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A Classic Hoax of Homeric Proportions

By Prof. Tony Hall | American Herald Tribune | July 22, 2016

The Kevin Barrett-Chomsky Dispute in Historical Perspective – Fifth part of the series titled “9/11 and the Zionist Question” – Read the fourth part here.

larry silverstein and 7WTC 0a38a

In his presentation at the Left Forum, Kevin Barrett acknowledged his intellectual debt to the work of Barrie Zwicker, one of Canada’s most accomplished and experienced investigative journalists. Barrett and Zwicker concur that Noam Chomsky’s nonsensical interventions on 9/11 constitute an important part— indeed, perhaps the single most instrumental part— of the 9/11 cover up. If Chomsky’s adoring fans had been treated with respect and truth rather than with duplicity and lies, they might have joined together in a timely and effective way to get to the bottom of the 9/11 deception and to demand some legal and political accountability for the fraud.

The Left’s most influential guru, however, discouraged his obedient flock from trying to sort out 9/11 truth from the instrumentalized fiction embedded in the 9/11 fable. As the Trojan horse within the progressives’ main camps, Chomsky moved decisively and deliberately to discourage independent investigations into a classic hoax of Homeric proportions.

In New York Dr. Barrett underlined the pivotal role of Noam Chomsky as a primary agent of the 9/11 cover up. In making his point the martyred former professor referred to Building 7. WTC 7 is the third World Trade Center skyscraper in New York to be downed on 9/11 in a controlled demolition. Lucky Larry Silverstein’s World Trade Center 7 was not hit by any jet. Nevertheless, this 47-story steel-frame skyscraper collapsed almost instantly into its own footprint late in the afternoon of September 11 twenty minutes after its destruction had been announced on the BBC.

Said Barrett, “In November of 2001, if Chomsky had not chosen to feed us such a diet of bull shit, but instead had eloquently pushed the whole Left towards just looking at Building 7 and then drawing the obvious conclusions, I think we’d be living in a very different and vastly better world.”

Why did Noam Chomsky intervene so quickly, aggressively and unrelentingly to persuade his admirers, including many teachers, politicians, jurists and journalists, to put aside their own critical faculties in evaluating the substance of what actually transpired in the most transformative event of the twenty-first century? Why did Chomsky rush into print his book of November 2001 to declare “the initial conclusions about 9/11 are presumably correct,” and to reassure that there would be no major “long-term restriction of rights” or “government censorship” flowing from the debacle?

In his 2006 volume entitled, Towers of Deception: The Media Cover-Up of 9/11, Barrie Zwicker devotes a chapter to “The Shame of Noam Chomsky and the Gatekeepers of the Left.” (pages 179-224) This seminal chapter was accompanied by a series of short documentaries by Snowshoe Productions now published on You Tube by Yoryvrah. Zwicker explains that he was once “a fan, a protégé and a booster” of Noam Chomsky. In these print and video publications, Zwicker describes how prior to 9/11 he voraciously read many of Chomsky’s books. The investigative reporter and teacher included a number of Chomsky’s articles in the curriculum of the journalism courses he taught at Ryerson University in Toronto.

Zwicker corresponded with his former role model on a collegial basis. There exists public acknowledgment of Zwicker’s contribution to the gestation process of Manufacturing Consent, Chomsky’s 1992 co-authored book accompanied by a documentary film project. The Canadian journalist interviewed Chomsky twice, once in the 1990s and the second time in Hamilton Ontario in 2002. In the second interview Chomsky responded dismissively to Zwicker’s questions on 9/11. The visiting scholar referred to critiques of the official narrative of 9/11 as “conspiracy theories.”

Chomsky’s flippant reference to a notoriously engineered meme, namely his mention of “conspiracy theories,” amounts to the purposeful deployment of a tactic aimed at blocking critical and thoughtful exchange. Chomsky’s resort to this overworked cliché caused Zwicker to begin the process of re-evaluating the work of the MIT professor. By using without irony the uncontextualized term “conspiracy theorist”, Chomsky signaled his unwillingness to engage in open-minded dialogue on a difficult yet vital topic. Chomsky’s refusal to engage in honest evidence-based discussion about 9/11 alerted Zwicker that his US guest could sometimes be “intellectually dishonest.” Zwicker would subsequently learn that Chomsky was not above resorting to cheap “put down phrases” and “bizarre non-sequiturs.”

Both Zwicker and Barrett are far from alone in noticing that Chomsky defends both the government narrative of 9/11 as well as the now-discredited government myth that a sole gunman acting independently killed former US President John F. Kennedy. When pressed to provide clarification on both positions Chomsky notoriously resorts to rhetorical dismissals like “Who cares?” or “What does it matter?” Of course it matters a great deal who did 9/11 and who killed Kennedy. A conclusive and honest answer to both questions would reveal much about how we are governed and who is really in control.

In Towers of Deception, Zwicker deals not only with America’s most highly-publicized professor, but also with many foundation-funded alternative media that followed Chomsky’s lead in avoiding honest critical analysis of the originating events of the 9/11 Wars.

