Archive | June 14th, 2017

The Six Day War – Myth and Reality

Soldiers of the Air Force, The blustering and swashbuckling Egyptian Army is moving against us to annihilate our people… – Battle Order of the Officer Commanding Israeli Air Force, Monday, June 5th 1967.

The Six Day War of June 1967, a series of battles fought by the armed forces of the state of Israel against a combination of Arab armies, is one of manifold significance. From a military standpoint, it presented a model strategy of how to prosecute and win a war waged on several fronts.

The stunning victory also created a sense of euphoria among communities in the Jewish Diaspora: Among American Jews, a segment of Jewry David Ben Gurion viewed with disdain because of their failure to migrate en masse to Israel, a new sense of commitment in both emotional and financial terms was born. In the Soviet Union where Jews sensed an increase in anti-Semitism during the build up to the war, Israel’s triumph led to a rise in ethnic consciousness; a state of affairs which fueled the Refusenik Movement.

The taking of the eastern part of Jerusalem, including the Old City where reside the revered Jewish sites of the Temple Mount and the Wailing or Western Wall; the Muslim Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque and the Christian Church of the Holy Sepulchre, added a religious dimension.

It also had profound and lasting geopolitical consequences. Israel firmly established itself as the regional super-power of the Middle East and the acquisition of land from Egypt (Gaza and the Sinai), Jordan (the West Bank) and Syria (the Golan Heights) brought large populations of Arab people under Israeli occupation. Today, the continued occupation of Palestinian land in the West Bank, the blockading of the Gaza Strip and the annexation of the Golan Heights continue to define the Arab-Israeli dispute.

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Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser (Source: Otsides Ja Leides)

The chronology of events which preceded the outbreak of fighting are clear enough. There had been a background of increased Palestinian guerrilla activity on Israel’s borders and an aerial battle between Israeli and Syrian air force jets which came before two fateful moves made by Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser. First, on May 16th 1967, he requested that the United Nations remove its peacekeeping force from the Sinai. Then on May 23rd, he closed the Straits of Tiran and the Gulf of Aqaba to Israeli shipping. Additionally, on May 30th, Egypt and Jordan signed a mutual defence pact.

The narrative presented to the world at the time, and for the most part, since then is that Nasser’s actions were taken as a preparation for a war in which combined Arab armies would invade and destroy Israel. With bellicose statements frequently emanating from Arab media outlets such as the Voice of the Arabs radio station calling for Israel’s destruction and the “sweeping of the Jews into the sea”, the Israeli assault beginning with a raid on the Egyptian Air Force in the dawn hours of Monday June 5th 1967, was put forward as a preemptive attack that was brought about in order to forestall the annihilation of Israel.

To the onlooking world, annihilation seemed to be more than a mere possibility. The sheer geographical size of its Arab neighbours in comparison to Israel’s territorial extent was an unavoidable factor in leading to such a conclusion. There were reports of Israelis digging graves in preparation for mass burials. The air of an impending doom felt by those in the Jewish Diaspora was exemplified by a photograph taken in the London suburb of Golders Green depicting a little girl seated in front of a house while holding a handwritten placard with the words ‘HELP ISRAEL’.

Israeli politicians contributed to the grand narrative of a people placed perilously upon a precipice. After asserting that the war had been started by “the Arab invasion of Israeli territory”, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol told the Knesset on June 12th 1967 that “the very existence of the state of Israel hung upon a thread, but Arab leaders’ hopes of annihilating Israel have been confounded.”

The truth however is quite different. Israel was simply never in danger of annihilation and the allegation that Israel had reacted to an imminent threat of an invading force of Arab armies defies a closer examination of the evidence.

The constant references made to the prospect of annihilation in the build up to the conflict was a continuation of a line propagated since the war Jewish militias fought against Arab armies in 1948 after the British withdrawal from Palestine. Both the Haganah and Palmach were composed of a well-disciplined and well-resourced core of soldiers many of whom had obtained valuable experience in combat and intelligence units of the British Army during the Second World War. The members of the major Jewish underground organisations Irgun and Lehi (the Stern Gang) were also brutally effective practitioners of the dark arts of inflicting mass terror and psychological warfare. And although figures may vary, all credible estimates regarding the total numbers of combatants deployed in the field provide for a significant numerical advantage in favour of the Israeli side.

Arab armies by comparison were a hodge-podge of militias fighting not to sweep the Jews into the Mediterranean Sea, but to hold on to territory assigned to the Arab population of Palestine under the terms of the by then vitiated United Nations partition plan. The Egyptian Expeditionary Force dispatched by the corrupt government of King Farouk, had limited manpower to draw upon; 80% of the male population of fighting age were judged to be either mentally or physically unfit for military service. Also, the logistics arm of its army was severely limited in its capacity to support ground forces beyond its borders. The army sent by the Syrians was more adept at playing politics than at waging war. Both armies along with those provided by other countries such as Lebanon and Iraq were simply no match for the Israeli side.

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IDF forces in the Sinai front (Source: IDF Archive via The Holy Land Timeline)

The only formidable force arraigned against Israel were the British-trained Arab Legion of the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan who were successful in frustrating the attempts of the Israelis to gain control of the Old City of Jerusalem. But it is pertinent to note that David Ben Gurion, the head of the Jewish Agency, had sent Golda Meir and a Haganah intelligence officer on a mission to King Abdullah which aimed to keep Transjordan out of the impending conflict.

In her memoirs, Meir stated the following:

Ben Gurion knew that Trans-Jordan was not intending to join in on any Arab attack on the Jewish state in territory provided for it by the vitiated partition plan…He would always remain our friend, he said, and, like us, he wanted peace more than anything else

It is also useful to note that the 1973 war instigated by Egypt was fought with limited military objectives, specifically involving the Egyptian and Syrian armies reacquiring some of the land taken during the 1967 war to serve as the basis for applying political pressure on Israel to withdraw from occupied territories.

The claim that Israel was facing annihilation in 1967 was as false as those made in 1948 and 1973. Indeed, it can be asserted that no combination of Arab military force was capable of defeating Israel in any of these conflicts.

The intelligence agencies of both Britain and the United States forecasted victory of the powerfully armed and well-disciplined Israelis prior to the war of 1967.

“The only difference between the British and us,” said US Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, “was how long it would take the Israelis to beat the Egyptians.”

The Central Intelligence Agency predicted that Israel would defeat its Arab neighbours in one week. Its director Richard Helms put it thus:

If the Israelis attacked first, it was going to be a short war.. If the Egyptians attacked first, it was going to be a longer war, but there wasn’t any question about who was going to win it

Just over ten years after his army was routed by the Israelis during the Suez War, Nasser’s bluster and chess moves were not aimed at igniting a war, but instead was motivated out of a mixture of pride (King Hussein had once accused him of hiding behind the skirts of the United Nations Emergency Force in Sinai) and a desperate gamble aimed at bringing in the United States to the table as a mediator.

Nasser was hedging his bets on an intervention by the United States based on a formula set out by President Dwight Eisenhower after the Suez War. Eisenhower had made a commitment on behalf of the United States to keep the Straits of Tiran open. In other words, Nasser acted in the expectation that the United States would convene a peace conference at which the “society of nations” would effect a peace settlement that would enable Nasser to save face and reopen the Straits.

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Former Israeli Prime Minister Moshe Sharett (Source: Pinterest)

Those familiar with the story of Gamal Abdel Nasser will find this reasonably plausible. Back in the 1950s, Nasser had kept a back channel of communication with an earlier prime minister of Israel Moshe Sharett, who is often characterised as a politician who acted earnestly in the pursuit of peace with its Arab neighbours.

However, Sharett was frustrated by the machinations of the hardline Moshe Dayan while he served as the Chief of General Staff. And in 1967, Dayan would frustrate the efforts of both Prime Minister Eshkol and General Yitzhak Rabin who had favoured a limited military operation which would have paved the way for an international peace conference.

In Israel, there were many who were not keen on effecting a peace settlement. They had began ratcheting up the tension after Egypt and Syria had signed a mutual defence pact in November of 1966. The agreement provided that each country would support the other if attacked by Israel. Incidents were manufactured by the Israelis on the Syrian border which led to tit-for-tat exchanges. These confrontations continued until April of 1967 when pilots of the Israeli Air Force engaged in a series of dogfights with their Syrian counterparts over a seven-hour period. It culminated with the Israeli mirage jets downing six Syrian MIG 21s.

Neither Egypt nor either of the other frontline Arab states had any intention of attacking Israel. So far as Egypt was concerned 40,000 soldiers, among them some of the finest units of its army, were bogged down by a protracted conflict in Yemen. The deployments Nasser ordered into Sinai were nowhere near the numbers required to mount a serious strike. The CIA, the US Defense Intelligence Agency and the British Secret Intelligence Service all concluded that they were defensive in nature.

Evidence that this was the case came over the years from a number of Israeli military and political figures.

For instance in the February 28th edition of the French magazine Le Monde, Yitzhak Rabin said the following in an interview:

I do not believe that Nasser wanted war. The two divisions which he sent into Sinai on 14 May would not have been enough to unleash an offensive against Israel. He knew it and we knew it.

Also, in the early 1970s, General Matetiyahu Peled, Chief of Logistical Command during the war, while engaged in a radio debate asserted that

“Israel was never in real danger and there was no evidence that Egypt had any intention of attacking Israel”, adding, “Israeli intelligence knew that Egypt was not prepared for war.” In an interview for Le Monde published in June of 1972, Peled said the following:

To pretend that the Egyptian forces concentrated on our borders were capable of threatening Israel’s existence does not only insult the intelligence of any person capable of analysing this kind of situation, but is primarily an insult to the Israeli army.

And from Menachem begin in 1982 came this statement:

In June 1967 we had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches did not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.

It follows that the fears of annihilation and a second holocaust, encouraged at home and abroad by the Israeli authorities were unfounded. Again, many military figures have confirmed this including General Haim Bar-Lev, another Chief of Staff of the IDF.

“We were not threatened with genocide on the eve of the Six Day War,” he told Ma’ariv in April of 1972, “and we never thought of such a possibility.”

This was backed up General Ezer Weizmann, Chief of Operations during the war, who pooh-poohed the suggestion by stating that

“there was never any danger of annihilation. This hypothesis has never been considered in any serious meeting.”

It is important to note that the Israelis had first announced that their attack had been in response to Egyptian military action, and that when it was realised that this version of events would not stand the test of scrutiny, it reverted to the story of a preemptive action. As for the emotive narrative of the digging of mass graves, photographic archives show Israeli civilians digging trenches much in the manner as civilians have been apt to do when preparing to defend towns and cities in war time.

Right from its inception, the leaders of Israel were well practised in the art of public manipulation and control. Both David Ben Gurion and Moshe Dayan were taken by the philosophy of keeping Israel’s citizens in a consistent state of apprehension and alertness, otherwise, they feared, they might become complacent about their hard won Zionist nation. This is why both men provoked many border skirmishes which were responded to with typically disproportionate force.

David Ben Gurion (Center) and Moshe Dayan (Right) (Source: therese-zrihen-dvir.over-blog.com)

Most of the skirmishes on the Syrian border -more than a thousand occurring between 1948 and 1967 according to Syrian estimates- were in fact provoked by Israel as a means of extending Israeli territory in the demilitarized zone between both countries.

Dayan admitted this in an interview in 1976:

We would send a tractor to plow some (disputed) area…and we knew in advance that the Syrians would start to shoot. If they didn’t shoot, we would tell the tractor to advance further, until in the end the Syrians would get annoyed and shoot. And then we would use artillery and later the air force also, and that’s how it was…

Manipulation and control were also at the heart of the decision to lie to the Israeli public over the false flag operation carried out in Egypt in 1954 by a Jewish Arab cell charged by Israeli military intelligence with the mission of bombing British and American establishments in the hope of discouraging a rapprochement between Egypt and the West. Those who went to the gallows or who were sentenced to lengthy terms of imprisonment were claimed by Israel’s government to have been the innocent victims of an anti-Semitic show trial by the Nasser government.

