seems at odds over itself. Obama’s government cannot speak with one voice on the issue, and the U.S. media is likewise spewing from both sides of its mouth in an attempt to reconcile U.S. foreign policy with that most stubborn of annoyances, truth.
“The White House said on Thursday that American intelligence agencies now believed, with “varying degrees of confidence,” that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons…”
Immediately afterwards, Obama’s Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, gave a blunt rebuke: “Suspicions are one thing; evidence is another.”
This disunity mirrored the recent disagreement that Chuck Hagel had with Obama’s Secretary of State, John Kerry, when both testified in front of Congress with nearly opposite versions of what was happening in Syria and how the U.S. should respond. Kerry was a cheerleader for intervention while Hagel — the military’s mouthpiece — advised caution.
The U.S. government’s internal squabbling over whether the Syrian government used chemical weapons is really an argument on whether the U.S. should invade Syria, since Obama claimed that any use of chemical weapons was a “red line” that, if crossed, would invoke an American military response. Never mind that Obama’s “red line” rhetoric was stolen from the mouth of Bush Jr., who enjoyed saying all kinds of similarly stupid things to sound tough.
But now Obama’s Bushism must be enforced, say the politicians, less the U.S. look weak by inaction. This seemingly childish argument is in fact very compelling among the U.S. political establishment, who view foreign policy only in terms of military power. If Syria is not frightened into submission by U.S. military threats, then Iran and other countries might follow suit and do as they please and U.S. “influence” would wane. Only a “firm response” can stop this domino effect from starting.This type of logic is the basis for the recent Syria chemical weapons accusations, which was conjured up by the U.S. “Intelligence” service (CIA) and its British and Israeli counterparts (the same people who “proved” that Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction, which later proved to be a fabricated lie). All three of these countries’ intelligence agencies simply announced that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons, provided zero evidence, and then let their respective nations’ media run with the story, which referred to the baseless accusations as “mounting evidence.”
In the real world it appears that the U.S.-backed Syrian rebels are the ones responsible for having used chemical weapons against the Syrian government. It was the Syrian government who initially accused the U.S.-backed rebels of using chemical weapons, and asked the UN to investigate the attack. This triggered the Syrian rebels and later the Obama administration to accuse the Syrian government of the attack.
A very revealing New York Times article quoted U.S.-backed Syrian rebels admitting that the chemical weapons attack took place in a Syrian government controlled territory and that 16 Syrian government soldiers died as a result of the attack, along with 10 civilians plus a hundred more injured. But the rebels later made the absurd claim that the Syrian government accidentally bombed its own military with the chemical weapons.
Interestingly, the Russian government later accused the United States of trying to stall the UN investigation requested by the Syrian government, by insisting that the parameters of the investigation be expanded to such a degree that a never-ending discussion over jurisdiction and rules would eventually abort the investigation.
Complicating the U.S.’ stumbling march to war against Syria is the fact that the only effective U.S.-backed rebel forces are Islamist extremists, the best fighters of which have sworn allegiance to Al-Qaeda. The same week that the U.S. media was screaming about chemical weapons, The NewYork Times actually published a realistic picture of the U.S.-backed Syrian rebels, which warrants extended quotes:
“Across Syria, rebel-held areas are dotted with Islamic courts staffed by lawyers and clerics, and by fighting brigades led by extremists. Even the Supreme Military Council, the umbrella rebel organization whose formation the West had hoped would sideline radical groups, is stocked with commanders who want to infuse Islamic law into a future Syrian government.”
“Nowhere in rebel-controlled Syria is there a secular fighting force to speak of.”
“The Islamist character of the [rebel] opposition reflects the main constituency of the rebellion…The religious agenda of the combatants sets them apart from many civilian activists, protesters and aid workers who had hoped the uprising would create a civil, democratic Syria.”
Thus, yet another secular Middle Eastern government — after Iraq and Libya — is being pushed into the abyss of Islamist extremism, and the shoving is being done by the United States, which The NewYork Times discovered was funneling thousands of tons of weapons into Syria through U.S. allies in the region, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. We now know that these weapons were given to the Islamist extremists; directly or indirectly, it doesn’t matter.
