Archive | February, 2015

The Coup d’Etat Attempt in Venezuela

NOVANEWS
Global Research
Venezuela leaders

If there were not a coup d’etat underway, someone would have to invent one to rally the masses. That may be the case for the Venezuelan government today, which is beset with so many problems, and it is one of the reasons that some people are incredulous about the latest claim of President Nicolás Maduro to be victim of a planned coup attempt.

Nevertheless, there was real evidence presented two weeks ago of a conspiracy in the ranks of the Venezuelan Air Force. In fact, there are three important elements: real evidence, real informers and, fortunately, real arrests.

One of the arrests is that of Antonio Ledezma, the mayor of Metropolitan Caracas. It must be admitted that this shady right-wing politician’s ties to the Air Force conspiracy are not very clear. Moreover, the Air Force’s scheme to bomb various sites in Caracas including the Presidential palace could only be distantly linked with plans by Ledezma and other visible opposition leaders to take power through undemocratic means, since this military conspiracy is presumed to consider itself “Bolivarian” (i.e. “Chavist”) – at least that is what Maduro hinted in a nationwide television transmission on February 12.

Instead, Ledezma’s arrest is based principally on the contents of a document called the “National Transition Agreement” that he developed with two other anti-government leaders: Leopoldo López and María Corina Machado. This declaration, which was to be published on February 12, refers to the Venezuelan government as in its “terminal phase” and expresses the need to “name new authorities.” It also mentions restructuring the economy and giving amnesty to “political prisoners.” According to progovernment jurists, the “Transition Agreement” does not make sufficiently clear that it conceives political change within a constitutional, democratic framework.

Most likely the interpretation of this ambiguous text could (and will) be argued both ways. Nevertheless, regardless of how the question is resolved, the Venezuelan masses are highly satisfied with Ledezma’s arrest, as any reasonable person should be, since the mayor is responsible for huge human rights crimes in the past: most recently as a participant in the 2002 coup attempt that led to considerable bloodshed and earlier as the Federal District Governor who directed state troops which assassinated as many as 4000 civilians during the Caracazo uprising of 1989.

What about the U.S. government’s possible hand in this recently discovered plot? It should be remembered that many coups against popular, left-leaning regimes are not conceived in CIA laboratories but are rather supported opportunistically by the U.S. government and its agencies. For example, the military plot to remove Patrice Lumumba from power, conceived by Colonel Joseph Mobutu, fell into the hands of a highly relieved CIA agent Larry Devlin, who enthusiastically supported it. Devlin was the CIA station chief in Kinshasa and had been charged by Washington to poison Lumumba with doctored toothpaste, a prospect he found unattractive.

In present-day Venezuela, it is unlikely that the U.S. government could directly orchestrate a plot that calls itself “Bolivarian” and comes from the Venezuelan Air Force. Nevertheless, the White House might well be working to delicately promote such a thing and later take advantage of it. One possible scenario would involve an initial military coup by dissident Bolivarian officers, followed by a call for elections in which the legal and recognized opposition – involving such figures as Henrique Capriles, Antonio Ledezma, María Corina Machado and Julio Borges – would emerge to take charge.

The possibility of a military coup followed by hurried elections – a two-stage overthrow – could be what is behind the U.S. driven media campaign against Venezuela that has unfolded in recent weeks and involves extravagant claims about government figures running an international drug trafficking ring. Such a plan was also pointed to in words that recently escaped from Julio Borges of the opposition party Primero Justicia. When asked on Unión Radio how he would respond to a coup, Borges responded that, instead of working to restore the constitutional order, his party would “immediately call for elections.” This brings to mind the Honduras transition of 2009 in which a coup d’etat that installed a brief and unpopular military government was followed by the fraudulent election of Porfirio Lobo.

By moving against Ledezma after many months of disappointing concessions to business sectors, President Maduro has obviously scored a point with the Venezuelan masses, as he likewise scored points with the “Dakazo” interventions in electrical appliance stores (including one called Daka) that took place more than a year ago. However, this earlier move, though highly popular, proved to be of little substance since the government quickly retreated from further economic intervention following its electoral victory that November.

The present conjuncture is quite similar: if Maduro follows Ledezma’s arrest with other decisive actions that show real commitment to popular desires – increased state control of the economy, fighting corruption and smuggling on all fronts, and widening democracy in the PSUV party and Gran Polo Patriótico – the events of last week could mark an important and favorable turning point in the post-Chavez era. The alternative, which is to simply score a point and continue the government’s almost two-year-long retreat from the socialist project, would prove highly unpopular and risk producing unfavorable results in the parliamentary elections coming later this year.

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Internet Needs to Be “Regulated” to Suppress Videos and Search Results Deemed “Anti-Semitic”, French President Says

NOVANEWS
Hollande Says France Must Treat Online “Anti-Semitism” Like Child Pornography
Global Research
hollande-crif

French President François Hollande says modern “anti-Semitism” stems from “hatred of Israel.”

(Presidency of France)

French president François Hollande has said his government will soon announce a raft of tough criminal laws to crack down on anti-Semitism, racism, homophobia and Holocaust denial.

He made the announcements in a speech to CRIF, France’s main Jewish communal body and Israel lobby group, on Monday.

Hollande said that the Internet needed to be “regulated” to suppress videos and even search results deemed “anti-Semitic.”

The president said that the appropriate model would be the laws used to prevent the dissemination of child pornography.

But the measures are likely only to make matters worse, among other things by criminalizing criticism of Israel and further conflating Zionism with Judaism.

Discipline and punish

The plans will worry civil libertarians already concerned about the crackdown on free speech since the January attacks by three French gunmen on the offices of Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket in Paris.

Hollande said that details of the draft law would be announced in coming days by his prime minister Manuel Valls.

Meanwhile, Valls recently indicated his direction of travel by declaring that his goal was to fight “Islamofascism” – a term used by the neoconservative, pro-Israel far right to demonize Muslims.

Hollande promised that the laws would become more punitive, so that “no anti-Semitic word or act goes without a response.”

He promised “faster” and “more effective” punishments for “words or writing that are anti-Semitic, racist or homophobic.”

Only in passing, toward the end of the half-hour speech, did Hollande mention that anti-Muslim hate attacks in France in January alone exceeded the entire number recorded in 2014.

He did not announce any specific measures to combat this alarming phenomenon.

The president observed that “Muslims are the first victims of Islamist or jihadist terrorism, whether in the Middle East or Africa,” and called for more international military intervention in those regions.

Hollande did not consider that it was “Western” interventions in Syria, Iraq, Libya and elsewhere that gave rise to the menace known as Islamic State (for an excellent account of that, see Patrick Cockburn’s new book The Rise of Islamic State).

Conflating anti-Semitism and criticism of Israel

Hollande’s speech also confirms the direction hinted at in earlier statements that France is likely to take more measures to suppress criticism of Israel in the name of combating anti-Semitism.

The president told CRIF that anti-Semitism has ancient roots, but asserted that “a more recent source is hatred of Israel.”

But if this is the case, who decides what is “anti-Semitic”? If all anti-Israel and anti-Zionist statements will be considered anti-Semitic then hundreds if not thousands of publications in tens of languages will have to be banned by France.

Hollande shared some disturbing statistics: in 2014 there were twice as many “anti-Semitic acts” recorded as in 2013 and ten times more than before the year 2000.

Lest I be accused of “justifying” these acts, let me be clear: nothing, including Israel’s crimes against Palestinians, justifies insulting or attacking Jews as Jews.

But can it be a mere coincidence that 2014 was the year of Israel’s latest horrific massacre of Palestinians in Gaza that was fully backed by the United States and most EU members, including France?

Can it also be a coincidence that 2000 was the year the second intifada began and Israel launched a brutal crackdown that has since killed more than eight thousand Palestinians, often with weapons provided by those same states?

What is the relationship between these facts?

While Hollande insists that “hatred” of Israel is a form of, or a “source” of “anti-Semitism,” he does not acknowledge the role of Israel in generating the intense hostility sometimes misdirected against Jews.

The Palestinian national movement has always correctly insisted that its enemies are not “the Jews,” but rather Israel and the Zionist colonial movement.