The reason for perpetuating the myth of a preemptive strike on the grounds of self-defence and the threat of annihilation lies in the quest for achieving ‘Greater Israel’. This idea is rooted not only in religious thinking and the secular objectives of political Zionism but also in terms of acquiring resources linked to land and water.

The Land of Israel or Eretz Yisrael, encompasses territory that is larger than what was provided for Jews under the partition plan and the additional territory won by militias after the 1948 war. Although the concept of ‘Greater Israel’ varies in terms of the extent of its borders, one consistent feature is the inclusion of the biblical regions of Judea and Samaria, which broadly correspond to the location of the modern West Bank.

The war of 1967 was a war of conquest that had been in preparation for many years. It was about completing the unfinished business from 1948 which included claiming the whole of Jerusalem. Nasser had been goaded into a trap and the opportunity had to be seized. Those within the Israeli government who prevaricated such as Prime Minister Eshkol and the IDF Chief of Staff Rabin were labelled as “weak” and “indecisive”.

In fact, some argue that Eshkol’s government was subjected to a coup d’etat instigated by Right-wing elements in the military who with the support of like-thinking politicians and the media contrived to force Eshkol into forming a National Unity Government with the Right-wing Herut party led by Menachem Begin. Up to that point in history, the prime minister had by tradition also held the portfolio of minister of defence (save for the short-lived Moshe Sharett), but Eshkol was pressured to relinquish it to the hawk Moshe Dayan.

Dayan was effectively the architect of the Israeli conquests that followed. The waging of an aggressive war under the pretence of a preemptive strike along with the encouragement of an atmosphere fearful of annihilation each served a purpose: To give Israeli actions the veneer of legality, and, in the latter case, as explained by Mordecai Bentov, a member of the National Unity Government in Al-Hamishmar newspaper in April of 1971, a rationalization for the intended land grab:

The entire story of the danger of extermination was invented in every detail and exaggerated a posteriori to justify the annexation of new Arab territory.

The ruthless use of propaganda as a means of camouflaging Israel’s true objectives lies behind one of the most notorious events of the Six Day War: the sinking of the USS Liberty. This murderous act of Israeli aggression against its ally, the United States, was played down as a case of attacking a target mistakenly under the fog of war.

An American intelligence gathering vessel bristling with antennae and flying the stars and stripes, the Liberty was cruising off the coast of Egypt on June 8th when attacked by a combination of Israeli air and naval forces. Thirty-four of its crew were killed and 174 left wounded. The attack, which was almost certainly ordered by General Dayan, had occurred at a most sensitive stage of the war.

USS Liberty Navy Ship (Source: uss.liberty.org)

The Israelis, whose rout of the Egyptian army had brought about the unwanted burden of policing more prisoners of war than they could handle, had reached el Arish where hundreds of captured Egyptian soldiers had been executed. Some had been forced to dig their own graves while others were buried by native Bedouin tribesmen after Israeli soldiers had shot them and left the bodies rotting in the desert sun. The Liberty was well-placed to listen in on these events given that el Arish is a port city on the Mediterranean coast.

The other issue of crucial importance concerned Israel’s strategic conduct of the war. After its conquest of the Sinai Peninsula, Israel’s intention was to order many of its units to turn around and be redeployed so as to consolidate the capture of the West Bank and also to provide reinforcement for the units charged with attacking Syria and taking the Golan Heights.

Far from entertaining thoughts of a life or death struggle with its Arab foes which could possibly result in the mass extermination of its citizens, Israeli calculations were based on achieving certain victory. However, this would need to be accomplished within a limited time scale after which it leaders were aware that a UN Security Council-brokered ceasefire would have to be implemented.

While Israel had obtained the blessing of President Lyndon Johnson to go to war, it did not have America’s consent so far as taking over the West Bank and Syrian territory was concerned. Such actions it was felt might provoke an intervention by the Soviet Union.

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Cabinet meeting with Dean Rusk, President Johnson and McNamara (Source: Wikipedia)

Thus it was that with victory complete in the Sinai and two days left of the war, the Israelis did not want the Americans eavesdropping through the Liberty when its troops were rerouted northwards. Such was the secrecy behind the planned incursion into Syria that Prime Minister Eshkol was not told of the plan by Dayan until after he had ordered the attack on the Golan Heights.

After being closely monitored by Israeli reconnaissance planes, the Liberty was subjected to a sustained attack lasting for about two hours. The ship endured waves of attacks by strafing jets and projectiles fired from motorized torpedo boats. Crew who attempted to launch lifeboats were targeted by machine guns and napalm bombs were dropped. The intention appeared to be to sink the the ship and leave no survivors. This would have left it open for the attack to be blamed on Egypt.

Miraculously, the ship was kept afloat and a distress signal sent after having had both its tactical and distress frequencies jammed by the Israelis. Twelve fighter jets and four tanker planes stationed on the USS Saratoga, an aircraft carrier of the nearby American Sixth Fleet, were sent into action to defend the Liberty but were recalled by US Defence Secretary Robert McNamara. Once the Israelis knew that the American fleet had received word of the attack, they were quick to inform the Americans that their ship had been hit by mistake.

A cover up was effected by the Johnson administration under pressure from an ever more assertive Israeli lobby which had threatened to smear Johnson with the accusation of blood libel. Alongside this allegation of anti-Semitism would be a refusal by Jewish organisations to fund Johnson if he chose to run for reelection the following year.

Although the establishment cover up over the attack on the Liberty persists to this day several prominent American officials have over the years gone on the record to contradict the hastily arrived official verdict that it had been a mistake; Dean Rusk, a former US Secretary of State, and Admiral Thomas Moorer who was the Chairman of the Joint Chief’s of Staff at the time of the incident being among the most prominent of these dissenters.

In a perceptive insert in Newsweek magazine’s ‘Periscope’ column dated June 19th 1967, a staff writer offered the following thesis:

Although Israel’s apologies were officially accepted, some high Washington officials believe the Israelis knew the Liberty’s capabilities and suspect that the attack might not have been accidental. One top-level theory holds that someone in the Israeli armed forces ordered the Liberty sunk because he suspected it had taken down messages showing that Israel started the fighting.

Tape recordings of the dialogue of Israeli personnel during the attack which were available to American officials soon after the incident have been made public in recent years. On separate occasions, a voice is heard clearly identifying the Liberty as an American vessel. The position that the destruction of the USS Liberty was a tragic error is no longer tenable.

The truth behind the Six Day War is one which many who have been conditioned to accept the sanctity of the Israeli version of history may find shocking and difficult to comprehend. But what Israel had assured America would be a limited war turned into a land grab. It had not been a war of self-defence but one of aggression. It was also not a war waged to prevent annihilation, instead it was a war that led to dispossession and occupation.

For decades, the Six Day War has been represented as one of the stellar achievements of the reborn Jewish state. Just over two decades after the persecutions and genocide visited upon European Jewry, the Jewish David defied the prospect of certain defeat to slay the Arab Goliath in a just and audacious martial enterprise.

The technical accomplishments and personal bravery of Israeli military personnel notwithstanding, the background of false propaganda, the numerous breaches of international law and the commission of a series of war crimes all put the lie to the famous statement by Abba Eban, Israel’s long-term foreign minister that “Never in the history of nations has armed force been used in a more righteous or compelling cause.”

The effects of the occupation of the West Bank including the spread of illegal settlements, the economic strangulation of Gaza in between intermittent punitive military actions as well as the illegal annexation of the Golan Heights continue to challenge Israeli claims to righteous and moral conduct.

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The Dirty War on Syria: Professor Anderson Reveals the “Unspoken Truth”

NOVANEWS
 

The following texts are excerpts from the Preface of  Professor Tim Anderson’s timely and important book entitled The Dirty War on Syria. The book is available for order from Global Research, place your order here now!

Although every war makes ample use of lies and deception, the dirty war on Syria has relied on a level of mass disinformation not seen in living memory. The British-Australian journalist Philip Knightley pointed out that war propaganda typically involves ‘a depressingly predictable pattern’ of demonising the enemy leader, then demonising the enemy people through atrocity stories, real or imagined (Knightley 2001). Accordingly, a mild-mannered eye doctor called Bashar al Assad became the new evil in the world and, according to consistent western media reports, the Syrian Army did nothing but kill civilians for more than four years. To this day, many imagine the Syrian conflict is a ‘civil war’, a ‘popular revolt’ or some sort of internal sectarian conflict. These myths are, in many respects, a substantial achievement for the big powers which have driven a series of ‘regime change’ operations in the Middle East region, all on false pretexts, over the past 15 years.

Dr. Tim Anderson

This book is a careful academic work, but also a strong defence of the right of the Syrian people to determine their own society and political system. That position is consistent with international law and human rights principles, but may irritate western sensibilities, accustomed as we are to an assumed prerogative to intervene. At times I have to be blunt, to cut through the double-speak. In Syria the big powers have sought to hide their hand, using proxy armies while demonising the Syrian Government and Army, accusing them of constant atrocities; then pretending to rescue the Syrian people from their own government. Far fewer western people opposed the war on Syria than opposed the invasion of Iraq, because they were deceived about its true nature.

Dirty wars are not new. Cuban national hero Jose Martí predicted to a friend that Washington would try to intervene in Cuba’s independence struggle against the Spanish. ‘They want to provoke a war’, he wrote in 1889 ‘to have a pretext to intervene and, with the authority of being mediator and guarantor, to seize the country … There is no more cowardly thing in the annals of free people; nor such cold blooded evil’ (Martí 1975: 53). Nine years later, during the third independence war, an explosion in Havana Harbour destroyed the USS Maine, killing 258 US sailors and serving as a pretext for a US invasion.

The US launched dozens of interventions in Latin America over the subsequent century. A notable dirty war was led by CIA-backed, ‘freedom fighter’ mercenaries based in Honduras, who attacked the Sandinista Government and the people of Nicaragua in the 1980s. That conflict, in its modus operandi, was not so different to the war on Syria. In Nicaragua more than 30,000 people were killed. The International Court of Justice found the US guilty of a range of terrorist-style attacks on the little Central American country, and found that the US owed Nicaragua compensation (ICJ 1986). Washington ignored these rulings.

With the ‘Arab Spring’ of 2011 the big powers took advantage of a political foment by seizing the initiative to impose an ‘Islamist winter’, attacking the few remaining independent states of the region. Very quickly we saw the destruction of Libya, a small country with the highest standard of living in Africa. NATO bombing and a Special Forces campaign helped the al Qaeda groups on the ground. The basis for NATO’s intervention was lies told about actual and impending massacres, supposedly carried out or planned by the government of President Muammar Gaddafi. These claims led rapidly to a UN Security Council resolution said to protect civilians through a ‘no fly zone’. We know now that trust was betrayed, and that the NATO powers abused the limited UN authorisation to overthrow the Libyan Government (McKinney 2012).

Subsequently, no evidence emerged to prove that Gaddafi intended, carried out or threatened wholesale massacres, as was widely suggested (Forte 2012). Genevieve Garrigos of Amnesty International (France) admitted there was ‘no evidence’ to back her group’s earlier claims that Gaddafi had used ‘black mercenaries’ to commit massacres (Forte 2012; Edwards 2013).

… Two days before NATO bombed Libya another armed Islamist insurrection broke out in Daraa, Syria’s southernmost city. Yet because this insurrection was linked to the demonstrations of a political reform movement, its nature was disguised. Many did not see that those who were providing the guns – Qatar and Saudi Arabia – were also running fake news stories in their respective media channels, Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya. There were other reasons for the durable myths of this war. Many western audiences, liberals and leftists as well as the more conservative, seemed to like the idea of their own role as the saviours of a foreign people, speaking out strongly about a country of which they knew little, but joining what seemed to be a ‘good fight’ against this new ‘dictator’. With a mission and their proud self-image western audiences apparently forgot the lies of previous wars, and of their own colonial legacies.

