Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Revealed: US almost launched nuclear weapons during Cuban Missile Crisis

RT | October 28, 2015

During the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, an Air Force airman says that his unit was ordered to launch a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union. His captain’s use of common sense over 50 years ago may have saved the world from a nuclear apocalypse.

An article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists paints a picture of John Bordne, an Air Force airman who was stationed at one of four secret US missile sites in Japan during the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis. While the US Air Force has not come out and verified the claims, Bordne’s account is that, in the early morning hours of October 28, 1962, his unit of 32 Mace B cruise missiles inexplicably received launch orders.

Each Mace B cruise missile had an enormous payload 70 times more powerful than the atomic bombs that hit Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Within strike range were various communist countries: the capital cities of Hanoi, Vietnam; Beijing, China; and Pyongyang, North Korea, as well as the Soviet military facilities in Vladivostok.

Bordne says that a few hours before his shift began, the commander at the Missile Operations Center on Okinawa began a routine radio transmission to the missile sites, giving a string of characters that normally did not match the ones that the crews had. But this time was different: For the first time in history, the codes matched.

The fate of the entire world hung in the balance when US Air Force Captain William Bassett had clearance to open his pouch to see if his personal string of characters matched the last part of the code that was transmitted. They did. This authorized him to open an envelope to read his site’s launch instructions, but the captain declined to fulfill the order of launching a nuclear strike.

Bassett then saw that three of his four targets described in the envelope were not located in the Soviet Union. This was a fact that was corroborated over telephone correspondence with an officer at a different site. Indeed, the fact that they were only at DEFCON 2 added to the incredulousness of the orders: If they were actually supposed to launch their nuclear missiles and kick off World War III, they should have gone to DEFCON 1, the maximum possible level of alert, which is necessary for such a strike to occur.

The crew, with their fingers on the button, were ready to launch the nukes, but Bassett stalled them, as Bordne recalls, and ordered two armed airmen to “shoot the [lieutenant] if he tries to launch without [either] verbal authorization from the ‘senior officer in the field’ or the upgrade to DEFCON 1 by Missile Operations Center.”

“If this is a screw up and we do not launch, we get no recognition, and this never happened,” Bordne recalled the captain saying.

And the fiasco turned out to be a screw up indeed, one of a magnitude only a few notches away from nuclear war.

“None of us will discuss anything that happened here tonight, and I mean anything. No discussions at the barracks, in a bar, or even here at the launch site. You do not even write home about this. Am I making myself perfectly clear on this subject?” Bassett reportedly told his men after the crisis had passed.

Bassett died in 2011, and during his lifetime, the crew faithfully kept to his orders, with the public remaining oblivious to crisis until now.

But not even those stationed at the secret bases on Okinawa could have known that the Soviet Union was facing its own brush with starting World War III.

On October 27, 1962, just a day before Bordne’s experience occurred, Soviet Navy officer Vasili Arkhipov also saved the world from destruction in the middle of the Cold War’s tensest moment. He was the second-in-command of a B-59 submarine when American destroyers began to drop depth charges on it, trying to force the Soviet vessel to surface.

The submarine’s captain assumed that the Americans were trying to destroy his nuclear-armed submarine and that a catastrophic war had broken out. He ordered the B-59’s ten kiloton nuclear torpedo to prepare for firing on an enemy aircraft carrier that was leading the American task force near Cuba. The launch of the B-59’s torpedo required the authorization of all three senior officers aboard the submarine, and Arkhipov was alone in denying permission. His level head, like Bassett’s, may have saved the human species.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, best known for its Doomsday clock, is now calling on the Air Force to release details on the harrowing Okinawa event. Other organizations have attempted to uncover this information through Freedom of Information Act requests, but the Bulletin notes that these requests could take years, if they are successful at all.

October 28, 2015 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment

Britain’s Poppy Fascism

1029212842

By Finian Cunningham – Sputnik – 28.10.2015

It’s that time of year again – when Britain’s “poppy fascism” dominates public life. Television presenters are perhaps the most conspicuous exponents, whereby the paper facsimile of the little red flower must be donned on all lapels.

Now weeks ahead of the official commemoration day, more and more Britons, including TV personalties, are pinning the poppy in public.

It may seem innocuous, but there is a disturbing authoritarianism to the increasing custom. Those who don’t wear the symbol commemorating Britain’s war dead are liable to be castigated and abused for being “traitors”.

The BBC is a classic example. The publicly owned state broadcaster says that its presenters and reporters have the option of not wearing the red poppy. But in practice such is the peer pressure and jingoistic mood of modern Britain that all BBC staff will have to conform to a personal display of the red floral tribute. Bet on it.

Some brave television figures refuse to go along with the established “norm”. It was Channel 4 news presenter Jon Snow who coined the phrase “poppy fascism” a few years ago when he was publicly berated by BBC journalists and other media outlets for refusing to don the flower during his nightly broadcasts. It remains to be seen if the Channel 4 news anchor will this year cave to public pressure – a pressure which seems to be growing every year.

Ever since 1919, Britain and its Commonwealth states, including Australia, Canada and New Zealand hold Remembrance Day on November 11.

It marks the armistice of the First World War in 1918. The first commemoration was held by Britain’s King George V who wore a red poppy, thus inaugurating a tradition that continues to this day. The delicate flower was commonly seen on the battlefields of Belgium and France and came to symbolise the millions of soldiers killed during the four-year-old war.

