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Progress Toward Peace in 2013, But Dark Clouds Remain

Ron PaulInfowars.comDecember 23, 2013 It is the time of year we feel a sense of joy...

War Without End? Obama Pursues “Occupation-Lite” in Afghanistan

The president wants to cement a...

Don’t be Fooled by Mainstream Media Journalists, “Independent” Experts and the CIA

Image: Anthony Freda “Under CIA manipulation, direction and, usually, their payroll, were past and present presidents of Mexico, Colombia, Uruguay and Costa Rica, “our minister...

Herbert Marcuse and Absolute Struggle in 2013

“One can delineate the domain of philosophy however one likes, but in its search for truth, philosophy is always concerned with human existence. ...

1,000 Days and Counting

1,000 Days and Countingby Stephen LendmanDecember 13 marked the 1,000th day of Bahraini protests. At issue are long denied fundamental rights. Majority Shias face systematic discrimination. The ruling Al Khalifa monarchy governs lawlessly. Ruthles...

Colbert: Government Likely Covering Up Chemtrail Conspiracy

Climate change scientist David Keith joined Comedy Central's faux conservative jester Stephen Colbert Monday to plug his new book A Case for Climate Engineering....

CIA’s Skeletons Are Being Unearthed: And The Atrocities Are Ugly

The brave few who have challenged the intelligence establishment in this country are slowly eroding the walls the CIA has built around its dirtiest secrets. The Freedom of Information Act provides all citizens the right to peruse the documents we paid for, regardless of which clandestine agency created them and how heinous the crimes reported therein. Thus, some day, hopefully soon, the true story of the CIA's sordid history will be revealed for all to see.

Under great pressure from those who have filed civil suits, the National Security Archive has posted several documents relating to the overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953. For those of you who need a quick history refresher, Mossadegh was Iran's legitimately elected leader who just happened to have populist/socialist leanings, and, as such, threatened U.S. business interests in the region--specifically the oil industry. Mossadegh was beloved by the Iranian people, but he was deemed unsuitable by the CIA (Corporations Invisible Army) and was thus overthrown. An iron-fisted totalitarian was installed; perhaps you'll remember him: the Shah of Iran. Despised by the people for his political oppression and his overt corruption, the Shah did a profitable business with U.S. oil companies for a quarter century. When the Iranian people finally took action in the late '70s, the Shah was deposed and American embassy workers were taken hostage. The hostage crisis lasted 15 months, toppled the Carter administration and ushered in the era of Reagan. But the genesis of the crisis can be fully blamed on the U.S. itself, namely the CIA and its corporate allies, for intervening in a sovereign nation's right to determine its own destiny.

This was standard operating procedure for the CIA, which overthrew socialist and communist leaders across the globe from the 1940s on. Among their other clandestine tricks were the rescue and repatriation of Nazi war criminals after World War II and the subversion of the free press in America. Operations we are learning more about each day.

The work of incorporating Nazis into our intelligence apparatus, space programs, medical research, and weapons technology was called Operation Sunrise or Operation Paperclip. Among the well-known "Paperclip Nazis" were:

Wernher von Braun, Nazi V-2 rocket scientist who worked on guided missiles and manned rocket programs for the U.S. He was named Director of NASA's Space Flight Center, and, despite his questionable past, became somewhat of a celebrity in the 1960s. At no time was he forced to publicly renounce his Nazi ideology or made to pay for his war crimes. (He used slave labor camps to build his rockets in Nazi Germany. Thousands died of starvation and brutality in these camps.) A CIA-sponsored feature film, called I Aim For The Stars, was even made which honored his courage and audacity.

Kurt Blome, Nazi chemist who performed cruel experiments on death camp prisoners. He was hired by the U.S. Army to develop chemical warfare weapons.

Reinhard Gehlen, Hitler's top intelligence officer. He got a job spying on the Soviets for the CIA. In fact, he cut a deal with the CIA (OSS) to hire practically his entire Third Reich intelligence network. Much of the information he provided his superiors in U.S. intelligence greatly exaggerated Soviet military capabilities. Gehlen lied to make himself seem more important and useful to the CIA, and this led directly to the escalation of the Cold War and U.S. military buildup in the 1950s and beyond.

Heinrich Rupp, another Nazi war criminal who went to work for the CIA after World War II. In 1980 he accompanied George H.W. Bush, Vice Presidential candidate at the time, to cut a deal with Iran to delay the release of American hostages until after the election of the Reagan/Bush ticket in America in November 1980. The hostages were released on January 20, 1981, just minutes after Reagan and Bush were sworn into office. In return, Rupp promised release of Iran's frozen assets, laying the groundwork for the Iran-Contra deal. So Rupp, the Paperclip Nazi, helped steal an election, control U.S. foreign policy, and helped precipitate one of the worst scandals of the 1980s.

Arthur Rudolph, Operations Director at Mittelwerk factory at the Dora/Nordhausen concentration camps where thousands were worked to death.

Evil as it was, Operation Paperclip was surpassed, some say, by Operation Mockingbird. Mockingbird was a well-organized, systematic destruction of the free press in America in the second half of the 20th century. Why destroy the free press? Because a free and independent press was the CIA's worst enemy. Unfettered investigative journalism would have (or at least should have) uncovered the CIA's dirty secrets and criminal operations. The CIA needed to operate in secrecy, without threat of being detected, in order to get away with murder, coup d'états, drug running, sabotage of democracies, and covert fascist policies.

As outlined by reporter Carl Bernstein in a Rolling Stone article in 1977, the CIA co-opted, bribed, threatened, recruited and partnered with media assets at TV networks, newspapers, publishers and radio outlets across the nation. Frank Wisner, who ran Mockingbird for the CIA in the 1950s, once famously bragged, the program was like his own mighty Wurlitzer, "...I can play any tune I want on it, and America will follow along." William Colby, CIA Director under Nixon, added, "The CIA owns everyone of any significance in the major media." This meant that it was a simple matter for the agency to print and broadcast propaganda, cover up misdeeds, plant false stories, and smear CIA opponents at will. I believe this is what prevented an honest journalistic investigation of the JFK assassination.

Mandela and the African Liberation Struggle

Beijing. On Thursday December 5, 2013 the people of South Africa lost one of the foremost freedom fighters and revolutionary who made his mark on...

The Future of Planet Earth. Are We the Last Surviving Generations? Radioactivity and the...

How grateful we must be for this magnificent gift of life and all we have needed to sustain it over the last hundreds of...

‘Lack of Genocidal Application’ Keeps Science From Exploring Thorium Energy

How ‘Thor' May Save the World: Unbeknownst to most climatologists that decry nuclear energy for its environmental liability (in the form of radioactive waste and...

Truly Honoring Mandela

US President Barack Obama expressed his hope to meet Nelson Mandela during his 2013 trip to the Republic of South Africa. He spoke of...

Fukushima: Radioactivity in the Pacific Ocean, Diluted, But Far from Harmless

“With contaminated water from Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear complex continuing to pour into the Pacific, scientists are concerned about how that radioactivity might affect...

Nuclear Energy, Ground Water and “Uranium Bioremediation”

The following 2009 Science Daily article sheds light on an important process which may be of relevance to the debate on the Fukushima disaster....

Let’s Begin Ending War Again

Recently I noticed a post on a social media site honoring Rosa Parks for her refusal to move out of her seat on a segregated bus.  Someone commented underneath, that in fact another individual deserved credit for having done the same thing first.&...

The Iran Nuclear Deal: Threat to Iran’s Sovereignty. Regime Change from Within

The (interim) nuclear agreement that was signed on 24 November 2013 by Iran and the so-called P5+1 group in Geneva is questionable on a...

Did Iran Have to Give Up So Much to Get So Little?

The (interim) nuclear agreement that was signed on 24 November 2013 by Iran and the so-called P5+1 group in Geneva is questionable on a...

Who’s Nuking Your Food? Orwellian Irradiated “Franken-Foods” Are The New Normal

Andrew McKillop In this age of nuclear power and weapons, we're told that the harmless ‘happy atom' is all around us and might be dangerous...

What Is The ACTUAL Risk for Pacific Coast Residents from Fukushima Radiation?

“[The Odds of] Longer Term Chronic Effects, Cancer Or Genetic Effects … Cannot Be Said To Be Zero” It is very difficult to obtain accurate information on the dangers from Fukushima radiation to residents of the West Coast of North … Continue reading

What Is The ACTUAL Risk for Pacific Coast Residents from Fukushima Radiation? was originally published on Washington's Blog

UN Inspectors to Visit Iran’s Nuclear Facilities

Yukiya Amano (shown), the director general of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), announced on November 28 that Iran has invited his agency...

Provoking Iran

Provoking Iran

by Stephen Lendman

Observers call Geneva a "historic agreement." It remains to be seen. The proof of the pudding is in the implementation. 

It's whether Washington upholds its obligations. For sure Iran will. It has everything to gain by doing so. It has much to lose otherwise. 

Agreed on terms didn't end 34 years of US hostility. Longstanding sentiment hasn't changed.

America's imperial agenda remains firm. Its duplicitous history isn't encouraging. Dozens of treaties and deals were systematically violated. 

Trustworthiness isn't a US tradition. Obama is a serial liar. He broke every major promise made. Is Geneva different? It requires a giant leap of faith to say so. Perhaps it reflects naivete.

It remains to be seen what happens going forward. Some signs aren't encouraging. Israel is going all out to sabotage the deal. So is its US Lobby.

Congress is considering more sanctions. Right wing extremists infest the body. They're militantly anti-Iranian.

Rep. Michele Bachmann isn't atypical. Others think like she does. Iran "must be bombed," she said.

"It may be incumbent upon the Prime Minister (Netanyahu) to make a decision he has no desire to make, and that would be to bomb facilities, that must be bombed, in Iran."

Geneva harms Israeli security, claims Bachmann. "That decision that was made by the P5+1 in Geneva had more to do with Israel than it had to do with Iran,” she added. 

“Because, you see, the decision that was made could be the biggest cudgel that our president, and that the nations of the world, could use to prevent Israel from defending not only herself, but her right to exist."

Israel's "right to defend herself may possibly include the right to be able to bomb nuclear facilities and potential nuclear facilities in Iran."

Don't bet against it jointly happening with America. Not now. Perhaps later. Events going forward demand close scrutiny.

US agreements and public comments have no credibility. Actions alone matter. They reflect longstanding policies. They're belligerent. 

They target independent sovereign states. They want subservient pro-Western ones replacing them. Iran is America's top target. 

It's been that way for 34 years. Geneva changed nothing. Honest diplomacy isn't Washington's long suit. It bears repeating. America's imperial agenda remains unchanged.

A previous article quoted Professor Abbas Edalat. He founded the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII).

America won't regain Iranians' trust quickly, he stressed. Doing so requires recognizing its legitimate rights. Its ending all sanctions. It's treating Iran with respect.

"The West us(es) Iran's nuclear program as a pretext," said Edalat. It's "much like alleg(ing) (nonexistent WMDs) in Iraq."

It's "to demonize the Islamic Republic. (It) exert(s) pressure (to) isolate it internationally to pave the way for regime change."

Anti-Iranian sentiment is "manufactured by the US, UK France (and) Israel."

"The West mobilized all its political, economic, and military resources as well as its propaganda machine to force Iran to surrender its (legitimate) nuclear rights."

Despite crippling/lawless sanctions, Tehran resolutely defends them. America's imperial agenda is its greatest obstacle.

Following Geneva agreed on terms, Fars News published the full text. A previous article discussed them.

Iran's Foreign Ministry accused the White House of releasing an invalid press release. It's not an encouraging sign. According to FM spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham:

"What has been released by the website of the White House as a fact sheet is a one-sided interpretation of the agreed text in Geneva, and some of the explanations and words in the sheet contradict the text of the Joint Plan of Action, and this fact sheet has unfortunately been translated and released in the name of the Geneva agreement by certain media, which is not true."

Shortly after agreed on Geneva terms, the precise text was released. The White House press release modified it dupliciously. US media reported its version.

US/Israeli saber rattling is planned. On November 27, Time magazine reported it. "Israel and US to Hold Military Exercises When Iran Deal Ends," it headlined.

According to an anonymous "high-ranking Israeli officer:"

"The strategic decision is to continue to make noise." It'll come to a head in six months. It's when the interim agreement expires. It's renewable by mutual consent. It remains to be seen what happens.

"In May," said the Israeli source, "there's going to be a joint training exercise. It's going to be big."

"The wind from the Americans into the Israeli sails is, 'We will maintain our capability to strike in Iran, and one of the ways we show it is to train.' "

"It will send signals both to Israel and to the Iranians that we are maintaining our capabilities in the military option." 

"The atmosphere is we have to do it big time. We have to do a big show of capabilities and connections."

Washington and Israel hold lots of joint war games. They're strategically timed. They send messages to adversaries of both countries.

According to Time:

"(F)ull-throated US participation in a May 2014 joint exercise would stand in especially vivid contrast to what transpired in the last large joint exercise: Washington quietly scaled back its level of participation, amid fears that Israel was growing too bold."

Its threats to attack Iran unilaterally ring hollow. For now, diplomacy gets room to work. According to the anonymous Israeli source:

"The focus will be to gather intelligence in order to reveal a fraud, and not to (do it) for an attack."

"At the same time, Israel shows signs of working to rehabilitate the military option," said Time.

Tel Aviv University's Institute for National Securities (INSS) maintains close ties to Israel's government and military.

Many of its professionals have government and/or IDF backgrounds. Retired Major General Amos Yadlin heads INSS. Israel helps fund it. 

On October 3, it published a report titled "If Attacked, How Would Iran Respond?

It suggests the threat of major Iranian retaliation is exaggerated. It believes a regional war is unlikely. It may be wishful thinking on both counts.

Yadlin voiced qualified support for Geneva. Israel has time to explore options, he said. He was a pilot in June 1981. 

He was involved in destroying Iraq's Osirik nuclear reactor. It was under construction at the time. 

He believes Israel can strike Iranian nuclear facilities successfully. It can handle the blowback, he believes.

Yiftah Shapir is an INSS research fellow. Israeli plans to strike Iran are longstanding, he said.

"Many people have been working on this option for many, many years, and I don't think they can think of anything else," he stressed.

Israel has formidable weapons. It has nuclear, chemical and biological ones. It has long-range fighter-bombers and missiles. 

It has deep-penetrating bunker busters. It has other sophisticated US supplied weapons and technology. It developed its own. It has a longstanding history of belligerence. So does America.

Geneva temporarily constrains things. At issue is for how long? Washington and Israel deplore peace. They prioritize conflict and instability. It serves their mutual interests.

