Archive | April 3rd, 2015

The US-I$raHell-Iran Triangle’s Tangled History

NOVANEWS

Exclusive: Iran and world powers have gone into double-overtime in negotiations to ensure that Iran doesn’t build a nuclear bomb, but the shadow over the talks is darkened by decades of distrust and double-dealing, a dimly understood history of the U.S.-Israeli-Iranian triangle, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues to accuse Iran’s Islamic State of seeking Israel’s destruction – and U.S. neocons talk openly about bombing Iran – the history of Israel’s cooperative dealings with Iran, including after the ouster of the Shah and the rise of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979, seems to have been forgotten.

Yet, this background is important when evaluating some of Iran’s current political players and their attitudes regarding a possible deal with world powers to limit Iran’s nuclear program to peaceful purposes only. In the United States and Israel – for their own politically sensitive reasons – much of this history remains “lost” or little known.

Ronald Reagan and his 1980 vice-presidential running mate George H.W.  Bush.

Ronald Reagan and his 1980 vice-presidential running mate George H.W. Bush.

The division inside Iran between leading figures who collaborated with the U.S. and Israel behind the scenes and those who resisted those secret dealings took shape in the early 1980s but remains in place, to some degree, to this day.

For instance, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country’s current Supreme Leader, was more the ideological purist in 1980, apparently opposing any unorthodox strategy involving Israeli and Republican emissaries that went behind President Jimmy Carter’s back to gain promises of weapons from Israel and the future Reagan administration.

Khamenei appears to have favored a more straightforward arrangement with the Carter administration for settling the dispute over the 52 American hostages who were seized from the U.S. Embassy in Tehran on Nov. 4, 1979, by Iranian radicals.

However, other key political figures – including Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mehdi Karoubi – participated in the secret contacts with the Republicans and Israel to get the military supplies needed to fight the war with Iraq, which began in September 1980. They were later joined by Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi.

In 1980, these internal Iranian differences played out against a dramatic backdrop. Iranian radicals still held the 52 hostages; President Carter had imposed an arms embargo while negotiating for the hostages’ release; and he was struggling to fend off a strong campaign challenge from Republican Ronald Reagan.

Meanwhile, Israel’s Likud Prime Minister Menachem Begin was furious at Carter for pushing him into the Camp David peace deal with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat that required Israel returning the Sinai to Egypt in exchange for normalized relations.

Begin also was upset at Carter’s perceived failure to protect the Shah of Iran, who had been an Israeli strategic ally. Begin was worried, too, about the growing influence of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq as it massed troops along the Iranian border.

At that time, Saudi Arabia was encouraging Sunni-ruled Iraq to attack Shiite-ruled Iran in a revival of the Sunni-Shiite conflict which dated back to the Seventh Century succession struggle after the death of the Prophet Mohammad. The Saudi prince-playboys were worried about the possible spread of the ascetic revolutionary movement pushed by Iran’s new ruler, Ayatollah Khomeini.

Upsetting Carter

Determined to help Iran counter Iraq – and hopeful about rebuilding at least covert ties to Tehran – Begin’s government cleared the first small shipments of U.S. military supplies to Iran in spring 1980, including 300 tires for Iran’s U.S.-manufactured jet fighters. Soon, Carter learned about the covert shipments and lodged an angry complaint.

“There had been a rather tense discussion between President Carter and Prime Minister Begin in the spring of 1980 in which the President made clear that the Israelis had to stop that, and that we knew that they were doing it, and that we would not allow it to continue, at least not allow it to continue privately and without the knowledge of the American people,” Carter’s press secretary Jody Powell told me in an interview for a PBS documentary.

“And it stopped,” Powell said — at least, it stopped temporarily.

Questioned by congressional investigators a dozen years later, Carter said he felt that by April 1980, “Israel cast their lot with Reagan,” according to notes I found among the unpublished documents in the files of a congressional investigation conducted in 1992. Carter traced the Israeli opposition to his possible reelection in 1980 to a “lingering concern [among] Jewish leaders that I was too friendly with Arabs.”

Carter’s National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski also recognized the Israeli hostility. Brzezinski said the Carter White House was well aware that the Begin government had “an obvious preference for a Reagan victory.”

Begin’s alarm about a possible Carter second term was described, too, by Israeli intelligence and foreign affairs official David Kimche in his 1991 book, The Last Option. Kimche wrote that Begin’s government believed that Carter was overly sympathetic to the Palestinian cause and was conspiring with Arabs to force Israel to withdraw from the West Bank.

“Begin was being set up for diplomatic slaughter by the master butchers in Washington,” Kimche wrote. “They had, moreover, the apparent blessing of the two presidents, Carter and [Egyptian President Anwar] Sadat, for this bizarre and clumsy attempt at collusion designed to force Israel to abandon her refusal to withdraw from territories occupied in 1967, including Jerusalem, and to agree to the establishment of a Palestinian state.”

Extensive evidence now exists that Begin’s preference for a Reagan victory led Israelis to join in a covert operation with Republicans to contact Iranian leaders behind Carter’s back and delay release of the 52 American hostages until after Reagan defeated Carter in November 1980.

That controversy, known as the “October Surprise” case, and its sequel, the Iran-Contra scandal in the mid-1980s, involved clandestine ties between leading figures in Iran and U.S. and Israeli officials who supplied Iran with missiles and other weaponry for its war with Iraq. The Iran-Iraq conflict began simmering in spring 1980 and broke into full-scale war in September.

More Straightforward

Khamenei, who was then an influential aide to Ayatollah Khomeini, appears to have been part of a contingent exploring ways to resolve the hostage dispute with Carter.

According to Army Col. Charles Wesley Scott, who was one of the 52 hostages, Khamenei visited him on May 1, 1980, at the old U.S. consulate in Tabriz to ask whether milder demands from Iran to the Carter administration might lead to a resolution of the hostage impasse and allow the resumption of U.S. military supplies, former National Security Council aide Gary Sick reported in his book October Surprise.

“You’re asking the wrong man,” Scott replied, noting that he had been out of touch with his government during his five months of captivity before adding that he doubted the Carter administration would be eager to resume military shipments quickly.

“Frankly, my guess is that it will be a long time before you’ll get any cooperation on spare parts from America, after what you’ve done and continue to do to us,” Scott said he told Khamenei.

But Khamenei’s outreach to a captive U.S. military officer – outlining terms that then became the basis of a near settlement of the crisis with the Carter administration in September 1980 – suggests that Khamenei favored a more traditional approach toward resolving the hostage crisis rather than the parallel channel that soon involved the Israelis and the Republicans.

In that narrow sense, Khamenei was allied with Abolhassan Bani-Sadr, the sitting Iranian president in 1980 who also has said he opposed dealing with Israel and the Republicans behind President Carter’s back. In a little-noticed letter to the U.S. Congress, dated Dec. 17, 1992, Bani-Sadr said he first learned of the Republican hostage initiative in July 1980.

