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Immortal Technique: The War vs Us All featuring Mumia Abu Jamal

Lyrics

The war against us all
This war in Iraq isn’t the end; it’s the beginning of Wars to come
all around the world at the whim of the Neo-Cons in the White House
This is the Bush Doctrine come to life; War, war and more war!
War brought to you by the big corporate-masters who run the show
This isn’t just a War on Iraqis or Afghanis or Arabs, or even Muslims
It is ultimately a War on us all!
That’s because the billions and billions that are being spent on this War
the cost of tanks, rocketry, bullets and yes even salaries
for the 125,000 plus troops, is money that will never be spent on;
education, on healthcare, on the reconstruction of crumbling public housing
or to train and place the millions of workers
who have lost manufacturing jobs in the past three years alone
The War in Iraq is in reality; a war against the nations’ workers and the poor
who are getting less and less
while the big Defense industries and making a killing – literally!
What’s next Iran, Syria, North Korea, Venezuela?
We’ve already seen the corporate media
play megaphone to the White House, to build and promote a War based on lies
War is utilized by the imperialists first and foremost, to crush internal enemies
We’re seeing the truth of its insight
when we see the sad state of American education
the rush of seniors to buy affordable medications from the Canadians
because American drugs are just too expensive
the threat of privatization of Social Security
and the wave of repression that comes with an increasing Militarized Police;
this is a War on all of us
And the struggle against War is really a struggle for a better life
for the millions of folks who are in need here in this country!
The fight against the War is really to fight for your own interest
not the false interests of the Defense Industry
or the corporate media or the White House

Down with the Wars for empire!
From Death row this is Mumia Abu Jamal…

September 1, 2014 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | Leave a comment

So, I Asked the Russian Ambassador What He Thinks of NATO

By David Swanson | War is a Crime | August 26, 2014

The Russian Ambassador to the United States, Sergey Ivanovich Kislyak, spoke at the University of Virginia on Tuesday evening, in an event organized by the Center for Politics, which no doubt has video of the proceedings. Kislyak was once ambassador to Belgium and to NATO.

Kislyak spoke to a packed auditorium and took, I think, well over an hour of questions. He spoke frankly, and the questions he was asked by students, professors, and other participants were polite and for the most part far more intelligent than he would have been asked on, for example, Meet the Press.

He told the audience that Russia had known there were no WMDs in Iraq, and had known that attacking Iraq would bring “great difficulties” to that country. “And look what is happening today,” he said. He made the same comment about Libya. He spoke of the U.S. and Russia working together to successfully remove chemical weapons from the Syrian government. But he warned against attacking Syria now.

There will be no new Cold War, Kislyak said, but there is now a greater divide in some ways than during the Cold War. Back then, he said, the U.S. Congress sent delegations over to meet with legislators, and the Supreme Court likewise. Now there is no contact. It’s easy in the U.S. to be anti-Russian, he said, and hard to defend Russia. He complained about U.S. economic sanctions against Russia intended to “suffocate” Russian agriculture.

Asked about “annexing” Crimea, Kislyak rejected that characterization, pointed to the armed overthrow of the Ukrainian government, and insisted that Kiev must stop bombing its own people and instead talk about federalism within Ukraine.

There were remarkably few questions put to the ambassador that seemed informed by U.S. television “news.” One was from a politics professor who insisted that Kislyak assign blame to Russia over Ukraine. Kislyak didn’t.

I always sit in the back, thinking I might leave, but Kislyak was only taking questions from the front. So I moved up and was finally called on for the last question of the evening. For an hour and a half, Kislyak had addressed war and peace and Russian-U.S. relations, but he’d never blamed the U.S. for anything in Ukraine any more than Russia. No one had uttered the word “NATO.”

So I pointed out the upcoming NATO protests. I recalled the history of Russia being told that NATO would not expand eastward. I asked Kislyak whether NATO ought to be disbanded.

The ambassador said that he had been the first Russian to “present his credentials” to NATO, and that he had “overestimated” NATO’s ability to work with Russia. He’d been disappointed by NATO actions in Serbia, he said, and Libya, by the expansion eastward, by NATO pressure on Ukraine and Poland, and by the pretense that Russia might be about to attack Poland.

“We were promised,” Kislyak said, that NATO would not expand eastward at all upon the reunification of Germany. “And now look.” NATO has declared that Ukraine and Georgia will join NATO, Kislyak pointed out, and NATO says this even while a majority of the people in Ukraine say they’re opposed.

The ambassador used the word “disappointed” a few times.

“We’ll have to take measures to assure our defense,” he said, “but we would have preferred to build on a situation with decreased presence and decreased readiness.”

Wouldn’t we all.

Join the campaign to shut down NATO.

Sign a petition for an independent investigation into the airplane crash in Ukraine.

Send a note to the Russian Embassy to let them know you’re against a new Cold War too.

August 30, 2014 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , | 2 Comments

NATO planning rapid-deployment force of 10,000 troops to counter Russia – report

RT | August 30, 2014

NATO is reportedly working towards the creation of an expeditionary force composed of 10,000 troops from seven different member states as a result of escalating tensions with Russia over the conflict in Ukraine.

According to the Financial Times,the force’s creation will be spearheaded by Britain and involve contributions from Denmark, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Norway, and the Netherlands. Canada is also interested in joining the group, but it’s not known what its final decision will be.

Although no formal announcement has been made, British Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to declare its formation at the upcoming NATO summit in Wales on September 4th.

Many specifics have yet to be worked out or announced, but planners are reportedly implementing ways to increase the number of soldiers involved even more if necessary. Air and naval units will be integrated into the group, as well as ground troops led by British commanders.

As noted by the Times, the creation of the force comes as a response to Russia’s involvement in the ongoing Ukrainian crisis, with the ultimate goal being to “create a fully functioning, division-sized force for rapid deployment and regular, frequent exercises.” NATO has accused Russia of deploying more than 1,000 troops into Ukraine to bolster separatists in the eastern part of the country.

