Archive | July 7th, 2014

Watch: Zio-Nazi Jewish fascists chanting “Death to Arabs!” stop cars in Jerusalem to check occupants’ ethnicity

NOVANEWS

Zio-Nazi Jewish fascists have been roaming the streets of Jerusalem, chanting “Death to Arabs!” and stopping cars to check the ethnicity of their occupants.

According Adam Horowitz, writing in the Mondoweiss news website, the video above was shot on the night of 5 July by Ronnie Barkan in Jerusalem. He told Horowitz the locations were as follows:

PM residence, Hatulot square (downtown), en route to East Jerusalem (they didn’t enter East Jerusalem both coz they’re not SUCH idiots and secondly because the police used a stun grenade against them which made them step back)

As Horowitz says, “In perhaps the most frightening scene they start flagging down taxis presumably looking for Palestinian drivers (they let cars pass once they see a driver is Jewish).”

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Ukrainian Officials Press Charges on Russian News Agency’s Head

NOVANEWS
Print
Global Research

Ukraine has opened a criminal case against Director-General of the International Information News Agency Rossiya Segodnya Dmitry Kiselev, the head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said Friday.

“An investigation is under way on charges of financing terrorism, [and] assisting terrorist activities,” Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, who heads the SBU, told reporters.

In March, the European Union included Kiselev, a prominent Russian journalist and a host of the popular television program Vesti Nedeli (News of the Week), on a list of Russians barred from travelling, owning property or banking in the EU.

Kiselev said the sanctions against him threaten the rights of journalists around the world.

“It’s the last thing to impose sanctions against journalists,” the director general said, calling the EU decision “an outspoken attack on freedom of speech” that is “contrary to fundamental European human rights laws.”

The sanctions list also featured some prominent Russian politicians that the West has accused of being involved in Crimea’s reunification with Russia. Western officials have since threatened Moscow with further sanctions.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly said that the language of the sanctions is “inappropriate and counterproductive.”

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Today’s Oligarch Curtain of Lies, Theft, Death and Destruction Are Exposed As Never Before

NOVANEWS
Global Research

 

In psychology our belief system shapes our perceptions of the world around us, in fact becoming our very sense of reality. Our primary caregivers, most often our parents, project their view of us and their world onto us and we in turn internalize their views as our own sense of developing self and world view. In this last century the influence of mass media has also come to increasingly shape our world and self-concept. As adolescents and young adults we often change and modify our perceptions of the world based on our own interpersonal experience particularly with peers and movement to finding resonance with a more authentic, individuated self in relation to our surrounding world. But with time and more adult experience often comes an existential dilemma and/or crisis if and when we encounter growing dissonance between what we thought we knew and changing reality input increasingly at odds with our old world view.

Currently in America and many places throughout the world many of us are undergoing a fundamental change in our belief system as we come to realize what we have been taught as reality turns out anything but. Many of us on the planet are currently undergoing a mind-altering, transformative shift in how we view life and our world, in effect causing a simultaneous global shift of belief amongst a sizeable portion of the earth’s population. An unprecedented shift is moving away from what we humans have traditionally and historically been told is the truth to a state of mounting disbelief, skepticism and doubt in what our political leaders, mainstream media and educational systems have been feeding us since we were young. Today more and more people around the globe are waking up to the new emerging reality and insight that what we have historically been taught, socialized and raised to believe politically as the truth is but a crock of outright bullshit.

Trends and polls in recent years have documented this shift in world view consciousness, consistently showing a growing distrust toward the federal government in both the US and Europe. The Edelman poll from January this year found that nearly two out of three Americans distrust their government and the Reason-Rupe poll from April 2014 indicates three out of four Americans believe their politicians are corrupt. Last October Pew Research Center discovered that more than four out of five Americans do not trust their own government either at all or most of the time, a near all time high level for measuring government distrust.

Declaring results from last month’s parliamentary election a complete and utter failure for the European Union to become “the next United States of Europe,” (as European Commission Vice
President Viviane Reding refers to her EU government), a surging backlash of vehement anti-EU voters from all over Europe sent fringe elements from both the left and right to Brussels with the specific agenda to get rid of the European Union once and for all. The voters’ ire was heard from the stagnant economy of France and austerity-wary Greece, through Denmark all the way to Britain. A strong push for Ireland to opt out of the EU is in process. Many residents in especially southern Europe hit hardest with severe austerity measures imposed by powerful Germany are blaming the continental government. Oil-rich Scotland is even leading a separatist movement seeking independence from Britain. Many Europeans expressed contempt for big government that they blame for high unemployment and failed policies deemed unresponsive to meeting their localized needs. Beyond the US and Europe, more citizens around the globe are growing angrier with their elected officials, realizing politicians’ priority is to serve the needs of their oligarch puppet master over the needs of their own people.

Similar negative sentiments toward mainstream media also represent an across the boards distrust toward corporatized media coverage of world events. Recently more people are seeking alternative online news sources for their information in response to growing public awareness that corporate media has become a mere extension of the government as its chief propagandist disinformation outlet. Even such traditionally prestigious and reputable newspapers like the Washington Post, New York Times and Wall Street Journal are now regarded as in-bed, embedded journalism fused with the government. As such, last year’s June Gallup poll indicated that a whopping 80% of Americans aged 21 to 64 find mainstream media lacks credibility. All these results reflect a growing trend that an increasing segment of both the US and global population has come to believe and accept that they are systematically and regularly lied to and misinformed by their corrupt leaders in both government as well as corporate media.

As products of their social and cultural environments, humans raised in the West have been victims of a massive global brainwash forced into a world of duplicitous dualism to “choose” sides, of course choosing the political side of their own nation, culture, ethnicity and/or religion, conned into automatically accepting that their nation/culture/religion is far more righteous and superior in comparison to others on the opposing side.