Bani-Sadr said a nephew of Ayatollah Khomeini returned from a meeting with an Iranian banker, Cyrus Hashemi, who had led the Carter administration to believe he was helping broker a hostage release but who had close ties to Reagan’s campaign chief William Casey and to Casey’s business associate, John Shaheen.

Bani-Sadr said the message from the Khomeini emissary was clear: the Reagan campaign was in league with some of the Central Intelligence Agency’s pro-Republican elements in an effort to undermine Carter and wanted Iran’s help. Bani-Sadr said the emissary “told me that if I do not accept this proposal they [the Republicans] would make the same offer to my rivals.”

The emissary added that the Republicans “have enormous influence in the CIA,” Bani-Sadr wrote. “Lastly, he told me my refusal of their offer would result in my elimination.”

Bani-Sadr said he resisted the GOP scheme, but the plan ultimately was accepted by Ayatollah Khomeini, who appears to have made up his mind around the time of Iraq’s invasion in mid-September 1980.

Clearing the Way

Khomeini’s approval meant the end of the initiative that Khamenei had outlined to Col. Scott, which was being pursued with Carter’s representatives in West Germany before Iraq launched its attack. Khomeini’s blessing allowed Rafsanjani, Karoubi and later Mousavi to proceed with secret contacts that involved emissaries from the Reagan camp and the Israeli government.

The Republican-Israeli-Iranian agreement appears to have been sealed through a series of meetings that culminated in discussions in Paris arranged by the right-wing chief of French intelligence Alexandre deMarenches and allegedly involving Casey, vice presidential nominee (and former CIA Director) George H.W. Bush, CIA officer Robert Gates and other U.S. and Israeli representatives on one side and cleric Mehdi Karoubi and a team of Iranian representatives on the other.

Bush, Gates and Karoubi all have denied participating in the meeting (Karoubi did so in an interview with me in Tehran in 1990). But deMarenches admitted arranging the Paris conclave to his biographer, former New York Times correspondent David Andelman.

Andelman said deMarenches ordered that the secret meeting be kept out of his memoir because the story could otherwise damage the reputation of his friends, William Casey and George H.W. Bush. At the time of Andelman’s work on the memoir in 1991, Bush was running for re-election as President of the United States.

Andelman’s sworn testimony in December 1992 to a House task force assigned to examine the October Surprise controversy buttressed longstanding claims from international intelligence operatives about a Paris meeting involving Casey and Bush.

Besides the testimony from intelligence operatives, including Israeli military intelligence officer Ari Ben-Menashe, there was contemporaneous knowledge of the alleged Bush-to-Paris trip by Chicago Tribune reporter John Maclean, son of author Norman Maclean who wrote A River Runs Through It.

Maclean said a well-placed Republican source told him in mid-October 1980 about Bush’s secret trip to Paris to meet with Iranians on the U.S. hostage issue. Maclean passed on that information to State Department official David Henderson, who recalled the date as Oct. 18, 1980.

Since Maclean had never written a story about the leak and Henderson didn’t mentioned it until Congress started its cursory October Surprise investigation in 1991, the Maclean-Henderson conversation had been locked in a kind of time capsule.

One could not accuse Maclean of concocting the Bush-to-Paris allegation for some ulterior motive, since he hadn’t used it in 1980, nor had he volunteered it a decade later. He only confirmed it, grudgingly, when approached by a researcher working with me on a PBS Frontline documentary and in a subsequent videotaped interview with me.

Also, alibis that were later concocted for Casey and Bush – supposedly to prove they could not have traveled to the alleged overseas meetings – either collapsed under close scrutiny or had serious holes. [For details on the October Surprise case, see Robert Parry’s Secrecy & Privilege and America’s Stolen Narrative.]

Military Shipments

Though the precise details of the October Surprise case remain murky, it is a historic fact that Carter failed to resolve the hostage crisis before losing in a surprising landslide to Reagan and that the hostages were not released until Reagan and Bush were sworn in on Jan. 20, 1981.

It also is clear that U.S. military supplies were soon moving to Iran via Israeli middlemen with the approval of the new Reagan administration.

In a PBS interview, Nicholas Veliotes, Reagan’s assistant secretary of state for the Middle East, said he first discovered the secret arms pipeline to Iran when an Israeli weapons flight was shot down over the Soviet Union on July 18, 1981, after straying off course on its third mission to deliver U.S. military supplies from Israel to Iran via Larnaca, Cyprus.

“It was clear to me after my conversations with people on high that indeed we had agreed that the Israelis could transship to Iran some American-origin military equipment,” Veliotes said.

In checking out the Israeli flight, Veliotes came to believe that the Reagan-Bush camp’s dealings with Iran dated back to before the 1980 election.

“It seems to have started in earnest in the period probably prior to the election of 1980, as the Israelis had identified who would become the new players in the national security area in the Reagan administration,” Veliotes said. “And I understand some contacts were made at that time.”

In the early 1980s, the players in Iran also experienced a shakeup. Bani-Sadr was ousted in 1981 and fled for his life; he was replaced as president by Khamenei; Mousavi was named prime minister; Rafsanjani consolidated his financial and political power as speaker of the Majlis; and Karoubi became a powerful figure in Iran’s military-and-foreign-policy establishment.

Besides tapping into stockpiles of U.S.-made weaponry, the Israelis arranged shipments from third countries, including Poland, according to Israeli intelligence officer Ben-Menashe, who described his work on the arms pipeline in his 1992 book, Profits of War.

Since representatives of Likud had initiated the arms-middleman role for Iran, the profits flowed into coffers that the right-wing party controlled, a situation that allowed Likud to invest in Jewish settlements in the West Bank and created envy inside the rival Labor Party especially after it gained a share of power in the 1984 elections, said Ben-Menashe, who worked with Likud.

The Iran-Contra Case

According to this analysis, Labor’s desire to open its own arms channel to Iran laid the groundwork for the Iran-Contra scandal, as the government of Prime Minister Shimon Peres tapped into the emerging neoconservative network inside the Reagan administration on one hand and began making his own contacts to Iran’s leadership on the other.

Reagan’s National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane, who had close ties to the Israeli leadership, collaborated with Peres’s aide Amiram Nir and with neocon intellectual (and National Security Council consultant) Michael Ledeen in spring 1985 to make contact with the Iranians.

Ledeen’s chief intermediary to Iran was a businessman named Manucher Ghorbanifar, who was held in disdain by the CIA as a fabricator but claimed he represented high-ranking Iranians who favored improved relations with the United States and were eager for American weapons.

Ghorbanifar’s chief contact, as identified in official Iran-Contra records, was Mohsen Kangarlu, who worked as an aide to Prime Minister Mousavi, according to Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman in his 2008 book, The Secret War with Iran.