I would go so far as to say that, in the Dirty War on Syria, western culture in general abandoned its better traditions: of reason, the maintenance of ethical principle and the search for independent evidence at times of conflict; in favour of its worst traditions: the ‘imperial prerogative’ for intervention, backed by deep racial prejudice and poor reflection on the histories of their own cultures. That weakness was reinforced by a ferocious campaign of war propaganda. After the demonisation of Syrian leader Bashar al Assad began, a virtual information blockade was constructed against anything which might undermine the wartime storyline. Very few sensible western perspectives on Syria emerged after 2011, as critical voices were effectively blacklisted.

The Dirty War on Syria

by Professor Tim Anderson

click to purchase, directly from Global Research Publishers

In that context I came to write this book. It is a defence of Syria, not primarily addressed to those who are immersed the western myths but to others who engage with them. This is therefore a resource book and a contribution to the history of the Syrian conflict. The western stories have become self-indulgent and I believe it is wasteful to indulge them too much. Best, I think, to speak of current events as they are, then address the smokescreens later. I do not ignore the western myths, in fact this book documents many of them. But I lead with the reality of the war.

Western mythology relies on the idea of imperial prerogatives, asking what must ‘we’ do about the problems of another people; an approach which has no basis in international law or human rights. The next steps involve a series of fabrications about the pretexts, character and events of the war. The first pretext over Syria was that the NATO states and the Gulf monarchies were supporting a secular and democratic revolution. When that seemed implausible the second story was that they were saving the oppressed majority ‘Sunni Muslim’ population from a sectarian ‘Alawite regime’. Then, when sectarian atrocities by anti-government forces attracted greater public attention, the pretext became a claim that there was a shadow war: ‘moderate rebels’ were said to be actually fighting the extremist groups. Western intervention was therefore needed to bolster these ‘moderate rebels’ against the ‘new’ extremist group that had mysteriously arisen and posed a threat to the world.

That was the ‘B’ story. No doubt Hollywood will make movies based on this meta-script, for years to come. However this book leads with the ‘A’ story. Proxy armies of Islamists, armed by US regional allies (mainly Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey), infiltrate a political reform movement and snipe at police and civilians. They blame this on the government and spark an insurrection, seeking the overthrow of the Syrian government and its secular-pluralist state. This follows the openly declared ambition of the US to create a ‘New Middle East’, subordinating every country of the region, by reform, unilateral disarmament or direct overthrow. Syria was next in line, after Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. In Syria, the proxy armies would come from the combined forces of the Muslim Brotherhood and Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi fanatics. Despite occasional power struggles between these groups and their sponsors, they share much the same Salafist ideology, opposing secular or nationalist regimes and seeking the establishment of a religious state.

However in Syria Washington’s Islamists confronted a disciplined national army which did not disintegrate along religious lines, despite many provocations. The Syrian state also had strong allies in Russia and Iran. Syria was not to be Libya Take Two. In this prolonged war the violence, from the western side, was said to consist of the Syrian Army targeting and killing civilians. From the Syrian side people saw daily terrorist attacks on towns and cities, schools and hospitals and massacres of ordinary people by NATO’s ‘freedom fighters’, then the counter attacks by the Army. Foreign terrorists were recruited in dozens of countries by the Saudis and Qatar, bolstering the local mercenaries.

Though the terrorist groups were often called ‘opposition, ‘militants’ and ‘Sunni groups’ outside Syria, inside the country the actual political opposition abandoned the Islamists back in early 2011. Protest was driven off the streets by the violence, and most of the opposition (minus the Muslim Brotherhood and some exiles) sided with the state and the Army, if not with the ruling Ba’ath Party. The Syrian Army has been brutal with terrorists but, contrary to western propaganda, protective of civilians. The Islamists have been brutal with all, and openly so. Millions of internally displaced people have sought refuge with the Government and Army, while others fled the country.

In a hoped-for ‘end game’ the big powers sought overthrow of the Syrian state or, failing that, the creation of a dysfunctional state or dismembering into sectarian statelets, thus breaking the axis of independent regional states. That axis comprises Hezbollah in south Lebanon and the Palestinian resistance, alongside Syria and Iran, the only states in the region without US military bases. More recently Iraq – still traumatised from western invasion, massacres and occupation – has begun to align itself with this axis. Russia too has begun to play an important counter-weight role. Recent history and conduct demonstrate that neither Russia nor Iran harbour any imperial ambitions remotely approaching those of Washington and its allies, several of which (Britain, France and Turkey) were former colonial warlords in the region. From the point of view of the ‘Axis of Resistance’, defeat of the dirty war on Syria means that the region can begin closing ranks against the big powers. Syria’s successful resistance would mean the beginning of the end for Washington’s ‘New Middle East’.

That is basically the big picture. This book sets out to document the A story and expose the B story. It does so by rescuing some of the better western traditions: the use of reason, the maintenance of ethical principle and the search for independent evidence in case of conflict. I hope it might prove a useful resource. Here is a brief overview of the chapters.

ISBN Number: 978-0-9737147-8-4

Year: 2016

Pages: 240

Author: Tim Anderson

List Price: $23.95

Special Price: $15.00

The Dirty War on Syria 

by Professor Tim Anderson

click to purchase, directly from Global Research Publishers

Chapter Overview:

Chapter 1, ‘Syria and Washington’s ‘New Middle East’’ puts Syria in context of the US plans for a ‘New Middle East’, the latest chapter in a longer history of US attempts to dominate the region.

Chapter 2, ‘Barrel Bombs, Partisan Sources and War Propaganda’ addresses the problem of reporting and reading the Syrian crisis. Media channels have shown a hyper-reliance on partisan sources, committed to the war and denigrating the Syrian Army. This is the key barrier to understanding the controversies around chemical weapons, civilian massacres and the levels of support for or opposition to President Assad.

Chapter 3, ‘Daraa 2011: Another Islamist Insurrection’ reconstructs, from a range of sources, the Saudi-backed Islamist insurrection in Daraa in March 2011. Those armed attacks were quite distinct from the political reform rallies, which the Islamists soon drove off the streets.

Chapter 4, ‘Bashar al Assad and Political Reform’ explains the political reform movement from the time Bashar assumed the presidency in the year 2000 to the beginning of the crisis in 2011. From this we can see that most opposition groups were committed to reform within a Syrian context, with virtually all opposing attacks on the Syrian state. The chapter then reviews the role of Bashar as a reformer, and the evidence on his popularity.

Chapter 5, ‘The Empire’s Jihadis’ looks at the collaboration between Salafist political Islam and the imperial powers in the Middle East. Distinct from the anti-imperial Islamic currents in Iran and south Lebanon, Salafist political Islam has become a sectarian force competing with Arab nationalism across Egypt, Palestine and Syria, and drawing on long standing collaborative relations with the big powers. This history provides important background to the character of Syria’s Islamist ‘revolution’, and its various slogans.

Chapter 6, ‘Embedded Media, Embedded Watchdogs’ identifies the propaganda techniques of media channels and the network of ‘human rights’ bodies (Human Rights Watch, Avaaz, etc) which function as megaphones and ‘moderators’ for the Washington agenda. Many have become fierce advocates for ‘humanitarian war’. A number of newer western NGOs (e.g. The Syria Campaign, The White Helmets) have been created by Wall Street agencies specifically for the dirty war on Syria. A number of their fabrications are documented here.

Chapter 7, ‘The Houla Massacre Revisited’ considers in detail the evidence from the first major massacre designed (following success of the technique over Libya) to influence UN Security Council consideration of military intervention. While the first UN inquiry group, actually in Syria, found contradictory evidence on this massacre, a second UN group outside Syria and co-chaired by a US diplomat, tried to blame the Syrian Government. Yet more than a dozen witnesses blamed Farouq FSA Islamists, who killed pro-government villagers and took over the area, holding it for some months. Several other ‘false flag’ massacres are noted.

Chapter 8, ‘Chemical Fabrications: the East Ghouta Incident’ details the second major ‘false flag’ incident of international significance. This incident in August 2013, which nearly sparked a major escalation involving US missile attacks on Syria, was used to accuse the Syrian Government of killing hundreds of civilians, including children, with chemical weapons. Within a fairly short time multiple sources of independent evidence (including North American evidence) disproved these accusations. Nevertheless, Syria’s opponents have repeated the false accusations, to this day, as though they were fact.

Chapter 9, ‘The Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and the Double Game’ addresses a recent political doctrine, a subset of ‘humanitarian intervention’ popularised to add to the imperial toolkit. The application of this doctrine in Libya was disastrous for that little country. Fortunately the attempts to use it in Syria failed.

Chapter 10, ‘Health and Sanctions’ documents the NATO-backed Islamist attacks on Syria’s health system, linked to the impact of western economic sanctions. These twin currents have caused great damage to Syrian public health. Such attacks carry no plausible motive of seeking local popular support, so we must interpret them as part of an overall strategy to degrade the Syrian state, rendering it more vulnerable to outside intervention.

Chapter 11 ‘Washington, Terrorism and the Islamic State (ISIS)’, documents the links between the big powers and the latest peak terrorist group they claim to be fighting. Only evidence can help develop informed opinion on this contentious matter, but the evidence is overwhelming. There is little ideological difference between the various Salafi-Islamist groups, and Washington and its allies have financed and armed every one of them.

Chapter 12, ‘Western Intervention and the Colonial Mind’ discusses the western cultural mindset that underlies persistent violations of the rights of other peoples.

Chapter 13 ‘Towards an Independent Middle East’, considers the end-game in the Syrian crisis, and its implications for the Middle East region. At tremendous cost the Syrian Arab Republic, its army and its people, have successfully resisted aggression from a variety of powerful enemies. Syria’s survival is due to its resilience and internal unity, bolstered by support from some strong allies. The introduction of Russian air power in late September 2015 was important. So too were the coordinated ground forces from Iran, Iraq and Lebanon, in support of an independent Syria.

When the attacks on Syria abate the Middle East seems set to be transformed, with greater political will and military preparedness on the part of an expanded Axis of Resistance. That will signal the beginning of the end for Washington’s 15 year spree of bloodshed and ‘regime change’ across the entire region.

Also available in PDF version, click here to purchase

Reviews:

Tim Anderson  has written the best systematic critique of western fabrications justifying the war against the Assad government. 

No other text brings together all the major accusations and their effective refutation.

This text is essential reading for all peace and justice activists.  -James Petras, Author and Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York, Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

Tim Anderson’s important new book, titled “The Dirty War on Syria” discusses US naked aggression – “rely(ing) on a level of mass disinformation not seen in living memory,” he explains.

ISIS is the pretext for endless war without mercy, Assad the target, regime change the objective, wanting pro-Western puppet governance replacing Syrian sovereign independence.

There’s nothing civil about war in Syria, raped by US imperialism, partnered with rogue allies. Anderson’s book is essential reading to understand what’s going on. Stephen Lendman, Distinguished Author and Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Host of the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Professor Anderson demonstrates unequivocally through carefully documented research that America’s “Moderate Opposition” are bona fide Al Qaeda affiliated terrorists created and protected by the US and its allies, recruited  and trained by Saudi Arabia, Turkey, in liaison with Washington and Brussels.

Through careful analysis, professor Anderson reveals the “unspoken truth”: the “war on terrorism” is fake, the United States is a “State sponsor of terrorism” involved in a criminal undertaking. Michel Chossudovsky, Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization, Professor of Economics (Emeritus), University of Ottawa.

Click here to order Tim Anderson’s Book

Dr Tim Anderson is a Senior Lecturer in Political Economy at the University of Sydney. He researches and writes on development, rights and self-determination in Latin America, the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. He has published many dozens of chapters and articles in a range of academic books and journals. His last book was Land and Livelihoods in Papua New Guinea (Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne, 2015).


