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Right On Cue, Indian Media Blames Pakistan For The Sri Lankan Terrorist Attacks

The Cheap Shot That The Whole World Saw Coming

By Andrew Korybko | EurasiaFuture | 2019-04-24

It was only a matter of time before Indian media predictably blamed Pakistan for the Sri Lankan terrorist attacks, which just happened earlier this week in a piece by Vicky Nanjappa for “Oneindia” about “How ISI radicalised Sri Lanka through the Pakistan High Commission“. The writer wasted no time in reminding the reader about a years-long scandal in Sri Lanka initiated by India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) and claiming that a Pakistani diplomat on the island nation was responsible for plotting a Mumbai-style attack in South India, never mind the fact that the allegedly masterminded incident that this was being based on was actually a false flag. In fact, it can be argued that one of the consequences of the Mumbai attacks is that India capitalized on the manufactured notion that Pakistan’s ISI intelligence agency was behind it in order to portray its rival as a regional bogeyman who all of South Asia had to be suspicious of from then on out, so it’s logical in hindsight why India’s RAW intelligence agency would also cook up a conspiracy about this in Sri Lanka in an attempt to weaken historically strong Pakistani-Sri Lankan relations.

Convoluted And Conspiratorial Claims

The enduring motivation to divide Pakistan from its regional partners and opportunistically misportray it as a “state sponsor of terrorism” is what’s also behind the latest attempt trying to connect it to the Sri Lankan terrorist attacks. Mr. Nanjappa reminds his reader about the fake news claims that the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) Buddhist nationalist organization is supposedly being bankrolled by the ISI, which is more than likely another weaponized narrative that ultimately originated with RAW. According to Mr. Nanjappa’s far-reaching theory, the Pakistani diplomat supposedly responsible for organizing a Mumbai-style attack in South Asia also paid the BBS to incite anti-Muslim violence in order to improve the ISI’s recruitment prospects of local Muslims afterwards, with the clear innuendo being that this somehow makes Islamabad responsible for last weekend’s Easter suicide bombings. This convoluted narrative is understandably confusing for most people to follow, but for as much as it turns off readers from outside the region, it nevertheless is meant to be ultra-intriguing for its intended audience in South Asia, especially the Indian one.

Fearmongering For Votes

It can’t be forgotten that Prime Minister Modi is battling for his political life during his country’s ongoing month-long electoral process and that he’s hoping to win re-election on a platform that heavily emphasizes national security. India was just utterly humiliated, however, following the dogfight that it initiated with Pakistan in late February after the Bollywood-style “surgical strike”, which led to New Delhi’s rival capturing one of the downed pilots prior to releasing him as a gesture of peace and then Modi’s own Defense Minister later publicly contradicting her own government by admitting that not a single person was injured in the Balakot attack. For a political leader who prides himself on his notion of national security, these events were certainly embarrassing and reduced his dwindling credibility among the electorate, hence the need to distract voters with more fearmongering scandals in the meantime so that he can improve his re-election odds. Therein lays the relevance of the ridiculous claims that Pakistan is conspiring with Russia and China to wage Hybrid Wars against the entire world and specifically India, respectively.

The BJP’s Hybrid War On India

In reality, these public accusations by the state and civil society are actually a form of Hybrid War in and of themselves, one that’s being waged not only on the minds of the international audience that India intends to trick into thinking that Pakistan is a “state sponsor of terrorism” and therefore should be subject to unilateral US sanctions and multilateral UN ones, but also against its own citizens who these perception management practitioners want to imbue with a deep sense of fear that they can then exploit to mislead their targets into thinking that India can only be protected by re-electing Modi and continuing his “muscular” foreign policy. I predicted in my piece earlier this week about my “Initial Assessment Of The Terrorist Attacks In Sri Lanka” that “it’ll be tempting for some [international forces] to imply that their rivals’ intelligence agencies might have had a hand in the latest events, or at the very least present themselves as super tough on terrorism for domestic political reasons (e.g. Modi during the elections)” which is exactly what India is now doing.

Political Purposes

India’s “Hindi Heartland/Cow Belt”, the stronghold of the BJP’s support, has yet to go to the polls but is about to real shortly in the election’s upcoming phases, so spinning the narrative that Pakistan might have indirectly had a hand in the Sri Lankan terrorist attacks is meant to ensure that as many of Modi’s supporters come out to vote as possible in order to help him win this neck-and-neck election. As an added benefit, New Delhi would be delighted if the Sri Lankan media picked up on Mr. Nanjappa’s piece and provoked one of their pro-Indian politicians to publicly praise it and/or demand an investigation into what India is framing as “Pakistan’s Hybrid War” in the country. Even better, since his article was written in English, international media further abroad might republish it too, especially some of the forces that have an interest in sparking a so-called “Clash of Civilizations”. It would be a dream come true for Modi if these weaponized fake news claims eventually made it to the UN, too.

Concluding Thoughts

It’s unsurprising that an Indian writer decided to opportunistically spin a convoluted and conspiratorial story purporting to link Pakistan’s ISI to the Sri Lankan terrorist attacks since the fake news claims and attendant innuendo being put forth appeal to the preconceived notions of the BJP’s base and will probably succeed in improving voter turnout for this constituency during the next phases of the country’s ongoing month-long electoral process. The introduction of this weaponized narrative into the Internet’s information ecosystem also carries with it the chance that it’ll be picked up by Sri Lankan media and consequently provoke a pro-Indian politician there to publicly praise the piece in order to trigger a crisis in Pakistani-Sri Lankan relations. Moreover, it’s too early to rule out the possibility of other forces republishing it with the intent of intensifying the so-called “Clash of Civilizations”, which might have the horrifying effect of inspiring right-wing “reprisal” attacks against the Western-based Pakistani diaspora in an attempt to trigger more inter-civlizational violence that would superficially advance this false divide-and-rule narrative.

April 24, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, False Flag Terrorism, Islamophobia, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | Leave a comment

Oh, the Irony: Fake Watchers Make False Claim About Sputnik’s ‘Fake News’

Sputnik – April 19, 2019

PolitiFact, a non-profit fact-checking project, has apparently landed in hot water after it pounced upon an opportunity to debunk a “fake” photo related to the Notre-Dame de Paris blaze, which turned out to be real.

The object of their attention was a photo of the cathedral ablaze that was published by Sputnik France and features, among other things, two smiling men slipping under a police barricade.

PolitiFact claims, citing the head of National Center for Media Forensics at University Colorado Denver, that “the two front persons” were inserted into the photo, and that the allegedly altered image “has been used to support claims that the cathedral fire was a terrorist attack and fuelled anti-Muslim rhetoric”.

The picture was initially pulled from Sputnik France’s live web coverage of the Notre Dame fire and shared over social media. The controversy was sparked as the picture did not contain a company logo or a watermark at the time of its publication. Several users, including notorious bloggers such as Pamella Geller, claimed that the photo depicted ‘Muslims laughing as blaze destroys Notre Dame cathedral during Holy Week’.

Screenshot of Pamela Geller post on Facebook
© Photo: Pamela Geller/ Facebook
Screenshot of Pamela Geller post on Facebook

Meanwhile, some media outlets accused Sputnik of being the source of ‘hate speech’, prompting Sputnik France chief editor Natalia Novikova to lash out against the grievous allegations and the detractors’ unfair evaluation of the image.

When Sputnik France chief editor Natalia Novikova berated Aude Lorriaux for her comments about the image and Sputnik as a news agency, the latter deleted her tweet.

As Novikova pointed out, the picture in question was merely one of several photos snapped by a Sputnik correspondent covering the tragedy, and his attention wasn’t even focused on the “smiling men”:

“The picture was published without any comments about who these men were or what were they smiling about. They did not attract the attention of our correspondent neither during the photo shoot, nor when the photo was published”.

She also remarked that the news agency was quite surprised by the fact that some, apparently, see fit to “speculate about the religious beliefs of these two men based on their appearance only”.

“We’re saddened by the fact that some media used this photo for their questionable purposes, and that they spend time on sifting through a hundred of published photos to find an example of ‘Russian menace’”, she added.

April 19, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Islamophobia, Russophobia | , | 2 Comments

Like America With Russiagate, India Is Now Obsessed With Pakistangate

By Andrew Korybko | EurasiaFuture | 2019-04-11

The Indo-American Strategic Partnership has rapidly progressed to such a point that the South Asian state is now copying some of the same conspiracy theories as its new patron, though instead of India being obsessed with suspected Russian interference in its elections like America was, its people can’t stop talking about its imaginary Pakistani variant.

Pakistangate

Pakistani Prime Minister Khan made global headlines earlier this week when he said that it might be easier for his country to clinch peace talks with India and resolve the Kashmir Conflict if Modi wins re-election after his country’s month-long electoral process concludes at the end of May. This took many Indians completely off guard who had hitherto been preconditioned by none other than the ruling BJP itself to think that Pakistan was “meddling” in their elections in order to support the opposition Congress party and their coalition allies. The Pakistani leader explained his initially surprising position by rationally noting how it would be less likely that right-wing forces would oppose any BJP-led peace talks unlike the spoiling effect they could have if left-leaning Congress attempted to initiate the same, which makes sense upon further contemplation and is actually a very wise observation.

From -Gate To -Gate

Instead of being interpreted as such, however, India’s “confirmation bias” on all sides caused it to continue cannibalizing itself over the entirely speculative issue of “who Pakistan really supports”, with practically all parties refusing to believe that their neighbor is just sitting on the sidelines watching in awe as the Indian political class tears itself apart over this issue and discredits their claim to being the self-professed “world’s largest democracy”. Interestingly, what’s unfolding in India at the moment with Pakistangate is very similar to what has been taking place in its military-strategic partner over the past couple of years with Russiagate. This suggests that the vassal state is copying some of the same conspiracy theories as its new patron, including the role that elements of its permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”) are playing in this process.

“Deep State” Meddling

Democratic-friendly elements of the American “deep state” essentially entrapped Carter Page, after which they consequently used this false flag as the pretext for “justifying” a far-reaching FISA surveillance operation against the entire Trump campaign which then sought to exploit its “six degrees of separation” from Russia to concoct a weaponized narrative that ultimately failed to prevent him from winning the election and then later getting him overthrown through a de-facto coup. Something along the same lines happened with the BJP-friendly elements of the Indian “deep state” that “passively facilitated” the Pulwama incident which was later blamed on Pakistan and used as the pretext for “justifying” a so-called “surgical strike” against it that also miserably failed in what it sought out to do, though it nevertheless succeeded in making Indians hysterical about anything to do with Pakistan.

Witch Hunts

The BJP has even gone as far as to imply that all dissidents who disagree with its official version of events are treasonous, which is reminiscent of how the then-ruling Democrats suggested that anyone supporting Trump was either under the influence of “Russian propaganda” or a “Russian bot” if they were expressing their views in cyberspace. Just as Russia became a convenient scapegoat for the pro-incumbent elements of the American “deep state” to centralize their power behind the scenes and meddle in their own country’s elections, so too has Pakistan been abused to serve the same purpose vis-a-vis the pro-incumbent elements of the Indian “deep state”, with both of their permanent bureaucracies presently in the process of merging their narratives into a geopolitically weaponized one ridiculously alleging that Russia and Pakistan are jointly waging “hybrid wars” across the world.

