Archive | June 7th, 2017

The Betrayal of India: A Close Look at the 2008 Mumbai Terror Attacks

NOVANEWS
Book review of “The Betrayal of India: Revisiting the 26/11 Evidence” by Elias Davidsson
 

These days we rush from one media story to another, trying to keep up with the latest terrorist attack. Yesterday Paris; today London; tomorrow, who knows? These attacks are tragic enough when they are acts of violence by religious extremists who have outsmarted our police and intelligence agencies. But, of course, many of them are actually violent acts facilitated by our police and intelligence agencies, directly or indirectly. The tragedy in such cases lies not only in the immediate human suffering but in the way our civil society and elected representatives are betrayed, intimidated, disciplined and stripped of their power by our own security agencies. The War on Terror, which goes by different names in different countries but continues as a global framework for violent conflict, thrives on this fraud.

But if the very agencies that should be investigating and preventing these attacks are involved in perpetrating them, what is civil society to do to protect itself? Who will step in to study the evidence and sort out what really happened? And who will investigate the official investigators? Over the years, civilians from different walks of life have stepped forward–forming groups, sharing information and methods, creating a tradition of civilian investigation.

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One such investigator is Elias Davidsson (image on the right). Some readers will be familiar with his meticulous book, Hijacking America’s Mind on 9/11 or his more recent work, Psychologische Kriegsführung und gesellschaftliche Leugnung. Davidsson has now produced a book on the 2008 attacks that occurred in Mumbai, India. The book is entitled, The Betrayal of India: Revisiting the 26/11 Evidence (New Delhi: Pharos, 2017).

To remind ourselves of these attacks–that is, of the official story of these attacks as narrated by the Indian government–we can do no better than to consult Wikipedia, which seldom strays from government intelligence narratives:

“The 2008 Mumbai attacks were a series of attacks that took place in November 2008, when 10 members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, an Islamic militant organization based in Pakistan, carried out a series of 12 coordinated shooting and bombing attacks lasting four days across Mumbai. The attacks, which drew widespread global condemnation, began on Wednesday, 26 November and lasted until Saturday, 29 November 2008, killing 164 people and wounding at least 308.”

This description, however faulty, serves to make clear why the events were widely portrayed as a huge crime—India’s 9/11. When we bear in mind that both India and Pakistan are armed with nuclear weapons, and when we consider that these events were widely characterized in India as an act of war supported by Pakistan (Davidsson, 72-74; 511 ff.; 731 ff.), we will understand how dangerous the event was for over a billion and a half people in south Asia.

We will also understand how easy it was, on the basis of such a narrative, to get a bonanza of funds and equipment for the Mumbai police (735-736) and why it was possible, given the framing of the event as an act of war, for India’s armed forces to get an immediate 21% hike in military spending with promises of continuing increases in subsequent years (739 ff.).

Wikipedia’s paragraph tells a straightforward story, but the straightforwardness is the result of much snipping and smoothing. Both Pakistan and Lashkar-e-Taiba denied responsibility for the attacks (65; 513) and, Davidsson argues, they did so for good reason.

In his Conclusions at the end of the book Davidsson encourages us to assess separately the actual attacks and the Indian state’s investigation of the attacks (865 ff.) It is “highly plausible,” he says, “that major institutional actors in India, the United States and possibly Israel, were complicit in conceiving, planning, directing and executing the attacks of 26/11” (873); but the evidence of a deceptive investigation is even stronger:

“The first definite conclusion of this book is that India’s major institutions, including the Central government, parliament, bureaucracy, armed forces, Mumbai police, intelligence services, judiciary and media, have deliberately suppressed the truth regarding 26/11 and continue to do so. I could discover no hint of a desire among the aforementioned parties to establish the truth on these deadly events (865).”

This distinction is useful for civil society investigators. We will frequently find it easier to prove that an investigation is deceptive, and that it is obscuring rather than illuminating the path to the perpetrators, than to directly prove the event itself to have been fraudulent. And there are two good reasons to pay attention to evidence of a cover-up. First, to cover up a crime is itself a crime. Second, those covering up a crime implicate themselves in the original crime. If they were not directly involved in the commission of the crime, they are at least accessories after the fact. To begin by exposing the fraudulent investigation, therefore, will often be wise. When this has been done we shall often find that we can begin to discern the path to the attack itself.

Davidsson gives a wealth of evidence about both the attacks and the investigation, but for this brief review I shall focus on the investigation.

Here are three recurring themes in his study that may serve to illustrate the strength  of the cover-up thesis.

(1) Immediate fingering of the perpetrator

When officials claim to know the identity of a perpetrator (individual or group) prior to any serious investigation, this suggests that a false narrative is being initiated and that strenuous efforts will soon be made to implant it in the mind of a population. Thus, for example, Lee Harvey Oswald was identified by officials of the executive branch as the killer of President John F. Kennedy–and as a lone wolf with no associates–on the afternoon of the assassination day, long before an investigation and even before he had been charged with the crime. And we had major news media pointing with confidence, by the end of the day of September 11, 2001, to Osama bin Laden and his group–in the absence of evidence.

In the Mumbai case the Prime Minister of India implied, while the attack was still in progress, that the perpetrators were from a terrorist group supported by, or at least tolerated by, Pakistan (65; 228; 478; 512; 731).

Image result for Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai

The Taj Mahal Hotel burning after the terrorist attacks in Mumbai (Source: Haunted India)

Likewise, immediately after the attacks Henry Kissinger attempted to implicate Pakistan. Three days prior to the attack on the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai, one of the main attack sites, Kissinger had been staying in the hotel. He “sat with top executives from Goldman Sachs and India’s Tata group in the Taj to ‘chat about American politics’” (331). Kissinger’s presence on the scene with Indian elites (the Tata family is one of India’s wealthiest, and the Tata Group owns the Taj) would be peculiar enough to cause raising of the eyebrows, but when combined with his immediate fingering of Pakistan it becomes extremely suspect. As Davidsson shows, what investigation there was came much later, and even today the case against Pakistan remains full of contradictions, unsupported allegations, and absurdities.

(2) Grotesque failure by official investigators to follow proper procedures

Incompetence is a fact of life, but there are times when the incompetence theory is strained to the breaking point and it is more rational to posit deliberate deception.  In the case of the Mumbai investigation, Davidsson depicts its failures as going well beyond incompetence.

  • Neither the police, nor the judge charged with trying the sole surviving suspect, made public a timeline of events (188-189; 688-689). Even the most basic facts of when a given set of attacks began and when they ended were left vague.
  • Key witnesses were not called to testify. Witnesses who said they saw the terrorists commit violence, or spoke to them, or were in the same room with them, were ignored by the court (e.g., 279 ff.).
  • Contradictions and miracles were not sorted out. One victim was apparently resurrected from the dead when his testimony was essential to the blaming of Pakistan (229-230). A second victim died in two different places (692), while a third died in three places (466). No one in authority cared enough to solve these difficulties.
  • Eyewitnesses to the crime differed on the clothing and skin color of the terrorists, and on how many of them there were (328-331). No resolution was sought.
  • At least one eyewitness confessed she found it hard to distinguish “friends” from terrorists (316). No probe was stimulated by this odd confusion.
  • The number of terrorists who committed the deeds changed repeatedly, as did the number of terrorists who survived (29 ff.; 689).
  • Crime scenes were violated, with bodies hauled off before they could be examined (682-683).
  • Identity parades (“line-ups”) were rendered invalid by weeks of prior exposure of the witnesses to pictures of the suspect in newspapers (101; 582).
  • Claims that the terrorists were armed with AK-47s were common, yet forensic study of the attack at the Cama Hospital failed to turn up a single AK-47 bullet (156).
  • Of the “hundreds of witnesses processed by the court” in relation to the attacks at the Café Leopold, Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Oberoi-Trident Hotel or Nariman House, “not a single one testified to having observed any of the eight accused kill anyone” (40).
  • Indian authorities declined to order autopsies on the dead at the targeted Jewish center in Nariman House. The dead, five out of six of whom were Israeli citizens (427), were instead whisked back to Israel by a Jewish organization based in Israel, allegedly for religious reasons (453). Religious sensitivity seems to have extended to a large safe at the crime scene, which the team also transported to Israel (454).