Since World War II those of us in North America have been dished the demonized view of Communist nations Russia and China, and now with cold war part two in full swing, they have come full circle again at our so called enemies. Then after the fall of the Soviet empire, and the 9/11 neocon false flag attack, came the new US manufactured villain Osama bin Laden and his band of evil bad guys, the al Qaeda terrorist network. Always those who appear most foreign and different from us are deemed the bad guys of the world.

Fortunately over time this oversimplified, black and white rerun version of the world has been challenged and exposed as jingoistic bias and distortion of how our complicated world actually is. Many of us have intuitively known all along that as members of the same human species, the striking similarities of our common human nature that bind us together far outweigh whatever differences in culture, skin color, nationality, political ideology, global region or religion. What many of us are increasingly realizing both here in America as well as in other nations around the globe is that we have been purposely and methodically lied to and manipulated for a very long time. The education system in America is more about socializing, programming and brainwashing young people into becoming obedient, mindless, robotic adults than learning any real truth or learning to cultivate and use their critical faculties to seek the truth amidst the world of illusion.

This “us versus them,” “you’re either with us or against us” dichotomy has been forever used as an artificial manmade device to separate humans into an in-group versus out-group duality. Unfortunately it has been operating nonstop ever since cavemen first emerged from their caves and encountered other human tribes. Through human migration and modern technology of air travel and most recently internet travel, more than any time prior in man’s relative short history on earth, Canadian communications philosopher Marshall McLuhan’s concept of the world seen as a “global village” has shrunk the earth into a here and now everyday accepted reality.

As a result, in recent years the world view of nations and continents has become somewhat more homogenized, made more accessible by mass media technology that transcends both geography and culture. Learning and communicating with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds have brought the world closer. That said, conversely the earth today is geopolitically moving rapidly toward more fragmented polarization, driven by a single globalization economy owned, controlled and operated by a global oligarchy. Its perverse vision of a New World Order currently has much of the global population brainwashed to fear, mistrust, hate and kill each other with unparalleled potential. But not all of us are being fooled by such divisively spun projections from a shadowy elite madly pulling their deceptive spin levers cloaked behind their gold curtain. An honest look at what is actually happening now around the world exposes the oligarch agenda to purposely increase worldwide tension, division and conflict.

Last February’s notorious power grabbing political coup pulled off by the US in Ukraine installing a weak, corrupt and vicious fascist government certainly was no accident. Neither was the IMF loan immediately slapped on the Ukrainian people. Neither is the current civil war raging in eastern Ukraine where government forces are committing war atrocities and ethnic cleansing against a majority population of ethnic Russians. Nor for that matter is the ongoing political crisis occurring this entire year long in Venezuela a mere random accident.

By carefully orchestrated design, the US-EU-NATO alliance is obediently carrying out the oligarch high command to destabilize, polarize and militarize every continent on earth, pitting regional adversaries against each other in a global offensive with the West jabbing and baiting the East into military conflict from the Arctic to every corner of the globe. Right now in Asia tensions are mounting between China and North Korea on the one side and on the other US allied neighbors Japan, South Korea, Philippines and Vietnam where a new US naval base is planned.

Then there is the perennial hotbed of a mess exploding right now in the Middle East. The same war pattern has been raging in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. And with covert predator drone operations likewise going on for years in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, the US is extending its imperialistic military foothold and hegemony further south with Special Operations stretching deep into Sub-Saharan Africa.

For well over three years Washington has been using US taxpayer dollars to arm, bankroll and train al Qaeda extremist militants throughout the Middle East and Africa to fight as its proxy mercenaries against Syrian leader Assad’s government forces as an obvious precursor to launching war against Syria’s foremost ally Iran. Obama just pledged another half billion dollars in arms to those same al Qaeda rebels in Syria.

But recently with the Syrian army gaining the upper hand, Washington made the decision to seek yet another regime change in Iraq, sending the so called Islamic Soldiers of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) sweeping downward from Syria into Iraq, taking over every major city in that country except the Shiite stronghold in the capital Baghdad. A major bloodbath awaits as the sectarian civil war America created years ago shifts into bloody regime-change overdrive. The US is guilty of backing both opposing sides in Iraq, ISIS and its weak Maliki puppet government, not unlike how oligarchs back both Republicans and Democrats using the old, highly effective, deceptive divide and conquer strategy.

Of course a similar situation in Afghanistan has the Taliban enemy controlling most of the nation’s territory, waiting six more months for US troops to withdraw by the end of the year. The 9800 US designated soldiers left behind will supposedly be in an advisory role for the Afghan National Army. The US war on drugs has bolstered the pockets of both the US drug smuggling operation as well as raising millions of dollars for the Taliban cause that controls the poppy field heroin production. The current undoing of ten years of costly American war and occupation of Iraq will more than likely be replicated in Afghanistan in 2015 as the surging Taliban will then be closing in on the capital Kabul.

In the meantime, virtually every other so called Arab spring CIA-Special Ops-induced regime change has been disastrous for the native populations. For example, in Egypt a third US supported government is run by an over-the-top, oppressive military dictatorship. Meanwhile, the US has created a highly chaotic, lawless, and violent failed state now in Libya. The oligarch planetary vision of destabilizing every Third World nation on earth is currently working according to plan now at an accelerated pace.

In recent decades America has moved from a corporatized pseudo-democracy to a full fledge oligarchy where oligarchs owning the most powerful transnational corporations have merged with virtually all national governments, regardless of ideology and culture. More than ever these days, money buys power. No longer does the US President, the US Congress, nor the US Supreme Court represent the interests of the American people but as hand-picked players operating within a corrupt oligarchy, they are all beholding to the powerbrokers that have made them their political puppets in charge of doing their evil bidding. As such, virtually all of the key political players today are treasonous traitors guilty of betraying the US Constitution that under oath they all swore to protect and uphold, and also betraying US citizens for failing to represent the very people who voted them into power.

