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The U.S-Israel Alliance: War, Chaos and Netanyahu’s Big Lie

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News – The relationship between the U.S. and Israel in the last 6 years under the Obama administration has never been stronger.  In 2012, The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) declared that President Obama’s aid package for Israel was the largest in U.S. history, a fact that is hard to ignore: 

President Barack Obama requested a record $3.1 billion in military assistance to Israel for the 2013 fiscal year. The requested amount is not just the largest assistance request for Israel ever; it is the largest foreign assistance request ever in U.S. history

President Barack H. Obama and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s alleged tenuous relationship is not what it seems.  Sure they probably annoy each other, but Obama has provided U.S. foreign aid just as every U.S. President before him.  The invitation granted by the speaker of the house John Boehner to Netanyahu so that he can present his case against Iran to the U.S. congress to prove that Obama’s negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program was a “bad deal.”    According to Netanyahu, Iran threatens Israel’s existence and the world.  Netanyahu’s speech was political theater.  Several democrats did not attend Netanyahu’s show.  Those that did criticized Netanyahu for trying to undermine the Obama administration is once again, all political theater.  The democrats who skipped Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent speech to show solidarity with President Obama’s policy towards Iran were going to attend the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) event featuring an appearance by Netanyahu the following week as the Washington Examiner reported earlier this month:   

All of the members skipping Netanyahu’s congressional speech the Examiner interviewed were quick to say their anger toward the prime minister and his attempt to scuttle the Obama administration’s negotiations with Iran on its nuclear program did not extend to pro-Israel committee.

“Why would I not want to meet with my friends? They’re coming to see me next week and why wouldn’t I see them?” asked Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., referring to two American Israel Public Affairs Committee lobbyists he’s known and worked with for 25 years

Since 1948, U.S and Israeli actions taken in the Middle East has proven to be a tragic period for all people of the Middle East whether Arab, Christian, Jew, Kurdish, Sunni or Shiite.  Nothing but wars and Sectarian conflicts, poverty and Western-funded extremists has destroyed Arab countries and killed millions of Muslim men, women and children that are physically and emotionally scarred for the rest of their young and innocent lives. 

Can anyone think of the U.S. and its Democratic ideals as a success?  The U.S. has done everything it can to create “order out of chaos.”  In 1947 following the “creation of Israel” by Great Britain when the Foreign secretary Arthur James Balfour confirmed a “national home of the Jewish People” when he sent the Balfour Declaration to Walter Rothschild, head of the Rothschild banking dynasty, the Palestinian people have been living in hell.  Palestine became a prison enforced by Israel’s security apparatus that resembles what George Orwell described as a total police state in his classic book “1984.”  Palestine has been divided; 1.7 million Palestinians live in an open air prison in the Gaza strip while others live in the West Bank under a police state controlled by heavily armed Israeli soldiers and police.  The Palestinians have been losing lands in an unprecedented fashion and in recent decades only to be accelerated under Netanyahu’s watch with a 40% increase in 2014 alone, outpacing the prior year. 

Israel’s ambitions for nuclear weapons capability began after Israel became a Western sponsored state with the U.S, U.K. and France as its main allies.  Many conflicts in the Middle East soon followed.  The Israeli war of Independence against the Arab countries included Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria which led to the 1949 Armistice which outlined the borders of Israel.    The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soon began military operations against Egypt, Lebanon and Jordon to prevent terrorist attacks against its Jewish citizens.  In 1956, Great Britain and France joined Israel in attacking Egypt after its government decided to nationalize the Suez Canal after the U.S. and Great Britain declined to fund the Aswan Dam.  Israel was forced to retreat from the attack by the U.S. and the USSR.  Soon after, the Six-Day War in 1967 began when Israel fought againstEgypt, Syria and Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and others contributed weapons and troops to the Arab forces.  Israel defeated the Arab armies and expanded its territory in the West Bank which included East Jerusalem to Jordan, the Golan Heights in Syria, the Sinai and the Gaza strip.  Then the War of Attrition (1967-1970), the Yom Kippur War (1973) and the War in Lebanon (1982) which the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) invaded Southern Lebanon to eliminate Palestinian guerrilla fighters (the resistance) from the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) which led to the Israeli Security Zone in South Lebanon.  Then the South Lebanon conflict with Hezbollah that lasted for at least 20 years.  It still continues today.   The first and Second Intifadas began with the Palestinian uprising against a brutal Israeli occupation and the disappearance of their lands.  Several wars soon followed.  The last war called ‘Operation Protective Edge’ which Israel launched against the Gaza Strip.  According to the State of Palestine Ministry of Health who reported on August 17, 2014 that there were 2,300 deaths and over 19,000 injured in Gaza which was a devastating conflict that traumatized the Palestinian people especially the children.  It is a tragic consequence that will last a lifetime for many.    

During all of the conflicts, Israel was seeking weapons to defend their new “Jewish” nation.  Israel was eventually exposed as an undeclared nuclear power thanks to an Israeli man named Mordechai Vanunu who spent 18 years in the Shikma Prison in Ashkelon, with 10 of those years in solitary confinement.  Mordechai exposed Israel’s secrets nuclear program to the British press in 1986.

Israel is the aggressor.  It’s an illegal occupation which began under the British government and it is supported by other Western-powers, mainly the U.S. and France.  Israel’s history is filled with conflicts and terrorism against the Arab world.  Israel has committed political assassinations, supported extremists to topple governments including its current support to “moderate rebels” to oust Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.  It has control over the natural resources including vital water supplies that Palestinians solely depend on to survive.  So my question is why everyone is surprised by Netanyahu’s speech he recently gave in the U.S. House of congress?  Several members of congress were “appalled” or “upset” because he disrespected U.S. lawmakers, but the reality is that the majority of elected officials in congress and every administration even before Obama have approved military aid for Israel’s security since Israel was created in 1948.  Who are they fooling?  Netanyahu sounded like he was the U.S. president with constant standing ovations and thunderous applauds by the AIPAC controlled congress.  Those on both sides of the aisle whether democrat or republican always look forward to Jewish (Zionist) support for campaign funds.  There are several members of congress who have dual citizenships that seek to protect Israel at all costs (although the actual “costs” come at the expense of U.S. taxpayers). The U.S. has been involved in the Middle East for a long time.  Do not expect peace or stability.  War and conquest is the true nature of both the Americans and Israeli’s regarding Middle East policies.  ISIS is a perfect example of how the U.S. operates by bringing democracy to an already volatile region with its support of the Syrian rebels, al-Nusra and the decade old “al-Qaeda” with weapons to topple governments not in line with Washington only proves that war is on the agenda.  Not only does the U.S. and its allies support ISIS and other terrorist organizations to topple Arab governments they protect them according to an article by Michel Chossudovsky titled Obama’s “Fake War” against the Islamic State (ISIS). The Islamic State is protected by the US and its Alliesand made an important point when he said:

What would have been required from a military standpoint to wipe out an ISIS convoy with no effective anti-aircraft capabilities?  Without an understanding of military issues, common sense prevails.  If they had wanted to eliminate the Islamic State brigades, they could have “carpet” bombed their convoys of Toyota pickup trucks when they crossed the desert from Syria into Iraq in June

The U.S. and Israel clearly want chaos in the Middle East.  It is obvious.  However, Netanyahu did say that:

The remarkable alliance between Israel and the United States has always been above politics. It must always remain above politics.  Because America and Israel, we share a common destiny, the destiny of promised lands that cherish freedom and offer hope. Israel is grateful for the support of American — of America’s people and of America’s presidents, from Harry Truman to Barack Obama

Yes, the alliance between the U.S. and Israel is “above politics” and I agree it’s supposed to achieve “Full Spectrum Dominance” with the West and Israel controlling every aspect of Arab life including its lands, economy, and its natural resources in the Middle East.  This is the “destiny” which Netanyahu speaks of.  There is a vast amount of resources including the obvious oil, water and natural gas in the Middle East for which both the U.S. and Israel is solely interested in.  It also provides a market for the Military-Industrial Complex and corporate interests.  Netanyahu’s speech in Washington resembles what a genuine hypocrite that will claim it is he who is a victim of hatred, while committing heinous crimes against those he hates.  Netanyahu thanked President Obama for his support over the years which are no surprise:                  

We appreciate all that President Obama has done for Israel.

Now, some of that is widely known.  Some of that is widely known, like strengthening security cooperation and intelligence sharing, opposing anti-Israel resolutions at the U.N.  Some of what the president has done for Israel is less well- known.

I called him in 2010 when we had the Carmel forest fire, and he immediately agreed to respond to my request for urgent aid.  In 2011, we had our embassy in Cairo under siege, and again, he provided vital assistance at the crucial moment.  Or his support for more missile interceptors during our operation last summer when we took on Hamas terrorists

‘Operation Protective Edge’ was supported by the Obama administration.  They have collaborated on various programs including Israel security forces that provided training to U.S. Police forces.  I was not surprised by the recent revelations in Chicago, Illinois concerning its secret black sites used by the Chicago police department to detain and even torture suspects.  This happened under former White House Chief of Staff and also an IDF civilian volunteer and Israel supporter Rahm Emanuel whose father Benjamin M. Emanuel was once a member of the Irgun, a terrorist organization that operated in Mandate Palestine.  As Netanyahu continued:

But Iran’s regime is not merely a Jewish problem, any more than the Nazi regime was merely a Jewish problem. The 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis were but a fraction of the 60 million people killed in World War II. So, too, Iran’s regime poses a grave threat, not only to Israel, but also the peace of the entire world. To understand just how dangerous Iran would be with nuclear weapons, we must fully understand the nature of the regime. 

The people of Iran are very talented people. They’re heirs to one of the world’s great civilizations. But in 1979, they were hijacked by religious zealots — religious zealots who imposed on them immediately a dark and brutal dictatorship

Netanyahu said that “religious Zealots” imposed a dark brutal dictatorship?  Well I guess the Western-backed Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi or the “Shah of Iran” and his secret police force the Savak who terrorized the Iranian people was their preference to keep Iran under their control.  Savak was trained and supported by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Israeli Mossad.  The most brutal dictatorship in the Gulf States such as Saudi Arabia is an ideal model for the U.S. and Israel.  If you look at the dictatorships the U.S. has supported to spread “American-Style Democracy” in the last 100 years.  The results of “American-style democracy” were disastrous causing human rights violations, countless deaths and disease.  Those same nations the U.S. either invaded or helped overthrow their respective governments (many of them democracies) still suffer from Washington’s “medicine.”  From Pinochet in Chile, to the Somoza dynasty in Nicaragua, Papa and Baby Doc Duvalier regime in Haiti to the Gulf Monarchies in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and the list goes on, U.S. policy is about dominating nations for geopolitical interests including for the control of their natural resources.  The U.S. and Israel have an interest in the Middle East and that is to dominate it under their so-called “World Order.”   If they remove Syria and then Iran, the Middle East would become a region that would look like Iraq or Libya.  It would be a cash bonanza for the Military-Industrial Complex if they keep the civil wars among different sects and tribes going, creating a market for weapons exports.  Netanyahu said Iran is a “grave threat” to World peace.  Can someone say “Samson Option”?  Seymour M. Hersh’s ‘The Samson Option’ noted a commentary by Norman Podhoretz that summarizes how Israel would respond if they were on the verge of defeat at the hands of Arab nations in the Middle East:    

For Israel’s nuclear advocates, the Samson Option became another way of saying “Never again.”  [In a 1976 essay in Commentary, Norman Podhoretz accurately summarized the pronuclear argument in describing what Israel would do if abandoned by the United States and overrun by Arabs: "The Israelis would fight . . . with conventional weapons for as long as they could, and if the tide were turning decisively against them, and if help in the form of resupply from the United States or any other guarantors were not forthcoming, it is safe to predict that they would fight with nuclear weapons in the end. ... It used to be said that the Israelis had a Masada complex . . .but if the Israelis are to be understood in terms of a 'complex' involving suicide rather than surrender and rooted in a relevant precedent of Jewish history, the example of Sarnson, whose suicide brought about the destruction of his enemies, would be more appropriate than Masada, where in committing suicide the Zealots killed only themselves and took no Romans with them." 

Podhoretz, asked years later about his essay, said that his conclusions about the Samson Option were just that—his conclusions, and not based on any specific information from Israelis or anyone else about Israel's nuclear capability 

What Mr. Podhoretz was describing was a “if we go down, everyone else is going down with us” scenario which is a dangerous policy for the world peace.  Netanyahu also says that Assad who is backed by Iran is slaughtering Syrians.  This serves the Obama Administration’s long-term goal to remove Assad from power: 

Iran's goons in Gaza, its lackeys in Lebanon, its revolutionary guards on the Golan Heights are clutching Israel with three tentacles of terror. Backed by Iran, Assad is slaughtering Syrians. Back by Iran, Shiite militias are rampaging through Iraq. Back by Iran, Houthis are seizing control of Yemen, threatening the strategic straits at the mouth of the Red Sea. Along with the Straits of Hormuz, that would give Iran a second choke-point on the world's oil supply

Netanyahu claim that the Jewish people can defend themselves which I agree especially when you have nuclear weapons that can destroy the entire Middle East:

We are no longer scattered among the nations, powerless to defend ourselves. We restored our sovereignty in our ancient home. And the soldiers who defend our home have boundless courage. For the first time in 100 generations, we, the Jewish people, can defend ourselves

Iran, Syria, Lebanon (Hezbollah) and Palestine (the West Bank and Gaza) are targets for the U.S. and Israel.  They want to destabilize Syria and Iran and turn it into an Iraq and Libya with tribal and sectarian infighting among the populations.  The U.S. destroyed Iraq with the intention of dividing the people.  They create the conflict, develop hatred along Sunni and Shiite sects, and enforce a government subservient to Western interests.  How does this benefits Israel?  They keep the wars going by destabilizing regimes through ISIS and other Western-funded terrorist groups while Israel expands its territories beyond its borders.  Once Syria and Iran are destroyed, the U.S. and Israel will have no use for ISIS.  No more weapons will be shipped to ISIS and other groups and the U.S. and Israel with its military capabilities can easily defeat ISIS as Chossudovsky mentioned in his article.  It sounds cynical but it’s the truth.  It is what I call “Mafia-Style” politics, something the U.S. and Israel are very good at.  The world is not fooled by the bickering between the democrats and republicans because as we all know, they are one, united with an “unbreakable bond “with Israel as Obama declared in 2013.  We all know that without U.S. support, Israeli occupation of Palestine would end tomorrow.  But that will not happen unless the U.S. Empire falls from power and only then, a lasting peace will ensue.     

Netanyahu concluded with “May God bless the state of Israel and may God bless the United States of America” And no one else, right Mr. Netanyahu?  What kind of God would bless two nations that have committed genocide against its indigenous populations?  Why would God bless a nation that lies to its people and declares war on nations that want their sovereignty respected?  If this is the God we as humans supposed to honor, then God is not who we think he is. 

In conclusion, Netanyahu should listen to an interview conducted by Press TV based in Tehran, Iran in 2014 with Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss, associate director of ‘Neturei Karta International: Jews United against Zionism’ (www.nkusa.org) and was asked about U.N. monitor Richard Falk who accused Israel of ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians.  His response was as follows:

With the help of the almighty, I pray to the almighty to bestow upon me his truth, his wisdom. We are always confounded by this seeming ignorance of the issues and the ignoring of what is happening. The issues are clear from day one.  Well over one hundred years ago when this Zionist ideology came about of Jewish people creating their own sovereignty and then eventually deciding to make their sovereignty in the Holy Land, the biblical authorities in the Holy Land, the chief rabbi of Palestine, Rabbi Dushinsky..., of that time, and later in 1947 prior to the ratification of... Israel by the United Nations, the chief rabbi was Rabbi Dushinsky; he went to a meeting in Jerusalem [al-Quds] with the members of the United Nations and he pleaded with them in the name of Judaism and the religious community that we do not want, in any form, a state …, that it is illegal, it is illegitimate. Judaism does not permit us to have to have a Jewish sovereignty, Judaism does not permit us to oppress other people, steal the land, or in any manner being uncompassionate to the people.

On the contrary we were living together with the Muslim community, with the Arabs and Muslims for hundreds and hundreds of years in Palestine and every Muslim state in total harmony without any human rights group to protect us and since this creation of Zionism and then eventually … Israel, there is an endless river of bloodshed. It is impossible to subjugate people and expect that there will be peace. Now, we are condoning what is emanating from this fact that there is a state but the fact is that it defies logic; it flies in the face of …,  righteousness and everything that the humanity calls for, by occupying Palestine and so our rabbis universally opposed the existence of … Israel and that the world should totally confuse this issue.

Greek Government in Talks with Israel to Purchase Surveillance Drones

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News – With growing anger in Greece due to austerity measures, the government under President Karolos Papoulias of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) is in talks with several Israeli firms to purchase surveillance drones to monitor the country’s borders due to an influx of illegal immigration, spy on organized crime syndicates and to prevent terrorist attacks. According to the online news source of www.ekathimerini.com who published a report titled ‘Drones to boost police security effort’ states:

The Public Order Ministry is in talks with Israeli firms regarding the acquisition of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as drones, to bolster the efforts of the Greek Police (ELAS) to monitor the country’s borders and curb illegal immigration as well as cracking down on organized crime and domestic terrorism, Kathimerini has learned. It remains unclear how many drones the ministry is seeking to acquire and what type. In any case the aircraft, once acquired, will be able to provide Greek security services with useful data including cell phone signals that could help avert crimes and terrorist attacks

Between 2010 and 2012, protests across Greece including general strikes by unions against the government’s plans to cut public spending and raise taxes across the board through austerity measures. The Greek government agreed with the European Union’s €110 billion bailout plan to solve the 2010-2011 Greek Debt Crises. In May 2011, anti-austerity protests were organized by the ‘Direct Democracy Now movement known as the Indignant Citizens Movement. Major protests began all across Greece, some turned violent. Violence between riot police and protesters erupted when the Greek parliament accepted the EU’s austerity requirements. It was reported that the police used excessive force and used tear gas against protesters. Now, the Greek government wants unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones to monitor an increasing dire situation within Greece. According to the report:

According to an extremely well-informed source, Greek authorities first considered the acquisition of such aircraft during the summer of 2011 when the “Indignants” movement of citizens opposed to austerity was growing rapidly with thousands gathering in Syntagma Square day and night. A drone was used to trace several Albanian convicts who escaped from Trikala Prison in central Greece in March last year. It is likely that European Union subsidies will be used for the purchase of the UAVs though it remains unclear what sum has been earmarked for the investment

Greece unemployment is close to 30%, with more than 50% affecting those under 25 years old. The European Union is a colossal failure as Portugal, Italy and Spain continue to suffer from high-unemployment and a mass exodus of its citizens to other countries that might offer economic opportunities. Governments within the EU are concerned that more protests across the region will increase and in many circumstances can turn violent. The rise of extreme right-wing groups is on the increase. According to a the Guardian earlier this year, the leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party Nigel Farage spoke out in the European Parliament when he criticized Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras for allowing the EU and IMF to control the Greek economy. The Article titled ‘Nigel Farage becomes popular in Greece after outburst against the PM’ Farage was quoted as saying:

You come here, Mr Samaras, and tell us that you represent the ‘sovereign will of the Greek people’. Well, I am sorry but you are not in charge of Greece, and I suggest you rename and rebrand your party,” railed Farage last week as Samaras, slumped in his seat, looked on haplessly. “It is called New Democracy; I suggest you call it No Democracy because Greece is now under foreign control. You can’t make any decisions, you have been bailed out and you have surrendered democracy, the thing your country invented in the first place

The article also stated:

Reminding Samaras of the heavy price Greece had paid to be rescued from insolvency by creditors at the EU and IMF, he said: “I must congratulate you for getting the Greek presidency off to such a cracking start. Your overnight successful negotiation … will have them dancing in the streets of Athens. “No matter that your country, very poorly advised by Goldman Sachs, joined a currency that it was never suited to. No matter that 30% of its people are unemployed, that 60% of youth are unemployed, that a neo-Nazi party is on the march, that there was a terrorist attack on the German embassy.”

The Greek government’s decision to accept the EU’s recommendations on the economy will increase anger and resentment among the Greek people as the economy continues to worsen.  They are concerned that a civil war can possibly take place.  With the possibility of the Greek government purchasing Israeli made drones, I assume that is what they are expecting.

Middle East Conflict Intensifies: Israel Launches Airstrikes inside Syria

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News – As Iraq’s situation continues to deteriorate threatening its neighbors including Syria. Israel has stepped into the picture by launching several strikes against Syria in retaliation for an attack by an anti-tank missile that killed a teenager according to Israeli officials. It was not confirmed who was exactly behind the attack since the Golan Heights is being contested by both the Syrian government and the rebels. The Associated Press reported:

Israeli warplanes bombed a series of targets inside Syria early Monday, the Israeli military said, in response to a cross-border attack that killed an Israeli teenager the previous day. In all, Israel said it struck nine military targets inside Syria, and “direct hits were confirmed.” The targets were located near the site of Sunday’s violence in the Golan Heights and included a regional military command center and unspecified “launching positions.” There was no immediate response from Syria

In an already intense situation all across the Middle East, Israel has joined its staunchest ally, the United States by attacking Syrian military targets.

In Sunday’s attack, an Israeli civilian vehicle was struck by forces in Syria as it drove in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. A teenage boy was killed and two other people were wounded in the first deadly incident along the volatile Israeli-Syrian front since Syria’s civil war erupted more than three years ago. The Israeli vehicle was delivering water as it was doing contract work for Israel’s Defense Ministry when it was struck

The Report also stated Lt. Col Peter Lerner’s comments following the strikes:

“Yesterday’s attack was an unprovoked act of aggression against Israel, and a direct continuation to recent attacks that occurred in the area,” said Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, a military spokesman. He said the military “will not tolerate any attempt to breach Israel’s sovereignty and will act in order to safeguard the civilians of the state of Israel.”

It was confirmed that 10 Syrian soldiers was killed by the airstrikes as reported by the Times of Israel “At least 10 Syrian soldiers were killed in Israeli overnight air raids on positions near the Israeli-held Golan Heights, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said on Monday.”

The Jerusalem Post was certain that Israel would retaliate when they published an article before the IDF coordinated the attacks ‘A dangerous escalation by the pro-Assad camp’ when they said ”Should the IDF reach the likely conclusion that combatants from the pro-Assad camp – either the Syrian army itself, Hezbollah, or someone acting on their behalf – is responsible for the firing of an anti-tank missile at an Israeli truck, it is difficult to imagine Israel sitting on the sidelines and failing to act to punish the aggressors and restore its deterrence.” Syria would not escalate any conflict with Israel especially after they went through a horrible civil war with the Free Syrian Army and other Al-Qaeda affiliates backed by the West which did result in over 100,000 deaths. Many parts of Syria are destroyed because of the war and now face a dangerous terrorist organization that has been making headlines called the Islamic State of Israel and Syria (ISIS) on their borders. Why would Syria instigate a war with Israel? It would not make any sense, especially when the Syrian government removed all of their Chemical weapons which satisfied the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) according to RT news:

The last of Syria’s declared chemical weapons have been handed over. “All declared chemical weapons have left Syria,” OPCW Director General Ahmet Üzümcü told reporters at a press conference Monday.

“The last of the remaining chemicals identified for removal from Syria were loaded this afternoon aboard the Danish ship Ark Futura. The ship made its last call at the port of Latakia in what has been a long and patient campaign in support of this international endeavor,” Üzümcü announced

After Israel’s attack, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said “We will not tolerate any infringement of our sovereignty or harm to our soldiers and civilians. We will respond resolutely and powerfully to anyone who acts against us, at any time and place, as we’ve done tonight.”

Israel is trying to cripple Syria’s military capabilities to clear the path for a future US/NATO invasion. The US and its allies have failed to remove President Bashar al-Assad and now Israel is playing its part by destroying Syrian military targets. If Israel continues to launch airstrikes into Syrian territory, would it provoke Syria to respond militarily? Syria is refraining from military action although there are serious tensions between Syria and Israel since the start of the civil war. Iraq is already divided with an increase of Sectarian violence between Sunni and Shia groups which are at an all-time high. Unfortunately Iraq has been destroyed by Washington’s imperial agenda. Syria is now the focus for Western intervention. US President Barack Obama said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has lost his legitimacy and he has no place in Syria’s future at a meeting with the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) in Washington this past May. US Secretary of State John Kerry also criticized recent elections in Syria where Assad won a landslide victory by calling it a “farce.”  The latest attack by the Israeli air force is an attempt to further destabilize Syria. Western policies began the conflict in Syria which has killed 10’s of thousands of innocent people including those based in Israel. Foreign intervention does produce unintended consequences. War is now inevitable.

                  

The Obama Administration Views Iraq and Syria as a “Single Challenge”, Reconsidering “Air Strikes”...

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News – The Obama administration is considering treating the crisis in Iraq and Syria in regards to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as a “single challenge.” The Obama administration sees an opportunity by exploiting the crisis in Iraq since it failed to remove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. First, Washington’s plan to remove Assad by supporting the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and other groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda failed when the Syrian forces defeated the rebels forcing them to withdraw. Then with Assad’s recent election victory, the international community (Except the US and its allies of course) has welcomed the results paralyzing Washington’s push to oust the Syrian government from power. The Washington Post published an article titled “White House beginning to consider conflicts in Syria and Iraq as single challenge” states that the situation overlaps between both Iraq and Syria, therefore, the US can possibly approach the situation with one strategy:

The Obama administration has begun to consider the conflicts in Syria and Iraq as a single challenge, with an al-Qaeda-inspired insurgency threatening both countries’ governments and the region’s broader stability, according to senior administration officials. At a National Security Council meeting this week, President Obama and his senior advisers reviewed the consequences of possible airstrikes in Iraq, a bolder push to train Syria’s moderate rebel factions, and various political initiatives to break down the sectarian divisions that have stirred Iraq’s Sunni Muslims against the Shiite-led government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

The Obama administration is contemplating whether to use “air strikes” against Syria and arm “moderate” rebels. “Although spreading faster in Iraq, the advance of ISIS could also force the administration to reconsider its calculations in Syria, where Obama has taken a cautious approach, declining to arm moderate rebel factions or conduct airstrikes on government airstrips, as some advisers have recommended” according to the Washington Post report.

Washington says that the threat imposed by ISIS erases the borders between Iraq and Syria so any military or political action taken for both countries would have a separate strategy. The report stated how Iraq and Syria would be treated differently according to the Obama administration:

Administration officials are also weighing a set of strategic and legal complications that in key ways will force U.S. policymakers to plan as if the border between the countries still exists, even though for the insurgency’s purposes it does not.

“Everybody here recognizes that you can’t silo what is happening in Iraq from what is happening in Syria,” said one administration official, who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the internal thinking. “There’s no doubt the border is melting away. But while we look at the two in tandem, our responses in each place will be very different”

If the border between Iraq and Syria does not exist, then “airstrikes” in either country would be justified since ISIS does not recognize any border that currently does exist.

Is the Obama Administration Following the Council of Foreign Relation’s Advice on Syria?

Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) member Eliot Abrams, a neoconservative and war criminal is calling for action against Syria with a ‘New Policy’ guideline recommending air strikes and rearming and training rebels. Abrams served under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush and one of the officials involved in the Iran-Contra Affair and El Salvador’s El Mozote Massacre that resulted in the deaths of more than 500 civilians wrote an article for the CFR titled ‘Syria: Humanitarian Disaster—and Security Threat’ Abrams proposes that the United States should reconsider training and arming rebels who are “anti-Assad” and “anti-jihadi” who are “composed of nationalist Syrian Rebels “since diplomacy has failed. Abrams even suggests training those who come from other forces. Abrams says that “The balance of forces will change when anti-jihadi groups can arm and train all the men they can attract, including attracting them from other forces to which they have gone because those forces were able to feed and clothe them and supply modern weapons”. Abrams also suggests that the United States should use air strikes against Syria’s chemical weapons depots. He states his case for military action on Syria:

Second, the United States should punish Assad for the continuing use of chemical warfare. This means an air strike robust enough to damage CW targets, including units that have used CW and any air assets ever used to deliver them. Any strike should at this point be broad enough to greatly restrict Assad’s ability to use air power as an instrument of terror. More broadly, punitive air operations should be considered to force the regime to allow humanitarian aid to quickly reach those who need it. And even more broadly, air strikes can both change the military balance on the ground and affect the political and psychological dimensions of the conflict by demonstrating a new American policy and new determination

It is no surprise that Eliot Abrams solution to the Syrian crisis (instigated by the West) is for Washington to continue to arm the rebels even those from other forces (perhaps ISIS, Al-Qaeda and Al-Nusra) and for the US military to conduct air strikes. First, let’s be clear, Abrams “new policy” is not new. They have been arming and funding the rebels since Syria’s civil war began. Abrams was a State Department official for human rights and Humanitarian Affairs then as Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs under the Reagan administration. Abrams’s was behind a US organized a counterrevolutionary army to carry out terrorist attacks against Nicaragua and supported right-wing dictatorships in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. He was a propagandist for US interests in Central America where he excused Nicaragua of human rights violations against the Miskito Indians. It was a campaign to portray the Sandinista government as Human rights violators in order to justify support for the contra army, which killed more than 10,000 Nicaraguans. US actions have devastated Central America. Today, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala suffer from extreme poverty and crime with the highest murder rates in the world. Elliot Abrams is now advising what Washington should do in the case of Syria. The Council on Foreign Relations is a think tank for the Western establishment or what US Vice-President Joe Biden would call the “New World Order.”

Elliot Abrams is working for a well funded organization that advises powerful members of Washington and its allies on foreign and domestic issues. In a speech at the CFR, Hillary Clinton acknowledged the CFR and its acting President Richard Haass has contributed to Washington’s policy makers over the years. She said “We get a lot of advice from the Council, so this will mean I won’t have as far to go to be told what we should be doing and how we should think about the future.” Well, Elliot Abrams is trying to ensure Washington follows a path to war against Syria which would destabilize the region even further. It is insanity. Abrams says that Syria is a threat to the US as “The refugee flows and the jihadi presence, which are both growing, constitute a threat to Syria, its neighbors, and the interests of the United States.” The Washington Post says that Iraqi President Maliki has asked for the United States to intervene in Iraq making it legal under international law:

Maliki has asked the administration to carry out airstrikes against Islamist insurgents in Iraq, an invitation that administration officials say would make intervention legal under international law. Obama has yet to decide if such strikes would be effective inside Iraq and what the consequences would be in Syria. The report also said that “No such invitation exists in Syria, even though moderate rebel groups fighting Assad would welcome U.S. military support”

Of course they would welcome US military support, after all, the US has been funding them from the beginning. The report clearly defines that there are no differences between the borders between Afghanistan and Pakistan where President Obama has authorized numerous drone strikes on both sides resulting in mass civilian casualties:

The U.S. training program for Syria’s moderate rebel forces, also at odds with ISIS, is taking place in Jordan under CIA supervision. That could expand under legislation pending before Congress, which would authorize the administration to allow the military to take over training, greatly expanding its scope, and potentially locating some of it inside Syria.

Officials have concluded that, like Afghanistan and Pakistan, where a porous border provided Islamist fighters with a refuge from U.S. military pursuit for years, the boundary between Iraq and Syria presents a similar challenge

For the Obama administration, they see it as a new opportunity to intervene in Syria. It is a perfect excuse for Washington’s “humanitarian intervention.” ISIS provides a cover for Washington’s long awaited objective to remove Assad and his government and regain a foothold into Syrian territory. The crisis will result in a US/NATO style intervention as they did in Libya. Obama recently sent in military advisors to Iraq escalating the crisis. The next step would be to set up drone strikes across Iraq, then eventually finding their way into Syrian territory. ISIS is a crisis for Iraq’s oil exports effecting world markets, but it is also an opportunity for Washington’s Middle East Agenda. Fox News reported that “Syrian and Iraqi terrorist forces obtained significant numbers of tanks, trucks, and U.S.-origin Humvees in recent military operations in Iraq and those arms are being shipped to al Qaeda rebels in Syria, according to U.S. officials.” ISIS is moving towards Syria’s border with newly acquired weapons they seized from Iraqi forces as Fox news stated what Pentagon Spokesman Commander Bill Speaks had said:

We’re aware of reports of some equipment—namely Humvees—and the pictures that have been posted online,” Speaks said in an email. “We are certainly concerned about these reports and are consulting with the Iraqi government to obtain solid confirmation on what assets may have fallen into ISIL’s hands

This is an opportunity for the US to launch drone strikes in Iraq and Syria. The Obama administration is currently weighing military options in the region. Will there be a war against Syria? Will Washington seize the opportunity because ISIS is now moving towards the Syrian border? It is a likely scenario, since Washington was running out of options concerning Syria. With ISIS in the picture, Washington’s hopes of removing Assad is back in full circle.

Antony C. Sutton’s ‘Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution’, A Review of a 40...

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News – Professor Antony C. Sutton’s ‘Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution’ recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. Professor Sutton taught at California State University, Los Angeles and was a research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He wrote numerous books based on Wall Street corruption and their involvement in world wars including ‘Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler’ and ‘Wall Street and FDR’ both published in 1976. Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution is a historical classic based on Professor Sutton’s extensive research on whom and why Wall Street helped fund the Bolshevik Revolution. If you want to understand the conspiracy by the West who overthrew Czarist Russia and replaced it with one of the most dangerous political movements in the 20th century known as the “Bolsheviks”, then Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution is one history book you should add to your list. The Bolsheviks murdered millions of Russian people since the start of the Russian revolution in 1917 where it is estimated that between 20 and 66 million who were executed, starved and even tortured to death, many in the labor camps known as the gulags. Nobel Prize winner and author of ‘The Gulag Archipelago’ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn declared that more than 66 million Russian people were murdered. Solzhenitsyn’s book was based on his personal experience as a prisoner, but it was also a well-researched document of what actually happened in the gulags according to eyewitness accounts. The Western elites wanted total control of Russia’s economy and society with a communist regime in place and they succeeded with their plans as the Bolsheviks became their enforcers; the Czars were eventually removed from power.

Recently in a speech regarding Crimea, President Vladimir Putin had said “In short, we have every reason to assume that the infamous policy of containment, led in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, continues today.” There is truth to that statement; according to ‘Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution’ it is a historical fact that the Wall Street elites had planned to undermine Russia’s sovereignty dating back to the 19th and 20th centuries. In the early 19th Century, Western Financiers created a revolution to overthrow Czarist Russia; Professor Sutton makes the connection between the United States and German interests in untapped Russian markets with prominent financiers such as J.P. Morgan, David Rockefeller and Leaders of the Bolshevik revolution Vladimir Ilyich Lenin and Leon Trotsky. Sutton explains his methods on how he obtained information:

Since the early 1920s, numerous pamphlets and articles, even a few books, have sought to forge a link between “international bankers” and “Bolshevik revolutionaries.” Rarely have these attempts been supported by hard evidence, and never have such attempts been argued within the framework of a scientific methodology. Indeed, some of the “evidence” used in these efforts has been fraudulent, some has been irrelevant, much cannot be checked. Examination of the topic by academic writers has been studiously avoided; probably because the hypothesis offends the neat dichotomy of capitalists versus Communists (and everyone knows, of course, that these are bitter enemies). Moreover, because a great deal that has been written borders on the absurd, a sound academic reputation could easily be wrecked on the shoals of ridicule. Reason enough to avoid the topic. 

