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 ↩
After a 10 year war/occupation in Iraq, the death of over a million people including thousands of US soldiers, all based on patently false claims of the nation possessing “weapons of mass destruction,” (WMDs), it is outrageous hypocrisy to see the West arming, funding, and politically backing terrorists in Syria who in fact both possess, and are now using such weapons against the Syrian people.
At least 25 are reported dead after a chemical weapons attack targeting Syrian soldiers was carried out by NATO-backed terrorists in the northern city of Aleppo.
Aleppo is located near the Syrian-Turkish border. Had Libya’s looted stockpiles of chemical weapons been shipped to Syria, they would have passed through Turkey along with weapons sent from Libya by the US and thousands of Libyan terrorists who are admittedly operating inside Syria, and would most likely be used to target cities like Aleppo.
Worse yet, any chemical weapons imported into the country would implicate NATO either directly or through gross negligence, as the weapons would have passed through NATO-member Turkey, past US CIA agents admittedly operating along the border and along side Western-backed terrorists inside Syria.
Libya’s WMD’s are in Terrorist Hands
Libya’s arsenal had fallen into the hands of sectarian extremists with NATO assistance in 2011 during the culmination of efforts to overthrow the North African nation . Since then, Libya’s militants led by commanders of Al Qaeda’s Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) have armed sectarian extremists across the Arab World, from as far West as Mali, to as far East as Syria.
In addition to small arms, heavier weapons are also making their way through this extensive network. The Washington Post in their article, “Libyan missiles on the loose,” reported:
“Two former CIA counterterrorism officers told me last week that technicians recently refurbished 800 of these man-portable air-defense systems (known as MANPADS) — some for an African jihadist group called Boko Haram that is often seen as an ally of al-Qaeda — for possible use against commercial jets flying into Niger, Chad and perhaps Nigeria.”
While undoubtedly these weapons are also headed to Niger, Chad, and perhaps Nigeria, they are veritably headed to Syria. Libyan LIFG terrorists are confirmed to be flooding into Syria from Libya. In November 2011, the Telegraph in their article, “Leading Libyan Islamist met Free Syrian Army opposition group,” would report:
Abdulhakim Belhadj, head of the Tripoli Military Council and the former leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, “met with Free Syrian Army leaders in Istanbul and on the border with Turkey,” said a military official working with Mr Belhadj. “Mustafa Abdul Jalil (the interim Libyan president) sent him there.”
Another Telegraph article, “Libya’s new rulers offer weapons to Syrian rebels,” would admit
Syrian rebels held secret talks with Libya’s new authorities on Friday, aiming to secure weapons and money for their insurgency against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, The Daily Telegraph has learned.
At the meeting, which was held in Istanbul and included Turkish officials, the Syrians requested “assistance” from the Libyan representatives and were offered arms, and potentially volunteers.
“There is something being planned to send weapons and even Libyan fighters to Syria,” said a Libyan source, speaking on condition of anonymity. “There is a military intervention on the way. Within a few weeks you will see.”
Later that month, some 600 Libyan terrorists would be reported to have entered Syria to begin combat operations and have been flooding into the country ever since.
Image: Libyan Mahdi al-Harati of the US State Department, United Nations, and the UK Home Office (page 5, .pdf)-listed terrorist organization, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), addressing fellow terrorists in Syria. Harati is now commanding a Libyan brigade operating inside of Syria attempting to destroy the Syrian government and subjugate the Syrian population. Traditionally, this is known as “foreign invasion.”
Washington Post’s reported “loose missiles” in Libya are now turning up on the battlefield in Syria. While outfits like the Guardian, in their article “Arms and the Manpads: Syrian rebels get anti-aircraft missiles,” are reporting the missiles as being deployed across Syria, they have attempted to downplay any connection to Libya’s looted arsenal and the Al Qaeda terrorists that have imported them. In contrast, Times has published open admissions from terrorists themselves admitting they are receiving heavy weapons including surface-to-air missiles from Libya.
In Time’s article, “Libya’s Fighters Export Their Revolution to Syria,” it is reported:
Some Syrians are more frank about the assistance the Libyans are providing. “They have heavier weapons than we do,” notes Firas Tamim, who has traveled in rebel-controlled areas to keep tabs on foreign fighters. “They brought these weapons to Syria, and they are being used on the front lines.” Among the arms Tamim has seen are Russian-made surface-to-air missiles, known as the SAM 7.
Libyan fighters largely brush off questions about weapon transfers, but in December they claimed they were doing just that. “We are in the process of collecting arms in Libya,” a Libyan fighter in Syria told the French daily Le Figaro. “Once this is done, we will have to find a way to bring them here.”
Clearly NATO’s intervention in Libya has left a vast, devastating arsenal in the hands of sectarian extremists, led by US State Department, United Nations, and the UK Home Office (page 5, .pdf)-listed terrorist organization LIFG, that is now exporting these weapons and militants to NATO’s other front in Syria. It is confirmed that both Libyan terrorists and weapons are crossing the Turkish-Syrian border, with NATO assistance, and it is now clear that heavy weapons, including anti-aircraft weapons have crossed the border too.
The Guardian reported in their November 2011 article, “Libyan chemical weapons stockpiles intact, say inspectors,” that:
Libya’s stockpiles of mustard gas and chemicals used to make weapons are intact and were not stolen during the uprising that toppled Muammar Gaddafi, weapons inspectors have said.
But also reported that:
The abandonment or disappearance of some Gaddafi-era weapons has prompted concerns that such firepower could erode regional security if it falls into the hands of Islamist militants or rebels active in north Africa. Some fear they could be used by Gaddafi loyalists to spread instability in Libya.
Last month Human Rights Watch urged Libya’s ruling national transitional council to take action over large numbers of heavy weapons, including surface-to-air missiles, it said were lying unguarded more than two months after Gaddafi was overthrown.
On Wednesday the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, said the UN would send experts to Libya to help ensure nuclear material and chemical weapons did not fall into the wrong hands.
And while inspectors claim that Libya’s chemical weapons are in the “government’s” hands and not “extremists’,” it is clear by the Libyan government’s own admission, that they themselves are involved in sending fighters and weapons into Syria.
It remains to be seen where these chemical weapons came from. Should they appear to be from Libya’s arsenal, NATO, especially the US and Turkey, would be implicated in supplying Al Qaeda terrorists with WMDs, the very scenario the West has been paralyzed in fear over for the past 10 years, has given up its liberties, and spilled the blood of thousands of its soldiers to prevent.
The implications of Western-backed terrorists using chemical weapons, regardless of their origin, has cost the West its already floundering legitimacy, jeopardized its institutions, and has further shook the confidence of the many shareholders invested in them – politically, financially, industrially, and strategically. Such shareholders would be wise to begin looking for exits and cultivating alternatives outside the Wall Street-London international order.
Source: Land Destroyer
A few thoughts rushed through this observers mind when he saw a distraught looking woman sitting alone, tightly holding two babies, at one corner of the vast parking lot of the central Damascus bus station known as Al-Soumariyeh. It is from here where inexpensive transportation can be had for those traveling west, east, north and south.
One thought was about a character out of a Charles Dickens novel and the other was ‘waif, frail, malnourished, frightened’, so the lady, holding the babies appeared. She managed a polite but weak smile as I passed and she said “hello.”
Long story made short, the lady and I chatted and it turned out that Souha was fleeing the al-Hajar al-Aswad neighborhood on the southern edge of Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp. This is one of the ‘hot-line’ areas of Yarmouk, where on 12/16/12 approximately 400 Jabhat al-Nusra (Nusra Front) militia fighters joined by various other salafist jihadists defeated Palestinian “popular committees” fighters supposedly loyal to Ahmed Jabil’s, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-GC (PFLP-GC). There are various unconfirmed estimates of how many ‘General Command’ fighters defected during the fighting to the rebel forces, but the PFLP-GC admits that some did. Also in the camp are some fighters from the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) and the Popular Front (PFLP).
Souha who is studying English literature, had lost her husband and was trying to travel to Ein el Helwe refugee camp in Saida, Lebanon. She had the name of a distant relative, she thought was still living in Ein el Helwe, but she was unsure how to find her but knew that she desperately needed to get out of Syria.
Nearly 70% (UNWRA puts the figure at 90%) of the 180,000 Yarmouk camp residents in the 2.1 square-kilometer camp area have, as of this morning fled. This figure was provided by, Anwar Raja, politburo member of the ‘General Command” with whom this observer had a three hour meeting during the night of 12/18/2012 inside the north edge of Yarmouk. Any camp resident with a MTN or Syriatel mobile phone got a text message, from the Syrian military to leave the camp for their own safety.
Souha asked me if I had heard about the problems of the Palestinian people and explained that she fled the bombing at Yarmouk camp and that most of her neighbors also scattered. Some of the thousands of refugees who continue to flee Yarmouk can be seen today near central Damascus, and sitting in the streets of Midan. These areas are still safe. Other are huddled in parks and camped under concrete underpasses, in schools, mosques and basically anywhere they can find a spot. Many are sleeping on sidewalks at al-Sabaa Bahrat square. A friend and I spoke last night to a family of four who had only thin UNCHR blankets for the night.
Souha said she was afraid to seek safety in a Mosque because they are no longer a safe refuge and she explained that she passed about a dozen bodies on the steps and front ground next to the Abdul Qader Al-Hosseini mosque as she left Yarmouk.
Happy to learn that there are actually non-stop vans going from central Damascus to Saida, Lebanon, without having to change vehicles, we found the driver, agreed on a price of 30 LL (about $ 45) for Souha and the same price for her two babies. I insisted on a two-for-one price for the little ones and since it was starting to get dark, the nice fellow agreed. I gave Souha what money I had and also contact information for friends in Lebanon who I knew would help her.
As the van pulled off she waved from the window and I could not help thinking that she may not get much help from the Lebanese government on arriving. Yet I knew that Palestinians there would assist her. I recalled the words of the late murdered Khalil al Wazir (Abu Jihad) when he explained nearly three decades ago, to this observer and the American journalist, Janet Stevens,: “At the end of the day, we Palestinians can rely only on ourselves.” I did not dwell much on his words at the time but since then I have come to understand very well what the great Resistance leader meant.
Yesterday morning I assumed Souha was in Lebanon and had arrived to Saida. Then I began to hear the unsettling news of long lines at the Maznaa crossing from Syria into Lebanon. The news got worse. Thousands of Palestinian refugees were lined up, some waiting for 10 hours or more to cross and many being refused entry into by Lebanese General Security because of “inadequate documents.” Many right now are being forced to return to Damascus.
Lebanon has an international humanitarian duty to ease entry and to assist refugees, as required by well-established and globally accepted international law. But with the exception of Zionist occupied Palestine, Lebanon has the worst human rights record toward Palestinians than any country on earth. The Lebanese Parliament still refuses to grant Palestinian refugees in Lebanon the elementary right to work or to own a home. Even though according to various economic studies, if Palestinians could work, they would help dramatically to build Lebanon’s weak economy.
During the morning of 12/19/12 the news got even worse regarding Souha. Someone from Reuters sent me a published photo showing her stuck on a bus at Maznaa for over 12 hours. According to one report she was forced to return to Damascus. Wherever Souha is she is hopefully someone is helping her.
Ahmed Jebril, an ally of the Syrian government is blaming foreign paid terrorists for the attack that is forcing the emptying of Yarmouk and also the rather quick defeat of his fighters. He and his GC staff told this observer that the General Command had no plans to attempt to return to Yarmouk. Reports from the camp claim that more than half of the GC’s 1000 fighters, mainly younger ones, defected to the rebels. It is difficult to know the truth, but it is fairly clear that Yarmouk has substantially been emptied and that government forces are surrounding the camp, presumably in preparation for a massive counter-attack and or aerial bombardment.
One statement that Ahmed Jebril, who contrary to a New York Times report, has not fled to Iran or Tartous, made that is probably accurate is that “As Yarmouk goes, so goes Damascus. As Damascus goes, so goes Syria”. Jabril’s aid Anwar Raja said that the camp will be used by the rebels to destroy the airport and to launch their “final assault” into the center of Damascus. They showed this observer fragments of ‘home made’ weapons similar to those collected from around Syria by military intelligence who in late October briefed this observer.
In the past week, the people of Gaza have been subject to some serious Israeli attacks. Some Hamas leaders and militants have been murdered and many more Palestinians - innocent civilians, babies, kids women and elders – have lost their live. Yet, Gaza is celebrating with the Hamas leadership never more popular.
So here is an interesting anecdote that deserves our attention. During the recent clashes Gazan militants launched more than 1500 rockets at Israel. These rockets caused rather limited damage with more than six Israeli fatalities. Militarily at least, this is far from a great achievement. And yet the Gazans are celebrating. Would Israelis be happy to learn that 1500 of their rockets had had such limited effect? Would any western army accept such a result at such a cost? The answer is a categorical NO. But the Palestinians are ecstatic, why, because they know they have won the battle and are now set to win the war. They won the battle, not because they killed six Israelis – actually they would have won it without hitting one single Israeli. They won it because they managed to deliver a message to Israel, world Jewry and the whole world.
