Archive | January 26th, 2014

Palestine’s Quislings

NOVANEWS

A Hand in the Till Not on the Tiller

A picture is indeed sometimes worth a thousand words. A photo of Secretary of State John Kerry disembarking from his plane in Tel Aviv showed chief US negotiator Martin Indyk walking along at his side with a grin on his face as if he had just heard a new Palestinian joke in the plane on the way over. It looked like Israel’s American legal team had arrived and just couldn’t wait for the first photo op with a glowering Benjamin Netanyahu. They may even have been chuckling over what might be the funniest line ever uttered by an Israeli prime minister, Netanyahu greeting their arrival by claiming that “There’s growing doubt in Israel that the Palestinians are committed to peace. In the six months since the start of peace negotiations, the Palestinian authority continues its unabated incitement against the State of Israel.”

Netanyahu, who insists that the Palestinians declare Israel to be a Jewish State as a precondition for further talks and that Israel be able to maintain a permanent military occupation of the Jordan River valley, certainly knows all about “unabated incitement.” And he has plenty of friends hanging on his every pronouncement. US Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham were already in Israel when Kerry arrived, consulting with the Israeli government and coming to the conclusion that there are serious concerns about any possible peace agreement with the Palestinians, nearly all relating to “Israel’s security.” More fool I to think that Graham and McCain were elected to represent the people of South Carolina and Arizona, but as some have observed politics is the art of the impossible.

As usual official Washington is lining up on the side of the Israelis while pretending to be an “honest broker,” a deception that fools no one but the editorial staffs on theWashington Post and New York Times. There are, of course, a number of different ways to look at the current round of the Middle East Peace talks, possibly the longest continuous entertainment spectacular on the planet since Johnny Carson retired after 30 seasons on The Tonight Show. One might well wonder why it has been so difficult to create a Palestinian State of some kind, a development that would seem to be in nearly everyone’s interest and which would also impact on many related issues, to include international terrorism, instability in Lebanon and Syria, Iran, and even Arab democracy. The reason is, of course, simple, involving Israeli unwillingness to permit such a state to come into existence coupled with the United States role as an enabler of Israel. So the peace process spins on and on.

Scott McConnell has hit the nail on the head, recently describing in some detail how Israel has never wanted a sovereign Palestinian state in the neighborhood even though it persists in claiming that it does. The United States, which has always known that the Israelis are liars, nevertheless goes along with the deception for fear of offending the powerful Israel Lobby. McConnell observes that “Since there is no reason to think that Bibi Netanyahu is more inclined to allow the Palestinians a viable state than Barak was, there really is little chance that Kerry’s mission will succeed—unless of course the Palestinian leadership has been sufficiently corrupted and bribed to sell out legitimate Palestinian aspirations.”

The point he is making is that the Palestinians have to a large extent been sold out by their own corrupt leadership, which has repeatedly failed to take steps that would assert their national rights. Israeli politician Abba Eban once said that the Palestinians never “miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity” but it is much more than that. Mahmoud Abbas is the perfect Palestinians leader from the point of view of Israel and the United States – corrupt , malleable, and, at the end of the day, always ready to do what Tel Aviv and Washington want while Benjamin Netanyahu proceeds with his settlement building and acquisition of what is left of the West Bank.

The 2006 Palestinian elections illustrate what has gone wrong. The US supported free elections but then changed its mind when Hamas won, embracing the Israeli position that Hamas was a terrorist organization. All of which required a reset on the relationship with the PLO, somehow turning it into the acceptable Palestinian government vis-à-vis Hamas. To do so, of course, ignored the massive corruption of the PLO, which was well known to the Palestinian people and also to just about anyone else who cared to inquire, a major reason why the voters turned against it and voted for Hamas.

Yassir Arafat may have succeeded in placing Palestinian identity and statehood on the international agenda but he also stole billions of dollars that were being given by donors to help the Palestinian people. It has been frequently claimed that Mahmoud Abbas, currently president of Palestine and chairman of the PLO, has continued that tradition, possibly helping himself to many millions more. Many of Abbas’s critics, including members of congress and convicted felon Elliot Abrams, are politically motivated, attempting to demonstrate that Israel has no legitimate negotiating partner among the Palestinians. They undeniably conveniently ignore the considerable level of corruption in Tel Aviv but their own lack of credibility does not in any way make the Palestinian corruption problem go away.

And the corruption has consequences. The price Abbas has paid for being able to help himself and his two sons from the government coffers has been continued acquiescence in the charade being played out by a succession of American Secretaries of State and Benjamin Netanyahu, negotiations that are intended to go nowhere except in a direction desired by Israel. In the latest version featuring Israel as a Jewish State with all that implies, coupled with a continued military occupation and theft of both land and water, the Palestinians are little more than patsies, a player who is so powerless that he can safely be ignored.

As part of that game, Abbas has been careful not to push too hard and he has basically ceded to John Kerry his right to behave independently. He has backed down due to Washington’s threats and failed to energetically assert the Palestinian case for full recognition of statehood in the United Nations, has proven unwilling to utilize the mechanism of the International Criminal Court to condemn Israeli war crimes and other violations, and has avoided even following through on his own threats to dissolve his own government to end the pretense that he actually is a head of a sovereign state. Dissolving the Palestinian government, such as it is, would force the Israelis to resort to a return to a total occupation, which would be expensive, bad public relations, and a turn of events that is not in their interest. Under US pressure, Abbas has generally cooperated with even the most extreme Israeli security demands, including tolerating the arrest and incarceration of his own people without trial.

So when Netanyahu and his shills in the US Congress complain that Israel really cannot deal with the Palestinians because there is no legitimate negotiating partner, for once the Israelis and their friends from AIPAC are actually speaking the truth. Of course there is no one home in Ramallah precisely because that is the way Tel Aviv and Washington want it to be.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, USA, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Palestine’s Quislings

Why We Fight

NOVANEWS

Because it pays well

The most decorated Marine in the history of the Corps Major General Smedley Butler once wrote that “War is a racket.” That was in 1935. If only he could see it now. The cash flow enabling the global war on terror which was launched in 2001 is astonishing, numbers that are too large to even imagine. Columbia University economist Joseph Stiglitz has estimated that the total cost of Iraq alone will exceed $5 trillion when all the borrowed money and legacy expenses for 30,000 wounded soldiers are finally paid off. And Iraq is only one part of the enormous shift in national resources that has taken place over the past twelve years.

The direct costs of the Bush-Obama war are reflected in the Defense and intelligence budgets, both of which are more than twice as big as they were pre-9/11, but factor in the additional domestic costs for the Transportation Security Administration, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and growth of the federal bureaucracy in general and the numbers become mind boggling. And then there is the replication of the federal spending at the state and local levels reflected in the increases in numbers of police and the establishment of homeland security offices in nearly every state as well as in some counties and cities. New York City alone has more than 34,000 policemen, to include a large intelligence division and counter-terrorism group that has been accused of spying on local Muslims all along the East Coast. It was trained by the CIA and is headed by a former CIA analyst. Many large companies have also either been either compelled or convinced to spend increasing sums on security, nearly all of which is unnecessary.

So if war on terror is a racket, the question becomes how long will it take before the productive part of the economy collapses under the strain of paying for a huge package of goods and services that do not actually produce anything. It may be happening already as the US economy continues to struggle after its reversals five years ago, but the media and public figures can only rarely be seen calling for some retrenchment because they themselves benefit greatly from the status quo and have been largely immune to the consequences of their bad decision-making.

This lack of any sustained public outcry over the expensive new national security state just might be because many people are in fact making quite a lot of money out of it. They fall into several broad categories. First is the military itself, which has a proposed budget for $487 billion in 2014. Some of that spending is strategic, which means paying for the missiles, submarines, and aircraft carriers that may be highly questionable but are nevertheless intended to deter potential adversaries like China and Russia. The large increases in the budget since 2001 have, however, been dedicated to counter-terrorism. Both the size and cost of the federal bureaucracy, to include the military, has doubled over the past twelve years under both Republican and Democratic administrations. Then there is the intelligence community, which costs something like $80 billion (its budget is secret), and Homeland Security, which comes in at $59 billion. There are 2,700,000 federal employees and 1,400,000 active duty military personnel currently supplemented by nearly 500,000 national guardsmen.

