Aletho News


‘Blair’s role in destroying Iraq will follow him to his grave’

By John Wight | RT | October 19, 2015

Many around the world believe that Tony Blair did not only support the Bush administration’s war in Iraq, but did so in contravention of international law. New damning evidence in this regard suggests the net is finally closing in on him.

The unearthing of two classified US government memos, published in the UK tabloid, the Mail on Sunday, leaves no doubt that the former British prime minister committed Britain to following the US into Iraq a full year before the bombs started dropping on Baghdad in March 2003.

The first of the memos concerned was sent to US president George W Bush by his secretary of state, Colin Powell, in early April of 2002. In it Powell writes: “On Iraq, Blair will be with us should military operations be necessary. He is convinced on two points: the threat is real; and success against Saddam will yield more regional success.”

At the same time, as the former British PM was alleged to have committed UK forces to war alongside the US, Blair was assuring the British public that he and the American president were seeking a diplomatic solution to the question of Iraq and Saddam’s role in the region.

Powell also discusses trade issues in the first memo, specifically the controversial decision by the Bush administration to impose a tariff on EU steel imports in March 2002: “We do not expect Blair to dwell on the steel decision, although it was a bitter blow for him, as he indicated in his recent letter to you. It is clear that Britain will not fight our fight within the EU on this.”

This is a shocking revelation, exposing the extent to which Blair was willing to suborn UK’s trade and economic interests, along with the untold number of British jobs dependent on them, to his priority of currying favor with Washington.

Moving on to the second classified memo, prepared by the US Embassy in London for Colin Powell, we are given an insight into the determination of Blair and his allies to overcome political obstacles and opposition within his own parliamentary Labour Party over Britain’s potential participation in a US military coalition vis-à-vis Iraq.

Most shocking here is the suggestion that the US Embassy had confidential sources among Labour MPs, providing it with inside information, with their names in the document redacted to conceal their identities.

The memos have come to light in the wake of the scandal surrounding the location of classified emails on the private server of Hillary Clinton from her own time as secretary of state in the Obama administration. Currently campaigning for the Democratic Party nomination for next year’s presidential elections, Clinton was recently forced by a federal judge to release the emails, which number around 30,000.

It is thought she may have requested the memos to and from her Republican predecessor, Colin Powell, in order to review the procedures that were followed by the US State Department prior to the start of the US-UK invasion in March 2003.

Whatever her motivation for possessing them, their revelations place further pressure on Sir John Chilcot and his inquiry into Iraq, set up in 2009 and which has yet to publish its findings six years after the last witness was questioned in 2010. When Blair appeared in front of the inquiry he denied the allegation that he committed Britain to military action in Iraq along with the United States, during the aforementioned Crawford, Texas summit with George W Bush.

Growing public and political disquiet over the inordinate delay in publishing the findings of the inquiry has been focused on the possibility that it is being held up by Blair, unhappy with the criticisms that have been made of his conduct and actions in the run-up to the war in Chilcot’s report, which Blair along with the other witnesses who have come in for criticism have seen in advance in order to allow them to respond.

No matter, the publication of these classified US memos merely add to the growing clamor for the former British prime minister and key personnel within his government and inner circle to be investigated for war crimes and face trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

The fact that Blair has gone on to amass a fortune since leaving office in 2007 – through his role as adviser to various governments around the world, some with egregious human rights records; his role as a consultant to an international bank, a Saudi oil company, and as a speaker at various corporate and international business gatherings – many find especially repugnant.

What these memos prove is that Tony Blair was blinded by the power of Washington, desperate to bask in its favors and prestige, determined in the process to become a political player on the international stage. Instead he has become a laughing stock, particularly in the UK, where public revulsion of him is widely felt, indeed it is now a toss-up between him and Margaret Thatcher over which is the most loathed British prime minister in the country’s recent history.

What should never be lost when discussing Blair and his role when it comes to Iraq are the catastrophic consequences suffered by the Iraqi people. Hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children were killed as a direct result of the war in 2003, with many more maimed, millions displaced, and an entire nation traumatized beyond measure.

In 2015, rather than the flowering democracy promised by Blair, Bush, and their apologists, Iraq is a country mired in chaos, rife with sectarian violence, social dislocation, with Third World level poverty the norm for a people who at one time could boast of First World level education, healthcare, and infrastructure.

Tony Blair’s role in destroying Iraq will follow him to his grave. However, if there is any justice in the world, it should also follow him into the dock at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

John Wight has written for newspapers and websites across the world, including the Independent, Morning Star, Huffington Post, Counterpunch, London Progressive Journal, and Foreign Policy Journal. He is also a regular commentator on RT and BBC Radio. He wrote a memoir of the five years he spent in Hollywood, where he worked in the movie industry prior to becoming a full time and activist and organizer with the US antiwar movement post-9/11. The book is titled Dreams That Die and is published by Zero Books. John is currently working on a book exploring the role of the West in the Arab Spring. You can follow him on Twitter @JohnWight1

October 20, 2015 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

NATO to Keep Forces in Endless Afghanistan Quagmire

Sputnik – 20.10.2015

Germany, Turkey and Italy will maintain their current troop levels in Afghanistan, NATO officials said on Monday after the United States announced that it will prolong its military presence there.

General Philip Breedlove, NATO’s top commander in Europe, said he had assurances that NATO countries will continue alongside the nearly 10,000 US troops in Afghanistan.

“Several of our largest contributors have already communicated with us that they will remain in their current posture,” Breedlove told Reuters.

