Speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on March 18, 2017, on the occasion of the anniversary of the birth of Fatima al-Zahra (as), Women’s Day
Extract of the Political Section of the Speech
Today, or (rather) these days are actually a (special) opportunity, namely that the events in Syria and the war waged against Syria have entered their seventh year. That is to say, six years have passed, with all that they contain in terms of sufferings, wars, conspiracies, confrontations and sacrifices of human lives. With the end of the sixth year and the beginning of the seventh, we must stop briefly on this occasion, because it concerns us also in the first place.
All those who met in the first few months of the beginning of the events six years ago of state forces, great powers, regional countries, 140, 130 or 120 countries that have gathered under the name of “Friends Of Syria” and who plotted, doing everything they could (against Syria). They bet on their ability to seize Syria in 2 or 3 months in 2011. Today, with the end of the 6th year, they face a bloody and painful truth, namely rout and failure. After six years, these powerful and important countries of the world and the region have failed, a bitter failure, in achieving their goals.
For six years, tens of billions of dollars of Arab money – Turkey did not spend money, France and the United Kingdom did not spend money. All the money that financed the war in Syria is Arab money. This money could have eliminated the poverty of the Arab world. It could have brought Somalia out of famine and Yemen as well. It could have (re)built the houses of the Palestinians in Gaza. It could have strengthened the Palestinians at Bayt-al-Maqdis (Sanctuary House / Jerusalem). This money could have guaranteed hundreds of thousands of job opportunities for unemployed Arab youth. It could have ended the illiteracy of hundreds of millions, unfortunately, tens of millions of men and women in the Arab world who are illiterate. Not a single dollar has been spent on these problems, but tens of billions of dollars of Arab money have been spent on the war in Syria, against Syria, its regime, its state, its army and its people, and against the Resistance Axis within it.
And tens, hundreds of thousands of tons of weapons and ammunition (were sent there). And they came from all over the world with tens of thousands of fighters, white, black, brown, red, yellow, whatever you want. They have left no side, no color, no tongue, no race, they have brought fighters from every spot of the whole world. The Americans, their allies, the plotters funded and facilitated (sending fighters) and brought tens of thousands of fighters to fight in Syria to achieve a clear and precise goal: to bring down Syria, to get it out of the Resistance Axis and take control of it. To take control of its decisions, its sovereignty, its people and its choices on its territory, and its strategic position on the Mediterranean Sea (between Asia) and Europe, and its strategic position in the struggle against the Israeli enemy.
Today, the result is clear: failure, defeat and retreat.
Well, let me remind you a bit, at the beginning of the 7th year, about the beginning of the first year. We do not deny that some of the people really wanted reforms and changed some realities in Syria. But what came (on the scene) with force and changed all that are the takfiri forces that were brought from all over the world, and who refused political dialogue in the first weeks. They refused any political outcome, any discussion, and their choices were definitive: they went to the bloody, general and total military confrontation. They have formulated sectarian slogans and revived (religious) school quarrels, and have lifted the veil on their objectives and their hostility towards the Resistance in the first weeks.
Well, who brought the al-Qaeda organization? When they arrived in Syria, what was their name? The Islamic State in Iraq. They then added “and in the Levant” (Syria). Then they divided, the members of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant divided. There were two factions: Daesh and the Al-Nosra Front. But in truth, they all belong to al-Qaeda, which is listed by the Americans on the list of terrorist organizations, as well as by the UN Security Council, by Saudi Arabia and by Europe. They brought tens of thousands of fighters, whom they regarded as terrorists themselves, gave them money and weapons, opened borders and brought them to Syria. They recognize that they themselves created (these groups), that they created Daesh to fight the Resistance and the Resistance Axis.
Today, the situation is different. I do not want to dwell on this point, and I will just focus on the new elements.
I want to remind you first of all that in the first year, the question did not require much political understanding, and that there was no need to make predictions and wait (and see). Anyone who had studied contemporary experiences in Afghanistan and elsewhere could reach the following conclusion, as I told them in the first months, I addressed the Al-Qaeda organization and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, Daesh and the Al-Nosra Front who separated from it, and I said to them: “All of you of all nationalities, you were brought to Syria to gather you there, you were brought to Syria – now, anyone can check this out from 6 years ago – you were brought to Syria to gather you there and use you as combatants to achieve the American-Israeli goals in the region and when you will be pressed to the end, whether you have won or lost, you will be liquidated. We collect you (en masse) in order to liquidate you after having used you. You have been used… – and that is why I called them initially to be careful and wake up, and not to turn into wood and fuel for the fire lit by America and Israel as well as some regional countries, against whom they also plot, and who will pay the price. But sectarianism, foolishness, ignorance and stupidity have given them no opportunity (of lucidity).
They thought they were very smart, they believed that they were instrumentalizing America, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the countries of the world and the West so that they’d allow them to implement their own project in Syria. And they wrote all that in their strategic projects. And that was the pinnacle of stupidity.
