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Still Spinning On Libya

By James W. Carden | Consortium News | August 17, 2017

In recent weeks, the Washington Post’s Cairo bureau chief Sudarsan Raghavan has published a series of remarkable dispatches from war-torn Libya, which is still reeling from the aftermath of NATO’s March 2011 intervention and the subsequent overthrow and murder of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

On July 2, Raghavan reported on what amounts to Libya’s modern-day slave trade. According to his report, Libya is “now home to a thriving trade in humans. Unable to pay exorbitant smuggling fees or swindled by traffickers, some of the world’s most desperate people are being held as slaves, tortured or forced into prostitution.”

The numbers help tell the tale. “The number of migrants departing from Libya is surging,” writes Raghavan, “with more than 70,000 arriving in Italy so far this year, a 28 percent increase over the same period last year.”

On August 1, Raghavan returned to the pages of the Post with a disturbing portrait of life in Tripoli, reporting that: “Six years after the revolution that toppled dictator Moammar Gaddafi, the mood in this volatile capital is a meld of hopelessness and gloom. Diplomatic and military efforts by the United States and its allies have failed to stabilize the nation; the denouement of the crisis remains far from clear. Most Libyans sense that the worst is yet to come.”

Raghavan notes that “Under Gaddafi, the oil-producing country was once one of the world’s wealthiest nations.” Under his rule, “Libyans enjoyed free health care, education and other benefits under the eccentric strongman’s brand of socialism.” It would be difficult not to see, Raghavan writes, “the insecurity that followed Gaddafi’s death has ripped apart the North African country.”

Taken together, Raghavan’s reports should come as a rude shock to stalwart supporters of NATO’s intervention in Libya. Yet the embarrassing fervor with which many embraced the intervention remains largely undiminished – with, as we will see, one notable exception.

An Upside-Down Meritocracy

Anne Marie Slaughter, who served as policy planning chief at the State Department under Hillary Clinton, emailed her former boss after the start of the NATO operation, to say: “I cannot imagine how exhausted you must be after this week, but I have never been prouder of having worked for you.”

Five months after the start of NATO operation against Gaddafi, Slaughter went public with her approval in an op-ed for the Financial Times titled “Why Libya Skeptics Were Proved Badly Wrong.” Proving, if nothing else, that the foreign policy establishment is a reverse meritocracy, Slaughter holds an endowed chair at Princeton and is also the well-compensated president of the influential Washington think tank New America.

President Obama’s decision to intervene received wide bipartisan support in the Congress and from media figures across the political spectrum, including Bill O’Reilly and Cenk Uyghur.

Yet the casus belli used to justify the intervention, as a U.K. parliamentary report made clear last September, was based on a lie: that the people of the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi were in imminent danger of being slaughtered by Gaddafi’s forces.

The report, issued by the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, states that “Despite his rhetoric, the proposition that Muammar Gaddafi would have ordered the massacre of civilians in Benghazi was not supported by the available evidence.”

The report also noted that while “Many Western policymakers genuinely believed that Muammar Gaddafi would have ordered his troops to massacre civilians in Benghazi … this did not necessarily translate into a threat to everyone in Benghazi. In short, the scale of the threat to civilians was presented with unjustified certainty. US intelligence officials reportedly described the intervention as ‘an intelligence-light decision.’”

Even as it became clear that the revolution had proved to be a disaster for the country, the arbiters of acceptable opinion in Washington continued to insist that NATO’s intervention was not only a success, but the right thing to do. It is a myth that has gained wide purchase among D.C.’s foreign policy cognoscenti, despite the judgment of former President Barack Obama, who famously described the intervention as “a shit show.”

Still Spinning

A full year after the commencement of NATO’s campaign against Gaddafi, former NATO Ambassador Ivo Daalder and NATO Supreme Allied Commander James Stravidis took to the pages of that reliable bellwether of establishment opinion, Foreign Affairs, to declare that “NATO’s operation in Libya has rightly been hailed as a model intervention.”

According to Daalder and Stravidis, “the alliance responded rapidly to a deteriorating situation that threatened hundreds of thousands of civilians rebelling against an oppressive regime.”

In 2016, a Clinton campaign press release justifying the ill-starred intervention, claimed “Qadhafi and his regime made perfectly clear what their plans were for dealing with those who stood up against his reign, using disgusting language in urging his backers to cleanse the country of these rebels. This was a humanitarian crisis.”

Astonishingly, the campaign “Factsheet” goes on to assert that, “there was no doubt that further atrocities were on the way, as Qadhafi’s forces storming towards the county’s second biggest city.” Yet there is, as both the U.K. parliamentary report and a Harvard study by Alan J. Kuperman found, no evidence for this whatsoever.

“Qaddafi did not perpetrate a ‘bloodbath’ in any of the cities that his forces recaptured from rebels prior to NATO intervention — including Ajdabiya, Bani Walid, Brega, Ras Lanuf, Zawiya, and much of Misurata — so there was,” writes Kuperman, “virtually no risk of such an outcome if he had been permitted to recapture the last rebel stronghold of Benghazi.”

Nevertheless, the myth persists. Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Shadi Hamid, the author of Islamic Exceptionalismcontinues to insist, against all evidence, that the intervention was a success.

“The Libya intervention was successful,” says Hamid, “The country is better off today than it would have been had the international community allowed dictator Muammar Qaddafi to continue his rampage across the country.”

In this, Hamid is hardly alone. Left-activists in thrall to a Trotskyite vision of permanent revolution also continue to make the case that NATO’s intervention was a net positive for the country.

In a recent interview with In These Times, Leila Al-Shami claimed that “If Gaddafi had not fallen, Libya now would look very much like Syria. In reality, the situation in Libya is a million times better. Syrian refugees are fleeing to Libya. Far fewer people have been killed in Libya since Gaddafi’s falling than in Syria. Gaddafi being ousted was a success for the Libyan people.” … Full article

August 17, 2017 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lockerbie: Case closed

Al Jazeera English | February 28, 2012

The Lockerbie disaster was Europe’s worst terrorist outrage, but was it also Britain’s biggest miscarriage of justice? This film investigates the case against Abdel Baset al-Megrahi and finds evidence to suggest he may have been wrongly accused.

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

The LOCKERBIE Bombing: Who Really Did Carry Out the Worst Terrorist Attack in British History…?

The Burning Blogger of Bedlam | July 27, 2017

The Lockerbie bombing in 1988 was perhaps the 9/11 of its time. While it didn’t result in the kind of phony Global ‘War on Terror’ that was conducted after 9/11, it did give the US and Britain the platform for beginning a targeted downfall of a particular nation and society, this being Libya.

This was accomplished the same way in Libya as it was accomplished in Iraq: first by years and years of crippling sanctions and forced hardship (via the UN),then by all-out destruction against a nation that is no longer able to defend itself (Iraq in 2003, Libya in 2011).

There are essentially two ways to look at Lockerbie.

One, the most important, is as a criminal investigation of an act of mass murder. The other is as a prolonged political or geo-political tool serving multiple purposes. Both are worth revisiting; particularly as the ghost of Lockerbie (and all of its victims) has reappeared in news media in the last few weeks.

Revisiting the subject of Lockerbie is important both as a study of geo-politics and the place of political terrorism within that arena and as a study in history and how it relates to contemporary events.

I want to take a broad overview of the Lockerbie subject here, touching on all of those areas: this article will cover (1) the reasons why the ‘official’ story of Lockerbie is so problematic and disputed, (2) the release of the ‘Lockerbie Bomber’ from prison in Scotland and why it happened, (3) the political and geopolitical motives and consequences of the Lockerbie trial and verdict, and finally (4) the many different theories as to who really did carry out the Lockerbie bombing and why.

The official story remains that the Lockerbie bombing was the doing of the Libyan, Abdelbasset al-Megrahi, who – at the time – had been in charge of security for Libyan airlines.

Abdelbasset al-Megrahi was jailed for 27 years, but died of prostate cancer, aged 60, in 2012. On his deathbed, he continued to claim he was innocent of the bomb that ripped apart Pan-Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in December 1988, killing 270 civilians.

It remains the worst act of terrorism in British history.

As was being reported in media outlets a fortnight or so ago, the family of the convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi is involved in a new bid to appeal against his conviction.

They are not alone in this move, but also have the support of Dr Jim Swire, who lost his daughter Flora in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, and Rev John Mosey, who lost his daughter Helga.

Like 9/11, the Lockerbie bombing of Pan-Am Flight 103 invited numerous conspiracy theories and claims of a cover up. And with good reason.

There were Scottish investigators questioning the official verdict all along, with claims that the key piece of evidence – the bomb timer – had been planted on the scene by a CIA operative, while the expert who examined the timer admitted to having manufactured it himself and the crucial witness who connected the bomb to the suitcase later admitted to having been paid $2 Million to lie in the trial.

Abdelbaset al-Megrahi sat in a prison cell in Scotland for years for a crime he hadn’t convincingly been proven guilty of; even when the Scottish government decided to send him back to Libya on compassionate grounds (because of his prostate-cancer), Washington and Westminster still both objected and numerous commentators accused Scotland of being ‘soft’.

And when Megrahi was filmed receiving a hero’s welcome by Saif Gaddafi and a large crowd upon returning home, much of Western media was full of condemnation that these people were ‘celebrating a terrorist’.

Many condemned this as a gross insult to the victims of Lockerbie. If Megrahi’s guilt could be proven beyond reasonable doubt, this attitude would be valid: but if it can’t, then the bigger insult to those victims is the cover-up and the obfuscation of evidence that has continued to this day.

Jim Swire, the spokesman of UK Families Flight 103, and whose daughter was killed in the Lockerbie bombing, has repeatedly expressed grave doubts about the official version of events.

Hans Köchler, the Austrian jurist appointed by the UN to be an independent observer at the Lockerbie trial, expressed concern about the way it was conducted (particularly the suspicious role played by two US Justice Department officials who, according to him, sat next to the Scottish prosecuting counsel throughout the process and appeared to be giving them instructions).

Köchler would later describe al-Megrahi’s conviction as “a spectacular miscarriage of justice”. Jim Swire, who also was present through the trial, then launched the ‘Justice for Megrahi’ campaign, being utterly unconvinced by the official verdict.

Professor Robert Black QC, among others, also maintains that Abdelbasset al-Megrahi was innocent of the Lockerbie bombing, the entire case hinging on the shaky testimony of a single, highly dubious, witness in Malta (a shopkeeper named Tony Gauci, who, years after the trial, was described by Lord Advocate, Lord Fraser of Carmyllie, as being “an apple short of a picnic”).

This same man, it later emerged, had been paid $2 million by the CIA for his testimony against Megrahi, while his brother – a man entirely unrelated to the case – was also paid $1 million.

Professor Black, upon visiting al-Megrahi in prison in 2007, referred to the “wrongful conviction” of an “innocent man”.

Key evidence presented at the trial (e.g. timer fragment, parts from a specific radio cassette model, clothing bought in Malta, bomb suitcase originating at Luqa Airport) had likely been fabricated for the political purpose of incriminating and then punishing Libya. It was openly known that vital evidence had been tampered with (see here, for example).

A lot of these key problems were covered in the very good Al-Jazeera investigation/documentary ‘Lockerbie: Case Closed’ (see here). American Radio Works also examined the Lockerbie case in 2000, seemingly coming to the conclusion that the case against Libya and al-Megrahi wasn’t convincing.

