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The Betrayal of India: Revisiting the 26/11 Evidence

By Ludwig Watzal | American Herald Tribune | August 14, 2017

Perhaps the FBI needs guys like Elias Davidsson to solve the circumstances of the 9/11 attacks. Could he have been successful within such an organization? Usually, the FBI investigators can only go so far as their superiors want them to go. That’s why a highly qualified researcher such as Davidsson would have gone nowhere within the FBI.

In the 9/11 community, Davidsson is no blank sheet. He has published books on 9/11 and the follow-up terrorist attacks that set the world on fire. “Hijacking America’s Mind on 9/11“, followed by “Psychological Warfare and Social Denial: The Legend of 9/11 and the Fiction of Terrorism” (Psychologische Kriegsführung und Gesellschaftliche Leugnung: Die Legende des 9/11 und die Fiktion der Terrorbedrohung) presented a different narrative. An English translation of a condensed version would be very informative and highly useful for the English speaking public.

The elucidation of a terrorist offense suffers from the fact that governments clean up only as much as it benefits them politically. Such an approach also holds true for the Mumbai attacks. The impression given by the Indian government that all facts were on the table, is, according to Davidsson, false. As with the “9/11 Commission Report”, which pretends to present the real events and the backgrounds, the same holds true for the processing of this heinous crime of 26/11, 2008. In both cases, statements of witnesses, which didn’t support the official narrative were glossed over or brushed aside.

That’s why Davidsson’s book is so important. In 25 chapters he unravels not only the motivations and the cover-up of the Indian government but also the multifaceted interests of international actors such as Pakistan, the U.S., and possibly Great Britain, Germany, Israel, Iran, Russia, China, and even Australia.

“The book is about the betrayal of the Indian nation by a corrupt, greedy and ruthless elite for whom the lives of ordinary Indians are expendable when power and profit are at stake,” writes the author. From day one, a particular part of the official account was questioned, namely, the circumstances surrounding the deaths of three senior police officials and their assistants. Many Indians voiced their suspicion that the authorities were covering-up facts and called for an independent and impartial investigation of the events.

To understand 26/11, the reader must not work one’s way through the whole book sequentially because the author has attempted to render individual chapters independent of each other. All chapters close with a summary or conclusions. Davidsson’s book is always very well documented by many footnotes. Additionally, all sources used are accessible using the following URL;  http://aldeilis.net/mumbai/

The author presents three definite conclusions; firstly, India’s major institutions are suppressing the truth on 26/11; secondly, India’s judiciary has failed its duty to seek truth and render justice; thirdly, Business, political and military circles profited from 26/11. Furthermore, entities in the U. S. and Israel also gained from the attack. The author could not find any benefits for the Pakistani government, military or businesses. The main profiteer seems the Hindu nationalist constituencies by the “elimination” of Hemant Karkare, “who was on the verge of exposing Hindutva terrorist networks.

Davidsson calls on the Indian Civil society to ask for the establishment of a National Truth Commission on 26/11 mandated to establish the facts on the attacks of 26 November 2008. The Civil society itself should demand the creation of an International Commission of Inquiry on the previous terrorist attacks under the authority of Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter, including those committed in the U. S. on 11 September 2001.

With this study, the Indian Civil society has a document at its disposal to challenge the official narrative. The overall objective of the author, however, is the exposure of all the key terror attacks, especially 9/11, which lacks to this day any evidence that 19 Muslims were the perpetrators.

This very compact but exciting book should contribute to the solving of the 26/11 crime. A must read for everybody interested in the truth.

August 15, 2017 Posted by | Book Review, Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment

Mainstream media assaults on freedom of speech are revealing

By Shane Quinn | The Duran | August 12, 2017

The New York Times unveiled a new slogan earlier this year titled, “The truth is more important now than ever.” It has acquired a seemingly noble motto but a perhaps contentious one if we examine the Times’ recent history. Two international law specialists, Howard Friel and Richard Falk, published a book after the 2003 Invasion of Iraq called The Record of the Paper, which naturally has scarcely been reviewed.

Friel and Falk focused on the Times because of the newspaper’s importance. The authors point out that in 70 Times editorials on Iraq – from September 11, 2001 to March 20, 2003 – the words “international law” and “UN Charter” were never mentioned. The “truth” did not seem terribly “important” as the Times stood idly by in the destruction of Iraq.

Such was the barrage of propaganda directed at the American public that 69% believed Saddam Hussein was “personally involved” in the September 11 attacks. That’s quite an achievement in manipulation. The poll results must have been news to the Iraqi dictator himself, a forgotten one-time American ally.

Why Hussein would take it upon himself to orchestrate a surprise attack on the United States, of all nations, is anyone’s guess. Perhaps if he had a death wish but as later events proved he was not the suicidal type.

The Times was not alone in its position in selling the Iraq war to the American people, as television networks from Fox News to CBS to CNN were overwhelmingly pro-war. Fox News, owned by Rupert Murdoch – who strongly backed the illegal conflict – placed a permanent US flag in the corner of the screen. Fox employees were compelled to describe the invasion as “Operation Iraqi Freedom”, with hundreds of thousands of Iraqis later being killed.

The pattern continues into other illegitimate interventions as the liberal Guardian newspaper championed the demolition of Libya in 2011, with editorials imploring, “The quicker Muammar Gaddafi falls, the better.” The Guardian encouraged NATO “to tip the military balance further against Gaddafi”, while later that year summarising that “it has turned out, so far, reasonably well” – by that point thousands had been killed.

In 2015 Ian Birrell, then deputy editor of the Independent, still assured his readers, “I would argue that Britain and France were right to step in [in Libya]. The failures came later on.” Apparently it was fine for two old imperial powers to “step in” to shatter a sovereign nation, then afterwards absolve the invaders of blame with “the failures” only coming “later on”.

It’s a rare thing to hear any prominent voice question the balance of Western mainstream coverage. The same voices can be heard piping up when alternative news sources take a different line not so palatable to their tastes.

Nick Cohen, writing in the Guardian, accused the network Russia Today (RT) of being a “propaganda channel” and that Russia was “prostituting journalism”. In the following sentence, Cohen describes the BBC and New York Times as being “reputable news organisations”.

Cohen firmly supported the Iraq war, writing at the time that “the Left betrays the Iraqi people by opposing war”, and “an American invasion offers the possibility of salvation”. He was deemed not to be “prostituting journalism” in backing this violation of international law, nor when later supporting other interventions in Libya and Syria.

The BBC’s reputation, which Cohen previously claimed to be “reputable”, was dealt a blow when it was revealed by Cardiff University that the network “displayed the most ‘pro-war’ agenda of any broadcaster” with its coverage on the Iraq invasion.

Steven Erlanger of the New York Times described RT as “an agent of Kremlin policy” used to “undermine Western democracies” and to “destabilise the West” – failing to back up the claims with any evidence. To gain perspective on these attacks, it may be worth pointing out a key excerpt from the First Amendment of the US Constitution: “Congress shall make no law… abridging [curtailing] the freedom of speech, or of the press.”

The law does not exist in Western democracies but attempts at limiting freedom of expression, and attacks on media outlets, by institutions of power persist. It has reached a point whereby the French President, days after assuming office, can publicly attack legitimate news sources of “behaving like deceitful propaganda”.

Perhaps the hidden concern about RT is its continued increase in both popularity and scope – with the channel enjoying a total weekly viewership of 70 million people. RT is available to viewers in Western heartlands such as Britain and the US, with eight million Americans watching the station each week. It’s quite an achievement that a channel with the word “Russia” in it can attract viewers in their millions, despite the anti-Russian sentiment espoused by the powers-that-be.

It’s revealing that elite figures like Hillary Clinton have lamented in the past, “We are in an information war and we are losing that war.” For the first time in history, people have broad access to alternative news angles – points of view that perhaps they find of a more balanced nature. There is no longer an unchallenged monopoly on the public mind.

August 12, 2017 Posted by | Book Review, Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

Opening Gitmo to the World

By Robert Koehler | CounterPunch | July 28, 2017

To read Witnesses of the Unseen: Seven Years in Guantanamo is to run your mind along the contours of hell.

The next step, if you’re an American, is to embrace it. Claim it. This is who we are: We are the proprietors of a cluster of human cages and a Kafkaesque maze of legal insanity. This torture center is still open. Men (“forever prisoners”) are still being held there, their imprisonment purporting to keep us safe.

The book, by Lakhdar Boumediene and Mustafa Ait Idir — two Algerian men arrested in Bosnia in 2011 and wrongly accused of being terrorists — allows us to imagine ourselves at Guantanamo, this outpost of the Endless War.

“‘Take him outside,’ the interrogator told them. They led me up a flight of eight or nine concrete steps to a long gravel drive. It was pitch black out, and completely quiet. There was no one around. One of the soldiers grabbed my left arm, and another took my right. And then they started running.

“I tried to keep up, but my legs were shackled together. First, my flip-flops fell off, and after a few barefoot strides, my legs fell out from under me. The soldiers didn’t even slow down. They kept a firm grip on my arms while my legs bounced and scraped along the ground, gravel biting into them. When the run finally ended, the soldiers brought me back to the interrogation room, bloody and bedraggled.”

This is one fragment, one story of the seven years these two innocent men endured: these two fathers who were pulled away from their wives and children, yanked from their lives, stuffed into cages, interrogated endlessly and pointlessly, humiliated, force-fed (in Lakhdar’s case) . . . and finally, finally, ordered by a U.S. judge to be freed, when their case, Boumediene v. Bush, was at long last heard in a real court and the lack of evidence against them became appallingly clear.

The book is the story of the courage it takes to survive.

And it’s a story that can only be told because of the work of the Boston legal firm WilmerHale, which spent more than 17,000 pro bono hours litigating the case, “work that would have cost paying clients more than $35 million.”

Lakhdar and Mustafa were freed in 2008 and began rebuilding their lives. They eventually decided they wanted to tell their story — to an American audience. Daniel Norland, who was a lawyer at WilmerHale when the case was making its way through the court process (but was not part of the litigation team) and his sister, Kathleen List, who speaks fluent Arabic, conducted more than 100 hours of interviews with the two men, which were shaped into Witnesses of the Unseen.

In October 2011, the two men, who were living and working in Sarajevo, were among six Algerians who wound up being arrested by Bosnian authorities and charged with plotting to blow up the American embassy in Sarajevo. They were held for three months, then released. There was no evidence to back up the accusation.

But this turns out to be the beginning of their story, not the end of it. The men were released not back to their own lives but to an authority more powerful than the Bosnian judicial system: They were released to the Americans, who had begun rounding up Muslims . . . uh, terrorists. Evidence, or lack thereof, didn’t matter. These men were shipped to a new military prison, built at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba — an offshore prison, in other words, unencumbered by the U.S. Constitution. The detainees there allegedly had zero rights. That was the whole point.

Much of what Lakhdar and Mustafa describe is the efficiency of the U.S. military in dehumanizing its prisoners. The beatings and physical pain inflicted by guards, interrogators and even medical personnel were only part of it. The men also endured sexual humiliation, endless mocking of their religion — “I heard . . . that a soldier went into someone’s cell and flushed his Qur’an down the toilet” — and the cruel, teasing “misplacement” or censorship of letters from the prisoners’ loved ones.

Several years into his imprisonment, Lakhdar went on a hunger strike, which meant he was subjected to force-feeding, which the U.N. Human Rights Commission has called a form of torture:

“The soldier brought out an apparatus with a long yellow tube and started measuring out the length of tube he needed. He stopped when he got to a marking somewhere between 45 and 50 inches. That was the amount of tube he was going to insert through my nostril. . . .

“It’s almost impossible to explain what a feeding tube feels like to someone who hasn’t experienced it. I felt like I was choking, and being strangled, and yet somehow still able to breathe, all at the same time.

“The soldier taped the tube in place. I could see the Ensure trickling through the tube, one droplet at a time. It felt cold as it reached my stomach. I later learned that a full feeding normally takes fifteen to twenty minutes, but that first time they went exceptionally slowly. I sat in the clinic, chained to the chair, a tube protruding down my throat, for the rest of the afternoon and all through the night.”

