Archive | October 23rd, 2014

Financial Terrorism: The Wonga Payday Lending Experiment

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by BINOY KAMPMARK

This business has been too focused on growth and cared more about the loan outcome than the customer outcome.
Andy Haste, Wonga Chairman, The Guardian, Oct 16, 2014.

Keeping people poor in a world of seedy abandonment. Borrowing at phenomenal rates. Loan sharks running wild, dressed by the language of assistance and salvation. All of this should be the stuff to be binned and repelled by governments, but in an age when governments forfeit, rather than affirm responsibility in the face of the economy, the phenomenon of Wonga, a deferred deposit loan operator, has come to thrive. Private indebtedness has become both a condition and a lifestyle.

The names of such companies as Wonga suggests something benign, a sort of gentle helper in the world of tightened finance. You need cash. You need it quickly. Get the money, but then repay it at phenomenally high rates of interest. If you can’t make the payments by each payday, then you can be re-issued with a new round of finance for the debt. The circle closes, and is never opened. Goods can be repossessed. Property is surrendered. A loan of $200 easily multiplies to returns of $2000 for the lending company. (Wonga’s own rates can be up to 5,853 per cent a year.)

As the Australian Securities and Investments Commission cautions individuals, “The best way to stay out of debt is not to get a loan. Think about whether you really need the money right now, whether there are any other options, and whether a small amount loan is the right credit product for you.” Steven M. Graves of California State University, Northridge draws up a depressing picture. “Growing disparities in the type of and accessibility to credit in the inner city has generated calls for greater regulation to curb practices by payday lenders that critics claim disproportionately affect poor and minority customers.”

It should not be surprising that this fiendish financial product is not new. Alan Bond, convicted for Australia’s biggest corporate fraud, was one who did enjoy the business of pay-day lending. In Britain and the United States, it took off, a rogue model of obtaining profits that sent financiers courting those at the bottom of the economic food chain.

It even got the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, worried. So much so, in fact, that he has a proposal: supporting credit co-ops, effectively credit unions that will act as a buffer against the loan shark model. In Welby’s words, they will be “both engaged in their communities and are much more professional – and people have got to know about them.”

Welby, however, has another reason. Wonga has become a problem for his own organisation. The Church of England’s pension fund has found its money invested via a North American venture capital firm in Wonga’s own reserves. Ethical uprightness has, as a result, been undercut. “It shouldn’t happen, it’s very embarrassing, but these things do happen and we have to find out why and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Wonga, which has been termed a “payday lender”, has written off the debts of 330,000 borrowers this month who were more than 30 days in arrears. The value of that comes down to an eye goggling £220m. Additionally, 45,000 customers in arrears will not be chased up for interest owing. The company is in retreat in the face of its own practices which have managed to lure individuals into the debt cycle in the name of innovative “business models”. Perhaps it is only fitting that it should have a new chairman by the name of Andy Haste, whose surname does not augur well for the company’s practices.

In a desperate attempt to salvage an already sunk reputation, the company has also appointed debt management executive Paul Miles as the new chief financial officer. He knows the right things to say, hoping to put “good governance and superior operating processes at the heart of everything Wonga does”.

This could either be startlingly simple, or monumentally difficult, given the way Wonga has been operating. Hectoring customers under false names claiming to represent fictitious legal companies is not perhaps a “superior operating process” by any stretch of the imagination, but it must have been fun for the employees of the company whose names were actually used.

Sensitivities (because even financial markets can be sensitive) exist towards any move that could reduce the interest on the lending system, to make it more accessible without necessarily being more punitive. This might be due to the mania associated with the bubble of the housing market, something that has become a deity to worship rather than dethrone. As financial reporter Max Keiser notes, this disease can be attributed to the Thatcher period, as if we had not already noted it, when all Britons became housing speculators.

The latest write-offs on the part of Wonga, and the keen manoeuvring to adjust its top staff, have been deemed apologies of purpose. They still want to operate, and have suddenly decided to come clean with a modern, revised conscience. Such a self-discovery, however, is pure illusion. The vital issue there is less to placate the customer than to placate the regulator.

That will not impress the Archbishop of Canterbury, who has made it clear to Wonga’s founder Errol Damelin that he hopes to “compete” the likes of Wonga “out of existence”. Fourteen states in the US have moved to ban payday lenders. Some Australian states have set limits on the maximum annual percentage rate.

With the emergence of new digital market models, be it through Bitcoin, crowsourced funding, and such creations as Metrobank, new financial imperatives continue to operate. But any regulator with teeth will have to consider halting the relentless march of the debt inducing machine that is the payday lender.

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Zio-Nazi excluded from war games in Italy following protests

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Palestinians in Gaza appealed directly to Italy not to allow the Israeli military to take part in exercises on its soil.

(BDS Movement)

The Israeli air force has been removed from the list of armed forces now taking part in multinational military training exercises on the Italian island of Sardinia following a campaign by anti-war activists.

During Israel’s deadly 51-day bombing campaign on Gaza in July and August, anti-militarization and Palestine solidarity groups mobilized against the military drills in general, and Israel’s participation in particular.

Palestinians in Gaza, standing in the rubble of destroyed homes, posted photographs appealing directly to Italy not to “train the pilots who bombs us.”

The prospect of Israeli F-16s using the island to train for bombing missions, combined with the ill-timed delivery to Israel of two Italian trainer jets just after the attacks on Gaza began, created public outrage in Italy, with multiple calls for an embargo on weapons cooperation with Israel.

On 31 July, the Italian defense ministry, published a note in an attempt to calm the waters. Without mentioning Israel, the ministry note stated that the planning stages for the drills had not yet been completed and only upon completion would the participating countries be confirmed.

The drills started last month and are scheduled to run until December.

As speculation on the possible exclusion of Israel continued, so did the mobilizations. Ademonstration on 13 September at the Capo Frasca firing range, where Israel was to train, saw large-scale participation.

More than 350 people broke into the military area in an act of civil disobedience.

