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Tue

07

Dec

2010

Iranian Journalist Kourosh Ziabari Interviews Wayne Madsen
by Kourosh Ziabari in Iran

Wayne Madsen is an American investigative journalist and columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the political blog "Wayne Madsen Report". He has appeared on ABC News, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN, BBC, Al-Jezeera, MSNBC and Press TV. Madsen has written the introduction to the book "Forbidden Truth: U.S.-Taliban Secret Oil Diplomacy, Saudi Arabia and the Failed Search for bin Laden". Madsen's articles have appeared on a number of news websites and magazines including Global Research, Pacific Free Press, Online Journal, Counter Punch, The American Conservative, Tehran Times and In These Times.
Madsen has more than 20 years of experience in security affairs. As a U.S. Naval Officer, he managed one of the first computer security programs for the U.S. Navy. He has also worked for the NSA National Security Agency, the Naval Data Automation Command, Department of State, RCA Corporation, and Computer Sciences Corporation.

Madsen joined me in an exclusive interview and answered my questions about the 9/11 attacks, Israel's dominance over the U.S. media and the prospect of Iran-U.S. relations.

Kourosh Ziabari: There are many unanswered questions regarding the catastrophic attacks of September 11, 2001 about which you've written extensively. Several investigative journalists believe that the attacks were an inside job planned by the FBI and perpetrated by Israel or elements connected to Mossad. Former Italian President Francesco Cossiga has categorically expressed that the 9/11 attacks were a joint operation of FBI and Mossad. General Hamid Gul, the former head of Pakistan's Intelligence Service believes that Israel was behind the attacks, too. What's your estimation of these theories, their veracity and reliability? Is it demonstrable that the 9/11 attacks were a false flag operation or an inside job?

Wayne Madsen: I don't believe the attacks were planned by the FBI. I believe they were an operation carried out by Mossad, Saudi intelligence, with which Mossad has had and continues to have a close relationship since the days of the Safari Club of western and Middle East intelligence services combining their operations, and elements of the CIA. Cossiga, Gul, parliament members in Germany, Britain, and Japan, the late British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, and others all understood this was an inside job that also involved a handful of people at the top of the Bush administration, including Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, A.B.Krongard of the CIA, and Rudolph Giuliani, as well.

KZ: In 2003, you stated that you uncovered documents which reveal a relationship between the Saudi government and the S-11 hijackers. It's a complicated issue; you know, from one hand, Saudi Arabia is a strategic ally of the United States in the Persian Gulf region. From the other hand, the United States attributed the attacks to Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda, which we already know rose to prominence with the indirect and direct support of the United States. At another side of the story, we find the close relationship between the House of Saud and the Bin Laden Family which is a major stakeholder in the Saudi economics. How is it possible to solve this complexity? Can we conclude that the old friends became new enemies and betrayed each other?

WM: The Sauds and the Bin Ladens were close allies of the Bush family, which had everything to gain in the 9-11 attacks. The only way to discover the Saudi role is for a Saudi whistleblower to come forward; however, that may only happen after the inevitable overthrow of the Saudi monarchy. As many Saudis know, the Sauds are not only in lockstep with the Americans and Israelis but they are descendant from a Jewish merchant family that originally lived in what is now Kuwait. Wahhabism in fact serves the interests of Israel's Zionist Judaism, both emphasize extremism and sectarianism that keeps the Middle East in constant turmoil and extends the rule of the Wahhabi Sauds and Zionists.

KZ: You know that the Iraq of Saddam Hussein era was a close ally of the United States in 1980s. The United States gave the green light to Saddam to attack Iran, and backed him strategically, militarily and financially. 20 years later, the equations changed altogether. The close ally became the villain and came under fire. The man whom the United States had equipped for waging a war against Iran was arrested and executed by the same United States. What happened that changed everything in this way?

WM: This is part of the U.S. policy. Use leaders it creates and then dispose of them. It has happened with Ngo Dinh Diem in South Vietnam, Manuel Noriega in Panama, Trujillo in Dominican Republic, Savimbi in Angola, and the lost goes on.
 

Tue

07

Dec

2010

Of Ostriches and Rebels on The Hard Road to World Order

by Zahir Ebrahim

Gideon Rachman of the Financial Times wrote in his oped almost two years ago:

'I have never believed that there is a secret United Nations plot to take over the US. I have never seen black helicopters hovering in the sky above Montana. But, for the first time in my life, I think the formation of some sort of world government is plausible. A “world government” would involve much more than co-operation between nations. It would be an entity with state-like characteristics, backed by a body of laws. The European Union has already set up a continental government for 27 countries, which could be a model. The EU has a supreme court, a currency, thousands of pages of law, a large civil service and the ability to deploy military force. So could the European model go global? There are three reasons for thinking that it might. First, it is increasingly clear that the most difficult issues facing national governments are international in nature: there is global warming, a global financial crisis and a “global war on terror”.' ( Gideon Rachman, And now for a world government, Financial Times, December 8 2008 )

Mr. Rachman accurately reflected the immense momentum today towards world government which many a globalist had been working toward across generations rather openly, oftenboldly proclaiming that:

'We shall have World Government, whether or not we like it. The only question is whether World Government will be achieved by conquest or consent.' (James Warburg in 1950 to the US Senate, cited in Project Humanbeingsfirst's Monetary Reform Bibliography)

The EU Council President, Herman Van Rompuy, only 59 years later on November 19, 2009, openly admitted in his first press conference in Brussels after being appointed president, that finally, “2009 is also the first year of Global Governance”:

'We are living through exceptionally difficult times. Financial crisis and its dramatic impact on employment and budgets, the climate crisis which threatens our very survival --- a period of anxiety, uncertainty, and lack of confidence. Yet these problems can be overcome, by a joint effort, in and between our countries. 2009 is also the first year of Global Governance with the establishment of the G-20 in the middle of financial crisis. The climate conference in Copenhagen is another step towards the Global Management of our Planet. Our mission, our presidency is one of hope, supported by acts, and by deeds.' (press conference November 19, 2009 http://youtube.com/watch?v=QEqFtVrAgSo )

Mr. Van Rompuy too was accurate in his message of hope that Global Governance is “supported by acts and by deeds”.

But just what might these be?

