Archive | September 11th, 2015

America’s Phony War on the ISIS

NOVANEWS
Global Research
obama-isis

Washington Recruits, Arms, Funds, Trains and Directs the “Islamic State” Terrorists

On September 10, 2014, Obama lied claiming his intent “to degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group known as ISIL” – adding “these terrorists could pose a growing threat beyond that region, including to the United States.”

He willfully misled the US public saying he “ordered our military to take targeted action against ISIL to stop its advances…These strikes…helped save the lives of thousands of innocent men, women and children.”

Washington recruits, arms, funds, trains, and directs them the same way it used Mujahideen fighters in the 1980s against Soviet Russia in Afghanistan, as well as Al Qaeda and other likeminded takfiri groups today.

They serve US imperial interests, used against independent governments Washington wants toppled – replaced by subservient puppet regimes. Terror bombing Iraqi and Syrian targets has nothing to do with degrading and defeating them – everything to do with destroying vital infrastructure in both countries, balkanizing them for easier control and ousting Assad.

On the first anniversary of Obama’s declared phony war on IS, RT International headlined “1yr, 6,700 airstrikes & $4bn after Obama vowed to ‘destroy’ ISIS, jihadists still on offensive” – stronger than ever, controlling more territory, aided and abetted by US support.

Obama’s real war is polar opposite his phony “campaign of airstrikes…increase(d) support (for) forces fighting these terrorists,” preventing IS attacks elsewhere, and “provid(ing) humanitarian assistance to innocent civilians” displaced by devastating war.

According to the Pentagon, so-called “Operation Inherent Resolve” conducted 53,278 sorties in Iraq and Syria, including 6,700 airstrikes through September 8.

It lied claiming 10,000 IS “targets” were destroyed, including tanks, other heavy weapons and facilities. Washington supplies IS terrorists by airdrops and other means to wage its proxy wars – spending billions of dollars to advance its imperium, letting recruited terrorists do its fighting and dying.

RT explained “impressive-sounding (Pentagon) numbers” did nothing to change “reality on the ground where IS (terrorists) have only grown stronger.”

Propaganda about “a quick and easy victory” is belied by greater than ever IS strength and territorial control.

The most visible result of Obama’s wars is the human refugee flood they caused, numbers increasing exponentially as they rage – overwhelming European countries with desperate people undertaking hazardous journeys to find safe havens out of harm’s way, met with scorn and disdain most everywhere they arrive, treated horrifically under appalling conditions, victimized twice over, by Obama’s imperial wars and Western nations (especially America) unwilling to provide humane help.

World peace and security aren’t threatened by IS or other takfiri terrorists. America’s imperial agenda with complicit rogue allies bear full responsibility – waging endless wars of aggression, threatening humanity’s survival.

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Turning the Cradle of Civilization Into Its Graveyard

NOVANEWS
Global Research
syria_1

This Monday, September 7, seven Syrian citizens go to court in Paris to pursue their civil suit against French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. The five men and two women all lost family members and close friends in massacres by armed rebels supported by Fabius in word and deed. They are asking for one euro of symbolic damages.

In the end the suit will almost surely be thrown out. The September 7 hearing is on an appeal against an earlier ruling that the courts cannot judge acts of the government in this case, even if the complaint is founded. And yet this futile lawsuit makes a crucial point that Western politicians and media would much prefer to ignore.

Western leaders share major responsibility for making much of the world unfit for normal human habitation. And so far, they are getting away with it. The massive refugee crisis swamping Europe is just the beginning of the troubles that these unscrupulous leaders have brought on their own countries.

Laurent Fabius can fairly be called a French neoconservative. His alignment with Israeli policies is seen in the fact that he was the most reluctant of the foreign ministers involved in the Iranian nuclear negotiations to agree to the final settlement.

He has been one of the most gung-ho advocates of regime change in Syria, a country long on the neocon hit list for its Arab nationalism and support for the Palestinian cause.

The Syrian plaintiffs note that:

* On May 29, 2012, Fabius declared that France would intervene against the Syrian regime.

* On August 17, 2012, Fabius declared that Syrian President Bashar el Assad “did not deserve to be alive on earth”.

* On December 14, 2012, speaking out against the Obama administration decision to designate the Al Nusra Front as a terrorist group, Fabius objected that the Al Nusra Front was “doing a good job on the ground”.

* On March 13, 2013, Fabius announced that France and Britain were going to deliver arms to the rebels.

As a group, the plaintiffs maintain that by his declarations, Foreign Minister Fabius stirred up civil war in Syria and encouraged armed rebel attacks against the existing government. Individually, each of the plaintiffs lost family members and close friends in armed attacks and massacres carried out by the al Nusra militia allied rebel groups.

europe-migrants-balkans

Israel’s Ghastly Twin: the “Islamic State”

Under U.S. leadership and Israeli influence, French political leaders have championed “regime change” in Libya and Syria on the tacit assumption that civil war would be better for the people of those countries than living under a “dictatorship”. In practice, however, most people can get along better without a vote than without a roof over their heads. Or without their heads.

It is hardly surprising that the carefully filmed and diffused videos of “Islamic State” (IS) disciplinary methods have caused panic among people living in their path of conquest.

War causes people to become refugees. Western media pay close attention to refugees only when they like the “story”. Huge attention was paid to Kosovo Albanians fleeing temporarily from the 1999 NATO war against the Serbs, because those refugees could be described as victims of Serbian “ethnic cleansing” and thus as justification of the NATO war itself.

But no such media concern was aroused over the much greater number of refugees who fled from the 2003 United States invasion of Iraq and have never returned. Over a million Iraqi refugees fled into Syria, where they were well received.

The situation in the Middle East is critical. Armed by leftover U.S. military equipment in Iraq, enriched by illicit oil sales, its ranks swollen by young Jihadis from all over the world, the Islamic State threatens the people of Lebanon and Jordan, already struggling to take care of masses of refugees from Palestine, Iraq and now Syria. Fear of the decapitating Islamic fanatics is inciting more and more people to risk everything in order to get to safety in Europe.

The Islamic State is truly the horrible enemy caricature of the “Jewish State”, another political entity based on an exclusive religious identity. Like Israel it has no clearly defined borders, but with a vastly larger potential demographic base.

The only force that can stop the Islamic State from expanding its fanatic rule over all of Mesopotamia and beyond is the Syrian State led by Bashar al Assad. The choice is not between Assad and “Western democracy”. The choice is between Assad and the Islamic State. But Western leaders have still not fully dropped their demented cry: “Assad must go!”

Refugees, Migrants and Terrorists

The results of this madness are washing up on the shores of the Mediterranean. Images and sentiment have replaced thinking about causes and effects. One photo of a drowned toddler causes a media and political uproar. Are people surprised? Didn’t they know that toddlers were being torn to pieces by U.S. bombing of Iraq, by U.S. drones in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen? What about the toddlers obliterated by NATO’s war to “free Libya” from its “dictator”?

The current refugee crisis in Europe is the inevitable, foreseeable, predicted result of Western policy in the Middle East and North Africa. Gaddafi’s Libya was the wall that kept hundreds of thousands of Africans from migrating illegally to Europe, not only by police methods but even more effectively by offering them development at home and decently paid jobs in Libya. Now Libya is the source both of economic migrants and of refugees from Libya itself, as well as from other lands of desperation. In order to weaken Sudan, the United States (and Susan Rice in particular) championed creation of the new country of South Sudan, which is not a country at all but the scene of rival massacres driving more and more fugitives toward unwelcoming countries.

The famous photo of little Aylan drowned in the Mediterranean is used very largely to make Europeans feel guilty. The leaders should indeed feel guilty – and not least the rich egomaniac Bernard-Henri Lévy, who prides himself on having talked the French government of Nicolas Sarkozy into starting war against Libya, where, he claimed, there were no Islamic extremists, but only pro-Westerners yearning for democracy. Thanks to NATO, Islamic extremists have since run roughshod over the whole country.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has agreed to take in eight hundred thousand Syrian refugees. This is admirable on humanitarian grounds. Germany is economically strong and demographically weak; with its gradually shrinking population, middle class Syrians, many of them terrified Christians, may seem to be a welcome addition to the population. But it deepens political divisions within Germany and in Europe.

This is particularly the case in the new EU countries of Eastern Europe. Starting with Hungary, their leaders are making it clear that those countries are above all concerned with their ethnic identity, and don’t want to take in a lot of people who don’t speak their language. Unlike countries of Western Europe, the Eastern European tier of ethnic states have no tradition of taking in immigrants and no ideological attachment to the Western human rights ideology. In Eastern Europe, “human rights” sounded good to use against Russia and the Soviet Union, but stops there.

The Greek crisis already put heavy strains on the unity of the European Union. For the first time, many people are questioning the whole idea. The crisis showed that there is no real sense of solidarity between the peoples of Europe; when it comes to the crunch, Germans are Germans and Greeks are Greeks, and “European” is an abstraction. The refugee crisis is showing new cracks in “European unity”.

Most of Europe today is suffering from massive unemployment, especially the Southern countries where refugees first land: Greece, Italy, Spain. European Union economic policies, already strangling Greece, do not favor job creation for hundreds of thousands of newcomers. Even professionally qualified refugees will find it difficult or impossible to get around rules protecting their professions in host countries. Most jobs they manage to get will probably be low level and illegal, undercutting wages and working conditions in the host countries.

Moreover, it is impossible in the present mass movement of people to distinguish “refugees” from economic “migrants” – that is, from men simply seeking better work opportunities. The EU today has little to offer then, and resentment of this unsought immigration is certain to improve the political fortunes of the nationalist right.

There is another reason that many European citizens feel less than enthusiastic about welcoming hundreds of thousands of unknown foreigners into their communities. The Islamic State has openly boasted of sending terrorists into Europe among the refugees, with the clear intention of committing violent acts to destabilize the West. Of course, the threat of terrorism is being used cynically by governments to enforce police state measures, but that does not mean that the threat of terrorism is unreal. Unfortunately, it exists – thanks very largely to the policies of those very same Western governments.

The refugee crisis should be seen as the warning signal that the United States and its NATO allies – especially Britain and France – are bringing the world to a state of chaos that is going to keep spreading and that is approaching a point of no return.   It is quick and easy to break things. Putting them back together may be impossible. Civilization itself may be more fragile than it seems.

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Madness of Blockading Syria’s Regime

NOVANEWS
Global Research
ISIS

“Does the U.S. want Al Qaeda to take over Syria?”

Does the U.S. government want the Islamic State and/or its fellow-travelers in Al Qaeda to take over Syria? As far as the State Department is concerned, that seems to be a risk worth taking as it moves to cut off Russia’s supply pipeline to the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad — even as Sunni terrorist groups expand their grip on Syrian territory.

It appears that hardliners within the Obama administration have placed the neocon goal of “regime change” in Syria ahead of the extraordinary dangers that could come from the black flag of Sunni terrorism raised over the capital of Damascus. That would likely be accompanied by the Islamic State chopping off the heads of Christians, Alawites, Shiites and other “heretics” and/or Al Qaeda having a major Mideast capital from which to plot more attacks on the West.

And, as destabilizing as the current flow of Middle East refugees is to Europe, a victory by the Islamic State or Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front would open the flood gates, sending millions of desperate people pouring out of Syria and creating a political as well as humanitarian crisis. At that point, there also would be enormous pressure on President Barack Obama or his successor to mount a full-scale invasion of Syria and attempt a bloody occupation.

The human and financial costs of this nightmare scenario are almost beyond comprehension. The European Union – already strained by mass unemployment in its southern tier — could crack apart, shattering one of the premier achievements of the post-World War II era. The United States also could undergo a final transformation from a Republic into a permanent-warrior state.

Yet, Official Washington can’t seem to stop itself. Instead of working with Russia and Shiite-ruled Iran to help stabilize the political/military situation in Syria, the pundit class and the “tough-guy/gal” politicians are unleashing torrents of insults toward the two countries that would be the West’s natural allies in any effort to prevent a Sunni terrorist takeover.

Beyond words, there has been action. Over the past week, the State Department has pressured Bulgaria and Greece to bar Russian transport flights headed to Syria. The U.S. plan seems to be to blockade the Syrian government and starve it of outside supplies, whether humanitarian or military, all the better to force its collapse and open the Damascus city gates to the Islamic State and/or Al Qaeda.

In explaining its nearly inexplicable behavior, the State Department even has adopted the silly neocon talking point which blames Assad and now Russia for creating the Islamic State, though the bloodthirsty group actually originated as “Al Qaeda in Iraq” in reaction to President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Then, backed by money and weapons from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other U.S. “allies,” AQI moved into Syria with the goal of ousting Assad’s relatively secular government. AQI later took the name Islamic State (also known by the acronyms ISIS, ISIL or Daesh). Yet, the State Department’s official position is that the Islamic State is Assad’s and Russia’s fault.

“What we’ve said is that their [the Russians’] continued support to the Assad regime has actually fostered the growth of ISIL inside Syria and made the situation worse,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said on Tuesday. “If they want to be helpful against ISIL, the way to do it is to stop arming and assisting and supporting Bashar al-Assad.”

Yet, the reality is that Assad’s military has been the principal bulwark against both the Islamic State and the other dominant Sunni rebel force, Al Qaeda’s affiliate, the Nusra Front. So, by moving to shut down Assad’s supply line, the U.S. government is, in effect, clearing the way for an Islamic State/Al Qaeda victory since the U.S.-trained “moderate” rebels are largely a fiction, numbering in double digits, while the extremists have tens of thousands of committed fighters.

In other words, if the U.S. strategy succeeds in collapsing Assad’s defenses, there is really nothing to stop the Sunni terrorists from seizing Damascus and other major cities. Then, U.S. airstrikes on those population centers would surely kill many civilians and further radicalize the Sunnis. To oust the Islamic State and/or Al Qaeda would require a full-scale U.S. invasion, which might be inevitable but would almost certainly fail, much as Bush’s Iraq occupation did.

A Scary Fantasyland

As scary as these dangers are, there remains a huge gap between the real world of the Middle East and the fantasyland that is Official Washington’s perception of the region. In that land of make-believe, what matters is tough talk from ambitious politicians and opinion leaders, what I call the “er-er-er” growling approach to geopolitics.

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton joined in that growling on Wednesday at the Brookings Institution, which has become home to neocons such as Robert Kagan and a host of “liberal interventionists,” such as Michael O’Hanlon and Strobe Talbott.

