“The Ivy League bourgeoisie who sit at the helm of the non-profit industrial complex will one day be known simply as charismatic architects of death. Funded by the ruling class oligarchy, the role they serve for their funders is not unlike that of corporate media. Yet, it appears that global society is paralyzed in a collective hypnosis – rejecting universal social interests, thus rejecting reason, to instead fall in line with the position of the powerful minority that has seized control, a minority that systematically favours corporate interests.” — From the article Avaaz: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part I, Section I, Sept 10, 2012
Above image from the Avaaz website: “Libya No-Fly Zone: As Libyan government jets drop bombs on the civilian population, the UN Security Council will decide in 48 hours whether to impose a no-fly zone to keep Qaddafi’s warplanes on the ground.” [Emphasis in original] [Further discussion of the flag within this Avaaz image can be read in the epilogue.]
Above image: Avaaz takes credit for the implementation of the Libya No Fly Zone. [Further Reading: “Did Libya’s Citizens Demand Foreign Intervention?” A ridiculous question, yet according to Avaaz, the answer is yes.]
When Avaaz rolled out the same rinse, lather and repeat campaign for the seizing of Syria, the public did not fall prey as easily. The campaign failed. Below are three separate links to the Avaaz campaign calling for a no-fly zone over Syria.
http://www.avaaz.org/en/syria_the_last_straw_a/ (June 4, 2013) (Avaaz utilizing the “chemical attack” that has since been discredited.)
https://secure.avaaz.org/en/syria_the_last_straw_0/ (June 14, 2013) (Avaaz alleges a “rape crisis” committed by soldiers of the Syrian army – the same tactic used to incite hatred against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi that was later discredited.)
http://web.archive.org/web/20130825092136/https://secure.avaaz.org/en/syria_no_fly_zone/ (Again, utilizing the “chemical attack” that has since been discredited)
Of the Avaaz campaigns pressing for a no-fly zone (air strikes) over Syria that flourished in June of 2013, at least two employed the use of chemical weapons to incite fear and hatred toward the Assad government. It does not take much stretch of the imagination to consider Avaaz had inside knowledge of the upcoming chemical attack that would take place in outer Damascus approximately 10 weeks later. Considering Avaaz co-founder Tom Perriello’s connection to the Obama administration and its well known war criminals, it is entirely plausible that Avaaz was churning out propaganda that would lead up to and sensationalize a false flag attack.
Photo: Avaaz co-founder and Congressman Tom Perriello with war criminal, General David Petraeus (far left). Under this Flickr photo the caption reads: “Passing the Baton, United States Institute of Peace”  [Photo: Jon-Phillip Sheridan | Source] [In July, 2011, “General David Petraeus was approved as CIA Director by both the Senate Intelligence Committee and then the full Senate, whose vote was an astounding 94-0, astounding because this is a man who was deeply implicated in war crimes, including torture.” Source] [Welcome to the Brave New World – Brought to You by Avaaz, Sept 13, 2013]
The August 30, 2013 article “On the Eve of an Illegal Attack on Syria, Avaaz/350.org Board Members Beat the Drums of War” documents Avaaz links imploring a no-fly zone on Syria – both public links have since been removed. The article also featured 350.org board member Van Jones calling for air strikes on Syria. (Adding twisted irony, Van Jones also serves as co-founder and executive director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. The co-opting of deceased civil rights revolutionaries to advance the goals of hegemony has become common practice within these foundation-financed projects.)
Screenshots of an email from co-founder of Avaaz, Ricken Patel to Avaaz subscribers dated August 27, 2014 can be found here (1) and here (2). The email from Patel represented a last-ditch effort to garner support for a no-fly zone as the US prepared to launch an attack on Syria.
One year earlier, in 2012 Avaaz was allegedly sponsoring fabricated videos of civilian massacres, to back deeper foreign intervention in Syria. Fact-checking and videos appear to collaborate these claims.
Jump forward to 2014.
In the September 8, 2014 article Pentagon Planning Points to Possible Anti-Syria US Military Campaign, author Stephen Gowans observes:
“Now, it appears that Washington is on the cusp of pressing ahead with its planned campaign of military action. The New York Times has reported that ‘Pentagon planners envision a military campaign’ to destroy ISIS ‘in its sanctuary inside Syria’ that could last ‘at least 36 months.’ According to The Wall Street Journal, airstrikes would support anti-Assad fighters unaligned with ISIS, who would be bankrolled by $500 million in US funding, and backed by a global coalition, including the UK and Australia, that would ‘provide a range of assistance, including humanitarian aid and weapons.’ These countries could also join the United States in an air-war over Syria.”
It should not be considered a coincidence that at the same time, a polished, sophisticated and highly financed “Save Syria” campaign is being created in the board rooms of the Empire’s favourite Harvard boys.
Where, under the organization Avaaz, the public hasn’t acquiesced to an air strike on Syria, the New York public relations firm Purpose Inc. has stepped in.
Purpose is a for-profit enterprise that is marketed to appear like a non-profit. Their area of expertise is behavioural change.
“[Purpose] has a non-profit arm, which incubates protests and accepts donations. This is cross-subsidised by its for-profit arm, which makes money in a variety of ways. It sells consulting services to big companies such as Google and Audi, and to charities such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union.” – The Economist
GetUp, Avaaz and Purpose co-founder Jeremy Heimans, 2010.
Purpose Inc.: The Crème de la Crème Agents of Behavioural Change
Purpose | Avaaz Co-Founders
Vision: “Purpose is a global initiative that draws on leading technologies, political organizing and behavioral economics to build powerful, tech-savvy movements that can transform culture and influence policy.”
Avaaz and GetUp co-founders Jeremy Heimans (CEO) and David Madden  are also founders of the New York consulting firm, Purpose Inc.
Avaaz was created in part by MoveOn, a Democratic Party associated Political Action Committee (or PAC), formed in response to the impeachment of President Clinton. Avaaz and MoveOn are funded in part by convicted inside-trader and billionaire hedge fund mogul, George Soros.
Avaaz co-founder James Slezak is also identified as a co-founder and CEO of Purpose at its inception in 2009.
The secret behind the success of both Avaaz and Purpose is their reliance upon and expertise in behavioural change.
While the behavioural change tactics used by Avaaz are on public display, double-breasted, for-profit Purpose, with its non-profit arm, sells their expertise behind the scenes to further the interest of hegemony and capital. Whether it be a glossy campaign to help facilitate yet another illegal “humanitarian intervention” led by aggressive U.S. militarism (an oxymoron if there ever was one), or the creation of a new global “green” economy, Purpose is the consulting firm that the wolves of Wall Street and oligarchs alike depend upon to make it happen.
Make no mistake, the Yale (for example, Avaaz co-founder and former U.S. Representative *Tom Perriello) and Harvard graduates that comprise the “Avaaz boys” (many having been groomed by McKinsey and Company) are considered “the dream team” by the globe’s most powerful capitalists, including those at the United Nations and the World Bank. Avaaz co-founder Andrea Madden works for the World Bank in Burma [Myanmar]. Her husband is Avaaz co-founder David Madden who has taken up residence in Burma. [March 23, 2013: Western Media Celebrates Faux Progress in Myanmar] Madden has co-founded a marketing firm, Parami Road in Myanmar: “Our clients are mostly international companies entering Myanmar and they demand an international standard of work.”
“After years of isolation, Myanmar is opening up. Opportunities abound. However international companies have little experience here and local firms have little experience working with them. Parami Road meets this need.” – Parami website
Another key co-founder of Avaaz is none other than pro-war, pro-Israel, U.S. Democrat Tom Perriello, former U.S. Representative (represented the 5th District of Virginia from 2008 to 2010) and founding member of the House Majority Leader’s National Security Working Group. As demonstrated in the 2012 investigative report on Avaaz, Perriello’s curriculum vitae, built upon privilege within elite circles, is quite extensive.
[*Full profile on Avaaz co-founder Tom Perriello: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part II, Section I [Link]
The former Managing Director of Partnerships for “Purpose” is Marilia Bezerra. From 2006 to 2011 Bezerra held an integral position within the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) executive leadership. As Clinton Global Initiative director of commitments, Bezerra led the redesign of member engagement and commitments services into a year-round operation. From 2007 to 2008, Bezerra held the position of sponsorship manager of the Clinton Global Initiative where she directly managed five major sponsorship accounts, including Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Procter & Gamble, valued at over $2 million dollars. From 2006 to 2008, Bezerra held the position of Commitment Development Senior Manager for the Clinton Global Initiative. In 2009, Bezerra was Deputy Director of Commitments for the Clinton Global Initiative.
One should note that in the case of many NGOs, on 990 tax forms it appears as though those at the helm are paid minimally, if at all. Rather than salaries, many founders of institutions make immense fees via consulting services where their names are not identified on 990 forms. In the case of Avaaz, co-founder Ricken Patel does take a salary (approx. $190,000.00 per year) plus consulting fees. Consulting fees must be considered the bread and butter of many “progressives” whose incomes rival CEOs of multinational corporations. The salaries and incomes are incredible when one accounts for the fact that many NGOs, such as Avaaz, rake in millions of dollars in donations from well-intentioned and hard-working citizens who are at or below the poverty line.
[Full profile of Ricken Patel: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part II, Section I [Link]
Purpose Inc. (with its co-founders) is a favourite of high-finance websites such as The Economist and Forbes and sells its consulting services and branding/marketing campaigns to Google, Audi, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and many others that comprise the world’s most powerful corporations and institutions. In 2012, it raised $3m from investors. “Ford Foundation, which has given Purpose’s non-profit arm a grant, reckons it is shaping up to be “one of the blue-chip social organisations of the future.” [Source] Purpose, like many other foundations, such as Rockefeller (who initially incubated 1Sky which merged with 350.org in 2011), also serves as an “incubator of social movements.” [Further reading on Purpose]
Heimans, the Avaaz front man of Purpose, is a darling of the high-finance corporate world. “In 2011, Jeremy received the Ford Foundation’s 75th anniversary Visionaries Award. The World Economic Forum at Davos has named him a Young Global Leader, and the World e-Government Forum has named Jeremy and Purpose co-founder David Madden among the “Top 10 People Who Are Changing the World of the Internet and Politics.” [Source]
- White Helmets / Syrian Civil Defence on Facebook and Twitter
- The Syria Campaign on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube
“Who are we? Three years after the peaceful uprising in Syria, politicians and the media have largely forgotten what the UN calls ‘the greatest humanitarian tragedy of our time.’ But we haven’t.” — Front page of “The Syria Campaign” and the “White Helmets / Syrian Civil Defence” website
The March Campaign #withSyria | Over 130 Partners
Purpose’s March campaign #withSyria website (which doubles as a hash tag for Twitter) partners include: Open Society Foundation (George Soros), Amnesty International, Christian Aid, Care, Friends of the Earth, Oxfam and many more of the largest “humanitarian” NGOs within the non-profit industrial complex which makes up a billion dollar industry. [Full list of partners: http://marchcampaign.withsyria.com/partners0]. Utilizing the consumer culture’s celebrity fetish to sell war (and the illusory “green economy“) is a vital marketing strategy of Purpose. In the case of #withSyria, famed street artist Banksy has reworked his “Young Girl” famed graffiti stencil in support of the campaign. On the main page of this website the behavioural change strategists at Purpose promote a slick, emotive video of a white child (in America) slowly becoming traumatized by the violence in Syria. No doubt, Purpose’s marketing executives have taken this avenue because they know that the majority of Euro-Americans with privilege simply are not moved by images of suffering children that are non-Caucasian. Non-White children being slaughtered by imperial states became normalized for most Euro-American citizens long ago.
“What if we could reverse the explosion of a bomb? A group of 130 organizations from around the world, known collectively as the ‘With Syria’ campaign, released a video Wednesday that shows just what that would look like. The campaign hopes to bring attention to the violence in Syria. (video) Warning: Contains disturbing imagery. In the video, the act of a bomb exploding near children playing is reversed: The blood returns to their heads, the children stand back up, run in reverse and continue the game they were playing. A message says, ‘We can’t reverse what’s happened in Syria, but we can change how the story ends.’”
Indeed Purpose is being paid to bring about the ending that the elites have hired them to ensure.
“Even more impressive than her military, America has built the most sophisticated propaganda machinery the planet has ever seen.” – Garikai Chengu
Free Syrian Voices partners include Amnesty International, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network, FIDH, Front Line Defenders, Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders and “other international, regional and Syrian organizations” – which conveniently go unnamed.
Such emotionally charged campaigns are critical tools for empire. They have become critical (and successful) in building the acquiescence required for “humanitarian interventions” (aka regime change with extensive “collateral damage” thrown in for good measure).
“In the IC Magazine publication Communications in Conflict, is noted a new form of psychological warfare termed ‘false hope.’ False hope, as a tool for subverting social movements, is unparalleled in its effectiveness. What once was crudely accomplished through political repression, censorship, educational indoctrination and misleading propaganda, is now supplemented, if not surpassed, through vertical integration of the non-profit industrial complex. Where Wall Street once had to rely on threats and bribery to intimidate or corrupt social movements, it now has a vast army of neoliberal foundations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and social media at its disposal.” — Jay Taber, False Hope, September 6, 2014
It is important to note that Purpose is a for-profit business strategically presented as though it is a non-profit (similar to the Change.org petition site). This begs the question of who is financing the Syrian campaigns. The fact that a group of wealthy elites from Harvard living privileged lifestyles in New York City (and abroad) decide, via glossy marketing campaigns, who will live or die on the other side of the world is the ultimate representation of whitism and racism – an egregious affront to people everywhere. [Further reading on Purpose]
“If there is any doubt concerning the nefarious undertones of subversiveness in these NGO dealings, [National Endowment for Democracy] NED founder reportedly said the following in the 1990s: ‘A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.’ What was once done at night under the cloak of ‘imperialism’ is now done during the day under the guise of ‘humanitarianism.’” — WKOG 30-point Primer
The many facets of Purpose:
1) Purpose (tax identification number 68-0607622) is a for-profit certified B-corporation “that uses an innovative model to pool some of the world’s leading experts and practitioners in order to fund, launch and accelerate the growth of new social movement organizations.”
