Aletho News


An IPCC History Lesson

By Donna Laframboise | Big Picture News | February 15, 2011

The late Bert Bolin, a Swedish meteorologist, was the first chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). His tenure began in 1988 and ended in 1997 – well after the IPCC’s second assessment report had been completed. (There have been four so far, published in 1990, 1995, 2001, and 2007.)

Cynical individuals are quick to declare that the fix was in from the beginning. According to these people, there’s no way the IPCC could have declared that humans aren’t responsible for an alarming degree of climate change. It’s easy to make these sorts of declarations, of course. Finding compelling, reliable evidence to support them is a different matter.

I’m currently examining Bolin’s memoir, titled: A History of the Science and Politics of Climate Change. Although it was published back in 2007, I’m not certain many people have actually read it. On page 33 these lines appear:

I was asked by the Swedish government in 1975 to summarise available knowledge, and later that same year it was concluded in a government bill concerning future Swedish energy policy that ‘…It is likely that climatic concerns will limit the burning of fossil fuels rather than the size of the natural resources.’

As an adviser to the Swedish Prime Minister, therefore, Bolin was asked for his professional opinion. He doesn’t tell us what that opinion was. (In a footnote, though, he refers us to a document that is by no means easy to track down: Swedish Government proposition 1975/76: No. 30 to the Swedish Parliament.)

Back in the 1970s lots of people felt the depletion of the Earth’s natural resources was imminent, especially since the world’s population was increasing. But Sweden, after consulting Bolin, officially expressed a different view. If it had misunderstood Bolin’s position – or had egregiously exaggerated its import – one would think he’d have said so in his book.

Instead, we’re left with the uneasy feeling that a full 13 years before the IPCC was even born its first chairman had already decided that fossil fuels didn’t merely affect the climate, but that the affect was so adverse their use would need to be curtailed.

June 14, 2020 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment

Hypocrisy on Campus: Decolonization Means Cutting Ties with Israeli Apartheid

By Adam Saeed | Palestine Chronicle | June 14, 2020

Those of us who have the misfortune of following their universities on social media were recently exposed to a new wave of hypocrisy when these institutions which are directly complicit in apartheid against the Palestinian people and the destruction of our environment released statements “in support” of the BLM movement. This act of performative solidarity and intentional distortion of the meaning of decolonization was rightly met with anger and outrage by many student activists calling the institutions out on their duplicity.

Indeed, these words that celebrate humanity and commitment to fighting for equality and against oppression ring hollow to those who see Palestinians being excluded from this racist definition of humanity. If the case is being put for equality and against oppression, then the first step our universities and unions should take before they attempt to co-opt the Black Lives Matter Movement is clear: they must commit to decolonization by ending material and institutional complicity with Israeli Apartheid.

In stark contrast to the line of marketing teams of universities like SOAS or Glasgow, we are calling for decolonization of our institutions that will have factual implications to the situation on the ground. Namely ending institutional links to Israeli Universities which are directly complicit in the colonization of Palestinian land and contribute to the development of strategies and technologies that are used in the violent oppression of Palestinians across the land. The Hebrew University represents a prime example of institutional involvement in this process of colonization of Palestine.

At the time of its establishment in the early 20th century, the University was viewed as being a key symbol of the Zionist project in Palestine: plans for establishing the university were formulated by key Zionist thinkers, including Chaim Weizmann, who would later become the first president of Israel. In this sense, the university was an essential part of the process of settler-colonialism within which Israel was created and in which it continues to constitute its existence. The University also contributed to the development and propagation of Zionist colonial ideology and advocates for Jewish ethnopolitical supremacy in Palestine until today.

After Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967, annexing East Jerusalem, the Israeli Government confiscated the land around Hebrew University and its affiliated Hadassah Hospital, embarking on large-scale expansion. This expansion reached beyond the green line and included private Palestinian land. As it stands today, substantial parts of the Hebrew University that are built upon occupied Palestinian land, are defined as an illegal settlement under international law. Constituting a clear breach of the Geneva Convention. Importantly for UK universities, the accommodation offered to international students undertaking Year Abroad programs lies within the Student Village, which stands on occupied land, and therefore students housed in these buildings are directly taking part in a perpetration of a war crime.

The violations committed by Hebrew University don’t end there. Like all Israeli higher education institutions, Hebrew University plays an active role in the Apartheid system by discriminating against Palestinian students and supporting the Israeli Army’s repression of Palestinians. Recently, the Hebrew University has launched an academic excellence program for IDF soldiers, opening a ‘de-facto military base’ on campus.

The program, known as ‘Havatzalot’, offers three-year training for future intelligence officers as part of their mandatory army service. It includes basic training at combat level, officer training, a bachelor’s degree, and military intelligence and leadership training. The IDF student soldiers live on campus and are required to wear uniforms and carry weapons at all times. Moreover, the IDF has enforced further security measures to be put in place inside the campus, including biometric IDs and the right to demand the replacement of anyone employed in the soldiers’ compound if they don’t pass a security screening. For the Palestinian staff at the university, this presents a threat to their livelihoods and safety.