For many years I have argued that the Palestinian war of the rockets should be seen as sending a message: Israelis! You are on stolen land! You took our houses, villages, cities, fields and orchards. You pushed us into the desert. You surrounded us with barbed wire. You starve us and you kill us simply to suit your political ambitions. So this rocket is a message to you all. Think about us and then look at yourself in the mirror. Enough is enough!’
For more than six decades the Israelis have dismissed this message. They surrounded themselves with ghetto walls and have sealed their skies with an Iron Dome. However, with Tel Aviv now under attack, Israel and Israelis have been confronted with their original sin.
In the last two days, the entire Israeli media has admitted the colossal defeat of the so-called Operation Pillar of Cloud. Just yesterday, the Israeli right wing Ynet wrote “Hamas stood up and won almost all fronts…. Hamas has managed to turn focus on Gaza, it made it into the centre of the political discussion.” It seems that the most hawkish Israel government ever, has failed to beat either Hamas or the Palestinian spirit. The Palestinians are stronger than ever while the Jewish State has been exposed as an impotent manic-depressive collective driven by a neurotic and impotent leadership.
If Zionism was ever there to counter Jewish diaspora ghetto paralysis, just to ensure that ‘never again’ Jews would be ‘led like lamb to the slaughter’, Netanyahu, Barak and Liebermann have proved in the past week that paralysis is inherent to Jewish political culture. Like all bullies, they are obsessed with power, but when they meet defiance, their vile paradigm instantly collapses.
Speech can provides us with an insight into what we most lack. Speech can reveal that which we prefer to keep hidden. But speech is also often rather misleading, there to shape our lies into a truthful narrative. But it is these ‘true lies’ that provide an access to the fearful-self. It is these ‘true lies’ that reveal the unconscious. So, when, for instance Jewish ‘anti’ Zionists preach to us about Jewish ‘humanism and universalism’ they are obviously lying yet are they not also expressing a yearning for such an ethos to really exist in their own culture? Similarly, when Israel refers to itself as ‘The only democracy in the Middle East’ it this not because Israel would really love to be such a true democracy? In other words, often, when we speak we demonstrate what we most lack i.e. that which we miss and desire, yet we cannot admit this to ourselves. When Netanyahu decided to designate his latest massacre as a Pillar of Cloud, he actually tried to disguise from himself and his people the fact that in reality, he is actually an impotent, and the cloud is actually one big duvet of lies, there only to conceal his shame.
Israel and the Israelis love to talk about their ‘power of deterrence’ - Israeli actions, there to deter Palestinians and Arabs from even contemplating the possibility of challenging the Jewish state. In fact, the entire Israeli foreign and military policy can be realised with reference to that power. Israel likes to see itself at the core of its neighbours’ anxiety. This explains the Israeli fascination with the accumulation of nuclear bombs and other WMDs. It explains the policy towards Iran and it also explains its brutal attitude towards the Palestinians.
Israelis are obsessed with ‘deterrence’ only because, deep down, they are aware of their own vulnerability. Israelis are fanatical about ‘deterrence’ because they know that when push comes to shove, they themselves are actually powerless. They are now exposed for what they are: a fragmented society dominated by egotistic hedonism. Israelis know that their underbelly is very soft indeed.
Israeli collective melancholia must be realised in the light of their inevitable encounter with their true nature. As Ynet admits, they have been defeated in almost every possible respect. As a society, they have been caught naked and their imaginary collective bond has proved to be a farce. In spite of Israel’s mighty, sophisticated army the Hamas leadership, together with the people of Gaza, remained defiant. In spite of relentless air raids, and till the very last moment, Hamas kept firing their rockets reminding Israelis what life in Gaza is really like. When it seemed that the IAF had done its worst (but achieved so little), the Israeli government called on its 75.000 reservists, hoping against hope that such a move would bully Hamas into surrender. Again they were wrong. Ismail Haniah made things very clear when he invited the Israeli reservists to try their luck and enter the strip. Israel was caught with its trousers down – and believe me, the vision of their collective genitalia was not a pretty sight!
‘Unconscious is the discourse of the other’ says Lacan. The fear of impotence is not the fear that you may not be up to much in bed, it is actually the unconscious nightmare that everyone around you is saying behind your back that you’re not up to much in bed. Israelis not just now admitting their impotence to themselves, they are also aware of now being seen as a bunch of arrogant, cowardly and helpless barbarians.
By the time it became clear that the Pillar wasn’t even semi-erect and the Cloud couldn’t cover even that embarrassing truth, Netanyahu, Barak and Liebermann as well as the whole of Israeli society realised that nothing was left of Israel’s power of deterrence – for the Palestinians have lost their fear.
Yep, Larsen is staying up at night with the worry beads due to the fact that all the nation’s peanuts are processed at one plant, in North or South Carolina…he can’t remember which. According to Larsen, the centralization of this facility provides an easy target for terrorists wielding chemical or biological weapons.
Larsen is a former Colonel in the United States Air Force and is a decorated Vietnam vet. He is a founding member of the WMD center, a not-for- profit research organization, along with former Senators Bob Graham (D-FL) and Jim Talent (R_MO). Larsen is also the national security advisor at the Center for Biosecurity, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and is a senior fellow at the Homeland Security Policy institute at George Washington University.
In a recent telephone interview, Larsen opined that food terrorism is one the most significant threats faced by the nation.
Larsen also responded to questions about predictions being tendered that we should expect a pandemic by the end of 2013. “Pandemics,” declared Larsen, “run in thirty-forty year cycles. We are overdue.”
In fact, Larsen may have his numbers screwed up. The Spanish flu, which killed 20-40 million people worldwide, made its debut in 1918. The Asian flu killed about a million people in 1957-58 and only ten years later the Hong Kong flu killed just under a million.
Facts notwithstanding, the predictions persist that 2013 will be the Big One—either in terms of a terrorist attack or a pandemic. Not only have Larsen’s colleagues, Talent and Graham committed to this perception, but Dr. Daniel Gerstein of the Department of Homeland Security made just such a prediction last December at the Biological Weapons Convention, which took place in Geneva, Switzerland at the United Nations. “We expect a pandemic before the end of 2013,” stated Gerstein.http://www.activistpost.com/
A pandemic or a biological weapons attack? Or are they one and the same?
Larsen pooh- poohed the idea that water systems might be a target for a domestic terrorist attack. He stated that, given the amount of pathogen necessary to contaminate a water system, it was highly unlikely that such an effort would be successful.
However, Larsen’s perception is not shared by others in government nor by the scientific community. Last year, DHS chief Janet Napolitano issued a homeland security warning http://www.news10.net/news/
Her concerns were echoed just last week by Leon Panetta, who was reported in Money Newshttp://www.moneynews.com/
The scientific community is also at odds with Larsen’s assessment of the threat posed by a waterborne attack. A heavily footnoted report by the Congressional Research Service entitled “Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water Infrastructure Sector,” declared “Bioterrorism or chemical attacks could deliver widespread contamination with small amounts of microbiological agents or toxic chemicals, and could endanger the public health of thousands.” (December 15, 2010)
During the course of our phone interview, this reporter suggested to Larsen that the danger posed by vulnerabilities inherent in the very configuration of water systems countrywide might present a compelling concern to those involved in protecting the United States from a terrorist attack. With his permission, this reporter forwarded a report detailing these vulnerabilities, which was submitted to the Critical Infrastructure unit of the Department of Homeland Security last August. The report is reproduced in its entirety, below.
Larsen’s response was terse and to the point. On September 8, 2012, he sent me this message from his I phone:
“After reading some of your pieces on the Internet about the Patriot Act, I assure you we will have no further conversations or email exchanges. Sorry I wasted your time and mine.”
Well, at least he has locked in on the Skippy terrorism. What a relief. I was beginning to think we might have a problem
Recent attacks on American embassies and consulates in numerous Muslim countries are claimed to be irrational and undue reactions to a film portraying the Muslim prophet Mohammed in a degraded manner. The film is intentionally sacrilegious and incendiary toward Islamic beliefs and seems intended to add fuel to the rage of a Muslim world already incensed at the U.S. for its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, for destructive American drone attacks in Yemen and Somalia and multiple other nations, and one-sided support for Israel accompanied by platitudes for Palestinians. Thus, the roots of widespread anti-Americanism are much deeper than can be explained merely by recent events. Instead, Muslim fury can be traced to the ever increasing intervention by Washington in Muslim countries since the end of World War II. Prior to that, the U.S. was considered a non-interventionist, even anti-imperialist, friend in much of the region. Yet, even before the war ended President Roosevelt made a secret deal with the Saudi king to provide American protection (and ultimately arms as well, used primarily to suppress his own population) to the Saudis in return for unobstructed American corporate access to the recently discovered Saudi oilfields.
Few today remember American policies during the Iranian crisis of 1946, when the U.S. obliquely threatened to force Soviet Troops out of Iran. American, British and Soviet troops occupied Iran in 1941 because it had tilted toward the Nazis under the father of the later American client, Shah Reza Pahlavi. The Soviets occupied the oil fields of northern Iran with Washington’s approval during the war to prevent them from falling into Nazi hands. The Soviets were supposed to withdraw in March of that year but refused until a deal could be arranged whereby the USSR could purchase Iranian oil in order to begin rebuilding its war-ravaged society. Initially the Truman Administration encouraged the Iranian government to accept the deal. Then when the Red Army did withdraw also encouraged the Iranians to renege on the arrangement. It is worth noting that the Red Army did not then re-occupy the territory, thereby putting the lie to the claim made immediately after WWII that the Soviets were bent on world domination. There was nothing, not even employing atomic weapons, that the U.S. could have done to stop the Red Army had it chosen to reoccupy Iran’s oilfields since that would have destroyed the very resources that were being contested. The Soviets were only one of the principal obstacles to American post-war plans- though they were trumpeted as the prime mover. Equally important was nationalism, especially the sort of national independence craved by countries possessing vital resources that the U.S. coveted. Few also realize that until WWII the U.S. was the prime exporter of petroleum. By war’s end the U.S. had used so much of its domestic oil, and its hydrocarbon-based economy had grown so exponentially, that from that point on the U.S. was impelled to begin importing oil.
Many do remember the overthrow of the prime minister of Iran, Mohammed Mossadeqh in 1953. Exceeding its legal mandate to gather intelligence, the newly minted Central Intelligence Agency, initiated its first successful overthrow of a constitutional and elected government because that government decided that Iranian oil belonged to the Iranians and not to the British oil company that would eventually become British Petroleum. The American scheme was calculated to ensure that American companies would thereafter dominate Iranian oil production and get rid of most British competition in Iran as well. The Shah and his brutal government was then installed to act as Washington’s gendarme in the region. To ensure his rule the U.S. military and CIA then trained his dreaded secret police in the fine arts of torture and terror.
Meanwhile the CIA was active in similar efforts across the planet to undermine any form of nationalism, socialism, or communism that would interfere with the overarching American agenda, which was not the promotion of “democracy” but the installation of friendly clients into positions of power in countries considered strategic for their resources or geographic position. Space does not allow a complete catalog but of importance to current events is certainly the role the “Company” played in the overthrow of the British client king of Iraq in 1958, an intrigue in which Saddam Hussein played a role and that led eventually to his dictatorship, one with which Washington was happy to cooperate after the Shah of Iran was overthrown in 1979. The famous film of Donald Rumsfeld warmly shaking Saddam’s hand perfectly illustrates the lower depths to which Washington has too often stooped to achieve its ends. The U.S. provided highly technical intelligence to Iraq against Iran, aiding the mass slaughter that ensued, and when he used poison gas made from chemicals provided by American corporations against Iraqi Kurds during the war with Iran, Washington prevented sanctions against his regime. At that point he was assisting the American agenda to weaken Iranian fundamentalism so his crimes could be whitewashed. However, his invasion of Kuwait in 1990 became the perfect rationale to inject what evolved into a permanent American military presence in the Persian Gulf.
At the time of 9-11 Michael Scheur was the CIA’s foremost expert on Al Qaeda. His writings emphasize that Americans had to take seriously the reasons spelled out by Osama Bin Laden for Al Qaeda’s antagonism toward the U.S. One of those principal motivations was the American military presence in Saudi Arabia during and after Operation Desert Storm. Bin Laden said clearly that the presence of “infidel” troops on sacred Islamic soil was a desecration. Thereafter, all American forces were to be driven from all Islamic lands. The widespread perception in the Muslim world that Americans had defiled the holiest sites of Islam and were exploiting Muslim resources while propping up corrupt dictatorial apostates like the rulers of the Arab Gulf states contributed to the relative ease with which al Qaeda could recruit new Jihadis to its cause.
Scheur also noted that bin Laden said that the attacks on 9-11 were intended to promote further intervention by Washington in the region and thus promote more of the anti-Americanism that he hoped would fuel his movement. To a great extent American actions have worked almost precisely to Bin Laden’s plan and the current explosion of violence around the world toward the U.S. is a direct outgrowth of the increasing resentment and hatred long stored in memory across the Middle East. Washington is reaping the violent whirlwind sowed by itself.