In a report on the Lockerbie trial, Köchler, a university professor, said “It was a consistent pattern during the whole trial that – as an apparent result of political interests and considerations – efforts were undertaken to withhold substantial information from the Court.”

Hans Köchler was the only international observer to submit comprehensive reports on the Lockerbie trial and appeal proceedings to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. In the June 2008 edition of the Scottish lawyers’ magazine The Firm, Dr Köchler referred to the ‘totalitarian’ nature of the Lockerbie appeal process. Particularly interesting was his statement that it “bears the hallmarks of an intelligence operation”.

Certainly, the dubious elements in the investigation process and the illegitimacy of the trial are more than enough to suggest that US agencies were trying very hard to cover something up.

 


 

Calls in Scotland for al-Megrahi’s release began with the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 2003, particularly after Nelson Mandela had called on Western Churches to intervene in what he called a major “miscarriage of justice”.

Within a few years, even Arab League representatives were referring to al-Megrahi not as a terrorist but as a ‘political hostage’ being held in Scotland. It was calling for al-Megrahi’s release and was even endorsing Gaddafi’s claims for compensation from Britain due to the damage done to Libya’s economy from 1991 to 1999.

Appeals for al-Megrahi’s release or a re-opening of the case were resisted and rejected, however, for several years, leading to al-Megrahi withdrawing his own appeal in August 2009.

At this time, Scottish Minister Christine Grahame (of the SNP) wrote “There are a number of vested interests who have been deeply opposed to this appeal continuing as they know it would go a considerable way towards exposing the truth behind Lockerbie… In the next days, weeks and months new information will be placed in the public domain that will make it clear that Mr Megrahi had nothing to do with the bombing of Pan Am 103.”

When al-Megrahi was eventually released, it was on compassionate grounds and was framed simply as an act that would allow him do die in Libya.

Washington and Westminster – along with much of the media – were furious with the Scottish courts, insisting that al-Megrahi should remain in prison in Scotland.

But the crucial thing about al-Megrahi’s release to Libya was the way it was framed as an act of compassion that had no bearing on the previous trial or on the official verdict concerning his guilt.

Megrahi’s withdrawing of his own appeal just shortly before he was released on compassionate grounds presumably means a deal was made to allow him to go home and die in Tripoli, so long as he remained officially ‘The Lockerbie Bomber’ and the case was not to be re-opened.

The scenes of al-Megrahi landing at Tripoli Airport, being met personally by Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, and being greeted by hundreds of young Libyans waving Libyan and Scottish flags were played across Western media and presented as ‘proof’ that Scotland had made the wrong choice – and that the Libyans were celebrating the ‘Lockerbie Bomber’. However, al-Megrahi’s return home had also happened to coincide with celebrations of forty years of the Libyan Arab Republic.

At any rate, within two years of this, that same Libyan Arab Republic was in ruins, NATO warplanes were bombing the entire country back into the stone age, and al-Megrahi would die shortly after this, still being regarded by most of the world as ‘The Lockerbie Bomber’.

In late 2011, after she had finished celebrating Gaddafi’s brutal murder in Sirte, Washington psychopath Hillary Clinton was calling for Abdelbaset al-Megrahi to be forced to go back to jail in Scotland – a request that was ultimately rejected.

 


 

If we consider – as we’re doing here – that the Lockerbie bombing wasn’t carried out by Al-Megrahi or Libya (and evidence suggests it wasn’t), then we have to wonder who did carry out Lockerbie. And whether the intention of that false-flag operation (with 207 civilian deaths) was to create a *reason* to impose the sanctions, a reason to cripple Libya’s growth and economy and to be able to firmly declare Gaddafi’s Libya a ‘terrorist state’: all designed to cripple Gaddafi’s position and to, in international terms, back him and his state into a corner, while also serving to rubber-stamp the perception of Gaddafi as the Great Villain.

Anyone who grew up in the 80s will remember this portrayal of Gaddafi as the Big Bad Villain (or ‘Mad Dog of the Middle East’, as Ronald Reagan called him) in the same way that Saddam Hussein would later be portrayed or as Osama bin Laden would later be presented as the emblematic evil mastermind of anti-Western schemes.

In fact, in many ways, Lockerbie and Gaddafi were the dry run for what would later be 9/11 and Bin Laden – a major, terrible terrorist act of mass murder and an iconic caricature of a Big Bad Monster/Villain from the East. By the late 90s, the idea of Gaddafi as the great villainous threat to the West had run out of steam and the focus was shifted instead onto Saddam Hussein and then Osama bin Laden.

Ironically, as I’ve pointed out before, it remains a fact that Gaddafi had actually been the first world leader to issue an arrest warrant for Bin Laden, long before the US or its allies did.

Lockerbie, the Berlin disco bombing and the shooting of Yvonne Fletcher in London (all three of which had serious doubts around them from the beginning – I covered the Yvonne Fletcher shooting somewhat in this post on the 7/7 London Bombings and the Berlin Disco bombing somewhat in the ‘Libya Conspiracy‘ book) can all be argued to have been programs conducted by UK/US intelligence (possibly in concert with agencies from other governments) to permanently vilify Gaddafi’s Libya and thus justify ongoing sanctions and the likelihood of the country’s decline.

This is an extremely important point: the sanctions imposed on Libya (after Lockerbie) were designed to reverse the country’s success and its attainment of self-sufficiency, to cripple the nation with deprivation and incite ill-feeling.

The only way offered to end the sanctions program was for Libya to pay what was reckoned to be the biggest compensation package ever imposed onto any country – Libya would have to pay a total of $10 Billion to the Lockerbie victims’ families.

The other condition was that Gaddafi also had to formally acknowledge responsibility in the UN for his officials’ orchestrating of the Lockerbie bombing. Gaddafi eventually went along with these demands, but to his domestic audience he permanently denied any responsibility or involvement in Lockerbie and told his people that the extortionate reparations Libya was having to pay wasn’t an admission of guilt, but merely the price having to be paid in order for Libya to re-enter the international community.

In other words, he took the official blame for Lockerbie in order to try to end the sanctions, but all the while he insisted it was a lie.

In 2011, he probably found himself wishing he hadn’t bothered; because it was all for nothing.

US whistleblower Susan Lindauer told RT in 2011 that, the summer before the ‘Arab Spring’ uprising, Gadaffi had in fact been pressuring US, British, French and Italian oil companies to reimburse Libya for the cost of those payments to the families of the Lockerbie bombing.

In that context, it’s also hardly surprising that come 2011 and as Western governments were bombing Libya and targeting Gaddafi for assassination, the Lockerbie business got dragged out repeatedly in the media to act as a timely reminder of why Gaddafi was so terrible and needed to be killed.

By this point, the suggestion was now even being made that Gaddafi had ordered the Lockerbie bombing personally (which had never been suggested before).

 


 

Arguably, however, the destruction of Libya in 2011 was the desired end-point of a geo-political timeline that Lockerbie had been a crucial part of.

That being so, and with Gaddafi dead and Libya in ongoing chaos, it is arguably no longer as important whether the truth about Lockerbie comes out or not. Most of the key figures in the Gaddafi era regime are either dead or in jail.

Abdelbasset al-Megrahi himself died just months after Gaddafi was killed and the old Libyan state was overthrown.

All of that long-term geo-political scheming to overthrow Gaddafi is over – so it is possible that new investigations might be ‘allowed’ to uncover more of the true story behind the bombing of Pan-Am Flight 103.

Aside from all of the dubious elements in the Lockerbie trial and the questionable processes, what also strikes me as telling is the commitment of al-Megrahi’s family to clearing his name: especially given that Al-Megrahi is dead and the state accused of planning Lockerbie has long since been overthrown.

Al-Megrahi himself (pictured here in his final days of life, in Tripoli) was continuing to insist on his innocence right up to his dying days and, in fact, had asked Jim Swire to continue to fight to clear his name after he died.

Why would a guilty man bother to do that? Terrorists generally claim their acts of terrorism. Moreover, Megrahi was already free by that point and was in no danger of going back to jail.

 


If al-Megrahi didn’t carry out Lockerbie, who did?

There have long been plenty of theories.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine: General Command (PFLP-GC) was the first suspect, based on a threat it had issued against US and Israeli interests before Lockerbie occurred. Iran was also in the frame very early – and remains a key suspect for some people – with its motive thought to be revenge for the July 1988 shooting down of Iran Air Flight 655 by the USS Vincennes. Former British diplomat Patrick Haseldine suggested that the bombing of Pan-Am Flight 103 had in fact been an assassination operation by South Africa’s apartheid government, targeting UN Commissioner for Namibia, Bernt Carlsson.

Another widely held theory implicates CIA agents involved in drug-running operations. This was in fact the basis for Allan Francovich’s 1994 movie The Maltese Double Cross

Here’s a very interesting piece of film on the drug connection to Pan-Am Flight 180.

A renowned terrorist from that time, Abu Nidal, allegedly later confessed to the Lockerbie bombing (unlike al-Megrahi, who, even on his deathbed, insisted he was innocent), while the controversial blogger Joe Vialls later put forward another theory that the bomb was detonated remotely and also attributed the crime to a CIA/Mossad operation. Vialls did a lot of work on tracking the Lockerbie trial, which is worth consulting – whether you agree with his take or not.

On the subject of Abu Nidal, it is worth making note of the claims that the ‘notorious Palestinian mercenary’ was in fact a US spy and a Mossad operative.

Patrick Seale’s book Abu Nidal: A Gun For Hire makes a very convincing case that the notorious ‘Black September’ terrorist was a full Mossad agent, servicing an Israeli agenda. Nidal was involved in a long line of terrorist atrocities.

The fact that Nidal was reported – even by mainstream newspapers – as having allegedly confessed to Lockerbie is therefore very interesting.

If he was a Mossad agent and US spy, then many of those terrorist acts (including ‘Black September’ and other acts of alleged Palestinian terrorism) would’ve presumably been false-flag ops – and that would seem to make him a very solid candidate for Lockerbie.

I am not endorsing any specific theory or conclusion here: merely arguing that it is probably time for Abdelbasset al-Megrahi to be exonerated and for the Lockerbie investigation to be re-opened in a big way.

In 2008, journalist Hugh Miles published a piece in The Independent, in which he further explored the question of who was behind the Lockerbie bombing; ‘all I know,’ he wrote, ‘is that it wasn’t the man in prison’.

In the article, he draws attention to a convicted Palestinian terrorist named Abu Talb and a Jordanian triple-agent named Marwan Abdel Razzaq Khreesat. ‘Both were Iranian agents; Khreesat was also on the CIA payroll,‘ he explained. ‘Abu Talb was given lifelong immunity from prosecution in exchange for his evidence at the Lockerbie trial; Marwan Khreesat was released for lack of evidence by German police even though a barometric timer of the type used to detonate the bomb on Pan Am Flight 103 was found in his car when he was arrested…‘

There is clearly no shortage of theories and avenues for investigation concerning the Lockerbie bombing.

There is also – and has been for decades – a concerted agenda at the governmental level to prevent any further investigation and to, instead, maintain the official story.

