Archive | January 14th, 2020

Permanent War and Poverty or Widespread Truth Awareness?

By Mark Taliano

What are we really supporting when we refuse the truth and accept the war lies and the permanent war agenda?

We are supporting al Qaeda/ISIS, Empire’s proxies. We are supporting the military dictatorship of Washington-led NATO and the collapse of International Law.

We are supporting a New Fascist World Order and our subservience to supranational diktats.We are supporting the thirdworldization of our own political economies.

The Truth is deplatformed in this New Fascist Order. Politicians do not represent the people. Representative government is a projected perception, empty of substance.

Transnational corporations impose impoverishing neoliberal diktats, the “Washington Consensus”, at home and abroad. Privatization schemes impoverish domestic populations at the expense of the public sphere. Equal access to health care and schooling is disappeared. The industrial base is delocated to vassal stooge countries where human and labour rights are largely non-existent.

The Fascist world order creates holocausts but denies it all.

“Those with consciences,” wrote Gideon Polya in 2015,  “recently marked the 12th anniversary on 19 March 2015 of the illegal and war criminal US, UK and Australian invasion of Iraq in 2003  that was based on false assertions of Iraqi possession of Weapons of Mass Destruction, was conducted in the absence of  UN sanction  or Iraqi threat to the invading nations, and led to 2.7 million Iraqi deaths from  violence (1.5 million) or from violently-imposed deprivation (1.2 million). The West has now commenced its Seventh Iraq War since 1914 in over a century of Western violence in which Iraqi deaths from violence or violently-imposed deprivation have totalled  9 million. However  Western Mainstream media have resolutely ignored  the carnage, this tragically illustrating the adage ‘History ignored yields history repeated’. ” (1)

Permanent warfare and globalizing poverty are hallmarks of this dystopia, as is widespread despair.

“It’s not only the impoverishment of large sectors of the world population;” explains Prof. Chossudovsky, “it is precipitating people into total despair and it’s the destruction of the institutional fabric, the collapse of schools and hospitals which are closed down, the legal system disintegrating, borders are redefined.

Essentially this stage, which goes beyond impoverishment, is the transformation of countries into territories and we see it occurring in the Middle East. The objective for Iraq and Libya and Yemen is certainly to transform a country into a territory, and then you recolonize it. You’re in a very different environment to that which has prevailed until recently.” (2)Axis of Resistance.The West and its Allies Support al Qaeda and ISIS Globally

But it doesn’t have to be this way. The Axis of Resistance is fighting back against the war lies, the terrorism, the permanent warfare. It is fighting for international law, nation-state sovereignty and territorial integrity. It is fighting against globalized fascism, poverty, and despair.

Those of us in the West who still believe in the ideals of democracy and freedom need to denounce the NATO occupation of our lands, our minds, and our pocket books. We need to denounce wars of aggression, imperialism, and war lies. We need Pro-Life political economies, not Pro-Death diseconomies.

The choice is ours.

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Mark Taliano is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) and the author of Voices from Syria, Global Research Publishers, 2017. Visit the author’s website at https://www.marktaliano.net where this article was originally published.

Notes

(1) Dr. Gideon Polya, “An Iraqi Holocaust, 2.7 Million Iraqi Dead From Violence Or War-imposed Deprivation.” “ICH”, March 27, 2015, (http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article41378.htm) Accessed January 10, 2020.

(2) Prof. Michel Chossudovsky, “Neoliberalism and the New World Order. IMF-World Bank ‘Reforms’, The Role of Wall Street.” Global Research, 24 March, 2017 Guns and Butter 22 June 2016.
(https://www.globalresearch.ca/neoliberalism-and-the-new-world-order-imf-world-bank-reforms/5572157) Accessed 10 January, 2020.

Featured image is CC BY SA 2.0

Posted in Human Rights, WorldComments Off on Permanent War and Poverty or Widespread Truth Awareness?

How and Why Iran Shot Down Ukrainian Boeing

By South Front

On January 10, SouthFront released a video entitled “What’s Behind Boeing Crash In Iran” on the January 8 airliner crash near Tehran. This video was produced because the Iranian side released new facts and details regarding the incident.

The Iran Air Defense Forces brought down the Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800 (Flight PS752) near Tehran due to “a human error”, the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces said in an official statement on January 11. The statement denounced the previous Iranian main version that the tragedy was a result of technical malfunction.

The data provided in the statement of the General Staff, and the press conference of the Head of the Aerospace Division of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) provide the following chain of events:

  1. At approximate 23:00 UTC, on January 7, the IRGC carried out a missile strike on US military targets in Iraq;
  2. The country’s air defense network was on highest alert amid reports on a possible cruise missile strike by the United States and increased flights of US warplanes near Iranian airspace;
  3. At 2:38 UTC, January 8, the PS752 took off from Imam Khomeini International Airport and moved close to a “sensitive” facility of the IRGC “when completing a loop”. The aircraft reportedly deviated from the general PS752 course for around 2km;
  4. The altitude and the direction of the flight’s movement “were like an enemy target”. The surface-to-air missile system operator mistakenly identified as the plane as an incoming “cruise missile” 19km away;
  5. The missile system operator acted independently because of a failure in the communication system;
  6. The operator then “took the wrong decision” of firing on the perceived threat in a “ten-second” time span to shoot or ignore the flying object. During the night, the operator repeatedly called for a halt in flights in the area. This was not done.
  7. A “short-range missile” exploded next to the plane. After this, the plane continued flying for a while, and “exploded when it hit the ground.” The Iranian side did not mention the missile system used. Supposedly, it was the Tor low to medium altitude, short-range surface-to-air missile system.

Thus, Iran described the situation with the Boeing as a result of the combination of aforementioned factors in the “atmosphere of threats and intimidation by the aggressive American regime against the Iranian nation”. Nonetheless, the real picture of events may have been different.What’s Behind Boeing Crash in Iran?Video Player00:0004:59

It remains unclear how the Boeing 737-800 may have been mistaken for an incoming cruise missile, especially taking into account that this situation developed near the capital’s working airport. If one takes this explanation with a grain of salt, the scenario could have been the following.

The plane experienced some technical difficulties during or immediately after the take-off and deviated from the course moving closer to the IRGC military site. Information appeared that the preflight inspection checklist was not signed by Iranian airport engineers, but the Ukrainian side insisted to fly at its own risk and responsibility.

Therefore, the system operator, that experienced a communication failure, considered the plane as a ‘military threat’ because it may have been hijacked for a 9/11-style attack, got under control via a cyber-attack and/or used as a cover for a pinpoint missile strike on the IRGC site.

This version does not explain how the communication failure could appear at the air defense post that must have two shielded communication channels: primary tactical circuit and the alternative. The possible explanation with an electronic warfare attack does not hold up against criticism civilian communication channels remained operational with routine flights continuing from the Tehran airport. Another factor is the video of the missile hit that appeared online. How this person, could have known when and what exactly to film without advance knowledge of the developments?

Then, there is one more explanation: The plane was shot down deliberately to exert additional pressure on Iran from the United States during the alleged acute phase of the crisis between Iran and the United States, which had a chance to develop into an open regional war. In the framework of this version, it could be suspected that the operator may have been recruited by US intelligence or blackmailed, or the system was captured in an act of sabotage by the US or its affiliated forces.

Regardless the existing gaps in the current official version of the events and the real course of the developments, Iran will and further be forced to claim that the airliner shoot down was a “human error”. Iran can ill-afford to admit the lack of control over key objects of military infrastructure in the heart of the country.

Posted in Iran, Middle East, UkraineComments Off on How and Why Iran Shot Down Ukrainian Boeing

Putin’s Orthodox Christmas Visit to Damascus

Putin’s Orthodox Christmas Visit to Damascus Plays Up Assad’s Syria as Enclave of Peace – While Rest of Middle East Burns

By Scott Ritter

Global Research,

Russian leader Vladimir Putin made a surprise Christmas visit to Syria, where he met with the country’s president, Bashar Assad. The tranquility of their meeting was in sharp contrast to the hell breaking out in neighboring Iraq.

