Archive | October 6th, 2014

First-Ever Trial to Assess Guantanamo Force-Feeding Begins Today

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An unprecedented trial to assess the legality of force-feeding methods used at Guantanamo Bay will begin today, Monday Oct 6, at 10am (EST) in courtroom 26A of the District Court, Washington DC.

The trial, in the case of Dhiab v. Obama, will be open to the public after the US Government’s request to have it held in secret was denied by District Court Judge Gladys Kessler. Today’s hearing comes in the wake of Judge Kessler’s ruling on Friday that the US must release several hours of video footage showing cleared Syrian detainee Abu Wa’el Dhiab, who is represented by international human rights NGO Reprieve, being force-fed and manhandled to the force-feeding chair.

In the first trial of its kind, Mr Dhiab, who has been cleared for release since 2009, is challenging the legality of the force-feeding practices used against hunger strikers at Guantánamo. These practices include movement of compliant prisoners to force-feeding by the ‘Forcible Cell Extraction Team’, a squad of soldiers in riot gear, and the use of a painful multi-point restraint chair.

Three expert witness doctors are due to testify in open court–two of them after examining Mr. Dhiab at Guantánamo – and are expected to describe the daily procedure as both punitive and abusive.

Two of the doctors due to testify have previously conducted an independent medical examination of Guantanamo’s last remaining British resident, Shaker Aamer, who has been cleared for release since 2007. Despite the British government’s position being that Mr Aamer should be returned to his wife and children in London he remains detained at the US prison.

Cori Crider, an attorney at Reprieve who will be representing Mr Dhiab in court, said: The government has tried, at every possible opportunity, to deny our client his day in court to challenge the abusive and punitive way in which he is force-fed. Thankfully the principles of open justice have prevailed. We look forward to shining a light on the awful tactics being used to punish Guantanamo detainees who are peacefully protesting in objection to their indefinite detention without charge or trial.”

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Bringing Down ‘Baby Doc’ in Haiti

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Though Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier is now dead, the destructive legacy his policies helped build in Haiti live on. (Photo: runrun.es)

Jean-Claude Duvalier is dead. I never met him. I saw him just once, at the airport in Port-au-Prince, in the early morning hours of a day that then seemed fateful: February 7, 1986. He was driving up to a U.S. cargo plane, and then heading into exile in France. His whole family was in the car with him. It was a brief moment. He whizzed by and was gone. The next day hundreds of thousands of Haitians came out into the streets of Port-au-Prince to celebrate.

But that was not the end of the affair, not by far. The effects of Duvalierism, as conceived by Jean-Claude’s father, François (Papa Doc) Duvalier and continued by Jean-Claude, resonate to this day.

Papa Doc, who ruled from 1957 until his death in 1971, thought of himself as a black power leader. He used the ideas of noirisme on his rise to the presidency, and after. Yet he was not a liberationist or a man who believed in freedom, except as the idea of liberty suited his propaganda needs. He was a small-scale totalitarian: he created the feared Tontons Macoute, his secret police who stopped at nothing, and he hunted his enemies down and killed them like valueless animals. He executed people on suspicion of betrayal; trials were not necessary. He burnt down the homes of his enemies with their families boarded up inside. He disappeared children and brothers and mothers. He rounded up whole communities and had them killed. He plundered the country and allowed others who were in favor to plunder where they wished. Even his close associates were terrified of him.

Jean-Claude inherited this apparatus — secret police, corrupt ministers, frightened populace —  when his father died. Baby Doc was 19. He had neither the wit nor the inclination to change the methods by which his father ruled; indeed, he profited from the corruption that surrounded him. Thousands more enemies were killed or fled during his fifteen years in power, while he lived in luxury amid a starving people. But too many were fleeing a wrecked economy, and eventually the United States government, which for years had adopted a permissive — if not cordial — attitude toward Duvalier, finally had had enough, and stepped in, and Baby Doc fell.

When the dynasty was entering its final weeks, I was a young journalist living in New York in a neighborhood where many Haitian exiles then lived. Every day, they would gather on street corners on the Upper Upper West Side of Manhattan to read the exile newspapers and debate the timing of Duvalier’s ouster. I listened to them and read their papers, too, and decided to go down to Haiti to cover the fall, and that’s how I ended up at the airport, watching him leave Haiti. He stayed away for 25 years.

But a year after the huge earthquake of 2010, Duvalier was welcomed back into Haiti by the new president, Michel Martelly, a Duvalier sympathizer. Martelly shook Duvalier’s hand and invited him to important official events.

For me and for the rest of us who watched Haiti open up after Duvalier’s fall, it was more than weird to see him come back. I knew people who’d been tortured in the infamous Fort Dimanche prison by Duvalier’s henchmen. I knew people who had lost whole families. I knew people who’d had to live in exile for more than a decade because of his persecution. The whole quarter century after his fall had been an attempt by Haiti and Haitians to recoup everything that had been lost under Duvalier: a sense of national pride, the standing of the professional classes, a national economy free from corruption, a real justice system, respect for human rights, freedom of speech. Duvalier’s cheerful and emotional welcome by Martelly, more than anything Martelly did or has done as president, made Martelly’s promises of democracy and openness suspect.

The photo at the top of this post is of two paintings that appeared for sale after Martelly came to power. They were side by side, on offer in a sidewalk market next to a main boulevard that runs up the hill from downtown Port-au-Prince to the richer hilltop suburbs. On the left is President Martelly, on the right, Papa Doc, whose image had not been on public display in Haiti for more than two decades. I was astonished, and took this picture. I am sure there were buyers for the portraits because among a certain couche of Haitian society there’s a kind of nostalgie de Duvalier; these are people who miss the privileges they and their families had under the dynasty’s rule, and who trust that Martelly will bring those days back. Even now, there’s a good chance Martelly will soon be ruling by decree, as Papa Doc did, because the terms of many legislators are coming to an end with no legislative elections scheduled, three years after they were supposed to take place.  Thus there may be no legislative branch, only the executive.

It’s easy to imagine that Duvalier’s death marks the end of an era.

But the corruption he and his father encouraged, and their political toolbox — authoritarianism, trumped up elections, distrust of free speech, corruption of the forces of order, and no justice — are the methods by which Haiti’s ruler still controls the country. The U.S. government has supported Martelly. Only on Saturday, Samantha Power attacked the Haitian opposition for standing in the way of elections. But the opposition has had good reasons for putting obstacles in Martelly’s way, not least the concern that the elections he hopes to organize will not include all parties, and will be overseen by an electoral council that is neither honest nor objective.

Duvalier is dead; Duvalierism lives on.

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Ellsberg Sees Vietnam-Like Risks in ISIS War

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Daniel Ellsberg, the former Defense Department official who leaked the Pentagon Papers exposing the Vietnam War lies, is alarmed at the many parallels between Vietnam and President Obama’s new military campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

UH-1D helicopters airlift members of the 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment from the Filhol Rubber Plantation area to a new staging area, during Operation πWahiawa™ a search and destroy mission conducted by the 25th Infantry Division, northeast of Cu Chi, Vietnam on 16 May,1966. ( Photo: AFP/NATIONAL ARCHIVES)

At a recent talk at the National Press Club in Washington DC, Daniel Ellsberg, who released the Pentagon Papers in 1971, says he believes there’s not one person in the Pentagon who would agree that President Obama can achieve his aim of destroying ISIS in Iraq and Syria with air strikes, along with training and arming local military forces.

Nor, he says, can the Administration do it even if the U.S. sends ground troops, contrary to Obama’s repeated assurances.

Ellsberg described the similarities with Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq, and the near-certainty of comparable failure. I interviewed him after his talk, and updated the discussion this week, after the U.S. airstrikes inside Syria had begun. In his Press Club talk and with me, he read from some documents, as indicated below, and cited Web-links.

Q.  Why are you urging Americans to be warned by what happened in Vietnam, half a century ago?

A.  Well, that was my war.  That makes me pretty old. And at 83, I am. This means I know what Vietnam means as well as Iraq, unlike most members of Congress. The New York Times noted on Sept. 18 that only a third of those voting on authorizing American advisers, arms and trainers for Syrian rebels were in Congress the last time there was a vote on war, which was for Iraq, in 2002. It would be interesting to know what they learned from the earlier vote.

As the Times wrote, “That 2002 vote hung heavily over the six hours of debate on Tuesday and Wednesday. Several veterans of the Iraq War stood against the President’s request. Older Democrats recalled with bitterness their vote to back the invasion of Iraq, a vote that ended many careers.”

“The last time people took a political vote like this in this House, it was on the Iraq War,” Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-California, said, “and many of my colleagues say it was the worst vote they ever took.”

One member of the House who voted against the new authorization — Rep. Barbara Lee, D-California, — was the one member of Congress who voted against the authorization of military force (AUMF) in Afghanistan in 2001, then, as now, because there was inadequate discussion and too many questions left unanswered. And the next year, with Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, she helped organize 133 votes in the House against the AUMF 2002 on Iraq.

She says the earlier request was “an overly broad authorization which I could not vote for because it was a blank check for perpetual war.”

She was right. That authorization is still on the books, and the Obama Administration still cites it (along with the AUMF 2002), 13 years later, as sufficient authority for further escalation in Syria and Iraq. Lee says it should be repealed.

Both times Lee echoed Senators Wayne Morse, D-Oregon, and Ernest Gruening, D-Alaska, the only two members of Congress who voted against the Tonkin Gulf Resolution in 1964. Morse warned that it was an unconstitutional, undated blank check for war in Vietnam, and which President Lyndon Johnson used after deceiving other senators that he would not escalate without coming back to Congress.

In 2002, the only two senators who were in office long enough to have been deceived into voting for the Tonkin Gulf Resolution — Senators Ted Kennedy, D-Massachusetts, and Robert Byrd, D-West Virginia, — said they were ashamed of their 1964 votes and pleaded with colleagues not to make their mistake, which they said they regretted for almost 40 years.

Twenty-one other senators listened, which, incidentally, didn’t include Kennedy’s junior colleague from Massachusetts, Vietnam veteran Sen. John Kerry, who had reason to regret his yes vote – which helped lose him the presidency – just two years later. I believe he will come to regret his present, shameful role with respect to this war for the rest of his life.

I have my own mistake to regret — not being the whistleblower I could have been in the Pentagon in 1964. Like Byrd and Kennedy in 2002, I’m calling on people in comparable positions to save themselves from such remorse, that they didn’t do what they could to warn and inform Congress and the public now, before decisive escalations occur.

Q. How do U.S. actions in Vietnam compare with what the U.S. is doing today, with advisers in Iraq and air strikes in Iraq and Syria, to destroy ISIS?

A. There are countless parallels. As in Vietnam, the U.S. is heading towards an American ground combat war under a president who assures us — before an election — that it isn’t going to happen. And as in Vietnam, his generals claim he can’t achieve his goal without boots on the ground.

Gen. Raymond Odierno, the Army Chief of Staff, says you can’t defeat ISIS without ground troops. Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified he will recommend U.S. ground forces in Iraq if and when air power alone is not sufficient. That day is certain to come, sooner than later, although not before the November elections.