Special: Dirty War on Syria + Globalization of War (Buy 2 books for 1 price!) 

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Special: Dirty War on Syria + America’s “War on Terrorism” (Buy 2 books for 1 price!) 

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Notes:

Edwards, Dave (2013) ‘Limited But Persuasive’ Evidence – Syria, Sarin, Libya, Lies’, Media Lens, 13 June, online: http://www.medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/alerts-2013/735-limited-but-persuasive-evidence-syria-sarin-libya-lies.html

Forte, Maximilian (2012) Slouching Towards Sirte: NATO’s War on Libya and Africa, Baraka Books, Quebec

ICJ (1986) Case concerning the military and paramilitary activities in and against Nicaragua (Nicaragua v. United States of America) Merits’, International Court of Justice, Judgement of 27 June 1986, online: http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/?sum=367&p1=3&p2=3&case=70&p3=5

Knightley, Phillip (2001) ‘The disinformation campaign’, The Guardian, 4 October, online: http://www.theguardian.com/education/2001/oct/04/socialsciences.highereducation

Kuperman, Alan J. (2015) Obama’s Libya Debacle’, Foreign Affairs, 16 April, online: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/libya/2015-02-16/obamas-libya-debacle

Martí, Jose (1975) Obras Completas, Vol. 6, Editorial de Ciencias Sociales, La Habana

McKinney, Cynthia (Ed) (2012) The Illegal War on Libya, Clarity Press, Atlanta

Putin, Vladimir (2015) ‘Violence instead of democracy: Putin slams ‘policies of exceptionalism and impunity’ in UN speech’, RT, 28 September, online: https://www.rt.com/news/316804-putin-russia-unga-speech/

Richter, Larry (1998) ‘Havana Journal; Remember the Maine? Cubans See an American Plot Continuing to This Day’, New York Times, 14 February, online: http://www.nytimes.com/1998/02/14/world/havana-journal-remember-maine-cubans-see-american-plot-continuing-this-day.html

Posted in SyriaComments Off on The Dirty War on Syria: Professor Anderson Reveals the “Unspoken Truth”

Multipolar World Order: The Big Picture in the Qatar-Saudi Fracture

In a climate of outright confrontation, even the Gulf monarchies have been overtaken by a series of unprecedented events. The differences between Qatar on one side, and Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain on the other, have escalated into a full-blown diplomatic crisis with outcomes difficult to foresee.

Officially, everything started with statements made by Qatari emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani that appeared on the Qatar News Agency (QNA) on May 23, 2017. A few hours before the conference between the 50 Arab countries and the US President, Al Thani was reported to have said the same words that appeared on QNA. The speech was very indulgent towards Iran and described the idea of an “Arab NATO” as unnecessary. The exact words are not known because the event in which Al Thani had made such incendiary remarks concerned military matters and was thus not accessible to the general public. Especially to be noted is that QNA denies having published words in question and attributed them to a cyber-attack.

Qatari emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (Source: Flickr)

The public dissemination of the Emir’s words on QNA promptly provoked an unprecedented diplomatic crisis in the Gulf. Immediately, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Egypt and the Maldives took advantage of the confusion created by Al Thani’s alleged words by enacting a series of extreme measures while accusing Doha of supporting international terrorism (through Hamas, al Qaeda, Iran and Daesh). Qatar’s ambassadors in the countries mentioned were requested to return home within 48 hours, and Qatari citizens were given 14 days to leave Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. At the same time, Riyadh proceeded to close its airspace as well as land and sea borders to Qatar, effectively isolating the peninsula from the rest of the world.

Realistically, what interest would Qatar have had in promulgating the words of Al Thani in order to antagonize Riyadh and Abu Dhabi? Even if the Emir had made such remarks, Doha would certainly not have given them to QNA to publish on its website. If it was not a cyber-attack, it was certainly a miscalculation on Doha’s part or, worse, possibly internal sabotage to damage the Al Thani family.

To explain the dynamics that have officially created this unprecedented situation, it is necessary to sift through the facts in order to discern reality from fiction.

There is no difference between Saudi Arabia and Qatar

The Saudi charge that Qatar supports terrorism is well supported by the facts, Doha having long supported terrorist groups in North Africa and the Middle East, from Libya to Syria through to Egypt and Iraq. The problem is that the one throwing the charge, Saudi Arabia, is as guilty of it as is the accused. Both countries have provided the financial backing for much of the extremism that has been infesting the globe for decades. The Saudi royal family is the ultimate expression of the Wahhabi heresy that historically corresponds to the ideology of al Qaeda. Riyadh’s support for terrorist organizations was complemented by the US neoconservative strategy designed to destabilize Afghanistan in the context of anti-USSR geopolitics, as admitted by the recently deceased Zbigniew Brzezinski.

The rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Qatar has deep roots and affects not only the ideological difference between Wahhabis and the Muslim Brotherhood, but also the increased religious tolerance of Doha as opposed to the ideological intransigence of Riyadh.

Qatar, through the Muslim Brotherhood, has supported the Arab Spring that deposed Mubarak and placed Morsi in charge of Egypt, creating in the process strong tensions with the Saudis. Riyadh supported al Sisi to remedy the situation in Egypt, financing the coup that sent Morsi to jail. In 2014 this prompted a crisis between Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, with Qatar’s ambassadors being expelled from the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Differences were soon patched up by the convergence of interests in destabilizing Syria and Iraq with extremist terrorism funded by both nations together with Turkey’s important contribution.

The Neocon Zionist and Wahhabi plans

What is interesting to note in connection with the Gulf crisis is the change in strategy in recent months by the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia. Washington’s plan, shared by Tel Aviv and supported by Riyadh, is to pin the blame for sponsoring international terrorism on Tehran and Doha, fingering Qatar as the key financier of Hamas, al Qaeda and Daesh. The reason and purpose behind this are manifold.

The problem of Islamic terrorism has become a subject of focused attention for European and American citizens because of frequent attacks. Security agencies are incapable of preventing terrorist attacks from the same elements they have for years funded and supported as part of their anti-Iranian and anti-Syrian strategy. The difficulties faced by secret services in halting such attacks (as opposed to rogue secret services who aid terrorist networks a la Operation Gladio) have made people question.

Citizens, increasingly frightened and angry with their governments for the lack of security, are beginning to realize that the extremists receive their financial support from the Gulf countries, who are known to be in business with many European capitals. The last thing that the governments of France, Italy, Germany, the UK and the US want is the revelation that they are in league with Islamic terrorism for geopolitical purposes. The consequences would be disastrous for the already fragile credibility of the West.

Further confirmation of this strategy to gang up on Qatar can be seen in the economic field. S&P downgraded the credit rating of Qatar a short time ago to AA-, setting the stage for a further downgrade that could have important implications for the future economic stability of the emirate.

Trump and other leaders of the G7 seem to have made up their minds, agreeing with Saudi wishes, heaping on Qatar all the blame for Islamic terrorism. The US administration, more eagerly than its European vassals, also insists on including Tehran in the charge of state sponsors of terrorism. For Washington, the aim is to curtail covert Western support for terrorism, all the more urgent given the worsening state of affairs in Europe. Politicians from the Old Continent understand that it is fundamental for a culprit to be found before being accused of being unable to stop Islamist terrorism. It is a desperate exit strategy that aims to attribute primary blame to Qatar and secondary blame to Iran.

Europeans are more reluctant to endorse this vision, given the possible trade opportunities for the European private sector in Iran following the removal of sanctions. It is even possible that some European leaders are opposed to Trump’s idea, probably discussed during the G7 in Italy, given Qatar’s billions of investment poured into the dying European economy.

Israel has officially maintained a neutral position concerning the Arab Spring, benefiting from the chaos in the region and the weakening of geopolitical opponents like Syria and Egypt. Qatar’s support for Hamas, Israel’s historic enemy, is a factor that has contributed to Tel Aviv’s support for Riyadh’s manoeuvres against Doha.

The Saudis, on the other hand, have multiple reasons for attacking Qatar. Firstly, it brings Doha’s foreign policy back into line after showing leanings towards Tehran. Secondly, it aims to incorporate Qatar in order to absorb its enormous financial resources, as an extreme measure to help solve Saudi Arabia’s disastrous economic situation.

Chaos as a means of preserving global hegemony

Behind a convergence of convenience involving the triumvirate of Israel, Saudi Arabia and Qatar lies a well-outlined project of preventing Tehran from becoming a regional hegemon. The Saudis regard Iran as a heretical nation with regard to Islam and have always promoted policies against Tehran. Israel considers Iran the only real danger in the region as it is also a military powerhouse like Israel. As for the United States, the main objective is to mediate a diplomatic rapprochement between Israel and Saudi Arabia, which is needed for the two nations to officially develop a military alliance against Tehran. The final goal is the creation of an Arab NATO to contain Iran, mirroring NATO’s stance towards the Russian Federation.

Image result for arab nato

Source: Iran Focus

The fault lies in Qatar.

Washington sees only one possible way to at once allay the concerns of her European allies suffering an onslaught of Islamist attacks while simultaneously giving the impression to a domestic audience of fighting extremists. It plans to do this by entering into a major agreement with the two nations closest to Islamist terrorism – Israel and Saudi Arabia – while blaming a third terrorist-supporting nation for all the terrorism -Qatar. Of course the weakest and strategically least relevant of these three countries is Qatar.

The real challenge: Unipolarity vs. Multipolarity.

The most salient point in this story is the contrast between the new multipolar order and the American unipolar world order. Qatar, thanks to its enormous financial resources, has maintained high-level contacts with a wide variety of countries that are not necessarily allied to Riyadh.

From the point of view of energy, Qatar is the region’s second power after Riyadh, getting 90% of its revenue from exports of liquefied natural gas from the world’s largest deposit that is shared with Iran. In the case of relations with Moscow, the problem is not significant given the relations between Saudi Arabia and the Russian Federation. For example, Qatar has recently injected capital into Rosneft by acquiring a large share of stocks. Qatar foreign minister meet with Lavrov in Moscow a couple of days ago discussing how to deescalate tensions but also reaffirming the importance of relations between Doha and Moscow. Qatar, on the back of its economic wealth, has expanded its political horizons by moving away from Riyadh, infuriating Washington and Tel Aviv.

The strengthening of the Iranian position in the region was achieved thanks to two main factors, namely the victories in the Syrian war and the agreement with the Obama administration over Iranian nuclear power. This rehabilitation of Iran on the international scene following the signing of the agreement slowly led Doha to advance back-channel dialogue with Tehran to reach a compromise, especially in relation to the exploitation of the South Pars / North Dome gas field. About three months ago, Qatar removed the moratorium on exploiting the field and carried out dialogue with Iran over its development. It seems that an agreement has been reached between Qatar and Iran for the future construction of a gas pipeline from Iran to the Mediterranean or Turkey that will also carry Qatari gas to Europe. In exchange, Doha’s ending of support for terrorism has been demanded, openly contravening Saudi and American directives to destroy Syria.

The Saudis have bet all their chips on the continuation of American hegemony. They prefer to please the United States by avoiding the sale of oil to China in yuan, and are consequently paying the price, with China buying more and more oil from Angola and Russia instead. Moscow Central Bank has even opened a bank branch in Shanghai to convert yuan into gold, creating something that resembles the US dollar gold standard of yesteryear.

In Yemen, Riyadh has compromised its future by squandering huge amounts of wealth, with the only thing to show for it being a pending military defeat at the hands of the poorest Arab country on the planet. The collapse of the price of oil has only exacerbated these difficulties. Qatar has avoided these problems by virtue of having huge gas reserves as well as a somewhat more diversified foreign policy than Riyadh. For the Saudis, placing under their control the world’s largest gas reserve, as well as an obscene amount of cash, would offer the opportunity of at least recovering in part the huge losses experienced recently.