Among the Left Gatekeeper institutions Zwicker identifies are Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now, Michael Albert’s Z Magazine, David Corn’s The Nation and many other venues including The Progressive, Mother Jones and South End Press. In summing up his commentary on “The Shame of Noam Chomsky,” Zwicker observed, “When he is not appearing to undermine the American Empire, which is the main thing he does, [Chomsky] is buttressing it by undermining the most effective and therefore dangerous foe the Empire faces—the conscious Left.”

Zwicker asks:

How many could imagine that the person warning you is one of the most perilous against whom you’ll need to defend yourself? That he is the fire marshal who wires your house to burn down, the lifeguard who drowns you, the doctor with a disarming bedside manner who administers a fatal injection? If Noam Chomsky did not exist, the diaboligarchy would have to invent him. To the New World Order, he is worth 50 armored divisions. (page 224)

Zwicker’s comparison of Chomsky to a very large grouping of military units is striking and apt given what we now know. Ironically Chomsky made his name and fame drawing attention to the role of propaganda in manufacturing consent for war and contemporary colonization. Disinfo agent Michael Shermer has replicated this strategy of seeming to expose the very tactic he utilizes to advance the interests of power.

https://www.amazon.ca/MANUFACTURING-CONSENT-Mark-Achbar/dp/1551640023

A disingenuous TV professor with a penchant for misrepresenting his limited academic credentials, Shermer is editor of the deep-state funded Skeptic Magazine that is anything but skeptical when it comes to addressing the lies and crimes of 9/11.

You will read “Inside Job? Inside What?” in the next part.

August 5, 2016 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , , | 3 Comments

US think-tank suggests cyber-attacks on Moscow Metro, St. Pete power grid, RT offices

Passengers at the Taganskaya station of the Koltsevaya line of the Moscow Metro © Natalia Seliverstova

Passengers at the Taganskaya station of the Koltsevaya line of the Moscow Metro © Natalia Seliverstova / Sputnik
By Robert Bridge | RT | August 5, 2016

The hysterical ‘information war’ just stopped being funny. The influential Atlantic Council has released a paper calling for Poland to ‘reserve the right’ to attack Russian infrastructure, including Moscow’s public transport and RT’s offices, via electronic warfare.

There are some ideas that are so outlandish, so outrageous, so weird that the only way they should enter the public realm is by sheer accident, or in haphazard fashion through whistleblowers and WikiLeaks data dumps.

Regrettably, however, that was not the case with the Atlantic Council’s latest paper, alarmingly entitled ‘Arming for Deterrence: How Poland and NATO Should Counter a Resurgent Russia’. The recommendations put forward in this paper are the result of a deliberate decision, and that’s what makes its contents all the more disturbing.

Heeding Tolstoy’s advice, let’s jump right into the action: Page 12, paragraph 7 and I quote: “Poland should announce that it reserves the right to deploy offensive cyber operations (and not necessarily in response just to cyber attacks). The authorities could also suggest potential targets, which could include the Moscow metro, the St. Petersburg power network, and Russian state-run media outlets such as RT.”

Holy hooliganism, Batman! That comment made me sit bolt upright, spill my coffee and check to see if I wasn’t perusing a parody piece by The Onion. No such luck. My gut reaction, however, was to ignore the hyperbole, since responding would only give the authors some satisfaction that they hit a nerve. And I must admit, they succeeded. In fact, they hit my sciatic nerve, the longest neuron transmitter in the human body that begins in the lower back and runs through the buttock and down the leg (I once underwent orthopedic surgery and the doctor, in an experimental mood, I assume, injected anesthetics directly into this hot spot, which is about the equivalent of being hit by a dozen police Tasers at once).

In other words, ignoring this shocking remark was not an option. The reasons should be obvious. Though the paper ‘merely’ suggested “offensive cyber attacks,” the Moscow Metro, which carries about 10 million commuters daily, has suffered a number of deadly attacks over the years. The last thing it really needs is an “offensive” attack of any kind.

On August 8, 2000, a bomb equivalent to two pounds of TNT detonated inside a pedestrian underpass at Pushkinskaya metro station in the center of Moscow. The attack claimed the lives of 12 and injured 150. On February 6, 2004, an explosion devastated a rush-hour carriage between the Avtozavodskaya and Paveletskaya stations, killing 41 and wounding over 100 commuters on their way to work. A marble plaque on the platform of the Avtozavodskaya Metro bears the names of the victims. On March 29, 2010, dual explosions 40 minutes apart hit the Lubyanka and Park Kultury stations during yet another morning rush hour, killing 40 and injuring 102 others.

Needless to say, Muscovites still carry a lot of emotional baggage from these tragic incidences, so for anybody to suggest the Moscow Metro (or any form of public transport, for that matter) come under some sort of attack is simply the mindless rambling of twisted minds. Although an “offensive cyber attack” (isn’t every attack “offensive” – why the need to be tautological?) does not rank in the same category as a bomb attack, for example, it is nevertheless a form of violence that could have catastrophic consequences.

