Archive | January 5th, 2013

What are the Benefits of Going Off “The Fiscal Cliff”?

NOVANEWS
Global Research

It was reported recently that Senator Harry Reid thinks that the fiscal cliff is coming, saying that Republicans would be to blame “if we go over the cliff, and it looks like that’s where we’re headed.”[1]

The media has been talking up the fiscal cliff and making it seem as if were going to be the end of the world, however, we should have actively been expecting this, seeing as how last year the super committee didn’t come to a deal[2] and thus effectively resigned the nation to this fiscal cliff. Yet, there could be a silver lining to all of this.

Before getting into what the benefits of going off this ‘cliff’ could be, it must first be stated that the fact of the matter is that the fiscal cliff itself is not a cliff; rather it is a mixture of tax increases and spending cuts that will automatically go into effect on January 1st of the new year.

The cliff gets rid of some of the tax breaks for the rich and for corporations while also instituting “a 7.6 to 9.6 percent across the board cut in all discretionary spending, except programs for low-income Americans,” with the cuts being “evenly divided between defense and nondefense programs.”[3]

While this would definitely hurt the agencies, we need that hurt as it is defense that needs to be cut the most as it has been doubling since 2001.[4]

The fact of the matter is that the US government has tried again and again to get the debt and deficit under control, but each time they have spectacularly failed, with the most recent failing in memory being the debt ceiling debacle in which the US credit rating was downgraded. So it seems that this is the only way for the country to get its act together. Going over the so-called fiscal cliff would force Washington to actually do something about its fiscal policies.

Yet the real silver lining to this lies in the American people.

After having been pulled hook, line, and sinker for several years by politicians saying that they care about the American people and the country, only to then turn around and do what is best for their re-election chances and corporate donors, the American people will hopefully come to the realization that the political class does not care about them.

Republicans don’t care about the people and neither do Democrats. If this occurs, the people will reject both major parties and involve themselves in “the creation of an independent political movement –to create the transformations needed in the United States.”[5]

That is where our hopes must lie during this time of crisis.

Not in politicians hashing out deals that don’t address the actual problems we as a nation are facing.

We must place our hope in the American people.

Notes

[1] Oliver Knox, “Reid says fiscal cliff dive likely; blasts Boehner for lacking leadership,” Yahoo! News, December 27, 2012 (http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/reid-says-fiscal-cliff-dive-likely-blasts-boehner-171600314–politics.html)

[2] Ted Barrett, Kate Bolduan and Deirdre Walsh, “’Super committee’ fails to reach agreement,” CNN Politics, November 21, 2011 (http://articles.cnn.com/2011-11-21/politics/politics_super-committee_1_deficit-reduction-republicans-committee?_s=PM:POLITICS)

[3] Suzy Khimm, Ezra Klein, Dylan Matthews and Brad Plumer, “The Fiscal Cliff: Absolutely everything you could possibly need to know, in one FAQ,” Washington Post, December 3, 2012 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/11/27/absolutely-everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-fiscal-cliff-in-one-faq)

[4] Judd Legum, “REPORT: U.S. Military Spending Has Almost Doubled Since 2001,” Think Progress, April 11, 2011 (http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/04/11/157596/military-spending-doubled-since-2001/?mobile=nc)

[5] Kevin Zeese, “The Fiscal Cliff, A Self-Created Bi-Partisan Drama. The Need to Mobilize Resistance,”Global Research, December 27, 2012 (http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-fiscal-cliff-a-self-created-bi-partisan-drama-the-need-to-mobilize-resistance/5316998)

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Zio-Nazi Forces Continue Systematic Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and Property in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)

NOVANEWS

  • 42 Palestinian civilians were wounded, including 8 children, in the West Bank.

–       36 of whom, including 6 children, were wounded in Tamoun village, southeast of Tubas in the northern West Bank.

 

  • The Israeli Forces continued to fire at the Palestinian farmers and rubble collectors in the northern Gaza Strip.

–       A Palestinian child was wounded while collecting rubbles and firewood in the northwest of Beit Hanoun.

 

  • The Israeli Forces conducted 83 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. 

–       At least 29 Palestinian civilians, including 10 children, were arrested.

 

  • The Israeli Forces continued to target Palestinian fishermen in the sea.

–       The Israeli gunboats targeted Palestinian fishing boats thrice during the reporting period.

 

  • The Israeli Forces continued to use excessive force against peaceful protests in the West Bank.

–       Dozens of Palestinian civilians suffered from tear gas inhalation.

 

  • Israel has continued to impose a total closure on the oPt and has isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world.

–       The Israeli Forces established dozens of checkpoints in the West Bank.

–       At least 3 Palestinian civilians were arrested at checkpoints; 2 of whom were arrested at military checkpoints in the West Bank, while the third one was arrested at Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing in the northern Gaza Strip.

 

  • Israel has continued efforts to create Jewish majority in East Jerusalem.

–       2 houses were demolished; one of which was inhabited and the other was under-construction.

 

  • The Israeli Forces have continued settlement activities in the West Bank, and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.

–       The Israeli settlers cut off and damaged 302 olive seedlings in Qasra village, southeast of Nablus.

–       A car and a tractor were set to fire in Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron.

Summary

 

Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (27 December 2012 – 02 January 2013):

 

Shooting:

During the reporting period, the Israeli forces wounded 43 Palestinian civilians, including 9 children. 42 of the wounded, including 8 children, were wounded in the West Bank, while the ninth child was wounded in the Gaza Strip.

On 31 December 2012, 2 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded when the Israeli forces moved into Salfit and fired at a group of boys who protested against the Israeli forces and threw stones at them.

On 01 January 2013, 36 Palestinian civilians, including 6 children, were wounded when the Israeli forces moved into Tamoun village, southeast of Tubas, to arrest a wanted person. Clashes erupted between the Israeli forces and dozens of Palestinians, during which the Israeli forces used excessive force to disperse the protestors.

On the same day, a Palestinian civilian was wounded when the Israeli forces moved into Oreef village, southeast of Nablus, and fired at dozens of boys who gathered to protest against the Israeli forces.

Also on the same day, 3 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded when the Israeli settlers moved into Qasra village, southeast of Nablus. The settlers cut off 12 olive trees. As a result, dozens of Palestinians gathered and threw stones at the settlers, but the Israeli forces intervened to protect the settlers by firing tear gas canisters and rubber-coated metal bullets.

 

The full report is available online at:

http://www.pchrgaza.org/portal/en/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=9161:weekly-report-on-israeli-human-rights-violations-in-the-occupied-palestinian-territory-27-dec-02-jan-2012&catid=84:weekly-2009&Itemid=183

 

Posted in Human Rights1 Comment

Washington’s Dilemma: The “Good Terrorists” versus the “Bad Terrorists

NOVANEWS
Global Research

 

Terrorism is terrorism and it cannot be defined otherwise unless the interests of one party tilt the scale in disfavor of another and the dichotomization of the terrorists in Syria into good and bad by the West casts doubt on its claim on democracy.

In a somber political tone, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov lashed out as “absolutely unacceptable” the West’s support for the terrorists in Syria in his exclusive interview with Russia Today.

Lavrov said the West has divided the terrorists into “bad” and “acceptable,” throwing its support behind the latter.

“It’s absolutely unacceptable, and if we follow this logic it might lead us to a very dangerous situation not only in the Middle East but in other parts of the world, if our partners in the West would begin to qualify terrorists as bad terrorists and acceptable terrorists,” the Russian foreign minister said.

The dichotomization of such a grave issue by the West is almost nothing new. The delisting of MKO, a long-considered terrorists group, by Washington is in line with this process of redefining well-established concepts and terms by the West.

Paradoxically, the MKO has been supported by Washington even when it was on the terrorist list. They even received their training at the hands of the Bush administration.

In a enlightening article, Seymour Hersh showed that US Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) trained members of the Iranian Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MKO) at a secretive site in Nevada from 2005 to at least 2007. According to Hersh, MKO members “were trained in intercepting communications, cryptography, weaponry and small unit tactics at the Nevada site up until President Obama took office.”

In a separate interview, a retired four-star general said that he had been privately briefed in 2005 about the training of MKO members in Nevada by an American involved in the program. He said that they got “the standard training in commo, crypto [cryptography], small-unit tactics, and weaponry—that went on for six months. They were kept in little pods.” He also was told, he said, that the men doing the training were from JSOC, which, by 2005, had become a major instrument in the Bush Administration’s global war on terror.

To the dismay and disappointment of many, US State Department decided in September to remove the MKO from the terror lists.

US State Department said its decision to delist the group was made because the group has not committed any terrorist acts for a decade and brashly whitewashed the fact that the group has been to all intents and purposes instrumental in carrying out nuclear assassinations in the last few years in Iran. Although the group has never officially assumed responsibility for the assassinations (which is quite natural), there is solid evidence suggesting that it has been complicit in these terrorist acts.

The terrorist group made unrelenting efforts for years to be removed from the terror list and enlisted a number of Republican and Democratic officials to lobby on its behalf. Instead of paying lobbying fees to them, “it offered honoraria ranging from $10,000-$50,000 per speech to excoriate the US government for its allegedly shabby treatment of the MEK. Among those who joined the group’s gravy train are former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell, Rudy Giuliani, Alan Dershowitz, and former FBI director Louis Freeh. Many of them profess to have little interest in the money they have collected” (Richard Silverstein, The Guardian September 22, 20212).

MKO has long been engaging in a series of sabotage and terrorist activities against the Islamic Republic in league with Israeli intelligence agencies.

In January 2012, Benny Gantz, the Israeli Defense Forces chief of staff, told a parliamentary committee: “For Iran, 2012 is a critical year in combining the continuation of its nuclearisation, internal changes in the Iranian leadership, continuing and growing pressure from the international community and things which take place in an unnatural manner.”