Germany, NATO’s top contributor, has around 850 troops in Afghanistan, followed by Italy with 760 and about 500 for Turkey, according to the latest NATO data.

The decision comes after the Taliban’s brief takeover of the strategic northern city of Kunduz, which raised concern about the strength of Afghan state forces.

“We should make any changes on our troop structure based on conditions on the ground, not on schedules,” Breedlove said.

US President Barack Obama had aimed to withdraw all but a small US force before leaving office. But now he will instead maintain the current force of 9,800 through most of 2016 before starting to trim numbers 2017.

Unlike the United States, NATO has never set an end date to its “Resolute Support” training mission in Afghanistan, which now stands at 6,000 troops from some 40 countries.

US-led NATO invaded Afghanistan in 2001 shortly after the 9/11 attacks, ousting the Taliban government from Kabul.

October 20, 2015 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | Leave a comment

Shoot First Don’t ask Questions Later

International Solidarity Movement | October 20, 2015

West Bank, occupied Palestine – A video posted on October 12th by Shehab news agency described as an attack on a Palestinian girl from Haifa in her twenties for allegedly trying to assault a taxi driver in Tel Aviv after an argument between them. The video shows a woman pinned to the ground by a man as passers-by argue about whether or not to beat and kill her. One woman claims she saw the woman had a knife and screams “Why are you playing around. They are coming to kill our children!” and demands her execution. Another bystander asks the man “Did she come at you with a knife?” and he replies “She put her hand in her pocket.” Yet Another kicks her in the head.

While there undoubtedly are stabbings of Israelis taking place, there are also undoubtedly mistaken or false accusations and pressure from Israeli civilians to kill people they suspect of being terrorists. The latest example being the Eritrean asylum seeker Mulu Habtom Zerhom who was shot and beaten to death in the Beersheva central bus station after being mistaken for an Arab. Because Mulu was not Palestinian there will be an investigation committee looking into his murder.

Palestinians who are killed are assumed guilty by default.  In the case of the Palestinian woman in the video taken in Tel Aviv, if some of the bystanders hadn’t intervened and the woman had been lynched it would have been reported as: “knife wielding terrorist neutralized”.  This is how the Israeli media portrayed 23 year old Ahmed Sha’ban from Ras el-Amud in Occupied East Jerusalem. Al Quds Newspaper published a video showing an Israeli security guard shooting twice directly at Ahmed’s body after he is already on the ground. An Israeli eye witness is heard stating: “Central bus station in Jerusalem, just now, a terrorist was exterminated, bro, right in front of me! Right in front of me he shot him ten times! Ten bullets were shot at him now! It’s such a mess here! I don’t know, he didn’t touch anything… He didn’t have a knife in his hand. Everyone shouted ‘terrorist’. The security guard shot him. I am telling you the bullets are right in front of me. My head hurts.”

Israeli officials have been criticised by human rights organisations for calling on Israelis with  licensed guns to carry them  in public and to kill any suspect. They have made it clear that it is not necessary to determine if the suspect is holding a knife before shooting to kill. At a press conference on October 8th Israeli Minister of  defence Moshe Yaalon stated  “Right now it is required primarily to be vigilant, determined, to respond quickly to any local attack, to eliminate the terrorist stabber or the perpetrator, stone thrower and the like, immediately on the spot. This is the answer to this kind of terrorism.” Other Israeli officials rushed to echo the sentiment On  the 11th of October MK Yair Lapid Head of the Yesh Atid party  said on a televised interview,” whoever takes out a knife or a screwdriver or whatever it may be, needs to be shot to kill”, adding  “don’t hesitate. Even at the start of an attack, shooting to kill is correct.”

There have been many cases of alleged knife wielders shot in the last months since the killing of Hadeel al-Hashlamoun in Hebron that Amnesty international categorized as an extrajudicial execution. They all deserve an investigative committee. Whether a suspect is falsely accused or did actually carry out an attack, shooting and/or killing people  who do not constitute an immediate threat to anyone is war crime.

October 20, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , , | 2 Comments

Faking the Terrorist Threat

And demonizing Russia at the same time

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • October 20, 2015

A short-lived story appeared in the mainstream media two weeks ago describing how the United States government is working hard to keep everyone safe. The Associated Press (AP) original coverage was headlined “Smugglers busted trying to sell nuclear material to ISIS.” The Boston Herald’s version of the AP story reported it as “Nuclear Material Sellers Target U.S.: Nuclear Material Shopped to ISIS.” The article was also picked up worldwide including by the CNN and the BBC and was replayed in Israel as “ISIS Looking to Build Nuclear Weapons, Turning to Moldovan Gangs for Materials.”

The story is focused on Moldova, a relatively impoverished former Soviet republic, where the mainstream western media is unlikely to have a regular correspondent. The original AP version includes interviews with some of the participants in the police operation while also reviewing the documents and photos relating to the case. Nevertheless, one has to suspect that AP did not just happen to come across the story. The news agency might have been tipped off to pursue it through a leak arranged by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or White House, intended to inform the public that there is a major threat coming from terrorists seeking weapons of mass destruction but U.S. law enforcement is aware of the danger and is working effectively against it.

The media account of what took place goes something like this: Eastern European smugglers have somehow obtained access to nuclear materials from the former Soviet Union weapons arsenals and labs and have been trying to sell them to terrorists, most particularly to ISIS, for use against the United States. There have been multiple attempts in the past five years, all of which were thwarted though the key players were not arrested and the presumed stolen material was not recovered by the authorities. The FBI worked closely with the Moldovan authorities throughout, providing technical services and other support for an undercover sting operation that was instrumental in producing a relatively successful outcome.

