Archive | September 10th, 2015

Russia Slams Western “Social Engineering” in Syria as Cause of Migrant Crisis

NOVANEWS
Global Research,
SyriaRussiaFlag

The criticism started at the top and is now reverberating from other corners of the Russian government.

Now, spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova has followed suit, slamming Western-led ‘social engineering’ throughout the Middle East.

She said“we do not engage in social engineering. We do not appoint or dismiss foreign presidents ourselves, or in collusion with anyone else. This applies to Syria and other countries in the region, whose people, I’m convinced, must determine their destiny themselves”.

Watch a video of this report here:

After shocking images emerged of dead children on Turkish beaches, Russia’s President Putin was the first and only world leader to speak sense on the crisis; correctly namely Western interference in the region as the cause of the problem.

Briefing by Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria ZakharovaRussian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova (Photo Credit: Vladimir Pesnya)

Speaking specifically of the thousands of refugees, she said they had been “subjected to experiments in the spirit of social engineering“. This is an obvious attack on Western actions to support terrorist rebel forces in Syria that were attempting to overthrow Assad.

In order to solve the crisis, Zakharova said Russia is trying “to gather all the efforts together — all the international players, all Syria’s neighbours, all members of the opposition coalition, all of those who are involved.

Yet, her main issue is that the West has exhibited “a complete loss of the ability to learn from their mistakes“, and that “heavy-handed intervention in Middle Eastern affairs has led to an area of instability, forming right in Europe’s backyard“.

Zakharova had few kind words for the West at all, instead asking what is the West planning to do right after? Do they have a magic wand that will transform Syria from civil war to economic prosperity?

Speaking of support for Assad and Damascus, she said “we are supporting them, we were supporting them and we will be supporting them” in “their struggle against terrorists“.

The tide is beginning to turn against militaristic ‘humanitarian interventionism’, with a huge global player, Russia, taking a strong public stand against it. We should be optimistic of this fact, yet also wary that it may lead to even greater confrontations between nuclear states. With the West refusing to acknowledge the error of their ways, we can only hope that Russia, and perhaps other BRICS nations, will be able to present a tangible and effective solution to the current crisis.

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All Four Hemispheres Of The World Now Engaged In A Single War

NOVANEWS
Global Research
ISIL

If we peer behind the veil of mainstream media oversimplification, lies and propaganda we find that the humanitarian crises we are faced with today are the straight line consequences of a decades-old policy on the part of the West (defined as the US, the UK, Israel and others ) to subvert and destabilize the very nations that are submerged in civil war and strife.

Faced with a burgeoning refugee crisis in Europe sparked by global extremism, U.S. and European officials said this week that there is a growing consensus that the multinational military campaign against Islamic State must focus more on targeting the group’s nerve centers in Syria.

Using thousands of people flowing into Europe every day as a pretence, France and Britain are both poised to join Washington in carrying out more airstrikes with greater and greater levels of aggression against Islamic State in Syria.

TruePublica

U.S. allies also are responding to rising concerns about extremists in Syria planning attacks on western targets, such as a thwarted attempt last month by a lone gunman to kill passengers on a Paris-bound train and the Tunisia attacks on British citizens in June. The stage is set. Cameron will convince Parliament, Britain will engage in a new war.

But is all this activity about beating Islamic State in Syria or is about a much wider conflict?

This week, there has been a serious escalation that should be of concern to everyone.

Reuters –

“The U.S. officials said the intent of Russia’s military moves in Syria was unclear. One suggested the focus may be on preparing an airfield near the port city of Latakia, a stronghold of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. U.S. officials have not ruled out the possibility that Russia may want to use the airfield for air combat missions. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke to his Russian counterpart for the second time in four days to express concern over reports of Russian military activities in Syria“.

The US State Department lists 62 countries as members of the “global coalition to degrade and defeat ISIL.” Many countries have pledged military or humanitarian support. They are;

Albania, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and last but most the United States.

Intervention forces in Syria include the US, the Gulf States, Morocco and Canada and as we have now found out Britain. Armament support comes from France and Kurdistan. Armed groups come from around 30 tribes and various fighting forces.

ISIL and it’s allies are also in there.

Meanwhile, on the other side, non lethal support to Syria’s Assad includes; Venezuela, Angola and China. Lethal support includes; Russia, North Korea, Iraq, Balarus and even Egypt. Then there are Syrian government forces and over thirty allied armed forces groups. Hezbollah, Iran and Russia all have forces in Syria backing Asad’s regime.

In all of this, it is Russia’s recent step up that is most concerning. Western backed sanctions currently crippling Russia’s economy over Ukraine will increase over its involvement in Syria. When that happens, it forces Russia further into the arms of China.

China and Russia have moved in tandem on Syria. They have repeatedly vetoed resolutions aimed at the Assad regime in the UN Security Council. China has no major concerns over Syria but it does with Russian relations. The issue of Syria is more of aconundrum of loyalties and politics to China. China is powered largely by both Russian and Saudi oil and gas.

In the meantime, China has been dumping US treasuries in record volumes, burning through $100billion in just two weeks in supporting its own currency that has rattled America enough that there are even suspicions that the US is not taking that lying down.

Five Chinese navy ships are currently operating in the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska, Pentagon officials said just last week, marking the first time the U.S. military has seen such activity.

Just last week, China also formally releases information of a new class of weapons described by the FT- “Some analysts say such missiles threaten to consign aircraft carriers — which form the basis of current US naval strategy — to the dustbin, just as aircraft carriers themselves did to battleships with Japan’s 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor“. The FT continues  – “There is more potent symbolism in this missile than any other weapon in the Chinese arsenal,” said Ashley Townshend, a research fellow at the US Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. “This is the missile that really does potentially encroach on US capability to deploy military power close to Chinese shores. It significantly raises the risks and costs.

Russia, a key ally of Syria during its four-year civil war, says it has sent military experts but that is all. Correspondents say that without Moscow’s backing, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may have fallen by now. Unnamed US officials quoted by Reuters say Moscow has sent additional aircraft and two tank landing ships to Russia’s naval base in the Syrian coastal city of Tartus, within the past day or so. They also say a small number of naval infantry forces have been deployed.

Britain now has troops on the ground, despite Parliament not yet approving the deployment of troops there. Those troops are fighting alongside American Special Forces.

According to various sources (HEREHERE and HERE) – The Iranian government has sent 15,000 fighters to Syria to help the Syrian government. The force, made up of Iranians, Iraqis and Afghanis, arrived in the Damascus region and in the province of Latakia last month.

Bulgaria and Greece have both been told by US officials to not allow Russian planes over their airspace in recent days. Bulgaria has been trying to forge new relations with Russia recently as has Greece in its desperation to stop avert total economic collapse.

Russia says it has permission to fly over Iranian airspace to reach Syria – Iran has not commented yet.

The purpose of this article is not to rationalise events in Syria, not to lay blame or point a finger but merely to highlight the fact that there is no dispute that there has been a very serious escalation of events in the war that is being conducted in Syria.

The war in Syria is not about Islamic State.

It is to highlight the fact that the countries involved in this war are now from all four hemispheres of the planet who are now represented and engaged in a conflict that will definitely be a fight to the very end. The question is – where will that very end, end up being?

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Arresting Naziyahu: The UK Petition on War Crimes

NOVANEWS
Global Research
Image result for Netanyahu CARTOON

“And yet, while [David] Cameron continues to impose limits on the number of refugees who can take shelter in the UK, he is willing to welcome Netanyahu to our shores.” Len McCluskey et al, The Guardian, Sep 7, 2015

It has been there, in the background, gurgling away. Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has been the subject of a busy UK petition which has seen over a hundred thousand signatures demanding his arrest. “Under international law, he should be arrested for war crimes upon arrival in the UK for the massacre of over 2,000 civilians in 2014.”[1]

The hundred thousand threshold, apart from its obvious statement of indignation, also brings into play another feature of the UK political process: it compels parliamentarians to take notice and debate the issue. The government, however, reserves the right not to hold a debate in the Commons “if the issue has already been debated recently or there’s a debate scheduled for the near future.”

When the petition started to gather steam, the Israeli Foreign Ministry gave it short shrift, deeming it “a public relations stunt with no practical significance.” The official position from the British government remains traditional: international law does not, as yet, countenance the prospects of arresting a head of state while holding office.

The moment Netanyahu decides to hang up his sword of battle and leave office, that could be quite another matter. Venues for safe travel have certainly shrunk over the years, and his blood spattered resume is becoming the stuff of legend.

For current purposes, Cameron’s position is that of lamentation and acceptance: pity the dead, but value necessary military action, the sort that inheres within the nasty confines of state sovereignty. “We recognise that the conflict in Gaza last year took a terrible toll. As the prime minister said, we were all deeply saddened by the violence and the UK has been at the forefront of international reconstruction efforts.”

The very statistical discrepancy between 2,100 dead Palestinians, 500 children, as against seventy-three Israelis, almost all combatants, should stand out as a classic of disproportionate military action. During the conflict between July and August last year, 6,000 airstrikes were launched, 50,000 tank and artillery shells fired. But such ruthless muscularity is more likely than not going to be stricken from the agenda.

As with so much on the Netanyahu schedules of late, such a visit will be closely choreographed. Local dissent will have to be managed. A delegation of parliamentarians has been combed to meet the Israeli prime minister. A range of Jewish leaders also make the list. None of the four candidates of the Labor party’s leadership will be amongst them, and certainly not Jeremy Corbyn, whose pro-Palestinian credentials are well noted.

Corbyn’s position is reflected in a plethora of organisations who have argued for the squeeze to be applied to Israel. The Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, which is intending to hold a protest later today opposite 10 Downing Street, has called for arms embargos and sanctions to be imposed (The Jerusalem Post, Sep 9).

A joint letter published in the Guardian, authored by a range of unions (TSSA, RMT, Aslef, Unite), left wing advocates and Labour MPs Jo Stevens and Cat Smith, similarly denounced the visit, claiming that Netanyahu “must bear responsibility for war crimes identified by the UN human rights council in its investigation into Israel’s 2014 assault on Gaza.”[2]

Those wishing to identify some form of proportionate response on the IDF’s part tend to point to the 4,881 rockets fired by Hamas and other militant groups, including 1,753 mortar rounds into Israel. The balance sheet of death is somewhat less impressive than that of the Israeli war machine: six civilians in all, albeit a considerable number of injuries – 1,600.

Netanyahu’s own salvo against the UN report was to argue that it stemmed from “a committee that does everything but protect human rights”. Case closed. A similar response ensued to the Amnesty International report on the same conflict from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Amnesty International had supposedly ignored “the heinous strategy of these terrorist organisations to embed their military operations within the civilian environment, and to fire at the IDF and Israel’s civilian population from behind the civilian population.”[3]

Israel’s officials have previously featured as subjects of interest on the British legal circuit. Former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni was the subject of an arrest warrant from a British court in 2009. It was subsequently withdrawn as Livni took heed and cancelled her trip to Britain.

Earlier this year, there were mutterings that former defence minister Shaul Mofaz could be a potential target. According to the Jerusalem Post, “Israeli media reported that Mofaz was at risk of being detained on possible war crimes charges since Israeli authorities had tried and failed to secure diplomatic immunity for him on the trip.”[4]

While the wheels of international law on the subject of criminal responsibility tend to move slowly, the International Criminal Court is engaged in preliminary investigations into the 2014 war. Israel remains rather vocal in attempting to undermine it.

As such, much of this legal process remains ritualised and careful – to start going about clapping current leaders in irons for alleged crimes of high order would see an emptying out of the stables. Netanyahu, however, has been put on lingering notice.

 

Notes

[1] https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/105446

[2] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/07/binyamin-netanyahu-uk-visit-denounced-letter-war-crimes

[3] http://www.nationalreview.com/article/422891/british-leftists-want-bibi-netanyahu-arrested-war-crimes-mark-antonio-wright

[4] http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Politics-And-Diplomacy/Arrest-Netanyahu-for-war-crimes-British-petitioners-demand-411777

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9/11: Was There Foreknowledge by Officials that the Pentagon would be Attacked?

