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Libya ‘rape’ propaganda plunges to new depths of desperation

By Martin Iqbal – empirestrikesblack – 17 June 2011

The Libya war propaganda drive has plunged to new depths of cynicism, depravity, and a downright embarrassing lack of credibility.

Over a week after the ICC’s completely baseless claims of ‘rape being used as a weapon’ by Gaddafi’s forces, today CNN is running a propaganda set-piece that is so blatantly invented it makes one cringe with embarrassment for this rabble of liars and propagandists.

CNN claims that rebel forces have found mobile phone footage on ‘Gaddafi loyalists’, which allegedly shows them ‘raping women and torturing people’. Lo and behold, the story completely falls apart upon the most cursory inspection.

CNN plainly admits that they “cannot confirm when or where the video was shot“. To make matters worse for the propagandists behind this nonsense, there is no date to the video, and the men in the video are not even wearing Libyan Army clothing – they are dressed in civilian attire. But it gets better.

Their story revolves completely around this unverifiable mobile phone footage, and the testimony of NATO’s proxy ‘rebels’. On top of this CNN doesn’t reveal who their source is, and instead they parrot baseless claims from rebel spokespeople:

“We were able to confirm that rape was used as a weapon of war because it was systematic.”
~ Rebel spokesman Abdullah al-Kabeir

Without performing even the most basic journalistic duty of providing evidence, CNN simply forwards this completely unfounded claim from a rebel spokesperson.

According to CNN, Al-Kabeir also tells us:

The rebels have many videos showing other types of torture, and a few depict rape, he said. He did not know exactly how many videos there were showing abuse.

But his next admission really exposes this utter fabrication for what it is (emphasis added):

“There was a commander here at the eastern front in Misrata named Mohamed al-Halboos; he ordered all the (rebel) fighters to give him all the rape videos they find on Gadhafi soldiers’ cell phones. I heard that he used to destroy every rape video he got

We are supposed to believe that Gaddafi’s forces are ‘systematically’ raping women in Libya, but all of the evidence has been destroyed.

It’s not just CNN that’s partaking in this onslaught of propaganda. Today, Time is running some similar ‘just trust us’ journalism. See the following report regarding doctors working in Benghazi (emphasis added):

They talk for hours about the rape of women. But it’s only stories. They have never met a victim.The medics don’t deny that others in the hospital may have treated rape victims. But they say the stigma of sexual assault runs so deep in Libyan culture that the raped are virtually forced into social exile, unable to wed, a humiliation to their entire family, choosing to remain silent rather than to give voice to the crime they have suffered.

That the likes of CNN and Time even expect anybody to believe this farcical nonsense demonstrates the contempt in which they hold their audience. The sheer laziness of this propaganda reflects how desperate NATO now is, spectacularly failing to achieve its objective of regime change using the ‘humanitarian intervention’ myth.

June 17, 2011 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | 2 Comments

Why Regime Change in Libya?

By ISMAEL HOSSEIN-ZADEH | CounterPunch | June 17, 2011

In light of the brutal death and destruction wrought on Libya by the relentless US/NATO bombardment, the professed claims of “humanitarian concerns” as grounds for intervention can readily be dismissed as a blatantly specious imperialist ploy in pursuit of “regime change” in that country.

There is undeniable evidence that contrary to the spontaneous, unarmed and peaceful protest demonstrations in Egypt, Tunisia and Bahrain, the rebellion in Libya has been nurtured, armed and orchestrated largely from abroad, in collaboration with expat opposition groups and their local allies at home. Indeed, evidence shows that plans of “regime change” in Libya were drawn long before the insurgency actually started in Benghazi; it has all the hallmarks of a well-orchestrated civil war [1].

It is very tempting to seek the answer to the question “why regime change in Libya?” in oil/energy. While oil is undoubtedly a concern, it falls short of a satisfactory explanation because major Western oil companies were already extensively involved in the Libyan oil industry. Indeed, since Gaddafi relented to the US-UK pressure in 1993 and established “normal” economic and diplomatic relations with these and other Western countries, major US and European oil companies struck quite lucrative deals with the National Oil Corporation of Libya.