However, Ghorbanifar’s real backer inside Iran appears to have been Mousavi himself. According to a Time magazine article from January 1987, Ghorbanifar “became a trusted friend and kitchen adviser to Mir Hussein Mousavi, Prime Minister in the Khomeini government.”

In November 1985, at a key moment in the Iran-Contra scandal as one of the early missile shipments via Israel went awry, Ghorbanifar conveyed Mousavi’s anger to the White House.

“On or about November 25, 1985, Ledeen received a frantic phone call from Ghorbanifar, asking him to relay a message from the prime minister of Iran to President Reagan regarding the shipment of the wrong type of HAWKs,” according to Iran-Contra special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh’s Final Report.

“Ledeen said the message essentially was ‘we’ve been holding up our part of the bargain, and here you people are now cheating us and tricking us and deceiving us and you had better correct this situation right away.’”

Earlier in the process, Ghorbanifar had dangled the possibility of McFarlane meeting with high-level Iranian officials, including Mousavi and Rafsanjani. Another one of Ghorbanifar’s Iranian contacts was Hassan Karoubi, the brother of Mehdi Karoubi. Hassan Karoubi met with Ghorbanifar and Ledeen in Geneva in late October 1985 regarding missile shipments in exchange for Iranian help in getting a group of U.S. hostages freed in Lebanon, according to Walsh’s report.

A Split Leadership

As Ben-Menashe describes the maneuvering in Tehran, the basic split in the Iranian leadership put then-President Khamenei on the ideologically purist side of rejecting U.S.-Israeli military help and Rafsanjani, Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi in favor of exploiting those openings in a pragmatic way to better fight the war with Iraq.

The key decider during this period – as in the October Surprise phase – was Ayatollah Khomeini, who agreed with the pragmatists on the need to get as much materiel from the Americans and the Israelis as possible, Ben-Menashe told me in a 2009 interview from his home in Canada.

Ben-Menashe said Rafsanjani and most other senior Iranian officials were satisfied dealing with the original (Likud) Israeli channel and were offended by the Reagan administration’s double game of tilting toward Iraq with military and intelligence support while also offering weapons deals to Iran via the second (Labor) channel.

The ex-Israeli intelligence officer said the Iranians were especially thankful in 1985-86 when the Likud channel secured SCUD missiles from Poland so Iran could respond to SCUD attacks that Iraq had launched against Iranian cities.

“After that (transaction), I got access to the highest authorities” in Iran, Ben-Menashe said, including a personal meeting with Mousavi at which Ben-Menashe said he learned that Mousavi knew the history of the Israeli-arranged shipments in the October Surprise deal of 1980.

Ben-Menashe quoted Mousavi as saying, “we did everything you guys wanted. We got rid of the Democrats. We did everything we could, but the Americans aren’t delivering [and] they are dealing with the Iraqis.”

In that account, the Iranian leadership in 1980 viewed its agreement to delay the release of the U.S. Embassy hostages not primarily as a favor to the Republicans, but to the Israelis who were considered the key for Iran to get the necessary military supplies for its war with Iraq.

Israeli attitudes toward Iran soured when the lucrative arms pipelines of the Iran-Iraq War dried up after the conflict finally ended in 1988. Iran’s treasury was depleted as was the treasury of Iraq, where Saddam Hussein lashed out at one of his oil-rich creditors, the Kuwaiti royal family, in 1990, invading the country and setting the stage for a U.S.-led Persian Gulf War that drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait.

With Iraq burdened by post-war sanctions and its military might restricted by weapons inspectors, Israel began to view Iran as its principal regional threat, a view shared by the wealthy Saudis. That common viewpoint gradually created the basis for a de facto Israeli-Saudi alliance which has begun to come out of the shadows in recent years. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Deciphering the Mideast Chaos.”]

Meanwhile, in Iran, this half-hidden history of double-dealing and back-stabbing remains part of the narrative of distrust that continues to afflict U.S.-Iranian relations. Even 35 years later, some of the same Iranian players are still around.

Though Mousavi and Karoubi fell out of favor when they were associated with the Western-backed Green Movement in 2009, Rafsanjani has remained an influential political figure and Khameini replaced the late Ayatollah Khomeini as Iran’s Supreme Leader. That makes him the most important figure in Iran regarding whether to accept a U.S.-brokered deal limiting Iran’s nuclear program — or not.

Posted in USA, IranComments Off on The US-I$raHell-Iran Triangle’s Tangled History

Definition of False Flag

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False flag attack, terrorism

“False flag terrorism” occurs when elements within a government stage a secret operation whereby government forces pretend to be a targeted enemy while attacking their own forces or people.The attack is then falsely blamed on the enemy in order to justify going to war against that enemy. Or as Wikipedia defines it:

False flag operations are covert operations conducted by governments, corporations, or other organizations, which are designed to deceive the public in such a way that the operations appear as if they are being carried out by other entities. The name is derived from the military concept of flying false colors; that is, flying the flag of a country other than one’s own. False flag operations are not limited to war and counter-insurgency operations, and have been used in peace-time; for example, during Italy’s strategy of tension.

The term comes from the old days of wooden ships, when one ship would hang the flag of its enemy before attacking another ship in its own navy. Because the enemy’s flag was hung instead of the flag of the real country of the attacking ship, it was called a “false flag” attack.

9/11 Note: For those wanting to explore the possibility of 9/11 as a false flag operation, click here.

Historical False Flag Attacks

There are many examples of false flag attacks throughout history. For example, it is widely known that the Nazis, in Operation Himmler, faked attacks on their own people and resources which they blamed on the Poles, to justify the invasion of Poland. And it has now been persuasively argued — as shown, for example, in this History Channel video — that Nazis set fire to their own parliament, the Reichstag, and blamed that fire on others. The Reichstag fire was the watershed event which justified Hitler’s seizure of power and suspension of liberties.

And in the early 1950s, agents of an Israeli terrorist cell operating in Egypt planted bombs in several buildings, including U.S. diplomatic facilities, then left behind “evidence” implicating the Arabs as the culprits (one of the bombs detonated prematurely, allowing the Egyptians to identify the bombers). Israel’s Defense Minister was brought down by the scandal, along with the entire Israeli government. Click here for verification.

The Russian KGB apparently conducted a wave of bombings in Russia in order to justify war against Chechnya and put Vladimir Putin into power (see also this essay and this report). And the Turkish government has been caught bombing its own and blaming it on a rebel group to justify a crackdown on that group. Muslim governments also play this game. For example, the well-respected former Indonesian president claimed that their government had a role in the Bali bombings.

This sounds nuts, right? You’ve never heard of this “false flag terrorism,” where a government attacks its own people then blames others in order to justify its goals, right? And you are skeptical of the statements discussed above? Please take a look at these historical quotes:

“If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.” – U.S. President James Madison

“Why of course the people don’t want war … But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship … Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” – Hermann Goering, Nazi leader.