Across Britain, Remembrance Day is marked by sombre ceremonies in towns and cities during which poppy wreathes are laid at war memorials. The biggest event is held at the Cenotaph in London’s Whitehall. Queen Elizabeth, Prime Minister David Cameron and other political leaders will be among the chief dignitaries, along with senior members of Britain’s armed forces.

So what, you may ask, is objectionable about Britain’s annual Remembrance?

In its early observance, the event was indeed a momentous mourning for the millions who died in the First World War. It was an occasion to vow “never again” should mankind be plagued with such horror.

However, the massive demonstration of grieving and repudiation of war has since given way to an obscene glorification of war. The danger of such co-option was there from the beginning when King George V led the first Remembrance Day. For the British monarch – whose cousins included Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm II and other European aristocrats – personified the basic background to the conflict. It was an imperialist squabble that exploded into a conflagration that consumed up to 18 million ordinary civilians among the warring nations.

From the very outset therefore, the British commemoration was an opportune way to rehabilitate the monarch and the state’s ruling class who had largely precipitated the war, along with their European elites.

It is a heinous indictment that only two decades after the end of the First World War, the world would be plunged into an even greater conflagration of the Second World War, which resulted in nearly 80 million dead – more than four-fold more. The subsequent war had its antecedents in the imperialist rivalries of the first. Why a second more terrible war should happen was because the war-making imperialist state apparatus had never been held to account. The British rulers were able to deftly reinvent themselves in the eyes of their public as “victors” instead of being seen, as they should have been, as warmongering villains.

To be fair to honourable exceptions, many genuine anti-war Britons were aware of the disgraceful and dangerous co-option by the ruling class. During the 1920s, a movement began which saw war remembrances conducted with white poppies, instead of the red ones that came to be associated with the official event. White poppies are still worn to this day and that tradition has been reinvigorated by campaign groups like Stop the War Coalition.

Nevertheless, Britain has become a discernibly more jingoistic country in which the red poppy has taken on an Orwellian symbolism. Television presenters are dragooned into wearing it, schools and workplace are expected to display it. It has become a badge of loyalty to the state, and those who decline to wear the poppy are fingered as treacherous or disrespectful to “our troops”.

A major cause of the cultural shift is that Britain has become a more warmongering state over the past 20 years. True, it was always a belligerent state, playing the bulldog role to the more powerful and even more warmongering United States.

But former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s criminal partnership with Washington in invading Afghanistan and Iraq has unleashed a virtual permanent state of war. British troops are still stationed in Afghanistan and will be for at least another year. Blair’s warmongering has been continued by David Cameron who launched NATO strikes on Libya in 2011 and who is moving to deploy British warplanes to bomb Syria – without the consent of the Syrian government.

When Cameron joins Queen Elizabeth in laying wreathes at the Cenotaph in London, they will be followed in their footsteps by former British prime ministers, including Tony Blair. Together, they will be honouring not only the dead of the First World War, but British veterans who took part in all subsequent wars, including the destruction of Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya and countless other colonial wars in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Britain’s dirty war in Northern Ireland will also be exonerated.

In other words, this is not a solemn regret for the dead or for war.

Not a bit of it. It is the warmongering British capitalist state apparatus indulging in an exercise of sanitising Britain’s history of illegal wars, including its present role in Syria. It deifies the war criminal class, which is then “authorised” to keep repeating its crimes. If that’s not fascism, then what is?

Britain’s official war commemoration is certainly not a fitting tribute to victims of war. Because if it were then there would a commitment to stopping wars. But as history shows, Britain’s warmongering has proliferated over the years. That in turn is because the upper echelons of British class society use war commemorations as a cloak to hide their vile belligerence.

A fitting Remembrance Day would be for British citizens to call for the prosecution of Tony Blair and David Cameron as war criminals.

But when British news channels are falling over themselves to wear red poppies out of unthinking “loyalty” or fear of being labelled traitors – that shows how disturbingly authoritarian and conformist British society has become.

Photo – © Sputnik/ Evgenya Novozhenina

October 28, 2015 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | | Leave a comment

Extra 136,500 sonobuoys US wants pose threat to whales

5

RT | October 28, 2015

The US Navy continues to cover the oceans with tens of thousands of sonobuoys to monitor and detect submarine movement around the world. The DoD has allocated $178.5 million to buy an additional 136,000 sonobuoys.

About a meter-long, a typical sonobuoy device can be passive or active. The first type ‘listens’ to the noises produced by propellers of various kinds of vessels and pick out those made by a submarine. Active sonobuoys, sited in strategic points such as straits and harbors, can also sonar the water space around them to detect submarines.

The sonobuoys are usually positioned in designated areas from the air, typically by using SH-60F Seahawk helicopters.

“The United States Navy maintains a superior global Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) capability with the ability to detect, localize, identify, and track potential hostile submarines,” Global Security outlet said in 2011.

According to CNN, US sonobuoys are first and foremost aimed at tracking Russian submarines, over concerns they are “taking up positions near critical communication lines.”

Scientists say these sonar “intrusions” are proving deadly to marine wildlife, in particular whales. Sonar devices disrupt them and other sea mammals when nursing and feeding, which leads to injury or death of the animals who rely on sound to communicate and navigate, Elisa Allen, from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, told RT.

“Sonars can confuse and disorient them, terrify these animals,” Allen said. “Animals exposed to sonars have been known to rapidly change their depth in an attempt to escape the noise. This causes them to bleed from their ears and eyes,” she said, adding that whales and dolphins often beach themselves in their attempts to escape sonar.

The lucrative $178,565,050 contract has been granted to ERAPSCO, a defense contractor in Columbia City, Indiana. Five types of sonobuoys are set to be delivered by October 2017.

