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Collusion

Book review by Paul Robinson | Irrusianality | December 2, 2017

The investigation into suspected collusion between US President Donald Trump and the Russian government has claimed its first three victims: one (Paul Manafort) for completely unconnected money laundering charges, and two (George Papadopoulos and Michael Flynn) for lying to investigators about things which were not themselves criminal, and which are therefore crimes which would never have happened had there never been an investigation. To date, the evidence of direct collusion between Trump and the Russians is looking a little thin, to say the least. Now, into this maelstrom steps Guardian reporter Luke Harding with his book Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russian Helped Donald Trump Win.

Collusion spends over 300 pages insinuating that Trump is a long-standing agent of the Russian secret services, and hinting, without ever providing any firm evidence, that Trump and his team acted on orders from the Kremlin to subvert American democracy. I’ll be honest, and admit that I picked this book up expecting it to be a series of unsubstantiated conspiracy theories, and to be utterly unbalanced in its analysis, and in that sense I’m not an unbiased reader. At the same time, I was interested to see if Harding had come up with anything that everybody else had not, and was willing to give him a chance. I needn’t have bothered. For alas, my worst suspicions proved to be true, and then some.

The first thing to note about Collusion is that most of it is padding. That is to say, that it consists mainly of a lot of digressions in which Harding describes people and events not directly related to the main story of collusion. Whenever a new character is introduced, you tend to get pages of background information, along with descriptions of various places they’ve been to, things they’ve done in the past, and so on. At the start of the book, for instance, Harding introduces Christopher Steele, who prepared an infamous dossier purportedly based on secret sources within the Kremlin, which made all sort of extreme accusations against Trump. We learn about Steele’s parents, his childhood, his education, his career, and so on. Harding recounts how he met Steele. We learn about how they tried one café, then another, who drank what, etc, etc. This pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the book. There’s a lot of padding. This padding makes Collusion an easy read, and gives it colour, and the flavour of a spy novel. But none of it adds anything to our knowledge of Donald Trump and his relationship with Russia. It’s just filler, designed to cover up the fact that, when it comes to the matter of collusion, Harding doesn’t have a whole lot new to say and certainly doesn’t have enough to fill up an entire book.

The second thing to note is that Harding’s modes of argumentation and standards of evidence are not  – how can I be polite about this? – what I’m used to as an academic. Let’s take the example of Trump’s former convention manager, Paul Manafort, to whom Harding devotes an entire chapter, obviously on the basis that the Trump-Manafort connection somehow proves a Trump-Kremlin connection. The problem Harding has is that, despite pages of fluff about Manafort, he hasn’t got any evidence that Manafort is a Kremlin agent. In fact, he quotes one source – a former Ukrainian official, Oleg Voloshin – as telling him that when Manafort worked as a political advisor to Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich:

Manafort was an advocate for US interests. So much so that the joke inside the Party of Regions [in Ukraine] was that he actually worked for the USA. … He supported Ukraine’s association with NATO and with the EU. He warned Yanukovich not to lock up [former Prime Minister Iuliia] Tymoshenko. “If it weren’t for Paul, Ukraine would have gone under Russia much earlier,” Voloshin told me.

This is pretty funny behaviour for a Kremlin agent, and Harding has to admit that, “It’s unclear to what extent, if any, Manafort was involved in supplying intelligence to Russia.” This doesn’t fit with the conclusion that Harding obviously wants readers to draw – that Manafort was a Kremlin agent, and so Trump must be too. So, he comes up with something else: some of Manafort’s associates in Ukraine “were rumoured to have links with Russian intelligence.” Note the use of the word “rumoured”. It’s not exactly convincing, but it’s good enough for Luke, who uses it to tell a story about one such associate, Konstantin Kilimnik. Harding recounts that he contacted Kilimnik by email to ask him about his relationship with Manafort. Kilimnik responds by telling him that the collusion accusations are  “insane” and “gibberish”, and signs off his email with a bit of self-mockery: “Off to collect my paycheck at KGB. :))”

And here’s where it gets interesting. For Harding thinks there’s something suspicious about Kilimnik’s answer. He writes:

The thing which gave me pause was Kilimnik’s use of smiley faces. True, Russians are big emoticon fans. But I’d seen something similar before. In 2013 the Russian diplomat in charge of political influence operations in London was named Sergey Nalobin. Nalobin had close links with Russian intelligence. He was the son of a KGB general; his brother had worked for the FSB; Nalobin looked like a career foreign intelligence officer. Maybe even a deputy resident, the KGB term for station chief. On his Twitter feed Nalobin described himself thus:

A brutal agent of the Putin dictatorship : )

And that’s it. That’s Harding’s evidence. Just to make sure readers get the point, he follows the last line up with a double paragraph space. Stop and think what this means, he seems to be saying. Someone who “looked like a career foreign intelligence officer” uses smiley faces. Kilimnik uses smiley faces!!! Say no more.

This is the level at which Harding’s logic works. Harding recounts a meeting of Trump and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in the White House, a meeting which was photographed by someone from the Russian news agency TASS. As Harding tells us:

The Times put the photo of Trump and Lavrov on its front page. At the bottom of the photo taken inside the White House was a credit. It said: “Russian Foreign Ministry.”

Yet another double paragraph break follows,  just to make sure that readers take in the implication of what this means.

Take another example. We learn (which in fact we knew already if we’d been following this story) that Trump’s short-lived National Security Advisor, and former head of the US Defense Intelligence Agency, Michael Flynn, attended a conference on the subject of intelligence at Cambridge University, where he met a Russian woman, Svetlana Lokhova. Harding admits that, “There is no suggestion she is linked to Russian intelligence.” Nevertheless, he feels it necessary to tell us that Flynn later corresponded with her by email. He writes:

In his emails, Flynn signed off in an unusual way for a US spy. He called himself “General Misha.”

Misha is the Russian equivalent of Michael.

Again, Harding then introduces a section break, leaving this ominous fact hanging in the air. Think of what it means, he is saying!

This is typical of how Harding argues. He puts in some suspicious sounding fact, or asks some question, and then just leaves it hanging. The implication is that the question doesn’t need answering, that the most damaging and extreme answer is obviously true. There’s an awful lot of this technique in Collusion. Harding spends pages on a digression about Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybovlev before telling us that Rybovlev’s private jet sometimes parks next to that of Donald Trump. Seems suspicious, huh? Except that Harding tells us that, ‘The White House … said that Trump and Rybovlev had never met. This appears to be true.” But Harding isn’t satisfied, and asks, “Had he [Rybovlev] perhaps met someone else from Trump’s entourage during his travels? Like, for example, Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen?” Later, Harding tells us that Rybovlev’s yacht was once at Dubrovnik at the same time as Ivanka Trump’s yacht. “Was this perhaps planned” he asks.

Harding’s method is to ask these questions, as if asking was itself proof of guilt. Trump borrowed money from Deutsche Bank. Deutsche Bank was bailed out at one point by the Russian bank VTB. “Was there a connection?” Harding asks. But Harding doesn’t answer these questions. In fact, one of the interesting things about this book is that again and again the author has to confess that the facts don’t really fit what he’s trying to say. For instance, when discussing Trump and Deutsche Bank, and trying to make it sound as if Trump was in some way connected to the Kremlin because he was borrowing from the Germans, Harding writes, “The sources insist that the answer was negative. No trail to Moscow was ever discovered, they told us.”

This isn’t a lone example. Harding spends quite a few pages discussing Carter Page, a businessman who appeared on RT and gave a talk at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, and who at one point had a marginal role in the Trump election campaign. It’s clear that he wants it all to sound really damaging. And yet, he writes that Page’s “attempts to meet Trump individually failed.” So, it turns out that there’s not much of a connection there after all. Likewise, when discussing Russian computer hackers, Harding writes: “By the second decade of the twenty-first century the cyber world looked like the high seas of long ago. The hackers who sailed on it might be likened to privateers. Sometimes they acted for the ‘state’, sometimes against it.” This rather undermines his claim that the Russian state was behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee.

In another example, Harding discusses the sudden death of Oleg Erovinkin, who worked for the oil company Rosneft. He speculates that “Erovinkin was Steele’s source deep inside Rosneft,” and was murdered because word of Steele’s document had leaked out. The murder, he implies, is proof of the dossier’s validity. Except that Harding admits that, “there was nothing suspicious about Erovinkin’s sudden death” and “Steele was adamant that Erovinkin wasn’t his source.” Yet this doesn’t stop Harding from writing that, “in the wake of the dossier the Kremlin did appear to be wiping out some kind of American or Western espionage network. … It certainly looked that way.”

I could give other examples, but I can’t make this review too long. The point is that Harding ignores his own evidence. He argues by innuendo, and on occasion he just lets his imagination run away with itself. Steele’s dossier alleged that Trump had hired prostitutes while on a trip to Moscow. Vladimir Putin’s response was to crack a joke about Russian prostitutes being the best in the world. But to Harding it wasn’t a joke. As he writes:

Putin may have been sending a second message, darkly visible beneath the choppy, translucent waters of the first. It said: we’ve got the tape, Donald!

I wish I could say that this book was a joke. If you were going to write a parody of the collusion story, this is perhaps what it would look like. Unfortunately, Harding is deadly serious and I suspect that a lot of uncritical readers will soak it all up, not stopping to reflect on the awful methodology. So, I end on a word of warning. By all means read this book. But don’t do so in order to find out the truth about Donald Trump and Russia; do so in order to understand the methods currently being used to enflame Russian-Western relations. In that respect, Collusion is really quite revealing.

December 5, 2017 Posted by | Book Review, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | | Leave a comment

Former Palestinian prisoner Omar Nazzal publishing new book

Photo: Omar Nazzal (l)
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network – November 23, 2017

Palestinian journalist and former prisoner Omar Nazzal has written a new book, “Between Sarajevo and Etzion,” published by Dar Fafasat under the auspices of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Affairs Commission. The book includes images and stories from Nazzal’s time in administrative detention in 2016; he was imprisoned for 10 months through hunger strikes and protests within the prison after being seized by Israeli occupation forces as he traveled to attend the European Federation of Journalists’ conference in Sarajevo.

The arrest of Nazzal, a member of the General Secretariat of the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate and President of the Association of Democratic Journalists, sparked international protest, yet his imprisonment without charge or trial was renewed on multiple occasions. He was previously jailed in 1978 and 1988 and held in administrative detention without charge or trial; in 1986, Nazzal was held under house arrest for six months.

Issa Qaraqe, head of the Prisoners Affairs Commission, said that the book exemplifies the prisoners’ resistance to all attempts to destroy their will, spirit and national identity. A launch for the book will take place in Ramallah on Sunday, 26 November.

November 29, 2017 Posted by | Book Review, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

How Pseudo-leftists Explain the Failure of the ‘Syrian Revolution’

By Tim Anderson | Global Research | November 16, 2017

Some western “Liberals” and “Leftists” pay homage to Yassin al-Haj Saleh, an intellectual leftist of the ‘Syrian Revolution’. In fact Saleh represented only a tiny part of Syria’s left. He was ‘persecuted’ because he aligned himself with the 1980 and 2011 bloody uprisings by the sectarian Muslim Brotherhood, and their international Salafist (al Qaeda) supporters. In the end he had to flee for his life from those same sectarian terrorists.

With popular forces in Syria and Iraq destroying the globalised sectarian jihadist mercenaries – sponsored principally by Washington and the Saudis – some ideologues in colonial cultures still keep alive the romantic idea of a ‘Syrian Revolution’, that somehow tragically failed. This is also a myth propagated by the Muslim Brotherhood and their western sponsors, to cover an otherwise naked aggression against Syria.

It is a myth that matters much less now, as such propaganda no longer has the capacity to fuel deeper NATO intervention in Syria. Yet it seems important for the self-image of small groups of western pseudo-leftists, who committed themselves to the cause of ‘red-washing’ Washington’s latest war of aggression, backed by the most reactionary forces in the region.

By pseudo-leftist I mean those fanatic ideologues who cling to their fantasies, showing little interest in what the masses of ordinary people want. Those ‘Syrian Revolution’ fans betrayed the Syrian people, just as they betrayed the people of Libya, Cuba and many other  small countries, when under attack from the big powers.

But imagine the western pseudo-leftist’s delight on meeting an apparently like-minded individual Syrian. Enter Yassin al-Haj Saleh, author and proud backer of what he imagined might be a socialist revolution in Syria. His aptly titled book ‘The Impossible Revolution’ (Haymarket Books September 2017) spells out his failed dream and angry disillusionment. He claims to have been caught between “the hammer of Bashar al Assad’s counter-revolution and the anvil of his reactionary Islamic fundamentalist opponents”. On closer examination, his personal dilemmas seem entirely of his own making.

Saleh was jailed for 16 years (1980-96) under Hafez al Assad, for what he and his fans and publisher call ‘activism’. Does this mean ‘dissident’ or ‘peaceful protestor? In fact his party had aligned itself to the bloody and sectarian Muslim Brotherhood insurrections of 1979-1982. In this article I will discuss the implications of that decision.

Conditions in prison were terrible he says, but adds that he read “hundreds of books [and] … I learned more there than at university”. Not all prisons allow for such study. He had been a member of the Syrian Communist Party (Political Bureau), and so boasts socialist credentials. In 2011 he joined the ‘revolution’, moving from East Ghouta to Raqqa. There, fearing DAESH in 2013 he left the country. He survived the ordeal and published his book in 2017.

His US publisher portrays Yassin Al-Haj Saleh as “the intellectual voice of the Syrian revolution”. In the book Saleh presents a bleak portrait – but one which will probably appeal to western cynicism – of “three monsters … treading on Syria’s corpse”:

(1) the Assad regime and its allies,

(2) DAESH/ISIS and the other jihadists, and

(3) the West (the USA, UK, France, etc).

In other words, a plague on all their houses. Such cynicism, if popular, is weak analysis.

We know from independent Turkish pollsters TESEV that, by the end of 2011, only 5% of Syrians supported ‘violent protest’, the lowest figure in the region (c.f. 33% in Tunisia and 31% in Palestine) (TESEV 2012: 15). The big influx of foreign jihadists in 2012 would have hardened views against jihadist violence. And we know that the Syrian Arab Army, after some relatively small defections in the first year, did not fracture on religious grounds, as the Salafists had hoped.

The key problems with promotion of a figure like Saleh, to keep afloat the romantic idea of a failed ‘revolution’, are these:

(a) the self-serving story hides who this new hero is and what forces in Syria he might represent;

(b) the idealistic narrative (for a ‘democratic and egalitarian Syria’, etc) hides the actual historical forces of the Syrian insurrections; and

(c) in particular, it whitewashes Saleh’s own foolish collaboration with sectarian Islamists.

Image result for Yassin Al-Haj Saleh

You don’t have to buy Saleh’s book, as most of his arguments appear in an extended interview with Ashley Smith, in the US journal International Socialist Review. Smith is a member of the US International Socialist Organization, a Trotskyist group drawing on the ideas of the late Tony Cliff.

Prominent among those ideas is Cliff’s theory of ‘state capitalism’, which suggests that there has never been a true ‘socialist’ revolution and that all capitalist and ‘state capitalist’ nation-states must be smashed and rebuilt. That line is quite consistent with support for attacks on any state, progressive or otherwise, as also with alliance with imperialism and reactionary forces to do so. To what extent that sort of Trotskyism is consistent with Saleh’s view is another matter.