In fact, I doubt there’s a single person in the Pentagon or the CIA who believes Obama can achieve his goals to destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria with air strikes and advisers alone.

High-level officers can’t contradict the President publicly, without resigning or being fired. But retired officials can, and have. A former Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James Conway, put it succinctly: The President’s current strategy “doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell” of succeeding. I’m sure Odierno and Dempsey give it the same odds.

It may be that people in the Pentagon are telling the President and each other that the U.S. can defeat ISIS if you let us do a bigger war, including sizeable numbers of American ground troops. If so, I believe they’re wrong, just as the JCS were in Vietnam and the first Iraq War.

On the other hand, they may not believe that. Either way, here’s where truly honest testimony to Congress is critical. And that’s not likely to happen unless it’s triggered by leaks from inside whistleblowers of internal, classified analyses, estimates and projections of the sort that should have occurred but didn’t before the escalation in Vietnam or earlier in Iraq.

In any case, as Barbara Lee said, the consequences even of Obama’s recent first steps will be to further expand our involvement in a sectarian war, without Congress considering the implications of the larger war that’s coming.

Q. When generals, like Odierno, say ground troops will be needed, whose ground troops do they mean?

A. “Ideally,” General Dempsey has said, they would be Iraqi, Kurdish or Syrian. But he’s also said that half the Iraq army isn’t competent to partner with the U.S. against ISIS. And, the other half has to be partially rebuilt and retrained. How long will that take, since the last 12 years of U.S. training failed so dramatically?

Regarding Syria, Dempsey says there will need to be 12,000 to 15,000 Syrian ground troops — properly trained by the U.S. — to take back territory from ISIS.  But the President just asked, and Congress authorized, U.S. training for only 5,000 Syrian troops — which is supposed to take six months to a year or more. Who but the U.S. is going to fill that gap?

Obama’s former Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, dismissed these fantasies. He insists the U.S. will not succeed against ISIS “strictly from the air, or strictly depending on the Iraqi forces, or the Peshmerga [the Kurds], or the Sunni tribes acting on their own.” He adds “some small number of American advisers, trainers, Special Forces and forward spotters, forward air controllers, are going to have to be in harm’s way.”

Q.  Doesn’t that contradict President Obama’s assurances of “no American boots on the ground”?

A. Yes. That is almost certain to happen. And a question we should ask, based on what we know about Vietnam is “When General Dempsey recommends, and the President agrees, that U.S. advisers, trainers and air spotters should leave their bases and accompany Iraqi troops in combat – getting in harm’s way – will we be told that’s happening? If so, when?

I vividly recall reading a memo in the Pentagon on April 6, 1965, from McGeorge Bundy, Johnson’s national security adviser, that the President had authorized a change in mission for the Marines at Danang.  They’d been sent there — the first American combat units in Vietnam — ostensibly to defend the base from which we were conducting air operations.

Supposedly, they were politically harmless — just “advisers” — which didn’t involve large U.S. casualties and get us committed the way ground combat units do. Like what we’re doing now, in Iraq and Syria. But in 1965, LBJ had secretly decided as early as April 1 to allow them to leave the base for offensive patrols in the field — precisely the kinds of actions I’d been trained to lead as a rifle company platoon leader and company commander in the Marines.

The memo said, as I noted in my 1972 book, Papers on the War, “The President desires that premature publicity be avoided by all possible precautions. The actions themselves should be taken as rapidly as practicable but in ways that should minimize any appearance of sudden changes in policy. The President desires that these movements and changes in combat mission should be understood as being gradual and wholly consistent with existing policy.”

I remember writing a memo to my boss, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy, that “This is dangerous. You can’t keep that secret. There are reporters over there. They’ll know what the Marines are doing and we’ll be shown to be concealing it. You know, we’re actually changing the nature of the war. We’re going to be taking over the war from the South Vietnamese. I don’t think you can keep that secret very long.”

I was wrong. That was April. And by July, about 100,000 troops were over there, doing offensive operations. But until then, there was no word or leak about this.

So on July 28, when President Johnson finally announced we were sending 50,000 more troops — it was actually 100,000, but he lied and said 50,000 to hide where this was heading — a reporter asked, “Mr. President, does the fact you are sending additional forces to Vietnam imply any change in the existing policy of relying mainly on the South Vietnamese to carry out offensive operations and using American forces to guard installations and to act as an emergency backup?”

Johnson answered, “It does not imply any change in policy whatever. It does not imply change of objective.”

And that was true! This was the end of July. He didn’t just change the policy. He changed it four months earlier. He just hadn’t announced it.

To bring us to the present, instead of saying “relying mainly on the South Vietnamese,” insert Syrians, Iraqis and Kurds. When those first steps are taken towards making this mainly an American war – steps Obama and his generals and Gates already hint at – should we expect to hear about that from the White House? Why? Because Obama is more transparent, less secretive than Johnson, Nixon or George W. Bush? He isn’t.

During the Vietnam build-up was when I could have alerted the American people about what was happening, and I didn’t. That’s why I’m calling on insiders who know that we’re being misled to do better.

However, the big issue now is not the combat role for advisers, intelligence and support units, Special Forces and air spotters. Rather, given the air war, it’s in the cards they will be in harm’s way probably before the end of the year, perhaps even before the election. The real issue will be the deployment of tens if not hundreds of thousands of U.S. ground troops.

And whether they total 1,600 troops on the ground — what we already have in Iraq — or 16,000 (what LBJ had in Vietnam before the start of the air war and the major ground escalation in 1965), that “small force of Americans” Gates describes won’t be remotely enough to “destroy” ISIS. Both Gates and the generals know it will take a lot more. But even if the number soared to 550,000, as in Vietnam in 1968, or even a million, I believe they still won’t eliminate ISIS permanently. They’ll be back.

Q. Does Obama realize the generals are sure to ask him for tens of thousands or more combat troops?

A. I don’t know. I suspect they’ve told him that, secretly. Just as Johnson knew his generals would ask for that in Vietnam, while he was still promising the electorate “no wider war” in 1964, and saying he wouldn’t send American boys to do what Vietnamese boys should be doing.

Does Obama foresee right now that he’s likely to grant that request? Is he, then, just kidding when he promises, over and over, that we’ll defeat ISIS without his sending American combat units? Or does he think he can and will keep his military under control despite frustrating them and saddling them, as they see it, with stalemate and failure?

That’s what Johnson sought to do, and to some extent did, though the war got much larger than he’d promised or even initially wanted. He gave the Chiefs just enough of what they wanted, in troop levels and bombings, to keep them from resigning, though never close to what they said was essential to succeed. He didn’t really believe that meeting their full demands would make the difference, and he feared war with China. And he was right on both counts. But still, he didn’t want to be accused of “losing” a region for want of “doing nothing.”

He avoided that accusation, but at the cost of a lot of lives: 58,000 American and several million Vietnamese.

I  suspect that same concern is driving Obama right now. I see him doing what he has to do to keep from being accused of doing “nothing.” But does he really mean to stop at that? Or could he, even if he wanted to?

Gates recommends that President Obama scale down his present objective of “destroying” ISIS, which Gates describes as “very ambitious,” which I translate to mean unattainable.

That’s almost sure to happen. But even with lesser aims, like containment, or — as Gates suggests — driving ISIS out of Iraq, with embedded advisers and Special Forces alone, even with forward air spotters, this won’t be enough. When Gates says it will, he’s either lying about what he believes or he’s a fool. And I don’t think he’s a fool.

I think the Joint Chiefs will recommend to Obama that he bring large numbers of American ground combat units to Iraq in the coming months. One difference from Vietnam is that in those days, when Johnson lied — saying he gave the generals everything they’d asked for and that there was no conflict between the civilians and military in the administration (as the Pentagon Papers were to reveal, year after year) —  the military kept their mouths shut. They hoped he would come around to their point of view eventually, and they didn’t want to preclude that by contradicting him and getting fired.

Now, many of them think that was a mistake, even a “dereliction of duty.” This time, the generals will do their own leaking about what they asked (as happened in 2009, when Obama confronted “top secret” recommendations for a surge in Afghanistan). Will the President, as he now implies, reject their recommendation every time they make it? I think he should, but I doubt that he will — any more than LBJ did.

The public doubts it too. The latest polls show that 72 percent of the public expects him to deploy ground combat units in Iraq, contrary to his assurances. I think the generals are of the same mind. It might be almost irrelevant, the way things work, what the President himself thinks about that, privately, at this moment.

Q. Where is Congress – and its powers to declare war – on this? Will the Administration keep it informed about its military actions and ask for a formal vote?

A. On the day Congress voted on the Administration’s request to authorize sending advisers, arms and trainers for Syrian rebel troops, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said, in supporting it, the bill “is not to be confused with any authorization to go further.” She said, “I will not vote for combat troops to be engaged in war.”

But will she ever be asked by the Administration to vote on that? Every indication is that the White House believes the President can expand this war with the authority Congress granted the Executive in earlier bills, before the U.S. invaded Afghanistan or Iraq, and feels no need to come back to Congress.

Once again, that’s reminiscent of Vietnam. Both the House and Senate approved the Tonkin Gulf Resolution in August 1964, which authorized President Johnson to use military force without a formal declaration of war. He said he needed it to retaliate against a North Vietnamese attack on our destroyers, which, in fact, didn’t happen.

At that time, Sen. William Fulbright, D-Arkansas, assured the Senate that the Administration did not intend to expand the Vietnam War without returning to Congress. But he was duped by the White House, which never again appealed to Congress for consent, and used the Tonkin Gulf Resolution as an open-ended declaration of war.

This time, the White House hasn’t even bothered to assure Congress, however deceptively, that it concedes the need for further authorization. To the contrary, it is asserting that the 2002 authorization of military force – which was based on the Bush Administration’s lies about WMDs, as blatantly as was the Tonkin Gulf Resolution – is sufficient for anything the President wants to do in the Middle East, along with the even earlier AUMF of 2001.

For that same reason, Rep. Lee is now demanding a real vote on the war before it expands further. She’s saying: “Don’t do this again.” Of the recent authorization, she said “I am reminded of the failure to have a thorough debate in the wake of 9/11, that act of atrocity, that act of terrorism, which frightened people into a very hasty and premature delegation of their powers; now we have two beheadings on television to do that and call for a revenge act …”

Of this recent request, though it’s much more limited than the Tonkin Gulf Resolution or the two AUMFs, she said, “The consequences of this vote, whether it’s written in the amendment or not, will be a further expansion of a war currently taking place and our further involvement in a sectarian war,” again “without adequate debate or any vote in Congress having to do with the larger issues here of the war.”

She’s right. We should be telling Nancy Pelosi to follow her counsel, and to use every constitutional power to force that vote, and precede it with adequate debate.

Q. So many ask, isn’t it better to do something against ISIS — these murderers, fanatics —  than do nothing? How do you answer that?

A. ISIS is not the only murderous, fanatic group in that region but they may well be the most extreme so far, and most successful. But that’s a reason for not doing something that actually strengthens them in their rivalry with others. But that’s exactly what we are doing, with our airpower.

