Archive | January 3rd, 2018

The Monster in the Mirror… The US Network of Military Bases

NOVANEWS
 

In 2007, the late Prof. Jules Dufour raised concerns about US global deployment of military personnel and its network of military bases. The US views the world, he said, “as a vast territory to conquer, occupy and exploit.” “Humanity is being controlled and enslaved” he argued by this network.

The US is dividing the world into geographic command units, like US Northcom or US Southcom, proved the US focus on global control.

Dufour mentions the International Network for the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases (No Bases Network) as essential in achieving a cohesive, coordinated front against US global control. The No Bases Network, born at the conference in Ecuador (March 2007), was concerned about the expansion of US Network of bases, and specifically about the plan for renewal of permission of the US Military base in Manta. Rafael Correa, then president of Ecuador, was invited and he expressed there his decision to not renew permission for the base, a position that will be later included in Ecuador’s new Constitution, approved by referendum in 2008, which specifically prohibits foreign military bases on Ecuador’s soil. The Manta base was closed in September 2009. (1, 2)

This year the Conference of the International Network for the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases will take place in Baltimore, US (Jan. 12 to 14).  It will have three keynote speakers: Mr. Ajamu Baraka, 2016 US Green Party candidate for vice president and current President of the Black Alliance for Peace; Ms. Ann Wright, Retired US Army Colonel and leading member of Veterans for Peace and CODEPINK; and, Mr. David Vine, Associate Professor of Anthropology, American University in Washington DC, and author of the 2015 book “Base Nation. How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and The World.” (3)

The conference can increase awareness about organizing for peace. Since 9/11 we live ongoing conflicts and today the menace of war escalating into nuclear madness is higher and the US refuses to be rational provoking countries with nuclear capabilities like North Korea -Korean War ended in 1953 with a truce, no peace agreement has been signed. Propaganda, irrational thinking and permanent war seem acceptable, even normal. The US network of bases overseas has a life of its own and favor war rather than diplomacy. Politicians show lack of maturity, even common sense while in the press there is growing obsession with North Korea and Russia. Nuclear war means human annihilation; still, STRATCOM recommends irrationality and vindictiveness as proper strategy.

From Forts to Bases Overseas

Since the end of WWII, the idea that our country should have a large collection of bases and hundreds of thousands of troops permanently stationed overseas has been quasi religious dictum of US foreign and national security policy.” The policy underlying such belief is called “forward strategy.” Prof. Vine argues that in the minds of policy makers the need for overseas bases and troops is a given. They are expensive, up to 120 billion (Afghanistan and Iraq in 2012 raised the costs to U$S 170 billion), taxpayers pay on average U$S 10-40 000 more per year to station a member of the military abroad than in the US. (4)

There are costs beyond financial too. The families of military personnel suffer separation and frequent moves; one in 3 service women are now assaulted (sexually) and a huge number of these assaults take place overseas. Outside base gates there is prostitution relying on human trafficking, as in South Korea, and rapes against local population, as in Okinawa (Japan). There is also widespread environmental damage. US bases are built by displacing local population, as in Greenland and Diego Garcia; and they are 21 century colonialism, like Guam and Puerto Rico. US bases are often located in undemocratic countries, like Qatar and Bahrain; some are connected to mafia organizations, like in Italy; and some are linked to torture and imprisonment, like Guantanamo Bay and Abu Graib. (4)

The network of US bases facilitates wars that cost millions of lives. They contribute to increasing tensions, rather than stabilize dangerous regions, and discourage diplomatic solutions to conflicts. The network maintains the US in a state of permanent war, with an economy and government constantly preparing for battle. Notably, having bases and troops overseas is rooted in US history of frontier forts, crucial for western expansion and overtaking of Native-American lands. Fort Harmar was first (1785), soon others followed in what are Ohio and Indiana today. Each fort helped waves of US settlers move into Native American lands. In 1830 Andrew Jackson created the Indian Removal Policy forcing Natives to give up their lands east of the Mississippi River; this was to be the “very western edge of civilization” and the “permanent Indian frontier,” but soon after (1832-34) the Santa Fe and Oregon trails started and conquest continued. Expansion moved beyond, taking Mexican land (California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and the Republic of Texas) and Oregon from Great Britain after 1846. By 1878 there was a network of 90 forts throughout the US. (4)

Outside the US, bases emerged in Guantanamo (Cuba) and Panama. In 1939 Franklin D. Rooseveltexpressed an interest in getting new island bases in the Caribbean and by the time the U.S. entered WWII there were new bases in 20 countries. Commercial and military planning developed together; “Pan Am Airways secretly acquired basing right for the military throughout Latin America.” Thus, new bases flourished in the war while Pan Am ensured for itself and US airlines a useful advantage when war ended. But, the end of WWII favored the rights of people, requiring a more cautious approach in showing power. Installations and periodic displays of “military might” ensured economic and political advantages for the US. It was a “global economic access without colonies.”  (4)

In the 1980s under Carter there was build up in the Middle East. Later, the fall of the Soviet Union pressed the US to close about 60% of its bases bringing home 300 000 troops. But, in 1991 the Gulf War in Iraq, and in 2001-2003 the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, were excuse for renewing US overseas bases. Its format changed, “Little Americas” were substituted by smaller, strategic, and at times secretive sites called “Lily pads.” As forts worked in taking over Indian land, bases worked maintaining US power around the world. They are “the global cavalry of the 21C,” says Vine. As the number of giant Cold War-era bases shrunk, the smaller ones proliferated giving the US greater geographic scope. (4)

Costly Strategy: Displacement, Toxic Environments, Democracy, People and Money

A good argument against US bases overseas is cost, including more than money. They do not favor stability or security, but undermine both, displace local populations at a high cost to them, cause environmental damage and favor alliances with dictators and the mafia contributing to spreading oppressive/repressive regimes rather than democracy. They favor prostitution, rape, the sexual abuse of women, a distorted view of masculinity and hurt US image abroad and people abroad and at home.

Displacement

The “strategic island concept” was the basis for growth and required small islands with good anchorage (for airstrips) and insulated from locals. The islands were under UK sovereignty and had to have “negligible” population. Chagos Islands fit both criteria; Diego Garcia was approved as a site. Local population was deported in stages in 1973 in cargo ships, most of them sleeping above guano (bird shit), and later abandoned on the docks of Mauritius and the Seychelles. Some compare these conditions to conditions in slave ships. Chagossians are people of color who two years after their removal still lived in abject poverty; the Washington Post named them true victims of an “act of mass kidnapping.” Similar things happened to the indigenous population of the Bikini islands, the island Culebra in Puerto Rico and to Viequeños, displaced to the center of their island. The US Army is familiar with displacing indigenous people; it has done its share in the US for more than 100 years. Indigenous people at home ended also traumatized and impoverished. (4)

Toxic Environments

Although the US military have been concerned about their environmental footprint, most bases cause profound environmental damage and significant risk to humans and the natural environment because of their activities. Bases store weapons and explosives containing toxic chemicals. There is pollution in the form of toxic leaks, accidental detonations and other accidents. Their carbon footprint is large for the number of people living and working there. Bases use massive amounts of fuel, oil, lubricants and other petroleum products for training and exercises, and war time activities are even worse. Military bases are high consumers of heat, air conditioning and power. The US armed forces consume more oil everyday than the entire country of Sweden. (4)

Victim of Agent Orange

There is contamination in South Korea due to chemical, fuel and other toxic waste leaks and spills, and in some cases deliberate burial from US bases. In Diego Garcia the US military destroyed the island´s reef with explosives removing tons of coral to build a runway, thousands of trees were clear cut and Agent Orange was used to clear jungle foliage, and, US naval vessels dumped waste and treated human sewage into the island protected coral lagoon for 30 years. In Okinawa 80 barrels containing dioxin and other contaminants were discovered buried under a soccer field close to two schools while Agent Orange was stored and buried at the base during the Vietnam War. In Philippines, when the US military left in 1992, there was unexploded ordnance, asbestos, heavy metals and leaking fuel tanks and dangerous pesticides. In Panamá there were 100 000 unexploded ordnance while mustard gas bombs were found in San Jose. Places under colonial or semi colonial rule faced some of the worst environmental damages from US bases. (4)