 


Read more:The Libya Conspiracy: A Definitive Guide to the Libya Intervention‘, ‘The Life & Death of Gaddafi’s Libya: A Study of the Libya That No Longer Exists‘, ‘Muammar Gaddafi: A Psychological Profile of Man, Myth & Reality‘…

August 15, 2017 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Facing Defeat in Syria, ISIS Inexplicably Expands Globally

By Tony Cartalucci – New Eastern Outlook – 11.08.2017

Throughout human history, when a military force and its economic center has been defeated, it contracts, then collapses. For the first time in human history, the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” (ISIS), has managed to reverse this fundamental aspect of reality – but not without help.

Facing defeat in Syria as government forces backed by its Russian and Iranian allies close in on the terrorist organization, stripping it of territory it seized, it has managed to spread far beyond Syria’s borders, establishing itself in Libya, Afghanistan, and even as far as Southeast Asia where it has seized an entire city in the Philippines’ south, and carried out attacks and conducting activities everywhere from Indonesia and Malaysia to allegedly Thailand’s deep south.

It should be remembered, according to Western governments and their media, the territory ISIS holds in Syria is allegedly providing it with the summation of its financial resources and thus the source of its fighting capacity. According to official statements, the US and its European allies allege that ISIS fuels its fighting capacity with “taxes” and extortion as well as black market oil sales – all of which are derived from territory it holds in Syria.

The Washington Post in a 2015 article titled, “How the Islamic State makes its money,” would note:

Weapons, vehicles, employee salaries, propaganda videos, international travel — all of these things cost money. The recent terrorism attacks in Paris, which the Islamic State has claimed as its own work, suggest the terrorist organization hasn’t been hurting for funding. David Cohen, the Treasury Department’s Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, described the Islamic State last October as “probably the best-funded terrorist organization we have confronted” — deep pockets that have allowed the group to carry out deadly campaigns in Iraq, Syria and other countries.

To explain where ISIS actually makes its money, the Washington Post claims:

Unlike many terrorist groups, which finance themselves mainly through wealthy donors, the Islamic State has used its control over a territory that is roughly the size of the U.K. and home to millions of people to develop diversified revenue channels that make it more resilient to U.S. offensives.

The Washington Post would also claim:

 Its main methods of generating money appear to be the sale of oil and antiquities, as well as taxation and extortion. And the group’s financial resources have grown quickly as it has captured more territory and resources: According to estimates by the Rand Corporation, the Islamic State’s total revenue rose from a little less than $1 million per month in late 2008 and early 2009 to perhaps $1 million to $3 million per day in 2014.

With this territory quickly shrinking and the intensity of fighting against what remains of ISIS in Syria and Iraq expanding, it is seemingly inexplicable as to how ISIS is expanding globally, instead of contracting and collapsing.

The Washington Post’s already implausible thesis regarding ISIS finances – based on official statements from the US Treasury Department and US corporate-funded policy think tanks like Rand – appears to be the only thing contracting and collapsing.

ISIS Enjoys Global Reach Many Nation-States Lack 

Regarding just how expansive ISIS’ global activities are, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson himself would claim in an August 1, 2017 statement that:

I think our next steps on the global war to defeat ISIS are to recognize ISIS is a global issue. We already see elements of ISIS in the Philippines, as you’re aware, gaining a foothold. Some of these fighters have gone to the Philippines from Syria and Iraq. We are in conversations with the Philippine Government, with Indonesia, with Malaysia, with Singapore, with Australia, as partners to recognize this threat, try to get ahead of this threat, and help them with training – training their own law enforcement capabilities, sharing of intelligence, and provide them wherewithal to anticipate what may be coming their direction.

Tillerson made these remarks after noting ISIS’ shrinking holdings in both Syria and Iraq. He claimed in regards to Iraq:

More than 70 percent of Iraqi territory that was once held by ISIS has been liberated and recovered. ISIS has been unable to retake any territory that it has been – that has been liberated, and almost 2 million Iraqis have returned home. And this is really the measure of success, I think, is when conditions are such that people feel like they can return to their homes.

Regarding Syria, Tillerson would claim:

Similarly, over in Syria, we’re assisting with the liberation of Raqqa, which is moving at a faster pace than we originally anticipated.

The steps outlined by Tillerson to combat ISIS sidestep strategic fundamentals like identifying, isolating, and eliminating the economic and financial source of the organization’s fighting capacity, and instead focus on an indefinite justification for global US military operations – particularly across Southeast Asia at a time when the region is incrementally uprooting American influence and replacing it with Eurasian alliances, networks, as well as military and economic blocs.

For ISIS – fueled by resources found only within the boundaries of its meager and shrinking territorial holdings in Syria and Iraq – to be simultaneously fighting the national armies of Syria and Iraq, backed by Iran, Russia, Lebanon’s Hezbollah, and allegedly a US-led coalition including dozens of countries, all while expanding its reach worldwide, including full-scale military operations in Southeast Asia, begs belief.

ISIS doing all of this with multi-billion dollar multinational state sponsorship, not only makes much more sense, it is the only explanation.

ISIS is State Sponsored 

Until recently, ISIS territory butted directly against the borders of NATO-member Turkey. In fact, looking at any map of the Syrian-Iraqi conflict with ISIS revealed what appeared to be logistical trails leading directly out of Turkey and to a lesser extent, Jordan.

A 2014 report from Germany’s public broadcaster Deutsche Welle, revealed a torrent of supplies, men, and weapons flowing daily over the Turkish-Syrian border, headed directly toward ISIS territory, directly under the nose and with the complicity of Turkish officials.

The report titled, “‘IS’ supply channels through Turkey,” would note:

Every day, trucks laden with food, clothing, and other supplies cross the border from Turkey to Syria. It is unclear who is picking up the goods. The haulers believe most of the cargo is going to the “Islamic State” militia. Oil, weapons, and soldiers are also being smuggled over the border, and Kurdish volunteers are now patrolling the area in a bid to stem the supplies.

So obvious was the logistical support for ISIS flowing from Turkey, that ISIS flags were clearly visible from the Turkish border throughout DW’s footage.

It was only until Russia’s military intervention in Syria upon Damascus’ request, that these logistical routes were targeted and significant pressure could be placed on ISIS inside Syria, rolling back its fighting capacity.

There is also the fact that ISIS and Al Qaeda along with their various affiliates and allies have swept alleged “moderate rebels” from the battlefield. These are alleged “rebel groups” that have supposedly received hundreds of billions of dollars of support from the US and its allies in the form of weapons, vehicles, training, logistical support, and even covert military support.
ISIS and Al Qaeda’s ability to sweep these forces from the battlefield indicates a fighting capacity driven by even greater financial support. But if ISIS has greater financial support than multi-billion dollar multinational state sponsorship, where is it getting it?
This question, coupled with the obvious fact that ISIS is indeed fueling its fighting capacity from well beyond the borders of territory it occupies, indicates that the US and its allies, including NATO-member Turkey, never were backing “moderate rebels,” and for the entire duration of the Syrian conflict – and even beforehand – were arming and supporting extremists, including Al Qaeda and those affiliates that would later form ISIS itself.

ISIS enjoys a global reach few nation-states could achieve because it is financially, politically, and militarily backed by nations with the resources to obtain that global reach. This includes the US itself, NATO, and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) which in turn includes nations like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Qatar.

ISIS is America’s Foot in the Door in Southeast Asia 

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s comments regarding ISIS’ spread into Southeast Asia implied long-term US involvement in the region, including closer involvement with regional police and even military forces. In the Philippines, where US-Philippine relations were spiraling downward, the sudden appearance of ISIS there and the organization’s ability to seize an entire city led directly to justification for not only a continued US military presence in the country, but its expansion.

Other nations across Southeast Asia – including Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand – have been incrementally pushing US influence out of the region in favor of stronger and more stable ties with each other and with neighboring China.

Thailand for instance, has begun replacing aging US military hardware with weapon systems from Russia, China, and Europe. Thailand has also begun joint military exercises with China, ending America’s post-Vietnam War monopoly. Thailand and Indonesia have also begun striking a series of economic and infrastructure deals with China, including immense expansions of their respective national railways.

As each nation has taken steps to move the US out of Asia, the US has increased pressure on each respective nation. It has done this through US-funded fronts posing as nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and US-backed opposition movements. It also appears to be doing this through the introduction and expansion of ISIS activity in the region.

It should be remembered that it was the US itself that created Al Qaeda in the mountains of Afghanistan to fight the Soviets in the 1980s.

It was also the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), in a leaked 2012 memo, that noted the US and its allies sought the creation of a “Salafist” (Islamic) “principality” (State) in eastern Syria precisely where the Islamic State currently resides. The purpose of creating this terrorist organization was to “isolate the Syrian regime.” Thus, it is all but admitted that ISIS is a tool of US geopolitical manipulation. If it created and used ISIS in Syria to “isolate the Syrian regime,” why would it hesitate to likewise use it in Southeast Asia to reverse its waning fortunes?
The 2012 report (.pdf) states (emphasis added):

If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).

Tillerson’s comments regarding ISIS are in essence, a veiled threat – a threat of long-term chaos sown by ISIS that will continue without expansive capitulation to US interests, including an expanding US military footprint in the region, conveniently in a region the US has long designated as essential toward the geopolitical, military, and economic encirclement and isolation of a rising China.
However, such a ploy cannot unfold if the nations of Southeast Asia both expose this reality, and align themselves with nations truly invested in the defeat of ISIS, including Russia and China – the ultimate targets of America’s geopolitical ambitions and the final destination for America’s global terrorist proxies.

August 11, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Israel’s secret attempt to buy-out North Korea’s missile export program

Sputnik – 10.08.2017

In an exceptional episode, little-known and never acknowledged in the Western mainstream media, Israel secretly negotiated a billion dollar buy-out of North Korea’s missile export program to the Middle East. […]

Supporters of the effort believe Israel could have forged ties with North Korea and aided the “rogue” nation’s rapprochement with the West — detractors dismiss the idea as foolish fantasy.

While Israel recognized China in 1950, it had never established relations with North Korea. Perhaps as a result, perhaps unrelatedly, the latter provided Libya, Iran, Syria and other countries in the region hostile to Israel with advanced missile technology.

Tensions between the two countries remained frosty at best, and outright hostile at worst, until the early 1990s.

The severe economic crisis that befell North Korea at that time, and the terminal illness of founder and President Kim Il-sung, opened up doors on both sides for potential conciliation.

Efforts began in earnest September 1992, when Eytan Bentsur, the then-Foreign Ministry’s deputy director-general, proposed to Pyongyang that Israel would purchase a defunct gold mine in North Korea in exchange for the country freezing or limiting its arms deals with Iran.

The offer was top secret — not even the head of the Foreign Ministry’s Asia department was informed.

On November 1, 1992, five Israelis, including Bentsur, and two geologists flew to Pyongyang to assess the mine. They received a fairly warm welcome upon arrival, staying for several days in the government’s official guesthouse, being flown around the country in Il-sung’s private helicopter and entertained grandly. A meeting with Kim’s son-in-law, responsible for the country’s arms exports, was set up.

What Bentsur et al didn’t know was they weren’t the only Israelis in Pyongyang at that time. A second delegation, headed by Mossad chief Efraim Halevy, was also visiting the capital.

Perhaps predictably, it’s unknown what Mossad’s representatives did during their trip — conversely, the Foreign Ministry contingent was taken to the Unsan gold mine. Bentsur and colleagues were certain North Korea was genuinely open to rapprochement at the time, a view he holds to this day — and government representatives did express a willingness to allow Israel to open a diplomatic mission in Pyongyang, and host an official visit from President Shimon Peres.