It took no less than a Supreme Court ruling to start ending this nightmare.

In early 2007, a U.S. Circuit Court judge had refused to hear Boumediene v. Bush on the grounds that Guantanamo prisoners had no Constitutional rights. But the Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal, and in June 2008 ruled that Guantanamo counted as part of the U.S. and, as Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote, the government couldn’t “switch the Constitution on and off at will.”

Thus the case went back to the Circuit Court and a real hearing got underway, leading to one of the most appalling revelations in the book: “Our lawyers had told us, in the days leading up to our trial, about a recent bizarre development in our case: the government had dropped its allegation that we had plotted to blow up the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo. Just like in Bosnia seven years before, authorities were eager to toss around bomb-plot allegations right up until a court required them to provide evidence.

“Instead, our lawyers told us, the government now said that the reason it considered us ‘enemy combatants’ was that it had evidence — classified evidence that I wasn’t allowed to see — that we had made a plan to fly to Afghanistan and join Al Qaeda’s fight against American forces there. This was the first time I had ever heard this allegation. No one — no police officer, no Bosnian official, no American interrogator — had ever asked me a single question about it.

“And it was a ludicrous allegation. . . .”

And the judge ruled in their favor and they eventually were set free, to reclaim their lives, to see their children for the first time in seven years — and to give their story to the world.

But as long as Gitmo remains open and the Endless War continues — and no one is held accountable — there is no ending to this story, just an open wound.

Robert Koehler is a Chicago award-winning journalist and editor.

July 28, 2017 Posted by | Book Review, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , | 6 Comments

The “Deep State” Then and Now

By Edward Curtin | July 17, 2017

“… since grasping the present from within is the most problematic task the mind can face.” – Frederic Jameson

Have you ever seen a photograph of yourself from the past and laughed or grimaced at the way you were dressed or your hair style? It’s a common experience. But few people draw the obvious conclusion about the present: that our present appearance might be equally laughable. The personal past seems to be “over there,” an object to be understood and dissected for its meaning, while the present seems opaque and shape-shifting – or just taken-for-granted okay.  “That was then,” says the internal voice, “but I am wiser now.” Historical perspective, even about something as superficial as appearance, rarely illuminates the present, perhaps because it makes us feel ignorant and unfree.

This is even truer with political and social history.

In recent years there has been a spate of books and articles detailing the CIA’s past Cold war cultural and political propaganda efforts, from the creation of the Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF) with its string of magazines, to its collaboration with many famous writers and intellectuals, including Peter Matthiessen, George Plimpton, Richard Wright, Irving Kristol, et al., and its penetration and working relationships with so many publications and media outlets, including The New York Times, the Paris Review, Encounter, etc. These exposés show how vast was the CIA’s propaganda network throughout the media and the world, and how many people participated in the dirty work.

Joel Whitney, in his recently published book, Finks: How the CIA Tricked the World’s Best Writers (the word “tricked” ignores the eager accomplices), tells this scandalous story in illuminating detail. His account informs and nauseates simultaneously, as one learns how the CIA penetrated NGOs, television, universities, magazines, newspapers, book publishing, etc., finding willing collaborationists everywhere – scoundrels eager to spy on and betray even their friends as they deceived the public worldwide; how well-meaning leftist writers such as Ernest Hemingway and Garcia Marquez were tricked into lending their names and work to propaganda publications; how leftists were set against leftists in an elaborate effort to sow paranoia and confusion that could be used to put the Soviet Union in the worst possible light; and how many front organizations were created to secretly funnel money to support these endeavors and make and break careers. The story makes your skin crawl.

But that was then. What about now? Whitney doesn’t say, presumably because he doesn’t know; doesn’t have documentary evidence to name names.  This is not a criticism.  He does say that “we understand vaguely that our media are linked to our government still today, and to government’s stated foreign policy,” and he wonders if the ideology that drove the CIA’s past endeavors “remains with us. (I am reminded of Emerson’s words: “What you do (or don’t) speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.”). Despite his use of tepid language about the present, especially that word “vaguely,” it seems that Whitney thinks similar propaganda activities are going on today, which is why a blurb for Finks at his publisher’s website (OR Books) and at amazon.com by James Risen of the New York Times, who has written two books about the CIA, strikes such an odd note. It reads:

It may be difficult to believe that the American intellectual elite was once deeply embedded with the CIA. But with Finks, Joel Whitney vividly brings to life the early days of the Cold War, when the CIA’s Ivy League ties were strong, and key American literary figures were willing to secretly do the bidding of the nation’s spymasters.

“Difficult to believe.” For whom?

“Once.” When? In the bad old days?

“When the CIA’s Ivy League ties were strong.” Does the CIA now recruit from community colleges?

Are these the good old days? Such language usage makes one wonder: is it just a quickly scribbled blurb or carefully chosen words?

The Future is Now

No doubt the archives and sealed documents will be pried loose through repeated FOIA requests in thirty or forty years and the moans and groans about today’s bad old days will fill the air. How could they have done such things? It’s just outrageous! But that was then, not now. It’s different now; we are older but wiser.

It’s hard to suppress a sardonic laugh, so I won’t. Today we are obviously drowning in CIA propaganda throughout the corporate mainstream media, and in the alternative online media as well. One has only to see “what they do, or don’t.” The documentation is in the doing, and it doesn’t take a genius to grasp how blatant it is. It is in no way “vague.” But it does take good faith, and a passion for truth, which is sorely lacking.  Why this is so is a key issue I will return to.

As in the past, some propaganda is obvious and other subtler and indirect. Yet it is relentless. There may or may not be a comparable Congress for Cultural Freedom today, but with advanced technology and the internet, it may not be needed. Methods may change; intentions remain the same. What was once done surreptitiously is now done blatantly, as I wrote in January: the deep state has gone shallow. Fifty years ago the CIA coined the term “conspiracy theory” as a weapon to be used to dismiss the truths expressed by critics of its murder of President Kennedy, and those of Malcom X, MLK, and RFK. All the media echoed the CIA line. While they still use the term to dismiss and denounce, their control of the MSM is so complete today that every evil government action is immediately seconded, whether it be the lies about the Attacks of September 11, 2001, the wars against Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, etc., the coup in Ukraine, the downing of the Malaysian jetliner there, drone murders, the looting of the American people by the elites, alleged sarin gas attacks in Syria, the anti-Russia bashing – everything. The New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, NPR, etc. – all are stenographers for the deep state.

Denying Existential Freedom

One of the first things an authoritarian governing elite must do is to convince people that they are not free. This has been going on for at least forty years, ever since the Church Committee’s revelations about the CIA in the mid-seventies, including its mind-control programs. Everyone was appalled at the epiphany, so a different tactic was employed. Just have “experts,” social, psychological, and biological “scientists,” repeat ad infinitum that there is no longer any mind control since we now know there is no mind; it is an illusion, and it all comes down to the brain. Biology is destiny, except in culturally diversionary ways in which freedom to choose is extolled – e.g. the latest fashions, gender identity, the best hair style, etc. Create and lavishly fund programs for the study of the brain, while supporting and promoting a vast expansion of pharmaceutical drugs to control people. Do this in the name of helping people with their emotional and behavioral problems that are rooted in their biology and are beyond their control. And create criteria to convince people that they are sick.

We have been told interminably that our lives revolve around our brains (our bodies) and that the answers to our problems lie with more brain research, drugs, genetic testing, etc. It is not coincidental that the U. S. government declared the 1990s the decade of brain research, followed up with 2000-2010 as the decade of the behavior project, and our present decade being devoted to mapping the brain and artificial intelligence, organized by the Office of Science and Technology Project and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. How convenient! George H. W. Bush, Clinton, George W. Bush, Obama, Trump — what a difference! But this is science and the welfare of the world. Science for idiots.

Drip by drip, here and there, articles, books, media reports have reiterated  that people are “determined” by biological, genetic, social, and psychological forces over which they have no control. To assert that people are free in the Satrean sense (en soir, condemned to freedom, or free will) has come to be seen as the belief of a delusional fool living in the past, a bad philosopher, an anti-scientist, a poorly informed religionist, one nostalgic for existential cafes, Gauloises, and black berets, but being totally out of it. One who doesn’t grasp the truth since he doesn’t read the New York Times or watch CBS television.

The conventional propaganda – I almost said wisdom – created through decades-long media and academic (don’t forget the pathetic academy) repetition, is that we are not free. Let me repeat: we are not free.

Investigator reporter John Rappoport has consistently exposed the propaganda involved in the creation and expansion of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) with its pseudo-scientific falsehoods and collusion between psychiatrists and the pharmaceutical industry. As he correctly notes, the CIA’s MKULTRA mind-control program has morphed into modern psychiatry, both with the same objectives of disabling and controlling people by convincing them that they are not free and are in need of a chemical brain bath.

Can anyone with an awareness of this history doubt there is a hidden hand behind this development? Once you have convinced people that they are not free in the most profound sense, the rest is child’s play.  Convinced that they are puppets, they become puppets to be played. Who would want to get people to believe they were not free?

Terrified to See the Current Truth

There are many excellent writers who, because they are truth seekers, have used logical analysis to deconstruct the patent propaganda of deep state forces and their media scribes. They do so through close reading (a skill once taught in schools) and historical knowledge without waiting for documentation, though sometimes it arrives from sources such as Wikileaks, FOIA requests, or government leakers like Edward Snowden or Chelsey Manning.  While not always definitive, many of these analyses clearly raise disturbing questions that give the lie to the presstitutes’ claims of innocent objectivity. Their arguments are laid bare so the CIA’s and deep-state’s handiwork shines through.  Robert Parry, Michel Chossudovsky, Paul Craig Roberts, John Pilger, James Petras, David Ray Griffin, Graeme MacQueen and many others have so demolished the propaganda that the question of why so many liberals and left-leaning people still refuse to accept the obvious echoes in the ears of those familiar with the Congress for Cultural Freedom’s machinations to set leftists and liberals against each other through media manipulation. While left and right-wing disinformation collaborationists are everywhere and the CIA obviously has its people placed throughout the cultural and media landscape, it is clear to me that there is something else involved.

So much of the ongoing propaganda travels under the banner of “the war on terror,” which is, of course, an outgrowth of the attacks of September 11, 2001, appropriately named and constantly reinforced as 9/11 in a wonderful example of linguistic mind-control: a constant emergency to engender anxiety, depression, panic, and confusion, four of the symptoms that lead the DSM “experts” and their followers to diagnose and drug individuals.  The term 9/11 was first used in the New York Times on September 12, 2001 by Bill Keller, the future Times’ editor.

Douglas Valentine, a true expert on the CIA and author of The CIA as Organized Crime and The Phoenix Program, has shown that the CIA’s highly structured assassination program in Vietnam – the Phoenix Program – is the template for “the war on terror.”  In other books he has shown how the CIA’s role in drug trafficking is directly linked to the massive increased usage of heroin and other street drugs, another face of the drugging of the country. Thus the “institutional” structure and consequent practices of one of the most ruthless propaganda and terrorist organizations of the United States’ deep-state (the Phoenix program) continues to this day here and abroad. To think that the Agency’s handiwork once carried on under the banner of the Committee for Cultural Freedom does not continue today would take extreme naïveté, the inability to reason, historical ignorance, plain bad faith, or a combination thereof.

Which brings me back to the issue of why so many “liberal” Democrats – those whose bibles are the New York Times, NPR, The Washington Post, Democracy Now, etc. – can only see propaganda when they can attribute it to Donald Trump or the Russians. Why has this group, together with their Republican and conservative fellow travelers, embraced a new McCarthyism and allied itself with the deep-state forces that they were once allegedly appalled by? It surely isn’t the policies of the Trump administration or his bloviating personality, for these liberals allied themselves with Obama’s anti-Russian rhetoric, his support for the U.S. orchestrated neo-fascist Ukrainian coup, his destruction of Libya, his wars of aggression across the Middle East, his war on terror, his trillion dollar nuclear weapons modernization, his enjoyment of drone killing, his support for the coup in Honduras, his embrace of the CIA and his CIA Director John Brennan, his prosecution of whistle-blowers, etc. The same media that served the CIA so admirably over the decades became the media that became liberals’ paragons of truth. Why?

