General Breedlove tells US diplomats and select members of Congress what Ukraine needs.
Das Bild, published February 19, 2015
What US Politicians REALLY think about the Germans in the Ukraine-crisis
February 19, 2015 Translated from German by Tom Winter
Munich â While a bloody war rages in eastern Ukraine, the next dangerous conflict is breaking out in the Security Conference, a diplomatic battle of nerves centered on the question whether the West ought to supply armaments to the regime in Kiev. The opponents are actually allies: the USA against Europe, and Germany in particular.
Behind the soundproof doors of the conference room in the Bayerischer Hof hotel, the Americans speak about Germans in rather derogatory terms.
Friday evening a bit after 7 p.m. on the sixth floor of the luxury hotel, according to BILDâs sources, American four-star generals, diplomats, and high-ranking US politicians held a frank discussion in a 'briefing room', and held forth about the Germans.
âDefeatist,â is what a US Senator called German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, because she no longer believes in a Kiev victory. The phrase âGerman defeatist,â according to our information, was often heard in the room.
Defense minister Ursula von der Leyen, (here with NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg) counts as a defeatist among the US diplomats since she no longer believes in a victory of Ukraine against Russia.
Obamaâs top diplomat for Europe, Victoria Nuland, called the Chancellorâs trip to Putin, âMerkelâs Moscow thing.â Another US Foreign office type spoke of the Europeansâ "Moscow bullshit.â
And US Senator John McCain talked himself into a rage: âHistory shows us that dictators always take more, whenever you let them. They canât be brought back from their brutal behavior when you fly to Moscow to them, just like someone once flew to this city.â
Merkel's diplomatic initiative in the Ukraine crisis stands at the center of American anger. Reason: the Americans donât believe that Putin canât be made to back off without a massive push, and the Europeans have no wish to build up a greater push.
âTheyâre afraid of damage to their economy, counter-sanctions from Russia,â said Nuland. Another US politician: "Itâs painful to see that our NATO partners are getting cold feet"
Obamaâs close confidante Victoria Nuland is the one who set the tone for her American colleagues at the prelude to the evening: âWe can fight against the Europeans, we can fight with rhetoric against them.â
Several US politicians appeared to have hesitations about weapons supply to Kiev. One asked whether it was only a tactic, a false promise to get the Europeans to put more pressure on Putin. âNo, itâs not a tactic to push the Europeans,â answered Nuland dryly. "Weâre not going to sent any four divisions into Ukraine, as the Europeans fear. Itâs only a relatively moderate delivery of anti-tank weapons.â
âBut what will we tell the Europeans if we really decide on delivering weapons,â asked one Congressman. "Whatâs our story then?â
NATO Commander General Philip Breedlove was there. He answered: "Weâre not on a footing to deliver so many weapons they could defeat Russia [!!! âtr] Thatâs not our goal. But we have to try to raise the battlefield cost for Putin, to slow down the whole problem, so sanctions and other measures can take hold."
Again top diplomat Nuland, who speaks fluent Russian and served as Dick Cheneyâs security advisor took it up: âIâd strongly urge you to use the phrase âdefensive systemsâ that we would deliver to oppose Putinâs âoffensive systems.â"
General Breedlove clarified for the US politicians, what an actual arms delivery would look like. âRussian artillery is by far what kills most Ukrainian soldiers, so a system is needed that can localize the source of fire and repress it. Ukrainian communications are disrupted or completely swamped, so they need uninterceptible communications gear. Then I wonât talk about any anti-tank rockets, but we are seeing massive supply convoys from Russia into Ukraine. The Ukrainians need the capability to shut off this transport. And then I would add some small tactical drones.â
NB: These planned weapons and systems are so technically demanding that US soldiers would probably have to train the Ukrainian army. Thus the USA would be intervening with their own troops in the conflict.
There hasnât been this much conflict between Europeans and Americans since the Munich Security conference of 2003, shortly before the beginning of the Iraq war. In the morning Chancellor Angela Merkel travels to Washington to US President Barak Obama. The two have much to discussâŠ
Translator's note: This material is visible throughout the German press, and it all comes back to this article in Das Bild, and the source for this Bild article had to be German Intelligence. The German press is full of praise for their peace-making Chancellor, and apparently the Chancellory is committed to making Minsk II a success. Further, this item removes, and was doubtless intended to remove, any doubts about NATO being a US instrument. Also to be noted here is a complete zeroing out of the five or six million Russian-speaking inhabitants of Lugansk and Donetsk; they don't exist, it's just Russia.
America has become much more militaristic under Barack Obama, and itÂs not just a freak occurrence. The Nobel Peace Prize winner has overseen the launching of various hard and soft wars against AmericaÂs rivals, showing that he truly is the foreign policy successor of President Bush. One of the most telling facts about how far contemporary American society has gone towards militarism is that 51% of people support the use of torture against supposed terrorist detainees. Something like this may have been unthinkable a generation ago, but it goes to show how strong of an impact recent foreign policy decisions have had on domestic thinking. Obama not only inherited BushÂs hard wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, but he took the prerogative to launch his own, both hard and soft, and to fortify Dick CheneyÂs ÂOne Percent DoctrineÂ.
Fighting Wars For the One Percent
No, this isnÂt necessarily about the 1% that constitute AmericaÂs economic elite (although they definitely play an important role in this process), but instead about a policy that Dick Cheney established in November 2001. He is quoted by author Ron Suskind as saying:
ÂIf there's a 1% chance that Pakistani scientists are helping al-Qaeda build or develop a nuclear weapon, we have to treat it as a certainty in terms of our response. It's not about our analysisÂ It's about our response.Â
The point here is that even if there is an absolute minimum chance (one percent or so) that America is under threat by someone or something, then the US must respond in some way or another in order to defend itself. Understandably, this policy is ripe for abuse, and the underlining idea extended far beyond anti-terrorist fears. In fact, it can be argued that just about every single war or military engagement the US partook in since 9/11 was some way or another ÂjustifiedÂ on these grounds, be it BushÂs invasion of Iraq or ObamaÂs attack on Libya. What matters most is that the government conveys the misleading message that the public is under some vague risk of danger (no matter how small or illogically convoluted) from some foreign foe and that military measures are necessary to secure the Homeland.
Cold War Is The New Hot War
Just as the US has engaged in a spate of hot wars (be they big like Iraq or small like the bombings in Yemen), so too is it now doing the same for cold wars. The militaristic thinking of dominating and domineering is the same, the only thing that has changed are the instruments. Economic warfare and asymmetrical initiatives (itÂs hard to call them responses when the recipient hasnÂt done anything to deserve them) are materializing as the new bombs and bullets of the 21st-centuryÂs conflicts. Sanctions are the new declaration of war (which they technically could be interpreted as per UN legislation) and Color Revolutions are latest form of invasion. They work hand-in-hand to complement one another, as the whole goal of sanctions is to create a ÂplausibleÂ reason for ÂdomesticÂ (externally supervised) regime change efforts, as is USÂ plan against Russia today. Sprinkle some geopolitical tension into the mix and thatÂs a surefire recipe for destabilizing any targeted state, without as much as a single trigger ever being pulled.
Make Your Bed And Lie In It
The USÂ militarization abroad has finally boomeranged back into the Homeland, as seen by the fact that small town police forces are now better trained and equipped than the national armies of some small states. Surplus and second-hand military gear and vehicles have been sold at discounted rates to local police departments, completing the course of militarization that started abroad and has finally ended at home. De-facto military operations are daily occurrences in the USÂ major cities, as evidenced by every metropolisÂ busy SWAT schedule. Even if the point is to clear out ruthless drug traffickers and neutralize dangerous street gangs, that in and of itself speaks volumes about the state of AmericaÂs contemporary inner-city situation.
Be it through legal or illegal means, violent criminals have become armed with the intent to kill, selling drugs or committing other illegal activity to perpetuate their chosen lifestyles, and threatening regular citizens throughout the course of this. The chickens have surely come home to roost, as it appears that the US governmentÂs documented history of facilitating the narcotics trade in Central America (the 1980s support of the Nicaraguan Contras immediately comes to mind) and covert small arms shipments the world over have finally caught up to it domestically. What was reaped had earlier been sowed, and the international militarism of the past decade has returned to take up home in the Heartland.
By Sherwood Ross - Global Research, December 12, 2012
More than 30 top U.S. officials, including presidents G.W. Bush and Obama, are guilty of war crimes or crimes against peace and humanity Âlegally akin to those perpetrated by the former Nazi regime in Germany,Â the distinguished American international law authority Francis Boyle charges.
U.S. officials involved in an Âongoing criminal conspiracyÂ in the Middle East and Africa who either participated in the commission of the crimes under their jurisdiction or failed to take action against them included both presidents since 2001 and their vice-presidents, the secretaries of State and Defense, the directors of the CIA and National Intelligence and the PentagonÂs Joint Chiefs of Staff and heads of the Central Command, among others, Boyle said.
ÂIn international legal terms, the U.S. government itself should now be viewed as constituting an ongoing criminal conspiracy under international law,Â Boyle said in an address Dec. 9th to the Puerto Rican Summit Conference on Human Rights at the University of the Sacred Heart in San Juan. Boyle is a Professor of International Law at the University of Illinois, Champaign, and the author of numerous books on the subject.
Besides the presidents, Boyle identified as war criminals Vice Presidents Dick Cheney and Joseph Biden; Secretaries of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Robert Gates and Leon Panetta; Secretaries of State Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, and Hillary Clinton; National Security Advisors Stephen Hadley, James Jones, and Thomas Donilon; Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte and James Clapper and Central Intelligence Agency(CIA) Directors George Tenet, Leon Panetta, and David Petraeus.
In the Pentagon, war criminals include the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and some Regional Commanders-in-Chiefs, especially for the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), and more recently, AFRICOM. Besides Chairman General Martin Dempsey, U.S. Army, JCS members include Admiral James Winnefeld Jr.; General Raymond Odierno, Chief of Staff of the Army; General James Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps; Admiral Jonathan Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations; and General Mark Welsh, Chief of Staff of the Air Force.
Those who have headed the Central Command since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan include Lt. General Martin Dempsey; Admiral William Fallon; General John Abizaid; General Tommy Franks; Lt. General John Allen; and current commander General James Mattis. General Carter Ham of AFRICOM bears like responsibility.
Boyle told the Puerto Rican conference that President G.W. Bush had shamelessly exploited the 9/11 tragedy and Âset forth to steal a hydrocarbon empire from the Muslim states and peoples living in Central Asia and the Middle East and Africa under Âbogus pretexts.Â These pretexts included fighting a war against Âinternational terrorismÂ or ÂIslamic fundamentalismÂ, eliminating weapons of mass destruction, the promotion of democracy, and humanitarian intervention, Boyle said.
The serial aggressions of the U.S.violate such basic documents of international law as the Nuremberg Charter, the Nuremberg Judgment, and the Nuremberg Principles, Boyle said. As well, they violate the PentagonÂs own U.S. Army Field Manual 27-10 on The Law of Land Warfare, which applies to the President himself as Commander-in-Chief of U.S. Armed Forces under Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution.
U.S. administrations since 9/11 may be charged with Âcrimes against peaceÂ for their attacks in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, Somalia,Yemen, and Syria, Âand perhaps their longstanding threatened war of aggression against Iran,Â Boyle said.
The eminent international authority went on to charge that the war crimes included Âtorture, enforced disappearances, assassinations, murders, kidnappings, extraordinary renditions, Âshock and aweÂ (bombings), and (the use of) depleted uranium, white phosphorus, cluster bombs, drone strikes,Â and the like.
Boyle said Americans Âmust not permit any aspect of their foreign affairs and defense policies to be conducted by acknowledged Âwar criminalsÂÂ but must insist upon Âthe impeachment, dismissal, resignation, indictment, conviction, and long-term incarceration of all U.S. government officials guilty of such heinous international and domestic crimes.Â
Boyle said the so-called Âtargeted killingÂ of human beings in a non-battlefield situation is Âpure murderÂ under basic principles of Anglo-American common law and international criminal law. And in this case, where these murders are both widespread and systematic, these murders constitute a Crime against Humanity under Article 7(1)(a) of the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court.
Although the United States is not a party to the Rome Statute, Boyle said, Ânevertheless President Obama is subject to the jurisdiction of the ICC and its Prosecutor for murdering people in ICC member States.Â http://globalresearch.ca/more-than-thirty-top-u-s-officials-guilty-of-war-crimes/5315289
The world faces the prospect of major war, but the truth is turned upside down and inside out by journalists, including those who promoted the lies that led to the Iraq bloodbath.
John Pilger talks to the media after meeting with Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy, where he has been seeking asylum for over two years. WHY HAS SO MUCH journalism succumbed to propaganda? Why are censorship and distortion standard practice? Why is the BBC so often a mouthpiece of rapacious power? Why do the New York Times and the Washington Post deceive their readers?
Why are young journalists not taught to understand media agendas and to challenge the high claims and low purpose of fake objectivity? And why are they not taught that the essence of so much of what's called the mainstream media is not information, but power?
These are urgent questions. The world is facing the prospect of major war, perhaps nuclear war - with the United States clearly determined to isolate and provoke Russia and eventually China. This truth is being turned upside down and inside out by journalists, including those who promoted the lies that led to the bloodbath in Iraq in 2003.
The times we live in are so dangerous and so distorted in public perception that propaganda is no longer, as Edward Bernays called it, an "invisible government". It is the government. It rules directly without fear of contradiction and its principal aim is the conquest of us: our sense of the world, our ability to separate truth from lies.
This power to create a new "reality" has been building for a long time. Forty-five years ago, a book entitled The Greening of America caused a sensation. On the cover were these words: "There is a revolution coming. It will not be like revolutions of the past. It will originate with the individual."
I was a correspondent in the United States at the time and recall the overnight elevation to guru status of the author, a young Yale academic, Charles Reich. His message was that truth-telling and political action had failed and only "culture" and introspection could change the world.
Within a few years, driven by the forces of profit, the cult of "me-ism" had all but overwhelmed our sense of acting together, our sense of social justice and internationalism. Class, gender and race were separated. The personal was the political, and the media was the message.
In the wake of the cold war, the fabrication of new "threats" completed the political disorientation of those who, 20 years earlier, would have formed a vehement opposition.
In 2003, I filmed an interview in Washington with Charles Lewis, the distinguished American investigative journalist. We discussed the invasion of Iraq a few months earlier. I asked him, "What if the freest media in the world had seriously challenged George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld and investigated their claims, instead of channeling what turned out to be crude propaganda?"
He replied that if we journalists had done our job "there is a very, very good chance we would have not gone to war in Iraq."
That's a shocking statement, and one supported by other famous journalists to whom I put the same question. Dan Rather, formerly of CBS, gave me the same answer. David Rose of the Observer and senior journalists and producers in the BBC, who wished to remain anonymous, gave me the same answer.
In other words, had journalists done their job, had they questioned and investigated the propaganda instead of amplifying it, hundreds of thousands of men, women and children might be alive today; and millions might not have fled their homes; the sectarian war between Sunni and Shia might not have ignited, and the infamous Islamic State might not now exist.
Even now, despite the millions who took to the streets in protest, most of the public in western countries have little idea of the sheer scale of the crime committed by our governments in Iraq. Even fewer are aware that, in the 12 years before the invasion, the US and British governments set in motion a holocaust by denying the civilian population of Iraq a means to live.
Those are the words of the senior British official responsible for sanctions on Iraq in the 1990s - a medieval siege that caused the deaths of half a million children under the age of five, reported Unicef. The official's name is Carne Ross. In the Foreign Office in London, he was known as "Mr. Iraq". Today, he is a truth-teller of how governments deceive and how journalists willingly spread the deception. "We would feed journalists factoids of sanitised intelligence," he told me, "or we'd freeze them out."
The main whistleblower during this terrible, silent period was Denis Halliday. Then Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations and the senior UN official in Iraq, Halliday resigned rather than implement policies he described as genocidal. He estimates that sanctions killed more than a million Iraqis.
What then happened to Halliday was instructive. He was airbrushed. Or he was vilified. On the BBC's Newsnight programme, the presenter Jeremy Paxman shouted at him: "Aren't you just an apologist for Saddam Hussein?" The Guardian recently described this as one of Paxman's "memorable moments". Last week, Paxman signed a ÂŁ1 million book deal.
The handmaidens of suppression have done their job well. Consider the effects. In 2013, a ComRes poll found that a majority of the British public believed the casualty toll in Iraq was less than 10,000 - a tiny fraction of the truth. A trail of blood that goes from Iraq to London has been scrubbed almost clean.
Rupert Murdoch is said to be the godfather of the media mob, and no one should doubt the augmented power of his newspapers - all 127 of them, with a combined circulation of 40 million, and his Fox network. But the influence of Murdoch's empire is no greater than its reflection of the wider media.
The most effective propaganda is found not in the Sun or on Fox News - but beneath a liberal halo. When the New York Times published claims that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, its fake evidence was believed, because it wasn't Fox News; it was the New York Times.
The same is true of the Washington Post and the Guardian, both of which have played a critical role in conditioning their readers to accept a new and dangerous cold war. All three liberal newspapers have misrepresented events in Ukraine as a malign act by Russia - when, in fact, the fascist led coup in Ukraine was the work of the United States, aided by Germany and Nato.
This inversion of reality is so pervasive that Washington's military encirclement and intimidation of Russia is not contentious. It's not even news, but suppressed behind a smear and scare campaign of the kind I grew up with during the first cold war.
Once again, the evil empire is coming to get us, led by another Stalin or, perversely, a new Hitler. Name your demon and let rip.
The suppression of the truth about Ukraine is one of the most complete news blackouts I can remember. The biggest Western military build-up in the Caucasus and eastern Europe since world war two is blacked out. Washington's secret aid to Kiev and its neo-Nazi brigades responsible for war crimes against the population of eastern Ukraine is blacked out. Evidence that contradicts propaganda that Russia was responsible for the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner is blacked out.
And again, supposedly liberal media are the censors. Citing no facts, no evidence, one journalist identified a pro-Russian leader in Ukraine as the man who shot down the airliner. This man, he wrote, was known as The Demon. He was a scary man who frightened the journalist. That was the evidence.
Many in the western media haves worked hard to present the ethnic Russian population of Ukraine as outsiders in their own country, almost never as Ukrainians seeking a federation within Ukraine and as Ukrainian citizens resisting a foreign-orchestrated coup against their elected government.
What the Russian president has to say is of no consequence; he is a pantomime villain who can be abused with impunity. An American general who heads Nato and is straight out of Dr. Strangelove - one General Breedlove - routinely claims Russian invasions without a shred of visual evidence. His impersonation of Stanley Kubrick's General Jack D. Ripper is pitch perfect.
Forty thousand Ruskies were massing on the border, according to Breedlove. That was good enough for the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Observer - the latter having previously distinguished itself with lies and fabrications that backed Blair's invasion of Iraq, as its former reporter, David Rose, revealed.
There is almost the joi d'esprit of a class reunion. The drum-beaters of the Washington Post are the very same editorial writers who declared the existence of Saddam's weapons of mass destruction to be "hard facts".
"If you wonder," wrote Robert Parry, "how the world could stumble into world war three - much as it did into world war one a century ago - all you need to do is look at the madness that has enveloped virtually the entire US political/media structure over Ukraine where a false narrative of white hats versus black hats took hold early and has proved impervious to facts or reason."
Parry, the journalist who revealed Iran-Contra, is one of the few who investigate the central role of the media in this "game of chicken", as the Russian foreign minister called it. But is it a game? As I write this, the US Congress votes on Resolution 758 which, in a nutshell, says: "Let's get ready for war with Russia."
In the 19th century, the writer Alexander Herzen described secular liberalism as "the final religion, though its church is not of the other world but of this". Today, this divine right is far more violent and dangerous than anything the Muslim world throws up, though perhaps its greatest triumph is the illusion of free and open information.
In the news, whole countries are made to disappear. Saudi Arabia, the source of extremism and western-backed terror, is not a story, except when it drives down the price of oil. Yemen has endured twelve years of American drone attacks. Who knows? Who cares?
In 2009, the University of the West of England published the results of a ten-year study of the BBC's coverage of Venezuela. Of 304 broadcast reports, only three mentioned any of the positive policies introduced by the government of Hugo Chavez. The greatest literacy programme in human history received barely a passing reference.
In Europe and the United States, millions of readers and viewers know next to nothing about the remarkable, life-giving changes implemented in Latin America, many of them inspired by Chavez. Like the BBC, the reports of the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Guardian and the rest of the respectable western media were notoriously in bad faith. Chavez was mocked even on his deathbed. How is this explained, I wonder, in schools of journalism?
Why are millions of people in Britain are persuaded that a collective punishment called "austerity" is necessary?
Following the economic crash in 2008, a rotten system was exposed. For a split second the banks were lined up as crooks with obligations to the public they had betrayed.
But within a few months - apart from a few stones lobbed over excessive corporate "bonuses" - the message changed. The mugshots of guilty bankers vanished from the tabloids and something called "austerity" became the burden of millions of ordinary people. Was there ever a sleight of hand as brazen?
Today, many of the premises of civilised life in Britain are being dismantled in order to pay back a fraudulent debt - the debt of crooks. The "austerity" cuts are said to be ÂŁ83 billion. That's almost exactly the amount of tax avoided by the same banks and by corporations like Amazon and Murdoch's News UK. Moreover, the crooked banks are given an annual subsidy of ÂŁ100bn in free insurance and guarantees - a figure that would fund the entire National Health Service.
The economic crisis is pure propaganda. Extreme policies now rule Britain, the United States, much of Europe, Canada and Australia. Who is standing up for the majority? Who is telling their story? Who's keeping record straight? Isn't that what journalists are meant to do?
In 1977, Carl Bernstein, of Watergate fame, revealed that more than 400 journalists and news executives worked for the CIA. They included journalists from the New York Times, Time and the TV networks. In 1991, Richard Norton Taylor of the Guardian revealed something similar in this country.
None of this is necessary today. I doubt that anyone paid the Washington Post and many other media outlets to accuse Edward Snowden of aiding terrorism. I doubt that anyone pays those who routinely smear Julian Assange - though other rewards can be plentiful.
It's clear to me that the main reason Assange has attracted such venom, spite and jealously is that WikiLeaks tore down the facade of a corrupt political elite held aloft by journalists. In heralding an extraordinary era of disclosure, Assange made enemies by illuminating and shaming the media's gatekeepers, not least on the newspaper that published and appropriated his great scoop. He became not only a target, but a golden goose.
Lucrative book and Hollywood movie deals were struck and media careers launched or kick-started on the back of WikiLeaks and its founder. People have made big money, while WikiLeaks has struggled to survive.
None of this was mentioned in Stockholm on 1 December when the editor of the Guardian, Alan Rusbridger, shared with Edward Snowden the Right Livelihood Award, known as the alternative Nobel Peace Prize. What was shocking about this event was that Assange and WikiLeaks were airbrushed. They didn't exist. They were unpeople. No one spoke up for the man who pioneered digital whistleblowing and handed the Guardian one of the greatest scoops in history. Moreover, it was Assange and his WikiLeaks team who effectively - and brilliantly - rescued Edward Snowden in Hong Kong and sped him to safety. Not a word.
What made this censorship by omission so ironic and poignant and disgraceful was that the ceremony was held in the Swedish parliament - whose craven silence on the Assange case has colluded with a grotesque miscarriage of justice in Stockholm.
"When the truth is replaced by silence," said the Soviet dissident Yevtushenko, "the silence is a lie."
It's this kind of silence we journalists need to break. We need to look in the mirror. We need to call to account an unaccountable media that services power and a psychosis that threatens world war.
In the 18th century, Edmund Burke described the role of the press as a Fourth Estate checking the powerful. Was that ever true? It certainly doesn't wash any more. What we need is a Fifth Estate: a journalism that monitors, deconstructs and counters propaganda and teaches the young to be agents of people, not power. We need what the Russians called perestroika - an insurrection of subjugated knowledge. I would call it real journalism.
It's 100 years since the First World War. Reporters then were rewarded and knighted for their silence and collusion. At the height of the slaughter, British prime minister David Lloyd George confided in C.P. Scott, editor of the Manchester Guardian: "If people really knew [the truth] the war would be stopped tomorrow, but of course they don't know and can't know."
by ESAM AL-AMIN - DECEMBER 06, 2014 - CounterPunch
The Watergate scandal in the early 1970s exposed Richard Nixon and his inner circle as conspirators who were trying to cover up their criminal involvement in spying against their political opponents. Once it was uncovered, Nixon had to resign the presidency in disgrace, as many of his assistants and senior government officials were convicted and served many years in prison. A majority in Congress at the time, including Republican members, condemned the former president and voted to impeach him. The American public was shocked to witness the level of corruption reaching the highest echelons of their government. Had it not been for the audiotapes that were released by order of the Supreme Court, the extent of NixonÂs lawlessness and lies would never have been revealed or believed.
Now a series of audiotapes involving EgyptÂs top military brass, which ousted former President Mohammad Morsi in a military coup in July 2013, were publicly leaked this week. The pro-Muslim Brotherhood satellite channel Mukameleen (Arabic for ÂWeÂll ContinueÂ) released the six audio recordings (see links 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) in a special nightly program on December 4. Shortly thereafter, the recordings went viral on Arabic-language websites, though most foreign language media outlets have yet to cover them.
The contents of the audio recordings (31 minutes in total) are shocking, as they involve the highest-ranking military rulers in Egypt, including coup leader Gen. Abdelfattah Sisi, conspiring together, falsifying evidence, forging documents, and admitting to criminal behavior on tape, while acknowledging that the legal case concocted against Morsi was in danger of collapsing. The question of who released the recordings is still a mystery but rumors abound. The program presenter at the satellite channel Mukameleen insinuated that the leak came from a source within SisiÂs inner circle that is sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood and the January 25 revolution. Haitham Abu Khalil, a prominent human rights advocate, tweeted that since the recordings came from within the Defense Ministry, the leaker must be a rival to Gen. Sisi, such as former Chief of Staff Sami Anan who declared his presidential candidacy last spring only to be sidelined by Sisi and ridiculed by his propaganda machine. Meanwhile, opposition leader Ayman Noor told Al Jazeera from his home in exile in Lebanon that the tapes are authentic because he has known the players and could easily identify their voices.
The individuals heard on the recordings comprise some of the major figures who were involved in the military coup and have ruled the country ever since. They include Gen. Mamdouh Shahin, legal advisor to Sisi, Gen. Abbas Kamel, SisiÂs chief aide and office manager, Gen. Mohammad Ibrahim, the interior minister, Gen. Osama El-Gindy, chief of naval forces, and Gen. Mahmoud Hegazi, head of military intelligence, who was later promoted to army chief of staff. The recording also featured Gen. Sisi himself, who was the defense minister at the time before being elected president last May in a vote that was considered by many neutral observers and monitors to be a sham election. In the tapes, Gen. Shahin also described the conspiratorial role of the chief General Prosecutor, Hisham Barakat (who was appointed to the post by the coup leaders) and several of his senior prosecutors including Mustafa Khater and Ibrahim Saleh who have been leading the prosecution teams against Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood leadership.
Conspiracy in Action
ItÂs not clear when the recordings were made but they probably occurred sometime last spring when MorsiÂs defense team challenged the basis for his initial incarceration and petitioned the presiding judges to dismiss all charges against him under the pretext that he was kidnapped by the military with no criminal charges until months later. According to Egyptian law, if the defense team was able to prove that Morsi was illegally detained, he would have to be released, after which he would have most certainly declared that he was the legitimately-elected president by millions of Egyptians.
During the first minute of the recording, Gen. Shahin is heard telling SisiÂs office manager, Gen. Kamel, that General Prosecutor Barakat was in panic mode and had sent him his three leading prosecutors (including Khater and Saleh) and asked him to ÂfixÂ his problem. During an earlier court session, government prosecutors falsely told the judges that Morsi was never kidnapped and had always been in the custody of the interior ministry, even though he was actually being held in a military barracks at Abu Qir naval base near Alexandria. Shahin then told Kamel that they needed to provide the prosecutors with Âan order of arrest of Morsi signed by interior minister Gen. Ibrahim that must be backdated to the day of the coup.Â Shahin then called Ibrahim (min. 2-3) and asked for the forged legal document to be signed by the interior minister. He also asked Ibrahim to make sure that the order was Âprinted in the official government recordsÂ so the order would appear legitimate, adding Âas we used to do so during the days of the Supreme Council of the Armed ForcesÂ Â when SCAF issued backdated laws during the military rule in the aftermath of MubarakÂs ouster. On tape Ibrahim is heard readily agreeing, and requesting that Shahin provide him with details to be included in the order including, the address and description of the detention facility.
Shahin and Kamel then called Gen. El-Gindy, the chief of the naval forces, who commanded the naval base where Morsi was detained for several weeks before he was officially charged and transferred to an interior ministry prison. In the next few minutes (starting at min. 5) Shahin tried to convince Gen. El-Gindy to turn over one of his buildings in the base to the interior ministry to be used as a prison for a month until MorsiÂs trial ended. When El-Gindy asked why they could not use an existing prison facility and claim that it was the facility used for MorsiÂs initial incarceration, Shahin said that this would not work because there was an official report on record written by investigative judge Hasan Samir that gave a detailed description of MorsiÂs detention facility that would not match any existing prison under the control of the interior ministry. In one instance Shahin warns (min. 9-11) that unless the prosecutors win this issue in court Âthe espionage charges and the Ittihadiyya (presidential palace) murder case (against Morsi) would collapse.Â Shahin then stated that they would have to plan for the worst-case scenario, as he was certain that the defense team would request physical inspection of the detention facility that the judges may actually grant. In this case, the detention facility must be part of the prison system under the interior ministry and match what was already on the record. However, Gen. El-Gindy expressed skepticism, as he could not transform any existing building in the naval base to become a stand-alone prison and turned over to the interior ministry. Yet, he promised to look into the matter.
In the next audio recording Gens. Shahin and Kamel called military intelligence chief Gen. Hegazi (min. 13) to seek his support in getting Gen. El-Gindy to cooperate. In frustration, Hegazi complained that the military does not get adequate legal counsel and thatÂs why the military is now Âcollecting corpsesÂ on the streets. Surprisingly, Shahin who is SisiÂs legal advisor, answered Âthere is no one here (i.e. in the military) whose specialty is the law in order to provide legal advice.Â He further stated that interior minister Ibrahim has already agreed to sign the order and backdate it in order to Âgive the prosecutors the documents they need.Â Hegazi then suggested that they build a ÂhangerÂ on the naval base Âwhich the (armyÂs) engineering department could do in 72 hoursÂ. He added ÂThey could build a separate gate, fence it, put a sign on it and turn it over to the interior ministry as a prison facility.Â Shahin was then delighted since the prosecutors told him that, Âthey had 15 days to finish the task.Â
Military chief of staff Gen. Hegazi then called the chief of the naval forces Gen. El-Gindy in the presence of Gen. Shahin (min. 18) and asked if it was possible to build a hanger similar to the detention facility that housed Morsi during his initial incarceration. El-Gindy readily agreed to do it as SisiÂs office manager Gen. Kamel informed him (min. 20) that Sisi said that, Âhe should spare no cost because the important thing is to do it completely right.Â He then added that Sisi instructed the interior ministry Âto take over the new detention facility as if they had occupied it for 100 years.Â
In the next recording, Shahin tells Kamel that all the falsified documents were now ready and then commented that Kamel Âshould not worry about the forgery of the documentsÂ since no one would be able to challenge them in court. Kamel then instructed him to make sure that Âall the prison records are also doctored including the registration of Morsi as a criminal prisoner at the time.Â Shahin then stated (min. 21) that General Prosecutor Barakat is now Âvery, very, very happy because he was under great duress because of this problem.Â
Shahin and Kamel then joked that the new place would be ready for inspection by MorsiÂs defense team. Kamel suggested (min. 22) that they make the detention facility so authentic as to also include a Âtorture roomÂ and show how prisoners Âare hanged from their feet.Â Shahin then jokingly responded: Âyou can always command us. Forgery is the order of the day.Â Kamel then commented on the Muslim Brotherhood by saying Âthe bastards would never win. WeÂd never allow them to gloat against us.Â
The next recording is the only time Sisi is heard on the tapes (min. 22:20) in which he stated that he had just finished a meeting with interior minster Ibrahim. He then asked Shahin if he had completed the task at hand with the interior minister. Shahin responded that he had, and that it was the hardest obstacle in this predicament, in which case Sisi responded, ÂIndeed it was a very difficult problem.Â
In the next recording, Gens. Kamel, Shahin, and El-Gindy are heard discussing the newly built hanger turned prison facility (min. 23-31) at the Abu Qir naval base. When El-Gindy stated that the facility was now ready to be turned over to the interior ministry, Shahin jokingly intimated, ÂItÂs ready for usÂ (i.e. to be our prison when the military rule is ousted). El-Gindy responded by saying that it was unsuitable for them since it was only a 3-star rather than a 7-star facility (min. 23). El-Gindy then proceeded by saying that the new facility matched the one where Morsi was detained in all its details including Âchairs, beds, appliances, refrigerators, washers, and the garage.Â He then added, ÂItÂs the same as the original from A to Z Â even the sports equipment is the same. We even left the newspapers of that period in the cells.Â Kamel then jokingly commented (min. 25) that such immaculate details Âwould drive the man (Morsi) crazy.Â Shahin then stated (min. 26) that Âhe arranged with the head of the prison system to send 3 or 4 prisoners there to show that the facility had always been in use.Â When the prisons chief asked why not house more prisoners Shahin responded by saying ÂHell no. Do you want to expose us? This facility is supposed to be a special prison for only a limited number of prisoners.Â Kamel then said that he would inform interior minister Ibrahim Âto send his security people to take over the facilityÂ and that there is Âa tacit agreement (with the prosecutors) to receive early warning before an actual inspection takes placeÂ in order to get the facility Âready.Â He then assures them that the prison guards would have already been Âbriefed and trainedÂ so as not to be uncovered. Finally, Shahin instructed that Âall the record books must be cooked with proper dates and names of visitors including the visits by the African leaders (to Morsi in his early days of detention) as well as by a delegation from EgyptÂs human rights organization, etc.Â Kamel then assured them that ÂLt. Gen. Tariq has been working on this with interior ministry officials.Â
When wolves are guarding the sheep
These revelations clearly demonstrate that Egypt is currently being ruled by a criminal enterprise masquerading as patriotic military generals or statesmen. Since the July 2013 coup thousands of Egyptians have been killed in the streets while at least forty thousand have been arrested, jailed and tortured. In essence, the coup was a counterrevolutionary movement led by the military generals and elements of MubarakÂs deep state that eventually resulted not only in the acquittal of the former dictator and his cronies but also in thwarting EgyptÂs path towards freedom and democracy.
More than forty years ago, Nixon told the American public that he was not a crook, only to be shamed nine months later and admit that indeed he had violated the law and had to resign. But the military generals in Cairo are not only crooks by their own admission, but also murderers, thugs, and psychopaths. There are no parliament, judiciary, or viable civil society institutions in Egypt to hold them accountable. Meanwhile, the international community is looking the other way while Egypt descends into turmoil and chaos, and most Egyptians face unprecedented repression and corruption on a massive scale. During the 18 momentous revolutionary days in the spring of 2011, many Egyptians believed that the military generals stood with them against the tyranny and decadence of the Mubarak regime, and declared in Tahrir Square and across Egypt that Âthe people and the army are one.Â Four years later most Egyptians who yearn to be free openly declare Âno to military ruleÂ and understand now more than ever that freedom and democracy cannot be bestowed by any one group but must be taken by the people themselves.
Esam Al-Amin is the author of The Arab Awakening Unveiled: Understanding Transformations and Revolutions in the Middle East. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
Theodor Herzl at the Fifth Zionist Congress, 1901.
Likudniks, take note: Israeli streets are named after a self-hating Jewish traitor. By Carlo Strenger - 12-05-14 - Haaretz
In his 2009 and 2013 governments Netanyahu included center-left parties that functioned as a restraint against the most extreme excesses of his own party, which has moved ever more to the right. The Likud has made sure to kick out its last genuinely democratic parliamentarians like Dan Meridor, Michael Eytan and Benny Begin in 2013, and Reuven Rivlin is now president.
But it seems that he wonÂt repeat this mistake, after Yesh Atid and Hatnua actually caused him trouble and made him fire Lapid and Livni: his next government will be composed of the extreme right and the ultra-Orthodox only. Here are some ideas for the Likud after the next elections.
The LikudÂs new up-and-coming stars, Zeev Elkin, Yariv Levin, Danny Danon, Miri Regev & Co are amassing an impressive record. They have gone a long way towards a re-definition of Zionism that rejects the most basic principle of liberal democracy, equality of rights for all citizens. The nation-state law they are promoting not only wants to give Jews preeminence in Israel, they also want Jewish law to be the primary inspiration for IsraelÂs legal system. Anything other than an ethnocracy is either Post-Zionist or anti-Zionist.
The new Likudniks have not only transformed the Likud party from a right wing, but basically liberal-democratic party into a one with totalitarian and racist leanings. They have also contributed much to the flourishing racism of their constituency ranging from the chants of Âdeath to ArabsÂ by Beitar Jerusalem fans to Amir BenayounÂs latest song about the Arab student who is reveling in IsraelÂs delights only waiting to kill Jews at some point.
But they have not yet purged Israel of old conceptions of Zionism as befits the genuinely totalitarian country they are envisaging, and parties like Labor, Yesh Atid and even Meretz, God forbid, still dare to call themselves Zionist. ItÂs time for the new Likudniks to leave a genuine mark on Israel, and I have the perfect plan for them.