Through the process of globalization and privatization, a parallel process to America has been unfolding with nearly every nation and national government on every continent on earth. Deploying US-EU-NATO power, the oligarchs have had their way with all governments. Thus the people on this planet have little to no say or power over their lives since a morally bankrupt global economic system of indentured servitude and slavery keep people drowning in insurmountable debt. These days people find themselves working longer and harder for less money just to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table for their families. However, in this growing era of severe global austerity and impoverishment, increasing pressures of providing for their families have too many people barely able to survive, and regretfully many around the globe are not.

Mounting inequality and disparity between the rich and poor are also accelerating to unprecedented levels globally. The elite 1% of oligarchs and their power-broking stewards continue growing exceedingly richer at the expense of the rest of us have-nots on the planet. War, poverty and illness are becoming the new normal far beyond Third World nations. EU countries throughout southern Europe as well as the US are on an ominous fast track to economic collapse. Led by cold war enemies and strongest BRICS nations Russia and China, a growing international movement is afoot to dump the US dollar as the standard international currency, which amounts to an approaching fiscal cliff for America.

Over 40% and rising of America’s adult working age population have not been working when the real unemployment rate include the growing masses who stopped looking for jobs that no longer exist for them. During the last couple decades, mothers as single parents have been struggling to raise America’s children, for the first time replacing the two parent nuclear family as head of household majority. More than half of US adults up to age 25 still live with their parents. But due to increasing financial necessity, a growing trend of even older adults and their children are being forced to move back in with parents at never before seen rates. US college students and young graduates today are mired in college loan debt now exceeding a trillion dollars, as of 2010 even surpassing the nation’s credit card debt. Upwardly mobile progress is long gone in America as the younger adult generations now for the first time can no longer expect to enjoy the same higher standard of living as their parents. The fast changing sociological economic dynamics of the family structure and how younger generations of Americans are being raised in an increasing climate of uncertainty and despair is far different and far bleaker than all previous generations throughout American history.

Without a manufacturing sector left in the US and a decimated middle class from funding an overstretched American Empire waging too many wars around the world, America is a debtor nation dependent as a consumer society on cheap outsourced products mostly from China. US permanent war policy with its conveniently fabricated “war on terror” has drained the middle class during a severe recession still floundering without recovery, chiefly caused by greedy banksters and Wall Street criminals who further gouged already emaciated taxpayers with enormous “too big to fail” bailouts. The national priority in the US has clearly been to not take care of its own citizens but instead wage the longest running wars in US history to ensure that the military security complex as the sole profiteers of war get filthily richer while reeking havoc all over the world with destabilizing regime changes, massive death and global destruction.

Meanwhile, the overburdened middle class shrinks to an all time low as the poor in America reach an all time high while decaying inner city war zones and rotting domestic infrastructure remain long neglected disasters waiting to happen. As a result of all this blatant theft, gross mismanagement of dwindling resources and pervasive criminal malfeasance, America is hopelessly stalled and a long ways from recovering from the 2008 bubble burst. Since 2008 the world’s total government debt has increased by 40% while the largest bailed out banks have grown by a hefty 37% just in the last six years alone. Yet for all its criminal theft and human suffering caused, not one bankster or corporate executive has been indicted or gone to prison for nearly bankrupting the richest, most powerful nation on earth.

Meanwhile, predatory worldwide IMF and world bank loans have opportunistically straight-jacketed Third World nations into debts they have no chance of repaying, leaving them defenseless against their homelands being plundered by predatory privatizing transnationals bent on extracting and stealing every last ounce of underground natural resource available on the planet.

This calculated, sinister process of globalization, privatization and increasing militarization bringing more wars to the planet is all part of the preplanned oligarch agenda to literally squeeze the life out of the world’s population of seven billion people, eugenically thinning the human herd down to anywhere from just a meagerhalf to one billion people. This means that up to 13 out of 14 of us currently living on planet earth right now are slated to be mass murdered within the next few years. This is how the oligarchic plan for a New World Order will be fulfilled, complete with implanted micro-chips in the less than a billion people left on earth as the calculated number of humans still needed to serve as the oligarch’s subservient lackey class. This is their diabolical agenda currently being methodically executed to make life on planet earth over the long haul more sustainable for them and them only.

With all this increasing theft, death and destruction on every continent reaching such an explosive, unprecedented scale where World War III is all but impending, by now every alert citizen of the world should recognize what a handful of wealthy oligarch families have been doing for centuries to this planet – manipulating and enslaving the global masses through centuries of imperialist empire hegemony and controlling international economies at will though war making.

How can so few number of humans control and willfully destroy so many humans? Very evilly as psychopaths. But then they have had centuries of practice, skillfully, secretively operating in back shadows, using their puppet front men as their government leaders to lie constantly to the people. And of course for quite awhile they have had mass media bombarding us with nonstop lies, propaganda, disinformation and deceit just to make certain populations are kept in the dark. Today with big sports, video games, celebrity worship and digital toys galore, their ploy is to keep the masses distracted and ignorant of what has been really going on for a very, very long time. Through whitewashed history books that purposely cover up this same dark truth through the ages, Americans have long been brainwashed and mesmerized into accepting their illusion of democracy, equality, freedom and justice, but for only a few, not all of us as we were always led to believe.

But as demonstrated most recently by the world focus on the latest annual Bilderberg gathering in Copenhagen, the oligarchs are unable to pull the strings from afar any longer without our noticing. Though they wield ultimate power over all the most prominent governments and corporations on earth, there are seven billion human beings who are beginning to wake up now and are onto their evil agenda. Oligarchs taking notice and fast becoming nervous as their Oz-like curtain is finally being lifted once and for all. And behind that curtain we find a handful of wrinkled, prune faced, feeble old white men who look like Mr. Burns on the Simpsons still calling all the shots, but ultimately exposed naked like never before. With more and more of us world citizens every single day becoming aware of their vicious and heinous crimes against humanity, against all of us on this earth, like never before we are in a unique position of burgeoning power to call them on their diabolical plan and evildoing.