When all the increases are added up and compared to the baseline of 2001, the war on terror currently costs the American taxpayer more than $500 billion per year. As there may be only 100 or so terrorists seriously interested in attacking the United States directly, that works out to something like $5 billion per year per terrorist.

The first level beneficiaries of the largesse are the employees themselves. An Army captain with six years in grade makes $64,339 plus bonuses, additional allowances, special pay, complete health care and housing. If he stays in the service for twenty years he can retire at a 50% pension and also retains his health care benefits. An average US federal government civilian employee costs $125,000 per year when one factors in all legacy costs. These numbers are far beyond what an average working American makes and it should also be noted that federal employees have complete job security, which no one else has any more. Many also “retire” and exploit their security clearances to step into civilian jobs in national security that double or treble their income.

The next level of beneficiaries is the defense contractor crowd. Defense related plantsemploying 3,500,000 are strategically located in every state and very nearly in every congressional district, providing jobs that congressmen cannot ignore. And there are also numerous contractors within the government itself coming from beltway bandit companies like Booz-Hamilton and SAIC. It has been reported that one third or more of the intelligence community and the Department of Defense civilian staff now consists of contractors. They earn considerably more than staff employees and wind up sometimes costing as much as $500,000 each when all the expenses are factored in. The Pentagon and CIA do not even know how many contract employees they have and you know defense contractors are doing very well when you open up any Washington DC newspaper and read their full page ads praising our soldiers and America’s “arsenal of freedom.”

The third level of beneficiaries is the law enforcement community, going down to the local level, which has benefited greatly from the 9/11 flood of money. There are nearly 800,000 cops in the United States. A New York City police officer earns $91,000 after five and a half years of service, plus overtime, has an excellent health care plan that he can take with him when he leaves, and can retire on a half pension after 22 years. Outside New York policemen do not make as much but they have similar retirement and health benefits. As in the case with the military, a high school graduate can retire when he is less than forty years old with health care and a generous pension for the rest of his life. He normally then takes a second job, also involving security.

Finally, there is the private security industry. This has grown up around the Department of Homeland Security. It includes many former government officials including Michael Chertoff, who headed DHS and has been promoting his goods and services ever since. His Rapiscan full body scanners have been described as “useless” and many are now sitting in a government warehouse.

It all adds up to a huge pile of money and a lot of interested parties who want to keep the gravy train going. If you add up the soldiers, bureaucrats, policemen, and private contractors you come up with 8,900,000 Americans who are directly dependent on the spending on the government’s war on terror for their livelihood. They are present in every county and town in the United States. They all have a powerful incentive to promote the national security state and government officials, who also benefit from the largesse, listen to them in ways that they do not listen to the rest of us.

The current total federal budget is $3.77 trillion, much of which is dedicated to “keeping us safe.” It is just under 25% of the national GNP and growing, but it is only part of the story as it does not include state and local expenditures for police and homeland security. No one knows exactly how much fiat currency the Federal Reserve banks print and distribute while the Department of the Treasury routinely borrows money to meet the considerable budget shortfalls that have been the norm since 2001. This coming year the unfunded part of the federal budget is estimated to be $744 billion. The federal debt now stands at $17 trillion and it is not getting any smaller. It is 107% of the total Gross National Product (GNP), a level that is considered to be unsustainable by most economists.

And it is all done to fight a few hundred terrorists, mostly being pursued by the authorities in their home countries, moving every night to avoid surveillance and hiding in caves. Economic collapse due to military overextension is not unthinkable, witness the fall of the Soviet Union twenty years ago. A joke making the rounds shortly thereafter described the Soviets as having a state of the art ballistic missile fleet together with the economy of Upper Volta. Going back a bit farther, King Frederick the Great’s Prussia was once described as an army with a country attached, perhaps a model for current neocon ambitions and, I might add, not unlike contemporary Israel which they so admire. Prior to the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the fifth century the state taxed the healthy parts of the economy to death to support its military and it inevitably collapsed. If America is indeed the New Rome, as many neoconservatives might assert, it must change course if it is to avoid becoming like Russia or old Prussia or, even worse, to share the fate of the Old Rome.

Posted in SyriaComments Off on Why We Fight

Palestinian leader turns to Putin for Palestinian state, dumps US and I$raHell as peace partners

NOVANEWS
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report
Good friends once again

Good friends once again

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) launched his “diplomatic intifada” against Israel and exit from the Kerry peace initiative Thursday, Jan. 23, from Moscow. His meetings with President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev marked his breakaway from the US-led peace process with Israel, four months before it was due to expire, and signaled his bid for Russian backing for a Palestinian state.
The Palestinian leader’s defection caught both Secretary of State John Kerry and Prime Minister Binyamin unprepared – and surprised their intelligence agencies. Putin and Abbas almost certainly planned in advance to drop their bombshell on the day both Kerry and Netanyahu were otherwise engaged at two international events in Switzerland, Geneva 2 on Syria and the World Economic Forum.
For the Russian leader it was a chance to show the international community and the Obama administration that he was several steps ahead of the game on the three hottest Middle East issues – Iran’s nuclear program, the Syrian civil conflict and the Palestinian bid for statehood.

The first intimation that something big was up came from an ITAR-TASS agency report Thursday that Abbas and Medvedev were due to sign an intergovernmental agreement for a $1 billion natural gas project in the Gaza section of the Mediterranean Sea. Russia’s natural gas giant Gazprom hoped to produce 30 billion cubic metres of natural gas at the site.

The report added that Russia’s Technopromexport engineering firm was also considering a small oil development project near the West Bank city of Ramallah, hub of the Palestinian Authority government headed by Abbas.

The Palestinian leader began his conversation with Putin by calling Russia a “great power” that deserved to play a more prominent role in the volatile Middle East region.

Clearly taken aback by the news coming in fast from Moscow, Israeli official sources said Thursday night they could not understand how the Russians and Palestinians came to an agreement on Mediterranean waters off the shores of Gaza, when the rights were already owned by British Gas.

It did not occur to them that the deal Russia proposed to sign with the Palestinians was designed to be an extension of the Russian-Syrian oil exploration contract signed on Dec. 27 in Moscow.
This move confronts Israel with two troubling concerns:

1. Russian interests could potentially encircle Israel’s offshore Mediterranean gas and oil sites and Russian pipelines may block Israel’s export facilities.

2.  Under international law, the Palestinian Authority is not recognized as an independent state and is therefore not empowered to establish Special Economic Zones in the Mediterranean as closed areas for prospecting for oil or gas. This was one of the topics placed on the agenda of the peace talks led by John Kerry.

However, Moscow has high-handedly circumvented this obstruction by taking charge of the offshore exploration opposite Gaza, thereby proffering its Palestinian partner to the deal implicitl Russian recognition of its status as an independent national entity authorized to sign international contracts. This could be the precedent for a process of creeping Palestinian statehood without engaging Israel in negotiation.
Moscow has already proved it can get away with busting international sanctions by concluding a $1.5 bn contract with Tehran for the purchase of half a million barrels of Iranian oil a day, without incurring a word of complaint from Washington.

Two weeks later, Putin and Abbas have acted together to wreck a painstaking US diplomatic initiative actively partnered by Israel for a negotiated peace accord with the Palestinians. They have left John Kerry and Binyamin Netanyahu holding an empty shell.
Nabil Shaath, a Palestinian Fatah veteran, could not have put the situation more bluntly when he said Thursday night that it was time to “end the American monopoly on peacemaking, after Washington had proved incapable of imposing agreements on Israel.”

Russian tactics for Syria and Iran had proved effective, he said, and there was no reason why Moscow could not perform the same function on the Israeli-Palestinian track.
The Palestinians have clearly opted to follow the examples of other Middle East leaders, ranging from Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to Syria’s Bashar Assad, Saudi King Abdullah and Egyptian strongman Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi, in making tracks, overtly or covertly, to Moscow. They are opening the door for Russia to fill the void left by American disengagement from region under the Obama administration.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, USA, ZIO-NAZI, RussiaComments Off on Palestinian leader turns to Putin for Palestinian state, dumps US and I$raHell as peace partners

We Told You So

NOVANEWS

Give up the Empire

Back a little over ten years ago I wrote an article for The American Conservative magazine called “The Jihadi War.” I had only recently left the CIA and it was the first article I had ever written for any publication, so I was grateful for a little friendly editorial advice when I inevitably discovered that people who have been spending twenty years reading and writing government reports generally forget everything they learned in English Comp. Nevertheless, I was both proud of my ability to string together 1200 words and apprehensive about how it would be received.