Fortunately, the State Department Decimal File, particularly the 861.00 section, contains extensive documentation on the hypothesized link. When the evidence in these official papers is merged with nonofficial evidence from biographies, personal papers, and conventional histories, a truly fascinating story emerges. 

We find there was a link between some New York international bankers and many revolutionaries, including Bolsheviks. These banking gentlemen — who are here identified — had a financial stake in, and were rooting for, the success of the Bolshevik Revolution.

Who, why — and for how much — is the story in this book

Professor Sutton asks:

“What motive explains this coalition of capitalists and Bolsheviks?”

He explains Wall Street’s intentions on creating the Bolshevik Revolution against Czarist Russia:

Russia was then — and is today — the largest untapped market in the world. Moreover, Russia, then and now, constituted the greatest potential competitive threat to American industrial and financial supremacy. (A glance at a world map is sufficient to spotlight the geographical difference between the vast land mass of Russia and the smaller United States.) Wall Street must have cold shivers when it visualizes Russia as a second super American industrial giant. 

But why allow Russia to become a competitor and a challenge to U.S. supremacy? In the late nineteenth century, Morgan/Rockefeller, and Guggenheim had demonstrated their monopolistic proclivities. In Railroads and Regulation 1877-1916 Gabriel Kolko has demonstrated how the railroad owners, not the farmers, wanted state control of railroads in order to preserve their monopoly and abolish competition. So the simplest explanation of our evidence is that a syndicate of Wall Street financiers enlarged their monopoly ambitions and broadened horizons on a global scale. The gigantic Russian market was to be converted into a captive market and a technical colony to be exploited by a few high-powered American financiers and the corporations under their control. What the Interstate Commerce Commission and the Federal Trade Commission under the thumb of American industry could achieve for that industry at home, a planned socialist government could achieve for it abroad — given suitable support and inducements from Wall Street and Washington, D.C.

In an interesting note, Sutton explains how British Prime Minister Winston Churchill declared that there was a “Jewish Conspiracy” to control the world. He believed that the Bolshevik Revolution was a first step towards that goal:

The argument and its variants can be found in the most surprising places and from quite surprising persons. In February 1920 Winston Churchill wrote an article — rarely cited today —for the London Illustrated Sunday Herald entitled “Zionism Versus Bolshevism.” In this’ article Churchill concluded that it was “particularly important… that the National Jews in every country who are loyal to the land of their adoption should come forward on every occasion . . .and take a prominent part in every measure for combatting the Bolshevik conspiracy.”

Churchill draws a line between “national Jews” and what he calls “international Jews.” He argues that the “international and for the most atheistical Jews” certainly had a “very great” role in the creation of Bolshevism and bringing about the Russian Revolution. He asserts (contrary to fact) that with the exception of Lenin, “the majority” of the leading figures in the revolution were Jewish, and adds (also contrary to fact) that in many cases Jewish interests and Jewish places of worship were excepted by the Bolsheviks from their policies of seizure. Churchill calls the international Jews a “sinister confederacy” emergent from the persecuted populations of countries where Jews have been persecuted on account of their race.  

Winston Churchill traces this movement back to Spartacus-Weishaupt, throws his literary net around Trotsky, Bela Kun, Rosa Luxemburg, and Emma Goldman, and charges: “This world-wide conspiracy for the overthrow of civilisation and for the reconstitution of society on the basis of arrested development, of envious malevolence, and impossible equality, has been steadily growing.” 

Churchill then argues that this conspiratorial Spartacus-Weishaupt group has been the mainspring of every subversive movement in the nineteenth century. While pointing out that Zionism and Bolshevism are competing for the soul of the Jewish people, Churchill (in 1920) was preoccupied with the role of the Jew in the Bolshevik Revolution and the existence of a worldwide Jewish conspiracy.

Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution is a must have for those who want to understand how far Wall Street will go to subjugate populations into perpetual slavery. They wanted total control of Russian society which resulted in the deaths of millions of people. The Russian people were victims of a conspiracy, one that Mr. Sutton’s brilliant research proves.

Many universities do not include ‘Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution’ in their syllabus as “required” reading materials. Of course, it can be labeled as “conspiratorial” and not relevant to Russian history especially in the American university system. However, it is a must read for those who wish to understand how Wall Street bankers were involved in funding a revolution to remove the Czars from power.

Every university, public and private schools around the world should include “Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution’ as a requirement for their history classes. Sutton connects the Russian revolution to Wall Street elites who funded the operation. It is an essential chapter in world history that allows you to understand how financial elites manipulate the politics and society so they can control the economy for their advantage. Not only educational institutions should include Professor Sutton’s books as part of their lesson plans, but every man, woman, child,  historian, political scientist, economist or those who are simply looking for the truth, ‘Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution’ is one history book that should be in everyone’s library. It is a history lesson that should not be missed.

Truth or Propaganda? Hollywood to Produce Film on Six-Day War Called ‘Jerusalem 67’

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News – Hollywood gave the green light to begin the film production of Israel’s Six-Day War in 1967 based on Abraham Rabinovich’s ‘Battle for Jerusalem’ An Unintended Conquest’, the film will be called ‘Jerusalem 67’ The Times of Israel reported that Hollywood is onboard to shoot the film in Israel and that it would not be “Sugarcoated” according to Joseph Schick and Jacob Septimus who are the producers of the film. The article titled ‘No sugarcoating’ as first movie on ’67 battle for Jerusalem takes shape’ claims that Egypt, Jordan and Syria wanted to “drive the Jewish State into the sea” which was not the case according to several past statements made by Israeli officials including a statement made in 1972 by General Matetiyahu Peled, Chief of Logistical Command during the Six-Day war and one of the 12 members of Israel’s General Staff in a political literary club in Tel Aviv who said “The thesis according to which the danger of genocide hung over us in June 1967, and according to which Israel was fighting for her very physical survival, was nothing but a bluff which was born and bred after the war.” According to the Times of Israel:

The Six Day War changed the perception of Israel throughout the world. Schick describes a sense of inevitable doom many outsiders had when Egypt, Jordan and Syria allied themselves to drive the Jewish state into the sea. The euphoria that followed what Septimus calls the “ultimate come-from-behind” has evaporated in many corners with today’s current, indirectly related conflict 

IDF forces preemptively and without cause attacked Egypt, Syria and Jordan; they massacred more than 2000 Egyptian soldiers and 300 Syrian villagers in the Golan Heights. More than 300,000 Palestinians were displaced, many fled to the Jordan River’s east bank, Lebanon, Egypt and Syria. The 1967 Arab-Israeli war started on June 5th when Israel launched a surprise attack against Egypt, Jordan and Syria. Egypt mobilized its military forces on the Israeli border as the war intensified. The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) launched attacks against Israeli targets while Israel forces raided Jordanian-controlled West Bank which resulted in a Syrian-Israeli Aerial battle. Syria and Israel exchanged artillery attacks on both sides. Within six days, Israel had won the war. Israeli forces had taken control of the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the West Bank, including East Jerusalem from Jordan. Syria had lost the Golan Heights.

Hollywood is a propaganda machine. But it is also fair to say there were several films that actually told the truth especially those directed and produced by Oliver Stone (Platoon and Born on the 4th of July) or Mel Gibson (Braveheart). Will Hollywood tell the truth of what actually happened during the Six-Day War in 1967? I highly doubt it. A website based on the film called www.jerusalem67.com states the events that lead to the war:

In May 1967, the city remained divided by walls and barbed wire fences. On May 14-15, 1967, Jerusalem hosted the annual Independence Day festivities. As the Israeli residents of Jerusalem celebrated the anniversary of their independence, they could hardly know that events were conspiring to bring a war that would completely transform their city, their country, and the Middle East. In weeks, the city of Jerusalem and the entire Middle East was completely transformed. What had been a two millennia old national yearning for Jews became a 20th century reality: a united city under Jewish control; the defining symbol of the rebirth of the Jewish people. Those who had celebrated Independence Day in divided Jerusalem walked to the Old City and stood at the Western Wall less than one month later. The walls and barbed wire were removed, but not without cost in human blood.

In the nearly half century since, the united city of Jerusalem has been transformed from a backwater into a beautiful and thriving metropolis. But it is only the city that was reunited, not its populations. Jerusalem would be seen as the heart of the Arab-Israel dispute, even as it would also become a city in which Jews and Arabs live alongside each other in relative tranquility

As the Times of Israel wrote:

Despite a few “smoky room” sequences with historical figures (Uzi Narkiss and Moshe Dayan atop Mount Scopus discussing Titus’ pledge to destroy the city will make an appearance, as will Rabbi Goren blowing his shofar) the film is very much told from the point of view of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. We’ll see the battle through the eyes of an ambulance driver/single mother and her love interest called up to the Jerusalem Brigade.

“These were people that when trouble broke walked to the base – they weren’t deployed overseas,” Schick points out. The backyard nature of the conflict calls to Schick’s mind a friend he had who went to Jenin in 2002. “He fought a brutal battle, saw many of his comrades killed or wounded, and was back at work two days later. Where else does that happen but Israel?”

Will there be the point of view from the Egyptians, Syrians or Palestinians who were involved in the war? It will be interesting to see how the film would depict the Arab population during that time.

“Shick and Septimus refute the notion that a project with even a whiff of Zionist sentiment will have trouble in the marketplace.

“The ‘elites’ in New York and Los Angeles consider Israel a controversial topic, but most of the rest of America supports Israel. Middle America who goes to church and doesn’t even know any Jews, they like Israel. Justin Timberlake was just as the Wall. Jay Leno was there. Claire Danes wrote a piece for the New York Times Magazine. The Rolling Stones are in town. Sure, there’s BDS, and Danny Glover doesn’t like Israel and neither does Mel Gibson – I guess the next ‘Lethal Weapon’ won’t shoot there.”

Based on the Times of Israel ‘Jerusalem 67’ seems like it will be a propaganda film. In a time when the Israeli government is on the verge of annexing more Palestinian territories and with Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu’s demanding that the Palestinian Authority recognize Israel as a “Jewish State”, ‘Jerusalem 67’ will attempt to gain more support for the state of Israel from the international community, especially in the US.

I don’t have any interest in making a propaganda film,” Septimus says. “The Yom Kippur War and Lebanon, and also the Entebbe Raid have been covered exhaustively. When you look back at the documents from the time, people were asking ‘who will make the Hollywood movie about this?’ and it never happened. It is similar to how in America no one touched Vietnam for years. People were afraid to touch it because of the legacy. But the legacy is the legacy – the story is still the story. Telling the story may make the legacy seem a little clearer

If Mr. Septimus is not interested in propaganda, then he should include various statements made by prominent Israeli officials over the years including what Mr. Mordecai Bentov, a member of the wartime national government had said about the war.  “The entire story of the danger of extermination was invented in every detail and exaggerated a posteriori to justify the annexation of new Arab territory” according to a 1971 report by Al-Hamishmar, an Israeli newspaper. Then you might have a movie worth watching.

US Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Powers, in Turkey and Jordan to Discuss Syria

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News – According to the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Powers will travel to Jordan and then Turkey to discuss a “range of issues, including the effects of the conflict in Syria.” The meetings are to take place starting on June 10th until the 14th. Powers is a war hawk and a supporter of the American Empire who has advocated for air strikes against the government of Bashar al-Assad in the past. Powers wrote an article for the New Republic that explains her stance, the title alone says it all ‘Force Full.’ She wrote:

These days, though, the best argument for marrying power and principle is that power exerted in a unilateralist, morally selective, ahistoric, unprincipled fashion is not simply harming foreigners; it is gravely undermining U.S. security. The terrorists will thrive in a sea of anti- Americanism. That sea will not be drained by adding another $46 billion to the U.S. defense budget. It will not be drained by training more Arabists in the U. S. government. Liberals and conservatives, hawks and doves alike, must see that American power can be a force for human rights around the world, and greater human rights enjoyment is an indispensible requirement for the preservation of U.S. power.

Embedding U.S. power in an international system and demonstrating humility would be painful, unnatural steps for any empire, never mind the most potent empire in the history of mankind. But more pain now will mean far less pain later

It is a bold statement made by Powers to admit that the US Empire is a force for good in the world. In a 2013 speech at the Center for American Progress, Powers explains to the audience why limited off-shore strikes against Syria were necessary. She said:

From 1992, when the Bosnian genocide started, til 1995, when President Clinton launched the air strikes that stopped the war, public opinion consistently opposed military action there. Even after we succeed in ending the war, and negotiating a peace settlement, the House of representatives, reflecting public opinion, voted against deploying American troops to a NATO peace-keeping mission.

There is no question that this deployment of American power saved lives and returns stability to a critical region of the world and a critical region for the United States.

We all have a choice to make, whether we are Republicans or Democrats, whether we have supported past military interventions or opposed to them, whether we have argued for or such action in Syria prior to this point

The Obama administration is re-launching a campaign to remove President Bashar al-Assad even though he won more than 88% of votes in recent elections which does legitimize his presidency. What will the US government attempt besides aiding the rebels with more military hardware? Will they attempt to launch limited air strikes into Syrian territory? Better yet, Will Turkey and Jordan follow Washington’s orders to destabilize Syria? The Turkish government has supported Syrian opposition groups who crossed into Syrian borders with US backing. Turkey also has a joint military-intelligence apparatus with Israel that gathers information on Syria. Turkey has also pressured Damascus to conform to Washington’s demands for regime change. Turkey and Jordan has given covert support to the Syrian rebels including the transfer of weapons across borders since the civil war began. Turkey and Jordan is subservient to Washington and Israel. Samantha Powers is planning the next step to remove the Assad government with the help of both Turkish and Jordanian governments. Powers or the Obama administration is not interested in preventing war or genocide of innocent civilians as Powers has claimed in the past, it really is about US imperial ambitions over the resource rich Middle East region.

The Results of the US “Spreading Democracy” in Iraq: Terrorism, Civil War and Joe...

Iraq’s not a perfect place. It has many challenges ahead. But we’re leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self reliant Iraq with a representative government that was elected by its people. We’re building a new partnership between our nations and we are ending a war not with a final battle but with a final march toward home. This is an extraordinary achievement

US President Barack H. Obama

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News – The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), an extreme fascist Islamic terrorist organization has taken control of Mosul and Tikrit and now they’re on their way to Bagdad. The Washington Post reported what had occurred in Iraq’s northern city of Mosul:

Death was everywhere in the sacked the city of Mosul, a strategically vital oil hub and Iraq’s largest northern city. One reporter said an Iraqi woman in Mosul claimed to have seen a “row of decapitated soldiers and policemen” on the street. Other reports spoke of “mass beheadings,” though The Washington Post was not able to confirm the tales. But the United Nations Human Rights chief, Navi Pillay, said the summary executions “may run into the hundreds” and that she was “extremely alarmed

Iraq is a monumental failure for US foreign policy. The US-led war to “spread democracy” and freedom to the people of Iraq under Operation Iraqi Freedom was a farce. The United States invaded Iraq in 2003 for two main reasons according to the Bush administration and Congress. First, they claimed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and delivery systems capable of striking the United States. Second, they publically lied to the world that Iraq had been involved in the 9/11 terror attacks with Al-Qaeda through its “credible” intelligence services. Both claims were completely fabricated. The Pentagon and CIA (although there were some members that did not agree with the assessment) knew that the case was being made for war and eventually went along with the Bush administration’s plan to invade Iraq. The US government wanted absolute control over the production and transport of oil for US markets and for the military-industrial complex war machine. The result is catastrophic. More than 1.4 million Iraqis, 4,800 US soldiers and 3,400 International occupation forces were killed. The total cost of the war exceeds $1.5 trillion.

The US exploited differences between Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds since Iraqi society was already deeply divided. These divisions were manipulated by coalition forces to subdue the population. Between 2006 and 2008, a sectarian conflict erupted which resulted in over 60,000 deaths most of them civilians. Now there is the threat of Iraq becoming even more divisive, one of them becoming an Islamic state based on Sharia law under the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Since the US invasion, Iraqi population has constantly witnessed terrorist attacks resulting in numerous deaths including women and children. Divisions between Sunni and Shite are even greater today than under Saddam Hussein.

US Vice-President Joe Biden wanted to systematically divide Iraq along ethnic-lines into three states. He wrote a New York Times opinion editorial in 2006 with Council of Foreign Relations member Leslie H. Gelb how the plan would work:

The idea, as in Bosnia, is to maintain a united Iraq by decentralizing it, giving each ethno-religious group — Kurd, Sunni Arab and Shiite Arab — room to run its own affairs, while leaving the central government in charge of common interests. We could drive this in place with irresistible sweeteners for the Sunnis to join in, a plan designed by the military for withdrawing and redeploying American forces, and a regional nonaggression pact

Well Biden’s wish is might be coming true. Iraq is becoming increasingly more divided and even more dangerous since the US withdrew its forces in 2011. Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish groups remain divided. Now with a situation involving al-Qaeda and its splinter groups such as ISIS forming their own organization whether Western-funded or not, the Iraqi government is losing control. According to the Agence France-Presse (AFP) the Syrian government is blaming the West and Saudi Arabia for its ties to ISIS:

Syrian state media on Thursday accused Saudi Arabia and the West of complicity with the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) that has captured swathes of Iraqi territory. Echoing claims often made by the regime and its supporters, state media said Saudi and other allies of the Syrian opposition were funding and arming jihadist groups like ISIS. “Terrorism is spreading in front of the eyes of the western world… and alongside it are the fingers of Saudi Arabia, providing money and arms,” the Al-Thawra daily wrote

Iraqi President Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki also believes that Saudi Arabia and Qatar has funded terrorist groups in Iraq according to a report by Patrick Cockburn of The Independent:

Iraq has long suspected the hidden hand of Wahhabism, the variant of Islam espoused by Saudi Arabia, as being behind many of its troubles. But it was only this month that Mr Maliki, in an interview with France 24 television, put the blame squarely on Saudi Arabia and Qatar, saying that “these two countries are primarily responsible for the sectarian, terrorist and security crisis in Iraq

The United States and the Gulf states of Saudi Arabia and Qatar support of ISIS seems accurate since Iraq has been divided along ethnic lines and the attempt to further destabilize Syria has been part of the US foreign policy. Cockburn says:

How much truth is there in Mr Maliki’s accusations? A proportion of aid from the Gulf destined for the armed opposition in Syria undoubtedly goes to Iraq. Turkey allows weapons and jihadist volunteers, many of them potential suicide bombers, to cross its 500 mile-long border into Syria and inevitably some of the guns, fighters and bombers will go to Iraq. This is hardly surprising given that Isis operates in both countries as if they were one

The Guardian reported on what Wikileaks cables had revealed Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s memo on Saudi Arabia’s involvement in financing terrorist organizations “Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest source of funds for Islamist militant groups such as the Afghan Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba – but the Saudi government is reluctant to stem the flow of money, according to Hillary Clinton”.

The BBC reported in 2013 that Al-Nusra and ISIS are the majority of foreign fighters in Syria:

According to a recent estimate by Aaron Zelin of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, there could be up to 11,000 of these fighters. It raises the questions of which groups they join, and what the relations between these groups are. By far the two most popular banners for these foreign fighters are al-Qaeda’s official Syrian affiliate, the al-Nusra Front, and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).

ISIS is the result of a unilateral attempt by the leader of Iraq’s al-Qaeda affiliate, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, to merge his group with al-Nusra. The move was rejected al-Nusra’s leader, Abu Mohammed al-Julani, and by al-Qaeda overall leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, but Baghdadi refused to disband ISIS

Who is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Leader of ISIS?

The leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, also known as Abu Dua. ISIS was created in Iraq after the Bush Administration’s orchestrated a US-led invasion. Who is al-Baghdadi? According to Patrick Cockburn, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS was a former prisoner in an American run facility called the Bocca Camp in Southern Iraq:

There are disputes over his career depending on whether the source is ISIS itself, US or Iraqi intelligence but the overall picture appears fairly clear. He was born in Samarra, a largely Sunni city north of Baghdad, in 1971 and is well educated. With black hair and brown eyes, a picture of al-Baghdadi taken when he was a prisoner of the Americans in Bocca Camp in southern Iraq between 2005 and 2009, makes him look like any Iraqi man in his thirties.

His real name is believed to be Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri al-Samarrai, who has degrees in Islamic Studies, including poetry, history and genealogy, from the Islamic University of Baghdad. He may have been an Islamic militant under Saddam as a preacher in Diyala province, to the north east of Baghdad, where, after the US invasion of 2003, he had his own armed group. Insurgent movements have a strong motive for giving out misleading information about their command structure and leadership, but it appears al-Baghdadi spent five years as prisoner of the Americans

The US has offered a $10 million reward for leads that can either capture or kill Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2011. That offer still stands. The US has destabilized Iraq, and now terrorist organizations threaten all nations across the Middle East, including Turkey, Israel, Lebanon, Iran and Syria. It is no coincidence that the Obama administration is taking advantage of Iraq’s situation. Last month, Obama gave a speech in a commencement ceremony at the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. It signified how Washington is planning to topple the Syrian government. He said:

A critical focus of this effort will be the ongoing crisis in Syria. As frustrating as it is, there are no easy answers there, no military solution that can eliminate the terrible suffering anytime soon. As president, I made a decision that we should not put American troops into the middle of this increasingly sectarian civil war, and I believe that is the right decision. But that does not mean we shouldn’t help the Syrian people stand up against a dictator who bombs and starves his own people. And in helping those who fight for the right of all Syrians to choose their own future, we are also pushing back against the growing number of extremists who find safe haven in the chaos.

So with the additional resources I’m announcing today, we will step up our efforts to support Syria’s neighbors — Jordan and Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq — as they contend with refugees and confront terrorists working across Syria’s borders. I will work with Congress to ramp up support for those in the Syrian opposition who offer the best alternative to terrorists and brutal dictators. And we will continue to coordinate with our friends and allies in Europe and the Arab World to push for a political resolution of this crisis and to make sure that those countries and not just the United States are contributing their fair share of support to the Syrian people

Syria is part of the US Imperial agenda. Now with ISIS expanding its base and launching attacks across Iraq creating an uncertain future for the war torn country, Syria will experience the same fate if President Bashar al-Assad is removed from power. The Syrian government and the people will prevent ISIS and Washington’s so called “moderate rebels” from destabilizing their country. ISIS, Al-Qaeda and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) are all Western backed terrorist groups seeking to gain power across the region. The consequence of the US invasion has destabilized Iraq with no hope of re-establishing itself as a united country as it once was under Saddam Hussein. The US, Turkey, Israel and the Gulf states are attempting to do the same to Syria by funding terrorist organizations in hopes of installing a puppet regime that will remain loyal to Western interests. Iraq is a failed state because of Western intervention, so why would they attempt the same policy towards Syria knowing what happened to Iraq? Do they believe this time would be successful? I certainly doubt it. But then again do they really want success? Or do they want to divide the region in order to control all sides?

                               

Is the “Common Core” Educational Standards Initiative Part of a Domestic Spy Program? The...

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News – In 2009, US President Barack Obama and the Secretary of Education Arne Duncan had announced the “Race to the Top” initiative to reform the American education system. But there is a lot more to know about the new education standards known as the ‘Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI).’ It is not about educating students for a better life or for a successful career, it sounds more like a domestic spy program. In a 2010, Arne Duncan gave a speech on Obama’s education agenda at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris and said:

The North Star guiding the alignment of our cradle-to-career education agenda is President Obama’s goal that, by the end of the decade, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world. That goal can only be achieved by creating a strong cradle-to-career continuum that starts with early childhood learning and extends all the way to college and careers 

It is bizarre just to think that the government may want to continue to monitor your progress after high school right through your first job or career.  What happens if you don’t get along with the manager? Will they send you to a re-education camp? Of course I am being sarcastic, but with Washington’s growing police state, who knows? The Department of Education (DOE) released in October 2012 an “Issue Brief” titled ‘Enhancing, Teaching and Learning through Educational Data Mining and Learning Analytics.’ The Educational data mining procedures were described as a program to track student’s progress through their behavioural patterns so that school officials can predict which career path they will most likely choose or if there is enough evidence to suggest that they were most likely to drop out of school. The Issue Brief clearly states how data mining technology would operate:

A student learning database (or other big data repository) stores time-stamped student input and behaviors captured as students work within the system” and “A predictive model combines demographic data (from an external student information system) and learning/behavior data from the student learning database to track a student’s progress and make predictions about his or her future behaviors or performance, such as future course outcomes and dropouts

The US Department of Education’s Common Core standards does raise an important question. Why does the federal government want student’s personal information in order to achieve educational success? The DOE’s “Issue Brief” also stated how predictions must be proven. If they cannot prove that their assessment is correct, then they may collect even more data on the student’s behalf if necessary:

Policymakers bear an ethical responsibility to investigate the validity of any predictive model that is used to make consequential decisions about students. Policymakers must be able to explain the evidence for predictions and the actions taken by the computer system on the basis of learning analytics. Analysts conducting data mining may discover patterns or associations that were previously unknown and that involve sensitive information (e.g., teacher performance or student’s family situation), and validating them with external observations and further data collection will be needed

The 2009 Stimulus bill included the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF) which offered governors bailout money for state educational purposes such as the ‘Race to the Top’ program. Competitive grants were offered as an incentive for states to accept Common Core standards for their schools.  To be eligible, states had to adopt standards and assessment procedures provided by the DOE to prepare students for success in college and in their chosen careers after they graduate from high school. It requires states to build student databases such as the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) to track over “400 data points” including behavior, disciplinary history, family problems, interests and other personal information. Data will then be given to the “Smarter Balanced consortium” which is a state-led consortium working in collaboration with educators, researchers, policymakers, community groups and government bureaucrats to develop assessments that measures student progress toward college and their chosen careers. It is part of the national testing standards that sends completed assessments to the Department of Education so that they can share data with public and private interests.  One particular area concerning the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund’s recommendation is to establish a student data system starting from pre-K. Then States would be eligible to receive funds if they followed the basic requirements:

As part of its application for initial funding, the state must assure that it will take actions to: (a) increase teacher effectiveness and address inequities in the distribution of highly qualified teachers; (b) establish and use pre-K-through-college and career data systems to track progress and foster continuous improvement; (c) make progress toward rigorous college- and career-ready standards and high-quality assessments; and (d) support targeted, intensive support and effective interventions to turn around schools identified for corrective action and restructuring

The standards focus on concepts and procedures of certain areas of concentration for example, English or math. However, each standard is labeled with an alphanumeric code for identification purposes, which is then used to identify which standards are successfully met by the lessons taught to the student. By using a coding system it allows them to track which standards were applied to the student whether in the classroom or through online learning (where third party apps can also keep a record). It can also track how much time was spent on each standard.

Who is behind “Common Core”? 

Common Core Standards was supported and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Pearson Publishing Company, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, several Governors and school officials from various states. It is also funded by Rupert Murdock’s News Corp called ‘Amplify Education.’ In 2012, Bob Corcoran of General Electric donated more than $33 million to the Common Core project. In 2013, Reuters reported who funded the $100 million project in an article titled ‘K-12 student database jazzes tech startups, spooks parents’:

The database is a joint project of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which provided most of the funding, the Carnegie Corporation of New York and school officials from several states. Amplify Education, a division of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, built the infrastructure over the past 18 months. When it was ready, the Gates Foundation turned the database over to a newly created nonprofit, inBloom Inc, which will run it.

States and school districts can choose whether they want to input their student records into the system; the service is free for now, though inBloom officials say they will likely start to charge fees in 2015. So far, seven states – Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Massachusetts – have committed to enter data from select school districts. Louisiana and New York will be entering nearly all student records statewide

The article also stated how the database would operate on a local and federal level:

But the most influential new product may be the least flashy: a $100 million database built to chart the academic paths of public school students from kindergarten through high school. In operation just three months, the database already holds files on millions of children identified by name, address and sometimes social security number. Learning disabilities are documented, test scores recorded, attendance noted. In some cases, the database tracks student hobbies, career goals, attitudes toward school – even homework completion.

Local education officials retain legal control over their students’ information. But federal law allows them to share files in their portion of the database with private companies selling educational products and services

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and their ‘inBloom’ database were one of the data mining programs associated with Common Core. But it has recently failed because New York state legislature forced its state education bureaucrats to shut down the Gates-funded project amid growing opposition of parents and privacy advocates. It was designed to collect student data and store the information in a cloud service and make it available to commercial vendors and apps so that teachers can eventually track student’s progress. Bill Gates and his project has failed and that is only one battle both parents and privacy advocates has won and that is a good start. But it is only one battle, with many more to come. Although the Bill Gates project inBloom has failed, the DOE will still manage to track students.

Collecting Data from “Pre-K through workforce”

Common Core standards require an invasion of privacy in order to educate students, but it comes at a cost. It should concern both students and their families. Will Estrada, director of federal relations for the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) told World Net Daily what common core’s data collection is capable of achieving once it is fully implemented. He said “It’s their likes and dislikes, grade-point average all the way through school, their home situation, health questions,” he said. “It’s an incredibly invasive collection of information that they are trying to collect in what they call P-20, or pre-K through workforce.”

Private interests in Washington decided back in 2007 to move full force in an attempt to nationalize educational standards and curriculums, which started the early development of the Common Core project. After the stimulus bill was signed in 2009, the DOE’s “Race to the Top” program was born.  The DOE made ‘Race to the Top’ grants competitive so that states would jump aboard rapidly and agree to implement Common Core standards that would be aligned with mandatory national tests. Most US states adopted Common Core for federal money without any approval or votes from legislators’ and without public knowledge.  Parents and communities were not even aware that their states and their elected representatives had adopted Common Core in the first place.  Besides data collection, the education Common Core provides is based on rigorous test taking procedures and memorization. Parents in Brooklyn, New York pulled their children in protest against the standardized tests saying that it brought unnecessary stress onto their children.

Washington’s goal is for Common Core to be implemented in every state by 2015. So far 44 states adopted Common Core standards although it has been an uphill battle for Washington’s education plan, especially when it comes to privacy concerns regarding students’ personal data. With a majority of states adopting Common Core Standards, it seems that there is an uphill battle for the growing anti-common core movement as well. Will parents, privacy advocates and even teachers who oppose Common Core continue the battle well into the future? I believe they will, especially when it involves their children’s education. What is the real agenda behind Common Core? Does collecting personal data so that bureaucrats can analyze your progress over a period of time improve your chances of getting a better education and a career?  After all, they can barely create any new jobs for recent college graduates, yet Secretary Duncan says the US will have the “highest proportion of college graduates” in the world. With NSA revelations spying on the entire planet, it would not surprise me that the Department of Education is setting the stage for a domestic spy program on a personal level.

Chaos in Libya: How the US-NATO War Destabilized North Africa and Now Threatens Europe

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News – Libya has been steadily deteriorating politically and economically since the US-NATO invasion of 2011. The South African based News24 reported that a battle had erupted between rebel forces that ousted President Muammar Gaddafi and Islamist militants in the eastern city of Benghazi. Khalifa Haftar (who helped the West remove Gaddafi) and his ‘National Army’ were seeking to “Purge” Libya of suspected terrorists. There were witnesses and even a reporter from the Agence-France Presse (AFP) who actually saw what happened at the scene. “The witnesses said a group led by Khalifa Haftar, a former rebel chief in the 2011 uprising that toppled Muammar Gaddafi, was backed by warplanes that pounded a barracks occupied by the Islamist “February 17 Brigade” militia” the report said. “Militiamen responded by opening up with anti-aircraft fire.” Both groups also battled in the Sidi Fradj area in the south of Benghazi. According to News24 “Haftar’s group calls itself the “National Army” and a spokesperson for the force, Mohammed Al-Hijazi, told a local broadcaster it has launched “a large-scale operation to flush terrorist groups out of Benghazi”. Interestingly, the Chief of Staff of the army Abdessalem Jadallah al-Salihin “denied the force was involved in clashes in Benghazi.” So who does Khalifa Haftar represent? “In a statement on national television, Salihin called on “the army and revolutionaries to oppose any armed group that tries to control Benghazi by force of arms”. It confirms that Libya is in a chaotic situation. Many former soldiers have joined the ‘National Army’ after constant attacks by various militias and elements of Al-Qaeda since the US-NATO invasion had ended.

The Libyan government currently in power has seen constant violence against its security forces, government officials and even foreigners since the Obama administration ordered “regime change” in the North African country. The intervention in Libya began when President Obama declared “Today I authorized the Armed Forces of the United States to begin a limited military action in Libya in support of an international effort to protect Libyan civilians” and “In this effort, the United States is acting with a broad coalition that is committed to enforcing United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, which calls for the protection of the Libyan people.” The Libyan people have been the victims of Western Imperial powers that sought control over oil supplies and other resources.

The European Union should also be concerned that terrorists can launch attacks against its member states as former Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan had warned last month in a report by Al Arabiya News. He said “Libya is in danger of becoming an Al-Qaeda terror base for attacks targeting European countries like Britain and France” he also said that “Libya could be a base for Al-Qaeda for any operation to Italy, to Britain, to France, to Spain, to Morocco, to everywhere. Weapons are everywhere, ammunition is everywhere.” What would happen if a terrorist attack did occur on European territory, especially when its economy is in decline? With austerity measures imposed on millions of working class people all across Europe, a terrorist attack by al-Qaeda or its affiliates would allow European governments to clamp down on anti-austerity protests in the name of fighting terror. It would be a convenient excuse to do so. Let’s hope it does not go that far.

Reuters also reported that the Pentagon has relocated 200 Marines from Spain to Sicily in case the situation spirals out of control. Reuters stated the Pentagon’s main concern is over the security of its US embassies, but the Libyan government might lose control of its oilfields if the civil war intensifies:

The Pentagon declined to single out any countries but two U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said American concerns were centered squarely on Libya, where armed groups and Islamists refused to disarm after the 2011 ouster of Muammar Gaddafi.” The report also said that “The Marines are part of a crisis response unit focused on embassy security created after the attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012, which killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans

Pentagon spokesman, Colonel Steve Warren said that the Marines can handle other missions besides providing security for US personal as Reuters explained “Warren stressed that while the Marines were “unquestionably” focused on the protection of embassies, he did not rule out the possibility they could be called upon for a different mission.” Libya’s civil war has not helped the economy increase oil production due to its relentless infighting between terrorist groups and tribal militias. Libya is one of the main oil exporters to Europe. If the situation worsens, then the US Marines would be ordered to protect the oilfields at any cost. Reuters also released a report on Libya’s oil supply and how the government attempted to increase oil production when it negotiated a deal with protesters:

Libya’s El Feel oilfield has been shut again by protests and the OPEC producer’s El Sharara field remains closed, bringing national oil output down to about 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) – far from the 1.4 million bpd pumped last year. On Monday, the government said it was bringing western oilfields and pipelines back up after reaching a deal with protesters, and output had slowly clawed back to around 300,000 bpd

Rising tensions between the Libyan government, terrorist organizations and local militias has Washington, Brussels and multinational oil corporations concerned. If the Libyan government were to lose control of the oilfields, it would disrupt the EU’s oil supply and raise prices at the pump. The US and EU’s decision to remove Muammar Gaddafi has created a terrorist haven in North Africa. However, Brussels is under Washington’s orders, so NATO forces invaded Libya and imposed a new government even though European bureaucrats knew about the political and economic consequences it might have in the future. Since the US-NATO alliance defeated Libyan forces and replaced Gaddafi with the National Transitional Council of Libya, they secured oil exports for Western markets at least for a short period of time. Now internal conflicts for power and economic control are becoming more intense as former rebels and various terrorist groups from Syria and Iraq enter Libya with their own agendas. It creates a dangerous scenario as terrorist organizations expand their operations to other areas of Africa and even possibly Europe.