However we know these things about Saleh. First, his Communist Party (Political Bureau) faction was a tiny ‘Maoist’ splinter from Syria’s main Communist Party, back in the late 1970s. The main reason for this split was that Saleh’s faction wanted to ‘form an alliance’ with the Muslim Brotherhood, as they engaged in a series of sectarian attacks on the Syrian state (Gambill 2001). Most Syrian communists sided with the Ba’ath socialist state. However Saleh and his former leader, Riyad al Turk, persisted in their subordinate ‘alliance’ with the al Qaeda linked Muslim Brotherhood, into the 2000s (Pace 2005).

What precisely was Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood doing, back in 1979? Let’s read it from the late British writer Patrick Seale:

“The artillery school massacre of June 1979 marked the start of full-scale urban warfare against Alawis [and] against Ba’ath party officials … when cornered they often blew themselves up with grenades … In Aleppo between 1979 and 1981 terrorists killed over 300 people, mainly Baathists and Alawis but including a dozen Islamic clergy who had denounced the murders” (Seale 1988: 324-325).

All the other opposition parties, including most communists, rejected the Muslim Brotherhood’s sectarian terror; but not Saleh’s sect. Collaboration with the Muslim Brotherhood terrorists is why Saleh received a long jail term in 1980, not because he was simply an ‘activist’.

Muslim Brotherhood terror has been romanticised over the years. At the end of the 1979-1982 attacks a final Brotherhood insurrection at Hama city was put down by Hafez al Assad. Revisionist historians these days, including many western writers, claim there was a large ‘civilian massacre’ at Hama in May 1982. For example author Rafaël Lefèvre (2013: 77) credulously reports: “While initial reports suggested 10,000 civilians were killed, other reports put the number as high as 40,000”. This is poor revisionist history.

Seale (1988: 333-334) observes that Hama 1982 was a serious conflict, not a ‘civilian massacre’. The Hama insurrection “was a last ditch battle” for the Brotherhood and it “raged for three grim weeks … many civilians were slaughtered in the prolonged mopping up … in nearly a month of fighting about a third of the historic inner city was demolished”. On overall casualties he notes that “government forces too suffered heavy losses to snipers … and grenades”, while total losses of life were controversial even at the time, “with government sympathisers estimating a mere 3,000 and critics as many as 20,000”.

The ‘civilian massacre’ mythology tries to hide the Brotherhood’s hand in initiating the violence, as recurred in Daraa and Homs in 2011. US intelligence back in 1982 had no such illusions. Of course the US had quietly backed those who financed and armed the Brotherhood’s attacks on Syria (the Saudis, the King of Jordan, Saddam Hussein and others). But Washington’s intelligence was dry and pragmatic, in its final assessment of May 1982:

“the Islamic Revolution in Syria, the Nom de Guerre for the Muslim Brotherhood … [spoke of] the rebels’ seizure of the city and the execution of some 50 “spies and informers” … about 3,000 government forces had been killed, according to the communique … the total casualties for the Hama incident probably number about 2,000. This includes an estimated 300-400 members of the Muslim Brotherhood’s elite Special Apparatus … the Syrian Government defeated the fundamentalist[s] … most Syrians, regardless of their difference with the present government, do not want the Muslim Brotherhood in power … [but] their modus operandi will continue to be terrorism, particularly bombings and assassination” (DIA 1982: 6-7).

Even if Saleh was young in 1980, most of the political prisoners with whom he shared prison time would have been Muslim Brotherhood. He was certainly not unaware of their approach to ‘revolution’ when he joined their next major insurrection in 2011. Indeed he says,

“When the [2011] revolution broke out I went into hiding … [and] while I was writing I was directly involved in the struggle” (Smith 2017).

His greatest claim to fame was to be one of the founders of the ‘Local Coordinating Councils’ (LCCs), indeed he says he was “the main author of the first political statement LCCs issued in June 2011” (Smith 2017). This tells us that the apparently secular language of the LCCs masked the faces of Muslim Brotherhood collaborators.

In any case, we know that the LCCs were little more than a fig leaf on the thoroughly sectarian insurrection, dominated by Syrian Muslim Brotherhood groups until 2012. Then they were displaced from leadership by their international jihadist partners, in the form of Jabhat al Nusra (al Qaeda in Syria, set up as a support group for the Syrian Salafis) and DAESH / ISIS, an outreach of al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). As I wrote in my book The Dirty War on Syria (Anderson 2016: 83-84), the LCCs were seen as having a mainly media or PR role in 2011 (Asi Abu Najm 2011) and, by 2013, they were embedded with the Islamist groups, mainly reporting on jihadist casualties (LCC 2013).

Yassin al-Haj Saleh says he fled from East Ghouta to Raqqa, before leaving the country. However his early presence in Douma (East Ghouta) demonstrates how reliant he had become on his Salafist partners. For many years Douma had been dominated by Jaysh al Islam, in alliance with Jabhat al Nusra. Although the civilian population there has been decimated, from many thousands fleeing the conflict, it remains one of the few areas in Syria with a social base for sectarian extremists. The same can be said about Raqqa. Both areas had a strong, reactionary culture, with women in burkas and families preferring to send their children to a Salafist-led mosque than to school.

The US certainly knew from early days that this ‘revolution’ (1) was being led by extremists and (2) wanted to create a sectarian Islamic state in eastern Syria. US intelligence in August 2012 observed that “Internally, events are taking a clear sectarian direction. The Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood and AQI are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria … there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality [i.e. Islamic State] in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor) and this is exactly what [the US and its allies] want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime” (DIA 2012 in Hoff 2015).

Washington knew it and most Syrians knew it. The head of the Syrian Brotherhood, Muhammad Riyad Al-Shaqfa, issued a statement on 28 March 2011, which left no doubt that the group’s aim was sectarian and their target was what they perceived as a secular state. The enemy was “the secular regime”, he said, and Brotherhood members “have to make sure that the revolution will be pure Islamic, and with that no other sect would have a share of the credit after its success” (Al-Shaqfa 2011).

International jihadists, in the form of Jabhat al Nusra (al Qaeda in Syria) appeared in Homs in early 2011, specifically to help the Farouq Brigade (then the largest ‘FSA’ group) with its infamous genocidal slogan ‘Alawis to the tomb, Christians to Beirut’ and genocidal practice: the sectarian murder of supposedly apostate Muslims and the ethnic cleaning of Christians. Those slogans and practice were reported as early as 5 April 2011 (Farrell 2011) and in the New York Times in May (Shadid and Kirkpatrick 2011).

Tens of thousands of Syrian Christians from Homs were indeed driven to Beirut (CNA 2012). Claims that the “Assad regime” was behind the sectarianism were simply dishonest. Whatever their views of the Ba’athist system, most Syrians, and particularly the minorities, swung behind the Syrian state and the Syrian army very quickly.

As international jihadists (mainly from the Arab world, North Africa, the Caucasus and Europe) joined the Syrian Salafis in large numbers in mid-2012, even the western media began reporting that these were fanatics, not revolutionaries.

Well before DAESH / ISIS came across from Iraq to Syria the ‘Free Army’ leaders were complaining that the Syrian President had at least “70 percent” support in Aleppo (Bayoumy 2013); that the local people,

“all of them, are loyal to the criminal Bashar, they inform on us” (Abouzeid 2012); and that the people are “all informers … they hate us. They blame us for the destruction” (Ghaith 2012).

But, they went on to say, they had God on their side. James Foley, himself subject to a theatrical style execution by DAESH in 2014, reported two years earlier that the FSA ‘rebels’ had little public support. Indeed one leader promised Aleppo ‘would burn’, because the people there did not support the ‘revolution’ (Foley 2012).

Unpopularity is fatal to a revolution; to a religious fanatic it is merely inconvenient.

It is impossible that Saleh – an ideological fanatic, but an educated fanatic – did not know all this. Even if he himself was not an sectarian Islamist, he knew that the extreme sectarians with whom he collaborated in 1979 and again in 2011 were leading his ‘revolution’.

Saleh maintains his own self-serving myths about the conflict: that the ‘Assad regime’ was the source of sectarian violence, that Sunni Muslims and Kurds were oppressed, and that the US and its minions really supported the Assad Government. Saleh claims that the Obama administration (despite its repetitive and imperious ‘Assad must go’ demands) really wanted “regime preservation not regime change” (Saleh in Smith 2017).

It is hard to see how any reasonable person can take this seriously. We even have admissions from senior US officials, including former Vice President Biden and former head of the US military Martin Dempsey, that the ‘Arab Allies’ of the US financed every jihadist group from the ‘Free Army’ to DAESH / ISIS, precisely to get rid of Assad. More recently, former Qatari Foreign Minister Hamad Bin Jassim admitted that his little petro-state coordinated with Saudis, Turkey and the US to support all anti-Government jihadist forces (Syriana Analysis 2017).

Saleh’s former mentor, Riyad al Turk (who “liked” Saudi-backed Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri), was calling for US military assistance in 2005 to help “the opposition” get rid of the Assad Government (Pace 2005). Of course he did not represent the Syrian Opposition. In the Damascus Declaration (2005), while making harsh criticisms of the Baathist system, most Syrian opposition groups specifically renounced violent attacks on the state and outside intervention. The Muslim Brotherhood and its hangers on, in contrast, always wanted violence with US and/or NATO assistance.

Saleh’s claim to fame as a secular communist against ‘the regime’ is undermined by how unrepresentative his small group was of Syria’s communists. He, like al Turk, criticises most other communists who “supported the regime” (Smith 2017). So how much support did his faction have? Al Turk maintained “we don’t announce how many members we have” (Pace 2005), but Gambill (2001) suggests it was “very little”.

Syria’s main Communist Party split in the mid-1980s (over Gorbachev’s policies), into two groups. Both stood candidates in the Peoples’ Congress (Majlis al Shaab) elections of 2007, 2012 and 2016, gaining 8, 11 and 4 MPs out of 250, respectively. That indicates that Syria’s main communist parties had electoral support of between 80,000 and 140,000 Syrian voters (IDEA 2017; Syrian Parliament 2017). We have no way of knowing how much support there ever was for the Communist Party (Political Bureau), or its successor the ‘Syrian Peoples Democratic Party’. But ask yourself, how many genuinely secular Marxists would collaborate with sectarian, al Qaeda styled Islamists?

The inescapable conclusion is that Saleh’s romanticised ideas failed and he was lucky to escape with his life. He certainly would have been in danger from both the Syrian Army and DAESH. But he and his tiny faction did not represent any significant part of the Syrian left. They were distinguished mainly by their collaboration with the Brotherhood groups and their al Qaeda allies, before they disappeared entirely from the scene.

After his successive failures Saleh blames everyone (Bashar al Assad, alQaeda/ISIS, the West) but himself. Yet it seems he has become a useful figure for western pseudo-leftists (who never could identify an actual Syrian armed group that they supported) to point at and say “Look, there really was a left revolution in Syria! Here he is!”

Pseudo-leftists in western countries – who for years held on to the Washington-promoted fiction of a ‘Syrian Revolution’ – are desperate for token Syrian ‘hero’ on which to hang their fantasies. That could be an ex-Islamist or an ex-communist; they don’t look too closely to see where these people come from. This desperation highlights their failure to confront actual history, and to care about the things that matter to ordinary people.

Sources

Abouzeid, Rania (2012) ‘Aleppo’s Deadly Stalemate: A Visit to Syria’s Divided Metropolis’, Time, 14 November, online: http://world.time.com/2012/11/ 14/aleppos-deadly-stalemate-a- visit-to-syrias-divided- metropolis/

Al-Shaqfa, Muhammad Riyad (2011) ‘Muslim Brotherhood Statement about the so-called ‘Syrian Revolution’’, General supervisor for the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, statement of 28 March, online at: http://truthsyria.wordpress. com/2012/02/12/muslim- brotherhood-statement-about- the-so-called-syrian- revolution/

Amazon (2017) Promotion and reviews of Saleh’s book ‘The Impossible Revolution’, online: https://www.amazon.com/ Impossible-Revolution-Yassin- al-Haj-Saleh/dp/160846850X

Anderson, Tim (2016) The Dirty War on Syria, Global Research, Montreal

Asi Abu Najm (2011) ‘Syria’s Coordination Committees: a Brief History’, Al Akhbar, 1 October, online: http://english.al-akhbar.com/ node/764

Bayoumy, Yara (2013) ‘Insight: Aleppo misery eats at Syrian rebel support’, Reuters, 9 January, online: http://www.reuters.com/ article/2013/01/09/us-syria- crisis-rebels- idUSBRE9070VV20130109

CNA (2012) ‘Syrian violence drives 50,000 Christians from homes’, Catholic News Agency, online: http://www.catholicnewsagency. com/news/syrian-violence- drives-50000-christians-from- homes/

Damascus Declaration (2005) ‘The Damascus Declaration for Democratic National Change’, English version in Joshua Landis blog Syria Comment, 1 November, online: http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/L/ Joshua.M.Landis-1/syriablog/ 2005/11/damascus-declaration- in-english.htm

DIA (1982) ‘Syria: Muslim Brotherhood pressure intensifies’, Syria360, May, online: https://syria360.files. wordpress.com/2013/11/dia- syria- muslimbrotherhoodpressureinten sifies-2.pdf

Farrell, Shane (2011) ‘Lebanese Christians react to regional instability’, Now Media, 5 April, online: https://now.mmedia.me/lb/en/ reportsfeatures/lebanese_ christians_react_to_regional_ instability

Foley, James (2012) ‘Syria: Rebels losing support among civilians in Aleppo’, PRI, 16 October, online: https://www.pri.org/stories/ 2012-10-16/syria-rebels- losing-support-among- civilians-aleppo

Gambill, Gary C. (2001) ‘Dossier: Riyad al Turk’, Middle East Intelligence Bulletin, Middle East Forum, Vol 3 No 9, September, online: https://www.meforum.org/meib/ articles/0109_sd1.htm

Ghaith, Abdul-Ahad (2012) ‘The people of Aleppo needed someone to drag them into the revolution’, The Guardian, 28 December, online: http://www.theguardian.com/ world/2012/dec/28/aleppo- revolution-abu-ali-sulaibi 

Hoff, Brad (2015) ‘2012 Defense Intelligence Agency document: West will facilitate rise of Islamic State “in order to isolate the Syrian regime”’, Levant Report, 19 May, online: https://levantreport.com/2015/ 05/19/2012-defense- intelligence-agency-document- west-will-facilitate-rise-of- islamic-state-in-order-to- isolate-the-syrian-regime/

IDEA (2017) ‘Syrian Arab republic, Total vote, Parliamentary elections, 1994-2016, online: https://www.idea.int/data- tools/question-countries-view/ 437/274/ctr

LCC (2013) ‘Dignity Strike … We make our revolution by our own hands’, Local Coordination Committees of Syria, December, online: http://www.lccsyria.org/3528

Lefèvre, Rafaël (2013) Ashes of Hama: the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria, Hurst and Company, London

Pace, Joe (2005) ‘Riyad al Turk, interviewed by Joe Pace on Mehlis, the Opposition, Ghadry’, Joshua Landis Page, October 22, online: http://joshualandis.oucreate. com/syriablog/2005/10/riad-al- turk-interviewed-by-joe-pace. htm

Seale, Patrick (1988) Asad: the struggle for the Middle East, University of California Press, Berkeley

Shadid, Anthony and David D. Kirkpatrick (2011) ‘Promise of Arab Uprisings Is Threatened by Divisions’, New York Times, 21 May, online: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/ 05/22/world/middleeast/22arab. html?pagewanted=all