I basically described how the United States was locked into fighting a centralized and organized al-Qaeda that had already ceased to exist. Attacking Afghanistan and then Iraq had let the genie out of the bottle, meaning that the US would be plagued with the new style of worldwide “jihad,” locally supported and directed warfare, difficult to detect and counter. Franchising terrorism was a lesson learned from the mistake of locating the al-Qaeda movement in physical bases in Afghanistan, where it could be identified and destroyed piecemeal. But the US military and intelligence agencies, resistant to learning anything new, continued to fight the terrorists in conventional terms after capturing Kabul, placing themselves on the defensive everywhere while freeing up the insurgents to pick and choose when and where to strike. The Bush Administration’s doctrine of preemptive war also meant that increasingly the Muslim world would see itself on the receiving end of an implicit regime change strategy, a perception sure to alienate potential allies while simultaneously creating more new terrorists than could possibly be killed.

I suspect that readers found the piece interesting within the broader context of the magazine’s jeremiad against interventionism and it certainly attracted a response from CIA, which sternly informed me that I had failed to clear the piece with the Agency’s Publications Review Board.

If anything I understated the case about what might be coming, particularly as the wheel has now turned full circle with Baghdad teetering on the verge of a full scale civil war and militants linked with al-Qaeda present in force both in Iraq and across the border in Syria. Fallujah, recently in the hands of alleged terrorists, had been“pacified” by American Marines in 2004 in the deadliest fighting that took place during the US occupation. Artillery shells containing depleted uranium and white phosphorous were fired by the thousands into a city occupied mostly by civilians, some 800 of whom died in the assault together with more than 1200 alleged insurgents. There were also reported to be summary executions of prisoners by the Marines while one quarter of all homes in the city were destroyed. And then there is the epidemic of birth defects in the city since that time, an apparently enduring legacy of the uranium munitions.

Even if the US media persists in Bowdlerizing America’s wars as a conflict pitting good against evil, the rest of the world has a pretty good idea of what is going on with appalling scenes of US-sourced death and destruction part of the regular fare on nightly television. And it is fair to say that the American public has also become more nervous about the cost of overseas adventures. Alerted by the disastrous Iraq experience, those of us who believe that the United States should not be going to war just because it can have been trying to raise the bar for the use of military force. There have been numerous critiques of the nation building experiment in Afghanistan, most recently consisting of a classified National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) predicting eventual failure, but Washington persists in its plans to remain in country for years to come. There have been equally alarming warnings from knowledgeable observers that intervention in Somalia would spread the terror more extensively in Africa, that drone operations in Yemen and Pakistan would serve as a recruiting poster for al-Qaeda, that kicking the can down the road on giving justice to the Palestinians would perpetuate regional instability, and that intervening in Libya and Syria would create new calamities.

But every call for a more cautious and responsible foreign policy has been ignored by the White House, which relies on a cadre of Establishment figures to shape its narrative. Dismissing all the negative history as “defeatist,” many of the same people who have been consistently wrong since 2001 continue to dominate in the media and are now itching for a go at Iran.

Last week’s Daily Star of Lebanon featured a 2013 retrospective by Washington Postassociate editor David Ignatius which basically served as a call for business as usual, an appeal for the United States to continue to assert its leadership role. Ignatius cites perceptions of “the nation’s declining global power” before asserting that such “relentless pessimism is destructive and…inaccurate…America is generally at peace and…wildly prosperous.” To make his case that perseverance pays he cites the Second World War, in which numerous disastrous mistakes killing many thousands of soldiers were redeemed by “sheer momentum and force of will.” Ignatius concludes that “the only unforgivable mistake is to despair and give up.”

It’s hard to know where to begin when confronted by grand delusion. Mistakes that killed thousands of soldiers unnecessarily being accepted because the “good guys” won in the end in a war that demonstrated national resolve even though it might possibly have been avoided might be a small price to pay in cosmic terms except for the families of those who died. And there is an enormous qualitative difference between the sacrifices made in the Second World War, when America was attacked by a powerful enemy, and the recent wars of choice where the US was not in any way threatened. Ignatius’s exhortation for Americans to “man up” is particularly hollow given his insider status and his history of persistent support for twelve years of foreign policy failure, a process that has killed more than 7,000 American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of foreigners while costing some trillions of dollars. That America is “generally at peace” really depends on where you look and who is doing the looking.

And I am probably safe in guessing that Ignatius has no actual horse in the race since I would doubt that he has a family member in uniform who might be killed by continuing to do what we have been doing. Nor did he ever serve in the military himself, having gone straight from prep school to Harvard in an all too familiar pattern for the architects of America’s recent foreign policy disasters. Nor will Ignatius ever conceivably find himself out of work, lacking health insurance, or even paying more taxes to support his wars in the “wildly prosperous” America that he presumably sees outside his window in Washington’s Cleveland Park. Continuing policies that have flat out proven to be wrong is not a sign of strength, it is a sign of stupidity. Asserting leadership by sending in the Marines or launching cruise missiles is not leadership it is a failure of leadership.

To point out all of the above does not necessarily mean that we critics have been so smart and that the people who sit in the White House or the editorial rooms at major newspapers are so stupid, because it is not really as simple as all that. It should have been self-evident that when you tip over the dominoes in one place they wind up landing somewhere else, and that is the connection that both Ignatius and the White House fail to make because their short term objectives trump any possible long term strategy. They are engaged mostly in perception management and in parsing a situation for its impact on the next election, so policies tend to limp along with a pause every two years. Their hubris also prevents them from understanding that dramatically changing course does not necessarily signify defeat and can actually alter the dynamic in a positive way. Abandoning saber rattling against Iran, pressing seriously for a peace deal in Syria, and delivering justice for the Palestinians will largely drain the swamp that has fed the contemporary terrorism crisis. Barring that, the status quo will inevitably produce more and more jihadi warriors because young Muslims will see complete rejection of western values and the taking up of arms as the only course left to them that might conceivably bring about change.

Posted in USAComments Off on We Told You So

Pakistan Children express solidarity with Palestinian Children

NOVANEWS

plfpakistan_nakba_protest_children

Scores of Pakistan children’s on Thursday staged demonstration against the Zionist atrocities against the children and people of Palestine. The protest demonstration was organized by the Palestine Foundation (PLF) Pakistan outside the Karachi Press Club to express the solidarity with the oppressed people

of Palestine and to condemn the 63 years of illegitimate occupation of Zionist Israel on land of Messengers Palestine.

The school children carrying the placards inscribed with the slogans “Down with Israel”, “Down with USA”,” Children of Palestine—we are with you” and “Israel get out from Palestine” and torched the flags of America and Israel on the occasion of the protest demonstration of the foundation.

According to the communique issued, the participants of the children demonstration condemned the criminal silence of the world community on the genocide of people of Palestine.

They urged the world community to take immediate notice of besiege of Gaza saying that the children and people of Gaza are suffering the terrible situation owning to besiege of Israel from the last four years.

They pointed out the shortage of medicine, Milk, foods and other useful items of daily usage in Gaza may generate human dilemma in Gaza saying that thousands of people and children were lost their lives in Gaza.

– See more at: http://www.plfpakistan.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=30856:pakistan-children-express-solidarity-with-palestinian-children-&catid=6:palestine#sthash.FJxfklsD.dpuf

Posted in Palestine Affairs, Pakistan & KashmirComments Off on Pakistan Children express solidarity with Palestinian Children

Where are you Wahhabi Jihadist: Nazi mulls replacing al-Aqsa mosque

NOVANEWS
plf_mulls

Zio-Nazi official says the Tel Aviv regime is considering replacing the al-Aqsa Mosque in al-Quds (Jerusalem) with a temple.

Minister of Housing and Construction Nazi Uri Ariel on Friday called for the construction of what he called “the Third Temple” to replace the holy site. Ariel says the first and the second temples were destroyed many years ago, so the third one needs to be built now.

“Al-Aqsa Mosque is currently in place of the temple,” he claimed. Al-Aqsa Mosque is considered the third holiest site in the Muslim world.

Palestinians have denounced the plan as desecration. They say it is part of the Zio-Nazi  regime’s ongoing attempts to distort the Arab and Islamic history.

Palestinians argue that al-Quds is the capital of a future Palestinian independent state, and that its heritage should remain intact.