Second, mentioning St. Petersburg (formerly Leningrad) – the site of a 872-day military siege by the Nazi Army (Sept. 1941 to January 1944) in which somewhere between 643,000 and 1.5 million civilians died of starvation, disease and bombardment – in the context of an attack is just stupid. Most likely it is a cheap effort by the authors to provoke an emotional response from the Russians, who take immense pride from the incomparable sacrifices made by the people of Leningrad (Perhaps even more disturbing, however, is the fact that there is a nuclear power plant 70 kilometers outside of St. Petersburg; would that fall under our author’s purview for a cyber attack?). Why would the authors deliberately rile the Russians over one of their most culturally and historically significant cities? I have some wild guesses, but more on that a bit later.

Who needs Geneva’s conventions?

I am a bit surprised that it is necessary to remind people – especially authors for an influential think-tank – as to what the Geneva Convention has to say with regards to protecting citizens. Article 51(2) of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions, explicitly states:

“The civilian population as such, as well as individual civilians, shall not be the object of attack. Acts or threats of violence, the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population, are prohibited.”

Although I am no lawyer, that statement seems pretty straightforward. Not only the act of violence, but “threats of violence” are prohibited, and an “offensive cyber attack” – which could be severely disruptive, even deadly, in our hyper-technological societies – would certainly qualify.

The authors of the Atlantic Council piece, therefore, are skirting the margins of legality, not to mention sanity, I would say, especially when we consider that Russia has not demonstrated hostile intentions against any Eastern European country, except for those invasions that exist in the vivid imaginations of NATO planners.

Now, concerning the other “potential targets” that our ambitious authors have lined up for Poland’s punchy army, namely, “Russian state-run media outlets such as RT,” once again the authors have gone off the rails as far as the law is concerned. That is because media facilities are considered to be civilian installations and strictly off-limits to any sort of attack, “offensive cyber attacks” included.

“Radio and television facilities are civilian objects and as such enjoy general protection. The prohibition on attacking civilian objects has been firmly established in international humanitarian law since the beginning of the twentieth century and was reaffirmed in the 1977 Protocol I and in the Statute of the International Criminal Court,” advises Marco Sassoli, Antoine Bouvier and Anne Quintin in a case study regarding the protection of journalists.

There is yet another problem with this particular paper that became apparent just days after its publication. First, let us reconsider the gratuitous advice the authors have for the Polish authorities (who will hopefully take a pass on this think-tank junk): “Poland should announce that it reserves the right to deploy offensive cyber operations (and not necessarily in response just to cyber attacks).” That parenthetical comment at the end is not my addition; it appears in the original. So what exactly would qualify Russia’s civilian infrastructure for being on the receiving end of some sort of Polish attack via electronic warfare? The authors do not tell us. I guess they just want to keep everybody in the dark, so to speak.

In any case, the comment is problematic and could have serious unforeseen consequences at least as far as already strained Russian-Polish relations go. After all, there always remains the risk that there will be, in some theoretical future, an “offensive cyber attack” of unknown origin on the Moscow Metro, St. Petersburg power grid or at RT offices.

Needless to say, such an unexpected turn of events would not look very good for the Polish authorities – even if they are innocent of such an aggression. It would look much worse, of course, should an “offensive cyber attack” result in injury or death to any citizens in Russia (It needs emphasized at this point that the possibility exists of some third-party deliberately initiating a cyber attack in the hope of aggravating tensions between Russia and Poland, which would give NATO the justification it desperately needs for its dwindling relevance in a post-Cold War world).

Under a section entitled “Policy declarations”, the authors give the Polish authorities another misguided suggestion: “Poland should make clear policy declarations regarding its behavior in the event of Russian incursions and on targeting within Russia.” The last part of that sentence is unclear and could be interpreted as two distinct events: 1. “The event of Russian incursions”, and 2. “Targeting within Russia” – bereft of any initial Russian incursion.

Meanwhile, the term “offensive cyber attacks” appears in another section of the paper where the authors remark: “NATO has tied its own hands by declaring that it would not use all tools available to it, such as refraining from using offensive cyber operations. Holding back from offensive cyber operations is tantamount to removing kinetic options from a battlefield commander.” Using and comparing these two terms in the same sentence is troubling. As Timothy Noah wrote in Slate, kinetic means“dropping bombs and shooting bullets—you know, killing people.”

Ironically, just days after this nonsense burst asunder from the busy bowels of US ‘thintankdom’, the Russian Security Service (FSB) reported that computer networks of some 20 Russian state, defense, scientific and other high-profile organizations were infected with malware used for cyber-espionage, describing it as a professionally coordinated operation.

“The IT assets of government offices, scientific and military organizations, defense companies and other parts of the nation’s crucial infrastructure were infected,” the FSB said in a statement as cited by the Russian media.

Who writes this stuff?

The disturbing advice put forward in this paper is more understandable when we know the background of the authors.

Gen. Sir Richard Shirreff, NATO’s Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe from 2011 to 2014, is now partner at Strategia Worldwide Ltd. He recently published “2017: War with Russia”, the plot of which is pretty much self-explanatory.

It is hard to top the late fiction writer Tom Clancy when it comes to presenting (Soviet) Russia as the world’s preeminent villain, but Shirreff certainly gives the author of “The Hunt for Red October” a run for his money.