Today, what happens? After Daesh became an object of scandal for the American project here, Daesh sees its last days in Iraq – (it’s a question of) weeks, months, (but) it’s over. Daesh has no military or political future in Iraq. And similarly in Syria, Daesh no longer has any military or political future in Syria. At best, they will have dormant cells that will carry out suicide bombings because the suicide bombings targeting civilians in Baghdad, Tikrīt, Damascus, Homs and elsewhere reflect strategic and military failure. When someone sends suicide bombers to kill children, women, in restaurants, passers-by, schoolchildren and students, this reflects his strategic failure and military failure. These are acts of vengeance, not of fighting. This is the future of Daesh. The future of Al-Nosra is the same.
Today, Daesh is bombed by the international coalition led by the United States, Britain, Turkey, Jordan, as well as Russia and the forces fighting them in Syria. And the Al-Nosra Front, the Al-Nosra Front brought (and supported) by the Americans and their Turkish and Gulf allies, the Al-Nosra Front is now bombed in Idlib and at the West of Aleppo. Is not that what I told you six years ago? Now we hear voices rising from Idlib and West of Aleppo against America, its betrayals and hypocrisy. Did you sleep well? After destroying Syria, after destroying Iraq, after destroying Yemen, you finally wake up and you understand? (You realize the nature of) this treacherous and hypocritical America, who uses you then massacres you? That is the truth.
And with that, of course, Israel interferes every day, with various pretexts. The pretext of striking weapons intended for Hezbollah, as they claimed yesterday, for any pretext: on the pretext that a mortar shell hit the Golan (occupied), etc., Israel intervenes and strikes positions of the Syrian Army in order to provide support and assistance to Daesh and these (other) terrorist groups. Today, this arrogant and occupying project, the project of hegemony and control over Syria, I frankly declare to you that it has failed, and that Syria has won, but that it is still waiting for the great and decisive victory. As for the rest of the factions, Daesh will disappear. And the Al-Nosra Front will disappear. And the terrorist takfiri groups will disappear. It is only a matter of time.
Even the world that supported, funded, helped and assisted them has now abandoned them and is fighting them. For the spell has turned against the sorcerer. For the world has discovered that this serpent which he has raised in his bosom (and launched against Syria) has become a danger and a poison to him, in Paris, London, Germany, Belgium, inside Turkey, the United States, Saudi Arabia, etc.
The rest of the factions of the Syrian opposition, what is their current situation? They have no leader, no leadership, no united front, no national project, they don’t know what they want, they are divided, lost, and wander between (foreign) embassies and security services. Yes, there is still a bet on patriotic personalities or cadres of the opposition, that they can participate in the political solution and dialogue to rebuild Syria.
Today, for the commemoration of the birth of (Fatima al-Zahra), the daughter of the Prophet of God, who was sent to the worlds as a Mercy, allow me to renew my address to all those still fighting in Syria in the enemy front, and who believe that they are fighting in the front of Islam, the front of the (Islamic) Community or the front of the Fatherland, and who are 100% wrong. Allow me to appeal to them, to address them and tell them: this project has failed. Your struggle is in vain and leads to nothing but more deaths, battles and destruction, and bloodshed on both sides, which benefits America and Israel.
Look, Netanyahu went to Moscow imploring. Why? He went to intercede with President Putin because he is afraid of the defeat of Daesh in Syria. For the defeat of Daesh for Putin – excuse me, for Netanyahu, constitutes a victory for the Resistance and the Resistance Axis. Because for Netanyahu, Daesh’s defeat in Syria is a failure of the project he has supported for 6 years. So he went to beg (Putin). Oh, what do you do with Daesh, calm down with Daesh! For if you finish Daesh, what are you going to do with Iran, Hezbollah, President Assad, and the rest of the Resistance Axis?
Do not believe, (you Daesh fighters), that you are on the Front of Islam, the Community or the Fatherland. Whether you realize it or not, you have fought for 6 years on the Front of America and Israel and the Front of those who plot against you to kill you, imprison you and massacre you. Will not all this blood poured in Syria and Iraq awaken you? Is not that enough to reconsider things? I call upon them to lay down their arms, to cease fighting, to a real ceasefire, to seek a genuine humanitarian and political solution, to leave the front of hypocrisy for the front of Islam, leave Israel and America for the front of the Community, and leave the front of the enemy for the front of the Resistance. And it is still possible. It is still possible. (I call them to) stop these destructions. Your project has no future.
The Resistance Axis, as we said in the first days and months, today, after six years, from the beginning, we declared that the Resistance Axis would not be defeated in Syria, neither in Iraq, nor in Yemen, and that it would not break. And now that six years have passed, the Resistance Axis triumphs in Syria, and it triumphs in Iraq, and it is steadfast in Yemen where it will also win, if God wills, a great decisive victory. But these people must be aware of what they do with their lives, their blood, their future and their afterlife, and they must reconsider all their bloody actions that persist in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere.
The secretary general of Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, says Israel seeks an end to Russia’s military campaign against the ISIS terrorist group in Syria to avert the Tel Aviv regime’s collapse.
Nasrallah said on Saturday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had recently met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow to express his deep concern over the likely collapse of ISIS in Syria since such a development would mark a great triumph for the resistance front in the Middle East region.
The Hezbollah chief added that the defeat of the ISIS Takfiri group in Syria would be tantamount to the fall of Netanyahu himself.
Russia launched a military campaign against the terrorist groups in Syria in late September 2015 at the official request of the Damascus government.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Nasrallah said that Western powers were drawing on Takfiri terrorists in order to carry out their schemes in conflict-ridden Syria.