Smith, Ashley (2017) ‘Revolution, counterrevolution, and imperialism in Syria, Interview with Yassin al-Haj Saleh’, International Socialist Review, Issue #107 online: https://isreview.org/issue/ 107/revolution- counterrevolution-and- imperialism-syria

Syrian parliament (2017) Syrian Peoples’ Assembly, online: https://web.archive.org/web/ 20121008210031/http:// parliament.sy/forms/cms/ viewStatistics.php ; and Inter-Parliamentary Union (2016) ‘SYRIAN ARAB REPUBLIC: Majlis Al-Chaab (People’s Assembly)’, online: http://archive.ipu.org/ parline-e/reports/2307_E.htm; and as compiled in Wikipedia ‘Syrian parliamentary elections’ 2007 / 2012 / 2016, online: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Syrian_parliamentary_election, _2007

Syriana Analysis (2017) ‘Hamad Bin Jassim: We Supported Al-Qaeda in Syria’, online: https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=9f33l30kQxg

TESEV (2012) ‘The perception of Turkey in the Middle East 2011’, Türkiye Ekonomik ve Sosyal Etüdler Vakfi, Istanbul, February, online: http://tesev.org.tr/en/yayin/ the-perception-of-turkey-in- the-middle-east-2011/

Copyright © Prof. Tim Anderson, Global Research, 2017

November 18, 2017 Posted by | Book Review, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Inside the Battle of Algiers: Memoir of a Woman Freedom Fighter – Book Review

Reviewed by Vacy Vlazna | Palestine Chronicle | November 9, 2017

(Inside the Battle of Algiers: Memoir of a Woman Freedom Fighter, Zohra Drif, Just World Books, 2017)

“Colonialism creates the patriotism of the colonized. Kept at the level of a beast by an oppressive system, the natives are given no rights, not even the right to live. Their condition worsens daily. And when a people has no choice but how it will die; when a people has received from its oppressors only the gift of despair, what does it have to lose? A people’s misfortune will become its courage; it will make, of its endless rejection by colonialism, the absolute rejection of colonization.”  –  Albert Memmi

Stylishly dressed in a lavender blue summer dress with small stripes, Algerian student Zohra Drif, 22, in a state of surreal disassociation yet guided by ‘absolute necessity, the sacred duty to succeed in my mission so that my people would not despair’, planted a bomb concealed in a beach bag to be set off 6.25 pm in the Milk Bar cafe on the elegant Rue d’Isly, a 10 minute walk from the Muslim Casbah held captive under the oppressive French military siege.

Across town, on the same sunny afternoon of September 30, 1956, Zohra’s friends, Samia Lakhdari and her mother, Mama Zhor, successfully targeted the Cafeteria on Rue Michelet and Djamila Bouhired planted a faulty bomb in the Air France agency in the Mauritania building.

As an activist for Palestine, I was eager to understand the mind, soul and motive of a young freedom fighter. Zohra Drif’s profoundly personal and nationalistic autobiography is a precise holographic sliver of the whole 1954-1962 Algerian struggle for independence from 130 years of France’s brutal colonization; a struggle that claimed over 1,000,000 Algerian lives.

Daughter of Qadi Ahmed and Saadi Drif, Zohra’s destiny from childhood in rural Tiaret to schoolgirl and university law student in Algiers and her dogged determination to join the National Liberation Front (FLN) in the Algiers Autonomous Zone 5, to her stressful clandestine life, subsequent arrest and imprisonment is a compelling read.

Its power lies in a tense dramatic immediacy, intriguingly heightened by the voice of the young Zohra, not the 82-year-old Zohra, the author who splices Algeria’s tragic saga underscored by French colonial privileged racism with the idealism and valiant acts of young revolutionaries….

And herein lies the rationale and honor of the revolutionary identity:

“Perhaps the reader of today expects me to regret having placed bombs in public places frequented by European civilians. I do not. To do so would be to obscure the central problem of settler colonialism by trying to pass off the European civilians of the day for (at best) mere tourists visiting Algeria or (at worst) the ‘natural’ inheritors of our land in place of its legitimate children. I will not adopt this position because I hate lies and their corollary, revisionism, whatever they are and wherever they come from. Samia and I did not regret our actions in 1956 or 1957, nor do we today, nor will we ever. I speak here in my own name and on behalf of my friend and sister Samia Lakhdari, who died in the summer of 2012. What’s more, if today, God forbid, my country were to be attacked and occupied by a foreign force, I know that even at my advanced age, propped up on a cane, I would be with all those (and I know there are many of them, in Algeria and elsewhere) who would offer their lives to liberate our land and its people. In declaring this, I seek neither to boast nor to challenge anyone. I am simply trying to convey an idea, a simple conviction related to the concept of responsibility.

“As for the civilians who perished during the war of national liberation, if they are Algerian, I would propose that they go to the ALN fighters and ask them, “Why did we die?” I know that the ALN will reply, ‘You are dead because your lives were part of the price we had to pay for our country to be free and independent.’ And if they are French, I would propose that they go see the French authorities and ask, ‘Why did we die?’ I do not know what the French authorities would say, but I would propose to them the one real truth there is: ‘You died because you were among the hundreds of thousands of Europeans that we used to subjugate and occupy a foreign country, Algeria, so that we could make it our settler colony.’ In any case, this will not make me forget all the French who chose justice and the values of freedom and dignity (of which their own homeland boasted) and joined our camp.”

The rightness and justice bolted to Zohra’s vindication of her mission intensifies when you consider the barbarities that the French regime perpetrated against Algerians – whole scale massacres and napalm bombing in Setif, Kherrata, North Constantinos, the massacre of thousands of men in the Skikda stadium, collective punishment, humiliations, lynchings, impalings, collective rape, annihilation of villages and their occupants, mass arrests, disappearances, concentration camps, tens of thousands of summary executions, bombings of trade unions, terrible tortures in prisons and in homes in front of the family, curfews, checkpoints, rampant raids, looting, psychological warfare, blowing up homes, the relentless incitement fear and terror, military courts replaced civil courts, decapitation by guillotine, the Paris massacre of 300 Algerian protestors – all executed with merciless French arrogance and indifference to the humanity of the ‘natives’. An arrogance that masks the moral inferiority of the colonist.

French colonial sadism exists to this day thus explaining why since 1947, Presidents from Auriol to Macron ( with the exception of Pompidou and d’Estaing) have enthusiastically supported the savage colonialism of their Israeli frères d’armes:

Auriol: approved Partition Plan, voted for the Israel’s membership to the UN.

Coty: France and Israel cooperated “in research and production of nuclear weapons,” and build Israel’s Dimona nuclear reactor.

de Gaulle: “I raise my glass to Israel, our friend and our ally.”

(Pompidou and d’Estaing)

Mitterrand: “Indeed, the French nation is a friend to the nation of Israel.”

Chirac: “France is determined to strengthen Israel and I say that it is important that the process move forward towards full development and assure full security for the people of Israel.”

Sarkozy: “On behalf of France, we would like to declare our love for Israel – we love you! “

Hollande “I will always remain a friend of Israel”

Macron – “French law prohibits … boycotting [Israel]. There is no question of changing that law and no question of acting indulgently on this. For me, these [BDS protests] are anti-Zionist moves, thus profoundly anti-Semitic … I condemn this approach both legally and politically.”

The timeless universality of Zohra’s insurrectionary call to dignity and freedom has invaluable resonance for Palestinian resistance. Reading Zohra’s memoir is Palestine’s story and the lessons are electrifying:

1. Maintain focus on the occupiers fault lines:

“First, France was not invincible. Not only had she not resisted the German occupation but, even worse, over 80 percent of the French parliament had voted for the armistice – France’s abdication to Germany – and what’s more, the majority of the French elite had even collaborated with the occupiers, supporting the Vichy regime and its Marshal Philippe Petain. We were well aware that without Britain and the United States, France would never have been liberated.” Also France had been defeated in WWI and later defeated in Franco-Thai War and the Indochina War.”

Israel, for all its army, navy, airforce, vast cache of nuclear and high tech military hardware ( France ties with Germany in arms exports to Israel) is not invincible. Its European Jewish immigrants, apart from the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, like the French submitted to the Nazis. The 1973 Yom Kippur War resulted in the Israeli return of its Sinai gains to Egypt, and in the 2006 Lebanon War Israel failed to destroy Hezbollah. Israel’s three wars on Gaza, 2009/10, 2011 and 2014 have incrementally caused heavy losses to Israel’s credibility and fabricated victim reputation. In 2014, without an army, navy, airforce, Hamas inflicted 67 ZOF deaths and wounded 468.

2. Resistance is justice and a right.

“We are not killers. We are fighters for a just cause, moved by the most sacred of duties: to liberate our land and our people. It is the colonial regime that kills -torturing, oppressing, and repressing to perpetuate its system of occupation on our land and our people, trying to convince everyone that Algeria is French. That is why each of our attacks, each of our ambushes, each of our lives sacrificed must serve to unmask France before the world, to show that our people are at war against a foreign power occupying us by force.”

The Zionist occupier also tries to convince the world that Palestine is Israel via western media and lackey governments spreading its false propaganda: that its daily war crimes in violation of the 4th Geneva Convention are acts of defense, that its daily theft of Palestinian land, livelihood and dignity was decreed by a god, that Palestinian legitimate armed and BDS resistance to foreign domination is ‘terrorism’ and ‘antisemitic’.

In Algeria, all settlers had to “know that Algeria was at war and understand that they could no longer sit back and enjoy life while watching us die.”

In historic Palestine, according to Miko Peled, all Israelis are settlers. At arms length from their inflicted suffering on indigenous Palestinians, the settlers move freely on apartheid roads sans 500 plus checkpoints, many live in coersively vacated Palestinian homes, they enjoy cafes with views of beaches that the majority of Palestinians have never seen. In their illegal settlements, they bathe in private swimming pools while Palestinians are rationed water for necessities. Colonists enjoy first class medical care while at a stone’s throw away, desperately ill Gazans are denied access to dialysis and cancer treatment.

3. Against great odds, independence can be achieved.

“Knowing that ‘We all knew that each day we lived was a victory over a possible arrest or a probable death,’ the poorly armed Algerian guerrilla resistance movement was up against ‘an army of nearly half a million highly equipped men’ and despite lethal internal divisions between the FLN and the MNA and collaborators such as the Harkis and Bachagha Ait Ali who ‘was notorious for his public condemnation of our national liberation struggle and for his participation in France’s fierce repression against our people’, Algeria achieved independence in 1962 and many of its fighters went on to serve Algeria in government. Zohra became the Vice-President of the Algerian Senate.”

Palestine too has its Bachagha Ait Ali in Mahmoud Abbas and his Zionist PA/PLO band of traitors to Palestinian resistance who uphold, “The security relationship [with Israel]… security coordination is sacred, is sacred. And we’ll continue it whether we disagree or agree over policy.”

Zohra shares the upheaval of betrayal by a comrade:

“Safi’s obvious, devastating betrayal stood out for its violent clarity, like the flash of a bomb. I shuddered. A new pain that I had never experienced until then wracked my insides: the very unique pain of betrayal. Not only is its intensity particular, but also its extent and the way it destabilizes you and your whole world. Suffering a betrayal destroys your points of references, the certainties necessary for life and for trust in the human race, including in yourself.”

She realizes that betrayal as a tool of the oppressor is intended “to annihilate our humanity.” However, she states that judging a victim of torture as a traitor would exonerate “his torturers and the colonial system” and that “would be the true betrayal.” Self-serving betrayal was rabidly punished after independence.

Ultimately, France’s tactics of disproportionate violent repression, racism, lies, deception, defiant abuse of the rule of law and international law courted defeat by raising the bar of Algerian resistance.

And so it is with Israel. Every Israeli war augments international support for Palestine’s legitimate right to sovereignty and independence. Israel’s settlement expansion is ironically the wrecking ball destroying the Zionist dream of Eretz Israel, the occupation’s strangulation of Palestinian society has birthed the counterinsurgency of BDS worldwide.

Decades of Israeli cruel repression have never made a dent in Palestinian sumoud- the resilient soul of Palestine and her children:

This is my rendition of an anthem to be sung
I will rise and soar above your matrix of control
With the strength of my will your walls will fall
And this concrete that segregates us will be used to rebuild homes
Your bulldozers and tanks will dissolve into the earth
The sap will run in the olive trees
The gates will open wide for the refugees
We will be free
I will be your equal
And only then you will be mine
My other self
My fellow human being. (Samah Sabawi)

As with French colonialism, Israel is imploding under the violent pressure of Zionism. The death of Zionism will inevitably herald what Svirsky calls ‘the noble ‘one state’ of equal partnership.’

 – Dr. Vacy Vlazna is Coordinator of Justice for Palestine Matters and editor of a volume of Palestinian poetry, I remember my name. She was Human Rights Advisor to the GAM team in the second round of the Acheh peace talks, Helsinki, February 2005 then withdrew on principle. Vacy was convenor of Australia East Timor Association and coordinator of the East Timor Justice Lobby as well as serving in East Timor with UNAMET and UNTAET from 1999-2001.

November 16, 2017 Posted by | Book Review, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

Propaganda for Regime Change in Syria

By Susan Dirgham | Dissident Voice | November 10, 2017

The book Dear World: A Syrian Girl’s Story of War and Plea for Peace was published in October 2017. It is purportedly written by a Syrian girl, Bana Alabed, with the help of her mother and an editor. The book is being prominently promoted in the US and UK and is anticipated to be a big seller this coming Holiday Season.

Background

Bana Alabed is an 8-year-old Syrian girl who rose to fame in 2016 when a Twitter account was set up in her name and she started tweeting in fluent English from east Aleppo as it was under bombardment by Syrian and Russian forces trying to dislodge insurgents.

The first tweet in Bana’s name appeared on 24 September 2016. It simply read, ‘I need peace’. The Twitter account soon had tens of thousands of followers, among them J. K. Rowling, the author of Harry Potter. It was later observed in a video that 7-year-old Bana knew very little English and was being prompted or told what to say.

Bana and Anne Frank?

The book begins with a quote from The Diary of Anne Frank, thus inferring that there are parallels between Bana and the famous Dutch Jewish girl who was forced to hide from the Nazis in the Second World War. If Bana is meant to represent Anne, then presumably the Syrian and Russian governments are meant to represent the Nazis. This is misleading. Several brave Dutch people hid the young Anne and her family from the Nazis. In Syria, Islamist militants, such as those in east Aleppo have targeted Syrians simply because they belonged to minorities. Australian anthropologist Dr. Fiona Hill described how her adoptive Syrian brother, a Sunni, risked his life to rescue three Alawi families from the Free Syrian Army and ‘inevitable summary murder’ at their hands.

Bana and Malala?

Dear World is published by Simon & Schuster, part of the CBS media empire. It was edited or perhaps ghost written by senior editor Christine Pride who sees Bana Alabed “as a heroine reminiscent of Pakistan’s Malala Yousafzai”. This is misleading to the point of being bizarre. Before a Taliban gunman shot her, Malala wrote a blog detailing life under Taliban rule. Bana may be a brave and good child, but Dear World does not take a stand against extremist forces. On the contrary, Bana’s father was active with the extremist insurgents.

Jabhat al-Nusra, a group linked to both the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, was the strongest of the militia groups in east Aleppo at the time Bana was sending her tweets. Former Australian soldier Mathew Stewart’s story points to these links. Soon after the start of the war in Afghanistan, Stewart joined the Taliban, and then in 2015 he worked ‘as a trainer with Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaida’s proxy militia in Syria’.