They should address a terrible scandal that taints IsraelÂs cities: all of them have one of their main streets named after a bearded Viennese self-hating Jew called Theodor Herzl. This man wrote a despicable book called Altneuland, containing absolutely horrid anti-Zionist propaganda.
He promoted a country in which Jewish religion has no formal standing at all. Herzl believed that the Temple-Mount should be avoided, and any reconstruction of the temple should just be another synagogue. Worst of all: HerzlÂs horrible work takes pride in the treacherous notion that the Nation-state of the Jews gives completely equal rights to all citizens, including Arabs, and is cosmopolitan in nature. Herzl even thought that the country should be multi-cultural and multi-lingual, including both Yiddish and German!
Calling main streets in Israel after this man is not only an offense against true Zionism, but positively harmful. Imagine if Israeli children would actually read Altneuland, which can be downloaded from the Web nowadays: They might get the most destructive ideas about Israel and Zionism!
Ahad HaÂam, also to be found on every Israeli cityÂs street signs is even worse. He wrote anti-Semitic tracts in which he deplored Jewish settlers contemptuous treatment of Arabs in Palestine, and argued that this was un-Jewish behavior. Worse than that: he warned not to build a Jewish state in Israel, because this might turn into an immoral society and to instead suggested developing a Jewish cultural center in Palestine. Ahad HaÂam, in other words, was a post-Zionist avant la lettre. He didnÂt have a shred of patriotism, loved Arabs, and was against a Jewish state!
The new Likudniks should pass a law that would replace the names of every Herzl and Ahad HaÂam Street Â I leave it open to them whom they would like to replace them with. Meir Kahane and RechavÂam Zeevi might be names that would prove that the new Likudniks have genuine long-term vision for the country.
Just a brief post-scriptum: While they are at it, they should consider whether it wouldnÂt be better to take Zeev Jabotinsky off IsraelÂ street signs as well. Jabotinsky was distinctly lacking in nationalist fervor: he actually wrote that Israel could have a legitimately elected Arab prime minister. The time has come to purge IsraelÂs streets of these anti-Zionists!
Three key moments when The New Republic defended Zionism against the anti-Israel left During a generation when the American left turned against the Jewish State, the magazine presented a robust, eloquent and at times inspiring counter-vision.
By Seth Lipsky | Dec. 15, 2014 - Haaretz
The breakup of The New Republic magazine is an occasion to think about its most important scoop â a liberal defense of Zionism. In a season when the American left turned against the Jewish State, The New Republic was a robust, eloquent and at times inspiring advocate. Even many of us on the right reckon that if debate strengthens Israelâs cause, The New Republic will be among those papers that deserve a portion of pride. Herewith is a sampler of three of my favorite TNR dispatches on this head:
Sanhedrin II: The case of Ivan Demjanjuk
This is a reprise of the decision of Israelâs Supreme Court to free Demjanjuk even though it had concluded, to a certainty, that he had served at Sobibor. The courtâs decision is one of the ghastliest errors ever made by an Israeli institution. It was greeted in The New Republic by a nuanced and illuminating essay by a superstar of the American appeals bench, Judge Alex Kozinski, who rides the Ninth United States Circuit.
Kozinski predicted that the decision of Israelâs top court would âbecome a model of judicial craftsmanship.â But, he asked, âis it right?â He reckoned that, by American legal principles, âthe opinion is hard to defend.â He doubted that even Americaâs most liberal judicial titans â like Earl Warren, William Brennan and Thurgood Marshall â would have stood for it. He could explain it only by resorting to âa much older tradition,â that of the Sanhedrin, with its obsession for giving the accused the âbenefit of every doubt.â Even when Demjanjuk turned out to have worked at Sobibor.
The god that did not fail
Itâs hard to think of another publication that marked the double jubilee of the First Zionist Congress in the way The New Republic did. It ran, in September 1997, a cover of the photo of Herzl peering into the future while leaning on a railing at Basel. Inside was an 11,000-word piece by the paperâs proprietor and chief editor, Martin Peretz, sketching political Zionism from Moses Hess forward. And how he marked the historical irony that as Herzl was at Basel, Rosa Luxemburg and Leon Trotsky were launching their movements.
âWho, in those early inflamed decades in the history of modern revolution, would have imagined that it was not the socialist revolution of the deracinated Jews, but the nationalist revolution of the reracinated Jews, that would come out on top?â Peretz asked. âIf socialism was the God that failed,â he added, âthen Zionism was the God that did not fail.â He was using the word âGodâ metaphorically, he pointed out, calling Zionism âa morality, and a politics, of worldlinessâ and the only ideology âto have accomplished what it set out to do â and to have done so with reasonable decency.â
The usual suspect
This is Jeffrey Goldbergâs October 2007 review of John Mearsheimer and Stephen Waltâs âThe Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy.â It will be a long time before as devastating a review as this is issued in a liberal magazine. It spent its first 1,300 words on one of the âcave encyclicalsâ of Osama Bin Laden, who sought to convince Americans that it was usury that enabled the Jews âin all their different forms and guisesâ to âhave taken controlâ of âyour economyâ and âyour mediaâ and to âcontrol all aspects of your life, making you their servants and achieving their aims at your expense.â
Then Goldberg dealt with Mearsheimer and Walt and those whose tradition they were trying to make respectable â Charles Lindbergh, Father Coughlin, Joseph P. Kennedy, and, more recently, Patrick Buchanan, Louis Farrakhan, and David Duke. Goldberg encapsulated their key theme as âthe belief that America supports Israel only because the pro-Israel lobby forces it to do so.â Wrote he: âWhat is unfathomable to them is that many Americans, Jewish and otherwise, admire Israel.â Goldberg ends up mocking Walt and Mearsheimer for, inadvertently via their illogic, supporting the Zionist cause.
It would be inaccurate to suggest that a friendliness to Zion was a feature of TNR only under Peretz, though he brought it to its apogee. He reminded me, in a phone conversation last week, that Horace Kallen, a philosopher and early member of the Zionist Organization of America, was on the first board of The New Republic. And that Felix Frankfurter, who was encouraged to the Zionist cause by Louis Brandeis, was an â not the â editor of the magazine in its early years.
It would also be inaccurate to suggest Israel was the only cause of the magazine in the generation now departing. But articles like those in the sampler above were its defining contribution to the national debate here in America in the past generation. Itâs not the only contribution by the generation of editors and writers whose conduct of the magazine is now ending, and it may be that the new owners will stick with Israel. Either way, in a generation when the left has been campaigning against the Jewish state, TNRâs counter-vision has been no small thing.
Seth Lipsky is editor of The New York Sun. He was a foreign editor and a member of the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal, founding editor of The Forward and editor from 1990 to 2000.
Former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former president George W. Bush, former first lady Laura Bush, President Barack Obama, and first lady Michelle Obama during funeral services for U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy at the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help August 29, 2009 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Credit: Pool/Getty Images)
The president might be imperial relative to Congress, but our corporate plutocracy and global military operations should not be able to escape the damning charge of "imperial" behavior.
by William Grover, Joseph Peschek - 12-04-2014 - Common Dreams
"We are fortunate that, thanks to globalization, policy decisions in the US have been largely replaced by global market forces. National security aside, it hardly makes any difference who will be the next president. The world is governed by market forces." ÂAlan Greenspan, Federal Reserve Chair, 2007
The Âimperial presidencyÂ is back, or so we have been warned. The firestorm over President ObamaÂs decision to use an executive order to break the congressional logjam over immigration reform has reignited protest from conservatives and some liberals over executive overreach.
"The problem with viewing the institutional balance of power between Congress and the President as the core of our political predicament is that it divorces those institutions from the larger context of politics and economics within which they operate."
Reaction to the PresidentÂs move was as swift as it was predictable. Citing the plan that will allow up to four million undocumented immigrants legal work status, and shield an additional one million from deportation, Michael Steel, the spokesman for Republican House Speaker John Boehner, issued a statement condemning the president's action. ÂIf ÂEmperor ObamaÂ ignores the American people and announces an amnesty plan that he himself has said over and over again exceeds his Constitutional authority,Â Steel said, Âhe will cement his legacy of lawlessness and ruin the chances for Congressional action on this issue Â and many others." Ross Douthat recently ran with a slightly more nuanced version of the theme in an op-ed in the New York Times, characterizing Obama as Âan elected Caesar, a Cheney for liberalism, a president unbound.Â
Emperor Obama? An elected Caesar? A lawless president? Obama unbound? WhatÂs going on here? This is a perennial issue in America political discourse, with historians and political scientists dutifully weighing in on the correct balance to maintain within our constitutional structure.
The critique of an excess of executive power received its most forceful articulation in historian Arthur Schlesinger, JrÂs classic 1973 book The Imperial Presidency. There SchlesingerÂlike so many scholars, often a cheerleader for presidential power when exercised by activist, liberal chief executives from FDR forwardÂexpressed grave doubts about it in the context of the Vietnam War and Watergate. Having surveyed the history of executive excess in foreign affairs from the eighteenth century onward, Schlesinger found in the early 1970s an almost ÂmessianicÂ view of American power, veiled in secrecy and dangerously threatening the constitutional balance of power.
While the threat of institutional imbalance affected all aspects of government, the tipping of power away from Congress toward the President was most troubling for Schlesinger and his many adherents. If our constitutional structure could be viewed as a see-saw with the President sitting on one end and Congress on the other, the see-saw was nearly crushed by the weight of an executive behemoth. Our thinking came to be dominated by this see-saw metaphor. Restoring constitutional balance was the remedy, a fix Schlesinger comfortably saw growing out of those very institutions and their ability to self-correct. The moral of the story? Bad guys get caught. The system works.
The problem with viewing the institutional balance of power between Congress and the President as the core of our political predicament is that it divorces those institutions from the larger context of politics and economics within which they operate. There is a shared consensus between the two political parties about the ends of US economic and military power, while tactical differences over means capture almost all the media attention. Thus we have the spectacle of a second term President Obama announcing his bipartisan market-based climate policies while reassuring us that being caretakers of the future involves Âno contradiction between a sound environment and strong economic growth.Â And a battle ensues over which incremental market-based policies should be enacted. Or the President reaffirms his allegiance to the idea of American exceptionalism, reminding us that Âthe United States remains the one indispensable nationÂ I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being.Â
To be sure, presidential unilateralism is a concern within our constitutional system. Ignoring it outright would be foolish; accountability matters. But what Republican member of the House and Senate, what Republican running for president, would seriously take issue with the PresidentÂs formulations above if appealing to a national audience? And itÂs an even more vexing question for Democrats who might want to see Hillary Clinton elected in 2016, or progressives who favor Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren. Looking at institutions apart from the deeper structure of power allows Schlesinger and other critics of the Âimperial presidencyÂ to view the dangers of power as procedural. The office is seen as imperial, without having to consider that the substantive policies themselves might be imperial. The president might be imperial relative to Congress, but our corporate plutocracy and global military operations escape the damning ÂimperialÂ charge. Indeed, if we follow the logic of Alan Greenspan above, the ideology and policy priorities of neoliberalism have eclipsed most of what passes for party conflict in America.
Fixation on defining our political ÂproblemÂ as an institutional imbalance of power weighted too far toward the White House misses the far more unsettling dilemma. Regardless of party, personality, management style or partisan control of Capitol Hill, all presidents seek the same deeper structural ends concerning the two central policy goals of the modern state: the pursuit of both profit-driven economic growth and national security based on US hegemony. The modern presidency is a creature of FDRÂs long tenure and the subsequent rise of what has been called the warfare-welfare state. The soaring public expectations undergirding the modern chief executive have rested on these twin pillars of endless economic growth (rising GDPÂalways more production and consumption tomorrow than today) and national security (always tougher with each iteration of the enemy, be they the Soviets or ISIS). Each goal is bipartisan and defined in ways that are not sustainable in light of twenty-first century challenges to conventional assumptions. Physics and chemistry simply do not care who chairs the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural ResourcesÂneither party is willing to challenge corporate and financial interests fundamentally enough, and quickly enough, to adequately address climate change. Drone attacks on civilians in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen will not make the nation any more secure, whether or not the President confers with Congress before ordering their launch.
If we continue to think about the office of the presidency as a metaphorical see-sawÂif historians and political scientists continue to frame the central issue as a debate over the proper balance between the executive and legislative branchesÂthen the presidency will be unsustainable in the face of todayÂs deeper dangers. The US and the larger world face a set of interrelated crises, including a seemingly endless commitment to a Âwar against terrorÂ and a prolonged economic slump accompanied by widespread material hardship and deepening class inequality. And global climate change, brought about by accelerating levels of carbon dioxide and methane, threatens life on Earth as we know it. Focus solely on the see-saw of power and the entire democratic playground may well go up in the flames of spectacle, charade and disillusionment. But if we have the courage to rethink and redefine the political and economic assumptions upon which the modern presidency was erected, then the office may yet be sustainable, its core elements of popular leadership truly shorn of their deeper imperial trappings.
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Wayne MADSEN - 03.12.2014 - Strategic Culture Foundation
The Times of Israel, an independent Israeli newspaper that counts among its staff a number of former reporters for the Israeli daily HaÂaretz, published a fascinating but largely overlooked story datelined Jerusalem and Zhitomir, Ukraine, March 16, 2014, and which was written by its respective Russian and Ukrainian correspondents, Hirsh Ostropoler and I. Z. Grosser-Spass, citing a secret report provided to the Israeli government. The report, written by a select panel of scholars of Jewish history drawn from academia and other research centers, concluded that that European Jews are in fact descended from Khazars, a war-like Mongol-Tatar group that ruled over Ukraine and southern Russia, which mass-converted to Judaism in the eighth century AD.
Zionists have long argued that the land claimed by Israel was the biblical birthright of the Jewish people who were forced from the land in a so-called Â«diasporaÂ» after repeated conquests by various empires. Proof that Ashkenazi Jews, which make up a majority of the Israeli Jewish population, have no historical link to Palestine would call into question the entire premise of Israel as the historical Â«5,000-year oldÂ» homeland of the Jewish people.
The Israeli journalists noted that any conversation of the Khazars and modern Israel has always been met with disdain by Israeli leaders. They quote Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir as once saying, Â«Khazar, Schmazar. There is no Khazar people. I knew no Khazars. In Kiev. Or Milwaukee. Show me these Khazars of whom you speakÂ». DNA proof that a migratory Khazar population from Europe is now claiming ancient roots in Palestine largely eliminates Zionist claims to the region.
The evidence that eastern and central European Jews have no historical claim to Palestine has resulted in a flurry of activity in Israel and abroad. The Israeli Knesset will soon vote on a bill passed by the Israeli Cabinet that legalizes Israel as a Jewish Â«national stateÂ». Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who read the secret report on the Khazars, has declared that Â«Israel is the Jewish, nationalist state for the Jewish peopleÂ». With the Ashkenazi claims to Israel tenuous, at best, Netanyahu, his Likud Party, and his Jewish Orthodox and West Bank settler party allies have no other choice but to aggressively stake their nationalist claims to not only Israel but also to the West Bank Â which the nationalists refer to as Â«Judea and SamariaÂ».
However, some Israelis and Jews abroad are not taking any chances. One of the main reasons why Ukrainian Jewish billionaire tycoon Ihor Kolomoisky, the governor of UkraineÂs Dnipropetrovsk province and citizen of Ukraine, Israel, and Cyprus, is spending tens of millions of dollars on the recruitment of right-wing Ukrainian nationalists and neo-Nazis from other parts of Europe to fight against the Russian-speaking majority in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine, is a fear that plans to turn Ukraine into a Â«second IsraelÂ» will be derailed. RussiaÂs protective measures for the Donbass, as well as its incorporation by referendum of Crimea, the latter prized by the resurgent Khazarian Jewish nationalists, threaten the transformation of Ukraine into a second homeland for Ashkenazi Jews who are finding their hold on Israel prime tenuous, at best.
The Times of IsraelÂs explosive story about the Khazarian roots of the Ashkenazis also revealed that Israel, knowing that a Palestinian state is inevitable considering the increasing pressure for it from Europe, is preparing to resettle Ashkenazi settlers in the West Bank to Ukraine. IsraelÂs advanced research in genetics resulted in a direct DNA line being established between IsraelÂs Ashkenazis and the Khazars who were dispersed across eastern and central Europe after Russia conquered the Khazarian Empire in the 11th century.
Israelis and their Zionist allies around the world have always accused proponents of the Khazarian-Ashkenazi genetic connection of deep-rooted anti-Semitism. However, the genetic research contained in the secret Israeli report confirms what Israeli historian Shlomo Sand revealed in his book, Â«The Invention of the Jewish PeopleÂ». The concept of the Khazarian bloodline was first broached by Hungarian historian Arthur Koestler in his 1976 Â«The Thirteenth TribeÂ».
The Times of Israel reporters quoted an unnamed aide to Netanyahu who revealed the plans for Israeli emigration to Ukraine: Â«We first thought that admitting we are really Khazars was one way to get around [Palestinian President Mahmoud] AbbasÂs insistence that no Jew can remain in a Palestinian state. Maybe we were grasping at straws. But when he refused to accept that, it forced us to think about more creative solutions. The Ukrainian invitation for the Jews to return was a godsend. Relocating all the settlers within Israel in a short time would be difficult for reasons of logistics and economics. We certainly donÂt want another fashlan like the expulsion of the settlers in the Gaza Hitnatkut [disengagement]Â».
Ostropoler and Grosser-Spass also quoted an anonymous Israeli intelligence source as saying: Â«WeÂre not talking about all the Ashkenazi Jews going back to Ukraine. Obviously that is not practical. The press as usual exaggerates and sensationalizes; this is why we need military censorshipÂ».
The Israeli and Ukrainian Jewish plan is to resettle the Ashkenazis from the West Bank in the Russian autonomous republic of Crimea after what they see will be an eventual retrocession of the peninsula to Ukraine. The ultimate plans of Ukrainian Zionists such as Kolomoisky, in addition to such American allies as Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland and U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, is to establish an autonomous Jewish region of Crimea and restore to the peninsula the original Khazarian name of Chazerai. Although the Tatars who live in Crimea and elsewhere today are largely Muslims, the plans to create a Khazar nation in Ukraine will also likely involve global proselytization by Israelis and Ukrainians who are bent on restoring Khazaria as an alternative to Israel. Current Jewish proselytization efforts among Â«crypto-JewishÂ» Catholic mestizos in Mexico; Christians, Hindus, and Buddhists in India; Russian Orthodox and Buddhists in Birobidzhan, Siberia; Muslims in Pakistan and Afghanistan; and Christians, Muslims, and animists in Uganda, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Malawi; and among small pockets of alleged Jewish descendants in China, Sao Tome and Principe, Tahiti, Suriname, Vietnam, Brazil, and Peru point to an Israeli plan intent on increasing Jewish numbers for the purpose of settlement in a number of locations outside the illegally-occupied West Bank and the Golan Heights. In addition to Ukraine, northern Iraq, eastern Libya, Alexandria in Egypt, parts of Turkey, Patagonia in Argentina, and Uganda are all being considered for potential Jewish settlements to complement the West Bank or replace it. The so-called Â«Lost Tribe of Israel,Â» the Bnei Menashe of Mizoram and Manipur states of northeast India are viewed by many Indians as not actually Jewish but desperate economic migrants looking for better lives in Israel. So desperate are the Israeli expansionists to increase their numbers, dubious Jewish DNA studies have attempted to classify the Sorbs of eastern Germany; the Bantu Lemba people of Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Mozambique; and certain groups of southern Italians, Armenians, and Greeks as Â«lost tribesÂ» of Israel in order to increase JudaismÂs numbers and geographical land claims.
In Ukraine, the so-called Â«second Israel,Â» Kolomoisky and Kiev have enlisted a number of ex-Israel Defense Force members in their volunteer battalions, including the Azov Battalion, One of the Israeli units is known as the Â«Blue Helmets of MaidanÂ» and is commanded by an Israeli using the pseudonym Â«DeltaÂ». If Israel did not have a vested interest in expanding its influence in Ukraine it could easily prevent these units from going to Ukraine.
There are also Sephardic Jewish settlers in the West Bank who are descended from the Jewish Marranos of Moorish-ruled Spain who were expelled from the Iberian Peninsula during the Spanish and Portuguese inquisitions of the 15th century who have no ties to Ashkenazis or Khazaria. Recently, in a move similar to UkraineÂs invitation to the Ashkenazis from the West Bank to settle in Ukraine, Spain and Portugal have enacted legislation that would permit any Sephardic Jew anywhere in the world who can prove their descent from the Marranos expelled during the Inquisition to obtain citizenship in the two countries.
Some Russian speakers in the Donbass are wary of the intentions of pro-Israelis in the Kiev government. Oddly, Kolomoisky has recruited a number of neo-Nazis from western Ukraine and Europe to fight in his battalions whose right-wing organizations have always subscribed to the notion of a future Â«battle royaleÂ» between Russia and the remnants of Khazaria in Israel, Ukraine, Poland, and the Republic of Georgia to avenge KhazariaÂs defeat in the 11th century by the Russian Empire.
Israel provided the Georgian government of President Mikheil Saaakashvili, which included a number of dual Israeli-Georgian nationals of Khazar descent, with military and intelligence assistance in its 2008 war against South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Similarly, the Israelis have established close ties with Azerbaijan, a country, which like Georgia and Ukraine, has ancient links to Khazaria through an indigenous group of Azeri Jews known as Subbotniks.
The anonymous Netanyahu aide is also quoted by The Times of Israel journalists as revealing why the Israeli government in making a play for large Israeli settlements in Ukraine: Â«As the Prime Minister has said, no one will tell Jews where they may or may not live on the historic territory of their existence as a sovereign people. He is willing to make painful sacrifices for peace, even if that means giving up part of our biblical homeland in Judea and Samaria. But then you have to expect us to exercise our historical rights somewhere else. We decided this will be on the shores of the Black Sea, where we were an autochthonous people for more than 2000 years. Even the great non-Zionist historian Simon Dubnow said we had the right to colonize Crimea. ItÂs in all the history books. You can look it upÂ».
The aide revealed to the two Israeli journalists that Netanyahu appreciates the strength of the ancient Khazars and quote Netanyahu as saying, Â«we are a proud and ancient people whose history here goes back 4,000 yearsÂ». But the aide added, Â«The same is true of the Khazars . . . in Europe and not quite as long. But look at the map: the Khazars did not have to live within ÂAuschwitz borders.ÂÂ»
The United Nations is a tool of international Zionist power and by extension, so is the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), says an Iraqi-U.S. activist.
Jonathan Azaziah made the remarks during an email interview with the Tehran Times during the last week of December.
He also commented on the latest rounds of Western sanctions against Iran, U.S. war threats against the Islamic Republic and the role of Zionism in international politics.
Following are the excerpts of the interview:
The nucleus of the Zionist mindset, the energy source that drives those who think in this manner to behave like the inhuman monsters that they are is Jewish supremacism; the need to destroy all that it is not Jewish, the goyim, in order for "the Jewish people" to survive.
The developer of the neutron bomb, Samuel T. Cohen, was a Zionist with a strong Talmudic-Jewish upbringing, as was Robert J. Oppenheimer, the creator of the atom bomb. The supremacist need to destroy all non-Jewish peoples and cultures was close to the blackened hearts of the early leaders of the usurping Zionist entity, hence why Ben-Gurion, Dayan, Eshkol and Peres collectively came up with the "Samson Option," the military plan to unleash 'Israeli' nukes upon the world if any nation or every nation attempted to confront Zionist power.
The polar opposite of this thuggish outlook on existence, is the Islamic Revolutionary Republic of Iran, a nation whose Persian history is rooted in the very essence of creation. The finest poets, artists, mathematicians, scientists and theologians that the world has ever known originate from this great land.
The Zionist entity, in its twisted collective mind, must destroy Iran because the Islamic Republic represents everything that it is not: tolerant, beautiful, non-destructive, non-aggressive and most importantly, God fearing. Iran does not bow down to the feet of the Zionists and their rabbinical overlords, it only bows before Almighty God and for this, it has drawn the ire of the Zionists and their imperial conduit puppets. From the geopolitical perspective, the Zionist entity must not allow any Islamic nation to acquire nuclear weapons because that would neutralize its domination of the region; the annihilation of Iraq, the demolition of Libya and constant assault on nuclear-armed Pakistan are prime examples of this.
Zionism far worse than apartheid system
The term "apartheid" is an attempt to make international Zionism seem like it is innocuous or closely related with previous colonial endeavors when in reality, it is something far worse and far uglier. Apartheid is simply one facet of the Zionist regime that it is criminally and disgustingly occupying holy al-Quds and the rest of historic Palestine, as is colonization, and most importantly, they are only temporary.
The true goal of Zionism is to wipe out all non-Jewish peoples in vast parts of Egypt, including most of its north, all of Sinai and Cairo, all of Jordan, all of Kuwait, a gargantuan portion of Saudi Arabia, all of Lebanon, all of Syria, all of Cyprus, an elephantine part of Turkey up to Lake Van and finally, part of Iraq south of the Euphrates River. The expulsion and/or mass murder of these peoples would lead to the creation of the Zionist dream known as Greater Israel. So branding this usurping dragon of an entity simply as an "apartheid state" is not only incomplete, it is deceptive. And this disingenuous injection of language into the vocabularies of Palestine's supporters is also meant to deflect the attention from the root cause of this 63-year occupation: the Talmudic ideology that gave birth to Zionism, which is an amalgamation of terrorism, racism, barbarism, supremacism, expansionism and imperialism.
After all of the massacres committed against our brothers and sisters, all of the babies murdered, women raped, mosques and churches destroyed and land stolen, the least we can do is label this extremist enclave what it actually is: a fabricated entity that has no right to exist. Finally, all persons who represent this entity, all of its occupiers and squatters, must be thrown out immediately so the 8 million Palestinian refugees worldwide can finally return to their homes. We will not make peace with this usurping Jewish supremacist beast. We will never recognize this filthy entity. We will not share our lands with thieves and thugs, killers and degenerates. There will not be 'equal rights' for oppressed and oppressed. There will only be equal rights for Palestinians, the true owners of the land, and whoever that they decide will live with them, chiefly those who respect their dignity and who have fought alongside them from Nakba to Naksa to now, not those who killed them and maimed them; they will be delivered into the clutches of justice for a century of inhumanity and malevolence.
Saudi assassination plot Â a Mossad false flag
The ludicrous, ridiculous "Saudi assassination plot" has already been debunked as another Mossad false flag and I must say, it was one of the most pathetic that the Zionist regime's international intelligence directorate had concocted in quite some time. The allegations of "human rights violations" in the Islamic Republic are nothing but atrocious attempts by the Zionist-occupied U.S. government (of) -- regime change. We know this to be massively farcical.
Additionally, there is no larger violator and destroyer of human rights than the United States, which under Zionist direction, has initiated one war after another in the last 100 years and murdered tens of millions of innocents. How dare these hooligans and monsters criticize Iran for "human rights abuses" after their fire bombing of Tokyo, their nuking of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, their decimation of Dresden, Frankfurt, Hamburg, their concentration camps set up after WW2 that murdered over 1 million innocent Germans, their rape of Vietnam and Cambodia for the expansion of Jewish mob boss Meyer Lansky's criminal narcotics syndicate, their eradication of Iraq over the last 20 years, their crushing of Afghanistan, their ruining of Libya and incessant drone bombing of Pakistan, Yemen and occupied Somalia, along with their assistance in the ongoing six-decade-long brutalization of Palestine. Their hypocrisy is legendary and sickening. And the IAEA report is such a joke, such a steaming mound of rubbish that it is not even worth analyzing. It is clear that the reason for this 'trilateral attack' that you speak of is desperation.
The Iranian leadership is cool, calculated and undeterred. They have not taken the Zionist bait in responding to the multiple transgressions that the occupier of Palestine has committed against them and this display of sabr (patience) has infuriated the monsters greatly.
New round of Western sanctions against Iran
I do not believe for a second that the sanctions will bring the Islamic Revolution to its knees; not even a single second. The Persian people, first and foremost, kneel only before ALLAH (SWT) and this was proven by their triumph over the Shah and the CIA-Mossad-run counter-revolution in 1979. The would-be-invaders and 'arrogant powers' that (Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution) Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei constantly refers to know that the only way Iran will break is through all-out aggression and as described already, they are not ready for this kind of war at this juncture.
This is why we see increased cooperation between the (P)GCC countries, America and the Zionist entity, mainly the excessively large weapons deals between the House of Saud, America and Germany as well as the increased 'defense' relations between the House of Khalifa in Bahrain and the Zionist-occupied U.S. government. International Zionism loves nothing more than Muslims killing Muslims and nothing would satisfy its bloodlust quite like a 'Sunni-Shi'a, Persian-Arab' war, in which its Israeli occupation forces would not have to lift a single weapon; the goyim would do all the work for them, eliminating the usurping Jewish supremacist state's greatest enemy. The Zionists and the real power behind them, their racist genocidal rabbis, according to their satanic Talmud, view the Arab and Persian peoples as "Ishmaelites" and "Amalekites" who must be destroyed in order to erect a "Jewish Utopia" on earth, in which Jews rule over non-Jews in a sort of supremacist paradise. It is a religious duty for Zionists to murder us, steal our lands and desecrate what it is holy to us and they have the authority in their Talmud to use any and all means to do it, including using our own people against us. Therefore, the sanctions are only a precursor to what the globe holders really have in store for Iran.
Why Iran will be victorious
For 22 years, South Lebanon was savagely occupied by the monstrous Zionist entity. The righteous Islamic Resistance of Lebanon, Hezbollah, liberated its land, conquering the fourth (some say third) mightiest military in the world and rightfully humiliating it. In 2006, the Zionist entity launched a criminal war against Lebanon to avenge its defeat 6 years earlier. Unleashing cluster bombs, white phosphorus and depleted uranium on the dignified and innocent Lebanese people, the usurping regime murdered nearly 1,500 Lebanese and the unexploded cluster bombs continue killing to this very moment.
Defiantly and inspired by the steadfastness of the Lebanese people, Hezbollah defeated the Jewish supremacist entity again, crushing their plots to reoccupy Lebanon and upholding their Resistance to global Zionism. How was this small fighting force able to best such a monolithic military power? Because the faith of a people cannot be pierced with bullets or devastated by bombs. Because the dignity of a people cannot be occupied or colonized. The Zionists have no faith; they are godless, satanic supremacists. The Zionists have no dignity, they are the swindlers of humanity. Comparatively, the Palestinian people have been occupied for 63 years. Still, the Zionists have not been able to expel them to exalt their 'Greater Israel' dream. The Kashmiri people have been occupied for 64 years. Still, the Hindutvadis have been able to crush them to initiate their first phase of 'Greater Hindutva.' Why? Because like Hezbollah and the exceptional Lebanese people, the Palestinians' and Kashmiris' faith and dignity are a weapon that cannot be defeated by their occupiers. And the revolutionary Islamic Republic of Iran, like Hezbollah, the Palestinians and Kashmiris is on a greater scale, with more weaponry at its disposal. It will not give up its nuclear program nor will it bow before hollow military threats because it doesn't take orders from Zionism; Iran does not recognize Zionism or the Jewish supremacists that govern it as legitimate authorities.
Iran only takes orders from Al-Hakam (SWT), the supreme Judge of this universe. For us, Allah (SWT) is Al-Mu'izz, because He has honored us with Resistance and martyrdom if we die in our path of Resistance, giving hope to our brothers and sisters still struggling because as the Holy Qur'an says, we are alive though we are not seen. For the monsters, the enemies and the 'arrogant powers' though, Allah (SWT) is Al-Moumit, and the day of the Zionists' doom at His hands is much nearer than they think. Iran and all those who support it will be victorious.
U.S. a leader in international terrorism
There is no doubt that the United States, the 'golem' of the international Zionist Power Configuration and Jewish banking interests, is the world leader in terrorism. The US is in no moral position to condemn any government or group in the world until it fesses up to its own blood-soaked history. 100 million Native Americans exterminated. 150 million Africans, many of them Muslims, murdered in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, which was dominated by Spanish Jews like Aaron Lopez who had an entire fleet of slaveships and financing from the Rothschild family; these Jews, who were of the extremist and now dominant Talmudic-Kabbalistic school of thought, also introduced to the Curse of Ham to their Gentile slave-trading brothers, a horrific, racist story concocted and developed by the rabbis in their Talmud which lowered the rank of our brothers and sisters of beautiful black skin to animals. This Talmudic drivel was used to justify the dehumanization of millions of others and in the greater geopolitical sense, it is now being exercised to justify more Zionist aggression on the African continent. These two historical atrocities alone show the true face of America, and its support of brutish dictators and monarchical maniacs across the globe is well-known. And while Iran's millennial history is one of peace and diplomacy with its neighbors, the U.S. has launched hundreds of wars, covert and overt over its short two-century history. There is an old Kufan saying that my uncle once shared with me, which has been around since Al-Mukhtar (RA) launched his rebellion against the Umayyads to defend the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS) more than 1,300 years ago, that perfectly sums up the United States' glorious fraudulence. Loosely translated from Arabic, it goes, "He who spills the most blood, talks of the most peace." I cannot think of truer words that have been spoken.
IAEA not an independent outfit
First and foremost, the IAEA is not an independent outfit like its public relations stooges would like the world to believe. The IAEA reports directly to the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council and coordinates all of its actions with these two institutions of Zionist power. Therefore, without question, it can be said that the IAEA is nothing but a tool of the UN. The same UN hasn't done a damn thing to stop Zionist tyranny in Palestine, scripting hundreds of resolutions against this racist usurping entity but enforcing none of them. The same UN has done nothing to stop Hindutvadi tyranny in Kashmir, which is intimately aided by the Zionist entity with arms and intelligence, scripting dozens of other resolutions and enforcing none of them. The same UN that introduced Resolution 661 to Iraq, the treacherous 'sanctions resolution,' which crippled Iraq, prepared it for the Zionist invasion of 2003 and murdered over 2 million people by starvation including 800,000 Iraqi children. The same UN paved the way for the mutilation of Libya, in which at least 100,000 have been mass murdered. The same UN that now seeks to turn Syria into another Iraq or Libya 2.0. And besides, what is the UN really? As is the case with all matters of history and the revisionism that follows, we must return to the beginning; the origins. The origins of the UN can be found in the financing of the same Zionist banking families, the Rothschilds, Schiffs, Warbugs, Lazards and Oppenheimers, who have financed strife on this earth for centuries. The UN was created to justify the existence of the Zionist entity as a legitimate nation-state, to put a shroud on its hideous supremacist character. Despite the illegal Jewish colonization of Palestine financed by the Rothschild family since the 1880s and the horrible Zionist atrocities of the Nakba in 1948, still the UN recognized this fabricated regime, still gave it a name and a seat. Why? Because its godfathers, the Zionist bankers, wanted it that way. The UN is a tool of international Zionist power and by extension, so is the IAEA. And if the evidence isn't clear enough, one simply needs to look at the previous IAEA head, Mohamed ElBaradei, who is hailed as a great humanitarian and even a hero, when he is nothing more than a wolf in sheep's clothing, a snake in the grass, a two-faced Zionist hypocrite who has condemned the Islamic Resistance of illegally besieged Gaza, who supports the insane 'right to exist' of the Zionist entity and who shakes hands with Israeli war criminals. While ElBaradei ran the IAEA, he sat on the board of the International Crisis Group, a highly-influential international Zionist think tank, right next to none other than Shimon Peres, George Soros and Morton Abramowitz, three of the most powerful Zionists on this planet. There is your 'IAEA independence,' yet another Zionist fraud.
Jonathan Azaziah is an Iraqi-U.S. Muslim poet, activist, analyst, writer and journalist from Brooklyn, New York. He is currently residing in Florida. His articles, poems and music deal with the subject of international Zionism. He is also a staff writer for Pakistan's premier alternative media outlet, Opinion Maker, a regular contributor to Veterans Today journal and a frequent guest and co-host of the Crescent and Cross Solidarity Movement's Ugly Truth radio broadcast.