Yet it is Israel that continues to insist that it acts in the name of all Jews everywhere.

It is Benjamin Netanyahu who apparently considers himself not just prime minister of Israel but the leader of world Jewry.

It is Israel that has taken the symbols of the Jewish religion – including its most recognized one, the Star of David – and affixed it to uniforms and weapons of destruction and death that are used to carry out atrocities in Palestine and Lebanon.

It is Zionists who have taken holy scriptures and claimed that they provide a license for modern day Brooklynites and Parisians to violently steal land from Palestinian villagers.

It is Israel’s government-financed settlers who torch Palestinian mosques and daub their walls with biblical phrases.”

It is Israel-government-backed religious fanatics who yearn – and plan – to destroy the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem and replace it with a “Jewish temple.”

It is Israel that has used the Paris Grand Synagogue as a recruiting base for its army and it is Israeli army commanders who cite Hebrew scripture to justify laying waste to Gaza.

Violent radical Judaism?

If we can say that the horrific actions of Islamic State are a perversion of the beliefs of the vast majority of the world’s Muslims, can we also not say that Zionism is a perversion of Judaism?

CRIF insists that the Paris attacks be labeled “Islamist.” By the same logic, should we label Israel’s crimes acts of “violent radical Judaism?”

While anti-Zionist Jews, secular and religious, have always insisted that Israel and Zionism do not represent them or their religion or cultures, politicians like Hollande reinforce the false and dangerous association between Jews as Jews on the one hand and Israel’s violent racist colonialism against Palestinians on the other.

Some misguided youths, hearing these messages, may indeed believe Israel’s claim that “the Jews” are the enemies of the Palestinians and direct their anger or hatred towards Jewish targets.

They may hear the Islamophobic diatribes emanating from many right-wing and liberal supporters of Israel and also conclude – falsely – that “the Jews” are the enemies of “the Muslims.”

The message has to be clear always and is worth repeating: words or acts targeting Jews as Jews are never a form of solidarity with Palestinians.

We must be equally clear that opposing and resisting Zionism is not anti-Semitic, but a struggle for liberation for Palestinians and indeed for Israeli Jews.

Repeating history

In his address to CRIF, Hollande spoke about the “Israeli-Palestinian conflict” in the bland terms of the defunct “peace process.”

He reaffirmed France’s commitment to the fantasy of the “two-state solution,” offered to host a “peace conference” in Paris and said that no matter who won Israel’s elections next month, France would work with them “in friendship and trust.”

He offered not one single word of comfort or anger about the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza where there has been no reconstruction since Israel’s summer attack devastated much of the besieged and impoverished territory.

Hollande warned that those who do not learn from history are destined to relive it.

Yet there was not one word about accountability or justice for the Israeli war crimes that left more than 2,200 people, including more than 500 children, dead in Gaza.

Why are 1.8 million Palestinians, mostly refugees from present-day Israel, caged in Gaza under such abominable conditions in the first place?

The answer is simple: their mere existence, the fact that they live and breathe as non-Jews, is considered a threat to Israel’s self-declared identity as a “Jewish state.”

Palestinians are in a ghetto because of who they are and France’s president has nothing to say about that.

Moving right

While French leaders are doing their best to pander to the prejudices of their audience, it is doubtful it will be enough.

Richard Prasquier, the former president of CRIF, went on national television to say that Hollande and Valls had not gone far enough.

CRIF’s current president Roger Cukierman provoked anger from French Muslim community leaders by declaring that “all the violent attacks today are committed by young Muslims.”

Cukierman also praised Marine Le Pen, leader of the racist, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and traditionally deeply anti-Semitic National Front, as irreproachable.”

Alas Hollande’s ardor to combat racism was nowhere in sight when it came to the fanatical anti-Arab racism of Israel’s leading political parties.

CRIF heard no rebuke from the supposedly anti-racist Hollande for Cukierman’s public embrace of Israeli ultra-nationalist politician Nazi Naftali Bennett, who boasts about how many Arabs he has killed and claims that Jewish settlements on occupied Palestinian land are “protecting London, Paris and Madrid.”

Education reform

In his speech, Hollande announced education reforms to reinforce the messages he gave to CRIF. But what France really needs to teach its Jewish and Muslim citizens is that contrary to Israeli claims, Israel does not represent Jews and that Israeli policies and Israeli crimes are not Jewish policies or Jewish crimes.

The irony is that it might prove more difficult to convince French Jews and French Christians of this than it is to convince French Muslims.

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US Backing for ‘Moderate’ Syrian Rebels: Long Reported, Continually Forgotten

NOVANEWS
Global Research
 Image result for THE NEW YORK TIME PHOTO

That the US is arming and training Syrian rebels has been well-documented for over two years, yet Western media have historically suffered from a strange collective amnesia when reporting this fact. As Ian Sinclair noted last September in the Huffington Post(9/23/14):

In mid-2012, the most influential newspaper in the world reported the US was helping to arm the rebels–a fact confirmed by subsequent stories in the New York Times itself, as well as numerous reports in other mainstream news outlets around the world.

Contrast this publicly available, easily accessed information with these summaries from the mainstream media of the ongoing US role in Syria…:

Image: New York Times map (3/24/13) of arms flowing to Syrian rebels “with help from the CIA.” (graphic: Sergio Pecanha/NYT)

• New York Times (5/4/13): “President [Obama] seems to be moving closer to providing lethal assistance to the Syrian rebels, even though he rejected such a policy just months ago.“• Guardian (5/8/13): “The US, which has outlawed al-Nusra as a terrorist group, has hesitated to arm the FSA [Free Syrian Army].”…

• New York Times (9/9/14): “Mr Obama has resisted military engagement in Syria for more than three years, out of fear early on that arming the rebels who oppose Mr. Assad would fail to alter the balance in the civil war.”

• BBC Today Programme (9/11/14), presenter Mishal Husein to US ambassador: “If you [the US] had helped the moderate Syrian opposition, the Free Syrian Army, three years ago, even two years ago, we might well not be in the position that we are now.President Obama’s reluctance to intervene and to take action on Syria has contributed to what we are seeing now.”

Why are all of these professional journalists — supposedly a profession made up of stroppy, questioning cynics — incapable of stating the most basic of facts about the US role in Syria?

This week, it appears, the media’s collective FSA/CIA amnesia has struck once again, with a series of reports that make no mention of the CIA’s ongoing operation of arming and training Syrian rebels that’s been thoroughly documented for over two years.

These reports were previewed last month with a report on CNN (1/16/15) headlined “Pentagon: US to Begin to Train and Equip Moderate Syria Rebels.” This was just false: The US isn’t “beginning to train and equip moderate rebels.” TheGuardian reported on March 8, 2013–almost two years ago:

Western training of Syrian rebels is under way in Jordan in an effort to strengthen secular elements in the opposition as a bulwark against Islamic extremism, and to begin building security forces to maintain order in the event of Bashar al-Assad’s fall.

Jordanian security sources say the training effort is led by the US, but involves British and French instructors.

The Guardian story cited the Pentagon in acknowledging that “a small group of US special forces and military planners had been to Jordan during the summer to help…train selected rebel fighters.”

Two days later, Reuters (3/10/13) cited a report by the German magazine Der Spiegel (3/10/13), “quoting what it said were participants and organizers,” that “Americans are training Syrian anti-government fighters in Jordan”:

Some 200 men have already received such training over the past three months and there are plans in the future to provide training for a total 1,200 members of the “Free Syrian Army” in two camps in the south and the east of the country.

Nevertheless, there were a raft of stories last week that treated US training of Syrian rebels as a brand-new initiative–as in NBC News‘ “US to Equip Moderate Syrian Rebels: Defense Official” (2/17/15):

Congress approved President Barack Obama’s request to authorize training the rebels in September. The first group of rebels is expected to begin the six to eight weeks of training in Jordan by the “middle of March,” the official said.

“The first group”? They’re rather late for that.

Reuters  had  “US to Train and Equip Moderate Syrian Rebels” (2/17/15) and “US, Turkey to Arm and Train Syrian Rebels” (2/19/15)–the former of which reported that “three US officials, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said the training could begin in mid-March.”

“Could begin”? It’s not “beginning,” it’s being reassigned.