What about the U.S.?

Is it logical to assume that, even if other countries have carried out false flag operations (especially horrible regimes such as, say, the Nazis or Stalin), the U.S. has never done so? Well, as documented by the New York TimesIranians working for the C.I.A. in the 1950’s posed as Communists and staged bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its democratically-elected president (see also this essay).

And, as confirmed by a former Italian Prime Minister, an Italian judge, and the former head of Italian counterintelligence, NATO carried out terror bombings in Italy with the help of the Pentagon and CIA and blamed communists in order to rally people’s support for their governments in Europe in their fight against communism. As one participant in this formerly-secret program stated: “You had to attack civilians, people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple. They were supposed to force these people, the Italian public, to turn to the state to ask for greater security.”

Moreover, declassified U.S. Government documents show that in the 1960s, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff signed off on a plan code-named Operation Northwoods to blow up American airplanes (using an elaborate plan involving the switching of airplanes), and also to commit terrorist acts on American soil, and then to blame it on the Cubans in order to justify an invasion of Cuba. The operation was not carried out only because the Kennedy administration refused to implement these Pentagon plans.

For lots more on the astonishing Operation Northwoods, see the ABC news reportthe official declassified documents; and watch this interview with James Bamford, the former Washington Investigative Producer for ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings. One quote from the the declassified Northwoods documents states: “A ‘Remember the Maine’ incident could be arranged: We could blow up a US ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba. Casualty lists in US newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation.”

What about Al-Qaeda?

You might think Al-Qaeda is different. It is very powerful, organized, and out to get us, right? Consider this Los Angeles Times article, reviewing a BBC documentary entitled The Power of Nightmares, which shows that the threat from Al Qaeda has been vastly overblown (and see this article on who is behind the hype). And former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski testified to the Senate that the war on terror is “a mythical historical narrative.”

And did you know that the FBI had penetrated the cell which carried out the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, but had – at the last minute – cancelled the plan to have its FBI infiltrator substitute fake powder for real explosives, against the infiltrator’s strong wishes? See also this TV news report.

Have you heard that the CIA is alleged to have met with Bin Laden two months before 9/11? Did you know that years after 9/11 the FBI first stated that it did not have sufficient evidence to prosecute Bin Laden for 9/11? (See also this partial confirmation by the Washington Post) And did you see the statement inNewsweek by the CIA commander in charge of the capture that the U.S. let Bin Laden escape from Afghanistan?

Have you heard that the anthrax attacks – which were sent along with notes purportedly written by Islamic terrorists – used a weaponized anthrax strain from the top U.S. bioweapons facility? Indeed, top bioweapons experts have stated that the anthrax attack may have been a CIA test “gone wrong.” For more on this, see this article by a former NSA and naval intelligence officer and this statement by a distinguished law professor and bioterror expert (and this one).

It is also interesting that the only Congress members mailed anthrax letters were key Democrats, and that the attacks occurred one week before passage of the freedom-curtailing PATRIOT Act, which seems to have scared them and the rest of Congress into passing that act without even reading it. And though it may be a coincidence, White House staff began taking the anti-anthrax medicine before the Anthrax attacks occurred.

Even General William Odom, former director of the National Security Agency, said “By any measure the US has long used terrorism. In ‘78-79 the Senate was trying to pass a law against international terrorism, yet in every version they produced, the lawyers said the US would be in violation” (the audio is here).

Why Does This Matter?

Please read what the following highly respected people are saying:

Former prominent Republican U.S. Congressman and CIA official Bob Barr stated that the U.S. is close to becoming a totalitarian society and that elements in government are using fear to try to bring this about.

Republican U.S. Congressman Ron Paul stated that the government is determined to have martial law.” He also said a contrived “Gulf of Tonkin-type incident may occur to gain popular support for an attack on Iran.” Former National Security Adviser Brzezinski told the Senate that a terrorist act might be carried out in the U.S. and falsely blamed on Iran to justify yet another war.

The former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration, Paul Craig Roberts, who is called the “Father of Reaganomics” and is a former editor and columnist for the Wall Street JournalBusinessWeek, and Scripps Howard News Service, has said:

“Ask yourself: Would a government that has lied us into two wars and is working to lie us into an attack on Iran shrink from staging ‘terrorist’ attacks in order to remove opposition to its agenda?”

Retired 27-year CIA analyst Ray McGovern, who prepared and presented Presidential Daily Briefs and served as a high-level analyst for several presidents, stated that if there was another major attack in the U.S., it would lead to martial law. He went on to say:

“We have to be careful, if somebody does this kind of provocation – big violent explosions of some kind – we have to not take the word of the masters there in Washington that this was some terrorist event because it could well be a provocation allowing them, or seemingly to allow them to get what they want.”

The former CIA analyst would not put it past the government to “play fast and loose” with terror alerts and warnings and even terrorist events in order to rally people behind the flag.

General Tommy Franks stated that if another terrorist attack occurs in the United States the Constitution will likely be discarded in favor of a military form of government.” Former UN Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter stated before the Iraq war started that there were no weapons of mass destruction. He is now saying that he would not rule out staged government terror by the U.S. government. And British Parliament Member George Galloway stated that “there is a very real danger” that the American government will stage a false flag terror attack in order to justify war against Iran and to gain complete control domestically.

The abundance of reliable information in this essay suggests that not only has the U.S. in the past conducted false flag operations, but there is a possibility that 9/11 involved some element of this deceit, and a future false flag operation cannot be ruled out. Let us spread this news to all who care so that we might build the critical mass necessary to stop these secret operations and work together for a more caring civil society.
Special Note: For a collection of reliable, verifiable information suggesting that 9/11 may have been a form of false flag operation, please see the 9/11 Information Center available at this link. For a list of more false flag terrorism operations with links for verification, see www.shoah.org.uk

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George Soros Looks To Co-Own Ukraine

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The Hungarian-born economic hitman may be more interested in helping his, and other investor’s, pockets, rather than the people of Ukraine.
Image result for George Soros PHOTOS
Philanthropist George Soros speaks during an interview with the Associated Press, Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2010, in New York.

Billionaire hedge fund manager George Soros has proposed a $1 Billion contribution of a combined $50 Billion investment package in the Ukraine in order to form an economic barrier to Russia’s entry to the war torn nation.  In an interview with an Austrian newspaper, Soros said, “The West can help Ukraine by increasing attractiveness for investors.”  The Hungarian-born economic hitman may be more interested in helping his, and other investor’s, pockets, rather than the people of Ukraine. The speculation here could undermine any truly democratic action in Ukraine.  By using low EU Central Bank interest rates to achieve his investments, Soros’s plans begin to bear marked similarities to speculations that destroyed the British Pound and took severe tolls in places like Argentina.