As I read the story it occurred to me that something was not quite right. The various security and police organs of the United States government have long faced a public relations dilemma. On one hand, they have sought to exaggerate the threat coming from international terrorism because it is good for the morale of their employees to be seen fighting a formidable enemy while it also induces Congress and the public to support substantial increases in budgets and other funding. But, at the same time, too much cheerleading emphasizing the ability of the bad guys to innovate rather suggests that national security is being undermined or, worse still, that the police and intelligence agencies are not doing their jobs very well to “keep us safe.” This has meant in practice that a fine balance has to be obtained in reporting the threat while at the same time making clear that everyone in government is working hard and very effectively to counter it.

This article about Moldova might indeed be one such story floated to reassure the public but, as it was not current news, its appearance at the present time would seem to be somewhat contrived and possibly even agenda driven. According to the article, there have been four attempts to sell smuggled radioactive material in the past five years, none of them recent, the latest one dating to February. One clue to a possible secondary agenda was the linkage of the criminals in the story to Russia, a country very much seen in adversarial terms by Washington at the present time. The article states that some of the criminal gangs in Moldova have “ties to the Russian KGB’s successor agency,” that Russia has a “vast store of radioactive material – an unknown quantity of which has leached into the black market,” and that the goods were offered by a “shadowy Russian named Alexandr Agheenco, ‘the colonel’ to his cohorts, whom Moldovan authorities believe to be an officer with the Russian FSB, previously known as the KGB.”

So the story is possibly about casting Russia in a negative light as it is about bombs or terrorists. And the bombs themselves are somewhat elusive. The article states that there is a “thriving black market in nuclear materials” in Moldova but it does not indicate where the contraband wound up and who bought it. One version of the AP story claims that a small amount of weapons grade enriched uranium was produced as bona fides prior to an attempt transaction in 2010 but that is contradicted by a Moldovan police assertion that only “one vial [of radioactive cesium was] ultimately recovered” from the smugglers. The article concedes that the cesium was not suitable for building a nuclear weapon and was not even radioactive enough to construct a so-called “dirty bomb.” Cesium, it should be noted, is used in its radioactive form in medical and laboratory applications. A dirty bomb uses nuclear waste or biological and chemical agents combined with conventional explosives to produce widespread contamination. It can be deadly and nasty, but it is not Hiroshima and it is not technically related to an atom bomb.

So the sting operation arrested some low level criminals who claimed to have access to weapons grade nuclear materials but the alleged materials were not actually found. Could it be that it was all a scam, seeking to sell something that the scammers assumed to be in demand but which they did not actually possess? And as for the final point that produced the alarming headlines, what was the role of ISIS in all of this? The article provides no evidence to indicate that ISIS was actually seeking nuclear materials, nor that it desires to do so linked to intentions to attack the United States. Constructing an actual nuclear weapon would be well beyond its engineering and technical capabilities in any event and if it wanted to build a dirty bomb it already has the nuclear waste from hospitals in the area that it controls to do so as well as chemical weapons stocks captured in Iraq.

The article states that “ISIS has made clear its ambition to use weapons of mass destruction” even though no evidence is presented confirming that to be the case. Nor is there any suggestion that the Moldovan smugglers actually contacted ISIS or that ISIS in any way sought to contact the Moldovans.

One smuggler, who allegedly repeatedly “ranted his hatred for America,” said in a wiretapped conversation that he “really want[ed] an Islamic buyer because they will bomb the Americans.” But since the middleman smuggler was trying to sell his product to what he thought to be an ISIS buyer it would be a no brainer for him to express his anti-American animus. And that evidence, such as it is, is far from a solid case that ISIS was seeking a nuclear weapon or dirty bomb to use against Washington, presumably to be detonated within the United States which is what the article implies. In fact, it does not necessarily mean anything at all.

So the alarming story of ISIS’s seeking a nuclear weapons to attack America turns out to be something considerably less, a bit of propaganda to justify continuation and even expansion of the U.S. war on terror. And there is a bit of evil Russia thrown in to explain how it is all happening. In reality, the United States and Russia were cooperating quite well on securing the former Soviet nuclear arsenal until the U.S. Congress in a January 2015 fit of pique cut off funding for the program. As is often the case, if there is a problem developing anywhere in the world, in this case over possible nuclear proliferation to terrorist groups, it is because the woefully ignorant elected officials representing us Americans have consistently failed to act responsibly.

October 20, 2015 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | 1 Comment

Russia Destroys The Greater Israel Dream


Plato’s Guns | October 19, 2015

The grand plan was going swimmingly. The concept of endless wars for Greater Israel was working and producing impressive results. Opportunistically, through aggravation of war after war, chunk by chunk of Arab land was usurped and the map of Greater Israel was slowly materializing. No matter the unstable chaos surrounding the State of Israel for the past seven decades, and no matter the undying Palestinian resistance and the violent Intifadas that erupted internally, the Zionist dream of Greater Israel remained consistently intact and was progressing unabated and unchallenged by anyone.

But dreams, by their diaphanous nature are easily interruptible – can easily turn into sudden nightmares. Indeed, dreams do, in the blink of an eye, simply end.

