Archive | September 19th, 2015

The Dirty Role of the West in Syria

NOVANEWS
Global Research
us-syria flags

Over recent months the situation in the Mediterranean has served as a dramatic reminder of what the leaders of Europe have tried hard to forget. The Syrian crisis has reached Europe.

Although a lot of talk has been made over numbers and percentages of refugees that every country may or may not accept, let’s not forget that behind those numbers and the showy emotionalism of the politicians hides the ugly side of world politics.

The plans to overthrow the “annoying” regimes in the Middle East began at the time when the war hawks of Washington and their European allies prepared the first Iraqi war.

In a 2007 speech, US General Wesley Clark recounted a conversation he had back in 1991 with the then Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz.

During that talk, the Secretary told the General that the Pentagon had already drawn plans in order to achieve the change of regimes in Iraq, Syria and Iran. “…We’ve got about 5 or 10 years to clean up those old Soviet regimes – Syria, Iran, Iraq – before the next great superpower comes on to challenge us.”

General Clark went on to reveal that six weeks after the attack on the twin towers in 2001, an official from the Department of Defense told him that the Pentagon had issued a classified document describing the strategy of the USA in order to overthrow the regimes of seven countries in the next five years.

The beginning would be made with Iraq, followed by Syria and Lebanon, then Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finally, Iran.

Those claims were confirmed by the former French Minister of Foreign affairs, Roland Dumas when he told aFrench television station that Great Britain used to train and suport Syrian rebels at least two years prior to the revolt aiming to overthrow Assad from power.

The money that fuels the war

Between 2006 to 2010, the US spent 12 million dollars in order to support and instigate demonstrations and propaganda against the Syrian government. WikiLeaks released over 7000 secret diplomatic cables that document that funding.

The cables revealed that up to 6,3 million dollars was funneled to the Movement for Justice and Development, a Syrian dissident organization based in London. The Movement operated the Barada satellite channel that broadcasted anti-government propaganda in Syria and that played an important part in the 2010-11 anti-Assad protests.

The remaining 6 million were spent by the US in order to support rebels and activists and educate journalists in ways of manipulating the news about the Syrian crisis in a manner that would benefit the rebels.

In Aprιl 2011, the spokesman for the State Department, Mark Toner, admitted that the WikiLeaks documents were authentic and he claimed that the US supported several “civil movements in Syria” with “the goal of strengthening freedom of expression”.

In 2012, the French Minister of Foreign affairs, Laurent Fabius, alongside the UK, pushed for a relaxation of the EU arms embargo to Syria to enable “defensive arms to reach opposition fighters”.

France was the first European power to recognize the Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces, a coalition of several rebel groups formed in Doha that according to the French president François Hollande, was the “only representative of the Syrian people”.

The coalition was also recognized by neighboring Turkey and the Arab League as “the legitimate representative of the Syrian people’s aspirations.”

In December 2012, at a meeting held in Marrakesh, the United States backed the National Coalition as the transitional government of Syria.

By that time more than 100 countries, including the European Union, had recognized the Syrian opposition, despite fears that it might be linked to Al Qaeda-related groups.

According to the French foreign minister Laurent Fabius, “important” financial contributions were announced at the meeting: Saudi Arabia offered $100 million, the US pledged a further $14m in medical aid and Germany offered $29m.

Two years later, in 2014, French president Hollande, cynically told French media that France was arming and training Syrian rebels, for an unspecified period of time, because “they are the only ones to take part in the democratic process”.

In an interview with French daily Le Monde he admitted that France cannot “go it alone” and that there was “a good understanding with Europe and the Americans.”

Indeed there was.

The Libyan connection

Back in September 2012, the US consulate in Benghazi and a CIA base located a mile from the consulate were attacked by local militias. The attacks resulted to the death of four people, including the American ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens.

President Obama and Hillary Clinton were heavily criticized over the lack of security at the consulate and the delayed response.

But the official narrative failed to address some key issues: why the CIA base was attacked and what was the exact role of the consulate in an area partially controlled by local militia?

Officially the consulate’s role was to establish a cultural center and a library in Benghazi. But media reports indicate that the consulate had a much more obscure role.

Soon after the war to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi in Libya began, in February 2011, the CIA set up a base for its spying operations in Benghazi. The CIA base was known as the Annex and according to the Wall Street Journal the sole aim of the consulate was to “provide diplomatic cover to the Annex”.

The Sunday Times of London reported that the United States had been secretly purchasing the stockpiled weapons of Gaddafi — including anti-aircraft SA-7 missiles, anti-tank rounds, rocket-propelled grenades and mortar shells.

Via a connection with Middle Eastern countries that were already supporting various opposition groups in Syria some of these weapons were channeled to the rebels.

Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter Seymour Hersh has also revealed that President Obama and the Turkish PM, Erdogan had reached a secret deal in the beginning of 2012.

The deal was that the CIA and the British M16 would undertake to move Gaddafi heavy weapons out of Libya and use them to supply the Free Syrian Army; Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar were to provide the funds for this operation that was covered under the auspices of an Australian entity.

It is very likely that most of those weapons ended up in the hands of the Al-Nusra front – an extremist group that is linked to Al Qaeda in Syria. When the US and its European and Middle Eastern allies were channeling heavy weaponry to the rebels in Syria, up to 9 per cent of the Free Syrian Army’s total fighters belonged to the Al Nusra Front.

In 2012 Washington Post reported that the jihadist group is growing fast “in part because it has been the most aggressive and successful arm of the rebel force”

Indeed, by 2013, virtually all rebel areas controlled in Syria would be led by jihadists.

The Ghouta massacre

In August 2013, yellow smoke rose over the rebel -controlled suburb of Ghouta near Damascus. A few hours later and the lifeless bodies of 1000 people, including 300 children would be lying in the streets. It was one of the worst sarin attacks in the history of the Syrian civil war.

President Obama accused the Syrian regime for allegedly crossing the ‘red line’ he had set in 2012 on the use of chemical weapons and announced US military intervention in Syria.

However, two days before the planned strike, Obama said that he would seek congressional approval of the intervention.

So what has made the US President to change his mind?

Seymour Hersh presents an alternative narrative to the events: The US intelligence feared that Turkey was supplying sarin gas to rebels’ months before the attack took place. This information was never made public.

Hersh writes that “the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency issued a highly classified five-page “talking points” briefing on June 19th which stated the Syrian rebel group al-Nusra maintained a sarin production cell”.

According to the paper “Turkey and Saudi-based chemical facilitators, ‘were attempting to obtain sarin precursors in bulk, tens of kilograms, likely for the anticipated large scale production effort in Syria”.

According to Hersh’s exposé, in 2012 the US intelligence services believed that the rebels would lose the war.

This prompted the Turkish national intelligence agency and Gendarmerie, the nation’s paramilitary law enforcement arm, to work with al-Nusra Front in Syria in order to help them built their chemical development.

Erdogan allegedly hoped that the use of chemical weapons on Syrian civilians would led to a military response from the United States against Asad.

Hersh’ report has sparked controversy and the New Yorker and Washington Post declined to publish it.

It would take years until the political and military games surrounding the Syrian conflict come to light.

Meanwhile, 4 million Syrians are forced to escape the conflict and over 250.000 people have tried to reach Europe in August 2015. Western countries are willing to grant asylum, but are not willing to stop the actions that fuel the war.

It seems that the bodies of the drowned Syrian children shocked a lot of consciences, but changed no policies.

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American Backed Syrian Rebel Group Has ‘Four or Five’ Syrians Left Fighting Against ISIS

NOVANEWS
Global Research
Syrian-Rebels-US-Army-Training

Testifying to the Senate Armed Services Committee today, Gen. Lloyd Austin, the head of Centcom, admitted that the pro-US Syrian rebel faction, dubbed the New Syrian Force (NSF) in most official contexts, is virtually gone now, with virtually everybody either killed or having fled.

What was initially envisioned as a force of tens of thousands of anti-ISIS fighters amounted to only 54 to start with, and Gen. Austin told Congress today that they are down to “four or five” fighters still active in the field. Needless to say, it’s not going well.

Syrian Rebels

Austin went on to say that the next two classes of NSF fighters are still being trained, though that training too is falling behind schedule. The indications are that these classes aren’t much bigger, 100-120 fighters all told. The pared-back goal of 5,000 fighters is likely still years off.

The general went on to say that they are “reviewing” the program, though since the Pentagon has repeatedly talked up the NSF as the end-all, be-all plan for victory in Syria, and has harshly resisted efforts to change the process, which they’ve invested tens of millions of dollars into for tens of fighters.

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US Presidential Candidates Demean Muslims and Hugo Chavez

NOVANEWS
Global Research
election-2016-US

Candidates on the stump show why America’s political system is too corrupted to fix – a money controlled duopoly masquerading as democratic. Democrats and Republicans represent one party with two wings.

They’re interchangeable on issues mattering most, representing wealth and power exclusively at the expense of beneficial social change, lying when claiming otherwise, other times making disgraceful comments, revealing their dark side.

Muslims are America’s geopolitical enemy of choice – vilified for their faith and ethnicity, a convenient pretext for Washington’s phony war on terror.

They’re maligned as belligerent, hostile and inferior – fair game for disparaging, a convenient target, used to justify endless US imperial wars, portrayed to a gullible public as a good v. evil struggle, supported by irresponsible major media propaganda.

Islamic tenets are ignored – teaching love, not hate; peace, not violence; charity, not selfishness; and tolerance, not terrorism.

Its five pillars include profession of faith, prayer five times daily, fasting during Ramadan, charity, and performing the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime if able to afford it.

None of this is publicly explained. Fear-mongering substitutes. Muslims are stereotypically portrayed as dangerous gun-toting terrorists – an abhorrent mischaracterization.

Political candidates exploit it – on the one hand, justifying attacking Muslim nations; on the other, denigrating Islam overtly, by implication or failing to denounce hate-mongering.

Donald Trump is a caricature of a presidential candidate, a demagogic billionaire con man, a self-styled celebrity, outspoken to a fault, hostile to Latino immigrants, at least tacitly anti-Muslim from comments in response to an overt Muslim hater.

The exchange went as follows at the start of a September 18 Rochester, New Hampshire town hall rally:

A racist supporter said “(w)e have a problem in this country. It’s called Muslims. We know our current president is one. You know he’s not even an American. Birth certificate, man.”

Trump responded, saying “(w)e need this question. This is the first question.” The supporter continued, saying:

“But, anyway, we have training camps growing where they want to kill us. That’s my question: When can we get rid of them?” Trump’s response drew justifiable outrage, saying:

We’re going to be looking at a lot of different things and, you know, a lot of people are saying that, and a lot of people are saying that bad things are happening out there. We’re going to be looking at that and plenty of other things.

Staff damage control claimed his comment meant

“Christians need support in this country. Their religious liberty is at stake.”

Mr Trump was referring to the need to protect Christians’ religious liberties as his previous statement says and nothing more. To be clear, Mr Trump’s response to the question regarding training camps in this country was ‘we will look into it.’

America is a racist, white supremacist Judeo-Christian society – needing no support to protect their religious liberties.

Democrats disingenuously jumped on the chance to bash Trump. Notorious racist Hillary Clinton supports US imperial wars on Muslim countries. She lied calling Iran an “existential threat to Israel.”

During her 2008 presidential campaign, she boasted of stronger white support than Obama. She vowed to “attack Iran” if it threatened Israel, saying she’d “totally obliterate them.”

She was the driving force for war on Libya, overtly reveling after Gaddafi’s sodomized murder saying: “We came. We saw. He died.”

Her Trump criticism rang hollow, twittering: “Donald Trump not denouncing false statements about POTUS & hateful rhetoric about Muslims is disturbing, & just plain wrong. Cut it out. -H

Democrat National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was just as disingenuous, saying:

“GOP frontrunner Donald Trump’s racism knows no bounds. This is certainly horrendous, but unfortunately unsurprising given what we have seen already.”

Trump’s comments came days after 14-year-old Muslim Irving, TX high school freshman student/MIT aspirant Ahmed Mohamed was outrageously suspended, handcuffed, arrested and detained by police for bringing a homemade alarm clock to class. Racist school officials accused him of making a fake bomb.

Surprising national outrage followed. His father said “(t)hat is not America. That is not us. That is not like us.”

War on Islam is official US policy – Obama its lead proponent. His supportive twitter comment to Ahmed and White House invitation was political grandstanding – a thinly veiled stunt to one-up Republicans.

Bernie Sanders revealed his phony populism by shamelessly bashing the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez – murdered by Obama, either poisoned or infected with incurable cancer causing substances.

Four surgeries in 18 months couldn’t save him. At the time, then acting (now current) President Nicholas Maduro said he “was poisoned by dark forces in order to hit at the Venezuelan people and Latin America.”

Chavez remains a world hero, a true democrat and social justice champion. James Petras said he “was loved not only by Venezuelans but throughout Latin America” and elsewhere. He was special. No Western nation ever had a leader like him.

Jimmy Carter praised him, saying

“he’ll be remembered for his bold assertion of autonomy and independence for Latin American governments and for his formidable communication skills and personal connection with supporters in his country and abroad to whom he gave hope and empowerment.”

Fidel Castro called him the “Olympic champion of new socialist ideas.” He’s sorely missed. In March 2006, I wrote him an open letter posted on my blog site, urging him to protect himself against dark forces wanting him eliminated.

I praised his spirit and glorious Bolivarian revolution. I wished America had a leader of his character, stature and commitment to peace and social justice. I vowed to continue writing and speaking out supportively for vital issues important to us both.

Sanders is no Hugo Chavez – or new UK Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn. He disgracefully denigrated Chavismo, calling the late Venezuelan leader a “dead communist dictator.”

He deserves universal condemnation for the remark, revealing his dark side. He’s no populist champion – never throughout his entire political career, undeserving of support from anyone.

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Population Growth, Pollution and the Global Environment

NOVANEWS

“People Are Not Pollution”

Global Research
Population Growth, Pollution and the Global Environment

One of the most divisive arguments within the environmental movement is population growth, whether by increasing births, or via immigration.