By Thomas Gaist - 19 November 2014 The US Defense Department (DOD) is developing domestic espionage and covert operations targeting "the general public" in coordination with the intelligence establishment and police agencies, according to a New York Times report. ÂThe Times analysis showed that the military and its investigative agencies have almost as many undercover agents working inside the United States as does the F.B.I,Â the newspaper wrote. ÂWhile most of them are involved in internal policing of service members and defense contractors, a growing number are focused, in part, on the general public as part of joint federal task forces that combine military, intelligence and law enforcement specialists,Â the Times continued. Taken at face value, the report amounts to an acknowledgment by the leading media organ of the US ruling class that the American government is deploying a vast, forward-deployed counter-insurgency machine to target the US population at large. Coming directly from the horse's mouth, the Times report makes clear that espionage, deception, and covert operations are now primary instruments of the US government's domestic policy and are actively deployed by the military and security agencies against the civilian population. In preparation for a massive upsurge in the class struggle, the US ruling class is mobilizing the entire federal bureaucracy to carry out systematic and targeted political repression against the working class in the US and around the world. In addition to the DOD, at least 39 other federal security and civilian agencies, including the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Education and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), have developed increasingly ambitious forms of covert operations involving the use of undercover agents, which now inhabit Âvirtually every corner of the federal government,Â according to unnamed government officials and documents cited by the New York Times. New training programs to prepare agents to conduct Internet-based undercover sting operations have been developed by the DOD, Homeland Security (DHS) and the FBI, according to the report. DHS alone spends at least $100 million per year on the development of undercover operations, an unnamed DHS intelligence official told the Times. Total costs for operations involving undercover government agents likely total at least several hundred millions of dollars per year, the Times reported. The US Supreme Court trains its own security force in Âundercover tactics,Â which officers use to infiltrate and spy on demonstrators outside the high courtÂs facilities, the Times reported. IRS agents frequently pose as professionals, including as medical doctors, in order to gain access to privileged information, according to a former agent cited by the report. IRS internal regulations cited in the report state that Âan undercover employee or cooperating private individual may pose as an attorney, physician, clergyman or member of the news media.Â Teams of undercover agents deployed by the IRS operate in the US and internationally in a variety of guises, including as drug money launderers and expensive luxury goods buyers. The Department of Agriculture (DOA) employs at least 100 of its own covert agents, who often pretend to be food stamp users while investigating Âsuspicious vendors and fraud,Â according to the Times . Covert agents employed by the Department of Education (DOE) have embedded themselves in federally funded education programs, unnamed sources cited by the report say. Numerous other federal bureaucracies are running their own in-house espionage programs, including the Smithsonian, the Small Business Administration, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the report stated. This sprawling apparatus of spying, disruption and manipulation implicates the state in a mind-boggling range of criminal and destructive activities. Covert operations using undercover agents are conducted entirely in secret, and are funded from secret budgets and slush funds that are replenished through the ÂchurningÂ of funds seized during previous operations back into the agencies' coffers to fund the further expansion of secret programs. Secret operations orchestrated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) on this basis are increasingly indistinguishable from those of organized crime syndicates, and give a foretaste of what can be expected from the ongoing deployment of counter-revolutionary undercover agents by military-intelligence apparatus throughout the US. In 2010, the ATF launched a series of covert operations that used state-run front businesses to seize weapons, drugs, and cash, partly by manipulating mentally disabled and drug addicted individuals, many of them teenagers, according to investigations by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel . While posing as owners of pawnshops and drug paraphernalia retail outlets, ATF agents induced cash-desperate and psychologically vulnerable individuals to carry out criminal activities including the purchase and sale of stolen weapons and illegal substances. A number of the ATF-run fake stores exposed by the Sentinel were run in Âdrug freeÂ and ÂsafeÂ zones near churches and schools. Youths were encouraged to smoke marijuana and play video games at these locations by ATF agents. In one instance reported by the Sentinel, a female agent wore revealing attire and flirted with teenage targets while inciting them to acquire weapons and illegal substances to sell to an ATF-run front business, the Sentinel found. The ATF was notorious for its operations in the 1980s where it used agents provocateurs to frame up and jail militant workers involved in industrial strikes. In one infamous case in Milburn, West Virginia an ATF informer was exposed after he tried unsuccessfully to convince striking coal miners to blow up an abandoned processing facility. The US government has steadily escalated its domestic clandestine operations in the years since the September 11, 2001, attacks. The New York Police Department (NYPD) intelligence section deployed hundreds of covert agents throughout New York City, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. As part of operations coordinated with the CIA and spanning more than a decade, the NYPD paid informants to spy on and Âbait" Muslim residents into manufactured terror plots. The security and intelligence agencies refer to this method as Âcreate and capture,Â according to a former NYPD asset cited by the Associated Press . It is now obvious these surveillance and infiltration programs, initially focusing on Muslim neighborhoods, were only the first stage in the implementation of a comprehensive espionage and counter-insurgency system targeting the US population. Large numbers of informers and FBI agents infiltrated the Occupy Wall Street protests in 2011. Historically, secret police groups targeted the political and class enemies of the capitalist state using the pretext of defending the nation from dangerous ÂforeignÂ elements. Among the first covert police sections established by the imperialist powers were the British ÂSpecial Branch,Â originally established as the ÂSpecial Irish BranchÂ in 1883 to target groups opposed to British domination of Ireland. ÂSpecial BranchÂ police intelligence forces were subsequently set up throughout the commonwealth to run cloak-and-dagger missions in service of British imperialism. Similarly, in an early effort by the US ruling class to develop a secret police force, New York City police commissioner established ÂItalian SquadÂ in 1906 to carry out undercover activities against socialist-minded workers in the city's immigrant and working class areas.
By Daniel Fisher - Forbes Staff - 11/06/2014 - Forbes.com
Lawyers representing victims of the 9/11 attacks asked a New York court to delay a deadline in their litigation so they can assess claims by Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called Â20th hijacker,Â that a member of the Saudi royal family helped him in his failed effort to participate in the terror plot.
Moussaoui, in a handwritten letter to U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels in New York, said ÂI want to meet you and testifyÂ about the involvement of the Saudi Bin Laden Group and other Saudi figures including members of the ruling al Saud family and the late Khalid bin Mahfouz, who founded the Bank of Credit and Commerce International and was widely accused of funding al Qaeda.
Jerry Goldman, an attorney for 9/11 victims, said he and other members of the plaintiffsÂ team traveled two weeks ago to ADX Florence, the ÂSupermaxÂ prison in Colorado where Moussaoui is serving life without parole. Goldman said the Justice Dept. is reviewing the transcript of their meeting and until the government is done, he canÂt discuss what was said Â for obvious reasons. Radical lawyer Lynne Stewart was sentenced to 10 years in prison for relaying conversations with her client, the blind cleric Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, to compatriots overseas without government clearance.
The case against the Saudi government, by victims and insurance companies that paid claims in the attack, was revived after the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower courtÂs dismissal. The plaintiffs filed an amended complaint in September, which the Saudis again asked to dismiss, and a plaintiff response is due next week.
ÂWe asked the court for an extension because the DOJ wants to review certain documents,Â Goldman said, including the transcript of the Moussaoui interview. ÂWe believe the material is relevant to the proceedings of the court.Â
Moussaoui first contacted lawyers about testifying in civil lawsuits after seeing the verdict in the Arab Bank case last month on TV, according to this report by Allison Frankel at Reuters.
ÂI want to testify against financial institutions such as Arab Bank , Saudi American Bank, the National Commercial Bank of Saudi ArabiaÂ and several individuals, Moussaoui wrote in a note to the New York court in that case, Âfor their support and financing of Usama bin Laden and Al Qaeda from the time of the Eastern Africa embassy bombing, U.S.S. Cole bombing and 9/11.Â
Whether MoussaouiÂs testimony will help the plaintiffs is unknown. Moussaoui was arrested before the 9/11 attacks in August 2001 on immigration charges after officials became suspicious about his attending a flight-training school in Minnesota. While he had contacts with the other 9/11 hijackers, his credibility would be challenged by his changing claims of involvement in the plot. He ultimately pleaded guilty to involvement even as 9/11 planner Khalid Sheik Mohammed claimed he wasnÂt part of the team.
Lawyers for insurance companies and individual plaintiffs argue Saudi Arabia provided direct logistical and financial support to the 9/11 terrorists, 15 of whom were Saudi citizens, through charities it controlled and undercover operatives working in the U.S. To bolster the argument that this case involves U.S. plaintiffs suing over torts committed on U.S. soil, lawyers detail a series of suspicious contacts between Saudi agents and Al Qaeda including Omar Bayoumi, who allegedly held a do-nothing job with a a Saudi aviation firm called Dallah Avco and helped support 9/11 hijackers in San Diego.
Historian Richard Dowden & Commonwealth Activist Jack Sen Explain How Apartheid Was In Fact an English Creation
It peeves me to no end when Marxist liberals tell me that minority South Africans have no business being in the country, let alone on the continent!
The ludicrous Leftist notion that non-indigenous people have the right to be in Europe because borders are a social construct, but not in South Africa, is utterly farcical and an egregious example of liberal hypocrisy.
Besides-when it comes to Africa, not only does it run contrary to natural order, but counter to how the indigenous have been divvying up their nations since time immemorial.
The tribes inhabiting southern Africa have lived by the spear for millennia. Land has typically been held by the tribe wielding the biggest spear. Why should the European tribe that settled, conquered and developed that land not be afforded that same privilege?
Although I am in no way criticising my beloved Britain, or condoning the oppression of indigenous populations on any continent, why condemn white South Africans for Apartheid, when it was in fact a British creation-one as English as afternoon Earl Grey tea and scones?
The great Winston Churchill and before him-Cecil Rhodes, were the men that sowed the seeds that were to develop into Apartheid. Thats historical fact.
They believed that Britain had a divine destiny to rule the world. Pax Britannica-a modern day Roman empire led by Anglo Saxon men with a weltanschaunng penned by god himself, was the only way forward in their minds
And people often forget about Jan Smuts the infamous Afrikaner supporter of the British Empire, who was instrumental in Apartheids development. Like Churchill, Smuts has a statue in Londons Parliament Square, not in Suid Afrika where all three men will go down in infamy.
So, certainly I can see why the Afrikaner people get defensive when we Brits point our fingers at them.
Id suggest your readers have a look at historian Richard Dowdens essay on the matter for an depth analysis on what Apartheid was and the men behind it. Dowdens essay, originally published in the Telegraph I believe on the origins of South African Apartheid, is as revealing as it is accurate.
Taken from a phone interview we did with Commonwealth advocate & South African minority rights proponent, Jack Sen.
Apartheid: Made in Britain
by Richard Dowden
IN THE days leading up to the South African election we will be told by journalists and commentators that democracy has finally arrived in South Africa and that black South Africans will be voting for the first time. Neither statement is quite true.
Democracy has a long, if contorted, history in South Africa. For nearly 100 years there was a non-racial franchise and the electoral role did not become exclusively white until 1956. The Coloured Vote Bill in that year was the final blow to a non-racial democracy which had been whittled away over the decades. Like many apartheid laws passed by the National Party government in the Fifties, it was not a radical departure from the past. The legislation which created apartheid was based on existing laws and in many cases simply tightened or tidied them.
The myth that there has never been democracy in South Africa is linked to a second myth. Most people think they know that apartheid was an invention of the Afrikaners and their belief that South Africa should be ruled exclusively by whites. Conversely, it is usually thought that the English tradition in South Africa was non-racial and democratic. In fact, the British tradition, as purveyed by both English-speaking South Africans and the parliament at Westminster, has played a less than glorious role in establishing democracy.
As Jack Sen points out, it was two renowned Englishmen, Cecil Rhodes and Winston Churchill, who at crucial moments in South Africas history, created the policies which deprived black people of democratic rights in South Africa.
Lets take Rhodes first, the Bishops Stortford boy who wanted to build an African empire from Cairo to the Cape, who invented Rhodesia and left us with the De Beers diamond monopoly and 160 Rhodes scholarships at Oxford. A millionaire from diamonds and gold before the age of 30, Rhodes became Prime Minister of the Cape in 1890. For more than 40 years the Cape had had a non-racial franchise which allowed anyone, irrespective of race, with property worth pounds 25 or wages of pounds 50 a year to vote for representatives in an Assembly which made laws for the colony.
Rhodes believed that the world should be ruled by the Anglo Saxon and Teutonic races: one of his dreams was to force the United States of America back into the British Empire. Although Africans represented a minority of voters and did not vote as a block, Rhodes passed two laws simultaneously which caused large numbers of them to be struck off the electoral role. One, the Glen Grey Act, limited the amount of land Africans could hold; the other tripled the property qualification for the vote. Many Africans now had insufficient property to qualify and would find it almost impossible to get back on the list because of the legal limit on the amount of land they could hold.
The next blow to democracy came after the Boer war. Elsewhere in the world the imperial government in London exercised a veto over its colonialists to protect the interests of the native people of the colony from the settlers. In Kenya, for example, London blocked several attempts by colonists to make Kenya a white mans country. Ultimately, in Rhodesia, Britain imposed sanctions to reverse Ian Smiths Declaration of Independence. In South Africa, however, the veto was abandoned when the Union of South Africa Act was passed in 1910 and the man who played a vital role in its abandonment was Churchill.
If you read the debates that led up to the Act of Union, the most striking thing is that the words racial conflict referred to the Anglo- Boer war. What we would call the racial issue was then the native problem. The British had fought the war partly, it was said, to protect the interests of the natives from the Boers, the Afrikaners.
During the war the British had encouraged Africans to work for British victory, which they did in large numbers. With victory, Britain might have been expected to extend the Cape non-racial franchise to the conquered territories of the Transvaal and the Orange River Colony so that blacks would be represented in the whole territory the way they had been in the British colony. But not only did they not do so, they also limited the native vote to the Cape. Africans were to have no say in the election of a national parliament, although they retained their voting rights to the Cape parliament.
The young Churchill, then Under-Secretary for the Colonies, had covered the South African war as a journalist and had been captured by and escaped from the Boers. His knowledge and influence in making the agreement after peace was signed was crucial. In a debate in July 1906 he called the peace treaty the first real step taken to withdraw South African affairs from the arena of British party politics. He argued passionately that the Afrikaners should be allowed self-rule, a self-rule which he admitted would mean that black Africans would be excluded from the vote.
In parliament he told those who pointed out that the treaty had enshrined the rights of Africans that the Afrikaners interpreted the peace treaty differently. He said: We must be bound by the interpretation which the other party places on it and it is undoubted that the Boers would regard it as a breach of that treaty if the franchise were in the first instance extended to any persons who are not white.
When South Africa was discussed four years later, Churchills successor tried to reassure parliament that the Afrikaners would come round to the view that it was wiser to include Africans in the franchise. A delegations of Africans from the South African Native Congress, the forerunner of the ANC, came to lobby parliament at Westminster, but to no avail.
Because of Churchill and his policy the British parliament had already washed its hands of responsibility for the rights of its black citizens in South Africa. When the new parliament in South Africa passed the Land Act, making it illegal for Africans to purchase land from Europeans anywhere outside the reserves, a delegation of Africans who came to London to protest were told that it was a matter for the South African parliament.
The deputy leader of the party which passed the Land Act was Jan Smuts. He had fought against the British and his troops had been responsible for massacres of unarmed Africans acting as drivers and porters for the British army. After the war he played a crucial role in striking the deal between Britain and the Afrikaners and is usually regarded as the man who represented liberal democratic values in South Africa. In fact, Smuts believed that South Africa should be a white mans country and he believed in segregation which is simply English for apartheid.
He passed the first piece of legislation which separated white and black areas and in 1920 the Native (Urban Areas) Act which laid down the principle of residential segregation in urban areas, keeping blacks away from white residential areas. He also initiated the principle of reserving jobs for whites in the Mines and Work Act. In the 1929 Black Peril election, when fear of being dominated by Africans became the major issue, Smuts demanded that the rate of black integration into white society must be curtailed. He also called for South African influence to be extended north and east in the creation of a British Confederation of African States.
Smuts lost that election to J B Hertzogs National Party, but five years later they formed a coalition and democracy took another blow. The Native Representation Act of 1936 took away the franchise from Africans in the Cape. Instead, Africans in the whole country were to be able to elect four white men to represent them on a council, with eight other appointed members. Although coloureds remained on the Cape electoral role until 1956, the 1936 act was the final stage in a long retreat from democracy in South Africa.
When the National Party won the 1948 election on the platform of apartheid, it did not have radically to rewrite South Africas laws. The foundations of apartheid were already in place. Sex outside marriage between races was already banned, but it was carried to its logical conclusion in the 1949 Mixed Marriages Act and the Immorality Act of the following year which banned any sex between races.
The Native Laws Amendment Act, built on Smuts Native (Urban Areas) Act, redefined which Africans were allowed into urban areas. The laws affecting the various pass laws that were already in existence were amalgamated into the Abolition of Passes and Consolidation of Documents Act and forced all Africans to carry a single pass. It was made a criminal offence not to produce the pass book when required by the police.
Various laws relating to urban affairs which prescribed segregation were gathered into the Group Areas Act which made separation absolute and gave the government powers to define an area as White, Black, Indian or Coloured. The Industrial Conciliation Act built on the foundations of Smuts Mines and Work Act to restrict further black rights at work. On the crucial issue of land, the Prevention of Illegal Squatting Act gave the government power to move African tenants from privately or publicly owned land and tidy up the land into segregated areas. This was the completion of legislation which began with Cecil Rhodes Glen Grey Act, nearly 50 years before.
The arrival or rather rearrival of non-racial democracy in South Africa is clearly cause for celebration, but it should not be an occasion for British self-satisfaction that Western-style democracy and the Mother of Parliaments have won another convert. Perhaps, though, there should be half a cheer for Churchills colleague, Lord Elgin, the Secretary of State for the Colonies, who in 1906 expressed the fervent wish that the Afrikaners would, in some time to come, see the good sense of granting reasonable representation to the natives. I suppose you could say his wish has come true at last.
Richard Dowden writes on African news and politics, for The Independent, The Times and The Economist.
Jack Sen is a British Commonwealth advocate.
Die swart stamme wat in Suid-Afrika woon, het vir eeue met hul spies en skild gewoon n land wat tipies regeer is deur die stam wat die spies die meeste rondgeswaai het. Hoekom moet die Europese (wit) stam wat ook hier vir eeue gevestig, ontwikkel en oorwin het, nie dieselfde geleentheid gebied word? Jack Sen
Everything is coming together. DNA Science has torn back the curtains of time and revealed the Serpent and his people. The ones we today call âJewsâ are the very disciples of the evil entity whom the Bible describes as, âthat old serpent, the devil.â
From the early centuries of the first millennia, the Khazars of Eastern Europe were known as the diabolical âSerpent People,â and now, the nation of Israel has admitted that its people are indeed, the Khazars.
The admission by the Israelis that the Jews are not related to ancient Israel but to Khazaria was reported in The Times of Israel (Leaked Report: Israel Acknowledges Jews in fact Khazars; Secret Plan for Reverse Migration to Ukraine, March 18, 2014). That article, by Professor Jim Wald, related that the Israeli leadership in Jerusalem is sending military equipment and settlers from Israel to Ukraine.
The Jews have taken charge of that ravaged countryâs government and finances and intend eventually to make the Ukraine a âsecond homelandâ for the Jews.
Their plan, leaked by governmental insiders, came only after Netanyahu and his cabinet reviewed growing DNA genetic evidence that the Jews are not the descendants of Abraham. Instead, they came from Khazaria, of which Kiev, Ukraine is the centerpiece. In fact, the Jews of Israel and the U.S. are of Ukrainian heritage. Ukraine is in the heartland of Khazaria.
Back to Khazaria The rabbis teach that in the eighth century, the entire nation of Khazaria converted to the Talmud and to kabbalistic Judaism. Adopting the sordid, but occultly revealing, sex symbol of the six-pointed star, the pagan Khazars, known for centuries as the âSerpent People,â battled against both Christians and Islamists. Later, as converted âJewsâ they migrated to Poland and Eastern Europe. Today they are found mostly in the U.S.A. and in Israel.
DNA Science has today confirmed this Khazar lineage of the Jews. I document the Khazar bloodline heritage in my definitive book, DNA Science and the Jewish Bloodline.
The Khazars, identified in Revelation 2 and 3 as the wicked âSynagogue of Satan,â are further identified in Ezekiel 38 and 39 prophetically as the people of Gog, from the land of Magog. Prophecy clearly tells us that this warlike serpentine people shall invade and conquer Israel first, then go on to plunge the entire planet into chaos and warfare (Revelation 20).
From Khazaria to Israel, and back to Khazaria (Ukraine) is Israelâs secret plan. After suppressing the Ukraine nation, the Jewish conquests will continue until the Jews achieve their New World Order.
Domination of America In 2007, American political science professors James Petras, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt reached the conclusion that Americaâs foreign policy is now dominated by the Israel Lobby. The Jews do this through their powerful monied groups, AIPAC, the ADL, and the AJC. They control both the Republican and the Democrat Parties, and the White House does their bidding. That bidding includes the conquest of Ukraine.
But, how did the Jews come to acknowledge their Khazarian bloodline link? Professor Jim Wald notes in The Times of Israel:
âThe surprising turn of events had an even more surprising origin: Genetics, a field in which Israeli scholars have long excelled.âIt is well known that sometime in the eighth and ninth centuries, the Khazars, a warlike Turkic people, converted to Judaism and ruled over a vast domain in what became southern Russia and Ukraine. What happened to them after the Russians destroyed that empire around the eleventh century has become a mystery. Many have speculated that the Khazars became the ancestors of Ashkenazi Jews. âDuring the U.N. debate over Palestineâs partition, Chaim Weizman respondedâŠ âIt is very strange. All my life I have been a Jew, felt like a Jew, and I now learn that I am a Khazar.ââ
A Blue-Ribbon Team of Scholars The 2012 genetic discoveries by Dr. Eran Elhaik of the prestigious Johns Hopkins Medical University, that the Jews are not of ancient Israel but originated in Khazaria, stunned the Israelis. It has now been followed by other high-level scientific research. Wald reports that, âa blueribbon team of scholars from leading research institutions and museumsâ was then appointed to study the DNA.
A blue-ribbon committee of scientists reviewed the DNA and other evidence and told the Israeli government that, indeed, the Jews are of the Khazarian bloodline. Prime Minister Netanyahu has secretly decided to settle Jews in Ukraine, and infuse that country with military and intelligence officials. In essence, the Jews will make Ukraine, centerpiece of ancient Khazaria, a second homeland for the Jews.
These authorities, said Wald, âissued a secret report to the government acknowledging the fact that European Jews are in fact Khazars.â
The Ukraine Solution: Two Jewish Homelands At first, this result was deemed unhappy, even ominous, but, says Wald, Prime Minister Netanyahu and his advisors surprised us by bringing in their âUkraine Solution.â Some Jewish settlers would leave Israel and return to Ukraine. This resettling into Ukraine would take time, for reasons of logistics and economics. The end result, however, would be two Jewish homelands, Israel and Ukraine.
âWeâre not talking about all the Ashkenazi Jews going back to Ukraine,â explained a well-placed source in intelligence circles, âobviously this is not practical.â
Wald calls this solution âKhazaria 2.0.â âAll Jews will be welcomed back to Ukraine without condition as citizens.â Whatâs more, the Israeli government promises an âinfusion of massive Israeli military assistanceâ to Ukraine, âincluding troops, equipment, and construction of new bases.â
âIf the initial transfer works, other West Bank settlers would be encouraged to relocate to Ukraine as well.â
In effect, Ukraine is to become an âautonomous Jewish domain,â a small-scale successor to the medieval empire of KhazariaâŠ It would be called, in Yiddish, Chazerai.
âBy lining up with the Syrian rebels and Ukraine, as well as Georgia and Azerbaijanâ (also part of the ancient Khazarian territory), one source explains, Netanyahu âputs pressure on both Syria and Russia.â
Israel and U.S. Stage a Bloody Coup in Ukraine Thus, we understand the current Ukraine political mess. The Jews launched the quest for their new Ukrainian homeland. They have support from the United States, as witnessâthe Jewish diplomat, Victoria Nuland, of the State Department. The U.S. is warning Vladimir Putin to keep a distance from Ukraine and to relinquish Russiaâs historic ties to that nation, now ruled by Israel.
The constitutionally elected Ukrainian President, Yanukovych, was overthrown last year by the U.S. and Israel, with the CIA and the Mossad both deeply involved. A Jewish billionaire, Petro Poroshenko, was quickly installed as President. Jewish money and military might is constantly being flown into Ukraine. Ukrainian Christians (not Jews!) are being slaughtered. Genocide is underway.
All property is being appropriated by Jewish oligarchs. The Israelis learned in Turkey (1905), the Soviet Union (1917), and Palestine (1948) how to work as a corrupt and calculating âminorityâ to dominate a larger, gentile majority.
Pity the Ukranian People We should all feel great pity and sorrow for the suffering Ukrainian people. They are being massacred and oppressed by the arrogant Zionist Jews who have, with Americaâs help, now become the âslave masters of Ukraine.â Even the concentration camps have been reopened and are filling up with native Ukrainians.
Israelâs oligarchs, under Poroshenkoâs iron hand, are dividing up the spoils of their Ukrainian takeover. The economy is fallingâit has sank to only forty percent of its pre-2013 level. Israel is stealing natural gas and oil from the destabilized Middle East and selling it for huge profits to energy-starved Ukraine. Everything will change.
The U.S. Has Already Completed Regime Change In Syria (1949), Iran (1953), Iraq (Twice), Afghanistan (Twice), Turkey, Libya and Other Oil-Rich Countries
By Washington's Blog - Global Research, September 18, 2014
As early as 1949, Syria, this newly independent Arab republic, was an important staging ground for the CIAâs earliest experiments in covert action. The CIA secretly encouraged a right-wing military coup in 1949. In late 1945, the Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO) announced plans to construct the Trans-Arabian Pipe Line (TAPLINE) from Saudi Arabia to the Mediterra- nean. With U.S. help, ARAMCO secured rights-of-way from Lebanon, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The Syrian right-of-way was stalled in parliament.
Everyone knows that the U.S. and its allies have heavily backed Islamic terrorists in Syria in an attempt to implement regime change in that country.
But did you know that the U.S. previously carried out regime change in Syria?
The CIA backed a right-wing coup in Syria in 1949. Douglas Little, Professor, Department of Clark University History professor Douglas Little notes:
As early as 1949, this newly independent Arab republic was an important staging ground for the CIAâs earliest experiments in covert action. The CIA secretly encouraged a right-wing military coup in 1949.
The reason the U.S. initiated the coup? Little explains:
In late 1945, the Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO) announced plans to construct the Trans-Arabian Pipe Line (TAPLINE) from Saudi Arabia to the Mediterra- nean. With U.S. help, ARAMCO secured rights-of-way from Lebanon, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The Syrian right-of-way was stalled in parliament.
In other words, Syria was the sole holdout for the lucrative oil pipeline.
(Indeed, the CIA has carried out this type of covert action right from the start.)
In 1957, the American president and British prime minister agreed to launch regime change again in Syria. Historian Little notes that the coup plot was discovered and stopped:
On August 12, 1957, the Syrian army surrounded the U.S. embassy in Damascus. Claiming to have aborted a CIA plot to overthrow neutralist President Shukri Quwatly and install a pro-Western regime, Syrian chief of counterintelligence Abdul Hamid Sarraj expelled three U.S. diplomats âŠ.
Syrian counterintelligence chief Sarraj reacted swiftly on August 12, expelling Stone and other CIA agents, arresting their accomplices and placing the U.S. embassy under surveillance.
Neoconservatives planned regime change in Syria once again in 1991.
And as Nafeez Ahmed notes:
According to former French foreign minister Roland Dumas, Britain had planned covert action in Syria as early as 2009: âI was in England two years before the violence in Syria on other business,â he told French television: âI met with top British officials, who confessed to me that they were preparing something in Syria. This was in Britain not in America. Britain was preparing gunmen to invade Syria.â
Leaked emails from the private intelligence firm Stratfor, including notes from a meeting with Pentagon officials, confirmed that as of 2011, US and UK special forces training of Syrian opposition forces was well underway. The goal was to elicit the âcollapseâ of Assadâs regime âfrom within.â
Everyone knows that the U.S. toppled Saddam Hussein during the Iraq War.
But did you know that the U.S. previously carried out regime change in Iraq?
Specifically, the CIA plotted to poison the Iraqi leader in 1960. In 1963, the U.S. backed the coup which succeeded in killing the head of Iraq.
Recently, Iraq has started to break apart as a nation. USA Today notes, âIraq is already splitting into three statesâ. Many say that is by design âŠ a form of regime change.
Everyone knows that regime change in Iran has been a long-term goal of the hawks in Washington.
But do you know that the U.S. already carried out regime change in Iran in 1953 âŠ which led to radicalization of the country in the first place?
Specifically, the CIA admits that the U.S. overthrew the moderate, suit-and-tie-wearing, Democratically-elected prime minister of Iran in 1953. (He was overthrown because he had nationalized Iranâs oil, which had previously been controlled by BP and other Western oil companies). As part of that action, the CIA admits that it hired Iranians to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its prime minister.
If the U.S. hadnât overthrown the moderate Iranian government, the fundamentalist Mullahs would have never taken over. Iran has been known for thousands of years for tolerating Christians and other religious minorities.
Hawks in the U.S. government been pushing for another round of regime change in Iran for decades.
The CIA has acknowledged that it was behind the 1980 coup in Turkey.
The U.S. obviously bombed the Taliban into submission during the Afghanistan war.
But Hillary Clinton and then-president Jimmy Carterâs National Security Adviser have both admitted on the record that the U.S. previously carried out regime change in Afghanistan in the 1970s by backing Bin Laden and the Mujahadin âŠ the precursor to Al Qaeda.
Not only did the U.S. engage in direct military intervention against Gadafi, but also â as confirmed by a group of CIA officers â armed Al Qaeda so that they would help topple Gaddafi.
Indeed, the U.S. has carried out coups and destabilization campaigns all over the world âŠ creating chaos.
And see this. http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/08/roots-iraq-war-plantedplanned-1948.html
George Orwell. Photograph: Public Domain "It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen."
Robert McCrum - The Observer, Saturday 9 May 2009
In 1946 Observer editor David Astor lent George Orwell a remote Scottish farmhouse in which to write his new book, Nineteen Eighty-Four. It became one of the most significant novels of the 20th century. Here, Robert McCrum tells the compelling story of Orwell's torturous stay on the island where the author, close to death and beset by creative demons, was engaged in a feverish race to finish the book.
Sixty years after the publication of Orwell's masterpiece, Nineteen Eighty-Four, that crystal first line sounds as natural and compelling as ever. But when you see the original manuscript, you find something else: not so much the ringing clarity, more the obsessive rewriting, in different inks, that betrays the extraordinary turmoil behind its composition.
Probably the definitive novel of the 20th century, a story that remains eternally fresh and contemporary, and whose terms such as "Big Brother", "doublethink" and "newspeak" have become part of everyday currency, Nineteen Eighty-Four has been translated into more than 65 languages and sold millions of copies worldwide, giving George Orwell a unique place in world literature.
"Orwellian" is now a universal shorthand for anything repressive or totalitarian, and the story of Winston Smith, an everyman for his times, continues to resonate for readers whose fears for the future are very different from those of an English writer in the mid-1940s.
The circumstances surrounding the writing of Nineteen Eighty-Four make a haunting narrative that helps to explain the bleakness of Orwell's dystopia. Here was an English writer, desperately sick, grappling alone with the demons of his imagination in a bleak Scottish outpost in the desolate aftermath of the second world war. The idea for Nineteen Eighty-Four, alternatively, "The Last Man in Europe", had been incubating in Orwell's mind since the Spanish civil war. His novel, which owes something to Yevgeny Zamyatin's dystopian fiction We, probably began to acquire a definitive shape during 1943-44, around the time he and his wife, Eileen adopted their only son, Richard. Orwell himself claimed that he was partly inspired by the meeting of the Allied leaders at the Tehran Conference of 1944. Isaac Deutscher, an Observer colleague, reported that Orwell was "convinced that Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt consciously plotted to divide the world" at Tehran.
Orwell had worked for David Astor's Observer since 1942, first as a book reviewer and later as a correspondent. The editor professed great admiration for Orwell's "absolute straightforwardness, his honesty and his decency", and would be his patron throughout the 1940s. The closeness of their friendship is crucial to the story of Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Orwell's creative life had already benefited from his association with the Observer in the writing of Animal Farm. As the war drew to a close, the fruitful interaction of fiction and Sunday journalism would contribute to the much darker and more complex novel he had in mind after that celebrated "fairy tale". It's clear from his Observer book reviews, for example, that he was fascinated by the relationship between morality and language.
There were other influences at work. Soon after Richard was adopted, Orwell's flat was wrecked by a doodlebug. The atmosphere of random terror in the everyday life of wartime London became integral to the mood of the novel-in-progress. Worse was to follow. In March 1945, while on assignment for the Observer in Europe, Orwell received the news that his wife, Eileen, had died under anaesthesia during a routine operation.
Suddenly he was a widower and a single parent, eking out a threadbare life in his Islington lodgings, and working incessantly to dam the flood of remorse and grief at his wife's premature death. In 1945, for instanc e, he wrote almost 110,000 words for various publications, including 15 book reviews for the Observer.
Now Astor stepped in. His family owned an estate on the remote Scottish island of Jura, next to Islay. There was a house, Barnhill, seven miles outside Ardlussa at the remote northern tip of this rocky finger of heather in the Inner Hebrides. Initially, Astor offered it to Orwell for a holiday. Speaking to the Observer last week, Richard Blair says he believes, from family legend, that Astor was taken aback by the enthusiasm of Orwell's response.
In May 1946 Orwell, still picking up the shattered pieces of his life, took the train for the long and arduous journey to Jura. He told his friend Arthur Koestler that it was "almost like stocking up ship for an arctic voyage".
It was a risky move; Orwell was not in good health. The winter of 1946-47 was one of the coldest of the century. Postwar Britain was bleaker even than wartime, and he had always suffered from a bad chest. At least, cut off from the irritations of literary London, he was free to grapple unencumbered with the new novel. "Smothered under journalism," as he put it, he told one friend, "I have become more and more like a sucked orange."
Ironically, part of Orwell's difficulties derived from the success of Animal Farm. After years of neglect and indifference the world was waking up to his genius. "Everyone keeps coming at me," he complained to Koestler, "wanting me to lecture, to write commissioned booklets, to join this and that, etc - you don't know how I pine to be free of it all and have time to think again."
On Jura he would be liberated from these distractions but the promise of creative freedom on an island in the Hebrides came with its own price. Years before, in the essay "Why I Write", he had described the struggle to complete a book: "Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon whom one can neither resist or [sic] understand. For all one knows that demon is the same instinct that makes a baby squall for attention. And yet it is also true that one can write nothing readable unless one constantly struggles to efface one's personality." Then that famous Orwellian coda. "Good prose is like a window pane."
From the spring of 1947 to his death in 1950 Orwell would re-enact every aspect of this struggle in the most painful way imaginable. Privately, perhaps, he relished the overlap between theory and practice. He had always thrived on self-inflicted adversity.
At first, after "a quite unendurable winter", he revelled in the isolation and wild beauty of Jura. "I am struggling with this book," he wrote to his agent, "which I may finish by the end of the year - at any rate I shall have broken the back by then so long as I keep well and keep off journalistic work until the autumn."
Barnhill, overlooking the sea at the top of a potholed track, was not large, with four small bedrooms above a spacious kitchen. Life was simple, even primitive. There was no electricity. Orwell used Calor gas to cook and to heat water. Storm lanterns burned paraffin. In the evenings he also burned peat. He was still chain-smoking black shag tobacco in roll-up cigarettes: the fug in the house was cosy but not healthy. A battery radio was the only connection with the outside world.
Orwell, a gentle, unworldly sort of man, arrived with just a camp bed, a table, a couple of chairs and a few pots and pans. It was a spartan existence but supplied the conditions under which he liked to work. He is remembered here as a spectre in the mist, a gaunt figure in oilskins.
The locals knew him by his real name of Eric Blair, a tall, cadaverous, sad-looking man worrying about how he would cope on his own. The solution, when he was joined by baby Richard and his nanny, was to recruit his highly competent sister, Avril. Richard Blair remembers that his father "could not have done it without Avril. She was an excellent cook, and very practical. None of the accounts of my father's time on Jura recognise how essential she was."
Once his new regime was settled, Orwell could finally make a start on the book. At the end of May 1947 he told his publisher, Fred Warburg: "I think I must have written nearly a third of the rough draft. I have not got as far as I had hoped to do by this time because I really have been in most wretched health this year ever since about January (my chest as usual) and can't quite shake it off."
Mindful of his publisher's impatience for the new novel, Orwell added: "Of course the rough draft is always a ghastly mess bearing little relation to the finished result, but all the same it is the main part of the job." Still, he pressed on, and at the end of July was predicting a completed "rough draft" by October. After that, he said, he would need another six months to polish up the text for publication. But then, disaster.
Part of the pleasure of life on Jura was that he and his young son could enjoy the outdoor life together, go fishing, explore the island, and potter about in boats. In August, during a spell of lovely summer weather, Orwell, Avril, Richard and some friends, returning from a hike up the coast in a small motor boat, were nearly drowned in the infamous Corryvreckan whirlpool.
Richard Blair remembers being "bloody cold" in the freezing water, and Orwell, whose constant coughing worried his friends, did his lungs no favours. Within two months he was seriously ill. Typically, his account to David Astor of this narrow escape was laconic, even nonchalant.
The long struggle with "The Last Man in Europe" continued. In late October 1947, oppressed with "wretched health", Orwell recognised that his novel was still "a most dreadful mess and about two-thirds of it will have to be retyped entirely".
He was working at a feverish pace. Visitors to Barnhill recall the sound of his typewriter pounding away upstairs in his bedroom. Then, in November, tended by the faithful Avril, he collapsed with "inflammation of the lungs" and told Koestler that he was "very ill in bed". Just before Christmas, in a letter to an Observer colleague, he broke the news he had always dreaded. Finally he had been diagnosed with TB.
A few days later, writing to Astor from Hairmyres hospital, East Kilbride, Lanarkshire, he admitted: "I still feel deadly sick," and conceded that, when illness struck after the Corryvreckan whirlpool incident, "like a fool I decided not to go to a doctor - I wanted to get on with the book I was writing." In 1947 there was no cure for TB - doctors prescribed fresh air and a regular diet - but there was a new, experimental drug on the market, streptomycin. Astor arranged for a shipment to Hairmyres from the US.
Richard Blair believes that his father was given excessive doses of the new wonder drug. The side effects were horrific (throat ulcers, blisters in the mouth, hair loss, peeling skin and the disintegration of toe and fingernails) but in March 1948, after a three-month course, the TB symptoms had disappeared. "It's all over now, and evidently the drug has done its stuff," Orwell told his publisher. "It's rather like sinking the ship to get rid of the rats, but worth it if it works."
As he prepared to leave hospital Orwell received the letter from his publisher which, in hindsight, would be another nail in his coffin. "It really is rather important," wrote Warburg to his star author, "from the point of view of your literary career to get it [the new novel] by the end of the year and indeed earlier if possible."
Just when he should have been convalescing Orwell was back at Barnhill, deep into the revision of his manuscript, promising Warburg to deliver it in "early December", and coping with "filthy weather" on autumnal Jura. Early in October he confided to Astor: "I have got so used to writing in bed that I think I prefer it, though of course it's awkward to type there. I am just struggling with the last stages of this bloody book [which is] about the possible state of affairs if the atomic war isn't conclusive."