The unannounced visit to Syria, where Putin also delivered a Christmas address to Russian forces deployed in that nation, was remarkable. Any visit by a national leader to a foreign war zone is, in and of itself, notable, and let there be no doubt – Syria is an active war zone. But Syria is no run of the mill conflict zone. It is at the center of a complex web of violence involving a myriad of state and non-state actors, including two adversarial nuclear powers – the US and Russia.

The conflict also involves separatist Kurds, Syrian rebels, foreign Islamist terrorists, Hezbollah, the Turkish Army, Israeli and Iranian forces, and the Syrian Army. And while the Syrian conflict has entered what most observers believe is the end game, with the Syrian Army, backed up by the Russian Air Force, engaged in a final offensive against the last militant bastion in Idlib Province, the potential for Syria to explode in violence involving some or all of the forces listed above is a real and present danger.

While Putin was on the ground in Syria, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) fired at least a dozen medium-range ballistic missiles at US bases on Iraqi soil. These attacks were in retaliation for the US assassination of Qassem Soleimani, a senior IRGC general who was much beloved and respected inside and outside of Iran.

The Iranian government has stated that if the US does not respond to this retaliation, then General Soleimani’s death will have been revenged, and the crisis terminated. If, however, the US were to attack Iran, then Tehran has threatened to attack additional targets in the region, including Israel and the UAE. If this were to transpire, then the situation in the Middle East would devolve into general war that would undoubtedly spread to Israel.

Putin has a record of visiting Russian troops who are deployed in harm’s way. Shortly after taking over the presidency from Boris Yeltsin, Putin made a scheduled trip to Chechnya, where he met with soldiers in Grozny. He has made several similar visits to troops in the troubled Caucasus region since then. In 2017, the president visited Russian troops stationed at the Khmeimim Airbase in Latakia, Syria. Seen in this light, the current trip can not be said to be a particularly unique event. However, the timing of the visit, coinciding as it does with the escalation of violence between the US and Iran in neighboring Iraq, is auspicious.

Putin met with Assad in a joint military operations center, where they received a briefing on the current situation in Syria. The two leaders then went on a tour of the Syrian capital of Damascus, visiting cultural and religious sites. The imagery of these moments, memorializing as they did the close relationship between two wartime allies, contrasted sharply with what was transpiring in Iraq. There, President Donald Trump had deliberately acted in a manner which violated Iraqi sovereignty while breaking international law, assassinating an Iranian official, Soleimani, who had arrived in Iraq at the invitation of the country’s prime minister, Adil Abdul Mahdi, an erstwhile ally of the US. Following this attack, Mahdi made a presentation to the Iraqi parliament, supporting the passage of a resolution ordering all foreign troops out of Iraq. And now Iranian ballistic missiles have rained down on US bases on Iraqi soil.

In the days, weeks and months to come, regional and world leaders will be engaged in concerted diplomacy to contain the US-Iran crisis and prevent a larger conflict that could have extremely detrimental consequences for regional and world peace and security. In the past, the US has stepped forward to assume a leadership role in helping to craft a diplomatic or military solution. But leadership is a two-way street – respect is earned, not assumed. As things currently stand, the US under President Trump has seen its moral authority to lead eroded to such an extent that American diplomacy is little more than an empty vessel.

While the US maintains a sizable and capable military force, which the Iraqi parliament has voted to evict from its soil, force alone cannot compel compliance with Washington’s objectives. In many ways, the chaos unfolding in the Middle East is reflective of the overall unraveling of US credibility brought about by the dysfunctional policies of President Trump.

While there is no way to predict with any degree of certainty how events will ultimately transpire in the Middle East, this much is sure: nations will be looking for someone to fill the vacuum created by the collapse of US authority and influence in Iraq. It is in this context that the visit to Syria by President Putin must be evaluated. It is said that a picture speaks a thousand words. The image of Putin shaking hands with Assad, in contrast with the pictures of Iranian missiles fired at US bases in Iraq, provides a point of comparison that will resonate in the minds of anyone looking for stability over chaos, and peace over war. From this perspective, it speaks volumes.

Posted in Middle East, Russia, SyriaComments Off on Putin’s Orthodox Christmas Visit to Damascus

164 “Peace-Keeping” Military Bases Worldwide: US Bases in Iraq Advance Its Regional Imperium

By Stephen Lendman

According to the Pentagon, US forces are in 164 (of the world’s 193) countries.

They’re on over 1,000 US bases of varying sizes and on others of host countries. Much information about their numbers, troop strength, and location is secret.

According to analyst Nick Turse, the US maintains “an imperial military presence (globally) unlike any other” country in world history, adding:

“Never has a single country had so many military bases on so many parts of Planet Earth…How many such bases?”

The Pentagon won’t say. In his book titled “Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic,” Chalmers Johnson explained the following:

“Once upon a time, you could trace the spread of imperialism by counting up colonies,” adding:

“America’s version of the colony is the military base; and by following the changing politics of global basing, one can learn much about our ever more all-encompassing imperial footprint and the militarism that grows with it.”

“(E)ven more than in past empires, a well-entrenched militarism (globally lies) at the heart of (US) imperial adventures.”

Reflecting “force projection,” they’re positioned to strike nations anywhere to advance the US imperium, notably against nations targeted for regime change.

They come at an enormous cost. With all categories included, the US spends more on militarism and belligerence than all other countries combined.

Wherever US forces are based, their presence is intrusive at the expense of the host country’s population.

They have nothing to do with protecting host countries from external threats, nothing to do with requests by these countries for a US military presence on their territory.

They’re all about pursuing the US global war OF terror, not on it. Their mission is advancing Washington’s imperium at the expense of world peace, stability and security.

Its aim is controlling other nations, their resources and populations.

Its rage for dominance by brute force and other hostile actions is a prescription for endless wars, instability, chaos, a nation in decline, others rising at its expense.

Numerous US bases in Iraq are key to pursuing its hostile regional agenda. They’re platforms for endless Middle East war.Iraq Remains US Occupied Territory, “We’re Not Leaving Unless…” Says Trump

Controlling Iraqi territory maintains supply lines to Pentagon bases in Syria.

Without Iraqi bases, US control over northern parts of the Syrian Arab Republic would be weakened.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mahdi called the Trump regime’s assassination of Iranian General Soleimani and Iraqi deputy PMU commander Muhandis “a massive breach of (the country’s) sovereignty, (a) “clear breach of the terms of the American forces’ presence.”

He and Iraqi MPs want US forces expelled. According to Mahdi, they’re “guests” in the country no longer wanted. The Iraqi street considers them hostile “occupiers.”

No status of forces agreement (SOFA) authorizes their presence, an informal arrangement alone — to combat the scourge of ISIS the US created and supports.

Terms of an earlier 2009 US SOFA with Iraq (no longer applicable now) required Iraqi government approval for US military operations within or from the country’s territory.

If Baghdad and Iraqi parliamentarians want US forces out of the country, it’ll be illegally occupied territory if Trump refuses to leave, where things now stand.

Their removal from Iraq is essential to advance things toward restoration of regional peace and stability — a blow to Washington’s regional agenda if achieved.

On Monday, Pompeo suggested a possible reduction in the Pentagon’s Iraq’s footprint, short of withdrawing all US forces.

Speaking at the right-wing Hoover Institution, he unjustifiably justified Soleimani’s assassination, repeating his earlier stated litany of bald-faced Big Lies about a widely respected, now martyred, figure in Iran, Iraq, and elsewhere regionally.

The US has no intention of voluntarily withdrawing troops from parts of the world where its ruling authorities want them based.

As long as the US empire of bases exists, world peace and stability will remain unattainable.

Iraq wants US forces out of the country. Clearly the Trump regime won’t leave voluntarily. Nor is withdrawal likely any time soon.

Because of the US presence in Middle East countries, the region remains the world’s top hot spot, a hugely dangerous situation, risking greater war than already.

