Archive | June 13th, 2015

Egyptian journalists protest against arrests, for better labor laws

Image result for Egyptian MEDIA LOGO
By Mostafa Mohie 

More than 200 members of the press gathered at the Journalists Syndicate in downtown Cairo on Wednesday, chanting for the “32 detained journalists and hundreds dismissed from their job” as they commemorated Egyptian Journalist Day.

The syndicate’s freedoms committee had sent a general invitation to protest on June 10 to denounce the recent wave of arrests, arbitrary dismissals and low wages faced by local journalists. Several websites for both privately and state-owned newspapers, including Ahram Gate, Bedaya, Al-Mal and Al-Fagr, published statements supporting the demonstration.

Leading up to the protest, the syndicate also filed 13 complaints with the prosecutor general demanding the immediate release of all journalists currently detained pending investigations, and detailing alleged acts of torture inflicted upon those journalists while in custody.

Among the protesters was Ibrahim Aref, editor-in-chief of the privately owned Al-Bayan newspaper. Aref and a colleague were recently prosecuted on charges of publishing false information regarding the assassination of six prosecutors, news which the newspaper had subsequently amended and apologized for.

Recounting his arrest to Mada Masr, Aref says that police personnel broke into his office and took him to the prosecutor’s headquarters in the Fifth Settlement district of New Cairo. He claims the building was under construction at the time and had no running water. The next day, he was taken to the High Court, where he was left in a defendant’s dock for nine hours without food or water before being released later that night on bail, he says.

“According to the law, everything that happened was illegal,” Aref argues. “Journalists cannot be detained for cases related to publishing. I went through the experience and got out of prison, but other colleagues are still detained, and their children are cheering with us today.”

Aya Allam, wife of detained journalist Hassan al-Qabanni, was also at Wednesday’s protest.

She spoke to Mada of her husband’s arrest, saying, “On January 22, police broke into my home and arrested my husband. He disappeared for three days, and we filed a report with the general prosecutor about the incident. It turned out he was being kept at the National Security headquarters in Sheikh Zayed.”

When Qabbani was finally called before the prosecutor, he bore injuries that suggested he was beaten, electrocuted and tortured, Allam says.

She claims that her husband never faced specific charges. Instead, during interrogations he was asked about his opinion of the January 25, 2011 revolution, the events of June 30, 2013, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Armed Forces. Later, his family learned that he was accused of spying for the Norwegian government, in the same case as Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Ali Bishr, according to Allam.

Qabbani is currently being detained in dire conditions at the Aqrab prison, Allam alleges. She adds that he is restricted to his cell, isn’t allowed access to newspapers or books and only receives one meal per day.

Furthermore, his wife claims that though the prison management has been issuing visiting permits to the families of the detainees at the prison, when they arrive, they are not permitted to enter. Qabbani hasn’t received visitors since February, Allam says, accusing prison staff of tampering with the visitor records.

Reda Gamal’s husband, journalist Reda al-Darawy, has been detained for close to two years, she says.

“After July 3 [2013] and the ousting of the Muslim Brotherhood, my husband travelled to Amman to work at Yarmouk satellite channel, then to Lebanon to work at Al-Quds Channel. He came back on August 6 and was a guest speaker on Tamer Amin’s show. On his way out of Media Production City, he was arrested.”

Darawy has been accused of spying for Hamas and belonging to a banned group — the Muslim Brotherhood was declared an illegal organization at the end of 2013. He was later added as a defendant in the espionage case alongside former President Mohamed Morsi and other Brotherhood leaders, Gamal says.

Gamal adds that her husband was accused of illegally entering the Gaza Strip through the tunnels from Sinai, but refutes those charges.

“My husband visited the Strip twice for work, and the stamps on his passport prove it,” she argues.

His first visit was in July 2011, she says, when he conducted interviews with leaders of various political factions in Palestine for a piece that was published in the state-owned Akhbar al-Youm newspaper. Then under the Morsi administration, Darawy visited Gaza again to cover the truce agreement between Hamas and Israel, Gamal says.

Darawy has now been in custody for 22 months. A verdict is anticipated in his case on June 16.

Darawy’s case bears some similarities with that of journalist Mahmoud Abou Zeid, known as Shawkan, who is also currently in detention pending investigations. His brother, Mohamed Abou Zeid, says that Shawkan was covering the Rabea al-Adaweya sit-in after Morsi’s ouster in 2013, and had obtained permission to shoot photographs there from security forces in the area.

However, Shawkan was then arrested alongside a number of foreign journalists by men dressed in civilian clothing, Abou Zeid says. The foreign photojournalist were released, but Shawkan has remained in detention ever since.

Photographer Ahmed Gamal Zeyada, who was recently acquitted in a case related to violence at Al-Azhar University, says that his arrest was similar to Shawkan’s. Zeyada says he hadn’t met Shawkan prior to his arrest, but began exchanging letters with him following a march that was organized to draw attention to both of their arrests by their fellow photojournalists.

“After a while we became close friends, though we never met,” says Zeyada.

The arbitrary firing of journalists was also a core issue discussed by the protesters. Sahar Abdel Ghani, a journalist at the privately owned newspaper Al-Alam Al-Youm, says that she and 30 of her colleagues were fired due to budget cuts.

“We have been working for the newspaper for 13 years, and have put up with all the financial challenges throughout,” she says.

But despite the fact that she was fired under the pretext of budgetary constraints, Abdel Ghani claims that “the newspaper recently launched a new website and hired new reporters,” suggesting that the business wasn’t in such dire straits after all. She says she and her colleagues filed a wrongful termination complaint with the labor bureau, but nothing happened.

The Journalists Syndicate is currently in negotiations with the newspaper to either rehire the fired journalists or compensate them, she adds.

At the protest, around 150 journalists — most of them working for newspapers affiliated with political parties that have recently been shut down — declared they would go on strike.

Iman Ouf, a journalist for the privately owned Al-Mal newspaper and a member of the syndicate’s freedom committee that organized the demonstration, felt that Wednesday’s protest represented a good step toward solving the problem of journalists working in Egypt today.

“The number of participants wasn’t big, but it is a good start. Today is better than how things were before,” Ouf says.

Next, the syndicate plans to launch a campaign for a fair labor law, a unified contract for all journalists and an industry-wide a minimum wage, in addition to providing compensation for the families of the detained journalists, she continues.

The journalist adds that the regional and international support for the protest was a good indicator that journalists are capable of defending themselves. The protest received letters of support from the Arab Journalists Union and the International Union for Journalists, Ouf says, in addition to journalists syndicates in Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, the European Union and the United States, and finally, from local political parties.

Posted in EgyptComments Off on Egyptian journalists protest against arrests, for better labor laws

Norwegian pension fund divests from Zio-Nazi occupation


Posted By: Sammi Ibrahem, Sr

Image result for BOYCOTT ISRAEL LOGO

Norway’s largest pension fund has excluded two companies “on the grounds of their exploitation of natural resources in occupied territory on the West Bank.”

KLP, which manages a US$70 billion investment portfolio, formally excluded Heidelberg Cement and Cemex on June 1, following a period of investigation and engagement. The combined worth of KLP’s shareholdings in both Heidelberg Cement and Cemex was approximately $5 million.

Heidelberg Cement and Cemex, leading global suppliers of building materials, operate quarries in the West Bank through their respective Nazi subsidiaries. According to KLP, “the companies pay licence fees and royalties to the state of Israel” while “the products deriving from the quarries are sold primarily for use in Israel’s domestic construction market.”

Based on “a review of applicable international law”, which the company explained in a separate document, KLP concluded that “the companies’ operations are associated with violations of fundamental ethical norms.”

Citing a previous similar case in Western Sahara, KLP noted that the quarries in question were opened after 1967, when Israel’s occupation began. “The opening of a quarry in occupied territory”, KLP said, “is in all probability incompatible with Article 55 of the Hague Regulations.”

The fund, which manages the retirement assets of Norwegian public sector workers, also excluded a further eight companies on the grounds of their income from coal-based operations, corruption, environmental damage, and the production of tobacco.