The so-called “Arab Spring” represented an upwelling of long-simmering opposition to numerous dictatorships in the region, most of them propped up by Washington with a few exceptions that rankled like Libya and Syria. Though President Obama and Hillary Clinton mouthed piously about popular democracy and the “will of the people,” such didn’t help the hapless residents of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, where instantaneous and brutal repression followed, with mere sighs from Washington. Remember that at first, President Obama supported Hosni Mubarak in Egypt until the intensity of the demonstrations in Cairo forced the U.S to abandon him. But not before the Egyptian military high command stepped up to reassure the State Department that it would take his place. Then they threw Mubarak “under the bus.” Nevertheless, the sheer pressure of popular demand for a voice necessitated an election. Since the Egyptian Army is financed and armed by Washington, and Egypt receives the second largest sum of foreign aid (after Israel) widespread knowledge that the Egyptian Army is a creature of the U.S. led to victory in the elections by the despised Muslim Brotherhood. After the election the Egyptian courts sought to prevent the seating of this Parliament dominated by the Brotherhood and with representation by the even more vehement Salafists, but the newly seated president of Egypt, Mohammed Morsi, does indeed represent the Brotherhood. One reason the Army allowed the elections was because its leadership feared that rank and file troops would not support repression in the face of such an uprising from the depths of their own social origins. Morsi is being very careful now. It remains to be seen how the new configuration of power, of Islamists vs. the Army, will evolve.
The killing of the American ambassador and three other Americans in Libya prompted an embittered Secretary Clinton to ask how those who owed their “liberation” to the U.S. could be so ungrateful to their emancipators, thereby confirming how little she understands of the circumstances fostering the Libyan uprising, nor those her government has wrought, or the degree to which the planned outcome of U.S. intervention islikely to fail utterly. The standard interpretation of what transpired in Libya is that the U.S. and its European allies in NATO conducted a humanitarian intervention to rid Libya of another brutal dictator. It is true that Muammar Qaddaffi ruled autocratically but in this he was supported by a substantial majority at least in western Libya, where traditional tribes were loyal.
Libya came into existence as an independent state only in 1951. Before that it had been an Italian colony, or rather three separate colonies cobbled together and given the name the ancient Romans called most of North Africa. In its efforts to subdue these colonies Italy became the very first European empire to use the airplane in primitive bombing runs on resisting tribes. In this they were soon followed by the French in Syria and Lebanon, and by the British in Iraq and Afghanistan, facts still well remembered in the region. Therefore, like so many nations that acquired independence after World War II, Libya was an artificial construct, merging mutually suspicious or hostile ethnic groups and tribes into a configuration designed by former colonial masters to serve their interests. When Qaddaffi overthrew the corrupt king of Libya in 1969, who made sweetheart deals with western oil companies, and hoarded revenues from Libya’s newly discovered oil, he took over a country already riven with tribal animosities. One of his difficulties was that much of Libya’s oil was in the east, where tribes different from his own loyalists dwelled. He suppressed opposition brutally.
Another problem which Quaddaffi dealt with successfully – and which brought him the unending hostility of the west and led to a deadly cat and mouse game that played out over forty years- were those western oil companies that dominated the industry and reaped the greatest share of profits. Qaddaffi immediately nationalized oil but allowed some companies to remain. However, he imposed significantly higher taxes and royalties on those, like the American company Occidental, resulting in a considerable increase in revenues available to him but he used these to raise the standard of living substantially, mainly for his loyalists, but also to an extent for the entire population. Whether his example stimulated what followed is unclear but the facts are that numerous other former oil producing colonies of the western powers subsequently initiated their own nationalizations, thereby upsetting longstanding and profitable western arrangements. He also refused to peg the Libyan currency, the dinar, to the International Monetary Fund, and refused to submit to the World Bank and International Bank for Settlements. Qaddaffi also styled himself the champion of pan-Arabism, the movement to unify the entire Arab world and funded many nationalist movements hostile to the west.
During all this time the CIA was actively involved with Qaddaffi’s opponents to find a way to overthrow him. This lethal contest led to mutual terrorism (though most American media and scholarly accounts omit the U.S. actions) and culminating in the atrocity of Lockerbie, followed by the bombing of Libya, including Qaddaffi’s house where his adoptive three year old daughter was killed. Qaddaffi then intensified efforts to acquire chemical weapons, and even undertook a nuclear program. However sanctions led him to submit the Lockerbie suspects for trial in the UK, and later to give up these WMD programs. At that point western media reports declared that Qaddaffi had “normalized’” affairs with the west.
Whatever he imagined about his new relations with former enemies, the CIA had other ideas. So when the “Arab Spring” erupted in Tunisia and soon spread across the entire region, many Libyans followed suit and Libya descended into the civil war that Washington and NATO then leapt upon in order to accomplish finally what the western governments and energy corporations had desired all along- the overthrow of Qaddaffi and his replacement with an installed government essentially of handpicked clients who would restore Libyan resources to western corporate domination. In the midst of fighting the private global intelligence company STRATFOR published and circulated a detailed map showing most of Libya’s oil was located in the eastern area of Benghazi. It was also well known that the oil Libya produced was of a type that is refined easily into the gasoline required in European automobiles. South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham waxed feverishly over the lure of profits, braying “Let’s get in on the ground. There’s a lot of money to be made in Libya. Lots of oil to be produced. Let’s get on the ground and help the Libyan people establish a democracy and a functioning economy based on free market principles.” Even before the “revolution” had succeeded and a new government was installed, the rebel group claiming authority announced the dissolution of Qaddaffi’s national bank and replaced it with a new central bank tied to international institutions, which, of course, are dominated by the western financial establishment.
As media images showed clearly, Qaddaffi still had enormous support. The “rebels” included eastern tribal members long hostile to rule from western Libya, but also ethnic minorities like the Berbers, but also Libyan members of al Qaeda as well as al Qaeda jihadists from around the Arab and Muslim world. Included in the toxic mix were CIA operatives and covert American Special Forces. Without western arms supplied to Qaddaffi’s opponents, and especially the U.S. led bombing campaign it is likely Qaddaffi would have hung on. The result we see today, however, was utterly predictable.
The so-called government installed in Tripoli, in the west of Libya, has no control over anything, especially in eastern Benghazi. In May the interim prime minister’s offices were attacked with four aides killed. In June a bomb exploded in the same consulate building where Ambassador Stevens was killed. The British ambassador narrowly escaped assassination last spring. The January ransacking of the National Transition Council offices provides evidence that factions in Benghazi want independence, not the unified state. What more would it have taken for Washington to realize that its best laid plans were going awry? Writing in the Guardian, Benjamin Barber notes that at minimum 100,000 militants of one faction or another, all armed with American and NATO weapons (including the rocket-propelled-grenade launchers used against the American consulate) continue to wage war or jihad upon each other, and that al Qaeda is as much a home –grown faction as any other. Indeed, al Qaeda raised its flag over the Benghazi courthouse the day after Qaddaffi was killed.
On March 2, 2007 Retired General Wesley Clark, former Supreme Commander of NATO forces, and 2004 Democratic contender for the presidency, appeared on Amy Goodman’s televised program Democracy Now. In the interview he revealed that shortly before the invasion of Iraq a highly placed Pentagon officer divulged a secret plan to him to overthrow the governments of seven countries-Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran. Speaking in San Francisco the following October Clark repeated this and added commentary about a conversation he had in 1992 with Paul Wolfowitz, a prime architect of George W. Bush’s policies, who at the time was number three in the Defense department. Quoting Wolfowitz Clark said: “One thing we learned [in the Persian Gulf War] is that we can use our military in the region- in the Middle East- and the Soviets won’t stop us. And we’ve got five or ten years to clean up those old Soviet regimes – Syria, Iran, Iraq- before the next superpower comes along to stop us.”
The Neo-Conservatives were supposed to have been swept from power by the new Obama Administration, and yet the withdrawal (that is not really a withdrawal) from Iraq was negotiated by Bush, and the “surge” in Afghanistan ordered by Obama out neo-conned the neo-cons, just as the “liberation” of Libya certainly followed their template if not their foolish expectations. Syria awaits our humanitarian ministrations. But that may prove the most disastrous escapade of all.
Source: Paul Atwood | CounterPunch.org
It does not mean to stand up for any political party, politician or any other another state.
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has called upon the Democratic National Committee to rescind its invitation to former President Jimmy Carter to address the upcoming 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Among Carter’s ‘crimes’ are his 2007 book, “Peace Not Apartheid” which the ZOA claims is filled with “falsehoods about Israel, not least the vicious insinuation in its title that Israel resembles the evils of the apartheid regime in South Africa and that Jews living in Judea and Samaria, is the ‘primary’ obstacle to peace.”
According to a UN report, Haaretz columnist Danny Rubinstein admitted that “Israel today was an apartheid State with four different Palestinian groups: those in Gaza, East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Israeli Palestinians, each of which had a different status…even if the wall followed strictly the line of the pre-1967 border, it would still not be justified. The two peoples needed cooperation rather than walls because they must be neighbors.” 
The ZOA is also up in arms over Carter daring to mention that Israel has destroyed over 40,000 Palestinian homes, which have rendered hundreds of thousand Palestinians homeless and that Gaza is an open-air prison.
The ZOA ignores the Jewish Justice Richard Goldstone’s 575-page report of September 29, 2009, which accused both Israel and Hamas of war crimes perpetuated during the 22 days of assault on Gaza when the Israeli military launched Operation Cast Lead; a full-scale attack on Gaza that killed 13 Israelis and 1,400 Palestinians.
Over 5,000 Palestinians were injured, 400,000 were left without running water, 4,000 homes were destroyed, rendering tens of thousands who are still homeless because of Israel’s targeted attacks upon them, their schools, hospitals, streets, water wells, sewage system, farms, police stations and UN buildings.
US-supplied weapons enabled the 22 days of Israel’s attack on the people of Gaza and we the people of the US who pay taxes provide over $3 billion annually to Israel although Israel has consistently misused U.S. weapons in violation of America’s Arms Export Control and Foreign Assistance Acts.
During the 22 days of Israeli assault on Gaza, “Washington provided F-16 fighter planes, Apache helicopters, tactical missiles, and a wide array of munitions, including white phosphorus and DIME. The weapons required for the Israeli assault was decided upon in June 2008, and the transfer of 1,000 bunker-buster GPS-guided Small Diameter Guided Bomb Units 39 (GBU-39) were approved by Congress in September. The GBU 39 bombs were delivered to Israel in November (prior to any claims of Hamas cease fire violation!) for use in the initial air raids on Gaza. 
During Operation Cast Lead, the UN Security Council, Amnesty International, International Red Cross, and global voices of protest rose up and demanded a ceasefire, but both houses of Congress overwhelmingly endorsed resolutions to support a continuation of Israel’s so called “self defense.”
In a 71-page report released March 25, 2009, by Human Rights Watch, Israel’s repeated firing of US-made white phosphorus shells over densely populated areas of Gaza was indiscriminate and is evidence of war crimes.
“Rain of Fire: Israel’s Unlawful Use of White Phosphorus in Gaza,” provides eye witness accounts of the devastating effects that white phosphorus munitions had on civilians and civilian property in Gaza.
“Human Rights Watch researchers found spent shells, canister liners, and dozens of burnt felt wedges containing white phosphorus on city streets, apartment roofs, residential courtyards, and at a United Nations school in Gaza immediately after hostilities ended in January.
“Militaries officially use white phosphorus to obscure their operations on the ground by creating thick smoke. It has also been used as an incendiary weapon, though such use constitutes a war crime.
“In Gaza, the Israeli military didn’t just use white phosphorus in open areas as a screen for its troops,” said Fred Abrahams, senior emergencies researcher at Human Rights Watch and co-author of the report. “It fired white phosphorus repeatedly over densely populated areas, even when its troops weren’t in the area and safer smoke shells were available. As a result, civilians needlessly suffered and died.” [Ibid]
Last year, I attended AIPAC’s D.C. Conference and heard President Obama speak about the dangers of the spread of nuclear weapons but not a word about Israel’s still un-inspected WMD facility-which everyone in the world, except most Americans learned about 26 years ago, when Mordechai Vanunu’s photos and testimony made front page news in London’s The Sunday Times.
Obama also mentioned his visit to the Jewish Wailing Wall and how he thought about the generations who have wanted a homeland; but not a word was uttered about the generations of indigenous Palestinians who are still denied their inalienable right to return home or about the 21st century Wailing Wall: The Apartheid Wall:
Obama told of his visit to Sderot and the struggles of those residents, but he neglected to travel five minutes away into the open air prison of Gaza where 1.5 million human beings-800,000 are under the age of 16-struggle every moment of the day just to survive under a brutal siege aided and abetted by USA policy!
In 2009, I spent an evening in Sderot and learned that most everyone there would be just as happy to migrate to Las Vegas than live in Israel: Read more…
Israel’s existence is a fact of life, but what can never be accepted by people of conscience is Israel’s ‘right’ to steal land and resources of the indigenous people of Palestine and we the people of this homeland’s tax dollars that aid, abet and sustain an illegal, immoral and brutal military occupation.