Democracy – Befriending dictators and in bed with the Mob

A large scale study of US bases since 1898 confirmed that autocratic states have been consistently attractive as base hosts while democratic ones have not. US military interventions to protect US economic interests took place in Honduras, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Haiti, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama. The term “banana republic,” coined by short story writer O. Henry, describes weak, marginally independent countries facing economic and political domination, a colony but in name. In 1954 the CIA used a banana plantation in Honduras to train a US backed mercenary army to overthrow the elected government of Guatemala because it had threatened the banana monopoly of the United Fruit Co, “Chiquita.” In the 1980s The Tripartite, an unholy alliance created to support the Contras against the Sandinistas, had Honduras providing them sanctuary, Argentina being a “front” to hide US involvement while the US paid (from secret sales of weapons to Iran), and Israelis and Chileans trained them. The human costs were more than 270 disappeared in Honduras, 50 000 dead in Nicaragua, 75000 dead in El Salvador and 240 000 dead or disappeared in Guatemala –genocide. (4)

The US has been consistently attracted by dictators; Vine believes it is because they provide access and sustainability for their bases. But dictators do more than this and are often put in place by the US itself when their ideological interests are in sync. After WWII caution was required in expressing power so empire building discourse changed. Seventy three million people had died because of fascism, including military and civilians from Allied and Axis powers.  Before WWII British empire building was direct offering no apologies. President Taft was similar:

The day is not far distant when…the whole hemisphere will be ours in fact as by virtue of our superiority as a race, it already is ours morally.”

But after WWII such strategy was untenable. Still, the goals were the same, so someone had to complete dirty deeds when needed. Dictators and mobsters are good at this and asked few questions; discarding them when expired is easier because they work against the Law and are not liked by many. (4, 5, 6)

In Italy “proliferation of US and NATO bases helped strengthen the political and economic power of criminal organizations.”  A relationship between the US military and the Camorra (Naples mafia) is not an aberration, Vine says, but a strategy the military used to keep cost manageable, military contracts encouraged cutting corners. The US base in Sicily is closely linked to the mafia since WWII when Sicilian born Lucky Luciano transformed it into a powerful and wealthy national crime syndicate in the US (commanding over drugs, prostitution and other criminal activities). Luciano was jailed, but released to help Navy officers to “protect” New York from Axis spies and saboteurs during WWII. After WWII he got clemency from NY governor and returned to Italy. His business in the US went to Vito Genovese, who came from Naples where he had been working with the US Army. The “exchange” worked well for both of them. (4)

In Naples the mafia receives military contracts in construction. In Sicily firms controlled by the Cosa Nostra gained similar contracts for the Comiso base, now closed. In the 1990s three major janitorial, grounds keeping and maintenance contractors at Sicily´s Sigonella naval base were shown to have mafia ties. “Ties between the military and the Mafia may not have been simply the result of questionable oversight, but a deliberate decision,” argues Vine. Gricignano and surrounding areas where Navy personnel live are at the center of the Camorra illegal dumping of garbage and toxic waste since the 1980s –a U$S 20 billion a year illicit business. The Camorra solves the waste disposal problems of northern Italy businesses disposing of hazardous waste cheaply -burying refuse in illegal dumps, pumping chemicals into underground ditches and burning trash in secluded areas. The area is called “triangle of death” because of elevated levels of radiation, nitrates, bacteria, arsenic. Chemicals used in cleaning solvents have been found in the water, air and soil. The Navy is concerned; the Gricignano base prohibits sailors from using tap water and Italian produce is labeled by origin to avoid contaminants. (4)

People – Prostitution, Rape, Militarized Masculinity and Perks

Commercial sex zones developed around US bases worldwide looking similarly: liquor stores, fast food outlets, tattoo parlors, bars, clubs and prostitution. Baumholder and Kaiserlautern (Germany), Kadena and Kin Town (Okinawa), even domestic ones like Fort Bragg (North Carolina) have red light districts. Overseas is worse. In South Korea “camptowns” are a critical part of the economy, male officials strategizing for GIs to spend their money there, and affect politics and culture. “Our government was one big pimp for the US military,” says a former sex worker. Filipina women fill most of the bars and clubs in South Korea today; they come from a poorer country and need to send money home. Military contractors are involved as in Bosnia (1998) where DynCorp employees talked openly of buying women and the company leadership had connections with the mafia and took their employees to the brothels. A rape videotaped was never investigated; Kathryn Bolkovac, a Dyncorp employee part of UN police force, testified to stories of women trafficked from the east, forced into prostitution to pay debts, some terrified, she suspected beaten and tortured. (4)

In addition to “camptown” prostitution there is pervasive objectification of women in the military which plays a role in the victimization of locals, women in the military and at home partners and others. Environmental health expert, H. Patricia Hynes notes that sexual objectification shapes the epidemic of sexual assault and harassment so common in the military today. Pornography contributes and it is pervasive. Around two thirds of incidents of unwanted sexual contact take place in military installations while overseas bases are particularly dangerous. Much of the military leadership fails to grasp the nature of the problem, take steps to protect female troops and enforce its own laws. In the military rape is pandemic because females are considered inferior, often reduced to sex objects, while men are trained to enact a masculinity based on dominance over others considered inferior, weaker and deserving being dominated and abused. Men who spent time in the US military are more likely than their civilian counterparts to be imprisoned for sexual offences. A disproportionate number of men in the military have been victims of violence too, which makes them more likely to become abusers themselves. Beyond sexual abuse the rates of domestic violence in the military may be about 5 times the civilian rates. (4)

“Bases add facilities, fancier food, and recreational amenities: steak and lobster, flat screen TVs, Internet Connections…the military refer to these comforts collectively as “ice cream.” Right now…there is no ice cream at small outposts…but eventually…it is a building block process.”

Perks for military personnel are tempting but basic; but, perks at overseas bases are greater for the generals and the admirals, who often enjoy personal assistants, chefs, vehicles, and private planes. There are cases, like African Command commander General William Ward were multiple forms of misconduct were found, free meals, tickets to musicals, including billing the government for hundreds of thousands of dollars of personal travel and more. (4)

Money matters

The costs of overseas bases are high; they include from airplane tickets for family members and shipping of belongings, to housing, costs of living allowances, temporary accommodations, meals, per diems, and the building of schools, clinics, churches and more. The average cost of running an overseas Air Base without personnel is U$S 200 million, twice the cost of running it in the US.  Air Force personnel overseas cost U$S 40 000 more per person than in the US. The military ship tens of thousands of vehicles to and from bases overseas, costing about U$S 200 million/year. The Pentagon Overseas Cost Summary for 2012 was U$S 22.7 billion. But Anita Dancs, an economist, estimated the cost much higher in 2009 at US$ 250 billion. Vine decided working a conservative estimate including costs the Pentagon did not include and reached U$S 71.7 billion per year. When he added costs from the War Budget (U$S 96.9 billion) the total estimate was close to US$ 170 billion, a bit closer to Dancs’ and much higher than the Pentagon’s. (4)

Every base built overseas is a theft from American society, Vine argues. The costs to host countries are also high; and, there are financial expenses like money spent cleaning the environmental damage caused but also soundproofing homes and paying damages for crimes committed by US troops. There are also the Costs of Rising Hostility, the damage done by US bases to the US international reputation and its standing in the world. Only some benefit: contractors. KBR (latest incarnation of Brown & Roots) received contracts for more than U$S 44 billion while the Supreme Group (transporting/serving meals) received contracts for U$S 9 billion –the Pentagon now says Supreme overbilled them. Agility Logistics with contracts for U$S 9 billion was indicted on criminal charges for U$S 6 billion in false claims and price manipulation. Furthermore, even though contractors enjoyed billions in taxpayer funds many used legal and illegal means to minimize US taxes paid on profits, using offshore subsidiaries for this. (4)

The Threat of Nuclear War or When “Crazy” Rules

The risk of using nuclear weapons increases with increasing aggressiveness and war. John LaForgepoints to headlines in American newspapers giving the impression that using nuclear weapons can be legal. They are not, he says: any use of nuclear weapons would be indiscriminate and illegal by definition. International covenants, treaties, and protocols forbid indiscriminate destruction, attacks that are disproportionate to a military objective, and weapons’ effects that “treacherously wound,” harm neutral states, or do long-term damage to the environment. There is a huge difference between conventional and nuclear weapons he argues. The later cannot be used without committing war crimes:

Any government which adopts a defense policy implying such an attack is therefore inciting its own forces to commit war crimes on a gigantic and suicidal scale.”