NOVANEWS
Global Research
Pentagon (1)

The Official Account

Critical to the success of the 9/11 attacks was the element of surprise, which was emphasized by key White House and Pentagon officials:

  • President George Bush said, “They [al-Qaeda] struck in a way that was unimaginable.” [1]
  • Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said, “Never would have crossed anyone’s mind.” [2]
  • General Richard Myers, Deputy Commander of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said, “You hate to admit it, but we hadn’t thought about this.” [3]
  • White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said, “Never did we imagine what would take place on September 11th, where people used those airplanes as missiles and weapons.” [4]
  • National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice said, “I don’t think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon; that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile.” [5]
  • Air Force Lt. Col. Vic Warzinski, a Pentagon spokesman, said: “The Pentagon was simply not aware that this aircraft was coming our way, and I doubt prior to Tuesday’s event, anyone would have expected anything like that here. There was no foreshadowing, no particular warning that would have led anyone with any reasonable view of the world to think this was a threat we faced.” [6]

The Best Evidence

The following evidence suggests that an attack on the Pentagon was not at all unexpected: [7]


I. Pre-911 Military Exercises Involving Planes Flown into the Pentagon

  • In 1999 NORAD conducted hijacking exercises where planes were flown into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. [8]
  • The US military held an exercise rehearsing a response to an airliner crash at the Pentagon on October 24-26, 2000. Emergency responders from the Pentagon and Arlington County assembled in a conference room in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for a mass casualty exercise that involved a commercial airliner crashing into the Pentagon and killing 341 people. [9]
  • Department of Defense medical personnel trained for the scenario of a “guided missile in the form of a hijacked 757 airliner” being flown into the Pentagon in May, 2001. [10]


II. Government Officials Warned Not to Fly

Several warnings from security sources to Pentagon and other officials about flying on September 11 were reported in the news:

  • In a story about warnings, Newsweek reported: “On Sept. 10, Newsweekhas learned, a group of top Pentagon officials suddenly canceled travel plans for the next morning, apparently because of security concerns.” [11]
  • San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown received a warning from what he described as his airport security people late Monday evening. [12]
  • Salman Rushdie was prevented, by an emergency resolution from the FAA, from flying the week of September 11th, 2001. [13]


III. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld Twice Predicts Imminent Pentagon Attacks

  • On the morning of September 11, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, seeking approval for enhanced missile defense, held a well-attended 8:00 – 8:50 AM Pentagon breakfast meeting with House supporters. The meeting was winding down just about the time the first Tower was hit at 8:46 AM. During the course of the meeting, Rumsfeld reportedly said that “sometime in the next two, four, six, eight, ten, twelve months there would be an event that would occur in the world that would be sufficiently shocking that it would remind people again how important it is to have a strong healthy defense department.” [14]
  • Later, in a meeting in Rumsfeld’s office, Christopher Cox, the defense policy committee chairman of the House of Representatives, reported Rumsfeld to have been more specific. Cox said:

    “Just moments before the Department of Defense was hit by a suicide hijacker, Secretary Rumsfeld was describing to me why America needs to … focus on the real threat facing us in the 21st century: terrorism, and the unexpected. …

    ‘If we remain vulnerable to missile attack, a terrorist group or rogue state that demonstrates the capacity to strike the U.S. or its allies from long range could have the power to hold our entire country hostage to nuclear or other blackmail,’ he said ‘And let me tell you … there will be another event … There will be another event.’ ” [15]

    According to The Telegraph, Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defense, was in his office on the eastern side of the building, in a meeting with Christopher Cox. Mr Rumsfeld, recalls Mr Cox, watched the TV coverage from New York and said: “Believe me, this isn’t over yet. There’s going to be another attack, and it could be us.” [16]

    Moments later, the plane hit [the Pentagon]. (When the attack did occur, it did not threaten Rumsfeld, as the attack was on the opposite side of the building.)


IV. NBC’s Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski Warned of Pentagon Attack by Intelligence Officer

Sometime between 9:03 and 9:37 AM, NBC’s Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski said on camera:

“The first time I heard the word ‘terrorism’ out of any US official came shortly after the second plane hit, and I bumped into a US military intelligence official, and I said, ‘Look … what have you got?’ And he said ‘Obviously this is clearly an act of terrorism. And then he got very close to me, and … almost silent for a few seconds, and he leaned in and he said, ‘This attack was so well coordinated that if I were you, I would stay off the E Ring’ – where our NBC office was – ‘the outer ring of the Pentagon for the rest of the day, because we’re next.’ ” [17]

The intelligence official’s apparent foreknowledge was unaccountably specific:

  1. How did he know the Pentagon would be hit next?
  2. Even if he had just guessed that the Pentagon would be hit next, how could he have guessed that the outermost E Ring would be the specific target?
  3. Of course, if an airplane attack had been aimed at one of the walls, the E Ring would have been struck. But why would he have guessed that the attack would have targeted one of the walls, which are only 80 feet high, when it would have been have been easier for a plane to dive into the Pentagon’s roof, where it might have killed the secretary of defense and some top brass?


V. FBI Confiscates Security Camera Videotapes within Minutes of Pentagon Attack

On the morning of 9/11, the Pentagon was surrounded by rush-hour traffic jams[18]

A Department of Justice after-action report describes the difficulty the FBI had in getting to the scene following the official attack time of 9:37 AM:

“The FBI Evidence Recovery Team began arriving before 10:00 a.m. and set up in a grassy area a short distance from the heliport. Because of the extremely congested traffic conditions, it took several hours for the entire FBI contingent to negotiate the route from the District of Columbia to the Pentagon.” [19]

The first priority of the Evidence Recovery Team was “to find and collect all the airplane parts and other bits of evidence from the lawn on the west side of the building, before firefighters and other rescue workers completely trampled it.” [20]

In spite of these conditions and priorities, FBI agents identified at least two private businesses whose security cameras may have captured the attack. The FBI agents then confiscated their videotapes within minutes after the Pentagon was hit:

  1. José Velásquez, the Citgo gas station supervisor was interviewed by theRichmond Times-Dispatch: “Velasquez says the gas station’s security cameras are close enough to the Pentagon to have recorded the moment of impact. ‘I’ve never seen what the pictures looked like,’ he said. ‘The FBI was here within minutes and took the film.’ ” [21]
  2. “A security camera atop a hotel close to the Pentagon may have captured dramatic footage of the hijacked Boeing 757 airliner as it slammed into the western wall of the Pentagon. Hotel employees sat watching the film in shock and horror several times before the FBI confiscated the video.” [22]

The FBI agents who arrived so promptly to seize the business videotapes appeared to be operating separately from the traffic-delayed FBI Evidence Recovery Team.

Conclusion

The idea of 9/11 foreknowledge is also covered in a Consensus Point about World Trade Center 7, another about insider trading, a third about VP Cheney’s role regarding the Pentagon, a fourth about NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and a fifth Point about the Able Danger data-mining discoveries.

This compelling array of evidence suggests that there was foreknowledge of the Pentagon attack by various officials. The strike on the Pentagon (whatever its nature) requires a full, impartial investigation with subpoena power.

References for Point Pent-4
[1]
White House News Release. “President Meets with Muslim Leaders,” September 26, 2001.
[2]
Text: Rumsfeld on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press,’ ” September 30, 2001.
[3]
American Free Press Service, US Department of Defense, Oct. 23rd, 2001.
[4]
[5]
[6]
Air Attack on Pentagon Indicates Weaknesses,” by Sylvia Adcock, Brian Donovan and Craig Gordon, Newsday, September 23, 2001.
[7]
When a statement is made about the Pentagon being “attacked,” it is often assumed that this means that the Pentagon was struck by an airplane. But evidence has not been adequate to establish the nature of the attack. What is known for certain is that there was an attack of some type, resulting in dozens of deaths.
[8]
Steven Komarow and Tom Squitieri, “NORAD had drills of jets as weapons,” USA Today, April 18, 2004; also: Barbara Starr, “NORAD exercise had jet crashing into building,” CNN Washington Bureau, April 19, 2004.
[9]
US Army. Military District of Washington, “Contingency planning Pentagon MASCAL exercise simulates scenarios in preparing for emergencies,” November 3, 2000.
[10]
Matt Mienka, “Pentagon Medics Trained for Strike,” US Medicine, October 1, 2001.
[11]
Mark Hosenball, “Bush: ‘We’re at War,’ ” Newsweek, September 23, 2001. The 9/11 Commission Report omitted this report.
[12]
Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross, “Willie Brown got low-key early warning about air travel,” San Francisco Chronicle, September 12, 2001.
[13]
James Doran, “Rushdie’s air ban,” London Times (Times Online), September 27, 2001.
[14]
“Secretary Rumsfeld Interview with Larry King,” Larry King Live, CNN, December 5, 2001. Transcript here.
[15]
Chairman Cox’s Statement on the Terrorist Attack on America,” Tuesday, September 11, 2001. The quote from his press release was picked up byAssociated Press the same day: Robert Burns, “Pentagon attack came minutes after Rumsfeld predicted: ‘There will be another event,’ ” The Topeka-Capitol Journal (Associated Press), September 11, 2001.
[16]
William Langley, “Revealed: what really went on during Bush’s ‘missing hours,’ ”The Telegraph, December 16, 2001.
[17]
For sound only see “9/11 News Oddities – Reporter Pre-Warned of Pentagon Attacks,” NBC News, September 11, 2001. For face-to-face footage of Mr. Miklaszewski, see video documentary by Massimo Mazzucco, “9/11— The New Pearl Harbor,” 1:15:22 to 1:16:18.
[18]
[19]
Arlington County After-Action Report on the Response to the September 11 Terrorist Attack on the Pentagon,” Titan Systems Corporation under contract to Dept. of Justice, n.d. [2002], Annex A, p. A-22. “The Crime Scene Team [was] onsite 30 minutes after the attack. Special Agent John Adams began organizing the FBI Evidence Recovery Team on a grassy site.” p. C-45.
[20]
Patrick Creed and Rick Newman, “Firefight: Inside the Battle to Save the Pentagon on 9/11,” Presidio Press, 2008, p. 80.
[21]
Bill McKelway, “Three Months On, Tension Lingers Near the Pentagon,” Richmond Times-Dispatch, December 11, 2001.
[22]
Bill Gertz and Rowan Scarborough, “Inside the Ring,” Washington Times, September 21, 2001.
Copyright © Consensus911.orgConsensus 9/11, 2015

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New Evidence of Foreknowledge of the 9/11 Attacks: The 9/11 Consensus Panel

NOVANEWS
Global Research
WAS IRAN INVOLVED IN THE 9/11 ATTACKS?  The Court Case Linking Tehran to the 9/11 Attacks

Fourteen years after the world-changing events of 9/11, new evidence refuting the official story continues to be unearthed by a Panel of 23 professional researchers.

Today the 9/11 Consensus Panel releases two new Consensus Points presenting evidence of official foreknowledge of the attacks.

The first Point deals with Able Danger, the code name for a high-level intelligence operation co-founded by Generals Hugh Shelton and Peter Schoomaker, Commanders in Chief of the Defence Department’s Special Operations Command (SOCOM).

Able Danger indicated that the man identified as “Mohamed Atta” had been in the United States in January-February 2000, about 18 months before the 9/11 attacks, whereas the official story said he arrived in June, 2000.

Officials also claimed that US intelligence didn’t know Atta was in the country before 9/11, whereas this vital arm of US intelligence knew he had been there since Jan-Feb, 2000.

Nevertheless: Able Danger’s evidence was consistently ignored by government officials before the attacks; the 9/11 Commission failed to mention its evidence afterwards; and the Defence Department’s Inspector General later covered this up.

Louis Freeh, the former director of the FBI, called the 9/11 Commission’s claim that this evidence was not historically significant “astounding.”

The second new Consensus Point shows that the attack on the Pentagon was expected in several quarters before the event. Several pre-911 military exercises involving planes flown into the Pentagon suggest that such an attack was not unexpected.

In addition, news reports contained warnings from security sources to Pentagon and other officials not to fly on September 11.

On the morning of 9/11, Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld predicted a Pentagon attack. In his office, as he watched the TV coverage from New York, he reportedly said: “Believe me, this isn’t over yet. There’s going to be another attack, and it could be us.”

Meanwhile, within minutes of the attack, and during “extremely congested traffic conditions,” the FBI was reportedly arriving to confiscate security camera videotapes from several locations that overlooked the section of the Pentagon that had just been hit.

NBC’s Pentagon correspondent, Jim Miklaszewski, was warned in advance by a US military intelligence official, who reportedly said, “I would stay off the E Ring [the outer ring of the Pentagon, where the NBC office was] for the rest of the day, because we’re next.”

Previous foreknowledge Points include the collapse of World Trade Center 7, evidence of insider trading, and the roles of Vice President Dick Cheney and New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

The Panel employs a methodology used in medicine to generate consensus statements of the best available evidence on specific topics. During the survey process, the expert respondents remain blind to one another through three rounds of revision and feedback.

Over a four-year period the Consensus Panel has published46 Points of evidence refuting the official story.

Source:   The 9/11 Consensus Panel  @911consensus

 

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Interns or Workers? China’s Student Labor Regime

NOVANEWS
Global Research
Foxconn

In the summer of 2010, Taiwanese-based Foxconn Technology Group—the world’s largest electronics manufacturer—utilized the labor of 150,000 student interns from vocational schools at its facilities all over China. Foxconn is one of many global firms utilizing student intern labor. Far from being freely chosen, student internships are organized by the local state working with enterprises and schools, frequently in violation of the rights of student interns and in violation of Chinese law. Foxconn, through direct deals with government departments, has outsourced recruitment to vocational schools to obtain a new source of student workers at below minimum wages.

The goals and timing of internships are set not by student educational or training priorities but by the demand for products dictated by companies. Based on fieldwork in Sichuan and Guangdong between 2011 and 2012 and follow-up interviews in 2014, as well as analysis of the Henan government’s policies on internships, we find that the student labor regime has become integral to the capital-state relationship as a means to assure a lower cost and flexible labor supply for Foxconn and others. This is one dimension of the emerging face of Chinese state capitalism.

I. Introduction

“My original plan was to seek an internship at Huawei Technologies, but our teacher persuaded my whole class of 42 students to intern at Foxconn Technology Group,” a student from a vocational school in Sichuan’s Mianyang city recalled. Under pressure from the Sichuan government to fulfill a quota for interns at Foxconn in 2010, the teacher was directed to recruit entire classes and overcome student objections to taking Foxconn internships. “During the night shift, whenever I look out in that direction [pointing to the west], I see the big fluorescent sign of Huawei shining bright red, and at that moment, I feel a pain in my heart,” she said before sinking into a long silence. Huawei (founded in Shenzhen as a private-sector firm in 1987) and Foxconn (founded in Taipei in 1974 and incorporated in Shenzhen as a Taiwanese-invested enterprise in 1988) have headquarters on opposite sides of the Meiguan Expressway in Longhua Town, Shenzhen City. Although neither the intern nor we can verify whether the internship program offered by Huawei would have been any better than that at Foxconn, she regretted her inability to choose her internship site (Fieldwork in Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province, April 2011).

Who are the interns? How are they recruited and managed at the workplace? In this article we show the processes by which companies, vocational schools, and local governments jointly carry out “internship programs” that turn large numbers of teenage students into factory workers. We attempt to explain the emergence of this student labor regime in the context of China’s rising manufacturing costs and intensified competition among companies for employees in global production. Analyzing the organization of student internships, we look into the pivotal role of transnational capital and its ability to secure privileged access to labor in negotiation with the Chinese state. The active cooperation of provincial and lower level governments in circumventing labor law restrictions, and ensuring corporate access to a lower cost and flexible supply of student labor (xueshenggong 學生工), is fundamental to the contemporary Chinese labor regime.