A Council on Foreign Relations author had rather holistically outlined the underlying character of these supporting “acts” and “deeds” way back in the middle-stages of their planning-execution cycle in April 1974 as follows:

'In short, the ‘house of world order’ will have to be built from the bottom up, rather than from the top down. It will look like a great ‘booming, buzzing confusion’ to use William James’ famous description of reality, but an end run around national sovereignty, eroding it piece by piece will accomplish much more than the old-fashioned frontal assault.

Of course, for political as well as administrative reasons, some of these specialized arrangements should be brought into an appropriate relationship with the central institutions of the U.N. system, but the main thing is that the essential functions be performed.

 
 

Tue

07

Dec

2010

The Plight Of The Palestinians – Book Review by Edward Jayne
by Edward Jayne Ph.D.

In his collection of thirty-two articles by almost as many authors, The Plight of the Palestinians: A Long History of Destruction, William Cook provides a devastating assessment of Zionist violence against Palestinians. Relentlessly told are one atrocity after another, one act of deception after another, one broken treaty after another, one surprise attack after another, one policy reversal after another--all of which are described with both effective immediacy and an adequate sense of historic context. The articles themselves extend from Francis Boyle's "Israel's Crimes against Palestinians," published in August, 2001, to Ilan Pappe's "The Necessity of Cultural Boycott," published in June, 2009, spanning almost a decade of Israel's sixty-year campaign to force the departure of Palestinians from the West Bank. Cook's long introduction is especially useful in its exploration of events during the late forties when Israel established itself as a Jewish state, the one and only specifically denominational nation in the advanced industrial world. Relevant to Zionist intentions at the time, Cook discusses such matters as the Haganah Oath, the Red House, Catling's Top Secret "Memorandum of the Criminal Investigation Department of July 31, 1947," and the Deir Yassin massacre as well as those of Saliha, Lod, Dawayima, and Abu Shusha. Regrettably, he neglects to mention the Zionist sound trucks that were reported to have circulated among Palestinian villages after the Deir Yassin massacre, warning that the same could happen to them as well.

The single issue that keeps recurring in the articles is whether Israel has been intentionally pursuing the genocidal destruction of Palestinians. The word "genocide" actually occurs in the titles of eight of the articles (one quarter of the total), and the flood of information contained therein--as well as most of the rest of the articles--suggests the choice of the word is in fact reasonable, not hyperbolic. Cook recounts how Raphael Lemkin coined the word "genocide" in 1944 by linking the Greek word "genos," referring to a tribe or race, with the Latin suffix "cide," meaning to kill. Cook also quotes Frank Chalk and Kurt Jonasson's more expansive definition of the word to suggest the destruction of culture, language, religion, political and social institutions as aspects of genocide that may fall short of total annihilation. And in fact the reference to "genocide" throughout the text is not limited to total annihilation but includes other modes of extreme repression, and appropriately so. It seems obvious by now that Zionists do not exactly seek to exterminate Palestinians, merely to get rid of them--i.e., either to "transfer" them to nearby Muslim nations or to sequester them in "cantons" (Ariel Sharon's word) equivalent to American Indian reservations minus the gambling casinos. In the words of Steven Lendman, "slow-motion genocide" would be involved, something presumably better and more "humane" than the Nazi gas chambers, but nevertheless despicable.
 

Tue

07

Dec

2010

Unvarnished Truths About US and Israel: From the pages of Time, Jan 7 1952
by M. Shahid Alam Ph.D.

Was there ever a time when a leading organ of the US media could speak the unvarnished truth about the links between the United States and Israel?

Consider this quote from Time magazine of January 1952, embedded in an article that explained its choice of Mohammed Mossadegh as its Person of the Year for 1951. It had no compliments for Mossadegh, the man who was spearheading his country's bid to take back its oil resources from the British-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. No surprise there.

Surprising, however, is Time's candor on Israel. It minces no words. US support for the creation of Israel had alienated the Middle East: it had been a costly error, motivated not by national interest but petty considerations of presidential politics. Truman had supported the creation of Israel in order to court American Jewish votes. This was the plain truth: a US President had placed his electoral chances ahead of a vital national interest. Apparently, in those days, Time could write the plain truth without worrying about the tide of flak from the American Jewish community.

Here is the quote, with italics added for emphasis:

"The word "American" no longer has a good sound in that part of the world [the Middle East]. To catch the Jewish vote in the U.S., President Truman in 1946 demanded that the British admit 100,000 Jewish refugees to Palestine, in violation of British promises to the Arabs. Since then, the Arab nations surrounding Israel have regarded that state as a U.S. creation, and the U.S., therefore, as an enemy. The Israeli-Arab war created nearly a million Arab refugees, who have been huddled for three years in wretched camps. These refugees, for whom neither the U.S. nor Israel will take the slightest responsibility, keep alive the hatred of U.S. perfidy.
"No enmity for the Arabs, no selfish national design motivated the clumsy U.S. support of Israel. The American crime was not to help the Jews, but to help them at the expense of the Arabs. Today, the Arab world fears and expects a further Israeli expansion. The Arabs are well aware that Alben Barkley, Vice President of the U.S., tours his country making speeches for the half-billion-dollar Israeli bond issue, the largest ever offered to the U.S. public. Nobody, they note bitterly, is raising that kind of money for them."

Time does not see Israel as a victim. There is no mention of the 'only democracy in the Middle East' either. Instead, Israel had been created "at the expense of the Arabs." It refuses to "take the slightest responsibility" for the million Palestinian refugees. It is also the source of Arab hostility towards the United States.

Missing also is the cant – so common over the past half century – about Arab threats to Israel. Instead, Time speaks of Arab fears of Israel. "Today, the Arab world fears and expects a further Israeli expansion." Prescient words too.

The true victims are recognized – the Palestinians – and there is sympathy for them too. "The Israeli-Arab war created nearly a million Arab refugees, who have been huddled for three years in wretched camps." There is obfuscation too: the Arab refugees were created by the Israeli-Arab war. Israeli propaganda had succeeded even at this early date. There is no admission of Israel's planned ethnic cleansing of Palestinians or the massacres that attended this outrage.

Astonishing too is the spectacle of a US vice-president at this early date campaigning for an Israeli bond issue: like a hired salesman, he tours the country, making speeches to sell Israeli bond worth half a billion dollars. Did Israel raise the full value of the bond issue? It is a neat sum, enough to buy an army the best weapons in those days.