This is one of Orwell's exceedingly rare references to the theme of his book. He believed, as many writers do, that it was bad luck to discuss work-in-progress. Later, to Anthony Powell, he described it as "a Utopia written in the form of a novel". The typing of the fair copy of "The Last Man in Europe" became another dimension of Orwell's battle with his book. The more he revised his "unbelievably bad" manuscript the more it became a document only he could read and interpret. It was, he told his agent, "extremely long, even 125,000 words". With characteristic candour, he noted: "I am not pleased with the book but I am not absolutely dissatisfied... I think it is a good idea but the execution would have been better if I had not written it under the influence of TB."
And he was still undecided about the title: "I am inclined to call it NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR or THE LAST MAN IN EUROPE," he wrote, "but I might just possibly think of something else in the next week or two." By the end of October Orwell believed he was done. Now he just needed a stenographer to help make sense of it all.
It was a desperate race against time. Orwell's health was deteriorating, the "unbelievably bad" manuscript needed retyping, and the December deadline was looming. Warburg promised to help, and so did Orwell's agent. At cross-purposes over possible typists, they somehow contrived to make a bad situation infinitely worse. Orwell, feeling beyond help, followed his ex-public schoolboy's instincts: he would go it alone.
By mid-November, too weak to walk, he retired to bed to tackle "the grisly job" of typing the book on his "decrepit typewriter" by himself. Sustained by endless roll-ups, pots of coffee, strong tea and the warmth of his paraffin heater, with gales buffeting Barnhill, night and day, he struggled on. By 30 November 1948 it was virtually done.
Now Orwell, the old campaigner, protested to his agent that "it really wasn't worth all this fuss. It's merely that, as it tires me to sit upright for any length of time, I can't type very neatly and can't do many pages a day." Besides, he added, it was "wonderful" what mistakes a professional typist could make, and "in this book there is the difficulty that it contains a lot of neologisms".
The typescript of George Orwell's latest novel reached London in mid December, as promised. Warburg recognised its qualities at once ("amongst the most terrifying books I have ever read") and so did his colleagues. An in-house memo noted "if we can't sell 15 to 20 thousand copies we ought to be shot".
By now Orwell had left Jura and checked into a TB sanitorium high in the Cotswolds. "I ought to have done this two months ago," he told Astor, "but I wanted to get that bloody book finished." Once again Astor stepped in to monitor his friend's treatment but Orwell's specialist was privately pessimistic.
As word of Nineteen Eighty-Four began to circulate, Astor's journalistic instincts kicked in and he began to plan an Observer Profile, a significant accolade but an idea that Orwell contemplated "with a certain alarm". As spring came he was "having haemoptyses" (spitting blood) and "feeling ghastly most of the time" but was able to involve himself in the pre-publication rituals of the novel, registering "quite good notices" with satisfaction. He joked to Astor that it wouldn't surprise him "if you had to change that profile into an obituary".
Nineteen Eighty-Four was published on 8 June 1949 (five days later in the US) and was almost universally recognised as a masterpiece, even by Winston Churchill, who told his doctor that he had read it twice. Orwell's health continued to decline. In October 1949, in his room at University College hospital, he married Sonia Brownell, with David Astor as best man. It was a fleeting moment of happiness; he lingered into the new year of 1950. In the small hours of 21 January he suffered a massive haemorrhage in hospital and died alone.
The news was broadcast on the BBC the next morning. Avril Blair and her nephew, still up on Jura, heard the report on the little battery radio in Barnhill. Richard Blair does not recall whether the day was bright or cold but remembers the shock of the news: his father was dead, aged 46.
David Astor arranged for Orwell's burial in the churchyard at Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire. He lies there now, as Eric Blair, between HH Asquith and a local family of Gypsies.
Orwell's title remains a mystery. Some say he was alluding to the centenary of the Fabian Society, founded in 1884. Others suggest a nod to Jack London's novel The Iron Heel (in which a political movement comes to power in 1984), or perhaps to one of his favourite writer GK Chesterton's story, "The Napoleon of Notting Hill", which is set in 1984.
In his edition of the Collected Works (20 volumes), Peter Davison notes that Orwell's American publisher claimed that the title derived from reversing the date, 1948, though there's no documentary evidence for this. Davison also argues that the date 1984 is linked to the year of Richard Blair's birth, 1944, and notes that in the manuscript of the novel, the narrative occurs, successively, in 1980, 1982 and finally, 1984. There's no mystery about the decision to abandon "The Last Man in Europe". Orwell himself was always unsure of it. It was his publisher, Fred Warburg who suggested that Nineteen Eighty-Four was a more commercial title.
Freedom of speech: How '1984' has entrusted our culture
The effect of Nineteen Eighty-Four on our cultural and linguistic landscape has not been limited to either the film adaptation starring John Hurt and Richard Burton, with its Nazi-esque rallies and chilling soundtrack, nor the earlier one with Michael Redgrave and Edmond O'Brien.
It is likely, however, that many people watching the Big Brother series on television (in the UK, let alone in Angola, Oman or Sweden, or any of the other countries whose TV networks broadcast programmes in the same format) have no idea where the title comes from or that Big Brother himself, whose role in the reality show is mostly to keep the peace between scrapping, swearing contestants like a wise uncle, is not so benign in his original incarnation.
Apart from pop-culture renditions of some of the novel's themes, aspects of its language have been leapt upon by libertarians to describe the curtailment of freedom in the real world by politicians and officials - alarmingly, nowhere and never more often than in contemporary Britain.
Orwellian George owes his own adjective to this book alone and his idea that wellbeing is crushed by restrictive, authoritarian and untruthful government.
Big Brother (is watching you) A term in common usage for a scarily omniscient ruler long before the worldwide smash-hit reality-TV show was even a twinkle in its producers' eyes. The irony of societal hounding of Big Brother contestants would not have been lost on George Orwell.
Room 101 Some hotels have refused to call a guest bedroom number 101 - rather like those tower blocks that don't have a 13th floor - thanks to the ingenious Orwellian concept of a room that contains whatever its occupant finds most impossible to endure. Like Big Brother, this has spawned a modern TV show: in this case, celebrities are invited to name the people or objects they hate most in the world.
Thought Police An accusation often levelled at the current government by those who like it least is that they are trying to tell us what we can and cannot think is right and wrong. People who believe that there are correct ways to think find themselves named after Orwell's enforcement brigade.
Thoughtcrime See "Thought Police" above. The act or fact of transgressing enforced wisdom.
Newspeak For Orwell, freedom of expression was not just about freedom of thought but also linguistic freedom. This term, denoting the narrow and diminishing official vocabulary, has been used ever since to denote jargon currently in vogue with those in power.
Doublethink Hypocrisy, but with a twist. Rather than choosing to disregard a contradiction in your opinion, if you are doublethinking, you are deliberately forgetting that the contradiction is there. This subtlety is mostly overlooked by people using the accusation of "doublethink" when trying to accuse an adversary of being hypocritical - but it is a very popular word with people who like a good debate along with their pints in the pub. Oliver Marre
George Orwellâs Letter on Why He Wrote â1984â
In 1944, three years before writing and five years before publishing 1984, George Orwell penned a letter detailing the thesis of his great novel. The letter, warning of the rise of totalitarian police states that will âsay that two and two are five,â is reprinted from George Orwell: A Life in Letters, edited by Peter Davison and published today by Liveright. Plus, Orwell's advice to Arthur Koestler on how to review books. To Noel Willmett
18 May 1944 10a Mortimer Crescent NW 6
Dear Mr Willmett,
Many thanks for your letter. You ask whether totalitarianism, leader-worship etc. are really on the up-grade and instance the fact that they are not apparently growing in this country and the USA.
I must say I believe, or fear, that taking the world as a whole these things are on the increase. Hitler, no doubt, will soon disappear, but only at the expense of strengthening (a) Stalin, (b) the Anglo-American millionaires and (c) all sorts of petty fuhrersÂ° of the type of de Gaulle. All the national movements everywhere, even those that originate in resistance to German domination, seem to take non-democratic forms, to group themselves round some superhuman fuhrer (Hitler, Stalin, Salazar, Franco, Gandhi, De Valera are all varying examples) and to adopt the theory that the end justifies the means. Everywhere the world movement seems to be in the direction of centralised economies which can be made to âworkâ in an economic sense but which are not democratically organised and which tend to establish a caste system. With this go the horrors of emotional nationalism and a tendency to disbelieve in the existence of objective truth because all the facts have to fit in with the words and prophecies of some infallible fuhrer. Already history has in a sense ceased to exist, ie. there is no such thing as a history of our own times which could be universally accepted, and the exact sciences are endangered as soon as military necessity ceases to keep people up to the mark. Hitler can say that the Jews started the war, and if he survives that will become official history. He canât say that two and two are five, because for the purposes of, say, ballistics they have to make four. But if the sort of world that I am afraid of arrives, a world of two or three great superstates which are unable to conquer one another, two and two could become five if the fuhrer wished it.1 That, so far as I can see, is the direction in which we are actually moving, though, of course, the process is reversible. As to the comparative immunity of Britain and the USA. Whatever the pacifists etc. may say, we have not gone totalitarian yet and this is a very hopeful symptom. I believe very deeply, as I explained in my book The Lion and the Unicorn, in the English people and in their capacity to centralise their economy without destroying freedom in doing so. But one must remember that Britain and the USA havenât been really tried, they havenât known defeat or severe suffering, and there are some bad symptoms to balance the good ones. To begin with there is the general indifference to the decay of democracy. Do you realise, for instance, that no one in England under 26 now has a vote and that so far as one can see the great mass of people of that age donât give a damn for this? Secondly there is the fact that the intellectuals are more totalitarian in outlook than the common people. On the whole the English intelligentsia have opposed Hitler, but only at the price of accepting Stalin. Most of them are perfectly ready for dictatorial methods, secret police, systematic falsification of history2 etc. so long as they feel that it is on âourâ side. Indeed the statement that we havenât a Fascist movement in England largely means that the young, at this moment, look for their fuhrer elsewhere. One canât be sure that that wonât change, nor can one be sure that the common people wonât think ten years hence as the intellectuals do now. I hopeâ3 they wonât, I even trust they wonât, but if so it will be at the cost of a struggle. If one simply proclaims that all is for the best and doesnât point to the sinister symptoms, one is merely helping to bring totalitarianism nearer.
You also ask, if I think the world tendency is towards Fascism, why do I support the war. It is a choice of evilsâI fancy nearly every war is that. I know enough of British imperialism not to like it, but I would support it against Nazism or Japanese imperialism, as the lesser evil. Similarly I would support the USSR against Germany because I think the USSR cannot altogether escape its past and retains enough of the original ideas of the Revolution to make it a more hopeful phenomenon than Nazi Germany. I think, and have thought ever since the war began, in 1936 or thereabouts, that our cause is the better, but we have to keep on making it the better, which involves constant criticism.
Yours sincerely, Geo. Orwell
[XVI, 2471, pp. 190â2; typewritten]
1. and 2. Foreshadowings of Nineteen Eighty-Four.
3. Compare Nineteen Eighty-Four, p. 72, âIf there is hope, wrote Winston, it lies in the proles.â
I can take Kiev in two weeks, Vladimir Putin warns European leaders Photo: REUTERS
By Ben Farmer - Telegraph.co.uk 01 Sep 2014
The Russian president is reported to have boasted his forces could sweep into Kiev in a fortnight if he wanted to as Nato announced it would build a new âspearheadâ rapid reaction force Vladimir Putin has boasted to European leaders that his forces could sweep into Kiev in two weeks if he wanted. The Russian president reportedly made the threat to the European Commission president during talks on the Ukraine crisis. Mr Putin told Jose Manuel Barroso: âIf I want to, I can take Kiev in two weeks,â Italyâs La Repubblica newspaper reported, implying this could be the result if the EU stepped up sanctions against Russia. His comments, relayed by Mr Barroso to colleagues at last weekendâs EU summit, emerged as Nato announced it would build a new âspearheadâ rapid reaction force of up to 4,000 troops that can be flown into eastern Europe in 48 hours to respond to possible Russian aggression. The EUâs new head of foreign policy, Federica Mogherini, also warned there was no military solution to what is now Europeâs biggest crisis in decades. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, secretary general of the alliance, said Nato faced multiple crises on its southern and eastern borders that could erupt at any time. Leaders of the allianceâs 28 members are expected to agree to the new force at this weekâs Nato summit in Wales, and it is likely to include British troops. The spearhead force is part of a package of measures to sharpen up the alliance as it faces crises in Iraq and Ukraine. A senior Nato official said allies would take turns to command the spearhead and many of the arrangements would be in place by the end of the year. Troops would be based in their home countries and come together when necessary. The summit will agree to stockpile supplies in eastern Europe so that equipment and ammunition are waiting for the force when it arrives. The alliance will also boost the number of exercises in the area, so that troops are constantly cycling through it. Mr Rasmussen said the new spearhead force would âtravel light and strike hard if neededâ. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/11069070/I-can-take-Kiev-in-two-weeks-Vladimir-Putin-warns-European-leaders.html
Israel does not want peace. Israel created Hamas as a pretext to wage war on the Palestinians. Hamas' rockets are mere peashooters compared to Israel's air force but they provide another excuse to kill Palestinians.
(Editor's Note- I re-post this for its timeliness, but reserve judgement.) From 9/6/11 by David Livingstone (abridged by henrymakow.com)
The Israelis created Hamas. But before we explore why, let's be clear that Israel does not want peace. They want all of Palestine, and their belligerent settlement practices confirm that.
But the Israelis are posturing as being willing to talk "peace", only to actually stall that peace process, so as advance the further colonization of Palestine.
So anything that can be offered as an excuse, will be. The most convenient ploy, presented with the sycophantic assistance of the media, is that of "terrorism".
The masses are naive, and fail to suspect the Machiavellian extremes that certain leaders will resort to. This includes creating a false enemy, in this case, Hamas, whereby the right-wing leadership of the Israelis can point the finger to some "enemy" to blame for supposedly stalling the process.
The West's sponsorship of Islamic terrorism is nothing new. After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1924, the British and Americans filled the vacuum by providing their own versions of "Islamic" leaders. This started with the creation of the Muslim Brotherhood through a grant from the British.
Under British sponsorship, the Brotherhood today represents a powerful force in the Islamic world, and is behind almost every act of terror in the name of Islam.
More correctly, the Brotherhood has been a tool shared by numerous Western intelligence agencies, starting with the Nazis, followed by the CIA, but also the Russians, French, Germans and Israelis.
Since the Truman and Eisenhower administrations, the Muslim Brotherhood has been used to rally naive Muslims under the banner of Islam. In the post-war era, the Americans and others have been able to manage the Brotherhood like a rabid dog on a leash to keep the "atheist Communist threat" at bay.
With the collapse of the Cold War however, the Brotherhood has been used as the bogey man which the Americans can chase into the Middle East and Central Asia, starting with Iraq and Afghanistan.
ISRAEL AND HAMAS
Israel's long-standing relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood was instrumental in the founding of an offshoot organization, Hamas.
According to Robert Dreyfuss, author of "Devil's Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam":
"And beginning in 1967 through the late 1980s, Israel helped the Muslim Brotherhood establish itself in the occupied territories. It assisted Ahmed Yassin, the leader of the Brotherhood, in creating Hamas, betting that its Islamist character would weaken the PLO."
According to Charles Freeman, former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia, "Israel started Hamas. It was a project of Shin Bet [Isreali domestic intelligence agency], which had a feeling that they could use it to hem in the PLO."
One aspect of that strategy was the creation of the Village Leagues, over which Yassin and the Brotherhood exercised much influence. Israel trained about 200 members of the Leagues and recruited many paid informers.
New York Times Reporter David Shipler cites the Israeli military governor of Gaza as boasting that Israel expressly financed the fundamentalists against the PLO:
"Politically speaking, Islamic fundamentalists were sometimes regarded as useful to Israel, because they had conflicts with the secular supporters of the PLO. Violence between the two groups erupted occasionally on West Bank university campuses. Israeli military governor of the Gaza Strip, Brigadier General Yitzhak Segev, once told me how he had financed the Islamic movement as a counterweight to the PLO and the Communists. 'The Israeli Government gave me a budget and the military government gives to the mosques,' he said."
As Dreyfuss notes, "during the 1980s, the Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza and the West Bank did not support resistance to the Israeli occupation. Most of its energy went to fighting the PLO, especially its more left-wing factions, on university campuses."
After the Palestinian uprising of 1987, the PLO accused Hamas and Yassin of acting "with the direct support of reactionary Arab regimes... in collusion with the Israeli occupation."
Yasser Arafat complained to an Italian newspaper: "Hamas is a creation of Israel, which at the time of Prime Minister Shamir, gave them money and more than 700 institutions, among them schools, universities and mosques."
Arafat also maintained that Israeli prime minister Rabin admitted to him in the presence of Hosni Mubarak that Israel had supported Hamas.
Essentially, as analyst Ray Hannania pointed out, in "Sharon's Terror Child", published in Counterpunch, "undermining the peace process has always been the real target of Hamas and has played into the political ambitions of Likud. Every time Israeli and Palestinian negotiators appeared ready to take a major step forward achieving peace, an act of Hamas terrorism has scuttled the peace process and pushed the two sides apart."
In "Hamas and the Transformation of Political Islam in Palestine", for Current History, Sara Roy wrote:
"Some analysts maintain that while Hamas leaders are being targeted, Israel is simultaneously pursuing its old strategy of promoting Hamas over the secular nationalist factions as a way of ensuring the ultimate demise of the [Palestinian Authority], and as an effort to extinguish Palestinian nationalism once and for all."
The Muslim Brotherhood, and its many manifestations like Hamas, Al Qaeda and bin Laden, serve as an ever-present and manufactured "terrorist" threat, used constantly as a pretext to justify repressive measures at home and expanded imperialistic objectives abroad.
Because, despite all the rhetoric about the threat of "political Islam", unbeknownst to the general public, the manipulation of the Muslim Brotherhood throughout the world is still a mainstay of American foreign policy.
- See more at: http://henrymakow.com/israelcreatedhamastoavoid.html#sthash.Dkc97Xvg.dpuf
April 28, 2014 by John R. Smith - Bizpacreview.com
The United Nations is a strange place.
Itâs a group that demonstrates the absurdity of using an endless process of toothless diplomatic negotiations to arrive at peace at any price. To people who are truly able to assess its strengths and weaknesses, the U.N. is both laughable and useless. Except for one feature: It can give legitimacy to rogue states. There is value to the dictatorships, totalitarian regimes and criminal nations of the world in seeking authenticity by claiming to be involved in the United Nationâs efforts and leadership.
Even worse, the U.N. has become dangerous. It has failed to disarm terrorist states like Iran, Iraq and the Sudan, and it has failed to halt nuclear proliferation in outlaw nations like North Korea, China and Iran. If the U.N. did not pose a danger to the future of America, we could just be amused by its failures and move on. But whatâs amazing is how the U.N. has continued to exist as the defeats accumulate.
This is no small matter. This body is supposed to enforce world order, but it aids and abets mass murderers and genocide. It places some of the most despicable governments you can think of â Libya, Cuba, Sudan, China, Venezuela, Zimbabwe â on its Human Rights Council, which is supposed to uphold the highest standards in human rights protection. Yet the council is controlled by African and Middle Eastern countries, which vote in blocs and protect one another from criticism over their own human rights violations. Their union ends up creating a massive credibility deficit for the U.N. Even worse, the council is a habitual âget Israelâ body. Within a year after it was created, the council passed nine condemnations of Israel, the only country so sanctioned, because of its so-called âviolationsâ in Palestinian territories. The U.N. and human rights make for an oxymoronic partnership, one that defies credibility.
The elite liberal bastions and radical left of America â dominated by Hollywood, academia, the mainstream media and the entertainment industry â clamor to give the U.N. a reputation for competence and integrity. They see the U.N. as effective, âthe great hope for humanity.â However, in light of the U.N.âs history of bribes, dangerous dereliction, corruption and financial scandals, its reputation among people who believe in U.S. exceptionalism has plummeted to the bottom of the international barrel.
Not convinced? The worldâs self-professed guardians of global order failed in 2011 to save the rebels of Libya from being annihilated by the mad, murderous dictator, Muammar Gaddafi â who, ironically enough â was a member of the Human Rights Council.
In 2007, the U.N. made Iran vice chairman of the Disarmament Commission.
In the same year, Freedom House ranked more than half the 47 members of the Human Rights Council as âunfreeâ or âpartly free.â
In 2008, the U.N. elected as its president Miguel dâEscoto, who won the 1985 Lenin Prize and had served as foreign minister of the communist dictatorship in Nicaragua. Quite a sick joke.
In 2007, the global economic âpowerhouseâ of Zimbabwe was chosen to head the U.N.âs economic development commission.
Last year, the U.N. wanted the United States to sign its Arms Trade Treaty, which would have surrendered Americaâs Second Amendment rights, blocked U.S. authority to enter arms trading agreements with its allies, and required the nation to âsupport weapons collectionâ and âdisarmamentâ of ex-combatants.
Gallup reported in February that well over half of Americans think the U.N. is doing a âpoor jobâ and a third thought it was doing a âgood job.â So why does the United States continue to fund more than a quarter of U.N. costs, 75 percent of which goes to administrative, bureaucratic overhead? America is the U.N.âs largest contributor. Congress should use U.S. tax money to pay the U.N. only for programs that are in Americaâs best interest, and then insist it gets what it pays for.
What will it take for President Obama and Congress to figure out that the U.N. is an ineffective abomination that most Americans condemn?
Overturning the US Constitution stated goal of UN. founders Jim Campbell - November 22, 2010 - Updated 02-14-2014 - Conservative Examiner
As scholars have recently begun to revisit the history of the United Nations, it has been noted the organization started largely by communistâs members of the Council of Foreign Relations, (CRF) and socialists had as their ultimate goal to overturn the U.S. Constitution and subjugate the U.S. to the whims of their group. Why should the taxpayer support this corrupt organization when member states vote against United States interests 70-80% of the time? Why when their common goal was a socialist world government. Sixteen key U.S. officials who shaped the policies leading to the creation of the UN were later exposed in sworn testimony as secret Communists. These included communist spy, Alger Hiss, chief planner of the 1945 founding conference, and the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, Harry Dexter White. The Soviet Union under Stalin and the entire Communist Party USA apparatus worked tirelessly to launch the U.N. Since itâs beginning in 1921, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has always worked for world government. The key CFR founder, Edward Mandell House, in his book, Philip Dru: Administrator, called for âSocialism as dreamed of by Karl Marx,â The CFR was an early promoter of the U.N., and 43 members of the U.S. delegation at the U. N. founding conference were or would become CFR members. The U.N. has always chosen socialist one-world-order for leaders since itâs inception.
Note features a previously unknown yet familiar saying: 'What a man truly wants, he must dream about, think about, tell about and do.â By Ofer Aderet | Mar. 22, 2014 - Haaretz.com
A rare note written by Theodor Herzl over 100 years ago was sold at an Israeli auction on Wednesday for $100,000.
The note, which was sold to an American collector, was written in German and signed by Herzl. It is dated February 1, 1903, and says âWas man recht will das muss man trĂ€umen denken sagen und tuenâ â âWhat a man truly wants, he must dream about, think about, tell about and do.â
The note came from the estate of a Berlin rabbi. It was publicly auctioned by Ishtar Arts & Antiques, a Tel Aviv auction house.
âThis is an unknown saying by Herzl, and the item aroused great interest worldwide,â said Ishtarâs owner, Jonathan Livny. âTen buyers from around the world competed for it.â
The starting price for the note was $1,000, but because of the great demand, it ultimately went for $81,000. The auction houseâs fee then brought the final price to $100,000.
âAs far as I know, this is the most expensive item connected to Herzl ever sold at auction,â Livny said.
Theodor (Binyamin Zeâev) Herzl, the visionary of Zionism, was born in Budapest in 1860. He was educated in the spirit of the GermanÂJewish Enlightenment of the period, learning to appreciate secular culture. In 1878 the family moved to Vienna, and in 1884 Herzl was awarded a doctorate of law from the University of Vienna. He became a writer, a playwright and a journalist. The Paris correspondent of the influential liberal Vienna newspaper Neue Freie Presse was none other than Theodor Herzl.
Herzl first encountered the anti-Semitism that would shape his life and the fate of the Jews in the twentieth century while studying at the University of Vienna (1882). Later, during his stay in Paris as a journalist, he was brought face-to-face with the problem. At the time, he regarded the Jewish problem as a social issue and wrote a drama, The Ghetto (1894), in which assimilation and conversion are rejected as solutions. He hoped that The Ghetto would lead to debate and ultimately to a solution, based on mutual tolerance and respect between Christians and Jews. The Dreyfus Affair In 1894, Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish officer in the French army, was unjustly accused of treason, mainly because of the prevailing anti-Semitic atmosphere. Herzl witnessed mobs shouting âDeath to the Jewsâ in France, the home of the French Revolution, and resolved that there was only one solution: the mass immigration of Jews to a land that they could call their own. Thus, the Dreyfus Case became one of the determinants in the genesis of Political Zionism. Herzl concluded that anti-Semitism was a stable and immutable factor in human society, which assimilation did not solve. He mulled over the idea of Jewish sovereignty, and, despite ridicule from Jewish leaders, published Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State, 1896). Herzl argued that the essence of the Jewish problem was not individual but national. He declared that the Jews could gain acceptance in the world only if they ceased being a national anomaly. The Jews are one people, he said, and their plight could be transformed into a positive force by the establishment of a Jewish state with the consent of the great powers. He saw the Jewish question as an international political question to be dealt with in the arena of international politics. Herzl proposed a practical program for collecting funds from Jews around the world by a company to be owned by stockholders, which would work toward the practical realization of this goal. (This organization, when it was eventually formed, was called the Zionist Organization.) He saw the future state as a model social state, basing his ideas on the European model of the time, of a modern enlightened society. It would be neutral and peace-seeking, and of a secular nature. In his Zionist novel, Altneuland (Old New Land, 1902), Herzl pictured the future Jewish state as a socialist utopia. He envisioned a new society that was to rise in the Land of Israel on a cooperative basis utilizing science and technology in the development of the Land. He included detailed ideas about how he saw the future stateâs political structure, immigration, fundÂraising, diplomatic relations, social laws and relations between religion and the state. In Altneuland, the Jewish state was foreseen as a pluralist, advanced society, a âlight unto the nations.â This book had a great impact on the Jews of the time and became a symbol of the Zionist vision in the Land of Israel. A Movement Is Started Herzl's ideas were met with enthusiasm by the Jewish masses in Eastern Europe, although Jewish leaders were less ardent. Herzl appealed to wealthy Jews such as Baron Hirsch and Baron Rothschild, to join the national Zionist movement, but in vain. He then appealed to the people, and the result was the convening of the First Zionist Congress in Basle, Switzerland, on August 29Â31, 1897. The Congress was the first interterritorial gathering of Jews on a national and secular basis. Here the delegates adopted the Basle Program, the program of the Zionist movement, and declared, âZionism seeks to establish a home for the Jewish people in Palestine secured under public law.â At the Congress the World Zionist Organization was established as the political arm of the Jewish people, and Herzl was elected its first president. Herzl convened six Zionist Congresses between 1897 and 1902. It was here that the tools for Zionist activism were forged: Otzar Hityashvut Hayehudim, the Jewish National Fund and the movementâs newspaper Die Welt. After the First Zionist Congress, the movement met yearly at an international Zionist Congress. In 1936, the center of the Zionist movement was transferred to Jerusalem. Uganda Isnât Zion Herzl saw the need for encouragement by the great powers of the aims of the Jewish people in the Land. Thus, he traveled to the Land of Israel and Istanbul in 1898 to meet with Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. The meeting with Wilhelm was a failure - the monarch dismissed Herzlâs political entreaties with snide anti-Semitic remarks. When these efforts proved fruitless, he turned to Great Britain, and met with Joseph Chamberlain, the British colonial secretary and others. The only concrete offer he received from the British was the proposal of a Jewish autonomous region in east Africa, in Uganda. In 1899, in an essay entitled âThe Family Afflictionâ written for The American Hebrew, Herzl wrote, âAnyone who wants to work in behalf of the Jews needs - to use a popular phrase - a strong stomach.â The 1903 Kishinev pogrom and the difficult state of Russian Jewry, witnessed firsthand by Herzl during a visit to Russia, had a profound effect on him. He requested that the Russian government assist the Zionist Movement to transfer Jews from Russia to Eretz Yisrael. At the Sixth Zionist Congress (1903), Herzl proposed the British Uganda Program as a temporary refuge for Jews in Russia in immediate danger. While Herzl made it clear that this program would not affect the ultimate aim of Zionism, a Jewish entity in the Land of Israel, the proposal aroused a storm at the Congress and nearly led to a split in the Zionist movement. The Uganda Program was finally rejected by the Zionist movement at the Seventh Zionist Congress in 1905. Herzl died in Vienna in 1904, of pneumonia and a weak heart overworked by his incessant efforts on behalf of Zionism. By then the movement had found its place on the world political map. In 1949, Herzlâs remains were brought to Israel and reinterred on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem. Herzlâs books Der Judenstaat (âThe Jewish Stateâ) and Altneuland (âOld New Landâ), his plays and articles have been published frequently and translated into many languages. His name has been commemorated in the Herzl Forests at Ben Shemen and Hulda, the world's first Hebrew gymnasium â âHerzliyaâ â which was established in Tel Aviv, the town of Herzliya in the Sharon and neighborhoods and streets in many Israeli towns and cities. Herzl coined the phrase âIf you will, it is no fairytale,â which became the motto of the Zionist movement. Although at the time no one could have imagined it, Zionism led, only fifty years later, to the establishment of the independent State of Israel. Herzlâs Family Herzl and his wife Julia, who was prone to mental instability, had three children, each of whom met a terrible end. His eldest daughter Pauline was a drug addict who died in a French hospital. His son Hans, who shot himself upon learning of his sisterâs death, had left Judaism for a series of Christian churches. Herzl had failed to have his son circumcised, and the Zionist leadership, following Herzlâs death, saw to it that the oversight be remedied when the boy was 15 years old. His youngest daughter Trude perished in the Nazi concentration camp of Theresienstadt. Her son, Stephen Theodore Norman (born Stephen Neumann), had been sent to safety in England. On November 20, 1946, after learning of the death of his parents, he jumped to his death from the Massachusetts Avenue bridge in Washington, D.C. at the age of 27. Herzl himself was 44-years-old when he died in the summer of 1904, on the 20th of Tammuz in the Jewish calendar. Source: Family information taken from: The Jerusalem Report, July 12, 2004. âIsrael: 100 Years Since Herzlâs Death.â
In this frame grab provided by the Russian Television via the APTN, President Vladimir Putin, during a live feed, answers journalists' questions on the current situation around Ukraine at the Novo-Ogaryovo presidential residence outside Moscow, on Tuesday, March 4, 2014
So, you read the Washington Post and you think Putin is an evil dictator, right? Well, read the actual transcript of what he actually said (as opposed to selected bits and bobs), and then decide.
President of Russia Tue, 04 Mar 2014 by SOTT.net
The President of Russia met with media representatives to answer a number of their questions, in particular with regard to the situation in Ukraine.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues.
How shall we do this? This is what I'd like to suggest: let's have a conversation, rather than an interview. Therefore, I would ask you to begin by stating all your questions, I will jot them down and try to answer them, and then we will have a more detailed discussion of the specifics that interest you most.
Question: Mr President, I would like to ask (you took a lengthy pause, so we have quite a few questions by now) how you assess the events in Kiev? Do you think that the Government and the Acting President, who are currently in power in Kiev, are legitimate? Are you ready to communicate with them, and on what terms? Do you yourself think it possible now to return to the agreements of February 21, which we all talk about so often?
Question: Mr President, Russia has promised financial aid to Crimea and instructions were issued to the Finance Ministry yesterday. Is there a clear understanding of how much we are giving, where the money is coming from, on what terms and when? The situation there is very difficult.
Question: When, on what terms and in what scope can military force be used in Ukraine? To what extent does this comply with Russia's international agreements? Did the military exercises that have just finished have anything to do with the possible use of force?
Question: We would like to know more about Crimea. Do you think that the provocations are over or that there remains a threat to the Russian citizens who are now in Crimea and to the Russian-speaking population? What are the general dynamics there - is the situation changing for the better or for the worse? We are hearing different reports from there.
Question: If you do decide to use force, have you thought through all the possible risks for yourself, for the country and for the world: economic sanctions, weakened global security, a possible visa ban or greater isolation for Russia, as western politicians are demanding?
Question: Yesterday the Russian stock market fell sharply in response to the Federation Council's vote, and the ruble exchange rates hit record lows. Did you expect such a reaction? What do you think are the possible consequences for the economy? Is there a need for any special measures now, and of what kind? For instance, do you think the Central Bank's decision to shift to a floating ruble exchange rate may have been premature? Do you think it should be revoked?
Vladimir Putin: Fine, let us stop here for now. I will begin, and then we will continue. Don't worry; I will try to answer as many questions as possible.
First of all, my assessment of what happened in Kiev and in Ukraine in general. There can only be one assessment: this was an anti-constitutional takeover, an armed seizure of power. Does anyone question this? Nobody does. There is a question here that neither I, nor my colleagues, with whom I have been discussing the situation in Ukraine a great deal over these past days, as you know - none of us can answer. The question is why was this done?
I would like to draw your attention to the fact that President Yanukovych, through the mediation of the Foreign Ministers of three European countries - Poland, Germany and France - and in the presence of my representative (this was the Russian Human Rights Commissioner Vladimir Lukin) signed an agreement with the opposition on February 21. I would like to stress that under that agreement (I am not saying this was good or bad, just stating the fact) Mr Yanukovych actually handed over power. He agreed to all the opposition's demands: he agreed to early parliamentary elections, to early presidential elections, and to return to the 2004 Constitution, as demanded by the opposition. He gave a positive response to our request, the request of western countries and, first of all, of the opposition not to use force. He did not issue a single illegal order to shoot at the poor demonstrators. Moreover, he issued orders to withdraw all police forces from the capital, and they complied. He went to Kharkov to attend an event, and as soon as he left, instead of releasing the occupied administrative buildings, they immediately occupied the President's residence and the Government building - all that instead of acting on the agreement.
I ask myself, what was the purpose of all this? I want to understand why this was done. He had in fact given up his power already, and as I believe, as I told him, he had no chance of being re-elected. Everybody agrees on this, everyone I have been speaking to on the telephone these past few days. What was the purpose of all those illegal, unconstitutional actions, why did they have to create this chaos in the country? Armed and masked militants are still roaming the streets of Kiev. This is a question to which there is no answer. Did they wish to humiliate someone and show their power? I think these actions are absolutely foolish. The result is the absolute opposite of what they expected, because their actions have significantly destabilized the east and southeast of Ukraine.
Now over to how this situation came about.
In my opinion, this revolutionary situation has been brewing for a long time, since the first days of Ukraine's independence. The ordinary Ukrainian citizen, the ordinary guy suffered during the rule of Nicholas II, during the reign of Kuchma, and Yushchenko, and Yanukovych. Nothing or almost nothing has changed for the better. Corruption has reached dimensions that are unheard of here in Russia. Accumulation of wealth and social stratification - problems that are also acute in this country - are much worse in Ukraine, radically worse. Out there, they are beyond anything we can imagine. Generally, people wanted change, but one should not support illegal change.
Only the use of constitutional means should be used on the post-Soviet space, where political structures are still very fragile, and economies are still weak. Going beyond the constitutional field would always be a cardinal mistake in such a situation. Incidentally, I understand those people on Maidan, though I do not support this kind of turnover. I understand the people on Maidan who are calling for radical change rather than some cosmetic remodelling of power. Why are they demanding this? Because they have grown used to seeing one set of thieves being replaced by another. Moreover, the people in the regions do not even participate in forming their own regional governments. There was a period in this country when the President appointed regional leaders, but then the local Council had to approve them, while in Ukraine they are appointed directly. We have now moved on to elections, while they are nowhere near this. And they began appointing all sorts of oligarchs and billionaires to govern the eastern regions of the country. No wonder the people do not accept this, no wonder they think that as a result of dishonest privatisation (just as many people think here as well) people have become rich and now they also have all the power.
For example, Mr Kolomoisky was appointed Governor of Dnepropetrovsk. This is a unique crook. He even managed to cheat our oligarch Roman Abramovich two or three years ago. Scammed him, as our intellectuals like to say. They signed some deal, Abramovich transferred several billion dollars, while this guy never delivered and pocketed the money. When I asked him [Abramovich]: "Why did you do it?" he said: "I never thought this was possible." I do not know, by the way, if he ever got his money back and if the deal was closed. But this really did happen a couple of years ago. And now this crook is appointed Governor of Dnepropetrovsk. No wonder the people are dissatisfied. They were dissatisfied and will remain so if those who refer to themselves the legitimate authorities continue in the same fashion.
Most importantly, people should have the right to determine their own future, that of their families and of their region, and to have equal participation in it. I would like to stress this: wherever a person lives, whatever part of the country, he or she should have the right to equal participation in determining the future of the country.
Are the current authorities legitimate? The Parliament is partially, but all the others are not. The current Acting President is definitely not legitimate. There is only one legitimate President, from a legal standpoint. Clearly, he has no power. However, as I have already said, and will repeat: Yanukovych is the only undoubtedly legitimate President.
There are three ways of removing a President under Ukrainian law: one is his death, the other is when he personally stands down, and the third is impeachment. The latter is a well-deliberated constitutional norm. It has to involve the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court and the Rada. This is a complicated and lengthy procedure. It was not carried out. Therefore, from a legal perspective this is an undisputed fact.