Even after this U.S.-organized weapons trafficking was uncovered, the Obama administration still has the nerve to say that the U.S. is only supplying “non lethal” aid to the Syrian rebels. Never mind that many of the guns that the U.S. is transporting into Syria from its allies were sold to the allies by the United States, where the weapons were manufactured.Now, many politicians are demanding that Obama institute a “no fly zone” in Syria, a euphemism for military invasion — one country cannot enforce a no fly zone inside another country without first destroying the enemy Air Force, not to mention its surface to air missiles, etc. We saw in Libya that a no fly zone quickly evolved into a full scale invasion, which would happen again in Syria, with the difference being that Syria has a more powerful army with more sophisticated weaponry, not to mention powerful allies — Iran and Russia.
This is the real reason that the U.S. military is not aligned with the Obama administration over Syria. Such a war would be incredibly risky, and inevitably lead to a wider conflict that would engulf an already war-drenched region, creating yet more “terrorists” who would like to attack the United States.
The U.S. public has learned the lessons of Iraq’s WMD’s, and that lesson is not lost on U.S. soldiers, few of whom want to fight another war for oil against a country which is a zero-threat to the United States.
What’s ongoing now bears eerie resemblance to events preceding Bush’s Iraq war. Obama’s replicating a familiar scenario.
Waging war requires a pretext to do so. When none exists, it’s invented. It’s easy. Lies substitute for truth. Claims about Syria using chemical weapons don’t wash. Repetition gets people to believe them. We’ve seen it all before.
Colin Power’s infamous February 5, 2003 Security Council speech led to war. It was shameless deception. Later he admitted WMD claims were false. It was too late to matter.
Plans were set. The die was cast. Weeks later, America bombed, invaded and occupied Iraq. The cradle of civilization was destroyed. No WMDs existed. It was well-known but ignored. More on that below.
Powell lied claiming them. US media scoundrels repeated what demanded renunciation. A New York Times editorial headlined “The Case Against Iraq,” saying:
“Secretary of State Colin Powell presented the United Nations and a global television audience yesterday with the most powerful case to date that Saddam Hussein stands in defiance of Security Council resolutions and has no intention of revealing or surrendering whatever unconventional weapons he may have.”
A (no longer available online) Washington Post editorial headlined “Irrefutable,” saying:
“….it is hard to imagine how anyone could doubt that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction.”
Months later, a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace report titled “WMD in Iraq: Evidence and Implications” said the Bush administration “systematically misrepresented the threat from Iraq’s WMD and ballistic missile programs.”
Asked about the report, Powell stood by his Security Council testimony, saying:
“I am confident of what I presented last year. The intelligence community is confident of the material they gave me. I was representing them.”
“It was information they presented to the Congress. It was information they had presented publicly and they stand behind it, and this game is still unfolding.”
Powell’s speech was bald-faced deception. He willfully lied, saying:
“The material I will present to you comes from a variety of sources. Some are US sources. And some are those of other countries.”
“Some of the sources are technical, such as intercepted telephone conversations and photos taken by satellites. Other sources are people who have risked their lives to let the world know what Saddam Hussein is really up to.”
“….Iraq’s behavior show(s) that Saddam Hussein and his regime are concealing their efforts to produce more weapons of mass destruction.”
“We also have satellite photos that indicate that banned materials have recently been moved from a number of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction facilities.”
“The Iraqis have never accounted for all of the biological weapons they admitted they had and we know they had. They have never accounted for all the organic material used to make them.”
“And they have not accounted for many of the weapons filled with these agents such as there are 400 bombs. This is evidence, not conjecture. This is true. This is all well-documented.”
He claimed Saddam stockpiled “between 100 and 500 tons of chemical weapons agents.” He added that “(t)here can be no doubt that (he) has biological weapons and the capability to rapidly produce more, many more.”
In August 1995, Saddam’s son-in-law, Hussein Kamel, defected to the West. He headed Iraq’s weapons programs. US intelligence officials debriefed him. He said “All weapons – biological, chemical, missile and nuclear were destroyed….Nothing remained.”
The New York Times and other US media sources reported his comments.
CNN’s Brent Sadler asked him: “Can you state here and now – does Iraq still to this day hold weapons of mass destruction?”
He responded: “No. Iraq does not possess any weapons of mass destruction. I am being completely honest about this.”
In the run-up to March 2003, media misinformation replaced earlier headlines. It’s standard practice. It repeating again now. Obama appears heading for full-scale war on Syria.
