Archive | May 10th, 2017

Nazi Police spray putrid water on Palestinian homes, schools


Image result for ISRAELI ‘skunk’ truck PHOTO

Two new videos catch Nazi police ‘skunk’ truck spraying East Jerusalem neighborhoods with foul-smelling liquid. The smell was so bad that 4,500 students had to stay home from school.

The “skunk” trucks drives slowly through the neighborhood. It is evening, and there is no evidence of clashes in the area. The truck proceeds slowly, sprays putrid-smelling water on a nearby building, continues on and shoots once again. When it’s all over, the truck has tainted schools, homes, streets – entire neighborhoods – with its unbearable stink. Just like that.

Two videos that were filmed this past week by Palestinian residents of Jerusalem and were given to +972 support claims by residents regarding the inappropriate use of the skunk by the police. In August, the Association for Civil Rights (ACRI) filed a complaint to the police regarding multiple cases of the arbitrary use of the skunk, especially at times when there are no protests or clashes. It seems that the police has not changed its ways.

The common understanding among residents and human rights organizations is that the Nazi police are collectively punishing Jerusalem’s Palestinian residents, in light of clashes between youth and police in these neighborhoods. But the punishment neither begins nor ends with skunk water; the police block entrances to these neighborhoods with concrete blocks, detains residents for long hours at checkpoints and hands out petty fines – all at the behest of the Jerusalem municipality.

Nazi Police use the ‘skunk’ water canon to disperse protesters in Kafr Kanna, a day after Nazi police fatally shot an Arab man in the village. (photo: Yotam Ronen/

In the A-Tur neighborhood, the Nazi police shot skunk water at four large schools, forcing the parents of 4,500 students to leave their children at home due to the unbearable smell. “It was this past Friday, at around 5:30 p.m.,” says Khader Abu Sabitan, a member of the parents’ committee in the neighborhood. “I was on the road and saw them pass with their machine, and saw how they began shooting water at the school. I’m telling you – there was nothing there. It is Friday at 5:30 in the evening, and there was no one in the school or on the streets. Nothing. Everyone was home. They went to all four schools in the neighborhood, shot the water, and left.”

The skunk water targeted the A-Tur elementary school for boys, the elementary and high school for girls, a high school for boys and the “Basma” elementary school for disabled children. All four schools are located on the neighborhood’s main street.

“After we saw what they did, we told the parents not to send the children to school on Saturday, which is a school day for us. We thought that the municipality would be able to solve the problem by Sunday, since the children didn’t go to school on that day. It wasn’t a strike – we just could not enter the area because of the smell. We sent letters through the teachers on Saturday and Sunday, but no one came. So we brought back the children to school on Monday, and told them to go straight to class ad not linger outside. The smell even permeated the classrooms, but they closed the windows and made do somehow. They stayed inside during the lunch break and then went straight home. It has been a week, and it still smells. Less, but you can still smell it.”

For anyone who has not experienced it, words cannot express the smell of the skunk. Nazi regime developed truck is primarily used by the army in the occupied territories over the past several years, although now it is slowly making its way to illegaly occupied Jerusalem. The strong stench smells like a mix of feces and animal carcass – gagging is almost inevitable.

The worst part is that there is almost no way to get rid of the smell. Showering doesn’t help, and protesters usually deal with it is by taking a dip in the sea. Objects that have been sprayed with skunk water often smell for much longer periods of time. After being hit with a few drops of skunk water, my camera smelled for nearly half a year.

It is difficult to fathom exactly why such large amounts of skunk water must be sprayed at classrooms and homes, as can be seen in the second video that was filmed in the Jabel Mukaber neighborhood of Jerusalem. Like in the video from A-Tur, there are no stone throwers or protesters. The police act casually, there are no rocks being thrown in the air, no sounds of explosions, no screaming or bullets that characterize confrontations in East Jerusalem. Just a skunk truck spraying homes.

“The perception of the residents and organizations is that the police uses the skunk routinely, regardless of whether they are dispersing protests, as one can plainly see in the video” Oshrat Maimon, an attorney with the Ir Amim NGO. “The problem is that we don’t even know what the police’s procedure is when it comes to using the skunk. Therefore, we don’t know if the problem is in the procedure itself, or in the lack of implementation. The truth is that we’re a bit helpless in this situation.”

Over the past several weeks, activists from East Jerusalem have met with members of human rights organizations in order to attempt to formulate a response to the actions of the police and municipality. They, however, found it difficult to arrive at a solution. “Our field coordinators say that people are afraid of the police and do not want to provide testimonies,” says Maimon. “Even people who were shot, such as someone was hit with a sponge-tipped bullet in the head or a woman who was shot and her uterus was torn – when our investigators speak with them, they are afraid that if they speak up the police will find its way to them and find a way to harm them.

In response to ACRI’s request, the police responded that the skunk is used according to regulations, but refused to say explain what the regulation says. ACRI has attempted to force the police to publish the regulations vis-a-vis the skunk. Meanwhile in East Jerusalem, the occupation becomes smellier than ever.

+972 asked for a response from Jerusalem Police. Their response will be published here.

This article was first published on +972′s Hebrew-language sister site, Local Call. Read it in Hebrew here.

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The Korean War and Crimes against Humanity: Forgotten When We Need to Remember

The world is so constructed that unless we look at what’s happened in the past, we won’t be able to deal with the present.



With tension ever mounting in the Korean peninsular, all the higher every year with US bombers conducting annual drills over South Korea within direct strike range of North Korea, it is notable and deeply regrettable the West has lost all sight and memory of the enormous suffering of the Korean people in the Korean War 1950-53.

How can we ever in the West begin to understand the large scale militarisation of North Korea if, in the US and UK in particular, political assessment and judgement takes no account of Korean history?

North Korea was as a matter of historical fact through the Korean war carpet bombed for three years by US bombers. There was, after the first months of the war, mounting air defences in northern most North Korea bordering China, including Russian MIG fighters but, none-the-less, US B29s bombing was for most of the war free-range over the whole peninsular

To quote from testament from both sides,

“The US airforce destroyed every town and village in north Korea”. “The destruction was enormous”.

In the  words of Air Force General Curtis LeMay:

“We burned down every town in North Korea …. over a period of three years or so we killed – what – 20 percent of the population”.

And this including the very worst of it large scale use of napalm. To quote Senator John Glenn, then a major in the US air force before becoming an astronaut:

“We did a lot of napalm work dropping fuel tanks loaded with napalm, flying in low, called a Nape Scrape”.

Napalm, jellied petroleum and phosphorus. No-one likes to spell it out but people quite simply burn to death.

In all some 600,000 tons of bombs were dropped on the towns and villages and cities of the country. That is well over a million concussion bombs, along with 40 million gallons of high octane napalm. And to add to this, in the final stages of the war, mass bombing (1,514 sorties) of Sui-ho hydro-electric and irrigation dams (the world’s fourth largest) on the Yalu River then flooding and destroying huge areas of northern farmland and crops.

“Five reservoirs were hit, flooding thousands of acres of farmland, inundating whole towns and laying waste to the essential food source for millions of North Koreans.10 Only emergency assistance from China, the USSR, and other socialist countries prevented widespread famine”. [Asia-Pacific Journal 2009]

In the words of Professor Charles Armstrong, Director of the Centre for Korean Research, Columbia University:

“The physical destruction and loss of life on both sides was almost beyond comprehension, but the North suffered the greater damage, due to American saturation bombing and the scorched-earth policy of the retreating UN forces”.

That then is the horror of the brutal Korean war. Over two million Korean civilians died including many tens of thousands of children. On US pilot testament destruction was “indiscriminate”.

Is it then any wonder North Korea turns out a highly militarised state, deeply loathing the “Yankees”, raining bombs and death and destruction on their towns and villages for three years ?

No-one can deny the one-party state authoritarianism of North Korea but then we surely have to ask how much of this huge militarisation has been created by the horrors of warfare, all the more so large scale bombing impacting on civilian populations. As also not to forget, until the end of WW2, Korea suffered 35 long years of brutal occupation by the Japanese. Over one million forced deportations, suppression of Korean culture and identity, deaths in Japanese labour camps estimated at over half a million.

In all Korea was a long suffering country for many decades, the very worst not forgotten by the Koreans the enormous destructive US bombing ’50-53.

International Perspective – East or West trauma is not forgotten.

The US, and New York in particular, were devastated by the attack on the Trade Centre towers in 2001. Terrible shock traumatic destruction with 2,996 deaths and 6,000 injuries. And that huge and deep trauma living on to this day and for whole lifetimes in those directly affected, all who lived and live in New York, and indeed in the consciousness of the whole of the US, and the world.

But the West forgets and is oblivious or indifferent to the suffering visited on the Korean people 1950-53. And that is bombing and destruction and loss of life of many thousands of Trade Centre attacks. Not loss of life from air attacks on armies in combat but bombing of civilian populations in towns and cities to “terrorise” a country into submission. That was, on all the evidence, in the face of huge Chinese troop influx into the peninsular, US military policy.

In the end you have to say the US and West have, historically, clearly played a hugely determinate role in the creation of the deeply alarming militarised state of Korea which the West now condemn. Three years of carpet bombing and loss of life, and this following brutal Japanese occupation, surely provides an understandable rationale why a country would become formidably militarised. Defence of the country the all-consuming priority.

For the people of North Korea the mass killing and destruction of civilians a holocaust against their people. For them, United States enormous war crimes and atrocities never brought to any court of justice.

Instead the great and hugely admired US East Asia commanding general of the time, General Douglas MacArthur, returned home in 1951 to a huge New York ticker-tape heroes welcome. And this is MacArthur who at the time advocated dropping atomic bombs on “five Chinese cities” to get the war over and unite Korea.

“His [MacArthur’s) plan was to drop between 30 and 50 atomic bombs-strung across the neck of Manchuria, and spread behind us, from the Sea of Japan to the Yellow Sea – a belt of radioactive cobalt for at least 60 years there would be no invasion of Korea from the North.” [B-29s Over Korea – Wayland Mayo]

History Repeating – self same military mind-sets gathering again.

And now we have history on the brink of repeating yet again. The whole situation enormously high risk and dangerous with Secretary of State Tillerson indicating in his view, as he did in discussion April 12th with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov over Crimea and Syria, “history is not the issue”. What matters, as Tillerson said, is dealing with “current threats”. Mr Tillerson excluding all relevance of historical causes and motivations why North Korea is so vehemently anti-American.

Foreign Ministr Sergy Lavrov:

“As far as Syria is concerned and Bashar al-Assad, we talked today about the history, and Rex [Tillerson] said that he was a new man and is not interested so much in history; he wants to deal with today’s problems. But the world is so constructed that unless we look at what’s happened in the past, we won’t be able to deal with the present”. [US Dept of State – Lavrov-Tillerson meeting 12th April]

Since then the Secretary of State has made clear, in the UN Security Council 28th April, “the time for strategic patience is over”. And all the more deeply alarming telling the Council there will be “no negotiations” until North Korea “first” takes “concrete steps” to shut down all missile activity and “de-nuclearise”. For Tillerson, and UK Foreign Secretary Johnson, in considerable contrast to the views of China and Russia, the reasons why North Korea has become one of the most militarised states in the world are not relevant. The Korean War with 3 million dead not counted in contemporary political calculus.

And so it is the West makes no effort to understand another nation’s history then history repeats. But then in the US and in the UK the Korean war is known as the Forgotten War. Forgotten for one reason as in burying memory of large scale war crimes against civilian populations. Horror for civilian population, horror for combatant troops. The West in so many ways in denial of a war that was “long ago” but then, for the Koreans, as alive today as terror and fear of the US and West as sixty years ago.

And from the side of the West, to face up to responsibility for the huge numbers of civilian casualties from bombing of Korean towns and cities a US governments would, as at Nuremberg, face the self same charges the West brought against the Nazi regime after WW2: Crimes against Humanity. War crimes against civilian populations.

Understanding the other side – understanding ourselves.

Such Human Rights courts of justice not on any agenda anywhere in the West a very good start to ease tension would be, as is being called for by China and Russia, high level meetings between all major parties. And in this respect, at the heart of the whole current tension, it is of the deepest concern that in the West it is rarely brought to light that the US has repeatedly turned down North Korea offers to end nuclear weapon development.

Image result for nuclear north korea

That will come as a shock to many but negotiation records show that offers have been put forward by North Korea back to the Clinton administration in the 1990s but then rejected by the US as, in return, North Korea asks that the US and South Korea end annual large-scale “warfare exercises” on their borders. The most recent offer 2015:

“North Korea announces offer to suspend nuclear testing …in exchange for the United States and South Korea calling off annual joint-military exercises slated for spring 2015. The United States rejects the offer.” [Arms Control Association]

As of May 2017 Warfare exercises including the newly installed US  anti-missile THAAD system, low flying bombers within immediate strike range of North Korea, together with an aircraft carrier battle fleet, including who knows how many nuclear strike submarines, in Korean off-shore waters.

North Korea finds all this US “menace”, as both China and Russia have repeatedly emphasised, hugely threatening (as indeed do the Chinese). And one would think, if it was our own country, terrifying. For UK just compare the 1940 blitz with cities across the UK from London to Liverpool ablaze. British people do not forget. And for the US, missiles on Cuba in the early ’60s and that very nearly leading to world nuclear war. But on the North Korean offers to de-nuclearise the US repeatedly refuses quid pro quo de-escalation with parallel negotiations.

On scores for belligerance the US, and others in the West including the UK, could surely not be higher. On four counts: enormous destruction of North Korean civilian population by vastly superior US air forces 1950-53 (albeit bannered under the “UN”) ; repeated US refusal of North Korea’s offers of quid pro quo de-escalation of forces on both sides; US bringing even more over-whelming military force into South Korea and off-shore seas ; US and UK calling for and indeed demanding, through the UN, imposition of more and more powerful sanctions, most crippling closing international access to sources of financial exchange. This then closing off (blockading) routes for trade driving North Korea into deeper isolation and poverty.

Threats mounting on both sides, racking up more and more tension and fear. As in all conflicts so much mirroring, of behaviour, both sides then condemning the other. Defence and survival on one side seen by the other as threat and belligerence. In the case of North Korea desperation leading who knows where.

The enormous tragedy for Korea – for all Korean people.

In all an enormous tragedy for all Koreans. Bitterly and deeply ironically both sides in Korea want to unite, as one Korea. Huge loss of life and huge casualties, three years of war with estimates of over three million dead, both sides fighting to “unite their country”, only to end up summer 1953 exactly where they started on the 38th parallel. Such utter futility. The pity and insanity of war at its most tragic.

As matters stand now, with increasingly intense US and South Korean military exercises each year, in the face of ever increasing North Korean nuclear strike capacity, the whole situation is clearly becoming progressively more precarious year by year for the whole peninsular, and for the world. High level careful communication is clearly needed, as repeatedly promoted by the Chinese. Not warships and missiles, from either side, ending up mirroring each other into destruction.

For the North Koreans, how ever hollow we view their society, however much it appears or indeed is a sham, the people clearly have enormous pride. In so many ways (the great buildings and missiles and military parades) trying to show to the world how much they have achieved, and that is achieved from ground zero 1953 total destruction of their country.

And this achievement in huge contest and rivalry, with powerful national jealousies, between North and South. The two sides the great misfortune to end up on the world’s most volatile tectonic plates between communism and capitalism. Both sides showcasing what their “side” has achieved: the South hosts the Olympics and FIFA World Cup, the North parades and launches missiles. This whole psychological cauldron is surely what the West needs to understand and respect.

Respect Fuche – self-reliance – the founding ideology of the country. However badly from the West we view North Korea, to the country’s credit they made huge and indeed heroic efforts to provide universal education, health care, and housing, for all their population. Its not all bad, unless we in the West will only see it that way: esse est percipi -thinking makes it so.


Interviews and Transcripts

Korean War – Part 19 – Use of Napalm … Senator John Glenn – in 1950 a major in US Air Force : “We did a lot of napalm work … dropping fuel tanks loaded with napalm .. we call it a Nape Scrape” “You could strafe them, bomb them, napalm them. Quite a variety of weapons.

Korean War – Part 22 – bombing of North Korea .. the United States Air Force destroyed every town and city in Norht Korea. Kim Un Sun – factory worker – “Lets make bullets of revenge to give to the Americans”.

North Korea Remembers US War Crimes – what the West wants to forget … the view of North Korea : “Brutal atrocity of US Imperial Aggressors”.