The business model is nothing new for Soros, who has engaged in similar investment projects in West Africa.  He continues, “There are concrete investment ideas, for example in agriculture and infrastructure projects. I would put in $1 billion. This must generate a profit. My foundation would benefit from this … Private engagement needs strong political leadership.”  In Nigeria, Cameroon, Uganda and others, Soros has leveraged his political connections to protect his business interests in those nations.  Revenue Watch International, a Soros firm, assisted Uganda in the development of its fossil fuel drilling regulations.  Open Society Institute, another Soros Non-Governmental Organization, has recently been responsible for setting up and later overthrowing presidents of Senegal and Congo.  Soros maintains significant oil, gold and diamond drilling operations in these nations.  The International Crisis Group, yet another Soros NGO, has repeatedly advised the US Government to provide American military intervention in these fragile societies heavy in natural resources.

The profits would certainly roll in for the relentless investor.  Soros Fund Management, LLC maintains ownership of large share percentages in key corporations that will benefit from investment in Ukraine. Soros owns over 5 million shares of the chemical giant Dow Chemicals, with diversified products and services from industrial to agricultural applications.  Another big agricultural winner would be Monsanto.  Soros owns half a million shares of the bio-tech firm, which has been a part of most Ukraine political discussions since the civil conflict broke out two years ago.  Ukraine has vast supplies of oil and natural gas.  Energen, a natural gas utility, could be a prime developer of Ukraine’s fossil fuel reserves.  Soros owns nearly two million shares of that company. PDC Energy, with one million shares owned, might be another contender for drilling profits.  Soros also owns significant stakes of Citigroup, which stands to be a primary financial intermediary for any investment in Ukraine.

Soros’ investment strategy is not restricted to diversified holdings of major national and international corporations or mutual funds.  A significant tactic is the investment in supportive elements within the US government.  In 2014, Soros ranked 11th on OpenSecrets.org list of “Top Individual Contributors.”  His nearly $4 Million open investment (contributions sourced directly to him and not channeled through 501c4 “dark money” organizations) could potentially amount to $400 Million dollars in returns, if not more.  The Carmen Group, for instance, a lobbying company in Washington, has claimed that for every dollar invested in lobbying, their clients receive $100 in return.  RepresentUs, a campaign finance reform advocacy group, has measured similar extensive gains for political contributions and lobbying expenditures.

United Republic Infographic for Return on Lobbying Investment

If Soros senses a $100 Billion profit, diversified through a number of companies he holds stakes in, he will not mind selling other countries, individual investors, or the IMF to provide the remainder of the $50 Billion total investment he thinks Ukraine needs.  In fact, this was probably a major conversation topic this year at the Davos World Economic Forum meeting.  The majority of these banks and corporations, however, will mine the profits from Ukraine, exporting them to other Western nations.   Meanwhile, these corporations will burden Ukraine with significant loans, even if the rates are near zero.  Even though these practices have devastated countries like Greece and Argentina, as long as the profits keep rolling in, the investments will continue.

Posted in UkraineComments Off on George Soros Looks To Co-Own Ukraine

61,000 U.S. Bridges ‘Structurally Deficient’

NOVANEWS
There’s currently a backlog of more than $115 billion in bridge work and $755 billion in highway projects throughout the country, according to Department of Transportation data.
Divers search the Mississippi River on Aug. 3, 2007, during recovery efforts after the Interstate 35W bridge collapsed in Minneapolis.

More than 61,000 American bridges are structurally deficient, according to a new analysis by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association.

While U.S. road infrastructure continues to be in dire straits, the health of the USA’s bridges has shown a slight improvement from last year when ARTBA found more than 63,000 of the country’s bridges were structurally deficient, according to their review of U.S. Department of Transportation records.

The report on the state of American bridges comes with federal highway and transit funding set to expire on May 31, absent congressional action.

“State and local governments are doing the best they can to address these significant challenges, given limited resources,” said Alison Black, ARTBA’s chief economist. She added, “Without additional investment from all levels of government, our infrastructure spending will be a zero-sum game.”

The Highway Trust Fund is set up to be funded by revenue collected from the 18.4 cents-a-gallon federal gas tax and is the source of 52% of highway and bridge capital investments made annually by state governments

But the federal gas tax has not been increased since 1993, and soaring road-building costs have dwarfed receipts — forcing Congress to bail out the Highway Trust Fund with nearly $65 billion in revenue from the general fund since 2008.

There’s currently a backlog of more than $115 billion in bridge work and $755 billion in highway projects throughout the country, according to Department of Transportation data.

Earlier this week, the Obama administration sent Congress a $478 billion bill that calls for providing transportation funding for the next six years.

The administration proposal would give a boost to the Highway Trust Fund by imposing 14% tax on an estimated $2 billion that corporations have kept overseas to avoid higher corporate tax rates.

Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of lawmakers on Capitol Hill is working on competing legislation that would raise roughly $170 billion in new revenue by also giving U.S. corporations a tax break on profits parked overseas.

The lawmakers want to use $120 billion of that windfall to shore up the Highway Trust Fund and direct another $50 billion to the creation of an American Infrastructure Fund, which would provide loans and financing to tools for states and communities conducting infrastructure projects.

“During these next two months, though, all of us who work in Washington need to be relentless in trying to get to ‘yes’ on a bill that is truly transformative and that brings the country together,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said this week when the administration unveiled its transportation proposal. “And frankly, governors and state officials as well as mayors and local officials all over the country need to continue being relentless, too, by continuing to raise their voices in support of a transportation bill that meets both their immediate and long-term needs.”

The uncertainty of federal funding has made some states skittish about their ability to complete infrastructure projects. So far in 2015, four states — Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, and Wyoming — have shelved $779.7 million in projects due to the uncertainty over federal funds.

Nine states — Colorado, Connecticut, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and West Virginia — have expressed concern over the feasibility of future transportation infrastructure projects totaling more than $1.8 billion if Congress does not act before May 31, when funding for the trust fund is set to run out.

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Stalled Iran Nuclear Talks Extended

NOVANEWS
Both sides are scrambling to work out the final details of the proposed agreement.
From left:  Robert Malley, of the US National Security Council, US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, US Secretary of State John Kerry, US Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi, Head of Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wait for a meeting, Friday, March 27, 2015 in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Despite reports earlier on Tuesday that the Iran nuclear framework was more or less finalized and a press conference had been scheduled for later in the evening, negotiators are now saying the whole matter has been extended for another day, with talks moving into Wednesday.

Details are scant, but everyone agrees that there are certain, unspecified issues everyone prefers to work out before issuing the public statement on the framework. A key aspect is reportedly Iran wanting concrete sanctions relief for irreversible steps.

That they’re extending the talks a single day reflects how close such a deal must be, despite protestations from US officials that there are “several difficult issues” to be resolved.