Big lies launch wars. In “The Art of War,” Sun Tzu said “All war is based on deception.” Fear, misinformation and duplicity enlist public support. Naked aggression is called humanitarian intervention.
Libya 2.0 looms. Fabricating chemical weapons use looks like pretext for full-scale war. Secretary of State John Kerry claims Syria launched two chemical weapons attacks.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said using them “violates every convention of warfare.”
On April 25, the Los Angeles Times headlined “US lawmakers call for action on Syria’s chemical weapons,” saying:
They want quick action.
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D. CA) warned that without decisive action, “President Assad may calculate he has nothing more to lose.” He might “further escalate this conflict.”
“It is clear that ‘red lines’ have been crossed and action must be taken to prevent larger scale use,” she added. “Syria has the ability to kill tens of thousands with its chemical weapons.”
Senator John McCain (R. AZ) said “(i)t’s pretty obvious the red line has been crossed.”
Rep. Adam Schiff (D. CA) believes Assad’s testing the international community. “The administration has said (chemical weapons use is) a game changer, but it’s not clear what that new game will look like.”
“I think it is incumbent on the international community to take strong action.”
A same day LA Times editorial headlined “A ‘red line’ on Syria,” saying:
“If the Assad regime has indeed used chemical weapons, the US must honor its commitment to act.”
“(U)se of chemical weapons would represent a reckless escalation of Assad’s war on his own people.”
“Yes, the president must be sure before he acts; but if it is proved that Assad has crossed the ‘red line,’ Obama must respond.”
Chicago Tribune editors headlined “The pink line,” asking: “If Assad used chemical weapons, what will Obama do?”
He “drew a clear red line last August….(He) ‘put together a range of contingency plans,’ but he didn’t spell them out.”
“Now there’s mounting, though not yet conclusive, evidence that if Assad hasn’t stormed across that red line, he may be tiptoeing on it.”
Tribune editors want more decisive action. “We’ve long argued that the US should directly arm the rebels.”
Operating covertly from southern Turkey, CIA operatives have been doing it all along. It’s handled through a network of intermediaries. Weapons are also entering from Lebanon, Jordan and Israel.
Tribune editors urge more. Impose a no-fly zone “to ground Assad’s air force.” Doing so is an act of war.
“(B)omb access roads where chemical weapons are transported, to make moving (them) difficult if not impossible.”
Bombing anywhere assures doing it everywhere considered strategically important. Tribune editors urge war. They’re not alone.
On April 25, Wall Street Journal editors headlined “Chemical Weapons and Consequences: Syria calls President Obama’s bluff on WMD,” saying:
“As President of the United States, I don’t bluff,” said Obama.
He “famously said (it) in March 2012, warning Iranian leaders that he would not allow them to acquire nuclear weapons.”
Last month he said:
“I’ve made it clear to Bashar al-Assad and all who follow his orders: We will not tolerate the use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people, or the transfer of those weapons to terrorists.”
“The world is watching; we will hold you accountable.”
“Or not,” said Journal editors. “Israel will have to consider its own military options to secure the stockpiles if the US won’t act….”
“Presidents who are exposed as bluffers tend to have their bluff called again and again, with ever more dangerous consequences.”
Official accusations are familiar. So is heated rhetoric that follows. Obama heads closer to full-scale intervention. Reports say around 20,000 US troops will be deployed in Jordan.
On April 26, Obama hosted Jordan’s King Abdullah II in Washington. Perhaps they discussed invasion plans.
A Final Comment
While meeting with King Abdullah, Obama stopped short of saying Assad crossed a “red line.” Earlier he warned doing so would unleash “unspecified consequences.” Likely he meant direct US intervention.
“Horrific as it is when mortars are being fired on civilians and people are being indiscriminately killed, to use potential weapons of mass destruction on civilian populations crosses another line with respect to international norms and international law,” he told reporters.
“That is going to be a game changer. We have to act prudently.”
“We have to make these assessments deliberately. But I think all of us….recognize how we cannot stand by and permit the systematic use of weapons like chemical weapons on civilian populations.”
Sorting things out requires “increased urgency,” he stressed.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said “(h)e retains all options to respond.” Further reports will explain more.