Brussels obviously knew that there would be consequences of a “humanitarian intervention” in Libya when they collaborated with Washington. They knew how Europe would be affected in the foreseeable future, it was predictable. But they saw political and economic opportunities by removing Gaddafi from power. It is also important to understand that the US and its European partners were also concerned with Gaddafi’s plan to launch the gold dinar as a single African currency, a clear threat against the dollar and euro hegemony on the African continent. Brussels may be just following orders, after all Washington was instrumental in the creation of NATO in the first place. Either way, the people on both sides of the Mediterranean Sea will suffer at the expense of Western Imperialism and their reckless foreign policies.

Are Biotech Corporations Promoting ‘Genetically Modified Marijuana’ in Uruguay?

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News – The first country to defy the ‘War on Drugs’ by legalizing marijuana is Uruguay. It was described as a revolutionary act against the prohibition of a plant that is used by millions worldwide under the former Marxist guerilla and political prisoner who is now the President of Uruguay Jose Mujica. Seems like the Mujica government is allowing Monsanto, Syngenta and Dupont among others to operate in Uruguay and harvest marijuana through their GMO-based seeds.  Details of how the new marijuana laws will operate by monitoring the population through a database that would collect fingerprints and other parts of your body to assure you are using government controlled “Genetically Modified Marijuana”.

Last December the Associated Press reported on Uruguay’s decision to move forward to experiment on legalized marijuana to undermine illegal drug trafficking and crime in an article titled ‘From Seed to Smoke, Uruguay Testing Legalized Pot.’ The report stated what the Mujica government’s intentions were concerning the legalization of marijuana:

President Jose Mujica’s goal is to drive drug traffickers out of the dope business and reduce consumption by creating a safe, legal and transparent environment in which the state closely monitors every aspect of marijuana use, from seed to smoke. That means designing and maintaining an industry that is small, contained and profitable. Congress only approved Mujica’s grand “experiment” in broad strokes.  

The fine print must strike a delicate balance on issues including what strength to allow for marijuana, what price to charge, who can farm it, how to crack down on illegal growers, how to persuade users to buy from the state instead of a dealer, and how to monitor use without being seen as Big Brother. If the rules are too lenient, or too strict, the whole project could fail

The report also quoted Uruguayan Senator Lucia Topolansk (President Mujica’s wife) when she said that “the state would provide cloned seeds whose plants can be traced.” It should not surprise anyone, especially those who understand what corporations such as Monsanto are trying to achieve on a global scale. Mainstream media outlet CNBC reported in 2010 that “most large agribusiness producers and distributors wouldn’t comment on any marijuana cultivation plans while it’s still largely illegal.” Now, Uruguay is fair game since they passed legislation to legalize marijuana. Although they did say that “seed and agri-chemical maker Monsanto isn’t focused on it, says spokesman Darren Wallis, adding that even if that changed tomorrow, development of a mass-scale crop takes time.” Yes, it does take time to produce. CNBC also did say that “other big food and agricultural firms would not comment, saying the proposition was too hypothetical or inappropriate given the largely illegal current status of the drug.” Well, it is not hypothetical anymore since Uruguay passed laws to legalize marijuana cultivation and use. It is now a reality for biotech corporations to move forward with genetic manipulation of the crop because now they have an incentive to dominate the marijuana industry starting with Uruguay.  An interesting analysis by www.cannabisculture.com titled ‘Manipulating Marijuana: Monsanto and Syngenta Invest in RNA Interference Technology’ by Tracy Giesz-Ramsay on Monsanto and Syngenta’s investments in RNA Interference (RNAi) technology and what it means for the production of Marijuana in the future. Giesz-Ramsey wrote the following:

Having been cultivated and used ceremonially, recreationally and medicinally for thousands of years, cannabis – despite prohibitive laws surrounding the non-medicinal use of the plant – is undoubtedly on the radar of big agribusiness.

These companies would certainly turn a profit from developing a patentable transgenic seed for sole distribution if the use of cannabis were to become legal. It would be easy for these companies to create a monopoly over the industry by abusing their ties with federal regulators. This has all been a point of much debate within the cannabis community for many years. 

With this in mind, it’s fair to say that one of the only positives of marijuana prohibition, with the art of breeding, growing and distributing cannabis heavily underground for most of its commercial history, the Big 6 seed and chemical companies have not been able to dominate the industry with their patented technologies. 

The trouble: things may change soon. Monsanto, Syngenta, BASF, Bayer, Dow and DuPont have, until recently, largely focused their energy on monopolizing the food industry, but some have developed a keen interest in this still-illegal plant as well. 

The biggest concern with cannabis and GM control now remains. While they gain a monopoly over medical marijuana, the challenge of governments who continue to wage the ostensible “War on Drugs” is being taken on by some of the Big 6. Monsanto and Syngenta are currently investing millions of dollars into a new GM technology called RNA interference. 

RNAi, as it’s also known, is a method where the RNA – which is the code from a plant or animal’s DNA that tells its proteins how to organize in order to create, say, what colour the plant will be – is interfered with. In RNAi, double-stranded RNA is inserted so that this original code is obstructed; so that the pigmentation instructions don’t make it to the proteins 

As we already know about Monsanto’s GMO seeds, they are genetically modified plants that are resistant to chemical herbicides such as “Round-Up.” The herbicides kill other plants, allowing genetically altered plants to resist the herbicide and be planted closer together than traditional crops normally used by farmers. It apparently allows farmers to gain more from crop production on their farmland than ever before. The seeds are known as “Round-Up Ready.” Farmers are required to purchase the GMO-laced seeds every season once they agree to use the product. Uruguay is falling into a danger zone when it comes to planting GMO seeds in the agricultural-rich country. It can affect natural food crops in the long-run as Monsanto and other agri-businesses would eventually expand into other areas of food production.

With Uruguay’s decision to allow multi-national biotech corporations to operate on its lands, it also opens the door to a police state monitoring its citizens who will use “cloned” marijuana as reported by RT news earlier this month in a report titled “Uruguay rolls out marijuana legal sale details.” It described Uruguay’s methods:

Police will be able to carry out on-the-spot checks to make sure drivers are not under the influence while behind the wheel. Companies and trade unions will also be permitted to carry out random checks to make sure employees are not stoned, particularly while undergoing risky or dangerous work.

The strains of the drug will also be limited to five, which will be allowed a maximum THC level of 15 percent. Each bag of marijuana will be barcoded and radio-frequency tagged, which will allow authorities to determine its origin and legality.

People who buy pot in pharmacies will be identified by fingerprint readers to preserve their anonymity, but their consumption of the drug will be tracked on a government database.

This will allow police to test for illegal weed when they come across it, and arrest anyone possessing marijuana without the proper tracers

Uruguay’s control over all facets of the new marijuana industry with a national database does seem “Orwellian” as it borders on fascism for the fear that legalizing marijuana can lead to higher drug use among the population.  It is understandable, but imposing a police state to control drug-use and crime is not an answer to the war on drugs.  However, not collecting taxes on marijuana is a good start.  Uruguay has also approved a law that will exempt marijuana producers and sales of the crop from taxes that would undermine marijuana illegally imported from other countries such as Paraguay. Reuters reported on Uruguay’s tax policy regarding the issue of legalized marijuana when it said that “The principal objective is not tax collection. Everything has to be geared toward undercutting the black market,” said Felix Abadi, a contractor who is developing Uruguay’s marijuana tax structure. “So we have to make sure the price is low.” Which is true in a sense, since a high risk of incarceration increases the price of marijuana. Uruguay’s new law will also issue licenses to farmers to produce cannabis according to Reuters “Uruguay will auction up to six licenses to produce cannabis legally in the next weeks. The government is also considering growing marijuana on a plot of land controlled by the military to avoid illegal trafficking of the crop.”

Mujica met with US President Barack Obama earlier this month after his government released the details of the new marijuana law to discuss stronger relations between both countries. Obama welcomed President Mujica when he said:

President Mujica personally has extraordinary credibility when it comes to issues of democracy and human rights given his strong values and personal history, and is a leader on these issues throughout the hemisphere. And we share an interest in strengthening further the people-to-people bonds between our two countries, particularly around the issues of science, technology and education

Uruguayan President Mujica’s response:

We have been looking toward everywhere, but towards ourselves a bit also. And from the humbleness of my little Uruguay, my people, who are there amongst an enormous area of fertile and much water, come here to seek out knowledge and research in all groups of the biological sciences, particularly in land that require local research, because the continent must produce much food for the world. And besides, this is the most advanced country in the world for biological sciences, but we don’t want to merely send students out because they get married — and the American corporations pay more money, so we lose these qualified people. We have to bring teachers so then can come, but we need to make arrangements so that they can continue to contribute to Social Security here. Wisdom must be looked for there where it is

President Mujica has called for ‘normalized relations’ between Cuba and the US to end the embargo and has supported South American leaders such as Bolivian President Evo Morales during the time when the US and EU forced Morales’s plane to land in Vienna to search for NSA whistle blower Edward Snowden.  “We are not colonies any more,” Uruguay’s president, Jose Mujica, said. “We deserve respect, and when one of our governments is insulted we feel the insult throughout Latin America” according to the Guardian.  In many ways President Mujica is a revolutionary against Western imperialism.  But allowing GMO crops in Uruguay is a step in the wrong direction although he probably does believe that allowing GMO’s would actually feed the world.  Maybe he is misinformed, which I do believe is the case, after all he believes that smoking marijuana is an “addiction.”   However, I do believe he does mean well.   President Mujica should reconsider using any form of Genetic Modified crops that is dangerous to humans no matter what he thinks about marijuana use.  Hopefully he will create a committee to re-evaluate proven research on the effects of GMO’s.  Biotech Corporations just want to exploit Uruguay’s lands as an experiment.  Let’s hope the Mujica government will make a U-turn away from corporate dominance.       

“Greater Israel” and The “Disappearance” of Palestine: Israel is Considering the Annexation of the...

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu says that Israel can possibly annex West Bank territories because he has the support from both sides of the political spectrum, if the Peace Process had failed. He also denied any plans of “unilateral territorial withdrawals” from the West Bank. According to the Jerusalem Post, Natanyahu was interviewed by Bloomberg View and said “The idea of taking unilateral steps is gaining ground, from the center-left to the center-right.” Last December, Arutz Sheva, an Israeli-based news network reported that economics minister Naftali Bennett had proposed that Israel could annex key areas of the West Bank which includes Judea in the Southern West Bank and Samaria located in the northern West Bank (both biblical names given by Israeli’s to justify their claims on the West Bank based on religious grounds) which are dominated by Jews and place them under the control of Israeli Defense Forces. Bennett said “I favor implementation of Israeli sovereignty over the zone where 400,000 Jews live and only 70,000 Arabs.” Since “only 70,000 Arabs” live in both Judea and Samaria, then maybe the Israeli government can exile them to other Arab nations and at the same time, create a refugee crisis. The Israeli government’s idea to annex certain areas of the West Bank because there is a Jewish population already living there is absurd. The Jerusalem Post article reported what Natanyahu had said in regards to a “unilateral withdrawal” in what he described as a left-wing idea to appease the Palestinian Authorities:

Many Israelis are asking themselves if there are certain unilateral steps that could theoretically make sense,” he added. But Netanyahu appeared to dismissed left-wing ideas of territorial withdrawal from portions of the West Bank as one possible unilateral option.

He explained that Israel’s 2005 disengagement from Gaza, a unilateral plan designed to rescue a frozen peace process, had strengthened terrorist groups bent on destroying Israel and had failed to bring peace. “People also recognize that the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza didn’t improve the situation or advance peace — it created Hamastan, from which thousands of rockets have been fired at our cities,” Netanyahu said

The Prime Minister also spoke about the two-state solution and Iran’s relationship with the Palestinians when he said “The first point of consensus is that we don’t want a binational state. Another point of consensus is that we don’t want an Iranian proxy in territories we vacate.” Natanyahu is clear that they do not want a two-state solution because they only want a Jewish state to exist, nor do they want to withdraw from West Bank territories because of the so-called “Iranian threat” to Israel.  Natanyahu also said that “We want a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the nation-state of the Jews. How do you get that if you can’t get it through negotiations? “The Palestinians don’t agree to recognizing Israel as the Jewish nation-state, and it’s not clear to me that they’ll agree to elements of demilitarization that are required in any conceivable plan that works.” So far, there has been no success with the Israeli-Palestinian peace process since the Palestinians have made it clear on their decision not to recognize Israel as a “Jewish state”. Doing so would be admitting that their presence in Palestine has been illegitimate, therefore it would be conceding to Israel’s demands. It will also designate Jews with the right to be in Palestine. As for the Palestinians themselves, they would need permission of the “Jewish state” to live in Palestine since they do not have an innate right to do so. It would be a political disaster for the Palestinians if they agreed to such demands. It is a major condition that comes with risks if a Jewish state were to be imposed on the Palestinians. Natanyahu believes that the conditions should be considered to move forward on peace, but the Palestinians would not negotiate on Israel’s terms. He said that “The minimal set of conditions that any Israeli government would need cannot be met by the Palestinians.” The Natanyahu Government was also not happy when the Palestinian Authority decided to form a unity government including Hamas to negotiate with Israel. Natanyahu said:

No matter what the spin is about blaming Israel, do we actually expect Abbas, who seems to be embracing Hamas, to give a negotiated deal? In all likelihood, no. I hope he does, but I’m not sure he’s going to do it,” Natanyahu continued “There is an emerging consensus that we don’t have a partner who can challenge constituencies, do something unpopular, do something that is difficult. Abbas has not done anything to challenge the prevailing Palestinian consensus. In fact, he’s doing the opposite: the Hamas reconciliation, internationalizing the conflict, not giving one iota on the right of return, not giving an iota on the Jewish state. He wouldn’t deal with Kerry’s framework

According to Israel Shahak’s article, “Greater Israel”: The Zionist Plan for the Middle East”, he explains what Israel’s main objective is by expanding further into Palestinian territories and other areas of the Middle East:

The Zionist project supports the Jewish settlement movement. More broadly it involves a policy of excluding Palestinians from Palestine leading to the eventual annexation of both the West Bank and Gaza to the State of Israel.

Greater Israel would create a number of proxy States. It would include parts of Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, the Sinai, as well as parts of Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

Here is a map of Israel’s expansion into Palestine since 1946:

Palestine is slowly disappearing. Annexation by the Israeli government would result in an international backlash and a public relations disaster. It can also start a new conflict if Israel were to annex more land in the West Bank. In an opinion piece written by Gershon Baskin for the Jerusalem Post described what the consequences would be if Israel were to annex certain areas of the West Bank:

Not only will annexation of the territories bring on the wrath of the whole world, the Palestinians will never give up their nationalism and if they have no political avenue to wage their struggle in the world, they will use violence against Israel, and we will certainly feel the pain of their wrath

Israel’s intention of acquiring more land through force would not improve relations with the Palestinians or their Arab neighbors, and it certainly would not bring any peace in the foreseeable future.

John Kerry says Africa has “Natural Resources”, Therefore the US is a “Natural Partner”

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News – US Secretary of State John Kerry declared that the US is interested in Africa’s natural resources. Kerry said that the US and the continent of Africa are “Natural Partners” because of its abundant resources and their “know-how for economic development”. The Associated Press reported what Kerry said to members of the Addis Ababa diplomatic corps and the Young Africa leader network following his visit to Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. He said:

Africa has the natural resources, capacity and the know-how for economic development, Kerry said, adding that the U.S. is the continent’s “natural partner.” He said that over the next three years, 37 of the 54 African nations will hold national elections with millions of voters going to the polls. And he called on Africans to combat the political corruption that the African Union says has cost the people of Africa tens of billions of dollars

The report said that “U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry highlighted crises in Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and the Central African Republic and urged Africans to demand stability and financial development.” Well obviously it does not include a handful of dictatorships Washington has supported over the years including Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea in West Africa. He is also known as “the country’s God” according to a report conducted by BBC in 2003. The state-controlled radio program had announced to the public that “He can decide to kill without anyone calling him to account and without going to hell because it is God himself, with whom he is in permanent contact, and who gives him this strength,” a presidential aide announced on the show” according to the report. Obiang is a staunch US ally and Africa’s longest ruling dictator since 1979 after he executed his uncle, Francisco Macías Nguema. Obiang was actually trained in Spain under the fascist leadership of Francisco Franco. Equatorial Guinea’s oil exports and corruption has made the Obiang family one of the wealthiest families on the African continent. In 2008, the US Department of State’s own human rights report stated the following concerning Equatorial Guinea:

limited ability of citizens to change their government; increased reports of unlawful killings by security forces; government-sanctioned kidnappings; systematic torture of prisoners and detainees by security forces; life threatening conditions in prisons and detention facilities; impunity; arbitrary arrest, detention, and incommunicado detention; harassment and deportation of foreign residents with limited due process; judicial corruption and lack of due process; restrictions on the right to privacy; restrictions on freedom of speech and of the press; restrictions on the rights of assembly, association, and movement; government corruption; violence and discrimination against women; suspected trafficking in persons; discrimination against ethnic minorities; and restrictions on labor rights

Equatorial Guinea is an example. It has natural resources and a government that is friendly to Washington and its corporate interests. The speech made by Kerry mentioned countries that lacked security and democratic values for its people as he said that the US was “ready to help increase its ties with Africa, but nations across the continent need to take stronger steps to ensure security and democracy for its people”. He did not mention Equatorial Guinea, Uganda, Rwanda or Ethiopia. All are whom supported by Washington. “And he called on Africans to combat the political corruption that the African Union says has cost the people of Africa tens of billions of dollars” According to the AP report. Kerry also said “That money could build new schools and hospitals, new roads and bridges, new pipes and power lines. That’s why it’s a responsibility for citizens in Africa and in all nations to demand that public money is providing services for all, not lining the pockets of a few” Just like President Teodoro Obiang. It is no secret that Africa has an enormous amount of resources including oil, copper, gold and silver. The United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) is expanding its presence in Africa to counter not only China, but Brazil, India and Russia. According to a document published by AFRICOM during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing with General David M. Rodriquez on March 6th 2014, confirmed Washington’s strategy concerning Africa:

Africa is increasingly important for our European allies, who are directly affected by the rising economic and political influence of some African countries, as well as the symptoms of instability emanating from other countries. Many European Allies view Africa as the source of their greatest external security threats, including terrorism, illegal immigration, human smuggling and trafficking, and drugs and arms trafficking. Our support to allies in addressing mutual security challenges in Africa may influence their willingness and ability to help shoulder the burden in future conflicts in other areas in the world. The African continents energy and strategic mineral reserves are also of growing significance to China, India, and other countries in the broader Indian Ocean basin. Africa’s increasing importance to allies and emerging powers, including China, India and Brazil, provides opportunities to reinforce U.S. security objectives in other regions through our engagement on the continent. While most African countries prefer to partner with the United States across all sectors, many will partner with any country that can increase their security and prosperity. We should be deliberate in determining where we leave gaps others may fill

Africa is Washington’s next colonial project. Expanding AFRICOM and more drone bases will be the norm. Will Africa’s leadership allow Washington and it European partners (who colonized Africa for centuries) to dominate their continent? That is a hard question to answer, especially when leaders such as Equatorial Guinea’s Obiang who became wealthy at the expense of his people.

Calle 13 “Multi Viral” Video Album: Politics, Media Manipulation and Palestine

We feel the need to help achieve change in the music industry, a favourable change, that is. Artists must remain in control to the extent that this is possible”

René Perez, Lead Singer and Composer of Calle 13

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News - Puerto Rico’s Calle 13 Collaborated on a new album with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine (RATM) and Palestinian Singer Kamilya Jubran. Other tracks on the album feature author of Open Veins of Latin America, Eduardo Galeano. The album called ‘Multi_Viral’ against news manipulation and political repression is to be released this coming March. It is political and indeed very interesting. It is a new generation of protest music that will grab worldwide attention. According to an online magazine www.venuemagazine.com:

Multi_Viral is Calle 13’s first album under their own record label, El Abismo (The Abyss), allowing them to have more creative and artistic freedom than ever before. “An artist should have control over their art in every way possible”, says René, vocalist and songwriter of the band. It’s this state-of-mind that has set Calle 13 apart from the reggaeton genre pushing boundaries with satirical lyrics and social commentary about Latin American issues and culture

Julian Assange, the editor-in-chief and founder of WikiLeaks, a non-profit news organization that gained worldwide attention when they released 250,000 US classified documents to several news outlets which exposed the U.S. government’s global agenda. Julian Assange is currently residing in an Ecuadorian embassy in London, England after Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa granted him Diplomatic Asylum. Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine (RATM), An American rock band known for their political views, critical of the US government’s policies which reflect in their music. It also features Kamilya Jubran who is a Palestinian singer born in Akka, within the State of Israel. Kamilya was Sabreen’s lead song performer, and player of several oriental instruments including the Oud and the Qanoon among others. In her official website it says “From 1982 to 2002, Kamilya along with Sabreen represented the voice of resistance; struggle for freedom, and a deep and dynamic artistic-political process that created a new style of a modern Arabic song.”

The Buenos Aires Herald wrote a story called ‘Calle 13 multi-viral trend’ and said that “Calle 13 will then take its vigorous message through the Caribbean, the US, Europe, Asia, Australia and Canada. Highlighting its true commitment to social and political issues, band members René Pérez and stepbrother Eduardo Cabra go by the most telling nicknames of “Resident” and “Visitor” respectively.” Calle 13 is releasing a new album that exposes the mainstream media. “After seven years on the road and releasing no albums with new material, Calle 13’s Multi-viral was published under its own label, El Abismo. In keeping with its spirit, Multi-viral was cowritten by René Pérez and Julian Assange to address the manipulation of information in the media” the report said. The Associated Press reported on December 2013 on Rene Perez’s comments on Palestine’s political situation in comparison to Puerto Rico ‘Calle 13 singer says Palestinians like Puerto Rico.’ It said:

Speaking to the Associated Press in Bethlehem, where he is shooting the band’s latest music video, Rene Perez said Puerto Ricans were linked to Palestinians “because we are a colony of the United States. Here you have the situation with Israel.

Perez, also known as Residente, added that Puerto Rico and the Palestinians both have “cosmetic” governments. “Here most people want to be free, they fight for their country,” he said in the West Bank city, the traditional birthplace of Jesus. “It would be good to start building bridges between Palestine and Puerto Rico

The Associated Press also reported that Calle 13 is anti-establishment:

Perez, who performs along with his step-brother Eduardo Cabra, has emerged as a leading antiestablishment rapper and is a strong supporter of the Puerto Rican independence movement. Calle 13 has a long history of lacing social messages over bass-thumping beats

Perez said he chose to come to the Palestinian territories to shoot the majority of the band’s latest video, “Multi Viral.” He said the song is about manipulation of the media and how it distorts information. He said he worked on the song with Tom Morello, a former guitarist with Rage Against the Machine, and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. 

“I think music never stops being music. It always keeps being music and the message can be social, political, anything,” Perez said.

Recently the New York Times published an article about Calle 13’s new album ‘Still Rebels, Even as Maturity Looms’:

Multi_Viral,” Calle 13’s fifth album, is the work of a duo reckoning with both its global perspective and its contentious artistic impulses, determined to maintain a rebellious spirit even as maturity looms. Mr. Pérez described his new lyrics as “more existential” than previous Calle 13 efforts.

“Suddenly I’ve started to be more aware, or worried, about living and dying,” Mr. Pérez, 36, said. “I thought, maybe I can do something bigger than politics”

It is much bigger than politics; in fact it is about exposing what the media conveys to the public as truth. It also exposes other Global issues the world is facing.

Multi-viral music video is in Spanish, English and Arabic.

On the Brink of Another War? Israel To Hold Lebanon’s Government “Responsible” if Hezbollah...

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News – Israel has warned the Lebanese government that it would be held responsible for any retaliation by Hezbollah after this past Monday’s airstrike by the Israeli Air Force that struck areas held by Hezbollah near the Lebanese-Syria border.  The Washington Post reported that “Hezbollah said it would ”choose the right time and place and the proper way to respond.”  Israel is prepared to strike targets in Lebanon associated with Hezbollah strongholds.  “An unspecified number of Hezbollah militants were killed in the airstrike, according to pan-Arab news channel Al Arabiya”  the Jerusalem Post said in their report which also stated Israel’s position on the matter:

Israel sent a warning to the Lebanese government in Beirut by way of UNIFIL that it would be held responsible for any attacks by Hezbollah that are launched from Lebanese soil, reported al-Akhbar News Agency on Friday

The Israeli Air Force recently launched strikes that hit Hezbollah targets on the border between Syria and Lebanon claiming that they were preventing missiles from reaching Hezbollah coming from Syria.  The Washington Post quoted Maj. Gen. Eyal Ben-Reuven on Monday’s actions undertaken by the Israeli government as he said “Israel has to act in order to prevent the transfer of game-changing weapons,” said retired Maj. Gen. Eyal Ben-Reuven, speaking from northern Israel. “Although I can’t confirm what happened . . . it is very clear that we are trying to prevent this.”

The Washington Post also quoted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s comment on the military strike when he said “We will do all that is necessary to defend our citizens.” Hezbollah disagreed with the Lebanese media claiming that the strike targeted “a missile storage center and killed at least four Hezbollah fighters” Hezbollah said that the site “was only partially damaged” according to the report which also confirmed that a Lebanese intelligence official said that “the strike did target a shipment of missiles that had crossed the border from Syria.”

Tensions are rising on the border between Israel and Lebanon since the Syrian civil war began in 2011. Israel has been in preparation to counter Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza since both groups are on their borders. “It is self-evident that we see Lebanon as responsible for any attack on Israel from the territory of Lebanon,” Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz told Israel radio “It is the duty of the Lebanese government to prevent any terrorist attack – whether a terrorist or missile attack, or any other kind – on the State of Israel,” the Jerusalem Post stated.  Israel violated another UN resolution as “Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil condemned the Israeli strikes saying that Israel was in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701 that ended the 2006 Second Lebanon War, according to the Lebanese news outlet” the report said. The Brookings Institute issued a Report in 2011 called ‘The Next War: How another Conflict between Hizballah and Israel Could Look and How Both Sides Are Preparing for It’ stated how Israel and Lebanon have been in preparation for war:

Israel also has been busy implementing the lessons it learned from 2006 in preparation for the possibility of another conflict with Hizballah. The IDF has instituted greater logistical autonomy and sustainability in its combat units, and has strengthened the ability of its ground forces, navy, and air force to carry out joint operations. It also has trained extensively in large-scale ground operations, employing rapid maneuver techniques and using more robust and flexible equipment to reduce tactical vulnerability. The IDF created several urban warfare centers shortly after the 2006 war, the largest of which, the Urban Warfare Training Center (UWTC), simulates a variety of Lebanese villages, towns, and refugee camps.

The IDF has also introduced a number of new technologies that it is expected to use in any new conflict with Hizballah. These include a multi-tiered missile defense shield to intercept and destroy both Hizballah’s short-range and long-range weapons and Iran’s ballistic missiles. Also, all new tanks are now fitted with the Trophy defense system to protect against anti-armor projectiles. How these new systems cope in a war situation, and with Hizballah’s rocket barrages and anti-armor tactics remains to be seen.

The Brooking Institute also says that Hezbollah is prepared for a war scenario with Israel:

Since the end of the 2006 war, Hizballah has undergone the largest recruitment and training drive in its thirty-year history, swelling its ranks with dedicated cadres and reviving its former multi-sectarian reservist units. In terms of weapons procurement, Hizballah has focused on acquiring long-range rockets fitted with guidance systems to target a list of specific military and infrastructure sites in Israel. Hizballah also is believed to have received training on more advanced air defense systems that could pose an increased threat to low-flying Israeli air assets, such as helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles

Israel can use the “Dahiyah Doctrine” proposed in 2008 that calls for a bombing campaign against civilian infrastructure all across Lebanon which would according to Israeli officials, deter Hezbollah and the Lebanese government from retaliating with a military attack on Israel since the civilian population would suffer enormously. The Brookings Institute’s report states the following on a possible war between Lebanon and Israel:

Ultimately, the likelihood of renewed war between Hizballah and Israel remains high in the mid- to long-term. It is critically important that as the Middle East convulses with the shockwaves engendered by the “Arab Spring,” the international community continue to play close attention to the nascent conflict under preparation in Lebanon and Israel.

Given that an accidental trigger is the most likely cause of the next war between Hizballah and Israel, diplomatic efforts should focus on ways to prevent misunderstandings from developing into conflict.

With the United States and the European Union closely watching what happens in the Ukraine on Russia’s border, Prime Minister Netanyahu would possibly seize the opportunity to strike Israel’s perceived enemies in the region.  At any given moment, a new Middle East war could escalate on Israel’s borders.  Maybe, a diplomatic solution would come into play, but with a Western-funded conflict in Syria that continues to plaque the Middle East and Washington calling for the removal of President Bashar al-Assad, diplomacy at this stage is impossible.

Why the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks were Set-up to Fail

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama met to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian Peace talks. However, it should be no surprise that there is no optimism in the talks. Netanyahu said that “Israel has been doing its part and, I regret to say, the Palestinians have not” according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz. The US Secretary of State John Kerry has a deadline on April 29th for a “framework Agreement” between Israel and Palestine. “It’s my belief that ultimately it is still possible to create two states, a Jewish state of Israel and a state of Palestine, with people living side by side in peace and security,” Obama said. “But it’s difficult. It requires compromise on all sides” the report said. On Tuesday Netanyahu demanded that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas recognize Israel as a ‘Jewish State’, “President Abbas: recognize the Jewish state and in doing so, you would be telling your people.. to abandon the fantasy of flooding Israel with refugees” he said at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) earlier this month. One of the major compromises that the Palestinians would have to accept according to Netanyahu is for Israel to be recognized as a “Jewish State”. Netanyahu demands comes at a time when his administration continues to build Jewish settlements at unprecedented levels which have been admitted by the Israeli media including the Times of Israel. The Times of Israel stated the facts:

New construction in the West Bank skyrocketed in 2013 compared to 2012, new Israeli data revealed on Monday. The Central Bureau of Statistics reported an increase of 123 percent in construction of new homes in the West Bank in 2013 compared to 2012, a ratio dramatically higher than in the other six districts examined. The southern district, coming in second, witnessed an increase of 12%, Haifa 8%, Jerusalem 3%, central Israel 2%, and northern Israel 1%. New construction in the Tel Aviv district dropped 19% between 2012 and 2013

The Lebanese based online news website the Daily Star reported that Mohammad al-Madani who quoted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as saying “We cannot continue negotiations with ongoing settlement construction,” concerning the negotiations imposed by Washington. The report confirmed that Abbas met Zehava Galon who is head of the Meretz party (an Israeli left wing political party) in Ramallah this past Monday:

A statement from Galon’s office said that in addition to a settlement freeze, Abbas would also demand a release of “further prisoners beyond the next tranche, including women, youths and administrative detainees.”

Israel committed in July to releasing 104 Palestinian prisoners in four tranches. It has so far released 78 of those in three batches.

Abbas also told Galon that “if the American framework agreement will not sufficiently address the fundamental principles of the core issues, we won’t enable extending the negotiations,” according to the statement

For the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a ‘Jewish State’ would be devastating politically. It would concede that all Jewish people would have a natural right to be in Palestine. For Palestinians who do live in Palestine, it will be only by permission of the “Jewish State” not as a natural right of the Palestinians who have been in the land for thousands of years. If the Palestinians were to recognize Israel as a “Jewish State” then the Palestinians living in Palestine has been illegitimate.   This is one of the main reasons the Palestinians would not accept the “Jewish State” status of Israel. One other factor that the Israel and the Palestinian Authority will not succeed is because the United Nations recognition of Palestine based on its pre-1967 borders with Israel. This does not sit well with Israel because it legitimizes the Palestinians territorial integrity. Historically Palestinians have a right to be in Palestine and exercise their right to establish a sovereign state of their own. It is important to note that Israel as a Jewish State would also jeopardize the rights of all Palestinians who currently live in the Palestinian territories and of the Palestinian refugees who were forcibly expelled from their homes in 1948 after the state of Israel was created under the Balfour Declaration.

Recognizing Israel as a Jewish State is not beneficial for all people living within Israel as well since 25% of the current population is actually non-Jewish. Despite Netanyahu’s demands, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) under Yasir Arafat recognized Israel in the 1980’while Israel did not recognize Palestine. In 1988, The New York Times reported that Yasir Arafat and the PLO with the Palestinian parliament had ”accepted the existence of Israel as a state in the region” and ”declared its rejection and condemnation of terrorism in all its forms.” But it was rejected by both Washington and Tel Aviv as the New York Times explained why they were not convinced:

In Jerusalem, Israeli leaders discounted the Stockholm declaration and Mr. Arafat’s comments. Foreign Minister Shimon Peres characterized them as a ”cunning exercise in public relations.” What was needed, he said, was ”a commitment in reality” to an end to violence. Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir was similarly dismissive.