Let me try to answer by referring to two articles that appeared side-by-side in The New York Times Magazine for May 28, 2017. Their content, style, and juxtaposition suggest an answer to the schizoid subtleties of master manipulators, and how cultural/political propaganda works in oblique ways off the front pages.

The cover story for that issue, “Aleppo After the Fall,” accompanied by the words “Life And Loss Amid The Ruins of Syria’s Fractious And Devastating Civil War” and a photo of a demolished Aleppo district, sets the tone, especially the lie in the words “civil war.” The war was started under President Obama in March 2011 by the United States/NATO/Israel with the arming of Islamist “freedom fighters” in an effort to overthrow President Bashar al Assad. But the Sunday morning Times reader is immediately told otherwise, as they have been for the past six years of carnage. Most probably don’t notice the deception as they flip to the table of contents where they see a photo of cream puffs and coffee.

As they sip their morning coffee and think about cream puffs, let’s imagine our readers turning to the first major story preceding the Aleppo piece by Robert F. Worth, a contributing writer for the magazine. It is an article titled “Empire of Dust” by Molly Young, also a contributing writer. It is a title that suggests further disintegration of a most serious nature (no, not the American Empire), yet it is an article about Amanda Chantal Bacon and the rise of the wellness industry. A photo of this “beatific” 34 year old entrepreneurial guru in a flowing white gown in a half-lotus position, seated on a marble kitchen countertop surrounded by some “magical” rocks, takes up an entire page. The photo, a Barthian signifier if ever there were one, is clearly meant to be deciphered by the Times’ clientele for secrets to the beautiful, luxurious, and peaceful life due to one of means and exquisite taste, one who will spend five dollars on a newspaper and live a balanced, Epicurean life of self-care and sophistication. Bacon’s massive light-filled kitchen with its marble countertops – a sine qua non of today’s “good life” – serves the usual elitist function of drawing in readers with a discerning, moneyed eye.

Alternately fawning and critical, Young begins by telling the reader, “The amount of time I waste finding and consuming alternative-medicine supplements for ‘brain function’ has made me at least 10 percent dumber, and that paradox is not lost on me. It was that impulse that made me pause last year at a fancy store in Brooklyn when I spotted a glass jar labeled ‘Brain Dust’.” From there Young takes us to Los Angeles, where she interviews the lifestyle guru Bacon, and we hear about Spirit Dust, Beauty Dust, Sex Dust, vaginal steaming, spirit truffles, and sunbathing the vagina, and to the Hamptons where she again spots Brain Dust in an expensive store that also sells “boeuf-bourguignon-flavored dog biscuits.” Young, having traversed the golden triangle – Brooklyn, L.A., and the Hamptons – tells us how Bacon captures her imagination even as she “was ashamed of its capture.” She drinks Power Dusted coffee with the Moon Juice founder who tells her, “I was told growing up in NYC that I had learning disabilities and mental illness. That was all the rage in the ‘90s.” (Presumably they are raging no longer.) After offering mild criticisms’ and writing that after visiting Bacon’s house she “wanted to move to California and eat bee pollen,” Young covertly orders bee pollen from her phone and ends by telling us that the Moon Juice bee pollen she has ordered “would arrive in two to four business days.” The reader is left to wonder who is dumber or smarter despite or because of the Brain Dust.

But if one is feeling brain dead, one can move or jump-cut to the next article, a piece of cosmopolitan gravitas meant to clarify who are the good guys and who the bad in the Middle East, specifically Syria.

Turning to this article on Aleppo, a juxtaposing of pornographic proportions, one is greeted with a two page photo of totally destroyed buildings in front of which walk a woman pushing a toddler in a stroller and a man pushing another toddler in a makeshift wooden cart covered in plastic sheeting. One flips from “Sex Dust” to disgust and heartbreak in a page turn. The reader is walked step-by-step into a piece of political propaganda, as Robert Worth tells us that “The Syrian tragedy started in a moment of deceptive simplicity, when the peaceful protesters of the 2011 Arab Spring seemed destined to inherit the future.”  This deception is then quickly followed with the claim that Assad used “chemical weapons in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in early April,” an assertion backed by no evidence and clearly refuted by Seymour Hersh, among others. Worth tells us that “the Syrian regime (note the sly use of the word regime, a staple of linguistic mind-control) and its Russian allies repeatedly bombed hospitals and civilian areas,” and that in the United States such actions were “widely deplored as a war crime comparable to the worst massacres of the Bosnian war during the 1990s.” One has to give credit to Worth for a masterful double-deception here, first by accusing the Syrians and Russians but not the United States of repeatedly bombing hospitals and civilian areas, and then segueing to the “Bosnian” war with nary a mention of the U.S./NATO conspiracy to dismantle Yugoslavia through proxies and the subsequent massive bombing of Serbia and Serbian civilians that were clearly war crimes committed by the liberal saint, Bill Clinton. Throughout this piece Worth repeatedly accuses the Assad government of war crimes and atrocities while whitewashing the United States. Immediately following his assertion of Syrian war crimes, he tells the Sunday Times’ readers that “ the State Department released satellite photographs suggesting that the regime is burning the bodies of executed prisoners in a crematory at the Sednaya prison complex, north of Damascus, in an alleged effort to hide evidence.” This claim is based on a totally discredited claim  made in February 2017 by Amnesty International, and Worth, knowing that there is no evidence for this, cagily uses the words “suggesting” and “alleged.” But juxtaposed with the war crimes assertions, only a careful reader searching for truth would notice the trick, surely not a Time Magazine reader already predisposed by the daily Times’s constant flow of government lies. Quoting a speech by Assad in which he claimed there was a “huge conspiracy” to dismantle and destroy Syria, Worth dismissively rejects this obvious truth by quoting an anonymous former regime official (a common tactic) who says he was shocked by the speech. If Assad had given a different speech, Worth notes, “the past six years would have unrolled very differently, and oceans of blood might have been spared.” This is the imperial mindset at its finest, all rolled into an extensive New York Times Magazine article meant to enlighten and inform its alleged sophisticated readers.

What I am suggesting with these magazine examples is that the old trick perfected by the Congress for Cultural Freedom to juxtapose cultural pieces with political ones is alive and well today, even if the CCF or its equivalent doesn’t exist, since it isn’t needed. Illiteracy has become the norm and stupidity the rule as the electronic revolution has destroyed people’s ability to concentrate or stay focused long enough to realize they are being taken for a ride by propagandists and that they are being purposely overloaded with information meant to create a felt need for “Brain Dust.” This has been going on for so long that to admit one is still being taken for a ride is equivalent to admitting to gullibility so profound that it must be denied. It is one thing criticize the politicians you hate – George W. Bush and Donald Trump for liberal Democrats and Bill Clinton and Obama for conservative Republicans – and to call them liars; but to contemplate the fact that the CIA has been lying to you through all these mouthpieces and your vaunted news sources are stenographers for the intelligence agencies is too much reality to bear. “I might have looked funny in that old photograph, but today I am with it and stylish.”

Sure.

Everything has become style today, and no doubt the CIA has learned that the trick is to hide truthful substance behind the style. Evidence is beside the point. Just assert things in a slick style. Assert them repeatedly, even when they have been proven false or fraudulent. Sex Dust and Power Dust may be absurd con jobs, but they sell. They meet a “need,” a need created by the society that has slyly equated power with sex for a population that has been convinced they have neither and need drugs to endow them with both. A piece about Brain Dust may not have the drawing power of a Paris Review interview with Ernest Hemingway or Boris Pasternak, but then there were no “lifestyle gurus” in those days when people read real literature, not today’s New York Times best sellers. Propaganda was more literary in those days; it had to have substance. In a “wellness culture,” it has to have style. Today the only time you hear the word substance, is in “substance abuse,” which is fitting.

The CIA is in the styling business; they’ve gone shallow. Everyone looks great that way, or so they think.

July 27, 2017 Posted by | Book Review, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hidden History: The Secret Origins of the First World War

Overview of Gerry Docherty & Jim Macgregor’s Book

By Antony C. Black | Global Research | July 19, 2017

Of the many myths that befog the modern political mind, none is so corrupting of the understanding or so incongruent with historical fact as the notion that the wealthy and the powerful do not conspire.

They do.

They conspire continually, habitually, effectively, diabolically and on a scale that beggars the imagination. To deny this conspiracy fact is to deny both overwhelming empirical evidence and elementary reason.

Nevertheless, for the astute observer of the ‘Great Game’ of politics, it is an unending source of wonderment to stumble across ever more astounding examples of the monstrous machinations of which wealthy and powerful elites are capable. Indeed, it is precisely here that authors Docherty and Macgregor enter the fray and threaten to take our breath away entirely.

Thus, the official, canonized history of the origins of the First World War, so they tell us, is one long, unmitigated lie from start to finish. Even more to the conspiratorial point is the authors’ thesis that – and to paraphrase a later Churchill who figures prominently in this earlier story – never were so many murdered, so needlessly, for the ambitions and profit of so few.

In demolishing the many shibboleths surrounding the origins of the ‘Great War’ (including ‘German responsibility’, ‘British peace efforts‘, ‘Belgian neutrality’ and the ‘inevitability’ of the war), Docherty and Macgregor point the finger at what they argue is the real source of the conflict: a more or less secret cabal of British imperialists whose entire political existence for a decade and a half was dedicated to the fashioning of a European war in aid of destroying the British Empire’s newly emerging commercial, industrial and military competitor, Germany.

In short, far from “sleepwalking into a global tragedy, the unsuspecting world”, Docherty and Macgregor contend, “was ambushed by a secret cabal of warmongers” originating not in Berlin, but “in London”.

I must confess at this juncture to a certain bias in granting credence to such a striking thesis, this if only on general principle alone. After all, one straight look at present day political reality is to look square into the maw of Orwell’s nightmare. Moreover, three decades of independent journalism have led me to conclude not only that virtually nothing of what is presented as ‘news’ is remotely true, but that the conventional writing and presentation of history itself is as phoney as a three dollar bill. Still, one does demand a credible argument or two. Let’s look at a few of those contained in ‘Hidden History’.

The Players

Cecil Rhodes (Source: Wikipedia)

Before launching pell-mell into the argumentative labyrinth it is apropos that we first sketch the central cast of characters of this grim story.

In the beginning there was Cecil Rhodes, the prime minister of Cape Colony but who, the authors remind us, was “in reality a land-grabbing opportunist” whose fortune had been underwritten in equal parts “by brutal native suppression and the global mining interests of the House of Rothschild”. Rhodes had, apparently, long talked of setting up a secret ‘Jesuit-like society’ in aid of furthering the global ambitions of the British Empire. In February of 1891 he did just that enlisting the services of his close associates, William Stead, a prominent journalist, and Lord Esher, a close advisor to the British Monarchy.

Two others were soon drawn into the inner circle of the clandestine group: Lord Nathaniel (Natty) Rothschild of the famous British and European banking dynasty, and Alfred Milner, a brilliant academic and colonial administrator who would quickly become the organizing genius and iron-willed master of ceremonies of the group.

These central four would later be joined by: Lord Northcliffe, the owner of ‘The Times’, who would complement Stead in propagandizing and softening up the British public for war with Germany; Arthur Balfour and Herbert Asquith, two future British Prime Ministers who would provide the needed parliamentary influence; Lords Salisbury and Rosebery who brought an additional wealth of political connections to the table; and Lord Edward Grey, he to whom, in the final analysis as British Foreign Secretary in 1914, it would fall to hammer the final nail in the coffin of European peace.

Of particular importance was the addition of Prince Edward (soon to be King Edward VII) who, despite his playboy image, was, in fact, an astute political operative whose frequent international social forays provided the perfect cover for helping to forge the, often secret, military and political alliances between Russia, France, Britain, and Belgium.