ERAPSCO, a joint venture between the Sparton corporation and Ultra Electronics, has been producing military grade sonobuoys capable of detecting and classifying manmade objects traveling underwater since 1987.

October 28, 2015 Posted by | Environmentalism, Militarism | , , , , | 1 Comment

ISIL Rose as Puppet ‘Terrorist Battering Ram’ of World Powers – FSB

Sputnik – October 28, 2015

syriaThe Islamic State project has grown out of the Arab Spring and has gained momentum under the double standards of certain world powers trying to reach their own goals in Asia and Africa, Russian Federal Security Service head Alexander Bortnikov said Wednesday.

“The international community has now hit a new geopolitical challenge, an international criminal group in the name of the Islamic State. This project, which grew out of the ‘Arab Spring,’ has gained momentum thanks to the double [political] standards of certain world regional powers by using ‘a terrorist battering ram’ to reach their own strategic goals in Asia and Africa,” Bortnikov said during a security session with the special services from the Commonwealth of Independent States.

In late 2010, a revolutionary wave of anti-government protests began in the Arab world, which later evolved into the so-called Arab Spring, leading to political fragmentation and longtime rulers being forced from power in a number of countries, including Egypt, Libya and Yemen.

The most drastic consequences of the Arab Spring can be seen in Syria, where opposition factions tried to oust the country’s president, Bashar Assad. As the opposition failed to overthrow Assad immediately, mass anti-government protests escalated into an open armed confrontation between government troops and allied militias on the one hand, and the Syrian opposition on the other.

The conflict is ongoing, and apart from fighting the opposition, Assad has also had to counter extremist groups, including the notorious Islamic State, which has occupied large swathes of land in Syria in recent years.

In 2014, the militants expanded into Iraq which was trying to recover from the Iraq War caused by a US-led invasion and occupation of the country that lasted for over eight years.

“As a result, these states [global powers] have put the world on the brink of global religious and civilization conflict with extremely destructive consequences.”

Fighters From 100 Countries in Islamic State Ranks, Recruits Constitute 40% of Forces

“According to our estimates, citizens from more than 100 countries are currently fighting in the ranks of terrorist structures and the recruits constitute up to 40 percent of their forces,” Bortnikov said.

Afghan militants joining the Islamic State terrorist group has led to a sharp rise in threats and their invasion of Central Asia, Bortnikov said.

“The escalation in tensions in Afghanistan has brought on serious dangers. There are numerous criminal groups included in the Taliban movement on the northern borders of this country right now. Some of them have also [began operating] under the Islamic State flag, which has led to a sharp rise in the threat of terrorists invading Central Asia.”

Islamic State is a Sunni militant group, which seized large territories in Syria and Iraq, in 2012 and 2014, respectively. The group is known for its excessive brutality as well as for recruiting young people from all over the world, primarily via social media.

Some 20,000 to 30,000 foreign fighters are fighting alongside extremists against government forces in Syria and Iraq, according to various estimates. Up from last year’s estimates of no more than 15,000.

In August, the Russian Civic Chamber launched a hot-line to counter radicalization and protect young people from ISIL recruitment.

The following month, Russia, Syria, Iraq and Iran created the Baghdad Information Center to coordinate joint military action against ISIL. The four countries are represented by officers of the national armed forces, whose primary task is to collect and analyze data related to militant operations in the region.

On September 30, Moscow began pinpoint airstrikes on Islamic State positions in Syria following a request from President Bashar Assad.

October 28, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Wars for Israel | , , , | Leave a comment

Israel to demolish East Jerusalem home of alleged attacker’s brother

Ma’an – October 27, 2015

JERUSALEM – Israeli authorities on Tuesday delivered a home demolition order to Ibrahim Dwayyat from Sur Bahir in East Jerusalem, the brother of Shurouq Dwayyat, who Israel accuses of attempting to stab an Israeli settler earlier this month.

Their mother told Ma’an that the Israeli municipality claimed the home had been built without the necessary permits.

She said that her son began building the house four years ago and in a few months had planned to get marry and move into the home.

She said that Israeli authorities recently stormed the building where they took photos and took down its measurements.

It was not initially clear whether the demolition was intended as a punitive demolition following an alleged attack by Ibrahim’s 18-year-old sister, Shurouq.

Shurouq was shot and injured by a 35-year-old Israeli settler in Jerusalem’s Old City after she allegedly attempted to stab him on Oct. 7.

Israeli media said at the time that the man sustained light injuries, while medics told Ma’an that Shurouq was shot four times in her upper body, leaving her in serious condition.

Witnesses told Ma’an that she had been assaulted by the Israeli settler and did not have any sharp objects on her at the time of the incident.

After initially being treated at Hadassah Hospital in Ein Karem, Shurouq was later taken to Hasharon prison.

Her mother told Ma’an that several days ago, Israeli forces detained another of her sons, 22-year-old Muhammad, and have since sentenced him to six months of administrative detention, without trial or charge.

She added that Israeli authorities had refused family visits to Shurouq after she was shot.

Earlier this month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called to fast track the demolition of family homes of alleged attackers, following a series of attacks that have left nine Israelis dead.

Human rights groups have criticized Netanyahu’s call as an unlawful form of collective punishment due to its displacement of Palestinians who have not committed crimes.

In a statement released last year, Human Rights Watch stated that the demolitions may also constitute a war crime as they are carried out in occupied territory.