We have at our collective disposal much more power than we even know at this relatively early stage of mindful resistance. As globally aware, ethically-motivated, humane and compassionate citizens of the world, we possess the opportunity to finally break free of the shackles that have stifled and enslaved humanity for far too long. Overwhelming similarities are currently binding us earthlings together as richly diverse members of the same humanoid family as well as like minded world citizen-activists committed to doing our collective active best in bringing about peace and justice to our ailing, only planet, before the handful of hugely outnumbered oligarchs destroy everything we hold most dear and sacred. It is up to us ordinary decent people to recognize the truth and bravely act on that truth in unified solidarity for the sake of preserving life on earth in the way that God intended. Again, our beliefs and our actions will determine our reality.

 

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Iraqi Hydrocarbon Prize of U.S. Invasion in Danger?

NOVANEWS
Global Research

Excluding “boots on the ground” and leaving combat missions to local and regional “partners,” President Barak Obama and his administration say the United States keeps “all options on the table” to respond militarily to the terrorists’ threat to “American interests” in Iraq, which are now in “danger.”

Similarly, former UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, on TV screens and in print has recently urged western governments to “put aside the differences of the past and act now” and to intervene militarily in Iraq “to save the future” because “we do have interests in this.”

Both men refrained from indicating what are exactly the “American” and “western” interests in Iraq that need military intervention to defend, but the major prize of their invasion of Iraq in 2003 was the country’s hydrocarbon assets. There lies their “interests.

On June 13 however, Obama hinted to a possible major “disruption” in Iraqi oil output and urged “other producers in the Gulf” to be “able to pick up the slack.”

The United States has already moved the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush, escorted by the guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea and the guided-missile destroyer USS Truxtun, from the northern Arabian Sea into the Arabian Gulf (Persian according to Iran) “to protect American lives, citizens and interests in Iraq,” according to Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman, on June 14. Media is reporting that U.S. intelligence units and air reconnaissance are already operating in Iraq.

The unfolding collapse of the U.S. proxy government in Baghdad has cut short a process of legalizing the de-nationalization of the hydrocarbon industry in Iraq, which became within reach with the latest electoral victory of the Iraqi prime minister since 2006, Noori al-Maliki.Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki

Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-MalikiAnti-American armed resistance to the U.S. proxy ruling regime in Baghdad, especially the Baath-led backbone, is on record as seeking to return to the status quo ante with regard to the country’s strategic hydrocarbon assets, i.e. nationalization.

De-nationalization and privatization of the Iraqi oil and gas industry began with the U.S.-led invasion of the country in 2003. Al-Maliki for eight years could not pass a hydrocarbons law through the parliament. Popular opposition and a political system based on sectarian distribution of power and “federal” distribution of oil revenues blocked its adoption. Ruling by political majority instead by sectarian consensus was al-Maliki’s declared hope to enact the law.

Al-Maliki’s plans towards this end together with his political ambitions for a third term were cut short by the fall to armed opposition on this June 10 of Mosul, the capital of the northern Ninawa governorate and second only to Baghdad as Iraq’s largest metropolitan area.

Three days on, with the fighting moving on to the gates of Baghdad, “the most important priority for Baghdad right now is to secure its capital and oil infrastructure,” a Stratfor analysis on June 11 concluded.

The raging war in Iraq now will determine whether Iraqi hydrocarbons are a national asset or multinational loot. Any U.S. military support to the regime it installed in Baghdad should be viewed within this context. Meanwhile this national wealth is still being pillaged as spoils of war.

Al-Maliki is not now preoccupied even with maintaining Iraq as OPEC’s No. 2 oil producer, but with maintaining a level of oil output sufficient to bring in enough revenues to finance a defensive war that left his capital besieged and his government with southern Iraq only to rule, may be not for too long.

Even this modest goal is in doubt. Al-Maliki is left with oil exports from the south only, the disruption of which is highly possible any time now.

Worries that fighting would spread to the southern city of Basra or Baghdad have already sent oil prices to nine-month high on Thursday.

Legalizing the de-nationalization of Iraqi hydrocarbon industry has thus become more elusive than it has ever been since 2003.

On June 1 forty two years ago the process of the nationalization of the hydrocarbon industry kicked off in Iraq. Now Iraq is an open field for looting its only strategic asset.

On April 15 last year the CNN, reviewing “The Iraq war, 10 years on,” reported: “Yes, the Iraq War was a war for oil, and it was a war with winners: Big Oil.”

“Before the 2003 invasion, Iraq’s domestic oil industry was fully nationalized and closed to Western oil companies. A decade of war later, it is largely privatized and utterly dominated by foreign firms,” the CNN report concluded, indicating that, “From ExxonMobil and Chevron to BP and Shell, the West’s largest oil companies have set up shop in Iraq. So have a slew of American oil service companies, including Halliburton, the Texas-based firm Dick Cheney ran before becoming George W. Bush’s running mate in 2000.

The international rush for the Iraqi “black gold” by trans-national oil and gas corporations is at its height with no national law or competent central authority to regulate it.

Iraq’s “oil industry” now “operates, gold rush–style, in an almost complete absence of oversight or regulation,” Greg Muttitt wrote in The Nation on August 23, 2012.

Nothing changed since except that the “rush” was accelerating and the de-nationalization process was taking roots, squandering the bloody sacrifices of the Iraqis over eighty two years to uproot the foreign hold on their major strategic asset. The ongoing fighting is threatening to cut this process short.

Tip of iceberg

Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq has been awarding hydrocarbon contracts to foreign firms independently without reference to the central government in Baghdad.

pipeline

Since early 2014, it has been pumping crude to Turkey via its own independent pipeline built last December. On this June 4, Turkey and the KRG announced the signing of a 50-year deal to export Iraqi oil from Kurdistan via Turkey.