Though she formally endorsed the nuclear agreement with Iran, former Secretary of State Clinton insulted both the Iranians and the Russians. Noting Russia’s support for the Syrian government, she urged increased punishment of Moscow and Russian President Vladimir Putin — aimed at forcing Russia to abandon the Assad regime.

“We need a concerted effort to up the costs on Russia and Putin; I am in the camp that we have not done enough,” Clinton declared. “I don’t think we can dance around it much longer,” she said, claiming that Russia is trying to “stymie and undermine American power whenever and wherever they can.”

Clinton appears to have learned nothing from her past support for “regime change” strategies in Iraq and Libya. In both countries, the U.S. military engineered the ouster and murder of the nations’ top leaders, but instead of the promised flourishing of some ideal democracies, the countries descended into anarchy with Sunni terrorists, linked to Al Qaeda and the Islamic State, now controlling large swaths of territory and engaging in widespread atrocities.

Yet, for Clinton, the higher priority is to come across as super-tough, proving her value to Official Washington’s influential neocons and liberal hawks. Thus, a potential Clinton presidency suggests an even more warlike foreign policy than the one carried out by Obama, who recently boasted of ordering military strikes in seven different countries.

Clinton seems eager for more and more “regime changes,” targeting Syria and even Russia, despite the existential risks involved in such reckless strategies, especially the notion of destabilizing nuclear-armed Russia. The neocons and liberal hawks always assume that some malleable “moderate” will take power, but the real-life experience is that U.S. interventionism often makes matters worse, with even more extreme leaders filling the void.

Where’s Obama?

Now, with Official Washington lining up behind a blockade of Russian assistance to the Syrian government – even if that would mean an Islamic State/Al Qaeda victory – the great unknown is where President Obama stands.

A source familiar with the back channels between the White House and the Kremlin told me that Obama had encouraged Putin to step up Russian aid to the embattled Syrian government as part of the fight against the Islamic State and that the Russians are now bewildered as to why Obama’s State Department is trying to sabotage those efforts.

As odd as that might sound, it would not be the first time that Obama has favored a less confrontational approach to a foreign crisis behind the scenes only to have neocon/liberal-hawk operatives inside his own administration charge off in the opposite direction. For instance, in 2009, Obama bowed to demands for what turned out to be a useless “surge” in Afghanistan, and in 2014, he allowed neocon Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland to start a new Cold War with Russia by helping to orchestrate a “regime change” in Ukraine.

As Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, Nuland would presumably be at the center of the recent arm-twisting in Bulgaria and Greece to get those countries to block Russian flights to Syria, which has been a longtime neocon target for “regime change,” a goal that the neocons now see as within their grasp.

Typically, when his underlings undercut him, Obama then falls in line behind them but often in a foot-dragging kind of way. Then, on occasion, he’ll break ranks and make a foray into genuine diplomacy, such as Syria’s 2013 agreement to surrender its chemical-weapons arsenal or Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal – both of which were achieved with significant help from Putin. But Obama has proved to be an unreliable foreign-policy partner, bending to the hawkish pressure from many of his subordinates and even joining in their rhetorical insults.

Today, Obama may feel that he has gone as far as he dares with the Iran nuclear deal and that any foreign policy cooperation with Iran or Russia before Congress decides on the agreement’s fate by Sept. 17 could cause defections among key Democrats.

Once the deadline for congressional review passes, Obama could get serious about collaborating with Iran and Russia to stabilize the situation in Syria. By strengthening the Syrian government’s military – which has protected Christians, Alawites, Shiites and other minorities – and incorporating reasonable Sunnis into a power-sharing arrangement, there would a chance to stabilize Syria and push for elections and constitutional reforms. But that would require dropping the slogan, “Assad must go!”

So, while President Obama is saying little about his Syrian plans, his State Department has moved off on its own aggressive course hoping to finally achieve the neocon/liberal-hawk dream of “regime change” in Syria – regardless of what nightmares might follow.

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China Is Still a Driving Force for Global Economic Growth: China Premier

NOVANEWS
Global Research
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang , Photo by Foreign and Commonwealth Office (OGL)

“China is not the origin of global economic risks. Instead, it is a driving force for global economic growth. ” China’s Premier Li Keqiang said at the World Economic Forum in Dalian. In the face of the world leaders from the top multinational companies and people from media, he clearly expressed his confidence in China’s economy.

Answering the question of “What is the new driving force of China’s economic growth?” Li Keqiang said, “The world economy is still going down. China’s economy also bears downward pressure.” China’s economy could be described as “having a bright future in spite of fluctuations”, or the trend still points to a better position. That’s because China had 7% growth in the first half of the year, the best rates among the world’s major economies.

“I once said that as long as there are enough jobs, household income grows at the same pace as GDP growth, and the environment is constantly improving, such a growth rate is satisfactory. Urban unemployment rate in the first six months was 5.1%, and 7 million new urban jobs were created. This proves that China’s economy is growing within a reasonable range.” Premier Li Keqiang explained.

There were reports about China’s “deterioration of environment”for foreign investment. Li Keqiang permitted that China’s general policy of using FDI will not be changed, but specific policies are indeed evolving towards the direction of attracting more foreign investment and opening more fields to foreign companies. For instance, China broadened fields of foreign investment, and lifted restrictions on 50% of the items since this year. To better facilitate foreign investment, China has basically changed from the approval system to a record-keeping system. Now only less tan 5% of the items need to be approved.

Li said China is exploring a new regulation model with pre-entry national treatment and the negative list. China negotiates for a bilateral investment treaty with the United States and the EU. China is also involved in free-trade agreement talks with many countries.

Li Keqiang pointed out, “There will be more fields open to foreign investment in a more convenient way. China’s capacity to attract foreign investment has also been improved. In the first half of 2015, China’s FDI has increased by 7.7 %, while the FDI in the world was not good.”

After Q and A with Premier Li, one of representatives, the founder and CEO of the Abraaj Group from United Arab Emirates Arif Naqvi told People’s Daily, ” Premier Li Keqiang spent one hour on giving us a comprehensive account of the current situation of China’s economy. Now, I feel completely relieved that China welcomes the enterprises of foreign investment in China. What I want to say most to the media at this moment is that I will invest in China.”

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9/11 Truth and the Joint Congressional Inquiry: 28 Pages of Misdirection on the Role of Saudi Arabia

NOVANEWS
Global Research
VIDEO: 9/11 Commissioner and Co-Chair of 9/11 Inquiry Say in Sworn Declarations that Saudi Government Linked to 9/11

An irresistible temptation!

For years the 9/11 Truth movement (9TM) has been vainly pleading with mainstream media – and the “alternative” 9/11-Truth-rejecting media, which we’ll include for our purposes as mainstream – to cover any of the endless, obvious problems with any of the Official 9/11 Conspiracy Theory (OCT) tales we’ve been told. Now, all of a sudden, the mainstream media, echoing prestigious actors like former US Senator Bob Graham, are in high dudgeon about a “9/11 cover-up,” and are pushing for the release of 28 redacted pages from the 2002 Joint Congressional Intelligence Committee 9/11 Inquiry’s report! So…let’s all of us 9/11 Truthers jump aboard this fast moving train with both feet, right?

Our movement has gradually been gaining a foothold with the public. Polls show that a growing number of people countenance some kind of government role in 9/11 and/or its cover-up. Suspicion has likewise grown about the role played by Bush-administration neocons and the international players with whom they’re associated. After 15 years of staunch media refusal to report the flagrantly obvious holes in the various OCT stories we’ve been fed, why is this particular issue suddenly headline news? Why at this particular juncture? And how does it just happen to be spearheaded byone of the major contributors to the initial coverup?

Let’s examine the question of why Deep State agents might want this story heated up to a fever pitch:

Misdirection

It is now commonly assumed among the public that the 28 pages in some way implicate the Saudi government in the events of 9/11, probably by financing the OCT-alleged hijackers. But consider the not unlikely possibility that the real players in 9/11 were not the Saudis, but rather the Bush neocons and the people behind them. If they were looking for a way to deflect increasing public doubt about the OTC, blaming the Saudis would be an excellent choice.

Professional magicians employ misdirection – irrelevant bodily motions and various props – to distract the audience’s attention from what they’re really up to. Some of us in the 9TM consider the 28 Pages campaign to be just such a classical misdirection, with the Saudis playing the role of a distractingly sexy magician’s assistant. A quick risk/benefit analysis of this approach shows why.

Risks and benefits

Sure, there’s some risk involved. Releasing the 28 pages (if they say what it is widely believed they will say) would, after all, make it obvious to the public that the government has been involved in some kind of cover-up. Hardly a surprise to the 9TM, or to that majority of Americans who have lost confidence in the official narrative. But let’s remember that the government survived the Snowden/NSA disclosures virtually unscathed – Big Brother can now legally get all the info he wants, and polls have indicated that many Americans are absorbing this “new normal” by censoring themselves online. So another such embarrasment might just as easily be spun and exploited to the real perpetrators’ advantage.

On the other hand, the benefits of such a misdirection are huge:

1.   Everyone’s focus will now be on the Saudis and not the Neocons and their known allies.

2.   The basic OCT myth will not only remain intact, but become solidified in the public mind (i.e., the catastrophic events of 9/11 were entirely the result of 19 hijackers’ actions, whose commandeered airliner crashes were the efficient cause of numerous fire-induced building collapses).

Why does this matter?

On the broadest level of geopolitics, the OCT myth is the basis for Western Islamophobia and the perpetual “Global War on Terror.” Blaming the Saudis only ramifies the assumption of “international Islamic terrorism,” omitting all reference to Western players.

It is patently clear from many angles that the hijacker aspect of 9/11 is logically unsustainable (see below). Whether or not these men ever really existed, whether or not they behaved as devout Muslims, whether or not they were on the planes and whether or not they were financed by the Saudis, Pakistan’s ISI or anyone else, it is red herring. Moving the public perception in the direction of blaming the Saudis for 9/11 because they supported the “hijackers,” which is the effect of 28 Pages campaign-support websites like hr14.org, means abandoning the ever-widening trail of truth so relentlessly blazed by the 9TM (and perhaps more efficaciously than we realize, if the real culprits are beginning to feeling the heat!).

Yet 9TM veterans who should know better are falling all over each other to jump on the campaign bandwagon, indeed, to be seen as leading the parade, of “HR14,” the Congressional resolution demanding that the administration declassify those 28 pages! As 9TM activists, they are well aware that the whole OCT story is a fabrication, and that the Saudis had little, if anything, to do with masterminding 9/11. Here’s their rationalization in a nutshell: Because the mainstream media are suddenly embracing the topic, any wide public revelation of a “cover-up” will eventually lead to an unraveling of the real cover-up, and therefore represents 9TM’s first – and perhaps last – real opportunity to break into the wider realm of acceptable public opinion. But meanwhile, to “protect” the politicians (and the uninformed public?) whose support is needed for the passage of this bill, these websites, whilst making a pretense of advancing the cause of 9/11 Truth, implicitly embrace the long-debunked OCT (now twisted ever so slightly to inculpate the Saudis).

But consider the past fifteen years of consistent derogatory treatment by the corporate (and even many “alternative”) media of those who seriously question the basic OCT myth. Consider the media consolidation this represents – the control of the media by corporate directors and the Deep State agents who write their playbook. These people are not fools. They would not launch a propaganda ploy without Plans B, C, etc. in place for potential damage control. Based on the mainstream media’s track record of the past fifteen years, the chances of their running away with this story in a way that genuinely promotes 9/11 Truth seem vanishingly small. And the Achilles’ heel of such an overly optimistic hope is this: The solid research and evidence gathered by the 9TM fall outside (and contradict) the Saudi-financed hijackers-dunnit scenario, so the media is unlikely to seriously reference any of it in its treatment of any forthcoming 28-pages “revelation.”

Looking ahead, where will this leave the 9TM? How is it going respond if the 28 pages say exactly what people are expecting them to say, and 9TM leaders are credited for their release? Can these same activists then credibly turn around and say “Wait, this information is misleading because ‘the real 9/11’ was something far beyond the abilities of the Saudis to manage!”? And will the media do an about-face with them, and obligingly lavish coverage on what it has complicitly covered up since 9/11?

About those “Hijackers”

Our position on the irrelevance of Saudi “financing” admittedly hinges on the question of the alleged “hijackers.” If these alleged 19 hijacked and flew the jetliners in question, Saudi involvement might be argued to have significance (albeit still not the key to 9/11 perpetration). But there are a host of reasons for rejecting the entire OCT hijack scenario:

*   The “hijackers’” publicly documented behavior was not that of devout Muslims.

*   There is no credible time-stamped video record of them boarding planes, or even arriving at the departing airports.

*   The stories told about Muhammed Atta and whomever it was who allegedly accompanied him to Portland, Maine changed constantly.

*   There is no original flight manifest showing Mideast-named passengers.

*   The FBI came up with a list of hijackers within just a few hours of the first 9/11 event, quite of few of whom they replaced with substitutes shortly afterwards.

*   The cockpit comments of “hijackers” heard by the control towers could have been generated anywhere.

*   The simple button-press sequence (“squawk”) signaling a hijacking was not executed on any of the four planes.

*   Those who knew the pilots on the scheduled flights are unanimous in maintaining that they would never have surrendered control of their aircraft peacefully, and in most cases were more than a match for their attackers.

*   The initially-alleged cellphone calls that reported hijackings in progress were proven in most cases to have been technically impossible; most were later changed to on-board phone calls (some from planes that didn’t have on-board phones), and some calls (per the FBI) were never completed or didn’t exist – particularly the only one referencing “box cutters.”

*   The conditions in the planes’ passenger cabins that would have existed under the alleged flight behavior of the planes at the time of the calls were completely inconsistent with the background sounds on the calls and the behavior of the alleged callers.

*   With one exception, the alleged “pilots” had never flown a jet-liner; one had flown a simulator of a different plane with a completely different cockpit layout; the one who allegedly made the almost-impossible maneuver over the Pentagon had been declared by his instructors to be unable to even fly a single-engine plane.

*   The claims of finding a “hijacker” passport unscathed on the ground in NYC, and undamaged red bandanas (indicative of the wrong Muslim sect, in any case) in Pennsylvania, given the alleged physical reality of those crashes, are absurd on their face.