Contradiction

On 25 September, Gioacchino Alfano, Italy’s deputy defense minister, responded to a parliamentary question by claiming that military drills with the Israeli air force were never in the plans and therefore could not have been suspended.

That statement contradicted a March 2014 document from the Capo Frasca firing range, which clearly indicated that Israel was to take part in drills during the second half of 2014.

Furthermore, Israel has participated in similar drills undertaken in Sardinia in recent years, as photographs posted by the Israeli military prove.

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Israeli air force jets take part in a 2010 military exercise on the Italian island of Sardinia.

A source at the Italian defense ministry told The Electronic Intifada that “no Israeli military personnel will be involved in the exercises.”

“We can consider this a small victory. It demonstrates that grassroots pressure can affect government decision-making,” commented Fawzi Ismail, president of the Sardinia-Palestine Friendship Association. “Public opinion had its say and apparently the Italian government and NATO felt it inopportune to have Israel participate after the attacks on Gaza.”

Ismail noted that the mobilizations against the training exercises will continue. The Italian, German and US militaries are all participating in the drills.

During the exercises, bombs, missiles and artillery rounds are being fired across the island from tanks, helicopters, combat jets and warships.

Power of action

Further demonstrations are planned over the next few weeks.

Sardinians have made it clear that they intend to continue campaigning against the takeover of their land by military forces.

A number of private firms are also involved in the exercises. Among them are Alenia Aermacchi, part of the Finmeccanica group, Italy’s top weapons manufacturer. Alenia will be testing its M-346 trainer jet.

Two of those jets were delivered to Israel in July. They were part of a consignment of thirty jets that Israel has ordered from the company as part of a $1 billion deal, which gives Italy the dubious honor of being Europe’s top weapons provider to Israel.

It would be naive to see the exclusion of Israel as a change in direction for the Italian government, considering the strong ties between the two countries. But it is a testament to the power of grassroots action.

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Nazi Settlers cheer as Zionist soldiers attack disabled Palestinian child ”Video”

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Nazi Settlers
Submitted by Ali Abunimah

This disturbing footage shot by Palestinian videographer Samih Da’na and published by the Israeli nongovernmental organization B’Tselem documents the violent abuse of a developmentally disabled Palestinian child.

As Israeli occupation soldiers abuse the child, settlers and their children cheer and shout abuse at Palestinians.

Da’na shot the footage on 19 October from his home in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, whose Palestinian residents are relentlessly targeted by occupation army and settler violence.

According to B’Tselem’s description of the video, “soldiers are seen holding the boy, handcuffing him, blindfolding him and closing him in the jeep, despite cries by Palestinian residents that the boy is mentally disabled. The footage also shows settlers from Kiryat Arba, watching the incident from behind the settlement’s fence. Some are seen calling out encouragement to the soldiers, including several racist remarks.”

Kiryat Arba, an illegal colony adjacent to Hebron, is home to some of the most notoriously racist and violent Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank.

In the description of the video, B’Tselem says that the occupation soldiers detained “a developmentally disabled Palestinian boy, who is under the age of criminal responsibility, on suspicion that he had thrown stones.”

“The boy, A. a-Rajbi (full name withheld in interest of privacy), who will be twelve in a month, was detained after Palestinian children threw stones at soldiers on the main road of the Jabel Johar neighborhood in Hebron, close to the settlement of Kiryat Arba,” B’Tselem says.

The boy was “handcuffed, blindfolded, and held on the floor of an army jeep for some fifteen minutes until his father arrived and convinced the soldiers to release his son, who is mentally disabled and cannot speak.”

While Palestinian youths do throw stones at heavily armed occupation soldiers as a form of community self-defense, protest and resistance, stone-throwing is also frequently a trumped-up charge used to extract confessions under torture and intimidate Palestinian children and youths into becoming informants.

Israel is the only country in the world that subjects children – and only Palestinian children – to military tribunals.

Also of note: At one point in the video, one of the settlers’ children appears to be holding an object that looks like a handgun (far left of the screenshot below). It is unclear from the footage if it is real or a toy:

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Canadian Terror Wave: a Modern-Day Gladio

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Global Research

As warned, after multiple staged incidents used to ratchet up fear and paranoia in the build-up to US and its allies’ military intervention in Syria and Iraq, at least two live attacks have now been carried out in Canada – precisely as they were predicted.

The first attack involved a deadly hit-and-run that left one Canadian soldier dead. AP would report in its article, Terrorist ideology blamed in Canada car attack,” that:

A young convert to Islam who killed a Canadian soldier in a hit-and-run had been on the radar of federal investigators, who feared he had jihadist ambitions and seized his passport when he tried to travel to Turkey, authorities said Tuesday.

The second, most recent attack, involved a shooting in Ottawa injuring several and killing another Canadian soldier on parliament Hill. RT in its article, Ottawa gunman identified as recent Muslim convert, high-risk traveler,” would report that:

While the name of the Ottawa gunman is yet to be announced, a number of officials told numerous media that the shooter is believed to be Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a recent Muslim convert, allegedly designated as a high-risk traveler.

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was born in Quebec as Michael Joseph Hall north of Montreal, two US officials told Reuters, claiming that American law enforcement agencies have been advised that the attacker recently converted to Islam.

AP sources also identified the man to be Zehaf-Bibeau. A Twitter account associated with Islamic State militants tweeted a photo they identified as the Ottawa shooter. The Globe and Mail reports that the shooter was designated a high-risk traveler by the Canadian authorities with his passport seized.

Clearly, both suspects were under the watch of not only Canadian authorities, but also US investigators, before the attacks.

Canada’s Attacks Were Predictable – Western Security Agencies are Prime Suspects

It was warned last month after security agencies staged scares in both the US and Australia, that suspects under investigation, being walked through planned terrorist attacks by Western security agencies as part of “sting operations” would inevitably be switched to live terrorist attacks.