Hussein al-Shahristani, Iraq’s deputy prime minister, threatened legal action against firms that purchased “smuggled oil” via the Turkish-KRG arrangements; he accused Turkey of “greed” and trying “to lay (its) hands on cheap Iraqi oil.

Baghdad filed for arbitration against Turkey’s state-owned pipeline operator BOTAS with the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris.

Baghdad says those Turkish-KRG arrangements are illegal and unconstitutional, but its own contract awarding is also unlawful. Should a change of guard occur in Baghdad, al-Maliki and his government would be held accountable and probably prosecuted.

The dispute between Baghdad on the one hand and Turkey and the KRG on the other is only the surfacing tip of the iceberg of the “gold rush–style” looting of Iraq’s national wealth.

One of the main priorities of al-Maliki all along has been to legalize the de-nationalization and privatization process.

Muttitt, author of Fuel on the Fire: Oil and Politics in Occupied Iraq, wrote a few months before al-Maliki assumed his first premiership that American and British governments made sure the candidates for prime minister knew what their first priority had to be: To pass a law legalizing the return of the foreign multinationals. This would be the vital biggest prize of the U.S. 2003 invasion.

Al-Maliki is the right man to secure a pro-privatization government in Baghdad. Thomas L. Friedman described him in the New York Times on this June 4 as “our guy,” “an American-installed autocrat” and a “big gift” the U.S. occupation “left behind in Iraq.”

Various drafts of hydrocarbon privatization laws failed to gain consensus among the proxy sectarian parties to the U.S.-engineered “political process” and the “federal” entities of Iraq’s U.S.-drafted constitution.

Al-Maliki’s government endorsed the first draft of a privatization law in February 2007 and on August 28, 2011 endorsed an amended draft which the parliament has yet to adopt.

Iraqi trade unions, amid popular protests, opposed and fought the privatization draft laws. Their offices were raided, computers confiscated, equipment smashed and their leaders arrested and prosecuted. Nonetheless, the parliament could not pass the law.

Al-Maliki government began awarding contracts to international oil and gas giants without a law in place. They are illegal contracts, but valid as long as there is a pro-privatization government in Baghdad.

U.S. Executive Order 13303

Former British and U.S. leaders of the invasion of Iraq, Tony Blair and George Bush junior, were on record to deny that the invasion had anything to do with oil, but the U.S. President Barak Obama has just refuted their claim.

On last May 16, Obama signed an Executive Order to extend the national emergency with respect to Iraq for one year. His predecessor Bush signed this “order” for the first time on May 22, 2003 “to deal with the … threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by obstacles to the continued reconstruction of Iraq.”

Details of Bush’s Executive Order (EO) No. 13303 are still kept out of media spotlight. It declared that future legal claims on Iraq’s oil wealth constitute “an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.”

Section 1(b) eliminates all judicial process for “all Iraqi petroleum and petroleum products, and interests therein, and proceeds, obligations or any financial instruments of any nature whatsoever arising from or related to the sale or marketing thereof, and interests therein, in which any foreign country or a national thereof has any interest, that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of United States persons.”

EO 13303 was rubber-stamped by the UN Security Council Resolution No. 1483, which protected the U.S.-controlled governmental institutions in Iraq.

Muttitt wrote in August 2012:

“In 2011, after nearly nine years of war and occupation, U.S. troops finally left Iraq. In their place, Big Oil is now present in force.”

“Big Oil” is now the only guarantor of the survival of the U.S. proxy government in Baghdad, but the survival of “Big Oil” itself is now threatened by the escalating and rapidly expanding armed opposition.

Obama said the “threats” and “obstacles” to U.S, interests in Iraq have not changed eleven years after the invasion; Iraq has not enacted yet a hydrocarbon law to legalize the privatization of its oil and gas industry.

The developments of the last week in Iraq vindicate Obama’s renewal of EO 13303. The U.S. war on Iraq is not over and it is not won yet. Hence Obama’s recent extension of the national emergency with respect to Iraq for one year.

Since Great Britain granted Iraq its restricted independence in 1932, the nationalization of Iraqi oil wealth was the national and popular battle cry for complete sovereignty. It is now the battle cry of the armed opposition.

Iraq has been targeted by western powers since the “republic” under the late Abd al-Karim Qasim enacted law No. 80 of 1961, which deprived foreign companies of the right to explore in 99.5% of the Iraqi territory, but mainly since the Baath regime led by the late Saddam Hussein decided to nationalize the hydrocarbon industry on June 1, 1972.

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Has Iran’s Internet Been “Seized” by US Courts?

NOVANEWS

Tyler Cullis

 

Iran Internet

Washington, DC – Last week, a number of media outlets reported that a U.S. court had ordered that Iran’s Internet be “seized” and handed over to Israeli and American victims of terrorism in order to be auctioned off to pay for damages against the Iranian government. The prospect that all Iranian domains and IP addresses would be deemed Iranian government property and handed over to settle claims against the government would deal a serious blow to advocates of an open Internet in Iran who already have long faced significant opposition from Iran’s government. The implications for ordinary Iranians’ access to the Internet could be severe.

In reality, most press reports got the story wrong. Lawyers indeed issued a subpoena for ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) to turn over all documents that list and reference contracts and agreements with Iran’s government and all Top Level Domains (TLDs) and IP addresses issued to Iran. This is part of the normal discovery process in civil lawsuits. While these lawyers may seek to claim that any contract payments between Iran and ICANN be diverted to plaintiffs or that Iran’s TLDs and IP addresses are assets of the Iranian government and subject to seizure, no court decision has yet been made on the matter.