*   It is apparent that a number of the listed “hijackers” (the ones that weren’t already dead beforehand) were alive afterwards (although there is some controversy over this point).

*   With respect to the question of how 9/11 could have happened without human hijackers, it is vital to note that as of 2001, the technology for complete remote takeover, isolation and control (takeoff, flying, landing) of commercial jetliners was well advanced and had been fully tested in the types of aircraft involved in 9/11, and the air traffic auto-pilot navigation lanes in the sky were precise to within a few feet.

The list goes on. . . As one considers each piece of evidence, the chance that “hijackers” were actually involved approaches zero.  The real role of the alleged hijackers is not yet known – those with documented flying lessons may very well have been unwitting patsies. But in any case, the question of who might have been financing their stay in this country, Saudi or otherwise, is at best tangential to the larger picture of what really happened on 9/11. Any attempt to steer people in that direction as a final solution to the question of responsibility for 9/11 – as a price that must be paid for “transparency” – can only be construed as dangerous misdirection. The real price paid by the 9TM is the subversion of unwitting activists who become involved with its promotion into betraying their own hard-won, fact-based alternative 9/11 perspective.

The 28 Pages campaign: 9/11 Truth bonanza or limited hangout?

Our own concern about the 28 Pages campaign was triggered by the emergence of several websites supporting it, which hold out the promise that the 28 pages will answer the question of who was really behind 9/11 (and that this will turn out to be Saudi Arabia). Examples are 28pages.org  and most especially hr14.org. As the latter is controlled by a veteran 9/11 truther, we sought to appeal to him as fellow activists. An ad hoc group formed and sent him a letter critiquing the website from the standpoint of 9/11 Truth, requesting specific revisions of its message. Because his reply did not adequately address the issues we raised, we have now published it as an open letter.

[Recognizing that the redacted 28 pages may well contain information useful to serious 9/11 Truth researchers, we support their release as much as we call for the declassification of all 9/11-related information unfairly withheld from public access.  However, those who pander to the official lies about 9/11 in order to garner support for their release do serious damage to the 9TM effort.]

We are hardly the first to find serious problems with the direction of the 28 Pages campaign. Perhaps thefirst notable critique came from the blog of Kevin Ryan; whilst this early criticism was on the milder side, its excoriation of the leadership of the 28 Pages campaign – Bob Graham and his “CIA protege” Porter Goss – is not to be missed! Years earlier, in fact, Ryan had opined  in Washington’s Blog: “Those redacted pages, and much of the 9/11 Commission report that followed, have always seemed to be a kind of ‘Get into Saudi Arabia free’ card for the powers that be.” Given the recent sea change in Saudi foreign policy – its nearer alignment with Russia and the BRICS bloc – such a prospect cannot be overlooked. What better way to incite public animosity towards the Saudis than by playing the tried and true 9/11 blame game?

Expanding on Ryan’s disquieting report, Professor Michel Chossudovsky, of Globalresearch.ca, wrote:

Calling for the official release and publication of the 28 page classified section of the joint inquiry report pertaining to Saudi Arabia is an obvious red-herring. The objective is to confuse matters, create divisions within the 9/11 Truth movement and ultimately dispel the fact that the 9/11 attacks were a carefully organized False Flag event which was used to declare war on Afghanistan as well as usher in sweeping anti-terrorist legislation.

Both the Congressional inquiry as well the 9/11 Commission report are flawed, their objective was to sustain the official narrative that America was under attack on September 11, 2001. And Graham’s role in liaison with the CIA, is “damage control” with a view to protecting those who were behind the demolition of the WTC towers as well [as] sustaining the Al Qaeda legend, which constitutes the cornerstone of US military doctrine under the so-called “Global War on Terrorism”.

As the 28 Pages campaign unfolds, such scathing criticism has proven remarkably prescient. We urge our fellow 9/11 Truth activists to take it to heart, and to approach the 28 Pages campaign juggernaut, if at all, with extreme caution, so long as it is clings so faithfully to the OTC . Caveat emptor!!

Posted in USAComments Off on 9/11 Truth and the Joint Congressional Inquiry: 28 Pages of Misdirection on the Role of Saudi Arabia

9/11 Truth: The Mysterious Collapse of WTC Seven

NOVANEWS

Why NIST’s Final 9/11 Report is Unscientific and False

Global Research
The Mysterious Collapse of WTC Seven

[originally published in September 2009]

At 5:21 in the afternoon of 9/11, almost seven hours after the Twin Towers had come down, Building 7 of the World Trade Center also came down. The collapse of this building was from the beginning considered a mystery. [1]

The same should have been true, to be sure, of the collapse of the Twin Towers. But they had been hit by planes, which had ignited big fires in them, and many people assumed this combination of causes to be sufficient to explain why they came down.

But WTC 7 had not been hit by a plane, so it was apparently the first steel-framed high-rise building in the known universe to have collapsed because of fire alone. New York Times writer James Glanz quoted a structural engineer as saying: “[W]ithin the structural engineering community, [WTC 7] is considered to be much more important to understand [than the Twin Towers],” because engineers had no answer to the question, “why did 7 come down?” [2]

From a purely scientific perspective, of course, there would have been an obvious answer. Scientists, presupposing the regularity of nature, operate on the principle that like effects generally imply like causes. Scientists are, therefore, loathe to posit unprecedented causes for common phenomena. By 9/11, the collapse of steel-framed high-rises had become a rather common phenomenon, which most Americans had seen on television. And in every one of these cases, the building had been brought down by explosives in the process known as controlled demolition. From a scientific perspective, therefore, the obvious assumption would have been that WTC 7 came down because explosives had been used to remove its steel supports.

However, the public discussion of the destruction of the World Trade Center did not occur in a scientific context, but in a highly charged political context. America had just been attacked, it was almost universally believed, by foreign terrorists who had flown hijacked planes into the Twin Towers, and in response the Bush administration had launched a “war on terror.” The idea that even one of the buildings had been brought down by explosives would have implied that the attacks had not been a surprise, so this idea could not be entertained by many minds in private, let alone in public.

This meant that people had to believe, or at least pretend to believe, that Building 7 had been brought down by fire, even though, as Glanz wrote: “[E]xperts said no building like it, a modern, steel-reinforced high-rise, had ever collapsed because of an uncontrolled fire.” [3] And so, this building’s collapse had to be considered a mystery – insofar as it was considered at all.

But this was not much. Although WTC 7 was a 47-story building, which in most places would have been the tallest building in the city, if not the state, it was dwarfed by the 110-story Twin Towers. It was also dwarfed by them in the ensuing media coverage. And so, Glanz wrote, the collapse of Building 7 was “a mystery that . . . would probably have captured the attention of the city and the world,” if the Twin Towers had not also come down. [4] As it was, however, the mystery of Building 7’s collapse was seldom discussed.

For those few people who were paying attention, the mysteriousness of this collapse was not lessened by the first official report about it, which was issued by FEMA in 2002. This report put forward what it called its “best hypothesis” as to why the building collapsed, but then added that this hypothesis had “only a low probability of occurrence.” [5]

This FEMA report, in fact, increased the mystery, thanks to an appendix written by three professors at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. This appendix reported that a piece of steel from WTC 7 had melted so severely that it had gaping holes in it, making it look like a piece of Swiss cheese. [6] James Glanz, pointing out that the fires in the building could not have been hot enough to melt steel, referred to this discovery as “the deepest mystery uncovered in the investigation.”[7]

The task of providing the definitive explanation of the collapse of WTC 7 was given to NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Although NIST had been expected to issue its report on this building along with its report on the Twin Towers, which came out in 2005, it did not. NIST then continued to delay this report until August of 2008, at which time it issued a Draft for Public Comment.

1. NIST’s Denial of Evidence for Explosives

At a press briefing, Shyam Sunder, NIST’s lead investigator, declared that “the reason for the collapse of World Trade Center 7 is no longer a mystery.” Also, announcing that NIST “did not find any evidence that explosives were used to bring the building down,” [8] he said: “[S]cience is really behind what we have said.” [9] In the remainder of this lecture, I will show that both of those statements were false.

NIST and Scientific Fraud

With regard to the question of science: Far from being supported by good science, NIST’s report repeatedly makes its case by resorting to scientific fraud.

Before going into details, let me point out that, if NIST did engage in fraudulent science, this would not be particularly surprising. NIST is an agency of the US Department of Commerce. During the years it was writing its World Trade Center reports, therefore, it was an agency of the Bush-Cheney administration. In 2004, the Union of Concerned Scientists put out a document charging this administration with “distortion of scientific knowledge for partisan political ends.” By the end of the Bush administration, this document had been signed by over 15,000 scientists, including 52 Nobel Laureates and 63 recipients of the National Medal of Science. [10]

Moreover, a scientist who formerly worked for NIST has reported that it has been “fully hijacked from the scientific into the political realm,” with the result that scientists working for NIST “lost [their] scientific independence, and became little more than ‘hired guns.’”11 Referring in particular to NIST’s work on the World Trade Center, he said everything had to be approved by the Department of Commerce, the National Security Agency, and the Office of Management and Budget—“an arm of the Executive Office of the President,” which “had a policy person specifically delegated to provide oversight on [NIST’s] work.” [12]

One of the general principles of scientific work is that its conclusions must not be dictated by nonscientific concerns – in other words, by any concern other than that of discovering the truth. This former NIST employee’s statement gives us reason to suspect that NIST, while preparing its report on WTC 7, would have been functioning as a political, not a scientific, agency. The amount of fraud in this report suggests that this was indeed the case.

According to the National Science Foundation, the major types of scientific fraud are fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism. There is no sign that NIST is guilty of plagiarism, but it is certainly guilty of fabrication, which can be defined as “making up results,” and falsification, which means either “changing or omitting data.” [13]

The omission of evidence by NIST is so massive, in fact, that I treat it as a distinct type of scientific fraud. As philosopher Alfred North Whitehead said in his 1925 book, Science and the Modern World: “It is easy enough to find a [self-consistent] theory . . . , provided that you are content to disregard half your evidence.” The “moral temper required for the pursuit of truth,” he added, includes “[a]n unflinching determination to take the whole evidence into account.” [14]

NIST, however, seemed to manifest an unflinching determination to disregard half of the relevant evidence.

Physical Evidence of Explosives

Some of the evidence ignored by NIST is physical evidence that explosives were used to bring down WTC 7.

Swiss-Cheese Steel: I will begin with the piece of steel from WTC 7 that had been melted so severely that it looked like Swiss cheese. Explaining why it called this “the deepest mystery uncovered in the investigation,” James Glanz wrote: “The steel apparently melted away, but no fire in any of the buildings was believed to be hot enough to melt steel outright.” [15] Glanz’s statement was, in fact, quite an understatement. The full truth is that the fires in the building could not have brought the steel anywhere close to the temperature – about 1,482°C (2,700°F) – needed for it to melt. [16]

The professors who reported this piece of steel in the appendix to the FEMA report said: “A detailed study into the mechanisms [that caused] this phenomenon is needed.”[17] Arden Bement, who was the director of NIST when it took on the WTC project, said that NIST’s report would address “all major recommendations contained in the [FEMA] report.” [18]
But when NIST issued its report on WTC 7, it did not mention this piece of steel with the Swiss-cheese appearance. Indeed, NIST even claimed that not a single piece of steel from WTC 7 had been recovered. [19]

This piece of steel, moreover, was only a small portion of the evidence, ignored by NIST, that steel had melted.

Particles of Metal in the Dust: The Deutsche Bank building, which was right next to the Twin Towers, was heavily contaminated by dust produced by their destruction. But Deutsche Bank’s insurance company refused to pay for the clean-up, claiming that this dust had not resulted from the destruction of the WTC. So Deutsche Bank hired the RJ Lee Group to do a study, which showed that the dust in the Deutsche Bank was WTC dust, which had a unique signature. Part of this signature was “Spherical iron . . . particles.” [20] This meant, the RJ Lee Group said, that iron had “melted during the WTC Event, producing spherical metallic particles.” [21] The study even showed that, whereas iron particles constitute only 0.04 percent of normal building dust, they constituted almost 6 percent of WTC Dust – meaning almost 150 times as much as normal. [22]

The RJ Lee study also found that temperatures had been reached “at which lead would have undergone vaporization” [23] – meaning 1,749°C (3,180°F). [24]

Another study was carried out by the US Geological Survey, the purpose of which was to aid the “identification of WTC dust components.” Besides also finding iron particles, the scientists involved in this study found that molybdenum had been melted. This finding was especially significant, because this metal does not melt until it reaches 2,623°C (4,753°F). [25]

NIST, however, did not mention either of these studies, even though the latter one was carried out by another US government agency.

NIST could not mention these studies because it was committed to the theory that the WTC buildings were brought down by fire, while these studies clearly showed that something other than fire was going on in those buildings.

Nanothermite Residue: What was that? A report by several scientists, including chemist Niels Harrit of the University of Copenhagen, showed that the WTC dust contained unreacted nanothermite, which – unlike ordinary thermite, which is an incendiary – is a high explosive. This report by Harrit and his colleagues, who included Steven Jones and Kevin Ryan, did not appear until 2009, [26] several months after the publication of NIST’s final report in November 2008.

But NIST, as a matter of routine, should have tested the WTC dust for residue of explosives, such as nanothermite. The Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations put out by the National Fire Protection Association says that a search for evidence for explosives should be undertaken whenever there has been “high-order damage.” Leaving no doubt about the meaning of this term, the Guide says:

High-order damage is characterized by shattering of the structure, producing small, pulverized debris. Walls, roofs, and structural members are splintered or shattered, with the building completely demolished. [27]

That description applied to the destruction of the Twin Towers and WTC 7. The next sentence – “Debris is thrown great distances, possibly hundreds of feet” – applied to the destruction of the Twin Towers, a fact that NIST had to admit in order to explain how fires were started in WTC 7. [28] So NIST should have looked for signs of explosives, such as nanothermite.

But when asked whether it had, NIST said No. A reporter asked Michael Newman, a NIST spokesman, about this failure, saying: “[W]hat about that letter where NIST said it didn’t look for evidence of explosives?” Newman replied: “Right, because there was no evidence of that.” “But,” asked the reporter “how can you know there’s no evidence if you don’t look for it first?” Newman replied: “If you’re looking for something that isn’t there, you’re wasting your time . . . and the taxpayers’ money.” [29] (You couldn’t make this stuff up.)