But population figures conceal more than they reveal.  They seem to suggest that the cause of climate change is too many people, and that a growing population means growing greenhouse gas emissions.  Therefore, we should encourage people to have smaller families because it’s “a lot easier than retooling our economic system.” (1)   And further, that we must slow population growth where it’s greatest, e.g. the “Third” World, where population is “exploding.”

In Chapter Three of his “Spaces of Capital: Towards a Critical Geography,” David Harvey gets to the bottom of this argument by dissecting the three pillars on which it stands – subsistence, resources, and scarcity.

The argument first posits an absolute and unchanging subsistence level, the bare minimum people need to stay alive.  But this level has been defined differently over time, according to the society in which people were living.  The subsistence level in Europe’s Dark Ages was defined very differently from that in the European Union today.  And today’s subsistence level is defined very differently in Uganda than it is in the United States.

This argument further categorizes nature as a “supermarket” of resources available to be made useful to humans.  But this perception has also varied according to the level of historical, technological, and cultural development within particular societies.

The third absolute in this argument is scarcity, defined as intrinsic to nature.  But this, too, is rooted in views of particular societies and modes of production.  Societies seek particular goals/ends, and it’s these goals/ends and the means used to achieve them, as much as a lack of natural resources, that define, even manufacture, scarcity.

Much scarcity is, in fact, created by the activities humans choose to engage in, according to the way their societies have been organized.  The scarcity of available land in cities like New York and London is a result of human activity, not nature’s.  And if this scarcity were not manufactured, the rents in London and New York would not be so wildly lucrative.

In such a scenario, a “crisis of overpopulation” happens when the scarcity of available resources no longer meets the subsistence needs of most of the population.  In other words, there are too many people in the world to allow “us” to continue to live in the way in which we’ve organized our society, based on available natural resources that we could be using to continue to live the way we’ve been living – if only it weren’t for all those people making subsistence demands and potentially preventing us from living in the way to which we’ve become accustomed.  (Think “non-negotiable American way of life.”)

But there are things we could do to change this scenario and adapt, which has been the hallmark of our species across millions of years.  We could redefine our goals by changing the societal organization that creates scarcity.  We could change our view of nature as a resource supermarket with value only insofar as we can make use of it.  We could change the things to which we’ve become accustomed.  Or we could try to reduce the number of people with subsistence needs to be met.

All of these options would be explored in relation to each other if there were real concern with environmental issues.

But it’s easiest by far to focus on population, especially other people’s population, and further, theiroverpopulation in view of the “scarcity” of resources we’ve created as a result of the way we’ve organized our society and how we go about implementing its goals.

“Somebody, somewhere is redundant, and there is not enough to go round.  Am I redundant?  Of course not.  Are you redundant?  Of course not.  So who’s redundant?  Of course, it must be them.  And if there’s not enough to go round, then it is only right and proper that they, who contribute so little to society, ought to bear the brunt of the burden.”  “And if we hold that there are certain of us who, by virtue of our skills, abilities, and attainments, are capable of ‘conferring a signal benefit on mankind’ through our contributions to the common good and who, besides, are the purveyors of peace, freedom, culture, and civilization, then it would appear to be our bound duty to protect and preserve ourselves for the sake of all mankind.”(2)  (emphasis added)

The population growth argument starts and ends with one idea – Earth with lots of people is bad, and Earth with more people is worse.  The argument goes that one person’s carbon footprint is X, two people’s, 2X, three people’s, 3X, and so on.  In this way we arrive at the conclusion that the effect of population on the environment is proportional to the number of people.

The whole of a country’s emissions are represented as the sum of each person’s, or per capita, emissions.  This makes it look like total emissions are a function of the total amount of people in that country.  But unless you know before hand what the total emissions are, you cannot calculate per capita emissions.  Per capita emissions can only be determined when total emissions are already known, not the other way around.  Total emissions are not arrived at by adding up each individual’s contribution.

Per capita is simply total emissions divided by total population.  The total remains the same whether every individual creates an equal amount of emissions, or one person generates them all.  It’s impossible to tell how much of the total each individual is responsible for when only the total is known.  Per capita reveals nothing about individual contributions.

In the US, each individual’s per capita share includes a share of the emissions created by commercial air travel, the extraction of coal, oil and natural gas, factory farms, the military, and the manufacture and use of pharmaceuticals and oil-based fertilizers and pesticides.  If one-third of the population of the US moved to Canada overnight, the per capita share of the remaining population would shoot up in the US and fall in Canada without any change in individual consumption or total emissions having occurred overnight in either country.  But US citizens would still be held responsible for the rise in per capita emissions which was created primarily by industry.

So that per capita math magic, those numbers examined in a vacuum, tell us next to nothing, and need to be looked at in context.  Ian Angus did just that with his article, “Dissecting Those ‘Overpopulation’ Numbers.”  In “Part One: Population Where?” he worked with actual global population and emissions figures for 2006 – and shredded the “more people equal more pollution” argument with the facts.

The population growth argument ignores what the total fertility rates in the G-20 countries, which describe themselves as “the systematically significant industrial and emerging-market economies,” and the total fertility rates in the world’s nineteen countries with the lowest levels of CO2 emissions illustrate.

The total fertility rate is the average number of children each woman in a country will have in her lifetime.  The higher this number, the faster the population is growing.  A stable population, that is, one that’s neither growing nor declining, has a total fertility rate of about 2.3 children per woman.

In the G-20 countries, which generate 90% of the world’s Gross National Product, this rate is as low as 1.21.  The G-20 includes Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the UK and the US.  (The “twentieth” is the European Union.)

In the world’s nineteen countries with the lowest CO2 emissions, however, the total fertility rate is as high as 7.75.  All of these countries, with the exception of Afghanistan, are in Africa.  They include Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Let’s contrast total fertility rate with total CO2 emissions per country for 2006.  These range from a high in China of 6103.49 million tonnes* to a low of 273.71 million tonnes in Turkey.  The G-20 total was 22566.76 million tonnes.  (*These are British ‘long’ tons.)  The nineteen countries with the lowest rate of CO2 emissions range from a high of 6.01 million tonnes in Ethiopia to a low of 0.2 million tonnes in Burundi.  Their total was 29.3 million tonnes.  In other words, the countries with the lowest population growth rates are producing the bulk of C02 emissions, more than a whopping 770 times as much as the nineteen countries with the highest rates of population growth.

Angus has done the math.  Per capita, each American’s CO2 emissions were 132 times more than a person’s in Madagascar, 197 times more than a person’s in Mozambique, and 400 times more than someone who lived in Mali or Burkina Faso.    And these amounts don’t include the concentration of CO2 emission sources in G-20 countries like their militaries, extractive and agricultural industries, and commercial air travel.

Total emissions do not depend on population density.  The high-emitting G-20 includes densely-populated countries like Japan and India, but also the sparsely-populated countries of Canada and Russia.  This is equally true of the nineteen countries with the lowest emission rates.  Rwanda and Burundi are densely populated.  Chad and Niger are not.  So it’s obvious that low population density can co-exist with high emissions, and high population density with low emissions.

If emissions are dependent on population density, it would appear that high emissions cause low population growth (G-20), or that high population growth causes low emissions (the nineteen countries with the lowest rates of CO2 emissions).  These statements are equally absurd.  Both population growth and CO2 emissions depend on socioeconomic factors, not biological ones.

So there’s something not right about the “more people cause more emissions” argument, and something very wrong with promoting the idea that birth control for the “Third” World will slow climate change.  Focus on population growth distracts attention from issues like production and consumption, policies of technology and globalization, poverty and women’s status in world societies, and the boom and bust of our economic system’s cycle itself.  But the population control argument keeps reappearing as the solution to poverty, hunger, and now climate change.  The simple theory: more people equal more pollution.

In “Peoplequake,” Fred Pearce makes the point that the poorest three billion of us emit only 7% of CO2 worldwide, while the richest half billion of us create 50% of them.  (There are 6.9 billion of us.)  He says that a woman in rural Ethiopia with ten children does less damage, and uses fewer resources than one middle class family of four in the US, the UK or Germany.  And even if all ten of that Ethiopian woman’s children reach adulthood, which is highly unlikely, her entire extended family of over 100 people would still emit only about as much CO2 every year as one American.

So to suggest that the greatest threat to escalating climate change is too many children in Ethiopia, Somalia or Uganda is both disingenuous and dangerous.  The population “bomb” of the 20th century has been defused.  In fact, the rate of global population growth is slowing down.  According to the US Census Bureau International Data Base (December 2008), it peaked in the 60s and has fallen consistently ever since.  Yet the rate of greenhouse gas emissions is skyrocketing out of control. Some however, continue to claim this increase in emissions is a function of population growth, though the rise in energy and resource use has vastly outstripped population growth.

In September of 2009, the journal “Environment and Urbanization” showed that the places where population is growing the fastest are those where carbon emissions have been growing most slowly.  Between 1980 and 2005, 63% of the world’s population growth took place in countries with very low emissions. (3)

But by the end of the 60s, “reducing the population growth of poor countries had become an essential element of US foreign policy.  The main motive was not environmental: rather, population growth was seen as retarding economic growth and fomenting political instability, making countries more susceptible to Communist influence.” (4)

Detailed population growth statistics are easily available.  This allowed population control advocates to place them side-by-side with rising pollution statistics and draw a biological conclusion.  They divided the total pollution by the total population and came up with an individual, per capita, “carbon footprint” for every person on Earth.

So overconsumption and transnational corporate plunder were swept under the rug and the wombs of poor women became the reason for deforestation, water pollution, and desertification. This diverted the environmental movement and shifted blame to the “Third” World, allowing the countries of the “developed” world to avoid looking in the mirror at their own consumption and that of their governments, their militaries, and their transnational corporations, which were trashing the environment both at home and abroad.

The population growth argument is just old wine in a new bottle.  Those who advocate population control are pretending to address climate change so they can avoid focusing on replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy.  They prefer to believe there’s a biological solution to problems created by the way society is structured.  Population growth has been made the scapegoat for the real social and economic causes of “poverty, hunger, famine, disease, war, racism, and unemployment.”  (5)

But population control has never had an acceptable environmental outcome.  Witness China.  “China’s one child policy has been hailed as an environmental measure… (but this)…ignores that China’s population control has hardly solved that country’s growing environmental problems.” (6)

Population control is a euphemism for eugenics.  It employs “us vs. them” in order to blame those least responsible for climate change by focusing on the quantity of human beings, rather than on the quality of their lives, when, in fact, it’s not so much the what of those population numbers, but the how of the way those numbers live that matters.  Those most responsible for the escalating threat of climate change are those who profit most from polluting and poisoning, and they’re desperately resisting change. (7)   That’s because they know that most greenhouse gases aren’t caused by individuals, but “by industrial and other processes over which individuals have no control.” (8)

Ian Angus and Simon Butler have pointed out that no reduction of Canada’s population (via fewer births or curtailed immigration) would have any effect on the oil industry’s extraction of oil from the Alberta Tar Sands.  Neither would such reductions in the US have any effect on the massive military spending of the Pentagon, the world’s number one oil consumer.

They further assert that there is no means of reducing population that will change either of those things.  In fact, reducing the population would have the effect of increasing the per capita emissions of the remaining population.  You just get a larger number (or individual carbon footprint) when you divide the reduced population into the same total emissions output.

The anti-immigrant wing of the population control argument says it’s better to keep poor people in poor countries so they consume less (and we can continue to consume more) than if they came “here” and adopted “our” lifestyle.  In 1974, Garett Hardin’s essay “Lifeboat Ethics” suggested throwing the poor majority overboard to allow the “elite” to survive.  He blamed immigration for “speeding up the destruction of the environment of the rich countries.”  This just diverts attention from the threat to the environment of overconsumption. For instance, US consumers, with only 5% of the world’s population, use 20% of the world’s resources.

Anti-immigrationists claim that immigrants will consume a lot more energy in the US than if they stayed in their home country, so they and their families are responsible for growing carbon  emissions.  So instead of conserving energy, switching to renewables, and adopting a sensible climate policy, we should just build bigger fences and continue to burn fossil fuels, which sustain not only that non-negotiable American lifestyle, but the escalating degradation of the environment. (9)

Both the immigration and population-growth wings of the populationist argument have only one “solution” –STOP!!!  Either stop immigration or stop population growth.   But climate change is a socioeconomic and political problem, not a biological problem.  And because of the way in which the globalized economic system is structured, it doesn’t matter how many people there are.  The environment will continue to be beaten down, and inequality will continue to be ratcheted up as a result of the way the dominant peoples on the planet have chosen to organize their societies and go about achieving their goals.

“Blaming climate change on human numbers is itself founded on denial – denial of the real causes of the problem and denial of our potential to forge positive solutions.”  “Instead of buying into the ‘more people=more emissions’ equation, we should put the blame for climate change squarely where it belongs: on fossil fuels and the vested interests that seek to perpetuate dependence on them.” (10)

These vested interests have the power to shift the true cost of their environmental and social degradation onto society as a whole, simply by ignoring their toxic waste.  It’s easier to just pour it into the air, into rivers, and discharge it along deserted rural roads by night.  Society pays the real costs of production, or “externalities,” by cleaning up the mess, or by enduring its effects and its costs on both the environment and health.  And if pushed, the vested interests just export their externalities en masse to the “Third” World. (11)

“Many of the emissions for which poorer countries are blamed should in fairness belong to us.  Gas flaring by companies exporting oil from Nigeria, for example, has produced more greenhouse gases than all other sources in sub-Saharan Africa put together.  Even deforestation in poor countries is driven mostly by commercial operations delivering timber, meat and animal feed to rich consumers.” (12)

The estimated damage to the environment in 2008 by the “externalities” of the 3,000 largest public companies in the world topped $2.2 trillion, more than the economies of all but seven countries in the world.  The heads of major corporations at the 2010 economic summit in Davos, Switzerland, were worried about the effect on their bottom lines if they have to stop damaging the environment, or if they are forced to pay for the pollution they create.  (13)  They were not, however, worried about environmental damage or the effects on human health of continuing to pollute with impunity.