This core Praetorian Guard then extended its tentacles to all reaches of the British (and eventually, international) power hierarchy by vigorously recruiting its ‘Association of Helpers’, the myriad of lower down bureaucrats, bankers, military officers, academics, journalists, and senior civil servants, many, as it turns out, hailing from Balliol and All Souls Colleges, Oxford.

And, too, the legendary Churchill, liberally inflated with his own bombast and well lubricated with Rothschild money, would rise to take his anointed place amongst the war-hungry secret elect.

Early Adventures

The first foray of this elite cabal played out in South Africa with the deliberate fomentation of the (2nd) Boer War (1899 – 1902). Gold had been discovered in the Transvaal region in 1886 and British imperialists were determined to grab it. After a number of failed machinations by Rhodes himself to topple the Boers, the secret elite was dealt an ace when Alfred Milner was appointed high commissioner for South Africa. Seizing the moment, Milner, without passing Go, proceeded straight to war and, in his infamous scorched earth policies and adamant demands for unconditional surrender, demonstrated the general martial philosophy that would later be deployed against Germany.

A map of the British Empire as it was in 1898, prior to the Second Boer War (1899-1902). (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Following the defeat of the Boers, Milner & Co. (Rhodes had died during the ‘peace negotiations’) quickly penetrated the main organs of British imperial governance including the Foreign, Colonial, and War Offices. Arthur Balfour went one better by establishing, in 1902, the Committee for Imperial Defence (CID). The latter proved especially significant in helping to almost completely bypass the British Cabinet in the years, months and days leading up to August, 1914. Indeed, Balfour would prove to be one of only two permanent members of this all-important imperial institution; the other being Lord Fredrick Roberts, commander-in-chief of the armed forces and close friend of Milner. It was Roberts who would later appoint two tragically incompetent hangers-on, Sir John French and Douglas Haig, to their First World War posts overseeing the mass slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Allied soldiers.

The year 1902 also saw the establishment of the Anglo-Japanese Treaty. Britain had long feared for its Far East empire at the hands of Russia and sought to bolster Japan as a counterweight. The alliance bore fruit in the 1904-1905 Russo-Japanese conflict in which Russia was dealt a decisive defeat. Always with the long-term goal in mind, however, i.e. war with Germany, Milner et al adroitly switched bait and immediately began wooing Czar Nicholas II resulting in the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907. In the same period (1904) Britain – with the crucial assistance of Edward VII –  broke its near thousand-year enmity towards France and signed the Entente Cordial with its former rival.

During this same time frame (1905) a more or less secret agreement was made with King Leopold II allowing Belgium to annex the Congo Free State. This was, for all intents and purposes, an alliance between Britain and Belgium; one which was, over the next decade, to be continually deepened with numerous (mostly secret, meaning withheld from the British Parliament) bilateral military agreements and ‘memorandums of understanding’, and which unequivocally put paid to any notion of Belgium being some sort of ‘neutral’ party in the upcoming conflict with Germany.

The core alliance was now complete, i.e. Britain, Russia, France and Belgium, and all that was needed was to secure the fealty and obeisance of the British colonies. In aid of the latter Milner convoked The Imperial Press Conference of 1909 which brought together some 60 newspaper owners, journalists and writers from across the Empire who hobnobbed with another 600 or so British journalists, politicians and military figures in a grand orgy of war-mongering propaganda. The martial message was then duly delivered to the unwitting colonial multitudes. The success of the Conference could be seen most visibly in Canada where, despite the extreme divisiveness of the issue, the nation would eventually send more than 640,000 of its soldiers to the killing fields of Europe, this all on behalf of a tiny handful of British imperialists.

The Moroccan ‘Crisis’

Docherty and Macgregor duly remind us that renowned historian Barbara Tuchman, in her Pulitzer-Prize winning book, ‘The Guns of August’, “made it very clear that Britain was committed to war by 1911 at the latest.” Indeed, preparations for war had proceeded apace since at least 1906.

Still, 1911 marked a turning point when the secret elite first made bold in attempting to ignite war with Germany. The pretext was Morocco. Now, truth to tell, Britain had no direct colonial interests in Morocco, but France and Germany did. By this time the cabal in London – with Edward Grey as Foreign Minister – had inducted a key French minister, Theophile Declasse, into their confidences and were able to engineer what was essentially a false flag operation in Fez. France then followed this up with an army of occupation. Germany posted a minimalist response by sending a small gunboat to Agadir whence the entire British press – reflecting Britain’s ‘deep state’ interests – went into high hysteria condemning German ‘threats to British sea-lanes’ etc. The fuse to war was only snuffed out in the final hour when France’s (recently elected) socialist Premier, Joseph Caillaux, initiated peace talks with the Kaiser. War with Germany would have to wait.

In the meantime, Britain, under the direction of its secret mandarins – i.e. almost entirely beyond Parliamentary review or approval – continued their preparations for war. To this end, for example, Churchill, who by 1911 had been appointed First Lord of the Admiralty, redeployed the British Atlantic fleet from Gibraltar to the North Sea and the Mediterranean fleet to Gibraltar. Simultaneously, the French fleet was moved from the Atlantic to cover Britain’s absence in the Mediterranean. These maneuvers were all strategically aimed at Germany’ North Sea navy. The pieces on the global chessboard were being positioned.

In France the leftist peacenik Caillaux was, in 1913, replaced as Premier with one of the British elites very own ‘helpers’ in the person of Raymond Poincare, a right-wing, rabid Germanophobe. Poincare quickly acted to remove his anti-war ambassador to Russia, George Louis, and substitute him with the revanchist Declasse. Meanwhile in America the secret cabal, acting largely through the Pilgrims Society and through the Houses of Morgan and Rockefeller, machinated to have an unknown but pliable democrat, Woodrow Wilson, elected over the publicly-controlled central bank advocate, President Taft. It was from this lofty perch that the Anglo-American ‘deep state’ launched the US Federal Reserve System, a private central bank dedicated from the get-go to funding the war against Germany.

The Balkan Sting

The simple tale repeated ad nauseam regarding the circumstances surrounding the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914, so Docherty and Macgregor tell us, contains as little veracity as, say, the official version of the assassination of JFK two generations later. Indeed, the structural similarities between the two – from the virtual total stand-down of security through to the clear evidence of state complicity (in this case, starting in Serbia, but leading straight to London) – are remarkable. Suffice to say that there was a domino-like chain of events that then ensued – it’s just that the events weren’t driven by base human instincts and ineluctable forces beyond all human control as is commonly proffered, but rather by calculating minds and conspiratorial design.

Thus, immediately following the assassination, there was widespread international support for Austria-Hungary which was widely perceived as the aggrieved party. Nevertheless, the usual suspects, having helped stage the murder in the first place, were able to deftly turn the propaganda tables against both Austria and Germany by means of an ingenious ruse. Having secretly obtained the contents of the ‘Note’, which contained Austria’s (reasonable under the circumstances) demands for Serbian contrition, the secret cabal were able to gain direct input into the crafting of the ‘Serbian Reply’. The ‘reply’, of course, was designed to be unacceptable to Austria. Simultaneously, France’s President, Poincare, decamped to Moscow to assure the Czar and his generals that, should Germany act to uphold its alliance responsibilities towards Austria, France would back Russia in launching a full scale European war. France, naturally, knew that England – or rather its elite imperial clique – was similarly committed to war. It was during this opportune moment, in fact, when Grey and Churchill connived to purchase the Anglo-Persian Oil Company so securing the necessary oil supplies for the British navy.

All the while Kaiser Wilhelm and Chancellor Bethmann were conspicuous in being the only statesmen genuinely seeking peace. Their subsequent vilification by hordes of appropriately housebroken historians thus rings with the same Orwellian tone as the present-day establishment demonization of nations and individuals resisting the American Imperium.

Grey Hits It Home

Having contrived to fan the flames of a local Balkan fire into a general European inferno, British Foreign Minister Grey and Prime Minister Asquith subsequently deployed every dirty trick in the diplomatic playbook to vitiate any possibility of peace and, instead, to guarantee war.

On July 9th, for instance, the German ambassador to London, Prince Lichnowsky, was repeatedly reassured by Grey that Britain had entered no secret negotiations that would play into war. This, of course, was an outright lie. On July 10, Grey then deceived Parliament into believing that Britain had not the slightest concern that events in Sarajevo might lead to a continental war. Meanwhile, the Austrian Prime Minister, Berchtold, was similarly deceived by all three Entente governments that their reaction to the ‘Note’ would not go beyond a diplomatic protest. However, by the 3rd week of July all of these self-same governments did an about-face and declared a complete rejection of Austria’s response.

On July 20, as already noted, the French Prime Minister, Poincare, went to St. Petersburg to reaffirm their two nations’ respective martial agreements. On July 25, Lichnowsky arrived unannounced at the British Foreign office with a desperate plea from the German government imploring Grey to use his influence to halt Russian mobilization. Incredibly, no one was available to receive him. Russia had, in any case, secretly begun mobilization of its armed forces on July 23, while, on July 26, Churchill quietly mobilized the British fleet at Spithead.

None of the foregoing, of course, was subject to democratic oversight. As Docherty and Macgregor put it,

“As far as the [British] public was concerned, nothing untoward was happening. It was just another summer weekend.”

On July 28th, Austria, despite not being in a position to invade for another fortnight, declared war on Serbia. Meanwhile, the British Foreign Office began to circulate rumours that German preparations for war were more advanced than those of France and Russia even though the exact opposite was, in fact, the case. Matters were quickly racing beyond Wilhelm’s control.

On the 29th, Lichnowsky again begged Grey to prevent a Russian mobilization on Germany’s borders. Grey’s response was to write four dispatches to Berlin which post-war analysis proved were, in truth, never sent. The dispatches turned out to be merely part-and-parcel of the elaborate charade to make it look as if Britain (and, specifically, he, Grey) was doing all it could in the effort to avert war. Also on the evening of the 29th did Grey, Asquith, Churchill, and Richard Haldane meet to discuss what Asquith called the ‘coming war’. Docherty & Macgregor once again here emphasize that these four men were virtually the only people in Britain privy to the impending calamity, i.e. not the other Cabinet members, not the members of Parliament, and certainly not the British citizenry. But then, they were its architects.

On the 30th, the Kaiser wired Czar Nicholas a heartfelt appeal to negotiate the prevention of hostilities. Indeed, Nicholas was so moved by Wilhelm’s plea that he decided to send his personal emissary, General Tatishchev, to Berlin to broker a peace. Unfortunately, Tatishchev never made it to Berlin, having been arrested and detained that very night by the Russian Foreign Minister, Sazonov, who, as ‘Hidden History’ cogently evinces, had long been an asset of the secret cabal in London. Under sustained pressure from senior members of his military Nicholas finally relented and on the afternoon of the 30th ordered general mobilization.

The official announcement of Russian mobilization effectively closed all doors to peace. The Germans, realizing that they had been set up, and also realizing that they were about to be attacked on two fronts – from the west by France, and from the east by Russia – finally, on Aug. 1, ordered their own mobilization; tellingly, the last of the continental powers to do so. Here, however, Germany made a crucial tactical error: it elected to follow up its mobilization with a formal, honour-bound declaration of war on France. By doing so it fell deeper into the trap laid by Grey & Co. who had, all along, machinated to do everything possible to guarantee war without, however, being seen to have officially caused the war.

Still, Grey had one last card to play in order to convince both a war-leery Cabinet and House of Commons to abandon their common sense and plunge headlong into a full-scale pan-European war. For just as the myth of ‘weapons of mass destruction’ would, in a later era, serve to advance American imperial aggression, so here did the myth of poor, benighted little ‘neutral Belgium’ carry the banner for British imperialism.

The Speech That Sealed The Fate of Millions

On the 2nd of August, 1914 Prime Minister Asquith convened a special Cabinet meeting to discuss the (manufactured) crisis. Though the Cabinet was in no mood to countenance British involvement in a continental war, they soon found themselves pressured and hedged about by revelations of a ‘web of [military and political] obligations, which they had been assured were not obligations, [and] had been spun around them as they slept’. Moreover, Grey crucially kept from them the fact that the German ambassador, Lichnowsky, had, only the day before (Aug. 1), specifically offered to guarantee Belgian neutrality. Indeed, Grey’s deception might never have come to light but for the fact that Chancellor Bethmann exposed the offer in the Reichstag on Aug. 4th.