In mid-September A Rochester man, Mufid A. Elfgeeh, was accused by the FBI of attempting to provide material support to ISIS (undercover FBI agents), attempting to kill US soldiers, and possession of firearms and silencers (provided to him by the FBI). The FBI’s own official press release stated (emphasis added):

According to court records, Elfgeeh attempted to provide material support to ISIS in the form of personnel, namely three individuals, two of whom were cooperating with the FBI. Elfgeeh attempted to assist all three individuals in traveling to Syria to join and fight on behalf of ISIS. Elfgeeh also plotted to shoot and kill members of the United States military who had returned from Iraq. As part of the plan to kill soldiers, Elfgeeh purchased two handguns equipped with firearm silencers and ammunition from a confidential source. The handguns were made inoperable by the FBI before the confidential source gave them to Elfgeeh.

It was warned that only an inoperable firearm stood between Elfgeeh’s arrest and his successful execution of deadly plans hatched by him and his undercover FBI handlers. This script, written by the FBI to entrap Elfgeeh, would be followed almost to the letter in live attacks subsequently carried out in Canada resulting in the death of two Canadian soldiers. Conveniently, both suspects are now dead and little chance remains of ascertaining the truth of who they were in contact with and how they carried out their deadly attacks.

With both suspects having been on both US and Canadian watch lists – it is very likely undercover agents were involved in either one or both cases. While many possibilities exist, Western security agencies should be among the first suspects considered as potential collaborators.

A Modern-Day Operation Gladio – Inducing Fear, Obedience, and Control

Before Elfgeeh’s entrapment and later live attacks in Canada, US policymakers and pundits had begun in earnest setting the rhetorical stage for eventual staged attacks. With serial beheadings failing to raise Western public support necessary for an expedient intervention in Syria, more insidious provocations appeared to be in the works. Setting the stage, a CBS/Associated Press story titled, Former Deputy CIA Director: I Would Not Be Surprised If ISIS Member Shows Up To US Mall Tomorrow With AK-47, would claim immediately after the initial James Foley ISIS execution video that:

The short-term concern is the Americans that have gone to fight with ISIS and the west Europeans that have gone to fight with ISIS could be trained and directed by ISIS to come to the United States to conduct small-scale attacks, Morell stated. If an ISIS member showed up at a mall in the United States tomorrow with an AK-47 and killed a number of Americans, I would not be surprised.

Morell warned that over the long-term the extremist group could be planning for a 9/11-style attack that killed thousands of Americans.

The FBI has a long list of foiled terror plots of its own creation. More disturbingly are the plots they conceived but “accidentally” allowed to go “live.” One might recall the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. FBI agents, according to the New York Times, were indeed overseeing the bombers that detonated a device killing six and wounding many more at the World Trade Center.

In their article,Tapes Depict Proposal to Thwart Bomb Used in Trade Center Blast,” NYT reported:

Law-enforcement officials were told that terrorists were building a bomb that was eventually used to blow up the World Trade Center, and they planned to thwart the plotters by secretly substituting harmless powder for the explosives, an informer said after the blast.

The informer was to have helped the plotters build the bomb and supply the fake powder, but the plan was called off by an F.B.I. supervisor who had other ideas about how the informer, Emad A. Salem, should be used, the informer said.

The account, which is given in the transcript of hundreds of hours of tape recordings Mr. Salem secretly made of his talks with law-enforcement agents, portrays the authorities as in a far better position than previously known to foil the Feb. 26 bombing of New York City’s tallest towers. The explosion left six people dead, more than 1,000 injured and damages in excess of half a billion dollars.

Considering the 1993 bombing and the fact that the FBI literally oversaw the construction and deployment of a deadly bomb that killed 6, it is clear that the FBI can at any time through design or disastrous incompetence, turn one of their contrived entrapment cases into a live terror attack. One can only guess at how many similar FBI operations are currently taking place within the United States involving ISIS sympathizers – any one of which could be turned into a live terror attack provided the weapons handed over to potential terrorists are functioning, just as the bomb was in 1993 when it was driven into the lower levels of the World Trade Center.

It is very likely that the recent attacks in Canada involved at least one “informant” working for the FBI. Because the FBI uses confidential informants to handle suspects, if a plot is switched ”live,” the informant will be implicated as an accomplice and the FBI’s covert role will remain uncompromised.

Image: The FBI has an impressive portfolio of intentionally created, then foiled terror plots. Its methods include allowing suspects to handle both real and inoperable weapons and explosives. These methods allow the FBI to switch entrapment cases “live” at any moment simply by switching out duds and arrests with real explosives and successful attacks. Because the FBI uses “informants,” when attacks go live, these confidential assets can be blamed, obfuscating the FBI’s involvement.

Everything from a mass shooting to a bombing, and even an Operation Northwoods-style false flag attack involving aircraft could be employed to provide Wall Street and London with the support it needs to accelerate its long-stalled agenda of regime change and reordering in both Syria and across the Iranian arc of influence. Readers may recall Operation Northwoods, reported on in an ABC News article titled,U.S. Military Wanted to Provoke War With Cuba,” which bluntly stated:

In the early 1960s, America’s top military leaders reportedly drafted plans to kill innocent people and commit acts of terrorism in U.S. cities to create public support for a war against Cuba.

Code named Operation Northwoods, the plans reportedly included the possible assassination of Cuban émigrés, sinking boats of Cuban refugees on the high seas, hijacking planes, blowing up a U.S. ship, and even orchestrating violent terrorism in U.S. cities.

In addition to Operation Northwoods, the public must also consider NATO’s Operation Gladio, and its larger “stay behind” networks established after World War II across Europe and at the center of multiple grisly assassinations, mass shootings, and terrorist bombings designed to demonize the Soviet Union as well as criminalize and crush support for left-leaning political parties growing in popularity in Western Europe. It would be determined that NATO’s own covert militant groups were killing innocent Western Europeans in order to effect a “strategy of tension” used to instill fear, obedience, and control over Western populations.

That the FBI and Australian authorities had coordinated staged security operations in tandem on opposite ends of the globe to terrify their respective populations into line behind an impending war with Syria, and now two highly suspicious attacks have been carried out using the very script Western security agencies were using to lead suspects through “sting operations,” suggests a new “Operation Northwoods” or “Operation Gladio” of sorts is already being executed.