Air Force General Curtis LeMay – “… we burned down every town in North Korea …”

Air&Space 2015 – How the Korean war almost went nuclear … Operation Hudson Harbor …

B-29s Over Korea – US Planned to A-Bomb N. Korea: [MaArthur’s] plan was to drop between 30 and 50 atomic bombs-strung across the neck of Manchuria, and spread behind us, from the Sea of Japan to the Yellow Sea- a belt of radioactive cobalt for at least 60 years there would be no invasion of Korea from the North

Attacks on the Sui-ho Dam … the hydroelectric targets were subjected to attacks totalling 1,514 sorties.

Asia-Pacific Journal 2009: Professor Charles Armstrong “Five reservoirs were hit, flooding thousands of acres of farmland, inundating whole towns and laying waste to the essential food source for millions of North Koreans.10 Only emergency assistance from China, the USSR, and other socialist countries prevented widespread famine”.

The Destruction and Reconstruction of North Korea – 2009: Professor Charles Armstrong, “The US Air Force estimated that North Korea’s destruction was proportionately greater than that of Japan in the Second World War, where the US had turned 64 major cities to rubble and used the atomic bomb to destroy two others. American planes dropped 635,000 tons of bombs on Korea — that is, essentially on North Korea –including 32,557 tons of napalm”.
“The DPRK government never forgot the lesson of North Korea’s vulnerability to American air attack,…”

New York Times – Choe Sang-Hun – 2015: North Korea offers US Deal to Halt Nuclear Tests …

Arms Control Association – 2015: North Korea announces offer to suspend nuclear testing …in exchange for the United States and South Korea calling off annual joint-military exercises slated for spring 2015. The United States rejects the offer.

12th April 2017 Tillerson Lavrov Press Conference on Syria – Lavrov emphasises “historical context” – Tillerson dismisses history with emphasis on “current threats”.

US Dept of State – 12th April 2017 Tillerson Lavrov Transcript:  Foreign Ministr Lavrov : “As far as Syria is concerned and Bashar al-Assad, we talked today about the history, and Rex said that he was a new man and is not interested so much in history; he wants to deal with today’s problems. But the world is so constructed that unless we look at what’s happened in the past, we won’t be able to deal with the present”.

28th April 2017 – UN Security Council Meeting on Korea … full meeting.

US Dept of State – 28th April 2017 – Secretry Tillerson Statement to UN Security Council: “The policy of strategic patience is over”. Call for economic and financial isolation of DPRK. North Korea must take concrete steps to end illegal weapons programs before we can even consider talks.

NY Times – Choe Sang-Hun – 2nd May 2017 – US Antimissile System Goes Live in South Korea ….

CGTN – 2nd May 2017 – Us B-1B Lancer bombers fly over South Korea angering DPRK

Commentary and Analysis

2012 – Washing Post John Tirman : Why do we ignore the civilians killed in American wars? “Estimates of Korean war deaths …. widely believed to have taken 3 million lives, about half of them civilian.”

Global Research 2010 – Professor Michel Chossudovsky: “It is now believed that the population north of the imposed 38th Parallel lost nearly a third its population of 8 – 9 million people during the 37-month long “hot” war, 1950 – 1953.” “US Sources acknowledge 1.55 million civilian deaths in North Korea”.

Wikipedia Civilian Casualty Ratio – Korean War: The median total estimated Korean civilian deaths in the Korean War is 2,730,000.

March 2015 – Washington Post fomer reporter Blaine Harden: The US war crime North Korea won’t forget – “War reporters rarely mentioned civilian casualties from U.S. carpet-bombing. It is perhaps the most forgotten part of a forgotten war”. “People in the North feel backed into a corner and threatened”.

Boundless – World History – Korea under Japanese Rule: The 1910-1945 Japanese occupation of Korea was marked by the suppression of Korean culture and heritage, mass exploitation of the Korean labor, and violent repressions against the Korean independence movement.

Vox – Max Fisher August 2015 – Americans have forgotten what we did to North Korea:  You can glimpse both the humanitarian and political consequences in an alarmed diplomatic cable that North Korea’s foreign minister sent to the United Nations .. in January 1951 : THE NUMBER OF INHABITANTS OF PYONGYANG KILLED BY BOMB SPLINTERS, BURNT ALIVE AND SUFFOCATED BY SMOKE IS INCALCULABLE, SINCE NO COMPUTATION IS POSSIBLE. SOME FIFTY THOUSAND INHABITANTS REMAIN IN THE CITY, WHICH BEFORE THE WAR HAD A POPULATION OF FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND.

UN DAG Repostory – source of 1951 diplomatic cable: English copy of cable.

Democracy Now – April 2017 – Noam Chomsky on North Korea ….”China and North Korea proposed to freeze the North Korean missile and nuclear weapons systems. And the U.S. instantly rejected it … “

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Al-Qaeda Leader Praises Syria White Helmets as “Hidden Soldiers of the Revolution”

As hard as the Western corporate media works to employ propaganda techniques and tragic narratives with which to convince their respective populations that the terrorists funded by Western governments fight against the Syrian government are actually democracy-loving freedom fighters and selfless activists, more and more revelations come to light showing the true nature of heavily hyped groups like the White Helmets.

Indeed, it seems that, every week, another piece of evidence emerges revealing the White Helmets to be nothing more than a wing of al-Qaeda/al-Nusra designed to produce clever propaganda videos to tear at the usually hardened heartstrings of unsuspecting Americans. After having been exposed for housing themselves in the same building as Nusra/Qaeda, carrying weapons (also see Vanessa Beeley’s article here), using dangerous and erratic rescue and emergency techniques, proudly proclaiming support for terrorists and the desire to see Syrian military personnel killed, the White Helmets went on to sign documents and proclamations in support of Nusra in its effort to prevent civilians from access to drinking water.

Now, a little-known video made by the leader of Tahrir al-Sham (al-Qaeda in Syria), Abu Jaber, on March 16, 2017, is making the rounds of social media, showing Jaber praising the White Helmets as the “hidden soldiers of the revolution” and thanking them for what they do.

“Second, a message of thanks and gratitude to the hidden soldiers of our revolution,” Jaber said. “On top of the list are the parents of the martyrs and the men of the White Helmets.”

The question then becomes, “If the White Helmets are so unbiased, why does Tahrir al-Sham consider them to be heroes of the ‘revolution?’” Certainly, al-Qaeda would not consider any organization who assists civilians instead of solely the bearded soldiers of God as heroes of their movement. The answer, of course, is simple. The White Helmets are nothing more than a propaganda wing of al-Qaeda itself, funded by Western governments and NGOs for the purpose of creating false narratives and shock videos designed to manipulate the Western public.

If there was any doubt about the true nature of the White Helmets, I suggest reading my previous articles on the group as well as Vanessa Beeley’s excellent work on the same topic.

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Washington Approves Arming Kurdish Forces in Syria, … against Turkey, its NATO Ally

US Ignores Turkey’s Objections

US President Donald Trump has authorized the arming of Kurdish forces in Syria despite fierce opposition from Turkey.

The Pentagon made the announcement on Tuesday, stressing that arming the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) is to “ensure a clear victory” in operations aimed at the liberation of Raqqah from the Daesh terrorist group.

The US currently provides air support for members of the SDF — a Kurdish-dominated and anti-Damascus alliance. They have largely surrounded Raqqah and are expected to begin an offensive soon.

The SDF is led by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) which Ankara views as a terrorist organization over its alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

“We are keenly aware of the security concerns of our coalition partner Turkey,” said Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White. “We want to reassure the people and government of Turkey that the US is committed to preventing additional security risks and protecting our NATO ally,” she added.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer also confirmed the announcement,

“Yesterday the president authorized the Department of Defense to equip Kurdish elements of the Syrian Democratic Forces as necessary to ensure a clear victory over ISIL in Raqqah, Syria. The SDF partnered with enabling support from US and coalition forces are the only force on the ground to successfully seize Raqqah in the near future.”

The move was announced after US Defense Secretary James Mattis said Washington will be cooperating with Turkey to liberate the ISIS Daesh-held northeastern Syrian city of Raqqah. [unofficially, ISIS-Daesh were supported by both the US and Ankara ffrom the outset]

“We are going to sort it out and figure out how we are going to do it, but we are all committed to it,” he added.

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) female forces carry water supplies on the bank of the Euphrates river, west of Raqqah city, Syria April 10, 2017.

Meanwhile, reports coming out of Syria suggest that a joint military force of US, British, and Jordanian troops, equipped with tanks and helicopters, have been deployed in the war-torn country’s southern border areas.

Different foreign-backed terrorist groups have been wreaking havoc in Syria since 2011.

Over the past few months, Syrian forces have made sweeping gains against Takfiri elements who have lately increased their acts of violence across the country following a series of defeats on the ground.

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UK Election: Journalists as State Functionaries


There was a brief moment of truth on Sky News this morning (9th May), where there was a brief discussion of disquiet among journalists that Theresa May will only take questions that have been pre-vetted and selected in advance by the Tory Party. The Sky reporter even gave the detail that the journalists are not allowed to hold the microphone, which is controlled by a Tory Party functionary so it can be switched off if the journalist strays from the script.

This has been the case right from the start, something I highlighted a few days ago.

But the overall treatment on Sky was that this was not really important, and was simply a matter of ensuring “fairness” in distributing questions between journalists.

This is a desperate situation. I do not know any genuine democracy in the world which would accept this. I have just spent two months in Ghana, where there would be a commendable roar of outrage if the President tried to limit what questions can be asked of him – and he would never dream of doing so. Nowhere in the European Union, not even in authoritarian Hungary, are journalists’ questions pre-vetted.

The idea that the head of the government both gets to choose what they have asked, and gets advance warning of every question so they can look sharp with their answer, is totally antithetical to every notion of democratic accountability. If we had anything approaching a genuine free media, there would be absolute outrage. All genuine media organisations would react by boycotting such events and simply refusing to cover them at all.

The media know perfectly well that the reason May needs protection from difficult questions – and even advance notice of soft ones – is that she is hopeless. Her refusal to debate Corbyn and her car crash interview with Marr illustrate that. But our servile media cover up for her by colluding in entirely fake events.

I learn from a BBC source that in the special Question Time the BBC have organised for May in lieu of a debate, questioners will be selected in advance and May will see the questions in time to prepare.

My observation that the Conservative platform is in its essentials identical to the BNP manifesto of 2005 has received widespread social media coverage. I simply cannot conceive that the UK can have become so right wing. Now add to that, it has become so authoritarian there is no reaction to advance vetting of journalists questions – something Vladimir Putin does not do. And very few people seem to care.

I understand that Theresa May has succeeded in going so far to the right she hoovers up all of UKIP votes. In some ways she has gone further to the right than UKIP ever did. For all his faults, Nigel Farage would be quite genuinely horrified at the idea of pre-vetting of which questions from journalists are permitted. The thing I do not understand, is that it appears that there is no lurch too far into right-wing authoritarianism which causes more liberal conservatives to desert.

I suspect many are deluding themselves she has the ability to control the far right forces to which her every word and action pander. They delude themselves. Firstly, May really is that right wing and illiberal. Secondly it has gone beyond control. Douglas Murray of the Henry Jackson Society has a major article in The Sun today in which he forecasts violence (“deeds not words”) by “the people” if immigration specifically from Muslim countries is not curtailed. He does not state what form precisely these deeds not words by the people would take, but it is hard to see anything he can mean except violence against Muslims. People like Murray are now the mainstream Conservatives.

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Why Do North Koreans Hate Us?


Korean women weep as they identify bodies on Oct. 28, 1953. The army said the victims were among political prisoners killed by suffocation by the Communists outside Hambung, Korea. The Army said the victims were forced into caves which were then sealed off. (AP Photo)

[Editor’s note: The great secret of the Korean War is that the North invaded the South in order to liberate them from the brutal, murderous totalitarian Rhee regime that had been installed by the US. They almost succeeded in pushing the foreigners out of the country but in the end, they got embroiled in three long years of war that saw the US and their UN allies burn virtually every village and town in the North and bombing raids to rival those inflict on Japan in WW2 in their murderous slaughter of civilians. By the time of the ceasefire the North was a wasteland and it’s people were starving, homeless refugees; they had been ‘bombed back to the stone age’ to use a US military phrase. Small wonder the North has not forgiven or forgotten and maintains a burning hatred. Ian]

The Intercept
Why Do North Koreans Hate Us? One Reason — They Remember the Korean War.

“WHY DO THEY hate us?”

It’s a question that has bewildered Americans again and again in the wake of 9/11, in reference to the Arab and Muslim worlds. These days, however, it’s a question increasingly asked about the reclusive North Koreans.

Let’s be clear: There is no doubt that the citizens of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea both fear and loathe the United States. Paranoia, resentment, and a crude anti-Americanism have been nurtured inside the Hermit Kingdom for decades. Children are taught to hate Americans in school while adults mark a “Struggle Against U.S. Imperialism Month” every year (it’s in June, in case you were wondering).

North Korean officials make wild threats against the United States while the regime, led by the brutal and sadistic Kim Jong-un, pumps out fake news in the form of self-serving propaganda, on an industrial scale. In the DPRK, anti-American hatred is a commodity never in short supply.

“The hate, though,” as longtime North Korea watcher Blaine Harden observed in the Washington Post, “is not all manufactured.” Some of it, he wrote, “is rooted in a fact-based narrative, one that North Korea obsessively remembers and the United States blithely forgets.”

Forgets as in the “forgotten war.” Yes, the Korean War. Remember that? The one wedged between World War II and the Vietnam War? The first “hot” war of the Cold War, which took place between 1950 and 1953, and which has since been conveniently airbrushed from most discussions and debates about the “crazy” and “insane” regime in Pyongyang? Forgotten despite the fact that this particular war isn’t even over — it was halted by an armistice agreement, not a peace treaty — and despite the fact that the conflict saw the United States engage in numerous war crimes, which, perhaps unsurprisingly, continue to shape the way North Koreans view the United States, even if the residents of the United States remain blissfully ignorant of their country’s belligerent past.

For the record, it was the North Koreans, and not the Americans or their South Korean allies, who started the war in June 1950, when they crossed the 38th Parallel and invaded the south. Nevertheless, “What hardly any Americans know or remember,” University of Chicago historian Bruce Cumings writes in his book “The Korean War: A History,” “is that we carpet-bombed the north for three years with next to no concern for civilian casualties.”

How many Americans, for example, are aware of the fact that U.S. planes dropped on the Korean peninsula more bombs — 635,000 tons — and napalm — 32,557 tons — than during the entire Pacific campaign against the Japanese during World War II?

How many Americans know that “over a period of three years or so,” to quote Air Force Gen. Curtis LeMay, head of the Strategic Air Command during the Korean War, “we killed off … 20 percent of the population”?

Twenty. Percent. For a point of comparison, the Nazis exterminated 20 percent of Poland’s pre-World War II population. According to LeMay, “We went over there and fought the war and eventually burned down every town in North Korea.”

Every. Town. More than 3 million civilians are believed to have been killed in the fighting, the vast majority of them in the north.

How many Americans are familiar with the statements of Secretary of State Dean Rusk or Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas? Rusk, who was a State Department official in charge of Far Eastern affairs during the Korean War, would later admit that the United States bombed “every brick that was standing on top of another, everything that moved.” American pilots, he noted, “were just bombing the heck out of North Korea.”

Douglas visited Korea in the summer of 1952 and was stunned by the “misery, disease, pain and suffering, starvation” that had been “compounded” by air strikes. U.S. warplanes, having run out of military targets, had bombed farms, dams, factories, and hospitals. “I had seen the war-battered cities of Europe,” the Supreme Court justice confessed, “but I had not seen devastation until I had seen Korea.”

How many Americans have ever come across Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s unhinged plan to win the war against North Korea in just 10 days? MacArthur, who led the United Nations Command during the conflict, wanted to drop “between 30 and 50 atomic bombs … strung across the neck of Manchuria” that would have “spread behind us … a belt of radioactive cobalt.”

How many Americans have heard of the No Gun Ri massacre, in July 1950, in which hundreds of Koreans were killed by U.S. warplanes and members of the 7th U.S. Cavalry regiment as they huddled under a bridge? Details of the massacre emerged in 1999, when the Associated Press interviewed dozens of retired U.S. military personnel. “The hell with all those people,” one American veteran recalled his captain as saying. “Let’s get rid of all of them.”

How many Americans are taught in school about the Bodo League massacre of tens of thousands of suspected communists on the orders of the U.S.-backed South Korean strongman, President Syngman Rhee, in the summer of 1950? Eyewitness accounts suggest “jeeploads” of U.S. military officers were present and “supervised the butchery.”

Millions of ordinary Americans may suffer from a toxic combination of ignorance and amnesia, but the victims of U.S. coups, invasions, and bombing campaigns across the globe tend not to. Ask the Iraqis or the Iranians, ask the Cubans or the Chileans. And, yes, ask the North Koreans.