Notable too is the Time's willingness – unthinkable today – to see the issue from an Arab perspective: how they see the world's failure to send the refugees back to their homes. "These refugees, for whom neither the U.S. nor Israel will take the slightest responsibility, keep alive the hatred of U.S. perfidy." It is not often that the US media speaks of "U.S. perfidy."

Such journalistic candor was not good for Israel. The major Jewish organizations soon flexed their muscle: they organized to police what the US media could write or say about Israel. Their success was devastating. Israeli lies soon commanded unalloyed allegiance of every segment of American media.

Only recently that situation is beginning to change, as Israeli threats to US interests and to world peace become harder to ignore. This shift is tentative, however. Pro-Israeli forces are fighting back: and the few voices critical of Israel could be silenced by any number of events, not least another terrorist attack on US soil.

M. Shahid Alam is professor of economics at Northeastern University. Most recently, he is author of Israeli Exceptionalism (Palgrave, 2009). Visit his website at http://qreason.com. Write to him at alqalam02760@yahoo.com.
 
 

Tue

07

Dec

2010

William Bowles: Rebellion in the High Street?
by William Bowles
“The Middle Class Proletariat — The middle classes could become a revolutionary class, taking the role envisaged for the proletariat by Marx. The globalization of labour markets and reducing levels of national welfare provision and employment could reduce peoples’ attachment to particular states. The growing gap between themselves and a small number of highly visible super-rich individuals might fuel disillusion with meritocracy, while the growing urban under-classes are likely to pose an increasing threat to social order and stability, as the burden of acquired debt and the failure of pension provision begins to bite. Faced by these twin challenges, the world’s middle-classes might unite, using access to knowledge, resources and skills to shape transnational processes in their own class interest.”
— ‘UK Ministry of Defence report, The DCDC Global Strategic Trends Programme 2007-2036’ (Third Edition) p.96, March 2007 

So, a few rumblings of discontent have surfaced, first with the students and now an interesting development, targeting corporate tax avoiders such as Topshop, owned by Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group who has his multi-billion empire registered in his wife’s name and who is resident in tax-free Monaco, where of course she’s really busy running the Arcadia empire.

“With a personal fortune of more than £4bn, [Sir Philip Green] owns the Arcadia Group, whose fashion chains include Topshop, Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Evans and Miss Selfridge.

“His wife Tina is the direct owner of Arcadia, and she is officially a resident of Monaco. This enabled her to gain a tax-free £1.2bn dividend in 2005.

Speaking in August about the tax status of his wife, Sir Philip told the BBC: “My wife’s not a tax exile – my family do not live in the United Kingdom, it’s somewhat different.”" — ‘Topshop’s flagship London store hit by tax protest‘, BBC News Website, 4 December, 2010 [my emph. WB]

Organized by UK Uncut, who have also targeted Boots, HSBC, Barclays and Vodafone, in an economy largely composed of consumers, as I suggested in 2008 it’s a logical development that corporate interests in the high street become the target of protest, especially when we’ve been screwed out of £80-90 billion to pay for their deficit.

UK Uncut had protests right across the UK. Shops in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Leicester, York, Bristol, Portsmouth, Southampton and Cambridge as well as here in London, were picketed, some protestors even supergluing themselves to shop windows.

UKUncut say that the total tax avoidance bill involved comes to a staggering £51 billion annually, though I’ve read figures as ‘low’ as £25 billion. Whatever, in two or three three years that would be enough to pay off the ‘deficit’.
 

Tue

07

Dec

2010

The War Alarm: Waking Up from Reagan’s Nightmare
by Michael Gillespie

The American people want to trust their leaders.  Most Americans want desperately to believe in the American Dream, in the principles and values at the heart of that dream, in the essential goodness and decency of their nation.  The problem is that their leaders have so routinely deceived them, so flagrantly betrayed their trust, manipulated their hopes, desires, and fears so frequently and for such ignoble purposes, that the very concept of truth has lost its purchase in American life.  Big Media, Big Business, and Big Politics have turned professional journalism and American public discourse into a theater of the absurd, a house of mirrors, an echo-chamber designed to perpetuate corruption that serves special interests and the ruling class.  The goal seems to be the creation of a public so crass it will accept any crime, any atrocity, even penury and enslavement. 

Let's look at the evidence.  Let's examine one iconic lie in the ever-lengthening litany of lies that so regularly come rolling off the tongues of America's political leaders.      

"Wage and price controls have failed since the time of Diocletian.  I ought to know.  I'm the only one here old enough to remember that," Ronald Reagan famously quipped during a Republican debate in 1980 while he was running for president. 

The remark ranks among the grossest misrepresentations of historical fact in modern American political discourse.  It flies in the face of America's greatest economic and military accomplishments.  Yet today Big Media commentators across the political spectrum still recall the quotation to burnish the widely popular president's reputation as "the Great Communicator," and, more specifically, to illustrate the then-69-year-old former actor's deft use of humor to deflect questions and concern about his age.

Reagan's joke was carefully calculated to deceive as well as to disarm.  In addition to neutralizing fears that he was too old to be president, his comment promoted the political agenda of the Big Business interests he served so well.  Less than a month from his 70th birthday when he was inaugurated, Reagan was America's oldest president.  Though he wasn't old enough to remember Diocletian's reign, Reagan was in his 30s during World War II when Franklin Delano Roosevelt, America's 32nd President, instituted remarkably successful wage and price controls, essential elements of a larger economic plan that was astonishingly successful.

Make no mistake:  It was the vast agricultural, manufacturing, and industrial capacity of the United States of America, efficiently and effectively organized, regulated, and expanded by the Roosevelt administration, that made possible the crushing defeat of the Axis powers in 45 months, less than four years from the day America entered the war.