Posted in Europe, ZIO-NAZI, CampaignsComments Off on Norwegian pension fund divests from Zio-Nazi occupation

UNESCO condemns Zio-Wahhabi-led bombing of historic Yemen capital



The Old Town of Sanaa, Yemen (image from by flickr user ai@ce)

The director-general of UNESCO has said she is “shocked” after an airstrike destroyed three houses in the Old City of Sanaa, where the oldest building dates back over 1,400 years.

Planes belonging  led by Zio-Wahhabi, and endorsed by I$raHell and United States, bombed a house.

The airstrike, the first direct hit on the Old City since airstrikes began 11 weeks ago, caused the destruction of a trio of three-story buildings, and the death of five people, all presumably belonging to the same family. Houthi sources said there were six casualties, and five buildings were decimated.

“I am profoundly distressed by the loss of human lives as well as by the damage inflicted on one of the world’s oldest jewels of Islamic urban landscape. I am shocked by the images of these magnificent many-storyed tower-houses and serene gardens reduced to rubble,” said Irina Bokova in a statement.

“This destruction will only exacerbate the humanitarian situation and I reiterate my call to all parties to respect and protect the cultural heritage in Yemen. This heritage bears the soul of the Yemeni people, it is a symbol of a millennial history of knowledge and it belongs to all humankind.”

The current Yemeni capital has been inhabited for over 2,500 years, and was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1986. It features tightly packed rammed earth and burnt brick houses, mosques and public baths, all decorated with elaborate geometric patterns.

UNESCO, charged with preserving historic and natural landmarks, is the second UN agency to draw attention to the conflict this week. The turmoil has seen more than 2,500 lose their lives.

“20.4 million people are now estimated to be in need of some form of humanitarian assistance, of whom 9.3 million are children,” Jeremy Hopkins, deputy representative of UNICEF, the emergency relief arm of the UN, said in Sanaa on Thursday.

“The de facto blockade on Yemen’s ports, though there is some easing, means fuel is not coming into the country, and since pumps are mechanized that means over 20 million people don’t have access to safe water.”

On Friday, the coalition issued a statement saying it wouldn’t stop its ground and bombing campaign until an April UN resolution, demanding Houthi withdrawal is implemented.

Yemen existed as two separate and often hostile states prior to reunification in 1990, and tensions have resurfaced since President Saleh was deposed in 2012.

With the current CIA agent Hadi forced into exile, other Wahhabi states, including most Zionist puppet’s Gulf monarchies, CIA puppet Sisi  and Pakistan have stepped in to return him to power, deploying a force of over 150,000 troops and 150 warplanes.

Posted in Saudi Arabia, YemenComments Off on UNESCO condemns Zio-Wahhabi-led bombing of historic Yemen capital

Western Terror on Iran – 17,000 ignored victims


Posted by Jim W. Dean

Iranian terror victims would equate to 70,000 dead Americans – 23 9-11s

Pasargadae-with-text-Aug31-and-June-e1434057646737by Jim W. Dean, VT Editor, and the Habilian Association, Families of Iranian Terror Victims

The victims have faces, and the dead march in the Russian fashion

The victims have faces, and the dead march in the Russian fashion

[ Editors Note – The submission date for papers on terrorism ends on June 30th. You can review the details for submission at this link.Gordon and I have been invited to submit and hope to both be attending on August 30.

Veterans Today is a sponsor of this event to help put the spotlight on the injustice done to us all by the continuation of the state-sponsored terrorism that has been successful in perverting diplomatic immunity to avoid prosecution… so far. But that is a subject for another day.

The world’s human rights organizations and media have censored the story of Iran’s 17,000 terror victims, mainly because 12,000 of them were murdered by MEK-MKO — the group supported by the US and Israel in the well-known “destabilization campaign”.

Extrapolating that number onto the US population would generate about 70,000 dead, far more than our KIAs in Vietnam, but where our soldiers had weapons to fight back with.

The decades of censorship on this slaughter of Iranians was done to avoid interfering with the West’s psychological operation of tainting Iran as a state sponsor of terror, when a number of Western governments had been doing it to them.

The US and Israel have had a long history of state-sponsored terror, and are supporting brigades of terrorists in Syria and other countries while claiming to be fighting terrorism. This shameful campaign smears the memory of our Founding Fathers, who are rolling over in their graves at what has been done in America’s name.

The biggest attack in Iran came on August 30th, 1981 — 20 years before America’s 9-11 — where a bombing at Prime Minister Bahonar’s office was followed by another at the Islamic Republican Party headquarters.

The dead included the head of Iran’s judiciary and over 70 members of the parliament and leading officials. I have not met anyone in the US that has ever heard anything about this.

Clinton Bastin - a great American who never bowed down before evil

Clinton Bastin – a great American who never bowed down before evil

We hope to see the Iran nuclear weapons hoax laid to rest with the successful conclusion of the talks this month.

Our readers know we have previously exposed the fraudulent charges, in large degree to the credit of our nuclear expert Clinton Bastin.

He was Marine officer and 40-year employee of the Atomic Energy Commission and the Dept. of Energy, who briefed us on the details of what a scam it was before he passed away in 2014.

Some say that you cannot undo the past, but I disagree. We can undo the lies that were told and release both the past and contemporary victims of those assaults.

We can also condemn the real terrorists and their supporters as a way of sending a message to those now involved in such things because their day will come when they will be judged for their murders… Jim W. Dean ]

Shias and Sunnis Unite against Terrorism

Molavi Abdul-Hamid

Molavi Abdul-Hamid

A leading Iranian Sunni religious leader described terrorism as a nasty phenomenon in the region and called on Muslims to strengthen their unity to fight against terrorism.

“World powers say they are against terrorism, but they may use this phenomenon for their own interests,” Molavi Abdul-Hamid said in an interview with the correspondent of the International Congress of 17000 Iranian Terror Victims.

“But it is obvious that they have fought against the effect rather than the cause of terrorism, and dealing with the effect is futile while the cause is out there,” he added.

Friday prayer leader in the Iranian southeastern city of Zahedan said if someone intends to fight against a phenomenon should first identify the causes of that phenomenon and then deal with those causes, but the world powers have ignored the causes.

“As in Palestine,” he added, “the world powers have given the cold shoulder to the Palestinians’ demands and their decades-long uprisings, and their basic rights are now denied.”

“Bullying, repression, hypocrisy, illiteracy, cultural and financial poverty are the causes which make a fanatic society and terrorism,” Abdul-Hamid added. “If the US and its allies do not heed these factors, they’ll not succeed. They will not succeed until they find the causes.”

He went on to stress that Iran plays an effective role in the fight against terrorism.

Molavi Abdul-Hamid said terrorism knows no religion and sect and it engulfs all communities and ethnic groups, adding that “Shia and Sunnis can gang up on terrorism using their commonalities.”

He finally referred to the Second International Congress of 17000 Iranian Terror Victims and said it will be a good conference if it focuses on the facts not on political issues and tries to identify the real roots of terror so that it can provide the world and the global community with the right solution.


The Victims

Martyr Khezrollah Akbar-Zadeh

 He was 15 years old
He was 15 years old

Name: Khezrollah Akbarzadeh

Date of Birth: 1967

Place of Birth: Kamangar Kola

Date of Martyrdom: January 13, 1982

Place of Martyrdom: Amol

Khezrollah Akbarzadeh was born in 1967 in Kamangar Kola in northern Mazandaran province on the family farm. He went to school at the age of 7 and learned Quran at an early age.

He spent his primary school years in his birthplace. He was hindered from going to school and continuing his studies due to his family’s poor financial condition.

Khezrollah Akbarzadeh has played a part in the toppling of Pahlavi Regime and the victory of Islamic Revolution in 1979.

Akbarzadeh who was just 15 years old, was killed during the Amol clashes between people and terrorist groups who attacked to take the control of the city.