Those who tweet and write in Bana Alabed’s name seem unconcerned about the enforcement of harsh punishments by Jabhat al-Nusra, such as the execution of women. Nor are they concerned about the group’s violence or terror tactics, which are detailed on the Australian National Security webpage.

Ironically, although peace is a word used liberally in Dear World, one tweet since deleted from Bana’s Twitter account read,

Dear world, it’s better to start 3rd world war instead of letting Russia & Assad commit #HolocaustAleppo

The book portrays the young narrator and her mother as courageous and compassionate. According to this narrative the only militants in east Aleppo were the FSA and they were good guys fighting against the evil Syrian government forces. This is public relations propaganda, very far from the reality which American journalists James Foley and Stephen Sotloff documented before being assassinated.

A Western, not Syrian Readership

Dear World is not directed at readers in Syria who are aware of the war’s complex nature and “rebel” reality. Most Syrians grieve the loss of loved ones in the war, want women to maintain freedoms and minorities to be able to worship without fear. Most Syrians do not want their country to be partitioned and made a haven for extremists. The book is written for a western audience, conditioned by the simplistic mainstream media narrative of ‘heroic revolutionaries’ fighting the ‘dictator Assad’.

In January 2017, Bana implored Donald Trump to stop the bombs in Syria and ‘save the children’. But in April 2017, Bana expressed support for Donald Trump’s airstrikes on a Syrian airfield after it was claimed the ‘regime’ had dropped a bomb containing sarin. There were no calls for a thorough impartial investigation, just a call to bomb. Four children were killed in the U.S. airstrikes. It seems clear there is political manipulation guiding the social media messages of a photogenic sweet girl.

Jesus, King, Ghandi … and the FSA?

Dear World champions Jesus, Martin Luther King Jr, and Gandhi, while extolling fighters in the ‘Free Syrian Army’. To the extent that it exists at all, the FSA is made up of armed groups that fly the ‘opposition flag’ rather than al-Qaeda or ISIS ones. This allows them to receive weapons and supplies from western governments even as they defect and turn over these weapons to Syria’s version of Al Queda, Jabhat al Nusra.

James Foley, the American journalist beheaded by ISIS, interviewed an FSA commander in east Aleppo who ‘promised Aleppo would burn.’ In this commander’s opinion, ‘the people of Aleppo were only concerned about their barbecues’ and deserved punishment for not supporting the armed ‘revolution’.

Dear World distorts the truth, abusing the trust of its readers. The book is a weapon in the covert and overt efforts of Syria’s enemies to effect ‘regime change’ by any means. Despite the narrator’s plea for peace, the book’s depiction of the ‘regime’ as the personification of evil could lead a generation of young readers in the West to uncritically support war against Syria and its people for years to come.

As a beautifully packaged children’s book that includes the endorsement of the author of Harry Potter, Dear World could conceivably encourage some impressionable readers to take up arms against a government. Some young readers may believe Syria is an uncivilized wasteland and a battlefield that even they could potentially enter one day, flying a flag, trying to be a hero, killing locals who don’t support the ‘revolution’. For an attractive looking children’s book, Dear World is a potentially dangerous package.

British PR Firm Created “Bana”: the Brand

Could there be any significance in the fact that the PR firm, The Blair Partnership, which handles J. K. Rowling’s publicity also handles Bana’s? The Blair Partnership has transformed ‘Bana’ from a little girl into a brand that represents opposition to the Syrian government and, in effect, support for British foreign policy.

Lies and Omissions in War

Though J .K. Rowling endorses Dear World, it can be assumed that Peter Ford, the former UK ambassador to Syria would not. According to him the British Foreign Office has lied about the war and “it was not the case” that the opposition was dominated “by so-called moderates”.

Apart from mentioning the kidnapping of two of Bana’s uncles, the book hardly refers to the well-documented violence of the Islamist factions operating in east Aleppo at the time Bana was supposedly there. Nor is there mention in Dear World of the civilians killed in west Aleppo when insurgents fired rockets into residential areas or detonated car bombs. In October 2016, the mother of 20-year-old Mireille Hindoyan recounted how a ‘rebel’ missile had killed Mireille and her 12-year-old brother. They had been standing in the street waiting for their mother to finish her shopping. Mireille’s body was dismembered. An online search indicates that the BBC, ABC and the American PBS did not present this story. They surely would have if this had happened in a western country: it was an act of terror, the victims were young and innocent, and Mireille was a local swimming star. Like most of the mainstream western media, those behind the Bana phenomenon seem to have no regard for the victims of ‘rebels’.

Likewise, the beheading of a young boy in July 2016 by an Islamist group in east Aleppo that received funding from the United States is not referred to in Dear World.

Investigating Claims

Dear World presents a long list of claims against the ‘regime’. They include the bombing of schools and hospitals, the random shooting of civilians from a helicopter, and the dropping of cluster bombs, phosphorous, and chlorine on people in east Aleppo.

However, these claims almost invariably originated from media outlets and ‘activists’ linked to the ‘rebels’. The unverified claims have been promoted by western media and some prominent Non-Governmental Organizations while refutations have been ignored. Detailed examinations in case after case have shown the accusations to be exaggerated if not false. It seems this book is actually written by an adult with a political motive.

Bana and Turkish President Erdogan

In December 2016, the extremists controlling east Aleppo were finally forced out of the city. Most surviving civilians rushed into the government controlled west Aleppo and described their “liberation” from the terrorists who had dominated east Aleppo since 2012. In an agreement with the Syrian government, remaining extremists and their families were taken from Aleppo to Idlib province while some others, including Bana and her family, went to Turkey.

Even US Vice President Biden admitted that Turkey supported violent extremists including Al Qaeda (al-Nusra) in Syria. Turkey’s pivotal role and complicity in the violence was confirmed in a video produced by American Lebanese journalist Serena Shim, who died for her work.

Thus it is ironic and a measure of the distortions that Bana told President Erdogan at a meeting in the presidential palace, “Thank you for supporting the children of Aleppo and helping us to get out from war. I love you.”

This is not to suggest that Bana Alabed does not deserve our sympathy. She does, especially since it appears that nefarious forces, which stretch from Syria to Turkey to Britain, are exploiting her. With consummate cynicism, they are using her cute face and demeanor to promote a vicious invasion and war.

Bana Alabed’s Dear World is a book that tugs on the heartstrings as it misleads readers. It is actually propaganda for “regime change” in a small sweet package.

Susan Dirgham is an English as a Second Language Teacher. Beginning in September 2003, she taught at the British Council in Damascus for two years and has subsequently visited Syria several times. With a team that includes Syrian women on humanitarian visas in Australia, she edits the magazine ‘Beloved Syria – Considering Syrian Perspectives’. She can be reached at Susan.dirgham51@gmail.com. Read other articles by Susan.

November 11, 2017 Posted by | Book Review, Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | 1 Comment

Metis Civilization or Canada Syndrome?

Part I of a 3 Part Series: The Canada Syndrome

By Eric Walberg | Dissident Voice | November 10, 2017

There seems to be little common ground between Canadian natives and mainstream Canadian society. Canada’s uniqueness in world culture is thanks to its natives, who are regularly trotted out in ceremonies related to international events such as the Olympics, and now featured in the composition of the new Canadian ten dollar bill. But they remain at the bottom of the mainstream pecking order economically. Justice Thomas Berger wrote in 1966: “They began by taking the Indians’ land without any surrender and without their consent. Then they herded the Indian people onto reserves. This was nothing more nor less than Apartheid, and that is what it still is today.” First Nations children in western countries live in Third World conditions, with an estimated 80% of urban Aboriginal children under the age of 6 living in poverty.

In a famous anecdote, Justin Trudeau’s father, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, cynically told Marlon Brando when the American actor wanted to discuss native rights: “There are differences in the way we treated our natives,” he said. “You hunted them down and murdered them. We starved them to death.” Trudeau meant actual physical starvation, not just cultural starvation, echoing what the Canadian historian James Daschuk has called “the politics of starvation.” The policy in North America towards natives can be put simply: confiscation of 90% of lands, assimilation and/or death.

John Ralston Saul argues for the “originality of the Canadian project”, that contained elements of a rejection of the Enlightenment project of Europe/the US, which was based on secular rationality and liberal revolution. Canada was never a monolithic nation state, but rather based on consensus, supposedly incorporating the native philosophy of man as part of nature. In A Fair Country: Telling Truths About Canada (2008), he argues that Canada is a “Metis civilization”, not a European one. “We are a blend of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, but the driving ideas underneath are the Aboriginal ones.”

Saul argues that Canada was ‘founded’ as a modern nation not in 1867 but in 1701 with the Great Peace of Montreal between New France and 40 First Nations of North America. This treaty, achieved through negotiations according to Native American diplomatic custom, was meant to end ethnic conflicts. From then on, negotiation would trump direct conflict, it was thought, and the French would agree to act as arbiters during conflicts between signatory tribes. The paradigm is a confederation of tribes, consensus, the Aboriginal circle, “eating from a common bowl”. The treaty is still valid and recognized as such by the Native American tribes involved.

Saul’s claim sounds good, but the fact is most Canadians know nothing about their fellow Canadian natives. Typically, natives are most visible as a large segment of the homeless, especially in Toronto. According to Homeless Hub, a third of homeless, and in some areas up to 90%. Just as Canada and other rich nations face a flood of refugees from third world countries, as a formerly colony, Canada still has to come to terms with its own colonial train wreck.

Canada Syndrome: Stockholm syndrome on steroids

Canada is, in fact, a colonial settler civilization, much like Britain’s other white offspring: South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Palestine-Israel, built on ‘ethnic cleansing’; i.e., murder, terror, forced resettlement, outright theft of land, and apartheid. The settlers identified not with the natives, but with their British motherland, blind to the reality they were now part of. A cultural version of the Stockholm syndrome, where the victim identifies with the kidnapper.

There is little ‘Metis’ about Canada, except for the precious treaties, which have been honoured more in the breech. After the dust settled (circa WWII), the results in all the colonies were much the same, with the settlers refusing to acknowledge their criminal behaviour, and grades varying from ‘C’ for New Zealand, to ‘D’ for Canada and Australia, and ‘F’s for South Africa and Palestine-Israel.

South Africa holds a special place in Canadian colonial history. Major General Sir William Otter is revered as the ‘father’ of Canada’s army. He gained his stripes leading a battalion of British troops to oppose the Cree Metis North West Rebellion of 1885 led by Poundmaker and Big Bear. His role in crushing that revolt inspired the Montreal Daily Star to coin the term Otterism as a “synonym for merciless repression.” His next step to fame was to lead a thousand troops of the Royal Canadian Infantry Regiment in the Boer War (1899-1902), when British and colonial troops forced hundreds of thousands of blacks into concentration camps. This prompted King Edward VII to knight him and Canadian Prime Minister Robert Borden to appoint him kapo of Canada’s internment camps during WWI. His grandson, Desmond Morton, a leading military historian, wrote a glowing tribute to him in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography. Desmond is a lifelong NDPer, showing how deep the Canada Syndrome infects even the supposed anti-imperialist socialist in Canada. Only the communists were outspoken anti-imperialists and anti-racists throughout the 20th century, and they suffered the same ‘Otterism’ that the natives did.

Richard Sanders outlines the “settler syndrome” in Press for Conversion! (March 2016) as a much better characterization of them all. It is a “Culture-bound psychosis so deeply rooted in Canada’s mainstream identity, that it remains difficult to remedy.” It is “marked by a loss of contact with reality”, irrational, refusing to acknowledge the devastation wrought in the name of imperialist ideology, in Canada’s case “Canadian exceptionalism”. It is inherently racist, devaluing other cultures, treating them with suspicion, akin to the antisocial personality disorder, as described in Health Canada’s Report on Mental Illnesses in Canada. Mainstream psychiatrists dismiss such bigotry as a cultural problem rather than an indication of psychopathology, but it is clearly both an individual and mass psychological sickness.

It allowed devout Christians to create and enforce the criminal residential school system to wipe out the last traces of native culture. True, natives were starving by the 1920s, and were ‘ripe for the picking’, and the Christian missionaries were given the role of welfare provider before the days of government financed welfare, so the natives had no choice. The churches were really just handmaidens of the imperialist policy and not to be specially condemned.

Recent expressions of repentance for the sins committed on behalf of the colonial regime are welcome but only scratch the surface of meaningful change. The underlying psychosis remains. “Captives of culture-bound psychoses like the Canada Syndrome are ardent nationalists who remain blind to the official myths that have abducted them, … the Stockholm syndrome on steriods”.

‘Real whites’ vs British

By the early 20th century, First Nations and Metis reached their low point: from roughly 2 million, they had been reduced over 90% to 150,000, the same shocking statistic as in the US. Since WWII and especially after 1960, when improved sanitation in reserves and medicare lowered the infant mortality rate, populations have rebounded ten times, to 1,400,685 in 2011, representing 4.3% of the total Canadian population. While physical starvation has abated as a policy, poverty abounds and cultural starvation destroys native languages and traditions. The dominance of western commercial culture continues this slow death.

In 1910, the Chiefs of the Shuswap, Okanagan and Couteau tribes presented (French Canadian) Prime Minister Wilfred Laurier with a letter which looked to the French colonial legacy of the 1701 Great Peace of Montreal.

We speak to you the more freely because you are a member of the white race with whom we first became acquainted, and which we call in our tongue ‘real whites’. The ‘real whites’ we found were good people. They did not interfere with us nor attempt to break up our tribal organizations, laws, customs. Nor did they stop us from catching fish and hunting. They acknowledged our ownership of the country, and treated our chiefs as men.

Little did the chiefs realize what would soon be in store for all natives, with the nice French and maudit anglais Liberals/Conservatives putting their common policy of forcible assimilation into high gear. The Gradual Civilization Act in 1857, and the Indian Act, first passed in 1876, spruced up with amendments in 1920, making compulsory ‘education’ at residential schools, and in 1927, prohibiting natives from hiring lawyers to pursue land claims (repealed in 1951). This paralleled the US policy, but more aggressively, given the larger population of natives proportional to the settler population.

Though population rebounded after WWII, the 60s “Sweep”, the last gasp of this forced assimilation, continued to forcibly take Aboriginal children and placed them in white foster homes within the child welfare system, leading to unstable families and destroying children’s lives.

Oka, Ipperwash, Gustafsen, Caledonia

Laurier bitterly disappointed native leaders, as the “real white” influence in Canadian politics had given way to British colonialism after 1763. There were never massacres on the scale of Wounded Knee, but after 300 years, there is little evidence of the claim that Canada was any better than the US in its relations with the natives. There is little to differentiate the provinces in their relations to natives. The most visible conflict in Quebec in recent times was at Oka in 1990, in Ontario at Ipperwash in 1995, and in BC at Lake Gustafsen, also 1995. There are road blockades across Canada continually going up to protest encroachment on lands claimed by natives as part of broken treaties, or in the case of BC, promises to land that were never formalized.

Tecumseh

There are heroes who fought for rights — Tecumseh, Joseph Brant, Louis Riel — all tragic. Brant holds a special place for Canadians in southwestern Ontario, for the agreement he inspired and signed in 1784, made famous by its promise of ‘six miles deep’, meaning the land on both sides of the Grand River. These Six Nations (Mohawk, Oneida, Cayuga,Seneca, Onondaga,Tuscarora) unified under the Great Tree of Peace. During the American Revolution, (native) Captain Joseph Brant led many from the Iroquois Confederacy to ally with the British.