Our primary research is based on multiple fieldtrips to Foxconn’s largest assembly facilities in Sichuan (Chengdu City) and Guangdong (Shenzhen City) between 2011 and 2012, and follow-up visits in Shenzhen in August 2014, supplemented with inquiries made to senior company executives between December 2013 and April 2014.1 Drawing on interviews with 38 interns and 14 teachers, who were dispatched from eight vocational schools (based in Sichuan and Henan provinces) to Foxconn factories for internships, we also conducted documentary analysis of the Henan government’s major policies on student internships and employment. There has been scant scholarly attention to student interns as temporary or contingent labor, leaving unexamined an important dimension of the precarity of Chinese labor that is the product of the triangular relationship linking capital, the local state, and vocational schools in internship programs. In the following we review the changing labor market and ongoing legal reforms and structural transformation in China. We then present the findings of our study of the Foxconn internship program, and conclude by assessing the corporate and government responses to student labor abuses.

Image: The majority of Foxconn’s more than one million workers are rural migrants and teenage student interns. Fushikang, headquartered in Taipei (registered as Hon Hai Precision Industry Company), literally means “wealthy” and “healthy” in Chinese. Photographs taken during field trips to Guangdong and Sichuan (2011-2014).

 

II. Student Labor in China

The re-emergence of labor markets under China’s reforms since the late 1970s has transformed the economy in step with Chinese and international investment and the privatization of numerous state enterprises. Employment in the manufacturing sector (relative to agriculture and the service industry) reached an unprecedented 15 percent of the economically active population in the mid-1990s. The percentage would have been even higher if the other eight to 14 percent of those employed in uncategorized industries were added (Evans and Staveteig 2009, 78). The increase in industrial workers was mainly drawn from the hundreds of millions of rural migrants who, in the wake of de-collectivization, were absorbed into booming township and village enterprises and export-oriented privately-owned factories, along with state and collective enterprises. However, the labor rights and interests of many internal migrants were unprotected. It was not until July 1994, following tragic industrial fires and deaths and numerous abuses, that the government promulgated a Labor Law to regulate the complex labor relations of the market economy (Gallagher 2005, 2014; Ngok 2008; Liebman 2014). The law guarantees basic protections to all worker-citizens, regardless of household registration status or ownership type, such as entitlement to employment contracts, local minimum wages, overtime premiums, social insurance and retirement benefits, rest days, safe and healthy workplaces, and access to government-sponsored labor dispute resolution mechanisms. Despite the national labor compliance requirements, employers systematically “ignored the law with impunity because of the lack of effective implementation and enforcement by local regulatory or supervisory organizations, including the trade union, the local labor bureau and the courts” (Gallagher and Dong 2011, 44).

When structural reforms and privatization accelerated in the 1990s and following China’s accession to the World Trade Organization in 2001, many small and medium state-owned enterprises lost out in the fierce new competition. Laid-off workers, especially those who were relatively young, joined the rank and file of rural migrants to toil in the “world factory,” facing great uncertainties in a more liberalized economy (Solinger 2009; Blecher 2010; Andreas 2012; Hurst 2009, 2015). As of 2005, Chinese manufacturing wages as a percentage of US wages, compared to those of Japan and East Asian Tigers like South Korea and Taiwan in the early years of their economic takeoffs, had remained consistently low (Hung 2008, fig. 1, 2009, fig. 5). Private companies as well as restructured state enterprises have generally offered fixed-term employment contracts, effectively ending a lifetime “iron rice bowl” tenure that had been prevalent in large urban state enterprises. Other employing units, however, failed to provide labor contracts, minimum statutory wages, or welfare benefits, generating worker grievances and resistance (Chan 2001; Pringle 2011; Elfstrom and Kuruvilla 2014; Zipp and Blecher 2015). In the face of increasing worker lawsuits and collective protests since the mid-1990s, the Chinese government was compelled to expand legal reforms to ensure minimally acceptable social and labor standards as a means to alleviate the growing tensions between legitimacy and profitability (Lee 2007; Lee and Zhang 2013; Chen 2012; Friedman 2014).2

From the mid-2000s, as a result of growing worker demands for better conditions, tightening labor markets due to demographic changes, and Beijing government measures to stimulate domestic consumption such as boosting statutory minimum wages and abolishing agricultural taxes, wages have been rising (Chu and So 2010; Eggleston et al. 2013; Davis 2014; Whyte 2014; Naughton 2014). Firms were increasingly pressured to cut costs and to cope with fluctuations in production orders by hiring temporary workers, including student interns (also termed student apprentices or trainees) and agency laborers (also known as dispatched workers, who signed contracts directly with privately-run or government-operated agencies but providing services to client companies). In the seven large state-owned and Sino-foreign joint-ventured automobile assembly factories that she surveyed, Lu Zhang (2015) found that the number of temporary workers ranged from one- to two-thirds of the total workforce during fieldwork in the mid-to-late 2000s. Downward cost pressure in business competition, particularly during the 2008 global financial crisis, eroded the wages and benefits as well as job security of regular workers who have not yet been displaced by temporary laborers. The latter’s per capita cost averages only one-fourth to one-third of the former’s (Park and Cai 2011, 33-35; Zhou 2013, 362-63). Unequal treatment of the temporary and regular workers performing identical production tasks created a two-tiered employment system. This system engendered worker conflicts and social divisions. As Eli Friedman and Ching Kwan Lee (2010, 513) insightfully observe, this dual labor regime “is problematic not just from the perspective of the informal workers, but also from [that of] the regular workers, who will find it increasingly difficult to make collective demands on their employers.”

Agency workers, who were long excluded from national legal protection prior to the implementation of the significant Labor Contract Law on 1 January 2008, eventually gained access to basic employment rights, if only honored on the books. Under the new law, under which hiring agencies and client firms share joint legal responsibilities, agency workers are supposed to receive the same pay for doing the same work as directly employed workers. Moreover, they are assumed to take only “temporary, auxiliary, and substitute” posts, thereby placing certain limits on informalization while maintaining labor and organizational flexibility (Chan 2009; Harper Ho 2009; Wang et al. 2009; Cui et al. 2013; Gallagher et al. 2015; Zhang 2015, chap. 7). It is important to note, however, that the 2008 law did not cover interning students. Interns, who are not, after all classified as workers, can be laid off without severance pay and 30 days’ prior notice to which employees are entitled. They continue to possess fewer legal rights than agency or regular workers even when they are directly recruited and assigned to the same tasks (Pun and Chan 2012, 2013; Chan and Selden 2014; Pun et al. 2014; Chan et al. 2013, 2015).

The vulnerability of interns as laborers, including both those who are unpaid and those who are under-paid, has recently drawn discussion centering on the applicability of relevant national and international laws. Earl Brown and Kyle deCant (2014), in their provocative essay “Exploiting Chinese Interns as Unprotected Industrial Labor,” ask whether interns—who are not legally defined as employees under Chinese law—are in practice provided equal labor rights at work, and whether the internship experience benefits the intern. The controversy is not just about poor management and lack of educational content in some internship programs, as documented in the 2010 OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) review report on China’s development of vocational education and workplace-based internship training (Kuczera and Field 2010, 18-27). It is ultimately about the well-being of, and fundamental fairness to, student intern workers. While the Chinese state has not fully recognized interns as workers, it has granted them certain rights under the domestic legal framework. Brown and deCant (2014, 195) compellingly assert: “When these programs [at Foxconn, Honda, and other workplaces] are devoid of any relevant educational component and maintained solely for the benefit of the employer’s bottom line, these interns should be afforded the full protection of China’s labor laws.” We aim to extend the legalistic debates by evaluating the role of the local state as a direct agent in a capitalist development process in which student labor governance is becoming an integral and substantive part. As we will see, at stake is not a mere legal technicality; it is the dynamism of a capital-state alliance that charts the role of student labor with important implications both for student (mis)education and the corporate bottom line.

From the national to the global level, the promulgation of a set of non-binding transnational labor and environmental standards has been among the key corporate responses to sweatshop charges made by workers and their supporters in many countries (Ross 2004; Smith et al. 2006; Litzinger 2013; Locke 2013; Lüthje et al. 2013; Ruggie 2013). Workers—including student interns—are subjected to the pressure of buyers in multi-layered production networks. Image-conscious companies, in response to charges of labor abuse in factories that produce their products, pledge to adhere to good labor practices in global production, such as respecting the rights of “student workers” in China (Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition [EICC] 2014, 44). Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC), the membership-based industry association representing Apple and Foxconn and 100-plus other companies worldwide, has asserted that, “In the past 10 years we have seen that consistent auditing, clearer guidelines, greater transparency and a Code of Conduct can play important roles” in regulating “student working hours, wages, [and] health and safety gaps” (EICC 2015, 4). In China’s high-tech electronics manufacturing, researchers including ourselves have just begun to assess the impact of corporate codes of conduct on workers’ conditions.

In a nutshell, we locate student labor at the heart of key industries, notably electronics, in globalized China. In contrast to the approach of Lu Zhang in Inside China’s Automobile Factories (2015, chaps. 5-6), who did not distinguish between interning students and agency workers in her categorization of “temporary workers,” a group contrasted to “formal workers,” we aim to understand the distinctive character of student interns in China’s international political economy. Accordingly, we examine the central role of three parties in the recruitment and control of students during the internship period, namely, factory managers, school teachers, and local officials. Our major goal is to explain the systemic deployment of student interns in industrial production through a study of Foxconn’s practice, thereby contributing to deeper understanding of the massive use of student interns on worker fragmentation among Chinese workers.

III. The Foxconn Internship Program

With more than one million employees, Foxconn is the world’s largest industrial employer (DeCarlo 2014) and probably maintains the world’s largest internship program. The Foxconn internship program, which brought in as many as 150,000 young students during the peak production months in summer 2010—approximately 15 percent of the company’s workforce (Foxconn Technology Group 2010a)—and which continues to hire new interns across China at present, dwarfs Disney’s College Program, which received more than 50,000 interns cumulatively over 30 years from college partners in the United States and abroad (Perlin 2011, 6). How is the capital-state-school coalition behind the Foxconn internship program organized?

Foxconn is a key node in the Asian and global production networks, where the processing of components, final assembly, and shipment of finished products to world consumers continues around the clock 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Inside Foxconn there are more than a dozen “business groups” (shiyequn 事業群), which compete on speed, quality, efficiency, engineering services, and added value to maximize profits. In one of these business groups, iDPBG (integrated Digital Product Business Group), which produces exclusively for Apple, 28,044 student interns worked alongside workers in Shenzhen in 2010—a six-fold increase from 4,539 in 2007. They were recruited from “more than 200 secondary vocational schools” (Foxconn Technology Group 2010b, 23). At the company’s 30-plus manufacturing mega-complexes across China (see Figure 1), workers and student interns toil day and night to churn out iPhones, iPads, and other electronic products for Apple and other IT corporations. Following Chinese government stimulus-led growth and economic recovery, as well as large-volume orders, in 2010, Foxconn registered a 53 percent year-on-year increase in revenues to US$95 billion (3 trillion NTD) (Foxconn Technology Group 2011, 4). Student interns, among assembly-line workers, played an indispensable role in corporate expansion.

Image: Foxconn locations in greater China, 1974-2015. Foxconn has more than 30 factories across China. In many cities, Foxconn runs multiple manufacturing facilities. Sources: Foxconn Technology Group company websites and annual reports.

China has more than 13,300 registered vocational schools and colleges (Xinhua 2015). In 2014, approximately 18 million full-time students were enrolled in secondary vocational schools across the country. The government projects an increase in vocational school enrollment to 23.5 million by 2020 (not including those in vocational colleges or adult vocational education) (Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China 2010a, table 1). Upon completing nine years of compulsory education, students can compete to continue their studies in general track high schools or enroll in vocational institutions. The age of admission to standard three-year vocational schools is often as young as 15. While students in high schools are prepared for university entrance, those in vocational schools are trained for skilled work or higher vocational education. m

Vocational schools offer employment-oriented courses for first- and second-year students. During their third year, when they are 17 to 18 years old, students are expected to intern at enterprises that are “directly relevant to their studies” (Ministries of Education and Finance of the People’s Republic of China 2007, art. 3). However, our interviews revealed that Foxconn not only recruits students regardless of their field of study, but also often much earlier than is legally allowed (that is, in their first and second years of vocational studies). In our sample, only eight of the 38 student interns were in their final year. Their average age was 16.5, just above the national statutory minimum working age of 16.

The Working Conditions of Student Interns

The duration of the Foxconn internship programs we studied during fieldwork in 2011 and 2012 ranged from three months to one year. From the beginning of her internship, Liu Siying3, the final-year student aspiring to a meaningful learning opportunity whom we met at the opening of this article, was “tied to the PCB [printed circuit board] line attaching components to the product back-casing.” In her words, “it required no skills or prior knowledge.” Students were assigned to a one-size-fits-all internship at Foxconn factories, which involved repetitive manual labor divorced from their studies and interests.

Image: Foxconn Chengdu’s newly built 18-story factory dormitory, Block 2. Teachers are housed in dorm rooms next to their students to strengthen control during the off-work hours throughout the “internship.”

Image: Sichuan Zhongjiang Vocational School students, many of them 16 years of age, arrived at Foxconn (Chengdu)
in the morning on 3 March 2011 to begin “internships.”

