Progress in Iran Nuclear Talks Depends on the Israeli Government Coming Clean on its Nuclear Disinformation Campaigns
One of the sticking points in the on-going Iran nuclear negotiations is the fate of the so-called “Possible Military Dimensions” (aka “Alleged Studies”) file. This is a compendium of allegations against Iran’s nuclear program – largely gathered by third-party intelligence agencies – that the IAEA would like Iran to respond to. Not only are the allegations largely outside the IAEA legal authority and expertise (because they do not directly deal with nuclear material diversion), but Iran has not been allowed to see much of this secret evidence that is being used against it. Such a process is, of course, not consistent with normal Western legal practice. Iran has responded to what little it has been shown of the PMD file by saying that the evidence thus far shown is fabricated.
Though this Iranian response is often cast as Iran “not cooperating with the IAEA” (or “refusing to discuss the matter”), another possibility must be considered: that Iran is correct. That is, that at least some the evidence has indeed been cooked-up by an adversarial Intelligence service (or by an agent recruited by such an Intelligence service).
A wonderful new book by Gudrun Harrer on the IAEA inspections in Iraq sheds some light on which countries could be involved in fabricating and planting such fake nuclear “evidence”. On p. 185 of the book, it is confirmed that Israel provided the IAEA with false information on Laser Isotope Separation activities in Iraq. The reference for this information is the author’s interview with David Albright of ISIS (see at this insert the relevant scanned pages from the book):
Israel has, of course, long been suspected of being behind some of the forged and suspect evidence against Iran: the neutron initiators, AP graphs, etc., but until now it was hard to definitely pin the blame on that country. Thanks to David Albright at ISIS, we now know that Israel has been guilty of planting disinformation with the IAEA in the past.
The German intelligence agency has also discredited much of the secret evidence against Iran.
Having myself analyzed some of what is (evidently) in this PMD file – with Dr. Ferenc Dalnoki-Veress of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies – I can say that the evidence is certainly of poor quality and/or an amateurish forgery. It does not look like anything a state-level research scientist would produce. There are large and conspicuous mathematical and physical errors in the material.
Similarly, Robert Kelley has assessed that at least some of the evidence purporting to show weaponization research work continuing past 2004 is less than compelling:
[The] evidence, according to the IAEA, tells us Iran embarked on a four-year program, starting around 2006, to validate the design of a device to produce a burst of neutrons that could initiate a fission chain reaction. Though I cannot say for sure what source the agency is relying on, I can say for certain that this project was earlier at the center of what appeared to be a misinformation campaign…. Mohamed ElBaradei, who was then the agency’s director general, rejected the information because there was no chain of custody for the paper, no clear source, document markings, date of issue or anything else that could establish its authenticity…
David Albright’s confirmation of Israeli nuclear disinformation goes hand-in-glove with statements from former IAEA director, and Nobel Prize winner, Mohammed ElBaradei. In his biography, ElBaradei says that the documents that the IAEA had about the alleged neutron initiators in Iran circa 2008 were given to the Agency by Israel. He further states that Israel gave him permission to show the evidence to Iran.
So the question is, why has the IAEA not cooperated with Iran in evaluating material like they did with Iraq circa 1995, in the incident mentioned by Harrer?
Iran could be genuinely helpful if they were allowed to see the original evidence and comment on it. When the IAEA worked with Iraq to evaluate documents, the Iraqis helpfully pointed out mistakes that the IAEA could independently confirm. Isn’t that the example we would like to see with Iran?
Being charged with secret evidence also goes against every notion of Western justice. The IAEA either needs to drop the PMD file, or amend their procedures.
Unfortunately, it is quite likely that the Israeli government is once again carrying out nuclear disinformation, possibly in collaboration with the MEK, an Iranian terrorist – in some nations, formerly terrorist – organization opposed to the current Iranian regime.
Over the past weekend, it was also confirmed that Israel masterminded the assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists. These assassinations, too, perhaps were carried out with local MEK collaboration. If the Israeli government is capable of assassinating civilian Iranian scientists, would fabricating nuclear intel on Iran trouble their consciences? Presumably not. Especially as they have done it in the past, according to David Albright at ISIS.
Before further pursuing Iran on the PMD file – which may contain substantial forged evidence – it would make sense to ask Israel to come clean about any fabricated intelligence it may have planted with the IAEA. It is quite possible that some of the PMD file is not fake. Israel’s assistance and cooperation in identifying what is fake and what is not would be most helpful. If David Albright of ISIS has further insight into this – as he did in the Iraqi case – his involvement would also, of course, be very welcome.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to give credibility to hyperbolic Israeli statements about Iran’s underhandedness in pursuing its nuclear program, when Israel itself has been underhanded in pursuing clandestine disinformation campaigns against NPT states, while itself remaining resolutely outside the NPT.
There are several points for the IAEA to consider in light of these recent developments:
1. Should the IAEA reject all evidence from Israel against Iran and other adversarial states now?
2. Should the IAEA, generally, not accept intelligence from non-NPT states?
3. The IAEA should show Iran any evidence it wants an Iranian response on. Anything less is not consistent with Western notions of justice. Furthermore such cooperation could unveil the origin of any possible forgeries in the PMD file.
4. The IAEA and the US should ask Israel to come clean on any fabricated “evidence” it may have inserted into the PMD file.
5. As I have suggested previously, it would be best to simply drop the PMD file as it relates to decade old unauthenticated allegations of possible research. It is not even clear that what is in the PMD file – even if true – would be a violation of the NPT or the safeguards agreement.
6. If the IAEA really wants to pursue the content of the PMD in a legal way they can initiate special inspections or undertake arbitration as provided for in the CSA. The IAEA does not even have the technical expertise in-house to undertake investigations of missiles, warheads etc. which are mentioned in the PMD file.
7. Since Iran is now in compliance with its safeguards agreement, Iran’s nuclear file – currently hung-up in the Security Council – should return to the IAEA. The referral to the Security Council was unorthodox and politicized to begin with, and there is no rationale for Iran’s nuclear file to remain there post-2008. (Footnote 38 of the latest IAEA report on Iran makes clear that the remaining issues are not IAEA safeguards issues but extraneous UNSC ones).
8. This also means that the UNSC nuclear-related sanctions on Iran should now be dropped. In fact, they ought to have been dropped in 2008.
David Albright must be commended for his helpful insight into fabricated Israeli intelligence in Iraq, and hopefully can assist in tracking down similar disinformation in the case of Iran.
Relatedly, we must thank him and ISIS also for showing the international community expensive satellite pictures of Parchin, in which one can see that west of the paving activity, the site is untouched, and so the IAEA could get environmental samples there (if they even needed those). This undercuts ISIS’ own conclusion that the site has been magically “sanitized” by paving. Normally, of course, the IAEA would take such swipe samples from within the buildings where any suspect U naturally collects: in the corners and at the places where the walls meet the floor.
The technical weaknesses in ISIS’ and IAEA’s approach to Parchin were previously commented on.
The IAEA’s technically unsound obsession with environmental sampling at Parchin may also mean they are confusing the site at Marivan (where open-air implosion tests may have taken place) with the site at Parchin (where implosions in a chamber are alleged).
From the May 2008 Board report, referring to the Marivan site:
A.2. High Explosives Testing
Document 3: Five page document in English describing experimentation undertaken with a complex multipoint initiation system to detonate a substantial amount of high explosive in hemispherical geometry and to monitor the development of the detonation wave in that high explosive using a considerable number of diagnostic probes.
And the alleged weapons’ studies annex Nov 2011:
43. Information provided to the Agency by the same Member State referred to in the previous paragraph describes the multipoint initiation concept referred to above as being used by Iran in at least one large scale experiment in 2003 to initiate a high explosive charge in the form of a hemispherical shell. […...] Further information provided to the Agency by the same Member State indicates that the large scale high explosive experiments were conducted by Iran in the region of Marivan.
So what is the point of carrying out environmental sampling at Parchin (where chamber experiments are alleged) and not at Marivan where open-air experiments were allegedly done? Is the IAEA – and ISIS – confused between Marivan and Parchin?
The IAEA’s unprofessionalism in vetting the content of the PMD file, and in the obsession over Parchin (which the IAEA visited twice already) vs. Marivan smacks of an agenda to target Iran rather than any sound technical analysis. It is likely to blow up the Iran nuclear deal for no good reason. Iran has cooperated with the IAEA on the PMD file by saying that the material it was shown was fabricated – this may be true. Now Israel should also cooperate and come clean about what forged material – or material from compromised sources like “Curveball” – may be within this file. David Albright, with his past knowledge and evident expertise in fabricated Israeli intelligence should also step up to the plate.
And, certainly, Iran should be shown any evidence it is being asked to answer to by the IAEA. The Agency should also spend about half an hour and check whether the site it is interested in for environmental sampling is Marivan or Parchin. Environmental sampling at Parchin makes little sense. At Parchin, swipes would be taken from within the buildings since chamber-based implosions are alleged. While it is at it, the IAEA should also review the technical basis of their conclusions on Syria.