For their loyalty to the Crown, the Six Nations were deeded a tract of land along the Grand River. But, as happened to all the other Nations (there are 50 distinct nations and 614 First Nations bands), most of the land would be stripped from them, reduced to present 46,000 acres of what the federal government calls the “Six Nations Reserve No. 40”, including the village of Ohsweken, between the cities of Brantford, Caledonia, and Hagersville.


Eric Walberg is a journalist who worked in Uzbekistan and is now writing for Al-Ahram Weekly in Cairo. He is the author of From Postmodernism to Postsecularism and Postmodern Imperialism. His most recent book is Islamic Resistance to Imperialism.

November 10, 2017 Posted by | Book Review, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | | 2 Comments

Criminal War Propaganda

Excerpt from Preface, Mark Taliano’s book “Voices from Syria“, Global Research Montreal, 2017

The Pentagon budget alone for illegal war propaganda is about $626,000,000(1) per year. Generous taxpayers relinquish these funds so that the Pentagon can contaminate the public mindset to the detriment of humanity, foreign and domestic.

The contamination of the public mindset is a necessary precondition to aggressive, criminal warfare in furtherance of a self-devouring political economy. Once the public is convinced that there is a War On Terror (which is a Big Lie), further astronomical transfers of money from the people to the oligarchs and narrow vested interests – all to the detriment of the vast majority of the population – are easy to justify.

Over the course of the dirty war on Syria, for example, the annual CIA budget in support of the terrorists invading Syria — all of the terrorists – has been about $1,000,000,000 per year(2), and that is only a small fraction of monies spent to support terrorism in Syria. Bill Van Auken notes in “General lets slip US escalation in Syria” that Washington’s “key regional allies, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, poured in billions more to ignite a war that has killed hundreds of thousands and turned millions into refugees.”(3)

An important component of the Pentagon’s “public deception apparatus” (a.k.a illegal war propaganda) consists of “think tanks”. The RAND corporation is one such example.

The strategy of “branding” has been particularly effective throughout the fake War on Terror. For example, governing agencies of deception would have us believe that there are “moderate terrorists.” The name itself is an oxymoron, but the strategy has been highly effective. Credulous people still believe that lie.(4)

The “Public Relations” liars, however, are paid to be aware of perception shifts, and the “Moderates” lie as well as the strategy of constantly re-naming terror groups(5) is wearing thin, so the branding is also shifting.  A new trend now is to re-brand al Qaeda – and all of the terrorists invading Syria are al Qaeda or al Qaeda affiliates, including ISIS – as the “good guys”.

Syrian Ambassador to the UN, Bashar Ja’afari is well aware of the importance of word choices and how words are used to contaminate public perceptions.  He stresses the importance, for example, of  recognizing that the Syrian government is a government, and not a “regime”.

Similarly, the terrorists are not “Islamic” not only because of their deviant ideology, but especially because their actions defy any sane notions of Islam. Nor are the terrorists “jihadis”, especially since some of their most ardent supporters are Zionists. And of course the war isn’t a civil war. The terrorists are there because of the West and its allies, not despite the West and its allies. When incorrect nomenclature is used and repeated, however, public perceptions invariably shift.

https://vid.me/e/Tfagn?stats=1

All of this leads to an often over-looked observation by Christopher C. Black, a former lawyer at the UN:

Journalists who prostitute themselves by telling their fellow citizens lies are not only betraying the trust put in them by the people, and treating them with contempt, they are also war criminals and should be judged as such. Their responsibility in preparing the way for war is as great as those who plan the war and carry out the military operations of the war.(6)

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All of the post-9/11 wars were sold to Western audiences through a sophisticated network of interlocking governing agencies that disseminate propaganda to both domestic and foreign audiences. But the dirty war on Syria is different. The degree of war propaganda levelled at Syria and contaminating humanity at this moment is likely unprecedented. I had studied and written about Syria for years, so I was not entirely surprised by what I saw.

Order directly from Global Research (also available in PDF)

Voices-from-Syria-cover-ad.jpg

Voices from Syria

Mark Taliano

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Notes:

1 RT, “Scandal management: Pentagon spends most of US gov’t PR budget” 10, October, 2016. (https://www.rt.com/usa/362303-pentagon-biggest-propaganda-budget/) Accessed 6, November, 2017

2 Adam Johnson, “Down the Memory Hole: NYT Erases CIA’s Efforts to Overthrow Syria’s Government.” FAIR, 20 September, 2015.( http://fair.org/home/down-the-memory-hole-nyt-erases-cias-efforts-to-overthrow-syrias-government/) Accessed 6 November, 2017.

3 Bill Van Auken, “General lets slip US escalation in Syria.” World Socialist Website, 2 November, 2017. (http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/11/02/pers-n02.html) Accessed 2 November, 2017.

4 Tim Hayward, “Syria’s Moderate Opposition: beyond the doublethink.” 30 October, 2017. (https://timhayward.wordpress.com/2017/10/30/syrias-moderate-opposition-beyond-the-doublethink/) Accessed 6 November, 2017.

5 Mark Taliano, “U.S–Led NATO’s Tree Of Lies.” Global Research. 17 May, 2017. (https://www.globalresearch.ca/u-s-led-natos-tree-of-lies/5590456) Accessed 6 November, 2017.

6 Christopher C. Black, “NATO War Propaganda: A Danger to Russia and World Peace.” “ICH” – “NEO”. 14 March, 2015. (http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article41226.htm#.Wf81B3bogtk.facebook) Accessed 6 November, 2017.

November 8, 2017 Posted by | Book Review, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , | 2 Comments

The Two Elie Wiesels

The Two Elie Wiesels

Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, Romanian-born Holocaust survivor and author of the classic novel, “Night.”

Elie Wiesel spoke out eloquently against violence and injustice… except when he endorsed them.

By Kathryn Shihadah | If Americans Knew | November 6, 2017

Elie Wiesel was born in 1928 to a prominent Jewish family in Romania. By the age of 15, he found himself in Auschwitz concentration camp, where his parents and one of his three siblings died. After the liberation of the camp, he spent time in France.

After a short time, Wiesel went to work  as a translator for Irgun, a terrorist group that had a reputation for bombing and shooting innocent Arab Palestinians. It was during Wiesel’s Irgun days that the group participated in the 1948 Deir Yassin massacre, in which over 250 unarmed Palestinian civilians were brutally murdered.

For ten years after the war, Wiesel says he would not speak or write about his experiences. Eventually he wrote a memoir, which was later abridged and translated into English as Night. Despite questions about its truthfulness (“in its central, most crucial scene, Night isn’t historically true, and at least two other important episodes are almost certainly fiction”), It has become a classic.

Eventually, Wiesel became a prominent advocate for peace and justice around the world.

His activism included speaking out for Soviet, Ethiopian, Romanian, and Ukranian Jews, as well as Vietnamese boat people, victims of South African apartheid, genocide in Bosnia, Darfur, and Armenia, and other at-risk groups around the world.

In 1986, Elie Wiesel received the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end violence, oppression, and racism. The Nobel Committee stated: “Wiesel’s commitment, which originated in the sufferings of the Jewish people, has been widened to embrace all repressed peoples and races.” His profound experiences, and his profound response, birthed in him the words of his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech:

… When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant… that place must – at that moment – become the center of the universe… There is much to be done, there is much that can be done. One person… one person of integrity, can make a difference, a difference of life and death.

I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.

No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them.

In The Watchtower (June 15, 1995), he declared,

The duty of the survivor is to bear testimony to what happened . . . You have to warn people that these things can happen, that evil can be unleashed. Race hatred, violence, idolatries—they still flourish.

Mr. Wiesel must have forgotten his own advice, because in the ensuing years, he missed many opportunities to speak out, to bear testimony – opportunities that were literally right under his nose.

For example, in 1999 he endorsed NATO bombs that were blowing up civilians and journalists in Yugoslavia; in 2003 he advocated for war against Iraq, declaring it a necessary moral act because the situation was “a moral crisis similar to 1938.”

And Wiesel was consistently unmoved when the victims under his nose were Palestinian.

The phenomenon of ignoring Palestinian victims, known in activist circles as PEP—Progressive Except Palestine—is a primary enabler of the ad nauseum occupation of the West Bank, the siege of Gaza, and the systemic oppression of Palestinians within Israel itself. Many groups and individuals that are devoted to justice stop short of defending the oppressed people of the Holy Land.

Mr. Elie Wiesel, the “messenger to mankind,” ought to have been above that kind of limited thinking, but he was not.

Like many, he viewed Israel through rose-colored glasses, despite his first hand knowledge. Wiesel could have, should have spoken out against the oppression of Palestinians, but instead sided with the oppressors. It has become the task of others to correct a Nobel Laureate.

Exhibit A, the Goldstone Report, 2009

Richard Goldstone

Elie Wiesel chose the wrong side when it came to the Goldstone Report, commissioned by the United Nations. The independent fact-finding team, which began its work in April 2009, was headed by Jewish (and Zionist) South African Richard Goldstone. Its task was to investigate alleged violations of international human rights and humanitarian law during Operation Cast Lead. Although the scope of work was originally to examine Israeli actions only, Goldstone insisted on probing the Palestinian side as well.

The 3-week conflict, also known as the Gaza War and the Gaza Massacre, was Israel’s attempt to stop rocket fire and weapon smuggling by Palestinians. Casualties included over 1,400 Palestinians dead and 13 Israelis – 4 from friendly fire.

Prime Minister Netanyahu called the whole investigation a “kangaroo court,” and Israel refused to cooperate with the team or to grant visas for the investigation.

The report, presented in September 2009, concluded that both the Israeli Defense Forces and Palestinian militants had committed war crimes, charging that Israel’s military campaign was “a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate, and terrorize… and to force upon it an ever increasing sense of dependency and vulnerability.” It also accused Israel of collective punishment in the years-long economic blockade of Gaza.

The report described “an overall policy aimed at punishing the Gaza population… possibly with the intent of forcing a change [in its support for Hamas].”

(As an aside, the use of violence against civilians to force a political change is the definition of terrorism.)

The report continued:

[T]here appears also to have been an assault on the dignity of the people… in the use of human shields and unlawful detentions… vandalizing of houses… obscenities and often racist slogans, all constituted an overall image of humiliation and dehumanization of the Palestinian population.

The mission further considers that the series of acts that deprive Palestinians in the Gaza Strip of their means of subsistence, employment, housing and water, that deny their freedom of movement and their right to leave and enter their own country, that limit their rights to access a court of law and an effective remedy, could lead a competent court to find that the crime of persecution, a crime against humanity, has been committed.

Israel rejected the report, while Hamas reluctantly accepted it.

Ian Kelly of the US State Department complained that the report (which, keep in mind, addressed a conflict in which Palestinian deaths were 100 times higher than Israeli deaths), “focuses overwhelmingly on Israel’s actions.” Nobel Peace laureate and former prime minister Shimon Pares considered the report a “mockery of history” and accused the team of failing to “distinguish between the aggressor and a state exercising its right to self-defense.”

Israel’s use of white phosphorus in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead was a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. “While the international community might be horrified by the use of phosphorous, this is overlooking the issue that hundreds of half-ton bombs are being dropped on Gaza on civilian targets on a daily basis,” said Raji Sourani, head of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) in Gaza.

Elie Wiesel joined in the criticism of the Goldstone Report:

One thing is clear to me, that document was unnecessary.

Without explaining his first statement, he added, significantly,

I can’t believe that Israeli soldiers murdered people or shot children. It just can’t be.

(No doubt the families of the 1,400 dead Palestinians – half of them civilians, 252 of them children – would dispute this statement.)

American Jewish journalist Peter Beinart took Wiesel to task for these statements:

Wiesel takes refuge in the Israel of his imagination, using it to block out the painful reckoning that might come from scrutinizing Israel as it actually is… “We are making the lives of millions unbearable,” declares one former Shin Bet head, Carmi Gillon, in the film “The Gatekeepers.” In the West Bank, Israel has become “a brutal occupation force,” notes another, Avraham Shalom. A third, Yuval Diskin, calls the occupation a “colonial regime.”

These men don’t hate Israel; they have dedicated their lives to protecting it. But unlike Wiesel, they are discussing the real Israel, not the one they have constructed in their minds. Why is Elie Wiesel, one of the world’s great champions of human rights, denying the human rights abuses to which even Israel’s own former Shin Bet chiefs have testified?

Rabbi Brant Rosen concurred:

As far as I’m concerned, Justice Richard Goldstone is precisely the kind of courageous Jewish moral hero that Wiesel himself purports to be: someone committed to advocating for universal human rights even when doing so might mean holding our own community painfully to account. As for Wiesel, I’m finding his words and actions increasingly craven. No one begrudges him his opinions – but it’s time he dropped the pretense that he’s somehow beyond the political fray.

Under great pressure from the Jewish community in his home of South Africa, Goldstone eventually backpedaled somewhat on one of the charges. However, he failed to address new evidence that actually reinforced his original findings, as well as a report on Israel’s failure to investigate its violations of the laws of war.

Wiesel declined to acknowledge Israel’s need for censure, expressing that

[Richard Goldstone] has a good name, and I’ve known him for years… He should have refused to head the committee, because of the anti-Israel mandate under which it was established.

This refusal to stand up for the oppressed contradicts the vow he made in his commencement speech at Washington University, St. Louis:

In fact it is the otherness of the other that makes me who I am. I am always to learn from the other. And the other is, to me, not an enemy, but a companion, an ally, and of course, in some cases of grace, a friend. So the other is never to be rejected, and surely not humiliated.

and the words of his Nobel acceptance speech:

None of us is in a position to eliminate war, but it is our obligation to denounce it and expose it in all its hideousness. War leaves no victors, only victims. War dehumanizes, war diminishes, war debases all those who wage it. The Talmud says, “Talmidei hukhamim marbin shalom baolam” (It is the wise men who will bring about peace).

One might expect Mr. Wiesel to lay low for a good, long time after such blatant duplicity. One would be mistaken.

Exhibits B and C: Visit to the White House and public/open letter to Obama, 2010

In May of 2010, Elie Wiesel was invited to the White House for lunch with Israel’s greatest benefactor, the President of the United States. Wiesel, master of persuasion and nuance, decorated for his efforts to end violence, oppression, and racism, had the ear of the leader of the free world.

Wiesel once said,

Mankind needs peace more than ever… Mankind must remember that peace is not God’s gift to his creatures, it is our gift to each other.

According to a recent study, almost 80 percent of IDF forces in the West Bank are there to protect settlements, with the remainder scattered along the Green Line. “[Netanyahu] has been kidnapped by the settler lobby and is pursuing a policy that harms the security of every Israeli,” said Knesset member Erel Margalit in June 2017.

But instead of speaking of peace, he chose as his topic of conversation, “don’t pressure Israel to cease settlement activity in Jerusalem.”

President Obama, who strongly opposed settlements, simply listened politely.

For good measure, Wiesel also undertook a PR campaign in the form of a public letter, which appeared in The International Herald Tribune, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. He painted an idyllic picture of his homeland of Israel:

“[F]or the first time in history, Jews, Christians and Muslims all may freely worship at their shrines. And, contrary to certain media reports, Jews, Christians and Muslims ARE allowed to build their homes anywhere in the city.”

It didn’t take long for the record to be set straight—by prominent Jewish Jerusalemites—who published a letter of their own in the New York Review of Books, correcting Wiesel’s false statements:

We write to you from Jerusalem to convey our frustration, even outrage… We cannot recognize our city in the sentimental abstraction you call by its name.