The lawyers’ claim is part of a civil lawsuit brought against Iran’s Government and its Ministry of Intelligence and Security [MOIS] following a 1995 bus bombing in the Gaza Strip. Victims – which included a US citizen living in Israel who was on the bus and injured in the attack – sued Iran’s Government and the MOIS for providing material support to Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the group held responsible for the attack. In 2006, a US federal court agreed with plaintiffs and found Iran co-responsible for the bombing. Later, the court awarded the victims $300 million in damages, recoverable against Iranian Government assets.

However, finding US-based assets of Iran’s Government has proven difficult. This difficulty has produced novel legal claims, including one last year in which lawyers claimed that the Persepolis tablets belonged to Iran’s Government and thus was subject to seizure and sale. A US federal court correctly rejected the claim.

But this is a troubling development. While the lawyers represent victims of a heinous act of terrorism, it would be a further injustice were the lawyers to succeed on their claim that Iran’s Internet belongs to Iran’s Government. While Iranians have proven adept at maneuvering around government censors, cutting Iranians off from the Internet would threaten not just hopes for an open Internet in Iran but also the widely shared interest in ensuring ordinary people in Iran can connect to the global community.

NIAC will follow developments in this case – Haim, et. al. v. Islamic Republic of Iran – closely in the months ahead.

Posted in USA, IranComments Off on Has Iran’s Internet Been “Seized” by US Courts?

Europe Experts Concerned Congress Could Scuttle Iran Nuclear Deal

NOVANEWS

NIAC Staff

NIAC Staff

“If there is a nuclear deal, one of the key obstacles could be the U.S. Congress that prevents the implementation [of sanctions relief] from happening successfully,” said Ellie Geranmayeh, European Council on Foreign Relations Policy Fellow, speaking at a NIAC briefing for Congressional staffers. “This is an issue that Iranians are thinking about; Europeans are increasingly starting thinking about it.”

“It is an ugly scenario,” said Dr. Cornelius Adebahr, Associate Fellow, German Council on Foreign Relations. “If everything is in place except a continuation of sanctions waivers or a permanent agreement on the U.S. side, it will be very hard for Europeans to side with the Americans.” Adebahr outlined how Europe could unwind sanctions in a recent report, and noted the difficulties that Europe would face if Congress blocked relief on the U.S. side.

Geranmayeh, who recently authored a report on how Europe can maximize the chances of a nuclear deal, suggested that Europe would have to consider standing up to new Congressional action, as it did in 1990s when Congress passed the Iran Sanctions Act. “[I]f Europeans do not take a more active approach in the scenario where the U.S President is on board with a deal with Iran but the U.S. legislation is not,” she said, “are they going be setting a precedent going forward with the Congress that they can deal with Europe in this manner?”

Adebahr said that “the E.U. will most likely lift sanctions” if there is a deal. “The E.U. imposes and lifts sanctions by the council decision … it takes as much as 10 days to prepare a legal decision on sanction relief.”

However, many expect that the U.S. would issue temporary waivers for sanctions at the Administration level, rather than lifting sanctions permanently – which would require an act of Congress. This prospect could create uncertainty for private companies to take advantage of any relief.

“If there is further hesitation [after a final agreement],” said Adebahr, “then the Western partners must deal with it, because ultimately Iran, in return for their positive actions, would count on economic activity.”

Private companies, said Adebahr, “need political, if not legal, certainty that they will not be sanctioned in future.” Private firms have hesitated to take advantage of the sanctions relief of the interim nuclear agreement with Iran, he said, because they are still afraid of harsh potential consequences.

According to Geranmayeh, “[W]e need to give our European companies the certainty that they can actually trade with Iranian companies without having the U.S. treasury on their case the entire time.”

“[T]here is real thinking that Iran for the European business sector is by far the most lucrative potential in the whole Middle East and North Africa region,” said Ms. Geranmayeh. “However in the last six months they faced the U.S. treasury threatening to come down like a ton of breaks on them.”

If Congress prevents the U.S. from providing promised sanctions relief, Adebahr said it would undermine the entire case for the sanctions. “The logic of sanctions is not only in imposing them but… what you get when you lift them,” he said. “Lifting sanctions at a given moment is part of the rationale of imposing sanctions.”

Posted in Europe, IranComments Off on Europe Experts Concerned Congress Could Scuttle Iran Nuclear Deal

America and Iran Face the Future – in Iraq

NOVANEWS

Reza Marashi

The United States’ 2003 invasion of Iraq was the strategic mistake of a generation, with a long tail of consequence. It shook the foundation of the status quo in the Middle East and forced everyone, including the U.S. and Iran, to re-evaluate their respective positions. Today’s crisis in Iraq involving the Arab Sunni extremist group the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is hardly the first time that Washington and Tehran have re-evaluated their positions publicly. Without greater collaboration between the two, it will hardly be the last. After eleven years of pursuing zero-sum security strategies in Iraq, both sides are slowly admitting that they have badly overreached.

A member of Kurdish security forces takes his position during an intensive security deployment and a patrol looking for militants of ISIL, on the outskirts of Mosul

A member of Kurdish security forces patrols for ISIS militants on the outskirts of Mosul, Iraq. June 22, 2014. Azad Lashkari/Reuters/Corbis

It has long been clear that Washington’s overreach in Iraq was the invasion itself. Everything since has been blowback and damage control. ISIS’s rise in Iraq and Syria is yet another reminder to Washington that the real threat of Islamic extremism does not emanate from Iran, but rather from Sunni extremists that make up a small but determined minority. This is a lesson that should have been clear to Washington after ISIS predecessor Al-Qaeda attacked the United States in 2001.

Only recently, Iran’s overreach has come into focus: By seeking to advance its interests in concert with allies at the expense of other foreign and domestic players, the Al-Maliki government has lost control of more than a quarter of the country. Sunnis and Kurds continue to take steps that threaten Iraq’s long-term territorial integrity. Instability in the Middle East has been known to transcend borders, and for its part, Iran has no interests in an anti-Iranian, anti-Shia political or military movement establishing any sort of lasting presence next door.