For the residents of the DPRK, writes Columbia University historian Charles Armstrong in his book “Tyranny of the Weak: North Korea and the World, 1950-1992,” “the American air war left a deep and lasting impression” and “more than any other single factor, gave North Koreans a collective sense of anxiety and fear of outside threats, that would continue long after the war’s end.”

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not pretending that Kim’s violent and totalitarian regime would be any less violent or totalitarian today had the U.S. not carpet-bombed North Korea almost 70 years ago. Nor am I expecting Donald Trump, of all presidents, to offer a formal apology to Pyongyang on behalf of the U.S. government for the U.S. war crimes of 1950 through 1953.

But the fact is that inside North Korea, according to leading Korea scholar Kathryn Weathersby, “it is still the 1950s … and the conflict with South Korea and the United States is still going on. People in the North feel backed into a corner and threatened.”

If another Korean war, a potentially nuclear war, is to be avoided and if, as the Czech-born novelist Milan Kundera famously wrote, “the struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting,” then ordinary Americans can no longer afford to forget the death, destruction, and debilitating legacy of the original Korean War.

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France: Macron’s Election Victory, Will Discrimination against the Muslims Continue?


The centrist Emmanuel Macron was elected French president by defeating the ultra-nationalist and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in the second round of the French presidential election, held on Sunday (May 7, 2017). Macron of the independent En Marche party won 23.75 percent votes and Le Pen of France’s National Front party won 21.53 percent votes.

The election victory of Macron has been hailed by his supporters and the ongoing President of France François Hollande, including various leaders and politicians of the Western World, especially Europe. The US President Donald Trump also congratulated the president-elect Emmanuel Macron and said, “I look very much forward to working with him”

His emphatic victory has brought huge relief to European allies who had feared another populist upheaval to follow Britain’s vote to quit the EU and Donald Trump’s election as US president.

In his victory speech, the president-elect Macron said that he would unite a divided and fractured France. He stated “I will work to recreate the link between Europe and its peoples, between Europe and citizens.”  Macron added that the world was watching and “waiting for us to defend the spirit of the Enlightenment, threatened in so many places”.

While, Macron who favours globalization, sees France’s way forward in boosting the competitiveness of an open economy.

The far-right candidate Le Pen had vowed to defend France against the forces of globalization and declared that now was the time to free the French population from arrogant elite. On April 24, this year, Le Pen had continued to emphasize the anti-immigrant and anti-globalization views and she denounced the efforts of the mainstream parties to keep her out of the presidency. She continuedhostility to the European Union, NATO and wanted to shield French workers by closing borders, quitting the EU’s common currency, the euro, radically loosening the bloc and scrapping trade deals.

It is notable that three days before the first round of France’s presidential elections, held on Sunday (April 23, 2017), a French policeman was shot dead and two others were wounded in central Paris on April 20, 2017 when a gunman wielding a machine gun leapt out of a car and opened fire on the Champs-Elysees, Paris’s most famous boulevard. Via its Amaq news agency, the Islamic State group (Also known as Daesh, ISIS, ISIL) claimed that the attack was carried out by “Abu Yousuf al-Baljiki (the Belgian) and he is one of the Islamic State’s fighters.”

French President Francois Hollande said that he was convinced the “cowardly killing” on the Champs Elysees boulevard was an act of terrorism.

Karim Cheurfi, a 39-year-old French national who was shot dead by the police was identified as the attacker. Prosecutors said that a note defending ISIS fell out of his pocket, although there was no previous evidence of radicalization.

After the shooting, the three main candidates canceled campaign events and instead made televised statements in which they competed to talk tough on security and vowed a crackdown on ISIS.

The incident brought issues of terrorism, the French Muslims, security and immigration back to the forefront of the campaign. Marine Le Pen demanded the closure of all Islamist mosques, repeating her call for Europe’s partly open borders to be closed. Le Pen also called Macron “weak” on terrorism and ISIS, as terror-incident of Champs-Élysées had drawn renewed attention.

The fact of the matter is that the French president-elect Emmanuel Macron will maintain the US-led status quo in the world and will further advance the Israeli agenda against Russia, China, Syria, Pakistan etc, and the Muslims, while further advancing the international forces of globalization, controlled by the wealthy Jews and the elite class at the cost of small countries and the poor class.

In this regard, Gil Hoffman, under the Caption “Emmanuel Macron’s Israeli Ties”, Gil Hoffman and Michael Wilner, under the title Macron Fights for France’s Jewish Vote had already pointed out Macron’s connections with Israel by writing in Jerusalem Post.

In this respect, Haaretz an Israeli newspaper ( reported on April, 23 and 24, 2017, “In a race…Macron, a pro-European Union ex-banker and economy minister…received slightly more votes than Le Pen…Speaking on Holocaust Remembrance Day, Moshe Kantor described Le Pen as “dangerous” and added that “the 48-year-old National Front leader recently made comments against the historic record of the Holocaust which makes her no less dangerous than her Holocaust-denying father who she has tried to hide…Le Pen recently called for banning the wearing of the kippah in public and for making it illegal for French nationals to also have an Israeli passport.”

Therefore, three days before France’s presidential elections, shooting at Champs-Elysees-Paris-famous Boulevard was conducted by the Israeli secret agency Mossad through ISIS to ensure the victory of the pro-Israeli Emmanuel Macron in the first round of the election.

It is mentionable that Macron did not mention, as to how he will eliminate ISIS, while all other candidates have vowed to destroy the ISIS. It further creates doubt about her Israeli links.

Unlike several of his opponents on the left and right, Macron has avoided making pronouncements against Muslim dress codes and discriminatory laws which are, in fact, being applied against the Muslims in France.

Regarding France’s Presidential election and the French Muslims, The Washington Post, under the caption, “Anti-Muslim rhetoric permeates French presidential election campaign”, wrote on April 18,2017, “For some, the French presidential election will alter the course of a troubled nation steeped in economic and social turmoil…In a country that remains under an official “state of emergency” following an unprecedented spate of terrorist violence in the past two years, the election also has become a referendum on Muslims and their place in what is probably Europe’s most anxious multicultural society.

Before the election’s first round of voting Sunday, each of the five leading contenders—from across the ideological spectrum—has felt compelled to address an apparently pressing “Muslim question” about what to do with the country’s largest religious minority. Marine Le Pen…has made her answer crystal clear. In February, in the same speech, she decried “Islamist globalization,” which she called an “ideology that wants to bring France to its knees…While Le Pen’s diverse array of opponents do not all share her extremity…each seems to agree that, when it comes to Muslims, something needs to be done…“I want strict administrative control of the Muslim faith,” announced François Fillon, the now-disgraced mainstream conservative candidate, in a January campaign speech.

By contrast, Emmanuel Macron, the popular independent candidate, has spoken frequently of what he considers the urgent need to “help Muslims restructure the Islam of France.” The far-left Jean-Luc Melenchon, who has condemned Islamophobia, ultimately wants to stamp out “all communitarianisms” and has reiterated what he calls the “urgent” need to “put an end to the misappropriation of public funds attributed to private denominational education…With many of the devastating terrorist attacks perpetrated by French or European passport-holding militants affiliated with or inspired by the Islamic State, public opinion has grown increasingly suspicious of the Muslim population that has existed in this country for centuries… Despite the intricate diversity of that population, there is widespread anxiety that if either Le Pen or Fillon is elected, things could get significantly worse.

Both candidates probably would move quickly to advance crackdowns on veils, mosques and Muslim community organizations in the name of state secularism… Few French Muslims see a candidate in the running who would change a status quo that many view as unsustainable… Hakim El Karoui, the author of a widely circulated 2016 report on Islam in France…a Paris-based think tank said, said, “the strict anti-terrorist stance adopted by the Socialist administration of President François Hollande—who famously persecuted the “burkini” last summer has undercut the desire among French Muslims to support the left in the 2017 election…The right has always been against Muslims and immigrants….Chief among the concerns many Muslims harbor is over the so-called state of emergency…Since its imposition, French authorities have been permitted to carry out upward of 4,000 warrantless searches on French homes, and likewise have placed more than 700 people under house arrest. But many Muslims say they have been targeted unlawfully. According to France’s Collective Against Islamophobia (in French, CCIF), an advocacy organization committed to fighting discrimination, more than 400 French Muslims reported having their homes searched for no clear reason in 2016. Approximately 100 of those also were placed under house arrest, while nearly 30 were asked to leave the country.”

Nevertheless, a majority of the Muslims in France and other Islamic country have shown pleasure over Macron’s election triumph, because, they considered him better for the French Muslims than the fanatic Le Pen. However, it is wishful thinking of the Muslims who do not know the secret strategy of the US and Israel and their anti-Muslim war.

Remember that when Barack Obama won the presidential election on November 4, 2008; a wave of wishful thinking prevailed over the Muslims, including the Islamic countries that he is Muslim and would protect the interests of the Muslims. Since his campaign for the US Senate in 2004 and during the presidential election, his political opponents raised questions about his citizenship. Some said that Obama secretly practices Islam.

These claims in the public expanded during Obama’s pre-presidency and according to the Pew Research Center, 17% of Americans believed him to be a Muslim in a 2012 poll.

A wave of jubilation had been noted all over the world on January 20, 2009 when American President Barack Obama took oath. His first address had indicated a positive change in the US foreign policy. In this respect, most of the political experts had hoped that he would rectify the blunders, committed by his predecessor in the name of phony war on terror.

Addressing a crowd at Cairo University on June 9, 2009, while speaking optimistically in relation to the issues of Muslims like the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, President Obama had said, “To the Muslim World, we seek a new way forward, based upon mutual interest and mutual respect”, and “based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition.” Several times during the hour-long speech, members of the audience shouted, “We love you.”

A majority of the Muslims hoped that President Obama would resolve the issues which were affecting the Islamic World.

Similarly, while accusing President Bush’s policies in South Asia and recognizing interrelationship between war on terror in Afghanistan and dispute of Kashmir, Obama had stated on September 25, 2008, that if elected, he would encourage India and Pakistan to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and resolve the Kashmir problem to reduce nuclear dangers in South Asia—so that Islamabad could fully concentrate on fighting terrorism.

Quite contrary to his commitments, Obama not only set aside the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, but also the Kashmir issue. Instead, during his first visit to New Delhi, on November 6, 2010 President Obama announced the measures, America would take regarding removal of Indian space and defence companies from a restricted “entities list”, and supported Indian demand for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council, including membership of four key global nuclear nonproliferation regimes.

Ignoring the solution of Kashmir dispute which like Syria, remains a nuclear flashpoint between Pakistan and India, America started backing Indian hegemony in Asia to counterbalance the presumed threat of China.

And as part of the double standards, while preferring New Delhi at the cost of Pakistan—despite, Indian violations of various international agreements and its refusal to sign Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), CTBT and Additional Protocol with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Washington signed a pact of nuclear civil technology with New Delhi in 2008. During President Obama’s visit to India, on January 25, 2016, the US and India announced a breakthrough on the pact which would allow American companies to supply New Delhi with civilian nuclear technology.

Following his predecessor’s fake global war on terror and his anti-Muslim policies in its worst form, President Obama who created ISIL, used it and Al-Qaeda, including their affiliated outfits through CIA and Israeli Mossad to secure the illegitimate interests of Israel. If the double game of President Bush (The Senior) and George W. Bush franchised Al-Qaeda on global level, President Obama’s dual policy franchised both Al-Qaeda and ISIS as part of the anti-Muslim campaign and left no stone unturned in advancing the agenda of the Zionists, Israeli lobbies and the neoconservatives.

However, the September 11 tragedy was fully manipulated by Israel who had joined the Bush’s anti-war terrorism enterprise so as to target Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Pakistan in particular and other Muslim countries in general. For this purpose, extremist Jews also got the services of some radical Hindus to continue their anti-Muslim campaign. In this connection, by availing the international phenomena of terrorism, Indo-Israeli lobbies which are collectively working in America and other European countries have been exploiting the double standards of the US-led West regarding terrorism and human rights vis-à-vis China, Pakistan, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen etc.

Overtly, like Bush, President Obama had repeatedly stated that Muslims are moderate and Islam is a religion of peace, but covertly, he followed the agenda of the Bush to secure the Zionist-shaped policies.

Learning no lesson from the US and NATO’s longest war in Afghanistan, facing defeatism in that country, Obama continued state terrorism and extrajudicial killings of the Muslims through illegitimate drone attacks, CIA-torture cells, sectarian divide and violence on the basis of Shia and Sunni—assisting undemocratic forces such as the return of a military strongman in Egypt by toppling the elected government, and like Iraq, his policies created more collapsed states such as Libya, Syria, Yemen etc., which opened the door for Al-Qaeda and ISIL activists, coupled with total failure to convince Tel Aviv to abandon “settlements,” or to end delaying tactics in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the perennial humiliations of the Palestinians.

Since September 30, 2015, various unexpected developments had frustrated Israel and America. In this respect, Russian successful airstrikes on the ISIS targets in the northern Syria and Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, its coalition with Iran, Iraq, the Syrian army-the National Defense Forces (NDF) and Lebanon-based Hezbollah in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, retreat of the CIA-supported rebels and mercenaries after their failure to topple the Assad government, proving links of Al-Qaeda’s Al-Nusra Front and ISIS with America and Israel, Putin’s clear-cut statement, indicating the Zionist regime in the US and  Israel for their “phony war on ISIS” surprised the Israel-led America and some European countries who wanted to oust the Assad regime.

As a matter of fact,  the agents of Mossad who are in collaboration with the CIA sympathizers, Syrian rebel groups and the ISIL militants arranged terror attacks in Paris, Brussels, Orlando, San Bernardino, Nice, Munich, London, St. Petersburg (Metro train) and in Stockholm. While, a gunman who went by the nickname Black Jesus was identied—39-year-old Kori Ali Muhammad, making militant comments on social mediakilled three white men in downtown Fresno, California, on April 18, 2017 and fired at another before he was taken into custody while shouting “Allahu Akhbar,” as the Fresno police stated.

All these were false flag terror attacks, as the US and Israel wanted to obtain their covert aims against Russia and the Muslims. Mossad had also provided the US President Donald Trump with an opportunity to exploit various terror assaults to win the US presidential election and to reunite America and Europe, as a rift was created between America and its Western allies, especially Europe on a number of issues, including NATO.

And, President Donald Trump had left no stone unturned in implementing anti-Muslim policies, while speaking openly against the Muslims and Syrian immigrants.

Earlier, taking note of various developments and some other ones such as reluctance of NATO countries to support America’s fake global war on terror, acceptance of Syrian refuges by the European countries, especially Germany and the EU rule to boycott goods produced in Israeli settlements on the West Bank, Israeli Mossad which was in collaboration with the vulnerable CIA operatives arranged terror attacks in Paris on the night of November 13, 2016. As part of the double game, these terror assaults were conducted by these secret agencies, particularly Mossad which was in connivance with the ISIS terrorists who used the home-grown terrorists of France.

French President Francois Hollande who declared emergency in the country had said, “It is an act of war that was committed by a terrorist army, a jihadist army, Daesh against France…France would act with “all the necessary means, and on all terrains, inside and outside, in coordination with our allies, who are, themselves, targeted by this terrorist threat.”

Israel succeeded in its sinister designs, Europe was put on high alert and Paris attacks were being taken as assaults on the whole continent. Afterwards, France started airstrikes on the ISIS targets in Syria.

ISIS which is being driven out of its areas of territorial control in Iraq and Syria by the Russian-led coalition and the so-called Western-assisted alliance has hundreds of French-speaking fighters, which have claimed responsibility for several terrorism-related assaults.

France which has lived under a state of emergency since 2015 and has suffered a spate of Islamist militant attacks mostly perpetrated by young men who grew up in France have killed more than 230 people in the past two years.

In France, around five million Muslims are living—roughly 7.5 percent of the population—the largest share of any country in Europe.

At least two million Muslims have French citizenship. The Muslim community is made up of immigrants from Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and a small population from South Asia

Historically, the immigration started in 1960-70s and consisted mainly of “economic migrants,” who filled the blue collared jobs which the native French did not want. However, their second and third generation is educated, but ostracized from the mainstream French society.

Muslims came to France following France’s colonization of North Africa. The current relationship between the French state and its Muslim population is based upon discrimination, because Muslims are being considered as an underclass—was conditioned by the twin legacies of imperial history and economic exploitation.

Unlike other colonies, Algeria was officially considered a part of France, meaning that Algerian Muslims could come freely to France to live. Once there, however, they faced systematic and often brutal repression.

Antagonism with a subject Muslim population is written into France’s political structure: the current constitution—which established the Fifth Republic — was designed to resolve the state crisis provoked by Muslim resistance to colonialism.