Concluding Thoughts

It therefore shouldn’t be surprising that India’s “deep state” is copying its American counterpart’s Russiagate conspiracy theory and remixing it with a national touch to produce Pakistangate in pursuit of the exact same purpose of remaining in power, though just like with its inspiration, this might ultimately end up backfiring against its practitioners since it’s impossible to control chaotic processes once Pandora’s Box has been opened. In any case and regardless of the eventual electoral outcome, the Indian and American “deep states” will continue to converge into a single unipolar shadow entity dedicated to the shared objective of stopping multipolarity, using the “bonding experience” of their respective manufactured -gate conspiracies to accelerate this ongoing process and ensure that the Indo-American Strategic Partnership is one of the Eastern Hemisphere’s most geopolitically disruptive developments this century.

April 11, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Islamophobia | , , | Leave a comment

Brunei Has Never Executed Anyone And This is Unlikely to Change

By Adam Garrie | Eurasia Future | 2019-04-07

Since 2014, the small south east Asian Sultanate of Brunei has been amending its penal code to reflect letter and spirit of Islamic law. Crucially, the Islamic law that forms the basis of the revised penal code will only apply to instances involving Muslims. This means that non-Muslim tourists in Brunei will still be subject to the same British penal law that Brunei had erstwhile enforced throughout its territory since becoming an independent state in 1984.

Most notably, because the British penal laws of many post-colonial states were never amended to reflect contemporary developments in the UK itself, countries like Brunei prohibited homosexual relations not due to Islamic law but due to post-colonial British laws. It was only in 1967 that homosexual relations were made legal in England and Wales. In 1980, homosexual relationships were made legal in Scotland whilst in 1982 the same became law in Northern Ireland. Even today, the UK’s legal system is not monolithic when it comes to the issue of same-sex rights under the law. Most notably, whilst same-sex marriage is legal in Great Britain, it remains illegal in Northern Ireland.

It is against this context that one must view contemporary legislative developments in Brunei. It is likewise true that just as Brunei inherited Britain’s laws regarding homosexuality, the country also inherited British laws regarding capital punishment. In fact, the last time that someone was executed on the soil of Brunei it was whilst the Sultanate was under British rule. This hanging took place in 1957 and there has not been a single execution in Brunei since. This means that in the history of Brunei as a post-colonial independent state, the death penalty has never been used and there is no reason to believe this will change.

It is a further misnomer that Brunei revised its penal code to specifically target homosexuals. The year-by-year shift from a British corpus of criminal law to an Islamic one has been one that covers all areas of the law. It just so happens that the Islamic legal view on homosexual relations has caught the eye of the international media whilst other elements of Brunei’s revised penal code have not. That being said, the illegality of same-sex relations is not new in Brunei, the issue has simply gone from one that was governed by a largely Victorian British conception of justice to one governed by a strict Islamic conception of justice.

For all intents and purposes however, the situation on the ground in Brunei will not change. Just as technically homosexuality remains illegal in Singapore although the law is openly not enforced, in Brunei there will not be any acts of violence against homosexuals in the small Sultanate whose indigenous population is a mere 428,697 people.

These are the facts – facts which have been woefully misinterpreted by so-called responsible media outlets.

April 7, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Islamophobia, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | Leave a comment

‘Lone Wolf’ Myth Covers Up Possible Mossad Role in New Zealand Terrorist Attack

By Max Parry • Unz Review • March 27, 2019

Ever since the news broke on March 15 of two consecutive mass shootings at the Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch, New Zealand, corporate media has been determined to establish that suspect Brenton Tarrant acted alone in the terrorist attacks that took the lives of 50 innocent Muslim worshippers and wounded 50 others. While mainstream media has been predictably eager to parade the tragedy as another chapter in the wave of rising Islamophobia and right-wing extremism globally, they have put equal effort into conscientiously avoiding any evidence that contradicts the ‘lone wolf’ theory they decided on in the initial hours following the first mass shooting in New Zealand since 1997.

Whenever terrorism is committed by Arabs or Muslims, the fourth estate is usually anxious to speculate whether or not the suspect is connected to a larger radical syndicate. However, the same scrutiny is seldom applied to white nationalists like Tarrant. In fact, they are even hesitant to label it ‘terrorism’ at all, with everyone from The Daily Telegraph to the fanatical Zionist Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News settling for the choice words ‘mass shooting.’ While Tarrant denies being part of any group in his public declaration, he does hint that he is part of a broader extremist network:

“I am not a direct member of any organization or group, though I have donated to many nationalist groups and have interacted with many more. No group ordered my attack, I make the decision myself. Though I did contact the reborn Knights Templar for a blessing in support of the attack, which was given.”

As many have noted, the “Knights Templar” is the name of an anti-Muslim militant group that another infamous right-wing terrorist, Anders Behring Breivik, claimed to belong to. During the 2011 Norway attacks, Breivik targeted a government building in the city of Oslo and a youth camp of the ruling Labour party on the island of Utøya in a sequential car bombing and mass shooting that killed a total of 77 people. However, the media and prosecutors in Breivik’s trial were insistent that the group was fictional and the only possibility was that he was an ‘army of one’ while suffering from a psychiatric disorder, another trait that is apparently only applicable to white-skinned terrorists. There was no serious inquiry into whether he was part of a larger nexus, even though he had direct contact with groups like the English Defense League (EDL), the British far right Islamophobic group led by neo-fascist agitator Tommy Robinson. Breivik was portrayed as a fundamentalist Christian but was curiously a member of the Norwegian Order of Freemasons, an organization with a history of ties to the espionage world and susceptible to infiltration because of its inherent secrecy. The original Knights Templar, or “Templars,” were a Christian army founded in the 10th century who initially shielded pilgrims voyaging to the Holy Land and later fought against Muslims during the Crusades while the name is drawn from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

What has been downplayed by the yellow press is the specific brand of Islamophobic extremism that was the basis of Tarrant’s attacks. His ideology is revealed in a 73-page manifesto, entitled “The Great Replacement” in reference to the ‘white genocide’ theory held by white nationalist identitarians, which he dispatched less than ten minutes prior to the ambush in emails to several media outlets and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s office. While the corporate press is correct that Tarrant and Breivik clearly follow the practices of the anti-Islam xenophobic movement on the rise in Europe, North America and now Oceania, the key element they have deliberately avoided mentioning is a strong collective affinity for the state of Israel. The coverage of Christchurch has repeated the same pattern displayed following the 2011 Norway attacks where the distinguishing characteristic of the extremism both culprits adhere to is of a staunchly pro-Zionist variety which has been decidedly overlooked. In the eight years between the two attacks, the pro-Israel European right has only augmented in size. In his manifesto, Brenton Tarrant even boasted the unverified claim to have had “brief contact with Knight Justiciar Breivik” while taking “true inspiration” from him. His Norwegian idol had his own 1,500 page manifesto where Israel was approvingly name-dropped nearly 400 times while he declared:

“So let us fight together with Israel, with our Zionist brothers against all anti-Zionists, against all cultural Marxists/multiculturalists.”

The combination of far right nationalism and support for Israel may seem like an unlikely combination, but it is an ideology shared by most of the Islamophobic and anti-immigrant political parties throughout Europe that have performed impressively well in European Parliament elections. These include Hungary’s Fidesz, the Italian League and Five Star Movement, the Flemish Flaams Belang, Poland’s Law and Justice, Belgian People’s Party, the Progress Party of Norway (of which Breivik was a member), True Finns Party, France’s National Rally, Alternative for Deutschland, and many others. It is likely that Tarrant, like Breivik, is not anti-semitic and actually views Jews as ‘allies’ in a civilizational crusade against Islam. Just as Israel has helped orchestrate the US wars in the Middle East against its enemies that has contributed to the mass influx of refugees seeking asylum in the West, it has fostered the Islamophobic backlash to it by supporting the growing far right movement that is ascendant.

Following the tragedy in Christchurch, it was revealed that 28-year old Tarrant had traveled extensively throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia, including to Afghanistan, Pakistan and even North Korea. The year prior, he also visited Israel for nine days, just as his fellow Christian Zionist Breivik had done several times prior to 2011. Tarrant’s journey in Europe included a stop in Ukraine, a hotbed of neo-Nazi activity and as it happens during the massacre he donned the SS wolf’s hook symbol used by the right wing paramilitary group Azov Battalion to which Israel has provided weapons support in its fight against pro-Russian separatists. The blend of such considerable travel activity while stockpiling a cache of semi-automatic firearms with a digital footprint espousing his extremist views online makes the likelihood that Tarrant managed to remain under the radar of the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (SIS) difficult to believe. It is especially doubtful they would be unable to detect him considering he was reportedly interviewed by New Zealand police prior to obtaining his firearms license in 2017.

Judging by the Facebook live-streamed video of the massacre shot by the suspect himself wearing a GoPro head-mounted camera that resembled first-person shooter video game shows he was no amateur and possibly professionally trained as a militant. Given his extensive travel and the apparent expertise used to carry out the attacks, there are many legitimate questions about how his ventures were sponsored and whether he had accomplices. Police found undetonated car bombs in addition to his arsenal and believe he was planning on carrying out a third attack with them. What was he doing in his travels? Was he really able to finance everything alone using crypto-currency investments as purported by the media? He could very well have been a patsy in a larger plot or received support from abroad. For instance, from a certain national intelligence service whose notorious motto is “for by cunning stratagems, you wage war.”

Mossad covert operations have been exposed several times over the years violating New Zealand’s sovereignty and international law which caused a series of diplomatic rows between the two countries. Most recently was in 2011 following a 6.2 magnitude earthquake in Christchurch which caused significant damage to the city and killed 185 people, coincidentally the very same week as the attacks in Norway by Anders Breivik. Incredibly, a stone structure of a building collapsed onto a van during the earthquake which killed a man inside who turned out to be an Israeli national. His death accidentally unearthed a ring of Mossad agents after the man was discovered with multiple fake passports and USB flash drives which contained confidential data believed to have been illegally downloaded from the New Zealand police’s national computer system. The other agents in the Israeli sleeper cell were able to flee the country less than a day after his body was discovered, probably to avoid the fallout that occurred after an earlier incident in the country just a few years prior. In 2004, two Israeli men who turned out to be Mossad agents were arrested trying to obtain fraudulent passports and travel documentation that included stealing the identity of a quadriplegic. The two men were subsequently jailed for six months for engaging in criminal enterprise.

Pictured: Uriel Zosha Kelman, an Israeli spy, arrives in court in disguise in 2004 (left)) / Zev Barkan, another spy (right).