All through that AIPAC conference I heard the incessant drumbeat of Israel’s rights, about the “special relationship” “shared values” “common Interests” the “Jewish State” and claims that Israel is a democracy, but Israel is not-and never has been a Democracy!
In the May 28, 1993 edition of Yedioth Ahronoth, Ariel Sharon explained:
“The terms ‘democracy’ or ‘democratic’ are totally absent from the Declaration of Independence. This is not an accident. The intention of Zionism was not to bring democracy, needless to say. It was solely motivated by the creation in Eretz-Isrel of a Jewish state belonging to all the Jewish people and to the Jewish people alone. This is why any Jew of the Diaspora has the right to immigrate to Israel and to become a citizen of Israel.”
Jeff Halper, American Israeli, co-founder and coordinator of Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions and Professor of Anthropology explained that, ”An ethnocracy is the opposite of a democracy, although it might incorporate some elements of democracy such as universal citizenship and elections. It arises when one particular group-the Jews in Israel, the Russians in Russia, the Protestants in pre-1972 Northern Ireland, the whites in apartheid South Africa, the Shi’ite Muslims in Iran, the Malay in Malaysia and, if they had their way, the white Christian fundamentalists in the US-seize control of the government and armed forces in order to enforce a regime of exclusive privilege over other groups in what is in fact a multi-ethnic or multi-religious society. Ethnocracy, or ethno-nationalism, privileges ethnos over demos, whereby one’s ethnic affiliation, be it defined by race, descent, religion, language or national origin, takes precedence over citizenship in determining to whom a county actually ‘belongs.’”
In his Farewell Address, President George Washington warned US:
“Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all…and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave…a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils.”
Obama admitted that true friends speak open and honestly and that “the current situation does not allow procrastination. The world is moving too fast [and] the Talmud teaches as long as one has life do not abandon faith. We will never abandon universal human rights.”
It was President Harry Truman who crossed out the word ”Jewish state” on the draft of the Establishment of Israel that was cabled him and substituted ”State of Israel” which he affirmed was contingent upon Israel upholding the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Read more…
As a Member State of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, America is obligated to hold ALL other Member States to it!
As an American patriot who went online in 2005 after my first of 7 trips to Israel and Occupied Palestine, all I have been saying is that when Israel honors its founding promises and America upholds its obligation as a Member State of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, then YES WE CAN begin this world again by BUILDING IT according to the principals outlined and agreed to in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
3. Jeff Halper, An Israeli in Palestine: Resisting Dispossession, Redeeming Israel, Page 74
The official results of the first round of the historic Egyptian presidential elections, the first ever in Mother Egypt where the results were not known in advance, present an encouraging snapshot of “new democratic Egypt” given that close to 50% of Egypt’s approximately 50 million eligible voters, some standing in line to vote in scorching heat for hours, will not be officially announced until late May.
It appears, based on exit polls and information from the Muslim Brotherhood media office, that the two candidates who will face each other in the June 16-17 final round of voting will be the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Mursi (25%) facing Mubarak-era Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq (24%).
Mr Mursi and Mr Shafiq represent very different strands of Egyptian society. Mr. Shafiq will continue to draw his support from people fearful of an Islamist takeover, and those exhausted by the upheavals of the past 16 months.
Both finalists will carry substantial political baggage into Round Two. While Mursi will have the vast and competent Muslim Brotherhood organization working during the next two weeks to get out the vote for him, as well as the support of most Islamist parties, his candidacy still faces pervasive voter doubt over having the long outlawed MB control both the Egypt’s Parliament and its Presidency. Egyptian voters appear to be worrying that this kind of broad power effectively is too similar to the Mubarak era and also eliminates checks and balances needed to moderate MB’s pledge to enact Sharia law and to honor its commitment to scrap military rule.
The following statement by the MB’s Mohammad Mursi, delivered just last week at a Cairo University campaign rally is raising concern:
“The Quran in our Constitution, the Prophet is our leader, jihad is our path, and martyrdom in the service of God is our goal. We shall enforce Islamic Sharia, and shall accept no alternative to it.”
Israel and the US will back Mr. Shafiq in various ways and he will benefit from the view that he represents Egypt’s military, many of the countries wealthy and powerful more conservative voting blocks, the business community, Coptic Christians, ( roughly ten percent of the voters) who understandably seek security above all else, and many others who will vote for what they calculate to be the lesser of two evils.
Yet barring surprises such as ex-President Hosni Mubarak being found innocent of all charges on June 2 when the verdict is to be announced in his case, which many lawyers are predicting is exactly what will happen, Mohammad Mursi will very likely prevail in the mid-June run-off and become Egypt’s first democratically elected President.
Many Middle East analysts, including American University of Beirut political sociology professor Sari Hanafi, believe this result will be good for the more than five million Palestinian refugees in the diaspora, those still under Zionist occupation in their own country, and welcomed by all who view the Palestinians full Return to their still occupied country and the dismantlement of the Zionist Apartheid regime.
The Prime Minister of the Palestinian government in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, declared on Thursday that “The Egyptian presidential election results will have a very positive affect on the course and future of the Palestinian cause as well as the role and place of the Muslim people in the world.”
Haniyeh knows that the Muslim Brotherhood, from which Hamas evolved, is highly sophisticated politically and while it tries to avoid attracting condemnation, or worse, from Washington and Tel Aviv, the MB intentions regarding Camp David, giveaway gas and other deals with Israel, and even diplomatic relations with the occupiers of Palestine are clear. A majority of Egyptians believe all will eventually be discarded as will the singly remaining 19th century colonial enterprise itself.
Hamas officials have also acknowledged that they are looking more to Egypt and the Brotherhood for support as they move away from Syria and a top Hamas official, Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook, settled in Cairo after fleeing the unrest in Syria and maintains close ties with the Brotherhood.
Mursi has a long history of criticism of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. He has refered to Israel’s Foreign Minister Lieberman as a “vampire” and the settler movement as “Draculas.” Mr. Morsi has also criticized the Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas for what he called gullible collaboration with Israel for believing they would voluntarily accept a Palestinian state, and he has praised Hamas for resisting the Israeli occupation.
Brotherhood leaders have said they intend to use their influence with both Fatah and Hamas to urge them to compromise with each other to press Israel to recognize a Palestinian state. “The Brotherhood will gently pressure Hamas to be more pragmatic, although that is a direction that Hamas is already moving,” according to Shadi Hamid of the Brookings Doha Center.
Speaking with MB representatives in Cairo and Beirut over the past several months, the party’s position expressed to this observer is that the common thread that stitches together all the continuing regional uprisings can be described as a fundamental quest for dignity and the casting off of humiliation either from western imposed despotic regimes or from their illegitimate and aggressive agent, Israel.
Even before the completion of Egypt’s first democratic elections, which long-time election monitor Jimmy Carter has just labeled “very encouraging “there is broad recognition in Egypt that basic dignity demands the return of Palestine and its holy places, not just to the 1.5 billion Muslims and nearly as many Christians worldwide, but to all people of good will.
While no official MB decisions have been published regarding relations with Gaza and occupied Palestine, signs are everywhere from non-enforcement of Mubarak-Israeli-American pressures on Rafa, Gaza, travel and trade prohibitions that full normalization of relations between Egyptians and Palestinians under occupation is imminent.
And Israel and its American lobby know it and are preparing.
On Capitol Hill, and among the more than 60 intensively active and well-funded pro-Zionist organizations in the US, a campaign has already begun to neuter the Egyptian voter’s choice next month as surely as was achieved during the three decades of Mubarak rule.
A couple of examples.
AIPAC has launched a campaign to have the Obama administration, during the run-up to the coming election, now barely six months away, demand three things from the Mursi government:
- that the Mother Brotherhood scrap key elements of its political program and disassociate itself for “Islamism”,
- that it publicly pledge to fight “terrorism” i.e. the Palestinian and Lebanese resistance, and
- that the MB pledge in writing to fully abide by the Camp David accords.
Washington, according to Israel must insist that Egypt not only maintain its peace treaty with Israel, but Obama must tell the Brotherhood that any referendum on the Camp David Accords will be interpreted by the US as an attempt to destroy that agreement.
According to Israeli government water carrier Dennis Ross, “In recent conversations, Brotherhood leaders have expressed their belief that they would not be blamed if the treaty were revoked by a nationwide vote, as seems likely. They need to be told otherwise.”
When measured against what the MB stands and has struggled for since its founding in 1928 by the Islamic scholar and schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna as well as the growing demands of the Egyptian public coupled with regional pleas for Egypt’s new government to restore Arab and Muslim dignity, these Israeli-US demands are patently absurd.
Ever in the service of Israel, Elliot Abrams, writing in the Zionist Islamophobic Weekly Standard, is proposing an approach that appears as fanciful and misguided as his WMD 2002-3 schemes to get the US to attack Iraq on behalf of Israel or his continuing five year campaign to get the US to bomb Iran for Israel.
Abrams is arguing recently, apparently seriously, that since the MB will be Egypt’s new government, Israel can still prevail if his advice is followed. Obviously unhappy with the prospect of the Muslim Brotherhood governing Egypt, Abrams does what he is paid to do for Israel, i.e. he metaphorically paints Pigs hoping they will look like Princesses.
Eliot is publicly blaming the US for not “standing by the Mubarak regime like the Russians are with Syria’s.” He declared “Had Mubarak and the Army played their cards better; Shafik might have been Mubarak’s successor without the harmful uprising that Egypt has experienced. Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel with all its blessings would be secure. Now, unless Shafik wins, Camp David is finished but we (Israel?) still have some excellent options.”
Abrams and elements of the Zionist lobby are telling Congress that “Israel must support Egypt’s “liberals” meaning, people who believe in democracy, liberty, and the rule of law rather than Islam as the guiding principles of Egypt and that the predicate must be that the electorate believes the MB had a clear chance and failed them.” He continued,“ If Shafik were to win many Egyptians will believe the elections were stolen by the Army and the old regime’s machine, and in any event power will be divided between the MB on one side and the Army and president on the other. There will be no clear lesson to learn when conditions in the country then continue to deteriorate given that the previous annual 6.5 billion foreign infusion into Egypt’s economy has reversed to a current annual $500,00 outflow with foreign investors fleeing and tourism in down 40% from when Mubarak was in charge.”
Interestingly, Abrams and other spokesmen for AIPAC and the Zionist lobby are arguing that Mubarak’s most recent Prime Minister, Ahmed Shafiq’s victory next month is not necessarily something Israel and the West should favor or work to arrange. Given that the MB is the leading party in parliament and with the Salafists having an Islamist majority there, Abrams claims that this is actually good for Israel since its lobby will organize Congress to push the idea that MB control of both parliament and the presidency is dangerous and, “we can hold them and all Islamists in Egypt absolutely responsible for what happens to Egypt with its myriad problems and thus 100 percent of the responsibility for Egypt’s fate will drop on the MB.”
Abrams continues, “If the MB’s Mursi wins and he will, the MB will be in charge–and be forced to deliver. And when they fail, as they will give Israel’s key friends in the international business community, it will be absolutely clear who was to blame and this is good for Israel. What is in Israel’s interest is to support Egypt’s military which it has worked closely with for years and encourage the army to fight with all its tools for its interests”.
Abrams summarizes his thesis in an AIPAC email to donors: “So as far as Israel is concerned, a Mursi victory should not be mourned; given the situation in Egypt, in this election we can assure that the loser will pity the winner. Two cheers for Mursi! Now let’s get to work.”
Apocalyptic fever is running high. A friend in the Bible Belt, who recently became “born again,” called me excitedly to tell me she was leaving me her house. “In case I suddenly vanish,” she confided.
Of course. She would be raptured up and I, a hard core “One God” believer, would be left behind. How sweet of her to make preparations for the damned.
But the projected date for the rapture came and went and disappointed, my friend abandoned her new found religion. Not so fast for the 2012-er’s however. The end of the world is still scheduled for December 21, 2012 according to those who buy into the Mayan prophecies, Planet X, Niburu, exponential solar flares –did I miss anything?
The scenarios are stunning—tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, as the world comes crashing down around us.
And should we awaken the morning of December 22 to find ourselves still alive, the ratcheting up of doomsday prophecies will deflate like a spent balloon.
And we just may find ourselves sucker-punched.
Lurking right under our noses is the specter of what may occur in 2013. While another war in the Middle East and a global pandemic might pale in comparison with the cataclysmic changes promised by the 2012-ers, the result might be very close to the same thing. We may not see the hand of God reach down and pluck His faithful from this troubled planet, we may not see benign aliens beam themselves down into our living rooms while the walls are imploding around us, but the effect of what the governments of the world have cooked up may result in a similar upheaval.
The announcements that the global pandemic will hit in 2013 have hardly been ear splitting. One has to be attentive to find these predictions, which are being made by such insiders as former Senators Jim Talent and Bob Graham (http://www.youtube.com/watch?
And what would be the connection between a global pandemic and those attending to biological weapons, like Graham, Talent and Gerstein?