Even before the Syrian airstrikes, FBI Director James Comey testified on Sept. 17 that ISIS’ “widespread use of social media and growing online support intensified following the commencement of U.S. air strikes in Iraq.”

Another news report, in the Israeli daily Haaretz, states, ‘The Islamic State jihadist organization has recruited more than 6,000 new fighters since America began targeting the group with air strikes last month, according to the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. At least 1,300 of the new recruits are said to be foreigners, who have joined IS from outside the swathes of Syria and Iraq that it controls.”

Do we think ISIS hasn’t noticed this? We have to ask, why does ISIS want to show off its public beheadings of Americans on international television? Our ally Saudi Arabia doesn’t televise its beheadings — 19 in August, one for sorcery — nor do our favored rebels, the Free Syrian Army.

But ISIS chose exactly now to boast them to the world. Why? Because they need and welcome U.S. air strikes and the flood of recruits they bring, despite the losses ISIS has to expect. Getting the U.S. to publicize ISIS as the number one American enemy — while U.S. airstrikes are killing Muslim civilians along with ISIS troops and leaders — stamps ISIS as leading the fight against the U.S. and its allied Arab regimes that ISIS believes are infidels.

I watched this happen in Vietnam. Each time we bombed a village in South Vietnam, the young men who survived the attack joined the Viet Cong. In fact, the VC would fire on American planes from a village precisely for that reason. They could count on the retaliatory bombing, and the recruits. I wrote a report for the RAND Corporation about that when I came back, with the title, “Revolutionary Judo.”

History repeated itself in Iraq and Afghanistan, where Matthew Hoh – the Marine and then senior State Department official who served in both countries and who resigned his post – saw exactly the same thing.

As I noted before, by doing this something, we’re strengthening ISIS and making things worse. But that’s nothing new. Indeed, all the military actions and expenditures of the last 13 years in the Middle East have led to creating, strengthening and expanding ISIS and other militant groups. It’s time to stop.

As Sen. Joe Manchin III, D-West Virginia, said to his colleagues, “Our past experience, after 13 years, everything that we have tried to do has not proven to be at all beneficial. … So what makes you think it’s going to be different this time? What makes you think we can ask a group of Islamists to agree with Americans to fight another group of Islamists, as barbaric as they may be?”

With the air strikes in Syria, we are radicalizing moderates who then join ISIS — as the New York Times has noted. It has also allowed Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, who led the fight against ISIS until now, to stop his air strikes against it and concentrate on themoderate rebels we support who oppose both Assad and ISIS. Why is he doing this?  Because the U.S. is attacking ISIS, doing his work for him. Then, if he can take moderates off the board, he calculates the U.S. will have to accept him as the only effective ally against ISIS.

Q. What can wedo that would be useful?

A. Since ISIS won’t be stopped with military actions alone — not ours or those of groups that join us, including Iraqis and Syrians — and are in fact counter-productive, we should have learned that if there’s ever to be an answer, it has to be largely diplomatic.

In particular, this could mean changing our close relationship with Saudi Arabia and other Mideast allies whose citizens and regimes have long been financing and supplying ISIS and other radical groups at the same time they provide pilots whose attacks also help strengthen ISIS. If we ceased tolerating that ideological and financial support for extremists, this would be a major step to containing and eroding ISIS. But I doubt this will happen.

Serious diplomacy would also mean changing our relationship with Russia and Iran, exploring through direct negotiations the positive contributions they could make to stabilize the region, rather than, as at present, demonizing them.

This, too, isn’t likely. But if we don’t face what we need to do to escape the madness we suffered and inflicted in Vietnam and Iraq, we will be mired in war in the Middle East for decades.

Q. There are posters of you around Washington DC urging those with inside information about the Pentagon’s plans, to leak it. The headline is: “Don’t Do What I Did.” What do you hope will happen?

A. In 1964 and 1965, the lack of whistleblowers caused Vietnam to happen. I was in the Pentagon then and didn’t come forward with what I knew. So I helped Vietnam happen. I very much regret that I didn’t provide information when it would have done the most good, when Congress was voting on this and when the escalation was occurring. In 2002 and 2003, the lack of a Manning or Snowden with high-level access caused Iraq.

Actually, in 1964, many in the Pentagon could have put out the information the public and Congress needed to know. Not random documents. Just one drawer of selected documents showing that President Johnson was deceiving people and leading them into a hopeless war that his own Joint Chiefs believed could never be won at the level he was willing to do it. (The heart of the Pentagon Papers took up about one drawer of a top secret safe in my office at RAND, or earlier in my office in the Pentagon).

I’m sure that comparable documents exist in safes in Washington and Arlington and McLean, Virginia, right now. I’m just as sure that dozens if not hundreds of insiders could provide the information in those documents from their own safes to Congress and the public, if they’re willing to take the risks.

In 1971, after I put out the Pentagon Papers, Sen. Morse told me that if I had given him the documents from my Pentagon safe while he was on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1964, “The Tonkin Gulf Resolution would never have come out of Committee. And if they bypassed the committee and sent it to the floor, the resolution would never have passed.”

That put a lot of weight on my shoulders — not unfairly. I’m urging insiders now to do better than I did then, and now is the time.

Q. What do you and ExposeFacts.org aim to do?

A.  To encourage whistle-blowing that will lead people to press their congressional representatives — this month, while they’re in their home districts campaigning for votes — to demand hearings, debates and a vote in an effort to block continued and escalated U.S. military involvement in Middle East conflicts.

Just a year ago, constituents did almost exactly that, button-holing representatives at home in their districts to demand “No war on Syria!” The effect on Congress was electrifying, perhaps unprecedented.

It confronted a President who was committed to an attack at the end of August — because of gas attacks in Syria whose perpetrators are still a murky and controversial topic — and who had just remembered that he was head of the “world’s oldest republic” with a duty to get consent from Congress to go to war. Indeed, he could have lost the vote in both Houses. That caused him to make a sharp turn and embrace a Russian proposal to eliminate Assad’s gas menace by peaceful, negotiated means.

We need something like that now. Unlikely as it is, after the ISIS gains, the public beheadings, and — not mentioned by the President before our air attacks but quickly labeled a critical target — the emergence of the dreaded “Khorasan.”

On Khorasan we need serious investigative reporting — fueled by whistleblowing. Could the “classified” leaks about Khorasan just before and after the Syrian airstrikes — a group allegedly more of an imminent danger to the U.S. than ISIS — be designed to manipulate the media and public? Could they be a fraud, just as the all-too-successful fraudulent, authorized classified leaks in 2002 about Saddam Hussein’s supposed nuclear cylinders? Did these recent Khorasan leaks provide a self-defense motive for U.S. air attacks on Syria?

They sound eerily like the alleged Aug. 4, 1964 “attack” on our destroyers in the Tonkin Gulf, 50 years ago this August — an attack that never happened — which gave us the Tonkin Gulf Resolution and 11 years of war.  Is there really solid evidence, as Administration officials have claimed and others leaked, of “an advanced state of planning” for imminent attacks on U.S. airliners, by a group called Khorasan or by any other?  Or might it have been a hoax like that floated by the Bush Administration as Dick Cheney picked up various forgeries and fantasies, to justify our aggression against Iraq 12 years ago?

Could this administration really be re-playing the Bush and Johnson script that closely? And the media applauding the performance just as credulously?

Glenn Greenwald and Murtazsa Hussain make a strong case for this with Khorasan. This cries out for leaked or congressionally-demanded documents.

As the posters put up by ExposeFacts.org say — and one is quite near the Iraq embassy, “Don’t wait until a new war has started.  Don’t wait until thousands more have died before you tell the truth with documents that reveal lies or crimes or internal projections of costs and dangers. You might save a war’s worth of lives.”

State Department, Pentagon, CIA, NSA or White House staff who follow that advice will risk unjust prosecution under the Espionage Act, as I did. Unjust because the Espionage Act was designed to deter or punish spies, not whistleblowers. It was never intended to be used against disclosures to the American public, and never used that way until my own prosecution, which was the first in American history for a leak.

Legal scholars argued then that it was an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment to use the Espionage Act against whistleblowers. It’s unjust because it doesn’t allow defendants to tell the jury and public about their motives. [See Melville B. Nimmer, “National Security Issues v. Free Speech: The Issues Left Undecided in the Ellsberg Case,”Stanford Law Review (vol. 26, No. 2, January 1974, 311-333).]

Treating sources of leaks, classified or not, like spies, is exactly what’s happened under President Obama, who has brought more Espionage Act indictments for leaking than any other president — in fact, more than all of them together. And he’s leaving that precedent to his successors.

The risk whistleblowers take is very great. That’s why I think they should remain anonymous, if possible. ExposeFact.org, which sponsored the Washington press conference and encourages whistleblowers, proposes to facilitate their anonymity by the use of encryption.

There will always be a risk of identification, and if classified information is involved (even if it’s evidence of Executive Branch crimes or other malfeasance), there will likely be prosecutions. Until Congress rescinds the wording of certain clauses in the Espionage Act and passes laws to defend the public interest, or as Harvard Law Professor Yochai Benklerproposes to call it, a “public accountability defense,” they will probably be convicted. They could suffer years in prison, perhaps a life sentence, as I faced (a possible 115 years) but escaped on grounds of governmental criminal misconduct. Chelsea Manning faced the risks and now is serving 35 years. [See Benkler’s recent article, “A Public Accountability Defense for National Security Leakers and Whistleblowers,” Harvard Law and Policy Review, Vol. 8, Summer 2014.]

A heavy prospect. Worth considering only for the grimmest of circumstances. But we face them now — when a war’s worth of lives might yet be saved by courageous, patriotic truth-telling.

John Kerry, as a young, just-returned Vietnam veteran, was admired by many as an outstanding whistleblower, with his unsparing account of U.S. war crimes in testimony on April 22, 1971, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. That’s when he famously asked, “How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?”

As things are now heading, he will not have to ask that of an American soldier in Iraq or Syria while Secretary of State. Nor will President Obama The last American combat death there is not now remotely possible within the next two, four or even eight years.

The Pentagon is reported to be planning for a campaign of 36 months, but I don’t think Obama’s and Kerry’s successors will be any more ready over the next decade to admit a mistake.

The final American casualty — or last deaths inflicted in the Middle East by Americans — will not come about unless the American people tell Congress and the Executive what Lt. John Kerry said to the Senate in 1971, speaking for the newly-formed Vietnam Veterans Against the War: “We want this to stop.”

Posted in Far EastComments Off on Ellsberg Sees Vietnam-Like Risks in ISIS War

Endless Flow of Weapons Fuels Endless War in Iraq and Syria

NOVANEWS

New report shows how flood of munitions from across the globe, including the United States, are making peace impossible in Middle East

Ammo casings found in Iraq and Syria. Top, left to right: China, made in 2009; Syria, made in 1960; Russia, made in 2012; US, made in 2007. Bottom, left to right: U.S., made in 2006; Turkey, made in 2013; Sudan, made in 2012; Iran, made in 2006. (Image: Conflict Armament Research)

An analysis of new data (pdf) collected by a group which tracks weapons in global conflict zones has found that a large proportion of the munitions now being used by ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria are from U.S. manufacturers, either captured on the battlefield or sold to them by supposed U.S. allies.