Russia, however, insists that it does not have troops operating inside of Ukraine and has dismissed NATO’s assertions.

Despite the fact that NATO has opted not to act militarily in Ukraine – unnamed sources told Foreign Policy on Friday that there are no plans to confront Russia with anything more than stronger sanctions – Jonathan Eyal of the London-based Royal United Services Institute said the group needs to demonstrate that its eastern European members are just as integral to the alliance as other states.

“We need to end the idea of different zones of security in Europe,” he told the Financial Times. “We need to be talking about prepositioning, regular rotation of troops and making it very clear that we do not accept that the eastern Europeans are in some different category of membership of NATO.”

The revelation also arrives just a few days after NATO’s Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen expressed interest in forming “a more visible presence” in Eastern Europe in the form of facilities capable of rapidly receiving “response forces” needed to counter Russia.

For his part, Russia’s envoy to NATO, Aleksandr Grushko, said any attempt to push stretch further into the region would impact Moscow’s own security planning.

August 29, 2014 Posted by | Militarism | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Protestors mobilise for week-long protest against NATO summit in Wales

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament | August 29, 2014

As world leaders prepare to attend the NATO Summit in Newport next week, campaigners are mobilising for a week of protest and debate to challenge this ‘interventionist, expansionist, military club.’

A mass demonstration against NATO will take place in Newport tomorrow (Saturday 30 August), while a Counter-Summit will be held on Sunday 31 August at Cardiff County Hall, and on Monday 1 September in Newport.

CND General Secretary Kate Hudson said:

‘Far from promoting security, NATO is a destabilising global force. Its war of aggression in Afghanistan has killed tens of thousands and left that country fragmented: the ripples of which are being felt across the region.

‘Through its insatiable expansion into eastern Europe, capitalising on the vacuum left following the collapse of the USSR, NATO has contributed to heightening tensions around Russia and Ukraine, and risks provoking a new Cold War.

‘As a nuclear alliance which has repeatedly rejected a “No First Use” policy – as well as adopting an offensive posture for “out of area” operations, NATO has shown itself for what it is: an interventionist, expansionist, military club which favours threats over diplomacy.

‘We don’t want US/NATO nukes on European soil. We don’t want its wars of aggression. And we’re here to challenge this aggressive alliance which makes all of us less safe. Tens of millions around the world want peace, justice and an end to NATO.’

Events

Sat 30 Aug: Demonstration and rally in Newport

Sun 31 Aug: Counter-Summit in Cardiff

Mon 1 Sep: Counter-Summit in Newport

Wed 3 Sep – Fri 5 Sep: Various actions and protests

For full details of events see: www.cnduk.org/natosummit

August 29, 2014 Posted by | Militarism, Solidarity and Activism | , , | Leave a comment

Potent Whisper Ft. Floetic Lara – Just Wondering

London rapper Potent Whisper teams up with conscientious objector Joe Glenton to create a new anti-war song and music video.

Lyrics

What would you do if it was your family?
Your town in raw anarchy?
If it was your house you were forced out of casually?
If it was your blood, your son or your mums?
They’re running on your funds, so aren’t these your guns?

How can it be a “war” if only one side declares it?
Pause…
Where are their kids on the front line or air strip?
Yours…
Why do we serve a queen? When did we turn to sheep?
Why do we murder leaders when they seek an urgent peace?

What’s violence? How would you define it?
Isn’t it support of a war if we’re silent?
Couldn’t we have fought instead of falling for their rise?
(But they invade in our names and we don’t bat an eyelid!)

Why do we go to prison for protest?
Isn’t it grotesque? Is this the kingdom you co-rep?
When will the questions end? What’s their reason?
How can you reach peace without freedom?

Why? Why sit in silence when their men have guns up?
Oh yes I wonder… Why?
Why sit in silence when their men have guns up?
Oh yes I wonder why…

Am I weak for compassion? Is peace not an action?
Do soldiers wanna shoot or are they used for their passion?
Ummmm…
How many soldiers really know what their fighting for?
(Ask)
Would the reasons differ? Are they quite sure?

If Bush wore a cross does it mean the war was gods?
Or is it blasphemy and actually a con?
Isn’t National Defence just an actual attack?
So many wanna love, where’s the manual for that?

Take a life or serve life? Murder or treason?
Wasn’t that the choice for all the boys they were leading?
Do we wanna war when the ones that went before all marched out to cheers but returned as a secret?

When the next war begins, will it be you who fights it?
And if we do fight, will it be you who decides it?
Are we not a factor? Are you not their number?
Am I just a mad man? Do you never wonder?!

August 29, 2014 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Video | Leave a comment

The Forever Threat: The Imminent Attack on Iran That Will Never Happen

By Nima shirazi | Wide Asleep In America | August 27, 2014

“Israel has drawn up plans for a combined air and ground attack on Iranian nuclear installations if diplomacy fails to halt Tehran’s atomic program…” – Toledo Blade, March 14, 2005

Last month, amid the Israeli bombardment of Gaza, accomplished lunatic Louie Gohmert, a Republican congressman from Texas, took to the House floor and called for Iran to be attacked.

After insisting it is “time to cut off every dime of American money going to anyone who has any kind of relationship with Hamas or those killing in the Middle East, and especially in Israel,” Gohmert added, “It is time to bomb Iran’s nuclear capabilities. It is time for the United States, if we are not going to stop Iran’s nukes, then let Israel do it. A friend will not put another friend in this kind of jeopardy.”

Never mind that Iran has no “nukes” for anyone to “stop,” since it’s not actually making any and never has made or acquired any. Never mind that Iran has been consistently complying with the prescriptions of the multilateral deal agreed to last November by Iran and six world powers. Never mind that a number of recent articles in widely-read media outlets have addressed the myriad falsehoods and myths responsible for the past three decades of fear-mongering and propaganda about Iran’s civilian nuclear program.