Staged executions on cue by ISIS in the Middle East of US and British citizens at perfectly timed junctures of the West’s attempt to sell intervention both at home and abroad, and now live shootings just in time to heighten a new “strategy of tension” reek of staged mayhem for the sole purpose of provoking war. Could grander and ultimately more tragic mayhem be in store? As ABC News’ article on Operation Northwoods and the Military Channel’s documentary on Operation Gladio suggest, there is no line Western special interests will hesitate to cross.

With the West attempting to claim ISIS now has a “global” reach, the US and its partners’ attempts to obfuscate the very obvious state-sponsorship it is receiving will become exponentially more difficult. That the FBI is admittedly stringing along easily manipulated, malevolent patsies who at any time could be handed real weapons and sent on shooting sprees and/or bombings – and now apparently have been – Americans, Canadians, Europeans, and Australians would be foolish to conclude that their real enemy resides somewhere in Syria and not right beside them at home, upon the very seats of Western power.

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Adrian Salbuchi Speaks, We Need to Listen

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Adrian Salbuchi, distinguished Argentinean intellectual, keen geopolitical analyst and co-founderof the Movement The Second Republic Project regularly addresses Spanish-speaking audiences in Argentina and wherever TLV1 is available. (“TLV” stands for Toda La Veridad (All the Truth) and TLV1 is an independent television channel.)

The effect of his uncensored and forthright calls for Argentinean jewry to declare themselves as either Argentineans or agents of foreign state and for the Argentinean government to withdraw the legal certification of Jewish lobbies (AMIA, DAIA, and scores of others) to operate as “charities” in Argentina have alarmed the Jewish organizations sufficiently to mount virulent attacks on him, to which he responded by suing them for defamation. Some American readers may find that puzzling: “defamation” is only supposed to happen to Jews, don’t they have an organization called the Anti-Defamation League? Their attacks increased.

Undeterred, he is now taking his show on the road in a manner of speaking by producing episodes in English, hoping, as he states, to reach the general public in the US. He feels thatrestoring the sovereign nation state is not just an Argetine project but one that concerns the world community.
He brilliantly and even poetically explains the differences between such notions as “nation,” “state,” and “government” and urges “Americans” to start by getting themselves a proper nation name that is not that of two continents:

In the next video he explains global finance, the “four-sided Ponzi scheme”:

In this final episode Salbuchi discussed false flag operations as instruments of Jewish Power to achieve terror-induced submission of the Western nations. He briefly analyzes 9/11, 7/7 and the false flags in Argentina and warns of an potential impending false flag that may “dwarf 9/11″ and unleash another world war because the global elite’s may worry that their “window of opportunity” is closing:

Salbuchi is still speaking, the world must start listening.

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Domination Strategies of the Anglo-Zionist Empire

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The psychopathic quest for total world domination by what some (e.g., the Saker) call “the Anglo-Zionist Empire” and many others “the American Empire,” involves establishing global hegemony by any means: endless wars and coups d’etat, economic warfare (ruinous trade pacts, blockades and sanctions), financial terrorism (debt enslavement, currency manipulation),  or threats thereof.The Anglo-Zionist campaign for global hegemony currently unfolding in the world (the Middle East, Far East Asia, Africa, South America and the Pacific limitrophe states, and around Russia’s borders) is described and analyzed in Michel Chossudovky’s excellent exposé called The Globalization of War.Nevertheless  it is true, as Lasse Wilhelmson remarked in a comment, that Chossudovsky  “forgot something, and that is to name those in control of the US.”

Lasse is right. This reminds me of the old Soviet joke in which the interrogator tells the arrested man,”We have information that last night at the pub you insulted the Beloved Leader repeatedly calling him The Pig.” “No, comrade,” pleads the frightened man. “I was talking about a neighbor of mine.”
“Stop lying,” says the interrogator, “we all know who the The Pig is!”

At least Chossudovsky, unlike the kosherized “left,” does not misidentify who is in control of the US, he does not peddle the “white race” hasbara. Chossudovsky’s analysis is excellent, his alarm call is well justified, and we all know who The Pig is. Well, maybe not all of us, so for this I agree with Lasse that there is room for improved precision in this exposé.

The twin companions of these “procedural” domination strategies are the“cognitive” strategies aimed at achieving an ideological makeover: imposing upon the nations in their dominion unquestioning acceptance of the Orwellian doctrine of Upside Down (“patas para arriba” per Galeano and Salbuchi) morality, according to which unprovoked wars are “humanitarian interventions,” state terrorism is “the war on terror,” genocidal massacres are “our right to defend ourselves,” unchecked immigration is “multiculturalism” (while resistance to it is “racism” or “fascism”), subversion to undermine and destroy national culture, religion and traditions and rewrite history is enlightened “secularism” (while resistance is “bigotry” and “anti-semitism”  — the apex of all thought crimes).

The pockets of resistance to the official narrative, the opposition to thought control seen only in the alternative media, are to be neutralized by “gatekeeping.”

A gatekeeper’s mission is to block the political discourse from veering into forbidden territory, thus controlling and rigging the game. The mission demands that the gatekeeper stay inside the perimeter and be credible.

What happens, however, when the public awareness surges against the gate and threatens to topple it? Some things need to be abandoned, sacrificed, like continuing to deny the existence of the Jewish lobby, about which the don of gatekeeping, Chomsky, once said that it is no more powerful than the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). That gatepost has been moved: it is OK to admit and even criticize the Jewish lobby a bit. Just so it is done with “balance,” like for example claiming that the Saudi lobby is far more dangerous to the US than the Jewish lobby (per Michael Scheuer).

The war on Iraq, ardently pushed and supported by the neocons, is another gatepost that has been moved. It is Ok now to say it was a “mistake” (mainly due to faulty/misunderstood intelligence) and to add that you are “anti-war” or a “non-interventionist.”