(3) Extreme secrecy and the withholding of basic information from the population, with the excuse of “national security”

  • The surviving alleged terrorist had no public trial (661).
  • No transcript of his secret trial has been released (670).
  • One lawyer who agreed to defend the accused was removed by the court and another was assassinated (670).
  • The public was told there was extensive CCTV footage of the attacks, despite the mysterious malfunctioning of the majority of CCTV cameras on the days in question (97-98; 109 ff.; 683 ff.); but only a very small percentage of the claimed footage was ever released and it suffers from serious defects–two conflicting time-stamps and signs of editing (111).
  • Members of an elite Indian commando unit that showed up with between 475 and 800 members to battle eight terrorists (534) were not allowed to testify in court (327; 428-429).
  • The “confession” of the suspect, on which the judge leaned heavily, was given in secret. No transcript of this confession has been released to the public and the suspect later renounced the confession, saying he had been under threat from police when he gave it (599 ff.; 681).
  • The suspect, after being convicted and sentenced to death, was presumably executed, but the hanging was done secretly in jail and his body, like the bodies of the other dead “terrorists,” was buried in a secret place (37; 623).

It is difficult to see how the investigation described above differs from what we would expect to see in a police state. Evidently, the “world’s largest democracy” is in trouble.

Meanwhile, motives for the “highly plausible” false flag attack, Davidsson notes, are not difficult to find. The attacks not only filled the coffers of national security agencies, creating as they did the impression of a permanent threat to India, but also helped tilt India toward those countries claiming to take the lead in the War on Terror (809 ff.; 847). The FBI showed great interest in the attacks from the outset. It actually had a man on the scene during the attacks and sent an entire team directly after the event (812 ff.). The Bureau was, remarkably, given direct access to the arrested suspect and to his recorded confession (before he even had a lawyer), as well as to eyewitnesses (651-652; 815). The New York Police Department also sent a team after the conclusion of the event (816-817), as did Scotland Yard and Israeli police (651; 851). There seems to have been something of a national security fest in relation to Mumbai as ideas of closer cooperation in matters of security were discussed (e.g., 822).

In case Israel seems too small to belong with the other players in this national security fest, Davidsson reminds us that India is Israel’s largest customer in defense sales (853).

So, what can we learn from Davidsson’s book? For patient readers, a great deal: this 900-page study is as free of filler and rhetoric as it is rich in detail. (In correspondence the author told me that he was determined to produce a work dense with primary source material so that it could be of maximum help to activists in India striving for an official inquiry.) For readers with less patience, Davidsson has provided regular summaries. And both sets of readers will find that the book discusses not only details of the Mumbai attacks, but patterns of deception common in the War on Terror.

For all these reason, this book is a highly significant achievement and is of objective importance to anyone interested in the War and Terror–the structure and motifs of its ongoing fictions and the methods through which civil society researchers can lay bare these fictions

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“Forget Terrorism”: The Real Reason Behind the Qatar Crisis Is Natural Gas

NOVANEWS
 

According to the official narrative, the reason for the latest Gulf crisis in which a coalition of Saudi-led states cut off diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar, is because – to everyone’s “stunned amazement” – Qatar was funding terrorists, and after Trump’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia in which he urged a crackdown on financial support of terrorism, and also following the FT’s report that Qatar has directly provided $1 billion in funding to Iran and al-Qaeda spinoffs, Saudi Arabia finally had had enough of its “rogue” neighbor, which in recent years had made ideologically unacceptable overtures toward both Shia Iran and Russia.

However, as often happens, the official narrative is traditionally a convenient smokescreen from the real underlying tensions.

The real reason behind the diplomatic fallout may be far simpler, and once again has to do with a long-running and controversial topic, namely Qatar’s regional natural gas dominance.

Recall that many have speculated (with evidence going back as far back as 2012) that one of the reasons for the long-running Syria proxy war was nothing more complex than competing gas pipelines, with Qatar eager to pass its own pipeline, connecting Europe to its vast natural gas deposits, however as that would put Gazprom’s monopoly of European LNG supply in jeopardy, Russia had been firmly, and violently, against this strategy from the beginning and explains Putin’s firm support of the Assad regime and the Kremlin’s desire to prevent the replacement of the Syrian government with a puppet regime.

Note the purple line which traces the proposed Qatar-Turkey natural gas pipeline and note that all of the countries highlighted in red are part of a new coalition hastily put together after Turkey finally (in exchange for NATO’s acquiescence on Erdogan’s politically-motivated war with the PKK) agreed to allow the US to fly combat missions against ISIS targets from Incirlik. Now note which country along the purple line is not highlighted in red. That’s because Bashar al-Assad didn’t support the pipeline and now we’re seeing what happens when you’re a Mid-East strongman and you decide not to support something the US and Saudi Arabia want to get done.

Now, in a separate analysis, Bloomberg also debunks the “official narrative” behind the Gulf crisis and suggests that Saudi Arabia’s isolation of Qatar, “and the dispute’s long past and likely lingering future are best explained by natural gas.

The reasons for nat gas as the source of discord are numerous and start in 1995 “when the tiny desert peninsula was about to make its first shipment of liquid natural gas from the world’s largest reservoir. The offshore North Field, which provides virtually all of Qatar’s gas, is shared with Iran, Saudi Arabia’s hated rival.”

See bigger picture here

The result to Qatar’s finances was similar to the windfall that Saudi Arabia reaped from its vast crude oil wealth.

 The wealth that followed turned Qatar into not just the world’s richest nation, with an annual per-capita income of $130,000, but also the world’s largest LNG exporter. The focus on gas set it apart from its oil producing neighbors in the Gulf Cooperation Council and allowed it to break from domination by Saudi Arabia, which in Monday’s statement of complaint described Qataris as an “extension of their brethren in the Kingdom” as it cut off diplomatic relations and closed the border.

In short, over the past two decades, Qatar become the single biggest natural gas powerhouse in the region, with only Russia’s Gazprom able to challenge Qatar’s influence in LNG exports.

See bigger picture here

To be sure, Qatar has shown a remarkable ability to shift its ideological allegiance, with the FT reporting as recently as 2013, that initially Qatar was a staunch supporter, backer and financier of the Syrian rebels, tasked to topple the Assad regime, a process which could culminate with the creation of the much maligned trans-Syrian pipeline.

The tiny gas-rich state of Qatar has spent as much as $3bn over the past two years supporting the rebellion in Syria, far exceeding any other government, but is now being nudged aside by Saudi Arabia as the prime source of arms to rebels.

The cost of Qatar’s intervention, its latest push to back an Arab revolt, amounts to a fraction of its international investment portfolio. But its financial support for the revolution that has turned into a vicious civil war dramatically overshadows western backing for the opposition.