Current Netanyahu bluster is red meat for loyal constituents. Rhetoric lacks credibility. Actions alone matter. 

Israel and Washington have longstanding plans to attack Iran. They can be implemented straightaway if ordered. Not now. Maybe later.

Giving peace a chance isn't in the vocabulary of either country. How long diplomacy takes precedence bears close watching. 

Perhaps saber rattling will replace it next year. Maybe pretexts will be invented to do so. 

Longstanding US/Israeli anti-Iranian sentiment remains unchanged. Odds favor business as usual next year. Both countries must prove otherwise. Don't expect it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

U.S.-Iran Deal: Imperialist Policy Shift and Rebuff of Israel Lobby

In the early morning hours of Nov. 24, the world powers reached a deal with Iran on its nuclear program. The interim agreement is...

How to Reduce Your Risk of Radiation from Fukushima

Is There Anything We Can Do to Reduce Radiation Risks? Doctors in Hawaii and the West Coast of North American are being bombarded with questions about how to protect ourselves from radiation from Fukushima. This essay provides an introduction to … Continue reading

How to Reduce Your Risk of Radiation from Fukushima was originally published on Washington's Blog

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.

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Deal in Geneva: Hold the Cheers

Deal in Geneva: Hold the Cheers

by Stephen Lendman

A previous article asked if it matters? Longstanding hardline US/Israeli policy won't change. 

Sanctions Iran most wants removed remain in place. Stiff new ones may follow later on. For now they're postponed.

America is duplicitous. It's deals aren't worth the paper they're written on. Will this one be different? Don't bet on it. Interpretations differ on what was agreed on. More on that below.

Obama is no peacemaker. He's waging multiple direct and proxy wars. He's done so from day one in office. He broke every major promise made. That's key.

He shows no signs of changing policy. He hasn't throughout his tenure. He remains hardline on Iran. His softer rhetoric reflects deception. Tehran got too little in exchange for major concessions.

A six month interim deal was agreed on. It's temporary, modest and reversible. It can be changed, rescinded or ignored if Washington wishes. 

Iran has no guarantees. It has legitimate demands. It wants its sovereign rights respected. 

It wants normalized relations. It wants US/Israeli war options dropped. It wants its membership in the world body of nations fully recognized.

On November 20, talks began. They continued into day five. They concluded pre-dawn on Sunday. A UN Geneva Palace of Nations signing ceremony followed.

  • Conflicting reports suggest possible rocky times ahead. Reuters headlined "Iran, six world powers clinch breakthrough nuclear deal."

It suggested "emerging rapprochement ending a dangerous standoff" in exchange for "limited sanctions relief."

The New York Times headlined "Accord Reached With Iran to Halt Nuclear Program." It gave readers the wrong impression. 

It partly misreported. It's typical NYT. It said the agreement "temporarily freezes Iran's nuclear program."

It "halt(s) much of (it) and rolls some elements back." Readers had to get well into the article for details. Most don't get beyond the first few paragraphs. Initial impressions stick. What follows matters less.

The Washington Post headlined "Iran, world powers reach historic nuclear deal," saying:

It "freezes key parts of Iran's nuclear program in exchange for temporary relief on some economic sanctions Iran (is required) to halt or scale back parts of its nuclear infrastructure."

The Wall Street Journal headlined "Major Powers Reach Deal With Iran to Freeze Nuclear Program. (It) ensure(s) the Islamist government doesn't rush to develop atomic weapons."

Senator Mark Kirk (R. IL) is one of many sharp congressional Iranian critics. The Journal quoted him saying:

"This deal appears to provide the world's leading sponsor of terrorism with billions of dollars in exchange for cometic concessions."

John Kerry lied to reporters, saying:

"This first step (agreed on) does not say Iran has the right of enrichment, no matter what interpretative comments are made."

False! Agreement provisions are discussed below. Enrichment up to 5% is permitted. Kerry knows it. So can everyone reading the document.

On November 20, Senators Bob Casey (D. PA), Charles Schumer (D. NY), Lindsey Graham (R. SC), John McCain (R. AR), and Susan Collins (R. ME) wrote John Kerry. In part they said:

"We feel strongly that any easing of sanctions along the lines that the P5+1 is reportedly considering should require Iran to roll back its nuclear program more significantly than now envisioned."

"It is our belief that any interim agreement with the Iranians should bring us closer to our ultimate goal which is Iran without a nuclear weapons capability."

It should "prevent Tehran from possessing any enrichment or reprocessing capability."

"(W)e are concerned that the interim agreement would require us to make significant concessions before we see Iran demonstrably commit to moving away from developing a nuclear weapons capability."

"(W)e must be ever mindful of with whom we are negotiating. Iran has been the largest state sponsor of terrorism for over thirty years; its leaders routinely call for the destruction of Israel; and it arms and finances terrorist groups around the globe."

Many other Republican and Democrat House and Senate members express similar sentiments. Anti-Iranian hostility is virulent. It's longstanding. Geneva changes nothing.

Netanyahu's office called the deal "a bad agreement. It gives Iran exactly what it wants: both substantial easing of sanctions and preservation of the most substantial parts of its nuclear program."

Separately, Netanyahu told his cabinet ministers the deal is a "historic mistake. Israel is not obligated by this agreement." 

"I want to make clear we will not allow Iran to obtain military nuclear capability."

"Today the world became a much more dangerous place because the most dangerous regime in the world made a significant step in obtaining the most dangerous weapons in the world."

Other Israeli hardliners expressed similar comments. Deputy Knesset speaker, Moshe Feiglin, compared Geneva to Munich 1938.

"Any rational person understands that we are in the midst of a process leads to a nuclear-armed Iran," he claimed.

Things are "much worse than (what) led to the Yom Kippur War," he added.

Israel is the Middle East's sole nuclear power. It maintains a formidable arsenal. It has long-range sophisticated delivery systems. It represents the region's only major threat. Western media entirely ignore it.

Avigdor Lieberman is Israel's defrocked/reinstated foreign minister. He represents the extreme far right of Netanyahu's coalition government. 

He's an embarrassment too great to ignore. He's a thorn in the side of peace and stability.

He warned about letting Iran's nuclear program continue. It'll lead to a regional nuclear arms race, he claimed. 

It'll be on a scale "that even the most nightmarish Hollywood horror movie could not come close to depicting."

"We will know how to handle the Iranian threat, even if we stand alone," he stressed. 

"The threat is not just directed at us. The consequences (will be felt) across the Persian Gulf, Saudi Arabia, and the price of oil and gas. (They'll) be catastrophic for the whole world."

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon was just as hardline, saying:

"We must not be patient and allow Iran to become a nuclear state. One way or another, Iran's military nuclear program must be stopped." 

"We must continue with harsh sanctions on the diplomatic front, while presenting a credible military threat."

"We stand before a bad deal after which Iran will still be allowed to preserve its enrichment capabilities and operate without pressure." 

"A strengthened Iran is a strengthened Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad. These are groups that present a threat to the West and to us."

Iranian reports were positive. Press TV headlined "Tehran, world powers reach nuclear deal: Iran FM." The Tehran Times headlined "Tehran, world powers reach nuclear deal."

Iran's Fars News Agency headlined "FM: Iran to Continue Nuclear Activities." It quoted Foreign Minister Javad Zarif saying:

Iran's "program has been recognized and the Iranian people's right to use the peaceful nuclear technology based on the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty) and as an inalienable right has been recognized and countries are necessitated not to create any obstacle on its way."

"The (nuclear) program will continue and all the sanctions and violations against the Iranian nation under the pretext of the nuclear program will be removed gradually."

The deal represents a first-step effort toward "the full removal of all UN Security Council, unilateral and multilateral sanctions, while the country's enrichment program will be maintained." 

"Production of 5-percent-enriched uranium will continue in the country similar to the past."

"None of the enrichment centers will be closed and Fordo and Natanz will continue their work and the Arak heavy water program will continue in its present form and no material (enriched uranium stockpiles) will be taken out of the country and all the enriched materials will remain inside the country." 

"The current sanctions will move towards decrease. No (new) sanctions will be imposed and Iran's financial resources will return." 

Zarif called the deal "a great success." His faith remains to be tested. He understands the challenges Iran face. He called what was agreed on "an action plan in four pages."

"If we see any breach occurs in the commitments of the other side, and I hope that it will not happen, there will be a possibility for reversing (the actions)." 

"We are not in such a status to accept implementing the agreement unilaterally, if the other side doesn't comply with its undertakings."

"With open eyes and by fully protecting the people’s rights, if, God forbid, we come to this conclusion that the other side has misused the created opportunity, we will surely have other choices."

Fars News published the full text of the deal. It's provisions are as follows:

  • its duration runs six months; everything agreed on below remains in place for that period;

  • it's renewable by mutual consent;

  • Iran retains half of its 20% enriched uranium "as working stock of 20% oxide for fabrication of fuel for the TRR (Tehran Research Reactor);"

  • the remainder will be diluted "to no more than 5%;"

  • for the next six months, Iran will restrict enrichment to 5%;

  • it "will not make any further advances of its activities at (its) Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant 1, Fordow2, or the Arak reactor 3;"

  • no new enrichment locations will be used;

  • "Iran will continue its safeguarded R&D practices, including its current R&D practices; (they're) not designed for accumulation of the enriched uranium;"

  • reprocessing or construction of a facility for that purpose is prohibited;

  • "enhanced monitoring" is agreed on;

  • IAEA-supplied information will include "Iran's plans for nuclear facilities, a description of each building on each nuclear site, a description of the scale of operations for each location engaged in specified nuclear activities, information on uranium mines and mills, and information on source material;"

  • Iran will supply this information within three months;

  • it'll provide IAEA with an updated DIQ (Design Inventory Questionnaire) on Arak's reactor;

  • IAEA steps were agreed on regarding the Safeguards Approach for Arak's reactor;

  • "daily IAEA inspector access when inspectors are not present for the purpose of Design Information Verification, Interim Inventory Verification, Physical Inventory Verification, and unannounced inspections, for the purpose of access to offline surveillance records, at Fordow and Natanz;"

  • "IAEA inspector managed access to centrifuge assembly workshops4; centrifuge rotor production workshops and storage facilities; and uranium mines and mills;"

  • Iran won't "feed UF6 (uranium hexafluoride) into the centrifuges installed but not enriching uranium;"

  • it won't install additional centrifuges;

  • it will replace existing ones with others "of the same type;"

  • no further Fordow enrichment "over 5% at 4 cascades (and no) increase(d) enrichment capacity; (no) feed (of) UF6 into the other 12 cascades (to) remain inoperative; no interconnections between cascades;"

  • Iran won't "commission (Arak) or transfer fuel or heavy water to the reactor site, and will not test additional fuel or produce more fuel for the reactor or install remaining components;" and

  • centrifuge production will only replace "damaged machines."

P5+1 countries agreed to the following:

  • cease efforts to further reduce Iranian crude oil sales;

  • let Iranian customers continue buying their current amounts;

  • repatriate "an agreed amount of revenue held abroad;" it's believed to be no more than $7 billion; perhaps it's less;

  • suspend US/EU insurance and transportation services sanctions;

  • suspend US/EU sanctions on Iranian petrochemical exports, associated services related to them, gold and precious metals, as well as others on associated services, and Iran's auto industry plus associated services related to it;

  • "license the supply and installation in Iran of spare parts for safety of flight for Iranian civil aviation and associated services;" 

  • "license safety related inspections and repairs in Iran as well as associated services;"

  • no new US, EU or Security Council nuclear related sanctions;

  • "establish a financial channel to facilitate humanitarian trade for Iran's domestic needs using Iranian oil revenues held abroad;"

  • included are transactions involving food, agricultural products, medicines, medical devices and supplies, as well as medical expenses incurred abroad;

  • "specified foreign banks and non-designated Iranian" ones "to be defined" will be involved when the channel is established;

  • it'll enable Iran to pay its UN obligations, as well as tuition for Iranian students studying abroad "up to an agreed amount;"

  • EU authorized transactions thresholds will increase "for non-sanctioned trade to an agreed amount;"

  • " 'sanctions on associated services' means any service, such as insurance, transportation, or financial, subject to the underlying US or EU sanctions applicable, insofar as each service is related to the underlying sanction and required to facilitate the desired transactions;"

  • "these services could involve any non-designated Iranian entities;"

  • final step efforts toward a "comprehensive solution" to be implemented "no more than one year after agreement on the above provisions;"

  • it'll have "a specified long-term duration;"

  • it'll reflect adhering to NPT provisions and IAEA Safeguard Agreements;

  • it aims to "comprehensively lift UN Security Council, multilateral and national nuclear-related sanctions, including steps on access in areas of trade, technology, finance, and energy, on a schedule to be agreed upon;"

  • it'll involve a "mutually defined enrichment programme with mutually agreed parameters consistent with practical needs, with agreed limits on scope and level of enrichment activities, capacity, where it is carried out, and stocks of enriched uranium, for a period to be agreed upon;"

  • it'll fully resolve concerns about Arak;

  • it'll mandate "no reprocessing or construction of a facility capable of" doing so;

  • "following successful implementation of the final step of the comprehensive solution for its full duration, the Iranian nuclear programme will be treated in the same manner as that of any non-nuclear weapon state party to the NPT;" and

  • it's mutually agreed that "nothing is agreed until everything is agreed."

Sunday's agreement leaves important issues unresolved. Key is longstanding US/Israeli hostility.

Iran won't benefit unless its legitimate rights are respected. They haven't been for 34 years. Will this time be different? 

Will longstanding US imperial policy change? Will Israel's position soften despite its rhetoric? Will its lobby? Will France, Britain and Germany? Will Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council states?

Believing it requires a giant leap of faith. It's believing America negotiates fairly. It's believing it wants peace in our time.

It's believing Obama intends ending decades of US hostility. It's believing what won't happen going forward. 

Longstanding US policy remains unchanged. It's hardline. It's unrelenting. It wants unchallenged global dominance. It wants pro-Western puppet regimes replacing independent ones.

It's the oil, stupid. It's the gas. Iran is rich in both. Washington covets control. It continues going all out to get it. Geneva didn't change things.

Professor Abbas Edalat founded the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII). He commented on Geneva, saying:

"Clearly, it would take a long time for the US to gain the trust of Iranian people, and this can only be achieved by recognizing Iran's rights for a civilian nuclear program including home enrichment of uranium for energy production." 

"Only when the US treats Iran with respect as a sovereign nation, the process of reconciliation and looking forward to mutual cooperation and collaboration in many areas of joint interests can begin."