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.”http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html 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. It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening. http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hourhttp://www.dailycensored.com/the-bush-legacy/
Would you believe that the United States tried to do something that was not nice against Hugo Chávez?
In a secret US cable to the State Department, dated November 9, 2006, and recently published online by WikiLeaks, former US ambassador to Venezuela, William Brownfield, outlines a comprehensive plan to destabilize the government of the late President Hugo Chávez. The cable begins with a Summary:
During his 8 years in power, President Chavez has systematically dismantled the institutions of democracy and governance. The USAID/OTI program objectives in Venezuela focus on strengthening democratic institutions and spaces through non-partisan cooperation with many sectors of Venezuelan society.
USAID/OTI = United States Agency for International Development/Office of Transition Initiatives. The latter is one of the many euphemisms that American diplomats use with each other and the world – They say it means a transition to “democracy”. What it actually means is a transition from the target country adamantly refusing to cooperate with American imperialist grand designs to a country gladly willing (or acceding under pressure) to cooperate with American imperialist grand designs.
OTI supports the Freedom House (FH) “Right to Defend Human Rights” program with $1.1 million. Simultaneously through Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI), OTI has also provided 22 grants to human rights organizations.
Freedom House is one of the oldest US government conduits for transitioning to “democracy”; to a significant extent it equates “democracy” and “human rights” with free enterprise. Development Alternatives Inc. is the organization that sent Alan Gross to Cuba on a mission to help implement the US government’s operation of regime change.
OTI speaks of working to improve “the deteriorating human rights situation in” Venezuela. Does anyone know of a foreign government with several millions of dollars to throw around who would like to improve the seriously deteriorating human rights situation in the United States? They can start with the round-the-clock surveillance and the unconscionable entrapment of numerous young “terrorists” guilty of thought crimes.
“OTI partners are training NGOs [non-governmental organizations] to be activists and become more involved in advocacy.”
Now how’s that for a self-given license to fund and get involved in any social, economic or political activity that can sabotage any program of the Chávez government and/or make it look bad? The US ambassador’s cable points out that:
OTI has directly reached approximately 238,000 adults through over 3000 forums, workshops and training sessions delivering alternative values and providing opportunities for opposition activists to interact with hard-core Chavistas, with the desired effect of pulling them slowly away from Chavismo. We have supported this initiative with 50 grants totaling over $1.1 million.
“Another key Chavez strategy,” the cable continues, “is his attempt to divide and polarize Venezuelan society using rhetoric of hate and violence. OTI supports local NGOs who work in Chavista strongholds and with Chavista leaders, using those spaces to counter this rhetoric and promote alliances through working together on issues of importance to the entire community.”
This is the classical neo-liberal argument against any attempt to transform a capitalist society – The revolutionaries are creating class conflict. But of course, the class conflict was already there, and nowhere more embedded and distasteful than in Latin America.
OTI funded 54 social projects all over the country, at over $1.2 million, allowing [the] Ambassador to visit poor areas of Venezuela and demonstrate US concern for the Venezuelan people. This program fosters confusion within the Bolivarian ranks, and pushes back at the attempt of Chavez to use the United States as a ‘unifying enemy.’
One has to wonder if the good ambassador (now an Assistant Secretary of State) placed any weight or value at all on the election and re-election by decisive margins of Chávez and the huge masses of people who repeatedly filled the large open squares to passionately cheer him. When did such things last happen in the ambassador’s own country? Where was his country’s “concern for the Venezuelan people” during the decades of highly corrupt and dictatorial regimes? His country’a embassy in Venezuela in that period was not plotting anything remotely like what is outlined in this cable.
The cable summarizes the focus of the embassy’s strategy’s as: “1) Strengthening Democratic Institutions, 2) Penetrating Chavez’ Political Base, 3) Dividing Chavismo, 4) Protecting Vital US business, and 5) Isolating Chavez internationally.” 1
The stated mission for the Office of Transition Initiatives is: “To support U.S. foreign policy objectives by helping local partners advance peace and democracy in priority countries in crisis.” 2
Notice the key word – “crisis”. For whom was Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela a “crisis”? For the people of Venezuela or the people who own and operate United States, Inc.?