So, the answer to the question “why the imperialist powers want to do away with Gaddafi” has to go beyond oil, or the laughable “humanitarian concerns.” Perhaps the question can be answered best in the light of the following questions: why do these imperialist powers also want to overthrow Hugo Cavez of Venezuela, Fidel Castro (and/or his successors) of Cuba, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, Rafael Correa Delgado of Ecuador, Kim Jong-il of North Korea, Bashar Al-assad of Syria and Evo Morales of Bolivia? Or, why did they overthrow Mohammad Mossadeq of Iran, Jacobo Arbenz of Guatemala, Kusno Sukarno of Indonesia, Salvador Allende of Chile, Sandinistas in Nicaragua, Jean-Bertrand Aristide in Haiti and Manuel Zelaya in Honduras?

What does Gaddafi have in common with these nationalist/populist leaders? The question is of course rhetorical and the answer is obvious: like them Gaddafi is guilty of insubordination to the proverbial godfather of the world: US imperialism, and its allies. Like them, he has committed the cardinal sin of challenging the unbridled reign of global capital, of not following the economic “guidelines” of the captains of global finance, that is, of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and World Trade Organization; as well as of refusing to join US military alliances in the region. Also like other nationalist/populist leaders, he advocates social safety net (or welfare state) programs—not for giant corporations, as is the case in imperialist countries, but for the people in need.

This means that the criminal agenda of Messrs Obama, Cameron, Sarkozy, and their complicit allies to overthrow or kill Mr. Gaddafi and other “insubordinate” proponents of welfare state programs abroad is essentially part of the same evil agenda of dismantling such programs at home. While the form, the context and the means of destruction may be different, the thrusts of the relentless attacks on the living standards of the Libyan, Iranian, Venezuelan or Cuban peoples are essentially the same as the equally brutal attacks on the living conditions of the poor and working people in the US, UK, France and other degenerate capitalist countries. In a subtle (but unmistakable) way they are all part of an ongoing unilateral class warfare on a global scale—whether they are carried out by military means and bombardments, or through the apparently “non-violent” processes of judicial or legislative means does not make a substantial difference as far as the nature or the thrust of the attack on people’s lives or livelihoods are concerned.

In their efforts to consolidate the reign of big capital worldwide, captains of global finance use a variety of methods. The preferred method is usually non-military, that is, the neoliberal strategies of Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs), carried out by representatives of big business disguised as elected officials, or by the multilateral institutions such as the IMF and the WTO. This is what is currently happening in the debt- and deficit-ridden economies of the United States and Europe. But if a country like Libya (or Venezuela or Iran or Cuba) does not go along with the neoliberal agenda of “structural adjustments,” of outsourcing and privatization, and of allowing their financial system to be tied to the network of global banking cartel, then the military option is embarked upon to carry out the neoliberal agenda.

The powerful interests of global capitalism do not seem to feel comfortable to dismantle New Deal economics, Social Democratic reforms and welfare state programs in the core capitalist countries while people in smaller, less-developed countries such as Libya, Venezuela or Cuba enjoy strong, state-sponsored social safety net programs such as free or heavily-subsidized education and health care benefits. Indeed, guardians of the worldwide market mechanism have always been intolerant of any “undue” government intervention in the economic affairs of any country in the world. “Regimented economies,” declared President Harry Truman in a speech at Baylor University (1947), were the enemy of free enterprise, and “unless we act, and act decisively,” he claimed those regimented economies would become “the pattern of the next century.” To fend off that danger, Truman urged that “the whole world should adopt the American system.” The system of free enterprise, he went on, “can survive in America only if it becomes a world system” [2].

Before it was devastated by the imperialist-orchestrated civil war and destruction, Libya had the highest living standard in Africa. Using United Nations statistics, Jean-Paul Pougala of Dissident Voice reports,

“The country now ranks 53rd on the HDI [Human Development Index] index, better than all other African countries and also better than the richer and Western-backed Saudi Arabia. . . . Although the media often refers to youth unemployment of 15 to 30 percent, it does not mention that in Libya, in contrast to other countries, all have their subsistence guaranteed. . . . The government provides all citizens with free health care and [has] achieved high coverage in the most basic health areas. . . . The life expectancy rose to 74.5 years and is now the highest in Africa. . . . The infant mortality rate declined to 17 deaths per 1,000 births and is not nearly as high as in Algeria (41) and also lower than in Saudi Arabia (21).

“The UNDP [United Nations Development Program] certified that Libya has also made ‘a significant progress in gender equality,’ particularly in the fields of education and health, while there is still much to do regarding representation in politics and the economy. With a relative low ‘index of gender inequality’ the UNDP places the country in the Human Development Report 2010 concerning gender equality at rank 52 and thus also well ahead of Egypt (ranked 108), Algeria (70), Tunisia (56), Saudi Arabia (ranked 128) and Qatar (94)” [3].