2) Purpose Action (tax identification number 45-2451509), the non-profit arm of Purpose, is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit advocacy organization “focused on changing policy.” Purpose Action Board of Directors includes Brett Solomon, executive director of Access, former campaigns director at Avaaz, former executive director of GetUp! 
3) Purpose Foundation (tax identification number 27-3106760) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization “focused on education and changing culture.” 
4) Purpose Campaign (tax identification number 68-0607622) “Develops social and consumer movements.”
US Military Utilize NGOs to Induce Pacification & Advance Western Ideologies on Iraqi Citizens
The video below captures highlights from the 2004 Princeton Colloquium on Public and International Affairs and should that be at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs – The Role of NGOs in Global Governance and Society. Attention to the title is key: “NON-governmental organizations in global GOVERNANCE.” [Note the use of the term “guerrilla” (4:13) in describing any citizen/person resisting the occupation/assault by US military on Iraq soil.] Since the filming of this video, accelerating regime change operations are being conducted by Western militaries, hand in hand with Western NGOs throughout the globe. [See more: http://www.interventionism.info/en/Re…]. In essence, NGOs have become an indispensable instrument of destabilization and regime change for imperial states and hegemonic interests. NGOs also serve as the primary agents to implant neoliberal policies and western ideologies in targeted states to advance and protect the interests of the NGOs’ funders.
The Hate Campaign
The June, 2012, Avaaz “Good Versus Evil” campaign for the Rio Summit. Above: A downloadable poster as found on the Avaaz Press Centre published in the Financial Times. Vilification: Note the dark cast/ugly sky behind the leaders Avaaz would wish you to believe are “evil,” versus the light and sun shining through over the Imperialist, obstructionist “leaders” that Avaaz is attempting to convince you are “good.”
“‘You have to investigate the supply of hatred,’ Glaeser continues. ‘Who has the incentive and the ability to induce group hatred? This pushes us toward the crux of the model: politicians or anyone else will supply hatred when hatred is a complement to their policies.’” — The Behavioural Economics of Hatred
Heiman’s work been recognized in publications like The New York Times and The Economist. In The Economist, Heiman states he chose his career path when “in 2001, a college student named Eli Pariser created an online petition calling for a multilateral response to the ‘9/11 terrorist attacks.’” Over a decade on, with civilian deaths that amount to millions, I’m sure the Iraqis are most grateful. It must be noted that Eli Pariser, too, is a co-founder of Avaaz and Co-Founder and Executive Director of MoveOn.org (Avaaz founder) PAC.
Above: The Syria Campaign, Non-profit Organization, created by Purpose, launched March 7, 2014.
“We were afraid the regime would fire another rocket, as they always come back to the area of attack when people come to rescue to bomb them, so we started evacuating people in a hurry so no more lives would be lost. This picture was taken then! That boy holding my neck like that was one of the moments in which I knew why I am a civil defender!” — Purpose Inc. Marketing Firm
Purpose Inc. strategically employs images, carefully worded text and slick video that provoke intense emotion. Key language includes children, refugees, regime, and their work “in the most dangerous place in the world.”
“A year ago today, the Syrian government used Sarin gas against its own people killing over a thousand, many of them children. The world was outraged and demanded Assad destroy his stockpile of chemical weapons. Today chlorine gas is still being used on civilian neighbourhoods, rolled out the back of helicopters in rusty ‘barrel bombs.’” — Purpose Inc. Marketing Firm, Image by Designer : FaDi zyada whose work is also featured on the Heinrich Von Arabien Foundation website. This same website features an absurd photo of Syrians holding up a poster that features a “thumbs up” illustration for USA and the UN.
[***Reference list for deconstructing the myth that Syrian army + “dictator” used chemical weapons in August 2013 by Susan Dirgham: http://australiansforreconciliationinsyria.org/reference-list-chemical-attack-in-damascus-august-2013/]
Exploiting the death of Syrian children to provoke air strikes and military aggression demonstrates that such agencies go to any extreme to further American foreign policy. Note that the very carnage described above: “killing over a thousand, many of them children” is par for the course for the U.S. military, which carries out such atrocities on innocent civilians, including children, on a daily basis, all over the world. But don’t expect an Avaaz or Purpose campaign against the Obama Regime any time soon. They will be too busy under the guise of their NGO MoveOn, working on his re-election.
The following quote represents the real purpose of Purpose:
“The media may have turned away from what’s unfolding daily in Syria but today we all have the tools to tell the world the truth. Please share widely and remember the children of Syria in your thoughts today.”
The lapdog media have not turned away, but much of the public has. It’s the job of Purpose to employ netwar methods (“a form of low intensity conflict, crime, and activism waged by actors using social networking services” according to Wikipedia) on the public (targeting Euro-Americans) that will instill hatred toward the democratically elected Bashar al-Assad.
“It’s past time for President Obama to present a plan for dealing with the humanitarian crisis in Syria.” — Purpose Inc. Marketing Firm
“Today we remember the more than 1,300 who lost their lives in the Ghouta chemical weapons attacks. Let’s also remember those +150,000 who face torture and death while being detained.” — Purpose Inc. Marketing Firm
Let’s not mention Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib and a mile long list of the Obama administration’s involvement in torture, shall we? Syria certainly demonstrates that the first casualty of war (in this case a destabilization effort) is truth. The following excerpt is from the article Foley & Sotloff’s Reporting Show Why the US Should Stop Its Proxy War on Syria, which lays bare that “both journalists documented the reality of Free Syria Army”:
“While in Turkey Sotloff broadcast news of Syrian rebels being found and arrested with chemical weapon Sarin gas. He used Twitter to send out the Turkish news report. That was in May, three months before the August 21 2013 chemical weapons deaths in outer Damascus. The Syrian rebels were arrested by Turkish police but quickly released, giving evidence to claims of Turkish government support for Nusra. Sotloff was puzzled why the mainstream media was not giving this event coverage.”
“This Thursday marks the one year anniversary of the chemical weapons attack that took the lives of over 1,000 Syrians. Since then tens of thousands more have been killed by different methods. Starvation is one. But the international media and world leaders still haven’t come together to put an end to it.” — Purpose Inc. Marketing Firm
Above image: Another call for “world leaders” to “come together to put an end to it.” Yet while Purpose may cry crocodile tears over the starvation of Syrians, Avaaz has asked for tough sanctions against Syria. Purpose and Avaaz want to “have their cake and eat it too” – while Syrian lives are destroyed by the oligarchs that both Purpose and Avaaz serve.
The High Gloss Veneer
The following video highlights human rights investigator and award-winning journalist, Keith Harmon Snow, detailing the corrupt NGOs and their portrayal of Africa in order to illicit funds. Snow must be considered one of our finest Western reporters for obtaining true independent, grassroots news from the continent of Africa. Within the lecture, Snow discusses the psyops/propaganda strategically orchestrated behind the “Save Darfur” campaigns/movements which, in 2004, began to saturate the populace. At the helm of this “movement” was “The Center for American Progress.”
The Center for American Progress is closely connected with the same players that founded and financed Avaaz. Today, with Avaaz at the forefront, the non-profit industrial complex has been appointed trusted messenger of a grotesque and disturbing ideology; nothing less than a complete reflection and validation of the U.S. administration’s rhetoric intended to justify the annihilation and occupation of sovereign states under the false pretense of “humanitarian intervention” and “responsibility to protect.” 
“The Syrian government has been dropping ‘barrel bombs’ on civilian areas despite a UN order to stop, targeting schools and hospitals. Those too poor to flee their homes can only hope that if the bomb drops, the White Helmets will be there to help get them out.… Let’s tell the world about the White Helmets and help get them the support they need.” — Purpose Inc. Marketing Firm
“Know multiple languages? We need you! Help us get as many eyeballs on the Miracle Baby video by translating the subtitles into as many languages possible here: http://bit.ly/1tKSmrz” — Purpose Inc. Marketing Firm
Firms and agencies such as Purpose write and develop the scripts and design the sets. They bring the stories to life, strategically exploit and manipulate our emotions, ultimately ensuring we come to accept and partake in their politically acceptable means of discourse – discourse sanctioned (and financed) by the empire.
“Syrians welcome Iraq’s Yazidi refugees into their country with warm meals, giving them their clothes and in some cases opening up their homes.” – Purpose Inc. Marketing Firm
The above quote is representative of perhaps one too many spin doctors, for who is allowing Iraq’s Yazidi refugees into Syria, if not the Assad government? Indeed, Assad’s government has accepted more refugees per capita than any other country in the Middle East.
“In the wake of Robin Williams’ death, the people of Idlib remember the actor/comedian with a quote on freedom.” — Purpose Inc. Marketing Firm
This image takes absurdity to a new level. Recap: In the midst of being bombed, starved, and rained on by chemical weapons, Syrians take time to pay homage to an American actor/comedian (because the love of the America that is destroying the Middle East is so great), by quoting a line from a genie in a bottle from a scene in an animated Disney movie and creating a banner in the English language.
“Understand what this infographic says, and you’ll understand why The Syria Campaign exists. And why you and your friends need to join. http://bit.ly/VlYOsi” — Purpose Inc. Marketing Firm
In the infographic above, Purpose deliberately keeps the stats limited to 2014. Otherwise they would have to visualize the millions of Iraqi citizens who have been murdered due to the U.S. illegal war and occupation in Iraq. Further, Purpose gives no attention to the deaths in Honduras, Libya, Haiti, Congo (millions) and all of the other countries being decimated by Imperialism and foreign interference.
“Tell Obama we need a plan set forth to address the worsening humanitarian crisis in Syria. bit.ly/1nITTtO” — Purpose Inc. Marketing Firm
The message is clear. Purpose wants the green light for military intervention in Syria, well-cloaked under the guise of humanitarianism – an oxymoron if there ever was one.
“How were you to know you were approving posts from one of the world’s most violent dictators? A man who’s ordered the dropping of bombs on hospitals and primary schools?” — Purpose Inc. Marketing Firm
“Syrian dictator Bashar Assad has been re-elected and he can thank Facebook for being a propaganda platform.” — Purpose Inc. Marketing Firm
“It is critical to note that the imperialist powers (inclusive of the UN) do not criticize or demonize or withdraw their support from such leaders on any ethical or moral ground. Denunciation of state leaders and emotive language is merely theatre. Rather, the imperialist states strategically set out to destroy any state leader that is unwilling to be controlled by US interests and foreign policy. A case in point is unwavering support of the Saudi royal family responsible for atrocious human rights violations to which the imperialist countries turn a blind eye.” (from Avaaz: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part I, Section I)
The Behavioural Change Dream Team:
· Full profile of Jeremy Heimans: Avaaz: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part II, Section II [link]
· Full profile of David Madden: Avaaz: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part II, Section II [link]
· Full profile of James Slezak: Avaaz: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part II, Section III [link]
Further reading on behavioural change: Avaaz: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part II, Section II [link]
Further reading on Avaaz and Purpose: This Changes Nothing. Why the People’s Climate March Guarantees Climate Catastrophe
Consider that the colour of the national flag of the Libyan Jamahiriya (from 1977 to 2011; The Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya) was pure green in colour. Unlike the one featured in the Avaaz campaign. The green colour traditionally symbolizes Islam. In Libya, green was also a colour traditionally used to represent the Tripolitania region (commonly referred to as Tripoli) that NATO forces fought to seize. The iconic green flag was chosen by Libyan leader/brother Muammar Gaddafi to symbolize his political philosophy (after his revolutionary Green Book). On 10 March 2011, France was the first state to recognize the council as the official government of Libya, as well as the first to allow the Libyan embassy staff to raise the red, black, green and white flag that would replace the green flag of the Libyan Jamahiriya. On 21 March, the “new” flag was flown by the Permanent Mission of Libya to the United Nations and appeared on their official website … this flag, which reigned prior to the Libyan Jamahiriya, is now the only flag used by the United Nations to represent Libya. According to the following UN statement: “Following the adoption by the General Assembly of resolution 66/1, the Permanent Mission of Libya to the United Nations formally notified the United Nations of a Declaration by the National Transitional Council of 3 August 2011 changing the official name of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to “Libya” as well as a decision to change Libya’s national flag to the original.” [Wikipedia]
On August 24, 2011 it is reported by yet another mouthpiece for empire that:
“As Libyan rebels take over, embassies worldwide have been replacing the old Libyan flag with a new one…. But starting in February, a new flag – red, black, and green with a white star and crescent in the center – has been hoisted at Libyan embassies around the world, from Switzerland to Bangladesh. It is the same flag being flown by the jubilant rebels themselves as they descend on Tripoli.”
In the article, the words “U.S. funded mercenaries” have been replaced with “the jubilant rebels.” It would be well worth investigating who ordered, manufactured and paid for thousands of these new flags (prior to or commencing in February of 2011) and ensured they would replace the national flag of the Libyan Jamahiriya that flourished from 1977 to 2011.
· The Grotesque and Disturbing Ideology at the Helm of Avaaz, March 7, 2012
· Sostenere il governo USA senza saperlo: il grave esempio di “Avaaz,” March 8, 2012
· SPEAKING TRUTH: A Profound Message to Avaaz from Poet Gabriel Impaglione of Argentina, March 12, 2012
· Argentine Journalist Stella Calloni Denounces Avaaz | Latin American Unions Follow Her Lead, March 12, 2012
· Avaaz: Empire Propaganda Mill Masquerading as Grassroots Activism, June 9, 2012
· Avaaz’s War on Syria: Soros Sponsored Sorrow Pleads for Foreign Intervention, June 14, 2012
· Rio Summit “Good Versus Evil” Advert Displays Blatant Racism and Imperialism at Core of Avaaz, June 22, 2012
· Avaaz: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part I, Section I, Sept 24, 2012
· Avaaz: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part I, Section II, Sept 24, 2012
· Avaaz: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part I, Section III, Sept 24, 2012
· Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part II, Section I, Sept 24, 2012
· Avaaz: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part II, Section II, Nov 1, 2012
· Welcome to the Brave New World – Brought to You by Avaaz, Sept 13, 2013
 Jeremy Heimans on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jeremyheimans
 David Madden on Twitter: https://twitter.com/davidmadden
 Job Detail for Social Media Intern, Syrian Voices Movement Job Location: Purpose Inc, New York, NY, 10176: http://jobs.climber.com/jobs/Media-Communication/New-York-NY-10176/Social-Media-Intern-Syrian-Voices-Movement/55687863
 Purpose is hiring: Join the Syria Campaign: http://www.purpose.com/were-staffing-up-on-the-syria-campaign/]
 Purpose Action Board of Directors: Jon Huggett, founding chair of Social Innovation Exchange, former partner at The Bridgespan Group and Bain & Company; Rashad Robinson, executive director of ColorOfChange.org and former senior director of media programs at GLAAD; Brett Solomon, executive director of Access, former campaigns director at Avaaz, former executive director of GetUp!; Douglas Atkin, director of community at Airbnb, former chief community officer of Meetup, author of The Culting of Brands; Andre Banks, executive director of Purpose Foundation, former strategy director at Purpose and former deputy director of ColorOfChange.org; Jeremy Heimans, co-founder & CEO of Purpose, co-founder of Avaaz and co-founder of GetUp! [Source]
 Purpose Foundation Board of Directors: Carla Sutherland, research scholar at Columbia University’s Gender and Sexuality Law Center’s Engaging Tradition Project, former program officer at Ford Foundation and Arcus Foundation; Jeremy Heimans, co-founder & CEO of Purpose, co-founder of Avaaz and co-founder of GetUp!; Michael Evans, president of Moynihan Station Development Corporation and former chief of staff to the Lieutenant Governor of New York State. [Source]| Purpose Foundation’s organizational documents and annual reports on Form 990 can be found here.