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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Anti-Iranian Israeli-Saudi Alliance

Anti-Iranian Israeli/Saudi Alliance

by Stephen Lendman

A previous article discussed an unholy Israeli/Saudi alliance. It's an axis of evil. They're strange bedfellows. They have no formal relations.

It's believed Saudi Prince Bandar ibn Sultan visited Israel covertly. Doing so broke a decades long taboo. 

Both countries have common regional interests. They include toppling Syria's Assad. They want Iran's government replaced.

Reports suggest both countries formed an anti-Iranian military alliance. On November 17, the London Sunday Times headlined "Two old foes unite against Tehran," saying:

"Convinced that Iran is tricking the world over nuclear weapons, Israel and Saudi Arabia may work together to curb its ambitions." 

None exist. Both countries know it. At issue is eliminating a regional rival. More on that below.

Multiple rounds of Iranian nuclear talks failed. On November 20, another attempt begins. The myth about Iran pursuing nuclear weapons persists.  Israel wants America's Iran policy toughened. AIPAC wants new sanctions enacted.

According to an unnamed senior State Department official:

"We are going to send teams around the world to make sure the sanctions stay in place, (so) that the whole sanctions regime will not collapse."

Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, David Cohen added:

"The relief we are considering as part of an initial phase would be limited, temporary, targeted and reversible."

"We will continue to monitor Iran's financial activity and take action, as we always have, to target Iranian attempts to evade sanctions." 

"The overwhelming economic pressure from our sanctions will remain in place, and we will continue to leverage these sanctions until we have a full, verifiable and peaceful resolution to international concerns surrounding Iran's nuclear program."

So-called concerns are contrived. Expect no letup in Washington's longstanding anti-Iranian agenda.

In July, House members overwhelmingly passed new sanctions 400 - 20. They target Iran's mining and construction sectors. They call for banning Iranian oil sales by 2015.

Similar Senate legislation is expected. It may be tougher. It may prohibit international investments in more economic sectors.

It may block Iran's foreign accounts entirely. It may restrict Obama's ability to unilaterally waive requirements for allies and key trading partners.

Israel's US ambassador Ron Dermer, its Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, and AIPAC are exerting enormous pressure on US lawmakers. They're spreading false information.

Over the past few days, they've gone all out to discredit whatever emerges from upcoming Iranian nuclear talks.

According to the Sunday Times, Saudi Arabia and Israel are preparing contingency plans to attack Iran. A diplomatic source was quoted saying:

"Once the Geneva agreement is signed, the military option will be back on the table. The Saudis are furious and are willing to give Israel all the help it needs."

Riyadh allegedly offered Israel tactical support. Included is use of its air space, drones, rescue helicopters and tanker planes.

Mossad and Saudi officials are reportedly cooperating. On November 17, Netanyahu appeared on CNN's State of the Union. He lied saying:

"I’m the prime minister of Israel, and I have to care for the survival of my country. Iran maintaining its nuclear weapons capability - that is the capacity to produce nuclear weapons threatens directly the future of the Jewish state."

The Jerusalem Post discussed his November 16 Le Figero interview.

"We all think that Iran should not be allowed to have the capacities to make nuclear weapons," he said. 

"We all think that a tougher stance should be taken by the international community. We all believe that if Iran were to have nuclear weapons, this could lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, making the Middle East a nuclear tinderbox."

"We live here. We know something about this region. We know a great deal about Iran and its plans. It’s worthwhile to pay attention to what we say."

He claimed a "meeting of the minds" between Israel and "leading states in the Arab world" on Iran. He called it "one of the few cases in memory, if not the first case in modern times."

So-called "leading states" include rogue regional monarchies Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Kuwait and Jordan. 

So is Egypt's coup d'etat regime. A potential regional war looms. Launching one could spread globally. 

In July 2013, Michel Chossudovsky reposted his August 2010 article. It's relevant today. It headlined "Global Warfare. Preparing for World War III, Targeting Iran."

"Humanity is at a dangerous crossroads," he said. It remains so today. "War preparations to attack Iran are in 'an advanced state of readiness.' "

"Hi tech weapons systems including nuclear warheads are fully deployed. This military adventure has been on the Pentagon's drawing board since the mid-1990s." 

War is America's strategy of choice. Israel operates the same way. They're partnered against regional rivals. They want pro-Western puppet governments replacing them.

They want unchallenged regional dominance. They're willing to risk global war to get it.

"Since 2005, the US and its allies, including America's NATO partners and Israel, have been involved in the extensive deployment and stockpiling of advanced weapons systems," said Chossudovsky. 

"The air defense systems of the US, NATO member countries and Israel are fully integrated."

America's permanent war agenda is longstanding. Post-9/11, Dick Cheney warned of wars that won't end in our lifetime.

Former CIA director James Woolsey said America "is engaged in World War IV, and it could continue for years."

In summer 1990, America headed for war on Iraq. On September 11, then President GHW Bush addressed a joint session of Congress.

He delivered what's known as his "Toward a New World Order" address.

He discussed Saddam's August 2 Kuwait incursion. He omitted explaining how Washington duped him.

At issue was a dispute over Kuwait cross-drilling into Iraqi territory. Washington's dirty hands encouraged it.

Then US Iranian ambassador April Glaspie OK'd Saddam's retaliation. It was after diplomacy to do so failed.

Saddam was deceived. Nearly 23 years of war, mass killing and destruction, sanctions, occupation, violence, disease, deep poverty, puppet governance, and unspeakable human misery followed.

In his September 11, 1990 address, Bush said "(w)e stand today at a unique and extraordinary moment. The regional "crisis offers a rare opportunity (for) a new world order."

He called it one "freer from the threat of terror, stronger in the pursuit of justice, and more secure in the quest for peace." 

"An era in which the nations of the world, East and West, North and South, can prosper and live in harmony."

"A world in which nations recognize the shared responsibility for freedom and justice. A world where the strong respect the rights of the weak."

He lied. He hid America's true intentions. Plans then and now involve replacing all sovereign independent governments with pro-Western vassal ones.

Iraqi and Libyan ones were toppled. Both countries remain cauldrons of violence and instability. 

War rages against Assad. Sudan and Lebanon are targeted. Iran is regional enemy number one.

At issue is unchallenged dominance. It's the oil, stupid. Iran has huge resources. It ranks fourth after Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Canada.

It ranks second after Russia in gas reserves. January 2013 estimates put them at 33.6 trillion cubic meters. Huge additional amounts remain to be developed. 

Washington covets control of Iran's energy and other resources. It's willing to wage war to get them.

In September 1990, GHW Bush signaled what lay ahead. He said "our involvement in the Gulf is not transitory...Long after all our troops come home, there will be a lasting role for the United States" in the region.

He lied saying why America intends to stay. He claimed it's "to deter future aggression to help our friends in their own self-defense, (and) to curb the proliferation of chemical, biological, ballistic missile and, above all, nuclear technologies."

Israel is the region's sole nuclear power. Its arsenal includes formidable nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. It uses banned weapons in all its conflicts.

American nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction infest the region. Israel and Washington represent the key Middle East threat.

Iran threatens no one. It hasn't attacked another country in centuries. It's nuclear program is peaceful. Longstanding US/Israeli plans call for regime change.

Wars rage without end. The Pentagon calls it a "long war." Obama is America's latest warrior president. He exceeds the worst of his predecessors. He follows a long tradition.

America glorifies war in the name of peace. Historian Charles Beard (1874 - 1948) once called it "perpetual war for perpetual peace." Imagine what he'd say now.

Waging war requires selling it. Pretexts are easy to fabricate. Against Iraq, it was nonexistent WMDs. War on Libya followed a litany of lies.

Iran is falsely accused of pursuing nuclear weapons. Multiple negotiating rounds to resolve differences failed. On November 20, another begins.

At issue is Iranian sovereign independence. On October 18, Channel News Asia (CNA) headlined "US to sell US$10.8b in missiles, bombs to Saudis, UAE." 

Plans include so-called deep-penetrating "bunker-buster" bombs. "The move follows a series of US 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," said CNA.

"The pending sale comes as the United States and five other major powers pursue high-stakes diplomacy on Iran's disputed nuclear program."

"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 by US-made F-15 and F-16 fighter jets previously purchased by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA)."

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

"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."

Washington, Israel, key NATO partners and rogue regional allies are preparing for war. Timing depends on strategically deciding when. 

Perhaps another false flag pretext will precede it. If wrongheaded economic policies trigger crisis conditions, expect war as a diversionary tactic. Fear distracts people from less pressing concerns.

Peace remains elusive. Washington deplores it. So does Israel. Humanity's survival hangs in the balance.

A Final Comment

On Sunday, French President Francois Hollande arrived in Israel. It's his first official visit as head of state. 

Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius accompanied him. Netanyahu warmly welcomed them. 

He lied telling Hollande he's leading "a courageous stand against Iran's attempts to acquire nuclear weapons."

"Israel sees France as a true friend. France, like Israel, aspires for a stable Middle East that lives in peace and security."

Both counties deplore it. They thrive on violence, conquests and dominance. Recent polls show Hollande's popularity at a record low. 

In October, it was 26%. Survey numbers published on November 14 had him at 15%. 

At issue are mass layoffs, tax increases and force-fed austerity. Don't expect allying with Israel against Iran to change things. 

He's widely detested. Perhaps he'll drop to single digits. Anti-Hollande sentiment is explosive.

Both leaders commented on Iran. Netanyahu said "a good deal is an agreement that dismantles (its) ability to get fissile material for a nuclear bomb."

Israel won't be bound by "a bad agreement." He called the proposed deal "bad and dangerous."  

Hollande said "(w)e will never accept Iran's possessing nuclear weapons. This is a threat to the security of Israel and a threat to the entire world."

"A true agreement will be possible only if Iran gives up on nuclear weapons forever."

France and Israel are nuclear armed and dangerous. Both leaders know Iran's nuclear program is peaceful. It has no military component. They lied claiming otherwise.

According to Mossad connected DebkaFile, Hollande and Netanyahu may form "a joint French-Israeli-Arab front against Iran."

At issue is whether they have war in mind. The fullness of time will tell.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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An incomplete yet stunning biography of the Dulles brothers, written by Stephen Kinzer, delineates the utter control and totalitarian power that Allen and John Foster had over America and the world in the 1950s. Allen Dulles was head of the CIA and John Foster Dulles ran the State Department. Under Eisenhower, who essentially abrogated his domestic and foreign policies to these brothers, the Dulleses had free reign to overthrow foreign leaders whom they despised and maintain a secret imperialist dominance for American corporate interests around the globe.

Long before the ‘50s, in fact, the Dulleses were funneling U.S. dollars into Nazi Germany. Their firm, Sullivan & Cromwell, helped finance I. G. Farben, the German chemical company which produced the Zyklon B gas used to murder millions of Jews in concentration camps, as well as Krupp A.G., Nazi weapons manufacturer. John Foster was close friends with Reichsbank president Hjalmar Schact. Allen signed his letters to Nazi officials with a respectful “Heil Hitler.”

Sullivan & Cromwell became so influential and powerful in American corporate spheres that the Dulleses were often rewarded with posts on many of their clients’ boards. One was United Fruit, which, with Allen’s CIA help, overthrew duly elected Guatemalan president Jacobo Arbenz. United Fruit had confiscated peasants’ land there for growing bananas at slave-labor costs. When Arbenz tried to return the land to the peasants and nationalize the fruit-growing industry, UFC and the CIA ousted him. The CIA earned the nickname Corporations’ Invisible Army.

Eisenhower turned a blind eye to this as long as the Dulles brothers kept America out of war. Ike had seen enough death and destruction in World War II, and opted for another way to exert America’s dominance over the world. So while he played golf with Bob Hope in Palm Springs, the Dulles brothers ran the country.

When Kennedy came into office, Allen, still head of the CIA, assumed he was still in charge. But after the Bay of Pigs fiasco, Kennedy fired him. This outraged the Eastern intelligence/business establishment, and Allen took out his revenge in Dallas. To ensure the matter would be covered up properly and exculpate all guilty parties, LBJ appointed Allen to the Warren Commission…or was it the other way around?
As de facto head of the Warren Commission, Dulles attended more meetings and hearings than any other member. He misled witnesses, diverted evidence, misinformed his colleagues, and brushed aside all CIA culpability. Funny what happens in a murder case when the lead investigator is also the prime suspect.

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No Deal in Geneva

by Stephen Lendman

Three days of Iran nuclear talks were fruitless. It didn't surprise. Multiple previous rounds failed. Will future ones fare better? Don't bet on it. 

France was blamed this time. Washington bears most responsibility. So does Israel. Netanyahu called any deal a bad one. The Israeli Lobby exerts enormous pressure on Congress.

America negotiates in bad faith. Longstanding anti-Iranian hostility persists. Regime change plans remain firm.

Iran's nuclear program is a red herring. It's entirely legitimate. Western countries and Israel know it. Pretending otherwise doesn't wash. Nor does putting a brave face on failure.

Agreement was only reached to meet again. November 20 is scheduled. Senior diplomats will attend. Foreign ministers won't participate.

Public comments belie what's at issue. Washington wants Iran kept isolated. It wants pressure maintained. 

It wants stiff sanctions continued. It wants Iran's economy to scream. It wants ordinary Iranians suffering most.

It wants regime change. It wants pro-Western puppet governance replacing sovereign Iranian independence. 

It wants war if other methods fail to achieve its goals. It wants an Israeli rival eliminated. It wants unchallenged regional dominance. It wants control of Iranian oil, gas and other resources. 

Future talks won't change things. John Kerry lied saying:

"(W)e came to Geneva with the clear purpose of trying to advance the goal of preventing Iran from securing a nuclear weapon, and I believe we leave this round of talks not only committed, recommitted to that goal, but clearly further down the road in understanding what the remaining challenges are and clarifying the ways that we can actually do certain things together to reach that goal."

"(T)he window for diplomacy does not stay open indefinitely," he added.

US/Israeli nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction represent the greatest threat to world peace.

Kerry lied about the importance of "defus(ing)" nonexistent Iranian ones.

Don't expect future rhetoric to change. Don't expect future talks faring better than others. Don't expect longstanding US/Israeli anti-Iranian hostility to soften.

On Sunday, President Rohani addressed Iran's National Assembly, saying:

"We have said to the negotiating sides that we will not answer to any threat, sanction, humiliation or discrimination." 

"The Islamic Republic has not and will not bow its head to threats from any authority." 

"For us there are red lines that cannot be crossed. National interests are our red lines that include our rights under the framework of international regulations and (uranium) enrichment in Iran."

Iran's nuclear program is entirely peaceful, he stressed. Its rights are inviolable. They won't be surrendered. 