It is true that after resisting the self-centered demands and onerous pressures from Western powers for more than thirty years, Gaddafi relented in 1993 and opened the Libyan economy to Western capital, carried out a number of neoliberal economic reforms, and granted lucrative business/investment deals to major oil companies of the West.

But, again, like the proverbial godfather, US/European imperialism requires total, unconditional subordination; half-hearted, grudging compliance with the global agenda of imperialism is not enough. To be considered a real “ally,” or a true “client state,” a country has to grant the US the right to “guide” its economic, geopolitical and foreign policies, that is, to essentially forgo its national sovereignty. Despite some economic concessions since the early 1990s, Gaddafi failed this critical test of “full compliance” with the imperialist designs in the region.

For example, he resisted joining a US/NATO-sponsored military alliance in the region. Libya (along with Syria) are the only two Mediterranean nations and the sole remaining Arab states that are not subordinated to U.S. and NATO designs for control of the Mediterranean Sea Basin and the Middle East. Nor has Libya (or Syria) participated in NATO’s almost ten-year-old Operation Active Endeavor naval patrols and exercises in the Mediterranean Sea and neither is a member of NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue military partnership which includes most regional countries: Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania [4].

To the chagrin of US imperialism, Libya’s Gaddafi also refused to join the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), designed to control valuable resources in Africa, safeguard trade and investment markets in the region, and contain or evict China from North Africa. “When the US formed AFRICOM in 2007, some 49 countries signed on to the US military charter for Africa but one country refused: Libya. Such a treacherous act by Libya’s leader Moummar Qaddafi would only sow the seeds for a future conflict down the road in 2011” [5].

Furthermore, by promoting trade, development and industrialization projects on a local, national, regional or African level, Gaddafi was viewed as an obstacle to the Western powers’ strategies of unhindered trade and development projects on a global level. For example, Gaddafi’s Libya played a leading role in “connecting the entire [African] continent by telephone, television, radio broadcasting and several other technological applications such as telemedicine and distance teaching. And thanks to the WMAX radio bridge, a low cost connection was made available across the continent, including in rural areas” [3].

The idea of launching a pan-African system of technologically advanced network of telecommunication began in the early 1990s, “when 45 African nations established RASCOM (Regional African Satellite Communication Organization) so that Africa would have its own satellite and slash communication costs in the continent. This was a time when phone calls to and from Africa were the most expensive in the world because of the annual $500 million fee pocketed by Europe for the use of its satellites like Intelsat for phone conversations, including those within the same country. . . . An African satellite only cost a onetime payment of $400 million and the continent no longer had to pay a $500 million annual lease” [3].

In pursuit of financing this project, the African nations frequently pleaded with the IMF and the World Bank for assistance.

As the empty promises of these financial giants dragged on for 14 years, “Gaddafi put an end to [the] futile pleas to the western ‘benefactors’ with their exorbitant interest rates. The Libyan guide put $300 million on the table; the African Development Bank added $50 million more and the West African Development Bank a further $27 million – and that’s how Africa got its first communications satellite on 26 December 2007.

“China and Russia followed suit and shared their technology and helped launch satellites for South Africa, Nigeria, Angola, Algeria and a second African satellite was launched in July 2010. The first totally indigenously built satellite and manufactured on African soil, in Algeria, is set for 2020. This satellite is aimed at competing with the best in the world, but at ten times less the cost, a real challenge.

“This is how a symbolic gesture of a mere $300 million changed the life of an entire continent. Gaddafi’s Libya cost the West, not just depriving it of $500 million per year but the billions of dollars in debt and interest that the initial loan would generate for years to come and in an exponential manner, thereby helping maintain an occult system in order to plunder the continent” [3].

Architects of global finance, represented by the imperialist governments of the West, also viewed Gaddafi as a spoiler in the area of international or global money and banking. The forces of global capital tend to prefer a uniform, contiguous, or borderless global market to multiple sovereign markets at the local, national, regional or continental levels. Not only Gaddafi’s Libya maintained public ownership of its own central bank, and the authority to create its own national money, but it also worked assiduously to establish an African Monetary Fund, an African Central Bank, and an African Investment Bank.