Imagine a foreign country’s embassy, agencies and NGOs in the United States behaving as the American embassy, OTI, and NGOs did in Venezuela. President Putin of Russia recently tightened government controls over foreign NGOs out of such concern. As a result, he of course has been branded by the American government and media as a throwback to the Soviet Union.
Under pressure from the Venezuelan government, the OTI’s office in Venezuela was closed in 2010.
For our concluding words of wisdom, class, here’s Charles Shapiro, US ambassador to Venezuela from 2002 to 2004, speaking recently of the Venezuelan leaders: “I think they really believe it, that we are out there at some level to do them ill.” 3
The latest threats to life as we know it
Last month numerous foreign-policy commentators marked the tenth anniversary of the fateful American bombing and invasion of Iraq. Those who condemned the appalling devastation of the Iraqi people and their society emphasized that it had all been a terrible mistake, since Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein didn’t actually possess weapons of mass destruction (WMD). This is the same argument we’ve heard repeatedly during the past ten years from most opponents of the war.
But of the many lies – explicit or implicit – surrounding the war in Iraq, the biggest one of all is that if, in fact, Saddam Hussein had had those WMD the invasion would have been justified; that in such case Iraq would indeed have been a threat to the United States or to Israel or to some other country equally decent, innocent and holy. However, I must ask as I’ve asked before: What possible reason would Saddam Hussein have had for attacking the United States or Israel other than an irresistible desire for mass national suicide? He had no reason, no more than the Iranians do today. No more than the Soviets had during the decades of the Cold War. No more than North Korea has ever had since the United States bombed them in the early 1950s. Yet last month the new Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel, announced that he would strengthen United States defenses against a possible attack by [supposedly] nuclear-equipped North Korea, positioning 14 additional missile interceptors in Alaska and California at an estimated cost of $1 billion. So much for the newest Great White Hope. Does it ever matter who the individuals are who are occupying the highest offices of the US foreign-policy establishment? Or their gender or their color?
“Oh,” many people argued, “Saddam Hussein was so crazy who knew what he might do?” But when it became obvious in late 2002 that the US was intent upon invading Iraq, Saddam opened up the country to the UN weapons inspectors much more than ever before, offering virtually full cooperation. This was not the behavior of a crazy person; this was the behavior of a survivalist. He didn’t even use any WMD when he was invaded by the United States in 1991 (“the first Gulf War”), when he certainly had such weapons. Moreover, the country’s vice president, Tariq Aziz, went on major American television news programs to assure the American people and the world that Iraq no longer had any chemical, biological or nuclear weapons; and we now know that Iraq had put out peace feelers in early 2003 hoping to prevent the war. The Iraqi leaders were not crazy at all. Unless one believes that to oppose US foreign policy you have to be crazy. Or suicidal.
It can as well be argued that American leaders were crazy to carry out the Iraqi invasion in the face of tens of millions of people at home and around the world protesting against it, pleading with the Bush gang not to unleash the horrors. (How many demonstrations were there in support of the invasion?)
In any event, the United States did not invade Iraq because of any threat of an attack using WMD. Washington leaders did not themselves believe that Iraq possessed such weapons of any significant quantity or potency. Amongst the sizable evidence supporting this claim we have the fact that they would not have exposed hundreds of thousands of soldiers on the ground.
Nor can it be argued that mere possession of such weapons – or the belief of same – was reason enough to take action, for then the United States would have to invade Russia, France, Israel, et al.
I have written much of the above in previous editions of this report, going back to 2003. But I’m afraid that I and other commentators will have to be repeating these observations for years to come. Myths that reinforce official government propaganda die hard. The mainstream media act like they don’t see through them, while national security officials thrive on them to give themselves a mission, to enhance their budgets, and further their personal advancement. The Washington Post recently reported: “A year into his tenure, the country’s young leader, Kim Jong Un, has proved even more bellicose than his father, North Korea’s longtime ruler, disappointing U.S. officials who had hoped for a fresh start with the regime.” 4
Yeah, right, can’t you just see those American officials shaking their heads and exclaiming: “Damn, what do we have to do to get those North Korean fellows to trust us?” Well, they could start by ending the many international sanctions they impose on North Korea. They could discontinue arming and training South Korean military forces. And they could stop engaging in provocative fly-overs, ships cruising the waters, and military exercises along with South Korea, Australia, and other countries dangerously close to the North. The Wall Street Journal reported:
The first show of force came on March 8, during the U.S.-South Korean exercise, known as Foal Eagle, when long-range B-52 bombers conducted low-altitude maneuvers. A few weeks later, in broad daylight, two B-2 bombers sent from a Missouri air base dropped dummy payloads on a South Korean missile range.