China’s leaders seek to boost labor productivity through expanded investment in vocational skill training (Woronov 2011; Hansen and Woronov 2013; Ling 2015). At Foxconn, interns were placed on assembly lines to work illegally long shifts of ten to 12 hours, six to seven days a week. Article 5 of the 2007 Administrative Measures for Internships at Secondary Vocational Schools (Ministries of Education and Finance of the People’s Republic of China 2007) states that “interns shall not work more than eight hours a day,” and the 2010 Education Circular (Clause 4) specifies that “interns shall not work overtime beyond the eight-hour workday” (Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China 2010b). Not only must interns’ shifts be no more than eight hours, all their training activity is required to take place during daytime to ensure students’ safety and physical and mental health, in line with the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of Minors (2013).4 In reality, interns ranging in age from 16 to 18 were subjected to the same working conditions as regular workers, including alternating day and night shifts and extensive overtime, defying the letter and the spirit of the education law.

A typical comment by interns, their hopes for gaining technical knowledge dashed, underlines the harsh reality of life on the line: “We’re sent to do trivial tasks like checking iPad screens and cleaning the product surface … we’re frustrated at repeating the same boring work all day” (Interviews on 19 March 2011; 18 December 2011). Foxconn Global Social and Environmental Responsibility Committee Executive Director, Martin Hsing, has defended the internship program, saying that “it meets the needs and expectations of the interns,” even when the educational value of internship is reduced to assembly-line labor, pure and simple. He emphasized that school participation is “voluntary” and that interns are “free to terminate their internship at any time;” more importantly, the company has “specific policies to ensure that [the internship program] is implemented in full accordance with China law” and its “own Code of Conduct” (Foxconn Technology Group 2013). Several students told us that they phoned their parents after the first week of the internship asking them to pressure Foxconn managers to immediately “release the interns.” They failed. They were told that they “risked not being able to graduate” if they refused internships at Foxconn (Interviews on 3 March 2011; 1 April 2011; 20 January 2012).

At Foxconn, student interns are paid. As of January 2011, while student interns and entry-level workers had the same starting wage of 950 yuan/month (USD $154 / GBP £100 / EUR €128), only employees could receive a skill bonus of 400 yuan/month (USD $65 / GBP £43 / EUR €54). Interns were not entitled to have their skills assessed in order to qualify for the bonus (see Figure 2). China’s Vocational Education Law, effective 1 September 1996, states that students participating in vocational education programs “shall be paid properly for their work” (Article 37, shidang de laodong baochou 適當的勞動報酬) (Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China 1996). Similarly, the 2007 Administrative Measures for Internships at Secondary Vocational Schools stipulate that employers should “pay reasonably for the labor of interns” (Article 8, heli de shixi baochou 合理的實習報酬). Maintaining that student interns are not employees—even when they perform work identical to that of production workers—Foxconn does not enroll interns in government-administered social security, which covers medical insurance, work injury insurance, unemployment benefits, maternity insurance, and old age pensions, nor in a housing provident fund (known collectively as “wu xian yi jin” 五險一金). By dispensing with all of these benefits, the company saves money.

For the period of our investigation, Foxconn claimed to have provided “work-related injury and health insurance” for all interns (quoted in Fair Labor Association 2012, 10), but our interviewed interns said they had received no information about an insurance policy. A quick look at the math reveals that, in 2015, assuming a total of 150,000 student interns working in various Foxconn factories during one month in the peak season, the savings from not providing them with welfare benefits is roughly 150,000 persons × 300 yuan = 45,000,000 yuan (economic conditions and statutory minimum wages vary substantially across China; we use the lower end of 300 yuan/month per person for this illustration5). While this is a simplified exercise, it conveys a good sense of employer savings for just one month; considering that many interns work for a full year, the annual savings must be far greater.

Image: Foxconn (Chengdu) job ad, 2011. The advertisement makes clear the company’s savings in employing student interns who are ineligible for the 400 yuan per month wage hike after three months. It does not disclose other savings such as payments toward pensions. Source: Foxconn Technology Group.

Cost cutting is especially imperative in electronic manufacturing where profit margins are thin (Kraemer et al. 2011; Lüthje et al. 2013). In recent years, state minimum wages have steadily increased and companies have faced pressure to raise wages to retain workers, particularly a young cohort, who frequently changed jobs in an attempt to get better pay and benefits. National Bureau of Statistics of the People’s Republic of China (2014, fig. 1) reported that average total income of rural migrant workers had risen steadily following the economic recovery in 2009, reaching unprecedented 2,609 yuan/month in 2013, a 13.9 percent increase from the previous year. However, “speed, not just cost,” might be “the killer attribute” that gives Foxconn and other large manufacturers “the winning edge to remain competitive” (Dinges 2012). Pressure from brand-name buyers to stay responsive to consumer demand is strong (Hamilton et al. 2011). Accordingly, Foxconn translates production requirements for fast time-to-market and high quality into increased work pressure and longer hours. In a rare reference to the production pressures that Apple and its competitors apply, Foxconn CEO’s Special Assistant Louis Woo explained his company’s perspective on overtime in an April 2012 American media program (Marketplace 2012):

The overtime problem—when a company like Apple or Dell needs to ramp up production by 20 percent for a new product launch, Foxconn has two choices: hire more workers or give the workers you already have more hours. When demand is very high, it’s very difficult to suddenly hire 20 percent more people. Especially when you have a million workers—that would mean hiring 200,000 people at once.

Woo’s statement indicates that, when faced with soaring demand from Apple, Dell, and other electronics brands, Foxconn’s first response is to impose compulsory overtime on its existing labor force. However, it also tries to hire more people to respond seamlessly to corporate demands for rush orders. Recruitment through vocational schools is an efficient way to pick up tens of thousands of new workers at once, who are purportedly hired in the name of skills training and school-business cooperation (xiaoqi hezuo 校企合作).

In Shenzhen’s Longhua Cultural Square, student intern Zhang Lintong, 16, talked about school life and music. He told us he admires the 19th century Russian realist artist Ilya Repin and praised The Song of the Volga Boatmen, which reminds him of Repin’s seminal painting Barge Haulers on the Volga.6 Barge Haulers depicts a foreman and ten laboring men hauling an enormous barge upstream on the Volga. The men seem on the verge of collapse from exhaustion. The lead hauler’s eyes are fixed on the horizon. The second man bows his head into his chest and the last one drifts off from the line, a dead man walking. The haulers, dressed in rags, are tightly bound with leather straps. The exception is the brightly clad youth in the center of the group, who raises his head while fighting against his leather bonds in an effort to free himself from toil. “I often dream, but repeatedly tear apart my dreams; like a miserable painter, tearing up my draft sketches…I’m not interested in assembling iPhone parts. It’s exhausting and boring. I want to quit. But I can’t,” Lintong sighed (Interview on 29 November 2011).

All 14 female and male teachers we interviewed were aware that the Foxconn program violated the purpose of internships, which are mandated to provide an integral part of students’ education and skills training. Fearing punishment from the school, however, teachers and students played their parts in the charade called internship. The teachers reported for duty at the company administrative building from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. They were housed in the factory dormitories throughout the internship. Only one teacher expressed criticisms of the internship system in the course of our fieldwork. Mr. Tian, a Sichuanese in his 40s, was a Chinese literature teacher with more than two decades of teaching experience. “My daughter is 17 years old, my only daughter. She’s now preparing for the national college entrance exam. No matter what the result is, I won’t let her come to intern, or work, for this company.” And yet he told us that “paid internships at Foxconn were one of the main attractions for students attending his school.” He also admitted, however, that “at Foxconn, there’s no real learning through integration of classroom and workshop. The distortion of vocational education in today’s China is deeply rooted” (Interview on 16 December 2011).

Student Internship Recruitment through Government and School Mobilization

Image: 50-seater public buses line up for Foxconn (Chengdu) in Pi County, Sichuan. Drivers provide
transportation service to Foxconn at government discounted rates.

Image: Government-printed banners on the sides of the buses read,
“Use fighting spirit to overcome earthquakes and natural disasters to provide transportation for Foxconn.”

Foxconn, given its powerful market position, gains access to numerous resources with strong government support all over China. In the years since the magnitude 7.9 earthquake that struck Sichuan in May 2008, killing 87,150 people and leaving 4,800,000 homeless, the provincial government has redoubled efforts to attract investments to fund reconstruction. Zhuang Hongren, Foxconn’s chief investment officer, pledged to “help Chengdu to become an unshakeable city” in world electronics (quoted in Sichuan Provincial People’s Government 2011). In response, local officials subsidized transportation services and provided numerous benefits for the company. Foxconn employees now commute to work in public buses that have been dedicated to the exclusive use of Foxconn (Fieldwork in Pi County, Chengdu City, March 2011). Government-printed banners on the sides of the buses read, “Use fighting spirit against earthquakes and natural disasters to provide transportation for Foxconn” (yong kangzhen jiuzai de jingshen, nuli wancheng Fushikang baoche yewu 用抗震救災的精神,努力完成富士康包車業務). Foxconn’s economic influence has become so great that CEO Terry Gou is widely known among workers as the “Mayor of ‘Foxconn City’” in Chengdu, provincial capital of Sichuan, southwest China.

Manager Zhu, a 31-year-old college graduate, joined the human resources department of Foxconn Chengdu on its opening in October 2010 after seven years in a small state-owned factory, was chiefly responsible for liaison linking government, vocational schools, and Foxconn. He explained (Interview on 14 December 2011):

Over the past year, I held monthly meetings with government leaders responsible for the “Number One Project” [yihao gongcheng 一號工程] tailored for Foxconn. Over a few drinks and shared cigarettes, our colleagues and local government officials regularly updated each other on the company’s recruitment schedules, thereby establishing a good working relationship.

The Sichuan provincial government prioritized helping Foxconn as its “Number One Project.” It offered Foxconn partial funding to construct its gigantic production complex and 18-story dormitories. In addition to the construction projects, it undertook large-scale recruitment of student interns and workers at new Foxconn factories (there are two mega production sites of Foxconn Chengdu), leaving other Taiwanese manufacturing competitors such as Wistron and Compal far behind (Global Times 2012). Local education bureaus pitched in by compiling and updating lists that identify vocational schools suitable for linking to Foxconn internship programs. All qualified schools were required to participate in recruitment.

Image: A government employment and social security office converted into a Foxconn recruitment station at Hongguang Town, Pi County (in Chengdu City, Sichuan). Local states subsidize the growth of private business with free hiring services and cheap labor supply.

To assure the vocational schools’ cooperation, governments disburse funds to those that fulfill company targets for the number of student interns. If schools fail to meet human resources requirements, education bureaus withhold funds (Interview with a township government official in Chengdu City, 17 December 2011). Foxconn has taken advantage of this system to extend its labor recruitment networks to schools, where it draws on the assistance of local officials and teachers to utilize student labor. Figure 3 shows how Foxconn in Sichuan province draws up plans for student labor recruitment, then top-level government officials lead work teams across different administrative levels (city, county, district, township and village) to meet the deadlines and quotas, with the cooperation of the vocational schools under their jurisdiction.

Image: Foxconn internship recruitment through local mobilization, Sichuan. For illustrative purposes, we simplify the complex, multi-level power relationships in the recruitment of student interns through the triple alliance of Foxconn, local governments (from the provincial to the village level), and vocational schools (under the jurisdiction of Sichuan province). The seven vocational schools that we specify were publicly reported in local news and/or on school websites as participating in the Foxconn internship programs. Source: Field data collected in Sichuan province.

All production workers, including student interns, at Foxconn Chengdu are engaged in making iPads exclusively for Apple. Between September 2011 and January 2012 (a school semester), in Foxconn’s Chengdu factories, more than 7,000 students—approximately ten percent of the labor force—were working on the assembly line (Interviews with human resources managers and teachers in December 2011 and January 2012). One of the participating schools, Pujiang Vocational School, sent 162 students on 22 September 2011 to undertake three-month internships that were subjected to extension in accordance with iPad production needs. The large Pengzhou Technical School signed up 309 students, accompanied by three male and three female teachers during the entire internship. This is typical of the 1:50 teacher-student ratio maintained throughout the Foxconn Chengdu internship program in 2011-2012. Contrary to our findings, the Apple-commissioned factory inspector Fair Labor Association “found no interns had been engaged at [Foxconn] Chengdu since September 2011” (our emphasis) (Fair Labor Association 2013, 5).7

Image: A recruitment poster introducing the corporate background of Foxconn (Chengdu) is displayed outside the Chengdu rail station, Sichuan. Since October 2010 Foxconn (Chengdu) has produced iPads exclusively for Apple. In one semester during 2011-2012, it employed more than 7,000 “student interns” on the assembly line.

Government officials support the timely fulfillment of labor recruitment assignments for Foxconn by doing public relations work to improve the company’s image. The targets include students and fresh graduates. A township official-in-charge elaborated, “We were tasked by upper level governments to eliminate negative social attitudes toward Foxconn after the [2010] suicide wave”8 (Interview on 14 December 2011). The main contents of student labor recruitment are Foxconn’s corporate development, its economic and technological strength, and its expansion prospects. The government team deploys messages “across the internet, radio, television, posters, blogposts, leaflets, telephone calls, door-to-door visits, and the mail to publicize Foxconn’s culture, and guide recruitment targets in correct thinking and understanding” (The People’s Government of Guangyuan City [Sichuan] 2011a). Villages, towns, and schools are saturated with propaganda to assure that Foxconn achieves the status of a household name. The division of labor is summarized as follows (Interview with a township government official in Chengdu City, 16 December 2011):

1. The Human Resources and Social Security Department makes recruitment a top priority.

2. The Education Department arranges school-business cooperation, ensures that the number of graduates and interns meets the assigned goal, and arranges for their transportation on schedule and properly supervised by teachers.