Hyten STRATCOM 2016.jpg

John E. Hyten (Source: Wkimedia Commons)

John E Hyten, the US (STRATCOM) Strategic Command Chief general, was in the news discussing the use of nuclear weapons; he would be in charge of nuclear forces in a war. (7)

A 1995 STRATCOM report mentioned as detrimental for the US to portray itself as “too rational” recommending instead projecting an “irrational and vindictive” national persona with some “potentially ‘out of control’” elements. I guess we are there now. The hegemonic principle in place means the US and its allies “should possess an offensive nuclear capacity to destroy their enemies denied to other nations, and can flout international law and their foreign obligations on a whim.”  As Joshua Cho argues, the US has unleashed far more violence and aggression abroad and the latest international poll found that “the US is considered the greatest threat to world peace, beating out all other competitors—including North Korea—by decisive margins.” He adds, “A casual examination of the United States’ record abroad can yield similar damning conclusions: the United States is the world’s nuclear menace, not North Korea.” (8) Thus, we are looking at the monster in the mirror: it is us! That is the US and its Western allies, including Canada.

Notes

1. The Worldwide Network of US Military Bases, Prof. Jules Dufour, Global Research, https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-worldwide-network-of-us-military-bases/5564

2. US Closes Military Post in Ecuador, Gonzalo Solano, AP (September 19, 2009).

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/18/AR2009091803407.html

3. Conference on US Military Bases, Baltimore, Maryland. noforeignbases.org

4. Vine, David (2015) “Base Nation How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and The world,” Metropolitan Books, New York.

5. Morris, James (1979) “Farewell The Trumpets, An Imperial Retreat,” Penguin Books, London.

6. WWII, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II

7. What Kind of Nuclear Attack Would be Legal? John LaForge, Counterpunch, https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/12/07/what-kind-of-nuclear-attack-would-be-legal-2/

8. The World’s Real Nuclear Menace Isn’t North Korea, Joshua Cho, Counterpunch, https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/12/29/the-worlds-real-nuclear-menace-isnt-north-korea/

Posted in USA0 Comments

Syria Redux in Iran?

NOVANEWS

The external expressions of Western-orchestrated Regime Change War are now surfacing in Iran. None of this is surprising since the war plans have been publicly available for years.[1]

Peaceful protests are being co-opted, and now displaced by violent actors. No doubt Western intelligence agencies and their operatives are “destabilizing” the protests. We’ve seen this before, most recently in Syria and the Ukraine.  Snipers will shoot both security personnel and protestors to create chaos and mayhem.  Reportedly, “protestors” have already killed a police officer  – and a number of protestors have also been killed.[2]

Already propaganda outlets are at work. Ken Roth of the discredited Human Rights Watch is playing the very fraudulent “democracy and freedom” card.

Source: Tim Anderson

We can expect more violence and Iranian government atrocity stories soon. Fake news outlets (ie CNN and all Western media) will soon be screaming that the “brutal Iranian dictator is killing his own people”. It’s a time-honored formula, no sense reinventing the wheel. Fake pretexts of “going after terrorists” will soon be evoked, and the propagandists will start selling the notion that Western bombing campaigns are necessary for humanitarian reasons. The will of the Iranian people will be displaced by Western terrorism, just like Syria.

Weapons shipments are likely already on site, and sectarian mercenary terrorists are likely on the sidelines, well-paid and ready to go.

Once the destabilization escalates, the Western-created and sustained holocaust will deepen.

Western populations have yet to realize that they too are being victimized by the warmongers and their agencies.

We can hope that Western populations will awaken from their state of mass indoctrination and mass political infantilization. But this is not likely.

Notes

[1] Prof Michel Chossudovsky, “Global Warfare. Preparing for World War III, Targeting Iran.” Global Research. 1 August, 2010. (https://www.globalresearch.ca/preparing-for-world-war-iii-targeting-iran/20403). Accessed 1 January, 2018.

[2] Paul Antonopoulos,”Breaking!!! “Protesters” shoot dead Iranian police officer, injure another 3.” Fort Russ News

1 January, 2018. (http://www.fort-russ.com/2018/01/breaking-protesters-shoot-dead-iranian.html?m=1) Accessed 1 January,  2018.

Posted in Iran, Syria0 Comments

What do you call somebody who supports I$raHell?

NOVANEWS
Miko Peled on Israeli racism

By Stuart Littlewood

Being racist normally invites strong disapproval, a ban, perhaps criminal prosecution. So why is supporting a racist regime like Israel not only tolerated but actively encouraged in the West’s corridors of power and often rewarded with high office?

“If opposing Israel is anti-Semitism, then what do you call supporting a state that has been engaged in brutal ethnic cleansing for seven decades? What does that make you?”

It’s a question posed by Miko Peled, an Israeli Jew and son of an Israeli general, former Israeli soldier and now a leading voice in the struggle for Palestinian freedom. You couldn’t find a more authentic insider.

What else has Peled been saying about Israel?

  • ”The name of the game: erasing Palestine, getting rid of the people and de-Arabising the country…”
  • As for talk about Israel giving up the West Bank for a Palestinian state:  “If it wasn’t so sad it would be funny. It shows a complete misunderstanding of the objective of Zionism and the Zionist state… By 1993 the Israelis had achieved their mission to make the conquest of the West Bank irreversible.”
  • Peled also describes the Israeli army, in which he served, as “one of the best trained and best equipped and best fed terrorist organisations in the world”.

So let’s repeat Peled’s question. What does supporting Israel make you when Israel has been busy ethnically cleansing the native Palestinians for seven decades? What should we call people who defend the indefensible?… who admire the despicable?… who applaud the expulsion at gunpoint of peaceable civilians and the confiscation of their homes and land?

Give them a name, one that will stick.

The claim by Conservative Friends of Israel that 80 per cent of the party’s MPs and MEPs are members is alarming and reveals how lacking in integrity we are at the heart of government. It puts us almost on a par with the US Congress, which is almost totally controlled by the Israel lobby through AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

The real meaning of “Friend of Israel”

Being a Friend of Israel, of course, means embracing the whole rotten kit and caboodle, including the terror and racism on which the state of Israel was built. It means embracing the dispossession and oppression of innocent Palestinians. It means embracing the discriminatory laws against those who remain in their homeland. It means embracing the jackboot thuggery that abducts civilians – including children – and imprisons and tortures them without trial. It means embracing the theft and annexation of Palestinian land and water resources, the imposition of hundreds of military checkpoints, severe restrictions on the movement of people and goods, and maximum interference with Palestinian life at every level.

It means approving the bloodbaths inflicted by Israel on Gaza and feeling comfortable with blowing hundreds of children to smithereens, maiming thousands more, trashing vital infrastructure such as hospitals, schools, power plants and clean water supplies, and causing $6 billion of devastation that will take 20 years to rebuild. And, by the way, where is the money coming from?