Ultimately, the framework is expected to be quite broad, only 2-3 pages, and any matters not resolved would simply be left vague, and punted down the road for the talks on a final deal, which are very tentatively meant to end at the end of June, but will almost certainly continue beyond that date.

Posted in IranComments Off on Stalled Iran Nuclear Talks Extended

Disregarding Human Rights Concerns, US Resumes Arm Shipments To Egypt

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‘As usual,’ writes Glenn Greenwald, the US government is again ‘standing shoulder to shoulder with some of the region’s most oppressive regimes.’
Image result for Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi PHOTO
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi

Despite widespread repression of human rights activists, political opponents, and journalists that have garnered worldwide condemnation, the Egyptian government will once again be the recipient of U.S. weapons shipments and military aid after the Obama administration announced it was ending a freeze of such support on Tuesday.

A White House statement described how President Obama spoke with Egyptian President Abdelfattah al-Sisi and said that despite “continued imprisonment of non-violent activists and mass trials” in Egypt, he would lift “executive holds that have been in place since October 2013 on the delivery of F-16 aircraft, Harpoon missiles, and M1A1 tank kits.” In addition, Obama assured al-Sissi that he will continue to request an annual $1.3 billion in military assistance for Egypt.

The move comes as Egypt has joined with Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations to launch airstrikes, and possibly a ground invasion, of Yemen—a development which is further destabilizing a region in which ongoing conflicts are now underway in Libya, Syria, Iraq, and many places in between.

Critics of the al-Sisi regime say that his takeover in 2013 was nothing short of a military coup and that the government’s behavior since then has been a series of authoritarian steps which have taken Egypt back to the repressive days of Hosni Mubarak, the dictator who was deposed during the Arab Spring uprising in 2011.

Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and others have repeatedly slammed Egypt for its human rights record and backtracking on reforms.

The New York Times reports that the lifting of the arms embargo by the Obama administration signals “a geopolitical trade-off for the American leader” which, in effect, shows that the U.S. government is “done punishing Cairo for toppling an elected president and that [President Obama] was instead focusing on the shared goal of combating extremist elements in Libya and Yemen.”

As recent coverage by Common Dreams has cataloged, Egypt under the control of President al-Sissi has been marked by widespread repression of journalists, human rights abuses, and a brutal crackdown on political opponents.

According to Time magazine’s Mark Thompson:

The resumption of arms shipments to Egypt is in keeping with the growth of U.S. arms sales abroad. Major American weapons exports grew by 23% between 2005-2009 and 2010-2014, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said on March 16. “The USA has long seen arms exports as a major foreign policy and security tool,” Aude Fleurant, of SIPRI, said when the group released its annual arms-sales accounting. “But in recent years exports are increasingly needed to help the U.S. arms industry maintain production levels at a time of decreasing U.S. military expenditure.”

The White House announcement wasn’t only about weapons. “President Obama also reiterated U.S. concerns about Egypt’s continued imprisonment of non-violent activists and mass trials,” it said in a statement. And, as the Administration drafts proposed legislation to resume military aid to Egypt, it “will not make the so-called ‘democracy certification’ in that legislation,” National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said.

In other words, Egypt remains little more than a military junta now wearing civilian clothes, and the White House won’t pretend otherwise.

Journalist and political observer Glenn Greenwald was incensed by the latest development, writing at The Intercept:

The move comes as the U.S. is also heavily supporting the Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen, also involving some of the region’s worst tyrants (also known as: the U.S.’s closest allies). So the U.S. is, as usual, standing shoulder to shoulder with some of the region’s most oppressive regimes, whose survival at least partially depends on the abundant U.S. largesse they receive, once again provoking that age-old mystery: Why do they hate us?

Obama’s move is as unsurprising as it is noxious, as American political elites — from Bill and Hillary Clinton to Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright — along with the Israeli Right have been heaping praise on Sisi the way they did for decades on Mubarak. (“I really consider President and Mrs. Mubarak to be friends of my family,” said Hillary Clinton in 2009. “So I hope to see him often here in Egypt and in the United States.”)

Who is more tragically propagandized: those who actually believe that U.S. foreign policy is motivated by a desire to spread freedom and democracy for women, gays, and human beings generally, or those who scoff with unbridled contempt whenever the suggestion is made with a straight face?

Posted in EgyptComments Off on Disregarding Human Rights Concerns, US Resumes Arm Shipments To Egypt

Yemen’s Houthis Are No Iran Proxy

NOVANEWS
This Shia militia group shares little more with Iran than it’s religious identity.
Image result for A supporter of Houthi Shiites holds a Yemeni flag PHOTO
A supporter of Houthi Shiites holds a Yemeni flag during a rally in support of the Houthis, at a sports stadium in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015.

Declaring their war against the Houthis of Yemen last week, Saudi Arabia has presented the conflict as a sort of noble intervention, aiming to displace an Iranian proxy from power in favor of the internationally accepted, if not legitimately elected, President Hadi.

Yet the history of the Houthis shows that, far from an invention of Iran, their origins were entirely domestic in nature, a backlash against the political corruption that has defined the nation for decades. WikiLeaks documents from the US State Department underscore this history.

The Houthi movement has its origins in the 1993 parliamentary elections. Longtime dicator Ali Abdullah Saleh’s GPC party won a plurality, but in trying to ensure a weakened opposition Saleh negotiated a deal with Hussein al-Houthi, a powerful member of the opposition al-Haq Party. Houthi was to distance himself from Haq and back the GPC in return for support from the ruling party.

Houthi did as he was asked, and was stabbed in the back in the 1997 election, when Saleh’s office heavily campaigned against him, costing him his seat in parliament. Out of office, Hussein decided to travel abroad to complete his doctorate.

He returned in 2001, and quickly became an influential religious leader, aiming to unite the various independent clerics of Zaidi Shi’ism under a single banner. Successful in this, he began publicly condemning Saleh as a US puppet, while harshly condemning the US invasion of Iraq.

By 2004, the Yemeni military was moving against Houthi and his followers, and Hussein was killed on September 10, 2004, putting a temporary end to hostilities.

Hussein’s father, Badr al-Din Houthi started an uprising in 2005, and his brother Abdul Malik Houthi started an even bigger one in 2007. Their demands centered around equal treatment for their homeland, around Sadaa, which always got the short end of infrastructure investment.

By 2009 the region was in full-scale war, with Saleh vowing to defund public schools and all other basic social spending to pay for weapons to wipe the Houthis out.

Saleh often accused the Houthis of being an Iran proxy, though the US State Department confirmed that this was not the case, and indeed that the Houthis were arming themselves almost entirely through the black market, and purchase of arms from the Yemeni military itself.