NATO, according to Shirreff, will be at war with Russia by May 2017 (Surprise – just in time for the one-year anniversary of Shirreff’s Russophobic thriller. Oh, happy sales!). Russian forces will invade the Baltic States and threaten to employ nuclear weapons if NATO attempts a military response. “A hesitant NATO will face catastrophe… the day of reckoning for its failure to match strong political statements with strong military forces finally arrives,” his trembling fingers typed.

Amazing what a democratic referendum by the good people of Crimea to join the Russian Federation can do to some people’s overactive imaginations.

Sadly, the primary motivator for such attacks on Russia boils down to the most primal motivator of them all: the profit motive. As a partner at Strategia Worldwide Ltd, which provides clients with “a comprehensive approach to corporate risk management… in complex, dangerous and difficult environments,” according to its sleek website, Shirreff’s groundless predictions about Russian aggression against its neighbors will probably draw more customers through Strategia’s front door. Or boost book sales. Either way, it doesn’t bode well for EU-Russian relations when rabble-rousers can get away with hawking phantom fears and libelous lies for filthy lucre.

But this non-fiction story gets better. Let’s give a big round of applause to the other contributor author, Maciej Olex-Szczytowski, who is described as an “independent business adviser, specializing in defense.” In 2011-12 he was Special Economic Adviser to Poland’s Foreign Minister, Radoslaw Sikorski.

But the biography missed the really juicy part of Olex-Szczytowski’s resume.

“Maciej Olex-Szczytowski is Adviser on Poland to BAE Systems, Europe’s largest company in the Defence Sector. A commercial and investment banker by training, he has led some €50 billion worth of transactions in Central Europe, and has provided advice to numerous corporations and governmental entities in the region.”

Well now all of the warmongering jibes against Russia is starting to make some sense, at least from a business portfolio perspective.

Imagine. We have a former general turned business executive who is predicting that Russia will – for some inexplicable reason – invade the Baltic States (I can only presume for its excellent pastries and liquors) in 2017, teaming up with a banker who oversees the sale of tens of billions of dollars in military hardware to the EU, now advising Poland to “reserve the right” to launch an “offensive cyber attack” against Russian civilian infrastructure.

No conflict of business interests there, right? Nah! It is individuals like these, for whom the entire planet is one big business opportunity, and to hell with the risk of accidentally kick-starting a beast called Armageddon, who are the real regional aggressors.

Hopefully the Polish authorities are wise enough to see through this thinly veiled and very revolting business plan and politely reject the self-interested suggestions of Richard Shirreff and Maciej Olex-Szczytowski. With friends like these two, who needs enemies? After all, it will be Poland that will be forced to pay the piper the price of ruined relations with Russia, not the European military industrial complex, which will only reap a windfall.

@Robert_Bridge

Read more:

Russia poses no threat to NATO members – Hungarian FM

20 Russian high-profile organizations attacked by spy malware in coordinated op – FSB

August 5, 2016 Posted by | Militarism, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

Obama at Pentagon: Syria Mess is All Assad’s Fault

By Daniel McAdams | Ron Paul Institute | August 4, 2016

obama-war-is-peaceSome presidents grow in office and some presidents grow once out of office (Jimmy Carter comes to mind). But some presidents seem to learn very little during their four or eight year term. Unfortunately, especially when it comes to foreign policy, it seems President Obama falls into that latter category.

The president gave a press conference at the Pentagon today to update us on how the fight against ISIS is going. Remember: it is two years since Obama expanded what he promised would be a very limited military operation to save a religious minority — the Yazidis — from a hilltop in Iraq, into a full-fledged war in Iraq, Syria, and as of last week, Libya.

Two years ago this very week, in fact, President Obama informed the American people that he was launching “targeted airstrikes to protect our American personnel, and a humanitarian effort to help save thousands of Iraqi civilians who are trapped on a mountain without food and water…”

There was no chance of this very limited rescue operation expanding, he assured us:

As Commander-in-Chief, I will not allow the United States to be dragged into fighting another war in Iraq.  And so even as we support Iraqis as they take the fight to these terrorists, American combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq, because there’s no American military solution to the larger crisis in Iraq.

Two years later, the lies are laid bare. US troops are indeed fighting another war in Iraq, with the addition of wars in Syria and Libya to boot.

Today the president wanted to give us good news about his anti-ISIS efforts in Iraq and Syria. His efforts have made us more safe, he claimed: “I do think that because of our extraordinary efforts, a homeland is significantly safer than it otherwise would be.”

But the president wanted us to know that things are not perfect. There are some bad actors who are hindering our efforts.

Singled out for condemnation in the president’s address was not ISIS, or al-Qaeda, or even the US-backed Nour al-Din al-Zenki, which recently filmed itself beheading a young child. No, the real villain for President Obama is the Syrian government, which has been engaged in a five year battle with ISIS, al-Qaeda, and US-backed “moderates” who do things like cut off young boys’ heads.

To Obama, the disaster in Syria is not the fault of the outside powers, who imported jihadis and even weapons from Libya (Hillary!) to overthow Syrian president Assad. It is all the fault of Assad for resisting the foreign-backed overthrow of his government! Indeed, even the act of fighting ISIS and al-Qaeda in his country earns Assad the condemnation of Obama:

In Syria, defeating ISIL and al-Qaeda requires an end to the civil war and brutality against the people, pushing them to extremes. The regime and its allies continue to violate the cessation of hostilities.