Posted in USA, Europe, IranComments Off on Western Terror on Iran – 17,000 ignored victims

David Cameron does standup comedy at G7 – on corruption


Posted by Jim W. Dean

Cameron represents a country where money laundering and scams are rampant

VT_frontpage_JimDean_PressTV_FIFA scandal and David Cameron…by Jim W. Dean

You can listen to the 5 minute interview at Press TV here

[ Note:  This story is a few days old, but still funny! That David Cameron, or any British politician would lead a real anti-corruption campaign is stand up comedy of the highest order. The staff people who dreamed this one up should be shot.

You just can’t make this stuff up! I can’t wait until Cameron announces that all British politicians, celebrities and media people will be taking monthly child molesting lie detector tests to protect Britain’s young.

The City of London is such a financial pirate haven it got itself a “semi-country” status as a firewall on interference with its long time wheeling and dealing. But as long as the public keeps swallowing the baloney, our plantation overseers will keep serving it to us.]

–  First published  …  June 09,  2015  –

Will FIFA investigations indict any countries for bribery?

Will FIFA investigations indict any countries for bribery?

British Prime Minister David Cameron has said that he wants the FIFA bribery affair to act as a catalyst in order to weed out widespread corruption.

Cameron will address the G7 summit on Sunday and is putting the FIFA bribery storm firmly at the heart of his agenda.

He claims that he wants to use the scandal, which has resulted in the resignation of FIFA chief Sepp Blatter, to spur on action against institutional corruption.

Cameron will say, “The body governing football has faced appalling allegations that suggests it is absolutely riddled with corruption. And Blatter’s resignation this week presents an opportunity to clean up the game we love. It is also an opportunity to learn a broader lesson about tackling corruption”.

Cameron’s call for international action will, however, come amid reports of misuse of UK’s foreign aid. There have been growing concerns that large portions of Britain’s £12billion of foreign aid misused by corrupt politicians and criminals.

“Cameron represents a country where money laundering and scam sare rampant. Cameron is trying to get on the world’s stage although Britain is a small country with its economy completely stagnant. It’s the time for people to start thinking about whether a country like Britain deserves the attention that it is spading on the world stage”, Jim W. Dean Managing Editor & Columnist, Veterans Today  told Press TV.

‘FIFA scandal’

The 79-year-old Sepp Blatter re-elected to a fifth term last Friday, two days after Swiss police arrested seven FIFA officials, including two vice-presidents, at a Zurich hotel. FIFA is also under scrutiny over the awarding of the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 event to the tiny Persian Gulf state.

The arrests were launched on behalf of U-S prosecutors who accuse the seven, and eight other suspects, of involvement in $150 million of bribes. The U-S move, however, drew angry reactions from both Blatter and the Russian president.

Many people have also questioned as why the US are playing a major role in the crackdown on Blatter and FIFA. US authorities have already charged fourteen people over alleged corruption at the world’s football governing body.

“Everyone knows that these are going on for a while and it’s very unusual that what the United States brought was clearly a politically motivated case. Some western countries are trying to exploit FIFA for their own political proposes and now they are trying to make it institutional exploitation”, Dean said.

The FIFA issue has also been getting hotter, day by day, in Britain. This week, Cultural Secretary, John Whittingdale expressed his readiness to host 2022 World Cup if the world’s football governing body, FIFA, takes the venue away from Qatar. He also called for major change within FIFA.

Another vocal supporter of widespread reform of FIFA and one of the firmest critics of Blatter is English FA chairman Greg Dyke. He said, “The great danger now is you get Blatter Mark II. It needs a root-and-branch change of the structure of the organization. Blatter won’t lead that reform, he can’t do it.”

David Cameron has put corruption at the top of the agenda for Sunday’s G7 meeting. Angela Merkel has made it clear that climate change and sustainable development are the top priorities she will be pushing for. But Cameron is set to hammer home this issue of corruption, believing that,

“ We just don’t talk enough about corruption. This has got to change. We have to show some of the same courage that exposed FIFA and break the taboo on talking about corruption.”

Posted in UKComments Off on David Cameron does standup comedy at G7 – on corruption

Quds Force Deputy Commander Terms ISIL “US Soldiers”


Posted by GPD

“One day they created the Al-Nusra Front and another day Daesh (ISIL) or the Free (Syrian) Army

Quds Force Deputy Commander Terms ISIL "US Soldiers"
TEHRAN (FNA)- Deputy Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force Brigadier General Esmayeel Qa’ani said ISIL has been created by the US and Israel to divide and destroy Muslim states.

The General said the US and Zionism started a new era following the year 2,000 when the Lebanese Hezbollah Movement forced them to retreat from Southern Lebanon.

He said the US misused the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center to set a pretext for several wars, but was forced to experience defeat after 3 trillion dollars of war spending and a huge death toll “that they claim to stand at 5,000″.

“But after all these fruitless attempts that only discredited them, they opened a new chapter in their struggle against Islam and worked out plans to find mercenaries from among these (Muslim) nations. Then they organized and equipped these Takfiri and extremist people who neither have healthy faith in religion nor wisdom and provided them with the needed possibilities through cooperation with their dependent states and their propaganda machine,” General Qassem Soleimani’s deputy said.

“One day they created the Al-Nusra Front and another day Daesh (ISIL) or the Free (Syrian) Army that are all fed from one place with specific tasks divided among them; some are fed by Jordan some by Saudi Arabia’s money,” he continued.

“But, no matter what they are called, they are the soldiers of the US and Zionists brought up to sow discord among Islamic countries,” General Qa’ani said.

Yesterday, Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani also said the western powers arm terrorists in the region with various types of weapons to have them aimed at Iran.

“One of the terrorist groups in the region is in possession of $30bln worth of weapons, and we should see where these weapons have come from; they have, surely, not fallen from the sky, rather, they have been provided by the big powers and the countries which have manufactured those weapons have urged the terrorists to aim them at Iran,” Larijani said, addressing a forum in the Northern province of Mazandaran on Thursday.

He blasted the big powers’ double-standard policy on terrorism, while alleging to be pioneering war on terrorist groups.

In relevant remarks in April, Top commander of the Iranian Armed Forces said the US military planes are making regular flights to and from airports ISIL-controlled cities to supply the terrorist group with weapons, money and foodstuff.

“We have received reports that the US planes visit the ISIL(-controlled) airports,” Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Hassan Firouzabadi told reporters on the sidelines of military parades held in Tehran to mark the Army Day.

“The US shouldn’t supply weapons and money to ISIL and then apologizes and says that it has done a mistake. The Americans say that they want to confront the ISIL (but) we haven’t seen any practical measure but reconnaissance and surveillance operations,” he added.

Predicting that a cruel wave of terrorism will sweep Europe, the US and all mankind in the near future, Firouzabadi said all the world people, including those in the US and Europe, should try to fight against terrorism in defense of the right of living instead of providing them with weapons and huge sums of money that has made ISIL the best paid militant and armed group in the world.

“If the US is honest in its statements that it has not created the ISIL, it can fight against it easily and we hope that the US and British governments will fight against the ISIL even for the sake of their own nations,” he added.

Posted in IraqComments Off on Quds Force Deputy Commander Terms ISIL “US Soldiers”

Mainstream journalist Paul Williams takes red pill with “Operation Gladio”


Posted by Kevin Barrett

To understand Gladio B (war on Islam post 9/11) you need to study Gladio A (war on anti-NATO Europeans 1950-1990)

For only $3.95 a month you can listen to shows on-demand before they are broadcast – and also get free downloads and other perks from Kevin! If you are a subscriber, just log in to the members area of to get early access to the shows. Help Kevin keep these shows on the air – become a subscriber todaDr. Paul L. Williams has taught humanities at Wilkes University and the University of Scranton; published ten books, including several bestsellers, with mainstream publishers; worked as a journalist for USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and National Review while serving as a regular guest on such news outlets as Fox News, NPR, and MSNBC; and worked for seven years as an FBI consultant on organized crime. He even served as a terror consultant for Family Security Matters, an arch-neocon propaganda megaphone.Paul Williams is also an honest man and a skilled journalist and researcher.