In this bloody game, Qatar is in the wrong place at the wrong time, and the mainstream media’s coverage of the events leaves us with little doubts as to what the future for Doha will be. CNN’s interview with the Qatari ambassador to the United States represented a rare example of journalistic integrity when the ambassador was embarrassed by the CNN host’s airing accusations of Qatar’s support for terrorists.

Neocon Deep State Vs Neoliberal Deep State

The fratricidal war within the US deep state also affects the Middle East, especially in the clash between Qatar and Saudi Arabia. It has long been known that Huma Abedin has deep ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, as did the previous American administration as well as Hillary Clinton. This proximity has had repercussions on the relationship between Obama and the Sunni countries, especially Saudi Arabia.

Until a few months ago, Washington was full of rumours about alleged lobbying efforts by former Trump adviser Michael Flynn on behalf of Erdogan. Considering that the former general was fired, this could be an important indicator of Trump’s position on Qatar, as the Turkish President is very close to the Muslim Brotherhood, a Doha-backed ideological movement. Flynn could have been fired by Trump for his close indirect relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood.

The mainstream media close to the Clinton/Obama clan may have used the alleged links between Flynn and Russia to obscure the hidden links between Washington and the Muslim Brotherhood. On the other hand, the evidence of collusion between the Muslim Brotherhood and Washington dates even before 2010, with Obama’s speech in Cairo in 2009 and the resulting Arab springs, all funded by Qatar via the Muslim Brotherhood, with Washington’s blessing. The consequences of those actions are well known, having increased the chaos in the region, forced a greater US presence in the Middle East, and contributed to increasing synergies between the Shiite axis in response to terrorist aggression.

In this context, Turkey backed the same terrorist groups as Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and the abortive July 2016 coup only served to strengthen the takeover of power by Erdogan and the Muslim Brotherhood faction supporting him. Even today the consequences of the coup reverberate in the region, with the alliance between Ankara and Doha recently strengthened with the presence of Turkish troops in Qatar. Another element not to underestimate was Iran’s attitude towards Ankara following the failed coup d’état, with Tehran declaring its solidarity with Ankara.

The strategic choices of previous administrations in the Middle East were disastrous in every respect. They strengthened enemies and weakened historic allies. No wonder Trump has decided to hit the rewind button, placing strong confidence in the two main allies in the Middle East, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Trump and the deep-state faction loyal to him aims to create an Arab NATO able to confront Iran in its own right, freeing Washington from a constant presence in the Middle East. The United States is focussed on two key factors in this strategy, namely the sale of Saudi oil in US dollars, and the sale of weapons to US allies to keep its military-industrial complex happy. These goals coincide with what happened recently in the emirates with Trump’s visit. The United States and Saudi Arabia have signed agreements worth over 350 billion dollars. Saudi Arabia strongly supports the creation of an Arab NATO. The organization would make official Tehran’s role as the greatest danger for the entire region. Moreover, the project of an Arab NATO would suit Israel fine, as it hates Tehran.

For the US deep state, or at least part of it, the most urgent strategy concerns the transfer of American forces in terms of presence and focus, from the Middle East and Europe to Asia in order to face the main challenge of the future, namely China’s intention to dominate the Asian region. What is happening in the Philippines with Daesh, which the author wrote about last week, is simply the continuation of a wider strategy that also affects the Saudi-Qatar conflict.

With Obama and the ruling Democrats, much attention had been paid to the issue of human rights. In particular, the component of the deep state close to the Clinton/Obama clan embraced the Muslim Brotherhood’s attempt to subvert power in the Middle Eastern region through the Arab Spring. The approach of neoconservatives and neoliberals towards hegemony is very different and shows conflicting strategies, highlighting the diversity between the two souls of the US deep state that has long been battling each other.

On one hand, the neoliberal/human-rights clan is very close to Obama and Clinton as well as supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood and Qatar indirectly. Neoconservatives, however, are historically more aligned with Saudi Arabia and Israel, both of whom seem to support Trump in order to make the US role in the Middle East less central, thanks to an Arabian NATO that would free the US up to shift its attention to Asia by delegating regional control to Riyadh and Tel Aviv.

In this regard, the nuclear agreement between the Obama administration and Tehran is explained. The neoliberals hoped to see Iranian revolts in the wake of the Arab Spring, leading to the overthrowing of the regime and the ushering in of democracy. Neoliberal human-rights interventionists abuse the word democracy, wielding it as a baton. The results of these efforts can be seen in the disasters in Libya and Syria. Paradoxically, Obama and Clinton’s strategy has backfired on Washington, since Iran, thanks to the nuclear agreement, has increased its weight in the region, forcing the Neocon-Saudi-Zionist faction to try to sabotage it in any way.

Conclusion

Qatar is at a crossroads. Acquiescing to Saudi pressure means falling into line and abandoning its dalliance with the multipolar world order. The fate of Doha is probably already determined, with Iran and Russia hardly desirous of becoming too much involved in the sanguinary game. A likely outcome is that the Al Thani family will in the end acquiesce to Saudi demands after resisting thanks to foreign partners help. What is interesting to note is that the situation in Washington has deteriorated to such an extent that even Washington’s historic allies are fighting each other.

Iran, Russia and China, assisting Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Libya, have created the necessary conditions to end Middle-Eastern destabilization, even prompting an internal crisis in the Gulf Cooperation Council. The bet that Riyadh, Tel Aviv and Washington embarked on with the aggression against Doha could prove to be an unforgivable strategic error, even leading to the end of the Gulf Cooperation Council and the weakening of the anti-Iran coalition in the region.

If Qatar should decide to resist Saudi pressure, which is only possible with the covert support of Russia, China and Iran, it is likely that the Syrian war has its days numbered. This is not to mention the fact that such an outcome would provide Turkey with an even easier path to transition into the Eurasian alliance.

Should Doha decide to oppose the demands of Riyadh (their economic capacity is certainly not lacking), it will be up to Russia, Iran and China to decide whether to risk supporting Qatar against Saudi Arabia in order to stabilize the region. The hostility of the United States, Saudi Arabia and Israel hold towards Qatar are warning signs for the Eurasian bloc, already facing many obstacles in the world as it is.

Despite this, Tehran and Moscow are providing and offering Qatar’s first needed goods in terms of food and medicine. Iran is also opening its own airspace to Doha-based companies. Iran, in addition to being a nation usually ready to help when demanded, sees the opportunity to continue the destruction of the axis opposed to it. An overall assessment (In Astana at the SCO meeting?) will be needed to determine which strategy is best to follow. Above all it will be necessary to understand how Qatar will want to proceed in this unprecedented crisis in the Gulf region.

Even in Syria, the terrorist groups funded by the monarchies and Turkey are fighting each other, reflecting the divisions and tensions within the Gulf. It is only a matter of time before the conflicts between various organizations extends to other places in Syria, leading to the collapse of the opposition groups. In light of these developments, it appears that Iran and Syria have proposed to Qatar that they switch from supporting terrorism and instead cooperate in the reconstruction of Syria with Chinese and Iranian partners. Receiving credible responses to such a proposition is impossible, but following dialogue between Doha and Tehran on the development of the North Pars Gas Field, one cannot rule out that an agreement could be reached in Syria in the medium term, which would also bring enormous benefits to Doha as well as to Damascus and Tehran.

The American century is rapidly coming to an end. Terrorists are biting their masters’ hands and the vassals are rebelling. The unipolar world order that defers to the United States is rapidly disappearing, and the consequences are being felt in many areas of the world.

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9 of the World’s 10 Least Peaceful Nations Were All Targeted by U.S. Intervention

NOVANEWS
The 2017 Global Peace Index has declared Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and South Sudan to be among the “least peaceful” countries in the world. Incidentally, all four have been targets of U.S.-led destabilization efforts that were used to pursue economic interests that suit the U.S.

MINNEAPOLISThe annual Global Peace Index, recently released for June 2017, has found that while the world is more peaceful now than last year, violence has increased significantly overall in the past decade.

Although the situation has improved in many countries, the ten lowest-ranking nations – known as the world’s “least peaceful” countries – have shown little change in recent years.

However, nine of those ten countries share one commonality in the violence that they’ve experienced: U.S.-led destabilization efforts and regime change operations.

Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan: Targets for regime change and manufactured sectarianism

Syria, which ranked last in the June 2017 index, has been in the throes of a U.S.-led regime change effort for the better part of six years – a conflict that has ravaged one of the most prosperous nations in the Middle East and turned it into the latest battleground for a proxy war between the U.S. and Russia.

The U.S. has been planning the overthrow of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad at least as far back as 2006. Since the 2011 “uprising,” the U.S. has continuously funded and armed opposition groups in Syria along with several extremist groups, many of which have since joined terrorist organizations like Daesh (ISIS) and the al-Nusra Front.

The nations that rank just above Syria – Iraq and Afghanistan – were both targets of major U.S. invasions in the early 2000s and the U.S.’ continued presence in both of these countries has greatly contributed to the still-deteriorating situations in both nations.

With the U.S. troop presence growing in Iraq and set to surge dramatically in Afghanistan with the deployment of over 50,000 troops, more conflict is inevitable.

South Sudan: “Nation-building” gone awry

South Sudan, which ranked fourth, has also been victimized by U.S. intervention and “nation-building.”

The U.S. pushed South Sudan to secede from Sudan in 201,1 as South Sudan held 75 percent of Sudan’s oil reserves — the largest oil reserves in all of Africa. Analysts argued that the U.S. sought to create an independent South Sudan in order to dislodge Chinese claims to Sudanese oil, as the Chinese had previously signed oil contracts with the (now Northern) Sudanese government. The U.S.’ significant aid contributions to South Sudan, totaling $1.6 billion between 2013 and 2016, suggest that Washington has sought to influence the government there for that very purpose.

UN Security Council Delegation meets President Salva Kiir in Juba, South Sudan. (Source: paanluelwel.com)

Just two years later, however, South Sudan dissolved into a deadly civil war that has killed tens of thousands and displaced more than 1.5 million. Some analysts have suggested that the civil war broke out between South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his former deputy Riek Machar only when Mayardit started to cozy up to China.

The chaos from U.S. meddling in South Sudan has reached beyond its borders and brought trouble to Sudan, with that nation ranking as the eighth least peaceful nation.

Yemen: U.S.-backed Saudi aggressors responsible for famine, war crimes

Yemen, which ranked fifth, has also been involved in a U.S.-linked conflict, though the United States’ role has been less direct. While the U.S. is not leading the fight in Yemen, it has ardently backed the war’s aggressor – Saudi Arabia – from the beginning and has supplied the Saudis with billions of dollars in weapons, as well as occasionally bombed locations in Yemen to aid their Gulf allies.

In addition, the U.S. has turned a blind eye to the Saudis’ numerous war crimes in Yemen, despite the enormity of the tragedy unfolding there, including blocking aid shipments and consequently triggering widespread famine. The U.S. has been eager to see Saudi influence continue in Yemen – as it was prior to the conflict – due to Yemen’s location, which grants it control over the strategic strait of Bab al-Mandab, a chokepoint for the Saudi oil trade.

Yemen is followed by Somalia in the rankings.

Somalia: State of anarchy persists thanks to U.S. involvement

U.S. involvement in Somalia has a long history and reached a climax in the early 1990s, when the U.S.-supported military dictatorship of Siad Barre was overthrown, plunging the nation into civil war.

Thanks to Somalia’s strategic location for global oil markets at the mouth of the Red Sea, the U.S. became involved and, according to a staffer for the chief of the UN Somalia operation, “dragged the UN into Somalia kicking and screaming.” Somalia remained in a state of anarchy for 16 years until a coalition of Islamic courts took over the capital in 2006. However, this government was soon overthrown by Ethiopia with U.S. support.

Current U.S. anti-terrorism policy in Somalia, which includes the use of airstrikes, has been blamed for worsening the nation’s conflict and its burgeoning humanitarian crisis, having driven the nation into famine.