A Final Comment

According to a 2019 US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) assessment, Iran’s missile capabilities are formidable, saying:

“Iran has the largest missile force in the Middle East, with a substantial inventory of close-range ballistic missiles (CRBMs), short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs), and medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBMs) that can strike targets throughout the region as far as 2,000 (to 2,500) kilometers from (its) borders.”

They can strike anywhere in the Middle East with pinpoint accuracy and destructive force.

The DIA noted that Iran is working to increase the capability of its missile strength.

Its retaliatory strike on US Iraq bases last week in retaliation against Soleimani’s assassination, penetrating its missile defenses, was a slap-on-the-wrist example of its capabilities.

It’s why Pentagon commanders likely oppose tangling with Iran militarily by striking its territory.

All its regional bases, warships, and allied nations would be vulnerable to destructive retaliation.

Posted in USAComments Off on 164 “Peace-Keeping” Military Bases Worldwide: US Bases in Iraq Advance Its Regional Imperium

US Defense Secretary Esper Says Trump Lied to Justify Killing Soleimani

By Arabi Souri

Global Research,

Mark Esper, the former US Secretary of Defense (it’s a matter of time now) said that his chief Donald Trump lied to the US citizens about the justification to carry out the most heinous murder crimes against two top commanders who fought ISIS and saved US and European lives, including the soldiers from the USA and Europe.

That’s how I read the ‘breaking news’ I received from The New York Times in my inbox. Other info about this is nothing but useless details, especially to those who are concerned.

New York Times Mark Esper

Screenshot of The New York Times ‘breaking news’ email notificationTrump and Esper: No Evidence, Just a “Sneaky Feeling”. Time for the Invaders to Go Home

This might be breaking news to ignorant people, but there was no planned attack against any US interest in the region or elsewhere by the murdered commanders Iranian IRGC’s top General Qasim Soleimani and Iraqi top security force commander and Deputy Head of the PMU Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis.Trump killed these two top commanders based on his own lies by the orders of the Israeli embattled Netanyahu to save the necks of both of them.

It was totally the contrary, the Iranian General Soleimani was on a PEACE Mission to defuse tensions between Iran and Saudi carrying a reply message from Iran to the Saudis through the Iraqi mediator Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi, and what drove the Iranians and the Iraqi officials further mad at the US President Trump and the US Army is that Trump knew about the mission of General Soleimani and when he was arriving from the Iraqi PM by a phone call the same day.

This is what Mr. Abdul-Mahdi told the Iraqi Parliament during the historic session which voted to expel the US forces out of the country.

Everything else you heard of from the western mainstream media propagandists is full of their usual Pentagon propaganda, but wait, maybe the Pentagon itself is not happy about what happened like what its chief has come out to tell.

Mark Esper spilled out what could be his last statement as the Defense Secretary of the US, since his chief the absolute dictator of large Trump Inc., ie. the USA, doesn’t like other opinions than his and has a short but rich history of firing those who have any other opinions ‘You’re Fired’.

Don’t blame Trump or even his contenders at the US presidential race in 2016 especially crooked Hillary, it’s the USAians who look through the bottom of the degenerated society that thrives among them and pick the worse of it to lead them. They turned a Republic into a ‘Lobbycracy’ and called it ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ and they want to export the surplus of their invention by all means of force, terror, and intimidation to the rest of the world.

Side note: Why does the US ‘Vile‘ President Pence keep staring at his boss throughout all the conferences when they’re together?

Posted in USA, Iran, Middle EastComments Off on US Defense Secretary Esper Says Trump Lied to Justify Killing Soleimani

Trump and Esper: No Evidence, Just a “Sneaky Feeling”. Time for the Invaders to Go Home

By Steven Sahiounie

Global Research,

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper told Margaret Brennan on “Face the Nation” on Sunday that he didn’t see any specific evidence that Iranian General Qassem Soleimani was planning an imminent attack, which had been widely used by Trump as the justification of his assassination along with Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.  “What the president said was he believed that it probably and could’ve been attacks against additional embassies,” he said.

While Trump was apparently making Ouiji-board foreign policy decisions, Esper was worried about the US troops now in Iraq, and with more on their way, whether these troops had the support of the American people; however, the American people want to see proof of why those troops need to be there, otherwise there is a case for bringing them back home to safety.

Time to go home

Iraqis feel the US was first an invader in 2003, and then left Iraq with a sectarian constitution which has the country deeply divided.  “It is not true that we Iraqis are divided into either hating the US or loving Iran. We appreciated both for fighting ISIS, but that is over and we need to be independent,” said Nezar George, a welder in Baghdad.

More than 60% of Iraqis are Shiite, which is the state religion of their neighbor, Iran.  Post-war political parties, and their leaders, were formed with stances of either pro-US or pro-Iran. The US is secular and touts religious freedom.  All Americans live side by side, not in segregated ghettos, but diverse communities. The US imposed a constitution on Iraq which maintains divisions by religion and sect.  The Iraqi people identify with their sect, which is translated into sectarian political parties. Patriotism is a foreign concept, which could only be nurtured in Iraq by time spent under a secular government.  They pledge their allegiance to their family, their sect, and their party. Iraq is now referred to as either Sunni or Shiite, with the Christians having been virtually eliminated by the US invasion, and ISIS.

After seeing over 1 million Iraqis murdered by US troops, the Iraqi government invited them to return in 2014 to fight ISIS. However, after ISIS was defeated in 2017, Iraqi politicians are determined to oust the US troops. Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi telephoned Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday and asked him to “send delegates to Iraq regarding the withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq,” and said American forces had entered Iraq and drones are flying in its airspace without permission from Iraqi authorities and this was a violation of the bilateral agreements.  He appeared to give the US time to plan for the withdrawal of about 5,200 US troops in Iraq. The US State Department acknowledged that Pompeo had spoken with Abdul-Mahdi, but neglected to mention withdrawal.“Yankee Go Home” Is Chanted in Baghdad after Parliament Asks for US Troop Expulsion

General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Mark Esper have said there were no plans for the US to leave Iraq. The Iraqi parliament passed a resolution to expel US troops after the Trump ordered the assassination of Soleimani and Muhandis at Baghdad’s airport.

Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani urged opposing factions to unite. The cleric was born in Iran but has lived most of his life in Iraq.

“The serious attacks and repeated violations of Iraqi sovereignty that occurred in recent days with the apparent weakness of the concerned authorities in protecting the country and its people … are part of the repercussions of the current crisis,” al-Sistani said.

Ammar al-Shibli, a member of the parliament, said

“There is no need for the presence of American forces after defeating Daesh (ISIS),” and added, “We have our own armed forces which are capable of protecting the country.”

“The guests arrive, and later the party is over, but they won’t go home. What do we do? We make their stay with us so unbearable; they will leave on their own,” said Abdul Khayat, a Baghdad pizza baker.

Trump Flip-Flops

Trump broke the Iran nuclear deal that the US had agreed to, along with other nations, in a head-spinning reversal. Without offering anything to take its place, he then slapped drastic sanctions of Iran which have devastated the economy, going so far as to prevent humanitarian medicines to be imported.

Trump threatened to freeze billions of Iraqi dollars in the New York Fed if Iraq insists the US troops must withdraw; however, in almost the next breath he suggest on Friday he would not oppose a troop withdrawal from Iraq, “I’m OK with it,” Trump said on a Fox News interview.

After the constant reversals by Trump, the Iranians might be waiting it out, hoping to deal with a future US president who they can trust to keep a deal.

Soleimani history

Soleimani arrived in Baghdad airport by invitation of the PM Abdul-Mahdi to attend a regional peace talk when he was assassinated by Trump. He was the head of Iran’s Quds Force and also the mastermind of the Iraqi militia networks, who are part of the Iraqi military structure. In 2014, when ISIS came into Iraq, a religious ruling was issued calling on all Iraqis to fight against ISIS; however, most Iraqis did not enlist in the Iraqi armed forces but instead joined militias supported by Iran.

The millions of people in Iraq and Iran who attended his funeral revered him. Lebanese and Syrian people remembered he helped to save them from ISIS. Noam Chomsky wrote, “They have not forgotten that when the huge, heavily armed US trained Iraqi Army quickly collapsed, and the Kurdish capital of Erbil, then Baghdad and all of Iraq were about to fall in the hands of ISIS, it was Soleimani and the Iraqi Shia militias he organized that saved the country.”