When Shyam Sunder, who headed up NIST’s investigation of the WTC buildings, gave his press conference in August of 2008 – at which he announced that “the reason for the collapse of World Trade Center 7 is no longer a mystery” – he began by saying:

Before I tell you what we found, I’d like to tell you what we did not find. We did not find any evidence that explosives were used to bring the building down. [30]

By making this point first, Sunder indicated that this was NIST’s most important conclusion – just as it had been NIST’s most important conclusion about the Twin Towers. However, although Sunder claimed that this conclusion was based on good science, a conclusion has no scientific validity if it can be reached only by ignoring half the evidence.

Molten Metal: In addition to the ignored evidence already pointed out, NIST also, in its investigation of the WTC, ignored reports that the rubble contained lots of molten metal – which most people described as molten steel. For example, firefighter Philip Ruvolo, speaking of the Twin Towers, said: “You’d get down below and you’d see molten steel, molten steel, running down the channel rails, like you’re in a foundry, like lava.” [31]

Peter Tully, president of Tully Construction, which was involved in the clean-up operation, said that he saw pools of “literally molten steel.” [32]

However, when John Gross, one of the main authors of NIST’s reports, was asked about the molten steel, he said to the questioner: I challenge your “basic premise that there was a pool of molten steel,” adding: “I know of absolutely no . . . eyewitness who has said so.”[33]

However, in addition to Ruvolo and Tully, the eyewitnesses who said so included:

•          Leslie Robertson, a member of the engineering firm that designed the Twin Towers. [34]

•          Dr. Ronald Burger of the National Center for Environmental Health. [35]

•          Dr. Alison Geyh of The Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, who headed up a scientific team that went to the site shortly after 9/11 at the request of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. [36]

•          Finally, the fact that “molten steel was also found at WTC 7” was added by Mark Loizeaux, president of Controlled Demolition, Inc., which was involved in the clean-up. [37]

And yet John Gross suggested that no credible witnesses had reported molten steel. That appears to have been a gross lie.

Testimonial Evidence for Explosives

 

Besides ignoring physical evidence that explosives had been used, NIST also ignored testimonial evidence.

NIST’s Twin Towers Report: In its 2005 report on the Twin Towers, NIST ignored dozens of testimonies provided by reporters, police officers, and WTC employees, along with 118 testimonies provided by members of the Fire Department of New York. [38] NIST even explicitly denied the existence of these reports, saying that there “was no evidence (collected by . . . the Fire Department of New York) of any blast or explosions” that would have suggested that explosives were going off. [39]

However, when a group of scholars including scientists and a lawyer called NIST on this false statement, NIST refined its meaning, saying:

NIST reviewed all of the interviews conducted by the FDNY of firefighters (500 interviews). . . . Taken as a whole, the interviews did not support the contention that explosives played a role in the collapse of the WTC Towers. [40]

So, although NIST had said in its report that there was no testimonial evidence for explosives, it now seemed to be saying that, because only 118 out of 500 reported explosions, the testimonies, “taken as a whole,” do not support the idea that explosions were going off, so that NIST had been justified in claiming that there was no testimonial evidence to support the idea that explosives had been used.

Imagine an investigation of a murder on the streets of San Francisco. Of the 100 people who were at the scene at the time, 25 of them reported seeing Pete Smith shoot the victim. But the police release Pete Smith, saying that, taken as a whole, the testimonies did not point to his guilt. That would be NIST-style forensic science.

Reports from People Outside WTC 7: NIST continued this approach in its WTC 7 report. There had been several credible reports of explosions. A reporter for the New York Daily News, said:

[T]here was a rumble. The building’s top row of windows popped out. Then all the windows on the thirty-ninth floor popped out. Then the thirty-eighth floor. Pop! Pop! Pop! was all you heard until the building sunk into a rising cloud of gray. [41]

NYPD officer Craig Bartmer said:

I was real close to Building 7 when it fell down. . . . [A]ll of a sudden. . . I looked up, and . . . [t]he thing started pealing in on itself. . . . I started running . . . and the whole time you’re hearing “boom, boom, boom, boom, boom.” [42]

Reports from Hess and Jennings from Inside WTC 7: Besides ignoring these and other reports of explosions made by people outside Building 7, NIST distorted the testimony of two highly credible men who were inside: Michael Hess, who was New York City’s corporation counsel, and Barry Jennings, the deputy director of the Emergency Services Department of the New York City Housing Authority.

Immediately after the North Tower was struck that morning, both men followed the instruction that, whenever there was an emergency, they were to meet Major Giuliani at his Emergency Management Center on the 23rd floor of Building 7. The North Tower was struck at 8:46, so they would have arrived at about 9:00. They found, however, that everyone had left. Calling to find out what they should do, Jennings was told to get out of the building immediately. So, finding that the elevator would not work (the electricity had evidently been knocked out at 9:03 by the airplane strike on the South Tower), they started running down the stairs. But when they got to the 6th floor, there was a huge explosion, which blew the landing out from under them and blocked their path. They went back up to the 8th floor, broke a window, and signaled for help.

Firemen came to rescue them, Jennings said, but then ran away. Coming back after a while, the firemen again started to rescue them, but then ran away again. They had to run away the first time, Jennings explained, because of the collapse of the South Tower, which occurred at 9:59, and the second time because of the North Tower collapse, which occurred at 10:28. On that basis, Jennings told Dylan Avery in an interview in 2007, he knew that, when that big explosion occurred, “both buildings were still standing.” Finally, when the firemen returned after the second tower collapsed, Hess and Jennings were rescued.

This must have been sometime between 11:00 and 11:30, because at 11:57, Hess gave an on-the-street interview several blocks away. Jennings also gave an on-the-street interview. Both men reported that they had been trapped for some time – Hess specified “about an hour and a half.”

This story obviously was very threatening to NIST. It was going to claim that, when Building 7 came down at 5:21 that afternoon, it did so solely because of fires. There were no explosives to help things along.

But here were two city officials reporting that a big explosion had gone off pretty early in the morning, evidently before 9:30. In his interview for Dylan Avery, moreover, Jennings said that the big explosion that trapped them was simply the first of many. He also said that when the firefighter took them down to the lobby, he saw that it had been totally destroyed – it was, he said, “total ruins, total ruins.” Jennings also that, when he and the firefighter were walking through this lobby, they were “stepping over people.” [43]

Jennings’s testimony contradicted the official story, according to which there were no explosions in WTC 7 and no one was killed in this building. What would NIST do?

NIST’s Treatment of the Hess-Jennings Testimony: NIST simply ignored Jennings’ report about the lobby and, with regard to the time that Hess and Jennings got trapped, followed the line that had taken by Rudy Giuliani in a 2002 book, according to which the event that Hess and Jennings took to be an explosion within WTC 7 was simply the impact of debris from the collapse of the North Tower.

But that collapse did not occur until 10:28, whereas the event described by Hess and Jennings had occurred at least an hour earlier.

Also, Jennings said that the South Tower as well as the North Tower was still standing when the event he called an explosion occurred, and that is surely what he told NIST when it interviewed him (as well as Hess) in the Spring of 2004.

Another problem was that Hess had said that they had been trapped for “about an hour and a half.” If the event that trapped them did not happen until almost 10:30, as NIST claims, then they would not have been rescued before noon. And sure enough, in an Interim Report on WTC 7 put out by NIST in 2004, it claimed that Hess and Jennings had been rescued “[a]t 12:10 to 12:15 PM.” But that is clearly false, given the fact that Hess was being interviewed several blocks away before noon. [44]

NIST would, of course, deny that it had distorted Jennings’ testimony. But when we sent a Freedom of Information Act request to NIST to obtain a copy of the Hess and Jennings interviews, NIST declined on the basis of a provision allowing for exemption from FOIA disclosure if the information is “not directly related to the building failure.” [45] NIST thereby suggested that a report of a massive explosion within the building would be irrelevant to determining the cause of its failure. Using such an obviously phony reason seemed to be NIST’s way of saying: There’s no way we’re going to release those interviews.

The BBC Helps Out: In any case, NIST’s attempt to neutralize the testimony of Barry Jennings was aided by the BBC, which interviewed Jennings and then, obviously, changed the timeline, so that the narrator, with her reassuring voice, could say:

“At 10:28, the North Tower collapses. . . . This time, Tower 7 takes a direct hit from the collapsing building. . . . Early evidence of explosives were just debris from a falling skyscraper.” [46]

Mike Rudin, who produced this BBC program, recently telephoned me to discuss the possibility of interviewing me about my little book, Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive? [47] I told him that I had a book coming out shortly about WTC 7 and that, after seeing it, he probably would not want to interview me. When he asked why, I said because I pointed out that he had obviously distorted the timeline of Jennings’s account. When he denied this, I said, OK, show me the uncut, unedited interview. If this interview had showed that Rudin had not distorted the timeline, I would have told the world. Rudin, however, declined to allow me to see the unedited interview. [48]

This BBC program had appeared in July of 2008. The first version of NIST’s final report – its Draft for Public Comment – was to be released at a press briefing on August 21, at which time Sunder would announce that the mystery of the collapse of WTC 7 had been solved.

The Death of Barry Jennings: Two days prior to that, Barry Jennings died – and died very mysteriously. No one has been willing to provide any information as to how or why this 53-year-old man had died. Dylan Avery, trying to find out something, hired a private investigator – reputed to be one of the best in the state of New York – to find out what she could. He used his credit card to pay her a considerable fee. Within 24 hours, however, Avery received a message from her, saying:

Due to some of the information I have uncovered, I have determined that this is a job for the police. I have refunded your credit card. Please do not contact me again about this individual.

This is not the response one would expect, Avery observed, if she had merely found that Jennings had passed away “innocently in a hospital.” [49] The dedication page on my book says: “To the memory of Barry Jennings, whose truth-telling may have cost him his life.”

Be that as it may, his death was very convenient for NIST, which now did not need to fear that Jennings might hold his own press conference to say that NIST had lied about his testimony.

The BBC Helps Out Again: The death of Jennings was also convenient for the BBC, which could now put out a second version of its program on WTC 7, this time including Michael Hess.

In the first version, the BBC had pretended that Jennings had been in the building all by himself. Even though Jennings would say, “We did this, and then We did that,” the BBC spoke only of Jennings, never mentioning the fact that Hess was with him.

But in the new version, which was aired at the end of October 2008, Hess was the star. While admitting that, back on 9/11, he had “assumed that there had been an explosion in the basement,” he said: “I know now this was caused by the northern half of Number 1 [the North Tower] falling on the southern half of our building,” exactly what Giuliani had said in his book. It is no surprise that Hess supported Giuliani’s account, given the fact that since 2002 Hess has been Giuliani’s business partner.

In spite of the fact that Hess could in no way be considered an impartial witness, Mike Rudin portrayed him as such. On his BBC blog, Rudin said that some “self-styled truthers” had charged that the BBC, in presenting Barry Jennings’ testimony, had “misrepresented the chronology.” But, Rudin said triumphantly, Michael Hess, “In his first interview since 9/11 . . . confirms our timeline.”

But Hess’s account could be said to “confirm” the BBC timeline only if it were a credible account. In my book, however, I show that it is riddled with problems, so that anyone can easily see that he was lying. [50]

2. NIST’s Own Theory of WTC 7’s Collapse

Thus far, I have spoken about the first half of my book, which deals with NIST’s negative claim, namely, that it had found no evidence that explosives were used to bring down WTC 7. NIST could make this argument, I have pointed out, only by committing two kinds of scientific fraud: Ignoring relevant evidence and falsifying evidence – in this case, the testimony of Barry Jennings.

The second half of my book deals with NIST’s own theory as to how fire brought the building down. To develop such a theory, NIST had to falsify and fabricate data on a possibly unprecedented scale. And yet, after all of that, it had to violate one of the basic principles of science: Thou shalt not affirm miracles.

You perhaps know the cartoon about this. A physics professor has filled several boards with mathematical equations, at the bottom of which we read: “Then a miracle happens.” In science, you cannot appeal to miracles, whether explicitly, or only implicitly – by implying that some basic principle of physics has been violated. And yet that is what NIST does.

Fabrication of Evidence

 

But before describing its miracle story, I will point out three especially obvious examples of scientific fraud committed by NIST before it resorted to this desperate expedient. These examples all involve fabrication.

No Girder Shear Studs: NIST’s explanation as to how fire caused Building 7 to collapse starts with thermal expansion, meaning that the fire heated up the steel, thereby causing it to expand.

A steel beam on the 13th floor, NIST claims, caused a steel girder attached to Column 79 to break loose. Having lost its support, Column 79 failed, and this failure started a chain reaction, in which all 82 of the building’s steel columns failed. [51]

Without getting into the question of whether this is even remotely plausible, let us just focus on the question: Why did that girder fail?

It failed, NIST said, because it was not connected to the floor slab with sheer studs. NIST wrote:

In WTC 7, no studs were installed on the girders.

Floor beams . . . had shear studs, but the girders that supported the floor beams did not have shear studs.

This point was crucial to NIST’s answer to a commonly asked question: Why did fire cause WTC 7 to collapse, when fire had never before brought down steel-framed high-rise buildings, some of which had had much bigger and longer-lasting fires? NIST’s answer was: differences in design.

One of those crucial differences, NIST stated repeatedly, was “the absence of [girder] shear studs that would have provided lateral restraint.”

But this was a fabrication on NIST’s part. How can we know this? All we need to do is to look at NIST’s Interim Report on WTC 7, which it had published back in 2004, before it had developed its theory of girder failure.

This report stated that girders as well as the beams had been attached to the floor by means of shear studs. [52]

We have here as clear a case of fabrication as one will see, with NIST simply making up a fact in order to meet the needs of its new theory.

The Raging Fire on Floor 12 at 5:00 PM: NIST also contradicted its “interim report” in telling a lie about the fire in the building. NIST claims that there were very big, very hot fires covering much of the north face of the 12th floor at 5:00 PM. This claim is essential to NIST’s explanation as to why the building collapsed 21 minutes later. However, if you look back at NIST’s interim report, published before it had developed its theory, you will find this statement:

Around 4:45 PM, a photograph showed fires on Floors 7, 8, 9, and 11 near the middle of the north face; Floor 12 was burned out by this time.

Other photographs even show that the 12th floor fire had virtually burned out by 4:00. And yet NIST now claims that fires were still going strong at 5:00 PM. [53] We have here another clear case of fabrication.