Something had to give.

Williams’ new book Operation Gladio: The Unholy Alliance between the Vatican, the CIA, and the Mafia is a multi-megaton explosion of truth. Copiously documented, it details the rise of the CIA drug mafia – the biggest and baddest narcotics outfit on the planet – and its vast money-laundering operations, including its use of the Vatican as a financial base, and its ongoing wars of false flag terror, assassination, coups, destabilizations, and mass slaughters of peaceful activists. This isn’t conspiracy theory, it’s fully-verified and inarguable conspiracy fact. And Williams isn’t afraid to name names – despite the thousands of journalists, investigators, cops, magistrates, judges, and others who have been murdered to cover up these crimes.

In this interview we compare the CIA’s narcotics-financed Operation Gladio wave of false-flag “leftist” terror to today’s Gladio B wave of false flag “Muslim” terror; detail the assassinations and overthrows of recent popes and other criminal potentates; and explain how this freemasonry-based organized crime cabal is trying to take over the planet and inaugurate a “New World Order.”

Here is my friend John Duddy’s review of Operation Gladio:

Customer Reviews Operation Gladio: The Unholy Alliance Between The Vatican, The CIA, and The Mafia

by John Duddy

Prepare to be stunned. Following World War Two, in business together were the Vatican, the CIA and the Mafia. Pope Pius X11 and friends created the Vatican Bank and started laundering drug money for the CIA. Lucky Luciano and the Sicilian Mafia helped the evolving CIA to create a huge money laundering scheme to pay for terrorist attacks that plagued Europe for many years, killing and wounding thousands to prevent leftists from taking over governments. The Vatican Bank provided funds for CIA to help overthrow leaders and social movements in many countries of Europe and Latin America etc. Imagine, the Australian government ousted in a coup.

Read about Vatican banker, Roberto Calvi hanging from Blackfriars Bridge, read about rogue popes, Mafia Dons, Henry Kissinger, Clinton and Mena. Read about the October Surprise when CIA/George H. W. Bush arranged the Reagan election in a conspiracy; read about Negros and narcotics, secret societies, false flag terrorism, the murder of a Pope.

The mess we find ourselves in today can be partly explained by this on-going conspiracy. And the damage continues well into the new century. The author is Catholic; he pulls no punches about the cover-up of pedophile clergy; he is not thrilled by the elevation of John Paul the Second to sainthood.

Prepare to be stunned.

Which country is the top terrorist country in the world?

Who are the top drug dealers in the world?

Name the biggest money laundering banks in living memory.

This book is a top notch read, with footnotes and index. Great work Paul L. Williams.

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US Politicians Hurt America While Helping I$raHell


Posted by Bob Johnson

Most people with common sense know that nothing good will come to a nation and its people who fight the wars of another nation as the US has done, and for all practical purposes, still is, in Iraq. The Iraq war was started for the security of Israel. The war in Afghanistan was officially fought because al Qaeda attacked the US on September 11, 2001. Why would al Qaeda attackGeorge W. Bush weakened the US for the benefit of Israel.

George W. Bush weakened the US for the benefit of Israel.

the US? Osama bin Laden wrote in his 2002 letter to America that a big reason was because of America’s blind support for Israel, which occupies Palestinian land and forces the Palestinian people to live under a brutal and illegal Israeli occupation.

US politicians from both parties, whose reason for being is their political career, live in fear of the Israel lobby. The Israel lobby exists to promote the Jewish state of Israel. The operatives in the lobby know the politicians will do anything and sellout anyone if they believe it will help promote their political careers. The Israel lobby, along with the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament based neoconservative movement, successfully worked to push US politicians to start the Iraq war for Israel’s benefit.

The retired Israeli General Avraham Rotem helped to prove the US war in Iraq was for Israel’s benefit when he said, ‘A (US) war with Iraq serves Israel’s strategic interests because it wants Saddam gone. Someone says, ‘You sit back, we’ll take care of it’–what’s better than that?’ (St. Petersburg Times, March 15, 2003, p. 5A). The US politicians told Israel to sit back while they sent American soldiers and Marines and other military members to take care of it while they stayed in Washington reaping their rewards from the Israel lobby. Now they’re getting ready to commit the same crime only this time they will send Americans to fight, die and kill in Iran for the Jewish state’s benefit and for the benefit of their political careers.

In addition to the loss of life and the creation of terribly wounded people and troops and turning millions of people into war refugees, the treasonous and selfish acts of US politicians are weakening America on the world stage. As reportedin Asia Times:

American aircraft carriers, for decades the source of America’s hegemony in East Asian waters, are now vulnerable to Chinese surface-to-ship missiles and diesel-electric submarines. There is a good deal of debate about the effectiveness of China’s DF-21D “carrier killer missile,” which goes into space and heads straight down at its target, but the probability is that Chinese missile artillery can swamp a US carrier’s defenses. If missiles don’t get it, the subs likely will: running on electric batteries, diesel electric submarines are extremely quiet, and have “sunk” American carriers in NATO exercises in the past.

The US is working on countermeasures, to be sure, but chronic under-investment in cutting-edge defense R&D has left them underdeveloped and under-deployed. The Bush administration spent $1 trillion or so in Iraq and Afghanistan, mainly on personnel, and reduced defense R&D to accommodate its nation-building ambitions in the region. That was a bad trade-off. The US has little to show for its efforts except the chaos that has enveloped the Levant and Mesopotamia after the collapse of the Iraqi state. China has had time to close the technology gap with the US, and neutralize if necessary America’s principle means of projecting power in the region.

The article greatly underestimates the amount of US treasure the unnecessary wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are costing the American people. An exhaustive Harvard Kennedy School study lists the total expense at between $4 – $6 TRILLION! And the war pigs are still beating the drums for another war, this time against Iran for the Jewish state’s benefit and for the benefit of the political whores!

The most powerful part of the overly powerful Israel lobby is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. AIPAC is working hard to sabotage the current nuclear agreement between the US and five other nations with Iran. The Washington Post reports that the Jewish mayor of Jersey City, New Jersey, Steven Fulop, regurgitated at his rabbi’s retirement party the five talking points sent out by AIPAC to all of its supporters who work to put Israel over America and the rest of the world. The five demands of AIPAC would make the agreement impossible and make a US war against Iran strongly probable. As the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have proved, a new US war against Iran for Israel’s benefit would not only cause untold misery and suffering for Americans and Iranians, it would further weaken the US. Of course this doesn’t matter to Israel or its lobby or to the US politicians who serve them. The Hebrew Bible/Old Testament based Jewish state wants to elevate Israel to the levels found in their Hebrew Bible/Old Testament which is nothing short of being above all other nations (Deuteronomy 28:1) and having all of the Gentile nations serving the Jewish state (Isaiah 60:12). (For more examples of Jewish superiority in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, click here.)

One way to break the back of the war mongers for Zion is to take the advice of the American founder and Deist, Thomas Paine. In The Age of Reason, The Complete Edition Paine called for a revolution in religion based on our innate God-given reason and Deism. This will rip the guts out of those promoting religious violence. It will help greatly to make a much better world for everyone. A key to Deism which resonates with the vast majority of people, is seeing the Universe and Creation as the only possible “Word of God.” As Paine wrote in The Age of Reason:

I believe it is only in the CREATION that all our ideas and conceptions of a Word of God can unite. The Creation speaks a universal language, independently of human speech or human language, multiplied and various as they may be. It is an ever existing original, which every man can read. It cannot be forged; it cannot be counterfeited; it cannot be lost; it cannot be altered; it cannot be suppressed. It does not depend upon the will of man whether it shall be published or not; it publishes itself from one end of the earth to the other. It preaches to all nations and to all worlds; and this Word of God reveals to man all that is necessary for man to know of God.”

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on US Politicians Hurt America While Helping I$raHell

The hegemony games

By Jack Smith
The hegemony games

The most important political relationship in today’s world is between the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Whichever way the relationship goes will have a major impact on global developments for many decades. Big changes are beginning to take shape. Matters of peace or war are involved.