We invite you to our city to [see that] Arabs are not allowed to build their homes anywhere in Jerusalem. You will see the gross inequality in allocation of municipal resources and services… Sheikh Jarrah, where Palestinian families are being evicted from their homes to make room for a new Jewish neighborhood… Silwan, where dozens of houses face demolition because of the Jerusalem Municipality’s refusal to issue building permits to Palestinians.

Another Israeli who weighed in on the housing issue was former Israeli Cabinet Minister Yossi Sarid, who addressed Wiesel in Ha’aretz,

Someone has deceived you, my dear friend. Not only may an Arab not build “anywhere,” but he may thank his god if he is not evicted from his home and thrown out onto the street with his family and property. 

Israeli Daniel Seidemann, a “one-man early-warning system” for changes in Jerusalem that undermine the peace process, called Wiesel’s words “factually inaccurate” and “morally specious.” He gave specific examples:

So while Wiesel may purchase a home in anywhere in East or West Jerusalem, a Palestinian cannot.

Due to Israeli restrictions, today it is easier for a Palestinian Christian living just south of Jerusalem in Bethlehem to worship in Washington’s National Cathedral than to pray in Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

Today a Muslim living in Turkey has a better chance of getting to Jerusalem to pray at the Old City’s al-Aqsa mosque than a Muslim living a few miles away in Ramallah.

Another Israeli who called Wiesel out for inaccuracies was Ha’aretz writer Gideon Levy:

If I were Elie Wiesel, such a famous Holocaust survivor, a Nobel Prize laureate whose voice is heard in high places, I would ask my friend in the White House, for the sake of peace, Israel’s future and world peace: Please, Mr. President, be forceful. Israel depends on you as never before. Isolated as never before, it’s as good as dead without American support. Therefore, Mr. President, I would say to Obama over the kosher meal that was served, be a true friend of Israel and extricate it from its misfortune…

Instead… Wiesel haggled for wholesale postponement… To postpone. Postpone and postpone, like Netanyahu, who sent him, asked him to do.

And finally, both European and American Jewish leaders—some of whom had lived in Israel—circulated petitions garnering thousands of signatories,

The European petition, “A Call To Reason,” signed by over 5,000, stated that

the occupation and the continuing pursuit of settlements in the West Bank and in the Arab districts of Jerusalem . . . are morally and politically wrong and feed the unacceptable de-legitimation process that Israel currently faces abroad.

The American petition, “For the Sake of Zion,” echoed the European document, adding,

[W]e abhor the continuing occupation that has persisted for far too long; it cannot and should not be sustained. [W]e call upon Israel immediately to cease construction of housing in the disputed territories.”

Wiesel was apparently unconvinced, rendering hollow his earlier pronouncement that

the opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference. Because of indifference, one dies before one actually dies. To be in the window and watch people being sent to concentration camps or being attacked in the street and do nothing, that’s being dead. (US News & World Reportt, 27 October 1986)

Exhibit D: Ha’aretz ad congratulating settlers in East Jerusalem, 2014

Due to his global fame, Elie Wiesel was offered positions on boards of directors all over Israel. The one he chose to accept was the chair of the board of Elad.

Elad is a right-wing NGO which operates in East (Arab) Jerusalem. The organization has two objectives: to settle Jews in the primarily Arab neighborhood of Silwan, and to operate tourist and excavation sites. The settlement aspect of the project involves expelling Palestinians. Richard Silverstein dubbed Elad’s aggressive settler movement “Jewish jihad, literally a Jewish struggle for dominance of the Holy City.” (For details, read this.)

Israeli police oversee the demolition of a Palestinian home in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan. Settler organizations Elad and others have worked to take over and demolish Palestinian homes in order to move Jewish families in. (More information here.)

In early October, 2014, Ha’aretz had reported that Elad was in the market for Israeli Jews to temporarily live in 25 recently-purchased apartments in Silwan, guarding them until the new Jewish settlers moved in. The job description: “In principle, you’re supposed to be quiet and simply occupy the compound… As far as we’re concerned, you live in the house, but it’s better if you have a weapon.”

Silwan’s Palestinian residents have, in the last two decades, been subject to eviction, home demolition, and aggressive buy-outs, transforming their neighborhood a Jewish-Israeli controlled enclave. According to Ha’aretz, “Life in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan has become unbearable, both for the Jewish settlers who would like to be able to leave home without being stoned and the Palestinians who suffer the heavy hand of the police and the settlers’ security guards.”

Wiesel and the organization he headed, Elad, placed the following announcement in Ha’aretz on October 10, 2014:

On the eve of Sukkot, we are happy to congratulate the dozens of Jewish families that are joining the Israeli settlement of Ir David [the settlers’ name for Silwan]. We salute the Zionist work of those who take part in this mission. Strengthening Jewish presence in Jerusalem is the challenge for all of us, and by your act of settlement you make us all stand taller.

Ha’aretz once again put the matter in perspective:

We must reckon with Wiesel’s erasure of others’ suffering as seriously as we embrace the remembrance of our own… The memory of our collective suffering, articulated by Wiesel and others, grants us the ability to see and to understand the collective pain of others… What are we to do with the fact that… Wiesel was head of the board of Elad, an organization at the forefront of expelling Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem? That he worked to further a violent religious nationalist agenda?

In fact, Wiesel’s work with Elad was at odds with not only social justice, but even with his own words. In 2011 he had declared at the commencement of Washington University in St. Louis,

The greatest commandment, to me, in the Bible is not the Ten Commandments… My commandment is, “Thou shall not stand idly by.” Which means when you witness an injustice, don’t stand idly by. When you hear of a person or a group being persecuted, do not stand idly by… You must intervene. You must interfere. And that is actually the motto of human rights… And therefore wherever something happens, I try to be there as a witness.

(Except, of course, when the persecuted are Palestinian.)

Exhibit E: Open letter regarding Netanyahu’s speech to Congress, 2015

Early in 2015, as President Obama was hammering out a nuclear agreement with Iran, PM Benjamin Netanyahu wished to bend Congress’ ear to halt the negotiations. Republican House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell essentially arranged the speech behind Obama’s back, to “make sure that there was no interference.”

Once word got out, President Obama declined to attend the speech. Elie Wiesel then went into action, publishing – with the help of pro-Israel Rabbi Shmuley Boteach – an open letter:

Many centuries ago a wicked man in Persia named Haman advised, “There exists a nation… It is not in our interest to tolerate them.” And the order went out to all the provinces to “annihilate, murder, and destroy the Jews. Now Iran, modern Persia, has produced a new enemy…

Should we not show our support for what might be the last clear warning before a terrible deal is struck [between the US and Iran]?… As one who has seen the enemies of the Jewish people make good on threats to exterminate us, how can I remain silent?… Will you join me in hearing the case for keeping weapons from those who preach death to Israel and America?

Ha’aretz stepped up to challenge Wiesel’s assumptions, pointing out that he

makes two assertions, neither of which he makes any effort to prove. The first is that the United States and Iran are on the verge of “a terrible deal.” What makes the deal, which has not even been struck, “terrible?” Wiesel doesn’t say. The second is that a nuclear Iran would likely mean “‘the annihilation and destruction’ of Israel.” This, too, requires evidence that Wiesel does not provide.

The Ha’aretz authors also point out that Wiesel’s appeal to the biblical story of Esther is flawed because it is incomplete. The account states that after Haman fell from power, Persia’s Jews

“with the stroke of the sword, and slaughter, and destruction… slew of their foes seventy and five thousand.”

If the Book of Esther offers a haunting warning of the violence Jews can suffer, why does it not also warn us of the violence Jews can inflict? And if Wiesel is so alarmed by threats of nuclear annihilation, why does he keep embracing his former patron Sheldon Adelson, who in 2013 urged the United States to drop an “atomic weapon” in the Iranian desert, and then, if the Iranians don’t halt their nuclear program, drop one “in the middle of Tehran” so the Iranians are “wiped out.”

Progressive Jewish American organization J Street reacted strongly to the scheduled speech behind which Wiesel stood so firmly. Responding to Netanyahu’s claim that he would be speaking as a representative of all Jewish people everywhere, the group created a petition entitled “I’m a Jew. Bibi does NOT speak for me.” 20,000 signatures indicated that not all Jews favored his Iran policies or his relationship with the White House.

Wiesel wanted to keep weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of Iran, ignoring the irony of Israel’s own nukes at the ready, and the incongruity of Israel’s de facto “it is not in our interest to tolerate” position toward Palestinians.

But again, Wiesel’s own words were even more haunting than the witness of thousands of other Jews.

There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. The Talmud tells us that by saving a single human being, man can save the world.

Conclusion 

We ask, over and over, how a people who have suffered so much could inflict so much suffering on another people. We wonder how a man who has so precisely described evil could not recognize it in front of him, how he could speak so eloquently about compassion but fail to have a morsel of it for his neighbors.

Hussein Ibish, writing for Foreign Policy, makes sense of the moral quagmire of Elie Wiesel’s mind:

[T]he underlying assumption is irredeemably flawed.  It presumes that people, whether individuals or collectivities, somehow learn from their negative experiences not to repeat them.

Of course, that is not the case. “Hurt people hurt people.” Maybe Elie Wiesel was too broken by his experiences to see clearly what his Israel was doing. Maybe he deserves a pass.

In that case, it behooves the new generation of Israelis and pro-Israel individuals and groups to do what Wiesel could not: take off the rose-colored glasses; do the hard work of acknowledging past and present wrongs. Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly. As Wiesel once said,

I have to be self-conscious of what I’m trying to do with my life.


Kathryn Shihadah is a staff writer for If Americans Knew.

November 6, 2017 Posted by | Book Review, Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 2 Comments

The Canada-Israel Nexus – Book Review

Reviewed by Jim Miles | Palestine Chronicle | October 27, 2017

For a complex and critical examination of the relationship between Canada, Israel, Judaism, and Zionism, Eric Walberg’s new work The Canada-Israel Nexus provides a challenging perspective.

It is challenging in several ways. Primarily, the most important ideas are the critical lines of thought towards the impact of Zionism within Canada. This includes the influences on the media, academics and academia, and the political. The latter mostly affects Canada’s foreign affairs position as a sycophant of the U.S. empire, but in many ways as a leading vocal supporter of Israeli Zionism and its colonial-settler policies.

Throughout the book, comparisons are made between Israel’s recent colonial-settler actions through its settlements, military law, and other civic aspects (education in particular), and the actions previously of the Canadian government towards its indigenous populations. While being different in particular details, the overall actions are very similar, especially considering Canada’s recent very public acknowledgement – both domestically and at the UN – of its own attempts at cultural genocide and ethnic cleansing.

The first chapters cover the historical developments. First, that of Canada and its history of dispossession, Christianization, residential schools, (the last two were still ongoing through the Twentieth Century), assimilation and broken treaty promises towards the indigenous populations. Next, a brief outline of Jewish Zionist history covers the creation of Israel and its rise to a militarized nuclear power extending empire into a Middle East riven by war created by those supporting that extension.

Two longer chapters cover the history of Jewish people in Canada. The essential story is that of a self-isolating community being the ‘ragpickers’ of the communities, rising quickly to be behind the scenes power players in politics and the media. Today, the pro-Israeli stance has been successfully entrenched in Canada from all political parties (except for the Greens, who in spite of their leaders’ rhetoric, have supported a position supporting BDS).

In what will probably prove to be the most controversial section, Walberg discusses the Canadian right-wing activists who have denied the Israeli narrative and how they have been silenced by the courts and media. He extends the idea of holocaust to cover other mass killings, in particular that suffered by Russia during WW II, and the “ongoing slow-motion holocaust against the Palestinians.” Both Russia and the Palestinians as terrorists are both highly maligned in Canada’s press and political realm with the U.S. and Israeli imperial viewpoints being strongly supported.

A final look is taken concerning the parallels between the two ‘native nations’ of Canada and Israel. Humanitarian law, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, oil, pipelines, water resources, laws and the courts, education, and religious theology all carry similarities. The more recent actions defining or redefining antisemitism and Israel’s ongoing hasbara efforts (the act of explaining – now more broadly defined in its context at manipulating public attitudes towards Israel) reflect the impact of global dissidents against imperial hegemony supported by Canada and Israel.

The Canada-Israel Nexus is a thought provoking and challenging work, an important addition to the discussion of Canada’s relationship domestically with its own indigenous population and its foreign policy relationship with Israel and the greater imperial games of the west.

Jim Miles is a Canadian educator and a regular contributor and columnist of opinion pieces and book reviews for The Palestine Chronicle. Miles’ work is also presented globally through other alternative websites and news publications.

(The Canada-Israel Nexus. Eric Walberg. Clarity Press, Atlanta, Georgia. 2017.)

November 1, 2017 Posted by | Book Review, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

How America Spreads Global Chaos

By Nicolas J.S. Davies | Consortium News | October 30, 2017

As the recent PBS documentary on the American War in Vietnam acknowledged, few American officials ever believed that the United States could win the war, neither those advising Johnson as he committed hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops, nor those advising Nixon as he escalated a brutal aerial bombardment that had already killed millions of people.

U.S. F-105s bomb North Vietnam in 1966
(Photo credit: U.S. Air Force)

As conversations tape-recorded in the White House reveal, and as other writers have documented, the reasons for wading into the Big Muddy, as Pete Seeger satirized it, and then pushing on regardless, all came down to “credibility”: the domestic political credibility of the politicians involved and America’s international credibility as a military power.

Once the CIA went to work in Vietnam to undermine the 1954 Geneva Accords and the planned reunification of North and South through a free and fair election in 1956, the die was cast. The CIA’s support for the repressive Diem regime and its successors ensured an ever-escalating war, as the South rose in rebellion, supported by the North. No U.S. president could extricate the U.S. from Vietnam without exposing the limits of what U.S. military force could achieve, betraying widely held national myths and the powerful interests that sustained and profited from them.

The critical “lesson of Vietnam” was summed up by Richard Barnet in his 1972 book Roots of War.  “At the very moment that the number one nation has perfected the science of killing,” Barnet wrote, “It has become an impractical means of political domination.”

Losing the war in Vietnam was a heavy blow to the CIA and the U.S. Military Industrial Complex, and it added insult to injury for every American who had lost comrades or loved ones in Vietnam, but it ushered in more than a decade of relative peace for America and the world. If the purpose of the U.S. military is to protect the U.S. from the danger of war, as our leaders so often claim, the “Vietnam syndrome,” or the reluctance to be drawn into new wars, kept the peace and undoubtedly saved countless lives.

Even the senior officer corps of the U.S. military saw it that way, since many of them had survived the horrors of Vietnam as junior officers. The CIA could still wreak havoc in Latin America and elsewhere, but the full destructive force of the U.S. military was not unleashed again until the invasion of Panama in 1989 and the First Gulf War in 1991.

Half a century after Vietnam, we have tragically come full circle. With the CIA’s politicized intelligence running wild in Washington and its covert operations spreading violence and chaos across every continent, President Trump faces the same pressures to maintain his own and his country’s credibility as Johnson and Nixon did. His predictable response has been to escalate ongoing wars in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and West Africa, and to threaten new ones against North Korea, Iran and Venezuela.

Trump is facing these questions, not just in one country, Vietnam, but in dozens of countries across the world, and the interests perpetuating and fueling this cycle of crisis and war have only become more entrenched over time, as President Eisenhower warned that they would, despite the end of the Cold War and, until now, the lack of any actual military threat to the United States.