The extreme militarization of Hebrew University manifested through programs like Havatzalot goes hand in hand with its premises and buildings being used by the IDF and Israeli police to oppress and control the population of Palestinian Issawiyah neighborhood next to which the Hebrew University is located. This also includes closing the southern entrance to the neighborhood by the Israeli police and brutalizing its inhabitants passing through the gate close to the university campus.

Our universities are sending their students to directly take part in the maintenance of war crimes and normalize relationships with institutions that are rooted in the most brutal form of racism in our time: colonialism and European supremacy. The need for decolonization at our universities as a process of ending material support for these institutions is the only viable next step forward and towards an anti-racist, decolonial future. We must not allow decolonization and anti-racism to be co-opted by the marketing teams of these marketized institutions.

I urge every anti-racist student campaigner to join our decolonizing mission at Apartheid Off Campus today. Let us unite under the banner of anti-racism and decolonization to end our universities’ complicity. Let’s follow in the footsteps of the University of Johannesburg which terminated its relations with Israeli academic institutions in 2011 and show our solidarity with the Palestinian people, whose voices must be heard today more than ever.

– Adam Saeed is a Palestinian student of Arabic and Politics at the University of Leeds. He is also an activist within the Apartheid Off Campus student led-network. They are on Twitter: @AOC_movement. 

June 14, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | 2 Comments

Battle For the Arctic Heats Up

By James – June 13, 2020

An incredible event took place this week: A Russian tanker docked at the Port of Jiangsu on China’s east-central coast, offloading its cargo of liquefied natural gas from the Yamal LNG plant in Russia’s north.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “James, that’s not so incredible. Tankers regularly carry LNG from Russia to Asia via the Suez Canal in the winter months!”

Oh, yes, of course, my dear, well-informed reader. But here’s the rub: This was no ordinary tanker, but the Christophe de Margerie, an ice class LNG tanker designed to transport gas along the summer route across the Arctic.

“But James, the summer route doesn’t open until July!”

Exactly. This was a test to see whether the trip could be started nearly two months early. The Christophe de Margerie launched from the Port of Sabetta in Russia’s frozen north on May 18th and hooked up with the Yamal, a nuclear icebreaker, which escorted it through the Arctic passage. Together, the ships were able to trim nearly 4,000 nautical miles off the regular winter shipping route, which takes the cargo on a circuitous journey around Europe and through the Suez Canal before arriving in Asia.

Make no mistake: This event may not have received as much coverage as the other groundbreaking stories of 2020 (or any coverage at all, other than the reports in a handful of sites specializing in such matters), but it is important. In fact, it speaks to the fact that the Arctic is increasingly becoming a geopolitical prize . . . and a potential flashpoint for future military conflict between the superpowers.

The latest sign that the Arctic is the next up-and-coming geopolitical hotspot comes from the chambers of the Arctic Council. While “the Arctic Council” sounds like the fictional body overseeing Santa’s North Pole operations, it is in fact a very real intergovernmental forum that brings together eight Arctic states (Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the US) to discuss regional issues. Although the council’s website likes to highlight the group’s work in “enhancing cooperation in the circumpolar North,” it has increasingly become a place for the US and Russia to ramp up their Cold War 2.0 rhetoric.

The council’s latest ministerial meeting in Finland provides a case in point. At the meeting, US Secretary of State Mike “Lie, Cheat and Steal” Pompeo focused on what he sees as the greatest threat to the region’s security: Russian militarization.

“No one denies Russia has significant Arctic interests. [. . .] But Russia is unique. Its actions deserve special attention, special attention of this Council, in part because of their sheer scale. But also because we know Russian territorial ambitions can turn violent.”

If there’s a better case of the pot calling the kettle black, I’m hard-pressed to think of it. Whatever one may make of Russia’s moves in the Arctic of late—Moscow’s attempt to reopen its Arctic bases, its quest to modernize and expand its military deployment in the region, and even (GASP!) its push to build a bigger fleet of icebreaking vessels than the US—Washington can hardly claim that its own intentions in the region are completely peaceful. Ever since Bush signed off on National Security Presidential Directive 66 (NSPD 66) on “Arctic Region Policy” in 2009, there has been no room for doubt about the US government’s intentions in the region.

NSPD 66, issued in the waning days of the Bush presidency, declared that the US has “broad and fundamental national security interests in the Arctic region.” According to the document, these claimed interests include “missile defense and early warning; deployment of sea and air systems for strategic sealift, strategic deterrence, maritime presence, and maritime security operations; and ensuring freedom of navigation and overflight.” Ever since the directive was signed, there has been a concerted push to assert American military dominance throughout the circumpolar North.