“Keeping fossil fuels in the ground will mean defeating the world’s most powerful corporations and institutions.” (14 )  “Rather than rise to this challenge, populationists fear that it’s too difficult.” (15)   Population control has one big advantage:  it seems easier.

In 2009, Ross Gittins wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald that “Since the rich countries are reluctant to countenance a decline in living standards, to put it mildly, and the poor countries most assuredly won’t abandon their quest for affluence, there’s one obvious variable that could be used to limit global economic activity’s deleterious impact on the ecosystem: population growth.”  “Limiting population growth in the developing world and allowing population to continue on its established path of decline in the developed world wouldn’t be easy, but it would be easier than trying to prevent rising living standards among those already living.”   (emphasis added)

He links “serious action on climate change with a ‘decline in living standards’ – as if a high quality of life depends on trashing the planet.” (16)

Katie McKay Bryson, who coordinates the US-based Population and Development Program asks “Why is it easier for those who use and waste the most to imagine fewer people than less stuff?”

Population control shifts the focus off changing the social status quo.  Rather than adapting to change, population control advocates prefer to make people the problem, particularly other people.  But people are the solution.  We exist on Earth today because people adapted to change.  People who are willing to change are the key to continued human existence on the planet.

 

 

NOTES:

(1)  Hayden. Thomas.  “Environmental books suggest save-the-Earth Climate may be entering a new phase,” Washington Post, 4/20/10.
(2)  Harvey, David.  “The Political Implications of Population – Resources Theory,” Spaces of Capital: Towards a Critical Geography,” Routledge, 2001.
(3)  Satterthwaite, David.  “The Implications of Population Growth and Urbanization for Climate Change,” Environment & Urbanization, Sept. 2009.
(4)  Hartmann, Betsey.  “The Greening of Hate,” Special Report: Southern Poverty Law Center,” 7/20/10.
(5)  Butler, Simon.  “Population Control: 10 Reasons Why It’s the Wrong Answer,”  Green Left Weekly, 5/30/09.
(6)  Butler, Simon.  Ibid.
(7)  Butler, Simon.  Ibid.
(8)  Angus, Ian, and Butler, Simon.  “Should Climate Activists Support Limits on Immigration?” Climate and Capitalism, 1/24/2010.
(9)  Hartmann.   Ibid.
(10)  Boyce, James K.  “Climate Change: Are People the Problem?” TripleCrisis.com, 7/6/10.
(11) Townsend, Terry.  “Individual Versus Social Solutions to Global Warming,” Links, 4/17/08.
(12)  Monbiot, George.  “The Population Myth,” Monbiot.com, 9/29/09.
(13)  Jowitt, Juliette.  “3,000 Companies Cause $2.2 Trillion in Environmental Damage – Every Year,” The Guardian, 2/18/10.
(14)  Boyce, James K.  Ibid.
(15)  Butler, Simon.  “Population Control – A Political Weapon for Conservatives,”  Green Left Weekly, 6/24/10.
(16)  Butler, Simon.  Ibid.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Angus, Ian.  “Dissecting Those ‘Overpopulation’ Numbers. Part One – Population Where?” Climate and Capitalism, 4/28/10.
Angus, Ian.  “Dissecting Those ‘Overpopulation’ Numbers. Part Two – The Perils of Per Capita,” Climate and Capitalism, 7/2/10.
Angus, Ian.  “Dissecting Those ‘Overpopulation’ Numbers:  Appendix to Part Two:  Rate versus Ratio,” Climate and Capitalism, 7/27/10.
Angus, Ian.  “Do Consumers Cause Climate Change?” Climate and Capitalism, 2/20/10.
Angus, Ian, and Butler, Simon.  “Should Climate Activists Support Limits on Immigration?” Climate and Capitalism, 1/24/2010.
Berkowitz, Bill.  “Right Wing Front Organizations Use Progressive Sounding Names to Promote Anti-Immigration and Anti-Environmental Agendas,” The Smirking Chimp, 7/23/10.
Boyce, James K.  “Climate Change: Are People the Problem?” TripleCrisis.com, 7/6/10.
Butler, Simon.  “Population Control – A Political Weapon for Conservatives,”  Green Left Weekly, 6/24/10.
Butler, Simon.  “Population Control: 10 Reasons Why It’s the Wrong Answer,”  Green Left Weekly, 5/30/09.
Conner, Steve.  “We need a global debate on population,”  The Independent, 7/14/10.
Hartmann, Betsey.  “The Greening of Hate” Special Report: Southern Poverty Law Center, 7/20/10.
Harvey, David.  “The Political Implications of Population – Resources Theory,” “Spaces of Capital: Towards a Critical Geography,” Routledge, 2001.
Hayden, Thomas.  “Environmental books suggest save-the-Earth Climate may be entering a new phase,” Washington Post, 4/20/10.
Hildyard, Nicholas.  “Too Many for What? The Social Generation of Food ‘Scarcity’ and ‘Overpopulation’,” The Corner House, 11/1/96.
Jowitt, Juliette.  “3,000 Companies Cause $2.2 Trillion in Environmental Damage – Every Year,” The Guardian, 2/18/10.
Monbiot, George.  “The Population Myth,” Monbiot.com, 9/29/09.
Mutavallli, Jim.  “Birth Control or Border Patrol,” E Magazine.com, July/Aug 1998.
Pearce, Fred.  “Population Isn’t the Problem,” Grist, 7/13/10.
Ransel, Vi.  “Manufacturing Poor People”  Op Ed News, 6/20/09.
Ransel, Vi.  “The Population Bomb,” Shared Sacrifice, 4/09.
Satterthwaite, David.  “The Implications of Population Growth and Urbanization for Climate Change,” Environment & Urbanization, Sept. 2009.
Townsend, Terry.  “Individual Versus Social Solutions to Global Warming,” Links, 4/17/08.
Walker, Robert.  “Of Course Population Is Still a Problem,” Grist, 7/13/10

Posted in WorldComments Off on Population Growth, Pollution and the Global Environment

The Global Depopulation Policy – Killing Us Softly

NOVANEWS
Global Research
killing us softly

Regular readers of Activist Post are probably well aware that we have posted many articles highlighting the insidious nature of globalist plans for depopulation. To our knowledge, we haven’t presented any that reflect the information offered below.

Kevin Galalae has produced a well-written and thorough 100+ page historical account of the policies and methods of depopulation in various countries around the world. It is clearly his view that the covert means by which this is taking place is an affront to humanity. We absolutely agree.

We would be remiss not to mention, however, that Activist Post cannot agree with Kevin’s central tenet that overpopulation is a catastrophic certainty where there is no other option left but to embrace governmental solutions – even if it’s conducted in the most humane and open way possible. Simply because it is transparent does not mean it’s the correct path.

Rather, we believe that without the imposition of central planners humanity likely wouldn’t have reached its current level of “scarcity.” New technology (and especially the eradication of destructive corporate agriculture which impedes food production) holds much more promise toward humanity’s prosperity – even at increased population levels – than does more central planning and legislation. Nevertheless, we cede that this is an enormously complex issue, and one that demands the engagement of every one of us, otherwise we will be left to live with the decisions of others rather than our own individual self-determination. In that spirit, and in the spirit of information and debate, we leave it to the reader to determine the best path forward based on the many statistics Kevin provides in his book linked below. We look forward to your comments.

Kevin Galalae

Since the end of the Second World War and with the formation of the United Nations in 1945, international peace and stability have been maintained by controlling population growth. Unbeknown to the masses, governments have used covert methods to limit births in developed and underdeveloped countries alike and to accelerate deaths in Africa and a few critically poor and overpopulated areas elsewhere.

Births have been prevented by interfering with the reproductive system so as to lower human fertility, while deaths have been promoted by weakening the immune system so as to increase morbidity and mortality.

The methods used by every country to control population growth have been dictated by the level of development and the existing infrastructure as much as by political will or lack thereof and have either been imposed by force and deception from the outside or adopted willingly by the governing, military and scientific elites of nation states that have relied on the moral, technical and monetary assistance of the United Nations, its agencies, and the greater international community.

Regardless of the methods used to control population and whether they are imposed or self-imposed, strict secrecy and deception have been necessary to prevent the masses from discovering the bitter truth that for the past 68 years they have been the object of a silent and global offensive, a campaign of attrition that has turned the basic elements of life into weapons of mass infertility and selective death.

Without our knowledge or consent, governments the world over have subverted our reproductive freedom and ability to procreate to achieve ambitious and necessary demographic objectives and in the process have committed the most odious and wide-sweeping crimes in human history to save mankind from even greater evils: nuclear annihilation, mass starvation, and environmental devastation.

The birth of nearly two billion people has been prevented and the death of half a billion hurried. While these goals have been intentional, the architects of the Global Depopulation Policy have unintentionally undermined the genetic and intellectual endowment of the human species and have set back eons of natural selection. Their intentions have never been malevolent, but the unintended results of their actions are frightening.

It is the task of this book to reveal this silent offensive’s secret methods and insidious means, which make up the world’s greatest con, so that an awakening to the dire realities we face will prompt each and every human being on earth to demand a share of the responsibility and population control can be legislated across the globe, with little or no resistance, for the next three generations or until our numbers are sufficiently low to allow humanity to live in balance with nature and at peace with itself.

This is the only way our children will have a future and a life of dignity.

To download Kevin’s 146-page free book please click the link:
http://real-agenda.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/KILLING-US-SOFTLY2.pdf

Posted in WorldComments Off on The Global Depopulation Policy – Killing Us Softly

A History of America’s War on Whistleblowers and Journalists Since 9/11

NOVANEWS
Global Research
The Last Whistleblowers

With 2014 fresh in our rear view mirror, an honest examination of events and developments of what’s been happening in America to whistleblowers and journalists since 9/11 under the Bush-Obama regime seems a worthwhile review, however disturbing ands foreboding. By definition a whistleblower is an individual who reports an employer’s misconduct. The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 (WPA) is a law that protects federal government employees in the United States from retaliatory action for voluntarily disclosing information about dishonest or illegal activities occurring within a government organization. Yet despite these supposed legal protections in place, those who have gone public disclosing illicit and immoral behavior by the federal government have been consistently singled out for discrimination and excessive punishment.

In fact, more American citizens have been indicted for allegedly violating the Espionage Act of 1917 under the current president than all other previous presidents combined. Though the law was designed to punish WWI German spies, and rarely used since for indicting those selling secrets to the enemy or efforts to undermine the American way of life, it is completely obsolete. Yet it is being misused by Obama for purely political purposes to shut down the truth. The Obama administration has also turned down more Freedom of Information Act requests than any other prior presidency with each year the denial rate rising. 2013 was 57% more than the year before, with over half the total requests rejected. Of course Obama’s mantra excuse is always using the “national security” card. He has also jailed more whistleblowers and journalists than any other president. By his over the top, punitive methods, Obama has declared war on the first amendment right to a free press in America, threatening, harassing, indicting and imprisoning those brave enough to speak the truth, accusing them of treason when the president through his administration has repeatedly violated the very Constitution that he has sworn to protect and uphold as the so called leader of the free world. His malevolent attack on free speech is even more incriminating and inexcusable as a Harvard educated lawyer who once taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago.

With their war policies both domestic and abroad one and the same, Obama has carried the totalitarian torch handed him by the Bush-Cheney administration making the United States the world’s worst human rights violator. But then they’re all cast from the same psychopathic mold as mere public front men simply following orders from their oligarch puppet masters who own and control them along with virtually everything else on this planet.

The man who after the Bush nightmare exploited Americans’ desperate need for hope and change campaigned on false promises that his administration would be far more open and transparent than his war criminal predecessor, pledging to be the most open and honest in US history. Instead Obama has only proven to be the most guarded, vindictive and secretive president in US history. With three quarters of Obama’s two term reign of terror completed, let’s look at the lives of a handful of Americans who have bravely spoken out since 9/11, some known and some lesser known. At great danger to themselves these individuals have exercised their legal rights under the Whistleblower Act and/or First Amendment and paid dearly for only doing the right thing. Their courage to expose government waste, corruption, fraud and its diabolical wrongdoing has been met with blatant retribution and extreme punishment that has systematically resulted in their unlawful firing, false imprisonment, character and career assassination and indeed even their political assassination and murder, all for standing up to injustice and wrongdoing for the greater good of Americans and humanity. These brave and honest individuals working in our government and in journalism should be heralded as our national heroes for their bold truth speaking, not silenced, harmed and/or destroyed by our own criminally treasonous rogue government.

The two biggest whistleblowers deservedly receiving the most national and international attention during the last couple years are ex-NSA analyst Edward Snowden, currently a fugitive forced on the run hiding out in Russia, and ex-US Army private Bradley now Chelsea Manning, currently serving three and a half decades of hard time in federal prison. In June 2013 Snowden released documents proving the government leaders to be liars – from Obama’s national security advisor and known perjurer James Clapper to now former National Security Agency (NSA) Director General Alexander (in clear violation of both his sworn oath upholding both the Constitution and his onetime West Point honor code).

Through the Snowden revelations Americans and in fact the entire world have come to realize the US government has been routinely conducting invasive, unlawful surveillance on every single aspect of our not so private lives, brazenly and blatantly violating Fourth Amendment search and seizure laws for decades now. Mr. Snowden pointed out what many of us already suspected, that Big Brother is watching our every move, or minimally has free unlimited access. Despite the reactive government and its controlled Mainstream Media propaganda machine claiming the NSA whistleblower is a traitor as the eighth American charged with violating the Espionage Act who weakened national security and placed Americans in danger, then not delivering a shred of forthcoming evidence, public opinion has neither been swayed nor convinced that he’s the villain. Even the New York Times has followed suit with the majority of Americans beginning 2014 with a favorable New Year op-ed article upgrading its view of Edward Snowden:

When someone reveals that government officials have routinely and deliberately broken the law, that person should not face life in prison at the hands of the same government…

Considering the enormous value of the information he has revealed, and the abuses he has exposed, Mr. Snowden deserves better than a life of permanent exile, fear and flight.