Still, the persistent false narrative that military strikes by either the United States or Israel may follow any potential failure to reach a deal continues to be repeated in the press. Of course, the fact that any such attack would be unequivocally illegal under international law is rarely noted in these assessments.

Pronouncements that Iran is close to having a nuclear bomb, or close to being bombed, are ubiquitous in the media. Threats against Iran – by both the United States and Israel – have been made for decades, despite routine Iranian dismissal of such rhetoric as mere bluster.

The frequency of such threats – always reported with fever-pitched alacrity by a dutiful and prostrate press – is alarming.

Not only is an American or Israeli attack on Iran always just around the bend – regardless of the state of diplomacy or intelligence assessments – but the media consistently provides fantasy scenarios by which its audience can imagine, replete with maps and graphics, just how such war crimes would take place.

Over twenty years ago, a report in the Independent (UK) published on June 23, 1994 revealed that the Pentagon had inked a deal to provide Israel with advanced F-15I fighter jets, designed to “enable the Israelis to carry out strikes deep into Iraq and Iran without refuelling.”

Three years later, on December 9, 1997, a The Times of London headline screamed, “Israel steps up plans for air attacks on Iran.” The article, written by Christopher Walker, reported on the myriad “options” Israel had in confronting what it deemed “Iran’s Russian-backed missile and nuclear weapon programme.”

Such reports have been published ever since. Of course, neither the United States nor Israel will attack Iran, regardless of the success or failure of negotiations, but such reports (often the result of strategically timed “leaks” by anonymous government officials) serve to not only intentionally torpedo diplomacy but also mislead the public into believing the absurdly false narrative surrounding the Iranian nuclear program; that is, either Iran must be bombed or it will acquire a nuclear arsenal. This is nonsense.

Below are some of the constant headlines we’ve seen over the past dozen years promoting such propaganda. When will this madness – this pathological obsession with the false necessity of dropping bombs and the righteous inevitability of killing people – stop?

The Times of London, November 5, 2002:

AFP, October 11, 2003:

The Scotsman, November 22, 2003:

New York Daily News, November 23, 2003:

The New York Times, August 21, 2004:

Los Angeles Times, October 22, 2004:

The Jerusalem Post, January 21, 2005:

The Independent, January 27, 2005:

Toledo Blade, March 14, 2005:

Associated Press, December 4, 2005:

The Straits Times, December 17, 2005:

Associated Press, January 22, 2006:

Fox News, June 4, 2006:

The Telegraph, February 24, 2007:

Associated Press, March 21, 2007:

Newsweek, December 19, 2007:

The Daily Star (Lebanon), May 30, 2008:

USA Today, June 6, 2008:

The Telegraph, June 7, 2008:

The Age, June 9, 2008:

Fox News, June 20, 2008:

The Telegraph, June 23, 2008:


ABC News, July 1, 2008:

Ha’aretz, July 2, 2008:

AFP, July 30, 2008:

Associated Press, August 7, 2008:

CBS News, August 7, 2008:

Wired, April 2, 2009:

Salon, April 14, 2009:

The Times of London, April 18, 2009:

The Wall Street Journal, June 12, 2009:

The Washington Post, July 2, 2009:

CBS News, July 27, 2009:

Los Angeles Times, August 30, 2009:

Talking Points Memo, August 31, 2009:


Fox News, September 21, 2009:

Huffington Post, September 28, 2009:

Ynet, October 9, 2009:

The Washington Times, October 22, 2009:

Ha’aretz, November 6, 2009:

The New York Times, December 23, 2009:

Newsmax, April 2, 2010:


The Wall Street Journal, April 21, 2010:

AFP, June 12, 2010:

TIME, July 15, 2010:

The Weekly Standard, July 26, 2010:


Christian Science Monitor, August 12, 2010:

The Spectator (UK), August 12, 2010:


Christian Science Monitor, August 13, 2010:

The Weekly Standard, August 14, 2010:

The Week, August 17, 2010:

New York Daily News, August 17, 2010:

The Atlantic, August 18, 2010:

Newsmax, September 2, 2010:

The Atlantic, November 28, 2010:

AFP, November 29, 2010:

The Australian, November 30, 2010:

The Washington Times, December 3, 2010:

The Australian, January 13, 2011:

Associated Press, May 30, 2011:

Ha’aretz, September 28, 2011:

Associated Press, November 2, 2011:

The Daily Beast, November 2, 2011:

The Guardian, November 2, 2011:

The Telegraph, November 6, 2011:

Reuters, November 9, 2011:

Arutz Sheva, November 10, 2011:


Chicago Tribune, November 13, 2011:

Arutz Sheva, December 1, 2011:

The New York Times, January 25, 2012:

Foreign Affairs, January/February 2012:

The Washington Post, February 2, 2012:

Reuters, February 3, 2012:

Foreign Affairs, February 23, 2012:

Congressional Research Service, March 27, 2012:


CNN, March 30, 2012:

Salon/GlobalPost, May 9, 2012:


The Telegraph, May 17, 2012:

CBN News, May 24, 2012:


The Blaze, July 8, 2012:

Reuters, August 10, 2012:

The Times of Israel, August 11, 2012:

The Daily Mail, August 21, 2012:

The Jewish Chronicle, August 27, 2012:

Forbes, September 30, 2012:

National Journal, October 9, 2012:


The Telegraph, October 9, 2012:

Voice of America, December 19, 2012:


The New York Times, January 26, 2013:

The Times of Israel, March 14, 2013:

Newsmax, April 13, 2013:

The Wall Street Journal, May 2, 2013:

Ha’aretz, May 3, 2013:

The Times of Israel, May 9, 2013:

Al Jazeera English, July 17, 2013:

The Atlantic, August 1, 2013:


Washington Examiner
, September 18, 2013:


Gatestone Institute, October 7, 2013:

Financial Times, November 17, 2013:

CNN, November 19, 2013:

The Times of London, November 26, 2013:

Defense News, December 4, 2013:


CBS News, December 6, 2013:


ThinkProgress, January 2, 2014:

Foreign Affairs, January 7, 2014:

Ha’aretz, March 19, 2014:

Associated Press, March 21, 2014:

The National Interest, April 16, 2014:

Iran Times, May 16, 2014:


Defense News
, June 8, 2014:

Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA), June 12, 2014:

The Raw Story, July 23, 2014:

*****

August 28, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Evil of U.S. Aggression against Iraq

By Jacob G. Hornberger | Future of Freedom Foundation | August 26, 2014

What better confirmation of the manifest failure of the philosophy of foreign interventionism than the renewed U.S. bombing of Iraq?