As the years passed, Qatar grew to comprehend that Russia would not allow its pipeline to traverse Syria, and as a result it strategically pivoted in a pro-Russia direction, and as we showed yesterday, Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund agreed last year to invest $2.7 billion in Russia’s state-run Rosneft Oil, even as Qatar is host of the largest US military base in the region, US Central Command. This particular pivot may have also added to fears that Qatar was becoming a far more active supporter of a Russia-Iran-Syria axis in the region, its recent financial and ideological support of Iran notwithstanding.

As a result of the tiny nation’s growing financial and political “independence”, its neighbors grew increasingly frustrated and concerned: “Qatar used to be a kind of Saudi vassal state, but it used the autonomy that its gas wealth created to carve out an independent role for itself,” said Jim Krane, energy research fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute, quoted by Bloomberg.

Furthermore, Qatar’s natural gas output has been “free from entanglement” – and political pressure – in the OPEC, the oil cartel that Saudi Arabia dominates.

“The rest of the region has been looking for an opportunity to clip Qatar’s wings.”

And, as Bloomberg adds,

“that opportunity came with U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia, when he called on “all nations of conscience” to isolate Iran. When Qatar disagreed publicly, in a statement the government later said was a product of hacking, the Saudi-led retribution followed.”

To be sure, in a series of tweets, Trump himself doubled down on the “official narrative”, taking credit for Qatar’s isolation (perhaps forgetting that a US base is housed in the small nation).

So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the King and 50 countries already paying off. They said they would take a hard line on funding…

…extremism, and all reference was pointing to Qatar. Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!

The cynics may be forgiven to assume that if Trump is tweeting that the reason for Qatar’s isolation is “to end the horror of terrorism”, even as the US just signed a $100+ billion arms deal with the single biggest supporter of terrorism in the world, Saudi Arabia, then indeed the Trump-endorsed “narrative” is to be dismissed outright.

Which again brings us back to nat gas, where Qatar rapidly emerged as the dominant, and lowest cost producer at a time when its neighbors started demanding the commodity on their own, giving the tiny state all the leverage. As Bloomberg adds

“demand for natural gas to produce electricity and power industry has been growing in the Gulf states. They’re having to resort to higher-cost LNG imports and exploring difficult domestic gas formations that are expensive to get out of the ground, according to the research. Qatar’s gas has the lowest extraction costs in the world.”

Of course, with financial wealth came the need to spread political influence:

Qatar gas wealth enabled it to develop foreign policies that came to irritate its neighbors. It backed the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Hamas in the Gaza Strip and armed factions opposed by the UAE or Saudi Arabia in Libya and Syria. Gas also paid for a global television network, Al Jazeera, which at various times has embarrassed or angered most Middle Eastern governments.

And, above all,

“gas prompted Qatar to promote a regional policy of engagement with Shiite Iran to secure the source of its wealth.

And here the source of tension emerged: because as Steven Wright, Ph.D. Associate Professor at Qatar University told Bloomberg,

“you can question why Qatar has been unwilling to supply its neighboring countries, making them gas poor,” said Wright, the academic, speaking by telephone from the Qatari capital Doha. “There probably was an expectation that Qatar would sell gas to them at a discount price.”

It did not, and instead it took a step backward in 2005, when Qatar declared a moratorium on the further development of the North Field that could have provided more gas for local export, adding to the frustrations of its neighbors.

Qatar said it needed to test how the field was responding to its exploitation, denying that it was bending to sensitivities in Iran, which had been much slower to draw gas from its side of the shared field. That two-year moratorium was lifted in April, a decade late, after Iran for the first time caught up with Qatar’s extraction rates.

As Qatar refused to yield, the resentment grew.

“People here are scratching their heads as to exactly what the Saudis expect Qatar to do,” said Gerd Nonneman, professor of international relations and Gulf studies at Georgetown University’s Doha campus. “They seem to want Qatar to cave in completely, but it won’t call the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, because it isn’t. And it isn’t going to excommunicate Iran, because that would jeopardize a relationship that is just too fundamental to Qatar’s economic development.

* * *

Whether nat gas is the source of the Qatari isolation will depend on the next steps by both Saudi Arabia and Iran. Saudi Arabia, along with the United Arab Emirates and Egypt – are all highly reliant on Qatari gas via pipeline and LNG.

According to Reuters, traders startled by the development, have begun to plan for all eventualities, especially any upsets to piped gas supplies from Qatar to the UAE. The UAE consumes 1.8 billion cubic feet/day of Qatari gas via the Dolphin pipeline, and has LNG purchase agreements with its neighbor, leaving it doubly exposed to tit-for-tat measures, industry sources and traders said.

See bigger picture here

So far flows through Dolphin are unaffected but traders say even a partial shutdown would ripple through global gas markets by forcing the UAE to seek replacement LNG supply just as its domestic demand peaks.

With LNG markets in bearish mood and demand weak, the UAE could cope with Qatar suspending its two to three monthly LNG deliveries by calling on international markets, but Dolphin piped flows are too large to fully replace.

“A drop off in Dolphin deliveries would have a huge impact on LNG markets,” one trader monitoring developments said.

And since it all boils down to who has the most leverage as this latest regional “balance of power” crisis unfolds, Qatar could simply take the Mutual Assured Destruction route, and halt all pipeline shipments to its neighbors crippling both theirs, and its own, economy in the process, to find just where the point of “max pain” is located.

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The Amnesty Decree for Militants at Work for Syrian People’s Benefit

NOVANEWS
 

The number of the Syrian refugees from the territories controlled by the Islamic State has increased at the checkpoints located to the north-eastern part of the Aleppo province.

In particular, a group of men of up to 40 people engaged the attention among the refugee stream at the checkpoint near Al Taiarah village, approximately 50 km to the north-east from Aleppo. Most of them answered the questions only in monosyllables. The men claimed they had never had a gun in their hand, but had dug trenches or loaded ammunition under the threat of being shot.

“Jihadists forced us to cooperate with them, and in case of disobedience they threatened to cut out the whole family, they whipped to death those who refused to help them,” one refugee states.

The representative of the Baath party in Aleppo, Yusef Rana, says that the increase in the number of refugees is primarily due to the extension of the amnesty-law signed by B. Assad up to the end of June.

“Many of people decided to take this opportunity and start a new life,” Y. Rana told.

He noted that one of the main aims of the local authorities is to make sure that as many people as possible could rectify, correct or improve their previous way of life.

A refugee-woman saved herself from ISIS (Source: Sophie Mangal)

In the regional office of the Baath party were noted that the people incoming are registered and sent by the buses to the collection point. Men and women then are checked for several days, and if there is no evidence of their participation in the murders of servicemen and civilians, they are amnestied by a court decision.

To be mentioned is that B. Assad issued a decree on the amnesty of militants involved in military operations against government troops last July. The decision was prolonged several times. The decree is an effective way to avoid the fate of being killed or convicted for helping militants. Refugees, therefore, have a real chance to end the war and begin a peaceful life.

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Clockwork: Two London Bridge Attackers Named – One Known to MI5, Another Attacker Found Dead with ID

As suspected here at 21WIRE, it has emerged that yet another known wolf terror incident is now tied to security services and MI5. This disturbing news comes after another accomplice’s ID was discovered at the crime scene.

Already there have been a number of questions raised following the recent London Bridge attacks, just as there were following the Parliament Square, Westminster Bridge attacks and more recently the Manchester Arena attack. It’s important to note the common thread between each suspicious event and the last three UK attacks are no exception, as there is now indisputable evidence linking the MI5 and MI6 British security services to various individuals prior to carrying out the terror crimes mentioned above.