Of course Private Manning working as an intelligence specialist in Iraq saw numerous atrocities and crimes against humanity the US Empire was perpetrating in our name in both Iraq and Afghanistan. In good conscience in 2010 he leaked thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaksbelieving like Daniel Ellsberg four decades earlier that it might force the United States to end its war crimes, perhaps the wars themselves because the American people have the right to know what atrocities are being committed in their name. Rather than protection under the Whistleblower’s Act, like Snowden he too was slammed with treasonous charges and convicted of violating the Espionage Act with the same bogus worn out cries/lies that he also compromised national security and endangered fellow Americans. And also identical to the Snowden outcries, a Pentagon general who conducted a near yearlong investigation of the effects the leaks maintained that not one single death ever resulted from Manning’s releases.

There is something really grotesquely wrong and inverse from the way it naturally should be in America when a whistleblower performing acts of goodwill demonstrating moral conscience to save lives is maltreated with the treasonous tag of traitor and imprisoned for the next thirty five years. Rather than own responsibility for violating international laws and correcting the grave problem as any government operating with any moral compass would do, US government tyranny has it committing yet another grave injustice by in effect destroying the whistleblower’s life, confining Manning for what will likely be most of her remaining life. Private Manning should have won the Nobel Peace Prize for his moral courage and been lauded as a national hero and role model to be emulated in history books for generations to come, not cast away to rot for decades in a prison cell.

John Kiriakou was a CIA officer turned whistleblower who busted the Bush-Cheney-Obama torture practice wide open by contacting the New York Times and an ABC reporter. Though the systemic practice of enhanced interrogation torture that includes waterboarding was officially outlawed under Obama, in reality it only went further underground. That’s why Obama recently refused to prosecute the guilty members of the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Alberto Gonzalez regime including the CIA and Special Ops personnel who actively violated international and national laws. But the good man Kiriakou who called the bad men out was the one who was arrested in early 2012 simply for telling the truth while the government for years persisted in its lying game. That’s why Obama throwing the book at John threw him into the slammer where he still remains, not for passing any classified material or even violating the three counts of espionage he initially was charged with that were dropped for lack of evidence. He has been locked up purely for the political purpose to set an example for those honest and courageous enough to tell the nasty heinous truth about what America the rogue state has been propagating with impunity around the world. In his arrogant exceptionalism, Obama continues to operate above the law, defying the Whistleblower Act of 1989 he also promised to uphold. As another heroic patriot, John Kiriakou should be a free man and recognized as the hero he is.

Meanwhile, the US military-national government should be treated as the treasonous killing machine it is and severely punished for its rampant destruction and violation of both international and domestic laws. But unfortunately since 9/11, the oppressors within the militarized Empire apparatus doing the dirty oligarch bidding of the New World Order no longer comply with our nation’s rule of law and instead appear engaged in global depopulation through war, growing complicity of ethnic cleansing in Gaza, Ukraine, Iraq, Syria and Rwanda, widespread global impoverishmentbio-warfare and neurotoxin poisoning. The police state killing increasing numbers of innocent, unarmed, law abiding US citizens reflects the overt war on America itself. With events from Ferguson, New York City and throughout America really, the powers-that-be have long been waging successful divide and conquer campaigns, pitting class against class, religion against religion, race against race, region against region, ideology against ideology, police state against citizen.

Though the FBI fails to even acknowledge much less tally each year’s unjustifiable homicides committed by law enforcement agencies across the nation, only “justifiable” ones are counted. From 1992 through 2012 (2012 being the latest account though in 2014 an exponential spike has no doubt occurred), while violent crime in the US has steadily declined, the so called justifiable killings of Americans by police has significantly increased. Plus as law enforcement becomes more militarized with surplus military weapons and equipment from war zones being distributed in recent years to local police departments around the country, the weapon of choice that the militarized police state is currently using to kill US citizens has shifted from officer handguns to automatic rifles. It’s getting so one cannot tell the difference between the police and the military as they have emerged in both appearance and function to be one and the same. They both fight wars, domestic and foreign.

Everything happening here in the United States is simultaneously recurring throughout the Western world. It all is going as planned by that one tenth of one percent that holds virtually the entire planet’s wealth and power along with its seven billion population hostage. In the US the top 20% of American household incomes own over half the country’s wealth (53.5%) and incredibly the top 1% alone more than 40% of all US wealth. With the world’s richest nation’s form of government no longer a democratic republic but an actual oligarchy serving the interests of the privileged financial elite, draconian laws have sprung up on every continent criminalizing free speech and free press. Each passing year more journalists are being jailed or killed throughout the globe. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) just revealed that 60 journalists were killed in action in 2014 while Reporters Without Borders counted the number at 66. CPJ maintains that 220 were imprisoned last year. It’s becoming more dangerous all the time to report the truth.

The Orwellian nightmare of a militarized global security-surveillance-police state means new national security laws are rapidly proliferating all over the world. This last year alone has seen tyrannical parliamentary acts from Australia to Spain being enacted with greater frequency. Clearly the globalists control every war, manufacturing and demonizing enemies at propagandist will. Oligarchs in the form of the international banking cabal have taken over every national government, own and control every transnational corporation, and control every national economy due to increasing dependence on a non-sustainable, bankrupt global economic system dictated and controlled by the cabal. They own and control virtually all global food production, distribution and supply as well as virtually all sources of information through fewer and fewer media outlets, with the agenda to next abolish net neutrality and eliminate the internet as the only viable independent news source for any semblance of truth and accurate information still left available. As highly alarming as this appallingly dark and austere NWO reality fast descending over every corner of the globe appears, unfortunately the worst is yet to come. We citizens of the world must fight back first with the truth by learning and disseminating it, and then with our collective will through nonviolent civil disobedience.

The increasingly probable assassination of investigative journalist Michael Hastings on June 18th, 2013 involved a high speed car crash caused by an incredibly high heat explosion that occurred prior to ending up “leaning” next to a tree in an LA police photo that shows the new model Mercedes Benz with absolutely no frontal collision damage at all, only a badly burned area confined to the driver’s seat where Michael was burned alive. Neighborhood witnesses describe what they heard as an enormously loud explosion at 4:30 in the morning sounding like “a bomb going off.” The unburned engine was strangely found at a right angle from the car lying 150-180 feet away, consistent with a powerful explosive catapulting it so far a distance from the vehicle. Also consistent with an explosion, there were no skid marks at the accident scene.

Within just a few hours after Hastings’ death, LAPD was rushing to make an open and shut case, calling it a simple accident while emphatically claiming no foul play was involved barely even after any investigation had begun. That kind of knee jerk response smacks of cover-up. Also Michael’s body went straight from the coroner’s office to the local crematory without the family’s consent against their wishes. With his body quickly cremated, any possibility of discovering signs of foul play were instantly and conveniently destroyed, raising only more suspicion.

On the very same day just a few hours before his death, the outspoken reporter was in contact with WikiLeaks lawyer Jennifer Robinson, eager to turn over his latest expose piece on the criminality of US intelligence agencies. Also on that very same day, Michael asked a friend to borrow her car indicating he knew something was not right with his own new model vehicle. Additionally, Hastings was in a rare state of anxiety all day long as he was busily emailing and contacting friends to inform them that the FBI was in fact investigating him and that he may need to lay low for a while. Though the FBI denied that he was ever under investigation, the truth was the FBI lied as he was being investigated right after his most recent Rolling Stone article came out in July 2012 featuring the highly controversial case of the only POW from the Afghanistan War Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. A 22-page secret FBI report was the result.

Even more striking was a post on WikiLeaks of an internal email from the covert CIA contractor company Stratfor’s Vice President Fred Burton stating, “[CIA Director] Brennan is behind the witch hunts of investigative journalists learning information from inside the beltway sources.”Then Michael Hastings’ wife Elise Jordan confirmed in a CNN interview that former CIA Director Petraeus’ successor John Brennan and his efforts to seal off all leaks to the press was the very hot topic of Hastings’ next exposé. The biggest articles of Hastings’ career in journalism were most unflattering reports about the most powerful military leaders in America – Generals Stanley McCrystal and David Petraeus for Rolling Stone.

In fact, shortly after the McCrystal article was published, the military intelligence commander of Special Operations in Afghanistan’s own career was destroyed when Obama fired McCrystal for trash talking his Commander-in-Chief. There’s evidence that Hastings’ life was threatened while writing that article should his account of McCrystal not be anything more than a fluff n’ puff piece. Several years earlier it was General McCrystal who was the primary player (along with his boss my former West Point roommate the then CentCom commander General John Abizaid) in covering up Pat Tillman’s suspicious death and probable murder since the famous pro football star turned patriotic Army Ranger was renouncing his role as a Bush-Cheney poster boy unwittingly being misused for recruitment for their illegal wars. Tillman was about to blow the lid off the US government’s international drug smuggling operation that had US soldiers guarding the opium fields in Afghanistan. The friendly fire that put three bullet holes in his forehead a la execution style obviously was anything but friendly. Nor was the autopsy doctor who balked for months from acquiescing to the official cover-up version.

Two years later another scathing Hastings article placed General Petraeus in a bad light uncovering the resounding failure of “King David’s War” (as Hastings named his Rolling Stone piece) in 2010 Afghanistan, exposing the general’s lies touting false progress over his second surge in as many wars after the inflated hype had crowned him the savior in Iraq. Hastings’ unfettered truth squarely embarrassed America’s most famous general with the rock star status and presidential ambitions to jump at the chance in 2011 of abandoning his own 37-year military career, his failed combat mission and lost cause war to become the next civilian in charge of the CIA. Hastings’ no-nonsense brand of truth telling journalism made powerful enemies and tragically he paid for it with his life.

Michael Hastings boldly pissed off the elite, exposing their lies in a nation run no different from the mafia, controlled by murdering thugs within a shadowy rogue government that made Hastings their “fair game” target. Silencing him by their brazen undercover method of remote hacking and exploding his automobile was the not-so-subtle message sent to all muckraking journalists who dare print the dirty lowdown truth about the fascist tyranny state since the 9/11 inside coup unleashing the forever war on terror. Even counterterrorism insider Richard Clarke copped the conclusion that it could well have been a hacking hit job. While a militarized police force operating freely with impunity in a security surveillance state is regularly killing off innocent unarmed Americans, a totalitarian federal government is resorting to assassination of its own targeted citizens deemed a threat to the state just to keep any would-be rabblerousers in line and/or neutralized by elimination.

Just two weeks prior to Hastings’ untimely demise, Obama had launched his aggressive assault on America’s free press with his shot across the bow confiscating phone records of Associated Press reporters, harassing a Fox journalist as well as internally hacking the computer belonging to former CBS reporter and investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson. In her recent tell-all book Stonewalled, Attkisson chronicles Obama’s profound web of deceit and his aggressive, out for blood lust to destroy all truth tellers. Fresh on the heels of these events came Michael Hastings’ car blowing up. In today’s United States of America, an emboldened, in-our-face pattern of connecting the criminal dots has emerged. Those of us individuals courageous and daring enough to expose the dark ugly truth about what America the no longer free has chillingly degenerated into, are simply being taken out, exterminated by the totalitarian state that hypocritical US leaders like Obama have long accused of Russia and China.

Several months prior to Hastings death in February 2013, another controversial journalist-author and his family turned up suspiciously dead in northern California. Philip Marshall wrote the book published in 2012 called The Big Bamboozle: 9/11 and the War on Terror, dissecting the false flag 9/11 event that launched the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars. Speculation abounds over Marshall’s affiliation back in the Iran Contra days of the 1980’s when controversial CIA pilot Barry Seal was transporting cocaine for the government and later had his pilot license revoked. It was then that fellow pilot Philip Marshall was hired to transport Seal back and forth from Florida to Louisiana. After delving into covert government activities and writing about them for thirty years, Philip Marshall’s third book was an expose linking the Saudi government to the 9/11 inside Bush-Cheney job. The former United Airlines captain makes the case that a US military stand down order was in effect on the day the planes flew into the towers after Washington and Saudi Arabia had been in cahoots for that last 18 months to ensure that with CIA assistance the wire-cutting, Saudi foreign nationals were allowed free access in and out of the US while being trained to fly planes at various flight school locations around the country – in Florida, Arizona and California. Two credible sources, former Senators Bob Kerrey and Bob Graham who headed two separate 9/11 investigations also came up with the same conclusion, that intelligence sources from the Saudi government worked hand in hand with the Bush administration in preparation to pull off the 9/11 attack.

An FBI special agent and attorney Coleen Rowley working out of the Minnesota field office had stumbled upon vital information regarding suspicious activity involving Saudi national Zacarias Moussaoui taking flying lessons. After attempting to alert FBI higher-ups in DC to no avail, she soon went public as a whistleblower testifying before a Senate committee over the inexplicable breakdown in intelligence communications that led directly to 9/11. Specifically she realized that FBI headquarters actually hampered the investigation that may have stopped the 9/11 attack. Of course if the reality from top on down was a planned inside attack, then the FBI would have orders to purposely sabotage any real probe exposing the perpetrators. Coleen wrote a scathing letter to the FBI Director Robert Mueller. Ms. Rowley was one of three women selected as 2002’s Time Magazine’s Persons of the Year for her blowing the whistle on the feds’ failure to do its job. Ever since she has been a strong advocate and activist for government oversight especially once she resigned from the FBI in 2004. Coleen Rowley is another unsung American hero.

Still another courageous woman who became an FBI whistleblower involving 9/11 is Sibel Edmonds. Fluent in both Farsi and Turkish languages, Ms. Edmonds was hired right after 9/11 as a translator of sensitive intelligence documents that confirmed the FBI knew prior to 9/11 of the plan to use airplanes to attack buildings on American soil. Sibel like Coleen is a hardworking activist dedicated to exposing the truth about government improprieties. Utilizing her international contacts, she runs the extremely informative alternative news website BoilingFrogs.com.