October 28, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli forces erasing Palestinian lives as if they never existed – 23-year old gunned down in Hebron

International Solidarity Movement | October 28, 2015

Hebron, Occupied Palestine – At 10.30pm last night, Tuesday 27th October 2015, a Palestinian man who has been identified as 23 year old Hammam Said was shot in al-Kahlil (Hebron) at the Gilbert checkpoint, directly outside the ISM apartment. The man was in the H2 neighborhood of Tel Rumeida which was otherwise quiet at the time.

No commotion, shouting or running was heard prior to the six gun shots echoing suddenly through the streets and no other security risk could otherwise be perceived.

execution photo c edited

Immediately following the incident, Israeli forces, who are permanently posted at the checkpoint for 24 hours a day, surrounded the body of the fallen man. Within minutes settlers from the nearby illegal settlement arrived and were allowed to approach and photograph the scene. Further forces then arrived, including soldiers and several police vehicles. An Israeli ambulance arrived but no medical aid was delivered to Said, instead paramedics stood close to the bleeding man and watched passively as he died.

Said was then stripped of his clothes, revealing that the gunshot wounds were all on the back of his body. He was then placed in a bodybag and the street was cleaned. By midnight the scene was totally cleared of all evidence of the incident.

A short video shows Hammam after he was stripped of his clothes by Israeli forces:

Eyewitnesses reported that no knife was originally witnessed on the scene, though one appeared after the soldiers surrounded the body. “I cannot say for sure they put the knife there, but I know even 5 seconds after the shooting I looked, I really looked, and I could see nothing. I am 99% sure of it. But afterwards, it was there.” She added “if an attack was planned at this location it wouldn’t even make sense. He was still 20 meters from the soldiers or checkpoint, in the middle of the night. Why would he wave the knife around?”

Extrajudicial executions of this kind are illegal in international law and there is no evidence that warning or deescalating force was applied before the lethal shooting of Said. The checkpoint has a camera positioned above the street and the International Solidarity Movement is demanding that Israeli forces release the raw footage to prove an association between the man and the knife allegedly found at the scene.

An hour and a half after the incident, an eyewitness reported that “it is like nothing happened, there is no bloodstain, nothing but a dog sniffing the ground. The street is eerily quiet and there are just the normal number of soldiers at the checkpoint.” They added that “they cannot really feel like there is a security threat here right now.” An hour after that an illegal settler vehicle was parked by the location of the shooting, playing loud festive music.

Listen to audio of settlers playing party songs after Hammam Said’s blood was washed off the ground:

Said’s death marks four Palestinian deaths in Hebron within two days, and brings the total death toll within the Occupied Territories of Palestine to 64 since the start of October. Hebron has been a centre of the rising tension in the West Bank, and today witnessed extreme suppression of peaceful protests in Bab Al-Zawwiya, when innumerable rounds of teargas were shot directly at dense crowd of demonstrators who were demanding the release of Palestinian corpses killed by Israeli forces.

It is anticipated that with allegations that Said had a knife that no investigation will be launched, yet another Palestinian will be branded as a terrorist, and as a final injustice another family will be denied their rightful mourning rites.

October 28, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Video | , , , | Leave a comment

Drugs Seizure: Saudi Presses Lebanon on Arrested Prince

Al-Manar | October 27, 2015

The Saudi embassy in Lebanon is exerting direct pressure on the Lebanese authorities over the involvement of one of its princes in a major drugs smuggling attempt.

Early on Monday, a gendarmerie inspection unit at Beirut’s Rafiq al-Hariri International Airport foiled an attempt to smuggle two tons of Captagon pills to Riyadh in Saudi Arabia.

Security Sources told Al-Manar that Saudi Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Fawwaz Al-Shaalan met Lebanese Interior Minister Nuhad al-Machnouk later on Monday.

The sources said that Riyadh is trying hard to exclude the prince from the trial process.

Prince Abdel Mohsen Bin Walid Bin Abdulaziz was detained along with four of his companions: Mubarak Bin Ali Bin Ayed Al-Harthi, Zeyad Bin Sameer Bin Ahmad Al-Hakim, Bandar Bin Saleh Bin Marzouk Al-Sharari, Yahya Bin Shaem Bin Saad Al-Shammari.

The five were caught with two tons of Captagon that were found in the prince’s private jet inside 40 boxes and suitcases.

October 28, 2015 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , , , | Leave a comment

Examples of U.S. Foreign Policy Dysfunction

By Rick Sterling | Dissident Voice | October 27, 2015

If the U.S. is to ever change its foreign policy based on dominance and aggression to a foreign policy based on diplomacy and respect for international law, there needs to be a foundation of realistic assessments. Foreign policy decisions need to be based on reality not fantasy and propaganda.

Unfortunately, dysfunction, deception and propaganda extend across the spectrum from Congressional Republicans to Hillary Clinton to the White House to Bernie Sanders. The following are recent examples:

Benghazi Hearings in Congress ignore important issues to focus on superficial

Congress recently held hearings on what happened in Benghazi Libya leading up to the death of Ambassador Stevens. The hearings focussed on what former Secy of State Clinton knew, when she knew it and whether she should have ordered more security. Before that, millions were spent exploring the email home server issue.

Meanwhile the root cause of Stevens’ death and consequences of the US/NATO overthrow of the Gaddafi government have been ignored. The hearings were silent on the deaths of tens of thousands of Libyans, the eruption and expansion of terrorism within Libya and beyond and the massive numbers of refugees fleeing across the Meditarranean. Instead of evaluating the consequences of “regime change” in Libya, Congressional members focused on cheap political advantage.  Mainstream media said nothing about the shallowness of the hearings; they were happy to report on political maneuvering and whether or not Clinton would lose her temper or be able to get “above the fray”.