The mainstream media reporting the death of Soleimani have all chanted the same mantra: that he was responsible for hundreds of Americans’ deaths.  They refer to US forces killed by IEDs during the Iraq War; however, the Pentagon has provided no evidence that Iran made those IEDs.  That unproven claim was used by VP Dick Cheney in his plan to wage a US war on Iran.

Soleimani and his militiamen targeted US troops or contractors/mercenaries stationed in a country that the US illegally attacked and occupied.  Under Soleimani’s leadership, the Iraqi militias provided effective military resistance to foreign occupying forces. The US was not an innocent party getting accidentally trapped into going to war, rather it was actively pursuing it.  Michelle Goldberg explains, “To Iranians, after all, America is the aggressor.”

Even though the US might have viewed Iran, and Soleimani as an enemy, the US troops fought alongside the Iraqi militias under Soleimani’s command in the 2014-2017 fight against ISIS. Law scholar Karen Greenberg wrote that killing Soleimani was illegal and an “inevitable outcome of our dangerous ‘war on terror’ policy.”

The locals have a saying, “Saddam Hussein’s Hell was better than the Americans’ paradise.”

Posted in Middle East, USA, IranComments Off on Trump and Esper: No Evidence, Just a “Sneaky Feeling”. Time for the Invaders to Go Home

The World Must End the US’ Illegal Economic War. Sanctions Imposed on 39 Countries

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers

Global Research,

The United States is relying more heavily on illegal unilateral coercive measures (also known as economic sanctions) in place of war or as part of its build-up to war. In fact, economic sanctions are an act of war that kills tens of thousands of people each year through financial strangulation. An economic blockade places a country under siege.

A recent example is the increase in economic measures being imposed against Iran, which many viewed as more acceptable than a military attack. In response to Iran retaliating for the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani and seven other people, Iran used ballistic missiles to strike two bases in Iraq that house US troops. President Trump responded by saying he would impose more sanctions on Iran. Then he ended his comments by urging peace negotiations with Iran. The United States needs to understand there will be no negotiations with Iran until the US lifts sanctions that seek to destroy the Iranian economy and turn the people against their government.

The sanctions on Iran have been in place since the 1979 Iranian Revolution, which made that country independent of the United States. Iran is not the only country being sanctioned by the United States. Samuel Moncada, the Venezuelan ambassador to the United Nations, speaking to the summit of the Non-Aligned Movement of 120 nations on October 26, 2019, denounced the imposition of sanctions by the US, as “economic terrorism which affects a third of humanity with more than 8,000 measures in 39 countries.”

It is time to end US economic warfare and repeal these unilateral coercive measures, which violate international law.

Take Action: Join The International Days Of Action Against  Sanctions And Economic WarMarch 13 – 15, 2020

Sanctions are war. From havaar.org.

Sanctions Are A Weapon of War

The United States uses sanctions against countries that resist the US’ agenda. US sanctions are designed to kill by destroying an economy through denial of access to finance, causing hyperinflation and shortages and blocking basic necessities such as food and medicine. For example, sanctions are expected to cause the death of tens of thousands of Iranians by creating a severe shortage of critical medicines and medical equipment everywhere in Iran.

Muhammad Sahimi writes that in a “letter published by The Lancet, the prestigious medical journal, three doctors working in Tehran’s MAHAK Pediatric Cancer Treatment and Research Center warned that, ‘Re-establishment of sanctions, scarcity of drugs due to the reluctance of pharmaceutical companies to deal with Iran, and a tremendous increase in oncology drug prices [due to the plummeting value of the Iranian rial by 50–70%], will inevitably lead to a decrease in survival of children with cancer.’”

Diabetes, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and asthma affect over ten million Iranians who will find essential medicines impossible to get or available only at high prices. The US claims that food and medicines are excluded from sanctions but in practice, they are not because pharmaceutical companies fear sanctions being applied to them over some technical violation and Iran cannot pay for essentials when banks can’t do business with it. European nations failed to persuade the Trump administration to ensure that essential medicine and food were available to Iranians.

In Venezuela, due to the sanctions, 180,000 medical operations have been canceled and 823,000 chronically ill patients are awaiting medicines. The Center for Economic and Policy Research found sanctions have deprived Venezuela of “billions of dollars of foreign exchange needed to pay for essential and life-saving imports,” contributing to 40,000 total deaths in 2017 and 2018. More than 300,000 Venezuelans are at risk due to a lack of access to medicine or treatment. Economists warn US sanctions could cause famine in Venezuela. Sanctions also cause shortages of parts and equipment needed for electricity generation, water systems, and transportation as well as preventing participation in the global financial market. Sanctions, which are illegal under the UN, OAS and US law, have caused mass protests in Venezuela against the US.

Sanctions against Iran and Venezuela could be a prelude to military attack, i.e. the US weakening a nation economically before attacking it. This is what happened in Iraq. Under pressure from the United States, on Aug. 2, 1990, the UN Security Council passed sanctions that required countries to stop trading or carrying out financial transactions with Iraq. President George H.W. Bush said the UN sanctions would not be lifted “as long as Saddam Hussein is in power.” The US continued to pressure the increasingly skeptical Security Council members into compliance even though hundreds of thousands of children were dying. In 1996, then-U.S. Ambassador to the UN Madeleine Albright was asked about the death of as many as 500,000 children due to lack of medicine and malnutrition exacerbated by the sanctions, and she brutally replied, “[The] price is worth it.” Sanctions were also used against Libya and Syria before the US attacked them.U.S. Sanctions: Economic Sabotage that Is Deadly, Illegal and Ineffective

This is consistent with the US ‘way of war’ described by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz in “An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States,” which describes frontier counterinsurgency premised on annihilation including the destruction of food, housing, and resources as well as ruthless militarism. The US has waged a long-term economic war against Cuba (sanctions in place since 1960), North Korea (first sanctions in the 1950s, tightened in the 1980s), Zimbabwe (2003) and Iran (1979)

Sanctions hurt civilians, especially the most vulnerable – babies, children, the elderly and chronically ill – not governments. Their intent is to shrink the economy and cause chronic shortages and hyperinflation while ensuring a lack of access to finance to pay for essentials. The US then blames the targeted government claiming that corruption or socialism is the problem in an effort to turn the people against their government. This often backfires as people instead rally around the government, quiet their calls for democracy and work to develop a resistance economy.

Stop Sanctions destroying lives from BrightonAndHoveNews.org.

The Movement to End Sanctions

In recent years, a movement has been building to end the use of illegal economic coercive measures. The movement includes governments coming together in forums like the Non-Aligned Movement, made up of countries that represent 55 percent of the global population, as well as UN member-states calling for international law and the UN Charter to be upheld and social movements organizing to educate about the impact of sanctions and demand an end to their use. This June, the Non-Aligned Movement called for the end of sanctions against Venezuela.

Popular Resistance is working with groups around the world on the Global Appeal for Peace, an initiative to create a worldwide network of people and organizations that will work together to oppose the lawless actions of the United States, and any country that acts similarly. A high priority is opposing the imposition of unilateral coercive economic measures that violate the charter of the United Nations. The UN and its International Court of Justice have been ineffective in holding the US accountable for its actions. No one country or one movement has the power alone to hold the United States accountable, but together we can make a difference. Join this campaign here.

With 39 countries targeted with sanctions, and other countries impacted because they cannot trade with those countries, nations are challenging the US’ dollar domination. Countries are seeking to conduct trade without the dollar and are no longer treating the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency while also avoiding Wall Street. The de-dollarization of the global economy is a boomerang effect that is hastening due to the abuse of sanctions and will seriously weaken the US economy.

Foreign Minister Zarif, who describes sanctions as “economic terrorism,” warned that “the excessive use of economic power by the United States, and the excessive use of the dollar as a weapon in US economic terrorism against other countries, will backfire.”  As the blowback continues to grow, the negative impact on the US economy may force the US to stop using sanctions. The end of dollar domination will add to the demise of the failing US empire.