 December 29, 2004: “Over two days in early December approximately three-dozen religious activists met at the Washington office of the Center for American Progress, a recently formed think tank headed by former Clinton chief of staff John Podesta. The Res Publica-driven agenda for the closed-door gathering included sessions on “building the movement infrastructure” and “objectives, strategies and core issues.” Res Publica was founded by Tom Perriello, Ricken Patel and Tom Pravda. Avaaz was founded by Res Publica, MoveOn.org, Executive Director Ricken Patel, Tom Perriello, Tom Pravda, Eli Pariser (MoveOn Executive Director), Andrea Woodhouse (consultant to the World Bank) Jeremy Heimans (co-founder of GetUp! and Purpose), and Australian entrepreneur David Madden (co-founder of GetUp and Purpose). Avaaz co-founder Tom Perriello is now President and CEO of Center for American Progress. Perriello and Patel also co-founded and co-directed DarfurGenocide.org which officially launched in 2004. “DarfurGenocide.org is a project of Res Publica, a group of public sector professionals dedicated to promoting good governance and virtuous civic cultures.” Today, this organization is now known as “Darfurian Voices”: “Darfurian Voices is a project of 24 Hours for Darfur.” The U.S. Department of State and the Open Society Institute were just two of the organizations funders and collaborating partners. Other Darfurian Voices partners include Avaaz, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), International Centre for Transitional Justice, Darfur Rehabilitation Project, Humanity United, Darfur People’s Association of New York, Genocide Intervention, Witness, Yale Law School, The Sigrid Rausing Trust and the Bridgeway Foundation. Despite the carefully crafted language and images that tug at your emotions, such NGOs were created for and exist for one primary purpose — to protect and further American policy and interests, under the guise of philanthropy and humanitarianism. Of all the listed partners of DarfurGenocide.org, with exception of one located in London England, all of the entities involved are American and based on US soil.
Washington’s current course in relations with Moscow could prevent any resolution of urgent problems in bilateral relations, including nuclear disarmament, the Russian Foreign Ministry warns.
“The White House’s line on aggravation the relations with Russia threatens to lead the whole complex of sensible issues on the modern bilateral agenda to a dead end,” reads the annual review of the foreign policy and diplomatic activities for 2014 that was published on the ministry’s website on Thursday.
“The discussion of such pressing issues has become sporadic and non-systematic,” the document reads.
Russian diplomats emphasized that the plans of the United States and its allies to deploy the global missile defense system is one of the typical examples of such hostile approach.
“Practical discussion of how Russian worries can be eased was curtailed at the initiative of the US. Now we are forced to develop adequate countermeasures,” the ministry wrote.
“In addition, when [President] Barack Obama’s administration promoted further cuts in the Russian and US nuclear arsenals, it completely ignored Russian arguments that other states with nuclear potential should be included in this process,” the report reads.
The Russian side noted that the United States continued to implement its concept of immediate global strike that uses conventional strategic weapons and continued to avoid making any concrete statements regarding their refusal to deploy weapons in space.
The released plans to beef up US and NATO military presence near Russian borders pose direct risks of a shift of the European balance of forces, the report states.
In late April, President Vladimir Putin stated that Russia had brought its nuclear arsenal to the minimum ordered by the Non-Proliferation Treaty and plans to continue work in this direction.
“We have reduced our nuclear weapons stockpiles to minimal levels, thereby making a considerable contribution to the process of comprehensive and complete disarmament,” Putin wrote in his address to the international conference on nuclear non-proliferation.
He also emphasized Russia’s commitment to Article VI of the treaty, which states that each party “undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith,” and agrees to disarmament “under strict and effective international control.”
In mid-January the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Security and Disarmament Department, Mikhail Ulyanov, said unfriendliness by the US could cause Moscow to review its approach to the New START agreement on cutting nuclear weapons and their delivery.
“So far we have not taken any particular steps in this direction, but I cannot exclude that in the future Washington will force us into taking them, into making corrections to our policies regarding this direction,” he stated in a press interview. “This would only be natural, considering the unfriendly character of the US actions.”
The largely unobservant public had previously been under the impression that the Baltic Sea was a zone of peace and stability, thinking that all the region’s states lived in harmony with one another. This may have been the case prior to 1991, but immediately afterwards, NATO’s expansion into the Baltic basin seriously upset the balance of power, as the incorporation of Poland and the former Soviet Baltic States in 1999 and 2004 attests. Through this manner, NATO was able to surround Kaliningrad and directly push up against part of Russia’s western border.
The military tension remained just below the surface (literally), until Shadow NATO states Sweden and Finland started initiating highly publicized ‘Russian sub’ scares, designed with the sole intent of scaring their publics into formal NATO membership and opening up an additional front in the New Cold War. Taking it further, this is all part of NATO’s new policy of regional blocs, as Brussels hopes to see the formation of a ‘Viking Bloc’ that would apply pressure against Russia in the Arctic. The most dangerous development, however, is with Finland, which is capitalizing off of the sea scare to call up nearly one million reservists (1/5 of the total population) in the event of a “crisis situation”, thereby presenting a dangerous test run in conflict escalation that might be applied all over Europe in the future.
To put everything into focus, it’s best to begin by documenting the latest hysteria stemming from supposed ‘Russian sub’ sightings. Sweden started the trend when it claimed to be hunting a believed-to-be Russian sub back in October, and when nothing came out of the stunt except for a scared public and a couple million dollars spent, Stockholm continued to insist that it had evidence that a foreign sub did trespass through its waters, but curiously kept the details to itself. Be that as it may, it didn’t stop legislators from increasing the defense budget by a whopping $1.18 billion for the period 2016-2020, earmarking an additional $945 million for the future purchase of two subs, and announcing plans to reopen a military base on the Baltic island of Gottland. The ultimate irony is that there was never a ‘Russian sub’ to begin with, and that it was eventually revealed that the whole scandal started over a simple workboat, thus making it seem like Sweden exaggerated the situation simply to push through more defense funding and militarize its society against Russia.
Being the regional leader that it is, it appears as though Sweden’s spectacle of the phantom Russian sub rubbed off on Finland, which soon after its latest elections began detonating underwater charges against its own suspected ‘Russian sub’. Finnish political analyst Jon Hellevig assessed that this was simply Helsinki’s application of Stockholm’s decades-long tactic of using phantom Russian subs to increase the population’s acceptance of future NATO membership. While Finland isn’t a de-jure member of the alliance, both it and Scandinavian military hegemon Sweden signed a NATO host nation agreement last fall to intensify their relations with the bloc, essentially making them Shadow NATO members in an even deeper capacity than Ukraine has become (the latter of which has been the bone of contention sparking the New Cold War in the first place).
Given such a relationship, it may not even be needed for either state to formally join NATO at this point, since the alliance can already reap the resultant military advantages of their territory in any possible anti-Russian crisis scenario. However, putting the provocative issue up for a referendum vote or making a unilateral government decision in this regard might be a forthcoming tactic towards creating the aforementioned crisis needed to ‘justify’ the indefinite hosting of NATO troops in those countries. It’s quite clear that Sweden is already de-facto participating in NATO, since they just partook in the group’s “Dynamic Mongoose” anti-submarine drills off the Norwegian coast. This would have obviously raised eyebrows among its domestic citizenry had it not been for the earlier ‘Russian sub’ scare that created the social pretext for its acceptance, showing how such false crises can be manipulated by the media for predetermined military gain.
The Viking Bloc
Everything going on in Scandinavia right now, from the phantom ‘Russian sub’ scares to the de-facto NATO-ization of the region’s last formal holdouts, is designed to create the northern component of NATO’s regional bloc strategy. In sum, the alliance is reverting to history and using Polish interwar leader Josef Pilsudski’s Intermarum concept to establish a Baltic-to-Black-Sea coalition of anti-Russian states to which it can more efficiently outsource its military prerogatives, all per the Lead From Behind strategy. The ‘Viking Bloc’ which consists of the Greater Scandinavian states of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, and Finland (centered on Sweden, possibly incorporating Estonia and Latvia as well) is envisioned to complement the emerging Commonwealth Bloc of Poland, Lithuania, and Ukraine (centered on Poland), and the forthcoming Black Sea Bloc of Romania, Bulgaria, and Moldova (centered on Romania, possibly even expanded to Georgia).
Focusing more specifically on the characteristics of the Viking Bloc, its members have a maritime identity, so it’s predicted that they’ll focus their activity on the Baltic Sea, North Sea, and Arctic Ocean, accordingly making them all one large naval base. Sweden’s demographic and economic strength makes it the obvious leader amongst the identified members and the control node of its activity, while wealthy Norway can provide the natural resources needed to keep it running. Denmark controls the entrance to and from the Baltic Sea, and together with its colony country of Greenland, Iceland, and Norway, the three can patrol the North Sea and Arctic Ocean in hunting ‘Russian subs’. It’s also not a coincidence that all of these states are members of the Arctic Council, meaning that this dialogue configuration has essentially become one of confrontation between North America & the Viking Bloc on one side and Russia on the other. The odd member out of this naval configuration is Finland (also a member of the Arctic Council), which has recklessly adapted a land-based anti-Russian policy that’s bound to ratchet up tension with its neighbor. One should also note that the Viking Bloc’s members signed a multilateral defense cooperation agreement in April that basically institutionalized the organization as an official regional bloc.
The Finnish Amphibian
The most dangerous sub-bloc strategy being adopted by NATO is its Finnish affiliate’s advance preparation of 900,000 reservists in the event of a “crisis situation”, which obviously could only refer to a military conflict with Russia. The Finnish government is trying to account for all of its former reservists aged 20-60 in order to inform them of what their “crisis situation” role would be, as well as to collect updated information about them. This dramatic movement of anti-Russian initiatives from sea onto land represents an amphibious strategy that’s likely only in its initial test-run phase. NATO wants to gauge Russia’s reaction and monitor its response in order to fine-tune this template for eventually export throughout the bloc as a whole.
The Finnish Amphibian is a very simple strategy. All that the practicing states or regional blocs have to do is report on a phantom ‘Russian sub’ sighting, preferably with as much media paranoia as possible but providing no proof whatsoever, and then use the subsequent buzz to justify the potential mobilization of a massive land-based reservist force. This leads to the militarization of society within the targeted state and initiates a siege mentality that makes its citizens feel as though they’re constantly under some type of Russian attack. None of the accusations have to be proven, let alone even seen by the citizens themselves, so long as the media and supportive political figures repeat the chorus of conflict enough to make it believable. An added touch would be to implement Sweden’s strategy of publicly accusing 1/3 of all Russian diplomats there as being spies, which when coupled with the existing paranoia about phantom ‘Russian subs’, sends the populace’s paranoia into overdrive and all but assures that they’ll support whichever military or surveillance solutions their government or NATO suggests.
NATO’s northernmost regional fighting group, the Viking Bloc, owes its speedy creation to the utilization of phantom ‘Russian sub’ scare tactics to galvanize support for this new initiative. Greater Scandinavia is rapidly being transformed into one giant NATO naval base that’s meant to confront Russia on the neighboring high seas. As destabilizing as that is, it moves into the realm of flashpoint danger with the fact that Finland is preparing to mobilize 1/5 of its population against Russia, thus presenting an amphibious land-based component to the majority sea-focused strategy. Even worse, the template of using false sea-based scares to ‘justify’ massive land-based mobilizations could likely be applied elsewhere in Europe, thereby serving as an ideal model of militarization all throughout NATO. It’s this hybrid of media-military strategic collaboration that may eventually prove to be more destabilizing than the unveiling of the Viking Bloc itself.
Poland’s President Bronislaw Komorowski has signed a resolution approving the organization of a joint Lithuanian-Polish-Ukrainian brigade, whose creation has been in the works since 2007.
When brought to full operation in 2017, the brigade is set to constitute 4,500 servicemen. They will operate separately from the three countries’ respective militaries, but will take part in NATO exercises and missions. Preliminary drills are scheduled for later this year. The brigade will be stationed at its headquarters in Libulin, Poland. So far, it only houses 250 servicemen and 50 command staff contributed by the Polish military.
The joint force was discussed as far back as 2007, but the agreement to create it was signed by the three countries’ defense ministers in September 2014, in response to the Ukrainian crisis and what they call Russian aggression.
Creating the joint force is “part of a wider plan … to support Ukraine, among others, in the area of modernization,” President Bronislaw Komorowski said as cited by Reuters.
He also urged other European countries to spend more on defense. To that end, President Komorowski has suggested excluding defense spending from EU rules on budget deficit limits. This means that EU nations will be able to allocate more money to the military without fearing increased budget controls from Brussels. Komorowki’s offer comes at a time of heightened tensions with Russia.
Poland now has the fifth-strongest army in the EU, and has ambitious plans to modernize it, spending about $36 billion until 2022. However, the Polish government is unhappy about a lack of similar eagerness in some of the other European nations, the Rzeczpospolita newspaper reports.