The $30 billion of the Libyan money frozen by the Obama administration belong to the Central Bank of Libya, which “had been earmarked as the Libyan contribution to three key projects which would add the finishing touches to the African Federation – the African Investment Bank in Syrte (Libya), the establishment in 2011 of the African Monetary Fund to be based in Yaoundé (Cameroon) . . ., and the Abuja-based African Central Bank in Nigeria, which when it starts printing African money will ring the death knell for the CFA franc [the French currency] through which Paris has been able to maintain its hold on some African countries for the last fifty years. It is easy to understand the French wrath against Gaddafi.

“The African Monetary Fund is expected to totally supplant the African activities of the International Monetary Fund which, with only $25 billion, was able to bring an entire continent to its knees and make it swallow questionable privatization like forcing African countries to move from public to private monopolies. No surprise then that on 16-17 December 2010, the Africans unanimously rejected attempts by Western countries to join the African Monetary Fund, saying it was open only to African nations” [3].

Western powers also viewed Gaddafi as an obstacle to their imperial strategies for yet another reason: standing in the way of their age-old policies of “divide and rule.” To counter Gaddafi’s relentless efforts to establish a United States of Africa, the European Union tried to create the Union for the Mediterranean (UPM) region. “North Africa somehow had to be cut off from the rest of Africa, using the old tired racist clichés of the 18th and 19th centuries, which claimed that Africans of Arab origin were more evolved and civilized than the rest of the continent. This failed because Gaddafi refused to buy into it. He soon understood what game was being played when only a handful of African countries were invited to join the Mediterranean grouping without informing the African Union but inviting all 27 members of the European Union.” Gaddafi also refused to buy into other imperialist-inspired/driven groupings in Africa such as ECOWAS, COMESA, UDEAC, SADC and the Great Maghreb, “which never saw the light of day thanks to Gaddafi who understood what was happening” [3].

Gaddafi further earned the wrath of Western powers for striking extensive trade and investment deals with BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), especially with China. According to Beijing’s Ministry of Commerce, China’s contracts in Libya (prior to imperialism’s controlled demolition of that country) numbered no less than 50 large projects, involving contracts in excess of $18 billion. Even a cursory reading of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) strategic briefings shows that a major thrust of its mission is containment of China. “In effect, what we are witnessing here,” points out Patrick Henningsten, “is the dawn of a New Cold War between the US-EURO powers and China. This new cold war will feature many of the same elements of the long and protracted US-USSR face-off we saw in the second half of the 20th century. It will take place off shore, in places like Africa, South America, Central Asia and through old flashpoints like Korea and the Middle East” [5].

It is obvious (from this brief discussion) that Gaddafi’s sin for being placed on imperialism’s death row consists largely of the challenges he posed to the free reign of Western capital in the region, of his refusal to relinquish Libya’s national sovereignty to become another unconditional “client state” of Western powers. His removal from power is therefore designed to eliminate all “barriers” to the unhindered mobility of the US/European capital in the region by installing a more pliant regime in Libya.

Gaddafi’s removal from power would serve yet another objective of US/European powers: to shorten or spoil the Arab Spring by derailing their peaceful protests, containing their non-violent revolutions and sabotaging their aspirations for self-determination. Soon after being caught by surprise by the glorious uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, the imperialist powers (including the mini Zionist imperialism in Palestine) embarked on “damage control.” In pursuit of this objective, they adopted three simultaneous strategies. The first strategy was to half-heartedly “support” the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia (of course, once they became unstoppable) in order to control them—hence, the military rule in those countries following the departure of Mubarak from Cairo and Ben Ali from Tunis. The second strategy of containment has been support and encouragement for the brutal crackdown of other spontaneous and peaceful uprisings in countries ruled by “client regimes,” for example, in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. And the third policy of sabotaging the Arab Spring has been to promote civil war and orchestrate chaos in countries such as Libya, Syria and Iran.

In its early stages of development, capitalism promoted nation-state and/or national sovereignty in order to free itself from the constraints of the church and feudalism. Now that the imperatives of the highly advanced but degenerate global finance capital require unhindered mobility in a uniform or borderless world, national sovereignty is considered problematic—especially in places like Libya, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Bolivia and other countries that are not ruled by imperialism’s “client states.” Why? Because unhindered global mobility of capital requires doing away with social safety net or welfare state programs; it means doing away with public domain properties or public sector enterprises and bringing them under the private ownership of the footloose-and-fancy-free global capital.