Take Action: Join The International Days Of Action Against  Sanctions And Economic WarMarch 13 – 15, 2020

End the Deadly Sanctions banner on the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, DC. From the Embassy Defense Collective.

Time to End the Use of Illegal Economic Sanctions

The combination of countries acting against US sanctions, and people’s movements pressuring the US government has the potential to end the abuse of sanctions. The EU has moved to blunt the impact of the sanctions against Iran by creating an alternative to the US-controlled SWIFT system for trade. This is spurring the end of the dollar as the reserve currency. Some officials in the EU have called for retaliatory sanctions against the US.

Trump left a small opening for potential diplomacy with Iran that could lead to the end of sanctions against that country. Trump bragged about the US being the number one oil and gas producer, taking credit for an Obama climate crime, and therefore no longer needing to spend hundreds of millions a year to have troops in the Middle East. He concluded with a message to the “people and leaders of Iran” that the US was “ready to have peace with all those who seek it.” He said the US wanted Iran to have a “great and prosperous future with other countries of the world.”

That future is only possible if the US moves to end the sanctions against Iran. Iranians have learned the US cannot be trusted. Iran lived up to the requirements of the Iran nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, but Trump did not when he withdrew from it and re-instated draconian sanctionslifted by Obama. Trump added even move sanctions. This also angered European allies who had negotiated the agreement and were put in the positionof being subservient to the US or going against it. To regain Iran’s trust, the US needs to make a good-faith gesture of ending punitive economic measures.

North Korea, which has been sanctioned by the US longer than any other country, had a similar experience after they reached an agreement with the United States in 1994 under the Clinton administration.  The George W. Bush administration wanted to put in place a national missile defense system but the agreement with North Korea blocked that. John Bolton and Dick Cheney falsely accused North Korea of violating the agreement, increased sanctions against it and claimed it was part of the Axis of Evil, along with Iran, and Iraq. North Korea, like Iran, learned they cannot trust the United States. Sanctions are causing thousands of deaths in North Korea. Now, China and Russia are allied with North Korea and are urging relief from the US sanctions. Russia and China have also ignored US sanctions against Venezuela and continue to do business with it.

On December 17, the Senate passed a Sanctions Bill that put in place sanctions against corporations working with Russia to develop gas pipelines to Europe. The action is naked US imperialism seeking to prevent Russia from being the main natural gas exporter to the EU market and to replace it with more expensive US-produced gas, a move to save the financially-underwater US fracking industry. Russia, Germany, and others have defiantly told Washington its weaponizing of economic sanctions will not halt the gas pipeline construction.

The indiscriminate, illegal and immoral use of sanctions is an act of war. Unless they are authorized by the United Nations, unilateral coercive measures are illegal. A critical objective of the peace and justice movement in the United States, working with allies around the world, must be to end this terrorist economic warfare. The US economy currently depends on financial hegemony and war. The slow, steady collapse of the dollarized economy means the 2020s will be the decade US domination comes to an end. The US must learn to be a cooperative member of the global community or risk this isolation and retaliation.

Posted in USAComments Off on The World Must End the US’ Illegal Economic War. Sanctions Imposed on 39 Countries

Argentina: Facing Another Debt Crisis

By: Eric Toussaint and Renaud Vivien

Global Research,

Let us remember that when Macri started his mandate in December 2015 he accepted all the injunctions formulated by a New York magistrate, who had ruled in the favor of vulture funds against Argentina. This has made it possible for those investment funds specializing in repurchasing sovereign securities at cut prices to garner $4.6 billion, a 300% profit (see this). To compensate these vulture funds, Mauricio Macri borrowed on the financial markets. He claimed that everything would be fine since implementing neoliberal policies would make Argentina more attractive to foreign investors and lenders. International mainstream media supported him. When invited to comment experts in economics presented Macri’s Argentina as a success story. Issuing in 2017 bonds that would come to maturity one hundred years later, (2117) was hailed as the ultimate proof of Macri’s pro-market neoliberal success.

In fact, the success of those bonds had a completely different explanation: the interest rate every year for one hundred years is 7.25% (with an actual return on the initial purchase price of 7.917% for the bonds were sold at a cut price to attract investors). At the same time in early June 2017, bankers could borrow at 0% from the ECB, the Bank of Japan and the Swiss National Bank, at 0.25% from the Bank of England and at 1.00% from the Federal Reserve in the US, while investment funds had huge amounts of cash and return on public debt securities in the North was very low or even negative, Argentine bonds at 7.25% over one hundred years was a godsend. Their success was thus in no way evidence of the Argentine economy’s good health. There is such a huge amount of capital intended for speculation (and not for productive investment) that any State that issues sovereign securities with a return that is higher than average is likely to find takers.

Here is an example of comments to be found in the press heralding the 100 year bonds:

Argentina sold $2.75 billion of a hotly demanded 100-year bond in U.S. dollars on Monday, just over a year after emerging from its latest default, according to the government. The South American country received $9.75 billion in orders for the bond, as investors eyed a yield of 7.9 percent in an otherwise low yielding fixed income market where pension funds need to lock in long-term returns. This Reuters report clearly celebrates the country’s achievement (see this).

One year earlier, in April 2016, Reuters reported:

Marking a rare bright spot among gloomy emerging markets, Argentina sold $16.5 billion of sovereign debt on Tuesday in its first international bond issue since its record 2002 default… Investors seemed convinced of [new President Mauricio Macri’s] strategy… Argentina received offers worth $68.6 billion from investors around the world.

Anybody will understand from such hyperbolic comments that major capitalist corporations all over the world were on the lookout for opportunities to obtain high yield by purchasing high risk securities. It does not tell anything about Argentina’s economic health.

Potential lenders such as investment funds or major banks thought that Argentine securities would be guaranteed by the State of Argentina and that if necessary they could seek favorable adjudication in the jurisdiction of New York. They were right since the loan agreements were made in accordance with the law of the State of New York. Anyway, they were also convinced that in case of necessity the IMF would bail-out the government of Argentina so that it may repay its debt to private funds as it had always done. Another argument was the following: Argentina’s underground resources are significant and if hard pressed Argentina could increase production in order to meet lenders’ expectations.

In short, in 2016-2017, while Argentina’s real economy was collapsing, the government managed to find lenders and its right-wing government was praised in international media as well as by the IMF and by other governments in the hold of big capital.

But the situation took a turn for the worse in 2018 as a consequence of several negative factors resulting from Macri’s policies such as a steep rise in the amount of interests to be paid (which had to be financed by ever new loans), massive flight of capital that was made possible by a most lax policy of complete freedom for capital to leave the country. It showed that Argentine capitalists had limited confidence in Macri’s future and preferred shopping elsewhere including buying Argentine external debt securities in US dollars on Wall Street. Currency reserves sharply dropped. Production started to decline and Argentina slipped into recession. Employment plummeted. Most people’s purchasing power dropped as a consequence of the government’s and bosses’ attacks. As a result, domestic consumption, that accounted for 70% of Argentina’s GDP, also dropped. The Argentine peso gradually sunk: while 22 pesos bought one euro on 1st January 2018, 32 pesos were needed on 16 June 2018. [1]

In this context, in June 2018, Macri called on the IMF as foreign investors and Argentine capitalists had anticipated (see this). The total credit promised by the IMF rose to $57 billion (with $44.1 billion actually paid up to now). As a first step, in June 2018, the amount of $50 billion had been announced and a few months later, as the situation had not improved, $7 more billion were added. This is the highest ever loan granted by the IMF (the IMF’s loan to Greece in 2010 was €30 billion). As usual the IMF demanded even stricter austerity policies that were even more unpopular than those already introduced by Macri (see this).

In October 2019, the Argentine people turned away from Macri and elected the Peron political movement back into office after an intermission of four years. Alberto Fernandez became President and Cristina Fernandez, who was President from 2007 to 2015, Vice-President (Alberto and Cristina are not related).