Ironically but predictably, the U.S.’s aggressive and illegal war policy has finally provoked a real military threat to the U.S., albeit one that has emerged only in response to U.S. war plans. As I explained in a recent article, North Korea’s discovery in 2016 of a U.S. plan to assassinate its president, Kim Jong Un, and launch a Second Korean War has triggered a crash program to develop long-range ballistic missiles that could give North Korea a viable nuclear deterrent and prevent a U.S. attack. But the North Koreans will not feel safe from attack until their leaders and ours are sure that their missiles can deliver a nuclear strike against the U.S. mainland.

The CIA’s Pretexts for War

U.S. Air Force Colonel Fletcher Prouty was the chief of special operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1955 to 1964, managing the global military support system for the CIA in Vietnam and around the world. Fletcher Prouty’s book, The Secret Team: The CIA and its Allies in Control of the United States and the World, was suppressed when it was first published in 1973. Thousands of copies disappeared from bookstores and libraries, and a mysterious Army Colonel bought the entire shipment of 3,500 copies the publisher sent to Australia. But Prouty’s book was republished in 2011, and it is a timely account of the role of the CIA in U.S. policy.

Prouty surprisingly described the role of the CIA as a response by powerful people and interests to the abolition of the U.S. Department of War and the creation of the Department of Defense in 1947. Once the role of the U.S. military was redefined as one of defense, in line with the United Nations Charter’s prohibition against the threat or use of military force in 1945 and similar moves by other military powers, it would require some kind of crisis or threat to justify using military force in the future, both legally and politically. The main purpose of the CIA, as Prouty saw it, is to create such pretexts for war.

The CIA is a hybrid of an intelligence service that gathers and analyzes foreign intelligence and a clandestine service that conducts covert operations. Both functions are essential to creating pretexts for war, and that is what they have done for 70 years.

Prouty described how the CIA infiltrated the U.S. military, the State Department, the National Security Council and other government institutions, covertly placing its officers in critical positions to ensure that its plans are approved and that it has access to whatever forces, weapons, equipment, ammunition and other resources it needs to carry them out.

Many retired intelligence officers, such as Ray McGovern and the members of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), saw the merging of clandestine operations with intelligence analysis in one agency as corrupting the objective analysis they tried to provide to policymakers. They formed VIPS in 2003 in response to the fabrication of politicized intelligence that provided false pretexts for the U.S. to invade and destroy Iraq.

CIA in Syria and Africa

But Fletcher Prouty was even more disturbed by the way that the CIA uses clandestine operations to trigger coups, wars and chaos. The civil and proxy war in Syria is a perfect example of what Prouty meant. In late 2011, after destroying Libya and aiding in the torture-murder of Muammar Gaddafi, the CIA and its allies began flying fighters and weapons from Libya to Turkey and infiltrating them into Syria. Then, working with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Croatia and other allies, this operation poured thousands of tons of weapons across Syria’s borders to ignite and fuel a full-scale civil war.

Once these covert operations were under way, they ran wild until they had unleashed a savage Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria (Jabhat al-Nusra, now rebranded as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham), spawned the even more savage “Islamic State,” triggered the heaviest and probably the deadliest U.S. bombing campaign since Vietnam and drawn Russia, Iran, Turkey, Israel, Jordan, Hezbollah, Kurdish militias and almost every state or armed group in the Middle East into the chaos of Syria’s civil war.

Meanwhile, as Al Qaeda and Islamic State have expanded their operations across Africa, the U.N. has published a report titled Journey to Extremism in Africa: Drivers, Incentives and the Tipping Point for Recruitment, based on 500 interviews with African militants. This study has found that the kind of special operations and training missions the CIA and AFRICOM are conducting and supporting in Africa are in fact the critical “tipping point” that drives Africans to join militant groups like Al Qaeda, Al-Shabab and Boko Haram.

The report found that government action, such as the killing or detention of friends or family, was the “tipping point” that drove 71 percent of African militants interviewed to join armed groups, and that this was a more important factor than religious ideology.

The conclusions of Journey to Extremism in Africa confirm the findings of other similar studies. The Center for Civilians in Conflict interviewed 250 civilians who joined armed groups in Bosnia, Somalia, Gaza and Libya for its 2015 study, The People’s Perspectives: Civilian Involvement in Armed Conflicts. The study found that the most common motivation for civilians to join armed groups was simply to protect themselves or their families.

The role of U.S. “counterterrorism” operations in fueling armed resistance and terrorism, and the absence of any plan to reduce the asymmetric violence unleashed by the “global war on terror,” would be no surprise to Fletcher Prouty. As he explained, such clandestine operations always take on a life of their own that is unrelated, and often counter-productive, to any rational U.S. policy objective.

“The more intimate one becomes with this activity,” Prouty wrote, “The more one begins to realize that such operations are rarely, if ever, initiated from an intent to become involved in pursuit of some national objective in the first place.”

The U.S. justifies the deployment of 6,000 U.S. special forces and military trainers to 53 of the 54 countries in Africa as a response to terrorism. But the U.N.’s Journey to Extremism in Africa study makes it clear that the U.S. militarization of Africa is in fact the “tipping point” that is driving Africans across the continent to join armed resistance groups in the first place.

This is a textbook CIA operation on the same model as Vietnam in the late 1950s and early 60s. The CIA uses U.S. special forces and training missions to launch covert and proxy military operations that drive local populations into armed resistance groups, and then uses the presence of those armed resistance groups to justify ever-escalating U.S. military involvement. This is Vietnam redux on a continental scale.

Taking on China

What seems to really be driving the CIA’s militarization of U.S. policy in Africa is China’s growing influence on the continent. As Steve Bannon put it in an interview with the Economist in August, “Let’s go screw up One Belt One Road.”

China is already too big and powerful for the U.S. to apply what is known as the Ledeen doctrine named for neoconservative theorist and intelligence operative Michael Ledeen who suggested that every 10 years or so, the United States “pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show we mean business.”

China is too powerful and armed with nuclear weapons. So, in this case, the CIA’s job would be to spread violence and chaos to disrupt Chinese trade and investment, and to make African governments increasingly dependent on U.S. military aid to fight the militant groups spawned and endlessly regenerated by U.S.-led “counterterrorism” operations.

Neither Ledeen nor Bannon pretend that such policies are designed to build more prosperous or viable societies in the Middle East or Africa, let alone to benefit their people. They both know very well what Richard Barnet already understood 45 years ago, that America’s unprecedented investment in weapons, war and CIA covert operations are only good for one thing: to kill people and destroy infrastructure, reducing cities to rubble, societies to chaos and the desperate survivors to poverty and displacement.

As long as the CIA and the U.S. military keep plunging the scapegoats for our failed policies into economic crisis, violence and chaos, the [elite elements of] United States and the United Kingdom can remain the safe havens of the world’s wealth, islands of privilege and excess amidst the storms they unleash on others.

But if that is the only “significant national objective” driving these policies, it is surely about time for the 99 percent of Americans who reap no benefit from these murderous schemes to stop the CIA and its allies before they completely wreck the already damaged and fragile world in which we all must live, Americans and foreigners alike.

Douglas Valentine has probably studied the CIA in more depth than any other American journalist, beginning with his book on The Phoenix Program in Vietnam. He has written a new book titled The CIA as Organized Crime: How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World, in which he brings Fletcher Prouty’s analysis right up to the present day, describing the CIA’s role in our current wars and the many ways it infiltrates, manipulates and controls U.S. policy.

The Three Scapegoats

In Trump’s speech to the U.N. General Assembly, he named North Korea, Iran and Venezuela as his prime targets for destabilization, economic warfare and, ultimately, the overthrow of their governments, whether by coup d’etat or the mass destruction of their civilian population and infrastructure. But Trump’s choice of scapegoats for America’s failures was obviously not based on a rational reassessment of foreign policy priorities by the new administration. It was only a tired rehashing of the CIA’s unfinished business with two-thirds of Bush’s “axis of evil” and Bush White House official Elliott Abrams’ failed 2002 coup in Caracas, now laced with explicit and illegal threats of aggression.

How Trump and the CIA plan to sacrifice their three scapegoats for America’s failures remains to be seen. This is not 2001, when the world stood silent at the U.S. bombardment and invasion of Afghanistan after September 11th. It is more like 2003, when the U.S. destruction of Iraq split the Atlantic alliance and alienated most of the world. It is certainly not 2011, after Obama’s global charm offensive had rebuilt U.S. alliances and provided cover for French President Sarkozy, British Prime Minister Cameron, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Arab royals to destroy Libya, once ranked by the U.N. as the most developed country in Africa, now mired in intractable chaos.

In 2017, a U.S. attack on any one of Trump’s scapegoats would isolate the United States from many of its allies and undermine its standing in the world in far-reaching ways that might be more permanent and harder to repair than the invasion and destruction of Iraq.

In Venezuela, the CIA and the right-wing opposition are following the same strategy that President Nixon ordered the CIA to inflict on Chile, to “make the economy scream” in preparation for the 1973 coup. But the solid victory of Venezuela’s ruling Socialist Party in recent nationwide gubernatorial elections, despite a long and deep economic crisis, reveals little public support for the CIA’s puppets in Venezuela.

The CIA has successfully discredited the Venezuelan government through economic warfare, increasingly violent right-wing street protests and a global propaganda campaign. But the CIA has stupidly hitched its wagon to an extreme right-wing, upper-class opposition that has no credibility with most of the Venezuelan public, who still turn out for the Socialists at the polls. A CIA coup or U.S. military intervention would meet fierce public resistance and damage U.S. relations all over Latin America.

Boxing In North Korea

A U.S. aerial bombardment or “preemptive strike” on North Korea could quickly escalate into a war between the U.S. and China, which has reiterated its commitment to North Korea’s defense if North Korea is attacked. We do not know exactly what was in the U.S. war plan discovered by North Korea, so neither can we know how North Korea and China could respond if the U.S. pressed ahead with it.

Most analysts have long concluded that any U.S. attack on North Korea would be met with a North Korean artillery and missile barrage that would inflict unacceptable civilian casualties on Seoul, a metropolitan area of 26 million people, three times the population of New York City. Seoul is only 35 miles from the frontier with North Korea, placing it within range of a huge array of North Korean weapons. What was already a no-win calculus is now compounded by the possibility that North Korea could respond with nuclear weapons, turning any prospect of a U.S. attack into an even worse nightmare.

U.S. mismanagement of its relations with North Korea should be an object lesson for its relations with Iran, graphically demonstrating the advantages of diplomacy, talks and agreements over threats of war. Under the Agreed Framework signed in 1994, North Korea stopped work on two much larger nuclear reactors than the small experimental one operating at Yongbyong since 1986, which only produces 6 kg of plutonium per year, enough for one nuclear bomb.

The lesson of Bush’s Iraq invasion in 2003 after Saddam Hussein had complied with demands that he destroy Iraq’s stockpiles of chemical weapons and shut down a nascent nuclear program was not lost on North Korea. Not only did the invasion lay waste to large sections of Iraq with hundreds of thousands of dead but Hussein himself was hunted down and condemned to death by hanging.

Still, after North Korea tested its first nuclear weapon in 2006, even its small experimental reactor was shut down as a result of the “Six Party Talks” in 2007, all the fuel rods were removed and placed under supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the cooling tower of the reactor was demolished in 2008.

But then, as relations deteriorated, North Korea conducted a second nuclear weapon test and again began reprocessing spent fuel rods to recover plutonium for use in nuclear weapons.

North Korea has now conducted six nuclear weapons tests. The explosions in the first five tests increased gradually up to 15-25 kilotons, about the yield of the bombs the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but estimates for the yield of the 2017 test range from 110 to 250 kilotons, comparable to a small hydrogen bomb.

The even greater danger in a new war in Korea is that the U.S. could unleash part of its arsenal of 4,000 more powerful weapons (100 to 1,200 kilotons), which could kill millions of people and devastate and poison the region, or even the world, for years to come.

The U.S. willingness to scrap the Agreed Framework in 2003, the breakdown of the Six Party Talks in 2009 and the U.S. refusal to acknowledge that its own military actions and threats create legitimate defense concerns for North Korea have driven the North Koreans into a corner from which they see a credible nuclear deterrent as their only chance to avoid mass destruction.

China has proposed a reasonable framework for diplomacy to address the concerns of both sides, but the U.S. insists on maintaining its propaganda narratives that all the fault lies with North Korea and that it has some kind of “military solution” to the crisis.

This may be the most dangerous idea we have heard from U.S. policymakers since the end of the Cold War, but it is the logical culmination of a systematic normalization of deviant and illegal U.S. war-making that has already cost millions of lives in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Pakistan. As historian Gabriel Kolko wrote in Century of War in 1994, “options and decisions that are intrinsically dangerous and irrational become not merely plausible but the only form of reasoning about war and diplomacy that is possible in official circles.”

Demonizing Iran

The idea that Iran has ever had a nuclear weapons program is seriously contested by the IAEA, which has examined every allegation presented by the CIA and other Western “intelligence” agencies as well as Israel. Former IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei revealed many details of this wild goose chase in his 2011 memoir, Age of Deception: Nuclear Diplomacy in Treacherous Times.

When the CIA and its partners reluctantly acknowledged the IAEA’s conclusions in a 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), ElBaradei issued a press release confirming that, “the agency has no concrete evidence of an ongoing nuclear weapons program or undeclared nuclear facilities in Iran.”

Since 2007, the IAEA has resolved all its outstanding concerns with Iran. It has verified that dual-use technologies that Iran imported before 2003 were in fact used for other purposes, and it has exposed the mysterious “laptop documents” that appeared to show Iranian plans for a nuclear weapon as forgeries. Gareth Porter thoroughly explored all these questions and allegations and the history of mistrust that fueled them in his 2014 book, Manufactured Crisis: the Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scares, which I highly recommend.

But, in the parallel Bizarro world of U.S. politics, hopelessly poisoned by the CIA’s endless disinformation campaigns, Hillary Clinton could repeatedly take false credit for disarming Iran during her presidential campaign, and neither Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump nor any corporate media interviewer dared to challenge her claims.

“When President Obama took office, Iran was racing toward a nuclear bomb,” Clinton fantasized in a prominent foreign policy speech on June 2, 2016, claiming that her brutal sanctions policy “brought Iran to the table.”

In fact, as Trita Parsi documented in his 2012 book, A Single Roll of the Dice: Obama’s Diplomacy With Iran, the Iranians were ready, not just to “come to the table,” but to sign a comprehensive agreement based on a U.S. proposal brokered by Turkey and Brazil in 2010. But, in a classic case of “tail wags dog,” the U.S. then rejected its own proposal because it would have undercut support for tighter sanctions in the U.N. Security Council. In other words, Clinton’s sanctions policy did not “bring Iran to the table”, but prevented the U.S. from coming to the table itself.

As a senior State Department official told Trita Parsi, the real problem with U.S. diplomacy with Iran when Clinton was at the State Department was that the U.S. would not take “Yes” for an answer. Trump’s ham-fisted decertification of Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA is right out of Clinton’s playbook, and it demonstrates that the CIA is still determined to use Iran as a scapegoat for America’s failures in the Middle East.

The spurious claim that Iran is the world’s greatest sponsor of terrorism is another CIA canard reinforced by endless repetition. It is true that Iran supports and supplies weapons to Hezbollah and Hamas, which are both listed as terrorist organizations by the U.S. government. But they are mainly defensive resistance groups that defend Lebanon and Gaza respectively against invasions and attacks by Israel.

Shifting attention away from Al Qaeda, Islamic State, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and other groups that actually commit terrorist crimes around the world might just seem like a case of the CIA “taking its eyes off the ball,” if it wasn’t so transparently timed to frame Iran with new accusations now that the manufactured crisis of the nuclear scare has run its course.