Shear Stud Failure: A third case of fabrication involves shear studs again – this time the shear studs that connected to the steel beams to the floor slab.

NIST claims that, due to the failure of that crucial girder discussed earlier, the floor beams were able to expand without constraint. But each of these beams was connected to the floor slab by 28 high-strength shear studs. These studs should have provided plenty of restraint.

They would have, except for the fact, NIST tells us, that they all broke.

Why did they break? Because of what NIST calls “differential thermal expansion,” which is simply a technical way of saying that, in response to the heat from the fires, the steel beams expanded more than the floor slabs did.

But why would that have been the case? Steel and concrete have virtually the same “coefficient of thermal expansion,” meaning that they expand virtually the same amount in response to heat. If that were not the case, reinforced concrete – that is, concrete reinforced with steel – would break up when the weather got very hot or very cold. NIST itself points out that “steel and concrete have similar coefficients of thermal expansion.”

So why does NIST claim that the shear studs broke because of differential thermal expansion?

To understand this point, you need to understand that NIST’s theory is an almost totally computer-based theory. NIST fed various variables into a computer program, which then supposedly told it how WTC 7 would have reacted to its fires. So, what did NIST feed into its computer that caused it to say that the steel would have expanded so much more than the concrete slab that all of the shear studs would have broken?  The answer is given in this bland statement:

No thermal expansion or material degradation was considered for the concrete slab, as the slab was not heated in this analysis.

When I first read this statement, I had to rub my eyes. Surely, I thought, I have mis-read the statement, because a few pages earlier, NIST had said: “differential thermal expansion occurred between the steel floor beams and concrete slab when the composite floor was subjected to fire.” The “composite floor,” by definition, is the steel beams made composite with the floor slab by means of the shear studs. So NIST had clearly said, in stating that the composite floor had been subjected to fire, that both the steel beams and the concrete slab had been heated.

But then in the eye-rubbing passage, NIST said: When doing its computer simulation, it told the computer that only the steel beams had been heated; the concrete floor slab was not. [54]

So of course the steel beams would have expanded, while the floor slabs stayed stationary, thereby causing the sheer studs to break, after which the steel beams could expand like crazy and bump into Column 79, which then causes the whole building to come down.

A comic book version of the official story of 9/11 has been published. [55] This was an exercise in redundancy, because the official reports already are the comic book version of what happened on 9/11. In any case, I come now to NIST’s miracle.

NIST’s Miracle

Members of the 9/11 Truth Movement had almost from the first been pointing out that WTC 7 came down at the same rate as a free-falling object, at least virtually so.

NIST’S Denial of Free Fall: In NIST’s Draft for Public Comment, it denied this, saying that the time for the upper 18 floors to collapse “was approximately 40 percent longer than the computed free fall time and was consistent with physical principles.”

Implicit in this statement is that any assertion that the building did come down in free fall would not be consistent with physical principles – that is, the principles of physics.

Explaining why not, Shyam Sunder said at a technical briefing:

[A] free fall time would be [the fall time of] an object that has no structural components below it. . . . [T]he . . . time that it took . . . for those 17 floors to disappear [was roughly 40 percent [longer than free fall]. And that is not at all unusual, because there was structural resistance that was provided in this particular case. And you had a sequence of structural failures that had to take place. Everything was not instantaneous.

Chandler’s Challenge: However, high-school physics teacher David Chandler challenged Sunder’s denial at this briefing, pointing that Sunder’s 40 percent claim contradicts “a publicly visible, easily measurable quantity.”

The following week, Chandler placed a video on the Internet showing that, by measuring this publicly visible quantity, anyone knowing elementary physics could see that “for about two and a half seconds. . . , the acceleration of the building is indistinguishable from freefall.”

Finally, Chandler wrote a comment to NIST, saying: “Acknowledgment of and accounting for an extended period of free fall in the collapse of WTC 7 must be a priority if the NIST is to be taken seriously.”

NIST Admits Free Fall: Amazingly, NIST did acknowledge free fall in its final report. It tried to disguise it, but the admission is there on page 607. Dividing the building’s descent into three stages, it describes the second phase as “a freefall descent over approximately eight stories at gravitational acceleration for approximately 2.25 s[econds]. “Gravitational acceleration” is a synonym for free fall acceleration.

So, after presenting 606 pages of descriptions, testimonies, photographs, graphs, analyses, explanations, and mathematical formulae, NIST on page 607 says, in effect: “Then a miracle happens.”

Why this would be a miracle was explained by Chandler, who said: “Free fall can only be achieved if there is zero resistance to the motion.”

The implication of Chandler’s remark is that, by the principles of physics, the upper portion of Building 7 could have come down in free fall only if something had removed all the steel and concrete in the lower part of the building, which would have otherwise provided resistance, and only explosives of some sort could have removed them.

If they had not been removed and the upper floors had come down in free fall anyway, even for only a second or two, a miracle would have happened.

That was what Sunder himself had explained the previous August, saying that a free-falling object would be one “that has no structural components below it” to offer resistance. Having stated in August that free fall could not have happened, NIST also stated that it did not happen, saying: “WTC 7 did not enter free fall.”

But then in November, while still defending the same theory, which rules out explosives and thereby rules out free fall, NIST admitted that, as an empirical fact, free fall happened. For a period of 2 and a fourth seconds, NIST admitted, the descent of WTC 7 was characterized by “gravitational acceleration (free fall).”

Knowing that it had thereby affirmed a miracle, meaning a violation of a law of physics, NIST no longer claimed that its analysis was consistent with the physical principles. In its Draft put out in August, NIST had repeatedly said that its analysis of the collapse was “consistent with physical principles.” One encountered this phrase time and time again. In its final report, however, this phrase is no more to be found.

NIST thereby admitted, for those with eyes to see, that its report on WTC 7, by admitting free fall while continuing to deny that explosives were used, is not consistent with the principles of physics. [56]

And yet the mainstream press will not report this admission. So the press continues to support the notion that anyone who questions the official reports on 9/11 is unfit for public service. [57]

Conclusion

The 9/11 Truth Movement has long considered the collapse of Building 7 to be the Achilles’ heel of the official story about 9/11 – the part of this story that, by being most vulnerable, could be used to bring down the whole body of lies.

My latest book, The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7: Why the Final Official Report about 9/11 Is Unscientific and False, shows that the official account of this building is indeed extremely vulnerable to critique – so vulnerable that, to see the falsity of this account, you need only to read NIST’s attempt to defend it, noting the obvious lies in NIST’s report and its violations of basic principles of physics.

I hope that my book will indeed help bring down that body of lies that some of us call the Bush-Cheney conspiracy theory, according to which al-Qaeda hijackers, by flying planes into two buildings of the World Trade Center, brought down three of them – an obviously false conspiracy theory that is still being used, among other things, to kill women, children, and other innocent people in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Notes

1. This is a slightly revised version of a lecture presented at the 9/11 Film Festival at Grand Lake Theater, Oakland, California, September 10, 2009. It is based on David Ray Griffin, The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7: Why the Final Official Report about 9/11 is Unscientific and False (Northampton, Mass., Olive Branch [Interlink Books], 2009).

2. James Glanz, “Engineers Suspect Diesel Fuel in Collapse of 7 World Trade Center,” New York Times, November 29, 2001 (http://www.nytimes.com/2001/11/29/nyregion/29TOWE.html).

3. Ibid.

4. Ibid.

5. See FEMA, World Trade Center Building Performance Study (http://www.fema.gov/pdf/library/fema403_ch5.pdf), Ch. 5, Sect. 6.2, “Probable Collapse Sequence.”

6. Jonathan Barnett, Ronald R. Biederman, and Richard D. Sisson, Jr., “Limited Metallurgical Examination,” FEMA, World Trade Center Building Performance Study, May 2002, Appendix C (http://wtc.nist.gov/media/AppendixC-fema403_apc.pdf).

7. James Glanz and Eric Lipton, “A Search for Clues in Towers’ Collapse,” New York Times, February 2, 2002
(http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C04E0DE153DF931A35751C0A9649C8B63).

8. Shyam Sunder, “Opening Statement,” NIST Press Briefing, August 21, 2008
http://wtc.nist.gov/media/opening_remarks_082108.html).

9. Quoted in “Report: Fire, Not Bombs, Leveled WTC 7 Building,” USA Today, August 21, 2008
(http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-08-21-wtc-nist_N.htm).
10. Union of Concerned Scientists, “Restoring Scientific Integrity in Federal Policymaking”
(www.ucsusa.org/scientific_integrity/abuses_of_science/scientists-sign-on-statement.html) .

11. “NIST Whistleblower,” October 1, 2007 (http://georgewashington.blogspot.com/2007/10/former-nist-employee-blows-whistle.html).

12. Ibid.

13. “What is Research Misconduct?” National Science Foundation, Office of Inspector General, New Research Misconduct Policies
(http://www.nsf.gov/oig/session.pdf). Although this document is undated, internal evidence suggests that it was written in 2001.

14. Alfred North Whitehead, Science and the Modern World (1925; New York: Free Press, 1967), 187.

15. Glanz and Lipton, “A Search for Clues in Towers’ Collapse.”

16. The melting point of iron is 1,538°C (2,800°F). Steel, as an alloy, comes in different grades, with a range of melting points, depending on the percent of carbon (which lowers the melting point), from 1,371°C (2,500°F) to 1,482°C (2,700° F); see “Melting Points of Metals”
(http://www.uniweld.com/catalog/alloys/alloys_melting.htm).

17. Barnett, Biederman, and Sisson, “Limited Metallurgical Examination,” C-13.

18. Dr. Arden L. Bement, Jr., Testimony before the House Science Committee Hearing on “The Investigation of the World Trade Center Collapse,” May 1, 2002 (http://911research.wtc7.net/cache/wtc/official/nist/bement.htm). In the quoted statement, the name “FEMA” replaces “BPAT,” which is the abbreviation for “Building Performance Assessment Team,” the name of the ASCE team that prepared this report for FEMA.

19. “Questions and Answers about the NIST WTC 7 Investigation,” updated December 18, 2008
(http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/factsheet/wtc_qa_082108.html).

20. RJ Lee Group, “WTC Dust Signature,” Expert Report, May 2004
(http://www.nyenvirolaw.org/WTC/130%20Liberty%20Street/Mike%20Davis%20LMDC%20130%20Liberty%20Documents/Signature%20of%20WTC%20dust/WTCDustSignature_ExpertReport.051304.1646.mp.pdf), 11.

21. RJ Lee Group, “WTC Dust Signature Study: Composition and Morphology,” December 2003 (http://www.nyenvirolaw.org/WTC/130%20Liberty%20Street/Mike%20Davis%20LMDC%20130%20Liberty%20Documents/Signature%20of%20WTC%20dust/WTC%20Dust%20Signature.Composition%20and%20Morphology.Final.pdf), 17. On the differences between the 2003 and 2004 studies, see my discussion in The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7: Why the Final Official Report about 9/11 is Unscientific and False (Northampton, Mass., Olive Branch (Interlink Books], 2009), 40-41.

22. RJ Lee Group, “WTC Dust Signature Study” (2003), 24.

23. Ibid., 21.

24. WebElements: The Periodic Table on the Web (http://www.webelements.com/lead/physics.html).

25. WebElements: The Periodic Table on the Web (http://www.webelements.com/molybdenum/physics.html). Although the scientists involved with this USGS study discovered the molybdenum, they did not mention it in their report. Knowledge of their discovery was obtained only by means of a FOIA request. See The Mysterious Collapse, 44-45.

26. Niels H. Harrit, Jeffrey Farrer, Steven E. Jones, Kevin R. Ryan, Frank M. Legge, Daniel Farnsworth, Gregg Roberts, James R. Gourley, and Bradley R. Larsen, “Active Thermitic Material Observed in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe,” The Open Chemical Physics Journal, 2009/2: 7-31 (http://www.bentham.org/open/tocpj/openaccess2.htm).

27. National Fire Protection Association, 921 Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations, 1998 Edition
(http://www.interfire.org/res_file/92112m.asp), Section 18.3.2.

28. See The Mysterious Collapse, 142-44.

29. Jennifer Abel, “Theories of 9/11,” Hartford Advocate, January 29, 2008 (http://www.hartfordadvocate.com/article.cfm?aid=5546).

30. Sunder, “Opening Statement.”

31. Ruvolo is quoted in the DVD “Collateral Damages” (http://www.allhandsfire.com/page/AHF/PROD/ISIS-COLL). For just this segment plus discussion, see Steve Watson, “Firefighter Describes ‘Molten Metal’ at Ground Zero, Like a ‘Foundry,’” Inforwars.net, November 17, 2006
(http://www.infowars.com/articles/sept11/firefighter_describes_molten_metal_ground_zero_like_foundry.htm).

32. Quoted in Christopher Bollyn, “Professor Says ‘Cutter Charges’ Brought Down WTC Buildings,” American Free Press.net, May 1 & 8, 2006
(http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/cutter_charges_brought_down_wt.html).

33. “NIST Engineer, John Gross, Denies the Existance [sic] of Molten Steel”
(http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7180303712325092501&hl=en).

 

34. James Williams, “WTC a Structural Success,” SEAU News: The Newsletter of the Structural Engineers Association of Utah, October 2001
(http://www.seau.org/SEAUNews-2001-10.pdf).

35. Quoted in Francesca Lyman, “Messages in the Dust: What Are the Lessons of the Environmental Health Response to the Terrorist Attacks of September 11?” National Environmental Health Association, September 2003
(http://www.neha.org/9-11%20report/index-The.html).

36. “Mobilizing Public Health: Turning Terror’s Tide with Science,” Magazine of Johns Hopkins Public Health, Late Fall 2001
(http://www.jhsph.edu/Publications/Special/Welch.htm).

37. Quoted in Bollyn, “Professor Says ‘Cutter Charges’ Brought Down WTC Buildings.”

38. For the FDNY testimonies, see Graeme MacQueen, “118 Witnesses: The Firefighters’ Testimony to Explosions in the Twin Towers,” Journal of 9/11 Studies, Vol. 2/August 2006 (http://www.journalof911studies.com/articles/Article_5_118Witnesses_WorldTradeCenter.pdf): 49-123. For a brief discussion of these and other testimonies, see The Mysterious Collapse, 75-82.