The London Bridge attack is the third such incident occurring in the UK over the past three months and now subsequently, the third in a row, that has shown ‘prior knowledge’ of attackers before a high-profile act of terror was committed…

LONDON-BRIDGE-ATTACKERS-REVEALED-21WIRE-SLIDER-SH-2

‘KNOWN TO MI5’ – The precarious relationship between security and terror is an ongoing pattern seen after almost every major terror attack in the West now (Photo illustration 21WIRE’s Shawn Helton)

After law enforcement purposely withheld sensitive information concerning the identity of the London Bridge attackers, two of the three have now officially been named. It turns out as we suggested, that at least one suspect, 27 year-old Khuram Butt, was already well-known to MI5 and police and had been under investigation over the past two years. Butt’s 30 year-old accomplice, Rachid Redouane, a chef by trade, (aka Rachid Elkhdar) was apparently not known to authorities.

The new revelations arrive after reports linked the MI5 known suspect, Butt to a Channel 4 documentary about jihadis in the UK, something we included in our last report. The whole situation is reminiscent of the Orlando shooting saga, where the apparent Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen, was found to have worked with DHS and the global security firm G4S, while also appearing in two high-profile documentaries.

After paying a role in the Hollywood documentary about the BP oil spill at Deep Water Horizon, The Big Fix (2012)Mateen was also found to have been featured in another documentary called Love City Jalalabad (2013), a picture that appeared to depict progressive Afghani youth and a quest for social change.

QUESTION: What are the chances that another known wolf terrorist would be involved in a well-produced documentary?

Interestingly, the excuse being peddled by Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, is that after a two year investigation into Butt’s activities, there was no evidence of an attack plan even though the alleged ringleader (handler?) of the London Bridge attacks didn’t bother to hide his links to a group known as Al-Muhajiroun,” a banned terror-linked organization with ties to British intelligence, specifically MI5.

Following a hunch after the insertion of the radical preacher Anjem Choudary (another ‘known wolf’ to security services) in the London Bridge attack narrative by mainstream media, we at 21WIRE suspected that the well-known terror mascot might be directly connected to one of the attackers, as mentioned in our first report about the London Bridge incident.

While most counter intelligence operations have fallen under the umbrella of the so-called War On Terror era, the suspicious relationship between security agencies and ‘known wolves’ who have been triggered into action, continues to be a major problem for Western allied nations.

Additional background on the apparent London Bridge attacker Butt, includes the following mentioned by BBC:

“He went on to work in an administrative role for a company called Auriga Holdings [a technology company], based in East Ham, which manages Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets.

He had also worked for London Underground for just under six months as a trainee customer services assistant, before leaving in October last year, Transport for London said.

And Butt was the sole director of a now-dissolved company called Kool Kosmetics.”

On another note, there appears to have been a staged-managed aspect to the latest London attack. The UK’s Telegraph detailed the following surveillance of an apparent terror cell that revealed a plot just like the London Bridge attacks, a month earlier:

“Counter-terrorism officers secretly recorded an alleged Isil-inspired terror cell in Barking last month discussing how to use YouTube to plot a van and knife attack in London.” 

Not surprisingly an ID was discovered at the London attack crime scene, just like many other terror cases

The Independent reported the following:

“One of the London Bridge terrorists was carrying an identity card issued in Ireland when he was shot dead, security sources in Dublin said.”

If you remember more recently, following the 2015 Paris attacks, 21WIRE outlined the curious connective tissue between various terror incidents, as one of the suspects left an ID inside the getaway vehicle following the first attack – just like last year’s known wolves involved in the Nice truck attack and Christmas Market attack in Berlin.

As the media focus is primarily centered on events in London it was revealed that the ‘brother of Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi has been released without charge by police.’ 

Only time will tell how long it will take for security services to release the name of the third London Bridge attacker.

Here’s another look at Patrick Henningsen’s initial analysis on the London Bridge attack featured on RT News…

More from the BBC below…

(Image Source: twitter)

Two London attackers named by police
BBC

They said Pakistan-born Khuram Butt, 27, of Barking, London, had been known to police and MI5 but there had not been any intelligence about an attack.

The other attacker was Rachid Redouane, 30, from Barking, who police said had claimed to be Moroccan-Libyan.

The attackers were shot dead by police. All 12 people arrested after the attack have now been released without charge.

The seven women and five men were arrested in Barking on Sunday following the attack in which seven people were killed and 48 injured.

The attackers drove a hired van into pedestrians on London Bridge before stabbing people in the area around Borough Market.

BBC continues here

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Tunisia joins boycott of Wonder Woman

NOVANEWS

Israeli actress Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman [Epicheroes]

Zionist actress Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman [Epicheroes]

Following Lebanon, Tunisia will cancel showings of Hollywood’s latest film, Wonder Woman.

The Tunisian Association of Young Lawyers filed a lawsuit to cancel the broadcast of the film which was scheduled for public viewing today.

According to the member of the Sedki Jelassi association, the cancellation was a reaction to comments made by the leading Israeli actress Gal Gadot in support of the “Zionist army who participated in the Holocaust against Gaza in 2014.”

Sedki Jelassi

#للتذكير
حكم صادر بتاريخ 13 مارس 2015 عن دائرة وكيل رئيس المحكمة الابتدائية بسوسة 1 القاضي شكري الفواري، تحت عدد 49646، والقضيّة رفعتها «الجمعية العربية التونسية لمقاومة الامبريالية والصهيونية» ضدّ وكالة وليد للأسفار وهي وكالة خاصة بسوسة.

جاء في الدعوى انّه تمّ نشر اعلان تعتزم من خلاله وكالة الاسفار المعنية تنظيم رحلتين الى القدس ومكة للعمرة بتاريخ 16 مارس 2015، وحسب الدعوى فلقد تبيّن بانّ برنامج الرحلتين سيكون بالدخول الى فلسطين المحتلّة عبر جسر الملك حسين وبالتالي سيكون الم

President of the association, Yassine Younsi, told Business News: “we cannot accept that our children watch this film,” which would amount to “normalising relations with Israel.”

Several people took to social media to criticise the association’s position.

Lassaad Goubantini, a distributor of the film in Tunisia, confirmed that it will not be broadcast and expressed confusion about the decision to cancel. “The decision not to allow the film to be broadcast is based on unfounded accusations,” he told Huffington Post Tunisie.

Gal Gadot speaking at the 2015 San Diego Comic Con International in San Diego USA on 11 July, 2015 [Gage Skidmore/FlickR]

Zionist Gal Gadot speaking at the 2015 San Diego Comic Con International in San Diego USA on 11 July, 2015 [Gage Skidmore/FlickR]

The Popular Front has also taken the same step to cancel the broadcast of the film. “The Popular Front has even contacted the Minister of Cultural Affairs, Mohamed Zine El Abidine, who promised to prevent the projection of the film in Tunisian cinemas, according to Deputy Tarek Barrak,” according to their website.

Gadot has featured in a series of films that have been previously shown in Tunisia.

Planned for release tomorrow, on the sidelines of a festival in Algiers, the film’s release in Algeria is also in question.

“The film will be reprogrammed once the administrative constraints related to the exploitation rights have been settled,” Amine Idjer, head of communications at MD Ciné, told AFP.

He explained that the Algerian Ministry of Culture had ensured that this deprogramming had nothing to do with the campaign of boycott launched on the internet.

Lebanon was the first country to ban the film in protest of the Zionist actress’ role.

Posted in Africa, ZIO-NAZI, TunisiaComments Off on Tunisia joins boycott of Wonder Woman

Who Will Control the Situation in Syria’s “De-Escalation Zones”?

NOVANEWS

A month ago, a memorandum on the establishment of four de-escalation zones in Syria came into force. According to the agreement, the de-escalation zones were established in the provinces of Idlib, Hama, Aleppo, northern part of Homs, Eastern Ghouta, Daraa and Quneitra. Currently, many parties, including the Syrian government, have recognized the high effectiveness of this agreement.