With FBI Agent Rowley also privy to the same plan to fly planes into New York City’s Twin Towers, Rowley informed top FBI officials of this terrorist plot even prior to 9/11. Between both Rowley and Edmonds’ testimony, proof exists that the government knew about the attack and chose not to intercept its execution on 9/11. Beyond a question of a doubt, this bit of critical evidence demonstrates at a minimum the federal government’s complicity and more than likely its preplanned inside false flag operation to murder thousands of Americans on that fateful September morning. Of course 9/11 became the contrived diabolical excuse used to justify US invasions and decade long occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq under totally fabricated pretense. Of course it also constitutes crimes against humanity on an unprecedented monstrously gargantuan scale – not only crimes against the American people, but especially against the Iraqi and Afghan citizens who have lost millions of their loved ones in their failed state nations, all compliments of George Bush and Dick Cheney. Right up to this very day wars that America egregiously brought to their homelands are still raging with no end in sight.

Returning to the man recognized as “the leading aviation expert on the 9/11 attack,” Mr. Philip Marshall’s book and his next writing project he had begun must have threatened those high enough in the government who systematically silence anyone bent on uncovering their sinister false flag operations. The neocon administration has too much at stake and too much to lose should the real truth about them be known. What especially makes this story even more tragic is that Marshall’s teenage son and daughter were also shot in the head in their “safe” gated community home. Unsurprisingly, the local police and coroner hastily wrote it off as just another family homicide-suicide by another mentally unstable father estranged from his ex-wife.

Meanwhile right after the tragedy, former NSA officer and outspoken investigative journalist Wayne Madsen (WayneMadsenReport.com) spent a week in California talking to Marshall’s fellow residents in Murphys. The homes are close enough for the next door neighbor to say she could hear Philip whistling inside his house. Yet the police claimed that the homes in the community are too far apart for any neighbors to hear the four gunshots, quickly denying that a silencer was used. Moreover, none of the Marshall family friends and neighbors believe it was a homicide-suicide. Many believe that Philip’s latest work was especially incriminating to the government and that the family was murdered to silence him. Madsen also learned from the local media sources that Calaveras County Sheriff Gary Kuntz is said to be stalling in handing over the critical toxicological report on the family’s bodies as well as the Gunshot Residue report from the bullets fired from Marshall’s 9mm Glock. After conducting his own investigation, Wayne Madsen concluded that he is “100% certain” that the Marshall family was assassinated by the government.

A piece in the Santa Barbara View mentioned that during the editing and pre-marketing phase of publishing his 9/11 book, Philip Marshall displayed signs of paranoia. When one is actually being targeted for extermination through intimidation and harassment, to fear for your life is clearly not a paranoid delusion. Yet skeptics readily buy in to the official spin that targeted assassination victims are simply unstable and deranged, going off the deep end in this case killing his own family, the family dog and himself. Of course professionals who murder for a living are skilled at setting it up so suicide is always the most plausible explanation. Government thugs who operate like the mafia wouldn’t have it any other way. Those who kill for a living and have every possible resource available to enable them to get away with their sins can always make a crime scene appear like a suicide. Criminal rogue elements within the US government have been doing it for a very long time. So another truth teller and his two innocent children must bite the dust so the actual perpetrators can go free, untouched by their own evildoing.

Of course the 33-year old Hastings and 54-year old Marshall are not the only American writers likely murdered for exposing the sinister truth about the US government. In his 1996 Dark Alliance, an expose series for the San Jose Mercury News, Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist Gary Webb singlehandedly uncovered the Iran Contra scandal during Reagan’s 1980’s that supplied crack cocaine to South Central Los Angeles, resulting in the crack epidemic still raging in America’s urban ghettos. Webb’s ongoing investigative work exposed the illicit, morally reprehensible Contra Cocaine scandal that the CIA was running a decade earlier exchanging money and guns for Latin American drugs to finance the Contra insurgency operations fighting against the democratically elected Nicaraguan Sandinista government. Of course the Contras weren’t the “freedom fighters” Reagan idolized at all but US funded drug cartel mercenaries consisting of death squad commandos trained and led by CIA and US Special Operations forces that brutally terrorized and massacred thousands of Nicaraguans during the eighties Contra War.

A decade after Webb’s tragic death, his harrowing story was cinematically portrayed in the 2014 film “Kill the Messenger.” The Sacramento coroner that performed Webb’s autopsy quickly ruled his death a suicide despite a passing reference to the unusual occurrence of a suicide involving two bullets to the head. One shot from behind went out through Webb’s jaw so the likely murderer ensured the hit was successfully finalized by sending the second .35 caliber bullet straight into his brain. Prior to his demise, Webb had received a number of death threats and witnessed men in flight leaving his home as he pulled into his driveway. Those who believe Webb did commit suicide cite that he was broke, jobless, down on his luck and soon to be evicted from his apartment. Oh, and his motorcycle was stolen the day before he shot himself twice. Feds once again have ways to arrange circumstances so their official suicide spin gets bought.

Two years after the newspaper articles, Gary Webb published his book Dark Alliance in 1998 and continued working on another book uncovering the CIA and its clandestine operations right up till his execution style murder. Of course the big three mainstream presstitutes, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Washington Post thoroughly trashed Webb’s controversial findings as unsubstantiated, amateurish journalism, making a mockery of both the veracity of his investigation and his unjustifiably maligned reputation. Eventually his editor at the Mercurysuccumbed to the national pressure from the oligarch owned and operated Big Media and canned him. Subsequently the San Jose editor was rewarded for discriminately distancing the paper’s parent company Knight Ridder from the forsaken media pariah Webb. Similar to Hastings’ fate, the CIA is believed responsible for killing the journalist who was bent on exposing the evil that US intelligence forces perpetrate by shooting him twice in the back of his head in December 2004 as fatal retribution.

Gary Webb’s unveiling news was predated more than a decade earlier by Senator John Kerry’s 1985 investigation uncovering the reality that the US government knew about the drug connection between the CIA and Contra funding. Webb’s much criticized accounting was vindicated by the CIA’s own Inspector General Frederick Hitz’ 1998 reports that clearly confirmed CIA’s active involvement. Webb’s work also paved the way to learning that President Reagan and top administration officials knew and actively supported the illegal drug for money and weapons starting in the early 1980’s, placing the CIA along with National Security Council point man Lt. Colonel Oliver North in charge of the drug smuggling operation headquartered in the White House basement. This sordid covert operation right under Reagan’s powdered white nose had CIA fingerprints all over it, led by none other than former CIA chief and then VP turned President George H.W. Bush himself.

The Massachusetts Congressman who appointed me to West Point, Edward Boland, sponsored the Boland Amendment that prohibited military assistance to the Contras until 1986. Yet despite this Congressional restriction, it failed to stop CIA man Bush from secretly and illegally funding the Contra War through the lucrative drug trade. The staging area for resupplying the Contra terrorists during the 1980’s became Ilopongo Air Force Base in El Salvador. It was there that many CIA flights picking up large shipments of cocaine were then flown for drop off to America.

Even a 27-year senior special FBI agent who headed the Los Angeles, Memphis and Dallas field offices, the late Ted Gunderson, ruled Gary Webb’s death a murder and the possibility of it being a suicide “impossible.” During the last several decades of his life, Gunderson’s snooping around for the truth exposing the pervasive criminality within his own rogue elements of the FBI and CIA more than likely led to his eventual death in July 2011. During the three decades since retiring from the FBI, Ted Gunderson investigated the JFK assassination, Marilyn Monroe’s likely murder, 9/11 as an inside job, chemtrails, the Iran-Conta scandal, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Illuminati and the NWO agenda, the Bush crime family, Satanism, child kidnapping and ritualistic abuse and sacrifice. As a longtime government whistleblower and bestselling author possessing impeccable FBI credentials and decades of expert investigative experience, Gunderson made many enemies within the government. Mr. Gunderson’s treating physician of many years, Dr. Edward Lucidi, also examined Ted’s body after his July 2011 death, and concluded that Gunderson had been periodically poisoned with arsenic that eventually triggered his bladder cancer that ultimately spread to kill him.

The longtime New World Order advocate and oligarch George Herbert Walker Bush has CIA links dating all the way back to the 1961 Bay of Pigs scandal. Though once a Skull and Bones secret society initiate at Yale like his father before him and his junior namesake after, graduation in 1948 meant moving with his wife and George Jr. to Texas where he became an even richer oil man. In the early 1960’s HW worked as a CIA recruiter for the Bay of Pigs operation. It was his involvement in the CIA training of Cuban exiles in guerilla warfare in preparation for the Bay of Pigs that H.W. met anti-Castro Cuban, naturalized American citizen, drug trafficker, career CIA employee and lifelong friend Felix Rodriguez (alias Max Gomez) who was responsible for Che Guevara’s capture and killing and would surface decades later in a key role in the Iran Contra affair. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover’s controversial JFK assassination memo dated November 29th, 1963, a mere seven days after the Kennedy murder, explicitly names the CIA’s “George H.W. Bush” for his direct JFK involvement placing him in Dallas at the time the ill-fated president was ambushed at Dealey Plaza. There is even a photo of Bush in front of the same book depository where the “lone gunman” patsy Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly fired from the second floor.

President Kennedy was indeed the most famous would-be whistleblower in-the-making during the 1000 days of his short-lived presidency. In reaction to the embarrassment of the botched Bay of Pigs scandal he inherited from the Eisenhower administration, Kennedy’s bold design included “splintering the CIA,” abolishing its covert operations and bringing home all of the US military advisors assigned to Vietnam. Thus, Kennedy intended to avoid further conflict in Southeast Asia that his successor turned into the longest running war in American history, that is, up until this century’s George W. Bush-Obama’s Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. After the October 1962 Missile Crisis was resolved when Premier Khrushchev dismantled Soviet missiles in Cuba, and then the Soviet construction of the Berlin wall separating Communist East Germany from West Germany, JFK sought to improve relations with the Soviet Union with the ultimate aim of ending the dangerous cold war. Both his stance on Vietnam and the cold war placed him in direct conflict with the shadowy power structure lurking all around him.

At the time of his murder, President John Kennedy was about to break with such powerful Council on Foreign Relations elitist globalists aka “wise men” as Dean Acheson, Averell Harriman (George HW’s Nazi financier father Prescott’s lifelong business partner) and JFK recently fired (over the Bay of Pigs fiasco) CIA Director Allen Dulles who were all longtime chief presidential advisors and additionally chief Vietnam War proponents/architects. Though surrounded and overwhelmingly outnumbered by his Vice President Johnson, Secretary of State Rusk and Defense Secretary McNamara who all backed the CFR advisors’ views along with his ultra-pro-war hawk Chiefs of Staff, against the rising tide Kennedy was determined to withdraw all troops from Southeast Asia.

But perhaps JFK’s final blow that determined his tragic fate came when he issued Executive Order 11110 in June 1963 returning the power to create money back over to the US Treasury with instructions “to issue silver certificates against any silver bullion, silver, or standard silver dollars in the Treasury.” This move would have usurped the power, profit and fraudulent Ponzi scheme that the banking cabal wields through the nonfederal privatized Federal Reserve. The Eastern Establishment of Wall Street Bankers bolstered by the pervasive governmental influence of the CFR would not tolerate such monumental loss of wealth and power from their longtime coffers. Thus, a number of JFK investigators have concluded that the deposed CIA Director Dulles played a leading role in the assassination and cover-up against the one man who perhaps would have been the greatest whistleblower in US history.

Of course once Kennedy was forcibly removed from power, Texan Lyndon Johnson became president, the Federal Reserve continued its theft controlling the flow of paper fiat money and all those CFR “wise guys” continued prodding LBJ into full scale escalation in Vietnam despite knowing in advance that the war was unwinnable per revelations from the Pentagon Papers released later by renowned whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg. Ellsberg’s biggest regret was waiting until 1971 to go public. The sobering lesson of losing near 60,000 Americans and over three million Southeast Asians estimated dead because the elite wanted a war the US would lose by design was doomed to repeat itself indefinitely with more false flag crimes of the twenty-first century in the 9/11 disgraceful tragedy, then the preplanned Afghanistan and Iraq Wars where millions more continue dying in vain to this day because oligarchs always love profiteering forever from their self-made war on terror. As insiders aware of the demonic destruction and plundering of all earthly life at their hands, we must all become whistleblowers and stand up to this evil tide that has ruled over humanity for far too many centuries by the inhuman psychopaths in megalomaniacal control.

Finally, the legacy of the CFR Skull and Bones assassinations, criminal theft made legal and false flag wars continue to live on even today through the ongoing malevolence perpetrated by the Bush family. Prior to murderously pulling off the coup of the century with stolen fraudulent elections and the demonic 9/11 inside job, the silver spooned Skull and Bones lifer George W. Bush had already proven he was likely a psychopathic rapist. Meet Margie Schoedinger, a 38-year old married African American woman who filed rape charges against President George W. Bush in December 2002. Other than her hometown Fort Bend, Texas newspaper, not one other US media outlet even bothered to cover the plaintiff’s criminal lawsuit filed in the Harris County Civil Court against the standing US president. With so much attention focused on Monica Lewinsky’s illicit affair with his predecessor Clinton, and then violent acts of rape, torture and harassment allegedly committed on multiple occasions by then Texas Governor George W. Bush, to have a complete media blackout refusing to report such serious criminal offenses indicates the absolute power of the Bush cabal for controlling and completely shutting off the flow of important information in America. Then to ensure the demonic truth about Bush never sees the light of day, nine months later Margie Schoedinger was silenced, found dead from a gunshot wound to the head, her death ruled a suicide. Though women rarely commit suicide with guns, choosing drug overdose as their means, no further follow of either the repeated sexual assaults or the death was ever launched despite records showing that Bush made her life a living hell. Whether she did herself in or not, her killer was most likely the leader of the free world and with that kind of power, hardly anyone dared to notice.

There was no indication that Margie Schoedinger was mentally imbalanced, nor did she ever seek publicity. She had known Bush two decades earlier having dated Bush when still a minor. The peculiar, spectacular and horrifying circumstances of the rape charges and then more strange circumstances surrounding the victim’s death again drew virtually no response from the press. Only one single UK paper the New Nation serving the black community of London published an article about her alleged suicide. Back prior to the current cold war with Russia, its foreign news service Pravda also picked up and ran the story as well.