When General De Gaulle called for constitutional reform in 1958, he did so precisely in order to shore up presidential authority, weakened by the upheavals of the Algerian war of independence.

There are also some other purposes behind creation of xenophobia against the Muslims in France.

Firms sometimes made prayer rooms available to their employees, a startling difference from today, when the private sector is collaborating with the state to eradicate manifestations of Islam in every sphere outside the home.

French perceptions of Muslims and Islam changed significantly over the past decade. Since 9/11, a number of terrorist attacks in Europe and in France in particular led to an increase in debates, such as “Clash of Civilizations”, “Islamisation of Europe” and the “Islam problem.” It has, thus resulted in dividing the French society between “us” and “them.”

In the pretext of the fear of Muslims and Islam, growing in Europe, France has enacted a number of laws to maintain the so-called “secularism” of the French society. In this context, the controversial ban on the traditional veil, worn by Muslim women is notable. France has banned the traditional veil in public areas, considering it to be a symbol of “oppression” against women. Consequently, women, wearing veils cannot enter universities, banks, hospitals, offices etc., thus making it difficult for Muslim women to avail public facilities.

Head scarves and other religious traditional dresses have been banned in schools. This has, mainly, affected Muslim children, while, proposals for discontinuation of substitute for pork and “Halal” (Permitted in Islam) food in school cafeterias are also being voiced.

Many Muslims, however, find these laws part of discrimination, which have further broadened the divide between the Muslim community and the Christians.

Besides, the Muslim youth is facing discrimination in employment opportunities. In this regard, “Muslim Diaspora” is twice more likely to work in factories than the rest of French force. They are also underrepresented in executive positions.

It is noteworthy that another false flag terror operation-the Charlie Hebdo incident has also put Muslim population under greater scrutiny. Violence against Muslims increased twofold after the incident. As regards the incident, on January 7, 2015, two Islamic militants attacked the office of French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris, and killed 13 people on January 9, 2015, two brothers namely Said and Cherif Kouachi suspected for the incident were killed in a shootout with Police—in a hostage-taking situation, at a signage company in Dammartinen-Goele where some people were also targeted.

Thus, the gunmen killed total 17 persons. Mossad manipulated the anti-Muslim approach of France, and indirectly used these Algerian Muslims for the terror attack through ISIS. Afterwards, Mossad’s connections with Charlie Hebdo episode had been proved by many senior writers, analysts and social media bloggers—a video titled “Did Mossad Do Charlie Hebdo” prepared/uploaded by is worth-watching. In fact, besides creating differences between Christians and Muslims, Zionist groups and Mossad used the episode to punish France on recognizing Palestinian state and to desist other EU countries to avoid such approach on Palestinians. However, the magazine had continued to print anti-Muslim publications, under the pretext of freedom of speech, thus creating resentment in the Muslim community. Similarly, one of the most confrontational debated books of 2015 has been, “Submission” by Michel Houellebecq, which portrays France being ruled under Islamic law by 2022. The book thrives on paranoia of the European society towards Islam and Muslims.

As part of discrimination, radicalized Muslim inmates are detained separately from the rest of the inmates. The second and third generation Muslim youth which has been brought up and educated in France, is faced with an “identity crisis,” despite being a French Muslim in a society which is unwilling to accept them as truly French. This lack of identity which has been exploited by the Mossad and some CIA agents, forced a number of the French citizens (Muslims) to fight in Syria against the Assad regime.

As regards the discriminatory treatment with the Muslims,  Under the title, “French police abuse Muslims under emergency laws-Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International report physical and psychological abuse as raids target Muslim minority”, Aljazeera multimedia network wrote on February 4, 2016,  “France has carried out abusive and discriminatory raids and house arrests against Muslims under its current state of emergency…stigmatising those targeted, including children and the elderly…Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International published separate research…pointing to cases where excessive force had been used, leading to human rights violations including violence…Those targeted said the police burst into homes, restaurants, or mosques; broke people’s belongings; threw Qurans on the floor; terrified children; and placed restrictions on people’s movements so severely that they lost jobs and income, or suffered physically…ISIL’s claim[For terror attacks] triggered a backlash-not just in France, but across Europe and elsewhere- as Muslim communities were collectively punished…France has a responsibility to ensure public safety and try to prevent further attacks, but the police have used their new emergency powers in abusive, discriminatory, and unjustified ways, said Izza Leghtas, Western Europe researcher at HRW, calling for an immediate end to warrantless searches and house arrests…This abuse has traumatised [Muslims] families and tarnished reputations, leaving targets feeling like second-class citizens…In one house raid, HRW said, police broke four of a disabled man’s teeth before they realised he was not the person they were looking for…In another case, a single mother’s children were transferred to foster care following a raid…Freedom, equality and fraternity have been badly damaged in the weeks since the November attacks.”

On August 29, 2016, Nick Riemer, under the caption, “The Roots of Islamophobia in France” wrote on the website, “Children have watched as their parents are dragged from their beds by heavily armed police…Mosques have been violently ransacked by the police. Worshippers are humiliated and degraded, including through the use of police dogs. Around twenty mosques have simply been closed, and more will soon be shuttered. Political organizations with Muslim links have also been threatened with closure; demonstrations, including, including pro-Palestinian ones…Muslims appealing for asylum find themselves even more vulnerable than residents. The government delivers anti-Islamic broadsides while destroying refugee camps in Calais and elsewhere. Meanwhile, the French have blessed the European Union’s deal with Turkey on refugees, under which Syrian refugees arriving by boat on Greek islands are deported to Turkey.

In pursuing these policies, French politicians have knowingly ignored the fact that long-standing and state-sponsored Islamophobia, combined with military activity in Muslim countries, has only encouraged extremism. The political classes have refused to recognize how their economic and social policies fuel the alienation that drives people to join groups like ISIS. A ferocious escalation of Islamophobic propaganda from all quarters of French culture and politics accompanies these measures. According to Abdellali Hajjat and Marwan Mohammed, the construction of the ‘Muslim problem’ over recent years constitutes one of the main vectors for French and even European elites’ unification” across the political spectrum.”

A website pointed out on August 8, 2016Laïcité went from being a constitutional principle to becoming an ideological weapon used to justify the social death sentence against Muslims in France…Several primary school children were either physically assaulted by their teachers or school principa…such a story did not move the minister of education, Mrs Najat Vallaud Belkacem, who not only refused to condemn the school personnel’s violence against a child but further stated that they had acted according to the procedures in place. This cynical position was confirmed a few weeks later when the international media turned its attention to a new witch hunt against Muslim students…Western Muslims, and particularly French Muslims whose country has become the laboratory of Islamophobia…are the clear indicator of how well our democracies are doing.

The recent drift toward authoritarian regimes, the rise of fascist discourse in not only US politics but also in most of Europe, the acceptance of regimes of exception like the current state of emergency in France, pre-emptive prosecution in the US or the capacity for the UK government to deport a person or stripping citizenships while people are abroad should worry us; not because they are applied against people we may disagree with but because we leave it to the state to decide alone without any accountability and look away when minorities are being put under increasing pressure. But once you create a precedent, you seldom go back. In the case of France, a concept keeps steering violent debate about Muslims.Laïcité is a constitutional principle granting the French state’s religious neutrality and that there is no official religion in France. Proclaimed in 1905, it put a clear separation between the state and the church. Laïcité was seldom debated until Muslim immigrants who were once invisible sociological subjects reduced to mere statistics became a visible part of French society.”

Recall, just after the September 11 tragedy inside the United States, chauvinism and extremism were deliberately developed among the Americans through media and statements of high officials of the Bush Administration. President Bush used the words, “crusade against the evil-doers”, adding to the perception that the ongoing ‘different war’ against terrorism is actually a war against the Muslim countries. Inside the US, suddenly, every Muslim found himself divested of his nationality. Arrests, detentions and harassment of the Muslims by the CIA and the FBI were other steps which still continue. Israeli atrocities on the Palestinians were brushed aside.

Learning no lesson from the drastic aftermath and the implications of the post-9/11 tragedy, some irresponsible politicians, rulers, writers and think-tanks of the Western countries, especially Europe, including their media are repeating similar anti-Muslim chauvinism which has, particularly, been accelerated in France after the Paris attacks of November 13, 2016 and those occurred afterwards. They have been misguiding their general public by creating prejudice against the Muslims.

They are propagating the so-called threat of Islamophobia. In one way or the other, the Muslims are being persecuted in the US and other Western countries, particularly in Europe. Especially, France shows the anti-Muslim phenomenon of the post 9/11 tragedy in its worst form.

In this regard, scholars of international affairs agree that “foreign affairs are too foreign” to the citizens of a country. Renowned scholar Prof. Hoslti opines that “issues and situations” have “influence on public opinion” which in turn “influences the objectives and actions.”

So, fault cannot be laid on the general masses, a majority of whom does not have much time to go in-depth. Hence, they are swayed by emotions, stereotypes and prejudices created by the political leaders who keep on manipulating any crisis for their own self-interests with the sole aim of getting their sympathies to increase their vote bank. There are equal strong pressures from religious and nationalist forces in wake of global war on terror which is dividing the world on religious lines.

Nonetheless, owing to the irresponsible approach of the Western leaders, far right-wing parties and “Stop Islam” movement in the West, especially in Europe are becoming popular by largely attracting their people. Amid a migrant crisis, sluggish economic growth and growing disillusionment with the European Union, right-wing parties in a growing number of European countries have made electoral gains. The right-wing parties range across a wide policy spectrum, from populist and nationalist to far-right neofascist.

But, some other developments such as criticism of the controversial Turkish-EU refugee deal by a number of human rights groups, Britain’s decision to leave the European Union (EU), after the referendum (Brexit) on June 24, 2016, prospects of Scotland and some other countries for separation from the EU, and the divide between the elite class which run multinational companies with the direct or indirect control of the Jews and the general masses who are suffering from multiple problems in wake of differences on the refugee crisis, Syrian war, Greece’s weak economy, violent protests and strikes against the labour laws in France in 2016 in favour of the employers at the cost of the employs etc.—the chances of European Union’s disintegration which will give a greater blow to the US-Europe alliance against Russia the “Stop NATO protests” in Europe were quite opposite to the Israeli secret interests.

Besides revival of the fake global war on terror, Israeli-led America also got the support of its Western allies (NATO) against Russia in relation to Syrian civil war, and as part of the double game and secret strategy, American jet fighters and those of its Western coalition started targeting the ISIS terrorists in Iraq and Syria.

Notably, backing out from his earlier statements, American President Trump has changed his policy regarding Europe and NATO. In this connection, he stated on April 13, 2017 that US relations with Russia may be at “an all-time low” and declared a new-found faith in NATO, suggesting the alliance was “no longer obsolete”. Besides, the White House said on May 21, this year, that US President Donald Trump will attend a summit of leaders of NATO nations on May 25 in Brussels.

Undoubtedly, international terrorism is the by-product of the US-led Western intervention in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and the proxy war being waged in Syria.

We may conclude that despite the victory of Emmanuel Macron in the presidential election of France, discrimination against the Muslim will continue in France in particular and other Western countries in general.

Posted in France, Pakistan & KashmirComments Off on France: Macron’s Election Victory, Will Discrimination against the Muslims Continue?

Soros Sued For Defaming Mossad Human Trafficker



Patrick Radden Keefe

Kosher Nostra turns to Fox News when Soros closes In, Fox and the Internet Fake News Gang

[ Editor’s note: This is an important story, in reality it is George Soros standing up to Mossadnik Beny Steinmetz. This is taken from a fake news tale from Fox News accusing George Soros of abusing an African nation. You see, it seems Soros went after an Israeli mining company that runs slave labor camps; those companies then turned to Fox News to help them against Soros.

Similarly, in Egypt or Ukraine or even Syria, the Israelis and their real projects – and now the monstrosity of Google Jigsaw, both of which are neocon factories of terrorism and destabilization, were the real power behind these and so many others global crimes. The lazy, inept and incompetent hacks at Fox placed the blame on Soros, for he is the blood enemy of Israel and their global criminal empire.

At VT, we write about the total fools in the mainstream media, whereas they write about Soros; he is their bête noire, the man they love to hate and never fail to blame for crimes that are, in reality, the work of their Zionist masters.


The Free Thought Project
Federal Suit Hits Soros for $10 Billion For ‘Political Meddling…Motivated Solely by Malice’

Billionaire globalist and altogether controversial figure, George Soros, is now the subject of a $10 billion lawsuit accusing him of being a “racketeer billionaire” for meddling in the affairs of a sovereign African nation — purely for personal reasons — in what critics say typifies his modus operandi.

For those who skimmed that first sentence, yes, that’s Billion — with an emphatic capital “B.”

FOX News reports the 86-year-old financier and manager of a global network of nonprofits will be forced by BSG Resources’ lawsuit to answer for manipulating the politics and economics of Guinea for his own benefit.

“Soros was motivated solely by malice,” BSGR states in the suit, “as there was no economic interest he had in Guinea.”

Despite Soros’ often contentious dealings and reputation as a pompous busybody, last month’s filing in New York Federal Court has thus far largely escaped the spotlight.

“Companies controlled by Israeli mining magnate Beny Steinmetz sued fellow billionaire George Soros, claiming he cost them at least $10 billion through a defamation campaign that stripped them of rights to an iron ore deposit in Guinea and other business opportunities around the world,” Bloomberg reported.

“Soros funded law firms, transparency groups, investigators and government officials in Guinea in a coordinated effort to ensure BSG Resources Ltd. lost the rights to the Simandou deposit in April 2014, BSGR said in a complaint filed [April 14] in Manhattan federal court.”

Interestingly, as opposed to innumerable civilians directly affected by Soros’ notoriously shady string-pulling, the lawsuit originates with the billionaire’s peers — who claim his monied influence bilked them of at least as many billions as claimed.

“To Soros, Steinmetz’s success, as well as his active, passionate promotion of Israeli life, business and culture are anathema,” the lawsuit states. “Soros is also well known for his long-standing animus toward the state of Israel.”

Steinmetz was arrested in December 2016 over allegations he and BSGR forked over millions in bribes to government officials for mining rights on Simandou — but those charges had been based on “fabricated reports by Soros-funded companies,” BSGR explains in its suit.

Bloomberg notes Mamadie Toure, the fourth wife of the former president of Guinea, “who implicated BSGR and Steinmetz, received $50,000 from an adviser to President Alpha Conde and $80,000 from an ‘agent or affiliate of Soros,’ according to the complaint.”

States the lawsuit, “Soros’s financial clout gave him power over Guinea’s processes of government, which he then thoroughly abused” — and only as a matter of enmity, since the obscenely wealthy globalist stood to gain nothing economically in the Western African nation.

Iron ore from the untapped Simandou is thought to be of the highest grade in the industry, with reserves estimated to comprise over two billion tons — making this legal brawl among tycoons a matter of grave financial consequence — at least, to those other than Soros.

Years of allegations and accusations of underhanded business affairs between BSGR and Soros had not led the company to take direct action until now. In its complaint, “BSGR alleges that Soros was driven by a grudge dating back to 1998 around a business in Russia and his alleged hostility towards Israel.”

Indeed, accusations the Hungarian-American regularly disguises shady political maneuvers as humanitarian in nature — when the contrary tends to be true.

Among many other entities, Soros’ Open Society Foundations — an umbrella over multiple ostensively beneficial organizations — has long been suspected of funding and training political movements toward ends favorable to the globalist.

Even officials from his homeland of Hungary affirm this, as top education official, Minister of Human Capacities Zoltan Balog, asserting recently, as quoted by FOX,

“We are committed to use all legal means at our disposal to stop pseudo-civil society spy groups such as the ones funded by George Soros.”

Soros reaches deep into personal financial reserves during U.S. elections, often spending ample funds for desirable candidates in every level, from District Attorneys to presidential hopefuls — and frequently bequeaths millions to contenders on both sides of the aisle.

In fact, Soros’ undeniable influence over American politics will be central to BSGR’s case against him, as the suit claims sway over the U.S. Department of Justice after it sided with the billionaire on the bribery issue.

J. Christian Adams, former Obama-era DOJ attorney, told FOX the system had been ‘at Soros’ beck and call,’ noting he had been instrumental in reforming police procedures and in bringing about changes to voter ID laws. Adams told the outlet,

“Soros’ organizations in the U.S. were instrumental in shaping DOJ policy under the Obama administration. “Americans do not understand the extent to which Soros fuels this anti-constitutional, anti-American agenda.”

A spokesperson for Soros told FOX the lawsuit is a diversionary tactic for the company, as BSGR only wishes to deflect from its own wrongdoing.

Whatever the ultimate outcome of the BSGR lawsuit, it’s clear the planet can no longer stomach the parlor game attitude Soros effects when meddling in the affairs of sovereign nations, entities, and individuals.