 

Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Where are you Wahhabi Jihadist: Nazi mulls replacing al-Aqsa mosque

Nazi Shimon Peres awarded in Davos!

NOVANEWS

plf_shimon

Nazi Shimon Peres has been awarded during a special ceremony at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.

Nazi criminal received the “Spirit of Davos” award from WEF Founder Klaus Schwab on Friday.
The Nazi regime forces have killed thousands of people during invasions of Palestinian lands, Egypt and Lebanon since 1948.

The Tel Aviv regime conducts airstrikes and ground attacks against the besieged Palestinian territory of the Gaza Strip on an almost regular basis.

Nazi regime also denies about 1.7 million people in Gaza their basic rights, including the freedom of movement and the right to decent living, work, health and education.

 

Posted in Europe, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Nazi Shimon Peres awarded in Davos!

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) vs. Syria’s “Moderate” Al Qaeda Terrorists

NOVANEWS
Global Research

 

The Western media has tacitly acknowledged, faced with overwhelming evidence, that the opposition rebels have not only committed countless atrocities, they were also behind the chemical weapons attack of August 21.

In the wake of these tragic events, a new dribble of media disinformation is unfolding.

The evolving media narrative –which coincides in a timely fashion with the Geneva 2 Peace Conference– consists in distinguishing between two categories of Al Qaeda affiliated rebel organizations.

The story runs roughly as follows:

  • There are moderate Al Qaeda rebels (“good guy Jihadists”) including those affiliated to Al Nusrah, which are now part of the Western supported moderate Islamic Front. The latter is now openly supported and financed by the US and its allies.
  • And then there are the so-called extremists associated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The ISIL: “An Assad Creation”

A new legitimacy is gradually emerging. While the ISIL is considered to be a terrorist organization, the moderate Islamists are “true democrats”.

Al Nusrah is unofficially affiliated to the moderate Islamic Front which has the endorsement of John Kerry, not to mention that of America’s allies and the international community.

But there is a reason for this distinction and categorization.

According to “authoritative sources” ISIL is allegedly working hand in glove with the secular Syrian government of Bashar al Assad.

Al Qaeda in Iraq and the Levant, otherwise known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), is according to Al Jazeera’s Robin Yassin-Kassab “An Assad Creation”. This despite the fact that Syrian government forces have been fighting relentlessly against the ISIL rebels. The article initially published by Al Jazeera was picked up by Alternet, a major online “progressive” news source, as well as other alternative media sites.

While government forces have been fighting ISIL, a fact acknowledged by the mainstream media, Al Jazeera now contends that:

“ISIL should not be considered part of the revolutionary opposition”.

In an utterly twisted logic, ISIL is presented as a covert Syrian government force which “has fought Free Syrian Army (FSA) divisions as well as Kurdish groups; it has assassinated FSA and more moderate Islamist commanders and abducted revolutionary activists.”

The argument runs as follows: “It serves the regime’s agenda by terrifying minority groups”.

The new unfolding media and political consensus is that ISIL is worse that Bashar Al Assad:

“We need to come to terms with a future that includes Assad – and consider that as bad as he is, there is something worse.”

The Al Jazeera report intimates that ISIL is in fact a covert entity controlled by the Syrian government and the Syrian government is using it to target minorities. If follows that fighting ISIL is part of the broader revolutionary objective of defeating the government of Bashar Al Assad.

Indeed, many Syrians are convinced that ISIL is an Assad creation, or even a collaborative work of Assad and the great powers. Why else, they ask, does Turkey, a NATO member, make it so easy for foreign militants to cross the border? Why has the regime bombed the schools and marketplaces of Raqqa (a city held by ISIL for half a year), but not the well-known ISIL headquarters?

With a view to giving a “human face” to opposition terrorists, the media dribble contends that several ISIL strongholds were wiped out in Northern Syria, in “a counter strike” by “good guy jihadist” opposition forces against “the mini-states set up by ISIL along much of the Turkish border, strategic positions from which it controlled the passage of men and weapons”.

Who were the Liberators of these ISIL border strongholds? Not the Syrian government forces but so-called moderate Al Qaeda rebels including Jabhat Al Nusrah:

The attack responded to anti-ISIL demonstrations all across the north, and was led by the Mujahedeen Army and the Syrian Revolutionary Front – groups associated with the Free Syrian Army. But many of the anti-ISIL fighters are also Islamists, from both Jabhat al-Nusra,(also al-Qaeda affiliated but more intelligent and disciplined in its dealings with the people) and, more importantly, the Islamist Front.

This alliance of seven leading Islamist factions was cobbled together last fall [with the direct support of Washington], and so far seems much more disciplined, certainly better armed, than the FSA ever was. Its eclipsing of the secular FSA happened not despite Western policy (as many journalists insist on misleadingly describing them as “Western-backed”) but because of it.

In a bitter irony, these “moderate” Al Qaeda forces including Al Nusrah, which have committed countless atrocities directed against civilians, are now heralded as an organization committed to saving the lives of civilians:

Many find hope in the fact that the foot soldiers of the Islamist brigades are often not motivated by ideology but by the need for discipline and weapons, even food – which the Islamists can supply far better than the FSA. (emphasis added)

The terrorists are providing food to the victims of the insurgency? Al Nusrah, believe it or not, is now involved in a humanitarian endeavor. In marked contrast to the crimes earlier committed by Al Nusrah against the Christian Orthodox community of Maloula, the same terrorist rebel force is said to have come to the rescue of the Christian community of Raqqa:

At first glance, it was bewildering that Ahrar al-Sham and al-Nusra front liberated two churches in Raqqa from ISIL and removed the black flags that had been posted from their spires.According to local activist Abu Maya, ”God willing, the churches will be restored and used again by Christians in Raqqa.” But this was because al-Nusra in Raqqa is manned by ex-Free Syrian Army fighters.

So what is the proposed “humanitarian solution”? The “moderate Islamic state” is an objective to be sought as part of the process of regime change:

“just as “Islamic state” connotes repression to Western ears, to many Arab ears it sounds like “justice”, “decency”, “rule of law”. It means something better than what they lived with under Assad.

What is the evolving political consensus?

ISIL –which allegedly is a creation of the Assad government– should be eliminated alongside a process of regime change. Counter-terrorism thereby consists in not only targeting ISIL but also going after its Syrian secular State sponsors.

On the other hand, the other moderate terrorists should be integrated into the mainstay of the opposition, despite their affiliation to Al Qaeda.

Support to the moderate Al Qaeda forces, which are described as “revolutionary militia” is the answer, as a means to implementing regime change. The western military alliance openly intimates that opposition forces are entitled to establishing an Islamic State:

The present stage of this process involves ending ISIL as well as confronting the regime. After that, either people, in at least most regime-controlled areas will welcome the revolutionary militias, or the revolutionary militias will fail to make meaningful progress.

Once ISIL has gone, the Islamic factions must increase discipline so no abuses against minorities or dissenters occur. The Islamic Front must also be persuaded to democratise. It is entitled to call for a Sharia state, but it must clarify that it is the Syrian people who will decide on the nature of their future state, not a group of men armed with weapons and a great deal of conviction. Because Syria has been there before.

The Syrian revolution rose first against Assad and now against ISIL. There is every reason to believe that it will continue confronting tyrants. All should take note.

According to a recent estimate of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy(quoted by the BBC), there could be up to 11,000 Al Qaeda affiliated mercenaries in Syria, all of which are supported and financed by the US and/or member states of NATO and the GCC.

Who are the architects of this insurgency?

The insurgency is controlled by the Western military alliance. NATO and the Turkish high command have been involved in the recruitment of Mujahideen since mid-2011. Saudi Arabia and Qatar are involved in financing and training the terrorists in liaison with WashingtonThe US and the Western military alliance are firmly behind the terrorists. They are responsible for crimes against humanity committed against the people of Syria.

Posted in Middle East, Iraq, SyriaComments Off on The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) vs. Syria’s “Moderate” Al Qaeda Terrorists

Rwanda and the New Scramble for Africa: “An Eye-Opener and Essential Reading…”

NOVANEWS

Rwanda

Global Research

***NEW BOOK***

Available now at Baraka Books and on the Global Research online store

Rwanda and the New Scramble for Africa. From Tragedy to Useful Imperial Fiction.