39. NIST, “Answers to Frequently Asked Questions,” 2006 (http://wtc.nist.gov/pubs/factsheets/faqs_8_2006.htm), Q. 2. For discussion, see The Mysterious Collapse, 77.

40. NIST, “Letter of Response to Request,” September 27, 2007, published in Journal of 9/11 Studies, Vol. 17/November 2007
(http://www.journalof911studies.com/volume/2007/NISTresponseToRequestForCorrectionGourleyEtal2.pdf).

41. This statement (by Peter Demarco) is quoted in Chris Bull and Sam Erman, eds., At Ground Zero: Young Reporters Who Were There Tell Their Stories (New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2002), 97.

42. Bartmer’s statement is quoted in Paul Joseph Watson, “NYPD Officer Heard Building 7 Bombs,” Prison Planet, February 10, 2007
(http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/february2007/100207heardbombs.htm).

43. For documentation of these points about the testimonies of Hess and Jennings, see The Mysterious Collapse, 84-92.

44. For discussion and documentation of NIST’s treatment of the testimonies of Hess and Jennings, see The Mysterious Collapse, 92-94.

45. Letter of August 12, 2009, from Catherine S. Fletcher, Freedom of Information Act Officer, NIST, to a FOIA request of August 8, 2009, from Ms. Susan Peabody, for “[t]he complete texts of NIST’s 2004 interviews of Michael Hess and Barry Jennings, which are cited in NIST NCSTAR 1-8… , 109, n.380, as ‘WTC 7 Interviews 2041604 and 1041704.’”

46. For discussion and documentation of the BBC’s treatment of Hess and Jennings in the first version of its program, see The Mysterious Collapse, 95-99.

47. David Ray Griffin, Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive? (Northampton: Olive Branch [Interlink Books], 2009).

48. Telephone conversation, September 1, 2001.

49. See The Mysterious Collapse, 98-99.

50. For documentation and discussion of the second version of the BBC’s show, including the problems in Hess’s testimony, see The Mysterious Collapse, 99-104.

51. See The Mysterious Collapse, 150-55.

52. For documentation and discussion of NIST’s claim about the lack of girder shear studs, see The Mysterious Collapse, 212-15.

53. See The Mysterious Collapse, 187-88.

54. For discussion and documentation of this point about failed shear studs, see The Mysterious Collapse, 217-21. As I point out in the book the contradictions between NIST’s final report and its 2004 interim report, involving the 4:45 fire and both claims about shear studs, were discovered by Chris Sarns.

55. Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón, The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation (New York: Hill and Wang, 2006).

56. For documentation and discussion of this point about free fall, see The Mysterious Collapse, 231-41.

57. I am referring to the fact that Van Jones, who had been an Obama administration advisor on “green jobs,” felt compelled to resign due to the uproar evoked by the revelation that he had signed a petition questioning the official account of 9/11. The view that this act made him unworthy was perhaps articulated most clearly by Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer. After dismissing as irrelevant the other reasons that had been given for demanding Jones’s resignation, Krauthammer wrote: “He’s gone for one reason and one reason only. You can’t sign a petition demanding … investigations of the charge that the Bush administration deliberately allowed Sept. 11, 2001 – i.e., collaborated in the worst massacre ever perpetrated on American soil – and be permitted in polite society, let alone have a high-level job in the White House. Unlike the other stuff … , this is no trivial matter. It’s beyond radicalism, beyond partisanship. It takes us into the realm of political psychosis, a malignant paranoia that, unlike the Marxist posturing, is not amusing. It’s dangerous….You can no more have a truther in the White House than you can have a Holocaust denier – a person who creates a hallucinatory alternative reality in the service of a fathomless malice” (Charles Krauthammer
, “The Van Jones Matter,” Washington Post, September 11, 2009  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/content/article/2009/09/10/AR2009091003408.html

Posted in USAComments Off on 9/11 Truth: The Mysterious Collapse of WTC Seven

Fox News Says Refugee Crisis Is “Putin’s Scheme”. The Backstory

NOVANEWS
Global Research
putin smiling_0

The show aired on September 5th, and interviewed their contracted expert: 

TRANSCRIPT, starting at 4:45pm:

4:45, Interviewer: The other place that nobody seems to want to go these days is Russia and China, and Russia and China are both the two countries that have really gotten behind Assad, and certainly try to prop him up and those kinds of things; and as we look at pictures from China’s military day parade [posted onscreen], how much of this is Russia and China trying to slough off these refugees on Europe and everybody else … to try to gain political and global capital?

McFARLAND: Well, in China I think less so, but Russia, certainly, because we’ve seen even in the last week that Russia has increased its military presence in Syria. Russia is trying to prop up the Assad government, like the Iranians are; and so Russia is sending military equipment; it’s sending it by sea, it’s sending it overland, it’s sending it by air, to try to prop up the Assad government to continue the fighting.

Q: To continue the refugee crisis?

MCFARLAND: Oh, sure, exactly.

http://video.foxnews.com/v/4466018186001/european-union-leaders-struggle-to-deal-with-migrant-crisis/?#sp=show-clips

THE BACKSTORY:

Whereas back in 2002 and 2003, the U.S. aristocracy’s biggest push for “regime change” was to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq; and whereas in 2011 the biggest push for “regime change” was to remove Muammar Gaddaffi from power in Libya; and whereas next in 2011 the biggest push for “regime change” became to remove Bashar al-Assad from power in Syria; and whereas in 2013 the biggest push for “regime change” became to remove Viktor Yanukovych from power in Ukraine; the biggest push for “regime change” now is to remove Vladimir Putin from power in Russia.

Media-lies have been crucial to them all.

On 2 October 2003, the media-watch organization, worldpublicopinion.org, headlined “Misperceptions, the Media and the Iraq War: Study Finds Widespread Misperceptions on Iraq Highly Related to Support for War: Misperceptions Vary Widely Depending on News Source: Fox Viewers More Likely to Misperceive, PBS-NPR Less Likely.” In fact, the people who received their news primarily through NPR or PBS exhibited the lowest rate of misperceptions, and Fox News Channel viewers exhibited the highest misperceptions-rate: Whereas 77% of NPR/PBS listeners/viewers gave correct answers on all three factual news questions asked, only 20% of Fox News Channel viewers did; and whereas only 23% of the NPR/PBS audience got one or more of these three factual questions wrong, 80% of Fox viewers did.

So, the George W. Bush Administration forced NPR and PBS to adhere more fully to Bush’s (the U.S. aristocracy’s) line.

NPR’s David Folkenflik reported, on NPR’s “Morning Edition” 20 May 2005, that, the “culture gap became evident as long as two years ago. At one closed board meeting, according to two former CPB officials, Tomlinson suggested bringing in Fox News Channel anchor Brit Hume to talk to public broadcasting officials about how to create balanced news programs.”

This Bush gang had no objection whatsoever to moving toward fascism; after all, it’s where they had personally come from. Eric Boehlert headlined at salon.com on May 26th, “‘Fair and Balanced’ — the McCarthy Way,” and he reported:

“CPB head Kenneth Tomlinson, who is leading a jihad against ‘liberal bias’ in public broadcasting, and one of his two new ombudsmen both worked for the late Fulton Lewis, a reactionary radio personality associated with Sen. Joe McCarthy.”

Tomlinson, in fact, had “worked as an intern for Lewis,” and the new Tomlinson-appointed ombudsman, William Schulz, was an executive colleague of Tomlinson’s at Readers Digest, and before that, “was a writer for Lewis.” These two men had, in fact, first met nearly 60 years ago, as acolytes of this fascist radio commentator, who was comparable to today’s Rush Limbaugh. “In 1949, the New Republic noted that Lewis’ ‘wild charges were part of his campaign over many years to smear in every way possible the [FDR] New Deal, the [Truman] Fair Deal, and everybody not in accord with the most reactionary political beliefs.” Furthermore, “According to a flattering 1954 biography of the broadcaster, ‘Praised and Damned: The Story of Fulton Lewis, Jr.,’ Lewis was ‘as close to Senator Joseph R. McCarthy as any other man in the national scene.’ Look magazine agreed, calling Lewis one of McCarthy’s ‘masterminds.’”

That, of course, positioned Lewis — and, by extension, Tomlinson and one of the two PBS/NPR ombudsmen — far to the right of the then-mainstream Republicans, such as Dwight D. Eisenhower. Of course, George W. Bush himself represented this very same far-Right Republican Party contingent, which — thanks to decades of financial contributions from aristocrats like Scaife and Coors, building the fascist intellectual infrastructure — subsequently became today’s Republican mainstream.

Word was now out, among journalists throughout the world, that President Bush aimed to turn his country’s public broadcasting system into a domestic propaganda organ; and so, on May 30th, The New York Times headlined “Ombudsmen Rebuff Move by Public Broadcasting,” and reported — datelinedMay 27th from London — that: “An [international] association of news ombudsmen has rejected an attempt by two ombudsmen from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to join their organization as full-fledged members, questioning their independence. The Organization of News Ombudsmen, which represents nearly a hundred print and broadcast ombudsmen from around the world, more than half of them from the United States, voted at its annual conference here last week to change its bylaws to allow full membership only to those who work for news organizations,” which excluded representatives from CPB, because “it does not itself gather or produce news.” Observed one member, who happened to be the ombudsman from NPR, “We want members who are responsive to readers, not to governments or lobby groups.”

The Los Angeles Times media critic David Shaw took a broad historical view of this matter, headlining May 29th“There’s a ‘Nuclear Option’ for PBS’ Woes,” opining that no PBS at all would be better than a PBS that’s a propaganda organ for the White House, and reminding readers:

“The Bush administration is not the first to challenge the independence of PBS. Back in the 1970s, the Nixon administration was so estranged by PBS coverage of Watergate and the Vietnam War that it stacked the board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting with Nixon sympathizers. ‘There were tremendous fights, with the Nixon administration trying to prevent public television from doing any public affairs programming at all,’ Lawrence Grossman, the former president of PBS, subsequently told the New York Times. The Bush administration, which has already accomplished the heretofore seemingly impossible by becoming even more media-averse than the Nixon administration, seems determined to surpass the wizard of Whittier and Watergate in bringing the CPB to heel as well.”

Mr. Shaw, like other major-media commentators about the national media, had previously stood by in silence, during 2002 and 2003, while America’s major media cavalierly spread amongst the U.S. public, as virtually unchallenged, the false rumors coming from the Bush Administration, and from its allies such as the Bush-Administration-financed group of exiles, the Iraqi National Congress, saying that Iraq’s leader Saddam Hussein had been proven to be storing huge quantities of weapons of mass destruction and to be working in cahoots with Al Qaeda to threaten the United States. However, now, just a few years later, these very same “news” media were so frightened at the rising extent of this Administration’s control over their “news,” that these commentators were publicizing what those fascists were doing to force them, ‘journalists,’ into a military lock-step. This change in atmosphere was stunning; America’s press were now trying to extricate themselves from the prison they had only recently helped to construct for themselves. They didn’t think that they might get caught up in the prison that they had helped construct to contain the general public.

On 9 May 9 2005, Eric Alterman headlined in The Nation, “Bush’s War on the Press,” and he observed that, contrary to conservative cant, “Media insiders appear to like Bush a great deal more than the public does.” He was correct there (Bush’s public approval ratings were then around 45%), and likewise correct in concluding that, “The press may be the battleground, but the target is democracy itself.” Even if conservatives had hired the major media’s executives, there was a growing discordancy between the objectives of this government and of the press, and worries were thus rising within the press that things were now perhaps going too far.

On Friday June 10th, the New York Times headlined “Panel Would Cut Public Broadcasting Aid,” and reported:

“A House Appropriations panel on Thursday approved a spending bill that would cut the budget for public television and radio nearly in half. … The cuts in financing went significantly beyond those requested by the White House.”

Republicans said that this was necessary “at a time of growing deficits,” but Democrats “took a different view.” In any event, this move proved that the assault on public broadcasting wasn’t just a Bush initiative; it was a Republican Party Crusade, going even beyond the Republican President’s thrust. Democrats managed to reverse most of the cuts. However, the overtly conservative media cited this restoration as ‘proof’ that public broadcasting was in bed with the Democratic Party, just as Kenneth Tomlinson and the rest of the Bush team were claiming.

On June 25th, Sam Singer, of the overtly conservative Chicago Tribune, headlined “Battle Lines Are Forming Over Public TV, Radio,” and reported that

“the Corporation for Public Broadcasting” (which was, in a sense, misleading — the actual targets here were instead PBS and NPR) was “reeling from a House effort to cut its funding and a series of attacks over perceived political bias.”

Singer, slyly using there the passive tense, didn’t note that this supposedly “perceived” bias was being “perceived” by the Bush Administration. However, he did observe that “CPB Chairman Kenneth Tomlinson, an outspoken critic of PBS’ content, seems determined to force changes at PBS and NPR,” and that “Democrats and others are waging a battle … to curtail Tomlinson’s influence.” Singer’s article implicitly agreed with Tomlinson’s charge that this conflict was simply between “Democrats” versus “Republicans”; it wasn’t at all between democracy versus fascism. Karl Rove could have written this article: its implicit viewpoint was that public broadcasting ought to represent the party in power, and that this party used to be Democrats, but was now Republicans, and so Republicans were now simply claiming what was theirs, no different than Democrats had previously done. Perhaps this kind of fraudulent ‘reporting’ was what Kenneth Tomlinson meant by ‘balance’; but what the Republicans were now doing had actually no precedent whatsoever in anything that any Democratic presidential administration had ever done — such a view of ‘history’ was merely a lie, more conservative mythmaking.

The Chicago Tribune’s ‘reporter’ mentioned, in passing, that “Tomlinson also has come under questioning for naming Patricia Harrison, a former co-chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, to head CPB. Democrats argue Tomlinson is guaranteeing it will have a partisan nature by bringing in a former GOP partisan.” The false idea here was that Harrison was merely “a former” partisan, and that there was nothing unprecedented about appointing such a partisan political hack as the head of CPB. These lies were all deception by implication, rather than by assertion; the technique is classic propaganda — very professional, but not as journalism, professional only as propaganda.