According to the New York Times on Monday, the available data put together by the Conflict Armament Research, “suggests that ammunition transferred into Syria and Iraq to help stabilize governments has instead passed from the governments to the jihadists, helping to fuel the Islamic State’s rise and persistent combat power. Rifle cartridges from the United States, the sample shows, have played a significant role.”

The report notes that a majority of ISIS munitions it examined from Syria were from China and Russia, while those munitions being used by ISIS in Iraq were more likely to be from the United States. The analysis shows that of the approximately 1700 pieces of munitions examined, more than 300 were US-manufactured cartridges, dating from the 2000s. This amounted to nearly 20 percent of the total material documented. “IS forces appear to have acquired a large part of their current arsenal from stocks seized from, or abandoned by, Iraqi defence and security forces,” the report states. “The US gifted much of this materiel to Iraq.”

The new report focused on munitions follows a similar report from the same research group last month which found the same troubling pattern when it came to light and heavy weaponry being used by ISIS.

Taken together, the pattern shows how the persistent flood of weapons into the region—not just from the U.S., but from China, Russia, and other large suppliers as well—has fueled the violence and the killing on all sides of the conflict.

As the Center for Public Integrity reports:

Much of the Islamic State arms and ammunition were captured on the battlefield, but intelligence reports have suggested that the group’s income from oil sales and other sources is high enough to finance purchases of additional weapons directly from the companies and dealers that routinely profit from strife in the Middle East.

Experts say the fact that the armaments have such disparate sources – some were even made at a major U.S. munitions plant in Missouri – provides a cautionary note as Washington prepares to undertake expanded shipments of military supplies, including small arms, to rebel groups in Syria and to a revived Iraqi Army force.

Though Congress recently approved $500 million for arming and training “moderate” Syrian rebel forces last month, many foreign policy experts have warned against such spending, arguing that only diplomatic efforts—not military ones—can ultimately solve the conflict.

As Phyllis Bennis, senior fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, told Common Dreams in reaction to CAR’s September report on weapons in the region: “This is one more piece of evidence of why military solutions have devastating consequences in the immediate and long terms. We see an example of the consequences of the over-arming of the region if we look back at Afghanistan in the 1980s during the anti-Soviet War when the U.S. provided stinger missiles that can bring down aircraft to mujahedin guerrillas who morphed into al Qaeda.”

And as a new short video by Brave New Films argues, it is this steady flow of weapons and militaristic mindset that creates a cycle of “perpetual war,” in which bombing, drone attacks, and sending of weapons only fuels and worsens the very “terrorism” that such wars are said to be aimed at stopping. “How does this end?” the film asks.

Posted in Iraq, SyriaComments Off on Endless Flow of Weapons Fuels Endless War in Iraq and Syria

The Jewish Takeover of Canada: The Case of Arthur Topham

NOVANEWS

Has Canada been taken over by Jews? It would seem so, if the relentless persecution of Canadian patriot and freedom fighter Arthur Topham is anything to go on.

IT'S TOO LATE TO CRY — IT'S ALREADY HAPPENED
IT’S TOO LATE TO CRY — IT’S ALREADY HAPPENED

Canadian patriot and freedom fighter Arthur Topham is to be hauled before the Canadian courts next year on trumped-up charges. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Arthur is an innocent man. His trial date has now been set. He will appear in court on 26 October, 2015, and his trial will last for two weeks until 6 November.

If found guilty, this man who has said and done nothing that you and I have not said or done a thousand times, will be torn from the embrace of his wife, his family and his friends and be thrown into prison. It will be a major miscarriage of justice if this should occur.

The forthcoming trial of Arthur Topham is therefore much more than the trial of one man. Canadian justice will itself be on trial.

arthur topham

What is Arthur’s alleged crime? Arthur’s only crime is that he is a political dissident who has chosen to exercise his democratic right to free speech. He has spoken out eloquently about the war crimes of the state of Israel and published books on his website which are regarded as offensive to many Jews. To criticize this privileged ethnic group in Canada or to question its cherished assumptions, is, it seems, strictly taboo. This is classified as “hate speech”.

At no time has Arthur advocated breaking the law. He has never incited anyone to violence. He has merely utilized his pen to express his political views in a rational and civilized way as any political dissident anywhere in the world would do.

If Arthur had been an American or British citizen, he would not be facing a possible prison sentence right now, and this is because whatever Arthur has said or done is not regarded as a crime in the United States or Britain.

If Arthur is to be condemned in a Canadian court for “hate speech”, it will only be because Canada has now fallen under the dominant influence of a powerful ethnic group who have somehow managed to turn Canada into an Israelified police state.

Yesterday I receive an email from an old friend of mine. His name is Felix Dean. He is a retired Canadian professional who dearly loves his country, just as Arthur Topham does. Unlike Arthur however, Felix can no longer bear to live in Canada. He feels that Canada has rapidly morphed into a police state under the malign  influence of organized Jewry. So Felix now resides in self-imposed exile within “the civilized confines of Europe,” to quote his own words.

This is what Felix has to say about his Canadian compatriot Arthur Topham:

“To the best of my understanding, Arthur Topham’s  cardinal sin is not what he said, but the fact that he PUBLISHED it. There is an individual by name of Richard Warman, the rabid Zionist attack dog whose only reason for living is to destroy truth tellers like Arthur. Warman is actually of German ancestry, not a Jew as far as I know, but he is a classical cult zombie, someone so thoroughly brainwashed and programmed for bloodshed that I cannot but regard him as little better than a Manchurian candidate of the worst sort.”

WarmanZioAgent-copy

Strong words, friend Felix. It distresses me to know that Canadian justice is now apparently relying on the evidence of Manchurian candidates. Has it really come to this?

It would appear that this man Richard Warman(pictured), an ardent Zionist with a reputation for being a “serial complainant”, has a personal grudge against Arthur Topham and would like to see him go to prison.

Though non-Jewish himself and with no official position, Warman is constantly to be seen filing complaints against critics of Big Jewry. It was he who tried to get David Icke into trouble recently, accusing Icke of unspecified “hate crimes”. Apparently mentioning “Jews” in the same breath as “lizards” is deeply disturbing to Mr Warman and could indirectly lead to a second Holocaust.

Needless to say, Warman is relatively small fry: a pest and a nuisance rather than a serious threat to champions of free speech. Arthur’s main adversary is a powerful Canadian Jew, Harry Abrams, British Columbia representative of B’nai B’rith Canada. It was he who in 2007 registered a section 13 complaint against Arthur as follows:

“This concerns  a complaint filed with the Canadian Human Rights Commission seeking relief for discriminatory publication under prohibited grounds caught by  Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. The premise of this complaint is a contention that Arthur Topham of Quesnel, British Columbia, Canada, and his internet publication known as  Radicalpress.com  contrive to promote ongoing hatred affecting persons identifiable as Jews and/or as citizens of Israel.”

Cut out the legal jargon and it boils down to this: Arthur is a criminal because he has given offense to the Jews.

In 2012, Harry Abrams filed a second complaint against Arthur with the British Columbia “Hate Crimes” unit, alleging that:

 “Roy Arthur TOPHAM, between the 28th day of April, 2011 and the 4th day of May, 2012, inclusive, at or near Quesnel, in the Province of British Columbia, did by communicating statements, other than in private conversation, wilfully promote hatred against an identifiable group, people of the Jewish religion or ethnic origin, contrary to Section 319(2) of the Criminal Code.”

Impressive legal jargon reducible to the age-old whine: “This man is saying bad things about Jews and must be stopped!”

This is the charge Arthur is now fighting, and this is the question the Canadian courts must decide: is it permissible to contradict a Jew in any way, thereby hurting his feelings, and will you be sent to prison if he complains about you?

An instrument of oppression and a serious threat to free speech in Canada
An instrument of oppression
and a serious threat to free speech in Canada

 A few more quotes from the email of my Canadian friend Felix will help to fill in the picture:

 “Arthur had a brave and noble defender in his lawyer, Douglas Christie, who originally defended Ernst Zundel and other political dissidents. Christie unfortunately succumbed to liver cancer a few years ago, a true hero in every sense of the word.

Consider that all these guys are real Canadians, whose ancestors were the original pioneers and frontiersmen of our beloved country. These great Canadians  earned combat medals, they fought and died in wars on behalf of Canada, and then what happens? These troublesome Jews show up and proceed to grind all our Canadian patriots to dust and ashes, as if they owned the world and all the surrounding planets.

No part of Canadian history holds any value for these alien interlopers. They respect none of our traditions. It is thoroughly disgusting.

You and I have said things that are hundreds of times more offensive to “the Jews” than Arthur Topham has, and yet no one is threatening to throw us in prison! So why do they pick on Arthur? It’s because Arthur has made a name for himself (through Christie) in the mainstream press. Ordinary Canadians know all about him and therefore he must be made a very public example of — his head must be paraded through the streets on a spike!

Arthur most certainly needs defending. In fact, I believe his wife is Jewish. Not that this will help him in any way.”

I was deeply moved by this eloquent email from my friend Felix, himself a Canadian citizen, as I say, who has chosen to leave Canada and live abroad because of the takeover of his country by an increasingly obnoxious, in-your-face Jewish minority. This natural aversion to being bossed around by pesky Jews naturally means that Felix is now regarded as an “anti-Semite” — a term which, according to B’nai B’rith Canada, can now be applied to four million Canadians.

It is amazing to think that even a man with a Jewish wife such as Arthur Topham  should be regarded as a dangerous anti-Semite by B’nai B’rith Canada.

Consider this sobering fact:  not a SINGLE Canadian citizen has been named as a victim of Arthur Topham’s political activities. Who has complained to the police about Arthur Topham? Only TWO individuals out of 36 million Canadians: one a non-Jewish serial complainant, Richard Warman, already mentioned above, and the other a powerful Jew representing B’nai B’rith Canada, Harry Abrams. It is Harry Abrams who is currently leading the witch hunt against Arthur Topham.

The glib assumption that B’nai B’rith Canada, spear-headed in the British Columbia region by Jewish commissar Harry Abrams, represents Jewish interests in Canada and speaks for all Canadian Jews, is an assumption that cannot be granted. There is one Jew who certainly does not feel that B’nai B’rith Canada speaks for all Jews, and that is Arthur Topham’s Jewish wife.

I venture to say that Arthur’s Jewish wife is only one among thousands of Jews in Canada who are utterly appalled by the flagrant war crimes committed by the Jewish state in Gaza only quite recently. These Jews do not feel that B’nai B’rith Canada, with its undeviating loyalty to Israel, represents their interests in any way.

For the record, Arthur Topham’s Jewish wife is totally aware of Arthur’s  political activities and is behind her husband 100 percent of the way in whatever he has said or done. Raised in a secular household of Russian Jews, Topham’s wife has no time for Zionism. She is a practicing spiritual healer, with clairvoyant abilities, who uses traditional medicines in her healing ministry. Ever since she was a child, I am told, “she has followed the Red path of the Native American Indians and never could relate to her Jewish background.”