Just 24 hours after Israeli military chief warned of unnatural events for Iran, Iranian nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan was assassinated in broad daylight. It soon transpired that it had been a joint Mossad-MKO operation.

The MKO has reportedly assassinated over 12,000 Iranian citizens, seven American citizens, and tens of thousands of Iraqi nationals.

Anyhow, the dichotomization of ‘terrorists’ into good and bad is far uglier than any form of apartheid.

A comparatively similar story is being repeated in Syria. Washington has branded the Qatar-funded Al-Nusra Front as a terrorist organization. But why? They are fighting against the government of Bashar al-Assad together with other militants in Syria who are chiefly composed of foreign mercenaries. The former are considered terrorists simply because they to a large extent fly in the face of Washington’s polical rhetoric in Syria. So, it is Washington or the US-led West which decides who is a terrorist and who is not.

Let us not forget that the notorious al Qaeda which is sowing seeds of blind extremism and religious sectarianism in the world was founded and financially supported in the seventies by Washington and CIA in an apparent bid to fight the Soviets. Robin Cook laments the creation of al Qaeda and says, “Bin Laden was, though, a product of a monumental miscalculation by western security agencies. Throughout the 80s he was armed by the CIA and funded by the Saudis to wage jihad against the Russian occupation of Afghanistan. Al-Qaida, literally “the database”, was originally the computer file of the thousands of mujahideen who were recruited and trained with help from the CIA to defeat the Russians. Inexplicably, and with disastrous consequences, it never appears to have occurred to Washington that once Russia was out of the way, Bin Laden’s organization would turn its attention to the west.”

This CIA-created Frankenstein’s monster has not changed but has grown up monstrously.

Truly known to be one of the most misinterpreted and misused words, terrorism is defined and refined by the West according to the context where it proves deleterious or beneficial to those who define the term.

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Lift the Closure Imposed on Gaza Completely… New Israeli Allegations about Easing the Closure

NOVANEWS

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) is closely following the statements made by the Israeli authorities concerning significant facilities on the closure imposed on the civilians in the Gaza Strip, for more than six years. PCHR calls upon the Israeli authorities to first of all lift this unjust closure completely, as it is a form of collective punishment prohibited under the international humanitarian law, and second to discontinue all the unjust restrictions imposed on the movement of civilians and thirdly allow the free movement of trade; including imports and exports to and from the Gaza Strip.

On 31 December 2012, Major General Etan Dankot, Operations Coordinator in the Occupied Territories, stated to the Israeli Radio that Israel would allow the entry of raw construction materials, passenger buses, and trucks, and improve the capacity of electric power on the Israeli electricity networks destined for the Gaza Strip for the first time since the closure was imposed on the Gaza Strip.

In the light of experience of the past years, PCHR emphasizes that such facilities are mysterious and deceptive as the new allegations about this have not allowed the entry of all needed materials for the Gaza Strip. These facilities have not determined the amount of raw materials and the number of buses and trucks which will be allowed in.  The allegations have neither mentioned any kind of change concerning exports from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank and other countries or their nature.  Moreover, such facilities are provided for the very first time.  PCHR believes that these statements are consistently aimed at institutionalizing the closure and to create an international environment for acceptance of the essence of this policy.  PCHR believes also that the primary key in dealing with the closure imposed on the Gaza Strip should begin by acknowledging that this policy is illegal, and falls under the policy of collective punishment imposed on the civilian population of the Gaza Strip.

These statements, which talk about partially lifting the closure or trying to beautify this policy within the framework of the humanitarian perspective, is a clear violation of the international humanitarian law, including the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in the Time of War. What is truly required, is the lifting of the unjust closure completely that will allow the free movement of both persons and goods. The limited procedures of easing the closure, declared by Israeli Authorities, will not end the suffering of the civilians in the Gaza Strip who have borne the consequences of the unjust closure for 6 successive years as they do not address the essence of the crisis.  Therefore, the closure must be completely and immediately lifted and a radical change should be made in the Israeli policies to end the severe crisis facing Gaza.  The Israeli Authorities continue to allow the entry of certain limited goods while they keep on imposing restrictions on the entry of other goods, including the raw materials.  As a result, the situation of the Gaza Strip will continue to deteriorate and no real change will happen in the economic and social conditions of the Gaza population.

The ongoing ban on imports of Gaza, including industrial and agricultural products, limits the possibility of reviving the Gaza Strip economy which has been continuously deteriorating due to this ban.  The Israeli policies and recent allegations of easing the closure imposed on the Gaza Strip is an attempt to institutionalize the closure and its success implies the Israeli manipulations of international law, including the international humanitarian law and human rights law.

Over the past 6 years, the international community has failed to enforce the international humanitarian law and human rights law.  This stigmatizes the High Contacting Parties of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention which have failed to take practical measures in accordance with their legal obligations to force the Israeli authorities to respect the Convention and stop all their policies that violate economic, social, and cultural rights of the Palestinians as well as their civil and political rights.

The best approach to end the devastating consequences caused by the Israeli policies against the civilian population of the Gaza Strip is not represented by the Israeli declaration of alleged facilities or by lifting the blockade partially; rather, by immediately declaring an end of it completely.

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Press TV: Turkey Furthering US – IsraHell Agenda in Mideast

NOVANEWS

Turkey furthering US-Israeli agenda in Mideast: Gordon Duff

 

By Gordon Duff and Press TV

 

“Now, Israel uses America. We are seeing it in Syria, we saw it in Iraq and Afghanistan, we are seeing it in Turkey and, we are now told, we will see the war “re-expand” to Iraq, then to Armenia and points beyond. A plan is afoot, Israel, America and Turkey.”

America’s policy has been clear, keep Israel flanked with phony “Islamist” states, shackled by corrupt governments, fully penetrated by a military that is fully integrated with Israel and making all the right noises meant to maintain sectarian divides across the Islamic world.

The wars Israel never fought

Who could blame them. Recent revelations, documents “leaked” which put history in real perspective now show that, not only was the 1973 war fought by American planes, and American pilots, carefully repainted to seem “Israeli” but the majority of sorties flown during the 1967 war were also American pilots flying American planes.

When America calls Israel its “aircraft carrier in the Middle East,” it isn’t kidding. The only thing that has changed is that America used to actually use Israel to attack others.

A plan is afoot

Now, Israel uses America. We are seeing it in Syria, we saw it in Iraq and Afghanistan, we are seeing it in Turkey and, we are now told, we will see the war “re-expand” to Iraq, then to Armenia and points beyond. A plan is afoot, Israel, America and Turkey.

America is involved in a multi-faceted plan to maintain regional hegemony across the Caspian Basin. To do so, it is necessary for it to destabilize the current government in Iraq, bring about the collapse of Syria, destabilize and collapse Armenia and build Azerbaijan as the Israeli/American outpost against Iran and to help support drug trafficking from a continued occupation of Afghanistan.

Azerbaijan has long been chosen to be the new strategic “American aircraft carrier” in Central Asia, not just another layover stop for drug pilots as it has been for the past ten years.

The UN, designed to fail

Key to the process is the avoidance of any durable settlement of any kind in the Middle East. This means that Washington has “green lighted” Israel’s settlements in the West Bank, despite UN, EU and even ICC condemnations as being inexorable.

The permanent “toothless” United Nations, crippled by a Security Council, which was, at one time, actually subject to veto by the island of Formosa (Republic of China), is not just a sign of anachronism but one of permanent colonial overlordship.

US policy is not just dependent on settlements but continued bombardment of the civilian population of Gaza and by permanent political upheaval in Egypt as well.

Sandy Hook

Keeping the people of the world focused on horror, the bodies of dead children, is a key component to the kind of psychological warfare that makes a permanent state of conflict an unquestioned reality.

Both the Norway and Sandy Hook murders may well be a part of this plan. Thus far, accusations made that “hit teams” were involved in Sandy Hook have been fully substantiated and wild conspiracies by Mossad press assets have failed miserably.

The American people know they have been under a terror attack and have proven immune to idiotic conspiracy theories out of Tel Aviv.

Turkey on the move

With Turkey revealed now in its Ottoman glory, the robotic stooge of Zionist Israel, basking in the delusional belief that the machinations of the Washington/Tel Aviv axis will restore their greatness, allowing them to occupy Syria, attack Armenia and dismember Iraq, Erdogan will be able to play Sultan.

Turkey, as a regional power in the Middle East, sitting astride the oil and gas pipelines, descending on the Kirkuk oil fields and, with its Israeli masters, assisted by US Ambassador to Baku, Matt Bryza of Istanbul based Turco Petroleum, will overshadow the economically broken states of the European Union that have so often rejected membership of their “filthy little Islamic cousins.”

Turkey and Egypt with their fleets of “half modernized” F 16 fighters, carefully engineered to be significantly inferior to those flown by Israel, prove themselves easily bought with counterfeit currency.

Moreover, Turkey’s empire, including the offshore Syrian oil and gas fields carefully hidden from world attention through altered geological reports, are more prizes to be won.

The Gaza terror distraction

Again, none of this is possible if there is any hope of meaningful dialog or settlement, if there is any move forward toward recognition of Iran’s rights to nuclear power.

Thus, we will not only continue to see bombing of Gaza and attacks on Palestinians and even Christians, not just in Israel but across Syria as well, but we may expect attack against Lebanon while the US has to “unrepair” the improved relationship between the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Commission) and Iran.

The Sultan returns

As Turkey prepares to exercise its role as “protector of Syria” under the watchful eye of Israeli/American regional hegemony, plans are afoot to move against Iraq, under the guise of “defense against PKK rebels attacking Turkey.”

During the US occupation of Iraq, I remember sitting in Erbil, more than once hearing Turkish artillery as their incursions into Iraq and their violation of Iraq sovereignty was “rubber stamped” in both Washington and Baghdad.