However, it is not fully known who will control the situation in the de-escalation zones, and whose troops will guarantee the observance of the ceasefire.

We can assume that Turkey is going to monitor the situation in Syria’s Idlib. However, according to Syrian experts, Turkey is already trying to control some part of the Syrian territory through economic and humanitarian ways. When it will be allowed to enter its troops in Syria to guarantee security, Damascus will not be able to withdraw the Turkish troops later either by military or diplomatic methods.

In addition, Turkey’s interference can also be strongly criticized by Saudi Arabia that has supported the armed opposition throughout the Syrian conflict.

Such assumptions are likely exaggerated. Considering the fact that Ankara is now in international isolation, and the West has actually stopped supporting the Turkish side, it is simply not profitable for Turkey to spoil relations with other guarantors of the settlement of the Syrian crisis.

Turkish President Recep Erdogan has no choice but to leave his imperialist ambitions and support those who intend to stabilize the situation in the region.

In addition, it raises many questions to the southern zone. It is still not clear who will control the situation in the south, in the Golan Heights. It is obvious that the Syrian government will support Tehran’s participation in controlling the situation in the de-escalation zones in the south of Syria. This will also allow Iran to get a way to Lebanon. Thus, Iran will be able to strengthen cooperation with Hezbollah and increase influence over the internal policy in Lebanon.

However, this idea is likely to be strongly criticized by Israel, since Tel Aviv opposes any Iranian military presence in southern regions of Syria, and in particular, in the Golan Heights.

Most likely, Israel will offer another candidate, and it probably will be Washington. It’s known that the United States has planned an invasion of the territory of Syria. According to this plan, the U.S. is ready to use both Jordan and Britain (reference). Earlier, Inside Syria Media Center had already touched upon this issue. However, then we said that the Pentagon intended to hide behind the defense of its ally in the coalition. Now the proposal of Israel will be just in place and will not require any efforts from Washington.

Considering all these disputes and assumptions, it is obvious that the issue of monitoring the situation in the de-escalation zones will be opened for a long time. However, confidently, de-escalation zones justify their mission. Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien, stressed that against the background of the recent coalition’s indiscriminate air strikes in Syria, only four de-escalation zones could normalize the situation in Syria.

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London, Manchester, Paris et al – State Sponsored Terror, Again and Again?

NOVANEWS
 

And again, as in previous terror attacks, the alleged three perpetrators are conveniently shot dead by police. Dead men can’t talk. The same pattern, all over again.

In Manchester, in London, Paris, Nice, Brussels, Berlin, Munich, Stockholm, Orlando, San Bernardino – and wherever terror strikes, the alleged culprits are killed. And they usually leave conveniently an ID behind. Dead terrorists can’t testify. They can’t be asked to corroborate the stories of the police and authorities. These stories become truth without questioning.

By the way, has anybody ever seen these dead terrorists? Anybody, I mean, other than the police? Somebody neutral, trust-worthy? – Or are these dead terrorists perhaps invented to hide the real perpetrators behind these awful crimes on society?  –  Horrific crimes on a government’s own people, with only one purpose – continue and step up wars by military, financial and propaganda aggression throughout the world, to achieve what Washington’s bible, the PNAC (Plan for a New American Century), proclaims as ultimate goal: Full Spectrum Dominance? 

We are almost there. If we are not careful and wake up soon, the New World Order is already upon us, swallowing us alive, as a Python swallows an okapi.

The International Criminal Court premises in The Hague. (Source: Human Rights Watch)

Such state crime, like the recent Manchester and London murders, and all the ones before, would have to be judged by the Highest Court of Justice, à la Nuremberg. Today this is impossible. The International Criminal Court (ICC) of The Hague is no longer an independent court of justice. It’s been directed since long by Washington and Brussels and by those bloody fingers that pull the strings on these sick power cells. Justice is no longer the right of western citizens. Justice has been abrogated, bought, coopeted by force and by threat. Justice has become a pipe dream. It went the same way as has democracy decades ago. But an oblivious citizenry drunk from propaganda is still fantasizing about justice, equality and liberty.

London as Manchester are planned state sponsored acts of terror to achieve a multiple goal. Conservative Theresa May must win the elections on 8 June against Jeremy Corbyn the Labor Leader, who even after the purposeful state crime of Manchester has not lost popularity, to the contrary, he has moved up to a neck-on-neck race. He is indeed a big risk for the deep dark Zionist-masonic elite that manipulates the world towards NWO.

These state-sponsored attacks are also Gladio-2.0 in full swing; decapitating a new emerging European left, which Corbyn in the UK and possibly Mélenchon in France and the ‘Continent’, may be well poised to lead. Corbyn’s campaign aptly calls for a return to social justice, to health care, including care for the elderly, a reformed and free system of education, and not least, back to labor rights that were fatally decimated by the many years of neoliberal and Tory leaders.

While Theresa May’s election program, announced just a few days before the Manchester horror, called for new and tremendously unpopular social cuts – like the elderly who needed care in the future had to spend their own savings first before the state may intervene helping with the cost for their care. Ruin them first into poverty, before assisting them to survive a gradual death in misery. This campaign ‘promise’ which she eventually withdrew, was a failure that cost Madame May many supporters, who switched to her socialist adversary, Jeremy Corbyn, even if they didn’t particularly like him.

Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn (credits to the owner of the photo)

When Theresa May called for snap elections in April 2017, she surprised the world. She then thought she knew what she was doing. She had and has only a small 17 seat majority in Parliament, but had a huge, up to 24-point advantage in the polls over her opponent, Corbyn. She hoped, she might expand that advantage to between 50 and 100 Parliamentary seats to push through effortlessly BREXIT, unpopular social cuts and militarization, in her way.

But Corbyn’s relaxed, laid-back manner in which he propagated more social benefits and sovereignty for the Brits, propelled him rapidly as a serious challenger for PM May. So, a fingered ISIS terror attack, like Manchester, with usual left-behind ID for doubters, was in order. It was expected to avert the worst, a Corbyn win. It didn’t work. Postponing elections would be even worse because with every day that passes Corbyn is gaining more grounds.

As a last-ditch effort, a quickly organized killing spree in London is expected to secure May’s election win. Will it? – At first sight, it looks like the Brits are not so easily swayed. They too, may start smelling a rat. Two consecutive terror attacks, mass killings shortly before elections, both allegedly claimed by the Islamic State (IS) and carried out by Islamists, who as per MI5, Scotland Yard’s and Mme. May’s own admission, were known to authorities – who wouldn’t see through the farce?

A socialist UK leader could not only rock the boat for the financial oligarchs, the Rothschild- Rockefeller clans, the Godfathers of the Bank of England, those who invented and imposed in 1913 the US central bank as a private institution, the Federal Reserve Bank (The FED), from which emerged the fraudulent dollar as an unbacked wild card world currency, and later its offspring, the equally unbacked, fake and deceptive euro. The US dollar, thanks to illegally negotiated deals in the early 1970s with the OPEC leaders, the Saudis, that all hydrocarbons had to be traded in US-dollars, is flooding the world in uncountable hundreds of trillions.

Thus, the US dollar had become willy-nilly (no written agreement anywhere) the world’s key reserve currency, thereby usurping entire continents, countries, societies and peoples, as well as Mother Earth herself, through illegal debt, also called ‘odious debt’, and filthy unsustainable exploitation of unrenewable resources. While steadily losing clout, this monster of legalized fraud is ever more rapidly moving towards total (western elite’s) world monetary hegemony.