A parallel thread runs through this last decade, right alongside the events of 911 and the fallout from that event. The parallel thread pertains to the anthrax attacks, which took place only one week later. Our government responded to the attacks of 911 with a Draconian shift towards a top heavy surveillance society and a concomitant stripping of our civil liberties, all of which has made us increasingly vulnerable to government intrusion and attack. Emphasis on the word “attack.” The response to the anthrax mailings was to invest billions of dollars in a biological warfare program for which there is no transparency and no public oversight.
Since September of 2001, the U.S. government has pumped over 60 billion dollars into what it euphemistically terms “biodefense.” Let’s take a moment to consider what has gone into that program and what has come out the other end. The concept of “dual use” is the first thing we must consider in order to understand what constitutes “biodefense.” To put it simply, dual use means that you first have to create the bug in order to find the cure.
And our biodefense program is top heavy with bugs: ebola, marburg, anthrax, we got ‘em and we are secretly working to cut and splice natural horrors into recombinant nightmares.
And that brings us to the crux of the matter. What goes on in these “biodefense” labs are occluded by protestations of “national security.” The now defunct Sunshine Project, which was dedicated to working “against the hostile use of biotechnology in the post-Cold War era,” found that there was little if any oversight as to the types of research going on in these labs. In 2007, in a report submitted to the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce for the Hearing: Germs, Viruses, and Secrets: The Silent Proliferation of Bio-Laboratories in the United States, Sunshine Project Director Edward Hammond wrote the following: “Our research indicates that in the vast majority of cases, it is not possible to verify that federally funded research is properly overseen at the local level, nor are the local committees that are charged with overseeing this research actually required to produce meeting minutes or annual reports that demonstrate that they have fulfilled this charge.” Elsewhere in the report, he states that “lab expansion under the Bush administration has gone far beyond what is prudent and necessary, and without an adequate regulatory framework.”
In summary, Hammond blasted the biodefense industry and wrote “The proliferation of BSL-3 and BSL-4 laboratories across the United States since 2002 is greater than what our country needs and what its safety and security net can absorb. One-off NEPA processes are not sufficient or appropriate for this national-scale problem .Congress should impose a moratorium on federal funding for construction and commissioning of new biodefense labs. No new construction contracts should be issued, and no new labs should open until a comprehensive needs assessment is performed by the Government Accountability Office.”
One must ask what has come out of all these billions pumped into biodefense. The answer is clouded. We do know that we have not even produced a second generation anthrax vaccine. The first generation anthrax vaccine was reputed to cause Gulf War Syndrome and other ills. A scientist working in a BSL-3 in Arizona proudly informed me recently that he has developed a smallpox vaccine that also cures herpes. Awesome, bro…except we pretty much stomped out smallpox decades ago….
When informed of the plans for a new biodefense campus at Ft. Detrick, Maryland, local activists became alarmed. Beth Willis, chairwoman of the Frederick County Containment Lab Advisory Committee and founder of Frederick Citizens for Biolab safety, has stated concerns that the plans for the Homeland Security lab at Detrick may be in violation of the Biological Weapons Convention. The DHS facility has opened but is not yet fully operational. While some of the Frederick activists have stopped short of declaring that the US has indeed launched an offensive biological weapons program, others are not so shy. Barry Kissin, an attorney and activist in Frederick has stated that the US is now illegally producing and stockpiling biological weapons.
In order to produce biological weapons you must first have a lab, properly outfitted for the seriousness of bug you are working with. The labs are designated from BSL-1 through 5, with the 3’s and 4’s housing the most dangerous bugs known to man. The 5′s purportedly deal with space bugs, although you wouldn´t ever hear that from the CDC. That agency recently responded to a FOIA Request about the containment specifications for the 5’s, stating that these records were not in their office. The CDC, which has the responsibility for tracking these bugs and registering the labs, is furiously shoveling out disinfo about the proliferations of 3’s and 4’s , tripping over itself in its eagerness to convince us that there are no more BSL-3 and 4 labs than before 911.
In fact, the proliferation of these labs has been astounding. There are at least 1360 BSL-3′s at this juncture, according to documents released by the DOJ and DOE (although the CDC insists the number is closer to 250). The CDC can only count as far as six when it comes to BSL-4s, although independent sources, such as the Federation for American Scientists, have come up with a head count of 13. Factor in the existence of secret labs on military bases, evidenced by the C.V.’s of a couple of engineering firms which proudly state that they constructed BSL-4s on at least two bases, and the numbers of these labs , like Topsy, just keep on growing.
If a global pandemic should hit in 2013, the chances are good that we will have caused it through the release of a biological weapon that has been cooked up in one of these labs. The similarities between what is now happening in the US and what happened in Germany in the thirties are perturbing: A false flag event used to topple our civil rights and a project to poison us with …well, this time it won’t be Zyklon- B.
If our government learned anything from the mistakes made by Adolph Hitler, it was to keep appearances up. The public image maintained by the United States is that of freedom and justice. The image is straining due to the weight of evidence to the contrary, and the more evidence that accumulates the higher pitched are the denials being issued by the State.
This reporter has been working off information provided by a high level source back in 2003, when he confided that the State of Israel would be destroyed around the time that the bugs were selectively released. Israel, you say? You thought Israel was pulling the strings all along, did you?
Israel was very likely set up to be destroyed. A haven for the Jews after the horrific events of WWII and the holocaust morphed into a ghetto for those far- flung in the diaspora. Forty percent of the world’s Jews now reside in Israel. A well placed missile or two and you’ve gotten rid of 7,848,800 people–approximately 5,865,300 are Jews. Hitler will be high- fiving from the seventh circle of Hell.
The government of Israel is just itching to get into this war with Iran, a war for which Israel is poorly prepared, defensively speaking. The much touted “Iron dome”, Israel’s primary missile defense system, only works for incoming projectiles that are launched from nearby, like Gaza. Israel is largely unprotected from a fly- over. Factor in the state- of- the- art S-300 defense system possessed by Iran, and the odds that Israel will survive this war appear to be almost non- existent.
Israel wiped off the map due to all the trouble fomented by the United States in the Middle East, culminating with a manufactured war with Iran and then a fatal bug, released through a selective mechanism such as the double line water system (http://neworleans.indymedia.
The hell, you say. The Zionists run the world! Well, yes and no. If the Zionists are the same guys, heavily anti-Semitic, (such as Mark Sykes and Otto Rand, ) who set up the State of Israel in order to lure the world’s Jews into that alleged haven—a desert mirage– so that Boom! Then yes, those Zionists may indeed run the world. And some of those Zionists are Jews. The Jews are ill informed as to the traitors within their midst, the same sort of saboteurs as Stephen Wise, head of the US Jewish Congress during WWII. Wise lobbied heavily to keep the Eastern European Jews from immigrating to the United States, thus ensuring they would be unable to escape Hitler’s death machine. This reporter has had her own skirmishes with duplicitous leadership in the Jewish community, some of which are discussed in this article.
And please, don’t get me wrong. The Jews are certainly not the only ones on the chopping block. When the dust clears, after the Big Bug strikes, we will likely see a world divested of much of its people of color. This is already happening.
Africa is being emptied out by AIDS. Dark- skinned people are also now experiencing an epidemic of the “silent killers” of diabetes and hypertension, believed to be a product of a biological weapon leaked into food and attaching onto melanin (those with darker skin have more melanin). According to Dr. Trudy Gaillard, a researcher and with the Wexner Medical Center, about 12% of African Americans are now diagnosed with diabetes, three times as many as reported in 1980. The actual figures may be quite a bit higher. If you look at the statistics for African American women over the age of 55, 25% are now diagnosed with diabetes. The numbers are also up for other dark- skinned groups, such as indigenous Mexicans and Pacific Islanders.
Dr. Wouter Basson, who sailed through the South African Truth and Reconciliation hearings, was under scrutiny for his work with Project Coast, which was the apartheid government’s biological weapons group. Basson was purportedly working on developing a “blacks only” bioweapons back in the 1980’s The epidemic of diabetes and hypertension among people of color began to surface shortly thereafter. Was Basson successful in creating this race specific bioweapons? He ain’t talking.
And, as a writer-friend in Los Angeles once noted, “Anyone who will sell out his brother for his own safety gets to sit at the table.” The resonant and beautiful voices of resistance may also succumb to the selectively delivered Big Bug. How convenient and diabolical this plan is. Any problem person, any out- of -favor demographic group, and our beneficent government utilities and/or Big Pharma will provide the final solution. No recriminations and no onus of responsibility. No Nuremberg Trials, no Truth and Reconciliation Commission and no one pointing the finger at anything except a wayward microbe, an accident of nature.
Just a whole lot of burying to do and the world made over, in a different image: Obedient and lily white. A Nazi’s wet dream.
The Biological Weapons Convention will meet twice this year in Geneva for intersessional meetings. I hope to be able to attend in an effort to impact the direction of the above cited course of events. I need your help to do so. Please visit janetphelan.com to contribute for travel expenses via PayPal. At the BWC in December, I blew the whistle on the illegal biological weapons program being run by the United States government. It was a good beginning and so much more needs to be done. The time is short.
The early 21st century is addicted to war porn, a prime spectator sport consumed by global couch and digital potatoes. War porn took the limelight on the evening of September 11, 2001, when the George W Bush administration launched the “war on terror” – which was interpreted by many of its practitioners as a subtle legitimization of United States state terror against, predominantly, Muslims.
This was also a war OF terror – as in a manifestation of state terror pitting urban high-tech might against basically rural, low-tech cunning. The US did not exercise this monopoly; Beijing practiced it in Xinjiang, its far west, and Russia practiced it in Chechnya.
Like porn, war porn cannot exist without being based on a lie – a crude representation. But unlike porn, war porn is the real thing; unlike crude, cheap snuff movies, people in war porn actually die – in droves.
The lie to finish all lies at the center of this representation was definitely established with the leak of the 2005 Downing Street memo, in which the head of the British MI6 confirmed that the Bush administration wanted to take out Iraq’s Saddam Hussein by linking Islamic terrorism with (non-existent) weapons of mass destruction (WMD). So, as the memo put it, “The intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.”
In the end, George “you’re either with us or against us” Bush did star in his own, larger-than-life snuff movie – that happened to double as the invasion and destruction of the eastern flank of the Arab nation.
The New Guernica
Iraq may indeed be seen as the Star Wars of war porn – an apotheosis of sequels. Take the (second) Fallujah offensive in late 2004. At the time I described it as the new Guernica. I also took the liberty of paraphrasing Jean-Paul Sartre, writing about the Algerian War; after Fallujah no two Americans shall meet without a corpse lying between them. To quote Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, there were bodies, bodies everywhere.
The Francisco Franco in Fallujah was Iyad Allawi, the US-installed interim premier. It was Allawi who “asked” the Pentagon to bomb Fallujah. In Guernica – as in Fallujah – there was no distinction between civilians and guerrillas: it was the rule of “Viva la muerte!”
United States Marine Corps commanders said on the record that Fallujah was the house of Satan. Franco denied the massacre in Guernica and blamed the local population – just as Allawi and the Pentagon denied any civilian deaths and insisted “insurgents” were guilty.
Fallujah was reduced to rubble, at least 200,000 residents became refugees, and thousands of civilians were killed, in order to “save it” (echoes of Vietnam). No one in Western corporate media had the guts to say that in fact Fallujah was the American Halabja.
Fifteen years before Fallujah, in Halabja, Washington was a very enthusiastic supplier of chemical weapons to Saddam, who used them to gas thousands of Kurds. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) at the time said it was not Saddam; it was Khomeinist Iran. Yet Saddam did it, and did it deliberately, just like the US in Fallujah.
Fallujah doctors identified swollen and yellowish corpses without any injuries, as well as “melted bodies” – victims of napalm, the cocktail of polystyrene and jet fuel. Residents who managed to escape told of bombing by “poisonous gases” and “weird bombs that smoke like a mushroom cloud … and then small pieces fall from the air with long tails of smoke behind them. The pieces of these strange bombs explode into large fires that burn the skin even when you throw water over them.”
That’s exactly what happens to people bombed with napalm or white phosphorus. The United Nations banned the bombing of civilians with napalm in 1980. The US is the only country in the world still using napalm.
Fallujah also provided a mini-snuff movie hit; the summary execution of a wounded, defenseless Iraqi man inside a mosque by a US Marine. The execution, caught on tape, and watched by millions on YouTube, graphically spelled out the “special” rules of engagement. US Marine commanders at the time were telling their soldiers to “shoot everything that moves and everything that doesn’t move”; to fire “two bullets in every body”; in case of seeing any military-aged men in the streets of Fallujah, to “drop ‘em”; and to spray every home with machine-gun and tank fire before entering them.
The rules of engagement in Iraq were codified in a 182-page field manual distributed to each and every soldier and issued in October 2004 by the Pentagon. This counter-insurgency manual stressed five rules; “protect the population; establish local political institutions; reinforce local governments; eliminate insurgent capabilities; and exploit information from local sources.”