The Associated Press (2/18/15) reported that

the US has been talking about training moderate Syrian rebels for months, but has been moving very slowly to identify groups and screen the fighters in an effort to ensure that enemy insurgents aren’t brought in.

The US hasn’t been “talking about” training “moderate” Syrian rebels for months–it’s been actually training them for years, as the Guardian and Der Spiegel revealed.

Even political puff pieces let this trope go unchallenged, as in Politico‘s “Marco Rubio Sharpens Commander-in-Chief Pitch” (2/20/15), which said Rubio

was right, he said, when he warned the US to immediately arm moderate Syrian rebels two years ago–before the radicals in the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant began beheading hostages and declaring a caliphate.

But this is the exact opposite of reality: Rubio was “warning” the US ought to do something he, as a member of Congress, very well knew they’ve already had been doing for some time. And, of course, Politico makes no mention of the CIA’s ongoing operation of arming and training Syrian rebels, allowing this nonsensical talking point to go unchallenged.

Some articles, even while mentioning this fact, seem to contradict their own lead while doing so. The Wall Street Journal (2/17/15), writing about a decision to provide US air support to Syrian rebels, writes that “the plan comes as the US prepares to start training moderate rebels, who are waging a two-front fight against the extremists and the Syrian regime.” But in paragraph 12, the article acknowledges:

The Central Intelligence Agency began a covert program to train and arm moderate Syrian rebels in 2013, providing ammunition, small arms and antitank weapons to small groups of trusted fighters. While that program continues, some officials and administration critics say it has fallen well short of its aims.

So, which is it? Is the US “preparing to start training moderate rebels,” or has the CIA been doing so since 2013? What they mean to say, of course, is that the US isn’t “preparing” to “train and arm moderate rebels” but rather–now that the war effort is popular–transferring the duty over to non-clandestine operations in the Pentagon. This isn’t the announcement of a new policy, but rather a bureaucratic restructuring.

Indeed, even the oft-referenced congressional approval of funds for Syrian rebels in September 2014 (Reuters, “US Congress Approves Arming Syrian Rebels, Funding Government,” 9/19/14) was merely a formal sanctioning of a secret congressional approval that occurred nine months prior (Reuters, “Congress Secretly Approves US Weapons Flow to ‘Moderate’ Syrian Rebels,”1/27/14):

The weapons deliveries have been funded by the US Congress, in votes behind closed doors, through the end of government fiscal year 2014, which ends on September 30, two officials said.

The media’s insistence on framing these policies as if they are revelations of anything new–and the omission of the crucial fact that such training and arming has been going on since at least June 2012–is the awkward by-product of a war that’s being done in secret first, only to be formally sanctioned by our institutions of power after the fact. Just as Obama asked Congress to “authorize” airstrikes that began over six months ago, the media is tasked, once again, with acting as if the US’s training and arming of Syrian “moderate” rebels is something new.

It’s not. It’s a years-old political reality that should be treated as a run-of-the-mill government reshuffling rather than the democratically sanctioned shift in policy it almost certainly isn’t.

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Media Silence on Libya

NOVANEWS
Global Research
VIDEOS: War Propaganda Corporate Media Steers World Toward Disaster

Despite the all-encompassing belief in democracy and a free press, Americans have very little democracy left and perhaps the worst media in the world. Even people who make efforts to be informed don’t know what is happening domestically and internationally because of the constant lies and disinformation they are exposed to by the corporate media. They act as spokespersons for the powerful instead of providing analysis and information for readers and viewers. The result is a world turned upside down, with lies being sold as the truth. Libya is just the latest example of press malfeasance.

In 2011 the leaders of NATO appeared to pull off the perfect crime. That year they used the Arab Spring democracy movement as a cover to destroy Libya, kill its president, Muammar Gaddafi, and turn that nation over to jihadists supported by the Persian gulf monarchs.

Regime change was the only issue ever on the agenda. They used the dubious doctrine of Responsibility to Protect, R2P, as a means of getting away with murder. This was no mysterious conspiracy either. The American secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, said quite publicly that her government wanted Gaddafi dead. “We hope that he can be captured or killed soon,” said the characteristically undiplomatic diplomat. After the deed was done she again spoke openly about killing a head of state. “We came, we saw, he died.”

The American government unleashed a race war in the intervention and, to this day, African migrants and darker skinned Libyans are at risk of assault and death. The town of Tawergha was turned to rubble and inhabitants who survived the assault were forced to flee. America’s first black president was responsible for this terror.

2011 was the year that Barack Obama made his bones and a fiendish re-election campaign commercial by going on a killing spree in the Middle East. Osama bin Laden, Gaddafi and American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki were all victims of the U.S. hit squad, in a clear violation of law.

Now Libya is back in the news and this very recent past is never mentioned by corporate media. When ISIS decapitated 21 Egyptian Christians the horror was separated from American involvement in that country. The murder of the American ambassador in 2012 is used by Republicans as a club to beat Obama but none of them question the very premise of American involvement there.

Libya is now a ruin. As Vladimir Putin pointed out, everything America touches will end up the same way. The once prosperous country is now in a tumultuous civil war, with war lords fighting for their own piece of the action and ISIS using the media to spread fear and outrage. None of this would have taken place had NATO left Libya alone.

One wouldn’t know this of course from watching the news or reading the newspaper. The United States role in the destruction of Libya has been shoved down the Orwellian memory hole, never to be seen or discussed again.

Boko Haram’s rampages in Nigeria and jihadists incursions in Mali are all a result of the fall of the Gaddafi regime. Death was unleashed not just in Libya, but throughout the region. The killing of the United States ambassador at Benghazi in 2012 was a harbinger of things to come as the jihadists repeat their standard operating procedure toward their benefactors. Now Libyans and Egyptian migrant workers pay the price for western aggressions.

It is staggering to see the depth of manipulation directed at the people of this country. If the president openly calls for the overthrow of a sovereign state, networks and newspapers go along and regurgitate every word. When the project goes south, no one who bragged about it in 2011 will now admit to their role in the disaster and the press continues to repeat official policy like the good little scribes they have always been.

The ISIS story has been dumbed down to tired analysis about a clash of civilizations and whether or not Islam is a religion of peace. Muslims can be peaceful or warlike but the hand of American involvement and the silence about it is the real story.

Therein lies the perennial problem. This is not the first time in history that an administration directed what the media does and doesn’t report. Journalists know that they have to play ball so to speak. If they want the good gig and access to senior officials they will write only what they are told to write. They won’t stray from the script or tell any inconvenient truths like the United States spending the last nearly forty years supporting jihadists who they later end up fighting.

When the next ISIS video of immolation or beheading is released, the history of American involvement ought to be told too. But no one should hold their breath and think that the press will report on any such thing.

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The Foiling of a Coup Plot in Venezuela

NOVANEWS

The Danger is Not Over

Global Research
us-venezuela

A coup plot against President Nicolas Maduro and the Bolivarian Revolution was thwarted this week as a retired Venezuelan Air Force general and 10 military and civilian opposition figures were arrested.

The bombing of the Presidential Palace, the National Assembly, Telesur TV network, the Defense Ministry and other Caracas sites was to take place February 12, the one-year anniversary of violent anti-government attacks known as “guarimbas,” which caused 43 deaths. A Tucano EMB 312 bomber would have been flown by renegade Air Force First Lieutenant José Antich Zapata to destroy the targeted sites.

U.S. spokesperson Jen Psaki and the Venezuelan far-right are dismissing the plot claim, but video evidence, a map of the bombing targets, and other key evidence have been unveiled on national television, with more details promised. Washington’s role in previous plots has been proven before.

According to President Maduro, detained coup leaders have confessed their role. He spoke on national television Sunday morning, to reveal more facts and accuse the United States government of conspiring with coup plotters.

Antich Zapata received U.S. visas for himself and other conspirators from the U.S. embassy in Caracas, for escape from Venezuela in case the plot failed.

Maduro also said that the script of an eight-minute video by the coup group – to air once the government was overthrown – was written with the help of a U.S. embassy advisor.