This was when Turkey could still pretend to be a victim. This was “poor Turkey,” the defending of the Palestinian people, promising military convoys to protect peace activists, Erdogan’s promise of action against Israel in reprisal for the murder of Turkish citizens on the Mavi Marmara while, behind the scenes, ordering more military supplies from Israel.

Now it is the scheming of Erdogan, now made transparent, an Erdogan quite probably an ally of Tel Aviv and Washington, a flawed individual hoping to put his mark on the map of the world, unaware how humiliating his foolishness seems to others.

I remember Erdogan, his Air Force training with Israeli pilots. How far would Turkey go?

Syria besieged

As we look at Syria today, the Russian Iskandar missiles offsetting the American Patriot III batteries, the Russian S 300 Air Defense system offsetting the new US jets waiting to attack Syria.

Three of them have been shot down already, “accidents” we are told.

Now we find rumors of a renewed US presence in Northern Iraq. Forward units have arrived the last few days. Are more to follow, are these humanitarian missions or are they supporting rebel forces?

Similarly, we are seeing more movements, intelligence teams scouting, not just Iran, drones, special operations troops, not just Iran but Armenia as well, and not just from Turkey but Azerbaijan.

Then I remember, the US Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Matt Bryza, is a Turkish oil executive.

The “great game”

Perhaps this is a new type of diplomat, not really representing the US at all but in place waiting, waiting for some change in the geopolitical balance, a readjustment of power, a permanent colonialization of Central Asia, drugs, gas and oil, permanent war, permanent sectarian strife and a Middle East permanently aflame.

To keep the flames stoked and the hatreds alive, the Palestinian people must be ground into the dirt in the most heinous and brutal way possible, at the hands of the most despicable and snarling whelps the earth has yet to endure.

All of it is being done for money; it does not take a genius to see it.

How can it be described?

Is it like, perhaps, a bank robbery, the same robbers day after day, the same hostages killed and the police never come?

Erdogan learned from this and wants his share.

Thus far, he may well get it unless someone starts playing the game a bit better.

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Former neo-Nazi reveals how he switched from Palestinian terrorism to CIA

NOVANEWS

Memorializing the Munich 11.

Willi Voss, who abetted the 1972 Munich massacre, reveals in a new book that the CIA recruited him to help prevent anti-Israeli terrorism.

ed note–the relevant question that needs asking here is this–how many other ‘neo-Nazis’, white ‘separatists,’  white ‘supremacists’ or others involved in working for ‘white’ issues fall into the same category as well? How many of them, masquerading as people concerned about ‘preserving the white race’ have been caught in compromising positions and then co-opted by intelligence/law enforcement agencies to spy on or act as saboteurs against anti-Zionist activists/movements, pretending to be something they are not while in the dead of night they are reporting to the feds, the ADL and SPLC?
Haaretz
A German criminal who worked for the Palestinian terrorist organization Black September has revealed in a new book that the CIA recruited him following the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics to thwart anti-Israel activities.

Willi Voss, 68, now lives in Europe and earns his living writing detective novels. His connections with the Palestinian terrorists were revealed in July when the German magazine Der Spiegel published classified documents released by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution in Germany, ahead of the 40th anniversary of the massacre of the Israeli athletes at Munich. In a correspondence with Haaretz this summer, Voss admitted to and apologized for his involvement in the massacre.

Now, half a year later, he has revealed another thrilling part of his tangled and shady biography: He was also an agent of the American Central Intelligence Agency, operating under the code name Ganymede – after a servant of the gods in Greek mythology.

In a feature article this week in Der Spiegel, Voss claims he provided the United States with information and documents that helped thwart terror attacks in the Middle East and Europe.

Beginning in 1975, Voss says, he worked as a CIA mole in the Black September organization, taking advantage of his closeness to three Palestinian terrorists: Abu Daoud, Abu Nidal, and Abu Jihad.

In his new capacity, Voss exposed terror cells in various countries, photographed documents at the Palestinian Liberation Organization intelligence headquarters, and provided information about connections between neo-Nazis and Fatah activists under Yasser Arafat’s leadership.

Voss’ control at the American organization confirmed the claims in a conversation with Der Spiegel, and added that the United States took Voss under its wing and saw to it that he would not be arrested in Germany, where he was a wanted man.

Voss recounts his life story in a book published recently in Germany, “UnterGrund” (“Under Ground”), describing his time as a petty criminal in Germany in the 1960s and his acquaintance with neo-Nazi right-wing activist Udo Albrecht, whom he met in prison.

With help from Voss, Albrecht escaped from prison hidden in a shipping container and made his way to Jordan – where he joined up with Palestinian terrorists headed by Abu Daoud – eventually the mastermind behind the Munich Olympics massacre.

Voss too linked up with the Palestinian activists and helped terrorists acquire forged passports, cars and weapons. In September of 1972, the terrorists carried out the massacre in Munich, in which the 11 Israeli athletes were murdered.

The real part Voss played in the massacre is not clear to this day. According to his version, he gave logistical help only and did not know about the terrorists’ intentions. In any case, several weeks after the massacre, the German police arrested him in possession of weapons from the same source that had armed the terrorists used in Munich. According to the reports in Germany, the weapons were intended for use in abductions and bargaining actions throughout Germany.

The German authorities’ conduct toward Voss is still unclear to this day. Initially, a court in Munich sentenced Voss to two years in prison. However, his trial was suspended and he managed to slip out of Germany and reach Beirut, where he joined up with the Palestinian terrorists.

This might have had to do with his lawyer’s negotiations with the German authorities. According to the Der Spiegel report, he proposed Voss’ services as a mole in Black September to provide Germany with information that could prevent further terror attacks in its territory. In the end, the negotiations failed and Voss went back to helping the Palestinian terrorists.

In 1975 he “repented.” He and his girlfriend were arrested as they tried to smuggle a car loaded with explosives across Europe. He then realized, he says, that the innocent looking car he had been asked to drive from place to place on behalf of Fatah was booby trapped and could have killed him. At that point, he says, he decided to defect and connect with the CIA. He made contact with the American Embassy in Belgrade, introduced himself as an officer in Fatah and offered his services. He tells the rest of his story in the new book.

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The United Nations Syria “Peace Plan” is a Fraud

NOVANEWS

Posted by: Siba Bizri

UN “peace envoy” Lakhdar Brahimi is attempting to broker a transitional government ahead of proposed elections in Syria. For Brahimi, his efforts are not only in vain, they are entirely disingenuous. The proposal of a “transitional government” in the midst of what is in fact a foreign invasion, funded, armed, and perpetuated openly by foreign interests violates both Syria’s sovereignty and the UN’s own founding charter.

It would be not unlike a UN envoy visiting Poland at the beginning of World War II, and proposing a transitional government in the midst of the Nazi invasion. The UN would clearly be a facilitator of injustice, not a broker of peace.

The LA Times reports in their article, Lakhdar Brahimi works to revive Syria peace plan“:

“Peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi made a new push Thursday to draw Syrian officials and rebels into negotiations, aiming to revive a plan for a transitional government and elections that faltered because of disagreements over the future of President Bashar Assad.”

The UN has categorically failed to delineate between legitimate opposition inside of Syria, and bands of roving armed terrorists committing wide scale atrocities against the Syrian people – many of whom are not even from Syria, all of whom are heavily armed by the US, NATO, and its regional allies including Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar as part of a long standing plan to effect regime change in both Syria and Iran. The Western press is not only supporting the UN’s disingenuous efforts, it has gone through great lengths to delegitimize any opposition in Syria that refuses to pick up arms, or that speaks out against foreign intervention.

While the LA Times attempts to make the UN plan seem reasonable, with only Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Russia standing in the way of peace, in reality, the plan is yet another effort to frame the conflict as a political struggle instead of the foreign invasion it actually is.

Syria is Being Invaded by Foreign Terrorists

The armed “rebels” the UN is refusing to condemn, constitute foreign Al Qaeda fighters, including the US State DepartmentUnited Nations, and the UK Home Office (page 5, .pdf)-listed international terrorist organization, the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), Al Nusra also known as “Al Qaeda in Iraq,” and Syrian Muslim Brotherhood extremists. None of these terrorist factions would be negotiated with by Western nations if by some means their weapons turned from Syria and back toward the West. Yet the West demands that they not only be recognized and negotiated with, but indeed handed the entire nation of Syria to rule over.

In November 2011, the Telegraph in their article, Leading Libyan Islamist met Free Syrian Army opposition group,” would report:

Abdulhakim Belhadj, head of the Tripoli Military Council and the former leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, “met with Free Syrian Army leaders in Istanbul and on the border with Turkey,” said a military official working with Mr Belhadj. “Mustafa Abdul Jalil (the interim Libyan president) sent him there.”

Another Telegraph article, Libya’s new rulers offer weapons to Syrian rebels,” would admit

Syrian rebels held secret talks with Libya’s new authorities on Friday, aiming to secure weapons and money for their insurgency against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, The Daily Telegraph has learned.

At the meeting, which was held in Istanbul and included Turkish officials, the Syrians requested “assistance” from the Libyan representatives and were offered arms, and potentially volunteers.

“There is something being planned to send weapons and even Libyan fighters to Syria,” said a Libyan source, speaking on condition of anonymity. “There is a military intervention on the way. Within a few weeks you will see.”

Later that month, some 600 Libyan terrorists would be reported to have entered Syria to begin combat operations and in July 2012, CNN, whose Ivan Watson accompanied terrorists over the Turkish-Syrian border and into Aleppo, revealed that indeed foreign fighters were amongst the militants, particularly Libyans. It was admitted that:

Meanwhile, residents of the village where the Syrian Falcons were headquartered said there were fighters of several North African nationalities also serving with the brigade’s ranks.

A volunteer Libyan fighter has also told CNN he intends to travel from Turkey to Syria within days to add a “platoon” of Libyan fighters to armed movement.