The United States has long said it would not deal with the P.L.O. until it stated unambiguously that it recognized Israel’s right to exist and United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, which lay out the basis for a negotiated settlement and peace in the Middle East. The United States has also asked for an unequivocal statement that the P.L.O. renounces all forms of terrorism

The peace process began in 1991 in Madrid with the intention of establishing peace between Israel and Palestine. The United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 was eventually accepted by Arafat and the PLO in 1993 during the Oslo accords disregarding the Palestinian people. The Oslo Accords or the Declaration of Principles (DOP) resulted in the recognition of Israel by the PLO and  Israel recognizing the PLO as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people for whom the Israeli government can negotiate with. The Oslo Accords helped create the Palestinian Authority (PA) with limited self-government over Palestinian lands, but many issues involving Israel’s recognition of Palestine as a state and its occupation and the Palestinian right of return remained unsolved. Overall, a Palestinian state was never granted under the Oslo Accords, it was a failure. When the Oslo Accords began and Yasir Arafat agreed to recognize Israel as a state, it only gave the Israeli government more power over the negotiations and the Palestinian people.  In an article written by human rights advocate and fellow Palestinian Edward Said called ‘The Morning After’ he criticized Arafat’s decision to recognize Israel as a State. He wrote:

By contrast Arafat’s recognition of Israel’s right to exist carries with it a whole series of renunciations: of the PLO Charter; of violence and terrorism; of all relevant UN resolutions, except 242 and 338, which do not have one word in them about the Palestinians, their rights or aspirations. By implication, the PLO set aside numerous other UN resolutions (which, with Israel and the US, it is now apparently undertaking to modify or rescind) that, since 1948, have given Palestinians refugee rights, including either compensation or repatriation. The Palestinians had won numerous international resolutions – passed by, among others, the EC, the non-aligned movement, the Islamic Conference and the Arab League, as well as the UN – which disallowed or censured Israeli settlements, annexations and crimes against the people under occupation

The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Yasir Arafat, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin in 1994 for their peace efforts during the Oslo Accords agreement. According to the Oslo Declaration of Principles, it states that “a permanent settlement based on Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338″ which did not address Palestinian rights. MIT professor Noam Chomsky explained in Z magazine in 1993 the flaws regarding UN Resolution 242 and what it meant for the Palestinian people. He wrote:

The draft agreement makes no mention of Palestinian national rights, the primary issue on which the US and Israel broke with the international consensus from the mid-1970s. Throughout these years, it was agreed that a settlement should be based on UN 242.

There were two basic points of contention: (1) Do we interpret the withdrawal clause of 242 in accord with the international consensus (including the US, pre-1971), or in accord with the position of Israel and US policy from 1971? (2) Is the settlement based solely on UN 242, which offers nothing to the Palestinians, or 242 and other relevant UN resolutions, as the PLO had proposed for many years in accord with the nonrejectionist international consensus. Thus, does the settlement incorporate the right of refugees to return or compensation, as the UN has insisted since December 1948 (with US endorsement, long forgotten), and the Palestinian right to national self-determination that has repeatedly been endorsed by the UN (though blocked by Washington)? These are the crucial issues that have stood in the way of a political settlement.

On these issues, the agreement explicitly and without equivocation adopts the US-Israeli stand. As noted, Article I states that the “permanent status will lead to the implementation of Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338,” nothing more. Furthermore, as Beilin made explicit, the withdrawal clause of UN 242 is to be understood in the terms unilaterally imposed by the US (from 1971). In fact, the agreement does not even preclude further Israeli settlement in the large areas of the West Bank it has taken over, or even new land takeovers. On such central matters as control of water, it speaks only of “cooperation” and “equitable utilization” in a manner to be determined by “experts from both sides.” The outcome of cooperation between an elephant and a fly is not hard to predict.

Chomsky was correct in his assessment on UN resolution 242 when one of the Nobel Peace Prize Winners Shimon Peres addressed the Israeli public in 1995 and stated that “the deal kept the following in Israeli hands: 73 percent of the lands of the territories, 97 percent of security and 80 percent of the water.”  Another important factor regarding the DOP is in Article XVII Jurisdiction 1.

In accordance with the DOP, the jurisdiction of the Council will cover West Bank and Gaza Strip territory as a single territorial unit, except for:

a. issues that will be negotiated in the permanent status negotiations: Jerusalem, settlements, specified military locations, Palestinian refugees, borders, foreign relations and Israelis; and

b. powers and responsibilities not transferred to the Council

Which means that the Palestinian matters concerning Israel’s strategic military locations, Israeli settlements, the Palestinian Right of Return to their lands and the issue of Jerusalem becoming the capital of Israel would be under political and strategic control of the Israeli government. Oslo Accords was a failure for the Palestinians and for Israel for the simple matter that they could not wrap their tentacles around the Palestinian people and its lands any tighter than it already is.  Israel would have come out being the benefactor to the peace agreements, not the Palestinians. The peace talks are unfortunately going to fail once again. The pre-conditions for the Palestinians to accept a peace deal with Israel through Secretary of State John Kerry’s “Framework Agreement” will backfire. “Jerusalem will not be divided so long as I’m prime minister” Netanyahu was quoted as saying on Israeli television this past January. President Abbas responded by saying “The Palestinians want confirmation in writing that the capital of a future Palestinian state will be in East Jerusalem, Abbas told the Meretz leader. With regard to the refugee issue, Abbas said that claims he wants to flood Israel with 5 million Palestinian refugees are a lie.” President Abbas was also responding to Netanyahu’s speech at the AIPAC conference. President Abbas said “If the American framework agreement doesn’t address our basic principles regarding the core issues, we will not allow the talks to be extended beyond the original end date of April 29,” Gal-On quoted Abbas as saying” according to the Haaretz report. “Back in the region, Meretz chairwoman MK Zahava Gal-On said after meeting with Abbas yesterday that he was pessimistic about the chances of reaching a framework agreement that would allow the peace talks to continue.”

Allowing Palestine to accept Israel as a “Jewish State” will not happen. The new peace talks are not any different from the previous efforts by the United States and Israel. This time Netanyahu demands the Palestinian government to recognize the “Jewish State” of Israel. However, he does want a two-state solution, but on his terms. He once said “I think that peace will require two states, a Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state.”

The Palestinians deserve their own state; Palestine is a place that dates back thousands of years, it is a nation. David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister admitted that the Palestine belonged to the Palestinians in 1938 speech when he clearly stated “Let us not ignore the truth among ourselves … politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves… The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country.” Maybe Netanyahu should revisit the historical speeches of Israel’s past leaders, but that would not make a difference anyway. Peace is unachievable with the US backed “Framework Agreement” because what Israel is asking the Palestinians to accept is unrealistic.  It is only a process that would advance Israel’s hegemony in the Middle East and allow it to expand its territory and obtain natural resources with its advanced military capabilities with the help of Washington.


			
                

The New Orleans Eleven: The Untold History of the Lynching of Italians in America

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News - Once again, the Oscars dominated headlines on US television networks as well for the last 86 Years. ‘12 Years a Slave’ based on the book by Solomon Northup won the 2014 Oscar for best picture of the year tells the story of how slaves of African ancestry were treated by its white owners. Host of the Oscars Ellen DeGeneres said “Tonight, there are so many different possibilities. Possibility number one: 12 Years a Slave wins Best Picture. Possibility number two: You’re all racists! Now, for our first white presenter, Anne Hathaway!” That was funny, especially coming out of Hollywood. Racial politics seems to be the norm in the United States especially if you listen to the main stream media and its new propagandist, the Reverend Al Sharpton on MSNBC. An analysis by the Washington Free Beacon said that “MSNBC host Al Sharpton mentioned race in some capacity a total of 314 times on Politics Nation in 2013.” Race is often used by the media to divide and conquer people at least in the United States especially between black and white. But the fact remains that there were millions of Africans transported to North and South America have been tortured, murdered, raped and exploited for slave labor.  African-Americans suffered a great deal because of the slave trade, and many still do today.  Many cultures throughout human history have suffered the same fate. Whether black, white, indigenous, Jewish or Irish, human tragedies have taken place. Race and class wars have played a part in many of these crimes against humanity. Sometimes a tyrannical system such as fascism or extreme communism for example, under the leadership of Pol Pot in the 1960’s who imposed slavery on society.

It is not just the human history of one group over another that we should acknowledge it is a systemic problem of our society. Slavery existedthroughout all regions of the world.  Many people were slaves including the Irish, Jews, and many others.  It was and still is a system of the elite class who wish to rule humanity because of their status. Today a modern-day form of slavery exists through debt.

However, there is a piece of history not mentioned in history books or in Hollywood movies. It was called “Anti-Italianism” during the early 20th Century in America. Italian immigrants were seen as the enemy in the United States especially during a time of tensions when it came to employment and the economic hard times. Anti-Italian immigrant movements developed in several areas of the United States in the 20th century. In an interesting article called “Dark Legacy” by David Pacchioli, it describes what filmmaker of Linciati: Lynchings of Italians in America, Heather Hartley discovered during her research:

As she proceeded, however, Hartley’s research turned up another lynching of Italians, then another. “The more I looked, the more I uncovered,” she remembers. Accounts told of lynchings in Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Colorado, Kentucky, Illinois, Washington, and New York between the years of 1885 and 1915, some 50 killings in all

Pacchioli’s article explains why the lynching’s in the United States happened to the Italian community:

The most egregious example, in New Orleans, was precipitated by a rivalry between two groups of Italian dockworkers. When the city’s police chief was shot and killed shortly before he was to testify against one of these groups, Italian males in the city were rounded up indiscriminately. The New Orleans Times-Democrat captured the mood: “The little jail was crowded with Sicilians,” the paper reported, “whose low, receding foreheads, repulsive countenances and slovenly attire proclaimed their brutal nature”

Nine Italian men were tried and acquitted of murder. In response, a large mob led by some of the city’s leading citizens stormed the parish prison, shot nine men as they cowered in their cells, then dragged out and hanged two more. It was the largest lynching in American history, and although no one was indicted for the crime, President Benjamin Harrison subsequently paid reparations of $25,000 to the Italian government

In ‘Guns, Goats, And Italians: The Tallulah Lynching of 1899’ by Edward F. Haas of the North Louisiana Historical Association wrote:

Six times in the 1890s Italians fell prey to American mob violence. Three of these tragedies happened in Louisiana. The most famous case resulted from the fatal shooting of New Orleans Police Superintendent, David Hennessy, in October 1890. Before he died, the chief reportedly whispered, “The dagos did it.” Authorities attributed the crime to the Mafia and soon arrested a score of Italians. After a public meeting in downtown New Orleans on March 14, 1891, an angry mob that included numerous prominent citizens descended upon the city jail, and meeting no resistance, systematically shot or clubbed to death, eleven of the Italian prisoners. When an investigation excused the mob’s actions, the Italian government severed diplomatic relations with the United States and briefly contemplated war

What is important to understand is that many different people of society were affected one way or another by a society based on racism and exploitation. It is not just a problem of one or two groups. It is a societal problem that we face as human beings.  Slavery, torture and lynching hangs a dark cloud over all of humanity and understanding our past would allow us to better ourselves as a human race.

Here is an excerpt from a Documentary called “Pane Amaro (Bitter Bread)” about the lynching’s that took place involving Italian immigrants:

     

Will South Africa Allow Shale Gas “Hydraulic Fracking” in the Karoo?

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News – South Africa is possibly moving forward with a plan to allow Shell Oil Company to explore and develop natural gases through the highly controversial ‘Hydraulic Fracking’ technology in the region of Karoo. The South African based company that produces liquid fuels, chemicals and electricity ‘Sosal’ is optimistic that that the shale gas industry would develop under the current government. Australia’s Sunbird Energy has been exploring and developing oil and gas projects in South Africa, notably the Ibhubesi Gas Field in the West coast.

Fracking is a water-intensive process where millions of gallons of fluids of water, sand, and chemicals (some known to cause cancer) are injected underground at high-pressure to fracture rocks surrounding an oil or gas well. This releases the extra oil and gas from the rock that flows directly into the well. Establishing new well sites also takes drilling and encasing the well where the process of fracking begins. It uses trucks that operate heavy equipment and material that is needed to remove toxic waste. Where toxic waste will be disposed of is another issue. Fracking contributes to air and water pollution and devalues the land it operates on. Fracking technology threatens the air we breathe and the water we drink. But the South African government and Sasol are interested in developing the economy, but fracking technology poses numerous health risks and in the long-term destroys the environment. Karoo has a number of towns that amounts to a population of 71, 000 who live in close proximity to the proposed fracking sites that are dependent of natural ground water. The decision to allow fracking would cause major problems as acid drainage from the mines would contaminate food and water supplies.

In a report by iafrica.com, an online news source stated that “Sasol is keen to invest in South Africa’s shale gas industry once it gets going, the petrochemical group’s CEO David Constable said. The move could challenge major oil player Royal Dutch Shell, which is reportedly one of the front runners to explore the Karoo area for shale gas.” The Karoo is a natural region that consists of two main areas. The Little Karoo is often associated as the wet Karoo and the Great Karoo consists of mainly dessert. Fracking is proposed for the latter. “Fracking in the Karoo could unlock one of the world’s biggest gas reserves and the government is keen to development the industry, as it views it as a potential game changer for the country’s economy” the report said. It would develop profits for the energy sector in the short-term but destroy South Africa’s natural resources located in the Karoo. According to Bernama, a news agency based in Malaysia reported that the South African government will conduct research in respect to the economic and social impacts of Fracking technology. The report ‘South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province Launches Study on Impact of Shale Gas Development’ stated the following:

The government of South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province has set wheels in motion preparing for massive exploration and production of shale gas in the Karoo Basin, which covers some 600,000 square kilometres in central and southern South Africa and contains thick, organic rich shales.

The provincial government has embarked on a 16 million-Rand (US$1.49 million) research project with the Nelson Mandela University to determine the socio-economic implications of shale gas development in the province.

The Karoo is one of the few major basins in the world where the natural baseline is still intact and the provincial government views the pending extraction of shale gas there as a potential game-changer of the province’s economic fortunes.

According to the iafrica.com report it said that “In late 2013, the government lifted its moratorium on fracking in the Karoo but also imposed new regulations to govern shale gas exploration.” It is an indication that South Africa is on board to move ahead with shale gas fracking technologies since they already implemented regulations Shell Oil Company would have to follow under the South African government. “I am very excited because of the technologies we can bring to the table. We’ve got shale gas upstream experience in British Columbia,” Sasol chief executive David Constable said in a Fin24 report.” Sasol wants to tap into the natural gas industry “We want to get involved and participate and monetize that gas in country with gas to liquid, gas to power, gas to chemicals,” he said. Constable said that Sasol’s experience in British Columbia would enable it to frack the Karoo in “an environmentally friendly fashion.” According to ‘e news channel Africa (eNCA), the South African government is looking forward to the new technology as it claims that it will create new jobs creation and cost-efficient energy resources for the public:

Government is excited about major game-changing discoveries of untapped potential for petroleum development, spanning both off-shore and on-shore, including shale gas. We will move ahead decisively, yet responsibly, with the exploration of shale gas,” said Shabangu. She said government won’t simply brush aside the concerns of activists and communities in the Karoo. “There’ll be a public campaign to visit communities who may be affected to explain what will happen,” she said. Shabangu said the final regulations for the exploration of shale gas are being finalised and will be published shortly

Maybe the South African government should visit shale gas ‘fracking’ sites around the world especially in places like Texas or Pennsylvania that is causing major health problems. An online anti-fracking website called www.nyagainstfracking.org quoted Dr. Sheila Bushkin, MD, MPH of the Institute for Health and the Environment at University at Albany on what the impact of shale gas fracking:

These stories from Pennsylvania are very alarming,” she said. “The perspective of the gas industry fails to show adequate concern for the long-term health and quality of life of people. When you listen to the personal experiences of actual residents of Pennsylvania and other states where fracking has gone forward, you will hear stories of dead cows, pets, sick children, poisoned water and other serious health and environmental problems. These stories confirm our need for much greater research and evidence-based scientific facts”

Let’s hope South Africa would reverse its course for the sake of the South African population and its natural resources. According to www.news24.com, “Multinational Royal Dutch Shell states that fracking in the Karoo for shale gas may not be financially viable” since it is not confirmed how much natural gas is actually available in the Karoo. Shell Oil Company knows that fracking is not environmentally safe for the health of the community it directly affects, but profits over human life do take precedence in this situation.

Israeli Defense Minister Suggests Military Action against Iran because the US is “Weak”

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News - “We (Israelis) have to look out for ourselves” Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon was quoted as saying at an event at Tel Aviv University. According to Haaretz, Ya’alon is not convinced that the Obama administration will stop Iran’s nuclear program. Israel would have to take military action against Iran in the future according to Ya’alon. He said that the Iranians were dominating the negotiations, getting what they want as a result. “The one who should lead the campaign against Iran is the US,” but instead, “the US at a certain stage began negotiating with them, and unfortunately in the Persian bazaar the Iranians were better.” The Times of Israel said Haaretz confirmed what Ya’alon said at the event:

Therefore, Ya’alon’s office confirmed his remarks about Iran, but refused to comment as to whether the defense minister was advocating an Israeli strike on Iran. Ya’alon was widely reported to have opposed an Israeli resort to force against Iran in the past, but the Haaretz report said his comments Sunday indicated that he had changed his stance, and was now inclined to support Israeli military intervention in Iran

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would welcome Ya’alon’s support for a military strike that would target Iran’s nuclear facilities. But Israel is at a crossroads, since their main ally, the United States is entangled in the Ukrainian crisis and an ongoing conflict in Afghanistan. The Obama administration is in preparation to restart a new effort to topple Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and at the same time attempting a coup d’état with its support of the opposition forces in Venezuela against President Nicolas Maduro. Ya’alon is now suggesting that a confrontation with Iran militarily is an option Israel needs to take although he was once reportedly opposed to it. He said that “Iran is fooling the world” about its nuclear program,” but said the West preferred to put off any confrontation — “to next year, or the next term; but it will blow up in the end.” He originally supported the sanctions imposed on Iran by the West but the new deal at least according to Ya’alon was an opportunity for Iran to advance their nuclear weapons capability. The new deal “is very comfortable for the Iranians,” he said, enabling them to establish themselves as a threshold state “and break out to the bomb when they choose to do so.” New talks have resumed in Vienna. Iran has limited its uranium enrichment after the six-month interim deal negotiated back on November when the West agreed to ease sanctions. The US mainstream media is on board with Ya’lon’s assessment as neoconservative and columnist Jennifer Rubin who writes for the Right Turn, a blog for the Washington Post seems to be on the same page as Ya’alon as she agrees that Washington’s negotiation strategy is not sufficient in dealing with Iranian nuclear program:

In addition, there is the problem of Iran’s ongoing behavior outside the conference room in Geneva. As is always the problem with such talks, the United States becomes so invested in the talks that it refrains from challenging the rogue state’s behavior in other venues. The administration remains essentially mute about Iran’s domestic executions and other human rights abuses. It refuses to enact additional sanctions based purely on Iran’s ongoing support for Hamas terrorists, which the Israelis recently helped illustrate by displaying intercepted Iranian weaponry. And when Iran even goes so far as to try to rustle nuclear weapons contraband, the administration marches forward. Nothing to see here, continue the talks. Only by pretending that the world outside the conference room is nonexistent could the administration believe that a meaningful deal is possible

Ya’alon did stress that the US was projecting “weakness” in every region worldwide. He said that “The moderate Sunni camp in the area expected the United States to support it, and to be firm, like Russia’s support for the Shi’ite axis,” Ya’alon said. “I heard voices of disappointment in the region. I was in Singapore and heard disappointment about China getting stronger and the U.S. getting weaker. Look what’s happening in Ukraine, where the United States is demonstrating weakness, unfortunately” according to the Haaretz report. I suppose Ya’alon supports the Fascists powers who violently overthrew the democratically elected government of Viktor Yanukovych which now has reportedly targeted the Jewish population in the Ukraine. Ya’alon was quoted as saying “If your image is feebleness, it doesn’t pay in the world. Nobody will replace the United States as global policeman” he said “I hope the United States comes to its senses. If it doesn’t, it will challenge the world order, and the United States is the one that will suffer.” The US and its allies are challenged worldwide. Iran is their target, so is Russia and China among several others nations who are resisting the ‘World Order.’ Israel is capable of taking military action against Iran if the US does not. Then again, once Israel does strike Iran, the US would be dragged into another conflict in the Middle East. So who is Ya’alon fooling? The world knows that the US and its Western partners would back Israel no matter what happens. The Israeli government would “look out for themselves” if they decide to attack Iran, but the question is who would look out for Israel once the war begins?

Sanctions on Russia’s Energy Sector: Shale Gas ‘Fracking’ Will Invade Europe?

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News - Fracking will be “good for our country,” was a statement made by British Prime Minister David Cameron at a recent Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague according to the UK based news agency The Guardian.  Cameron believes that the fracking industry will have the public’s support since reliance on Russia’s energy sources will be halted if sanctions are imposed due to the political crisis in the Ukraine.  The Obama administration is also proposing a joint US-EU trade deal with its European partners that would reduce Europe’s dependence on Russia’s energy resources.  The Guardian reported Cameron’s statement regarding shale gas fracking in Europe:

The prime minister said that once wells are up and running later this year, there would be more public enthusiasm, and exploiting shale gas reserves could help Europe wean itself off reliance on exports from Russia” and that “The Ukraine crisis has increased the urgency of European efforts to find alternative sources of energy to reduce the leverage Russia’s oil and gas supplies give it across the continent 

Has the Ukraine crisis opened the doors for shale gas fracking in Europe? The United States and the European Union are currently negotiating an agreement since July of 2013. In a recent report titled ‘No Fracking Way: How the EU-US trade agreement risks expanding fracking’ by Friends of the Earth Europe, Corporate Europe Observatory and the Transnational Institute among others stated what the Transalantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is capable of in terms of the rights of corporations involved in the fracking industry:

The TTIP deal threatens to give more rights to companies through a clause called an ‘investor-state dispute settlement’ (ISDS). If included in the deal, this would enable corporations to claim damages in secret courts or ‘arbitration panels’ if they deem their profits are adversely affected by changes in a regulation or policy. This threatens democratically agreed laws designed to protect communities and the environment. Companies which claim their investments (including expectations of future profits) are affected by a change in government policies could have the right to seek compensation through private international tribunals. US companies (or any company with a subsidiary in the US) investing in Europe could use these far-reaching investor rights to seek compensation for future bans or other regulation on fracking. These tribunals are not part of the normal judicial system, but are specifically set up for investment cases. Arbitrators have a strong bias towards investors – and no specialised knowledge about our climate or fracking. Companies are already using existing investment agreements to claim damages from governments, with taxpayers picking up the tab. Investor-state dispute settlement is becoming increasingly controversial as mining and energy firms use it to challenge public policies. For example, the Swedish energy giant Vattenfall is seeking more than €3.7 billion from Germany in compensation after the country voted to phase out nuclear power; Pacific Rim, a Canadian-based mining company is demanding US$315 million in compensation from El Salvador after the government refused permission for a potentially devastating gold mining project4; and Lone Pine Resources is suing Canada for Cdn$250 million over a fracking moratorium in the Canadian province of Quebec 

“Claim damages in Secret courts” should be worrisome for communities all across Europe who is in opposition to fracking on their lands. The European Commission’s fact sheet ‘Investment Protection and Investor-to-State Dispute Settlement in EU agreements’ describes one of the provisions within the agreements:

In addition, in EU trade agreements the key investment protection standards are drafted in a detailed and precise manner, in particular making clear that the States’ right to regulate is preserved. 

In this context clarifications to two key provisions are made: 

Firstly, ‘indirect expropriation’ is one of the most controversial provisions in the investment protection system. Indirect expropriation is when government measures, while not directly taking property away, have the effect of doing so (e.g. the removal of a license required to operate a factory). This provision has been used by some investors to challenge public authorities’ bans for health reasons of chemical products or the introduction of new stricter environmental legislation. 

Future EU agreements will provide a detailed set of provisions giving guidance to arbitrators on how to decide whether or not a government measure constitutes indirect expropriation, thus aiming at preventing abuse of the system.  

In particular, when the state is protecting the public interest in a non-discriminatory way, the right of the state to regulate should prevail over the economic impact of those measures on the investor. These much needed clarifications will make sure that companies cannot be compensated just because their profits have been reduced through the effects of regulations enacted for a public policy objective. The Commission has negotiated provisions with Canada and Singapore which makes this clear, and the language will also be included in future agreements

If the European Union and the United States finalize the TTIP agreement then the anti-fracking opposition will grow through a grassroots movement. With Austerity measures being met with protests and violence throughout Europe, fracking would sure add fuel to the fire in an already tense situation. This past week the “March of Dignity” in Spain took place ending in violent clashes between the police and protesters. In the UK, anti-fracking protesters are growing despite PM David Cameron’s recent statement when he said that “I think something positive should come out of [the situation in Ukraine] for Europe which is to take a long hard look at its energy resilience, and its energy independence. And I hope it will lead to some really useful work being done” he continued “Britain is not reliant on Russian gas to any extent, it’s just a few percentage points of our gas intake. But the variety around Europe is very, very wide. Some countries are almost 100% reliant on Russian gas so I think it is something of a wake-up call and I think action will be taken.” New energy sanctions imposed on Russia will affect the European Union economically, environmentally and politically as the realization of the fracking technology breeds grassroots awareness in Europe’s already fragile state.

European leaders are not interested in democracy for the Ukrainian people or in their own countries economic woes; it is interested in profits that would generate jobs and growth. The UK based ‘The Independent’ reported in 2012 what Lord Browne, a former BP chief executive, who is a director of the shale gas “fracking” company Cuadrilla said regarding shale gas fracking “We could potentially double the reserves of gas in the UK, we could add 50,000 jobs maybe, and probably even reduce the price of gas.” In an article released by www.ecowatch.com in 2013, disagrees with the shale gas fracking industry’s assessment on job creation. “Industry supporters have exaggerated the jobs impact in order to minimize or avoid altogether taxation, regulation and even careful examination of shale drilling” said Frank Mauro, executive director of the Fiscal Policy Institute in New York” according to the article:

Shale drilling has created jobs, particularly in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and cushioned some drilling-intensive areas in those states from the worst effects of the Great Recession and the weak recovery. As this report documents, however, the number of shale jobs created is far below industry claims and remains a small share of overall employment

Fracking will be at the expense of local communities throughout Europe that would eventually lead to violent demonstrations against their governments who are interested in corporate profits over the people and the environment. Sanctions on the resource rich Russian Federation will backfire on the citizens of the European Union most of all. The US-EU plan to surround Russia with American and NATO bases over the crisis in the Ukraine is not the only intended goal.  It also supports the idea to force the European community to accept shale gas fracking as an alternative right under their feet without depending on Russia’s natural resources.  How convenient!

Financial Tyranny in Puerto Rico: The Puerto Rico Government and the Creation of the...

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News - Puerto Rico has hit a brick wall. A financial tyranny is slowly emerging as desperation is starting to reflect on the Puerto Rican Government. Not only Puerto Rico’s underground economy will face a tax burden that will be enforced by the government, but also businesses, both small and large. According to Reuters they claim that Puerto Rico is hiring “tax specialists” but it seems that they are much more than just tax specialists according to the article:

The Treasury is hiring about 200 more tax specialists. Some of those will be checking on the books of businesses across the island, but some will be mystery shopping – making purchases at specially selected stores without identifying themselves to check for violators. 

Sales tax evaders could get slapped with a maximum $20,000 fine.

But $20,000 for a small business could mean a hefty chunk of revenues. That means a delicate balance for the government: Changing attitudes so that more businesses register and pay their taxes and fees, while not piling so many bills onto small businesses that they collapse

Can you imagine a $20,000 fine imposed on both small and large businesses by the Puerto Rican Government? This will destroy business activities all across the island; even if they managed to collect half of the debt at $35 billion not counting the added interest rates that accumulates over time would help the debt burden:

From the western mountain town of Lares to the capital San Juan, officials are wrestling with how to bring the underground economy out of the shadows and onto the tax rolls without creating such an onerous financial burden that thousands of small and medium businesses can’t survive.

More than a quarter of the island’s economy is informal, some studies say, from large companies evading taxes to individuals selling items for cash at roadside stands. But estimates vary widely because the activity can be so hard to track. 

While not new, the problem has become urgent of late. The government desperately needs to find new revenue to bolster a budget full of holes and turn around an economy now eight years in recession. It is scrambling to avoid a painful debt restructuring some view as almost inevitable

Imposing tax collections or even adding new taxes while Puerto Rico is in a deep recession to meet Wall Street’s demands would destroy whatever is left of the economy. Foreign investors including American and European companies both small and large are becoming more hesitant to invest in Puerto Rican Industries and its real estate markets as the debt crisis continues to spark major concerns. The Associated Press also reported in February that the government has set up a task force that would “target” business owners and individuals. The report stated the following:

Treasury Secretary Melba Acosta said a task force has been set up to target both business owners and individuals, adding that authorities are investigating more than 100 cases and more are expected to follow. Puerto Rico currently has only a 56 percent “capture” rate on tax revenues that should be taken in, losing some $800 million annually as a result, economist Gustavo Velez says.   

The Treasury Department already has referred 12 cases representing a total of more than $8 million in unpaid taxes to the island’s justice department. “This money belongs to the people of Puerto Rico,” Justice Secretary Cesar Miranda said. “It represents a teacher’s salary, a town’s road, a police officer’s uniform.”  

Two business owners have been charged with 36 counts of tax evasion and illegal appropriation, and officials warned that dozens of others could face similar accusations 

Puerto Rico’s government is in a bind. They are indebted to Wall Street and its Hedge Fund partners as they are to Washington. Hedge funds do not include Puerto Rico’s Government officials in their meetings. Bloomberg News reported that Jones Law Firm (who was one of the law firms restructuring Detroit’s bankruptcy) had a meeting that did not include Puerto Rican officials, “Commonwealth officials aren’t involved in the Jones Day meeting and didn’t call for it, according to the statement.” But Puerto Rico’s Government Development Bank’s statement said that “We made significant progress in implementing our fiscal and economic development plans in 2013, and are determined to continue that progress in 2014.” The Puerto Rico government will proceed to actions dictated by Washington and Wall Street duopoly that will undermine the economy.

$70 Billion in debt will increase as the islands residents continue to flee towards other depressed states for job opportunities within the US, including Florida, New York and Chicago. All states mentioned have high unemployment rates, foreclosures as more business and individual bankruptcies continue to rise. Florida now leads the United States in what you would call “Zombie Foreclosures.” In a 2014 article by www.Bizjournals.com called ‘Florida leads nation in ‘zombie foreclosures,’ RealtyTrac says’ claimed that “RealtyTrac considers a “Zombie Foreclosure” when a homeowner abandons a house that is facing a pending foreclosure action. There are about 55,000 of those in Florida, more than triple the nearest state of Illinois.” An economic situation Puerto Ricans arriving in Florida would find to be as dire as it was in their homeland. Increasing tax collections on Puerto Rican businesses and people would only elevate the economic situation to an even worst state of economic affairs. This would create insecurities even among the small business owners who sell produce or ice cream on the road. As you tax more businesses to pay the States debts, you reduce profits that would be used to reinvest in equipment, supplies and even create or maintain jobs to grow the economy.

Not only would it place the burden on the Puerto Rican people, it would frighten foreign businesses, private investors and individuals from investing on the island’s economy that can create jobs. Puerto Rico’s government under Governor Padilla is just another administration under Washington’s rule. Taxing businesses and individuals was the only option the Puerto Rican Government had with regards to their enormous debt burden they face. Besides, Puerto Rico’s largest employer is the government; a bureaucracy that does not produce any goods for trade besides Pharmaceuticals and a handful of other products for the US market. The new actions taken by the Padilla government on behalf of the financial elites is at the expense of those who are financially struggling. It is just business as usual.

 

U.S. Media Propaganda: Russia Accused of Spreading “Conspiracy Theories” on Ukraine

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News – The New York Times reported that Prime Minister Dmitri A. Medvedev wrote a Facebook post that said “Blood has been spilled in Ukraine again,” wrote Mr. Medvedev, once favored in the West for playing good cop to the hard-boiled president, Vladimir V. Putin. “The threat of civil war looms.” According to the New York Times article ‘Russia Is Quick to Bend Truth About Ukraine’, said that “He pleaded with Ukrainians to decide their own future “without usurpers, nationalists and bandits, without tanks or armored vehicles — and without secret visits by the C.I.A. director.” The New York Times followed with a statement regarding Medvedev’s post. It said the following:

And so began another day of bluster and hyperbole, of the misinformation, exaggerations, conspiracy theories, overheated rhetoric and, occasionally, outright lies about the political crisis in Ukraine that have emanated from the highest echelons of the Kremlin and reverberated on state-controlled Russian television, hour after hour, day after day, week after week

Now let’s look at the facts. First, blood has been spilled since the beginning of the crisis. Back in February, USA Today published a headline that declared many people were killed. The title read “As many as 100 killed in New Ukraine Clashes” proves Mr. Medvedev’s claims. The Ukraine’s unelected government is made up of Nationalists and bandits. They are the same people who don’t even agree with each other as they resorted to violence during sessions of the Ukrainian parliament. Here are some of the photos below:

                                              A common occurrence as Violence erupts in the Ukrainian Parliament

                                                                              Followed by more violence

                                                              A Ukrainian Official apparently lands on his face

Seems like banditry to me. The New York Times states that “Conspiracy Theories” are coming out of “State-Controlled Russian Television” constantly. Well, Reuters did confirm that the head of the Central Intelligence Agency did visit Ukrainian officials. “We don’t normally comment on the CIA director’s travel but given the extraordinary circumstances in this case and the false claims being leveled by the Russians at the CIA we can confirm that the director was in Kiev as part of a trip to Europe,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.” How about that other conspiracy theory concerning the US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria “F**K the EU” Nuland and US Ambassador to the Ukraine Geoffrey R. Pyatt and their conversation on how they can install a “Puppet” government in the Ukraine by nominating Bat’kyvshchina Party leader Arseniy Yatseniuk as Deputy Prime Minister and have Udar Party leader and former Boxer Vitaly Klitschko step aside. At the same time, Nuland and Pyatt agreed to discredit the Svoboda party, a Neo-Nazi political party they originally backed. These are not conspiracy theories, these are the facts. However, the New York Times did admit that “There is no question that the new Ukrainian government and its Western allies, including the United States, have engaged in their own misinformation efforts at times, with officials in Kiev making bold pronouncements in recent days of enforcement efforts that never materialized. On Tuesday, some American officials were spreading unverified photographs allegedly showing Russian rocket launchers carried by pro-Russian demonstrators in eastern Ukraine.”

The anti-Russian crusade carried out by the American mainstream media is more apparent as the crisis continues. The media reports are even sometimes laughable. The New York Times is at least truthful in one sense; they do report “All The News That’s Fit To Print.” Nobody in the alternative media would ever disagree with that statement.

The “Uganda Plan” Revisted? US Congressional Candidate Proposes ‘New Israel’ in Southeast Texas

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News- A congressional candidate named Allan Levene is proposing a solution to Israel’s problem with the Palestinians (since 1948) by creating a second ‘Israeli’ state in Eastern Texas. Yes, you read this right. Eastern Texas. According to the Times of Israel, Mr. Levene’s idea would only work if “eminent domain” is established by the US government and if Israel withdraws to it pre-1967 borders. That would set the stage for a ‘New Israel’ within the United States:

The idea, briefly, is to take (through eminent domain) roughly 8,000 square miles of sparsely populated land bordering the Gulf of Mexico and give it to Israel as a second, non-contiguous part of the State of Israel. Israel would get the land only if it agrees to withdraw to its pre-1967 borders

I would be curious to see how Texans would react to a Jewish homeland in East Texas. Besides one of the largest pro-Israel organizations in the United States is located in San Antonio, Texas called ‘Christians United for Israel (CUFI)’ who wish to educate Christians on why they should support the State of Israel:

While millions of Christians support Israel, there are millions more who do not yet vocally stand up for the Jewish state. It is crucial to educate Christians on the Biblical and moral imperatives to support Israel and to build Christian support for Israel throughout America

If Levene’s plan follows through if he is elected to congress, Will Texans still support a state of Israel in their own backyard? But Levene says “everybody wins” if the US government agrees to partition the state of Texas:

Israel wins because it would gain a new, peaceful territory far from the strife of the Middle East, in a place where, as Levene suggests, “the climate is similar,” and Israel could “have access to the Gulf of Mexico for international trade.” The U.S. wins because it would no longer need to send Israel billions of dollars a year in foreign aid. Texas wins because of all the construction jobs from building an entirely new state within its borders. The Palestinians win because they get the West Bank, and because now Israel, too, gets to see just how fun it is to have a non-contiguous state. Everybody wins!