“I have repeatedly called on Syria militants not to put trust in [the] West and implement their plots in Syria, because the US and its allies are only using them as cannon fodder and will abandon [them] as soon as they are defeated,” he said.
He added, “I am telling militants fighting within the ranks of the enemies that you are only serving Israel, and shedding the blood of innocent people.”
The Hezbollah leader noted that the days of ISIS, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly known as the al-Nusra Front, and other terrorist groups fighting to topple the Damascus government are numbered as Syrian army forces continue to achieve victories across the country.
Even those Arab and Western countries that once supported these terror outfits are now fighting them, Nasrallah pointed out.
The Hezbollah chief argued that all the Arab money spent to fan the flames of militancy in Syria over the past six years could have been used to eradicate poverty and illiteracy in the Arab world, feed starving Somalis, and accommodate homeless Palestinians.
Nasrallah said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had recently visited Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow to express his deep concern over the likely collapse of Daesh in Syria since such a development would mark a great triumph for the resistance front in the Middle East region.
If Americans Knew
What is anti-Semitism today, two generations after the Holocaust? In his continuing exploration of modern Israeli life, director Yoav Shamir travels the world in search of the most modern manifestations of the “oldest hatred”, and comes up with some startling answers.
In this irreverent quest, he follows American Jewish leaders to the capitals of Europe, as they warn government officials of the growing threat of Antisemitism, and he tacks on to a class of Israeli high school students on a pilgrimage to Auschwitz.
On his way, Shamir meets controversial historian, Norman Finkelstein, who offers his views on the manner that anti-Semitism is being used by the Jewish community and especially Israel for political gain. He also joins scholars, Stephen M. Walt and John J. Mearsheimer, while they give a lecture in Israel following the release of their book “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy”, about the disproportional influence the Israel lobby in Washington enjoys.
Yoav visits Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem, the must stop for all world leaders on their visits to Israel. While in Jerusalem, he drops by the house of his grandmother that offers her insight on the issue and declares that she is the “real Jew”.
Israel’s minister for military affairs, Avigdor Lieberman, has warned the Syrian government against launching ground-to-air missiles at Israeli warplanes carrying out strikes inside Syria, threatening to destroy Syrian air defense systems.
“The next time the Syrians use their air defense systems against our planes we will destroy them without the slightest hesitation,” Lieberman said on Israeli Public Radio on Sunday.
He added that the Israeli military will target any convoy of missiles or weapons destined for the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement.
“The Syrians must understand that they are held responsible for these arms transfers to Hezbollah and that if they continue to allow them then we will do what we have to do,” Lieberman pointed out.
The remarks came two days after the Syrian army announced in a statement that four Israeli fighter jets had violated the Arab country’s airspace, adding its air defense had shot down one of the military aircraft and hit another.
The Israeli warplanes entered the Syrian skies at 2:40 a.m. local time (0040 GMT) on Friday via Lebanese territory, and hit a target on the way to the ancient Semitic city of Palmyra.
“Our air defense engaged them and shot down one warplane over occupied territory, hit another one, and forced the rest to flee,” the Syrian army said, apparently referring to the Golan Heights.
The Syrian army also slammed Tel Aviv’s strikes as “an act of aggression” meant to assist the Takfiri Daesh terror group.
Israel’s aerial assaults are “a desperate attempt to raise their (Daesh terrorists’) deteriorating morale and divert attention away from the victories which Syrian Arab Army is making in the face of the terrorist organizations,” the statement read.
On Saturday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Israeli regime will continue to conduct military attacks against Hezbollah targets inside Syria.
“When we identify attempts to transfer advanced weapons to Hezbollah and we have intelligence and it is operationally feasible, we act to prevent it,” Netanyahu alleged. “That’s how it was yesterday and that’s how we shall continue to act.”
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict.
Over thirty year ago a savvy Colombian peasant leader told me, “Whenever I read the word ‘peace accords’ I hear the government sharpening its knives”.
In recent times, ‘peace accords’ (PAs) have become a common refrain across the world. In almost every region or country, which are in the midst of war or invasion, the prospects of negotiating ‘peace accords’ have been raised. In many cases, PA’s were signed and yet did not succeed in ending murder and mayhem at the hands of their US-backed interlocutors.
We will briefly review several past and present peace negotiations and ‘peace accords’ to understand the dynamics of the ‘peace process’ and the subsequent results.
The Peace Process
There are several ongoing negotiations today, purportedly designed to secure peace accords. These include discussions between (1) the Kiev-based US-NATO-backed junta in the west and the eastern ‘Donbas’ leadership opposed to the coup and NATO; (2) the Saudi US-NATO-armed terrorists in Syria and the Syrian government and its Russian, Iranian and Hezbollah allies; (3) the US-backed Israeli colonial regime and the Palestinian independence forces in the West Bank and Gaza; and (4) the US-backed Colombian regime of President Santos and the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC).
There are also several other peace negotiations taking place, many of which have not received public attention.
Past and Present Outcomes of Peace Accords
Over the past quarter century several PAs were signed – all of which led to the virtual surrender of armed anti-imperialist protagonists and popular mass movements.