This relationship between Washington and Beijing has existed somewhat uneasily since the early 1970s after the PRC broke with the Soviet Union mainly over intense ideological differences within the communist movement. In effect the Communist Party of China (CPC) joined with capitalist America in an informal tacit alliance against Russia. This was a geopolitical triumph for the U.S. but not for China. In the last couple of years Beijing and Moscow have developed a close relationship, largely as a repost to Washington’s expressions of hostility toward both countries.

China was considered a revolutionary communist country from the 1949 revolution until the deaths of party leader Mao Zedong and Premier Zhou Enlai in 1976. The left wing of the CPC was then crushed, and the leadership in 1977 went to “paramount leader” Deng Xiaoping, a long time revolutionary and high government official in many posts who had earlier been purged twice “for taking the capitalist road.”

Deng set about in 1980 to develop a dynamic capitalist economy under the slogan of “using capitalism to build socialism.” By 1990, after the U.S. and others imposed sanctions against China for the Tiananmen Square confrontation with students seeking certain democratic changes, Deng issued the following instruction to the CPC: “Observe calmly; secure our position; cope with affairs calmly; hide our capacities and bide our time; be good at maintaining a low profile; and never claim leadership.”

The Chinese economy after 35 years is one of the wonders of the capitalist world, particularly since it is still maintained by the CPC, as are all other aspects of Chinese society. The PRC’s political system is officially described as being “socialism with Chinese characteristics,” though the socialist aspect has been abridged.

Challenges to U.S. global domination

For many of these decades the U.S. superpower and global hegemon has gradually sought to position China within America’s extensive orbit of states that look to Washington for leadership. Beijing came closer with warmer relations, joining the World Trade Organization, respecting the World Bank and IMF, even sharing war games with the Pentagon — but never so close as to be stifled by Washington’s dominant embrace. This didn’t inconvenience the U.S. as long as China was mainly involved with internal growth, building huge cities, massive infrastructure projects and becoming the global manufacturing center.

But then two things changed. 1. By the time Xi Jinping became general secretary of the CPC and president of China less than three years ago, the PRC was about to surpass the U.S. as the world’s economic giant and was universally recognized as a significant major power. It had plenty of cash, ideas, supporters and incentives to contemplate a larger independent role for itself on the international stage. 2. Given China’s growth, it evidently seemed that strict compliance with Deng Xiaoping’s defensive suggestion to hide China’s light under a bushel was outdated.

The Obama Administration is not pleased with China’s more forward stance. Relations between Washington and Beijing are cooling quickly but both countries have a mutual desire to prevent this situation from getting out of hand. The key difference, and it is of great significance to both parties, is that China opposes hegemony in principle, and the U.S. is determined to remain the global hegemon.

Contradiction is ever present in U.S. foreign/military policy, and things are rarely as they seem to an American people largely uninformed or misinformed about the realities of international affairs. This observation is occasioned by the extremes to which U.S. policy and interference around the world are being taken by the Obama Administration and its Republican congressional alter ego, obstructive on domestic matters but complicit with President Obama’s principal international monomania — the retention of Washington’s unilateral global hegemony.

The Obama Administration appears to be preoccupied day and night gallivanting throughout the world issuing dictates, administering punishments, rewarding friends, undermining enemies, overthrowing governments, engaging in multiple wars, subverting societies not to its liking, conducting remote control assassinations, listening to every phone call and examining the daily contents of the Internet lest someone get away with something, jailing honest whistleblowers, upgrading its nuclear stockpile and delivery systems, moving troops and fleets here and there, and that’s only the half of it.

This is happening for one main reason. The U.S. has arrogated world rule to itself, without authority, competition, or oversight, since the implosion of the Soviet Union nearly 25 years ago. There is nothing more important to America’s ruling elite. Every possible danger to Washington’s hegemony must be neutralized. And looming in East Asia is the cause of Washington’s worst anxieties — China.

In his victory speech after winning the 2008 election, Barack Obama — a humdrum one-term U.S. Senator with no foreign policy experience after serving several years as an obscure Illinois state legislator — announced that with his assumption to the presidency “a new dawn of American leadership is at hand.” He was referring to his own leadership restoring U.S. international domination greater than ever after eight years of blundering President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

No one seemed to think twice about this. Democrats applauded; Republicans nodded. After all, isn’t that what the United States is supposed to do?

Expanding global supremacy is a popular promise in America. Extreme nationalism often wildly inspires the masses of a powerful country as it blinds them to the equality of nations and humanity, and guides them to another proposed conquest; and the prospect of greater profits through intensified world domination compensates the powerful corporations and families that contributed to Obama so generously in both elections.

The President frequently repeats his jingoist mantra about the necessity of American “leadership,” at times accompanied by pandering clichés such as “I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being.” Speaking at an Air Force Academy graduation in 2012 Obama told the cadets, “never bet against the United States of America… [because] the United States has been, and will always be, the one indispensable nation in world affairs.” Applause, hats in air, now go out and kill.

Since the vast corporate capitalist mass media is entirely in agreement with the sacrosanct principle that only the United States is morally, politically and militarily equipped to rule the world, Obama’s flag-waving imperial intentions are rarely if ever criticized by the press, Democrat or Republican. At least 90% of the American people obtain virtually all their scatterings of information about foreign affairs from a propagandistic ultranationalist media powerhouse controlled by just six billionaire corporations.

Many millions of Americans have opposed Washington’s frequent and usually disastrous imperialist wars. But far fewer challenge the concept of U.S. global “leadership” — the euphemism for ruling the world that allows Washington carte blanche to engage in wars or bullying whenever its perceived interests appear to be challenged. It may seem like a century, considering the carnage, but it is important to remember that Washington only obtained solo world power when the Soviet Union imploded less than a quarter century ago. The next quarter century, as a new world order is beginning to take shape in the very shadow of the old, will be rough indeed as the U.S. government resists inevitable change.

The days of American hegemony over the nations of the world are numbered. This is perhaps the main and certainly the most dangerous contradiction deriving from America’s determination to lead the world as carried forward by President Obama and undoubtedly to be continued by the next and the next administrations. There are many secondary contradictions strewn throughout the world, but almost all are related to first.

The U.S. government is recklessly flailing its arms and interfering in all the global regions to impose its will in order to indefinitely continue enjoying unilateral domination and the sensation of luxuriating in the extraordinary advantages derived from being the world’s top cop, top judge, only jury, mass jailer and executioner extraordinaire. If you doubt it, just look about at the human, structural and environmental anguish created in the last 15 years by the action or inaction of Bush-Obama world leadership. Think about the trillions of U.S. dollars for destruction and death, and the paucity of expenditures for construction and life. A better world can only emerge from a better and more people-friendly political and economic global order.

Obama’s policy of enhanced American “leadership” has created havoc these last six years as a result of the collusion between the Democratic White House and the Republican Congress — partners in the projection of American armed power around the world. The main target — despite all the elbowing and ranting about Russia, Putin, Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Iran, Yemen, Islamic State, ad infinitum — is and will remain China. The U.S. does not want a war with China, though one is certainly possible in time. It would prefer warm, friendly and mutually beneficial relations, under one condition: The U.S. is boss, and leads, while China — rich and powerful if it wishes — is subordinate, and follows, even in its own natural sphere of influence. Beijing does not seek hegemony, but it will not kowtow to the United States.

China’s strategic goals

In the midst of all this rumbling and grumbling from the White House, it may be interesting to become acquainted with the enormous but modest main national strategic goal of the Communist Party of China. It is “to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2021; and the building of a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious by 2049. It is a Chinese Dream of achieving the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.” So goes the Chinese “menace.”

China is not a newcomer to world politics and economic power, as the U.S. government has at times suggested of one of the world’s oldest and most creative civilizations. As James Petras has written: “The study of world power has been blighted by Eurocentric historians who have distorted and ignored the dominant role China played in the world economy between 1100 and 1800.”