So the Syrian government is guilty of violating the “cessation of hostilities” by fighting al-Qaeda and US-backed groups that fight alongside al-Qaeda.

Indeed, to Obama the whole Syria disaster is the fault of Assad, who apparently woke up one morning and decided that the best way to keep power in Syria was to destroy his own country.

Said Obama:

We are very clear that Russia has been willing to support a murderous regime and an individual who has destroyed his country just to cling to power.

Whatever one thinks of Assad, what world leader would not resist a foreign-backed insurgency aimed at overthrowing the constitutional order? Would Obama? The mere rumor that the Russians might have had a peep at the DNC’s “cheat Bernie Sanders” grand strategy and the entire Democratic Party is ready to launch World War III against Russia!

But, finally, Obama assures us that try as he constantly does, he just sees no option other than our current hyper-interventionism in the Middle East:

I am pretty confident that a big chunk of my gray hair comes out of my Syrian meetings. There is not a meeting that I don’t end by saying is there something else we could be doing that we haven’t done? Is there a plan F, G, H that we think would lead to a resolution of the issue so that the Syrian people can put their lives back together and we can bring peace and leave the refugee crisis that has taken place?

Well, Mr. President, you must not be trying all that hard, because the answer is as obvious as the gray that has overtaken your hair: just go home. Leave Syria alone. Stop trying to change regimes.

August 5, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | 2 Comments

Hamas, World Vision deny Israeli claims that Halabi diverted cash to Hamas

Palestinian Information Center | August 5, 2016

GAZA – Hamas on Thursday denied Israeli allegations that the manager of World Vision’s Gaza office, Mohammed al-Halabi, passed millions of dollars to Hamas.

Hamas spokesperson Abdullatif al-Kanou’ said the group had “no connection to al-Halabi and therefore, all Israeli accusations are counterfeit and aim to suppress our people and toughen the blockade”.

Israel’s Shin Bet agency accused al-Halabi of funneling millions of dollars in aid money to Hamas, charges that the resistance group denied and the charity voiced skepticism over.

World Vision official Mohammed al-Halabi appeared before a court on Thursday, facing charges of using millions of charity funds in aid to Hamas.

The Israeli intelligence agency Shin Bet claimed Hamas recruited al-Halabi more than a decade ago.

The agency said since al-Halabi took over World Vision operations in Gaza in 2010, roughly 60 per cent of World Vision’s annual budget in the territory was diverted to Hamas.

Mohammad al-Halabi, World Vision’s manager of operations in Gaza, was arrested by Israel on June 15 while crossing the border into the enclave.

World Vision said it was “shocked” by Israel’s allegations and said in a statement that it had regular internal and independent audits and evaluations as well as a broad range of internal controls to ensure aid reached intended beneficiaries.

World Vision added that al-Halabi has worked with the group for 10 years, and that they have “no reason to believe” the allegations against their employee are true.

“World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice,” the statement further read.

“World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. World Vision has been working in the occupied Palestinian territories for over 40 years, striving to give hope to over 500,000 of the most vulnerable children, through education, health, child protection and resilience programs. We continue to call for a fair, legal process,” it added.

August 5, 2016 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , | 1 Comment

Entrapment on terror charges

By Dr Firoz Osman | MEMO | August 5, 2016

The sensational headlines following the arrests of Brandon-Lee and Tony-Lee Thulsie, as well as Ebrahim and Fatima Patel, in Johannesburg and the West Rand, have dominated the South African media over the past few weeks. The #TerrorArrests, as they have been dubbed on social media, came a month after the US embassy issued its umpteenth terror alert warning of imminent Daesh attacks in the country. Even though there are still questions around the legality of the Thulsie arrests, the word “terror” has been used freely. The South African Jewish Report claims that it dubbed the Thulsies the “Terror Twins” and the “name has stuck like glue in all media reports on the case,” gloated journalist Ant Katz.

It comes as no surprise, therefore, that the court of public opinion has already found the accused – all of whom are Muslims – guilty of being Daesh recruits. They were, it is claimed widely, planning attacks on American sites and Jewish cultural institutions.

There has been much speculation about Daesh recruitment in South Africa — indeed, around the world — but I would argue that the extremist group has no need to make any real effort to recruit anyone; the West does a good enough job in that respect. It is the West’s support for tyrannical Arab and Israeli regimes that draws people to extremism. Daesh’s use of terminology such as “Caliphate” and “jihad”, and its Hollywood-style video clips purportedly confronting the imperial invaders, also attract marginal support from the naive.

In 2003, the South African government introduced US-inspired anti-terrorism legislation, despite warnings from civil society on the impact that this would have on the Muslim community. Since then, there has been a slew of clandestine arrests and detentions of South African Muslims, in collaboration with foreign intelligence agencies like the FBI.

Human Rights Watch and Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute reports that the FBI treats Muslims like “terrorists-in-waiting”, encouraging, pressurising and sometimes paying them to commit crimes that they would not ordinarily have committed. Informants trawl through Muslim communities, mosques and community centres, monitor and engage social media, and talk of radical Islam in order to identify possible targets sympathetic to such ideas. If suitable suspects are identified, FBI agents then run a sting, often creating a fake terror plot in which it helps supply weapons and targets. Then, dramatic arrests are made, press conferences held, terror “experts” paraded and lengthy convictions secured.