The Central-American PA’s, involving Salvador and Guatemala, led to the unilateral disarmament of the resistance movement, the consolidation of oligarchical control over the economy, the growth and proliferation of narco-gangs and unfettered government-sponsored death squads. As a consequence, internal terror escalated. Resistance leaders secured the vote, entered Congress as politicians, and, in the case of El Salvador, were elected to high office. Inequalities remained the same or worsened, and murders matched or exceeded the numbers recorded during the pre-Peace Accord period. Massive numbers of immigrants, often of internal refugees fleeing gang violence, entered the US illegally. The US consolidated its military bases and operations in Central America while the population continued to suffer.
The Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations did not lead to any accord. Instead ‘negotiations’ became a thin cover for increasing annexation of Palestinian land to construct racist ‘Jews-Only’ enclaves, resulting in the illegal settlement of over half a million Jewish settlers. The US-backed the entire farcical peace process, financing the corrupt Palestinian vassal-leaders and providing unconditional diplomatic, military and political support to Israel.
US-Soviet Union: Peace Accord
The Reagan/Bush-Gorbachev ‘peace accords’ were supposed to end the Cold War and secure global peace. Instead the US and the EU established military bases and client regimes/allies throughout Eastern Europe, the Baltic and Balkans, pillaged the national assets and took over their denationalized economies. US-based elites dominated the vassal Yeltsin regime and virtually stripped Russia of its resources and wealth. In alliance with gangster-oligarchs, they plundered the economy.
The post-Soviet Yeltsin regime ran elections, promoted multiple parties and presided over a desolate, isolated and increasingly surrounded nation – at least until Vladimir Putin was elected to ‘decolonize’ the State apparatus and partially reconstruct the economy and society.
Ukraine Peace Negotiations
In 2014 a US-sponsored violent coup brought together fascists, oligarchs, generals and pro-EU supporters seizing control of Kiev and the western part of Ukraine. The pro-democracy Eastern regions of the Donbas and Crimean Peninsula organized resistance to the putsch regime. Crimea voted overwhelmingly to re-unite Russia. The industrial centers in Eastern Ukraine (Donbas) formed popular militias to resist the armed forces and neo-Nazi paramilitaries of the US backed-junta. After a few years of mayhem and stalemate, a ‘negotiation process’ unfolded despite which the Kiev regime continued to attack the east. The tentative ‘peace settlement’ became the basis for the ‘Minsk agreement’, brokered by France, Russia and Germany, where the Kiev junta envisioned a disarming of the resistance movement, re-occupation of the Donbas and Crimea and eventual destruction of the cultural, political, economic and military autonomy of the ethnic Russian East Ukraine. As a result, the ‘Minsk Agreement’ has been little more than a failed ploy to secure surrender. Meanwhile, the Kiev junta’s massive pillage of the nation’s economy has turned Ukraine into a failed state with 2.5 million fleeing to Russia and many thousands emigrating to the West to dig potatoes in Poland, or enter the brothels of London and Tel Aviv. The remaining unemployed youth are left to sell their services to Kiev’s paramilitary fascist shock troops.
Colombia: Peace Accord or Graveyard?
Any celebration of the Colombian FARC – President Santos’ ‘Peace Accord’ would be premature if we examine its past incarnations and present experience.
Over the past four decades, Colombian oligarchical regimes, backed by the military, death squads and Washington have invoked innumerable ‘peace commissions’, inaugurated negotiations with the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) and proceeded to both break off negotiations and relaunch full-scale wars using ‘peace accords’ as a pretext to decimate and demoralize political activists.
In 1984, then-President Belisario Betancur signed a peace accord with the FARC, known as the ‘Uribe Agreement’. Under this agreement, thousands of FARC activists and supporters demobilized, formed the Patriotic Union (UP), a legal electoral party, and participated in elections. In the 1986 Colombian elections, the UP candidates were elected as Senators, Congress people, mayors and city council members, and their Presidential candidate gained over 20% of the national vote. Over the next 4 years, from 1986-1989, over 5,000 UP leaders, elected officials and Presidential candidates were assassinated in a campaign of nationwide terror. Scores of thousands of peasants, oil workers, miners and plantation laborers were murdered, tortured and driven into exile. Paramilitary death squads and landlord-backed private armies, allied with the Colombian Armed Forces, assassinated thousands of union leaders, workers and their families members. The Colombian military’s ‘paramilitary strategy’ against non-combatants and villagers was developed in the 1960’s by US Army General William Yarborough, Commandant, US Army Special Warfare Center and ‘Father of the Green Beret’ Special Forces.
Within five years of its formation, the Patriotic Union no longer existed: Its surviving members had fled or gone into hiding.
In 1990, newly-elected President Cesar Gaviria proclaimed new peace negotiations with the FARC. Within months of his proclamation, the president ordered the bombing of the ‘Green House’, where the FARC leaders and negotiating team were being lodged. Fortunately, they had fled before the treacherous attack.