While NATO is advising its member states to spend the maximum allowed of three percent of GDP on defense, most are spending far less: Germany allocates 1.2 percent of its GDP, the Netherlands 1.3 percent and Spain under 1 percent. France is the only Western European country that is boosting defense spending. However, some Eastern European nations are increasing their military expenses citing what they call Russian aggression. Lithuania, for instance, wants to allocate twice as much on defense as last year.
Three sets of military exercises kicked off in Europe on Monday, involving thousands of servicemen from a variety of NATO nations and their allies, amid a wave of similar action across the area.
Estonia is holding its largest-ever military drills. Named Siil-2015 (Hedgehog), the maneuvers involve about 13,000 personnel. The number includes about 7,000 reservists, along with members of the volunteer Estonian Defense League.
Siil-2015, scheduled to last until May 15, also involves forces from the US, the UK, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Belgium, Poland and the Netherlands. American troops, who are staying in Estonia as part of the massive training operation Atlantic Resolve, will bring four Abrams main battle tanks to the exercise. British, Belgian and German air defense units, as well as several NATO warplanes, will also take part.
The Lithuanian Army is holding its own maneuvers as part of the largest national drills called Zaibo Kirtis (Lightning Strike). The training involves over 3,000 troops. It is focused on joint action by the army and civilian authorities against so-called hybrid threats combining both military and non-military methods of fighting, according to Army Commander Major-General Jonas Vytautas Zukas.
In a statement cited by TASS, the major-general said: “The exercises will simulate situations when the Interior Ministry’s forces and resources are insufficient to neutralize various extreme situations unrelated to the direct repulsion of an imaginary enemy’s attack and the army should be involved.”
Lightning Strike will also be testing the country’s mobilization system and cyber security works, according to the Defense Ministry’s press release.
In Norway, NATO and its allies have gathered for annual anti-submarine exercises. About 5,000 servicemen from 10 NATO countries and Sweden are taking part. The drills, codenamed Dynamic Mongoose, involve simulated sub hunts utilizing surface vessels, aircraft and a variety of radar and sonar technologies. The US, Germany and Sweden are providing the submarines.
The two-week exercise follows reports of a suspected foreign underwater vessel off the coast of Finland, which prompted the use of depth charges to scare it off. In autumn last year, a similar scare triggered a week-long search in the sea near Stockholm, for what later turned out to be a civilian workboat. In the latter case, the finger of blame was unequivocally pointed at Russia, amid rising tensions over the Ukrainian conflict.
When speaking to the media about Dynamic Mongoose, NATO commanders avoided sending a message to any country in particular: “Obviously we’re aware of the incidents that have happened in some of our partner nations’ waters,” NATO Rear Admiral Brad Williamson said. “I think what it does is it focuses our efforts and our training here.”
The Prize: Extinction
Don’t expect the concept of extinction or omnicide to roll off the lips of nuclear warriors. Their brains focus on the win-ability of nuclear war to the exclusion of all other possibilities. Let’s take a minute to examine the myopic mindset of nuclear strategists and what we should be doing about it.
The story of nuclear weapons begins with the dropping of an atomic bomb named Little Boy on the city of Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945. Since then, many authors have written and exposed this event as being more about starting a new war with our ally Russia than about ending WWII, more about continuing war so that the vast fortunes made by the US arms industry from WWII could continue indefinitely into the future.
Ever since Little Boy, the US has threatened Russia with nuclear bombs, and even had Russia ringed with nuclear weapons by 1951.1 Today the US is parading its nuclear arsenal in Ukraine along the Russian border in an unimaginable display of blatant aggression. Note that Russia is not posturing the same way by having Russian troops lined along the border of Canada or Mexico. The US claim that Russian aggression forces them to Russia’s doorstep with nuclear weapons is patently false. The Russian army remains in Russia, while the US military and its many mercenary armies are not only in Ukraine but run rampant across the planet.
Continuous aggressive nuclear posturing by the US over the years was memorialized in a military strategy called Escalation Dominance, wherein, rungs on a ladder of aggression escalate violence incrementally up the ladder until full domination is achieved. The principle of this stratagem was Dean Acheson, who laid out this plan in a now declassified top secret National Security Council Memorandum: NSCM-68, which was then received by President Harry S. Truman on April 14, 1950. It originated in the bowels of a secret meeting between the State Department and the Council on Foreign Relations in 1939 explicitly detailing the role of a US empire as a replacement for the British Empire.2
The Council was set up in 1921 as a bridgehead to bring America’s emerging power under the umbrella of the British throne. This had already been partially accomplished by modeling the Ivy League colleges after Cambridge. Imperial-minded professors were given free range to preach the gospel of privilege for an elite few. As Britain fell from the top position of colonial power, the aristocracy, although now in the back seat, remained in the lead limousine of a new arising phenomenon called globalization—turning the world into a singular vast colony for elite domination.
The Council produces an influential magazine called Foreign Affairs. Council director Isaiah Bowen wrote in 1942 that the US must secure areas “strategically necessary for world control.” Foreign Affairs editor Edwin Gay wrote, “When I think of the British Empire as our inheritance, I think simply of the natural right of succession.” America was on track to take over the world, country after country, in domino fashion. British imperialism reaching around the globe using American muscle would be distasteful to the American people, who thought they had escaped British influence through their revolution, so the creeping dominoes of world control had to be blamed on some other targeted enemy, still ally at the time, Russia.
Professors Michio Kaku and Daniel Axelrod summarized the new state of affairs:
The advent of atomic warfare gave a new twist to the plans to assume the mantle of the British Empire: just as the British used the battleship as an ultimate weapon of intervention, the US would use the atomic bomb. According to the Council’s study groups, naval superiority, which protected and expanded British investments around the world, would be replaced by atomic superiority. Gunboat Diplomacy would be replaced by Atomic Diplomacy. Pax Britannia would give way to Pax Americana.3
A US new world order was rising out of the crumbling British, French, and German colonial empires. Financial barons from Wall Street were eager to be the architects of this new world order. About 100 senior bankers and lawyers jelled into what was called the “old boys’ network or “national security establishment.”4 Like aristocracies of old, their enemy was any populist sharing of power. The people of America were to be left out, while the US Constitution was to be ignored or used only in limited cases to shore up the old boys grip on power.
The aristocracies of old Europe were now to be demoted to puppet dictators. For example, exiled White Russians and members of the Tsarist aristocracy who fled Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution would be allowed to set up a puppet government for Wall Street. Russia had to be dismembered to expose its vast resources to the new world order, the new internationalists.
Back home, Constitutionally-minded Republicans and Democrats were not keen on American expansionism, as imperialism emanating from any country is anathema to a global plurality of democracies. Non-interventionist Congressmen wanted the US to remain isolated, sovereign, and independent, leaving other countries to fend for themselves, choosing their own respective sovereign destinies in the spirit of freedom. This friction came to a head when a fistfight broke out in a Senate chamber between internationalist Dean Acheson and his arch-enemy, Senator Ken Wherry from Nebraska.
Acheson was an impeccable member of the Eastern Establishment, growing up as a member of the upper class. His father became an Anglican minister then bishop of Connecticut after serving as a British Army Officer. His family was steeped in the traditions and mores of British colonialism. His mother grew up in a wealthy banking family with business interests in England and Canada. As part of the old-boy network, he attended colleges like Groton and Yale, “where it was considered the birthright and perhaps even the duty of his social class to intervene in the affairs of other nations.”5
Acheson saw most Americans as his social inferior, including the low-class haberdasher from Missouri, President Truman. Acheson hated the right-wing Republican isolationists who opposed the interventionist policies of the Council. In his typical condescending manner, he called the isolationists “sub-humans” and “apes,”6 unenlightened by his own troglodytic tendencies of greed and selfish acquisitiveness through ruthless means.
Like Acheson, the Dulles brothers, John Foster and Allen, were sons of a well-to-do clergyman. As boys, they tagged along with their grandfather to conferences around the world that introduced them to international power politics. They, too, attended exclusive schools like Princeton, which were modeled after aristocrat-controlled Cambridge University in England. John Foster traveled extensively during WWII, making intimate friends with members of the British Colonial Office.
Lord Cranbourne argued that Britain could no longer run its Empire alone, and that US elites should join and help lead a new bigger British world empire. America supposedly had escaped the grip of the British Empire, only to have the likes of John Foster Dulles aspire to yoke Americans right back into the ranks of British servitude. No wonder there was a fistfight in the Senate chamber.
The Dulles brothers father, Allen Macy Dulles, reared his boys to embrace missionary Christianity. The world was to be led by a new imperial ministry and their weapon of choice for global domination was nuclear Escalation Dominance. Students at Groton even coined a name for it, muscular Christianity. The age-old “divine right of kings” seems to have changed only in faces and names. The new theological kings declare “onward Christian soldiers” with nuclear weapons at their side and an image of Armageddon as doable. President Reagan puzzled over the possibility of Armageddon, uncertain whether or not God was commanding him to destroy earth or to leave it in the hands of God.
Psychopathology in Aristocracy
Aristocrats commonly suffer from profound delusional thinking and Severe Narcissistic Personality. They live a seeming fairytale life style, floating above the normal mundane chores of life, like having to cook or clean, never having to wash dishes, clothes or toilets. Being raised like veal, as in a confined ideological world, lends itself to psychological anemia and disconnected thinking from reality, thus, setting the stage for delusional thinking. The unusual degree of pampering in their upbringing includes coaching them to believe that their station in life is above the masses, even elevated in some theocratic families to the status of demigod, born of and “chosen” by God to lead lower classes. By self-pronouncing, without question, that their power is derived by God, they need not defer to the people themselves. The masses are, in effect, irrelevant and completely disposable. History is rife with examples of the aristocracy amusing themselves with killing lower people, like in the Roman coliseums. Disconnection from reality causes some elites to become perplexed by the distaste of the masses being subjected to the cruelties of servitude.
In the nuclear age, profound consequences follow from a toxic brew of distorted, disconnected, and arrogant thinking. From secret minutes of the National Security Council, Allen Dulles repeatedly bewailed the ignorance of the American people, “who draw an ‘artificial’ distinction between nuclear and conventional weapons and cannot realize that atomic bombs should be treated like bullets.”7 By losing touch with the fire power difference of bullet that kills one person versus an atomic bomb, like Little Boy, that fell on Hiroshima and indiscriminately killed 100,000 plus civilians reveals a callous disrespect for life almost too incomprehensible to imagine.
In addition, the lust for power adds an aggravating element of addiction to the toxic mix of disassociation, as exemplified by Dulles. Pursuit of power can become so engrossing and self-absorbing as to preclude the outside world, disconnecting critical brain functions from life and consequences of intended actions, not unlike a drug addict, totally obsessed with a perceived need to rob and kill to acquire money for the next fix. Keep in mind too, that not all members of the very rich become psychopaths.
John Kenneth Galbraith grew up among the elite but didn’t lose his sanity. He often lamented, however, the fact of being hopelessly outnumbered by the others in the Council “who felt it was natural, proper, and even Christian to apply force against other nations.”8 Having self-declared demigod status, “Thou shalt not kill” was meant only for the lower-class masses. Being the indispensible exception, as part of the white mans’ burden, the son’s of theologians all too often become entrenched in the perceived higher missionary work of eradicating the world of nonbelievers.
Adding another dimension to the toxic stew is the love of war, love of mass murder, which is so prevalent in military circles. John Hersey’s book: The War Lovers tells the story of how the fascination with annihilation drives men to obsess over death, like a moth flirting forward to test a candle’s flame.
Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark warned:
The pitiful mentality and ethic that can tirelessly banter, threaten, and toy with omnicide cannot be permitted to wield such power… The obvious joy that men like Teller, Kaysen, LeMay, Rostow, Kissinger, Haig, Brzezinski, Allen, and Reagan reflect in wielding such power provides a clear warning of our peril.9
We certainly can add the names of Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Perle, Netanyahu, and a slew of neoconservatives. While working in a Top Secret war room, I personally witnessed officers planning wars of untold destruction. If necrophilia exudes a tone, then the prevailing mood in that war room was necrophilia. The clear warning is that we have allowed civilization to drift into the hands of necrophiliacs.
General Patton said that war is the “cataclysmic ecstasy of violence.” Nazi torturers described an almost orgasmic fascination with killing—almost a feeling of omnipotence. One psychopath described to Dr. Helen Caldicott how, as a boy, he experienced feelings of ecstasy by piercing the belly of a frog with a stick and watching it squirm and burn to death as he roasted it over a fire.10
These individuals are disconnected from humanity and reality, lost in pleasure seeking and intoxication with power, the power to destroy. The ultimate climax would be to destroy all life, creating a planetary-wide necropolis, as exemplified by the sinking of the gods into the sea, as the final climax in Wagner’s opera, Twilight of the Gods, which fascinated and held captive the mind of Adolf Hitler.
The general public finds it difficult to relate to this whole discussion of torture, narcissistic demigods, and necrophiliacs because the masses do not suffer the drama of these disturbed personalities. It takes one to know one, or you have to study psychopathology. Psychopaths flock together in the high echelons of power, out of view of the general populace. Therefore, the general public, out of ignorance, fails to conceive of remedies that could address such a strange disconnection from reality.
Keep in mind that psychopathology in war is not exclusive to other countries. As part of NATO, Canada plays a junior role in US gang murders around the planet. Nuclear threats to Russia and Iran are ongoing. This puts the Prime Minister’s office right in the thick of things, even escalating tensions in neighboring countries. Stephen Harper now claims that his administration can escape unharmed from bombing Syria and Libya, because (a) the US has world courts in a head lock, unable to prosecute him for war crimes, and (b) that victim countries cannot fight back because they lack the missiles required to shoot down Canadian fighter-bombers flying at high altitudes.
Of course, bombing little weak countries evokes mass casualties, mass murder. So Harper is claiming, in effect, that he can get away with a bloodbath scot-free. Does this evoke from you an image of a national hero personally bearing arms in a fight to stop a foreign invading army of Canada, or does it solicit more of an image of an emasculated leader who hides his cowardice behind the apron of a western gang murder force called NATO? Since none of the civilians he will have killed will ever have had the right to be tried for any crime, should he not personally go there to accuse, convict, condemn, then slay all these people with his own two hands in a spectacular showing of imperial just cause? You be the judge.