3. The Finance Department ensures that recruitment is adequately funded.

4. The Public Security Department completes job applicants’ background investigations.

5. The Transportation Department assures appropriate transport capacity and safety.

6. The Health Department provides pre-employment physical examinations.

7. Other relevant departments ensure that recruitment progresses smoothly.

Foxconn obtains wealth of resources from multiple government departments to enhance its cost-competitiveness and business capacity while assuring an abundant supply of workers at a time of tightened labor markets. Indeed, in the past 30-plus years, preferential treatment by local governments has increased capital mobility and facilitated the growth of transnational corporations, first in southeast coastal regions and then in interior cities (McNally 2004; Leng 2005; Selden and Perry 2010). What is new is the outreach to vocational schools to tap student labor through a partnership of capital and state. One municipal government actually conducts investigations of departments that “do not complete 50 percent of monthly tasks,” pushing for a 100 percent completion rate of the recruitment quota handed down by Foxconn (The People’s Government of Guangyuan City [Sichuan] 2011b).

“In Chengdu,” Andrew Ross (2006, 218) concludes from his research on global IT service outsourcing to China that “it was impossible not to come across evidence of the state’s hand in the fostering of high-tech industry.” From Sichuan to central China’s Henan province, provincial governments have similarly channelled financial and administrative resources to support Foxconn hiring. In June 2010, the Zhengzhou City Education Bureau directed all vocational schools under its jurisdiction to dispatch students 1,000 miles away to Foxconn’s Shenzhen factories for employment and/or internships. This step was taken to make sure students would complete their training in time for the August opening of a new manufacturing base in Zhengzhou, provincial capital of Henan. Foxconn Zhengzhou exclusively assembles iPhones for Apple. The opening passage of the government notification to all education units reads (Zhengzhou City Education Bureau (Henan) 2010):

To promote the city’s vocational education, accelerate the pace of educational development, deepen school-business cooperation, strengthen customized training, and promote industry, it has been decided to launch an employment (internship) partnership with Foxconn Technology Group, and to arrange for all vocational school students to work (intern) at Foxconn Shenzhen.

Specifics of the sweeteners offered to Foxconn include the following (Henan Provincial Poverty Alleviation Office 2010.):

1. Implementing a policy of rewards for job introductions at the standard rate of 200 yuan per person from the designated government employment fund.

2. Giving every successful worker (or intern) a 600-yuan subsidy from the designated government employment fund.

The Henan provincial government, using taxpayers’ money, pays for incentives to schools or labor agencies (“the job introduction fee” of 200 yuan/person) that arrange for employment and/or internships at Foxconn. In August and September 2010, local government officials divided the 20,000-recruit goal among 23 counties and cities (each new worker/intern receives 600 yuan). For the targeted recruitment of 20,000 persons, the government bill would be 16,000,000 yuan (= 20,000 persons × (200 + 600) yuan). Each city or county government was assigned specific recruitment targets, with quotas within each district subdivided down to villages and towns. Table 1 shows the number of new Foxconn recruits that each of the 23 localities was ordered to produce. From this moment, student internships were transformed into a government-organized activity in the service of a private employer (see also, Henan Provincial Education Department 2010).

Government Recruitment Assignments for Foxconn, Henan

Name Targets for August 2010 (persons) Targets for September 2010 (persons) Total (persons)
1 Xinyang 1,000 1,000 2,000
2 Zhoukou 940 940 1,880
3 Luoyang 850 900 1,750
4 Nanyang 850 850 1,700
5 Shangqiu 850 850 1,700
6 Zhumadian 850 850 1,700
7 Puyang 750 700 1,450
8 Xinxiang 680 680 1,360
9 Anyang 650 650 1,300
10 Pingdingshan 550 550 1,100
11 Kaifeng 500 500 1,000
12 Zhengzhou 200 200 400
13 Hebi 200 200 400
14 Jiaozuo 200 200 400
15 Xuchang 200 200 400
16 Luohe 200 200 400
17 Sanmenxia 200 200 400
18 Gushi County, Xinxiang 100 100 200
19 Jiyuan 50 50 100
20 Dengzhou City, Nanyang 50 50 100
21 Yongcheng City, Shangqiu 50 50 100
22 Xiangcheng City, Zhoukou 50 50 100
23 Gongyi City, Zhengzhou 30 30 60
Total 10,000 10,000 20,000

The Henan provincial government established an inter-departmental committee to coordinate labor recruitment at Foxconn. The 20,000 new recruits included students and non-student job seekers.

Source: Henan Provincial Poverty Alleviation Office 2010.

Student interns—cheap, youthful, and productive—are a new source of labor that is growing larger in step with the expansion of vocational education. Steven McKay in Satanic Mills or Silicon Islands concludes that high-tech commodity producers “focus their labor concerns on cost, availability, quality, and controllability” to enhance profitability (2006, 42, italics original). On 1 November 2011, Han Chinese and Tibetan student interns got into a brawl during working hours. The incident sounded an alarm and a vice principal from one of the participating vocational schools arrived on the scene the next day to “look after his students,” reported interviewee Teacher Jiang. He added, “All of the few dozen students were laid off. Foxconn demanded that the schools concerned immediately ‘take back the bad students’ to prevent any disruption to work” (Interview on 15 December 2011). The assistance of the vice principal in removing the interns to whom Foxconn objected reveals other dimensions of how the schools and the enterprise cooperate in exercising dual control over students (Smith and Chan 2015). Psychosocial behaviour, such as playing video games all night and not going to work on time, as well as slowing down due to loss of motivation to work hard, however, continued. Foxconn’s presentation of Outstanding Student Intern Awards—also known as the “hardworking bee” prize—failed to instill stronger commitment and loyalty among interns who perceived the internship as squandering their education and found the work demeaning.

None of the 38 interviewed interns expressed interest in working for Foxconn after graduation. If they were interested in assembly line jobs, they would have started working straight away after finishing middle school rather than seeking specialized training in multiple fields. “Come on, what do you think we’ve learned standing for more than ten hours a day manning the machines on the line? What’s an internship? There’s no relation to what we study in school. Every day is just a repetition of one or two simple motions, like a robot,” Lintong emphasized (Interview on 29 November 2011).

IV. Conclusion

If the Chinese government’s goal is to encourage workforce preparedness by investing in vocational training, with student internships as a core component, the policy is a failure. Foxconn has shifted hiring costs onto local governments and outsourced recruitment to vocational schools to obtain a flexible, low-cost labor supply. In this capital-state-school alliance, the incorporation of students into the workplace in the guise of internships has served the interests of capital, while generating intern protests over unfair and illegal treatment.9 Intense competition among localities to lure foreign investment has undermined enforcement of labor and educational laws. Notwithstanding significant Chinese legal reforms to date, there remains a deep-seated conflict between state legitimation and local accumulation, with the result that student workers’ rights and interests are sacrificed. Companies have continued to exploit the internal contradictions of the state to maximize their gains, and local states have bent education and labor rules and regulations to attract businesses. This is one important facet of China’s distinctive state capitalism.

Speaking of the dynamism of state-society relations, Ching Kwan Lee (2007, 17) “sees contradictions within different state imperatives and insists that state power is not independent of but rather constituted through its engagement with social groups in their acquiescence and activism, triggered by contradictory state goals and policies.” We observe that, under mounting public concerns of student worker abuses, including child labor hidden in the guise of interns at Foxconn’s labor-hungry factories (SACOM 2012), the Chinese central government has recently proposed new “Draft Rules on the Management of Vocational School Student Internships” (Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China 2012). These rules, if vigorously implemented, would require that student internships have substantial educational content and work-skill training plans, along with comprehensive labor protections for teenage workers. As of December 2014, however, the draft rules still had not been issued (Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China 2014), suggesting opposition from employers and their allies.

At the industry level, in an attempt to polish its corporate image, Apple (2013, 19) reiterated in January 2013 its standards for suppliers’ hiring of students: “Student working hours must comply with legal restrictions…. We’ve begun to partner with industry consultants to help our suppliers improve their policies, procedures, and management of internship programs to go beyond what the law requires.” Claiming to exercise corporate social responsibility in global supply-chain management, Apple never acknowledged its own culpability in imposing tight delivery schedules and high quality demands at the lowest possible prices (Chan et al. 2013, 2015; Chakrabortty 2013). Manufacturers, faced with buyers’ tight deadlines and ruthless demands, in turn place tremendous pressure on frontline workers including interns to retain contracts and stay profitable. In February 2014, Scott Rozelle, co-director of the Rural Education Action Program at Stanford University, announced a monitoring and evaluation program of student internships at the invitation of Apple in Apple’s China-based major suppliers (Rural Education Action Program 2014). As of our writing in August 2015, the findings were still not publicly available.

Ross Perlin in his book on American and European internship practices, Intern Nation, comments, “The very significance of the word intern lies in its ambiguity” (2011, 23, italics original). In the four years we have been working on this research, we have seen that the recruitment of interns as cheap and disposable labor at Foxconn has become routine practice that continues in the present day, and extends to many other companies such as Samsung and Lenovo (see also China Labor Watch 2014; Dou 2014). Schools, facing financial and political pressure, are unable to shield students from internships that violate the letter and spirit of the law. Business-friendly local authorities sponsor such internship programs through direct subsidies and administrative support to large corporations. In China, the student labor regime has become integral to its economic development, frequently at the sacrifice of all workers’ interests.

Acknowledgements

*This article is jointly published by The Asia-Pacific Journal and Asian Studies.

Asian Studies 1(1): 69-99, March 2015, DOI: 10.6551/AS.0101.04

The authors would like to thank Asian Studies and The Asia-Pacific Journal editors and reviewers, as well as colleagues Amanda Bell, Jeffery Hermanson, Greg Fay and Debby Chan for their intellectual insights. An earlier draft of this paper entitled “Student Interns in China: Foxconn Internship through Government and School Mobilization” was presented at Pennsylvania State University in March of 2013 at the symposium “Global Workers’ Rights: Patterns of Exclusion, Possibilities for Change,” where Jenny Chan received constructive comments from organizers Mark Anner, Jill Jensen, Daniel Hawkins and many participants.

We acknowledge academic funding support from University of Oxford, University of London, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and Hong Kong Research Grant Council.

Jenny Chan (PhD in 2014) is a Lecturer in Sociology and China Studies at the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies, and an elected Junior Research Fellow (2015-2018) at Kellogg College, University of Oxford. Educated at the CUHK and HKU, she was a Reid Research Scholar while pursuing her doctorate at the University of London. In 2013-2014 she received a Great Britain-China Educational Award. She was the SACOM Chief Coordinator (2006-2009) and a Board Member of the International Sociological Association’s Research Committee on Labor Movements (2014-2018).

Email: wlchan_cuhk@yahoo.com / jenny.chan@area.ox.ac.uk

Ngai Pun is a Professor in the Department of Applied Social Sciences and the Director of China Development and Research Network at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She is the author of Made in China: Women Factory Workers in a Global Workplace (2005), for which she won the C. W. Mills Award. Recently she has co-authored and co-edited several books on labor and social economy in Hong Kong and China (in Chinese).

Email: punngai@gmail.com

Mark Selden is a Senior Research Associate in the East Asia Program at Cornell University, a Visiting Researcher at the Asian/Pacific/American Studies Institute at NYU, and editor of the Asia-Pacific Journal. A specialist on the modern and contemporary geopolitics, political economy and history of China, Japan and the Asia Pacific, his work has ranged broadly across themes of war and revolution, inequality, development, regional and world social change, social movements and historical memory.

Homepage: www.markselden.info/

Email: mark.selden@cornell.edu

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Wang, Haiyan, Richard P. Appelbaum, Francesca Degiuli, and Nelson Lichtenstein. 2009. “China’s New Labor Contract Law: Is China Moving towards Increased Power for Workers?” Third World Quarterly 30:485-501.

Webster, Edward, Rob Lambert, and Andries Bezuidenhout. 2008. Grounding Globalization: Labour in the Age of Insecurity. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

Weir, Bill. 2012. “A Trip to the iFactory. ABC News, February 21.

Whyte, Martin King. 2014. “Soaring Income Gaps: China in Comparative Perspective.” Dædalus, the Journal of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences 143:39-52.

Woronov, T. E. 2011. “Learning to Serve: Urban Youth, Vocational Schools and New Class Formations in China.” The China Journal 66:77-99.

Xinhua. 2015. “China’s Vocational Institutions Train 130 Million.” June 29.

Zhang, Lu. 2015. Inside China’s Automobile Factories: The Politics of Labor and Worker Resistance. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Zhengzhou City Education Bureau (Henan). 2010. Guanyu dongyuan zhongdeng zhiye xuexiao xuesheng dao Shenzhen Fushikang Keji Jituan jiuye (shixi) de tongzhi (Notification to Mobilize Secondary Vocational School Students for Employment (Internship) at Foxconn Shenzhen). June 12. [鄭州市教育局(河南). 2010. “關於動員中等職業學校學生到深圳富士康科技集團就業(實習)的通知.” 6月12日.]

Zhou, Ying. 2013. “The State of Precarious Work in China.” American Behavioral Scientist 57:354-72.

Zipp, Daniel Y. and Marc Blecher. 2015. “Migrants and Mobilization: Sectoral Patterns in China, 2010-2013.” Global Labour Journal 6:116-26.

Notes

1 Concerning the rights protection of China-based student interns in transnational production, on 16 December 2013, we wrote letters to, respectively, Foxconn CEO Terry Gou and Apple CEO Tim Cook. Apple is the world’s most profitable technology company, which contracts Foxconn, among others, to manufacture its branded products. The two letters, and company statements, are on file with the authors.

2 On the inherent contradictions between legitimacy and profitability in global capitalism, and the varied responses of industrial capital and the state under specific historical context, see also Burawoy (1985), Silver (2003), and Webster et al. (2008).

3 The names of our interviewees, unless otherwise specified, are changed to protect them.

4 Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of Minors (Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo Wei Chengnianren Baohu Fa 2013) protects young people under 18 for their balanced development and healthy growth. Article 20 stipulates that schools, including vocational schools, shall “cooperate with the parents or other guardians of the minor students to guarantee the minor students time for sleeping, recreational activities and physical exercises and may not increase their burden of study.”