FDR had resurrected the Advisory Commission to the World War I Council on National Defense in May of 1940 and added price stabilization and consumer protection divisions.  He merged them, creating the Office of Price Administration and Civilian Supply (OPACS) within the Office for Emergency Management, by Executive Order (E.O.) 8734 on April 11, 1941.  With E.O. 8875 he established the Office of Price Administration (OPA) within the Office for Emergency Management (OEM) on August 28, 1941.  The Emergency Price Control Act of January 30, 1942 made OPA an independent agency with the power to place ceilings on all prices except agricultural commodities and to ration scarce supplies of other items, including tires, automobiles, shoes, nylon, sugar, gasoline, fuel oil, coffee, meats and processed foods.  Eventually the OPA froze almost 90 percent of retail food prices.  OPA also established rent controls and set maximum rents for most homes, apartments, rooming house and hotel rooms.

Roosevelt established the War Production Board (WPB) by E.O. 9024 on January 16, 1942, on January 24, with E.O. 9040 gave it supreme authority over procurement of materials and industrial production.

"The WPB's chair, Donald Nelson, received sweeping powers over the economic life of the nation – now on an official war footing – to convert and expand the peacetime economy to maximum wartime production." (S. Shimizu in The American Economy: A Historical Encyclopedia, Vol. 1)

"The national WPB's primary task was converting civilian industry to war production. The board assigned priorities and allocated scarce materials such as steel, aluminum, and rubber, prohibited nonessential industrial activities such as producing nylons and refrigerators, controlled wages and prices, and mobilized the people," encouraging scrap drives and more than 20 million victory gardens that produced 9 to 10 million tons of fresh fruits and vegetables, an amount equal to commercial fresh vegetable production figures.
 

Tue

07

Dec

2010

Alan Hart: WikiLeaks: What, really, is the problem?
by Alan Hart
Alan Hart is a former ITN and BBC Panorama foreign correspondent who covered wars and conflicts wherever they were taking place in the world and specialized in the Middle East.His Latest book Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, is a three-volume epic in its American edition.

Some commentators, bloggers and other writers, were quick to jump to the conclusion that the avalanche of documents being released by WikiLeaks is part and parcel of an Israeli/Mossad deception strategy. One implication being that WikiLeaks’ founder, Julian Assange is, knowingly or not, manipulated by Zionism.

On the basis of the first two or three days of the Wikileaked revelations as reported by the mainstream media, in America especially, there most definitely was a case for saying that the agenda best served by the leaked diplomatic cables was that of the Zionist state of Israel, its lobby in America and its many stooges in Congress. The essence of the case was in the message that Iran is the biggest single threat to the peace of the region and the world not only because the Israelis say so but also because Arab leaders agree with them.

In my last post I quoted Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter’s National Security Advisor, as saying he thought it was possible that Wikileaks was being fed and manipulated by intelligence services. And I stated my own belief of the moment that the question of whether or not this is so was worthy of investigation.

But as the flow of leaked cables increases, and with time for reflection, I no longer believe that such an investigation is necessary.

The problem is not the manipulation of WikiLeaks by any foreign intelligence service but, in effect, the manipulation by key players in the mainstream media, in America especially, of the material WikiLeaks is providing.
 

Tue

07

Dec

2010

Dr. Tom Termotto: Special Report on the BP Gulf Oil Spill
by Tom Termotto

It is with deep regret that we publish this report.  We do not take this responsibility lightly, as the consequences of the following observations are of such great import and have such far-reaching ramifications for the entire planet.  Truly, the fate of the oceans of the world hangs in the balance, as does the future of humankind.

The Gulf of Mexico (GOM) does not exist in isolation and is, in fact, connected to the Seven Seas.  Hence, we publish these findings in order that the world community will come together to further contemplate this dire and demanding predicament.  We also do so with the hope that an appropriate global response will be formulated, and acted upon, for the sake of future generations.  It is the most basic responsibility for every civilization to leave their world in a better condition than that which they inherited from their forbears.

After conducting the Gulf Oil Spill Remediation Conference for over seven months, we can now disseminate the following information with the authority and confidence of those who have thoroughly investigated a crime scene.  There are many research articles, investigative reports and penetrating exposes archived at the following website.  Particularly those posted from August through November provide a unique body of evidence, many with compelling photo-documentaries, which portray the true state of affairs at the Macondo Prospect in the GOM.

http://phoenixrisingfromthegulf.wordpress.com/

The pictorial evidence tells the whole story.

Especially that the BP narrative is nothing but a corporate-created illusion – a web of fabrication spun in collaboration with the US Federal Government and Mainstream Media.  Big Oil, as well as the Military-Industrial Complex, have aided and abetted this whole scheme and info blackout because the very future of the Oil & Gas Industry is at stake, as is the future of the US Empire which sprawls around the world and requires vast amounts of hydrocarbon fuel. Should the truth seep out and into the mass consciousness – that the GOM is slowly but surely filling up with oil and gas – certainly many would rightly question the integrity, and sanity, of the whole venture, as well as the entire industry itself.  And then perhaps the process would begin of transitioning the planet away from the hydrocarbon fuel paradigm altogether.

It's not a pretty picture.

The various pictures, photos and diagrams that fill the many articles at the aforementioned website represent photo-evidence about the true state of affairs on the seafloor surrounding the Macondo Prospect in the Mississippi Canyon which is located in the Central Planning Area of the northern Gulf of Mexico.  The very dynamics of the dramatic changes and continuous evolution of the seafloor have been captured in ways that very few have ever seen.  These snapshots have given us a window of understanding into the true state of the underlying geological formations around the various wells drilled in the Macondo Prospect.

Although our many deductions may be difficult for the layperson to apprehend at first, to the trained eye these are but obvious conclusions which are simply the result of cause and effect.  In other words there is no dispute around the most serious geological changes which have occurred, and continue to occur, in the region around the Macondo wells.  The original predicament (an 87 day gushing well) was extremely serious, as grasped by the entire world, and the existing situation is only going to get progressively worse.

So, just what does this current picture look like.  Please click on the link below to view the relevant diagrams and read the commentary:

http://phoenixrisingfromthegulf.wordpress.com/2010/08/03/an-autopsy-of-the-bp-gulf-oil-well-at-the-macondo-prospect/

t
As the diagrams clearly indicate, the geology around the well bore has been blown.  This occurred because of drilling contiguous to a salt dome(1), as well as because of the gas explosions which did much damage to the integrity of the well casing, cementing, well bore, well head, and foundation around the well head.  Eighty-seven straight days of gushing hydrocarbon effluent under great pressure only served to further undermine the entire well system.  Finally, when it was capped, putting the system back under pressure forced the upsurging hydrocarbons to find weaknesses throughout the greater system, which revealed all sorts of compromised, fractured and unsettled geology through which the hydrocarbons could travel all the way to the seafloor and into the GOM.
 