Just think: All those hundreds of thousands of dead, maimed, detained, and tortured Iraqis, along with those who lost their homes, businesses, and savings. They were all bombed and shot by U.S. troops for nothing. All those Iraqis suffered and died for nothing.

The same holds true, of course, for U.S. soldiers who died or came back maimed or all screwed up in the head. The ones who lost their lives died for nothing. The ones who came back physically handicapped or mentally disturbed are suffering for nothing.

How can anyone still be an interventionist after what has happened in Iraq?

But everyone is expected to continue playing the game. We’re supposed to just keep praising those brave troops who went to Iraq to defend our freedoms and to help the Iraqi people. Never mind that the results of their intervention have turned into a total failure and fiasco.

Let’s first keep in mind one central truth, a truth that interventionists don’t like talking about: In the Iraq War, the U.S. troops were the aggressors. It was Iraq that was the defending power.

A war of aggression, which the U.S. was waging on Iraq, was condemned as a war crime at Nuremberg.

Second, the U.S. government’s war on Iraq was also illegal under our form of constitutional government. President Bush was required by the law of the Constitution to secure a declaration of war from Congress before waging war on Iraq. He refused to do that and instead, on his own initiative, launched a war of aggression with his military and CIA forces.

Third, U.S. officials justified the killing of Iraqis by using a cost-benefit analysis. They said that by killing x number of Iraqis, U.S. forces would be bringing into existence a free and democratic Iraq for the survivors, which, it was said, would serve as a model for the rest of the Middle East.

Where is the morality in killing and maiming people based on a cost-benefit analysis?

Through it all, there was never one iota of genuine remorse for all the Iraqis that were being killed, maimed, tortured, or destroyed in the purported aim to bring the good society to Iraq.

Equally telling, neither the Pentagon nor the CIA ever put an upward limit on the number of Iraqis who could be killed in the quest to bring freedom and democracy to Iraq. Any number of Iraqi dead, no matter how high, would be considered “worth it.”

Interventionists are pointing out the evil nature of the Islamic State, the group that is threatening to oust the U.S.-installed regime in Bagdad from power. But simply because one group is evil doesn’t necessarily mean that the term cannot also be applied to what the U.S. government has done to Iraq, especially given it was the U.S. government’s war on Iraq, along with its other Middle East policies, that unleashed the furies that have given rise to the Islamic State.

How can an unlawful and unconstitutional war of aggression, a type of war condemned as a war crime at Nuremberg not be considered evil?

How can a war in which people are being killed and maimed based on a cost-benefit analysis not be considered evil?

Indeed, think back to the brutal sanctions that the U.S. government enforced against Iraq for more than ten years. When “Sixty Minutes” asked U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Madelyn Albright whether the deaths of half-a-million Iraqi children from the U.S. sanctions had been “worth it,” she responded that while the choice was a difficult one, the deaths were in fact worth it.

How can those deadly sanctions — indeed, how can such a horribly callous mindset — not be described as anything but evil?

Or think back to the Persian Gulf War, when the Pentagon ordered the destruction of Iraq’s water and sewage treatment plants, knowing that such destruction would bring infectious illnesses in its wake? And it did. That’s what helped kill all those children, given that the sanctions prevented Iraqi officials from repairing those water and sewage treatments plants that the Pentagon had destroyed.

How can such a thing not be described as evil?

The problem, of course, is that all too many Americans can easily see the evil in other people’s actions but are unable to see the evil in their own government’s actions. That’s because in their minds they’ve raised the federal government to the level of an idol, one that can do no wrong, especially since it operates through courageous American troops and CIA agents who are always defending our freedoms in whatever they do, including waging wars of aggression against Third World countries that have never attacked the United States, killing innocent children with brutal sanctions, or killing people in a cost-benefit analysis intended, supposedly, to bring the “good life” to the survivors of the onslaught.

If the Iraq fiasco has taught us anything, it is that evil means produce evil results. Just ask anyone who is now calling on the U.S. national-security state to drop more bombs on Iraq in order to combat evil.

August 27, 2014 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, War Crimes | , | 2 Comments

Myth of ‘Limited’ US Airstrikes in Syria

RIA NOVOSTI | August 26, 2014

The US is once again on the warpath against Syria after the beheading of US citizen James Foley was released on the internet a week ago.

His execution is being used to justify a mixed anti-terror and ‘humanitarian’ intervention in northeastern Syria. An information offensive has now been launched to peddle the myth of ‘limited’ strikes against Islamic State (IS) targets, but in all actuality, such a campaign is impossible to contain within the strict limits US authorities are promising.

Obama has already authorized surveillance flights over Syrian territory, showing that an attack appears to be imminent. A quick exercise in scenario forecasting illustrates how any US intervention in Syria will most certainly evolve from a ‘limited anti-terror operation’ to a massive military offensive, complete with proxy occupations and a full-scale outbreak of chaos throughout the entire country.

Symbolism and Substance

Should the US make the decision to strike Syria, it will be carrying with it both symbolism and substance. The action would be symbolic due to it being in complete contravention of Syria’s sovereignty, a position which Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem reaffirmed earlier this week. Whether by drone or by jet, the US would be showing that it can and will violate Syrian sovereignty as it sees fit. This is enabled by the fact that IS’ turf is mostly removed from any of the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) air defense units, thereby allowing the US to attack with military impunity.