In the Age of Information, and with the wealth of information available online, bottomless pockets like Soros’ can no longer pull puppet strings without someone, somewhere taking notice — and moving to sever the ties for good.


for Background:

Buried Secrets : How an Israeli billionaire wrested control of one of Africa’s biggest prizes

 One of the world’s largest known deposits of untapped iron ore is buried inside a great, forested mountain range in the tiny West African republic of Guinea. In the country’s southeast highlands, far from any city or major roads, the Simandou Mountains stretch for seventy miles, looming over the jungle floor like a giant dinosaur spine.
Some of the peaks have nicknames that were bestowed by geologists and miners who have worked in the area; one is Iron Maiden, another Metallica. Iron ore is the raw material that, once smelted, becomes steel, and the ore at Simandou is unusually rich, meaning that it can be fed into blast furnaces with minimal processing.
During the past decade, as glittering mega-cities rose across China, the global price of iron soared, and investors began seeking new sources of ore. The red earth that dusts the lush vegetation around Simandou and marbles the mountain rock is worth a fortune.

Mining iron ore is complicated and requires a huge amount of capital. Simandou lies four hundred miles from the coast, in jungle so impassable that the first drill rigs had to be transported to the mountaintops with helicopters.

The site has barely been developed—no ore has been excavated. Shipping it to China and other markets will require not only the construction of a mine but the building of a railroad line sturdy enough to support freight cars laden with ore. It will also be necessary to have access to a deepwater port, which Guinea lacks.

Guinea is one of the poorest countries on the planet. There is little industry and scarce electricity, and there are few navigable roads. Public institutions hardly function. More than half the population can’t read. “The level of development is equivalent to Liberia or Sierra Leone,” a government adviser in Conakry, Guinea’s ramshackle seaside capital, told me recently. “But in Guinea we haven’t had a civil war.”

This dire state of affairs was not inevitable, for the country has a bounty of natural resources. In addition to the iron ore in the Simandou range, Guinea has one of the world’s largest reserves of bauxite—the ore that, twice refined, makes aluminum—and significant quantities of diamonds, gold, uranium, and, off the coast, oil.

As wealthy countries confront the prospect of rapidly depleting natural resources, they are turning, increasingly, to Africa, where oil and minerals worth trillions of dollars remain trapped in the ground. By one estimate, the continent holds thirty per cent of the world’s mineral reserves.

Paul Collier, who runs the Center for the Study of African Economies, at Oxford, has suggested that “a new scramble for Africa” is under way. Bilateral trade between China and Africa, which in 2000 stood at ten billion dollars, is projected to top two hundred billion dollars this year. The U.S. now imports more oil from Africa than from the Persian Gulf.


The Western world has always thought of Africa as a continent to take things from, whether it was diamonds, rubber, or slaves. This outlook was inscribed into the very names of Guinea’s neighbor Côte d’Ivoire and of Ghana, which was known to its British masters as the Gold Coast. During the Victorian period, the exploitation of resources was especially brutal; King Leopold II, of Belgium, was so rapacious in his pursuit of rubber that ten million people in the Congo Free State died as a result.

The new international stampede for African resources could become another grim story, or it could present an unprecedented opportunity for economic development. Collier, who several years ago wrote a best-seller about global poverty, “The Bottom Billion,” believes that, for countries like Guinea, the extraction of natural resources, rather than foreign aid, offers the greatest chance of economic progress.

Simandou alone could potentially generate a hundred and forty billion dollars in revenue over the next quarter century, more than doubling Guinea’s gross domestic product. “The money involved will dwarf everything else,” Collier told me. Like the silver mine in Joseph Conrad’s novel “Nostromo,” the Simandou deposit holds the promise of supplying what Guinea needs most: “law, good faith, order, security.”

As with deepwater oil drilling or with missions to the moon, the export of iron ore requires so much investment and expertise that the business is limited to a few major players. In 1997, the exclusive rights to explore and develop Simandou were given to the Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto, which is one of the world’s biggest iron-ore producers.

In early 2008, Tom Albanese, the company’s chief executive, boasted to shareholders that Simandou was, “without doubt, the top undeveloped tier-one iron-ore asset in the world.” But shortly afterward the government of Guinea declared that Rio Tinto was developing the mine too slowly, citing progress benchmarks that had been missed, and implying that the company was simply hoarding the Simandou deposit—keeping it from competitors while focussing on mines elsewhere.
In July, 2008, Rio Tinto was stripped of its license. Guinean officials then granted exploration permits for half of the deposit to a much smaller company: Beny Steinmetz Group Resources, or B.S.G.R. Beny Steinmetz is, by some estimates, the richest man in Israel; according to Bloomberg, his personal fortune amounts to some nine billion dollars. Steinmetz, who made his name in the diamond trade, hardly ever speaks to the press, and the corporate structures of his various enterprises are so convoluted that it is difficult to assess the extent of his holdings.

The Simandou contract was a surprising addition to Steinmetz’s portfolio, because B.S.G.R. had no experience exporting iron ore. A mining executive in Guinea told me, “Diamonds you can carry away from the mine in your pocket. With iron ore, you need infrastructure that can last decades.”


Rio Tinto angrily protested the decision. “We are surprised that a company that has never built an iron-ore-mining operation would have been awarded an area of our concession,” a spokesman said at the time. Company officials complained to the U.S. Embassy in Conakry; one of them suggested that Steinmetz had no intention of developing the mine himself, and planned instead to flip it—“to obtain the concession and then sell it for a big profit.”

Rio Tinto viewed Steinmetz, who was rumored to have extensive contacts in Israeli intelligence, as a suspicious interloper. According to a diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks, the general manager of Rio Tinto told the U.S. Embassy that he did not feel comfortable discussing the Simandou matter on an “unsecured” cell phone.

Alan Davies, a senior executive at Rio Tinto, told me that the company had invested hundreds of millions of dollars at the site, and had been moving as expeditiously as possible on a project that would have required decades to complete. “This was quite a shocking event for the company,” he said.


In April, 2009, the Ministry of Mines in Conakry ratified the agreement with Steinmetz. A year later, he made a deal with the Brazilian mining company Vale—one of Rio Tinto’s chief competitors. Vale agreed to pay two and a half billion dollars in exchange for a fifty-one-per-cent stake in B.S.G.R.’s Simandou operations. This was an extraordinary windfall: B.S.G.R. had paid nothing up front, as is customary with exploration licenses, and at that point had invested only a hundred and sixty million dollars. In less than five years, B.S.G.R.’s investment in Simandou had become a five-billion-dollar asset. At that time, the annual budget of the government of Guinea amounted to just $1.2 billion. Mo Ibrahim, the Sudanese telecom billionaire, captured the reaction of many observers when he asked, at a forum in Dakar, “Are the Guineans who did that deal idiots, or criminals, or both?”


Steinmetz was proud of the transaction. “People don’t like success,” he told the Financial Times, in a rare interview, in 2012. “It’s disturbing to people that the small David can disturb the big Goliath.” He said that it was B.S.G.R.’s strategy to pursue “opportunities in an aggressive way,” adding, “You have to get your hands dirty.”

In Conakry, there were rumors that Steinmetz had acquired the concession through bribes. According to Transparency International, Guinea is one of the most corrupt countries on earth. A Human Rights Watch report suggested that, when Steinmetz acquired his parcel of Simandou, Guinea was effectively a kleptocracy, with its leaders presiding over “an increasing criminalization of the state.”

A recent report by the Africa Progress Panel, which is chaired by Kofi Annan, suggests that well-connected foreigners often purchase lucrative assets in Africa at prices far below market value, by offering inducements to predatory local élites. “Africa’s resource wealth has bypassed the vast majority of African people and built vast fortunes for a privileged few,” it says. The report highlights the billions of dollars that Vale agreed to pay Steinmetz for Simandou, noting that “the people of Guinea, who appear to have lost out as a result of the undervaluation of the concession, will not share in that gain.”


In 2010, several months after the Vale deal was announced, Guinea held its first fully democratic elections since independence, ending half a century of authoritarian rule. The new President, Alpha Condé, had run on a platform of good governance and greater transparency in the mining sector. But as he took office he faced the possibility that Guinea’s most prized mineral asset may have been traded out from under the country. He could not simply void the contract. “There is continuity of the state,” he told me recently. “I couldn’t put things back where they had been—unless I had right on my side.” B.S.G.R. denied any wrongdoing: “These allegations are false, and are a smear campaign against B.S.G.R.,” a company spokesman told me. If the Simandou license had been secured through bribery, then the deal could potentially be undone. But Condé and his advisers would have to prove it.


“I inherited a country but not a state,” Condé told me when I first met him, in January. He had come to the Swiss Alps to attend the World Economic Forum, in Davos, and we met in a hotel suite that was bathed in sunlight reflecting off the snowbanks outside. Condé is a tall man with a high forehead, and he has small eyes that light up with wry amusement when he listens. He wore a brown suit and a red tie. Lowering himself into a wingback chair, he listed slightly to the right while we talked, in a posture of heavy-lies-the-crown fatigue. At times, his elbow appeared to be propping up his whole body, like a tent pole.

When he was elected President, Condé was seventy-two years old, and he had spent much of his life in exile. He left Guinea as a boy, when it was still ruled by France, and eventually settled in Paris, where he became a leader of the pan-African student movements of the nineteen-sixties. He studied law, lectured at the University of Paris, and emerged as perhaps the most famous member of the Guinean opposition. For this distinction, he was sentenced to death, in absentia, by the first despot to rule an independent Guinea, and jailed for more than two years by the second, after he returned, in 1991, to run, unsuccessfully, for President. The 2010 election was bitter—his challenger, Cellou Dalein Diallo, had been a government minister when Condé was thrown in jail. After Condé was finally inaugurated as President, he pledged to be the Nelson Mandela of Guinea.

First, he told me, he had to confront the legacy of a decades-long “state of anarchy.” The government in Conakry had a Potemkin quality: a profusion of bureaucrats showed up for work at crumbling administrative buildings, but there was little genuine institutional capacity. “The central bank, they were printing counterfeit money,” Condé said. Yet he couldn’t fire every official; he’d have to make do with a civil service that had never known anything but graft. “Almost everybody who had any expertise was compromised,” one person who has advised Condé told me. “So he had to balance between people who were competent but compromised and people who were upstanding but inexperienced.”

Condé was defensive about the fact that he had spent so much of his life abroad; when I raised the subject, he snapped, “I know Guinea better than those who have never left.” But his outsider status meant that he was not implicated in the scandals of past administrations. And, having spent much of his life in France, he was strikingly at ease in places like Davos.

The U.S. Ambassador in Conakry, Alex Laskaris, told me, “Condé has a much broader circle of contacts and advisers globally than any other African head of state I’ve dealt with.” Bernard Kouchner, the former foreign minister of France, went to high school with Condé, and is a good friend. Kouchner introduced him to George Soros, the billionaire financier, who became an informal adviser, and connected him with Paul Collier, the Oxford economist. Collier, in turn, introduced Condé to Tony Blair, who offered him assistance through an organization that he runs, the Africa Governance Initiative.

These Westerners saw in Condé an opportunity to save Guinea. Collier told me that what the country needed above all was “integrity at the top.” Condé could be ornery; he had a tendency to lecture his interlocutors as though they were students. And, after a life spent in perpetual opposition, it was not clear how well he would govern. From the start, he had difficulties. He came into office with a commitment to complete Guinea’s democratic transition by holding parliamentary elections, but he delayed them, ostensibly on procedural grounds, then delayed them again. Opposition riots broke out in Conakry, leading to a series of violent confrontations between demonstrators and government security forces.

For all the tumult, Condé’s foreign friends and advisers maintain faith in his ethics. “He is absolutely incorruptible,” Kouchner told me. “He’s not luxurious. He’s not travelling. He is having a cold potato at night!” Corinne Dufka, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch, has not lost hope that Condé can succeed as a reformer. “There’s a lot of work to be done for Guinea to overcome its legacy of abusive rule,” she said. “Power remains too heavily concentrated in the executive, and, without a robust judiciary or a democratically elected parliament, there is next to no oversight, which they desperately need. But Condé has made real progress in confronting the disastrous governance and rights problems he inherited.”


It is no easy task to transform a country that is corrupt from top to bottom. During Condé’s first months in office, he performed a kind of triage. With the assistance of Revenue Watch—an organization, backed by Soros, that encourages transparency in extractive industries—Condé established a committee to inspect existing mining contracts and determine if any of them were problematic. He didn’t know Steinmetz—“I didn’t know any miners,” he said, with pride—but there were elements of the Simandou deal that appeared to warrant an investigation. “I found it a bit strange that they had invested a hundred and sixty million dollars and were going to earn billions,” Condé said. “It’s a little . . .” He smiled and gave a Gallic shrug.


Beny Steinmetz, who is fifty-six, does not seem to live anywhere in particular. He shuttles, on his private jet, between Tel Aviv (where his family lives, in one of the most expensive houses in Israel), Geneva (where he technically resides, for tax purposes), London (where the main management office of B.S.G.R. is situated), and far-flung locations connected to his diamond and mineral interests, from Macedonia to Sierra Leone.

He is technically not an executive of the conglomerate that bears his name, but merely the chief beneficiary of a foundation into which the profits flow. This is a legal fig leaf. Ehud Olmert, the former Prime Minister of Israel and a friend of his, described Steinmetz as “a one-man show.” Olmert continued, “I don’t quite understand the legal aspects—just know that he can work ceaselessly and will move from one side of the globe to the other if he identifies a promising deal.” Steinmetz is very fit and exercises every day, no matter where he is. With blue eyes, tousled sandy hair, a preference for casual dress, and a deep tan, he looks more like a movie agent than like a magnate.

“I grew up in a home where diamonds were the subject,” Steinmetz has said. His father, Rubin, was a Polish diamond cutter who learned the business in Antwerp before settling in Palestine, in 1936. A family photograph from 1977 captures Beny as a young man, sitting at a cluttered table with his two older brothers and his father, who looks sternly at the camera while Beny inspects a precious stone. That year, Beny finished his military service and struck out for Antwerp, with instructions to expand the company’s international business in polished stones. According to a privately published history of the family business, “The Steinmetz Diamond Story,” Beny branched into Africa, in search of new sources of rough stones. The plan wasn’t to establish mines but, rather, to make deals with the people doing the digging.

Approximately half the diamonds in the world originate in sub-Saharan Africa, and many ambitious Westerners have followed the lead of Cecil Rhodes—the founder of De Beers—and sought fortunes on the continent. “Unfortunately, there aren’t any diamond mines in Piccadilly,” Dag Cramer, who oversees Steinmetz’s business interests, told me. “That’s not where God put the assets.”

Instead, diamonds tend to be found in countries that are plagued by underdevelopment and corruption and, often, by war. This is enough to scare off many investors, but not all; some entrepreneurs are drawn to the heady combination of political uncertainty, physical danger, and potentially astronomical rewards. Ambassador Laskaris, who has done tours in Liberia and Angola, likened the diamond trade in much of Africa to the seedy cantina in “Star Wars.” “It attracts all the rejects of the galaxy,” he said. “Low barriers to entry. It rewards corruption. It also rewards a little bit of brutality.”

Steinmetz plunged into Africa’s treacherous political waters. In the nineteen-nineties, he was the largest purchaser of diamonds from Angola; later, he became the biggest private investor in Sierra Leone. Today, Steinmetz is the largest buyer of rough diamonds from De Beers, and one of the major suppliers of Tiffany & Company. And he has diversified his holdings into real estate, minerals, oil and gas, and other fields, with interests in more than twenty countries. A Web site that Steinmetz recently set up describes him as a “visionary” who used a “network of contacts on the African continent” to build “a multi-faced empire.”

Paul Collier, however, takes a dim view of businessmen like Steinmetz, who have secured the rights to natural resources that they may not actually have the expertise to develop. “Their technical competence is a social-network map,” Collier said. “ ‘Who has the power to make the decision? Who can I reach?’ They know how to get a contract—that is their skill.” (Cramer rejected this characterization, insisting that Steinmetz makes sustainable investments wherever he operates. “B.S.G.R. is not a company that has ever been in the business of obtaining rights and flipping them,” he told me.)


Despite his great wealth, Steinmetz has maintained an exceptionally low profile. Last year, after “Hamakor,” a news program on Israeli television, devoted an episode to a battle that he was having with tax authorities in Tel Aviv, he threatened legal action and succeeded in blocking the program from being posted on the Internet. “He’s a very private guy,” Alon Pinkas, a friend of Steinmetz’s who once served as Israel’s consul-general in New York, told me. “His family is all he cares about—and his business.”