5 As of December 2013, in Shenzhen, Foxconn paid ten percent of employees’ basic monthly wage for social insurance (180 yuan) and five percent for the mandatory housing provident fund (90 yuan), that is, 270 yuan/month in total.

6 The Song of the Volga Boatmen (in Russian with Chinese illustration)

7 The Fair Labor Association (FLA) received from Apple membership dues of US$250,000, plus audit fees for conducting its investigation at Foxconn Chengdu and two other Foxconn factories in Shenzhen (Longhua and Guanlan) between 2011 and 2012 (Weir 2012). Given the complete financial dependence of the FLA on the companies that support it, we question its ability to fulfill its purported mission to protect workers in the global economy.

8 In 2010, at least 18 workers attempted suicide at Foxconn’s facilities in Shenzhen and other cities, resulting in 14 deaths and four crippling injuries, see Chan and Pun (2010) and Chan (2013).

9 It was estimated that in May 2010 approximately 70 percent of the 1,800 workers were student interns at a Honda parts plant based in Nanhai District in Foshan City, Guangdong. Following a significant victory in which Honda workers received an additional 500 yuan per month and underpaid interns over 600 yuan more per month, auto workers at supplier factories of Toyota and Hyundai were emboldened to take their demands to managers (see Butollo and ten Brink 2012; Chan and Hui 2014; Friedman 2014, chap. 5; Lyddon et al. 2015).

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The War on Syria and “The Death of Civilization”

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The Assassination of Dr Khaled al-Assad, Guardian of Palmyra.

Global Research
Khaled_al-Asaad_2012

“On Freedom’s tree there rained a withering blight, 
Glory to proud Palmyra sighed adieu,
And o’er her shrines Destruction’s angel flew.”
(Nicholas Michell, 1807-1880.)

At a meeting of the Foreign Ministers in Cairo in September 2002 the then Secretary General of the Arab League, Amr Moussa warned US President George W. Bush that the proposed invasion of Iraq would: “open the gates of Hell … in the region.” Iraq and Syria would be the first to be engulfed in the fire.

German’s Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said it would be a “big mistake” for the United States to launch its own war on Iraq: “ … and European foreign policy chief Javier Solana insisted that weapon inspections issues were a matter for the UN”, not an invasion (1.)

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair was isolated as: “the sole European leader in Bush’s camp.” Even:  “Australian Prime Minister John Howard, long one of Bush’s staunchest allies, said he favored a diplomatic solution to the crisis and would not blindly follow the United States into war.”

There was of course no “crisis”, just a pack of lies to justify the illegal invasion for oil and to rid a government who had committed another unpardonable sin – switching oil trading from $US to Euros – and were a staunch supporter of Palestine. We are currently witnessing a similar murderous stitch up of another supporter of Palestine, Syria.

Syria is also believed to have considerable untapped reserves of oil and gas in her territorial waters in the Levantine Basin, exploration and finance of which is being undertaken in cooperation with Russia (2.)

Given the planning the United States has invested in destabilization of the country, aptly phrased by Syrian Military Intelligence in 2006 their: “efforts to provide military training and equipment to Syria’s Kurds” (3) and to “highlight Kurdish complaints” in order to implement another illegal “regime change” and resources theft there must be a fair amount of angst in Washington and Whitehall at resilience and government survival, though at huge human cost, approaching a decade later.

The “highlighting of Kurdish complaints” though, clearly had time devoted to its complexities, being needed: “to be handled carefully, since giving the wrong kind of prominence to Kurdish issue in Syria could be a liability for our efforts … given Syrian civil society’s skepticism of Kurdish objectives.”  Nevertheless, another plan for illegally overthrowing a sovereign government was underway, lessons from the Iraq nightmare ignored.

The human cost of US meddling has, as ever, been staggering. According the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) Syria’s 2013 population was 22,85 million. By May 2015  12.2 million people were in need of humanitarian assistance, 7.6 million displaced internally due to violence and 4 million had fled the country (4.) Incidentally for those who notice the discrepancy between the population and the UNOCHA figures, in crisis people return home to those they love: “If we die, at least we will die together” is a phrase that haunts.

But the history of the region too is dying. The great, inspired monuments, witness to the triumphs and tragedies of mankind throughout millennia. Pillars, buildings, sanctuaries, laughed in, loved in, hidden in, touched by, wondered at and revered by generations are being erased from Iraq: Hatra, Nineveh, Nimrud, Jonah’s tomb and Mosque, ancient churches, mosques, temples, priceless artifacts – and now a jewel of Syria, Palmyra.

As Adam Walker, specialist in classical Islam and history of the Middle East and North Africa points out, Islam has protected civilization’s wonders, not destroyed them. The psychopathic deviates of ISIS/ISIL/IS do not represent Islam he reminds. Further, in March in London: ‘Speaking about desecration and destruction of ancient heritage sites, the Caliph and worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, said:

“For more than 1400 years these cities were preserved and protected by successive Muslim rulers and governments and yet now the extremists claim to have destroyed them in Islam’s name. This can only be branded as an extreme cruelty and a transgression of Islam’s teachings. No true Muslim could ever comprehend acting in this way.” ‘(5)

Fakhreddin’s Castle (top), is pictured in the historical city of Palmyra, Syria (Reuters / Nour Fourat)

Palmyra first appeared in written records in the 2nd millennium BC, in cuneiform texts. It has been controlled by the Assyrians, the Persians, became part of Alexander the Great’s Macedonian Greek Empire. On his death in Babylon in June 323 BC, his empire was divided between two of his Generals, Ptolemy and Seleucus, Ptolemy controlling Egypt and Seleucus Babylonia, extending his power to Palmyra and much of Syria.

At the end of the Seleucid Empire, Palmyra, stranded between the warring Roman Empire and the Parthians, carved itself a niche as the principle trading post, including between the two hostile powers. In AD 77, Pliny the Elder wrote of the settlement’s mediating role: “Enjoying certain privileges with the two Great Empires, that of the Romans and that of the Parthians, Palmyra is sought out whenever disputes occur.”

What an irony that this wondrous place of ancient mediation, also home to Christianity under Emperor Justinian (527-65) when churches were restored, then Islam under General Khalid ibn al-Walid and was silent    witness to the Middle East’s golden ages and tribulations from then to now, is being erased by demented deviants spawned by George W. Bush and Tony Blair’s declared “Crusade.”

IS seized Palmyra, “The Venice of the Sands”, in May. In June they were reported to have destroyed the 1,900 year old Lion of al-Lat statue, the five centuries old shrine of Sufi scholar Nizar Abu Bahaa Eddine and that of Mohammed bin Ali, descendent of a cousin of the Prophet.

Shortly after this foray in to cultural genocide, the head and hand choppers with a penchant for burning people and more recently babies to death – seemingly continually “accidentally” dropped arms, food and medical needs by the US – kidnapped renowned archeologist Dr Khaled al-Assad, Palmyra’s Curator.

In July Palmyra’s haunting amphitheater was used as a stage for the execution of twenty five Syrian soldiers by child executioners – described as no older than thirteen or fourteen – who shot each kneeling man through the back of the head (6.)

On 18th August the US aid recipients beheaded the eighty one year old Dr Al Assad, for his refusal to reveal where many precious artifacts had been hidden according to his son, who was kidnapped with him but released. The body was hung from one of the great Graeco-Roman columns, his head placed between his feet.

Dr al-Assad became the Director of Antiquities at Palmyra in 1963. “He learned ancient Palmyrian, close to Aramaic. He also learned English, to guide round visitors and dignitaries. He was able to manage between Bedouins who live around Palmyra, and visiting Presidents at the same time”, recalls Dr Abd al-Razzaq Moaz, his friend and Syria’s former Deputy Culture Minster. “And he was open minded.” (7)

“I was born here, I will die here”, he said of his love for Palmyra. He died protecting it from the criminals whose priceless thefts from Iraq and Syria show up on eBay, and in London, European and US auction houses or antique shops (8.) Apparently, incredibly, this is near beyond authorities from border control to crime prevention, to halt. Seems the powers responsible for the carnage in the region are peerless at destruction, but worse than useless at prevention.

On 23rd August the Temple of Baalshamin, dedicated to the Canaanite sky deity Baalshamin, constructed in 131 AD, was destroyed by explosives. It had been financed by Male Agrippa, a Palmyra merchant Prince who, two years before its construction had been visited in Palmyra by the Roman Emperor Hadrian (117-138.)

A week later, on 30th August the ISIS crazies destroyed the Temple of Bel (also called Baal) consecrated to the Mesopotamian God, Bel where the lunar God, Aglibol and the sun God, Yarhibol were also worshipped. Dedicated in 32 AD was then the centre of Palmyran religious life.

This latest victim of cultural genocide contained a cupola with the busts of the seven planetary divinities – Jupiter in the centre, surrounded by Helios, Selene, Ares, Hermes, Aphrodite and Cronos. It was surrounded by the signs of the Zodiac. The lintel at the entrance carried a carving of an eagle – wings outstretched across a star strewn sky – representing Jupiter/Bel. Eagles of course, also guarded one of Iraq’s recently lost wonders at the hands of the modern day barbarians, Hatra.

Dr al-Assad, seeped in his love for Palmyra, who died for defending it had named his daughter after Zenobia, the third century Queen of the Palmyrene Empire, who led a revolt against the Roman Empire.

Many have written that Iraq and Syria’s glorious archeology survived even Genghis Khan’s repeated assaults on the region but not the US and it’s terrorist beneficiaries. Genghis Khan (“Supreme Khan of the Mongols, King of Kings”) lived between 1162-18th August 1227.

The 18th August was when Dr al-Assad was so appallingly murdered nearly eight hundred years later. A supreme, terrible irony – or something more sinister?

Irena Bokova heading UNESCO has bleated that the destructions are a war crime but action is glaringly absent. Bokova led UNESCO’S activities for a Holocaust remembrance but has been silent over the ongoing Holocaust of perhaps two million deaths since the illegal invasion of Iraq. She was also instrumental in the exhibit: “The People, the Book, the Land – 3,500 years of ties between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel” inaugurated at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on 11th June 2014. She is markedly less vociferous about the destruction of the history of the land, the years, guarded so faithfully by the countless generations of the indigenous people of the region.

On 3rd September President Bashar al-Assad awarded Dr Khalid al-Assad a posthumous Order of Merit for his achievement and devotion to archeology, to be presented to his family at a ceremony arranged by the Ministry of Culture.

As Padraig Belton has written: “In all this, one humble octogenarian dared, as the West has not, to defy the most chilling murders the present century has yet seen. And when a new Syria one day confronts the impossible task of rebuilding itself, one elderly academic’s quiet resistance in the name of antiquity, like David against Goliath, will provide a stark example of dauntlessness and civilization amidst the rubble of its bleakest hour.”

There are times when the heart hurts, the soul hurts, the being wants to sob; mourning the sacrifices, the loss of legacy to future generations for all time cannot be borne.

To meet Dr al-Assad and his love for Palmyra, see a modern legacy, his Facebook page (9) – and weep.

Notes

  1. http://www.arabnews.com/node/223999
  2. http://www.globalresearch.ca/israel-gas-oil-and-trouble-in-the-levant/5362955
  3. http://www.globalresearch.ca/syria-and-conspiracy-theories-it-is-a-conspiracy/29596
  4. http://www.unocha.org/syria
  5. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/adam-h-walker/islam-has-a-history-of-protecting-civilisation_b_6993580.html
  6. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3149469/Slaughter-amphitheatre-ISIS-executioners-brutally-shoot-dead-25-Syrian-regime-soldiers-bloodthirsty-crowds-ancient-Palmyra-ruin.html
  7. http://www.apollo-magazine.com/a-tribute-to-khaled-al-asaad-the-archaeologist-killed-by-isis-in-palmyra/
  8. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/03/antiquities-looted-by-isis-end-up-in-london-shops
  9. https://www.facebook.com/esraa.alhariri.7

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Canadian Gunboat Diplomacy

NOVANEWS
Global Research
040625-N-9769P-082

Former Prime Minister Kim Campbell once said “an election is no time to discuss important issues.” But surely the opportunity to free up $40 billion while making the world a safer place ought to spark a discussion about the Canadian Navy’s role in the world.

Four years ago the Conservatives announced the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy, a $30-$40 billion effort to expand the combat fleet over three decades. But, the initiative is stalled and this is a perfect time to consider other priorities, such as putting the money into a national daycare program, building co-op/public housing, investing it in light rail or using it to make higher education more affordable.

Let’s have a debate and let Canadians choose.

The first step is understanding how the Canadian Navy uses it warships.

People seldom think of Canadian foreign policy when the term “gunboat diplomacy” is used, but they should. It is not just the USA, Great Britain, France or other better-known imperial powers that have used naval force as a “diplomatic” tool.

Nearly a century ago the Royal Bank loaned $200,000 to unpopular Costa Rican dictator Federico Tinoco just as he was about to flee the country. A new government refused to repay the money, saying the Canadian bank knew the public despised Tinoco and that he was likely to steal it. “In 1921,” Canadian Gunboat Diplomacy notes, “in Costa Rica, [Canadian vessels] Aurora, Patriot and Patrician helped the Royal Bank of Canada satisfactorily settle an outstanding claim with the government of that country.”

In another chapter of the 2000 book titled “Maple Leaf Over the Caribbean: Gunboat Diplomacy Canadian Style” Royal Military College historian Sean Maloney writes: “Since 1960, Canada has used its military forces at least 26 times in the Caribbean to support Canadian foreign policy. In addition, Canada planned three additional operations, including two unilateral interventions into Caribbean states.”