Secondly, the US’ strikes would surely carry with them prime substance, as the rhetoric being expressed by Washington guarantees nothing short of it. They would not be the token gestures evidenced in northern Iraq, but rather a full-fledged operation designed to achieve concrete military objectives. On the public front, this would be to decimate Islamic State and its leadership, but in fact, such an objective cannot be achieved by air strikes alone, especially in populated urban areas like Raqqa.

The Stepping Stone

This brings the US to the next probable stage of its military campaign – ground forces. It is extremely unlikely that the US will use its own conventional forces in the field, as its special forces are cheaper, more effective, and less of a political and physical liability. Another option, of course, is for the heavily armed and highly trained Kurdish Peshmerga to ‘chase’ IS into Syria from Iraq and carry out ground operations on behalf of the US. The precedent of joint military cooperation has already been set previously when both sides partook in a coordinated offensive against IS’ occupation of the Mosul Dam, with the US doing the bombing and the Kurds being the cannon fodder. The Iraqi Peshmerga’s military expansion into Syria would also achieve the dual purpose of expanding the fledgling (and de-facto recognized) Kurdish state, another major American strategic objective in the region.

Filling the Void

With all the hubbub and speculation about an American strike, few have actually put any public thought into what comes next. For example, IS could either be decimated or strategically driven like cattle away from the combat zone and closer to Damascus,(in the same fashion as they have been corralled into going from northern Iraq back into Syria), taking all of their heavy armaments with them along the way. No matter what happens, though, it remains indisputable that there will be a security void in their previously occupied territories, opening up the question of which entity should fill it.

It can be taken for granted that the US will never allow the SAA to liberate the territory after Washington’s tax-dollar funded bombs paved the way, since that would completely reverse the billions in dollars of funding and support that the US, EU, Turkey, and Gulf Kingdoms have placed in the anti-establishment forces fighting the Syrian government over the past three years. Thus, the US’ campaign will of course not be one of liberation, but rather of trading one occupier for another, in this case, the Kurds, a rejuvenated ‘Free Syrian Army (FSA), the Turks (with or without being an official NATO mission), or a combination thereof, with the public reasoning being that the failure to fill the resultant security void could create a breeding ground for an IS 2.0.

‘Finishing the Job’

After the removal of IS from their bastions in northeast Syria (whether by destruction or driving them towards Damascus) and their replacement with Kurdish/FSA/Turkish forces, the US and its ‘coalition of the willing’ will be pressured to ‘finish the job’ one way or another. In the first scenario branch, if IS is somehow destroyed and no longer a threat, then the US may want to seize the strategic initiative and make a drive towards Damascus to finally overthrow the government. After all, they would already be on the offensive and actively engaged in the war zone as it is, and Damascus is definitely within striking range of US aircraft or drones already bombing Syria. The new occupying forces of northern Syria could then carry their offensive south, break the security crescent linking Damascus with the coast, and go in for the paralyzing kill.

The second scenario branch is very similar, but instead of pursuing naked regime change, it strategically pushes IS towards Damascus by using airstrikes in the same manner as a shepherd uses a staff to herd sheep. This accomplishes two important goals; first, it pushes the world’s most deadly and militarily efficient non-state actor all the way through the country and towards the capital, sowing destruction in its wake; and secondly, it provides the US and its proxy allies with the justification for continuing their campaign all the way to the capital and de-facto carrying out regime change under an anti-terror guise.

Without a doubt, the regime change objective can be sped up or publicly ‘justified’ if Syria defends its airspace and fires on American jets or drones. If the beheading of a single citizen by a rogue terrorist group can be a casus belli against an entire state per the US’ reasoning, then it goes without saying how it would respond to missiles being launched against its military vehicles, especially those engaged in an ‘anti-terrorist’ mission. More than likely, Syria will then be painted as a terrorist-supporting state (there is already false information in the Western media that Syria cooperates with IS) and the entire government will then be officially targeted for elimination.

Concluding Thoughts

After having accomplished its soft coup in Iraq against Maliki, the US now feels emboldened enough to aggressively press forward with its long-held regime change dreams against Syria, feverishly seeking to exploit any opportunity to justifiably do so. This barbarically includes using a dead man’s decapitated head as a rallying cry in an effort to strike at the primordial emotions of every human being and manipulate them into supporting a ‘vengeful’ war. To appease the domestic and international audience, the US government is only talking about ‘limited’ airstrikes against IS targets in Syria, but when placed under a simple analysis, these are demonstrated to be anything but. Not only will they be used to justify regime change via various arguments, but they will also result in the replacement of one occupier of Syrian territory with another, which in turn can eventually make the de-facto partitioning of the country de-jure. This means that the Syrian Crisis is precipitously teetering on the brink of becoming a full-scale international war, one which places the very existence of secular Syria and its resistance identity into jeopardy.

August 27, 2014 Posted by | "Hope and Change", Militarism, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Obama Schemes to Attack Syria, Under the Guise of Fighting ISIS

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford | August 27, 2014

President Obama is preparing to do something horrifically dangerous in Syria and Iraq. The rise of ISIS has crippled the empire’s decade’s old strategy of deploying Islamic fundamentalist fighters to do its dirty work in the Arab and Muslim world. ISIS, the Frankenstein birthed in the cauldron of America’s quest for regime change in Syria, has turned on its U.S., Saudi, Qatari and Turkish masters to establish its own caliphate, to which thousands of other Islamist fighters are flocking. Even U.S. corporate media now acknowledge that the so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels that Obama wants to shovel $500 million at, are virtually non-existent. They were always a mirage, creatures of western propaganda. The Islamists were the only force that could challenge the Syrian army on the battlefield, and now that they are rallying to ISIS, or running away, Obama does not know which way to turn.