Tehran negotiated in good faith. Washington, Britain, France and Germany didn't reciprocate. It didn't surprise. 

Brave face pretense doesn't change things. Alleged progress belies reality. 

It bears repeating. At issue is sovereign Iranian independence. Alleging a possible military component to its nuclear program is pretext to target it.

In 1957, Washington and Iran signed an Atoms for Peace nuclear cooperation agreement. In August 1963, Tehran signed the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. In December, it ratified it.

In 1967, Iran built its Nuclear Research Center. The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran ((AEOI) runs it.

The same year, Washington supplied 5.545 kg of enriched uranium. Most of it contained fissile isotopes for research reactor fuel. 

About 112 grams of plutonium (mostly fissile isotopes) were provided for the same purpose.

In July 1968, Iran signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). On March 5, 1970, it became effective. It promotes peaceful nuclear energy uses. 

It opposes weaponization. It endorses complete nuclear disarmament. Its objective is freeing the world from these destructive weapons.

In the 1970s, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi proposed building around 20 nuclear reactors. Washington supported him. Contracts with Western companies were signed. 

In 1974, Iran's Atomic Energy Act was implemented. It coordinates Tehran's nuclear program. It supervises it. 

It's involved in building nuclear facilities. It's in charge of using nuclear energy in industry, agriculture and service industries. It includes creating the required scientific and technical infrastructure. 

In 1974, Bushehr nuclear facility construction began. German companies were involved. Work stopped after Iran's 1979 revolution. 

In 1995, Russia agreed to finish earlier work begun. In September 2011, Bushehr became operational.

In 1990, Beijing signed a 10 year nuclear cooperation agreement with Tehran. It lets Iranian nuclear engineers train in China.

In December 2002, Washington claimed Iran planned nuclear weapons development. 

In May 2003, Iran proposed nuclear negotiations. At issue was resolving America's concerns. Agenda items proposed included:

  • relief of all US sanctions on Iran;
  • cooperation to stabilize Iraq;
  • full transparency over Iran's nuclear program, including the Additional Protocol;
  • cooperating against terrorist organizations, especially Mujahedin-e Khalq and Al Qaeda
  • accepting the Arab League’s 2002 'land for peace' declaration on Israel/Palestine; and

  • Iran's full access to peaceful nuclear technology, as well as legitimate chemical and bio-technology.

Bush administration officials rejected Iran's proposal. On January 29, 2002, George Bush initially called Iran, Iraq and North Korea the "axis of evil." 

He repeated it throughout his presidency. He did so to rally support for his "war on terror."

His accusations about proliferating terrorism were false. So were claims about developing weapons of mass destruction. 

Stepped up pressure followed. War on Iraq destroyed the cradle of civilization. War raged on Iran by other means. It continues.

It includes saber rattling, sanctions, subversion, instability, cyberwar, targeted assassinations, other disruptive actions, and relentless scoundrel media vilification and fearmongering.

In 2003, Britain, France and Germany (the EU3) proposed discussing a range of nuclear, security and economic issues with Iran.

Key was suspending uranium enrichment. So was cooperating fully with IAEA inspections. Iran continued its legitimate operations. Talks didn't materialize.

In November 2004, they began. Iranian proposals followed. They included:

  • Iran's commitment not to pursue weapons of mass destruction;

  • rejection of any attacks, threats of attack, or sabotage of Iran's nuclear facilities;

  • cooperation on combating terrorism; it included stepped up exchange of information and denial of safe havens;

  • regional security cooperation, including on Iraq and Afghanistan; and

  • cooperating on strategic trade controls, as well as ending restrictions on conventional arms and dual use goods to Iran.

In March 2005, Iran expressed willingness to discuss its nuclear program. Its proposal included:

  • adopting the IAEA Additional Protocol and continuous on-site inspections of key facilities;

  • limiting expansion of its enrichment program as well as declaring no reprocessing'

  • converting all enriched uranium to fuel rods;

  • an EU declaration recognizing Iran as a major source of European energy;

  • Iran's guaranteed access to advanced nuclear technology, as well as EU contracts for nuclear plant construction; and

  • normalizing Iran's status under G8 export controls.

In April 2005, Iran agreed to adopt the IAEA's Additional Protocol. It declared a policy of no reprocessing. It suspended enrichment for six months.

It established a joint task force on counterterrorism and export controls. It urged EU recognition of Iran as a major energy source.

In July 2005, Iran agreed to limit Natanz facility uranium enrichment. It negotiated for full-scale Natanz operation. 

It agreed to import uranium conversion material. It approved exporting UF6 (uranium hexafluoride) substances.

In August 2005, EU3 countries proposed:

  • supplying Iran with low enriched uranium;

  • storing nuclear fuel located in a third country;

  • establishing an Iranian commitment not to pursue fuel cycle technologies;

  • committing Iran to remain an NPT signatory and comply with Additional Protocol provisions;

  • returning spent nuclear fuel to supplier countries;

  • EU recognizing Iran as a longterm source of fossil fuel energy; and

  • cooperating with Iran on a variety of political-security areas; they included Iraq, Afghanistan, terrorism, and drug trafficking.

Iran rejected EU3's proposal. It didn't recognize its legitimate enrichment rights. Negotiations ended.

In October 2005, Moscow proposed Iran share ownership of a Russian-based uranium enrichment facility. Discussions followed. In March 2006, Tehran rejected the proposal.

In June 2006, America, China and Russia joined with EU3 countries. Comprehensive negotiations with Iran were proposed. 

Terms included Iran suspending enriched related and reprocessing activities, establishing a mechanism review, cooperation on issues of mutual concern, among others.

In August, Iran rejected the proposal. It didn't recognize its legitimate uranium enrichment rights.

Germany got involved. P5 became P5+1. In March 2008, revised terms were proposed. Iran submitted its own.

Both sides called for political, economic and security cooperation. Iran excluded altering its legitimate nuclear program. Discussions followed. No agreement was reached.

Subsequent proposals by both sides followed. So did multiple negotiating rounds. Major issues remain unresolved. Western demands exclude fairness. 

They restrict Iran in ways imposed on no other nuclear country. They deny Tehran's legitimate rights.

Six Security Council resolutions deal with Iran's nuclear program. Five imposed sanctions. Congress and EU nations imposed their own.

Normalizing relations with Iran remains a convenient illusion. Washington and Israel block doing so. Further talks aren't likely to change things. What follows remains to be seen.

A Final Comment

On Sunday, senior US officials arrived in Israel. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman led them. 

She's duplicitous. She can't be trusted. She's militantly hostile to Iran. She lied to Congress about its legitimate nuclear program. 

She and other US officials briefed Netanyahu on Geneva talks. Israel's national security adviser was involved. So were Israeli intelligence, foreign affairs and defense officials.

Before talks concluded, Netanyahu spoke to Obama, Britain's David Cameron, Germany's Angela Merkel and France's Francois Hollande.

He urged them to reject what he called a bad deal. Draw your own conclusions. 

Note: On November 17, Hollande will meet with Netanyahu in Jerusalem. 

On November 20, Netanyahu plans visiting Moscow. It's the same day Iran nuclear talks resume. 

It bears repeating. Will they fare better than previous ones? Don't bet on it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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On Halloween Eve in 1938, a flood of terror swept the United States. Some people, believing that the world was coming to an end, tried flight or suicide, or just cringed in their homes as "aliens" from Mars attacked New Jersey, then New York and the world. But it was just a prank, tapping a deep national well of pre-war anxiety, and produced for radio by Orson Welles and his Mercury Players.
      Times have changed so radically since then that, in the face of real disasters like the Three Mile Island “partial meltdown” in 1979, the explosion and fire at Chernobyl in 1986, or the 2011 earthquake and Tsunami-sparked disaster in Japan, people are deceptively calm.
      Are we really so confident about our ability to cope and recover, or have we given in to an overarching pessimism about the future of the planet and fate of humanity?
     According to a survey by the Encyclopedia Britannica, in 1980 nearly half of all US junior high school students believed that World War III would begin by the year 2000. If you consider the last decade, it looks like the youth of that period – in their 40s today – were only off by one year.
     Many futurologists, an academic specialty that emerged about 40 years ago, continue to warn that the environment is critically damaged. Yet this sounds positively cautious when compared to the diverse images of social calamity projected through films, books and the news media. There have always been such predictions, but in the last few decades they have proliferated almost as rapidly as nuclear weapons during a Cold War. Some dramatize a “big bang” theory –global devastation caused by some extinction level event.
     Fortunately, a few do chart a slightly hopeful future, one in which humanity either smartens up in time to save itself or manages to survive.
     Rather than a desire to be scared out of our wits, the attraction to such stories and predictions may reflect a widespread interest in confronting the likely future. The mass media may, in fact, be producing training guides for the coming Dark Age -- if we're lucky.

Variations on a Theme

Sometimes humanity – or California – is saved in the nick of time by an individual sacrifice or collective action. Sometimes, as in the classics On the Beach, Dr. Strangelove or The Omega Man (remade as I am Legend), we are basically wiped out. Occasionally there are long-term possibilities for survival, but technology breaks down and the environment takes strange revenge. In some cases the future is so dismal that it is hardly worth going on, as in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.
     In a few cases the end of humanity is just a piece of cosmic black humor.
     All of these are speculative visions, many adapted from ideas originally developed in pulp science fiction or from prophetic statements by figures like Edgar Cayce. The films usually offer a way out (audiences generally favor hopeful endings), while deep doom and gloom tend to gain more traction in print. But both scenarios share the assumption that the track we are on leads to a dangerous dead end.
     We seem to keep asking the same basic questions: How do we get to the apocalypse? And what happens afterward? One obvious way to get pretty close is to misuse technology, especially when the mistakes are made as a result of greed – for power, knowledge or cold cash.  
      The classic anti-nuclear film The China Syndrome presents a textbook example: greedy corporations ignoring public health and shoddy construction in pursuit of profit. It was a powerful statement in its day, especially given the Three Mile accident just weeks after the film's release, yet predictable in a way and inconclusive on the prospects for health or quality survival in a nuclear-powered world. We are just beginning to have this discussion again.
     An earlier “close call” film, The Andromeda Strain, had a more inventive story and placed the blame on a lust for knowledge (the old Frankenstein theme). But this early techno-triller provided no real solution to the problem of disease or disaster created by scientific discovery. In Michael Crichton’s Andromeda Strain the threat was a deadly organism brought back from outer space, the same kind of self-inflicted biological warfare that heavy doses of radioactive fallout can become. But in the book and film the blood of victims coagulated almost instantly, avoiding the prolonged agony of dying from a plague or the long-term effects of radiation.
     Fear of nuclear power is by no means new. Radiation created many movie monsters in the 1950s, from the incredible 50-foot man and woman to giant mantises, crabs and spiders. But the threat was usually related to the testing or detonation of weapons, not the ongoing use of what was then called “the peaceful atom.” That mythical atom was going to be our good friend in a cheap, safe, long-term relationship.
      Since then, and especially since the nuclear accidents of the 1970s and 80s, nuclear plants have provided a basis for various bleak scenarios. Not even Vermont has been spared, though it sometimes appears as a post-disaster oasis. In the 1970s novel The Orange R, however, Middlebury College teacher John Clagett extended nuclear terror into a future where the Green Mountains is inhabited by radioactive people called Roberts. They are dying off rapidly in a country where apartheid has become a device to keep the Roberts away from the Normals.
     Using a pulp novel style Clagett lays out the overall situation about halfway through:
     “For many years every nuclear plant built had been placed in Robert country, ever since, in fact, the dreadful month in which three plants had ruptured cooling systems, spreading radioactive vapor over much of Vermont, New Hampshire and West Massachusetts. After that no more plants had been built near populated areas; before long, the requirement that the plants should be located on running fresh water and in lightly populated country had brought about the present situation. Norm country was surviving and living high on the power generated in Robert country, where radiation grew worse, year by year.”
     In The Orange R Normal people who live in radioactive areas wear airtight suits and laugh hysterically when anyone mentions solar power. All of Vermont’s major streams and bodies of water have heated up, and the deer have mutated into killer Wolverdeer. Still, the book offers a hopeful vision at the end: the Roberts rise up and take over Vermont’s nukes and successfully dismantle the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, as well as a corporate state that is only vaguely described. Most Vermonters have terminal radiation sickness, but for humanity it turns out to be another close call.

Prophecies Go Mainstream

There are simply too many novels about the end of the current civilization, too many to list and perhaps too many for our psychological health. It could become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
     Only a few decades ago people who accepted the prophecies of Nostradamus or Edgar Cayce were mocked by mainstream society and even some of their close friends. Cayce predicted that the western part of the US would be broken up, that most of Japan would be covered by water, and that New York would be destroyed in 1998 (perhaps he meant Mayor Giuliani’s remake of Times Square). Nearly 400 years earlier Nostradamus, whose benefactor was Henry II of France, said that western civilization would be under heavy attack from the East in 1999, with possible cataclysmic repercussions. Not far off, it turns out.
     But what is “lunatic fringe” in one era can become mainstream, perhaps even commercially viable, in another.
     The destruction of the West Coast has been featured in numerous books and movies. Hollywood has of course excelled in creating doomsday myths, from the antichrist’s continuing saga in countless unmemorable installments, to total destruction in the Planet of the Apes franchise, The Day After Tomorrow, 2012 and many more.      Japanese filmmakers have been equally and famously preoccupied with mass destruction. Decades before the current disaster, they even turned Cayce’s prophecy about their country into a 1975 disaster movie called Tidal Wave. Starring Lorne Greene and Japanese cast, it was imported to the US by Roger Corman. Internet Movie Data Base (IMDB) describes it this way:
     “Racked by earthquakes and volcanoes, Japan is slowly sinking into the sea. A race against time and tide begins as Americans and Japanese work together to salvage some fraction of the disappearing Japan.” Close, but they missed the nuclear angle.
     Predictions to the contrary, Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove remains one of the most memorable doomsday movies. Its black humor and naturalistic performances by Peter Sellers, George C. Scott and Sterling Hayden combine with a devastating premise – that The End may come through a mixture of human error (a demented general) and flawed technology (an extinction level bomb that can't be disarmed).
     There haven’t been many stories based on Nostradamus’ Eastern siege prophecy, although there certainly could be. But a number of films have adapted Cayce’s visions of environmental upheaval. Oddly enough Charlton Heston appears in several, usually as Cassandra or savior. In Planet of the Apes he is an astronaut who returns to Earth only to find his civilization in ruins, apes in charge, and humans living below ground as scarred mutants who worship the bomb. In The Omega Man he is a disillusioned scientist who has survived bio-chemical war and spends his days exterminating book-burning mutants. He discovers an antidote to the plague, but only a handful of people are left to give humanity another chance.
     And then there is Soylent Green, a film that presents the slow road to environmental pollution and starvation. This time Heston is a policeman who eventually discovers that the masses have been hoodwinked into cannibalism. They are also so depressed that suicide parlors are big business.
     Most of the Heston vehicles were big budget B-movies, exploiting popular anxiety but much less affecting than Dr. Strangelove or Nevil Shute’s On the Beach. On the other hand, they deftly tapped into growing doubts about the future with a Dirty Harry-style response.