Steinmetz’s diamond business, however, has occasionally engaged in some creative publicity. The company sponsors Formula 1 events, sometimes furnishing drivers with diamond-encrusted helmets and steering wheels. At a 2004 race in Monaco, a large Steinmetz diamond was affixed to the nose of a Jaguar race car. As the vehicle tore around a hairpin curve, the driver lost control and the Jaguar slammed into a guardrail. The diamond, which was reportedly a hundred and eight carats and worth two hundred thousand dollars, was never recovered.

General Lansana Conté, the dictator who ruled Guinea before Alpha Condé became President, was famously corrupt: he referred to his ministers, not without affection, as “thieves,” and once remarked, “If we had to shoot every Guinean who had stolen from Guinea there would be no one left to kill.” By 2008, after more than two decades in power, he had become ill, and had largely stopped appearing in public; when he did, he was propped up by bodyguards and orbited by adjutants who often made a show of stooping to whisper in his ear, even when it was obvious, to a close observer, that he was asleep.

During this period, Steinmetz flew to Conakry and met with Conté. At the General’s compound, they sat and talked beneath a mango tree. Conté was aware of B.S.G.R. because it had acquired the rights to explore two small parcels of land abutting the Simandou range—places where others in the mining industry had not thought to look. In 2006, one of Steinmetz’s employees called him from the top of a mountain, using a satellite phone, and said, “Beny, you cannot believe. I’m standing on so much iron here, you have no idea.” After this success, General Conté began to entertain the idea of reapportioning the Simandou deposit. It was not long after he met Steinmetz that he stripped Rio Tinto of its claim and gave B.S.G.R. a license to explore half the Simandou range. Two weeks after General Conté signed the deal, he died.

Hours later, a military coup installed an erratic young Army captain, Moussa Dadis Camara. The junta was a nightmarish period for Guinea. In September, 2009, during an opposition rally at a stadium in Conakry, government soldiers massacred more than a hundred and fifty demonstrators. The U.S. evacuated most of its staff from the Embassy, and the International Criminal Court described the violence as a crime against humanity. But B.S.G.R. stayed put. On one occasion, Steinmetz flew in with two of his sons to meet Captain Dadis. They invited him to Israel to attend the wedding of Steinmetz’s daughter—a celebration with more than a thousand guests. (Dadis sent his regrets.)

To Steinmetz, this cultivation of the junta only proved his company’s unshakable commitment to Guinea. “We put money in the ground at a time when people thought we were crazy,” he told the Financial Times. B.S.G.R. and the junta eventually came to terms over how the company would export iron ore. It did not have to build a deepwater port or a railroad capable of carrying iron ore to Guinea’s coast. Instead, B.S.G.R. could pursue a cheaper option: exporting the ore through Liberia, which already had the necessary infrastructure. For years, the government of Guinea had resisted such a scenario when Rio Tinto had proposed it. As a concession, B.S.G.R. agreed to spend a billion dollars developing a passenger railway for Guinea.

In December, 2009, an aide shot Captain Dadis in the head. He survived, and fled the country; another interim government took over. Once again, Steinmetz weathered the chaos, and in April, 2010, he flew to Rio de Janeiro to finalize the two-and-a-half-billion-dollar deal with Vale. Afterward, he stopped at a shipyard in Chile, to check on the progress of a mega-yacht that he had commissioned to be built there.


When President Condé set out to clean up Guinea’s mining industry, he discovered a generous ally in George Soros. “I was aware of the magnitude of the problem in Guinea,” Soros told me. “I was eager to help.” He enlisted Revenue Watch to provide technical support in revising the mining code. He also suggested that Guinea hire Scott Horton, an attorney at the U.S. law firm D.L.A. Piper; Horton has conducted dozens of corruption investigations around the world.

“There was no way, going up against a guy like Steinmetz, that the Condé government could compete effectively without outside help,” Horton told me. Another difficulty was that so many government officials had held prominent roles in prior regimes. “I can’t task my gendarmerie to do the investigation,” Condé observed to his advisers. “They’ll come up with members of their own families.”

In the spring of 2011, Horton began to investigate the Simandou deal. For assistance, he turned to a man named Steven Fox, who runs a risk-assessment company, in New York, called Veracity Worldwide. When corporations want to do business in countries that suffer from political instability and corruption, Veracity can help them assess if such an investment would be prudent—and viable without breaking the law.

Fox is in his forties, with the bearing of a man who feels most comfortable in a suit. He speaks softly, enunciating each syllable. At a recent meeting at his office, in midtown Manhattan, he told me that until 2005 he had worked for the State Department, and had spent time as a foreign-service officer in Africa. According to Eamon Javers’s “Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy,” a 2011 book about the private-intelligence industry, Fox actually worked for the C.I.A. As we sat down to talk, I noted a bookshelf that was heavy on le Carré and Furst.

When Guinean government officials began looking into the Simandou contract, Fox told me, they had no evidence of malfeasance. “They only heard the rumors on the street,” he said. Fox had met Steinmetz once, in London, and had found him quiet and unassuming, but his understanding was that Steinmetz enlisted employees to pave the way for him—“pointy-end-of-the-spear forward-reconnaissance people.” Fox decided that his first essential task was to identify Steinmetz’s man in Guinea.

He soon pinpointed a candidate: Frédéric Cilins, a tanned, gregarious Frenchman, with thinning hair, who lived on the Riviera, near Cannes, but spent a lot of time in Africa. He had served as a scout for B.S.G.R. in Guinea. When I asked Fox how he had learned of Cilins, his response was enigmatic: “We knew a circle of people who knew a circle of people.”

Fox said of Cilins, “He’s an operator—that’s the best way to describe him.” His role at B.S.G.R. was to accumulate relationships and identify relevant power structures. In that respect, Fox realized, Cilins was not so different from him: they both excelled at parachuting into foreign countries and figuring out what “makes them tick.” (Cilins declined to comment for this article.)

One day in the fall of 2011, Fox flew to Paris and met with Cilins. They had been introduced by a mutual acquaintance; as Cilins understood it, Fox was working on behalf of a client who wanted to know how B.S.G.R. had secured the Simandou deal. Fox told me that, unlike some corporate-espionage outfits (and spies), Veracity does not “pretext”—employ ruses to approach a potential source. Even so, he did not acknowledge that his client was the new government of Guinea.

Fox and Cilins met in a conference room, then went to a restaurant for lunch. Cilins was affable and surprisingly candid. While Fox took notes, Cilins explained that he first visited Guinea in 2005, after a B.S.G.R. executive in Johannesburg had informed him that the company wanted to “shoot for the moon”—a phrase that Cilins took to indicate Simandou. Cilins told Fox that he spent the next six months in Conakry, staying at the Novotel, a seaside property that is popular with mining executives. He became friendly with the staff in the business center, and persuaded them to hand him copies of all incoming and outgoing faxes. In this manner, he learned details about the Conté regime’s frustration with Rio Tinto.

Each time that Cilins flew from France to Guinea, he brought gifts—MP3 players, cell phones, perfumes—which he disbursed among his contacts. They came to think of him as “Father Christmas,” he told Fox. One minister informed him that the only person who mattered in the country was General Conté—and that the way to Conté was through his four wives. (Plural marriage is tolerated in Guinea, a predominantly Muslim country.)

After further inquiries, Cilins focussed on the fourth and youngest wife, Mamadie Touré—a stout, almond-eyed woman who was still in her twenties. “She was young, and she was considered very beautiful,” Fox told me. “She’s not a rocket scientist, but she had a certain dynamism. Most important, she had the ear of the President.”

Cilins hired Touré’s brother to help promote the company’s interests in Guinea, then secured an introduction to her. Not long afterward, Cilins and several associates from the company obtained an audience with the President. At this meeting, Cilins told Fox, they gave General Conté a watch that was inlaid with Steinmetz diamonds. At another meeting, they presented the Minister of Mines with a model of a Formula 1 race car that was similarly encrusted with Steinmetz bling. Soon afterward, Touré’s brother was named the head of public relations for B.S.G.R.-Guinea.

Fox shrugged when asked why Cilins had confided in him. “There’s an element of arrogance,” he said. “Or of complete naïveté. Of believing they did what they did and there was no big deal.” Cilins seemed proud of his work in Conakry. He told Fox that, in his view, the history of Guinea would henceforth be thought of as dividing into two periods—“before and after B.S.G.R.”

To Cilins, giving gifts may have seemed simply like the cost of doing business in places like Guinea. Many countries aggressively prosecute domestic corruption but are much more permissive when it comes to bribes paid abroad. Until fairly recently, French firms that gave bribes in order to secure business in foreign countries could declare them as deductible business expenses.


In recent years, however, international norms have begun changing. The U.S. Justice Department has dramatically increased its enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act; the U.K. has passed its own stringent Bribery Act; and the Organization for Economic Coöperation and Development has instituted a convention against bribery, and several dozen countries—including Israel—have signed it. Major companies, like Siemens and K.B.R., have settled corruption investigations by paying hundreds of millions of dollars in fines. (Rio Tinto, too, has contended with corruption; in 2010, four representatives of the company were convicted of accepting bribes in China.)

Many multinational corporations have responded to the increased vigilance about graft by establishing robust internal-compliance departments that monitor employee behavior. B.S.G.R. says that it conducts itself ethically wherever it operates, and a company representative pointed out to me that neither Steinmetz nor his organization has ever been implicated in bribery. But B.S.G.R. does not have a compliance department, and it does not have a single employee whose chief responsibility is to monitor company behavior abroad.

Shortly after General Conté died, Mamadie Touré fled Guinea. Fox and his colleagues discovered that she was living in Jacksonville, Florida. The World Bank estimates that forty per cent of the private wealth in Africa is held outside the continent. In a recent civil-forfeiture proceeding against the son of the dictator of Equatorial Guinea, the Justice Department documented some of his possessions: a twelve-acre estate in Malibu, a Gulfstream jet, seven Rolls-Royces, eight Ferraris, and a white glove once worn by Michael Jackson.

Jacksonville isn’t Malibu. But, when Fox and his team investigated, they discovered that Touré had purchased a McMansion on a canal there, along with a series of smaller properties in the vicinity.

When you disembark from a plane in Conakry, the corruption hits you almost as quickly as the heat. At the airport, a uniformed officer will stop you, raising no specific objections but making it clear, with his body, that your exit from the situation will be transactional. Out on the rubble-strewn streets, which are perfumed by the garbage that clogs the city’s open sewers, the military presence is less conspicuous than in the past—security-sector reform has been a priority for Condé—but at night insouciant young soldiers position themselves at intersections, holding submachine guns; they lean into passing cars and come away with cash.

In 1961, Frantz Fanon wrote of post-colonial West Africa, “Concessions are snatched up by foreigners; scandals are numerous, ministers grow rich, their wives doll themselves up, the members of parliament feather their nests and there is not a soul down to the simple policeman or the customs officer who does not join in the great procession of corruption.” This description no longer applies to the region as a whole—Ghana, for example, is a prospering democracy—but in Guinea little has changed.

One afternoon, I went to a whitewashed building in Conakry’s administrative quarter to meet Nava Touré, a former professor of engineering whom Condé had entrusted with running the technical committee on mines. Touré (no relation to Mamadie Touré, the General’s fourth wife) has a round face, a melodious voice, and a decorous, almost ethereal, manner. During the months that I spent reporting this story, Nava Touré was one of the few officials in the government about whom I never heard even a rumor of corruption.

He had been charged with establishing a new mining code that would create a more equitable balance between the interests of the mining companies and the people of Guinea. In addition, he had been asked to review all existing mining contracts and recommend whether any of them should be renegotiated or rescinded. But when he turned his focus on Simandou he had no staff of trained inspectors, so he relied on D.L.A. Piper, the law firm, and Steven Fox, the investigator. “It was outsourced,” Touré told me.

Last October, he sent an incendiary letter to representatives of the joint venture between Vale and B.S.G.R., identifying “possible irregularities” in the Simandou concession. It called Frédéric Cilins “a secret proxy” for Steinmetz, raised suspicions about Cilins’s alliance with Mamadie Touré, and itemized gifts such as the diamond watch and the bejewelled model race car. The letter accused B.S.G.R. of planning all along to flip the rights to Simandou, in order “to extract immediate and substantial profits.”

Nava Touré’s accusations also implicated a man he knew: Mahmoud Thiam, who had served as the Minister of Mines under the junta that ruled Guinea after General Conté’s death. Touré had been one of Thiam’s advisers at the time. Thiam came to the job, in early 2009, with stellar credentials. After obtaining an economics degree from Cornell, he had worked as a banker at Merrill Lynch and U.B.S.

Thiam was handsome, very polished, and a champion of Beny Steinmetz. In 2010, in an interview on “Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo,” on CNBC, Thiam praised the “very aggressive junior company, B.S.G.R., that came and developed that permit to the point where it made it attractive to a big player like Vale.” Simandou, Thiam said, would “catapult the country into the No. 3 iron-ore exporter in the world.” He had attended the lavish wedding of Steinmetz’s daughter in Israel, as a representative of the junta.

According to Nava Touré’s letter, Thiam not only took payoffs from B.S.G.R.; he effectively worked as the company’s paymaster, meeting a corporate jet at Conakry airport, unloading suitcases full of cash, and then distributing bribes to the junta’s leaders. Steven Fox, the American investigator, had discovered that while Thiam was minister he took to driving around Conakry in a Lamborghini. Before he left office, in 2011, he bought an apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, for $1.5 million, and an estate in Dutchess County, for $3.75 million. He paid for both properties with cash.

Thiam currently lives in the U.S., running an investment-advisory firm. This spring, I visited him at his elegant office, on Madison Avenue. He denied any wrongdoing. The Manhattan apartment, he explained, was paid for with money that he had made in banking. And he had bought the country estate on behalf of a Mozambican friend who was looking to invest in the U.S. (Thiam refused to name the friend.) The Lamborghini was not a sports car but a four-wheel-drive vehicle. “You can’t serve as mining minister without being accused of corruption,” he told me. He regards the review of the B.S.G.R. contract as little more than a witch hunt, but added that he still maintains the highest respect for Nava Touré.

During our meeting in the whitewashed building, I asked Touré how it made him feel to learn of such allegations about former colleagues. He paused. “The feeling of shame,” he said at last. “Because, finally, what they have got personally—let’s say ten million U.S. dollars, twelve million U.S. dollars—what does that amount to? Compared with the lives of the whole country?” The lights in the room suddenly shut off, and the air-conditioner powered down. He didn’t seem to notice. “I don’t think that it is tolerable or acceptable from the investors,” he continued. “But I’m more shocked by the attitude and the behavior of the national decision-makers.”

When B.S.G.R. received Touré’s letter, it responded aggressively, dismissing the investigation as an effort by President Condé to expropriate its asset. The company insisted that it had never given a watch to General Conté; though the story about the miniature Formula 1 car was true, the model had a value of only a thousand dollars, and B.S.G.R. routinely gave such “gifts to companies around the world.” Frédéric Cilins had worked for the company, but “B.S.G.R. never told Mr. Cilins that it ‘asked for the moon.’ ” Cilins may have distributed gifts among his contacts in Conakry, but the company denied any knowledge of them. Oddly, B.S.G.R.’s written response insisted, more than once, that Mamadie Touré had not actually been the wife of General Conté.

B.S.G.R. faulted the Condé administration for failing to name the sources of the allegations, and noted that any payments made to public officials “would be easily identified by bank transfers, payment orders, copies of checks, etc.” Again and again, B.S.G.R. returned to “the absence of the smallest amount of supporting proof.”

But how do you prove corruption? By its nature, corruption is covert; payoffs are designed to be difficult to detect. The international financial system has evolved to accommodate a wide array of illicit activities, and shell companies and banking havens make it easy to camouflage transfers, payment orders, and copies of checks. Paul Collier argues that there are often three parties to a corrupt deal: the briber, the bribed, and the lawyers and financial facilitators who enable the secret transaction. The result, he says, is “a web of corporate opacity” that is spun largely by wealthy professionals in financial capitals like London and New York. A recent study found that the easiest country in which to establish an untraceable shell company is not a tropical banking haven but the United States.

In the spring of 2012, one of President Condé’s ministers took a trip to Paris. At the Hilton Arc de Triomphe, he was approached by a Gabonese businessman. According to an affidavit by the minister, the Gabonese man said that he had been in contact with Mamadie Touré, and that she had provided him with documents that would be interesting to President Condé. “Madame Touré was angry with Mr. Beny Steinmetz,” the Gabonese man said. She believed that “she had been taken advantage of.”