While the Canadian Navy has long flexed its muscles in the Western hemisphere, over the past decade the Canadian Navy has played a greater role in Africa. In the summer of 2008 Canada took command of NATO’s Task Force 150 that worked off the coast of Somalia. Between the start of 2013 and fall of 2015 Canadian warships HMCS Regina and HMCS Toronto participated in a 28-nation Combined Maritime Forces operation in the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean. At the start of 2015 twenty-six Canadian Armed Forces members participated in the multinational maritime security exercise Cutlass Express 2015. Sponsored by the US Africa Command (AFRICOM), it took place off the East African coast.

As part of what’s been dubbed Africa’s “encirclement by U.S. and NATO warships”, HMCS Athabaskan led Operation Steadfast Jaguar 2006 in the Gulf of Guinea. A dozen warships and 7,000 troops participated in the exercise, the first ever carried out by NATO’s Rapid Response Force.

The following year HMCS Toronto participated in a six-ship task group of the Standing Naval Maritime Group 1 of NATO that traveled 23,000 kilometres around the continent. The trip took five months and was the first NATO fleet to circumnavigate Africa. HMCS Toronto spent a year preparing for this trip, a journey costing Canadian taxpayers $8 million.

Oil largely motivated operations off Nigeria’s coast. Nigeria’s Business Day described NATO’s presence as “a show of force and a demonstration that the world powers are closely monitoring the worsening security situation in the [oil-rich] Niger Delta.” A Canadian spokesperson gave credence to this interpretation of their activities in a region long dominated by Shell and other Western oil corporations. When the Standing Naval Maritime Group 1 warships patrolled the area Canadian Lieutenant Commander Angus Topshee told the CBC that “it’s a critical area of the world because Nigeria produces a large amount of the world’s light crude oil, and so when anything happens to that area that interrupts that flow of oil, it can have repercussions for the entire global economy.”

More broadly, the objective of circumnavigating the continent was to develop situational knowledge of the various territorial waters, especially Nigeria and Somalia. How knowledge of countries’ coastlines was to be used was not made entirely clear, but it certainly wasn’t to strengthen their sovereignty. “During the voyage,” according to a story in Embassy, “the fleet sailed at a distance of 12 to 15 miles off the African coast, just beyond the limits of sovereign national waters. The NATO fleet did not inform African nations it would soon be on the horizon. This, Lt.-Cmdr. Topshee says, was an intentional move meant to ‘keep options open.’ ‘International law is built on precedent,’ he says. ‘So if NATO creates a precedent where we’re going to inform countries, we’re going to operate off their coastline, over time that precedent actually becomes a requirement’.” To help with the legal side of the operations a lawyer circumnavigated the continent with HMCS Toronto.

Reportedly, the Nigerians did not appreciate NATO’s aggressive tactics. Topshee described the Nigerians as “downright irate” when the fleet approached. “There was real concern they might take action against us.”

For HMCS Toronto’s Captain Stephen Virgin, the circumnavigation was largely about preparing NATO forces for a future invasion. “These are areas that the force might have to go back to some day and we need to operate over there to get an understanding of everything from shipping patterns to how our sensors work in those climates.”

In early 2011, 15 days before the UN Security Council authorized a no-fly zone over Libya, HMCS Charlottetown left Halifax for the North African country. Two rotations of Canadian warships enforced a naval blockade of Libya for six months with about 250 soldiers aboard each vessel.

Later that year, on May 19, HMCS Charlottetown joined an operation that destroyed eight Libyan naval vessels. The ship also repelled a number of fast, small boats and escaped unscathed after a dozen missiles were fired towards it from the port city of Misrata. After the hostilities the head of Canada’s navy, Paul Maddison, told Ottawa defence contractors that HMCS Charlottetown “played a key role in keeping the Port of Misrata open as a critical enabler of the anti-Gaddafi forces.”

On one occasion a Canadian warship, part of a 20-ship NATO flotilla purportedly enforcing the UN arms embargo on Libya, boarded a rebel vessel filled with ammunition. “There are loads of weapons and munitions, more than I thought,” a Canadian officer radioed HMCS Charlottetown commander Craig Skjerpen. “From small ammunition to 105 howitzer rounds and lots of explosives.” The commander’s response, reported the Ottawa Citizen, was to allow the rebel ship to sail through.

The National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy will give Canadian officials greater means to bully weaker countries. Surely, one of the opposition parties sees a better way to spend $40 billion dollars.

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Private meeting with the representative of the Popular Front in Algeria Salah Mohammed

NOVANEWS
Part I .. a private meeting with the representative of the Popular Front in Algeria Salah Mohammed

Life Press – soft Mohammed – because the Palestinian factions and 

movements are an essential part of the Palestinian political scene, and of interest to more than one-third of the Palestinian people, decided to ‘Life Press’ the establishment of a media tradition Bmhaorh every Palestinian faction in-depth manner on the anniversary of the start up, perhaps because there are questions raised only In these occasions Kalosilh existential and cash basis, and because it is the optimal station for each faction in order to see himself in the mirror, without compliments.

Without compliments us was particularly lengthy dialogue of life with the Press representative of the Popular Front in Algeria Salah Mohammed, which spotted the Popular Front’s position on key issues to be deposited by the Palestinian political arena in 2014.

  • Front celebrated Alhobeihqubl days, in the Palestine territories and the diaspora, the anniversary 47 of its launch, how do you evaluate its course of struggle?

We usually our national tradition follow him in such a occasions, and pause to assess the national sense and draw the public and private lessons, where we go wrong and where we were; and except for lessons and political struggle within the record and affirm in such a suitable loyalty to our martyrs and our leaders of the martyrs and all our prisoners in Israeli prisons to continue Mserthmwalndhal National Althrrihty full achievement of our goals, the goals of our people.

Certainly passes our national struggle difficult circumstances, Vemoaslh march is a kind of challenge to these conditions and the fulfillment of our objectives and, yes, the anniversary of our foundation is considered for us station; and you know that the issue is not only the subject of 47 years, ie 05 decades, we are essentially an extension of the Arab Nationalist Movement, which we branch Palestinian, and the movement was founded in the early fifties and has played a major role in promoting the written and democratic climate, and contributed to the advancement of Alqomifi the fifties and sixties throughout the region Arabahoukadt struggle against the British in Yemen, Iraq and Libya … etc, the movement founded by a group of Palestinians and Arabs immediately after the catastrophe the likes of Dr. George Habash, after so closely the developments that were taking place in the Palestinian issue and the climate of struggle at the end of the sixties, beginning Sbaanatartia that Tstqlfrua movement, there is no more centralized system with […], this is the origin of the Popular Front; true that the Front was founded on 11 December 1 | December 1967, but the deep roots the center of its people, it is not strange bacon, […] until the early eighties, was the first faction in the Gaza Strip […], and in the camps Thdidogirha […].

  • Of the radical left, which was described by the Popular Front since its founding and the hijacking of quality and processes to recognize the legitimacy of the Zionist presence in Palestine of the 48 … what happened?

Is it possible to see the front review its position on this point specifically?

First do not, it must be correct question, we did not recognize at all, not one day, the recognition of the Zionist entity.

… But when talking about the front of a Palestinian state on the ’67 borders, with its capital in East Jerusalem, is not this an implicit recognition of the so-called (Israel)?

Absolutely, and I will explain the situation: It is true that we are, but more than one factor, and we agreed to progress logo of the PLO, which provides for the right of return, self-determination and establish their independent state with its capital in Jerusalem, however, and despite the fact that these titles mean to detail many things, and of course if you notice these titles written off came from the Palestinian or of Palestinian politics logo, and it remained almost exclusively on the Palestinian state with Jerusalem.

Or rather for the remainder of the territory of the 67 (?)

Yes, […] However, we are of what we have agreed on this progress logo and specifically the body of this position of the Palestinian National Council, which was held in Algeria in the Declaration of Independence on 15 October 2 | November 1988 we had the vision Astratih and still armed with them; and can almost be, with a full appreciation of our partners the struggle, the only force that links between the strategic progress slogan and logo, and impossible to Annan Yi

Interior our mobilization or public discourse be Mdzu, there is a thread for us between progress logo right of return and self-determination and independent state, which later became an independent state on the borders of 67, and later also [about] the limits of 67 became the talk of reciprocity and … etc.

Foreign our own internal Vfayaltabih there link between the logo and the historic Palestine, and this vision, and we consider any achievement is achieved through our struggle for liberation Mrtbtabalhar strategic sense […] democratic state of Palestine from the river to-Mer, from north to south.

It does not mean recognition of Israel?

Absolutely, absolutely, absolutely, this is not out of the question, we even resolutions of the United Nations does not recognize them, I mean even some Kadtnamthel George Habash refused to return because of the subject, ‘no shows Alasraiala’any.

  • During the seventies leadership Aljbhaoa Wadih Haddad managed to hijack a plane and go to Algeria, without warning, then interfered with the leaders of Fatah resident here in Algeria, the Algerian authorities have confirmed that the process ‘COOKED intelligence Egyptian’ as far as notaries of the event expression, and the operation ended in failure.

Was Wadih Haddad isolated incident or whether the conflicts and lack of confidence among nations and factions also among them, have the greatest responsibility in the shrinking armed resistance against the occupier to ultimately summed up in a patch metal Gaza?

We were at a certain stage, especially at the beginning of the armed Antlaqhulkipah in 1967, and was the launch of a wide and comprehensive Palestinian revolution and national factions, the fact that the conditions ripe and ready [at the time] sense of moral and Allowaqaatava; we, for example, popular as a front, we had the military branches, as young people, revenge and the heroes return, Even before the 67, 64, these Kanwaalhhda first to Sagtuaa south of Hebron and southern Lebanon, and Oboscran Kobuwimana … etc. The nature of stage sets sometimes the nature of work, Vartoana at that point that we need that external action to fight the enemy, and it was our motto at that point: ‘behind enemy everywhere’, and this is a natural thing the Israeli enemy liquidate Palestinian militants wherever they found them and we do not (?), There was open our front and we need this type of work; it was our thinking, in that period, that this Alamda’oa struggle, opinion Amaraba, Palestinian and international, we give ourselves a national issue was isolated, the situation of the Arab was a media sense is weak, and the Zionist media, Western and colonial, or a large part of it, was in solidarity with the Zionist movement, and therefore we need for this type of work.

Then after that exhausted this work objectives and Agafnah immediately, almost as before the mid-seventies, […] Within this context came [process] Altabahlal plane to Algeria.

But in general, you could say that the Arab regimes did not live up perhaps, politically at least, to the level of liberation movements for the sake of Palestine, and yet they still do not live up?

Difficult to put everyone in one basket, certainly now see the Arab situation, and when wondering why [the emergence of] some organizations that used the Islamic religion in order to achieve far from the Arab and Muslim people goals metal Daash, and why it spread so quickly (?) It is true that there are external factor , hardware and Western countries […] have an interest in breaking up our country and breaking the national our countries but ‘let the field to Humaidan’, not of nature but Aaltarej abhors a vacuum; there are Arab regime ramshackle Arab states are weak, these groups came and the place was ready regardless of our assessment of them are outside our frame historical its methods and posed, this liberation movements do not consider it at all related to the liberation movements.

And a large part of the official Arab organization linked, and the sons of Kmassalh political, imperial politics, very clearly. Take now, for example, the subject of oil, of which the top of the oil issue launched this economic war (?) It is true that purpose Russia and Iran, but Algeria and other Arab developing countries affected, Saudi Arabia are the leaders, and is proud of the Saudis and proud, decision-American and implementation Saudi; then there part of the official policy of the HRA is not an Arab, and American policy linked to the decision of US dictates, and not the logic of the alliance, but the logic of dependency is caudal US policy, with the aim of self, family and protection of the chair and the UK … etc. And not only this, we touch that part of the official Arab Foundation may play a negative role the direction of the Palestinian cause. During the recent terrorist war waged by the Zionist regime on Gaza […], its end, Netanyahu said: ‘We benefited from this war and become our new allies in Arab region ‘.

… And even what appeared in the media recently about Lieberman travel to Paris in order to meet Gulf character (?)

Yes, developments now exposes part of the official Arab Foundation, this is not new and we are sure that the historical sense, part of the Arab organization is linked to the American dictates, from behind the scenes, and does not work at all in favor of the Palestinian cause, on the contrary Hoeetmny infanticide and national Palestinian struggle and wishes Cyprna because, Nhodhana period and until now, Huejhy that is received climates and the repercussions of the Palestinian National Action interaction and up the Arab masses, contrast and so be faithful, do not deny that the last part of the official Arab Foundation has national affiliation Arabic, but Asalihafez for his support of the Palestinian national liberation struggle of political and physical sense [… ] as states of resistance and opposition, and we did them all the respect, but you now notice that our assessment of the political positions of the direction of our national struggle differs from our assessment of the political positions of all the seventies stage or eighties, and our barometer differed because our situation differed developments cosmic also, I must take that into account.

  • Observers see the libertarian movement in Palestine, that the popularity of leftist movements tumbled with the rise of Islamic movements, today Haalaqatkm and what your vision for factions such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and even Hezbollah?

Is there an ideological conflict between the national and Islamic factions?

Start with the last question, the ideological struggle of the question at all for us, of course, a natural thing that all the liberal forces are free to its point of view, but the foundation is Aligned liberal national cause and for the people, so in the Palestinian national framework In our framework, the subject of ideological conflict is out of the question at all ; we are guided in all human thought, including the Islamic thought, and are guided by other experiments and we have a long map of Vietnam to Algeria, Latin America, and recently we had a pause there, it is true that Vifterh seventies happened kind of collision and we are not of so decides, and that was before Hamas movement formed , which was the Palestinian wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, […] because then Alajoanlm stream adopts after the armed struggle.