The Republican Party’s takeover of the CPB then faded from the news, for three months, until Paul Farhi headlined, but buried deep inside the Washington Post, on 27 September 2005, “CPB Taps Two GOP Conservatives for Top Posts,” and reported: “A leading Republican donor and fundraiser was elected chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting yesterday, tightening conservative control over the agency that … is supposed to act as a buffer against outside political influence. … The board also elected another conservative … as its vice chairman. … With the changes, conservatives with close ties to the Bush administration have assumed control of every important position at the agency. … ‘It’s mind-boggling,’ Ernest J. Wilson II, one of two Democrats on the eight-member board, said in an interview.”

On October 30th, three groups — Common Cause, The Free Press, and the Center for Digital Democracy — jointly issued a press release headlined “Cronyism and Secrecy Run Rampant at Corporation for Public Broadcasting: New president fills the CPB offices with partisan propagandists; Inspector General’s report on political meddling by ex-chairman [Kenneth Tomlinson] kept from the public.” The viewpoint expressed was: “The CPB is being governed more like a private, secret society than an agency supported by taxpayers.” For more than a year, there was a pause regarding the Republican war against PBS. Then, on 5 February 2007, tvweek.com bannered “Bush Proposes Steep Cut to PBS Funding,” and Ira Teinowitz reported that, “President Bush is reopening the fight over government support of public television, unveiling a 2007 government fiscal year budget that would cut federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting by nearly 25 percent.” This cut would be 31% “when cuts in related programs are added.” Leaving PBS and NPR to depend more and more on support from the large corporations, which were controlled by executives who donated overwhelmingly to the Republican Party, would virtually compel those networks to become even more politically compliant than they already were. (And this is what happened.)

If anything, the Bush Administration’s war against public broadcasting was due to public broadcasting being not sufficiently biased, rather than to its being too biased. OnThursday November 10th, of 2005, the trade journal, Broadcasting & Cable, had headlined “Survey Says: Noncom[mercial] News Most Trusted,” and opened: “Some Republicans … have griped about the fairness and balance of public broadcasting’s news, but … A Harris telephone survey commissioned by the Public Relations Society of America and released Thursday found that 61% of the general public generally trusted news on PBS and NPR, while 56% trusted papers like the Washington PostWall Street Journal or New York Times, and 53% trusted the commercial broadcast and cable news operations.” Bush’s war against public broadcasting reflected nothing but his desire to increase, even further, the ratio of propaganda to news. Despite PBS being slanted toward the Right, it was less so than was commercial broadcasting. (That’s no longer the case.)

Six days later, on November 16th of 2005, the Wall Street Journal headlined (also buried inside the paper) “Report Concludes Tomlinson Broke Law Involving PBS,” and reported: “The former head of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting violated federal law and internal ethical guidelines by improperly interfering with programming to include more shows featuring conservatives and by using ‘political tests’ in hiring decisions, according to CPB’s inspector general.” Just the day before that, on the 15th — which was the very same day when the IG’s report was released — the media blogger Timothy Karr, at mediacitizen.blogspot, had headlined “CPB Report Tells Only Part of Story,” and he stated: “Missing from the report is email traffic between Tomlinson and White House political advisor Karl Rove, reportedly provided to Inspector General Kenneth Konz by investigators at the State Department. This evidence, which reveals the White House’s hand in manipulations of public broadcasting programming [and this involved the State Department; it was about international matters, which are the category of national affairs that an aristocracy is more concerned about than any other, because aristocrats control international corporations], is still under lock and key at the heavily partisan CPB.”

On 30 August 2006, the Washington Post bannered “Tomlinson Cited For Abuses at Broadcast Board: CPB Ex-Chief Put Friend on Payroll, State Dept. Says.” Paul Farhi reported that,

“A year-long State Department investigation has found the chairman of the agency that oversees Voice of America and other government broadcasting operations improperly used his office, putting a friend on the payroll and running a ‘horse-racing operation’ with government resources. … Although the Broadcasting Board of Governors and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting are unrelated entities, Tomlinson’s alleged violations overlapped both federal agencies. He conducted CPB work and ‘personal matters’ while working for the Broadcasting Board, and directed BBG employees to do the same. … The investigation also found that Tomlinson — a former Reader’s Digest editor and longtime Republican ally of White House political adviser Karl Rove — helped hire a friend as a BBG contractor without the knowledge of other board or staff members. … The most sensational complaint against Tomlinson might be that he used government resources to support his stable of thoroughbred racehorses, potentially violating federal embezzlement laws. … A White House spokeswoman, Emily Lawrimore, said Bush continues continues to support Tomlinson’s pending renomination as BBG chairman.”

America’s major commercial media were especially concerned about Bush’s attempt to enslave public broadcasting, because any success in that effort would mean that commercial “news” media would have even less freedom-of-action than they currently did — which already was not much.

On 4 October 2006, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting headlined “Study: Lack of Balance, Diversity, Public at PBS NewsHour,” and reported:

“The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, PBS’s flagship news program, … fails to provide either balance or diversity of perspectives — or a true … alternative to its corporate competition.” For example, “Republians outnumbered Democrats by 2-to-1” among their guestlist. A news story from the AP on this study noted that it found that, “In stories about the Iraq war, people who advocate a U.S. withdrawal were outnumbered by more than five-to-one.”

The FAIR study covered the period between October 2005 and March 2006; throughout that period almost exactly half of respondents to the ongoing USAToday/Gallup Poll, when they were asked, “Do you think the U.S. should keep military troops in Iraq until the situation is stabilized, or do you think the U.S. should bring its troops home as soon as possible?” chose the latter. So, approximately half of the guests on PBS should have been advocating withdrawal, too. But obviously, Republican thuggery was having its intended effect upon PBS: a pronounced conservative slant. Perhaps this slant wasn’t as conservative as was that of the corporate media, but it was still conservative.

If fascism ever is, or becomes, the reality in the U.S., then the nation’s media won’t even call it “fascism”; it’ll be called merely “conservatism,” and its practitioners won’t be called “fascists,” but simply “Republicans” — the American public will never be informed, by their “news” media, what has actually happened to their country. (And they weren’t.)

This struggle between the press and this Administration was subterranean, and it occurred on many different fronts. The very ability of the “news” media to function as news media was now being eroded away, and so the presslords inevitably recognized that even they were now losing their freedom. They didn’t like this. On 24 April 2005, the Boston Globe headlined “In War’s Name, Public Loses Information,” and reported that, “Federal agencies under the Bush administration are sweeping vast amounts of public information behind a curtain of secrecy in the name of fighting terrorism, using 50 to 60 loosely defined security designations that can be imposed by officials as low-ranking as government clerks. … There is no system for tracking who stamped it, for what reason, and how long it should stay secret. There is no process for appealing a secrecy decision.” One of these classifications was “Not for Public Dissemination.” Another was “For Official Use Only.” The provisions of the Freedom of Information Act could now be ignored at will, merely by employing one of these 50 to 60 classifications.

On 21 June 2007, americanprogressaction.orgheadlined “Conservatives Dominate The Airwaves” and linked to a joint study by the Center for American Progress and the Free Press, titled “The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio.” It documented that radio had a higher penetration than any other medium in the U.S., that talkradio was second only to country music as the dominant radio format, and that “91 percent of the total weekday talk radio programming is conservative, and 9 percent is progressive.” Furthermore, it documented that this fascism wasn’t due to talkradio audiences being overwhelmingly conservative (they were only slightly to the right of the general American public), but rather to the takeover of radio stations by huge chains of radio stations, which were far more conservative than the public: Salem, Cumulus, Citadel, and Clear Channel. Even the most liberal of the big chains, CBS, was 74% conservative and only 26% progressive in the programs it aired. Salem, Cumulus and Citadel were 100% conservative. The largest chain, Clear Channel, was 86% conservative. The fascist propaganda pouring out of America’s highly concentrated “news” media was a veritable ocean to drown any truth.

Nor was this President backing down from his bald program to use tax dollars to produce propaganda packaged and given away to “news” media as “news” stories. This program just expanded. On 18 July 2005, the New York Times headlined “Public Relations Campaign for Research Office at E.P.A. May Include Ghostwritten Articles,” and reported, “The Office of Research and Development at the Environmental Protection Agency is seeking outside public relations consultants, to be paid up to $5 million per year” to “ghost-write articles ‘for publication in scholarly journals and magazines.’ The strategy … includes writing and placing ‘good stories’ about the E.P.A.’s research office in consumer and trade publications.” The reporter, Felicity Baringer, asked the editor of Science magazine what he thought of this: “He found the idea of public relations firms ghostwriting for government scientists ‘appalling.’”

After Bush’s 2004 “electoral” win, the boom was finally coming down on American democracy. On 8 August 2005, Todd Shields, at mediaweek.com, headlined “FCC Hires Conservative Indecency Critic,” and opened, “The Federal Communications Commission has hired an anti-pornography activist and former lobbyist for groups that push for Christian precepts in public policy.” They had employed, “as a special advisor in the FCC’s Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis,” Penny Nance, a board member of Beverly LaHaye’s Concerned Women for America. The group “describes its mission as ‘helping … to bring Biblical principles into all levels of public policy.’”

Politically organized Christians had floated this “compassionate conservatism” into office upon a sea of aristocratic money, which wasn’t really compassionate at all, and the regime was now baring its theocratic/aristocratic fascist teeth, even over the presslords.

The result was sometimes unpredictable. For example, the Washington Post’s columnist David Broder had a long history of serving up pablum to his readers, as bland as can be. However, after the House restored $100 million to the budget for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to support NPR and PBS, Broder headlined on 30 June 2005, “The Price Of Public TV’s Win,” and he boldly noted that Republicans had taken this money out of the hides of poor children. “As Ralph Regula, the Ohio Republican who heads the Appropriations subcommittee that drafted the bill, said, ‘That takes away from young people’s training opportunities’ … to gain … living-wage jobs.” Broder also noted that the Democrats had tried, but failed, to restore this $100 million via eliminating some of the recent tax-cuts for millionaires, and that “It was defeated on a party-line vote.” Broder was even so bold as to close by saying: “It’s one more instance of the prevailing political culture — controlled by a budgetary and tax system that puts the lowest value on the needs of those who are the most vulnerable.” The difference between that statement, and saying that the United States had become a fascist country, was merely terminological; he chose not to use the clear terminology.

The United States had entered historic new territory after nearly 50 years of aristocratic/theocratic mass-indoctrination of the American people, which had occurred with the full support and cooperation of the nation’s presslords. There was now doubt; the old arrangements finally started to become questioned. Things were no longer settled. This was a real change of mentality. Only recently, there had been a total passivity of the U.S. press: it propagandized for the President’s Medicaid prescription drug plan; it propagandized for his fabricated accusations against “Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction”; it served as an extension of the White House press office on many other of the President’s fraud-based programs. But this passivity was now finally replaced by a rising fear within the press, that the U.S. might be transforming into a fascist state, which could threaten the press itself. The presslords themselves were at last becoming disturbed.

However, this President was already near to his goal of a totalitarian lock-down. Consequently, what could the press do, at such a late date? They had already given him the rope to hang not just the public, but themselves. He took it. The American press that stenographically transmitted to the American public the U.S. government’s lies about “Saddam’s WMD” is continuing as if it hadn’t been sufficiently compliant. America’s great victories in overthrowing Gaddafi and Yanukovych are now supposed to be followed by Assad, and then Putin.

And European nations take this leadership as their own, instead of abandoning the U.S., abandoning NATO, and abandoning the U.S.-controlled EU; abandoning all the mega-corporate, U.S.-aristocracy-controlled, international-corporate fascist system — and now they willingly take in the millions of refugees from the bombs that the U.S. had dropped in Libya and Syria, and that the U.S.-installed rabidly anti-Russian government in Ukraine is dropping onto the areas of the former Ukraine that have rejected the U.S.-imposed (in February 2014government in Kiev.

And the next target is Putin.

So: that’s the backstory behind the lie that Putin instead of Obama caused those millions of refugees pouring into Europe.

And, in German ‘news’ media, Bashar al-Assad and ISIS are being blamed for it, because practically no German is so media-deluded (like America’s conservatives are) as to think that Putin is to blame for it; and here is a German who states in very clear terms how rotten he thinks Germany’s ‘news’ media are(though America’s obviously are even worse).

Posted in RussiaComments Off on Fox News Says Refugee Crisis Is “Putin’s Scheme”. The Backstory

Solidarity as a Weapon against US Imperialism. Che Guevara

NOVANEWS
Global Research
che-guevara

David Cameron worries about “swarms” entering the UK. Swarms are clouds of insects. Cameron should know migrants from Syria, Iraq, and Libya are people. Yet solidarity is not fellow-feeling. It involves recognition. And recognition is not individual, or even social. It depends upon networks of beliefs and practises – social, economic, cultural and political.

It is significant that Brazilian educator, Paulo Freire, wrote that liberation of the oppressed depends upon naming. He knew how difficult this is. So did Che Guevara. Guevara’s remarks about solidarity are relevant. Cameron’s uninteresting error deflects from the real challenge of the migrant crisis.

Guevara describes solidarity as readiness to die. His point is, in part, that solidarity involves sacrifice, even transformation. Solidarity, he warned, “has something of the bitter irony of the plebeians cheering on the gladiators in the Roman circus”. It is not enough “to wish the victim success”; instead, “one must share his or her fate. One must join the victim in victory or death”.[i]

cheimmigration

Some won’t like mention of death. In North America, we practise “pathological upbeatness”[ii], believing in (our own) survival no matter what. Antonio Gramsci called such an attitude lazy. One allows one’s understanding of reality to be “burned at some sacred alter of enthusiasm”. Such optimism, he wrote, is “nothing but a way to defend one’s own laziness, irresponsibility and unwillingness” to see things as they are.

But seeing how things are depends also upon circumstances and conditions. It is not merely intellectual. Whether migrants are “swarms” or people is not, more interestingly, about language or philosophy. It is not mainly about human rights. Brazilian philosopher, Frei Betto, notes that “the mediation of philosophy doesn’t suffice for understanding the political and structural reason for the massive existence of the non- person”.

This was clear to Guevara. If one is “cheering on the gladiators”, one has little effect. Worse, though, without transforming relevant institutions, including ways of thinking, there may be no victims with whom to be in solidarity. Without challenging imperialism, including its unworkable vision of how to live, no people will be in the ring. They will not be identifiable as such. They are “non- persons”, who don’t count.