Mon

06

Dec

2010

Norman Solomon: A Hollow Bomber Jacket
by Norman Solomon
 
 Last Friday, in a column about economic policy, Paul Krugman focused on “moral collapse” at the White House -- “a complete failure of purpose and loss of direction.” Meanwhile, President Obama flew to Afghanistan, where he put on a leather bomber jacket and told U.S. troops: “You’re achieving your objectives. You will succeed in your mission.”

    For the Obama presidency, moral collapse has taken on the appearance of craven clockwork, establishing a concentric pattern -- doing immense damage to economic security at home while ratcheting up warfare overseas.

    By the end of the weekend, a deal was just about wrapped up between the president and Republican congressional leaders to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

    On the spin-cycle agenda this month is yet more reframing of the president’s foggy doubletalk about Afghanistan. Strip away the carefully crafted verbiage and the picture is stark -- with plans for a huge U.S. war effort in that country for many years to come.

    At the end of a year with massive U.S. military escalation in Afghanistan, parallels with the Johnson administration’s unhinged Vietnam War are hard to miss. Conjectures about an inside-the-Democratic-Party challenge to Obama’s re-nomination are now moving from shadowy whispers to open discourse.

    Some critics of the Vietnam War hesitated to confront it because of President Johnson’s laudable domestic record, which included the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the founding of Medicare and the launching of other Great Society programs. In sharp contrast, what most distinguishes President Obama’s domestic record is its series of major cave-ins to corporate power and income inequality.
 

Mon

06

Dec

2010

Haitians Protest Sham Elections
by Stephen Lendman

Washington's imperial boot flaunts Lavalas' slogan: "All people are people (Tout moun se moun)." The sham elections are one of many abuses. As a result, Haitians continue protesting for rights they've been long denied, including leaders serving them, not monied interests.

On December 3, Al Jazeera's Sebastian Walker said street protests continued for the fourth consecutive day after the November 28 sham elections.

"Tensions reached a level not seen in Haiti's capital in many weeks. UN troops were powerless to keep the crowds back. At times the city center looked more like a war zone."

Litter bins were toppled, then used to block roads. "Frustrations over fraudulent elections were taking on a new turn." UN officials told several angry candidates  they were ahead in the popular vote, lying to enlist their support for a rigged process.

"For Haitians, this is business as usual with election politics. Everyone knew this would happen, and that Washington was aware that (Rene Preval) would try to orchestrate votes in favor of his candidates." People also rage about "foreign powers adding legitimacy to a fraudulent vote. The anger on the streets is palpable. The crisis continues."

On December 2, reporting from Port-au-Prince, independent journalist Ansel Herz said:

"Furious demonstrations continued across Haiti (days after) the Nov. 28 highly contested election in which thousands (were) unable to vote." They reacted by rock-throwing, barricading roads, and protesting angrily in Port-au-Prince, Cap Haitien, Les Cayes, Hinche, Petit Goave, Archaie, and elsewhere.

On November 30, "demonstrators clashed with United Nations peacekeeping troops in St. Marc and Gonaives." Most presidential candidates denounced the process in favor of Preval's hand-picked candidate, Jude Celestin, demanding new elections.

Presidential hopefuls, observers, and journalists witnessed brazen fraud, Canada's CBC reporting "massive fraud, blatant ballot-box stuffing." Reporting from Port-au-Prince, Paul Hunter called it "unbelievable," saying he'd previously witnessed electoral fraud, but "never" anything like this.

"We saw ballot stuffing. We heard voters who were intimidated into voting for a candidate. And we saw thugs, gangs of thugs, going into polling stations, grabbing stacks of ballots, marking them with the candidate of their choice," INITE party's Jude Celestin. He was the only major candidate not signing a statement calling for the election's annulment.

On December 5, the Philadelphia Inquirer gave Lamp for Haiti.org's Regine Theodat and Ted Oswald op-ed space headlining, "Annul Haiti's elections and have free, fair vote," saying:

"The elections were fraught with disorganization, corruption, and human rights abuses." In one Cite Soleil location, "An angry mob (protested) because voting monitors supporting the INITE party refused them entry to the poll because they (wouldn't) support Preval's party." Many other locations had similar problems.

"Disenfranchised and ignored, many voters resisted the illegitimacy of the elections and found ways around" the Provisional Electoral Council's (CEP) "failures and apparent malfeasance. Some voted without permission; others organized street boycotts....chanting 'Arrest Preval and CEP.' Others sang Haitian freedom songs..." Haitians were again defrauded.

On December 3, Reuters reported about "2,000 protesters marched in Haiti's capital demanding a rerun of Sunday's elections....skewed by fraud." They waved red cards calling for Preval's removal and disqualification of Celestin. "Arrest Preval," and "No to the first round," they shouted. "The march swelled as it passed poor city slums and finished" at the CEP's downtown offices.
 

Mon

06

Dec

2010

1.1 Gilad Atzmon: Ein Hod And The Israeli Sin
by Gilad Atzmon
Gilad Atzmon (Hebrew: גלעד עצמון‎, born June 9, 1963) is a jazz musician, author and anti-Zionist activist who was born in Israel and currently lives in London.
"Anti-Semite is an empty signifier, no one actually can be an Anti-Semite and this includes me of course. In short, you are either a racist - which I am not - or have an ideological disagreement with Zionism... which I have."
He was born a secular Israeli Jew in Tel Aviv, and trained at the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem. His service in the Israeli military convinced him Israel had become a militarized state controlled by religious extremists. In 1994, Atzmon emigrated from Israel to London, where he studied philosophy. Atzmon is an anti-Zionist who critiques Jewish identity issues and supports the Palestinian Right of Return as well as the establishment of a single state in Israel/Palestine. He is a signatory to the "Palestinians are the Priority Petition" which states “full and unconditional support of the Palestinian people is a condition sine qua non for activists to adopt.

Israeli press reported today that the wildfire, which has been raging in northern Israel since Thursday, continued to spread on Saturday morning, burning houses in the pastoral artists' villagesEin Hod.