NATO consistently makes a patently false claim that bombing countries is done in order to free them. These countries are left in ruble. Churches, schools, hospitals, drinking water and food supplies are all destroyed in what NATO calls their responsibility to protect, the pretext they use to self-invite their bombing campaigns.
The real reason is stated behind closed doors, far away from the evening television news. The real goal is to further imperialism, to clear the land of all obstacles so that western corporations can access and take all the resources for free [more accurately, to be dominant over economic relations]. Dead people don’t complain or resist the taking of their lands. Psychopaths drive these wars of conquest.
These bombings constitute wars of aggression, what the UN now defines as the most egregious human behavior ever imagined. Yet, this is the current state of world affairs. For the record, US war-planners created and exploded the first atomic weapons over Japan in 1945. Their descendants have gone on to use tactical nuclear weapons in eight countries. No other country has used atomic or nuclear weapons on another country.11
The use of nuclear weapons has become so routine, that killing and poisoning the landscape of other countries has become part of an American nuclear culture. Imbued into the political landscape, nuclear weapons are never discussed in Congress, in Parliament, or the nightly news as weapons of mass destruction.
In fact, they are now claimed to be conventional weapons, you know, like rocks and spears. War-planners claim they are defensive weapons. Logically, this means that any number of them could be exploded over North-American soil to stop an incoming invasion. Can you imagine nuclear bombs going off all over the country in the name of protecting the land? I can’t. It’s just another example of disconnected, ignorant, and arrogant thinking.
Final Analysis: Sanity as a Path to Recovery
The most fundamental war facing humanity is the conflict between psychopathology and sanity. If we intend to survive, we need to begin a new mode of thinking. If we don’t we will continue to drift toward unparalleled catastrophe as Einstein warned us. We need to start educating ourselves about the causes and cures of wars. This new endeavor could be called warology. To some degree, each of you needs to become a warologist.
You need to understand that the role of Escalation Dominance in nuclear power politics, as carefully researched and explained by professors Kaku and Axlerod, is a move towards a state of total global domination and servitude. Seeking absolute power over other human beings is seeking the power of gods, the ultimate folly of an egocentric narcissistic personality, a self-anointed demigod that finds little room for other people on this earth except in the service of the narcissist’s pleasures.
Nuclear-war planners live in a world of make-believe, where they disconnect themselves from reality. They have to pretend that a god gives them the right to make and use hideous weapons of mass destruction. They have to pretend that the bomb dropped on Hiroshima did not produce mass destruction and ought not be of any more concern than a bullet. They have to pretend that evaporating people is part of a new normal. They have to pretend that shooting off nuclear weapons all over the world would be a permissible defensive posture. They have to pretend that by disallowing any media discussion of the use of nuclear weapons renders such weapons automatically safe for use. They have to pretend that nuclear weapons are not offensive weapons, which involves war crimes of the highest dimension.
The public is not trained to directly change the egomaniac delusions of the demigods, but it must not fall prey to collusion by accepting another set of delusional beliefs:
— that we are completely innocent and therefore free of all responsibility;
— that we are helpless;
— that our voices won’t count even if we do express ourselves;
— that public opinion is 100% ignored by the politicians;
— that any effort we put forward must show immediate results and rewards;
— that we can control nuclear war once it breaks out;
— that since an all-out nuclear war has not yet happened, it never will, so we can relax and ignore the problem.
You would likely scrub this last belief if you informed yourself of the many near misses we’ve had. For instance, in a single 18 month period, fail-safe mechanisms malfunctioned 151 times, and there were 32 broken arrow accidents between 1950-1980 alone.12
Sanity must come to power. To be sane, we have to live in the real world, not fantasy-land. Pretending that nuclear weapons are legitimate, legal, defensive weapons is insane. War-planners are insane, but what about the rest of us? Are we absolutely innocent? We must own our part.
We allow nuclear posturing to go on as if nothing has changed with the splitting of the atom. We look the other way. We, too, pretend that nuclear weapons are legal by virtue of our silence.
A thick blanket of nothingness hangs over the land: no media debate, too little rational-fear, too little rational-anger, considering the massive number of deaths thus far. If our collective-psyche is too numb to register fear, anger, and remedial action, then we need to question our own sanity. Is censoring a public debate in the media sufficient to make us numb and unwittingly insane? Well, we better start talking about it.
Sanity requires rational thought, rational discussion, and remedial action. Any one of the following: making, storing, transporting, using, or threatening to use nuclear weapons is an international war crime, yet collectively, we have not created the proper courts to enforce war crime statutes.
Independent war crimes tribunals already have been conducted, showing the world how proper legal proceedings are done, like the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal and the International Tribunal on U.S./NATO War Crimes Against Yugoslavia. We, the people of the world, need to get behind the findings of these tribunals and push. This will take precious time that we can hardly spare. Meanwhile, the people of the world have a right to vote on the question of extinction, exactly where an all-out nuclear war is leading.
What to do right now
Would it not be logical for everyone in the world who has a computer to contact the White House with a clear message that nuclear war is not an option? Please don’t pretend that stopping nuclear war is the job of someone else, someone out there in fairyland.
We should not need to be told that having and raising children with a long bloodline loses all of its meaning and value when extinction arrives. Surely, a fight for the survival of posterity is something worth waging. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote: “No nation or individual, can be permitted to possess the power to destroy the world.”
The good news is that public opinion does have a dramatic effect on governments. Professors Kaku and Axlerod give ample examples of where, when, and how public opinion pulled nuclear policy makers back from triggering nuclear war.
Contact the White House. Keep contacting the President from time to time. Don’t expect a response, but they do count votes, pro and con, to every subject people raise and praise or complain about.
If you need to be energized, borrow a little psychological power from the movie, Network. You first have to get mad as hell. Get off your chairs, but I don’t want you to go to the window and shout out, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it any more.”
Instead, I want you to go to your computers and type “The White House” into your web search window. When you get on site, click on “Contact US.” Find the blue box that says, “Submit comments online.” Click on it. Fill out the required information. In the comment window, I want you to type just three words, “No Nuclear War.” That’s it. Hit the send button.
If you then spread this message through social media, millions of people could flood the White House with a message too large in number for the President to ignore. This gives the President ammunition to show to the Pentagon warriors who are itching to conduct nuclear war. Be proud of yourselves. Tell your children and friends that you are at work on the right side of history.
- Caldicott, Dr. Helen. Missile Envy: The Arms Race and Nuclear War. 1984. William Morrow and Company, Inc. New York, 69.
- Kaku, Michio and Axlerod, Daniel. To Win a Nuclear War: The Pentagon’s Secret War Plans. 1987. Black Rose Books, Montreal-New York, 63.
- Kaku & Axelrod, 64.
- Kaku & Axelrod, 39.
- Kaku & Axelrod, 67.
- Kaku & Axelrod, 69.
- Kaku & Axelrod, 314.
- Kaku & Axelrod, 161.
- Kaku & Axelrod, viii.
- Caldicott, 296-297.
- Eight countries attacked with tactical nuclear weapons—one country with atomic bombs—all sponsored by the US government: Egypt by Israel in the 1973 Yom Kippur War; Iraq in 1991 US attack called Desert Storm; Yugoslavia during 1999 US continuous bombing raid of 78 days and nights; after 9/11: Afghanistan, Pakistan, North Africa, Libya, Syria.
- Caldicott, 17, 44.
Bo Filter is a social scientist, speaker, and author of The Cause of Wars and Aggression: Book 1.
“Slaughter Yemenis civilians, and win a free Bentley.” That pretty much sums up Saudi Arabia’s frivolous four-week military jamboree in Yemen otherwise known as Op “Decisive Storm”, if not its entire foreign (and now military) policy in the region; it may have been a “slip of the tweet” on the part of Saudi Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal, a Forbes top 100 billionaire who offered via his Twitter account to award Saudi fighter-jet pilots a fleet of 100 Bentley luxury cars, a bonus if you will, for their (bombing) services rendered; nonetheless it paints a vivid, albeit repulsive, picture of how politics are conducted in the oil-rich sheikhdoms of the Gulf: at the deviant whims of their Kings and Princes.
No wonder the Arab World is a complete mess of constant wars and conflicts; everything is subject to the often violent impulses of the ruling monarchies in the GCC club who now seem more than intent on leading the entire region, Kamikaze style, into a sectarian abyss with no foreseeable point of return; and Op Decisive storm, a codename that was shamelessly borrowed from America’s wars on the Arab World, was just that; a violent outburst that started, ended and now has even morphed into Op “Restoring Hope” at the mere sectarian fancies of Saudi Arabia with the helpless lot of Arab governments tagging along for the now routine trip of bombing yet another Arab country back to the stone age, and when you have a seemingly bottomless well of petrodollars, wield all the clout of mainstream media and a far-reaching religious authority; then forming a military coalition, especially one that is purely based on vicious sectarian grounds, is almost as easy as picking players for a football squad.
This is, in a nutshell, how the Saudi Government managed to crowbar eight countries into a military coalition comprising a mishmash of Gulf Cooperation Council members (sans Oman), Gulf Cooperation Council rejects (Jordan and Morocco) and Gulf Cooperation Council scroungers (Egypt and Sudan) to intervene in Yemen against a local political movement that just so happens to adhere to a religious sect that is often faintly (and inaccurately) traced back to Shia Islam. You could almost instantly smell the vile stench of oil and sectarianism all over Saudi Arabia’s latest, ongoing still, disastrous endeavor in Yemen.
The Saudis’ delusional sales pitch this time was that Iran (who else?) was about to take over Yemen via local militant “Shia” proxies attempting a coup against the “legitimate” government of outgoing/incoming/fleeing president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi (still holed up in Riyadh till now); therefore a military intervention with all (Sunni) guns blazing was in urgent order to safeguard “legitimacy” and maintain “stability” in an already impoverished and war-torn Yemen, and we know just how much the GCC club adores peace and stability in the region, its horrific portfolio of destabilization handiwork in Libya, Syria and Iraq is a bloody testament to that.
Of course legitimacy in this (Saudi) context refers to a flip-flopping, weakling of an interim president who, only with the help of Saudi money and support, managed to win a presidential election where he was actually the only candidate on the ballot, a president who outstayed both his tenuous welcome and his presidential term, resigned, fled to the port city of Aden, rescinded his resignation and declared himself president again only to flee once more, chased after by his people, into the waiting arms of the Saudis (perhaps better known to everyone else as his sole meal tickets) but of course not before demanding that his oil-rich patrons bomb his own country into smithereens because evidently that’s what “legitimate” presidents do, at least in the GCC’s book (of horrors).
Show me one of Saudi Arabia’s (many) lackeys in the region who didn’t ask for foreign military intervention into his own country, and I’ll show you Flying Pigs! The standard refrain of extending open invitations for foreign powers to wage devastating wars is strictly (and curiously) espoused by those whom the Saudi Kingdom considers (or designates) “legitimate representatives” of their people. From the Bahraini monarchy to the current Libyan government to the 14th of March alliance in Lebanon and the entirety of the Syrian opposition mismatched posses; not one of these handpicked Saudi puppets has missed an opportunity to ask, in fact beg, for the bombardment of his own country by a foreign government, as if it’s a mandatory rite of passage for those who wish to be on the Saudi payroll/leash and get the GCC’s stamp of approval. And this Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi (none) character, whose return to power in Yemen was the only stated goal behind Saudi Arabia’s genocide in Yemen, is no different.
We’re told that the current blitzkrieg in Yemen is all about “restoring legitimacy”, but it’s near-impossible to take that claim seriously without bursting into an uncontrollable wave of laughter; none of the Saudi-led coalition members are exactly known for their democratic credentials, on the contrary; If you played a word-association game, the words “dictatorship”, “tyranny” and “authoritarianism” (or any random combination thereof) would elicit every single time the exact member list of the coalition currently bombing Yemen today into their warped versions of democratic rule and legitimacy.
In fact the war on Yemen is essentially nothing but an ego-boost for the Saudis in response to what’s perceived by the Kingdom as Iran’s growing influence in the region especially after an interim nuclear deal was signed with the west; a shot of (military) adrenaline for the oil-rich Kingdom to assert its political relevance and nothing beyond that at a time when its foreign policy is beginning to resemble a non-stop tragic-comedy of errors and blunders.
This ego-trip masquerading as a military operation has left, so far, more than a 1,000 Yemenis killed, countless others wounded and the wanton destruction of the country’s infrastructure; and although we’re thankfully spared the sight of Saudi-led coalition forces’ spokesman waffling around, trying in vain to finagle a military feat out of indiscriminately bombing civilian areas in Yemen in his daily briefings (or awkward rendezvous with his pro-war, GCC-funded media entourage); the war still goes on, given a new lease of life under a new codename; “Restoring Hope”, despite its “rosy” moniker which has tasteless PR written all over it, promises to be just as vicious and devastating as Decisive Storm if not more; now that free Bentleys are at stake here for outstanding achievements in criminality, I’m sure these hefty royal “incentives” will show in the destructive zeal the next time coalition pilots fly their sorties and drop their load of explosives on unsuspecting Yemenis.
We were told that Decisive Storm had “fulfilled its objectives”, according to a statement by Saudi Defense Ministry. What objectives? We don’t know; deposed Yemenis president is still in Riyadh and the Houthis along with the Yemenis army control much of the ground in Yemen, now unless the real objective was the step-by-step reenactment of Israel’s wars on the Gaza strip, in which case: mission accomplished indeed with flying colors (or overflowing blood of Yemenis!), the Saudis cannot claim any success whatsoever beyond reducing the country to debris and waste; a feat that was bizarrely celebrated in GCC-funded media as a “decisive blow” to Iranian influence in the region.
At the start of Operation Decisive Storm; then Saudi Ambassador to the U.S., current foreign minister, Adel Al-Jubeir said that the military operation was “…designed to protect the people of Yemen and its legitimate government from a takeover by a violent extremist militia”; protecting the people of Yemen… by bombing them into blind submission and a state of near-servitude, to keep the country an impoverished Saudi implantation and nothing more, I mean how dare the Yemenis even entertain the outrageous notion of self-determination when (Saudi) fate has ordained they be reduced to nothing more than an Oil-rich Kingdom’s backyard for gutter politics and inglorious exploits (or Achilles heel for that matter).