It is hard to take the Agency seriously when it persists in being blatantly unprofessional.
Dr Jim Walsh, a research associate at MIT, has an excellent suggestion about what to do with Iran’s “PMD” file – as paraphrased by Mark Hibbs: “If the nuclear activities were in the past, I don’t care. It’s dead, and it’s regretful, but let’s do a deal with Iran that moves forward.”
But before we do that, the IAEA should ask Israel to come clean about its potential role in fabricating some of the “evidence” within the PMD file.
Dr. Yousaf Butt, a nuclear physicist, is Director of the Emerging Technologies Program at the Cultural Intelligence Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting fact-based cultural awareness among individuals, institutions, and governments. The views expressed here are his own.
I’ve been asked to debate Danny Postel on the question of Syria, and so have read the op-ed he co-authored with Nader Hashemi, “Use Force to Save Starving Syrians.”
Excellent responses have been published by Coleen Rowley and Rob Prince and probably others. And my basic thinking on Syria has not changed fundamentally since I wrote down my top 10 reasons not to attack Syria and lots and lots of other writing on Syria over the years. But replying to Postel’s op-ed might be helpful to people who’ve read it and found it convincing or at least disturbing. It might also allow Postel to most efficiently find out where I’m coming from prior to our debate.
So, here’s where I’m coming from. Postel’s op-ed proposes the use of force as if force hadn’t been tried yet, as if force were not in fact the very problem waiting to be solved. What he is proposing is increased force. The arming and funding and training of one side in Syria by the CIA, Saudi Arabia, et al, and the other side by Russia, et al, is not enough; more is needed, Postel believes. But “force” is a very non-descriptive term, as are all the other terms Postel uses to refer to what he wants: “air cover,” “coercive measures,” “Mr. Assad … [should] be left behind.”
I find it hard to imagine people on the ground while NATO dropped thousands of bombs on Libya pointing to the sky and remarking “Check out the air cover!”
Or this: “What happened to your children, Ma’am?” “They experienced some coercive measures.”
Or this: “What became of Gaddafi?” “Oh, him? He was left behind.”
When people who experience modern wars that wealthy nations launch against poor ones talk about them, they describe detailed horror, terror, and trauma. They recount what it’s like to try to hold a loved one’s guts into their mutilated body as they gasp their last. Even the accounts of recovering and regretful drone pilots in the US have much more humanity and reality in them than do Postel’s euphemisms.
I’m not questioning the sincerity of Postel’s belief that, despite it’s long record of abysmal failure, humanitarian war would find success in a nation as divided as Syria, of all unlikely places. But Postel should trust his readers to share his conclusion after being presented with the full facts of the case. If Postel believes that the people whose lives would be ended or devastated by “air cover” are out-weighed by the people who he believes would be thereby saved from starvation, he should say so. He should at the very least acknowledge that people would be killed in the process and guesstimate how many they would be.
Postel claims Somalia as a past example of a “humanitarian intervention,” without dwelling on the chaos and violence aggravated and ongoing there. This seems another shortcoming to me. If you are going to make a moral decision, not only should it include the negative side of the ledger, but it should include the likely medium-term and long-term results, good and bad. Looking at Somalia with a broader view hurts Postel’s case, but so does looking at Libya, Afghanistan, or Iraq. Studies by Erica Chenoweth and others have documented that violent solutions to oppression and tyranny are not only less likely to succeed, but if they succeed their success is shorter lived. Violence breeds violence. “Force,” translated into the reality of killing people’s loved ones, breeds resentment, not reconciliation.
So, I think Postel’s case for dropping tons of deadly “coercive measures” on Syria would be a weak one even if it were likely to resemble his outline. Sadly, it isn’t. The war on Libya three years ago was sold as an emergency use of “force” to protect supposedly threatened people in Benghazi. It was immediately, illegally, predictably, cynically, and disastrously turned into a campaign of bombing the nation to overthrow its government — a government that, like Syria’s, had long been on a Pentagon list to be overthrown for anything but humanitarian reasons. Postel presents a quick and antiseptic “leaving behind” operation to provide food to the starving, but surely he knows that is not what it would remain for any longer than it takes to say “R2P.” Why else does Postel refer so vaguely to leaving Assad behind?
It may be worth noting that it’s not aid workers advocating for “coercion” strikes on Syria. I spoke with a US government aid worker in Syria some months back who had this to say:
“Before we contemplate military strikes against the Syrian regime, we would do well to carefully consider what impact such strikes would have on our ongoing humanitarian programs, both those funded by the US and by other countries and international organizations. These programs currently reach hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people throughout Syria, in areas controlled both by the regime and the opposition. We know from past military interventions, such as in Yugoslavia and Iraq that airstrikes launched for humanitarian reasons often result in the unintended deaths of many civilians. The destruction of roads, bridges, and other infrastructure, which such airstrikes may entail, would significantly hamper the delivery of humanitarian aid in Syria.
“The provision of this assistance in regime controlled areas requires the agreement, and in many cases the cooperation, of the Assad government. Were the Assad regime, in response to US military operations, to suspend this cooperation, and prohibit the UN and nongovernmental organizations from operating in territory under its control, hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians would be denied access to food, shelter, and medical care. In such a scenario, we would be sacrificing programs of proven effectiveness in helping the people of Syria, in favor of ill considered actions that may or may not prevent the future use of chemical weapons, or otherwise contribute to U.S. objectives in any meaningful way.”
Let’s grant that the crisis has continued for months and worsened. It remains the fact that it is advocates of war advocating war, not aid workers advocating war. The option of ceasing to arm both sides, and of pursuing a negotiated settlement, is simply ignored by the war advocates. The option of nonviolent efforts to deliver aid is avoided entirely. The failure to provide adequate aid to refugees who where that can be reached seems far less pressing than the failure to provide aid where that failure can become a justification for an escalated war.
“Humanitarian interventions,” Postel writes, “typically occur when moral principles overlap with political interests.” This seems to be an acknowledgment that political interests are something other than moral. So, there’s no cry for “humanitarian intervention” in Bahrain or Palestine or Egypt because it doesn’t fit “political interests.” That seems like an accurate analysis. And presumably some interventions that do fit political interests are not moral and humanitarian. The question is which are which. Postel believes there have been enough humanitarian interventions to describe something as being typical of them, but he doesn’t list them. In fact, the record of US military and CIA interventions is a unbroken string of anti-humanitarian horrors. And in most cases, if not every case, actual aid would have served humanity better than guns and bombs, and so would have ceasing pre-existing involvement rather than escalating it and calling that an intervention.
But once you’ve accepted that the tool of war should be encouraged in certain cases, even though it’s misused in other cases, then something else has to be added to your moral calculation, namely the propagation of war and preparations for war. Those of us who cannot find a single war worth supporting differ only slightly perhaps from those who find one war in a hundred worth backing. But it’s a difference that shifts opposition to support for an investment that costs the world some $2 trillion a year. The United Nations believes that $30 billion a year could end serious starvation around the world. Imagine what, say, $300 billion could do for food, water, medicine, education, and green energy. Imagine if the United States were to offer that kind of aid to every nation able to peacefully and democratically accept it. Would polls continue to find the US viewed as the greatest threat to peace on earth? Would the title of most beloved nation on earth begin to look plausible?
Members of the nonviolent peace force, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mairead Maguire, and other advocates of de-escalation in Syria traveled freely around Syria some months back. How were they able to do that? What might trainers in creative nonviolent action offer Syria that CIA and military trainers aren’t offering? The alternative is never even considered by advocates of war-or-nothing. Postel wants to back “democratically oriented” rebel groups, but is violence clearly democratically oriented? Turning our eyes back on ourselves suggests a rather disturbing answer. In September 2013, President Obama gave us the hard sell. Watch these videos of suffering children, he said, and support striking their nation with missiles or support their ongoing suffering. And a huge majority in the US rejected the idea that those were the only two choices. A majority opposed the strikes. An even larger majority opposed arming the rebels. And a large majority favored humanitarian aid. There is a case to be made that democracy would be better spread by example than by defying the will of the US people in order to bomb yet another nation in democracy’s name.
Postel, to his credit, calls the “Responsibility to Protect” a “principle.” Some have called it a “law.” But it cannot undo the UN Charter. War being illegal, its use damages the rule of law. That result must also be factored into a full moral calculation of how to act. Act we must, as Postel says repeatedly. The question is how. Rob Prince presents a useful plan of action in the article linked above.
Postel’s most persuasive argument is probably, for many readers, his contention that only threatening to act will save the day. He claims that Syria has responded positively to threats of force. But this is not true. Syria was always willing to give up its chemical weapons and had long since proposed a WMD-free Middle East — a proposal that ran up against the lack of “political interest” in eliminating Israel’s illegal weapons. Also false, of course, were claims by the Obama administration to know that Assad had used chemical weapons. See Coleen Rowley’s summary of how that case has collapsed in the article linked above.