But it later changed and developments played a role and has imposed itself, the more intense the existing historic conflict with the Zionists produced whenever a new power struggle, and this latest interaction within the organizations that they reject the former was armed struggle. And the relationship now with Jihad and Hamas is a partnership relationship combative certainly, and not out of the question where, at least on our part, the subject of ideological conflict at all, because there is a ‘story’ national, and there is for us a thing as a contradiction, the main rivalry with Alagelaia bloody entity and all those who supported, and this It is a contradiction; and our duty is to mobilize all national strengths and our factions in the face of this contradiction, not only that but also our duty to postpone all internal conflicts for the benefit of this main contradiction; without Zlkiattabr Ngliballmsalehh factional on the national interest, always Fbouseltna are giving priority to the position that [hurt] in favor of the issue, National Struggle, the supreme national interest, even at our expense, and a lot […] what we sometimes lose seats in the PLO … etc. Because we are taking a political position which we believe is for the benefit of the Palestinian cause.

  • Notes harmony spontaneous attitudes between Jihad and the front about a lot of issues: the rejection of division and attempts to mediate though shy of both Hamas and Fatah, rejected the Oslo accords and negotiations are described as ‘absurd’ of both factions, to what extent can think of forming the front and Jihad to block stressful, that was Fatah and Hamas or power, and aimed weigh on the Palestinian political decision?

Within certain limits, as long as there is converging in the direction of political vision articulated plants, natural something that he be some kind of coordination.

Does this mean that there is coordination between the front and jihad?

There are meetings and there like, I do not know maybe origin of the two destinations is born this intersection in the political sense, although it, as kindly than before, there is a difference of ideologically; And they did there intersection, and at least a leader in the sense touch Onauda between the two leaderships, did not reach the daily coordination formula or formation something in common; and by the way we do not have a reservation with any forces towards the national goal, and the main contradiction and rivalry with the occupation in the context of the historical clash.

We now ask, for example, in the Palestinian national framework, in our reading of the People’s endowment, which now occur in the West and Jerusalem, the formation of a unified national leadership is leading the popular struggle, and a follow up to the sector, there is now a permanent meetings, specifically in the Gaza Strip.

  • According to the electronic encyclopedia Wikipedia, the Popular Front does not participate in the government, is this case is considered normal in view of the fact that in front of members. T. P?

We feel that this is consistent with remember when, we are of the Foundation powers of the PLO, and differentiate precisely between the PLO as a political entity, as a science and the banner of national and representative of the sole legitimate, and the nature of the decision and the balance of power within it now, which is in favor of the Fatah movement, and the decisions issued by, this Entity is the king of our people, did anyone Aossh alone, has not acquired legitimized by the international effort to organize a single, but the overall Palestinian national struggle and the struggle of the Palestinian People and all the political forces and militant and ideological colors, a summary of our struggle.

After that we have a vision of government that implements the Oslo program and that we are against it, and therefore does not distance ourselves from the Palestinian institutions and the social fabric, although we we we are not reprobates who do not want to be part of the social fabric.

  • Of high-profile events in front kidnapping Palestinian intelligence history for its Secretary General Ahmad Saadat and four of his comrades, and stayed late Abu Amar Court mock them led to the decoding of the Zionist blockade it temporarily; after more than 10 years How do you read this incident?

Was it an attempt by the late Abu Amar to protect Saadat, or were tried and imprisoned in Jericho is a red line crossed Abu Amar then the right front and the resistance against the occupier?

Is this incident caused a rupture between the front and power?

Of course, the arrest of Comrade Ahmed Saadat, Secretary General of the Front and the four militants who carried out the process of the liquidation of the Zionist minister Rehavam Ze’evi, and then arrested by the Israelis is a historic mistake unforgivable, even the way the arrest took place in a police and security. Our comrade Saadat was his 13 years, a stalker by the Israelis and the Hidden in the West Bank, and therefore the argument that it was to protect them are unacceptable, is the people who protect the fighters, and happened there a strategic error; and on the contrary, the Palestinian court had taken a decision for their release, however, remained stranded, and of course Jrtcefqh between Abu Amar and the Americans and the Israelis.

Then the Americans and the British withdrew 05 minutes before the Zionist attack on the prison, and there was talk of Western complicity with the Zionists …

Yes, a security protection that was in prison on the base that the group watched [activists] and protect them, supposed to Abu Amar and the Palestinian leadership that existed releasing them or leave them in prison until arrested by the Israelis.

Thus this painful station for us, either arrest police or justification which put up, and then the drama ultimately who made ​​our comrades in the hands of the Israelis, and then occurred a campaign to arrest and wide of the leaders of the front, not only Ahmed Saadat, but also large numbers of members of the Central Committee, including Deputy Secretary Amabdarahim waved Abu Sharif large numbers, we are accustomed with the Israelis whenever military advancement Front happened whenever the arrest of the staff, and up to now, unfortunately, we are puzzled, as the popular saying goes ‘from Wayne weget!’, from the Israeli security or Palestinian security?

  • X Lal repeated wars on Gaza, do you put Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the release of the Secretary General Ahmed Saadat, a condition for acceptance of a truce with the enemy?

For us, the subject of the release of comrade Ahmed Saadat and our prisoners and prisoners of resistance as a whole, is a permanent topic of thinking about it, but as this factor is linked to the field conditions, process Jerusalem, for example, the quality of the Brigades of Abu Ali Mustafa, there have been attempts by soldiers to the families of the West … etc you know. But the nature of the circumstances do not permit. Each bargaining or negotiations for the release of prisoners, particularly from Hamas, was Saadat and the name of the youth minister who described the less, but (Israel is a) and others consider them a red line and refused even to talk about them.

  • Popular Front strongly criticized the Oslo agreements, and negotiations ‘absurd’ she says, and field truce ‘free’ as she put it, and also what it calls the uniqueness of power the resolution of political and executive powers, also called for the rebuilding of the PLO according to democratic bases, why the front does not withdraw from the organization Liberation of pressure on power, at least to establish a real dialogue about all of these issues?

We must differentiate between our right to struggle in the project and the types of exercise maximum pressure on the powerful leadership in power and m. T. and between maintaining the unity of the Organization […] as an entity of this people; we If you notice a try, forms of struggle and internal struggle in the Palestinian arena, Onnovq between unity and difference, and combine to be united in the face of the enemy within intersections allowed for and between our determination to continue the political difference for the benefit of the Palestinian cause and our objectives, this is a tactic taken.

  • In the 47 anniversary of the start of the front, he called the press office member to re-file the Palestinian issue to the United Nations body, why bet on this body, which has proved its failure to bring justice to the issue, and even the clear bias to the Zionist enemy?

We are in front of the experience of negotiations 21 years ago, and regardless of our assessment of the principle of this political option which is betting heavily on the US care and the American intervention to put pressure on Israel Palmrahenhaly it up this American pressure to extract the Palestinian state, and this is impossible; in the face of this political option ask the Palestinian carrying case file and the holding of an international conference under the auspices of the United Nations, the US, which leads the Nqadhaleraih bilateral negotiations … the case file and the International Conference does not discuss the resolutions of the United Nations but also calls for the implementation of those that have been taken in favor of the struggle of our people, the United Nations and they are many.

And the United Nations was and still its decisions are subject to the global balance of power, in Fterhmaanh was the balance of power allows the issuance of decisions, but now, after Anhiaraketlh socialism no longer allowed, therefore this is our point of view: implementation of the United Nations relevant resolutions of our rights and not discussed.

  • The most prominent event in the Palestinian political arena end of the year 2014 is a project to end the occupation of the United Nations submitted to a vote, what do you think of first in the project?

From the outset, to be clear, this project was not discussed as it should by the Palestinian leadership, both the Executive Committee of the PLO or the Palestinian leadership by Congress, which usually includes the Executive Committee for m. T. and the rest of the leadership and general secretaries present, this annotated put forward by President Abu Mazen orally without being distributed, then Bedalmchakl occurred in this session associated with that method. We are not in front of a normal or a tactical issue so that it can be the exclusivity, we are facing a fundamental and articulated and related Bndna issue, hence the uniqueness of error by the Palestinian President.

  • In the same context, he admitted two of the members of the Executive Committee for m. T. P days they had not seen the project, one of them made the remarks before his way to the Committee meeting to discuss the project; the same statement made by Khalida Jarrar, member of the Political Bureau of the Popular Front; Is it possible to present a draft of such importance the United Nations, and not distributed to the members of the Committee Executive and representatives of factions only recently?

Yes, and this exclusivity is part of the tragedy of the Palestinian institution; we differentiate between a simple case strategy and the issue of this kind, especially because there was a discussion before that and the recruitment and [told] that it is essential that we proceed with such Nqthookaroa points and committed themselves to it, but when the project came an event type of exclusivity, and thus we condemn exclusivity in issues affecting the national interest; and Observe now spikes and turmoil of the Palestinian position, each one every day authorized form, Vsaib Erekat authorized form, and so authorized form, and Riyad al-Malki in the press here conference Paljzairohar of the project and said that we are now before us four amendments and the door is open for other amendments !, Are we at auction (?)

This crucial issue and any project must be discussed and decided by the Palestinian leadership even assume their responsibility, and we are in front of the rights and you should know what are the reference of this project because it now turns out, according to some of the statements, including Riad Amalikihna statements in Algeria, that this project has become a subject in some of its provisions to the wishes of Some major countries, and assumed that any project of this level must be political, legal and economic rights of our people his authority and decisions of the United Nations for these rights.

  • Just like the Oslo Accords, described by political analysts that it surprised the Palestinian people, the project was not presented to a referendum, does the fact that the PLO the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people dispense with his mind and investigate his options?

Between the period and the other, President Abu Mazen speaks this language, that if ‘we had an agreement Nhaiasostfti’, and issues of fateful and strategic dimension, a natural thing that is being Holhaastvta, but, before we talk about the referendum and the Gerhajb now that we control Alssayashfilstinih movement horizon supreme interest, like this The project, for example, which is like what is being traded Bnodhalan, this project is not related to the general welfare, […], as all articular subject must be discussed by all the Palestinian leadership because it does not matter a certain point, but matter the total, and this did not happen.

Then turn the project like a really Auction of his amendment so kind do not, any project of this level offers the United Nations be based on terms of reference which is our national struggle and goals, not America or France or Britain desire and say: ‘Come offered suggestions!’, And this is part of the tragedy that has arrived its people, and to take into account the desire to exploit countries internationally [must ask] what purpose?

 Its goal only pressure on the Palestinian situation even provides further concessions in the interest of the Israelis, on topics such as the right of return and Jerusalem and the settlements, this is the American goal is not a secret and we are by the way are not satisfied at all and disturbed by the language used and published about this project, the right of return is now as if people become is not interested in him, we are against the Arabic version approved by the last Conference of the Arab League that talk about compromise, and compromise means the approval of the Israelis, and that me

Posted in Palestine AffairsComments Off on Private meeting with the representative of the Popular Front in Algeria Salah Mohammed

Rebooting Hillary. “Hillary is New and Improved”

NOVANEWS
Global Research
hillary-clinton

Polls show increasing numbers of voters dislike and distrust her. She’s losing ground to Sanders and bested by Donald Trump.

Voters rate her poorly on honesty, trustworthiness and transparency. When asked to describe her, “liar” is the word most often mentioned – then “dishonest,” untrustworthy,” and “criminal.”

She can’t convince people she’s not hiding something. Her sordid past perhaps caught up with her. Polls show Joe Biden is most favored against Republicans – maybe enough to convince him to declare his candidacy.

Clinton campaign aides say she’s rebooting, aiming to reinvent herself as kinder, gentler. She’ll find it hard to erase her sordid past or change her image in voter minds once fixed.

In a field of deplorable presidential aspirants without a worthy one in the bunch, she stands out as especially loathsome and dangerous – a war goddess most likely to confront Russia and perhaps China belligerently, a prescription for WW III. Smiles and feigned affability can’t disguise pure evil.

The New York Times explained her new campaign strategy headlining “Hillary Clinton to Show More Humor and Heart, Aides Say.”

From now on she’ll refrain from “flip jokes about her private email server (and) rope lines to wall off crowds…And there will be new efforts to bring spontaneity to a candidacy that sometimes seems wooden and overly cautious,” said The Times.

A record of being on the right side of major issues and character matter most. Clinton fails on both counts – a shameless self-promoter, an unabashedly hawkish supporter of endless wars, fundamentally against world peace and stability, a nuclear weapons use proponent.

Her earlier attempts to fake a softer side fell flat. Her demeanor shows she’s not genuine. Her record as US senator and secretary of state belies her disingenuous claim about “want(ing) to be the president who addresses the problems in the headlines and the ones that keep you up at night.”

Her agenda is polar opposite her duplicitous rhetoric. Democrat pollster Anna Greenberg was right calling her an “establishment candidate,” without explaining she supports dirty business as usual – in her case much dirtier.

Last April, Politico headlined “Hillary is new and improved! Take as directed,” saying she “invented herself almost as many times as Edison tried to invent the light bulb.”

If she stood for what matters most for most people, reinvention wouldn’t be an issue. Portraying herself as a populist champion is polar opposite her real persona and agenda.

On September 8, the Wall Street Journal picked up on the Politico theme headlining “Hillary, New and Improved,” saying:

She’ll try shedding her “scriptedness.” Political campaigning is choreographed kabuki theater – candidates pretending to be something they’re not, illusion papering over ugly reality.

For eight years as first lady, she partnered in husband Bill’s crimes. She shamelessly self-promoted throughout her Washington years and since leaving government.

Her public service record as senator and secretary of state was scandalous – militantly pro-war, contemptuous of rule of law principles, scornful of democracy, backer of Israel’s worst crimes, anti-populist while pretending to be otherwise, dismissive of human suffering, and supporter of police state legislation.

She represents the worst of America’s dark side, a monument to wrong over right, anti-Russian, a major threat to world peace.

She stands for everything activists for peace, equity and justice oppose. It’s hard imagining a worse choice for president – or any other public service office.

 

Posted in USAComments Off on Rebooting Hillary. “Hillary is New and Improved”

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