Mossad seemed to have developed a habit of revealing themselves in light of the infamous arrest of five of its agents in Secaucus, New Jersey on the morning of September 11th, 2001 by the FBI who were tipped off that a group of men were observed suspiciously dancing and celebrating while watching the WTC towers ablaze and collapsing across the Hudson River. The “dancing Israelis” were found with $5,000 in cash which raised suspicions while their vehicle was traced to a shady moving company called Urban Moving Systems that was suspected to be a front for an intelligence operation after their headquarters was abandoned and its owner, Dominick Suter, immediately fled to Israel following their apprehension. During their two month detention, the CIA intervened and halted the probe while the agents were subsequently deported in a deal with the Israeli government for overstaying their visas but not before it was confirmed that at least two of the men were intelligence officers and no ordinary moving company employees.

The world was briefly reminded of this mysterious case when Donald Trump as a presidential candidate in 2016 made the wild exaggeration that on 9/11 he had personally observed “thousands of Muslims” celebrating the destruction of the Twin Towers across the river in New Jersey. It is likely that Trump mixed up two different reports from 9/11, one of Reuters footage widely circulated by major networks of a small group of Arabs in East Jerusalem celebrating the attacks and the reports about the Israelis arrested in New Jersey who were initially believed to have been of “Middle Eastern appearance” and descent. One wonders if Trump would accurately recall his other observations that morning now that he is in the service of his Saudi and Israeli masters. Needless to say, this widely suppressed story which should have been front page news led many to rightly suspect there was prior knowledge and even direct involvement among Israeli intelligence in the 9/11 attacks, along with a trove of other evidence.

ABC News Friday 06/21/2002 05:42:40 pm-05:46:50 pm (Studio: Elizabeth Vargas) Report introduced. (Studio: John Miller) Exclusive ABC News investigation into what five Israelis were doing on …

The New Jersey cell were also in possession of foreign passports. Mossad has typically used fake passports, including that of Australians and Kiwis, regularly for its clandestine operations and carrying out assassinations like the 2010 targeted killing of Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai which one of the spies apprehended in New Zealand, Zev Barkan, was involved in. After the arrest of the two spooks in New Zealand in 2004, the government imposed diplomatic sanctions against Israel and temporarily severed high-level contacts between the two countries in what became a significant diplomatic rift. WikiLeaks diplomatic cables revealed that the U.S. was not at all pleased.

Relations had returned to normal between the countries until December 2016 when along with Malaysia, Senegal, Venezuela and others, New Zealand co-sponsored the controversial United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 which condemned Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories during the last months of the Obama administration. The same motion briefly became mired in the Trump-Russia investigation when former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn pled guilty to lying to the FBI about lobbying activities related to the resolution during the transition between administrations on behalf of Israel. The Trump White House has since proven to be the most fanatically Zionist presidency since the foundation of the Jewish state in 1948. Over the years, New Zealand has shown a willingness to stand up to Jerusalem and its brazen disregard for international law that other nations could learn from. Despite being a small nation, it has played an important role in pro-Palestinian activism and the prospect of Palestinian statehood just as it did in protesting South African Apartheid in the 1980s. In 2018, when New Zealand-born popular musician Lorde canceled a concert in Tel Aviv in solidarity with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, she became the target of vicious Zionist smear campaign which saw right-wing Trumpist Rabbi Schmuley Boteach take out a full-page ad in The Washington Post denouncing her as a bigot while a $13,000 lawsuit was filed by the Mossad-linked Shurat HaDin lawfare NGO. Meanwhile, unlike Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Jacinda Ardern has been critical of the Trump administration’s move of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, stating it undermines the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

New Zealand’s relatively even-handed foreign policy has likely rattled the Zionists and their far right Islamophobic counterparts in the West and it is possible that it is viewed as a threat to the interests of Israel and the U.S. The feasibly manufactured terrorist attack against New Zealand has greatly disrupted the small country, a state which in 2018 had its lowest homicide rate in 40 years and averages well below 100 murders per year, making this attack an extremely rare occurrence for the peaceful country. In light of the attacks on the mosques in Christchurch, it could now end up acquiring the police state model of the U.S. and Israel as part of the global ‘War on Terror.’ The country immediately issued a ban on semiautomatic weapons following the tragedy in a disturbing rollback of civil liberties while engaging in an unprecedented censorship effort to criminalize sharing and possession of Tarrant’s manifesto and video. Prior to Breivik’s perpetration of the attacks in Norway, there had been significant political tensions between Oslo and Jerusalem in the months leading up to the violence due to Norway’s intent to recognize a Palestinian state and the circumstances in relations between New Zealand and Israel prior to Christchurch is eerily reminiscent.

Israel has a storied history of being a state sponsor of international terrorism as well as the use of ‘false flag’ operations to achieve its political objectives, most notably in the 1954 Lavon Affair, codenamed Operation Susannah, where the Aman branch of its military intelligence services recruited Egyptian nationals to commit bombings to be blamed on the Muslim Brotherhood in order to maintain desired British military presence in Egypt. It continues such cloak-and-dagger tactics to this day with the use of terror proxies such as the Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK) and Mojahedin-e-Khalq (MEK) to undermine Iran, as well as the arming and funding of al-Qaeda affiliated Syrian jihadist groups against the Assad government. If it is willing to co-sponsor radical Islamists with its ally Saudi Arabia to attack their mutual regional enemies, now that the ruling Likud Party has made strange bedfellows with far right Islamophobes in the West it is within the realm of possibility it would continue to do the same especially when the victims are Arab or Muslim.

Regardless of whether or not there turns out to be any Mossad fingerprints discovered on the Christchurch shootings, if the world is serious about confronting the emerging far right internationally it must be willing to accurately diagnose the phenomenon. One of its most distinctive attributes is its Christian Zionism and a shared belief that the Bible gives Israel evidential right to Palestinian land and that Jews are inherently non-indigenous to Europe. The ever-expanding colonization of the West Bank and Gaza has solidified Israel’s nationalist foundations, especially now that Arabic has been removed as a second official language and the passing of the 2018 Nationality Law defining Israel as an ethno-nationalist state with Arabs officially second-class citizens. If Israel did not directly participate in the 9/11 attacks by infiltrating the al-Qaeda cell in Hamburg, Germany and directing the airplane hijackings as many legitimately suspect, it has certainly facilitated the U.S. wars in the Middle East against its regional enemies and now it is nurturing the Islamophobic far right in the West hostile to the flood of displaced refugees fleeing them. Israeli policy has principally benefited from all this but one can only expect the hasbaric retaliation of ‘anti-Semitism’ smears like those against UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and U.S. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota for pointing this out. In the meantime, the Russiagate hoax has deflected attention away from Jerusalem toward Moscow in regards to foreign cultivation of the growing far right nationalist movement in the West. One hopes the recent bust of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report will put some of the distraction to rest and shift the speculation toward Israel where it belongs.

Finally, the political confusion of zealots like Tarrant needs to be addressed as entirely predictable instead of as unintended consequences of the War on Terror and the financial crisis. Recently, 2020 Democratic U.S. Presidential candidate Andrew Yang became the subject of establishment-led smears simply for acknowledging verifiable facts about declining birth-rates of white Americans where he was vilified as adjoining with the views of those like Tarrant. Yet these statistics designated by race that Yang recognized are expressions of the results of class conflict while genuine anger is being misdirected toward immigrants instead of capital and its never-ending changes in labor demands. This is the cycle which must be broken if this holy war between the West and Islam stirred up by Zionists or what the orientialist Samuel Huntington called the ‘clash of civilizations’ is to end. If not, we cannot only expect the U.S. empire to continue its downward slide and its fear of a multipolar world to culminate in an internecine that will turn the whole world into a tragedy like Christchurch.

March 26, 2019 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Islamophobia, Zionism | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Kill Them Over There, Not Here, Please.

By Jeremy Salt | American Herald Tribune | March 20, 2019

All of us must stand against hatred in all of its forms. – Barrack Obama

Israel mourns the wanton murder of innocent worshippers – Benjamin Netanyahu

White supremacist terrorism must be condemned by leaders everywhere – Hillary Clinton

People of all faiths must condemn these attacks and call out those who encourage Islamophobia. – Madeleine Albright

These are excerpts from some of the messages of condolence sent to New Zealand by ‘world leaders’ after the Christchurch massacre. There is no point in giving more names because all politicians and public figures would say the same, as they should, given the monstrosity of the crime.

Obama, Netanyahu, Clinton, and Albright have been chosen because they have been responsible for acts of murder infinitely greater than the slaughter of 50 Muslims in New Zealand.

The victims of their crimes and the crimes of their political predecessors in the past three decades run into the millions. Brenton Tarrant terrorized Muslims in two mosques in one country. They have terrorized Muslim populations in a number of countries. He has violated New Zealand law. They have violated international law. He will be punished but they never are.

Obama, Netanyahu, Clinton, and Albright have never uttered a word of remorse for the crimes they have committed. Not once has the head of any western government expressed regret for the millions of people killed in Muslim countries over the past three decades, not with Brenton Tarrant’s semi-automatic firearms, but bombs, missiles, and tank fire or, in the case of Syria, with the armed gangs set loose like attack dogs.

When asked whether she thought the ‘price’ paid for the first Gulf War (1991) and the decade of sanctions that followed, which took the lives of 500,000 children, was worth it, Madeleine Albright replied: ‘We think the price is worth it.’

For these governments and politicians, the price is always worth it as long as someone else pays. Even now there is nothing but estimates of how many Iraqis were killed or died as a result of the two wars launched against their country but the figure hovers around three million since 1991.

On top of this are the millions of wounded, many disabled for life, and the children born with deformities because of the use of uranium-depleted weapons.

Senior UN officials described the war and decade of sanctions against Iraq as genocide. No horror was expressed in the media for the enormous crimes that had been committed almost wholly against Muslims, men, women, and children as innocent as Brenton Tarrant’s victims.  Except on the margins, no demands were ever made for those responsible to face justice.

Every Tuesday Obama sat in his office and signed the death warrant for Yemenis or Somalis targeted in drone missile strikes that were totally illegal under international law. Thousands have been killed in these attacks, many if not most of them civilians, men, women and a lot of children. They are all Muslims. Did any of the politicians sending condolences to New Zealand and condemning terrorism ever bend their heads in shame at the killings in Yemen or Somalia and demand moral accountability and legal responsibility?

Has even one of them condemned Benjamin Netanyahu for the crimes committed against Muslims in Palestine, for the massacres of the innocent by sniper fire, missile strike, and artillery fire? Is the killing of Muslim children somehow different in New Zealand and Palestine?

After the destruction of Libya, Hillary Clinton laughed when told Muammar al Qadhafi had been killed, most brutally. This was her war, Obama’s war, a war of deceit that was carried on for seven months, destroying the most developed country in Africa and killing thousands. They were all Muslims. What else did Libya represent but Clinton’s ‘white supremacist terror,’ the same terror that has been delivered across the Muslim world by western governments for the past 200 years.

In Syria an estimated half a million people have been killed in a war orchestrated by western governments and their regional ‘allies.’ Their weapons of choice, the terrorist groups they have armed and financed, have assassinated, massacred and slaughtered in every way possible, thinkable and unthinkable.