And no, in his statement; Ambassador Al Jubair was not referring to Al Qaida or the Islamic State militias which have been laying all manner of terror and destructive waste to Libya, Iraq and Syria with complete financial, logistical, political and ideological cover from the legitimacy-loving GCC folk, by “violent extremist militia”; Al Jubair was referring to the Ansarullah group; an indigenous Yemeni faction accused of being a mere tail for Iran, you know unlike the very independent Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, when in fact it does enjoy considerable political sway and popularity in Yemen.
Al Jubair also said that “all of Saudi Arabia’s allies were consulted before launching military operations in Yemen”. I’m guessing the consultations went something like this: the Saudis telling their allies to jump and everyone replying in unison, with a-cheese-eating-grin on their faces: “how high? … and please write those checks out to cash”.
And that’s the long version too.
“Coalition of the Willing…. to Get Paid from the GCC”
Only Pakistan, which the Saudis were hoping would join in the fun of leveling another impoverished Arab country into rubble; solely based on its “Sunni credentials” of course… and nuclear power, managed to bow out of this “coalition of the unwitting” escapade; thanks, ironically, to the only problem the Saudis can’t just fix or deal with no matter how much money they throw at it: Democracy… or a semblance thereof; when the Pakistani Parliament unanimously voted to remain neutral in the war on Yemen (i.e.: not to be a member of the GCC’s Suicide Squad parade).
There you can find a group of people with enough sense about them not to blindly follow the Saudis’ caprices into the Yemenis quagmire for a handful of cash and oil barrels, and heed instead the national interests of their own country first. Sadly this was not the case with the rest of coalition members whom are mostly made up of Arab governments posing as hired yes-men for Saudi Arabia (or yes-men posing as governments for that matter).
First we have Egypt; fresh out of an economic bash in Sharm Al Sheikh, which will sure keep Egypt locked in a tight GCC financial death grip for years to come, with billions of (petro) dollars dropping off his pockets; General Abdel Fattah al Sisi (“legitimate” President of Egypt, lest we forget, because this war is all about defending legitimacy against coup’d’etats) was the first in line to fully commit to Operation Decisive Storm, ground-troop-warts and all.
The man who sold himself to Egyptians as the Second Coming of President Jamal Abdel Nasser trampled all over Nasser’s legacy by fighting the Saudis’ dirty war in Yemen in an unholy alliance with the reactionaries of the Gulf (to paraphrase Nasser himself who’s probably rolling in his grave right about now).
Suddenly and at the flick of a (Saudi) switch; Egypt’s priorities were reshuffled beyond recognition or even the slightest bit of logic to best suit the GCC’s depraved interests in the region; the Houthis taking control of the Yemeni capital somehow became an existential threat to Cairo’s national security, trumping even threats coming from a terrorism-infested Sinai peninsula or over 1,000 km of open borders with the abyss of lawlessness and violence that is Libya today. And Bab Al Mandeb Strait in Yemen became the top priority for Sisi’s Egypt at a time when the land of the Nile faces potential drought and is threatened with the vanishing face of its landmark river, thanks to Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam, along with another coalition member: Sudan.
Desperately wanting to prove that he too can wade in sectarian blood with the best of them; Sudanese President Omar al Bashir, probably lured by the promise of future-petrodollar-riches and the perfect opportunity to break his ICC-imposed isolation, stumbled over himself to heed Saudi Arabia’s call to (Sunni) arms and bomb some “infidel” Yemenis into god-forsaken oblivion (according to Sudanese state owned media). Never mind the embarrassing fact that the Sudanese “Air Force”, which is now dropping its load of bombs with a wanton exuberance on Yemeni civilians, stood completely idle and useless when Israel, on more than one occasion, practically used the entire country of Sudan as an open-field target practice for its fighter jets and F-16s under the pretext of targeting weapons’ depots and convoys destined for Palestinian Resistance factions in Gaza. Talk about priorities gone south.
It was only two years ago when the Saudis practically humiliated Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir when they blocked their own airspace to his plane as he was heading to… yes you guessed it, Iran to attend the inauguration of then newly elected president Rouhani, and now here is Al Bashir jumping into (criminal) action alongside the Saudis to bomb another Arab country into the throes of sectarian discord and potential partition.
Give that a moment’s thought and you might get a headache: Sudan, a country which itself is still reeling from a Western-sponsored partition scheme, is actively (and foolishly) participating in carving up yet another Arab country into two warring entities. There’s an almost Alice-in-Wonderland feel to it.
GCC hopefuls Jordan and Morocco of course happily tagged-along with the Saudis into yet another sectarian misadventure in what’s starting to look like a long drawn out series of auditions to join the GCC club which entail the two tiny monarchies to get down and dirty in the destruction of other Arab countries for the benefit (and amusement) of the Saudis; starting with Libya and Syria, and God knows where it’s going to go after Yemen; but you can be sure it’ll be under the spurious pretext of the “Shiite threat”,
And then you have the Arab League whose complete transformation from a schlocky, ineffectual entity into the proverbial make a wish foundation for the imperial West was epitomized in full shameless splendor in the unfortunate case of Yemen.
Gone are the days when the Arab League would grovel at the feet of NATO governments to intervene militarily somewhere in the Arab world or co-conspire with the West for yet another foreign invasion of one of its member states, now the Arab League, essentially nothing more than a mere echo chamber for the mercurial whims of the GCC nowadays, is finally taking matters into its own unreliable hands and summoning its American-made military might.
No time for niceties of the UNSC resolutions under the seventh chapter sort à la Libya or good-ol’ fashioned UN sanctions; Nah, the Arab League will no longer stoop to such pedestrian and banal methods, in the latest Arab League summit in Sharm Al Shaikh, the one which hastily rubber-stamped the Saudi war on Yemen, Arab leaders decided to resurrect a 65-year old near-dead defense pact and form a joint military force, which was about as thoughtful and welcome a notion as a fourth Netanyahu term, to counter… the Shiite threat in Yemen; kind of makes you yearn for the not-so-distant days when Arab Summits were all about vacuous, fig-leaf statements and “strong-worded” condemnations at best and public bickering and laughable finger-pointing at worst.
To put things into proper, albeit depressing perspective; neither Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine nor America’s criminal invasion of Iraq has ever prompted Arab governments to even get near that defense pact; the GCC’s unhealthy obsession with Iran, bordering on hysteria, did.
Sectarianism is the New Black
“The Israel occupation of Palestine does not exist; it is a figment of our collective imagination. Iran is the enemy and Netanyahu and co. are allies.” that’s the only way we can reconcile ourselves with the bleak reality of the Arab world today which can be summed up in one word: Iranophopia… on Wahhabi steroids.
It’s quite telling when Netanyahu’s latest address to the Congress and the entirety of the last Arab league summit seem blurred into one big anti-Iran screed; Netanyahu could’ve made the same exact firebrand speech in Sharm Al Shaikh, steeped in anti-Iran buffoonery and short on intelligence, and it wouldn’t have seemed out of place or different… except for the number of standing ovations which I suspect would have been significantly higher than what he received from the jump-and-applaud-every-other-line U.S. Congress back in March.
So Iran… or Shiism (two interchangeable terms in GCC political discourse) is the enemy, evidently the alleged threat posed by Iran (and represented through the mere “presence” of Shiite indigenous communities in some Arab countries) supersedes the real existential threat posed by the Israeli expansionist project in Palestine (does anybody remember Palestine these days?) and beyond, notions like “Arab unity” and “Arab joint military pact”, which were constantly mocked by the monarchies of the Gulf as “wooden language” whenever they’re used in the context of the Palestine/Israel conflict, are now being used (and abused with a xenophobic fervor) by the GCC-camp only in relation to Iran.
So the GCC is perfectly fine with droves of illegal European settlers migrating all the way to Palestine, expelling Palestinians from their lands and squatting comfortably in their midst, but when it comes to indigenous Yemenis for instance, god forbid they “march towards the city of Aden”.
Pan-Arabism is for suckers; sectarianism is the new black in the Arab world… in the literal and most depressing sense of the word. The map of the Arab world has been reconfigured into areas of contending Saudi and (alleged) Iranian influence, and feuding mini-statelets laden with sectarian discord and internal bloodletting thanks only to Saudi Arabia’s growing and self-inflected paranoia against the “Shiite threat”.
Nothing makes sense in the Arab world unless put in a sectarian bracket; this is what more than ten years’ worth of a constant barrage of fear-mongering against Shiites has yielded so far; a trail of failed Arab states and conflict-ridden regions.
The Saudis (controlling the majority of media outlets in the Arab World along with the rest of the GCC) have managed to turn a minority religious sect, approximately one-fifth of the world’s Muslims if not less, into the new big bad boogeyman for the remaining majority of Muslims, and what started as laughable, clumsy attempts courtesy of the GCC at provoking friction among Muslims in the wake of Bush’s invasion of Iraq; is now a no-holds-barred sectarian confrontation engulfing the Arab world where everything from suicide bombings all the way up to F-16s goes, with Israel comfortably cheering from the sidelines, unencumbered in its occupation of Palestine, as both sides of the Sunni-Shiite divide tear each other to shreds.
Speaking of Israel; “the coalition of willing… to get paid from the GCC” is taking entire pages right out of the Israeli military’s own scorched-earth playbook by carpet-bombing civilian areas, vital infrastructure, schools, hospitals, factories, dairy plants, airports, one football stadium and, on at least two occasions, refugee camps, all the while imposing a no-fly-zone (we all know how the GCC is fond of those) coupled with a draconian siege reminiscent of that forgotten Israeli blockade on Gaza, which by the way, went totally unreferenced in the final statement of the latest gung-ho Arab Summit. Collective punishment is the name of the military campaign here, a strict “disciplinary” treatment delivered via extensive aerial bombardment to keep the Yemeni population in check and obediently toeing the Saudi line. I wonder where we have seen all of this before.
The parallels between Operation Decisive Storm/Restoring Hope and Israel’s own criminal wars on Gaza are ominously striking and equally horrid; the guilty-by-nonexistent-association doctrine, pioneered and espoused by Israel to justify its deliberate targeting of civilians by deeming all Palestinians in Gaza, including newborns and children, to be members of Hamas, was adopted with a demented zeal by the GCC in their own military misadventure in Yemen.
Thus all these ashen-faced victims of the coalition’s bombing campaign are militant “Shia Houthis”, and every charred skeleton, burned beyond recognition and crumbling in the arms of a shrieking loved one, is that of an Iranian agent’s, or so it’s reported in the callous sectarian coverage of Gulf-funded media which seem to fetishize the murder of Yemenis and the destruction of the country’s infrastructure with frenzied abandon, even the “courtesy” of at least shoving some of the nameless casualties of the air strikes under the euphemism of “Collateral Damage” is not extended to the Yemenis; just like it wasn’t extended to the Libyans when the city of Sirte was virtually flattened to the ground during Operation “Odyssey Dawn for Benghazi/Living Hell for the rest of the country”, these weren’t residential areas and universities that NATO was bombing back then we were told, but Gaddafi’s military command and control centers. In Yemen it’s Houthis’ training camps or “concentration centers”, whatever that means.
The deliberate de-Yemenization and even dehumanization of the victims of Operation Decisive Storm/Restoring Hope is practiced on a daily basis on Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya channels. Constantly referring to the victims of the bombing campaigns strictly as “Houthis”, prompting the viewer to think they’re an invasive alien breed and not indigenous people comprising almost 40% of the Yemeni population, while true Yeminis, according to the GCC, are those Hadi-supporters pathetically paraded all over Gulf-funded networks rallying in support of the Saudi airstrikes on their country.
Aljazeera Arabic TV talk-show host Faisal Al Qasem (known for his vulgar and trashy persona which makes Jerry Springer look like the paragon of classy journalism) summed up the entire sordid coverage of GCC funded media of the war on Yemen when he screamed at one of his guests; “look at the Houthis, just look at their faces… they don’t even look like us Arabs”.
Remember those leaflets with badly translated, “pseudo-apologetic” Arabic messages that the Israeli Army used to dump on Gazans before bombing the living daylights out of them with all manner of cluster ammunition and dime bombs? Well the same leaflets with the same exact clumsy messages are being dropped on Yemenis courtesy of the GCC’s coalition of the unwitting in another disgusting display of kinship verging on pathological idol-worship towards the IOF’s criminal tactics. Thus claims by Houthi rebels that the coalition is using White Phosphorous (Israel’s favorite weapon of choice) may not be that farfetched; the harrowing images trickling out of Yemen and shown on (few) Media outlets are proof positive that Yemen is being used as a test ground for GCC’s multi-billion dollar, American-made arsenal of death and destruction, including the use of internationally banned weapons.
The complete lack of subtlety in borrowing from the Israeli military’s book (of terrorism) and openly recycling its brand of criminality up to the smallest details against the Yemenis leaves no doubt that the alliance between the GCC and the Zionist entity has taken another gigantic leap forward into an all-hands-on-deck political, military and diplomatic integration.
The war on Yemen, like all wars waged on defenseless populations including Israel’s mass murdering sprees against Palestinians, is nothing but an ego boost, Decisive Storm/Restoring Hope was probably prompted by the Interim nuclear agreement Iran managed to strike with the West last month; I don’t even want to imagine how the Saudis will react if and when a full comprehensive deal is reached come June 30.
Once again Western media has rushed to judgment over a “Russian submarine”, this time in an incident off the coast of Ireland. But maybe they should have done their homework on this one. Britain and the US have worse track records in the Irish Sea.
Last week, while out and about in the waters of the Irish Sea a few miles off County Down, a fishing trawler “almost sank” when it was hit, presumably by a submarine.
The vessel, named the Karen, was hit and then “pulled backwards very violently.”
Skipper Paul Murphy told Down News that the boat had been travelling at just a couple of knots and then all of a sudden he was nearly knocked off his feet. “The crew were just in shock after this incident. It really was a close call,” he said.
Shaken from the day, and no doubt influenced by the deluge of Russian-subs-and-jets-are-coming-to-get-you propaganda in British newspapers, Murphy immediately hypothesized to the journalist that it could have been a Russian submarine. No wonder Stockholm couldn’t find it.
