Archive | September 1st, 2012

China vs Japan – Who is Stoking the Fires, and Why?

NOVANEWS

 Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem Sr

Geopolitical Disputes are Not Only Exploited by Countries and Multi-Nationals, but by So-Called Activists, also.

 by  Jim W. Dean, VT Editor           ….with  Press TV’s News Analysis

 

Senkaku Islands – Could a dispute here justify military moves?

Last Sunday I did a Press TV show on the Japan-China dust up on the Senkaku Islands SW of Okinawa.

Both countries have decided for the usual self serving reasons to crank up nationalist fervor over these two outcroppings. Left with hardly a mention is Taiwan who also has a dog in the fight.

Of course the battle is over the usual thing, natural resources, gas and oil around the islands and fishing rights.

China is a late comer on its claim, 1971,only putting one in after petrochemical deposits were found around the islands.

 

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Japan claims a roughly one hundred plus year historical right to the islands due to their 400 km proximity to Okinawa. That is the killing ground where 100,000 Japanese  were lost (plus 70,000 civilians) fighting to buy time for Japan to finish building its first nukes so they could detonate them in places like San Fransisco and other major ports via submarine delivery.

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And field testing their biological weapons on the American heartland was coming right behind the nukes. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese had been cruelly exterminated during the Japanese military’s extensive human testing, which included vivisection…dissecting live victims so the damage to ‘fresh’ organs could be observed.

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It was interesting to be on a show with Steven Lendmann after two years  of working with Veterans Today. But I was still the ‘other guest’, as brother Steven does not read anything on VeteransToday or know who anybody is here other than Gordon. He is busy with his own thing, which seems to be a steady diet of America bashing in any and all circumstances. Chicago is famous for them, and crooks.

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Mr. Lin Din from Philadelphia I found to be very professional, with no bias or ideology on his sleeve, and was well versed on the subject. He was a pro, and it’s always a pleasure to work with them.

Are China and Japan heading for collision over oil and gas resources?

My first shock came when Lendmann declared that this whole island dispute between to heavily populated countries with huge needs for energy imports was an American provocation using ‘vassal’ Japan as it’s proxy.

He stuck with this position despite Mr. Din explaining that the ultra nationalist mayor of Tokyo, and a true blue America hater, had cranked up the current dispute on the Japanese side.

Lendmann presented Okinawa as almost a open Gaza type prison camp run by a Neo-Nazi American military.  There was no mention of the Japanese extermination of one million people in North China as part of a depopulation’ strategy to deny support to the Chinese guerrillas with Mao.

And of course no mention of the Chicoms killing more of their own people after taking post war control than the Japanese killed during the war, and they were good killers.

I learned that only America was the big Satan, like there are no legitimate reasons for these long time historical adversaries to fight other that their playing some roll in an America monopoly game. As our readers know, one of the things we sell here at VT is background and framing as that is all A,B,C stuff in intelligence analysis.

An analyst that is only concerned with the material that supports where he wants to go, and ignores everything that doesn’t, is less than worthless.  He’s an in-house threat. They usually get canned.

Having hosted over a hundred HTV shows here in Atlanta, and being my first live one with PressTV, I did not hog the micro phone as it wrecks the host’s question rhythm for the show. Accordingly I got half the airtime of the others, so my sample clips below are short. But I did bring some material I knew they would not because that is usually why we are invited.

Brother Lendmann claimed that Japan did America’s bidding out of having no ability to stand up to China. I had anticipated that so I dropped the bomb about all of Japan’s nuclear weapons that no one is supposed to know about. Bless their hearts they have them disassembled, but those folks certainly have a deterrent, one in spades.

Japan has been to Venus – 2010

Japan also has a space program with super booster rockets that can carry a six ton payload…a school bus or the space shuttle on the nose.

Most folks have missed that any country that can put something into orbit can deliver a nuclear warhead, or many of them on a six ton warhead, simply by steering them with a few jets to where they want them to go.

I share my short clips as an example of once again Veterans Today is spreading our journalism and commentary to a wider audience. And what we putting out there is just not stuff that we know, but all that comes in from our many sources, readers, and yes…even critics.

We have a major piece of work getting cranked up this week, a potential game changer. You will know it when you see it.

We try to give you the real deal and fill in the holes on info we know that controlled media and controlled activists leave out. You can let me know in the comments if I should stick with my day and night and weekend job at VT :-)

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Extraordinary Increase: US Arms Sales Control Global Market

NOVANEWS

 POSTED BY: Sammi Ibrahem Sr

Deals with Persian Gulf allies worried about Iran help American weapons sales to triple in 2011

Weapons sales by the United States tripled in 2011 to a record high, driven by major arms sales to Persian Gulf allies concerned about Iran’s regional ambitions, according to a new study for Congress.  Overseas weapons sales by the United States totaled $66.3 billion last year, or more than three-quarters of the global arms market, valued at $85.3 billion in 2011. Russia was a distant second, with $4.8 billion in deals

The American weapons sales total was an “extraordinary increase” over the $21.4 billion in deals for 2010, the study found, and was the largest single-year sales total in the history of United States arms exports. The previous high was in fiscal year 2009, when American weapons sales overseas totaled nearly $31 billion.

A worldwide economic decline had suppressed arms sales over recent years. But increasing tensions with Iran drove a set of Persian Gulf nations — Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Oman — to purchase American weapons at record levels.
These Gulf states do not share a border with Iran, and their arms purchases focused on expensive warplanes and complex missile defense systems.

The report was prepared by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, a division of the Library of Congress. The annual study, written by Richard F. Grimmett and Paul K. Kerr and delivered to Congress on Friday, is considered the most detailed collection of unclassified arms sales data available to the public.

The agreements with Saudi Arabia included the purchase of 84 advanced F-15 fighters, a variety of ammunition, missiles and logistics support, and upgrades of 70 of the F-15 fighters in the current fleet.

Sales to Saudi Arabia last year also included dozens of Apache and Black Hawk helicopters, all contributing to a total Saudi weapons deal from the United States of $33.4 billion, according to the study.

The United Arab Emirates purchased a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, an advanced antimissile shield that includes radars and is valued at $3.49 billion, as well as 16 Chinook helicopters for $939 million.

Oman bought 18 F-16 fighters for $1.4 billion.

Most bought by developing nations
In keeping with recent trends, most of the weapons purchases, worth about $71.5 billion, were made by developing nations, with about $56.3 billion of that from the United States.

Other significant weapons deals by the United States last year included a $4.1 billion agreement with India for 10 C-17 transport planes and with Taiwan for Patriot antimissile batteries valued at $2 billion — an arms deal that outraged officials in Beijing.

To compare weapons sales over various years, the study used figures in 2011 dollars, with amounts for previous years adjusted for inflation to provide a consistent measurement.

A policy goal of the United States has been to work with Arab allies in the Persian Gulf to knit together a regional missile defense system to protect cities, oil refineries, pipelines and military bases from an Iranian attack.
The effort has included deploying radars to increase the range of early warning coverage across the Persian Gulf, as well as introducing command, control and communications systems that could exchange that information with new batteries of missile interceptors sold to the individual nations.

The missile shield in the Persian Gulf is being built on a country-by-country basis — with these costly arms sales negotiated bilaterally between the United States and individual nations.

This story, “U.S. Arms Sales Make Up Most of Global Market“, originally appeared in The New York Times.

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Risking Nuclear Armageddon

NOVANEWS

by Stephen Lendman

 

Irresponsible leaders risk the unthinkable. Media scoundrels cheerlead mindlessly. So do neocon think tanks. Ordinary people are more concerned about mundane trivia than survival.

Nero didn’t fiddle while Rome burned. The violin wasn’t invented for another 1,500 years. Today’s officials go where earlier ones wouldn’t dare. They risk regional or global disaster. War on Syria and/or Iran may ignite more than leaders bargain for.

Imagine blowing up the world to control it. Imagine forces able to stop it staying sidelined. Imagine the unimaginable. Imagine it before it’s too late to matter.

World War II weapons were toys compared to today’s. Before war ended, tens of millions died. Estimates range from 50 – 70 million. No one knows for sure. Preventing war would have saved them. Hoped for never again became perpetual conflicts.

Obama replicates hardline neocon extremism. He did what supporters thought impossible. He surpassed the worst of Bush. Imagine what’ll do in a second term.

He’s risking the unthinkable. He’s lurching toward potential nuclear war. He’s mindless about likely consequences.

Only America used nuclear weapons. It’s not working to avoid potential catastrophe. It wants advantageous geopolitical positioning and dominance. Mutually assured destruction so far worked. Fail safe days may be ending.

Attacking Syria risks Russian and perhaps Chinese intervention. War on Iran entails that risk and more. Washington’s arsenal includes weapons too dangerous to use.

One around for several years is called “the Mother of All Bombs (massive ordinance penetrator, or MOP).” At 30,000 pounds, it’s able to penetrate 200 feet of concrete before exploding. It’s America’s most powerful non-nuclear weapon. Use will cause horrific casualties and destruction.

Tactical nuclear weapons may also be used. Called bunker busters, their explosive power ranges from less to more than bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Using them assures retaliation. Prime targets include Israel’s nuclear sites, US bases, and America’s nuclear armed vessels. Imagine the potential consequences. Armageddon is risked. The unimaginable may become reality.

Plans have been in place for years. Washington and Israel have them. Perhaps coordinated strikes are planned. Russian and Chinese intervention ups the catastrophic odds.

Dangerous signals are increasing. On August 19, Obama promised US military intervention if Syria repositions or uses chemical or other nonconventional weapons. At a White House news conference he said:

“We have been very clear to the Assad regime but also to other players on the ground that a red line for us is, we start seeing a whole bunch of weapons moving around or being utilized.”

“That would change my calculus. That would change my equation.”

At the same time, Mossad-connected DEBKAfile (DF) said US, UK and French special forces are positioned in Israel, Jordan and Turkey. They’re on standby to seize Syrian chemical weapons.

Doing so means invasion. DF said they’ll “engage Syrian troops attempting to” reposition nonconventional weapons. Allegedly it’s to prevent them from falling into insurgent hands or supplying them to Hezbollah.

Obama, Britain’s David Cameron, and France’s Francois Hollande “wrap(ped) up the details of their combined operation….” They plan direct intervention. Air strikes are involved.

DF said “American reconnaissance teams are already on the ground, marking out landing sites and setting up bridgeheads for the incoming US, British and French special forces.”

Direct US intervention began. Stepped up actions will follow. Obama’s acting on his own. Congress remains on summer recess until early September. Republicans hold their national convention from August 27 – 30. Democrats have theirs the following week.

All’s quiet on the home front. What better time perhaps for more war. National attention will be minimal. Perhaps Obama thinks he can wrap things up and declare victory before most people notice. He hasn’t been able to do it for over 18 months.

No end of conflict is imminent. Attacking Syria may involve Hezbollah, Iran, Russia and China. Imagine then what follows. All-out war repercussions can’t be predicted. Embroiling the entire region and beyond is possible.

Syria won’t use chemical weapons except in self-defense. It won’t give Washington pretext to intervene. Its statements left no ambiguity. On August 24, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said:

“We, for our part, have already worked with the Syrian government and have raised this issue. We have been given very strong assurances that everything possible will be done to stop it happening. Guarantees were also given that the chemical weapons will remain in their current place.”

“They assured us that very serious control is being exercised over the safety of these weapons, and there is no threat today that something could happen to them or the situation could get out of control.”

At the same time, Gatilov expressed concern about Washington perhaps instigating insurgent nonconventional weapons use blamed on Assad. Doing so gives America pretext for war.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said France will help enforce no-fly zone authority. Doing so without Security Council approval is lawless. It also involves bombing Syrian air defenses and command and control sites.

Libya 2.0 may be imminent. Imagine the horrific casualty count and devastation. War with Syria assures it. Planners, of course, say nothing. Media scoundrels suppress what everyone needs to know.

Another nonbelligerent nation is on America’s target list for total destruction. Imagine public inattention while it’s happening.

Attacking Iran may follow or occur simultaneously. On August 24, Haaretz headlined “Heading for an iceberg called Iran,” saying:

Netanyahu/Barak want support to attack. Cabinet members are evenly split pro and con. Shimon Peres went public. He’s concerned about something too dangerous to risk. Unfortunately he thinks so only if Israel acts unilaterally He calls going solo potentially suicidal. Alone or otherwise is madness.

Fourteen ministers comprise Israel’s security cabinet. Eight have most say. Currently Netanyahu/Barak favor war. Two others support them – Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz. Four others are opposed.

Netanyahu/Barak need one more on their side. How all cabinet members feel is important. Six want war. Another six don’t, and two remain undecided. Decisions this grave should be no-brainers. Mindless officials risk possible armageddon Haaretz spelled out as follows:

Though unlikely, if Israel goes it alone, Washington will be “furious. The price of oil soars. Thousands of missiles strike Tel Aviv, Haifa, Dimona and other Israeli cities. The economy collapses.”

“Hundreds are killed, thousands wounded. A mass flight of Israelis abroad. Tent cities. In this scenario, a senior figure in the ruling party said this week, Netanyahu will certainly lose the next election. Not even avowed Likudniks will vote Likud.”

Does Netanyahu know the risks? “Of course,” said a senior unnamed source. “He is not stupid.” He just acts that way. “He sees the whole picture and all its parts.”

Will that give him pause? “No. He believes that this is his reason d’être in life.” That’s why he was elected, he thinks. He and Barak are committed. Others are worried for good reason.

Haaretz downplayed potential disaster. At issue is irradiating Israel, causing vast destruction, killing thousands, injuring many more, and putting the entire population and others in neighboring countries at risk.

Nightly anti-war demonstrations target Barak’s home. Former adviser Eldad Yaniv participates. He said Yitzhak Rabin made a mistake allowing them weekly where he lived. They affected public opinion.

Yaniv thinks if he and others persist nightly, they’ll become “permanent fixture” enough perhaps to prevent war. He and other believe it’s too important not to try.

Hawks say waiting ups the dangers. Inflammatory reports lacking credibility and/or designed to enlist public support circulate.

On August 23, Reuters headlined “Iran expands nuclear capacity in underground bunker – sources,” saying:

More underground uranium enrichment ability “potentially pav(es) the way for a significant expansion of work the West fears is ultimately aimed at making nuclear bombs.”

Doing so “de(fies) international demands to curb its nuclear program.”

Unnamed sources lack credibility. Inflammatory reports advance the ball for war. Reuters shares guilt with other media scoundrels.

On August 23, The New York Times ran the same story in more detail with more deception. Writer David Sanger’s been waging war on Iran. Instead of truth and full disclosure, he features pro-Western misinformation.

He calls Iran’s peaceful nuclear program “a direct threat to the US.” He lied but won’t admit it. He’s at it again stoking fear instead of allaying it.

IAEA head Yukiya Amano will soon report more on Iran. He’s a pro-Western tool. Washington got him installed to serve its interests. He’ll say what Obama officials want to hear. He’ll stoke more baseless Iranian threats.

He’ll stop short of saying Iran decided to produce nuclear weapons. Perhaps he’s saving this type punchline for a later time. Claiming it doesn’t wash. It won’t deter him saying anything to debase Tehran unjustifiably.

Nonetheless, he’ll likely “renew the debate over Iran’s intentions at a time when Israeli officials are stepping up their warnings that the window to conduct a preemptive military strike is closing.”

His views may affect US voters in November. In July, Romney said Obama wasted time negotiating. Iran took full advantage, he claimed.

Inflammatory reports make negotiated solutions less likely. Sanger and others like him increase chances for war. They’d feel otherwise if bombs fell on them. They’re brain-dead about human costs of war. Proliferating propaganda only matters.

Amano plays the same dirty game. He’ll say Iran made substantial enriched uranium progress. They’ve got enough to produce five or more bombs.

Ordinary people have enough power with their bare hands to inflict harm. Few go around doing it. Headline stories don’t suggest they might. Spurious reports mischaracterize Iranian intentions.

Amano’s bottom line is how close is Tehran’s ability to produce nuclear weapons? Every nation operating commercial reactors can do so if they wish. Only Iran is called threatening. Accusers have other fish to fry.

At issue is regime change. Pretexts are easy to contrive. Repetition stokes fear. Public support for what’s unthinkable may follow. Imagine a worst case scenario. Imagine leaders risking it.

Imagine fears becoming reality. At that point it’s too late to matter. What better reason to stop potential catastrophe before it happens.

Obama’s bully pulpit can prevent it. Instead, he’s furthering belligerence, not deterring it. On March 7, House Congressional Resolution (HCR) 107 was introduced. It was referred to committee. No further action was taken.

It “(e)xpress(es) the sense of Congress that the use of offensive military force by a President without prior and clear authorization of an Act of Congress constitutes an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor under Article II, section 4 of the Constitution.”

It states:

“The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

What greater crime than aggressive war. Obama and other US leaders are guilty. Invoking constitutional power more than ever is urgent to prevent the unthinkable. If saving humanity isn’t reason enough, what is?

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U.S. Policies Contributed to Poverty in Latin America

NOVANEWS

Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem Sr

By Sherwood Ross

 

The United States has worked across Latin America to enrich private clients at the expense of the pauperized masses, Professor of Sociology Emeritus James Petras of Binghamton University, N.Y., charges.

“Never in the 20th Century (1990-2001) were so many lucrative public monopolies transferred to private national and foreign investors, in so many countries and covering such a vast…array of sectors in less than a decade,” Petras asserts in his book, “Rulers and Ruled in the U.S. Empire”(Clarity).

Washington backed clients Fernando Henrique Cardoso in Brazil, Carlos Salinas in Mexico, and Carlos Menem in Argentina. Menem privatized more than 1,000 public enterprises by executive decree; Cardoso privatized the most lucrative state enterprises, and Salinas privatized over 110 public enterprises, Petras reckoned.

What’s more, Salinas opened Mexico’s borders to subsidized U.S. agricultural exports that ruined over 1.5 million Mexican farmers and his policies “facilitated the U.S. takeover of Mexico’s retail trade, real estate, agriculture, industry, banking and communications sector,” Petras wrote.

In Brazil, Cardoso literally gave away the Vale del Doce iron mine for $400 million when its market value in 2007 was over $10 billion and it enjoyed annual returns exceeding 25 per cent, Petras pointed out.

He notes that Mexico and Brazil are the two Latin nations having the most billionaires. The wealth of just 38 Latin families and/or individuals exceeds that of 250 million Latin Americans, Petras says. In fact, in Mexico, the income of 0.000001 percent of the population exceeds the combined income of 40-million Mexicans!

“The principal cause of poverty in Latin America is the very conditions that facilitate the growth of billionaires,” Petras writes. In Mexico, the privatization of the telecommunication sector at rock bottom prices resulted in the quadrupling of wealth for Carlos Slim Helu, the third richest man in the world with a net worth of $49 billion. Two fellow Mexican billionaires, Alfredo Harp Helu and Roberto Hernandez Ramirez, benefited from the privatization of banks and their subsequent de-nationalization with the sale of Banamex to Citicorp. (Carlos Slim Helu ranks today as the richest man in the world.)

“Privatization, financial de-regulation and de-nationalization were the key operating principles of U.S. foreign economic policies implemented in Latin America by the IMP and the World Bank, and dictated the fundamental conditions shaping any loans or debt re-negotiations there,” Petras writes.

The U.S. gets its way economically primarily by backing “the military dictators and neo-liberal politicians who set upthe billionaire-oriented economic models,” Petras explains.

Countries of surging billionaires, he points out, “produce burgeoning poverty, submerging living standards. The making of billionaires means the unmaking of civil society—the weakening of social solidarity, protective social legislation, pensions, vacations, public health programs and education.” Indeed, many of these crippling outcomes are produced when former union leaders or acknowledged Marxist change their stripes once elected.

“The period of greatest decline in living standards in Latin America…coincides with the dismantling of the nationalist, populist, and communist economies,” Petras notes. “Between 1980 and 2004, Latin America—more precisely Brazil, Argentina and Mexico—stagnated at 0 to 1 percent per capita growth.

Petras writes the reason for U.S. hostility toward President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela “is precisely because he is reversing the policies which create billionaires and mass poverty.”

Going back in Latin American history, Petras traces years in which the U.S. employed military force to put its favorites in power:

“Beginning with the U.S.-backed military coup in Brazil in 1964….Washington re-established its power and reversed the legislation and policies which adversely affected its big property holders and foreign policy.” Besides invading the Dominican Republic in 1965, America’s CIA backed military seizures of power in Bolivia, 1971, Uruguay, 1972-73, Chile,1973, Peru, 1975, and Argentina, 1976.

Petras says, ”All the new dictatorships received large-scale funding from the U.S. government, easy access to loans from the World Bank and IMF (thus starting the massive debt cycle) for many dubious ventures in exchange for repressing all nationalist, socialist, democratic and popular opposition.”

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PAKISTAN: Is the Situation Conducive for An Operation?

NOVANEWS

Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem Sr

by Asif Haroon Raja

 

The US had mounted extreme pressure on the newly formed democratic government to annul peace treaty with Maulanas Sufi and Fazlullah in Swat after the militants had penetrated Dir and Buner in April 2009. Alarm bells were sounded that the militants were at the verge of capturing Islamabad and the nukes. A joint resolution was passed by the parliament and the Army tasked to confront the existential threat with full force. No sooner the bases of Pakistani Taliban were demolished in Swat, Shangla, Buner, Dir and Bajaur, USA exerted pressure to tackle the main base of TTP in South Waziristan (SW). Dismantlement of TTP’s base in SW dismayed the schemers. Had ISAF instead of withdrawing its border posts sealed the border in 2009 effectively, all the fleeing militants including their leaders could be nabbed or killed and the genie of terrorism bottled up. However, the US and its allies didn’t want to control terrorism. They wanted to weaken Pak Army and not TTP that had been created with devious intentions.

Since Pak Army’s successes went against ill-motivated plans, the US in its bid to cripple the Army decided to open new fronts with the help of runaway terrorists. They were provided safe havens in Kunar and Nuristan, regrouped and re-launched in 2011 in Dir, Mehmand, Bajaur and Chitral. These absconding terrorists are now being equated with Haqqani network (HN) which is struggling to liberate its country from foreign occupation. The US after failing to win over Haqqanis has now decided to overplay HN threat and to sensationalize safe havens in North Waziristan (NW). It also has decided declare HN as a terrorist group. If so, it will maximize pressure on Pakistan. Last September, Mullen had described HN as the ‘veritable arm’ of ISI.

Drone war was intensified to provoke pro-government militant groups in NW to shelve peace treaty and pick up arms against security forces. Other reasons were to push the Army to launch the much delayed operation and to compel HN to exit from NW. There was a lull in drone strikes during the stoppage of NATO supplies for seven months but after reopening of supply lines in July this year drone attacks have once again picked up momentum. Not a single member of TTP has been killed by drones. Attack on Kamra airbase on the night of 16 August by a band of nine suicide bombers was aimed at destroying strategic assets and to impel the Army to hasten to plunge into NW. This crude tactic was employed earlier on also when a terrorist attack took place on GHQ on 10 October 2009, which forced Gen Kayani to give a green signal for Operation Rah-e-Nijat in SW.

After persistent efforts since early 2010 and application of multiple pressures, the US now claims that Pakistan has finally agreed to launch a joint and coordinated operation in NW in concert with US troops. This decision had been taken long time back but socio-politico-economic-operational constraints came in the way. Even now firm decision in this regard has not been taken. GHQ has turned down the US proposal of joint operation saying that the ISAF may do so on other side of the border in Khost-Paktika provinces in coordination with Pak Army’s operation whenever it is launched. GHQ also made it clear that its prime focus will be on anti-Pakistan groups and not on anti-US elements as wished by USA. Washington seems satisfied that at last its wish is being fulfilled and may not contest these two points but HN will continue to haunt the US military as long as it stays in Afghanistan. The US military has given clear hints that it will take care of sanctuaries in Kunar and Nuristan and control cross border raids provided Pakistan demolished safe havens of HN in NW.

In case an operation is launched in next few months, the situation will not be as grim as was in 2010-2011. While Swat to a large extent has been rehabilitated and secured, rehabilitation and development works under the aegis of Army in SW are going on with speed and good progress has been achieved. Almost 75% of displaced people have returned and are taking part in reconstruction and business activities with fervor. Had the US lived up to its promise of setting up ROZs in Waziristan, by now a world of change would have come in that war torn region. Held up $1.1 billion CSF is being released which will enable the Army to oil its war machinery.

Notwithstanding the relative improvement in security situation and the fact that the trunk of armed forces remains as strong as ever, the fact is that restive areas that had been controlled by the Army after paying a heavy price are again being made turbulent by the powers that desire an operation to be launched in NW. Distrust gap between USA and Pakistan has widened with little hope of its abridgement. Civil administration is reluctant to take over its duties in troubled areas pacified by the Army. Covert war by foreign agencies based in Kabul is continuing as heretofore and cauldron of Balochistan is simmering. TTP in FATA and BLA-BRA-BLF in Balochistan are being funded and equipped to keep the flames of terrorism enflamed.

Sindh and Balochistan have become a single battle zone. Criminal elements in the two neighboring provinces are militarily supporting each other since 1990s. Gun running originate from Balochistan. Criminals seek refuge in either of the provinces once the chase of the law enforcers becomes hot. Target killers of the two provinces ultimately escape to South Africa once the noose tightens around them and reappear when the noose is loosened. TTP and BLA, the two banned terrorist groups are also linked with criminal elements. The entire chain of criminals is backed by RAW, CIA and Mossad.

Sectarianism is being inflamed in Balochistan, Kurram Agency and Gilgit-Baltistan by hidden forces. Karachi is bled by the militant wings of the three ruling coalition parties together with external elements. Levlin Anatole, a British historian makes a startling exposure in his book published in 2011 ‘Pakistan a Hard Country’ that all the explosions and attacks in Pakistan are being planned and carried out by CIA and its agents in the name of Taliban. This is exactly what I and several other analysts had been highlighting. Think who are the collaborators with paid terrorists? The US and al-Qaeda were not long-term adversaries but partners.

Economic situation is going from bad to worse and the ruling regime is not showing any inclination to improve its performance and put the house in order. Discredited leadership is in no position to mould public opinion in favor of an operation in NW particularly when it is well-understood that each operation had resulted in a severe backlash. People are questioning as to why Pakistan is being pressed to launch another operation when the US has decided to quit Afghanistan by end 2014 and is desperately trying to find a political solution to Afghan imbroglio by renewing peace talks with Taliban. There is widely held view that real motive behind the US fixation on NW is to create a cause for all militant groups to get united against Pak Army.

Politicians are least concerned about internal and external threats and plight of the masses groaning under acute poverty. The rulers are manipulating to extend their stay by another year so that they could give five-year extension to President Zardari through act of parliament in 2013. The ones in opposition are divided and wholly focused on gaining power. The religious parties/groups too are divided and interpret religion through their respective narrow lenses. Under the circumstances, obtaining politico-economic-military environment are still not conducive for a military operation.

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Are Human Rights Becoming a Tool of US Smart Power?

NOVANEWS

By Coleen Rowley

 

 

Some nonpartisan commentators finally recognize that current US foreign policy continues to escalate militarily as though on steroids. It has become evident that use of deadly force by a US-dominated NATO is not only outside the parameters of international and constitutional law, but also in some cases outside basic legal principles that have stood the test of time not only for decades, but for centuries.  One explanation, however, for why American civil society, in general, has not pushed back is the “better rhetoric” now being used to sell war. 

What is this better rhetoric and newly minted impetus for US-NATO’s same dumb (actually insane) war agenda, what used to be blurted out as “We must bomb the village to save it”? Constantly flitting through the revolving doors of their official appointments, foreign-policy think tanks and directorships of “human rights” organizations, proponents of  ”Smart Power” make their compelling case for more (endless) war in successfully urging us to “recast the fight against terror and nuclear proliferation… from a dark, draining struggle into a hopeful, progressive cause aimed at securing an international system of liberal societies and defeating challenges to it.”

David Swanson, author of War Is a Lie, speaking at the 10th annual Peacestock gathering, sponsored by Veterans for Peace in Hager City, Wisconsin, this summer, commented while dissecting the newest “progressive-led” war propaganda: “That wars must be marketed as humanitarian is a sign of progress. That we fall for it is a sign of embarrassing weakness. The war propagandist is the world’s second oldest profession, and the humanitarian lie is not entirely new. But it works in concert with other common war lies…” See videos Part 1 and 2 at: http://vimeo.com/user11898489/videos  1

Lies about war, in humanitarian disguise, were clearly evident in Chicago last March. Peace activist Ann Wright (a former Foreign Service State Department official and retired U.S. Army colonel); Ann Galloway, a member of Women Against Military Madness, and myself were among the thousands of antiwar activists who were in Chicago for the protest of NATO wars. There we noticed, in billboards and announcements, the new campaign of Amnesty International-USA: “Human Rights for Women and Girls in Afghanistan––NATO: Keep the Progress Going.”

Unwilling to let this go unchallenged, we packed into a taxi along with a few other antiwar activists, to head to the Chicago hotel where AI-USA’s “Shadow Summit” was being held—a conference billed as a feminist cause regarding the supposed improved status of women and children under US-NATO occupation. The summit featured former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and other US State Department officials and Council on Foreign Relations figures.  We weren’t allowed to carry in our “NATO bombs are not humanitarian,” “NATO Kills Girls,” and anti-drone bombing posters that we had with us for the protest march later that day, but we did witness enough of the event to prompt Ann Wright and me to issue a warning about the exploitation of women’s rights as a cover for war: “Amnesty’s Shilling for US Wars.” 2

The United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) later issued a Statement on NATO Claim of “Progress” for Women and Girls in Afghanistan,as well as aStatement Condemning Amnesty International USA’s Campaigns in Support of U.S./NATO Wars. UNAC condemned Amnesty’s pro-war stance and propaganda efforts supporting continued occupation in Afghanistan and intervention in Syria, and asked for Amnesty to reaffirm its commitment to human rights, not war, and remove those responsible for their current pro-war policies and campaigns.

Human rights seen as a “tool” of US “Smart Power:” Suzanne Nossel, the current executive director of Amnesty-USA, previously worked at different times as a State Department official for Richard Holbrooke and Hillary Clinton and is personally credited with having coined the term “Smart Power,” which Clinton announced as the defining feature of current US foreign policy.  “Smart” indeed—certainly better-sounding—to project a contrast with the formerly unabashed Bush-Cheney reliance on “Hard Power.” “Smart power” employs “Soft Power:” diplomatic, economic, and cultural pressures, which can be combined with military force, to “work our will” upon foreign nations, as described by Nossel:

“To advance from a nuanced dissent to a compelling vision, progressive policymakers should turn to the great mainstay of twentieth-century U.S. foreign policy: liberal internationalism, which posits that a global system of stable liberal democracies would be less prone to war…”

Washington, the theory goes, should thus offer assertive leadership—diplomatic, economic, and not least, military [writer’s emphasis]—to advance a broad array of goals: self-determination, human rights, free trade, the rule of law, economic development, and the quarantine and elimination of dictators and weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

Even more relevant to the issue of human rights and peace and justice organizations being co-opted, however, Nossel also described Smart Power, in Foreign Affairs magazine, March/April 2004, as “knowing that the United States’ own hand is not always its best tool: U.S. interests are furthered by enlisting others on behalf of U.S. goals.” 3

The question that emerges is, how could otherwise highly effective human rights organizations, respected for their good work largely because of their independence from powerful, self-interested governments, so easily fall into being used as tools of what Nossel once referred to as US “Superpowerdom”? When Amnesty-USA invited Madeleine Albright and other State Department officials to speak at its NATO women’s forum, it was not the first time it had reached out to the architect of harsh economic sanctions—and the deaths of a half million Iraqi children.  Shortly after becoming executive director of AI-USA in January 2012, Suzanne Nossel moderated a panel at Wellesley College, during which she goaded fellow panelist Madeleine Albright as follows:

“Now as the head of Amnesty International-USA, one point of great frustration and consternation for human rights organizations and civil society organizations over the last eight or nine months has been the failure of the UN Security Council to address, in any way, the deaths of now five thousand civilians in Syria at the hands of President Assad and his military.  Last spring the Security Council managed to forge a majority for forceful action in Libya and it was initially very controversial, [causing] many misgivings among key Security Council members.  But Gaddafi fell, there’s been a transition there and I think one would have thought those misgivings would have died down.  And yet we’ve seen just a continued impasse over Syria and a real, almost return to cold war days and paralysis in the Security Council.  How do you explain that and what do you think is the missing ingredient to break that logjam and get the Security Council to live up to its responsibilities on Syria?” 4

Even the savvy Madeleine Albright seemed genuinely taken aback by the Amnesty director’s push for a US-NATO Libya-like intervention in Syria.  Albright and the other speaker responded skeptically as to what could be achieved through bombing or military force.  What shouldn’t have been surprising, however, was Nossel’s minimalizing the thousands of NATO bombing sorties on Libya by calling them a “forceful action,” and her urging a potential UN Security Council authorization to do the same to Syria, referring to this as “living up to its responsibilities.” She was already on record, in her prior think tank capacity, lamenting that failure in Iraq might mean Americans would lose their “willingness to use military force [writer’s emphasis]—Iraq as a failed state is likely to herald an era of deep reservations among the U.S. public regarding the use of force—a kind of post-Vietnam, post-Mogadishu hangover.” 5

Little skepticism, mostly just applause for “Responsibility to Protect” and “US Atrocity Prevention Board”: Sadly, Amnesty is far from being the only human rights or peace and justice organization being misled in varying degrees by the US State Department’s newly-minted “Responsibility to Protect (R2P)” doctrine—otherwise known as “humanitarian intervention”—and its newly created “Atrocity Prevention Board,” chaired by Samantha Power, one of the main architects of US-NATO’s bombing of Libya.6 Human Rights Watch, Physicians for Human Rights,7 the Peace Alliance, Citizens for Global SolutionsThink Progress, and AVAAZ are just some of the groups that seem to have swallowed that particular Kool-Aid.

This is not entirely new, as neo-con war hawks years ago co-opted the various big “liberal” think tanks: Brookings; the US Institute of Peace, the Carnegie Endowment for Peace; etc.  NATO war hawks also hijacked the Nobel Peace Prize decades ago.8

Jean Bricmont noted in his book, Humanitarian Imperialism: Using Human Rights to Sell War:

“Since the end of the Cold War, the idea of human rights has been made into a justification for intervention by the world’s leading economic and military powers—above all, the United States—in countries that are vulnerable to their attacks. The criteria for such intervention have become more arbitrary and self-serving, and their form more destructive, from Yugoslavia to Afghanistan to Iraq. Until the U.S. invasion of Iraq, [a] large part of the left was often complicit in this ideology of intervention—discovering new ‘Hitlers’ as the need arose, and denouncing antiwar arguments as appeasement on the model of Munich in 1938.” 9

In connection with his “groundbreaking critique of the troubling symbiosis between Washington and the human rights movement”: Ideal Illusions: How the U.S. Government Co-opted Human Rights author James Peck stated:

“The war in Libya today, and calls for intervening in Syria tomorrow, epitomize a tragic development in the human rights and humanitarian ethos: War and various other kinds of overt and covert intervention are being re-legitimized through Washington’s human rights rhetoric. Libya tells us everything we should not be seeking to do in Syria and why humanitarian war is a monstrous illusion. The widespread support in the human rights community for all kinds of interference from ‘democratization,’ to ‘nation-building’ to promoting the ‘rule of law’ now risks blending into rationales for war itself. This is suggestive of nothing so much as a profound failure of the human rights community to expose how and why the U.S. government has fashioned human rights for over four decades into a potent             ideological weapon for purposes having little to do with the rights of others—and everything to do with furthering Washington’s strategic objectives and global reach.”10

Veering (or steering) to war will never be humanitarian or smart:

Jus ad bellum (the right to go to war) is concerned with Just War theory, the Nuremberg Principles (crimes against peace), the 1928 Kellogg-Briand Treaty (outlawing war), and even, to some extent, the “Powell Doctrine” (evaluating reasons to go to war)—but its main proposition has been forgotten or ignored, especially since 9-11—that is, at a bare minimum, wars of aggression are the supreme crime because they give rise to blatant violations of the Geneva Convention and other international jus in bello crimes (committed whileconducting war) such as spawning further wars, ethnic genocide, torture, human rights abuses, killing of prisoners, and targeting civilian populations.

US violations of both types of international law of war, as well as violations of its own constitution have, paradoxically, served to further erode whatever legitimate, pre-existing “Soft Power” it once possessed.  America’s “moral authority,” its legitimate ability to educate, its leadership by example in pushing other countries to adhere to international law was quickly sacrificed by the deceitful means it used to launch the bombing of Iraq and Libya, as well as its institutionalizing an endless, ever-expansive “global war on terrorism.”

If war is a lie generally, if institutional wars have historically been instigated, ratcheted up, waged, and later falsely ennobled through pretext and propaganda, if “Smart Power,” “Responsibility to Protect” and “humanitarian intervention” serve as little but better rhetoric and therefore an effective guise to sell military force to American citizens as a “last resort,” after having checked off diplomatic efforts (set up to fail) and harsh economic sanctions that starve civilians and kill children, doesn’t it make sense for human rights and peace and justice groups to renounce instead of embraceattempts of powerful governments to use them as “tools” of such policies?

What would truly be smart and could reduce atrocities in the world would be for “nongovernmental” groups and organizations professing human rights and peace as their cause to regain their independence by disentangling themselves from US-NATO governments’ national interest agendas and reliance on military force.  Once that’s accomplished, it might be easier for civil society to reverse direction away from the use of war and might-makes-right to what is actually smarter: the power of ethical and legal norms.


Coleen Rowley is a dedicated peace and justice activist and WAMM board member. She is a former FBI special agent and renowned whistleblower who served as chief division counsel in Minneapolis. Her regular blog can be found on Huffington Post. www.huffingtonpost.com/coleen-rowley


1 “Abolishing War: One Last Step” talk given by David Swanson at Peacestock 2012davidswanson.org/node/3736 or see Videos Part 1 and 2 at: http://vimeo.com/user11898489/videos

http://consortiumnews.com/2012/06/18/amnestysshilling-for-us-wars/

3 “A public relations pro, Nossel has constantly flitted back and forth through the revolving door, depending upon the party in power, between official State Department positions working at the UN as assistant to Richard Holbrooke and Hillary Clinton but also at different times working for Human Rights Watch, Bertelsmann Media Worldwide and the Wall Street Journal as well as being a senior fellow at the Century Foundation, the Center for American Progress and the Council on Foreign Relations.”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_power

https://sites.google.com/a/wellesley.edu/albrightinstitute-2012/ (at 46 minutes)

5 Her other significant concerns were . . . U.S. military morale; and that America’s image as a “superpower” would be tarnished: “The combined impact of Iraq’s emergence as a failed state on America’s image, military, credibility influence in the Middle East, and on our battles against terrorism and WMD will be profound. In both bilateral and multilateral relations, most countries’ dealings with the U.S. are predicated on the idea that we are capable of accomplishing whatever we set out to do. That notion is so well understood that we rarely have to prove it. The prevalence of this belief has made it immeasurably easier to rally others behind our causes, thwart opposition and work our will. While failure in Iraq won’t change that overnight, it will open a question about what superpowerdom means in an era of terrorism and insurgency.”

“Top 10 List: Consequences of Iraq Becoming a Failed State” by Suzanne Nossel
http://www.democracyarsenal.org/2005/08/top_10_list_10_.html

Joe Emersberger in “Debating Amnesty About Syria and Double Standards” notes in his recent correspondence with Amnesty-USA: “Before being hired by Amnesty, Nossel supported the U.S. invasion of Iraq and even three years after the illegal invasion of Iraq led to hundreds of thousands of deaths, advised the U.S. government that the ‘military option cannot be off the table’ in dealing with another ‘menacing state’––namely Iran.”
http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2012/emersberger060712.html

Philip Weiss writes: “Former State Department official Suzanne Nossel triangulates Hillary, Madeleine, Samantha, Susan Rice, and the Atrocity Prevention Board. See her 2007 blog on negotiations with Iran as a tactical necessity (the Dennis Ross view)––i.e., we must go through the motions because we have to prove them futile before we do what needs to be done. It is strange and unfortunate that such a person now leads Amnesty International USA.”
http://mondoweiss.net/2012/06/amnesty-intl-collapsenew-head-is-former-state-dept-official-who-rationalized-iran-sanctions-gaza-onslaught.html

6 If there were global justice, NATO would be in the dock over Libya. Obama’s New Atrocity Prevention Board: Reasons for Skepticism
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/may/15/global-justice-nato-libya

7 Starving the Syrians for Human Rights––Physicians for Human Rights Supports Tougher U.S. Sanctions on Syria. http://antiwar.com/blog/2012/05/09/starvingthe-syrians-for-human-rights-physicians-for-humanrights-supports-tougher-u-s-sanctions-on-syria/

8 Nothing “Purist”—Just Everything Hypocritical About Awarding Nobel “Peace” Prize to Promote Western Militarization.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ coleen-rowley/nothing-puristjust-everyt_b_1321915.html

http://www.amazon.com/Humanitarian-Imperialism-Using-Human-Rights/dp/1583671471

10 http://www.accuracy.org/release/libya-and-syriahumanitarian-war-is-a-monstrousillusion

11 http://www.powells.com/biblio?isbn=9780805083286

Posted in USA, Human RightsComments Off on Are Human Rights Becoming a Tool of US Smart Power?

Independent nations must move toward New World Order: Jean Bricmont

NOVANEWS

by Kourosh Ziabari

Prof. Jean Bricmont is a renowned Belgian public intellectual, theoretical physicist, philosopher of science and a professor at the Université catholique de Louvain. A progressive author, he has cooperated with the leading American thinker Noam Chomsky on a variety of anti-war causes.

In 2007, he wrote an article in French discussing the possibility of a US invasion of Iran. One of his famous books is “Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science” which he has co-written with Alan Sokal. In this book, they talk about a number of issues, including the allegedly incompetent and pretentious usage of scientific concepts by a small group of influential philosophers and intellectuals.

Bricmont’s articles have appeared on Counterpunch, Monthly Review, Voltairenet, Z Magazine, Global Research and other print and online publications.

He has proposed the theory of humanitarian imperialism and is strongly opposed to the U.S. military expeditions around the world and its unilateral attitude toward the independent nations. Bricmont believes that the Non-Aligned Movement countries can move toward establishing a new world order based on the communal interests of the member states.

What follows is the full text of my interview with Prof. Jean Bricmont to whom I’ve talked about a number of issues including the Western powers’ hypocrisy on the human rights issue, America’s wars and military expeditions around the world, the concept of “humanitarian intervention” and Israel’s war threats against Iran.

Dear Jean; in your article, “The Case for a Non-Interventionist Foreign Policy,” you write of the justifications the imperial powers come up with in order to rationalize their military expeditions around the world. Isn’t a hawkish foreign policy an advantage for the politicians in the Western world, particularly the United States, to attract the vote and supporting of the public? Will the American people elect a pacifist President who openly vows to put an end to all the U.S. wars and refrain from waging new wars?

I am not sure that it attracts the votes. In Europe, certainly not. The most hawkish politicians, Blair and Sarkozy were not popular for a long time because of their foreign policy. In Germany the public is systematically in favor of a peaceful foreign policy. As the American pacifist A. J. Muste remarked, the problem in all wars lies with the victor – they think violence pays. The defeated, like Germany, and to some extent the rest of Europe, know that war is not so rosy.

However, I think that, except in times of crisis, like the Vietnam or the Algerian wars, when they turned badly for the U.S. or France, most people are not very interested in foreign policy, which is understandable, given their material problems and given the fact that it looks like being out of reach of ordinary people.

On the other hand, every U.S. presidential candidate has to make patriotic statements, “we are the best”, “a light at the top of the hill”, a “defender of democracy and human rights” and so on. That, of course, is true in all systems of power, the only thing that varies are the “values” to which one refers (being a good Christian or Muslim or defending socialism, etc.).

And, it is true that, in order to get the votes, one must get the support of the press and of big money. That introduces an enormous bias in favor of militarism and of support for Israel.

The imperial powers, as you have indicated in your writings, wage wars, kill innocent people and plunder the natural resources of weaker countries under the pretext of bringing democracy to them. So, who should take care of the principles of international law, territorial integrity and sovereignty? Attacking other countries at will and killing defenseless civilians recklessly is a flagrant parade of lawlessness. Is it possible to bring these powers to their senses and hold them accountable over what they do?

I think the evolution of the world goes in that direction; respect for the principles of international law, territorial integrity and sovereignty. As I said before, the European populations are rather peaceful, both inside Europe and with respect to the rest of the world, at least, compared to the past. Some of their leaders are not peaceful and there is a strong pressure from an apparently strange alliance in favor of war between human rights interventionists and neo-conservatives who are influential in the media and in the intelligentsia, but they are not the only voices and they are rather unpopular with the general public.

As for the U.S., they are in a deep crisis, not only economically, but also diplomatically. They have lost control of Asia long ago, are losing Latin America and, now, the Middle East. Africa is turning more and more towards China.

So, the world is becoming multipolar, whether one likes it or not. I see at least two dangers: that the decline of the U.S. will produce some crazy reaction, leading to war, or that the collapse of the American empire creates chaos, a bit like the collapse of the Roman Empire did. It is the responsibility of the Non-Aligned Movement and the BRICS countries to insure an orderly transition towards a really new world order.

What seems hypocritical in the Western powers’ attitude toward the concept of human rights is that they ceaselessly condemn the violation of human rights in the countries with which they are at odds, but intentionally remain silent about the same violations in the countries which are allied with them. For instance, you surely know that how the political prisoners are mistreated and tortured in Saudi Arabia, Washington’s number one ally among the Arab countries. So, why don’t they protest and condemn these violations?

Do you know any power that is not hypocritical? It seems to me that this is the way power functions in all places and at all times.
For example, in 1815, at the fall of Napoleon, the Tsar of Russia, the Austrian Emperor and the King of Prussia came together in what they called their Holy Alliance, claiming to base their rules of conduct “on the sublime truths contained in the eternal religion of Christ our Savior,” as well as on the principles “of their holy religion, precepts of justice, charity and peace,” and vowed to behave toward their subjects “as a father toward his children.” During the Boer war, the British Prime Minister, Lord Salisbury, declared that it was “a war for democracy” and that “we seek neither gold mines nor territory”. Bertrand Russell, citing these remarks, commented that “cynical foreigners” couldn’t help noticing that “we nevertheless obtained both the mines and the territory”.

At the height of the Vietnam War, the American historian Arthur Schlesinger described U.S. policy there as part of “our overall program of international good will”. At the end of that war, a liberal commentator wrote in the New York Times that: “For a quarter of a century, the United States have tried to do good, to encourage political freedom and promote social justice in the Third World”.

In that sense, things have not changed. People sometimes think that, because our system is more democratic, things must have changed. But that assumes that the public is well informed, which it is not true because of the many biases in the media, and that it is actively involved in the formation of foreign policy, which is also not true, except in times of crisis. The formation of foreign policy is a very elitist and undemocratic affair.

Attacking or invading other countries under the pretext of humanitarian intervention may be legalized and permissible with the unanimity of the Security Council permanent members. If they all vote in favor a military strike, then it will happen. But, don’t you think that the very fact that only 5 world countries can make decisions for 193 members of the United Nations while this considerable majority don’t have any say in the international developments is an insult to all of these nations and their right of self-determination?

Of course. You don’t need unanimity actually, except for the permanent members. But now that China and Russia seem to have taken an autonomous position with respect to the West, it is not clear that new wars will be legal. I am not happy with the current arrangements at the Security Council, but I still think that the UN is, on the whole, a good thing; its Charter provides a defense, in principle, against intervention and a framework for international order and its existence provides a forum where different countries can meet, which is better than nothing.

Of course, reforming the UN is a tricky business, since it cannot be done without the consent of the permanent members of the Security Council, who are not likely to be very enthusiastic at the prospect of relinquishing part of their power. What will matter in the end will be the evolution of the relationship of forces in the world, and that is not going in the direction of those who think that they now control it.

Let’s talk about some contemporary issues. In your articles, you have talked of the war in Congo. It was very shocking to me that the Second Congo War was the deadliest conflict in the African history with some 5 million innocent people dead, but the U.S. mainstream media put a lid on it because one of the belligerents, the Rwandan army, was a close ally of Washington. What’s your take on that?

Well, I am not an expert on that part of the world. But I notice that the Rwandan tragedy of 1994 is often used as an argument for foreign intervention, which, it is claimed, would have stopped the killings, while the tragedy in Congo should be taken as an argument against foreign intervention and for respect of international law, since it was to a large extent due to the intervention of Rwandan and Ugandan troops in Congo.

Of course, the fact that the latter argument is never made shows, once more, how the discourse about humanitarian intervention is biased in favor of the powers that be, who want to attribute to themselves the right to intervene, whenever it suits them.

Just a few days ago, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon condemned Iranian leaders for their supposedly “inflammatory and hateful” remarks on Israel. However, I never remember him condemning the Israeli officials for their frequent repeating of dangerous war threats against Iran. What’s the reason behind this hypocrisy?

As you know, the hypocrisy with respect to Israel in the West reaches staggering proportions and Ban Ki-moon, although he is UN Secretary General, is very much on “pro-Western” positions. While I myself have doubts about the wisdom of the Iranian rhetoric about Israel, I think that the threats of military actions against Iran by Israel are far worse and should be considered illegal under international law. I also think that the unilateral sanctions against Iran, taken by the U.S. and its allies, largely to please Israel, are shameful. And, although the people who claim to be anti-racist in the West never denounce these policies, I think they are deeply racist, because they are accepted only because so-called civilized countries, Israel and its allies, exert this threat and those sanctions against an “uncivilized” one, Iran.This will be remembered in the future in the same way that slavery is remembered now.

There are people like you who oppose the U.S. militarism, its imposture and hypocrisy in dealing with the human rights and its attempts to devour the oil-rich Middle East, but unfortunately I should say, you’re in the minority. It’s the Israeli-administered Congress and hawkish think tanks such as the Council on Foreign Relations and National Endowment for Democracy that run the United States, not the anti-war, pro-peace progressive thinkers and writers like you. How much influence do the progressive thinkers and leftist media have over the policies which are taken in the United States?

Well, I think one has to make a difference between support for Israel and the desire to “devour” oil. The two policies are not the same and are, in fact, contradictory. As, I think, Mearsheimer and Walt have shown, the pro-Israel policies of the U.S. are to a large extent driven by the pro-Israel lobby and do not correspond to or help their economic or geo-strategic interests. For example, as far as I know, there would be no problem for our oil companies to drill in Iran, if it weren’t for the sanctions imposed on that country; but the latter are linked to the hostility to Iran from Israel, not from any desire to control oil.

The second remark is that the anti-war people are not necessarily on the left. True, there is a big part of the Right that has become neo-conservative, but there is also a big part of the Left that is influenced by the ideology of humanitarian intervention. However, there is also a libertarian Right, Ron Paul for example, that is staunchly anti-war, and there are some remnants of a pacifist or anti-imperialist Left. Note that this has always been the case: the pro and anti-imperialist position, even back in the days of colonialism, do not coincide with the Left-Right divide, if the latter is understood in socio-economic terms or in “moral” terms (about gay marriage for example).

Next, it is true that we have very little influence, but that is partly because we are divided, between an anti-war Left and anti-war Right. I believe that a majority of the population is opposed to these endless and costly wars, mostly, in Europe, because of the lesson they drew from WWII, or from their defeat in the colonial wars, and, in the U.S., because of war fatigue after Afghanistan and Iraq.

What we do not have is a consistent anti-war movement; to build the latter one would have to focus on war itself and unite both sides of the opposition (Right and Left). But if movements can be built around other “single issues,” like abortion or gay marriage, that put aside all socio-economic problems and class issues, why not?

Although such a movement does not exist now, its prospects are not totally hopeless: if the economic crisis deepens, and if the worldwide opposition to U.S. policies increases, citizens of all political stripes might gather to try to build alternatives.

What’s your viewpoint regarding the U.S. and its allies’ war of sanctions, embargoes, nuclear assassinations and psychological operation against Iran? Iran is practically under a multilateral attack by the United States, Israel and their submissive European cronies. Is there any way for Iran to get out of the dilemma and resist the pressures? How much do you know Iran? Have you heard of its culture and civilization, which the mainstream media never talk about?

I do not know much about Iran, but I do not think I need to know very much about that country although I would certainly like to know more, in order to oppose the policies you mention. I was also opposed to Western interventions in former Yugoslavia or in Libya.

Some people think there are good and bad interventions. But the main issue for me is: who intervenes? It is never really the “citizens” or the “civil society” of the West, or even the European countries on their own, meaning without U.S. support, it is always the U.S. military, mostly its Air Force.

Now, one may of course defend the idea that international law should be disregarded and that the defense of human rights should be left to the U.S. Air Force. But many people who support “good” interventions do not say that. They usually argue that “we” must do something to “save the victims” in a particular situation. What this viewpoint forgets is that the “we” who is supposed to intervene is not the people who actually speak, but the U.S. military.

Therefore, support for any intervention only strengthens the arbitrary power of the U.S., which, of course, uses it as it seems fit, and not, in general, according to the wishes of those who support “good” interventions.

And finally, would you please give us an insight of how the corporate media serve the interests of the imperial powers? How do they work? Is it morally justifiable to use media propaganda to achieve political and colonial goals?

The connection between “corporate media” and war propaganda is complicated, as is the relationship between capitalism and war. Most people on the Left think that capitalism needs war or leads to it. But the truth, in my view, is far more nuanced. American capitalists make fortunes in China and Vietnam now that there is peace between the U.S. and East Asia; for American workers, it is a different matter, of course.

There is no reason whatsoever for oil or other Western companies not to do business with Iran, and, if there was peace in the region, capitalists would descend upon it like vultures in order to exploit a cheap and relatively qualified labor force.

This is not to say that capitalists are nice, nor that they cannot be individually pro-war, but only that war, in general, is not in their interests and they are not necessarily the main force pushing for war.

People are driven to war by conflicting ideologies, especially when they take a fanatical form – for example, when you believe that a certain piece of land was given to you by God, or that your country has a special mission, like exporting human rights and democracy, preferably by cruise missiles and drones.

It is both sad and ironical that an idea that is largely secular and liberal, the one of human rights, has now been turned into one of the main means to whip up war hysteria in the West. But that is our present situation and a most urgent and important task is to change it.

Posted in IranComments Off on Independent nations must move toward New World Order: Jean Bricmont

The Flourishing Springs

NOVANEWS

by Daniel Mabsout

 

” MI6′s Paul Conroy in Libya (in blue bulletproof vest) with, on the right, Al-Qaeda leaders Mahdi al-Harati (in black body armor) and Abdelhakim Belhaj (in camouflaged jacket).”

Some say it started in Tunisia , some others say it started in Lebanon in the fake Cedar’s revolution that sought to disarm the Lebanese Resistance , but this was seven years ago and there was a split in the Lebanese population that could not be overlooked and which prevented the so-called revolution from mobilizing all ; it rather mobilized one faction against the other and it proved to be never the less fake.

The “real” Arab spring started in Palestine , in Gaza specifically, that is where it all started after the 2008 assault when the world order started exploiting the world wide growing empathy with the Palestinian plight. A boat from here , another from there , a march from here another from there , a convoy here and there , all accompanied by an incomparable so called pro Palestinian campaign on the internet and fb to the point one started wondering where from all these so called” lovers “of Palestine and Gaza came and where were they before?

The truth is that all kinds of NGOs became very busy promoting the issue of Palestine and praising Palestine and calling for its assistance and help . People of all kinds , from all countries and places had one word on their lips that is Palestine and the siege on Gaza and the fate of Palestinians there. It was the Palestine Chill that was communicated to all .

This awakening to the Palestinians’ plight in Gaza did not happen alone , it was premeditated because the revolutionary spring that was to overtake many Arab countries on after the other needed a solid platform to head to other places , and the Palestinian platform- in the form of besieged Gaza- presented the best place to launch the Arab revolutions prepared especially by the world order through the different NGO’s in order to offer to Arabs a revolution that is conform both to their tastes and expectations and addresses their deeply frustrated being .

So much Palestine became celebrated every where in unexpected places and faces while boats full of activists were sent one after the other all heading to Gaza and most failing to reach it, rallying thus more and more people to the cause of the besieged. Did the cause become international? Only in appearance , the truth is that the cause was hijacked by Intelligence services and the multiple NGOs who have infiltrated everywhere and everything with the exception of very few genuine personal endeavors.

The people sharing in this campaign came from everywhere, some where honest activists but many worked for dubious organizations and foreign intelligence. The so called activist called Mahdi al Harati who shared in the Irish flotilla is a CIA agent on the payroll of the agency and was hired and sent later to Libya to lead the battle of Tripoli .Other activists had also dubious affiliations , there is no doubt that people like Catherine Myles- who abducted the Aloha Palestine mission- has dubious and sectarian affiliations and is linked to foreign intelligence and so are the people who supported her and helped her or worked with her, among them people like Mary Rizzo and Robert Hand who both promote an Israeli agenda’ and a whole bunch of so called activists who have nothing to do with Palestine but work on a Turkish/Israeli assignment and who in no time –as if by magic- will turn from supportive of Palestine to enemies of Syria calling for the overthrowing of Assad and for foreign NATO military intervention .

Most of these people were gathered around Gaza by the world establishment , and from there and after achieving their mission , were dispatched to different places to continue the mission of stirring the Arab so called revolutions and then that of occupying Libya and campaigning against Syria .

All this International activity around Gaza was a prelude to Arab springs and ended drastically with the event of the Mavi Marmara by the slaughter of nine Turkish activists by the Israelis after which Turkey’s role in the Palestinian issue became consecrated at the expense of the Syrian and Iranian commitment to the Palestinian cause and as a fake substitute to it. . .. Few months later the Arab springs started , the boat movement quieted down and became almost non existent , it had served its purpose of mobilizing people that could be used later in different endeavors . Had it been genuine and after so many sacrifices the peace activism around Gaza should have flourished instead, but this is not so .

After the fall of Bin ‘Ali and Mubarak and after the war in Libya , the pro Gaza international activism is now directed to threatening Syria and launching the anti Assad campaign as a prelude to undermining the Armed Resistance to Israel and start a new chapter of recognizing and normalizing according to the Turkish model.

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on The Flourishing Springs

9/11 ten years on: there are no excuses for buying the myth

NOVANEWS

by Martin Iqbal

New York City, New York. On September 8, 2011 – three days before the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the Department of Homeland Security issued a statement warning of a ‘credible, specific, but unconfirmed‘ terror threat in New York City and Washington DC. Most obviously, a terror threat that is at once credible and specific, and yet is unconfirmed, is self-evidently contrived.

Keeping true to the decade-long history of scaremongering based on the mythical ‘war on terror’ narrative, the al Qaeda ghost has been recruited again, as has the fantasy of the bin Laden raid of May 01. We are told that the ‘threat’ emanates from Pakistan (as predictable as the clumsiest of scripts), and is as a result of the killing of long-dead Osama bin Laden – an event so obviously staged it makes one question the mental health of any person subscribing to the myth.

The staunchly pro-Israel New York Times is running the most vile, racist scaremongering propaganda one could imagine. Short on specific details of course, but heavy on racist, vague alarmism. The paper warns of two “American citizens of Arab ancestry” who are both between 5 and 6 feet tall, one of whom has a first name that is common in the Middle East.

Owing to this tide of fearmongering and hateful rhetoric, there is now an escalated police presence in Manhattan, with police officers carrying M16 rifles. Police checkpoints stop vehicles in rush hour. A 3,000-flag memorial in Battery Park. Tearful Americans pay their respects; the emotion and the fear is palpable. Never Forget.

‘Never Question’ is the true underlying meaning of this emotive, Orwellian motto that has been seared into the American psyche like brands on the hides of cattle.

Rational thought has been obliterated by emotion, fear, and psuedo-patriotic jingoism. The ‘Never Forget’ mantra, and the flags and plaques in Manhattan attest to the exceptionalism of ‘American suffering’, a concept so disingenuous it makes any honest, aware person sick to their stomach. Every shade of human life, from America to Afghanistan, and from Iraq to Libya, is precious. But the tears shed at Ground Zero are not rooted in universal compassion; they are rooted in a grotesque sense of false victimhood and superiority, and a resounding ignorance of the most important event of this generation.

The emotion, fevered patriotism, jingoism, racism, and fear. The Manichean myth of good versus evil and America’s unique role in it. These are the metaphorical strands of wool that are weaved tightly together and hauled over America’s eyes, shielding the lies from scrutiny and keeping the truth shrouded in darkness. The truth is not palatable to those who believe in the inherent goodness of their leaders and their supposed allies. If the Iraqi and Afghani victims of 9/11 were honoured, flags would cover every square inch of Manhattan and more.

Alas, it is important that Americans be distracted. They must be kept in an emotional haze, deterred from questioning the official account, because even the most cursory inspection exposes it for the monstrous lie that it is.

The official narrative is so bizarre and fantastical, it is an absolute wonder that so many fail to question it. The most basic, central elements of the story stretch even the most childish imagination. The laws of physics, immutable as they are, are the arch enemy of this fantasy. In this ‘idiot’s guide’ of sorts, I will focus mainly on the events in New York, in spite of the reams of lies and contradictions relating to all events that day. The events in New York City comprise by far the most obvious ‘smoking gun’, and I hope that the reader will be spurred to perform their own objective research.

The official myth

What are the chances of the world’s most advanced military infrastructure being thwarted by ‘camel jockeys’ who could not even fly small Cessna-type private aircraft? NORAD – the body responsible for America’s airspace defense – is hugely adept and experienced at intercepting hijacked aircraft. Still, it was thwarted by men using not technological weaponry or physical sabotage, but nothing more than box cutters.

Aside from the inexplicable failure of America’s air defenses and the Pentagon’s unrivalled military defense system, what are the chances of these inept and inexperienced amateurs stepping into the cockpits of gargantuan, advanced commercial jet aircraft for the first time, only to slam at high speed into their respective targets with clinical precision?

What are the chances of jet fuel melting steel into a liquid – a scientific impossibility? What are the chances of steel-framed skyscrapers disintegrating into dust in their entirety due to localised fire and damage – yet another physical impossibility?

What is the probability of Flight 77 hitting the Pentagon and leaving no physical evidence? What is the chance of Flight 77 hitting the Pentagon – the most guarded structure in the world, covered by a no-fly zone and anti-aircraft missile batteries – at all? Flight 93′s ‘crash’ in Pennsylvania stays firmly within this realm of fantasy. Not a single aspect of the official narrative can stand up to scrutiny.

The Controlled Demolition of the World Trade Center

At 08:46 on the morning of September 11, 2001, American Airlines Flight 11 slammed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center complex. At 09:03, United Airlines Flight 175 impacted the South Tower. At 09:59 the South Tower underwent a global, immediate disintegration wherein violent explosions reduced the entirety of the 110-storey steel-framed structure to nothing but dust in under ten seconds – the approximate time it would take a solid object to fall the equivalent height in a vacuum. The North Tower was to undergo a ‘collapse’ in an identical fashion at 10:28.

The two 110-floor steel-framed Twin Towers each contained forty-seven steel columns that ran through the structures like a series of spines. Not only were these gigantic steel columns sheared and broken down from top to bottom, but the entirety of the concrete, masonry, and building materials contained within the towers were reduced to dust in violent explosions. This is impossible as a result of a gravity-driven collapse caused by localised aircraft impact and the resulting fires.

The true nature of the ‘collapse’ of the World Trade Center towers is revealed in the presence of molten steel underneath both sites. We are not talking about steel heated to the point of weakness; we are talking about steel being converted into a liquid. Steel melts at approximately 1,500 degrees C (or approximately 2,700 degrees F). Even under optimum conditions and given all the time in the world, it is scientifically impossible for jet fuel to melt steel, as jet fuel burns at approximately 280 degrees C (or 550 degrees F).

Indeed firefighters and first responders have witnessed molten steel at the sites.

This video is also instructive. NIST engineer John Gross desperately tries to deny the presence of molten steel when told of witness tesimonies together with NASA thermal imaging photography that demonstrates the intense heat present at Ground Zero weeks after the event.

The third skyscraper to collapse at freefall speed that day was World Trade Center 7. WTC-7 was not hit by a plane, and yet it fell in an identical fashion to the two towers: freefall, through the path of greatest resistance, and exhibiting all of the telltale signs of controlled demolition including multiple explosions before and during ‘collapse’.

Suggesting foreknowledge, the BBC reported the fall of building 7twenty minutes before it had even happened, at which time they promptly cut their news report.

Countless eyewitnesses have testified to explosions in the WTC buildings even before the impact of the planes, and nowhere near the impact points of the planes, including the basement levels.

Why have these testimonies not seen the light of day since the events ten years ago?

It is painfully obvious that the three towers were demolished with explosives. No rational adult can disagree with this in light of the evidence. ‘Al Qaeda’ could not possibly have rigged the towers with explosives for a controlled demolition. Not only would this require technology and expertise that is far beyond their capability, but it would require unfettered access to the high-security buildings beforehand – something which could only be attained with official complicity.

Following this line of inquiry, a rational person will conclude that the same party that planted the explosives, also flew the jets into the targets; even if it was known that ‘al Qaeda’ was planning to fly jets into those targets, it was simply not guaranteed that they would pull it off and indeed it was extremely unlikely given their extreme piloting inexperience. This left the possibility of one or more towers being rigged with explosives from top to bottom, without a plane having hit and therefore no basis on which to demolish the structures.

This seems to be precisely what happened to WTC-7. Flight 93 was destined for this structure, but it was shot down over Shanksville before it could reach its target. As a result they had to ‘pull’ building 7 and simply use the excuse of ‘fire’ to explain this staggering event.

This is why WTC-7 has already been rebuilt and recommissioned with practically zero press attention; they wish to remove this event from history altogether.

For answers we must look to ardent Zionist and Rabbi Dov Zackheim, then Comptroller of the Pentagon under Bush. From 1987 – 2001 he was CEO of Systems Planning Corporation – a company making advanced aviation systems one of which was the Flight Termination System, used for remote piloting large jet aircraft.

Owing to media censorship by omission, staggering numbers of people continue to accept the official account of the 9/11 terror attacks whether relating to the events in New York, at the Pentagon, or in Shanksville.

Following is live TV coverage of the ‘crash’ of Flight 93. Witnesses tell of no debris that could identify a plane crash, nothing larger than a phone book, and debris that is spread over an area of many miles. None of this is consistent with a plane crash. Again, this has not been mentioned on a single mainstream news outlet since that day.

 

Aside from the overtly obvious cover-up of the events in New York and Shanksville, the FBI refuses to release its 80 videos showing what really hit the Pentagon. No physical evidence of Flight 77 having hit it exists, and it’s downright embarrassing to think that so many believe a commercial airliner could have simply flown into the most guarded military structure on the planet.

Contrary to prescribed opinion, Osama bin Laden did not claim responsibility for the attacks; he outright denied it a mere two weeks afterwards. Three months later the CIA asset would be dead, leaving the way clear for the media manipulation that would ensure the al Qaeda apparition was alive and well.

If the real perpetrators of 9/11 were identified to indignant Americans, righteous tears of bereavement would morph into tears of uncontainable rage. Congress would be purged, government would be dissolved from top to bottom, and the $3bn in annual aid to the Zionist entity would be halted in the blink of an eye. 3,000 innocents died on 9/11. Ten years on and millions are dead, maimed, orphaned, displaced, tortured, humiliated, and subjugated as a direct result of the Zionist ‘War on Terror’. We all must stand up and be counted, there really are no excuses for continuing to buy this abominable lie.

Posted in USAComments Off on 9/11 ten years on: there are no excuses for buying the myth

Remembering Rachel and Israeli Injustice

NOVANEWS

by Eileen Fleming

On Tuesday, the Haifa District Court rejected accusations that Israel was at fault over the death of American activist Rachel Corrie, who was crushed by an army bulldozer during a 2003 pro-Palestinian demonstration in Gaza.

Senior U.S. officials criticized the original military investigation into the case, saying it had been neither thorough nor credible. But the judge said the inquiry had been appropriate and pinned no blame on the army.

NEW painting of Rachel Corrie
Painting of Rachel Corrie by Paul Sarko

In 2003, while USA Journalists were embedded with the Industrial Military Media Complex in Iraq, Rachel, an altruistic young American and perhaps the first of the New Fourth Estate, had been writing her heart out in Rafah. Rachel should be credited as the founder of The New Fourth Estate: citizen reporters who leave their comfort zones to go-seek-report to the best of their abilities and who are motivated by the pursuit of justice and a passion for the truth.

Four eye witnesses – three Britons and an American – who were on the scene when Rachel was run down and over twice testified in Haifa. All are members of the International Solidarity Movement, “a Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land using nonviolent, direct-action methods and principles.”

The Israeli government initially blocked the activists from entering Israel to testify but Britain and the US exerted strong pressure, and they were finally allowed entry for the hearing.

Israeli prime minister at the time of Corrie’s death, Ariel Sharon promised a “thorough, credible and transparent investigation” would be conducted.

An internal military inquiry cleared the two soldiers operating the bulldozer was even criticized by US officials.
Human Rights Watch noted it “fell far short of the transparency, impartiality and thoroughness required by international law”.

The army report said Rachel Corrie “was struck as she stood behind a mound of earth that was created by an engineering vehicle operating in the area and she was hidden from the view of the vehicle’s operator who continued with his work. Corrie was struck by dirt and a slab of concrete resulting in her death.”

Tom Dale, a British activist who was 10m away when Corrie was killed, wrote an account of the incident two days later. He described how she first knelt in the path of an approaching bulldozer and then stood as it reached her. She climbed on a mound of earth and the crowd nearby shouted at the bulldozer to stop. He said the bulldozer pushed her down and drove over her.

“They pushed Rachel, first beneath the scoop, then beneath the blade, then continued till her body was beneath the cockpit. They waited over her for a few seconds, before reversing. They reversed with the blade pressed down, so it scraped over her body a second time. Every second I believed they would stop but they never did.”

Rachel has been eulogized and demonized, celebrated and castigated. Her words and witness speak for themselves and what follows are but a few excerpts from her emails written while in the homes of strangers who became friends and family in Rafah.

In January 2003, upon leaving Olympia, Washington, Rachel wrote:

We are all born and someday we’ll all die…to some degree alone. What if our aloneness isn’t a tragedy? What if our aloneness is what allows us to speak the truth without being afraid? What if our aloneness is what allows us to adventure – to experience the world as a dynamic presence – as a changeable, interactive thing?

On February 7, 2003, Rachel wrote:

No amount of reading, attendance at conferences, documentary viewing and word of mouth could have prepared me for the reality of the situation here. You just can’t imagine it unless you see it – and even then you are always well aware that your experience of it is not at all the reality…Nobody in my family has been shot, driving in their car, by a rocket launcher from a tower at the end of a major street in my hometown…When I leave for school or work I can be relatively certain that there will not be a heavily armed soldier waiting…at a checkpoint with the power to decide whether I can go about my business, and whether I can get home again when I’m done…I am in Rafah: a city of about 140,000 people, approximately 60% of whom are refugees – many of whom are twice or three times refugees. Today, as I walked on top of the rubble where homes once stood, Egyptian soldiers called to me from the other side of the border, ‘Go! Go!’ because a tank was coming. And then waving and [asking] ‘What’s your name?’

Something disturbing about this friendly curiosity.

It reminded me of how much, to some degree, we are all kids curious about other kids. Egyptian kids shouting at strange women wandering into the path of tanks. Palestinian kids shot from the tanks when they peak out from behind walls to see what’s going on. International kids standing in front of tanks with banners. Israeli kids in the tanks anonymously – occasionally shouting and also occasionally waving – many forced to be here, many just aggressive – shooting into the houses as we wander away…There is a great deal of concern here about the “reoccupation of Gaza”. Gaza is reoccupied every day to various extents but I think the fear is that the tanks will enter all the streets and remain here instead of entering some of the streets and then withdrawing after some hours or days to observe and shoot from the edges of the communities. If people aren’t already thinking about the consequences of this war for the people of the entire region then I hope you will start….

Currently, the Israeli army is building a fourteen-meter-high wall between Rafah in Palestine and the border, carving a no-mans land from the houses along the border. Six hundred and two homes have been completely bulldozed according to the Rafah Popular Refugee Committee. The number of homes that have been partially destroyed is greater. Rafah existed prior to 1948, but most of the people here are themselves or are descendants of people who were relocated here from their homes in historic Palestine—now Israel. Rafah was split in half when the Sinai returned to Egypt.

In addition to the constant presence of tanks along the border and in the western region between Rafah and settlements along the coast, there are more IDF towers here than I can count—along the horizon, at the end of streets. Some just army green metal. Others these strange spiral staircases draped in some kind of netting to make the activity within anonymous. Some hidden, just beneath the horizon of buildings. A new one went up the other day in the time it took us to do laundry and to cross town twice to hang banners.

Despite the fact that some of the areas nearest the border are the original Rafah with families who have lived on this land for at least a century, only the 1948 camps in the center of the city are Palestinian controlled areas under Oslo.

But as far as I can tell, there are few if any places that are not within the sights of some tower or another. Certainly there is no place invulnerable to Apache helicopters or to the cameras of invisible drones we hear buzzing over the city for hours at a time.

…According to the municipal water office the wells destroyed last week provided half of Rafah’s water supply. Many of the communities have requested internationals to be present at night to attempt to shield houses from further demolition. After about ten p.m. it is very difficult to move at night because the Israeli army treats anyone in the streets as resistance and shoots at them. So clearly we are too few.

Many people want their voices to be heard, and I think we need to use some of our privilege as internationals to get those voices heard directly in the US, rather than through the filter of well-meaning internationals such as myself. I am just beginning to learn, from what I expect to be a very intense tutelage, about the ability of people to organize against all odds, and to resist against all odds.

People here watch the media, and they told me again today that there have been large protests in the United States and “problems for the government” in the UK. So thanks for allowing me to not feel like a complete Polyanna when I tentatively tell people here that many people in the United States do not support the policies of our government, and that we are learning from global examples how to resist.

February 20, 2003:

Now the Israeli army has actually dug up the road to Gaza, and both of the major checkpoints are closed. This means that Palestinians who want to go and register for their next quarter at university can’t. People can’t get to their jobs and those who are trapped on the other side can’t get home; and internationals, who have a meeting tomorrow in the West Bank, won’t make it. We could probably make it through if we made serious use of our international white person privilege, but that would also mean some risk of arrest and deportation, even though none of us has done anything illegal.

The Gaza Strip is divided in thirds now. There is some talk about the “reoccupation of Gaza”, but I seriously doubt this will happen, because I think it would be a geopolitically stupid move for Israel right now. I think the more likely thing is an increase in smaller below-the-international-outcry-radar incursions and possibly the oft-hinted “population transfer”.

…A move to reoccupy Gaza would generate a much larger outcry than Sharon’s assassination-during-peace-negotiations/land grab strategy, which is working very well now to create settlements all over, slowly but surely eliminating any meaningful possibility for Palestinian self-determination. Know that I have a lot of very nice Palestinians looking after me…

February 27, 2003:

I have bad nightmares about tanks and bulldozers outside our house…Sometimes the adrenaline acts as an anesthetic for weeks and then in the evening or at night it just hits me again – a little bit of the reality of the situation. I am really scared for the people here. Yesterday, I watched a father lead his two tiny children, holding his hands, out into the sight of tanks and a sniper tower and bulldozers and Jeeps because he thought his house was going to be exploded. Jenny and I stayed in the house with several women and two small babies. It was our mistake in translation that caused him to think it was his house that was being exploded. In fact, the Israeli army was in the process of detonating an explosive in the ground nearby – one that appears to have been planted by Palestinian resistance.

This is in the area where Sunday about 150 men were rounded up and contained outside the settlement with gunfire over their heads and around them, while tanks and bulldozers destroyed 25 greenhouses – the livelihoods for 300 people. The explosive was right in front of the greenhouses – right in the point of entry for tanks that might come back again. I was terrified to think that this man felt it was less of a risk to walk out in view of the tanks with his kids than to stay in his house. I was really scared that they were all going to be shot and I tried to stand between them and the tank. This happens every day, but just this father walking out with his two little kids just looking very sad, just happened to get my attention more at this particular moment, probably because I felt it was our translation problems that made him leave.

I thought a lot about what you said on the phone about Palestinian violence not helping the situation. Sixty thousand workers from Rafah worked in Israel two years ago. Now only 600 can go to Israel for jobs. Of these 600, many have moved, because the three checkpoints between here and Ashkelon (the closest city in Israel) make what used to be a 40-minute drive, now a 12-hour or impassible journey. In addition, what Rafah identified in 1999 as sources of economic growth are all completely destroyed – the Gaza international airport (runways demolished, totally closed); the border for trade with Egypt (now with a giant Israeli sniper tower in the middle of the crossing); access to the ocean (completely cut off in the last two years by a checkpoint and the Gush Katif settlement). The count of homes destroyed in Rafah since the beginning of this intifada is up around 600, by and large people with no connection to the resistance but who happen to live along the border……about non-violent resistance.

When that explosive detonated yesterday it broke all the windows in the family’s house. I was in the process of being served tea and playing with the two small babies. I’m having a hard time right now. Just feel sick to my stomach a lot from being doted on all the time, very sweetly, by people who are facing doom. I know that from the United States, it all sounds like hyperbole. Honestly, a lot of the time the sheer kindness of the people here, coupled with the overwhelming evidence of the willful destruction of their lives, makes it seem unreal to me. I really can’t believe that something like this can happen in the world without a bigger outcry about it.

It really hurts me, again, like it has hurt me in the past, to witness how awful we can allow the world to be…you actually do go and do your own research. But it makes me worry about the job I’m doing. All of the situation that I tried to enumerate above – and a lot of other things – constitutes a somewhat gradual – often hidden, but nevertheless massive – removal and destruction of the ability of a particular group of people to survive. This is what I am seeing here. The assassinations, rocket attacks and shooting of children are atrocities – but in focusing on them I’m terrified of missing their context.

The vast majority of people here – even if they had the economic means to escape, even if they actually wanted to give up resisting on their land and just leave (which appears to be maybe the less nefarious of Sharon’s possible goals), can’t leave…they can’t even get into Israel to apply for visas, and because their destination countries won’t let them in (both our country and Arab countries).

…when all means of survival is cut off in a pen (Gaza) which people can’t get out of, I think that qualifies as genocide. Even if they could get out, I think it would still qualify as genocide. Maybe you could look up the definition of genocide according to international law…

When I come back from Palestine, I probably will have nightmares and constantly feel guilty for not being here, but I can channel that into more work. Coming here is one of the better things I’ve ever done. So when I sound crazy, or if the Israeli military should break with their racist tendency not to injure white people, please pin the reason squarely on the fact that I am in the midst of a genocide which I am also indirectly supporting, and for which my government is largely responsible.

February 28, 2003:

…I spent a lot of time writing about the disappointment of discovering, somewhat first-hand, the degree of evil of which we are still capable. I should at least mention that I am also discovering a degree of strength and of basic ability for humans to remain human in the direst of circumstances – which I also haven’t seen before. I think the word is dignity. I wish you could meet these people. Maybe, hopefully, someday you will…

I think I could see a Palestinian state or a democratic Israeli-Palestinian state within my lifetime. I think freedom for Palestine could be an incredible source of hope to people struggling all over the world. I think it could also be an incredible inspiration to Arab people in the Middle East, who are struggling under undemocratic regimes which the US supports.

I look forward to increasing numbers of middle-class privileged people like you and me becoming aware of the structures that support our privilege and beginning to support the work of those who aren’t privileged to dismantle those structures.

I look forward to more moments like February 15 when civil society wakes up en masse and issues massive and resonant evidence of it’s conscience, it’s unwillingness to be repressed, and it’s compassion for the suffering of others.

I look forward to more teachers emerging like Matt Grant and Barbara Weaver and Dale Knuth who teach critical thinking to kids in the United States.

I look forward to the international resistance that’s occurring now fertilizing analysis on all kinds of issues, with dialogue between diverse groups of people.

I look forward to all of us who are new at this developing better skills for working in democratic structures and healing our own racism and classism and sexism and heterosexism and ageism and ableism and becoming more effective.

In fifth grade, at the age of ten, Rachel Corrie wrote her heart out and stated it at a Press Conference on World Hunger in 1990:

 

 

I’m here for other children.
I’m here because I care.
I’m here because children everywhere are suffering and because forty thousand people die each day from hunger.
I’m here because those people are mostly children.
We have got to understand that the poor are all around us and we are ignoring them.
We have got to understand that these deaths are preventable.
We have got to understand that people in third world countries think and care and smile and cry just like us.
We have got to understand that they dream our dreams and we dream theirs.
We have got to understand that they are us. We are them.
My dream is to stop hunger by the year 2000.
My dream is to give the poor a chance.
My dream is to save the 40,000 people who die each day.
My dream can and will come true if we all look into the future and see the light that shines there.
If we ignore hunger, that light will go out.
If we all help and work together, it will grow and burn free with the potential of tomorrow.

 

1. http://rachelcorriefoundation.org/site/about-rachel-corrie/rachels-emails-from-palestine/

I am Eileen Fleming for US HOUSE and I approve of all of my messages.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on Remembering Rachel and Israeli Injustice

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