For their part, Israeli representatives made clear any relationship between the two was contingent on arms exports to the Middle East ceasing.

In the initial weeks after the trip, there was much optimism that a deal could be struck, and Pyongyang seemed genuinely interested in warming relations with the US and other Western powers.

However, Mossad chief Halevy quickly concluded the regime was going to continue selling missiles to Israel’s enemies, a deal was improbable, and it would be advisable to jettison their ambitions.

Nonetheless, in January 1993, North Korea invited Peres and Bentsur to Pyongyang, but Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin, who agreed with Havely, refused.

Those who believe a deal could’ve been struck are adamant Mossad played the key role in derailing negotiations. Bentsur suggests the agency lobbied the CIA into pressuring US Secretary of State Warren Christopher to call for a halt to all talks.

Others are more circumspect. In an interview with local media, Moshe Yegar, the then-Foreign Ministry’s Asia chief, said the “ugly” episode was a “fiasco from every angle” and “nonsense of the first order.” He believes there was “absolutely no way” Israel could have ever gotten Pyongyang to play ball. … Full article

August 10, 2017 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trump Battles the CIA: The Korea Ban & Bad Signs in the Market

By Caleb Maupin – New Eastern Outlook – 02.08.2017

The ban on travel to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is primarily an attack on the people in the northern part of the Korean Peninsula. It is a move to further isolate the DPRK, and prevent tourist dollars from flowing in, while also preventing fraternization between Americans and citizens of the country. However, the State Department’s decision also has another target in the crosshairs, one much closer to Washington DC.

According to reports in the press, roughly 5,000 US citizens visit the DPRK each year. Most are tourist youth attracted to the mystique and adventure of traveling to a country so widely demonized in the US media. Communist organizations send political delegations and Christian sects such as the Mennonites often send missionaries and aid workers. However, one can be sure that among the 5,000 people who visit the country each year is more than a few American spies, posing as tourists.

When one looks over the recent history of Americans being arrested in North Korea prior to the tragic death of Otto Warmbier, the reasons for the arrest almost always indicate activities that could be described as espionage. Merrill Newman, for example, was a former member of the US military’s “White Tigers” division during the Korean War. The 85 year old man was arrested in the DPRK as he wore a ring with the insignia of this anti-DPRK fighting and intelligence unit. After being arrested he confessed to participating in some of the war crimes against the Korean people during the 1950-1953 war. Newman stated “I did not realize North Korea was still at war” after his eventual release.

The State Department ban on travel to the DPRK is far more extreme than the widely challenged ban on travel to Cuba, enacted as part of the blockade. Officials say that any American who visits DPRK will automatically have their passport invalidated. The constitutionality of such an extreme ban is likely to be challenged.

In the meantime, however, any efforts by the CIA to gather information inside North Korea, or to manipulate or maneuver within its internal affairs, are greatly limited.

Two divisions of the US Federal Government that have long been at odds in issues of foreign policy have been the military and the Central Intelligence Agency. The nature of the two entity’s work lays the basis for their constant disagreement and conflict. The new State Department policy has essentially declared that the DPRK will be handled with military operations, not with “color revolutions,” plots of a coup, manipulation of the youth, or the other shenanigans carried out by the intelligence agencies.

A Longstanding Fight – CIA vs. Pentagon

The US military brass is trained at West Point, and though a great deal of history and background is provided, the focus of their training is military science and the “art of war.” Meanwhile, the Central Intelligence Agency’s administrators come from Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, and are trained in the subtle art of expanding US influence and quietly neutralizing those who challenge it.

The favorite word of those who extol the military and disfavor the CIA is “strength.” The strategies favored by the Pentagon involve demoralizing opponents of US power with “shock and awe” style crushing of enemies. The mass bombing campaigns in Vietnam and Korea did not win credibility and respect for the US internationally, and this was not their intention. The same can be said for Bush’s unilateral invasion of Iraq. The Pentagon does not concern itself with winning friends and influencing people, but with blowing things up, and its favored foreign policy reflects this.

The CIA, on the other hand, tends to favor soft power, negotiations, and internal subversion of global rivals, all done covertly, with the USA looking like a benevolent “Mr. Nice Guy” on the surface. The CIA favors arming and training third party proxies to fight their enemies, while waging a fierce battle in the field of public relations and propaganda.

The clash between the military and the intelligence agencies has played out dramatically in recent US history. It is widely understood that John F. Kennedy began enacting policies that overwhelmingly favored the CIA prior to his death. Kennedy resisted the efforts to escalate military involvement in Vietnam, while funding and emphasizing CIA-linked operations like the Peace Corps. Kennedy’s often quoted the phrase “those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable” stated the CIA’s exact strategy for fighting Communism during the Cold War. The CIA favored “reforms” in US aligned third world regimes that made Marxist-Leninist revolution less appealing, while also presenting the US as a benevolent, charitable country that did not seek to intervene in other countries domestic affairs. The CIA worked to make sure that the hands of the USA during the rise of military dictatorships and the toppling of pro-Soviet world leaders were well hidden.

Prior to Kennedy’s assassination, a hard, right-wing mass movement against him, involving the John Birch Society and many Pentagon linked political figures, called the “Camelot” President a traitor and Soviet agent. Many sections of the military thought Kennedy’s “soft power” strategy for confronting Communism, and his ultimate refusal to invade Cuba with US troops after the CIA’s failed “Bay of Pigs” operation, showed weakness. Films like “Dr. Strangelove” widely mocked the well-known fanaticism of the military brass, which distrusted the intelligence agencies and the ability of politicians to make military decisions. Kennedy’s subtle alliance with the Civil Rights Movement, though inconsistent and widely criticized by activists, also threatened a military brass packed with the sons of wealthy southern families.

After the death of Kennedy, the US military seemed to be on top in the power struggle. Richard Nixon’s electoral victory in 1968, and his “secret plan” to win the Vietnam War with massive bombing, showed the military and its allies as the dominant force in setting policy.

But the demoralizing and unpopular war in Vietnam reversed this by the mid-1970s. Nixon found himself listening and depending more on the advice of Henry Kissinger, opening relations with the People’s Republic of China, and eventually being driven from office. Jimmy Carter took office in 1976 calling himself a “student” of CIA strategist Zbiegniew Brzezinski. Under Reagan, the CIA got stronger, with CIA chief George H.W. Bush rising to be Vice President and eventually Reagan’s successor as commander-in-chief.

The often repeated narrative that the US military’s escalation of the arms race was the key factor in defeating the USSR is said with absolute defensiveness by the Pentagon’s right-wing allies. Though the “strong man Reagan” explanation is more widely understood among the US public, within the circles of power in the USA, the CIA takes more credit.

Under the direction of Brzezinski, who boasted that he “gave the USSR a Vietnam” by funneling money and weapons to insurgents in what he called the “Afghan trap,” the CIA manipulated political situations in Eastern Europe causing unrest and a crisis that eventually toppled the USSR. The CIA widely credits itself for terminating the Soviet Union by manipulating internal problems and applying less blatant forms of external pressure.

The CIA is not a “Conservative” Organization

Many leftists and anti-war activists assume that the CIA is staffed with jingoistic conservatives due to the nature of the job. While the rank-and-file of “the company” may attract a more rightist crowd of Mormons and military types, the leaders of the CIA are not conservative in any sense of the word.

John Brennan, the director of the CIA under Barack Obama admits that he voted for Communist Party Presidential Candidate Gus Hall in the 1976 Presidential election. Brennan was stationed in Riyahl for many years, and at the time of his appointment, many voices came forward to allege that he had actually converted to the Wahabbi brand of Islam. The allegations remain unproven.

The CIA strategist who was most influential between the 1960s and the 1990s was Zbiegnew Brzezinski. To call Brzezinski conservative would be deeply mistaken. Zbeignew’s daughter, Mika Brzezinski is a host on liberal leaning MSNBC’s TV program “Morning Joe.”

Brzezinski developed the art of propaganda, presenting the USA to the world as the homeland of Beatles Music, the paintings of Jackson Pollack, and sexual hedonism. In Eastern Europe, Brzezinski’s policies convinced millions of alienated young people that overthrowing the Marxist-Leninist governments would transform their countries into Disneyland playgrounds packed with consumer goods and never ending rock and roll concerts.

In Afghanistan, Brzezinski worked with a young Saudi billionaire named Osama Bin Laden to fight against the People’s Democratic Party. With US made weapons and funding, complimented by heroin revenue, the insurgents poured acid on women’s faces and hanged literacy campaign volunteers. Brzezinski’s slick propaganda work convinced the world that these Wahabbi extremists were actually Che Guevara-esque freedom fighters, battling the “Soviet Empire” for freedom. CBS news was even caught airing staged, fake battle footage.

The figure known as George Soros has become a favored talking point of right-wing activists in the USA. They present him as the sinister bank-roller of leftist activism. Long before Soros was promoting Democrats and Liberals in the USA, he was bank-rolling CIA supported anti-Communist “color revolutions.” Soros is known to have funded anti-communist, pro-capitalist and pro-western protest movements in the USSR, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and elsewhere.

During the Cold War, the CIA launched a program called the “Congress for Cultural Freedom.” The program funded the art of Jackson Pollack, as well as the Trotskyist magazine Partisan Review. The CIA also launched a project called MK-Ultra which involved distributing hallucinogenic drugs on college campuses.

Obama’s Administration – The White House Stood With Langley

Barack Obama’s grandparents were prominent executives of the Bank of Hawaii. Obama’s grandmother Madelyn Dunham, actually became the first female Vice-President of the bank. The Bank of Hawaii was key in transferring money to US intelligence operations across Asia.

Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham, was married to Lolo Soetoro, a figure in Indonesia who openly supported the 1965 CIA backed coup d’etat against President Sukharno. Soetoro eventually became a military officer under US backed dictator Suharno. It should be noted that the 1965 coup, which Obama’s grandparent’s Bank of Hawaii was involved in financing, was particularly bloody, and involved mass slaughter of ethnically Chinese people. Some estimate that as many as 500,000 people died.

Obama’s family connections aside, his Presidency was very much favorable to the CIA’s strategy for international relations. Obama’s middle name is Hussein. He attended an Islamic elementary school as a child. Long before becoming President, Obama famously had a meeting with Palestinian scholar Edward Said. He maintained a hostile war of words with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

One is reminded of how Napoleon Bonaparte sent out proclamations saying he was a Muslim as he attempted to seize Syria and Egypt for France. To the Arab world, a key region in US foreign policy strategy, Obama gave the illusion of possibly being a Muslim and an ally against Israel.

The fact that a dark skinned man, whose middle name was “Hussein” occupied the White House probably played a key role during the Arab Spring. The uprisings of youth in Islamic countries did not become a repeat of the 1979 Islamic Revolution of Iran, where western capitalism was replaced by a government proclaiming “war of poverty against wealthy” and “Not capitalism but Islam.”

The USA was able to maneuver within the Arab spring to topple the Islamic Socialist government of Libya, and to reduce the Baath Socialist country of Syria to civil war and chaos. Meanwhile, the US backed autocracies in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and elsewhere remained thoroughly intact. The continuation of the Yemeni revolution against a pro-Saudi regime now faces an onslaught of bombs and foreign troops.