After I read the story, I posted the link to Facebook and then promptly forgot about it. It was only by chance, while reading an article in the Guardian about Britain’s Trident nuclear deterrent program and the “unpredictable Putin” that I happened upon another mention of it.
It seems the Russian sub theory has spread beyond the Down News to the Guardian, the BBC and beyond. And don’t get me wrong, it’s not a theory entirely without merit. It very well could have been a Russian submarine.
Security analyst Tom Ripley, who writes for Jane’s Defence magazine, agreed. He told BBC Radio Ulster that the Russians “are famous for liking to watch these things [NATO exercises] and it is a strong possibility that they have sent one of their submarines to watch this activity.”
James added that, had it been a British submarine, Royal Navy protocols would have required it to “immediately surface to check on the health and welfare of the people involved,” and this submarine did not do that.
Subsequently, the initial media coverage of the incident seems to have been peppered with the assumption that while the Brits would never be so rude as to not surface and say hello, the horrible Russians wouldn’t feel bound by such niceties. It’s this fact alone — that the sub never surfaced to check the damage — that seems to have immediately convinced the entire British and Irish media that it could not have been a British vessel.
But let’s skip back for a moment, to April 18, 1982.
On that otherwise calm day at sea, a British submarine dragged the Sharelga, an Irish fishing boat for two miles before it eventually sunk and all five crew members were forced to jump overboard. They were, luckily, rescued by crew members of nearby boats.
The British sub did not surface and the British government denied any involvement in or knowledge of what had happened to the Sharelga. Only weeks later did they finally admit that in fact the Irish boat’s fishing net had been caught by the British submarine HMS Porpoise, which itself had been trying to spot Soviet submarines in the Irish Sea.
Four years later, the crew members finally received compensation, although according to the skipper Raymond McEvoy, it “didn’t even match half” of what he paid for the boat.
It took so long, likely in part because the Irish government didn’t want to, shall we say, rock the boat by getting too involved in a diplomatic entanglement with Britain. A document released decades later revealed that the Government was not interested in acting as “a party to the dispute” between the men and the British government.
The sinking of the Sharelga happened during a period of the Cold War that saw the Irish Sea earn the nickname ‘Submarine Highway’, so frequent was sub activity in Irish waters.
Seven years after the Sharelga sank, a Belgian trawler, the Tijl Uilenspiegel, sank approximately 25 miles south-east of the Isle of Man, presumably also by a submarine.
The incident prompted a discussion about submarine activity in the Irish Parliament in March 1989. Hugh Byrne, a member of parliament at the time, used his speaking time to deliver a chronological list of incidents to highlight the dangers to both fishermen and those on recreational vessels.
Here are some of the incidents he listed:
● In 1983, a yacht was struck and sunk by a submarine believed to be the British HMS Opossum, off County Wexford
● In 1984, a fishing vessel, the Algrie, became entangled with the HMS Spartan off the Cornwall coast
● In 1984, a US submarine surfaced in the middle of a fishing fleet near Kilmore Quay, prompting fishermen to flee in fear of their lives
● In 1984, Scottish fishing vessel the Mhari L disappeared with no distress call. A damaged British submarine entered Faslane base 24 hours later, but the Ministry of Defence denied involvement
● In 1987, the Summer Morn was towed for hours by a US submarine
● In 1988, the HMS Oberon collided with a yacht named the Drum
● In 1988, the Dalriada was sunk by the HMS Conqueror off Northern Ireland
● In 1989, a fishing trawler was struck by the USS Will Rogers.
Those are just a handful of incidents involving the damaging, sinking or disappearance of Irish and British boats in the waters surrounding the British Isles. Notably, none of the examples Byrne gave referred specifically to Russian submarines.
Occasionally the tragedies were blamed on “freak” waves, as in the case of the Boy Shaun off County Donegal and the Inspire off the Welsh coast, both of which were sunk while submarines were known to be operating nearby.
Overall, 50 fishermen lost their lives over nine years as a result of war games being played out in the Irish Sea. It’s important to note that the national identities of the subs were not confirmed irrefutably in every case, but a search through Irish government debate archives seems to suggest that Britain was regarded as a major, if not the major culprit. It’s not a particularly unusual assumption either, given that Britain (and its bases) is quite considerably nearer to Ireland than Russia, last time I checked.
During his comments, Byrne said that despite pleading with the British government, they continued to “ignore the loss of life and to respond with a ‘how dare you ask questions?’ attitude”.
“The attitude of the British Government, who contribute most to this devastation, baffles me because of their arrogance towards their people, particularly towards their fishermen,” he said.
Later in the same year, after a sonar buoy towed by a British submarine became entangled in the nets of a fishing vessel in the Irish Sea, the issue was raised in government again.
Member of the government at the time Peter Barry said that “as long as the NATO base [Holy Loch] remains located in Scotland,” and as long as NATO submarines were being shadowed by submarines from other superpowers, the danger would remain.
None of this information is readily available to your average consumer of news today, unless they go searching through old archives, which most people are not wont to do — and so it’s easy for the likes of the BBC, Sky News and the Guardian to bang out article after article about ‘Russian submarines’ with little to no historical context, let alone evidence to back up their assertions.
None of the reports on the latest incident with the Karen off the coast of Down last week made reference to the relevant history of dangerous British sub activity in the Irish Sea. Either the journalists didn’t do their homework or they felt that the frankly questionable British and American track records in the Irish Sea were not worth mentioning. It’s not that they needed to deliver an entire history of events in the interest of balance, but even a line or two would have been enough.
The argument by some against the relevance of this history will be that the 1980s were a different time and that surely if a British submarine inadvertently dragged a fishing boat today, they would immediately surface to check on the crew. It could also be argued however, that unfortunately today isn’t really as different from 1982 as we’d perhaps like to believe when it comes to NATO vs. Russia war games.
Despite a perhaps misplaced presumption of British courteousness, there are still plenty of reasons to assume a British sub would stay hidden after such an incident today, chief among them the fact that it just wouldn’t look good to admit such a mistake — particularly at a time when Russian military irresponsibility and “aggression” is the accepted bogeyman of the day.
Having to admit to almost capsizing a fishing boat in the Irish Sea would not look great given the current British government’s tendency to fear-monger over Russian jets and subs at any given opportunity and to use routine military maneuvers as a NATO rallying cry.
When I asked Dick James of NIFPO about the drop-off in incidents after 1990, he said it was likely due to the protocols being in place and of course the closure of the Holy Loch base after the collapse of the Soviet Union, which reduced submarine activity.
As for the identity of the sub that hit the Karen last week, when I asked if the media had been quick to judge, he accepted that it “could be NATO or not” adding that the British Ministry of Defence was being “reticent”. The Royal Navy later issued a statement claiming it was not one of their own.
But the question is: If Britain refused to acknowledge the mistakes of their submarines during periods of heightened tensions before, why would today be any different?
None of this is to assign blame or to claim that it wasn’t a Russian sub which dragged the Karen and shook her crew members last week. It very well could have been — but that theory is no more or less likely than the theory that says it was a British one.
Follow Danielle Ryan on Twitter @DanielleRyanJ
Rasmussen’s case for war is built on a stack of lies
In his op-ed in Project Syndicate, ex-NATO chief and former Danish PM Anders “Fog of War” Rasmussen calls for war against Russia in the name of democracy and the ever so elusive “Western values”. “The current conflict between Russia and the West is, at its core, a clash of values,” he announces to start with, but then through a seriously convoluted brain process arrives at the conclusion that “It is about democracy.” In his mind the latter must be the distilled sublime product of the former. And since it is about democracy, Mr. Fog of War reasons, “the West must respond accordingly.”
I cannot fathom why on earth this concept, “democracy”, this linguistic abstraction, stirs such passions in a man who, by all formal counts, should rank among the best that his nation, with its long traditions of progress, has produced. Isn’t this guy in actual fact taking us a thousand years back and calling for a Holy Crusade against Russia? The crusades were military campaigns in the name of a God and true interpretation of the scripture. They were sanctioned by the Roman Catholic Church during the Middle Ages with the ostensible goal to restore Christian access to holy places in Jerusalem. In reality, they were aggressive Western expansion attempts driven by economic and political reasons, fueled by personal ambitions and served to the European sheeple packaged in lofty religious causes.
Rasmussen, the former High Priest of NATO, is driven by all these exactly same considerations. He is supporting the NATO war effort to take a stranglehold of Russia with the actual aim to create a global hegemony led by the Western elite. As in the Middle Ages, so today, the idea of a war for the sake of pure conquest does not sell with the herds — if the pasture is good enough, then why bother — therefore, all you need to do is replace God with Democracy and the Ten Commandments with Western Values. (What easy work for the modern day apostles, the Western stink tanks — they do not actually have to spell out what these “values” are, not even in a list of ten).
I will not here expound on my view of what democracy is; suffice to say that it cannot be defined as a concept but rather as a result of social practices and societal conditions which enable the practices. I have elaborated on this in my book All is Art, where the second part is dedicated to this question under the title “Democratic Competition”. (From page 182 of this file).
Instead I will here treat you to a sample of what kind of “values” Rasmussen stands for as evidenced by the op-ed in question. These values are all firmly rooted in lies, as we will see.
1. Rasmussen writes: “Russian authorities recently threatened to aim nuclear missiles at Danish warships if Denmark joins NATO’s missile-defense system. This was obviously an outrageous threat against a country that has no intention of attacking Russia.”
In fact: Denmark is part of an anti-Russian war coalition which is — through vicious propaganda, economic warfare and military actions — continuously closing in on Russia with the aim to conquer it or force a regime change that would install a pliant Western puppet leader.
2. Rasmussen: “Russia’s leaders know very well that NATO’s missile defense is not directed at their country. … we repeatedly emphasized that the purpose was to defend Alliance members from threats originating outside the Euro-Atlantic area [Iran]”.
In fact: We all know this is total baloney.
3. Rasmussen: “Recall how the Ukrainian conflict began: Tens of thousands of Ukrainian citizens from all parts of society demanded, in overwhelmingly peaceful demonstrations, an association agreement with the European Union.“
In fact: We know very well that the protests were not peaceful and amounted to a Western managed, violent coup d’état.
4. Rasmussen: “No one was calling for a pogrom against Ukraine’s Russian-speakers, despite the Kremlin’s claims to the contrary.”
In fact: From the very beginning of Maidan, the protests where fiercely anti-Russia and soon resulted in unheard of physical harm and mass-murder against the population that identified themselves as Russian.
5. Rasmussen: “And NATO membership was not part of the deal.”
In fact: It was very much so.
6. Rasmussen: “Yet Russia reacted swiftly and harshly. Long before violence engulfed the protests, Russian officials began accusing the demonstrators of being neo-Nazis, radicals, and provocateurs.”
In fact: It is proven beyond any doubt that the most active part of the demonstrators were precisely neo-Nazis, radicals and provocateurs. And that the regime that came into power very much adopted their war cries and utilized those forces in their terror campaign all across Ukraine.
7. Rasmussen: “As soon as Ukraine’s then-President Viktor Yanukovych fled Kyiv, Russian President Vladimir Putin began engineering the annexation of Crimea.”
In fact: Here Rasmussen has a point, save for the word “annexation”. Funny, though, as the common Western line was always that Putin had been “scheming” this for years.
8. Rasmussen: “For Russia, the threat posed by the Ukrainian protesters was existential. In demanding change, freedom, and democracy – right on Russia’s doorstep, no less – the protesters challenged Putin’s model of “sovereign democracy,” in which the president eliminates all opposition, restricts media freedom, and then tells citizens that they can choose their leaders. The Kremlin feared that if the Ukrainians got what they wanted, Russians might be inspired to follow their example.”
In fact: So much nonsense that it does not deserve a comment. Shortly, we have seen what kind of “change, freedom, and democracy” they got under the new Western backed oligarch and neo-facsist regime.
9. Rasmussen: “That is why Russia’s leaders have been so keen to label Ukraine’s leaders as Russophobes and fascists.”
In fact: Russia does not need to do any labeling here; the Ukraine leaders and their subservient media speak for themselves.
10. Rasmussen: “It is why they have portrayed the Baltic States for years as dysfunctional oppressors of their Russian citizens.”
In fact: The Baltic states have, ever since their independence, run an oppressive apartheid system denying vast portions of their populations – mainly Russian ethnic nationals – even citizenship. And Fog of War knows that very well, coming from a neighboring country.
11. Rasmussen: “And it is why they are now portraying the EU as decadent, immoral, and corrupt.”
In fact: I have not seen Kremlin engaged in this, although I definitely think they should more actively call out these ignominious characteristics of the EU, which Rasmussen so correctly identified.
12. Rasmussen: ”The Kremlin is trying desperately to convince Russians that liberal democracy is bad, and that life under Putin is good. That requires not only spreading damaging lies at home, but also sowing violence and instability among its neighbors.”
In fact: Russia under Putin is much more a true liberal democracy in the classical sense of the concept. Life under Putin may not be as good as we all would like it to be, but it is for sure better than ever in Russian history and continuously improving, which cannot be said for the EU countries. “Sowing violence and instability in the world” — that is clearly the business of NATO and its member states.
After having enumerated this list of lies, Rasmussen concludes: “Despite whatever pain we incur, we must maintain – and, if necessary, deepen – sanctions against Russia and reinforce NATO’s front line. “
How long will the good Europeans be willing to sacrifice all they have for these warmongering lies?
Sixteenth Anniversary of the Attack on Yugoslavia: Nish
As a member of a delegation documenting NATO war crimes in 1999, I visited Nish, the third largest city in Yugoslavia. NATO attacked this appealing old city on forty occasions, destroying approximately 120 buildings and damaging more than 3,400.
On the night of our second stop in Nish, we attended a meeting with university professor Jovan Zlatich. During the NATO war, Dr. Zlatich served as commander of the city’s Civil Defense Headquarters. In his discussion of the bombardment of Nish, he focused particular attention on the use of cluster bombs. Nish had the misfortune of being the target of several CBU-87/B cluster bombs, a weapon designed to open at a predetermined height and release 202 bomblets. These smaller bombs burst in a furious repeating series of explosions, spraying thousands of pieces of shrapnel over a wide area. Cluster bombs are anti-personnel weapons. While causing relatively minor damage to structures, they inflict frightful damage on human beings.