This period ended because of Western imperialist intervention and plunder, including the Opium War, which brought about the humiliation and decline of Imperial China’s final dynasty, which fell in 1911. A form of semi-democracy/semi-feudalism prevailed until the Communist revolution of 1949, when, in the words of Mao Zedong announcing victory, “The Chinese People have stood up.” In these last 66 years China removed about 700 million citizens from poverty, and has become the world’s manufacturing center and a major economic power.

The Chinese Communist government is calibrating its rise very carefully, intent upon avoiding offense to the crouching, tail twitching American imperial dragon. On May 21, Peoples Daily quoted a recent talk by President Xi Jinping: “China aims to become stronger but not seek hegemony; the strategic choice of cooperation and win-win [for all sides] is the path that China chooses. China has always been a peace-loving nation that cherishes harmonious relations. Its adherence to the five principles of peaceful coexistence and anti-hegemonism has shown China’s determination to stick to peaceful development.”

The five principles have governed New China since the revolution. They are: “Mutual respect for each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity; mutual non-aggression; non-interference in each other’s internal affairs; equality and mutual benefit; and peaceful co-existence.” There have been a few minor lapses, but these principles have remained stable and effective all these years. China’s concept of harmonious relations is of ancient philosophical extraction. Frankly, in this writer’s view, there are times when China’s criticism of an extremely inhumane aspect of one or another state’s internal affairs would do some good — but non-interference, much less non-aggression, is vastly superior to Washington’s endless interference and aggression.

Xi’s statement is an accurate representation of China’s foreign relations. This is the PRC’s long-term global strategy of development. It needs and wants peace. Washington knows all this, but that’s not the point. Xi declared that Beijing opposed the very concept of global hegemony by any nation, including itself, and, of course, the U.S.. President Obama’s primary foreign policy objective, and assuredly that of succeeding administrations, is the retention of global rule. This contradiction will eventually have to be resolved through negotiation or hostilities.

China will certainly not confront the U.S. on this matter within the foreseeable future. Beijing’s reading of the tea leaves suggests that world trends will encourage the incoming tide of multipolar world order and displace the outgoing tide of unipolar dominion. Such thinking emerges from America’s evident decline, the imminent rise of the developing nations, and the mounting dissatisfaction with the results of Washington’s global rule among countries not dependent upon Fortress Americana.

Writing in Time June 1, Ian Bremmer noted: “Emerging countries are not strong enough to overthrow U.S. dominance, but they have more than enough strength and self-confidence to refuse to follow Washington’s lead.” This is a recent development that will continue to unfold in the next decade or two.

At this point, equipped with the seven league boots only possessed by a superpower, the U.S. is far ahead of its detractors in the emerging competition to determine whether only one, or many nations in combination, will shape the future. The UN may figure in this, but only after the preponderant influence of the U.S. and certain other countries is reduced and more evenly shared with the rising countries, a number of which surely realize it’s time for a change. They wish to avoid a dreadful future of devastating wars, rampant climate change, poverty and scandalous inequality.

The “Pivot to Asia”

The fact remains: Washington is determined to keep the keys to the kingdom, and it is taking measures daily to strengthen its intention to constrain China by depriving it of exercising even the regional power to which it is entitled on the basis of its huge economy, a population of 1.4 billion people, and its peaceful rise and intentions.

President Obama is quite visibly seeking to confront China, politically, militarily, and economically and politically in the Asia/Pacific region. This is what the “pivot” to Asia is about, containing Chinese influence within its own geographical environment.

The U.S. is at least two decades ahead of China in war technology, equipment, nuclear weapons, various missiles, planes, ships — everything. John Reed wrote in DefenseTech a few years ago: “Even China’s newest military gear is reminiscent of Western or Soviet technology from about 20 years ago, or more.” People’s Liberation Army (PLA) leaders certainly want to catch up and are making progress, but they can only approach near proximity if Pentagon scientists decide to sleep for the next two decades. Instead, Washington’s immense military, several times that of China, is increasing the gap in real time.

U.S. military spending this year will amount to 4.5% of GNP, and that does not count a number of military expenses concealed in nonmilitary budgets such as the new 20-year multi-billion dollar program to modernize U.S. nuclear weapons and delivery systems (charged to the Department of Energy). China’s spending this year, with four times the American population, is 1.5% of GDP.

China’s extremely important cyber warfare advances may or may not be equal to those of the U.S., but it is the only area of relative equivalence, and it’s causing headaches in the Pentagon.

The U.S. is frantically surrounding China with military weapons, advanced aircraft, naval fleets and a multitude of military bases from Japan, South Korea and the Philippines through several nearby smaller Pacific islands to its new and enlarged base in Australia and, of course, intercontinental ballistic missiles from the United States. The U.S. naval fleet, aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines patrol China’s nearby waters. Warplanes, surveillance planes, drones and spying satellites cover the skies, creating a symbolic darkness at noon. By 2017, the Pentagon plans to encircle China with “the most advanced stealth warplanes in the world,” according to RT. “The Air Force’s F-22s and B-2s, as well as a fleet of the Marine Corps’ F-35, will all be deployed. This buildup has been going on for three years and it is hardly ever mentioned in the U.S.

Washington seems to fear China’s military defense capability more than its potential offensive abilities, though that remains a serious concern. In the Pentagon’s annual report to Congress May 8, all 31,000 words were devoted to “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2015,” including these:

“China is investing in capabilities designed to defeat adversary power projection and counter third-party — including U.S. — intervention during a crisis or conflict…. The PLA is developing and testing new intermediate- and medium-range conventional ballistic missiles, as well as long- range, land-attack, and anti-ship cruise missiles that extend China’s operational reach, attempting to push adversary forces— including the United States — farther from potential regional conflicts. China is also focusing on counter-space, offensive cyber operations, and electronic warfare capabilities meant to deny adversaries the advantages of modern, informationized warfare…. China’s military modernization has the potential to reduce core U.S. military technological advantages.” Concern was also expressed for “China’s development and testing of missile defense.”

Much of the Pentagon report is far more objective and informative about China than statements from the White House, Congress and the provocative corporate mass media: First of all it describes China’s political goal realistically: “Securing China’s status as a great power and, ultimately, reacquiring regional preeminence.” Question — Why is the Obama Administration doing everything possible to thwart China’s regional preeminence? Answer — Because it is unwilling to share a regional portion of its own world preeminence with any country that will not bend a knee to Washington’s supremacy.

The report says accurately: “China continues to regard stable relations with the United States and China’s neighbors as key to its development. China sees the U.S. as the dominant regional and global actor with the greatest potential to both support and, potentially, disrupt China’s rise. Top Chinese leaders, including President Xi Jinping, continued to advocate for a ‘new type of major power relations’ with the United States throughout 2014. China’s ‘new type’ of relations concept urges a cooperative U.S.- China partnership based on equality, mutual respect, and mutual benefit.”

Most interestingly, the Pentagon also recognized that “Chinese leaders see a strong military as critical to prevent other countries from taking steps that would damage China’s interests and to ensure China can defend itself, should deterrence fail. China seeks to ensure basic stability along its periphery and avoid direct confrontation with the United States in order to focus on domestic development and smooth China’s rise. Despite this, Chinese leaders in 2014 demonstrated a willingness to tolerate a higher level of regional tension as China sought to advance its interests, such as in competing territorial claims in the East China Sea and South China Sea.”

The Wall Street Journal May 13 defined the South China Sea as “one of the world’s busiest shipping routes and a strategic passage between the rich economies of Northeast Asia and the Indian Ocean. As much as 50% of global oil-tanker shipments pass through its waters…. China often intercepts and protests over U.S. naval ships and aircraft conducting surveillance near its coastline in the South China Sea…. Six governments – China, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and the Philippines — claim the waters, islands, reefs and atolls in whole or in part, making the area a potential flashpoint.” Two countries, Japan and South Korea, have claims in the East China Sea to the northwest, so eight nations are involved. China has long claimed authority over almost all the islands on the basis of evidence the other states consider inadequate.