Rightwing opposition involved

In obvious preparation for the failed coup, three of the most belligerent opposition figures – Maria Corina Machado, Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma – issued a “Call for a National Transition Agreement,” on February 11, the day before the overthrow was to take place. Lopez is currently awaiting trial for his role in the violent attacks last February.

The “transition agreement” is a plan for overthrow of the Bolivarian Revolution socialist project, including a demand for felony trials of current government leaders after the “transition,” the privatization of nationalized industries, and the takeover of PDVSA, the state-owned oil industry that has been the source of great social developments in Venezuela since 1999.

As if aware of a pending coup, German embassy representative Jorg Polster issued a letter of warning on February 5 to German citizens residing in Venezuela, to take unusual precautions such as in the event of “political unrest like that which began in the spring of 2014.” The letter suggests the German nationals obtain a two-week supply of food, water and emergency provisions of battery, radio and important documents. The letter also indicates a loss of electricity and Internet access could be a possibility.

National Assembly president Diosdado Cabello and Jorge Rodriguez, mayor of the Libertador municipality of Caracas – both leaders of Maduro’s political high command – also appeared on television, denouncing Julio Borges, leader of the right-wing group, Primero Justicia (“Justice First” in English), as drafting the list of the 20-plus targets to be bombed.

An unfolding plot since January

A series of actions was planned by the counterrevolutionaries to lead up to February 12.

First step was economic destabilization through major corporate hoarding of goods to create empty stores and mass discontent. That has been taking place for weeks, with the right-wing then accusing the socialist government of economic failure.

The government countered with “Operation Dignity,” confiscating the hoarded goods for redistribution at fair prices to the population, and arresting the corporate conspirators.

The second step was internationally-generated false accusations of a “humanitarian crisis” in Venezuela by the U.S. and international allies of Washington.

It is thus no coincidence that on January 24, three right-wing former presidents of Latin American countries, Andres Pastrana of Colombia, Felipe Calderon of Mexico and Sebastian Pinera of Chile came to Venezuela and tried to visit jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez. Afterwards, they demanded his freedom and held a press conference accusing Venezuela of human rights violations.

On February 3, President Maduro warned Washington to stop its interventionist meddling, and accused U.S. officials of trying to bribe current and former government leaders to betray the government.

Via Telesur, he denounced U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden’s recent meetings with various Latin American leaders, in which he told them Maduro’s government would soon fall, and that the Petrocaribe program would be ended. Biden advised them to “keep Venezuela isolated.” Petrocaribe is the Venezuelan program that provides oil to Caribbean nations at a low price.

Telesur as target

Why was Telesur one of the targets to be bombed?

In 2002, when a fascist coup by a sector of the military and corporate opposition overthrew President Hugo Chavez from April 11 to 13, Venezuela’s revolution was new and a people’s media had not yet developed.

In the critical hours of the massive and spontaneous popular mobilization to demand Chavez’s release and return as president, the monopoly corporate media completely blocked out the news. It was clear that the Bolivarian process needed a revolutionary media to transmit vital information to the population.

Since then, dozens of community and television stations have been established; corporate violators of the new Communications Law have had their licenses revoked.

The Telesur network – promoting the integration of Latin America – was proposed 10 years ago by Chavez. It has become a vital conveyor of national and international information with a solid anti-imperialist prospective.

It provided uncensored live coverage and exposed the terror bombing by NATO/U.S. bombing of Libya.

Like the brutal bombing of Serbia’s national TV station, killing scores of journalists who courageously covered the criminal NATO/U.S. bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, the planned bombing of Telesur was part of the plan to destroy the Revolution and install a fascist coup.

The smashing of this latest plot against Venezuela is a major blow to U.S. imperialism’s attempts to reverse the gains of the Bolivarian revolutionary process in Venezuela, the Cuban Revolution and all progress in Latin America.

Revolutionary mass organizations and the military high command are declaring their unity and defense of Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution.

Vladimir Padrino Lopez, the Minister of Defense and Strategic Operational Commander of the FANB, stood with a large group of high-ranking military officers to denounce the military plot.

“The Bolivarian Armed Forces reiterates its support and loyalty to President Nicolás Maduro Moros and reaffirms its commitment to the will of the people, with the Plan of the Homeland, in the building of Socialism.”

More than ever, it is vital that international solidarity be mobilized to demand an end to U.S. machinations in Venezuela and all Latin America. Progressive groups and leaders in Latin America are expressing their support for Maduro’s government. From March 5-7, organizations in several cities in the United States plan actions in solidarity with the Venezuelan Bolivarian government and its people in struggle.

The danger is not over. The lessons of Latin America in the 1960s, 1970s and the U.S. war against revolutionary movements everywhere shows that the struggle must continue to defend Venezuela’s gains and oppose U.S. imperialism’s counter-revolutionary schemes.

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Nazi Kiev Official Greeted in Ottawa and Washington

NOVANEWS
Global Research
Andriy-Parubiy-Ottawa

Kiev’s national security and defense council secretary Andriy Parubiy was feted on visits to Ottawa and Washington.

He came seeking more heavy weapons and funding than already provided. He orchestrated February 2014 Maidan killings.

As security chief, he controlled access to weapons used. He took full advantage. He positioned snipers with automatic weapons in Kiev’s Philharmonic Hall.

They murdered around 100 protesters and police. President Viktor Yanukovych was wrongfully blamed. His ouster followed.

Things were scripted in Washington. The rest, as they say, is history. Plans are to Nazify Ukraine nationwide.

Eliminate Donbass democracy. Use Ukraine as a dagger against Russia’s heartland. Perhaps a prelude to WW III.

Parubiy belongs in prison, not high office. He’s responsible for mass murder and coup following violence he and others staged.

On February 23, Canada’s Globe and Mail covered his Ottawa visit. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper marches in lockstep with imperial US policy.

Parubiy said Canada has an “authoritative voice” on what’s ongoing in Donbass. He asked for help to get Washington to supply more heavy weapons and funding than already.

He wants Canada and other Western countries helping the same way.

So Kiev can prepare for renewed aggression against its anti-fascist Southeastern citizens wanting fundamental democratic freedoms everyone deserves.

So-called “defensive” ones are for offense. Including virtually anything short of nuclear bombs. Maybe they come later.

According to the Globe and Mail, Parubiy met with “Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson and James Bezan, the parliamentary secretary to the defence minister…”

Other scheduled meetings followed with House of Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer an various MPs.

“Canada has been a kind of a leader in the world vis-a-vis Ukraine,” said Paubiy (in translation).

“Words and actions are the same in Canada, so it’s kind of an example for the rest of the world with their Ukraine policy.”

Parubiy discussed Canadian and US support for the next phase of Kiev’s planned aggression.

He called its dirty war without mercy “a global challenge, a global fight, not just a Russia-Ukraine fight.”

He sounded like a sawdust Caesar saying “we are fighting not only for Ukraine but for Euro-Atlantic and European values.”

Providing more funding and heavy weapons likely assures a deeper hole.

Following discussions, Canada’s Nicholson said Canada supports Minsk. “Any attempt to reduce or take away Ukraine’s sovereignty in that way is completely opposed by Canada,” he added.

He withheld comment on whether Ottawa would supply Kiev with weapons.

On February 25, Parubiy arrived in Washington. America’s global propaganda service Voice of America interviewed him.

Ukraine’s Unian (dis)information agency said he discussed some of the armaments he wants Washington to supply – including anti-tank systems and other heavy weapons.

“The list of required equipment has already been submitted to US President Barack Obama, but it is also planned to present it to other officials who ‘are directly involved in the decision making process,’ ” said Unian.

He’s scheduled to meet with Speaker John Boehner, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, and Pentagon officials.

No comment on whether he and Obama will meet. Maybe quietly with little or nothing said.

Kiev and Washington are partners in high crimes. Renewed aggression on Donbass is planned at Obama’s discretion.

Parubiy is a convenient stooge. He came to get marching orders. They exclude peace, stability and good will.

Rogue states make their own rules. Oppose them and face possible imprisonment or death.

Ukrainian Law Professor Olga Zagulskaya criticized Kiev’s war on Donbass. Persecution followed.

She now suffers from hypertension. Kiev’s “psychological torture had its intended effect,” she said.