Points which would have been informative to explore include:

  • Were the claims of imminent ‘massacre’ in Benghazi exaggerated and largely false? These claims paved the way to the UN Security Council resolution and NATO imposed No Fly Zone. Was it a fake emergency?
  • Who authorized the transition from “protecting civilians” to a campaign of attack and Libyan government overthrow? UN Security Council members China and Russia both say there were deceived and that the US and NATO violated the UN Security Council resolution.

Politicians and much of the media have portrayed Gaddafi as “crazy” for many years. For readers interested in a reality check, see the short video of Gaddafi’s speech to the Arab League in 2008 as he points out the contradictions of acknowledging Israel on the 1967 boundary, as he warns the Arab League leaders of plots and coups, and as he says “we might be next” (for assassination).  For a concise contrast of Libya before and after the NATO backed invasion see this article aptly titled “From Africa’s wealthiest democracy under Gaddafi to Terrorist Haven after US Intervention”.

Clinton advocates No Fly Zone for Syria despite U.S. military opposition and Turkey turning against it.

U.S. military leadership has generally opposed the “no fly zone” idea.  They have made clear that a “no fly zone” begins with military attacks on anti-aircraft positions and is an act of war. They have underscored that imposing such a zone in Syria would be vastly more difficult than in Libya where there were no sophisticated anti-aircraft installations. Even then it took seven months of intense bombing to overthrow the Tripoli government. The risks in Syria would be huge with a significant chance of international war. The idea is reckless and irresponsible for the following reasons:

  • The areas are controlled by armed opposition groups, predominately Jabhat al Nusra (Al Qaeda). Very few civilians remain in the areas proposed for NFZ in Syria. Most have fled to areas under Syrian government control, especially around Latakia and Tartous. Other have gone to Turkey. The proposal is basically to make US and NATO the air force for Al Qaeda. Amazing.
  • If it was imposed, the No Fly Zone would more likely become an “intense conflict zone” rather than a “safe zone” as promoted by interventionists.  It would bring USA and NATO directly into the conflict which is what the proponents want.
  • There already exists a “safe zone”. It’s called the Turkish border.

Of crucial importance, the second Turkish Parliamentary elections are this coming Sunday November 1. Polls indicate the ruling “Justice and Develpment Party” (AKP) will probably lose majority control of the parliament. It’s possible they will lose power altogether. Either way, this will put a stop to the schemes for an all powerful Turkish President (Erdogan) and continuation of the war on Syria. All three non-AKP parties in Turkey oppose the current policies supporting war and terrorism in Syria.

Clinton’s NFZ proposal is opportunistic and out of step with reality in Syria and Turkey.

White House continues anti-Assad lies as they are further exposed in Turkey

The White House must know very well that Assad government forces did NOT carry out a chemical weapons attack on the outskirts of Damascus in August 2013. They must be acutely aware of this because they could not get the U.S. Intelligence to agree with the statement that Assad was behind the atrocity back in Fall 2013.  Instead of the usual “U.S. Intelligence assesses with high confidence …..” they had to substitute the “US Government assesses …..” Although rarely remarked or noted in mainstream media, this was a significant deviation.

Despite this, and the investigations of the most acclaimed US investigative journalists (Seymour Hersh, Robert Parry, Gareth Porter, Russel Baker) which all point to the Assad government NOT being responsible, just a couple weeks ago the White House spokesman asserted the Assad government “used chemical weapons against his own people”.

Meanwhile last week in Turkey two deputies of the social democratic party CHP held a press conference to expose the evidence of Turkish involvement in shipping sarin to Syria and the refusal of the Erdogan government to pursue the investigation or charge the culprits.

This evidence, including wire taps, supports the conclusions of Hersh and others, that the chemical weapons used in Damascus on August 21, 2013 were supplied by Turkey to armed “rebels”. This further exposes the fact free propaganda that “Assad used chemical weapons on his own people”. Politicians and mainstream media outlets such as PBS Frontline just keep repeating it.

Bernie Sanders joins the absurd propaganda campaign against Venezuela and former leader Hugo Chavez

As recently reported at Venezuelanalysis, Bernie Sanders referred to former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as a “dead communist dictator”.  It’s nonsense, just like the White House claim that Venezuela is a “threat to US national interests”. It’s sad that Sanders is following that path.  Chavez was a socialist not communist; he was a member and leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela.  Between 1998 and 2013 Chavez and the PUSV competed in elections seventeen times.  They won every time except once. Elections in Venezuela are vastly more free and fair than elections in the US. They have high turnout, they have very active and hard campaigning, there is a paper trail to verify the accuracy of the electronic voting, over 50% of the electronic votes are matched to the paper votes to confirm the accuracy of the vote counting.

National Lawyers Guild and Task Force on the Americas (and others) have sent many delegations to Venezuela. They have observed conditions including the voting process. National Lawyers Guild’s statement on the 2013 election concluded the Venezuelan elections were “well organized, fair and transparent”.  They added: The U.S. would do well to incorporate some of the security checks and practices that are routine in Venezuela to improve both the level of participation and the credibility of our elections,” said NLG attorney Robin Alexander.

So why in the world is Bernie Sanders promoting false propaganda that Chavez was a “communist dictator”?

Task Force on the Americas, based in the SF Bay Area, has written a letter to the Sanders campaign asking him to review and correct his inaccurate statement.

Conclusion

There is profound need for dramatic changes in U.S. foreign policy. Given that over 55% of the discretionary budget of the U.S. goes to the military, it’s likely that positive changes in domestic policy will depend on changes in foreign policy. The starting point has to be realistic assessments of conditions in other countries, sincere examinations of the consequences of past actions and a genuine commitment to abiding by international law.  As we can see from the above examples, there is a long way to go.