Naturally, Arthur’s Jewish wife does not, unlike B’nai B’rith Canada, regard it as a crime that Arthur should have published The Protocols of the Elders of Zion on his site.

That B’nai B’rith Canada should actually go to the absurd length of suggesting that Arthur Topham should be sent to prison for, among other things, publishing the Protocols on his website—a book that anyone can buy anywhere—is a sure sign of desperation as well as malevolent overkill.

Apart from the Protocols, there are other books Arthur has published on his website which, according to B’nai B’rith Canada, he should not have published and which mark him out as a dangerous criminal who is a threat to Canada’s 375,000 Jews. These are books widely available not only on the internet but in major libraries and specialist bookshops, e.g., Eustace Mullins’ The Biological Jew and Elizabeth Dilling’s The Jewish Religion: Its Influence Today.

Elizabeth Dilling’s book, incidentally, happens to be a meticulously researched exposé of the Babylonian Talmud, revealing in quotation after shocking quotation the bizarre mindset of Talmudic Jewry. Here are a few examples of what will be found in the Jews’ holiest book:

(1) “When a Jew murders a gentile, there will be no death penalty. What a Jew steals from a gentile he may keep.

(2) “A Gentile girl who is three years old may be [sexually] violated.”

(3) “If a Jew is tempted to do evil, he should go to a city where he is not known and do the evil there.”

(4) “Jesus is in hell, being boiled in hot excrement.”

B’nai B’rith Canada is naturally incensed that the official Jewish hatred of non-Jews should be so openly revealed. They would prefer to see their hatred of the non-Jewish majority kept carefully under wraps. It follows that this highly repressive Jewish organization would not only like to see Dilling’s book banned, but they would also like to see Arthur Topham given a stiff prison sentence for daring to draw attention to the book on his website.

The unbelievable chutzpah of B’nai B’rith Canada was perhaps even more flagrantly on display when they raised objections to Arthur Topham’s republication on his site of Theodore N. Kaufman’s hate-filled 1941 book Germany Must Perish! Written by a mentally deranged American Jew, this disreputable book called for the TOTAL EXTERMINATION OF THE GERMAN PEOPLE BY FORCIBLE STERILIZATION OF EVERY SINGLE GERMAN MALE!

In order to highlight the enormity of what this psychotic Jew was actually suggesting, Arthur employed the ingenious device of republishing the book on his website with a few significant alterations. First, he changed  the title to IsraelMust Perish! Then he substituted the word “Israel” for “Germany”, “Jew for “German”, and “Netanyahu” for “Hitler”. This at once transformed Kaufman’s hateful book into a Swiftian satire.

The point Arthur Topham was making was unmistakable. If it is permissible to call for the mass extermination of the GERMAN people by enforced sterilization of every single GERMAN MALE, then it was equally permissible to call for the extermination of the JEWISH people by the enforced sterilization of every single JEWISH male. The logic was impeccable.

Such perfect logic, however, was displeasing to B’nai B’rith Canada, Driven to desperation, this Jewish organization then resorted to dirty tricks. First it alleged, falsely, that Arthur had actually published a real, hard copy book called Israel Must Perish!  He had done no such thing.

Secondly and even more egregiously, it made out that Arthur was himself advocating the genocide of the “whole Jewish population.” He was doing no such thing. It was Detective Constable Terry Wilson of British Columbia Hate Crimes Unit who told Arthur in person that B’nai B’rith Canada was attempting to make this defamatory and unprovable allegation.

Kaufman’s “hate-filled screed titled German Must Perish! [Arthur reveals on his website] “was promoted by the most prestigious mass media publications in the USA when it appeared in 1941 prior to America’s entry into the conflict. Magazines like Time and newspapers like the New York Times and the Washington Post lauded the idea of absolutely destroying the German nation and the German race as a whole, referring to this grotesquely contemptible concept as a “SENSATIONAL IDEA!”

GermanyPerishFBCovers-copy-3

The implacable Jewish hatred for the German people, oozing from every line of this nauseating book and easily demonstrated by its hysterical call for the mass “castration” of every single German male in the world by sterilization, was, you will regret to learn, not confined to one or two crazy Jews in Brooklyn. It was official government policy in an America already to a large extent dominated by its Jews.

In September 1944, the savagely vindictive Morgenthau Plan for Germany was unveiled. The evil brainchild of two Jews in the American administration, Harry Dexter White and Henry Morgenthau, this malevolent plan for postwar Germany amounted to little more than the mass castration of the German people—humiliation and punishment ad infinitum.

As the German propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels put it, “Hate and revenge of truly old-testament character are clear in these plans dreamed up by the American Jew Morgenthau. Industrialized Germany should be literally turned into a huge potato field.” This comment has naturally been dismissed as contemptible nonsense by the court historians and their Jewish mentors, given that Goebbels said it. Therefore to quote it as an indictment of Morgenthau is—you guessed it—”anti-Semitic”.

However, US Secretary of War Harry Stimson is not so easy to dismiss. Stimson’s final assessment of the Morgenthau Plan was that “it is Semitism gone wild for vengeance.” Morgenthau, he added, “was so biased by his Semitic grievances that he really is a very dangerous advisor to the President.” In his diary he wrote tersely: “Objective of punishment is prevention but not vengeance. Reason why Jew is disqualified.” (See here)

Needless to say, Stimson has himself been dismissed as an anti-Semite for saying this. De Judaiis nil nisi bonum.

Both Roosevelt and Churchill were to put their initials to the revengeful Morgenthau Plan. Helpless puppets of the powerful Jews who jerked their strings, it seems that neither world leader had much choice in the matter. Both lived to to regret their actions. Roosevelt later said “he had no idea how he could have initialled this.” Churchill was to parrot his words, “I had not time to examine the Morgenthau Plan in detail. I am sorry I put my initials to it.” (See here)

In his 1956 book The Controversy of Zion, Douglas Reed was to refer to the Morgenthau Plan as “The Talmudic Vengeance.” (Title of Chapter 42). An apt description, which perhaps helps to explain why Douglas Reed is another writer whose works organized Jewry would like to see banned, along with The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Elizabeth Dilling’s exposé of the Talmud, The Jewish Religion.

Conclusion

To summarize: Arthur Topham has said nothing that you or I have not said repeatedly, day in and day out. If Arthur is guilty of “hate speech”, then we are all guilty of hate speech. If Arthur is to be consigned to a Canadian prison for his views, then we all deserve to join him there and be allocated adjoining cells.

If Arthur is guilty of speaking out against the state of Israel, especially after its recent war crimes in Gaza, then we are ALL guilty—for there is not one of us who has not cried out in revulsion against the wanton mass murder and maiming of Palestinians, most of them women and children, whose only crime is that they happen to own the land the Jews covet.

Let this be noted: Canada, now almost completely under the Jewish yoke, would like to criminalize EVERY SINGLE CRITICISM OF THE JEWISH STATE. Merely to give offense to a Jew, to hurt his feelings by disagreeing with him, will soon earn you a stiff fine or a prison sentence. Here is what B’nai B’rith Canada would like to see incorporated into Canadian law:

“We must repeat again and again these basic facts — TO BE ‘anti-Israel’ IS TO BE ANTI-SEMITIC. TO BOYCOTT ISRAEL, ISRAELI PROFESSORS and ISRAELI business, these are not political acts, these are acts of hate, acts of anti-Semitism! Anti-Israel hysteria is anti-Semitic hysteria. They are one and the same.”

The above statement was made in 2009 by Yuli Edelstein, Israeli Minister of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs, The capital letters are his. (See Criminalizing Criticism of Israel in Canada”)

Here is the picture of a Palestinian child, her head half blown off by an Israeli sniper. Dare to express pity for this little girl and demand the punishment of the Israeli soldier guilty of doing this to her and you will soon face criminal proceedings in Canada.

Here is the picture of an Israeli woman, an atrocity tourist who claims that the sight of Palestinian children being killed gives her exquisite pleasure, almost bringing her an orgasm. Dare to criticize this sexually perverted Jewess and you will soon be accused of “anti-Semitism” by B’nai Brith Canada and sent to prison.

Can Canadian justice sink any lower? Do Canadian citizens really want to live in a totalitarian police state run by Jews? I don’t think so. Canadian justice must not be used as an instrument of oppression by a rabid and out-of-control Jewish minority.

B’nai B’rith Canada clearly does not represent the interests of most Canadian Jews, as it mendaciously claims. I know many Jews in Canada who totally reject being represented by this hate-filled organization. One such Jew is Arthur Topham’s beloved wife. If B’nai B’rith Canada has its way, her husband will be thrown into prison on trumped-up charges.

The witch hunt against  Arthur Topham by B’nai B’rith Canada must stop.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, CanadaComments Off on The Jewish Takeover of Canada: The Case of Arthur Topham

U.S. Alliance with FSA and ISIL in Six Photographs

NOVANEWS

by Rick Sterling

The following six photographs confirm that a favorite “moderate rebel” leader, Abdel Jabbar al-Okaidi, is allied with ISIL.

The first photograph is from Spring 2013 and shows Okaidi with the American who has been the principal coordinator of US policy on Syria. The last two photographs are from a meeting days ago when Congressmen Adam Kinzinger (Rep Illinois) and George Holding (Rep. North Carolina) met with Okaidi and other “moderate rebels” in Turkey.

Other photos show Okaidi with ISIL fighters and being interviewed about his relationship with ISIL. The photographs are from videos identified at bottom.

 

Ford&Okaidi

Photo 1 / May 2013/ Okaidi with Robert S. Ford, US Ambassador and Coordinator of the “Friends of Syria”

Okaidi&ISIL2

Photo 2 / August 2013 / Okaidi with ISIL fighters at Menagh Air Base, Syria.  ISIL leader is Abu Jandal to Okaidi’s left.

IslamicStateHereToStay

Photo 3. / August 2013 / ISIL Leader Abu Jandal at Menagh Air Base, Syria.

Okaidi_GoodRelsISIL

Photo 4 / November 2013 / Interview with Okaidi “My relationship with the brothers of ISIL is good.”

Okaidi_09242014_Turkey

Photo 5 / Sept 24, 2014/ Okaidi at meeting with US Congress members

Kinzinger_in_Turkey

Photo 6 / Sept 24 2014 / Congressman Kinzinger after meeting Okaidi and other “moderate rebels” who the US is arming, supplying and paying salaries.

 

By funding “moderate rebels” like FSA Colonel Okaidi, the US is in effective alliance with ISIL.

Under international law it is illegal to encourage, support and aid military and paramilitary activities against another State.
See the full videos here:

1) FSA leader Okaidi with US Ambassador Ford and ISIL leader plus interview with Okaidi:

2) Okaidi and Representative Kinzinger in Turkey:

Scott Bronstein and Drew Griffin, CNN, Syrian Rebel Groups Unite to Fight ISIS“, September 29, 2014

Posted in USA, Iraq, SyriaComments Off on U.S. Alliance with FSA and ISIL in Six Photographs

Pakistan: Armed Forces Broke the Backbone of the Terrorists

NOVANEWS

By Sajjad Shaukat

Although a full scale military operation Zarb-e-Azb which started in North Waziristan Agency

on June 15, this year against the ferocious terrorists led by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)

proceeds with appreciable triumph, successfully achieving its planned objectives, yet the

terrorists have started to show upsurge in their anti-state activities. Hence, target killing of

renowned political leaders, religious scholars and prominent figures have started in major

cities like Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Peshawar. Similarly, bomb blasts have also been

unleashed by the terrorists.