Nobody expected the Zionist dream to come to a sudden halt like this. Nobody. Nobody expected Russia, literally in the blink of an eye, to suddenly assert itself militarily in the Levant and in the process turn the Zionist dream into a geopolitical and existential nightmare. No further territorial expansions are even remotely possible now with Russia’s military presence in the Levant. The Russian army is in the Levant to stay and the Israelis know it. In the Zionist universe, it’s as if a mighty big-footed contender had suddenly appeared in the dream and instantly stepped on the Greater Israel map like it was a castle made of sand.

Russia is not a declared enemy of Israel. Russia did not squelch The Greater Israel dream on purpose. The destruction of the Zionist dream is the result of an unintended consequence that purely serves the regional and global interests of Russia. Happenstance that the Zionist dream was in the way of Russian ambitions, that’s all. Dog eat dog world.

But what are Russia’s interests in lassoing the Levant?

Well, first, Putin intends to re-fulfill the old Russian dream of establishing sizable military foundations and bases in the ‘warm waters’ of the world, in the Mediterranean, to be more precise, in order to pivot and project power westwards with practical ease. And also, to use Mediterranean naval bases as a first line of defense against a Western creep towards its own territory. Russia’s growing military presence in Syria is a matter of “national security”, Putin has declared several times over. Establishing multiple bases in the Mediterranean has not been possible for Russia to do since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war when it lost the Middle East chess game to America, symbolized by Egypt, a major Soviet client at the time having its Soviet military hardware devastated by Israeli-operated, made-in-USA weaponry. Russia today considers its growing presence in Syria to be a most vital geopolitical maneuver for re-establishing a seat of power again in the Middle East, in tandem with its progress into future Superpowerdom. In the current uncontrollable chaos of the Levant, this is an ambition that Russia must begin implementing immediately, lest the region falls dangerously under ISIS and Zioconism, making it thus harder for Russia’s old dream to be realized.

Secondly, Putin sees the cloth of American Empire as fast fading, especially in the Middle East, and he’s taking advantage of this: putting forth a challenging proposition to the American Emperor. Yes, Vladimir Putin, president of Russia, a man considered to be a cold-blooded realist, is aware of America’s weaknesses, but he’s also aware of its current strengths and he is in Syria as a power salesman – he’s in Syria to make a deal with Empire Americana. Respectfully, but firmly, he is pitching to Empire: ‘Look, you remain supremely powerful, but you are hemorrhaging in the Middle East and the situation is now critical. You cannot afford a new large-scale war in the Middle East that may or may not reassert your hold on the region; and you have lost all your proxy wars there as well – there are no more black-clad joker cards in your deck. You cannot continue on this disadvantageous path, you cannot stand still either and you also cannot withdraw from the region. All these are strategically inferior options and will not stop the bleeding of your powers. The only way out is through pragmatism. The only remedy is to share control of the Middle East with us, Russians. We have together shared power in the Middle East under the shadow of the Cold War and yes it created dangers and complexities for both our countries in the past. But today is different: there is no official Cold War between us and so our new partnership can only serve to strengthen us both’. This, dear reader is Russia’s diplomatic speak, received with quiet relief by the White House and cussed and scorned by the Ziocons in DC. Simplified, Putin is in Syria and his realist message to America is: ‘Share the Middle East with us now or we both fall in the future’. And it looks like Obama has quietly taken heed, in the interest of Empire and realism and not out of cowardice or submission to Putin. Obama’s problem is that although he begrudgingly agrees with Putin’s analysis and remedy, he cannot be seen to be supporting it in public because the Neocons would immediately set the dogs of treason on him, bogging him down with political obtrusion and smear campaigns in his last 15 months of power – possibly damaging his party’s winning chances at the next elections.

Thirdly, in my opinion, Russia is in Syria also for the purpose of redressing Russian military image and history. After the devastating defeat of the Soviet Union at the hands of the American-backed Afghani Mujahedeen, and considering the profound nationalism that Russian society feels especially towards its military institutions, it behooves any modern Russian leader thus to conceive and create a military victory against a modern version of the same old enemy who had previously defeated them – a military morale-booster both for the Russian populations and for the history books. A utilization of the sentiments of the ‘comeback kid’ for mass consumption so as to boost levels of nation devotion. Russia, being the largest nation in the world, landmass-wise, it has to regularly make grand spectacles and gestures in the name of national unity enhancement. Killing Takfiri terrorists in Syria, nay smashing them to smithereens with Russian Air Power is an opportune event to balance out and positively update Russian history books.

Yes, the Russian military buildup in Syria, especially in marine and air power, now looks to be, relatively speaking, permanent. And this is what is causing Israel and its Ziocon friends in Washington sleepless nights and hectic, nefarious group-brainstorming sessions. They know that the dream of a Greater Israel cannot be realized with Russia dominating the skies and waters of the Levant. This is the current and silent inescapable reality. This is the wall that suddenly sprung up and instantly separated Zionists from their beloved Greater Israel dream. Because of a ‘wall’, the dream is now impossible.

Some would call this, poetic justice.

The ‘dream destroyed’ being the current unspoken reality, Israel is left with no expedient and transforming choices. It cannot go to direct war with a more powerful Russia and win back domination over Levant skies and waters. It couldn’t even defeat Hezbollah who lack any form of Air Power back in 2006. And more frustratingly for Israel, it cannot blackmail, coerce or buy President Putin either. Moreover, presently under the leadership of Obama, it is clear that America is not prepared to go to direct war with any nation, let alone Russia, on behalf of Israel. The current architects of expansionist Zionism are at a complete and utter loss to recognize all these chokehold factors – blood is draining from their faces. No more meetings over what Arab country to genocide next so as to steal more land and resources, the issue now is not when and how the Zionist dream can be finally fulfilled, but how to safely bring the corpse-dream back from the dead without anyone noticing.