It’s a little like when your house is on fire: you gather only the most valuable possessions and get out. Efficient gatekeeping means grabbing the Holocaust and 9/11 (the core taboos) and moving the gateposts. The gatekeeper who moves the posts gets to continue his role inside the perimeter and gets increased credibility: he is the hero who boldly walked into the enlarged territory of dissent.
Michael Scheuer is such a heroic gatekeeper, who boldly moves a few gateposts. But who is he?

Scheuer has had a 22-year career with the CIA during which which working in both the Directorate of Intelligence (DI) and the Directorate of Operations (DO) — thus acquiring a vast experience in both “procedural” and “cognitive” strategies. During this time he was Chief of the CIA’s “Osama bin Laden unit” at the Counterterrorist Center.

David Cohen, head of the CIA’s Directorate of Operations, wanted to create a unit that “would fuse intelligence disciplines into one office—operations, analysis, signals intercepts, overhead photography and so on” (per wikipedia). He recruited Michael Scheuer, an analyst then running the CTC’s Islamic Extremist Branch who was “especially knowledgeable about Afghanistan.” Scheuer must have become emotionally attached to his mission since he codenamed the Bin Ladin unit the “Alec Station,” after his own son’s name.

Scheuer is considered “the foremost expert on Osama Bin Laden.” One might say he is to Bin Laden  what Homer is to the Iliad (not discounting nevertheless the accretions contributed in both cases by anonymous bards reciting the myth). So imagine his discomfiture when competing narratives emerged, exalting Zacarias Moussaoui as the “mastermind of 9/11.”

He resigned from the CIA at the end of 2004 (three years after Bin Laden died) but he has kept busy, not only as a professor at Georgetown University’s Center for Peace and Security Studies, author of acclaimed books (“Imperial Hubris”), and analyst on CNN and other TV channels, but also as a defender of Bin Laden’s (for lack of a better word) legacy, steadfastly maintaining that 9/11 was Bin Laden’s masterwork, in essence “blowback” for our foreign policy in the ME that has enraged the Muslims.

In what can only be seen as a touching gesture of gratitude and reciprocal favor, Bin Laden majestically rose from the dead in 2007 not only to read Scheuer’s book, Through Our Enemies’ Eyes: Osama bin Laden, Radical Islam, and the Future of America, but to also allegedly release a video in which he said:

“If you want to understand what’s going on and if you would like to get to know some of the reasons for your losing the war against us, then read the book of Michael Scheuer in this regard.”[We only have an illegible transcript of it but it’s good enough for me.]

A blurb to kill for. Speaking of killing, Scheuer warned us that,

‘The threat to the United States, inside the United States, comes from al Qaeda….These people are going to detonate a nuclear device inside the United States, and we’re going to have absolutely nothing to respond against.”[“Marching toward Hell,” p XIII]

He is an acerbic critic of Obama, a weak leader unable to do what is needed, namely to fully use the might of the US military to stamp the Islamic terrorism for good. Appreciated by ardent zionist Bill Maher, he espoused his views on his shows as an invited guest.

So what gateposts did he move as a gatekeeper?

— Yes, there really is a Jewish lobby but oy, watch the Saudis…

Scheuer said to NPR that “They [Mearsheimer and Walt] should be credited for the courage they have had to actually present a paper on the subject. I hope they move on and do the Saudi lobby, which is probably more dangerous to the United States than the Israeli lobby.””[31]

— The US must “dump” Israel because it is its support of Israel that has caused all of the “blowback” from the Muslim world. Why, that was a big post to move. Our attitude to Israel, however, must not be one of condemnation but of a sort of indifferent equanimity because… America comes first (play the Stars and Stripes for Ever here).

— They don’t “hate us for our values”, Scheuer says, moving another gatepost 2 cm farther, closer to the one about the “blowback,” but for our interventions  and wars in which we don’t even have the resolve to defeat Islam and defend the American people: “air power is nothing,” full military power must be applied.

— We must stop “sending our kids to die so Mr Mohamed can vote in a free election” and then turn around and become a Jihaddist. (Apparently our wars are not all for Israel and oil but also out of our sincere but naive altruistic desire to bring democracy to the Muslims. No more, America must come first.)

— We must also know that “there is a growing Islamic terrorist movement” afoot, which is “an existential threat to the US.” We must stop supporting Israel (this must be repeated because it is a great credential builder in gatekeeping), and we must also end our dependence on ME oil (start drilling offshore vigorously to spite the jihaddists).

— “Kill as many of them (‘Islamic terrorists’) as possible,” he says to Bill Maher. Presumably his non-interventionism and anti-war stance has its limits, he being a red-blooded American and all.

— The Islamic terrorists are our creation, he says. No, not as you think, by arming, training and directing them, but by our support of Israel that has enraged them — he cannot stress it enough — which engendered the blowback thing.

— The worst part is not that we intervened but that we did it indecisively: we withdrew from Afghanistan and left it in the hands of Jihaddists and now we have Obama who is not mensch enough to “fully use our military force” and just plays with drones.

Watch him and spot his gatekeeping footwork in the video entitled:

Michael Scheuer: “ISIS Could Not Ask For Any Greater Gift Than The One Obama’s Giving Them”

I realized that the “gift” he was referring to might not be the tents so generously donated to them, on which they neglected to cover up the marks of their provenance before making their training video:


Play Hatikva now.

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Agent Cameron still hasn’t got the message on Palestine

NOVANEWS

October 17, 2014

‘Recognising a Palestinian state would inhibit the peace process? What peace process?’

Agent Cameron still hasn’t got the message on Palestine

Last Monday the House of Commons voted emphatically to “recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel as a contribution to securing a negotiated two state solution.” So decisively, that the motion was carried by 274 to 12.

MP Grahame Morris, who tabled the motion, said afterwards: “I want to impress on the Minister… the need to reflect on the debate. The will of Parliament has spoken tonight. It is the right thing to do to recognise Palestine and I hope that he will go away and implement the motion.”