But the path of deception on which the western monetary system runs is disintegrating fast. Therefore, state sponsored terrorism, spreading fear, promoting fascist governments with fascist economies is – so the self-styled hegemons – well worse sacrificing a few of your own citizens to prolong the atrocious western odyssey.

Would Corbyn win, he might put a monkey wrench in this wheel of destruction, put a hold on the unquestioned bombing of the Middle East; stop militarization of the UK and by extension of Europe; re-evaluate London’s cooperation with France’s Rothschild President, Macron, whose neoliberal policies are like the death knell for a sovereign Europe and sovereign states.

If Mr. Corbyn were to win – perhaps a miracle of higher forces (especially with all the actual vote manipulation and treachery that western powers have been practicing for decades) – he might gain enough European popularity to derail the German elections in September, already slanted for Madame Merkel to ‘win’ a fourth tour the force. Germany is hosting one of Europe’s largest and most modern military camps, where German and NATO troops will soon be training for urban warfare in European cities  – i.e. to fight European citizens who may protest against neo-fascist economic slaughter à la Greece.(http://thesaker.is/germany-and-nato-preparing-for-a-fascist-repression-in-europe/)

This typical financial bankster-oligarch robbery scheme will likely be imposed on other European countries that still have trillions of state assets to be stolen. Consider Greece a mere training ground.

This is clearly what Emmanuel Macron announced with a Lucifer smile, when he talked about greater “European Integration” and “Security” were among his top priorities. He was groomed by the financial mafia to press for rapid privatization of state assets; and by NATO, to make sure a militarized Europe would not allow social protests to the harsh measures of ‘social decapitation’ looming upon Europe. So rapidly, that the average citizen doesn’t even notice the pillage until it’s too late. That’s what’s called economic fascism. Oppressing citizens’ rights to social benefits they earned during their generation-long hard work for a Europe without war, is what the Masters of the Universe are aiming at.

A Europe not for peace but for war – war with the east – the East, where the world’s Future lays – pushed and provoked by the west. As an allegory to Leonard Cohen, ‘First, we take Moscow, then we take Beijing’. Or so ‘their’ dream goes. And on the way devastating what’s left of Europe for the third time in hundred years. The deep dark illuminati masters pull their strings from safe heavens around the globe. But the empire of Wall Street and of Weapons of Mass Destruction and their swamp of corrupted Washington should be spared. Would it?

And thus, the march goes on, towards Full Spectrum Dominance under the dictate of a US dollar hegemony. That’s what Manchester, London, Paris, Brussels — et al, are all about. Calling them mere ‘False Flags’ has become an insult on humanity. They are state orchestrated murders, executed by their sophisticated and highly trained western secret services.

People wake up! – If Manchester’s and London’s screams for help aren’t strong enough, what will shake us to our feet and our deep-down spark of consciousness, We the People?

Calling the murder of seven people and more than 4 dozen injured a ‘False Flag’ is an understatement? Is it a state sponsored criminal act?.

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Five Things You Need to Know About What’s Going on with Qatar

NOVANEWS

A new Cold War in the desert.

 

It’s not every day that two states with similar societies and international alignments break into an open cold war, but this is what is happen between Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Here’s what you need to know.

1. Black Gold Meets Cold War In The Desert  

Qatar and Saudi Arabia are neighbours and the similarities do not end there. Both are heavily reliant on energy exports in order to fund their lavish domestic economies.  Both practice similar forms of Salafist Islam and both countries have been the traditional enemies of secular Arab states, notably Syria. Both countries are sponsors of terrorism including of al-Qaeda and ISIS at various times.

Hillary Clinton email reveals she knew of Saudi & Qatar government funding for ISIL (ISIS) by August 2014 https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/55380#efmA_RBEL 

Although the states are arguing over their differences, it is their similarities that are the real root of the crisis.

With experts predicting that oil prices will never recover as non-OPEC members continue to produce more energy and as China becomes a pioneer in green energy production, Saudi Arabia is feeling the economic sting and is trying to isolate a regional energy exporter.

Oil prices rose after Saudi and others made the announcement that they were breaking off relations with Qatar. However, the bigger question is: will the prices go back down? Most experts say yes, something which will embolden the deeply un-creative Saudi regime to take even more aggressive measures, even against neighbours with similar ideologies.

Although Saudi Arabia and Qatar had a somewhat similar spat in 2014, the current issue is far bigger.

Saudi has managed to convince many more countries to join in the boycott and has also moved to shut down state-owned Qatari media, notably Al Jazeera. Saudi has also shut the border to Qatar as well water access to its neighbour. Flights from the state airlines of Saudi Arabia and its ally the UAE to Qatar have all stopped. Furthermore, Saudi is now demanding that Qatar change the name of its Imam Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab Mosque, named for the spiritual father of the Saudi ideology.

It really is as if the Saudis and the UAE are building a kind of invisible but deeply unambiguous Berlin Wall around Qatar.

2. Qatar Diversifies Its ‘Geo-political Portfolio’ 

Qatar has long been attempting to subtly and at times overtly shift its international alliances in order to differentiate itself from Saudi and carve out a unique niche as a ‘separate but equal’ despotic Gulf state.

Most notably, Qatar has made overtures towards Iran just as Saudi’s habitually anti-Iranian stance goes into overdrive. The proximate cause of the dispute are now deleted Tweets from Qatar’s state-run news agency wherein Qatar’s supreme ruler Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani spoke warmly about Iran and even praised the Lebanese Resistance Hezbollah, a Shi’a party that is an ally of Iran but one considered a terrorist group by Saudi Arabia and the US.

Although Qatar continues to insist that the Tweet was the product of a hacking hoax, the Saudis are not buying it.

Qatar is by no means pro-Iranian, but pragmatism has led Qatar to seek possible business opportunities, especially in respect of gas deals with the Islamic Republic. The idea that a fellow Gulf Cooperation Council member might have any positive relations with Iran goes against everything Saudi Arabia and the United States stands for.

3. What about Egypt? What do they have in common with Saudi Arabia? 

The short answer is that apart from the kinds of Saudi business dealings that proliferate throughout the entire world with the exceptions of countries like Syria and Iran, Egypt has little practically to do with Saudi.

Egypt is a secular, multi-faith state that has recently been under attack from Salafist terrorist groups like ISIS which are supported by both Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

However, unlike Saudi, Qatar supports the illegal group  Muslim Brotherhood which briefly ruled Egypt between 2012 and 2013 after Barack Obama’s United States abandoned its traditional ally, former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Now that secular rule has been restored, Egypt is particularly angry with Qatar for funding and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.

That being said, most Egyptians have very negative views about both states as do most moderate Sunnis and virtually all Shi’a Muslims and Christians.

The real shame is that Egypt which was the undisputed leader of the Arab world under the leadership of President Nasser, is now simply following in Saudi’s bleak shadow.

4. Saudi Arabia Accused Qatar of Sponsoring Terrorism…YES THAT Saudi Arabia 

Nobody said that the Saudi regime was honest, even though this time they’ve really gone for it. Saudi Arabia is by any estimation, the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism. Qatar is also a state sponsor of much of the same kind of terrorism. Saudi Arabia is correct when it accuses Qatar of sponsoring terrorism, but this doesn’t mean that Saudi Arabia is suddenly on the side of the righteous. It means that Saudi Arabia is simply as hypocritical as it has always been.

In other words…pass the popcorn.

5. The Syrian Connection 

It is widely known that both Saudi Arabia and Qatar are fighting on the same side in Syria, using their mutual terrorist proxies who receive funds and arms from both states. This includes groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda as well as other Salafist terrorist groups.

