Archive | August 22nd, 2017

A Sinister War on Our Right to Hold Cash

An operation that began as a seemingly obscure academic discussion three years ago is now becoming a full-blown propaganda campaign by some of the most powerful institutions in the industrialized world. This is what rightly should be termed the War on Cash. Like the War on Terror, the War on Cancer or the War on Drugs, its true agenda is sinister and opaque. If we are foolish enough to swallow the propaganda for complete elimination of cash in favor of pure digital bank money, we can pretty much kiss our remaining autonomy and privacy goodbye. George Orwell’s 1984 will be here on steroids.

Let me be clear. Here we discuss not various block-chain digital technologies, so-called crypto-currencies. We are not addressing private payment systems such as China’s WeChat. Nor do we discuss e-banking or use of bank credit cards such as Visa or Master Card or others. These are of an entirely different quality from the goal of the ongoing sinister war on cash. They are all private services not state.

What we are discussing is a plot, and it is a plot, by leading central banks, select governments, the International Monetary Fund in collusion with major international banks to force citizens—in other words, us!—to give up holding cash or using it to pay for purchases. Instead we would be forced to use digital bank credits. The difference, subtle though it may at first seem, is huge. As in India following the mad Modi US-inspired war on cash late in 2016, citizens would forever lose their personal freedom to decide how to pay or their privacy in terms of money. If I want to buy a car and pay cash to avoid bank interest charges, I cannot. My bank will limit the amount of digital money I can withdraw on any given day. If I want to stay in a nice hotel to celebrate a special day and pay cash for reasons of privacy, not possible. But this is just the surface.

Visa joins the war

This July, Visa International rolled out what it calls “The Visa Cashless Challenge.” With select buzz words about how technology has transformed global commerce, Visa announced a program to pay selected small restaurant owners in the USA if they agree to refuse to accept cash from their customers but only credit cards. The official Visa website announces, “Up to $500,000 in awards. 50 eligible food service owners. 100% cashless quest.” Now for a mammoth company such as Visa with annual revenues in the $15 billion range, a paltry $500,000 is chump change. Obviously they believe it will advance use of Visa cards in a market that until now prefers cash—the small family restaurant.

The Visa “challenge” to achieve what it calls the “100% cashless quest” is no casual will-o’-the-wisp. It is part of a very thought-through strategy of not only Visa, but also the European Central Bank, the Bank of England, the International Monetary Fund and the Reserve Bank of India to name just a few.

IMF on Boiling Frogs

In March this year the International Monetary Fund in Washington issued a Working Paper on what they call “de-cashing.” The paper recommends that, “going completely cashless should be phased in steps.” It notes the fact that there already exist “initial and largely uncontested steps, such as the phasing out of large denomination bills, the placement of ceilings on cash transactions, and the reporting of cash moves across the borders. Further steps could include creating economic incentives to reduce the use of cash in transactions, simplifying the opening and use of transferrable deposits, and further computerizing the financial system.”

In France since 2015 the limit a person may pay in cash to a business is a mere €1000 “to tackle money laundering and tax evasion.” Moreover, any deposit or withdrawal of cash from a bank account in excess of €10,000 in a month will automatically be reported to Tracfin, a unit of the French government charged with combating money laundering, “largely uncontested steps” and very ominous portents.

The IMF paper further adds as argument for eliminating cash that “de-cashing should improve tax collection by reducing tax evasion.” Said with other words, if you are forced to use only digital money transfers from a bank, the governments of virtually every OECD country today have legal access to the bank data of their citizens.

In April, a month after the IMF paper on de-cashing, the Brussels EU Commission released a statement that declared,

“Payments in cash are widely used in the financing of terrorist activities. In this context, the relevance of potential upper limits to cash payments could also be explored. Several Member States have in place prohibitions for cash payments above a specific threshold.”

Even in Switzerland, as a result of relentless campaigns by Washington, their legendary bank secrecy has been severely compromised under the fallacious argument it hinders financing of terrorist organizations. A glance at recent European press headlines about attacks from Barcelona to Munich to London to Charlottesville exposes this argument as a sham.

Today in the EU, as further result of Washington pressure, under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) banks outside the USA where US citizens hold a deposit are forced to file yearly reports on the assets in those accounts to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the US Treasury. Conveniently for the US as the major emerging tax haven, the US Government has refused, despite it being specified in the Act, to join FACTA itself.

In 2016 the European Central Bank discontinued issuing €500 bills arguing it would hinder organized crime and terrorism, a poor joke to be sure, as if the sophisticated networks of organized crime depend on paper currencies. In the US, leading economists such as former Harvard President Larry Summers advocate eliminating the $100 bill for the same alleged reason.

$10 limit?

The real aim of the war on cash however was outlined in a Wall Street Journal OpEd by Harvard economist and former chief economist at the IMF, Kenneth Rogoff. Rogoff argues that there should be a drastic reduction in the Federal Reserve’s issuance of cash. He calls for all bills above the $10 bill to be removed from circulation, thereby forcing people and businesses to depend on digital or electronic payments solely. He repeats the bogus mantra that his plan would reduce money-laundering, thereby reduce crime while at the same time exposing tax cheats.

However the hidden agenda in this War on Cash is confiscation of our money in the next, inevitable banking crisis, whether in the EU member countries, the United States or developing countries like India.

Already several central banks have employed a policy of negative interest rates alleging, falsely, that this is necessary to stimulate growth following the 2008 financial and banking crisis. In addition to the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan, the Danish National Bank adhere to this bizarre policy. However, their ability to lower interest rates to member banks even more is constrained as long as cash is plentiful.

Here the above cited IMF document lets the proverbial cat out of the sack. It states,

“In particular, the negative interest rate policy becomes a feasible option for monetary policy if savings in physical currency are discouraged and substantially reduced. With de-cashing, most money would be stored in the banking system, and, therefore, would be easily affected by negative rates, which could encourage consumer spending…”

That’s because your bank will begin to charge you for the “service” of allowing you to park your money with them where they can use it to make more money. To avoid that, we are told, we would spend like there’s no tomorrow. Obviously, this argument is fake.

As German economist Richard Werner points out, negative rates raise banks’ costs of doing business.

“The banks respond by passing on this cost to their customers. Due to the already zero deposit rates, this means banks will raise their lending rates.”

As Werner further notes,

“In countries where a negative interest rate policy has been introduced, such as Denmark or Switzerland, the empirical finding is that it is not effective in stimulating the economy. Quite the opposite. This is because negative rates are imposed by the central bank on the banks – not the borrowing public.

He points out that the negative interest rate policy of the ECB is aimed at destroying the functioning, traditionally conservative EU savings banks such as the German Sparkassen and Volksbanken in favor of covertly bailing out the giant and financially corrupt mega-banks such as Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Societe Generale of France, Royal Bank of Scotland, Alpha Bank of Greece, or Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena in Italy and many others. The President of the ECB, Mario Draghi is a former partner of the mega bank, Goldman Sachs.

Why Now?

The relevant question is why now, suddenly the urgency of pushing for elimination of cash on the part of central banks and institutions such as the IMF? The drum roll for abolishing cash began markedly following the January 2016 Davos, Switzerland World Economic Summit where the western world’s leading government figures and central bankers and multinational corporations were gathered. The propaganda offensive for the current War on Cash offensive began immediately after the Davos talks.

Several months later, in November, 2016, guided by experts from USAID and, yes, Visa, the Indian government of Narenda Modi announced the immediate demonetization or forced removal of all 500 Rupee (US$8) and 1,000 Rupee (US$16) banknotes on the recommendation of the Reserve Bank of India. The Modi government claimed that the action would curtail the shadow economy and crack down on the use of illicit and counterfeit cash to fund illegal activity and terrorism.

Notably, the Indian Parliament recently made a follow-up study of the effects of the Modi war on cash. The Parliamentary Committee on Demonetization report documented that not a single stated objective was met. No major black money was found and Demonetization had no effect on terror funding, the reasons given by the Government to implement such a drastic policy. The report noted that while India’s central bank was allegedly attacking black money via demonetization, the serious illegal money in offshore tax havens was simply recycled back into India, “laundered” via Foreign Direct Investment by the criminal or corporate groups legally in a practice known as “Round Tripping.”

Yet the Parliament’s report detailed that the real Indian economy was dramatically hit. Industrial Production in April declined by a shocking 10.3 percent over the previous month as thousands of small businesses dependent on cash went under. Major Indian media have reportedly been warned by the Modi government not to publicize the Parliament report.

If we connect the dots on all this, it becomes clearer that the war on cash is a war on our individual freedom and degrees of freedom in our lives. Forcing our cash to become digital is the next step towards confiscation by the governments of the EU or USA or wherever the next major banking crisis such as in 2007-2008 erupts.

In late July this year Estonia as rotating presidency of the EU issued a proposal backed by Germany that would allow EU national regulators to “temporarily” stop people from withdrawing their funds from a troubled bank before depositors were able to create a bank “run.” The EU precedent was already set in Cyprus and in Greece where the government blocked cash withdrawals beyond tiny daily amounts.

As veteran US bank analyst Christopher Whelan points out in a recent analysis of the failure of the EU authorities to effectively clean up their banking mess since the 2008 financial crisis, “the idea that the banking public – who generally fall well-below the maximum deposit insurance limit – would ever be denied access to cash virtually ensures that deposit runs and wider contagion will occur in Europe next time a depository institution gets into trouble.” Whelan points out that nine years after the 2008 crisis, EU banks remain in horrendous condition. “There remains nearly €1 trillion in bad loans within the European banking system. This represents 6.7% of the EU economy. That’s huge. He points out that banks’ bad loans as share of GDP for US and Japan banks are 1.7 and 1.6 percent respectively.

As governments, whether in the EU or in India or elsewhere refuse to rein in fraudulent practices of its largest banks, forcing people to eliminate use of cash and keep all their liquidity in digital deposits with state regulated banks, sets the stage for the state to confiscate those assets when they declare the next emergency. If we are foolish enough to permit this scam to pass unchallenged perhaps we deserve to lose our vestige of financial autonomy. Fortunately, popular resistance against elimination of cash in countries like Germany is massive. Germans recall the days of the 1920s Weimar Republic and hyperinflation as the 1931 banking crises that led to the Third Reich. The IMF approach is that of the Chinese proverb on boiling frogs slowly. But human beings are not frogs, or?

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Five Major Flaws in Trump’s Afghanistan Strategy that He Does Not Want You to Know About

NOVANEWS
  

According to his Monday night speech, 45* is sending 4,000 more US troops to Afghanistan, signaling support for the longest-running war in U.S. history. But there are at least five gaping holes in his plan:

1. Trump’s Afghanistan strategy is a betrayal of his 2016 campaign

Back before he was even considering running for president, 45 tweeted on multiple occasions that the war in Afghanistan was a “waste,” “nonsense,” and “a total disaster.” In 2011, 45 tweeted his agreement with then-Congressman Ron Paul’s assessment that the U.S. was “wasting lives and money in Afghanistan.”

However, according to a New York Times article published Monday night, 45 eventually submitted to pressure from the multiple generals in his cabinet and administration, who convinced him that the only viable strategy in Afghanistan was to send in thousands more troops. This means the Afghan war is the longest-running war in American history, surpassing the Moro Rebellion (1899-1913) by four years.

Let’s get out of Afghanistan. Our troops are being killed by the Afghanis we train and we waste billions there. Nonsense! Rebuild the USA.

We should leave Afghanistan immediately. No more wasted lives. If we have to go back in, we go in hard & quick. Rebuild the US first.

We have wasted an enormous amount of blood and treasure in Afghanistan. Their government has zero appreciation. Let’s get out!

Ron Paul is right when he says we are wasting lives and money in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Afghanistan is a total disaster. We don’t know what we are doing. They are, in addition to everything else, robbing us blind.

Now Obama is keeping our soldiers in Afghanistan for at least another year. He is losing two wars simultaneously.

2.  More U.S. troops won’t “change a damn thing”

Even for those who support the war, it’s unclear that the additional 4,000 soldiers is enough to change much. Michael Adams, a former Special Operations Command Sergeant Major with years of experience in Afghanistan, told Grit Post that the troop surge won’t be enough to turn the tide in the war-torn region.

“If 4,000 is correct, even if the majority were Special Operations Forces, it isn’t going to change a damn thing on the ground in Afghanistan or Pakistan,” Adams told Grit Post in an interview. “This has all been done before and we know the result; thousands dead, an economy and an insurgency funded by opium [and] rampant corruption.”

After 16 years, the Afghan government controls only 57 percent of the country’s districts, according to a report from SIGAR, the U.S. government’s top watchdog organization in Afghanistan. Though the number of U.S. casualties is relatively low, the dirty secret of the war is the astonishing number of Afghans who are dying. The number of civilian casualties has already reached a record high this year, with at least 1,662 deaths and 3,581 wounded—many resulting from U.S. and Afghan airstrikes.

Moreover, there is a skyrocketing number of casualties sustained by the Afghan security forces, of which 807 were killed in the first six weeks of this year alone, according to SIGAR.

3. Mercenaries could play a big role in the coming surge

The White House has considered dramatically expanding the role of private contractors in the war. According to Erik Prince, former CEO of Blackwater/Xe/Academi, Trump has been in touch with him about a proposal in which thousands of US soldiers would be replaced with his private army of military contractors. Prince, the brother-in-law of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, has served as an advisor for Trump’s transition team and even as an unofficial envoy for the executive branch.

Though Prince boasts about how much leaner and more efficient private contractors are, they often cost taxpayers far more than US troops—sometimes three times as much. Furthermore, mercenaries like Blackwater contractors are exposed to far less transparency than U.S. soldiers.

4. Trump wants a piece of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth

The executive branch has made no secret of its interest in Afghanistan’s mineral deposits, which may amount to more than $1 trillion in total wealth. Afghanistan’s minerals are so bountiful that a recent report from Reuters claims the country has the potential to become “the Saudi Arabia of lithium.” One major problem: the Taliban controls much of the territory in which these minerals rest.

However, a study conducted by Afghanistan’s government estimates the nation’s mineral wealth is even more vast than previously imagined. A partial survey conducted by the Afghan Ministry of Mines and Petroleum claims the country’s mineral wealth is estimated at $3 trillion — more than enough to compensate for the war’s cost. Stephen Feinberg, the billionaire financier who owns the military contractor DynCorp International, is informally advising the White House on Afghanistan according to a report in The New York Times, which said the company may potentially play a role in safeguarding American mining operations.

5. An Afghan strategy that ignores Pakistan is doomed to fail

In 2016 alone, the US gave $550 million in military aid to Pakistan—a country that has been propping up the Taliban for years. In fact, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, quoting an Afghan security forces official, said in December 2016 that if the Taliban didn’t have sanctuary in Pakistan, “they would not last a month.”

Though Trump’s address included vague talk about getting tough on Pakistan, it did not include any specific proposals for how he would do that. It’s unlikely that any foreseeable amount of US troops would be able to defeat the Taliban without the support of the Pakistanis.

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“Influenza: Marketing Vaccine by Marketing Disease.”

NOVANEWS

 Report on Flu Vaccines in British Medical Journal

Report by John Hopkins Medical School Researcher

 

The CDC pledges “To base all public health decisions on the highest quality scientific data, openly and objectively derived.” But Peter Doshiargues that in the case of influenza vaccinations and their marketing, this is not so.

Promotion of influenza vaccines is one of the most visible and aggressive public health policies today. Twenty years ago, in 1990, 32 million doses of influenza vaccine were available in the United States. Today around 135 million doses of influenza vaccine annually enter the US market, with vaccinations administered in drug stores, supermarkets—even some drive-throughs. 

 

The CDC pledges “To base all public health decisions on the highest quality scientific data, openly and objectively derived.” But Peter Doshi argues that in the case of influenza vaccinations and their marketing, this is not so

Promotion of influenza vaccines is one of the most visible and aggressive public health policies today. Twenty years ago, in 1990, 32 million doses of influenza vaccine were available in the United States.

Today around 135 million doses of influenza vaccine annually enter the US market, with vaccinations administered in drug stores, supermarkets—even some drive-throughs. This enormous growth has not been fueled by popular demand but instead by a public health campaign that delivers a straightforward, who-in-their-right-mind-could-possibly-disagree message: influenza is a serious disease, we are all at risk of complications from influenza, the flu shot is virtually risk free, and vaccination saves lives.