This explains why the corporate media, political pundits and other mouthpieces of imperialism are increasingly talking about Western powers’ “responsibility to protect,” by which they mean that these powers have a responsibility to protect the Libyan (or Iranian or Venezuelan or Syrian or Cuban or …) citizens from their “dictatorial” rulers by instigating regime change and promoting “democracy” there. It further means that, in pursuit of this objective, the imperialist powers should not be bound by “constraints” of national sovereignty because, they argue, “universal democratic rights take primacy over national sovereignty considerations.” In a notoriously selective fashion, this utilitarian use of the “responsibility to protect” does not apply to nations or peoples ruled by imperialism’s client states such as Saudi Arabia or Bahrain. [6].

This also means that the imperialist war against peoples and states such as Libya and Venezuela is essentially part of the same class war against peoples and states in the belly of the beast, that is, in the United States and Europe. In every instance or place, whether at home or abroad, whether in Libya or California or Wisconsin or Greece, the thrust of the relentless global class war is the same: to do away with subsistence-level guarantees, or social safety net programs, and redistribute the national or global resources in favor of the rich and powerful, especially the powerful interests vested in the finance capital and the military capital.

There is no question that global capitalism has thus woven together the fates and fortunes of the overwhelming majority of the world population in an increasingly intensifying struggle for subsistence and survival. No one can tell when this majority of world population (the middle, lower-middle, poor and working classes) would come to the realization that their seemingly separate struggles for economic survival are essentially part and parcel of the same struggle against the same class enemies, the guardians of world capitalism. One thing is clear, however: only when they come to such a liberating realization, join forces together in a cross-border, global uprising against the forces of world capitalism, and seek to manage their economies independent of profitability imperatives of capitalist production—only then can they break free from the shackles of capitalism and control their future in a coordinated, people-centered mode of production, distribution and consumption.

Ismael Hossein-Zadeh, author of The Political Economy of U.S. Militarism (Palgrave-Macmillan 2007), teaches economics at Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa.

References

1. Michel Chossudovsky, “When War Games Go Live: Staging a ‘Humanitarian War’ against ‘SOUTHLAND’ Under an Imaginary UN Security Council Resolution 3003,” Global Research: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=24351

2. D. F. Fleming, The Cold War and Its Origins (New York: Double Day, 1961), p. 436.

3. Jean-Paul Pougal, “Why the West Wants the Fall of Gaddafi?” Dissident Voice: http://dissidentvoice.org/2011/04/why-is-gaddafi-being-demonized/

4. Rick Rozoff, “Libyan Scenario for Syria: Towards A US-NATO ‘Humanitarian Intervention’ directed against Syria?” Global Research: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=24562

5. Patrick Henningsten, “WEST vs. CHINA: A NEW COLD WAR BEGINS ON LIBYAN SOIL,” 21st Century Wire: http://21stcenturywire.com/2011/04/12/2577/

6. For an insightful and informative discussion of this issue see (1) F. William Engdahl, “Humanitarian Neo-colonialism: Framing Libya and Reframing War—Creative Destruction Part III,” Global Research: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=24617; (b) Marjorie Cohn, “The Responsibility to Protect – The Cases of Libya and Ivory Coast,” Counter Punch: http://www.counterpunch.org/cohn05162011.html

June 17, 2011 Posted by | Economics, Militarism | 1 Comment

Gay Ops of American Intel?

By Anthony Wile | The Daily Bell | June 15, 2011

A strange thing happened the other day. The blogosphere was swept by the confession of one Tom MacMasters that he was behind a well-known blog supposedly written by a lesbian and called Gay Girl in Damascus. It was convincing for the most part, and he even stole a picture online to identify his blog – which was apparently how he was discovered. His confession was wrenching and the blogosphere (which trends liberal these days) has been virtually convulsed ever since.

On the heels of the MacMasters’ incident, another blogger “Paula Brooks,” was revealed to be a man, Bill Graber. He had posted some of MacMasters’ lesbian musings on HIS lesbian news site. According to the Washington Post, Graber was a 58-year-old retired US air force officer. Graber identified himself as such when called by the Associated Press.

“LezGetReal was not meant to be deceitful or con anyone,” he is reported to have said. Apparently he didn’t comment on the coincidence of two men secretly operating two separate lesbian blogs, making coincidental contact with each other via email and then, quite by chance, supporting each others’ compositional efforts. Graber admittedly helped MacMasters develop his Internet presence.

Here is a possible truth: The Gay Girl in Damascus blog and LezGetReal are part of a sub dominant theme being purveyed by American intelligence agencies that are trying to undermine regimes in both Syria and Libya. The MO would also seem plausible as such Intel teams work in tandem (MacMasters and Graber), with one presenting the meme and the other one endorsing it. This can be seen on many libertarian (freedom-oriented) websites as well, where one will attack and the other endorse.