Nearly all of their victims have been Muslims. In the face of this slaughter their paymasters, procurers, and enablers have remained morally mute, save for trying to blame the Syrian government for the war they initiated.

Over decades these enormous crimes have forced millions of people out of their wrecked countries. They have fled in all directions. Many have drowned in the Mediterranean trying to reach the presumed safety of Europe. Boats headed in the direction of Australia, only to be turned back at sea or for the desperate people they were carrying to be locked up in ‘detention centers’ if they managed to slip through. Many sank and many men, women, and children drowned.

Australia was a willing participant in the wars that destroyed their homes yet refused them entry, abusing them as ‘queue jumpers.’ They were locked up behind razor wire in the middle of the desert so the Australian people could not see them and feel sorry for them. All were Muslims and many were children, treated as cruelly as the adults.

No matter how many millions of innocent people are killed in the Middle East, the designation of terrorist is reserved for Brenton Tarrant or the Islamic State, not for the western governments and the gangs they and their regional allies have employed in Syria to do their dirty work.

The same media that has covered up the monstrous crimes committed against Muslims in the Middle East can now talk of nothing else but the danger of white supremacists, not the far greater danger that Muslims around the world have always faced from western governments.

Brenton Tarrant, the Islamic state, Israel, the US and its ‘allies’ and the armed groups they are sponsoring in Syria are all joined at the hip. Terror is terror whether state or individual. Brenton Tarrant now has to face the consequences of what he has done. The politicians who have destroyed Middle Eastern countries don’t.

There is a law for Brenton Tarrant. There is no law for the politicians. Tarrant will be jailed for life for the murder of 50 Muslims. Politicians responsible for the deaths of millions of Muslims never seen the inside of a jail.  We have a system of international law but only in theory. In practice, when the massive crimes of the powerful are involved, it does not work. It is broken.

Claud Cockburn (father of Patrick) called the 1930s the ‘devil’s decade.’ The devils were human, of course: nationalist socialists and fascists destroying Spain, Italian fascists poison- gassing Ethiopians and Japanese fascists slaughtering Chinese. Now, since the 1990s, we have had nearly three devil’s decades.

Today’s western liberal democracies – as they are called – are doing exactly what the fascists did in the 1930s. Instead of Spain, we have Syria. Instead of Guernica, we have hadFallujah. Country after country has been destroyed by these liberal democrats in their grey suits and pastel ties. Do they really need to wear black or brown uniforms for people to recognize them for the killers that they are?

In their pursuit of power, they have no more respect for international law than the fascists and national socialists did in the 1930s. They have no respect for human life over there.

Yet when it comes to the killing of Muslims over here, they, and their outliers in the media are shocked, appalled and outraged at this senseless act of terror. Brenton Tarrant is a sick, depraved and twisted individual but so is Benjamin Netanyahu and so are the politicians responsible for the deaths of millions of Muslims in distant countries. Over there, not here, and that is what counts.

March 21, 2019 Posted by | Islamophobia, Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 1 Comment

How Mainstream Media Join the US Government Offensive Against Iran: Case Study of Reuters

By Ivan KESIĆ | Strategic Culture Foundation | 09.01.2019

Summary: A 2013 news investigation of Iranian corruption by Reuters news service has been cited by at least four books published one after another, the most recently in 2018. 

It has also been cited by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in 2018 speech. Given the article’s ongoing influence, this article will scrutinize flaws in the reporting techniques and raise reasonable questions about several of its findings. The article will also mention, a piece of important historical context, that was long assumed, but made official in 2013 – the same year the story was published – when the US government released classified documents about its involvement in the overthrow of Iran’s democratically elected leader in 1953 and the establishment of the Shah. The purpose of this article is not to stain the reputation of an entire news agency – but to simply lay out an alternative context for interpreting a single, influential story. 

Ever since the beginning of the Iranian Islamic Revolution, the United States has been leading a propaganda campaign against Iran, minimizing own harmful role in key historical events, justifying an ousted monarchist regime, and demonizing the new political system. Frequently it is done in lighter forms, for example by claiming that new government is far from perfect or even the same as a previous one, but the methods can sometimes be so radical that the characteristics of the two systems are completely inverted.

While the Reuters claims Iran is active in spreading disinformation online, the history of the agency’s reports about Iran shows the opposite. The latest of such reports is a false report about Iran’s missile program. The falsehood of the article has been dissected here. The case which I have dissected is a 2013 article authored by Steve Stecklow, Babak Dehghanpisheh, and Yeganeh Torbati. The article represents a perfect example of such radicalism and disinformation reporting about Iran.

The Reuters report has been cited by at least four books published one after another, the most recently in 2018. The books are Iran’s Political Economy since the Revolution by Suzanne Maloney (2015); Democracy in Iran: Why It Failed and How It Might Succeed by Misagh Parsa (2016); Challenging Theocracy: Ancient Lessons for Global Politics by David Tabachnick, Toivo Koivukoski, and Herminio Meireles Teixeira (2018); and Losing Legitimacy: The End of Khomeini’s Charismatic Shadow and Regional Security by Clifton W. Sherrill (2018).

The chorus doesn’t stop there and it’s not limited to academic publishing or book industry. The 2013 report lays the ground for an ongoing war of words and decisions to impose more sanctions on Iran. Speaking at Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library in July 22, 2018, Secretary of State Mark Pompeo used the ­2013 Reuters report to attack Iran; he said:

“And not many people know this, but the Ayatollah Khamenei has his own personal, off-the-books hedge fund called the Setad, worth $95 billion, with a B. That wealth is untaxed, it is ill-gotten, and it is used as a slush fund for the IRGC. The ayatollah fills his coffers by devouring whatever he wants. In 2013 the Setad’s agents banished an 82-year-old Baha’i woman from her apartment and confiscated the property after a long campaign of harassment. Seizing land from religious minorities and political rivals is just another day at the office for this juggernaut that has interests in everything from real estate to telecoms to ostrich farming. All of it is done with the blessing of Ayatollah Khamenei.”

The speech applauded by Iran hawks in Washington.

The year 2013 was the year of big news about Iran. Four months before the release of the Reuters’­ ­article, CIA finally admitted its role in 1953 Iranian coup. “Marking the sixtieth anniversary of the overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq, the National Security Archive is today posting recently declassified CIA documents on the United States’ role in the controversial operation. American and British involvement in Mosaddeq’s ouster has long been public knowledge, but today’s posting includes what is believed to be the CIA’s first formal acknowledgement that the agency helped to plan and execute the coup.” Disinformation is dangerous. It used once to oust democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh, and has been leveraged again to bring back the Shah of Iran, William David Pear writes. He continues, “Since Iran was a developing democracy, an excuse had to be found for a US intervention. Churchill accused Mossadegh of being a communist. There was no evidence that he was. Mossadegh was an anti-colonial nationalist who cared about the welfare of the Iranian people, and that was all the evidence that Eisenhower needed. Mossadegh had to be punished for standing up to the British and demanding Iran’s natural resources for the benefit of the Iranian people.” The 2013 article of Reuters reminds us of the same pattern of disinformation about Iran.

The ­2013 Reuters story claims that the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order (EIKO), also known as Setad, a little-known organization created to help the poor, morphed into the $95 billion financial empire controlled by Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. More precisely, they uncovered something unknown to Western intelligence services, economists and most prominent scholars of Iranian studies, even to the Iranian leadership themselves. In fact, much to the contrary, among ordinary Iranians the organization is known for their social programs, helping the poor families and doing charity works.

According to the Reuters article, the Iranian president’s office and the Foreign Ministry didn’t respond to requests for comment. Iran’s embassy in the UAE issued a statement calling their findings “scattered and disparate” and said that “none has any basis,” but it didn’t elaborate. Hamid Vaezi, the Setad’s then director general of public relations, said that the information presented is “far from realities and is not correct,” but he also didn’t go into specifics. Their short denials are understandable, considering that the same response would be received from a scientist if asked to make a serious review of a fantasy book. For the same reason, there is no scientific review of Reuters‘ article. Fortunately, this review will go deeply into the details, focusing on personal testimonies and claims of several groups of informers, thus developing a linear counter-story.

Baha’i personal testimonies

First, there’s the story of Pari Vahdat-e-Hagh, an 82-year-old Baha’i woman living in Europe, who claims that she lost family’s property, more precisely three apartments in a multi-story building in Tehran, allegedly “built with the blood of herself and her husband.” She further claims that her husband Hussein was imprisoned in 1981 because he began working for a gas company that had been set up to assist unemployed members of the Baha’i faith, and finally executed a year later. All of this happened, as the article claims, just because they were Baha’i.

The article does not mention the fact that her husband, alleged philanthropist, was actually a lieutenant in Pahlavi regime’s military. It neither mentions the conditions for obtaining such amount of property in Iran’s capital city center at that time. Ordinary military personnel were provided with an apartment, but not three apartments, nor was it possible to earn such vast properties with a salary of a lieutenant and teacher, no matter how hard you work. Miss Vahdat-e-Hagh explicitly stated that all had been obtained by herself and her husband, so it’s very easy to exclude the possibility of inheritance.

The only way of being awarded with three apartments was, in fact, an extraordinary and obedient service to the Pahlavi’s regime, and taking into account that Hussein Vahdat-e-Hagh’s career was military as well as the only war that Shah led was one against his own people, his merits to the dictatorship become crystal clear. This also perfectly explains why Hussein Vahdat-e-Hagh was imprisoned and executed, while tens of thousands of other Baha’is and hundreds of ordinary lieutenants, those without ‘special merits’ and three apartments, were not. In other words, the only blood that Vahdat-e-Hagh mentioned can be the blood of the people and the blood on her husband’s hands. Fake philanthropy and contradictions do not stop here.

Pari Vahdat-e-Hagh, also known as Paridokht Khaze, lives in Berlin where she earns a living by giving interviews and selling memoirs about the Baha’i victimhood. In the preface of her 2014 book titled In Search of Justice, Vahdat-e-Hagh claimed that before the 1979 revolution she had hoped to one day fulfill her dream of serving the needy in Africa. Before selling fictitious biographies, according to her own personal testimony to Reuters, during the 1980s she was living in one of the above-mentioned three apartments and was earning by renting other two. During these years of war the country was full of orphans and the poor, but giving any free accommodation was obviously out of the question for a self-proclaimed philanthropist.

Her lucrative rental business continued in the 1990s when she was living in Germany, taking the rental income out of all three apartments. According to the Reuters article, she left Iran in 1993 and it took six years before Iranian authorities realized she was no longer living in the country. This information contradicts her other statement that government representatives came to her apartment and threatened to beat her if she did not leave, while she bravely opposed them and yelled: “You can come and kill me.” So this old lady, allegedly under constant pressure and control, indeed left her apartment and was further able to leave the country, and the government, allegedly so greedy for her properties that it sent thugs at her doors, did not even notice that she’s out of the country and renting the same properties for six years. Makes perfect sense, isn’t it?