Alas, there are no clever Zionist ideas on the architects’ table. They are truly and absolutely in utter speechless shock.

And what compounds this hectic catatonia that the Zionist Sensei are currently experiencing is the fact that they know that Israel’s global credibility is at its lowest ever, and that sooner or later, the international community – seeing Israel’s geopolitical weakness – will start pressing hard, even imposing the 2-State solution on Israel, based on the 1967 borders. This is the double nail in the Greater Israel dream coffin. Not only will Israel be unable to expand territory, but it will also be forced into giving up territory currently under its (illegal) control. Something that the Israeli public are psychologically not prepared for, nor is there any political will in the Israeli halls of power to do so either.

Observations of the behaviorism of Zionists tell us that what they cannot change, they usually endeavor to spoil. And the only thing they are still capable of doing is spoiling it for Arabs. They will undoubtedly attempt to expand the current regional conflicts into another one hundred years of Arab on Arab wars. This is a given – they breathe to spoil life for their Arab neighbors. And we also observe that when Zionists are not willing or able to go to war, they usually endeavor to send other capable and willing nations to war on their behalf. But as noted a few passages above, this is currently impossible under the Obama administration. The dream of Greater Israel remains smashed.

What to do then? What is the ultimate solution? Would Israel prefer that America directly and militarily confront Russia in the Levant? I call it a yes. Even at the cost of causing World War Three? Yes. Even at the risk of igniting a nuclear war? Yes.

Yes, yes, and a triple yes. The global Zionist congress pathology shows every indication of this. ‘The tribe above all’ is their core belief. They are Masadian-ISISians in suits with basements full of nukes. Their narcissistic intentions are always clear – their motives and maneuvers are never to be trusted.

We are currently at a very serious and sobering point in the fast-evolving dramas taking place in the Levant and the Middle East at large. Everyone concerned is standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the unknown. This alignment of overwhelming unknowns is rare in history. The geopolitical stress and distress levels – despite the equalizing Russian presence in the Levant – remain excruciatingly high for all parties concerned. All actors have so much to lose with a single wrong move. A cluster of unknowns is forcing everyone into extreme caution. Hesitant steps are made then quickly unmade. If you were to privately ask Obama or Putin what would happen to the world the day after a war between their two nations ignites, they would both be likely to look you somberly in the eye and say, ‘I don’t know’.

The unknown is upon us and we are upon the unknown.

For now, Zionist masterminds plan on keeping the death of the dream of Greater Israel a secret, in the hope that the next American president would be more malleable and more reactionary than Obama. They will be quietly biding their time and hoping that the next President of America would be more Zionist that Theodore Herzl. More ideologically violent than ISIS and Tarantino. Hoping against all hope that the tiny state of Israel would survive a Word War Three catastrophe with little damage inside its boundaries. Hoping against all hope that the Arab world surrounding Israel, all of it would literally be bombed back into the stone ages, while Israel continues to be the hi-tech bride of the Middle East. Hoping against all hope that Russia would again be defeated by America in the Middle East – just so that Israel can again dominate the skies and waters of the Levant, allowing it thus to revive the corpse of the Greater Israel project. Hoping against all hope that igniting World War Three would actually solve all of Israel’s problems.

A touch fantastical? Maybe not.

This is what happens when tribal madmen dream.

October 20, 2015 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

“Washington continues dubious strategy in Syria”

Press TV – October 20, 2015

The Iranian deputy foreign minister has criticized the US for employing double-standards in the fight against terrorism in Syria.

Hossein Amir Abdollahian said Washington has not taken any serious action against terrorist groups in Syria and continues its dubious strategy in the Arab country. Abdollahian was speaking with UN Deputy Special Envoy for Syria Ramzy Ezzeldin in Tehran. He also called into question the sincerity of the so-called US-led coalition in Syria. Ezzeldin called Iran a major player in solving the Syrian crisis. He praised Iran’s effective role in restoring ceasefire in several Syrian regions, including Zabadani as well as Fuaa and Kafaria. Ezzeldin said the UN is seeking to form political committees, comprised of Syrians from across the political arena, to help end the crisis.

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Guest: Mohammad Marandi Professor, University of Tehran

October 20, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Militarism, Video | , , | 1 Comment

Libya: From Africa’s Wealthiest Democracy Under Gaddafi to Terrorist Haven After US Intervention

By Garikai Chengu | CounterPunch | October 20, 2015

Tuesday marks the four-year anniversary of the US-backed assassination of Libya’s former leader, Muammar Gaddafi, and the decline into chaos of one of Africa’s greatest nations.

In 1967 Colonel Gaddafi inherited one of the poorest nations in Africa; by the time he was assassinated, he had transformed Libya into Africa’s richest nation. Prior to the US-led bombing campaign in 2011, Libya had the highest Human Development Index, the lowest infant mortality and the highest life expectancy in all of Africa.

Today, Libya is a failed state. Western military intervention has caused all of the worst-scenarios: Western embassies have all left, the South of the country has become a haven for ISIS terrorists, and the Northern coast a center of migrant trafficking. Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia have all closed their borders with Libya. This all occurs amidst a backdrop of widespread rape, assassinations and torture that complete the picture of a state that is failed to the bone.

Libya currently has two competing governments, two parliaments, two sets of rivaling claims to control over the central bank and the national oil company, no functioning national police or army, and the United States now believes that ISIS is running training camps across large swathes of the country.