Records on file indicate that allegations that George Bush and FBI agents regularly harassed and threatened both Margie and her husband for months prior to her death. On the night of October 26th, 2000, three of Bush’s FBI henchmen apparently arrived at her home. When Margie contacted the Sugar Land police, the police arrived showing deference to the thug henchman and acted accusatory toward Margie and her husband. Then later the Sugar Land police lied, denying they had any record of said incident. Ms. Schoedinger made statements on record that Bush and company did more than just threaten to ruin and destroy her. In addition to allegedly committing sex crimes toward both Margie and her husband, on multiple occasions she allegedly had been drugged and gang raped. Apparently she was even hospitalized for having a miscarriage alleged to be Bush’s baby and was met at the hospital by FBI for further intimidation. Bush ensured that her academic degree was denied, her bank account deleted, her husband’s employment terminated, ultimately recommending that she was better off committing suicide. That this tragedy never was fully covered by the press, nor allegations ever followed up with any real investigation, nor any justice even remotely served, all this offers true testimony of how privilege, wealth and fame in America grants the diabolical elite the power to literally get away with rape and murder in destroying innocent victims’ lives. With his illegal wars based on lies, the untold suffering that the psychopathic Bush crime family has inflicted on this earth goes far beyond any measure in words.

For brevity sake, I presented the stories of just a few whistleblowers and journalists who have come forth with inside knowledge and expertise exposing government corruption, lies, misdeeds and injustice. Hundreds more have also paid the heavy price for speaking the truth. Too many have died, always obscured by more lies portending suicide as the cause of death. Recently an anonymous source volunteered that ex-Navy Seal Michael Calabrese was found floating vertically in the Chesapeake Bay waters, evidence he was a drowning victim whose body was purposely weighed down. The source claimed that Calabrese was his supervisor while they both installed demolition explosives and release switches inside the World Trade Center vending machines in both towers during the weeks leading up to 9/11. Calabrese was said to be writing his version of events as a would-be whistleblower but was silenced before his time like all the rest. Nearly a dozen have died mysteriously that had inside knowledge regarding the BP oil spill. The list goes on and on. Clearly, this government of ours will stop at nothing to ensure the evil truth stays hidden.

Though a number of whistleblowers and truth exposing journalists have made the ultimate sacrifice, it’s both fair and important to point out the fact that hundreds of honest and brave individuals have gone public with crucial need-to-know information and are still living amongst us alive and well. Jesselyn Radack is a Yale educated whistleblowing attorney who disclosed injustice when American Taliban John Walker Lindh was denied due process by the FBI during his interrogation. His family had already hired an attorney to represent him. As a young lawyer working in the State Department providing on call legal counsel to federal agencies in December 2001, Jesselyn Radack recommended that the FBI not proceed with questioning Lindh if he had an attorney. However, the overzealous FBI interrogators went ahead anyway without his attorney present. As the case moved forward, Ms. Radack later learned that transcripts of her consultation documents were missing from Lindh’s official file. When she inquired and ensured all the documentation was then included, she was suddenly asked to resign her position in the State Department. Ultimately in good conscience, she made the decision to go public contacting a New York Times reporter. With her career being derailed and threatened, she was then abruptly terminated from her next job at a private law firm. In the end through months of anguish and adversity, Jesselyn Radack’s ethical principles and resolve triumphed over the petty vengeful federal bureaucrats out to destroy her.

Ms. Radack has come full circle as she is now the National Security and Human Rights Director of the Government Accountability Project (GAP) in Washington DC. As a bestselling author and a regular contributor of op-ed articles to the New York TimesWall Street Journal andWashington Post, Jesselyn is a formidable force for good, representing and protecting the rights of likeminded insiders determined to serve justice by making an honest difference. Seven of the eight national security employee whistleblowers who have been charged under Obama with violating the Espionage Act have been among her clients, including Edward Snowden, John Kiriakou and a former CIA analyst-NSA contractor turned whistleblower and activist colleague with Jesselyn at GAP Sir Thomas Drake.

A 10-year Air Force veteran in intelligence, Thomas Drake began working as a CIA analyst and NSA contractor for 12 years before joining the NSA fulltime. He observed enormous taxpayer dollars being wasted and proceeded to address his concerns through proper channels only to be ignored. Harassment followed as soon as he approached the Department of Defense and NSA Inspector Generals. Falsely accused of leaking classified documents during the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping scandal, as a last resort Thomas contacted a Baltimore Sun reporter who wrote a series of award winning articles on the waste no one in the government would do anything about. Drake was then raked over the coals, bogusly charged with breaking espionage laws. His home raided, computers confiscated and held for hours under interrogation, the Justice Department (DOJ) was out for his blood, threatening he would spend the rest of his life behind bars. Drake fought back, refusing “to plea bargain with the truth.” By this time Obama was in power. Thomas learned that the new president only paid lip service to vowing to protect whistleblowers when in April 2010 he was indicted on 10 counts, 5 under the Espionage Act. With only three other previous cases in US history, Thomas Drake would be the first of Obama’s eight charged with that archaic lynchpin. Despite no evidence of turning over classified documents, he was charged with “retention” of them. As an NSA employee, of course he would hold classified info, but he never leaked any. Again determined to make him an example for others, the government spent years trying to build a case against him but couldn’t because he never broke any laws.

After Jesselyn and her colleague at GAP authored an op-ed piece defending Drake, Thomas elected to have the Government Accounting Project formally represent him. With media advocacy pressuring the Justice Department without a valid case to back off, finally defeated by the court of public opinion, the feds tucked their tail between their legs and folded. Thomas Drake beat the rap and was finally a cleared, free man with the highest honor for a whistleblower bestowed upon him – the Ridenhour Prize for Truth-Telling. Four days before scheduled trial, all counts were dropped. The heroic victor walked away copping to a misdemeanor “exceeding authorized use of a computer” and one year on probation. Talk about petty politics. The government was shamed into submission and defeat. Drake is an inspiration to all Americans for standing up to evil and righteously staring it down. In the end, he remains a champion of our Constitution. He and Radack make a great tag team for justice against tyranny.

Over many decades the oligarchs have been engaged in the systematic dumbing down and killing of the global population, utilizing the nonstop barrage of false disinformation and propaganda to induce fear and compliance, of course with Americans always the last to know. Alarms going off in recent years by concerned citizens admonishing their fellow humans to wake up before it’s too late have largely fallen on deaf ears. 24/7 state sponsored propaganda inducing a societal stupor and insular ignorance have effectively prevented the masses from heeding any warnings to detox off the modern opiate – diversionary media deception delivered through the likes of Kim Kardashian’s latest wardrobe malfunction, upcoming Super Bowl hype, the latest video game or hi-tech toy or big screen blockbuster smash em’ up pyrotechnics. These are the fascist state’s arsenal of tools being utilized to numb, saturate and desensitize humans to violence, death and suffering, lulling us all into a glazed over sleep while previously invisible shackles and chains one day soon will visually and irreversibly materialize. We suddenly will wake up only to find ourselves bound and gagged in total bondage and enslavement, with whatever illusion of liberty or freedom of choice we thought we had, vanished and stolen in the night while we slept.

It becomes incumbent upon us to realize the danger of passivity, complacency, ignorance and fear is not the answer. The individuals highlighted here have sacrificed their freedom and life to make a difference. Their courage and integrity should be celebrated and honored. Their grossly unjust hardship will not be in vain only if their truth and bravery inspire us to also seek and tell the truth. This presentation calls upon all of us to become whistleblowers fighting all our might for our lost freedoms. 2015 marks a New Year to make a positive difference by spreading the word as truth activists empowered to continue the noble work and accomplishments that these very brave and valiant souls have paved for us. If we all do our part as truth telling whistleblowers, the truth shall set us all free.

Posted in USA, Human RightsComments Off on A History of America’s War on Whistleblowers and Journalists Since 9/11

I Testify That Iran Is Standing!

NOVANEWS
Global Research
Iran carte drapeau

So why should I even bother to think much about Iran’s nuclear program, big or small, “peaceful” or defensive?

If Iran is capable of defending itself – then excellent; I am only happy! At least it will not be wiped out from the face of the Earth, as happened to its unfortunate neighbors Iraq and Afghanistan or to a bit more distant but not more fortunate countries like Libya.

Do I want this great, ancient Iranian culture to become defenseless and to eventually disappear, to be destroyed, or to get replaced by aggressive Western consumerism, arrogance and pathological lack of compassion? Or more concretely: Do I want Iran to turn into yet another Western colony? I don’t! I want it to survive and to thrive. As I want great Chinese and great Arab cultures to survive and flourish. As I want all cultures on earth to survive and flourish.

But it seems that, as the Empire is on its final bellicose and ideological crusade, unless a truly independent nation begins to roar, unless it shows both its teeth and its missiles, it has almost no chance to survive.

Iran is roaring and it is also logically explaining where it stands. It has both guts and big heart!

*

Iran is ordered to prove its “innocence”, all the time. There are entire “international” (sponsored and handled by the West) organizations and commissions challenging its course, sticking their muzzles into Iran’s internal affairs.

Iran is told to comply, “or else”. Its tormentors insist on “transparency”, while themselves staying in total murkiness. They are above the law; in fact they are the law. In the world they created, they themselves don’t have to prove absolutely anything, while their victims are routinely challenged, scrutinized, cornered, bullied and humiliated.

After suffering, after bleeding incessantly, it appears that Iran had finally enough. It is no longer willing to play this neo-colonialist game. It is now going public with its grievances.

*

At the opening of the “2nd International Congress on 17.000 Iranian Martyrs”, (held in Teheran on August 31 – September 1st, 2015) I was allowed to speak right after the President of Iran, Mr. Hassan Rouhani.

President Rouhani gave a powerful speech about the terrorism in the region: “Maybe for many people it is something new, but not for us… Today there are powers in Europe and the United States – they are silent about some terrorist groups, while supportive of others. Can we really win against the terrorism like this?”

“You are being targeted because you are taking care of your people”, I said after him, in my discourse, as I was designated a keynote speaker of the Conference. “Iran suffers similar attacks as Latin America. The Western imperialism tries to destroy virtually every revolutionary, socialist country. But the world is changing and you are not alone. As Latin America is not alone.”

17.000 Iranian victims; 17.000 human lives lost. And almost no one in the West seems to know! How convenient. How cowardly. How servile!

The West supports the Saudis, Qataris and other Wahhabi extremists. It had been arming ISIL (Dash). It already destroyed almost every socially oriented, moderate and secular nation in the Muslim world, from Yemen to Syria, from Egypt to Indonesia. Little surprise that independent-minded and proud Iran is now at the very top of the Empire’s hit list.

After all, Iran is standing by Syria and it is supportive of Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Hezbollah is the only true social force in that otherwise collapsing country; the only social force that incorporates several religious and ethnic groups. And it is locked in a dogfight with ISIL, and it fights Israel whenever Israel decides to invade Lebanon. That is why Hezbollah is also on that hit list (or call it “terrorist list”) of the West. The fact that Teheran is backing Hezbollah is yet another reason why Iran is ostracized by Washington, London and Paris.

Teheran is simply spoiling some of the most outrageous colonialist plans of both North America and Europe.

*

It is time for the Western public to wake up and pay attention to the fact that thousands of common Iranian people are dying, have been murdered, for absolutely no reasons… both common people, as well as prominent figures, including some of the country’s top scientists.

I saw mothers and wives holding photos of their murdered loved ones, in terrible grief. I saw men without legs. I saw archive photos depicting aftermaths of countless horrific terrorist explosions, executed by The Mujahedeen-e Khalq Organization (MKO), an anti-Iran terrorist group, and by other pro-Western groups.

To me, all this was not new, but it is shocking nevertheless. I saw how the Empire has been murdering thousands, even millions of those who have been reluctant to succumb to its dictate – in the Middle East, in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

But here, in Iran, the West has been behaving with almost absolute ludicrousness. While torturing the country, it was shamelessly insisting that the entire world should actually fear it and despise it. Its propaganda against Iran reached crescendo.

And while murdering Iranian people directly or through vicious sanctions, the West has been demanding from Teheran ever newer proves of its “guiltlessness”.

The entire situation would be grotesque, truly laughable, if those thousands of innocent people would not be dying.

When I spoke in Teheran, my voice was shaking. I addressed the Iranian government and the academia: “We are all brothers”, I said, old images of Chavez and Ahmadinejad embracing, appearing in my mind. Then I recalled the US-sponsored coups in Venezuela, and few moments later, those thousands of innocent, slaughtered Iranian civilians.

I spoke about resistance to imperialism, about new powerful media outlets in Latin America, Russia, and China as well as in Iran itself.

I told them about my 1.000-page book “Exposing Lies of the Empire”, depicting virtually all corners of the globe that have already been ravished by the West. I spoke about those fascist, fundamentalist doctrines behind such attacks. I told them what I saw, how devastated I have been, but also how determined to resist! And I concluded:

“Why is Iran one of the main targets of the terrorists who are supported by the West? It is obviously because Iran is doing many of the right things, for its own people and for the world!”

*

Iran, one of the most criticized and scrutinized nations, is in reality one of the most peaceful and long-suffering countries on earth.

The West has been tormenting the Iranian people sadistically, continuously and relentlessly.

Since the ancient Greek Empire, Iran (Persia) was continuously invaded and partitioned, although never fully colonized.

In 1953 the US and Britain overthrew the democratically elected government of Mohammad Mosaddegh, a socialist leader dedicated to social changes. During his government, the Iranian people were enjoying subsidized housing, good education and medical care. He also launched a comprehensive land reform. In order to improve life of Iranian people, he nationalized Iran’s oil industry. The Brits and the North Americans, of course, considered such behavior as unacceptable. Mosaddegh was ousted, and a tyrant monarch, Shah, put on the throne. Cheap oil began to flow to the West, while thousands of Iranian people were savagely tortured and killed. The Empire later committed the same crimes in Indonesia (1965) and in Chile (1973), to name just two places.

After the Shah was forced to leave, the West armed and encouraged Iraq to invade its neighbor, Iran. In 1980, a terrible war erupted. As a result, around one million people died.