After The End

Ecologist George Stewart wrote his novel Earth Abides in 1949, before the Atom bomb scare took hold or the environment seemed like something to worry about. But his story of civilization destroyed by an airborne disease took the idea of rebuilding afterward about as far as anyone. In this prescient book the breakdown of man-made systems is traced in convincing detail, in counterpoint with a story of survival without machines, mass production and, ultimately, most of what residents of developed countries take for granted.
     Not many recent books or films are as optimistic about our prospects once humanity has gone through either its Big Bang or Long Wheeze end game. In Margaret Atwood’s recent two-volume science fiction saga, for example, man-made environmental catastrophe and mass extinction in Oryx and Crake is followed, in The Year of the Flood, by marginal survival in a strange mutated world.
     The optimism of Earth Abides about the ability of human beings to adapt may be a reason why it did not develop the cult following of more dystopian tales. The more dismal the forecast, it seems, the more enthusiastic the following. Apropos, one of the most popular science fiction books downloaded last year was The Passage, Justin Cronin’s compelling mixture of vampires run amuck, government conspiracy, and post-apocalypse survivalism.
      What most of these stories and films have in common is a basic idea: the inevitability of radical, cataclysmic change. Should we manage to get beyond annihilation, apocalypse, Armageddon or whatever, they predict that we are very likely to enter a new Dark Age. Like most things, this too isn't a new idea. At the end of his life J. B. Priestley, the British novelist who founded the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, contemplated such a future. Calling it a “slithering down” he forecast that industrial civilization would one day come to an end.
      But even in a Dark Age there is some hope. The life of the planet will likely continue and equilibrium can be reestablished in time. At least many of us continue to hope so. If the devastation is not total, perhaps a new culture can emerge. The main question thus becomes not whether the Earth will survive but how human beings fit in.
     Near the end of his life H. G. Wells, the master of science fiction who produced optimistic visions in The Shape of Things to Come and The Time Machine, turned pessimist and wrote Mind at the End of Its Tether. “There is no way out or round or through,” he concluded. Life on Earth may not be ending, Wells believed, but humans aren’t going anywhere.
     Compared with that forecast, tales of a new Dark Age start to sound more hopeful.

Iran Nuclear Talks Resume

Iran Nuclear Talks Resume

by Stephen Lendman

November 7 and 8 talks are scheduled in Geneva. They continue where mid-October ones left off.

Previous rounds failed. It's hard imagining success this time. Iran's nuclear program is pretext. At issue is replacing its government. 

Washington deplores independent ones. Regime change is planned. Obama is more duplicitous than George Bush.

John Kerry's dark side matches Hillary Clinton's. Wendy Sherman is  Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. 

She heads Obama's Geneva negotiating team. She's militantly anti-Iranian. She lied to Congress.

Flynt and Hillary Leverett discussed it. She told Senate Foreign Relations Committee members:

"We know that deception is part of (Iran's) DNA."

If she said this about Israel, America's NATO partners or valued Middle East allies, she's be summarily fired. 

She'd be banned from government service. She'd be denied lucrative private sector employment. She'd be banished to oblivion.

Unjustly vilifying a US enemy is standard practice. Anything less is unacceptable. Iran complies fully with Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) provisions. 

Sherman lied claiming its Article IV doesn't let Tehran "pursue indigenous development of fuel-cycle capabilities, including uranium enrichment, under international safeguards," said the Leveretts.

Article IV states:

"(N)othing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination."

Iran has as much right as other NPT signatories. BRICS countries Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa as well as 120 Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) members affirm Iran's right "to pursue indigenous safeguarded enrichment."

Four nations alone object: America, Britain, France and Israel. The Jewish state is a nuclear outlaw. It's been that way for decades.

It refuses to sign NPT. It has a formidable nuclear, chemical and biological weapons arsenal. Discussing it is verboten.

"(D)enying non-weapons states' right of safeguarded enrichment amounts to…a shameless effort to rewrite the NPT unilaterally," said the Leveretts.

Sherman had more to say. She lied again claiming:

"It has always been the US position that Article IV of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty does not speak about the right of enrichment at all (and) doesn't speak to enrichment, period."

False! Earlier US policy affirmed the right to peaceful nuclear development. Doing so included indigenous development of safeguarded fuel-cycle capabilities.

In 1968, US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency head, William Foster, told Senate Foreign Relations Committee members:

"Neither uranium enrichment nor the stockpiling of fissionable material in connection with a peaceful program would violate Article II so long as these activities were safeguarded under Article III."

Article II commits non-nuclear weapons states not to pursue their development. Article III requires they accept safeguards on their nuclear activities.

Sherman know this or should. In Senate testimony, she flat-out lied. She committed perjury. 

She remains unaccountable. She represents Washington in Geneva. She's up to no good doing so.

Iran deplores nuclear weapons. It wants them all eliminated. On November 5, Tehran's UN ambassador Mohammad Khazaee said:

"The total elimination of these inhuman weapons is the only absolute guarantee against their threat or use." 

"Before they consume us all together, we must consume them all together. This is not an option but a must. This is both our right and responsibility."

On November 6, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi called current talks a P5+1 group litmus test. They'll show whether equitable resolution is possible. 

Believing it is a giant leap of faith. It's believing what never happened before. It's believing Obama intends ending decades of US hostility. 

It's believing Israeli Lobby pressure won't intervene. It's believing what almost certainly won't happen regardless of what's publicly stated.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif urges "serious negotiations." He acknowledges they won't be easy. According to an unnamed senior US official:

"What we're looking for is a first phase, a first step, an initial understanding that stops Iran's nuclear program from moving forward and rolls it back for the first time in decades."

Details of Washington's intensions remain to be revealed. According to Haaretz, America "wants Iran to halt (its) nuclear program for six months in exchange for (minimal) economic relief."

A US official calls it a "first step." It's to buy time to negotiate a comprehensive agreement encompassing all components of Iran's program.

In return,"very limited, temporary, reversible sanctions relief" will be offered, he said.

If permanent resolution isn't achieved in six months, full economic sanctions will be reimposed.

According to National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan:

"The P5+1 is engaged in serious and substantive negotiations with Iran that offer the possibility of a verifiable diplomatic agreement that will prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon." 

"We are not going to comment on specifics. In general, the P5+1 is focused on developing a phased approach that in the first step halts Iran's nuclear program from moving forward and potentially rolls back parts of it."

"The first step would address Iran's most advanced nuclear activities, increase transparency so Iran will not be able to use the cover of talks to advance its program, and create time and space as we negotiate a comprehensive agreement." 

"In exchange for concrete, verifiable measures to address the P5+1's concerns during the first step, the P5+1 would consider limited, targeted, and reversible relief that doesn't affect our core sanctions architecture." 

It "would be maintained until there is a final, comprehensive, verifiable agreement that resolves the international community’s concerns."

America negotiates in bad faith. It's word isn't its bond. It systematically breaks promises. Obama broke every major one made.

From what's known, Washington wants phase one to involve levels and scope of Iran's uranium enrichment, reducing its stockpile, eliminating some operational centrifuges, and hardening monitoring procedures among other demands.

Specific details weren't released. Washington appears to be offering terms to refuse. In return for initial stiff demands likely to be hardened, it's offering crumbs on a temporary basis only.

Iran expressed sincere willingness to compromise. It won't relinquish its legitimate rights nor should it. 

Israel wants Tehran's program entirely halted. It wants to be the region's sole nuclear power without saying so. 

Whether two more days of talks prove productive remains to be seen. It bears repeating. It's hard imagining Obama plans ending decades of US hostility. 

He hasn't so far in nearly five years. He maintains a military option. Iran's under no illusion. It's up to America to show good faith. President Rohani is willing to reciprocate in kind.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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by Stephen Lendman

Professor Nader Entesaar chairs University of South Alabama's Political Science and Criminal Justice Department.

He researches and teaches defense and foreign policy issues, developing world ones (especially in the Middle East), international politics and political economy, as well as international law and conflict management.

He called Iranian President Hassan Rohani's diplomatic efforts an important step toward advancing Tehran's outreach.

In New York, he "and Foreign Minister Zarif did a masterful job of presenting Iran’s foreign policy objectives," he said.

"They both (stressed) Iran's goal of finding a peaceful solution to the nuclear impasse within a reasonably short time frame." 

"Iran’s outreach was welcomed by the international community, even by some who had previously taken a hostile stance vis-a-vis Iran." 

"Of course, for any negotiation to succeed, goodwill must be displayed by both sides. Notwithstanding some positive statements by US officials in recent days, some negative remarks" surfaced.

Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman is a longstanding Iran critic. On October 3, she told Senate Foreign Relations Committee members:

Iran's nuclear program continues. "(W)e know that deception is part of (its) DNA." These comments and similar ones from her and other Washington hardliners suggest little or no change in US policy.

For sure not enough to matter. Iran wants lawless sanctions ended. It wants long denied normalized relations. 

Washington wants regime change. It wants sovereign Iranian independence destroyed. It wants Shah era harshness restored. Tehran's between a rock and a hard place.

Rohani's outreach resonated positively worldwide. Washington's reaction was disingenuous. Israel remains extremely hostile. So does the Israeli Lobby. More on that below.

Obama's phone call to Rohani was less than meets the eye. Deep-seated anti-Iranian hostility continues. 

Obama told Netanyahu, "all options (remain) on the table." Saying so means nothing changed.

Netanyahu remains uncompromisingly hostile. In mid-October, he spoke on the 40th anniversary of Israel's Yom Kippur War (October 1973).

Its lessons "stayed with us, he said. "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."

"The second lesson was that we can't surrender the option of a preventive strike."

"(T)here 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."

"A preventive war, even a preventive strike, is among the most difficult decisions a government can take, because it will never be able to prove what would have happened if it had not acted." 

"But the key difference between the (1967) Six Day War and the (1973) Yom Kippur War lies first of all in the fact that in the Six Day War we launched a preventive strike that broke the chokehold our enemies had placed on us, and on Yom Kippur the government decided, despite all warnings, to absorb the full force of an enemy attack."

"Peace is attained through strength," he added. "I think that it would be a historic mistake to ease up on Iran without it dismantling the nuclear capabilities it is developing," he stressed.

"International pressure must continue to be applied and even increased."

"The greater the pressure, the greater the chance that there will be a genuine dismantling of the Iranian military nuclear program." 

"If the pressure is reduced, the chance will be accordingly smaller."

He warned against granting Iran "international legitimacy."

On Sunday's Meet the Press, he said Iran is in power in Syria, not Assad. Syria "has become an Iranian protectorate," he claimed.

"Iran’s henchmen, Hezbollah, are doing the fighting for Assad, for his army. To the extent he has an army, it’s the Hezbollah Army."

Syria has formidable military strength. It includes hundreds of thousands of active and reserve personnel.

In includes sophisticated land, air and naval offensive and defensive weapons. Hezbollah volunteers supplement its ranks.

Thirty-one known countries operate nuclear reactors. They do so for internal energy needs. Dozens of other nations consider using them for the same purpose. They include half a dozen or more Middle East ones.

"Here comes Iran," Netanyahu said. It wants civilian nuclear power. "I don't know why, because they have energy with gas and oil coming out of their ears for generations." 

"But suppose you believe them. Then ask "why do you insist on mainlining a plutonium heavy water reactor and on maintaining centrifuges that can only be used for nuclear weapons?" 

"And the answer is because they want to have residual capability to make nuclear weapons."

False! Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Araqchi said construction of Iran's Arak heavy water reactor is under constant close monitoring.

IAEA inspectors are fully aware of its operations. Arak's wanted to produce medical radioisotopes. They're needed for about one million cancer patients.

It's not for nuclear weapons. Netanyahu lied claiming otherwise.

He lied again saying Iran "systematically misled the international community."

He falsely accused Tehran of "participating in the mass slaughter of (Syrian) civilians." He lied claiming it supports global terrorism.

He ducks questions on Israel's formidable nuclear, chemical and biological arsenal. 

He's silent about Israel's war on Palestine. He ignores its complicity with Washington's wars. 

He won't admit state terror is official Israeli policy. It targets Syria, Lebanon and Iran. It operates globally.

Media hosts don't challenge him. They give him a platform to repeat lies.

Nader Entesaar is justifiably wary going forward. Throughout nearly five years in office, Obama's hostility persisted. 

Netanyahu's UN address was "vacuous and vituperative," said Entessar. It was the "low point of this year's" UN addresses. 

Israeli and US hardliners reject Rohani's outreach. They want pressure maintained and stiffened.

They see international relations as "a zero-sum game." They reject any thaw in Western/Iranian relations. They're against any hint of it.

It runs counter to their either you're with or against us mentality. Hegemons think that way.

Entesaar strongly believes hardliners will go all out to reject Rohani's outreach. They'll repeat what they did to his predecessors. He hopes perhaps some EU countries will break from Washington and Israel. 

Doing so will weaken their position. It'll increasingly isolate them. It'll open the door to further easing. 

It's the best chance for world peace. It may be the only one. It's a goal worth going all out to pursue.

Formidable obstacles persist. AIPAC is uncompromising. It's hardline. It's unbending. It ruthlessly pursues its objectives. It wields enormous influence in Washington.

"Tehran must suspend all enrichment and reprocessing activities," it said. 

"Iran's nuclear activities have brought it so close to a nuclear weapons capability that time for successful negotiations will run out if the regime continues on its present course." 

"To avoid any misunderstanding in Tehran, America must clearly signal that it will consider no easing of sanctions until Iran has verifiably suspended its nuclear program." 

"If Iran's nuclear activities continue, the United States and the international community should escalate sanctions and reinforce President Obama’s message that a credible military option is on the table to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons."

It lied claiming "Iran's race to the bomb" continues. At its current rate of installing centrifuges, it's "rapidly approaching break-out ability to enrich" bomb grade uranium.

AIPAC wants US policy kept firm. It wants sanctions maintained. It wants total suspension of uranium enrichment and reprocessing.

It want Washington maintaining a credible military threat. It wants pro-Western puppet governance replacing sovereign Iranian independence.