Until recently, both sides operated in Iraq under the same false premise: If you provide assistance from a position of weakness, the other side interprets it as giving in—and you get negative results. This exacerbated the deterioration of security in Iraq to the point where Washington and Tehran are now choosing between bad and worse. The danger of an Iraq beleaguered by political, religious and ethnic dysfunction with a low desire to project power abroad is preferable to anti-American, anti-Iranian militias seeking a caliphate from which they can carry out their stated desire to attack both America and Iran.

Identifying their shared interests in Iraq is the easy part. Now comes the hard part: addressing shared interests requires some series of shared actions. To build any coalition that can win against ISIS—or anyone else with a similar modus operandi—Washington and Tehran both need the support of key power brokers in Iraq, and that includes one another.

For over a decade, the predominant train of thought in Washington and Tehran has been avoiding compromise because each side ostensibly enjoyed plenty of maneuverability and other options to choose from. When one side’s influence began to rise, the others’ would shrink. The escalating crisis in Iraq—combined with growing regional instability—has rendered this assumption untenable.

Rather than support or ignore a power vacuum that the Kurds, Saudis, Turks, ISIS, and other extremist groups will increasingly seek to fill, compromise is clearly the lesser of two evils. Both sides have long held valuable cards to play in collaboration with one another if a shared interest in dialogue came to the fore: valuable intelligence, deep contacts with key political players, and influence within Iraq’s complex tribal and religious networks.

Working together to stabilize Iraq politically can reinforce the fragile power sharing arrangement between Shias, Sunnis and Kurds, as well as provide a greater degree of accountability over all three sides and their use of religious and ethnic differences to advance political agendas. It would also be a huge step toward finally acknowledging an inconvenient truth: both sides become more antagonistic when they are not acknowledged as a stabilizing force in the region.

Perhaps most importantly, shared action in Iraq can provide a platform for the future—a future in which Washington and Tehran are able to engage in tactical or strategic collaboration without making headlines around the world. If shared interests are acknowledged and acted upon, the strategic significance of such a shift will likely force their conflicting ideologies to take a backseat to geopolitical realities.

For example, Washington should use this opportunity to test Tehran’s willingness to cease lethal support for anti-U.S. groups in Iraq. Tehran should respond in kind by testing Washington’s willingness to use Iraq as an incubator for building positive strategic relations. Clearly defined rules of the game in Iraq can help avoid inadvertently fighting one another, facilitate intelligence-sharing cooperation and coordination on the capture of ISIS fighters, and provide a template that can be used to varying degrees in Syria, Afghanistan, and other regional conflicts.

Skeptics in Washington often point to Ayatollah Khamenei and General Qassem Soleimani as prime examples of Iran’s opposition to the idea of a strategic opening to the United States. This assessment is less than honest. Both men have long insisted that any opening on regional security issues must address both Iranian and American concerns. Any Iranian offers of assistance to the U.S. will be packaged with an Iranian insistence on exacting a price up front. Iran will not aid American interests in Iraq without linking its assistance to America aiding Iranian interests – and frankly, Washington operates on the same premise.

American and Iranian soldiers will not be fighting side by side anytime soon, but it has long been clear that the two sides need a sustained private channel to understand and influence their respective decision-making processes – if such a private channel does not already exist. When American generals say that collaboration is possible and Iranian generals say it’s impossible, that usually means it’s already happening at some level. Discussing Iraq on the sidelines of nuclear negotiations in Vienna was a positive step, but much more needs to be done to stabilize Iraq before its political, economic and social foundations crumble.

It is fair to point out that Washington and Tehran are still at odds on many issues. But to truly be fair, one must also acknowledge the slowly increasing receptivity to discussing those matters systematically in an effort to resolve their outstanding issues. Durable political solutions require the buy-in of those with the capacity to spoil them. Now more than ever, the U.S. and Iran must find common cause in stability—in Iraq and the region at large. Neither side can produce a durable victory when key players are excluded from the dialogue.

Posted in USA, Iran, IraqComments Off on America and Iran Face the Future – in Iraq

What’s Iran Doing in Iraq?

NOVANEWS
Reza Marashi

Chaos often breeds opportunity, and nowhere is this more apparent than in today’s Iraq. Less apparent, however, is how key actors are approaching the opportunity. Iran is a prime example. Recent headlines have run the gamut: “Iran is putting boots on the ground!” “Iran is sending drones!” “Will Iran and America collaborate?!” While it is fair to dig deeper into these issues, individually they don’t tell the full story–because on their own, they are each subcomponents of a bigger picture: Iran’s strategy in Iraq.

iraqi

Iraqi Shiite men support Ayatollah Sistani’s call to arms

Strategy can be a funny word sometimes when applied to Iran. Besides the inevitable argument over interests versus ideology, the Iranian government has long sought to conceal its decision-making processes from foreign powers, and thus appear unpredictable. But in Iraq, we have 11 years of Iranian actions that provide critical insight into what Iran is doing–and why. As Shakespeare once quipped: “What’s past is prologue.”

Compared to other countries, Iran still appears to have the most cards to play in Iraq. But it is also clear that Iran has badly overreached. By seeking to advance its interests in concert with Iraqi allies at the expense of other foreign and domestic players, the Maliki government helped give rise to ISIS; lost control of more than a quarter of the country with continued threats to territorial integrity; deeply alienated Sunnis and Kurds; and now runs the risk of falling from power altogether. There is no guarantee that Iran can help put Iraq back together, but its plan is to try.

Why does Iran want to keep Iraq whole? Four reasons stand out above all else. The first two are self-explanatory: An officially independent Kurdistan on its border threatens to destabilize Iran’s (as well as Turkey and Syria’s) own restive Kurdish population. Also, Iran has learned the hard way that fragmentation begets instability leaking across its border. Tens of thousands of Iraqi refugees have fled to Iran. Unofficial estimates put the number much higher.