The Obama Administration is navigating with abandon and roiling the political waters throughout both seas, enthusiastically supporting the claims of all the smaller nations against China’s claims. This is a very important and delicate matter because verified claimants are entitled to exploit energy, mineral and other abundant resources in the proximity as well as to deploy them for military purposes, if large enough, but most are tiny. This is clearly a complex matter that should be resolved over time through peaceful negotiations, and give and take dispute resolution. The continuation of America’s self-appointed role as advocate and protector of the counter-claims of smaller countries against China will only cause more trouble.

The U.S. has absolutely no authority in this matter, and it even refuses to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which is equipped to mediate territorial disputes in the South and East China Seas. Actually, Obama doesn’t give a fig about the claims. The only purpose of his intervention against China’s claims is to consolidate and expand Washington’s large and growing cheaper-by-the dozen gaggle of regional client states — some of which (Japan, S. Korea, the Philippines) have been U.S. protectorates since the end of World War II. All these countries will support America’s global political, economic and military intentions in East Asia, including that of confining China’s influence within its own borders to the extent possible. If not, they will be escorted to the door.

In this connection the U.S. is also exaggerating the fact that China is involved in land reclamation efforts in five small reefs in the Spratly Islands. It’s expanding them by adding sand and making infrastructure additions, including an airfield in one. The White house says up to is about 2,000 acres are at issue. Obama said a month ago that China was “flexing its muscles” to browbeat smaller nations into accepting Beijing’s sovereignty over disputed islands, and more recently Washington implied it might send navy ships and aircraft to the islands — but soon backed off because China’s actions were entirely legal.

In mid-May, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia Daniel Russel told the Washington Post: “Reclamation isn’t necessarily a violation of international law, but it’s certainly violating the harmony, the feng shui, of Southeast Asia, and it’s certainly violating China’s claim to be a good neighbor and a benign and non-threatening power.” At that point, the heavens finally intervened with a lighter moment. Wrote the Wall Street Journal May 21: “Chinese Taoist priest Liang Xingyang is rebutting the U.S. official’s understanding of feng shui. The term, which translates directly as ‘wind water,’ refers to the Chinese philosophical system of harmonizing the human being with the surrounding environment. In fact, claims Mr. Liang, China’s reclamation efforts are improving the region’s feng shui…. Mr. Liang maintained that feng shui ‘belongs to the whole world, but the power of interpretation stays with China.’”

Soon after the Pentagon report, China outlined a new military strategy to boost its naval reach May 26. In a policy document issued by the State Council, China vowed to increase its “open seas protection,” switching from air defense to both offense and defense, and criticized neighbors who take “provocative actions” on its reefs and islands. A statement in the document declared: “In today’s world, the global trends toward multipolarity and economic globalization are intensifying…. The forces for world peace are on the rise, so are the factors against war…. There are, however, new threats from hegemonism, power politics and neo-interventionism.” China will speed up the development of a cyber force to tackle “grave security threats” to its cyber infrastructure. Cyberspace is highlighted as one of China’s four “critical security domains”, other than the ocean, outer space and nuclear force.

The Trans Pacific Partnership

In addition to military threats, and encouraging allies to assist in containing China, Washington’s “pivot” includes strong intervention intended to increase America’s economic clout in East Asia and reduce Beijing’s. Obama’s chosen vehicle — the Trans Pacific Partnership — so favors corporations at the expense of U.S. jobs, the interests of working people, the environment and national sovereignty that many Democrats in Congress, led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, are sharply opposed. In the words of Public Citizen:

“The TPP is a massive, controversial ‘free trade’ agreement currently being pushed by big corporations and negotiated behind closed doors by officials from the United States and 11 other countries – Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.
The TPP would expand the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) “trade” pact model that has spurred massive U.S. trade deficits and job loss, downward pressure on wages, unprecedented levels of inequality and new floods of agricultural imports.

“The TPP not only replicates, but expands NAFTA’s special protections for firms that offshore U.S. jobs. And U.S. TPP negotiators literally used the 2011 Korea FTA – under which exports have fallen and trade deficits have surged – as the template for the TPP.

In one fell swoop, this secretive deal could: offshore American jobs and increase income inequality, jack up the cost of medicines, sneak in SOPA-like threats to Internet freedom (i.e., Stop Online Piracy Act), and empower corporations to attack our environmental and health safeguards, expose the U.S. to unsafe food and products, roll back Wall Street reforms, and ban Buy American policies needed to create green jobs.”

The Japan Times sounded like recalcitrant U.S. Democrats when it reported May 15: “One big problem with the TPP talks is the secrecy of the negotiating process. The participants are required not to publicize developments in the talks and draft agreements while they are still being negotiated. The talks are going forward without the Japanese public and lawmakers being given relevant information on what is being discussed or agreed upon. For example, it is impossible to know the details of discussions on regulations the TPP nations can adopt for environmental protection and food safety. Even when the trade pact takes effect, the participants will be forbidden from disclosing internal documents on the negotiation process for four years.” Japan has not signed the TPP deal yet. It is demanding concessions on automobiles and agricultural products.

The Senate rejected Obama’s demand for a fast track arrangement in mid-May, 52 to 45, but after corporate howls, promises and dollars it was passed days later 62-37. Most Republicans supported the trade plan from the beginning. Winning over his own party has proven so difficult that Obama has introduced the false patriotism of anti-China rhetoric to shame recalcitrant Democrats into changing their views. Speaking in May he said: “If we don’t write the rules for trade around the world, guess what? China will.” Actually, China is far more cooperative with U.S. trade proposals than obstructive. On the TPP Beijing simply understands that it is aimed against China and that it has many shortcomings, as Warren has repeatedly pointed out.

Chinese economic initiatives

Although China earlier appeared deeply concerned about the TPP, it now seems indifferent. Over the last several months, President Xi has combined a well-financed, spectacular package of trade, banking, and infrastructure projects that are bound to significantly advance China’s power and prestige in Asia, Europe and North Africa as well.

The two most important and far reaching projects are the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), and the visionary, immensely expensive One Belt, One Road (OBOR) project. The latter initiative is also referred to as the New Silk Road after the 4,000-mile trade route between China and the West that developed from 114 BCE to the 1450s. The accompanying maritime trade lanes were called the Spice Route. OBOR, too, consists of a land and sea route. When New China does things it’s often in a big way, often with a touch of long-past history in mind.

China’s recent creation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment B

Posted in USA, ChinaComments Off on The hegemony games

Iraq: ‘If you knew then what you know now…’

‘If you knew then what you know now…’

It started with Jeb Bush, since his brother George was president when the decision was made to invade Iraq in 2003. Since then, it has become standard practice in the media to ask every one of the more than a dozen people running for president the same question: “If you knew then what you know now, would you have invaded Iraq?”

Readers who weren’t politically active in 2003 might be forgiven if they thought that this question was serving some kind of progressive role, discrediting the invasion, occupation, and continuing U.S. military role in Iraq. Nothing could be further from the truth. Because the central function of this question is actually to perpetuate the myth that the invasion of Iraq was a “mistake,” a well-meaning action based on “faulty intelligence” but all in the service of some noble goal.

In late 2002 and early 2003, there was a certain divergence of opinion in the ruling class. Some were pushing for an invasion of Iraq, based on claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMD), that it had something to do with Al Qaeda’s terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon in 2001, and that its alleged alliance with Al Qaeda meant that, even if Iraq wouldn’t dare use nuclear weapons directly against the U.S. or its allies Israel and Saudi Arabia, it might give a nuclear bomb to Al Qaeda who would do so. All of these claims were utterly false, but in the media that reflect ruling-class thinking, they were all (with the exception of the 9/11 connection) accepted uncritically.

The opposition to the invasion came not from those who disputed the supposed “facts” but from the more cautious who wanted U.N. inspections to continue, to be able to prove definitively that Iraq did (or did not) have WMD. Of course, following the famous dictum of then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld—”the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence”—that proof would never have been forthcoming. There would always be one more place to look, and even if the inspectors had looked everywhere, those pushing for war simply claimed that WMD were being moved around to hide them.