On one side, in the West of the nation, Islamist-allied militias took over control of the capital Tripoli and other key cities and set up their own government, chasing away a parliament that was previously elected.

On the other side, in the East of the nation, the “legitimate” government dominated by anti-Islamist politicians, exiled 1,200 kilometers away in Tobruk, no longer governs anything. The democracy which Libyans were promised by Western governments after the fall of Colonel Gaddafi has all but vanished.

Contrary to popular belief, Libya, which western media routinely described as “Gaddafi’s military dictatorship” was in actual fact one of the world’s most democratic States.

Under Gaddafi’s unique system of direct democracy, traditional institutions of government were disbanded and abolished, and power belonged to the people directly through various committees and congresses.

Far from control being in the hands of one man, Libya was highly decentralized and divided into several small communities that were essentially “mini-autonomous States” within a State. These autonomous States had control over their districts and could make a range of decisions including how to allocate oil revenue and budgetary funds. Within these mini autonomous States, the three main bodies of Libya’s democracy were Local Committees, Basic People’s Congresses and Executive Revolutionary Councils.

The Basic People’s Congress (BPC), or Mu’tamar shaʿbi asāsi was essentially Libya’s functional equivalent of the House of Commons in the United Kingdom or the House of Representatives in the United States. However, Libya’s People’s Congress was not comprised merely of elected representatives who discussed and proposed legislation on behalf of the people; rather, the Congress allowed all Libyans to directly participate in this process. Eight hundred People’s Congresses were set up across the country and all Libyans were free to attend and shape national policy and make decisions over all major issues including budgets, education, industry, and the economy.

In 2009, Mr. Gaddafi invited the New York Times to Libya to spend two weeks observing the nation’s direct democracy. The New York Times, that has traditionally been highly critical of Colonel Gaddafi’s democratic experiment, conceded that in Libya, the intention was that “everyone is involved in every decision…Tens of thousands of people take part in local committee meetings to discuss issues and vote on everything from foreign treaties to building schools.”

The fundamental difference between western democratic systems and the Libyan Jamahiriya’s direct democracy is that in Libya all citizens were allowed to voice their views directly – not in one parliament of only a few hundred wealthy politicians – but in hundreds of committees attended by tens of thousands of ordinary citizens. Far from being a military dictatorship, Libya under Mr. Gaddafi was Africa’s most prosperous democracy.

On numerous occasions Mr. Gaddafi’s proposals were rejected by popular vote during Congresses and the opposite was approved and enacted as legislation.

For instance, on many occasions Mr. Gaddafi proposed the abolition of capital punishment and he pushed for home schooling over traditional schools. However, the People’s Congresses wanted to maintain the death penalty and classic schools, and the will of the People’s Congresses prevailed. Similarly, in 2009, Colonel Gaddafi put forward a proposal to essentially abolish the central government altogether and give all the oil proceeds directly to each family. The People’s Congresses rejected this idea too.

For over four decades, Gaddafi promoted economic democracy and used the nationalized oil wealth to sustain progressive social welfare programs for all Libyans. Under Gaddafi’s rule, Libyans enjoyed not only free health-care and free education, but also free electricity and interest-free loans. Now thanks to NATO’s intervention the health-care sector is on the verge of collapse as thousands of Filipino health workers flee the country, institutions of higher education across the East of the country are shut down, and black outs are a common occurrence in once thriving Tripoli.

Unlike in the West, Libyans did not vote once every four years for a President and an invariably wealthy local parliamentarian who would then make all decisions for them. Ordinary Libyans made decisions regarding foreign, domestic and economic policy themselves.

America’s bombing campaign of 2011 has not only destroyed the infrastructure of Libya’s democracy, America has also actively promoted ISIS terror group leader Abdelhakim Belhadj whose organization is making the establishment of Libyan democracy impossible.

The fact that the United States has a long and torrid history of backing terrorist groups in North Africa and the Middle East will surprise only those who watch the news and ignore history.

The CIA first aligned itself with extremist Islam during the Cold War era. Back then, America saw the world in rather simple terms: on one side the Soviet Union and Third World nationalism, which America regarded as a Soviet tool; on the other side Western nations and extremist political Islam, which America considered an ally in the struggle against the Soviet Union.

Since then America has used the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt against Soviet expansion, the Sarekat Islam against Sukarno in Indonesia and the Jamaat-e-Islami terror group against Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in Pakistan. Last but certainly not least there is Al-Qaeda.

Lest we forget, the CIA gave birth to Osama Bin Laden and breastfed his organization throughout the 1980’s. Former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook told the House of Commons that Al Qaeda was unquestionably a product of western intelligence agencies. Mr. Cook explained that Al Qaeda, which literally means “the base” in Arabic, was originally the computer database of the thousands of Islamist extremists who were trained by the CIA and funded by the Saudis to defeat the Russians in Afghanistan. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) used to have a different name: Al Qaeda in Iraq.

ISIS is metastasizing at an alarming rate in Libya, under the leadership of one Abdelhakim Belhadj. Fox News recently admitted that Mr. Belhadj “was once courted by the Obama administration and members of Congress” and he was a staunch ally of the United States in the quest to topple Gaddafi. In 2011, the United States and Senator McCain hailed Belhadj as a “heroic freedom fighter” and Washington gave his organization arms and logistical support. Now Senator McCain has called Belhadj’s organization ISIS, “probably the biggest threat to America and everything we stand for.”