When it came to the point more than half the nation’s MPs ran for cover and went missing rather than be seen voting one way or the other and risking a backlash from justice seekers on the one side or pro-Israel bully-boys on the other. One MP, George Galloway, declined to vote saying he couldn’t support the motion,

as it accepts recognition of the state of Israel, does not define borders of either state or address the central question of the right of return of the millions of Palestinians who have been forced to live outside Palestine.

Many will agree with Galloway, but the sad fact is that the British Government recognised Israel long ago, without regard to the rights of the Palestinians, so it’s now a question of establishing parity while the Government continues to promote its fantasy of a two-state solution.

Only two days after the resounding Commons vote Baroness Warsi stood up in the House of Lords to ask what the Government’s position was on the recognition of Palestine as a state.

Baroness Anelay, for the Government, replied: “We will recognise a Palestinian state at a time of our choosing, when we think it can best bring about peace. A negotiated end to the occupation is the best way to meet Palestinian aspirations on the ground.”

How uncanny. Her answer was almost word for word identical to what Tobias Ellwood (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs) had told the House of Commons 48 hours earlier… “The UK will bilaterally recognise a Palestinian state when we judge that that can best help bring about peace… because a negotiated end to the occupation is the most effective way for Palestinian aspirations of statehood to be met on the ground.” It showed, if nothing else, how superbly trained ministers are in not straying from the carefully scripted mantras orchestrated by Tel Aviv.

A few weeks ago Sayeeda Warsi resigned her position as Senior Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs saying the British Government could only play a constructive role in solving the Middle East crisis if it is an honest broker “and at the moment I do not think it is…. Our position not to recognise Palestinian statehood at the UN in November 2012 placed us on the wrong side of history and is something I deeply regret not speaking out against at the time.”

She now pressed Anelay, her replacement: “Could the Minister detail the specific conditions or criteria that would need to be met for this Government to recognise the state of Palestine? What is the Government’s response to the overwhelming vote for recognition that we saw in the House of Commons on Monday?”

Baroness Anelay, yet another unelected Conservative Party apparatchik, replied: “The issue is and will remain a foreign policy priority for the UK, but, as I said, we need to judge when it is right to take that decision. What we need to do is to find a negotiated end to the occupation. That is the most effective way of proceeding. My noble friend asked about criteria. Clearly, you judge criteria on a fluid system. You watch, you wait and you encourage the Middle East process to continue—and one does not give up.”

Lord Alderdice: “Do Her Majesty’s Government understand that many people not just in the region but in this country and, increasingly, in Israel itself believe that the only way to save a two-state solution, if it is not already too late, is to recognise a Palestinian state immediately, and that without that Her Majesty’s Government unintentionally may be contributing to the intractability of the problem rather than its resolution by giving a veto to one side through their policy on recognition?

Baroness Anelay: “One has to say that the Middle East process itself has not failed; it proceeds. Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas continue to say that they are committed to a two-state solution. That is the way forward, whereas this country recognising Palestine now would not achieve anything. It would not remove the occupation or give everyone the opportunity to do what we need to do now, which is to focus on the people of Gaza and the rebuilding of it.”

It was Lord Grocott who finally skewered the Baroness to the House of Lords’ ornate woodwork by saying,

My Lords, various references to the problem of recognising a Palestinian state indicated that it would somehow inhibit the peace process. I ask: what peace process? What achievements can be chalked up to this alleged peace process? All we have seen from the process over the past 50 years is a continued diminution of the prospect of a Palestinian state because of the constant settlement activity in violation of all international law which the Israeli Government seem to be able to pursue with impunity.

Yes indeed. The British people challenge Agent Cameron to produce just a tiny spec of evidence that successive Israeli governments ever wanted a just peace with the Palestinians.

Stuart Littlewood
16 October 2014

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I$raHell, the US Congress and treason

NOVANEWS
US Congress traitors

By Alan Hart

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has said he is open to the idea that UK citizens who are jihadists and travel to Iraq or Syria to fight with ISIS [“Islamic State in Iraq and Syria” – now calling itself “Islamic State”] could be tried for treason…

The question provoked in my mind by what Hammond said was this. Is there a case for considering treason charges against those members of the US Congress whose unconditional support for Israel right or wrong drives policy in a direction that is not in America’s own best interests and, more to the point, endangers those interests?

Tale wagging the dog

Before I summarise my answer I want to quote from a despairing but brilliant article by Gideon Levy because what he said under the Haaretz headline Yankees, go home for the sake of peace provides some context for my question.

This may be the greatest mystery of all: the relations between Israel and the USA. They are everything but logical. We have a protégé that humiliates its patron power and a power that grovels in front of its protégé; a power that acts against its own interests and a president who acts contrary to his worldview. We have a protégé whose dependence on the power grows with its effrontery and a power’s unbelievable weakness in the face of its protégé’s brazenness. It’s a wild sado-masochistic game, in which it is not clear who is the slave and who is the master, which is the power and which is its protégé.

Nothing can fully explain this phenomenon, certainly not in its current dimensions. No Israeli government has permitted itself to disregard the American administration with such impudence as the current one. No American administration has received the spitting in its face as submissively as this one. No other ally in the world, including the European powers, has dared to act so explicitly against the United States’ positions. All this is happening with Israel isolated in the world and dependent on the United States’ mercy, while its policy endangers American and global interests.

President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry are fully aware that America’s Zionist-driven failure to require Israel to end its defiance of international law is an underlying cause of Arab and other Muslim hurt, humiliation and anger and, as a consequence of that, the rising tide of anti-Americanism throughout the entire Arab and wider Muslim world. Kerry came close to acknowledging this in public when he said on returning from his last visit to the Middle East that the unresolved Israel-Palestine conflict is “fuelling recruitment for the Islamic State group”.

Treason and the US constitution

Question: What is a traitor?

Answer: One who is not loyal to and betrays his or her own country.

On that basis, and in the simple logic of common sense, there is surely a strong case for saying that those men and women who are elected to the US Congress and put the interests of a foreign power (Israel) before those of their own country are traitors and, because they are endangering America’s own best interests by doing so, should be charged with treason.

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple because of Section 3 of Article 3 of the United States Constitution. It defines treason as specific actions, namely  “levying war against [the people of the United States], or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort”.