Taking cognizance of the recent terror-attacks, some media anchors and commentators

misperceive that TTP militants have still capacity to continue subversive activities. However,

this phenomenon needs analysis.

In fact, Pakistan’s Armed Forces have successfully broken the backbone and organized

capability of terrorists to launch well thought-out attacks against the government assets. They

have met serious setbacks in operation Zarb-e-Azb, and shall finally be totally eliminated from

their safe havens in FATA and other parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Pakistan.

It appears, as if the militants of TTP have lost major grounds, and in severe frustration, they are

trying to create some kind of so-called pressure on the government and the Armed Forces.

Division in TTP and fighting among the terrorists indicate that they have lost the ability to put up

strong resistance. Therefore, it is expected that very soon, the menace of terrorism will be totally

eliminated from FATA and other parts of Pakistan.

It is notable that the Afghan government’s propaganda against Pakistan for supporting terrorists

groups and militias in Afghanistan is totally unfounded and baseless. This simply indicates

the malicious mind-set of Afghan leadership which has become habitually ungrateful and

It is mentionable that Afghanistan is responsible for terrorists’ penetration into Pakistan. Since

April, 2011, some 200 to 400 heavily-armed militants from Afghanistan’s side entered Pakistan’s

region, from time to time, and targeted the security check posts, civil and military infrastructure

of the tribal areas. So far, these terrorists have killed several personnel of Pakistan’s security

forces and innocent civilians.

Nevertheless, the way the Afghan militants are challenging a highly professional Pak Army

is enough to prove that with the tactical assistance of American CIA, Indian RAW and Israeli

Mossad which have well-established their collective network in Afghanistan are fully backing

these cross-border incursions with a view to destabilizing Pakistan which is the only nuclear

country in the Islamic World.

While, Afghanistan has become a hub of anti-Pakistan activities from where these external secret

agencies are also sending logistic support to Baloch separatist elements to dismember Pakistan in

order to obtain the secret strategic designs of the US, India and Israel. Besides martyring several

personnel of security agencies in Balochistan, these foreign-backed entities kidnapped and

massacred many innocent people including teachers, lawyers, Hazara-Shias etc., and Chinese

Besides, with the cooperation of Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Afghan intelligence-
National Directorate of Security (NDS), and with the tactical assistance of CIA and Mossad,

RAW has well-organized anti-Pakistan espionage network in Afghanistan. For this sinister

move, a religious Madrassa of Wakhan, located in Afghanistan is functioning under the

patronage of Indian officials. It is being used for brainwashing of very young boys who are

Afghans and so-called Indian Muslims. Posing themselves as Pakistani Taliban, they have joined

the ranks and files of the TTP, Pakistan and other banned extremist outfits. In the recent years,

especially TTP’s insurgents and its affiliated banned groups conducted many terror-activities like

suicide attacks, ruthless beheadings of tribesmen, assaults on security personnel and prominent

figures including Shias, Ahmadis, Sufis, Christians and Sikhs. Besides, terror-attacks in Khyber

Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Karachi are part of the scheme to create chaotic situation in the

In this context, Pakistan’s civil and military leadership has repeatedly lodged a strong protest

with their counterparts in Afghanistan and NATO, saying that their forces were doing nothing

to check insurgents’ activities, based in the Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nuristan. Afghan

government also refused to hand over Maulvi Fazlullah, leader of TTP and other militants who

have been conducting acts of sabotage in Pakistan.

Nonetheless, Afghan government is supporting TTP and Baloch sub-nationalist elements on

its soil; it has allowed the country to become centre of terrorism by providing space not only to

terrorists, but also to hostile intelligence agencies including RAW to implement their nefarious

agendas by abetting instability and terrorism in Pakistan.

Particularly, Afghan blame game could be judged from the fact that with the start of Pakistan’s

military Operation Zarb-e-Azb against the militants in North Waziristan Agency, while playing

in hands of external powers, Afghan authorities have intensified their propaganda against

Pak Army and ISI for supporting insurgency, selective operations and cross-border attacks in

Afghanistan. The narrative not only scapegoats Pakistan for all Afghan failures, but also portrays

Pakistan’s security forces and intelligence agencies in bad light.

In this connection, Afghan accusations are unsubstantiated and are bound to distract the

concentration of Afghan key contributors, ranging from general public to mainstream political,

key economic and security related issues. Afghan authorities are trying to blow up matters at

international scene for covering up own follies and failures, encompassing the above mentioned

So, Afghan rulers and media are not independent in their decisions and opinions, and are

virtually stand hostage to Indian advisors.

While, poppy cultivation has risen to all time high, and Afghanistan has become one of the

biggest contributors of drug proliferation in the region and beyond. And, Afghan government has

failed in controlling corruption and implementing rule of law, while international community

especially major donors are averse to such malpractices.

Undoubtedly, operation Zarb-e-Azb is aimed at eliminating terrorists from North Waziristan

Agency. Therefore, government of Afghanistan must undertake its obligatory role against

terrorists who are crossing Pak-Afghan border. Both the neighbouring countries are required to

fight the menace of militancy by adopting policies of convergence, not the divergence.

Media must highlight Pakistan’s resolve to develop brotherly relations with Afghanistan, based

on non-interference and mutual respect. Islamabad has already supported and appreciated

Afghan power sharing accord between the presidential candidates Ashraf Ghani and Abdullal

Meanwhile, it is a good sign that in wake of the changing strategy of the militants to target

extremely sensitive places including airports, naval dockyards and airbases, positive steps have

been undertaken to counter the threat posed by terrorists. In addition, insurgents are resorting to

target killing of prominent figures including intellectuals, professors, politico-religious leaders

and heads of institutions. The aim is to glorify the stance of terrorists through attention-seeking

efforts and becoming media item of discussion and analysts. In this respect, no doubt Pakistan

valiant Armed Forces have broken the backbone of the terrorists led by the TTP, but there is a

need to prepare a comprehensive strategy to denounce the terrorists under which all segments of

society including media must condemn the terrorists, and they should not be provided any space

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants,

Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

Posted in Pakistan & KashmirComments Off on Pakistan: Armed Forces Broke the Backbone of the Terrorists

Syria’s Position Regarding America’s Campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS)

NOVANEWS

Speech by Syria’s Deputy Prime Minister Walid al-Moallem, UN General Assembly

Global Research

Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem, delivered a speech on Monday at the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly, in which he affirmed that Syria supports any international effort to combat terrorism as long as it fully preserves civilians’ lives and national sovereignty and is carried out according to international accords.

Following is the full text of the speech:

H. E. Sam Kutesa,

President of the General Assembly,

I would like to congratulate you and your friendly country, Uganda, on your election as President of the General Assembly at its current session, and to wish you success in leading the work this session for the enhancement of the important and neutral role of the President of the General Assembly. I would like to thank your predecessor, Mr. John Ashe for his presidency of the previous session.

Mr. President,

Many events and significant transformations have taken place since I stood hare last year. Those events and transformations surprised many of the countries present here with us, but they didn’t surprise us, because we have been, over the past three and a half years, warning and reiterating our warning in order to avoid what we have come to now.

Speeches from this platform were about economic and political crises that we have been waiting for the international community to solve them, but, maybe speaking about these issues now is no longer a priority. What we are witnessing for few months is much more dangerous than all the political and economic crises that have happened in the world.

We have spoken on more than one occasion and on more than one international platform about the grave danger of the terrorism striking Syria. We said that this terrorism will not be confined within the borders of my country because terrorism recognizes no boundaries. This extremist ideology does not acknowledge anything but itself, and does not recognize anything but slaughter, murder and torture. You are witnessing today what the ISIS, the most dangerous terrorist organization in the world at all in terms of funding and brutality, is doing to Syrians and Iraqis of all spectra and religions. This terrorist organization is enslaving women, raping them and selling them in slave markets; it is cutting heads and limbs, and it is teaching children slaughter and murder, besides destroying historical and cultural monuments, as well as Islamic and Christian Symbols.

All of this is happening before the entire world and the countries that have always said they are fighting terrorism. Furthermore, some of them have tasted the scourge of terror.

Today, I stand here to ask the following: is it not due time, ladies and gentlemen, for all of us to stand as one in the face of this serious menace of terrorist takfiri ideology worldwide? Has not the moment of truth arrived for us all to admit that ISIS, Al-Nusrah Front and then rest of the Al-Qaeda affiliates, will not be limited within the borders of Syria and Iraq, but will spread to every spot it can reach, starting with Europe and America? Should we not learn the lesson from what happened in previous years and bring together full international efforts to stand in the face of those organizations? Those organizations, themselves, rallied extremists from all corners of the earth and brought them to one spot to train and arm them, and later to re-disseminate their ideology and terrorism through those extremists back to wherever they originated from.

Someone might say that, recently, a resolution under Chapter VII was passed unanimously to stop the expansion of this, and other, terrorist organizations, and to eliminate them.

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is true that to arrive late is better than never. Indeed, this UN resolution, adopted on 15/08/2014, came too late, but the question asked here is whether everyone is serious and resolute about its implementation? But since its adoption, we have not seen any serious move to implement this resolution. Furthermore, we have not felt any real sense of the danger to work on its basis on the part of the regional states that were and are still providing all kinds of support to these terrorist organizations. On the contrary, what we see on the part of the US administration is a double standard policy and alliances to score certain political agendas, particularly through supporting with money, weapons and training of groups they call moderate. This is a real recipe for the increase of violence and terrorism, shedding of Syrian blood, prolonging of the Syrian crisis and demolishing of the political solution at its basis. This behavior creates a fertile ground for the growth of these terrorist groups that commit the most heinous crimes on the Syrian territory, which requires all of us to seriously and effectively address and eradicate terrorism, and re-establish security and stability in Syria and the region.

Today, the enslaved women are looking forward to us to see what we will do for them, their sisters and their children. The sons and daughters of the victims beheaded by ISIS are waiting for our actions, and for our reaction in the face of the atrocities committed daily by this terrorist organization, “Al-Nusrah Front” and others.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Combating terrorism cannot be done through unimplemented UN resolutions. Intentions here no longer have a place. Fighting terrorism is achievable through actual implementation of resolutions, and it is certainly possible through military strikes. But most importantly, to do so through stopping states that arm, support, train, fund and smuggle those terrorist groups. We have also to drain the resources of terrorism. Striking terrorism militarily while some states are continuing their support of terrorist groups, this will create a whirlpool of which the international community will not exit in decades.