But even that opposition vanished on Feb. 5, 2003, when Secretary of State Colin Powell spoke at the United Nations, repeating and expanding upon allegations that had been made a few days earlier by President Bush during his State of the Union Address. Brandishing an ominous vial of white powder (as if it were anthrax), diagrams of imaginary mobile bioweapons labs, and ambiguous satellite photos, Powell told the world with absolute certainty that Iraq had WMD. “We know that Iraq has at least seven of these mobile biological agent factories,” he said. “There can be no doubt that Saddam Hussein has biological weapons and the capability to rapidly produce more, many more.” “Saddam Hussein has chemical weapons.” Every one of these statements, and more, were categorical. Not “we think he has,” but “there can be no doubt.”

Unlike Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney, Powell was looked on as a “moderate,” a reasonable man. Faced with his speech at the U.N., ruling-class opposition to the invasion collapsed, despite the fact that his speech didn’t sway enough U.N. members into providing a Security Council endorsement of the invasion, which would have made it “legal.” When reporters and politicians talk now about what “we” “knew” then, they’re referring above all to Powell’s speech at the U.N.

We know now that virtually every word of that speech was an out-and-out lie. But what about then? To begin with, even if it turned out that Iraq did have WMD, the speech was still a lie from beginning to end. Because, contrary to Powell’s assertions, the U.S. did not “know” that Iraq had seven mobile biolabs (to take just one of the allegations). It had been told they did by a single person, later revealed to have the curious code name “Curveball,” who had told the German intelligence agents who debriefed him that he had never made any bioweapons nor seen anyone else do so. The Germans categorized his claims as “vague, mostly secondhand and impossible to confirm” and categorized Curveball himself as “not a stable, psychologically stable guy.” This kind of “evidence” was the basis for Powell’s statement, which was not “we’ve heard that,” or “we have reason to believe that,” but “we know.” It’s true that the American public didn’t learn about Curveball until 2004, but Powell certainly had. The only Defense Department analyst who had ever met Curveball had told Powell the day before his speech that his “information” was unreliable.

The person in charge of the weapons inspections in Iraq, David Kay, had even admitted in a September 2002 interview on CNN that there was a “lack of hard evidence” for the charges they were making. Did that stop Powell from speaking with such certainty at the U.N.? Of course not, because this speech was intended to launch a war and nothing less. Admitting that the U.S. wasn’t actually sure of what he was claiming would have given more ammunition to those who wanted inspections to continue, and that is not what the Bush administration wanted. It (and the majority of the U.S. ruling class) wanted war.

It wasn’t just that the U.S. didn’t really “know” that Iraq had WMD, as Powell claimed they did. In fact, the U.S. actually had quite reliable evidence that Iraq did not have WMD. In 1995, General Hussein Kamel, Saddam Hussein’s son-in-law and the Iraqi minister who had been in charge of Iraq’s weapons programs, had defected to Jordan. Kamel told U.N. debriefers that after the Gulf War (which ended in early 1991), Iraq destroyed all its chemical and biological weapons stocks and the missiles to deliver them. The U.S. government had managed to keep this story from the American public for years, but on Feb. 24, 2003, shortly after Powell’s speech but still three weeks before the invasion actually happened, Newsweek broke the story, and two days later, the transcript of Kamel’s testimony, which had been kept secret, was made public by a Cambridge University analyst.

So “what we knew then” was, in fact, that Iraq had neither WMD nor an active WMD program. The government (although not the public) was also well aware at the time that George Bush’s State of the Union claim that “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa” was an out-an-out lie. Indeed, the reason the words “the British government” were in that sentence was to deflect responsibility, because the CIA already knew that the documents on which this claim were based were amateurish forgeries; the director of the CIA, George Tenet admitted as much, but only several months after the invasion.

Is this all “20-20 hindsight”? No. My own blog, Left I on the News, didn’t begin until August 2003, but in other writings before the invasion I wrote many of the things described above. And even in cases where the facts hadn’t yet come out (as in the case of Curveball, for example), listening to Powell’s speech with an open mind made very clear at the time that this evidence was less than solid, or completely fabricated. For example, I wrote then:

“The reason why the U.S. has not shared this “evidence” is readily apparent. George Bush and Tony Blair have stood before the cameras before and trotted out photos purporting to show, among other things, Iraq rebuilding nuclear facilities. But inspectors on the ground quickly verified that this was complete nonsense—the facilities in question were rusted, cobwebbed, and hadn’t been used in years. Likewise we have heard much about aluminum tubes, which Bush and Powell continue to point to as evidence despite the fact that the IAEA has concluded they were intended for conventional weapons, not centrifuges. The Iraqi government may have minimal credibility, but the sad fact is that the credibility of the U.S. and British governments is nil.”

Nor was I the only one, of course. Among others who wrote columns exposing the hollow nature of Powell’s speech (and the U.S. “evidence” in general) were Rahul Mahajan, Phyllis Bennis, Robert Fisk, Ali Abunimah, and Stephen Zunes.

Nor was the antiwar movement fooled by Bush and Powell’s lies. The ANSWER Coalition, which had formed a year and a half earlier in response to the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, threw itself into organizing demonstrations against the impending war, demonstrations that brought out hundreds of thousands across the United States and millions around the world. In its response to Powell’s speech, it wrote, “Powell has presented no threat, no plan, no capability. Is there justification for waging a first strike war of aggression, for bombarding the people of Iraq with massive firepower?” And unlike the Bush administration, which was busy downplaying the potential cost of the war both in dollars and manpower, as well as the duration of the war (“weeks, not months” was their prediction), the ANSWER Coalition correctly foresaw what was to come:

“Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis may be slaughtered. Tens of thousands of service members will be sent to risk their lives. The economic cost, estimated between $200 billion to $2 trillion will loot the U.S. treasury and mortgage future generations, depleting funds that could provide essential human needs such as education, healthcare, childcare and jobs.”

The truth is this—any objective person who wasn’t looking for a reason (or an excuse) for the U.S. to launch a war on Iraq could look at the “evidence” presented and understand that it didn’t support the U.S. claims.

And there’s another aspect to this as well, perhaps in some ways even more important. What if Iraq did have WMD, or WMD programs? Based on their statements, all of the major candidates would have supported the invasion, even “knowing what we know now” (which is, among other things, that thousands of Americans and a million Iraqis would die, all to destroy a functioning country and leave in its place what is approaching what the U.S. government calls a “failed state”). But whether Iraq had WMD or not, the invasion was still illegal under international law because it was not supported by a vote of the U.N. Security Council.

There was also no “imminent threat” to the United States (for example, troops massed on the U.S. border) that would justify such an attack without a U.N. vote. Far from threatening to attack the U.S., Iraq had in fact been under constant U.S. attack since the end of the Gulf War, both militarily and economically. So the U.S. invasion of Iraq was a war crime, the “supreme crime” according to Robert H. Jackson, chief prosecutor for the United States at the Nuremberg Trials. That’s a simple statement of fact you won’t hear from Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton, or any of the other candidates, because they are quite prepared to commit such war crimes themselves in the future. Today, for example, almost without exception they support arming rebels in Syria attempting to overthrow the sovereign Syrian government, a clear violation of international law. Yet the only criticism we hear of Obama is that he didn’t do it soon enough, or go far enough. To the U.S. ruling class, “international law” is something to be used to punish its enemies, but not something that applies to the U.S. itself.

So when you hear candidates claiming that “knowing then what we know now” they wouldn’t have attacked Iraq, realize that they are either ignorant of the facts discussed above, or lying. Because the politicians at the time also “knew then what we know now” (at least about WMD in Iraq, although obviously not about the outcome of the war), and it didn’t stop them from launching the war, which was never about Iraqi WMD, Al Qaeda, or any of the other explanations offered by the ruling class. Facts simply didn’t play a role in the decision. Not those facts, anyway.

A good chronology of what the U.S. government was saying, what they actually knew, and when the public learned the truth can be found here.


Posted in USA, IraqComments Off on Iraq: ‘If you knew then what you know now…’

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