The father of modern-political Zionism and the founder of the State of Israel, Thomas Hertzl considered a number of locations including Uganda, Argentina and even Alaska to form a Zionist state of Israel. The Times of Israel also stated:

And, in fact, it’s an idea with plenty of precedent. Theodor Herzl temporarily embraced a British proposal to establish a Jewish homeland in Uganda (though the backlash against the idea almost destroyed the Zionist movement). And in 1938-40, various plans were floated to settle European Jewish refugees in the Alaska territories – a notion that later inspired Michael Chabon’s novel, “The Yiddish Policeman’s Union.”

This idea of a Jewish State besides one based in Palestine is not new. An interesting event took place in Basel, Switzerland on August 26th, 1903. Before the British government offered the country of Palestine to the Zionist political movement in 1948, a country in Africa called Uganda was on the list of possible future Jewish settlements known as the “Uganda Plan”. Before Palestine was turned into the state of Israel, Uganda was seen as a possible home for the Jewish people who were persecuted in Russia. They were subject to anti-Jewish sentiments among the Russian population. Other areas in the world were also considered for a Jewish homeland including Patagonia in Southern part of Argentina. In Joseph Telushkin’s ‘Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things to Know about the Jewish Religion, Its People, and Its History’ stated a historical fact that “Britain stepped into the picture, offering Herzl land in the largely undeveloped area of Uganda (today, it would be considered an area of Kenya).” The proposal was controversial to the Jewish community. The idea was rejected at the Seventh Zionist Congress in 1905. It is interesting to note that a small number of Jewish families did immigrate to Kenya before and after World War II, mostly in the capital of Nairobi. Today, there are a few hundred Kenyan Jews living in Nairobi.

It is hard to imagine the state of Israel in Africa. Besides, racism in Israel is comparable to Apartheid South Africa in the 1960’s. With Ethiopian Black Jews living in Israel facing unprecedented levels of racism including the forced massed sterilizations on Ethiopian women according to a report conducted by Haaretz in 2012 reported that “Women who immigrated from Ethiopia eight years ago say they were told they would not be allowed into Israel unless they agreed to be injected with the long-acting birth control drug Depo Provera, according to an investigative report aired Saturday on the Israel Educational Television program “Vacuum.” According to IRIN, a humanitarian news and analysis service launched by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in 2012, racism against Ethiopian Jews in Israel does exist:

An estimated 125,000 Ethiopian Jews live in Israel, but while they are supposed to be full citizens with equal rights, their community has continued to face widespread discrimination and socio-economic difficulties, according to its leaders. A recent decision – as reported by local media – by 120 homeowners not to sell or rent their apartments to Israeli-Ethiopian families has brought discrimination against Ethiopian Jews in Israel back into the spotlight. 

Hundreds of Ethiopian Israelis took to the streets on 18 January to protest the move by landlords in the southern city of Kiryat Malakhi – Shay Sium’s hometown.

It is an interesting part of history that forces to ask the question: What if Israel did make Uganda, a country in Eastern-Africa their home? If the Palestinians, Ethiopian and Sephardic Jews suffer from racism in modern-day Israel, imagine if Uganda was turned into a Jewish homeland? Would it have been another Palestine? “Shall we choose Palestine or Argentina? Thomas Hertzl wrote.  Argentina? That would have been interesting, but Eastern Texas as the ‘New Israel’? Would Texan’s then be the new Palestinians?  Creating a state through “eminent domain” would treat the citizens of Texas as such.  And it sure won’t be a good start to diplomatic relations.  What is interesting about Allan Levene is that he is running for a congressional seat in two states, Hawaii and Georgia under the Republican Party, but not in the state of Texas. Another very interesting note on Levene’s candidacy is that “He also wants to put conspiracy theories to rest by investigating national catastrophes with not one, not two, but three separate commissions.” I actually agree with his idea for new commissions, perhaps a new “911 commission?” Allan Levene’s proposal would not happen anytime soon, even if he is elected. But the real question we should ask is, would Washington and Brussels consider creating a ‘New Israel’ in Eastern Texas if a war were to take place in the Middle East resulting in the destruction of several countries including Israel?  It does raise a serious debate.

As War Lingers in Mali, Western Powers Target its Natural Resources

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News - France’s intervention in the West African nation of Mali under Operation Serval drove Islamic groups associated with Al-Qaeda out of Northern Mali in February 2013. When the Tuareg rebellion occurred in early 2012, it was against the Malian government lead by the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) for the independence of Northern Mali also known as Azawad. There were also Islamic groups such as the Ansar Dine and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) who originally helped the MNLA. Eventually both Islamist groups turned on the MNLA forcing them out and creating a Sharia based Northern Mali. The government of Mali requested foreign assistance to re-take the north and France answered the call. France restored Mali’s government back to power. France’s military incursion with Western support was described as a “humanitarian intervention” which resulted in a race for Mali’s natural resources. That was the plan after all. New drilling contracts have just been established after Mali’s civil war was contained by the French military with the backing of the United Kingdom and the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM). The collaboration of Western powers just opened up Mali for business. A new press release by Legend Gold of Vancouver, BC Canada states the intention of gold mine drilling in several regions of Mali. The press release titled ‘Legend Gold Announces Signing of Drilling Contracts for Exploration in Mali’ stated exactly what areas of Mali will be extracted for gold by the new drilling contracts:

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwired – Jan. 6, 2014) – Legend Gold Corp. (the “Company” or “Legend Gold”) (TSX VENTURE:LGN) is pleased to announce the commencement of drilling for the season. Legend Gold has contracted for a minimum of 5,000 m of reverse circulation (RC) drilling and 10,000 m of air core (AC) drilling for the Diba and Lankafla projects in western Mali and the Mougnina project in southern Mali. 

In western Mali, Legend Gold plans to explore for extensions to the Diba-Badiazila resource which contains 234,000 oz at 1.67 g/t gold of indicated and 26,700 oz of inferred mineralization at 1.9 g/t at 0.8 g/t gold cutoff (AMEC’s NI 43-101 compliant Technical Report, August 2013). There remain a number of gaps in the AMEC resource which can be in-filled by a number of shallow RC holes to bring the oxide resource from the indicated and inferred categories to measured and indicated. The oxide resource evaluated to date extends to about 50 m below the surface. A minimum of 3,000 m of RC drilling will be used to infill gaps in the existing resource as well as testing the immediate on-strike extensions of the Diba deposit. Analysis of previous results derived from drilling completed by Etruscan Resources in 2009 suggests that additional resources remain to be discovered on-strike from the known mineralization, along a 2 km long soil auger geochemistry anomaly to the northwest. Several lines of RC and core holes drilled by Etruscan Resources about 1.5 km to the NNW of Diba yielded multiple mineralized intervals which warrant follow up drilling.

Preliminary results of a ground gravity survey on the Lankalfa project area suggest that areas that have been drilled previously warrant additional exploration. New and upgraded targets revealed by the final interpretation of the gravity survey will also be included in the 2,000 m of RC drilling planned for Lankafla.

In southern Mali, exploration by Legend Gold on the Mougnina exploration license, some twenty kilometers north of the Syama mine, has mapped a series of ancient artisanal workings which are coincident with soil auger gold anomalies. The ancient workings appear to be on splays off the same fault system that controls mineralization at the Syama mine. At least 5,000 m of AC drilling are planned to test the soil auger gold anomalies and artisanal workings.

The drill program is expected to commence in early February 2014.

Douglas Perkins, President and Chief Executive Officer of Legend Gold stated, “The data review and project ranking that took place over the past three months is now complete and the technical team has chosen their priorities for the current drilling season. Given the current state of the exploration business, Legend Gold was able to obtain some very competitive quotes for meters. We look forward to announcing the results as soon as they are available.” 

On December 18th, 2013 the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that it would financially assist Mali in a press release ‘IMF Executive Board Approves New Extended Credit Facility Arrangement for Mali and US$9.2 Million Disbursement’ regarding Mali’s economic potential with help from external financial resources. The institution which is based in Washington DC announced what the new arraignments will provide to the war torn country:

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today approved a new arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) for Mali for an amount equivalent to SDR 30 million (about US$ 46.2 million or 32 percent of quota). The approval enables the immediate disbursement of an amount equivalent to SDR 6 million (about US$9.2 million).

The authorities’ program is designed to reduce balance-of-payments vulnerabilities and lay foundations for stronger, more inclusive growth. Reform efforts are focused on tax policy and revenue administration, public financial management and improving the business environment.

The IMF imposes debts on nations and forces its governments to cut back on social services such as education and medical care in order to pay back the debt. An article written by Arthur MacEwan which was published on Third World Network titled ‘Economic debacle in Argentina: The IMF strikes again’ describes how IMF policies affected Argentina’s economy:

During 2001 the Argentine recession grew rapidly deeper. Although the IMF pumped in additional funds, it provided these funds on the condition that the Argentine government would entirely eliminate its budget deficit. With the economy in a nose-dive and tax revenues plummeting, the only way to balance the budget was to drastically cut government spending. Yet, in doing so, the government was both eviscerating social programmes and reducing overall demand. In mid-December, the government announced that it would cut the salaries of public employees by 20% and reduce pension payments. At the same time, as the worsening crisis raised fears that the peso would be devalued, the government moved to prevent people from trading their pesos for dollars; it promulgated a regulation limiting bank withdrawals. These steps were the final straws, and in the week before Christmas, all hell broke loose.

According to www.allafrica.com an online African news source admits an increase in foreign investments and believes that Mali will experience growth “Mali is expected to benefit from relatively stable external conditions in the near term. The region’s prospects are favorable. Sub-Saharan Africa is set to enjoy continued robust growth driven by strong investment in infrastructure and productive capacity, and by rising inflows of foreign direct investment and other financing opportunities” which is further from the truth. RT News reported on June 10th, 2013 what does foreign investment in the gold industry mean for Malian citizens and especially for those who work in the gold mines:

War-worn Mali has tripled its gold exports over the last decade, though the rising profits are being funneled outside what is one of the world’s poorest countries: Foreign corporations appear to be taking over one of Mali’s few thriving industries. Mali, Africa’s third-largest gold producer, has just announced it expects to double annual gold output over the next five years to 100 tons.

Malian officials claim the gold-abundant south has been untouched by the military conflict between government troops and Tuareg insurgents in the north, which prompted an intervention by France in January. The promise of gold has lured investors into one of Mali’s most profitable industries.

However, residents have decried the news, as they feel they will benefit little from the country’s newfound riches. Thousands are employed as ‘traditional miners’ in the town of Yanfolila in southern Mali, the epicenter of the country’s gold rush. Traditional mining is a near-medieval process in which Malian workers dig holes approximately the size of their own bodies using only primitive picks – their gold mines. Without a proper geological survey, workers are essentially hoping to get lucky. The narrow shafts go as deep down as 60 meters, the equivalent of a 15- to 20-story building 

French intervention in Mali had nothing to do with the welfare of the Malian people. It was about the natural resources it has including gold, uranium and oil. With gold demand increasing among nations throughout the world, it is no surprise that the Western powers would intervene in any internal conflict in a resource rich country in the African continent. The French government has interests in Mali. That interest is in natural resources as Katrin Sold of the German Council on Foreign Relations stated in 2013 “In the long term, France has interests in securing resources in the Sahel – particularly oil and uranium, which the French energy company Areva has been extracting for decades in neighboring Niger”. Mali has abundant natural resources. The civil war intensified through a western backed military coup with Captain Amadou Haya Sanogo who was trained by the United States lead a coup against democratically-elected government of Amadou Toumani Touré after the Tuareg Rebellion in Northern Mali. Western Institutions and corporations wasted no time in acquiring natural resources during Mali’s crises. Divide and conquer and then accumulate the resources was the was the Western government’s intentions. During a speech by French President Francois Hollande on February 2nd, 2013 after France intervened in Mali, hypocrisy took hold when he said:

France stands alongside you, not to serve any particular interest – we have none –, to protect this or that faction, or in favour of this or that Malian party… No, we stand alongside you for the sake of the whole of Mali and for West Africa. We’re fighting here to ensure Mali lives in peace and democracy. And you’ve presented the best image today, through your warmth and fervour, after your pain throughout those months when fanaticism held sway in northern Mali.

We’re fighting as brothers – Malians, French, Africans – because I haven’t forgotten that when France herself was attacked, when she was seeking support and allies, when her territorial integrity was threatened, who came along? It was Africa; it was Mali. Thank you, thank you, Mali. Today we’re repaying our debt to you

Mali is the country that has to repay its debts to the IMF and its western powers through its natural resources, not France. A loan from the IMF  is guaranteed to create more debt for the Malian people.  As Western powers such as the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and France continue to intervene in third world countries for their own interests, it seems like Mali is under their control for the long term pushing China out as a potential business partner with the Malian government. France and AFRICOM are expanding its intervention policies throughout Africa because it is about the resources, besides; the West has been intervening in Africa for the past 500 +years that only resulted in more wars and extreme poverty for the African people.

Israel Ready to Invade Gaza. Planned Attack Would “Exact a Heavy Toll”

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News - The state of Israel is ready for another war in Gaza following incidents in the Israeli-Gaza borders where it claims that numerous rockets were fired from the Gaza by terrorists groups according to The Times of Israel. “Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz on Tuesday expressed their satisfaction with the IDF’s preparedness for a possible incursion into the Gaza Strip and declared that such an attack would severely incapacitate terror groups” according to the report. The report also indicated that “their statements came amid a recent spike in the number of attacks emanating from Gaza and, subsequently, the number and intensity of Israeli retaliatory strikes.” The Israeli government is in preparation to hit the Palestinians to disable their military capabilities to attack the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in case of any future war with the Palestinians or any of its neighbors in the Middle East. It would also limit the Palestinians fighting capabilities if Israel were to launch attacks on its neighbors as in the case of Lebanon, Syria or Iran. Both Israel and Lebanon have a strenuous relationship for decades. Israel will launch strikes deep into Gaza if new peace talks fail when US Secretary of State John Kerry who is scheduled to arrive this week. Israel recently complained to the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and the Security Council that Lebanon committed acts of terror, including the murder of an IDF soldier by a Lebanese soldier. According to Israel National News:

In the letter of complaint, Israel’s ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor wrote that “the lack of leadership in Lebanon allows Hezbollah to operate against Israel and destabilize the region.”

Prosor added that “Hezbollah has placed thousands of missiles and rockets within civilian population in southern Lebanon, in blatant violation of international law, rockets and missiles that are used for firing at Israel. Hezbollah thus carries out a double war crime.”

“I appeal to the Security Council and ask for its intervention in the wake of the escalation in terrorist attacks from Lebanon into Israel in recent weeks,” Prosor wrote, adding, “Israel has shown restraint in light of recent events, but reserves the right to protect its citizens and take any necessary measures for this purpose.

The Times of Israel report says that the IDF will deliver a “harsh blow” to Gaza. Gaza is under Israel’s control.

The main threat from the Gaza Strip is rockets and terror — aboveground and underground,” Ya’alon said at an IDF drill at the Tze’elim army base in southern Israel. “Therefore, the operation that the IDF would be required to undertake would have to deal a harsh blow to Gaza and to the organizations operating there, in a way that would damage their capabilities and exact a heavy toll.

It is the largest Prison on the planet. American academic and author Noam Chomsky wrote an Op-Ed for http://Truth-out.org called ‘Noam Chomsky: My Visit to Gaza, the World’s Largest Open-Air Prison’ and said:

And it hardly takes more than a day in Gaza to appreciate what it must be like to try to survive in the world’s largest open-air prison, where some 1.5 million people on a roughly 140-square-mile strip of land are subject to random terror and arbitrary punishment, with no purpose other than to humiliate and degrade.

Such cruelty is to ensure that Palestinian hopes for a decent future will be crushed, and that the overwhelming global support for a diplomatic settlement granting basic human rights will be nullified. The Israeli political leadership has dramatically illustrated this commitment in the past few days, warning that they will “go crazy” if Palestinian rights are given even limited recognition by the U.N.

Israel is in the process of further destroying any chance for a Palestinian state. Israel wants to weaken any attempt by the Palestinians to defend themselves or their neighbors. As tensions rise in the Middle East with Iran’s nuclear program and the continuing civil war in Syria and now Lebanon’s southern border with Hezbollah’s military capabilities, Israel is only interested in weakening Gaza’s militants. I expect the next incursion into Gaza will be more severe resulting in more Palestinian and Israeli casualties. The Middle East is a powder keg ready to explode with Israel’s aggressive behavior towards its Arab neighbors. Israel says it is defending their citizens but aren’t the Palestinians defending their future from a state that seeks to dominate them? It is also fair to say that the Palestinians are also defending themselves from genocide. Israel controls Gaza’s border crossings. Israel also controls its air space that allows it to monitor radio and television broadcasts and it sea space that restricts fishing for its population. It control’s the movements of goods which lead to the decrease of food and medicine. Israel also controls Gaza’s tax system by setting VAT and customs rates for goods that are intended for Gaza’s residents. Israel is preparing to further isolate Gaza through military actions that would only anger the Palestinian population to continue to resist the occupation. 2014 will be a pivotal year for the Middle East. Let’s hope that peace will prevail in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Although “skeptical”, the Times of Israel also reported that many Israeli’s and Palestinians support a Palestinian state coexisting with Israel:

The study, conducted jointly by the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah, found that 63 percent of Israelis and 53% of Palestinians support the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, the university said in a statement Tuesday

With Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu and the Likud Party in power, a two-state solution with a peace deal seems like a far stretch of the imagination.

Wall Street Pirates of the Caribbean: Puerto Rico’s Public Pension System Teetering on Collapse...

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News - Protests erupted this past Thursday in San Juan, Puerto Rico’s capitol building. The ongoing economic stagnation of Puerto Rico continues with proposed pension cuts for retired public school teachers according to the Associated Press:

The protest interrupted a special legislative session that Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla had called to debate reform measures amid pressure to appease Wall Street ratings agencies as the U.S. territory braces for its eighth year in recession. Garcia said the teachers’ pension system has a $10 billion deficit and will run out of funds by 2020 if nothing is done. 

“We cannot remain with our arms crossed,” he said. “Postponing this reform will worsen the state of the system, require more drastic measures to save it and contribute to the country’s worsening credit.” The government is seeking to change the system from a defined benefit plan to a defined contribution one and possibly increase the retirement age, among other things.

This means reducing monthly payments and increasing the retirement age. Wall Street is looking to profit from Puerto Rico’s debt problem through “trading revenue” according to Bloomberg News last month:

Lazard Capital held a meeting Oct. 10 at its New York office with about 75 participants said Peter Santry, head of fixed-income trading. As more hedge funds buy and sell commonwealth securities, the firm wants to capture that trading revenue, Santry said. “You want to get business out of it,” Santry said.  

Former Governor Luis Fortuno, who lost a re-election bid in November 2012 and is now a partner at Washington-based Steptoe & Johnson LLP, spoke at the Lazard Capital meeting on the legal structures of Puerto Rico debt and the commonwealth’s economy, Santry said. Fortuno declined to comment in an e-mail, saying he wouldn’t discuss current or potential clients.  

Citigroup hosted an Oct. 24 conference that attracted more than 200 attendees, eight times more than the company was expecting, according to two participants, who asked not to be identified because the meeting was private. Bank representatives said in the presentation that the company originally booked a conference room and had to find a bigger space, the attendees said.

Former Puerto Rico Governor Luis Fortuno’s decision not to mention his current and future potential cliental for Puerto Rico’s potential commonwealth securities is troubling. But Fortuno’s law firm Steptoe & Johnson LLP in the past represented CEO and Chairman of Goldman Sachs Lloyd Blankfein in relation to mortgage fraud in 2012 that resulted in no criminal charges for the banking institution after a year-long investigation. That should win the hearts and minds of the Puerto Rican people! The new governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla will bow to Wall Street’s demands. “Teachers protesting the proposed measures say they favor alternatives such as increasing taxes on foreign companies to generate more revenue and receiving unclaimed money from the island’s electronic lottery system” according to Bloomberg. Caribbean Business reported back on October 10th ‘García Padilla administration makes new pitch on Wall Street’:

Despite Moody’s ill-timed move, García Padilla’s top economic brass remain steadfast in a plan that they insist will be instrumental in achieving 2.6% growth by the end of 2016.

During an exclusive roundtable interview with CARIBBEAN BUSINESS, Economic Development & Commerce Secretary Alberto Bacó Bagué, Puerto Rico Industrial Development Co. Executive Director Antonio Medina, Puerto Rico Tourism Co. Executive Director Ingrid Rivera Rocafort and Puerto Rico Commerce & Export Co. Executive Director Francisco Chévere explained that a concerted effort is underway to showcase an integrated plan—the fiscal and economic teams together— in presentations to credit-rating agencies on Wall Street.

The idea is for the rating agencies to see the economic-development plan, not as an afterthought, but as an integral part of a strategy—the next step after raising taxes and fixing the government workers’ retirement plan—that will spur growth even in the face of austerity. To that end, they have commissioned a review of Puerto Rico’s economy by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) that, they say, will certify 2.6% economic growth and the creation of 90,000 new jobs by the end of 2016—if they execute their plan to perfection.

The government of Puerto Rico and the teachers both agree to raise taxes on foreign companies. It is important to note that raising taxes on companies would force them to leave the island altogether in hopes of finding better tax shelters in other nations with a lower tax rate. In the process, jobs would be eliminated which will increase unemployment rates adding to an already struggling economy. Raising taxes on foreign companies is not the only bad idea. Using unclaimed money from the Puerto Rico lottery system would not “trickle down” down to the local economy. The Puerto Rico government would use unclaimed funds to repay its growing $70 billion debt to Wall Street. Puerto Rico’s austerity measures would not create 90,000 jobs with a 2.6%economic growth rate which will be certified by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is unrealistic. The only jobs that will exist in Puerto Rico will be through the US government and the military with its ever expanding defense department budgets and continuous wars. What is more disturbing for Puerto Rico’s retired teachers is that they fully depend on their pensions because they do not receive any form of social security benefits or any other retirement incentives. “Nearly 42,000 teachers contribute to a pension system that supports nearly 38,000 retired teachers. Unlike other government workers in Puerto Rico, teachers do not receive Social Security and depend completely on their pensions upon retirement” according to the Bloomberg report. Once austerity measures take place, Wall Street and other private investors would reap the benefits. Puerto Rico will suffer the economic consequences of their politicians because of their loyalties to Washington and Wall Street. Maybe when Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla’s term expires or if he loses the next election, he will find himself in a cushy position in a Wall Street firm following his predecessor former Governor Luis Fortuno. Don’t be surprised.

US Hegemony and Puerto Rico’s Economic Crisis

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News – A major economic crisis is looming in the Caribbean.  Puerto Rico, a US Commonwealth will be the center of attention in the world of finance in the coming months ahead.  Puerto Rico’s economy has been in a recession since 2006 and its bonds are close to junk status.  Puerto Rico is facing an alarming economic downturn that is clearly unsustainable.  The economy is headed for a major collapse, one not seen since the great depression, this time it could be far worse.  Puerto Rico has $70 billion in debt and an underfunded government pension system that will be eventually face cuts which only adds to more economic uncertainties for the population.  Unemployment levels are at 14.7 percent and a mass migration of the Puerto Rican people to the United States in search of better opportunities has taking hold.  Puerto Rico’s economy is dependent upon the United States government and its corporations, which many are pharmaceutical conglomerates.  It is politically and socially a “Colonial Possession” of the United States since the Spanish-American war of 1898.  However, Puerto Rico is not alone.  The United States has other colonial possessions namely Guam, American Samoa in the Pacific and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  France and Great Britain also has “Colonial Possessions” or “Overseas Territories” in a number of regions throughout the world.  Puerto Rico is no exception to the rule; it is a colony that has been exploited politically and economically for more than a century under US rule.

Puerto Rico’s economy is in a dire situation. As of October 2013, the official number of people who are unemployed is at 14.7 percent, perhaps a lot higher if you count those that have dropped out of the labor force because they are no longer looking for employment opportunities.  The Public debt is currently at $70 Billion and increasing daily. Early this month an article written by Justin Velez-Hagan who is executive director of The National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce for Forbes magazine titled ‘Default: Puerto Rico’s Inevitable Option’ describes what lead to Puerto Rico’s debt crises:

With triple tax exemption (federal, state, and local), combined with higher-than-average yields, Puerto Rican bonds became so popular in recent years that it was able to rack up $70 billion of debt now held by institutional investors and mutual funds alike. The debt-to-GDP ratio is now nearly 70% and growing, not including pension obligations, which raises the ratio to over 90%. With a per capita debt load of $19,000 and growing, Puerto Ricans shoulder almost 4 times the burden of U.S. leader Massachusetts which carries a deficit of $5,077 per citizen

Puerto Rico’s debt is 4 times larger than Massachusetts who Velez-Hagan acknowledges as the most indebted state per citizen with $19,000. The Washington Post also sounded alarm bells concerning Puerto Rico’s economic crises. In ‘Puerto Rico, with at least $70 billion in debt, confronts a rising economic misery’ Michael A. Fletcher describes what the commonwealth faces with cuts to pensions and government jobs and a rise in taxes all across the board including small and big businesses causing a migration of Puerto Ricans to major US cities:

The economy here has been in recession for nearly eight years, crimping tax revenue and pushing the jobless rate to nearly 15 percent. Meanwhile, the government is burdened by staggering debt, spawning comparisons to bankrupt Detroit and forcing lawmakers to severely slash pensions, cut government jobs and raise taxes in a furious effort to avert default.

The implications are serious for Americans outside Puerto Rico both because a taxpayer bailout would be expensive and a default would be far more disruptive than Detroit’s record bankruptcy filing in July. Officials in San Juan and Washington are adamant that a federal bailout is not on the table, but the situation is being closely monitored by the White House, which recently named an advisory team to help Puerto Rican officials navigate the crisis.

The island’s problems have ignited an exodus not seen here since the 1950s, when 500,000 people left for jobs on the mainland. Now Puerto Ricans, who are U.S. citizens, are again leaving in droves.  They are choosing the uncertainty of the job market in Orlando or New York City or Philadelphia over what they view as the certainty that their dreams would be crushed by the U.S. territory’s grinding economic problems.

Bloomberg Businessweek also published an article with concerns affecting the “Muni-Bond Market” that can rattle Wall Street’s Mutual Fund companies. ‘Puerto Rico’s Borrowing Binge Could Rock the Muni-Bond Market’ stated the facts:

The island’s plight affects almost anyone with a mutual fund invested in the municipal-bond market. Exempt from local, state, and federal taxes in the U.S., Puerto Rican bonds are held by 77 percent of muni funds, according to research firm Morningstar (MORN). About 180 funds, including ones run by OppenheimerFunds, Franklin Templeton Investments (BEN), and Dreyfus (BK), have 5 percent of their assets or more in Puerto Rican bonds.

General-obligation bonds, or GOs, which account for about 15 percent of the commonwealth’s public debt, carry the lowest investment-grade rating from Moody’s Investors Service (MCO) and S&P. A downgrade could force many mutual funds to sell part of their Puerto Rican holdings, flooding the market. “Puerto Rico could represent a systemic issue for the municipal-bond market,” says Carlos Colón de Armas, an economist and former official of the Government Development Bank, which conducts the island’s capital-markets transactions. “We are now in a situation where the bonds are trading like junk. I think the ratings agencies have been careful not to lower the GOs further, to avoid creating havoc in the muni-bond market.”

The Obama administration is sending a team of economic advisors according to Bloomberg News last month “With a $70 billion debt load and a substantially underfunded government pension system, the island has fueled market speculation it may need a bailout from Washington.” The report also stated what was on the agenda:

Most of the group’s work will focus on improving Puerto Rico’s management of federal funds to ensure officials are getting the amounts they are entitled to and putting them to effective use, according to the officials.  “There is less here than some people think,” said Jeffrey Farrow, who served as the Clinton White House’s liaison on Puerto Rican affairs. “This is pretty straightforward and an extension of what they have been doing in the past, but more intense, formalized and public.”

The first team of officials was scheduled to be from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Health, Education and Housing and Urban Development departments, officials said.  Puerto Rico’s education, health and housing departments are among of the biggest recipients of federal funding and have also been responsible for past Puerto Rico budget shortfalls.

The EPA’s intervention may stem from concerns regarding the ability of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority to comply with new federal air quality regulations that take effect in 2015.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is one of the agencies participating under Washington’s request. Washington has required that the Puerto Rico government and the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) comply with new federal air quality regulations by 2015. The online news source Caribbean Business reported back on July 11th, 2013 ‘PREPA falling behind on 2015 EPA Deadline’ that Puerto Rico is in a race to meet Washington’s air-quality standards by 2015:

A high-ranking regulatory official is concerned that the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa) isn’t moving fast enough to comply with strict federal air-quality standards taking effect in two years, as industry sources told CARIBBEAN BUSINESS that key decisions on the compliance process won’t be taken until next spring.  Prepa plans to either close or convert most of its oil-firing units to natural gas to comply with the new air-quality standards, but it won’t select a liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplier and decide on a method to deliver the gas to north-coast plants until March 2014, according to industry sources. That means the final contracts would probably not be enacted and finalized until the fourth quarter of 2014, they added.

Meanwhile, Prepa has an agreement with Texas-based Excelerate Energy to construct an offshore LNG terminal to feed the massive Aguirre powerplant in Guayama. A formal application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission was filed in April and the project remains in the permitting phase. Excelerate officials have said they expect the facility to be in service in early 2015, but that outlook depends on getting timely federal approval on its environmental impact statement and several permits.

Puerto Rico’s plan to convert most of its oil-firing units to natural gas will have an impact on its economy. Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) does not have the economic capacity to invest in the construction of new plants that would supply natural gas. “While the cash-strapped public utility can’t afford to build its own plants, there is interest from large energy companies to construct new generation units through public-private partnerships (P3s)” the report stated. “That is especially the case because the move to natural gas isn’t just about compliance, but about bringing down power costs.” Caribbean Business said that Edgardo Fábregas, a former member of PREPA’s board confirmed that the public utility is considering a plan to construct a gas-fired plant “The former Prepa board member said the public utility was considering a longer-term plan to construct, through a P3 initiative, a massive natural gas-fired plant, probably on the site of Arecibo’s Cambalache plant, which is rarely used.” The report also said that Fábregas admitted to the costs associated with the project:

To do a project right, building a plant that could “flex up or down” rapidly and would have the capacity to power the entire north coast, would cost $7 billion, and take six years to build. The project would allow for the elimination of the Palo Seco and San Juan plants, Fábregas said. “We have to move to natural gas as soon as we can, but at the end of the day, you have to renew your system. I understand the cost and time implications involved, but if we don’t start, we will never finish,” he added.

According to Robert Bryce, a senior fellow with the Center for Energy Policy and the Environment at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, a conservative think tank based in New York City produced a report called ‘The High Cost of Renewable-Electricity Mandates’. He wrote about the effects of Washington’s new air-quality proposal:

Motivated by a desire to reduce carbon emissions, and in the absence of federal action to do so, 29 states (and the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico) have required utility companies to deliver specified minimum amounts of electricity from “renewable” sources, including wind and solar power. California recently adopted the most stringent of these so-called renewable portfolio standards (RPS), requiring 33 percent of its electricity to be renewable by 2020.  Proponents of the RPS plans say that the mandated restrictions will reduce harmful emissions and spur job growth, by stimulating investment in green technologies.

But this patchwork of state rules—which now affects the electricity bills of about two-thirds of the U.S. population as well as countless businesses and industrial users—has sprung up in recent years without the benefit of the states fully calculating their costs.  There is growing evidence that the costs may be too high—that the price tag for purchasing renewable energy, and for building new transmission lines to deliver it, may not only outweigh any environmental benefits but may also be detrimental to the economy, costing jobs rather than adding them.  The mandates amount to a “back-end way to put a price on carbon,” says one former federal regulator. Put another way, the higher cost of electricity is essentially a de facto carbon-reduction tax, one that is putting a strain on a struggling economy and is falling most heavily, in the way that regressive taxes do, on the least well-off among residential users.

To be sure, the mandates aren’t the only reason that electricity costs are rising—increased regulation of coal-fired power plants is also a major factor—and it is difficult to isolate the cost of the renewable mandates without rigorous cost-benefit analysis by the states.

The new mandate is called Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) that automatically “require electricity providers to supply a specified minimum amount of power to their customers from sources that qualify as “renewable,” a category that includes wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal.” The report clarified what the results of the new energy plan would bring:

The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is similarly bullish on the state programs. The RPS rules are designed “to stimulate market and technology development,” the agency says, “so that, ultimately renewable energy will be economically competitive with conventional forms of electric power. States create RPS programs because of the energy, environmental, and economic benefits of renewable energy.”[4]

Although supporters of renewable energy claim that the RPS mandates will bring benefits, their contribution to the economy is problematic because they also impose costs that must be incorporated into the utility bills paid by homeowners, commercial businesses, and industrial users. And those costs are or will be substantial. Electricity generated from renewable sources generally costs more—often much more—than that produced by conventional fuels such as coal and natural gas. In addition, large-scale renewable energy projects often require the construction of many miles of high-voltage transmission lines. The cost of those lines must also be incorporated into the bills paid by consumers.

What Edgardo Fábregas forgets to mention is that Bryce’s analysis on the price of producing electricity through renewable energy sources can be astronomical. It is an amazing prediction given by the EPA under the Obama administration’s directives. It is important to note that the major players in the RPS programs are connected to Wall Street and major banks that includes Goldman Sachs who is one of President Obama’s major campaign contributors. Author and journalist Matt Taibbi wrote an article on the history of Goldman Sachs and the US government’s relationship for Rolling Stone magazine called ‘The Great American Bubble Machine’. Taibbi explains how Goldman Sachs would benefit from Washington’s air-quality mandates:

The new carbon credit market is a virtual repeat of the commodities-market casino that’s been kind to Goldman, except it has one delicious new wrinkle: If the plan goes forward as expected, the rise in prices will be government-mandated. Goldman won’t even have to rig the game. It will be rigged in advance.