According to Dr. Miodrag Lazich of the surgical department at Nish University Hospital, “Cluster bombs cause enormous pain. A person standing a meter or two away from the cluster bomb gets the so-called air-blast injuries, coming from a powerful air wave. The body remains mostly intact while internal organs like liver, brains or lungs are imploded inside. Parts of the exploding bombs cause severe injuries to people standing 15 to 20 meters away, ripping apart their limbs or hitting them in the stomach or head.” The starting speed of the explosive charge in a cluster bomb is more than three times that of a bullet fired from an automatic rifle. Consequently, as shrapnel strikes its victim, the combined kinetic energy and explosive power is capable of causing a wound up to thirty times the size of the fragment itself. Because the bomblets are dispersed, they can cover an area as large as three football fields with their deadly rain.
Dr. Zlatich showed us photographs of his city’s cluster bomb victims. We viewed page after page of civilians lying in pools of blood, and then – much worse, pre-autopsy photographs. What cluster bombs do to soft human flesh is beyond anything that can be imagined, and an anguished silence fell over the room as Dr. Zlatich flipped through the photos. Viewing such scenes was unbearable. Finally, Dr. Zlatich looked up at us and softly said, “Western democracy.”
We had the opportunity to visit these sites. On three separate occasions, we walked down Anete Andrejevich Street and talked with residents. It was on this street at shortly after 11:30 AM on May 7 that cluster bombs fell. At one end of Anete Andrejevich Street is a marketplace, and on the day of the bombing the area was busy with shoppers. The street was narrow, lined with buildings that were old and charming. Evidence of the attack was unmistakable. Almost every house was pockmarked, and shrapnel had gouged hundreds of holes in the walls of the more heavily damaged homes. There was no place for pedestrians to hide on that day. One parked car had not moved since the day of the bombing. It was still there, riddled with punctures and resting on flattened tires, its windows covered with plastic. Memorials to the victims were posted at the spots where they had been killed.
Home on Anete Andrejevich Street, pockmarked by cluster bomb fragments. Photo: Gregory Elich.
As cluster bombs descended on this neighborhood, a violent and rapidly repeating series of explosions sounded as the bomblets sprayed razor-sharp shrapnel by the thousands. Seventy-three-year-old Smilja Djurich was inside her home when the attack came. “It went blat-blat-blat,” she recalled. “I didn’t know where I was. I was completely stunned. If I had been in the street, I would have been dead. When it began, we rushed to the cellar. People were screaming afterwards.” She sobbed as she told a reporter, “I survived World War II, but I haven’t seen anything like this.”
A young man was killed near her doorstep, sliced to pieces and lying in a pool of blood. Nearby, an elderly woman, her forehead pierced by shrapnel, was stretched out in the street, a bag of carrots beside her. Zhivorad Ilich was selling onions and eggs on a cardboard box that served as a makeshift stall when flying metal killed him. Slavica Dinich explained how she managed to survive. “We ducked for cover under the bed. One bomb fell through the roof of the upper floor of our house.”
Bozidar Panich reported, “I was in my garden when I heard something crack.” He saw smoke rising from the street. “Then I looked at the sky above and saw a small parachute with a yellow grenade descending toward me. Instinctively, I threw myself to the ground and covered my head with my hands. The bomb landed and exploded beside me so that everything shook. I remember that I was all covered with soil. I ran out into the street to look for my son, who had gone out minutes earlier. On the street, it was chaos. The dead and wounded were lying all over the place… People were crying out for help, in shock, and the cars and roofs of houses were burning.”
At the corner of Jelene Dimitrijevich and Shumatovachka Streets, a memorial for Ljiljana Spasich was posted on a brick wall at the place where she was killed while walking home from the market. Only 26 years-old and seven months pregnant, she was just one month away from completing her fifth and final year at medical school. She had planned her life well, expecting to give birth shortly after graduation. But NATO had other plans for her, and an exploding cluster bomb canister killed both her and her unborn baby.
Memorial to Ljiljana Spasich, posted at the spot where she was killed. Photo: Gregory Elich.
Accompanying Spasich on that day was her mother-in-law, Simeunka Spasich, who recalled, “We were 300-400 meters from our apartment and some 100 meters from the market when we heard planes. Suddenly, bombs were falling all around us. It was terrible. Explosions, smoke, leaves, branches… I felt a blow on my head, and blood leaking. Then I fainted. Several times I regained consciousness. I looked around me and realized that I was lying in the street, my right leg was broken as well as my right arm. People around me were dead or injured. It was terrible. Right next to me I saw my daughter-in-law Ljiljana, who was lying motionless. She was dead. At that moment, I thought her to be alive, but later they told me she had been killed on the spot, and the child could not have been saved.”
When the ambulance picked up Spasich, she lapsed back into unconsciousness. “I finally gained consciousness at the Military Medical Academy in Belgrade. My left leg was amputated below the knee, and my right hand was seriously injured. I could not move it. I was told that I would have to endure several operations more… My son, who came to visit me, told me that they did not believe I would stay alive, since my intestines had spilled.”
Two memorials to Pordani Seklich were posted on the front door window of the restaurant where she was employed as a waitress. She was in the kitchen when whizzing shrapnel tore through the roof and killed her where she stood. Our hotel, located across the Nishava, overlooked the neighborhood around Anete Andrejevich Street, and we had walked extensively throughout the area. It was an entirely residential neighborhood, with nothing that could be construed as a military target.
Only ten minutes after the cluster bombing of the marketplace neighborhood, a NATO warplane dropped an incendiary cluster bomb on the parking lot of the Clinical Center. A ball of fire engulfed the parking lot, igniting cars and sending thick clouds of black smoke billowing into the sky. Several homes on the adjacent block were damaged. Shrapnel by the hundreds shot through the hospital, causing the roof over the classroom to collapse. It was the everyday routine for staff to meet in the classroom at noon to discuss the war while eating lunch. Had the attack come twenty minutes later, all would have perished. In one room alone, over ninety holes from bomb fragments were counted.
Parking lot of Clinical Center, target of incendiary cluster bomb. Photo: Gregory Elich.
The incendiary effect of the bomb brought to mind Djakovica, where NATO attacked a column of Albanian refugees who were returning to their homes in Kosovo. According to a wartime report in Jane’s Defence Weekly, the Pentagon was anxious to introduce the newly developed CBU-97 cluster bomb. This weapon was designed to spray shrapnel heated to an intense temperature and ignite everything within its blast radius. The charred remains of the automobiles in the parking lot indicated that this was probably the weapon used at the Clinical Center. Djakovica was another site that served as a testing ground for the CBU-97, where it proved a rousing success, killing 73 civilians and dismembering and incinerating most of them beyond recognition. Survivors of that attack scattered and sought cover in nearby homes. NATO pilots, spotting this, launched missiles on the houses, adding to the death toll.
The photographs I saw of the victims were horrifying. We were later to talk with Albanians in Belgrade who served in the Yugoslav government or held prominent positions in the society. One of them mentioned his anger over the slaughter at Djakovica, as well as other instances where NATO warplanes killed his fellow Albanians. “The man who could command NATO to bomb people is not human. He is an animal. After the bombing of Djakovica, I saw decapitated bodies. I have pictures of that. It is horrible, terrible. I saw people without arms, without feet.”
Office building of So Produkt, a distributor of salt products. Photo: Gregory Elich.
The state-owned DIN cigarette factory in Nish was one of Yugoslavia’s largest manufacturing facilities, employing 2,500 workers. It was bombed on four occasions. The factory’s deputy managing director, Milovoje Apostolovich, told us that cluster bombs were among the munitions dropped on DIN. Workers found two cluster bomb fragments with messages scrawled on them: “Do you still want to be Serbs?” and “Run faster.” Apostolovich estimated damage to his factory at $35 million. A cigarette factory clearly lacked military utility. The only reason DIN was attacked was because it was the largest employer in Nish. We strolled through the factory’s grounds. A cruise missile had completely flattened the tobacco storehouse. Two of the larger buildings were substantially demolished. Merely to clear away the rubble would be an imposing task. Many of the smaller buildings had also sustained substantial damage. Bricklayers were busily rebuilding the canteen. Across the lane, the façade of the large financial and computer center bore the marks of a cluster bomb, with hundreds of gouged holes spread across its face.
Reconstruction continued at the state-owned DIN until it was made fit for privatization by a new Western-friendly government, as 1,400 employees were thrown out of work. In October 2003, DIN was purchased by Philip Morris, which six years later eliminated a third of the remaining workforce, terming those it laid off as “technological surplus.”
Several requests were filed by various parties with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) to investigate NATO war crimes, including the cluster bombing of Nish. Established at the behest of the United States, from which it received the bulk of its funding, the ICTY was not an entirely disinterested party. Compelled to deflect persistent complaints about NATO actions, the ICTY Prosecutor’s Office formed a committee it authorized to conduct an “investigation” to determine if there was a basis for legal action against NATO.
Not surprisingly, the Prosecutor’s committee found no basis to charge NATO for any of its actions. In regard to the cluster bombing of Nish, it correctly pointed out that there is no treaty prohibiting or restricting the use of cluster bombs. The Prosecutor’s office added that it indicted Serbian Krajina leader Milan Martich for launching a cluster bomb missile at Zagreb because it “was not designed to hit military targets but to terrorize the civilians of Zagreb.” NATO cluster bombs, evidently by their inherent nature, cannot be so characterized. “There is no indication cluster bombs were used in such a fashion by NATO,” the Prosecutor’s report asserts. The Office “should not commence an investigation into the use of cluster bombs as such by NATO.”
Bridge over the Nishava River. Photo: Gregory Elich.
The report goes on to explain that military commanders are obliged to “do everything practicable to verify that the objectives to be attacked are military objectives,” and to refrain from striking purely civilian targets. Against all evidence, the Prosecutor’s Office claimed that most of NATO’s targets were “clearly military objectives,” and “military objectives are often located in densely populated areas.”
The evidence for arriving at that determination was clear, according to the Prosecutor’s Office. “It has tended to assume that the NATO and NATO countries’ press statements are generally reliable and that explanations have been honestly given,” despite the fact that when it asked NATO about specific incidents, replies were vague and “failed to address the specific incidents.” Only one conclusion was possible: “On the basis of the information reviewed, however, the committee is of the opinion that neither an in-depth investigation related to the bombing campaign as a whole nor investigations related to specific incidents are justified.”
Try telling Ljiljana Spasich’s widowed husband that his wife and unborn baby were legitimate military targets.
Gregory Elich is on the Board of Directors of the Jasenovac Research Institute and the Advisory Board of the Korea Policy Institute.
The US Army has joined Estonian soldiers in NATO ‘Tornado’ drills just before the largest training in Estonia’s history, the Siil war games. A laser training system will be used for simulating actual battle.
“On Monday, nearly 2,000 soldiers of the First Infantry Brigade of Estonian Defense Forces, as well as divisions of US paratroopers, will begin five-day Tornado drills, which will demonstrate the level of their readiness for larger Siil [Hedgehog] military exercises,” the General Staff of the country’s Defense Forces said in a statement.
The Siil war games involving up to 13,000 soldiers will be held in early May.
The MILES (Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System) system will be used during the Tornado exercise for training purposes, with different versions of MILES systems available to US and international militaries. The system uses lasers and blank cartridges to simulate actual battle. Soldiers carry small laser receivers, placed over their outfits, which detect when the soldier has been illuminated by a firearm’s laser. Each laser transmitter meanwhile mimics the effective range of the weapon on which it is used.
The presence of US soldiers in the Baltic region is a part of the military operation Atlantic Resolve, a demonstration of US commitment to NATO members across Eastern Europe through international training and security cooperation.
NATO has been building up its military presence along Russia’s western border in the wake of the conflict in southeastern Ukraine. Moscow has repeatedly warned that NATO’s growing expansion towards Russian borders could only escalate tensions and destabilize regional security.
“The Alliance exerts pressure on the Russian Federation and the deployment of additional military capabilities along our borders is nothing but an attempt to assist military pressure on Russia,” Russia’s permanent representative to NATO, Alexander Grushko, said in February.
The Russian General Staff said on Thursday there was a sharp increase in the intensity of NATO troops training near the borders of Russia last year, with a clear anti-Russian orientation of these activities. According to Lieutenant General Andrey Kartapolov, NATO’s operational and combat training activities grew by 80 percent in 2014.
“During this period, NATO created a grouping of its member states’ forces in the Baltic States, consisting of over 10,000 troops, about 1,500 armored vehicles, 80 planes and helicopters and 50 warships,” Kartapolov stated, adding that strategic bombers from the US Air Force were used to perform strategic tasks during those exercises.
He also said the US plans to supply its Eastern European allies with JASSM-ER long-range aviation cruise missiles, which will enable NATO warplanes to hit targets 1,300 kilometers inside Russian territory.
The head of the Main Operation Directorate of the General Staff has warned that in the case of a military conflict, critical facilities on the territory of “almost the entire European part of Russia will be vulnerable to NATO’s air attack, with the flight time of the missiles reduced by half.”
The Prime Minister of Finland has acknowledged the victory of the opposition Centre Party in Sunday’s general election. With most of the votes counted, Centre has 21 percent support, which translates to a potential 44 seats in the country’s parliament.
“It appears the Centre has won. Congratulations,” PM Alexander Stubb, a staunch EU backer, said, according to Finnish broadcaster Yle.
However, with only 44 seats, Centre will have to form a ruling coalition. “This result will enable several possible coalition combinations”, party leader Juha Sipila told reporters.
The Centre has several potential allies to choose from. These include the nationalist Finns Party, which is currently second with 17.6 percent of the vote. Like the Centre, the Finns are against NATO membership for Finland, with the Finns also striving for more independence from the EU.
They are closely followed by the National Coalition Party (NCP), with 18.1 percent. The NCP is the only party in the top four which advocates both NATO membership and closer ties with the EU.
The Social Democratic Party, at fourth place with 16.7 percent, is another potential member for the ruling coalition. Like Centre and the Finns, it is against NATO – as many as 91 percent of its members saying they are oppose it.
Other runners include the Greens, the Left party the pro-minority Swedish People’s Party and the Christian Democrats, none of which got more than eight percent of the vote.