With the Cabinet sufficiently brow-beaten, confounded – and deceived, i.e. Asquith, without Cabinet approval or knowledge, had already issued orders for the mobilization of the Army and Navy –  it now only remained to hoodwink Parliament. And so, on Aug. 3rd, Sir Edward Grey took to the pulpit and began what was to be an epic panegyric to the follies of peace and the virtues of war. Here too the audience was not particularly receptive, but the sermon soon gathered force.

Having first set the tone by announcing that peace in Europe ‘cannot be preserved’, Grey then moved on to a stunning series of lies and misrepresentations concerning the intricate and long-formulated military agreements between England, France, Russia and Belgium. According to Grey, they didn’t exist. But what of the dense skein of diplomatic agreements? There were no such agreements, there were no such entanglements. Parliament was ‘free’ to vote its conscience, to exercise its democratic mandate. Just as long, of course, as it didn’t vote for peace.

All of the foregoing was, in any case, mere preamble to the centerpiece ploy of Grey’s speech: Belgian neutrality. That the latter was an out-and-out sham was only surpassed in duplicity by Grey’s concealment, not only from Cabinet but now from Parliament, of Germany’s offer to guarantee exactly the point under contention, i.e. Belgian neutrality. Instead, Grey produced, for dramatic affect, an emotional telegram from the King of Belgium to King George pleading for assistance. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect if it had it been deliberately designed for the occasion. Which, of course, it was. Also pre-planned were the post-sermon affirmations in favour of war by the various opposition party leaders. They had all been vetted and brought onside by Churchill prior to the day’s session. Only Ramsay MacDonald, head of the Labour Party, swam against the well-orchestrated tide of ‘inevitability’ that was the constant and unerring motif of Grey’s martial peroration.

The day’s session ended without debate; Asquith had not allowed any to occur, though he had been pressured by the Speaker of the House to reconvene later that evening. In between Grey sealed the deal, i.e. war, by firing off an ultimatum to Germany demanding that it not invade Belgium even though he, Grey, knew that such an invasion had already begun. As Docherty and MacGregor phrase it, this was a “masterstroke”. War could not now be avoided. And though the night session witnessed a vigorous and substantive debate which largely demolished Grey’s stance, it was all for nought. At the appointed moment Arthur Balfour, “former Conservative Prime Minister and a member of the Secret Elite’s inner circle, rose menacingly. He had had enough.” Using the full weight of his magisterial authority he condemned, ridiculed and dismissed the naysayers’ anti-war arguments as, the ‘very dregs and lees of the debate’. With the Commons thus emotionally bullied into silence, so ended the last chance for peace in Europe.

Plus Ca Change

What strikes one again and again whilst reading ‘Hidden History’ is the ring of truth that resonates from every page, from every revelation. That such a tiny, elite group of individuals, completely beyond democratic control, could determine the fate – and deaths – of millions should shock us. It should, but it doesn’t really. It doesn’t because we see the same phenomenon occurring now, repeatedly, before our very eyes. Indeed, the current state of ‘permanent war’ is, more or less, the unconscious condition of modernity itself.

Docherty & Macgregor have made a fine contribution here. They have gone beyond what David Irving so aptly labelled as the ‘court historians’, i.e. those historians essentially prostituted to elite / establishment consensus, and given us a glimpse of what it really means to write history. And if there is any lesson – or rather counter lesson – we can take from it, it is that we are doomed to repeat history only so long as we listen to those dedicated to obscuring and inverting it. In short, to those who lie to us.

Title: Hidden History: The Secret Origins of the First World War

Authors: Gerry Docherty and Jim MacGregor

Publisher: Mainstream Publishing; Reprint edition (September 1, 2014)

ISBN-10: 1780576307

ISBN-13: 978-1780576305

Click here to order.

Featured image from Amazon

July 22, 2017 Posted by | Book Review, Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | 2 Comments

The ‘Civilianization’ of Movie Scripts: The Pentagon’s Counter-Subversion Program for Hollywood

By Tom Secker | American Herald Tribune | July 11, 2017

While Hollywood is generally supportive of the government – and of the military in particular – the Pentagon faces a problem.  In order to stand out from the crowd and make their screenplays a bit different to the usual schlock, screenwriters like to include subversive elements and aspects, even in films that are broadly in favour of institutions like the Department of Defense and the CIA. Because the Pentagon wants to support films that promote them as a benevolent force in the world, these subversive elements present a problem for them. One solution is civilianization.

In our new book National Security Cinema: The Shocking New Evidence of Government Control in Hollywood, we document numerous politically-motivated changes made to script by the Pentagon and CIA in exchange for production assistance. We collated this information from a vast range of sources including over 4,000 pages of documents we obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. One recurring theme we found in these changes is the civilianization of characters, action and dialogue that the Pentagon didn’t like.

The Civilianization of Contact

In the 1997 extra-terrestrial epic Contact the National Guard provided vehicles and uniformed extras for a small handful of scenes but in exchange had a considerable influence on the script. In one scene in the White House where the protagonists are deciding what to do with blueprints they have decoded from an alien signal the original script portrays the military as deeply worried that this could be a ‘Trojan Horse’ that would instantly transport an alien army to Earth and take over. Jodie Foster’s character Ellie responded, ‘This is communist paranoia right out of War of the Worlds’.

The Pentagon saw scenes like this as a ‘silly military depiction’ and so they ‘Negotiated civilianization of almost all military parts’. In the revised scene it is the National Security Adviser, not the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who expresses outlandish fears about what this technology might be, and Ellie’s response about paranoia was cut entirely.

In another scene in the pre-civilianized version, the President gives a stirring speech at the UN about the building of this great new technology and this is intercut with a military convoy and Apache helicopters approaching the construction site. The script describes how ‘Encircling the installation is a vast graveyard of discarded aircraft—the detritus of Twentieth Century war-making.’ This is rather obvious symbolism representing how technological efforts are moving from the violence of the 20th century military industry to peaceful 21st century space exploration. In the final version this sequence does not appear, and there is no indication of military involvement in the construction of the wormhole machine. This compromised the creative and philosophical vision behind Contact – of a future where war-making is left behind in favour of learning and discovery.

The Civilianization of Jurassic Park and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

National Security Cinema records numerous other examples of this phenomenon, where instead of outright censoring troublesome scenes the Pentagon distances itself, reducing its presence in these films to a benevolent or benign background entity. For Jurassic Park III the producers approached the Pentagon wanting to film some A-10 gunships for a scene where they battled with flying dinosaurs.

The Pentagon’s chief Hollywood liaison Phil Strub turned down this request because ‘We weren’t about to provide them something that would only generate sympathy for the dinosaurs’. He also requested that they change the identity of the character who discovers the island full of dinosaurs, asking, ‘would you change his character, make him like the president’s science adviser or something like that? Just get him out of the uniform.’ Strub also promoted the idea of the film ending with a ‘nice military rescue’, reducing the military’s role from reckless pioneers and murderers of cute flying dinosaurs, to responsible officials providing emergency/disaster relief.

This technique continues into the most recent films we examined. In 2016’s Whiskey Tango Foxtrot – a Tina Fey comedy – the military allowed several days filming at Kirtland Air Force Base in exchange for civilianizing one aspect of the script they didn’t like. The version the DOD reviewed, ‘portrayed a US Army transport brake failure, resulting in it hitting a group of Afghani shoppers in Kabul, killing and injuring them. This was changed to an NGO vehicle.’

Independence Day: When Civilianization Fails

Independence Day was not so lucky. When they approached the Pentagon for support making their alien invasion adventure there were numerous aspects of the script that Strub and his colleagues found objectionable. From Will Smith’s Air Force character dating a stripper to the fact that ‘all advances in stopping the aliens are the result of actions by civilians’ which contrasted the ‘anaemic US military response’, the Pentagon was not happy on a number of levels.

They particularly objected to the inclusion of references in the dialogue to Area 51 – the common name for the Groom Lake facility at Edwards Air Force base. Even when the producers civilianized Area 51, making it a non-military facility run by non-military officials, this still didn’t satisfy the Pentagon. As a result, the producers of Independence Day had to use CGI (still a relatively new and very expensive technology at the time) to duplicate the one fighter jet they had to create the scenes of numerous jets in dogfights with alien craft.

However, despite the production being made more difficult and expensive, the Pentagon’s rejection did mean that the producers had more creative freedom. The result was a hugely popular and successful summer blockbuster that is fondly remembered. Had the scenes in Area 51 been removed, or reworked so that they did not involve such an obvious element of UFO folklore, then the film would have been fundamentally different, and less memorable. By contrast, the Pentagon did support the sequel Independence Day: Resurgence, which almost everyone who saw it has already forgotten.

The Consequences of Civilianization

At its most fundamental, the Pentagon’s strategy of civilianization of movies is a means of removing subversive moments from the military realm, or of changing them so they aren’t subversive at all. The image of a US Army transport crashing in downtown Kabul and killing innocent people is an effective, provocative symbol representing the abject futility and stupidity of the ongoing war in Afghanistan. Changing this to an NGO vehicle dilutes this subversive element to almost nothing, and it becomes more of a plot point than politically-charged symbolism.

Similarly, by removing the scene from Contact where the construction of the wormhole machine rises above the detritus of 20th century war-making, the Pentagon diluted the subversive philosophy of that film.  While Contact remains an intelligent and in places profound movie its critical light was not allowed to shine on the Pentagon – all so that they could use a couple of National Guard helicopters and jeeps and a handful of real life troops as extras.

This is perhaps the more obvious consequence of military involvement in Hollywood – that films are less radical and challenging than they would otherwise be. However, there is another, more significant and perhaps unintended consequence. In movies subject to this process the characteristics of recklessness, incompetence, deceit and so on are civilian traits, not military ones. The result of this is a semi-consistent worldview across a range of fantasy movies that says that the problems of the world are civilian problems, not resulting from the military’s behaviour.

In reality, as the biggest, richest, most violently powerful organisation in the world, the Pentagon, has greater means to inflict the consequences of human vice on people around the world. While Hollywood is rarely known for being realistic, the ‘soft censorship’ of civilianization exacerbates this problem, with considerable political consequences. Hundreds of millions of cinema-goers are being repeatedly told that the reasons bad things happen are because of ordinary citizens, and not institutionalised military power on a massive scale. This makes it seems like in the real world wars are not the forces of murder and destruction they really are, but are rather the background noise to the evils of human nature. As a result, civilianization of movie scripts helps make wars more likely, more popular and therefore easier to maintain for long periods, and thus more prolonged and destructive. What likely began as a means of ensuring better PR for the military through Hollywood adds up to a powerful political phenomenon.


Tom Secker is a private researcher who runs spyculture.com—the world’s premier online archive about government involvement in the entertainment industry, and home of the popular ClandesTime podcast. He has used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain unique government documents since 2010, which has been reported on by Russia Today, Salon, Techdirt, The Mirror, The Express and other outlets. His new book is National Security Cinema: The Shocking New Evidence of Government Control in Hollywood.

July 11, 2017 Posted by | Book Review, Corruption, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

Grim Lessons from a Faraway War

By Don North | Consortium News | July 4, 2017

The Battle of Hue in 1968 – the climactic clash of the Tet Offensive, which itself was the turning point of the Vietnam War – exploded the official lies from U.S. commanders about progress toward victory but also delivered a warning about the future costs if the conflict were continued indefinitely.

In that sense, the Battle of Hue has resonance to America’s current “endless war” in Afghanistan and other military interventions in the nearly 16 years since 9/11, conflicts marked by bravery of soldiers on opposite sides as well as the arrogance and careerism of the top brass and feckless politicians.

As author Mark Bowden writes in his epilogue to his new book, Hue 1968, “Alternative history enthusiasts promote the preposterous idea that the U.S. might have won the war if it had thrown itself more heartily into the conflict. As some of the nation’s more recent wars have helped illustrate, ‘victory’ in Vietnam would have been neither possible nor desirable. It would have required a massive and sustained military presence, and a state of permanent war. Hue illustrates just how bitter that war would have been.”