Now back to reality. Fallujah’s population was not protected: it was bombed out of the city and turned into a mass of thousands of refugees. Political institutions were already in place: the Fallujah Shura was running the city. No local government can possibly run a pile of rubble to be recovered by seething citizens, not to mention be “reinforced”. “Insurgent capabilities” were not eliminated; the resistance dispersed around the 22 other cities out of control by the US occupation, and spread up north all the way to Mosul; and the Americans remained without intelligence “from local sources” because they antagonized every possible heart and mind.
Meanwhile, in the US, most of the population was already immune to war porn. When the Abu Ghraib scandal broke out in the spring of 2004, I was driving through Texas, exploring Bushland. Virtually everybody I spoke to either attributed the humiliation of Iraqi prisoners to “a few bad apples”, or defended it on patriotic grounds (“we must teach a lesson to “terrorists”).
I Love A Man In Uniform
In thesis, there is an approved mechanism in the 21st century to defend civilians from war porn. It’s the R2P – “responsibility to protect” doctrine. This was an idea floated already in 2001 – a few weeks after the war on terror was unleashed, in fact – by the Canadian government and a few foundations. The idea was that the concert of nations had a “moral duty” to deploy a humanitarian intervention in cases such as Halabja, not to mention the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia in the mid-1970s or the genocide in Rwanda in the mid-1990s.
In 2004, a panel at the UN codified the idea – crucially with the Security Council being able to authorize a “military intervention” only “as a last resort”. Then, in 2005, the UN General Assembly endorsed a resolution supporting R2P, and in 2006 the UN Security Council passed resolution 1674 about “the protection of civilians in armed conflict”; they should be protected against “genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity”.
Now fast-forward to the end of 2008, early 2009, when Israel – using American fighter jets to raise hell – unleashed a large-scale attack on the civilian population of the Gaza strip.
Look at the official US reaction; “Israel has obviously decided to protect herself and her people,” said then-president Bush. The US Congress voted by a staggering 390-to-5 to recognize “Israel’s right to defend itself against attacks from Gaza”. The incoming Barack Obama administration was thunderously silent. Only future Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, “We support Israel’s right to self-defense.”
At least 1,300 civilians – including scores of women and children – were killed by state terror in Gaza. Nobody invoked R2P. Nobody pointed to Israel’s graphic failure in its “responsibility to protect” Palestinians. Nobody called for a “humanitarian intervention” targeting Israel.
The mere notion that a superpower – and other lesser powers – make their foreign policy decisions based on humanitarian grounds, such as protecting people under siege, is an absolute joke. So already at the time we learned how R2P was to be instrumentalized. It did not apply to the US in Iraq or Afghanistan. It did not apply to Israel in Palestine. It would eventually apply only to frame “rogue” rulers that are not “our bastards” – as in Muammar Gaddafi in Libya in 2011. “Humanitarian” intervention, yes; but only to get rid of “the bad guys.”
And the beauty of R2P was that it could be turned upside down anytime. Bush pleaded for the “liberation” of suffering Afghans – and especially burqa-clad Afghan women – from the “evil” Taliban, in fact configuring Afghanistan as a humanitarian intervention.
And when the bogus links between al-Qaeda and the non-existent WMDs were debunked, Washington began to justify the invasion, occupation and destruction of Iraq via … R2P; “responsibility to protect” Iraqis from Saddam, and then to protect Iraqis from themselves.
The Killer Awoke Before Dawn
The most recent installment in serial episodes of war porn is the Kandahar massacre, when, according to the official Pentagon version (or cover up) an American army sergeant, a sniper and Iraqi war veteran – a highly trained assassin – shot 17 Afghan civilians, including nine women and four children, in two villages two miles apart, and burned some of their bodies.
Like with Abu Ghraib, there was the usual torrent of denials from the Pentagon – as in “this is not us” or “we don’t do things these way”; not to mention a tsunami of stories in US corporate media humanizing the hero-turned-mass killer, as in “he’s such a good guy, a family man”. In contrast, not a single word about The Other – the Afghan victims. They are faceless; and nobody knows their names.
A – serious – Afghan enquiry established that some 20 soldiers may have been part of the massacre – as in My Lai in Vietnam; and that included the rape of two of the women. It does make sense. War porn is a lethal, group subculture – complete with targeted assassinations, revenge killings, desecration of bodies, harvesting of trophies (severed fingers or ears), burning of Korans and pissing on dead bodies. It’s essentially a collective sport.
US “kill teams” have deliberately executed random, innocent Afghan civilians, mostly teenagers, for sport, planted weapons on their bodies, and then posed with their corpses as trophies. Not by accident they had been operating out of a base in the same area of the Kandahar massacre.
And we should not forget former top US commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, who in April 10, 2010, admitted, bluntly, “We’ve shot an amazing number of people” who were not a threat to the US or Western civilization.
The Pentagon spins and sells in Afghanistan what it sold in Iraq (and even way back in Vietnam for that matter); the idea that this is a “population-centric counter-insurgency” – or COIN, to “win hearts and minds”, and part of a great nation building project.
This is a monumental lie. The Obama surge in Afghanistan – based on COIN – was a total failure. What replaced it was hardcore, covert, dark war, led by “kill teams” of Special Forces. That implies an inflation of air strikes and night raids. No to mention drone strikes, both in Afghanistan and in Pakistan’s tribal areas, whose favorite targets seem to be Pashtun wedding parties.
Incidentally, the CIA claims that since May 2010, ultra-smart drones have killed more than 600 “carefully selected” human targets – and, miraculously, not a single civilian.
Expect to see this war porn extravaganza celebrated in an orgy of upcoming, joint Pentagon-Hollywood blockbusters. In real life, this is spun by people such as John Nagl, who was on General David Petraeus’ staff in Iraq and now runs the pro-Pentagon think-tank Center for New American Security.
The new stellar macho, macho men may be the commandos under the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). But this a Pentagon production, which has created, according to Nagl, an “industrial strength counter-terrorism killing machine”.
Reality, though, is much more prosaic. COIN techniques, applied by McChrystal, relied on only three components; 24-hour surveillance by drones; monitoring of mobile phones; and pinpointing the physical location of the phones from their signals.
This implies that anyone in an area under a drone watch using a cell phone was branded as a “terrorist”, or at least “terrorist sympathizer”. And then the focus of the night raids in Afghanistan shifted from “high value targets” – high-level and mid-level al-Qaeda and Taliban – to anyone who was branded as helping the Taliban.
In May 2009, before McChrystal arrived, US Special Forces were carrying 20 raids a month. By November, they were 90 a month. By the spring of 2010, they were 250 a month. When McChrystal was fired – because of a story in Rolling Stone (he was competing with Lady Gaga for the cover; Lady Gaga won) – and Obama replaced him with Petraeus in the summer of 2010, there were 600 a month. By April 2011, they were more than 1,000 a month.
So this is how it works. Don’t even think of using a cell phone in Kandahar and other Afghan provinces. Otherwise, the “eyes in the sky” are going to get you. At the very least you will be sent to jail, along with thousands of other civilians branded as “terrorist sympathizers”; and intelligence analysts will use your data to compile their “kill/capture list” and catch even more civilians in their net.
As for the civilian “collateral damage” of the night raids, they were always presented by the Pentagon as “terrorists”. Example; in a raid in Gardez on February 12, 2010, two men were killed; a local government prosecutor and an Afghan intelligence official, as well as three women (two of them pregnant). The killers told the US-North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) command in Kabul that the two men were “terrorists” and the women had been found tied up and gagged. Then the actual target of the raid turned himself in for questioning a few days later, and was released without any charges.
That’s just the beginning. Targeted assassination – as practiced in Afghanistan – will be the Pentagon’s tactic of choice in all future US wars.
Pass The Condom, Darling
Libya was a major war porn atrocity exhibition – complete with a nifty Roman touch of the defeated “barbarian” chief sodomized in the streets and then executed, straight on YouTube.
This, by the way, is exactly what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in a lightning visit to Tripoli, had announced less than 48 hours before the fact. Gaddafi should be “captured or killed”. When she watched it in the screen of her BlackBerry she could only react with the semantic earthquake “Wow!”
From the minute a UN resolution imposed a no-fly zone over Libya under the cover of R2P, it became a green card to regime change. Plan A was always to capture and kill Gaddafi – as in an Afghan-style targeted assassination. That was the Obama administration official policy. There was no plan B.
Obama said the death of Gaddafi meant, “the strength of American leadership across the world”. That was as “We got him” (echoes of Saddam captured by the Bush administration) as one could possibly expect.
With an extra bonus. Even though Washington paid no less than 80% of the operating costs of those dimwits at NATO (roughly $2 billion), it was still pocket money. Anyway, it was still awkward to say, “We did it”, because the White House always said this was not a war; it was a “kinetic” something. And they were not in charge.
Only the hopelessly naïve may have swallowed the propaganda of NATO’s “humanitarian” 40,000-plus bombing which devastated Libya’s infrastructure back to the Stone Age as a Shock and Awe in slow motion. This never had anything to do with R2P.
This was R2P as safe sex – and the “international community” was the condom. The “international community”, as everyone knows, is composed of Washington, a few washed-up NATO members, and the democratic Persian Gulf powerhouses of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), plus the House of Saud in the shade. The EU, which up to extra time was caressing the helm of Gaddafi’s gowns, took no time to fall over themselves in editorials about the 42-year reign of a “buffoon”.
As for the concept of international law, it was left lying in a drain as filthy as the one Gaddafi was holed up in. Saddam at least got a fake trial in a kangaroo court before meeting the executioner (he ended up on YouTube as well). Osama bin Laden was simply snuffed out, assassination-style, after a territorial invasion of Pakistan (no YouTube – so many don’t believe it). Gaddafi went one up, snuffed out with a mix of air war and assassination. They are The Three Graceful Scalps of War Porn.
Syria is yet another declination of war porn narrative. If you can’t R2P it, fake it.
And to think that all this was codified such a long time ago. Already in 1997, the US Army War College Quarterly was defining what they called “the future of warfare”. They framed it as “the conflict between information masters and information victims”.
They were sure “we are already masters of information warfare … Hollywood is ‘preparing the battlefield’ … Information destroys traditional jobs and traditional cultures; it seduces, betrays, yet remains invulnerable … Our sophistication in handling it will enable us to outlast and outperform all hierarchical cultures … Societies that fear or otherwise cannot manage the flow of information simply will not be competitive. They might master the technological wherewithal to watch the videos, but we will be writing the scripts, producing them, and collecting the royalties. Our creativity is devastating.”
Post-everything information warfare has nothing to do with geopolitics. Just like the proverbial Hollywood product, it is to be “spawned” out of raw emotions; “hatred, jealousy, and greed – emotions, rather than strategy”.
In Syria this is exactly how Western corporate media has scripted the whole movie; the War College “information warfare” tactics in practice. The Syrian government never had much of a chance against those “writing the scripts, producing them, and collecting the royalties”.
For example, the armed opposition, the so-called Free Syrian Army (a nasty cocktail of defectors, opportunists, jihadis and foreign mercenaries) brought Western journalists to Homs and then insisted to extract them, in extremely dangerous condition, and with people being killed, via Lebanon, rather than through the Red Crescent. They were nothing else than writing the script for a foreign-imposed “humanitarian corridor” to be opened to Homs. This was pure theater – or war porn packaged as a Hollywood drama.
The problem is Western public opinion is now hostage to this brand of information warfare. Forget about even the possibility of peaceful negotiations among adult parties. What’s left is a binary good guys versus bad guys plot, where the Big Bad Guy must be destroyed at all costs (and on top of it his wife is a snob bitch who loves shopping!)
Only the terminally naïve may believe that jihadis – including Libya’s NATO rebels – financed by the Gulf Counter-revolution Club, also know as Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are a bunch of democratic reformists burning with good intentions. Even Human Rights Watch was finally forced to acknowledge that these armed “activists” were responsible for “kidnapping, detention, and torture”, after receiving reports of “executions by armed opposition groups of security force members and civilians”.
What this (soft and hard) war porn narrative veils, in the end, is the real Syrian tragedy; the impossibility for the much-lauded “Syrian people” to get rid of all these crooks – the Assad system, the Muslim Brotherhood-controlled Syrian National Council, and the mercenary-infested Free Syrian Army.
Listen To The Sound of Chaos
This – very partial – catalogue of sorrows inevitably brings us to the current supreme war porn blockbuster – the Iran psychodrama.
2012 is the new 2002; Iran is the new Iraq; and whatever the highway, to evoke the neo-con motto, real men go to Tehran via Damascus, or real men go to Tehran non-stop.
Perhaps only underwater in the Arctic we would be able to escape the cacophonous cortege of American right-wingers – and their respective European poodles – salivating for blood and deploying the usual festival of fallacies like “Iran wants to wipe Israel off the map”, “diplomacy has run its course”, “the sanctions are too late”, or “Iran is within a year, six months, a week, a day, or a minute of assembling a bomb”. Of course these dogs of war would never bother to follow what the International Atomic Energy Agency is actually doing, not to mention the National Intelligence Estimates released by the 17 US intelligence agencies.