Military strikes should coincide with the implementation of Security Council resolution Number 2178 adopted on September 24th, 2014 under Chapter VII. We have also to put pressure on countries that render all multifaceted support to these terrorist organizations; these countries are well known to all of us. Most importantly, to pressurize those countries that exported and are still exporting extremist and takfiri ideology that poses a grave danger to international peace and security. The ISIS is an ideology metamorphosed into an organization supported, armed and trained in order to be unleashed like a monster against Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. Let us together stop this ideology and its exporters, let us, simultaneously, exert pressure on the countries that joined the coalition led by the United States to stop their support of armed terrorist groups. Only then combating terrorism militarily becomes viable. Otherwise, our presence here will not amount to the level of tears of the captives, women and children, who are victims of the ISIS, and Al-Nusrah Front and others.

Once again, the Syrian Arab Republic reiterates that it stands with any international effort aimed at fighting and combating terrorism, and stresses that this must be done in full respect of the lives of innocent civilians and within the frame of full respect of national sovereignty, and in conformity with international conventions

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is due time to pool all our efforts against this terrorism, since imminent danger is surrounding everyone and no country is immune to it. My country was and it is still firm in its position that was announced in the eighties of the last century, regarding fighting terrorism, before this terrorism goes rampant as it is currently. Mr. President, we, in Syria, respect our commitments and honor our promises and pledges. This was what we confirmed on more than one occasion, particularly since the beginning of the crisis in Syria.

Syria agreed unconditionally to attend Geneva 2 Conference, and participated in its deliberations with an open mind, although we were convinced that the solution of the crisis should be a Syrian one taking place on Syrian territory. However, and as a goodwill gesture, and to stop bloodshed of Syrians’ blood, we went to Geneva only to find a delegation that does not negotiate on behalf of Syrians. Originally, that delegation has no influence on the ground in Syria and neither popularity nor legitimacy among the Syrian people. It was a delegation negotiating with the Syrian government while following the orders of its western masters. A delegation that does not believe in combating terrorism or confronting it. Furthermore, it was a delegation that does not respect Syria’s sovereignty and its territorial integrity. A delegation that verbally refuses to ask terrorist groups to end their terrorism. We know that this opposition would not even be able to pressurize anyone, neither the armed groups nor any Syrian faction on the ground.

We went to Geneva with a priority based on combating terrorism because we believed, and continue to believe, that we cannot start any political solution while terrorism is still rampant in Syria. There were some who opposed us in Geneva in recognizing that combating terrorism is a priority, although it is a paramount part of Geneva Declaration provisions, but the delegation of the so-called “Coalition” continued to reject any point tackling or renouncing terrorism. Now, we all see the international community adopting our perspective that fighting terrorism tops all priorities, and that nothing at all could be done as long as terrorism is brutally striking against everything that comes in its way and as long as those terrorists will return to the countries where its members came from.

Once again, we emphasize that we are ready, and even are striving, for a political solution in Syria and in dialogue with all honorable national opposition members opposing terrorism in Syria, and among Syrians themselves and on Syrian territory.

The presidential elections, that took place before the sight of the world, put everyone before their responsibilities. The will of the Syrians is above all those who tried to suppress it for more than three years now, and it was manifested when Syrians inside and outside Syria said their word for the whole universe to hear.

Now, after the presidential elections, we would like to tell everyone who wants and looks forward to a political solution in Syria that they must firstly respect the Syrian people’s will, which was manifested explicitly, clearly, strongly and most loudly. They chose their President, for the first time in Syria’s modern history, in multi-party elections, with the international monitors from several countries that witnessed the integrity, transparency and the enthusiasm of the people to participate in these elections.

Mr. President, I would like to emphasize that the Syrian people has made its choice, and those who want to speak on behalf of the people’s must, first, be representatives of the people, and, secondly, they should respect the will of the Syrian people and its decisions.

Therefore, any dialogue must be based on foundations that should respect the will of the Syrian people and its decision. Accordingly, we are open to a political solution in Syria, with a real opposition that seeks the prosperity, stability and security of Syria, an opposition that does not depend on the outside and does not speak on behalf of the outside. An opposition that has an impact on the Syrian territory, and has deep roots inside Syria, not in hotels and Western capitals. A national opposition that upholds fighting terrorism as its priority, as well as, an opposition that encourages the ongoing local reconciliations, paving the way for the success of the political solution.

Mr. President,

The continuation of terrorist attacks in Syria increase the humanitarian needs in many of the basic areas, the inhuman sanctions, imposed by the European Union and the United States, aggravated the living conditions of Syrian civilians. In collaboration with the United Nations and its humanitarian agencies, and within the framework of humanitarian response plans agreed upon them with the Syrian government, my government is working to meet the basic needs of citizens, especially those forced by the terrorist acts to flee their homes. We should note that a great number of our people were forced to resort to some neighboring countries, and regrettably, some of those countries put the displaced Syrian in military training camps, or in what resembles places of detention. I stress, from this platform, that the Syrian state guarantees for those citizens who are willing, the safe return and decent life away from the inhuman conditions they are suffering in those camps. I would like to assure Syria’s readiness to exert all efforts to deliver aid from international organizations to all Syrian citizens without any discrimination wherever they are, and within the framework of respecting the national sovereignty.

The Syrian Arab Republic confirms its adherence to the full restoration of the occupied Syrian Golan until the line of June 4th, 1967. It also emphasizes its rejection of all actions taken by Israel, the occupying power, to change its natural, geographical and demographic characteristics, in clear violation of relevant Security Council resolutions, in particular resolutions 497 of 1981 and 465 of 1980. Syria confirms, also, that the Palestinian issue is the central issue of the Syrian people, which supports the inalienable and legitimate rights of the brotherly Palestinian people, particularly, the right to return and self-determination, and to establish its independent state on its land, with Jerusalem as its capital.

Last September, Syria accepted the initiative of the President of the Russian Federation, H.E. Mr. Vladimir Putin, and joined the Convention of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, based on the need to establish in the Middle East a free zone of nuclear weapons and all weapons of mass destruction. It also wanted to prove to the whole world its commitment to stand against any use of chemical weapons.

Syria fulfilled its obligations resulting from its accession to the Convention, and completed its commitments despite the prevailing difficult situation. Were it not for the Syrian cooperation with the UN-OPCW Joint Mission, it would have not been possible to complete the tasks of the Mission. The Special Coordinator of the Mission, Ms. Sigrid Kagg, expressed her happiness and gratitude for the fruitful and constructive cooperation of the Syrian Government, which led to the completion of the unprecedented work.

Syria is committed to the full implementation of the provisions of the Convention as a state party, and within the frame of the OPCW. The big question that remains is whether those who are supplying the terrorists with this, and other types of weapons, will stop their actions and abide by international law, in particular the Convention of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the Security Council resolutions related to terrorism?

Syria stresses that establishing a zone free from all weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East is unachievable without the accession of Israel, the only nuclear power in the region, to all treaties banning such weapons, and to put its nuclear facilities under the supervision of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). At the same time, we emphasize the right of all countries to acquire and develop nuclear technology for peaceful uses.

Mr. President,

Imposing unethical unilateral coercive economic measures by the United States and the European Union contradicts the rules of international law and the principles of free trade. On this basis, we call for the lifting of the blockade imposed by the United States against Cuba for decades, as we renew our call to lift and stop all the unilateral coercive measures imposed on Syria and the peoples of other countries such as Iran, DPRK, Venezuela and Belarus.

Mr. President,

Finally, we look forward to the United Nations to be able to achieve the aspirations of our peoples to live in dignity, development and food self-sufficiency, far away from all forms of terrorism, tension and confrontation, in implementation of the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, in particular the safeguarding of the sovereignty of states and their equality in rights and obligations. Also we believe that priority should be given to work on the concerted efforts of the international community to combat the terrorism of the ISIS and Al-Nusrah Front, and other al-Qaeda affiliates, and drain its resources in order for security and stability to prevail in our region and the world.

Posted in SyriaComments Off on Syria’s Position Regarding America’s Campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS)

The US’ Unauthorised Air Strikes in Syria: Against or Favouring Wahhabism and the Islamic State?

NOVANEWS

Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

Global Research

 

Since the night of September 22/23, US fighter planes have been carrying out strikes with missiles and drones against targets in and around Raqqah, the city in the Northern part of Syria where are located the headquarters of ISIS’ self-proclaimed ‘Islamic state’. Four of the US’s Middle Eastern allies are known to be taking part in these aerial strikes. They signify not just an extension in the warfare the US had previously launched against ISIS positions in Northern Iraq, but herald a decisive break with President Obama’s past efforts to wind down and bring to an end the US’s involvement in Middle Eastern wars. Once again, as when the US had started its aggression for the overthrow of the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussain (2003), – the current air strikes are clearly illegitimate.

They have neither been authorized by the Syrian government, nor by the UN’s Security Council. Although the start of the bombardments inside Syria was preceded by efforts to craft a broad international coalition – at meetings held in Great Britain (NATO), in France and in Saudi Arabia – some of the US’s European allies have expressly stated that the bombardments of Syrian targets lack a legal basis. Meanwhile, leading spokespersons of the US’s Military Industrial Complex, such as army chief Dempsey and Defense Secretary Hagel, have speculated on an another imperial ground war, aimed at dislodging ISIS from Syria and Iraq.

To bring out the fact that the US’s war on ISIS is controversial from the beginning, it is useful to look at the nature of Middle Eastern governments that have committed support to the US. Towards recruiting participants for its war plans, gaining logistical support and financial backing, the US in the first part of September held a meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where 10 countries took part. In an editorial published in the US’s most respectable daily on the very day the air strikes over Syria started, the coalition resulting from this Saudi meeting was described as ‘the unlikeliest of coalitions!’ This in view of the huge funding and other backing ISIS has been receiving from countries that joined the same Saudi meeting.

Yet only a few months back one had a hard time tracing reliable data in Western media or at internet on the history of ISIS’ funding. Some researchers of US think tanks such as the Brookings Institution were quoted as stating that ISIS has been mobilizing support from Gulf states for years. Only recently has the world’s mainstream press woken up to the fact that Wahhabi clerics and other backers have been voicing pro-ISIS propaganda on t.v. channels in Qatar, and that the Saudi and Kuwaiti government have not hindered, but allowed ISIS-sympathizers to publicly canvass for donors. Worse – Turkey, Syria’s neighbor, has been facilitating oil exports from areas ISIS controls. Indeed, one wonders for how long Western intelligence agents active in the Middle East have been asleep.

US officials, pressed by these media reports, now argue that Gulf state governments should curb any funding of ISIS from their territories. But is the matter merely one of a lax attitude by Gulf states towards Sunni extremism? How come this issue is being addressed only now, whereas the rise of ISIS and other new ‘al-Qaida’-type forces started way back in the middle of the previous decade, when US forces were battling against Sunni extremist groups in the context of their Iraq occupation? The point is of course that cooperation with Wahhabism, Sunni fundamentalism´s leading current, has been built into the very strategy which the hegemonic Western powers -, first Great Britain, then the US – have been pursuing for long.