The CADTM’s Latin American and Caribbean network, CADTM AYNA, held its 8th annual assembly in preparation of Alberto Fernandez succeeding Mauricio Macri as President (10 December 2019). I participated in the meeting as well as in several talks and debates including one at the parliament of Argentina. I also gave four interviews: fifteen minutes live on a popular private and anti-Macri TV channel (see this); a video for an information website (see this) connected with the main civil service trade union, Canal Abierto (see this); one on the main website of the revolutionary left laizquierdadiario (the daily paper of the Left) which has an average of two million visits per month; and one to the main center left newspaper, Pagina 12.

The rate of poverty strongly increased over the four years of Macri’s mandate, going from 27 to 40% of the population. In the days before Macri left the Presidency to the two Fernandezs debt repayment was the most debated issue.

On the other hand, we should emphasize that social and political movements in Argentina are massive and well organized: trade unions are still powerful, the feminist movement is still able to mobilize on a large scale, the unemployed too are well organized, the cooperative movement is strong. The various neoliberal experiments that started with the dictatorship (1976-1983) and that had their latest attempt under Macri have not been able to fracture the Argentine society and, contrary to what is the case in neighboring Chile, education is free including at university level, as indeed is health care.

The questions most often raised in Argentine media during the November-December 2019 period

  • While the previous government had suspended repayment of part of the internal debt, will the new government repay the accumulated debt and implement policies that have been rejected by a majority of the people?
  • What should be done with the IMF agreements?
  • Since the IMF is expected to pay Argentina $11 to 13 billion, must the new government demand those payments or withdraw from them?
  • Shouldn’t Argentina suspend debt repayment for two years so as to make sure that economic activity resumes properly and make later debt repayment sustainable? This is a suggestion by Martin Guzman, an Argentine economist who teaches in New York and works with Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel laureate for economy. Guzman has just been appointed minister for economy and finance in Alberto Fernandez’ new government (see this and this)

A majority of the people clearly reject the IMF, whose deleterious impact on Argentina is obvious to all and sundry. It has to be remembered that after the second world war, president Juan Domingo Perón had turned down his country’s adhesion to the IMF, an institution he exposed as an instrument of imperialism. [2] Argentina only joined the IMF in 1956 during the military dictatorship of General Pedro Eugenio Aramburu Silveti, who overthrew the constitutional president Juan Domingo Perón in 1955. Twenty years later, the IMF actively supported the bloody dictatorship of General Jorge Rafael Videla, who was responsible for the assassination of over 30,000 left-wing opponents. In the 1990s, the IMF put Argentina under pressure to turn it into one of the most active countries in terms of privatizations and structural adjustment. This eventually resulted in the massive upheaval of December 2001, which led to the fall of President Fernando de la Rúa.

During the public lectures organized by ATTAC- CADTM in collaboration with some ten other associations in Buenos Aires from 27 to 29 November 2019, I had the opportunity as international spokesperson for the CADTM to put forward a number of proposals to face the Argentine debt crisis. Those proposals are the result of wide ranging debates within the CADTM network. This was also the case at a hearing held in the Parliament of Argentina on 27 November at the initiative of economist Fernanda Vallejos, an MP in the new presidential majority (see my contribution in Spanish).

The following is a summary of my points and proposals.

There should be no hesitation in arguing the doctrine of odious debt because it is particularly applicable to the situation in which Argentina finds itself.

According to this doctrine a debt is deemed odious and nullified if it fulfils two conditions:

  1. it was taken on against the interests of the Nation, the People or the State.
  2. the creditors are unable to prove that they were unaware that the debt was contrary to the interests of the Nation. It is to be pointed out that the nature of the political regime or the government is not taken into consideration in the doctrine.

The deciding factor is the use that is made of the debt. If a democratically elected government puts its population into debt against their best interest this debt may be deemed odious. It is erroneous to say that only debts taken on by dictatorial regimes may be deemed odious (see this). [3]

It is fundamental that Argentina unilaterally takes sovereign measures to improve its debt situation.

Five principal examples:

  1. pass laws prohibiting vulture funds
  2. suspend debt repayments
  3. bond holders must be registered with the Buenos Aires authorities
  4. setting up a citizens’ debt audit
  5. repudiation of current agreements with the IMF

1 – Pass laws prohibiting vulture funds

As Belgium showed in 2008 and again in 2015, it is possible to pass laws restricting vulture funds (see Renaud Vivien, « Analyse de la loi belge du 12 juillet 2015 contre les fonds vautours et de sa conformité au droit de l’UE »,  (see this in French)). The act of law is quite simple – an investment fund cannot reclaim sums superior to what it paid to acquire treasury bills. In fact, vulture funds purchase the sovereign debts of countries with repayment difficulties at junk prices and then apply legal pressure on the government concerned to pay in full and so make profits sometimes amounting to several hundred per cent of their initial layout. If Argentina passed a similar law it would have some protection against vulture funds. If many countries did the same vulture funds would be neutralized. The practice of designating foreign jurisdictions (such as New York or London with laws that are favourable to creditors) as competent in the case of sovereign debt litigations must end.

2 – Suspend debt repayments

Suspending debt repayments is one of the possibilities that permit governments to deal with financial and/or humanitarian crises. The country may declare suspension unilaterally, many have done so. It was the case of Argentina between 2001 and 2005 for a total of €80 billion and the benefits followed.

In a collective book published by OUP in 2010, [4] Stiglitz claims that Russia in 1998 and Argentina in the 2000s are proof that a unilateral suspension of debt repayment can be beneficial for countries that make this decision: “Both theory and evidence suggest that the threat of a cut-off of credit has probably been exaggerated.” (p.48)

When a country succeeds in enforcing debt relief on its creditors and uses funds that were formerly meant for repayment in order to finance an expansionist tax policy, this yields positive results: “Under this scenario the number of the firms that are forced into bankruptcy is lowered, both because of the lower interest rates [5] and because of the improved overall economic performance of the economy that follows. As the economy strengthens, government tax revenues increase – again improving the fiscal position of the government. […] All this means that the government’s fiscal position is stronger going forward, making it more (not less) likely that creditors will be willing to again provide finance.” (p.48) In an article published in Journal of Development Economics [6] under the title ‘The Elusive Costs of Sovereign Defaults,’ Eduardo Levy Yeyati and Ugo Panizza, two economists who worked for the Inter-American Development Bank, set out the findings of their thorough inquiry into defaulting in some forty countries. One of their main conclusions is that ‘Default episodes mark the beginning of the economic recovery.’ It couldn’t be better put.

As was already done in 2001 Argentina should not hesitate to declare a new unlimited suspension of payments. The recuperated amounts could be used to stimulate consumer spending and economic activities favouring the population. Two years would appear to be a minimum period to achieve lasting results with the possibility of prolonging the period.

It is recommended to suspend selectively – small savers and shareholders as well as public pension schemes should be exempted from suspension on the domestic debt. This means that they would continue to be paid. It is quite right to make this discrimination in order to protect the weaker investors and public institutions. It is the big private investors and the IMF who are to be defaulted.

3 – Bond holders must be registered with the Buenos Aires authorities

Argentine authorities should revive the practice of the first half of the 20th century that established lists of bond holders. In the litigation between Mexico and its creditors in the 1940s the creditors were obliged to make themselves known and have their certificates rubber stamped or be excluded from settlement. This permitted the cancellation of 90% of the Mexican debt (see this). Registering bond holders makes it possible to sort big and small, private and public bond holders in order to favour small and public holders.

4 – Setting up a citizens’ debt audit

To have a clear idea of the stakes and sums involved and a solid legal arsenal it is essential to conduct an audit of the debt under citizens’ control. An audit would show how much of the debt (possibly an overwhelming part) may be deemed illegal or odious and could be the way forward towards debt repudiation and/or a unilateral restructuring.