Moreover, I think this may be why they disbanded the Constitutional Court, which runs counter to all legal norms of both Ukraine and Europe. They not only disbanded the Constitutional Court in an illegitimate fashion, but they also - just think about it - instructed the Prosecutor General's Office to launch criminal proceedings against members of the Constitutional Court. What is that all about? Is this what they call free justice? How can you instruct anyone to start criminal proceedings? If a crime, a criminal offence, has been committed, the law enforcement agencies see this and react. But instructing them to file criminal charges is nonsense, it's monkey business.
Now about financial aid to Crimea. As you may know, we have decided to organise work in the Russian regions to aid Crimea, which has turned to us for humanitarian support. We will provide it, of course. I cannot say how much, when or how - the Government is working on this, by bringing together the regions bordering on Crimea, by providing additional support to our regions so they could help the people in Crimea. We will do it, of course.
Regarding the deployment of troops, the use of armed forces. So far, there is no need for it, but the possibility remains. I would like to say here that the military exercises we recently held had nothing to do with the events in Ukraine. This was pre-planned, but we did not disclose these plans, naturally, because this was a snap inspection of the forces' combat readiness. We planned this a long time ago, the Defence Minister reported to me and I had the order ready to begin the exercise. As you may know, the exercises are over; I gave the order for the troops to return to their regular dislocations yesterday.
What can serve as a reason to use the Armed Forces? Such a measure would certainly be the very last resort.
First, the issue of legitimacy. As you may know, we have a direct appeal from the incumbent and, as I said, legitimate President of Ukraine, Mr Yanukovych, asking us to use the Armed Forces to protect the lives, freedom and health of the citizens of Ukraine.
What is our biggest concern? We see the rampage of reactionary forces, nationalist and anti-Semitic forces going on in certain parts of Ukraine, including Kiev. I am sure you, members of the media, saw how one of the governors was chained and handcuffed to something and they poured water over him, in the cold of winter. After that, by the way, he was locked up in a cellar and tortured. What is all this about? Is this democracy? Is this some manifestation of democracy? He was actually only recently appointed to this position, in December, I believe. Even if we accept that they are all corrupt there, he had barely had time to steal anything.
And do you know what happened when they seized the Party of Regions building? There were no party members there at all at the time. Some two-three employees came out, one was an engineer, and he said to the attackers: "Could you let us go, and let the women out, please. I'm an engineer, I have nothing to do with politics." He was shot right there in front of the crowd. Another employee was led to a cellar and then they threw Molotov cocktails at him and burned him alive. Is this also a manifestation of democracy?
When we see this we understand what worries the citizens of Ukraine, both Russian and Ukrainian, and the Russian-speaking population in the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine. It is this uncontrolled crime that worries them. Therefore, if we see such uncontrolled crime spreading to the eastern regions of the country, and if the people ask us for help, while we already have the official request from the legitimate President, we retain the to use all available means to protect those people. We believe this would be absolutely legitimate. This is our last resort.
Moreover, here is what I would like to say: we have always considered Ukraine not only a neighbour, but also a brotherly neighbouring republic, and will continue to do so. Our Armed Forces are comrades in arms, friends, many of whom know each other personally. I am certain, and I stress, I am certain that the Ukrainian military and the Russian military will not be facing each other, they will be on the same side in a fight.
Incidentally, the things I am talking about - this unity - is what is happening in Crimea. You should note that, thank God, not a single gunshot has been fired there; there are no casualties, except for those crushed by the crowd about a week ago. What was going on there? People came, surrounded units of the armed forces and talked to them, convincing them to follow the demands and the will of the people living in that area. There was not a single armed conflict, not a single gunshot.
Thus the tension in Crimea that was linked to the possibility of using our Armed Forces simply died down and there was no need to use them. The only thing we had to do, and we did it, was to enhance the defence of our military facilities because they were constantly receiving threats and we were aware of the armed nationalists moving in. We did this, it was the right thing to do and very timely. Therefore, I proceed from the idea that we will not have to do anything of the kind in eastern Ukraine.
There is something I would like to stress, however. Obviously, what I am going to say now is not within my authority and we do not intend to interfere. However, we firmly believe that all citizens of Ukraine, I repeat, wherever they live, should be given the same equal right to participate in the life of their country and in determining its future.
If I were in the shoes of those who consider themselves the legitimate authorities, I would not waste time and go through all the necessary procedures, because they do not have a national mandate to conduct the domestic, foreign and economic policy of Ukraine, and especially to determine its future.
Now, the stock market. As you may know, the stock market was jumpy even before the situation in Ukraine deteriorated. This is primarily linked to the policy of the US Federal Reserve, whose recent decisions enhanced the attractiveness of investing in the US economy and investors began moving their funds from the developing markets to the American market. This is a general trend and it has nothing to do with Ukraine. I believe it was India that suffered most, as well as the other BRICS states. Russia was hit as well, not as hard as India, but it was. This is the fundamental reason.
As for the events in Ukraine, politics always influence the stock market in one way or another. Money likes quiet, stability and calm. However, I think this is a tactical, temporary development and a temporary influence.
Your questions, please.
Question: Mr President, can you tell us if you expected such a harsh reaction to Russia's actions from your western partners? Could you give us any details of your conversations with your western partners? All we've heard was a report from the press service. And what do you think about the G8 summit in Sochi - will it take place?
Vladimir Putin: Regarding the expected reaction, whether the G8 will meet and about the conversations. Our conversations are confidential, some are even held over secure lines. Therefore, I am not authorised to disclose what I discussed with my partners. I will, however, refer to some public statements made by my colleagues from the west; without giving any names, I will comment on them in a general sense.
What do we pay attention to? We are often told our actions are illegitimate, but when I ask, "Do you think everything you do is legitimate?" they say "yes". Then, I have to recall the actions of the United States in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, where they either acted without any UN sanctions or completely distorted the content of such resolutions, as was the case with Libya. There, as you may know, the resolution only spoke of closing the airspace for government aircraft, while it all ended with bomb attacks and special forces land operations.
Our partners, especially in the United Sates, always clearly formulate their own geopolitical and state interests and follow them with persistence. Then, using the principle "You're either with us or against us" they draw the whole world in. And those who do not join in get 'beaten' until they do.
Our approach is different. We proceed from the conviction that we always act legitimately. I have personally always been an advocate of acting in compliance with international law. I would like to stress yet again that if we do make the decision, if I do decide to use the Armed Forces, this will be a legitimate decision in full compliance with both general norms of international law, since we have the appeal of the legitimate President, and with our commitments, which in this case coincide with our interests to protect the people with whom we have close historical, cultural and economic ties. Protecting these people is in our national interests. This is a humanitarian mission. We do not intend to subjugate anyone or to dictate to anyone. However, we cannot remain indifferent if we see that they are being persecuted, destroyed and humiliated. However, I sincerely hope it never gets to that.
Question: How do you asses the reaction of the west to the events in Ukraine and their threats regarding Russia: are we facing the possibility of sanctions or withdrawal from the G8?
Vladimir Putin: Regarding sanctions. It is primarily those who intend to apply them that need to consider their consequences. I believe that in the modern world, where everything is interconnected and interdependent, it is possible to cause damage to another country, but this will be mutual damage and one should bear this in mind. This is one thing.
The second and the most important thing. I have already told you what motivates us. And what motivates our partners? They supported an unconstitutional armed take-over, declared these people legitimate and are trying to support them. By the way, despite all of this we have been patient and even ready to cooperate; we do not want to disrupt our cooperation. As you may know, a few days ago I instructed the Government to consider how we can maintain contacts even with those powers in Kiev that we do not consider legitimate in order to retain our ties in the economy and industry. We think our actions have been absolutely reasonable, while any threat against Russia is counterproductive and harmful.
As for the G8, I do not know. We will be ready to host the summit with our colleagues. If they do not want to come - so be it.
Question: Can I add about contacts? The way I see it, you consider the Prime Minister of Crimea Mr Aksyonov to be a legitimate representative of government authorities. Are you ready to have any contacts with those who consider themselves the legitimate authorities in Kiev?
Vladimir Putin: I have just spoken about it. You must have missed it.
Question: I mean, at the top level for a political solution.
Vladimir Putin: I do not have a partner at the top level there. There is no president there, and there cannot be one until the general elections.
As for Crimea, the Parliament there was formed in 2010, in December 2010 if I remember correctly. There are 100 MPs representing six political parties. After the previous Prime Minister resigned, the Crimean Parliament, in compliance with the existing legislation and procedures elected a new Prime Minister at a session of the Crimean Supreme Council. He is definitely legitimate. They have complied with all the procedures envisaged by the law; there is not a single violation. However, when a few days ago a group of armed men tried to occupy the building of the Crimean Supreme Soviet, this caused the concern of the local residents. It seemed as though someone wanted to apply the Kiev scenario in Crimea and to launch a series of terrorist attacks and cause chaos. Naturally, this causes grave concern among the local residents. That is why they set up self-defence committees and took control over all the armed forces.
Incidentally, I was studying the brief yesterday to see what they took over - it is like a fortified zone. There are several dozen C-300 units, several dozen air-defence missile systems, 22,000 service members and a lot more. However, as I said, this is all in the hands of the people of Crimea and without a single gunshot.
Question: Mr President, a clarification if I may. The people who were blocking the Ukrainian Army units in Crimea were wearing uniforms that strongly resembled the Russian Army uniform. Were those Russian soldiers, Russian military?
Vladimir Putin: Why don't you take a look at the post-Soviet states. There are many uniforms there that are similar. You can go to a store and buy any kind of uniform.
Question: But were they Russian soldiers or not?
Vladimir Putin: Those were local self-defence units.
Question: How well trained are they? If we compare them to the self-defence units in Kiev...
Vladimir Putin: My dear colleague, look how well trained the people who operated in Kiev were. As we all know they were trained at special bases in neighbouring states: in Lithuania, Poland and in Ukraine itself too. They were trained by instructors for extended periods. They were divided into dozens and hundreds, their actions were coordinated, they had good communication systems. It was all like clockwork. Did you see them in action? They looked very professional, like special forces. Why do you think those in Crimea should be any worse?
Question: In that case, can I specify: did we take part in training Crimean self-defence forces?
Vladimir Putin: No, we did not.
Question: How do you see the future of Crimea? Do you consider the possibility of it joining Russia?
Vladimir Putin: No, we do not. Generally, I believe that only residents of a given country who have the freedom of will and are in complete safety can and should determine their future. If this right was granted to the Albanians in Kosovo, if this was made possible in many different parts of the world, then nobody has ruled out the right of nations to self-determination, which, as far as I know, is fixed by several UN documents. However, we will in no way provoke any such decision and will not breed such sentiments.
I would like to stress that I believe only the people living in a given territory have the right to determine their own future.
Question: Two questions. You said that sending troops into Ukraine is an extreme measure, but you are nevertheless not ruling it out. Still, if Russian troops enter Ukraine, it could start a war. Doesn't that bother you?
And a second question. You say that Yanukovych did not give the order to shoot people. But somebody shot at the protestors. And clearly, these were snipers, trained snipers.
Vladimir Putin: You know, some people, including those who were recently among the protestors, have expressed the opinion that these were provocateurs from one of the opposition parties. Have you heard this?
Reply: No, I have not heard this.
Vladimir Putin: Look at these materials - they are freely available. That is why it is very difficult to get to the bottom of the situation. But you and I saw for ourselves when the Berkut fighters stood there with their shields and were shot at - and those were not air weapons that were used against them but assault weapons that pierced their shields. That is something we saw for certain. As for who gave the orders - that I do not know. I only know what Mr Yanukovych told me. And he told me that he did not give any orders, and moreover, he gave instructions - after signing a corresponding agreement - to even withdraw all militia units from the capital.
If you want, I can tell you even more. He called me on the phone and I told him not to do it. I said, "You will have anarchy, you will have chaos in the capital. Think about the people." But he did it anyway. And as soon as he did it, his office was seized, and that of the government, and the chaos I had warned him about and which continues to this day, erupted.
Question: What about the first question? Are you concerned that a war could break out?
Vladimir Putin: I am not concerned, because we do not plan and we will not fight with the Ukrainian people.
Question: But there are Ukrainian troops, there is the Ukrainian army.
Vladimir Putin: Listen carefully. I want you to understand me clearly: if we make that decision, it will only be to protect Ukrainian citizens. And let's see those troops try to shoot their own people, with us behind them - not in the front, but behind. Let them just try to shoot at women and children! I would like to see those who would give that order in Ukraine.
Question: Can I ask a question, Mr President? Our colleagues, my colleagues, who are currently working in Ukraine, are saying practically every day that the situation for the Berkut fighters is only getting worse (perhaps with the exception of Crimea). In particular, in Kiev, there are injured Berkut officers who are in hospitals now, where nobody is treating them and they are not even getting fed. And their families, including elderly family members, they simply cannot leave the house, because they are not being allowed; there are barricades all around, they are being humiliated. Can you comment on this? And can Russia help these families and colleagues?
Vladimir Putin: Yes, this issue is of great concern to us. After all, these are not Russia's Interior Ministry officers, and we were not managing the situation there. But out of humanitarian considerations, it would be good if our human rights organisations got involved in this as well; we might ask Vladimir Lukin, either alone or together with his colleagues, representatives from France, Germany and Poland, with whom he participated in developing the well-known document of February 21, 2014, to go on location and see what is happening there with these Berkut officers, who have not broken any laws and acted in accordance with their orders. They are military service members, they stood there facing bullets, they were doused with fire and had Molotov cocktails thrown at them. They have been wounded and injured and are now in a hospital. It is even hard to imagine - even prisoners of war are being fed and treated. But they not only stopped treating them, they even stopped feeding them. And they have surrounded the building where these fighters' families live and are bullying them. I think that human rights organisations must pay attention to this. And we, for our part, are ready to provide them with medical care here in Russia.
Question: Mr President, getting back to the West's reaction. Following the US Secretary of State's harsh statement, the Federation Council suggested that we recall our ambassador to the United States. Do you support this idea?
Vladimir Putin: The US Secretary of State is certainly an important person, but he is not the ultimate authority that determines the United States' foreign policy. We hear statements from various politicians and representatives of various political forces. This would be an extreme measure. If necessary, it will be used. But I really don't want to use it, because I think Russia is not the only one interested in cooperation with its partners on an international level and in such areas as economy, politics and foreign security; our partners are just as interested in this cooperation. It is very easy to destroy these instruments of cooperation and it would be very difficult to rebuild them.
Question: Russia got involved in Yanukovych's fate. How do you see his future role and his future destiny?
Vladimir Putin: You know, it is very hard for me to say; I have not analysed it carefully. I think he has no political future, and I have told him so. As for "getting involved in his fate" - we did this on purely humanitarian grounds. Death is the easiest way for getting rid of a legitimate president, and I think that is what would have happened. I think they would have simply killed him. Incidentally, the question arises: what for?
After all, look at how it all began, what triggered these events. The formal reason was that he did not sign the European Union Association Agreement. Today, this seems like nonsense; it is ridiculous to even talk about. But I want to point out that he did not refuse to sign the association agreement. He said: "We have carefully analysed it, and its content does not correspond with our national interests. We cannot sharply increase energy prices for our people, because our people are already in a rather difficult position. We cannot do this, and that, and that. We cannot immediately break our economic ties with Russia, because our cooperation is very extensive."
I have already presented these figures: out of approximately 14 billion [dollars] in export, approximately 5 billion represents second and third technological processing level products exported to Russia. In other words, just about all engineering products are exported to Russia; the West is not buying any Ukrainian products. And to take all this and break it apart, to introduce European technical standards in the Ukrainian economy, which, thankfully or unfortunately, we are not using at the moment. We will adopt those standards at some point, but currently, we do not have those standards in Russia. This means the next day, our relations and cooperation ties will be broken, enterprises will come to a standstill and unemployment will increase. And what did Yanukovych say? He said, "I cannot do this so suddenly, let's discuss this further." He did not refuse to sign it, he asked for a chance to discuss this document some more, and then all this craziness began.
And why? Did he do something outside the scope of his authority? He acted absolutely within the scope of his authority; he did not infringe on anything. It was simply an excuse to support the forces opposing him in a fight for power. Overall, this is nothing special. But did it really need to be taken to this level of anarchy, to an unconstitutional overthrow and armed seizure of power, subsequently plunging the nation into the chaos where it finds itself today? I think this is unacceptable. And it is not the first time our Western partners are doing this in Ukraine. I sometimes get the feeling that somewhere across that huge puddle, in America, people sit in a lab and conduct experiments, as if with rats, without actually understanding the consequences of what they are doing. Why did they need to do this? Who can explain this? There is no explanation at all for it.
The same thing happened during the first Maidan uprising, when Yanukovych was blocked from power. Why did we need that third round of elections? In other words, it was turned into a farce - Ukraine's political life was turned into a farce. There was no compliance with the Constitution at all. You see, we are now teaching people that if one person can violate any law, anyone else can do the same, and that's what causes chaos. That is the danger. Instead, we need to teach our society to follow other traditions: traditions of respecting the main law of the nation, the Constitution, and all other laws. Of course, we will not always succeed, but I think acting like this - like a bull in a china shop is counterproductive and very dangerous.
Question: Mr President, Turchynov is illegitimate, from your point of view.
Vladimir Putin: As President, yes.
Question: But the Rada is partially legitimate.
Vladimir Putin: Yes.
Question: Are Yatsenyuk and the Cabinet legitimate? And if Russia is concerned about the growing strength of radical elements, they grow stronger every time they find themselves facing a hypothetical enemy, which in their view, they currently consider Russia and Russia's position of being ready to send in troops. Does it make sense and is it possible to hold talks with moderate forces in the Ukrainian government, with Yatsenyuk, and is he legitimate?
Vladimir Putin: Listen, it seems like you didn't hear what I have said. I already said that three days ago, I gave instructions to the Government to renew contacts at the government level with their colleagues in the corresponding ministries and departments in Ukraine, in order not to disrupt economic ties, to support them in their attempts to reconstruct the economy. Those were my direct instructions to the Russian Government. Moreover, Mr Medvedev is in contact with [Arseniy] Yatsenyuk. And I know that Sergei Naryshkin, as speaker of the Russian parliament, is in contact with [Oleksandr] Turchynov. But, I repeat, all our trade and economic and other ties, our humanitarian ties, can be developed in full only after the situation is normalised and presidential elections are held.
Question: Gazprom has already said that it is reverting to its old gas prices beginning in April.
Vladimir Putin: Gazprom could not have said that; you were not listening carefully or it did not express itself clearly. Gazprom is not reverting to the old prices. It simply does not want to extend the current discounts, which it had agreed to apply or not apply on a quarterly basis. Even before all these events, even before they hit the crisis point. I know about the negotiations between Gazprom and its partners. Gazprom and the Government of the Russian Federation agreed that Gazprom would introduce a discount by reducing gas prices to $268.50 per 1,000 cubic metres. The Government of Russia provides the first tranche of the loan, which is formally not a loan but a bond purchase - a quasi-loan, $3 billion dollars in the first stage. And the Ukrainian side undertakes to fully repay its debt that arose in the second half of last year and to make regular payments for what they are consuming - for the gas. The debt has not been repaid, regular payments are not being made in full.
Moreover, if the Ukrainian partners fail to make the February payment, the debt will grow even bigger. Today it is around $1.5-1.6 billion. And if they do not fully pay for February, it will be nearly $2 billion. Naturally, in these circumstances, Gazprom says, "Listen guys, since you don't pay us anyway, and we are only seeing an increase in your debt, let's lock into the regular price, which is still reduced." This is a purely commercial component of Gazprom's activities, which plans for revenues and expenditures in its investment plans like any other major company. If they do not receive the money from their Ukrainian partners on time, then they are undercutting their own investment programmes; this is a real problem for them. And incidentally, this does not have to do with the events in Ukraine or any politics. There was an agreement: "We give you money and reduced gas rates, and you give us regular payments." They gave them money and reduced gas rates, but the payments are not being made. So naturally, Gazprom says, "Guys, that won't work."
Question: Mr President, [German Federal Chancellor] Merkel's Press Service said after your telephone conversation that you had agreed to send an international fact-finding mission to Ukraine and set up a contact group.
Vladimir Putin: I said that we have people who have the training and skills needed to be able to examine this issue and discuss it with our German colleagues. This is all possible. I gave the instruction accordingly to our Foreign Minister, who was to or will meet with the German Foreign Minister, Mr Steinmeier, yesterday or today to discuss this matter.
Question: All eyes are on Crimea at the moment of course, but we see what is happening in other parts of Ukraine too, in the east and south. We see what is happening in Kharkov, Donetsk, Lugansk and Odessa. People are raising the Russian flag over government buildings and appealing to Russia for aid and support. Will Russia respond to these events?
Vladimir Putin: Do you think we have not made any response? I think we've just spent the last hour discussing this response. In some cases though, the developments taking place are unexpected in my view. I will not go into the specific details of what I am referring to here, but the reaction that we are seeing from people is understandable, in principle. Did our partners in the West and those who call themselves the government in Kiev now not foresee that events would take this turn? I said to them over and over: Why are you whipping the country into a frenzy like this? What are you doing? But they keep on pushing forward. Of course people in the eastern part of the country realise that they have been left out of the decision-making process.
Essentially, what is needed now is to adopt a new constitution and put it to a referendum so that all of Ukraine's citizens can take part in the process and influence the choice of basic principles that will form the foundations of their country's government. But this is not our affair of course. This is something for the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian authorities to decided one way or another. I think that once a legitimate government is in place and a new president and parliament are elected, which is what is planned, this will probably go ahead. If I were them, I would return to the matter of adopting a constitution and, as I said, putting it to a referendum so that everyone can have their say on it, cast their vote, and then everyone will have to respect it. If people feel they are left out of this process, they will never agree with it and will keep on fighting it. Who needs this kind of thing? But as I said, this is all not our affair.
Question: Will Russia recognise the planned presidential election that will take place in Ukraine?
Vladimir Putin: Let's see how it goes. If it is accompanied by the same kind of terror that we are seeing now in Kiev, we will not recognise it.
Question: I want to come back to the West's reaction. As all this tough talk continues, we have the Paralympics opening in a few days' time in Sochi. Are these Games at risk of ending up on the brink of disruption, at least as far as international media coverage goes?
Vladimir Putin: I don't know, I think it would be the height of cynicism to put the Paralympics at risk. We all know that this is an international sports event at which people with disabilities can show their capabilities, prove to themselves and the entire world that they are not people with limitations, but on the contrary, people with unlimited possibilities, and demonstrate their achievements in sport. If there are people ready to try to disrupt this event, it would show that these are people for whom there really is nothing sacred.
Question: I want to ask about the hypothetical possibility of using the military. People in the West have said that if Russia makes such a decision, it would violate the Budapest Memorandum, under which the United States and some NATO partners consecrated territorial integrity of Ukraine in exchange for its promise to give up nuclear weapons. If developments take this turn, could global players intervene in this local conflict and turn it into a global conflict? Have you taken these risks into account?
Vladimir Putin: Before making public statements, and all the more so before taking practical steps, we give issues due thought and attention and try to foresee the consequences and reactions that the various potential players could have.
As for the Memorandum that you mentioned, you said you are from Reuters, is that right?
Vladimir Putin: How do the public and political circles in your country view these events that have taken place? It is clear after all that this was an armed seizure of power. That is a clear and evident fact. And it is clear too that this goes against the Constitution. That is also a clear fact, is it not?
Response: I live in Russia.
Vladimir Putin: Good on you! You should join the diplomatic service; you'd make a good diplomat. Diplomats' tongues, as we know, are there to hide their thoughts. So, we say that what we are seeing is an anti-constitutional coup, and we get told, no, it isn't. You have probably heard plenty of times now that this was not an anti-constitutional coup and not an armed seizure of power, but a revolution. Have you heard this?
Vladimir Putin: Yes, but if this is revolution, what does this mean? In such a case it is hard not to agree with some of our experts who say that a new state is now emerging in this territory. This is just like what happened when the Russian Empire collapsed after the 1917 revolution and a new state emerged. And this would be a new state with which we have signed no binding agreements.
Question: I want to clarify a point. You said that if the USA imposes sanctions, this would deal a blow to both economies. Does this imply that Russia might impose counter-sanctions of its own, and if so, would they be a symmetrical response?
You spoke about gas discounts too. But there was also the agreement to buy $15 billion worth of Ukrainian bonds. Ukraine received the first tranche at the end of last year. Has payment of the remaining money been suspended? If Russia provides aid, on what specific economic and political terms will this be done? And what political and economic risks are you taking into consideration in this case?
Vladimir Putin: To answer your question, we are in principle ready to look at taking the steps needed to make the other tranches available with regard to the purchase of bonds. But our Western partners have asked us not to do this. They have asked us to work together through the IMF to encourage the Ukrainian authorities to carry out the reforms needed to bring about recovery in the Ukrainian economy. We will continue working in this direction. But given that Naftogaz of Ukraine is not paying Gazprom now, the Government is considering various options.
Question: Mr President, is the dynamic of events in Ukraine changing for the better or for the worse?
Vladimir Putin: Overall, I think it is gradually starting to level out. We absolutely must send the signal to people in Ukraine's southeast that they can feel safe, and know that they will be able to take part in the general political process of stabilising the country.
Question: You have made several mentions now of future legitimate elections in Ukraine. Who do you see as compromise candidate? Of course you will say that this for the Ukrainian people to decide, but I ask you all the same.
Vladimir Putin: To be honest, I really don't know.
Response: It seems that the people also don't know, because no matter who you talk to, everyone seems to be at a loss.
Vladimir Putin: I really can't say. You know, it's hard to make predictions after events of this kind. I have already said that I do not agree with this method of taking power and removing the incumbent authorities and president, and I strongly oppose this kind of method in Ukraine and in the post-Soviet area in general. I oppose this because this kind of method does not inculcate legal culture, respect for the law. If one person can get away with doing this, it means that everyone is allowed to try, and this only means chaos. You have to understand that this kind of chaos is the worst possible thing for countries with a shaky economy and unstable political system. In this kind of situation you never know what kind of people events will bring to the fore. Just recall, for example, the role that [Ernst] Roehm's storm troopers played during Hitler's rise to power. Later, these storm troopers were liquidated, but they played their part in bringing Hitler to power. Events can take all kinds of unexpected turns.
Let me say again that in situations when people call for fundamental political reform and new faces at the top, and with full justification too - and in this I agree with the Maidan - there is a risk too that you'll suddenly get some upstart nationalist or semi-fascist lot sprout up, like the genie suddenly let out of the bottle - and we see them today, people wearing armbands with something resembling swastikas, still roaming around Kiev at this moment - or some anti-Semite or other. This danger is there too.
Question: Just today, incidentally, the Ukrainian envoy to the UN said that the crimes committed by Bandera's followers were falsified by the Soviet Union. With May 9 coming closer, we can see now who is in power there today. Should we even have any contacts with them at all?
Vladimir Putin: We need to have contact with everyone except for obvious criminals, but as I said, in this kind of situation, there is always the risk that events of this kind will bring people with extreme views to the fore, and this of course has serious consequences for the country.
Question: You said that we should make contact with everyone. Yulia Tymoshenko was planning it seems, to come to Moscow.
Vladimir Putin: As you know, we always worked quite productively with all of the different Ukrainian governments, no matter what their political colour. We worked with Leonid Kuchma, and with [Viktor] Yushchenko. When I was Prime Minister, I worked with Tymoshenko. I visited her in Ukraine and she came here to Russia. We had to deal with all kinds of different situations in our work to manage our countries' economies. We had our differences, but we also reached agreements. Overall it was constructive work. If she wants to come to Russia, let her come. It's another matter that she is no longer prime minister now. In what capacity will she come? But I personally have no intention of stopping her from coming to Russia.
Question: Just a brief question: who do you think is behind this coup, as you called it, in Ukraine?
Vladimir Putin: As I said before, I think this was a well-prepared action. Of course there were combat detachments. They are still there, and we all saw how efficiently they worked. Their Western instructors tried hard of course. But this is not the real problem. If the Ukrainian government had been strong, confident, and had built a stable system, no nationalists would have been able to carry out those programs and achieve the results that we see now.
The real problem is that none of the previous Ukrainian governments gave proper attention to people's needs. Here in Russia we have many problems, and many of them are similar to those in Ukraine, but they are not as serious as in Ukraine. Average per capita [monthly] income in Russia, for example, is 29,700 rubles, but in Ukraine, if we convert it into rubles, it is 11,900 rubles, I think - almost three times lower than in Russia. The average pension in Russia is 10,700 rubles, but in Ukraine it is 5,500 rubles - twice lower than in Russia. Great Patriotic War veterans in Russia receive almost as much as the average worker each month. In other words, there is a substantial difference in living standards. This was what the various governments should have been focusing on right from the start. Of course they needed to fight crime, nepotism, clans and so on, especially in the economy. People see what is going on, and this creates lack of confidence in the authorities.
This has continued as several generations of modern Ukrainian politicians have come and gone, and the ultimate result is that people are disappointed and want to see a new system and new people in power. This was the main source of fuel for the events that took place. But let me say again: a change of power, judging by the whole situation, was probably necessary in Ukraine, but it should have taken place only through legitimate means, in respect for and not in violation of the current Constitution.
Question: Mr President, if Crimea holds a referendum and the people there vote to secede from Ukraine, that is, if the majority of the region's residents vote for secession, would you support it?
Vladimir Putin: You can never use the conditional mood in politics. I will stick to that rule.
Question: Is Yanukovych even still alive? There have been rumours that he died.
Vladimir Putin: I have seen him once since he arrived in Russia. That was just two days ago. He was alive and well and wishes you the same. He'll still have a chance of catching a cold at the funeral of those who are spreading these rumours of his demise.
Question: Mr President, what mistakes do you think Yanukovych made over these last months as the situation intensified in Ukraine?
Vladimir Putin: I would rather not answer this question, not because I do not have an opinion to express, but because I do not think it would be proper on my part. You have to understand, after all...
Question: Do you sympathise with him?
Vladimir Putin: No, I have completely different feelings. Anyone in this office bears an enormous responsibility on their shoulders as head of state, and they have rights and also obligations. But the biggest obligation of all is to carry out the will of the people who have entrusted you with the country, acting within the law. And so we need to analyse, did he do everything that the law and the voters' mandate empowered him to do? You can analyse this yourselves and draw your own conclusions.
Question: But what feelings do you have for him? You said "not sympathy, but other feelings". What feelings exactly?
Vladimir Putin: Let's talk later.
Question: You said just two questions back that we must above all send a clear signal to people in the south and southeast of Ukraine. The southeast, that's understandable, but...
Vladimir Putin: We need to make our position clear to everyone, really.
We need to be heard by all of Ukraine's people. We have no enemies in Ukraine. Let me say again that Ukraine is a friendly country. Do you know how many people came from Ukraine to Russia last year? 3.3 million came, and of that number almost 3 million people came to Russia for work. These people are working here - around 3 million people. Do you know how much money they send back home to Ukraine to support their families? Count up the average wage of 3 million people. This comes to billions of dollars and makes a big contribution to Ukraine's GDP. This is no joking matter. We welcome all of them, and among the people coming here to work are also many from western Ukraine. They are all equal in our eyes, all brothers to us.
Question: This is just what I wanted to ask about. We are hearing above all about the southeast of Ukraine at the moment, which is understandable, but there are ethnic Russians and Russian-speaking people living in western Ukraine too, and their situation is probably even worse. They probably cannot raise their heads at all and are a downtrodden minority there. What can Russia do to help them?
Vladimir Putin: Our position is that if the people who call themselves the government now hope to be considered a civilised government, they must ensure the safety of all of their citizens, no matter in which part of the country, and we of course will follow this situation closely.
Power centers in DC and the corporate corridors of Manhattan and Silicon Valley are calling the shots.
By Mike Lofgren - BillMoyers.com - Alternet.org - February 21, 2014
Rome lived upon its principal till ruin stared it in the face. Industry is the only true source of wealth, and there was no industry in Rome. By day the Ostia road was crowded with carts and muleteers, carrying to the great city the silks and spices of the East, the marble of Asia Minor, the timber of the Atlas, the grain of Africa and Egypt; and the carts brought out nothing but loads of dung. That was their return cargo. â"The Martyrdom of Man" by Winwood Reade (1871)
There is the visible government situated around the Mall in Washington, and then there is another, more shadowy, more indefinable government that is not explained in Civics 101 or observable to tourists at the White House or the Capitol. The former is traditional Washington partisan politics: the tip of the iceberg that a public watching C-SPAN sees daily and which is theoretically controllable via elections. The subsurface part of the iceberg I shall call the Deep State, which operates on its own compass heading regardless of who is formally in power. 
During the last five years, the news media have been flooded with pundits decrying the broken politics of Washington. The conventional wisdom has it that partisan gridlock and dysfunction have become the new normal. That is certainly the case, and I have been among the harshest critics of this development. But it is also imperative to acknowledge the limits of this critique as it applies to the American governmental system. On one level, the critique is self-evident: in the domain that the public can see, Congress is hopelessly deadlocked in the worst manner since the 1850s, the violently rancorous decade preceding the Civil War.
As I wrote in " The Party is Over," the present objective of congressional Republicans is to render the executive branch powerless, at least until a Republican president is elected (a goal which voter suppression laws in GOP-controlled states are clearly intended to accomplish). President Obama cannot enact his domestic policies and budgets; because of incessant GOP filibustering, not only could he not fill the large number of vacancies in the federal judiciary, he could not even get his most innocuous presidential appointees into office. Democrats controlling the Senate have responded by weakening the filibuster of nominations, but Republicans are sure to react with other parliamentary delaying tactics. This strategy amounts to congressional nullification of executive branch powers by a party that controls a majority in only one house of Congress.
Despite this apparent impotence, President Obama can liquidate American citizens without due processes, detain prisoners indefinitely without charge, conduct âdragnetâ surveillance on the American people without judicial warrant and engage in unprecedented â at least since the McCarthy era â witch hunts against federal employees (the so-called âInsider Threat Programâ). Within the United States, this power is characterized by massive displays of intimidating force by militarized federal, state and local law enforcement. Abroad, President Obama can start wars at will and engage in virtually any other activity whatever without so much as a by-your-leave from Congress, to include arranging the forced landing of a plane carrying a sovereign head of state over foreign territory. Despite their habitual cant about executive overreach by Obama, the would-be dictator, we have until recently heard very little from congressional Republicans about these actions â with the minor exception of a gadfly like Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. Democrats, save for a few mavericks like Ron Wyden of Oregon, are not unduly troubled, either â even to the extent of permitting seemingly perjured congressional testimony under oath by executive branch officials on the subject of illegal surveillance.
These are not isolated instances of a contradiction; they have been so pervasive that they tend to be disregarded as background noise. During the time in 2011 when political warfare over the debt ceiling was beginning to paralyze the business of governance in Washington, the United States government somehow summoned the resources to overthrow Muammar Ghaddafiâs regime in Libya, and, when the instability created by that coup spilled over into Mali, provide overt and covert assistance to French intervention there. At a time when there was heated debate about continuing meat inspections and civilian air traffic control because of the budget crisis, our government was somehow able to commit $115 millionto keeping a civil war going in Syria and to pay at least ÂŁ100m to the United Kingdomâs Government Communications Headquarters to buy influence over and access to that countryâs intelligence. Since 2007, two bridges carrying interstate highways have collapsed due to inadequate maintenance of infrastructure, one killing thirteen people; during that same period of time, the government has spent $1.7 billion constructing a building in Utah that is the size of seventeen football fields. This mammoth structure is intended to allow the National Security Agency to store a yottabyte of information, the largest numerical designator computer scientists have. A yottabyte is equal to 500 quintillion pages of text. They need that much storage to archive every single electronic trace you make.
How did I come to write an analysis of the Deep State, and why am I equipped to write it? As a congressional staff member for 28 years specializing in national security and possessing a top secret security clearance, I was at least on the fringes of the world I am describing, if neither totally in it by virtue of full membership nor of it by psychological disposition. But like virtually every employed person, I became to some extent assimilated by the culture of the institution I worked for, and only by slow degrees, starting before the invasion of Iraq, did I begin fundamentally to question the reasons of state that motivate the people who are, to quote George W. Bush, âthe deciders.â
Cultural assimilation is partly a matter of what psychologist Irving L. Janis called âgroupthink,â the chameleon-like ability of people to adopt the views of their superiors and peers. This syndrome is endemic to Washington: the town is characterized by sudden fads, be it biennial budgeting, grand bargains, or invading countries. Then, after a while, all the townâs cool kids drop those ideas as if they were radioactive. As in the military, everybody has to get on board with the mission, and it is not a career-enhancing move to question the mission. The universe of people who will critically examine the goings-on at the institutions they work for is always going to be a small one. As Upton Sinclair said, âIt is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.â
A more elusive aspect of cultural assimilation is the sheer dead weight of the ordinariness of it all once you have planted yourself in your office chair for the ten thousandth time. Your life is typically not some vignette from an Allen Drury novel about intrigue under the Capitol dome. Sitting and staring at the clock on the off-white office wall when itâs eleven in the evening and you are vowing never, ever to eat another piece of take-out pizza in your life is not an experience that summons the higher literary instincts of a would-be memoirist. After a while, a functionary of the state begins to hear things that, in another context, would be quite remarkable, or at least noteworthy, and yet they simply bounce off oneâs consciousness like pebbles off steel plate: âYou mean the number of terrorist groups we are fighting isclassified?â No wonder few people are whistleblowers, quite apart from the vicious retaliation whistleblowing often provokes: unless one is blessed with imagination and a fine sense of irony, it is easy to grow immune to the curiousness of oneâs surroundings. To paraphrase the inimitable Donald Rumsfeld, I didnât know all that I knew, at least until I had had a couple of years away from the government to reflect upon it.