Bowden, author of Blackhawk Down and 12 other books, was a 16-year-old high school student in Philadelphia on Jan. 3l, 1968, when the battle of Hue began. The attack was part of the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army (NVA) assault across South Vietnam at the start of the Tet holiday by an estimated 80,000 fighters. They achieved nearly total surprise in most areas, as they did in Hue, one of the most venerated places in Vietnam.

Hue’s population of 140,000 made it South Vietnam’s third largest city, with two-thirds of the population living within the walls of the old city known as the Citadel, three-square-miles surrounded by walls 20 feet high and 30 feet thick. Within the walls was yet another fortified enclave, the historic Imperial Palace, home of the Vietnamese emperors before the French took control in 1883.

A giant Viet Cong flag was raised over Hue’s Citadel and flew for 25 days while battalions of NVA occupied the Emperors Palace and other positions in the Citadel. Yet, this reality was denied and obscured by the top U.S. commander, General William Westmoreland, whom Bowden describes as inept and dishonest:

“General Westmoreland continually and falsely assured political leaders in Washington and the American public that the city had not fallen into enemy hands. This refusal to face facts had tragic consequences for many of the marines and soldiers who fought there. ‘Westy’ denied that his official casualty estimates [of enemy troops] were inflated and said the enemy’s offensive was a sign of desperation.

“He also wrote that many NVA and VC had fought ‘halfheartedly.’ To a man, American veterans I interviewed told me they had faced a disciplined, highly motivated, skilled and determined enemy. To characterize them otherwise is to diminish the accomplishment of those who drove them out of Hue.”

First-Person Account

As an ABC News correspondent in Vietnam, I was personally aware of General Westmoreland’s fabrications starting with his announcement at a Saigon news conference on Jan. 31, that Hue had been recaptured and NVA soldiers forced out.

Later in February, I joined the U.S. Marines of 1st of the 5th battalion as they fought for ten days to advance the last 1,000 yards along the south wall of the Citadel. Bowden’s clear and vivid descriptions of the desperate daily combat brought back painful memories for me.

“The Battle of Hue is a microcosm of the entire conflict,” writes Bowden. “With nearly half a century of hindsight, Hue deserves to be widely remembered as the single bloodiest battle of the war, one of its defining events, and one of the most intense urban battles in American history.”

Despite Westmoreland’s spin, the Battle of Hue and the broader Tet Offensive had a powerful impact on President Lyndon Johnson and some of his top advisers. The intensity of the fighting exposed Westmoreland as an untrustworthy source of information, not just to the press and public but even in his secret communications with the White House.

Westmoreland’s analysis that the enemy attack on Hue was simply a feint to deflect from the fighting at Khe Sahn destroyed his reputation for accurate foresight. Washington lawyer Clark Clifford, replacing Robert McNamara as Secretary of Defense, was ready to reject Westmoreland’s unfailingly upbeat view of the war.

After the first two weeks of Hue fighting Clifford told President Johnson, “On one hand the military has said we had quite a victory out there … on the other hand, they now say it was such a big victory that we need one hundred and twenty thousand more men.”

Shortly after Clifford’s assignment to be Secretary of Defense, Westmoreland’s request for over 100,000 more troops was denied and the General was relieved of command.

“Both sides miscalculated,” writes Bowden. “Hanoi counted on a popular uprising that didn’t come, while Washington, blindsided, refused to believe the truth. The armies on both sides played their roles courageously and to terrible effect. The battle’s clearest losers were the citizens of Hue. The systematic executions of Hue citizens suspected of Saigon sympathies are today denied and are an inconvenient memory for the ruling Communist party of Vietnam.”

Bowden quotes civilian casualty estimates of 4,856 by the Saigon government. He cites the American scholar Douglas Pike who studied the mass graves immediately after the fighting, as being likely closest to the truth with a count of 2,800. Total number of Hue civilians killed by U.S. bombing, crossfire between the two forces, and the executions is recognized as 5,800.

An estimated 80 percent of Hue structures were either destroyed or heavily damaged. A total of 250 American soldiers and Marines were killed and 1,554 wounded. South Vietnamese government troop casualties were put at 458 killed and 2,700 wounded. The Vietcong losses were estimated at between 2,400 and 5,000. The final toll of 25 days of fighting numbers well over 10,000 making it the bloodiest battle of the Vietnam War.

Pro-War Propaganda

Another consequence of the Tet Offensive was the growing hostility among pro-war Americans toward on-scene journalists who described the U.S. military setbacks and contradicted the upbeat assessments from Westmoreland and the military brass, leading to a narrative blaming the press corps for losing Vietnam.

But Bowden disagrees with this complaint, writing: “Journalism has long been blamed for losing the war, but the American reporting from Hue was more accurate than official accounts, deeply respectful, and uniformly sympathetic to US fighting men.”

Instead, Bowden is critical of U.S. military leadership in Hue and documents many examples of bad tactics and particularly misjudging the efficiency of the NVA by sending under-strength units to engage large and entrenched enemy forces.

Bowden’s disdain for senior officers in the battle is at odds with his admiration for the “grunts” on both sides.

“I was moved by the heroism and dedication of those who fought on both sides of the battle,” writes Bowden. “In the worst days of this fight, facing the near certainty of death or severe bodily harm, those caught up in the Battle of Hue repeatedly advanced. Many of those who survived are still paying for it. To me the way they were used, particularly the way their idealism and loyalty was exploited by leaders who themselves had lost faith in the effort, is a stunning betrayal. It is a lasting American tragedy and disgrace.”

Many other books and analyses of the battle have celebrated the valor of U.S. troops while showing little interest in how they were used.

“The conspiracy of denial also explains why this terrible battle has remained, for most Americans, so little known,” writes Bowden. “It has been conscientiously remembered by the US Marine Corps, albeit with more emphasis on the glory than on the leadership blunders that cost so many lives.”

Bowden’s book also may have put to rest fears that history must be written by those who experienced it. In five years of diligent in-depth research, thousands of interviews on both sides of the battle and an ability to analyze his research in terms of what each day’s events meant for the entire war, Bowden has produced a book critics say is the best understanding of the Battle of Hue and its effect on the war.

Some historians say the sweet spot for understanding an historical event is about 50 years – enough time for a measure of perspective, yet while there are still living eyewitnesses. Since the now-unified Vietnam is welcoming Americans, it also was possible for Bowden for the first time to report the battle from both sides.

“Most American veterans were pleased to share their experiences with me,” says Bowden. “The sheer number of interviews gave me multiple perspectives on nearly every event described. I am indebted to previous accounts, Battle for Hue by Keith Nolan; Fire in the Streets by Eric Hammel; The Lost Battalion by Charles Krohn; The Siege of Hue by George Smith; and The Cat from Hue by Jack Lawrence.”

Bowden says he learned a great deal from journalist’s reports written at the time and even more from talking to reporters and photographers who produced them, particularly Gene Roberts, John Olson, and Mike Morrow.

Bowden lists several viewpoints shared by the hundreds of American veterans he interviewed: most were proud of having served; nearly all were angry over the betrayal of their youthful idealism, mostly at American leaders who sent them to fight a war that was judged unwinnable from the start; all felt sorrow for the friends they lost and the horror the war inflicted on everyone involved; many described their difficulties in adjusting to normal life after returning home.

There are also lessons for the present and the future. Urban warfare has become more common since the Battle of Hue as more of the world’s population leaves rural areas. Although untrained in urban warfare, the U.S. Marines — dispatched to reclaim Hue — soon adapted from the jungles and paddies they were used to in Vietnam.

Bowden describes in graphic detail the tactics of avoiding booby-trapped doors and instead smashing through the sides of buildings, clearing room to room, staying off the streets and open areas, hard lessons of the fighting in Hue that the U.S. Marines brought to Iraq in 2004 when they assaulted the city of Fallujah twice.

Today, with U.S.-backed forces battling ISIS militants in Mosul, Iraq, and Raqqah, Syria, the bloody lessons of Hue — and memories of the severe civilian casualties — are relevant again.

Don North is a veteran war correspondent who covered the Vietnam War and many other conflicts around the world. He is the author of Inappropriate Conduct, the story of a World War II correspondent whose career was crushed by the intrigue he uncovered.

July 4, 2017 Posted by | Book Review, Deception, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , | 1 Comment

The Scofield Bible—The Book That Made Zionists of America’s Evangelical Christians

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“For a nation to commit the sin of anti-Semitism brings inevitable judgement.” —The New Scofield Study Bible
By Maidhc Ó Cathail – Washington Report on Middle East Affairs – October 2015

Since it was first published in 1909, the Scofield Reference Bible has made uncompromising Zionists out of tens of millions of Americans. When John Hagee, the founder of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), said that “50 million evangelical bible-believing Christians unite with five million American Jews standing together on behalf of Israel,” it was the Scofield Bible that he was talking about.

Although the Scofield Reference Bible contains the text of the King James Authorized Version, it is not the traditional Protestant bible but Cyrus I. Scofield’s annotated commentary that is problematic. More than any other factor, it is Scofield’s notes that have induced generations of American evangelicals to believe that God demands their uncritical support for the modern State of Israel.

Blessing Israel, Cursing Its Critics

Central to Christian Zionist belief is Scofield’s commentary (italicized below) on Genesis 12:3: “‘I will bless them that bless thee.’ In fulfillment closely related to the next clause, ‘And curse him that curseth thee.’ Wonderfully fulfilled in the history of the dispersion. It has invariably fared ill with the people who have persecuted the Jew—well with those who have protected him. The future will still more remarkably prove this principle.”

Drawing on Scofield’s rather tendentious interpretation, Hagee claims, “The man or nation that lifts a voice or hand against Israel invites the wrath of God.”

But as Stephen Sizer points out in his definitive critique, Christian Zionism: Road-map to Armageddon? (available from AET’s Middle East Books and More): “The promise, when referring to Abraham’s descendants, speaks of God blessing them, not of entire nations ‘blessing’ the Hebrew nation, still less the contemporary and secular State of Israel.”

Notwithstanding this more orthodox reading, The New Scofield Study Bible, published by Oxford University Press in 1984, intensified Scofield’s interpretation by adding, “For a nation to commit the sin of anti-Semitism brings inevitable judgement.”

“Sustained by a dubious exegesis of selective biblical texts,” Sizer concludes, “Christian Zionism’s particular reading of history and contemporary events… sets Israel and the Jewish people apart from other peoples in the Middle East… it justifies the endemic racism intrinsic to Zionism, exacerbates tensions between Jews and Palestinians and undermines attempts to find a peaceful resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, all because ‘the Bible tells them so.’”

The Incredible Scofield

In his 2008 book, The Rise of Israel: A History of a Revolutionary State, Jonathan R. Adelman describes the crucial support Israel receives from Christian fundamentalists as “totally fortuitous.” That assertion is belied, however, by the incredible career of the man who wrote “the Bible of Fundamentalism.”

Two years after Scofield’s reported conversion to Christianity in 1879, the Atchison Patriot was less than impressed. Describing the former Atchison resident as the “late lawyer, politician and shyster generally,” the article went on to recount a few of Scofield’s “many malicious acts.” These included a series of forgeries in St. Louis, for which he was sentenced to six months in jail.

Being a “born again” preacher did not preclude Scofield from becoming a member of an exclusive New York men’s club in 1901, either. In his devastating biography, The Incredible Scofield and His Book, Joseph M. Canfield suggests, “The admission of Scofield to the Lotus Club, which could not have been sought by Scofield, strengthens the suspicion that has cropped up before, that someone was directing the career of C.I. Scofield.”

That someone, Canfield suspects, was associated with one of the club’s committee members, the Wall Street lawyer Samuel Untermeyer. As Canfield intimates, Scofield’s theology was “most helpful in getting Fundamentalist Christians to back the international interest in one of Untermeyer’s pet projects—the Zionist Movement.”