Already the usual suspects (Reuters, Washington Post and Slate) are producing articles comparing the MacMasters hoax with other hoaxers who “thought faking reports about a perceived truth was a valid form of advocacy.” The Reuters article carefully points out that the fraud had gone on for five years though the blog site was only five months old.

How Reuters can establish the five-year mark is a mystery – and is more in line with corroborating MacMasters’ potential cover story than debunking him. It is also surprising that such savvy news enterprises don’t even mention the possibility that these two men had links to American Intel.

The five month timeline for MacMasters’ blog is probably a good deal more accurate than five years and conforms to how intelligence promotions unfold, with a thin back-story measured in months not years. It also conforms almost exactly to the current agitation for regime change in Syria. Graber’s website seems to be down now, but a look at the cached version reveals that it has been in existence for three years. He says he was motivated by anger at “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

Of course, it is always possible that all of the above is entirely coincidental. Two straight, white men, one with links to the US military, decide separately to set up their own lesbian blogs. They then met each other via email, though neither knows the other is a man and one, Graber, decides to promote the blog-stories of the other (MacMasters). Stranger things have happened, yes? As Slate informs us. “Sexual disguise is as old as humanity, and posing as a lesbian is merely a natural variant on the practice. It energizes writers as often as it does readers.”

MacMasters is admitting nothing as regards US Intel involvement (though many have begun to question how he makes a living and affords extended trips to the Middle East). He published a wrenching apology on the blog site explaining how he always wanted to be a fiction writer and that Amina Arraf, who didn’t exist, was a character that he could not discard. He had developed her, he writes, in the following way:

“I noticed that when I, a person with a distinctly Anglo name, made comments on the Middle East, the facts I might present were ignored and I found myself accused of hating America, Jews, etc. I wondered idly whether the same ideas presented by someone with a distinctly Arab and female identity would have the same reaction.” (Why he decided that his alter ego would be a LESBIAN is never explained.)

In Libya, reports that Muammar Gaddafi gave his soldiers Viagra to encourage them to perform mass rapes have swept the Internet despite the insanity of the concept. This seems to be deliberate disinformation. Now, we have the spectacle of a young man (40-ish) writing a blog about a young woman who is maltreated in Damascus because of her sexuality. In fact, before he was exposed, MacMasters had her abducted. Here is a post by a purported (fictional) cousin of Arraf called Rania:

I have been on the telephone with both her parents and all that we can say right now is that she is missing. Her father is desperately trying to find out where she is and who has taken her. Unfortunately, there are at least 18 different police formations in Syria as well as multiple different party militias and gangs. We do not know who took her so we do not know who to ask to get her back. It is possible that they are forcibly deporting her.

People’s sexuality is a private affair. But in the West, a 50-year battle (sponsored by the elites in our view) has been waged to inject private sexual practices into the public discussion. A decades-long campaign has been waged to reconfigure the state itself to recognize and provide benefits to “others.” The meme purveyed is that one is not fully human until one’s “rights” are legally enshrined in the pantheon of Western regulatory democracies.

The result has likely been destructive to the family itself, as the very public emphasis on other kinds of lifestyles (let alone legislation and public education) has surely had a corrosive effect on the historical family unit. Additionally, the Anglosphere elites have been able to cultivate an intelligentsia that is entirely constructed around minority – and sexual – issues.

Thus, sexual issues have become an issue of importance not only to the mainstream Western intelligentsia (such as it is) but also to many verbal and committed young men and women overseas. These young men and women look at the West and see that sexual issues are seemingly the most important to the modern Anglo-American intelligentsia, and thus these issues loom large overseas as well. This is also true of “women’s issues” in general, which are being used by the Pentagon and American Intel to justify America’s serial warring, bombing of women and children, etc.

Enter the CIA, FBI, military intelligence, etc. (We shall refer to the 16 separate American spy agencies as “American intel.”) Much American Intel in the lower ranks is made up of young men and women, but mostly young men who go to the same schools and have the same fairly insular views. In fact, they are chosen for these traits.

These young men, mostly, are not only adept at the use of sexual memes for propaganda purposes; they are perhaps, to some degree, fixated on them. Many opponents of the West’s (and America’s) current activities are targeted by sexual allegations, warranted or not. It is not surprising then, that these young men would design lesbian promotions.