The Deep State does not consist of the entire government. It is a hybrid of national security and law enforcement agencies: the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Justice Department. We also include the Department of the Treasury because of its jurisdiction over financial flows, its enforcement of international sanctions, and its organic symbiosis with Wall Street. All these agencies are coordinated by the Executive Office of the President via the National Security Council. Certain key areas of the judiciary belong to the Deep State, like the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, whose actions are mysterious even to most members of Congress. Also included are a handful of vital federal trial courts, such as the Eastern District of Virginia and the Southern District of Manhattan, where sensitive proceedings in national security cases are conducted. The final government component (and possibly last in precedence among the formal branches of government established by the Constitution) is a kind of rump Congress consisting of the congressional leadership and some (but not all) of the members of the defense and intelligence committees. The rest of Congress, normally so fractious and partisan, is mostly only intermittently aware of the Deep State and when required usually submits to a few well-chosen words from the Stateâs emissaries.
I saw this submissiveness on many occasions. One memorable incident was passage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendments Act of 2008. This legislation retroactively legalized the Bush administrationâs illegal and unconstitutional surveillance first revealed by The New York Times in 2005, and indemnified the telecommunications companies for their cooperation in these acts. The bill passed easily: all that was required was the invocation of the word âterrorismâ and most members of Congress responded like iron filings obeying a magnet. One who responded in that fashion was Senator Barack Obama, soon to be coronated as the Democratic presidential nominee at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. He had already won the most delegates by campaigning to the left of his main opponent, Hillary Clinton, on the excesses of the war on terrorism and the erosion of constitutional liberties.
As the indemnification vote showed, the Deep State does not consist only of government agencies. What is euphemistically called private enterprise is an integral part of its operations. In a special series in The Washington Post called âTop Secret America,â Dana Priest and William K. Arkin described the scope of the privatized Deep State, and the degree to which it has metastasized after the September 11 attacks. There are now 854,000 contract personnel with top secret clearances â a number greater than that of top secret-cleared civilian employees of the government.While they work throughout the country and the world, their heavy concentration in and around the Washington suburbs is unmistakable: since 9/11, 33 facilities for top-secret intelligence have been built or are under construction. Combined, they occupy the floor space of almost three Pentagons â about 17 million square feet. Seventy percent of the intelligence communityâs budget goes to paying contracts. And the membrane between government and industry is highly permeable: the Director of National Intelligence, James R. Clapper, is a former executive of Booz Allen, one of the governmentâs largest intelligence contractors. His predecessor as director, Admiral Mike McConnell, is the current vice chairman of the same company; Booz Allen is 99 percent dependent on government business. These contractors now set the political and social tone of Washington, just as they are increasingly setting the direction of the country, but they are doing it quietly, their doings unrecorded in the Congressional Record or the Federal Register, and are rarely subject to congressional hearings
Washington is the most important node of the Deep State that has taken over America, but it is not the only one. Invisible threads of money and ambition connect the town to other nodes. One is Wall Street, which supplies the cash that keeps the political machine quiescent and operating as a diversionary marionette theater. Should the politicians forget their lines and threaten the status quo, Wall Street floods the town with cash and lawyers to help the hired hands remember their own best interests. The executives of the financial giants even have de facto criminal immunity. On March 6, 2013, testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Eric Holder stated the following: âI am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy.â This from the chief law enforcement officer of a justice system that has practically abolished the constitutional right to trial for poorer defendants charged with certain crimes. It is not too much to say that Wall Street may be the ultimate owner of the Deep State and its strategies, if for no other reason than that it has the money to reward government operatives with a second career that is lucrative beyond the dreams of avarice â certainly beyond the dreams of a government salaryman. 
The corridor between Manhattan and Washington is a well-trodden highway for the personalities we all got to know in the period since the massive deregulation of Wall Street: Robert Rubin, Lawrence Summers, Henry Paulson, Timothy Geithner and many others. Not all the traffic involves persons connected with the purely financial operations of the government: in 2013, General David Petraeus joined KKR (formerly Kohlberg Kravis Roberts) of 9 West 57 Street, New York, a private equity firm with $62.3 billion in assets. KKR specializes in management buyouts and leveraged finance; General Petraeusâs expertise in these areas is unclear; his ability to peddle influence, however, is a known and valued commodity. Unlike Cincinnatus, the military commanders of the Deep State do not take up the plow once they lay down the sword. He also obtained a sinecure as a non-resident senior fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard. The Ivy League is of course the preferred bleaching tub and charm school of the American oligarchy. 
Petraeus, and most of the avatars of the Deep State â the White House advisers who urged Obama not to impose compensation limits on Wall Street CEOs, the contractor-connected think tank experts who besought us to âstay the courseâ in Iraq, the economic gurus who perpetually demonstrate that globalization and deregulation are a blessing that makes us all better off in the long run â are careful to pretend that they have no ideology. Their preferred pose is that of the politically neutral technocrat offering well-considered advice based on profound expertise. That is nonsense. They are deeply dyed in the hue of the official ideology of the governing class, an ideology that is neither specifically Democrat nor Republican. Domestically, whatever they might privately believe about essentially diversionary social issues like abortion or gay marriage, they almost invariably believe in the âWashington Consensus:â financialization, outsourcing, privatization, deregulation and the commodification of labor. Internationally, they espouse twenty-first century American Exceptionalism: the right and duty of the United States to meddle in every region of the world, coercive diplomacy, boots on the ground, and the right to ignore painfully-won international norms of civilized behavior. To paraphrase what Sir John Harrington said over 400 years ago about treason, now that the ideology of the Deep State has prospered, none dare call it ideology.  That is why describing torture with the word torture on broadcast television is treated less as political heresy than as an inexcusable lapse of Washington etiquette: like smoking a cigarette on camera, these days it is simply ânot done.â
After Edward Snowdenâs revelations about the extent and depth of surveillance by the National Security Agency, it has become publicly evident that Silicon Valley is a vital node of the Deep State as well. Unlike military and intelligence contractors, Silicon Valley overwhelmingly sells to the private market; but its business is so important to the government that a strange relationship has emerged. While the government could simply dragoon the high technology companies to do the NSAâs bidding, it would prefer cooperation with so important an engine of the nationâs economy, perhaps with an implied quid pro quo. Perhaps this explains the extraordinary indulgence the government shows the Valley in intellectual property matters â if an American âjailbreaksâ his smartphone (i.e., modifies it so that it can use another service provider than the one dictated by the manufacturer), he could receive a fine of up to $500,000 and several years in prison; so much for a citizenâs vaunted property rights to what he purchases. The libertarian pose of the Silicon Valley moguls, so carefully cultivated in their public relations, has always been a sham. Silicon Valley has long been tracking for commercial purposes the activities of every person who uses an electronic device; it is hardly surprising that the Deep State should emulate the Valley and do the same for its own purposes. Nor is it surprising that it should conscript the Valleyâs assistance.
Still, despite the essential roles of Lower Manhattan and Silicon Valley, the center of gravity of the Deep State is firmly situated in and around the Beltway. The Deep Stateâs physical expansion and consolidation around the Beltway would seem to make a mockery of the frequent pronouncements that governance in Washington is dysfunctional and broken. That the secret and unaccountable Deep State floats freely above the gridlock between both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue is the paradox of American government in the twenty-first century: drone strikes, data mining, secret prisons and Panopticon-like control on the one hand; and on the other, the ordinary, visible parliamentary institutions of self-government declining to the status of a banana republic amid the gradual collapse of public infrastructure.
The results of this contradiction are not abstract, as a tour of the rotting, decaying, bankrupt cities of the American Midwest will attest. It is not even confined to those parts of the country left behind by a Washington Consensus that decreed the financialization and deindustrialization of the economy in the interests of efficiency and shareholder value. This paradox is evident even within the Beltway itself, the richest metropolitan area in the nation. Although demographers and urban researchers invariably count Washington as a âworld city,â that is not always evident to those who live there. Virtually every time there is a severe summer thunderstorm, tens â or even hundreds â of thousands of residents lose power, often for many days. There are occasional water restrictions over wide areas because water mains, poorly constructed and inadequately maintained, have burst.  The Washington metropolitan area considers it a Herculean task just to build a rail link to its international airport â with luck it may be completed by 2018.
It is as if Hadrianâs Wall was still fully manned and the fortifications along the border with Germania were never stronger, even as the city of Rome disintegrated from within and the life-sustaining aqueducts leading down from the hills began to crumble. The governing classes of the Deep State may continue to deceive themselves with their dreams of Zeus-like omnipotence, but others disagree. A 2013 Pew Poll that interviewed 38,000 people around the world found that in 23 of 39 countries surveyed, a plurality of respondents said they believed China already had or would in the future replace the United States as the worldâs top economic power.
The Deep State is the big story of our time; it is the red thread that runs through the war on terrorism, the financialization and deindustrialization of the American economy, the rise of a plutocratic social structure and political dysfunction. Washington is the headquarters of the Deep State, and its time in the sun as a rival to Rome, Constantinople, or London may be term-limited by its overweening sense of self-importance and its habit, as Winwood Reade said of Rome, to âlived upon its principal till ruin stared it in the face.â Living upon its principal in this case means that the Deep State has been extracting value from the American people in vampire-like fashion.
We are faced with two disagreeable implications. First, that the Deep State is so heavily entrenched, so well protected by surveillance, firepower, money and its ability to co-opt resistance that it is almost impervious to change. Second, that just as in so many previous empires, the Deep State is populated with those whose instinctive reaction to the failure of their policies is to double down on those very policies in the future. Iraq was a failure briefly camouflaged by the wholly propagandistic success of the so-called surge; this legerdemain allowed for the surge in Afghanistan, which equally came to naught. Undeterred by that failure, the functionaries of the Deep State plunged into Libya; the smoking rubble of the Benghazi consulate, rather than discouraging further misadventure, seemed merely to incite the itch to bomb Syria. Will the Deep State ride on the back of the American people from failure to failure until the country itself, despite its huge reserves of human and material capital, is slowly exhausted? The dusty road of empire is strewn with the bones of former great powers that exhausted themselves in like manner.
But there are signs of resistance to the Deep State and its demands. In the aftermath of the Snowden revelations, the House narrowly failed to pass an amendment that would have defunded the NSAâs warrantless collection of data from U.S. persons. Shortly thereafter, the president, advocating yet another military intervention in the Middle East, this time in Syria, met with such overwhelming congressional skepticism that he changed the subject by grasping at a diplomatic lifeline thrown to him by Vladimir Putin. 
Has the visible, constitutional state, the one envisaged by Madison and the other Founders, finally begun to reassert itself against the claims and usurpations of the Deep State? To some extent, perhaps. The unfolding revelations of the scope of the NSAâs warrantless surveillance have become so egregious that even institutional apologists, such as Senator Diane Feinstein, have begun to backpedal â if only rhetorically â from their kneejerk defense of the agency. As more people begin to waken from the fearful and suggestible state that 9/11 created in their minds, it is possible that the Deep Stateâs decade-old tactic of crying âterrorism!â every time it faces resistance is no longer eliciting the same Pavlovian response of meek obedience. And the American people, possibly even their legislators, are growing tired of endless quagmires in the Middle East.
But there is another more structural reason the Deep State may have peaked in the extent of its dominance. While it seems to float above the constitutional state, its essentially parasitic, extractive nature means that it is still tethered to the formal proceedings of governance. The Deep State thrives when there is tolerable functionality in the day-to-day operations of the federal government. As long as appropriations bills get passed on time, promotion lists get confirmed, black (i.e., secret) budgets get rubber stamped, special tax subsidies for certain corporations are approved without controversy, as long as too many awkward questions are not asked, the gears of the hybrid state will mesh noiselessly. But when one house of Congress is taken over by Tea Party wahhabites, life for the ruling class becomes more trying.
If there is anything the Deep State requires it is silent, uninterrupted cash flow and the confidence that things will go on as they have in the past. It is even willing to tolerate a degree of gridlock: partisan mudwrestling over cultural issues may be a useful distraction from its agenda. But recent Congressional antics involving sequestration, the government shutdown and the threat of default over the debt ceiling extension have been disrupting that equilibrium. And an extreme gridlock dynamic has developed between the two parties such that continuing some level of sequestration is politically the least bad option for both parties, albeit for different reasons. As much as many Republicans might want to give budget relief to the organs of national security, they cannot fully reverse sequestration without the Democrats demanding revenue increases. And Democrats wanting to spend more on domestic discretionary programs cannot void sequestration on either domestic or defense programs without Republicans insisting on entitlement cuts. So, for the foreseeable future, the Deep State must restrain its appetite for taxpayer dollars: limited deals may soften sequestration but it is unlikely agency requests will be fully funded anytime soon. Even Wall Streetâs rentier operations have been affected: after helping finance the Tea Party to advance its own plutocratic ambitions, Americaâs Big Money is now regretting the Frankensteinâs monster it has created. Like children playing with dynamite, the Tea Partyâs compulsion to drive the nation into credit default has alarmed the grownups commanding the heights of capital; the latter are now telling the politicians they thought they had hired to knock it off.
The House vote to defund the NSAâs illegal surveillance programs was equally illustrative of the disruptive nature of the Tea Party insurgency. Civil-liberties Democrats alone would never have come so close to victory; Tea Party stalwart Justin Amash (R-MI), who has also upset the business community for his debt-limit fundamentalism, was the lead Republican sponsor of the NSA amendment, and most of the Republicans who voted with him were aligned with the Tea Party.
The final factor is Silicon Valley. Owing to secrecy and obfuscation, it is hard to know how much of the NSAâs relationship with the Valley is based on voluntary cooperation, how much is legal compulsion through FISA warrants and how much is a matter of the NSA surreptitiously breaking into technology companiesâ systems. Given the Valleyâs public relations requirement to mollify its customers who have privacy concerns, it is difficult to take the tech firmsâ libertarian protestations about government compromise of their systems at face value, especially since they engage in similar activity against their own customers for commercial purposes. That said, evidence is accumulating that Silicon Valley is losing billions in overseas business from companies, individuals and governments that want to maintain privacy. For high-tech entrepreneurs, the cash nexus is ultimately more compelling than the Deep Stateâs demand for patriotic cooperation. Even legal compulsion can be combatted: unlike the individual citizen, tech firms have deep pockets and batteries of lawyers with which to fight government diktat.
This pushback has gone so far that on Jan. 17, President Obama announced revisions to the NSAâs data collection programs, including withdrawing the NSAâs custody of a domestic telephone record database, expanding requirements for judicial warrants and ceasing to spy on (undefined) âfriendly foreign leaders.â Critics have denounced the changes as a cosmetic public relations move, but they are still significant in that the clamor has gotten so loud that the president feels the political need to address it.
When the contradictions within a ruling ideology are pushed too far, factionalism appears and that ideology begins slowly to crumble. Corporate oligarchs like the Koch brothers are no longer entirely happy with the faux-populist political front group they helped fund and groom. Silicon Valley, for all the Ayn Rand-like tendencies of its major players, its off-shoring strategies and its further exacerbation of income inequality, is now lobbying Congress to restrain the NSA, a core component of the Deep State. Some tech firms are moving to encrypt their data. High-tech corporations and governments alike seek dominance over people though collection of personal data, but the corporations are jumping ship now that adverse public reaction to the NSA scandals threatens their profits.
The outcome of all these developments is uncertain. The Deep State, based on the twin pillars of national security imperative and corporate hegemony, has until recently seemed unshakable, and the latest events may only be a temporary perturbation in its trajectory. But history has a way of toppling the altars of the mighty. While the two great materialist and determinist ideologies of the twentieth century, Marxism and the Washington Consensus, successively decreed that the dictatorship of the proletariat and the dictatorship of the market were inevitable, the future is actually indeterminate. It may be that deep economic and social currents create the framework of history, but those currents can be channeled, eddied, or even reversed by circumstance, chance and human agency. We have only to reflect upon defunct glacial despotisms like the USSR or East Germany to realize that nothing is forever.
The second strategy is one embraced to varying degrees and with differing goals by figures of such contrasting personalities as Mustafa Kemal AttatĂŒrk, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Charles de Gaulle and Deng Xiaoping. They were certainly not revolutionaries by temperament; if anything, their natures were conservative. But they understood that the political cultures in which they lived were fossilized and incapable of adapting to the times. In their drive to reform and modernize the political systems they inherited, their first obstacles to overcome were the outworn myths that encrusted the thinking of the elites of their time.
As the United States confronts its future after experiencing two failed wars, a precarious economy and $17 trillion in accumulated debt, the national punditry has split into two camps: the first, the declinists, sees a broken, dysfunctional political system incapable of reform and an economy soon to be overtaken by China. The other camp, the reformers, offers a profusion of nostrums to turn the nation around: public financing of elections to sever the artery of money between the corporate components of the Deep State and financially dependent elected officials; government âinsourcing,â to reverse the tide of outsourcing of government functions and the conflicts of interest that it creates; a tax policy that values human labor over financial manipulation; and a trade policy that favors exporting manufactured goods over exporting investment capital.
All of that is necessary, but not sufficient. The Snowden revelations, the impact of which have been surprisingly strong; the derailed drive for military intervention in Syria; and a fractious Congress, whose dysfunctions have begun to be a serious inconvenience to the Deep State, show that there is now a deep but as yet inchoate hunger for change. What America lacks is a figure with the serene self-confidence to tell us that the twin idols of national security and corporate power are outworn dogmas that have nothing more to offer us. Thus disenthralled, the people themselves will unravel the Deep State with surprising speed.
 Twenty five years ago the sociologist Robert Nisbet described this phenomenon as âthe attribute of No Fault. ... Presidents, secretaries and generals and admirals in America seemingly subscribe to the doctrine that no fault ever attaches to policy and operations. This No Fault conviction prevents them from taking too seriously such notorious foul-ups as Desert One, Grenada, Lebanon and now the Persian Gulf.â To his list we might add 9/11, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.
 The attitude of many members of Congress towards Wall Street was memorably expressed by Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL), the incoming chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, in 2010: âIn Washington, the view is that the banks are to be regulated, and my view is that Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks.â
 Beginning in 1988, every U.S. president has been a graduate of Harvard or Yale. Beginning in 2000, every losing presidential candidate has been a Harvard or Yale graduate, with the exception of John McCain in 2008.
 In recent months the American public has seen a vivid example of a Deep State operative marketing his ideology under the banner of pragmatism. Former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates â a one-time career CIA officer and deeply political Bush family retainer â has camouflaged his retrospective defense of military escalations that have brought us nothing but casualties and fiscal grief as the straight-from-the-shoulder memoir from a plain-spoken son of Kansas who disdains Washington and its politicians.
 Meanwhile, the U.S. government took the lead in restoring Baghdadâs sewer system at a cost of $7 billion.
 Obamaâs abrupt about-face suggests he may have been skeptical of military intervention in Syria all along but only dropped that policy once Congress and Putin gave him the running room to do so. In 2009, he went ahead with the Afghanistan âsurgeâ partly because General Petraeusâs public relations campaign and back-channel lobbying on the Hill for implementation of his pet military strategy pre-empted other options. These incidents raise the disturbing question of how much the democratically-elected president â any president â sets the policy of the national security state, and how much the policy is set for him by the professional operatives of that state who engineer faits accomplisthat force his hand.
Mike Lofgren is a former congressional staff member who served on both the House and Senate budget committees. His book about Congress, "The Party is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted," appeared in paperback on Aug. 27, 2013.
In the video you are about to see, Hungarian Zionist George Soros (Obama's Puppet master) talks about âthe creation of a New World Orderâ, he discusses the need for a âmanaged declineâ of the U.S. dollar and he talks at length of the global need for a true world currency. So just who is George Soros? Well, he is a billionaire âphilanthropistâ who came to be known as âthe Man Who Broke the Bank of Englandâ when he raked in a staggering one billion dollars during the 1992 âBlack Wednesdayâ currency crisis. These days Soros is most famous for being perhaps the most âpolitically activeâ (at least openly) billionaire in the world. His Open Society Institute is in more than 60 countries and it spends approximately $600 million a year promoting the ideals that Soros wants promoted. Soros and his pet organizations have played a key role in quite a few ârevolutionsâ around the globe over the last several decades, but these days the main goal of George Soros is to bring political change to the United States.
Soros group triples its lobbying spending
By Holly Yeager, Published: February 23
The latest list of big lobbying spenders contains a surprising name: George Soros.
Well, not the billionaire himself, but the Open Society Policy Center, the Washington-based advocacy affiliate of his Open Society Foundations.
Soros and his generous support of liberal causes, through his philanthropy and his personal political spending, have long been the subject of conservative ire. But, until now, he hasnât done much on the formal lobbying front, and the groupâs huge increase in reported spending â it hit $11 million in 2013, more than triple the $3.25 million it spent the previous year â has drawn remarkably little notice.
The big jump placed the Soros group 27th in a recent year-end lobbying tally by the Center for Responsive Politics â just below defense giant General Dynamics and ahead of corporate powerhouses Dow Chemical, Chevron and Microsoft.
Such large companies as those tend to rely on healthy in-house government relations teams and legions of outside lobbyists. But the Soros group takes a different approach: Most of its advocacy millions were spent in grants to activist organizations that do their own lobbying.
âA bunch of things that weâve worked on forever have moved into the legislative phase,â said Stephen Rickard, executive director of the policy center, explaining the big increase. He mentioned several areas, including criminal justice reform, national security issues and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which the Senate Foreign Relations Committee considered last year.
But, Rickard said, the majority of last yearâs spending increase was due to the groupâs support for comprehensive immigration reform, and its largest grantee was the Alliance for Citizenship, a broad-based coalition of labor, immigration, community and faith-based groups and a leading voice in the debate.
The Alliance for Citizenship organized hundreds of events across the country in August, hoping that its town halls, prayer vigils and sit-ins would propel action on immigration. While momentum has stalled, the organization is still at it , marching and meeting with members of Congress and their staffs.
The Open Society Foundations reported last summer that it had spent more than $100 million on immigrant rights in the United States since 1997. But private foundations like Sorosâs are prohibited by the tax code from lobbying, and the grants they make generally include similar restrictions. Instead, through its advocacy affiliate â donations to which are not tax deductible â they can lobby and support others.
âThereâs only so much you can do [with money from a private foundation] when it comes to a straight-out legislative push,â said one leading immigration activist. But the lobbying grant âfrees up advocates considerably to talk straight about whatâs happening, what needs to happen and whoâs blocking it.â
The Open Society Policy Center isnât required to provide a complete list of its grant recipients until about a year from now, with its tax filing. But Rickard said its largest 2013 grants outside domestic policy went to Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture and the U.S. International Council on Disabilities.
The group currently lists one staff member â Lora Lumpe, who works on human rights and foreign military assistance â as an active lobbyist. And it had small contracts last year with two outside shops: the Mitchell Firm, paid $90,000 for work on corrections and sentencing reform, and Orion Strategies, which received $20,000 for work on democracy and human rights issues in Burma, Malaysia and the region.
(Itâs worth noting that Americans for Prosperity , the conservative advocacy group backed by those other billionaires, Charles and David Koch, last week filed its first lobbying registration forms. But soon after The Hill noticed the paperwork , a spokesman for the group said it intended to de-register, after realizing that a staff member who visits Capitol Hill doesnât in fact spend 20 percent of his or her time dealing with policymakers, the threshold for registration.)
Itâs too soon to know whether 2014 lobbying spending will be up or down, Rickard said, but he doesnât expect a big increase like last yearâs.
The picture may be clearer on the political front. While Soros was slow to start spending on politics in 2012, he has jumped in this time around â with a candidate who hasnât even announced. Soros agreed in October to be a co-chairman of the national finance council for Ready for Hillary, a super PAC mobilizing support for a possible White House bid by Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Billionaire George Soros backs pro-Hillary Clinton super PAC By Matea Gold, Published: 10-24-2013 WashingtonPost.com
Billionaire investor George Soros has signed on to be a co-chairman of the national finance council for Ready for Hillary, a super PAC mobilizing support for a possible White House bid by Hillary Rodham Clinton.
âGeorge Soros is delighted to join more than one million Americans in supporting Ready for Hillary,â Michael Vachon, Sorosâs political director, said in a statement Thursday. âHis support for Ready for Hillary is an extension of his long-held belief in the power of grass-roots organizing.â
The commitment represents an early engagement in the 2016 presidential race by Soros, a longtime backer of liberal causes. In 2012, he waited until a month ahead of Election Day before giving $1 million to Priorities USA Action, a super PAC backing President Obamaâs reelection bid.
For Ready for Hillary, which Clinton supporters started earlier this year, scoring the support of such a heavyweight donor helps bolster its establishment credentials. Other members of its national finance council â who must contribute or raise $25,000 â include Esprit co-founder Susie Tompkins Buell, entrepreneur Jo Ousterhout and lawyers Steve and Amber Mostyn.
Officials with the super PAC said they are developing a national grass-roots network that will prepare volunteers and organizers to help Clinton if she runs. Clinton has not commented on the group, which is prohibited from directly coordinating with candidates or parties.
âItâs not about pressuring her,â Executive Director Adam Parkhomenko said. âItâs giving her the time to make the decision, knowing that thereâs an operation out there of grass-roots supporters who are organizing.â
The super PAC says it has more than 1 million supporters, including 30,000 new online sign-ups last weekend when Clinton campaigned for Democratic Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, a longtime friend. The group plans to back other candidates Clinton may endorse in the coming year.
âOur strategy is to amplify what Hillary is doing and promote the candidates she is out there advocating for,â spokesman Seth Bringman said.
New Book by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya - Global Research - 02-24-2014
THE GLOBALIZATION OF NATO
Author: Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya Clarity Press (2012) Pages: 411 with complete index
Now Available: Order directly from Global Research
The world is enveloped in a blanket of perpetual conflict. Invasions, occupation, illicit sanctions, and regime change have become currencies and orders of the day. One organization â the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) â is repeatedly, and very controversially, involved in some form or another in many of these conflicts led by the US and its allies. NATO spawned from the Cold War. Its existence was justified by Washington and Western Bloc politicians as a guarantor against any Soviet and Eastern Bloc invasion of Western Europe, but all along the Alliance served to cement Washingtonâs influence in Europe and continue what was actually Americaâs post-World War II occupation of the European continent. In 1991 the raison dâĂȘtre of the Soviet threat ended with the collapse of the USSR and the end of the Cold War. Nevertheless NATO remains and continues to alarmingly expand eastward, antagonizing Russia and its ex-Soviet allies. China and Iran are also increasingly monitoring NATOâs moves as it comes into more frequent contact with them.
Yugoslavia was a turning point for the Atlantic Alliance and its mandate. The organization moved from the guise of a defensive posture into an offensive pose under the pretexts of humanitarianism. Starting from Yugoslavia, NATO began its journey towards becoming a global military force. From its wars in the Balkans, it began to broaden its international area of operations outside of the Euro-Atlantic zone into the Caucasus, Central Asia, East Africa, the Middle East, North Africa, and the Indian Ocean. It has virtually turned the Mediterranean Sea into a NATO lake with the NATO Mediterranean Dialogue and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, while it seeks to do the same to the Black Sea and gain a strategic foothold in the Caspian Sea region. The Gulf Security Initiative between NATO and the Gulf Cooperation Council seeks to also dominate the Persian Gulf and to hem in Iran. Israel has become a de facto member of the military organization. At the same time, NATO vessels sail the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. These warships are deployed off the coasts of Somalia, Djibouti, and Yemen as part of NATOâs objectives to create a naval cordon of the seas controlling important strategic waterways and maritime transit routes.
The Atlantic Allianceâs ultimate aim is to fix and fasten the American Empire. NATO has clearly played an important role in complementing the US strategy for dominating Eurasia. This includes the encirclement of Russia, China, Iran, and their allies with a military ring subservient to Washington. The global missile shield project, the militarization of Japan, the insurgencies in Libya and Syria, the threats against Iran, and the formation of a NATO-like military alliance in the Asia-Pacific region are components of this colossal geopolitical project. NATOâs globalization, however, is bringing together a new series of Eurasian counter-alliances with global linkages that stretch as far as Latin America. The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) have been formed by Russia, China, and their allies as shields against the US and NATO and as a means to challenge them. As the globalization of NATO unfolds the risks of nuclear war become more and more serious with the Atlantic Alliance headed towards a collision course with Russia, China, and Iran that could ignite World War III.
Global Research Editorâs Note
We bring to the attention of our readers this important and timely book by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, award winning author, geopolitical analyst and Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG).
This book analyses in detail the historical evolution of NATOâs post-Cold War mandate and military interventions.
The author takes the reader across the Eurasian geopolitical chessboard, from the Balkans and Eastern Europe, to Central Asia and the Far East, through the âmilitary corridorsâ of the Atlantic Alliance, the Pentagon and the Washington think tanks, where the new post-Cold War military doctrine of global warfare is decided upon.
And from the formulation of military doctrine, Nazemroaya examines NATOâs mandate, its military campaigns, focusing on the geopolitical regions where Global NATO has extended its Worldwide grip.
The book from the outset examines the economic dimension of NATOâs military undertakings, how the latter support the imposition of deadly macroeconomic reforms on sovereign countries. War and globalization are intricately related. Economic globalization under the helm of Wall Street and the IMF is endorsed by a global military agenda.
Nazemroaya explores how dominant economic interests are supported by the âinternationalizationâ of NATO as a military entity, which has extended its areas of jurisdiction from the European-North Atlantic region into new frontiers. âThe Globalization of NATOâ endorses and sustains the Worldwide imposition of neoliberal economic doctrine.
Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is a man of tremendous courage and conviction. Having lived through the extensive NATO bombing raids of Tripoli at the height of NATOâs humanitarianâ war on Libya, the lives of others within his entourage were always more important than his own life.
It is within this frame of mind and commitment, having witnessed firsthand the horrors of NATOâs âResponsibility to Protectâ, that upon returning from Libya in September 2011, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya started working relentlessly on his manuscript.
While the conclusions of Nazemroayaâs detailed analysis and investigation are by no means optimistic, this globally military agenda can be reversed when people around the world, in the true spirit of internationalism and national sovereignty, join hands in dismantling the NATO killing machine and its corporate sponsors.
That is why this book is an important landmark, a handbook for action.
Through commitment, courage and truth at all levels of society, across the land, nationally and internationally, this process of âglobal militarizationâ described by Nazemroaya, can be forcefully reversed.
At this critical juncture in our history, âthe criminalization of warâ is the avenue which must be sought, as a means to instating World peace.
Can the objective of World peace be achieved? In the words of former UN Assistant Secretary General Denis Halliday, read Nazemroayaâs book âbefore it is too late.â
âThe Globalization of NATO by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is simply magnificent, erudite and devoid of the ethnocentrism to which one has become so accustomed from Western authors. The book deals with what doubtless are the most important and relevant issues of the day for all those committed to saving life and protecting Mother Earth from rampant human irresponsibility and crime. There is no other book that, at this particular time, I would most heartily endorse. I think Africans, Near Eastern peoples, Iranians, Russians, Chinese, Asians and Europeans generally and all the progressive Latin American countries of today will find a much needed reinforcement and support for their peaceful ideals in this excellent must-read book.â âMIGUEL DâESCOTO BROCKMANN, Foreign Minister of Nicaragua (1979-1990) and President of the 63rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (2008-2009): Managua, Nicaragua.
âWe are far away from the principles and objectives for which the United Nations was created and the decisions of the Nuremberg Tribunal stipulating that some state actions can be considered crimes against peace. Nazemroayaâs book, in addition to reminding us that the role of the United Nations has been confiscated by NATO, elaborates the danger that the North Atlantic Treaty represents to world peace.â âJOSĂ L. GĂMEZ DEL PRADO, Chairman of the United Nations Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries (2005-2011): Ferney-Voltaire, France.
âA very timely book. Yes, US-led NATO is globalizing, like the US-led finance economy. No doubt also for it to protect the latter, the âfree market.â It is a classical case of overstretch to help save the crumbling US Empire and Western influence in general, by countries most of whom are bankrupt by their own economic mismanagement. All their interventions share two characteristics. The conflicts could have been solved with a little patience and creativity, but NATO does not want solutions. It uses conflicts as raw material it can process into interventions to tell the world that it is the strongest in military terms. And, with the help of the mainstream media, it sees Hitler everywhere, in a Milosevic, a bin Laden, a Hussein, a Qaddafi, in Assad, insensitive to the enormous differences between all these cases. I hope this book will be read by very, very many who can turn this morbid fascination with violence into constructive conflict resolution.â âJOHAN GALTUNG, Professor Emeritus of Peace Studies and Sociology at the University of Oslo and Founder of the International Peace Research Institute in Oslo (PRIO), the Galtung- Institut, and the Transcend Network: Oslo, Norway.
âMahdi Darius Nazemroayaâs prolific writings give us a comprehensive understanding of the character of the military thrust and itâs all out, no holds barred STRATEGIC plans and moves to invade, occupy and plunder the resources of nations, inflicting unprecedented barbaric acts on civilian populations. He is one of the prescient thinkers and writers of contemporary times who deserves to be read and acted upon by people with a conscience and concern for humanityâs future.â âVISHNU BHAGWAT, Admiral and Chief of the Naval Staff of India (1996-1998): Mumbai, India.
âThis is a book really necessary to understanding the role of NATO within the frame of long-term US strategy. The Globalization of NATO by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya not only provides an articulate analysis on the Atlantic Alliance: it is the best modern text devoted to the hegemonic alliance. With this book Nazemroaya reconfirms his ability as a brilliant geopolitical analyst.â -TIBERIO GRAZIANI, President of the Institute of Advanced Studies in Geopolitics and Auxiliary Sciences/LâIstituto di Alti Studi in Geopolitica e Scienze Ausiliarie (IsAG): Rome, Italy.
âNazemroaya is an unbelievable prolific writer. What has often amazed many is his almost nonstop writing on extremely important issues for the contemporary world and his analysis about the globalization of NATO. What amazes many of us in other parts of the world are his seemingly limitless depth, breadth and the thoroughness of his knowledge that has been repeatedly appearing in his work. We are deeply indebted to Nazemroayaâs humble, tireless and invaluable contributions through his fearless, insightful and powerful writings.â âKIYUL CHUNG, Editor-in-Chief of The 4th Media and Visiting Professor at the School of Journalism and Communication at Tsinghua University: Beijing, Peopleâs Republic of China.
âThe Journalistsâ Press Club in Mexico is grateful and privileged to know a man who respects the written word and used it in an ethical way without another interest other than showing the reality about the other side of power in the world. Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya gives voice to the âvoiceless.â He can see the other side of the moon, the side without lights.â âCELESE SĂENZ DE MIERA, Mexican Broadcaster and Secretary-General of the Mexican Press Club: Federal District of Mexico City, Mexico.
âWith his very well documented analysis, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya has conducted a remarkable decryption of the strategies implemented by NATO â in the interests of the United States, the European Union and Israel â to expand its military grip on the world, ensure its control over energy resources and transit routes, and encircling the countries likely to be a barrier or a threat to its goals, whether it be Iran, Russia or China. Nazemroayaâs work is essential reading for those that want to understand what is being played out right now on the map in all the worldâs trouble spots; Libya and Africa; Syria and the Middle East; the Persian Gulf and Eurasia.â âSILVIA CATTORI, Swiss political analyst and journalist: Geneva, Switzerland.
NATO Moving East, Building âA Roman Empireâ in the Balkans and Eastern Europe
By Ćœivadin JovanoviÄ and John Robles - Global Research - 02-24-2014 - Voice of Russia
NATOâs first act of illegal âhumanitarianâ aggressive war called âOperation Deliberate Forceâ in 1995 against the Republic Srpska which it got away with and emboldened it to later carry out âOperation Allied Forceâ, the merciless brutal air campaign against civilian targets in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The fact that NATO was allowed to get away with these acts of aggressive war and that the US/NATO architects were allowed to carry out such scenarios emboldened the âallianceâ even further and has led to the recent global expansion by NATO and the scores of âregime changeâ and âresource warsâ presented as âhumanitarian interventionsâ.
The scenario is almost identical every time and is currently being played out in Ukraine. On the 15 year anniversary of the aggression on Yugoslavia, in an exclusive interview, the Voice of Russia spoke to the last Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Ćœivadin JovanoviÄ.
This is John Robles, Iâm speaking with Ćœivadin JovanoviÄ. He is the former Foreign Minister of Yugoslavia and the Chairman of the Belgrade Forum for a World of Equals. This is part 1 of a longer interview. You can find the rest of this interview on our website at voiceofrussia.com.
Robles: Hello Sir! How are you this evening?
JovanoviÄ: Fine, John. Iâm glad to be able to talk for the Voice of Russia.
Robles: Thank you! And it is a pleasure for me to speaking with you. Iâve read a lot of your work. Given your background as the Foreign Minister of the former Yugoslavia, you were the Foreign Minister during the upheavals and the foreign-initiated revolutions that destroyed the country, can you tell us a little bit about the histories, maybe, something we donât know about and give us your views on what is happening now in Ukraine and in Bosnia etc?
JovanoviÄ: Well, I would like to recall that the Dayton Peace Agreement about peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina was reached in 1995 and the key figure in reaching the peace in Bosnia was Slobodan Milosevic, at the time President of the Republic of Serbia and later on the President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
I would like to say that his role was widely recognized, at that time, as a peace-maker in the Balkans. And indeed, no one of the other leaders of the former Yugoslav Republics did contribute to reaching peace in the civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as Slobodan Milosevic did. This was repeatedly stated at the Paris Conference which formally marks the signing of the peace agreement and he was hailed by the presidents of the US, of France and many other countries.