This push by Uncle Sam to militarize the region has included such moves as:

In fact, as might be noted, every single member of the Arctic Council bar Russia is a NATO ally, so the claim of Pompeo and his fellow NATO warmongers that they are on the defensive in the region is even more preposterous.

But never fear, China (aka the West’s new favorite bogeyman) is here!

. . . Wait, did I say “never fear”? Scratch that, I mean always fear!

Yes, the latest strategy employed by the NATO allies to push their military agenda in the Arctic is to point to the burgeoning Sino-Russian alliance as a menacing force in the region. Just this week Tobias Ellwood, the head of Britain’s Defense Select Committee, warned that “Russia and China’s warming relations in the Arctic are the largest threat to security in the region.” After all, they’re doing horrible things like . . . forming a new Arctic trade route. And shipping natural gas through the Bering Strait in May. (“The horror! The horror!“)

It should come as no surprise to my regular listeners that this move to open up yet another front in the Forever War is also a great excuse to line the pockets of the military contractors in the Military-Industrial-Governmental-Media complex. Defense industry trade organizations like the IDGA are already holding networking events to bring together contractors and government agencies looking to expand Arctic operations, and the armaments industry is just beginning to warm up to the possibilities of conquering the deep freeze.

So far, the Trump administration has continued this boondoggle, with the Dissembler-in-Chief penning a new presidential memo just this week extolling the urgent need for icebreakers and Arctic bases to (say it with me) counter the Russian threat in the region.

As always, we’d better hope that all this talk of militarization is just another excuse to siphon money from Joe Taxpayer to the MilIndGovMed cronies. Because if this isn’t just more hot air from the political puppets in Washington, then a new front has just been opened up in the next ginned up world war scenario.

Better get your long johns ready, just in case.

Become a Corbett Report Subscriber.

June 14, 2020 Posted by | Economics, Militarism | , , | Leave a comment

Iran to react if US prevents lifting arms embargo as per nuclear deal: President Rouhani

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani addresses a cabinet session in Tehran on June 14, 2020. (Photo by IRNA )
Press TV | June 14, 2020

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani says the country will not remain indifferent and will show suitable reaction if the US tries to prevent lifting of arms embargo against the Islamic Republic, which will end this year in accordance with the landmark nuclear deal that Tehran clinched with six world powers back in 2015.

During past months, Washington has stepped up calls for the extension of a UN arms embargo on Iran, which will expire in October under UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorses Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The administration of US President Donald Trump has threatened that it may seek to trigger a snapback of all sanctions on Iran if its attempts to extend the arms embargo fail.

The landmark nuclear deal was reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries — the US, Britain, France, Russia and China plus Germany — in 2015. However, in May 2018, US President Trump unilaterally pulled his country out of the JCPOA and re-imposed the sanctions that had been lifted against Tehran and began unleashing the “toughest ever” fresh sanctions.

While the US is no longer a party to the JCPOA, it has launched a campaign to renew the Iran arms ban — in place since 2006/2007 — through a resolution at the Security Council, but Russia and China are most likely to veto it.

Addressing a cabinet session on Sunday, Rouhani said, “The termination of the arms ban [on Iran] … is one of the important achievements of the JCPOA and if Americans want to question this achievement, other big countries know what our reaction will be.”

The Iranian president also expressed hope that “all countries who are members of the United Nations Security Council and the Board of Governors” of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), would be aware of “the US planning with regard to these plots.”

“We, for our part, will be successful in this regard and will weather these plans that the United States has made for Iran,” he noted.

Posting a tweet in early June, Iran’s UN ambassador said the US’ call for an extension of the UN Security Council’s arms embargo on Tehran lacked legal standing in international law.

Majid Takht-e Ravanchi said the US ambassador to the UN “wrongly” believes the US retains the right to initiate snapback of sanctions under the UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

“WRONG: US cannot be a JCPOA ‘Participant’, since Donald Trump ceased US participation,” the Iranian ambassador noted, referring to Trump’s 2018 decision to withdraw his country from the Iran nuclear deal in violation of the Resolution 2231.

In the middle of May, China and Russia also rejected US plans to extend a UN arms embargo on Iran along with a probable push to trigger a return of all sanctions on Tehran at the UN Security Council.

The “US has no right to extend an arms embargo on Iran, let alone to trigger snapback,” China’s UN mission wrote in a tweet.

“Maintaining the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is the only right way moving forward,” he added.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov vehemently rejected the plan as a “cynical” measure plunging the UN Security Council into crisis.

“The conclusion is that the next crisis in the UN Security Council and the UN as a whole is imminent, taking into account this US stubbornness,” he said, adding, “Washington will not have an easy road here in any case.”

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Tuesday that the US has already pulled out of the international nuclear agreement and cannot currently use its former membership of the deal to seek a permanent arms embargo on Tehran.

“The United States has withdrawn from the JCPOA, and now they cannot claim that they are still part of the JCPOA in order to deal with this issue from the JCPOA agreement. They withdraw. It’s clear. They withdraw,” Borrell said.