Such promotions were designed to play on the sympathies of the modern, sexualized intelligentsia but also cater to the fixations of the young (or older) man involved in these intelligence agencies. To put it bluntly, to build propaganda around lesbians was at least partially a big joke.

One has to understand what is going on to fully appreciate it. These young men, unfortunately, are involved every day in undermining Western freedoms and in facilitating what can only be described as oppression at home and genocide abroad. They did not join the government in most cases to participate in such things, but this is what they have ended up doing.

Western Intel inevitably enforces the agenda of Western elites that are trying to build a New World Order – the public be damned. “Operation Damascus Lesbian” would seem to be only one tiny example of the gung-ho authoritarianism that now pervades these entities. In this case, the intention was seemingly to illustrate the intolerant and brutal methodologies of the Syrian secret services in the hopes of further undermining the regime. Western leaders apparently intend to make Syria a political appendage, and MacMasters’s Arraf spends a good deal of time writing about how horrible the Syrian government is.

Things went wrong. MacMaster’s apology, in his own voice, sounds sincere in places, but it mostly sounds shocked. He had no idea his story involving Arraf’s abduction would “go viral.” In fact, this is what undid him. The State Dept among others started an investigation and lesbian and gay bloggers started to look into the tale and became suspicious.

If he was American Intel, MacMasters was undone by his own success. But what Western Intel is discovering generally is that all the billions (trillions?) they have invested in spying infrastructure is increasingly at risk. There are reports now of hacker incidents focused on the US Senate and the IMF. Even if these are false-flag events, there are plenty of others like them. Likely, it will be increasingly difficult for spy agencies to operate with 20th century impunity, spying on citizens and manipulating them without having the favor returned.

Another interesting point is that the MacMasters incident may have given us a further glimpse into the vast promotional network that the Anglosphere elite has at its disposal. Any important story the elite and its enablers wish to devise and propagate is probably going to be picked up and reported by the wires. Whether it is the endless saga of lies surrounding global warming or Lesbians in Damascus, (or the brilliance of seeming elite puppets Lady Gaga or Julian Assange) anything that furthers the cause of the New World Order is to be reported uncritically to millions and even billions. It is king-making on a massive scale.

Will MacMasters and Graber get into any trouble for this seeming elaborate Intel hoax, over which normal people might go to jail, given the hyper-punitive nature of American justice? What kind of investigation will ensue, if any? Let us watch and wait. I won’t hold my breath.

June 17, 2011 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | 1 Comment

Don’t Look Away: The Siege of Gaza Must End

By Kathy Kelly | Palestine Chronicle | June 17, 2011

In Late June 2011, I’m going to be a passenger on ‘The Audacity of Hope,’ the USA boat in this summer’s international flotilla to break the illegal and deadly Israeli siege of Gaza. Organizers, supporters and passengers aim to nonviolently end the brutal collective punishment imposed on Gazan residents since 2006 when the Israeli government began a stringent air, naval and land blockade of the Gaza Strip explicitly to punish Gaza’s residents for choosing the Hamas government in a democratic election. Both the Hamas and the Israeli governments have indiscriminately killed civilians in repeated attacks, but the vast preponderance of these outrages over the length of the conflict have  been inflicted by Israeli soldiers and settlers on unarmed Palestinians. I was witness to one such attack when last in Gaza two years ago, under heavy Israeli bombardment in a civilian neighborhood in Rafah.

In January 2009, I lived with a family in Rafah during the final days of the “Operation Cast Lead” bombing. We were a few streets down from an area where there was heavy bombing. Employing its ever-replenished stockpile of U.S. weapons, the Israeli government sought to destroy tunnels beneath the Egyptian border through which food, medicine, badly-needed building supplies, and possibly a few weapons as well were evading the internationally condemned blockade and entering Gaza.

Throughout that terrible assault, Israel pounded civilians in Gaza, turning villages, homes, refugee camps, schools, mosques and infrastructure into rubble. According to Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, the attack killed 1,385 Palestinians, nearly a quarter of them minors, with an uncountable number more to succumb, in the months and years following, to malnutrition, disease, and suicidal despair, the consequences of forced impoverishment under a still continuing siege that salts Gaza’s dreadful wounds by preventing it from even starting to rebuild.

All I could feel at the time was that the people in the Gaza Strip were horribly trapped, almost paralyzed.