In both the Reuters article and the Vahdat-e-Hagh’s memoirs, her departure from Iran is described as some sort of “courageous escape” typical for a dissident genre, from books to Hollywood movies. In reality, she was free to leave the country and there was no any ban, no control, no chase at the airport. In the Reuters article, her false courage and principles are additionally enhanced by claims that government finally discovered her absence and demanded to pay rent on the unit, but she refused. The reality is again quite the opposite: she was actually refusing to pay tax on the rental income profit for six years, and in the meantime, she did not even report the change of address i.e. living abroad. Putting aside the controversial origin of properties, the consequences of such long-term lawbreaking are pretty much identical all over the world.

The Reuters‘ caricature story of courage and injustice ends with a claim that Vahdat-e-Hagh’s “stolen” building appears to be vacant, most of the windows are broken, and property’s ownership isn’t clear. This rumors allegedly came from merchants in the neighborhood, but how three Reuters journalists based in New York, London and Dubai managed to obtain the information in the streets of Tehran, also isn’t clear. Even less clear is their message, which may imply either that the building remains unused since Vahdat-e-Hagh stopped renting it, or it is basically worthless. Both possibilities make the whole story even less credible than it already is. Most likely, it is only a dystopian allegory or their own fantasy conception of post-revolutionary Iran.

Besides the story of Vahdat-e-Haghs, the Reuters article also offers the story of Katirais, yet another Baha’i family, whose narrative is similar in terms of structure. Again, there’s a rented three-story building in central Tehran, owner’s emigration to Canada, controversial ties to the Pahlavi regime, and of course, “just because they’re Baha’i” cliche. Apart from the building, there’re also 750 hectares of land around the city of Hamedan in northwest Iran. The Iranian official version says that owner had left the country and had abandoned properties, as well as that prior to 1979 he collaborated with the Pahlavi government, while owner’s daughter Heideh Katirai claims that he was being targeted solely because of his religion and never had any ties to the Shah’s government. Now, who to trust?

Making a choice on this question is much easier if we consider there was the Shah’s White Revolution of 1963 which its purpose was to weaken those classes that supported the traditional system, primarily landed elites. Virtually all landlords lost their possessions, with only a few exceptions, i.e. just those with close ties to the government were spared. Taking also into account that the general status of Baha’is during the Pahlavi period was far from thriving, the claim that a Baha’i person without any connections to the Shah’s regime could keep 750 hectares of land and stay intact by land reforms, is clearly an insolent lie.

Instead of sticking to the facts known to every historian and Iranian, Reuters journalists use logically fallacious methods like appeals to emotion through empathy, false dilemmas, and good ol’ victimhood. For example, an article quotes Katirai’s daughter saying “I took my kids there every Friday to see the family” and “each corner of that house is a memory for us.” One may wonder whether these trite phrases can be applied in the same way to their former land holdings, perhaps “every single square meter is a memory for them” also, out of 7,500,000 square meters in total. Such colossal amount of land was highly uncommon even for the richest landlords, and since Katirais weren’t historically attested among noble or wealthy merchant families prior to the Pahlavi period, it is clear that they did not just keep the property due to the ties with the Shah’s regime, but they also gained it.

Other statements are less subtle and bear aggressive religious and political messages. “We know that Islam is a religion of peace, but how can a government that claims to be an Islamic government allow this to happen?” Katirai’s daughter had asked, and thus offered the false dilemma: either the Iranian government is not Islamic, or Islam is not a religion of peace. The third option, unoffered in the article but the most realistic one, is that she is a liar and demagogue. Additional evidence for it is yet another claim of hers that legal representatives refused to consider her father’s case solely because he did not belong to any of three constitutive minorities: Zoroastrians, Jews or Christians. This implies that all others, from Iranian Hindus to foreign-born East Asian communities, have no any legal rights. Utterly bizarre.

Legal and human rights “experts”

Another group of people used as a reference in the Reuters article are self-proclaimed human rights “experts” and lawyers, all Iranian-born and living abroad. The first one is Naghi Mahmoudi who in the introduction claimed that Khamenei as the Supreme leader oversaw the creation of a body of legal rulings and executive orders that enabled and safeguarded asset acquisitions, as well as that no supervisory organization can question its property. The article represents him as a “lawyer” and uncritically accepts his allegations which serve as the basis for further elaboration.

In reality, Naghi Mahmoudi is only a petty political activist who has a history of lying and manipulating. Back in mid-2010, Mahmoudi and his colleague Javid Hustan Kian claimed to be defectors and “lawyers” of an Iranian woman sentenced to lapidation, but the whole case turned out to be a well-organized hoax, while they were disclosed as impostors and members of the MEK terrorist cult. In the meantime, he almost completely vanished from the media, held several pro-MEK speeches in Germany, and sometimes shared a propaganda material on Twitter, including ridiculous pan-Turkist claims that “40% of Iranians are Azeri Turks deprived of basic human rights.” Ironically, even Ali Khamenei was born into an Azeri family, as the Reuters article correctly mentions.

The biographical details of other informers are no less controversial. Ottawa-based Hossein Raeesi is a legal advisor to the IHRDC, a US government-sponsored organization blacklisted as subversive by the Iranian Interior Ministry, and London-based Mohammad Nayyeri is a close associate of Shadi Sadr, an anti-Iranian activist who publicly advocated Arab separatism in Iran. It is interesting that both of them, along with certain Beverly Hills-based Reghabi couple, complain about legal complications over the return of property, but at the same time, they confirm it is actually possible and feasible. It only takes time, and money, as everywhere.

However, the informers could not agree on a precise legal fee, some of them claiming it is 20% while others even over 50%. Since both amounts are obviously extremely exaggerated and hardly provable, for this purpose two anonymous sources jump into the story and Reuters journalists use their testimonies as evidence. The first is an Iranian Shi’ite Muslim businessman now living abroad who put fee at 55%, and the second is alleged Nayyeri’s client who recovered the house but had to pay 20% of the property’s assessed value, a religious payment called “khoms” mandated under Islamic law. No names, no documents, and no sense. To fill such logical gaps and inconsistent claims, journalists also used orientalist cliché of ubiquitous corruption.

Political circles

Finally, the last group of informers consists of individuals more deeply involved in politics, comparing to the previous activists who operate under the guise of human rights. The Reuters article intentionally conceals the organizations they represent and introduces them as respectable scholars and politicians, allegedly authoritative on the subject. For example, three journalists first claim that they had identified “about $95 billion in property and corporate assets controlled by Setad” and that amount “surpasses independent historians’ estimates of the late shah’s wealth,” and as an evidence for such comparison they further used statements by Abbas Milani who believes the estimate of the Shah’s fortune was “extremely exaggerated” and stood at “a billion dollars.” In other words, about $3 billion in today’s money, or only a fraction of the worth of Setad’s holdings, Reuters concluded.

It is hard to enumerate how many manipulations this escapade contains. First of all, there are no “historians” here, but only one, namely Abbas Milani, who is far from “independent” because he is a member of the neoconservative Hoover Institution, an advocate of multilateral crippling sanctions against Iran in the US Congress. His books are full of revisionist portrayal of the US role in the 1953 coup, support of the Pahlavi regime’s oppression, the 1979 Revolution and afterward, and he offers other contorted interpretations like a claim that “Iran went from politically moderate Monarchy to totalitarian Islamic Republic.” Milani’s statement about the Pahlavi fortune does not represent a historical consensus, nor a serious scholarly assessment, only utter whitewashing of the Shah’s financial crime.

Already in January 1979, the New York Times reported that the Pahlavi wealth is rivaled in the Middle East only by the holdings of the Sauds of Saudi Arabia and the al‐Sabah dynasty in Kuwait, and according to bankers, the Shah’s personal portfolio is worth “well over $1 billion.” New York bankers told journalists that “a substantial part of the $2 billion to $4 billion belongs to the Pahlavi family,” speaking only of the sums that have been “transferred from Iran to the United States during last two years” [1977 and 1978]. The NYT article further states that “the accumulation of immense sums was made possible through the blurring of state funds and royal funds in Iran,” primarily the Pahlavi Foundation which the Shah controlled absolutely.

In 1958, the Shah formed the Pahlavi Foundation, declaring at the time that he was transferring 90% of his holding to the new institution, a combination of charitable organization and family trust. Documents proved the royal family’s penetration of almost every corner of the nation’s economy, including among other things 17 banks and insurance companies, an 80% ownership in the nation’s third-largest insurance company, 25 metal enterprises, 8 mining companies, 10 building materials companies, 45 construction companies, 43 food companies, and 26 enterprises in trade or commerce, and a share of ownership in almost every major hotel in Iran, or 70% of the hotel capacity. Some of these holdings are joint ventures with American corporations.

Behind a facade of charitable activities, the NYT article continues, “the foundation is apparently used in three ways: as a source of funds for the royal family, as a means of exerting control over the economy through the foundation’s holdings in key sectors, and as a conduit for rewards to supporters of the regime.” The transfer of billions of dollars out of Iran had started already in 1974, partly in the form of loans to members of his family that were never repaid, and numerous transactions from Iran were made through American corporations and banks as well as some New York investment houses. The additional uncounted resources were deposited in banks in Switzerland and other countries with strictly enforced bank-secrecy laws.

In the autumn of 1978, during the revolutionary turmoil, 64 members of the Pahlavi family have gone abroad. Like other wealthy Iranians, they all have made substantial deposits in Swiss bank accounts and bought luxury residences in Europe and North America. Of course, the court never revealed the true extent of its wealth, but Iranian and Western estimates place the fortune accumulated by the royal family, both inside and outside Iran, far above Abbas Milani’s “a billion dollars” claim. As New York bankers, Ervand Abrahamian and Michael Axworthy, both highly critical of the Islamic Republic but still regarded as authoritative historians of modern Iran in the West, offer a completely different picture.

According to Abrahamian’s monographies, the royal family’s total assets were estimated “anywhere between five and twenty billion dollars” (1982:437) or “in excess of $20 billion” (2008:131). With inflation, that would equal up to $60 billion by today’s currency. In Axworthy’s book, the capital that had been sent out of the country was “estimated around $120 billion” (2013:297). This figure includes the comprehensive wealth of all Iranian emigrants, but there is no doubt that the majority was concentrated in hands of the ruling family.

In January 1981, the Iranian government filed a $36 billion lawsuit in New York against 65 defendants, most of them relatives of the Shah, in an attempt to recover stolen wealth. Reuters journalists mentioned this fact but in the context of denying figures. “The suit was dismissed,” their paragraph ends, and therefore imply that “claimed” figure must be false. It is again a gross manipulation because the New York courts did not deny the amount of money, they dismissed the proceedings on the ground of ‘forum non conveniens’ though they admitted that there was no alternative forum. According to the book by Trevor C. Hartley, Emeritus Professor of Law at the LSE, this was an abuse of the doctrine, for political reasons, the courts were determinated to shield the Shah, and ‘forum non conveniens’ was the tool they chose (2009:238). After all, those are the same courts which recently ordered Iran to pay billions to relatives of 9/11 victims.