The EU believes that the JCPOA plays a key role in maintaining regional and international security and has made efforts to keep the pact alive despite US pressure.

Borrell is tasked with supervising the circumstances surrounding the implementation of the nuclear deal so he can help resolve disputes between its signatories.

June 14, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , | 1 Comment

The Sacking of Gough Whitlam and the Royal Intention Behind the Five Eyes

By Matthew Ehret | Strategic Culture Foundation | June 13, 2020

An important reckoning with a great historical injustice is underway in Australia which presents the world with a rare opportunity to look into the darker corners of the corridors of power too often ignored by even the most ardent truth seekers among us.

This reckoning has taken the form of a four-year, hard fought legal battle which a lone crowd funded Australian historian named Jenny Hocking waged in the highest courts of her nation to win the right on May 30, 2020 to make 211 secret letters held within Australia’s National Archives public for the first time since they were deposited in 1978.

These palace letters were written between the Queen of England (via her personal secretary) and her Governor General in Australia Sir John Kerr during the latter’s tenure as official Head of State during the interim of 1974-1978 and until last week’s court ruling, were intended to be kept hidden until December 8, 2037.

What makes these letters such a point of national controversy is that they contain information which will undoubtedly shed light upon the active role of the Queen herself in carrying out an act which essentially amounted to a modern coup d’état of November 11, 1975. During this sad period, Kerr made history by not only sacking the elected Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, but also revealed the scope and nature of the British Monarchy’s very real powers in our modern age.

These are bizarre god-like prerogative powers which those forces controlling today’s globally extended empire would much rather keep concealed from public view.

Gough Whitlam: An Intolerable Threat to the Empire

It is admittedly difficult for some westerners to contemplate how a white Commonwealth prime minister could suffer a coup in our modern times… are not coups usually something reserved for Asiatic, Latin American, or African revolutionary leaders?

When one looks upon a list of coups during the Cold War period, that has certainly tended to be the general rule… but like every rule, exceptions are always to be found.

By reviewing the nature of Whitlam’s political struggle, his policy reforms and greater vision for Australia, it becomes clear what sort of enemy he made and why the highest powers of the Five Eyes and Global Empire ousted him.

Before his December 2, 1972 victory, Gough Whitlam gave a brilliant speech which set him aside from the typical slavish pro-imperial stooges who tended to litter Australia’s political elite when he said in November 1972:

“The decision we will make for our country on 2 December is a choice between the past and the future, between the habits and fears of the past, and the demands and opportunities of the future. There are moments in history when the whole fate and future of nations can be decided by a single decision. For Australia, this is such a time. It’s time for a new team, a new program, a new drive for equality of opportunities: it’s time to create new opportunities for Australians, time for a new vision of what we can achieve in this generation for our nation and the region in which we live. It’s time for a new government- a Labor Government.”

Whitlam launched into his role as Prime Minister as a progressive juggernaut who revolutionized literally every aspect of Australian society, awakening a deep-seated yearning for true independence and taking on some of the largest power structures of the Anglo-American empire. Just to appreciate the scale of these reforms, let us review a few of them here.

1- Days after his election, Whitlam began negotiations to establish full diplomatic relations with Mainland China, breaking off relations with Taiwan.

2- Conscription which had forced thousands of young Australians to Vietnam was ended, Australia ended its participation in the war, imprisoned draft dodgers were released and the death penalty was abolished.

3- A committee was created with the full backing of the federal government to enforce equal pay for men and women while free universities as well as free health insurance were begun.

4- Whitlam began sanctioning Apartheid South Africa while banning all sports teams which practiced racial discrimination.

5- Large scale urban renewal programs were launched extending modern sewage systems to all urban centers, while new roads, rail, electrification and flood prevention programs were built. Highways linked of Australia’s capitals for the first time and standard gauge rail was established to accelerate continental development strategies (whether Africa or Australia, the British Empire never permitted common rail gauges in order to prevent internal development while keeping its “possessions” reliant on maritime trade).

6- On aboriginal rights, Whitlam tackled the injustices of colonialism by granting natives the right to own their traditional lands and granted independence to Papua New Guinea.

7- Culturally, he kindled a sense of independence from British Imperial traditions by replacing God Save the Queen with a new national anthem and patronized a National Art Gallery.

Standing up to the Five Eyes and Multinational Cartels

Within the first weeks of 1973, Whitlam’s team soon discovered the insidious nature of the international Five Eyes intelligence organization and upon discovering the scope of MI6/CIA operations in Australia, ordered a crackdown on the Australian Security and Intelligence Organization (ASIO) on March 13, 1973 under the authority of Attorney General Lionel Murphy. In his June 1st report on Consortium News, investigative reporter John Pilger stated: “Gough Whitlam knew the risk he was taking. The day after his election, he ordered that his staff should no longer be “vetted or harassed” by the Australian security organisation, ASIO, which was then, as now, tied to Anglo-American intelligence.”