Libya: Plunged into chaos after challenging U.S. petrodollar

Another recent victim of U.S. regime change efforts, Libya now ranks as the seventh least peaceful nation in the world. Once one of the most prosperous nations in Africa, former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi made the “mistake” of challenging the U.S. petrodollar system by creating a gold-backed pan-African currency known as the dinar. Following his ouster, Libya was essentially transformed into a failed state where there is still no clear government, terrorism runs rampant and slaves are now openly traded in public.

Ukraine: Targeted by U.S.-led coup over gas industry

Ukraine, which was the target of a U.S.-led coup in 2014 to weaken the influence of Russia’s lucrative gas industry on European gas markets, now ranks tenth among the least peaceful nations in the world. The only nation ranking near the bottom that has not experienced clear U.S. involvement is the Central African Republic, which ranks ninth.

The United States’ not-so-peaceful ranking

The United States itself also plummeted dramatically in this year’s Global Peace Index, now ranking 114 out of the 163 nations surveyed. This decrease was the greatest decline measured in any country this year.

Jeremy Christian at a Free Speech Rally on April 29, 2016, in Portland, Oregon. (Photo: Doug Brown/The Portland Mercury)

Jeremy Christian at a “March for Free Speech” rally in Portland on April 29. Christian was chraged with a double murder and hate crimes, after he cut the throats of two men and stabbed another on a commuter train late on Friday afternoon. (Photo: Doug Brown/The Portland Mercury)

Statisticians have blamed divisiveness that has made itself plain following the 2016 presidential election, as well as a continued rise in homicide rates.

The United States’ involvement in military conflicts abroad is not factored into its ranking, meaning that this placement is conservative at best. As indicated by the ten lowest-ranking nations, if this factor were taken into consideration, the U.S. could likely find itself at the bottom of the list for its role in spurring disastrous and deadly conflicts around the world under the guise of foreign policy.

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African Revolutionary Hero and Co-founder of SWAPO Andimba Toivo ya Toivo

NOVANEWS
African Revolutionary Hero and Co-founder of SWAPO, Andimba Toivo ya Toivo, Leaves Liberation Legacy in Namibia
After spending years as a political prisoner the leader served as an inspiration to oppressed peoples worldwide
 

Laudatory tributes and commendations poured into the Republic of Namibia capital of Windhoek over the weekend in the aftermath of the announcement of the passing of Herman Andimba Toivo ya Toivo, the co-founder of the Ovamboland People’s Organization (OPO), the predecessor to the Southwest Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO), founded in 1959-1960 respectively.

Toivo, who was 93 years old, died in his home on June 9 of an apparent heart attack. His decades of service to the people of Namibia, Southern Africa, the African Revolution as a whole, and the international community, were widely known.

The liberation icon had spent 16 years on the dreaded Robben Island prison along with African National Congress (ANC) leaders such as Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Ahmed Kathrada, Govan Mbeki, among others. He had been arrested, charged and convicted of treason due to his uncompromising work aimed at the overthrow of the racist-settler colonial system in Namibia which became a colony of the former Union of South Africa during World War I.

After receiving the news of Toivo’s death, Namibian President Hage Geingob went on national television where he made the announcement to the people. He noted the profound loss personally as well as to the people of this Southern African state.

Geingob said in his broadcast to the nation:

“Good evening fellow Namibians. The icon of the Namibian struggle and national hero Comrade Andimba Toivo ya Toivo is no more. He left us this evening around 1800h at his house in Windhoek, Namibia. On behalf of the Namibian government … I express collective sorrow to the bereaved family … their loss is not only felt by the family but by us all as a country.” (Namibian Broadcasting Corporation, June 9)

Former SWAPO leader and founding president of the Republic of Namibia, Sam Nujomo, through his assistant John Nauta, indicated that the first head-of-state would deliver a message of condolence as part of the memorial and funeral services. Nujomo took control of the SWAPO leadership after Toivo was arrested and imprisoned by the apartheid regime in the 1960s.

ANC and SACP Issue Statements of Condolence

The ANC ruling party in the Republic of South Africa, longtime allies and strategic partners with SWAPO for decades immediately expressed its condolences through statements amid several South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) television segments reflecting on the life, times and contributions of Toivo. The SWAPO leader had spent time in South Africa prior to his imprisonment beginning in the mid-to-late 1960s.

In fact Toivo championed the rights of African mineworkers in both South Africa and Namibia and was expelled from South Africa for collecting and circulating taped testimonies outside the country to the United Nations (UN) illustrating the harsh conditions of super-exploitation and racial oppression which was the foundation of the system of apartheid. The work of the liberation movements domestically and internationally was a key element in building a worldwide movement in defense of the ANC as well as SWAPO along with the African working class struggles inside South Africa and Namibia.

In a statement responding to the passing of the freedom fighter, the ANC described their ally as:

“A man of strong beliefs and convictions, Cde Toivo dedicated his life to the fight against oppression by the then South Africa authorities, rejecting apartheid South Africa’s reduction of sovereign Namibia into its colony. His life was the personification of solidarity, the quest for self-determination and unyielding commitment to the liberation of his people.”

This same ANC tribute continued saying:

“South Africa has lost a true friend in Comrade Toivo ya Toivo and we send our deepest condolences to our fraternal organization, Swapo, the people of Namibia and Comrade Ya Toivo’s family on his passing. Comrade Toivo has left an indelible mark in the history of our region and the continent. Ours is to emulate his life’s work and continue to fight for the realization of his vision of freedom for oppressed peoples of the world and of a continent at peace with itself.”

In another statement of condolences to the family of Toivo, the SWAPO Party and the Namibian government, the South African Communist Party (SACP) said:

“The South African Communist Party expresses its message of heartfelt condolences to the family of Cde Herman Andimba Toivo ya Toivo, the people of Namibia, Southern Africa and the African continent as whole on the death of the freedom fighter and co-founder and leader of the South West African People`s Organisation (Swapo). Cde Toivo died at the age of 93 in Windhoek yesterday, Friday 9 June 2017.”

The SACP went on to emphasize:

“Africa is not independent yet, because of persisting imperialist domination and capitalist exploitation of its resources and people. The masses of our people remain impoverished across the board, while a few, both national and foreign exploiters are becoming rich and richer out of the exploitation. The SACP is  reiterating its call for African continental unity to continue and deepen the struggle to advance the African revolution in honor of the exceptional founders and leaders of our national liberation movements, of who Cde Toivo was one.”

SWAPO Continued Anti-Colonial Struggle to Its Conclusion

Namibia was initially colonized by Germany in the late 19th century. The social conditions imposed upon the African people prompted a revolt in 1904 among the Herero and Nama which was ruthlessly suppressed.

Thousands of Africans were killed by the German imperialists during the revolt. Tens of thousands of others were forced into concentration labor camps where they died of disease and starvation.

The country of Namibia is rich in mineral resources in addition to having access to the Atlantic Ocean and its deep water port at Walvis Bay. With the defeat of Germany in World War I, their African colonies were taken over by the British and other European imperialists. During the 1920s, the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) led by Marcus Garvey recruited thousands of people into this Pan-Africanist movement.

As conditions worsened under the apartheid settler-colonial system the consciousness of masses grew rapidly. By the conclusion of the 1950s, the people were prepared for a qualitative leap in the organization of a national liberation movement. Consequently, the OPO was later transformed into SWAPO at the beginning of the 1960s.

In 1966, Toivo recruited cadres to form the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN), the armed wing of SWAPO. The initial fighters were sent to the People’s Republic of China for training.

Through a series of legal and political maneuvers, the United Nations declared the racist apartheid regime’s governance over Namibia as being a violation of international law. A UN Council for Namibia was established in 1967. Later SWAPO was recognized as the sole legitimate representative of the Namibian people through the passage of UN Resolution 435 in 1978.

With the defeat of the South African Defense Forces (SADF) in Angola in 1988 by the combined forces of the Angolan military, SWAPO/PLAN and tens of thousands of Cuban Internationalists, negotiations were held on a transferal of power to the Namibian people. UN-supervised elections were held in November 1989 and the country was declared independent under SWAPO leadership on March 21, 1990.

Today Namibia remains one of the most stable and peaceful states on the African continent and is a leading member of the regional Southern African Development Community (SADC) founded inside the country in August 1992. Namibian foreign policy is Pan-Africanist in its orientation while SWAPO has maintained its control of the government for the last 27 years.

Toivo will go down as one of the great leaders of the African Revolution to emerge during the 20th century. After his release from prison in South Africa in 1984, he was appointed as Secretary General of SWAPO.

When Namibia gained its independence in 1990, Toivo was deployed in the government as the Minister of Mining. He served in government until retiring in 2006.

Just days prior to his death, he attended and co-chaired a Conference of African states in Solidarity with the Republic of Cuba in Havana.

Author’s Note: This writer met Herman Andimba Toivo ya Toivo in October 1985 when he toured the United States. Toivo was invited by the Southern African solidarity movement at Wayne State University in Detroit where the author introduced him to the audience of students, faculty members, journalists and community activists at a public forum. Later, the following month in November 1985, this writer met and held discussions with Toivo at the UN Council for Namibia offices in New York City. This writer spent time in Namibia during the 1990s where he met the-then President Sam Nujomo and renewed bonds with other SWAPO and government officials.

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Water for Profit: Haiti Comes to Flint

NOVANEWS

What happens in Haiti doesn’t stay in Haiti. Sooner or later, it comes to places like Michigan’s Benton Harbor and Flint. Our destinies are linked. Zbigniew Brzezinski, a Polish aristocrat who long puppeteered United States presidents from behind the curtains, has written: “America is too democratic at home to be autocratic abroad. This limits the use of America’s power, especially its capacity for military intimidation.” I concur. As long as the US attempts to dominate the world and continues to dispense the violence commensurate with this ambition, it cannot expect to practice democracy at home.

Zbigniew Brzezinski

Mr. Brzezinski reasoned that the main impediment to imperial ambitions is that people will not willingly get killed in wars of conquest, but I believe there are more profound reasons why democracy cannot thrive under such circumstances. For one, the servants of empire develop a comfort with dictatorship that eventually compels them to cross the Rubicon, as they did in Roman times, and come home to continue the practice. Even more important, democracy cannot flourish where the rich are free to justify their money accumulation by rendering everyone and everything salable. A symptom of such pathology is the phenomenon of privatization.

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Triple whammy

The battle has begun to privatize the functions of city governments, which really hold the commons and real wealth of any country. Water is at the center of this battle, and this includes waterfront property as well as drinking water. In Haiti, immediately after the earthquake of January 12, 2010, Bill Clinton pressured the government to declare an 18-month state of emergency, during which he could govern all the reconstruction as the co-chair of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC). There is little to show for more than $6 billion of aid funds to the IHRC besides a massive sweatshop complex, built for less than three percent of that amount, well away from the earthquake damage. Haiti’s mayors, the main impediments to the appropriation of land and water commons, were dismissed and replaced with Interim Agents appointed by a president who, in turn, had been installed by Hillary Clinton in May 2011 in a fraudulent election.

From-Haiti-to-Flint-d

In Michigan, there was no earthquake as there was in Haiti. Instead, the disaster was slow and cumulative. Though Clinton is credited for most of it, it had the approval of Republicans and Democrats. First came the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) of January 1994, which eliminated tariffs and other trade barriers between the US, Canada, and Mexico. Corporations like Whirlpool and General Motors moved their production to Mexico and abandoned those who had created their fortunes for generations as predominantly unionized laborers. The housing crash in 2008, due to the banking sector’s financial crimes, caused a rash of foreclosures. Finally, as more people fell into poverty, the federal government unraveled most social safety nets, including welfare and food stamps. The old manufacturing cities lost much of their population, together with their tax base. The residents who stayed, however, retained their power to vote despite being poor. Against this, the scions of corporate bosses, big property owners with plans of their own, continued to influence politics at the federal, state, and city levels. A clash between the poor and the rich of these cities became inevitable.