***

Robin Philpot’s important new book Rwanda and the New Scramble for Africa is an eye-opener and essential reading for anybody who wants to understand the recent history of Rwanda, ongoing U.S. and Western policy in Africa, and how efficiently the Western propaganda system works.

As in the case of the wars dismantling Yugoslavia, there is a “standard model” of what happened in Rwanda both in 1994 and in the preceding and later years, a model that puts the victorious Tutsi expatriate and Ugandan official Paul Kagame, his Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF), and his Western supporters in a favorable light and the government of Rwanda, led by the Hutu Juvenal Habyarimana, in a negative light. Philpot challenges this model in all of its aspects and shows convincingly that, in a virtual miracle of systematic distortion, this version of history stands the truth on its head.

Ed Herman

Ed Herman (right)

One important feature of the standard model is its portrayal of the West as a regrettably late intervener in the Rwanda struggle, with oft-cited ex-post apologies from Bill Clinton and Madeleine Albright during their visits to Rwanda in 1997 and 1998 for U.S. and allied failure to intervene to prevent the massive killings in 1994.

Demolishing this distortion of history, Philpot shows that U.S. and Western intervention in Rwanda was crucial both in preparing the ground for the 1994 bloodbath and in the failure to stop it after it was well underway. The United States and Britain saw to it that UN peacekeeping forces were smaller in 1994 than had been agreed to in the 1993 Arusha Peace Accords and that they were cut sharply in February and then in April 1994 when killings were raging. The Rwanda government called repeatedly for a ceasefire, but the United States was supporting Kagame’s and the RPF’s conquest of Rwanda and, with a Kagame victory in sight, the U.S. intervention at that point was to protect the RPF killing machine from any outside interference. Philpot quotes former UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros- Ghali’s repeated assertion that, “The genocide in Rwanda was one hundred percent the responsibility of the Americans.”

Philpot traces U.S. support of Kagame and the RPF back to the October 1990 invasion of Rwanda from Uganda and even earlier. Kagame had trained at Ft. Leavenworth and the United States and its allies were already supplying Uganda with arms, training, and diplomatic support in 1990. The invasion and occupation of Northern Rwanda by this foreign-based force, which started on October 1, 1990, resulted in the forced exodus of hundreds of thousands of Hutu farmers. Although this was a violation of the UN Charter, as well as a major human rights disaster, it led to no condemnation or action by the UN or “international community.” In fact, in succeeding years the United States and its allies supported the penetration of the RPF into the political and military structures of Rwanda, essentially pushing a major subversive force into the institutions of a victim of aggression. The Rwanda government was also forced by the IMF and World Bank, along with the United States and its allies, to abandon its social democratic policies, disabling it as a force helping ordinary citizens, including both the many refugees dislodged by the RPF and the large numbers streaming into Rwanda from Burundi where a Tutsi-military coup d’etat and murder of its Hutu president in October 1993 had led to a flight similar to that produced by Kagame and the RPF within Rwanda itself.

Philpot cites evidence that as early as 1990 the RPF organized covert cells throughout the country, surely deisgned for future action in a plan to seize control of the state.

Tutsis comprised at most 15 percent of the populationand, given their historic role as a ruling superior class—defeated in a 1959 social revolution with many fleeing to Uganda—and their role via the RPF in ethnic cleansing and refugee creation from 1990 onward, there was no chance that they could take power in a free election. Philpot makes a compelling case that they knew this quite well and were planning a violent takeover, which did in fact occur.

Philpot stresses that from October 1, 1990 onward and through the mass killings years of 1994-1995, Rwanda suffered a de facto war, carried out by the RPF, with Ugandan help, and, more crucially, with the assistance of the United States and its close allies. This also meant the automatic help of the subservient UN. In the standard model there was no war—the 1990 invasion and its consequences are kept out of sight and so is the steady infiltration and major-war preparations of the RPF up to the onset of a full-scale war and mass killings in April 1994 and onward.

The large-scale slaughter in Rwanda began immediately after the shooting down of a plane carrying Rwanda President Juvenal Habyarimana and Burundi president Cyprien Ntaryamina at the Kigali airport on April 6, 1994. This was widely recognized as the “triggering event” in the mass killings and “genocide.” In the standard model, the deaths of Habyarimana and Ntaryamina were either organized by Hutu government officials or were inexplicable. However, there is overwhelming evidence that these deaths were organized by Paul Kagame and the RPF, very possibly with the help of their Western supporters. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) looked into this issue in 1996 and 1997, with their principal investigator Michael Hourigan eventually charging the crime to Kagame and the RPF. French and Spanish investigators came up with the same result. But when Hourigan presented his report to ICTR prosecutor Louise Arbour, after consulting with U.S. officials Arbour closed down the investigation and it has not been taken up since by the ICTR or any other international organization despite the importance of this event to the terrible and much publicized devastation that ensued.

This episode of suppression and refusal to investigate is telling at several levels. For one thing, it shows the dominance of the United States in ICTR decision-making and Arbour was in fact vetted by Madeleine Albright before her appointment as prosecutor (also for the ICTY). It also displays Louise Arbour’s subservience to the global monarch and non-judicial behavior, for which she was further rewarded with a high Canadian judicial appointment, then as Kofi Annan’s choice as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and then in 2009 a presidency of the supposedly non-partisan NGO the International Crisis Group.

Most important, this suppression episode points to Kagame and the RPF as the driving force in the mass killings that immediately followed the April 6 assassinations. There was excellent coordination here, with the RPF in action simultaneously with the shootdown and even in advance of it, indicating that the assassination was known to RPF cadres and was part of a larger ongoing plan. Philpot emphasizes that Kagame could never have taken power by a free election, so that violence was absolutely necessary. The truth of the responsibility for these assassinations does not fit into the standard model, hence its treatment by the ICTR and Western propagandists—silence or claims of Hutu responsibility or passing references to a “plane crash.”

Philpot calls the RPF’s military triumph a coup d’etat, and the case he makes for this is convincing. The coup d’etat was the final result of a war—first an open war begun October 1, 1990, then with a three-year mainly low level war of RPF subversion and buildup of military cadres, partly hidden, with cells of subversive agents awaiting the coup moment, then the assassinations and conquest. The war was greatly facilitated by Western insistence that the Rwanda government make a place in the army and Administration for RPF representatives—done in the Arusha Peace Accords of 1993—and to force that government to carry out “reforms” and “austerity” policies that weakened its hold on its own population base.

In the buildup toward the final conquest and takeover, the low-level RPF war was also greatly helped by the West’s putting the Rwandagovernment under siege for its alleged human rights violations. The government did arrest some 8,000 individuals suspected of being RPF agents or active supporters in October 1990, all of them released within six months. This caused a frenzy in the Western political establishment, media and among human rights groups. Although the RPF (and Uganda) had invaded Rwanda, produced hundreds of thousands of refugees, and posed an enormous security threat to Rwanda, this was all overlooked by Western propagandists. Their sole focus was on the Rwanda government’s alleged excesses. Philpot notes that the many thousands of Japanese imprisoned by the United States and Canada during World War II involved a trivial security threat in comparison with that posed by the RPF against Rwanda. But the United States and its close allies supported the RPF, hence the huge bias throughout the West.

Philpot emphasizes the important role played by human rights NGOs in demonizing the Rwanda government and advancing the RPF’s war program. None existed in Rwanda before 1990, but they multiplied thereafter, almost all favoring the RPF. Most notable was the International Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights Violations in Rwanda, which issued a report in 1993 that harshly condemned the Rwanda government and said virtually nothing about RPF abuses. The Commission had spent two weeks in Rwanda, including only two hours in RPF-controlled territory where nobody was interviewed except in the presence of RPF personnel. The Commission’s financing and personnel assured its RPF supportive conclusions, and the RPF openly waited for the report before launching fresh military attacks that resulted in thousands of civilian casualties.
The Commission ignored the crime of aggression, focusing only on alleged war crimes in the ongoing low-level war. Its policy stance here, like that of Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International in the Iraq invasion/occupation, was that condemnations of acts of aggression are outside of its sphere of interest—it focuses only on any ensuing war crimes committed by the aggressor or his victim. This flies in the face of the UN Charter, but is wonderfully convenient to the United States as the world’s towering leader in the field of aggression, and fitted nicely the needs of Kagame and the RPF in their aggression against, and conquest, of Rwanda.