CNN also added:

On Wednesday, CNN’s crew met a Libyan fighter who had crossed into Syria from Turkey with four other Libyans. The fighter wore full camouflage and was carrying a Kalashnikov rifle. He said more Libyan fighters were on the way.

The foreign fighters, some of them are clearly drawn because they see this as … a jihad. So this is a magnet for jihadists who see this as a fight for Sunni Muslims.

In essence, Syria has been under invasion for nearly a year by Libyan terrorists. Additionally, in the immediate aftermath of the US recognizing its own handpicked “opposition coalition” as the “representatives of the Syrian people,” its leader, Moaz al-Khatib, immediately demanded that the US lift sanctions on Al Qaeda terrorist organization al-Nusra.

Reuters quoted al-Khatib as saying:

“The decision to consider a party that is fighting the regime as a terrorist party needs to be reviewed. We might disagree with some parties and their ideas and their political and ideological vision. But we affirm that all the guns of the rebels are aimed at overthrowing the tyrannical criminal regime.”

Not only is the West refusing to acknowledge that Syria’s conflict is one of foreign and domestic terrorism, it is actively arming, funding, and offering safe haven to these terrorist factions. NATO-member Turkey is directly complicit in facilitating Libya’s extraterritorial aggression by hosting Libyan fighters within its borders, while coordinating their funding, arming, and logistics as they cross the Turkish-Syrian border. Along Turkey’s borders also facilitating Libya’s invasion of Syria, is America’s CIA.

The New York Times admitted in June 2012 in their article, C.I.A. Said to Aid in Steering Arms to Syrian Opposition,” that “CIA officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey,” and directing weapons including, “automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons.” The NYT implicates Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar as the primary underwriters for the weapons while the CIA coordinates the logistics.

http://www.csmonitor.com/var/ezflow_site/storage/images/media/content/2012/0224-friends-of-syria-conference/11843662-1-eng-US/0224-friends-of-syria-conference_full_600.jpg

Image: The “Friends of Syria” represent many of the co-conspirators described in Seymour Hersh’s extensive 9 page report The Redirection.” Syria’s violence is not the result of an indigenous uprising carrying “political aspirations,” but rather the conspiring and machinations of the global elite, who long-ago premeditated the destruction of Syria for their own, larger, overarching geopolitical agenda.

US policy versus Syria stretches as far back as 2007, where US officials admitted that they planned to overthrow the government of Syria with foreign-sectarian extremists, using nations like Saudi Arabia to channel funds and weapons through – specifically to maintain the illusion that they were somehow not involved.

Seymour Hersh’s lengthy 9 page report, The Redirection published in the New Yorker in 2007 exposes US plans to use clandestine means to overthrow the government of Syria in a wider effort to undermine and destroy Iran. “A by-product of these activities,” writes Hersh, “has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.”

Al-Nusra are openly affiliates of Al Qaeda. To say that Libya’s LIFG are “sympathetic to Al Qaeda” would, however, be misleading. It is Al Qaeda.

LIFG merged with the US-Saudi created terror organization in 2007, according to the US Army’s West Point Combating Terrorism Center report, “Al-Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq:”

The apparent surge in Libyan recruits traveling to Iraq may be linked the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group’s (LIFG) increasingly cooperative relationship with al‐Qa’ida, which culminated in the LIFG officially joining al‐Qa’ida on November 3, 2007. (page 9, .pdf)

Hersh’s report would continue by stating, “the Saudi government, with Washington’s approval, would provide funds and logistical aid to weaken the government of President Bashir Assad, of Syria.” This included billions to pro-Saudi factions in Lebanon who were propping up militant groups linked to Al Qaeda. These militant groups are now crossing over the Lebanese-Syrian border to join their Libyan counterparts.

Clearly the conspiracy being pieced together and executed in 2007, described by Seymour Hersh citing a myriad of US, Saudi, and Lebanese sources, is unfolding before our eyes. It was a conspiracy hatched of mutual US-Israeli-Saudi interests, not based on humanitarian concerns or “democracy,” but rather on toppling sovereign nations seen as a threat to their collective extraterritorial influence throughout the region.

The UN’s failure to acknowledge a documented conspiracy by foreign interests to violently overthrow the government of Syria (and eventually Iran) once again exposes the international body as a tool for special interests. Its attempts to broker a “peace plan” between foreign terrorists invading Syria as proxies for Western powers, lacks any dimension of legitimacy. The Syrian government and its allies must redouble their efforts to frame the conflict as the invasion that it is – and call for both support and patience globally while Syria confronts and defeats these foreign invaders and the foreign interests arming and driving them.

Lakhdar Brahimi, like Kofi Annan before him, is simply buying time for the West’s crumbling narrative. Syria and its allies must finally let it crumble, so the real business of saving Syria can get underway – through nation-wide anti-terrorism security operations, and the diplomatic confrontation of foreign interests supporting terrorism in and around Syria.

Posted in SyriaComments Off on The United Nations Syria “Peace Plan” is a Fraud

Will Syria Become Another “Failed State”? The Role of the United Nations

NOVANEWS
Global Research

“According to Robert Baer, a former CIA covert operations specialist, the CIA endorsed the idea of using the Muslim Brotherhood against Nasser in Egypt . In “Sleeping With the Devil,” Baer outlines the tactics of a top-secret U.S. effort: ‘At the bottom of it all was this dirty little secret in Washington : the White House looked on the Muslim Brotherhood as a secret ally, a secret weapon. This covert action started in the 1950’s with the Dulles brothers – Allen at the CIA and John Foster at the State Department when they approved Saudi Arabia’s funding of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood against Nasser.

‘If Allah agreed to fight on our side, fine.’ according to Baer, ‘If Allah decided political assassination was permissible, that was fine, too, as long as no one talked about it in polite company. Like any other truly effective covert action, this one was strictly off the books. There was no CIA finding, no memorandum notification to Congress. Not a penny came out of the Treasury to fund it. In other words, no record. All the White House had to do was give a wink and a nod to countries harboring the Muslim Brotherhood, like Saudi Arabia and Jordan .’” (Robert Dreyfuss, “How the United States Helped to Unleash Fundamentalist Islam”)

Introduction

The Libya now described in innumerable credible reports, is a failed state, now defenseless against the exploitation or plunder of its resources and people, as a result of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 as implemented by US-NATO. Confronted with the horrific consequences of Resolution 1973, adopted by a vote on which they abstained, Russia and China are now desperately trying to prevent a repetition in Syria of this disastrous result, and have three times vetoed attempts by US-NATO members to obtain United Nations Security Council authorization for repeating their crime again in Syria.

On November 29, 2012, Lakhdar Brahimi, the United Nations Joint Special Representative for Syria stated before the United Nations General Assembly:

“Naturally, nobody wants to see a failed state in Syria . Nobody wants to see the state and its institutions withering away, lawlessness spreading, warlordism, banditry, narcotics, arms smuggling, and, worst of all, the ugly face of communal and sectarian strife take hold of Syria . Therefore, if we really do not want for Syria the fate I have just described, the only option everyone should opt for is a negotiated political process. Or, Syria becomes a failed state with all the predictable, dire consequences for the people of Syria , for the entire region and for international peace and security.”

In the Corridors of the United Nations Security Council

Almost immediately following US-NATO’s success in obtaining United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, on March 17, 2011, which resulted in the demolition of Libya as a viable nation state, according to Indian Ambassador Puri at the United Nations:

“as early as May, 2011, a resolution was proposed to impose sanctions on Syria, President Assad was declared to have lost legitimacy. The opposition was discouraged to engage with the government and the armed groups started receiving support ostensibly to defend themselves.”

On April 18, 2011, less than five weeks after the adoption of Resolution 1973 on Libya , the Washington Post headlined:

“U.S. Provides Secret Backing to Syria Opposition.” “The State Department has secretly financed Syrian political opposition groups and related projects….according to previously undisclosed diplomatic cables.” The Washington Post article confirmed that demonstrations opposing President Assad began on March 18, 2011, precisely 24 hours following the passage of UN Resolution 1973 against the government of Qaddafi in Libya ; the Syrian government blamed the resulting violence on ‘armed gangs.” The extraordinary speed with which the Syrian opposition demonstrations were organized and launched following the adoption of UN Resolution 1973 indicates that they were not “spontaneous.”

The Washington Post article continues:

“The U.S. money supporting Syrian opposition figures began flowing under President George W. Bush in 2005. The support continued under President Obama.” In February, 2006 the Bush administration gave $5,000,000 in grants to “accelerate the work of reformers in Syria …..Around the same time, Syrian exiles in Europe founded the Movement for Justice and Development. The group, which is banned in Syria , openly advocates for Assad’s removal. U.S. cables describe its leaders as ‘liberal, moderate Islamists who are former members of the Moslem Brotherhood…..Several diplomatic cables from the embassy in Damascus reveal that the Syrian exiles received money from a State Department program called the Middle East Partnership Initiative…according to the cables, the State Department funneled money to the exile group via the Democracy Council, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit. According to its website, the council sponsors projects in the Middle East, Asia and Latin America to promote ‘the fundamental elements of stable societies’…..The Middle East Partnership Initiative has received more than 12 million dollars between 2005 and 2010.”

Destabilizing Syria

Also on April 18, 2011, a press briefing at the U.S. Department of State , which I attended, included the following question and answer exchange, verbatim:

“Question: Is the United States Government, through any programs or means, trying to destabilize the Assad regime in Syria ?

Mr. Toner: Well, the premise of your question is whether we are engaged in.

Question: There was no premise. There was no premise. It was a flat-out question. There was no predicate, there was no premise.

Mr. Toner: Yes, but, as you know, James, we need to be careful in – to identify what we’re talking about because if you’re talking about a news story based on the contents of – or the alleged contents of classified cables, then I can’t speak to the specific substance of that.

Question: I didn’t ask you to speak to anything specific. My question was, very broadly, is the United States Government, through any programs or means, presently working to destabilize the Assad regime in Syria ? If the answer is ‘no’ you should feel free to say so.

Mr. Toner: Well we do – and look, this is a – to talk about Syria , but we should also talk globally here. The U.S. democracy and governance programs in Syria , it’s no different than programs that the United States has in many other democratic governments around the world – or countries around the world. This is part of our support for civil society and nongovernmental organizations. What’s different, I think, in this situation is that the Syrian Government perceives this kind of assistance as a threat to its control over the Syrian people.

Question: Well, so, if I can just finish, you’ve responded to the same question twice now. The first time you spoke to premises that weren’t present in the question. The second time you told me that we need to speak globally. So I would appreciate it if you could address yourself to the question as I put it to you, and that is –

Mr. Toner: Well, I – yeah, No. Then I – okay James. What I’m trying to do is –

Question: – are we working to undermine that government or not? That’s a very simple –

Mr. Toner: No. We are not working to undermine that government. What we are trying to do in Syria , through our civil society support, is to build the kind of democratic institutions, frankly, that we’re trying to do in countries around the globe. My own personal experience, when I was in Poland in the 1980’s, we worked enormously with civil society and nongovernmental organizations. The difference here, as I said is that the Syrian Government perceives this kind of assistance as a threat to its existence.

Question: is U.S. Government money continually – or continuing to be funding in any way the Movement for Justice and Development?

Mr. Toner: No.

Question: Can you talk about U.S. support for Barada TV?

Mr. Toner: Well, again, I don’t want to go into the details of what was in the – in today’s story in The Washington Post beyond the fact that we are working with a variety of institutions and organizations to support their efforts. Freedom of the press, freedom of expression is an important element of these kinds of programs. And obviously, again, it speaks to the broader content of what we’re trying to do, which is support institutions that promote democracy and democratic ideals.

Question: Right, but actually, I don’t think the article did – I mean, the article talked about Barada TV, but it didn’t really have any information about U.S. support for TV. But isn’t it true that the U.S. Government is providing bandwidth capability for the TV station to keep it broadcasting in the face of blocking by the Iranian Government?

Mr. Toner: I’ll have to get details of what exactly technical assistance we’re providing them.

Question: Is the United States funding opposition groups in Syria ?

Mr. Toner: Well, again, we are – we’re working with a variety of civil society actors in Syria, with the goal here of strengthening freedom of expression and the kind of institutions that we believe are going to be vital to a possible democratic future in Syria.”

Of extraordinary significance is the fact that UN Ambassador Hardeep Puri of India stated, explicitly that

“As early as May, 2011, the Syrian opposition was discouraged to engage with the government, and the armed groups started receiving support ostensibly to defend themselves.”

Ambassador Puri’s reference to armed opposition groups in Syria, already functioning and receiving support as early as May, 2011 raises serious questions about the actual composition of the so-called peaceful demonstrations which began on March 18, 2011, a mere six weeks earlier. The speed with which organized armed groups, already receiving outside support, joined the so-called peaceful demonstrators indicates extraordinary preparation and organization, and the sudden speed with which violence erupted raises further serious questions. Three United Nations draft resolutions followed, condemning the Syrian Government for attacking its own people. All three were vetoed by Russia and China , and later information revealed that many members of the armed opposition were not even Syrians.

Foreign Mercenaries

On October 19, 2012 United Nations Syrian Ambassador Dr. Bashar Ja’afari presented to the Security Council, with a copy to the UN Secretary-General, a letter listing the names and nationalities of 108 foreign individuals who had entered Syria illegally, and were engaged in terrorist activities in Syria .

Many on the list of those arrested were members of Al Qaeda. They were nationals of: Iraq , Egypt , Palestinian/Lebanese, Palestinian/Algerian, Lebanese, Jordanian, Tunisian, Libyan, Australian. Ambassador Ja’afari advised me, in a press briefing, that these letters were never acted upon by the Security Council, and the protracted delay in translating them from the Arabic to English was unexplained. The letter contains explicit information about the organizations and specific terrorist acts in which each individual was involved.

United Nations Resolution 1963 (2010) Adopted by the Security Council on 20 December 2010 states:

“Reaffirming that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable regardless of their motivations, whenever and by whomsoever committed, and remaining determined to contribute further to enhancing the effectiveness of the overall effort to fight this scourge on a global level.”

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1371 states:

“Every State has the duty to refrain from organizing, instigating, assisting or participating in terrorist acts in another State, or acquiescing in organized activities within its territory directed toward the commission of such acts.

Acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter,

Decides all states shall:

Criminalize the willful provision or collection, by any means, directly or indirectly, of funds by their nationals or in their territories with the intention that the funds should be used, or in the knowledge that they are to be used, in order to carry out terrorist acts.”

UN Security Council Resolutions 1963 and 1373 are explicit in their condemnation of any and all forms of collusion with terrorism, whether overt or covert, and in characterizing such overt or covert collusion or acquiescence as criminal.

On June 21, 2012, the front page of the New York Times headlined:

“CIA Said to Aid in Steering Arms to Syrian Rebels. A small number of CIA officers are operating secretly in Southern Turkey , helping allies decide which Syrian opposition fighters across the border will receive arms to fight the Syrian government, according to American officials and Arab intelligence officers. The weapons, including automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons, are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries including Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood and paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the officials said…By helping to vet rebel groups, American intelligence operatives in Turkey hope to learn more about a growing, changing opposition network inside Syria, and to establish new ties. ‘CIA officers are there and they are trying to make new sources and recruit people, said one Arab intelligence official who is briefed regularly by American counterparts….. American officials and retired CIA officials said the administration was also weighing additional assistance to rebels, like providing satellite imagery and other detailed intelligence on Syrian troop locations and movements…But no decisions have been made on those measures or even more aggressive steps….” What has changed since March is an influx of weapons and ammunition to the rebels…..Last month, these activists said, Turkish army vehicles delivered antitank weaponry to the border, where it was then smuggled into Syria . The United States , these activists said, was consulted about these weapons transfers.”

Within four weeks, a spectacular and devastating escalation of the conflict in Syria took place: the terrorist attack on July 19, which murdered four of President Assad’s closest aides, and was obviously intended to assassinate President Assad, himself. The terrorist attack was executed with precision, sophistication and skilled professionalism one could scarcely expect from the disorganized, fragmented ragtag militias, described by Western media as so pathetic they were in dire need of massive assistance. Within one week, The New York Times acknowledged extensive al-Qaeda terrorist actions within Syria .

Although the June 21 New York Times article had said that CIA officers were in Turkey, “in part to help keep weapons out of the fighters allied with Al Qaeda or other terrorist groups,” they seem to have accomplished exactly the opposite, with a drastic improvement in terrorist operations successfully targeting and slaughtering top Syrian government officials, and the vast increase of Al-Qaeda strength and terrorist activity following close upon the CIA officers’ clandestine visit to Turkey.

The scandalous refusal of Western members of the United Nations Security Council to issue a public statement condemning the brazen terrorist attack which murdered the Syrian President’s closest aides and brother-in law, is clearly an attempt to avoid being charged with criminal complicity in acquiescing in this terrorist attempt by the Syrian opposition to murder Syrian President Assad.

On July 21, the New York Times headline announced:

“Stymied at the United Nations, United States Refines Plan to Remove Assad. The Obama administration has for now abandoned efforts for a diplomatic settlement to the conflict in Syria , and instead it is increasing aid to the rebels.” In view of the rebels’ sensational terrorist attempt to assassinate Syrian President Assad, and the slaughter of four of his closest aides two days earlier, Washington thereby publicly aligned its position in support of terrorism, in clear violation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1373 and 1963. And no longer speaking of any authentic democratic electoral process, “Administration officials have been in talks with officials in Turkey and Israel over how to manage a Syrian government collapse.”

On July 24, 2012, The New York Times headlined:

“Al Qaeda Taking Deadly New Role in Syria Conflict: “It is the sort of image that has become a staple of the Syria revolution, a video of masked men calling themselves the Free Syrian Army and brandishing AK-47s – with one unsettling difference. In the background hang two flags of Al Qaeda, white Arabic writing on a black field. ‘We are forming suicide cells to make jihad in the name of God,’ said a speaker….Since December 2012 there have been at least 35 car bombings and 10 confirmed suicide bombings…in February, 2012, the United States Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper stated that there were ‘all the earmarks of an Al-Qaeda-like attack in a series of bombings against security and intelligence targets in Damascus.”

On October 14, 2012 The New York Times headlined:

“Rebel Arms Flow is Said to Benefit Jihadists in Syria .” In what by this time has become a ludicrous and prevaricating attempt by Western powers to abdicate responsibility for their role in instigating the violent escalation of the war in Syria, claiming thousands more lives, the Times states: “Most of the arms shipped at the behest of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to supply Syrian rebel groups fighting the government of Bashar al-Assad are going to hard-line Islamic jihadists and not to the more secular opposition groups that the West wants to bolster, according to American officials and Middle Eastern diplomats…American officials have been trying to understand why hard-line Islamists have received the lion’s share of the arms shipped to the Syrian opposition through the shadowy pipeline with roots in Qatar, and, to a lesser degree, Saudi Arabia.”

The October 19letter from the Syrian government addressed to the United Nations Security Council and United Nations Secretary –General Ban Ki-moon, identifying 108 foreign terrorists arrested by the Syrian government for their terrorist activities within the Syrian Arab Republic was ignored. On November 21, the Syrian Ambassador presented another letter to the United Nations Security Council, containing a new list of “143 Foreign and Arab individuals who were killed in Syria while carrying out their terrorist activities.” The list includes information about each individual, name, age, date and place of death, terrorist affiliation, and nationality. They entered the Syrian Arab Republic illegally, and are from: Qatar , Saudi Arabia , Tunisia , Turkey , Yemen , Iraq , Azerbaijan , Chechnya , Kuwait , Palestine , Lebanon , Algeria, Chad and Pakistan .

This November 21 letter from the Syrian Government to the Security Council was also ignored, and encountered inexplicable delay in translation. In another shameful example of double standards, seven days later, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2078 against the 23 March Movement in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, stating:

“8. Expresses deep concern at reports indicating that external support continues to be provided to the M23, including through troop reinforcement, tactical advice and the supply of equipment, causing a significant increase of the military abilities of the M23, and reiterates its demand that any and all outside support to the M23 cease immediately.”

If external support to the Syrian opposition had been prohibited, there would have been no civil war in Syria .

By November 28, the Obama Administration, in an effort to finally force the total collapse of the Syrian government, began considering directly arming the Syrian opposition. In view of the fact that Syria , as a nation is now convulsed in a civil war, resulting from the West’s indirect aid to an admittedly terrorist infested opposition, which includes Al Qaeda in Syria now linking its insurgency with Islamic extremists in Iraq , it would not seem necessary to refine assistance to the Syrian opposition any further. But President Assad has survived, and the United States is criminally complicit in providing aid, indirectly or otherwise, to the now largely terrorist opposition. So, by a sleight of hand, on December 12 Obama declared he will recognize the rebels in Syria . The New York Times on December 12 admits that the opposition coalition now recognized by Washington as the legitimate Syrian authority “is still unlikely to be viewed as a legitimate representative by the many Syrians still supporting the government.” Where is the ballyhooed representative democracy in all this? A large part of the Syrian population is hereby disenfranchised.

The United States has now deployed Patriot surface to air missiles in Turkey. There is talk now of partitioning Syria into Alawite and Christian enclaves. If the Assad government collapses, there is a strong probability that Islamic extremists will seize power, with a destabilized, disintegrated Syria posing a great threat to Israel , throughout the Middle East and beyond. On December 14, The New York Times quoted:

“ Moscow has strongly criticized meetings like those of the Friends of Syria in Morocco , which supports the Opposition council…According to Aleksei K. Pushkov, head of Russia ’s Foreign Affairs Committee, ‘ Marrakesh drives a stake through any attempt for a political solution. Now it is clear – only war.’ Fyodor Lukyanov said: ‘The main view here is that there is preparation for something – if not intervention, something bold.’ He said there are ‘parallels with Libya , where recognition of the Transitional National Council meant a pretext for war.’”

On December 17, The Washington Post reported:

“The White House had been vague about whether and how it would respond if Assad is toppled and Syria’s chemical weapons are left unprotected or end up in the hands of anti-American insurgents…Defense officials have been updating their contingency plans as chaos has overtaken Syria. They said they are working closely with Israel, Jordan and NATO allies, including turkey, to monitor dozens of sites where Syria is suspected of keeping chemical arms and to coordinate options to intervene if necessary….Meanwhile the US government and some European allies have hired private contractors to train Syrian rebels how to monitor and secure chemical weapons should Assad abandon or lose control of any of his stock.”

Syria’s opposition has now kidnapped Ukranian journalist Anhar Koshneva. According to the New York Times, December 21,

“It is not just Russians who are coming under threat….One senior leader of the opposition movement, Haitham al-Maleh told Al-Jazeera on Wednesday that both Russian and Iranian civilians ‘present legitimate military targets for militants in Syria because their governments have supported Syria’s President. A similar threat came from masked men claiming to be Ms. Kochneva’s captors, who said on Ukranian television, ‘Let not a single Russian, Ukranian or Iranian come out of Syria alive.’” And these are the people the Obama administration just recognized as the legitimate government of Syria .

The terrorist-infiltrated Syrian rebels were spawned as a result of the obscene marriage of convenience of capitalist powers masquerading as respectable, but whose dirty little secret is exposed by CIA operative Robert Baer, in “Sleeping With The Devil.”

It is almost impossible to envision a way in which the integrity of the Syrian nation can be salvaged. The West continues to arm the terrorist-rebels, and attempts to legitimize and justify its complicity in the methodical demolition of Syria , a country once among the most progressive in the Arab world. In its ostensible attempt to impose “democracy,” by force of bombs, or by stealthy destabilization, the West has demolished Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and now Syria, ravaging more countries than Attila the Hun, leaving failed states overrun by terrorists, and in the words of the infinitely wise Mr. Brahimi,

“With institutions withering away, lawlessness spreading, warlordism, banditry, narcotics, arms smuggling and worst of all, the ugly face of communal and sectoral strife.”

These once proud, independent countries, now demolished, failed states, are rendered vulnerable to control by capitalism’s rapacious oligarchs.

Thirty three years ago President Najibullah in Afghanistan had required, by law, that all children, boys and girls, receive secular education; women as well as men held high government ministry positions, and the nation was on track for further economic and social development. But educated people are less malleable or easily manipulated, and so Najibullah had to go. It was in Afghanistan that the Carter administration began funding, training and arming Islamic terrorists.

Helping to destroy the progressive, secular government in Afghanistan was none other than Charlie Wilson’s pal, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, responsible author of the practice of throwing acid in the faces of Afghan girls who attended school. “Hekmatyar’s specialty was skinning prisoners alive.”

But Texas Republican Charles Wilson, immortalized by Hollywood , was a great fan of the acid hurling, misogynist Hekmatyar. As the war evolved, both Hekmatyar and Saudi Arabia ’s favored client, Abdul Rasul Sayyaff inspired militant terrorist Islamists in Egypt , Algeria , Saudi Arabia , Iraq and elsewhere, including Chechnya and Uzbekistan .

This is the global army that the West has been covertly supporting, and it is this force that the United Nations Joint Special Representative for Syria must contend with, along with their sponsors in the West.

One can only admire Mr. Brahimi for risking his enormous prestige and accepting this mission. And one can only hope for his success in finally ending this psychotic greed for power, before it explodes into a world war. For the next targets will be Russia and China .

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ISI Immunity Frustrated Indian Attempt

NOVANEWS

By Sajjad Shaukat

Foreign-backed subversive activities inside Pakistan have deep connections with the propaganda campaign against the country. In this regard, with the assistance of the American-Israeli lobbies which have well penetrated in the US administration, India leaves no stone unturned in tarnishing the image of Pakistan, its army and the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) through concocted stories including nefarious developments against the country.

But India was badly disappointed when recently, the highest executive authorities of the US conveyed to a New York federal court that under the US Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), Pakistan’s ISI and its two former chiefs, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha and Lt. Gen. Nadeem Taj, “enjoy immunity” in the case of Mumbai terror attacks of 2008. In this context, an Indian statement said, “The decision of the US authorities in this case is a cause of serious disappointment.”

In this respect, in November 2010, the six legal heirs of the Mumbai catastrophe filed a civil law suit in a district court in New York about alleged support of ISI’s two ex-director generals including few others, and also asked Pakistan to dismantle Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). In accordance with the self-fabricated story, the plaintiffs argued that the Mumbai attacks were deliberately planned and supervised by the ISI. As part of blame game, India hired the services of a famous law firm Kreindler and Kreindler which was representing the legal heirs of the Mumbai terror attacks.

On the other side, in relation to the summons issued by the US court to the ISI chiefs, Pakistan’s prime minister had determined to defend the so-called case against ISI and its two chiefs by directing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in this regard, while Pakistani ambassador to the US Sherry Rehman played a key role. For the purpose, the services of a renowned law firm M/s Locke lord and Bissel (LL&B) were hired by Islamabad including those of Ahmer Bilal Soofi who served as local attorney.

However, Pakistan’s plea was that under the FSIA, foreign governments and their employees acting in their official capacity could not be prosecuted in a US court. While the ISI has consistently been treated as part of the government of Pakistan and operates under the Ministry of Defense—it and its employees like two DGs enjoy immunity under the FSIA. The judge of the court referred the matter to US State Department for the submission of ‘Statement of Interest’ on the plea of foreign immunity.

Another dimension of the planted case against ISI is that in Oct 2009, American FBI arrested a US citizen, American-born Pakistani, David Headley from Chicago on the allegations of his involvement in 26/11 attacks. During the investigation, both Indian National Investigation Agency (NIA) and FBI tried to implicate ISI through self-devised scheme regarding the said case. In this connection, on December 8, 2009, the FBI accused David Headley of conspiring to bomb targets in Mumbai, providing material support to Pakistani-based Let. In March 2010, Headley entered into plea-bargain and confessed carrying out reconnaissance of various targets in India. He was also accused by the FBI of reporting to Ilyas Kashmiri, a Pakistani militant commander associated with Al Qaeda, but Kashmiri denied this in an interview. Headley was also blamed to visit Pakistan’s tribal areas.

In June 2010, India’s NIA was granted access to cross-examine Headley. Under torture by FBI, he maligned the ISI for training and using him for Mumbai mayhem. By availing his confession, Indian rulers started blaming Pakistan and the ISI for involvement in the 26/11 attacks.

During her visit to Pakistan on July 19, 2010, even US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the interrogation of Headley, linked to the Mumbai attacks, had thrown up a “revealing set of facts.” She elaborated,  “I know…Headley was “fully cooperative and told Indian and American investigators that the Mumbai attacks were carried out by the Pakistani” LeT. Clinton maintained that Headley and Faisal Shahzad…responsible for the botched car bomb attack in New York, were radicalised in the US but were “facilitated, directed and operationalised” from Pakistan.

Misperceptions and false allegations of Indian and US officials including their investigative agencies were exposed when on May 31, 2011, David Headley changed his testimony, absolving the ISI leadership from planning the 2008 Mumbai tragedy.

It is mentionable that in 1987, Headley was arrested on drug trafficking charges. In this respect, The Newyork Times had disclosed, “Court records show that Headley provided much information about his own involvement with drug trafficking and he was sentenced to less than two years in jail…later to conduct undercover surveillance operations for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).”

No doubt, this proves that Headley had a deal with the American authorities which allowed him to get away with mild punishment in exchange for a promise of give false statement against ISI and its two chiefs. It also means that he was a known entity to the counter-terror and drug enforcement authorities in the US.

Some reports suggest that David Headley who visited Pakistan on a number of occasions also became a CIA agent to infiltrate Al Qaeda. Therefore, Indian high officials’ efforts for his extradition remained unsuccessful. In fact, Headley who has been used to implicate ISI and also by Ms. Clinton and Indian authorities, had links with both Indian secret agency RAW and American CIA. According to American media reports, Headley will be sentenced on January 17, 2013.

As regards Lashkar-e-Taiba and its leader Hafiz Saeed, Pakistan has denied Indian charges about its country’s involvement or that of ISI in relation to Mumbai terror attacks. In this context, Islamabad not only took action against this organisation, but also fully cooperated with New Delhi for the culprits of Mumbai mayhem. India has also complained that Pakistan did not put the LeT leaders, especially Hafiz Saeed, on trial. In this context, during his recent visit to New Delhi, Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik argued that the perpetrators were “non-state actors” and despite it the Pakistan government was ready for further cooperation. He also remarked that Hafiz Saeed had been arrested, but due to lack of evidence, he was released by the Lahore High Court. Earlier, Rehman Malik stated about Pakistan’s position that Ajmal Kasab, the lone survivor of the 26/11 terror-incident is a “non-state actor…should be hanged, so should perpetrators of the Samjhauta Express blast.”

India has recently executed Ajmal Kasab, the lone survivor amongst the Mumbai attackers. In fact, RAW had taken forced statement from him through torture that he had links with ISI and LeT in Pakistan.

It is notable that India has been frustrated by the US court about the immunity of ISI and its ex-chiefs, but it is regrettable that by following the external propaganda, some journalists of Pakistan have misguided the people through their self-created assumptions by saying that the US decision to extend immunity to two former ISI chiefs in the 26/11 Mumbai terror-incident case is in accordance with a secret bargaining deal between the two countries, and thus Islamabad had released Raymond Davis, an undercover CIA agent, who had killed two youngsters in Lahore on January 27, 2011.

In this regard, an article written by a prominent journalist as recently published in daily ‘The News,’ has concocted a story about the alleged deal. The journalist who has written a number of articles in Indian newspapers, especially in weekly, ‘Indian Outlook’ always distorts the image of Pak Army and ISI. His integrity is doubtful as he speaks in the tone of India and US.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson has strongly rejected such insinuations as “totally baseless and incorrect”, portrayed by a section of the media that immunity for the former ISI chiefs is part of some deal.

Returning to our earlier discussion, the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Stuart Delery, informed a US concerned federal court on December 17, 2012, while, naming former chiefs of the ISI as respondents that the ISI is entitled to immunity because it is part of a foreign state within the meaning of FSIA. This has frustrated Indian attempt to prosecute Pakistan’s superior intelligence agency by raising false allegations.

 

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

Posted in IndiaComments Off on ISI Immunity Frustrated Indian Attempt

US Attempting “Regime Change” in Malaysia: Fact or Fiction?

NOVANEWS
Global Research

As the South-East Asian nation of Malaysia prepares for general elections, distrust of the political opposition and accusations of foreign interference have been major talking points in the political frequencies emanating from Kuala Lumpur. The United Malays National Organization (UMNO) leads the country’s ruling coalition, Barisan Nasional, and has maintained power since Malaysian independence in 1957. One of Malaysia’s most recognizable figures is former Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, who has been credited with ushering in large-scale economic growth and overseeing the nation’s transition from an exporter of palm oil, tin, and other raw materials, into an industrialized economy that manufactures automobiles and electronic goods.

The opposition coalition, Pakatan Rakyat, is headed by Anwar Ibrahim, who once held the post of Deputy Prime Minister in Mahathir’s administration, but was sacked over major disagreements on how to steer Malaysia’s economy during the 1997 Asian financial crisis.

Today, the political climate in Malaysia is highly polarized and a sense of unpredictability looms over the nation. Malaysia’s current leader, Prime Minister Najib Razak, has pursued a reform-minded agenda by repealing authoritarian legislation of the past and dramatically loosening controls on expression and political pluralism introduced under Mahathir’s tenure. Najib has rolled back Malaysia’s Internal Security Act, which allowed for indefinite detention without trial, and has liberalized rules regarding the publication of books and newspapers. During Malaysia’s 2008 general elections, the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition experienced its worst result in decades, with the opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition winning 82 parliamentary seats. For the first time, the ruling party was deprived of its two-thirds parliamentary majority, which is required to pass amendments to Malaysia’s Federal Constitution. In the run-up to elections scheduled to take place before an April 2013 deadline, figures from all sides of the political spectrum are asking questions about the opposition’s links to foreign-funders in Washington.

 

Protestors form a human chain in the city center of Kuala Lumpur during April 2012 protests in support of the Bersih coalition.

The question of foreign-funding

Malaysia’s former PM Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has long captured the ire of officials from Washington and Tel Aviv, and though he’s retired, he has channeled his energies into the Perdana Global Peace Foundation, which recently hosted an international conference in Kuala Lumpur calling for a new investigation into the events of 9/11 and has sought to investigate war crimes committed in Gaza, Iraq and Afghanistan. Mahathir has been an ardent critic of Israel and organizations such as AIPAC, and has recently accused US-based organizations the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the Open Society Institute (OSI) of holding a concealed intention to influence Malaysia’s domestic politics through the funding of local NGOs and groups directly linked to Anwar Ibrahim’s Pakatan Rakyat opposition coalition.

In an article the former prime minister published in the New Straits Times, a leading mainstream newspaper,Mahathir accuses financier George Soros and his organization, the Open Society Institute, of “promoting democracy” in Eastern Europe to pave the way for colonization by global finance capital. Mahathir acknowledges how OSI pumped millions into opposition movements and independent media in Hungary, Ukraine and Georgia under the guise of strengthening civil society, only to have like-minded individuals nominated by Soros’s own foundation come to power in those countries.

The former prime minister has also pointed to how Egypt (prior to Mohamad Morsi taking power) has cracked down on NGOs affiliated with NED, namely groups such as the National Democratic Institute, the International Republican Institute (IRI) and Freedom House, which are all recipients of funding from the US State Department. In Malaysia, high-profile NGOs and media outlets have admittedly received funding from OSI and satellite organizations of NED. Premesh Chandran, the CEO of the nation’s most prominent alternative media outlet, Malaysiakini, is a grantee of George Soros’s Open Society Foundations and launched the news organization with a $100,000 grant from the Bangkok-based Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA), another organization with dubious affiliations to the US State Department.

Malaysiakini has come under pressure from local journalists for the lack of transparency in its financial management and hesitance in revealing the value of its shares. Additionally, Suaram, an NGO promoting human rights, has borne heavy criticism over its funding and organizational structure. The Companies Commission of Malaysia launched investigations into Suara Inisiatif Sdn Bhd, a private company linked to Suaram, and found it to be a conduit for money being used to channel funds from NED. Suaram has been instrumental in legitimizing allegations of a possible cover-up of the murder of a Mongolian fashion model, Altantuya Shaaribuu, who was living in Malaysia in 2006 and associated with government officials that have been linked to a kickback scandal involving the government’s purchase of submarines from France. Senator Ezam Mohd Nor, himself a recipient of Suaram’s Human Rights Award, has accused the organization of employing poor research methods and attempting to disparage the government:

“Malaysians have the right to feel suspicious about them. They have been making personal allegations against the Prime Minister [Najib Razak] on the murder of Altantuya and many other cases without proof… their motive is very questionable especially when they are more inclined towards ridiculing and belittling the ruling government.”

The German Embassy in KL has reportedly admitted that it has provided funds to Suaram’s project in 2010. Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Anifah Aman followed by making strong statements to the German Ambassador and declared that Germany’s actions could be viewed as interference in the domestic affairs of a sovereign state.

Since 2007, Bersih, an association of NGOs calling itself the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections, staged three street protests in which thousands of yellow-clad demonstrators took to the streets in Kuala Lumpur demanding electoral reform. After coming under heavy scrutiny for obfuscating funding sources, Bersih coalition leader Ambiga Sreenevasan admitted that her organization receives funding from the National Democratic Institute and the Open Society Institute. Sreenevasan herself has been the recipient of the US State Department’s Award for International Women of Courage, and was present in Washington DC in 2009 to receive the award directly from the hands of Michelle Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. While Sreenevasan’s organization claimed to be non-partisan and apolitical, members of Malaysia’s political opposition openly endorsed the movement, and some were even present at the demonstrations.

Anatomy of Malaysia’s political opposition

Malaysia is a multi-cultural and multi-religious state, and both the ruling and opposition parties attempt to represent the nation’s three largest ethnic groups. Approximately 60 per cent of Malaysians are either ethnic Malay or other indigenous groups and are mostly listed as Muslim, while another 25 per cent are ethnic Chinese who are predominantly Buddhist, with 7 per cent mostly Hindu Indian-Malaysians. The United Malays National Organization, the Malaysian Chinese Association, and the Malaysian Indian Congress head Barisan Nasional. The opposition, Pakatan Rakyat, currently controls four state governments and is led by Anwar Ibrahim’s Keadilan Rakyat, the Chinese-led Democratic Action Party (DAP), and staunchly Islamist Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS).