5 – Repudiation of current agreements with the IMF

As has been shown by many observers and Argentine jurists the agreements made with the IMF by Mauricio Macri are contrary to the country’s and the people’s interests. When the IMF granted a loan of $57 billion to the Macri government it transgressed its own rules that state that the IMF can only grant loans if as a consequence the borrowing country’s debt becomes sustainable, which is not at all the case as evidenced less than a year later. Macri also transgressed the Argentine constitution that requires that the signature of such an agreement that has the value of an international treaty must be debated in Parliament and then be ratified by Parliament. The real reason the loan was granted was because the US President Donald Trump wanted to help Macri remain in power in spite of the crisis and win the 2019 elections, to implement policies that favoured the US in political, military and economic terms. As the Argentine electors have disavowed Macri’s policies and Macri had transgressed the Argentine constitution, the new government would have the right to refuse to validate the agreement. This is a text-book case of odious debt: when a country sees regime change the new government is not held to respect the debts of its predecessors if they were taken on against the interest of the Nation or the People and in the former regime’s own advantage (in this case to remain in power) and it is clear that the IMF directors were aware of the context.

It is important that Argentina does not make the same errors of debt negotiation as in the 2002-2010 period (see the analysis by Maud Bailly and Eric Toussaint, “The mixed fortunes of Argentina’s 2005 and 2010 debt restructuring”).

The above measures should be part and parcel of a larger programme that would include; capital controls, socialization of the banking sector, tax reforms, measures against the extractivist/exportation market model and ecological policies among others.

In conclusion: a new situation will arise in Argentina as from December 2019, a new government must face up to a serious debt crisis. It is fundamental that a large popular social and political front be created in order, by all necessary means, to promote the solutions that will liberate the Argentine people from the burden of illegitimate and odious debt.

*

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Translated by Mike Krolikowski and Christine Pagnoulle

Eric Toussaint is a historian and political scientist who completed his Ph.D. at the universities of Paris VIII and Liège, is the spokesperson of the CADTM International, and sits on the Scientific Council of ATTAC France.

Notes

[1] End of September 2018, 48 pesos were needed for one euro, and 66 in early December 2019.The IMF Is Back in Argentina: “An Economic and Social Crisis, Even More Serious Than the Present One, Looms Large on the Horizon”

[2] Noemí Brenta y Pablo Anino, « Una de terror: la historia de Argentina y el FMI », https://www.laizquierdadiario.com/Una-de-terror-la-historia-de-Argentina-y-el-FMI

[3] The father of the odious debt doctrine, Alexander Sack says very clearly that a regular governmentmay very well agree to debt that is odious. He says “ For a debt taken on by a regular government to be considered odious, it must…” Sack defines a regular government as follows: ”We must consider as regular government the supreme power that reigns over given territory. Whether that power be monarchic (absolute or limited) or republican, reigning by the grace of God or the will of the people or only a portion of them or whether it was legally established or not, etc. None of this has any importance for the question we are considering (p. 6) (our emphasis). Source: Les effets des transformations des États sur leurs dettes publiques et autres obligations financières : traité juridique et financier, Recueil Sirey, Paris, 1927. The document almost entirely complete is available for consultation or download on the CADTM website here (in French).

[4] Barry Herman, José Antonio Ocampo, Shari Spiegel, Overcoming Developing Country Debt Crises, OUP Oxford, 2010.

[5] Indeed one of the conditions set by the IMF when it helps a country about to default is that it raise local interest rates. If a country is free not to comply with IMF conditions, it can lower its interest rates so as to prevent bankruptcies.

[6] Journal of Development Economics 94 (2011), 95-105.The original source of this article is CADTM

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Trump and Congress Double Down on Demonizing Iran

Iran to Sue the US and Trump for Killing General Soleimani

India’s Kashmiri Detainee Self-Censorship Demand Is Undemocratic

By Andrew Korybko,

India’s demand that thousands of Kashmiri detainees sign a bond that commits them to not to make any comments on “recent events” as a condition for their release after they were previously apprehended without charge for five months already is the definition of an undemocratic practice which exposes the fundamental hypocrisy behind the self-professed “world’s largest democracy”.

Iran to Sue the US and Trump for Killing General Soleimani

By Stephen Lendman,

According to Iran’s Judiciary Spokesman Gholamhossein Esmayeeli, the country’s ruling authorities will sue the US in international courts for Soleimani’s assassination. “This brutal act was a violation of human rights and all international rules,” Esmayeeli stressed.

The Cost of Brexit – £200 bn in ‘Collateral Damage’ and Counting

By True Publica,

Brexit has now cost the UK £130bn in what is termed as “collateral damage” since the referendum, a new study suggests. And this number is set to rise another £70bn by the end of 2020.

Bloomberg Economics said Britain’s economy had been “lacklustre” over the three-and-a-half years since a majority of voters backed Leave in the EU referendum in 2016.

Trump and Congress Double Down on Demonizing Iran

By Philip Giraldi,

If one seriously seeks to understand how delusional policymakers in Washington are it is only necessary to examine the responses by the president and Congress to the assassination of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani. The first response came in the form of a Donald Trump largely incoherent nine-minute self-applauding speech explaining what he had done and why. It was followed by a House of Representatives War Powers non-binding resolution that was all theater and did nothing to limit the president’s unilateral ability to go to war with the Islamic Republic.

Trump Sends a “Death Threat” to Iraq’s Prime Minister.

By Renee Parsons,

The assassination of Major General Qaseem Soleimani, who was already a national hero in Iran, has now achieved the stature of a world class martyr. Carrying a diplomatic passport on his flight into Baghdad, Soleimani was also carrying the Iranian response  to a Saudi initiative for peace.

In contrast, President Donald Trump has revealed more about his own inner angst than he ever intended – or perhaps, being a non-introspective type, what has been revealed may be more than he himself has ever acknowledged.

“This Plane Was Designed by Clowns, Who Are Supervised by Monkeys” – Shocking Boeing Emails Reveal Contempt for Management, FAA

By Zero Hedge,

In recent weeks, a series of reports claiming Boeing neglected to turn over critical information to the FAA regarding the development of the 737 MAX 8, Boeing’s new “workhorse” model that has been grounded around the world for the last 10 months, after a pair of suspicious crashes raised suspicions of possible flaws in the plane’s anti-stall software.

According to more than 100 pages of internal company communications (which were apparently withheld from the FAA during the certification process for the jet) Boeing employees could be heard mocking federal rules, openly discussing their deception of regulators, and joking about the MAX’s potential flaws.

The Federal Reserve Protects Gamblers at the Expense of the Real Economy. “Helicopter Money” – The Only Way Out?

By Ellen Brown,

Although the repo market is little known to most people, it is a $1-trillion-a-day credit machine, in which not just banks but hedge funds and other “shadow banks” borrow to finance their trades. Under the Federal Reserve Act, the central bank’s lending window is open only to licensed depository banks; but the Fed is now pouring billions of dollars into the repo (repurchase agreements) market, in effect making risk-free loans to speculators at less than 2%.

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Winston Churchill and “the Indian Holocaust”: The Bengal Famine of 1943

By Great Game India

Global Research,

A new study by Indian and American researchers confirm how Winston Churchill caused the Bengal Famine and starved over 3 million Indians to death. Glorified as the “Saviour of the World” in the west and dubbed the “Butcher of Bengal” by Indians, the streets of eastern Indian cities were lined with corpses as a direct result of Churchill’s policies. Yet, the story of this Indian Holocaust remain unspoken to this day.

The Indian Holocaust

The Bengal famine of 1943 was the only one in modern Indian history not to occur as a result of serious drought, according to a study that provides scientific backing for arguments that Churchill-era British policies were a significant factor contributing to the catastrophe.

Researchers in India and the US used weather data to simulate the amount of moisture in the soil during six major famines in the subcontinent between 1873 and 1943. Soil moisture deficits, brought about by poor rainfall and high temperatures, are a key indicator of drought.

Forgotten Indian Holocaust 1

Indian citizens waiting in line at a soup kitchen. Photograph: Bettmann/Bettmann Archive

Five of the famines were correlated with significant soil moisture deficits. An 11% deficit measured across much of north India in 1896-97, for example, coincided with food shortages across the country that killed an estimated 5 million people.