Granted, there can be a good honest case for an action for which misguided, false, and fraudulent cases have been offered. But I haven’t seen such a case yet for taking an action in Syria that would, to be sure, dramatically declare that action was being taken, release a lot of pent-up tension, and enrich Raytheon’s owners, but almost certainly leave Syrians, Americans, and the world worse off.
Atlanta, February 26, 2014 – Since the days of President Woodrow Wilson – that is, for roughly 100 years – the USA has been on a self-styled crusade to “make the world safe for democracy.”
Colossal wars, hot and cold, were fought against German kaisers and fuhrers, Russian communists, and Third World nationalists. The American people were told they were “defending democracy.”
Americans slaughtered 3.5 million Vietnamese, and nearly another million Cambodians, to “defend democracy” in Southeast Asia.
They murdered millions of Iraqis through wars and sanctions to “defend democracy” in the Middle East.
According to André Vltchek and Noam Chomsky’s book On Western Terrorism, the US government has murdered between 55 and 60 million people since World War II in wars and interventions all over the world. If we believe the imperial propagandists, this American Holocaust has been one big defense of democracy.
But now, on the eve of the 100th anniversary of World War I, the US has embarked on a new crusade – to make the world UNSAFE for democracy.
In Ukraine, Venezuela, and Thailand, the US is spending billions of dollars to unconstitutionally eject democratically-elected governments. In Palestine, the US has been trying to overthrow the democratically-elected Hamas government ever since it came to power. In Egypt, the US – under Zionist pressure – recently overthrew the only genuinely democratic government in 5,000 years of recorded history. In Syria, the US insists that the people must not be given the opportunity to re-elect Assad, no matter how many international observers and safeguards ensure honest elections. And in Turkey, the US is undermining the democratically-elected Prime Minister Erdogan in favor of CIA puppet Fethullah Gulen.
Taking the long view, the US is working patiently to destroy democracy in Iran, Russia, and Latin America.
Why does the US government hate democracy?
Because the international bankers who own the US government and run the US empire cannot always buy enough votes to impose their will on every country. So democracy is fine – as long as voters elect the New World Order candidate. But if they vote for a candidate who doesn’t suit the oligarchs, get ready for a coup!
The banksters will overthrow any government that stands up to them – even in the USA. The “termination with extreme prejudice” of the presidency of John F. Kennedy sent a message to all future US presidents.
Mayer Rothschild famously said “Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes its laws.” But that was an exaggeration. The New World Order banksters seek to overthrow democratically-elected governments all over the world precisely because they DO care who makes and enforces the laws.
The NWO banksters are destroying Ukraine as a geostrategic move against Russia, where Putin has reined in the Russian-Zionist oligarchs and put a major roadblock in the path of the banksters’ world government project. Yes, Ukrainian President Yanukovich won a free and fair democratic election. But democracy means nothing to the psychopathic pharaohs of finance and their Neocon hired guns.
The banksters (and the Western governments they control) are also trying to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela, who took office after the CIA assassinated Hugo Chavez. President Maduro overcame the banksters’ attempts to defeat him in last year’s elections; he is now the constitutional, democratically-elected President of Venezuela. But that hasn’t stopped the banksters from trying to overthrow him in a pseudo-populist coup.
In Thailand, the banksters and their local kleptocracy are trying to overthrow the democratically-elected government of Prime Minister Shinawatra. Apparently Shinawatra’s attempts to fund education, medical care, and infrastructure, and institute a minimum wage, offended the oligarchs.
In Ukraine, Venezuela, and Thailand, as in Syria and Egypt before them, the banksters are adding violence to their “color revolution” game plan for destroying democracy. This may seem incongruous, since the NWO intellectual hired gun Gene Sharp, the so-called “Machiavelli of non-violence,” designed the original color revolutions as purportedly peaceful and democratic uprisings.
But Sharp’s so-called color revolutions, beginning with Georgia’s Rose Revolution of 2003 and Ukraine’s Orange Revolution of 2004, were never genuine people’s revolutions. They were bankster takeover attempts from the beginning. George Soros would funnel Rothschild money to ambitious, power-hungry apparatchiks, who would inundate their target countries with propaganda and hire rent-a-mobs to dress in a particular color and make a spectacle of themselves in the public square, in hopes of duping naive young people into joining the “revolution” – whose real goal is always to install a NWO puppet leader.
But now the pretense of nonviolence and democracy has evaporated. The New World Order’s smiling Mickey Mouse mask has fallen away, revealing the bloodthirsty grin of satanic banksters bent on establishing an Orwellian one-world dictatorship.
In Syria, the “peaceful uprising” of March 2011 became a pretext for sending in heavily armed thugs and terrorists on a destabilization mission. In Egypt, the bankster-generated “uprising” last summer was a manufactured excuse for a violent coup d’état. In Thailand, Venezuela and Ukraine, the banksters are paying hooligans to stage violent protests, destroy public property, fight police, and incite mayhem – in hopes of violently overthrowing democratically-elected governments.
This is pure fascism.
Fascism is fake populism. Self-styled fascist “revolutionaries” are paid to dress up in colors or uniforms, goose-step around the public square, overthrow democratically-elected governments… and institute a veiled dictatorship of the rich, in which corporate and governmental power merge.
That is what Mussolini did in 1922. It is what Hitler did in 1933. And it is what the neoconservatives, and their bankster sponsors, are doing today… all over the world. The 9/11 Reichstag Fire, which turned the world’s sole superpower decisively toward total fascism, was the gunshot that set off the avalanche.
The end-game: A global fascist dictatorship that would make the Third Reich look like a walk in the park.
There is only one way to defeat these monsters. All great fortunes, beginning with the trillion-dollar treasure hordes of the Rothschilds and their friends, must be confiscated and returned to the public treasury. All of the big banks must be nationalized, and their operations must be made completely transparent. All major financial transactions must be taxed and closely regulated. And all of the biggest corporations, starting with those that own the mainstream media, must be broken into small pieces by anti-trust action.
This revolution – the overthrow of the global oligarchy – is the only revolution that matters.
Iran has signed a deal to sell Iraq arms and ammunition worth $195 million, according to documents seen by Reuters – a move that would break a UN embargo on weapons sales by Tehran.
The agreement was reached at the end of November, the documents showed, just weeks after Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki returned from Washington, where he lobbied the Obama administration for extra weapons to fight al Qaeda-linked militants.
Some in Washington are nervous about providing sensitive US military equipment to a country they worry is becoming too close to Iran. Several Iraqi lawmakers said Maliki had made the deal because he was fed up with delays to US arms deliveries.
A spokesman for the Iraqi prime minister would not confirm or deny the sale, but said such a deal would be understandable given Iraq’s current security troubles.
“We are launching a war against terrorism and we want to win this war. Nothing prevents us from buying arms and ammunition from any party and it’s only ammunition helping us to fight terrorists,” said the spokesman, Ali Musawi.
The Iranian government denied any knowledge of a deal to sell arms to Iraq. It would be the first official arms deal between Iran and Iraq’s government and it highlights the growing bond between them in the two years since the departure of US troops from Iraq.
One US official, told of Reuters’ findings, said such a deal could further complicate Washington’s approach to negotiating with Iran on easing international sanctions over its nuclear program, which the West suspects, with no evidence, is aimed at producing bombs. Iran says its aims are purely peaceful.
“If true, this would raise serious concerns,” the US official said. “Any transfer of arms from Iran to a third country is in direct violation of Iran’s obligations under UNSCR 1747.”
The official documents seen by Reuters showed that six of eight contracts were signed with Iran’s Defense Industries Organization to supply Iraq with light and medium arms, mortar launchers, ammunition for tanks as well as artillery and mortars.
A final two contracts were agreed to with the state-owned Iran Electronic Industries for night vision goggles, communications equipment and mortar guiding devices.
One of the contracts includes equipment to protect against chemical agents. An Iraqi army major with knowledge of procurement issues said that would include items such as gas masks and gloves, as well as injections. Baghdad has expressed fear the militants will use such agents against its forces.
Officials from the Iraqi and Iranian defense ministries signed the agreements, according to the documents. They did not list a timetable for deliveries and it was not possible to confirm whether they had taken place.
Maliki is engaged in a nearly two-month-old battle in western Iraq against al Qaeda-inspired militants and rebellious tribesmen. The prime minister has blamed the unrest in Anbar on the conflict spilling over from neighboring Syria.
One Western security official said US government experts believed an Iranian-Iraqi arms deal had been in the works for some time.
The growing friendship between the two countries is discomfiting for the United States.
Iran already supplies Baghdad with electricity and gas and reiterated an offer of military assistance in January.
The weapons purchases amount to a drop in the ocean for Iraq, which receives most of its arms from the United States and has also bought weapons and helicopters from Russia and other countries.
But they are politically significant as Maliki pursues a third term in office.
“We have here a political and not a military deal,” said Amman-based Iraq analyst Yahya al-Kubaisi from the Iraqi Center for Strategic Studies, a think tank filled with political opponents of the Iraqi government. “On one hand it is aimed at financing Iran, which is desperately in need of dollars, and on the other it is clearly aimed at winning Tehran’s support for Maliki’s third term.”
Three Iraqi lawmakers, who said they had knowledge of the deals, argued they were due to Maliki’s unhappiness with Washington’s response to his request to supply Iraq with arms and ammunition to fight militant groups during his visit late last year. Iraq has long complained the timetable for US weapons and aircraft delivery was too slow.
“The Americans were obviously dragging their feet from implementing the arms deals signed with Baghdad and under different pretexts, and that was a reason to get urgent shipments from Tehran,” said one of the lawmakers, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the subject.
The US government in recent months has delivered Hellfire missiles and surveillance drones to Iraq as part of its long-standing relationship with Baghdad, which it illegally invaded and occupied in 2003. It has also supplied Iraq with M1 Abrams tanks and is in process of delivering F-16 fighter jets.
Since fighting broke out in western Anbar in January, Washington has pushed to move ahead with the sale of 24 Apache attack helicopters to Iraq, which had been held up for months due to the concerns of US lawmakers about how Maliki would use them.
A lawmaker close to Maliki said the deal with Iran sent a message to Washington that threatening to withhold or delay arms purchases would no longer work.
“If you went to a shop to buy a toy and they refused to sell it to you, then as long as you have the cash, you can get it from the shop next door. It’s as simple as that,” said the official, who also asked to remain unnamed due to the sensitivity of the issue.
A senior Iraq army officer said Iran was the best source for quick shipments as some of the arms used by the Iraqi army are similar to those manufactured by Tehran, including assault weapons, mortars, artillery and tank ammunition. Iran even produces ammunition for US-made M-12 assault rifles, used by the Iraqi military.
A former US soldier, sentenced to life imprisonment for the 2006 rape and murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl as well as the murder of her parents and six-year-old sister, has been found hanged in his cell.
According to American media reports, prison officials said the death of Steven Dale Green, found hanging in his Arizona cell last week, was currently being investigated as an act of suicide.
Green, 28, was convicted in 2009 for the rape and murder of 14-year-old Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi and the deaths of her father, mother and six-year-old sister in Mahmudiya, more than 30 kilometers south of Baghdad.
He was sentenced to life in prison after a federal jury in Kentucky could not decide whether he should be given the death penalty.
Prosecutors portrayed Green as the ringleader of five soldiers that plotted to invade the home of the family of four in order to rape the girl. They had later bragged about the crime to their peers in the army.
The four other soldiers were taken to military courts. Three of the soldiers pleaded guilty in the attack and the fourth was convicted. They received sentences ranging from five to 100 years.
Green, on the other hand, was tried as a civilian because he was arrested after he was discharged from the army.
In a recent broadcast, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes denounced the sordid attempts of 16 leading Democratic lawmakers who, under the influence of the Israeli lobby, are pushing to impose new economic sanctions on Iran, which is designed to sabotage Obama’s rapprochement with the Islamic Republic.
Although this condemnation of the Zionist lobby’s implacable warmongering is admirable, in the strictly confined discourse we see on the mainstream media presenters of this caliber refuse to state the obvious, which is that the United States has no right whatsoever to tell any country what to do on any matter, either foreign or domestic. Economic sanctions are an act of war, yet the US has imposed crippling economic sanctions on dozens of countries around the world, strangling the life out of them like a deadly python suffocating its victims.
The US has utilized sanctions to neuter nations that are not compliant with Washington’s hegemonic agenda. In turn, Washington is driven by Israel’s imperial desire to subjugate its foes, keeping them weak and divided. Using America as its proxy, Israel aims to fragment and destabilize the Arab/Muslim world.
In 1980 the US backed Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Iran. They provided him with material and diplomatic support. They gave him weapons and intelligence assistance. When it became apparent that Iran was going to win that war, the US dispatched a war ship off the coast of Iran called the USS Vincennes. On July 3, 1988, the Vincennes deliberately shot down an Iranian civilian airplane, killing all 290 passengers, including 66 children. This act of state-sponsored terrorism was a “message” from Washington designed to intimidate the Iranians into entering peace talks with a nearly defeated Saddam, instead of seeing the war out to the bitter end. The US has never apologized for this act of barbarism.
The Iran-Iraq war was part and parcel of the US-Israeli divide and conquer strategy in the Middle East. In 1982 an Israeli geo-political thinker named Oded Yinon penned a report entitled “A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties.” In the document Yinon outlined a diabolical scheme whereby Israel would neutralize its adversaries by instigating internal ethnic and religious conflicts in the Arab/Muslim world. Yinon called for the dissolution of the Arab states surrounding Israel. He envisioned the break up of countries like Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan into smaller, weaker statelets, thereby undermining their ability to resist Israeli domination.
“In the short run it is Iraqi power which constitutes the greatest threat to Israel. An Iraqi-Iranian war will tear Iraq apart and cause its downfall at home even before it is able to organize a struggle on a wide front against us,” Yinon wrote. “Every kind of inter-Arab confrontation,” he continued, “will assist us in the short run and will shorten the way to the more important aim of breaking up Iraq into denominations as in Syria and in Lebanon.”
Skipping ahead to 1991, Iraq entered into another conflict, this time with Kuwait. The US gave Saddam Hussein the green light to invade Kuwait, and then stabbed its ally in the back. America’s entry into that conflict was predicated on a monstrous lie. Tom Lantos, a Jewish-American congressman from California, spearheaded the effort to galvanize public opinion behind an American intervention in the Iraqi-Kuwaiti territorial dispute. He set up a “human rights” front group called the “Congressional Human Rights Foundation.” Working in cahoots with the public relations firm Hill & Knowlton, Lantos put on a televised hearing where several people claiming to be “witnesses” to Iraqi atrocities in Kuwait gave testimony.
The star witness was a 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl who appeared at the hearing under the assumed name “Nayirah.” She gave a tearful testimony about how she saw Iraqi troops enter a hospital in Kuwait City, whereupon they removed hundreds of babies from their incubators, leaving them to die on the cold floor. “While I was there, I saw the Iraqi soldiers come into the hospital with guns, and go into the room where . . . babies were in incubators. They took the babies out of the incubators, took the incubators, and left the children to die on the cold floor,” she said.
The story spread like wildfire across the mass media and President George H. W. Bush trumpeted it from the Oval Office pulpit. Soon after the atrocity story reached critical mass, the US deployed warplanes and ground troops to “punish” Saddam. American forces killed tens of thousands of Iraqis in the war.
Some time after that war, the incubator babies atrocity story was exposed as an out-and-out hoax. “Nayirah” and her compatriots posing as downtrodden victims of Iraqi aggression were all actors reading from a script prepared for them by the public relations firm Hill & Knowlton. Nayirah was the daughter of Kuwait’s ambassador to the US, Saud Nasir al-Sabah, and she had lived in the US most of her life. She was never even in Kuwait when Saddam invaded.
Tom Lantos’ propaganda production helped push America into a war for Israel’s interests. The second US war against Iraq in 2003, which was also based upon malicious lies about Saddam’s non-existent “weapons of mass destruction,” was similarly engineered by Zionists to facilitate the removal of the Iraqi “threat” to Israeli power. “Why would Iraq attack America or use nuclear weapons against us? I’ll tell you what I think the real threat (is) and actually has been since 1990 — it’s the threat against Israel,” said Philip Zelikow, a former Bush administration insider.
In 1996 several leading neoconservatives wrote a strategy paper for Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud regime entitled “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm.” In the report they talked about “rolling back Syria” and argued that deposing Saddam Hussein in Iraq was “an important Israeli strategic objective.” Among the authors of the dastardly document were the Israel-first partisans Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and David Wurmser, all of whom became high-ranking members of the Bush administration in 2003, leading the drive for a war against Iraq.
Shortly before the 2003 invasion, the Israel-first champion Tom Lantos assured his Israeli counterparts that Saddam Hussein would soon be ousted and an US/Israeli-backed puppet dictator would be installed in his place. “You won’t have any problem with Saddam,” the Jewish congressman told MK Colette Avital of Israel’s Labour Party. “We’ll be rid of the bastard soon enough. And in his place we’ll install a pro-Western dictator, who will be good for us and for you.”
In 1996 Madeline Albright, the former secretary of state under Bill Clinton, unveiled her utter inhumanity on a CBS News 60 Minutes broadcast. When informed that the genocidal US economic sanctions imposed on Iraq after the 1991 [Persian] Gulf War caused the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children, Albright remarked that it was “worth the price.” In that twelve-year period from 1991 to 2003 more than a million Iraqi children as well as hundreds of thousands of Iraqi men and women died as a result of US sanctions.
Alongside Israel’s political leaders, Israeli religious leaders were jubilant at the prospect of Iraq’s demise. Yona Metzger, Israel’s chief Ashkenazi rabbi, thanked President Bush for invading Iraq and killing millions of Iraqis. “I want to thank you for your support of Israel and in particular for waging a war against Iraq,” the rabbi told President Bush in a brief verbal exchange at Ben-Gurion airport.
Believing their war of annihilation against the Arab/Muslim world is sanctioned by god, the Jewish-Zionist elite of Israel and the United States will stop at nothing to bring doom upon millions of innocent people who stand in the way of their grandiose dream of a “Greater Israel.” In 1962 Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion made a striking prediction. He candidly outlined his vision of the future, forecasting that the nations of the world would become “united in a world alliance, at whose disposal will be an international police force. All armies will be abolished, and there will be no more wars.”
He further declared that in Jerusalem “the United Nations … will build a Shrine of the Prophets to serve the federated union of all continents; this will be the seat of the Supreme Court of Mankind, to settle all controversies among the federated continents, as prophesied by Isaiah.” Ben-Gurion also once remarked that the ideals of the United Nations are consistent with Jewish ideals. “We consider that the United Nations’ ideal is a Jewish ideal,” he said.
In his eerie presage Ben-Gurion referenced the Jewish prophet Isaiah. The book of Isaiah in the Old Testament of the Bible contains some interesting passages that illuminate the supremacist mindset of Ben-Gurion and his co-religionists. Isaiah 60:5 says, “Ye shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings.” Isaiah 61:5 speaks of how “Strangers will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.” Isaiah 60:5 explains how “The wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come.” “And you will be called priests of the LORD, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast,” it says in Isaiah 61:6.
Isaiah 60:12 decrees the destruction of nations not subservient to the chosen people: “For the nation or kingdom that will not serve you will perish; it will be utterly ruined.” Isaiah 49:23 foresees kings and queens becoming slaves of the chosenites: “Kings will be your foster fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers. They will bow down before you with their faces to the ground; they will lick the dust at your feet.”
“For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth,” it says in the book of Deuteronomy (7:6). Driven by religious fanaticism and ethnic chauvinism, the Jewish Zionists and their puppets are pursuing mad policies that will only cause bloodshed and misery.
It is now up to people with a conscience, however many there are left in the world, to recognize this evil for what it is and confront it with the truth.
Brandon Martinez is a freelance writer in Canada with a specialty in foreign policy and international affairs.
A Response to Joseph Massad’s “Theses on Zionism”
This is a response to Joseph Massad’s “Theses on Zionism” in Electronic Intifada on December 9, 2013.
In pre-modern times, Jews lived in separate communities, governed by their religious authorities, with corporate rights and obligations, determined by royal or aristocratic authority. The Enlightenment and emancipation ended the subjugation of west European Jews to Judaic authorities, and to gentile regulation. Jews were admitted, gradually but inevitably, to full citizenship in their states of residence, equal to their fellow citizens. The US was created on a modern, liberal basis, with no trace of pre-modern Jewish status. Anti-semitism existed but liberalism was the prevailing trend before World War I. In modern terms, Jews became a religious minority, or secular citizens. Jews embraced modernity wholeheartedly. Western Jews became some of its leading proponents; east European Jews emigrated by the million from oppressed, traditional societies to the US.
Zionism was a response not only to anti-Semitism but to liberal modernity. Zionism opposed the assimilation and integration of Jews, and held that anti-Semitism was irrevocable and natural. “The Jews comprise a distinctive element among the nations under which they dwell, and as such can neither assimilate nor be readily digested by any nation.” We “must give up contending against these hostile impulses [anti-Semitism].” Resistance is “a waste of time and energy.” “The civil and political emancipation of the Jews is not sufficient to raise them in the estimation of the peoples.” “The proper, the only solution, is in the creation of a Jewish nationality, of a people living upon its own soil, the auto-emancipation of the Jews; their return to the ranks of the nations by the acquisition of a Jewish homeland.” (Leon Pinsker, Auto-emancipation)
Zionism adopted anti-Semitic ideas and tactics and cooperated with anti-Semites practically. Herzl frequented anti-Semitic salons in Paris, and sought Russian czarist support for Zionism with Ottoman Turkey in return for silencing Russian Jewish protest. After the October, 1917 Russian revolution Zionism presented itself to the western powers as Jewish anti-Bolshevism. In the Russian civil war Zionists allied with anti-Semitic White forces who committed pogroms when they lost to the Bolsheviks. In 1933 the Zionist movement broke the promising Jewish-led boycott of Nazi Germany with the Transfer Agreement, which sold German exports through Palestine. Zionism opposed relief for Jews on humanitarian grounds because it detracted from Zionist national aims in Palestine. Zionism was an elite project of national renewal, concerned with “the problems of Judaism, not the problems of Jewry,” in Ahad Ha’am’s words.
The Zionist claims of a historical Jewish people, attached to the “land of Israel,” and of modern “secular Jewish identity” are utterly untenable. Zionist racialism dates to the proto-Zionism of Moses Hess; the chauvinism of Heinrich Graetz contributed to German anti-Semitism; German Zionism was Jewish Romantic nationalism, embracing Jewish Blut und Boden. Theodor Herzl was steeped in the racism of European colonialism. Nazi and Zionist “race experts” consulted each other in the 1930s. Elmer Berger, an anti-Zionist rabbi, co-authored the 1977 UN resolution on Zionism as a form of racism. “Jewish genetics” tries to build a biological basis for Zionism. Zionism’s fundamental opposition is not Jewish settler vs Arab indigene in Palestine, but Jew vs gentile everywhere. Historian Noel Ignatiev called Zionism Jewish race doctrine.
There is no “progressive Zionism.” The leaders of “cultural Zionism” supported immigration and a Jewish majority. Zionist “culture” is founded on irreducible Jewish difference, separatism, alienation, and anti-gentilism, the counterpart of racialist anti-Semitism. The bi-nationalists wanted Jewish immigration leading to demographic parity and eventually majority, when Jews were a minority. The kibbutz was an instrument of exclusive Ashkenazi Jewish settlement in Palestine, and was inspired by 19th c. German plans to counter a Polish “demographic threat” in the eastern Reich. Hitler might have conquered the Near East; the Judeocide happened because of Nazi Germany, not because there was no Jewish state. Israeli Hebrew ethnicity or nationality, secular and open to all, is the liberal replacement for Zionist Jewish nationality,
The classical left and liberal traditions descended from the Enlightenment and emancipation rejected Zionism categorically. American Reform Judaism once stated: “We consider ourselves no longer a nation, but a religious community, and, therefore expect neither a return to Palestine, nor… the restoration of any of the laws concerning the Jewish state.” Marxism upheld the international solidarity of the working class, viewed nationalism as reactionary, and Zionism as a colonial movement and tool of imperialism. The Yiddish labor movements in the Russian Empire and their immigrant offshoots also opposed Zionism. The late Israel Shahak referred to the “modern, secular Jewish tradition,” which he traced from Spinoza, who began the remarkable Jewish contribution to modernity. Shahak viewed Zionism as a reaction against emancipation, and a longing for the ghetto.
Zionism was a marginal cult among western Jews until World War I. The Balfour Declaration and the British conquest of Palestine raised interest but it subsided, reviving only with the advent of Nazism. US Jews supported overwhelmingly the establishment of Israel in 1948, but liberal attitudes prevailed into the early 1960s. The success of liberalism and assimilation led to a “continuity crisis,” an effort to maintain separatism that was fatally supercharged by the June, 1967 war. Organized Jewry became and remains fanatically chauvinist, insular and pro-Israel. “The Holocaust” became an institution and part of Jewish identity, including classic Zionist dogma about irrevocable, murderous anti-Semitism. The organized Jewish communities and the Jewish state have constituted the Zionist Jewish people. The Volk has replaced liberalism as the Jewish social principle; the modern period of Jewish history has ended.
The organized Jewish community is the core of US support for Israel, the “Zionocracy,” after the 19th c. “Slaveocracy” that wielded immense power until the Civil War. The Zionocracy has exercised quasi-sovereign influence on US foreign policy since the 1940s, when it secured US support for partition of Palestine and the Jewish state, against overwhelming military and diplomatic opposition. Israel’s “strategic value” during the later Cold War is mostly Zionist public relations. In the 1960s the Zionocracy concealed Israel’s nuclear weapons program, secured arms sales, and US support for Israel in 1967, against warnings by many US officials. The October, 1973 war and resulting oil price increases were the biggest shock to the world economy since 1945. The Carter Administration sought a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict but the Zionocracy limited Carter’s diplomacy to a separate Egypt-Israel peace. Israel and the Zionocracy then opposed Iraq and supported Iran during their war in 1980s.
Zionism has been the chief ideological driver of US militarism since the end of the Cold War. The congressional vote for the 1991 Gulf War against Iraq was the closest since the War of 1812, and the Zionocracy may have tipped the scales. The “dual containment” of Iran and Iraq in the 1990s was by and for the Zionocracy, over substantial business opposition. The 9/11 attacks, which led to the US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and the destruction of civil liberties, were directed mainly against US patronage of Israel. The Zionocracy is the main source of Islamophobia in the US. The Jewish neoconservatives were the prime movers in the 2003 US invasion of Iraq. This greatly increased Iranian influence and escalated its antagonism with Saudi Arabia, and led to the present dissolution of Syria. The US has restarted diplomacy with Iran but the Zionocracy has passed overwhelmingly in the House and has majority sponsorship in the Senate for legislation that will destroy the opening and restore the war drive.
Left and liberal Jewish opinion since 1967 has been as völkisch as the mainstream. Israel was not an issue for the Jewish members of the American New Left in the early 1960s, who sought to build a universalist movement. The New Left shattered in the late 1960s over internal differences, including attitudes toward Israel, after the June 1967 war. A “Jewish left” arose, which purported to combine Jewish commitment with social justice, including some criticism of Israel. Today a loose school of Jewish identity politics centered on Noam Chomsky imposes on the left terms of “anti-occupation”, “law and rights,” “solutions,” “progressive Zionism,” “Israel as US strategic asset,” and “anti-anti-Semitism”. This circumscribed critique conceals the US Zionocracy and Zionism itself, in contrast to the classical liberalism of the Enlightenment and emancipation, which rejected Zionism categorically. The modern period of Jewish history has ended on the left also.
A universalist critique would oppose Zionism, not “the occupation”; recognize Zionism as Jewish racialism, opposing Jew and gentile everywhere; acknowledge Zionism as the ideological driver of genocide and destruction in western Asia, and the source of Jewish chauvinism and separatism
in the US; reject the Zionist idea of “the Jewish people” in whose name the state of Israel and organized Jewry act; condemn the role of US organized Jewry and the Zionocracy as a quasi-sovereign, radicalizing force in US Middle East policy; and defend a secular realm in which we think and act together. It would do this in the name of the people of Jewish background who contributed so much to modernity, from Spinoza onward, whose legacy towers over Zionism. The failure to do this is catastrophic, comparable to the German Communist Party’s disastrous misreading of Hitler and Nazism, which weakened the left and assisted their rise to power, and all that followed.
Harry Clark’s article “The End of Modern Jewish History,” which expands on these issues, will appear in Left Curve, No. 38, forthcoming in April. He may be reached at his web site http://questionofpalestine.net
Professor Cyrus Bina relates the facts that (outside of Zionism) the colonial era ended decades ago and that the oil industry and markets have been globalized. The various theories that have been put forward from both the left and the right regarding war rationales that rely on demonisation of OPEC are essentially nothing more than outdated fear mongering. Cyrus Bina has been vindicated by more recent events which have shown that oil prices have been determined by Western financial markets rather than exporters.
The history of Middle Eastern oil, including its subsequent development into a modern industry, can be divided into three distinct stages: (1) the era of international cartels, 1901-1950; (2) the era of transition, 1950-1972; and (3) the era of globalization since the mid-1970s. A slightly different historical periodization can be provided for the U.S. domestic oil industry: (1) the era of classical cartelization and early oil trusts of 1870-1910; (2) the era of regulated neo-cartelization of 1911-1972; and (3) the era of globalization since the mid-1970s. A close examination of the entire 1870-1970 period would reveal that administrative pricing under the International Oil Cartel (known as Seven Sisters) were predominantly the rule in the oil business. The cartel, however, began to lose its grip during the 1950s and 1960s. Proliferating market forces, in con-junction with the development of capitalist social relations in the colonial and semi-colonial oil regions, had overcome the colonial concessions and worldwide administrative control of oil under the international oil cartel. The oil crisis of 1973-1974 was but the symptom of this transformation toward globalization. Moreover, the so-called “OPEC offensive”—which was misperceived by both the right and the left as the cause for re-control of oil market/prices —was but the catalyst of this de-cartelization and globalization of oil.
The war-for-oil scenario, as a popular myth, ignores the deeper understanding of the complex web of contradictions and regulating dynamics of today’s economy and polity. Yet, the very anachronism of this scenario is understandable in the view of the anachronistic U.S. behavior that is so dreadfully attempting to reverse the loss of American hegemony against the time and, more importantly, history. Therefore, parallel with the anachronistic reality of U.S. colonial conduct in Iraq, the anachronism of the “oil grab” becomes “reality” in the minds of those who chant “No Blood for Oil.” Yet, holding a parallel between the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the control of oil is a far fetched proposition, if not an outright illusion. For, since the mid 1970s, the material bases and dynamics of post-cartelization and globalization of oil render the physical access, prearranged inter-company allocation, and indeed administrative control and pricing of oil redundant. This rather counter intuitive reality also renders any connection between the war and oil—other than given disbursement to finance matters such as the establishment of a puppet government—superfluous.
Nevertheless, in an interview, James Schlesinger remarked: “The United States [Bush, 41st] has gone to war now, and the American people presume this will lead to a secure oil supply. As a society we have made a choice to secure access to oil by military means. The alternative is to become independent to a large degree of that secure access.” It is indeed surprising that a market worshipping Chicago School economist fails to see the formation of (spot) oil prices within interconnected and unified markets since the post-cartelization of oil in the 1970s. Schlesinger, on the one hand, stresses the phrase “secure access” and, on the other hand, underscores the alternative of “independence,” as if one can insulate the U.S. oil industry from the rest of transnational oil. This thesis provides a convenient cover for two separate strategic projects: justifying the war without exposing its real cause, and creating panic by playing the familiar scarcity card to extend the exploration of oil in the pristine U.S. regions of wildlife such as ANWAR. In this context this was also what the Bush administration and Cheney’s “Task Force on Energy” probably had in mind when they were referring to “secure oil.”
In a nutshell, the above thesis ignores (1) the mutuality of oil producers and oil consumer, the need of both sides in selling and purchasing in the competitive global oil market, (2) the interdependence of oil regions in the present interdependent world, (3) the formation of global prices based on the cost of highest cost (U.S.) producer, not the cost of individual oil regions, and (4) the formation of differential oil rents, given the existing differential (regional) costs, through competition. Here, the dramatized “oil dependency” is but an empty phrase in the view of the trans nationalization of oil since the 1970s.
On the opposite side, hardly anyone on the left fully recognized the implication of uncritical acceptance of the above tautological thesis. Thus, the left-wing liberals and the radical left adopted this theory and dressed it up in leftist garb before applying it to either the question of war or the problem of environment. Michael Klare is one of the remarkable defenders of this thesis on the left. He declares: “Two key concerns underlie the Administration’s [Bush, 43rd] thinking: First,the United States is becoming dangerously dependent on imported petroleum to meet its daily energy requirements, and second, Iraq possesses the world’s largest reserves of untapped petroleum after Saudi Arabia.” Klare, however, takes this thesis one step further to an improvised level of neo-Malthusian scarcity:
“Global demand for many key materials is growing at an unsustainable rate. As the human population grows, societies require more of everything (food, water, energy, timber, minerals, fibers, and so on) to satisfy the basic material requirements of their individual members…. Because the production and utilization of these products entails [sic.] the consumption of vast amount of energy, minerals, and other materials, the global requirement for many basic commodities has consistently exceeded the rate of population growth.”
This worn-out neo-Malthusian message has again been reiterated in Blood and Oil. Yet, Klare, who is perplexed by the gravity of U.S. involvement in Iraq is “compelled … to conclude that petroleum is unique among the world’s resources that it has more potential than any of the others to provoke major crises and conflicts in the years ahead.” Again for Klare (and for many on the left) the specificity of the cause-and-effect seems to have no bearing on this historically unique epochal conflict and his fascination with oil is so intensive that he fails to realize a need for a specific and independent analytical proof.
I contend that, at best, the war-for-oil scenario is a text with out a context. On a logical level, the oil scenario is a remarkable example of a post hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy, misplacing the real cause of U.S. military intervention. Moreover, by neglecting the depth of the last two decades of global transformation, the protagonists on the left and the right both have adopted a very voluntaristic-functionalist view of the U.S. global role. The left tends to capitalize on a voluntaristic interpretation of the concept of hegemony and the functionalist pivot of U.S. military might. For Klare, though, the global conflict “is entirely the product of geology.” The right, on the other hand, tends to rely on the notion of a “unipolar” world and wishful arguments of the “bound to lead” variety, without adequate attention to the emerging new polarities associated with the loss of American hegemony and the forces of globalization.
Others on the left, who are obsessively fond of the war-for-oil scenario, argue that this war may not have been for oil in the interest of U.S. capitalism as a whole, but rather in the interest of “U.S. oil corporations.” Hence, they propose that the cost of war amounts to a huge subsidy by the entire society given to the oil industry. This is a fictitious argument derived from the blind assumption of “direct access” and physical control of oil, and absolute denial of the reality of global transformation of the oil industry in the early 1970s. It is also crude and arbitrary, given the reduction of the material interests of the entire (U.S.) capitalist class to the alleged interests of its tiny fraction. And, appealing to casual observation, such as watching news from the Iraqi oil fields and the arrival of oil service contractors for “rebuilding” Iraq, is not sufficient to turn away from serious analysis. The truth is that this adventurous undertaking is in the interest of neither.
Finally, attaching significance to the switching of the currency, from dollar to euro, by OPEC oil producers is unjustified. As Paul Krugman pointed out in a short note, any possible shift from the dollar to the euro on the part of OPEC will result in a “small change,” for the U.S. economy, much smaller than the switching made already by the “Russian Mafia.” However, many on the left are not losing any opportunity to grasp this straw.
The official story of 9-11 is collapsing almost as fast as the Obamacare website. Most Americans are now well aware of the strange collapse of WTC Building 7, the video that captures the sound of the actual explosion that initiates the collapse of WTC7, the very strange behavior of the Secret Service as President Bush read about goats at Booker Elementary School. We have all seen the photographs that confirm the remains of demolition “cutter charges” in the remains of the towers. And we all know how the BBC reported that Building 7 collapsed 26 minutes before it actually happened. indicating a script was being followed (but alas, not carefully enough).
With the official story in free fall, Americans are wondering just who did this heinous deed. With the US Government itself the prime suspect, many are asking if the US Government had help from an outside nation, one with a long track record of world-changing dirty tricks.
There is a great deal of evidence that implicates the nation of Israel as a co-conspirator with the Bush administration. First, there was the massive Israeli spy ring uncovered in the United States just before 9-11, and how some of the “Dancing Israelis” arrested after being seen cheering and dancing as the World Trade Towers collapsed turned out to be Mossad spies! Then there was the strange case of Odigo, an Israeli-owned company whose New York offices received a warning about the attacks before the planes used in the attacks had even left the ground! All four of the hijacked planes departed from airport gates whose security was provided by the same Israeli security company. Israel has a long track record of playing dirty tricks against the United States and other countries, including the Lavon affair (framed on Egypt), Israel’s attack on the USS Liberty (initially framed on Egypt), and Israel’s smuggling a radio transmitter into Libya that was used to send fake messages that tricked President Reagan into bombing Libya.
As people start to seriously examine the plethora of evidence regarding Israel’s numerous perfidies it comes as no surprise that recently we have seen Israel’s “useful idiots” launch a propaganda campaign to claim that Saudi Arabia was behind the 9-11 attacks, based on a lawsuit brought against Saudi Arabia by the families of the victims. But anyone can bring a lawsuit against anyone for anything. That does not mean the lawsuit allegations are true. Nonsense lawsuits are a reality of the modern US court system, as are lawsuits staged primarily as political and propaganda stunts, which is what this appears to be. At the very least this propaganda is intended to deflect interest away from Israel. At worst, it is the start of the campaign to justify military invasion of that country, just as Saddam’s nuclear weapons were the excuse to invade Iraq, and the more recently (and thankfully failed) attempt to justify invasion of Syria by claiming Syria’s government was gassing their own people.
As I have mentioned before, the best way to tell if you are being lied to is to look for what should be there but isn’t. In the case of the claim that Saudi Arabia was behind 9-11, what should be there and isn’t is a motive for Saudi Arabia to do something like that.
George Bush had a motive to do 9-11. He needed that “new Pearl Harbor” to enrage Americans into the century of war called for by the Project For The New American Century. Israel certainly had a motive to do 9-11 and frame Muslims for it, to trick Americans into siding with Israel’s continued land grabs and wars against Israel’s enemies, with Israel’s agenda being (as it was with the Lavon affair, the USS Liberty, and the Libyan radio hoax) that Americans fight those wars for them!
Saudi Arabia does not have a history of dirty tricks, nor a demonstrated ability to carry out such deceptions. More to the point, Saudi Arabia has no motive to attack the United States. The Saudi princes have grown very rich indeed through the Petrodollar arrangement. Saudi Arabia buys many American products and weapons ($61 billion in 2011), and unlike Israel, the American taxpayer does not have to give them the money first with which to buy those weapons. Whereas Israel constantly takes money out of the US, the Saudis pour it in! Private Saudi investment in the US economy is over $400 billion. Saudi Arabia is a major creditor to the US Government. Exact figures are hard to find but Saudi Arabia has loaned the US Government hundreds of billions of dollars.
Saudi Arabia is not going to risk an attack on the US because all that wealth would vanish. The Saudi wealth inside the US would be frozen or seized, and the outstanding loans to the US would never be repaid. The “useful idiots” trying to save Israel by blaming 9-11 on Saudi Arabia have yet to come up with a motive for the Saudis to do something like 9-11 that risks losing all that cash.
Remember that Saudi Arabia was being framed for 9-11 right from the start. One of the accused hijackers, a Saudi Pilot named Saeed Al-Ghamdi, was still alive after 9-11 and sued the US Government for defaming him.
And finally, here is some common sense that totally undermines the attempt to frame Saudi Arabia for 9-11. If Saudi Arabia really wanted to hurt the United States, they don’t need to fly airplanes into skyscrapers to do it. All they have to do is ask for their money back, all at once. The resulting damage to the US financial system would make 9-11 look like a minor inconvenience in comparison.
And it would be perfectly legal for Saudi Arabia to ask for their money back.
Which is why we know that the claim that Saudi Arabia was behind 9-11 has no more basis in fact than the claim that Saddam had nuclear weapons or that Assad gassed his own people right in front of the UN chemical weapons inspectors.
As the media tries to blame Saudi Arabia for 9-11, it is worth recalling that the Bush administration initially claimed that Iraq was behind 9-11 to sell the 2003 invasion, then later admitted Iraq had actually been innocent. So there is a pattern of the US simply using 9-11 as a “one size fits all” excuse to invade yet another oil rich nation.
Remember Fallujah? Shortly after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the US military fired on unarmed protestors, killing as many as 20 and wounding dozens. In retaliation, local Iraqis attacked a convoy of US military contractors, killing four. The US then launched a full attack on Fallujah to regain control, which left perhaps 700 Iraqis dead and the city virtually destroyed.
According to press reports last weekend, Fallujah is now under the control of al-Qaeda affiliates. The Anbar province, where Fallujah is located, is under siege by al-Qaeda. During the 2007 “surge,” more than 1,000 US troops were killed “pacifying” the Anbar province. Although al-Qaeda was not in Iraq before the US invasion, it is now conducting its own surge in Anbar.
For Iraq, the US “liberation” is proving far worse than the authoritarianism of Saddam Hussein, and it keeps getting worse. Last year was Iraq’s deadliest in five years. In 2013, fighting and bomb blasts claimed the lives of 7,818 civilians and 1,050 members of the security forces. In December alone nearly a thousand people were killed.
I remember sitting through many hearings in the House International Relations Committee praising the “surge,” which we were told secured a US victory in Iraq. They also praised the so-called “Awakening,” which was really an agreement by insurgents to stop fighting in exchange for US dollars. I always wondered what would happen when those dollars stopped coming.
Where are the surge and awakening cheerleaders now?
One of them, Richard Perle, was interviewed last year on NPR and asked whether the Iraq invasion that he pushed was worth it. He replied:
I’ve got to say I think that is not a reasonable question. What we did at the time was done in the belief that it was necessary to protect this nation. You can’t a decade later go back and say, well, we shouldn’t have done that.
Many of us were saying all along that we shouldn’t have done that – before we did it. Unfortunately the Bush Administration took the advice of the neocons pushing for war and promising it would be a “cakewalk.” We continue to see the results of that terrible mistake, and it is only getting worse.
Last month the US shipped nearly a hundred air-to-ground missiles to the Iraqi air force to help combat the surging al-Qaeda. Ironically, the same al-Qaeda groups the US is helping the Iraqis combat are benefiting from the US covert and overt war to overthrow Assad next door in Syria. Why can’t the US government learn from its mistakes?
The neocons may be on the run from their earlier positions on Iraq, but that does not mean they have given up. They were the ones pushing for an attack on Syria this summer. Thankfully they were not successful. They are now making every effort to derail President Obama’s efforts to negotiate with the Iranians. Just last week William Kristol urged Israel to attack Iran with the hope we would then get involved. Neoconservative Senators from both parties recently introduced the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013, which would also bring us back on war-footing with Iran.
Next time the neocons tell us we must attack, just think “Iraq.”
ICC | December 2005
When the House of Commons was debating how much to increase the time limit for detention without trial the question of torture came up. Officially this was limited to the nice considerations of whether it was all right to send people to places where torture is used and whether Britain can use information collected by the use of torture in other countries. This discussion gave an impression of democratic Britain as the home of civilised behaviour where the very idea of torture is repugnant to our legislators – unlike, say, the US with its secret CIA jails and where Cheney has been labelled the ‘Vice President for Torture’. In reality, the British state has a long history of using and developing a whole range of torture techniques.
Interrogation in Northern Ireland
Between 1971 and 1975 more than 2000 people were interned without trial by the state in Northern Ireland. Picked up without having any charges laid, or knowing when they were going to be released, detainees were subject to all sorts of treatments, some coming under the heading of ‘interrogation in depth’. Apart from prolonged sessions of oppressive questioning, serious threats, wrist bending, choking and beatings, there were instances of internees being forced to run naked over broken glass and being thrown, tied and hooded, out of helicopters a few feet above the ground. The ‘five techniques’ at the centre of the interrogators’ work were: sensory deprivation through being hooded (often while naked); being forced to stand against walls (sometimes for over 20 hours and even for more than 40); being subjected to continuous noise (from machinery such as generators or compressors for periods of up to 6 or 7 days); deprivation of food and water; sleep deprivation for periods of up to week. Relays of interrogation teams were used against the victims.
The British state tried to discredit reports of torture. Stories were fed to the media about injuries being self-inflicted – “one hard-line Provisional was given large whiskies and a box of king-size cigarettes for punching himself in both eyes” (Daily Telegraph, 31/10/77). There were indeed instances of self-harm, but these were either suicide attempts or done with the hope of being transferred to hospital accommodation.
Then the press said that any measures were justified if they helped to ‘prevent violence’. They contrasted “ripping out fingernails, beating people with steel rods and applying electric shocks to their genitalia” (Daily Telegraph 3/9/76), examples of “outright brutality”, with the measures used in Northern Ireland.
In 1978 the European Court of Human Rights said that the techniques Britain had used caused “intense physical and mental suffering and … acute psychiatric disturbance”, but that while this was “inhuman and degrading treatment” it didn’t amount to torture. This was a victory for the British state because it was keen to use means that would cause the maximum distress to the victim with the minimum external evidence. They had been previously referred to the European Court over torture in Cyprus, but in fact British interrogators had been using various combinations of the ‘five techniques’ for a long time. When the army and RUC approached Northern Ireland’s Prime Minister, Brian Faulkner, for formal approval “They told him that the ‘in-depth’ techniques they planned to use were those the army had used … many times before when Britain was faced with insurgencies in her colonies, including Palestine, Malaya, Kenya, Cyprus, the British Cameroons, Brunei, British Guyana, Aden, Borneo, Malaysia and the Persian Gulf” (Provos The IRA and Sinn Fein Peter Taylor).
By any means deemed necessary
British intervention in the Malayan ‘emergency’ in the 1950s has been held up as a model of suppression and ‘counter-insurgency’. Apart from the camps established, the murder squads, use of rigid food controls, burning down villages and the imposition of emergency regulations, the use of torture was an integral part of British operations. With 650,000 people uprooted and ‘resettled’ in New Villages, or put in concentration camps, there was also a programme of ‘re-education’.
British action in Kenya in the 1950s also showed what British civilisation was prepared to do. At various times over 90,000 ‘suspects’ were imprisoned, in either detention camps or ‘protected villages’. At one point Nairobi (population 110,000) was emptied, with 16,500 then detained and 2,500 expelled to reserves. Assaults and violence, often to the point of death, were extensive. As in Malaya, ‘rehabilitation’ was one of the goals of the operation. More than 1000 people were hanged, using a mobile gallows that was taken round the country. Overall, maybe 100-150,000 died through exhaustion, disease, starvation and systematic brutality.
Recent revelations in The Guardian (12/11/5) concerned a secret torture centre, the “London Cage”, that operated between July 1940 and September 1948. Three houses in Kensington were used to interrogate some 3500 German officers, soldiers and civilians. Still in use for three years after the end of the war, interrogation included beatings, being forced to stand to attention for up to 26 hours, threats of execution or unnecessary surgery, starvation, sleep deprivation, dousings with cold water etc. “In one complaint lodged at the National Archives, a 27-year-old German journalist being held at this camp said he had spent two years as a prisoner of the Gestapo. And not once, he said, did they treat him as badly as the British.”
There is a continuity in the British state’s actions. The Lieutenant Colonel in charge of the ‘London Cage’ received an OBE for his interrogation work in the First World War. In the 1950s there were reports of Britain experimenting with drugs, surgery and torture with a view to designing techniques that would be effective but look harmless. In the 1970s thousands of army officers and senior civil servants were trained to use psychological techniques for security purposes. Inevitably, the truth about current activities is not in the public domain.
In general, British democracy has been better than others at concealing the brutal way its state functions. Anything that is exposed is denied or dismissed as being an isolated excess. In France the extensive use of torture in the war in Algeria was publicised as part of a battle between different factions of the colonial aparatus. Victims had hoses inserted in their mouths and their stomachs filled with water, electrodes were put on genitals, heads were immersed in water. During the Battle of Algiers 3-4000 people ‘disappeared’: fatal victims of French torture techniques.
Although France, and more recently the US in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, have been less successful than Britain in keeping their actions under wraps, all these “democracies” use the most brutal methods of interrogation and detention. They also learn from each other’s activities, most notably in Vietnam, where the US drew on British experience in Malaya as much as earlier French experience in Indo-China.
By Stuart Littlewood | February 10, 2009
Martin van Creveld, a former professor of military history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a world-leading writer on military matters, has made many enemies with his seemingly outrageous views.
But actually he does a great service by sharing his thoughts about what ‘mad dog’ Israeli might do next.
In a September 2003 interview in Elsevier (the Dutch weekly) Van Creveld said: “We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions, perhaps even at Rome. Most European capitals are targets for our air force…. We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that that will happen before Israel goes under.”
Van Creveld talked about ‘collective deportation’ as Israel’s only meaningful plan for the Palestinian people. “The Palestinians should all be deported. The people who strive for this [the Israeli government] are waiting only for the right man and the right time…”
As to whether Israel would care much about being branded a rogue state if it carried out a genocidal deportation against Palestinians, Van Creveld quoted a remark by former Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Dayan: “Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother.”
Lebanon, and now Gaza… Israel’s ‘mad dog’ credentials are beyond dispute. And the West is leaning over backwards not to be bothersome.
So has the right time arrived? Could the man they are waiting for be the snarling rottweiler Netanyahu, who seems to be in with a good chance at the Israeli elections?
He’s a ‘war on terror’ freak and therefore very appealing to a neurotic electorate. It was he who, in 2001, said: “There is an empire of terror. There are chiefdoms. Arafat has his own chiefdoms. Bin Laden has his own chiefdom. The Hezbollah in Lebanon have their chiefdom. There is Hamas and Islamic Jihad working under Arafat’s chiefdom. And they enjoy the support and sponsorship in close cooperation with such sovereign states as Iraq and Iran, havens in Afghanistan and other Middle Eastern regimes. They work together, both in material support and of course political support…
“They are after our civilization. We must summon the forces of civilization and the force and the power to act against them now, when we have the power and when we still have the time to do so.”
These militant Islamics, he said, don’t hate America because of Israel. “It’s the other way around. They hate Israel because of America. They see us… as an outpost of common values, our common values of freedom. They hate that freedom. They hate our way of life. They hate our respect for individual rights, our ideas of free choice, our free society, our free press… It’s that flame of liberty that these people want to extinguish. But it is the United States holding that torch with its allies who can wipe out these terrorists. And we must do nothing short of it. We must wipe them out or they will wipe us out.”
Come again? Islamists hate Israel’s respect for individual rights? Pardon me while I die laughing!
In the meantime the US and Britain have been very obliging in the vast amounts of money, effort and lives they have expended in Iraq and Afghanistan for Israel’s benefit.
Later, in 2006, Netanyahu was cooking up the case for war against Iran, saying: “It’s 1938 and Iran is Germany. And Iran is racing to arm itself with atomic bombs.”
Of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad he urged: “Stop him… He is preparing another Holocaust for the Jewish state.”
Speaking on Israeli Army Radio, Netanyahu claimed that Israel would be Iran’s first target for destruction but, to make sure Israel’s supporters remained in a cosy, warm embrace and firmly on-side, insisted that Iran’s arsenal would also be directed against the US and Europe.
When asked if President Bush could afford another military adventure after Iraq, Netanyahu said acting on the Iranian threat would not be adventurous but necessary.
Netanyahu was groomed and financed from an early age by the sinister and influential CFR – America’s Council on Foreign Affairs – and has links to George Schultz and warmongering neo-cons like Perle and Feith.
Van Creveld’s specialism is the future of war and he’s well placed for a shrewd appreciation of where Israel’s warpath is leading. Every lame-brained stooge and Zionist plant in the White House, Congress and Senate, and in Number 10, the Foreign Office, Westminster, and the front and back benches of the Labour and Conservative Parties should take note.
After Gaza did they reprimand the delinquent cur and banish it to its kennel? No. They still pat and stroke and feed the rabid beast.