Certainly, the U.S. can bomb ISIS positions in Syria, and is already making preparations to do so, but that is not the war Obama wanted to fight. Three years ago, when Obama launched his dirty war against Syria, the plan was for Muslim jihadists to shed their blood to overthrow President Assad. Once the filthy deed was done, the jihadists were expected to allow NATO and the corrupt kings of the Arabian peninsula to pick the next rulers of Syria. The CIA was playing Lawrence of Arabia, using the jihadists as cannon fodder, to be cast aside when it came time to split up the spoils.

Such was also the plan in Libya, where NATO and the same gang of royal Arabian thieves funded and armed the overthrow Muammar Gaddafi. The Libyan jihadists have also failed to cooperate with the empire’s scheme.

The global jihadist network that the Americans and Saudis created in the 1980s has declared its independence, and Washington has nothing to replace them. American boots on the ground are unacceptable to both the people of the region and the U.S. public. Obama and his minions say the U.S. and its allies will crush ISIS – but that will be like smothering one’s own child in its crib, and would remove all hope of the U.S. achieving its strategic goal of regime change in Syria.

Watch for the Big Switch

If Obama was serious about wanting to crush ISIS, the best and most logical ally would be Syrian President Assad, whose army has so far prevailed against every flavor of jihadist the U.S. has been able to throw at it, including ISIS in its previous incarnations. Nobody wants ISIS defeated more than Syria and its soldiers, more of whom have died in this U.S.-engineered war than any other group, civilian or rebels. If making the region safe from ISIS were the goal, Obama would coordinate his moves with the Syrian military. But he’s lying – just as the Bush administration lied to make the American people believe that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11. The U.S. goal was not to avenge 9/11, but to invade Iraq. In the same way, Obama is compelled to respond to the defection of ISIS from western control, but his goal remains to overthrow President Assad. And, he will tell any lie, or combinations of lies, to somehow turn U.S. bombs on the Syrian government, under the guise of fighting ISIS. You can bet that the CIA is burning the midnight oil, seeking a pretext to turn this strategic U.S. defeat into an excuse to directly attack Syria. And that’s what makes this moment so dangerous.

Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

August 27, 2014 Posted by | "Hope and Change", Deception, Militarism, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

Lavrov: Russia to send another humanitarian convoy to Ukraine

RT | August 25, 2014

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has announced plans for a second humanitarian convoy to be sent to eastern Ukraine, urging foreign actors and agencies to participate in continuing efforts at relieving the crisis.

Failure to do so would constitute a violation of international law, he warned.

“Anyone in need of aid shall receive it,” the FM said, stressing that it is important to learn from the mistakes of the first attempt and to look forward to closer cooperation with the Ukrainian authorities this time around.

He stressed that as the indiscriminate shelling of areas such as Lugansk continues, the humanitarian need for water and food grows. This has been acknowledged by humanitarian agencies and international actors at large.

The distribution of aid is currently underway, and is headed by the ICRC.

The FM also added that the shelling of schools, hospitals, kindergartens and other vulnerable institutions and structures can no longer be excused by claims of “wrongful shooting” or be written off as “accidental.”

Minister Lavrov emphasized that Russia is willing and ready to participate in full in any type of negotiations on ending hostilities in the east, and expressed hope that Tuesday’s meeting in Minsk will include a focus on the crisis in Ukraine.

“We certainly expect that tomorrow’s meeting in Minsk will feature a discussion on the humanitarian crisis,” Lavrov said. “We express hope that all participants will urge for the removal of any obstacles to smooth aid delivery to those who are most in need of it,” he added.

The upcoming gathering will be attended by the Customs Union, the Ukrainian authorities and members of the EU.

Sergey Lavrov was asked a wide range of questions on the situations in Ukraine, including the claims that Russian arms were crossing the border.

Allegations of Russian attempts to smuggle military equipment into Ukraine are false and are the latest in a string of bad information that has been circulating in recent days, the minister said. No one, including Ukraine’s special services, could confirm those suspicions.

Lavrov went on to stress that reports of Russian forces crossing into Ukraine have not been confirmed by the OSCE, which is evidenced in their report.

“We were ready at the August 17 meeting in Berlin to urge the provision of any support necessary – including drones – to the OSCE mission.”

He further mentioned OSCE concerns that indiscriminate arrests carried out by the militias are beginning to resemble a “witch hunt.”

The people migrating into the west are not being taken in, nor are their children being given places in schools, he stressed.

If this is the sort of national unity Klichko, Tyangibok and Yatsenyuk spoke of, they lied to their own people, he said, referring to national unity agenda promoted by the leaders of the opposition to former president Viktor Yanukovich.

The minister was dismayed at the ongoing investigation into the downing of flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine, which aroused much controversy and finger-pointing. He said that at this point it would appear that Russia “seems to be the only interested party in giving this serious issue any further attention.”

August 25, 2014 Posted by | Militarism, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Kosovo and Ukraine: Compare and contrast

By Neil Clark | RT | August 20, 2014

There have been at least two countries in Europe in recent history that undertook ‘anti-terrorist’ military operations against ‘separatists’, but got two very different reactions from the Western elite.

The government of European country A launches what it calls an ‘anti-terrorist’ military operation against ‘separatists’ in one part of the country. We see pictures on Western television of people’s homes being shelled and lots of people fleeing. The US and UK and other NATO powers fiercely condemn the actions of the government of country A and accuse it of carrying out ‘genocide’ and ’ethnic cleansing’ and say that there is an urgent ‘humanitarian crisis.’ Western politicians and establishment journalists tell us that ‘something must be done.’ And something is done: NATO launches a ‘humanitarian’ military intervention to stop the government of country A. Country A is bombed for 78 days and nights. The country’s leader (who is labeled ‘The New Hitler’) is indicted for war crimes – and is later arrested and sent in an RAF plane to stand trial for war crimes at The Hague, where he dies, un-convicted, in his prison cell.