Ein Hod which lies on the road to Haifa is an Israeli artists' colony. It is located at the foot of Mount Carmel, overlooking the Mediterranean coast.  In the fifties, a group of Jewish artists decided to make Ein Hod into their home. They built studios and workshops. Ein Hod is the only artists' village in Israel, one of the few in the world. Israel and Israelis are very proud of their artists’ colony. Israelis are totally devastated by the impact of the fire on their beloved artist village.

Yet, there is something Israelis may prefer to hide. Ein Hod’s new artistic habitants are far from being innocent. Ein Hod is in factAyn Aawd, a 1948 ethnically cleansed Palestinian village. Unlike very many other Palestinian villages Ayn Awad was not destroyed.  Though its habitants were brutally expelled, most of the houses remained intact. The Israeli Artists, are basically a bunch of plunders. They also turned the village mosque into a restaurant/bar, the "Bonanza". It is obviously clear that the Israeli artist community participated actively in the Zionist crime.

Those few uprooted Palestinian villagers who survived the 1948 invasion built a new village near by, also called  Ayn Hawd.  Far from being surprising, the new village is not legally recognized by the Israeli government. It is denied all municipal services (including water, electricity, and roads). In the 1970s the Israeli government erected a fence around this new village in order to prevent it from expanding. As it happens, Israeli artists dwell in Palestinian homes while the dispossessed indigenous owners are living in poverty around the corner with no running water or electricity.

In the last six decades the JNF planted millions of pine trees around Israeli villages and towns.  These newly planted forests were there to hide traces of Palestinian civilization and the 1948 Nakba. Ein Hod also surrounded itself with pine trees.  It helped the Artists to concentrate on creative matters and to evade the misery in Ayn Hawd. It allows the artists to engage with ‘beauty’ and avoid the sin they are entangled with. Seemingly, the forest between Ein Hod and Ayn Hawd is now burned. Nature found its way to confront the Israelis with his and her past and present. Yet, I am far from being convinced whether the Israelis can be morally awaken to the disastrous reality they are complicit in. 

Ein Hod is just a symbol of Israeli morbidity. It is a symbol of ethical blindness. But it is also a symptom of Israeli hopelessness.  

In spite of its military might, its ‘technological superiority’, its air force, its nuclear capacity and AIPAC, Israel doesn’t know how to deal with fire. It fails to deal with the most banal domestic issues.  Israel has been caught begging the world  to come to its rescue. Zionism that was there to bring to life an authentic, self-sufficient, civilized and ethical Jew has failed all the way through.


 

Sun

05

Dec

2010

If Wikileaks Were A Movie Would It Be "Wag The Dog"... Or "Idiocracy"?
by Gianluca D'Agostino Ph.D.

Is Wikileaks just the usual American propaganda or a new form of Communication?

Are world's media just a flock of sheeps who love being sodomized by America's propaganda? Or is Wikileaks bringing world politics to a new communication level?

Beyond all these questions what's really amazing is the fact that every newspaper in the world today is publishing Wikileaks documents treating them as the commandment tablets brought down by Moses from Mount Sinai. As a general rule, if you are a professional journalist, before printing something out you always should pose yourself a question: "Is this damn wikileaks a credible source?" Indeed the real matter here about all this story of Wikileaks is all about credibility. In other words, the question is: who gave wikileaks the title of "credible source?"

Let's put the case that an hypotetical journalist today would question his boss on Wikileaks credibility. This could be a hypotetical newsroom dialogue:

Journalist: "who gave wikileaks the title of "credible source?"

Boss: "What? wake up dude! That's Wikileaks! the most credible source on the planet!"

Journalist:"Who told you that?"

Boss: "Are you blind? Don't you see everybody is printing Wikileaks' documents?"

Journalist: "Well, ok but who told everybody Wikileaks is a credible source?"

Boss: "The Pentagon and the US government and Hillary Clinton and CNN and these are all credible sources dude! don't you think? Then there's that Manning guy, down in Kuwait,he's in the military so he's definitely credible"

Journalist: "Yes but nobody has ever seen him right?"

Boss: "...are you saying you don't trust the department of defense? Now go back to work and never pose such stupid questions again!"

Journalist:"Alright boss I won't ask it ever again"

So Wikileaks has an infinite credibility by default, without being credited by history, experience, or any former result, other than releasing thousands of pseudo-classified documents. Wikileaks credibility comes just from the fact that major American institutions like Pentagon and State Department are taking it as gospel....I mean basically it´s their creature, because Wikileaks exists thanks to some pentagon documents they received from a still undisclosed source.

Yes because the "source" who apparently stole and then leaked all these documents to Wikileaks is Private First Class Bradley E. Manning, that in practice is just a name on a piece of sheet as nobody has ever seen him and obviously he´s not available for comments as at the moment he´s confined to a military base in Kuwait.

If these facts weren´t real, probably it would have been the perfect plot for a Robert Ludlum´s novel, or better if it were a movie was definitely Wag the dog, as this Private sounds very much like Sergeant William "Old Shoe" Schumann. Actually Private Manning could resemble also to Cpl. Joe Bauers, a.k.a. "Not Sure", the protagonist of the movie "Idiocracy" by Mike Judge.

So Wikileaks releases hundreds of thousands of documents and immediately takes the spotlight with top credibility. So strange.

Steven Greer, the head of Disclosure Project had been working on the disclosure project for more than 15 years, he gathered more than 800 alive witnesses among Intelligence, military, politics and the scientific community and he was able to gather them all at the Washington Press club and make them testify under oath about extraterrestrial existence from their direct work experience. These witnesses basically were government employees who had direct contact with ET classified material because of their job.
 

Sun

05

Dec

2010

Amnesia As A Way Of Life: WikiLeaks Amid The "Careless People"
by Phil Rockstroh

As many wags have noted, the disclosures of Wikileaks have subjected the US Empire and its operatives to a full-body scan. Turnaround is fair play, because, until now, in the US, the powerless masses are subject to arbitrary pat downs and body scans, while the powerful and connected are massaged by privilege and ensconced in immunity.