Through this lens, the lack of influenza vaccine availability for all 315 million US citizens seems to border on the unethical. Yet across the country, mandatory influenza vaccination policies have cropped up, particularly in healthcare facilities,1 precisely because not everyone wants the vaccination, and compulsion appears the only way to achieve high vaccination rates.2 Closer examination of influenza vaccine policies shows that although proponents employ the rhetoric of science, the studies underlying the policy are often of low quality, and do not substantiate officials’ claims. The vaccine might be less beneficial and less safe than has been claimed, and the threat of influenza appears overstated.

Now we are all “at risk” of serious complications

Influenza vaccine production has grown parallel to increases in the perceived need for the vaccine. In the US, the first recommendations for annual influenza vaccination were made in 1960 (table1).⇓ Through the 1990s, the key objective of this policy was to reduce excess mortality. Because most of influenza deaths occurred in the …

To read the complete report published by the British Medical Journal click here 

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“Narco-State Afghanistan” Leads to Heroin Addiction in the USA

NOVANEWS

White House Makes a Big Deal of New Heroin Efforts–But Says Nothing about Stemming the Flow or Why We’re Still at War in Narco-State Afghanistan

On March 29, 2016 the White House issued a press release on its new heroin initiative.  The Washington Post described how much Obama proposed to do.  The long list of fixes and new public-private partnerships relate almost exclusively to treatment.  The 1 billion dollars, Obama said, will treat “tens of thousands” of addicts.

Additional treatment is desperately needed, but the money won’t go far.  The White House and RANDsaid in 2014 that the US had 800,000–2.4 million heroin addicts. Treatment requires many months, or years, and costs tens of thousands of dollars per person. The new funding will support less than 10% of those needing treatment.

Speaking at the National Prescription Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit in Atlanta, Obama … called addiction a “heartbreaking” issue that’s costing lives and devastating communities across the country.

But he said: “I’m very optimistic that we can solve it.”

Yeah right.  Till you get it off the street, bro, you ain’t done shit.

And can you be as glib, Mr. President, at explaining why you completely left out efforts to reduce the US heroin supply?

From Wired, we learn that Obama ended (yes, ended) Afghan opium eradication soon after taking office:

In 2009, in one of his first major war policy decisions since becoming president, Barack Obama oversaw an end to U.S. poppy eradication… Without American support, Afghan government counter-narcotic operations withered to a merely symbolic scale. Kabul’s agents would raze one acre of a 10-acre plot and call it “eradicated.”

And that’s when the US heroin epidemic really took off, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse:

[GR editor’s Note: the rise in heroin addiction is functionally related to the increase in opium production in Afghanistan, see table below:]

See:  Michel Chossudovsky, The Spoils of War: Afghanistan’s Multibillion Dollar Heroin Trade, Washington’s Hidden Agenda: Restore the Drug Trade,

Global Research, 14 May 2005

Aerial poppy eradication is off the table, according to the State Department, and the US no longer supports Afghan national counter-narcotics efforts. Hello?

Mr. President:  Please explain how and why you pulled the wool over the eyes of the American people by claiming the Taliban are in charge of Afghan opium?  Why didn’t you tell the truth: that they tax the acreage used to grow the crop?  (As do anti-Taliban militias in areas they control.) This is akin to property taxes.

Somebody else actually buys the opium, converts it to heroin, and brings it to the US, where it sells for over 1,000 times what the Taliban received in taxes.

Who, Mr. President, collects the big money?  Who buys the opium harvest, protects the movement of opium, its conversion to heroin, and ships it over here, undetected? Last I heard, the US installed much of the Afghan government and patrolled a lot of poppy fields.  Afghanistan is where between 75% and 93% of the world’s illicit opium is grown each year, on 500,000 (undisturbed) acres.

Funny how after spending 100 billion dollars on Afghan reconstruction, over $8 billion on opium eradication, and several trillion dollars on our 15 year Afghan war, the acreage under poppies has only expanded.  Funny about that.

Funny, too, is that big question mark… why are we still in Afghanistan?  I thought we went to get Bin Laden.  Well, he’s history.

Can someone explain our military objective for Afghanistan?  How do we justify this longest war in the 240 year history of our nation?

Writing about the Afghanistan war in National Defense magazine in 2009, Lawrence P. Farrell noted,

“Seldom do we hear or read a discussion of what the “political objective” should be or even whether anyone has articulated the political aims for the use of military force in that country.”

In 2010 General Petraeus was interviewed for the Council on Foreign Relations about this. He claimed that “our military’s operational objective [was] nation-building, euphemistically called counterinsurgency…”

Nation-building?  Back during the Vietnam war, we used a different expression to say the same thing:  “We had to destroy the village in order to save it.”  During the Vietnam war, most US heroin came from poppies grown in Southeast Asia.

Some of this heroin arrived in the US on military planes, inside the body bags of fallen soldiers. It was loaded onto planes at US military bases in Vietnam, and unloaded at military bases in the US. Somebody in the government knew what was going on.

At fourteen years into the Afghan war, in October 2015, USAT reported,

“The president said he does not believe in “endless war,” but there remains an opportunity to forge a stable country that can prevent the emergence of future threats, an effort in which more than 2,200 Americans have given their lives.”

Face it.  The expressed reasons for our continuing adventure in Afghanistan are smoke and mirrors, nothing more.

Vietnam was a war in which the number of US soldiers who had lost their lives was oft-repeated as a justification to keep the war going. Vietnam was another war with fuzzy objectives, supposedly fought for a discredited “Domino Theory.” But perhaps there are good reasons why the lessons of Vietnam seem to have been ignored.

Few people know that Afghanistan hides immense underground wealth. But first it must be wrested from the Afghans. Heroin aside, two financial blockbusters are just waiting to be tapped.

1.  The value of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth was estimated at one trillion dollars by NPR, and at 3 trillion dollars by Bloomberg. This almost certainly impacted Russia’s failed takeover of Afghanistan.

“Afghanistan, with certainty I can say, in 20 years is going to be a mining country,” Paul Brinkley, head of a Pentagon group called the Task Force for Business Stability Operations, tells NPR’s Rachel Martin. “That is going to happen.”

2.   Pipeline construction, which has been on the table for the last 20 years, would move oil and gas from the Caspian basin to the Arabian Sea.  The region’s proven gas and oil reserves are huge, and equal to those in the US.  To finally reach the ocean, an oil or gas pipeline must cross through Afghanistan, or else through Iran.

From The Diplomat comes a telling quote:

“It is, therefore, little surprise that some experts contend that the country is not transitioning from “war to peace,” but rather from “military conflict to resource conflict.’”

Obama needs to “forge a stable country” to prevent pipelines from being tapped or blown up, and protect future mining operations.

3.  Don’t forget that Afghanistan’s half million acres of poppy fields generate heroin worth roughly $200 billion dollars on the street, year after year. Unlike minerals and gas, this is a truly renewable resource.

Is the Afghan war–the longest American war–just about opium, minerals and pipelines? I could be missing some of the picture. Maybe I have oversimplified things. But phenomenal resources, still untapped, have to count as the lurking, almost-never-discussed elephant in the Afghan war room.

If the US government had reasonable political and military objectives, wouldn’t the government have provided a coherent account of its objectives by now?  In the absence of any meaningful explanation for this war, the only reason we remain there, with no prospect of getting out, is to secure control of Afghanistan’s resources for the US.  Or, more correctly, for the oligarchs who control US policy and who will reap the benefits–while the people of the US (and Afghanistan, much more so) pay the costs.

FACT:  the land under poppy cultivation has tripled since the US entered Afghanistan in 2001, helped by US spending for wells, roads and “reconstruction.”.

Connect the dots.  As the pipeline project grows, so will our military commitment.

But there is one little bright spot.  It is a Presidential election year, and the candidates do have to answer questions.  I’m going to try and put their feet to the fire.  Will you do the same?

Ask the Presidential candidates to explain what we are doing in Afghanistan.

Who owns Afghan mineral rights?  Who is invested in Afghan pipelines?

Will the next President change course, and get seriously behind drug interdiction and eradication in Afghanistan?  How will the US government act to get Afghan (and all) heroin off our streets? How many soldiers must continue to die to protect the right to loot Afghanistan?

The huge tide of addiction blows right back from our rapacious Afghan policy. Over 10,000 Americans were lost to heroin in 2014. Deaths continue to climb.  In my state, Maine, deaths from heroin surpassed deaths from prescription drugs for the first time in 2015.

Even children of the rich and powerful are being fed to the demon heroin. Will the costs of our Afghan policy ever be too high for our policymakers to bear?

Author’s note: The 2 earlier pieces I wrote regarding the heroin epidemic are here and here and they add to these ideas and documentation.  My mentors in this effort are Peter Dale Scott, Alfred McCoy, Michel Chossudovsky and Sibel Edmonds. Thanks also to William Edstrom for reminding me we can fight back.

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Heroin Dealer in Chief. Afghanistan, Source of 90% of The World’s Heroin

NOVANEWS

First published by GR in 2015

A heroin surge is shocking and awing Americans, 165,000 of who will be killed the next ten years. How does 415,000 kilograms (913,000 pounds) of heroin from US-occupied Afghanistan get to US each year?

Opium Wars I & II were British troops forcing farmers in India and Pakistan, colonies of Britain then, to grow opium which Brits pushed on the Chinese to try to make China a colony of Britain too. In the 1980’s, CIA grifters flew weapons to Contras in Nicaragua and flew crack cocaine back to the USA . The DEA did nothing to stop CIA felons from dealing crack in the USA.

CIA organized, trained and armed the Mujahideen (later re-named Taliban) to fight a 1979 Soviet invasion into Afghanistan and to push heroin on Russians. CIA contracted NLC trucks to send weapons through Pakistan to Afghanistan and to bring heroin back. After Soviet withdrawal, Taliban took control of Afghanistan’s government.

Afghans (who earn $55 a month on average), given choices between starving, freezing or growing opium they get pennies a pound for, often choose the latter. The Taliban outlawed opium in 2000. Afghan opium farmland decreased from 91,000 hectares (1999) to 7,600 hectares (2001).

Why did US invade Afghanistan in 2001? Iraq was invaded because Bush, Rumsfeld etc. claimed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Which was a lie. Another reason, Bush gets bored by peace. (Satan also gets bored by peace if I’m recalling my Sunday School classes correctly.)

September 11, 2001, nineteen terrorists (15 Saudi Arabians, 2 from United Arab Emirates, 1 Egyptian and 1 Lebanese) killed 2,977 people by crashing hijacked airplanes in US. The terrorists got their training at Huffman Aviation flight school in Florida. Government officials decided to attack, not Saudi Arabia where most terrorists come from, but Afghanistan. Why? The government narrative has been sketchy.

Afghanistan became the #1 worldwide producer of opium and heroin by 1995. The CIA created Taliban government exported opium and heroin to IranRussia and China addicting millions, causing enormous economic damages, heroin-fueled crime waves plus deadly epidemics (AIDS, Hepatitis C).

Have CIA officers recruited agents in Iran, Russia or China? Is it easier to recruit heroin addicts? Would CIA officers dangling taxpayers cash or heroin at addicts help to make them agents? US schools are mandated for 13 years, when we learn things like cause, effect, motives, means, logic, reasoning, deductive reasoning. Of course it’s easier to recruit addicts. Why not recruit sober agents instead, is it because sober people are not interested in working for the US government.

Afghanistan, source of 90% of Earth’s heroin, ended 90% of Earth’s heroin problems when Taliban outlawed opium in 2000. The reason for War in Afghanistan was because Taliban outlawed opium growing which ended economic wars (opium wars) against Iran, Russia and China.

The world’s heroin market collapsed by 2001, producing a heroin drought. War in Afghanistan was “to restore the CIA sponsored drug trade to its historic levels and exert direct control over the drug routes.”. The Afghanistan War was CIA retaliation against Taliban for outlawing opium.

There’s a tactic called ‘flatten tire fix tire.’ Pop someone’s car tire then appear to “help” when the flat’s discovered. Clever huh? A more evil variant of ‘flatten tire fix tire’ is hooking people on drugs, then appearing, cash or drugs in hand, when users need a fix.

More evil, physically torturing innocent people causing severe chronic pain (e.g. forcing innocent people to sit on the floor, legs crossed, hands cuffed behind their backs, banging their heads to the floor, repeatedly, snapping spines), then dangling painkillers until they become addicted, needing painkillers for chronic pain caused by US government-sponsored torture. There’re many layers to the onion which is opium war being waged.

Brits waged old school opium war, US government’s waging opium war now. 90% of Earth’s heroin comes from occupied Afghanistan. US government’s been occupying Afghanistan since 2001.

When investigating serious crimes, like heroin dealing killing 165,000 Americans a decade, means and motives are revealing. US military and CIA had the means to overturn Taliban’s opium ban (which they did) and transport tons of heroin into US each week. Motives point to whodunit, who’s transporting this heroin into US to kill 165,000 Americans.

A Revolutionary War was fought for rights like taxation with representation. Trillions were spent on War in Afghanistan because Taliban outlawed opium. 2,372 US Soldiers killed in Afghanistan. Thousands of Veterans committed suicide. Hundreds of thousands became disabled. Secret police agencies not saying what’s what means we don’t have taxation with representation. Again.

OPIUM WAR III.

Can Americans have democracy, a nationwide ballot referendum to vote if we want to wage opium war against others and against US? Tens of millions of innocent lives were destroyed because of heroin from US-occupied Afghanistan. The War in Afghanistan began as an opium war against Iran, Russia and China, the tables are turning into an opium war against Americans on track to kill 165,000 Americans (2016-2026).

Americans, 5% of Earth’s population, take 60% of painkillers on Earth. USA #1 for heroin addiction now too. US government and corporate executives are waging opium war. Against US. Americans are the most drugged people on Earth.

US government installed Hamid Karzai, CIA agent, as Afghanistan’s President in 2002 to restore the drug trade. Ahmed Wali Karzaiheroin dealer, was Hamid’s brother. “The Afghan narcotics economy was a carefully designed project of the CIA”. “A convicted heroin trafficker, Izzatullah Wasifi, was appointed by Karzai to head an anti-corruption agency.” US government made Afghanistan into a narco state. By 2006, LA Times reported Afghan heroin flooding in, but wouldn’t investigate how. 1,000,000 people worldwide have been killed by heroin from US-occupied Afghanistan.

189,000 Americans were heroin addicts in 2001. White House reported 1,500,000 US heroin addicts by 2010. That figure shot up (2010-2015) to 2,500,000 heroin addicts.

Afghan opium spread from 7,600 hectares (2001) to 224,000 hectares (2014). US heroin deaths skyrocketed 1,779 (2001) to 10,574 (2014) and are on track to hit 16,500 in 2016.

Year #, Afghan opium hectares, # US heroin addicts, # US heroin deaths (by year)

Click for pictures of US soldiers guarding Afghan opium.

2,500,000 heroin addicts plus 2,000,000 casual heroin users means 1/70 Americans use heroin. Crime waves are surging, ruining families and neighborhoods, shocking and awing victims being robbed and sometimes killed by addicts craving another piece of heroin pie from US-occupied Afghanistan.

Hepatitis C, a deadly virus, is surging; users share needles. Sovaldi, a Gilead Biosciences drug, costing $84,000, cures Hep C. 200,000 users catching Hep C annually means $16,500,000,000 added profit for Gilead Biosciences annually. Donald Rumsfeld was Gilead Biosciences CEO before becoming Secretary of Defense in 2001.

Pure heroin costs $450/gram in the USA. Regular users take 400 mg daily, light users as little as 25 mg, heavy users a few grams. 1,000 Americans try heroin their first time every day.

224,000 hectares of Afghan opium can make 560,000 kilograms of heroin annually. $450/gram x 1,000 x 560,000 equals $252,000,000,000 cold hard cash annually. $252,000,000,000 makes the fattest 6-figure gravy train government salary look like chump change. $252 billion annually dealing heroin could supplement CIA’s Congressional financing (or be Plan B for CIA financing).