Because they, to a great extent, are “writing the scripts, producing them, and collecting the royalties” in terms of corporate media, they can get away with an astonishingly toxic fusion of arrogance and ignorance – about the Middle East, about Persian culture, about Asian integration, about the nuclear issue, about the oil industry, about the global economy, about “the Rest” as compared to “the West”.
Just like with Iraq in 2002, Iran is always dehumanized. The relentless, totally hysterical, fear-inducing “narrative” of “should we bomb now or should we bomb later” is always about oh so very smart bunker buster bombs and precision missiles that will accomplish an ultra clean large-scale devastation job without producing a single “collateral damage”. Just like safe sex.
And even when the voice of the establishment itself – the New York Times – admits that neither US nor Israeli intelligence believe Iran has decided to build a bomb (a 5-year-old could reach the same conclusion), the hysteria remains inter-galactic.
Meanwhile, while it gets ready – “all options are on the table”, Obama himself keeps repeating – for yet another war in what it used to call “arc of instability”, the Pentagon also found time to repackage war porn. It took only a 60-second video now on YouTube, titled Toward the Sound of Chaos, released only a few days after the Kandahar massacre. Just look at its key target audience: the very large market of poor, unemployed and politically very naïve young Americans.
Let’s listen to the mini-movie voice over: “Where chaos looms, the Few emerge. Marines move toward the sounds of tyranny, injustice and despair – with the courage and resolve to silence them. By ending conflict, instilling order and helping those who can’t help themselves, Marines face down the threats of our time.”
Maybe, in this Orwellian universe, we should ask the dead Afghans urinated upon by US Marines, or the thousands of dead in Fallujah, to write a movie review. Well, dead men don’t write. Maybe we could think about the day NATO enforces a no-fly one over Saudi Arabia to protect the Shi’ites in the eastern province, while Pentagon drones launch a carpet of Hellfire missiles over those thousands of arrogant, medieval, corrupt House of Saud princes. No, it’s not going to happen.
Over a decade after the beginning of the war on terror, this is what the world is coming to; a lazy, virtually worldwide audience, jaded, dazed and distracted from distraction by distraction, helplessly hooked on the shabby atrocity exhibition of war porn.
Source: Asia Times
Let’s be honest, quite a few Americans love a good war, especially those Americans who have never had to bear witness to one first hand. War is the ultimate tribally vicarious experience. Anyone, even pudgy armchair generals with deep-seated feelings of personal inadequacy, can revel in the victories and actions of armies a half a world away as if they themselves stood on the front lines risking possible annihilation at the hands of dastardly cartoon-land “evil doers”. They may have never done a single worthwhile thing in their lives, but at least they can bask in the perceived glory of their country’s military might.
This attitude of swollen ego through proxy is not limited to the “Right” side of the political spectrum as some might expect. In fact, if the terrifyingly demented presidency of Barack Obama has proven anything so far, it is that elements of the “Left” are just as bloodthirsty as any NeoCon, and just as ready to blindly support the political supremacy of their “side” regardless of any broken promises, abandoned principles, or openly flaunted hypocrisies. No matter how reasonable or irrefutable the arguments against a particular conflict are, there will ALWAYS be a certain percentage of the populace which ignores all logic and barrels forward to cheerlead violent actions which ultimately only benefit a select and elite few.
They do this, though they rarely openly admit it, because of unbalanced and irrational biases which drive their decision making processes. In the case of the wars in the Middle East, the common public argument boils down to one of “self defense”. “They are coming to get us!” At least, that is what we are constantly told. And I’m sure that some Americans out there truly believe this. However, in their heart of hearts, others instead relish the idea of imposing their world views and philosophical systems upon others, even if it means using cluster bombs and predator drones.
Some people simply hate Muslims, for one reason or another. Some people believe that war will bring with it economic gain. Some are so afraid of what they do not comprehend that they only feel secure by attacking it. Some believe that the U.S. citizenry is morally obligated to become entangled with governments like Israel’s, and support them without question as if they are infallible, though they are often just as corrupt as the governments we are directed to despise. And yet others (for religious purposes), actually clamor for Middle Eastern destruction in the desperate hopes that their version of biblical prophecy will be vindicated. Ultimately, most Americans who support continued destruction in the Middle East, or anywhere else for that matter, do so out a selfish need for private absolution and elevation, not out of a sincere sense of patriotism, and not because nations like Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, or Iran present a legitimate danger to their safety.
These men and women have invested their very identities into the mechanizations of collective war. They will not be swayed by evidence or honorable arguments. Any criticism of the actions of the collective will immediately be treated as a personal attack on their individual character, causing their minds to shut down completely.
As far as Iran is concerned, I am not here to convince the war-drum pounding zombie hoards infesting the mentally impotent sewage soaked wastelands of my country that their rationalizations for raining laser guided death on the third world is a “reprehensible thing”. Given their impenetrable biases, which I listed above, that would be a complete waste of time.
I could, indeed, point out how in 1953 the U.S. and Britain overthrew the democratically elected leader of Iran, Mohammad Mossaddegh, because he refused to allow global corporate interests to exploit his country’s oil resources. I could outline how the forced CIA installation of the Shah in Iran and the creation of his secret police led to the torture and murder of thousands of innocent people. I could list similar covert activities over the past 100 years or so, in countries all over the world, which have created the now universal disdain the third world has for the U.S. government. I could even show them a PBS special from 1987 which effectively details this history and warns of what is now going on today. The kind of mainstream news coverage that networks currently blacklist honest and daring journalists for:
But what about all the nuclear talk being shoved down our throats lately? Doesn’t this supersede any historical concerns between Iran and the U.S.? What if the terrorists get their hands on “the bomb”?!
On this issue, I could easily interject the fact that countries supposedly hostile to the U.S., like North Korea, have long had nuclear capability, and certainly the means to use infiltrators to deliver that technology, yet, we haven’t sent the Western war machine after them. I would also set the record straight by mentioning that the ONLY country in the world that has used a nuclear weapon against another is the U.S. I could educate these people on the exposure of secret Israeli nuclear weapons programs since the 1970’s, and the fact that Israel even attempted to illegally sell this technology to Apartheid South Africa:
I could try to clear the air by reminding the uninformed that Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta recently admitted that Iran has no nuclear weapons capability. And, that this fact was repeated by an Iranian nuclear scientist, Sharhram Amiri, who defected to the U.S. in 2010 with the help of the CIA in the hopes that he could be used to disseminate propaganda on “secret” nuclear weapons programs in his former homeland. Instead, he only reinforced the assertion that there are no such programs:
With the CIA made to look foolish, they have now decided that Amiri is “peripheral” to the Iranian nuke programs, and is no longer a solid source of information. I could follow by pointing out how decidedly convenient this is…
What about all the similarities between the lies on WMD’s in Iraq and the rhetoric against Iran today? What about the disinformation put forward by the IAEA and its cadre of foreign policy yes-men?
What about the fact that back when Iran was run by our own puppet leader, the Shah, an iron-fisted sociopathic dictator, we were more than happy that the country was developing nuclear power plants:
Sorry, but sharing this information with the warmongering percentage of our American culture is futile. None of this data means a thing to them. For these people, it’s not about facts; it’s about foggy perception, uncontrolled emotion, and false identity. Understanding the situation only complicates their pursuit of the next collectivist high; that frenetic freak frenzy that takes hold of a population and makes them swarm like mad bees, or hungry piranha, poisoning and devouring everything in their path.
With this in mind, the only recourse I could possibly think of to wake them up to their philosophical and moral folly is to expose them to very real and debilitating consequences they will face in their everyday lives in the wake of expanded conflict on the part of the U.S. That is to say, you may hate Iran, you may hate Iranians, you may despise Muslims, you may be driven by a childish need to live vicariously through the exploits of your government, or, you might actually believe the hype that Iran is in league with Al-Qaeda, that they really are after nuclear weapons in a diabolical plot to harm Americans, and you might truly believe that Israel is that “beacon of freedom” in the Middle East and that all its neighbors must be pacified for the sake of democracy. At bottom, whatever your deepest intentions, and whatever you might think, this is irrelevant in the face of the inevitable costs of war. If you support such a war, here is how it will affect you when it breaks loose:
Exploding Oil Prices
The U.S. has had a ban on Iranian oil imports since 1979, however, Iran still supplies about 5% of the global oil market. This might not seem like much, but Iran also has the means and ability to shut down the Straight of Hormuz, which is one of two major petroleum choke points in the world. Around 17 million barrels of oil per day are shipped through the Straight of Hormuz, or about 20% of all oil traded worldwide.
In 2006, during the last major Iran war scare, experts predicted gasoline price increases in excess of $10 a gallon if Iran was invaded.
This would devastate the U.S. economy, which is already hanging by a thin thread. Iran has announced this past weekend it will cease all oil shipments to Britain and France in protest of their support of economic sanctions. This alone is causing oil to spike today. A global energy crisis will financially decimate average citizens who will have their savings sapped by extreme price inflation, not just in gasoline, but in all goods that require the use of gasoline in their production and shipping. If you like this idea, then by all means, support an invasion of Iran.
War Domino Effect
In January of 2010, I wrote an article for Neithercorp Press entitled “Will Globalists Trigger Yet Another World War”. In that article, I warned about the dangers of an invasion of Iran or Syria being used to foment a global conflict, in order to create a crisis large enough to distract the masses away from the international banker created economic collapse:
In 2006, Iran signed a mutual defense pact with its neighbor, Syria, which is also in the middle of its own turmoil and possible NATO intervention. Syria has strong ties to Russia, and even has a revamped Russian naval base off its coast, a fact rarely mentioned by the mainstream media. Both Russia and China have made their opposition clear in the case of any Western intervention in Iran or Syria. An invasion by the U.S. or Israel in these regions could quickly intensify into wider war between major world powers. If you like the idea of a world war which could eventually put you and your family in direct danger, then by all means, support an invasion of Iran.
Make no mistake, the U.S. dollar is already on the verge of collapse, along with the U.S. economy. Bilateral trade agreements between BRIC and ASEAN nations are sprouting up everywhere the past couple months, and these agreements are specifically designed to end the dollar’s status as the world reserve currency. An invasion of Iran will only expedite this process. If global anger over the resulting chaos in oil prices doesn’t set off a dump of the dollar, the eventual debt obligation incurred through the overt costs of war will. Ron Paul has always been right; it doesn’t matter whether you think invasion is a good idea or not. We simply CANNOT afford it. America is bankrupt. Our only source of income is our ability to print money from thin air. Each dollar created to fund new wars brings our currency ever closer to its demise.
This combination of disastrous economic policy and disastrous foreign policy has actually been used before. Great Britain once sat in the position of economic authority that the U.S. sits in today, and the pound sterling was once considered the world reserve because it was required in the global trade of oil, just as the dollar is now. However, British intrigues in the Middle East, and more specifically in Egypt, led them into extreme debt. In the 1940’s and 1950’s, international banks led by America and France threatened to dump British Treasury Bonds in response to their efforts to dominate Middle Eastern oil. Does any of this sound familiar?
This ultimately led to considerable devaluation of the pound. In 1967, the death blow was finally delivered when Prime Minister Harold Wilson artificially reduced the British exchange rate by 14% overnight! Meaning, in the span of a single evening, British citizens lost 14% of their buying power, and every product they went out to buy the next day would cost them 14% more.
It would be practical to mention that the move to destroy the British pound came right in time for the implementation of new programs for the construction of the European Union, and the Euro, the new supranational currency which would later become the standard. The EU and the Euro never could have come about while the Pound Sterling remained a world reserve. Just another amazing coincidence I’m sure, and one that couldn’t possibly have any relation to what is happening to the dollar in 2012, right…?
So, if you like the idea of losing 14% or more of your buying power overnight, and having that financial loss blamed on the tides of war, rather than on the corporate bankers who actually created the mess, then by all means, support an invasion of Iran.
Civil Liberties Destroyed
Do you like being able to walk down the street without having to suffer through constant pat-downs by low wage brain-dead cretins in blue gloves? Does it make you feel good to know that if you are ever arrested, whether you are guilty or not, you are guaranteed by law to receive a fair trial by your peers in a civilian court with a lawyer by your side? Do you enjoy taking a long drive with the family without facing check points, and predator drones constantly overhead every time you put the top down to feel the wind in your hair? Don’t get too comfortable, folks! These “luxuries” will soon be a thing of the past, especially as the U.S. financial situation deteriorates and war escalates. Think of all the new threats the elites in our government can use to rationalize the usurpation of Constitutional protections when war with Iran, or Syria, or Russia, or China, or all of them at once, breaks out.
The term “terrorist” will take on a whole different dynamic. Great national dangers often facilitate broader definitions of who is and who is not an “enemy of the state”. Crisis gives wings to legislation like the NDAA. In this kind of despotic environment, no one, even those citizens who support the state in nearly all of its enterprises, is safe. Maybe you love the idea of war with Iran, but at the same time, hate the idea of having a TSA goon manhandling your wife or daughter in a train station or on a street corner. Good luck with that. Speaking out could be treated as disruption of national security measures. Off to the gulag with you!