Are the authorities in South Africa headed in the same direction? It seems that we might well be seeing such a scenario. The investigating officer for the Thulsie case, Wynand Olivier, admitted in court that foreign intelligence agents prompted the Hawks — SA’s elite anti-terror police squad — to arrest the Thulsie and Patel siblings. So desperate were the authorities to effect an arrest that even paintball guns have been presented as “evidence” of an arms cache. More disturbing still is Olivier’s understanding of the word “jihad”, a term that has become central to the case against the Thulsies. The legal official has admitted that no Islamic or Arabic language experts were consulted to guide the authorities on the use of the word.

The word “jihad” is actually used widely by all Muslims, and refers to both individual and social struggles. In fact, if the Hawks were to monitor the use of “jihad” thoroughly, then every South African Muslim would qualify as a “terror” suspect. That is a day we must ensure never comes. The Muslim community is woven firmly within the fabric of South African society, a fact recognised by the government.

However, if we are to retain this social harmony, then the authorities must revisit the anti-terror laws we were coerced into adopting. Furthermore, an independent, enlightened and prudent foreign policy must be followed; it would be the best way to protect us all by ensuring that we do not give Daesh the metaphoric ammunition to entice gullible people to join the movement. Such a policy will be infinitely more effective at countering extremist ideology than a witch-hunt based on myths, stereotypes and misinformation.

August 5, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Islamophobia | , , | 1 Comment

Hiroshima: the Crime That Keeps on Paying, But Beware the Reckoning

By Diana Johnstone | CounterPunch | August 5, 2016

On his visit to Hiroshima last May, Obama did not, as some had vainly hoped he might, apologize for the August 6, 1945 atomic bombing of the city. Instead he gave a high-sounding speech against war. He did this as he was waging ongoing drone war against defenseless enemies in faraway countries and approving plans to spend a trillion dollars upgrading the US nuclear arsenal.

An apology would have been as useless as his speech. Empty words don’t change anything. But here was one thing that Obama could have said that would have had a real impact: he could have told the truth.

He could have said:

“The atom bombs were not dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki ‘to save lives by ending the war’. That was an official lie. The bombs were dropped to see how they worked and to show the world that the United States possessed unlimited destructive power.”

There was no chance that Obama would say that. Officially, the bombing “saved lives” and therefore, it was worth it. Like the Vietnamese villages we destroyed in order to save them, like the countless Iraqi children who died as a result of US sanctions, the hundreds of thousands of agonizing women and children in two Japanese cities remain on the debit side of the United States accounts with humanity, unpaid and unpunished.

“It Was Worth It”

The decision to destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a political not a military decision. The targets were not military, the effects were not military. The attacks were carried out against the wishes of all major military leaders. Admiral William Leahy, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote in his memoirs that “the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender…” General Eisenhower, General MacArthur, even General Hap Arnold, commander of the Air Force, were opposed. Japan was already devastated by fire bombing, facing mass hunger from the US naval blockade, demoralized by the surrender of its German ally, and fearful of an imminent Russian attack. In reality, the war was over. All top U.S. leaders knew that Japan was defeated and was seeking to surrender.

The decision to use the atom bombs was a purely political decision taken almost solely by two politicians alone: the poker-playing novice President and his mentor, Secretary of State James F. Byrnes.[1]

President Harry S. Truman was meeting with Churchill and Stalin in the Berlin suburb of Potsdam when secret news came that the New Mexico test of the atomic bomb was a success. Observers recall that Truman was “a changed man”, euphoric with the possession of such power. While more profound men shuddered at the implications of this destructive force, to Truman and his “conniving” Secretary of State, James Byrnes, the message was: “Now we can get away with everything.”

They proceeded to act on that assumption – first of all in their relations with Moscow.

In response to months of U.S. urging, Stalin promised to enter the Asian war three months after the defeat of Nazi Germany, which occurred in early May 1945. It was well known that the Japanese occupation forces in China and Manchuria could not resist the Red Army. It was understood that two things could bring about Japan’s immediate surrender: Russia’s entrance into the war and U.S. assurance that the royal family would not be treated as war criminals.

Both these things happened in the days right after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

But they were overshadowed by the atom bomb.

And that was the point.

That way, the U.S. atom bombs got full credit for ending the war.

But that is not all.

The demonstrated possession of such a weapon gave Truman and Byrnes such a sense of power that they could abandon previous promises to the Russians and attempt to bully Moscow in Europe. In that sense, the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki not only gratuitously killed hundreds of thousands of civilians. They also started the Cold War.