Rick Sterling is a retired engineer and co-founder of Syria Solidarity Movement. He can be emailed at: rsterling1@gmail.com.

October 28, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

Hypersonic deterrence: how to maintain strategic balance

By Vladimir KOZIN | Oriental Review | October 27, 2015

It is unlikely that nuclear weapons, which the US created in the mid-twentieth century and used only once – to bomb Japanese cities – will ever be activated in a global conflict. We can assume that the leaders of the official Western nuclear powers (the UK, US, and France) as well as the other states that actually possess such weapons (India, Israel, North Korea, and Pakistan) will continue to base the conceptual foundation of their military strategy on this incontestable truism: “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” Russia’s current military and political leaders agree with this self-evident observation. In his Oct. 22 speech in Sochi before the Valdai Club, an international discussion group, President Vladimir Putin echoed these sentiments: “The development of nuclear weapons has made it clear that there can be no winners in a global conflict.”

Unlike nuclear weapons, which are “tools of extreme impact,” Long-Range Hypersonic High-Precision Weapons (or Advanced Hypersonic Weapons – AHW in US terminology) are ready for use in any scenario, including as part of counter-terror operations. AHW do not cause unnecessary civilian casualties and do not inflict significant material damage to civil transportation systems, power plants, or other infrastructure beyond the small affected area.

Russia has been developing its own promising prototypes of AHW in the numbers deemed necessary to bolster its own security, in response to both America’s functional rollout of Prompt Global Strike, an ambitious program to deploy a global, layered missile-defense system, as well as the Pentagon’s modernization of its strategic and tactical nuclear weapons.

There have already been calls for an international moratorium on R&D and testing of AHW. Despite the fact that this idea appears somewhat utopian, it is quite feasible that at some future date quantitative limits could be introduced on types of AHW and the regions where they could be positioned, but only if the following six key preconditions are met:

1) Any future AHW agreement must be grounded in the principle of equality and equivalent security for all signatory states and must ensure the creation of a system of multilateral, strategic-deterrence treaties.

2) Signatories to such an agreement must agree to respect the mutual commitment not to use AHW against each other under any circumstances.

3) Before such a treaty goes into effect, all nuclear powers must agree to respect the reciprocal obligation to either refrain from inflicting a nuclear first strike against each other or not to use such weapons at all, and also to renounce the use of weapons of any kind against manned or unmanned spacecraft, and these promises would be formalized through legally binding, international covenants.

4) All states possessing nuclear weapons, whether officially or factually, must commit themselves to move toward the use of defensive strategies and unconditional nuclear deterrence that threatens no one.

5) States deploying missile-defense systems and tactical nuclear weapons within the borders of other states, must dismantle the installations of this type currently being designed or constructed, before reaching an agreement on limiting AHW, and America must also pull all of its tactical nuclear weapons out of Europe and the Asia Pacific region, deploying them only within the borders of the continental US.

6) This agreement must be formalized through a legally binding international treaty that is both versatile and inclusive – in the sense that it includes provisions allowing any other state to join it – and its validity should be of indefinite duration.

Unfortunately, any type of Agreement on Quantitative and Territorial Constraints on the Deployment of AHW would hardly be reached shortly, given the context of America’s updated National Security Strategy (February 2015), which six times refers to Russia an “aggressor,” as well as the identification of Russia and China (here, here, and here) as her first and second, respectively, biggest potential adversaries in the American playbook for the use of strategic nuclear weapons. The Pentagon still adheres to a doctrine that calls for inflicting initial “preemptive and preventative” nuclear strikes against an enemy, and it keeps a longer list of potential targets for an initial nuclear strike than any other state. Another important point to consider is the multifold increase in NATO’s military activity near Russia’s borders during last two years.

In other words, without a radical change by Washington and its NATO allies in their negative and even hostile stance toward Russia and China, the idea that any sort of mutually acceptable agreement could be reached to limit or control AHWs is simply unrealistic and should be put off until a “better time.”

Vladimir Kozin is Head of Advisers’ Group at the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, Member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences and Professor of the Academy of Military Sciences of the Russian Federation.

October 28, 2015 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

‘The worst calories’: Sugar even more harmful than it seems, study finds

RT | October 28, 2015

If you have a sweet tooth, you may want to think twice before you pick up your next doughnut. A new study says that sugar is “toxic,” leading to metabolic diseases such as high blood pressure and heart disease – even if no weight is gained.

The research – conducted by pediatric endocrinologist Robert Lustig at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in San Francisco, and Jean-Marc Schwarz of the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Touro University California – examined 43 obese children who had high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol levels, or signs of too much fat in their livers. The children were between the ages of nine and 18.

The children were put on a restricted diet which eliminated added sugar from sodas, sweet, and other foods.

Sugar intake was reduced from about 28 percent of total calories to about 10 percent. Fructose – a form of sugar believed to be particularly bad for health – was reduced from 12 percent to four percent of total calories.

Sugary foods were then replaced with starchier alternatives, such as hot dogs, potato chips, and pizza.

“This ‘child-friendly’ study diet included various no- or low-sugar added processed foods including turkey hot dogs, pizza, bean burritos, baked potato chips, and popcorn that were purchased at local supermarkets,” the study authors wrote.

Each child’s caloric intake closely resembled the amount they ate before the study began. However, the children reported feeling less hungry with the new diet.