Here’s how it works: If the bill passes, there will be limits for coal plants, utilities, natural-gas distributors and numerous other industries on the amount of carbon emissions (a.k.a. greenhouse gases) they can produce per year. If the companies go over their allotment, they will be able to buy “allocations” or credits from other companies that have managed to produce fewer emissions. President Obama conservatively estimates that about $646 billion worth of carbon credits will be auctioned in the first seven years; one of his top economic aides speculates that the real number might be twice or even three times that amount.

The feature of this plan that has special appeal to speculators is that the “cap” on carbon will be continually lowered by the government, which means that carbon credits will become more and more scarce with each passing year. Which means that this is a brand new commodities market where the main commodity to be traded is guaranteed to rise in price over time. The volume of this new market will be upwards of a trillion dollars annually; for comparison’s sake, the annual combined revenues of all electricity suppliers in the U.S. total $320 billion.

One other important factor to consider regarding Puerto Rico’s energy demands in the future is the supply of natural gas. Puerto Rico is hoping to secure a steady supply of natural gas from the United States for the next 100 years. “A key part of the plan is to secure a long-term LNG contract with the U.S., which has the most economical prices in the world, the result of a boon in U.S. natural gas exploration, which has unearthed a supply that experts say will last a century” according to the Caribbean Business report.  In the 2012 State of the Union Address, US President Barack Obama said “We have a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly 100 years, and my administration will take every possible action to safely develop this energy.” F. William Endahl, a research associate at Global Research wrote a ground breaking report, ‘The Fracked-up USA Shale Gas Bubble’ wrote that the 100 year supply of natural gas is in fact an inaccurate prediction:

In a sobering report, Arthur Berman, a veteran petroleum geologist specialized in well assessment, using existing well extraction data for major shale gas regions in the US since the boom started, reached sobering conclusions. His findings point to a new Ponzi scheme which well might play out in a colossal gas bust over the next months or at best, the next two or three years. Shale gas is anything but the “energy revolution” that will give US consumers or the world gas for 100 years as President Obama was told.

Berman wrote already in 2011, “Facts indicate that most wells are not commercial at current gas prices and require prices at least in the range of $8.00 to $9.00/mcf to break even on full-cycle prices, and $5.00 to $6.00/mcf on point-forward prices. Our price forecasts ($4.00-4.55/mcf average through 2012) are below $8.00/mcf for the next 18 months. It is, therefore, possible that some producers will be unable to maintain present drilling levels from cash flow, joint ventures, asset sales and stock offerings.” [16]

Berman continued, “Decline rates indicate that a decrease in drilling by any of the major producers in the shale gas plays would reveal the insecurity of supply. This is especially true in the case of the Haynesville Shale play where initial rates are about three times higher than in the Barnett or Fayetteville. Already, rig rates are dropping in the Haynesville as operators shift emphasis to more liquid-prone objectives that have even lower gas rates. This might create doubt about the paradigm of cheap and abundant shale gas supply and have a cascading effect on confidence and capital availability.” [17]

What Berman and others have also concluded is that the gas industry key players and their Wall Street bankers backing the shale boom have grossly inflated the volumes of recoverable shale gas reserves and hence its expected supply duration. He notes, “Reserves and economics depend on estimated ultimate recoveries (EUR) based on hyperbolic, or increasingly flattening, decline profiles that predict decades of commercial production. With only a few years of production history in most of these plays, this model has not been shown to be correct, and may be overly optimistic….Our analysis of shale gas well decline trends indicates that the Estimated Ultimate Recovery per well is approximately one-half the values commonly presented by operators.” [18] In brief, the gas producers have built the illusion that their unconventional and increasingly costly shale gas will last for decades.

However, Caribbean Business says that “Prepa has invited several suppliers to bid on a project to supply the north-coast plants with natural gas. It is spelling out its gas needs at its Palo Seco and San Juan plants, letting the energy companies decide the best way to supply the natural gas” and that “Prepa has made some progress on its natural gas conversion plan, which energy experts say is the only way to bring down the high cost of electricity.” Allowing energy companies decide how to supply gas would add to the price in the long run. Russia Today recently reported that “fracking technology” is causing major environmental problems within the United States. Since 2008, the state of Texas has been experiencing more earthquakes than ever before:

Between 1970 and 2007, the area around the Texas town of Azle (pop. 10,000) experienced just two earthquakes. The peace and quiet began to change, however, at the start of 2008, when 74 minor quakes were reported in the region. Now an increasing number of people, including scientists, are speculating that natural gas production by fracking – a process that forces high pressure water and chemicals into rock in order to extract natural gas reserves – is the culprit. The problem, however, is proving the claims.

Cliff Frolich, earthquake researcher at the University of Texas, said waste water injection wells from fracking could be responsible for the recent spate of earthquake activity. “I’d say it certainly looks very possible that the earthquakes are related to injection wells,” he said in an interview with KHOU television.

Frolich left room for doubt when he said thousands of such wells have operated in Texas for decades with no quakes anywhere near them. Frolich co-authored a 2009 study on earthquake activity near Cleburne, just south of Azle, which concluded: “The possibility exists that earthquakes may be related to fluid injection.” A recent government study lent credence to Frolich’s findings.

There have been Anti-fracking protests around the world. Fracking or “hydraulic fracturing” is a water-intensive process where millions of gallons of water, sand, and chemicals combined are injected underground with intensive pressure to fracture rocks that surround an oil or gas well. This process then releases extra oil and gas from the rock which flows into the well. “Fracking Technology” is proving to be environmentally dangerous for the health and safety of communities located in close proximity to these well sites. It causes many problems for the air we breathe and long-term environmental damage. For example, water can become contaminated from the toxins fracking has caused. It is an environmental hazard.

EPA rules and regulations also have the potential to impose a “carbon tax option” for states according to The Hill, A Washington D.C. based daily newspaper reported last month that Brookings Institution economist Adele Morris said that a carbon excise tax can be imposed on states:

Morris, a carbon tax supporter, argues that a carbon excise tax could be part of the “menu of specific approaches” that the agency gives states that will craft plans to meet the federal guidelines. Morris suggests that the EPA could “allow states to adopt a specific state-level excise tax or fee on the carbon content of fuels combusted by the power plants regulated under this rule.”

In other words, an excise tax associated with renewable energy supplies can be added only leading to higher energy costs for households, businesses and major industries. It would also allow Puerto Rico to contribute to the environmental degradation because of its future demands of natural gas which has no guarantee of supplies for the next 100 years. It is a recipe for disaster for both the economy and the environment.

 Will new EPA rules bankrupt farmers?

It is estimated that Puerto Rico imports at least 85% of the food supply from the United States according to the Latin American Herald Tribune. ‘Puerto Rico Imports 85 Percent of Its Food’ stated that “Puerto Rico imports 85 percent of the food its residents consume due to the lack of competitiveness among companies in this U.S. commonwealth, Agriculture Secretary Javier Rivera told Efe.” Agriculture Secretary Rivera admits that the majority of food is imported from the United States even though Puerto Rico has the capability to produce its own food, but cannot compete with US food suppliers. Rivera continued “Although we have the technical capacity, we’re not able to produce competitively” Why? “The secretary attributed the drop in production to the high operating costs of growing food on the island, which are, in turn, a result of high labor costs, as well as rising energy and fertilizer prices. Rivera acknowledged that therefore many farmers – of which there are fewer than 2,000 on the island, according to recent statistics – have come to depend on government subsidies to stay in business.” With new EPA regulations, remaining farmers will bear higher-energy costs because of the EPA’s new federal air quality regulations that will start in 2015. Agriculture on the island would be affected and farmers would be economically bankrupt when energy prices begin to rise.

From the 1929 Great Depression to the Recession of 2014

Looking back to the 1930’s, Puerto Rico was in economic despair due to the effects of the Great Depression. In 1940, the Popular Democratic Party (PPD) under the leadership of Washington’s puppet governor Luis Munoz Marin came to power with 37.9% of the vote compared to 39.2% of the Republican-Socialist coalition. The PPD also won the 1944 elections with 64.8% of the vote. The PPD was determined to transform Puerto Rico’s economy from an Agricultural farm-based to an export-driven modern industrial economy.

The US and Puerto Rico governments wanted to fast track the urbanization in many areas from a rural society to a modern, industrial urban center that would resemble New York City’s economy. For a short period of time, the project did increase living wages, improved housing conditions, health care and education. It also led to equitable land reforms,. At the same time the plan increased unemployment rates because many Puerto Ricans were unqualified for the types of jobs the new Industrial economy provided. It increased the migration levels to the United States, namely New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Puerto Rico became more dependent on U.S. markets and created more public and private debts. The most important aspect of US economic and political control of Puerto Rico was the cultural transformation of the population. It became what sociologist call “Americanization”. They were subjected to American culture, media, laws, and even its foods under Washington’s economic and social plan. In ‘Economic History of Puerto Rico: Institutional Change and Capitalist Development’ by James L. Dietz, professor of economics and Latin American studies at California State University wrote:

Industrialization and the accompanying decline of agriculture after the late 1940s did nothing to expand and make permanent the relative autonomy of the early 1940s. Instead, the PPD program had just the opposite result: it laid the foundation for increased dominance by U.S. capital from the 1950s to the present. The PPD’s goal of eventual political independence, after the attainment of social justice and a solution to the island’s economic problems, faded further into the future and eventually disappeared altogether. It may be that Munoz and the PPD never really were committed to independence, as many have suggested, but it is more likely that, as the PPD’s redirection of the economy under Munoz’s leadership tied its destiny ever closer to that of the United States, what they had became what they wanted as what they had wanted slipped further and further from their grasp

In ‘How an Economy Grows and why it Crashes’ author and economist Peter Schiff stated that “The evidence supporting these claims is largely emotional. What is far more certain is that the government’s monopoly control of public projects and services almost always leads to inefficiency, corruption, graft, and decay.” Puerto Rico’s economy was under US control then as it is now. Dietz says that “From 1941 to 1949, the government followed a program of land reform, control over and development of infrastructure and institutions, administrative organization, and limited industrialization through factories owned and operated by the government.” Comparing to what Peter Schiff said the Puerto Rican government’s control of certain economic sectors led to numerous “inefficiencies” and “Decay.” The bleak economic growth of Puerto Rico did not improve through a program called ‘Operacion Manos a la Obra’ or ‘Operation Bootstrap’ in English. It was known as “Industrialization by Invitation” to attract foreign investment. It failed in the long-run. Dietz further wrote:

“Yet Operation Bootstrap made it difficult for Puerto Ricans to improve their standard of living through their own efforts, since it put control over that process in the hands of U.S. firms, whose interests did not necessarily coincide with those of the majority on the island. It is likely that no one consciously intended such results from a development program that seemed so promising, but Puerto Rico’s colonial relation with the United States prevented, or at a minimum made more difficult, a more independent existence for the economy and society”

Puerto Rico’s dependence on the US mainland became evident as the years went by, but right from the beginning of World War II, Puerto Rico’s economy suffered.  “The war shut Puerto Rico off from its primary export market and source of imported goods, and meanwhile, there were no war industries to absorb surplus labor; consequently, unemployment increased” according to Dietz.  Today, Puerto Rico is suffering from a recession that started in 2006. In another report by Caribbean Business ‘PR reverses growth forecast, now predicts another year of recession’ and stated the dire predictions by the government of Puerto Rico, “The Puerto Rico government has dropped expectations for economic growth this fiscal year as the island struggles to pull out of a marathon downturn dating back to 2006. The Planning Board said Friday it is now projecting that the economy will shrink by 0.8 percent in fiscal 2014, dropping its previous forecast for razor-thin growth of 0.2 percent.” Puerto Rico’s economy will continue to decline as the US economy continues with its own economic problems. It will become more difficult as time progresses for Puerto Rico.

The Collapsing US Dollar and the Fall of Rome   

The US Dollar as a the world’s reserve currency is in its last stages because the US owes trillions of dollars in household, corporate and financial debt and future underfunded welfare liabilities.  The demand for U.S. dollars kept prices and interest rates low. It allowed the U.S. government to acquire the economic power it needed to dominate the world economically. It allowed the Federal Reserve Bank to print dollars unconditionally. Although the US dollar is still dominate with more the 50% of foreign currency reserves in the world, a gradual transition for other currencies is coming in the near future. The dollar will eventually lose its value. Interest rates on every loan and credit card will rise.

This is a recipe for disaster, because if a country such as Puerto Rico cannot produce its own food and is dependent on a foreign source that is the most indebted nation in world history with more than $17 trillion dollars in debt which continues to increase each passing day is a serious problem for Puerto Rico’s future. Tyler Durden of zerohedge.com provided a chart in 2012 to show the fiscal danger the United States faces in the near future. Durden explains:

We present the following chart showing total US Federal debt/GDP as well as Deficit/(Surplus)/GDP since inception, or in this case as close as feasible, or 1792, which appears to be the first recorded year of historical fiscal data. We can see why readers have been so eager to see the “real big picture” – the chart is nothing short of stunning.

The Debt Matrix: Consumption and Modern-Day Slavery

“Home life ceases to be free and beautiful as soon as it is founded on borrowing and debt”

Henrik Ibsen

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News – According to Oxford Dictionary the term Slave is defined as a person who is the legal property of another and is forced to obey them” as in the case of the United States during the 18th and 19th centuries where slavery was a legalized institution.  Oxford dictionary also defines slavery as “a person who works very hard without proper remuneration or appreciation” as in today’s world of a person working for a company or corporation where their efforts are usually under appreciated.  It also describes a slave as “a person who is excessively dependent upon or controlled by something” or “a device, or part of one, directly controlled by another”.  Debt can be an instrument used to control an individual or a nation for that matter.  In this case, an individual is dependent upon “Credit” to buy products.  Then the credit becomes a debt that has to be repaid.  It becomes a “control mechanism” as the creditor becomes the “Slave Owner” and the debtor becomes the “Slave”.  What is the point?   In today’s world of unlimited credit, consumers become modern-day slaves to their creditors.  What is the difference between slavery in 18th century America with imported African slaves and the America of 2013?  There is no difference besides the physical abuse of the African slaves by their owners.  In America, consumers suffer psychological abuse by its creditors.  As long as an individual remains in debt bondage, that person will have to repay that debt until the day that person literally dies in most cases.

Black Friday is the day that starts the most important holiday for big name retailers and Wall Street speculators and that is Christmas.  It is the shopping season that investors, economists and corporations pay close attention to as they measure consumer confidence and the profits they reap from consumer spending.  Major retailers and corporations such as Wal-Mart expect to make profits.  Wall Street expects consumers to spend on Black Friday through the Christmas holidays following the Federal Reserve’s continued policies of Quantitative Easing (QE).  Economists across the spectrum predict that the new Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen will continue to buy US bonds indefinitely continuing Ben Bernanke’s current policies.  All the while consumers continue to accumulate debt.  Black Friday was marked with chaos followed by violence as mobs of consumers’ raided shopping centers and malls for discounts and sales on numerous products including flat screen televisions, toys, clothing and other goods they most likely don’t need.  Regardless of the economic situation, consumers will continue to buy.  Granted, Christmas is about giving your loved ones gifts in a traditional sense.  It is also about spending time with the family.  It is supposed to be a joyous holiday for families, but the American population is mired in debt ranging from credit cards, mortgages, student loans and auto loans.  Earlier this month Bloomberg reported that U.S. households increased their debt levels by continuing to borrow at unprecedented levels:

Consumer indebtedness rose $127 billion to $11.28 trillion, the biggest increase since the first quarter of 2008, according to a quarterly report on household debt and credit released today by the Fed district bank. Mortgage balances climbed $56 billion, student loans increased $33 billion, auto loans were up $31 billion and credit-card debt rose by $4 billion.

“We observed an increase of household balances across essentially all types of debt,” Donghoon Lee, senior research economist at the New York Fed, said in a statement. “With non-housing debt consistently increasing and the factors pushing down mortgage balances waning, it appears that households have crossed a turning point in the deleveraging cycle.”

Consumerism has taking hold in America.  The population continues to stampede at malls and in some cases injuring and even killing individuals.  In 2008, a Wal-Mart worker was trampled to death in Long Island, New York by a stampede of hungry consumers looking for bargains.  There were also several people injured during the incident.  This Black Friday proved to be more of the same as shoppers filled shopping malls.  Some malls experienced violent crowds pushing and fighting with each other over items that were on sale.  It is absolutely mind boggling to see average people become violent over products sold at major retail stores.  Morality is in decline in America.

Regardless of debt the American public faces, it seems that shopping is the only thing that matters.  As debt increases it becomes harder for them to repay.  Can the American people ever awaken from their dystopian nightmare of mass consumption of products they don’t need?  They are accumulating large amounts of debt thanks to the Federal Reserve Bank’s printing of unlimited cheap money with incredibly zero to low interest rates.  Although, many do buy their basic necessities such as food and clothing, buying the latest products that includes video games and other computer gadgets are turning consumers into life-long debt slaves that will continue to pay their credit card companies with “interest” until the debt is paid.  That can take a long period of time since interest rates are tied to credit cards and other revolving loan payments.  According to the Federal Reserve Bank (who continues endless money printing) and other government institutions, the average US household owes between $7,000 and $15,112 on credit cards.  The average mortgage debt is at $146,215 and student loans’ reaching the $1 trillion mark is at $31,240.  The total amount of debt the United States owes to its creditors namely China is at $17 Trillion and steadily increasing as the Federal Reserve Bank continues to buy its own US bonds.

Debt Slavery is the new modern-day slavery as millions continue to buy products on credit becoming perpetual servants of mega corporations and international banks.  How?  As you buy with credit cards or loans, the “interest rates” attached to the purchases made is the bond that ties you and the corporate interests or bankers for eternity.  The debt people get into is difficult to escape as interest rates accumulate over time it becomes extremely difficult to repay since it keeps adding up.  In the 2009 film called ‘The International’ with Clive Owen and Naomi Watts which was actually inspired by the BCCI (Bank of Credit and Commerce International) scandal in real life had an interesting scene involving an Italian politician named Umberto Calvini, who is a weapons manufacturer who explains to Eleanor Whitman (Watts) and Louis Salinger (Owens) that IBBC was interested in buying a missile guiding system that his factory produces then later assassinated.  He explained that the true value was not conflicts but the debt it produces:

Calvini: “No, this is not about making profit from weapon sales.  It’s about control.”

Eleanor: “Control the flow of weapons, control the conflict?”

Calvini: “No. No No. The IBBC is a bank. Their objective isn’t to control the conflict, it’s to control the debt that the conflict produces. You see, the real value of a conflict – the true value – is in the debt that it creates. You control the debt, you control everything.  You find this upsetting, yes?  But this is the very essence of the banking industry, to make us all, whether we be nations or individuals, slaves to debt.”

It was an interesting scene coming out of Hollywood, which by every standard is a propaganda machine.  Debt is serious business especially for banks and corporations.  .

With all of the problems the American public faces with the prospect of a future war on Iran will impact the world’s economy.  With 100 million people out of work in the United States and a reduction in food stamps and inflation hitting food prices, there is much concern.  Celebrities’ personal lives still dominate headlines in the main stream media.  The ‘War on Terror’ has taken away civil liberties and the ‘War on Drugs’ has increased the prison population.  High-crime rates in major cities remain problematic. With the rollout of 7000 drones in 2015, endless wars, a looming dollar collapse, and endless Pharmaceutical commercials that keep people heavily drugged are serious problems for the American public.  Yet, shopping on Black Friday resulting in violence and chaos among uneasy crowds seems to be the norm.

The media and corporate advertisements have turned the American population into a “Slave” state of mind. Many people in the United States are accumulating debt at levels never seen in its 237 years of its existence.  It is a lesson to the world in what NOT to do.  An economy that is consumer based with credit is a disaster in the making because that debt only becomes unmanageable in the long run, especially when the people have no means to repay its debt obligations.  An economy based on consumerism leads to moral decay.  When people become ingrained in consumption disregarding the debt they inherit, they become immune to the realities around them.  When the situation becomes intense with a coming dollar collapse and a possible war in the Middle East, reality will sink in.  Then when the necessities such as food and shelter become scarce the people will begin to panic and lose control over their own lives.  Who knows what people in America will be capable of, but then again as you saw what happened on Black Friday, it is a reminder of how people react when products they don’t really need are on sale.  Imagine how they will react in times of economic despair.

A “Nuclear-Free Zone” in the Middle East? Why Israel will not Join the Non-Proliferation...

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News - Iran’s New President Hassan Rouhani has requested that Israel to sign and become a member of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as he spoke for a second time at the United Nation General Assembly. “As long as nuclear weapons exist, the threat of their use exists,” Rouhani said, citing the American bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.  Rouhani is calling for “nuclear-free zone” in the Middle East.  Israel is the only country in the Middle East that had not and will not sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.  Israel would use nuclear weapons if it felt it was threatened by any nation in the Middle East.  The nuclear capability of Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) defensive capabilities just reached another plateau this past April.  It purchased its 5th nuclear submarine that can be deployed anywhere in the world with first strike capability.  The Israel News Agency reported that Israel purchased a fifth Dolphin class submarine called the “INS Rahav” from Germany.  The article headlined “Israel Launches Ninth Submarine, Ready To Strike Iran Nuclear Weapons.”  Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said “The submarines are a strong, strategic tool for the IDF. The State of Israel is ready to act anytime, anywhere – on land, sea and air – in order to ensure the security of Israel’s citizens.”  The submarines are equipped with Israeli-designed Popeye missiles that are capable of carrying nuclear warheads.  It is no secret that Israel has nuclear weapons.  Some estimates suggest that Israel has between 100 and 400 nuclear weapons.  No one knows exactly how many nuclear bombs Israel possesses, but we do know they have the capability to produce them at a moment’s notice.

Mordechai Vanunu, a former Israeli technician at the Dimona nuclear research center in the Negev desert exposed Israel’s nuclear program to the world in the 1986 Sunday Times (UK).  Vanunu was kidnapped in Italy by Mossad agents and brought to Israel to face an Israeli court.  He was convicted and imprisoned for more than 18 years at Shikma Prison in Ashkelon, Israel.  Half of his prison term was in solitary confinement.  He was eventually released in 2004.  Since then, Vanunu has been arrested and even imprisoned for violating his parole.  He was also arrested for trying to leave Israel at one time.  Former Israeli Prime Minister and Noble Peace Prize winner Shimon Peres said “he was a traitor to this country”.

Since Israel is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty; the Dimona Nuclear Research center is not subject to inspections from the international community such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).  According to the Federation of American Scientists in a 2007 report, Israel has between 75 and 400 nuclear warheads, but some estimates have their nuclear warheads at less than 200. It is also known that Israel has the ability to deliver them by intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with a range of 5,500 kilometers or 3,400 miles, the Jericho III missile named after the biblical city of Jericho, various aircrafts and of course submarines.  The report stated the following:

By the late 1990s the U.S. Intelligence Community estimated that Israel possessed between 75-130 weapons, based on production estimates. The stockpile would certainly include warheads for mobile Jericho-1 and Jericho-2 missiles, as well as bombs for Israeli aircraft, and may include other tactical nuclear weapons of various types. Some published estimates even claimed that Israel might have as many as 400 nuclear weapons by the late 1990s. We believe these numbers are exaggerated, and that Israel’s nuclear weapons inventory may include less than 100 nuclear weapons. Stockpiled plutonium could be used to build additional weapons if so decided

Israel’s nuclear program began after World War II.  Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion once said “What Einstein, Oppenheimer, and Teller, the three of them are Jews, made for the United States, could also be done by scientists in Israel, for their own people”.  David Ben-Gurion wanted to establish a Jewish State with a military force that would repel an attack by any of its adversaries especially in the Arab world.  Ben-Gurion’s speech to the elected assembly of Palestine Jews on October 2nd, 1947 made it clear on the intentions of a new Jewish state:

Political developments have swept us on to a momentous parting of the ways – from Mandate to independence. Today, beyond our ceaseless work in immigration, settlement and campaign, we are set three blazing tasks, whereof fulfillment will condition our perpetuity: defense, a Jewish State and Arab-Jewish Cupertino, in that order of importance and urgency.

Security is our chief problem. I do not minimize the virtue of statehood even within something less than all the territory of the Land of Israel on either bank of the Jordan; but security comes unarguably first. It dominated our concerns since the Yishuv [Jewish community in Palestine] began from the start of colonization we knew we must, in the main, guarantee it ourselves. But recent upsets and upheavals in Palestine, in the Middle East and in the wide world, and in British and international politics as well, magnify it from a local problem of current safety into Zionism’s hinge of destiny. In scope, in intensity, in purport, it is entirely different now. Just think of the new factors that invest the problem with a political significance of unprecedented gravity – and I could add a dozen others: the anti-Zionist policy pursued by the Mandatory Government during the past ten years, the obliteration of European Jewry with the willing aid of the acknowledged leader of the Palestine Arabs, the establishment of an Arab League active and united only in combating Zionism, Bevin’s ugly war against the Jews, the crisis in Britain and its political and economic aftermath, the creation of armed forces in the neighboring States, the intrusion of the Arab Legion. And not a single Jewish unit exists.

We can stand up to any aggression launched from Palestine or its border, but more in potential than yet in fact. The conversion from potential to actual is now our major, blinding headache. It will mean the swiftest, widest mobilization, here and abroad, of capacity to organize, of our resources in economics and manpower, our science and technology, our civic sense. It must be an all-out effort, sparing no man.

Several months later on May 14th, 1948, the state of Israel became a reality with David Ben-Gurion as its first Prime Minister.  Ben-Gurion, Executive head of the World Zionist Organization in 1946 until 1956 and the head of the influential Weizmann Institute of Science and Defense Ministry Scientist Ernest David Bergmann recruited Jewish Scientists from abroad during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.  Israel recruited and funded Jewish scientists to help Israel establish a nuclear program.  By 1949, the Israel Defense Forces Science Corps or ‘Hemed Gimmel’ was in search of Uranium in the Negev Desert, but only small amounts were discovered in phosphate deposits.  Hemed Gimmel financed several students to study nuclear technology overseas.  One of the students attended the University of Chicago to study under Enrico Fermi, who developed the Chicago Pile-1, the first nuclear reactor.  Fermi also made scientific contributions to nuclear, quantum and particle physics among others.  By the late 1950s Shimon Peres had established LEKEM, or the ‘Science liaison Bureau’ a new intelligence service that would search for technology, materials and equipment needed for Israel’s nuclear program.  By 1952, Hemed Gimmel was under Israel’s Ministry of Defense to become the Division of Research and Infrastructure (EMET).    By June 1952, The Israel Atomic Energy Commission (IAEC) was established with Ernest David Bergmann as the first chairman.  Hemed Gimmel was renamed Machon 4 which became the “chief laboratory” of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission (IAEC).  France was a major partner for Israel’s nuclear program.  France also sold weapons to Israel.  The France-Israel relationship was instrumental in the development of the Dimona Nuclear Research Center.  Israel signed American President Dwight Eisenhower’s Atoms for Peace, an agreement for peaceful nuclear cooperation between the U.S. and Israel along with Turkey to build a “small swimming pool research reactor” at Nachal Soreq.  It was the first step to building the Dimona nuclear research center in the Negev desert in collaboration with France who faced political turmoil in its former colonies in North Africa.  Israel also faced Arab hostilities in the Middle East, so the cooperation on matters regarding new military technology complemented each other.  On March 20, 1957 a public signing ceremony to build a “small swimming-pool research reactor” took place between France and Israel.  But the reality was that France and Israel collaborated to build a larger facility at Dimona.  In ‘Israel and the Bomb’ by Avner Cohen, he describes Ben Gurion’s ambitious plan regarding Israel’s nuclear program was advanced through the Atoms for Peace Initiative:

With the return of Ben Gurion to power in 1955, nuclear energy became a matter of national priority.  Ben Gurion gave political backing and financial support to those in the Ministry of Defense who were committed to promoting nuclear energy-Peres, Bergmann, Mardor, and the nuclear enthusiasts at Machon 4.  There was also a change in the international climate concerning nuclear energy, in the wake of Eisenhower’s December 1953 Atoms-for-Peace initiative.  Until then, nuclear energy in the United States, Canada, and Britain, the three major countries dealing with nuclear energy, was largely closed to other countries.  The Atoms for Peace Initiative made nuclear energy technology available to the rest of the world.     

The United States under President Eisenhower allowed Israel to seek a nuclear program that would advance its defense capabilities militarily.  By 1958, the construction of the Negev Nuclear Research Center located in the Negev desert in secret through the Protocol of Sevres agreement.   It was a secret agreement between Israel, France and Great Britain at Sevres, France to overthrow Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser through an invasion of Egypt after Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal. Four days after the Sèvres meeting, Israeli forces invaded Egyptian territory.  French and British forces invaded shortly after they vetoed a US sponsored UN Security Council resolution under the guise that they would separate both Israeli and Egyptian forces after Egypt refused their call to withdraw from the Suez Canal.

In 1958, Charles de Gaulle became President of France.  Almost immediately after he assumed office, he wanted to end France’s assistance to Israel’s nuclear program.  He would only support Israel’s nuclear program if international inspectors were allowed to inspect Dimona and that Israel would declare that its nuclear program was for peaceful purposes and that under no circumstances reprocess plutonium.  Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres negotiated with the French government allowing a window of opportunity for French companies to continue its work until 1966 with the Israeli government.  Israel also had declared its nuclear program was “peaceful”.  BBC News received secret documents that the British government also supported Israel’s nuclear program by sending illegal and restricted materials that started in the 1950′s.  In 1961, the Ben-Gurion informed the Canadian government that a pilot plutonium-separation plant would be built at the Dimona facility.  By 1962, the nuclear reactor at Dimona went “critical” meaning a critical mass with a small amount of fissile material was needed for a sustained nuclear chain reaction.  Shortly after, Israel secretly acquired more than 90 tons of uranium oxide (yellowcake) from Argentina to fuel the reactor.  By 1965 the Israeli reprocessing plant was completed and ready to convert the reactor’s fuel rods into weapons grade plutonium for a nuclear bomb.  After the Six-Day War, Israel went live producing nuclear weapons.  A new era began in the Middle East.  One that was a dangerous step to a nuclear disaster if Israel decided to use its nuclear weapons against an Arab country.      

In Seymour M. Hersh’s ‘The Samson Option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy’ stated the concerns Israel’s leaders had, especially Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion if they did not obtain nuclear weapons.  Hersh wrote:

“What is Israel?” he was quoted by an aide as asking. “. . . Only a small spot. One dot! How can it survive in this Arab world?” Ben-Gurion believed that he understood Arab character and was persuaded that as long as Arabs thought they could destroy the Jewish state, there would be no peace and no recognition of Israel. Many Israelis, survivors of the Holocaust, came to believe in ein brera, or “no alternative,” the doctrine that Israel was surrounded by implacable enemies and therefore had no choice but to strike out. In their view, Hitler and Nasser were interchangeable. 

For these Israelis, a nuclear arsenal was essential to the survival of the state. In public speeches throughout the 1950s, Ben Gurion repeatedly linked Israel’s security to its progress in science.  “Our security and independence require that more young people devote themselves to  science and research, atomic and electronic research, research of solar energy . . . and the like,” he told the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, in November 1955.

 Ernst Bergmann explicitly articulated the ein brera fears in a letter two years later: “I am convinced . . . that the State of Israel needs a defense research program of its own, so that we shall never again be as lambs led to the slaughter.” 

Ben-Gurion, Shimon Peres, and Ernst Bergmann believed that Israel’s independent arsenal finally could provide what President Eisenhower would not—the nuclear umbrella.

Israel’s nuclear program was built on the belief that it had “no alternative” but to build a nuclear weapon to deter Arab aggression.  Their experience with the Holocaust justifies their intentions on maintaining their nuclear weapons.  Israel’s believes that another Holocaust can be prevented, this time not from Germany but from Iran.  But many Israeli’s during the development stages of nuclear weapons were not keen on obtaining a nuclear bomb because of the Holocaust:

Less compelling to the military men was the moral argument against the bomb raised by some on the left and in academia: that the Jewish people, victims of the Holocaust, had an obligation to prevent the degeneration of the Arab-Israeli dispute into a war of mass destruction” Stated Hersh.  “ Those who held that view did not underestimate the danger of a conventional arms race, but believed that, as Simha Flapan, their passionate spokesman, wrote, “the qualitative advantages of Israel—social cohesion and organization, education and technical skills, intelligence and moral incentive—can be brought into play only in a conventional war fought by men.”

Another aspect of Israel’s foreign policy one should consider is the ‘Samson Option,’ a policy that calls for a retaliation using nuclear weapons against an enemy who threatens the Jewish homeland of its existence.  Hersh explains:

Dimona’s supporters had convinced most of the leadership that only nuclear weapons could provide the absolute and final deterrent to the Arab threat, and only nuclear weapons could convince the Arabs—who were bolstered by rapidly growing Soviet economic and military aid—that they must renounce all plans for military conquest of Israel and agree to a peace settlement. With a nuclear arsenal there would be no more Masadas in Israel’s history, a reference to the decision of more than nine hundred Jewish defenders—known as the Zealots—to commit suicide in A.D. 73 rather than endure defeat at the hands of the Romans.

In its place, argued the nuclear advocates, would be the Samson Option. Samson, according to the Bible, had been captured by the Philistines after a bloody fight and put on display, with his eyes torn out, for public entertainment in Dagon’s Temple in Gaza. He asked God to give him back his strength for the last time and cried out, “Let my soul die with the Philistines.” With that, he pushed apart the temple pillars, bringing down the roof and killing himself and his enemies.  For Israel’s nuclear advocates, the Samson Option became another way of saying “Never again.”

[In a 1976 essay in Commentary, Norman Podhoretz accurately summarized the pronuclear argument in describing what Israel would do if abandoned by the United States and overrun by Arabs: "The Israelis would fight . . . with conventional weapons for as long as they could, and if the tide were turning decisively against them, and if help in the form of resupply from the United States or any other guarantors were not forthcoming, it is safe to predict that they would fight with nuclear weapons in the end. ... It used to be said that the Israelis had a Masada complex . . .but if the Israelis are to be understood in terms of a 'complex' involving suicide rather than surrender and rooted in a relevant precedent of Jewish history, the example of Sarnson, whose suicide brought about the destruction of his enemies, would be more appropriate than Masada, where in committing suicide the Zealots killed only themselves and took no Romans with them." Podhoretz, asked years later about his essay, said that his conclusions about the Samson Option were just that—his conclusions, and not based on any specific information from Israelis or anyone else about Israel's nuclear capability.] 