It is ludicrous that a foreign military power which has no regard for international law and rejects weapons conventions and safeguards can exert such influence on foreign policy in the US and UK.

It means embracing the strangulation of the West Bank’s economy and the vicious 10-year blockade on Gaza. It means embracing the denial of Palestinians’ right to self-determination and return to their homes. It means embracing the religious war that humiliates Muslims and Christians and prevents them from visiting their holy places. It means endorsing a situation in which hard-pressed American and British taxpayers are having to subsidise Israel’s illegal occupation of the Holy Land.

And if, after all that, you are still Israel’s special friend, where is your self-respect?

It is ludicrous that a foreign military power which has no regard for international law and rejects weapons conventions and safeguards can exert such influence on foreign policy in the US and UK. Pandering to Israel has been immensely costly in blood and treasure and stupidly damaging to our reputation.

Everyone outside the Westminster/Washington bubble knows perfectly well that there can be no peace in the Holy Land without justice. In other words no peace until the occupation ends. Everyone knows that international law and countless UN resolutions still wait to be enforced. Everyone knows that Israel won’t comply unless sanctions are imposed. Everyone knows that the siege on Gaza won’t be lifted until warships are sent.

What’s more, everyone now knows that the US is not an honest broker, Israel wants to keep the pot boiling and justice won’t come from more sham “negotiations”. Nor will peace. Everyone knows who is the real cause of turmoil in the Middle East. And everyone knows that Her Majesty’s Government’s hand-wringing and empty words serve no purpose except to prolong the daily misery for Palestinians and buy time for Israel to complete its criminal scheme to make the occupation permanent.

Many of us have urged beefing up BDS, extending its reach and orchestrating its efforts globally. There seems no other way to force the spineless international community to finally impose the sanctions they should have slapped on Israel decades ago.

Churchgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May praises Israel for being “a thriving democracy, a beacon of tolerance” when it is obviously neither. It’s an obnoxious ethnocracy. She says our two countries share “common values” when we obviously don’t – although her rotten party probably does.

Given the Israeli regime’s endless crimes against humanity and cruelty to the rightful inhabitants of the Holy Land, her remarks are insulting to anyone who lives by Christian values. She even claims that Israel is a country where people of all religions “are free and equal in the eyes of the law” and “Israel guarantees the rights of people of all religions, races and sexualities, and it wants to enable everyone to flourish”. Her ignorance in these matters rivals Trump’s.

And May would do well to call off her efforts to ciminalise the successful BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) campaign, which is a grassroots civil society-based resistance movement. She warns that her government will “have no truck with those who subscribe to it”.  But Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights bestows on everyone “the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”. So she boobs even on that.

In an interview with Jonas Alexis, Miko Peled sounds upbeat about BDS. As long as Israel has a blank cheque from the US and the UK and is undefeated militarily and diplomatically, BDS “is possibly the only positive change one can point to at this time”.

Many of us have urged beefing up BDS, extending its reach and orchestrating its efforts globally. There seems no other way to force the spineless international community to finally impose the sanctions they should have slapped on Israel decades ago.

It has got to the point where I wouldn’t mind seeing individuals among the political élites targeted by BDS if they deserve it. And many of them surely do.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI0 Comments

Trumpeting Hostility Toward Pakistan

NOVANEWS

Featured image: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi (Source: India Today)

 

Post-9/11, Bush/Cheney deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage warned then-Pakistani president Musharraf his country would be “bombed back to the stone age” if he didn’t ally with Washington’s imperial agenda – its war OF terror, not on it.

It was an offer he couldn’t refuse, costing Pakistan threefold or more than it got in US aid, given solely to serve its imperial interests.

Assistance given should help both countries. One analyst called Washington’s strategic relationship with Pakistan “muddled, deceptive, complicated and dangerous” – pre-and-post-9/11, especially in its aftermath.

Aid has gone largely to its military and Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI) to help America’s war OF terror – massacring civilians and causing vast destruction on the phony pretext of combating terrorism.

The bilateral relationship harms Pakistan more than helping it.  Straightaway in the new year, Trump tweeted:

“The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools.”

“They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”

In response to Trump’s insult, Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi convened an emergency cabinet meeting.

America’s ambassador David Hale was summoned to explain Trump’s hostile remarks. Last week, Pakistan’s Senate passed a resolution, calling for Islamabad to demand compensation from Washington for slaughter and destruction caused by US drone attacks on its territory – largely killing civilians.

PM Abbasi and other Pakistani officials are well aware of Trump’s loosened combat restrictions, delegating authority to hawkish generals and field commanders, letting them operate unrestrained.

According to Reprieve human rights lawyer Jen Gibson, Pakistan is heavily pressured to served US interests. Pakistani Defense Minister Khurram Dastagir slammed Washington, saying US administrations “have given us nothing but invective and mistrust. They overlook cross-border safe havens of terrorists who murder Pakistanis.”

In early December, Pakistan’s air force chief Marshal Sohail Aman addressed the issue of his country’s security, saying

“(w)e will protect the sovereignty of the country at any cost.”

He warned Washington its drones operating in Pakistani airspace without permission will be shot down.

Senate Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Nuzhat Sadiq said

“(i)t is the policy of the government not to allow any more US drone strikes on our soil, and the air chief has effectively conveyed it to the Americans.”

She indicated foreign policy changes in bilateral relations with Washington are coming.

Post-9/11, US drones killed thousands of Pakistani nationals, largely civilians, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

Retired General Talat Masood warned that

“the superpower is not going to digest this change in policy easily.”

Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif slammed Trump, tweeting:

“We will reveal the truth to the entire world. We will separate fact from fiction.”

He accused Washington of aiding terrorists, not combatting them.

 

Posted in Pakistan & Kashmir0 Comments

As North and South Korea Reciprocate Offers of Talks, Trump Responds: “I Too Have a Nuclear Button”

NOVANEWS

While the U.S. has been cold toward Kim Jong Un’s offer of Olympics talks with South Korea, Seoul has extended the hand of full-fledged diplomacy.

 

South Korea has responded to North Korean leader Kim Jong- un‘s diplomatic overture with an offer Tuesday to hold high-level talks between the countries on the border next week.

On New Year’s Day, North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un announced that the country will seek participation in the 2018 Winter Olympics to be held in South Korea between Feb. 9-25, foretelling 2018 as a “year of reconciliation” even as he noted that he now had a “nuclear button” on his desk, referring to the country’s now-powerful nuclear deterrence and weapons delivery system.

In a Twitter message posted Tuesday night, U.S. President Donald Trump, referring to Kim, said:

“Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”

The former reality television personality regularly pokes fun at his North Korean counterpart on Twitter, issuing various missives that have worried U.S. commentators due to their inflammatory and non-diplomatic nature. Kim has refused to back down, calling Trump a “mentally deranged U.S. dotard.”

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, however, welcomed Kim’s New Year address and asked his government to move as quickly as possible to bring North Korea to the Olympics, but he stressed that an improvement in inter-Korean relations “cannot go separately with resolving North Korea’s nuclear program.”

South Korea’s Unification Minister Cho Myong-gyon said the offer for high-level talks next Tuesday had been discussed with the United States. U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauertsaid she was not aware if the matter had been discussed in advance of the South Korean response.

Cho suggested the talks be held at the truce village of Panmunjeom in the De-Militarized Zone on Jan. 9, and said they should be focused on North Korea’s participation at the Olympics, but other issues would likely arise, including the denuclearization of North Korea.

“I repeat: The government is open to talking with North Korea, regardless of time, location and form,” Cho said.

Should the talks be held, it would be the first such dialogue since a vice-ministerial meeting in December 2015.

Moon Jae-In has long been an advocate of the so-called “Sunshine Policy” introduced in 1998 by South Korea’s then-President Kim Dae-Jung called for a slow process of confederated reunification and resulted in a blossoming of North-South relations, including large shipments of food aid to the North and a lifting of restrictions on joint business ventures.