She was warned her students prepared to boycott her. They were

“set upon (her) by the ‘intelligentsia’ of Miroslav Popovich, Yuriy Vinnichuk ,and Otar Dovzhenko.”

“At least three SBU men were circling around (her), which means it’s not a purely student event.”

Journalists targeted her. Articles said “Lvov National University professor openly supports terrorists.”

She faced possible criminal charges.To avoid legal proceedings, she resigned three years before retirement.

“At one point (she) felt so dizzy (she) could no longer stand.” She sought medical care. She’s “in treatment, possibly for a long time.”

“All because” she opposes Kiev’s war on Donbass. “(A)s Taras Shevchenko once said,” she explained: ‘I incur punishment, I suffer, but I do not repent!’ ”

Obama’s Ukrainian friends are cutthroat killer Nazi thugs. Zagulskaya is lucky to be alive.

She could have been imprisoned or marked for death. Hooligans running Ukraine operate this way.

Posted in UkraineComments Off on Nazi Kiev Official Greeted in Ottawa and Washington

Why the Rise of Fascism is again the Issue

NOVANEWS
Global Research

fascism

The recent 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz was a reminder of the great crime of fascism, whose Nazi iconography is embedded in our consciousness. Fascism is preserved as history, as flickering footage of goose-stepping blackshirts, their criminality terrible and clear. Yet in the same liberal societies, whose war-making elites urge us never to forget, the accelerating danger of a modern kind of fascism is suppressed; for it is their fascism.

“To initiate a war of aggression…,” said the Nuremberg Tribunal judges in 1946, “is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”

Had the Nazis not invaded Europe, Auschwitz and the Holocaust would not have happened.  Had the United States and its satellites not initiated their war of aggression in Iraq in 2003, almost a million people would be alive today; and Islamic State, or ISIS, would not have us in thrall to its savagery.  They are the progeny of modern fascism, weaned by the bombs, bloodbaths and lies that are the surreal theatre known as news.

Like the fascism of the 1930s and 1940s, big lies are delivered with the precision of a metronome: thanks to an omnipresent, repetitive media and its virulent censorship by omission. Take the catastrophe in Libya.

In 2011, Nato launched 9,700 “strike sorties” against Libya, of which more than a third were aimed at civilian targets. Uranium warheads were used; the cities of Misurata and Sirte were carpet-bombed. The Red Cross identified mass graves, and Unicef reported that “most [of the children killed] were under the age of ten”.

The public sodomising of the Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi with a “rebel” bayonet was greeted by the then US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, with the words: “We came, we saw, he died.”  His murder, like the destruction of his country, was justified with a familiar big lie; he was planning “genocide” against his own people. “We knew … that if we waited one more day,” said President Obama, “Benghazi, a city the size of Charlotte, could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world.”

This was the fabrication of Islamist militias facing defeat by Libyan government forces. They told Reuters there would be “a real bloodbath, a massacre like we saw in Rwanda”. Reported on March 14, 2011, the lie provided the first spark for Nato’s inferno, described by David Cameron as a “humanitarian intervention”.

Secretly supplied and trained by Britain’s SAS, many of the “rebels” would become ISIS, whose latest video offering shows the beheading of 21 Coptic Christian workers seized in Sirte, the city destroyed on their behalf by Nato bombers.

For Obama, Cameron and Hollande, Gaddafi’s true crime was Libya’s economic independence and his declared intention to stop selling Africa’s greatest oil reserves in US dollars. The petrodollar is a pillar of American imperial power. Gaddafi audaciously planned to underwrite a common African currency backed by gold, establish an all-Africa bank and promote economic union among poor countries with prized resources. Whether or not this would happen, the very notion was intolerable to the US as it prepared to “enter” Africa and bribe African governments with military “partnerships”.

Following Nato’s attack under cover of a Security Council resolution, Obama, wrote Garikai Chengu, “confiscated $30 billion from Libya’s Central Bank, which Gaddafi had earmarked for the establishment of an African Central Bank and the African gold backed dinar currency”.

The “humanitarian war” against Libya drew on a model close to western liberal hearts, especially in the media. In 1999, Bill Clinton and Tony Blair sent Nato to bomb Serbia, because, they lied, the Serbs were committing “genocide” against ethnic Albanians in the secessionist province of Kosovo. David Scheffer, US ambassador-at-large for war crimes [sic], claimed that as many as “225,000 ethnic Albanian men aged between 14 and 59″ might have been murdered. Both Clinton and Blair evoked the Holocaust and “the spirit of the Second World War”. The West’s heroic allies were the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), whose criminal record was set aside. The British Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, told them to call him any time on his mobile phone.

With the Nato bombing over, and much of Serbia’s infrastructure in ruins, along with schools, hospitals, monasteries and the national TV station, international forensic teams descended upon Kosovo to exhume evidence of the “holocaust”. The FBI failed to find a single mass grave and went home. The Spanish forensic team did the same, its leader angrily denouncing “a semantic pirouette by the war propaganda machines”. A year later, a United Nations tribunal on Yugoslavia announced the final count of the dead in Kosovo: 2,788. This included combatants on both sides and Serbs and Roma murdered by the KLA. There was no genocide. The “holocaust” was a lie. The Nato attack had been fraudulent.

Behind the lie, there was serious purpose. Yugoslavia was a uniquely independent, multi-ethnic federation that had stood as a political and economic bridge in the Cold War. Most of its utilities and major manufacturing was publicly owned. This was not acceptable to the expanding European Community, especially newly united Germany, which had begun a drive east to capture its “natural market” in the Yugoslav provinces of Croatia and Slovenia. By the time the Europeans met at Maastricht in 1991 to lay their plans for the disastrous eurozone, a secret deal had been struck; Germany would recognise Croatia. Yugoslavia was doomed.

In Washington, the US saw that the struggling Yugoslav economy was denied World Bank loans.  Nato, then an almost defunct Cold War relic, was reinvented as imperial enforcer. At a 1999 Kosovo “peace” conference in Rambouillet, in France, the Serbs were subjected to the enforcer’s duplicitous tactics. The Rambouillet accord included a secret Annex B, which the US delegation inserted on the last day. This demanded the military occupation of the whole of Yugoslavia — a country with bitter memories of the Nazi occupation — and the implementation of a “free-market economy” and the privatisation of all government assets. No sovereign state could sign this. Punishment followed swiftly; Nato bombs fell on a defenceless country. It was the precursor to the catastrophes in Afghanistan and Iraq, Syria and Libya, and Ukraine.

Since 1945, more than a third of the membership of the United Nations – 69 countries – have suffered some or all of the following at the hands of America’s modern fascism. They have been invaded, their governments overthrown, their popular movements suppressed, their elections subverted, their people bombed and their economies stripped of all protection, their societies subjected to a crippling siege known as “sanctions”. The British historian Mark Curtis estimates the death toll in the millions. In every case, a big lie was deployed.

“Tonight, for the first time since 9/11, our combat mission in Afghanistan is over.” These were opening words of Obama’s 2015 State of the Union address. In fact, some 10,000 troops and 20,000 military contractors (mercenaries) remain in Afghanistan on indefinite assignment.  “The longest war in American history is coming to a responsible conclusion,” said Obama. In fact, more civilians were killed in Afghanistan in 2014 than in any year since the UN took records.  The majority have been killed — civilians and soldiers — during Obama’s time as president.

The tragedy of Afghanistan rivals the epic crime in Indochina.  In his lauded and much quoted book, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives, Zbigniew Brzezinski, the godfather of US policies from Afghanistan to the present day, writes that if America is to control Eurasia and dominate the world, it cannot sustain a popular democracy, because “the pursuit of power is not a goal that commands popular passion . . . Democracy is inimical to imperial mobilisation.”  He is right. As WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden have revealed, a surveillance and police state is usurping democracy. In 1976, Brzezinski, then President Carter’s National Security Advisor, demonstrated his point by dealing a death blow to Afghanistan’s first and only democracy. Who knows this vital history?

In the 1960s, a popular revolution swept Afghanistan, the poorest country on earth, eventually overthrowing the vestiges of the aristocratic regime in 1978. The People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) formed a government and declared a reform programme that included the abolition of feudalism, freedom for all religions, equal rights for women and social justice for the ethnic minorities. More than 13,000 political prisoners were freed and police files publicly burned.