The Commission’s report was cited widely as authoritative and its extremely biased authors—several of whom became officials in the post-conquest RPF government of Rwanda—became favored experts in the media and served as prosecution witnesses in cases brought against the Hutu losers (and only Kagame-RPF approved losers have been tried by the ICTR). Philpot has detailed the crushing accounts of the ignorance and conflicts of interest of Commission members and other Western publicists and propagandists for the RPF cause, most notably Alison Des Forges (a consultant to the U.S. State Department and Pentagon); Philip Gourevitch (at that time brother-in-law of Jamie Rubin, Madeleine Albright’s PR person, with full and uncontested access to the liberal New Yorker); Canadian analyst Carol Off (whose heroine was Louise Arbour), Gil Courtemanche (a Canadian novelist); and Belgian journalist Colette Braeckman (author of a classic RPF apologia in 1994; the authority in the Belgian Le Soir and the French “left” Le Monde Diplomatique). With their help and a heavy flow of government disinformation, the standard model was institutionalized.

The UN also played its usual supportive role in recognizing who the United States and its allies were backing and lending a dirty hand. There was the ICTR, with its service as an instrument of RCF vengeance and helping it institutionalize the view that Hutus were the killers and “genocidaires.” In a notable instance, when investigator Robert Gersony produced a report in 1994 describing the mass killing of Hutus by the RPF, the UN suppressed it and forced Gersony to keep silent on its contents. The UN Aid Mission to Rwanda (UNAMIR) was headed by the Canadian Romeo Dallaire, a virtual servant of U.S. policy, thus supportive of the RPF, hostile to the French (he turned down their offer to look closely at the responsibility for the shootdown on April 6, although they were on the scene and several French citizens were killed in the crash), and hostile to adding more UN forces. Philpot notes that, “The first important action of the UN military mission, which included more than four hundred Belgian troops, was to escort a battalion of six hundred armed RPF soldiers from Rwandan Patriotic Front headquarters in Mulindi to Kigali.”

In the standard model, the Hutus were the villains who tried to exterminate the Tutsis and carried out a “genocide.” But it is certain that many more Hutus than Tutsis were killed; the RPF was a well-organized army, supplied and protected by the United States and its close allies, and ready for action on April 6, 1994, whereas the government’s leadership was taken by surprise, disorganized, short on arms, and defeated within 100 days. (For a discussion of the numbers, Herman and Peterson, The Politics of Genocide, 56-61.) But with unconstrained support of the U.S., UK, Belgium and Canada, a miracle of propaganda was achieved in making the aggressor and coup regime and its killing machine into a savior of the Tutsis from the Hutu victim population. The propaganda system has done this job so well that Kagame can make any opposition into supporters of “genocide.” The ICTR helps by steadily pursuing alleged genocidaires (and specific Kagame targets) and Kagame can win elections with 90 plus percent of the vote, without his ceasing to be a Western hero (an African “Abe Lincoln” in the view of Gourevitch). No more misleading and erroneous use of the word genocide can be found anywhere.

Most important, pursuing those genocidaires into the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been Kagame’s excuse for invasions and mass murder there since 1996. He and Museveni have killed several million Hutu refugees and locals in the Eastern DRC, in a killing continuity with that in Rwanda. Although the numbers killed in the DRC far exceed the deaths in Rwanda, this is not described as a “genocide,” no Tribunals are established here, and no ICC indictments deal with these big-time criminals (Kagame and Museveni).

Philpot makes clear that this results from the fact that the United States actively supports these killers. As the United States and other Western powers have steadily increased their interest in Africa, their greater intervention follows, and Kagame and Museveni have been supported as local agents. Philpot quotes from a November 1996 interview by French journalist Jean Daniel with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State, John C. Kornblum: “France? We want to get along with France. Chirac? A man of good will. We like him. But: (1) no question of keeping Boutros-Ghali; (2) no question of keeping Mobutu in power… Let’s get together again in six months time. We’ll see if I am mistaken. Watch out for Africa: France has it all wrong. The strong man is in Uganda, not in Kinshasa.”

The imperialist perspective is blatant, and in fact both Boutros-Ghali and Mobutu were removed in short order and Museveni (along with Kagame) has prospered and for many years could occupy the DRC and kill with impunity The interview with Kornblum took place just as Kagame was bombing the refugee camps and beginning his murderous march, fronted by Laurent-Desire Kabila, to overthrow Mobutu and take Kinshasa and the entire DRC. And as in Rwanda itself, with the aid of people like Romeo Dallaire, French initiatives for refugee succor in the DRC were squelched (and we are talking about a million-plus refugee population in distress). Philpot has a telling story of how the United States, here again with Canadian help, aided Kagame in clearing out Hutu refugee camps in the DRC by violence, all of these allies helping push the refugees toward Rwanda or into the DRC forests, bombing and shelling the camps, and killing vast numbers. With the aid of its Canadian puppet, the United States succeeded in fending off a threat that the UN would increase its protective forces in the refugee camps, closely analogous to the successful U.S, effort to reduce UNAMIR forces in Rwanda as the RPF slaughters there escalated.

Philpot’s book tells a grim story of geopolitical interests of the United States and its close allies, causing them to intervene heavily in Rwanda and the DRC, supporting killer regimes that overthrew a relatively responsive and representative government in Rwanda with a ruthless minority regime and dictatorship, but responsive to U.S.-UK interests (Kagame was the only African leader to welcome the U.S. invasion of Iraq). The Rwanda and Uganda regimes were adjuncts smoothing the road for Western penetration of the DRC. The “collateral damage” of literally millions of African deaths was completely acceptable to U.S.-UK leaders. But the propaganda/disinformation flood was so great that perhaps they believed the standard model that they were bringing civilization and Western values to the benighted. In reality, as Philpot describes so well, they were bringing hunger, death, dictatorship, and chaos to African peoples.

Posted in Africa, LiteratureComments Off on Rwanda and the New Scramble for Africa: “An Eye-Opener and Essential Reading…”

Naked Gold Shorts: The Inside Story of Gold Price Manipulation

NOVANEWS
Global Research

 

The deregulation of the financial system during the Clinton and George W. Bush regimes had the predictable result: financial concentration and reckless behavior. A handful of banks grew so large that financial authorities declared them “too big to fail.” Removed from market discipline, the banks became wards of the government requiring massive creation of new money by the Federal Reserve in order to support through the policy of Quantitative Easing the prices of financial instruments on the banks’ balance sheets and in order to finance at low interest rates trillion dollar federal budget deficits associated with the long recession caused by the financial crisis.

The Fed’s policy of monetizing one trillion dollars of bonds annually put pressure on the US dollar, the value of which declined in terms of gold. When gold hit $1,900 per ounce in 2011, the Federal Reserve realized that $2,000 per ounce could have a psychological impact that would spread into the dollar’s exchange rate with other currencies, resulting in a run on the dollar as both foreign and domestic holders sold dollars to avoid the fall in value. Once this realization hit, the manipulation of the gold price moved beyond central bank leasing of gold to bullion dealers in order to create an artificial market supply to absorb demand that otherwise would have pushed gold prices higher.

The manipulation consists of the Fed using bullion banks as its agents to sell naked gold shorts in the New York Comex futures market. Short selling drives down the gold price, triggers stop-loss orders and margin calls, and scares participants out of the gold trusts. The bullion banks purchase the deserted shares and present them to the trusts for redemption in bullion. The bullion can then be sold in the London physical gold market, where the sales both ratify the lower price that short-selling achieved on the Comex floor and provide a supply of bullion to meet Asian demands for physical gold as opposed to paper claims on gold.

The evidence of gold price manipulation is clear. In this article we present evidence and describe the process. We conclude that ability to manipulate the gold price is disappearing as physical gold moves from New York and London to Asia, leaving the West with paper claims to gold that greatly exceed the available supply.

The primary venue of the Fed’s manipulation activity is the New York Comex exchange, where the world trades gold futures. Each gold futures contract represents one gold 100 ounce bar. The Comex is referred to as a paper gold exchange because of the use of these futures contracts. Although several large global banks are trading members of the Comex, JP Morgan, HSBC and Bank Nova Scotia conduct the majority of the trading volume. Trading of gold (and silver) futures occurs in an auction-style market on the floor of the Comex daily from 8:20 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. New York time. Comex futures trading also occurs on what is known as Globex. Globex is a computerized trading system used for derivatives, currency and futures contracts. It operates continuously except on weekends. Anyone anywhere in the world with access to a computer-based futures trading platform has access to the Globex system.