The establishment of diplomatic relations between the USA and Cuba, with friendly words while intel operatives worked behind the scenes to plot social media unrest with a “Cuban Twitter,” fits the CIA playbook and strategy completely. The JCPOA negotiations with Iran fit into a similar strategy.

In the final weeks of the Obama administration, desperate “Mr. Nice Guy” maneuvers to increase the credibility of the USA on the global stage were carried out. John Kerry gave a speech criticizing Israel, and the US did not protect Israel from a harshly worded resolution at the UN Security Council.

Trump Stands With The Pentagon

Even before Trump took office, his presidential campaign was loaded with subtle hostility to the CIA. Trump castigated the results of US foreign policy, specifically in Syria and Libya where the CIA had been instrumental. During his debate with Hillary Clinton he criticized the funding of rebels in Syria. He repeatedly said that the policies of Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had created ISIS.

Trump repeated perspectives that would be popular with the military. The key word repeated in Trump’s foreign policy speeches was “strength.” The idea that a huge military budget and direct military interventions make the USA look stronger as a country has long been a talking point of the military brass, against proponents of soft-power and subtle influence.

At times, Trump seemed to be contradictory when talking about foreign policy. It is no secret that among rank-and-file soldiers, and the white, working class, rural communities they often originate in, right-wing isolationist sentiments are widespread. Trump appealed to those sentiments when talking about the bad results of “toppling regimes” and employing the slogan “America First.”

At the same time, he appealed to the Pentagon’s calls for strength, saying that Obama’s “red line” around chemical weapons had “meant nothing.” It may sound contradictory to favor isolationism, while criticizing a president for not making good on threats to attack a country, but it fits into his overall appeal to sentiments within the military.

At the same time that Trump critiqued foreign policy and echoed isolationist talking points, he consistently called for an increase in military spending. In Trump’s foreign policy rhetoric, the isolationism of rank and file soldiers, the Generals’ lust for strength, and the military-industrial complex’s desire for more profits were all re-assured.

The spat between Trump and the CIA is no secret, and is widely acknowledged, even in mainstream US media. The intelligence agencies continue to repeat, without proof, that Trump received assistance from “Russian meddling” in the 2016 elections. A series of leaks from within the administration have found their way to the press.

The Trump administration fought back first by dramatically crippling the CIA’s operations in the Middle East. The executive order banning travel from 6 countries was widely called a “Muslim ban” in the US press. In reality, it targeted all citizens, Muslim or not, from 6 specific countries. (Note: The ban originally included 7 countries, but Iraq was removed from the list.)

Sudan, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia are all the site of ongoing conflicts, and in each of these countries US intelligence agencies are working to influence and coordinate with certain forces. As was pointed out by an opponent of the ban on FOX news, the “travel ban” prevents the CIA from rewarding those who do its bidding with visas. A key “soft power” bribe has been taken away from the CIA for its operations in the Middle East.

Trump ultimately shut down the CIA’s training program for anti-government fighters in Syria, according to reports. Trump has accused Obama of wiretapping him during the Presidential campaign.

Trump has even discussed designating the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization that works closely with the CIA around the world, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. The Muslim Brotherhood was key in undermining and fighting against Arab Socialism during the cold war. More recently, the Muslim Brotherhood was key in aiding US activities to manipulate the Arab spring, and the create turmoil in Libya and Syria.

The Turkish government, which draws its support from the Muslim Brotherhood, is far less friendly to the United States than just a few years ago. The current spat between Saudi Arabia and the Muslim Brotherhood-supporting state of Qatar may reflect difference within the power structure about relations to the Muslim Brotherhood and its use in the fight against independent governments.

Despite presenting himself as an isolationist, Trump ultimately did what Obama was unwilling to do, and launched direct US attacks on the Syrian government. Many in his base were furious, and even longtime hawks like Ann Coulter denounced Trump’s move. However, the more well connected members of the Republican establishment praised it, using the military’s favorite word, calling the bombing a demonstration of “strength.”

As Donald Trump remains President of the United States, the press is solidly against him. This should be no surprise as the US Central Intelligence Agency, not the Pentagon, is primarily involved with influencing media. From the days of “Project Mockingbird” to today, the CIA works very hard to influence and craft public opinion, especially on issues of foreign policy. The flow of ‘anonymous leaks’ from the intel community into the press reflects the longstanding relationship between the intelligence agencies and the media.

The Specter of Economic Crisis, Greatest Danger to Trump

45343112123Right now, spending in the USA is down. Wal-Marts are shutting their doors, and suburban malls, which employed thousands, are becoming a thing of the past. The post-2008 “new normal” of low wage retail jobs replacing good paying jobs for the next generation is rapidly fading away, as retail itself is being pushed aside by online shopping. Jeff Bezos outstripped Bill Gates as the richest man in the United States in terms of directly traceable assets.

Meanwhile, home ownership is still declining. The basic ability of American families to own houses has widely been eroded, home ownership has not been restored to anywhere near the pre-2008 levels. In neighborhoods across the USA, family homes are not being resold to American families, but to renting institutions.

As property values remain low and home ownership drops in suburban and rural areas, another aspect of the “new normal,” the “prosperous urban centers” hopping with young workers in high tech jobs, are also seeing a new decline in property values. Unemployment is low, but so are wages.

In the unfolding atmosphere of eroded spending power and decreasing incomes, banks in the USA are now cutting back lending. When banks stop lending, it is generally based on an understanding that bad times are ahead and they may not be able to collect.

Between 2000 and 2008, Alan Greenspan and the Federal Reserve did everything possible to hold off a crash. Greenspan legalized all kinds of previously illegal credit card and housing mortgage lending, in order to keep the US public spending money they did not have. While the spending power of the US public was drastically reduced by deindustrialization, automation, and shifts in the global economy, Greenspan spent his final years working tireless to keep sales up. Many will recall how George W. Bush urged Americans who wanted to help their country in the aftermath of 9/11 to “go shopping.”

Greenspan’s maneuvers worked only until 2008. With deregulated banking laws, Americans could keep buying houses and maxing out their credit cards, keeping the economy that faced turmoil from 2001 afloat, until the “bubble burst.”

Alan Greenspan was a high ranking member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a think tank often described as “the CIA’s brain.” He did not make his decisions in isolation, but most likely consulted with other figures in the intelligence community about the need to hold off the crisis as long as possible. Greenspan’s decision to legalize credit and keep the public spending, and temporarily hold off the crisis, was not a decision he made by himself.

As the economy crashed and burned in 2007 and 2008, Bush and his cronies, widely viewed as soft on big money, packed their bags, and Barack Obama was able to ride to the White House almost on a white horse, presented as the savior who offered “hope and change.” Greenspan’s efforts did not prevent a the financial crisis, but enabled it to come at a more convenient time, with less political fallout.

However, the political situation facing the USA is far different today. The intelligence community and a large section of the rich and powerful are adamantly opposed to Donald Trump’s presidency, there may not be any specific motivation to work to hold off a financial catastrophe.

If a financial crash were to occur again, Donald Trump would be the ideal scapegoat. The fallout could be blamed on his unpopular presidency which is already routinely ridiculed and demonized by the press.

Will Trump Come Out On Top?

The fact that Trump’s “infrastructure week” contained so few concrete actions may not have hurt Trump at the moment, but a failure to vastly improve the lives of the rust-belt working class that voted for him could be the ultimate undoing of his presidency.

As Trump battles the intelligence community, and seems to side with the Pentagon, he is facing an uphill battle. Allies of the Pentagon brass are disappointed and opponents of Trump are emboldened. However, Trump has proven that he has the ability to unpredictably reverse circumstances that are hostile to him, and come out victorious. The unexpected 2016 elections results are the most concrete example.

If anything was proven by Trump’s surprise victory or the Brexit vote, as well as the rise of Jeremy Corbyn and Scottish Nationalism in the UK, it is that anti-establishment sentiments are stronger and deeper than ever in western countries. People in the west realize that things are deeply wrong and are looking for answers. The answers offered by the status quo, often answers that are engineered and delivered in coordination with the intelligence community, are proving to be unsatisfactory.

In the age of easy access to information, the intelligence community may have both an advantage and disadvantage in the face of their opponents in the US power structure. On the one hand, their deceptions and crafting of public opinion can be more widely and cheaply disseminated than ever before. However, an audience that once had nowhere else to look can easily find alternative views, and debunk their claims. The economic decline and rising police state repression are making the US public more and more partisan toward opposing the establishment and entrenched power that the CIA’s propaganda activities seek to defend.

Trump and his allies in the Pentagon are in a weaker position as they face off with the Intelligence Community, however, the underlying shift in public opinion and the changes in the global economy give them a competitive edge.

August 3, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Economics | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NATO’s New Libya Still Burning

By Ulson Gunnar | New Eastern Outlook | 27.07.2017

In 2011, US and European policy think tanks, which both create and promote policy serving the collective interests of the corporations that sponsor them, promoted NATO military intervention in Libya. Under the guise of a humanitarian intervention, what unfolded was the long-planned overthrow of the Libyan government, then headed by Muammar Ghaddafi.

Unable or unwilling to commit significant ground troops, the majority of the fighting was carried out by militant groups with NATO air and covert ground support. Many of these militant groups would be later revealed as comprised of extremists, including Al Qaeda and its affiliates.

In essence, NATO overthrew a unifying government in Libya, placed entire regions of the fractured nation under the control of terrorist organizations and opposing militant groups, and allowed the nation to slide into chaos ever since.

The consequences of overthrowing the Libyan government in 2011 were well known long before the intervention even took place. Libya’s role as a destination for refugees and migrants fleeing socioeconomic turmoil across Africa was long-established. After NATO’s intervention, Libya has now become a springboard for those fleeing from across Africa, across the Mediterranean Sea, and into Europe.

The issue of pirates, smuggling, organized crime and many other ills the Libyan government had kept under control, have also predictably spiraled out of control.

Now, those same policy think tanks that promoted the Libyan intervention, lament over the catastrophe that has continued to unfold ever since.

Foreign Affairs, published by one of the most prominent of these policy think tanks, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), has published a series of articles by various authors, illustrating a sort of “buyers remorse” regarding the now devastated North African state. Part historical revision, part spin and part shifting of blame, articles like, “Europe’s Libya Problem: How to Stem the Flow of Migrants,” go into great detail about the problems now facing Libya and its neighbors.

The article laments:

Nearly 11,000 migrants arrived on Italian shores in just the last five days of June, following nearly 80,000 in the first half of 2017. Over 2,000 have perished at sea since the start of this year. The vast majority came from sub-Saharan Africa and embarked from the Libyan coast.

It then notes how Europe has been attempting to deal with the ongoing migrant crisis, claiming:

The European Union (EU) has been searching for a way to stem the flow of migrants and handle the tens of thousands who arrive in Italy on a daily basis. The EU’s current policy approach aims to shut off the route through the central Mediterranean and strengthen Libyan coastal patrol and enforcement capacities at sea. But it is unlikely to be effective or humane, given the sheer volume of migrants and the number of groups that profit from trafficking them, not to mention the weakness of the Libyan navy and other official security structures.

The final sentence, noting the “weakness of the Libyan navy,” is particularly ironic, since it was NATO that attacked and sent many of the Libyan navy’s vessels to the bottom of Libya’s harbors.

The article concludes, offering no practical means of stemming the crisis besides waiting for the next Ghaddafi to unite Libya’s currently warring factions, eliminate or confine Western-sponsored terrorist organizations mainly based in the east, particularly in Benghazi, and rebuilding the nation’s economy to once again offer incentives for refugees and migrants to live and work in Libya rather than travelling onward toward Europe.