The new government introduced free medical care for the poorest; peonage was abolished, a mass literacy programme was launched. For women, the gains were unheard of. By the late 1980s, half the university students were women, and women made up almost half of Afghanistan’s doctors, a third of civil servants and the majority of teachers. “Every girl,” recalled Saira Noorani, a female surgeon,

“could go to high school and university. We could go where we wanted and wear what we liked. We used to go to cafes and the cinema to see the latest Indian film on a Friday and listen to the latest music. It all started to go wrong when the mujaheddin started winning. They used to kill teachers and burn schools. We were terrified. It was funny and sad to think these were the people the West supported.”

The PDPA government was backed by the Soviet Union, even though, as former Secretary of State Cyrus Vance later admitted, “there was no evidence of any Soviet complicity [in the revolution]“. Alarmed by the growing confidence of liberation movements throughout the world, Brzezinski decided that if Afghanistan was to succeed under the PDPA, its independence and progress would offer the “threat of a promising example”.

On July 3, 1979, the White House secretly authorised $500 million in arms and logistics to support tribal “fundamentalist” groups known as the mujaheddin. The aim was the overthrow of Afghanistan’s first secular, reformist government. In August 1979, the US embassy in Kabul reported that “the United States’ larger interests … would be served by the demise of [the PDPA government], despite whatever setbacks this might mean for future social and economic reforms in Afghanistan.” The italics are mine.

The mujaheddin were the forebears of al-Qaeda and Islamic State. They included Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who received tens of millions of dollars in cash from the CIA. Hekmatyar’s specialty was trafficking in opium and throwing acid in the faces of women who refused to wear the veil. Invited to London, he was lauded by Prime Minister Thatcher as a “freedom fighter”.

Such fanatics might have remained in their tribal world had Brzezinski not launched an international movement to promote Islamic fundamentalism in Central Asia and so undermine secular political liberation and “destabilise” the Soviet Union, creating, as he wrote in his autobiography, “a few stirred up Muslims”.  His grand plan coincided with the ambitions of  the Pakistani dictator, General Zia ul-Haq, to dominate the region. In 1986, the CIA and Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ISI, began to recruit people from around the world to join the Afghan jihad. The Saudi multi-millionaire Osama bin Laden was one of them. Operatives who would eventually join the Taliban and al-Qaeda, were recruited at an Islamic college in Brooklyn, New York, and given paramilitary training at a CIA camp in Virginia. This was called “Operation Cyclone”. Its success was celebrated in 1996 when the last PDPA president of Afghanistan, Mohammed Najibullah — who had gone before the UN General Assembly to plead for help — was hanged from a streetlight by the Taliban.

The “blowback” of Operation Cyclone and its “few stirred up Muslims” was September 11, 2001. Operation Cyclone became the “war on terror”, in which countless men, women and children would lose their lives across the Muslim world, from Afghanistan to Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Syria. The enforcer’s message was and remains: “You are with us or against us.”

The common thread in fascism, past and present, is mass murder. The American invasion of Vietnam had its “free fire zones”, “body counts” and “collatoral damage”. In the province of Quang Ngai, where I reported from, many thousands of civilians (“gooks”) were murdered by the US; yet only one massacre, at My Lai, is remembered. In Laos and Cambodia, the greatest aerial bombardment in history produced an epoch of terror marked today by the spectacle of joined-up bomb craters which, from the air, resemble monstrous necklaces. The bombing gave Cambodia its own ISIS, led by Pol Pot.

Today, the world’s greatest single campaign of terror entails the execution of entire families, guests at weddings, mourners at funerals. These are Obama’s victims. According to the New York Times, Obama makes his selection from a CIA “kill list” presented to him every Tuesday in the White House Situation Room. He then decides, without a shred of legal justification, who will live and who will die. His execution weapon is the Hellfire missile carried by a pilotless aircraft known as a drone; these roast their victims and festoon the area with their remains.  Each “hit” is registered on a faraway console screen as a “bugsplat”.

“For goose-steppers,” wrote the historian Norman Pollock, “substitute the seemingly more innocuous militarisation of the total culture. And for the bombastic leader, we have the reformer manque, blithely at work, planning and executing assassination, smiling all the while.”

Uniting fascism old and new is the cult of superiority. “I believe in American exceptionalism with every fibre of my being,” said Obama, evoking declarations of national fetishism from the 1930s. As the historian Alfred W. McCoy has pointed out, it was the Hitler devotee, Carl Schmitt, who said, “The sovereign is he who decides the exception.” This sums up Americanism, the world’s dominant ideology. That it remains unrecognised as a predatory ideology is the achievement of an equally unrecognised brainwashing.  Insidious, undeclared, presented wittily as enlightenment on the march, its conceit insinuates western culture. I grew up on a cinematic diet of American glory, almost all of it a distortion. I had no idea that it was the Red Army that had destroyed most of the Nazi war machine, at a cost of as many as 13 million soldiers. By contrast, US losses, including in the Pacific, were 400,000. Hollywood reversed this.

The difference now is that cinema audiences are invited to wring their hands at the “tragedy” of American psychopaths having to kill people in distant places — just as the President himself kills them. The embodiment of Hollywood’s violence, the actor and director Clint Eastwood, was nominated for an Oscar this year for his movie, American Sniper, which is about a licensed murderer and nutcase. The New York Times described it as a “patriotic, pro-family picture which broke all attendance records in its opening days”.

There are no heroic movies about America’s embrace of fascism. During the Second World War, America (and Britain) went to war against Greeks who had fought heroically against Nazism and were resisting the rise of Greek fascism. In 1967, the CIA helped bring to power a fascist military junta in Athens — as it did in Brazil and most of Latin America. Germans and east Europeans who had colluded with Nazi aggression and crimes against humanity were given safe haven in the US; many were pampered and their talents rewarded. Wernher von Braun was the “father” of both the Nazi V-2 terror bomb and the US space programme.

In the 1990s, as former Soviet republics, eastern Europe and the Balkans became military outposts of Nato, the heirs to a Nazi movement in Ukraine were given their opportunity. Responsible for the deaths of thousands of Jews, Poles and Russians during the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, Ukrainian fascism was rehabilitated and its “new wave” hailed by the enforcer as “nationalists”.

This reached its apogee in 2014 when the Obama administration splashed out $5 billion on a coup against the elected government.  The shock troops were neo-Nazis known as the Right Sector and Svoboda. Their leaders include  Oleh Tyahnybok, who has called for a purge of the “Moscow-Jewish mafia” and “other scum”, including gays, feminists and those on the political left.

These fascists are now integrated into the Kiev coup government. The first deputy speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, Andriy Parubiy, a leader of the governing party, is co-founder of Svoboda. On February 14, Parubiy announced he was flying to Washington get “the USA to give us highly precise modern weaponry”. If he succeeds, it will be seen as an act of war by Russia.

No western leader has spoken up about the revival of fascism in the heart of Europe — with the exception of Vladimir Putin, whose people lost 22 million to a Nazi invasion that came through the borderland of Ukraine. At the recent Munich Security Conference, Obama’s Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, ranted abuse about European leaders for opposing the US arming of the Kiev regime. She referred to the German Defence Minister as “the minister for defeatism”. It was Nuland who masterminded the coup in Kiev . The wife of Robert D. Kagan, a leading “neo-con” luminary and co-founder of the extreme right wing Project for a New American Century, she was foreign policy advisor to Dick Cheney.

Nuland’s coup did not go to plan. Nato was prevented from seizing Russia’s historic, legitimate, warm-water naval base in Crimea. The mostly Russian population of Crimea — illegally annexed to Ukraine by Nikita Krushchev in 1954 — voted overwhelmingly to return to Russia, as they had done in the 1990s.  The referendum was voluntary, popular and internationally observed. There was no invasion.

At the same time, the Kiev regime turned on the ethnic Russian population in the east with the ferocity of ethnic cleaning. Deploying neo-Nazi militias in the manner of the Waffen-SS, they bombed and laid to siege cities and towns. They used mass starvation as a weapon, cutting off electricity, freezing bank accounts, stopping social security and pensions. More than a million refugees fled across the border into Russia. In the western media, they became unpeople escaping “the violence” caused by the “Russian invasion”. The Nato commander, General Breedlove — whose name and actions might have been inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove — announced that 40,000 Russian troops were “massing”. In the age of forensic satellite evidence, he offered none.