In addition to the Comex, the Fed also engages in manipulating the price of gold on the far bigger–in terms of total dollar value of trading–London gold market. This market is called the LBMA (London Bullion Marketing Association) market. It is comprised of several large banks who are LMBA market makers known as “bullion banks” (Barclays, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorganChase, Merrill Lynch/Bank of America, Mitsui, Societe Generale, Bank of Nova Scotia and UBS). Whereas the Comex is a “paper gold” exchange, the LBMA is the nexus of global physical gold trading and has been for centuries. When large buyers like Central Banks, big investment funds or wealthy private investors want to buy or sell a large amount of physical gold, they do this on the LBMA market.

The Fed’s gold manipulation operation involves exerting forceful downward pressure on the price of gold by selling a massive amount of Comex gold futures, which are dropped like bombs either on the Comex floor during NY trading hours or via the Globex system. A recent example of this occurred on Monday, January 6, 2014. After rallying over $15 in the Asian and European markets, the price of gold suddenly plunged $35 at 10:14 a.m. In a space of less than 60 seconds, more than 12,000 contracts traded – equal to more than 10% of the day’s entire volume during the 23 hour trading period in which which gold futures trade. There was no apparent news or market event that would have triggered the sudden massive increase in Comex futures selling which caused the sudden steep drop in the price of gold. At the same time, no other securities market (other than silver) experienced any unusual price or volume movement. 12,000 contracts represents 1.2 million ounces of gold, an amount that exceeds by a factor of three the total amount of gold in Comex vaults that could be delivered to the buyers of these contracts.

This manipulation by the Fed involves the short-selling of uncovered Comex gold futures. “Uncovered” means that these are contracts that are sold without any underlying physical gold to deliver if the buyer on the other side decides to ask for delivery. This is also known as “naked short selling.” The execution of the manipulative trading is conducted through one of the major gold futures trading banks, such as JPMorganChase, HSBC, and Bank of Nova Scotia.

These banks do the actual selling on behalf of the Fed. The manner in which the Fed dumps a large quantity of futures contracts into the market differs from the way in which a bona fide trader looking to sell a big position would operate. The latter would try to work off his position carefully over an extended period of time with the goal of trying to disguise his selling and to disturb the price as little as possible in order to maximize profits or minimize losses. In contrast, the Fed‘s sales telegraph the intent to drive the price lower with no regard for preserving profits or fear or incurring losses, because the goal is to inflict as much damage as possible on the price and intimidate potential buyers.

The Fed also actively manipulates gold via the Globex system. The Globex market is punctuated with periods of “quiet” time in which the trade volume is very low. It is during these periods that the Fed has its agent banks bombard the market with massive quantities of gold futures over a very brief period of time for the purpose of driving the price lower. The banks know that there are very few buyers around during these time periods to absorb the selling. This drives the price lower than if the selling operation occurred when the market is more active.

A primary example of this type of intervention occurred on December 18, 2013, immediately after the FOMC announced its decision to reduce bond purchases by $10 billion monthly beginning in January 2014. With the rest of the trading world closed, including the actual Comex floor trading, a massive amount of Comex gold futures were sold on the Globex computer trading system during one of its least active periods. This selling pushed the price of gold down $23 dollars in the space of two hours. The next wave of futures selling occurred in the overnight period starting at 2:30 a.m. NY time on December 19th. This time of day is one of the least active trading periods during any 23 hour trading day (there’s one hour when gold futures stop trading altogether). Over 4900 gold contracts representing 14.5 tonnes of gold were dumped into the Globex system in a 2-minute period from 2:40-2:41 a.m, resulting in a $24 decline in the price of gold. This wasn’t the end of the selling. Shortly after the Comex floor opened later that morning, another 1,654 contracts were sold followed shortly after by another 2,295 contracts. This represented another 12.2 tonnes of gold. Then at 10:00 a.m. EST, another 2,530 contracts were unloaded on the market followed by an additional 3,482 contracts just six minutes later. These sales represented another 18.7 tonnes of gold.

All together, in 6 minutes during an eight hour period, a total amount of 37.6 tonnes (a “tonne” is a metric ton–about 10% more weight than a US ”ton”) of gold future contracts were sold. The contracts sold during these 6 minutes accounted for 10% of the total volume during that 23 hours period of time. Four-tenths of one percent of the trading day accounted for 10% of the total volume. The gold represented by the futures contracts that were sold during these 6 minutes was a multiple of the amount of physical gold available to Comex for delivery.

The purpose of driving the price of gold down was to prevent the announced reduction in bond purchases (the so-called tapering) from sending the dollar, stock and bond markets down. The markets understand that the liquidity that Quantitative Easing provides is the reason for the high bond and stock prices and understand also that the gains from the rising stock market discourage gold purchases. Previously when the Fed had mentioned that it might reduce bond purchases, the stock market fell and bonds sold off. To neutralize the market scare, the Fed manipulated both gold and stock markets.

(See Pam Martens for explanation of the manipulation of the stock market: http://wallstreetonparade.com/2013/12/why-didn’t-the-stock-market-sell-off-on-the-fed’s-taper-announcement/ )

While the manipulation of the gold market has been occurring since the start of the bull market in gold in late 2000, this pattern of rampant manipulative short-selling of futures contracts has been occurring on a more intense basis over the last 2 years, during gold’s price decline from a high of $1900 in September 2011. The attack on gold’s price typically will occur during one of several key points in time during the 23 hour Globex trading period. The most common is right at the open of Comex gold futures trading, which is 8:20 a.m. New York time. To set the tone of trading, the price of gold is usually knocked down when the Comex opens. Here are the other most common times when gold futures are sold during illiquid Globex system time periods:

– 6:00 p.m NY time weekdays, when the Globex system re-opens after closing for an hour;

– 6:00 p.m. Sunday evening NY time when Globex opens for the week;

– 2:30 a.m. NY time, when Shanghai Gold Exchange closes

– 4:00 a.m. NY time, just after the morning gold “fix” on the London gold market (LBMA);

  • 2:00 p.m. NY time any day but especially on Friday, after the Comex floor trading has closed – it’s an illiquid Globex-only session and the rest of the world is still closed.

In addition to selling futures contracts on the Comex exchange in order to drive the price of gold lower, the Fed and its agent bullion banks also intermittently sell large quantities of physical gold in London’s LBMA gold market. The process of buying and selling actual physical gold is more cumbersome and complicated than trading futures contracts. When a large supply of physical gold hits the London market all at once, it forces the market a lot lower than an equivalent amount of futures contracts would. As the availability of large amounts of physical gold is limited, these “physical gold drops” are used carefully and selectively and at times when the intended effect on the market will be most effective.

The primary purpose for short-selling futures contracts on Comex is to protect the dollar’s value from the growing supply of dollars created by the Fed’s policy of Quantitative Easing. The Fed’s use of gold leasing to supply gold to the market in order to reduce the rate of rise in the gold price has drained the Fed’s gold holdings and is creating a shortage in physical gold. Historically most big buyers would leave their gold for safe-keeping in the vaults of the Fed, Bank of England or private bullion banks rather than incur the cost of moving gold to local depositories. However, large purchasers of gold, such as China, now require actual delivery of the gold they buy.

Demands for gold delivery have forced the use of extraordinary and apparently illegal tactics in order to obtain physical gold to settle futures contracts that demand delivery and to be able to deliver bullion purchased on the London market (LBMA). Gold for delivery is obtained from opaque Central Bank gold leasing transactions, from “borrowing” client gold held by the bullion banks like JP Morgan in their LBMA custodial vaults, and by looting the gold trusts, such as GLD, of their gold holdings by purchasing large blocks of shares and redeeming the shares for gold.

Central Bank gold leasing occurs when Central Banks take physical gold they hold in custody and lease it to bullion banks. The banks sell the gold on the London physical gold market. The gold leasing transaction makes available physical gold that can be delivered to buyers in quantities that would not be available at existing prices. The use of gold leasing to manipulate the price of gold became a prevalent practice in the 1990′s. While Central Banks admit to engaging in gold lease transactions, they do not admit to its purpose, which is to moderate rises in the price of gold, although Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan did admit during Congressional testimony on derivatives in 1998 that “Central banks stand ready to lease gold in increasing quantities should the price rise.”