The government of European country B launches what it calls an ‘anti-terrorist’ military operation against ‘separatists’ in one part of the country. Western television doesn’t show pictures or at least not many) of people’s homes being shelled and people fleeing, although other television stations do. But here the US, UK and other NATO powers do not condemn the government, or accuse it of committing ‘genocide’ or ‘ethnic cleansing.’ Western politicians and establishment journalists do not tell us that ‘something must be done’ to stop the government of country B killing people. On the contrary, the same powers who supported action against country A, support the military offensive of the government in country B. The leader of country B is not indicted for war crimes, nor is he labeled ‘The New Hitler’ despite the support the government has got from far-right, extreme nationalist groups, but in fact, receives generous amounts of aid.

Anyone defending the policies of the government in country A, or in any way challenging the dominant narrative in the West is labeled a “genocide denier” or an “apologist for mass murder.” But no such opprobrium awaits those defending the military offensive of the government in country B. It’s those who oppose its policies who are smeared.

What makes the double standards even worse, is that by any objective assessment, the behavior of the government in country B, has been far worse than that of country A and that more human suffering has been caused by their aggressive actions.

In case you haven’t guessed it yet – country A is Yugoslavia, country B is Ukraine.

Yugoslavia, a different case

In 1998/9 Yugoslavian authorities were faced with a campaign of violence against Yugoslav state officials by the pro-separatist and Western-backed Kosovan Liberation Army (KLA). The Yugoslav government responded by trying to defeat the KLA militarily, but their claims to be fighting against ’terrorism’ were haughtily dismissed by Western leaders. As the British Defence Secretary George Robertson and Foreign Secretary Robin Cook acknowledged in the period from 1998 to January 1999, the KLA had been responsible for more deaths in Kosovo than the Yugoslav authorities had been.

In the lead-up to the NATO action and during it, lurid claims were made about the numbers of people who had been killed or ‘disappeared’ by the Yugoslav forces. “Hysterical NATO and KLA estimates of the missing and presumably slaughtered Kosovan Albanians at times ran upwards of one hundred thousand, reaching 500, 000 in one State Department release. German officials leaked ‘intelligence’ about an alleged Serb plan called Operation Horseshoe to depopulate the province of its ethnic Albanians, and to resettle it with Serbs, which turned out to be an intelligence fabrication,” Edward Herman and David Peterson noted in their book The Politics of Genocide.

“We must act to save thousands of innocent men, women and children from humanitarian catastrophe – from death, barbarism and ethnic cleansing from a brutal dictatorship,” a solemn-faced Prime Minister Tony Blair told the British Parliament – just four years before an equally sombre Tony Blair told the British Parliament that we must act over the ‘threat’ posed by Saddam Hussein’s WMDs.

Taking their cue from Tony Blair and Co., the media played their part in hyping up what was going on in Kosovo. Herman and Peterson found that newspapers used the word ‘genocide’ to describe Yugoslav actions in Kosovo 323 times compared to just 13 times for the invasion/occupation of Iraq despite the death toll in the latter surpassing that of Kosovo by 250 times.

In the same way we were expected to forget about the claims from Western politicians and their media marionettes about Iraq possessing WMDs in the lead-up to the 2003 invasion, we are now expected to forget about the outlandish claims made about Kosovo in 1999.

But as the award winning investigative journalist and broadcaster John Pilger wrote in his article Reminders of Kosovo in 2004, “Lies as great as those told by Bush and Blair were deployed by Clinton and Blair in grooming of public opinion for an illegal, unprovoked attack on a European country.”

The overall death toll of the Kosovo conflict is thought to be between 3,000 and 4,000, but that figure includes Yugoslav army casualties, and Serbs and Roma and Kosovan Albanians killed by the KLA. In 2013, the International Committee of the Red Cross listed the names of 1,754 people from all communities in Kosovo who were reported missing by their families.

The number of people killed by Yugoslav military at the time NATO launched its ‘humanitarian’ bombing campaign, which itself killed between 400-600 people, is thought to be around 500, a tragic death toll but hardly “genocide.”

“Like Iraq’s fabled weapons of mass destruction, the figures used by the US and British governments and echoed by journalists were inventions- along with Serbian ‘rape camps’ and Clinton and Blair’s claims that NATO never deliberately bombed civilians,” says Pilger.

No matter what happens in Ukraine…

In Ukraine by contrast, the number of people killed by government forces and those supporting them has been deliberately played down, despite UN figures highlighting the terrible human cost of the Ukrainian government’s ‘anti-terrorist’ operation.

Last week, the UN’s Human Rights Office said that the death toll in the conflict in eastern Ukraine had doubled in the previous fortnight. Saying that they were “very conservative estimates,” the UN stated that 2,086 people (from all sides) had been killed and 5,000 injured. Regarding refugees, the UN says that around 1,000 people have been leaving the combat zone every day and that over 100,000 people have fled the region. Yet despite these very high figures, there have been no calls from leading Western politicians for ‘urgent action’ to stop the Ukrainian government’s military offensive. Articles from faux-left ‘humanitarian interventionists’ saying that ‘something must be done’ to end what is a clearly a genuine humanitarian crisis, have been noticeable by their absence.

There is, it seems, no “responsibility to protect” civilians being killed by government forces in the east of Ukraine, as there was in Kosovo, even though the situation in Ukraine, from a humanitarian angle, is worse than that in Kosovo in March 1999.

To add insult to injury, efforts have been made to prevent a Russian humanitarian aid convoy from entering Ukraine.

The convoy we are told is ‘controversial’ and could be part of a sinister plot by Russia to invade. This from the same people who supported a NATO bombing campaign on a sovereign state for “humanitarian” reasons fifteen years ago!

For these Western ‘humanitarians’ who cheer on the actions of the Ukrainian government, the citizens of eastern Ukraine are “non-people”: not only are they unworthy of our support or compassion, or indeed aid convoys, they are also blamed for their own predicament.