These Russian-speaking and bilingual people of Ukraine – a third of the population – have long sought a federation that reflects the country’s ethnic diversity and is both autonomous and independent of Moscow. Most are not “separatists” but citizens who want to live securely in their homeland and oppose the power grab in Kiev. Their revolt and establishment of autonomous “states” are a reaction to Kiev’s attacks on them. Little of this has been explained to western audiences.

On May 2, 2014, in Odessa, 41 ethnic Russians were burned alive in the trade union headquarters with police standing by.  The Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh hailed the massacre as “another bright day in our national history”. In the American and British media, this was reported as a “murky tragedy” resulting from “clashes” between “nationalists” (neo-Nazis) and “separatists” (people collecting signatures for a referendum on a federal Ukraine).

The New York Times buried the story, having dismissed as Russian propaganda warnings about the fascist and anti-Semitic policies of Washington’s new clients. The Wall Street Journal damned the victims – “Deadly Ukraine Fire Likely Sparked by Rebels, Government Says”. Obama congratulated the junta for its “restraint”.

If Putin can be provoked into coming to their aid, his pre-ordained “pariah” role in the West will justify the lie that Russia is invading Ukraine. On January 29, Ukraine’s top military commander, General Viktor Muzhemko, almost inadvertently dismissed the very basis for US and EU sanctions on Russia when he told a news conference emphatically: “The Ukrainian army is not fighting with the regular units of the Russian Army”.  There were “individual citizens” who were members of “illegal armed groups”, but there was no Russian invasion.  This was not news. Vadym Prystaiko, Kiev’s Deputy Foreign Minister, has called for “full scale war” with nuclear-armed Russia.

On February 21, US Senator James Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma, introduced a bill that would authorise American arms for the Kiev regime.  In his Senate presentation, Inhofe used photographs he claimed were of Russian troops crossing into Ukraine, which have long been exposed as fakes. It was reminiscent of Ronald Reagan’s fake pictures of a Soviet installation in Nicaragua, and Colin Powell’s fake evidence to the UN of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

The intensity of the smear campaign against Russia and the portrayal of its president as a pantomime villain is unlike anything I have known as a reporter. Robert Parry, one of America’s most distinguished investigative journalists, who revealed the Iran-Contra scandal, wrote recently,

“No European government, since Adolf Hitler’s Germany, has seen fit to dispatch Nazi storm troopers to wage war on a domestic population, but the Kiev regime has and has done so knowingly. Yet across the West’s media/political spectrum, there has been a studious effort to cover up this reality even to the point of ignoring facts that have been well established ….If you wonder how the world could stumble into world war three – much as it did into world war one a century ago – all you need to do is look at the madness over Ukraine that has proved impervious to facts or reason.”

In 1946, the Nuremberg Tribunal prosecutor said of the German media:

“The use made by Nazi conspirators of psychological warfare is well known. Before each major aggression, with some few exceptions based on expediency, they initiated a press campaign calculated to weaken their victims and to prepare the German people psychologically for the attack …. In the propaganda system of the Hitler State it was the daily press and the radio that were the most important weapons.”

In the Guardian on February 2, Timothy Garton-Ash called, in effect, for a world war. “Putin must be stopped,” said the headline. “And sometimes only guns can stop guns.” He conceded that the threat of war might “nourish a Russian paranoia of encirclement”; but that was fine. He name-checked the military equipment needed for the job and advised his readers that “America has the best kit”.

In 2003, Garton-Ash, an Oxford professor, repeated the propaganda that led to the slaughter in Iraq. Saddam Hussein, he wrote, “has, as [Colin] Powell documented, stockpiled large quantities of horrifying chemical and biological weapons, and is hiding what remains of them. He is still trying to get nuclear ones.” He lauded Blair as a “Gladstonian, Christian liberal interventionist”.  In 2006, he wrote, “Now we face the next big test of the West after Iraq: Iran.”

The outbursts — or as Garton-Ash prefers, his “tortured liberal ambivalence” — are not untypical of those in the transatlantic liberal elite who have struck a Faustian deal. The war criminal Blair is their lost leader. The Guardian, in which Garton-Ash’s piece appeared, published a full-page advertisement for an American Stealth bomber. On a menacing image of the Lockheed Martin monster were the words: “The F-35. GREAT For Britain”. This American “kit” will cost British taxpayers £1.3 billion, its F-model predecessors having slaughtered across the world.  In tune with its advertiser, a Guardian editorial has demanded an increase in military spending.

Once again, there is serious purpose. The rulers of the world want Ukraine not only as a missile base; they want its economy. Kiev’s new Finance Minister, Nataliwe Jaresko, is a former senior US State Department official in charge of US overseas “investment”. She was hurriedly given Ukrainian citizenship.

They want Ukraine for its abundant gas; Vice President Joe Biden’s son is on the board of Ukraine’s biggest oil, gas and fracking company. The manufacturers of GM seeds, companies such as the infamous Monsanto, want Ukraine’s rich farming soil.

Above all, they want Ukraine’s mighty neighbour, Russia. They want to Balkanise or dismember Russia and exploit the greatest source of natural gas on earth. As the Arctic ice melts, they want control of the Arctic Ocean and its energy riches, and Russia’s long Arctic land border. Their man in Moscow used to be Boris Yeltsin, a drunk, who handed his country’s economy to the West. His successor, Putin, has re-established Russia as a sovereign nation; that is his crime.

The responsibility of the rest of us is clear. It is to identify and expose the reckless lies of warmongers and never to collude with them. It is to re-awaken the great popular movements that brought a fragile civilisation to modern imperial states. Most important, it is to prevent the conquest of ourselves: our minds, our humanity, our self respect. If we remain silent, victory over us is assured, and a holocaust beckons.

Posted in EuropeComments Off on Why the Rise of Fascism is again the Issue

Kerry Makes It Clear: Obama Wants Authority to Deploy Ground Troops in Iraq and Syria

NOVANEWS

Secretary of State confirms proposed AUMF would allow for boots-on-the-ground in fight against the Islamic State

Secretary of State John Kerry holds a news conference at NATO headquarters in Belgium December 3, 2014.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry confirmed on Tuesday that the Obama administration is, in fact, seeking approval for the deployment of ground troops to participate in combat operations against Islamic State forces.

At a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on Tuesday, Kerry clarified the administration’s position for boots-on-the-ground soldiers outlined in President Obama’s proposed authorization for the use of military force (AUMF), submitted to Congress earlier this month.

“The 2001 AUMF has been stretched well beyond what Congress intended, and there is no reason to believe the 2015 AUMF will not as well.” —Marjorie Cohn, Thomas Jefferson School of LawThe AUMF’s wording in relation to ground troops has been criticized as vague and open-ended. The proposed text states, “The authority granted… does not authorize the use of the United States Armed Forces in enduring offensive ground combat operations.”

As numerous analysts have pointed out, the phrase “enduring offensive ground combat operations” is not a legal term and could open the door to significant troop deployments.

At the Senate hearing, Kerry confirmed that the proposal would allow for U.S. combat deployments on the ground but left the parameters ill-defined.

“If you’re going in for weeks and weeks of combat, that’s enduring,” he said. “If you’re going in to assist somebody and fire control and you’re embedded in an overnight deal, or you’re in a rescue operation or whatever, that is not enduring.”

According to Kerry, the White House believes that the language “left the president the appropriate level of discretion with respect to how he might need to do, without [any] room for interpretation that this was somehow being interpreted to be a new license for a new Afghanistan or a new Iraq.”

Kerry’s statements follow remarks by White House Press Secretary Joshua Earnest, made immediately following the mid-February release of the proposal, that the AUMF’s language was intentionally vague because “we believe it’s important that there aren’t overly burdensome constraints that are placed on the commander in chief.”

When asked if the term “enduring” could be quantified, Earnest responded, “Well, I wouldn’t have a specific number to assign to that word.”