In hindsight, one realizes, when the Obama administration promised transparency and accountability in government, National Security State enabler that Barack Obama has proven himself to be, that his administration's definition of transparency would entail the countenancing of said body scans at the nation's airports, revealing the private bits of the hoi polloi, as, all the while, his administration was engaged in stonewalling the hidden agendas and felonies of the corporate and governing elite. Recent events should remove any doubt regarding who stands exposed and who will remain cloaked by official aegis.

Unlike Julian Assange at Wikileaks, when the Democratic Congress had the opportunity to create an atmosphere of openness and transparency, they demurred. Once granted positions of authority, the Democrats didn't exercise their constitutionally granted powers to initiate investigations, hold hearings, nor issue subpoenas. This failure of will and integrity amounts to complicity by omission. Withal, Democrats gave their tacit support and approval to the last administration's (as well as to the present one's continuation of more of the same) constitution-shredding, morally repugnant policies.
 


On most occasions, existing within the tacit repression and the benumbing, virtual reality carnival of the corporate/National Security State leaves an individual with a sense of being stranded in anonymity … cast into circumstances wherein one feels the necessity to follow the unspoken dictates of a nebulous form of authority that remains hidden, both by physical distance and organizational insularity. In contrast, when one is introduced to the apparatus of the National Security State, by means of a full body search, this unnerving intrusion upon the body can bring clarity to the mind as to how the elite and apparatchik of the US government regard that mass annoyance known as its citizenry and any quaint notions those wretches clutch pertaining to their constitutional granted rights and liberties. 

These present outrages will flair up and spiral through the news cycle. Yet, the practices will remain in place, and, after a time, become normalized. This has proven to be the case with other previously revealed excesses of the so-call War on Terror and the attendant assaults against civil liberties and breaches of international law incurred in the name of this ongoing, seemingly endless, national psychotic episode e.g., the existence of the "detention camp" at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the illegal invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and those operations concomitant litany of war crimes and affronts to human dignity, such as the acts of torture committed at Abu Ghraib prison -- as well as -- the whole blood-sodden laundry list of outrages and excesses of present day US imperium. 

If there is any hope for the US to ever function as a democratic republic, the revelations, unearthed by Wikileaks, should constitute the beginning of a long, painful process of grim discovery.

First, one must ask: Why is it the corporate media is so deeply invested in promulgating distracting and miss-the-point narratives, hyper-adrenaline arguments of narrowed context and little consequence -- and, in general, trafficking in piffle packaged as news and public debate -- rather than showing even a passing interest, much less an avidity, for the pursuit of stories that confront power and might present a challenge to the present order?

As with any criminal enterprise, the essential question to ask is: who benefits from the crime (and the subsequent coverup) and who gets the payoff? Although most of human existence is constituted by ambiguity, this situation is not. The evidence of war crimes and fiscal malfeasance committed by the nation's political and financial elite are so pervasive that it cannot be missed, and that is precisely the reason the corporate media, as well as a large percentage of the general public, works so hard to ignore the situation.

Lord Northcliffe's aphorism provides a clue:

"News is what somebody somewhere wants to suppress; all the rest is advertising." ~ Lord Northcliffe, British publisher 1865-1922

Accordingly, at present, there arrives a paucity of news, but, hour after hour, comes a drowning deluge of advertising. Enveloped in this commercially dominated hologram, on a cultural basis, it has proven difficult to arrive at a common lexicon to tell the tale of truths buried and freedoms imperiled.

The weightless, insubstantial quality of the consumer age engenders a state of mind wherein consequences cannot be grasped then processed. As a result, a sense of drift prevails. Yet below the surface churns a nebulous dread -- a feeling of being propelled towards a time of unbearable reckoning.

But such enervating thoughts must be banished from the mind; hence, amnesia, as a way of life, becomes the prevailing mindset of psyches minted in the media age hologram i.e., a manner of perceiving the world in which official accountability becomes as evanescent as last season's advertising campaign roll-out.
 

Sun

28

Nov

2010

Iran is the most important country in world politics today: Erri De Luca
by Kourosh Ziabari in Iran

Erri De Luca is an internationally-renowned Italian poet and writer. "Corriere della Sera" literature critic Giorgio De Rienzo has called him "the writer of the decade". He started writing since he was 20; however, his first book was published in 1989, when he was 39 years old. Upon graduating from high school in 1968, he joined the newly-established far-left, extra-parliamentary organization of Lotta Continua. The political activities of the organization were terminated early in 1976. Erri De Luca speaks several languages, including English, French, Hebrew and Yiddish.

He is the author of several books including "Montedidio" which has won him The Prix Femina award. Erri De Luca has translated several books of Bible into Italian, including Exodus, Jonah, Ecclesiastes and Ruth. His works have been translated and published in various countries such as Spain, Iran, Portugal, Germany, Holland, USA, Brazil, Poland, Norway, Danmark, Romania, Greece and Lithuania.

De Luca joined me in an exclusive interview and answered my questions on his works and his views on literature, culture, politics and society.

Kourosh Ziabari: What made you interested in literature for the first time? You published your first novel when you were 39; however, you had experienced various professions and jobs before that. You experienced carpentry, masonry and apprenticeship and then moved to writing. What were the first motives which moved you towards literature?

Erri De Luca: I owe my approach to my father's library. I spent my childhood in a small room with books to the ceiling, I slept surrounded by books. I've been reading and writing since I was a kid, books have been the best company. I published my first book late because I wasn't looking for a publisher. I wrote and write personal stories, always with me telling the story and I thought these would never interest anybody else.

KZ: Our world is filled with materialistic approaches to life. Morality is losing its place in the interpersonal relationships. People disregard the principles of honesty and decency very easily. Is this world compatible with the ideal world which you have portrayed for yourself?

EDL: I'm used to sit at table for lunch where one eats the fruit of one's work. At these tables, which are the majority on the planet, my principles are not ideals but daily practice.

KZ: Naples is the prominent setting of your novel. Its people speak a variety of Italian language which is even unintelligible to a number of Italians. What's the significance of Naples for you? How do you seek your desires and ambitions in this ancient city?

EDL: Naples is my place of origin and  Napolitan my mother tongue. Italian came later, with books and conversations with my father, who wanted to teach me perfect Italian. In Naples, I had my sentimental education - not to love, but to the sentiments of compassion, anger and shame which are the fundaments of any human being. Naples is not a birth town, but it is a "cause town" and I am one of its effects.