There are, of course, other conflicts which also highlight Western double standards towards ‘humanitarian intervention’. Israeli forces have killed over 2,000 Palestinians in their latest ruthless ‘anti-terrorist’ operation in Gaza, which is far more people than Yugoslav forces had killed in Kosovo by the time of the 1999 NATO ‘intervention’. But there are no calls at this time for a NATO bombing campaign against Israel.

In fact, neocons and faux-left Zionists who have defended and supported Israel’s “anti-terrorist” Operation Protective Edge, and Operation Cast Lead before it, were among the most enthusiastic supporters of the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. Israel it seems is allowed to kill large numbers of people, including women and children, in its “anti-terrorist” campaigns, but Yugoslavia had no such “right” to fight an “anti-terrorist” campaign on its own soil.

In 2011, NATO went to war against Libya to prevent a “hypothetical” massacre in Benghazi, and to stop Gaddafi ‘killing his own people’; in 2014 Ukrainian government forces are killing their own people in large numbers, and there have been actual massacres like the appalling Odessa arson attack carried out by pro-government ‘radicals’, but the West hasn’t launched bombing raids on Kiev in response.

The very different approaches from the Western elite to ‘anti-terrorist’ operations in Kosovo and Ukraine (and indeed elsewhere) shows us that what matters most is not the numbers killed, or the amount of human suffering involved, but whether or not the government in question helps or hinders Western economic and military hegemonic aspirations.

In the eyes of the rapacious Western elites, the great ‘crime’ of the Yugoslav government in 1999 was that it was still operating, ten years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, an unreconstructed socialist economy, with very high levels of social ownership – as I highlighted here.

Yugoslavia under Milosevic was a country which maintained its financial and military independence. It had no wishes to join the EU or NATO, or surrender its sovereignty to anyone. For that refusal to play by the rules of the globalists and to show deference to the powerful Western financial elites, the country (and its leader) had to be destroyed. In the words of George Kenney, former Yugoslavia desk officer at the US State Department: “In post-cold war Europe no place remained for a large, independent-minded socialist state that resisted globalization.”

By contrast, the government of Ukraine, has been put in power by the West precisely in order to further its economic and military hegemonic aspirations. Poroshenko, unlike the much- demonized Milosevic, is an oligarch acting in the interests of Wall Street, the big banks and the Western military-industrial complex. He’s there to tie up Ukraine to IMF austerity programs, to hand over his country to Western capital and to lock Ukraine into ‘Euro-Atlantic’ structures- in other words to transform it into an EU/IMF/NATO colony- right on Russia’s doorstep.

This explains why an ‘anti-terrorist’ campaign waged by the Yugoslav government against ‘separatists’ in 1999 is ‘rewarded’ with fierce condemnation, a 78-day bombing campaign, and the indictment of its leader for war crimes, while a government waging an ‘anti-terrorist’ campaign against ‘separatists’ in Ukraine in 2014, is given carte blanche to carry on killing. In the end, it’s not about how many innocent people you kill, or how reprehensible your actions are, but about whose interests you serve.

August 21, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism | , , , , | Leave a comment

West has more influence than Kiev on oligarchs’ armies in Ukraine – Lavrov

RT | August 18, 2014

Moscow believes the West has more influence on various paramilitary forces in Ukraine – sponsored by local oligarchs – than Kiev does, Russian FM Lavrov said citing the latest bickering between Right Sector and the Interior Ministry.

“The authorities in Kiev are not in control of the numerous paramilitary forces, including Right Sector, which, we estimate, comprises a large portion of the National Guard. The demarche of Right Sector towards the Ukrainian Interior Minister speaks for itself,” Sergey Lavrov said, adding that existence of armed groups sponsored by Ukrainian oligarchs, such as the Azov and Dnepr battalions, poses a great security threat.

“We work with our Western partners in Europe and the United States who can really influence those paramilitary units that don’t answer to the central government in Kiev. We know the West has such influence,” he added.

Lavrov was referring to the weekend ultimatum of the far-right group, which threatened to pull out its troops from eastern Ukraine and march on Kiev unless President Petro Poroshenko fires several police officials, including a deputy interior minister. The group later reduced its demands, saying that the release of its activists previously arrested by the police was sufficient.

The comments from the top Russian diplomat came as he reported on the progress achieved during the Sunday meeting with his counterparts from Ukraine, Germany and France. The roundtable produced no concrete agreements, but the parties involved said some progress was made on the issues of humanitarian aid and border control.

Speaking to journalists on Monday, Lavrov said Moscow would welcome the observer mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) deploying drones to control the Russian-Ukrainian border from the Ukrainian side.

Lavrov said Russia is working with the OSCE on giving more transparency in the border region, which is important, considering how often Kiev voices false reports on alleged violation of the border from the Russian side. He cited the latest claim by Kiev on Friday, when the Ukrainian military said it had destroyed a column of Russian armor after an incursion into Ukraine.

“What really happened was a Ukrainian column moved in the Lugansk Region, obviously to intercept the route of a potential humanitarian aid delivery. That column was destroyed by the militia,” he said. “If such episodes are presented as glorious successes of the Ukrainian army, then please don’t accuse us of anything.”

Russia has sent a convoy of humanitarian aid meant for war-torn eastern Ukraine. The trucks have not been allowed entry by the Ukrainian side, which voiced suspicions about the nature of the cargo and demanded that the delivery be conducted by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Lavrov noted that the media hype over the mission, which was apparent in the West in its early days, evaporated as soon as it became clear that the column actually carries humanitarian aid and is not some kind of a trick used by Russia to invade Ukraine, as Kiev initially claimed.

The minister also criticized Kiev’s request for NATO’s aid against the militia in eastern Ukraine, saying that it “goes against all the agreements we had reached on stopping the hostilities and initiating negotiations.”

“As long as the authorities in Kiev bet on the use of force and consider a military victory over their own people a necessary condition for keeping themselves in power, I don’t think any good will come from what we are trying to achieve,” he said.

August 18, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism | , , , , | Leave a comment

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