When Fidel Castro spoke to the United Nations in 1960, he invited the audience to imagine “that a person from outer space were to come to this assembly, someone who had read neither the Communist Manifesto of Karl Marx nor UPI or AP dispatches or any other monopoly controlled publication. If he were to ask how the world was divided up and he saw on a map that the wealth was divided among the monopolies of four or five countries, he would say, ‘The world has been badly divided up’”.

The point is not that the world is badly divided up. The truth of that claim is obvious. But it is hard to give it importance. It is hard to see that it matters to how we think about the world and the people in it, including ourselves. The message to the UN is that a visitor from outer space— someone whose understanding arises from different circumstances and conditions — might see such empirical data as important, even urgent.

Or they may not. Italian journalist Gianni Minà notes that it is not surprising that the rich

martibabbitt

minority see no evil in a global system in which so many se nace para morir (are born to die). But he identifies a “grotesque logic” that makes it surprising that four- fifths of the world’s population, having lost their resources to the richest fifth, try to enter our borders for a chance at survival.

Solidarity is a tool for exposing such logic. Speaking to medical workers in 1960, Guevara advised:

“If we all use the new weapon of solidarity … then the only thing left for us is to know the daily stretch of the road and to take it. Nobody can point out that stretch … in the personal road of each individual; it is what he will do every day, what he will gain from his individual experience”.

“What he will do every day”. Guevara was a dialectical materialist, a naturalist, recognizing cause and effect. He saw human freedom as depending upon the “close dialectical unity” existing between people moving collaboratively in a definite direction. It is how we grow because it is how we know. It is a process of transformation, sometimes resulting in “el hombre nuevo” (the new person), who is able to understand better, from a more adequate perspective.

Contemporary feminists often agree. Intellectual understanding is limited by availability of concepts, including self-concepts. We cannot understand what we cannot name, at least not fully. Therefore, we must, occasionally, be moved by feelings, in the body, in order to know. Feelings can create interest, motivating discovery. Thus, for Guevara, true revolutionaries possess “great feelings of love”. They recognize human beings who are unnamed.

Guevara is criticized for urging armed struggle. (Although his daughter, Aleida, says that if her dad were alive, he’d be a techie, organizing on the internet, fascinated by computers.[iii]).But Guevara and Freire deliver a more threatening message. Freire argued that it is impossible that the direction toward “recovery of the people’s stolen humanity” not be detectable. Perhaps, possibilities for “authentic humanity … must simply be felt— sometimes not even that”. But they exist and are discoverable. They can be named through “unity, organization and struggle”.

The challenge is that if authentic humanity can be named, so also can the inauthentic. And it may be what we are living. Of course, we don’t believe in authentic humanity in North America, so we are saved. As Alan Ehrenhalt writes, we believe in choice, the more the better. Happiness is not authentic or inauthentic. It is whatever we choose it to be. Humanism, if it even exists, is known “from the inside”.

In contrast, Guevara, Freire, Simón Bolívar, José Martí, Frantz Fanon, and José Carlos Mariátequi knew “the tiger [of imperialism] waits behind every tree, crouches in every corner”.[iv] They had to ask how to know authentic humanity. And they knew living from the inside does not give the right answer. It does not include Latin Americans, already disqualified. Mariátequi, instead, insisted that indigenous traditions replace “Eurocentric thought”: “Life comes from the earth and returns to the earth”. Thus, it must be known “from the earth”, through engagement, not through self-absorption and introspection.

Guevara’s remarks on solidarity do not set him apart from other (mostly non-European) philosophers. The ancient Chinese philosopher Chuang Tzu (fourth century BC) maintained that to lose one’s life is to save it and to seek to save it for one’s own sake is to lose it. Eastern philosophers in particular understood attachment to self, and obsession with security, to constitute the most radical form of alienation. One cannot know others that way, at least not most others. Even worse, one risks not knowing they are there to be known.

When BBC reporter Iain Bruce researched the Chávez revolution, he noted Venezuelans’ frequent use of the word surgir (to emerge, to spring forth). Venezuelans in the barrios described wanting to emerge. And indeed, a whole section of Venezuelan society, “millions of people who had been buried in silence, obscurity and neglect, have suddenly ‘emerged’ from the shadows and established themselves as actors, as protagonists both of their own individual stories and of the nation’s collective drama.”[v]

According to Bolivian president Evo Morales, “If we want to defend humanity, we must change the system, and this means overthrowing US imperialism.” But it is not just about the oppressed. At the first International Writers’ Congress for the Defense of Culture in 1935, Bertolt Brecht suggested that when someone falls down, other people faint, but if violence falls like rain, people turn away when others suffer. The issue was naming fascism. If violence is everywhere, falling like rain, it is not violence.

Springing forth, for Guevara at least, is what it means to be human, an implication of our real circumstances, within nature. We know the world, and the people in it, by changing the world, and being changed ourselves. Living from the inside, as we cheer the gladiators, we risk not knowing what we are cheering. We won’t see that violence is falling like rain.

There are better reasons to be upbeat than believing in ourselves. The “sacred alter of enthusiasm” could be better defined if we looked South. It is not just about seeing how the world divides up, and understanding the implications. It is also about authenticity in what Charles Taylor calls the “age of authenticity”, which may be false. Guevara’s remarks on solidarity are part of a bigger project; the human condition. It is not a radical view. And its merits can be known, by living. But the need for such a view must also be named. It may take “unity, organization and struggle”.

Nobel-prize-winning author, Gabriel García Márquez, noticed in Cuba “the near mystical conviction that the greatest achievement of the human being is the proper formation of conscience”. Guevara is part of the legacy. He saw moral, not material incentives driving the world forward, meaning by “moral” the broader, more interesting sense of experiencing humanness. This means that it is not virtuous to pursue solidarity but practical. At least, this is so if one acknowledges the “plain and practical scientific reality”[vi] of human interdependence.

The Second Declaration of Havana in 1962 states that “Cuba and Latin America are part of … the struggle of the subjugated people; the clash between the world that is dying and the world that is being born”. It is still the case. Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador have in recent years, as the Second Declaration describes, “pointed out the danger hovering over America and called it by its name: imperialism”. They have also named its consequences: a mistaken and damaging conception of human well-being. It hovers over all of us.

Susan Babbitt is associate professor of philosophy at Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada and author of José Martí, Ernesto “Che” Guevara and Global Development Ethics: The Battle for Ideas (Palgrave MacMillan 2014).

Notes

[i] Guevara, Che.”Create two, three, many Vietnams”, David Deutschman (Ed.), The Che Guevara reader (New York: Ocean Press, 1997) 316

[ii] Terry Eagleton, Reason, faith and revolution (Yale University Press, 2009) 138

[iii] Speaking at Kingston Collegiate Vocational Institute, Kingston, Canada, Sept. 30, 2003.

[iv] Martí, José “Our America”. In Esther Allen (Ed. and Trans.), José Martí: Selected

writings (New York: Penguin Books, 2002) 293

[v] Bruce, Iain. The real Venezuela: Making socialism in the 21st century (London: Pluto Press, 2008) 22.

[vi] Martí, “Wandering teachers” In Deborah Shnookal & Mirta Muñez (Eds.), José Martí Reader: Writings on the Americas (New York: Ocean Books) 47.

Posted in PoliticsComments Off on Solidarity as a Weapon against US Imperialism. Che Guevara

Towards an Independent Palestinian State

NOVANEWS

Necessity for Road and Rail Links between Rafah, Hebron, Jerusalem, Nablus and Janin to Serve a New Palestinian State

Global Research
Palestine

The UN General Assembly has voted overwhelmingly in favour of a motion allowing the Palestinian flag to be flown in front of the UN headquarters. The motion was passed by 119 votes. France, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Ireland and Slovenia being among the EU states that voted in favour.

By way of comparison, in 1947, UN GA Resolution No.181 to partition the then predominately Muslim Arab Palestine under British Mandate, to allow the establishment of an Israeli state was passed by just 33 votes to 13 (with 10 abstentions including Britain) in an assembly that represented only a minority of the global community of the time but was pushed through as a matter of political expediency by a lobby ­influenced, American congress.

‘Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose’

Today, however, there is now dramatic change in the form of the emblematic symbol of the new State of Palestine that will proudly fly at the United Nations, demonstrating the power of moral authority over political machination and casino money.

There is now a global consensus that categorically denies the legitimacy of a Likud charter that hoped for a ‘Greater Israel’ encompassing the whole of former Palestine. That political aim is now ‘dead in the water’ as the flag of an independent State of Palestine is unfurled at the UN.

Now the flag of an independent Palestinian state must fly over the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza and there needs to be an international accord for permanent access roads, under UN supervision, to link the enclaved, constituent parts of the state together, with a rail link joining Rafah in the South through to Hebron, Jerusalem, Ramallah, Nablus and Janin in the North.

Posted in Palestine AffairsComments Off on Towards an Independent Palestinian State

Drumbeat Grows for Escalating War against Syria

NOVANEWS
Global Research
syrian-war-propaganda

Politicians and the media in both the US and Western Europe have cynically seized upon the plight of refugees fleeing violence in Syria as the pretext for intensifying the war for regime change in that country.

French President Francois Hollande and British Prime Minister David Cameron, both of whom are feverishly working to keep all but a handful of refugees out of their respective countries, have announced bombing campaigns in Syria based on the apparent logic that the more high explosives are dropped over their heads, the more likely Syrians will decide to stay home.

Washington, meanwhile, has initiated a provocative confrontation with Russia over the latter’s longstanding military aid to the government of President Bashar al-Assad, with increasingly hysterical warnings of a Russian “buildup” in Syria.

These recent developments only underscore the ephemeral character of the pretexts used by the Western imperialist powers for their bloody intervention in Syria. First, it was defending “human rights” against the Assad regime, then a struggle against the terrorism of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Now it is a question of refugees and Russian “interference.”

The real forces driving Western intervention are naked geo-strategic interests in establishing hegemony over the world’s key sources of energy and pipeline routes linking them to the world market. Under conditions of deepening economic crisis, the ruling class—first and foremost, the US financial aristocracy—is planning an intensification of militarist violence.

These tendencies find direct expression in the media’s insistent drumbeat for an escalation of the Syrian war. Nowhere is this war propaganda more prevalent or more hypocritical than in the pages of the supposed liberal “newspaper of record,” the New York Times.

Leading the pack is Roger Cohen, the Times foreign affairs columnist whose piece entitled “Obama’s Syrian Nightmare” appeared Thursday.

Cohen’s thesis is that the plight of the Syrian people—a death toll of over 200,000, millions driven into exile or internally displaced and an entire society ravaged by civil war—is a product of “Western inaction.”

“American interventionism can have terrible consequences, as the Iraq war has demonstrated,” he writes.

“But American non-interventionism can be equally devastating, as Syria illustrates. Not doing something is no less of a decision than doing it. The pendulum swings endlessly between interventionism and retrenchment because the United States is hard-wired to the notion that it can make the world a better place.”

What reactionary lies and nonsense! Cohen, of course, does not share with his readers that he was a leading media advocate for the criminal war against Iraq. As for its “terrible consequences,” they never bothered him much. In 2009, long after it was clear that the war had claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and wrecked an entire society, Cohen wrote, “I still believe Iraq’s freedom outweighs its terrible price.”

After the US-NATO war for regime change succeeded in toppling and murdering Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Cohen wrote a triumphalist column entitled “Score One for Interventionism.” Nearly four years later, the country is the scene of bloody conflicts between rival militias and the epicenter of the wave of refugees, thousands of whom have died seeking to cross the Mediterranean.

Since the US-NATO war in Bosnia in 1995, Cohen has backed every US military intervention as well as destabilization operations from Iran to Ukraine, serving as the reliable journalistic servant of the US military and intelligence apparatus.

If he now finds fault with Obama’s Syria policy, it is to promote the positions of those within the US ruling establishment who want to initiate a full-scale war.

Cohen indicts the White House for backing away from its 2013 threat to bomb Syrian government forces based on the fabricated claim that they had used chemical weapons against civilians. Ample evidence has since emerged that it was the Western-backed “rebels” who staged the chemical attacks in a bid to provoke direct US military intervention.

He criticizes Obama for a lack of “will” and “belief in American power,” insisting that Syrian warplanes “could have been taken out” and that “arming the rebels early and massively might have changed the course of the war.”

All of this twists reality beyond recognition. Obama decided to hold off on bombing Syria in 2013 in no small measure because of overwhelming popular hostility to another war. The debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan have disabused millions of Cohen’s “hard-wired” notion that eruptions of American militarism “make the world a better place.” Since then, the White House and military have been maneuvering to revive their war plans and working out new pretexts for intervention.

As far as “massively” arming the so-called rebels, this in fact took place, with billions of dollars worth of weapons funneled to Islamist militias via Washington’s principal regional allies—Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar—and under the guiding hand of the CIA. If these arms failed to achieve Assad’s downfall, it is because masses of Syrians are hostile to the foreign-backed Islamist cutthroats.

The Syrian people are the victims, not of “Western inaction,” but of a series of criminal acts that stretch from the destruction of Iraq and Libya through to the fomenting of the sectarian civil war in Syria itself.

Cohen concludes by stating that, while Obama is “comfortable with pinpoint use of force,” i.e., drone strikes and assassinations, he is “uncomfortable with American military power.” The clear implication: get over it and launch another full-scale US war in the Middle East.

This perspective is echoed by Cohen’s fellow Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who led the propaganda charge for the war on Iraq. He argued in a column Wednesday that the only way to halt the flow of refugees was to either wall off the countries from which they are fleeing, or “occupy them with boots on the ground, crush the bad guys and build a new order based on real citizenship, a vast project that would take two generations.” In other words, a military recolonization of the entire Middle East.

The logic of the drive to escalate the Syrian war was further spelled out Wednesday in a Washington Post editorial. Pointing to the alleged Russian buildup in Syria, it states,

“Mr. Putin is acknowledging a truth that Mr. Obama has refused to accept: Any political agenda for Syria’s future is meaningless unless it is backed by power on the ground… If Mr. Obama wishes to see the US vision for Syria prevail over Russia’s, it will take more than phone calls.”

The warning could not be clearer or more chilling. Behind the backs of the American people, powerful elements within the American ruling class and the state apparatus, with the collaboration of their media hacks, are preparing a military intervention that poses direct confrontation between the US and Russia, the world’s two principal nuclear powers.

Posted in SyriaComments Off on Drumbeat Grows for Escalating War against Syria

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