52,833 US heroin deaths occurred (2001-2014). US heroin deaths quadrupled (2002-2013), doubling from 2010 to 2013, and are slated to double again (2013-2016). Heroin deaths will kill 165,000 Americans (2016-2026). Plus thousands more from heroin-related diseases and heroin-fueled robberies and home invasions. $252 billion from Afghan heroin is blood money, your hands are covered in blood.

In 2013, an American died every 64 minutes from heroin, now, an American dies every 32 minutes. Americans being killed at a rate of 165,000 per decade by Afghan heroin is triple the 55,000 Americans killed in the Vietnam War (1965-1975).

Government officials, claiming War in Afghanistan was somehow supposed to make us safer against terrorism, which killed 2,977, need to answer how is killing 165,000 Americans saving 2,977Americans?

2,500,000 US addicts x 0.4 grams daily x 365 days/year equals 365,000 kilograms. Light users take 50,000 kilograms annually. US heroin demand is 415,000 kilograms annually. 166,000 hectares of opium are needed to make 415,000 kilograms of heroin. 1 hectare = 25 kilograms opium = 2.5 kilograms heroin.

DEA’s 2015 Heroin Threat Assessment focuses on 7% of US heroin from Latin America. Why’s DEA focusing on only 7%? Why’s DEA silent, dead silent, about the other 93%? They don’t want to upset the Afghan heroin cart.

(Approximately 3% comes from Southeast Asia or synthetic sources.)

Why are DEA bosses (tacitly) approving 90% of heroin in US from US-occupied Afghanistan? How high up in government does this heroin dealing racket go? Why did DEA do nothing (1980’s) to combat crack cocaine from Latin America flown into USA on CIA planes? DEA hasn’t been held accountable, while CIA grifters made billions dealing crack in US. The Treasury Department, another finger of the same glove, did nothing about billions in tax-free cash made by CIA felons. Tax evasion is a felony too. No red flags when CIA officers get megabucks in excess of their government salaries?

$252 billion a year worth of Afghan heroin is big business blood money. Overdoses are 40x more likely from heroin than other illicit drugs like cocaine; overdoses are 3x more likely from heroin than from pharmaceutical painkillers. If heroin users switched to pharmaceuticals, 110,000 Americans would be saved each decade. A restoration of the Taliban government in Afghanistan would end Afghan opium production, the heroin epidemic would end, and 165,000 Americans would be saved each decade.

Could US heroin come from anywhere but US-occupied Afghanistan? No. The small fraction of heroin from places like Myanmar and Mexico isn’t enough to feed the American heroin appetite. The White House declared 10,500 hectares of opium in Mexico and 1,100 hectares in Colombia produces 28,000 kilograms of heroin annually. The most USA can import from Latin America is 28,000 kilograms, not enough for 1/10 of US heroin addicts. The White House omitted mention of 224,000 hectares of Afghan opium.

Only one country on Earth, US-occupied Afghanistan, grows enough opium to supply the American heroin habit. Current facts and figures about countries growing illicit opium:

All countries growing illicit opium, other than US-occupied Afghanistan, can produce 198,000 kilograms of heroin, not enough for even half of US heroin demand. Of these 198,000 kilograms, Vietnam, China, Pakistan and Iran’s opium is exclusively for domestic consumption. The balance, 192,000 kilograms, that can come from Myanmar, Laos, Mexico, Colombia and Tajikistan, mostly goes to Asian, Latin American, Australian and European markets.

Most heroin in the US comes from US-occupied Afghanistan, there is no other physical possibility to explain where all this heroin comes from. There is no other mathematical possibility to explain where all this heroin comes from.

62% of Afghans are illiterate. There are no Afghan chemical factories. Acetic anhydride, needed to make heroin, is imported. Stopping imports of acetic anhydride stops the manufacturing of heroin. US government enabled (or facilitated) acetic anhydride imports. Who’s selling? Who’s buying? Purchase records exist.

US methaqualone (Quaalude) deaths dropped from 117 (1980) to 0 (1990). A Presidential scandalpredated methaqualone’s ban, when Dr. Bourne, White House Drug Abuse Adviser, wrote a Quaalude prescription for a White House Assistant. This drug scandal may have cost Democrats the White House in 1980. The success in outlawing methaqualone was outlawing chemicals to manufacture methaqualone. Likewise, acetic anhydride can be outlawed.

Indisputable facts: US invaded Afghanistan in 2001, has occupied Afghanistan since, Afghan opium spread from 7,600 hectares (2001) to 224,000 hectares currently, US-occupied Afghanistan is by far the #1 heroin producer worldwide, the Afghanistan War (longest war in US history) cost over a million lives, a trillion dollars and has destroyed tens of millions of lives.

How does heroin from US-occupied Afghanistan get to US? The simplest and fastest way is airplane. US military and CIA-chartered airplanes fly from US-occupied Afghanistan to US every week. People getting on military and CIA planes aren’t searched. People getting off military and CIA planes aren’t searched. It’s a simple matter of will if military and CIA people wish to bring heroin to US. They’ve gotten Hail Mary passes.

MEANS & MOTIVES.

A CIA source confirmed CIA “big boys” are transporting heroin from Afghanistan to the USA. Before 2009, CIA heroin shipments were smaller and more sporadic. After 2009, CIA heroin shipments into the US were “green lighted” becoming larger and more regular.

Since 2010, US policy permits opium growing. Each Afghan opium hectare equals 15 US heroin addicts plus 1 American heroin death each decade. Kalitta and Aero are but two contractors which have routinely flown from US-occupied Afghanistan to US.

CIA people are not serving and protecting US. CIA people serve and protect themselves. Only. There are no checks and balances on intel agencies, they’re military or paramilitary (“just following orders”) and they repeat “national security” to try to ward off oversight and effective checks and balances.

CIA people were arrested burglarizing and bugging Democratic Party Headquarters at the Watergate Hotel to fix the 1972 Presidential elections. CIA people try fixing elections and picking politicians worldwide, US included. One Watergate burglar, Hunt, was involved with President Kennedy’s murderin 1963, when CIA did a coup in the USA.

Congressional hearings then oversight committees, with limited power, began after Watergate. Former Senate Intelligence Oversight Chair Rockefeller lamented “I only get what they want to give me”. Senator Moynihan introduced legislation to abolish CIA in 1991 and 1995, because CIA, a lawless secret police agency, means a US secret police state. CIA is incompatible with free democracy. Former Secretary of State Acheson warned about CIA, “I had the gravest forebodings about this organization and warned the President that as set up neither he, the National Security Council, nor anyone else would be in a position to know what it was doing or to control it.”

The list of who has the means to transport tons of Afghan heroin to US each week is a short list. Military and CIA.

US military may transport heroin, although there’s no large-scale history of military transporting drugs. CIA has a history dealing drugs. CIA smuggled heroin (1970’s) in Soldier body bags from Vietnam. Much of the heroin flooding into US from US-occupied Afghanistan is coming in with CIA felons on CIA aircraft just as much of the cocaine that came into US from Nicaragua came in with CIA felons on CIA aircraft (1980’s).

The President is responsible for CIA. The buck stops with Obama for 35,470 US heroin deaths (2009-2014) and all crimes committed by CIA since 2009.

CIA has a history of harmingharassingswarmingblackmailingblacklistingassaultingmurderingpoisoning, committing felonies, drug dealingtorturing, menacing, terrorizingexperimenting on peopleand worse. CIA’s been on a mass murder spree since before MLK’s murder. CIA is a cult of death. They’re thugs and killers.

CIA is an organization of grifters, professional con men and con women. 90% of CIA officers are in USA. Few CIA officers go abroad, unless there’s something like billions of dollars in heroin ready to deal. CIA people are psychopathsthievesprostitutes, pimps, sex traffickersdrug dealersmass murderers and worse. They feel no remorse, psychopaths don’t have the capacity to feel remorse for their crimes. They fear getting busted and punished for their crimes. CIA people make national insecurity. They make more money and get more power for each new national insecurity and each new enemy they make.

To figure out whodunit, dealing millions of pounds of Afghan heroin to kill 165,000 Americans a decade, means and motives are key. Military and CIA foxes guarding the opium house are prime suspects. CIA people are grifters, they grift, lie, deceive, omit truth, con, trick, cheat, sexually assault, attempt to rape, rapeforced bestialitypromote prostitution, sex traffic, attempt to murder, murder, serial kill, mass murder, rob, steal, terrorize, menace, gang stalk, brutalize, torture, blacklistblackmailexperiment on peopledeal drugs and worse. What else does CIA smuggle besides drugs, anyone or anything can be smuggled on drug routes. CIA felons smuggled kilos of heroin from Vietnam to US (1970’s) in Soldier’s body bags. CIA felons make money dealing drugs. CIA dealing tons of crack cocaine in the USA (1980’s) was a dry run for CIA dealing thousands of tons of heroin from US-occupied Afghanistan (2001-present).

Is military dealing heroin too? Only way to find out is honest law enforcement monitoring and searching government people, planes and ships. State police maybe better suited since DEA has a history approving CIA drug dealing in USA, DEA’s been busy at sex partiesFBI approved millions of CIA felonies (1947-present) and often ganged up with CIA to harass, harm, terrorize, brutalize, blacklist, blackmail, torture (and worse) journalists, whistleblowers, candidates, dissidents, activists, clergy and a whole host of other Americans, MLK to present.

If investigated, CIA would take evasive measures like 3 card montes transferring heroin plane to plane (or ship) in transit. Some Afghan heroin is already routed through Mexico. CIA agent John Abbotsfordstated “We run the Afghan opium trade.” Afghan heroin dealer Toor Jan described how heroin’s sold to government translators to government officials who ship heroin on government planes from Kandahar’s Military Airbase.

After 14 years of occupation, investigators can begin searching government people, planes and vessels and can monitor opium seedlings to heroin in transit. All that’s needed is honest enough investigators. Has the USA become too much of a Pablo Escobar-Scarface banana republic to accomplish that?

General Martinez took down Escobar’s cartel. People, like Martinez, can take down the CIA drug cartel the way Escobar’s cartel was taken down. If only a few hundred CIA “bad apples” deal heroin then there should be no problem. Afghanistan’s government in 2000 outlawed opium and within a year it was all but gone. Why can’t US and US “supported” Afghan government do the same now? How high up are heroin dealing profits going in US government?

Commander in Chief Obama can conduct full investigations and thorough monitoring of military and CIA. Or Obama can do nothing and have a legacy as Heroin Dealer In Chief.

Government people claiming American lives so sacred, using scare tactics and terror tactics to scare and terrorize us that a secret police state must be constructed, trillions in more taxes spent plus endless war to save 2,977American lives from ever again being killed in terrorist attacks, their claims are obvious lies and hypocrisy if they do nothing about 165,000 Americans being killed by heroin from US-occupied Afghanistan.

US government (DEA, FBI) protects CIA drug dealers and goes after their competitors (non-CIA dealers) gangster styleISIS now deals some Afghan heroin. CIA, unable to win hearts and minds anywhere, lost some of it’s Afghan heroin trade to ISIS.

Obama singlehandedly controls the world’s largest known drug manufacturing, transporting and distribution network and Obama’s Central Intelligence Agency has an over 50 year long association with being the most powerful and dangerous global drug cartel.”

War in Afghanistan killed 2,372 Soldiers, many Veterans and 52,833 Americans from heroin (2001-2014). By transporting heroin from US-occupied Afghanistan to US, CIA’s not protecting Americans, they’re doing the opposite of protecting. CIA killed 55,105 Americans and destroyed millions of lives, so far, because of the Afghanistan War.

The buck stops with US Chief Executive Obama for what people working for CIA, an executive agency, have done since 2009. Every count of sex trafficking, promotion of prostitution, attempted rape, rape (raping underage boys on US bases), assault, murder, torture, US government sponsored terrorism, drug dealing, all crimes committed or caused by CIA are because of Obama’s actions or negligence. Stop the crimes. Enough is enough. Stop it already.

Obama’s mother worked in Indonesia, a CIA battleground in the seemingly endless war on communism, where millions of innocent people were murdered. Some say she was CIA, she stated she did charity work for charities like the Ford Foundation. Obama worked at a known CIA front company, Business International Corporation. Was Obama CIA? Putin’s man enough to publicly state he was KGB, can Obama publicly state if he worked for CIA?

President Bush was CIA Director. President Bush II, son of a CIA director. If 3/4 of recent Presidents were CIA before their “elections”, is CIA picking our Presidents for us (rigging ballots, sabotaging campaigns, fixing elections) like they did in 1972? Press freedom (USA #49) means looking beyond the windows (and window dressing) at who are the deep state corporate executives and unelected government officials, what they’re doing, planning, why, bribes, charities, lobbyists, speech and book paymentsbanks laundering their money and so forth.

This report’s about 2 parts of government which made war in Afghanistan (military and CIA), why (retaliation against Taliban for outlawing opium, to poison millions of innocent people with heroin and profits from a heroin dealing opium war), why Afghan opium fields expanded from 7,600 hectares to 224,000 hectares (to poison millions of innocent people with heroin, wage economic warfare and $252 billion annually dealing heroin), the explosion of heroin (from 189,000 to 2,500,000 US heroin addicts), US heroin deaths shooting up (1,779 in 2001 to 10,574 (2014) to 165,000 Americans to be killed (2016-2026)), means, motives and how heroin from US-occupied Afghanistan gets to US: CIA planes(and possibly military planes too).

What can be done: a new agency solely to investigate government criminality, outlaw Afghan opium and search government people, planes and ships. The many ineffective and corrupt people at agencies like DEA and FBI can be let go, new people with integrity can be hired. CIA can be abolished, their tasks re-assigned to State Department. State Police can assist searching people, planes, ships and investigating anyone exiting US government facilities for trafficking (drug sniffing dogs, ask questions like have you been in US-occupied Afghanistan, heroin capital of the world). Improved drug policy can reduce dealer profit motives, reduce drug impurities and inconsistencies (overdose causes), decriminalize personal possession like Portugal did and more treatment programs.

Afghan heroin killed 53,833 Americans (2001-2014). This 14-year Afghanistan War is one sick twisted and highly lethal US government failure of “keeping Americans safe.” Government actions and inactions in US-occupied Afghanistan killed 55,105 Americans (Soldier and heroin deaths). Obviously, government has other motives than “keeping Americans safe.” The Afghanistan War is lingering on for so long because of $252 billion cash annually from the heroin there.

Afghan heroin is on track to kill 165,000 Americans (2016-2026). In 2000, Afghanistan’s government, the Taliban, outlawed opium and within a year it was all but gone. Commander In Chief Obama can do that and if he doesn’t then beyond any shadow of doubt he’s the Heroin Dealer In Chief.

Tons of heroin from US-occupied Afghanistan get into US each week. Government planes have flown un-searched every week from US-occupied Afghanistan to US (2001-present). Commander In Chief Obama can bring about effective monitoring and searching of government people, planes and ships. Stat. As if 165,000 American lives depend on that, because 165,000 American lives do depend on that. If Obama refuses to effectively monitor and search government people, planes and ships, then no doubt he’s Heroin Dealer In Chief.

Obama has the blood of 35,470 Americans (heroin deaths 2009-2014) on his hands for either his willful actions “green lighting” heroin transport from US-occupied Afghanistan to US or his negligence in allowing these fatal felonies.

If this heroin epidemic coming from US-occupied Afghanistan hasn’t ended by January 2017, then Obama’s legacy will be Barack Hussein Obama II, Heroin Dealer In Chief. All previous drug epidemics came from drugs flooding in from sovereign nations abroad. This highly lethal opium war of a heroin epidemic is the first ever drug epidemic to invade US from a US-occupied nation, Afghanistan.

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Depleted Uranium and Radioactive Contamination in Iraq

NOVANEWS

The amount of devastation caused by the Depleted Uranium (DU) weaponry used against Iraq during the consecutive US led wars is historically unprecedented in modern warfare. The devastating magnitude of the complications and damage caused as a result of the use of such radioactive and toxic weapons on the environment and the human population was intensified as a result of the intentional concealment, denial and misleading information released by the Pentagon about the quantities, characteristics, and Iraqi area’s within which these weapons were used.