Nowhere in Foreign Affairs’ article is it mentions that the only reason Libya is now in chaos is not despite NATO military intervention, but because of it.

Unifying Libya will be difficult. Another Foreign Affairs article, titled, “Filling the Vacuum in Libya: The Need for a Political, Not Military Solution,” admits just how fractured the nation is:

The GNA [Government of National Accord] barely controls the capital, Tripoli, through militias that are only nominally under its authority. Although the GNA recently succeeded in pushing a rump government—containing remnants of the Islamist-dominated parliament that was elected in 2012—out of the capital, it was long in coming, and these rival factions continue to prove a threat to Tripoli.

Meanwhile, in the eastern part of the country, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, a former military officer under Qaddafi, and his Libyan National Army (LNA)—a coalition largely made up of eastern, anti-Islamist militias—are aligned with the House of Representatives, which refuses to recognize the GNA.

Foreign Affairs notes the rising political as well as military prominence of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, a “strongman” who appears to have the most potential of creating anything resembling a unified Libya. However, that will leave Libya once again in the same position it found itself before the 2011 intervention, with a strongman running the nation, and likely to drift further and further away from US and European interests until yet another proxy war is engineered, promoted by think tanks like the CFR and fought.

Again, despite Foreign Affairs’ apparently in-depth analysis, it failed to isolate the true source of Libya’s upheaval and instability, NATO. It was the 2011 intervention that upended stability not only in Libya, but created a chain reaction of violence and chaos that was felt as far west as Nigeria, Mali and Niger. This violence prompted, or more accurately, served as a pretext for the reintroduction of French troops in several of its “former” colonies. It has also served as a pretext for US Africa Command’s (AFRICOM) continued expansion.

Ultimately, Libya is a showcase of the chaos and regression that NATO intervention brings, and serves as the greatest case for isolating, containing and by all means, opposing and obstructing further use of NATO military forces anywhere beyond NATO’s own borders. The enduring chaos that is currently consuming nations like Libya also serve as a warning of what awaits nations like Syria and beyond should they fail in dissuading the West from further intervention within their borders.

It has been 6 years since NATO divided and destroyed Libya and the nation still remains fractured and fighting. The notion that NATO and its Western membership hold the solution to problems the West itself intentionally created should not be entertained, and, if international organizations, courts and laws had any meaning, NATO would be barred from any further role regarding Libya, beyond paying reparations for what it has done.

July 28, 2017 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

Three countries, three continents: One imperial Western project

By Neil Clark | RT | July 8, 2017

A resource-rich, socialist-led, multi-ethnic secular state, with an economic system characterized by a high level of public/social ownership and generous provision of welfare, education and social services.

An independent foreign policy with friendship and good commercial ties with Russia, support for Palestine and African and Arab unity – and historical backing for anti-imperialist movements.

Social progress in a number of areas, including women’s emancipation.

The above accurately describes the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and the Syrian Arab Republic. Three countries in three different continents, which had so much in common.

All three had governments which described themselves as socialist. All three pursued a foreign policy independent of Washington and NATO. And all three were targeted for regime change/destruction by the US and its allies using remarkably similar methods.

The first step of the imperial predators was the imposition of draconian economic sanctions used to cripple their economies, weaken their governments (always referred to as ‘a/the regime’) and create political unrest. From 1992-95, and again in 1998, Yugoslavia was hit by the harshest sanctions ever imposed on a European state. The sanctions even involved an EU ban on the state-owned passenger airliner JAT

Libya was under US sanctions from the 1980s until 2004, and then again in 2011, the year the country with the highest Human Development Index in Africa was bombed back to the Stone Age.

Syria has been sanctioned by the US since 2004 with a significant increase in the severity of the measures in 2011 when the regime change op moved into top gear.

The second step was the backing of armed militias/terrorist proxies to destabilise the countries and help overthrow these “regimes”. The strategy was relatively simple. Terrorist attacks and the killing of state officials and soldiers would provoke a military response from ‘the regime, whose leader would then be condemned for ‘killing his own people’ (or in the case of Milosevic, other ethnic groups), and used to ramp up the case for a ‘humanitarian intervention’ by the US and its allies.

In Yugoslavia, the US-proxy force was the Kosovan Liberation Army, who were given training and logistical support by the West.

In Libya, groups linked to al-Qaeda, like the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, were provided assistance, with NATO effectively acting as al-Qaeda’s air force

In Syria, there was massive support for anti-government Islamist fighters, euphemistically labelled ‘moderate rebels.’ It didn’t matter to the ‘regime changers’ that weapons supplied to ‘moderate rebels’ ended up in the hands of groups like ISIS. On the contrary, a declassified secret US intelligence report from 2012 showed that the Western powers welcomed the possible establishment of a Salafist principality in eastern Syria, seeing it as a means of isolating ‘the Syrian regime’.

The third step carried out at the same time as one and two involved the relentless demonisation of the leadership of the target states. This involved the leaders being regularly compared to Hitler, and accused of carrying out or planning genocide and multiple war crimes.

Milosevic – President of Yugoslavia – was labelled a ‘dictator’ even though he was the democratically-elected leader of a country in which over 20 political parties freely operated.

Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi was portrayed as an unstable foaming at the mouth lunatic, about to launch a massacre in Benghazi, even though he had governed his country since the end of the Swinging Sixties.

Syria’s Assad did take over in an authoritarian one-party system, but was given zero credit for introducing a new constitution which ended the Ba’ath Party’s monopoly of political power. Instead all the deaths in the Syrian conflict were blamed on him, even those of the thousands of Syrian soldiers killed by Western/GCC-armed and funded ‘rebels’.

The fourth step in the imperial strategy was the deployment of gatekeepers – or ‘Imperial Truth Enforcers’ – to smear or defame anyone who dared to come to the defence of the target states, or who said that they should be left alone.

The pro-war, finance-capital-friendly, faux-left was at the forefront of the media campaigns against the countries concerned. This was to give the regime change/destruction project a ‘progressive’ veneer, and to persuade or intimidate genuine ’old school’ leftists not to challenge the dominant narrative.

To place them beyond the pale, Yugoslavia, Libya and Syria were all labelled ’fascist,’ even though their leadership was socialist and their economies were run on socialistic lines. Meanwhile, genuine fascists, like anti-government factions in Ukraine (2013-14), received enthusiastic support from NATO.

The fifth step was direct US/NATO-led military intervention against ‘the regime’ triggered by alleged atrocities/planned atrocities of the target state. At this stage, the US works particularly hard to sabotage any peaceful solution to the conflicts they and their regional allies have ignited. At the Rambouillet conference in March 1999, for example, the Yugoslav authorities, who had agreed to an international peace-keeping force in Kosovo, were presented with an ultimatum that they could not possibly accept. Lord Gilbert, a UK defence minister at the time, later admitted “the terms put to Milosevic (which included NATO forces having freedom of movement throughout his country) were absolutely intolerable … it was quite deliberate.”

In 2011, the casus belli was that ‘the mad dog’ Gaddafi was about to massacre civilians in Benghazi. We needed a ‘humanitarian intervention’ to stop this, we were repeatedly told. Five years later, a House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee report held that “the proposition that Muammar Gaddafi would have ordered the massacre of civilians in Benghazi was not supported by the available evidence.”

In 2013, the reason given for direct military intervention in Syria was an alleged chemical weapons attack by ‘Assad’s forces’ in Ghouta. But this time, the UK Parliament voted against military action and the planned ‘intervention’ was thwarted, much to the great frustration of the war-hungry neocons. They still keep trying though.

The recent claims of The White House, that they had evidence that the Syrian government was planning a chemical weapons attack, and that if such an attack took place it would be blamed on Assad, shows that the Empire hasn’t given up on Stage Five for Syria just yet.

Stage Six of the project involves the US continuing to sabotage moves towards a negotiated peace once the bombing started. This happened during the bombing of Yugoslavia and the NATO assault on Libya. A favoured tactic used to prevent a peaceful resolution is to get the leader of the target state indicted for war crimes. Milosevic was indicted at the height of the bombing in 1999, Gaddafi in 2011.

Stage Seven is ‘Mission Accomplished’. It’s when the target country has been ‘regime-changed’ and either broken up or transformed into a failed state with strategically important areas/resources under US/Western control. Yugoslavia was dismantled and its socially-owned economy privatised. Montenegro, the great prize on the Adriatic, recently joined NATO.

Libya, hailed in the Daily Telegraph as a top cruise ship destination in 2010, is now a lawless playground for jihadists and a place where cruise ships dare not dock. This country, which provided free education and health care for all its citizens under Gaddafi, has recently seen the return of slave markets.

Syria, though thankfully not at Stage Seven, has still been knocked back almost forty years. The UNDP reported: “Despite having achieved or being well under way to achieving major Millennium Development Goals targets (poverty reduction, primary education, and gender parity in secondary education, decrease in infant mortality rates and increasing access to improved sanitation) as of 2011, it is estimated that after the first four years of crisis Syria has dropped from 113th to 174th out of 187 countries ranked in the Human Development Index.”

Of course, it’s not just three countries which have been wrecked by the Empire of Chaos. There are similarities too with what’s happened to Afghanistan and Iraq. In the late 1970s, the US started to back Islamist rebels to destabilise and topple the left-wing, pro-Moscow government in Kabul.

Afghanistan has been in turmoil ever since, with the US and its allies launching an invasion of the country in 2001 to topple a Taliban ‘regime’ which grew out of the ’rebel’ movement which the US had backed.

Iraq was hit with devastating, genocidal sanctions, which were maintained under US/UK pressure even after it had disarmed. Then it was invaded on the deceitful pretext that its leader, Saddam Hussein, still possessed WMDs.

The truth of what has been happening is too shocking and too terrible ever to be admitted in the Western mainstream media. Namely, that since the demise of the Soviet Union, the US and its allies have been picking off independent, resource-rich, strategically important countries one by one.

The point is not that these countries were perfect and that there wasn’t political repression taking place in some of them at various times, but that they were earmarked for destruction solely for standing in the way of the imperialists. The propagandists for the US-led wars of recent years want us to regard the conflicts as ‘stand alones’ and to regard the ‘problem’ as being the ‘mad dog’ leadership of the countries which were attacked.

But in fact, the aggressions against Yugoslavia, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, and the threatening of Iran, North Korea, Russia and Venezuela are all parts of the same war. Anyone who hasn’t been locked in a wardrobe these past twenty years, or whose salary is not paid directly, or indirectly, by the Empire of Chaos, can surely see now where the ‘problem’ really lies.

The ‘New Hitlers’ – Milosevic, Hussein and Gaddafi – who we were told were the ‘biggest threats’ to world peace, are dead and buried. But guess what? The killing goes on.

July 8, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hiding US Lies About Libyan Invasion

By Joe Lauria | Consortium News | July 7, 2017

In George Orwell’s 1949 dystopian novel 1984, the protagonist Winston Smith’s job was to delve into The Times of London archive and rewrite stories that could cause trouble for the totalitarian government ruling Britain. For instance, if the government made a prediction of wheat or automobile production in their five-year plan and that prediction did not come true, Winston would go into the archives and “correct” the numbers in the article on record.