The South Korean leader, who eventually earned a Nobel Peace Prize, even urged the U.S. to lift its embargo on the North. Pyongyang had, for the first time, established official ties with various European states while holding talks with the U.S. and Japan.

The policy broke down amid threats by the United States, whose then-President George W. Bushsaid that Pyongyang was a part of the “Axis of Evil” including Iraq and Iran.

The White House is lukewarm to the idea of the two Koreas holding talks, responding with a mixture of doubt and the usual sarcasm that has marked Trump’s attitude toward to diplomacy.

“Our policy on North Korea hasn’t changed at all. The United States is committed and will still continue to put maximum pressure on North Korea to change and make sure that it denuclearizes the peninsula,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. “Our goals are the same and we share that with South Korea, but our policy and our process has not changed.”

The State Department’s Nauert couldn’t help but express misgivings about potential talks, saying that North Korea might be “trying to drive a wedge of some sort” between the United States and South Korea and added that while it was up to Seoul to decide who it talked to:

“We are very skeptical of Kim Jong Un’s sincerity in sitting down and having talks.”

China, which has consistently expressed hopes that diplomacy be used to ease tensions, said the positive comments from the Koreans was a good thing.

“China welcomes and supports North Korea and South Korea taking earnest efforts to treat this as an opportunity to improve mutual relations, promote the alleviation of the situation on the Korean peninsula and realize denuclearization on the peninsula,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said.

Since the end of the Second World War and the creation of the Republic of Korea under the supervision of the U.S. postwar occupation, Seoul has been a crucial linchpin of the U.S. Asia-Pacific security infrastructure.

Posted in North Korea, South Korea0 Comments

Draconian State Surveillance: Britain’s Falling Press Freedom Tells of Another Disturbing Story

NOVANEWS
  

There is something really quite worrying happening to Britain. We now have the most draconian state surveillance powers ever devised hanging over the entire population. Just six billionaires now run over 80 percent of the media where true editorial independence simply doesn’t exist and where corporate advertising revenue leads to censorship of their awful behaviour. Internet service providers and search engines now have the power to censor any information at will and given the scale of complaints globally by independent media outlets, they are using that capability to the full. In the meantime, the British government continues its assault on press freedom and by implication – democracy itself. There’s a reason.

We have known for years that the British intelligence services manipulate the press. Roy Greenslade, who has been a media specialist for both the Telegraph and the Guardian, said:

Most tabloid newspapers – or even newspapers in general – are the playthings of MI5.”

What is worse though than blatant propaganda is that press freedom in the UK is plummeting and doing so by design. This is confirmed by the fact that the UK has fallen two places to 40th out of 180 countries, down 12 places in the past five years alone. We lag well behind countries such as Ghana (26th), Namibia (24th) and Surinam (20th). At this rate, Tonga and even Botswana will be ahead of Britain in just two years time! In one example, the Botswana government stands accused of conducting a vicious cyberattack last year against an independent newspaper that destroyed more than a decade’s worth of its archived data. Botswana also remains without access to information laws and press freedom and neither is guaranteed in its constitution. But Botswana will have more press freedom than Britain does soon.

Other leading democracies have also fallen. It is not surprising that the US fell to 43rd – in a year in which the new president and leader of the (so-called) free world – called the press an “enemy of the American people” and anything he does not agree with as ‘fake news’.

The 2017 Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontières or RSF) were pulling no punches when it came to describing why Britain is doing so badly.

A heavy-handed approach towards the press – often in the name of national security – has resulted in the UK slipping down the World Press Freedom Index. Parliament adopted the most extreme surveillance legislation in UK history, the Investigatory Powers Act, with insufficient protection mechanisms for whistleblowers, journalists, and their sources, posing a serious threat to investigative journalism. Even more alarming, the Law Commission’s proposal for a new ‘Espionage Act’ would make it easy to classify journalists as ‘spies’ and jail them for up to 14 years for simply obtaining leaked information. Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 remains cause for concern – in particular, the law’s punitive cost-shifting measure that could hold publishers liable for the costs of all claims made against them, regardless of merit. The seizure by UK border authorities of a Syrian journalist’s passport at the request of the Assad regime sent the worrying signal that critical foreign journalists traveling to the UK could be targeted by their own governments.”

Just two years earlier RSF voiced their concerns over the rapidly declining levels of press freedom and state surveillance by the police, GCHQ and other government departments, along with many other issues (which you can read here). All of this is happening through a rather vague but real threat of terrorism, or national security, which is itself allowing the long-established values of freedom of speech to be weakened. This gives rise to the suspicion that our government is not as honest as it should be as it instead uses ‘national security’ as a shield against proper accountability.

However, the story of what is really happening starts to emerge when you combine a rapidly declining environment of press freedom, in conjunction with reductions of civil liberties and human rights along with the alarming rise of foreign billionaires, typically American ones, intervening in Britain’s most important political decisions, in this case, the EU referendum.  You would be forgiven for thinking that we are in fact entering some form of dismal imaginary place of the future.

Alex Younger, head of MI6, said in December, 2016″ acknowledges this point by saying:

“The connectivity that is the heart of globalisation can be exploited by states with hostile intent to further their aims.[…] The risks at stake are profound and represent a fundamental threat to our sovereignty.” 

Younger was right. Foreign billionaires, home grown politicians and transnational corporations are now teaming up against social democracy and civil society, in fact democracy in general in Britain. The Guardian found out to its cost recently in its publishing of such details – and reporting it has led to a nasty legal fight designed to intimidate news outlets and commentators – national or otherwise.

In today’s Britain we have legislation to silence charities from criticising government, massively increased public space protection orders to inhibit legitimate public protest, provided police unprecedented powers of surveillance, expanded secret courts and given all sorts of agencies the use of terror laws to chase fines and overdue payments. It all feels like we are being prepared or ‘managed’ for something much worse.

Freedom of the press is one aspect of our lives, it was born in an environment of liberal democracy. It is confirmation that our democracy is in fact functioning as it should. But something very unsettling is beginning to emerge from all of this.

Rebecca Vincent, RSF’s UK bureau director, said this year’s press freedom ranking would have actually been worse were it not for a general decline in press freedom around the world.

Quite unbelievably, for a so-called democratic nation like Britain, making journalists in Britain only comparatively better off than those in countries such as Turkey and Syria (said RSF) should be something of a national scandal prompting serious public protest.

Donald Trump’s rise to power in the United States and the Brexit campaign in the United Kingdom was marked by a high-profile and highly toxic anti-media discourse that drove the world into a new era of post-truth, disinformation and fake news,” RSF said in a statement.

The organisation’s secretary general, Christophe Deloire, added:

The rate at which democracies are approaching the tipping point is alarming for all those who understand that if media freedom is not secure, then none of the other freedoms can be guaranteed.”

Deloire included Britain in that statement – that a tipping point is close. RSF points to the “token resistance within parliament, despite giving UK intelligence agencies and police the most sweeping surveillance powers in the western world.” They made comment that a “death sentence” (their words not mine) had been passed to investigative journalism in Britain, owing to its lack of protections for whistleblowers, journalists and their sources.

Politicians put up no resistance whatsoever with the new espionage act. What this does is classify investigative journalists in the same threat groups as foreign spies.

Jim Killock, the executive director of the Open Rights Group, said –

“The government failed to protect journalists when it passed the Investigatory Powers Act. Now, the Law Commission has proposed to send them to prison if they so much as handle official data – this is a deeply worrying trend that needs to be addressed.”

What is really worrying is the reason why Britain is going in this direction right now. Extreme surveillance powers are now slowly being matched by restrictions on press freedom just as the country enters a critical political point in its history – Brexit.