Information revealed about a severe illness known as the ‘Gulf War Syndrome’ which spread amongst US Army veterans who were exposed to DU while using theseweaponry, helped Iraqi researchers and Medical Doctors to understand the nature of the effect of these weapons, and the means required to investigate further into this issue.

DU is a chemically toxic and radioactive heavy metal produced as waste by the nuclear power industry. It is used in weapons because it is an extremely hard material capable of piercing armor.

The synergistic impact on health due to the 1991post-Gulf War1 economic sanctions, and DU related radioactive and toxic contamination, raised the number of casualties in contaminated areas such as in Southern Iraq.

During 2003, the invading forces used additional rounds of DU in heavily populated areas such as Baghdad, Samawa, Fallujah, Diyala, Najaf, Salahuddin, Basra and Nasiriya (again), and other cities.

The continual use of DU after-Gulf War I in 1991, then during and after the US led military operations in 2003 invasion of Iraq increased the total contamination area with DU in Iraq. Consequently, civilians in previously contaminated areas received an extra dose of radioactivity after 2003. An action that can only be interpreted as committing unseen genocide against the unarmed civilian population in these areas.

Accordingly, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have received higher doses of radioactivity than those received from standard natural sources of radiation. As a result, a multifold increase of diseases related to Low Level Radiation (LLR) exposure have been registered amongst Iraqis since 1995, including an increase of children’s leukemia, congenital malformations, breast cancer etc…

The leukemia incidence rates for instance, shifted towards younger children during these recent years, and its association with geographically distributed contaminated areas, offers strong evidence of the correlation between LLR exposure, and the resulting health damages.

Through this paper, an overview of major scientific DU conclusions will be presented, drawn from investigations and research conducted since the year 1991 by Iraqi researchers and MDs. This research was never published outside Iraq because of the comprehensive sanctions imposed on Iraq from (1991-2003). They were published only in Iraqi University peer reviewed journals and two related conferences.  Schemes of the research papers can be classified into three categories:

  1. DU contamination detection and exploration programs.
  2. DU effects on human body cells.
  3. DU related epidemiological studies.

1.0 Introduction:

Depleted Uranium (DU) weaponry has been used against Iraq since the Gulf War 1 in 1991. An estimated (DU) expenditure of 320 – 800 tons were shot mainly on the withdrawing Iraqi troops from Kuwait to the north of Basra City [ 1].

The use of (DU) ammunition on Iraqi territory never stopped since 1991. Different generations of (DU) supported Tomahawk missiles & Bunker Buster Bombs [1] have been used during the 90’s on what were known as the No-Fly Zones (Northern & Southern regions of Iraq), and during the attack on Iraq in 1998. Bombing Iraq with DU continued during the military operations of the invasion of Iraq in 2003, then afterwards in other cities which resisted the occupation of Iraq [2].

With the comprehensive sanctions imposed on Iraq in 1991, the United States & its allies used radioactive & toxic weapons to exhaust Iraq’s institutions & population to prepare for the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Using extra hundreds of tons of (DU) expenditure   during the invasion of Iraq made the radioactive contamination situation more complicated.

For many years the US-UK led armed forces avoided any release of information about the amounts, types, and locations of the targets destroyed by these weapons within Iraqi territories [2]. As a result, thousands of Iraqi children and their families in West Basra were repeatedly exposed for extended durations to DU low-level radiation (LLR) and toxic effects. Many researchers have found a direct correlation between this exposure, and the significant increase of certain diseases such as congenital malformations, malignancies, congenital heart diseases, chromosomal aberration, and multiple malformations in Basra [3].

Right after Gulf War 1, European and American Anti-DU activists and NGO’s issued many publications identifying the harmful effects of DU on-Gulf War veteran health and Iraqi population. These publications helped Iraqi researchers start a series of exploration research programs to define DU contaminated areas in Iraq, and to estimate the radiation doses the civilian population in Southern Iraq and the Iraqi troops located there were exposed to during military operations in 1991. The programs also set out to assess the risk level related to contamination levels in the surrounding environment.

These exploration research programs were performed under severely constrained conditions allowing very limited technical resources because of the US imposed economic sanctions on Iraq during the 90’s posing a serious scientific challenge at the time.

Conducting these researches under the tight conditions and very limited technical and other resources under the economic sanctions was a serious scientific challenge at the time since the American and British occupation forces:

  • Forbidding any release of information related to types, amounts, and locations of targets destroyed by DU projectiles, and any statistics related to Iraqi army and civilian casualties after the occupation of 2003 [4].
  • Refusal to clean up contaminated areas (as was performed by the same named troops) in Kuwait [5].
  • International agencies were prohibited the right to conduct full (DU) related exploration programs and risk assessments by US led occupying forces [6] the way they did in Kosovo [7]. Such an act indicates that these forces are relying on time to dissipate these contaminants with the purpose that the evidence of this crime be lost. Such assessment with proper resources, experts, and technology would link, with conclusive evidence, the harmful health impacts with exposure to DU oxidesamong the population of the contaminated areas.

Using such weapon and related misleading information can be considered as war crimes. They represent grave breach of the Geneva Convention and international law becausethese weapons have caused and continue to cause undifferentiated harm and suffering to civilian populations in all contaminated areas long after the end of the military operations [8].

DU contamination mechanism and health impacts

Dr Rosalie Bertell, a radiology scientist wrote in 2006 [9]; when DU munitions hit the target, they ignite prophetically and generate heat that reaches a temperature of (3000-6000°C). This heat causes a sublimation of DU and other metals to form a gas or aerosol in the forming DU nanoparticles. The nanoparticles can cross the lung-blood barrier and gain entrance to the cells resulting in the creation of free radicals. This is an effect of ionizing radiation. The other effect of DU comes from the fact that it is classified as a toxic heavy metal. Heavy metal toxicity attacks the proteins in the human tissue cells which normally fights the free radicals and creates additional free radicals [9]. This causes an oxidative stress that leads to failure of protective enzymes, damaging the cellular communication system and the mitochondria. Free radicals can also disrupt the protein’s folding process of (DNA). This misrouting of proteins causes certain diseases such as cystic fibrosis, diabetes insipidus and cancer. The amassing and accumulation of misfolded proteins leads to neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease. Gulf veterans have manifested many of the symptoms of these neurodegenerative diseases. Other effects are:

  • Immune and Hormonal systems’ damage
  • Distribution of thyroid function
  • Mycoplasmal Invasion to human body
  • Teratogenic Toxicity, where soluble DU oxides crosses the placenta to the fetus. As a result, damages might range from behavioral problems to mental retardation and congenital malformations.

Studies have shown that the Gulf War1 male veterans were twice as likely- and female veterans almost three times as likely- to report children with birth defects than counterparts who did not serve in the first Gulf War [9].

In her analysis, Dr. Bertell further emphasized that the carcinogenic properties of Uranium are linked the weakening the immune system of individuals, and showing that a depressed immune system often changes the status of subclinical cancer into clinically diagnosable cancer. Other related important studies related to these aspects are of Miller, A. et al [10] [11], Hindin et al [12], and Schroder [13].

The existence of radioactive DU oxides in these areasis considered ascontinuous source of exposure to both toxins and harmful radioactivity. It also represents a continuous and systematic attack on the civilian population each time DU oxide contaminated dust storm blow on the city of Basra and all surrounding areas tens of years to come.

In this paper, the genuine scientific efforts of the Iraqi scientists and researchers who tried hard to define DU contaminated areas in Southern Iraq after Gulf War 1 of 1991, and to show a correlation with its perceived consequences on general population health, all while under the US-UK led economic sanctions imposed on Iraq will be reviewed.

Most of these studies couldn’t find their way to internationally peer-reviewed journals because of the comprehensive sanctions imposed on Iraq, even though they have been published in Iraqi University peer-reviewed scientific journals in addition to the proceedings of two DU and War Consequences scientific conferences (1998, 2002).

It is also an obligation to let the world know that some of these studies cost the authors their lives after the occupation of Iraq in 2003. One of them is Dr. Alim Abdul Hameed Yacoub (Dean of Basra Medical College) who was killed, along with his son, when his car was forced off the highway on the way to his home town of Basra after being attacked and threatened twice at his home by pro-occupation militias two weeks before his death. They cost other researchers their freedom, such as Dr. Huda Ammash who was accused of being (Lady Anthrax) and imprisoned without any real accusation for 3 years just because she conducted very important research on Iraqi Armed Forces veterans who were exposed to DU weapons.

In addition to the assassination of about 500 Iraqi scientists after the US led invasion of Iraq by US trained Death Squads and pro-occupation militias, in what appears to be measures taken to discontinue any kind of scientific research in Iraq including DU-related research [14] in occupied Iraq.

2.0 Schemes of DU related research that have been conducted and published in Iraq (1991-2003):

Studies in this paper are classified into the following schemes:

  1. Detection and modeling of DU contaminated areas through site measurements and laboratory tests
  2. Epidemiological Studies Related to (DU) Contamination Health Effects.
  1. Pathological Studies of DU Effects on Human Health

2.1 Detection and modeling of DU contaminated areas through site measurements and laboratory tests

In 1993 the first Iraqi team of researchers from the Iraqi Atomic Commission and the College of Science in University of Baghdad [15][16] investigated with very limited information and a Sampling Program the increase of DU related radioactivity in selected areas West of Basra. Destroyed Iraqi tanks and vehicles contaminated upon destruction with DU ammunition were still laying around these areas. The areas included: Northern Rumaila oil fields, Al-Shamia, Kharanje, Southern Rumaila oil field, and Jabal Sanam. Exposure measurements revealed the existence of DU contamination in the studied areas. Tables 1, 2, and 3 show the results of these measurements. As we can see from the results not allsampled tanks and Iraqi artilleries have been destroyed by DU projectiles.

Table (1) Field Measurements of 1993 at North Rumela Area [15]

Table (2): Field Measurements of 1993 at Shamia Airfield /Khudairat al-Audhaimi Area [15]

Table (3): Field Radioactivity Measurements of 1993 at DMZ and Surrounding Area [15]

In 1996 Al-Azzawi, S.N. and her team conducted a comprehensive exploration program through the Environmental Engineering Department in University of Baghdad [17] [18] [19][20][21] [22][23].  The program involved taking hundreds of exposure measurements, soil and destroyed targets smear samples, surface water and channels sediments samples, bio-samples from vegetation cover, fish, and grazing animal tissues.  Sampling included areas of heavy military engagement during the first Gulf War of 1991 such as Safwan, Jabal Sanam, al-Zubair, Northern Rumaila oil fields, and Southern Rumaila Oil Fields (Figures 1 and 2). The measurements and tests were part of the academic requirements of three Masters of Engineering degree thesis in Environmental Engineering.

A BGS-4 gamma-ray scintillation counter was used to measure onsite exposure. The counters were used for 124 field exposure measurements in and around the destroyed tanks and other military vehicles. High purity germanium detectors were used to test 124 soil and sediment samples, 58 surface and groundwater samples and 158 bio-samples in the Laboratory of Environmental Radiation in the Iraqi Atomic Organization. All field measurements were supervised and by specialists from Iraqi atomic energy organization and according to IAEA related standards. Also, all laboratory tests were conducted during continuous visits and checking of UN/US inspection teams to all the latter organization’s activities.

Selected measurements from 1996 exploration program results are shown in (Table 5). Modeling pollution transport from hundreds of destroyed artilleries to surrounding areas till 1996 shows the spreading of DU contamination in the area from 1991 – 1996 [17] [18] [19]:

  • 1,718 km² of soil contaminated with DU oxides and particles,
  • 140,000 m² of channel sediments,
  • 845,100 tons of vegetation cover

Table 5: Selected Exposure and Soil Radioactivity Measurements From the 1996 exploration program [17] [18]

T: Destroyed Tank        A: Destroyed Armored Vehicle

Risk assessment related to previous measurements showed that people in the Western part of Basra City, and the Iraqi and American troops received a total whole body radioactive dosage of (442 – 577) mSv [24], mostly during the first six months of the 1991 Gulf War military operations. Comparing this value with the background annual radioactivity vlue of (2.4 mSv) we can see that this amount is about 200 times more than normal natural radioactivity the human body receives. Findings of  the predicted health damages related to these doses were defined and published at the time[25].

In 1999 – 2000 a follow-up exploration program in the same contaminated area of West Basra was conducted by (Al-Azzawi and Al Nuiamy, 2002) [24] [25]. The program included radioactivity measurements of site exposure, soil sediments, water samples, and laboratory tests. Samples were collected from previously studied areas plus areas where most of the DU contaminated tanks and wreckage were collected and unfortunately placed on the banks of Wafaa Al Qaied waterway causing further contamination.

Results of this program indicated the existence of higher than natural background radioactivity in some of the soil samples and sediments from nearby surface water channels sediments in the areas but in general the radioactivity was less than that of 1996. Sand and dust storms with the weathering process contributed to the dispersion of these contaminants to nearby populated areas.More than (127) days of dust storms used to hit that area since the Nineties of last century [26].

Also in 1999-2000 Al-Azzawi, Maarouf and Al-Mousori conducted an exploration program to check of the possibility of radiological contamination in Ninevah Governorate and its center Mosul City, after being attacked in 1998 by new generations of Cruise missiles (AGM 154 J50W) on three targets on the Eastern bank of Tigris River in Mosul city. The program also involved checking the extension of The Chernobyl Plume on Iraqi territories after 13 years [27].

The field measurements using Portable Scintillation Counter have proved that there is clear radiological pollution in the study area. The measured average exposure rate was 11.38 µR.h-1 in Mosul city and 10.11 µR.h-1 in Nineveh governorate which are more than the background level of the study area that amounted to 7.0 µR.h-1.

The laboratory tests have also shown an increase in Ra-226 concentrations which is one daughter of the decay series of U-238. The tested maximum concentration of Ra-226 is 146 Bq.kg-1 in Mosul City and 107 Bq.kg-1 in Nineveh governorate, while the background level calculated in these regions should be 55 Bq.kg-1. This is an indication that the increase can be attributed to the pollution of the study area by Uranium weaponry and that the missiles used to destroy these targets contain Uranium radioisotopes.

The Pentagon kept denying the existence of radiological contamination and the harmful effects of DU on human population and environment. They also accused the findings of the Iraqi research teams during the Nineties as (Iraqi regime propaganda).

After 4 years under the US occupation of Iraq comes the proof from the occupation assigned Iraqi government that all our work was genuine and scientifically credible.

During the National Meeting on Radiological Pollution in Iraq, held in Mansur Melia Hotel in Baghdad, the Minister of Environment in Iraq Narmeen Othman presented the results of the environmental radiological assessment that were conducted in 2007 in some areas of Iraq including Northern and Southern Oil Fields in Southern Iraq after a significant increase of registered cancer cases (as being mentioned in that meeting) [28]. Results of that assessment shows the following:

  • In Rumaila Oil Fields 48 sites were found radiologically contaminated
  • Among the 17 stations of Northern Rumaila Oil Fields, eight sites were found contaminated with radioactive radionuclide
  • Also Phase one of that environmental radiological assessment showed 264 radiologically contaminated samples as follows:
  • In Samawa area 202 samples were collected. 71 soil samples, 10 water samples, 106 dust smear samples. And one vegetation cover sample. Contaminated samples were 36 sample.
  • In Zubair area, 62 samples. 41 of them contaminated.
  • In Basra area, 103 samples. 62 samples were radiologically contaminated.
  • In Nasrya area, 153 samples. 49 of them were contaminated.

It is noteworthy to highlight the fact that these findings come after 15 years of the original exploration programs we have conducted in these areas [ ] [ ].

Tawfiq, N. F. et al in 2000 [29] measured alpha-emitters concentrations in soil samples from different Iraqi cities using Solid State Nuclear Track detectors CR-39 and CN-85. Her team found high concentration radioisotopes measurements of (7.8) ppm in Muthana governorate (Samawa City).

The Dutch troops later in 2003 refused to camp in Samawa City, due to high DU related radioactivity detected by those troops [30]. After few days, they finally moved to a nearby desert area. It was also confirmed that New York Guardsmen serving in Samawa city during 2003 were exposed to DU [31].