Hiroshima and the Cold War

A most significant observation on the effects of the atomic bomb is attributed to General Dwight D. Eisenhower. As his son recounted, he was deeply depressed on learning at the last minute of plans to use the bomb. Shortly after Hiroshima, Eisenhower is reported to have said privately:

“Before the bomb was used, I would have said yes, I was sure we could keep the peace with Russia. Now, I don’t know. Until now I would have said that we three, Britain with her mighty fleet, America with the strongest air force, and Russia with the strongest land force on the continent, we three could have guaranteed the peace of the world for a long, long time to come. But now, I don’t know. People are frightened and disturbed all over. Everyone feels insecure again.”[2]

As supreme allied commander in Europe, Eisenhower had learned that it was possible to work with the Russians. US and USSR domestic economic and political systems were totally different, but on the world stage they could cooperate. As allies, the differences between them were mostly a matter of mistrust, matters that could be patched up.

The victorious Soviet Union was devastated from the war: cities in ruins, some twenty million dead. The Russians wanted help to rebuild. Previously, under Roosevelt, it had been agreed that the Soviet Union would get reparations from Germany, as well as credits from the United States. Suddenly, this was off the agenda. As news came in of the successful New Mexico test, Truman exclaimed: “This will keep the Russians straight.” Because they suddenly felt all-powerful, Truman and Byrnes decided to get tough with the Russians.

Stalin was told that Russia could take reparations only from the largely agricultural eastern part of Germany under Red Army occupation. This was the first step in the division of Germany, which Moscow actually opposed.

Since several of the Eastern European countries had been allied to Nazi Germany, and contained strong anti-Russian elements, Stalin’s only condition for those countries (then occupied by the Red Army) was that their governments should not be actively hostile to the USSR. For that, Moscow favored the formula “People’s Democracies” meaning coalitions excluding extreme right parties.

Feeling all-powerful, the United States sharpened its demands for “free elections” in hope of installing anti-communist governments. This backfired. Instead of giving in to the implicit atomic threat, the Soviet Union dug in its heels. Instead of loosening political control of Eastern Europe, Moscow imposed Communist Party regimes – and accelerated its own atomic bomb program. The nuclear arms race was on.

“Have Our Cake and Eat It”

John J. McCloy, labeled by his biographer Kai Bird as the informal “chairman of the U.S. establishment”, told Secretary of War Henry Stimson at the time that: “I’ve been taking the position that we ought to have our cake and eat it too; that we ought to be free to operate under this regional arrangement in South America, at the same time intervene promptly in Europe; that we oughtn’t to give away either asset…”[3] Stimson replied, “I think so, decidedly.”

In short, the United States was to retain its sphere of influence in the Western Hemisphere, claimed by the Monroe Doctrine, while depriving Russia of its own buffer zone.

It is necessary to recognize the sharp distinction between domestic policy and foreign policy. The nature of the Soviet internal regime may have been as bad as it is portrayed, but when it came to foreign policy, Stalin scrupulously respected deals made with the Western allies – abandoning, for instance, the Greek Communists as they were crushed by the Anglo-Americans after the war. It was the United States that reneged on the deals made at Yalta, which were then stigmatized as sellouts to “communist aggression”. Stalin had absolutely no desire to promote communist revolution in Western Europe, much less to invade those countries. In fact his failure to promote world revolution was precisely the basis of the campaign against “Stalinism” by Trotskyists – including Trotskyists whose devotion to world revolution has now shifted to promotion of US “regime change” wars.

There is a prevailing Western doctrine that dictatorships make war, and democracies make peace. There is no proof of that whatsoever. Dictatorships (think of Franco Spain) may be conservative and inward-looking. The major imperialist powers, Britain and France, were democracies. Democratic America is far from peaceful.

As the Soviet Union developed its own nuclear arsenal, the United States was unable to interfere effectively in Eastern Europe and fell back on lesser enemies, overthrowing governments in Iran and Guatemala, getting bogged down in Vietnam, on the theory that these were surrogates for the Soviet communist enemy. But now that the Soviet Union has collapsed, abandoning Russia’s buffer zone in Eastern Europe, there appears to be a resurgence of the sort of confidence that overcame Truman: a euphoria of limitless power. Why else would the Pentagon undertake a trillion dollar program to renew America’s nuclear arsenal, while stationing troops and aggressive military equipment as close as possible to the Russian border?

In his 1974 book about his relations with his brother Dwight, The President Is Calling, Milton Eisenhower wrote: “Our employment of this new force at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a supreme provocation to other nations, especially the Soviet Union.” And he added, “Certainly what happened at Hiroshima and Nagasaki will forever be on the conscience of the American people.”

Alas, the evidence so far is all to the contrary. Concerned critics have been marginalized. Systematic official lies about the “necessity to save American lives” have left the collective American conscience perfectly clear, while the power of the Bomb has created a lasting sense of self-righteous “exceptionalism” in the nation’s leaders. We Americans alone can do what others cannot, because we are “free” and “democratic” and they – if we so decide – are not. Other countries, not being “democracies”, can be destroyed in order to liberate them. Or simply destroyed. This is the bottom line of the “exceptionalism” that substitutes in Washington for the “conscience of the American people” which was not aroused by Hiroshima, but asphyxiated.

The Moral Sleep

As a guest in Hiroshima, Obama pontificated skillfully:

“The wars of the modern age teach us this truth. Hiroshima teaches this truth. Technological progress without an equivalent progress in human institutions can doom us. The scientific revolution that led to the splitting of an atom requires a moral revolution as well.”

Well yes, but no such moral revolution has taken place.