It shows what challenges Iran faces going forward. It's best outreach may end up not good enough.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Who Will Protect You from the Police? The Rise of Government-Sanctioned Home Invasions

John W. Whitehead Ron Paul Institute October 22, 2013 It's 3 a.m. You've been asleep for hours when suddenly you hear a loud “Crash!...

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Who Will Protect You from the Police? The Rise of Government-Sanctioned Home Invasions

“Democracy means that if the doorbell rings in the early hours, it is likely to be the milkman.”—Winston Churchill It’s 3 a.m. You’ve been asleep for hours when suddenly you hear a loud “Crash! Bang! Boom!” Based on the yelling, shouting and mayhem, it sounds as if someone—or several someones—are breaking through your front door. […]

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Obama intends to nominate former Defense Department general counsel Jeh Johnson as new DHS chief. He's responsible for endorsing some of Washington's most lawless policies....

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Canadian Police Use Military Tactics to Disperse Indigenous Anti-Fracking Blockade

Oscar León, TRNN Producer: Thursday, October 17, 2013, in New Brunswick, Canada, indigenous protesters refused to comply a judge injunction ordering them to surrender the siege of SWN equipment store.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police moved in, fully armed, 200 men strong, arresting many elders. Pictures of agents in camouflage with automatic assault weapons and dogs flowed trough Twitter and other social media websites.

SWN Resources Canada is a Houston-based energy company working on shale gas extraction using fracking, a system that injects water and chemicals to the ground to harvest gas.

Scientists and activists warn that such procedure can contaminate the ground and the water supply. The company had been conducting seismic testings with the trucks detained inside the compound by the activists.

Miles Howe, a reporter for the Media Co-op, was among those arrested. He published:

"We are currently surrounded by about 75 cops, all guns drawn. Several are in military fatigues. Rubber bullets have been fired in the woods. Molotovs were thrown earlier from warrior side. Currently still in standoff."

The Globe and Mail reported that after the protesters refused to disperse, the police used tear gas and rubber bullets. RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) reported 40 arrests. This is a statement in the RCMP website:

"The New Brunswick RCMP has arrested at least 40 people for various offences including firearms offences, uttering threats, intimidation, mischief, and for refusing to abide by a court injunction on Route 134. . . ."

The Real News spoke to Pamela Ross, one of the activists that had been in the blockade.

Pamela Ross, Protester, New Brunswick, Canada: This has been a peaceful protest all along, and people have been misled on what the whole warrior society and what warriors, First Nations warriors are in the first place. You know, they're protectors of the people. So that's why the warriors were the first people arrested, because they are willing to put themselves out in front of everybody else.

Everyone's protesting because the government of New Brunswick, originally the Liberal government of New Brunswick, introduced shale gas fracking to New Brunswick. And people were totally against it. And then an election came around, and the Conservative government was very critical and criticizing the Liberal government, you know, about the shale gas, and a lot of people voted for them because they thought that the Conservative government was against it. But the Conservative government has turned around, and they seem to be all for it as well.

León: A live shot was reported, but neither side took responsibility for it. Five police cruisers were set on fire after the initial raid. Images like this one published in News World YouTube channel circled around the internet and TV newscasts. While it is presumed that Mi'kmaq people did it, until now no evidence has surfaced onto who set the cars on fire.

This is a video of the aftermath of the arrest published by Chris Sabas, an independent reporter working in Toronto with Christian Peacemaker Teams. She had been following the story.

The siege that started on Sunday, September 29, 2013, after months of active nonviolent direct action by native Acadian [incompr.] communities, and after years of campaign against shale gas, protesters draw the line.

Worth mentioning is Submedia's TV coverage of the blockade. This is part of one of their special reports from the side of the blockade.

Unidentified: We have Mi'kmaq, we have Acadians, we have English. So we all came together. That's why we became a unity camp. Before, we were like this, we weren't getting along, until when they started messing our water. Then we became this.

León: This is a video by Chris Saban of Chief Aaron Sock entering the blockade.

Elsipogtog Chief Aaron Sock and several council members were among those arrested on October 17. This marked the end of a blockade maintained for more than two weeks. But it does not end the resisting of the indigenous people and the activists and citizens.

After the arrest, demonstrations of people protesting in solidarity were reported by mainstream media as well as social networks. Ontario Provincial Police reported that 30 to 40 First Nation protesters [inaud.] and shut down Highway 6 in southern Ontario between the communities of Hagersville and Caledonia.

Just one day before, speaking on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II,--

David Johnston, Gov. Gen. of Canada: I bear the happy wishes and deep affection of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada.

León: --Governor General David Johnston, in the annual Speech from the Throne in Parliament Hill, Ottawa, pointed at the immense importance raw natural resources have for the Crown and the Commonwealth.

Johnston: Since Canada's earliest days, our economy has been built on our abundant natural resources. Directly and indirectly, the natural resource sector employs 1.8 million Canadians, many in skilled, high-paying jobs. Resource development generates $30 billion annually in revenue that supports health care, education, and programs Canadians cherish. Canada's energy reserves are vast, sufficient to fuel our growing economy and supply international customers for generations to come.

León: The Canadian indigenous fight to preserve its resources from industrial exploitation has many similar characteristic compared to those of the South American indigenous. In Colombia, Brazil, Peru, and Ecuador, they all advocate for the necessity to balance civilization's growth and the well-being and preservation of our planet and its biosphere.

For The Real News, this is Oscar León.

This is just a beginning: Gezi resistance and the legitimacy crisis of the AKP...

Last summer, Turkey has witnessed an unprecedented social mobilisation, maybe the most significant and intensive one in the post-1980 military coup period. Between the 28 and 30 of May, a group of environmentalists, who were camped in the Gezi Park to prevent the destruction of the park for the re-construction of the 18thcentury Ottoman Taksim Barracks, were violently evicted by the police. While the activists were beaten and tear gassed, their tents and equipment were burned by the officials. This sparked a massive outrage and paved the way to the subsequent demonstrations and clashes with the police forces that lasted for almost four months. In this guest post, Ertan Erol assesses the wider implications of this moment of social mobilisation in Turkey.

Photo by Sterneck
The reaction of the members of the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) remained undecided and more or less surprised until the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan concretised his hard-line position accusing the protestors of being looters and part of a foreign conspiracy that aims to increase interest rates and, thus, damage the Turkish economy. While the PM gradually elevated his criticisms on the protests and launched series of pro-government rallies called ‘Respect to People’s Will’ in the major cities of Turkey, the pro-government media launched a campaign of slander making various claims about the protesters, allegedly showing their links with foreign agents and their fanatically anti-religious and anti-Islamic orientations. In the international arena the AKP officials also continuously claimed that the police reaction was moderate, at least not heavier or different than the use of police force in the Western world. PM Erdogan himself gave the example of the police intervention during the Occupy Wall Street events in New York claiming that 17 people had been killed, which was immediately refuted by the US Embassy in Ankara. 
Photo by eser.karadag
Nevertheless, the AKP’s arguments trying to justify the use of police force during the Gezi Resistance have no credibility. A recent report published by Amnesty International (October 2013) noted that the right of peaceful assembly that is protected by various international conventions and by the 34th article of Turkey’s constitution was arbitrarily denied in many parts of the country due to the abusive use of force by the police (quoting the Turkish Medical Association): 8000 people were injured of which 61 severely, 11 lost an eye, 104 suffered head injuries and 3 people died as the direct result of the brutal use of force (2013: 15). In the same report it was also stated that the police force abused the use of less lethal weapons such as tear gas and water cannons. According to government sources only in the first 20 days of the protests 130.000 gas canisters had been used, while 60 water cannons, which in some cases carried water mixed with chemical irritants that might cause first degree burns on human skin, were arbitrarily implemented against the protestors and bystanders (2013 18, 19). The report also noted unofficial detentions, sexual assaults, beatings by the police force, and the arbitrary prosecutions and raids aimed at organisers of the protests, lawyers, journalists, medical personnel and social media users. 

Photo by eser.karadag
The Gezi Protests and the violent, repressive and illegal response by the government and its law enforcement forces was immediately interpreted as an authoritarian turn in the AKP’s 11 years of rule. However, I argue that the protests and the government’s strong response needs to be located and identified within a wider process of neoliberal re-territorialisation of Turkey in the last three decades. Only by doing that, is it possible to identify these protests in the context of legitimacy crises that neoliberal hegemony is also facing simultaneously in other parts of the world such as Mexico, Chile, Brazil and Colombia.

Photo by eser.karadag
 In that sense, it is indispensible to look back to 2010 and pin down the TEKEL workers’ resistance as a turning point, which should be seen as the beginning of the political legitimacy crisis of the AKP rule. In 2010 when the state tobacco company TEKEL was privatised and the TEKEL workers were forced to choose between resignation and accepting to sign yearly contracts, which were not guaranteed to be renewed, the TEKEL workers launched a fierce campaign of resistance and camped in a public park in Ankara. Since the 1980 military coup, it had been the first time a working class movement was able to mobilise and maintain a significant amount of people. It is possible to argue that the reason why the AKP government used brutal police force to disperse the workers and protesters was the vitality of the case as the most obvious crack in the neoliberal hegemonic coalition that the AKP was representing. Thus, the TEKEL resistance became a turning point both for the government and the social movements either in the urban areas concerning public spaces or in the rural areas against the construction of micro dam projects. Since the TEKEL resistance it has become practically impossible to make a public demonstration criticising government policies without receiving strong police intervention with tear gas, detention and arbitrary legal prosecution. In 2013, starting from a protest in Taksim against the destruction of an old cinema building to the clashes following the prohibition of the May Day celebrations in Taksim square, the erosion of the political legitimacy of the AKP government increased the repressive response of these peaceful protests. This situation paved the way to the social explosion on 31st May which led to the four months of anti-government protests and different forms of political disobedience, which are now all summed up under the name of Gezi resistance. The impact of neoliberal re-territorialisation of public space in Istanbul coincided with the wider aspects of the crisis of neoliberal hegemony, which led to the explosion of social struggles and opened up significant space of self-determination and counter-hegemonic socio-spatial practices.

Photo by Sabo Tabi
Hoping to tackle this problem of legitimacy, the AKP government recently presented a series of liberalising reforms, a ‘democratisation package’, offering changes such as lifting the ban on the use of headscarf by public servants, or the general use of Kurdish letters Q, X and W and the original names of Kurdish towns, as well as returning the land previously belonging to an Assyrian Monastery in the southeast of Turkey. However, the package can hardly be perceived as a serious attempt of democratisation, since it is far from satisfying even the basic demands of the minority groups in Turkey or responding to the calls of the general public such as for the elimination of the 10 percent national threshold in general elections.    
In this context, one of the most common slogans of the protests becomes more meaningful: ‘This is just a beginning, the struggle will continue’. There is a direct link between the TEKEL resistance, the resistance in the Anatolian mountains and the Gezi Park protests, and additionally between the recent social struggles in Chile, Mexico, Brazil and Colombia. All are responses to processes of neoliberal re-territorialisation of social space on the periphery of global capitalism. Therefore, it should be expected that we will witness a continuous proliferation of social mobilisations and resistances in these countries, as neoliberal restructuring intensifies and extends the contradictions of neoliberal hegemony across different social scales.  

Ertan Erol has finished his PhD on the regional integration and development projects of Mexico and Turkey at the University of Nottingham in 2013. He is now working in the Department of International Relations at the University of Istanbul as an assistant researcher.

Lock and Load: Are You Prepared for Civil Unrest?

Do you get the feeling that we are right on the verge of chaos? With the government shutdown, the congressional budget deadline of...

Lock and Load: Are You Prepared for Civil Unrest?


Do you get the feeling that we are right on the verge of chaos?  With the government shutdown, the congressional budget deadline of the 17th, the EBT system under threat, and assorted “drills” that, if history proves to be any guide, could be a loose cover for an upcoming false flag, we could be looking at civil unrest in a matter of days.

These are all situations that we, as individuals, have little control over.

What we CAN control is our response to a crisis.

By planning ahead, we can avoid the fear, panic, and confusion that leads people to rush to the store and clear the shelves like a horde of hungry locusts.  We can stay away from the angry masses, the rioters who will use any excuse to steal, and the hungry people who are determined to feed their kids no matter who stands in their way.

Whether the next few weeks lead to pandemonium due to the welfare strings being cut or some type of martial law, a prepared mindset, a defense plan, and a well-stocked home can help to keep you and your family out of harm’s way.

In her article Anatomy of a Breakdown, Tess Pennington wrote:

“When you take the time to understand how a breakdown behaves and how it progresses, only then can you truly prepare for it.

This glimpse into a systemic breakdown is based on an isolated, limited disaster or event where emergency responders have been deployed. I must emphasize that all bets are off if the event is wide spread, affecting multiple tens of millions of people simultaneously.”

Here are the most vital things that you can do to be prepared for civil unrest.

Get home

In a perfect world, we’d all be home, watching the chaos erupt on TV from the safety of our living rooms.  However, reality says that some of us will be at the store, at school, or in the car when unrest occurs.  You need to develop a “get-home” plan for all of the members of your family, based on the most likely places that they will be.

Devise an efficient route for picking up the kids from school.  Be sure that anyone who might be picking up the children already has permission to do so in the school office.

Discuss the plan with older kids – there have been rumors that children could be moved by the schools to a secondary location in the event of a crisis.  Some families have formulated plans for their older kids to leave the school grounds in such an instance and take a designated route home or to another meeting place.

Keep a get-home bag in the trunk of your car in case you have to set out on foot.

Stash some supplies in the bottom of your child’s backpack – water, a snack, any tools that might be useful, and a map.  Be sure your children understand the importance of OPSEC.

Find multiple routes home – map out alternative backroad ways to get home as well as directions if you must go home on foot.

Find hiding places along the way.  If you work or go to school a substantial distance from your home, figure out some places to lay low now, before a crisis situation.  Sometimes staying out of sight is the best way to stay safe.

Avoid groups of people.  It seems that the mob mentality strikes when large groups of people get together.  Often folks who would never ordinarily riot in the streets get swept up by the mass of people who are doing so.

Keep in mind that in many civil disorder situations the authorities are to be avoided every bit as diligently as the angry mobs of looters. Who can forget the scenes of innocent people being pepper sprayed by uniformed thugs in body armor just because they happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time?

Stay home

Once you make your way home or to your bug-out location …. STAY THERE.

By staying home, you are minimizing your risk of being caught in the midst of an angry mob or of sitting in stalled traffic while looters run amok.  In most scenarios you will be far safer at home than you will be in any type of shelter or refuge situation. (Obviously if there is some type of chemical or natural threat in your immediate neighborhood, like a toxic leak, a flood, or a forest fire, the whole situation changes – you must use common sense before hunkering down.)