In a 2014 report, Pilger made the point that Whitlam had received a secret telex message from William Shackly (head of the CIA’s East Asia division) calling him a “security threat” on November 10, 1975, and before he could make these facts known to the parliament the next day, Whitlam was promptly called into the Governor General’s office where he was promptly fired under royal decree.

Whitlam’s most unforgivable of sins was the policy to “buy back the farm” to take back control of Australia’s resources- 62% of which were own by multinational cartels such as London’s Rio Tinto. Whitlam sought loans to buy Australia’s resources not from western banking sources in London or Wall Street but rather Middle Eastern nations who were awash in cash during the oil price increases of 1973-75. According to Minerals and Energy Minister Rex Connor, the loans were designed for 20 years and tied to large scale national development mega projects which would have extinguished the $4.5 billion of debt incurred. This process would have worked in a similar manner to the debt repayment process of FDR’s New Deal projects of the 1930s, JFK’s Apollo program of the 1960s or China’s Belt and Road Initiative of our modern age.

Why the disclosure still may not happen

In spite of the fact that the High Court ruled that the palace letters could now be accessed, the prerogative to follow the court’s orders is still left to the discretion of the head of the National Archives David Fricker- a strange character who has shown a decade of resistance to professor Hocking and even the High Court, telling ABC News: “We are not like a library or a museum.. I am required to diligently go through those things and just make sure that our release of these records is responsible, it’s ethical and it complies with the law.” Perhaps Fricker’s former job as Deputy Director of the ASIO may have something to do with this resistance.

While Fricker and other opponents of the letters’ release make the claim that they are merely personal correspondences of a private nature, Sir Edward Young (Personal secretary to the Queen) has demonstrated this to be a fraud as he cried out that their declassification “could damage not only international relations but also the trusting relationship between Her Majesty and her representatives overseas”. How could benign “personal correspondences” do that?

In a June 1st blog, Professor Hocking stated “It is surely an unusual position for the National Archives, which describes itself as a ‘pro-disclosure organisation’, to contest this action at significant expense – initially of almost one million dollars – at a time of severe budget and staff cuts”. She also made the point that “before lodging them in the Archives, the letters had been kept by Smith in the Government House ‘strong room under absolute security’ again in an official capacity, which scarcely suggested the letters were ‘personal’.”

What does the Empire have to fear?

The British Empire has worked very hard over the years to portray the image that the Crown is a benign symbol of conservative values without any real power and that the British Empire is a mere relic of the past. If anything critical is permitted to seep through the cracks of a squeeky clean veneer of austere traditional values, then Britain’s propagandists in the mainstream media and academia are sure to spin information in such a manner as to convey the idea that Britain is merely a second ringer to the real global villain: America.

The true story of Whitlam’s sacking, and the Crown’s active hand as an invisible yet real force shaping world imperial policy (including the Five Eyes) is an uncomfortable fact which imperial strategists would prefer forever remain in the shadows.

In the next segment of this story, we will delve more deeply into the real nature of the British Empire as a very active, very powerful, albeit (usually) very invisible force shaping current world affairs.

June 14, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

Beware the Hijacking of U.S. Protests Into a ‘Color Revolution’

By Max Parry • Unz Review • June 14, 2020

The May 25th killing of George Floyd, an unarmed African-American man, at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota shocked the world and set off mass protests against racism and police brutality in dozens of cities from the mid-western United States to the European Union, all in the midst of a global pandemic. In the Twin Cities, what began as spontaneous, peaceful demonstrations against the local police quickly transformed into vandalism, arson and looting after the use of rubber bullets and chemical irritants by law enforcement against the protesters, while the initial incitement for the riots was likely the work of apparent agent provocateurs among the marchers. Within days, the unrest had spread to cities across the country including the nation’s capital, with U.S. President Donald Trump threatening to invoke the slavery-era Insurrection Act of 1807 to deploy the military and National Guard on American soil, federal powers not used since the 1992 Los Angeles riots following the Rodney King case.

The debate over the catalyst for the uprising into its period of lawlessness has drawn a range of theories. The suspicious placement of pallets of bricks in the proximity of numerous protest sites have spurred rumors of sabotage by everything from white supremacist groups to “Antifa” to law enforcement itself. Predictably, liberal hawks such as Susan Rice, the former National Security Advisor in the Obama administration, made ludicrous assertions suggesting “Russian agents” were behind the unrest, a continuation of the narrative that the Kremlin has been behind inflaming racial tensions in the U.S. that began during the 2016 election. While Democrats like Rice and Senator Kamala Harris of California have revived an old trope dating back to the Civil Rights movement of Moscow exploiting racial divisions in the U.S., Trump and the GOP have similarly resurrected the ‘outside agitators’ myth attributed to segregationists of the same era. Hypocritically, many of those claiming to be in support of the protests have denounced the latter theory while endorsing the former, when both equally show contempt for the legitimate grievances of the demonstrators and deny their agency. However, both false notions overlook the more likely hidden factors at play attempting to hijack the movement for its own purposes.