“… the memory of the morning of Aug. 6, 1945, must never fade. That memory allows us to fight complacency. It fuels our moral imagination. It allows us to change.”

“Change” is an Obama specialty. But he did nothing to change our nuclear arms policy, except to beef it up. No sign of a “moral imagination” imagining the devastation that this policy is leading us toward. No imaginative ideas to bring about nuclear disarmament. Just promises not to let the bad guys get a hold of them. They belong to us.

“And since that fateful day,” Obama continued, “we have made choices that give us hope. The United States and Japan have forged not only an alliance but a friendship that has won far more for our people than we could ever claim through war.”

This is sinister. As a matter of fact, it was precisely through war that the U.S. forged this alliance and this friendship – which the United States is now trying to militarize in its “Asian pivot”. It means that we can wipe out two of a country’s cities with nuclear weapons and end up with “not only an alliance but a friendship”. So why stop now? Why not make more such “friends” in the same way, for instance in Iran, which Hillary Clinton has expressed willingness to “obliterate” if the circumstances are right.

“That is a future we can choose,” said Obama, “a future in which Hiroshima and Nagasaki are known not as the dawn of atomic warfare but as the start of our own moral awakening.”

But so far, Hiroshima and Nagasaki are very far from marking the “start of our own moral awakening”. On the contrary. The illusion of possessing limitless power removed any need for critical self-examination, any need to make a real effort to understand others who are not like us and don’t want to be like us, but could share the planet peacefully if we would leave them alone.

Since we are all-powerful, we must be a force for good. In reality, we are neither. But we seem incapable of recognizing the limits of our “exceptionalism”.

The bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki plunged the United States leadership into a moral sleep from which it has yet to awaken.

Notes.

[1] All of that is known to experts. The documentary proofs were all laid out by Gar Alperovitz in the 800 pages of his 1995 book, The Decision to Use the Atom Bomb. However, official lies outlive documented refutation.

[2] Alperovitz pp 352-3.

[3] Ibid p.254.

Diana Johnstone is the author of Fools’ Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO, and Western Delusions. Her new book is Queen of Chaos: the Misadventures of Hillary Clinton. She can be reached at diana.johnstone@wanadoo.fr

August 5, 2016 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

‘Militarized Wasteland’: US Navy, Defense Department Sued Over Marianas Training

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© Flickr/ Michael Lusk
Sputnik – 05.08.2016

Several Northern Mariana Islands conservation groups have sued the US Department of Defense and the Navy over live-fire exercises planned for the Pagan and Tinian islands, as part of a military buildup planned for Guam.

Seen as a part of the US’ “pivot to the Pacific,” about 5,000 US Marines in Okinawa are slated to relocate to the Mariana Islands and train using mortars, rockets, artillery, attack helicopters and warplanes, as well as ship-to-shore naval bombardment and amphibious assaults.

The plaintiff organizations, Guardians of Gani, Paganwatch, Center for Biological Diversity and the Tinian Island Women’s Association, are claiming that the Navy violated the National Environmental Policy Act when it failed to evaluate the environmental effects of military tests in an initial environmental impact statement.

The plans to move the Marines to Guam created the need for a training area, and this should have also been included in an impact statement. The plaintiffs say the Navy relied on a separate, and inadequate, statement.

David Henkin, an Earthjustice attorney representing the groups, along with Tinian-based lawyer Kimberlyn King-Hinds, said,”The die is cast, the Navy has made a decision to move 5,000 Marines and their families to Guam without considering all the alternatives or whether Guam can absorb that many people in such a short time…We can’t defer consideration of other places.”

The complaint says that two impact statements, made in 2010 and 2015, should be set aside, claiming the Navy acknowledged that constructing training facilities and conducting tests would destroy coral reefs and rainforests, and kill native wildlife on Pagan and Tinian, including the endangered Mariana fruit bat.

The groups also note that Tinian will suffer the destruction of historic and cultural sites, be subject to severe restrictions to beaches and fishing grounds, and the population will be subject to high-decibel noise and the loss of 15% of farmlands.

The 18-square-mile island was evacuated due to a volcano eruption in 1981, and another issue claims that families seeking to return “would be forever banished from returning to their home island, which would be turned into a militarized wasteland,” according to the filing.

A Scientific American article titled “Dreading the Dredging: Military Buildup on Guam and Implications for Marine Biodiversity in Apra Harbor,” claims that dredging the harbor would destroy up to 70 acres of coral reef.

Joint Region Marianas deputy public affairs officer Greg Kuntz said that the Navy is committed to revising its environmental impact and working within the guidelines of the National Environmental Policy Act.

Members of the Tinian Women’s Association, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving Chamorro culture and advocating for Tinian women and children, have submitted comments to the Navy’s environmental review and passed out informational flyers. Member Florine Hofschneider said in a media statement, “We refuse to accept the Navy’s plan to subject our children to nearly constant bombardment.”

The Guardians of Gani say that this military training poses an “existential threat” to people who want to lead “a more traditional, productive and fulfilling lifestyle,” adding that, “the Guardians and their members view Gani [islands north of Saipan] as the last frontier to revive their traditions and culture.”

August 5, 2016 Posted by | Environmentalism, Militarism | , , | Leave a comment