However, the 1943 famine in Bengal, which killed over 3 million people, was different, according to the researchers. Though the eastern Indian region was affected by drought for much of the 1940s, conditions were worst in 1941, years before the most extreme stage of the famine, when newspapers began to publish images of the dying on the streets of Kolkata, then named Calcutta, against the wishes of the colonial British administration.

India in Cognitive Dissonance Book by GreatGameIndia

In late 1943, thought to be the peak of the famine, rain levels were above average, said the study published in February in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

“This was a unique famine, caused by policy failure instead of any monsoon failure,” said Vimal Mishra, the lead researcher and an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar.

Food supplies to Bengal were reduced in the years preceding 1943 by natural disasters, outbreaks of infections in crops and the fall of Burma – now Myanmar – which was a major source of rice imports, into Japanese hands.

But the Nobel prize-winning economist Amartya Sen argued in 1981 that there should still have been enough supplies to feed the region, and that the mass deaths came about as a combination of wartime inflation, speculative buying and panic hoarding, which together pushed the price of food out of the reach of poor Bengalis.Legacy of Colonialism: Britain Robbed India of $45 Trillion and Thence 1.8 Billion Indians Died from Deprivation

More recent studies, including those by the journalist Madhushree Mukerjee, have argued the famine was exacerbated by the decisions of Winston Churchill’s wartime cabinet in London.

Mukerjee has presented evidence the cabinet was warned repeatedly that the exhaustive use of Indian resources for the war effort could result in famine, but it opted to continue exporting rice from India to elsewhere in the empire.

Rice stocks continued to leave India even as London was denying urgent requests from India’s viceroy for more than 1m tonnes of emergency wheat supplies in 1942-43. Churchill has been quoted as blaming the famine on the fact Indians were “breeding like rabbits”, and asking how, if the shortages were so bad, Mahatma Gandhi was still alive.

Mukerjee and others also point to Britain’s “denial policy” in the region, in which huge supplies of rice and thousands of boats were confiscated from coastal areas of Bengal in order to deny resources to the Japanese army in case of a future invasion.

During a famine in Bihar in 1873-74, the local government led by Sir Richard Temple responded swiftly by importing food and enacting welfare programmes to assist the poor to purchase food.

Almost nobody died, but Temple was severely criticised by British authorities for spending so much money on the response. In response, he reduced the scale of subsequent famine responses in south and western India and mortality rates soared.

Though India’s population has vastly increased since the British colonial era, the country has largely eliminated famine deaths owing to more efficient irrigation practices, improvements in seed yields, a stronger food distribution and welfare system and better transport links, which allow emergency food stocks to be moved quickly to deprived areas.

Charles Darwin – The Godfather of Eugenics

Charles Darwin is regarded as the father of the science of evolution in India and many other countries. He gave us the Theory of Evolution and his thesis later became fodder for Spencer’s Survival of the Fittest theory – a basis for free-market capitalism followed by the East India Company then as Free-Trade and as Globalization now by the Multinational corporations.

John G. West, senior fellow at the Discovery Institute in his path breaking study reveals how Darwin prepared the way for eugenics. Indeed, his immediate family would soon be involved in that movement — his sons George and Leonard became active in promoting it (Leonard serving as “president of the Eugenics Education Society, the main eugenics group in Great Britain”), and his cousin Francis Galton became the founder of the “eugenics crusade.” Evidently, Darwin was sympathetic to eugenics: West quotes him as vowing “to cut off communication” with his disciple Mivart when the latter “criticized an article by Darwin’s son George that advocated eugenics.”

The Darwinian basis for eugenics is often down played, West observes, yet it is a fact that eugenicists drew their “inspiration” directly from Darwinian biology. A number of the chief eugenicists of the early 20th century declared that natural selection was the “law” they followed to improve the race. Moreover, the American leaders in eugenics, who were “largely university-trained biologists and doctors” affiliated with places like Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, Stanford, and the Museum of Natural History, presented eugenics as biologically “justified.” Between 1920 and 1939, West shows, Darwin’s theory was constantly used in high-school biology textbooks to support eugenics, something that shows how much mainstream science accepted this form of population control.

By having  their racial superiority supported by Darwin’s theories, these Oligarchs for nearly 200 years, have gone on a rampage against what they consider to be inferior races leading to the Indian Holocaust and genocide of entire populations—including the indigenous peoples of the America’s, Africa, Asia, Australia, along with those of Jewish heritage.

Population Control or Depopulation Policy

Population Control Law is actually Agenda 21 which is a British policy to reduce the population of former colonies like India through various sterilization projects and other policies implemented through the United Nations and popularised by Hollywood to effectively keep nations under Anglo-American orbit.

On Dec. 10, 1974, the U.S. National Security Council under Henry Kissinger completed a classified 200-page study, “National Security Study Memorandum 200: Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests.” The study falsely claimed that population growth in the so-called Lesser Developed Countries (LDCs) like India was a grave threat to U.S. national security. Adopted as official policy in November 1975 by President Gerald Ford, NSSM 200 outlined a covert plan to reduce population growth in those countries including India through birth control, and also, implicitly, war and famine. Brent Scowcroft, who had by then replaced Kissinger as national security adviser, was put in charge of implementing the plan. CIA Director George Bush was ordered to assist Scowcroft, as were the secretaries of state, treasury, defense, and agriculture.

The bogus arguments that Kissinger advanced were not original. One of his major sources was the Royal Commission on Population, which King George VI had created in 1944 “to consider what measures should be taken in the national interest to influence the future trend of population.” The commission found that Britain was gravely threatened by population growth in its colonies – the biggest being India, since “a populous country has decided advantages over a sparsely-populated one for industrial production.” The combined effects of increasing population and industrialization in its colonies, it warned, “might be decisive in its effects on the prestige and influence of the West,” especially effecting “military strength and security.

NSSM 200 similarly concluded that the United States was threatened by population growth in the former colonial sector. It paid special attention to 13 “key countries” in which the United States had a “special political and strategic interest”: India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Turkey, Nigeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia. It claimed that population growth in those states was especially worrisome, since it would quickly increase their relative political, economic, and military strength.

This policy, known infamously as ‘Depopulation Policy’ and now being normalised through Hollywood movies, the latest being Mission Impossible: Fallout and most aptly personified by Thanos in Marvel’s Infinity War was imported to India via the United Nations’ Agenda 21.

This 1974 memorandum drafted by Henry Kissinger led directly to the unleashing of experimental vaccines on the unsuspecting public. It sighted countries as targets for “initial population reduction experimentation to be implemented around the year 2000″. They identified India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria, Mexico, Indonesia, Brazil, Philippines, Thailand, Egypt, Turkey, Ethiopia & Columbia for study. 3 million Filipinos ages 12-48 were given a test vaccine that ruined their health. North American black & native American women were each given the same vaccine resulting in sterility rates of 25% & 35% respectively. The directive came from the WHO and was directly tied to Kissinger’s report.

The Bloodline

These deadly theories were prevalent among the high circles of the British Empire and the East India Company. Winston Churchill the Saviour of the World from the Nazis not only promoted Darwinian eugenics in words and deeds but was directly related to Charles Darwin – they share the same bloodline. It is in the context of this guiding philosophy that Churchill said, “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion. The famine was their own fault for breeding like rabbits.”

However it was the series of Churchill’s decisions between 1940 and 1944 that directly and inevitably led to the deaths of over three million Indians. The streets of eastern Indian cities were lined with corpses as a direct result of these policies. Yet, the story of this Indian Holocaust remain unspoken to this day. What is more is that the people of India are a long way to acknowledge the role of Darwinian theories in causing the Indian Holocaust. While countries around the world are starting to realize and reject these dubious and deadly theories of eugenics and taking it off from their school textbooks, why are we Indians still teaching our kids about them and praising this Godfather Of Eugenics?

This historical conflict between the British, the Church, the FreeMasonic Orders and the French — in the context of which India became a victim is explained in the book India in Cognitive Dissonance.

Posted in Human Rights, India, UKComments Off on Winston Churchill and “the Indian Holocaust”: The Bengal Famine of 1943

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