In a White House press conference on May 18, 2009, US President Barack Obama’s concern about “the potential pursuit of a nuclear weapon by Iran.”  The United States and other Western nations have not announced any plans to disarm Israel’s nuclear weapons but rather focused its attention on Iran’s nuclear program.  Obama said “Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon would not only be a threat to Israel and a threat to the United States, but would be profoundly destabilizing in the international community as a whole and could set off a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.”  Israel already won the arms race in the Middle East.  What is to stop Israel’s “Zealot” mentality from using nuclear weapons in the Middle East?  Israel has threatened Iran in the past.  In a 2006 interview with Reuters former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres “the president of Iran should remember that Iran can also be wiped off the map.” It was a response after a false claim Israel and its allies made on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s comment in a 2005 speech at the Ministry of Interior conference hall in Tehran called “The World without Zionism” when he said Israel must be “wiped off the map” which was misinterpreted.  Earlier this year, former Prime Minister Ehud Barak said that the US and Israel would take action against Iran, “I don’t see it as a binary kind of situation: either they [the Iranians] turn nuclear or we have a fully fledged war the size of the Iraqi war or even the war in Afghanistan,” Barak continued “What we basically say is that if worse comes to worst, there should be a readiness and an ability to launch a surgical operation that will delay them by a significant time frame and probably convince them that it won’t work because the world is determined to block them.”  Rouhani is seeking negotiations that would put Iran, the United States and Israel on a path to a peaceful resolution.  One that will recognize Iran’s right to a “peaceful” nuclear program for its country so that they can export more oil and use the revenues it earned for the benefit of the Iranian people.  But do not expect any significant breakthrough between Iran and the US/Israel alliance that seeks to dominate the Middle East politically, economically and militarily.

The Obama administration is not seeking any negotiations with Iran unless they stop its nuclear program which will not happen.  Iran will insist that they are signatories to the NPT and have an “inalienable right” to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.  Israel will not be a signatory to the NPT because “This resolution is deeply flawed and hypocritical. It ignores the realities of the Middle East and the real threats facing the region and the entire world” according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  Another reason Israel will not sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty is because they are victims of the Holocaust which is why they have violated hundreds of U.N. Security Council resolutions and has used chemical weapons on the Palestinians.  The talks between Iran and the US that will be held in Geneva will fail come this October because the US wants to dominate Iran.  Iran has its principles it will stand by, but so will the US on Israel’s behalf.  The US and its staunch allies want Syria, Lebanon, the Gaza strip and the West Bank and every nation on earth under their rule.  That is the plan.

Obama says Iran’s Capability to Develop Nuclear Weapons is a “Year or More Away”,...

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News - US President was recently interviewed by the Associated Press (AP) on a number of issues including the US government shutdown and his recent discussion with Iran’s new President, Hassan Rouhani.  President Obama was asked about his conversation with Rouhani and how he perceives Iran’s new leadership role.  Obama said:               

Well, here’s what we know: He was not necessarily the preferred candidate of some of the ruling clerics when he initially threw his hat into the ring. He won pretty decisively.

So what we know is, is that in the Iranian population at least, there is a genuine interest in moving in a new direction. Their economy has been crippled by international sanctions that were put in place because Iran had not been following international guidelines, and had behaved in ways that made a lot of people feel they were pursuing a nuclear weapon.

I think Rouhani has staked his position on the idea that he can improve relations with the rest of the world. And so far, he’s been saying a lot of the right things. And the question now is, can he follow through? The way the Iranian system works, he’s not the only decision maker — he’s not even the ultimate decision maker.

But if in fact he is able to present a credible plan that says Iran is pursuing peaceful nuclear energy but we’re not pursuing nuclear weapons, and we are willing to be part of a internationally verified structure so that all other countries in the world know they are not pursuing nuclear weapons, then, in fact, they can improve relations, improve their economy. And we should test that.

Obama also stated that the Iranians are a year or more away, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently said Iran is now 6 months way from producing a nuclear weapon.  There are media reports that Obama and Netanyahu have a difficult relationship regarding Iran’s “alleged” nuclear weapons program.  But a recent meeting between the two confirms how much they agree on Iran.  Netanyahu and Obama met with reporters a day before Netanyahu was scheduled to speak at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that “It is Israel’s firm belief that if Iran continues to advance its nuclear program during negotiations, the sanctions should be strengthened” according to Reuters.  The report also confirmed how Netanyahu and Obama agree on the use of force militarily:     

Even as Netanyahu called for a “credible military threat” to pressure Iran to comply, Obama insisted: “We take no options off the table, including military options, in terms of making sure that we do not have nuclear weapons in Iran.”

The Obama administration is ignoring the facts of his own intelligence agencies who confirmed in a March 23rd, 2012 Reuters special report titled Intel shows Iran nuclear threat not imminent.’  The report stated:

The United States, European allies and even Israel generally agree on three things about Iran’s nuclear program: Tehran does not have a bomb, has not decided to build one, and is probably years away from having a deliverable nuclear warhead.

Those conclusions, drawn from extensive interviews with current and former U.S. and European officials with access to intelligence on Iran, contrast starkly with the heated debate surrounding a possible Israeli strike on Tehran’s nuclear facilities.

The report also said:

Reuters has learned that in late 2006 or early 2007, U.S. intelligence intercepted telephone and email communications in which Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a leading figure in Iran’s nuclear program, and other scientists complained that the weaponization program had been stopped.

The United States and Israel will try to sabotage the upcoming talks between Iran and the US in Geneva.  In testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on March 12, 2013, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s Worldwide Threat Assessment stated the following:

We assess Iran is developing nuclear capabilities to enhance its security, prestige, and regional influence and give it the ability to develop nuclear weapons, should a decision be made to do so. We do not know if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons.

 Tehran has developed technical expertise in a number of areas—including uranium enrichment, nuclear reactors, and ballistic missiles—from which it could draw if it decided to build missile-deliverable nuclear weapons. These technical advancements strengthen our assessment that Iran has the scientific, technical, and industrial capacity to eventually produce nuclear weapons. This makes the central issue its political will to do so.

Of particular note, Iran has made progress during the past year that better positions it to produce weapons-grade uranium (WGU) using its declared facilities and uranium stockpiles, should it choose to do so. Despite this progress, we assess Iran could not divert safeguarded material and produce a weapon-worth of WGU before this activity is discovered.

We judge Iran’s nuclear decision-making is guided by a cost-benefit approach, which offers the international community opportunities to influence Tehran. Iranian leaders undoubtedly consider Iran’s security, prestige and influence, as well as the international political and security environment, when making decisions about its nuclear program. In this context, we judge that Iran is trying to balance conflicting objectives. It wants to advance its nuclear and missile capabilities and avoid severe repercussions—such as a military strike or regime threatening sanctions.

Back In April 2010, Senate Committee on Armed Services hearing with Defense Intelligence Agency director Ronald Burgess stated on record that “Iran’s military strategy is designed to defend against external threats, particularly from the United States and Israel” and “to slow an invasion and force a diplomatic solution to hostilities.”  Netanyahu said “Israel will never acquiesce to nuclear arms in the hands of a rogue regime that repeatedly promises to wipe us off the map” Again in 2012, Burgess explained to a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing that “Iran is unlikely to initiate or intentionally provoke a conflict or launch a preemptive attack.” Prime Minister Netanyahu discredit’s Iran’s leadership by saying President Rouhani is “a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a wolf who thinks he can pull the wool over the eyes of the international community.”  Obama’s view on Iran’s is in line with Netanyahu’s assessment.  He told the Associated Press:

Our assessment continues to be a year or more away. And in fact, actually, our estimate is probably more conservative than the estimates of Israeli intelligence services.

So we share a lot of intelligence with Israelis. I think Prime Minister Netanyahu understandably is very skeptical about Iran, given the threats that they’ve made repeatedly against Israel, given the aid that they’ve given to organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas that have fired rockets into Israel. If I were the Prime Minister of Israel, I would be very wary as well of any kind of talk from the Iranians.

But what I’ve said to Prime Minister Netanyahu is that the entire point of us setting up sanctions and putting pressure on the Iranian economy was to bring them to the table in a serious way to see if we can resolve this issue diplomatically. And we’ve got to test that. We’re not going to take a bad deal. We are going to make sure that we verify any agreement that we might strike.

But it is very much in not only the United States’ interest but also Israel’s interest to see if we can resolve this without some sort of military conflict. And so we now have the time to have those serious conversations, and we’ll be able to measure how serious the Iranians are.

Main Stream Media outlet CNN reported that Obama said that he and Netanyahu have a “good working relationship” despite past reports that their relationship was rather difficult in terms of the Iranian problem they both shared.

On Monday, Obama said he has a “good working relationship” with Netanyahu, and reaffirmed the U.S. bond with the Israeli people.  “Our unshakeable bond with the Israel people is stronger than ever,” he said. “Our commitment to Israel’s security is stronger than ever.”

Both leaders said Iran was a key topic.  “Iran is committed to Israel’s destruction, so for Israel, the ultimate test of a future agreement with Iran is whether or not Iran dismantles its military nuclear program,” Netanyahu said. “That’s the bottom line.”  Obama said that if Iran wants sanctions relief, it will have to meet “the highest standards of verifications.”

 “It is absolutely clear that words are not sufficient,” Obama said on Monday. “We have to have actions that give the international community confidence that, in fact, they are meeting their international obligations fully and that they are not in a position to have a nuclear weapon.” 

Obama and Netanyahu want a war with Iran, although going to war with Syria proved to be a difficult task thanks to Russia’s efforts on preventing a devastating war.  The US and Israeli governments will try to discredit Iran’s new leader because the last obstacles to control the Middle East is Syria and Iran.  Both countries are targeted by the west, regardless of the Iranian government’s attempt at diplomacy with the West.  Israel wants to expand its power in the Middle East with US backing.  The Obama administration will make it difficult for the Iranian government to prove that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.  Israel wants war and so does the United States.  Clapper did say that “generally speaking,” the United States and Israel are “on the same page” when it comes to Iran.  That is a statement coming from an intelligence official that is proven to be a fact.  The US/Israeli Alliance is “Unshakable”, that is Obama’s repeated message to the world.  Expect the upcoming Geneva talks to hit a wall, and that wall is the US and Israeli Alliance.

Has the US Dollar Lost its Credibility? Legitimate Concerns for the World’s “Reserve”...

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News - The confidence in the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency since the US government shutdown has continued its rapid decline.  On October 14th, started the third week of a US government shutdown reported that the US dollar fell against the Euro.  A deal involving a spending bill would most likely happen between both Democrats and Republicans by the October 17th deadline.  But the damage was already done to the credibility of US dollar in the long-term.  The world has no confidence in Washington.  It is fair to say that they are holding the global economy hostage because of their political brinkmanship.

According to Olivier Blanchard, the IMF’s chief economist recently warned that there could be major financial disaster throughout the world if the United States did not increase their “Debt Ceiling” to avoid a default on its financial obligations as it is in the midst of running out of money.  Raising the debt ceiling by October 17 only means they can continue to borrow money to fund its operations and pay interest on government securities held by China, Japan and other investors.  Blanchard stated “Failure to lift the debt ceiling would, however, be a major event. Prolonged failure would lead to an extreme fiscal consolidation and almost surely derail the U.S. recovery. But the effect of any failure to repay the debt would be felt right away, leading to potential major disruptions in financial markets, both in the United States and abroad.”  The United States government continues to borrow money to pay its debts is already at $16.7 Trillion.  Raising the debt ceiling can go over the $17 Trillion mark.  How long can this go on for?  The US government will continue to borrow money at the expense of many nations who hold US Treasuries that are worthless due to the Federal Reserves endless money printing.

There should be a concern for international investors that include governments, big and small businesses and individuals who own U.S. treasuries.  The Federal Reserve Bank’s endless Quantitative Easing (QE) continues to devalue the US Dollar as Fed chairman Ben Bernanke promised to continue buying $85 billion a month worth of US treasuries and mortgages that will lead to high inflation.  It’s an economic policy that is bound for failure.

China, the largest creditor to the US government has been purchasing assets in Africa Asia, Europe and Latin America to diversify out of the US dollar due to the Federal Reserve’s reckless monetary policy.  The International Business Times, an online news publication based in New York City published an article last month called ‘China Steps Up Farmland, Oil and Mining Assets Acquisitions Abroad’ about how countries in Africa benefit with Chinese investments in infrastructure and from much needed capital:

In 2013, Chinese companies have acquired minority mining-sector stakes in 16 deals totaling $696m outside China, according to Dealogic. The majority of the deals are located in Australia and the rest in Indonesia, Canada and the UK.

Africa is often regarded as the most attractive destination for Chinese outbound mining acquisitions. Chinese firms are benefiting from their reserves of cash unavailable to western competitors to scoop up assets at steep discounts.

“China needs access to natural resources while African countries need a lot of capital and infrastructure support. Therefore, it is very easy for Chinese businesses to gain access to the abundant natural resources in African countries by providing them with capital and infrastructure aid,” a respondent told accountants Deloitte during a 2010 survey.

The report also said that China has been acquiring oil and gas assets worth over $100 billion dollars.  China needs oil and gas for its manufacturing sectors.

Chinese companies have completed 83 overseas oil and gas purchases worth $100.7bn in the past five years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Cnooc’s $15.1bn acquisition of Canada-based Nexen early in 2013 was China’s largest overseas acquisition.

Over the last five years, Sinopec and CNOOC, the country’s second and third-biggest oil and gas producers, spent $41bn and $26bn, respectively, on overseas assets.

China National Petroleum Corp has invested more than $9bn to purchase overseas assets in 2013, including the $4.2bn purchase of a stake in Mozambique’s Rovuma fields in July. The company is planning to double its overseas output by 2015.

PetroChina, China’s biggest oil and gas producer, is looking to invest $60bn on overseas acquisitions over the period to 2020. By that time, the company intends to raise its production abroad to more than 50% of its total.

How long before countries that hold a large amount of US treasuries such as China and Russia.  Can they start dumping US treasuries in the near future?  It won’t likely happen this year but within the next 2 years, it is possible.  China has been making crucial decisions to solve their economic problems concerning their $1.2 trillion in US treasuries they hold.  China has been accumulating multiple assets by investing in numerous regions in the world.  For example, China has made arrangements to swap Yuan’s for other currencies with Japan and Russia for their bilateral trade agreements.  China also has arraignments with Australia, Iceland, South Korea, Malaysia, Brazil, India and South Africa who will use their own currencies for trade.  China has built relationships with many countries in Africa for its much needed resources for its economy.  China has even invested in numerous infrastructure projects that spur economic opportunities for the African people that create jobs for both short and long-term projects.  It is a strategic move for China by building business relationships with African governments that seek to improve economic conditions for its own people.  China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) acquired the Canadian energy giant Nexen for $15 billion.  China also invested in oil and gas pipelines in Central Asia and mineral mines in Australia and Africa.  China also signed deals worth up to $5 billion for a 600-mile long railway to transport goods with the Kenyan government who recently suffered from a terrorist attack in Nairobi.  An online website dedicated to procurements and supply chain professionals worldwide called www.supplymanagement.com stated that “the line will stretch from the border town of Malaba in the west to the busy port of Mombasa, carrying Kenyan goods as well as freight from Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.”  Chinese investors have been snapping up vineyards in Bordeaux, France. A Chinese meat producer recently purchased one of the world’s largest pork producers Smithfield for $4.7 billion to meet the Chinese public’s demand for pork.  With $1.2 trillion in reserves, China would only be irresponsible if it did not to purchase hard assets for its future economic growth.  The world is closely paying attention to Washington’s political charade at the expense of its own public and the world’s investors.  With uncertainty breeds distrust.  With distrust of a government’s inability to assure investors that their purchases of US treasuries are fundamentally secure, then the confidence the world once had in the US dollar is lost.  Reuters just reported that the Japanese Yen is a safe-haven (at least in the short-term) until the US Congress come to an agreement before the October 17th deadline.  “The U.S. dollar fell broadly early on Monday while the yen gained across the board as investors sold the U.S. currency in favour of the safe-haven yen as a deal to avoid a government default remained elusive ahead of a crucial deadline this week.”   China continues to buy gold as the US dollar continues its decline.  A Xinhua editorial in 2011 stated that “Should Washington continue turning a blind eye to its runaway debt addiction, its already tarnished credibility will lose more luster, which might eventually detonate the debt bomb and jeopardize the well-being of hundreds of millions of families within and beyond the U.S. borders.”

The dollar has lost 95% of its value since the Federal Reserve Bank was established in 1913 to control the money supply (See chart below).

Governments around the world are trying to ditch the dollar as an instrument for trade.  However, the US and its Western allies has declared wars and instigated coup d’états in the past against governments who were willing to use other forms of money including gold for trade.  One example was Iraq under Saddam Hussein (Once a US Patsy) tried to replace the petrodollar with the Euro.  Time magazine published an article in 2000 that openly admitted that Iraq’s president wanted to use the Euro instead of the dollar.  It was one of the main reasons that Bush administration invaded Iraq besides oil resources.  The article titled ‘Foreign Exchange: Saddam Turns His Back on Greenbacks’:

Europe’s dream of promoting the euro as a competitor to the U.S. dollar may get a boost from SADDAM HUSSEIN. Iraq says that from now on, it wants payments for its oil in euros, despite the fact that the battered European currency unit, which used to be worth quite a bit more than $1, has dropped to about 82[cents]. Iraq says it will no longer accept dollars for oil because it does not want to deal “in the currency of the enemy.

The assassination of Muammar Gaddafi is another example.  Gaddafi’s idea was to create a single African currency known as the “Gold Dinar” that would have undermined the US Dollar in Africa for all oil traded in petrodollars. It was a proposal that made Washington and its Western partners nervous.  It was also a concern that Gaddafi also called for the African Investment Bank that would have been an independent institution that would have given interest-free loans to African nations, eliminating the role of International Monetary Fund (IMF).  Gerald Pereira, an executive board member of the former Tripoli-based World Mathaba once said that “Gaddafi’s creation of the African Investment Bank in Sirte (Libya) and the African Monetary Fund to be based in Cameroon will supplant the IMF and undermine Western economic hegemony in Africa.”  The United States can no longer sustain their dollar policy, whether by force or economic coercion.  The US Dollar has lost its credibility due to the government’s actions.  Since World War II, the US government has increased its military spending over the years along with the Fed’s unlimited money printing with forever low-interest rates creating cheap money.  With the loss of its manufacturing base that produces products for export is a recipe for disaster. With a U.S. government shutdown added to the mix, projects a negative image on the world stage.  The Qatar based QNB Group (Qatar National Bank) issued a press release this past Sunday on what a default by the US government would mean for the American economy and the world.  It stated the following:

A default on US government debt would be catastrophic for the US and world economy. Ratings agencies would automatically need to classify all US government debt in default. This would force institutional investors around the world, including central banks, to sell their holdings of US government bonds, as they have statutory requirements to hold only investment- grade assets. The US government would then no longer be able to rollover a large portion of its debt, let alone issue new ones. For the US economy, the lack of debt instruments to finance government spending would mean reneging on its other obligations, including Social Security, medical payments, military deployments and food stamps. A large portion of the US economy would therefore grind to a halt. For the world economy, it would imply a loss of the reserve currency that anchors the global financial system, with severe instability in exchange and bond markets. This would inevitably result in a sharp global recession.

In light of these catastrophic consequences, QNB Group expects that Congress will pass a new budget and increase the debt ceiling in the coming days. Nevertheless, the political deadlock over the last couple of weeks has created an atmosphere of uncertainty that could affect confidence, investment and growth in the US. More importantly, the credibility of the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency could be affected, as global investors seek to mitigate the risk of a future political deadlock. Overall, without political collective commitment, it is unlikely that the US dollar will continue to remain the world’s reserve currency.

The US government’s charade over the Republicans and Democrats failure to enact appropriations or a government spending bill and funding for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is seen as anything but dysfunctional.  The republicans want Obamacare defunded.  The irony is that Obamacare is similar to Romneycare which had the same mandate to force you to buy health insurance.  It was admitted by Jonathan Gruber, a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who advised both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama on how to create their healthcare plans was upset to learn that Mitt Romney lied about how his plan was different than Obama’s.  He was interviewed by an online news website called Capital New York and said “The problem is there is no way to say that,” Gruber said “because they’re the same f***ing bill. He just can’t have his cake and eat it too. Basically, you know, it’s the same bill. He can try to draw distinctions and stuff, but he’s just lying. The only big difference is he didn’t have to pay for his. Because the federal government paid for it. Where at the federal level, we have to pay for it, so we have to raise taxes.”  We are facing global economic crises by Washington’s political theater.  It will allow countries to lose confidence in the US Dollar in the long-term.  It is a dangerous economic formula that can lead to a global economic depression.

China, Russia, Iran, Brazil and many others are diversifying out of the US Dollar monopoly.  There will be a global sell-off of US Treasuries if these political shenanigans continue in any future political crises between both Democrats and Republicans.  Confidence is waning as investors seek a way out.  It will be difficult period in time.  The world must seek a better economic system that is not reliant on the US Dollar.  A gold-backed currency or a basket of various currencies backed by either gold or silver would be a good start.  Right now the world is waiting to see what comes out of Washington.  No matter what happens, confidence in the US Dollar is at an all-time low regardless if the spending bill passes and they raise the debt ceiling.  The Question is how will they convince the world to re-invest in the US Dollar once again?

China should Reduce its Holdings of US Treasuries, Diversify its Reserves, “There are Alternatives...

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News - The US political crises and its Debt limit problem is a warning sign for China over its $1+Trillion it holds in US treasuries.  Although the crisis is temporarily resolved until January, uncertainties will still remain.  Before a deal was reached on Wednesday, Chinadaily.com reported that  “Even if the debt impasse is eventually solved before Thursday’s deadline, the political brinkmanship unfolding on the world stage, and the tremendous uncertainty around it, reminded Chinese economists and media of the risk of excessive exposure to US Treasury bills.“  Li Daokui, an economist at Tsinghua University said that “many argue that China has few alternatives to investing in US debt, but I don’t think this is true.”  China is reported to have over $3.6 Trillion in foreign exchange reserves mostly in US treasury bonds.   He said that there are alternatives to US treasuries.  He stated the following three alternatives:

A possible alternative, according to Li, is to sell half of the current holdings and reorient them to three kinds of financial assets. The first is the stocks of multinationals that have invested in the Chinese market. That is the equivalent of investing in its own economy.  The second choice is other economies’ sovereign debts that have a rating higher than AA+. The third choice is utility corporations in mature economies.

China’s purchases of US debt are supposed to keep US-China relations stable according to Daokui “The only explanation why China continues to hold such a gigantic share of US debt, according to Li, is out of broader concern for US-China relations” he continued “But no one can guarantee that the government can resist the domestic pressure, especially from those economists who have called for diversified investment and smaller US Treasuries buying.” 

Xinhua News Agency stated the following on the US government’s political crises and why a new reserve currency is crucial to the world economy:

The developing and emerging market economies need to have more say in major international financial institutions including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, so that they could better reflect the transformations of the global economic and political landscape.

What may also be included as a key part of an effective reform is the introduction of a new international reserve currency that is to be created to replace the dominant U.S. dollar, so that the international community could permanently stay away from the spillover of the intensifying domestic political turmoil in the United States.

The online Australian based Business Spectator reported that Liao Qun, a Hong Kong-based economist for Citic Bank International said “If there really is a default, the Chinese government will definitely speed up foreign exchange reserve diversification, seeking safer bonds of other countries,” he also said that “If there is an acceleration in diversifying, there might also be a reduction in holdings (of US Treasuries)”.  Although reducing its holdings would devalue its US treasuries, China would have to make a difficult decision that would affect their economy because they would have no other choices unless they want to go along with a sinking ship.  Japan seems to be on board to diversify its holdings of US treasuries even though Japan-US relations are relatively stable due to Washington’s political and economic influence which would make its situation more difficult than China’s.  The Business Spectator report quoted chief economist Yoshikiyo Shimamine on Japan’s US treasuries.  Only second to China:

In the longer term Japan may also rebalance its portfolio a tad to diversify away from holding US government debt, said Yoshikiyo Shimamine, executive chief economist with Dai-ichi Research Institute in Tokyo. However Tokyo’s political dependence on Washington – for example, in its defense pact – mitigates against a sudden switch, he added.

If Japan follows through with its diversification as China has been doing, then the future outlook for US treasuries is bleak.  “But China is committed to reducing risk by diversifying its reserves, while at the same time shifting investment away from purely financial products to industrial projects” the report said.  It is a matter of time, perhaps in one to two years, that China will unload its current US treasuries.  The United States government and its political, financial and military institutions have lost its moral obligations (if it had any to begin with) by what Xinhua’s October 13th article described as “outright lies”:

Meanwhile, the U.S. government has gone to all lengths to appear before the world as the one that claims the moral high ground, yet covertly doing things that are as audacious as torturing prisoners of war, slaying civilians in drone attacks, and spying on world leaders.

Under what is known as the Pax-Americana, we fail to see a world where the United States is helping to defuse violence and conflicts, reduce poor and displaced population, and bring about real, lasting peace.

Moreover, instead of honoring its duties as a responsible leading power, a self-serving Washington has abused its superpower status and introduced even more chaos into the world by shifting financial risks overseas, instigating regional tensions amid territorial disputes, and fighting unwarranted wars under the cover of outright lies.

As a result, the world is still crawling its way out of an economic disaster thanks to the voracious Wall Street elites, while bombings and killings have become virtually daily routines in Iraq years after Washington claimed it has liberated its people from tyrannical rule.

Let’s see what happens In January as the drama continues to unfold.

Saudi Arabia and U.A.E. Preparing for War with Iran? Major Purchases of “Bunker Buster”...

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News – The Pentagon plans to sell $10.8 Billion worth of military weapons to its closest allies in the Middle East besides Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported that the Pentagon will sell Saudi Arabia and the UAE, two of the worst dictatorships in the world missiles, munitions and “Bunker-Busting” bombs worth up to $10.8 Billion.  The report said that “the move follows a series of U.S. weapons deals in recent years that have bolstered the air power and missile arsenals of Gulf States, which view Iran as a menacing rival with nuclear ambitions.”  It is a move that would surely concern Iran and its allies in the region.  Having Israel’s nuclear capabilities on one hand and having the Gulf States armed with US military hardware including thousands of “Bunker Busting” bombs on the other is a scenario that threatens Iran’s sovereignty.  The Talks between Iran and the six world powers seemed to be positive, but selling weapons to Saudi Arabia and the UAE is a step towards a confrontation if the talks fail.  The selling of weapons to both countries who are enemies of Iran, Syria and others in the region is an insurance policy for the US military if it decided along with Israel to strike Iran.  Saudi Arabia and the UAE would follow orders to attack Iran if Washington gave them the green light since both countries are “Puppet” Monarchies of the West.  The report said that numerous bombs and missiles would be available to both governments once the sales are approved.  It stated the facts on what types of weapons would be sold as a result:

Officials said the Defense Department notified Congress this week of the planned deal that will provide a thousand bunker-buster GBU-39 bombs to the Saudis and 5,000 to the UAE.  The sale will also include sophisticated air-launched cruise missiles that can hit targets from a long distance.  The weapons are designed for use with U.S.-made F-15 and F-16 fighter jets previously purchased by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, according to a statement made by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

The report also said Israel purchased the same bombs in 2010.

In 2010, Israel bought the same bunker-buster “precision-guided glide bombs,” fueling speculation that it was preparing for potential pre-emptive airstrikes against underground nuclear sites in Iran.

It is interesting to note that the announced sales of these weapons are in contrast to a recent speech given by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Knesset commemoration this week during the 40th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War making a case for a preemptive strike against Iran.  The Times of Israel wrote what he said at Knesset commemoration:

“The first lesson is to never underestimate a threat, never underestimate an enemy, never ignore the signs of danger. We can’t assume the enemy will act in ways that are convenient for us. The enemy can surprise us. Israel will not fall asleep on its watch again” he vowed “The second lesson, he added, was that “we can’t surrender the option of a preventive strike. It is not necessary in every situation, and it must be weighed carefully and seriously. But there are situations in which paying heed to the international price of such a step is outweighed by the price in blood we will pay if we absorb a strategic strike that will demand a response later on, and perhaps too late.”

It is not only selling weapons to both governments that’s concerning but also training its troops and giving logistical support:

The proposed sales “will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States” by improving the security of friendly countries that remain forces for “stability,” the DSCA said.  Under the arms package, the Saudis were due to receive approximately $6.8 billion in weapons, parts, training and logistical support.

Washington and their Middle East partners are preparing for war as the report confirms what type of weapons will be used for a preemptive attack.

The Saudis and the UAE will purchase hundreds of Standoff Land Attack missiles, or SLAM-ERs, and Joint Standoff Weapons. These advanced missiles will enable their warplanes to hit radar installations and other targets from beyond the range of air defense systems.  The Saudis will purchase 650 of the Boeing-manufactured SLAM-ERs and 973 Joint Standoff Weapons, made by Raytheon, in addition to other missiles. The United Arab Emirates is due to purchase $4 billion worth of weaponry, including the bunker-buster bombs, 300 SLAM-ERs and 1,200 JSOW missiles.

Washington will move forward with the sale of these weapons with congressional approval.  Keep in mind that the majority of both Republicans and Democrats are in the pockets of the Military-Industrial Complex and the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).  Washington or Israel would launch a preemptive strike against Iran if it they had the chance to.  Syria would have given them the opportunity to advance if they had defeated or even weaken Syrian Forces and remove President Bashar -al Assad from office.  But the Syrian Crises was defused (at least for now ) from turning into a war with the help of Vladimir Putin and the Russian government’s relentless efforts.

With the US financial system (which Israel depends on) in decline it would be more difficult to start a war without the funds to do so, but then again maybe not.  If the US economy does collapse, war would be the only obvious answer for Washington.

Beijing’s Race to Diversify out of US Treasuries: New Agreements would Allow Singapore...

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News - China is accelerating the role of the Chinese Yuan with agreements with Singapore that would allow direct trading between each other’s currency” according to Singapore’s central bank. The Agence-France Presse (AFP) reported that China and Singapore will cooperate on a number of agreements that would boost economic ties for both countries.  China is concerned with its US treasury holdings worth up to $1.2 trillion after Washington’s spectacle earlier this month over its fiscal policies that pushed the world’s economy into a crises.  The move, along with other agreements on financial cooperation, is expected to bolster Singapore’s status as a leading offshore trading centre for the Chinese Yuan, officially called the renminbi (RMB)”the report said.  “China and Singapore will introduce direct currency trading between the Chinese yuan and Singapore dollar,” the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said in a statement, adding that details will be announced separately.” China is in a good position because it allows Singapore to invest in Chinese stocks and bonds with Yuan’s boosting its capital markets. The report said that “China will also grant Singapore-based investors a 50-billion-yuan ($8.2 billion) investment quota under its Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor programme, MAS said.  This would allow investors based in the city-state to use the Yuan to invest in Chinese stocks and bonds.”  China is racing against time in case lawmakers in Washington do not come up with an agreement to raise the “Debt Ceiling” to borrow more money or solve their economic problems.  China is diversifying out of US Dollars at a rapid pace since the 2007-2008 financial crises that resulted in the bankruptcy of major financial institutions, bailouts and government takeovers such as Lehman Brothers, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Citigroup and American Insurance Group (AIG).  China is also frustrated with the US government’s backing of its neighbors internal affairs with Beijing regarding the South China Sea.  Reuters reported on October 10th, 2013 the following:

The US is also aggressively backing the Philippine government’s maritime dispute with China when U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry angered China’s leadership “All claimants have a responsibility to clarify and align their claims with international law. They can engage in arbitration and other means of peaceful negotiation,” Kerry told leaders at the East Asia Summit in Brunei, including Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.  “Freedom of navigation and overflight is a linchpin of security in the Pacific,” he added.

It is important to note that Hillary Clinton, who is rumored to run as a Democratic candidate in the 2016 US Presidential elections, told an ASEAN summit in 2010 that the US had a “national interest” in the “freedom of navigation. “  Clinton also angered China that only proves that the US is directly intervening in a regional dispute.  Since the Obama administration got into office they have repeatedly used the ASEAN forums for multilateral discussions between China and its South East Asian counterparts supporting the opposition and ignoring Beijing’s call to settle the disputes bilaterally. The US has supported the Philippines (considered a US puppet state) and Vietnam to counter China’s claims aggressively resulting in numerous maritime incidents in the South China Sea and has divided all countries within ASEAN.  China is threatened economically and militarily by the US government (See graph below).

China is making moves to loosen the US government’s strangle hold over its economy and its regional disputes with its neighbors.  China’s economic growth will benefit Singapore in the long run as “Chinese institutional investors will also be allowed to use the Yuan to invest in Singapore’s capital markets.”  The AFP also stated that “Relevant agencies in Singapore and China are also in discussions to facilitate China-incorporated companies, which have received regulatory approval to list directly in Singapore.” And that “The new initiatives will further promote the international use of the Renminbi through Singapore,” the MAS said.  Times are changing for the world’s economy.  China and other countries are in preparation for a possible US default in the future.  When can the US Dollar collapse?  It is hard to tell since the US economy is intertwined with the global economy.  But one thing is for sure China and other countries across the planet are diversifying out of the US Dollar and it is accelerating.  That is a fact.  Singapore is not taking any chances either.  “Its managing director Ravi Menon added: “Financial ties between the two countries have deepened considerably and Singapore is well placed to promote greater use of the RMB in international trade and investment in the years to come.”  The AFP report said “China’s rise as the world’s second biggest economy has seen the Yuan take on a bigger role in international financial markets.”  2014 will be an interesting year for world financial markets.  What will happen when Washington is once again on the center stage in January?  Will they continue to increase the “Debt Ceiling” so that they can borrow until the end of time? Or will they play “Political Brinkmanship again?  Will the Federal Reserve Bank “Taper” its monetary policy by Mid-2014 if the US economy improves as Chairman Ben Bernanke promised or will the new Chairwoman Janet Yellen, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and a protégé of Alan Greenspan continue to print US “Fiat” currencies with low interest rates?  Many questions on the US economy remain elusive.  China has many reasons to worry about its financial future and its sovereignty and that is a declining empire called the United States government.

The Chemical Weapons Pretext: Paving the Way for a Future US Military Strike on...

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News - An Obama administration official confirmed earlier this Week that Israel conducted a military strike on a Syrian base in Latakia according to a CNN report.  The Israeli government has not confirmed or denied the allegations.  Israel has claimed it was intended to disrupt the transfer of weapons headed for Hezbollah located in Southern Lebanon.  CNN reported the following:

“An explosion at a missile storage site in the area was reported in the Middle Eastern press, but an attack has not been confirmed by the Israeli government” the report also stated that the “the target, according to the Obama administration official, was missiles and related equipment the Israelis felt might be transferred to the Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah. The official declined to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the information.   There was some confusion about the timing of the attack, with some reports saying it happened Wednesday, and others saying Thursday.