Believe it or not, there could be a kernel of truth in accusations coming mostly from the political right as to the possible role of the notorious liberal billionaire investor and “philanthropist” George Soros and his Open Society Foundation (OSF). Ironically, if any of the right-wing figures of whom Soros is a favorite target were aware of his instrumental role in the fall of communism staging the various CIA-backed protest movements in Eastern Europe that toppled socialist governments, he would likely not be such a subject of their derision. The Hungarian business magnate’s institute, like other NGOs involved in U.S. regime change operations such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), is largely a front for the CIA to shield itself while destabilizing U.S. adversaries, the spy agency’s preferred modus operandi since the exposure of its illicit activities in previous decades by the Rockefeller Commission and Church Committee in the 1970s. In the post-Soviet world, nations across Central Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and beyond have become well acquainted with the political disruptions of the international financier and his network. In particular, governments that have leaned toward warm relations with Moscow during the incumbency of President Vladimir Putin have found themselves the victims of his machinations.

Under Putin’s predecessor Boris Yeltsin, Soros made a killing off the mass privatization of the former state-run assets in the Eastern Bloc, as journalist Naomi Klein explained in The Shock Doctrine:

“George Soros’s philanthropic work in Eastern Europe — including his funding of (Harvard economist and economic advisor Jeffrey) Sachs’s travels through the region — has not been immune to controversy. There is no doubt that Soros was committed to the cause of democratization in the Eastern Bloc, but he also had clear economic interests in the kind of economic reform accompanying that democratization. As the world’s most powerful currency trader, he stood to benefit greatly when countries implemented convertible currencies and lift capital controls, and when state companies were put on the auction block, he was one of the potential buyers.”

In contrast, the Putin administration over a period of two decades has since restored the Russian economy through the re-nationalization of its oil and gas industry. Its two energy giants, Gazprom and Rosneft, are state-controlled companies serving as the basis of the state machinery‘s reassertion of control over the Russian financial system, a move that has gotten Mr. Putin branded a “dictator” by the West. As a result, most of the notorious Russian oligarchs enriched overnight during the extreme free market policies of the 1990s have since left the country, now that such rapid accumulation of wealth to the rest of the nation’s detriment is no longer permitted. While economic inequality in Russia may persist, it is nowhere near that of the Yeltsin era where the average life expectancy was reduced by a full decade.

In the last decade, the United States has gotten its own taste of the incitement and agitations that have previously fallen upon governments across the global south. Instead, domestically the CIA cutouts in the non-profit industrial complex have played a pivotal counterrevolutionary role in co-opting and ultimately derailing such uprisings meant to bring systemic change to the U.S. political system. In late 2011, the Occupy Wall Street movement emerged at Zuccotti Park in New York City’s financial district against the deepening global economic inequality following the Great Recession and the protests quickly spread to other cities and continents. In just a few months, the sit-in was expelled from Lower Manhattan and the anti-capitalist movement itself largely was diverted towards reformism and away from its original radical intentions. It was also revealed the origins of OWS and its marketing campaign were traced to Adbusters, a media foundation that was the recipient of grants from the Democratic Party-connected Tides Foundation, a progressive policy center which receives significant endowments from none other than George Soros and the OSF.

Emerging just two years later, the roots of Black Lives Matter were not just in community organizing but partially took inspiration from the Occupy movement. Unfortunately, the similarities between them were not limited to a shared lack of clarity in their demands but facing the same dilemma of being absorbed into the system. While OWS was quickly suppressed after hopeful beginnings, the BLM leadership became career-oriented apparatchiks of the Democratic Party and left grass-roots organizing behind. Through the non-profit industrial complex, the Democratic Party has mastered bringing various social movements under its management on behalf of Wall Street in order to funnel public funds into private control through various foundations. Along with the Ford Foundation which has given BLM enormous $100 million grants, Soros and the OSF have been one of the principal offenders. Still, many who correctly identify right-wing protests such as the Tea Party movement and the recent ‘anti-lockdown’ demonstrations as the work of astro-turfing by the Koch Brothers and Heritage Foundation seldom apply the same scrutiny to seemingly authentic progressive movements assimilated by corporate America.

One figure who mysteriously appeared on the scene in the early days of OWS connected to Soros was the Serbian political activist Srđa Popović, the founder of Otpor! (“resistance” in Serbian) and the Center for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies (CANVAS) political organizations which led the protests in 2000 which ousted the democratically-elected President of Serbia, Slobodan Milošević, known as the “Bulldozer Revolution.” Not long after Popović’s consulting of activists in Zuccotti Park, Wikileaks documents revealed the Belgrade-born organizer’s significant ties to U.S. intelligence through the global intelligence platform Stratfor (known as the “shadow CIA”), exposing the real motives behind his involvement in U.S. politics of outwardly supporting OWS while trying to sabotage the popular movement. Since their role as instruments of U.S. regime change in Serbia, Otpor! and CANVAS have received financial support from CIA intermediaries such as the NED, OSF, Freedom House and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), as well as the Boston-based Albert Einstein Institute founded by the American political scientist, Gene Sharp.