“They told us it felt like so much more food, even though they were consuming the same number of calories as before, just with significantly less sugar. Some said we were overwhelming them with food,” Schwarz said.

After weighing themselves daily as part of the study’s requirements, one-third of the children said they could not eat enough food to stop losing weight. The children lost an average of nearly two pounds in just nine days.

“I have never seen results as striking or significant in our human studies; after only nine days of fructose restriction, the results are dramatic and consistent from subject to subject,” Schwarz added.

Blood pressure went down by an average of five points. The triglyceride measurement of cholesterol fell by 33 points, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL, also known as “bad” cholesterol) fell by 10 points. Blood sugar and insulin levels also fell. Glucose tolerance and the amount of excess insulin circulating in the blood improved.

“Every aspect of their metabolic health got better, with no change in calories,” Lustig said, adding that sugar isn’t harmful because of its calories or its effect on weight, but rather “because it’s sugar.”

He stressed the study proves “a calorie is not a calorie.”

“Where those calories come from determines where in the body they go. Sugar calories are the worst, because they turn to fat in the liver, driving insulin resistance, and driving risk for diabetes, heart and liver disease,” he said.

The study was published in the journal Obesity on Monday. The researchers noted that further examination is needed to determine whether the short-term gains in health with low-sugar diets remain present in the longer term.

October 28, 2015 Posted by | Economics, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , | 2 Comments

Suppressed Memo: Eli Lilly Hid Increase in Suicidal Thoughts and Aggression with Prozac for Years

By Aaron and Melissa Dykes | Truthstream Media | October 27, 2015

It would seem that every time there is a mass shooting in this country, the shooter has either been taking psychotropic medications, usually in the form of antidepressants, or the shooter has recently quit taking antidepressants.

It is well known that these medications can cause suicidal thoughts, especially in young people up to around age 24. If a medicine can cause suicidal thoughts, it would only follow that it can possibly cause violent or homicidal thoughts as well.

A multitude of studies have linked antidepressants to everything from birth defects (including a very serious birth defect called persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn, causing the Food and Drug Administration to place a black box warning on them) to increased suicidal tendencies (causing the FDA to update the initial black box warning to include an additional suicidal tendencies warning).

Eli Lilly, the pharmaceutical giant that brought us Prozac, knew this from its own trials as far back as 1984, but the company kept it from the public and the FDA for years, long after the drug was approved in 1988. This information only came to light through a highly controversial litigation.

What do these documents, which the company reportedly worked to keep hidden, reveal about the potential dangers of Prozac (fluoxetine)?

The “confidential” report opens by stating that:

“Fluoxetine [Prozac] may produce both activation (nervousness, anxiety, agitation, insomnia) and sedation (somnolence, asthenia). Approximately 19% of patients might be expected to report activation during acute therapy with fluoxetine which was not present prior to therapy and which could be attributed to fluoxetine (in trials, 38% fluoxetine-treated patients reported new activation but 19% of placebo-treated patients also reported new activation yielding a difference of 19% attributable to fluoxetine).”

It is worth noting, however, that the control used in trials was apparently also a psychotropic drug, trazodone, a serotonin antagonist reuptake inhibitor (SARI) that carries “activation” risks of its own, including suicidal and violent behavior. Therefore, the true effects may have been downplayed through semantics and parameters set by the study.

At any rate, Lilly’s own internal report on clinical trials matches up incidence reports for fluoxetine against trazodone (an SARI), amitriptyline and desipramine (both tricyclic antidepressants), as well as maprotiline (a tetracyclic antidepressant). It shows a dramatically higher rate of suicide attempts, psychotic depression, hostility and intentional injury for fluoxetine-based Prozac than any of the other antidepressants used in the company’s own trials.

While suicide attempts represented 3.7% of total reports for fluoxetine in trials, it accounted for only 0.2% of the incidents in trazodone, 0.8% in amitryptyline, 0.3% in desipramine and 0.0% for maprotiline. While Lilly attempted to explain away six of the 12 suicide attempts which occurred during its trials of Prozac, but even if you buy their maneuvering, that’s still a 6:1 ratio of suicides potentially induced by Prozac verses controls.

Similarly, psychotic depression reports spiked in fluoxtine at 2.3% while they represented <1% in the other drugs; fluoxetine was two-and-a-half to four times more likely to cause hostility than other drugs tested, and at least eight times more likely to trigger episodes of intentional injury.

fluoxetine-suicide-attempts

Those results show enough risk and red flags it should give any doctor pause before prescribing them to anyone. The 1984 memo even describes ways to explain these findings away to doctors, stating, “Several suggestions may be helpful in presenting this information to physicians” including emphasis on positives like lower discontinuation rates and encouraging physicians to understand “the meaningfulness of subtracting the placebo rate from the drug associated rate” to “point out these values are relatively low”. (Does history show that, just by the way? Obviously not.)

However, with these studies suppressed, Prozac became the “star drug” for depression and Eli Lilly’s blockbuster.

But at what cost, not only to patients, but to legal protections and a right-to-know for the general public, many of whom may be taking, or could be prescribed Prozac?

According to his report on the documents, Dr. Peter R. Breggin, M.D. was responsible for uncovering several concealed internal Lilly memos during the discovery process as a scientific expert in litigation in the early 1990s – and Lilly certainly did not want them to come to light.