The Obama administration is already moving forward with troops deployments, despite that Congress has not yet held a vote on the proposed AUMF. In addition to the 3,000 U.S. troops ordered to deploy to Iraq beginning in the late summer of 2014, more than 4,000 U.S. troops are also currently headed to Kuwait.

At the Senate hearing Tuesday, Kerry stated he believes there is “no real need” to revisit or reevaluate the 2001 AUMF.

That controversial piece of legislation was passed in the wake of September 11th, 2001 and has been expansively interpreted by the Bush and Obama administrations to authorize ongoing war and occupation in Afghanistan; covert drone wars in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia; military intervention in countries from Ethiopia to Iraq; indefinite detentions at Guantanamo Bay and Bagram prison; and additional military operations elsewhere around the globe.

While the White House proposal calls for a repeal of the 2002 AUMF, which authorized the 2003 invasion of Iraq and use of force against Saddam Hussein, it leaves the 2001 AUMF in place.

Anti-war groups have slammed the 2001 AUMF as a “blank check” for endless war, and even President Barack Obama has previously criticized the authorization as too expansive.

However, many have warned that the 2001 AUMF has much in common with the president’s latest proposal. In addition to the vague language about troop deployments, the proposed AUMF for the ISIS war is geographically limitless, broadly defines the enemy, and would extend authorization for another three years, at which point the next administration could renew it.

Moreover, Marjorie Cohn, professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, recently warned, “The 2001 AUMF has been stretched well beyond what Congress intended, and there is no reason to believe the 2015 AUMF will not as well.”

Posted in Middle East, USA, Iraq, SyriaComments Off on Kerry Makes It Clear: Obama Wants Authority to Deploy Ground Troops in Iraq and Syria

Naziyahu Admits Sabotage of Iran Talks His Primary Mission

NOVANEWS

‘It is my obligation,’ says Israeli prime minister, ‘to do everything that I can to prevent this agreement.’

Benjamin Naziyahu being interviewed by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in 2011

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged on Tuesday that the purpose of his upcoming visit to Washington, D.C. is to do “everything I can” to prevent a nuclear deal between global powers and Iran—an admission that critics say reveals he is pushing for military escalation and potentially war.

“This agreement, if indeed it is signed, will allow Iran to become a nuclear threshold state,” Netanyahu declared in a statement released Tuesday, according to media reports. “It is my obligation as prime minister to do everything that I can to prevent this agreement.”

“Therefore,” he continued, “I will go to Washington… because the American Congress is likely to be the final brake before the agreement.”

Analysts say that the prime minister’s push to undermine the diplomatic process is ultimately a call for dangerous military escalation.

According to Jamal Abdi of the National Iranian American Council, who spoke withCommon Dreams, “A shorter version of what Netanyahu is saying is he is coming to Washington to ensure we can’t get a diplomatic solution and are on the path to war.”

Phyllis Bennis, senior fellow at Institute for Policy Studies, told Common Dreams that amid the  controversy over his visit, the prime minister is facing a growing crisis of international legitimacy.

“Luckily Netanyahu has so thoroughly discredited himself that ‘everything I can do’ is likely to be limited to speaking to adoring crowds at AIPAC, receiving concocted standing ovations in Congress, and watching pretty much everyone else in Washington run away from him so no embarrassing picture might emerge,” said Bennis.

Numerous doubts have been cast on Netanyahu’s claims about Iran’s nuclear program, including by Israel’s own spy agency Mossad, as leaked documents revealed earlier this week.

While there is no proof that Iran has a program to develop an atom bomb, Israel is the only Middle East nation that is known to possess nuclear weapons and has refused to sign the international non-proliferation treaty.

Nonetheless, Netanyahu has aggressively opposed any deal—or even talks—between Iran and the five members of the United Nations Security Council (U.S., Russia, China, United Kingdom, and France) plus Germany. His address to Washington is slated to take place shortly before Israeli elections. Over the course of the campaign, Netanyahu has repeatedlyemphasized unverified claims over threats posed by Iran to bolster his own candidacy.

Meanwhile, a political divide in Washington over the visit—which was arranged by GOP House Speaker John Boehner and the Israeli ambassador without the blessing of the White House—continues to deepen.

Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice slammed Netanyahu in an interview with the PBS show Charlie Rose on Tuesday, charging that his slated visit has “injected a degree of partisanship, which is not only unfortunate, I think it’s destructive of the fabric of the relationship.”

According to the New York Times, Rice’s statement is “the frankest acknowledgment yet by a top American official of the degree to which the controversy has damaged United States-Israeli relations.”

Also on Tuesday, Netanyahu turned down an invitation from Senate Democrats Dick Durbin (Ill.) and Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) for a closed-door meeting during his visit. “I regret that the invitation to address the special joint session of Congress has been perceived by some to be political or partisan,” Netanyahu told them. “I can assure you that my sole intention in accepting it was to voice Israel’s grave concerns about a potential nuclear agreement with Iran that could threaten the survival of my country.”

Notably, top Obama administration officials will not be attending the talk, and a congressional boycott, which has been backed by human rights and Palestine solidaritygroups, has been steadily gaining support.

“The willingness by leading political figures—including the president, vice president, and secretary of state—to simply refuse to meet with the Israeli leader is a huge breakthrough that was made possible by the years of organizing by human rights activists working to expose and end U.S. complicity with Israeli war crimes and violations of human rights,” said Bennis.

Bennis added that Netanyahu’s actions may, in fact, prove to bolster these grassroots efforts. Even for Netanyahu, said Bennis, it appears that the prime minister’s “chutzpah may have gotten out in front of him this time.”

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, IranComments Off on Naziyahu Admits Sabotage of Iran Talks His Primary Mission

Snowden Document Reveals Huge Scope of Canada’s Domestic Surveillance

NOVANEWS

Canada’s spy agency collects and stores millions of citizens’ emails each year

The Tilley Building, headquarters of Canada’s Communications Security Establishment (CSE), in Ottawa, Ontario. (Photo:P199/Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons)

Canada’s electronic spy agency, the Communications Security Establishment (CSE), collects millions of emails and other information from its citizens and stores them for “days to months,” according to a document leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and revealed by CBC News in collaboration with The Intercept on Wednesday.

According to the top-secret CSE document, analysts “watched visits to government websites and collected about 400,000 emails to the government every day, storing some of the data for years,” CBC reports.

Such online activity includes Canadians filing taxes, writing to members of Parliament and applying for passports. The sweeping data collection is being carried out in an alleged effort to protect government computers.

Using a tool called PonyExpress, the surveillance agency scans the documents for “suspicious links or attachments.” The 2010 document reveals that the system detects about 400 potentially suspect emails each day, or roughly 146,000 each year, though only about four emails a day warrant CSE analysts contacting government departments directly.

The document indicates that the scale of the data collection has likely increased since that time. Under a heading marked “future,” the document notes: “metadata continues to increase linearly with new access points.”

“It’s pretty clear that’s there’s a very wide catchment of information coming into [CSE],” Micheal Vonn, policy director at the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, told theCBC.

The document reveals that CSE is storing large amounts of “passively tapped network traffic” for “days to months,” including email content, attachments and other online activity, The Intercept reports, while some forms of metadata is kept for “months to years.”

“When we collect huge volumes, it’s not just used to track bad guys,” Chris Parsons, an internet security expert with internet think tank Citizen Lab, who viewed the document, told the CBC. “It goes into data stores for years or months at a time and then it can be used at any point in the future.”

A previously leaked document revealed in 2013 that CSE intercepts citizens’ private messages without judicial warrants. After that, CSE acknowledged it collected some private communications but did not divulge the amount being stored or say for how long. Now, The Intercept reports, “the Snowden documents shine a light for the first time on the huge scope of the operation—exposing the controversial details the government withheld from the public.”

The Intercept report continues: “Under Canada’s criminal code, CSE is not allowed to eavesdrop on Canadians’ communications. But the agency can be granted special ministerial exemptions if its efforts are linked to protecting government infrastructure—a loophole that the Snowden documents show is being used to monitor the emails.”

Posted in CanadaComments Off on Snowden Document Reveals Huge Scope of Canada’s Domestic Surveillance

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