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Ground zero, Benton Harbor

It is in Benton Harbor, a town of about 10,000 people on Lake Michigan, with 70 percent unemployment and a per-capita annual income of about $10,000, that the fight for America’s cities started. Whirlpool Corporation was the major employer and had its corporate offices there, when a plan was hatched to take 530 acres of the city, including a lakefront park, for conversion into a $500 million development called Harbor Shores, with multi-million dollar condos on the beach area and a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course. In response, Reverend Edward Pinkney, a pastor and community leader, spearheaded the organization of the local 2008 elections and the recall of a mayor who had borrowed $3.2 million for the city, rather than require Whirlpool to pay its fair share of taxes. Opposition candidates won four commissioners seats and the mayoral seat: the five votes that were needed to control the City Commission.

From-Haiti-to-Flint-f

Whirlpool got $3.87 million in tax breaks in 2010 and left Benton Harbor for Mexico in March 2011, but the corporate bosses’ influence remained. Soon thereafter, the state of Michigan declared Benton Harbor to be $5 million in debt and then orchestrated a land grab with Public Act 4: a new law that allowed the state government to appoint, for a city, an Emergency Manager (EM) that trumps all elected local officials. According to Reverend Pinkney, Michigan Governor, Rick Snyder, was beholden to Whirlpool, and Benton Harbor’s first EM, Joseph Harris, was a professional accountant close to Cornerstone Alliance, which is part of Whirlpool. The city’s water bills tripled and its jobs were outsourced, but Benton Harbor paid millions of dollars to demolish the houses of its poorer residents and got its golf course and lakefront condos for the rich. Reverend Pinkney was thrown in prison for up to 10 years on a bogus charge of tampering with the mayor-recall petition.

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The fight for Flint

The rich of Michigan realized right away they had good thing in Public Act 4. The state began, almost immediately, to train hundreds of EMs for appointment to other cities. Governor Snyder ordered the city of Flint into receivership, also in 2011, and the state appointed an EM for it. With the departure of much of General Motors, which had begun there in 1908, the city had lost much of its tax base and had a budget deficit. Specifically, Flint went from about 200,000 people in the 1960s to about one half this number by 2011, when the median household income was around $25,000, and about 40 percent of the residents lived below the poverty line.

From-Haiti-to-Flint-h

On April 25, 2014, by order of its EM, Flint began to get its water from the Flint River using a formerly retired plant, instead of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD), which had provided the city with treated water originating from Lake Huron. The reason for this decision is often given as a need to save money, but according to journalist Steve Neavling, in response to the potential loss of a major client, the DWSD made a number of proposals to Flint, including the offer of a deal that would have been 20 percent less expensive than switching. In fact, the DWSD suggested that there was a political aim to the switch. One possible such objective might have been to destabilize Detroit, in a domino effect, for the assignment of its own EM.

From-Haiti-to-Flint-i

The story of Flint’s water contamination is no less tragic for being told many times. The corrosive water from the Flint River dislodged the protective scales from within the service water pipes and caused so much leaching of lead, that in some instances the water contained lead concentrations that would have been considered high even for toxic wastes! This happened because when residents complained about the brown coloration of the water, and later of infections with pathogenic Escherichia coli, the city hired two water-privatization companies, Veolia, and Lockwood, Andrews & Newman (LAN), to solve the problem. To save money, anticorrosives were not added to the water. The discoloration was treated by Veolia, which then declared the water safe to drink. Chlorination of the water in an attempt to disinfect it led to yet more leaching of lead. In addition the chlorine was removed by reactions with particles of iron in the water, and this led to growth of Legionella bacteria. In the end, thousands of people were poisoned with lead, including 9,000 children under the age of six, and 12 people died from Legionnaire’s Disease. All these facts about Flint’s water became public, not because of government watchdogs, but because of the efforts of citizen scientists who got assistance from scientists to analyze the lead concentrations in water and the blood of Flint’s children.

From-Haiti-to-Flint-j

Two former Flint EMs, Darnell Earley and Gerald Ambrose, as well as several Flint Department of Public Works employees, face criminal charges for their roles in the Flint debacle. In addition, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has filed a civil lawsuit in which Veolia and LAN are both alleged to have committed professional negligence and public nuisance, and Veolia is also alleged to have committed fraud. The city draws its water again from DWSD, but the damaged pipes continue to leach lead and, like Haitians who have come to depend on tanker-truck water for their food and drink, Flint residents subsist on bottled water.

From-Haiti-to-Flint-k

Emergency Managers: a rich man’s antidote to local democracy

Michigan voters repealed Public Act 4 in 2012, which had disenfranchised the majority of the Michigan poor, who are overwhelmingly black, but the same year, the state passed Public Act 436, and this has been upheld after a court challenge. A fact sheet from Michigan State University Extension summarizes the law as follows:

“If an EM is appointed, this person is authorized to act for and in place of the local governing body and administrative officer of the community. The governing body only retains any powers authorized by the EM. The EM has broad powers to resolve the financial crisis and insure the fiscal accountability of the community to provide services for the health, safety and welfare of its residents.”

From-Haiti-to-Flint-l

Like Bill Clinton in the IHRC in Haiti, EMs are appointed for 18 months with a possibility for indefinite renewal. Public Act 436 is a law that extracts all meaning from the word democracy and spits it out like so much trash onto a garbage heap. Nevertheless, many US cities are rearing to try similar laws. In effect, the EM law says that you can only have what you’ve got so long as somebody rich and powerful doesn’t want it. In a context of privatization, where everything can be bought and sold, groundwater, glacier water, rivers, and lakes may be sold, as can roads, bridges, parks, state houses, and museum artifacts. The rich, who would corral the sun and sky and put a meter on them if they could, are not treated as the threat they really are. Much lip service is given to the idea of water being a human right, as if, if this repeated enough times, it will become another platitude. But life is not worth living if there is nothing one would die for, and what is a human right but a right without which one would not be fully human, and life would not be worth living?

This is the third part of a series of articles that examine how water is snatched from cities and privatized.

See Part I and II below.

Water for Profit: Haiti’s Thirsty Season

By Dady Chery, May 12, 2017

Neocolonialism in Haiti, Water for Profit and the Cholera Epidemic

By Dady Chery, May 23, 2017

Sources:

News Junkie Post | Dady Chery is the author of We Have Dared to Be Free. | Photograph one (featured image) from the archive of Joe Brusky; photographs five and eleven from the archive of Michigan Municipal League; cartoon six by Donkey Hotey; and photograph twelve from the archive of the US Department of Agriculture.

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In the Wake of Britain’s Elections: Yet Again Voters Dismissed as May Submits to Tory Grandees

The politicians are leading Britain into a void. Rapidly declining in influence in both Europe and America, having made enemies of Russia and distrusted by everyone east of the Ukraine and south of Tunisia, Britain is now the global laughing stock, the butt of jokes and political cartoonists the world over.

Our world and the world around is a mess due to the personal ambitions of so-called ‘world leaders.’ We only have to look at the self defeating prophesy of our own, whose track record of success is woeful at best, and frankly, at any other time in history, would have been treated as not much less than treasonous.

Robert Harris in the Sunday Times writes:

“how did a stable parliamentary democracy, granted a unique set of favourable opt-outs with the largest trading bloc in the world, including on the single currency and travel, throw it all up in the air on the basis of 52-48 yes/no vote in a referendum – a margin not normally wide enough to change the constitution of the average golf club”.

Cameron told us that the ‘big society’ would solve our ‘Broken Britain’. The idea proposed the integration of the free market with a theory of social solidarity based on hierarchy and voluntarism.

Cameron said he was going to reform the EU.

Both were vacuous to an electorate who saw through his shallow deception.

Osborne told us of his economic miracle – driven by austerity – as if the two don’t cancel themselves out, which is exactly what happened.

Mind you, Trump was going to drain the swamp and clean up the Wall Street casino – they now own him.

It’s telling isn’t it that the three biggest democratic votes in the history of the United Kingdom are:

No.1 2016 – LEAVE the European Union with 17.4 million votes
No.2 ‘1975 – YES” to remaining in the EEC with 17.3 million votes
No.3 2016 – ‘REMAIN’ a member of the European Union with 16.1 million votes.

All three have massively out-gunned votes for a single politician including Attlee, Churchill, Thatcher and Blair. All three of these momentous events were defined by the lies of government officials.

Theresa May’s snap election was designed to increase her authority and kill the opposition, especially Jeremy Corbyn and his vision of the rise of traditional socialism. Instead there are now 262 Labour MP’s rather than the 170 or so widely touted by the mainstream broadcast media along with a howling mainstream press, who are now eating their deceitful and misleading words in front of a defiant citizenry. As if to enrage them further, May jumps into bed with a bunch of anti choice, religious bigots and climate change deniers who have called for the return of the death penalty – a party of extremists living in the olde world.

Strong and stable is now weak and wobbly and feckless too.

Europe’s Euractiv news cartoon entitled “Britain’s top minds are on the case” (Source: TruePublica)

Theresa May got more votes in this election than David Cameron did in both 2010 and 2015. She won with 13.7 million followers, a full 2.5 million more than Cameron at his best – and yet she lost.

Having won, but lost, Theresa then tears up her manifesto, making it obsolete within two days, abandoning nearly 14 million voters who thought her manifesto would be their country’s salvation, whilst she acquiesces to the Tory grandees demands. These are the very same establishment dinosaurs who are systematically destroying Britain with their infantile world view of old empire.

According to the newspapers today, May has axed key manifesto pledges as she pays the price for Cabinet support before facing a showdown with backbenchers. But they are not the electorate are they?

This is so typical of Britain’s democracy today. It’s all about politics, nothing to do with the voters you see.

Top politician’s inside the corridors of power used to wait at least a few years until they exacted revenge on former cabinet colleague enemies. They became columnists or wrote a memoir. George Osborne went straight for May’s jugular just weeks after leaving his post calling her a ‘dead woman walking.’ Osborne can’t see he is supposed to have the best interests of the country at heart. Which he doesn’t – and never did.

‘It’s just how long she’s going to remain on death row. We could easily get to the middle of next week and it all collapses for her’ – clearly aiming for gloat Bafta of the decade.

We see something from history coming to bite us with something in common with King John back in 1215AD. A lecherous traitor, a depraved tyrant and a hopeless leader in war – it’s no wonder his subjects rose up and forced Magna Carta on him.

Theresa May, an authoritarian but hopeless tactician, gambled our future, like her predecessor did, for greater personal glory – and lost.  If Thatcher’s raison d’être was implementing extreme neoliberal capitalism with the consequent aim of  destroying socialism, Mays achievement was resurrecting socialism and is destroying capitalism because her subjects rose up and forced Jeremy Corbyn on us.

It’s simple, the country cannot afford Corbyn’s socialism, but it clearly cannot afford Thatcher’s capitalism either – both are failed systems but the vacuum has not been filled. That vacuum happens to be the centre.

Let there be no illusion here. Britain’s fortunes are being squandered after this extraordinary general election outcome. The supreme political strategists and tactician’s can’t even work out the most basic outcomes of their own domestic electorate, let alone negotiate with the three biggest economic powers humanity has ever seen – America, China and The European Union. Britain is now considered a spent force – the last residues of the empire finally dimming with the incoherent murmurings of the establishment – who are despised by a people so ruthlessly exploited in the past four decades due to the ideology of neoliberalism that created a society so unequal as to equal that of the times of Dickens.

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UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s pact with the devil

NOVANEWS
Theresa May and Arlene Foster

By Stuart Littlewood

Former Conservative Chancellor George Osborne, now editor of the London Evening Standard, calls Theresa May “dead woman walking”. Another former minister, Anna Soubry, says: “She is in a desperate position. It is untenable…”, while, according to former Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, she cannot lead us into another election and a leadership challenge is possible during the summer.