In writing a response the other day to a critic of my recently published book on Hillary Clinton’s electoral defeat, I was researching how the U.S. corporate media covered a 2016 British parliamentary report on Libya that showed how then Secretary of State Clinton and other Western leaders lied about an impending genocide in Libya to justify their 2011 attack on that country.

I first searched The New York Times archives to find that the paper never did a staff-written story on this explosive parliamentary report. It only ran an Associated Press article. But when you click on the link for the AP article you get a message saying that it is no longer available on nytimes.com.

Using a combination of different keywords, a search of The Washington Post archives was even worse. I could find no story on the parliamentary report at all. A search of The Los Angeles Times archives likewise comes up empty.

Protecting Policy

Ignoring or downplaying a story is one way U.S. corporate media deliberately buries news critical of American foreign policy. It is often news vital for Americans to understand their government’s actions abroad, actions which could mean death or life for U.S. soldiers and countless civilians of other lands.

British newspapers widely covered the story. As did the International Edition of CNN, which has separate editors from CNN’s U.S. website. An online search found no domestic CNN story. There’s also no video online indicating that CNN domestic or CNN International television reported the story.

The Asia edition of The Wall Street Journal had a story. It’s not clear if it appeared in the U.S. edition. Newsweek ran a story online. But it does not mention the United States even once. It laid the blame entirely on the British and French governments, as if the U.S. had nothing to do with the devastation of Libya on false pretenses. The U.S. gave the same false war rationale as the British and French did.

It is a black mark on the Congress’ two foreign affairs committees that neither undertook a similar inquiry (although congressional Republicans did obsess over the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, which occurred about a year after the Obama administration facilitated the military overthrow and brutal murder of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi).

Voice of America, which broadcasts outside the United States, ran a story on its website about the British parliamentary report, though the article confined criticism of the U.S. to not being prepared for the aftermath, not for the intervention itself.

A thorough online search shows that The Nation magazine and several alternative news sites, including ConsortiumNews and Salon, appear to be the only U.S.-based media that accurately covered the blockbuster story that undermined the entire U.S. narrative for leaving Libya a failed state.

Rationale for an Attack

The United States peddled its false story of a coming genocide in Libya under the doctrine of Responsibility to Protect to justify military intervention. On its face R2P appears to be a rare instance of morality in foreign and military policy: a coalition of nations with U.N. Security Council authorization would take military action to stop an impending massacre. It would have been hard to argue against such a policy in Libya if indeed its genuine purpose was to stop a massacre, after which the military operation would withdraw.

But that is not where it ended. While arguing that intervention was necessary to stop a massacre in Libya, the real intent, as the British report says, was regime change. That’s not what American officials said at the outset and what corporate media reported.

“In the face of the world’s condemnation, [Libyan leader Moammar] Qadhafi chose to escalate his attacks, launching a military campaign against the Libyan people,” President Barack Obama told the nation on March 28, 2011. “Innocent people were targeted for killing. Hospitals and ambulances were attacked. Journalists were arrested, sexually assaulted and killed. … Cities and towns were shelled, mosques were destroyed, and apartment buildings reduced to rubble. Military jets and helicopter gunships were unleashed upon people who had no means to defend themselves against assaults from the air.”

Hillary Clinton, who according to leaked emails was the architect of the attack on Libya, said four days earlier: “When the Libyan people sought to realize their democratic aspirations, they were met by extreme violence from their own government.”

Sen. John Kerry, at the time chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, chimed in: “Time is running out for the Libyan people. The world needs to respond immediately.”

Mustafa Abdul Jalil, head of a transitional council that the U.S., U.K. and France recognized as the legitimate Libyan government, pleaded for a no-fly zone. The University of Pittsburgh–educated Jalil was playing the same game as Ahmed Chalabi had in Iraq. They both sought U.S. military might to bring them to power. He said that if Gaddafi’s forces reached Benghazi they would kill “half a million” people. “If there is no no-fly zone imposed on Qadhafi’s regime, and his ships are not checked, we will have a catastrophe in Libya.”

Report Tells a Different Story

And yet the summary of the September 2016 Foreign Affairs Committee report says: “We have seen no evidence that the UK Government carried out a proper analysis of the nature of the rebellion in Libya. … UK strategy was founded on erroneous assumptions and an incomplete understanding of the evidence.”

The report further said: “Despite his rhetoric, the proposition that Muammar Qadhafi would have ordered the massacre of civilians in Benghazi was not supported by the available evidence. While [he] certainly threatened violence against those who took up arms against his rule, this did not necessarily translate into a threat to everyone in Benghazi. In short, the scale of the threat to civilians was presented with unjustified certainty.”

The committee pointed out that Gaddafi’s forces had taken towns from rebels without attacking civilians. On March 17, two days before NATO’s assault began, Gaddafi told rebels in Benghazi to “throw away your weapons, exactly like your brothers in Ajdabiya and other places did. They laid down their arms and they are safe. We never pursued them at all.” The Libyan leader “also attempted to appease protesters in Benghazi with an offer of development aid before finally deploying troops,” the report said.

In another example, the report indicates that, after fighting in February and March in the city of Misrata, just one percent of people killed by the Libyan government were women or children. “The disparity between male and female casualties suggested that Qadhafi regime forces targeted male combatants in a civil war and did not indiscriminately attack civilians,” the report said.

How then could The New York Times and The Washington Post, the most influential American newspapers, refuse to cover a story of such magnitude, a story that should have been front page news for days? It was a story that undermined the U.S. government’s entire rationale for an unjustified attack that devastated a sovereign nation.

There can be only one reason the story was ignored: precisely because the report exposed a U.S. policy that led to a horrible crime that had to be covered up.

History Spiked

Defending U.S. policy appears to be the underlying motive of U.S. news coverage of the world. The Libya story is just one example. I’ve had personal experience of editors rejecting or changing stories because it would undermine U.S. foreign policy goals.

I twice pitched a story about a now declassified Defense Intelligence Agency document warning of the rise of a U.S.-backed Salafist principality in eastern Syria, intended to pressure Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, that could join with Iraqi extremists to become an “Islamic State,” two years before it happened. My story was twice rejected. It would have undermined the entire American narrative on the War on Terror.

On another occasion, I wrote several articles about the lead-up to a U.N. vote to grant Palestine Observer State status. In each article I mentioned that 130 countries already recognized Palestine as a state and many had diplomatic relations, including Palestinian embassies in their capitals. That essential fact in the story kept getting cut out.

Another story I wrote was spiked about the position Russia, Syria and Iran took on who was responsible for the chemical weapons attack outside Damascus in August 2013. The story also included an interview with a Congressman who demanded to see U.S. intelligence backing its accusation against Assad.

Telling both sides of a story is Journalism 101. But not evidently when the other side is a perceived enemy of the United States. There are only interests in international affairs, not morality. A journalist should not take sides. But American journalists routinely do in international reporting. They take the “American side” rather than neutrally laying out for the reader the complex clash of interests of nations involved in an international dispute.

Downplaying or omitting the adversary’s side of the story is a classic case of Americans explaining a foreign people to other Americans without giving a voice to those people, whether they be Russians, Palestinians, Syrians, Serbs, Iranians or North Koreans. Depriving a people of their voice dehumanizes them, making it easier to go to war against them.

One can only conclude that U.S. corporate media’s mission is not to tell all sides of an international story, or report news critical of U.S. foreign policy, but instead to push an agenda supporting U.S. interests abroad. That’s not journalism. That’s instead the job Winston Smith did.

Joe Lauria is a veteran foreign-affairs journalist. He has written for the Boston Globe, the Sunday Times of London and the Wall Street Journal among other newspapers. He is the author of “How I Lost By Hillary Clinton” published by OR Books, from which part of this article was adapted. He can be reached at joelauria@gmail.com and followed on Twitter at @unjoe.

July 7, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Putin: We Protect Syria’s “Statehood” to Prevent it Becoming Like Libya

By Steven MacMillan – New Eastern Outlook – 03.07.2017

In an explosive interview with Megyn Kelly at the 21st St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, systematically destroyed many of the narratives promulgated by the enemies of the Syrian state who seek to turn the country into the new Libya.

Although the panel discussion covered many issues and featured other speakers, one of the most crucial sections was when Kelly questioned Putin over the Syrian conflict. The opening exchange consisted of Kelly asking the Russian leader whether he believed Assad was an “evil guy?”, allowing Putin to articulate one of the central reasons why Russia supports the Syrian government. Putin emphasized that it is not Assad that Russia is protecting per se; instead, Russia is protecting “the Syrian statehood” from collapsing into an abyss of chaos similar to the one we have seen Libya descend into since 2011:

“It’s not President Assad whom we are protecting; we are protecting the Syrian statehood. We don’t want their interior to be a situation similar to that in Libya, or that in Somalia, or in Afghanistan – in Afghanistan NATO has been present for many years, but the situation is not changing for the better. We want to preserve the Syrian statehood. On the basis of resolving this fundamental issue we would like them to move towards settling the Syrian issue through political means. Yes, probably everyone there is to blame for something, but let’s not forget that were it not for active interference from outside, this civil war probably would not have broken out.”

Ever since NATO forced regime change in Libya – through waging a bombing campaign coupled with supporting al-Qaeda connected rebel legions on the ground – it has been in total chaos. The North African country has been a failed state for years, with rebel factions fighting over control of certain regions.

As journalist Neil Clark and others have pointed out, in July 2010, the Telegraph listed Libya as number one on their six best exotic cruise destinations. By August 2011, numerous reports detailed how many factions of the Libyan opposition were slaughtering black people on mass. In 2012, a disturbing video surfaced which purported to show Libyan rebels forcing African prisoners to eat flags while being kept in giant cages. Earlier this year, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said that African migrants were being bought and sold in slave markets.

This is just a glimpse into the utter chaos and degradation that Libya has descended into after NATO ‘liberated’ the country back in 2011, and it provides a window into what Syria would be like if the West forces regime change in Damascus.

“The Militants used Chemical Weapons” 

Putin then moves on to counter the propaganda spread by the enemies of Syria that Assad’s forces had used chemical weapons in April of this year, before highlighting that the militants have a history of using chemical weapons in the region:

“What is President Assad been accused of recently? We know he has been accused of using chemical weapons, but there’s no evidence to support that whatsoever. Right after the incident, we suggested that an inspection should be carried out at the airbase… But they refused to conduct this kind of inspection. So, they’re talking a lot, but not doing much. We suggested that an inspection should be carried out at the site where the strike took place, [but] they’re saying it’s too dangerous. Why is it dangerous if the strike was against the good part of the opposition? No, they say it is too dangerous.”

“In Iraqi Kurdistan, the militants used chemical weapons and the world community recognised it. So, they know that the militants have got chemical weapons. But according to the OPCW [Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons] Syria has destroyed its stocks of chemical weapons. You see, if pretexts are created without any real willingness to look into the matter, it’s not going to lead us anywhere. Let’s talk substantively. Did Assad make mistakes? Yes, probably a lot of them. But those who oppose him, are they angels? Who [are] murdering people and executing children – beheading people. Should we support those people?”