KZ: You speak several languages including French, English, Hebrew and Yiddish. How is the sense of being a multilingual writer? Jock London believes that every book is a gateway to a new world. Do you agree that every language is also a gateway to a new world? With several languages which you know, do you usually feel that you live in different worlds?

EDL: I learnt languages to read them rather than to speak them. My desire was to follow the authors of pages which touched me in their vocabulary and their combination of syllables. Thus I find a personal extract, a glass [of wine] and I go directly to the source. The world which attracts me is that of an author rather than of a people. That's why I'm not interested in geographically visiting countries whose language I know. I can read in Russian out of love for its poets and writers but I have no desire to find myself in Odessa or Moscow. With the languages I have learnt I have no need to move from where I am.
 

Sun

28

Nov

2010

Remembering Chalmers Ashby Johnson (8/6/31 - 11/20/10)
by Stephen Lendman

A personal note. 

It's no way to begin a Sunday or any day. An email explained. My first thought was: damn, we lost another good one when we urgently need him and many others, given the state of today's America - out-of-control militarism, imperial arrogance, and homeland repression at a time of economic crisis for millions. Johnson knew the threat, challenging it brilliantly in his important writings and outspokenness. Now he's gone.

A former cold warrior, Chal, as friends called him, turned activist critic of US foreign policy, an imperial agenda doomed to fail. When the Cold War ended, he saw no further logic to US global bases, continued heightened militarism, and occupation of Japan, South Korea, Germany and elsewhere.

Peace breaking out was glorious. "Give Peace A Chance," wrote John Lennon, his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame song predated it by a decade. 

In a March 2006 Tom Engelhardt interview, Johnson said:

"I was a cold warrior. There's no doubt about that. I believed the Soviet Union was a genuine menace. I still think so....As I saw it, the only justification for our monster military apparatus, its size, the amounts spent on it, the growth of the Military-Industrial Complex....was the existence of the Soviet Union and its determination to match us."

After it imploded, he thought: "What an incredible vindication for the United States. Now it's over, and the time has come for a real victory dividend, a genuine peace dividend. The question was: Would the US behave as it had in the past when big wars came to an end?" Instead, we "began to seek an alternative enemy. Our leaders simply could not contemplate dismantling the apparatus of the Cold War. That was, I thought, shocking....I was flabbergasted and felt the need to understand what had happened."

Maintaining heightened militarism "suggest(ed) that the Cold War was, in fact, a cover for something else; that something else being an American empire intentionally created during World War II as the successor to the British Empire. The Cold War was not the clean-cut conflict between totalitarian and democratic values that we had claimed it to be."

Most ominous about US imperialism is that "militarism is so central to ours....not (for) national defense....but as a way of life, as a way of getting rich or getting comfortable. (Yet it's) bankrupting the country...This is not free enterprise. (It's) state socialism," heading us for ruin. "And the precedents for this should really terrify us."

Johnson ended the interview quoting Pogo's observation, saying: "We have met the enemy and he is us."
 

Sun

28

Nov

2010

NATO Arctic Security and Canadian Sovereignty in the Far North
by Dana Gabriel
 
In many ways, the Arctic has become a geopolitical game with mixed messages being sent from all sides. There appears to be a real contradiction in what is being said and what is actually being done to safeguard sovereignty. While Arctic countries have emphasized the importance of resolving conflicting boundary claims through enhanced cooperation, at times, rhetoric has served to fuel rivalries in the resource-rich area. NATO has declared the Arctic a strategically important region with northern member nations individually or collaboratively conducting military and naval operations to showcase their capabilities.

Some have called the release of Canada's Arctic Foreign Policy statement in August, a significant shift from the Conservative government’s often hostile approach in addressing sovereignty issues in the far north. The policy paper declared that, “Canada’s vision for the Arctic is of a stable, rules-based region with clearly defined boundaries.” It plans to pursue its interests through leadership, stewardship, diplomacy and respect for international law. Canada also seeks a more strategic engagement with the U.S. in the Arctic. Over the summer, they conducted their third joint continental shelf survey. The U.S. and Canada are gradually moving towards merging their Arctic policies and further adopting a more North American strategy. While Canada is placing more emphasis on cooperation and appears ready to resolve boundary disputes, absent is any concrete suggestion on how to engage Russia. Both have claimed the Lomonosov Ridge under the Arctic as an extension of their respective continental shelves. Any aggressive moves to enforce sovereignty in the area could jeopardize future bilateral relations and lead to a possible confrontation.

During Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Arctic tour several months back, he announced support for Canada’s next generation of satellites known as RADARSAT Constellation Mission. The system consists of three advanced remote sensing satellites which will increase the ability to monitor activities in the region. Harper stated, “The RADARSAT project has consistently allowed us to defend our Arctic sovereignty, protect the Arctic ecosystem, and develop our resources.” He went on to say, “This new phase of RADARSAT will ensure we stay at the forefront of these priorities.” Enhancing surveillance capabilities is an important part of safeguarding Canada’s security and economic interests in the region. In addition, Harper also announced a new High Arctic Research Station. The year round facility will house scientists and is intended to further, “strengthen Canada’s Arctic sovereignty, promote economic and social development.” The prime minister has been accused of using his annual northern treks as photo opportunities and criticized for failing to deliver on some past Arctic promises. While on his trip, Harper also focused on security issues and observed military maneuvers.

This year's Operation Nanook, an annual Canadian Forces (CF) sovereignty exercise took place from August 6 to 26 in Canada's eastern and high Arctic area. It was important as for the first time, the Canadian-led exercise included military participation from fellow NATO members, the U.S. and Denmark. Canadian Navy, Army and Air Force personnel, collaborated with naval and air assets from the U.S. Second Fleet, along with the Royal Danish Navy, performing various security drills. The joint war games were intended to, “strengthen preparedness, increase interoperability and exercise a collective response to emerging challenges in the Arctic.” In March of this year, NATO troops also participated in Exercise Cold Response which was held in Norway. It included some 9.000 soldiers from 14 countries and focused, “on cold weather maritime/amphibious operations, interoperability of expeditionary forces, and special and conventional ground operations.” As Canada and other nations promote diplomacy, development and science as a means to assert sovereignty in the Arctic, at the same time they continue to expand military operations in the region.
 
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