Tawfiq research team also confirmed that other cities with higher radioisotope concentrations in soil than that of the area’s background levels which typically range in (1.02-2.2) PPM were: Basra (7.2) ppm, Nasirya (Al-Shatra city) (6.2) ppm. These locations fell on withdrawing Iraqi troops withdrawal route from Kuwait in Jan 1991. The same route the Iraqi troops were intercepted and destroyed by US DU weapons.

In 2000, Al-Gurabi, S. and her team measured DU related increases in radioactivity along the areas bordering Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. They also measured Northern Rumaila Oil Field and areas to the Northwest of Basrah City [32]. Results showed higher activity concentrations of DU related radioisotopes in all investigated areas except the center of Basrah City.

Butras, Wartan and Butras in (2000-2001) [33] measured radioactivity in three different areas of Basrah using Alpha and Beta measuring LB1200 detectors. The measured areas:

A: Iraqi-Saudi-Kuwaiti borders

B: Qurna city, Zubair city, Faw and Umm Kasir seaports.

C: Shatt Al-Arab district in Basra

Results proved the existence of higher radioactivity measurements than background levels of (18*10-3) mRem/hr in area (A) after 10 years of the war. Umm Kasir area registered (10 * 10-3) mRem/hr, compared to normal background levels in the area are within the range of (7 * 10-3) mRem/hr [33].

During the year 2000, Al-Kinani, et al [34] collected (11) soil samples from Safwan, Southern Rumaila and the unarmed border zone using a gamma radiation detector. Results indicated that (7) of these samples were contaminated with DU radioisotopes. Sample (SSI) U235/U238 ratio was found to be (0.00351) which indicates high DU contamination a destroyed tank in that area. Other ratios ranged between (0.0041-0.0037).

Dozens of other studies were conducted and published in Arabic or English peer-reviewed scientific journals of various Iraqi universities. Those published investigation programs were all conducted by well-known professors and researchers who followed the IAEA and other international scientific standards’ procedures.  Researches and radiological laboratory tests that were done in conjunction with the environmental department of the Iraqi Atomic Commission were searched and reviewed by periodic UN inspection teams’ visits and the IAEA teams. These teamswere inspecting all the activities throughout the nineties until the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

The Radiation Protection Centre (RPC) has also identified between 300 and 365 contaminated sites by 2006. Most of them located in the Basra region in Southern Iraq [35 ]

2.2 Epidemiological Studies Related to (DU) Contamination Health Effects:

Many epidemiological studies were conducted in contaminated cities to define the correlation between (DU) contamination and the increase of malignancy incidence rates and congenital malformation in Basra Governorate for example. Most of these studies were performed by faculty members of Al-Basra College of Medicine since 1995. Some of these studies were published in the University of Basra Medical Journal. Others were presented in the two Iraqi conferences about the effect of economic sanction and (DU) weaponry used against humans and the environment in Iraq, held in 1998 and 2002 respectively.

Results of these studies pointed out a very clear trend concerning the existence of correlation between contamination and the resulted increase of the related diseases in geographically contaminated areas. Among others, the following studies are specifically important:

  • Alim Yacoub et al, 1998 [36] [37] presented an analysis of recorded cases of registered malignant diseases among children under 15 years of age in Basra for the period (1990 – 1997). This analysis showed a rise of 60% in children’s leukemia from 1990 to 1997. Also, a 120% increase in all malignant cases among children under the age of 15 for the same period were registered. The study also showed the shift of age distribution of leukemia cases towards younger than 5 years of age from 13% in 1990 to 41% of total cases in 1997.
  • Al-Sadoon, et al, 1998 [38] showed a threefold increase in congenital malformations registered cases in 1998 compared to 1990 in Basra city. Congenital heart diseases, chromosomal aberrations, and multiple malformations all indicate exposure to teratogenic environmental factor.
  • Alim Yacoub, et al, 1999 [39] also introduced an analysis of the incidence and pattern of malignant diseases in Basra from the analysis of the histopathological reports of Basra University Teaching Hospital for the period 1990-1997.

The study indicated that there was a rise of about 160% in reported cases of uterine cancer in 1997 compared to 1990 and an increase of 143% in thyroid cancer cases in 1997 compared to 1990 recordings. Also, a 102% increase in breast cancer and 82% rise in lymphomas in 1997 compared to 1990.

The records also indicated a shift in the types of the five major leading malignancies in Basra in 1997 such as breast, bladder, lymphomas, uterine, and skin cancers. While those of 1990 were malignant diseases of bladder, skin, breast, lung, and larynx.

  • Alim Yacoub, Imad Al-Sadoon and Jenan Hasan, 2002 presented a paper [40] that examines the association between exposure to DU radiation and the rising incidence of malignancies among children in Basra through time sequence criteria, and dose-response criteria through the geographical shift of the increase of incidence rates in Al-Zubair and other Western areas from less than 5/100,000 prior to 1993 to 22/100,000 in 2000  compared to only Al-Hartha area (North of Basrah) only prior to 1993 (with the highest incidence rates of 10/100,000 in 1993). They also tested the biological plausibility criteria through the shift of the increase of leukemia incidence rate towards younger ages of less than 5 years old after 1995.

Yacoub et al, 2002, couldn’t explain the reason behind the constant increase of malignancies incidence rates among children in Al-Hartha district in Northern Basra City, figure from (10 incidents / 100,000) to (42.7 / 100,000) in the year 2000.

This increase can be attributed to the existence of the largest electrical power generation and transformation facilities in Iraq of 800 MW. This power plant was destroyed during air raids several times first week of bombing in 1991. Nobody measured the radioactivity in Al-Hartha power plant, which might be also destroyed with DU expenditure.

We must be aware that these epidemiological studies were limited to Basra General Hospital, which is the education hospital of Basra Medical College. The mentioned number of cancer incidence cases and congenital malformations would be a lot higher if the studies involved all hospitals of Basra.

  • Abbas Ali & Jawad al Ali, 2002 [41] presented an evaluation of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) annual incidence which started to rise from 1995 up to the year 2000, when the increase began to plateau.
  • Pathological Studies of DU Effects on Human Health

Dr. Huda Ammash- Professor of Molecular Biology in the College of Science in University of Baghdad, 1998, presented a paper on the mechanisms of toxicity induced by free radicals resulting from irradiation with DU and ionization of the atmosphere in Iraq [42] [43]. This paper pinpointed the need for DU toxicity studies on enzymes (SOD), Caralase, hydrogenates and Glyceraldehydes Dehydrogenates levels. She also presented the multi aborative cases on the DNA level where out of 50 studied cases, 29 cases were found with DNA abnormalities (with no hereditary evidence). Other multi aborative cases investigating the toxoplasmosis effect showed that out of 130 cases, over 65% more were infected than those recorded in 1989.

Muhammed, Z.T. et al, 2002, [44] published a paper about the effects of DU radiation on the human immune system enzyme. A group of (26) Iraqi veterans who were exposed to DU radiation with (43) control individuals were all subjected to tests for Adenosine DA Amines (ADN) enzyme activity. Results indicated mean activity of the enzyme of the exposed individuals of (0.184 ±0.016) U/gm protein, while the unexposed individual’s enzyme activity (0.291 ±0.022) U/gm protein.

ADA enzyme activity in the exposed individuals were found to be significantly lower than the control group. P<0.05 significant correlation coefficient was found between ADA activity as an important immune enzyme and related clinical signs and symptoms related to defective cellular immune functions.

Ammash, H., Alwan, L. and Marouf, B.A.,2002, published a paper (in Arabic) [45] about the results of Genetic hematological analysis for a group of individuals who live in DU contaminated areas in Southern Iraq. Blood tests for the (47) individuals who lived in Basra contaminated areas and other (30) individuals as a control group who lived in Baghdad. The research included other clinical and correlated factors.

Blood tests included hemoglobin concentration, packed cell volume test (PCV), total count (WBC) test and chromosomal changes and defects tests. Factors such as exposure type and exposure time due to nature of work were taken into consideration (45% of the studied groups are from Iraqi troops who were involved in military engagements of the Gulf War 1). The others were civilians who lived in contaminated areas.

The test results of the study clearly showed that a 21% of the studied individuals in Basra group suffered a reduction in hemoglobin concentration of (9-13) g/dl.

The other 79% of the individuals from Al-Basrah studied groups with normal hemoglobin concentrations of (12-15) g/dl and (13-18) g/dl for males and females in the group respectively.

The blood Packed Cell Volume (PCV) test results showed that 25.5% of the Basrah study group showed abnormal (PCV) rates of (30-39) % less than the normal rate. One male’s individual blood (PCV) was 3% higher than normal. Other individuals’ blood (PCV) in the studied group had normal rates ranging between (40-54) %.

Total count of white blood cells (WBC) test results showed that 8% of the individuals in the Basrah study group had less than normal (WBC) which is 4000 c/ml or higher than the normal rate or (11000) c/ml. Control group individuals all had normal (WBC).

Compound chromosomal changes in the lymphocytes of peripheral blood of the individuals of the Basra study group had been found to have a ratio of (0.1118) % which is significantly higher than that of the control group. The ratio of dicentric and ring centric chromosomal abnormality fraction was found to be (0.04479) which is also higher than the ordinary ratio. Chromosomal damages were mostly in male veteran individuals. One case was that of a 13-year-old at the time of exposure in Al-Zubair contaminated area.

From the Veterinary College of Basra University, Khadier, A.A. et al, 2000[46] conducted a study to detect levels of DU related radioactivity in pastures and animals within the contaminated areas of Safwan, Al-Zubair, N. Rumaila, Jabal Sanam, Kharanj Village, etc.

Blood samples from sheep and other grazing animals were collected. Analysis of blood samples using Lyoluminescence and Track Detectors proved the existence of very small concentrations of radioisotopes in a few sheep that fed from and around the destroyed artillery and tanks within the studied areas. It is believed the polluted dust on the leaves was the source of radioisotopes in the tested blood samples.

Al-Sadi, H.I. and Sawad, A. 2002 [47] from the Veterinary College of the University of Basrah also presented a study about the pathological conditions of the animals in Basrah. The study reported the existence of three types of animal neoplasm; seminoma in rams, mesotheliomas in buffalo, and ovarian cystadenomas in female dogs.

These types of neoplasms have never been reported in these regions before the Nineties. Also, some types of congenital defects in farm animals have been described.

2.4 Other related studies after the occupation of Iraq (post 2003)

The American and British armed forces used Depleted Uranium weapons during the military operations of Iraq’s invasion and occupation in 2003. As usual they wouldn’t admit or release information where and the amounts they have used to prevent the civilian population the extra exposure to more of these toxic and radioactive munitions. The UK government in 2010 admitted that British forces fired less than three tons of DU in 2003 [48].

The American armed forces kept lying and misleading the public until the findings of a DU related research published by the European organization PAX in collaboration with the ICBDUW and George Mason University of America. The research confirmed the use of about 181000 shells of depleted uranium or about 200 tons (Wim Zwijnenburg and Doug Weir, 2016). The research also identified the places where it was used [2]. Maps and illustrations showed that US forces fired these DU projectiles in most densely populated cities this at the time, including Basra, Baghdad, Najaf, Amarah, Tikrit, Karbala, Falluja and Baquba, as shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5: Areas bombed by DUweapons during the 2003 Iraqi occupation in 2003[2].

In 2006 and 2007 technical staff from the Iraqi Radiation Protection Centre collected environmental samples at four selected sites in Southern Iraq, namely As Samawah, Al Nassiryah, Al Basrah and Al Zubayr [49]. Since no information from US/UK armed forces defines where they used the DU ammunition in 2003!!because this information wasreleased in 2016 [2]. It seems clear that the samples were collected from previously identified DU contaminated areas of 1991.

A total of 520 samples of soil, water, vegetation, and smear tests, were taken. collected samples were shipped from Iraq to the Spiez Laboratory in Switzerland, which, on behalf of UNEP, analyzed them using Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectroscopy (ICP-MS). The radioanalytical results were then made available to the IAEA to make a prospective estimation of the radiation doses to the Iraqi population living in the above-mentioned four locations and the associated radiological risks [49].

The results of that very limited investigation program stated that:

“annual radiation doses to the public that could arise from the various types of exposure scenarios were calculated. based on the measurements carried out on the samples collected in this study. The radiation doses from DU were found sufficiently low not pose a radiological hazard to the population living at the four studied locations” [49 ].

That meansIAEA built their dose calculations on measured radioactivity in 2006, while contamination in these areas exist since 1991 (because all these areas were included in our exploration programs and researches in the Nineties as mentioned previously) [17] [18 ] [29] The risk assessment should have included cumulative radiation doses of all paths for the period 1991 to 2006,  and not as they calculated from the instant they measured in 2006 (as an isolated event).

Soil concentration and activity values of the contaminants also should have been calculated back to their 1991 values and not its value in 2006 where its been dissipating and decaying for more than 15 years.

The risk assessment calculations IAEA adopted, depending on the following pathways [49 ]:

I Inhalation of soil re-suspended by the action of wind or human activities;

II Inhalation of re-suspended dust inside military vehicles hit by DU munitions;

III. Ingestion of soil;

  1. Ingestion of vegetables;
  2. Ingestion of and drinking water.”

Remember that in IAEA risk calculations they considered the exposed population live above these areas??, while dominant wind direction in Iraq and during dust storms is NW-SE [50].  That means they should have measure additional doses from contaminants blowing down from Samawa city on Nasiriya, Basra, and Zubair cities from 1991-2006, and so on of all other cities, check locations of these cities in figure.

Figure 5: Map of Iraq showing locations of cities involved in IAEA risk assessment(Samawa, Nasiriya, Basra, and Zubair).

IAEA risk assessment missed two other important pathways:

  1. Ingestion of contaminated meat, milk, and other items of food chain.
  2. Absorption of DU oxides through skin and immersion in emitted Radon cloud.

If we take all these factors in the calculation of the risk assessment the value would be hundreds of times higher than what IAEA team calculated.

During 2004 and 2005, after the US military assault on Falluja and the destruction of more than 50% of it, tests on city residents who had children or lost embryos suffered from congenital malformations showed that there were more concentrations of uranium than normal in their bodies (Alaani et al.,2012) [51]

Alaani et al, 2012 [52] published results have drawn attention to increases in congenital birth anomalies and cancer in Fallujah Iraq blamed on teratogenic, genetic and genomic stress thought to result from depleted Uranium contamination following the battles in the town in 2004.  Hair samples from 25 fathers and mothers of children diagnosed with congenital anomalies were analyzed for Uranium and 51 other elements suggest the enriched Uranium exposure is either a primary cause or related to the cause of the congenital anomaly and cancer increases. Thus, raised about the characteristics and composition of weapons now being deployed in modern battlefields.

Chris Busby, Malak Hamdan, and Entesar Ariabi, 2010 [53] Published a paper that concludes  results confirm the reported increases in cancer and infant mortality which are alarmingly high in Falluja. Also, the paper confirms a remarkable reduction in the sex ratio in the cohort born one year after the fighting in 2004 identifies that year as the time of the environmental contamination.

Samira T. Abdulghani, et al. [54] paper about “Perinatal and neonatal mortality in Fallujah General Hospital, Fallujah City, Anbar Province, west of Iraq.” Scientific Research, Open Access.  http://www.scirp.org/journal/OpenAccess.aspx.

Dr Jawad al Ali, 2005 [55] published a paper about variable degrees of increased rates of cancers in Basra, particularly breast cancer, lymphomas, lung, colo-rectal ovaries, soft tissues and kidneys.

He added that Cancers which show no increase include the cancers of stomach, uterus and skin cancers. The overall incidences over the year showed tangible increase particularly during the year 2005.

Geographical distribution: the highest rate was in the west of Basra followed by the center of Basra, eastern area and the lowest is at the northern area. The age risk: the data showed massive increase in risk with age. The lowest rate is for the children less than five years (11.4/100.000). The highest rate was for the age group more than 65 years

(541.9/100.000). The total incidence rate was 59.1/100.000.