But we know now that in Dayton Americans wanted also to discuss the problem of the Serbian southern province of Kosovo and Metohija. And they wanted to include this into the Dayton Negotiations agenda. Slobodan Milosevic and the Yugoslav delegation decisively refused this, even saying that if the Americans want to discuss the internal issue of Yugoslavia, of Serbia, at an international forum, they would not take part in such an exercise.
So, faced with this refusal of Slobodan Milosevic, Americans, first of all, Richard Holbrook (the then State Secretary) and the other officials of the US accepted to discuss only how to reach the peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina. And the peace was really reached in Dayton.
But later on they needed Milosevic in the process of implementing the Dayton peace agreement. Many conferences, many meetings were held all over Europe: in Geneva, in Rome, in Berlin and various other capitals and in Moscow too, as to how secure the implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement.
All this time Yugoslavia and President Milosevic were needed as a key peace factor. Without Yugoslavia and President Milosevic nobody could imagine reaching the implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement. But this was also a period when Yugoslavia was freed from UN sanctions, which were based on accusations that Yugoslavia was committing aggression in the Bosnian civil war.
The sanctions were adopted at the Security Council in May 1992 and they lasted until 1995 when the Dayton Peace Agreement was reached. They were afterwards abolished, first suspended and then, finally, abolished. But the USA did not abolish its own sanctions, the so-called âouter wallâ of sanctions. That means that the Americans did not allow Yugoslavia to renew its membership in OSCE, in the UN, position in the World Bank, in IMF and many other international organizations.
They kept these tools for the reason that they had other plans. And they didnât actually forget that Milosevic was not willing to allow treatment of the internal issue of Kosovo and Metohija on the international scene.
So, after the stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina was settled, after Milosevic was not needed any longer to cooperate on Bosnia and Herzegovina, they opened the problem of Kosovo and Metohija.
Well, they not only opened, but they were financing, training and organizing terrorist organization: the so-called KLA. It was not actually only the US who did it, but the American European allies, like Germany, like Great Britain and some other countries were very cooperative in supporting separatist movements and the terrorist organization of KLA in Kosovo and Metohija.
So, they were bringing up this internal problem of Serbia in various international forums and they were actually provoking clashes on the territory of Serbia. Many policemen, many teachers, many soldiers and many Serbian public workers were killed in 1997-1998. And so in 1998 the government did not have any other possibility than to confront the rising terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija.
At that time the US started to initiate negotiations with Milosevic. Richard Holbrook was leading negotiations, there were rounds and rounds of negotiations. All the time it was clearly seen that Americans are siding and propping up separatism in Kosovo and Metohija, and squeezing Serbia, squeezing Milosevic to accept various conditions that in principle were not acceptable.
âFrom that moment onwards it was absolutely irrelevant what we thought about KLA, whether it was a terrorist or a liberation organization, because âthe center of powerâ decided it was an ally.â
This organization later on, during military NATO aggression against Yugoslavia which started March 24rth 1999, became a ground force of NATO. NATO was in the air and KLA was on the ground.
So, we actually see a certain period of preparation of this aggression. First stage o preparations had objective to stigmatize President Milosevic and the Government of Yugoslavia as intolerant, authoritarian, uncooperative and unpredictable. The whole network of western propaganda, of NATO propaganda, was repeating accusa\tions of the State Department and of the Foreign Office in London. The stigmatization was the first stage of preparing the European and international public for what was to follow later â for the war.
Then, they staged the so-called massacre of Albanian civilians in RaÄak, in Kosovo and Metohija. In RaÄak there was a security action of the security forces of Yugoslavia against units of KLA. And it was announced to the OSCE and to the so-called âinternational communityâ that there will be a security operation against the terrorist organization.
And everybody in place, in Kosovo and Metohija and from the international community were informed. And some of them really did observe, some of them even filmed the operation. It was a legitimate operation of the government forces against terrorism.
But nevertheless, the American Ambassador Walker who was in charge of the OSCE mission in Kosovo and Metohija proclaimed: âIt was a massacre of civilians!â
This was like a triggering moment for NATO to take action. And this is a detail which was to be repeated in many ways later on.
Before that we had, in Bosnia, the so-called Markale incident when civilians queuing in front of a bakery were bombed and killed and accusations were immediately directed at the Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina, while today we have even the military from the former Muslim side and IzetbegoviÄâs side, and Russian experts and other experts from the UN claiming that there was no proof of the Serbian side being involved in that. Everybody says that Muslims had provoked this massacre themselves in order to attribute it to the Serbian âenemyâ.
We have in Syria, you know, about the Sarin gas and so on.
Robles: If we could, before we get too far along here, because I have a lot of questions, because this is the exact same thing that theyâve done in Libya, in Syria, in Ukraine, now in Bosnia they are trying to do it again, in EgyptâŠ Every country they want to overthrow they do the same thing. Theyâll support any terrorist. In Ukraine they are supporting neo-Nazis. It doesnât matter, as long as they can overthrow the government. In the Middle East they are supporting Al-Qaeda. In Libya, in Syria it is Al-Qaeda terrorists. I agree with you 100%. Iâd like to ask you some questions. If you could, give me some more details aboutâŠ you were the Foreign Minister, you knew what was going on: why and when exactly did they start talking about Kosovo? That appears to be their initial goal â Kosovo â from the beginning.
Robles: Why is that?
JovanoviÄ: Well, I always claimed from the very beginning, it was not for regional or local objectives. It was a matter of geopolitical objectives of the US and of the leading NATO countries.
Recently at one conference in Germany I was asked: âWhat were the geopolitical reasons for the aggression of NATO on Kosovo?â
I said: âWell it is first of all the realization of the policy of expansion of NATO towards the east. The objective was to make a base for further military expansion towards the Russian borders.â
I was even blunt to say that they want to get closer to the resources of Siberia, to the resources of the Middle East, to the Caspian Basin and so on and so forth.
And the people who asked me the question were quite silent after that, they didnât have any other comments. I think everybody realized that we completely understand the essence of the American strategy.
The American strategy has been tabled in April 2000 at the NATO summit in Bratislava. We have a written document of the renown German politician Willy Wimmer, who was present at that NATO summit, in the form of his report to the then Chancellor Gerhard Schroder. Willy Wimmer among other things in his report quotes that the American strategist informed the NATO allies in Bratislava in April 2000 that the NATO strategy is to establish a similar situation in Europe as it was in times when the Roman Empire was at the peak of its might.
So, they said, from the Baltic to Anatolia, in Turkey, there should be the same situation as in the era of the Roman Empire. And they quoted some concrete examples. They said Poland should be surrounded by friendly countries, Bulgaria and Romania should be a bridge towards Asia, and Serbia should be permanently kept out of European development.
So, we see that conquering Kosovo was a starting point of a US/NATO/EU expansion towards the East. In 1999, exactly 15 years ago the Americans established their military base Bondsteel, which by many political analysts is considered to be the largest American military base in the world outside of the American territory.
Robles: Yet it is!
JovanoviÄ: And if we presume that it is the largest or one of the largest, the question is why it should be based in Kosovo, when Kosovo and Serbia are so small, so tiny places. And there is no explanation from a regional point of view.
This is part 1 of an interview with Ćœivadin JovanoviÄ. You can find the rest of this interview on our website at voiceofrussia.com.
File photo shows the aftermath of twin bomb attacks during the Boston Marathon in April 2013.
By Kevin Barrett - Sun Feb 23, 2014 - PressTV
âBe afraid. Be very afraid.â Yesterday it was a tag-line from a horror movie, but today it is the unofficial motto of the US government.
David Cronenberg's film The Fly told us to âbe very afraidâ of human beings turning into insects â a warning originally issued by Franz Kafka's novel The Metamorphosis.
Kafka and Cronenberg were right. Behavior control experts have learned to âhiveâ the mass mind, effectively turning human beings into the moral, intellectual and spiritual equivalent of insects. And their biggest social control tool is fear.
When people are terrorized, they let their leaders get away with murder. So corrupt leaders have applied âTerror Management Theoryâ to controlling and exploiting populations.
The Wikipedia entry on Terror Management Theory explains: âWhen a follower's mortality is made prominent they will tend to show a strong preference for iconic leaders. An example of this occurred when George W. Bush's approval rating jumped almost 50 percent following the September 11 attacks in the United States.â
George W. Bush an iconic leader?! The notion is laughable. Bush is a doltish drunk who failed at everything he tried. Unlike Obama, Bush is a bad liar â which would have disqualified him from political office were it not for his money and connections and ties to the companies that manufacture voting machines.
But when Americans were terrorized by hideous images of plane crashes, fireballs, and tall buildings exploding into pyroclastic dust clouds chasing screaming crowds through the streets of New York, they would have willingly submitted to a chattering purple-rump baboon as their âiconic leader.â Though Bush's ratings rose 50 percent, the baboon probably could have gotten 60 percent.
How does Terror Management Theory (TMT) work?
According to TMT, human activity is driven by fear of death. People keep busy to avoid facing their own mortality. When reminded of death, they react in predictable ways â including giving up their rights and handing money and power to authoritarian leaders. So unscrupulous leaders, by highlighting certain kinds of threats, can terrorize people into submitting to corrupt authority. In reality, lightning strikes and bathtub drownings are more of a threat than terrorism. But no politician can get away with saying âgive me money and power and I will protect you from bathtubs and lightning.â
Instead, they say: âBe afraid that a plane you are on will be hijacked and crash into a building. Be afraid that a building you are in will be demolished by a plane. Be afraid that anthrax may arrive in your mailbox. Be afraid that a bomb may explode next to you on the street, or that your children will be shot by a maniac while they are at school, or that you and your family will be mowed down by a crazed gunman in a theater or a house of worship.â
Spectacular Hollywood-style violence featuring terror attacks, crazed gunmen firing into crowds, and similar imagery is â according to Terror Management Theory â the perfect tool of social control. All the leaders need to do is stage a certain number of terror incidents and blame someone else. Then they can âcrack down on the terrorists and criminalsâ and keep the population in a state of slavish obedience.
Have US leaders ever staged a fake terror incident?
The answer is yes. The CIA has used false-flag terror attacks to overthrow leaders it doesn't like, and empower leaders on its payroll, all over the world. Recently-declassified documents confirm that the CIA used false-flag shootings and bombings when it installed the Shah on the throne in Iran in 1953.
Another example: Operation Gladio. This was a US-led terror operation that slaughtered European civilians in shootings and bombings during the Cold War. Caught and prosecuted, one low-level participant explained: âYou had to attack civilians, the people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple: to force...the public to turn to the state to ask for greater security.â
Though an investigation by the European Parliament proved that the American Pentagon was behind the wave of âradical leftistâ terror that swept Europe during the Cold War, none of the planners or commanders of Operation Gladio has ever been prosecuted. So Europeans have good reason to suspect that the Madrid train bombings of 2004, the 7/7 London bombings of 2005, and other âterror attacksâ are also Gladio operations directed by corrupt elements of the Western military and intelligence apparatus. Today, a growing number of Americans believe that Operation Gladio never ended. They suspect that the Colorado theater shooting, the Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting, the Boston Marathon bombing, and the Sandy Hook school shooting were Gladio-style operations.
These skeptics have good reason to be suspicious.
The Boston bombing was an obvious false-flag operation. Photographs taken at the scene show that Craft International paramilitary forces carried out the bombings, while the Tsarnaev brothers were innocent patsies.
Now the authorities are killing everyone who could reveal the truth. Corrupt police shot Tamerlan Tsarnaev to death while he was naked and handcuffed; then repeatedly ran over his body with a vehicle. Witness Ibragim Todashev was arrested by the FBI, interrogated for several hours, then murdered execution-style â probably because he knew the Tsarnaevs were innocent and refused to change his story. Honest FBI agents connected with the Boston bombing have been âfalling out of helicopters.â Now the Terror Management Theory forces are seeking the death penalty for Dzokhar Tsarnaev in hope of pressuring him to falsely admit guilt by accepting a plea bargain. The Sandy Hook school shooting also appears to have been an exercise in Terror Management Theory. A recent article entitled âTop Ten Reasons: Sandy Hook Was an Elaborate Hoaxâ by professors James Fetzer, James Tracy, and co-authors builds a compelling case that this âschool shootingâ was a contrived spectacle.
During an interview Friday on Truth Jihad Radio, Drs. Tracy and Fetzer discussed evidence that both the Boston bombing and the Sandy Hook shooting may have featured âcrisis actorsâ posing as victims and survivors. If so, both events must have been âterror drillsâ that âwent liveâ as part of a highly-classified Terror Management Theory social-engineering project. James Fetzer cited a recent investigation by former Florida State Trooper and school security expert Wolfgang Halbig: âWolf thinks this (the Sandy Hook false-flag event) was in the planning for years...it was very elaborate.â Halbig's investigation has been hampered by the pervasive secrecy surrounding the Sandy Hook shooting. For example, when Halbig asked for the FBI's report on Sandy Hook, Fetzer says, the FBI personnel âlaughed in his face and told him it wouldn't be released in his lifetime.â
Why would a domestic school shooting be a classified national security secret?
James Tracy speculated on possible motives for staging a school shooting at Sandy Hook: âThere was the realization that it would have given a two to three week window in terms of gun control legislation. And keep in mind that this is also the rationale in the matter of school safety and safety in public places. If we can't expect our children to be safe in public schools, can we expect ourselves and our families to be safe in broader public spaces?â
A nation that cowers in fear at home in front of the television is a nation vulnerable to being manipulated and swindled by its corrupt leadership. Dr. Fetzer has been targeted by bomb threats and Dr. Tracy by media and academic harassment. The media will not mention the obvious questions about these events, except to heap ridicule on those asking them. This adds yet another layer of terror â fear of ridicule and social ostracism â to the mix.
It seems that scary television images are capable of terrorizing people so badly that they become incapable of asking questions. That was the lesson of 9/11.
Today, America is a nation paralyzed by fear; while its larcenous leaders â empowered to shred the Constitution and steal trillions of dollars through the shrewd use of Terror Management Theory â are laughing all the way to the bank.
Obama threatens consequences for Ukraine violence President Yanukovych announces truce has been reached with opposition leaders; US imposes visa bans on 20 Ukranian officials
BY JIM KUHNHENN February 20, 2014 | The Times of Israel
Mexico (AP) â President Barack Obama on Wednesday urged Ukraine to avoid violence against peaceful protesters or face consequences, as the United States considered joining European partners to impose sanctions aimed at ending deadly street clashes that are sparking fears of civil war.
âThere will be consequences if people step over the line,â Obama said shortly after landing in Mexico for a summit with the leaders of Mexico and Canada, as fires burned in central Kiev. âAnd that includes making sure that the Ukrainian military does not step in to what should be a set of issues that can be resolved by civilians.â
Shortly after Obamaâs remarks, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovychâs office said he and opposition leaders had agreed on a truce, although the brief statement offered no details about what it would entail or how it would be implemented.
Meanwhile, the European Union called an extraordinary meeting of its 28 member countries on Thursday to address the situation.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters in Paris that he and his counterparts from Germany and Poland would travel to Ukraine, meeting with the Ukrainian government and opposition before the emergency EU meeting. EU sanctions would typically include banning leading officials from traveling to the EU countries and freezing their assets there.
Obama said he is monitoring the Ukrainian violence âvery carefully.â
âWe expect the Ukrainian government to show restraint and to not resort to violence when dealing with peaceful protesters,â Obama said.
âWe hold the Ukrainian government primarily responsible for making sure that it is dealing with peaceful protesters in an appropriate way, that the Ukrainian people are able to assemble and speak freely about their interests without fear of repression,â Obama said, adding he also expects protesters to remain peaceful.
Secretary of State John Kerry, in Paris for meetings with Fabius and others, said he was disturbed by the level of abuse demonstrated by the Ukrainian government and protesters.
âWe are talking about the possibility of sanctions or other steps in order to create the atmosphere for compromise,â he said.
It was not immediately clear Wednesday what sort of sanctions or penalties the US could impose.
State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said visa restrictions already have been imposed against some members of the Ukrainian government, and cited âdifferent kinds of individual sanctions that can be leviedâ without being specific. She said officials are still trying to determine who is responsible for the violence and described a sense of urgency within the Obama administration âto make decisions very, very soon about what we will do next.â
Kerry said the situation is bad but thereâs room for dialogue and that itâs up to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to decide the future of his country.
âOur desire is for President Yanukovych to bring people together, dialogue with the opposition and find (a way) to compromise and put the broad interests of the people of Ukraine out front,â he said.
âWe are convinced there is still space for that to happen. The violence can be avoided and, in the end, the aspirations of the people of Ukraine can be met through that kind of dialogue. That is our hope,â he added.
Deadly clashes between police and anti-government protesters in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev on Tuesday left at least 25 people dead and hundreds injured.
Ben Rhodes, Obamaâs deputy national security adviser, told reporters traveling with Obama aboard Air Force one that what happened Tuesday was âcompletely outrageousâ and will be a factor in US decision-making.
Rhodes said there was still time for the Ukrainian government to avoid sanctions or other punishment by pulling back its âriot police,â respecting peopleâs right to protest peacefully, releasing protesters who have been arrested and pursuing a âserious dialogueâ with the opposition about how to unify the country.
A senior State Department official, who is closely following the unrest in Ukraine, said Wednesday that US officials were concerned about the Ukrainian presidentâs decision to replace the army chief. The military has announced that it would take part in a national anti-terrorist operation to restore order. US officials have been able to stay in direct contact senior security force leaders in the Ukrainian government, but in the past 24 hours that has been difficult because they are not answering their phones, the official said.
The official was not authorized to be quoted by name and would brief reporters only on condition of anonymity.
In January, the US Embassy in Kiev revoked existing visas of Ukrainians the US suspected were complicit in violence against protesters in December. On Wednesday, the US denied admission to the United States for about 20 individual Ukrainians the US believes are responsible for the actions against the most recent violence Tuesday night in Kievâs Independence Square, also known as the Maidan. This action means that if they were to apply for visas, they would be denied.
The official said these individuals represent the âfull chain of command that we consider responsible for ordering security forces to move against the Maidan yesterday.â
On Capitol Hill, Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said they were working on legislation that would impose narrowly focused sanctions against Ukrainians who have committed, ordered or supported acts of violence against peaceful protesters, or who are complicit in a rollback of Ukraineâs democracy.
âThere must be consequences for the escalation of violence in Ukraine,â they said in a statement. âUnfortunately, that time has now come.â
Visiting the Golan Heights on Tuesday, Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran of âarming those who are carrying out the slaughterâ in neighbouring Syria Photo: AFP
US Homeland Security says Israeli arms dealers have been sending spare military jet parts to Iran in breach of sanctions.
Menelaos Tzafalias, Athens - Robert Tait, Jerusalem - 19 Feb 2014 - Telegraph.co.uk
Israeli arms dealers twice tried to send spare parts for fighter planes to Iran, The Telegraph has established, flouting an international arms embargo and openly contradicting the bitter enmity between the Jewish state and the Islamic regime.
The illegal shipments are now being investigated by the US Homeland Security Department after they were intercepted by authorities in Greece.
The potentially explosive revelation came as six world powers resumed negotiations with Iran in Vienna aimed at reaching a long-term agreement over Tehranâs nuclear programme.
Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, marked the event with a renewed call for increased pressure on Iran to force it to abandon a programme that Israel regards as a front for building an atomic bomb and a threat to its existence.
Visiting the Golan Heights on Tuesday, he accused Iran of âarming those who are carrying out the slaughterâ in neighbouring Syria.
âI would like to tell the world, today, as the talks between the major powers and Iran are being resumed, that Iran has changed neither its aggressive policy nor its brutal character. Iran is continuing to support the Assad regime, which is slaughtering its own people,â Mr Netanyahu said. But a court in Athens has told The Telegraph that parts appearing on an American list of forbidden military-grade materials had been shipped from Israel on two occasions, apparently destined for Iran.
The seized items comprised spare parts for military aircraft: a constant speed drive designed for the F-4 Phantom jet, and a voltage output sensor used in the F-14 Tomcat. The parts were confiscated by Greeceâs financial crimes squad and were being sent to the US for investigation, court officials said.
The defence and foreign ministries in Israel declined to comment on the seizures, which were first revealed by Kathimerini, a Greek newspaper.
The shipments - one in Dec 2012 and the other last April - were sent by courier from the Israeli town of Binyamina-Givat Ada, near Haifa, via a company in Greece, the newspaper reported.
The firm was later established to be a ghost company. Its contact number was said to belong to a British national in the Greek city of Thessaloniki, who could not be traced.
Israeli media carried only brief versions of the report, suggesting that the matter may be subject to the countryâs strict military censorship.
Writing in Yedioth Ahronoth, Israelâs biggest-selling newspaper, Alex Fishman, a military-affairs commentator, suggested that the report may have been leaked by US officials as a coded warning to Israel not to try to sabotage the nuclear negotiations with Iran, which were continuing yesterday.
A blogger, Richard Silverstein pointed the finger at two possible culprits who he said were well-known arms dealers living in Binyamina-Givat Ada. The pair had come to the attention of Israeli and US authorities on suspicion of violating the arms embargo on Iran in the past, Silverstein wrote, but had never been charged or prosecuted. âThere can be no doubt that they are colluding with Israeli intelligence,â he added.
Previous illicit Israeli arms shipments to Iran have come to the public attention, notably in the 1986 Iran-Contra scandal, when it emerged that Israel was acting as a conduit to send weapons to from the US to Iran in exchange for its help in winning the release of American hostages held in Lebanon. In 1998, an Israeli court sentenced Nahum Manbar, a businessman and former decorated soldier, to 16 years in prison after he was convicted of secretly selling Iran equipment to make chemical weapons.
Iranâs ageing fleets of up to 75 US-made F-4 Phantoms and 19 F-14 Tomcats were purchased under the Shah, when the country was close to Washington. Israel, once the largest foreign operator of the Phantom, retired its last F-4s in 2004, suggesting that the spare sold may have been second hand. The Pentagon stopped selling spare parts for the F-14 in 2007, fearing that they might end up in Iran, the only country where the F14 is still in operation.
The US later shredded its own fleet to ensure that spare parts could not be acquired. Iranâs need of equipment for its Tomcats was exposed in Jan 2012 when one crashed shortly after take-off, killing both crew members.
Brown: Is This The Scandal That Will Bring Obama Down? By Floyd and Mary Beth Brown - GOPusa.com - Jan 11, 2013 6:53 am
It's even worse than we previously thought. A retired four-star admiral is now claiming that Barack Obama intentionally conspired with America's enemies to stage a bogus attack and the kidnapping of an American ambassador so he could "negotiate" the release of a "hostage" and bolster his mediocre approval ratings just prior to the election?
The Washington Examiner, quoting retired Four-Star Admiral James Lyons, writes: "the attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi... was the result of a bungled abduction attempt.... the first stage of an international prisoner exchange... that would have ensured the release of Omar Abdel Rahman, the 'Blind Sheik'..."
But something went horribly wrong with Obama's "October Surprise." Although the Obama Administration intentionally gutted security at the consulate prior to the staged kidnapping, former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty disobeyed direct orders to stand down, saved American lives, single-handedly killed scores of attackers...and the attackers, believing that the Obama had betrayed them, tortured Ambassador Chris Stevens and dragged his body through the streets.
Some will say that Admiral Lyons' accusation is not a smoking gun. We agree, that's exactly why Congress must investigate Benghazi-gate.
Moreover, we firmly believe the problem with Admiral Lyons' assertion is that he is only scratching the surface the full and complete truth may be much, much worse.
Benghazi-gate is not about a bogus YouTube video series of lies. It's not about the Obama Administration's foreign policy ineptitude. We are dealing with something much more sinister... something potentially treasonous... and the following questions, posed in an article in The New American, go to the heart of the matter:
1. "What was the Obama administration's full role in helping violent Jihadists, self-styled al Qaeda terrorists, and Western-backed "revolutionaries" take over Libya in the first place?
2. Did that half-baked scheme to arm Jihadist leaders, who... had previously fought U.S. troops in Iraq, contribute to the attack, as countless experts and officials have suggested?
3. What was actually going on at the compound in Benghazi, which as the report states, was never a "consulate" despite establishment media claims?
4. Was Ambassador Stevens recruiting and arming Jihadists and terrorists to wage war on the Syrian regime after what Obama called the "success" in Libya, as a growing body of credible evidence suggests?
5. Why did the administration claim for so long that the attack was just a "protest" over a YouTube video gone awry, even when it knew definitively that was not the case?
6. Was the lack of security at the compound a political ploy to conceal the extent of the lawlessness and utter chaos left in the wake of Obama's unconstitutional "regime change" war on Libya, as even members of Congress have alleged?"
It's clear. Benghazi-Gate is only a small piece of a much larger operation, an attempt to conceal what The New American calls; "the Obama administration's full role in helping violent Jihadists and self-styled al Qaeda terrorists."
Prior to the election Barack Obama continually told us that "Osama bin-Laden is dead and GM is alive," but the sad truth is that Osama bin-Laden's organization is alive and well and the Obama Regime may be giving aid and comfort to this terrorist network.
And prior to the election, Fox News' Geraldo Rivera pontificated that Republicans shouldn't "politicize" Benghazi-gate. Swaggering onto the set of Fox and Friends Rivera bloviated: "I think we have to stop this politicizing" and Rivera issued the following veiled warning to Republicans: "Do we want to try and influence the election with a tragedy that happened in North Africa?"
Ironic, isn't it? Barack Obama played politics with the lives of Americans, like Rivera, the media covered Obama's rear and threatened to accuse anyone and everyone who mentioned it of "playing politics."
Weak-willed Republicans apparently took Rivera's threat to heart as Rivera also said that Republican Senators John Barrasso, James Inhofe and Bob Corker, who all sit on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee "all agree that the supercharged atmosphere around the story â prudence dictates that these hearings be postponed until" after the election.
Well, the election has come and gone. Congress now has no excuse. The American people needed the truth before the election, but now that Obama is back in the White House real conservatives must demand answers.
The American people deserve to have those questions answered and moreover the American people deserve justice.
Sources suggest the Benghazi attack was a bungled abduction attempt November 15, 2012 - Examiner.com
Retired Four-Star Admiral James âAceâ Lyons, one of the guests on âLou Dobbs Tonightâ this past Wednesday evening, suggests the attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi, Libya on September 11 was the result of a bungled abduction attempt.
Admiral Lyons, whose career in the United States (U.S.) Navy was capped by two years of service as the Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet from 1985 to 1987, thinks this kidnapping was planned to be the first stage of an international prisoner exchange. This transfer of prisoners would have ensured the release of Omar Abdel Rahman, the âBlind Sheikâ convicted of orchestrating the World Trade Center Bombing in 1993.
Lyons' analysis of the evidence led him to the failed kidnapping conclusion
Admiral James Lyons suggests the Obama administration intentionally lessened the levels of security at the consulate compound in Benghazi in the weeks leading up to the attack. This plan should have worked to reduce the possibility of resistance as the Ansar al-Sharia terrorist organization captured Chris Stevens, the American Ambassador to Libya.
According to information obtained by Fox News, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, both former U.S. Navy Seals, ignored orders to "stand down" and fought vigorously for hours in their attempt to defend the compound from the impending attack.
Ultimately, these armed assaults on the U.S. Consulate and CIA annex claimed the life of four Americans--Ambassador Chris Stevens, former U.S. Navy Seals Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, and State Department information manager Sean Smith.
Failed kidnapping attempt theory proposed by Western Center for Journalism
In October 2012, the Western Center for Journalism released two separate articles suggesting the killing of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in the Benghazi attack was the result of a failed kidnapping attempt aborted by the complicit terrorists when they encountered the unexpected armed resistance at the U.S. Consulate.
On October 20, Kris Zane published the centerâs initial article âMuslim Brotherhood Behind Benghazi Attack with Link to Obama.â Zane suggests the âInnocence of Muslimsâ video was nothing more than a scapegoat the Obama administration utilized to distract the public from the incriminating information being gathered from the investigations into the attack at Benghazi, Libya.
Within 24 hours of the incident, ground intelligence had already linked the assault on the compound to Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood president of Egypt. Therefore, the Obama administration had already determined by September 12 the online video had absolutely nothing to do with the armed assault on the American Consulate and CIA annex.
Later in the article, Zane cites an anonymous source from inside the White House that explained the Benghazi debacle had been constructed in order to deliver an âOctober surprise for Obama.â The administrationâs plan was to abduct Ambassador Stevens to ensure the release of Abdel Rahman would be more âpalatable to the American people.â
By winning the release of Stevens, Obama would have boosted his mediocre approval ratings just in time for Election Day, and Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood could have secured the freedom of their beloved âBlind Sheik.â
On October 23, news networks received and released emails confirming that all vital intelligence agencies had been informed of the severity of the attack within two hours of the confrontation. These same communications had also been forwarded to the White House Situation Room.
On October 25, Kris Zane published his second article on the incident âObama Linked to Benghazi Attack.â This submission also included a video detailing the facts and research Zane had gathered to support his conclusion that this botched abduction attempt was the real reason behind the deadly Benghazi attack.
Judge Mukasey links Obama to release of sheik
Almost a month before the Western Center for Journalism shared its conclusions in regards to the Benghazi attack, the Wall Street Journal had published an article on September 24, 2012 from Judge Michael Mukasey entitled âWill Obama Free the Blind Sheik?â
In his submission, Mukasey questioned the wisdom of releasing this âpoisonously influential Islamic Clericâ Omar Abdel Rahman back to his homeland. Upon Rahmanâs release to Egypt, Judge Mukasey concluded the sheik would incite additional domestic and international acts of terror against Americans.
Judge Mukasey, who presided over Abdel Rahmanâs trial in 1995, had sentenced the sheik to life in prison upon his conviction for the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing, numerous plots to destroy other landmarks in New York City, and conspiring to assassinate Hosni Mubarak, the President of Egypt.
According to Mukasey, Rahmanâs âlegacyâ as an âtotemic figureâ for Islamic militants originated in 1981, when his "pronouncements" were used by Egyptian soldiers to justify their assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.
Mukasey informs his readers of the June 2012 meeting at the White House when Hani Nour Eldin urged that Abdel Rahman be transferred to Egypt. Questions immediately arose as to how Eldin, who had just completed an 11 year sentence for terrorism charges and was also a professed member of a designated terrorist organization, could have even been granted a visa to enter the U.S., much less secure a visit to the White House.
After an adamant series of interrogations from Congress, Homeland Security official Nelson Peacock admitted that while the issuance of Eldinâs visa failed to raise âwarning flags,â regulations would have required him to receive âwaiver from someone in authorityâ for admittance to the U.S.
Sources suggest Clintonâs documents confirm orders for additional security
Well-renowned writer Ed Klein appeared as a guest on The Blaze TVâs âWilkow!â on October 24 to discuss the existence of documents confirming Clinton ordered additional security for the compound in Benghazi, Libya prior to the attack on September 11 2012.
Host Andrew Wilkow spoke with Klein, who reported âlegal counselâ for the Clintons had informed him of Bill and Hillaryâs numerous heated discussions in recent weeks regarding the release of these papers.
Ed Klein insisted these communications written by Hillary Clinton had ordered additional security to be provided in Benghazi, and Obama blatantly refused her request. These documents could be used to further support the rampant suspicions Obama had ulterior motives for leaving the American outpost virtually unguarded from outside aggressors.
Bill Clinton tried to convince Hillary to go forward with her written requests so she would be exonerated from any wrong-doing in the attack. Hillary refused to disclose the orders for additional security out of fear she would be labeled as a "betrayer" of the Democratic Party. This "betrayal" would have eliminated her chance to run for president in 2016.
It is worth noting that within days of Obamaâs reelection, Hillary Clinton resigned from her cabinet position as Secretary of State. This resignation infers there is truth to the widely reported rumors that the relationship between the Clintons and Obama has always been "tense at best."
Congress and the media question timing of General Petraeusâ resignation
Further confounding analysts trying to determine what really happened in Benghazi on the night of September 11 are the recent revelations about General David Petraeusâ affair with his Biographer Paula Broadwell.
General Petraeus publicly stated this affair with his biographer was the reason he submitted his resignation. News of this sex scandal surfaced less than a week after Election Day, when a slim majority of American voters had re-elected Barack Obama as President of the United States.
Reports indicate the FBI initiated an investigation over the summer regarding General Petraeusâ extramarital affair and the potential related threats to national security. However, the agency never alerted Congress of the potential compromise of confidential information.
The Obama administration has also insisted it was never notified by the FBI of the pending investigation prior to the election. However, many critics now conclude the White House intentionally delayed the announcement of Petraeusâ resignation to avoid any impact on Obamaâs reelection bid.
Tracking down the truths behind the Benghazi attack will take time and tenacity
The circumstantial evidence increasingly supports the various sources currently suggesting the attacks on the U.S. Consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya was in fact an aborted abduction attempt resulting in the murder of four Americans. However, tracking down the truth will take time and tenacity for all of the investigators involved in the hunt for honest answers.
Voters can play a pivotal role in ensuring the actual account of events will be released by repeatedly contacting local and national media sources, as well as their elected congressional representatives. It is imperative the American electorate demand honesty, transparency, and accountability in the investigation of the attack that lead the death of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya.
While the establishment press has failed to notice the corruption allegations so far, analysts are already calling for a special prosecutor to properly investigate the charges and restore accountability. Based on the accusations laid out in the warning to the public, IRS attorney Bill Henck has tried unsuccessfully to have authorities investigate and deal with the corruption. When nothing significant to rein in the abuses happened, he eventually went to the press. Despite exposure of some of the lawlessness in at least two major newspapers, however, the scams and abuses victimizing taxpayers continued, Henck said. He was then subjected to a âretaliatory auditâ by IRS officials for his efforts, he added.
âI have personally witnessed improper giveaways of billions of dollars to taxpayers with inside access at the agency, bullying of elderly taxpayers, the cover-up of managerial embezzlement and misappropriation of thousands of dollars in government funds, and a retaliatory audit,â Henck wrote in his blistering account of the decades he spent working at the IRS, which was published on February 6. âI have also heard credible accounts of, among other things, further improper giveaways, blatant sexual harassment, and anti-Semitism. All of these matters have been swept under the rug.â Henck said he had no personal knowledge of the IRS being used as a political attack dog to target conservative organizations and individuals. However, he also noted that the âenvironment within the agency is ripe for such activity and there is nothing to prevent it from occurring.â Further down in the letter, the IRS attorney also said he fears that the stories told by ordinary citizens of IRS abuse due to political views are true. In fact, Henck added, based on what he has experienced while at the agency, it would be ânaĂŻveâ to think that IRS executives would draw the line at politically motivated harassment while engaging in everything else he described.
Of course, the latest IRS scandal involving harassment and targeting of Tea Party groups for extra audits and scrutiny to muzzle the voices of Americans in elections is now well known. One of the key players in the lawlessness â or at least the fall person, depending on oneâs point of view â was senior IRS official Lois Lerner, who pled the Fifth Amendment to avoid testifying and incriminating herself. Countless analysts and critics suspect the corruption went much higher â potentially all the way to the White House. More recently, Dr. Benjamin Carson, who lambasted Obama to his face during a National Prayer Breakfast last year, accused the agency of retaliating against him and his family for the criticism.
âThe IRS has investigated me. They said, âI want to look at your real estate holdings.â There was nothing there,â Dr. Carson told Newsmax TV this week. ââWell, letâs expand to an entire [year], everything.â There was nothing there. âLetâs do another year.â Finally, after a few months, they went away. But theyâve come after my family, theyâve come after my friends, theyâve come after associates.â He added: "We live in a Gestapo age, people donât realize it. But what I say is the Congress has to, at some point, step up to the plate.â
Henck, who still works at the agency, says the âvast majorityâ of his colleagues at the IRS are honest and do their jobs in a âconscientious manner.â However, what he called the âculture of corruptionâ within the agency goes beyond the typical âshare of bad apples and misconductâ that exists within other organizations. âWhat separates the IRS is its junkyard dog ferocity in covering up misconduct,â he said. âThere is no accountability for IRS misconduct and people within the agency are scared to speak out and also believe, with considerable justification, that such action would be futileâ â not to mention potentially fatal to their careers.
Among the scandals Henck described within the agency is abuse of taxpayers, who he said âwere denigrated in writing as âupper class twitsâ.â Despite weaknesses in the IRSâs legal positions, he continued, at least one âcadre memberâ on an IRS team argued that âthe taxpayers in these cases were typically elderly and could be forced into settling their cases.â Henck had suggested in one of the cases that the IRS concede due to errors in its position, but higher-ups refused. Other revelations include how lobbyists meet with top IRS officials to organize schemes benefiting their clients, how taxpayers are being ripped off using a variety of scams, and much more.
âI am reporting the information stated above because as a federal employee, I took an oath to the United States. I have a legal and moral obligation to report this information,â Henck said after detailing multiple abuses at the agency. âAll Americans should be concerned when IRS officials see themselves as above the law because they are, in fact, above the law. The misconduct described above is united in the complete lack of accountability on the part of IRS officials.â
Citing the allegations made by Henck and other recent scandals surrounding the administration, Thomas Lifson at the American Thinker said it was time for serious action. âThese charges deserve official investigation, and because the Eric Holder Department of Justice cannot be trusted to appoint someone with an interest in getting at the truth, the charges ought to be part of a special prosecutor's mandate,â he wrote, adding that Congress should investigate. âOf all government agencies, the IRS has the most arbitrary and easily-abused power. Corruption within its ranks cannot be tolerated, for it has the potential to metastasize rapidly into banana republic tyranny.â
âThe mess at the IRS must be taken very, very seriously, or else we shall lose our republic,â Lifson continued. âIt is now time for the House to investigate and loudly call for a special prosecutor.â While Henckâs allegations have spread rapidly across the Internet and the alternative media, the establishment press and lawmakers in Congress do not appear to have noticed yet. However, as the scandals surrounding the IRS continue to grow, it is becoming increasingly obvious that there is much more than just smoke. In fact, it is amazing that what appears to be a raging inferno has been allowed to burn for so long without any serious efforts to stamp it out.