For instance, Liam Fox’s trade department quietly released an exchange of letters between the UK and the office of the US trade representative agreeing to mark exchanged information, papers and discussions as either “sensitive” or “confidential”, with both sides also agreeing to keep the information “held in confidence” for four years after the conclusion of the Brexit trade talks. In other words, to report any leaked information of US/UK Brexit talks that will affect everyone in Britain is now an offence equivalent to a foreign operative attacking Britain’s national security.

During an interview with the BBC’s Today programme on November 7th, Fox said he intended to learn the lessons of the backlash against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership trade deal, better known as TTIP.  It was negotiated between the EU and US amid heavy secrecy. Talks subsequently failed amid massive high-profile public protests, where millions of citizens suddenly became activists in defence of their rights.

Fox went on to state that he and the American negotiating teams did not want to complete a “huge amount of work, only to find the public won’t accept it.”

Fox also knows that Britain will get a really poor deal with the Americans. Greenpeace reported on December 20th that “letters were also signed less than two weeks after Unearthed revealed through information obtained through US Freedom of Information (FOI) laws that Fox’s 27-strong UK delegation to the first US-UK working group meeting was lacking in any experts with substantial trade discussion experience. In contrast, the US team was 77 people strong and included at least 20 officials with direct experience of negotiating and enforcing trade deals.”

Why Liam Fox is so loyal to the Americans and so disloyal to his own country is a mystery. But one only has to read this article dating back to 2011 to be appalled by his association with the think tank Atlantic Bridge, his scandal involving Adam Werrity (an issue of national security) and connections to Donald Trump’s US Republican party. Fox has connections with ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council), a political pressure group that forces the free market on health and education, whose Neo-Cons destroyed the Middle East and peace across the world in favour of the military industrial complex.

Soon, there will be serious consequences for criticising the government on matters such as Brexit. Then, it will be too late. This is the reason why press freedom in Britain is rapidly falling. But it does so in an environment where citizens rights are being dramatically eroded.

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Zionist puppet Trump Threatens to Cut US Funding for Palestinian Refugees

NOVANEWS

Trump Threatens to Cut US Funding for Palestinian Refugees

 

On Tuesday, US neocon UN envoy Nikki Haley said Trump “doesn’t want to give any additional funding until the Palestinians agree to come back to the negotiation table…”

She lied claiming

“(w)e’re trying to move for a peace process, but if that doesn’t happen, the president is not going to continue to fund” the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

Washington provides over $300 million annually to the agency, pocket change for a nation wasting trillions of dollars on militarism and endless wars of aggression.

Last August, an unnamed UN mission to the UN official said

“America has long been committed to funding UNRWA’s important mission, and that will continue.”

Former State Department official Ilan Goldenberg earlier said

“(a)s with all issues involving the Palestinians, there is a combination of public railing against UNRWA with the public reality of continuing to fund it.”

Established in 1949, it provides vital aid for millions of Palestinian refugees expelled from their homes in 1948, others in 1967, including their descendants and adopted children, dispossessed from their land, property, livelihoods, and fundamental rights.

UNWRA provides education, healthcare, and other vital social services to Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) aids other refugees worldwide, including Palestinians displaced outside the above areas.

Funding shortfalls hamper UNWRA’s work, agency spokesman Chris Gunness earlier saying additional funds are “urgent(ly) required to avoid impacting our services.”

The agency faces annual funding shortfalls, at times aided by nations willing to contribute added amounts.

Since Trump took office, UNWRA’s financial situation is more precarious than ever, given his rage to cut foreign aid and domestic social justice programs for greater militarism, warmaking, corporate handouts and tax cuts for the rich.

His Jerusalem declaration, complicit with Netanyahu, showed they reject peace, want continued occupation harshness and Palestinian subjugation. Claims otherwise are pure subterfuge.

Commenting on his threat to cut UNWRA aid (through Haley), PLO executive committee memberHanan Ashwari blasted him, saying:

“By recognizing Occupied Jerusalem (al-Quds) as Israel’s capital, Donald Trump has not only violated international law, but he has also singlehandedly destroyed the very foundations of peace and condoned Israel’s illegal annexation of the city.”

“We will not be blackmailed,” she stressed, adding “Palestinian rights are not for sale.”

Trump “sabotaged our search for peace, freedom and justice. Now he dares to blame the Palestinians for the consequences of his own irresponsible actions!”

Hopefully enough other PLO executive committee members are with Ashwari in standing up against US bullying.

In a series of disgraceful Tuesday tweets, showing contempt for Palestinian rights and common decency, Trump said Washington gives “the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year” and yet gets “no appreciation or respect.”

“But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?” he asked.

Trump disgraces the office he holds. He’s a warrior, not a peace president, deploring the notion – indifferent to human suffering, contemptuous of democratic values, rule of law principles, and governance of, by and everyone equitably.

He risks catastrophic nuclear war on one more countries. As long as neocons infest his administration, humanity is threatened by endless aggression.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, USA0 Comments

The US Persistently Seeks to Destabilize Iran

NOVANEWS

The US Persistently Seeks to Destabilize Iran. Why is Washington So Deeply Concerned about Tehran’s Regional Influence in the Middle East?

 

Thirty eight years ago, in 1979, a revolution against a client regime installed and propped up by the United States succeeded in Iran. This was followed by the establishment of an independent state, the Islamic Republic of Iran.  Ever since, the US’s presence, plans and attempts to maintain, deepen and expand its dominance throughout the Middle East has been seriously challenged  and thwarted.

Hence, the US has persistently sought to make up for this loss and to this end, has supported individuals, tendencies and terrorist groups to bring down the revolutionary establishment in Iran  and  returning the old order of neo-colonial dependence. The hallmark of these attempts has been its support of the infamous Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, in his aggressive war (1980-1988) against the newly founded Islamic Republic in Iran and its active involvement in Saddam’s many war crimes, including the widespread use of chemical weapons against Iranian troops and civilians. However, in spite of the huge number of dead and injured, the extensive infrastructural destruction and social detriments, this war failed to derail the revolutionary objective of independence from foreign control.

Faced with the repeated and very costly failures of its military plans, the US  found it more feasible to invest more heavily on political approaches vis-a-vis Iran. Therefore, political plans had to be devised and/or cultivated to crush the strong waves of liberation from foreign domination and the struggle for independence in Iran. These plans had to also look beyond Iran; to the larger Middle East, which had been awakened and moved to action by the resistance struggle in Iran, particularly in Palestine which had suffered for decades under criminal Israeli occupation, and in Lebanon, devastated by its colonial past, Israeli aggression and foreign interventions.

Therefore, as early as the mid-1980s, the US and its allies, determined to impose crushing international sanctions on Iran, accused  Iran of threatening international peace through its support for Palestinian and Lebanese freedom fighters – labeled as ‘terrorists’-, its alleged interference in the internal affairs of regional states closely dependent on the US, and Iran’s missile and civilian nuclear programs.

To this end, through fabrications, extensive lobbying and use of pressure in the international scene, the US succeeded in pushing through United Nations Security Council resolutions which placed Iran under international sanctions (2006) for its peaceful nuclear activities.

The UNSC sanctions were followed by the illegal US/EU comprehensive sanctions in 2011 targeting Iran’s financial system, shipping and energy industry. Sanctions dealt a heavy blow to the nation’s  petroleum dependent economy but also had unintended positive consequences, in that, Iran’s chronic and deep-rooted dependence on its petroleum sales changed in favour of a more diversified economy and Iran’s flourishing nuclear activity made a huge leap forward, in both qualitative and quantitative terms.

However, after more than a decade of diplomatic interactions with world powers, which became  significantly more meaningful towards the end of this period with Zarif as Foreign Minister, Iran’s right to nuclear enrichment and its pursuit of other peaceful nuclear activities was recognised. This important recognition came through after two years (2013-2015) of extremely tight negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran.