With interests largely domestic (and often not even nationwide) and religion never more than tangentially related to their ideology, the Houthis never made sense as allies to Iran. The Zaidi brand of Shi’a Islam isn’t even particularly close to Iran’s own version, and Hussein Houthi’s opposition to the Iraq War, which benefited Iran greatly, reflects how very different the two are.

The Houthis were largely defeated in 2009, though they began to reassert themselves in 2011 during the Arab Spring. This was temporarily calmed by the 2012 ouster of Saleh and his replacement, in a single candidate “vote,” by General Hadi.

Hadi followed through on attempts to weaken the Houthis by implanting Sunni Islamist factions into the Sadaa area, which led to another war in 2014. This time, the Houthis won outright, and marched on the capital city of Sanaa. Here too, they were victorious.

The takeover of the capital set the stage for on-again, off-again battles with Hadi, and the Houthis were pushing heavily for constitutional reforms and free elections, a point on which Hadi resigned in January of 2015.

His resignation lasted a few weeks, then Hadi declared himself unresigned, moving to Aden and vowing to take the country. When the Houthis routed him yet again, Hadi fled to Saudi Arabia, and courted their military intervention to ensure his rule.

Never has serious evidence of Iranian involvement been seen, and the new claims that loyalists to Saleh are fighting alongside the Houthis are strange indeed, given their history of acrimony.

If Iran gets involved in the Houthi-Saudi war at all, it is because of their regional rivalry with the Saudis, as both sides are keen to wound the other when the opportunity presents itself. To this day, however, the Houthis maintain they have no ties with Iran, and intend to defend the country by themselves.

Posted in YemenComments Off on Yemen’s Houthis Are No Iran Proxy

Pro-I$raHell Funders Target Surging I$raHell Apartheid Week

NOVANEWS

Image result for for Justice in Palestine PHOTO

As the global mobilization in solidarity with Palestinians grows, a new report traces cash from the ultra-wealthy donors who seek to torpedo the anti-apartheid, pro-peace movement.
NEW YORK — As the eleventh annual Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) continues worldwide, New York City activists say their local series of events protesting Israel’s policies, which ended last week, boosted ongoing efforts to support the human rights of Palestinians.

“IAW was very successful again this year,” local IAW coordinator Hani Ghazi told MintPress News. “None of the film screenings and discussion topics about Israel’s apartheid policies that were featured in our events were a repetition from last year’s IAW.”

Meanwhile, as IAW winds down, a new report seeks to illuminate the pro-Israel funders who allegedly attempted to impede the anti-apartheid movement’s phenomenal growth.

“We are not waiting”

Launched ten years ago by the Arab Students’ Collective, a campus organization at the University of Toronto, IAW has grown to encompass events in over 200 cities. They typically last a week in each location, but the dates may vary to accommodate local calendars.

In New York, where multiple universities schedule breaks and exams at different times, the week grew into a month this year, stretching from Feb. 26 through March 26.

Many activities reflected traditions IAW and campus-based Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) groups have established over the past decade. At Columbia and New York University, for example, SJP members built mock “apartheid walls,” imitations of Israel’s separation barrier in the West Bank, which the International Court of Justice found illegal in 2004.

As expected, these barriers drew sharp reactions from campus supporters of Israel.

At NYU, a group of pro-Israel students declared their own “Israel Pride Week” and held a competing protest near the “apartheid wall” in Washington Square Park. Holding large signs of an obscene comment by pop star Lady Gaga, the demonstration drew support from pro-Israel leader Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, whose son, Mendy, attends NYU.

At Columbia, the “apartheid wall” has historically faced opposition from student supporters of Israel, who set up a table directly across from it.

But this year, those supporters found themselves supplanted by the new Barnard-Columbia chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace, which applied to use the same space first.

“This is a historic moment for American Judaism and we hope that Columbia’s Jewish community will join us on the right side of history,” campus JVP co-chairs Eva Kalikoff and Christopher Godshall wrote in an op-edfor the Columbia Spectator, the university’s newspaper. “We are not waiting.”

Other local events ranged from street protests against the arrival of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the United States, a fundraising gala by the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, and British security contractor G4S, which provides services to Israeli prisons accused of torturing Palestinian detainees, to film screenings and panel discussions on Israel’s summer 2014 offensive against the Gaza Strip and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Significantly, the month began and ended with forums on the same topic — commonalities between the black American and Palestinian struggles — at the City University of New York School of Law and NYU.

“Our oppressors are literally learning from each other,” Equal Justice USA national organizer Cherrell Brown, who joined a solidarity delegation to Palestine by black organizations in January, said at NYU on March 26. “We know St. Louis police are being trained by Israeli soldiers. They are using the same weaponry, as some of the tear gas being used in Ferguson is from Israel. And so we must work together, and share our stories, and our collective resistance.”

In between, event organizers sought to explore the Palestinian movement, including aspects, like Palestinian refugees’ right of return, they felt had received insufficient attention in the past.

“BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti recently described the Palestinian right of return as ‘the most significant right in the BDS call,’” David Letwin of Jews for Palestinian Right of Return (JFPROR) told MintPress.

Along with local Palestinian groups, JFPROR held a panel on the topic at the New School March 11.

“It was inspiring and encouraging be a part of the first IAW event to focus on this crucial right,” Letwin said.

“An existential threat”

On March 26, the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) released “The Business of Backlash: The Attack on the Palestinian Movement and Other Movements for Social Justice.” The report’s 124 pages outline the efforts of “11 extraordinarily wealthy individuals,” whose foundations hold over $10 billion in assets, to fuel anti-Palestinian, anti-Muslim, and other right-wing efforts.

This “backlash movement,” the report says, uses the Reut Institute’s 2010 report, “The Delegitimization Challenge: Creating a Political Firewall,” as “a definitive strategy document.”

Reut warned of IAW, claiming that the annual events on London campuses were “the clearest anti-Israel manifestation.” It further noted that international support for Palestinians could eventually “evolve into an existential threat” to Israel comparable with the risks of military conflict.

The IJAN report shows how pro-Israel funders have responded, targeting IAW, the BDS movement and other grassroots campaigns in solidarity with Palestine.

Recipients of their largesse have ranged from fringe groups like Christians United for Israel and Stand With Us, to community institutions such as Jewish Federations of North America and Hillel.

Simultaneously, their foundations’ cash has flowed into media and propaganda outlets that support Israel and its policies without reservation.

The resulting networks both monitor Palestine solidarity campaigns and respond to them, seeking to counter their information with often dubious claims.

In a case study, IJAN recounted the manufactured “backlash” to the distribution of mock “eviction notices” by NYU SJP members in April 2014. These documents, slipped under dormitory doors, aimed to dramatize Israel’s displacement of Palestinians and demolitions of their homes.

Pro-Israel students quickly responded, with Laura Adkins, a leader of TorchPAC, American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s NYU affiliate, claiming in a Times of Israel column that the action “target[ed] Jewish students.”