Dr. Breggin explains the bizarre and utterly concerning case this way:

I am familiar with these documents because I initially found them in the early 1990s while searching through mountains of paper produced by the drug company in the discovery process. At the time I was the scientific expert for the combined Prozac suits and one of my tasks was to evaluate Eli Lilly’s discovery materials for all the initial cases…

[…]

Paul Smith, the attorney for the plaintiffs, secretly settled the case during the trial and then denied the fact to presiding Judge John W. Potter. The plaintiffs agreed to water down their presentation of the case to the jury in return for a large secret settlement. After Eli Lilly seemed to win the trial by a 9-3 vote, Judge Potter found out that the trial was a sham aimed at exonerating the drug company.

The Supreme Court of Kentucky declared that Eli Lilly may have committed “fraud” and that the drug company had “manipulated” the judicial system. The judge voided the jury verdict and changed it to “settled with prejudice” by Eli Lilly. Although the initial “victory” by Eli Lilly was widely covered in the press, the change in the verdict was largely ignored.

Consumer protection and medical malpractice hangs in the balance of a very determined legal and marketing team in the modern day world of Big Pharma corporate dominance.

The Indianapolis Star, based in the hometown of Eli Lilly, reported on the legal cunning of the Prozac makers in deflecting liability through “secret deals” and “hardball tactics”:

Critics charge Lilly became adept at lawsuit-quashing through aggressive and sometimes unethical legal tactics. They earned the rebuke of three courts, spurred at least three separate lawsuits and gave rise to charges of trial-fixing, conspiracy and document-hiding.

[…]

The deal was “arguably unprecedented in a Western court,” wrote Cornwell.

Zitrin views the deal as an attempt by Lilly to “create a situation where the trial was fixed.” The deal required Smith to withhold key negative evidence about Lilly from the jury in the end stage of the trial. [Editor’s Note: And also required no appeals or punitive damages.]

The evidence concerned Lilly’s 1985 guilty plea to 25 criminal counts for failing to tell the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about deaths and illnesses of patients taking a Lilly arthritis drug called Oraflex, plus related charges. [Editor’s Note: Analysts say Lilly barely obtained a victory]

[…]

“Lilly made the verdict the centerpiece of a national publicity campaign, touting the safety of Prozac,” said a 1997 ruling by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Wow. That is spin at work.

If the reports are true, then a liability in the way of secret deals, suppressed evidence and proof of harm was cleverly turned around into a promotional “victory” for Eli Lilly that dispelled the notions that the drug was harmful or unsafe.

Lilly knew from its own drug trials that nearly 1-in-5 patients would, statistically, undergo “activation”… and could be at risk for a significant increase in suicidal tendencies, as well as aggression and hostilities that were not otherwise expressed.

Reports show that 12 people attempted suicide during Lilly’s own trials, way more than with the other drugs tested, and even with half of these somehow explained away by other factors in the study, the warning would have been apparent if the information had been made available to the FDA and the public.

Read the PDF for yourself.

Instead, profits were put ahead of public health concerns, and many consequences – including shattered lives and even mass shooting incidents – have arguably been connected to this ethical failure to put patients and drug safety first.

Today, the US is a Prozac Nation, where more than one in ten people are taking antidepressants. A new study just came out which found that over 2/3rds of people taking drugs like Prozac aren’t even clinically depressed.

Guess it makes for a much more manageable public.

On an interesting side note, kind of makes you wonder why exactly George H. W. Bush became director of the CIA the year after its MK Ultra mind control scandal broke, only to join the board of directors of, you guessed it, Eli Lilly (also involved in MK Ultra) for two years while Prozac was being developed…

October 28, 2015 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

Tokyo orders work to start on Okinawa US base, despite governor’s opposition

RT | October 28, 2015

Japan’s Defense Ministry says it will restart work on a land reclamation project, which is vital for a proposed US military base on the site. This is likely to infuriate the local Okinawa prefectural government, who are deeply against the move.

Work is planned to start on Thursday and will create storage space needed to start the landfill work. The Okinawa Defense Bureau will also continue a seabed drilling survey off the coast of Henoko, where an alternative US base could be built.

“An administrative decision to start the landfill work has already been made,” said Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga on Wednesday, as cited by the Japan Times.

The Okinawa government says it refuses to accept the notice and has asked the bureau to consult with them before starting the landfill work. Tokyo says these talks have already finished.

On October 13, Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga revoked permission granted for the construction of a new US military base to host the US Marine Corps, following their relocation from the Futenma Air Station from the heavily populated city of Ginowan.

“I will continue to do everything in my power to fulfill my campaign pledge of not allowing the construction of a new base at Henoko,” Onaga said, according to the Asahi Shimbun.

However Onaga appears to have been outflanked. Land Minister Keiichi Ishii suspended the landfill approval cancelation on Tuesday, while Tokyo said it would now be giving itself permission to carry out the work and sideline the governor.

The Land Ministry asked Onaga to withdraw his cancelation of the landfill approval by November 6, the Japan Times reports.

“This is like an ultimatum from the government,” Onaga told a news conference on Tuesday. “It’s not just unfair but also insulting to many people in the prefecture. It’s absolutely unacceptable.”

The previous Okinawa governor, Hirokazu Nakaima, gave the green light for the relocation of the base in 2013. However, after Onaga won the elections in 2014, he promised to oppose the plan – to the delight of the majority of locals.

There has been tension for years between the local population and US servicemen. This dates back to a notorious crime committed in 1995 when three US marines kidnapped and raped a 12-year-old schoolgirl.

There have also been less-publicized sex crime cases involving underage victims reported in 2001 and 2005, the fatal running over of a female high school student by a drunken US marine in 1998, and other incidents.

Okinawa, home to about one percent of Japan’s population, hosts nearly half of the 47,000 US troops based in Japan.

October 28, 2015 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism | , , , | 1 Comment