Despite ostensibly professing to use the same civil disobedience methods of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., Gene Sharp‘s manual for “non-violent resistance” entitled From Dictatorship to Democracy has been the blueprint used by political organizations around the world that have only served the interests of Western imperialism. Beginning with the Bulldozer Revolution in Serbia, the successful formula which ousted Milošević spread to other Central Asian and Eastern European nations overthrowing governments which resisted NATO expansion and the European Union’s draconian austerity in favor of economic ties with Moscow. These were widely referred to in the media as ‘Color Revolutions’ and included the 2003 Rose Revolution in Georgia, the 2004 Orange Revolution in Ukraine and its 2014 Maidan coup d’état follow-up, as well as the 2005 Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan, among others.

Subsequently, Srđa Popović and CANVAS also lent their expertise in Egypt during the predecessor to its Arab Spring in the April 6 Youth Movement which appropriated Otpor!’s raised fist logo as its emblem. In preparation for the organization of anti-government demonstrations, the activists poured over Gene Sharp’s work in coordination with Otpor! whose fingerprints can be found all over the Arab Spring uprisings which began as protests to remove unpopular leaders in Egypt and Tunisia but were carefully reeled in to preserve the despotic Western-friendly systems that had put them to power initially. Where Sharp’s “non-violent” template failed, countries with U.S. adversaries in power such as Libya and Syria saw their protests rapidly morph into a resurgence of Al-Qaeda and a terrorist proxy war with catastrophic consequences. This recipe has also been exported to Latin America in attempts to remove the Bolivarian government in Venezuela, with self-declared ‘interim president’ and opposition leader Juan Guaido having received training from CANVAS.

While the right seems to have a bizarre misconception that the parasitic hedge fund tycoon is somehow a communist, there is an equal misunderstanding on the pseudo-left where it has become a recurring joke and subject of mockery to naively deny Soros’s undeniable influence on world affairs and domestic protest movements. Less certain, however, are the claims from conservatives that Soros is a supporter of “Antifa” which Trump wants to designate as a domestic terrorist organization, a dangerous premise given the movement consists of a very loose-knit and decentralized network of activists and hardly comprises a real organization. Various autonomous chapters and groups across the U.S. may self-identify as such, but there is no single official party or formal organization with any leadership hierarchy. While the original Antifa movement in the 1930s Weimar Republic was part of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD), the current manifestation in the U.S. has a synonymous association with black bloc anarchism (even inverting the colors of the original red and black flag), though it is really made up of a variety of amateurish political tendencies.

Amidst the ongoing nationwide George Floyd protests, the demonstrations in Seattle, Washington culminated in the establishment of a self-declared “autonomous zone” by activists in the Northwestern city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood — known as the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ). In response, Trump doubled down on his threats to quash protests with the use of the military while blaming “anarchists” in “Antifa” for the unrecognized commune occupying six city blocks around an abandoned police precinct. Anyone who has paid close attention to the war in Syria for the last nine years will find this highly ironic, given the U.S. military support for another infamous “autonomous zone” of Kurdish nationalists in Northern Syria’s Rojava federation. The Kurdish sub-region and de facto self-governing territory purports to be a “libertarian socialist direct democracy” style of government and has been the subject of romanticized praise by the Western pseudo-left despite the fact that the autonomous administration’s paramilitary wing, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), were until recently a cat’s paw for American imperialism as part of the U.S.-founded coalition, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Not coincidentally, many of those who use the Antifa vexillum are enthusiastic supporters of and even volunteer mercenaries fighting with the YPG/SDF in an ‘International Freedom Battalion’ which claims to be the inheritors of the legacy of the International Brigades which volunteered to defend the Spanish Republic from fascism in the Spanish Civil War. Unfortunately, these cosplayers forgot that the original International Brigades were set up by the Communist International, not the Pentagon. Meanwhile, despite their purported “anti-fascism”, there are no such conscripts to be found defending the Donetsk or Luhansk People’s Republics of eastern Ukraine against literal Nazis in the War in Donbass where the real front line against fascism has been. Instead, they fight alongside a Zionist and imperial proxy to help establish an ethno-nation state while the U.S. loots Syria’s oil.

Prior to Trump’s decision last October to withdraw troops from northeastern Syria which preceded a Turkish invasion, Ankara and the U.S. repeatedly butted heads over Washington’s decision to incorporate the Kurds into the SDF, since the YPG is widely acknowledged an off-shoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the militant and cult-like political group regarded as a terrorist organization that has been at war with Turkey for over forty years. It is also no secret that jailed PKK founder Abdullah Öcalan’s theories of “democratic confederalism” are heavily influenced by the pro-Zionist Jewish-American anarchist theorist, Murray Bookchin. So when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told Trump that there were links between the U.S. protests and the PKK, there was a tiny but core accuracy in his exaggerated claim. As Malcolm X said, “chickens coming home to roost never did make me sad.”