President Andrés Pastrana (1998-2001) called for new peace negotiations with the FARC to be held ‘in a demilitarized zone’. Peace talks began in the jungle region of El Caguan in November 1998. President Pastrana had made numerous pledges, concessions and reforms with the FARC and social activists, but, at the same time he had signed a ten-year multi-billion dollar military aid agreement with US President Clinton, known as ‘Plan Colombia’. This practice of ‘double-dealing’ culminated with the Colombian Armed Forces launching a ’scorched earth policy’ against the ‘demilitarized zones’ under the newly elected (and death-squad linked) President Alvaro Uribe Velez. Over the next eight years, President Uribe drove nearly four million Colombian peasants into internal exile. With the multi-billion dollar funding from Washington, Uribe was able to double the size of the Colombian Armed Forces to over 350,000 troops, incorporating members of the death squads into the military. He also oversaw the formation of new paramilitary armies. By 2010 the FARC had declined from eighteen thousand to under ten thousand fighters – with hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties and millions rendered homeless.
In 2010 Uribe’s former Minister of Defense, Juan Manual Santos was elected President. By 2012 Santos initiated another “peace process” with the FARC, which was signed by the end of 2016. Under the new ‘Peace Accord’, signed in Cuba, hundreds of officers implicated in torture, assassinations and forced relocation of peasants were given immunity from prosecution while FARC guerillas were to face trial. The government promised land reform and the right to return for displaced farmers and their families. However, when peasants returned to claim their land they were driven away or even killed.
FARC leaders agreed to demobilize and disarm unilaterally by June 2017. The military and their paramilitary allies would retain their arms and gain total control over previous FARC- liberated zones.
President Santos ensured that the ‘Peace Accord’ would include a series of Presidential Decrees – privatizing the country’s mineral and oil resources and converting small family farms to commercial plantations. Demobilized peasant-rebels were offered plots of infertile marginal lands, without government support or funding for roads, tools, seed and fertilizer or even schools and housing, necessary for the transition. While some FARC leaders secured seats in Congress and the freedom to run in elections unmolested, the young rank and file FARC fighters and peasants were left without many alternatives but to join paramilitary or ‘narco’ gangs.
In summary, the historical record demonstrates that a series of Colombian presidents and regimes have systematically violated all peace agreements and accords, assassinated the rebel signees and retained elite control over the economy and labor force. Before his election, the current President Santos presided over the most deadly decade when he was Uribe’s Defense Minister.
For brokering the peace of the graveyard for scores of thousands of Colombian peasants and activists, President Santos was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
In Havana, FARC leaders and negotiators were praised by Cuban President Raul Castro, President Obama, Venezuelan President Maduro and the vast majority of ‘progressives’ and rightists in North and South America and Europe.
Colombia’s bloody history, including the widespread murder of Colombian civil rights activists and peasant leaders, has continued even as the documents finalizing the Peace Accords were being signed. During the first month of 2017, five human right activists were murdered by death squads – linked to the oligarchy and military. In 2015, while the FARC was negotiating over several clauses in the agreement, over 122 peasant and human rights activists were murdered by paramilitary groups who continued to operate freely in areas controlled by Santos’ army. The mass media propaganda mills continue to repeat the lie that ‘200,000 people were killed by the guerillas (FARC) and the government’ when the vast majority of the killings were committed by the government and its allied death squads; a calumny, which guerilla leaders fail to challenge. Prominent Jesuit researcher Javier Giraldo has provided a detailed factual account documenting that over three quarters of the killings were committed by the Army and paramilitary.
We are asked to believe presidential regimes that have murdered and continue to murder over 150,000 Colombian workers, peasants, indigenous leaders and professionals are suddenly transformed into justice-loving partners in peace. During the first three months of this year, activists, sympathetic to the peace agreement with the FARC, continue to be targeted and killed by supposedly demobilized paramilitary murderers.
Social movement leaders report rising political violence by military forces and their allies. Even peace monitors and the UN Human Rights Office admit that state and paramilitary violence are destroying any structure that President Santos could hope to implement the reforms. As the FARC withdraws from regions under popular control, peasants seeking land reform are targeted by private armies. The Santos regime is more concerned with protecting the massive land grabs by big mining consortiums.
As the killing of FARC supporters and human rights activists multiply, as President Santos and Washington look to take advantage of a disarmed and demobilized guerilla army, the ‘historic peace accord’ becomes a great deceit designed to expand imperial power.
Conclusion: Epitaph for Peace Accords
Time and again throughout the world, imperial-brokered peace negotiations and accords have served only one goal: to disarm, demobilize, defeat and demoralize resistance fighters and their allies.
‘Peace Accords’, as we know them, have served to rearm and regroup US-backed forces following tactical setbacks of the guerrilla struggle. ‘PA’s are encouraged to divide the opposition (’salami tactics’) and facilitate conquest. The rhetoric of ‘peace’ as in ‘peace negotiations’ are terms which actually mean ‘unilateral disarmament’ of the resistance fighters, the surrender of territory and the abandonment of civilian sympathizers. The so-called ‘war zones’, which contain fertile lands and valuable mineral reserves are ‘pacified’ by being absorbed by the ‘peace loving’ regime. This serves their privatization programs and promote the pillage of the ‘developmental state’. Negotiated peace settlements are overseen by US officials, who praise and laud the rebel leaders while they sign agreements to be implemented by US vassal regimes . . . The latter will ensure the rejection of any realignment of foreign policy and any structural socio-economic changes.
Some peace accords may allow former guerilla leaders to compete and in some cases win elections as marginal representatives, while their mass base is decimated.