The minister was astonished by the documents. They appeared to be a series of legal contracts, complete with signatures and official seals, between officers of B.S.G.R. and Mamadie Touré. The documents contained the signature of Asher Avidan, the head of the company’s Guinea operations. Avidan was a former member of Israel’s internal security service, Shin Bet. The contracts had been signed in Conakry in February, 2008—five months before General Conté took the Simandou concession away from Rio Tinto, and ten months before the northern half of that concession was given to Beny Steinmetz. The agreements stipulated that Touré would be granted a five-per-cent stake in the northern “blocks” of Simandou, in addition to “two (2) million” dollars, which would be paid through a shell company. In exchange, she committed “to do all that is necessary” to help B.S.G.R. “obtain from the authorities the signature for the obtaining of said blocks.”

An American lawyer involved in the case told me, “I’ve been involved in corporate corruption work for thirty years, and I’ve never seen anything like this. A contract for bribery that’s actually signed by a senior executive? Corporate seals?” The Gabonese man intimated that the documents were potentially worth millions of dollars. He was not going to part with such a valuable commodity for free. He was associated with an investment company, Palladino, which had loaned the Condé government twenty-five million dollars to set up a mining project. Now, in return for the documents, the Gabonese man wanted his own stake in Simandou. (Palladino acknowledges that the Paris meeting took place, but denies that the Gabonese businessman made any such demands.)

President Condé refused to make a quid-pro-quo deal for the documents, but at least the Guinean government knew of their existence. If they were genuine, they could be that rare thing: proof of corruption.

When I asked Steven Fox, the investigator, why any company would sign such a contract, he suggested that Touré may have insisted upon it. “There’s a whole Francophone-African culture of these very legalistic documents that formalize certain arrangements,” he explained. And Touré would have been concerned about securing her position. “Her sole value was that she was the wife of the President,” he said. When the contract was signed, the General’s health was in rapid decline, and “she knew that the minute he closed his eyes she would have absolutely nothing.” At first glance, it seemed odd that she had entrusted copies of the documents to the Gabonese man. But several people who have spoken to Touré suggested to me that she had grown to fear Steinmetz. The contracts—which, if exposed, could potentially imperil his position in Guinea—amounted to a form of insurance policy.

By this time, President Condé had come to fear for his safety as well. In 2011, he had narrowly survived an assassination attempt, in which soldiers bombarded his residence in Conakry with machine-gun fire and rockets. He pressed on with his efforts to reform Guinea, but his situation grew more precarious. His Treasury chief, whom Condé had charged with investigating embezzlement by government officials, was driving home from work one night when her car was cut off by another vehicle; she was shot and killed. Bernard Kouchner said of Condé, “He is really isolated.” After the attack on his residence, Condé moved into the Presidential palace, a cavernous fortress, constructed by Chinese contractors, which one diplomat referred to as “the Dim Sum Palace.” Condé is married, but at night he often ate alone, occasionally watching a soccer game to distract him from his worries. He did not discuss the matter with me, but several people who have spoken with Condé about it told me that he believes that Steinmetz is eavesdropping on his communications. (B.S.G.R. denies this.)

Condé was also contending with an unstable capital. The violence that erupted after he delayed parliamentary elections did not abate. Rival factions fought one another in the street, and protesters threw rocks at police. In several instances, Condé’s security forces fired on protesters. More than two dozen people died. To some, it looked as if Condé might replicate the sad pattern of many post-colonial African leaders who have started as reformers and then drifted into tyranny. In September, 2011, Amnesty International declared that “President Alpha Condé is resorting to exactly the same brutal methods as his predecessors.”

Ehud Olmert told me that Steinmetz “is the last guy you want as an enemy.” B.S.G.R.—sensing, perhaps, that Condé was politically vulnerable—went on the attack, labelling his government a “discredited regime” that was trying to “illegally seize” the Simandou deposit. The company also pointed out that Rio Tinto had reacquired the rights to the southern half of Simandou, eventually paying the Condé government seven hundred million dollars to secure the deal.

But was this corruption at work? Rio Tinto’s payment was, in part, a reflection of a new mining code, which levied higher taxes on international companies exporting Guinean resources. The company also granted the government up to a thirty-five-per-cent stake in the mine. In this respect, the Condé administration was trying to bring mining into line with the more equitable deals made by the oil-and-gas industry. (Dag Cramer, the executive who oversees Steinmetz’s business interests, told me, “There’s a reason Arab families own half of London today. The bulk of the profits from oil are being extracted by the host countries. This hasn’t happened yet in mining.”) The Rio Tinto deal was also transparent: the contract was published, in its entirety, on the Internet. “This is something that no other Guinean government would have done, at any point in the country’s history,” Patrick Heller, who works at Revenue Watch, told me. “It’s a huge sign of progress.” Moreover, the funds went not into numbered bank accounts but directly into the Guinean treasury.

Nevertheless, several B.S.G.R. employees suggested to me that the seven hundred million dollars amounted to a colossal bribe. They further speculated that Condé had “stolen” the election in 2010, by collaborating with wealthy South African backers to rig the results. In conversations with me, friends of Steinmetz’s likened Condé to Robert Mugabe and to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. (Both the Carter Center and the European Union, which monitored the election, found that, despite some procedural irregularities, Condé’s victory was “credible” and “fair.”)

In September, 2011, Condé invited Steinmetz to Conakry, to clear the air. Steinmetz arrived at the palace, and they sat in Condé’s office, speaking in French. (Steinmetz is fluent.) “Why are you against us?” Steinmetz asked. “What have we done wrong?”

“I have no personal problem with you,” Condé replied. “But I have to defend the interests of Guinea.”

Steinmetz was not placated. Cramer told me that the company had to counter the allegations as forcefully as possible, because, for Steinmetz, “the perception of him being an honest person” was crucial. “In the diamond business, a handshake is more important than a contract,” Cramer explained.

B.S.G.R. expanded its campaign against Condé, and turned to a company called F.T.I., which is based in Palm Beach but has operations throughout the world. F.T.I. practices an aggressive form of public relations, seeking not only to suppress negative media coverage about a client but also to plant unfavorable stories about the client’s adversaries. An F.T.I. spokesman blasted the Guinean government’s review process, calling it a “crude smear campaign.” The firm encouraged journalists to run negative stories about Condé; the President soon began to receive bad press about the delay in setting parliamentary elections and about several ostensibly dubious transactions made by people close to him, including his son, Alpha Mohamed Condé. It is not hard to imagine that at least some of Condé’s associates have made side deals. “I practice the watch theory of politics,” a Western diplomat in Conakry told me. “When a minister is wearing a watch that costs more than my car, I start to worry.” During my interviews with officials in Conakry, I spotted more than one conspicuously expensive watch; in the Guinean fashion, the watches hung loose on the wrist, like bracelets.

Inside F.T.I., the decision to work on behalf of Steinmetz caused discord. In 2012, the company hired a new executive to oversee some of its accounts in Africa, and when he discovered that the firm represented Steinmetz and Dan Gertler—another Israeli diamond mogul, who has been involved in controversial deals in the Democratic Republic of Congo—the executive protested, then resigned. Mark Malloch-Brown, the former Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, is now F.T.I.’s chairman for the Middle East and Europe. He grew concerned that the company’s reputation might be damaged by its association with Steinmetz, and earlier this year he terminated the relationship. The leadership at B.S.G.R. was incensed.

As the company’s troubles accumulated, Steinmetz and his colleagues began to direct their feelings of grievance at George Soros, who had financed Condé’s initial investigation and provided seed money to D.L.A. Piper. Soros also bankrolled Revenue Watch, the organization that had been assisting Nava Touré in revising Guinea’s mining code, and supported Global Witness, an anti-corruption watchdog group that had been looking into Steinmetz’s activities in Guinea. B.S.G.R. executives became convinced that Malloch-Brown had terminated the F.T.I. contract at the behest of an old friend of his: Soros. Cramer showed me an internal document, titled “The Spider,” which depicted Soros and Condé at the center of a web of influence, and which identified Soros as “a hater of Israel.” The firm sent Soros an angry letter, saying, “We can no longer remain silent letting you ceaselessly maul our company and maliciously attempt wrecking the investment.”

Earlier this year, lawyers for Steinmetz sent a letter to Malloch-Brown, demanding that he acknowledge his “personal vendetta” against Steinmetz, sign a formal apology that they had scripted, and “clear” B.S.G.R. of any wrongdoing in Africa. When Malloch-Brown refused, B.S.G.R. sued him, along with F.T.I. The lawsuit claimed that Soros nurtured a “personal obsession” with Steinmetz; it also alleged that Soros had perpetuated a shocking rumor—that Steinmetz tried to have President Condé killed, by backing the mortar attack on his residence in 2011. (B.S.G.R. maintains that this rumor is entirely unfounded; the lawsuit was recently settled out of court, with no admission of wrongdoing by Malloch-Brown or F.T.I.)

When I asked Soros about Steinmetz, he insisted that he holds no grudge against him. A major philanthropist, Soros has long been committed to promoting transparency and curtailing corruption, and he funds numerous organizations in these fields. It is true that some of these groups have converged, lately, on the activities of Steinmetz. This may mean that Soros is obsessed with Steinmetz; or it may mean that Steinmetz is corrupt.

Soros told me that he had never met Steinmetz. When I asked Cramer about this, he said, “That’s a lie.” In 2005, the two men had attended a dinner at Davos, and spoke to each other. Presented with this account, Soros said that he has gone to many dinners at Davos over the years. If he did meet Steinmetz, he had no memory of it.

One day in April, Frédéric Cilins—the Frenchman who allegedly orchestrated the bribes in Guinea—flew to Jacksonville for an urgent rendezvous. Mamadie Touré met him at the airport. They sat in a bar-and-grill in the departures area, and she ordered a chicken-salad sandwich. Cilins was not as composed as he usually is; he suffers from high blood pressure, and as they spoke, in hushed tones, he was extremely anxious. He had come to Florida on a mission. He told Mamadie Touré that she must destroy the documents—and that he was willing to pay her to do it.

She informed him that it might already be too late: she had recently been approached by the F.B.I. “They’re going to give me a subpoena,” she said. A grand jury had been convened, and the authorities would expect her to testify and turn over “all the documents.”

“Everything must be destroyed!” Cilins said. It was “very, very urgent.”

Cilins did not realize that he had fallen into a trap. Touré was wearing a wire. She had indeed been approached by the authorities and, aware of her own legal predicament, had agreed to coöperate with the F.B.I. As she subsequently explained in an interview with Guinean authorities, Cilins and his colleagues had “one single concern,” which was “to get these documents back at any price.”

As federal agents observed from around the restaurant and the wire recorded every word, she asked Cilins what she should do if she was summoned before the grand jury. “Of course, you have to lie!” he said, according to a court filing that quotes the exchange. Cilins then suggested that she should deny that she had ever been married to General Conté.

Touré and Cilins had spoken on the phone before meeting in Jacksonville, and at one point she had asked him if the plan to buy her silence had been authorized by an individual who is identified in court documents only as “CC-1,” for “co-conspirator.” Two sources close to the investigation told me that CC-1 is Beny Steinmetz.

“Of course,” Cilins had replied. That call, too, was recorded by the F.B.I.

At the airport, Cilins said that he had seen CC-1—Steinmetz—the previous week. “I went specially to see him,” he explained. He lowered his voice to a whisper and said he had assured Steinmetz that Touré would “never betray” him, and would “never give away any documents whatsoever.”

Steinmetz’s response, according to Cilins, was “That’s good. . . . But I want you to destroy these documents.”

Touré told Cilins that the documents were in a vault, and assured him that she would destroy them. But he wasn’t satisfied, explaining that he had been instructed to watch the papers burn.

If she agreed to this plan, Cilins told her, she would be paid a million dollars. He had brought along an attestation—a legal document, in French—for her to sign. (Cilins’s comfort with formal legal agreements appears to have extended even into the realm of the coverup.) “I have never signed a single contract with B.S.G.R.,” the attestation read. “I have never received any money from B.S.G.R.” The arrangement included a possible bonus, Cilins said. If she signed the attestation, destroyed the documents, and lied to the grand jury, and if B.S.G.R. succeeded in holding on to its asset at Simandou—“if they’re still part of the project”—she would receive five million dollars.

Before Cilins could leave Jacksonville, he was arrested. This put B.S.G.R. in an awkward position. The transcript of the airport conversation looked very much like confirmation of bribery. Mamadie Touré’s documents were now in the possession of the Department of Justice. The government of Guinea had also obtained a videotape, shot during the opening of B.S.G.R.’s office in Conakry, in 2006, that seemed to further illustrate Touré’s close relationship with the company. It shows Cilins sitting next to Asher Avidan, who is addressing a crowd of Guineans. Touré then makes an entrance, resplendent in a white headdress and flowing robes, and flanked by members of the Presidential guard—implicitly conferring, by virtue of her presence, the approval of her dying husband.

When news of the arrest in Jacksonville broke, Vale released a statement saying that it was “deeply concerned about these allegations,” and committed to working with the relevant authorities. By this time, it seems safe to assume, the Brazilian company may have developed some buyer’s remorse over its iron-ore project in Guinea. When I visited the Conakry office of V.B.G.—the joint venture of Vale and the Beny Steinmetz Group—it was operating with a skeleton staff, and the project was clearly on hold, though the executives there would say nothing for the record.

“The question for Vale is: What were you thinking?” a diplomat in Conakry told me. “Did you really think you would be able to start a fifty-year project exporting iron ore in the remotest part of Guinea on the basis of a clearly dubious deal?” Having paid only half a billion dollars to B.S.G.R. so far, Vale has refused, for the moment, to make any further payments on the two billion dollars it still owes.

In mid-June, I flew to Nice, on the French Riviera, and proceeded in a taxi to Cap d’Antibes, a resort town favored by billionaires. I had spent several months trying to meet with Steinmetz, without success. I had visited the B.S.G.R. offices in London, and been told when I arrived that Steinmetz would meet me in Paris. By the time I reached Paris, he had left on his private plane for Israel. I volunteered to fly to Israel, but was told that he wouldn’t necessarily meet with me when I got there. After weeks of negotiation, I finally managed to speak to him by telephone, and after a brief conversation—in which he announced, flatly, “I don’t give interviews”—he agreed to see me.

We met at a hotel that was perched above the Mediterranean. Steinmetz was staying on one of his yachts—an Italian model. A sleek white multistory vessel, it floated regally in the distance. As I entered the lobby, I brushed past a slim, deeply tanned man wearing a blue linen shirt that was unbuttoned halfway to his navel. It was Steinmetz.

“Thank you for making the trip,” he said when I introduced myself. He seized my hand with the formidable grip of someone who puts a lot of stock in a handshake. We left the hotel and made our way up a steep hill, toward a suite of offices. Steinmetz moved almost at a trot; I had to scramble to keep up.

“I’m totally open—totally transparent,” Steinmetz told me when we sat down. “I never lie, as a principle.” He resents the idea that he is secretive, and believes that he simply protects his right to privacy. “I don’t consider myself a public person,” he said.

We talked for nearly three hours, until Steinmetz grew hoarse. He said that he felt blindsided by the controversy over Simandou. People who think that it is inherently outlandish to make billions of dollars on an investment of a hundred and sixty million simply don’t understand that the natural-resources business is a game of chance. “It’s roulette,” Steinmetz said; if you work hard, and take risks, you sometimes “get lucky.” As a small company that was comfortable with risk, B.S.G.R. made investments that the major mining companies wouldn’t. His company lost money in Tanzania. It lost money in Zambia. But in Guinea it won.

Steinmetz argued that the deal with Vale was not an effort by B.S.G.R. to sell off its asset but, rather, a partnership of the sort that is often necessary with ambitious, resource-intensive mining projects. “How did we flip?” he asked. “Why is bringing a partner in a flip?”

In our telephone call, Steinmetz had described the saga of Simandou as “a very African story,” and when we met I asked him how his company has dealt with the pervasiveness of corruption in Africa. “Very strict instructions and guidelines to people on the ground,” he said, insisting that, even in jurisdictions that are notorious for graft, the company does not pay bribes. “We manage our business like the most transparent public company,” he said.

To hear Steinmetz tell it, the former leaders of Guinea were undeserving of the widespread censure they had received. General Conté was “more honest” than President Condé. Captain Dadis, the junta leader who presided over the stadium massacre, was “an honest guy” who simply “wanted the best for his country.”

President Condé was the real villain in this story, Steinmetz said. His loathing for Condé was so palpable that, whenever he mentioned him, the tendons in his neck stood out.

Steinmetz claimed that the accusations against him were the product of a concerted smear campaign, initiated by Condé and financed by George Soros. “According to the Jewish religion, if you say somebody is guilty of something without proof, this is a very bad thing to do,” Steinmetz said. And the documents that were discussed in Jacksonville did not prove anything, he said—they were forgeries.