This is when your preparedness supplies will really pay off. If you are ready for minor medical emergencies and illnesses, a grid down scenario, and a no-comm situation, you will be able to stay safely at home with your family and ride out the crisis in moderate comfort.

Be sure you have a supply of the following:

  • Water
  • Necessary prescription medications
  • Food and an off grid way to cook it
  • Or food that requires no cooking
  • First aid supplies
  • Lighting in the event of a power outage
  • Sanitation supplies (in the event that the municipal water system is unusuable, this would include cleaning supplies and toilet supplies)
  • A way to stay warm in harsh winter weather
  • Over-the-counter medications and/or herbal remedies to treat illnesses at home
  • Survival and first aid manuals (hard copies in case the internet and power grid are down)
  • Alternative communications devices (such as a hand-crank radio) so that you can get updates about the outside world
  • Off-grid entertainment:  arts and craft supplies, puzzles, games, books, crossword or word search puzzles, needlework, journals

Be prepared to defend your home

Sometimes despite our best intentions, the fight comes to us.  Even though we stay home, something about our place draws the attention of an unsavory person or group.  Defense is two-fold.  Your best defense is avoiding the fight altogether. You want to stay under the radar and not draw attention to yourself.  The extent to which you strive to do this should be based on the severity of the unrest in your area. Some of the following recommendations are not necessary in an everyday grid-down scenario, but could save your life in a more extreme civil unrest scenario.

Keep all the doors and windows locked.  Secure sliding doors with a metal bar.  Consider installing decorative gridwork over a door with a large window so that it becomes difficult for someone to smash the glass and reach in to unlock the door.

Put dark plastic over the windows. (Heavy duty garbage bags work well.)  If it’s safe to do so, go outside and check to see if any light escapes from the windows. If your home is the only one on the block that is well-lit, it is a beacon to others.

Don’t answer the door.  Many home invasions start with an innocent-seeming knock at the door to gain access to your house.

Keep cooking smells to a minimum.  If everyone else in the neighborhood is hungry, the meat on your grill will draw people like moths to a flame.

Remember that first responders may be tied up.  If the disorder is widespread, don’t depend on a call to 911 to save you – you must be prepared to save yourself.  Also keep in mind, as mentioned earlier in the article – the cops are not always your friends in these situations.

If, despite your best efforts, your property draws the attention of people with ill intent, you must be ready to defend your family.

Many preppers stockpile weapons and ammunition for just such an event.  When the door of your home is breached, you can be pretty sure the people coming in are not there to make friendly conversation.  Make a plan to greet them with a deterring amount of force.

Have a safe room established for children or other vulnerable family members.

Plan an escape route.  If the odds are against you, devise a way to get your family to safety.


Every civil unrest scenario is different.  You must make a personal plan based on your environment, your neighbors, and the type of situation that triggered the unrest.  By thinking ahead, you’ve already increased your family’s chances at surviving unscathed.

Please feel free to share any pat of this article in part or in full, giving credit to the author and including a link to The Organic Prepper website and the following bio.

Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor.  Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at

Lock and Load: Are You Prepared for Civil Unrest?


Do you get the feeling that we are right on the verge of chaos?  With the government shutdown, the congressional budget deadline of the 17th, the EBT system under threat, and assorted “drills” that, if history proves to be any guide, could be a loose cover for an upcoming false flag, we could be looking at civil unrest in a matter of days.

These are all situations that we, as individuals, have little control over.

What we CAN control is our response to a crisis.

By planning ahead, we can avoid the fear, panic, and confusion that leads people to rush to the store and clear the shelves like a horde of hungry locusts.  We can stay away from the angry masses, the rioters who will use any excuse to steal, and the hungry people who are determined to feed their kids no matter who stands in their way.

Whether the next few weeks lead to pandemonium due to the welfare strings being cut or some type of martial law, a prepared mindset, a defense plan, and a well-stocked home can help to keep you and your family out of harm’s way.

In her article Anatomy of a Breakdown, Tess Pennington wrote:

“When you take the time to understand how a breakdown behaves and how it progresses, only then can you truly prepare for it.

This glimpse into a systemic breakdown is based on an isolated, limited disaster or event where emergency responders have been deployed. I must emphasize that all bets are off if the event is wide spread, affecting multiple tens of millions of people simultaneously.”

Here are the most vital things that you can do to be prepared for civil unrest.

Get home

In a perfect world, we’d all be home, watching the chaos erupt on TV from the safety of our living rooms.  However, reality says that some of us will be at the store, at school, or in the car when unrest occurs.  You need to develop a “get-home” plan for all of the members of your family, based on the most likely places that they will be.

Devise an efficient route for picking up the kids from school.  Be sure that anyone who might be picking up the children already has permission to do so in the school office.

Discuss the plan with older kids – there have been rumors that children could be moved by the schools to a secondary location in the event of a crisis.  Some families have formulated plans for their older kids to leave the school grounds in such an instance and take a designated route home or to another meeting place.

Keep a get-home bag in the trunk of your car in case you have to set out on foot.

Stash some supplies in the bottom of your child’s backpack – water, a snack, any tools that might be useful, and a map.  Be sure your children understand the importance of OPSEC.

Find multiple routes home – map out alternative backroad ways to get home as well as directions if you must go home on foot.

Find hiding places along the way.  If you work or go to school a substantial distance from your home, figure out some places to lay low now, before a crisis situation.  Sometimes staying out of sight is the best way to stay safe.

Avoid groups of people.  It seems that the mob mentality strikes when large groups of people get together.  Often folks who would never ordinarily riot in the streets get swept up by the mass of people who are doing so.

Keep in mind that in many civil disorder situations the authorities are to be avoided every bit as diligently as the angry mobs of looters. Who can forget the scenes of innocent people being pepper sprayed by uniformed thugs in body armor just because they happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time?

Stay home

Once you make your way home or to your bug-out location …. STAY THERE.

By staying home, you are minimizing your risk of being caught in the midst of an angry mob or of sitting in stalled traffic while looters run amok.  In most scenarios you will be far safer at home than you will be in any type of shelter or refuge situation. (Obviously if there is some type of chemical or natural threat in your immediate neighborhood, like a toxic leak, a flood, or a forest fire, the whole situation changes – you must use common sense before hunkering down.)

This is when your preparedness supplies will really pay off. If you are ready for minor medical emergencies and illnesses, a grid down scenario, and a no-comm situation, you will be able to stay safely at home with your family and ride out the crisis in moderate comfort.

Be sure you have a supply of the following:

  • Water
  • Necessary prescription medications
  • Food and an off grid way to cook it
  • Or food that requires no cooking
  • First aid supplies
  • Lighting in the event of a power outage
  • Sanitation supplies (in the event that the municipal water system is unusuable, this would include cleaning supplies and toilet supplies)
  • A way to stay warm in harsh winter weather
  • Over-the-counter medications and/or herbal remedies to treat illnesses at home
  • Survival and first aid manuals (hard copies in case the internet and power grid are down)
  • Alternative communications devices (such as a hand-crank radio) so that you can get updates about the outside world
  • Off-grid entertainment:  arts and craft supplies, puzzles, games, books, crossword or word search puzzles, needlework, journals

Be prepared to defend your home

Sometimes despite our best intentions, the fight comes to us.  Even though we stay home, something about our place draws the attention of an unsavory person or group.  Defense is two-fold.  Your best defense is avoiding the fight altogether. You want to stay under the radar and not draw attention to yourself.  The extent to which you strive to do this should be based on the severity of the unrest in your area. Some of the following recommendations are not necessary in an everyday grid-down scenario, but could save your life in a more extreme civil unrest scenario.

Keep all the doors and windows locked.  Secure sliding doors with a metal bar.  Consider installing decorative gridwork over a door with a large window so that it becomes difficult for someone to smash the glass and reach in to unlock the door.

Put dark plastic over the windows. (Heavy duty garbage bags work well.)  If it’s safe to do so, go outside and check to see if any light escapes from the windows. If your home is the only one on the block that is well-lit, it is a beacon to others.

Don’t answer the door.  Many home invasions start with an innocent-seeming knock at the door to gain access to your house.

Keep cooking smells to a minimum.  If everyone else in the neighborhood is hungry, the meat on your grill will draw people like moths to a flame.

Remember that first responders may be tied up.  If the disorder is widespread, don’t depend on a call to 911 to save you – you must be prepared to save yourself.  Also keep in mind, as mentioned earlier in the article – the cops are not always your friends in these situations.

If, despite your best efforts, your property draws the attention of people with ill intent, you must be ready to defend your family.

Many preppers stockpile weapons and ammunition for just such an event.  When the door of your home is breached, you can be pretty sure the people coming in are not there to make friendly conversation.  Make a plan to greet them with a deterring amount of force.

Have a safe room established for children or other vulnerable family members.

Plan an escape route.  If the odds are against you, devise a way to get your family to safety.


Every civil unrest scenario is different.  You must make a personal plan based on your environment, your neighbors, and the type of situation that triggered the unrest.  By thinking ahead, you’ve already increased your family’s chances at surviving unscathed.

Please feel free to share any pat of this article in part or in full, giving credit to the author and including a link to The Organic Prepper website and the following bio.

Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor.  Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at

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The War on Terrorism ... or whatever.

“U.S. hopes of winning more influence over Syria’s divided rebel movement faded Wednesday after 11 of the biggest armed factions repudiated the Western-backed political opposition coalition and announced the formation of an alliance dedicated to creating an Islamist state. The al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra, designated a terrorist organization by the United States, is the lead signatory of the new group.” 1
Pity the poor American who wants to be a good citizen, wants to understand the world and his country’s role in it, wants to believe in the War on Terrorism, wants to believe that his government seeks to do good … What is he to make of all this?
For about two years, his dear American government has been supporting the same anti-government side as the jihadists in the Syrian civil war; not total, all-out support, but enough military hardware, logistics support, intelligence information, international political, diplomatic and propaganda assistance (including the crucial alleged-chemical-weapons story), to keep the jihadists in the ball game. Washington and its main Mideast allies in the conflict – Turkey, Jordan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia – have not impeded the movement to Syria of jihadists coming to join the rebels, recruited from the ranks of Sunni extremist veterans of the wars in Chechnya, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, while Qatar and the Saudis have supplied the rebels with weapons, most likely bought in large measure from the United States, as well as lots of of what they have lots of – money.
This widespread international support has been provided despite the many atrocities carried out by the jihadists – truck and car suicide bombings (with numerous civilian casualties), planting roadside bombs à la Iraq, gruesome massacres of Christians and Kurds, grotesque beheadings and other dissections of victims’ bodies (most charming of all: a Youtube video of a rebel leader cutting out an organ from the chest of a victim and biting into it as it drips with blood). All this barbarity piled on top of a greater absurdity – these Western-backed, anti-government forces are often engaged in battle with other Western-backed, anti-government forces, non-jihadist. It has become increasingly difficult to sell this war to the American public as one of pro-democracy “moderates” locked in a good-guy-versus-bad-guy struggle with an evil dictator, although in actuality the United States has fought on the same side as al Qaeda on repeated occasions before Syria. Here’s a brief survey:
Afghanistan, 1980-early 1990s: In support of the Islamic Moujahedeen (“holy warriors”), the CIA orchestrated a war against the Afghan government and their Soviet allies, pouring in several billions of dollars of arms and extensive military training; hitting up Middle-Eastern countries for donations, notably Saudi Arabia which gave hundreds of millions of dollars in aid each year; pressuring and bribing Pakistan to rent out its country as a military staging area and sanctuary.
It worked. And out of the victorious Moujahedeen came al Qaeda.
Bosnia, 1992-5: In 2001 the Wall Street Journal declared:
It is safe to say that the birth of al-Qaeda as a force on the world stage can be traced directly back to 1992, when the Bosnian Muslim government of Alija Izetbegovic issued a passport in their Vienna embassy to Osama bin Laden. … for the past 10 years, the most senior leaders of al Qaeda have visited the Balkans, including bin Laden himself on three occasions between 1994 and 1996. The Egyptian surgeon turned terrorist leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri has operated terrorist training camps, weapons of mass destruction factories and money-laundering and drug-trading networks throughout Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Bosnia. This has gone on for a decade. 2
A few months later, The Guardian reported on “the full story of the secret alliance between the Pentagon and radical Islamist groups from the Middle East designed to assist the Bosnian Muslims – some of the same groups that the Pentagon is now fighting in “the war against terrorism”. 3
In 1994 and 1995 US/NATO forces carried out bombing campaigns over Bosnia aimed at damaging the military capability of the Serbs and enhancing that of the Bosnian Muslims. In the decade-long civil wars in the Balkans, the Serbs, regarded by Washington as the “the last communist government in Europe”, were always the main enemy.
Kosovo, 1998-99: Kosovo, overwhelmingly Muslim, was a province of Serbia, the main republic of the former Yugoslavia. In 1998, Kosovo separatists – The Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) – began an armed conflict with Belgrade to split Kosovo from Serbia. The KLA was considered a terrorist organization by the US, the UK and France for years, with numerous reports of the KLA having contact with al-Qaeda, getting arms from them, having its militants trained in al-Qaeda camps in Pakistan, and even having members of al-Qaeda in KLA ranks fighting against the Serbs. 4
However, when US-NATO forces began military action against the Serbs the KLA was taken off the US terrorist list, it “received official US-NATO arms and training support” 5 , and the 1999 US-NATO bombing campaign eventually focused on driving Serbian forces from Kosovo.
In 2008 Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia, an independence so illegitimate and artificial that the majority of the world’s nations still have not recognized it. But the United States was the first to do so, the very next day, thus affirming the unilateral declaration of independence of a part of another country’s territory.
The KLA have been known for their trafficking in women, heroin, and human body parts (sic). The United States has naturally been pushing for Kosovo’s membership in NATO and the European Union.
Nota bene: In 1992 the Bosnian Muslims, Croats, and Serbs reached agreement in Lisbon for a unified state. The continuation of a peaceful multi-ethnic Bosnia seemed assured. But the United States sabotaged the agreement. 6
Libya, 2011: The US and NATO to the rescue again. For more than six months, almost daily missile attacks against the government and forces of Muammar Gaddafi as assorted Middle East jihadists assembled in Libya and battled the government on the ground. The predictable outcome came to be – the jihadists now in control of parts of the country and fighting for the remaining parts. The wartime allies showed their gratitude to Washington by assassinating the US ambassador and three other Americans, presumably CIA, in the city of Benghazi.
Caucasus (Russia), mid-2000s to present: The National Endowment for Democracy and Freedom House have for many years been the leading American “non-government” institutions tasked with destabilizing, if not overthrowing, foreign governments which refuse to be subservient to the desires of US foreign policy. Both NGOs have backed militants in the Russian Caucasus area, one that has seen more than its share of terror stretching back to the Chechnyan actions of the 1990s. 7