Others have been even more explicit about the nature of Scofield’s service to the Zionist agenda. In “Unjust War Theory: Christian Zionism and the Road to Jerusalem,” Prof. David W. Lutz writes, “Untermeyer used Scofield, a Kansas City lawyer with no formal training in theology, to inject Zionist ideas into American Protestantism. Untermeyer and other wealthy and influential Zionists whom he introduced to Scofield promoted and funded the latter’s career, including travel in Europe.”

On one of these European trips, Oxford University Press publisher Henry Frowde “expressed immediate interest” in Scofield’s project. According to a biography of Frowde, although the OUP publisher was “[n]ot demonstrative in his religious views, all his Christian life he was associated with brethren known as ‘Exclusive.’” The “Exclusive Brethren” refers to the group of Christian evangelicals that, in an 1848 split in the Plymouth Brethren, followed John Nelson Darby, the Anglo-Irish missionary generally considered to have been the most influential figure in the development of Christian Zionism, and a major influence on Scofield.

Scofield’s Legacy

Had the Scofield Bible never been published, American presidents influenced by Christian Zionism such as Truman, Johnson, Reagan and George W. Bush might have been less sympathetic to Israeli demands, and consequently more attentive to U.S. interests. Moreover, the American people could have been spared the pseudo-Christian rants of John Hagee, Pat Robertson and the late Jerry Falwell, not to mention the lucrative End Times Rapture “prophecy” peddled by Hal Lindsey and Tim LaHaye.

But it is the people of the Middle East who have been most affected by an expansionist Israel emboldened by the unswerving allegiance of Christian Zionists led to believe that Scofield’s words are God’s will. Not least among the many victims of the Scofield Bible are 5 million Palestinian refugees whose right to return is fervently opposed by America’s Zionized Christians. Thanks to their indoctrination by Scofield’s unholy book, they believe that Palestine belongs not to the Palestinians—many of whom are fellow Christians—but exclusively to “God’s chosen people.”

June 29, 2017 Posted by | Book Review, Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Plot to Scapegoat Russia

Book Review by Rick Sterling | The Duran | June 22, 2017

Attorney Dan Kovalik has written an extremely important book that challenges the current media/political focus on “Russia-gate” and warns that dark forces of war are taking us in an ever more dangerous direction. The book, released just a few weeks ago, has received high praise from numerous writers.

In his foreword to the book, best selling author David Talbot says:

“The US war machine has revived the tried and true Red Scare…. This massive anti-Russian propaganda campaign is one of the biggest fake news operations in U.S. history…. Unlike our war-obsessed media, human rights lawyer Dan Kovalik does understand that peace and diplomacy are in the best interests of the American and Russian peoples. His book is an urgently needed counterassault against the propaganda forces that are trying to push us over a precipice that it too terrifying to even contemplate. It’s time for all of us to speak truth to power before it’s too late.”

Talbot’s warning is not hyperbole. As I write this review, the US military is pushing ever closer to direct military confrontation with Syria, Iran and Russia in Syria.

The book is entertaining reading because Kovalik combines his personal evolution with facts and history. He grew up as a conservative Roman Catholic fearful and wary of communism and the Soviet Union. He describes how his beliefs and assumptions were challenged when he traveled in Latin America. The first hand experience led to more reading and research which resulted in the shocking realization that the U.S. government has been behind coups and military dictatorships from Indonesia to Iran, Guatemala, El Salvador, Brazil, Paraguay, Chile and more.

The author discusses US foreign policy since World War 2, before and after the collapse of the Soviet Union. He puts the current “new” Cold War in historical context and reviews the facts behind the current media / political focus on “Russia-gate”. He concludes that we are being blinded with baseless Russo-phobia while forces pushing for more American war and aggression are going unchallenged and recklessly threatening a war which could engulf us all. 

Kovalik describes his own youthful belief in “American Exceptionalism” whereby our policies and actions are believed to be uniquely good and well meaning. For the author, that belief was confronted by a very different reality when he traveled to Central America in the 1980’s. There he saw the reality of US funded “Contras” terrorizing Nicaraguan villagers. There he learned of the four Catholic nuns murdered by the Salvadoran military which our government was supporting.

Relevant but not widely known historical facts are reviewed:

* the role of American advisers in the collapse of the Russian economy during the 1990’s

* the broken promises to Gorbachev

* the expansion of NATO right up to the Russian border

* the NATO wars on Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya

* the increasing discrepancy between rich and poor both within the US and internationally

The author presents the case that the real threat to democracy is not coming from Russia, it is coming from our own political system and the forces which benefit from and which promote war and aggression. Former President Jimmy Carter has said the US is an “oligarchy with unlimited political bribery”.

Kovalik reviews the history of CIA and other intelligence agency whistle-blowers. He concludes that “The CIA is not a reliable source and poses a much greater threat to US democracy than Russia ever could.” The CIA wants Trump to stay on the path of confrontation with Russia.  There is a long history to conflict between the CIA and presidents seeking to promote peace. President John Kennedy had such fierce conflict with the CIA that he said he wanted to “break it into a thousand pieces and scatter to the wind”.

Kovalik presents a persuasive case that the demonization of Russia and Putin is being used to justify war and more conflict with ever increasing military budget. Instead of a “peace dividend”, the old Cold War led to ever greater US intervention abroad. The new Cold War is raising the risk of a direct confrontation and possible nuclear war. Most Americans do not want another war. Why are we headed down that slippery slope? This book goes a long way to explaining why.

Rick Sterling is an investigative journalist. He lives in the SF Bay Area and can be reached at rsterling1@gmail.com

June 22, 2017 Posted by | Book Review, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

Thomas Surez’s “State of Terror”

Book Review by Eve Mykytyn – June 16, 2017

Thomas Surez’s “State of Terror” is a meticulously documented history of Zionism from its early stages in Israel until 1956. It is the story ofhow a number of secular Jews successfully installed a religious state located on the land of another nation.

The established myth is that after centuries of antisemitism culminating in the Holocaust, the Jews ‘deserved’ Israel, the ‘land without a people for people without a land.’ Historical accounts often deepen and are refined with time and study. Suarez’s book (along with a few others such as Alison Weir’s “Against Our Better Judgement”) convincingly refutes the generally accepted history entirely.

Suarez points out that in 1897 an early Zionist cabled the news to his coconspirators that Palestine was already densely populated. What followed was a terrorist conspiracy to take that land that is shocking in its scope and violence.

Starting around 1918, in what is now Israel, the Irgun, the Lehi (Stern Gang) the Hagana and the Jewish Agency operated at various times as competing and cooperating gangs of thugs. They raised money by robbery and extortion, extracting ‘tributes’ from local businesses, bombing those who failed to pay. The Zionist gangs assassinated Palestinians, police, the British, and Jews whose opinions diverged from theirs.

The war did not temper their violence. When the British consolidated three boats of refugees onto the ship Patria in Haifa with the intention of taking them to a displaced persons camp in Mauritus, the Hagana bombed the ship of refugees. Over 267 people died, among them 200 Jews. Zionists spun the story as a reenactment of the biblical story of Masada, claiming that the passengers of the Patria heroically committed mass suicide by bombing their own ship when they failed to reach Israel.

During and after World War II, the Zionists demanded with remarkable if not complete success that Jews be segregated from other soldiers and then segregated within displaced persons camps. Suarez cites pro-Zionist Churchill’s discomfort with such segregation, Churchill wrote that nearly every race in Europe had been shipped to concentration camps and “there appears to be very little difference in the amount of torture they endured.” (page 120). Jews who wanted to stay in their home lands or who successfully negotiated the resettlement of European Jews anywhere but Israel were denounced and thwarted.

How did the Zionists succeed in insisting that they spoke for all Jews when it is clear that they did not? What gave them the right, as murderers of Jewish refugees, to speak for displaced Jews after the war?

Zionists consistently claimed to speak for all Jews. No wonder the Zionists insisted on the use of Hebrew (a number of early German and Yiddish language newspapers were bombed). Suarez points out that the settlers spoke the language of the biblical era because they claimed to be its people (page 25). Ben Gurianclaimed that the “Bible is our mandate.”

Israel’s official birth in 1948 purged a million Palestinians and destroyed 400 of their villages. The UN had established Israel’s borders, but Israel already stretched beyond the borders and claimed sovereignty over all the land it held. Both England and the United States knew that Israel would not give back any land. Reuven Shiloah, the first director of the Mossad, not only told them so but declared Israel’s right to take more land as necessary (page 277).

Israel’s theft of Palestinian land and assets was not simply a result of claiming land Israel was granted by the UN. Suarez makes the point that: “economic analysis… illustrates that the Israeli state owes its very existence to its wholesale theft of Palestinians’ worldly possessions… Despite the massive infusion of foreign capital into Israel and its claims of modern efficiency, it was the end of the Palestinians [assets] that saved the Israeli state from stillbirth” (page 288).

Israel’s treatment of its Palestinian benefactors after 1948 was atrocious. It is painful to read through Suarez’s partial listing of atrocities: rape, torture, murder and robbery. Arab villages, Christian and Muslim, friendly and not, were destroyed. In one instance, Arab villagers were murdered by being forced to stay in their homes as they were bombed. (page 309).

At the time, Israel itself was the site of “alarming proportions” of murder, rape and robbery within its own citizenship. One Israeli speculated that this arose from a “general and contemptuous disregard for law” (page 298). A British report stated: “intolerance explodes into violence with appalling ease in Israel.”

Israel reached into Iraq (with false flag operations against Iraqi Jews to prompt immigration) and into North Africa to obtain citizens for its new settler state. The Iraqi and North African Jews were kept in miserable conditions until they were deployed as place holders to live on newly acquired land.

In 1954 Israelis planted bombs in Egypt in a false flag operation intended to convey that Egypt was unstable. When the plan was exposed in 1955, the United States and the United Kingdom considered military action against Israel to stop its murderous seizure of land. In a cold war series of events detailed by Suarez, France and England ended up siding with Israel againstEgypt in the Suez Crisis, ending any chance that England and the United States would conduct any action against Israel.

So far in his book Suarez has delivered a careful, albeit painful, history.

And then Suarez delivers his indictment, “with the conclusion of Suez,… Israel had fully established its techniques of expansion and racial cleansing that continue to serve it today: its maintenance of an existential threat, both as a natural consequence of its aggression and of provocation for the purpose; its expropriation and squandering of the moral weight of historic anti-Semitism and the Holocaust; its dehumanization of the Palestinians; its presence as the prophet-state of the Jews; and its seduction of its Jewish population with the perks of blood privilege.”

June 16, 2017 Posted by | Book Review, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | 2 Comments

Why Does the United States Beat Up On Capitalist Russia?

By W. T. Whitney | CounterPunch | May 30, 2017

The Cold War we are familiar with ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union. In his new book “The Plot to Scapegoat Russia,” lawyer and human rights activist Dan Kovalik writes about a new Cold War against Russia – and about the peace that never came. He discusses the role of the Democratic Party and the CIA, but his book centers on explaining why hostilities resumed.

The real motivations of a revived confrontation are hardly the stuff of day-to-day news, and so the author relies upon the historical record for discovering the origins of a new Cold War. And he tells why the old Cold War was waged.

The common explanation was a pretext, he thinks. In Kovalik’s words: “the Cold War, at least from the vantage point of the US, had little to do with fighting ‘Communism,’ and more to do with making the world safe for corporate plunder.” This proposition, implied more than dwelled upon, enables the author to account for other U. S. wars and interventions.

CIA involvement is mentioned but not detailed. For Kovalik, “the CIA is a nefarious, criminal organization which often misleads the Ameri­can public and government into wars and misadventures.” These two themes – the real reason for why the United States fights wars and the CIA’s role in such wars – are unobtrusively present throughout the history recounted in the book.

Readers hungry to know about the “plot” advertised in the book’s title will need patience. The author conducts a tour over time and across the world that takes in examples of U. S. military interventions and foreign meddling. At the point Kovalik is discussing the current U. S. – Russia confrontation, he has already described patterns of U. S. aggression and thereby has already traced out a scenario where motivations for harassing Russia are clear.