After failing to meet Steinmetz in Paris, I had met Asher Avidan, the head of B.S.G.R.’s Guinea operations, for a drink. When I presented him with a photograph of a signature that appeared on one of the contracts, he had acknowledged that it was identical to his own but dismissed it as “a simple Photoshop.” In Cap d’Antibes, Steinmetz elaborated on this theme, claiming that Mamadie Touré’s documents were fake, and that long before the F.B.I. investigation began she had tried to blackmail B.S.G.R., using the fraudulent contracts as leverage. “We never paid her,” Steinmetz insisted. “We never promised her anything.”

He pulled out color photocopies of the documents, and pointed at sequential notations that had supposedly been made on each contract by the notary public in Conakry. These notations, he said, ran in descending rather than ascending order—proof that they were inauthentic. I told him that I could imagine a scenario in which the documents were forgeries, and conceded that Touré was not exactly an unimpeachable witness. But the transcript of the Jacksonville conversation did not look good for Steinmetz, and I told him that there was another factor that inclined me to consider the documents real: if they were fake, why would Frédéric Cilins fly across the Atlantic and offer Touré five million dollars to destroy them? I posed the question to Steinmetz multiple times, in multiple ways, but he replied only that he would not “speculate” about Cilins while his case was before the courts.

I pressed the matter. “Cilins told Mamadie Touré, ‘I’ve spoken to Beny. He told me to do this.’ Did you?”

“I didn’t ask him to destroy these fake documents or any other documents,” Steinmetz said.

Was Cilins lying about Steinmetz’s directive, then? Or was he somehow mistaken?

Steinmetz, growing impatient, reiterated that he did not want to speculate about Cilins. He did want to talk, however, about Condé’s responsibility for the deaths of protesters in Guinea. “The guy has blood on his hands,” Steinmetz said.

“Captain Dadis had blood on his hands, too,” I observed. “And you invited him to your daughter’s wedding.”

Steinmetz stared at me for a second, then said, “I’m not going to argue or go into depth about the politics of Guinea.”

Even as we were meeting in France, the leaders of the Group of Eight had assembled in Northern Ireland. A major goal was to assess the rules governing how executives from wealthy nations conduct themselves when they venture into the developing world. Before the summit, Prime Minister David Cameron, of the U.K., published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal: “We must lift the veil of secrecy that too often lets corrupt corporations and officials in some countries run rings around the law. The G-8 must move toward a global common standard for resource-extracting companies to report all payments to governments, and in turn for governments to report those revenues.”

In developing this ambitious agenda, Cameron had been closely advised by Paul Collier. “This is Africa’s big opportunity,” Collier told me. “But it’s a nonrenewable opportunity.” If companies are allowed to acquire natural resources without full transparency, the result will be plunder—or, as Collier puts it, “a tragedy of awesome proportions.” At Cameron’s invitation, President Condé travelled to London before the meeting. “If we are to fight against exploitation and bring about transparency, we are going to need the help of the G-8,” Condé said, in a speech at Chatham House, the foreign-policy think tank. “Mining companies are mostly in the West.”

Steinmetz was appalled by the lionization of Guinea’s leader. The current government, he said, is a “sophisticated” version of a corrupt regime, because “they are pretending to be honest.” He repeated a claim that some of his colleagues had made—that Condé had stolen the 2010 election by promising to strip B.S.G.R. of its Simandou license and transfer the rights to his backers. “He sold our assets to South African interests who provided him with financial support to manipulate the election,” he said. Even before Condé entered office, he had decided “that he was going to take Simandou from us.” In Steinmetz’s telling, Condé is like the title character in “Nostromo”—the “perfectly incorruptible” man who, through his own vanity and the spell of the mine, finally succumbs to corruption.

“We are the victims,” Steinmetz said. “We have done only good things for Guinea, and what we’re getting is spit in the face.” With that, he wished me well. Dusk was falling, and I descended the hill while Steinmetz headed back to his yacht for dinner.

Shortly after Frédéric Cilins was arrested in Florida, I went to Conakry and visited President Condé at the Dim Sum Palace. He wore a white suit with short sleeves—a common style in Guinea—and looked tired. The violent opposition rallies showed no sign of stopping, and it was not entirely clear that Condé would hold on to power long enough to fulfill his reform agenda. Having failed to hold parliamentary elections, he was also at risk of losing his credibility as a genuinely democratic leader. Alexis Arieff, a Guinea expert at the Congressional Research Service, told me, “He came in with a real sense of having fought for the Presidency, and deserving a free hand in how he runs the country—‘This is mine, I went to prison for this, I suffered for this.’ ” A European Union report recently blamed “Condé’s governing style” for the escalating tension in the country. Condé, for his part, felt that Steinmetz had played a role in the unrest; at Chatham House, he intimated that B.S.G.R. is funding the opposition movement. (Steinmetz told me that this was false.)

When I asked Condé if he felt vindicated when the U.S. Justice Department began investigating the Simandou deal, he refused to take the bait. It is ultimately up to him to decide—on the basis of counsel from the mining ministry—whether or not to strip B.S.G.R. and Vale of the Simandou license, and he did not want to say anything that might prejudice this process. Instead, he smiled and said, “The actions of the United States can help me advance in the struggle against corruption in Guinea.”

Cilins’s bail was set at fifteen million dollars, because of the danger that he might flee the U.S. In May, he pleaded not guilty to obstruction-of-justice charges, and it’s possible that he will decide to coöperate with authorities; in his court filings, he has not denied offering Mamadie Touré money to destroy the documents, or doing so at the behest of Steinmetz. B.S.G.R. continues to maintain that it never paid any money to Touré or signed any contracts with her. But Asher Avidan said something interesting in our conversation at the Paris bar. He repeated B.S.G.R.’s claim that Touré had not been married to General Conté when he signed over the rights to Simandou. “She was not his wife,” Avidan said. “Not even sleeping with him.” Then he added, “She is a lobbyist. Like a thousand others.”

It suddenly occurred to me why B.S.G.R. officials might be so committed to the notion that Touré had not been married to the old General. If she was not related to him, then she was merely another local influence peddler—a lobbyist. And it might be argued that, as a legal matter, paying a lobbyist is different from paying a bribe. If B.S.G.R. was ever forced to admit that it had paid Mamadie Touré, here, in embryo, was a defense.

Although the U.S. Justice Department will not comment on the case, Cilins is likely not the ultimate target of its investigation. When the grand jury in Manhattan began issuing subpoenas, earlier this year, it requested information not just on “the Simandou concession” but on Steinmetz himself. The F.B.I. recently dispatched two teams of investigators to Conakry. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Serious Fraud Office, in London, has also opened an investigation into B.S.G.R.’s activities. Because both Israel and France have been reluctant to extradite their citizens in the past, Steinmetz might never see trial in the U.S., even in the event that he was indicted. Still, Scott Horton told me, “Steinmetz’s future travel options may be limited.”

When we spoke in Cap d’Antibes, Steinmetz did not seem worried. “We have zero to hide,” he said.

Steven Fox, the investigator, told me that Steinmetz and his colleagues were “very improvisational,” adding, “They can think creatively and move fast in an uncertain situation. That’s what accounted for their success, in a lot of ways. But it will probably also account for their downfall.”

For the moment, the iron ore remains locked inside the Simandou Mountains, and the site is still cut off from the rest of Guinea. “Everyone wants Simandou,” Condé told me as we sat in the palace. “It became the obsession, literally, of everybody.”

He continued to talk, in his professorial way, but a note of bewilderment crept into his voice. “Looking at the iron ore, the grade is world-class. The quality is world-class. Yet, in so many years, we haven’t been able to benefit from any of these tremendous resources.” President Condé paused. Then he murmured something, almost to himself: “How can we be so rich and yet so poor?”


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Dark Truths Protected Beneath Progressive Facades. NATO and its Allies are the Terrorists in Syria


In an interview with Adam Garrie from the Duran, Syrian political commentator Afraa Dagher reminds us of the reality in Syria, which is far removed from MSM media mythology.

“the US is not fighting any “ISIS” and the  same goes for  Turkey. They are the real enemies of Syria. The USA along with Jordan and Israel, worked hard to control the southern border of Syria and created mutual military rooms in order to restrain Syria’s anti-terrorist efforts. The US goal is to advance towards DeirAlZour which is rich in oil, and which is important for Qatar to supply its oil to Europe across the Syrian Land , which will impact the importance Russian oil for Europe.

This entire war is about influence, you remember the American air strikes on the Syrian military base in Al Therdehmountain in Deir Al Zour in 2016? Helping “ISIS”  is the real US agenda and then to occupy this province!”

NATO and its allies are the terrorists in Syria. (This has been known and documented for over six years, and it was revealed well before the dirty war started.) Syria and its allies, on the other hand, oppose the terrorists.

Former DIA chief Michael Flynn admitted that the West’s support for terrorism was willful.

In the following video, a former FSA General admits to working closely with Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIL.

In a May 8, 2017 article,Democracy Now Launches Anti-Syria Propaganda Campaign”, Miri Wood reminds us of other public admissions which have been willfully erased or suppressed from the collective memories of so many in the faux-Left camp.

The accumulated evidence of the West’s support for terrorism in Syria is staggering. Books, including Prof Anderson’s The Dirty War On Syria: Washington, Regime Change and Resistance and the author’s Voices From Syria present enough factual evidence and historical context to remove any reasonable doubt about the true nature of the war, and the West’s unequivocal support for terrorism in Syria.

Despite all of the publicly available evidence, so-called “progressives” in the West have been successfully co-opted.  Feminists are tacitly supporting Wahhabism and Sharia law when they support the war on Syria.  Progressives of all brands are supporting terrorism when they support the war on Syria. Ostensibly progressive shows such as Democracy Now, and iconic “progressive” intellectuals, all serve to coopt the “progressives” when they parrot unsubstantiated propaganda memes that demonize President Assad, Syria, and Syrians.

Ironically, North American faux-Liberals and faux –progressives are advancing criminal neo-con war-mongering and a neo-con agenda when they support the West’s dirty war on Syria. Self-styled “progressives” support refugees but totally ignore the fact that their support for their government’s criminal warfare creates the refugees in the first place. Progressives should be opposing the warfare that creates the refugees.

The warmongering elites intend to destroy Syria, as they destroyed Libya, Iraq, and Ukraine, with a view to enriching narrow interests and serving the diktats of the “market”, all to the disadvantage of humanity. The criminal war on Syria, which could easily escalate into widespread nuclear war, is a war on all of us. It is part the neo-con project of globalization, which requires global militarization, globalized terror proxies, a global bogeyman (ie ISIS), and a global rejection of the rule of international law.

Posted in SyriaComments Off on Dark Truths Protected Beneath Progressive Facades. NATO and its Allies are the Terrorists in Syria

US Airstrike against Syria: More to the September 2016 ‘Mistake’ Than Originally Thought


If Australia was to blame, why are we no more informed on the Syrian airstrike since the September 2016 attack at Deir ez-Zor? James O’Neill reports.


ON 18 SEPTEMBER 2016, warplanes belonging to the American “coalition” carried out air strikes on Syrian government soldiers defending the Deir ez-Zor airfield in northeastern Syria. 

More than 100 Syrian soldiers died in the attack and many more were wounded. Australia’s Department of Defence admitted its involvement in the attack, although it gave no details of precisely what role the RAAF played.

I wrote an article on Independent Australia in September last year doubting whether the attack was a “mistake” as claimed by the Americans and the Australians, and, indeed, whether Australia was actually involved at all.

The basis for the skepticism in respect of the “mistake” claim was the established fact that Syrian troops had been in position defending the airfield for several months from attacking ISIS troops.

The scepticism about Australian involvement arose out of Syrian and Russian reports that the attack, over more than an hour, was carried out by F-16 and A-10 fighters — neither of which are part of the RAAF’s arsenal. The Department of Defence declined further comment as they wished to maintain the “integrity” of the U.S. review of the incident.

Since then, there have been a number of developments that raise further questions about the RAAF’s role and indeed the whole basis of the September attack. These questions have not been answered by the release of the U.S. report on their investigation of the incident, nor by the Australian media’s unwillingness to question the alleged explanation or explore wider issues about Australia’s involvement in the Syrian war.

In order to avoid clashes between Russian forces, legally, in Syria at the request of the Syrian Government and American and “coalition” forces operating in Syria in violation of international law, there exists a communication system, referred to as the “deconfliction line”. Under the protocols governing this system, the Americans notify the Syrians and Russians where and when their forces will be operating.

In respect of the attack on Deir ez-Zor, it appears the Americans did advise the Russians of an impending attack but, in this case, gave false information as to exactly where the attack was to occur.

After the attacks started and Syrian soldiers were being bombed and strafed, the Russians tried urgently to contact the Americans on the deconfliction line. They were unable to do so because for the whole of the attack period the American end of the line was left unattended. This is unlikely to have been a coincidence.

The American report also acknowledged that U.S. Central Command headquarters in Qatar, which was responsible for the carrying out of the attack, had precise intelligence as to the exact location of the Syrian troops and their ISIS opposition.

Which is where the RAAF comes in. At the time of the attack on 18 September, the RAAF was operating its E-7A Wedgetail aircraft above the battle.

According to the RAAF’s own website, the E-7A provides Australia with

‘… one of the most advanced battle space management capabilities in the world.’

The aircraft is an airborne early warning and control platform that can

‘… gather information from a wide variety of resources, analyse it and distribute it to other air and surface assets.’

Given that the RAAF had the intelligence data as to the exact location of the respective forces on the ground – which as noted were long term fixed positions for the Syrian defences – and that they had sophisticated observation, analysis and transmission capabilities, why is it that the attack continued on the Syrian Army for over an hour?

It is not a question answered by the American report and, beyond the initial statement admitting culpability for the “mistake”, the Australian Department of Defence has refused to provide further comment or explanation.

The suspicion that it was not a “mistake” but rather a deliberate attack on Syrian forces is reinforced by a number of other facts that have emerged. The Australian media has not thought it fit to comment or analyse any of these factors. The default position is always a variation on “we meant well”, “we regret any mistakes” and “any further information is inappropriate on grounds of national security”. International law is a wilderness never to be explored.

The first piece of additional information is that, within seven minutes of the U.S.-led attack commencing, ISIS ground forces commenced a well-organised attack on the Syrian defensive positions that were severely compromised by the air attacks.

The nature of the ISIS attack and its timing are among the strongest possible evidence that, far from being a “mistake”, this may have been an attack coordinated between ISIS and the Americans.

This view is reinforced by the further revelations that the ceasefire then in place (albeit imperfectly) was strongly opposed by U.S. Defence Secretary Carter, as well as Lt General Harrigan, commander of the U.S. Air Force Control Command that authorised the attack. The planned U.S.-Russian joint integration centre to co-ordinate attacks against ISIS was sabotaged by the attack. Carter and Harrigan had the means, motive and opportunity to sabotage a plan of which they both disapproved.

Deir ez-Zor is important for two other reasons. It is the centre of Syria’s largest oil and gas deposits. ISIS has been selling oil from captured sites in the area by transporting it over the border into Turkey.

Both the Americans and the Australians must have been aware of this cross-border trade through ground intelligence, satellites and the aforementioned E-7A’s capabilities. This trade has also been widely discussed in a number of Internet sites. Yet this traffic had continued unhindered by American or Australian air power for months.

The second reason for Deir ez-Zor’s importance is that it lies on the route of the proposed Qatari gas pipeline to Europe. Replacing Europe’s reliance on Russian gas with Qatari gas is a major U.S. geopolitical goal. It was Syrian President Assad’s refusal in 2011 to permit Syria to be used for the transit of Qatari gas that is the direct origin of the war presently being waged in that country.

It will come as no surprise to note that the Australian mainstream media never contemplates the geopolitical significance of the events in which Australia is involved — unless it is to laud the U.S.’s contribution to allegedly advancing peace and stability around the world.

ISIS was and is an instrument of U.S. geopolitical policy in the same way the Mujahideen were used in Afghanistan in the 1970s and 1980s, the MEK in Iran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and al Qaeda in its various manifestations in the Russian Caucasus, the “stans” around the Caspian Sea and in China’s Xinjiang province.

Far from being a “mistake”, the Deir ez-Zor attack was simply another manifestation of the U.S. policy of perpetual war for perpetual profit. The tragedy for Australians is that they are forever the willing pawns.

The contempt shown to Turnbull by Trump on the former’s current visit to the U.S. is a small illustration of the price we pay for unquestioning obeisance. Other and more serious costs will inevitably arise unless Australia develops a foreign policy that places Australia’s national interests first and places that policy in the context of respect for international law that we profess to follow but increasingly disregard.

Posted in USA, SyriaComments Off on US Airstrike against Syria: More to the September 2016 ‘Mistake’ Than Originally Thought

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