Equally important but less understood is that a unified Iraq maximizes Iran’s ability to project power. Breaking Iraq into three states will require Iran to triple its resource expenditure and heighten its threat perception–especially vis-à-vis a militant Sunni extremist statelet. Also, Iran opposes redrawing the map of the Middle East because it is not seeking more territory. Redrawing borders according to the grievances– real or perceived–of minority communities opens a Pandora’s box that threatens the stability of Iran and all Arab countries. It is not a coincidence that Israel is pushing for Kurdish independence in Iraq.

This begs the question: How will Iran try to keep Iraq whole?

The lowest hanging fruit has been working to unite Iraq’s various Shia factions. Doing so in a sustained fashion will inevitably have to include a far less sectarian approach by both Iran and Prime Minister Maliki. However, the problem is less about Maliki and more about sectarianism across the political, religious and ethnic spectrum. Maliki is certainly guilty of this counterproductive approach–but so too are leaders of Iraq’s other religious and ethnic groups.

Privately, Iran has been critical of Maliki on both a tactical and strategic level–both of which center on his overly sectarian governance. This highlights an important aspect of Iran’s strategy: it’s less concerned with Maliki or any specific individual in Iraqi politics, and more concerned with protecting Iran’s geostrategic position and Shia brethren. Iran is not wedded to Maliki, but rather to the current Shia-led power structure in place that ensures its interests in Iraq are achieved. If Maliki proves to be a liability, Iran is willing to cut off the head of the snake in order to save the body. Working to unite Iraq’s Shia factions–with our without Maliki at the helm–ensures that Iran maximizes the levers of power at its disposal to secure its interests.

It has also become increasingly clear to some Iranian decision-makers that they haven’t done enough to facilitate the process of political, economic and social coexistence in Iraq. The resulting instability now threatens Iranian interests across the board. To remedy this, Iran is exploring the feasibility of boosting coordination between united Shia factions and Iraqi Kurds. This, in turn, provides the leverage that will be necessary when the time comes to cut a deal with the broader Sunni community in Iraq.

As ISIS has advanced, it has sharpened the focus of Iraq’s fractious political forces: Unless they rally together, no side can individually squash ISIS’ violent dissent. Iran knows this, and it has conveyed firm messages to each side. Iraqi Shias have been encouraged to follow through on Ayatollah Sistani’s call to arms for all Iraqis by rearming and boosting collaboration among each other, as well as across sectarian lines.

Iran has encouraged Iraqi Kurds to gravitate more towards the central government in Baghdad because their alternatives to greater cooperation within the current power structure are deeply unattractive. Tehran has reminded their Kurdish counterparts that they have an incentive to collaborate with a more unified Shia faction because steps in the opposite direction will meet stiff resistance: it’s only a matter of time before ISIS brings violence into Kurdish-controlled areas, and Washington, Ankara, and Tehran do not have a track record of supporting outright Kurdish independence.

Most interestingly, Iraqi Sunnis have been told that the time has come for tough decisions: embrace the current government structure in return for concrete assurances on greater inclusion, or embrace ISIS and the political, economic and social disasters that will follow.

Right now, all sides appear to be negotiating, but the bottom line is clear: ISIS threatens everyone in Iraq–Shia, Sunni and Kurd. And Iran sees that as ISIS’ biggest mistake. Nothing brings together nationalistic politicians with deep sectarian tendencies like a common enemy. Iran is seeking to leverage this threat perception convergence into a mutually agreed upon social contract based on security. If that common denominator can be established, it provides the foundation from which the countless other issues facing Iraq can be hashed out.

This, of course, is the ideal scenario for Tehran. But if all else fails, it will fall back on its long-tested approach: exploiting instability and divisions. After revolution, eight years of war, varying degrees of diplomatic isolation, and economic strangulation, Iran has a demonstrated inclination for managed disorder that tends to hamstring its rivals.

Rather than adopting the American approach of putting boots on the ground, Iran prefers a strategy of committing money, weapons, intelligence and advisors–fighting down to the last Iraqi. This strategy is predicated on avoiding violence because Iran knows it can outsource it–and its strategic objectives in Iraq cannot be achieved unless its Iraqi allies are fully committed to the fight.

Iran wouldn’t have to consider managing disorder in Iraq if it hadn’t overreached in the first place–but so too have the Sunnis, Kurds and their respective patrons. With their focus now on the common threat that ISIS presents, re-establishing security has become the near-term goal. If and when this is achieved, the longer-term goal comes back into focus: the reconstruction of Iraq.

In many ways, Iran contributed to Iraq’s reconstruction as much as it has inhibited it. The catch, of course, is that Iran views reconstruction as a multi-tiered process–and the priority is reconstructing Iraq’s identity to reflect its long-standing demographic realities. Many Iraqi Sunnis and their patrons in the Arab world have refused to acknowledge these new realities brought about by America’s invasion 11 years ago. And from Iran’s vantage point, there will continue to be security problems in Iraq–and the region–until this fundamental issue is resolved. Between an exclusivist Shia government that neglects and marginalizes Sunnis, and a political order that preserves the privileges and patronage Sunnis enjoyed under Saddam, there remains a middle ground that has yet to be truly pursued.

For Iran, managing disorder is as much about denying the Saudis, Turks, Americans and others control in Iraq as it is maintaining Tehran’s own control. Iran would prefer to see a greater degree of long-term stability in Iraq–but not if stability comes at Iran’s exclusion and expense. Iran’s power in Iraq is formidable, and the key virtue of its strategy is patience. Decision-makers in Tehran are currently experiencing the high cost of this strategy but all signs point to a continued belief that it can maintain its status as the chief external power broker in Iraq by playing the long game.

Posted in Iran, IraqComments Off on What’s Iran Doing in Iraq?


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