This achievement was set in the context of a multilateral agreement, namely, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The achievement was hard won due to the forces bluntly opposed to the multilateral negotiations. These most notably included neo-con members of the US Congress, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

The change in the US administration, and especially with the person of Trump in office, who saw the JCPOA as the “worst deal ever” provided the US neo-cons, Israel and Saudi Arabia with an extraordinary opportunity. Now, there was the unprecedented possibility to significantly increase the pressure on Iran, particularly through reinstating, and strengthening the old sanctions and devising new ones.

Therefore, they tried extremely hard to pressure the P5+1, the European Union side in particular, into accusing Iran of being in violation of the nuclear agreement. They tried equally hard to force a renegotiation of the nuclear agreement.

Having failed on both counts to reinstate international sanctions on Iran and to terminate the JCPOA, the Trump administration is now working desperately to pressure the big powers and the EU in particular, regarding the need to limit and to stop Iran’s formidable, though proven defensive, conventional missile program and Iran’s outstanding and growing regional influence.

Iran’s civilian nuclear activity is fundamentally very important to the country’s technological and industrial development. In contrast, the missile defense capability is of strategic importance to Iran’s defense and essential defence and security needs, with highly positive implications for the preservation of regional and international peace and security.

Iran’s civilian nuclear activity and its missile defense capability are both strategically very important to the country’s technological and industrial development on the one hand, and its essential needs for national defence and security, on the other.

These capabilities, however, are basically of a hard nature which many countries possess in various degrees. In contrast, regional influence is in essence a soft national capability, one which cannot be taken away, transferred or bought overnight. In this respect, it is potentially a most important national capability, deeply rooted in the beliefs, culture and history of a nation and a region.

With this in mind and in the context of the on-going political developments in the Middle East, it is necessary to examine why the US is so deeply concerned about Iran’s regional influence? I will next examine what in the US’s view is threatened by Iran’s regional influence. (To be continued)

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZI, Iran0 Comments

U.S.- Nazi regime Sign Secret Plan to Take on Iran. Report

NOVANEWS

U.S. and Israel Sign Secret Plan to Take on Iran

An Israeli TV report details that the U.S. and Israel have signed a far-reaching joint memorandum of understanding to counter Iranian activities across the Middle East. U.S. and Israeli officials said the joint understandings were reached in a secret meeting between senior Israeli and U.S. delegations at the White House on December 12th. The document marks the beginning of a new cooperative effort against Iran, a senior U.S. official told The Jerusalem Post.

What it means: A senior U.S. official said that after two days of talks the U.S. and Israel reached at a joint document which articulates full cooperation to deal with Iran’s nuclear drive, its missile programs and its other threatening activity in the region. The U.S. official said the document goal’s was to translate President Trump’s Iran speech to joint U.S.-Israeli strategic goals regarding Iran and to set up a joint work plan.

At what the TV report described as a “secret” meeting at the White House, the U.S. and Israel specifically agreed to set up joint teams to handle various aspects of the Iranian threat. This includes a joint team, the report said, which will deal with Iranian activity in Syria and Tehran’s support for the Hezbollah terror organization. This working group will also deal with drafting U.S.-Israeli policy regarding the “day after” in the Syrian civil war.

Another joint team will deal with both diplomatic and intelligence activities designed to grapple with Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions. This group will further monitor and verify that Iran is not violating existing terms of the deal. It also includes diplomatic steps outside of the nuclear deal to put more pressure on Iran. The working group will deal with possible covert steps against the Iranian nuclear program.

A third joint team, it was reportedly agreed, would grapple with Iran’s ballistic missile program and its efforts to build accurate missile systems in Syria and Lebanon.

Finally, a fourth team would oversee U.S.-Israeli preparation for any escalation by Iran and/or Hezbollah. This team is also tasked with different escalation scenarios in the region concerning Iran, Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza.

Player at the table: The Israeli team was headed by national security adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat and included senior representatives of the Israeli military, Ministry of Defense, Foreign Ministry and intelligence community. The U.S. side included national security adviser H.R. McMaster and included senior representatives from the National Security Council, State Department, Department of Defense and the intelligence community.

Senior Israeli officials confirmed that the U.S. and Israel have arrived at strategic understandings regarding Iran that would strengthen the cooperation in countering regional challenges.

The Israeli officials said:

“The U.S. and Israel see eye to eye the different developments in the region and especially those that are connected to Iran. We reached at understandings regarding the strategy and the policy needed to counter Iran. Our understandings deal with the overall strategy but also with concrete goals, way of action and the means which need to be used to get obtain those goals.”

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZI, Iran0 Comments

What Is Happening in Iran? Is Another “Color Revolution” Underway?

A familiar sight is taking place across Iran tonight and it has been for the last three days. Protests are taking place in numerous cities citing grievances and demanding that the Ayatollah and Iranian President step down. For a few days, the protests remained non-violent but now violence has indeed flared up as protesters have laid waste to a number of government properties and those belonging to “pro-government militias.”

Neo-cons in the American media and the U.S. President are all demanding that Americans stand with the “Iranian people” and the “protesters” in their “fight for freedom.”

The reason this sight is familiar is because we have seen it in Egypt, Libya, and Syria in the past as well as in Iran itself in the late 2000s. Protests that turn violent, a subsequent crackdown that either is violent or is reported as such, and the weight of American propaganda against the target government are all “Arab Spring” repeats that are themselves nothing more than the color revolution/destabilization apparatus that has been used by the West in countries all across the world for decades, particularly in the last twenty years.

What Do The Protesters Want?

The alleged demands of the protesters seem reasonable and legitimate enough. The Western media has, up until this point, been reporting that the main argument being made by the demonstrators center around economic concerns, i.e. falling living standards, unemployment, and rising food prices. However, as the third day of protests took place, the Western media began reporting that the protesters are demanding an end to religious dictatorship and policies of both the Ayatollah Khamenei andPresident Rouhani. According to some reports, female protesters have gone so far as to shout “death to Khamenei” and shed their hijabs in order to construct makeshift flags. Others say the protesters are focused on government corruption.

However, there is much question about these protests. The first question is “Are they organic Iranian protests?” This question has yet to be answered fully. Iran is most certainly a religious dictatorship and many Iranians want freedom from religious rule. However, it should be remembered that the United States and Israel have openly stated a desire to see Iranian influence broken and as recently as 2009, the United States attempted to engineer a color revolution in the country. The first three days of the Green Movement in Iran looked very much like the first three days of this current movement.

Clearly, economic concerns are a major issue in Iran, a country whose economy has been suffering for years under Western sanctions and whose own inability to capitalize on a state-owned National Bank. Official unemployment in Iran is around 12% and it is likely that the real rate is much higher. Despite lifting of some sanctions, there is hardly economic growth in the country, another result of neo-liberal economic and trade policies. Yet, it is also worth noting that Khamenei has also been critical of the poor economy and the handling of economic issues by the government yet Khamenei is being insulted at the protests.

These demands are not unreasonable by any stretch of the imagination. However, the religious protests come at a very odd time. Iran recently liberalized its laws regarding women’s forced head coverings, so why protest now over religious laws?

In addition, special attention must be paid to the concept of “government corruption,” a hallmark of color revolutions since government corruption is often more of a conceptual issue than anything concrete. A step down from power from a few key people, wrist slaps, and token reform can all achieve an “end” to corruption while more concrete demands need concrete applications and thus present a minor loss to those who will taking over the rains of power after the demonstrations have ceased.

There are also more concerning demands that can be found in the slogans being chanted by the demonstrators. First, in case it could be missed, the demonstrators are calling for the Ayatollah and the President to step down. In other words, they are calling for regime change. This is precisely what the United States, GCC, NATO, and Israel also want to see happen.

Second, numerous demonstrators are chanting “Let go of Palestine,” and “Not for Gaza, Not for Lebanon, I’d give my life (only) for Iran.” Again, protesters are now chanting foreign policy demands identical to that desired by the United States, NATO, GCC, and Israel. All this in a protest that is supposed to be about economic concerns.