Conclusion

  • The USA and UK continuously used Depleted Uranium weapons against the population and environment in Iraq from 1991 until today.
  • Occupation intentionally denied and covered up the types, locations and amounts of DU projectiles that have been used in Iraq to prevent taking measures that could have reduce health damages on civilians resulting from the exposure to cumulative doses of these contaminants.
  • Occupation forces prohibited UNEP, WHO and other international agencies to conduct any exploration programs to detect DU contamination and assess the health risks and clean up remedies during the way it has been conducted in Serbia and Kosovo.
  • Forbidding the release of any casualties statistics by the health ministry of the occupation assigned government in Iraq right after the occupation of Iraq is another crime to cover up the magnitude of human lives losses related to the occupation of Iraq.
  • Exploration programs and site measurements proved without a doubt that the existence of DU related radioactive contamination all over most of Iraq (except the northern area of Kurdistan).
  • Published epidemiological studies in Basrah introduced a clear correlation between DU related exposure and the multifold increase of malignancies, congenital malformations, and multiple malformations among the population in DU contaminated areas.
  • Other pathological and hematological studies indicated the existence of chromosomal and DNA aberrations and abnormalities in the 1991 Iraqi Gulf War veterans. Other studies proved their effects on lowering the activities of the human immune system in exposed individuals.
  • Intentional continuous use of DU against the people and environment of Iraq is a crime against humanity due to its undifferentiated harmful health impacts on civilian long times after the military operations. Existing DU contamination in the surrounding environment is a continuous source of exposure to civilian’s population, and can be considered as systematic attacks on civilians in each DU contaminated dust storm blown on these cities. Article 4 of the official regulations and Article 7 of the ICC.

Notes 

[1] William, Dai. 2002. “Hazards of Uranium weapons in proposed war on Iraq”, sept. 22nd, 2002. The Eos life-work resource center.

Updated 27 October 2002. http://www.eoslifework.co.uk/u231.html.

[2] Wim Zwijnenburg and Doug Weir, 2016. Targets of Opportunity; Analysis of the use of depleted uranium by A-10s in the 2003 Iraq War. A joint investigation by PAX and ICBUW. Published on www.paxforpeace.nl website.

[3] Asaf Durakoviæ.1999.” Medical Effects of Internal Contamination with Uranium”. CMJ online. March 1999 (Volume 40, Number 1).

http://www.fukuleaks.org/edanoleaks/Scribble_Japan_Earthquake/pdfs/medical_effects_cmj.pdf.

[4] USA Today, 2003, Iraq’s Health Ministry ordered to stop counting civilian dead from war, Dec. 12 2003.

[5] Kirby, A., 2003, “US rejects Iraq DU clean-up”, BBC news online, April 14th 2003.

[ 6] Sunday Herald, “WHO suppressed scientific study into depleted uranium cancer fears in Iraq”. Feb 22, 2004.

[7] Depleted Uranium sites in Kosovo detailed by UNEP. http://www.unep.org/Documents.Multilingual/Default.asp?DocumentID=189&ArticleID=2741.

[8] Karen Parker,  2007.”War Crimes Committed by the United States in Iraq and Mechanisms for Accountability”. Consumers for peace. Oct.10, 2007.

[9] Rosalie Bertell, 2006. “Depleted Uranium: All the Questions about Du and Gulf War Syndrome are Not Yet Answered”. International journal of Health services.

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.2190/13JL-9LHM-FMR4-0V7B.

[10] Miller, A. et al. “Genomic instability in human osteoblast cells after exposure to depleted Uranium: Delay lethality and micronuclei formation”. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity. vol.64(2-3), 2003 (PP 247-259).

[11] Miller, A. et al, “Effect of the military-relevant heavy metal, depleted uranium and heavy metal tungsten-alloy on gene expression in human liver carcinoma cells (HepG2).” Mol. Cell Biochem. vol. 255(1-2). Jan. 2004 (PP. 247-56).

[12] Hindin, R., Brugge, D. and Panikkar, B. (2005), ‘Teratogenicity of Depleted Uranium aerosols: A review from an epidemiological perspective’, Environmental Health: A Global Access Science Source, 4:17, http://ehjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1476-069X-4-17.

[13] Chroder, H. et al. “Chromosome aberration analysis in peripheral lymphocytes of Gulf War and Balkans War veterans”. Radiation Prot. Dosimetry. Vol. 103(3) 2003 (PP. 211-219).

[14] Spanish Campaign against the Occupation and for the Sovereignty of Iraq.

Iraq Solidaridad 2005-2013. “The killing of Iraqi Academics: A War to Erase the Future and Culture of Iraq.” List of Iraqi academics assassinated in Iraq during the US-led occupation. http://www.iraqsolidaridad.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/List-of-Iraqi-academics-assassinated-November-2013.pdf.

[15] International Conference on DU, 2000, “Health, ecological, legal, and economic aspects of conventional radioactive weapons”, Committee of Solidarity   with the Arab Cause, Nov. 26-2, 2000, Gehone, Spain.

[16] Iraq Foreign Affairs Ministry, 1995, “Radiation effects”, an official paper submitted by the Iraqi delegation to the briefing meeting on nuclear liability during the 42nd Session of the General Conference, Vienna, 1995.

[17] Al-Azzawi, S., Maarouf, B., Seleh, M.J., Al-Saji, M., Al-Hilli, W., and Maguar, A., 1997.  “Damages resulted from the use of DU weaponry against Iraq”. Technical Report published in Arabic, Environmental Engineering Dept. College of Engineering, University of Baghdad. Baghdad, Iraq, 157pp.

[18] Al-Azzawi, S.N., Ma’arof, B.A., Mahmmod, M.A., Al-Hili, W.M., Al-Saji,, M., Jada’an, A.M. 1999. “Environmental Pollution Resulting from The Use of Depleted Uranium Weaponry Against Iraq in 1991.” Journal of Arabic Universities Association. College of engineering. University of Baghdad, vol. 6, no. 2, Baghdad, Iraq. Published in Arabic. Pp.47-62.

[19] Al-Azzawi, S. et al, “Environmental Pollution Resulting from the Use of Depleted Uranium Weaponry Against Iraq During 1991, World International Conference on DU, Hamburg, Germany, 2003.

[20] Al-Azzawi, S., and Al-Saji, M., 1998. “Effects of DU radioactive pollution on surface and ground water in selected regions in southern Iraq”. Journal of Arabic Universities Association, vol. 6, no. 1, Baghdad. Iraq. (Arabic language).

[21] Al-Hilli, W., 1998. “Effects of radioactive weapons on soil and air quality in Iraq”, M. Sc. Thesis in environmental engineering. College of Engineering. University of Baghdad. Baghdad, Iraq, 1998.

[22] Al-Saji, M., 1998, “Effects of radiological weapons on surface and groundwater quality in selected areas southern Iraq”. M. Sc. thesis in environmental engineering. College of Engineering, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq.

[23] Maguar, A.,1998. “Effects of radiological pollution on human and living environment in southern Iraq”. MSc. thesis, environmental engineering. College of engineering. University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq.

[24] Al-Azzawi, S., and Al Naemi, A. 2002, “Assessment of radiological doses and risks resulted from DU contamination in the highway war zone in al-Basrah governorate”. Proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq. March 26-27/ 2002. Baghdad, Iraq.

[25] Al-Azzawi, S., and Al Naemi, A., 2002, “Risk assessment related to radiological contamination resulted from the use of DU ammunition in al-Basrah war zone”, proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq, March 26-27, 2002, Baghdad, Iraq.

[26] TW, 2016.” Significant increase in frequency and intensity of sandstorms in the Middle East over the past 15 years”. The Watchers Website (WT). June 17, 2016.

https://watchers.news/2016/06/17/significant-increase-in-frequency-and-intensity-of-sandstorms-in-the-middle-east-over-the-past-15-years.

[27] Al-Azzawi, S., Maarouf, B., and Mazouri, N., 2002. “Environmental radiological pollution from the use of DU weaponry against Ninevah governorate during the war”, proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq, March 26-27 2002, Baghdad, Iraq.

[28] Hadi al Rubaiay, 2009. “Depleted Uranium is Innocent until Prove its Guilt”. National meeting of the consultants committee of Prime Minister Office on radiological pollution in Iraq. Mansour Melia hotel. Iraqi Media Network Report in Arabic.

file:///H: ف%20الندوة%20الوطنية%20للوقاية%20من%20التلوث%20الاشعاعي..%20اليورانيوم%20الhtml.

[29] Tawfiq, N., et.al., 2002, Determination of Alpha-emitters in Iraqi soil samples using solid state nuclear track detectors CR-39 and CN-85, Proceeding of Conference on the Effects of DU Weaponary on Human and Environment in Iraq, March 26-27, 2002, Baghdad, Iraq.

[30] ICBUW, 2006.” Dutch military in Iraq delays troop transfer from suspected DU contaminated area”. International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons. Sept. 29. 2006.

http://www.bandepleteduranium.org/en/dutch-military-in-iraq-delays-troop-transfer-from.

[31] Joanne, L., 2004, “Testing of New York guardsmen: first confirmed cases of Iraq war depleted Uranium exposure”, World Scientist web-site; http://www.wsws.org/articles/2004/apr2004/dwica-a21.shtml.

[32] Al Ghurabi, S. et. al., 2002, “DU pollution in southern Iraq after ten years”. Proceedings of the Conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq. published in Arabic. Vol. 1, March 26-27, 2002, Baghdad, Iraq

[33] Butrus, S., Wartan, K., and Butrus, L., 2002, “Assessing radioactive contamination levels in Basrah governorate”. Proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq, March 26-27, 2002, Baghdad, Iraq, published in Arabic.

[34] Alkinany, A., Twege, D., and Abdul Allah, K., 2002, “Investigating DU radioactivity in selected locations in Basrah”. Proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq, March 26-27, 2002, Baghdad, Iraq, published in Arabic.

[35]The Guardian, 2013. “Iraq’s depleted uranium clean-up to cost $30m as contamination spreads”. March 6, 2013.

[36] Yaqoub, A.A., Al-Sadoon, I., and Hassan, J., 1998. “Incidence and pattern of malignant diseases among children in Basrah with specific reference to leukemia during the period of 1990-1998”. Proceeding of the conference on health and environmental consequences of DU used by U.S. and British forces in the 1991 Gulf War, Dec. 2-3, 1998, Baghdad, Iraq.

[37] Yaqoub, A., et.al., 1999. “Depleted Uranium and health of people in Basrah: an epidemiological evidence; 1-The incidence and pattern of malignant diseases among children in Basrah with specific reference to leukemia during the period of 1990-1998”.  Medical journal of Basrah University (MJBU). Vol.17, no.1&2, 1999, Basrah, Iraq.

[38] Al-Sadoon, I., Hassan, J., and Yaqoub, A., 1998. “Incidence and pattern of congenital anomalies among birth in Basrah during the period 1990-1998”. Proceeding of the conference on health and environmental consequences of DU used by U.S. and British forces in the 1991 Gulf War. Dec. 2-3, 1998. Baghdad, Iraq.

[39] Yaqoub, A., Ajeel, N., and Al-Wiswasy, M., 1998. “Incidence and pattern of malignant diseases (excluding leukemia) during 1990-1997”. Proceeding of the conference on health and environmental consequences of DU used by U.S. and British forces in the 1991 Gulf War. Dec. 2-3, 1998. Baghdad, Iraq.

[40] Yaqoub, A., Al-Sadoon, I., and Hassan, J., 2002. “The evidence of casual association between exposure to DU and malignancies among children in Basrah by applying epidemiological criteria of causality”. Proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq. March 26-27, 2002. Baghdad, Iraq.

[41] Ali, A., and Al-Ali, J., 2002. “Chronic myeloid leukemia in Basrah after the Gulf War II”. Proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq. March 26-27, 2002. Baghdad, Iraq.

[42] Ammash, H., 1998. “Mechanism of toxicity induced by free radicals resulting from irradiation with DU and ionization of atmosphere in Iraq”. Proceeding of the conference on health and environmental consequences of DU used by U.S. and British forces in the 1991 Gulf War.Dec. 2-3, 1998. Baghdad, Iraq.

[43] Ammash, H., 2000. “Toxic pollution, the Gulf War, and sanctions, the impact on the environment and health in Iraq”. Iraq under Siege, editor: Anthony Arnove, South End Press, Cambridge, Mass, 2000.

[44]Mohammed, Z., et.al., 2002. “Detection of DU effects on human by use of immune system enzyme”. Proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq. March 26-27, 2002. Baghdad, Iraq.

[45] Ammash, H., Alwan, L., and Maarouf, B., 2002. “Genetic hematological study for a selected population from DU contaminated areas in Basrah”. Proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq. March 26-27, 2002. Baghdad, Iraq.

[46] Khudair, A., Abdul Kader, K., and Al-Taha, T., 2002. “Study of the radiological pollution level in pastures of Basrah in 2000”. Proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq. March 26-27, 2002. Baghdad, Iraq.

[47] Al-Sadi, H., and Sawad, A., 2002. “Some interesting pathological conditions in animals in Basrah and the possible etiological role of DU used in 1991 aggression against Iraq”. Proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq. March 26-27, 2002. Baghdad, Iraq.

[48] RT, 2010.” Reports emerge the UK used depleted uranium weapons in Iraq”. Russia Today New. July 23. 2010. https://www.rt.com/news/uk-iraq-depleted-uranium/.

[49] Danesi1,P.R.,and Telleria2, D.M ,2006. “Radiological Conditions at Four Selected Sites in South Iraq with Residues of Depleted Uranium”. 1, International Atomic Energy Agency Consultant, Vienna, Austria.  2International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, Austria.

file:///H:/DU%20contamination%20doses%20in%20southern%20Iraq%20measured%20for%20UNEP%202003.pdf.

[50] Tara Mohamed Anwar. “ Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile. Iraq”.

http://www.fao.org/ag/agp/agpc/doc/counprof/iraq/iraq.html.

[51] Alaani, S., Tafash, M., Busby, C., Hamdan, M., and Blaurock-Busch, E., 2011.  Uranium and Other Contaminants in Hair from the Parents of Children with Congenital Anomalies in Fallujah, Iraq. Conflict and Health, V.5; 2011, PMC3177876.

[ 52] Busby C, Hamdan M, Ariabi E. 2010. Cancer, Infant mortality and birth sex ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005-2009. Int. J. Environ Res. Public Health 7, 2828-2837.

[53] Alaani S, Savabieasfahani M, Tafash M, Manduca P. 2011. Four polygamous families with congenital birth defects from Fallujah, Iraq. Int. J. Environ Res Public Health 8, 89-96.

[ 54] Al-Ali, Jawad, 2005. “Epidemiological study at Southern Iraq, Basra city”. Proceeding of the Cancer trend in Basra, Iraq. Depleted uranium – 4.5-billion-year health risk meeting. At 17-20 Auditorium in the Parliament House, Japan. Sept 12. 2006.

Posted in IraqComments Off on Depleted Uranium and Radioactive Contamination in Iraq

I$raHell: The Ghetto of the Middle East

NOVANEWS
Israel: The Ghetto of the Middle East. History of the Political Zionist Movement

Diaspora families living worldwide, the vast majority in New York with smaller communities in Paris, London and other major conurbations, are taught from an early age to believe that the modern State of Israel is their homeland. Not merely a biblical place of ‘milk and honey’, military might, innate intelligence and integrity but a place of final security; a sanctuary to which they can flee to escape the apparently insidious rise of anti-Semitism in the various land(s) of their birth. An ultimate insurance policy in case of need. That is how it is ‘sold’ to the average Jewish family in Manhattan, New York or Golders Green in London.

What is deliberately omitted is the documented fact that to immigrate to the State of Israel is, arguably, to live in one of the most dangerous places on the planet for ordinary civilian life, under a corrupt political system.

Whilst terrorism is now globally endemic to a limited degree in most areas of high population, in Israel, which forcibly (and illegally) occupies Arab territory, the incidence of terror attacks from those kept either in confinement or restriction, is seemingly a continuing daily occurrence. On public transport, on the streets, in the home or hotel, Israelis and visitors alike live in the full realisation that they are an unwanted presence in a majority Muslim region and are reviled for their role as the hated illegal occupier of land that had been continuously settled by the indigenous Arab for over a thousand years.

The political Zionist movement, envisaged in 1896 by Theodor Herzl, an Austro-Hungarian journalist and political activist, and described in his book ‘Der Judenstaat’, was a genuine attempt to resolve the age-old social problem of, predominately European anti-Semitism.