In addition to Abbas Milani, the Reuters article also quotes Mohsen Sazegara, introduced as a co-founder of the Revolutionary Guards who is now in exile in the United States, and David S. Cohen, then undersecretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence who also served as deputy director of the CIA. The former is a member of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), a subsidiary of the notorious American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), while the latter is a member of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a hawkish and neoconservative organization led by Mark Dubowitz that was intensively lobbying for the anti-Iranian and anti-Setad sanctions for years.

Agenda unveiled

All of the above-mentioned lobbyists and their advocacy groups, along with three Reuters journalists, have the same agenda and are trying to convince the world that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is the same as Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, while Setad is no different than the Pahlavi Foundation. There is, however, a serious problem with this picture. More precisely, there are no Khamenei’s jewels, crowns or designer clothes, no luxury cars or art collections, no luxurious villas or expensive estates, either in Iran or abroad. There are no rich members of the family, no foreign bank accounts, no documents, no independent experts, no New Yorker or Swiss bankers. There is absolutely nothing which proves their claim.

There is, indeed, the Reuters “investigative” article with fancy charts and listed properties. Only a few months before the publication of Reuters‘ article, Washington imposed sanctions on Setad and some of its alleged corporate holdings, and the Treasury Department issued a press release containing boring numbers, hard charts, Persian-named properties and other dull text, incomprehensible for wider audiences. And that’s why the Reuters article jumped out.

Investigative journalism is when a report is built on the basis of the collected data, but here is an opposite case, all the details serve as buttress or decoration of the central point. In other words, when you take off all worthless tree charts, personal testimonies, stories of poor old ladies, allegations by fake human rights activists and lobbyists, and numerous other cliches, the only thing left standing is the official US press release and accompanying political rampage against the Iranian leadership. Nothing more.

Regarding Setad itself, as seen through the eyes of the US government, it serves as a useful bogeyman and has multiple purposes. Its first dimension is political-ideological because it follows the old discourse of bashing Iranian leaders and veterans, equalizing them with corrupt royal elites. Second, the economy of Iran is now being discussed under the guise of “Setad” name, a sort of trade name which sounds less offensive in public debates and official documents. Third and most important, it is a perfect tool for further targeting Iran’s economy and expanding sanctions, because any new emerging company can easily be declared as a Setad holding.

January 9, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Islamophobia, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Leave a comment

“Canadian Terror Patsies” Walk Free… but Media Cover-up Begins re “TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE”

Greencrow | December 20, 2018

I just checked the front pages of the three “national” newspapers in Canada, the CBC, The Globe and Mail and the National Post. NONE of these papers contains any reference to the fact that the Appeals Court Justice called the RCMP/CSIS behaviour of entrapping Nuttall and Korody a Travesty of Justice“.  No one is calling the Prime Minister, the Attorney General of Canada or any politicians to task over this shocking revelation. In fact, it would appear that a “cover up” has been set in motion…. so that these kinds of taxpayer-paid-for police/security agency criminal exploitations of vulnerable citizens for foreign policy subservience and Deep State agendas can happen again.

NOTE: Regular Commenter on this blog, “Reading Between The Lines” has just advised that a paper finally has the guts to write about the issue. Here is the link to that paper. Thanks RBTL!

John Nuttall and Amanda Korody, set free today from Canadian Security Agencies

Efforts to Use them as Terror Patsies way back in 2013

As regular readers know, I have been following this local story for years.  In my opinion, this legal decision is the most significant decision in Canadian history… during my lifetime, anyway.  This decision reinforces the fundamental legal principle that “no one is above the law”… not even the police or security agencies.  Please read the report and I will have more comments to follow:

From News 1130

B.C. couple found guilty of plotting to bomb legislature to walk free

John Nuttall-Amanda Korody’s convictions had been stayed due to entrapment, abuse of process

“The judge said police used deceit and veiled threats to engineer the bomb plot.”

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A couple found guilty of plotting to set off pressure cooker bombs outside the provincial legislature have had their convictions stayed.

The BC Court of Appeal has agreed with a lower court judge who said the RCMP officers manipulated John Nuttall and Amanda Korody into going ahead with the attack planned for Canada Day 2013.

A jury initially convicted the two on several charges in 2015, but the judge tossed them out months later because of issues with the investigation.

More to come

Wanting to get this posted ASAP, I will save my detailed summation of the significance of this decision for a later time. Suffice it to say that this “travesty of justice” has been a powder keg ticking “time bomb” in Canada for years.  Now that the ruling reinforces the rule of law in Canada.. .there will be huge ramifications for the government, the security agencies and the victims, John Nuttall and Amanda Korody. The couple can now get themselves good lawyers and sue the pants off the government, the RCMP and CSIS [aka the USrael mole in Canada], which in my opinion was the “brains” behind the operation…getting the RCMP to do its dirty work. It won’t be the first time the Canadian government has had to pay million$ to victims of miscarriage of justice resulting from corruption in the “security agencies“… actually malfeasance is a regular event here in Canada.

The timing is also significant. After this decision has been delayed [justice delayed justice certainly denied… as I said time after time] for so many years… why now? Why indeed, when Canada has recently been betrayed by the government/security agencies in USrael, recently, after toadying up to them and arresting the Chinese CEO… then being left hung out to dry by them.

If there is a thorough “Royal Commission” investigation into this travesty, which I believe there should be, then we can all follow the smell of Deep State Corruption… right back to the cesspool in Langley, Virgina… the home of the MosCIAd. These patsy/Terror bomb FALSE FLAG capers were SOP and still are–all over the West.  Just in this case, the RCMP botched the assignment so badly that the public was able to surmise what has been going on… well, at least the 33% of the public with two brain cells to rub together anyway. As the 1130 report says… … more to come.

December 19, 2018: According to Global News the lawyer for Amanda Korody said the following today:

“…. Sandford said she feels Wednesday’s decision sends a clear message.

“I think that the court has drawn a line and underscored that these type of American-style sting operations… are not going to be tolerated here and that we have a strong and robust principle of entrapment that the courts are going to uphold.”…

Greencrow says: Canadians need and deserve to know the history of this “travesty of justice”. It was much more than a “sting operation”. It was a potential False Flag. Perhaps under different dynamics the “security agencies” would have allowed it to follow its course and citizens could have been killed… as they have been in other similar cases. It signals deep corruption on the part of the government, the police and CSIS.  Remember the million$ in police salaries, including overtime?  Who made the corrupt decisions?  Are these individuals still in positions of power in Canada??? Watch the government, the M$M and particularly the “security agencies” go into desperate damage control mode. After the previous “Travesties of Justice” in the Omar Khadr and Maher Arar cases [amongst many others]… will we be suckered again? Or, this time will some intrepid investigative team or preferably a Royal Commission…. FINALLY trace the stench of the Nuttall/Korody matter right back to its source… IMO, in Langley, Virginia?

December 21, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Islamophobia | , | 2 Comments

Is China Really More “Dystopian” Than The UK?

By Andrew KORYBKO – Oriental Review – 05/12/2018

RT reported that the UK’s so-called “National Data Analytics Solution” will see an algorithm process whichever of 30 separate data points have been recorded about a person in local and national police databases in order to predict which members of the population are most likely to commit a crime or be victimized by one, after which the state will dispatch local health and social workers to offer “counseling” to them in an attempt to prevent the computer’s envisioned scenario from transpiring. This program is being likened to the 2002 film “Minority Report” and carries with it a vibe of China’s controversial “social credit” system, albeit without any “rewards” being offered for law-abiding behavior. In fact, one can actually make the claim that instead of the UK copying China to a degree, it was actually China that learned from the UK seeing as how the island nation’s mass surveillance system used to be far ahead of the communist nation’s one.

The problem with “pre-crime” technology, however, is that it straddles the fine line between security and liberty in what is supposed to be a “democracy”, therefore making it uncomfortably out of place in the UK while being much more natural to implement in centrally controlled societies like China’s. While the European country insincerely pretends to be a “democracy” in the Western sense of how this system is commonly assumed to function, the East Asian one makes no such pretenses and is proud of having a different organizational model, which should be doubly disturbing for any British citizen because it means that their “democratically elected government” is actually less forthcoming about its nationwide surveillance strategy than comparatively more centralized China’s is. No value judgement is being made about either country’s governing system, but the purpose of this comparison is to point out the surprising similarities between the two that are usually lost on most observers.

For as much as China is demonized for taking proactive security measures against Uighurs who the state fears are at risk of succumbing to terrorist ideologies, the UK will essentially be channeling the same spirit of this strategy through its “National Data Analytics Solution” with what can only be assumed are the ethno-socio minority groups in the country that are statistically more at risk of committing crimes or being victimized by them. The difference, however, is that drawing attention to this doesn’t serve the US’ geopolitical interests because it has nothing to gain by destabilizing the UK and possibly imposing sanctions against it for supposedly violating these subjects’ “human rights”, unlike its stance towards China in this respect. While many are fretting that “East Asia” is pioneering the way for Orwell’s 1984 to come to life, they’d do well to consider just how much “Oceania” has already done to make this a reality too.

The post presented is the partial transcript of the CONTEXT COUNTDOWN radio program on Sputnik News, aired on Friday Nov 30, 2018.

December 5, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Islamophobia, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Controlling the Israel Message: How to Manage the American Sheeple

By Philip Giraldi | American Herald Tribune | December 3, 2018

There has been another defenestration of a television-based political commentator for touching the only real electrified third rail remaining in reporting what passes for the news. Marc Lamont Hill, a Temple University professor of Media Studies and Urban Education, who is a regular political commentator on CNN, was fired for what he said in a speech at the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, which took place last Wednesday at the United Nations. Hill called for a “free Palestine from river to the sea,” which CNN considered grounds for terminating his contract.

As ever, the Israelis were quick to jump on the bandwagon with their New York Consul General Dani Dayan denouncing Hill as a “racist, a bigot, [and] an anti-Semite.” He noted that Hill is under contract both with Temple University and CNN, implying that he should be punished by being fired, and called the remarks “appalling.” To no avail, Hill responded “I support Palestinian freedom. I support Palestinian self-determination. I am deeply critical of Israeli policy and practice. I do not support anti-Semitism, killing Jewish people, or any of the other things attributed to my speech.”

Hill was fired by CNN within 24 hours. The message is clear. You can criticize Christianity, Muslims, white males, Donald Trump and the American government at will and you can even criticize blacks or sexual alphabet soups if you are clever in how you do it, but never, never go after Jews or Israel even indirectly if you want to keep your job. One recalls the fate of Rick Sanchez, a CNN anchor who was fired in September 2010 one day after he complained about how Jon Stewart and others in the Jewish mafia that runs the media treat Hispanics, saying “Yeah, very powerless people. He’s such a minority. I mean, you know, please. What—are you kidding? I’m telling you that everybody who runs CNN is a lot like Stewart, and a lot of people who run all the other networks are a lot like Stewart. And to imply that somehow they, the people in this country who are Jewish, are an oppressed minority?

Sanchez was forced to publicly grovel for his “inartful” comments and even had to write a letter of apology to the monstrous Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).  Far worse, he also had to endure two hours of counseling with “America’s rabbi” Shmuley Boteach. Sanchez subsequently drifted through low level jobs for a number of years, but he is now a news anchor with RT America.

Also in 2010, Octavia Nasr, a Lebanese-American journalist who had been CNN’s Senior Editor for Mideast Affairs for over 20 years was immediately fired after she tweeted “sad to hear of the passing” of Lebanese cleric Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlalah. Fadlalah’s only crime was that he had been demonized by Israel and the neocons as a “spiritual mentor” of Hezbollah. Nasr’s only crime is that she granted the admittedly controversial dead man some respect.

To be sure, CNN is pro-Israeli in its reporting and, more important, in terms of choosing what not to report. Its lead political anchor is Wolf Blitzer, a former American Israeli Political Action Committee (AIPAC) employee, who speaks Hebrew and has lived in Israel. Like most major American mainstream media outlets, CNN has numerous Jewish employees working to select, edit and produce the news stories that actually air, well placed to manage what does finally go out to the public.

Reports critical of Israel or Jews are not welcome anywhere in the U.S. national media, which is why Israel gets away with slaughtering unarmed Gazans using army snipers. I note a recent bizarre though interesting story that appeared in the British media and was not picked up by the U.S. mainstream at all. The story detailed how the leadership of the European Jewish Congress is seeking the insertion of “warning messages” in both Christian and Muslim holy texts. In a document entitled “An End to Antisemitism,” which was released last week, it was recommended that “Translations of the New Testament, the Qur’an and other Christian or Muslim literatures need marginal glosses, and introductions that emphasize continuity with Jewish heritage of both Christianity and Islam and warn readers about antisemitic passages in them. While some efforts have been made in this direction in the case of Christianity, these efforts need to be extended and made consistent in both religions.” One wonders when the same body will be recommending that the nastier bits of the Torah and Talmud be “glossed” to deal with the numerous slaughters of conquered peoples as well as slurs on Jesus Christ and assertions that Jews have the right to treat non-Jews as no better than livestock?

Some in the media might argue that the same set of rules about not offending one’s religious beliefs would apply to all religions, not just to Judaism, but it is difficult to find evidence of any even handedness, particularly when Islam is being discussed by commentators who are completely ignorant of the tenets of the religion. Nor are there any apparent limits in making ridiculous statements on CNN if one is disparaging Arabs, most particularly if they are Palestinians. CNN paid commentator former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum has claimed absurdly that Palestinians do not even exist, which many Israelis believe, without any admonishment. Consider the outrage if he were to say that Jewish Israelis do not exist, which may actually be much closer to the truth according to some geneticists.

And what about when a Jew is attacking Christians? Far from there being any consequences, there is a demonstrable double standard as Christian beliefs appear to be fair game in some circles. Dana Jacobson currently co-anchor for the weekend edition of CBS national morning news experienced an apparently alcohol driven meltdown at a sports roast that she was helping emcee in January 2008 when she was working for ESPN.

Belting down vodka and cursing “like a sailor,” Jacobson went after Catholics in particular and said “Fuck Notre Dame,” “Fuck touchdown Jesus” and “Fuck Jesus” a number of times before she was hauled off the stage. Her after-the-fact apology consisted of written concession that she had demonstrated a “poor lack of judgment.” And her punishment by ESPN also demonstrated a “lack of judgment” when the company spokesman Josh Krulewitz reported that “Her actions and comments were inappropriate and we’ve dealt with it.” Dealing with it apparently consisted of a one-week suspension.

Any company operating in the United States should be able to dismiss an employee for any reason or for no reason, but anything even mildly critical of Jewish collective behavior or Israel is severely punished immediately. Professor Marc Lamont Hill said nothing wrong. On the contrary, he said something badly needed and which should have been accepted by CNN if it were really a global communications network dedicated to the truth and, one might add, to justice. Instead it was more of the same old, same old. If you criticize Israel don’t let the door hit you in the ass as you leave the building.

December 3, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Islamophobia, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Bethlehem Mayor: Netanyahu Statement on Palestinian Christians is Another Attempt at Distorting the Reality of Occupation

IMEMC News & Agencies – October 16, 2018

Mayor of Bethlehem, advocate Anton Salman said, in response to Sunday’s statements by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Bethlehem and the situation of Palestinian Christians, that such a statement “is another Israeli attempt at distorting the reality of the Israeli occupation and particularly the effects that Israeli policies have had on the Palestinian Christian community since 1948.”

“If Mr. Netanyahu was concerned about the situation of Palestinian Christians, particularly in the Bethlehem area, he would return the 22,000 dunams of Bethlehem land illegally annexed to Israel for expansion of colonial settlements. He would dismantle the annexation wall that divides Bethlehem from Jerusalem, for the first time in 2000 years of Christianity, and would stop imposing restrictions to Palestinian movement, including the thousand of Palestinian Christians living in exile and whose return is impossible due to the Israeli control over the Palestinian population registry,” said the mayor in a statement issued by the Bethlehem municipality.

He continued, according to WAFA : “For example, in Jordan alone, a few kilometers away, there are at least 20,000 Palestinian Christians from the Bethlehem area that are denied family unification and even cannot enter the city, not even to celebrate Christmas, due to the Israeli military restrictions.

“We would like to remind Mr. Netanyahu that it was himself who supported the building of one of the most damaging colonial-settlements that surround Bethlehem, Jabal Abu Ghneim (Har Homa), and that, in 2015, he declared that by doing so he is preventing the connection between Bethlehem and Jerusalem.”

There are over 100,000 Israeli settlers surrounding Bethlehem from all sides, reducing the area of Palestinian control over Bethlehem to less than 13% of the district, and making it impossible to plan for the future of our city, said the statement.

Furthermore, it was Mr. Netanyahu who voiced objection to declaring the Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage route as a World Heritage site and his policies of harassment were behind the decision of the churches to close the church of the Holy Sepulcher for three days in Jerusalem in objection to church taxation policy, added the statement.

“His comment was also full of historical inaccuracies. It is shameful that while calling himself a ‘protector of Christianity’, he would use Christians as a tool for his Islamophobic talking points. The decrease in percentage of Christians in Bethlehem, as well as in the rest of Palestine, was provoked with the Nakba of 1948 and ongoing due to Israel’s colonial plans and policies that started in 1967.”

He said that this was also the case in West Jerusalem, from where a large Palestinian Christian community was expelled by Israel from Ein Karem, Talbiya, Qatamon, and other places. From 31,000 Christians in 1948, Jerusalem only has around 12,000 Christians today.

“We would like to advise Mr. Netanyahu to stop using Christians as a tool to pinkwash the occupation. The best he could do for a future of peace and coexistence, where the Christian community would thrive again, it is to respect his obligations under international law, including Security council resolutions 478 on Jerusalem and 2334 on settlements, dismantling illegal colonial-settlements and the annexation wall surrounding Bethlehem, including in the Cremisan Valley, fully end the occupation of Palestine and allow for the return of our people to their city. It is not the Palestinian government that prevents their return Mr. Netanyahu; It is your government.”

He said: “I would like to use this occasion to call upon the heads of the churches in Jerusalem as well as to the Holy See to raise their voices against the use of religion for political purposes. It cannot be tolerated anymore that the bible is used wrongfully in order to justify crimes and violations that go against the teachings of values spread by our lord Jesus Christ.”

October 15, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Islamophobia, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | 2 Comments

The Legacy and Fallacies of Bernard Lewis

By As`ad AbuKhalil | Consortium News | June 29, 2018

There is no question that Bernard Lewis was one of the most politically—not academically—influential Orientalists in modern times.

Lewis’ career can be roughly divided into two phases: the British phase, when he was a professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, and the second phase, which began in 1974, when he moved to Princeton University and lasted until his death on May 19. His first phase was less overtly political, although the Israeli occupation army translated and published one of his books, and Gold Meir assigned articles by Lewis to her cabinet members.

Lewis knew where he stood politically but he only became a political activist in the second phase. His academic production in the first phase was rather historical (dealing with his own specialty and training) and his books were then thoroughly documented. The production of his second phase was political in nature and lacked solid documentation and citations. In the second phase, Lewis wrote about topics (such as the contemporary Arab world) on which he was rather ignorant. The writings of his second phase were motivated by his political advocacy, while the writings of the first phase was a combination of his political biases and his academic interests.

Shortly upon moving into the U.S., Lewis met with Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson, the dean of ardent Zionists in the U.S. Congress. He thus started his political career and his advocacy, which was often thinly hidden behind the title of superficial books on the modern Arab world. Lewis not only mentored various neoconservatives, but he also elevated the status of Middle East natives that he approved of. For instance, he was behind the promotion of Fouad Ajami (he dedicated one of this books to him), just as he was behind introducing Ahmad Chalabi to the political elite in DC.

Lewis: A questionable legacy

Furthermore, Lewis was also behind the invitation of Sadiq Al-Azm to Princeton in the early 1990s (as Edward Said told me at the time) because Lewis always relished Al-Azm’s critique of Said’s Orientalism. Sep. 11 only elevated the status of Lewis and brought him close to the centers of power: he advised George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and other senior members of the administration.

In the lead-up to the Iraq war, he assured Cheney (relying on the authority of Ajami) that not only Iraqis, but all Arabs, would joyously greet invading American troops. And he argued to Cheney before the war, using the dreaded Zionist and colonial cliché, that Arabs only understand the language of force. (Lewis would later distort his own history and claim that he was not a champion of the Iraq invasion although the record is clear).

Lewis was not only close to the higher echelons of the U.S. government, but in addition to his long-standing ties to Israeli leaders, he was close to Jordanian King Husayn and his brother, Hasan (although Lewis would mock what he considered a Jordanian habit of eating without forks and knives, as he wrote in Notes on a Century: Reflections of a Middle East Historian, on page 217).

Lewis was also close to the Shah’s government, and to the military dictatorship in Turkey in the 1980s. Kenan Evren, the Turkish general who led the 1980 military coup, had a tete-a-tete with Lewis during one of his visits to D.C. Lewis had contacts with the Sadat government, and Sadat’s spokesperson, Tahasin Bashir, in 1971 sent a message through Lewis to the Israeli government regarding Sadat’s interest in peace between the two countries.

Distorted View of Islam

There are many features of Lewis’s works, but foremost is what French historian Maxime Rodinson called “theologocentrism”, or the Western school of thought which attribute all observable phenomena among Muslims to matters of Islamic theology.

For Lewis, Islam is the only tool which can explain the odd political behavior of Arabs and Muslims. Lewis used Islam to refer not only to religion, but also the collection of Muslim people, governments ruling in the name of Islam, Shari`ah, Islamic civilization, languages spoken by Muslims, geographic areas in which Muslims predominate, and Arab governments. A review of his titles show his fixation with Islam. But what does it mean for Lewis to refer to Islam as being “the whole of life” for Muslims, as he does in Islam and the West?

Lewis also began the trendy Islamophobic, Western obsession with Shari`ah when he wrote years ago in the same book that for Muslims religion is “inconceivable without Islamic law.” There are hundreds of millions of Muslims in the world who live under governments which don’t subscribe to Shari`ah. No Muslim, for example, questions the Islamic credentials of Muslims who live in Western countries under secular law. Lewis even notes this fact, but it confuses him. In Islam and the West he states in bewilderment: “There is no [legal] precedent in Islamic history, no previous discussion in Islamic legal literature.”

Lewis could have benefited from reading James Piscatori’s book, Islam in a World of Nation States, which shows that Shari`ah is not the only source of laws even in countries where Islam is supposedly the only source of law. But Lewis was stuck in the past, he could only interpret the present through references to the original works of classical Islam.

His hostility and contempt for Arabs and Muslims was revealed in his writings even during the British phase of his career, when he was politically more restrained. He was influenced by the idea of his mentor, Scottish historian Hamilton Gibb, regarding what they both called “the atomism” of the Arab mind. The evidence for their theory is that the classical Arabic poem of Jahiliyyah and early Islam was not organically and thematically unified, but that each line of poetry was independent of the other. I remember back in 1993 when I discussed the matter with Muhsin Mahdi, a professor of Islamic philosophy at Harvard University, when I was reading the private papers of Gibb at the Widener Library. Mahdi said that their ideas are completely out of date and that recent scholarship about the classical Arabic poem refuted that thesis. (Lewis would resurrect the notion about the “atomism” of the Arab mind in his later Islam and the West).

Other writings of Lewis became obsolete academically. In his The Muslim Discovery of Europe he recycles the view that Muslims had no curiosity about the West because it was the land of infidelity and that they suffered from a superiority complex. A series of new scholarly books have undermined this thesis by Lewis largely by scholars looking into Indian and Iranian archives. The Palestinian academic, Nabil Mater, in his books Britain and the Islamic World, 1558-1713, Europe Through Arab Eyes, 1578-1727, and Turks, Moors and Englishmen in the Age of Discovery, paints a very different—and far more documented—picture of the subject that Lewis spent a career distorting.

Relished in Disparaging Arabs

In addition, the tone of Lewis’ writings on Arabs and Muslims was often sarcastic and contemptuous. Lewis did the work of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which was started in 1998 by a former Israeli intelligence agent and an Israeli political scientist,before MEMRI existed: he relished finding outlandish views of individual Muslims and popularizing them to stereotype all Arabs and all Muslims.

In the early editions of Arabs in History, Lewis remarked that none of the philosophers of the Arab/Islamic civilization were Arab in ethnic extraction (except Al-Kindi). What was Lewis’s point except to denigrate the Arab character and even genetic makeup? In the same book he cites an Ismaili document but then quickly adds that it “is probably not genuine.” But if it is “probably not genuine” why bother to cite it except for his fondness for bizarre tidbits about Arabs and Muslims?

The Orientalism of Lewis was not representative of classical Orientalism with all its flaws and shortcomings and political biases. His harbored more of an ideology of hostility against Arabs and Muslims. This ideology shares features with anti-Semitism, namely that the whole (Muslims in this case) form a monolithic group and that they pose a civilizational danger to the world, or are plotting to take it over, and that the behavior or testimony of one represents the total group (Islamic Ummah).

In writing about contemporary Islam, Lewis spent years recycling his 1976 Commentary magazine article titled, “The Return of Islam.” What he doesn’t answer is, “return” from where? Where was Islam prior? In this article, Lewis exhibits his adherence to the most discredited forms of classical Orientalist dogmas by invoking such terms as “the modern Western mind.” He thereby resurrected the idea of epistemological distinctions between “our” mind and “theirs”, as articulated by the 1976 racist book, The Arab Mind by Israeli anthropologist, Raphael Patai. (This last book would witness a resurrection in U.S. military indoctrination after Sep. 11, as Seymour Hersh reported).

An Obsession with Etymology

For Lewis, the Muslim mind never seems to change. Every Muslim, regardless of geography or time, is representative of any or all Muslims. Thus, a quotation from an obscure medieval source is sufficient to explain present-day behavior. Lewis even traces Yaser Arafat’s nom de guerre (Abu `Ammar) to early Islamic history and to the names of the Prophet Muhammad’s companions, though `Arafat himself had explained that the name derives from the root `amr (a reference to `Arafat’s construction work in Kuwait prior to his ascension to the leadership of the PLO).

Because `Arafat literally embraced Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran when he first met him, Lewis finds evidence of a universal Muslim bond in the picture. But when Lewis revised his book years later, he took note in passing of the deep rift which later developed between `Arafat and Khomeini and said simply: “later they parted company.” So much for the theory of the Islamic bond between them. Lewis must not have heard of wars among Muslims, like the Iran-Iraq war.

Lewis read the book Philosophy of Revolution by the foremost political champion of Arab nationalism, Nasser of Egypt, as containing Islamic themes. He must have been the only reader to come to that conclusion.

Another feature in Lewis’s writings is his obsession with etymology. To compensate for his ignorance of modern Arab reality, Lewis would often return to the etymology of political terms among Muslims. His book, The Political Language of Islam, which is probably his worst book, is an example of his attempt to Islamize and standardize the political behavior of all Muslims. His conclusions from his etymological endeavors are often comical: he assumes that freedom is alien to the Arabs because the historical meaning of the word in an ancient Arabic dictionary merely connoted the absence of slavery. This is like assuming that a Westerner never engaged in sex before the word was popularized. He complains that some of contemporary political terms, like dawlah (state), lost some of their original meanings, as if this is a problem peculiar to the Arabic language.

In his early years, Lewis was close to the classical Orientalists: he wrote in a beautiful style and his erudition and language skills showed through the pages. His early works were fun to read, while his later works were dreary and dull. But Lewis was unlike those few classical Orientalists who managed to mix knowledge about history of the Middle East and Islam with knowledge of the contemporary Arab world (scholars like Rodinson, Philip Hitti and Jacques Berque). Lewis’s ignorance about the contemporary Arab world was especially evident in his production during the U.S. phase of his long career. His book on the The Emergence of Modern Turkey, which was one of the first to rely on the Ottoman archives, was probably one of his best books. There is real scholarship in the book, unlike many of his later observational and impressionable works.

In his later best-selling books, What Went Wrong? and The Crisis of Islam, one reads the same passages and anecdotes twice. Lewis, for example, relishes recounting that syphilis was imported into the Middle East from the new world. His discussion of Napoleon in Egypt appears in both books, almost verbatim. The second book contains calls for (mostly military) action. In The Crisis of Islam, Lewis asserts: “The West must defend itself by whatever means.” The book reveals a lot about his outlook of hostility towards Muslims.

Al-Ghazzali: Lewis thought bin Laden was like him

Misunderstood Bin Laden

One is astonished to read some of his observations on Muslim and Arab sentiments and opinions. He is deeply convinced that Muslims are “pained” by the absence of the caliphate, as if this constitutes a serious demand or goal even for Muslim fundamentalist organizations. One never sees crowds of Muslims in the streets of Cairo or Islamabad calling for the restoration of the caliphate as a pressing need.

But then again: this is the man who treated Usamah Bin Laden as some kind of influential Muslim theologian who is followed by world Muslims. Lewis does not treat Bin Laden as the terrorist fanatic that he is, but as some kind of al-Ghazzali, in the tradition of classical Islamic theologians. Furthermore, Lewis insists that terrorism by individual Muslims should be considered Islamic terrorism, while terrorism by individual Jews or Christians is never considered Jewish or Christian terrorism.

In his retirement years, his disdain for the Palestinian people became unmasked. Although in his book The Crisis of Islam he lists acts of violence by PLO groups—curiously, only ones that are not directed against Israeli occupation soldiers—he lists not one act of Israeli violence against Palestinians and Arabs. To discredit the Palestinian national movement, he finds it necessary to tell yet again the story of Hajj Amin Al-Husayni’s visit to Nazi Germany, apparently seeking to stigmatize all Palestinians.

He is so disdainful of the Palestinians that he finds their opposition to Britain during the mandate period inexplicable because he believes that Britain was, alas, opposed to Zionism. Lewis is so insistent in attributing Arab popular antipathy to the U.S. to Nazi influence and inspiration that he actually maintains that Arabs obtained their hostility to the U.S. from reading the likes of Otto Spengler, Friederich Georg Junger, and Martin Heidegger. But when did the Arabs find time to read those books when all they read were their holy book and Islamic religious texts—as one surmises from reading Lewis?

While he displays deep–albeit selective–knowledge when he talks about the Islamic past (where his documentation is usually thorough), his analysis is quite simplistic and superficial when addressing the present (where he often disregards documentation altogether). For instance, he sometimes produces quotations without endnotes to source them: In Islam and the West he quotes an unnamed Muslim calling for the right of Muslims to “practice polygamy under Christian rule.” In another instance, he debates what he considers to be a common Muslim anti-Orientalist viewpoint, and the endnotes refer only to a letter to the editor in The New York Times.

Lewis once began a discussion by saying: “Recently I came across an article in a Kuwaiti newspaper discussing a Western historian,” without referring the reader to the name of the newspaper or the author. He also tells the story of an anti-Coptic rumor in Egypt in 1973 without telling the reader how he collects his rumors from the region. On another page, he identifies a source thus: “a young man in a shop where I went to make a purchase.”

Lewis was not shy about his biases in the British phase of his career, but be became an unabashed racist in his later years. In Notes on a Century, he did not mind citing approvingly the opinion of a friend who compared Arabs to “neurotic children”, unlike Israelis who are “rational adults.” And his knowledge of Arabs seems to decrease over time: he would frequently tell (unfunny) jokes related to Arabs and then add that jokes are the only indicator of Arab public opinion because he did not seem to know about public opinion surveys of Arabs. He also informs his readers that “chairs are not part of Middle Eastern tradition or culture.” He showers praise on his friend, Teddy Kollek (former occupation mayor of Jerusalem) because he set up a “refreshment counter” for Christians one day.

The political influence of Lewis, who lent Samuel Huntington his term, if not the theme, of “the clash of civilization”, has been significant. But it would be inaccurate to maintain that he was a policy maker. In the East and the West, rulers rely on the opinions and writings of intellectuals when they find that this reliance is useful for their propaganda purposes. Lewis and his books were timely when the U.S. was preparing to invade Muslim countries. But the legacy of Lewis won’t survive future scholarly scrutiny: his writings will increasingly lose their academic relevance and will be cited as examples of Orientalist overreach.


As’ad AbuKhalil is a Lebanese-American professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus. He is the author of the Historical Dictionary of Lebanon (1998), Bin Laden, Islam & America’s New ‘War on Terrorism’ (2002), and The Battle for Saudi Arabia (2004). He also runs the popular blog The Angry Arab News Service. 

June 29, 2018 Posted by | Book Review, Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Islamophobia, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , | 1 Comment