When Iran decided to develop its peaceful nuclear program, brutal sanctions were imposed, destroying lives of millions, including women and children.

Then the extremist terrorist groups were “put to work” by both the West and Israel. Their goal was to spread fear and devastation, and to murder Iran’s prominent scientists.

Attempts to destabilize Iran are constant but had proven to be futile.

Shaken, injured but determined, Iran is facing vicious attacks calmly and with dignity. The more self-respect it radiates, the more vicious propaganda and loud barking are coming from the West, and the more chilling are the threats.

The position of Washington, Paris and London is obvious (and it has been for centuries): non-Western countries have no right to defend themselves. They only exist in order to supply North America and Europe with cheap raw materials and labor. They cannot decide their fate.

And there is no compromise on the table. Either a country fully submits to the Western dictate, or it is destroyed.

But Iran refused to accept such “arrangement” of the world. Too mighty to be out rightly attacked, it rose against Western global dictatorship. Of course Russia did, too. And so did China. Most of Latin American countries did as well. And now several African and Asian countries are also determined to join those who are refusing to kneel.

The West trembles: its dogmas are being challenged! And it does what it has been doing for many terrible centuries: it is trying to murder, to deceive and to trick. It is desperately fighting for being able to maintain its iron grip on the World.

*

At the Conference, ideas were exchanged, and concepts erected. Several speakers described how the West has been supporting extreme, ultra-conservative Islamic teaching -Wahabbism – and used it against the socialist Islam, against countries like Turkey, against several Arab states, against the Soviet Union, China and now against Iran. Ahmadinejad called Wahhabism “a cancer that made the entire Middle East sick.” I also argued that it is also making sick entire Indonesia.

One of the speakers, Professor Azizi, declared from the stage of Shahid Beheshti University Conference Center:

“Americans intend to establish their own religion, their own version of Islam… They created DAESH (ISIL) in order to support such version, such “new religion”… They do it this way, covertly, because they would not dare to fight Islam openly, fearing a great backlash.”

I heard terms like “social terrorism”.

Finian Cunningham, renowned columnist from Northern Ireland, compared the operations of British death squads in his country to other acts of terror that the Empire has been spreading all over the world, including places like Yemen and Iran: “Illegal war of aggression against sovereign nations.”

I was told by several Iranian participants, repeatedly, that one hidden “secret” which the Western media has been keeping away from the public, is that both Ahmadinejad and Chavez were actually building two respective socialist countries, two states with different history and cultures, but with very similar, socialist principles.

Western propaganda is depicting Iran as some brutal religious dogmatic state, not as an enormous 80-million inhabitants country that is re-inventing itself on the values of the socialist Islam.

High above the city, at the viewing platform of the magnificent Milad Tower, I listened to a passionate discourse of my new friend, Soraya Sebahpour-Ulrich, a great Iranian thinker, and a stepdaughter of a former cabinet minister who also happened to be the Shah’s ghostwriter:

“The world sees Iran not as it is, but as it is projected by Western media. It pains me. I see the kindness and beauty, and then I am told that it is being ugly. And this destructed image is stabbing me in the heart. I just want to say: ‘I am Iran and Iran is me… I want people to see me as I am, and I want them to see real Iran.”

Soraya also believes that Iran is a socialist country, and she wants it to stay this way: “This is Iran that I love and appreciate much more than that Iran, where I had a very privileged life.”

*

I report that I saw great socialist city – Teheran – standing tall, proud and determined.

Teheran with its old bazaars and mosques, palaces and mountains, but above all with thousands of projects designed to provide welfare for its people.

In Teheran, like in Caracas, I witnessed a breathtaking struggle for a better world. Sanctions or not, Teheran is impressive, with its modern public transportation system, huge public parks, wide sidewalks, vast cultural institutions, free medical facilities and schools.

I did not see slums. I did not see people begging. I did not witness frustration or rage. Instead, I felt kindness at each and every corner, and I also felt great confidence of the nation with tremendous culture and 5 thousand years of recorded history.

At one point, I was driven to the studios of Press TV and asked to comment on the diplomatic conflict between the USA and Russia. There was absolute trust. Few minutes later, IRINN TV interviewed me on the West–Iran relationship. Radio stations, including IRIB, were lining up, microphones ready. Some interviews were live. No one was asking those ‘BBC screening question’: “What are you going to say, Mr. Vltchek?”

It was like interacting with other progressive channels – like TeleSUR or RT.

Iran was not scared of me, as I was not scared of Iran.

What I said in Teheran, I have been saying again and again in Caracas, Quito, Beijing and Pretoria: “If we are united, we will never be defeated! Venezuela may appear far away on the world map, but in reality it is standing right here, shoulder to shoulder with you.”

The powerful specter of a united, internationalist, and anti-imperialist block horrifies the West. That is why Iran is now under attack. That is why fascist gangsters are hitting Venezuela. That is why the imperialists are encircling Russia and China. That is why Western propaganda is demonizing all proud and noble countries around the world.

17.000 Iranian victims of terrorism sponsored by the West. More than one million victims since the West overthrew the progressive government in 1953. What a tremendous toll! But true freedom is priceless.

I report that Iran is standing! And it will not succumb to vicious and senseless attacks. It will never kneel, because it knows – surrendering would lead directly to slavery.

*

One is of course tempted to ask: how much is too much? How many people have to die, before the patience of the oppressed of the world runs out?

I interacted with many Iranian people. Their peaceful nuclear program does not scare me. And it does not scare people of Western and Central Asia. Iranian culture is thousands of years old and it is deep and tolerant. It gained the trust of the world; of people who are not blinded by toxic propaganda.

But I have to admit that the Western Empire increasingly disgusts me, as it terrifies billions of people all over the world. It already lost all breaks, all sense of decency. It already ruined and finished billons of lives, by spreading and forcing its fundamentalist dogmas, its greed and incomparable brutality. I don’t want more lives to be destroyed. I don’t want more countries, more nations, to be shattered.

That is why I feel that as long as Iran and countries like Iran are standing, so are we!

Posted in USA, IranComments Off on I Testify That Iran Is Standing!

Obama’s Fateful Syrian Choice

NOVANEWS

There is an obvious course that President Barack Obama could follow if he wants to lessen the crises stemming from the Syrian war and other U.S. “regime change” strategies of the past several decades, but it would require him to admit that recent interventions (including his own) have represented a strategic disaster.

Obama also would have to alter some longstanding alliances – including those with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Israel – and correct some of the false narratives that have been established during his administration, such as storylines accusing the Syrian government of using sarin gas on Aug. 21, 2013, and blaming the Russians for everything that’s gone wrong in Ukraine.

In retracting false allegations and releasing current U.S. intelligence assessments on those issues, the President would have to repudiate the trendy concept of “strategic communications,” an approach that mixes psychological operations, propaganda and P.R. into a “soft power” concoction to use against countries identified as U.S. foes.

“Stratcom” also serves to manage the perceptions of the American people, an assault on the fundamental democratic precept of an informed electorate. Instead of honestly informing the citizenry, the government systematically manipulates us. Obama would have to learn to trust the people with the truth.

Whether Obama recognizes how imperative it is that he make these course corrections, whether he has the political courage to take on entrenched foreign-policy lobbies (especially after the bruising battle over the Iran nuclear agreement), and whether he can overcome his own elitism toward the public are the big questions – and there are plenty of reasons to doubt that Obama will do what’s necessary. But his failure to act decisively could have devastating consequences for the United States and the world.

In a way, this late-in-his-presidency course correction should be obvious (or at least it would be if there weren’t so many layers of “strategic communications” to peel away). It would include embracing Russia’s willingness to help stabilize the political-military situation in Syria, rather than the Obama administration fuming about it and trying to obstruct it.

For instance, Obama could join with Russia in stabilizing Syria by making it clear to putative U.S. “allies” in the Mideast that they will face American wrath if they don’t do all that’s possible to cut off the terrorists of the Islamic State and Al Qaeda from money, weapons and recruits. That would mean facing down Turkey over its covert support for the Sunni extremists as well as confronting Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Persian Gulf sheikdoms over secret funding and arming of these jihadists.

If Obama made it clear that the United States would take stern action – such as inflicting severe financial punishments – against any country caught helping these terrorist groups, he could begin shutting down the jihadists’ support pipelines. He could also coordinate with the Russians and Iranians in cracking down on the Islamic State and Al Qaeda strongholds inside Syria.

On the political front, Obama could inform Syria’s Sunni “moderates” who have been living off American largesse that they must sit down with President Bashar al-Assad’s representatives and work out a power-sharing arrangement and make plans for democratic elections after a reasonable level of stability has been restored. Obama would have to ditch his mantra: “Assad must go!”

Given the severity of the crisis – as the refugee chaos now spreads into Europe – Obama doesn’t have the luxury anymore of pandering to the neocons and liberal interventionists. Instead of talking tough, he needs to act realistically.

Putin’s Clarity

In a sense, Russian President Vladimir Putin has clarified the situation for President Obama. With Russia stepping up its military support for Assad’s regime with the goal of defeating the Islamic State’s head-choppers and Al Qaeda’s terrorism plotters, Obama’s options have narrowed. He can either cooperate with the Russians in a joint campaign against the terrorists or he can risk World War III by taking direct action against Russian forces in pursuit of “regime change” in Damascus.

Though some of Official Washington’s neocons and liberal war hawks are eager for the latter – insisting that Putin must be taught a lesson about Russia’s subservience to American power – Obama’s sense of caution would be inclined toward the former.

The underlying problem, however, is that Official Washington’s foreign policy “elite” has lost any sense of reality. Almost across the board, these “important people” lined up behind President George W. Bush’s invasion and occupation of Iraq, arguably the worst blunder in the history of U.S. foreign policy.

But virtually no one was held accountable. Indeed, the neocons and their liberal interventionist sidekicks strengthened their grip on the major think tanks, the op-ed pages and the political parties. Instead of dialing back on the “regime change” model, they dialed up more “regime change” schemes.

Although historically the U.S. government – like many other imperial powers – has engaged in coups and other meddling to oust troublesome foreign leaders, the current chapter on “regime change” strategies can be dated back to the late 1970s and early 1980s with what most American pundits rate a success: the destruction of a secular regime in Afghanistan that was allied with the Soviet Union.

Starting modestly with President Jimmy Carter’s administration and expanding rapidly under President Ronald Reagan, the CIA mounted its most ambitious “covert” operation ever – funding, recruiting and arming Islamic extremists to wage a brutal, even barbaric, war in Afghanistan.

Ultimately, the operation “succeeded” by forcing a humiliating withdrawal of Soviet troops and driving the Moscow-backed leader Najibullah from power, but the cost turned out to be extraordinary, creating conditions that gave rise to both the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

In 1996, the Taliban took Kabul, captured Najibullah (whose tortured and castrated body was hung from a light pole), and imposed a fundamentalist form of Islam that denied basic rights to women. The Taliban also gave refuge to Saudi extremist Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda band enabling them to plot terror attacks against the West, including the 9/11 assaults on New York and Washington.

In response, President George W. Bush ordered an invasion and occupation of Afghanistan in late 2001 followed by another invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003 (though Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11). Those “regime changes” began a cascade of chaos that reached into the Obama administration and to the present.

As Iraq came under the control of its Shiite majority allied with Shiite-ruled Iran, disenfranchised Sunnis organized into increasingly vicious rebel movements, such as “Al Qaeda in Iraq.” To avert a U.S. military defeat, Bush undertook a scheme of buying off Sunni leaders with vast sums of cash to get them to stop killing U.S. soldiers – called the “Sunni Awakening” – while Bush negotiated a complete withdrawal of U.S. troops.

The payoffs succeeded in buying Bush a “decent interval” for a U.S. pullout that would not look like an outright American defeat, but the huge payments also created a war chest for some of these Sunni leaders to reorganize militarily after the Shiite-led regime of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki refused to make significant economic and political concessions.

Obama’s Misjudgment

Obama had opposed the Iraq War, but he made the fateful choice after winning the 2008 election to retain many of Bush’s national security advisers, such as Defense Secretary Robert Gates and General David Petraeus, and to hire hawkish Democrats, such as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and National Security Council aide Samantha Power.

Obama’s pro-war advisers guided him into a pointless “surge” in Afghanistan in 2009 and a “regime change” war in Libya in 2011 as well as a propaganda campaign to justify another “regime change” in Syria, where U.S. Sunni-led regional “allies” – Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Persian Gulf sheikdoms – took the lead in a war to oust President Assad, an Alawite, an offshoot of Shiite Islam. Syria was allied with Iran and Russia.

At the same time, the Sunni rebel group, “Al Qaeda in Iraq,” expanded its operations into Syria and rebranded itself the Islamic State before splitting off from Al Qaeda’s central command. Al Qaeda turned to a mix of foreign and Syrian jihadists called Nusra Front, which along with the Islamic State became the most powerful terrorist organization fighting to oust Assad.

When Assad’s military struck back against the rebels, the West – especially its mainstream media and “humanitarian war” advocates – took the side of the rebels who were deemed “moderates” although Islamic extremists dominated almost from the start.

Though Obama joined in the chorus “Assad must go,” the President recognized that the notion of recruiting, training and arming a “moderate” rebel force was what he called a “fantasy, but he played along with the demands from the hawks, including Secretary of State Clinton, to “do something.”

That clamor rose to a fever pitch in late August 2013 after a mysterious sarin gas attack killed hundreds of Syrian civilians in a Damascus suburb. The State Department, then led by Secretary of State John Kerry, rushed to a judgment blaming the atrocity on Assad’s forces and threatening U.S. military retaliation for crossing Obama’s “red line” against using chemical weapons.

But the U.S. intelligence community had doubts about the actual perpetrators with significant evidence pointing to a “false flag” provocation carried out by Islamic extremists. At the last minute, President Obama called off the planned airstrikes and worked out a deal with President Putin to get Assad to surrender Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal even as Assad continued to deny a role in the sarin attack.