The Israeli state was subsequently established, by force, in 1948, in the midst of Muslim Palestine and against the vehement opposition of the indigenous population and all of the neighbouring states who would be adversely affected and who voted against the Resolution for Partition proposed by a completely unrepresentative UN Assembly, in 1947.

Consequently there was war, which was won unexpectedly by the fledgling Israeli defence forces with, it must be admitted, considerable assistance from interested parties in both America and Europe. The consequence was the eventual expropriation of huge tracts of Arab land upon which over 600,000 Israelis to date have been induced by their government to illegally settle in order to establish so called ‘facts on the ground’ – a deliberate euphemism for criminal activity.

The result is an inherently unstable and corrupt political entity kept afloat by American arms and funding together with a brutal occupation designed to intimidate the indigenous population and to eventually forcibly transfer millions of former Palestinian Arabs to adjoining territories.

This neo-colonialism of the 21st century cannot, in the final analysis, succeed because the international community, the EU and the UN, will not allow it. That could mean a possible nuclear war in the region. In that circumstance, the State of Israel would, unfortunately, then cease to exist – but not without huge damage to both the Middle East and Europe – radiation recognising no geographical or political boundaries.

A ghetto is not the retirement centre of choice in 2017 and certainly not an unstable, nuclear-armed one where corruption is endemic. All of which is presumably why tens of thousands of savvy Israelis live and work abroad.

But it bodes not well for the future of the Middle East and the GCC states, because heavily-armed Israel under an allegedly corrupt administration has made itself a flashpoint for a future nuclear conflict.

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“The War is Worth Waging”: Afghanistan’s Vast Reserves of Minerals and Natural Gas

NOVANEWS

The War on Afghanistan is a Profit driven “Resource War”.

 

Author’s Note

US and NATO forces invaded Afghanistan almost 16 years ago in October 2001. It’s has been a continuous war marked by US military occupation.

The justification is “counterterrorism”.  Afghanistan is defined as a state sponsor of terrorism, allegedly responsible for attacking America on September 11, 2001. 

The war on Afghanistan continues to be heralded as a war of retribution in response to the 9/11 attacks. US troops are still present and deployed in Afghanistan.

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The legal argument used by Washington and NATO to invade and occupy Afghanistan under “the doctrine of collective security” was that the September 11 2001 attacks constituted an undeclared “armed attack” “from abroad” by an unnamed foreign power, namely Afghanistan. 

Yet there were no Afghan fighter planes in the skies of New York on the morning of September 11, 2001. 

This article, first published in June 2010, points to the “real economic reasons”  why US-NATO forces invaded Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11.  

Under the Afghan-US security pact,  established under Obama’s Asian pivot, Washington and its NATO partners have established a permanent military presence in Afghanistan, with military facilities located within proximity of China’s Western frontier.  The pact was intended to allow the US to maintain their nine permanent military bases, strategically located on the borders of  China, Pakistan and Iran as well as Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

In recent developments, President Trump in his February 28, 2017 address to a joint session of  Congress vowed to “demolish and destroy” terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq as well as in Afghanistan under a fake counter-terrorism mandate.

According to Foreign Affairs, “there are more U.S. military forces deployed there [Afghanistan] than to any other active combat zone” and their mandate is to go after the Taliban, Al Qaeda and ISIS (which are supported covertly by US intelligence). 

There is both a geopolitical as well as an economic agenda in Afghanistan requiring the permanent presence of US troops.

In addition to its vast mineral and gas reserves, Afghanistan produces more than 90 percent of the World’s supply of opium which is used to produce grade 4 heroin.

US military bases in Afghanistan are also intent upon protecting the multibillion narcotics trade.  Narcotics, at present, constitutes the centerpiece of Afghanistan’s export economy.

The heroin trade, instated at the outset of the Soviet-Afghan war in 1979 and protected by the CIA, generates cash earnings in Western markets in excess of $200 billion dollars a year.

“The highest concentration of NATO servicemen in Afghanistan is being accompanied with the highest concentration of opium poppy, ….  That situation causes doubts about the anti-terrorist mission and leads to the conclusion about catastrophic consequences of the eight-year stay [of coalition forces] in Afghanistan,” (Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service head Viktor Ivanov, January 2010)

Michel Chossudovsky,  August 22, 2017

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“The War is Worth Waging”: Afghanistan’s Vast Reserves of Minerals and Natural Gas

The War on Afghanistan is a Profit driven “Resource War”.

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

October 2010

The 2001 bombing and invasion of Afghanistan has been presented to World public opinion as a “Just War”, a war directed against the Taliban and Al Qaeda, a war to eliminate “Islamic terrorism” and instate Western style democracy.

The economic dimensions of  the “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT) are rarely mentioned. The post 9/11 “counter-terrorism campaign” has served to obfuscate the real objectives of the US-NATO war.

The war on Afghanistan is part of a profit driven agenda: a war of economic conquest and plunder,  “a resource war”.

While Afghanistan is acknowledged as a strategic hub in Central Asia, bordering on the former Soviet Union, China and Iran, at the crossroads of pipeline routes and major oil and gas reserves, its huge mineral wealth as well as its untapped natural gas reserves have remained, until June 2010, totally unknown to the American public.

According to a joint report by the Pentagon, the US Geological Survey (USGS) and USAID, Afghanistan is now said to possess “previously unknown” and untapped mineral reserves, estimated authoritatively to be of the order of one trillion dollars (New York Times, U.S. Identifies Vast Mineral Riches in Afghanistan – NYTimes.com, June 14, 2010, See also BBC, 14 June 2010).

The previously unknown deposits — including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world, the United States officials believe.

An internal Pentagon memo, for example, states that Afghanistan could become the “Saudi Arabia of lithium,” a key raw material in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and BlackBerrys.

The vast scale of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth was discovered by a small team of Pentagon officials and American geologists. The Afghan government and President Hamid Karzai were recently briefed, American officials said.

While it could take many years to develop a mining industry, the potential is so great that officials and executives in the industry believe it could attract heavy investment even before mines are profitable, providing the possibility of jobs that could distract from generations of war.

“There is stunning potential here,” Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of the United States Central Command, said… “There are a lot of ifs, of course, but I think potentially it is hugely significant.”

The value of the newly discovered mineral deposits dwarfs the size of Afghanistan’s existing war-bedraggled economy, which is based largely on opium production and narcotics trafficking as well as aid from the United States and other industrialized countries. Afghanistan’s gross domestic product is only about $12 billion.

“This will become the backbone of the Afghan economy,” said Jalil Jumriany, an adviser to the Afghan minister of mines. (New York Times, op. cit.)

Afghanistan could become, according to The New York Times “the Saudi Arabia of lithium”. “Lithium is an increasingly vital resource, used in batteries for everything from mobile phones to laptops and key to the future of the electric car.” At present Chile, Australia, China and Argentina are the main suppliers of lithium to the world market. Bolivia and Chile are the countries with the largest known reserves of lithium. “The Pentagon has been conducting ground surveys in western Afghanistan. “Pentagon officials said that their initial analysis at one location in Ghazni province showed the potential for lithium deposits as large as those of Bolivia” (U.S. Identifies Vast Mineral Riches in Afghanistan – NYTimes.com, June 14, 2010, see also Lithium – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

“Previously Unknown Deposits” of Minerals in Afghanistan

The Pentagon’s near one trillion dollar “estimate” of previously “unknown deposits” is a useful smokescreen. The Pentagon one trillion dollar figure is more a trumped up number rather than an estimate:  “We took a look at what we knew to be there, and asked what would it be worth now in terms of today’s dollars. The trillion dollar figure seemed to be newsworthy.” (The Sunday Times, London, June 15 2010, emphasis added)

Moreover, the results of a US Geological Survey study (quoted in the Pentagon memo) on Afghanistan’s mineral wealth were revealed three years back, at a 2007 Conference organized by the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce. The matter of Afghanistan’s mineral riches, however, was not considered newsworthy at the time.

The US Administration’s acknowledgment that it first took cognizance of Afghanistan’s vast mineral wealth  following the release of the USGS 2007 report is an obvious red herring. Afghanistan’s mineral wealth and energy resources (including natural gas) were known to both America’s business elites and the US government prior to the Soviet-Afghan war (1979-1988).

Geological surveys conducted by the Soviet Union in the 1970s and early 1980s confirm the existence of  vast reserves of copper (among the largest in Eurasia), iron, high grade chrome ore, uranium, beryl, barite, lead, zinc, fluorspar, bauxite, lithium, tantalum, emeralds, gold and silver.(Afghanistan, Mining Annual Review, The Mining Journal,  June, 1984). These surveys suggest that the actual value of these reserves could indeed be substantially larger than the one trillion dollars “estimate” intimated by the Pentagon-USCG-USAID study.

More recently, in a 2002 report, the Kremlin confirmed what was already known: “It’s no secret that Afghanistan possesses rich reserves, in particular of copper at the Aynak deposit, iron ore in Khojagek, uranium, polymetalic ore, oil and gas,” (RIA Novosti, January 6, 2002):

“Afghanistan has never been anyone’s colony – no foreigner had ever “dug” here before the 1950s. The Hindu Kush mountains, stretching, together with their foothills, over a vast area in Afghanistan, are where the minerals lie. Over the past 40 years, several dozen deposits have been discovered in Afghanistan, and most of these discoveries were sensational. They were kept secret, however, but even so certain facts have recently become known.

It turns out that Afghanistan possesses reserves of nonferrous and ferrous metals and precious stones, and, if exploited, they would possibly be able to cover even the earnings from the drug industry. The copper deposit in Aynak in the southern Afghan Helmand Province is said to be the largest in the Eurasian continent, and its location (40 km from Kabul) makes it cheap to develop. The iron ore deposit at Hajigak in the central Bamian Province yields ore of an extraordinarily high quality, the reserves of which are estimated to be 500m tonnes. A coal deposit has also been discovered not far from there.

Afghanistan is spoken of as a transit country for oil and gas. However, only a very few people know that Soviet specialists discovered huge gas reserves there in the 1960s and built the first gas pipeline in the country to supply gas to Uzbekistan. At that time, the Soviet Union used to receive 2.5 bn cubic metres of Afghan gas annually. During the same period, large deposits of gold, fluorite, barytes and marble onyxes that have a very rare pattern were found.

However, the pegmatite fields discovered to the east of Kabul are a real sensation. Rubies, beryllium, emeralds and kunzites and hiddenites that cannot be found anywhere else – the deposits of these precious stones stretch for hundreds of kilometres. Also, the rocks containing the rare metals beryllium, thorium, lithium and tantalum are of strategic importance (they are used in air and spacecraft construction).

The war is worth waging. … (Olga Borisova, “Afghanistan – the Emerald Country”, Karavan, Almaty, original Russian, translated by BBC News Services, Apr 26, 2002. p. 10, emphasis added.)

While public opinion was fed images of a war torn resourceless developing country, the realities are otherwise: Afghanstan is a rich country as confirmed by Soviet era geological surveys.

The issue of “previously unknown deposits” sustains a falsehood. It excludes Afghanstan’s vast mineral wealth as a justifiable casus belli. It says that the Pentagon only recently became aware that Afghanistan was among the World’s most wealthy mineral economies, comparable to The Democratic Republic of the Congo or former Zaire of the Mobutu era. The Soviet geopolitical reports were known. During the Cold War, all this information was known in minute detail:

… Extensive Soviet exploration produced superb geological maps and reports that listed more than 1,400 mineral outcroppings, along with about 70 commercially viable deposits … The Soviet Union subsequently committed more than $650 million for resource exploration and development in Afghanistan, with proposed projects including an oil refinery capable of producing a half-million tons per annum, as well as a smelting complex for the Ainak deposit that was to have produced 1.5 million tons of copper per year. In the wake of the Soviet withdrawal a subsequent World Bank analysis projected that the Ainak copper production alone could eventually capture as much as 2 percent of the annual world market. The country is also blessed with massive coal deposits, one of which, the Hajigak iron deposit, in the Hindu Kush mountain range west of Kabul, is assessed as one of the largest high-grade deposits in the world. (John C. K. Daly,  Analysis: Afghanistan’s untapped energy, UPI Energy, October 24, 2008, emphasis added)

Afghanistan’s Natural Gas

Afghanistan is a land bridge. The 2001 U.S. led invasion and occupation of Afghanistan has been analysed by critics of US foreign policy as a means to securing control  over the strategic trans-Afghan transport corridor which links the Caspian sea basin to the Arabian sea.

Several trans-Afghan oil and gas pipeline projects have been contemplated including the planned $8.0 billion TAPI pipeline project (Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India) of 1900 km., which would transport Turkmen natural gas across Afghanistan in what is described as a “crucial transit corridor”. (See Gary Olson, Afghanistan has never been the ‘good and necessary’ war; it’s about control of oil, The Morning Call, October 1, 2009). Military escalation under the extended Af-Pak war bears a relationship to TAPI. Turkmenistan possesses third largest natural gas reserves after Russia and Iran. Strategic control over the transport routes out of Turkmenistan have been part of Washington’s agenda since the collapse of the Soviet union in 1991.

What was rarely contemplated in pipeline geopolitics, however, is that Afghanistan is not only adjacent to countries which are rich in oil and natural gas (e.g Turkmenistan), it also possesses within its territory sizeable untapped reserves of natural gas, coal  and oil. Soviet estimates of the 1970s placed “Afghanistan’s ‘explored’ (proved plus probable) gas reserves at about 5  trillion cubic feet. The Hodja-Gugerdag’s initial reserves were placed at slightly more than 2 tcf.” (See, The Soviet Union to retain influence in Afghanistan, Oil & Gas Journal, May 2, 1988).

The US.Energy Information Administration (EIA) acknowledged in 2008 that Afghanistan’s natural gas reserves are “substantial”:

“As northern Afghanistan is a ‘southward extension of Central Asia’s highly prolific, natural gas-prone Amu Darya Basin,’ Afghanistan ‘has proven, probable and possible natural gas reserves of about 5 trillion cubic feet.’ (UPI, John C.K. Daly, Analysis: Afghanistan’s untapped energy, October 24, 2008)

From the outset of the Soviet-Afghan war in 1979, Washington’s objective has been to sustain a geopolitical foothold in Central Asia.

The Golden Crescent Drug Trade

America’s covert war, namely its support to the Mujahideen “Freedom fighters” (aka Al Qaeda) was also geared towards the development of the Golden Crescent trade in opiates, which was used by US intelligence to fund the insurgency directed against the Soviets.1

Instated at the outset of the Soviet-Afghan war and protected by the CIA, the drug trade developed over the years into a highly lucrative multibillion undertaking. It was the cornerstone of America’s covert war in the 1980s. Today, under US-NATO military occupation, the drug trade generates cash earnings in Western markets in excess of $200 billion dollars a year. (See Michel Chossudovsky, America’s War on Terrorism, Global Research, Montreal, 2005, see also Michel Chossudovsky, Heroin is “Good for Your Health”: Occupation Forces support Afghan Narcotics Trade, Global Research, April 29, 2007)

Towards an Economy of Plunder

The US media, in chorus, has upheld the “recent discovery” of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth as “a solution” to the development of the country’s war torn economy as well as a means to eliminating poverty. The 2001 US-NATO invasion and occupation has set the stage for their appropriation by Western mining and energy conglomerates.

The war on Afghanistan is  a profit driven “resource war”.

Under US and allied occupation, this mineral wealth is slated to be plundered, once the country has been pacified, by a handful of multinational mining conglomerates. According to Olga Borisova, writing in the months following the October 2001 invasion, the US-led “war on terrorism [will be transformed] into a colonial policy of influencing a fabulously wealthy country.” (Borisova, op cit).

Part of the US-NATO agenda is also to eventually take possession of Afghanistan’s reserves of natural gas, as well as prevent the development of competing Russian, Iranian and Chinese energy interests in Afghanistan.

Note

1. The Golden Crescent trade in opiates constitutes, at present, the centerpiece of Afghanistan’s export economy. The heroin trade, instated at the outset of the Soviet-Afghan war in 1979 and protected by the CIA, generates cash earnings in Western markets in excess of $200 billion dollars a year.