While stunned Conservatives try to recover their composure, the rest of us can amuse ourselves speculating on whether it’ll be messed-up May or her nemesis, the charismatic lefty Jeremy Corbyn, who’ll be leading the UK to the sunny uplands of post-Brexit opportunity in three months’ time.

Dodgy friends

For now, though, May seems to have soothed her furious Conservative backbenchers enough to gain breathing space. She told those who survived her reckless general election performance: “I got us into this mess, and I’m going to get us out.”

How?

With the help of some new-found but very dodgy friends.

When you consider that the DUP are a deeply unpleasant gang of Protestant fundamentalists supported by the bothersome Orange Order and with links to paramilitary groups, you can be sure that this is a pact with the devil

A deal apparently struck between May and the DUP (Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland) has stoked widespread anger. With their 10 seats they might prop her up for the time being. But this will not be a formal coalition like the one agreed between David Cameron and the Liberal Democrats after the 2010 election. Instead, May has in mind a “confidence and supply” arrangement in which the DUP guarantees to protect her from a “no confidence” vote and to back her budget, but anything else will have to be thrashed out on a case by case basis.

What we’re not told is the DUP’s price for coming to her rescue. When you consider that the DUP are a deeply unpleasant gang of Protestant fundamentalists supported by the bothersome Orange Order and with links to paramilitary groups, you can be sure that this is a pact with the devil. Their views on climate change and LGBT are unpalatable and they vehemently oppose abortion (in Northern Ireland it is still an offence for women to procure a termination, the penalty being life imprisonment). They also don’t want the sort of “hard” border with the Irish Republic that a “hard” Brexit would bring.

As if that wasn’t bad news enough, they oppose power-sharing with Irish nationalists. May’s willingness to romp with them is therefore seen as a breach of the Good Friday accord which requires the UK government to show rigorous impartiality towards the different political factions in Northern Ireland. Favours to the DUP would be viewed as a grave threat to the hard-won peace.

So, May’s selfish ambition could have fatal consequences. In any case, could a flimsy “confidence and supply” deal ever provide the stability and certainty the UK needs for its Brexit negotiations and re-emergence into the wider world?

Foreign affairs nightmare

We saw earlier May’s poor judgement when as Home Secretary she presided over soaring immigration and cuts to police and other agencies which undermined national security. We can now add her lack of common sense in anything to do with foreign affairs.

The media endlessly pump pout images of May and her husband entering and leaving their local church. She’s the daughter of an Anglican priest after all. But do her high principles extend to concern for her Christian brothers and sisters in the Holy Land, abused and oppressed for decades by the illegal Israeli occupation? Hell no, she praises Israel for being “a thriving democracy, a beacon of tolerance” when it clearly is neither. Then there’s her truly offensive belief that we share “common values” with Israel, which was recently branded an apartheid state by the UN.

And who hurriedly declared the Shai Masot affair “closed” after Masot, employed by the Israeli embassy and probably a Mossad asset, plotted with gullible British MPs and political hangers-on to “take down” senior government figures?

She even attacked the successful BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] campaign, calling it unacceptable and warning that her government would “have no truck with those who subscribe to it”. Two hundred legal scholars and practising lawyers from 15 European countries promptly put her in her place by pointing out that BDS is a lawful exercise of freedom of expression and outlawing it undermines a basic human right protected by international convention. Furthermore, BDS is civil society’s response to the international community’s irresponsible failure to act. Her efforts to repress it amounted to support for Israel’s violations of international law and a failure to honour the solemn pledge by states to “strictly respect the aims and principles of the Charter of the United Nations”.

In a speech to Conservative Friends of Israel she said the British government will be marking the centenary of the Balfour Declaration later this year “with pride”. The declaration was the infamous letter by the British foreign secretary to Lord Rothschild in 1917 that betrayed the Arabs and started a running sore in the Middle East lasting a hundred years. Britain’s failure to make amends continues to endanger the whole region and cause grief for millions. By coincidence, this year also marks 50 years of brutal Israeli occupation of Palestine. To add insult to injury, May has invited Israel’s chief criminal, Binyamin Netanyahu, to join her government in whooping it up at the Balfour celebrations.

Eager to fuel old hostilities, Theresa May accuses Iran of working with Hezbollah, interfering in Iraq, sending fighters to Syria to help Assad, and supporting the Houthis in the conflict in Yemen. At the same time Britain expects to meddle in the Middle East anytime it pleases and with whoever it wants. And despite growing opposition at home, the British government recently concluded another huge arms deal with the Saudis which, according to May, is for the sake of long-term security in the Gulf. She argues that the same extremists who plot terror in the Gulf states are also targeting the streets of Europe: “Gulf security is our security.”

And who can forget how she left the British public cringing in embarrassment after inviting Trump on a state visit to the UK when he’d been in office only five minutes and clearly ought to have been on probation? Let’s not even mention the photo of the pair holding hands.

So what price should we pay – if any – to the DUP for keeping Theresa May in her job?

As for Brexit, am I alone in wondering why we need to get bogged down for two years negotiating our freedom? What is wrong with stating our terms (which should be as near as dammit the same as existing arrangements and safeguards, minus the free movement of people) to Europe’s principal industrial, commercial, financial, research and security interests, and leaving them to argue with their bureaucrats? I doubt if VW, Audi, Mercedes, Bosch, Renault, Fiat, AEG, Peugeot-Citroen and so on wish to say goodbye to lucrative business or see the UK importing all it needs from the Far East and America.

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Syrian Army Reaches Border with Iraq ”Video”

NOVANEWS
Syrian Army Reaches Border with Iraq, Strategic Implications, Failure of US Plan to Create a Buffer Zone Controlled by Western Backed Militants?

On June 9, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allied militia groups reached the border with Iraq in the area north of the US-led coalition garrisons at the village of At Tanf and Al Zquf. This advance dramatically changed the strategic situation in southeastern Syria and de-facto allowed the Syrian-Iranian-Russian alliance to win the race for the border with Iraq.

The key goal of the US-led coalition actions near the border was to prevent the SAA from linking up with the allied Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) operating in Iraq and to build a buffer zone controlled by Western-backed militant groups between the two countries.

The PMU is a major power in Iraq and an official part of the Iraqi Armed Forces. It’s currently conducting a large-scale operation against ISIS terrorists at own side of the border. The June 9 advance destroyed the US-led coalition’s plans.

The government forces deployed north of At Tanf also prevent US-backed proxies from advancing on the ISIS-held border town of al-Bukamal. While the US-led forces in southeastern Syria have never had enough manpower and capabilities to do this, the declared aim to retake al-Bukamal from ISIS was an important part of the US propaganda campaign to justify its illegal presence in the area.

Now, government forces in southeastern Syrian forces will likely coordinate its efforts with the PMU in order to clear the Syrian-Iraqi border area and to move to al-Bukamal and Qaim. Iran will also be able to incease supplies to the Syrian government via a land route. Some PMU member groups are already participating in the operations in Syria on the side of the SAA. Now, this number will likely be increased.

Meanwhile, Jordanian border guards clashed with a convoy consisting 9 cars and 2 motorcycles trying to enter Jordanian territory from the direction of At Tanf. The border guards destroyed 2 cars and 2 motorcycles. The rest of the vehicles retreated. At Tanf town is under a full control of the US-led Coalition and militant groups affiliated with the US-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA).

The people who attempted to infiltrate into Jordanian territory may be a group of FSA who decided to withdraw to Jordan for an unknown reason. It is almost impossible for anyone to move in Al Tanaf without the US-led coalition approval. However, it is also possible that these people were local smugglers.

Following a success at the border with Iraq, the SAA and its allies intensified operations against ISIS in the countryside of Palmyra, retook some points east of the city and attacked ISIS in the Arak area. The mid-term goal of the government operation is to capture the strategic Sukhna town located on the road to Deir Ezzor. The SAA, Hezbollah and other groups had sent reinforcements to the area in order to speed up the operation.

According to reports, ISIS had deployed a large force for another attempt to retake Deir Ezzor from the SAA. The government forces push to Sukhna may be a response to this situation.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), backed up by the US-led coalition’s airpower and artillery units, are storming the ISIS-held city of Raqqah. A fierce fighting is ongoing in the 17th Division Base, Husaywah and the industrial district near Mashlab.

Posted in SyriaComments Off on Syrian Army Reaches Border with Iraq ”Video”

Dirty Open Secret: US Created and Supports ISIS

NOVANEWS
 

It’s one of the dirtiest of dirty open secrets.  

US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) documents prove it – obtained by Judicial Watch through an FOIA lawsuit. 

They show ISIS, al-Qaeda and like-minded terrorist groups are the “major forces” used as US foot soldiers in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere. 

The myth of so-called “moderate rebels” was long ago discredited. Yet claiming they exist persists. 

The DIA documents show America, NATO, Saudi Arabia and other regional rogue states support an Islamic caliphate to challenge, topple and replace Bashar al-Assad with an imperial puppet. 

Longstanding US/Israeli plans call for redrawing the Middle East map by color revolutions and wars, replacing independent governments with pro-Western puppet regimes, balkanizing Iraq, Syria, Iran and other regional countries for easier control, looting their resources, and exploiting their people. 

In a January 2016 Iran Review article, James Fetzer discussed evidence of ISIS’ creation by America. 

In February 2015, Iraq’s military “downed 2 UK cargo planes carrying weapons for ISIL,” he explained. 

In March 2015, “Iraqi popular forces…shot down a US helicopter carrying weapons for ISIL in Al-Anbar province…”

Photographic evidence proved it. 

In response to an April 2015 Syrian request to designate ISIL (ISIS) a terrorist organization, “the US, Britain, France and Jordan refused…” 

(Source: Iran Review)

“Photographs…showing ISIS members sporting ‘US Army’ tattoos” went unreported by Western media scoundrels.

A 2012 DIA document states the West will facilitate the rise of ISIS “to isolate the Syrian regime.” 

Former CIA contractor Steven Kelly said Washington

“created ISIL for the sake of Israel,” along with assuring “never-ending war in the Middle East” to make the Jewish state the dominant regional power and provide a “constant flow of orders for weapons from the military-industrial complex at home…” 

ISIS fighters are recruited from scores of countries, including Western ones. 

In October 2015, Russian lower house State Duma International Affairs Committee chairman Alexi Pushkov explained America is

“not bombing ISIS at all…Obama is lying to the American people.” 

In November 2015, Vladimir Putin said dozens of countries are supporting ISIS, including America and other Western ones. 

Fetzer:

“There are many other sources that confirm that ISIS was created by the US and is being supported by Western powers to promote their own political agenda, where nothing coming from the administration of Barack Obama is worthy of belief.”  

“Since the nullification of the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 (which precluded the techniques of propaganda and disinformation within the United States) by the NDAA 2013, there are no trustworthy (mainstream) news sources in the US…” 

In Washington, “ISIS is commonly called ‘John McCain’s Army’…(one of) the earliest advocates of (regional) military action” on the phony pretext of combating ISIS. 

On Sunday, Fars News quoted Iranian armed forces deputy chief of staff General Mostafa Izadi saying: 

“We possess documents and information showing the direct supports by the US imperialism for this highly disgusting stream (ISIS) in the region which has destroyed the Islamic countries and created a wave of massacres and clashes.” 

Washington uses ISIS and like-minded groups as instruments for regional “proxy war…” 

On Friday, Fars News quoted Iran’s parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, saying

“(t)he United States has aligned itself with the ISIL in the region.” 

ISIS, al-Qaeda, al-Nusra (ISIS in Syria) and like-minded groups are US creations. 

They’re used as foot soldiers to advance its imperium – responsible for aiding Washington rape and destroy one country after another. 

Most Americans are unaware of Washington’s diabolical agenda in the Middle East, Central Asia, North Africa and elsewhere in their name – a bipartisan conspiracy against world peace, stability and security no matter the human cost. 

Posted in USA, SyriaComments Off on Dirty Open Secret: US Created and Supports ISIS


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