Under Gaddafi, Islamic terrorism was virtually non existent and in 2009 the US State Department called Libya “an important ally in the war on terrorism”.

Today, after US intervention, Libya is home to the world’s largest loose arms cache, and its porous borders are routinely transited by a host of heavily armed non-state actors including Tuareg separatists, jihadists who forced Mali’s national military from Timbuktu and increasingly ISIS militiamen led by former US ally Abdelhakim Belhadj.

Clearly, Gaddafi’s system of economic and direct democracy was one of the 21st century’s most profound democratic experiments and NATO’s bombardment of Libya may indeed go down in history as one of the greatest military failures of the 21st century.

Garikai Chengu is a scholar at Harvard University. Contact him on

October 20, 2015 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

Can Trump be Stopped?

By Pat Buchanan • Unz Review • October 20, 2015

Three months ago, this writer sent out a column entitled, “Could Trump Win?” meaning the Republican nomination.

Today even the Trump deniers concede the possibility.

And the emerging question has become: “Can Trump be stopped? And if so, where, and by whom?”

Consider the catbird seat in which The Donald sits.

An average of national polls puts him around 30 percent, trailed by Dr. Ben Carson with about 20 percent. No other GOP candidate gets double digits.

Trump is leading Carson in Iowa, running first in New Hampshire, crushing the field in Nevada and South Carolina. These are the first four contests. In Florida, Trump’s support exceeds that of ex-Governor Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio combined.

If these polls don’t turn around, big time, Trump is the nominee.

And with Thanksgiving a month off, then the Christmas season, New Year’s, college football playoffs and NFL playoffs, the interest of the nation will drift away, again and again, from politics.

Voting begins Feb. 1 in Iowa. Super Bowl Sunday is Feb. 7. And the New Hampshire primary will likely be on Tuesday, Feb. 9.

We are only three months out, and Trump still holds the high cards.

After months of speeches and TV appearances, he is a far more disciplined campaigner and communicator. In a year when a huge slice of the nation is disgusted with political correctness, wants to dethrone the establishment, wipe the slate clean and begin anew with someone fresh, Trump is in the pole position.

His issues — secure the border, send illegal immigrants back, renegotiate rotten trade deals that shipped our jobs abroad — are more in tune with the national mood than pro-amnesty, Obamatrade or NAFTA.

Wall Street Journal conservatism is in a bear market.

Trump says he will talk to Vladimir Putin, enforce the nuclear deal with Iran, not tear it up on Inauguration Day, and keep U.S. troops out of Syria. And South Korea should pay more of the freight and provide more of the troops for its own defense.

A nationalist, and a reluctant interventionist, if U.S. interests are not imperiled, Trump offers a dramatic contrast to the neocons and Hillary Clinton, the probable Democratic nominee. She not only voted for the Iraq war Trump opposed, but she helped launch the Libyan war.

The lights are burning late in the suites of the establishment tonight. For not since Sen. Barry Goldwater won the California primary in 1964 have their prospects appeared so grim.

Can Trump be stopped?

Absent some killer gaffe or explosive revelation, he will have to be stopped in Iowa or New Hampshire. A rival will have to emerge by then, strong enough and resourced enough to beat him by March.

The first hurdle for the establishment in taking down Trump is Carson. In every national poll, he is second. He’s sitting on the votes the establishment candidate will need to overtake Trump.

Iowa is the ideal terrain for a religious-social conservative to upset Trump, as Mike Huckabee showed in 2008 and Rick Santorum in 2012.

But Carson has preempted part of the Evangelical and social conservative vote. Moreover, Sen. Ted Cruz, an anti-establishment man, is working Iowa and has the forensic abilities to rally social conservatives.

Should Trump fall, and his estate go to probate, Cruz’s claim would seem superior to that of any establishment favorite.

Indeed, for an establishment-backed candidate — a Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, John Kasich, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal — to win Iowa, he must break out of the single-digit pack soon, fend off Cruz, strip Carson of part of his following, then overtake Trump. A tall order.

Yet, the battle to consolidate establishment support has begun. And despite his name, family associations, size of his Super PAC, Jeb has lost ground to Marco Rubio. Look to Marco to emerge as the establishment’s last best hope to take down Trump.

But if Trump wins in Iowa, he wins in New Hampshire.

The Iowa Caucuses then, the first contest, may well be decisive. If not stopped there, Trump may be unstoppable. Yet, as it is a caucus state where voters stick around for hours before voting, organization, intensity and endless labor can pay off big against a front-runner.

In Iowa, for example, Ronald Reagan was defeated by George H. W. Bush in 1980. Vice President Bush was defeated by Bob Dole and Pat Robertson in 1988. Reagan and Bush I needed and managed comeback victories in New Hampshire. One cannot lose Iowa and New Hampshire.

Thus, today’s task for the Republican establishment.

Between now and March, they must settle on a candidate, hope his rivals get out of the race, defeat Trump in one of the first two contests, or effect his defeat by someone like Carson, then pray Trump will collapse like a house of cards.

The improbabilities of accomplishing this grow by the week, and will soon start looking, increasingly, like an impossibility — absent the kind of celestial intervention that marked the career of the late Calvin Coolidge.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book “The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.”