Since the 2001 invasion, narcotics production in Afghanistan  has increased more than 35 times. In 2009, opium production stood at 6900 tons, compared to less than 200 tons in 2001. In this regard, the multibillion dollar earnings resulting from the Afghan opium production largely occur outside Afghanistan. According to United Nations data, the revenues of the drug trade accruing to the local economy are of the order of 2-3 billion annually.

In contrast with the Worldwide sales of heroin resulting from the trade in Afghan opiates, in excess of $200 billion. (See Michel Chossudovsky, America’s War on Terrorism”, Global Research, Montreal, 2005)

ORDER DIRECTLY FROM GLOBAL RESEARCH

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America’s “War on Terrorism”

Michel Chossudovsky

Posted in USA, Europe, Afghanistan, UKComments Off on “The War is Worth Waging”: Afghanistan’s Vast Reserves of Minerals and Natural Gas

CIA Warned Spanish Police: “Islamic State Planned to Attack Barcelona”. US-led Coalition Supported ISIS in Iraq-Syria

According to IntelNews.org quoting Catalonia’s daily El Periodico, the CIA had warned the Spanish authorities that the Islamic State was planning to attack Barcelona, they even mentioned that it could take place in Las Ramblas. 

In the hours following the attack, several observers noted that Barcelona was always an obvious target for the Islamic State, given that the group had already perpetrated terrorist attacks in Berlin, London, Paris and Brussels. They also raised questions about the low level of police presence and the absence of anti-vehicle barrier systems in Barcelona —one of Europe’s busiest tourist destinations. Late on Thursday, the Catalan newspaper El Periódico reported that, two months ago, the CIA alerted the Mossos d’Esquadra, the autonomous police and security service of Catalonia, of a possible terrorist attack by the Islamic State. According to the Barcelona-based daily, the CIA even mentioned La Rambla as the main target of Islamist militants.

Even before the CIA issued its warning, the Islamic State had directed several threats against Spain since 2014, when the group first appeared in Syria. As El Periódico said, the group’s followers “consider themselves obligated to re-establish Islam” in areas that were ruled by Muslim leaders in the past.

For much of the medieval period, Spain and Portugal were known as Al-Andalus, and were ruled by a succession of Muslim caliphs. The Spanish daily also reported that a Twitter account associated with the Islamic State issued several warnings against Spain two weeks ago. Specifically, on July 30, the account twitted a series of messages that read: “We will implement the caliphate in Spain and will recover our land. Impending attack on Al-Andalus, God willing”. Similar threats had been issued a year ago on social media, but were later disregarded after they failed to materialize, said El Periódico. (IntelNews.org

This news report is in large part propaganda. It’s disinformation.

It portrays the CIA as “going after” the terrorists, i.e. as a major actor in the “war on terrorism” advising Catalonia’s police of an imminent danger. “CIA alerted the Mossos d’Esquadra, the autonomous police and security service of Catalonia, of a possible terrorist attack by the Islamic State.”

The CIA is said to have warned the authorities as part of the US-led counterterrorism campaign.

El Periodico, August 17, 2017

Translation of byline: The CIA two months ago advised the Mossos (Catalan Police) of the risk of an attack in Barcelona,

The US intelligence agency  warned the autonomous (Catalan) police that the Ramblas could be a target.

The report tacitly places the blame on the Catalan police force for not having heeded to the advice and authority of US intelligence.

The unspoken truth (amply documented) is that the CIA has always been behind the terrorists. The CIA is the architect of Al Qaeda going back to the outset of the Soviet Afghan war in 1979.

All Al Qaeda affiliates are “intelligence assets” covertly supported by US intelligence in liaison with Pakistan’s ISI, Saudi Arabia’s General Intelligence Presidency (GIP); (رئاسة الاستخبارات العامة‎‎ ) not to mention Britain’s MI6 and Israel’s Mossad.

The ISIS has a certain degree of independence in relation to its State sponsors. That is the nature of what is called an “intelligence asset”.  But an “intelligence asset” is always on the radar of the intelligence services.

ISIS-Daesh has from the very outset in 2014 been supported and financed by the western military alliance, with direct funding provided by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States in consultation and liaison with Washington.

The US-led counterterrorism operation initiated by Obama in 2014 was not meant to go after the ISIS. Quite the opposite: the coalition was killing civilians while providing covert support including weapons to the ISIS. Of significance Spain was not part of the 14 countries US-led coalition.

The claim that the Islamic State wanted to restore the caliphate in Spain which prevailed in medieval Spain borders on the absurd. It’s a lie. It is nonsensical. It is intended to reinforce the wave of Islamophobia.

Barcelona, Manchester, London, Nice ….

The Islamic State prior to changing its label in 2014 was an affiliate of al Qaeda, namely Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). It then  took on the name of  The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) (Arabic al-Dawlah al-Islāmiyyah fī al-ʿIrāq wa al-Shām, Daesh), also designated as Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) 

A leaked Pentagon document confirms that the US and its allies are supportive of ISIS. And that’s the terrorist entity which –according to European press reports– is  behind the terrorist attacks in Barcelona, Manchester, London, Brussels, Nice, Berlin…

Read carefully. What the DoD document intimates is that the Islamic State is “on our side” in support of “our” endeavor to topple the Bashar al-Assad government.

According to the DoD document, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic State are “the major forces driving the insurgency”, and that insurgency is supported by US-NATO.

The document refers to AQI (Al Qaeda in Iraq), which is the acronym of the Islamic State before it took on its new name and identity of ISIS-Daesh.

AQI [renamed ISIS in 2014] “supported the opposition” and fought the regime of Bashar al Assad. And US-NATO and their Gulf States allies have persistenly supported AQI.

A  7-page Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) document dated August of 2012, points to US complicity in supporting the creation of the  Islamic State. (Excerpt below) 

 

 

 

The Pentagon Document is crystal clear: The Islamic State is calling upon “the Sunnis in Iraq to wage war against the Syrian Regime”, which happens to coincide with US foreign policy.  That means “they support us and we support them”.

 

The Western media conveys the illusion that the Islamic State ordered the Barcelona/ Cambrils attacks as an act of retribution (revenge) against the US led coalition’s alleged bombings of ISIS facilities in Iraq and Syria.

[The Spanish] authorities have labelled both incidents as terrorism, and ISIS has claimed responsibility, saying the attack in Barcelona was carried out by “soldiers of the Islamic State” in response to the extremist group’s calls for followers to target countries participating in the coalition trying to drive it from Syria and Iraq” (CBC, August 18, 2017).

This is an absurd proposition which is refuted by the DoD document above.

Read the DoD document and then decide who is telling the truth.

ISIS has been fighting Syrian an Iraqi government forces on behalf of US-NATO.  It was the Syrian government SAA forces with the support of Russia and Iran which drove the ISIS rebels out of Syria.

The DoD document says that “China, Russia and Iran support the Regime”. Yet neither China nor Russia have been the target of acts of retribution led by ISIS.

Moreover, there is another fallacy in the statement issued by the Spanish authorities: Spain is not officially part of the 14 countries’ US led combined joint (“counterterrorism”) task force entitled Operation Inherent Resolve against the ISIS, which was launched to protect rather than “go after” the Islamic State.

The governments of  EU countries whose citizens are the victims of terror attacks have been supporting ISIS-Daesh through their military and intelligence services.

That is the truth as confirmed by the leaked DoD report above. There are mountains of evidence which confirm that US-NATO, Israel and the Gulf States are directly or indirectly supporting the Islamic State (including financing, the delivery of weapons, training, recruitment).  

And those governments want their citizens to believe that the ISIS is the “outside enemy” responsible for terror attacks in major urban areas, when in fact the ISIS is supported by the US and its coalition allies. 

How will Spain define its position in the wake of the Barcelona attacks?

Posted in Spain, UKComments Off on CIA Warned Spanish Police: “Islamic State Planned to Attack Barcelona”. US-led Coalition Supported ISIS in Iraq-Syria

The 2014 Ukraine Coup Was as Much About China as Russia. Eurasian Trade and the New Silk Road

NOVANEWS

The events which led to the 2014 coup in Ukraine are generally blamed on anti-Russia actors, including the United States and EU.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was recently in the EU where he said the following,

“The largely-provoked-from-the-outside Ukrainian crisis has become the direct consequence of such short-sighted policy of Washington and Brussels”.

He continued,

“We hope that Germany and France, as partners within the Normandy format, as well as the US who have a special influence on the Kiev establishment, will use their means to change the situation”.

Lavrov went on to define his hopes for Ukraine stating,

“We want to see Ukraine a stable country, where all minorities, including linguistic, religious and ethnic, live freely and exercise rights provided by international convention”.

It is widely known that the US, EU, and fascist radicals mainly from the former Polish regions of Galicia were in favour of the EU Association Agreement proposed for Ukraine. Ukraine’s President at the time and the last legitimate leader of the country, Viktor Yanukovych decided against the association agreement with Europe, preferring to leave options open which would allow Kiev to continue to do commerce with its traditional partner, Russia.

But beyond Russia, Yanukovych’s Ukraine was also cultivating other partners even further away from the EU. Could this be part of the reason he was illegally overthrown?

The following timeline of events is crucial in understanding how anti-Chinese sentiments among the EU, US and Ukraine’s fascists could have played as much of a role in fomenting the 2014 Ukrainian coup as did those of anti-Russian actors.

October 2013:

The plans for China’s One Belt–One Road initiative, also called Belt & Road or The New Silk Road initiative were officially announced by Chinese officials in September and October of 2013. The announcements were made in part by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, including during his international visits.

December 2013:

Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych visits China where he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping. During the meetings which were uniquely successful for Ukraine, China agreed to invest $8 billion into the Ukrainian economy.

RT reported the following on 5 December 2013,

‘Ukrainian President Yanukovych left Kiev in search of foreign cash for his country’s near bankrupt economy, and now he says he’s secured $8 billion in investment from China.

The money has made a timely arrival in cash-strapped Ukraine’s hands, as the economy teeters on default and faces debts over $15 billion. Yanukovych is on a three-day planned working trip to China.

“The documents signed today expand our economic cooperation. We have not yet calculated how much this will make up in terms of money, but we made some calculations earlier and saw that the matter is about some $8 billion in investments coming to the Ukrainian economy,” Yanukovych said after signing a number of bilateral documents in Beijing on Thursday, quoted by Interfax.

More investment documents are in their final stages of preparation, and are expected to be signed soon’, he said.

China has already given Ukraine $10 billion in loans, Reuters reported, citing VolodymyrFesenko of Ukraine’s Penta think-tank.

While Yanukovych signed papers in Beijing, a Ukrainian delegation met with Russian government officials in Moscow, including Prime Minister Medvedev to discuss trade issues such as customs clearance, Ukrainian chocolate, meat and dairy products, and railways.

Protests broke out in Kiev over Yanukovych’s last minute rejection of an EU trade deal in favor of restoring economic talks with Russia, Ukraine’s top trading partner and energy supplier.

Ukraine hasn’t made a decisive step East or West, and for now seems to be shopping around for the best economic deal to bring calm to markets, bond prices, and opposition movements, before committing to either the EU or Russia”.

During the meeting in Beijing, it was reported that Yanukovych and Chinese officials were in talks to construct a deep water port in Crimea, which at the time was under the sovereignty of Yanukovych’s government. The port project said to be worth $10 million, was reported shortly after the Ukrainian coup of February 2014 by the notoriously liberal Moscow Times as well as in a deeply Sinophobic article in the Eurasian Daily Monitor.

The way these publications – which clearly adopt a European narrative of events – reported Yanukovych’s dealing with China, clearly indicate that pro-EU propagandists were highly troubled by the fact that Ukraine under Yanukovych and China were about to solidify what might have been long lasting and meaningful economic relations, relations which could have helped ease Ukraine’s monumental debt crisis. If the debt crisis was resolved through Chinese investment, western creditors and the IMF would not have been able to wield power over Kiev.

The fact that Yanukovych travelled to Russia shortly after his trip to China is a further confirmation of the fact that doing business with both Russia and China is mutually complimentary. Russia’s subsequent enthusiasm for China’s New Silk Road is a further indication of the open possibilities of countries and businessmen conducting commerce with both Beijing and Moscow simultaneously.

The same could not be said of the proposed Ukraine-EU association agreement which would have effectively shut Ukraine out of the wider world market and forced the poor country to trade virtually exclusively with the EU. Any extra-EU trade would have had to be conducted according to the EU’s very strict rules which have constrained Greece’s economic ties to countries outside of Europe and which in part provoked Britain’s recent vote to leave the EU.

Under the post-coup regime, Ukraine has signed up to the deal with the EU in spite of fading enthusiasm from Europe. The western powers nevertheless successfully cut Ukraine off from its historic Russian homeland and its eastern partners.

February 2014:

Viktor Yanukovych and his country never got to see the fruits of his deals with China from December of 2014 because on 20 February of that year, Yanukovych was overthrown in a coup.

As The Duran recently explained,

“The EU was supposed to be the last minute saviour of Ukraine as fascist street-fighters and foreign mercenaries with fresh injections of American money readied a violent coup.

It was on the 20th of February 2014 that the Foreign Ministers of EU member states France, Germany and Poland convened in Kiev to broker a deal that was supposed to bring stability. Instead, it brought about a genocidal war on the people of Donbass who shortly after the coup declared their independence from the young fascist regime in Kiev. The deal also brought wide scale corruption in an already deeply corrupt place as well as total economic collapse that continues to get worse by the day.

Most ominously, the then Polish Foreign Minister who helped broker the deal which the insurgents had no intention of keeping, told representatives of the radicals that if they did not sign the agreement “you’ll all be dead”.

The truth is that the death came and continues to come not from those who opposed the coup but from those who came to power as a result of the coup.

The deal was supposed to insure orderly early elections and constitutional reforms which ironically reversed those made by Viktor Yanukovych. Instead, the agreement merely caused the total collapse of the state as the mob eventually forced Yanukovych to flee to Russia after a temporary and in hindsight, eerie pause in the violence.

The hours in the evening of the 20th of February 2014 in which violence temporarily abated have been made up for by three and a half years of violence, turmoil and a humanitarian disaster which has seen the lawless regime in Kiev drop chemical weapons on the people of Donbass, all while the west remains silent”.

Subsequent to the coup, the new regime broke off economic relations with Russia and scarpered the deals with China.

Today:

The routes of China’s New Silk Road still plan on partly travelling through Ukraine, but the current regime in Ukraine will doubtlessly make such matters more difficult for China vis-a-vis the last legitimate government of Ukraine, that of Viktor Yanukovych.

Although more recent maps show a slightly different route of the New Silk Road, which still goes through Ukraine, as early as 2013 (just prior to the coup in Kiev), maps showing proposed routes of the Road clearly indicated that Ukraine was on China’s map.

Below are two maps from 2013 followed by a more recent map:

Eurasia including Russia and much of modern Ukraine are included in what British thinker Halford John Mackinder called the Pivot Area in his theory which posited that Eurasia including and especially Russian Imperial lands needed to be conquered and subdued by the west in order to attain geo-political dominance over Asia and what one might now call the Global East or New Global South.

Far from being discarded, Mackinder’s theories continue to prove to be a guiding force behind the west’s policies of war, occupation and provocation against the countries which occupy his ‘pivot area’. Indeed, Britain and France’s continued opposition to Russia in its wars with Turkey throughout the 19th century go a long ways in explaining that far from being original, Mackinder simply wrote a theory which largely conformed to late modern western military and geo-political practice.

Drawing Ukraine away from its historical fraternal Eurasian partners in Moscow and into a western bloc of nations, the EU, was clearly an attempt to draw a portion of Mackinder’s pivot area into the western sphere of political sovereignty.

When understood from this perspective, the proximate timing of Viktor Yanukovych’s visit to China in late 2013, China’s unveiling of the New Silk Road in autumn of 2013 and the pro-EU coup in Kiev in February of 2014, seems more than coincidental.

China is attempting to build a New Silk Road from east to west based on cooperation and a respect for the sovereignty of the nations along the road. Meanwhile, the west is using modern slogans to justify its old policies that never went away.

Posted in UkraineComments Off on The 2014 Ukraine Coup Was as Much About China as Russia. Eurasian Trade and the New Silk Road

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