Still, the U.S. conventional wisdom held fast that Assad had crossed Obama’s “red line” and – amid more bellicose talk in Washington – Obama authorized more schemes for training “moderate” rebels. These sporadic efforts by the CIA to create a “moderate” rebel force failed miserably, with some of the early trainees sharing their weapons and skills with Nusra and the Islamic State, which in 2014 carried its fight back into Iraq, seizing major cities, such as Mosul and Ramadi, and threatening Baghdad.

As the Islamic State racked up stunning victories in Iraq and Syria – along with releasing shocking videos showing the decapitation of civilian hostages – the neocons and liberal war hawks put on another push for a U.S. military intervention to achieve “regime change” in Syria. But Obama agreed to only attack Islamic State terrorists and to spend $500 million to train another force of “moderate” Syrian rebels.

Like previous efforts, the new training mission proved an embarrassing failure, producing only about 50 fighters who then were quickly killed or captured by Al Qaeda’s Nusra and other jihadist groups, leaving only “four or five” trainees from the program, according to Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, head of the U.S. Central Command which has responsibility for the Middle East.

The Current Crisis

The failure of the training program – combined with the destabilizing flow of Mideast refugees into Europe from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and other countries affected by the regional chaos due to “regime changes” – has brought new calls across Official Washington for, you guessed it, a U.S.-imposed “regime change” in Syria. The argument goes that “Assad must go” before a solution can be found.

But the greater likelihood is that if the U.S. and its NATO allies join in destroying Assad’s military, the result would be Sunni jihadist forces filling the vacuum with the black flag of terrorism fluttering over the ancient city of Damascus.

That could mean the Islamic State chopping off the heads of Christians, Alawites, Shiites and other “heretics” while Al Qaeda has a new headquarters for plotting terror strikes on the West. Millions of Syrians, now protected by Assad’s government, would join the exodus to Europe.

Then, the option for Obama or his successor would be to mount a major invasion and occupation of Syria, a costly and bloody enterprise that would mean the final transformation of the American Republic into an imperial state of permanent war.

Instead, Obama now has the option to cooperate with Putin to stabilize the Syrian regime and pressure erstwhile U.S. “allies” to cut off Al Qaeda and the Islamic State from money, guns and recruits. Though that might seem like clearly the best of the bad remaining options, it faces extraordinary obstacles from Official Washington.

Already there are howls of protests from the neocons and liberal interventionists who won’t give up their agenda of more “regime change” and their belief that American military power can dictate the outcome of every foreign conflict.

So, whether Obama can muster the courage to face down these bellicose voices and start leveling with the American people about the nuanced realities of the world is the big question ahead.

Posted in USAComments Off on Obama’s Fateful Syrian Choice

Jeremy Corbyn v. David Cameron

NOVANEWS
Global Research
CorbynCameron

British monied interests hate Corbyn. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney disingenuously denigrated his policies, saying they’ll “hurt” poor and elderly Brits and harm the economy.

Carney represents entrenched interests, enriching the few at the expense of most others, an agenda systematically thirdworldizing Britain like similar harmful US policies. Corbyn supports lifting all boats equitably – few like him in Western societies, virtually none in Washington, for sure none able to make a difference.

Question Time (Prime Minister’s Questions – PMQs) is a longstanding British tradition – held each Wednesday atnoon when the House of Commons is in session, giving MPs a chance to get answers to questions they pose.

Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn participated in his first PMQ session as party leader. Media response was surprisingly positive.

The Telegraph called his performance “brilliant.” He’s here to stay. The BBC said Labour MPs cheered him.

The Mirror recapped Wednesday’s session, saying he “promised a People’s Question Time – and delivered.”

London’s Independent headlined “Corbyn triumphed at PMQs – while Cameron’s responses showed him up as out-of-touch.”

Ahead of the session, Corbyn twittered “(m)y first #pmqs as @uklabour leader. I will be asking Qs on behalf of the people across the country as together we must hold this Gov to account.”

He asked questions submitted by voters – no simple task given 40,000 responses after requesting ideas by email. London’s Guardian called Wednesday’s Q&A “the first (ever) crowdsourced session of prime minister’s questions,” adding he “stabilised his position” as opposition leader.

He reduced the volume received to his allotted six questions for Cameron. “(H)e triumphed with a set of razor-sharp (ones) focused on day-to-day lives of ordinary people,” said the Independent – issues most MPs treat dismissively.

“Cameron’s lack of compassion and stark inhumanity was obvious from the outset,” said Independent reporter Liam Young.

“His detachment from the reality of food banks and employment insecurity across modern Britain was more apparent than ever. (His) responses were scripted and rehearsed, while Corbyn’s questions were plainly sincere.”

He focused on Britain’s lack of affordable housing – reading a question asking “(w)hat does the government intend to do about the chronic lack of affordable housing and the extortionate rents charged by some private sector landlords in this country?”

Far too little despite Cameron claiming otherwise. Rental or owned housing in Britain is notoriously expensive, notably in London. An unaddressed affordable housing crisis exists, parliament doing shamefully little to address it.

Last January, thousands rallied in London against skyrocketing rents, unscrupulous landlords and lack of remedial government action.

In April, a group called Just Fair issued a report, saying Britain’s affordable housing crisis dates from the 1980s. “Without decent housing, you can’t experience an adequate life in society, but now housing is seen just as an asset,” it said.

Another question criticized Britain’s “shameful” cut in tax credits – one questioner asking: “Why is the government taking tax credits away from families?”

“We need this money to survive so our children don’t suffer. Paying rent and council tax on a low income doesn’t leave you much. Tax credits play a vital role and more is needed to prevent us having to become reliant on food banks to survive.”

Mental health was another issue – a questioner asking: “Do you think it is acceptable that the mental services in this country are on their knees at the present time?”

Cameron delivered dismissive stock answers to each question asked – The Independent saying they “may as well have been cut and pasted from (an anti-populist) Tory manual,” in contrast to Corbyn’s “straightforward and honest politics.”

His questions focused on major public concerns and sentiment – posed by ordinary people, reflecting what they’re forced to endure under anti-populist British governance since the 1970s, and inhumane force-fed austerity since 2008.

Corbyn notably bested Cameron in their first-head-to-head PMQ session – a clear distinction between a caring opposition leader and a dismissive of human need prime minister.

The Independent said he began his first direct encounter with Cameron “battered and bruised by recent headlines, but…left (with) the upper hand, spurred by (being) genuinely in touch with the real difficulties and aspirations of the people of Britain” – his greatest strength against a business as usual Tory leader.

He made “a ground-breaking start” in his pledge to change British politics, the first time in decades a party leader being a voice for ordinary people, putting their issues on the table for debate in hopes of enlisting a groundswell of support for real change.

Posted in UKComments Off on Jeremy Corbyn v. David Cameron

Kiev Right Wing Violence: Time for Poroshenko to Look in the Mirror?

NOVANEWS
petro-poroshenko-209x300

Amidst the emergence of politically-right-wing forces in Kiev, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko claims to be shocked and outraged by recent violence. Speaking in reference to an explosion which killed three members of the national guard outside parliament and left another officer in a coma, Poroshenko called the attack “an anti-Ukrainian action” and demanded that “all organizers, all representatives of political forces… must carry full responsibility.” More than a whopping 140 were also wounded in the attack, which was apparently caused by a grenade. All three guardsmen were young, in their twenties.

The incident occurred in the midst of a demonstration against a plan to provide more autonomy to separatist enclaves in the Ukrainian east where Russian-backed rebels hold sway. Authorities have blamed the explosion on a fighter in the so-called Sich volunteer battalion, which is linked in turn to far right-wing Svoboda or Freedom Party [in Ukraine, “Sich” refers to historic Cossack homelands. Though Cossack is a loaded term and carries unpleasant historic meaning for some, nationalists recently revived the word by referring to a protest area in Kiev which launched the 2013-14 EuroMaidan revolution as a “Cossack Sich.” Svoboda meanwhile loves “Cossack rock” music]. Rather questionably, the government itself has ties to the Sich battalion which falls under the official control of the Ministry of the Interior.

Svoboda’s Role

Svoboda was highly represented at the demonstration outside of parliament, and most protesters participating in subsequent violence and clashes with the police were Svoboda members. Later, the Minister of the Interior claimed that that party was “directly” responsible for clashes and the government has charged senior Svoboda members with rioting. Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has declared that right wing-nationalists were “worse” than Russian-backed separatists in the east, because they were “trying to open another front” in Ukraine “under the guise of patriotism.”

MAP OF UKRAINEIsmail Akin Bostanci via Getty Images

Svoboda on the other hand denies any responsibility and claims the authorities are out on a witch hunt to deface the party. Whatever the case, it’s a little odd that the authorities have only now woken up to the ominous threat of right wing groups. Indeed, the attack in front of the parliament building follows close on the heels of another incident in south-west Ukraine, in which members of Right Sektor battalion got into a shootout with local police. Perhaps, high-ups at the Ministry of Interior and elsewhere are finally paying the price for coddling the nationalist right and its backward political and social agenda.

Waking Up to Far Right

It’s only now, when extremists pose a threat to the government itself, that the international media has woken up to the rise of the political right. For years now, however, the nationalist right has posed a risk to independent leftists on the ground.Denis Pilash, one such activist who I interviewed in Kiev, is no stranger to Svoboda. Even before the EuroMaidan revolution which toppled Viktor Yanukovych from power, Pilash observed Svoboda trying to stir up “anti-migrant hysteria” by holding hostile rallies. Eventually, however, Svoboda and the right may have realized that anti-immigrant messaging wasn’t resonating so well, so they turned to opposing anarchists, feminists, and the LGBT community.

As if such developments weren’t concerning enough, Svoboda also has a peculiar habit of resuscitating dubious World War II icons. Svoboda leaders, in fact, admire “proto-Nazis” such as Ernst Jünger, and are “understanding” of Goebbels. They moreover talk about “purity of blood” and refer to Ukraine as “one race, one nation, one fatherland.” Svoboda meanwhile idolizes the Ukrainian Insurgent Army or UPA, an outfit which fought against the Soviets in World War II but also collaborated with the Nazis at one point. During unrest at Maidan square, Svoboda brandished the traditional UPA flag. In addition, Svoboda has defended extremists’ right to brandish this flag at local soccer matches.

Problematic Police

Pilash adds that rightists dress up in military-style outfits with red and black insignia and some paramilitaries are “linked to the most notorious figures in Svoboda.” Pilash is particularly disturbed by one case last year in which Vasyl Cherepanyn, a lecturer at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy and editor of leftist Political Critique magazine, was brazenly attacked in broad daylight in crowded Kontraktova Square. Cherepanyn was assaulted by a group of men dressed in camouflage paramilitary uniforms. As they proceeded to pummel their victim, the thugs shouted “communist” and “separatist.” Unfortunately, police arrived late to the scene and failed to catch the assailants. Pilash says the attackers had no clear insignia on their uniforms, but he suspects they may have belonged to local battalions which assist the police.

There are other disturbing indications that the police may have been penetrated by right wing zealots. Azov Battalion is a military outfit fighting Russian separatists in the east which advocates right-wing nationalism and anti-Semitism. One infamous Azov commander is Andriy Biletsky, who has been promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel in the police. The military figure has openly admitted that some men in his unit “are interested in their historical roots,” though this may be difficult to understand for more modern, “uprooted” nations such as the United States.

Looking the Other Way?

As if it wasn’t disturbing enough that bad apples are caught up in the police, high up politicians have also gotten into the habit of appeasing the far right. To be sure, Petro Poroshenko is a far cry from such violent street toughs. Unfortunately, however, the authorities have either turned the other way or sought to incorporate far right messaging, thus perpetuating a chilling climate in which fringe ideas are allowed to thrive.

Take, for example, Poroshenko’s comment that the “timing is good” to define the status of the UPA. The politician then signed a decree establishing a “Day of Ukrainian Defenders” on October 14. The date is significant as it marks the anniversary of the UPA’s formation. Taking to Twitter, Poroshenko added “UPA soldiers – an example of heroism and patriotism to Ukraine.”

Then, for good measure, Poroshenko provided a Ukrainian passport to a Belarusian neo-Nazi. The man, Serhiy Korotkykh, served as a fighter in the eastern conflict zone and helped to defend Donetsk airport from Russian separatists. During a ceremony, Poroshenko awarded a medal to Korotkykh and praised the Belarusian as “courageous and selfless.” Experts however claim that Korotkykh was a founder of a neo-Nazi group in Russia and point out the Belarusian had been charged for involvement in a Moscow bombing and was also detained in Minsk for allegedly stabbing an anti-fascist organizer. Needless to say, top Ukrainian authorities reject such claims as defamatory. Like Biletsky, Korotkykh is a member of the Azov Battalion.

As if all of this wasn’t enough already, Poroshenko has also praised Andrey Sheptytsky, a priest who worked in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. Though Sheptytsky harbored some Jews during World War II, he initially supported the Nazis during their invasion of Ukraine, favored the UPA and endorsed the creation of a Ukrainian division with the Nazi SS. Rather questionably, Poroshenko recently unveiled a monument to Sheptytsky in the western city of Lviv where Svoboda and the political right enjoy a degree of popularity. During a ceremony attended by 10,000 people, Poroshenko praised the priest.

The Ricochet Effect

Terrified at the prospect of being overrun by separatists or even that the nation itself might implode or collapse, Poroshenko and the political establishment have engaged in a kind of Faustian bargain with the far right. This mindset is at least partially due to Poroshenko’s nervousness about upcoming local elections in the fall and the prospect of being overwhelmed by radical populists. Such firebrand politics could shock the establishment, which has failed to revive the economy or even break the power of the oligarchs for that matter. Reportedly, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s party has plummeted in popularity to such a degree that he is now joining forces with Poroshenko so as to avoid an electoral rout.

Tying one’s sails to the far right, however, has constituted a serious mistake. While extreme nationalists still might not command an electoral majority, the Ukrainian political class has historically displayed an alarmingly high level of tolerance and acquiescence towards right wing antics. Though certainly horrific, recent riots in Kiev will hopefully serve to highlight the real danger of the far right and the need to take a firm stand against such elements.

Posted in UkraineComments Off on Kiev Right Wing Violence: Time for Poroshenko to Look in the Mirror?

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