Israel has launched airstrikes in the past including one in January that targeted a Syrian convoy allegedly “moving weapons to Hezbollah.”  Hezbollah has enough weapons to counter Israeli Defense Forces as they proved in 2006.  The largest Israeli news website www.ynetnews.com reported on October 29th, 2013 that the Shiite group rebuilt its strength, arsenal, now poses acute threat to State of Israel” and that “Hezbollah has thousands and thousands of rockets and missiles pointed at Israel and this is a problem,” Brig. Gen. (res) Amos Gilboa, who spent decades in Israeli army intelligence told The Media Line. “Hezbollah is a major threat to Israel. In the past, its firepower was mainly directed against northern Israel, but now it can also reach Tel Aviv, the heart of our industry and technology.” Did Israel strike Latakia to prevent the export of Russian made weapons from Syria to Hezbollah the real motive?  Or was it part of a plan to weaken Syria’s defense capabilities for a future invasion by the US military?  This attack comes at a moment when Syria has met demands to destroy its chemical production facilities while the US government and Saudi Arabia continue to support the rebels associated with al-Nusrah and Al-Qaeda who are well known terrorist organizations.  Reuters also reported that One Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he thought that Israel had indeed carried out a strike. He stressed that he was not entirely certain, however.  Israel has repeatedly warned that it is prepared to use force to prevent advanced weapons, notably from Iran, reaching Lebanon’s powerful Shi’ite Muslim guerrillas through Syria. It carried out several air strikes on Syria earlier this year.”   The truth is that Israel along with the US is trying to weaken the Syrian government’s ability to defend itself militarily.  When Libya agreed with the West to eliminate its chemical weapons in 2003, plans to oust Muammar Gaddafi were set.  Gaddafi wanted to normalize relations with the United States and the United Kingdom with his decision to eliminate Libya’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).  The Arms Control Association (ACA) released a report titled “Chronology of Libya’s Disarmament and Relations with the United States” stated the following:

On December 19, 2003, long-time Libyan President Moammar Gaddafi stunned much of the world by renouncing Tripoli’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs and welcoming international inspectors to verify that Tripoli would follow through on its commitment.

Following Gaddafi’s announcement, inspectors from the United States, United Kingdom, and international organizations worked to dismantle Libya’s chemical and nuclear weapons programs, as well as its longest-range ballistic missiles. Washington also took steps toward normalizing its bilateral relations with Tripoli, which had essentially been cut off in 1981.

Libya’s decision has since been characterized as a model for other states suspected of developing WMD in noncompliance with their international obligations to follow. Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control Stephen Rademaker stated May 2, 2005 during the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference that Libya’s choice “demonstrates that, in a world of strong nonproliferation norms, it is never too late to make the decision to become a fully compliant NPT state,” noting that Tripoli’s decision has been “amply rewarded.”

Libya should be a lesson.  Although Syria met its deadline by destroying their chemical weapons building capabilities, Western powers in collaboration with Israel and Saudi Arabia will continue to destabilize the Syrian government.  Washington is preparing for a military strike on Syria if President Bashir al-Assad and his government remain in power.  Many in Washington including President Barack Obama and possible future Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton along with Secretary of State John Kerry have publically stated that “Assad Must Go”.

Washington, Riyadh and Tel-Aviv want a compliant government in place that will cut ties to its allies notably Iran and Russia.  It would give Washington a strategic advantage in the region.  Once that happens, the US would then back Israel with a strike on Iran.  Then war with Russia and China can become a dangerous reality.  Washington wants to dominate the Middle East and Eurasia.  Syria is a stepping stone towards that goal.  There will be more strikes against the Syrian government and its military installations by the Israeli government in the coming weeks and months ahead.  Washington’s backed rebels will continue to advance towards Damascus committing more atrocities.  War is on the agenda even if President Assad complies with any demands made by Washington and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the international chemical weapons watchdog that oversaw the disarmament program.  Iran, Russia and China are all well aware of this fact; after all they are surrounded by numerous US military bases.

Iran Nuclear Talks: Remembering the Israeli Attack on Iraq’s Peaceful Nuclear Reactor Osirak. Will...

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News - On June 7th, 1981, Israel launched a surprise attack in the Southeast of Bagdad, Iraq that destroyed the Osirak nuclear reactor under construction.  It was known as Operation Opera, an Israeli plan to destroy Iraq’s proposed nuclear reactor that was intended for peaceful scientific research.  Iraq originally purchased the “Osiris”-class nuclear reactor from France in 1976.  Richard Wilson, a Mallinckrodt Research Professor of Physics at Harvard University at the time spoke to The Atlantic, an American based magazine and said that Osirak was “unsuitable for making bombs”.  He said:

First, the Osirak reactor that was bombed by Israel in June of 1981 was explicitly designed by the French engineer Yves Girard to be unsuitable for making bombs. That was obvious to me on my 1982 visit. Many physicists and nuclear engineers have agreed. Much evidence suggests that the bombing did not delay the Iraqi nuclear-weapons program but started it

Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin claimed that Iraq’s nuclear reactor was ready for operational use and that it can produce nuclear weapons at any given moment.  The Israeli government declared Iraq’s Nuclear program a threat to its national security.  Iraq was also a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) that allowed international inspections of its nuclear facilities.  Today Iran is also a signatory to the NPT.  It is interesting to note that both countries signed on to the NPT which under international law allows them to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and prevents the spread of nuclear weapons and technology.  Israel on the other hand is not a member of the NPT and has never admitted nor denied that they have nuclear weapons launched a surprise attack on Iraq’s facilities and is now threatening Iran with the same consequences over its nuclear program.  It was reported that the Israeli air strikes killed more than 10 Iraqi soldiers and a French citizen.  Israel released a statement following their actions and claimed that Iraq wanted to produce atomic bombs to attack Israel because they were Saddam Hussein’s main target.  The statement read as follows:

On Sunday, 7 June, the Israeli air force launched a raid on the atomic reactor “Ossirac”, near Baghdad. Our pilots carried out their mission fully. The reactor was destroyed. All our aircraft returned safely to base.

The Government feels duty-bound to explain to enlightened public opinion why it took this decision.

For a long time we have been watching with growing concern the construction of the atomic reactor “Ossirac”. From sources whose reliability is beyond any doubt, we learn that this reactor, despite its camouflage, is designed to produce atomic bombs. The target for such bombs would be Israel. This was clearly announced by the ruler of Iraq. After the Iranians had inflicted slight damage on the reactor, Saddam Hussein stressed that the Iranians had attacked the target in vain, since it was being constructed against Israel alone. The atomic bombs which that reactor was capable of producing whether from enriched uranium or from plutonium, would be of the Hiroshima size. Thus a mortal danger to the people of Israel progressively arose.

Again, from most reliable sources we learned of two dates when the reactor would be completed and put into operation. One: the beginning of July 1981; Two: the beginning of September 1981. In other words, within a short period of time, the Iraqi reactor would have been operational and “hot”. Under such circumstances no government of Israel could contemplate bombing the reactor. Such an attack would have brought about a massive radioactive lethal fallout over the city of Baghdad and tens of thousands of its innocent residents would have been hurt. We would thus have been compelled to passively observe the process of the production of atomic bombs in Iraq, whose ruling tyrant would not hesitate to launch them against Israeli cities, the centers of its population. Therefore, the government of Israel decided to act without further delay to ensure our people’s existence. The planning was exact. The operation was timed for Sunday on the assumption that the 100-150 foreign experts employed at the reactor would be absent on the Christian day of rest. This assumption proved to have been correct. No foreign experts were hurt.

Two European governments, in return for oil, have assisted the Iraqi tyrant in the construction of atomic weapons. We again call upon them to desist from this horrifying, inhuman deed. Under no circumstances will we allow an enemy to develop weapons of mass destruction against our people.

We shall defend the citizens of Israel in time, and with all the means at our disposal.

Even the New York Times admitted that Israel was not in “Mortal Danger” in an Opinion article on June 9th, 1981 called ‘Israel’s Illusion’:

Even assuming that Iraq was hellbent to divert enriched uranium for the manufacture of nuclear weapons, it would have been working toward a capacity that Israel itself acquired long ago. Contrary to its official assertion, therefore, Israel was not in ”mortal danger” of being outgunned. It faced a potential danger of losing its Middle East nuclear monopoly, of being deterred one day from the use of atomic weapons in war. And while that danger may now be delayed, it is also enhanced – by Iraq’s humiliation

Is history about to repeat itself?  Israel says that Iran’s nuclear program is a threat to their existence. Why?  They say that former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for Israel to be “wiped off the map.”  Numerous experts have declared that it was taken out of context.  Even Dan Meridor, an Israeli politician who previously served as minister of intelligence and atomic energy and a deputy prime minister admitted in an Al Jazeera interview in 2012 that Ahmadinejad’s statement on wiping Israel off the map was misunderstood when he said “They [Iranian leaders] all come basically ideologically, religiously with the statement that Israel is an unnatural creature, it will not survive,” Meridor says. “They didn’t say ‘we’ll wipe it out’, you are right, but ‘it will not survive, it is a cancerous tumour, it should be removed’. They repeatedly said ‘Israel is not legitimate, it should not exist’.”

The French-Israeli Nuclear Connection

The attack on Osirak should be a history lesson on what Israel is capable of.  The Times of Israel reported that French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius was warned by a member of the French parliament that Israel would launch an attack on Iran if the present deal was passed.  The report titled ‘Israel will attack Iran if you sign the deal, French MP told Fabius’.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu wanted the deal to have as he would say in the past regarding Iran’s sanctions to “Have Teeth.”  The report said:

“French member of parliament telephoned French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius in Geneva at the weekend to warn him that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would attack Iran’s nuclear facilities if the P5+1 nations did not stiffen their terms on a deal with Iran, Israel’s Channel 2 News reported Sunday.”

“I know [Netanyahu],” the French MP, Meyer Habib, reportedly told Fabius, and predicted that the Israeli prime minister would resort to the use of force if the deal was approved in its form at the time. “If you don’t toughen your positions, Netanyahu will attack Iran,” the report quoted Habib as saying. “I know this. I know him. You have to toughen your positions in order to prevent war.”

Israel’s influence in French politics is obvious.  But then again, France and Israel’s extensive relationship regarding nuclear weapons dates back to 1949 with the development of the Negev Nuclear Research Center in the Negev Desert, in the southeast of the city of Dimona.  In 1949 nuclear physicist Francis Perrin of the French Atomic Energy Commission who was also a friend of Dr. Earnst David Bergmann of the Weizmann Institute located in Israel invited Israeli scientists to a newly built French nuclear research facility at Saclay.  Both France and Israel agreed to a joint research effort that would eventually lead to nuclear weapons production at the Negev Nuclear Research Center.  Perrin ended up providing Israel with nuclear data.  Throughout the 1950’s Israel and France developed a business relationship that included Arms deals that benefitted French weapons manufacturers.

The Tripartite Pact and the Invasion of Egypt

France and Israel collaborated in joint military and political operations with the United Kingdom for the control of the Suez Canal-Sinai against Egypt in October 1956 with a secret agreement called the Protocol of Sevres.  Israel, France and Great Britain had planned a military invasion of Egypt in what was known to become the Suez War because Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser had nationalized the Suez Canal.  The Suez Canal was owned by the France (who built the route in 1869) and Great Britain which connects the Mediterranean and Red seas across Egypt.  The Suez Canal is an important shipping route that connects Middle East oil exports to European markets.  The Czech-Egyptian arms agreement in 1955 added to Israel’s worries that would have increased the strength of the Egyptian military which challenged Israel’s power in the region.  When Egypt’s President Nasser closed the Straits of Tiran back in 1953, Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion had ordered the development of chemical and nuclear weapons for its national security objectives.  Israeli government officials including Shimon Peres and Ernst David Bergmann met with members of the CEA (France’s Atomic Energy Commission) and reached an agreement in 1956 that would allow France to sell Israel a ”research reactor”.  The Suez war began on October 29, 1956.  Israel, France and Great Britain launched an attack on Egypt over the Suez Canal.  It ended up as a political disaster for France and Great Britain in relations to the Middle East.  Israel’s military attack was a success for a short time because they ended up occupying the entire Sinai Peninsula.  However, France and Great Britain’s attempt to advance along the southern border along the Suez Canal was stopped through a cease-fire agreement under Soviet and U.S. pressures.  Both nations pulled out of the conflict by the end of December.  Israel faced pressures from Soviet Premier Bulganin and President Khrushchev with a threat of a nuclear attack if Israel did not withdraw from the Sinai.  The United States Government under the Eisenhower administration supported a UN resolution that called for the withdrawal of all invading forces.  By March 1957 Israeli forces completed their withdrawal from the Sinai.  Israel was concerned over Soviet threats to launch a nuclear attack on the Jewish state.

Minister of Defense Shimon Peres secured an agreement from France to assist Israel in developing a nuclear deterrent which lead to the development of the Negev Nuclear Research Center at Dimona.  On March 20, 1957 Israel and France began to construct a “small swimming-pool research reactor” but the real plan was the construction of Dimona’s Nuclear Reactor which began around 1957 and 1958 and then completed in 1962.  Why did France help Israel develop nuclear technology?  They both had strategic interests in two regions of the world.  France was fighting a colonial war in Algeria in Northern Africa and Israel had ambitions to control the Middle East militarily, politically and economically.  In terms of historical and religious beliefs Israel wanted to also establish Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  France also wanted nuclear weapons as a deterrent against any “Blowback” from their colonial possessions in North Africa and the Middle East.  Israel and France collaborated on a number of programs including the early design on the Mirage fighter jets intended to deliver nuclear bombs.  French experts secretly built the Israeli reactor underground at Dimona with Hundreds of French engineers and technicians with many stationed at Beersheba, the largest town in the Negev.  A French firm called SON also helped build plutonium separation plants in both France and Israel.  The ground was broken for the reactor in early 1958 known as the EL-102.  Israel concealed its secret activities at Dimona by camouflaging it as a manganese and textile plants.  By the end of 1958 the US had taken pictures of the project from U-2 spy plane and identified the site as a reactor complex.  The French engineers and technicians were difficult to hide from international observers.  In 1960, under the leadership of Charles de Gaulle France decided to suspend the project.  After several months of negotiations France and Israel reached an agreement that allowed the reactor to proceed if Israel promised not to make nuclear weapons and make the project known to the international community.

On December 2nd, 1960, the U.S. State Department issued a statement that Israel had a secret nuclear installation and became public knowledge with its appearance in the New York Times.  Then on December 21st, David Ben-Gurion announced to the world that Israel was building a 24-megawatt reactor “for peaceful purposes.”  The French government’s collaboration with Israel to produce weapons of mass destruction was a disservice to world peace.

France also has a powerful Zionist organization in France that has as much influence as AIPAC (the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee) in the United States called CRIF (Conseil Représentatif des Institutions juives de France), a group that unites Jewish organizations.  The Times of Israel reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu said back in May that “I have known Meyer Habib for many years and he is a good friend to me and to Israel,” the report continued “He fights a lot for Israel, for public opinion, and cares intensely about the Land of Israel and Jerusalem, and he has helped me over the years deepen Israeli-French relations” Natanyahu said in Hebrew.

France stepping in on behalf of Israel is no surprise looking back on their historical relationship.  Iran’s nuclear talks were going to fail.  I am pessimistic about the new round of talks scheduled for November 20th.  Can history repeat itself with an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities by Israeli Defense Forces in the future?  The parallels between Iraq and Iran concerning Israel’s determination to start a war with its neighbors are eerily similar.  Israel wants to dominate the Middle East in every aspect, but Iran is in the way.  Israel’s Western partners will back Israel one way or another.  US President Barack Obama agreed to continue sanctions on Iran.  It seems like the Western powers and Israel are really not interested in a peaceful solution with Iran, no matter what the new leadership of Hassan Rouhani does to ease tensions with the West and its neighbors including the Gulf States.  The same goes for Israel’s so-called peace talks with the Palestinians.  Every time the peace talks resume, Israel continues to build new “Jewish only settlements” in Palestinian territories.  In other words, there are no peace talks.  The same unfortunate truth with Iran’s nuclear program, there will be no peaceful solution to Iran’s nuclear program unless Russia, China and the rest of the world prevent an Israeli strike on Iran’s facilities. It would be a disaster for the Middle East and the rest of the world.  Many would die in this long predicted war scenario.  The Middle East would explode in anger against Israeli aggression.  It is true that the world is a different place today in comparison to 1981.  The world is in a more fragile state today with several countries suffering from foreign interventions such as Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Mali and many others.  The world’s volatile economy would lead to a global depression allowing oil prices to double even triple as a result.  Let’s hope history does not repeat itself.  If it does, then history will tell us that World War III was the most catastrophic moment in our time.

Western Powers and Iran Agree on a Nuclear Deal: Now the Political Drama Begins

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News – The P5 +1 and Iran agreed to a Nuclear Deal in Geneva.  The deal is being viewed as a historic moment in diplomatic relations between the United States and Iran.  It is the first phase of a process that will determine how far these new agreements Iran, the United States, France, Great Britain and Israel (who is behind the scenes with Saudi Arabia and U.A.E) will go.  Under the agreement, Iran will stop enriching uranium over 5% and dismantle its stockpile of 20% enriched uranium.  Iran will also cooperate with the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with inspections and has agreed to stop construction on its heavy water reactor at the Arak plant.  In return, the US will release $4 billion in Iranian assets seized during previous sanctions.  It is a deal that the Israeli government is not comfortable with.  Israel wants a better deal that would have Iran completely abandon their nuclear program.  One certainty that you can count on is how much power Israel’s lobby in Washington, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has on the US Congress to reject Iran’s nuclear deal when the first phase ends in May 2014.  AIPAC has leverage over many key people in congress and even in the Oval office including the current US President Barack Obama.  Already both Republicans and Democrats are planning the next set of sanctions on Iran come this December.  “Disappointed” said Senator Charles Schumer of New York because it does not seem proportional. Iran simply freezes its nuclear capabilities while we reduce the sanctions…. This disproportionality…makes it more likely that Democrats and Republicans will join together and pass additional sanctions when we return in December” NBC News reported.  President Obama warned against new sanctions when he said “now is not the time to move forward on new sanctions, because doing so would derail this promising first step, alienate us from our allies and risk unraveling the coalition that enabled our sanctions to be enforced in the first place”  But the Senate Relations Committee chairman Robert Menendez of New Jersey said that the agreement would “provide for a six month window to reach a final agreement before imposing new sanctions on Iran,” even though sanctions would be “immediately available should the talks falter or Iran fail to implement or breach the interim agreement” in a statement.  NBC news also reported what house speaker John Boehner said on Sunday after the deal was reached, he said that “we will look back on the interim deal as a remarkably clever Iranian move to dismantle the international sanctions regime” unless the Obama Administration dismantles its nuclear program in it’s entirely according to Boehner. There are several politicians in Washington that has introduced legislation concerning Israel’s security.  One of the most vocal advocates for Israel in congress is the U.S. House of Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican from Florida who introduced a bill to congress called the ‘The United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2013 (H.R. 938 and S. 462)’ that clearly states

The United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2013 seeks to dramatically strengthen the relationship between the two allies as they work to confront new threats and challenges in the Middle East. 

The legislation—co-sponsored by Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Ted Deutch (D-FL) in the House and by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) in the Senate—declares that Israel is a “major strategic partner” of the United States. This designation lays the foundation for expanded U.S.-Israel cooperation in a wide variety of spheres, including defense, intelligence, homeland security, energy, science and trade.

 Key Provisions:

  • Declares that Israel is a “major strategic partner” of the United States
  • Expands authority for forward-deployed U.S. weapons stockpiles in Israel, providing important military equipment for either to use in a crisis
  • Encourages the president to transfer essential military equipment to Israel to meet current and projected strategic threats
  • Seeks to find ways for Israel to join the Visa Waiver Program—eliminating the requirement for Israelis and Americans to acquire tourist visas to visit either country
  • Authorizes the president to provide assistance to Israel promoting cooperation in such fields as energy, water, homeland security, and agriculture
  • Encourages the enhancement of scientific cooperation and collaboration between the two countries
  • Encourages continued American assistance for the Iron Dome rocket defense system

Not surprising that Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen would propose a bill that would give the Israeli state a blank check with American tax dollars.  American society cannot continue to support Israel especially with a $17+ trillion debt crises looming.  The US government cannot even afford to repay its creditors, but Israel is seems to be a top priority for funding its military.  She is the same person that stated in 2011 to Haaretz, an Israel’s daily newspaper concerning Palestinian Statehood which she opposed:       

“Our executive branch goes along, pays billions to the UN, so the UN has zero incentive to reform. We should shift UN funding to a voluntary basis, because smart withholding the funds works,” she said. The threat to cut financial aid to the Palestinians, despite the Administration’s objections, makes perfect sense, Ros-Lehtinen added.

“We need to stop Abu-Mazen’s dangerous scheme.

I hope that the U.S. Congress takes a very forceful stand against this statehood issue. It’s time to tell the Palestinians: If you are going with this statehood issue and it is granted, then the U.S. must cut funding to the Palestinians. We gave them billions of dollars these past years, but is Israel safer because of this money going to the Palestinian Authority?”  Is she not concerned that if the U.S. withdraws funds, the vacuum will be filled by countries such as Iran and Saudi Arabia?  “Of course these countries can always try to fill the vacuum, but at least we won’t be part of the problem, and if we fund this scheme, we are part of the problem, we are funding a sworn enemy of the State of Israel, and I don’t want our tax dollars to do that,” she says.

The Obama Administration and the US Congress will have members for and against sanctions on Iran.  The American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) will push for sanctions on Iran.  AIPAC has made numerous contributions to many Republican and Democrat pro-Israel politicians in Washington that include Senators John McCain who received $750,368, Carl Levin ($366,378), Harry Reid ($179,640) and Robert Menéndez ($219,135).  In the US House of Representatives Mark Kirk ($458,979), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen ($141,507), Eric Cantor ($119,350) and Nancy Pelosi ($83,400).  The next 6-months of the Iranian nuclear deal will be a marked with accusations against Iran that they are not complying by the rules the deal originally had.  AIPAC and its US Congress members on its payroll will do what it takes to let the nuclear deal fail.  The US Congress is bought and paid for by AIPAC as is the Obama Administration.  Both are under Israel’s political control. In ‘The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy ’by John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt a New York Times bestseller describe AIPAC’s enormous influence on the US Congress:                                                                                                              

A key pillar of the Lobby’s effectiveness is its influence in the U.S. Congress, where Israel is virtually immune from criticism. This is in itself a remarkable situation, because Congress almost never shies away from contentious issues. Whether the issue is abortion, affirmative action, health care, or welfare, there is certain to be a lively debate on Capitol Hill. Where Israel is concerned, however, potential critics fall silent and there is hardly any debate at all.

One reason for the Lobby’s success with Congress is that some key members are Christian Zionists like Dick Armey, who said in September 2002 that “My No. 1 priority in foreign policy is to protect Israel.” One would think that the number 1 priority for any congressman would be to “protect America,” but that is not what Armey said. There are also Jewish senators and congressmen who work to make U.S. foreign policy support Israel’s interests. ProIsrael congressional staffers are another source of the Lobby’s power. As Morris Amitay, a former head of AIPAC, once admitted, “There are a lot of guys at the working level up here [on Capitol Hill] … who happen to be Jewish, who are willing … to look at certain issues in terms of their Jewishness …. These are all guys who are in a position to make the decision in these areas for those senators …. You can get an awful lot done just at the staff level.”

It is AIPAC itself, however, that forms the core of the Lobby’s influence in Congress. AIPAC’s success is due to its ability to reward legislators and congressional candidates who support its agenda, and to punish those who challenge it. Money is critical to U.S. elections (as the recent scandal over lobbyist Jack Abramoff’s various shady dealings reminds us), and AIPAC makes sure that its friends get strong financial support from the myriad proIsrael political action committees. Those seen as hostile to Israel, on the other hand, can be sure that AIPAC will direct campaign contributions to their political opponents. AIPAC also organizes letterwriting campaigns and encourages newspaper editors to endorse proIsrael candidates.

US Congress will push forward with sanctions in the coming months.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu will continue to threaten Iran with a military strike while the Obama administration continues its harshest sanctions until the Iranian people become disenchanted with the new government of Hassan Rouhani.  I wrote an article earlier this year titled ‘New Economic Sanctions on Iran, Washington’s Regime Change Strategy’ on one of the reasons why the US government imposed sanctions on Iran:

Obama is following the same strategy as previous US administrations, and that is to create economic difficulties for the Iranian people with the hope that they would overthrow their government.  It is intended to create “Regime Change”.

President Obama spoke at the White House Dining room after the deal.  One interesting part of the speech is to continue Washington’s harsh sanctions on the Iranian people.  He said:

On our side, the United States and our friends and allies have agreed to provide Iran with modest relief, while continuing to apply our toughest sanctions. We will refrain from imposing new sanctions, and we will allow the Iranian government access to a portion of the revenue that they have been denied through sanctions. But the broader architecture of sanctions will remain in place and we will continue to enforce them vigorously. And if Iran does not fully meet its commitments during this six-month phase, we will turn off the relief and ratchet up the pressure

Prepare for a long 6 months ahead.  Israel will try to disrupt Iran’s nuclear deal at any cost.  Iran will be accused of not following the conditions of the deal.  Washington will seed to Israel’s demands until Iran dismantles its nuclear program and submits to Israel’s dominance in the Middle East.  AIPAC controls the US Congress and the US presidency, make no mistake about that.  Many of Obama’s supporters believe that Obama is trying diplomacy, a road to peace.  But this is the same president that almost launched a war against Syria and is continuing his drone strike policies at unprecedented levels.  Remember the US and Israel are staunch allies to say the least, regardless of what the American Main Stream Media outlets say about the so-called “difficult” relationship between Obama and Natanyahu.  After all Obama declared America’s commitment to Israel’s security last March when he visited the country and said “I see this visit as an opportunity to reaffirm the unbreakable bond between our nations, to restate America’s unwavering commitment to Israel’s security and to speak directly to the people of Israel and to your neighbours.”  The question people should be asking is what is Washington’s next move?

When “War is Peace”: “Peace Prizes” Awarded to War Criminals

war

French President François Hollande was awarded UNESCO’s Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize for “valuable contribution to peace and stability in Africa” according to the United Nations website: www.un.org.  Former Mozambique President Joaquim Chissano, chaired the Jury of the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize stated that “After analyzing the global situation, it is Africa that held the attention of the Jury with the various threats affecting the continent” with instability affecting Northern Mali by various Al-Qaeda elements created by the west, gave France an opportunity to invade the former colony. “Having assessed the dangers and the repercussions of the situation on French President Francois HollandeAfrica, and on Mali in particular, as well as on the rest of the world, the Jury appreciated the solidarity shown by France to the peoples of Africa.”  Does appreciating “the solidarity” shown by France mean killing hundreds of Malian people since the invasion?  France has killed many civilians that includes children.  The human rights organization Amnesty International has accused French forces of killing civilians since there was “evidence that at least five civilians, including three children, were killed in an airstrike.”  UNESCO’s Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize is similar to the Nobel Peace Prize whose past winners were known for war crimes.

Henry Kissinger

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, the notorious war criminal responsible for an estimated 3 to 4 million deaths during the Vietnam War including the bombing of Cambodia was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973.  He was responsible for the overthrow of President Salvador Allende of Chile and installed Fascist General Augusto Pinochet which created a “Police State” among the Chilean population.  Kissinger also was instrumental in giving support to one of the worst dictatorships in human history, the Khmer Rouge under Pol Pot.  Henry Kissinger committed many other crimes including genocide under both Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford as an “advisor” under the NSA (National Security Agency) and as Secretary of State.  President Barack Obama was also awarded the Nobel Peace Prize although he was in office less than a year.  Obama has expanded Drone wars in Pakistan and Yemen, opened several US military bases in Colombia and one in Chile, he ordered a war in Libya without congressional approval, maintained a military presence in Iraq and escalated the war in Afghanistan.  Obama’s record of peace on the international level is questionable.  Obama said that he was “Surprised” and “deeply humbled” after he received the award.  He said the Nobel Peace Prize is a “Call to Action”, meaning more war.  It is fair to say that the US government has been involved in many “actions” across the world, whether militarily or economically that has done more harm than good.

US President Jimmy Carter

The Nobel Peace Prize has also awarded three Israeli Prime ministers that have systematically committed numerous crimes against Palestinians that includes Menachem Begin in 1978, Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres in 1994. UNESCO’s Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize also awarded Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres in 1993 along with Yasser Arafat of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) during the Oslo I Accord as an attempt by both sides to set up a roadmap to a resolution to end the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.  The Oslo Accords actually failed since Israel never ended its occupation and continued to build “Israeli Settlements.”

The Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize in 1994 and the Nobel Prize in 2002 were both awarded to former US President Jimmy Carter.  Carter supported the dictatorship of the Shah of Iran and The Somoza dictatorship of Nicaragua.  He also supported Indonesia’s Suharto militarily and diplomatically during the invasion and occupation of East Timor.  Under President Carter, US Military Aid to Suharto’s Military increased under Carter causing the deaths of over 200, 000 East Timorese.  UNESCO’s Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize and the Nobel Peace Prize are in fact an insult to “World Peace”.  UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and the Nobel Peace Prize have both proved that “Western political influence” dominate both prizes.

Both awards for “Peace” are just a propaganda tool for Western Powers to wage war to establish peace.  The war on Mali will expand under Hollande since his new peace award would allow him and other key players such as AFRICOM to wage war to establish peace.  George Orwell was correct when he wrote in his classic book “1984” that “War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery and Ignorance is Strength.”  Mali will see more war because peace is on the agenda, right?

About the author:

Timothy Alexander Guzman is an independent researcher and writer with a focus on political, economic, media and historical spheres. He has been published in Global Research, The Progressive Mind, European Union Examiner, News Beacon Ireland, WhatReallyHappened.com, EIN News and a number of other alternative news sites. He is a graduate of Hunter College in New York City.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. The Center of Research on Globalization grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author's copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: [email protected]

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The War On Terror Spreads to Africa: U.S. Sending Troops to 35 African Nations

The U.S. is sending troops to 35 African nations under the guise of fighting Al Qaeda and related terrorists.

Democracy Now notes:

U.S. Army teams will be deploying to as many as 35 African countries early next year for training programs and other operations as part of an increased Pentagon role in Africa. The move would see small teams of U.S. troops dispatched to countries with groups allegedly linked to al-Qaeda, such as Libya, Sudan, Algeria and Niger. The teams are from a U.S. brigade that has the capability to use drones for military operations in Africa if granted permission. The deployment could also potentially lay the groundwork for future U.S. military intervention in Africa.

NPR reports:

[A special American brigade] will be able to take part in nearly 100 separate training and military exercises next year, in nearly three dozen African countries

Glenn Ford writes:

The 2nd Brigade is scheduled to hold more than 100 military exercises in 35 countries, most of which have no al-Qaida presence. So, although there is no doubt that the U.S. will be deeply involved in the impending military operation in Mali, the 2nd Brigade’s deployment is a much larger assignment, aimed at making all of Africa a theater of U.S. military operations. The situation in Mali is simply a convenient, after-the-fact rationale for a long-planned expansion of the U.S. military footprint in Africa.

Timothy Alexander Guzman argues:

AFRICOM’s [the U.S. military's Africa command] goal is to eliminate China and other countries influence in the region.  Africa’s natural resources is another important element to consider because it includes oil, diamonds, copper, gold, iron, cobalt, uranium, bauxite, silver, petroleum, certain woods and tropical fruits.

In a must-watch interview, Dan Collins of the China Money Report agrees that the purpose of the deployment is to challenge China’s rising prominence in Africa:

In reality – as we’ve repeatedly noted – the U.S. sends in the military to fight “terrorists” in any country which has resources we want (and see this).

And the U.S. is not shy about backing our “mortal enemies” to topple those standing between us and resources we pine for.

Anthony Carlucci argues that the overthrow of Gaddafi (largely through American support of terrorists) was really the opening salvo in the war for African resources:

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The “War On Terror” Spreads to Africa: U.S. Sending Troops to 35 African Nations

africa

The U.S. is sending troops to 35 African nations under the guise of fighting Al Qaeda and related terrorists.

Democracy Now notes:

U.S. Army teams will be deploying to as many as 35 African countries early next year for training programs and other operations as part of an increased Pentagon role in Africa. The move would see small teams of U.S. troops dispatched to countries with groups allegedly linked to al-Qaeda, such as Libya, Sudan, Algeria and Niger. The teams are from a U.S. brigade that has the capability to use drones for military operations in Africa if granted permission. The deployment could also potentially lay the groundwork for future U.S. military intervention in Africa.

NPR reports:

[A special American brigade] will be able to take part in nearly 100 separate training and military exercises next year, in nearly three dozen African countries

Glenn Ford writes:

The 2nd Brigade is scheduled to hold more than 100 military exercises in 35 countries, most of which have no al-Qaida presence. So, although there is no doubt that the U.S. will be deeply involved in the impending military operation in Mali, the 2nd Brigade’s deployment is a much larger assignment, aimed at making all of Africa a theater of U.S. military operations. The situation in Mali is simply a convenient, after-the-fact rationale for a long-planned expansion of the U.S. military footprint in Africa.

Timothy Alexander Guzman argues:

AFRICOM’s [the U.S. military's Africa command] goal is to eliminate China and other countries influence in the region.  Africa’s natural resources is another important element to consider because it includes oil, diamonds, copper, gold, iron, cobalt, uranium, bauxite, silver, petroleum, certain woods and tropical fruits.

In a must-watch interview, Dan Collins of the China Money Report agrees that the purpose of the deployment is to challenge China’s rising prominence in Africa:

In reality – as we’ve repeatedly noted – the U.S. sends in the military to fight “terrorists” in any country which has resources we want (and see this).

And the U.S. is not shy about backing our “mortal enemies” to topple those standing between us and resources we pine for.

Anthony Carlucci argues that the overthrow of Gaddafi (largely through American support of terrorists) was really the opening salvo in the war for African resources:

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Timothy Alexander Guzman RINF Alternative News As war continues to ravage many parts of the Middle East, Orwellian technology continues to make its presence more apparent....

As War Lingers in Mali, Western Powers Target its Natural Resources

Timothy Alexander Guzman RINF Alternative News France’s intervention in the West African nation of Mali under Operation Serval drove Islamic groups associated with Al-Qaeda out of...

Week in Review: UN Double Standards and the Battle of Fallujah

North Korea: UN Double Standards Pertaining to Sanctions and their Devastating Social Impacts, Carla Stea, January 10, 2014 Media Coverup of Impacts of U.S. Nuclear...

As War Lingers in Mali, Western Powers Target its Natural Resources

Timothy Alexander Guzman RINF Alternative News France's intervention in the West African nation of Mali under Operation Serval drove Islamic groups associated with Al-Qaeda out of...

Western Powers and Iran Agree on a Nuclear Deal: Now the Political Drama Begins

Timothy Alexander Guzman The P5 +1 and Iran agreed to a Nuclear Deal in Geneva. The deal is being viewed as a historic moment in...

Week in Review: Anarchy in Libya and Israel’s Chemical Arsenal

New Millennium Resource Wars, Stephen Lendman, September 29, 2013 Worldwide Militarization and the Weapons Industry: America's Surveillance and Targeted Assassination Machine, William C. Lewis, September...

9/11: Twelve Years of War, Lies and Deception

Twelve years after the 9/11 attacks, no credible independent investigation has been done to find out what really happened on that day and who...

Week in Review: Bilderberg Secrecy and the Surveillance State

America’s Economic War on the People of Iran: Obama Signs Executive Order Targeting Iran’s Currency and Auto Industry Timothy Alexander Guzman, June 07, 2013 America’s “Secret...