The day of the cease-fire, when the sounds of bombing stopped, my young friends insisted that we must move quickly to visit the Al Shifaa hospital in Gaza City. Doctors there were shaken and stunned, after days of trying to save lives in a hopelessly overcrowded emergency room, with blood pooling at their feet.  Dr. Nafez Abu Shabham, head of Al Shifaa’s burn unit, put his head in his hands and spoke incredulously to us.  “For 22 days, the world watched,” he lamented, “and no country tried to stop the killing.”

He may well be putting his head in his hands again, today as too many of us have stopped even watching. “Human rights groups in Gaza are urgently requesting international aid groups and donor groups to intervene and deliver urgent medical aid to Palestinian hospitals in Gaza,” according to a June 14 Al Jazeera report. “Palestinian officials say that Gaza’s medicinal stock is nearly empty and is in crisis. This affects first aid care, in addition to all other levels of medical procedures.”

After the attack, I visited the Gaza City dormitory of a young university student with two of his friends. It was a shambles. We sifted through broken glass and debris, trying to salvage some notebooks and texts.  Their lives have been like that. They’ve since graduated but there is no work. “The Gaza Strip enters its fifth year of a full Israeli blockade by land, air and sea with unemployment at 45.2%, one of the highest rates in the world,” according to a UN aid agency report. (June 14, 2011). Harvard scholar Sara Roy, in a June 2, 2009 report for Harvard’s Crimson Review, noted that:

“Gaza is an example of a society that has been deliberately reduced to a state of abject destitution, its once productive population transformed into one of aid-dependent paupers….After Israel’s December (2008) assault, Gaza’s already-compromised conditions have become virtually unlivable. Livelihoods, homes, and public infrastructure have been damaged or destroyed on a scale that even the Israel Defense Forces admitted was indefensible. In Gaza today there is no private sector to speak of and no industry.”

When the bombing had stopped, we visited homes and villages where the unarmed had been killed.  Sabrina Tavernise of the New York Times would later verify that, in the village of Al Atatra, IDF soldiers had fired white phosphorous missiles into the home of a woman named Sabah Abu Halemi, leaving her badly burned and burning to death her husband and three of her children. I visited her in the hospital, watching a kindly Palestinian doctor spend his greatly needed time off sitting at her bedside, offering only wordless comfort as she gripped his hand.

We must not turn away from suffering in Gaza.

We must continue trying to connect with Gazans living under siege.

There is some risk involved in this flotilla. The Israeli government threatens to board each ship in the flotilla with snipers and attack dogs. A year ago the Israeli Navy fired on the Turkish ship, the Mavi Marmara, from the air, then documented its passengers’ panicked response as their justification for executing nine activists, including one young U.S. citizen, Furkhan Dogan, shot several times in the back and head at close range. It then refused to cooperate with an international investigation.

The Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, amounting to what is internationally recognized as an apartheid system, could end in peace, with Israel abandoning paranoia and racial violence to allow peace. Apartheid ended in South Africa without the wave of bloodshed and reprisals that its supporters claimed to fear as their excuse for holding on to the wealth and power which their system afforded them.  They achieved greater  peace and safety for themselves and their children by finding the courage to finally allow peace, safety, and freedom to their neighbors. It’s a lesson the U.S. government has all too often missed. This June, the governments of Israel and, (above all), the United States must finally embrace the audacity of hope.

– Kathy Kelly (Kathy@vcnv.org) co-coordinates Voices for Creative Nonviolence (www.vcnv.org).

June 17, 2011 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | Comments Off on Don’t Look Away: The Siege of Gaza Must End

Egyptian authorities refuse entry of 6 bus-loads out of 8 at Rafah

Palestine Information Center – 17/06/2011

GAZA — Egyptian authorities on Thursday refused entry of six busloads of Palestinian passengers and allowed in only two bus-loads during the hours of opening.

Palestinian security sources told PIC correspondent that the Egyptian authorities, in an unexplained step, returned six buses out of eight at the Rafah crossing denying dozens of passengers to travel on Thursday.

The sources added that a state of discontent prevailed amongst the affected passengers and expressed surprise at the deterioration of the Egyptian declared policy of facilitating the travel of Palestinians through the Rafah crossing.

Many passengers who were denied travel on Thursday have visas to third countries and air tickets which could mean they miss their flights or their visas run-out before they could reach their destination.

Dozens of Palestinians held a sit in on Thursday outside the Rafah border crossing calling for the permanent opening of the crossing which is the only gateway for Gaza residents to the outside world.

June 17, 2011 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture | 1 Comment