Incredibly, as if the tsunami of scandals plaguing the agency was not enough to at least rein in the lawless behavior, the IRS is now openly seeking to re-write its âregulationsâ in a brazen effort to silence conservative Americans. Around the world, meanwhile, the agency is seeking to impose a radical U.S. tax regime known as FATCA on every bank and government on Earth. Canadian authorities recently capitulated, and Russiaâs Vladimir Putin government is now negotiating a âdata-sharingâ deal with the IRS as well. All of it is being done without any statutory or constitutional authority whatsoever, according to lawmakers and experts. It is past time for Congress to get involved.
BILL HENCK: INSIDE THE IRS POSTED ON FEBRUARY 6, 2014 BY SCOTT JOHNSON IN IRS
As noted at the top, William Henck has worked inside the IRS Office of the General Counsel as an attorney for over 26 years. We submit the following personal account by Mr. Henck for the consideration of readers in the context of current controversies without further comment. He writes:
I have been an attorney in the IRS Office of Chief Counsel for over 26 years. Over a number of years, I have attempted, largely unsuccessfully, to alert the public to abuse within the IRS. One of my kids suggested that I contact a blog and Power Line has graciously agreed to publish this account.
I do not personally know whether the IRS has targeted conservative groups or individuals, but I do know that the environment within the agency is ripe for such activity and there is nothing to prevent it from occurring. As stated in more detail below, I have personally witnessed improper giveaways of billions of dollars to taxpayers with inside access at the agency, bullying of elderly taxpayers, the cover-up of managerial embezzlement and misappropriation of thousands of dollars in government funds, and a retaliatory audit. I have also heard credible accounts of, among other things, further improper giveaways, blatant sexual harassment, and anti-Semitism. All of these matters have been swept under the rug.
A number of years ago, a manager in my office was embezzling thousands of dollars in travel funds. His actions were common knowledge, but other managers, including a currently high ranking executive in the office of chief counsel, did not report him. I did report his conduct to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), but they did not investigate the matter for a considerable length of time. After I complained to my local congressmanâs office, TIGTA finally forwarded the matter to the office of chief counsel to be handled internally. Eventually, the office of chief counsel made the manager pay the money back, but took no other disciplinary action, even though others who committed the same type of scheme were punished severely.
The manager in question has led a charmed life. Several years after this episode, he decided to retire, but was starting a new job in a different city two months before he was eligible to retire. He could have retired early or taken annual leave for two months before retiring. However, he did not want to take annual leave because federal employees can cash out annual leave when they retire. Rather than have him burn at least $20,000 in annual leave, the IRS transferred him to the new city, but did not give him any work, allowing him to work his new job while still receiving a government paycheck. I obtained an e-mail from this manager, in which he admitted that he had no work, that the IRS was not planning to give him any work in the new city, and that he was working on matters related to his new job while at the IRS. I forwarded this e-mail to TIGTA, but of course it was ignored by both TIGTA and the office of chief counsel. TIGTA has a well deserved reputation for protecting IRS managers. In fact, a TIGTA agent once stated that âwe donât investigate [IRS] managers.â
At the same time the manager was embezzling travel funds, I was working on a case involving what I call the Elmerâs Glue scam. Tax shelter operators misused a synthetic fuel credit by spraying watered down household glue on marketable coal, degrading the coal, but producing huge tax credits for investors. This was costing the Treasury at least $3 billion a year. The IRS turned a blind eye to this activity and harassed those of us in the agency who were trying to stop it. Since I had witnessed TIGTA help cover up embezzlement, I decided to go to the press about the Elmerâs Glue scam. The Wall Street Journal published a story about it, but the scam continued.
As a result of complaining about TIGTAâs inaction regarding embezzlement and speaking out about the Elmerâs Glue scam, my wife and I were subjected to a retaliatory IRS audit. After an experienced revenue agent from Fairfax spent an entire day auditing our tax returns, he stated that they were clean. Soon thereafter, he called me and apologetically stated that his âspecial projectsâ manager had ordered him to return to Richmond and âkeep diggingâ into our returns. He stated that his regular manager would not have ordered this (I believe that because in 26 years at the IRS, I have never heard of an agent being sent back to continue a straightforward individual return that had been judged to be clean). I contacted the Washington Post and gave them a privacy waiver to discuss our tax returns with the Service. When the Post presented that waiver to the Service, they quickly dropped our audit.
Within the past few years, the IRS has used a âcadreâ to pursue a particular type of case. I was assigned one of those cases that was in Tax Court. I believed that we should concede the case in question because our legal position was incorrect. As a result, I was called a quitter and a coward, was threatened with retaliation, and in fact suffered retaliation. The âcadreâ (I hate that term, but thatâs what they call themselves) pushed cases with an obvious legal defect. Taxpayers were denigrated in writing as âupper class twitsâ and one cadre member stated that, despite the weakness in our legal position, the taxpayers in these cases were typically elderly and could be forced into settling their cases. I stated my ethical concerns to management, but they answered with a short non-response and did not even bother to ask for the name of the cadre member who stated that we could bully elderly taxpayers into settling their cases. (The Tax Court ultimately rejected the Serviceâs position regarding the legal issue.)
Finally, there is the matter of black liquor. Black liquor is a byproduct of paper manufacture. Paper manufacturers were able to persuade the IRS to qualify black liquor for a refundable tax credit. This cost the Treasury approximately $6 to 7 billion a year. Congress in fact put a stop to it after tax year 2009. Thatâs when the real backroom abuse started. Most of the companies reported the refundable credits as taxable income on their tax returns and the position within the IRS internally was that these credits were taxable income. In fact, there is a revenue ruling issued by the IRS that states that farmers with similar refundable credits have to report the credits as taxable income. However, Washington lobbyists met with high ranking IRS, chief counsel, and Treasury Department officials and got the decision regarding black liquor reversed. Taxpayers then filed refund claims with respect to the amounts that they had previously reported as taxable income and the IRS exam teams were told to stand down. This cost the Treasury at least $2 billion for tax year 2009.
I was assisting an exam team involved with this issue. The revenue agents and I discussed the issue with a high-ranking official in the IRS. He told us not to pursue the issue of whether the credit amounts were taxable income. When I asked that he put that instruction in writing, even in an e-mail, since he was asking the exam team to ignore published IRS guidance, he stated that the IRS chief counsel had ordered that nothing be put in writing on the subject. I raised my ethical concerns with management, but was ignored.
I contacted Steve Mufson, a reporter for the Washington Post. Steve wrote a detailed story in July that laid out the abusive situation. The response in Washington was a collective yawn. I contacted numerous congressional staffers and journalists about the story, but no one cared about the $2 billion loss to the Treasury. One result of the story, however, was that it smoked out the IRS. In early November, the Service issued low level guidance called a chief counsel advice (CCA, but it should be a CYA), that attempted to defend the indefensible. In addition, the IRS had contacted the Treasury Department about the CCA prior to its issuance, but did not list Treasury as a third party contact in the CCA, in violation of IRC section 6110(d). I have attempted to simplify a complex subject, but suffice it to say that if you are a farmer, a refundable tax credit associated with an excise tax is taxable income. If you have inside access at the IRS, it is not taxable income. That is the bottom line.
I am reporting the information stated above because as a federal employee, I took an oath to the United States. I have a legal and moral obligation to report this information. I am proud of my colleagues in the IRS. The vast majority of us attempt to do our jobs in a conscientious manner. However, there is a culture of corruption within the IRS that dishonors that majority and the government we serve. Any organization will have its share of bad apples and misconduct. What separates the IRS is its junkyard dog ferocity in covering up misconduct. There is a strong cultural imperative within the IRS to protect the organization and high-ranking officialsâ positions within it. If you report misconduct or dissent from the party line, your career is finished. Period. (For example, I still as of this moment have a job, but my career was finished as soon as I reported that manager for embezzlement.)
Some may read this account and view much of the misconduct I have reported as minor. However, to quote former FBI profiler John Douglas, no one wakes up one day and decides to become a serial killer. In other words, there is a pattern to human behavior. All Americans should be concerned when IRS officials see themselves as above the law because they are, in fact, above the law. The misconduct described above is united in the complete lack of accountability on the part of IRS officials.
As stated above, I have no direct knowledge of harassment for political reasons. I fear, however, that the ordinary citizens recounting stories of IRS abuse due to their political beliefs are telling the truth. (It is naĂŻve to think that IRS executives would engage in the activities described above, but somehow draw the line at politically motivated harassment.) If these taxpayer accounts are true, then the IRS executives are doing it for a very simple reason: because they can. There is no accountability for IRS misconduct and people within the agency are scared to speak out and also believe, with considerable justification, that such action would be futile.
I have chosen to speak out in part because I have personally experienced the horrific damage that bureaucratic bullies can inflict. I also have tried to live up to the admonition in Romans 12:21: do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. I could sit around and knock down Jim Beam and complain, or I could try to do something constructive about the situation. I chose the latter option.
NBC-Comcast agrees to buy Time Warner Cable for $45 billion - Comcast Corp., the nation's largest cable TV company, agreed to buy No. 2 Time Warner Cable Inc. for about $45.2 billion in stock, or $158.82 per share, the two companies announced Thursday morning.
The proposed merger with Time Warner means Comcast wants to screw you over even more.
Ten Even Worse Things You Donât Know About Comcastâs Proposed Merger With Time Warner A greedy, arrogant, connected corporation wants a bigger monopoly.
By Steven Rosenfeld - 2/14/2014 - AlterNet
Talk about revenge of the C students! The nationâs biggest telecom company, Comcast, which took over NBCUniversal a year ago, wants to buy the second biggest company, Time-Warner Cable, to create an empire of 30-million subscribers. Thatâs a third of all American homes with cable for its TV, internet service and telephones.
The merger has to be approved by federal regulators as being in the public interest and not a monopoly. How Comcast, the worldâs largest media company and one of Americaâs most reviled companies threads that needle will be a sight to behold. Here are 10 things about its recordâon customer service, profiteering, lobbying and sky-high political connectionsâthat you may not know.
1. Worst Company In America Lists. Itâs bad enough that both Comcast and Time-Warner are regularly cited on âworst companyâ lists and are at the bottom of consumer surveys for subscription television services. Consumerist, which ranked it the third worst company in 2013, has a string of reports describing the numerous ways that Comcast rips off subscribersâoverpromising and underdeliveringâincluding CEO Brian Robertsâs reply last fall blaming his customers for Comcastâs bad reputation, saying that it is noticed only because a giant company like his gets lots and lots of service calls.
2. Local Cable Already Is A Monopoly. As most cable users know, cable companies already are a monopoly. There is no alternative provider offering the mix of TV, internet and phone in most locales. The nationâs business press thinks thatâs fine and has lauded Comcastâsuch as this Forbes articleâfor succeeding âby providing less customer service.â Industry spin like that has lead to a phenomenon rarely seen in online journalism: torrents of incredibly detailed comments describing just how much people despise Comcast and wish there was competition for telecom services.
âComcast is one of the worst companies in this country,â replied Sandi D to that Forbes piece, saying how she spent nine weeks to resolve issues and only got a response after filing a formal complaint with the Better Business Bureau. Another writer, Allawash, was billed for data speeds that Comcastâs equipment wouldnât deliver, telling Forbes, âThey are relying on customerâs lack of knowledge to nickel and dime them.â Commenter Craig Oren said, âHalf of the [customer service] representatives cannot speak English fluently.â Other websites have dozens and dozens of comments following Comcast articles with examples detailing their lousy experiences with the service, tech support and billing.
3. Their Pricing Is Predatory And Will Become Worse. Like big banks, Comcast is always looking for new fees and charges to top off its pricey monthly costâwhich is four times as expensive as Europe. Last November, it announced a new $1.50 âbroadcast TV feeâ would begin in 2014 in addition to the monthly rate, Consumerist reported. âOthers, like AT&T and Charter have similar tack-on fees, but unlike those companies, which have not benefitted in any way from increased retransmission fees charged by broadcasters, Comcast also happens to own NBC,â it said, making the point that Comcast already owns much of the contentâsuch as coverage of the Olympicsâthat itâs charging double for.
What will customers receive for this fee? According to TechDirt.com, more commercials, especially when people are watching reruns of old TV series. âBasically, Comcast wants to flip the current advertising system upsides-down and have older episodes of primetime shows carrying the same commercial load as the most recent episode,â it reported. These are examples of why a deal giving Comcastâalready Americaâs biggest cable company and internet-service providerâmore monopoly power is bad for the public.
4. Comcastâs Contempt for Customers Is More Widespread. Itâs astounding to read what Comcast executives have said about how they treat customers. Matt Strauss, senior vice-president of video services, boasted to The New York Post in December that their on-demand video service system disables fast-forwarding through commercials, which frustrates users but earns Comcast billions more from ad sales. In another example of its greed trumping the video viewersâ experience, The Wall Street Journal reports that it is talking to Netflix about making its shows available to subscribers, but Comcast wonât give Netflix access to the best-quality video streaming. âNetflix believes the technology is critical,â the Journal reported last October, adding, âNo deal is imminent.â
5. Comcastâs Antics Include Its Broadband Service. Comcast isnât just a TV company. It is a giant internet service provider, as well as phone company for some people. When it comes to the internet, TechDirt reports that Comcast âis still continuing its stealthy push toward capped broadband.â Techdirt is referring to charging people by how much data flows into their homes. The trade journals DSLreports.com said Comcast recently raised prices in âuncompetitiveâ rural media markets in Maine and Georgia. It said, âAugusta locals tell the local media they were surprised to suddenly see they had a 300 GB cap and had to pay $10 for every 50 GB they travel.â Predatory pricing like that is what accounts for its $64.76 in revenues in 2013, with $7.1 billion in net profits.
6. Comcast Blames Users For Its Predatory Pricing. As TechDirt notes, price gouging in media markets where Comcast is the only provider is accompanied by more ridiculous industry spin: Comcast âspokespeople âinformingâ reporters that âmost peopleâ donât use that much data and that sneaking in usage caps is the âfairestâ way to make sure data hogs donât use up all the Internet.â TechDirtâs bottom-line: âItâs just a way to make users pay more for their services.â
7. Comcast says Americans Donât Want Faster Broadband. That explanation for price gouging is the tip of the distorted public relations iceberg that its top executive roll out. A Philadelphia Enquirer op-ed by lobbyist David Cohen touts mediocre broadband speeds by claiming that few people want anything faster. âThe reality is that the United States is leading the way in speed, reach, and accessâand doing so in a vast, rural nation that poses logistical connectivity challenges unlike any other country,â he wrote, ignoring the fact that much of world has far faster and much cheaper internet service. Comcastâs âtriple-playâ monthly packagesâfor TV, internet and phoneâcost from $100 to $200, compared to France, for example, where itâs $40 a month and download speeds are 10 times faster and upload speeds are 20 times faster.
As Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law Professor Susan Crawford detailed in Salon, the broadband service in the U.S.âprovided by Comcast and other telecomsâis far inferior to most of Europe and East Asia. âIn a nutshell, America has a series of regional cable monopolies controlling the pricing and capacity of fixed high-speed Internet access (and every other form of data reaching Americans),â she said.
8. Comcast Also Says People Donât Want Alternatives. In that same Philadelphia Enquirer op-ed, lobbyist Cohen says that Americans donât need what a real competitor, Google Fiber, is offeringâa one-gigabit per second connection via a fiber-optic line. âMost websites canât deliver content as fast as current networks move,â he said, adding, âmost U.S. homes have routers that canât support the speed thatâs already available.â Nowhere in this dig at Googledoes Comcastâs lobbyist suggest that his company would upgrade the gear that itâs put in millions of homes unless user paid more to do it.
âConsumers are demanding faster speeds, though,â TechDirt countered. âWhen someone like Google comes along and offers a gigabit connection for $30/month, itâs delivering what consumers actually want: higher speeds and lower pricesâŠ Comcast frequently throw(s) data caps into the mix, which nullifies the positive effects of a speed boost.â
9. Comcast Wants The Next Big Telecom Monopoly. Comcastâs corporate goal in its pending takeover of Time Warner Cable goes far beyond subscriptions to television and video and todayâs most popular internet uses. They want to stand like sentries at a toll gate that prevent people from crossing and using every emerging broadband-based tool unless they pay its fees. âThe cable companies, with their inherently better bandwidth than phone company DSL lines, are becoming natural monopolies for wired-line internet access except in the few places where other providers have installed fiber lines,â wrote Dan Gillmor in The Guardian. Every era has its highways. In the late 1800s, it was the railroads and telegraph lines. In the mid-20th century, it was telephones, highways and broadcast networks. In the early 21st century, itâs the internet and broadband.
10. Comcast Has Political Friends In The Highest Places. By any objective standard, Comcastâs proposed takeover of Time Warner is not the public interest. But there are real reasons to more than suspect that neither the Federal Communications Commission nor the Department of Justice will veto the deal, citing anti-monopoly legal standards. The companyâs power and influence is enormous. Last year, after the FCC approved the deal acquiring NBC Universal, FCC Commissioner Meredith Baker was hired by Comcast. Top lobbyist Cohen held a fundraiser at his home for President Obama in 2011 netting $1.2 million. And last summer, Obama and other top White House officials, including Attorney General Eric Holderâwho heads the Justice Department that must approve Comcastâs merger with Time Warnerâvacationed at Comcast CEO Brian Robertsâ Marthaâs Vineyard home.
As The New York Post noted, âA source told us the reception was âvery relaxed, with no speeches. People were sitting out on the terrace.â Roberts has reportedly been close to the president for years and endorsed the Affordable Care Act.â
COMCAST-TWC MERGER WORRIES, OUTRAGES CONSUMERS AP - 2/14/2014 LOS ANGELES (AP) â Comcast and Time Warner Cable regularly rank at the bottom of the pay TV industry when it comes to customer satisfaction. So it didn't take long for customers to vent frustrations online over high prices, spotty service and fears of a monopoly after Comcast announced its $45 billion purchase of Time Warner Cable.
Outrage that these two big cable companies would join hands to form an even more massive entity spurred a cascade of sarcastic tweets and satirical memes: the killer Death Star battle station from "Star Wars," the evil Eye of Sauron from "The Lord of the Rings," and a "South Park" snippet where character Eric Cartman and friends are tormented by cable employees before a logo curiously similar to Time Warner Cable's own.
Consumers weren't buying the assertion of Comcast CEO Brian Roberts that the combination, which will have 30 million TV and Internet subscribers, would be "pro-consumer and pro-competitive." The two companies are expected to argue to anti-trust regulators that the fact they don't directly compete against each other in many parts of America shows the deal won't reduce competition and therefore should be approved.
But it is that lack of overlap, and lack of choice, which is at the root of customer frustration, according America Customer Satisfaction Index managing director David VanAmburg. Cable companies that purposely don't compete against each other to provide fast Internet or reliable TV service can get away with not fully meeting customer needs in markets where they dominate. "It's almost subconsciously built into their business model that they don't have to worry so much you're going to leave for a competitor," said VanAmburg. "It's definitely a big factor." Skepticism about the benefits of the deal to consumers was visible in many of the tweets that surfaced after the takeover announcement.
"I love that we're headed back to the era of the monopoly," tweeted Chris Buecheler. "'Eh, I'm sure it'll work out this time!'"
"A Time Warner/Comcast merger would create a combined customer service department of well over 10 employees," tweeted MrScottFletcher.
"The sale of Time Warner Cable to Comcast will be completed between 8am and 1pm depending on if the CEO is late at another appointment," read a tweet by William Gallahue that made fun of service appointment windows that seem designed to cause inconvenience.
Michael Pinto, a 48-year-old Time Warner Cable customer in Brooklyn, N.Y., said a lot of people in the city are trapped into whatever service happens to run into their building that the landlord allows. He worries that a lot of creativity could be stifled if control of Internet and TV service is consolidated into too few hands.
"I suppose it's good news for shareholders. You get a bigger, growing company with smaller cost structures," said Pinto, a website designer and chief creative officer at Very Memorable Inc. "But I think as a democracy - not just a democracy in politics but in a creative sense - I wonder what new channels are we missing out on?"
Simon Eldridge, a 36-year-old media technology consultant in San Jose, Calif., is concerned about everything from the combined company raising prices to throttling back the streaming speeds of online video companies such as Netflix.
The British native is a Comcast Internet customer, mainly because no other provider in his area will give him the speed he needs to work from home. He pays about $80 a month for a download speed of 50 Megabits per second. He says that's about one-third pricier than in the U.K., where there is more competition.
"This kind of a merger is going to give them a third of the Internet market in the U.S. and they can charge even more," he said.
He's read up about their reputation for poor service, although Comcast has been "pretty decent" to him. Eldridge is hopeful that the companies fulfill pledges they made Thursday to boost Internet speeds and reliability for consumers if the deal is approved.
"Hopefully some good will come out of it rather than the worst side of both," he said.
Comcast to buy Time Warner Cable: Say goodbye to the public interest - Reports are swirling around the media universe that Comcast is prepared to announce, as early as Thursday, a deal to acquire Time Warner Cable for north of $45 billion.
The deal would combine the nation's biggest and second-biggest cable firms. Comcast, already No. 1 in subscribers, would end up with about 30 million video customers, a net gain of 8 million (following a reported commitment to divest 3 million subs). It would put that subscriber base together with its ownership of NBCUniversal -- the network, the film studio and several other cable channels.
Let's get to the bottom line. There's no way this combination can conceivably be in the public interest. The deal is a blunt challenge to the Federal Communications Commission and its new chairman, Tom Wheeler; the question is whether the FCC will fold against the economic and political power of these two behemoths.
As the leading provider of Internet services to American homes, Comcast has already shown that it's not above using its effective near-monopoly on Internet connectivity in its service area to stifle competitors. The FCC slapped its wrist after it was caught engaging in this illicit behavior in 2007, but then inexplicably waved through Comcast's acquisition of NBCUniversal in 2011.
The acquisition of Time Warner Cable will simply expand the geographical area subject to its ruthless competitive practices. (Comcast is committed to adhering to standards of net neutrality, which forbid its discriminating among Web services in carrying them to subscribers' homes, until January 2018. That was a condition of the NBCUniversal deal, but after that date the shackles are off.)
Comcast's acquisition of NBCUniversal was a deal that the FCC should never have approved. Here's what we wrote about it in 2011: "Neither Comcast nor NBC needs this merger for its survival. It won't improve cable TV or Internet technology. It won't by itself lead to more innovative or even more popular television programming. It won't result in more efficient entertainment production. "In fact, by concentrating economic power in fewer hands, it may lead to less of all that." Nothing that's happened since the merger has contradicted those predictions.
In fact, since then the threat to a free and open Internet from the concentration of economic power over online services has increased. A federal appeals court ruling last month threw out the FCC's rules protecting the open Internet (on the urging of Verizon, which is Comcast's counterpart as an excessively powerful player in the wireless sphere).
As we wrote at the time, the court ruling made clear that the FCC has all the authority it needs to protect net neutrality, if it only goes about it the right way, but Wheeler has yet to tip his hand about whether, or how, he will do that.
Wheeler spoke publicly just three days ago about "the primacy of 'competition, competition, competition,'" in safeguarding the public interest: "Our competition policy will take the 'see-saw' approach," he told a high-tech conference in Boulder, Colo. "When competition is high, regulation can be low; when competition is low, we are willing to act in the public interest."
The Comcast-Time Warner deal manifestly would be disastrous for the competitive landscape Wheeler says is his paramount goal. The principles he articulated dictate that he and his fellow FCC commissioners must block it. Will he stick to his guns?
Revolving Door: Top Obama Admin Antitrust Officials Tied To Comcast - The news that cable and news giant Comcast has struck a deal to purchase Time Warner, another large cable business, has raised concerns over market concentration. Observers note that the combined company, even if it divests some holdings, would create monopoly-like conditions for the industry.
Many are predicting a lobbying blitz by both companies to pressure governments officials to accept the deal. When Comcast purchased NBC Universal, lobbyists were hired to ensure the merger went through. Critics charge that the payments went beyond the traditional influence industry: after signing off on the Comcast-NBC deal, FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker was hired by Comcast for an undisclosed amount.
Could the revolving door shape the antitrust enforcement for the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner? Republic Report looked into the officials responsible for overseeing antitrust enforcement, and found that at least two have close ties to Comcast.
The recently installed head of the Department of Justice Antitrust Division, William Baer, was a lawyer representing GE and NBC in their push for the merger with Comcast. At the time, Baer was an attorney with the firm Arnold & Porter. To his credit, Baer said last month that he is skeptical of further consolidation of the cable market. Disclosures reviewed by Republic Report show that Baer will continue receiving payments from Arnold & Porter for the next eleven years as part of his retirement package.
Maureen Ohlhausen, one of four commissioners on the Federal Trade Commission, which oversees antitrust enforcement, provided legal counsel for Comcast as an attorney just before joining the FTC. She also represented NBC Universal in the year before before becoming a commissioner in April of 2012. NBC Universal completed its merger with Comcast in January of 2011.
Still, several officials have signaled that they may reject the Comcast-Time Warner deal. FTC Commissioner Ajit Pai told the Wall Street Journal that the merger could face âa number of hurdles in the Obama administration.â
Comcast and Time Warner are major players in both political parties.
Comcast takeover of Time Warner Cable 'will throttle choice on the web' - Angry consumer groups say proposed $45.2bn mega-deal will drive up costs for millions â and call on FCC to block takeover Dominic Rushe - 02-12-2014 - TheGuardian.com
Consumer groups reacted angrily to the merger of cable giant Comcast and Time Warner Cable on Thursday, claiming the combination could âthrottleâ choice on the internet.
Comcastâs proposed $45.2bn takeover of TWC will create a media behemoth that will dominate broadband internet access across the US. Comcast, which owns NBC Universal, will also cement its position as the pre-eminent force in cable TV.
Jodie Griffin, senior staff attorney at consumer rights group Public Knowledge said: âThis is a deal that needs to be blocked.â She said Comcast was likely to use the extra leverage to âdrive up costs and reduce choices for consumers.â, and claimed the new company would be too powerful, becoming a âgatekeeperâ capable of âthrottling competition.â
Comcast, Americaâs largest cable company, took over NBC Universal in 2011 and was given a long list of conditions by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Among them was a commitment to net neutrality â a ban on internet service providers from favouring affiliated content or blocking or slowing web content sent to homes and businesses. At present, Comcast is bound to abide by net neutrality rules until the end of 2017.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has attacked Comcast, accusing the cable firm of capping data it provides to streaming companies like his own in order to favour Comcastâs own Xfinity video-on-demand app. Recent studies show that Comcast users receive their Netflix media at significantly slower speeds than those using other internet service providers.
Griffin said there were other examples where Comcast had failed to live up the pledges it had made or was pushing hard at the limits of the rules. She cited Comcastâs dispute with Bloomberg Television. Bloomberg clashed with Comcast after the cable firm refused to put its business news channel alongside its own affiliated news stations â including rival finance channel CNBC and MSNBC â in its cable lineup. The FCC ruled last year that the refusal to âneighbourhoodâ Bloombergâs channel close to its rivals contravened the conditions of its NBC merger.
âIn our experience, allowing this merger to go through with added conditions is not a workable solution,â said Griffin.
Craig Aaron, president of internet rights lobby group Free Press, said that while the immediate effects of the merger were likely to be price rises and less competition, the long-term consequences could be even more serious.
Alongside Netflix, Comcast has been criticised for slowing usersâ broadband connections by the lobby group Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and by file-sharing and copyright website TorrentFreak for interfering with legal file-sharing on the web.
âThis is a company that has already been caught blocking internet traffic,â said Aaron. âBut itâs clear their long-term plan is to take a free and open internet and turn it into something like cable TV, where they pick the channels and they speed them up and slow them down based on who pays them the most.â
âIf you hate your cable guy now, you are going to hate your cable guy on steroids,â said Aaron.
EFF attorney Mitch Stoltz called the merger âdangerousâ.
âOne company will effectively control the only data pipe going into a near majority of American homes, whether thatâs internet TV or phones,â Stoltz said. âIf that company gets to play favourites âŠ thatâs dangerous.â
Stoltz said the companies might not compete directly, but that their combined marketing and purchasing power would give them unprecedented clout over programming whether it was delivered to TVs or to the internet. âAt this point that is largely an irrelevance,â he said.
The two firms have begun what looks set to be an expensive and protracted lobbying effort to sell the consumer benefits of the deal.
On a conference call with journalists Thursday, Brian Roberts, the chairman and CEO of Comcast, and Robert Marcus, the chairman and CEO of TWC, argued the deal was a âpro-consumerâ. They said the two firms did not directly compete geographically and would sell off the small areas where they do.
âIf there is a benefit of a national scale of being able to grow in the future with capabilities that are expensive and untested that require a national presence, we are able to do that,â said Roberts.
Marcus said: âFirst of all, the broadband market today is more competitive than you give it credit for. But most importantly, by combining Time Warner and Comcast in cable, we are not removing a competitor from any consumer. We are not removing a choice from any consumer.â
By Pam Martens/Russ Martens - Feb 12, 2014 - WallStreetOnParade.com
The nonstop crime news swirling around JPMorgan Chase for a solid 18 months has started to feel a little spooky â they do lots of crime but never any time; and with each closed case, a trail of unanswered questions remains in the publicâs mind.
Just last month, JPMorgan Chase acknowledged that it facilitated the largest Ponzi scheme in history, looking the other way as Bernie Madoff brazenly turned his business bank account at JPMorgan Chase into an unprecedented money laundering operation that would have set off bells, whistles and sirens at any other bank.
The U.S. Justice Department allowed JPMorgan to pay $1.7 billion and sign a deferred prosecution agreement, meaning no one goes to jail at JPMorgan â again. The largest question that no one can or will answer is how the compliance, legal and anti-money laundering personnel at JPMorgan ignored for years hundreds of transfers and billions of dollars in round trip maneuvers between Madoff and the account of Norman Levy. Even one such maneuver should set off an investigation. (Levy is now deceased and the Trustee for Madoffâs victims has settled with his estate.)
Then there was the report done by the U.S. Senateâs Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the London Whale episode which left the public in the dark about just what JPMorgan was doing with stock trading in its Chief Investment Office in London, redacting all information in the 300-page report that related to that topic.
Wall Street On Parade has been filing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with the Federal government in these matters, and despite the pledge from our President to set a new era of transparency, thus far we have had few answers coming our way.
One reason that JPMorgan may have such a spooky feel is that it has aligned itself in no small way with real-life spooks, the CIA kind.
Just when the public was numbing itself to the endless stream of financial malfeasance which cost JPMorgan over $30 billion in fines and settlements in just the past 13 months, we learned on January 28 of this year that a happy, healthy 39-year old technology Vice President, Gabriel Magee, was found dead on a 9th level rooftop of the bankâs 33-story European headquarters building in the Canary Wharf section of London.
The way the news of this tragic and sudden death was stage-managed by highly skilled but invisible hands, turning a demonstrably suspicious incident into a cut-and-dried suicide leap from the rooftop (devoid of eyewitnesses or motivation) had all the hallmarks of a sophisticated covert operation or coverup.
The London Evening Standard newspaper reported the same day that âA man plunged to his death from a Canary Wharf tower in front of thousands of horrified commuters today.â Who gave that completely fabricated story to the press? Commuters on the street had no view of the body because it was 9 floors up on a rooftop â a rooftop that is accessible from a stairwell inside the building, not just via a fall from the roof. Adding to the suspicions, Magee had emailed his girlfriend the evening before telling her he was finishing up and would be home shortly.
If JPMorganâs CEO, Jamie Dimon, needed a little crisis management help from operatives, he has no shortage of people to call upon. Thomas Higgins was, until a few months ago, a Managing Director and Global Head of Operational Control for JPMorgan. (A BusinessWeek profile shows Higgins still employed at JPMorgan while the New York Post reported that he left late last year.) What is not in question is that Higgins was previously the Senior Officer and Station Chief in the CIAâs National Clandestine Service, a component of which is the National Resources Division. (Higginsâ bio is printed in past brochures of the CIA Officers Memorial Foundation, where Higgins is listed with his JPMorgan job title, former CIA job title, and as a member of the Foundationâs Board of Directors for 2013.)
According to Jeff Stein, writing in Newsweek on November 14, the National Resources Division (NR) is the âbiggest little CIA shop youâve never heard of.â One good reason youâve never heard of it until now is that the New York Times was asked not to name it in 2001. James Risen writes in a New York Times piece:
[the CIAâs] âNew York station was behind the false front of another federal organization, which intelligence officials requested that The Times not identify. The station was, among other things, a base of operations to spy on and recruit foreign diplomats stationed at the United Nations, while debriefing selected American business executives and others willing to talk to the C.I.A. after returning from overseas.â
Stein gets much of that out in the open in his piece for Newsweek, citing sources who say that âits intimate relations with top U.S. corporate executives willing to have their companies fronting for the CIA invites trouble at home and abroad.â Stein goes on to say that NR operatives âcultivate their own sources on Wall Street, especially looking for help keeping track of foreign money sloshing around in the global financial system, while recruiting companies to provide cover for CIA operations abroad. And once theyâve seen how the other 1 percent lives, CIA operatives, some say, are tempted to go over to the other side.â
We now know that it was not only the Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Treasury Departmentâs FinCEN, and bank examiners from the Comptroller of the Currency who missed the Madoff fraud, it was top snoops at the CIA in the very city where Madoff was headquartered.
Stein gives us even less reason to feel confident about this situation, writing that the NR âknows some titans of finance are not above being romanced. Most love hanging out with the agencyâs top spies â James Bond and all that â and being solicited for their views on everything from the streetâs latest tricks to their meetings with, say, Chinaâs finance minister. JPMorgan Chaseâs Jamie Dimon and Goldman Sachâs Lloyd Blankfein, one former CIA executive recalls, loved to get visitors from Langley. And the CIA loves them back, not just for their patriotic cooperation with the spy agency, sources say, but for the influence they have on Capitol Hill, where the intelligence budgets are hashed out.â
Higgins is not the only former CIA operative to work at JPMorgan. According to aLinkedIn profile, Bud Cato, a Regional Security Manager for JPMorgan Chase, worked for the CIA in foreign clandestine operations from 1982 to 1995; then went to work for The Coca-Cola Company until 2001; then back to the CIA as an Operations Officer in Afghanistan, Iraq and other Middle East countries until he joined JPMorgan in 2011.
In addition to Higgins and Cato, JPMorgan has a large roster of former Secret Service, former FBI and former law enforcement personnel employed in security jobs. And, as we have reported repeatedly, it still shares a space with the NYPD in a massive surveillance operation in lower Manhattan which has been dubbed the Lower Manhattan Security Coordination Center.
JPMorgan and Jamie Dimon have received a great deal of press attention for the whopping $4.6 million that JPMorgan donated to the New York City Police Foundation. Leonard Levitt, of NYPD Confidential, wrote in 2011 that New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly âhas amended his financial disclosure forms after this column revealed last October that the Police Foundation had paid his dues and meals at the Harvard Club for the past eight years. Kelly now acknowledges he spent $30,000 at the Harvard Club between 2006 and 2009, according to the Daily News.â
JPMorgan is also listed as one of the largest donors to a nonprofit Foundation that provides college tuition assistance to the children of fallen CIA operatives, the CIA Officers Memorial Foundation. The Foundation also notes in a November 2013 publication, the Compass, that it has enjoyed the fundraising support of Maurice (Hank) Greenberg. According to the publication, Greenberg âsponsored a fundraiser on our behalf. His guest list included the whoâs who of the financial services industry in New York, and they gave generously.â
Hank Greenberg is the former Chairman and CEO of AIG which collapsed into the arms of the U.S. taxpayer, requiring a $182 billion bailout. In 2006, AIG paid $1.64 billion to settle federal and state probes into fraudulent activities. In 2010, the company settled a shareholdersâ lawsuit for $725 million that accused it of accounting fraud and stock price manipulation. In 2009, Greenberg settled SEC fraud charges against him related to AIG for $15 million.
Before the death of Gabriel Magee, the public had lost trust in the Justice Department and Wall Street regulators to bring these financial firms to justice for an unending spree of fleecing the public. Now there is a young manâs unexplained death at JPMorgan. This is no longer about money. This is about a heartbroken family that will never be the same again; who can never find peace or closure until credible and documented facts are put before them by independent, credible law enforcement.
The London Coronerâs office will hold a formal inquest into the death of Gabriel Magee on May 15. Wall Street On Parade has asked that the inquest be available on a live webcast as well as an archived webcast so that the American public can observe for itself if this matter has been given the kind of serious investigation it deserves. We ask other media outlets who were initially misled about the facts in this case to do the same.
Another JPMorgan Banker Dies, 37 Year Old Executive Director Of Program Trading By Tyler Durden - 02/12/2014 - ZeroHedge.com Ordinarily we would ignore the news of another banker's death - after all these sad events happen all the time - if it wasn't for several contextual aspects of this most recent passage. First, the death in question, as reported by the Stamford Daily Voice is that of Ryan Henry Crane, a Harvard graduate, who is survived by his wife, son and parents at the very young age of 37. Second, Ryan Henry Crane was formerly employed by JPMorgan - a bank which was featured prominently in the news as recently as two weeks ago when another of its London-based employees committed suicide by jumping from the top floor of its Canary Wharf building. Third: Crane was an Executive Director in JPM's Global Program Trading desk, founded in 1999 by an ex-DE Shaw'er, a function of the firm which is instrumental to preserving JPM's impeccable and (so far in 2013) flawless trading record of zero trading losses.