Moon of Alabama, in its article entitled “Iran – Regime Change Agents Hijack Economic Protests,” reveals a number of important reports regarding the beginning of the protests and where they stand currently. MOA writes,

Protests against the (neo-)liberal economic policies of the Rohani government in Iran are justified. Official unemployment in Iran is above 12% and there is hardly any economic growth. The people in the streets are not the only ones who are dissatisfied with this:

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has repeatedly criticized the government’s economic record, said on Wednesday that the nation was struggling with “high prices, inflation and recession”, and asked officials to resolve the problems with determination.

On Thursday and today the slogans of some protesters turned the call for economic relief into a call for regime change.

. . . . .

Today, Friday and the weekly day off in Iran, several more protest took place in other cities. A Reuters report from today:

About 300 demonstrators gathered in Kermanshah after what Fars called a “call by the anti-revolution” and shouted “Political prisoners should be freed” and “Freedom or death”, while destroying some public property. Fars did not name any opposition groups.

Footage, which could not be verified, showed protests in other cities including Sari and Rasht in the north, Qom south of Tehran, and Hamadan in the west.

Mohsen Nasj Hamadani, deputy security chief in Tehran province, said about 50 people had rallied in a Tehran square and most left after being asked by police, but a few who refused were “temporarily detained”, the ILNA news agency reported.

Some of these protests have genuine economic reasons but get hijacked by other interests:

In the central city of Isfahan, a resident said protesters joined a rally held by factory workers demanding back wages.

“The slogans quickly changed from the economy to those against (President Hassan) Rouhani and the Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei),” the resident said by telephone.

Purely political protests are rare in Iran […] but demonstrations are often held by workers over layoffs or non-payment of salaries and people who hold deposits in non-regulated, bankrupt financial institutions.

Alamolhoda, the representative of Ayatollah Khamenei in northeastern Mashhad, said a few people had taken advantage of Thursday’s protests against rising prices to chant slogans against Iran’s role in regional conflicts.

“Some people had came to express their demands, but suddenly, in a crowd of hundreds, a small group that did not exceed 50 shouted deviant and horrendous slogans such as ‘Let go of Palestine’, ‘Not Gaza, not Lebanon, I’d give my life (only) for Iran’,” Alamolhoda said.

Media and Neo-Con Support

While it is to be expected from a virulently anti-Iran administration and mainstream press in the United States, it is interesting how the U.S. President immediately has latched on the protests, encouraging Americans to stand with the protesters and their demands. This is coming from a man who rarely sees a protest that isn’t directed at him. Meanwhile, Neo-Con organs like FOX News are also repeating calls for Americans to support the brave “freedom fighters” in Iran. It is seldom, if ever, true that evil does good in the world so when Neo-Cons call for support to protests, eyebrows should be raised in skepticism.

It is also important to question just how popular these protests are. While mainstream western media and various terrorist organizations also conveniently supporting them paint them as involving tens of thousands at each demonstration, video and pictures tend to show only dozens to hundreds at the most while others wander about around them.

“A video of that protest in Mashad showed some 50 people chanting slogans with more bystander just milling around,” writes MOA. . . . . “Two videos posted by BBC Persian and others I have seen show only small active protest groups with a dozen or so people while many more are just standing by or film the people who are chanting slogans.”

Trump Administration/Israel Agreement

The protests taking place in Iran are taking place only a month after the White House and Tel Aviv met to discuss a strategy on Iran.

“A delegation led by Israel’s National Security Adviser met with senior American officials in the White House earlier this month for a joint discussion on strategy to counter Iran’s aggression in the Middle East, a senior U.S. official confirmed to Haaretz,” wrote Haaretz agency. (Israeli Delegation Met U.S. Officials to Discuss ‘Iran Strategy,’ Syria)

AXIOS provides a quote from the meeting:

[T]he U.S. and Israel see eye to eye the different developments in the region and especially those that are connected to Iran. We reached at understandings regarding the strategy and the policy needed to counter Iran. Our understandings deal with the overall strategy but also with concrete goals, way of action and the means which need to be used to get obtain those goals.

Could this apparent color revolution be the result of that US/Israeli meeting?

Color Revolution In Iran

The idea that a color revolution could be attempted in Iran is no fantasy. It would be a repeat of history. Remember, in 2009, an attempt at a color revolution deemed the “Green Revolution” was launched but was quickly put down by the iron fist of the Iranian government.

The Path To Persia

The plan for a Western or a Western/Israeli attack on Iran, along with the theatre of alleged US-Israeli tensions leading up to a strike and outright war, has been in the works for some time. For instance, in 2009, the Brookings Institution, a major banking, corporate, and military-industrial firm, released a report entitled “Which Path To Persia? Options For A New American Strategy For Iran,” in which the authors mapped out a plan which leaves no doubt as to the ultimate desire from the Western financier, corporate, and governing classes.

Screenshot from Brookings report: “Which Path To Persia? Options For A New American Strategy For Iran,”

The plan involves the description of a number of ways the Western oligarchy would be able to destroy Iran including outright military invasion and occupation (see table of contents above). However, the report attempts to outline a number of methods that might possibly be implemented before direct military invasion would be necessary. The plan included attempting to foment destabilization inside Iran via the color revolution apparatus, violent unrest, proxy terrorism, and “limited airstrikes” conducted by the US, Israel or both.

The report states,

Because the Iranian regime is widely disliked by many Iranians, the most obvious and palatable method of bringing about its demise would be to help foster a popular revolution along the lines of the “velvet revolutions” that toppled many communist governments in Eastern Europe beginning in 1989. For many proponents of regime change, it seems self-evident that the United States should encourage the Iranian people to take power in their own name, and that this would be the most legitimate method of regime change. After all, what Iranian or foreigner could object to helping the Iranian people fulfill their own desires?

Moreover, Iran’s own history would seem to suggest that such an event is plausible. During the 1906 Constitutional Movement, during the late 1930s, arguably during the 1950s, and again during the 1978 Iranian Revolution, coalitions of intellectuals, students, peasants, bazaari merchants, Marxists, constitutionalists, and clerics mobilized against an unpopular regime. In both 1906 and 1978, the revolutionaries secured the support of much of the populace and, in so doing, prevailed. There is evidence that the Islamic regime has antagonized many (perhaps all) of these same factions to the point where they again might be willing to support a change if they feel that it could succeed. This is the foundational belief of those Americans who support regime change, and their hope is that the United States can provide whatever the Iranian people need to believe that another revolution is feasible.

Of course, popular revolutions are incredibly complex and rare events. There is little scholarly consensus on what causes a popular revolution, or even the conditions that facilitate them. Even factors often associated with revolutions, such as military defeat, neglect of the military, economic crises, and splits within the elite have all been regular events across the world and throughout history, but only a very few have resulted in a popular revolution. Consequently, all of the literature on how best to promote a popular revolution— in Iran or anywhere else—is highly speculative. Nevertheless, it is the one policy option that holds out the prospect that the United States might eliminate all of the problems it faces from Iran, do so at a bearable cost, and do so in a manner that is acceptable to the Iranian people and most of the rest of the world.

Conclusion

While the situation in Iran continues to develop, it appears that another color revolution is underway. While many of the demands are legitimate, all signs are pointing toward Western treachery in an attempt to break Iran in the final domino to fall in the Middle East before an even bigger confrontation is ignited. Destroying Iran would also destroy Hezbollah, weaken Syria and Russia, and threaten Israel. Whether or not it will succeed will depend on the level of subversion that has been possible by the United States intelligence apparatus since 2009 and the ability of Iran to squash the revolt. If anything can be learned from the 2009 revolution, Iran will move quickly and will smash the protests with an iron fist. However, if the protests taking place in Iran today are indeed a color revolution and if the West is committed, the Path to Persia will likely see an escalation in activity, violence, and ultimately directly military confrontation by proxy and even by the U.S. military itself.

We will be following these protests in detail over the coming days.

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZI, Iran0 Comments


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