This highly – recommended book offers material so encompassing as to belie its small size. Kovalik’s writing is clear, evocative, and readable. Along the way, he recalls those causes and the outrage that fired up activists who were his contemporaries. That’s a side benefit.

In college Kovalik learned about CIA machinations in Central America. Revelations from former agents Philip Agee, Ray McGovern, and John Stockman astonished him. His first trip to Nicaragua exposed him to a harvest of killings and terror. He learned first-hand about the role of Contra paramilitaries, recruited and paid for by the CIA. At one point he was comforting a father burying his son, killed by the Contras, along with 50,000 other Nicaraguans.

The author recalls the four churchwomen and six Jesuit priests murdered by U. S. – trained soldiers in El Salvador, U. S. support for soldiers and paramilitaries who killed and displaced populations in Colombia, and the CIA’s Operation Condor by which South American client states murdered political enemies. He recounts U. S – instigated coups in Iran, 1953; Guatemala, 1954; and Chile, 1973. Along the way he mentions U.S. war in Vietnam, occupation and war in Korea, nuclear bombs dropped on Japan, nuclear testing and dying in the Marshall Islands, and the CIA’s recruitment of the anti-Soviet Mujahideen in Afghan­istan.

This was the justification: keeping “the world safe from the threat of Soviet totalitarianism.” Then the Soviet Union was no more and the search was on for a new pretext. Having turned to “humanitarian intervention,” the Clinton administration soon was assisting the Paul Kagame regime in Ruanda and other African nations as they assaulted the Democratic Republic of the Congo. “US mining interests” were satisfied, Kovalik says, but “nearly six million people” people died.

Clinton’s government intervened in Haiti and participated in the destruction of Yugoslavia, Europe’s last socialist state. Supposed humanitarian motivations were behind the United States role in delivering Libya into chaos. For the author, U. S. pretensions and brutality stand in contrast to the relatively benign nature of Russian misdeeds.

More recently, in Kovalik’s telling, the U. S. government settled upon the rationalization of “American exceptionalism.” This is “the belief that the US is a uniquely benign actor in the world, spreading peace and democracy.” Thus terror was exported to Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, and Yemen, where Saudi Arabia acted as a U. S. proxy. The list includes the 2009 military coup in Honduras facilitated by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

For the author, “The US’s outsized military exists not only to ensure the US’s quite unjust share of the world’s riches, but also to ensure that those riches are not shared with the poor huddled masses in this country.” Good relations with Russia would be “simply bad for business, in particular the business of war which so profoundly undergirds the US economy … As of 2015, the US had at least 800 military bases in over 70 nations, while Britain, France and Russia had only 30 military bases combined.” And, “under Obama alone, the US had Special Forces deployed in about 138 countries.”

Having surveyed decades worth of U.S. interventions abroad, military and otherwise, Kovalik turns to Russia. In the early 1990s that fledgling capitalist state was in crisis, he reports. Life expectancy had plummeted, the poverty rate was 75 percent, and investments in the economy were down 80 percent. National pride was in the cellar, the more so after the United States backed away from Secretary of State Baker’s 1991 promise that NATO would never move east, after the United States attacked Russia’s ally Serbia, and after the United States attacked Iraq in 2003 and Libya in 2011 without consulting Russia.

He regards Russia’s approach to Ukraine as defensible while reminding readers that Russia offered to cooperate with the United States in ending war in Syria. And U. S. claims about lack of democracy in Russia seem strained, especially when, as Kovalik insists, the United States abuses peoples the world over and itself suffers from a “severe democracy deficit.”

He argues that the Obama administration, particularly Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was obsessed with Russia and that Democrats currently are fueling hostilities, backed by a compliant media. He discusses WikiLeaks revelations about the Democratic Party and hacking attributed to the Russians. He also suggests, without offering specifics, that the CIA is involved. Kovalik doesn’t comment on possible interaction between Trump campaign personnel and Russian officials.

But prior to his discussion of confrontation with Russia, Kovalik had devoted considerable attention to why and how the United States harasses other countries. The reader, therefore, already knows never to expect U.S. imperialism to give Russia a break and knows why that is so.

Kovalik’s treatment of the Soviet Union is an essential part of his narrative. For one thing, many of the U. S. military interventions he reports on wouldn’t have occurred if the Soviet Union still existed. But basically, “the Soviet Union, did wield sizable polit­ical and ideological influence in the world for some time, due to the appeal of its socialist message as well as its critical role in winning [World War] II.”

Kovalik acknowledges “periods of great repression.” He adds, however, that “the Russian Revolution and the USSR … delivered on many of their promises, and against great odds. …. In any case, the goals of the Russian Revolution—equality, worker control of the economy, universal health care and social security— were laudable ones.” And, “One of the reasons that the West continues to dance on the grave of the Soviet Union, and to emphasize the worst parts of that society and downplay its achievements, is to make sure that, as the world-wide economy worsens, and as the suffering of work­ing people around the world deepens, they don’t get any notions in their head to organize some new socialist revolution with such ideals.”

Ultimately, Kovalik sides with Martin Luther King, who remarked that, ‘The US is on the wrong side of the world-wide revolution’ – and with Daniel Ellsberg’s clarification: ‘The US is not on the wrong side; it is the wrong side.’”

W.T. Whitney Jr. is a retired pediatrician and political journalist living in Maine.

May 31, 2017 Posted by | Book Review, Deception | , | Leave a comment

Not Remembering the USS Liberty

By Ray McGovern | Consortium News | May 21, 2017

It is safe to assume that when President Donald Trump lands in Israel Monday, he will not have been briefed on the irrefutable evidence that, nearly 50 years ago – on June 8, 1967 – Israel deliberately attacked the USS Liberty in international waters, killing 34 U.S. sailors and wounding more than 170 other crew. All of Trump’s predecessors – Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama – have refused to address the ugly reality and/or covered up the attack on the Liberty.

It is not too late for someone to fill Trump in on this shameful episode, on the chance he may wish to show more courage than former presidents and warn the Israelis that this kind of thing will not be tolerated while he is president.

A new book by Philip Nelson titled: Remember the Liberty: Almost Sunk by Treason on the High Seas, is a must-read for anyone wishing to understand what actually happened to the Liberty and to contemplate the implications.

As I wrote in the book’s Foreword: Even today, scandalously few Americans have heard of the deliberate Israeli attack on the USS Liberty, because the cowardly U.S. political, military, and media establishments have managed to hide what happened.  No one “important” wanted to challenge Israel’s lame “oops-mistake” excuse.  Intercepted Israeli communications show beyond doubt it was no “mistake.”

Chief Petty Officer J.Q. “Tony” Hart, who monitored conversations between then-Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and Sixth Fleet Carrier Division Commander Rear Admiral Lawrence Geis, reported McNamara’s instructive reply to Geis, who had protested the order to recall the U.S. warplanes on their way to engage those attacking the Liberty. McNamara: “President Johnson is not going to go to war or embarrass an American ally (sic) over a few sailors.”

The late Adm. Thomas Moorer after interviewing the commanders of the U.S. aircraft carriers America and Saratoga confirmed that McNamara ordered the aircraft back to their carriers. Moorer called it “the most disgraceful act I witnessed in my entire military career.”

Thanks to this book, those who care about such things can learn what actually happened 50 years ago:

(1) On June 8, 1967, Israel attempted to sink the US Navy intelligence collection ship USS Liberty and leave no survivors. The attack came by aircraft and torpedo boat, in full daylight in international waters during the Six-Day Israeli-Arab War;

(2) The U.S. cover-up taught the Israelis that they could literally get away with murder; they killed 34 U.S. sailors (and wounded more than 170 others); and

(3) As part of an unconscionable government cover-up, the Navy threatened to court martial and imprison any survivor who so much as told his wife what had actually happened. (This, incidentally, put steroids to the PTSD suffered by many of the survivors.)

One Stab at Truth

The only investigation worth the name was led by Adm. Moorer, who had been Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He led a blue-ribbon, independent commission to examine what happened to the Liberty. Among the findings announced by the commission on October 2003:

Israeli PM Menachem Begin

“…Unmarked Israeli aircraft dropped napalm canisters on the USS Liberty bridge, and fired 30mm cannon and rockets into the ship; survivors estimate 30 or more sorties were flown over the ship by a minimum of 12 attacking Israeli planes. …

“…The torpedo boat attack involved not only the firing of torpedoes, but machine-gunning of Liberty’s firefighters and stretcher-bearers. … The Israeli torpedo boats later returned to machine-gun at close range three of the Liberty’s life rafts that had been lowered into the water by survivors to rescue the most seriously wounded.”

Shortly before he died in February 2004, Adm. Moorer strongly appealed for the truth to be brought out and pointed directly at what he saw as the main obstacle: “I’ve never seen a President … stand up to Israel. … If the American people understood what a grip these people have on our government, they would rise up in arms.” [As quoted by Richard Curtiss in A Changing Image: American Perception of the Arab-Israeli Dispute.]

Echoing Moorer, former U.S. Ambassador Edward Peck, who served many years in the Middle East, condemned Washington’s attitude toward Israel as “obsequious, unctuous subservience … at the cost of the lives and morale of our own service members and their families.”

And the Six-Day War? Most Americans believe the Israelis were forced to defend against a military threat from Egypt. Not so, admitted former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin 35 years ago: “In June 1967, we had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove that [Egyptian President] Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.” [The New York Times quoting an August 1982 Begin speech.]

Adm. Moorer kept asking why our government continues to subordinate American interests to those of Israel. It is THE question.

The War in Syria

Fast forward to the catastrophe that is now Syria. U.S. policy support for illusory “moderate rebels” there – including false-flag chemical attacks blamed on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad – can only be fully understood against the mirror of U.S. acquiescence to Israeli objectives.

New York Times Jerusalem Bureau Chief in 2013, Jodi Rudoren, received an unusually candid response when she asked senior Israeli officials about Israel’s preferred outcome in Syria. In a New York Times article on September 6, 2013, titled “Israel Backs Limited Strike Against Syria,” Rudoren reported the Israeli view that the best outcome for Syria’s civil war was no outcome:

“For Jerusalem, the status quo, horrific as it may be from a humanitarian perspective, seems preferable to either a victory by Mr. Assad’s government and his Iranian backers or a strengthening of rebel groups, increasingly dominated by Sunni jihadis.

“‘This is a playoff situation in which you need both teams to lose, but at least you don’t want one to win — we’ll settle for a tie,’ said Alon Pinkas, a former Israeli consul general in New York. ‘Let them both bleed, hemorrhage to death: that’s the strategic thinking here. As long as this lingers, there’s no real threat from Syria.’”

Obama may have read or been briefed on Rudoren’s article. In any event, last year he told journalist Jeffrey Goldberg how proud he is at having resisted strong pressure from virtually all his advisors to fire cruise missiles on Syria in September 2013. Instead, Obama chose to take advantage of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s offer to get the Syrians to surrender their chemical weapons for destruction, verified by the U.N., aboard a U.S. ship configured for such destruction. President Trump, in contrast, chose to go with his “mad-dog” advisors. It is not yet clear whether he was successfully mousetrapped, or whether he saw the April 4 chemical incident in Syria as an opportunity to “retaliate,” and get a bump in popularity.

There are wider ramifications of rank dishonesty and cover-up, at which Establishment Washington excels. Have we not seen this movie before?  Think Iraq. Once again, the “intelligence” is being “fixed.”

Back to the Liberty, Adm. Moorer is right in saying that, if Americans were told the truth about what happened on June 8, 1967, they might be more discriminating in seeing through Israel’s rhetoric and objectives. Moorer insisted that we owe no less to brave men of the USS Liberty, but also to every man and woman who is asked to wear the uniform of the United States. And he is right about that too.

This book makes a huge contribution toward those worthy ends.

[For more on this topic, see “Navy Vet Honored, Foiled Israeli Attack”; “Still Waiting for USS Liberty’s Truth”; A USS Liberty’s Hero’s Passing”]

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington.  He served as a CIA analyst for 27 years, and was “on duty” when the USS Liberty was attacked.

May 21, 2017 Posted by | Book Review, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , | 5 Comments