While a large percentage of urbanites with legitimate grievances are quick to acknowledge the government’s shortcomings, many are hesitant to back Anwar Ibrahim due to his connections with neo-conservative thinkers in Washington and general disunity within the opposition. Ibrahim maintains close ties with senior US officials and organizations such as the National Endowment for Democracy. In 2005, Ibrahim chaired the Washington-based Foundation for the Future, established and funded by the US Department of State at the behest of Elizabeth Cheney, the daughter of then-Vice President Dick Cheney, thanks in large part to his cozy relationship with Paul Wolfowitz.

While Ibrahim was on trial for allegedly engaging in sodomy with a male aide (something he was later acquitted of), Wolfowitz and former US Vice-President Al Gore authored a joint opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal in support of Ibrahim, while the Washington Post published an editorial calling for consequences that would affect Malaysia’s relations with Washington if Ibrahim was to be found guilty. Ibrahim enraged many when he stated that he would support policy to protect the security of Israel in an interview with the Wall Street Journal; this is particularly controversial in Malaysia, where support for Palestine is largely unanimous. Malaysian political scientist Dr. Chandra Muzaffar writes:

“It is obvious that by acknowledging the primacy of Israeli security, Anwar was sending a clear message to the deep state and to Tel Aviv and Washington that he is someone that they could trust. In contrast, the Najib government, in spite of its attempts to get closer to Washington, remains critical of Israeli aggression and intransigence. Najib has described the Israeli government as a ‘serial killer’ and a ‘gangster’”.

Members of Barisan Nasional have addressed Ibrahim’s connections to the National Endowment for Democracy in the Malaysian Parliament, including his participation in NED’s ‘Democracy Award’ event held in Washington DC in 2007. Independent journalists have uncovered letters written by Anwar Ibrahim, two of which were sent to NED President Carl Gershman in Washington DC that discussed sending an international election observer team to Malaysia and general issues related to electoral reform. A third letter was sent to George Soros, expressing interest in collaborating with an accountability firm headed by Ibrahim. Pakatan Rakyat’s Communications Director, Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, verified the authenticity of the documents. This should come as little surprise, as Ibrahim’s economic policies have historically aligned with institutions such as the IMF and World Bank, in contrast to Mahathir, whose protectionist economic policies opposed international financial institutions and allowed Malaysia to navigate and largely resurface from the 1997 Asian financial crisis unscathed.

An issue that concerns secular and non-Muslim Malaysian voters is the role of the Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) as part of the opposition. In sharp contrast to the moderate brand of Islam preached by UMNO, the organization’s primary objective is the founding of an Islamic state. The PAS has spoken of working within the framework of Malaysia’s parliamentary democracy, but holds steadfast to implementing sharia law on a national scale, which would lead to confusing implications for Malaysia’s sizable non-Muslim population. The debate around the implementation of Islamic hudud penal code is something that other Pakatan Rakyat coalition members, such as figures in the Chinese-led Democratic Action Party, have been unable to agree on. The PAS enjoys support from rural Malay Muslims in conservative states such as Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu in northern Malaysia, though they have very limited appeal to urbanites. While certain individuals in PAS have raised questions about NGOs receiving foreign funding, Mahathir has insinuated that PAS’s leadership has been largely complicit:

“They [foreign interests] want to topple the government through the demonstration and Nik Aziz [Spiritual leader of PAS] said it is permissible to bring down the government in this manner. They want to make Malaysia like Egypt, Tunisia, which were brought down through riots and now Syria…. when the government does not fall, they [Pakatan Rakyat] can appeal to the foreign power to help and bring down, even if it means using fire power.”

Despite claims of being non-partisan and unaffiliated with any political party, the country’s main opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, fully endorsed the Bersih movement.

Feasibility of ‘regime change’ narrative

It must be acknowledged that the current administration led by Prime Minister Najib Razak has made great strides toward improving relations with Washington. At a meeting with President Barack Obama in 2010, Najib offered Malaysia’s assistance to cooperate with the United States to engage the Muslim world; Najib also expressed willingness to deploy Malaysian aid personnel to Afghanistan, and allegedly agreed on the need to maintain a unified front on Iran’s nuclear program. Najib has employed a Washington-based public relations firm, APCO, to improve Malaysia’s image in the US and has seemingly embraced American economic leadership of the region through his support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. Some would argue that Najib is perhaps the most pro-American leader Malaysia has ever had – a stark contrast to the boldness of Mahathir. Despite Najib having good rapport with formal Western leaders, it is clear with whom the thank-tank policy architects, Zionist lobbies, and foundation fellows have placed their loyalties.

Sentiment among Malaysia’s youth and “pro-democracy” activists, who constitute a small but vocal minority, tend be entirely dismissive of the ‘regime change’ narrative, viewing it as pre-election diversionary rhetoric of the ruling party. While bogeymen of the Zionist variety are often invoked in Malaysian political discourse, it would be negligent to ignore the effects of Washington-sponsored ‘democracy promotion’ in the global context, which have in recent times cloaked mercenary elements and insurgents in the colors of freedom fighting, and successfully masked geopolitical restructuring and the ushering in of neo-liberal capitalism with the hip and fashionable vigor of ‘people power’ coups. As the United States continues to militarily increase its presence in the Pacific region in line with its strategic policy-shift to East Asia, policy makers in Washington would like to see compliant heads of state who will act to further American interests in the ASEAN region.

Let’s not ignore the elephant in the room; the real purpose of America’s resurgence of interest in the ASEAN bloc is to fortify the region as a counterweight against Beijing. The defense ministries of Malaysia and China held a landmark defense and security consultation in September 2012, in addition to frequent bilateral state visits and enhanced economic cooperation. It was the father of the current leader, Malaysia’s second Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak, who made the landmark visit to Beijing to normalize relations in 1974, and under his son Najib, Sino-Malaysian relations and cooperation have never been better. Following the global economic crisis of 2008, Najib looked to Beijing to revive Malaysia’s export oriented economy, emphasizing increased Chinese investment into Malaysia and expanding the base of Sino-Malaysian trade in areas like education and student exchange, finance, infrastructure development, science and technology, yielding lucrative and mutually beneficial results. China has been Malaysia’s largest trade partner, with trade figures reaching US$90 billion in 2011; Malaysia is China’s largest trading partner among ASEAN nations.

In asking the question of regime change in Malaysia, Dr. Chandra Muzaffar reflects on Washington’s moves to bolster its military muscle and dominance over the Asia-Pacific region:

“Establishing a military base in Darwin [Australia], resurrecting the US’ military alliance with the Philippines, coaxing Japan to play a more overt military role in the region, instigating Vietnam to confront China over the Spratly Islands, and encouraging India to counterbalance Chinese power, are all part and parcel of the larger US agenda of encircling and containing China. In pursuing this agenda, the US wants reliable allies – not just friends – in Asia. In this regard, Malaysia is important because of its position as a littoral state with sovereign rights over the Straits of Malacca, which is one of China’s most critical supply routes that transports much of the oil and other materials vital for its economic development. Will the containment of China lead to a situation where the hegemon, determined to perpetuate its dominant power, seek to exercise control over the Straits in order to curb China’s ascendancy? Would a trusted ally in Kuala Lumpur facilitate such control? The current Malaysian leadership does not fit the bill.”

‘Backwards’ and forwards

Pakatan Rakyat, the main opposition coalition pitted against the ruling party, has yet to offer a fully coherent organizational program, and if the coalition ever came to power, the disunity of its component parties and their inability to agree on fundamental policies would be enough to conjure angrier, disenchanted youth back on to the streets, in larger numbers perhaps. What is ticklishly ironic about reading op-eds penned by the likes of Wolfowitz and Al Gore, and how they laud Malaysia as a progressive and moderate model Islamic state, is that they concurrently demonize its leadership and dismiss them authoritarian thugs. Surely, the ruling coalition has its shortcomings; the politicization of race and religion, noted cases of corrupt officials squandering funds, etc. – but far too few, especially those of the middle-class who benefit most from energy subsides, acknowledge the tremendous economic growth achieved under the current leadership and the success of their populist policies. Najib’s administration would do well to place greater emphasis on addressing the concerns of Malaysia’s minorities who view affirmative action policies given to Malay ethnicities as disproportionate; income status, not ethnicity, should be a deciding factor in who receives assistance. The current administration appears set to widen populist policies that make necessities affordable through subsides and continue to assist low-income earners with cash handouts.

Najib has acknowledged the need for broad reforms of Malaysia’s state-owned enterprises over concerns that crony capitalism may deter foreign investment; this should be rolled out concurrently with programs to foster more local entrepreneurship. To put it bluntly, the opposition lacks confidence from the business community and foreign investors; even the likes of JP Morgan have issued statements of concern over an opposition win. It should be noted that if Islamists ever wielded greater influence in Malaysia under an opposition coalition, one could imagine a sizable exodus of non-Muslim minorities and a subsequent flight of foreign capital, putting the nation’s economy in a fragile and fractured state. And yet, the United States has poured millions into ‘democracy promotion’ efforts to strengthen the influence of NGOs that distort realities and cast doubt over the government’s ability to be a coherent actor.

Malaysia does not have the kind of instability that warrants overt external intervention; backing regime-change efforts may only go so far as supporting dissidents and groups affiliated with Anwar Ibrahim. No matter the result of the upcoming elections, Najib appears to have played ball enough for Washington to remain more or less neutral. According to Bersih coalition leader Ambiga Sreenevasan, Malaysia’s electoral process is so restrictive that a mass movement like Bersih is required to purge the system of its backwardness. These are curious statements, considering that the opposition gained control of four out of 13 states in 2008, including Selangor, a key economic state with the highest GDP and most developed infrastructure. In response, Najib has adhered to Bersih’s demands and has called for electoral reform, forming a parliamentary select committee comprising members from both Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional. As elections loom, Bersih coalition leader Ambiga Sreenavasan is already dubbing them “the dirtiest elections ever seen” – unsurprising rhetoric from a woman being handed her talking points by the US embassy.

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