The “greater good” somehow always entails the dissolution of civil liberties for the common man. Invariably, the establishment in power favors no one, save a highly connected few. Being pro-establishment does not necessarily protect you from a government given free reign to do whatever it pleases in wartime. In the end, everyone is fair game.
If this is the kind of America you want to live in, by all means, support an invasion of Iran.
If You Can’t See The Big Picture, You Can’t See A Thing…
The relentless drive for war in the Middle East is not about “spreading democracy”. It is not about terrorism. It is not about oil (at least for the most part). It is not about Israel (at least, not the Israeli people). It is not even about corporate profiteering by the Military Industrial Complex. War in the Middle East is about changing the way our country and our world operates, culturally, socially, financially, and politically. War opens doors to social re-engineering that could never be accomplished otherwise. War creates fear, panic, rage, and allows dystopian fallacies to reign supreme. War, unjust and dishonorable war, makes countries weak, and ripe for violent change.
Iran is not a threat to our way of life, and never has been. But, war in Iran could easily upset the core of our entire country, and leave us wayward strangers in the land we were born.
While much of the rhetoric of preemptive invasion that America has been awash in these past few months is carefully crafted and disseminated by government entities whose intentions are far from honest, its effectiveness is mute without the helping hand of a thoughtless subsection of the public. Every decade or so, a new generation of idiot spawn comes of age to be willingly sacrificed on the chopping block of globalist conquest. This new decade brings with it the promise of not just more of the same, but perhaps the most costly tithe to the gods of war ever made in our country’s history. This is not our fight. This is a fight we are being conned into undertaking for the profit of others, and thus, it is a fight we cannot win. Perhaps when the blind mobs of this nation feel the abrupt sting of their foolishness in their narrow day-to-day existence, they will finally understand…
Source: Brandon Smith | Alt-Market
I read somewhere that if you want your children to do what you tell them to do, there are only two things that actually work: Threats and bribes. Well, the same thing should be true with regard to international relations — but it’s not.
Internationally speaking, threats and bribes have obviously gotten American corporatist leaders absolutely nowhere.
After decades and decades of administering extremely serious threats and fantastically huge bribes (involving both Cold Wars and hot), American corporatists still aren’t even close to being obeyed — or even respected — by most other countries on this planet. American corporatists nowadays are just simply being hated.
Instead of having other countries instantly obey Washington and Wall Street like they were a bunch of obedient and/or traumatized children, all these so-called “kids” obviously have become passive-aggressive haters instead — and sometimes not all that passive as well.
Take Pakistan for instance. In 1947, shortly after it had become a nation, Pakistan willingly and happily signed on to become one of America’s most important allies in the Great Game. And now, as of May 2011, diplomatic ties between Pakistan and the U.S. have completely disintegrated — but only after a very long time (60 years-plus) spent with Pakistan being the recipient of a whole laundry list of heavy-duty threats and almost-obscene bribes from American corporatists.
I just got back from a friend’s birthday party — where I received the entire 411 on Pakistan from a Middle East expert standing over by the hors d’oeuvre table. “When American troops entered Pakistan in [alleged] pursuit of bin Ladin, then Pakistanis considered that as an invasion.” Okay. Invasion seems like a rather large threat.
“So now Pakistan has finally stopped being our close ally and, thanks to Washington’s bad timing, has become a rogue state with a nuclear bomb — a loose cannon — instead.”
In the matter of US-Pakistan relations, threats and bribes clearly haven’t worked. Oops. Sorry about that.
And then there’s Iran. Currently, our corporatist-controlled mainstream media is busy spreading erroneous rumors that Iran has a nuclear weapons program — and should be stopped at any cost. Even Elizabeth Warren, who surely should know better, is swallowing up this falsehood hook, line and sinker. What nuclear weapons program? Iranians don’t have one. But even if they did, who could blame them for wanting one after having spent the past 45 years at the business-end of corporatist America’s threats and bribes.
But we all know that the corporatists’ latest flurry of war-drum-beating is, once again, not about nuclear weapons or other WMDs– it’s all about oil. But even so, threats and bribes clearly haven’t worked with regard to stealing Iran’s oil either.
And then there’s good old Macedonia. “Huh?” you might shrug. “What’s Macedonia got to do with all this?” Well, American corporatists, at considerable expense to us ever-gullible American taxpayers, has just built a HUGE new military complex in Macedonia — because it is within bombing range of the Middle East. So. Did you know that American corporatists now have an exciting new vacation home in good old Macedonia? I thought not.
Plus don’t forget Afghanistan. According to that expert I met at the birthday party over guacamole and cheese sticks, American corporatists’ interests (as compared to the interests of just poor slobs like you and me, mere voters and taxpayers) will NEVER let U.S. troops leave Afghanistan. “Why is that?” I asked, while reaching for the Gouda and rye.
“Because of its strategic location, right next door to both Pakistan and Iran — and, of course, to Russia and China.” Four countries who have the chutzpah to withstand American corporatist takeovers.
So American corporatists now have huge bases in Afghanistan and Macedonia (and don’t forget Israel, Iraq and Kuwait) — whose main purpose seems to be to surround Iran, Pakistan, Russia and China with huge threats.
And there’s one more country that I forgot to mention where corporatist threats and bribes may not be working either — America itself. Even despite all the recent tear gas in Oakland and New York City and all the happy promises offered by Fox News, Americans are also starting to wise up and act like rebellious children — Hansel and Gretel to be specific.
Carrots and sticks. Threats and bribes.
However, American corporatists are NOT dealing with little kids here — but rather with adult human beings and sovereign nations. And so their authoritarian theory of threats and bribes — a theory that appears to work well on easily-cowed kindergarteners — is not doing so good when forced down the throats of grown-up countries like Iran, Pakistan, Russia, China, and even the U.S.
As evidenced by the failure of Washington’s and Wall Street’s multi-trillion-dollar post-WWII foreign policies that have forced the rest of the world’s 99 percent into today’s sorry state of disequilibrium between uber-rich and downtrodden, threats and bribes just don’t work all that well in the sphere of international relations. Cooperation between nations and peoples works better.
And, come to think of it, encouraging cooperation also works better on real children too!
PS: The birthday party turned out to be a great success. A birthday was celebrated, deep ideas were discussed — and there was plenty of food. And speaking of food, I also talked to an expert on America’s failing food production system. Apparently our lack of food supply sustainability is gonna screw up America’s future bigtime, happily giving us cancer, among other things. [Monsanto & Cancer Milk: Fox News Kills Story and Fires Reporters]
And I also talked to someone who stated that the future of America ultimately depends on the success or failure of its small businesses — not on placating huge greedy corporations who will do anything for money. “Did you know that WalMart opens approximately 30 big-box stores per month? And that each one of these monsters causes at least ten small local business to fail because they can’t compete with WalMart’s artificially-lowered prices, sweat-shop imports and tax breaks received for outsourcing?”
He also lamented the fact that, over in Afghanistan, authorities openly ask for baksheesh because baksheesh is an accepted custom, understood for what it is: A bribe. “But over here in America, these same bribes are disguised and made legal by being called various fog-enshrouding names such as building permit fees, business licenses, liquor licenses, tax codes requirements, parking charges, payments to for-profit health insurance companies, etc. that nickel-and-dime American small businesses to death. But baksheesh is baksheesh, no matter what you call it.”
Threats and bribes. Not working! Let’s try cooperation instead.
“The build-up against Venezuela that began during the George W. Bush administration has rapidly accelerated under Obama.”– Eva Golinger, author of “The Chávez Code: Cracking US Intervention in Venezuela”
Attorney and activist Eva Golinger has written an excellent piece on US-Venezuela relations that’s posted on her website Postcards from the Revolution. Golinger details the astonishing turnaround that Chavez has effected since he took office 12 years ago. Not only has Chavez routed the predatory oligarchs who once dominated Venezuelan politics, but his revolutionary social programs have also raised the standard of living for the poor and middle classes while strengthening the institutions that have transformed Venezuela into one of the hemishpere’s most vibrant democracies. Venezuela has seen a 50 percent reduction in poverty since Chavez took office in February, 1999. Venezuelans are now guaranteed free, universal healthcare, a K-through-college education, and civil liberties that are protected under the constitution. US citizens have every reason to be envious of the social safety net Chavez has created for his people via his Bolivarian Revolution.
Naturally, Chavez’s progressive policies have raised a few eyebrows in Washington where his successes are seen as a threat to the established order. Corporate mandarins regard Chavez as a troublemaker and they’re doing whatever they can to get rid of him ASAP. This is why one never reads anything positive about Chavez or his accomplishments in the US media, because the corporate bosses hate him, as they do anyone who diverts money from the 1 percent at the top of the economic foodchain to the 99 percent at the bottom.
US-Venezuela relations have continued to deteriorate under Barack Obama, who has turned out to be as big a disappointment to Chavez as he has to his supporters in the US. The Obama administration continues to fund the stealth network of US-backed NGOs that have been working around-the-clock to depose the democratically-elected leader for more than a decade. Golinger has written extensively on U.S. government agencies and their persistent meddling in Venezuela’s politics. Here’s an excerpt from Golinger’s post:
“Ever since the US-supported coup attempt against President Hugo Chavez in Venezuela failed in April 2002, Washington has been pursuing a variety of strategies to remove the overwhelmingly popular South American head of state from power. Multimillion-dollar funding to anti-Chavez groups in Venezuela through US government agencies, such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), has increased exponentially over the past ten years, as has direct political support through advisors, strategists and consultants- all aiming to help an unpopular and outdated opposition rise to power.
US government agencies, including the State Department, Central Intelligence Agency, National Directorate of Intelligence and the Pentagon, have pumped up their hostile language towards the Venezuelan government in recent years. The major oil-producing nation has been placed on the countless, and baseless “lists” produced annually by Washington, including “failure to cooperate with counter-narcotics efforts”, “failure to aid in the war on terror”, “trafficking in persons”, and others, that are based on political decisions instead of concrete, substantial evidence to support their accusations. These classifications have enabled Washington to justify not only the millions of US taxpayer dollars channeled to anti-Chavez groups fronting as NGOs, but also to increase military presence in the region and convince public opinion that Hugo Chavez is an enemy.” (“War on Venezuela: Washington’s False Accusations Against The Chavez Government”, Eva Golinger, Postcards from the Revolution)
So, things have not improved under Obama at all, in fact, they’ve gotten worse. The US congress–whose public approval rating has plunged to single digits–is also beating the war drums against Chavez trying to garner support for direct intervention.
While Obama has refrained from name-calling or explicit accusations; his underlings in and out of the bureaucracy never hesitate to connect Chavez to Iran or to suggest links between Chavez and terrorism. Obama’s role in the smear campaign is as clear as his role in eviscerating the Bill of Rights with his recently-passed NDAA.
Here’s more from Golinger: “Other “commentators” and “analysts” are busy writing blogs and columns warning of the growing terrorist threat south of the US border. These dangerous, unfounded accusations could easily be used to justify an attack against Venezuela, as weapons of mass destruction was used against Iraq and “protecting the population” was used against Libya. ….Time again, Venezuela has shown there are no “terrorist training camps” on its soil. Nor is it secretly building a bomb to attack the US. Venezuela is a nation of peace. It does not invade, attack or threaten other countries.”
So, what does a peaceful country like Venezuela need to do to avert a confrontation with the United States?
Venezuela needs to become more like neighboring Colombia that Obama and others regularly hold up as a model of “democracy” in the region. Colombia –where human rights abuses and targeted assassinations are routine and where the US spends billions on a drug eradication program (Plan Colombia) that routinely sprays toxic (re: poison) chemicals on crops, livestock, water supplies and children.
Here’s a little background from Aljazeera: “In 2008, Colombian soldiers were revealed to have murdered possibly thousands of civilians and then dressed the corpses in FARC attire in order to receive bonus pay and extra holiday time. Juan Manuel Santos (who is now Colombia’s president) was serving as defence minister …when the “false positives” scandal broke…. Despite this and other details – such as that, since Uribe’s assumption of office, more trade unionists have been assassinated in Colombia than in the rest of the world combined …(Even so)…..the country has been applauded by the US State Department and the Inter-American Development Bank as a regional role model in confronting security threats ensures the fortification of a system in which profits depend on the perpetuation of insecurity.”(“Private security and ‘the Israelites of Latin America’”, Belen Fernandez, Aljazeera)
So, this is how one becomes America’s friend; just follow orders, kill and imprison your own people, (preferably trade unionists) and allow the corporate looting to go unchecked. No wonder the repressive Saudi dictatorship consistantly ranks so high on Washington’s Friend’s List.
So, what’s in store for Chavez, who’s done nothing except raise living standards, strengthen the rule of law, and make the world a better place for ordinary working people?
The Obama administration presently has its hands full with its wars in Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa. But as soon as Obama is finished “liberating” Tehran, it’ll be on to Venezuela. You can bet on it. After all, Venezuela sits on the biggest ocean of oil in the world, “over 500 billion barrels”. That means it’s only a matter of time before WMD and Al Qaida training camps are discovered in Caracas.