U.S. intelligence agencies, as had been planned, reviewed the North’s responses. After those flights, the North responded as the Pentagon and intelligence agencies had expected, with angry rhetoric, threatening to attack the South and the U.S.
On Sunday, the U.S. flew a pair of advanced F-22s to South Korea, which prompted another angry response from the North. 5
And the United States could stop having wet dreams about North Korea collapsing, enabling the US to establish an American military base right at the Chinese border.
As to North Korea’s frequent threats … yes, they actually outdo the United States in bellicosity, lies, and stupidity. But their threats are not to be taken any more seriously than Washington’s oft expressed devotion to democracy and freedom. When it comes to doing actual harm to other peoples, the North Koreans are not in the same league as the empire.
“Everyone is concerned about miscalculation and the outbreak of war. But the sense across the U.S. government is that the North Koreans are not going to wage all-out war,” a senior Obama administration official said. “They are interested first and foremost in regime survival.” 6
American sovereignty hasn’t faced a legitimate foreign threat to its existence since the British in 1812.
The marvelous world of Freedom of Speech
So, the United States and its Western partners have banned Iranian TV from North America and in various European countries. Did you hear about that? Probably not if you’re not on the mailing list of PressTV, the 24-hour English-Language Iranian news channel. According to PressTV:
The Iranian film channel, iFilm, as well as Iranian radio stations, have also been banned from sensitive Western eyes and ears, all such media having been removed in February from the Galaxy 19 satellite platform serving the United States and Canada.
In December the Spanish satellite company, Hispasat, terminated the broadcast of the Iranian Spanish-language channel Hispan TV. Hispasat is partly owned by Eutelsat, whose French-Israeli CEO is blamed for the recent wave of attacks on Iranian media in Europe.
The American Jewish Committee has welcomed these developments. AJC Executive Director David Harris has acknowledged that the committee had for months been engaged in discussions with the Spaniards over taking Iranian channels off the air. 7
A careful search of the Lexis-Nexis data base of international media reveals that not one English-language print newspaper, broadcast station, or news agency in the world has reported on the PressTV news story since it appeared February 8. One Internet newspaper, Digital Journal, ran the story on February 10.
The United States, Canada, Spain, and France are thus amongst those countries proudly celebrating their commitment to the time-honored concept of freedom of speech. Other nations of “The Free World” cannot be far behind as Washington continues to turn the screws of Iranian sanctions still tighter.
In his classic 1984, George Orwell defined “doublethink” as “the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.” In the United States, the preferred label given by the Ministry of Truth to such hypocrisy is “American exceptionalism”, which manifests itself in the assertion of a divinely ordained mission as well in the insistence on America’s right to apply double standards in its own favor and reject “moral equivalence”.
The use of sanctions to prevent foreign media from saying things that Washington has decidedshould not be said is actually a marked improvement over previous American methods. For example, on October 8, 2001, the second day of the US bombing of Afghanistan, the transmitters for the Taliban government’s Radio Shari were bombed and shortly after this the US bombed some 20 regional radio sites. US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld defended the targeting of these facilities, saying: “Naturally, they cannot be considered to be free media outlets. They are mouthpieces of the Taliban and those harboring terrorists.” 8 And in Yugoslavia, in 1999, during the infamous 78-bombing of the Balkan country which posed no threat at all to the United States, state-owned Radio Television Serbia (RTS) was targeted because it was broadcasting things which the United States and NATO did not like (like how much horror the bombing was causing). The bombs took the lives of many of the station’s staff, and both legs of one of the survivors, which had to be amputated to free him from the wreckage. 9
- Read the full memo. ↩
- USAID Transition Initiatives Website ↩
- Washington Post, January 10, 2013 ↩
- Washington Post, March 16, 2013 ↩
- Wall Street Journal, April 3, 2013 ↩
- Ibid. ↩
- PressTV news release ↩
- Index on Censorship online, the UK’s leading organization promoting freedom of expression, October 18, 2001 ↩
- The Independent (London), April 24, 1999, p.1 ↩