Copyright 2015

October 20, 2015 Posted by | Militarism | | Leave a comment

Justin Trudeau and the Liberal majority: The triumph of strategic shallowness

By Greg Felton | October 20, 2015

“Every country has the government it deserves.” — Joseph de Maistre, French diplomat (1753-1821)

In March 2013, I wrote a prophetic column predicting a Liberal victory in this election with the concomitant return of the NDP under Thomas Mulcair to third-party status. I ended it by saying: “Whether Trudeau brings in a minority or majority Liberal government, voters will at least celebrate the fact that the Harper dictatorship will be in the hands of its enemies—Canadian citizens.”

Indeed, the dictatorship is over. Harper has even announced his intention to step down as leader of the Corporatist Party of Canada. Canadians from coast to coast are jublant as the rout of the Blue Meanies heralds the return to power of Canada’s natural governing party.

A columnist always hopes to be proven right in matters such as this, but this is one time when I wish I had been wrong. After nine years of Stephen Harper’s fascism—yes, fascism—the electorate had a chance to vote in the New Democratic Party, which, for all of its flaws, was prepared to return the country to Parliamentary rule and oppose the obsequious official corporatism that has destroyed Canada’s democracy. Instead, voters gave the Liberals, led by the gormless Justin Trudeau, a majority even though Trudeau forced his Liberals to endorse Harper’s corporatist destruction of Canada.

So, why did voters not elect Mulcair and the NDP, which would have repealed the worst excesses of Harperism, such as Bill C-51 (Canada’s Enabling Act), which rendered the Constitution obsolete? There are several reasons, all of which prove that democracy in this country is still a farce.

To begin with, a telegenic neophyte who spouts banalities and poses for photo ops has a better chance of forming a government than a stern but smart leader who articulates coherent policies. This preference for style over substance is not a new phenomenon, of course: the entertainment industry is full of mediocrities who survive on their looks rather than talent, and what is politics if not electoral theatre?

Another reason is grooved thinking. Much of the country still does not take the NDP seriously as a governing party and is, in fact, conditioned to fear it. The reason I suspect is an institutionalized, uncritical worship of low taxes and the false equation of said worship with individual prosperity. Since the NDP puts the public interest ahead of the acquisitiveness of robber barons and foreign governments, it is not adverse to raising taxes, especially on corporations, which enjoy an absurdly low 15% tax rate.

Sufficient numbers of people, robovoters, cannot comprehend that starving the government of tax revenue so that it cannot provide services and run itself effectively is not a sign of fiscal frugality; it is a sign of willful self-impoverishment. The purpose of government is to provide for public wants, said Rt. Hon Edmund Burke, but no rational discussion of public wants, much less the public good, is possible in a climate that has deemed public spending to be tantamount to theft. Harperite fear propaganda made much of this quasi-religious anti-tax/anti-statist fetish and many voters continue to take it seriously. For what it’s worth, the Liberals sing from the same hymn book but not as loudly.

Undoubtedly, the most important reason is betrayal by the national media. Most obviously, it prejudiced the outcome in favour of the Liberals. Even though, the National Compost, Canada’s answer to Der Stürmer, offered up the expected editorial homilies to His Harperness, the Globe and Mail churned out fellatial praise for Trudeau. Clearly, the Canadian Liberal establishment could no longer stomach Harperism and so anointed Trudeau to succeed him. Against this, the NDP had little chance of success since its corporate media allies are few.

Once the voting was underway, the media decisively skewed the voting by declaring that the Liberals were the odds-on favourite to defeat Harper. Upon hearing this, voters rushed to vote Liberal, even those that had wanted to vote NDP or Green. This “strategic voting,” designed to get rid of Harper worked, inflated the Liberal vote at the expense of electoral honesty. Trudeau does not deserve to lead a majority government and the NDP and Greens did not deserve to be slaughtered at the polls. If Canada had a preferential ballot or mixed-member proportional representation, voters would not have been afraid to vote their conscience. The Liberals and NDP, respectively, supported these reforms during the campaign. Will Trudeau keep his word? I won’t hold my breath.

Finally, for nine years the media covered up the essential criminality of Harperism and allowed it to pass for a conservative party. Harper‘s systematic attack on the institutions of Canada should have been cause for national revolution and the media should have led the charge. Instead, it became an accomplice, adhering to an ossified notion of objectivity that allowed Harper to pass himself off as a “prime minister.” Any criticism was kept within strict limits of propriety as the illusion of democratic normalcy had to be maintained at all costs.

The following passionate, succinct excerpt from Martin Lukacs in The Guardian is what voters needed to read and read often:

Harper’s greatest success in hampering the state from serving Canadians has been to strip it of its most important resource: taxes. Continuing a Liberal legacy, Harper’s cuts to taxes – GST, corporate and personal – have enriched corporations and denied the state a stunning $45 billion a year in revenue. … Such policies have reduced the country to depression-era divisions: Canada’s wealthiest 86 people now own as much as the 11.4 million poorest.

He concluded:

On 19 October, Canadians will have their chance to combat a home-grown threat – a threat posed not by veiled women, but by the dismembering of their country. When a regime so utterly ransacks its own lands and people, can we stop describing it as the governing of a nation? It is more akin to a barbarian invasion.

No Harperite candidate deserved a single vote, for there is no redeeming virtue to a party that “utterly ransacks its own lands and people” and then has the gall to pass itself off as a protector of the economy. Yet, the illusion of “conservatism” was allowed to persist unchallenged.

Imagine a journalist writing about taxes as a “most important resource.” Imagine this election after the human, financial and societal costs of Harper’s dictatorship over the past four years had been depicted day in and day out with the clarity and sobriety of Lukacs.

The NDP might have stood a fair chance.

October 20, 2015 Posted by | Economics | | 2 Comments