In most cases, during the peace process, and especially after signing ‘peace accords’, social organizations and movements and their supporters among the peasantry and working class, as well as human rights activists, end up being targeted by the military and para-military death-squads operating around government military bases.
Often, the international allies of resistance movements have encouraged them to negotiate PAs, in order to demonstrate to the US that ‘they are responsible’— hoping to secure improved diplomatic and trade relations. Needless to say, ‘responsible negotiations’ will merely strengthen imperial resolve to press for further concessions, and encourage military aggression and new conquests.
Just ‘peace accords’ are based on mutual disarmament, recognition of territorial autonomy and the authority of local insurgent administration over agreed upon land reforms, retaining mineral rights and military-public security.
PA’s should be the first step in the political agendas, implemented under the control of independent rebel military and civil monitors.
The disastrous outcome of unilateral disarmament is due to the non-implementation of progressive, independent foreign policy and structural changes.
Past and present peace negotiations, based on the recognition of the sovereignty of an independent state linked to mass movements, have always ended in the US breaking the agreements. True ‘peace accords’ contradict the imperial goal of conquering via the negotiating table what could not be won through war.
Israel used a local Amnesty International branch as a front for the foreign ministry in the late 1960s and 1970s, according to an exclusive report by Haaretz, based on official documents authenticated and translated by the Israeli news outlet.
The documents reveal how some heads of Amnesty International Israel were allegedly in regular contact with the Foreign Ministry from the late 1960s to the mid -1970s, reporting on their activity in real time, consulting with officials and taking instructions from them.
The Amnesty office in Israel received regular funds transferred through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which reportedly included hundreds of Israeli pounds for flights abroad, per diem allowances, registration fees and dues payments to the organization’s headquarters, according to the papers.
The report claims that the strongest link between the Foreign Ministry and the Amnesty office was during the period between 1974 and 1976 when Professor Yoram Dinstein was at its helm. Dinstein previously worked in the Foreign Ministry and served as the Israeli consul in New York.
Dinstein’s appointment meeting was attended by the Foreign Ministry officer who he was most regularly in contact with during his time as chairman, according to one document.
Dinstein denied that Amnesty Israel received funds from the Foreign Ministry when contacted by Haaretz last week. He also disputed being in contact with the agency and said it had no involvement in the Amnesty International branch.
He also made clear his present day opinions of the human rights organisation: “I resigned after a few years when I became aware that this is a populist organization very far from everything I believe in, which is research and knowledge.”
“Today Amnesty International is dealing with an area about which it understands nothing – international humanitarian law,” he added.
Lior Yavne, the executive director of Akevot told Haaretz that the “manipulative exploitation” deployed then is reminiscent of groups in recent years that “supposedly originate in the civil society but have murky sources of funding and operate to damage the legitimacy of human rights organizations critical of the policy of the Israeli government.”
Amnesty’s International Secretariat said in a statement that the files “present serious allegations suggesting that the leadership of our former Israel section acted in a manner that was blatantly at odds with Amnesty International’s principles.”
It noted that since 1975, the organisation formally agreed that it would accept no government funds for any of its research or campaigns. The Israeli branch of Amnesty International opened in 1964, three years after the organisation was founded in London.
“During the period in question we were a movement that was still in its infancy. As we grew to become the truly global movement we are today, we have continued to develop robust governance policies and procedures to ensure stringent impartiality and accountability.”
Amnesty Israel said that the documents demonstrate that the government of Israel has never refrained from making use of any means to evade accountability for the violation of human rights it conducts, in the 1970s as well as today.
Amnesty International Israel today runs a number of campaigns aimed at combating discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel, confronting human rights abuses within the occupied Palestinian territories and gaining equal rights for asylum seekers and refugees.
Geo-politics in this bold new 21st century world is anything but boring. Just look at the headlines and you’ll agree, 1970s tabloids were real news compared to today’s sensationalist propaganda. One shining example from America’s capital, the Washington Post has become a barometer for truth – but not in the way you might think. Here’s some curious observances of the once venerable newspaper a billionaire technocrat bought for a purpose.
Billionaire Jeff Bezos does not like Donald Trump one little bit. One gander at the front page of his Washington Post tells us that anything “Trump” is bad. The same newspaper that spilled the beans about Richard Nixon’s Watergate mess, it’s now gone over to the dark side with recent front page stories on; Congressional Republicans criticizing Trump’s budget, Sean Spicer’s “angry” defense of the wiretapping claim, Trump and his team blabbing, White House dumping 30,000 FAA workers, Trump picking a “deeply disturbing” hero, Trump’s budget being “utterly unrealistic”, how Republicans plan on hurting American families, and you’ve got the picture on the rest. Bezos’ bullhorn is over the top.
The good “news” is that discerning analysts, researchers, and interested citizens can use the Washington Post’s propaganda for good, by applying some reverse psychology. Or to simplify, if Bezos is against it, then it must be good. Yes, the Washington Post tabloid can point us to the truth! But everyone knows by now the WP is so-called “Fake News”, but few know the ins and outs.