What the Future Holds

Barack Obama’s most consequential international achievement may have been the triumph of symbolism over substance behind which he expanded and escalated the so-called “war on terror,” with a vast expansion of covert operations and proxy wars that eventually triggered the heaviest U.S. aerial bombardments since Vietnam in Iraq and Syria.

Obama’s charm offensive invigorated old and new military alliances with the U.K., France and the Arab monarchies, and he quietly ran up the most expensive military budget of any president since World War Two.

But Obama’s expansion of the “war on terror” under cover of his deceptive global public relations campaign created many more problems than it solved, and Trump and his advisers are woefully ill-equipped to solve any of them. Trump’s expressed desire to place America first and to resist foreign entanglements is hopelessly at odds with his aggressive, bullying approach to every foreign policy problem.

If the U.S. could threaten and fight its way to a resolution of any of its international problems, it would have done so already. That is exactly what it has been trying to do since the 1990s, behind both the swagger and bluster of Bush and Trump and the deceptive charm of Clinton and Obama: a “good cop – bad cop” routine that should no longer fool anyone anywhere.

But as Lyndon Johnson found as he waded deeper and deeper into the Big Muddy in Vietnam, lying to the public about unwinnable wars does not make them any more winnable. It just gets more people killed and makes it harder and harder to ever tell the public the truth.

In unwinnable wars based on lies, the “credibility” problem only gets more complicated, as new lies require new scapegoats and convoluted narratives to explain away graveyards filled by old lies. Obama’s cynical global charm offensive bought the “war on terror” another eight years, but that only allowed the CIA to drag the U.S. into more trouble and spread its chaos to more places around the world.

Meanwhile, Russian President Putin is winning hearts and minds in capitals around the world by calling for a recommitment to the rule of international law, which prohibits the threat or use of military force except in self-defense. Every new U.S. threat or act of aggression will only make Putin’s case more persuasive, not least to important U.S. allies like South Korea, Germany and other members of the European Union, whose complicity in U.S. aggression has until now helped to give it a false veneer of political legitimacy.

Throughout history, serial aggression has nearly always provoked increasingly united opposition, as peace-loving countries and people have reluctantly summoned the courage to stand up to an aggressor. France under Napoleon and Hitler’s Germany also regarded themselves as exceptional, and in their own ways they were. But in the end, their belief in their exceptionalism led them on to defeat and destruction.

Americans had better hope that we are not so exceptional, and that the world will find a diplomatic rather than a military “solution” to its American problem. Our chances of survival would improve a great deal if American officials and politicians would finally start to act like something other than putty in the hands of the CIA.


Nicolas J. S. Davies is the author of Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq.  He also wrote the chapters on “Obama at War” in Grading the 44th President: a Report Card on Barack Obama’s First Term as a Progressive Leader.

October 31, 2017 Posted by | Book Review, Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Who wrote the Balfour Declaration and why: The World War I Connection

(L-R) Chaim Weizmann, future president of Israel, with Louis Brandeis, US Supreme Court Justice, in Palestine, 1919. The two were instrumental in obtaining the Balfour Declaration, a British document that many feel was a critical step in the establishment of Israel. Zionists’ promise that they would get the U.S. to join Britain in “the Great War” was the enticement.

By Alison Weir, excerpted from Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel

Most analysts consider WWI a pointless conflict that resulted from diplomatic entanglements rather than some travesty of justice or aggression. Yet, it was catastrophic to a generation of Europeans, killing 14 million people.[i]

The United States joined this unnecessary war a few years into the hostilities, costing many American lives, even though the U.S. was not party to the alliances that had drawn other nations into the fray. This even though Americans had been strongly opposed to entering the war and Woodrow Wilson had won the presidency with the slogan, “He kept us out of war.”[ii]

President Wilson changed course in 1917 and plunged the U.S. into that tragic European conflict. Approximately 320,000 Americans were killed or injured.[iii] Over 1,200 American citizens who opposed the war were rounded up and imprisoned, some for years.[iv]

A number or reasons were publicly given for Wilson‘s change of heart, including Germany‘s submarine warfare, Germany’s sinking of the British passenger ship Lusitania,[v] and a diplomatic debacle known as the Zimmerman Telegram episode.[vi] Historians also add pro-British propaganda and economic reasons to the list of causes, and most suggest that a number of factors were at play.

While Americans today are aware of many of these facts, few know that Zionism appears to have been one of those factors.  [Zionism was a political movement to create a Jewish state in Palestine. When this movement began, in the late 1800s, the population of Palestine was 96 percent Muslim and Christian. The large majority of Jews around the world were not Zionists.]

Diverse documentary evidence shows that Zionists pushed for the U.S. to enter the war on Britain’s side as part of a deal to gain British support for their colonization of Palestine.

From the very beginning of their movement, Zionists realized that if they were to succeed in their goal of creating a Jewish state on land that was already inhabited by non-Jews, they needed backing from one of the “great powers.”[vii] They tried the Ottoman Empire, which controlled Palestine at the time, but were turned down (although they were told that Jews could settle throughout other parts of the Ottoman empire and become Turkish citizens).[viii]

They then turned to Britain, which was also initially less than enthusiastic. Famous English Middle East experts such as Gertrude Bell pointed out that Palestine was Arab and that Jerusalem was sacred to all three major monotheistic faiths.[ix]

Future British Foreign Minister Lord George Curzon similarly stated that Palestine was already inhabited by half a million Arabs who would “not be content either to be expropriated for Jewish immigrants or to act merely as hewers of wood and drawers of water for the latter.”[x]

However, once the British were embroiled in World War I, and particularly during 1916, a disastrous year for the Allies in which there were 60,000 British casualties in one day alone,[xi] Zionists were able to play a winning card. While they previously had appealed to religious or idealistic arguments, now Zionist leaders could add a particularly powerful motivator: telling the British government that Zionists in the U.S. would push America to enter the war on the side of the British, if the British promised to support a Jewish home in Palestine afterward.[xii]

British soldiers, Battle of the Somme. British suffered 60,000 casualties in the first day of the battle.

In 1917 British Foreign Minister Lord Balfour issued a letter to Zionist leader Lord Rothschild. Known as the Balfour Declaration, this letter promised that Britain would “view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” and “use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object.”

The letter then qualified this somewhat by stating that it should be “clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.” The “non-Jewish communities” were 92 percent of Palestine’s population at that time,[xiii] vigorous Zionist immigration efforts having slightly expanded the percentage of Jews living in Palestine by then.

The letter, while officially signed by British Foreign Minister Lord Balfour, had been in process for two years and had gone through a number of edits by British and American Zionists and British officials.[xiv] As Zionist leader Nahum Sokolow later wrote, “[e]very idea born in London was tested by the Zionist Organization in America, and every suggestion in America received the most careful attention in London.”[xv]

Sokolow wrote that British Zionists were helped, “above all, by American Zionists. Between London, New York, and Washington there was constant communication, either by telegraph, or by personal visit, and as a result there was perfect unity among the Zionists of both hemispheres.” Sokolow particularly praised “the beneficent personal influence of the Honourable Louis D. Brandeis, Judge of the Supreme Court.”[xvi]

The final version of the Declaration was actually written by Leopold Amery, a British official who, it came out later, was a secret and fervent Zionist. … continue

October 25, 2017 Posted by | Book Review, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

The War on Terror: The Plot to Rule the Middle East – A Book Review

Christopher Bollyn, 2017, 146 pages.

Review by David Brooks | American Herald Tribune | October 18, 2017

Christopher Bollyn is that rarest of mediaticians, a real-live investigative journalist, formerly of the American Free Press, now altogether free, as befits a researcher-writer of irreducible integrity. For the last decade and a half, Bollyn has made September 11th and its murderous military aftermath his own special beat, going where few 9/11 analysts have dared to venture.

Bollyn’s great contention, expounded in scores of articles and two previous books (Solving 9/11: The Deception that Changed the World ), is that it was not Bin Laden and Al Qaeda who carried out the world’s greatest terror attack, but none other than Ben Netanyahu and El Mossad, so as to foment an endless war against Israel’s perceived enemies in the Middle East.

Even more than David Ray Griffin, the widely acknowledged dean of 9/11 studies, Bollyn deserves a Pulitzer Prize, for not only naming the unnamable, but for substantiating his charge in definitive, documented detail. Mazel tov to anyone who would lightly dismiss his case.

As for those who would single-handedly rebut Bollyn’s thesis with the knee-jerk cry of “anti-Semitism,” let them be forewarned that Bollyn gets serious back-up in a scathing introduction by Dr. Alan Sabrosky, a retired senior administrator at the U.S. Army War College (West Point), who went on record long ago that 9/11 was a Mossad operation. Sabrosky is Jewish himself.

That someone of Sabrosky’s stature and heritage has not yet been invited on network television to deliver his bombshell accusation is just one more proof of the media-wide clampdown on 9/11 truth. While Bollyn may be snubbed by the MSM merely for being a self-published non-entity, the only way for Zionist propagandists to deal with Sabrosky is to pretend that he doesn’t exist. Thus far it has worked.

It’s interesting to note that Sabrosky’s greatest scorn is not for the Israeli terrorist perpetrators, but for homegrown Israeli fifth-columnists, “the mostly Jewish Neo-conservatives, many of whom [are] dual Israeli citizens and all more or less openly professing “dual loyalty” to Israel and the United States – a form of political bigamy that is every bit as dishonest as marital bigamy, and which only thinly disguises the controlling allegiance all hold to Israel, their oaths notwithstanding.”

Bollyn expands on this point for the length of his book, claiming that the War on Terror has been a greater curse on the world than 9/11 itself, costing trillions of American dollars and millions of Muslim lives, with no end in sight. More damning is that all this was foreseen. What has come to pass is indeed the very fulfillment of an objective set out decades ago:

As I explain in my Solving 9/11 books, the false-flag terror of 9/11 was an Israeli idea from the beginning, first articulated by a former head of the Mossad in the 1970’s. At the same time that [Mossad chief] Isser Harel was predicting how Arab terrorists would attack the tallest towers in New York City, Benjamin Netanyahu was holding an international conference of Western leaders in Jerusalem (1979) to promote a global war against terrorism. Both concepts are products of Israeli strategic planners.

What a perp-line Bollyn brings before his readers, digging up well-hidden background information on every possible suspect, Israeli and American, in this criminal cause. A veritable A-list of dual nationals could be compiled just from the officials of recent presidential administrations. Each could be subpoenaed before a real 9/11 commission, rather than evade mention, as was ensured by dual national, Philip Zelikow, in the official whitewash “report.”

Questioning could start with Netanyahu’s long-time friend, Larry Silverstein, who obtained the World Trade Center just weeks beforehand, arranged for dubious, new security, and doubled the insurance. “Lucky Larry” is best known for being the fortuitous owner of WTC 7, which wasn’t hit by a plane, but still managed to collapse neatly in 6.5 seconds later that afternoon. That this staggering fact is still largely unknown sixteen years later speaks more cogently than any of Bollyn’s arguments to a deliberate media and government cover-up.

In some of his research, Bollyn acquits himself like archival historian, tracing certain 9/11 “strategic planners” back to “a small group of veteran Zionist criminals who have employed terrorism as a tool since the 1940s.” Talk about chickens coming home to roost! One of the shadier Zionist operatives is Netanyahu’s own father, Benzion, an American academic who co-hosted that fateful Jerusalem conference with his son, and whose influence upon him may not have stopped with his death at age 102.

Here’s another intriguing item gleaned from Bollyn’s inquiry: For those who remember the film or book, Charlie Wilson’s War, it turns out the celebrated Congressman who enlisted massive funding for anti-Western mujahideen “freedom fighters” in Afghanistan was a Zionist stooge:

Wilson’s Israeli handler was Zvi Rafiah, Mossad station chief in Washington, who had known Wilson since 1973 and who used his congressional office as if it were his own. As George Crile described in his book, Charlie Wilson’s War, “Rafiah had always acted as if he owned Wilson’s office. One of the staffers kept a list of the people he needed to lobby. He would use the phones, give projects to the staff, and call on Charlie to intervene whenever he needed him.”

Imagine gung-ho patriot, Tom Hanks, being played for a schmuck. The unwitting sabotage of more enlightened resistance to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan led to a more deadly subterfuge—the formation of a perfect patsy for the pre-meditated crime of 9/11:

Thousands of non-Afghan fighters joined [the anti-Western militia] Hezb-i-Islami, including thousands of Arabs, known as Afghan Arabs. Osama bin Laden is the most famous of the Afghan Arabs. Having trained a cadre of 4,000 anti-Western Islamic fighters, Israeli military intelligence and C.I.A. had a database of names to populate the Islamic anti-Western antithesis needed for the War on Terror construct. This database was known as Al Qaeda.

It comes as no surprise to learn in the chapter “9/11 and the War in Syria” that the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Israel conjointly support the most savage of the anti-Western militias there. The only purpose of all these parties is to terrorize and destroy the country. This is not foreign policy, but state-sponsored sociopathy.

In the chapter titled “Who Makes the Terrorist Videos?” we learn that the person releasing most ISIS videos, which have duly invoked air strikes on Syria, happens to be an Israeli intelligence agent named Rita Katz, living in Bethesda, Maryland. How much more transparent can the Zionist psy-op known as the “War on Terror” get?

Most memorable image from Bollyn’s book: “The War on Terror and 9/11 are like two sides of a counterfeit coin. If the American public had a good understanding of the false-flag deception of 9/11, then the fraudulent nature of the wars fought in its name would be equally obvious.” Amen.

A brief review cannot do justice to the depth of research contained in Bollyn’s concise ​exposé. It is his attention to detail, instanced above, which undergirds every aspect of his overarching thesis of Zionist complicity, and provides substantive evidence to his book-lengthed “J’accuse!”

Attention must be paid—or else. As Bollyn observes, the magnitude of such a fraud as 9/11 can’t stay hidden forever. Too many people know already. Either the truth of 9/11 will prevail, or its perpetrators, who have nothing to lose, may arrange something far worse.

Bollyn is fully apprised of the danger in the combustible combination of the current leaders of Israel and the United States. It could be déjà vu over again: “Ronald Reagan and Menachem Begin led to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, and George W. Bush and Ariel Sharon led to 9/11 and the War on Terror in 2001.” Foreboding abounds when President Trump calls Prime Minister Netanyahu a close, personal friend. Will the talented Mr. Netanyahu and the Artful Dealer of America arrange a mutually acceptable war? We may soon have our answer.

While it strains credulity to the breaking point, Bollyn’s most daringly original suggestion is that 9/11 and its propaganda-induced “War on Terror” can be traced in part to a consanguineous conspiracy—a family plot, if you will—conceived and crafted over many years by Netanyahu & Son, and abetted by select American traitors when all the pieces were at last in place. Should their guilt ever become known, the name “Netanyahu” will live in infamy. Move over, Macbeth!

It seems only fitting, then, to let 9/11 mastermind, Benjamin Netanyahu, have the penultimate word in this review. One can almost picture him winking to his future accomplices when he proclaimed decades earlier: “It is perfectly possible to determine who the terrorists are and who stands behind them. If governments have failed to do this, it is more often not for lack of knowledge, but for lack of courage and moral clarity.” (Terrorism: How the West Can Win, 1986)

If Netanyahu soon gets his way—and unleashes yet another false-flagged, media-hyped, Israeli-concocted “war on terror”—it will not be for lack of courage and moral clarity by people such as Christopher Bollyn. May the Lord preserve him and all other truth-tellers.

October 21, 2017 Posted by | Book Review, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments