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The Nobel Peace Prize in Support of War

By Terje Maloy | OffGuardian | December 6, 2018

On December 10, the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony will be held in Oslo, the capital of Norway. This analysis will try to look at how the prize fits in the bigger picture, but first, some general background is appropriate:

Norway is a member of NATO and has close ties to the United States and Great Britain. The political, economic and bureaucratic elites are firmly integrated in transatlantic networks, a nexus of economic connections, think tanks, international institutions, media and a thousand other ties that bind. They tend to identify with the liberal wing of the empire, (i.e. the Democrats, not the Republicans), but will work with any US administration. The members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee are selected by the Norwegian parliament, and the Committee is nominally independent.

Despite being considered – and where the population considers itself – a ‘peace nation’, there are few countries that have eagerly joined more wars than Norway, from the attack on Yugoslavia in 1999, Afghanistan 2001, the occupation of Iraq, Mali, Libya 2011 and the ongoing occupation of Syria. Norway spends large sums of money supporting the joint Western effort to control the rest of the world through comprador intermediaries in non-governmental organizations.

This analysis will discuss some (overlapping) points about the Nobel Peace Prize:

  1. The prize reinforces certain grand narratives, the most important one being We are the good, and thus have the right to decide the fate of the rest of the world.
  2. It creates symbols for regime change operations. It beatifies modern day ‘good natives’ complaining about cruel treatment and pleading for the West to do something to liberate them (but are often remarkably unable to see Western abuses).
  3. It reinforces general reasons to start wars, by making specific themes very important at the same time they are being used to justify military action.
  4. It reinforces the narrative that enemy fights with illegal and cruel weapons. The focus on chemical weapons, as opposed to napalm or sanctions, is one example.
  5. It sanctifies peace treaties that are more like unilateral surrenders, advantageous to Western imperialism and capitalist interests.
  6. For a bunch of peaceful people, the prize winners are remarkably eager for war and bloody interventions.
  7. Some other points + Conclusion.

1. WE ARE THE GOOD, AND THUS HAVE THE RIGHT TO DECIDE THE FATE OF THE REST OF THE WORLD

(Photo: / White House, Samantha Appleton /Public Domain)

The Nobel Peace Prize gets its prestige and press coverage because it reinforces several big narratives. If it should deviate too much from what the powerful want, it would be ignored. Of prime importance is the notion that we are the good, and we have a monopoly on interpreting reality and to decide what is important. (‘We’ in this context being people in the West, and by extension their governments and leaders). During the Cold War, the prize had a similar function. It would be interesting to take a closer look at it, but for practical purposes this analysis will mostly be limited the last 30 years. Once you start to notice certain basic themes, they are rather obvious. To put it pointedly, the Nobel Peace Prize tries to aid regime changes to achieve the Empire’s aims where it is possible to avoid direct war, but it will aid in confirming the narrative that our troops are good guys.

This explains why Western leaders so often get the prize. The point is creating an impression that there exists a more humane possibility within our current unjust world system. When they receive it, what they have actually done is not an issue. Hence the award to people like Jimmy Carter (winner 2002); as president he instigated several bloody covert interventions in Central-America, Africa and of course the Islamist fighters in Afghanistan, but has since then opposed direct US wars; or Al Gore (winner 2007), who when he was vice president didn’t shy away from using the military as a foreign policy tool (see part 7). The prize to Barack Obama (winner 2009) can be placed here.

But the main use of the prize is to create support in Western liberal opinion for interventions that would otherwise be naked imperialistic aggression.

2. A FOCUS FOR REGIME CHANGE OPERATIONS

Where a Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to a dissident of a non-western country, the CIA or the Pentagon (see point 3) often has a task force working on cracking the exact same country.

The winners have varying degrees of internal appeal in the targeted country, but the main purpose in choosing these people is not to boost their standing internally, but to justify attempts at regime change to Western liberal public opinion. Without the focus on these martyrs, these operations would look suspiciously like old style colonial domination.

Hence the beatification of Aung San Suu Kyi (winner 1991) coincided with a concerted campaign to get control over a recalcitrant, but very strategic country. Suu Kyi is in many ways typical of the people the Committee prefers. She is a known entity, having conspicuously strong personal connections to the former colonial power – Oxford educated, married to a British citizen, her children are British citizens, etc. Signaling in which direction her political compass was oriented, she asked the world to use the old colonial name Burma instead of Myanmar. She asked for harsh measures against her own country (for its own good) fitting hand in glove with the US strategy actually used. In fact, all means would be permissible to use against this regime imprisoning a modern day saint.

The Nobel Prize to Suu Kyi played an invaluable role in creating huge support, especially on the liberal left, for the draconian economic sanctions against an otherwise fairly obscure country. And maybe many of her Western supporters actually did believe that the US and UK could fund her with large sums of money and create entire NGO-networks for her with the expressed goal of subverting a sovereign nation’s government, and her intentions to still be pure and progressive.

Myanmar is immensely rich in natural resources and is positioned between China and the Indian Ocean, and China and India. Any significant land connection between these two 21st century great powers would have to go through Myanmar to avoid the Himalayas. It is also of great Chinese interest as a transit country to the Indian Ocean. Therefore, the country was targeted with a multi-approach regime change operation.

A massive press campaign was arranged over several decades, a plethora of NGOs financed, whilst “former” CIA-agents now turned missionaries were working with the ethnic guerilla forces to create military pressure. In the usual attempt to concentrate all opposition into a joint force, extreme right wing religious fanatics became the spearhead in this campaign. The sanctions imposed on Myanmar, precluded any economic development and doomed the population to a life of crushing poverty.

One could interpret the recent calls to take the prize back from Suu Kuy as disappointed buyers not getting what they paid for.

We can go forward to 2010, when a Chinese citizen, Liu Xiaobo, won the prize. There were no surprises for what future was envisaged for China:

It took Hong Kong 100 years to become what it is. Given the size of China, certainly it would need 300 years of colonisation for it to become like what Hong Kong is today. I even doubt whether 300 years would be enough.”

The lines between creating justification for a covert regime change operation and next step, a direct war, is blurry. But when required, the Prize Committee can step in to keep the focus of world opinion on the right narrative.

3. CREATING REASONS FOR WAR: WOMEN’S RIGHTS

Malala Yoysafzai receives the Sakharov prize © Claude Truong-Ngoc / Wikimedia Commons

In 2003, just after the blitzkrieg on Iraq and at the very height of the George Bush’s talk of continuing the offensive to a few more countries, the committee chose to give the prize to Shirin Ebadi. By beatifying an Iranian at that time, the committee very well knew that they increased the danger of war.

Ebadi is a champion of women’s rights, a recurrent theme in NATO’s efforts to justify their wars. We know that targeting women in the West with this type of messaging has been a major effort for the organization for a long time. By giving the prize to her, they in effect created support in Western (female) public opinion for a war/regime change that would kill an untold number of Iranian women and destroy the lives of the rest, a repeat on a larger scale of what happened in Iraq.

The 2018 prize went to the fight against sexual violence in war. This happens to coincide with the very image NATO wants to promote of itself – who can forget Angelina Jolie and NATO’s General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg writing a joint article in 2017 titled “Why NATO Must Defend Women’s Rights,” where they point out that “NATO has the responsibility and opportunity to be a leading protector of women’s rights” and “can become the global military leader in how to prevent and respond to sexual violence in conflict”. How convenient that the Nobel Committee shares the same view.

A more analytic approach would point out such facts that US/NATO-interventions have made the situation for women infinitely worse in places such as Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan. An intervention to topple the legal government in Syria would certainly have created the same result.

In addition, a bit broader view would point out how allegedly stopping sexual violence against women has justified many wars of aggression. The stereotypes of cruel foreigners have not advanced noticeably from depictions of swarthy Spaniards groping blonde women in the Spanish-American war, to the claim that Gaddafi was handing out Viagra to mercenaries to rape women, as Susan Rice, the US Permanent Representative at UN told the Security Council. Amnesty International, later reported it had “not found any evidence or a single victim of rape or a doctor who knew about somebody being raped.”

Other notorious examples of how this has been used in war propaganda include Serbian rape camps during the Yugoslav wars. Allegations of mass rape were a key element of NATO’s propaganda campaign during the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia. Clare Short, Britain’s international development secretary, claimed that the rapes were “deliberately performed in front of children, fathers and brothers.” After the war was over, there were some retractions, including from the Washington Post, which reported that “Western accusations that there were Serb-run rape camps […] all proved to be false.”

Malala Yousafzai (winner 2014), the young Pakistani girl who became a symbol of the war against the Taliban, is another figure that fits this pattern. The indefinite occupation of Afghanistan is, among plenty of other vicarious reasons, justified by improving women’s rights. This overlooks the fact that no improvement can be made under a government installed with the help of foreign bayonets. The situation for Afghan women has not improved since the occupation, but then again, the claim was only meant to create support for the war in public opinion.

The importance of creating the perception of fighting for women’s rights has long been realized in military circles.

An internal CIA-document from 2010 (a few years before Malala received the prize from the Nobel Institute for her struggle against the Taliban), published by WikiLeaks, discusses how to best market the war in Afghanistan, To show how similar the Nobel Committee and the military/intelligence apparatus think, it is worth quoting the following passage:

Afghan women could serve as ideal messengers in humanizing the ISAF role in combating the Taliban because of women’s ability to speak personally and credibly about their experiences under the Taliban, their aspirations for the future, and their fears of a Taliban victory. Outreach initiatives that create media opportunities for Afghan women to share their stories with French, German, and other European women could help to overcome pervasive skepticism among women in Western Europe toward the ISAF mission.


4. THE ENEMY FIGHTS WITH ILLEGAL AND INHUMANE WEAPONS, AND IT IS IMPERATIVE TO STOP THEM

By highlighting certain themes, in this case ‘illegal weapons’, they reinforce the narrative in Western public opinion that certain things are very urgent and real problems, when in fact they are of relatively minor significance.

Poison gas is a clear example. The OPCW won the prize in 2013. Given the general situation in the Middle East, several million dead in Iraq after the US invasion and at least 400.000 dead in the covert invasion of Syria, gas is a minor factor, and even if we take the frequent claims of ‘gas massacres’ at face value (which of course we shouldn’t), is only responsible for an infinitesimal fraction of these dead.

But to reinforce a false narrative, this focus has been invaluable. The prize creates acceptance for the narrative that gas is a uniquely important and evil weapon, where it is fully justified to do anything necessary, including attacking countries, to stop the possible use of it. At the moment of writing this, Nov 24, 2018, the US just accused Iran of hiding a chemical weapons program.

Some weapons that are killing far more people in far more gruesome ways than poison gas, like napalm, would never be put on this list. And we could compare gas to sanctions, the West’s favorite and most effective weapon of mass destruction, killing the weakest, the sick, children and old people slowly, while destroying entire peoples’ right to a decent life. No other or weapon of mass destruction has killed as many people since WW2.

5. SANCTIFYING PEACE TREATIES THAT ARE NEGOTIATED SURRENDERS TO WESTERN INTERESTS

Yasser Arafat receives the prize in 1994, together with Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin CC BY-SA 3.0 File:Flickr – (GPO)

The most noticeable feature when the prize goes to creators of peace treaties, is that the treaties are more like a negotiated surrender than a just peace.

Colombia’s president Juan Manuel Santos (winner 2016) received the prize for victoriously having put the finishing touches to a long US-led counter-insurgency campaign against leftist guerilla forces. Now the reactionary oligarchy has a safe grip on the country, and can continue their neoliberal agenda, which isn’t that different from the old reactionary order. The death squads murdering leftist and human rights activist continue their activities with impunity.

The country had an extremely tarnished image in human rights issues and needed a quick touch-up to make it palatable. The most conspicuous thing the 2016-award is that the president got the prize just before Colombia became a global partner of NATO. The planning of the PR-requirements for this to happen smoothly must have been already well under way when the prize winner was decided. Remember the prize is directed at Western public opinion, and has little to do with an actual just peace in Colombia.

Yasser Arafat (co-winner 1993) got the prize so he would be tied to a peace plan with a chimerical two-state solution the Israeli side had no intention of honoring. The peace offer didn’t even include a stop in construction of Israeli settlements. No clearer signal of Israeli intentions could have been given. This is a continuation of the joint prize to Sadat and Begin in 1978, for the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, where Israel succeeded in making a separate peace with the biggest Arab country, and could thereafter concentrate on consolidating its grip on the West Bank.

While Nelson Mandela (co-winner 1994) undoubtedly was a worthy winner, the transition deal the ANC negotiated for South Africa only transferred formal political power, and left unjust economic power structures intact. The assets of multinational companies were guaranteed, and the neoliberal policies implied in the deal doomed the large majority of the population to continued poverty.

Michail Gorbachev (winner 1990) got the prize for a unilateral and wholesale surrender of every Soviet position, both economic and political; he didn’t even keep them as bargaining cards. Trusting Western oral promises, this naiveté is unprecedented in a leader of a great power. His bad decisions made a managed transition to a mixed system impossible and abandoned the former socialist states to Western looting and a social collapse they still haven’t recovered from. No wonder he still is so popular in the West that gave him the medal as a sign of appreciation.

Finnish Martti Ahtisaari got the prize in 2008, «for his efforts on several continents and over more than three decades, to resolve international conflicts». This is very true. Left out is what should be added to the sentence, to resolve international conflicts – as a total Western victory.

Ahtisaari is directly linked to the creation of the NATO-protectorate of Kosovo. By 1999, NATO had decided to splinter Yugoslavia one more time. A 78 day aerial bombing campaign had little effect, so they sent in the diplomats. It was suggested that an envoy from a ‘neutral’ country would be more efficient. Here is how Ahtisaari handled the situation, telling the Serbs what ‘we’ would do (my emphasis):

Ahtisaari opened the meeting by declaring, “We are not here to discuss or negotiate,” […]. Ahtisaari says that Milosevic asked about the possibility of modifying the plan, to which he replied, “No. This is the best that Viktor and I have managed to do. You have to agree to it in every part.” [..] As Milosevic listened to the reading of the text, he realized that the “Russians and the Europeans had put us in the hands of the British and the Americans.”

Milosevic took the papers and asked, “What will happen if I do not sign?” In answer, “Ahtisaari made a gesture on the table,” and then moved aside the flower centerpiece. Then Ahtisaari said, “Belgrade will be like this table. We will immediately begin carpet-bombing Belgrade.” Repeating the gesture of sweeping the table, Ahtisaari threatened, “This is what we will do to Belgrade.” A moment of silence passed, and then he added, “There will be half a million dead within a week.”

The Serbians signed the treaty.

6. NOT A PEACEFUL VERY BUNCH OF PEOPLE

US Marine Corps tank in Baghdad, 2003 (Photo: USMC/ Public Domain)

For recipients of a peace prize, a remarkable number of them support wars.

The invasion of Iraq in 2003 was a war of aggression under the trumped up pretext of disarming Iraq of Weapons of mass destruction. It was a blatant breach of both international law and the United Nations Charter. What did the Nobel Prize Winners think of it?

Here we have Elie Wiesel (winner 1986): “I now know I was wrong, but better that than to have stood idly by”.

Jose Ramos-Horta (winner 1996) claimed approvingly that the only truly effective means of pressure on the Iraqi dictator [is] the threat of the use of force.

Liu Xiaobo (winner 2010) was clear, the “decision by President Bush is right!. But then again, Liu had the remarkable opinion that “the major wars that the US became involved in are all ethically defensible,” including the wars in Afghanistan and Vietnam.

Former vice president Al Gore (winner 2009) had argued aggressively in favor of war in Iraq in 1991 and 1998, Bosnia in 1995 and Kosovo in 1998, and believed the 2003 Iraq war was legal based on earlier UN resolutions.

The Cold War winner Lech Walesa (1983) was an opponent of the invasion, but at least he knew where to put the blame: “It’s not the United States that is to blame for the war, but rather the EU, and in particular Germany and France. They knew the war was coming and they failed to prevent it.”

The Dalai Lama (winner 1989) was wily enough to hedge his bets, but decidedly did not condemn the war: “it’s too early to say, right or wrong”, He also supported the US/NATO military intervention in Afghanistan and the attack on Yugoslavia.

There is a similar level of support among prize winners for a direct intervention in the ‘civil’ war in Syria, a US/NATO regime change plan on the drawing board for at least 10 years before it started. The push for a no-fly zone in Syria on a Libyan model, which could then be used as a fig leaf for a full-scale assault, was immense for several years. What did the Nobel Prize winners think of this possibility?

(Keep in mind that the ‘action’ they call for, can only be either an aerial bombing or ground troops.)

Kailash Satyarthi (winner 2014) did not say anything about the fact that it was the 3 Western powers on the Security Council which started this war by spending billions of dollars arming and financing armed Islamist gangs. Stopping this support would seem to be the obvious way to stop the war, but instead we get: “The UN Security Council (UNSC) has the military power to bring this unceasing genocide to a halt.”

His co-winner Malala Yousafzai who seems to have envisaged a similar future for Syria as for Afghanistan, a Western intervention: “When I look at Syria, I see the Rwandan genocide. When I read the desperate words of Bana Alabed in Aleppo, I see Anne Frank in Amsterdam… We must act. The international community must do everything they can to end to this inhumane war”

This was echoed by former UN-leader Kofi Annan (winner 2001). Defining Aleppo as only the small part of the city occupied by Islamist gangs, he called for ‘action’. How this ‘action’ would differ from what he describes, is not clear: “The assault on Aleppo is an assault on the whole world. When hospitals, schools and homes are bombed indiscriminately, killing and maiming hundreds of innocent children, these are acts that constitute an attack on our shared, fundamental human values. Our collective cry for action must be heard, and acted upon, by all those engaged in this dreadful war.”

This wish was supported by Medecins sans Frontiers, recipient of the 1999 Nobel Peace Prize. It was the first to report the alleged gas attack in Ghouta on 21. August 2013, which the Obama-administration wanted to use as a pretext for a military assault. As it admitted, the MSF’s decision to issue a press release on the incident—which had not taken place in an MSF hospital, but in its “silent partner” facilities in rebel-controlled areas—was highly political.

MSF was well aware that their announcement of chemical weapons use would be immediately seized upon by the US to claim that Syrian President Assad had crossed a red line, and to start a bombing campaign.

The organization was here true to its roots, as the civilian part in the French military/intelligence effort to support an independent state in the oil producing parts of Nigeria, in the Biafran war of independence in 1967-1970.

Amnesty International, (winner 1977) was not much better, with its call for unspecified ‘action’: “The international community’s catastrophic failure to take concrete action to protect the people of Syria has allowed parties to the conflict, most notably the Syrian government, to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity with complete impunity, often with assistance of outside powers, particularly Russia… the international community had said ‘never again’ after the government devastated Eastern Aleppo with similar unlawful tactics. But here we are again.”

Anyway, Amnesty has a soft spot for endless NATO-interventions. In 2012, after 11 years of dismal occupation, the organization paid for advertising posters in the US applauding NATO’s actions in Afghanistan — “Keep the progress going”, purportedly doing something for women’s rights.

Tawakkol Abdel-Salam Karman is a Yemeni journalist and human rights activist that won the prize in 2009 wanted ‘protection’, writing: “Instead of protecting residents in Aleppo from brutalities of Russia, Iran and Bashar Al Assad’s regime, the world tended to mediate to provide safe corridors for the displacement of civilians,” adding, “these also are partners in crime.”

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos (2016) voiced support for the missile attacks on Syria in March 2018.

Such bellicosity (or just as often, coy bellicosity) is nothing new in the type of people selected as winners. Henry Kissinger (winner 1973) was the most infamous war hawk to win the prize during the Cold War, but as long as it was the right side doing the fighting, plenty of others identified with this one sided world view. We can recognize all the themes mentioned above in Michael Parenti’s description of the 1975 Peace Prize winner:

Andrei Sakharov was a darling of the U.S. press, a Soviet dissident who regularly sang praises to corporate capitalism. Sakharov lambasted the U.S. peace movement for its opposition to the Vietnam War. He accused the Soviets of being the sole culprits behind the arms race and he supported every U.S. armed intervention abroad as a defense of democracy. Hailed in the west as a «human rights advocate,» Sakharov never had an unkind word for the horrific human rights violations perpetrated by the fascist regimes of faithful U.S. client states, including Pinochet’s Chile and Suharto’s Indonesia, and he aimed snide remarks at the «peaceniks» who did. He regularly attacked those in the West who opposed U.S. repressive military interventions abroad.

7. Some other points + Conclusion

You don’t have to be an prop for US/NATO power projection to win the prize, but it helps.

The prize was originally intended to be given to the person who has done most to foster peace between nations. In a subtle twist, in many cases it has changed to banning aspects of warfare, barely ever addressing war itself. Broaching such a subject honestly would be impossible without addressing the elephant in the room, US/Western imperialism. The award has had many winners who are variants of this year’s theme, sexual violence in war (which also touches on point 3, the NATO-narrative of defense of women). The focus here is on a more civilized form of war, not abolishing war as such as a means of settling disputes.

No one (apart from some military brass) is actually pro-landmines, but the Peace prize to the Campaign Against Land Mines in 1997 coincided with the increased Western interventions in places where these weapons would be a hindrance to the success of the occupation It was not in the interest of NATO forces to have their opponents using these ‘poor man’s weapons’, creating the casualties so feared by the military in modern wars, which again might increase opposition at home to war. The coalition suffered most of their casualties from IEDs, a sort of land mine, in Iraq, while having limited use of mines themselves.

There is a certain unpredictability as to who the prize will be awarded to, making it not as obviously beholden to the immediate needs of the powerful, even though the long term trend is clear. For example, there has been no Russian winner for quite a while now, and the White Helmets have not yet got the award, maybe as they are too obviously only a PR-front.

When Jean-Paul Sartre declined the Nobel Prize in Literature, he said that the prize ‘is for Western writers or Eastern rebels’. On a similar note, we might say that the Nobel Peace Prize is for Western elites or Eastern rebels.

That the selection of winners conforms to US views does not mean that there is a direct influence, although some recommendations to the Committee probably weigh heavier than others. Rather this pattern is a sign of how well socialized the Norwegian Nobel Committee members are in the transatlantic world view, where ‘our’ requirements override any genuine wish for peace.

December 6, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

Israel’s diamond exports crash as BDS and war crimes impact

By Sean Clinton | MEMO | November 7, 2018

Fig.1 – Graph of diamond exports and trends from main exporting hubs

Israel’s gross diamond exports have crashed by a staggering 45 per cent since the 2014 massacre in Gaza that resulted in the death of over 2,200 people, mainly civilians including over 550 children.

The net value of Israel’s diamond exports has fallen even further, by 60 per cent from $11.25 billion to $4.4 billion over the period. This is about the same as the value of Israel’s total arms exports.

The Israeli diamond exchange initially blamed the decline on weak global demand and more recently on globalisation but the sudden steep decline shows that’s plainly not the case.

De Beers annual insight reports on the state of the global diamond market show demand increased slightly over the past five years.

No other diamond exporting country has suffered such a steep fall.

The Belgian diamond industry, which is a major hub for both the rough and polished diamond trade to and from Israel, has also been impacted by the steep decline in Israel’s exports.

Meanwhile India has gained market share and in 2016, for the first time ever, exported more diamonds to the USA than Israel which has traditionally supplied up to 50 per cent of the US market in value terms.

There can be no doubt that one of the most important and the most vulnerable sector of the Israeli economy is feeling the impact of Israel’s blood-drenched brand image.

Fig. 2 – Israeli manufacturing exports declined sharply after 2014 led by a 45% fall in diamond exports. The 2012 fall in diamond exports was due to the discovery of major fraud in the Diamond Exchange.

The global campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) has highlighted jewellery industry links to Israeli human rights violations which are funded to a significant degree by revenue from the diamond industry. Both appear to be impacting the Israeli diamond industry particularly hard with exports down a further 6 percent in H1 2018.

The situation has become so serious that Israel is now offering to pay air fares as well as provide free hotel accommodation to attract buyers to Tel Aviv. Although the jewellery industry and NGOs have remained silent about Israel’s leading role in the diamond supply chain human rights activists have campaigned to expose it.

In 2012 activists first revealed the linkage between the Steinmetz Diamond Group (SDG) and the Givati Brigade of the Israeli military which was responsible for the 2009 massacre of the Samouni family in Gaza, a suspected war crime documented by the UN Human Rights Council and others including Israeli human rights group B’Tselem.

This set in motion a series of actions that continue to reverberate through the upper echelons of the diamond industry. When the Anglo American owned De Beers Group put a Forevermark Steinmetz diamond on display in the Tower of London in honour of the Queen of England’s Diamond Jubilee the Inminds human rights group staged regular protests outside the Tower.

A member of the Samouni family in Gaza recorded a video appealing for the blood diamond to be removed. The diamond was removed a few months later without any of the fanfare and publicity that accompanied it’s unveiling. It hasn’t been seen or heard of in public since.

Sotheby’s Diamonds is a 50:50 partnership between Sotheby’s, the famous auction house, and Diacore, the now rebranded Steinmetz Diamond Group.

Since 2012, Inminds has staged a number of protests outside Sotheby’s premises in Bond Street, London, highlighting the link to Israeli war crimes.

In January 2013, Sotheby’s CEO and board were sent a registered letter alerting them to the damage to their reputation and the risks to their brand posed by their partnership with the Steinmetz Group. Months later in Geneva, in a blaze of global publicity, Sotheby’s auctioned the Steinmetz Pink, a specimen diamond. It was bought by a syndicate of investors lead by Isaac Wolf for a world record US$83 million. The pre-auction publicity and spin gave no indication that the diamond was tarnished by association with Israeli war crimes in Gaza and was, therefore, a blood diamond. Four months after the auction it was revealed that the investors defaulted and Sotheby’s were forced to take the diamond into inventory costing them millions.

In April 2017, in a much quieter event, the blood diamond was auctioned in Hong Kong and bought by Chow Tai Fook for $71 million.

The Isaac Wolf syndicate wasn’t sued.

Diamond buyers and sellers attend the International Diamond Week (IDW) in the Israeli city of Ramat Gan, east of Tel Aviv on February 14, 2017. (JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Sotheby’s continues to partner with Diacore despite the fact that the Steinmetz Foundation “adopted” the Givati Brigade which stands accused of war crimes.

As news of the default became public it was also disclosed that Beny Steinmetz sold his interest in SDG to his brother Daniel and the company was rebranded as Diacore. Some observers believe this was an exercise designed to distance leading diamond brands including Tiffany’s, De Beers, Sotheby’s and Forevermark from the tarnished Steinmetz brand which is indelibly linked to the Samouni massacre. Evidence supporting this was leaked in the Panama Papers which showed that in 2015, Beny Steinmetz was still involved and asked Mossack Fonseca to backdate the transfer of his power of attorney to his brother to 2013.

Further indications that jewellers are shunning diamonds linked to Israeli human rights violations emerged earlier this year when it came to light, via a Tiffany & Co Form 10-K submission to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, that the iconic diamond brand had terminated a supply agreement with a Steinmetz owned mine in Sierra Leone. Tiffany’s loaned Steinmetz $50 million to develop the mine and was one of their leading buyers.

Tiffany’s divestment came following pressure from human rights activists who exposed the fact that Tiffany’s sourced diamonds from a miner that donated to and supported suspected Israeli war criminals.

Although Tiffany & Co divested from a Steinmetz mine they continue to conceal the identity of the companies they buy 25-35 per cent of their polished diamonds from. Tiffany’s customers cannot, therefore, know where their jewellery comes from as alluded to by their new CEO Alessandro Bogliono in Tiffany’s Sustainability Report 2017.

“Our customers place great value on sustainability. They want to know where their jewellery comes from, how it is made and how the jewellery-making process impacts the planet as well as its people and communities. Tiffany & Co. holds this kind of transparency dear and, through this creation of shared value, we have a unique opportunity to build meaningful, lasting relationships with our customers. We are committed to sharing more with them — and all of our stakeholders — about what, exactly, Tiffany is doing to achieve sustainability for our business and for the planet as we very broadly define that goal: enriching the people and places we reach through our business; minimising our environmental impact; improving industry-wide practices; and channelling the power of the Tiffany brand as a force for positive change in the world.”

Given Israel’s leading role in the industry and the absence of a statement from Tiffany’s stating, as they have done with Zimbabwe and Angola, they do not buy diamonds from the apartheid state, it is likely Tiffany’s are sourcing diamonds from companies in Israel.

Fig. 3 – On June 1st, Rajan al-Najjar, a 21 year old paramedic, was shot dead by an Israeli sniper as she treated wounded civilians in Gaza.

Diamond companies in Israel employ people who have served in and are members of the Israeli army, have openly funded and supported attacks on the defenceless residents of Gaza, have been widely implicated in serious fraud and who discriminate against non-Jews who make up 20 per cent of the population.

Furthermore, Tiffany’s haven’t paid reparations to the Samouni family or any of the victims of the Steinmetz supported Givati Brigade. Mitigation for damage caused is a key component of “responsible sourcing” as outlined in the OECD Due Diligence Guidelines to which Tiffany and Co, a member of the UN Global Compact, claims it is committed.

Although revenue from the diamond industry is a significant source of funding for an apartheid regime that has killed over 210 Palestinians including women, children, medics and journalists and injured and maimed thousands more with live ammunition in besieged Gaza in the past six months alone, jewellers fraudulently claim diamonds processed in Israel are responsibly sourced and conflict-free.

This blood diamond cover-up and fraud is perpetuated by public companies and governments who collaborate to shield rogue regimes in Israel, Zimbabwe and Angola that they depend on to keep their coffers full, bolster dividends for shareholders and provide fat pension pots for c-suite executives.

The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KP), the blueprint of which was drafted by the World Diamond Council, is the primary vehicle facilitating the ongoing blood diamond trade.

Although the remit of the KP is deliberately restricted to banning rough diamonds that fund rebel violence, jewellers use it to claim other blood diamonds are conflict free even when they fund war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Shamefully, Amnesty International, Global Witness, Human Rights Watch and Impact (Partnership Africa Canada), that the public rely on to expose the blood diamond trade and speak up for the victims, have said and done nothing to hold the diamond jewellery industry to account for funding Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Fig.4 –The diamond industry has created a matrix of bogus schemes, warranties, standards and codes of practices to con consumers and facilitate the trade in blood diamonds that fund rogue regimes

The silence of NGO’s on Israel’s blood diamond trade means the Kimberley Process charade continues to con most people and can keep mainstream media focused on the mining sector in Africa. Meanwhile, high street jewellers launder cut and polished blood diamonds labelled responsibly sourced and conflict free to unsuspecting customers.

Hilde Hardeman is the EU chair of the Kimberley Process in 2018. Indications to date suggest that she, like others before her in South Africa and Australia, will ignore the latest call from human rights activists for Israel to be suspended from the KP until those responsible for massacres in Gaza are brought to justice and held to account.

Some voices in the jewellery industry are speaking out. The most recent example being the Ethical Jewelry Exposé: Lies, Damn Lies, and Conflict Free Diamonds, from Marc Choyt and his team at Reflective Jewellery. The exposé peels back the layers of bogus schemes “through the metaphor of Russian nesting dolls, with eight layers of babble obscuring the nefarious truth hidden at the core”.

The exposé leaves readers in no doubt as to the magnitude of the fraud being perpetrated by the key stakeholders in the diamond industry, particularly the Responsible Jewellery Council which is now chaired by Signet Jewellers Vice President of corporate affairs, David Bouffard. Signet Jewellers source many of their diamonds from companies in Israel.

The successive withdrawal of human rights organisations from the KP, including Global Witness, Impact Transform, International Alert, Fatal Transactions and Ian Smillie – a key architect of the Kimberly Process scheme – has removed the fig leaf and left its exponents exposed with their bloody diamonds in full view.

Scrambling to conceal the blood diamond trade, the industry’s most recent and emerging addition to the matrix of deception, is the use of blockchain technology to digitally log all transactions a diamond undertakes from mine to market. While the technology has the potential to give consumers the information needed to make an informed decision about the ethical provenance of a diamond, the detailed information will only be available to “authorised users” as “privacy controls” will prevent consumers from accessing “sensitive data”.

Diacore, of the Steinmetz Group, was one of the first companies in a trial conducted by De Beers Group of their blockchain system, Tracr, earlier this year. It is clear, therefore, that blockchain will provide another layer of cover for the blood diamond trade while consumers are kept in the dark.

As the EU chairs a Kimberley Process plenary meeting in Brussels from November 12-16 it will be interesting to observe the corseted language emanating from the spin doctors. No doubt they will inform the public that the major reforms aimed at strengthening the KP and giving added assurance to consumers have been agreed. But one thing is for sure, any reforms that are agreed will not extend to banning blood diamonds that fund rogue regimes guilty of gross human rights violations in Israel, Zimbabwe or Angola.

Read:

Why Israel sees BDS as a ‘strategic threat’

EU urged to end trade in Israel diamonds

Israel’s $72m war chest to fight BDS comes to Brussels

November 7, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Amnesty International: Trumpeting for War… Again

By Paul de Rooij | CounterPunch | March 23, 2018

One must marvel at the first few paragraphs of Amnesty International’s recent press release:

“The international community’s catastrophic failure to take concrete action to protect the people of Syria has allowed parties to the conflict, most notably the Syrian government, to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity with complete impunity, often with assistance of outside powers, particularly Russia. Every year we think it is just not possible for parties to the conflict to inflict more suffering on civilians, and yet, every year, they prove us wrong…

Right now, in Eastern Ghouta 400,000 men, women and children, who have been living under an unlawful government siege for six years, are being starved and indiscriminately bombed by the Syrian government with the backing of Russia. […] The international community had said ‘never again’ after the government devastated Eastern Aleppo with similar unlawful tactics. But here we are again. Armed opposition groups have retaliated by indiscriminately shelling two villages in Idleb, which they have also besieged since 2014.” [1]

This is an unambiguous call and a justification for war; it seems that AI is calling for a NATO bombing campaign similar to the one staged in Libya in 2011. There is also no ambiguity as to who AI deems to be culpable and ought to be at the receiving end of a “humanitarian bombing” campaign.  Before cheering yet another US/NATO war, it is useful to analyse Amnesty International’s record in assisting propaganda campaigns on the eve of wars. It is also worthwhile reviewing AI’s reporting on Syria, and how it compares with that on other countries in the area.

A sorry record

It is not the first time that Amnesty International has played a role in a propaganda campaign in the lead up to a war. A few examples:

Before the US invasion to ouster the Iraqis from Kuwait, president George Bush Sr. appeared on TV holding an Amnesty International report claiming that Iraqi soldiers had dumped babies out of incubators. That was Amnesty International’s willing participation in spreading a hoax — a hoax fabricated by a major American PR company.

In the months prior to the US-NATO attack on Serbia, Amnesty-USA put two Croatian women on a ten city-speaking-tour to project their account of their “rape-camp” ordeal — in reality one of them was a top Croatian propaganda official, a close advisor to president Tudjman, who was also known for her acting abilities.[2] Again, this hoax was pushed by a major American PR company.

AI’s coverage/non-coverage of Israeli mass crimes also deserves to be analysed.[3] In this case, Amnesty plays a role in adulterating and reducing criticism after wars or the misery caused by its continuous occupation and abuse of the Palestinians (discussed below).  Amnesty International-Israel served as a propaganda front busy manipulating “human rights” reports to suit Israel’s interests.[4]  AI-London has not commented on the manipulation by its Israeli siblings.

In 2012, Amnesty erected advertising posters in the US applauding NATO’s actions in Afghanistan — “Keep the progress going”, purportedly doing something for women’s rights. This was merely crass pro-NATO pro-interventionist propaganda. [5]

Amnesty-France was instrumental in propagating anti-Libyan propaganda prior to the NATO bombing of the country in 2011.[6]

Alas, Amnesty’s sorry record is much longer than these few examples indicate.

Not anti-war

One would expect a human rights organisation to be intrinsically opposed to war, but AI is a cheerleader of so-called humanitarian intervention, and even “humanitarian bombing”.[7] In the past, when queried about its equivocal and lame statements about wars, an AI official stated that “Amnesty International is not anti-war”. Even with this predisposition AI was honoured with the Nobel Peace Prize – yet another undeserving recipient for a prize meant to be given only to those actively opposed to wars. In Syria’s case, AI has given up this phoney “not anti-war” stance for one that is actively advocating war. Notice that it uses a rather dubious argument about “never again” about standing by in the face of mass crimes; in reality this is an appeal to holocaust memes meant to favour this war.

Syria today…

The Syrian government is presently rolling back the jihadis who had managed to establish themselves in an area next to Damascus. No government would tolerate to have a section of their capital city under jihadi control, an area from which the rest of the city is mortared, and an area vital to control the water supply of the city. What would happen if jihadis took over Arlington, VA, and used it to bomb the center of Washington DC? The response would be self-evident. For some reason AI doesn’t bestow this right of self-defence to the Syrian government, but instead refers to an “unlawful government siege [of Ghouta] for six years”. This is laughable.

It is remarkable to find that in none of the latest press releases or reports does AI discuss the nature of the armed groups fighting in Syria. Even those referred to as “moderates” by Washington are a rather unsavoury bunch. Most of them are foreign jihadis; a good portion of them are Saudis. (NB: Saudis offered political and criminal prisoners a way out of jail on condition of going to fight in Syria.) And they are armed/trained/financed by the US/UK/Saudi/Emirates/Turkey/Qatar… to the tune of at least $12 billion. The former US ambassador to Syria stated that the US contribution was at least $12bn [8]; this figure excludes the funds provided by the Saudis and other regimes in the area.  Gareth Porter reports that the quantities of weapons supplied to the jihadis were enough to equip an army. [9] Yet, this armed gang of jihadis is barely mentioned in Amnesty’s assessment of the situation in Syria. In Ghouta, the jihadis belong to the Nusra front (or one of its rebranded versions), that is, a group with an extreme ideology; they are an Al-Qaeda offshoot. AI’s press release doesn’t mention this salient fact.

Amnesty portrays the Syrian government as at war against its own people — and Aleppo, Ghouta, etc., under siege; and not allowing the population to escape. Although AI similarly condemned the liberation of Aleppo, it didn’t interview these victims after the fact. If it interviews someone — invariably anonymous — it intones sinister fears of the government. For all its faults, the government has popular backing, and it stands in the way of a jihadi project to carve up Syria and ethnically cleanse it.

And there is a double standard

When it comes to Israeli mass crimes AI is rather cautious in the language used and in its recommendations. It is rather coy in mentioning “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity”, and reference to the latter is virtually non-existent or couched in exculpatory language (favourite cushioning words: “alleged”, “could be construed as”).  While it sparingly uses these accusations against Israel, it levels the same accusations against Palestinians — it applies a notion that there are crimes “on both sides”.  AI’s harshest admonishment is that Israeli actions are not “proportionate”. There are no appeals to the “international community” which should not stand by, “never again…” One wonders what Amnesty has to say about the Israeli siege of Gaza, where the population has been put “on a diet” causing a dire situation for about 1.8 million people today. In this case, there are no reports, no calls to the “international community” to do anything, no accusations of “crimes against humanity”… AI uses another script altogether.

In the current press release, AI unambiguously states that both Syria and Russia are committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. And if this is the case, there is an obligation for other states to act, to intervene.  AI is not requesting an investigation, it is urging intervention.

While in the Israeli case AI states that crimes are committed on both sides, when it comes to Syria it is only the Syrian government that is deemed culpable. It is difficult to remove entrenched well armed jihadis who use residents as human shields. Jihadis dig themselves in and around hospitals and schools [10], and when action is taken against them there, the likes of Amnesty utter their clucking sounds.

In its latest statement AI states: “It must also send a strong message that those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity will be held accountable, by referring the situation to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.” Fair enough. In 2002, Donatella Rovera, an AI researcher on the Middle East, was queried about why AI didn’t make a similar demand to hold Israel accountable at the ICC or ICJ, and she stated that AI didn’t make such demands.[11]  Another standard applies.

An issue about sources…

Amnesty reports several statements made by residents of Ghouta, all giving harrowing accounts of the conditions on the ground. But all the statements blame the government for their predicament. “Like many Syrians, the humanitarian worker expressed deep distrust of the government.” Or “We hear rumours of reconciliation but that can never happen. The government hates us…” And other such unverifiable statements. And who exactly is reporting this? Does AI have a direct line to the “White Helmets”? All Amnesty has to do is compare the statements made before the liberation of Aleppo and the opinion of the residents now. If the residents are pleased with their condition without the jihadis around, then this should be sufficient to question the dubious statements originating from anonymous sources in Ghouta today.

Other examples

Amnesty International doesn’t want you to respect the Syrian government. Reviewing its press releases about Syria, it is all one-sided; the jihadis hardly merit a meaningful rebuke. But no report was as distorted as its multimedia presentation of the purported abuses in the Saydnaya Prison. Here Amnesty’s methodology was on show: accept hearsay, magnify it melodramatically, extrapolate and exaggerate [12]. This is not human rights reportage, it is crass propaganda. The timing of all these so-called reports is also dubious.  On the eve of major reconciliation talks or negotiations, Amnesty publishes a report portraying the Syrian government as beyond the pale. Would anyone want to negotiate with such a party? The timing of several other AI reports coincide with attempts to resolve the conflict via negotiations. The timing of its latest press release coincides with a major Syrian government offensive into Ghouta — and portraying it as criminal in nature.

Human rights are not neutral

Harvey Weinstein, the sexual predator, made Amnesty International USA possible — he provided the funds necessary to establish the organisation. [13] Weinstein didn’t put up the funds because he fancied AI’s lovely researchers.  People put up funds for such organisations to shape the way abuses and crimes are reported. In Weinstein’s case, his ardent devotion to Israel might explain his financial contribution to Amnesty USA. Amnesty is also a conduit to push propaganda desired by those who foster such organisations. The very nature of “human rights”, its very flexible nature, lends itself to prime manipulation.

A Syrian furniture salesman based in Coventry, a small city in the UK, runs the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR). Sitting in his living room, he produces reports about the latest atrocities, chemical attacks, and every other sordid detail to tarnish the Syrian government’s image.  He reaches his mysterious sources by phone, invariably someone hostile to the Syrian government. The output of this one-man-band is then used by the BBC, CNN, The Independent, The Wall Street Journal,… and major media outlets to report on the situation in Syria. It is expensive for news organisations to have correspondents on the ground, it is dangerous; so what is better than “human rights” reports obtained for free!  And does Amnesty International rely on SOHR? At least they should footnote their reports.

The main playbook

The US and some of its sidekicks have for decades been engaged in regime change in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Latin America… The usual formula for this is to create civic organisations, e.g., Journalists’ union, Lawyer and Jurist guilds, select Labour unions… and human rights organisations. These people are then trained to exercise political power effectively by staging mass demonstrations, manipulating the media, spreading rumours, disrupting the government — all the way to the take over of parliaments. These are the so-called “colour revolutions”. They tried this in Syria, but opted primarily to arm and organise jihadis. The jihadis are backed by a propaganda machinery, and the US is conducting the largest disinformation/propaganda campaign in Syria today [14]. The essence of the campaign is to tarnish the image of the Syrian government, robbing it of its international legitimacy and support. Human rights reportage is essential to this campaign. By analysing Amnesty International reportage, it is evident that it is part of this campaign; it has weaponised human rights.

Currently there is a major buildup of US warships in the Mediterranean; and the Russian general staff fear that Syria will be the target of a major cruise missile attack.[15]  Possibly, Russian forces will also be targeted. Couple this with the unprecedented black propaganda campaign against Russia in the US and the UK, and it seems very likely that a major shooting war is in the offing. Given that AI has lent itself in previous propaganda campaigns on the eve of wars, one finds that the latest Amnesty International report is merely a leading indicator for such a war. Amnesty International is embedded in a propaganda campaign — it will be cheerleading with blue and white pompons when the humanitarian bombs fall.

Endnotes

[1] AI, “Syria: Seven years of catastrophic failure by the international community”, 15 March 2018.

[2] Diana Johnstone, Fools Crusade, 20 Sep 2002. Johnstone documents the curious case of Jadranka Cijel. NB: AI was alerted to the fact that the accounts by the two women were questionable; it proceeded with the tour anyway.

[3] I have written quite a few articles about Amnesty for Counterpunch. The latest: Amnesty International: Whitewashing Another Massacre, CounterPunch, 8 May 2015.

[4]  Uri Blau, Documents reveal how Israel made Amnesty’s local branch a front for the Foreign Ministry in the 70s, Haaretz, 18 March 2017. Neve Gordon, Nicola Perugini, Israel’s human rights spies: Manipulating the discourse, Al-Jazeera Online, 22 March 2017.

[5] Ann Wright and Coleen Rowley, Amnesty’s Shilling for US Wars, Consortium News, 18 June 2012.

[6] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RnxJ6TvFZ0&feature=youtu.be Also: Tim Anderson, The Dirty War on Syria, Global Research, 2016.

[7] Alexander Cockburn reports that Amnesty was present during a US State Department briefing seeking to justify “humanitarian bombing”. How the US State Dept. Recruited Human Rights Groups to Cheer On the Bombing Raids: Those Incubator Babies, Once More? CounterPunch, April 1999.

[8] Ben Norton , US Ambassador Confirms Billions Spent On Regime Change in Syria, Debunking ‘Obama Did Nothing’ Myth, RealNews.com, 9 February 2018.

[9] Gareth Porter, How America Armed Terrorists in Syria, The American Conservative, 22 June 2017.

[10] Robert Fisk has reported on this fact in several of his articles.  In “the Syrian hospital siege that turned into a massacre”, The Independent, 5 June 2015 there is a reference to tunnels under a hospital. In another article, the same, but at a school.

[11] Israel hasn’t joined the ICC, and thus ICC cannot bring any action against Israel.  ICC is only meant to harass African tinpot dictators.

[12]  John Wight, The Problems With the Amnesty International Report, Sputnik News, 15 February 2017. Important discussion with Peter Ford, the former British ambassador to Syria. Also, Tony Cartalucci, Amnesty International admits Syria’s ‘torture prison’ report fabricated entirely in UK, Sign of the Times, 9 February 2017. And, Rick Sterling, Amnesty International Stokes Syrian War, Consortium News, 11 February 2017.

[13]  Thomas Frank, Hypocrite at the good cause parties, Le Monde Diplomatique, February 2018

[14] Tim Anderson, The Dirty War on Syria, Global Research, 2016.

[15] TASS, US preparing strikes on Syria, carrier strike groups set up in Mediterranean, 17 March 2018

Paul de Rooij is a writer living in London. He can be reached at proox@hotmail.com

March 23, 2018 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | Leave a comment

From the End of History to the End of Truth

teleSUR | March 11, 2108

Making nonsense of Fukuyama’s premature triumphalist screed, it is commonplace now to note that the United States corporate elites and their European and Pacific country counterparts are increasingly losing power and influence around the world. Equally common is the observation that these Western elites and the politicians who front for them have acted over the last twenty years to reassert their control in their respective areas of neocolonial influence. The European Union powers have done so in Eastern Europe and Africa, most obviously but not only, in Ukraine, Libya, Ivory Coast, Mali and the Central African Republic. Likewise, the United States has acted to reassert its influence in Latin America and the Caribbean, effectively declaring war on Venezuela, maintaining its economic and psychological warfare against Cuba and intervening elsewhere with varying degrees of openness.

Before they died, among the main Western media bogeymen were Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez and Muammar al Gaddhafi. Now Vladimir Putin and Bashar al Assad have been joined by Xi Jinping and Nicolas Maduro. Along with these and other world leaders, Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega has also constantly been the object of endlessly repetitive Western media hate campaigns. This longstanding, plain-as-day media strategy, regularly and blatantly prepares mass opinion to facilitate Western government aggression against the latest target government. No one following these processes with any attention will have failed to notice the leading role played by non governmental organizations in the Western elites’ offensive against resistance to them by political leaders and movements around the world.

In almost every case of recent Western provoked interventions, from Venezuela in 2002, through Haiti in 2004, Bolivia in 2008, Honduras in 2009, Ecuador in 2010, Ivory Coast, Libya and Syria in 2011, Ukraine in 2014, Western media have used deliberately misleading and downright deceitful reports from Western NGOs to support their own false misreporting of events. In Nicaragua’s case, the usual untrustworthy NGO suspects like Amnesty International, Transparency International and Global Witness constantly publish misleading reports and statements attacking or undermining President Daniel Ortega and his government. In general, their reporting is grossly biased and disproportionate given the regional context of incomparably horrific events and deplorable conditions elsewhere in Latin America, but, as often as not, it is also downright untrue.

In a recent example, Global Witness stated that Nicaragua’s proposed interoceanic canal “wasn’t preceded by any environmental impact reports, nor any consultation with local people”. Both those assertions are completely untrue. But this Big Lie repetition is the modus operandi of the Western elites who fund outfits like Global Witness, Amnesty International, and other influential NGOs like International Crisis Group and Transparency Intenational. For example, Amnesty International claims “We are independent of any government, political ideology, economic interest or religion”. But it bears constant repetition that many of Amnesty International’s board and most of its senior staff responsible for the organization’s reports are deeply ideologically committed with links to corporate dominated NGO’s like PurposeOpen Society InstituteHuman Rights Watch, and many others.

Also worth repeating is that Global Witness in 2016 received millions of dollars from the George Soros Open Society Foundation, Pierre Omidyar’s Omidyar Network, the Ford Foundation and NATO governments. The boards and advisory boards of these NGOs are all made up overwhelmingly of people from the Western elite neocolonial non governmental sector. Many have a strong corporate business background as well. All move easily from one highly paid Western NGO job to the next, serving NATO country foreign policy goals. Cory Morningstar has exposed the pro-NATO global political agenda of organizations like US based Avaaz and Purpose, noting “the key purpose of the non-profit industrial complex is and has always been to protect this very system it purports to oppose”.

Back in 2017 it was already a truism to note that Western NGOS “operate as the soft, extramural arm of NATO country governments’ foreign policy psychological warfare offensives, targeting liberal and progressive audiences to ensure their acquiescence in overseas aggression and intimidation against governments and movements targeted by NATO. To that end, they deceitfully exploit liberal and progressive susceptibilities in relation to environmental, humanitarian and human rights issues.” What is now becoming even more clear in the current context is that these Western NGOs and their media accomplices are confident enough to publish downright lies because reporting the facts no longer matters. Western public discourse has become so debased, incoherent and fragmentary that the truth is almost completely irrelevant. All that matters is the power to impose a version of events no matter how false and untruthful it may be.

This sinister media reality is intimately related to the politicization of legal and administrative processes in the national life of countries across Latin America. The spurious legal processes against Dilma Rousseff and Lula da Silva in Brazil, against Milagro Sala and Cristina Fernandez in Argentina, against Jorge Glas and, no doubt very soon, Rafael Correa in Ecuador are all based on the same faithless virtual association and complete disregard for factual evidence as Western media and NGO propaganda reports attacking Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba and Nicaragua. It is imperative to overcome the ridiculous liberal presupposition that the region’s elites, with the advantage of designing and controlling their countries’ legal systems and communications media for over 200 years, are somehow going to respect high falutin’ avowals about “separation of powers”.

Note: this article borrows from previous articles here and here.

March 12, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Environmentalism, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The ‘Human Rights’ War on Syria

By Jeremy Salt | American Herald Tribune | March 4, 2018

The perfidious role of ‘human rights’ organizations in the war on Syria has been exposed again with the Amnesty International report on Syria for 2017/18, followed by an equally tendentious article in the Melbourne Age newspaper by Claire Mallinson, Amnesty’s national director for Australia.

In the name of human rights these organizations have actually worsened the crisis in Syria. They have never dealt honestly with its primary cause, the determination of the US and its allies seven years ago to destroy the government in Damascus, as part of a bigger plan to destroy the Iran-Syria-Hezbollah strategic axis across the Middle East. Democracy, human rights and the best interests of the Syrian people were never on the agenda of these governments. They were cold-blooded and remorseless in what they wanted and the means by which they sought to get it.

By calling violent armed groups ‘rebels’ and ‘the opposition’, these ‘human rights’ organizations conceal their true nature. By calling the Syrian government a ‘regime’, instead of the legitimate government of Syria, representing Syria at the UN and representing the interests of the Syrian people, they seek to demean it. By accusing it of carrying out indiscriminate attacks on its own civilian population, on the basis of what they are being told by their tainted sources, they seek to demonize it. By accusing it of carrying out chemical weapons attacks, without having any proof, they perpetuate the lies and fabrications of the armed groups and the governments that support them.

Behind the mask of ‘human rights’ these organizations are promoting the war agenda of western and regional governments. Some are worse than others. Human Rights Watch might as well be a formal annex of the US State Department, but they all play the same duplicitous game.

East Aleppo is the template for what we are seeing now in the outrage over East Ghouta, the district on the outskirts of Damascus in which hundreds of thousands of people are being held hostage by takfiri armed groups. Aleppo was infiltrated by these groups in 2012 and the eastern sector of the city gradually taken over, as the army was already too hard-pressed on other fronts to stop this happening. Until then Aleppo, a commercial, multi-religious and multi-ethnic city, had managed to stay out of the war but now it was sucked right in. There was nil support in Aleppo for the takfiris but they had the guns and they were ready to kill to get their way. Advancing on government held positions, they devastated the old centre of the city with their attacks. Digging tunnels, they blew up some of its most famous buildings. Art, architecture, history, meant nothing to them. They destroyed the square minaret of the Umayyad mosque and their attacks led to the destruction of the ancient library in the mosque and the massive destruction of the Aleppo souk, one of the oldest and most colourful markets in the world.

In the districts they controlled they ruled by terror, massacre and murder and the institution of the most repressive sharia laws. Under the secular Syrian government, women and men have the same rights before the law, under the takfiris women have no rights that are not granted to them by men. They sought the extirpation of all those they did not regard as true Muslims (Shia and Alawi amongst others): one of their earliest acts was the kidnapping of two orthodox Christian prelates, never seen alive again. It was these armed groups and the foreign governments behind them that were responsible for the dire situation in #East Aleppo, yet it was the Syrian government, the ‘regime’ as they chose to call it, that was blamed by the media and ‘human rights’ organizations. The White Helmets, embedded with these groups, and funded by the same governments which had armed and financed them, were used as the main propaganda prop. Their staged rescues filled the pages of the corporate media. They were effectively canonised by George Clooney, the documentary on their bogus bravery and sham rescues winning an Oscar award, unfortunately not for bad acting, which should have been the prize.

As the Syrian military, with Russian air support, began to squeeze these groups in East Aleppo, the propaganda was turned up accordingly. The ‘siege’ of East Aleppo was no more a siege than the ‘siege’ of East Ghouta. The people trapped in East Aleppo were being held hostage, as are the people in East Ghouta, by some of the most violent groups on the face of the earth. These trapped civilians were their trump card. Those who tried to leave, they killed, just as the takfiris are killing civilians trying to get out of East Ghouta. Having negotiated the peaceful removal of the takfiris from East Aleppo, along with their families and camp followers, the fall-back position of the media and the ‘human rights’ organizations was to accuse the Syrian government of their forcible displacement. They made no mention of the captive Syrian soldiers whom the takfiris paused to massacre before they left. They made no mention of the civilians killed by the takfiris as they were trying to escape and no mention of the dancing in the streets, literally, by the people of Aleppo, and the honking of car horns in jubilation, as these killers were sent on their way. This just didn’t fit in with the narrative the media and these organizations had been spinning.

The takfiris fight among themselves over territory, power and money but their ideology is the same, based on the destruction of the secular state and society and the imposition of a harsh pseudo-Islamic regime in which women would be reduced to the status of cattle and all Shia and Alawi extirpated. It is they who target civilians deliberately. In Adra, at the Northern end of Ghouta, they slaughtered dozens of men, women and children in 2013, beheading some and pushing others into a bread oven. In 2015, in Douma, they put men and women into cages as hostages, to deter possible advances by the Syrian army. They are shelling the centre of Damascus every day, killing civilians, including many children, including some recently mortared in their classroom.

In its report on Syria for 2017/18 Amnesty International (AI) continues its misleading narrative on the fate of East Aleppo and east Ghouta. Those who support it financially should perhaps be considering where they could put their money and their good intentions to better use. AI refers to districts in east Ghouta controlled or ‘contested’ by unspecified ‘armed opposition groups’ and repeats the canard that the Syrian government carried out the chemical weapons attack on Khan Shaikhun in April last year. (Bear in mind the recent statement of US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis that the US had no evidence of the Syrian government using sarin, the agent allegedly fired into Khan Shaikhun.) AI has no proof of this, so why would it state this as fact, except to do more propaganda damage to the Syrian government?

AI refers to 400,000 people ‘besieged’ in East Ghouta by the Syrian military, when the true state of affairs is that their districts have been infiltrated and that they are being held hostage by extremely violent armed groups. They are besieged from within by these groups, penned in and unable to leave except at the risk of being killed by their captors. The Syrian army is not imposing a siege, it is trying to break it. The Syrian government is accused of depriving these people of access to medical care and basic necessities, when it is one or another of these armed groups, over the years, that has caused the breakdown of efforts to set up humanitarian corridors. Even now the Syrian government is waiting with medical care, buses and accommodation but those civilians who try to leave are being shot at and killed, as they were in East Aleppo.

AI’s references to ‘forced displacement’ from East Aleppo, and the way the ‘armed groups’ there were ‘compelled’ to surrender and negotiate a deal that ended the ‘unlawful siege’ are a grotesque distortion of reality. What was unlawful about the situation in East Aleppo was the presence of the armed groups, what was unlawful was the money and weapons being provided to them by outside governments, in breach of international law, what was unlawful was their killing of civilians and the restriction of their free movement (out of East Aleppo), what was lawful was the finally successful attempt of the government of Syria to break the hold of these groups.

Following the release of the AI report on Syria, Claire Mallinson, the national director of AI for Australia, charged into print under the heading of ‘Australians Need to Act on Syrian Monstrosities’ (the Melbourne Age, March 1, 2018). Her reading audience would already have been won over as the Australian media has not reported the war in Syria at all but simply pumped out the same propaganda appearing in the US or British press. Others watching Syria closely over the years know what these ‘monstrosities’ are, and they are not the same as Ms Mallinson’s.

These monstrosities begin with the conspiracy, of the US, Britain, France and their regional Middle Eastern allies, to destroy the Syrian government, and thus strike a deadly blow at the Iran-Syria-Hezbollah strategic alliance, whatever the cost to the Syrian people and whatever their aspirations. They move on to the use by these governments of takfiri proxies to do their dirty work in Syria, following the refusal of Russia and China to allow the UN Security Council to be used as the fig leaf for an air war. These governments armed and financed these groups. They did not care who they were, where they came from and what they believed as long as they were prepared to pick up a gun and bring Syria to its knees. These are the master criminals in Syria.

The monstrosities include a media picking up where it had left off in Iraq. It had peddled the lies there, it had peddled them in Libya, it peddled them again in Syria and it is still peddling them. They include the illegal presence of the US in Syria, its killing of Syrian civilians and its attacks on the legitimate armed forces of the Syrian government and people, attacks in which Australian aircraft have shamefully taken part and which have taken scores of lives of Syrian soldiers.

All of this has led to the grand monstrosity, the large-scale destruction of Syria, involving the loss of life of perhaps 400,000 people and the flight of millions of others beyond Syria’s borders. But now the same governments and the same media that brought you this war, and the same ‘human rights’ organizations that have supported it with their one-sided moralising and unbalanced reports, are expressing their outrage at the suffering in East Ghouta, as if this had nothing to do with them.

The monstrosities in the eyes of the Syrian people, if not in the eyes of Ms Mallinson, are on a par with, if not worse than, the genocidal decade of sanctions which preceded the attack on Iraq in 2003 and the crimes which followed this attack, committed by the same governments that are responsible for the onslaught on Syria. The suffering in East Ghouta is terrible and outrage is justified, but it is the causes that need to be identified and they do not include the efforts of the Syrian government and army to defend the country against attack fomented from without.

Ms Mallinson’s monstrosities are of a different order. They include the chemical weapons ‘reportedly’ being used ‘again’ by the Syrian government against its own people. This smear has been played out time and time again by ‘activists’ knowing that the media and ‘human rights’ organizations will snap it up. There is no proof of any chemical weapon attack ever being carried out by the Syrian military, as against abundant evidence of such attacks planned and carried out by the takfiris over the years, including the attack around Damascus in August, 2013.

Ms Mallinson refers to a UN report that Syria is developing chemical weapons ‘with the help of North Korea’, neatly tying in the two demonized targets of the US government. This is another canard, originating in Washington and designed again to smear the Syrian government and to set it up for whatever might come next.

What she does not say is that this ‘report’ remains unpublished, that the authors are unknown, that what we know of it comes from an account in the New York Times, which sold the lies on Iraq and has promoted the war on Syria from the beginning. The detail it gives of the material allegedly coming from North Korea indicates that it could have no possible connection with chemical weapons, which Syria does not have anyway, having given them all up under international supervision. Given the completely tendentious nature of this account, why would Ms Mallinson want to raise it except to further blacken the name of the Syrian government?

She refers to the ‘warring sides’ in East Ghouta as if both are legitimate when only one is, the government of Syria. The other is a collective of extremely violent armed groups sponsored by outside governments, in breach of international law. The presence of US and ‘coalition’ forces in Syria is a standing violation of international law and their killing of Syrian soldiers and civilians a gross aggravated violation of that law. The only legitimate armed forces in Syria are the Syrian army, which has lost tens of thousands of young men defending the country, and those forces the government has invited in, from Russian air power to Iranian and Hezbollah ground forces.

Ms Mallinson’s monstrosities include the hundreds of thousands of ‘ordinary men, women and children’ she says are at risk of annihilation by the Syrian army’s ‘siege’ of East Ghouta. In fact, the central source of the risk to the people of East Ghouta is not the Syrian government but the armed groups holding them hostage. The ‘siege’ is not of the people but of these groups. The Syrian military is trying to break their grip, as any army would in any comparable situation. Ms Mallinson accuses ‘the Russian-backed Syrian regime’ of breaking the ceasefire, ignoring the evidence that the takfiris are breaking it and killing civilians attempting to escape their grip. Only in the past few days they shot at a family trying to leave, killing the parents and shooting at the children even after they reached a Syrian army checkpoint. They are pouring shells into the centre of Damascus every day. There are no references in her account to the ‘American-backed’ or ‘Saudi-backed’ armed groups that have created this hell on earth, as she refers to it.

Finally, she appeals to the Australian government, as it assumes its seat on the UN Human Rights Council, to ‘show leadership’ in bringing these ‘abominations’ to an end. The problem here is that the Australian government is part of the problem. It fully supports US policy in Syria and has taken part in armed action in Syria, in violation of international law. In September, 2016, its aircraft joined a US-led air attack near Deir al Zor which killed perhaps 100 Syrian soldiers and allowed the Islamic State to regain lost positions. Australia did not apologise for its participation in this outrage, only repeating the US line that the attack was a mistake, which clearly it was not. When the Australian delegate did take his seat on the UN Human Rights Council, he merely echoed US policy, by attacking the Syrian ‘regime’ and its Russian backer.

If Australia does have a role in Syria, a moral role, a legal role, an independent role, it should not be as a sounding chamber for the US. It should distance itself from the illegal actions of the US and the violence of the takfiris against the Syrian people, their government and their army. It should be supporting the attempts of the government in Damascus to restore its authority over the whole of Syria and not supporting the attempts of the US and behind it, Israel, to break it up. It should support the Syrian people, not the actions of governments which have devastated their country.

It should define policy on the basis of the causes of the situation in Syria, not how they are being misrepresented in the media, by ‘activists’ embedded with the takfiri groups, by the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights, by the White Helmets and by deluded or willfully dishonest ‘human rights’ organizations playing politics, not serving truth, justice and the interests of humanity. This would be a credible role for Australia, an independent role, but it is not one the government is going to adopt.

Everyone should be concerned at the loss of life in East Ghouta. Ms Mallinson does not have a mortgage on morality and empathy with human suffering. How does anyone think Syrians feel about this, Syrians shelled in the heart of Damascus every day, Syrians who have lost fathers, brothers and sons in this conflict, Syrians whose relatives are trapped in East Ghouta or have been killed by the armed gangs holding the whole region with a knife to its throat? Does anyone outside seriously think Syrians want to live under their rule? Syrians know what they want, without equivocation, the purging of these gangs from their midst, whatever it takes. They fully support their army and their government. It is their interests Australians, or anyone else of good faith, should be supporting, not the highly politicized interests of Amnesty International.

Outrage is going to solve nothing: it only serves as the pretext for taking the war to a new level of destruction. The roots of this violence are clear: the decision of outside powers to destroy the Syrian government, their support for violent armed groups committed to an ideology destructive of every value these governments are supposed to represent and their refusal to allow the war to end. For the violence to end these are the roots that need to be acknowledged and torn out.


Jeremy Salt has taught at the University of Melbourne, Bosporus University (Istanbul) and Bilkent University (Ankara), specialising in the modern history of the Middle East.  His most recent book is “The Unmaking of the Middle East. A History of Western Disorder in Arab Lands” (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008.)

March 4, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Amnesty International Winks at Trump’s Economic Attack on Venezuelans

By Joe Emersberger | CounterPunch | March 2, 2018

Amnesty International told me that it “does not take a position on the current application” of U.S. economic sanctions that Trump’s administration imposed on Venezuela in August “but rather emphasizes the urgent need to address the serious crisis of the right to health and food which Venezuela is facing. In terms of human rights, it is the Venezuelan state’s responsibility to resolve this.”  Amnesty’s full reply to three questions I asked them by email can be read here.

The expression that “silence gives consent” applies perfectly to Amnesty’s stance which tacitly endorses Trump’s aggression against the Venezuelan people. To make this even more obvious, Amnesty also refused to condemn remarks by Rex Tillerson and Marco Rubio that encourage a military coup in Venezuela. Asked to comment on those remarks Amnesty replied that it ”believes that a responsible discussion on the current state of human rights in Venezuela should not be focused on statements made by parties outside the country and context”.

In the middle of an already grave economic crisis, the sanctions will cost Venezuela’s government billions of dollars this year. Its $64 billion USD in outstanding foreign currency bonds are all governed by New York Law, but the sanctions have outlawed Venezuela from borrowing or selling assets in the U.S. financial system. Debt restructuring is therefore made impossible and it blocks the government from rolling over its bonds (offsetting principal costs by issuing new debt). The sanctions also block CITGO, a U.S. based company owned the by the Venezuelan government, from sending its profits or dividends (which have totaled about $2.5 billion USD since 2015) back to Venezuela.

U.S. sanctions, which are illegal under of chapter 4 article 19 of the OAS Charter, are a direct assault on the Venezuelan peoples’ “right to health and food”.  There is no avoiding this conclusion even if you believe the worst that has been said about Venezuela’s government. You’ll find it extremely hard to learn from the international media, but sanctions are not supported by most Venezuelans according to the same opposition-aligned pollster (Datanalisis) that the media has cited ad nauseam about Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s approval rating.

According to Datanalisis, about 45% of the population received cash bonuses the government paid out over the past three months. Another opposition source – a group of Venezuelan academics who produce the annual ENCOVI surveys – claim that 87% of households have received direct food handouts from the government.  The ENCOVI study is especially dubious as Jacob Wilson has explained, and its 87% figure is probably a wild exaggeration, but even if an accurate estimate is closer to 50%, the depravity of Trump’s sanctions and Amnesty’s refusal to denounce them should be clear from statistics produced by opposition sources.

Decent people were outraged by the sanctions that the U.S. and its allies imposed on Iraq during the 1990s – a country that really was ruled by a dictator.  They should be even more outraged that the same gang of states that devastated Iraq has been able to target a democracy thanks to a propaganda system in which big NGOs like Amnesty play an important part.

Incidentally, the impact of the U.S. sanctions dwarfs any offers of humanitarian aid that have been made. That hasn’t stopped headlines like “Why won’t the country accept aid?”, and articles that invariably fail to explore what has been offered and how it compares to billions of dollars lost due to illegally imposed U.S. sanctions. The annual program expenditures of groups like Caritas ($4 million) and the Pan American Development Foundation ($81 million) are a drop in the ocean compared to the impact of the sanctions.

I was disgusted but not surprised by Amnesty’s tacit support for Trump’s aggression against Venezuela for several reasons.

In 2010, Amnesty put out a statement claiming that there was only one TV broadcaster in Venezuela that had not been shut down by the government – an absolutely preposterous claim. Could the world renowned organization not afford to pay somebody to watch some Venezuelan TV or do any basic research?

Amnesty refused to recognize Chelsea Manning as a Prisoner of Conscience on ridiculous grounds, but has given that designation to Leopoldo Lopez – a man involved with four different attempts to violently overthrow Venezuela’s democratically elected government. One of them, in April of 2002, was briefly successful.

When the US government (helped by its trusty allies Canada and France) overthrew Haiti’s democratically elected president in 2004 and installed a dictatorship that ruled with tremendous brutality for two years, Amnesty’s response was seriously marred by political cowardice and double standards. About the kindest thing you could say about Amnesty’s work in Haiti, and in general, is that Human Rights Watch (HRW) has been even worse. For example, it took HRW years longer than Amnesty to make any serious contribution to the fight to hold the UN mission in Haiti accountable for killing 10,000 Haitians by bringing cholera in to the country in 2010. The key facts were well known by at least 2011 (as you can see from this petition) years before Amnesty took any significant action in 2015.

Norman Finkelstein’s latest book “Gaza: An Inquest into its Martyrdom” has a chapter devoted to thoroughly dissecting Amnesty’s reports on Israel’s savage “Protective Edge” assault on Gaza in 2014. Finkelstein wrote “By supplying Israel with pretexts for atrocities that were among the most heinous it committed during Protective Edge, Amnesty conveniently eased the burden of Israeli hasbara [propagandists]”.

In an email exchange I had with Amnesty regarding Syria in 2012, Amnesty defended a position which told Saudi Arabia, perhaps the most brutal and backward government on earth, to merely be careful about which rebels it armed in Syria. At the same time, Amnesty called for an arms embargo on almost entirely defenseless Palestinians.

Amnesty has repeatedly showed that it is not willing or able to denounce the brutality of the U.S. government or its allies to anywhere near the extent that it should. One can have a long discussion about why that’s the case, but an appalling track record has been well established.  People who live in United States, or in countries like Canada which regularly provide political cover for U.S. crimes abroad, will have to work around and even against NGOs like Amnesty International to prevent their governments from continuing to destroy one country after another.

March 4, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Economics | , , , , | Leave a comment

Amnesty International Is Barking Up The Wrong Tree

By Paul Craig Roberts | Institute for Political Economy | January 15, 2108

I have received a letter from Margaret Huang, Amnesty International’s executive director. She is fundraising on the basis of President Trump’s “chilling disregard for our cherished human rights” and his exploitation of “hatred, misogyny, racism and xenophobia,” by which he has “emboldened and empowered the most violent segments of our society.”

Considering the hostility of Identity Politics toward Trump, one can understand why Ms. Huang frames her fundraiser in this way, but are the Trump deplorables the most empowered and violent segments of our society or is it the security agencies, the police, the neoconservatives, the presstitute media, and the Republican and Democratic parties?

John Kiriakou, Ray McGovern, Philip Giraldi, Edward Snowden, and others inform us that it is their former employers, the security agencies, that are empowered by unaccountability and violent by intent. Certainly the security agencies are emboldened by everything they have gotten away with, including their conspiracy to destroy President Trump with their orchestration known as Russiagate.

The violence that the US government has committed against humanity since the Clinton regime attacked Serbia was not committed by Trump deplorables. The violence that has destroyed in whole or part eight countries, murdering, maiming, and displacing millions of peoples, was committed by the Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama regimes, their secretaries of state such as Hillary Clinton, their national security advisers, their military and security establishments, both parties in Congress. The murder of entire countries was endorsed by the presstitute media and the heads of state of Washington’s European, Canadian, Australian, and Japanese vassals. Trump and his deplorables have a long way to go to match this record of violence.

Whether she understands it or not, Ms. Huang with her letter is shifting the violence from where it belongs to where it does not. The consequence will be to increase violence and human rights violations.

The most dangerous source of violence that we face is nuclear Armageddon resulting from the neoconservative quest for US hegemony. Since the Clinton regime every US government has broken tension-easing agreements that previous administrations had achieved with Moscow. During the Obama regime the gratuitous aggressions and false accusations against Russia became extreme.

Why doesn’t Amnesty International address the reckless and irresponsible acts of the US government that are violating the rights of people in numerous countries and pushing the world into nuclear war? Instead, there have been times when Amnesty International aligns with Washington’s propaganda against Washington’s victims.

By jumping on the military/security complex’s get Trump movement, human rights and environmental organizations have increased the likelihood that rights and environment will be lost to war.

There can be no doubt that Trump is undoing past environmental protections and opening the environment and wildlife to more destruction. However, the worst destruction comes from war, especially nuclear war.

Would things be different if the liberal/progressive/left had rallied to Trump’s support in reducing tensions with Russia, in normalizing the hostile relations that Obama had established with Moscow? Would the support of the liberal/progressive/left have helped Trump resist the pressures from the neoconservative warmongers? In exchange for support for his principal goal, would Trump have mitigated industry’s attacks on the environment and vetoed the renewal of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that violates human rights?

We will never know, because the liberal/progressive/left could not see beyond the end ot its nose to comprehend what it means for the environment and for human rights for nuclear powers to be locked into mutual suspicion.

Thanks to the failure of the liberal/progressive/left and to the presstitute media to understand the stakes, the military/security complex has been successful in pushing Trump off his agenda. The damage that a mining company and offshore drilling can do to the environment is large, but it pales in comparison to the damage from nuclear weapons.

January 16, 2018 Posted by | Environmentalism, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

Amnesty International – weaponizing hypocrisy for the US and NATO

Tortilla con Sal | Telesur | August 12, 2017

Over the last year, in Latin America, Amnesty International have taken their collusion in support of NATO government foreign policy down to new depths of falsehood and bad faith attacking Venezuela and, most recently, Nicaragua. The multi-million dollar Western NGO claims, “We are independent of any government, political ideology, economic interest or religion”. That claim is extremely dishonest. Many of Amnesty International’s board and most of the senior staff in its Secretariat, which produces the organization’s reports, are individuals with a deeply ideologically committed background in corporate dominated NGO’s like Purpose, Open Society Institute, Human Rights Watch, and many others.

Mexico has over 36000 people disappeared and abuses by the security forces are constant. Colombia has over 4 million internally displaced people with over 53 community activists murdered just in 2017. Amnesty International generally puts that horrific reality in context by including criticism of forces challenging those countries’ authorities. By contrast, its reporting on Venezuela and Nicaragua, like those of other similar Western NGOs, reproduces the false claims of those countries’ minority political opposition forces, all supported one way or another by NATO country governments.

In Venezuela and Nicaragua, Western human rights organizations exaggerate alleged government violations while minimizing abuses and provocations by the opposition. This screenshot of Amnesty International’s three main news items on Venezuela from August 9th gives a fair idea of the organization’s heavily politicized, bad faith coverage of recent events.

This is identical false coverage to that of Western mainstream corporate media and most Western alternative media outlets too. Amnesty International’s coverage minimizes opposition murders of ordinary Venezuelans, setting many people on fire, violent attacks on hospitals, universities and even preschools and innumerable acts of intimidation of the general population. That headline “Venezuela: Lethal violence, a state policy to strangle dissent” is a pernicious lie. President Nicolas Maduro explicitly banned the use of lethal force against opposition demonstrations from the start of the latest phase of the opposition’s long drawn out attempted coup back in early April this year.

Likewise, against Nicaragua, Amnesty’s latest report, kicking off their global campaign to stop Nicaragua’s proposed Interoceanic Canal, also begins with a demonstrable lie : “Nicaragua has pushed ahead with the approval and design of a mega-project that puts the human rights of hundreds of thousands of people at risk, without consultation and in a process shrouded in silence” That claim is completely false. Even prior to September 2015, the international consultants’ impact study found that the government and the HKND company in charge of building the Canal had organized consultations with, among others, over 5400 people from rural communities in addition to 475 people from indigenous communities along the route of the Canal and its subsidiary projects. There has been very extensive media discussion and coverage of the project ever since it was announced.

That extremely prestigious ERM consultants’ Environmental and Social Impact study, which together with associated studies cost well over US$100 million, is publicly available in Spanish and in English. Two years ago, it anticipated all the criticisms made by Amnesty International and was accepted by the Nicaraguan government, leading to a long period of analysis and revision that is still under way. Amnesty International excludes that information. Recently, government spokesperson Telemaco Talavera, said the continuing process involves a total of 26 further studies. Until the studies are complete, the government is clearly right to avoid commenting on the proposed Canal, because the new studies may radically change the overall project.

Amnesty International states, “According to independent studies of civil society organizations, along the announced route of the canal, approximately 24,100 households (some 119,200 people) in the area will be directly impacted.” But, the ERM study notes, “HKND conducted a census of the population living in the Project Affected Areas. The census determined that approximately 30,000 people (or 7,210 families) would need to be physically or economically displaced.” But Amnesty International’s report omits that contradictory detail, demonstrating how irrationally committed they are to the false propaganda of Nicaragua’s political opposition.

Amnesty International claim their research team interviewed “at least 190 people” concerned about the effects of the Canal. By contrast, the Nicaraguan government and the HKND company have discussed the project with around six thousand people in the areas along the route of the Canal. In that regard, even the local church hierarchy has criticized the way the Nicaraguan opposition have manipulated rural families on the issue of the Canal. But that fact too, Amnesty International omits. Their whole report is tailor made to supplement the political opposition’s campaign for US intervention via the notorious NICA Act.

The Nicaraguan government has made an express commitment to a fair and just resolution of the issue of expropriations. Its 2015 report on the Canal in the context of its National Development Plan, states : “The Nicaraguan government and HKND will guarantee that persons and families on the route of the Canal’s construction will have living conditions superior to those they currently have (without the Canal). To that end, the Government of Reconciliation and National Unity, via the Project’s Commission, will guarantee not just a fair and transparent indemnification of their properties, via negotiations and direct agreements with each family affected, but furthermore will promote actions to improve their economic conditions, health care, education, housing and employment.

But the Amnesty International report systematically excludes that and any other sources giving the government’s point of view, claiming it was unable to access primary sources either from the government itself or from among the Canal’s numerous advocates. However, secondary sources abound that categorically contradict Amnesty’s advocacy against the Canal. Their report specifically and extensively attacks the Law 840, facilitating the construction of the Canal and its sub-projects, but cynically omits a fundamental, crucial detail, while also failing completely to give relevant social and economic context.

The crucial detail is that Law 840’s Article 18 specifically states the Canal project “cannot require any Government Entity to take any action that violates the political Constitution of the Republic of Nicaragua or the terms of any international treaty of which the State of the Republic of Nicaragua is a party.” Amnesty International completely omit that absolutely crucial part of the Law 840 from their report because it makes redundant their advocacy of opposition claims attacking the equity and legality of the Canal’s legal framework. The same is true of the relevant political, social and economic context.

Nicaragua’s political culture is based on dialog, consensus and respect for international law. All the main business organizations and labor unions in Nicaragua and all the main international financial and humanitarian institutions acknowledge that. President Daniel Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo enjoy levels of approval of over 70%. There is good reason for that massive majority approval. Among many other factors, the precedents of how the Nicaraguan authorities have resolved relocating populations affected by large projects, for example the Tumarín hydroelectric project, completely contradict the scaremongering of the Nicaraguan opposition propaganda, so glibly recycled by Amnesty International.

Nicaragua’s current Sandinista government has been the most successful ever in reducing poverty and defending the right of all Nicaraguans to a dignified life. To do so, among many other initiatives, it has mobilized record levels of foreign direct investment. In that context, Law 840 explicitly protects the huge potential investments in the proposed Canal, while at the same time implicitly guaranteeing constitutional protections. Similarly, ever since the announcement of the Canal, President Ortega has repeatedly, publicly reassured people in Nicaragua that any families who may eventually be relocated should the Canal go ahead will get every necessary help and assistance from the government.

Just as it has done in the case of Venezuela, on Nicaragua, Amnesty International misrepresents the facts, cynically promoting the positions of the country’s right wing political opposition. In Latin America, under cover of phony concern for peoples’ basic rights, in practice Amnesty International, like almost all the big multi-millionaire Western NGOs, gives spurious humanitarian cover to the political agenda of the US and allied country corporate elites and their governments. The destructive, catastrophic effects of Amnesty International’s recent role in the crises affecting Syria, Ukraine and now Venezuela, are living proof of that.

August 14, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Economics, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | 3 Comments

U.S. Murdering 1 Million Iraqis is Democracy, Iran Giving Yogurt to Iraq is “Domination”

By Ali Salaam | American Herald Tribune | July 31, 2017

The New York Times, owned by the Zionist Jewish supremacist Ochs-Sulzberger family, has no problem with Iraqi suffering as long as Iran is not the one behind it.

The Iraq War was a genocide of the Iraqi people by Zionist supremacists in the Bush administration. Over 1 million innocent people were killed based on a lie. American soldiers died in an Israeli war and now an average of 22 soldiers commit suicide every day because their consciences cannot cope with the fact they committed crimes in an illegal war that served no purpose other than to benefit Israel, not America.

Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of the Zionist regime, once said “We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq.”

Paul Wolfowitz had his sights on Iraq since his time in the first Bush administration. Former Israeli official and Bush administration official Richard Perle had his eyes on Iraq since at least his authorship of the Clean Break white paper. The Zionist regime had their eyes on Iraq since the 1980s when strategist Oded Yinon wrote his white paper in support of dividing the Arab-Muslim world along ethnic and sectarian lines. The global Zionist lobby has had their eyes on Iraq since Theodor Herzl stated that Eretz Israel’s true borders go from the Nile River in Egypt to the Euphrates River in Iraq.

Depleted uranium chemical weapons used by America have been causing massive birth defects. Corporate colonialism of Iraq has decimated its once vibrant agriculture industry. The vacuum of power left by the ousting of Saddam Hussein enabled al-Qaeda in Iraq to form into ISI. ISI would later merge with the various factions of the Free Syrian Army and the Al-Nusra Front (al-Qaeda in Syria), both backed by the U.S./Israel/Saudi Arabia/Qatar/Turkey, to become ISIS. The U.S. airdropped weapons to ISIS, which was no accident. These weapons were anti-aircraft missiles. Does ISIS have aircraft? No, but the Iraqi Army does.

With occupation comes resistance. If a robber breaks into your home, you have a right to shoot that robber. The U.S. broke into Iraq’s home quite violently, and thus it is a universally accepted right and natural cause-effect consequence for the homeowners to shoot back. If you are an American soldier reading this, don’t get mad at me or Iraqis. Instead, get mad at the traitors in the U.S. government, the dual-citizen Israeli-Americans in the Bush administration who sent you to this fruitless genocidal war of aggression to have you fight on behalf of Israel, not America. The Iranian-backed Iraqis that resisted America’s invasion into their homeland were deemed “terrorists,” all the while the U.S. helped to create ethnic and sectarian division in Iraq.

So, who do the intrepid reporters at the New York Times vilify for the destruction of Iraq? Iran.

That’s right. Iran. The New York Times wrote a shameful propaganda piece on behalf of the Zionist regime and the U.S. war machine on post-Mosul Iraq.

Who didn’t kill a million innocent people in a war of aggression based on a lie, who only helped local Iraqis exercise their human right of resistance and self-defense, is somehow the one who is “dominating” Iraq. Not the war criminal puppet presidents George Bush and Barack Obama, along with the Zionist deep state that controls them.

Americas forces are the ones who have been committing war crimes in Iraq in the fight against ISIS. The CIA & Mossad created ISIS after all through its funding of rebels in Syria, who would merge with Iraq’s ISI. So of course they would kill mostly civilians instead of their intended target, whereas the Popular Mobilization Units, Kataib Hezbollah, and other grassroots Iraqi militias, made up of Muslims (Sunni & Shi’a) and Christians alike, sent ISIS to hell where they belong with very little civilian casualties. It can’t be said that they have a 100% spotless record, it is war after all and human beings are prone to mistakes, but the PMU and Iraqi Hezbollah are extremely popular among the Iraqi people of all religious sects and ethnic makeups, whereas polls have been conducted showing how many Iraqis believe America and Israel created ISIS.

Amnesty International served officially as a front for the Israeli foreign ministry in the 1970s, and the way their “humanitarian” propaganda has benefited the expansionist agenda of the Zionist entity shows that they still serve the cause of world Zionism on an unofficial basis, fooling the world by tugging at their heart strings with crocodile tears about human rights. Similarly, Human Rights Watch is funded by Zionist Jewish supremacist billionaire George Soros. They have it in for the Axis of Resistance, which is non-sectarian, albeit mostly Shi’a led. They issue dubious reports about the conduct of Hezbollah, Iran, and various grassroots Iraqi resistance groups to slander them, but not only did Sunnis fight alongside Shi’as and Christians among the Iranian-backed resistance groups, but they welcomed the defeat of ISIS and thanked the PMU for standing for an independent, united Iraq, free of terrorism and imperialism.

Iran has the right to export its revolutionary ideals to Iraq to help free it of U.S. occupation and the scourge of Wahabbi terrorism financed by Gulf monarchies, Israel, the U.S., and Europe.

That is not dominance, that is liberation.

They don’t intend to impose an Islamic government based on the Shi’a school of thought, that works in Iran because the majority population are Shi’a Muslims and they respect the religious minorities. What they do intend is to spread an ideology of independence, self-determination, dignity, resistance, and the end to American-Israeli-Saudi hegemony in the region.

Additionally, Iran not only has supported the resistance in Iraq, they have also supported Iraq economically. Is exporting yogurt to Iraqis who live in the pit of abject poverty “dominance”? I’ve been to Iraq during the Arbaeen processions in 2015. I had so many little kids beg from me for charity. I gave as much as I could. While America and Israel sadistically intend to destroy Iraq, it is not a crime for Iran to help people who are suffering so badly from economic destruction. The New York Times admits in the first sentence of their shameful Zionist propaganda piece: “Walk into almost any market in Iraq and the shelves are filled with goods from Iran — milk, yogurt, chicken.”

The New York Times doesn’t seem to have a problem with American war crimes and do not view that as dominance. But threaten the genocidal Zionist entity’s power structure, and the NYT will view that as “dominance.”

These are not journalists. If and when the Zionist regime and the traitors within the American government are held accountable for war crimes in Iraq, and crimes against humanity around the world for that matter, these presstitutes who call themselves “journalists” should also stand trial for their complicity in promoting and whitewashing the murdering of innocent babies, women, children, non-combatant men, and resistance fighters acting within their legal and moral right to defend their homeland.

 

July 31, 2017 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

State Department: Bad guy did bad things, we saw it from space

By Ricardo Vaz | Investig’Action | May 22, 2017

After the previous hit singles, “Russia hack 2016: take our word for it” and “Assad used sarin: bomb first, never ask questions”, US government agencies are at it again with their new chart-topping release “Bad guy did bad things, we saw it from space”. With journalism standards in the mainstream media at an all-time low, this is a sure bet to become a fake news hit!

On May 15th all the mainstream media screamed more or less the same bombshell headline, “State Dept. says Assad is burning people in a crematorium”. The source was a State Department press briefing which was then uncritically plastered everywhere. Assistant Secretary Stuart Jones claimed that the Syrian government had built a crematorium next to Saydnaya prison (more on this later), which was being used to burn 50 bodies of hung prisoners a day.

Then came the “evidence”, in the form of satellite pictures. The earliest indictment that this evidence was on the embarrassing side of the scale came from the fact that many outlets did not even publish the pictures, inviting the readers to follow their lead and take the State Department at their word. Nobody tried as hard as Fox News to assign credibility to the latest revelation, writing:

“The photographs […] do not definitely prove the building is a crematorium, but they show construction consistent with such use.

This is a very low standard that we could apply to almost anything. So what is the evidence in the photographs provided by the State Department? (I hope the reader is sitting down for this)

  • HVACs (Heating, ventilation and air conditioning) – because only a crematorium would have use for this. We would never find it in a kitchen, a laundromat, Breaking Bad’s crystal meth lab, or every building in Manhattan
  • a “probable firewall” – one truly wonders how a satellite photo suggests this is a firewall, as opposed to… a regular wall
  • melted snow on part of the roof – once again, only having a crematorium underneath it would explain this! There is no chance of this room being heated or more exposed to sunlight.

HVACs and a “probable firewall”

Case closed! It is hard to imagine any serious journalist reporting this as anything other than some ludicrous fabrications, but this is coming from the same people who will listen and report with a straight face that, according to some official, the world looks to the US as a beacon of freedom, or that Saudi Arabia is committed to fighting terrorism in the Middle East.

Fake news built on previous fake news

There is a reason why the imagined crematorium is at Saydnaya and not at the Presidential Palace in Damascus or the Russian embassy (satellite photographs would also be consistent with these scenarios and any others). A few months ago, Amnesty International released an explosive report called “Human slaughterhouse” which alleged that the Syrian army was hanging 50 people a day at Saydnaya prison. This would add up to over 13,000 executions over the course of the war.

What was the problem with this report? It was a collection of fabrications. It is purely based on unverified testimony from anonymous sources. There are no pictures, no records, nothing, despite several “sources” being former judges or prison guards. This is not to say that the Syrian government has not committed human rights abuses, but even someone who was a political prisoner and a victim of torture dismissed the Amnesty report as ridiculous. Even the 13,000 figure is just an extrapolation (there were only 375 allegedly verified deaths).

This is how the Empire and its propaganda machine work. A (fake news) story is presented with dubious or non-existent evidence and uncritically spread by all the main media outlets to support western intervention. And later on when a new and equally questionable story is released, it is deemed more credible because it is built on the previous fake-news background.

So the media assured us that Assad was guilty of the chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun because after all he had already done it in Eastern Ghouta in 2013, despite the fact that the evidence, not to mention motive, both then and now, strongly suggests otherwise. The goal is never to prove anything, merely to whip up a public frenzy that justifies more bombing and allows al-Qaeda to slip out of the list of terrorist organisations.

The same applies to the new Saydnaya story. Assad surely needed a crematorium to get rid of those 13,000 bodies! And if testimony from al-Qaeda’s PR wing, also known as the White Helmets, is all the media needs to decide whether Assad is guilty of this or that, why is a satellite photo of melted snow and a ventilation system not good enough to assert the existence of a crematorium?

The previous Amnesty “report” was accompanied by a video of a 3D model of the prison. This was not based on any actual footage or photos, but fabricated by “forensic architecture”, based on the accounts of supposed witnesses. Just like a video game. Government officials and their close friends at NGOs like Amnesty International would make great horror fiction writers or video game designers. But because the mainstream media has decided to become just a propaganda vehicle, they are actually writing news.

May 26, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | Leave a comment

New Holocaust Claims Against Assad Are Based On Old, Debunked Propaganda

By Brandon Turbeville | Activist Post | May 17, 2017

As the propaganda coming from Washington regresses to an even more infantile level each year, so does the danger of that propaganda being used to justify a greater American military involvement in the Syrian crisis which Washington itself created. Always ready to invoke the memories of Adolf Hitler, Nazis, and the Holocaust at every opportunity, the U.S. State Department is now claiming that not only is Bashar al-Assad controlling massive prisons where mostly innocent civilians are starved and tortured, but that he is operating crematoriums where the bodies of victims are destroyed, thus cheating the moral West out of having any actual evidence of Assad’s “crimes against humanity.”

This new round of propaganda is based upon the debunked Amnesty International report released in February, 2017, entitled “Human Slaughterhouse: Mass Hangings And Extermination At Sednaya Prison, Syria.” The report contained great writing but it was totally devoid of actual evidence. In fact, the only evidence contained in those pages was satellite photos that showed a building that AI claimed was a prison. The photos thus showed the same thing that any American could have provided had they taken a picture of an American public school.

Still, the propaganda report was full of accounts gathered from “survivors” who themselves had been terrorist fighters or affiliated with terrorist groups and from other anti-Syrian pro-terrorist NGOs. This and the satellite photos were all they were able to produce. Now, however, the U.S. has more to add to the story – crematoriums. With Americans so seemingly impervious to subtlety, the Washington Post saw fit to point out the obvious – that the State Department briefing was “accusations of mass murder and incinerated bodies, evoking the Holocaust.”

Interestingly enough, the first time this report was published, it was on the eve of the Geneva talks, an obvious attempt to muddy the waters and provide the United States with more leverage in the negotiations. This time, we are yet again heading into a round of Geneva talks and the United States yet again has lost leverage in negotiations.

This little tidbit has not been lost on some Russians. Konstantin Kosachev, Chairman of the Russian Federation Council’s Committee For Foreign Affairs (in the Upper House of Parliament), stated “New ‘sensational’ and ‘declassified’ US revelations on the alleged ‘mass executions’ in Syria and a crematorium at the Sednaya Prison near Damascus are not very trustworthy.”

“Now, when an absolutely new phase in the Geneva talks (held without the US) is around the corner, the Americans apparently try to once again shift attention to the ‘Assad regime,’ undermining the peace process, wishing this or not,” he added.

The Washington Post, one of many corporate media outlets to have latched on to the story, stated that “The Syrian government has constructed and is using a crematorium at its notorious Sednaya military prison near Damascus to clandestinely dispose of the bodies of prisoners it continues to execute inside the facility, the State Department said Monday.”

Assistant Secretary of State, Stuart Jones, stated “What we’re assessing is that if you have that level of production of mass murder, then ­using the crematorium would . . . allow the regime to manage that number of corpses . . . without evidence.”

“We believe that the building of a crematorium is an effort to cover up the extent of mass murders taking place in Sednaya prison,” he added.

As for the State Department’s evidence, we are, once again, treated to wholly unconvincing “satellite photos” of alleged construction that the State Department takes a wild leap to claim is a crematorium. One need only read the Washington Post’s description of the evidence in order to see just how flimsy it is. Karen DeYoung writes,

The newly released information included a satellite photo of the snow-covered Sednaya complex with an L-shaped building labeled “probable crematorium.” Assessment of the facility, Jones said, included the presence of “the discharge stack, the probable firewall, the probable air intake — this is in the construction phase — this would be consistent if they were building a crematorium.” In a photo taken Jan. 15, he said, “we’re look[ing] at snowmelt on the roof that would be consistent with a crematorium.”

Probable crematorium. Probable firewall. Probable air intake. With all the use of the word “probable” in the description, I would probably say the evidence is probably no evidence at all. Indeed, would any serious intelligence agency base its strategy on such a glaringly obvious lack of evidence?

Tony Cartalucci of Land Destroyer Report agrees when he writes that,

No responsible intelligence agency would submit final reports containing the word “probable,” and more importantly, no responsible state department would cite reports containing the word “probable” to accuse a foreign government of crimes against humanity.

But an intelligence agency tasked with fabricating a narrative and a state department tasked with selling it to the international community would – and as the US State Department has done numerous times in the past and at great cost in human lives and global stability – Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya for example – that is precisely what has happened yet again.

. . . . . .

While the US State Department and the Washington Post attempt to paint an elaborate picture of abuse to shock the international community into condemnation of Syria, what it has really essentially done is resort to the schoolyard tactic of calling the Syrian government, “Hitler.”

The Amnesty International report was published in February 2017. Admittedly presenting no actual evidence, and considering the industrial scale of alleged mass murder and now alleged “incineration” taking place at the facility, one would assume the largest, most powerful intelligence network on Earth in human history could present something months later more substantial than a photograph taken from outer space labeled, “probable crematorium.”

That the largest, most powerful intelligence network on Earth, in human history failed to find anything more substantial indicates there is nothing to find and that instead, the US has deferred once again to fabricating pretexts for its continued meddling beyond its borders, amid catastrophic conflicts it itself engineered and is perpetuating, toward an outcome that suits Washington first and foremost – and especially at the cost of all others involved.

While spokespeople behind the US State Department’s podiums insist that the Syrian “slaughterhouse” is being organized and directed from Damascus, it is clear that just like the dismemberment and destruction of Iraq and Libya – the Syrian “slaughterhouse” is a project organized and directed from Washington.

Indeed, that is exactly what this report and the new accusations are.

Please see my article, “Amnesty International ‘Human Slaughterhouse’ Report Lacks Evidence, Credibility, Reeks Of State Department Propaganda” for a more detailed critique of the original HRW report.

May 20, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , | 2 Comments

Imaginary interior of Saydnaya now has imaginary crematorium – State Dept.

By Catte | OffGuardian | May 16, 2017

Remember “Saydnaya Military Prison”? It was the subject of enormous media attention a while back on the basis of a “report” from Amnesty International that turned out to have been fabricated in the UK by a virtual reality company “using 3D models, animations, and audio software, based on the admittedly baseless accounts of alleged witnesses who claim to have been in or otherwise associated with the prison.”

Well, the totally imaginary interior of Saydnaya now – according to US State Dept – has a totally imaginary “crematorium” added to it in which to dispose of all the totally theoretical corpses being generated by the completely unsubstantiated mass-murders. Here is the impressive and plausible Stuart Jones telling us all about it.

Yes, he lies about the “well-documented” chemical attacks. Yes, he manipulates and exaggerates and omits to the point of fraudulence in his summary of the “civil war.” Yes almost every detail of his claims about the goings-on in Saydnaya is based on Amnesty’s invented “report” and the completely unverified testimony of alleged inmates…

… but, but… they have satellite images! :

In case you’re not getting the message WaPo kindly enhanced and simplified things:

See? That thing on the right that could be absolutely anything is actually a crematorium. The State Department “believes” it with all its heart and wants us to believe it too. As do the Guardian the WaPo and the BBC and every other mainstream outlet. They want us to ignore the total absence of any evidence whatsoever for any part of their narrative and simply take their word.

That’s a “crematorium”. And it’s being used to burn masses of bodies. Just like in the Holocaust.

Because Assad (and Russia) = Hitler.

We need to tear up the ceasefires and ignore the de-escalation zones and invade Syria.

Everyone got that?

May 16, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 2 Comments