Bezos: The Globalist Minion
Back in the 1980’s Jeff Bezos was a relative nobody. The “legend of Bezos” tells us the science wiz from Princeton went to Wall Street to work the hedge fund company D. E. Shaw & Co. for a few years. Then all-of-a-sudden the soon to be Amazon legend decides to load up his car like the Beverly Hillbillies and head to Seattle. The story goes, he supposedly wrote up the Amazon business plan along the way – and it’s a full American bit of malarkey in my book. Then all of a sudden (as American legends go) “BAM”, in rapid succession he founds Amazon, snags $8 million in series A funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in 1995. And gets a boat load of fame for basically regurgitating what Sears & Roebuck did in the 1800#s – and nothing more. That’s right, there was no innovation or engineering involved – Amazon is a digital mail-order catalog clone. While Amazon and eBay were the early lead in substantial online commercialism, I submit Bezos and Co. were propped up. Here’s some clues.
The digital advertising gurus say Bezos’ company survived the dot-com bust because of his brilliant business planning. But this is simply not the case. When Amazon started selling books online, huge brick and mortar interests like Books-A-Million, Inc. and Barnes & Noble rapidly followed suit. While the latter two book behemoths suffered share price disasters when the bubble burst, Amazon’s stock also fell from $107 to $7 per share. Then something interesting happend. AOL Time Warner bailed Bezos out with $100 million dollars in capital. The trail of fascinating “coincidences” in between Amazon, AOL and Time Warner – intersect with momentous occasions like the one in Tiananmen Square when AOL’s Stephen M. Case and Warner’s Gerald M. Levin met at the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China (strangely) in 1999. Even though the AOL-Time Warner deal proved to be the biggest merger flop in history, the investment in Amazon puzzled many even back then.
Faye Landes, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein & Company at the time, questioned Bezos’ explanation for revenue shortfalls just prior to the deal. And she was not alone. Amazon was not a real growth and earnings business back then – and the company does not really make that much even today. Compared to other tech giants, Amazon makes peanuts per share these days. Amazon is one giant “equity bubble”, or a kind of mirror of the Federal Reserve under Barack Obama and his predecessors. And in a way the Washington Post is one pixel of an overall game of economics smoke and mirrors. Hundreds of billions of dollars are flowing through entities large and small in America, and only the very rich seem to be getting richer. This is another story though. The Bezos “puzzle” – the geo-policy of globalism – how technocracy entered into the world sweepstakes is where the Texas billionaire is interesting. To understand Bezos’ role in the globalist doctrine, we have to follow the trail of money that made his company successful. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which also funded AOL early on, has its fingers in just about every big pie worth eating in the digital space. It should also come as no surprise that former Secretary of State Colin Powell is a partner; as are former Vice President Al Gore, and Sun Microsystems founder Vinod Khosla (see more political alliances here). Put mildly, the technocrats like Bezos are in thick as thieves with the globalist perpetrators on the world stage. From Powell and Tony Blair, to Michael Bloomberg (see Bloom Energy) and KPCB’s L. John Doerr (Obama’s economic recovery advisor), Bezos has plenty of miraculously powerful cohorts in his anti-Trump war.
The Real Evil Geniuses Behind
While Bezos is the subject of my report today, John Doerr is an even more critical figure to take stock of. Back in 2008 he and Steve Jobs announced the Kleiner Perkins $100 million iFund along with a prophetic statement: Doerr declared that the iPhone was “more important than the personal computer” because “it knows who you are” and “where you are.” This fund is the largest single investment in cell phone application history. Given the recent WikiLeaks Vault 7 revelations on the CIA, the fact Doerr and these others are so wired into mobile is significant. Doerr also serves on the board of Google, the company most often accused of collusion with the NSA and CIA in spying on everyone.
If we can grasp that there are two sides in the ideological battle for the world going on, then revealing Jeff Bezos and the other technocrats on the new globalist order side is simplified. The Washington Post, or even Bloomberg’s media for instance, hammer each day to try and forge an alternative reality for people. Take the assertion that Russia and Vladimir Putin were influential in Trump’s victory. The WikiLeaks releases about CIA espionage with the 2012 French elections shows us my “reverse psychology” theory in practice. Russia is blamed, when all along the United States’ administration is the one doing the tampering. And who is fundamental in the technologies and infrastructure necessary for complete surveillance? The technocrats, of course. But the game is big. It’s “huge”, as President Trump would exclaim. And as for those like Bezos, they were not innovators at all – only willing soldiers in a much larger scheme where profit for Amazon was not the goal. Amazon, you see, is a mechanism. If I had to bet, I’d say Amazon serves as a distribution hub, a data collection point, and as a money moving apparatus to assist in expanding the globalist control capability. Washington Post is the company blog, so to speak, spitting out contravening messages to distract and leverage. Just play “what if” for a brief moment. What if all those smart TVs Amazon ship came pre-loaded with CIA malware or spying apparatus? What if agents did not have to physically install malware on targeted devices? Again, I got your attention. I quote from WikiLeaks
“The increasing sophistication of surveillance techniques has drawn comparisons with George Orwell’s 1984, but “Weeping Angel”, developed by the CIA’s Embedded Devices Branch (EDB), which infests smart TVs, transforming them into covert microphones, is surely its most emblematic realization.”