Secular Ba’athist Syria has no relations with either Qatar or Saudi Arabia and this is unlikely to change in the immediate future.

However, with Saudi and Qatar now at loggerheads, it could mean that terrorists will have to pick which country they are loyal to and in the process they may lose one of their two main cash cows.

Furthermore, with Syria set to win the war against Qatari and Saudi funded terrorism, Qatar’s plans to build a gas pipeline to Turkey, running largely through Syria, may never happen. This was one of the main reasons Qatar sought to overthrow the legitimate government of the Syrian Arab Republic. It might also be a reason why having more or less given up on the Syrian pipeline, Qatar is embarrassingly (for Qatar) turning to Iran, which as everyone knows is fighting Qatari terrorists is Syria along side Iran’s partners against terrorism, The Syrian Arab Republic and Russian Federation.

Russia and America have remained neutral on the dispute as has Pakistan, an ally of both Saudi and Qatar, which depends greatly on investment from both countries.

This dispute will not immediately change the war in Syria, but it could lead to some fracturing in the loyalties and funds of jihadists.

Posted in Middle East, QatarComments Off on Five Things You Need to Know About What’s Going on with Qatar

Why the London Terror Attack Happened Now. Terrorism is the Use of Indiscriminate Violence for Political Ends

One has to wonder why terrorists like those who struck on Saturday night in London, and earlier in Manchester, launched their attacks now. It is difficult not to infer that their violence was timed to influence the UK election this coming Thursday.

Those behind the attack – whether those carrying it out or those dispatching the terrorists – want to have an effect. Terrorism is the use of indiscriminate violence for political ends. It has a logic, even if it is one we mostly do not care to understand.

So what do these terrorists hope to achieve?

Based on prior experience, they will assume that by striking now they can increase fear and anger among the British population – intensifying anti-Muslim rhetoric, justifying harsher “security” responses from the British state and shifting political support towards the right. That is good for their cause because it radicalises other disillusioned Muslim youth. In short, it brings recruits.

Islam is not exceptional in this regard. This is not a problem specifically of religion. As experts have repeatedly pointed out, disillusioned, frustrated, angry (and mainly male) youth adopt existing ideologies relevant to them and then search for the parts that can be twisted to justify their violence. The violent impulse exists and they seek an ideology to rationalise it.

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Timothy McVeigh (Source: Time Magazine)

Once Christianity – the religion of turning the other cheek – was used to justify pogroms and inquisitions. In the US, white supremacists – in the Ku Klux Klan, for example – used the Bible to justify spreading terror among the black population of the Deep South. White supremacists continue sporadically to use terror in the US, most notably Timothy McVeigh, who was responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.

Terrorists can exploit secular ideologies too, on either the far-right or far-left. Just think of the Baader Meinhof Gang or the Symbionese Liberation Army, back in the 1970s. The latter famously made a convert of Patty Hearst, granddaughter of publishing empire magnate William Randolph Hearst (aka Citizen Kane). After she was taken hostage, she quickly adopted the group’s thinking and its violence as her own.

The Islamic terrorists of our time believe in a violent, zero-sum clash of civilisations. That should not be surprising, as their ideology mirrors the dominant ideology – neo-conservatism – of western foreign policy establishments. Both sides are locked in a terrifying dance of death. Both believe that two “civilisations” exist and are incompatible, that they are in a fight to the death, and that any measures are justified to achieve victory because the struggle is existential. We use drones and “humanitarian intervention” to destabilise their societies; they use cars, guns, knives and bombs to destabilise ours.

The dance chiefly takes place because both sides continue it – and it will not be easy to break free of it. Our meddling in the Middle East dates back more than a century – especially since the region became a giant oil spigot for us. The tentacles of western interference did not begin in 2003, whatever we might choose to believe. Conversely, a globalised world inevitably entails one where a century-long colonial battlefield can easily come back to haunt us on our doorsteps.

The solution, complex as it will need to be, certainly cannot include the use by us of similarly indiscriminate violence, more “intervention” in the Middle East, or more scapegoating of Muslims. It will require taking a step back and considering how and why we too are addicted to this dance of death.

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United States Foreign Policy Toward Africa Since World War II

NOVANEWS

A trail of imperialist militarism and super exploitation

 

Note: This paper was prepared and presented in part for a panel at the Left Forum held at John Jay College of the City University of New York (CUNY) on Sat. June 3, 2017. The panel was hosted by the United National Antiwar Coalition where the author serves as an administrative committee member. Other panelists included Margaret Kimberley, Editor and Senior Columnist for Black Agenda Report BAR, Ajamu Baraka, National Organizer at Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) and Joe Lombardo, Co-Coordinator of UNAC.

With the ascendancy of President Donald Trump to the White House a strong focus has been placed on his role as a promoter of racism, national oppression domestically along with warmongering abroad.

We observe keenly the escalation of tension in the Korean peninsula with the placement of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system. The president’s posture in relationship to the government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) threatened the full resumption of an unresolved war just several weeks ago.

There has been increasing aerial attacks against purported al-Qaeda targets in Yemen while the people in this Middle Eastern state, the least developed in the region, are suffering immensely from the Pentagon-coordinated war involving Saudi Arabian and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) bombings which have continued on a daily basis since March 2015 killing an estimated 12,000 people and prompting widespread outbreak of cholera impacting over 60,000.

The deployment of the Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) in Afghanistan represented a new level of warfare in that Central Asian country which has been the focus of U.S. policy since at least 1979 when the Islamist forces were unleashed against the Soviet-backed socialist government then in power. Since 2001, the Pentagon and NATO have laid waste to the country further where thousands of foreign troops continue to occupy the area.

Somalia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Libya and Beyond 

Although the Trump administration’s foreign policy towards Africa has gained far less attention by the western media, there has been the continuation of already existing hostilities on the African continent. Somalia was singled out when Trump ordered the escalation of Pentagon and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) personnel being stationed in this Horn of Africa state. A U.S. Navy Seal soldier was killed by al-Shabaab guerrilla units several weeks ago while they were embedded in the American and European Union (EU) backed Somalian National Army (SNA).

Image result for US war in somalia

Protest in Michigan (Source: iacenter.org)

Although the administration claimed that it was doing away with the supposed restrictions on military actions in Somalia by former President Barack Obama, the interventions by the U.S. in Somalia go back as far as the late 1970s when it encouraged an invasion by the government of then President Mohamed Siad Barre against the Ogaden region of Ethiopia when another Democratic leader Jimmy Carter was in the Oval Office. The waning days of the presidential tenure of George H.W. Bush, Sr. was marked by the invasion of 12,000 Marines in Somalia in the failed “Operation Restore Hope” beginning in December 1992, a plan inherited by Bill Clinton which ended in disaster when the people rose up against the occupation.

Since 2006, the U.S. then under President George W. Bush, Jr. has encouraged and sponsored the intervention into Somalian national affairs. First by seeking to empower warlords to subvert the efforts of the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) and later after 2009, by recruiting elements of the UIC into the interim federal regime, Washington sought to guide the political events in the oil-rich state.

Several neighboring states have been drawn into the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) which now has approximately 22,000 troops from Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Burundi and Uganda. Police officers from Ghana, Sierra Leone and Nigeria are also a part of the mission.

In the Southern African nation of Zimbabwe since 1998, the former British colonial power, the U.S., the EU among others, have imposed sanctions on the government of the Zimbabwe African National Union, Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) led by President Robert Mugabe. When in 2000 legislation was passed granting the right of the African people to radically redistribute land to the people, the sanctions and other forms of hostile propaganda was enacted.