The George Floyd protests, like previous uprisings in Ferguson and Baltimore, certainly began spontaneously, nor does any of this discount the legitimate issue of ending the militarization of U.S. law enforcement which disproportionately victimizes black Americans. Nevertheless, time and again we have seen how bona fide social movements become political footballs or quickly go to their graves. Like BLM, it is practically inevitable the protests will become a partisan tool for the Democratic Party in the coming 2020 election when it has no concrete political articulations of its own, even if it does bring substantive change to domestic policing. In January, Trump was impeached for temporarily withholding security aid to the Ukraine and Democrats advocated his removal because he is regarded as insufficiently hawkish toward Moscow. Since 2016, they have actively diverted all opposition to Trump into their own reactionary anti-Russia campaign and soft-coup attempt in the interests of the military- intelligence community, a shared agenda with Soros. When all of corporate America, the media, and even the NED have publicly declared their support for a movement, it is no longer just about its original cause of getting justice for Mr. Floyd, whose funeral became a virtual campaign rally for Trump’s opponent, Joe Biden. It is too early to say determinedly whether what is taking place in the U.S. is indeed a ‘Color Revolution’, but by the time we realize it may too late.

Max Parry is an independent journalist and geopolitical analyst. His writing has appeared widely in alternative media. Max may be reached at

June 14, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Lebanon PM says coup attempt fell apart after violent riots

Press TV – June 14, 2020

Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hassan Diab has condemned the recent violent street protests, saying they were an attempt by opponents to overthrow his government and deepen a currency crisis in the debt-ridden country.

Diab made the remarks in a televised address late Saturday after demonstrations rocked the cities of Beirut, Tripoli and Sidon on Thursday, with participants calling for the government’s resignation.

Diab said his political opponents were stirring unrest in a bid to thwart the government’s fight against corruption.

The unrest was “a programmed campaign organized by parties known by name and method of thinking that are not deterred from using any method to shatter the image of others,” Diab said.

However, the Lebanese administration enjoys “a high percentage of citizens’ confidence, which has disturbed many of those who bet on its failure” and try to pump “lies and rumors to prevent the government from removing the rubble under which the secrets of corruption disappear,” he added.

Diab took office in January with Hezbollah’s backing, putting an end to a nine-month political deadlock amid an economic crisis and nationwide protests against the nation’s ruling class.

In his televised address Saturday, the Lebanese premier censured efforts to mount a “coup” against the government and manipulate the value of the Lebanese pound.

“The state and the people are being subjected to blackmail,” Diab said as he vowed to defeat graft in the cash-strapped country.

“The coup attempt fell apart and all secret and public meetings and orders of internal and joint operations to stop discovering of corruption failed as well,” he added.

Anti-government protests broke out in Lebanon on Thursday after a rapid devaluation of the national currency against the US dollar. The Lebanese pound has lost some 70 percent of its value over the past several months.

The crash in the Lebanese pound’s value and subsequent unrest coincided with the unveiling of the biggest-ever US sanctions package against Iran, which also targets Lebanon.

The 115-page strategy document put together by the Republican Study Committee (RSC), the largest Republican caucus in Congress, called for a halt of all US security assistance to Beirut, claiming that millions of dollars given to Lebanon were being used to aid Hezbollah.

The US gives about $160 million to the Lebanese armed forces each year.

The Republican document specifically calls for sanctions against Hezbollah allies, mentioning former foreign minister Gibran Bassil and incumbent Parliament speaker Nabih Berri by name.

Back in 2016, Saudi Arabia also declared that it was canceling $4 billion in aid to Beirut, $3 billion of which was earmarked for the Lebanese army.

Latest street rallies resembled those that broke out in Lebanon on October 17, 2019, when the government introduced a set of economic austerity measures.

Then prime minister Saad al-Hariri resigned almost two weeks later under pressure from protesters, touching off a period of political turmoil at a time of acute economic crisis.

In December 2019, Diab was tasked with forming the new administration and the following month, he managed to form a government after Hezbollah and its allies agreed on the new cabinet.

The downward political spiral for Hariri followed his humiliating saga in Saudi Arabia where he announced his surprise resignation in November 2017, apparently under the orders of Saudi rulers.

Hariri rescinded his withdrawal after returning to Lebanon, apparently putting himself on a collision course with his Saudi mentors, which culminated in his resignation amid violent riots.

According to a UN report, Hariri was verbally humiliated and beaten after being summoned to Riyadh in 2017. He was reportedly abducted and taken to the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton hotel where he was interrogated and subjected to “cruel, inhuman and degrading” treatment.

June 14, 2020 Posted by | Economics | , , , | Leave a comment