If I may, since the world of media and news now operates on theory, conjecture, and opinion, then perhaps I may have license to speculate further on Bezos’ rise to wealth and fame. Looking at his past and his associations, it’s fair to suggest Bezos is not the genius behind Amazon’s success. If I had to bet real money, I’d say his boss at D. E. Shaw & Co., computer genius and Hillary Clinton campaign funder David Elliot Shaw is. I’d presuppose that Bezos did not just take off for Seattle in the mid-90s, but that Shaw sent him. Without delving deeply into who Shaw is, the reader should know he is the most successful and enigmatic hedge fund billionaire of all. He advised Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and is a key mover and shaker in the business of supercomputers and molecular dynamics.
After reading this some will ask the question; “How does this relate to world détente and policy?” Well, the answer is pointedly obvious – policy is about business these days. You read about Angela Merkel travelling to Washington to meet President Trump. This is not about saving the world for the people, you must realize. The meetup is so that Germany can continue to lead a European Union entity powered by banking and corporate interest. We can no longer be fooled into thinking the new world order (NOW) is some crazy conspiracy theory. Why the likes of Bezos, George Soros, even politicians admit that the “globalist” mission is endangered by Trump! The Washington Post fake news, installed billionaires, the genius Big Brothers standing behind – they are the reality. We have to start to think independently of their advertising – and make no mistake – the ads are aimed at fleecing you.
Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe.
Is the NDP establishment scared to have party members discuss Canada’s international posture?
At the party’s first leadership debate last weekend there wasn’t a single foreign policy question despite a host of contentious recent party positions on international affairs.
Certainly at a time when the mainstream media is giving prominence to militarist voices, many members would be keen to hear the four candidates’ positions on military spending. The party’s 2015 platform said an NDP government would “meet our military commitments by maintaining Department of National Defence budget allocations.” In addition to backing Stephen Harper’s budget allocations, the NDP aggressively promoted the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy, a $40 billion effort to expand the combat fleet over three decades (over its lifespan the cost is expected to top $100 billion). Defence critic Jack Harris bemoaned “Conservative delays” undermining “our navy from getting wanted equipment” and the platform said the NDP would “carry forward the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy to ensure Canada has the ships we need” even if this naval build-up strengthens Canadian officials’ capacity to bully weaker countries.
It would also be good to know the candidates’ views on the Trudeau government repeatedly isolating Canada from world opinion regarding Palestinian rights. In November, for instance, Canada joined the US, Israel, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Federated States of Micronesia and Palau in opposing UN motions titled “Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan” and “persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities.” One hundred and fifty-six countries voted in favour of the motions, but the NDP stayed silent on the UN votes.
During the 2015 federal election the NDP responded to Conservative party pressure by ousting as many as eight individuals from running or contesting nominations because they defended Palestinian rights on social media. In the most high profile incident, Morgan Wheeldon was dismissed as the party’s candidate in a Nova Scotia riding because he accused Israel of committing war crimes in Gaza, when it killed 2,200 mostly civilians in the summer of 2014. Do leadership candidates plan to continue purging critics of Israel?
The grassroots would also be interested to know the candidates’ views on Ottawa ramping up its military presence on Russia’s doorstep. The NDP backed the 2014 coup in Kiev, war in eastern Ukraine and NATO military buildup in Eastern Europe. During a 2015 election debate party leader Tom Mulcair called for stronger sanctions against Russian officials and last summer NDP defence critic Randall Garrison expressed support for Canada leading a NATO battle group to Latvia as part of ratcheting up tensions with Russia. Alongside ongoing deployments in Poland and Ukraine, 450 Canadian troops will soon be deployed to Latvia while the US, Britain and Germany head missions in Poland, Lithuania and Estonia.
Are the candidates troubled by the protracted civil war in Libya that grew out of NATO’s bombing? In 2011 the NDP supported two House of Commons votes endorsing the bombing of Libya, which was justified based on exaggerations and outright lies about the Gaddafi regime’s human rights violations (see my The Ugly Canadian: Stephen Harper’s Foreign Policy for details). Additionally, the NATO forces explicitly contravened the UN resolutions sanctioning a no-fly zone by dispatching troops and expanding the bombing far beyond protecting civilians, while Ottawa directly defied the two Libya-related UN resolutions by selling drones to the rebels.
It would also be good to hear the candidates speak out against diplomatic efforts to promote mining interests abroad or Ottawa signing Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (FIPAs) to protect mineral corporations in Africa.
But party insiders likely don’t want to discuss foreign policy because there is a substantial gap between members’ views on the issues and what the dominant media considers acceptable. The party’s grassroots would be open to reducing the $20 billion (plus) military budget and withdrawing from NATO. A good number would also be concerned about stoking tension with Russia and a new poll confirms that NDP members — and most Canadians — are critical of Israel and open to the Palestinian civil society’s call to boycott that country.
Fundamentally, party insiders do not want to rock the foreign policy status quo boat. The media backlash that would result from adopting progressive foreign policy positions terrifies the NDP establishment. Even debating the subjects mentioned above would drop the party’s stock in the eyes of the dominant media.
But maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe being perceived as outside the mainstream political consensus — fresh ideas and promoters of open debate — is exactly what the NDP needs.
If a leadership campaign is not a time for a rigorous foreign policy debate, when is?
Yves Engler is the author of A Propaganda System: How Canada’s Government, Corporations, Media and Academia Sell War and Canada in Africa: 300 years of aid and exploitation.