Strictly interpreted, that seems to mean that those in Congress who do the Zionist lobby’s bidding and by doing so endanger America’s own best interests are protected and can’t be charged with treason because the foreign power they are assisting is not a declared enemy. (Some will no doubt say that Israel did levy war against America when it attacked the USS Liberty during the Six Days War of June 1967 and should have been declared an enemy then.)

But… Is there not a case for saying that because those in Congress who support Israel right or wrong are effectively giving aid and comfort to America’s Arab and other Muslim enemies they should be charged with treason?

I think the time has come for this question to be debated in America.

Note

The last American to be charged with treason was Robert Henry Best in 1948. He was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Best was a journalist who worked for United Press International (UPI) and occasionally contributed to the New York Times, the Chicago Daily News andNewsweek. His act of treason was broadcasting Nazi propaganda from Germany to America.

I think there is a strong case for saying that those in Congress who support Israel right or wrong and effectively tie the hands and feet of the occupant of the White House are endangering America’s best interests to a far greater extent than Best did.

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Ukraine mini-SITREP: very ominous developments

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This short post is just to inform you of the latest developments in the war in the Ukraine.Following the use of a tactical ballistic missile against Donetsk by the Ukies, Zakharchenko has declared that the ceasefire was basically over.Strelkov has made an official appeal warning that according to this information the Ukies were massing troops in preparation for an attack.  According to Strelkov, the Ukie plan is for a very short and very rapid “push” towards Donestk and the Russian border to make any Novorussian state non-viable and thus to negotiate from a position of force.  True, Strelkov does have a record of exaggerating threats in order to minimize them, but this time there are some strong signs that his analysis is shared by the Russian military, and these signs are the most ominous signs of all.

Russian sources – including the excellent Colonel Cassad blog – report that the voentorg aid-spigot has been fully re-opened including for some major deliveries.  While, of course, I am very happy that the Novorussian resistance is getting much needed equipment (and specialists), this kind of full reopening of the voentorg also indicates to me that the Russian intelligence services have concluded that an attack is very likely, possibly very soon.

I have been following the situation in Banderastan pretty closely and I can only say that the cracks in the regime are visible all over the place.  Whether Poroshenko and his US master’s really believe that an attack can succeed (I doubt it) or whether they really want to force Russia into openly intervening (which I see as almost inevitable), the fact is that starting a major war might well be the only way to save the Poroshenko regime which currently is in free fall.

It is quite possible that Strelkov’s blunt warning and, even more so, the reopening of the voentorg will convince the Ukies that Russia is ready to intervene and that their attack will not be allowed to succeed.  What concerns me is that the Poroshenko regime (and his CIA patrons) might decide that even a defeat at the hand of the Russian military is preferable to the current death spiral: not only can a war save the regime, a Russian intervention would finally make the AngloZionist dream come true.  Putin will try his utmost to avoid falling into this trap, and that means that Russia will have to provide massive covert support and aid to Novorussia.  As for the Novorussians, they have to be strong enough to stop the initial assault.  If they succeed, then the offensive will be effectively dead. But Strelkov is right, if the Ukie break through the Novorussian lines, then Russia will have to intervene.

This is an extremely dangerous situation.

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Turmoil in Hong Kong, Terrorism in Xinjiang: Americas Covert War on China

NOVANEWS
Global Research

China is facing increasing pressure along two fronts. In its western province of Xinjiang, terrorists have been stepping up destabilization and separatist activities.

In Chinas southeast Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong, protests have disrupted normality in the dense urban streets, with protest leaders seeking to directly confront Beijing while dividing and destabilizing both Hong Kong society and attempting to infect the mainland.

What is more troubling is the greater geopolitical agenda driving both of these seemingly internal conflicts and that they both lead back to a single source beyond Chinas borders. With the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) now implicated in receiving, training, and employing terrorists from Chinas Xinjiang province, and considering the fact that ISIS is the result of an intentional, engineered proxy war the US and its allies are waging in the Middle East, along with the fact that the unrest in Hong Kong is also traced back to Washington and London, presents a narrative of an ongoing confrontation between East and West being fought on the battlefield of fourth generation warfare.

ISIS: Washingtons Global Expeditionary Force

If one was asked to name a global-spanning military and intelligence operation opposed to Syria, Iran, Russia, and China, they might say the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the US Government and they would be right. But they could also easily answer by saying the Islamic State or ISIS/ISIL as it is also known. This is especially true after revelations surfaced that US-backed Uyghur separatists in Chinas western-most province of Xinjiang have joined ISIS for training with intentions of leading an armed rebellion against Beijing upon their return.

Reuters in their article, China militants getting IS training, would claim:

Chinese militants from the western region of Xinjiang have fled from the country to get terrorist training from Islamic State group fighters for attacks at home, state media reported on Monday.

The report was the first time state-run media had linked militants from Xinjiang, home to ethnic minority Uighur Muslims, to militants of the Islamic State group of radical Sunni Muslims.

Chinas government has blamed a surge of violence over the past year on Islamist militants from Xinjiang who China says are fighting for an independent state called East Turkestan.

However, it isnt just Chinas government that claims militants in Xinjiang seek to carve out an independent state in western China the militants themselves have stated as much, and the United States government fully backs their agenda to do so. Indeed, first and foremost in backing the Xinjiang Uyghur separatists is the United States through the US State Departments National Endowment for Democracy (NED). For China, the Western region referred to as Xinjiang/East Turkistan has its own webpage on NEDs site covering the various fronts funded by the US which include:

International Uyghur Human Rights and Democracy Foundation $187,918To advance the human rights of ethnic Uyghur women and children. The Foundation will maintain an English- and Uyghur-language website and advocate on the human rights situation of Uyghur women and children.

International Uyghur PEN Club $45,000To promote freedom of expression for Uyghurs. The International Uyghur PEN Club will maintain a website providing information about banned writings and the work and status of persecuted poets, historians, journalists, and others. Uyghur PEN will also conduct international advocacy campaigns on behalf of imprisoned writers.