On multiple occasions, investigations have indicated that chemical weapons have been used by the Syrian opposition. In May 2013 for instance, the Commissioner of the UN’s Independent International Commission of Inquiry for Syria, Carla Del Ponte, said in an interview that there was evidence which suggested that the rebels, not the Syrian army, used chemical weapons:

“During our investigation for crimes against humanity and war crimes, we collected some witness testimony that [appeared to confirm] that some chemical weapons were used – in particular nerve gas. What appeared to our investigation was that it was used by the opponents, the rebels, and we have no indication at all that the Syrian government have used chemical weapons. Of course, now, the special commission will investigate and tell us what it is exactly. But I was a little stupefied that the first indication we got [was] about the use of nerve gas by the opposition.”

In regards to the nature of the Syrian opposition, it is not just the Russian President who believes that many of the opposition forces are far from angelic. Even the former Prime Minister of Britain, David Cameron, who was always a strong proponent of forcing regime change in Syria (he was also heavily involved in the Libyan war), admitted in early 2016 that many of the ‘moderate’ rebels actually belonged to “relatively hardline Islamist groups” (i.e. terrorist groups): 

“But if you’re arguing: are all these people impeccable democrats, who would share the view of democracy that you and I have? No. Some of them do belong to Islamist groups, and some of them belong to relatively hardline Islamist groups.” 

Furthermore, a declassified US military intelligence report – by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) – from August 2012, clearly states that the opposition was the walking antithesis of moderate: 

“The Salafists, the Muslim Brotherhood and AQI [Al-Qaeda in Iraq], are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria.” The report added that “AQI supported the Syrian opposition from the beginning, both ideologically and through the media,” and that “events are taking a clear sectarian direction.” 

False Flags and Provocations 

When Kelly again brought up the chemical weapons attack in April of this year, asking whether the Russian leader believed the videos of the alleged victims of the attack were “fake,” Putin responded by describing the incident as a “provocation” designed to blame the Syrian President:

“As for those people who were killed or who suffered because of the use of weapons – including chemical weapons, this is false information. As of now, we are absolutely confident that this is just a provocation; President Assad didn’t use chemical weapons. All of this was orchestrated in order to accuse him. Moreover, our intelligence services have got information that in another district of Syria, not far from Damascus, there were plans to reproduce this scenario, and we made these plans public. Those who had been planning these actions thought it better not to engage in these actions.”

When Kelly pressed him further, asking: “are we really to believe that the whole thing was staged?”, Putin responded by saying:

“The answer is very simple and you know it. Yes, sarin could have been used by someone, but not by Assad. It could have been used by someone in order to accuse Assad. So, we have to understand who is to blame; otherwise, if there is no true investigation, it is only going to play into the hands of those who orchestrated it. I would like to ask you a question: why didn’t everyone go right away to inspect the airbase, to the spot where chemical weapons allegedly had been used? Why didn’t they want to go to see the aircraft that had been allegedly used to perform the strike? The answer is very simple: because they were afraid that the truth would come to light.”

Logic alone would tell you that the Syrian government did not use chemical weapons in April. Why would Assad order the use of chemical weapons when the Syrian government had the upper hand in the conflict? Assad may be a lot of things, but he is not suicidal. Why would he give the enemies of Syria justification to bomb the country or launch a full-scale invasion? As the former US congressman and host of the Liberty Report, Ron Paul, said at the time:

“It makes no sense, even if you were totally separate from this and [you] take no sides of this and you were just an analyst, it doesn’t make sense for Assad, under these conditions, to all of the sudden use poison gasses… I think [there’s] zero chance that he would have done this deliberately.”

For the sake of the Syrian people, let’s hope that Syria does not become the new Libya.

July 3, 2017 Posted by | Fake News, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

70,000 Tonnes of Hubris

By Craig Murray | June 27, 2017

There is no defensive purpose to an aircraft carrier. Its entire purpose is to move aircraft to a position where they can attack other countries. As soon as they are equipped with attack aircraft, these carriers will spend most of their time around the Middle East, including at the UK’s brand new naval base in the vicious despotism of Bahrain. Having spent £7 billion on these behemoths, politicians will seek to enhance their prestige and demonstrate that they control a nation which is a “major power”, by using them. The very fact of their existence will make bombing attacks such as those we saw on Syria, Libya and Iraq more likely.

Sirte, Libya, after NATO bombing

That further twist in the cycle of violence will lead to more terrorist attacks in the UK. There is no sense in which this aircraft carrier is anything to do with defending the United Kingdom. It is a device to attack foreign countries. The result is it makes us a lot less safe at home.

When they think about it, people understand that, as YouGov demonstrated during the recent election campaign. The politicians will be trying to whip up feelings of jingoism and national pride around this huge hunk of floating hubris, to stop us thinking about that.

There is no money for our schools and hospitals, but unlimited sums for the armaments industry. The United Kingdom is not just a dysfunctional state, it is a rogue state and a danger to the peace of the world.

June 28, 2017 Posted by | Militarism, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Crimea, Afghanistan and Libya

By Brian CLOUGHLEY | Strategic Culture Foundation | 27.06.2017

On June 20 the United States Treasury Department stated that economic sanctions against Russia «would not be lifted until Russia leaves Crimea». In that case, sanctions will remain forever, because ten days after the democratically elected Crimean parliament voted to accede to Russia on 6 March 2014, a referendum was held which confirmed its decision — and the citizens of Crimea intend to remain with Russia.

At that time «Mr Obama said that the referendum was illegal and would never be accepted» and the European Union proclaimed that the vote was ‘illegitimate and its outcome will not be recognised’». This was an interesting political signal, because it was obvious the objectors knew that the citizens of Crimea would vote to rejoin Russia. The hopes and desires of ordinary citizens didn’t matter, because the US and the EU had already made up their minds to ignore a democratic vote.

Predictably, the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, continues to declare that «NATO Allies do not and will not recognise Russia’s illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea».

Time magazine was realistic in recording on March 16, 2014, that the citizens of Crimea «voted overwhelmingly on Sunday to secede from their country and join Russia, in a major victory for Moscow that followed days of international condemnation that the referendum itself was illegitimate». Of course they voted to accede to Russia. They would have been insane to do otherwise. The thought of being ruled by xenophobic bigots who had just mounted a US-assisted coup in Ukraine was appalling. Since the accession to Russia there hasn’t been a single instance of civil disturbance in Crimea — and be assured that if there was the slightest possibility of any such disorder, then US and British intelligence agencies would have informed their media.

The reason for the West’s condemnation of a democratic vote to belong to Russia by Russian-cultured, Russian-speaking citizens of Crimea is not difficult to determine. Since the end of the Soviet Union the US-NATO military alliance has been desperate to justify its existence, and there is no more convenient enemy to be conjured up than Russia. Until that could be arranged, excursions into wider war by NATO provided excuses for survival and expansion.

NATO’s total failure in the war in Afghanistan has further detracted from its miniscule credibility, and its 2011 blitz on Libya was a war crime. Both countries are now in chaos.

After fifteen years of US-NATO war in Afghanistan, as admitted on June 13 by the US Secretary for Defence, General Mattis, the place is a shambles, and «we are not winning in Afghanistan right now».

Amazingly, Mattis added «and we will correct this as soon as possible». What is he going to do? Wave a magic wand and eradicate corruption and install a democratic government and give equal rights to women and destroy the drug industry that accounts for 15 percent of Afghanistan’s GDP and disband the savage militias which have been so well-armed and funded by the CIA? Is he going to defeat the militants who have fought the US-NATO military alliance to a standstill over 15 years?

Mattis is the gallant intellectual general who boasted in a CNN interview in 2005 that «You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn’t wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain’t got no manhood left anyway. So it is a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them». — He is exactly the sort of rabid military maniac whose bash and crash tactics over the years have caused so many Afghans to loathe and despise the foreigners who invaded their country. Mattis declares that «NATO has always stood for military strength and protection of the democracies and the freedoms we intend to pass on to our children», but the Mattis-NATO concept of freedom is at variance with reality.

In Afghanistan, as recorded by Human Rights Watch, «Early on February 18, Afghan police special forces raided a clinic run by the humanitarian organization Swedish Committee for Afghanistan, assaulted medical staff, and shot dead two patients, including a 16-year-old, and a 15-year-old caregiver. Witnesses reported that international military forces accompanied the Afghan forces, although they did not enter the clinic». No prizes for guessing which country provided these «international military forces,» under NATO auspices. Freedom, anyone?

Then on 12 June 2017 US troops killed three civilians, a man and his two sons. The soldiers were in a vehicle convoy that was struck by a bomb, and opened fire, spraying bullets round the countryside in the cause of freedom. Now: nobody should denounce these young soldiers for panicking and blasting anyone they thought was a threat. It is only too easy for commentators and politicians to aim the blame in such circumstances — without reflecting that they themselves might not have been exactly cool, calm and collected when the bomb blast went off. Certainly the man and his kids should not have been killed — but the US soldiers shouldn’t have been in Afghanistan in the first place.

And while all this carnage is going on, the West’s sanctions on Russia continue to be aimed at the innocent citizens of Crimea in the hope that they will revolt against Russia and embrace what General Mattis calls the freedom-loving US-NATO military alliance.

In 2011 this freedom-loving military alliance destroyed Libya in an aerial blitz that began by US and British warships firing 110 Tomahawk missiles and continued with NATO’s air forces pulverising the place for seven months, during which their aircraft carried out 14,202 bomb and rocket airstrikes in the cause of freedom. As noted by one commentator, Human Rights Watch «released a report into the deaths of at least 72 Libyan civilians, a third of them children, killed in eight separate bombing raids (seven on non-military targets) – and denounced NATO for still refusing to investigate or even acknowledge civilian deaths that were always denied at the time».

Libya is now a catastrophic shambles, with armed groups fighting each other and Islamic State terrorists finding willing recruits for their savagery. The results of the US-NATO war that supported rebels against the Libyan government include «Shortages of food, fuel, water, medical supplies and electricity, as well as reduced access to health care and public services. Care for patients with chronic diseases, disabilities and mental health disorders is compromised by restricted access to the few functioning health facilities. The situation of women and children has become particularly vulnerable, since the hospitals are overwhelmed with trauma patients».

Before the US-NATO destruction of Libya the World Health Organisation recorded that «the country is providing comprehensive health care including promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative services to all citizens free of charge through primary health care units, health centres and district hospitals». The CIA Factbook noted that Gaddafi’s Libya had a literacy rate of 94.2% which was higher than in Malaysia, Mexico and Saudi Arabia. According to WHO, life expectancy was 75 years, as against 66 in India, 71 in Egypt, 59 in South Africa.

Forgotten are the wise words of Brazil, China, India, Russia and NATO-member Germany (which refused to join the Libya bombing spree), who warned against «unintended consequences of armed intervention» concerning which Mr Putin (then prime minister) observed that it was regrettable when the «so-called civilized community, with all its might, pounces on a small country, and ruins infrastructure that has been built over generations».

The question is, where would you prefer to live? — In Afghanistan, after 15 years of US-NATO war, where barbaric violence rules, the lives of women are obscenely degrading, corruption is terminal and illegal drug production is the highest in the world? Or Libya, destroyed by a US-NATO blitzkrieg, where there are now «two rival parliaments and three governments» and even the New York Times admits that it is «a violent and divided nation rife with independent militias, flooded with arms and lacking legitimate governance and political unity»?

Or might you not prefer Crimea, where infrastructure is being improved and the people do not fear being sprayed with bullets by foreign soldiers; where every effort is being made to improve the living conditions of its inhabitants who are the targets of spiteful western sanctions?

June 27, 2017 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , , | 1 Comment