Another method of obtaining bullion for sale or delivery is known as “rehypothecation.” Rehypothecation occurs when a bank or brokerage firm “borrows” client assets being held in custody by banks. Technically, bank/brokerage firm clients sign an agreement when they open an account in which the assets in the account might be pledged for loans, like margin loans. But the banks then take pledged assets and use them for their own purpose rather than the client’s. This is rehypothecation. Although Central Banks fully disclose the practice of leasing gold, banks/brokers do not publicly disclose the details of their rehypothecation activities.

Over the course of the 13-year gold bull market, gold leasing and rehypothecation operations have largely depleted most of the gold in the vaults of the Federal Reserve, Bank of England, European Central Bank and private bullion banks such as JPMorganChase. The depletion of vault gold became a problem when Venezuela was the first country to repatriate all of its gold being held by foreign Central Banks, primarily the Fed and the BOE. Venezuela’s request was provoked by rumors circulating the market that gold was being leased and hypothecated in increasing quantities. About a year later, Germany made a similar request. The Fed refused to honor Germany’s request and, instead, negotiated a seven year timeline in which it would ship back 300 of Germany’s 1500 tonnes. This made it apparent that the Fed did not have the gold it was supposed to be holding for Germany.

Why does the Fed need seven years in which to return 20 percent of Germany’s gold? The answer is that the Fed does not have the gold in its vault to deliver. In 2011 it took four months to return Venezuela’s 160 tonnes of gold. Obviously, the gold was not readily at hand and had to be borrowed, perhaps from unsuspecting private owners who mistakenly believe that their gold is held in trust.

Western central banks have pushed fractional gold reserve banking to the point that they haven’t enough reserves to cover withdrawals. Fractional reserve banking originated when medieval goldsmiths learned that owners of gold stored in their vault seldom withdrew the gold. Instead, those who had gold on deposit circulated paper claims to gold. This allowed goldsmiths to lend gold that they did not have by issuing paper receipts. This is what the Fed has done. The Fed has created paper claims to gold that does not exist in physical form and sold these claims in mass quantities in order to drive down the gold price. The paper claims to gold are a large multiple of the amount of actual gold available for delivery. The Royal Bank of India reports that the ratio of paper claims to gold exceed the amount of gold available for delivery by 93:1.

Fractional reserve systems break down when too many depositors or holders of paper claims present them for delivery. Breakdown is occurring in the Fed’s fractional bullion operation. In the last few years the Asian markets–specifically and especially the Chinese–are demanding actual physical delivery of the bullion they buy. This has created a sense of urgency among the Fed, Treasury and the bullion banks to utilize any means possible to flush out as many weak holders of gold as possible with orchestrated price declines in order to acquire physical gold that can be delivered to Asian buyers.

The $650 decline in the price of gold since it hit $1900 in September 2011 is the result of a manipulative effort designed both to protect the dollar from Quantitative Easing and to free up enough gold to satisfy Asian demands for delivery of gold purchases.

Around the time of the substantial drop in gold’s price in April, 2013, the Bank of England’s public records showed a 1300 tonne decline in the amount of gold being held in the BOE bullion vaults. This is a fact that has not been denied or reasonably explained by BOE officials despite several published inquiries. This is gold that was being held in custody but not owned by the Bank of England. The truth is that the 1300 tonnes is gold that was required to satisfy delivery demands from the large Asian buyers. It is one thing for the Fed or BOE to sell, lease or rehypothecate gold out of their vault that is being safe-kept knowing the entitled owner likely won’t ask for it anytime soon, but it is another thing altogether to default on a gold delivery to Asians demanding delivery.

Default on delivery of purchased gold would terminate the Federal Reserve’s ability to manipulate the gold price. The entire world would realize that the demand for gold greatly exceeds the supply, and the price of gold would explode upwards. The Federal Reserve would lose control and would have to abandon Quantitative Easing. Otherwise, the exchange value of the US dollar would collapse, bringing to an end US financial hegemony over the world.

Last April, the major takedown in the gold price began with Goldman Sachs issuing a “technical analysis” report with an $850 price target (gold was around $1650 at that time). Goldman Sachs also broadcast to every major brokerage firm and hedge fund in New York that gold was going to drop hard in price and urged brokers to get their clients out of all physical gold holdings and/or shares in physical gold trusts like GLD or CEF. GLD and CEF are trusts that purchase physical gold/silver bullion and issue shares that represent claims on the bullion holdings. The shares are marketed as investments in gold, but represent claims that can only be redeemed in very large blocks of shares, such as 100,000, and perhaps only by bullion banks. GLD is the largest gold ETF (exchange traded firm), but not the only one. The purpose of this announcement was to spur gold sales that would magnify the price effect of the short-selling of futures contracts. Heavy selling of futures contracts drove down the gold price and forced sales of GLD and other ETF shares, which were bought up by the bullion banks and redeemed for gold.

At the beginning of 2013, GLD held 1350 tonnes of gold. By April 12th, when the heavy intervention operation began, GLD held 1,154 tonnes. After the series of successive raids in April, the removal of gold from GLD accelerated and currently there are 793 tonnes left in the trust. In a little more than one year, more than 41% of the gold bars held by GLD were removed – most of that after the mid-April intervention operation.

In addition, the Bank of England made its gold available for purchase by the bullion banks in order to add to the ability to deliver gold to Asian purchasers.

The financial media, which is used to discredit gold as a safe haven from the printing of fiat currencies, claims that the decline in GLD’s physical gold is an indication that the public is rejecting gold as an investment. In fact, the manipulation of the gold price downward is being done systematically in order to coerce holders of GLD to unload their shares. This enables the bullion banks to accumulate the amount of shares required to redeem gold from the GLD Trust and ship that gold to Asia in order to meet the enormous delivery demands. For example, in the event described above on January 6th, 14% of GLD’s total volume for the day traded in a 1-minute period starting at 10:14 a.m. The total volume on the day for GLD was almost 35% higher than the average trading volume in GLD over the previous ten trading days.

Before 2013, the amount of gold in the GLD vault was one of the largest stockpiles of gold in the world. The swift decline in GLD’s gold inventory is the most glaring indicator of the growing shortage of physical gold supply that can be delivered to the Asian market and other large physical gold buyers. The more the price of gold is driven down in the Western paper gold market, the higher the demand for physical bullion in Asian markets. In addition, several smaller physical gold ETFs have experienced substantial gold withdrawals. Including the more than 100 tonnes of gold that has disappeared from the Comex vaults in the last year, well over 1,000 tonnes of gold has been removed from the various ETFs and bank custodial vaults in the last year. Furthermore, there is no telling how much gold that is kept in bullion bank private vaults on behalf of wealthy investors has been rehypothecated. All of this gold was removed in order to avoid defaulting on delivery demands being imposed by Asian commercial, investment and sovereign gold buyers.

The Federal Reserve seems to be trapped. The Fed is creating approximately 1,000 billion new US dollars annually in order to support the prices of debt related derivatives on the books of the few banks that have been declared to be “to big to fail” and in order to finance the large federal budget deficit that is now too large to be financed by the recycling of Chinese and OPEC trade surpluses into US Treasury debt. The problem with Quantitative Easing is that the annual creation of an enormous supply of new dollars is raising questions among American and foreign holders of vast amounts of US dollar-denominated financial instruments. They see their dollar holdings being diluted by the creation of new dollars that are not the result of an increase in wealth or GDP and for which there is no demand.

Quantitative Easing is a threat to the dollar’s exchange value. The Federal Reserve, fearful that the falling value of the dollar in terms of gold would spread into the currency markets and depreciate the dollar, decided to employ more extreme methods of gold price manipulation.

When gold hit $1,900, the Federal Reserve panicked. The manipulation of the gold price became more intense. It became more imperative to drive down the price, but the lower price resulted in higher Asian demand for which scant supplies of gold were available to meet.

Having created more paper gold claims than there is gold to satisfy, the Fed has used its dependent bullion banks to loot the gold exchange traded funds (ETFs) of gold in order to avoid default on Asian deliveries. Default would collapse the fractional bullion system that allows the Fed to drive down the gold price and protect the dollar from QE.

What we are witnessing is our central bank pulling out all stops on integrity and lawfulness in order to serve a small handful of banks that financial deregulation allowed to become “too big to fail” at the expense of our economy and our currency. When the Fed runs out of gold to borrow, to rehypothecate, and to loot from ETFs, the Fed will have to abandon QE or the US dollar will collapse and with it Washington’s power to exercise hegemony over the world.

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