During the period of 1998-2000, the administration of President Bill Clinton was in power. The same sanctions continued through the entire two terms of the Bush White House. When Obama took office in January 2009, his regime continued and intensified the punitive measures against the ZANU-PF ruling party and various political officials including President Mugabe.

Both Britain and the U.S. attempted to persuade the Republic of South Africa while former President Thabo Mbeki was in office to impose a blockade on Zimbabwe. Britain drew up plans for an evacuation of its settler population which held United Kingdom (UK) passports as well. These suggestions failed and through the assistance of successive African National Congress (ANC) governments, the support of the regional Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the People’s Republic of China, the country has been able to remain afloat.

This of course was not the case in the North African nation of Libya, where under the Jamahiriya system headed by Col. Muammar Gaddafi, the oil-rich country had attained the highest standard of living anywhere on the continent. It was the Democratic administration of Obama with Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State which coordinated a war of regime-change and genocide that destroyed Libya as a viable state. Gaddafi was driven from the capital of Tripoli in August 2011 and later captured and brutally murdered by imperialist agents on October 20 of the same year.

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Civil war in Libya (Source: Sputnik/ Andrey Stenin)

Today Libya is a major source of instability and human trafficking internationally. Thousands have died off the coast of the country in the Mediterranean in attempts to flee the chaos and impoverishment in Libya and throughout other regions of Africa and the Middle East. There are at least three identifiable regimes in Libya which often engage in deadly military struggles for political and economic authority. The country has gone from being Africa’s most prosperous to dire poverty and balkanization. Numerous attempts by counter-revolutionary elements backed up by the White House, EU member-states and the United Nations to form a viable government have failed.

The situation in Libya is a direct result of the foreign policy of Barack Obama towards the African continent. Since the launching of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) in 2008 under Bush, the presence of U.S. military forces on the continent has increased substantially. Obama announced just two years prior to leaving office that his administration would deploy in excess of 3,500 Special Forces and military trainers across 36 nations. A military base in the Horn of Africa state of Djibouti has been expanded where it houses thousands of U.S. troops at Camp Lemonnier.

Imperialism in Africa today is at a critical stage impeding the capacity of nation-states to direct the future of their countries. Despite Africa’s vast mineral, agricultural wealth and labor power, a renewed debt crisis compounded by Pentagon, CIA and State Department interference is reversing the gains that have been made in previous years.

U.S. Foreign Policy After World War II

Some of the most intense fighting during WWII took place in North Africa during the period of 1940-1943. Italian and later German military forces sought to establish a firm military base of operations in Egypt and Libya. They were defeated by the British and U.S. military in a series of battles over a period of nearly two years.

U.S. forces were deployed in Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria in Operation Torch which bolstered allied occupations in North Africa. Italy had secured Libya as a colony in 1931 after the two decades-long war of occupation. The Wheelus Air Base was seized from the Italians by Britain in 1943. The large military facility in Libya, after the Italian and German losses, became the principal hub for the U.S. military in the region.

After the war with the rise of the National Liberation Movements across the continent, U.S. foreign policy was largely supportive of the colonial powers of Britain, France, Belgium, Spain and Portugal. In Algeria an armed revolutionary struggle was waged during 1954-1961 leading to the independence of the French colony which Paris had occupied for 130 years.

Although the State Department often claimed that it was in support of the right of colonial nations to self-determination and independence, the strategic alliances the U.S. maintained through the post-WWII North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) took precedence.

For example, in regard to the Portuguese role in waging a war to maintain its colonies during the 1960s and early 1970s, the U.S. did not interfere with Lisbon as it bombed civilian areas in efforts to halt the advances of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) in Guinea-Bissau. Other colonies in Mozambique, Angola, Sao Tome and Principe, the Portuguese ruthlessly suppressed independence efforts. Even after independence was won in Mozambique and Angola, counter-revolutionary elements tied to Portuguese intelligence were deployed against the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO).

With specific reference to legislative and State Department initial institutional responses to African liberation struggles, there was the establishment of the African Affairs Bureau under President Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Senate Foreign Relations Sub-Committee on African Affairs which was chaired by the-then Senator John F. Kennedy. The Massachusetts Senator made comments that appeared to be supportive of independence movements against France in both Algeria and Vietnam.

These efforts by Kennedy in 1959-1960 served to position him for his successful bid for the presidency. Kennedy criticized the Eisenhower administration for not being supportive of the aspirations of Africa people.

Nonetheless, after taking power in January 1961, Kennedy upheld the U.S. policies toward the former Belgian Congo whom first Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba had been overthrown with the assistance of the United Nations. Lumumba had been placed under arrest, tortured and executed with the full complicity of Washington in the final days of the Eisenhower administration.

Although Kennedy invited more than two dozen African leaders to the White House during his presidency from 1961 to late 1963 when he was assassinated, Washington continued its Cold War efforts designed to undermine and limit the influence of the Soviet Union, China and Cuba in Africa. In October 1962, Kennedy welcomed the newly ascended Algerian President Ahmed Ben Bella to the White House. However, the administration warned Ben Bella not to visit Cuba after leaving the U.S. due to a purported plot to shoot down his plane in route to the revolutionary Caribbean island-nation.

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John F. Kennedy and Ahmed Ben Bella (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Later the U.S. would back a Moroccan invasion into Algeria designed to overthrow the new National Liberation Front (FLN) government. During this intervention the Cuban government under Prime Minister Fidel Castro sent in military advisers and pilots which assisted in the defeat of the western-backed coup attempt.

Conclusion: Imperialist Policy on Africa Continues Through Successive Administrations from Both Capitalist Parties 

These illustrations of U.S. foreign affairs provide a glimpse of the ongoing efforts by Washington and its NATO allies to dominate post-colonial Africa. Socialist-oriented African states have been the principle focus of destabilization by the State Department and CIA.

Although President Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana visited the U.S. in the early days of the Kennedy administration to discuss the crisis in Congo after the assassination of Lumumba and his two cabinet members, the unofficial policy of the White House and State Department was to remove the First Republic Government led by the Convention People’s Party (CPP). Kennedy’s successor, President Lyndon B. Johnson, oversaw the overthrow of the CPP and the First Republic in February 1966.

Accounts from both the State Department and the CIA have proved conclusively in subsequent years that it was the machinations of the U.S. that removed the Nkrumah government. Former Michigan Governor G. Mennen Williams, who served as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs under both the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, set the stage for the Ghana coup when he sent a memorandum to the ambassador from Accra criticizing the publication of Nkrumah’s landmark book entitled “Neo-Colonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism” released in October 1965 just four month prior to the coup which utilized lower-ranking military officers while Nkrumah was on an external mission to end the Vietnam War.

To quote from Nkrumah’s work:

“No one would suggest that if all the peoples of Africa combined to establish their unity their decision could be revoked by the forces of neo-colonialism. On the contrary, faced with a new situation, those who practice neo-colonialism would adjust themselves to this new balance of world forces in exactly the same way as the capitalist world has in the past adjusted itself to any other change in the balance of power. The danger to world peace springs not from the action of those who seek to end neo-colonialism but from the inaction of those who allow it to continue. To argue that a third world war is not inevitable is one thing, to suppose that it can be avoided by shutting our eyes to the development of a situation likely to produce it, is quite another matter.”

Nkrumah concludes the book by saying:

“If world war is not to occur it must be prevented by positive action. This positive action is within the power of the peoples of those areas of the world which now suffer under neocolonialism but it is only within their power if they act at once, with resolution and in unity.”

Posted in USAComments Off on United States Foreign Policy Toward Africa Since World War II

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