The UK did so from well before the founding of Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi kingdom (1932). Further, Western allies such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Gulf states may finally been seen to distance themselves from ISIS, – but the reality is that the ideology and practices of these countries’ rulers and their Wahhabi clergy closely resemble those of ISIS’s top leadership! Just as in ISIS’ ‘Caliphate’, people who don’t conform to the country’s strict laws are regularly beheaded in Saudi Arabia. Just as in areas ‘liberated’ by ISIS in Iraq, numerous Sufi shrines have been demolished here in the past. Saudi rulers have pledged to the US that they will help train fighters against ISIS, and have proposed that Saudi clerics inculcate these combatants with proper Islamic views. Yet is there any sharp line of demarcation between Saudi Wahhabism and ISIS’s extremism?

Clearly, after over a decade of unsuccessful efforts to combat international ‘terrorism’, US foreign policy is enmeshed in a web of self-inflicted internal contradictions. But then there may be other, hard reasons explaining the US decision to forge an alliance with cousins of ISIS’s Sunni extremism. Here Qatar is probably the most telling example right now. Though Qatar’s rulers profess their own variety of Wahhabism and have been enthusiastic supporters of Sunni fundamentalist forces operating throughout the Middle East for years, – the tiny Gulf state’s air base Al Udeid hosts the regional headquarters of CENTCOM, the command centre of US military personnel and hardware in the Middle East. Given the controversy over Qatar’s role in helping ISIS get funding from people who have amassed oil wealth, – its rulers have now been told to keep a low profile and tone down their international role. Yet no incriminating revelations by US think tanks or press reports prevent the US from maintaining the closest possible arms’ trade-ties with the government of Qatar. In the middle of July last, US officials announced that negotiations had been concluded towards the sale of Patriot missiles, Apache helicopters, and other weapons, valued at 11 Billion US Dollars! And this deal was stated to be the ‘very biggest’ arms’ trade-deal of the US in 2014.

Some six years back, Obama was elected the US’s President by the American people on an anti-war ticket. Yet being put under huge pressure from the side of the US’s transatlanticized Military Industrial Complex, he has launched air strikes that are causing massive devastations and further disruption of life in both Syria and Iraq. Just a year ago, in September of 2013, Obama felt compelled to call off air strikes planned against Syria’s government of Assad. The evidence over the use of chemical weapons was shaky, and Russia mediated a sensible compromise.

This time round, the relentless, nightly aerial bombardments are ostensible directed against Assad’s jihadi opponents, meaning the barrel of Obama’s gun is now pointing in reverse direction. Surely, the current air strikes were preceded by a publicity offensive that was well orchestrated, and a significant part of the public in the West believes the strikes are justified. Yet as the above story on the new war alliance the US has crafted with Arab states indicates, – by no stretch of imagination can it be argued that the current war systematically aims at weakening the international influence of intolerant forms of Islam. Already, critics argue that the air war only threatens to prolong, nay vastly increase the suffering of people all over the Middle East. As did the wars initiated in 2001 and 2003, respectively against the Taliban in Afghanistan and against Saddam’s Iraq. The UN should immediately take the US to task, demand it halt its unjust war waged with intolerant Wahhabi regimes, and take its own responsibility.

Posted in USA, Saudi Arabia, Syria1 Comment

Keep the Kashmir Issue in Limelight

NOVANEWS

By Sajjad Shaukat

One the one side, Indian new government led by the fundamentalist party BJP’s leader and

Prime Minister Narindra Modi is trying to divert attention of international community from the

Kashmir dispute by various sinister steps, on the other, Kashmiri leaders and Pakistan have been

keeping this issue in limelight.

In this regard, terming the support and advocacy of the right to self determination of the people

of Jammu and Kashmi (J&K), as historic commitment and duty for Pakistan, Prime Minister

Nawaz Sharif, while addressing 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA),

stressed for settlement of the Kashmir issue, and offered Pakistan’s readiness to endeavour for

the same through negotiations. He also reminded the international community of its pledge

and responsibility for holding “plebiscite” in the Indian-held Kashmir, and resolves the issue

in accordance with UN Charter. The speech generated appreciations from the political circles

of Pakistan and Kashmir as well. It is also acknowledged that the speech is true reflection of

sentiments of the people of Pakistan, who believe that peace and prosperity in south Asia is inter-
linked with solution of core dispute of Kashmir between Pakistan and India.

Pakistan’s attempt to sensitize the international community on the unresolved state of Kashmir

issue at the annual session of the UNGA seems to have irked Indian political circles in general

and diplomatic and journalist communities in particular. Under the growing frustration, a

notoriously controversial journalist affiliated with the Indian NDTV namely Barkha Dutt

engaged Pakistan’s prime minister’s special advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, and managed

to create a controversy through aggressive posture to make him concede that Pakistani High

Commissioner Abdul Basit’s meeting with the Kashmiri leadership in New Delhi was ill-timed

and affected Secretary level engagements. Majority of Pakistani media also covered the remarks

of Sartaj Aziz in the similar fashion projected by the NDTV. And, Barkha Dutt, while trying to

create misunderstanding to discredit Pakistan, has also hinted that Kashmir issue is “Achilles

heels” of the Indian diplomacy. No doubt, Barkha-Aziz episode has been projected by the Indian

media as admittance on the part of Pakistani official that due to the meeting with Kashmir leader

by High Commissioner in Delhi, India was justified to cancel Secretary level talks with Pakistan.

An impression is also given that Islamabad was not serious about engagements with New Delhi.

In this context, by using the pretext of meeting between Pakistan’s High Commissioner and

the Hurriyat leaders of Kashmir, Indian Prime Minister Narindra Modi called off peace talks,

scheduled to be held in Islamabad on August 25, 2014 between foreign secretaries of India and

However, the created controversy on the part of Indian media is a deliberate attempt to

discredit Pakistani leadership’s sincere efforts to remind the international community of their

responsibilities on resolution of Kashmir issue. Moreover, Indian media created an impression

that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif by highlighting Kashmir issue made an effort to improve

relations with Military establishment in the backdrop of the protesters of the sit-ins led by PTI

and PAT. Indian Media also generated attached controversies of gray relations between political

and military echelons of Pakistan. It may be recalled that on the pretext of boiling political

situation, a segment of Pakistani media had suggested the prime minister to skip attending the

UN General Assembly’s session.

It is notable that the extremist party BJP led by the Indian Prime Minister Modi is implementing

anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan agenda. In this context, BJP leader Dr. Subramaniam Swamy, a

staunch promoter of Hindutva (Hindu nationalism) stated on July 12, this year that India needed

only two years to defeat Pakistan militarily, and the only solution of Kashmir was war, as “there

is no peaceful, democratic solution.

Hence, the decision to terminate the secretary level parleys came as a political maneuvering

by Narindra Modi’s regime, showing signs of Indian arrogance and intransigence, driven by

emotional reaction, on which BJP top leadership capitalized to win the elections 2014. Besides,

India recently intensified unprovoked firing at the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir including

Working Boundary in Sialkot and other sectors to terrorize Pakistan, without caring the fact that

the latter is also a nuclear power.

Nevertheless, India has never been sincere in engaging in meaningful peace process with

Pakistan. Every Indian government due to international pressure found it easy to make false

pledges that it was willing to engage in peace process to resolve all issues including Kashmir

dispute with Islamabad. But, New Delhi earnestly endeavored to find excuses and pretexts

to cancel peace talks, while shifting the blame to Pakistan. For example, in 2002, under the

pretension of terrorist attack on the Indian parliament, India postponed the dialogue process.

Again, in 2008, India cancelled the ‘composite dialogue’ on the pretext of Mumbai terror attacks.

It is mentionable that on May 27, 2014 Prime Minister Modi’s meeting with Prime Minister

Sharif who went to New Delhi to participate in the oath-taking ceremony proved faultless,

because Modi raised baseless issues of terrorism as pre-conditions to advance the Pak-Indian

dialogue to resolve various issues including the core dispute of Kashmir. He said that slow pace

of trial against the terrorists regarding the Mumbai 26/11 terror case, being held in Pakistan—

Islamabad should take action against the culprits, and should stop cross-border terrorism in India.

While showing unrealistic approach, and talking in the terms of Hindu religious extremism,

Indian new prime minister ignored the fact that on July 19, 2013 the Indian former home

ministry and ex-investigating officer Satish Verma disclosed that terror-attacks in Mumbai in

November 26, 2008 and assault on Indian Parliament in January 12, 2001 were carried out by the

Indian government to strengthen anti-terrorism laws.

Similarly, Modi also neglected the statement of Indian ex-Army Chief Gen. VK Singh openly

confessed in September 2013 that special intelligence unit like Technical Services Division

were raised by him to operate inside Pakistan, particularly in Balochistan and Azad Kashmir to

conduct terrorism and to bribe the politicians in the Indian-Occupied Kashmir.

In fact, it is a set practice of India to engage with Kashmiri leadership prior to any high level

meeting with Pakistan. Kashmiri leaders are the central representatives about whom New Delhi

and Islamabad will proceed to decide their fate through peace parleys. Therefore, they cannot be

ignored as vital stakeholders. In this regard, Indian interpretations of stakeholders in the light of

Simla Agreement (By ignoring the Kashmiri leaders) are absolutely mischievous.

It is of particular attention that soon after assuming power, Modi government, hurriedly decided

to forcibly annex and integrate disputed territory of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, uncovering

its intentions to wrap up the article 370 of the Indian constitution which ensures a special status

to J&K. The aim behind is to fortify measures and continue its illegal occupation in the J&K.

Therefore, United Nations Military Observer Group India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) in New

Delhi was asked to vacate official accommodation, claiming that its role had become irrelevant,

and indicating its intention to violate UN Security Council’s resolutions on Kashmir dispute, and

to further commit human rights violations in the India-controlled Kashmir.

So, Indian extremist rulers’ efforts to abrogate article 370 in the Indian occupied Kashmir

indicates that BJP led Modi government is proceeding with a plan to promote Hindutva

philosophy and annex Kashmir as part of Indian union.

Nonetheless, it is Pakistan’s high officials and media must point out that New Delhi is willfully

blaming Pakistan for cancellation of Secretary level talks. Indian hypocrisy is quite evident that

on the pretext of meeting with Kashmiri leaders, they cancelled the engagements with Pakistan.

Maximum projection is required to be extended especially through print, electronic and social

media to highlight that India played a mischievous role (Various forms of state terrorism) in the

Indian-controlled Kashmir from purported accession of Kashmiri Maharaja to neutralization

of Sheikh Abdullah by Nehru, followed by increasing Army deployment there, and atrocities

committed against men, women and children of an independence loving Kashmiri nation.

Indian mischievous activities in the Indian-held Kashmir are also narrated and confirmed by an

ex-RAW official R K Yadu in his book “Mission RAW.”

No doubt, Pakistan un-dauntingly supports self-determination struggle of Kashmiri people, and

its political, military and public is in complete harmony in this respect, yet its top officials and

media including the Kashmiri leaders must keep the Kashmir issue in limelight by showing to

the internal community that being the usurper and occupying state, India is not sincere to engage

in peaceful dialogue to resolve this issue with Pakistan.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants,

Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

Posted in Pakistan & KashmirComments Off on Keep the Kashmir Issue in Limelight

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