Uyghur American Association $280,000To raise awareness of Uyghur human rights issues. UAAs Uyghur Human Rights Project will research, document, and bring to international attention, independent and accurate information about human rights violations affecting the Turkic populations of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

World Uyghur Congress $185,000To enhance the ability of Uyghur prodemocracy groups and leaders to implement effective human rights and democracy campaigns. The World Uyghur Congress will organize a conference for pro-democracy Uyghur groups and leaders on interethnic issues and conduct advocacy work on Uyghur human rights.

ISIS Conveniently Targets Washingtons Adversaries Worldwide

The next step Washington appears to be taking in China is an attempts to enhance the menace of terrorists in Xinjiang. In addition to assisting US attempts to destabilize territory in China, ISIS has also threatened to launch a campaign against another US enemy Russia this in addition to already directly fighting Hezbollah in Lebanon, the governments of Syria and Iraq, and with ISIS claiming to be behind attacks in Egypt against the military-led government that ousted the Wests Muslim Brotherhood proxies.

With both Russia and China now in ISIS sights, the global public must begin asking questions as to how and why ISIS just so happens to be arraying itself against all of Washingtons enemies, by-passing all of its allies including Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, and where exactly they are getting the weapons, cash, intelligence, logistical, and administrative capabilities to do so.

So suspicious is ISIS appearance, agenda, and actions, many across the world have long-ago concluded they are simply the latest creation of the US and other Western-aligned intelligence agencies, just as Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood was before them, So loud has this narrative become, establishment newspapers like the New York Times have begun writing columns to tamp down what they are calling conspiracy theories.

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The New York Times would report in a piece titled, Suspicions Run Deep in Iraq That C.I.A. and the Islamic State Are United, that:

The United States has conducted an escalating campaign of deadly airstrikes against the extremists of the Islamic State for more than a month. But that appears to have done little to tamp down the conspiracy theories still circulating from the streets of Baghdad to the highest levels of Iraqi government that the C.I.A. is secretly behind the same extremists that it is now attacking.

The New York Times dismisses these claims, despite reporting for the past 4 years on the CIAs presence along the Turkish-Syrian border dumping weapons and cash into the very hotbeds of extremism and terrorism ISIS rose from. Upon closer examination, not only are these claims plausible, they are documented fact.

As far back as 2007, Pulitzer Prize-winning veteran journalist Seymour Hersh would warn of the creation of just such a terror group in his 9-page report in the New Yorker titled, The Redirection Is the Administrations new policy benefitting our enemies in the war on terrorism? He stated that (emphasis added):

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabias government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

That by-product is ISIS. It is through Americas own premeditated conspiracy to plunge not only Syria, but the entire region and now potentially Russia and even China into genocidal sectarian bloodshed that gave intentional rise to ISIS. The creation of ISIS and its use as a proxy mercenary force for Western designs is once again revealed in ISIS otherwise irrational declaration of war on Russia first, and now China.

America Opens Second Front in Hong Kong

It was in April of 2014 that two co-organizers of the so-called Occupy Central protests now ongoing in Hong Kong, would sit in Washington DC giving a talk hosted by the US State Departments National Endowment for Democracy (NED). There, Martin Lee and Anson Chan set the stage for the impending Occupy Central demonstrations, introducing soon-to-be famous characters like US-cultivated activist Joshua Wong, as well as repeating, verbatim, the agenda, talking points, and slogans now flooding the airwaves and headlines regarding Hong Kongs unrest.

While the US attempts to peel off Xinjiang province by brute force, it is using a more subtle and insidious method in Hong Kong. During Lee and Chans talk in DC earlier this year, a representative from the Council on Foreign Relations would literally proclaim it was hoped that ongoing movements in Hong Kong would infect mainland China. Indeed, while militancy and terrorism is being sown in Chinas west, sedition, political instability, and social divisions are being cultivated in Chinas east.

Americas Long War With China

The adversarial nature of Washingtons posture toward Beijing has become increasingly obvious as tensions are intentionally ratcheted up in the South China Sea between US proxies and mainland China, as well as in Hong Kong. This is simply the latest in a much longer proxy war waged against Beijing since as early as the Vietnam War, with the so-called Pentagon Papers released in 1969 revealing the conflict as simply one part of a greater strategy aimed at containing and controlling China. While the US would ultimately lose the Vietnam War and any chance of using the Vietnamese as a proxy force against Beijing, the long war against Beijing would continue elsewhere.

This containment strategy would be updated and detailed in the 2006 Strategic Studies Institute report String of Pearls: Meeting the Challenge of Chinas Rising Power across the Asian Littoral where it outlines Chinas efforts to secure its oil lifeline from the Middle East to its shores in the South China Sea as well as means by which the US can maintain American hegemony throughout the Indian and Pacific Ocean. The premise is that, should Western foreign policy fail to entice China into participating in the international system as responsible stakeholders, an increasingly confrontational posture must be taken to contain the rising nation.

This includes funding, arming, and backing terrorists and proxy regimes from Africa, across the Middle East, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and even within Chinas territory itself. Documented support of these movements not only include Xinjiang separatists and the leaders of Occupy Central in Hong Kong, but also militants and separatists in Baluchistan, Pakistan where the West seeks to disrupt a newly christened Chinese port and pipeline, as well as the machete wielding supporters of Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmars Rakhine state yet another site the Chinese hope to establish a logistical hub.

It is not a coincidence that ISIS is standing in for and fulfilling Americas deepest imperial aspirations from North Africa, across the Middle East, and now inching toward the borders of the Wests two largest competitors, Russia and China. Nor is it a coincidence that Occupy Central protesters are parroting verbatim talking points scripted in Washington earlier this year. It is no coincidence that the US State Departments NED is found involved in every hotspot of instability and conflict both within Chinas borders and beyond them. It is a documented conspiracy that is now increasingly seeing the light truth cast upon it. Whether or not that is enough to end the unnecessary barbarism and bloodshed that has resulted from the Wests hegemonic aspirations remains to be seen.

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