The NYU Local blog dismissed the statement as “a piece of shoddy, disingenuous journalism.”

Nevertheless, right-wing media like Fox News and the New York Post repeated it, as did the Anti-Defamation League and politicians such as New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, a former member of the Jewish Defense League.

In response, the NYU administration made various threats toward SJP members and demanded two meetings with the group. Ultimately, in the face of growing public ridicule and increasingly bizarre statements by Adkins, who accused SJP of receiving funding from Hamas on Fox News, the university quietly dropped the matter.

The embarrassing anticlimax, IJAN says, “shows the extent to which university administrators, under pressure from both campus and external organizations, make threats to sanction Palestine solidarity that they are then unable to seriously follow through on.”

 

Yet other efforts have targeted IAW directly.

The Hasbara Fellowships, funded by both private donors and the State of Israel, organized simultaneous “Israeli Peace Weeks” on 45 U.S. campuses.

And in 2012, Jessica Felber and Brian Maissy, members of Tikvah Students for Israel at the University of California, Berkeley, complained to the U.S. Department of Education that the event was “a disturbing echo of incitement, intimidation, harassment and violence carried out under the Nazi regime.”

Like an earlier lawsuit by the two graduates, the claim failed.

“Despite the vast resources – literally hundreds of millions of dollars – behind the backlash against the Palestinian and Palestine solidarity movements and BDS network, we have had many successes,” the IJAN report says. “We have relied on people power, with a tiny fraction of the resources that our opposition has, and against Israeli and U.S. state power.”

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Pro-I$raHell Funders Target Surging I$raHell Apartheid Week

Al Shabaab Benefited from Western Destruction of Libyan State

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Global Research
Al-Shabaab_2154133b

Al Shabaab, the Islamic terrorist group that has just laid siege to a Kenyan university, killing nearly 150 people, benefited from the 2011 Western aggression that backed al Qaeda and affiliated militias to destroy the state of Libya:

The Telegraph:

Libyan arms that went missing during the fighting to remove Col Muammar Gaddafi are now spreading even further afield…

The new report by a special UN security council committee suggests that they have now travelled even further, with Libyan ammunition showing up in the continuing war being waged by al-Shabab [pictured above], an al-Qaeda offshoot in Somalia.

Somalia borders Kenya, where Al Shabaab has just attacked a university.

Al Shabaab has “Wahhabi roots”; Wahhabism is the extremist version of Islam exported by missionary theocracy Saudi Arabia, which is itself currently carrying out US-coordinated terrorist attacks against people in Yemen.  “Al-Wahhab’s teachings are state-sponsored and are the official form of Sunni Islam in 21st century Saudi Arabia”.

In addition to support for Saudi Arabia dating to the 1930s, the US has on numerous occasions openly or indirectly supported al Qaeda and other Wahhabi terrorist groups.

The Western aggression that destroyed Libya also benefitted other al Qaeda and al Qaeda linked militias, such as Boko Haram:

  • Al Jazeera: “…heavy weapons such as SAM-7 anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles…were either surreptitiously obtained by posing as Gaddafi’s supporters or indirectly purchased from mercenaries who had acquired these arms from Libyan depositories. …these arms have been transferred to groups such as Ansar Dine, Boko Haram and MUJAO, emboldening and enabling them to mount more deadly and audacious attacks.
  • Human Rights First: “Unsecured Libyan stockpiles empower Boko Haram and destabilize African Sahel”
  • NBC News: “Apart from benefiting from sympathizers in the Nigerian military, the Islamic terror group is able to purchase small arms and occasionally some larger weaponry in nearby conflict zones, ‘probably Libya’ … The collapse of Libya has further flooded the market”
  • Reuters and United Nations: “The Libyan civil war may have given militant groups in Africa’s Sahel region like Boko Haram and al Qaeda access to large weapons caches, according to a U.N. report released on Thursday. … Boko Haram killed more than 500 people last year and more than 250 this year in Nigeria.”
  • Washington Post: “Boko Haram … militants, who traveled to northern Mali last year to join the fight there, have returned with heavy weapons from Libya, presumably from former Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi’s arsenal.”

Posted in Libya, SomaliaComments Off on Al Shabaab Benefited from Western Destruction of Libyan State

Leading Mainstream Papers Incite ‘Supreme International Crime’

NOVANEWS
Global Research
WarOpEds

Image: Op-eds in the Washington Post (left) and New York Times called for unprovoked military attacks on Iran.

After the New York Times printed John Bolton’s “To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran” (3/26/15; FAIR Blog, 3/26/15), following the Washington Post publishing Joshua Muravchik’s “War With Iran Is Probably Our Best Option” (3/13/15), veteran investigative reporter Robert Parry made an excellent point (Consortium News, 3/28/15):

If two major newspapers in, say, Russia published major articles openly advocating the unprovoked bombing of a country, say, Israel, the US government and news media would be aflame with denunciations about “aggression,” “criminality,” “madness” and “behavior not fitting the 21st century.”

But when the newspapers are American – the New York Times and the Washington Post – and the target country is Iran, no one in the US government and media bats an eye. These inflammatory articles – these incitements to murder and violation of international law – are considered just normal discussion in the Land of Exceptionalism.

Advocating for war is not like advocating for most other policies because, as peace activist David Swanson points out, war is a crime. It was outlawed in 1928 by the Kellogg-Briand Pact, in which the United States, the Soviet Union, China, Britain, Germany, France, Japan and 55 other nations “condemn[ed] recourse to war for the solution of international controversies, and renounce[d] it, as an instrument of national policy in their relations with one another.”

Image: Defendants at Nuremberg were found guilty and hanged for carrying out the policies advocated by the Washington Postand New York Times op-ed pages.

Kellogg-Briand was the basis for the “crimes against peace” indictment at the Nuremberg Trials for Nazi leaders, several of whom were hanged for “planning, preparation, initiation, or waging a war of aggression.” At Nuremberg, chief US prosecutor Robert H. Jackson declared:

To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, 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.

The spirit of Kellogg-Briand was embodied in the formation of the United Nations, whose charter commits its signers to renouncing war and the threat of war:

All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.

So to advocate for war, as the Washington Post and New York Times op-ed pages have done, is to incite a crime–“the supreme international crime,” as Jackson noted. How would we react if leading papers were to run articles suggesting that genocide was the best solution to an international conflict–or that lynching is the answer to domestic problems? Calling for an unprovoked military attack against another nation is in the same category of argument.

Notes:

The Washington Post can be reached

at  letters@washpost.com   orviaTwitter @washingtonpost. The New York Times‘ email is :letters@nytimes.com and Twitter account is @nytimes. Remember that respectful communication is most effective.

Posted in USA, IranComments Off on Leading Mainstream Papers Incite ‘Supreme International Crime’

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