Omission is the most powerful form of lie. – Orwell

I am asked occasionally why I am so critical of the mainstream media when I quote from them repeatedly in my writings. The answer is simple. The American media’s gravest shortcoming is much more their errors of omission than their errors of commission. It’s what they leave out that distorts the news more than any factual errors or out-and-out lies. So I can make good use of the facts they report, which a large, rich organization can easier provide than the alternative media.
A case in point is a New York Times article of October 5 on the Greek financial crisis and the Greeks’ claim for World War Two reparations from Germany.
“Germany may be Greece’s stern banker now, say those who are seeking reparations,” writes theTimes, but Germany “should pay off its own debts to Greece. … It is not just aging victims of the Nazi occupation who are demanding a full accounting. Prime Minister Antonis Samarass government has compiled an 80-page report on reparations and a huge, never-repaid loan the nation was forced to make under Nazi occupation from 1941 to 1945. … The call for reparations has elicited an emotional outpouring in Greece, where six years of brutal recession and harsh austerity measures have left many Greeks hostile toward Germany. Rarely does a week go by without another report in the news about, as one newspaper put it in a headline, ‘What Germany Owes Us’.”
“The figure most often discussed is $220 billion, an estimate for infrastructure damage alone put forward by Manolis Glezos, a member of Parliament and a former resistance fighter who is pressing for reparations. That amount equals about half the country’s debt. … Some members of the National Council on Reparations, an advocacy group, are calling for more than $677 billion to cover stolen artifacts, damage to the economy and to the infrastructure, as well as the bank loan and individual claims.”
So there we have the morality play: The evil Germans who occupied Greece and in addition to carrying out a lot of violence and repression shamelessly exploited the Greek people economically.
Would it be appropriate for such a story, or an accompanying or follow-up story, to mention the civil war that broke out in Greece shortly after the close of the world war? On one side were the neo-fascists, many of whom had cooperated with the occupying Germans during the war, some even fighting for the Nazis. Indeed, the British Foreign Secretary, Ernest Bevin, acknowledged in August 1946 that there were 228 ex-members of the Nazi Security Battalions – whose main task had been to track down Greek resistance fighters and Jews – on active service in the new Greek army. 8
On the other side was the Greek left who had fought the Nazis courageously, even forcing the German army to flee the country in 1944.
So guess which side of the civil war our favorite military took? … That’s right, the United States supported the neo-fascists. After all, an important component of the Greek left was the Communist Party, although it wouldn’t have mattered at all if the Greek left had not included any Communists. Support of the left (not to be confused with liberals of course) anywhere in the world, during and since the Cold War, has been verboten in US foreign policy.
The neo-fascists won the civil war and instituted a highly brutal regime, for which the CIA created a suitably repressive internal security agency, named and modeled after itself, the KYP. For the next 15 years, Greece was looked upon much as a piece of real estate to be developed according to Washington’s political and economic needs. One document should suffice to capture the beauty of Washington’s relationship to Athens – a 1947 letter from US Secretary of State George Marshall to Dwight Griswold, the head of the American Mission to Aid Greece, said:
During the course of your work you and the members of your Mission will from time to time find that certain Greek officials are not, because of incompetence, disagreement with your policies, or for some other reason, extending the type of cooperation which is necessary if the objectives of your Mission are to be achieved. You will find it necessary to effect the removal of these officials. 9
Where is the present-day Greek headline: “What The United States Owes Us”? Where is the New York Times obligation to enlighten its readers?

Another step in the evolution of the Police State
“If you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to fear.”
So say many Americans. And many Germans as well.
But one German, Ilija Trojanow, would disagree. He has lent his name to published documents denouncing the National Security Agency (NSA), and was one of several prominent German authors who signed a letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel urging her to take a firm stance against the mass online surveillance conducted by the NSA. Trojanow and the other authors had nothing to hide, which is why the letter was published for the public to read. What happened after that, however, was that Trojanow was refused permission to board a flight from Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, to Miami on Monday, September 30. Without any explanation.
Trojanow, who was on his way to speak at a literary conference in Denver, told the Spiegel magazine online website that the denial of entry might be linked to his criticism of the NSA. Germany’s Foreign Ministry says it has contacted US authorities “to resolve this issue”. 10
In an article published in a German newspaper, Trojanow voiced his frustration with the incident: “It is more than ironic if an author who raises his voice against the dangers of surveillance and the secret state within a state for years, will be denied entry into the ‘land of the brave and the free’.”11
Further irony can be found in the title of a book by Trojanow: “Attack on freedom. Obsession with security, the surveillance state and the dismantling of civil rights.”
Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr., who oversees the NSA and other intelligence agencies, said recently that the intelligence community “is only interested in communication related to valid foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes.” 12
It’s difficult in the extreme to see how this criterion would apply in any way to Ilija Trojanow.
The story is a poignant caveat on how fragile is Americans’ freedom to criticize their Security State. If a foreigner can be barred from boarding a flight merely for peaceful, intellectual criticism of America’s Big Brother (nay, Giant Brother), who amongst us does not need to pay careful attention to anything they say or write.
Very few Americans, however, will even be aware of this story. A thorough search of the Lexis-Nexis media database revealed a single mention in an American daily newspaper (The St. Louis Post-Dispatch), out of 1400 daily papers in the US. No mention on any broadcast media. A single one-time mention in a news agency (Associated Press), and one mention in a foreign English-language newspaper (New Zealand Herald).
  1. Washington Post, September 26, 2013 
  2. Wall Street Journal, November 1, 2001 
  3. The Guardian (London), April 22, 2002 
  4. RT TV (Moscow), May 4, 2012 
  5. Wall Street Journal, November 1, 2001 
  6. New York Times, June 17, 1993, buried at the very end of the article on an inside page 
  7. Sibel Edmonds’ Boiling Frogs Post, “Barbarians at the Gate: Terrorism, the US, and the Subversion of Russia”, August 30, 2012 
  8. Parliamentary Debates, House of Commons, October 16, 1946, column 887 (reference is made here to Bevin’s statement of August 10, 1946) 
  9. Foreign Relations of the United States, 1947, Vol. V (U.S. Government Printing Office, 1971), pp. 222-3. See William Blum, Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, chapter 3 for further details of the US role in postwar Greece. 
  10. Associated Press, October 2, 2013 
  11. Huffington Post, “Ilija Trojanow, German Writer, Banned From US For Criticizing NSA”, October 1, 2013 
  12. Washington Post, October 5, 2013 

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As Private Manning sits in a prison cell and Eric Snowden lives in exile, AIPAC is working tirelessly to lobby congress to pass the war resolution, but the public’s heart is with Snowden and Manning, not Netanyahu.  If Obama and AIPAC lose this vote their grand plan to confront Iran’s nuclear aspirations will crumble.  If Americans reject a military intervention in order to punish Assad for his supposed use of WMD’s,  how will they ever support taking on the Iranian regime for just having them?  This is not the same America that re-elected George Bush in 2004.
Secretary of State John Kerry made a forceful argument in favor of intervention:
"In an increasingly complicated world of sectarian and religious extremist violence, what we choose to do -- or not do -- matters in real ways to our own security.  Some cite the risk of doing things.  We need to ask what is the risk of doing nothing.

It matters because if we choose to live in a world where a thug and a murderer like Bashar al-Assad can gas thousands of his own people with impunity even after the United States and our allies said no, and then the world does nothing about it, there will be no end to the test of our resolve and the dangers that will flow from those others who believe that they can do as they will."
Many Americans would have rallied to this call for war in the early years of this century, but not now.  They know that President Obama has killed hundreds of innocent civilians with drones, some of them even Americans.  They know that hundreds of thousands of Iraqi’s were killed under false pretenses.  Not only were innocents killed and money wasted, but strategically Iraq has moved under the influence of supposed arch enemy Iran while the Taliban are simply waiting for the NATO troops to leave before making their final assault on the puppet government installed in Afghanistan.
What was also conspicuous in Mr. Kerry’s speech was what he didn't mention.  Are the Saudis, the Qataris, and the CIA also ‘thugs’ for financing, training and facilitating a civil war that has killed over a hundred thousand people?  And why are the Saudis and Qataris doing this and why don’t we stop them?  Apparently Mr. Kerry believes there is something ‘sectarian and religious’ about bringing natural gas from Qatar to Europe through a proposed pipeline through Syria.  Since almost 25% of Europe’s natural gas comes from Russia’s Gazprom, the Russian angle becomes clear.  But if Americans aren't buying the WMD story, it’s even more unlikely they would support a war to reduce Gazprom’s market share in Europe.
Democracy is a messy business and if we had one, we would be reminded of it constantly.  However, we live in a plutocracy where public opinion is created through corporate media.  The fabricated message being sent is that Muslims are the enemy and Israel is our closest ally.  Israel, however, does have a real problem with its Muslim neighbors, especially Syria, Iran, Lebanon and the Palestinian state it occupies.  In a democracy there would be a stormy debate as to whether Israel’s security has any bearing on America's well being and it would be openly argued for America to jettison the ‘special relationship’ with Israel. 
This debate never occurs in America because it’s corporate media has a strong pro-Israel bias and questioning the 'special relationship' with Israel is taboo.  Both those in and outside the US Government who strongly believe that America must stand by the Jewish state are being faced with the reality that the moment for action has passed and the pendulum is beginning a long journey back toward isolationism and cynicism regarding the state security apparatus.
Syria is their last chance and it is quickly slipping through their fingers.  If there is no attack on Syria,  the chances of attacking Iran will quickly fade to zero.  If one believes that there is a grand strategy then we have reached a critical and dangerous moment.  If Obama backs down and doesn't attack, he will lose enough international credibility to make him a de-facto foreign policy lame duck just as the Iranians cross the nuclear threshold.  This is unacceptable to those bent on protecting Israel’s monopoly on nuclear weapons in the Middle East.
It seems highly unlikely that this group of people will allow President Putin to become the new voice of reason in the region.  The absurdity of Assad committing this gassing, Putin’s argument, is now also being supported by intelligence as reported in a Huff Post article which quoted a report that seems to contradict the Obama Administration's claim that Assad was the perpetrator of the gas attack.  It would be catastrophic to the US standing in the world if it were proved that this was a false flag attack by the rebels in Syria, and more importantly it would make it almost impossible to make a case for the ultimate target, Iran.
It’s difficult to fathom that those who brought us the war in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, the NSA surveillance apparatus, The  Department of Homeland security and the drone war will simply take their bows and fade away.  Their only options at this point are either to force the issue in Syria and quickly escalate it through their time honored method of rallying the home front with images of horrors committed on innocents, or throw up their hands and accept defeat.

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Nile Bowie discusses the challenges and controversies of recent Iranian political developments with award-winning journalist Kourosh Ziabari:

NB: Hassan Rouhani, a reform-minded moderate cleric and former nuclear negotiator under President Khatami, will be Iran's new president. There is talk in Washington of direct US-Iran talks in light of Rouhani coming to power. Rouhani campaigned on a platform of trying to “normalize” relations with the West, and he even made statements like, “It is good to have centrifuges running, provided people's lives and livelihoods are also running." Given Rouhani’s stance, did the Iranian public treat these elections as a public referendum on the nuclear issue? And how did Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei interpret the results?
KZTo be honest with you, I should confess that the June 14 presidential elections in Iran was firstly an examination for the current of extremist rightists who believed that the country's affairs could be managed through maintaining hostility and animosity with the Western world, prolonging the nuclear controversy and relying on skimpy business and trade with Russia and China. The candidate of this stream, Mr. Saeed Jalili, simply attracted an insignificant minority of the votes, 11.37%. I'm not saying that succumbing to the irrational demands of the world powers is a solution to Iran's problems, but the political parties and streams supporting Mr. Jalili, who was supposedly Dr. Rouhani's main contender, but came third in the final vote, irresistibly believed that the nuclear standoff with the West was not something significant and crucial for the future of the country. This is while Dr. Rouhani and his massive supporters had astutely come to the conclusion that the nuclear issue was the country's main concern and the Achilles heel that was paralyzing the country's economy, political structure and international stature. 
 As a result, Dr. Rouhani based his campaign slogans on his foreign policy priorities which included the normalization of relations with the West in general, and the United States in particular, interaction with the outside world, improving Iran's ties with its neighboring countries and finally bringing the controversy surrounding Iran's nuclear program to an end. As you precisely mentioned, the recent elections in Iran have been a public referendum on the nuclear issue. Even the most ordinary Iranian citizen had recognized that the staggering inflation, unusual supply of money in the society, the skyrocketing increase in the price of consumer goods, housing and automobiles, the unprecedented devaluation of Iran's currency, Rial, and the annoying unemployment of the educated youth all stemmed from mismanagement in Iran's nuclear program. According to some critics of President Ahmadinejad's foreign policy, if nuclear energy is our inalienable right, which unquestionably is, then cheap and inexpensive foodstuff, medicine and medical services, safe and secure transportation, a renewed aviation fleet, high-speed internet connection, employment, housing, free education and proper income are our inalienable rights, as well. As for the Supreme Leader, he doesn't seem to be dissatisfied with the results, but of course his favorite president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is leaving the office, and after all, Dr. Hassan Rouhani is a reformist, and Ayatollah Khamenei has been traditionally unfriendly with the reform-minded politicians, unlike the late founder of Islamic Revolution Imam Khomeini.
NB: When Rouhani was Iran’s nuclear negotiator, he played a key role in reaching an agreement with France, Britain and Germany that resulted in Iran suspending its uranium enrichment program. Would Rouhani concede to freezing the country’s civilian nuclear program to ease Western pressure, despite Iran being an abiding signatory to the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty? What could the response be from the Supreme Leader if Rouhani accepts US measures that are deemed to be wholly unfavorable to Iran?
KZWell, as you may have noted, President Rouhani implied during his first press conference on June 17 that the age of suspending uranium enrichment has passed. He says this because Rouhani is not alone in making decisions about Iran's nuclear program. We have the parliament's (Majlis) influential Foreign Policy and National Security Committee which is consisted of a number of conservative lawmakers mostly opposed to the reformist movements in Iran who boldly and resolutely resist the decisions of the president if they wish, the state TV which is supervised by the representative of the Supreme Leader and has a great impact on the course of political developments in the country, and above all, the Supreme Leader himself, who has the final say on the most of foreign policy issues, particularly the nuclear issue and the possible direct negotiations with the United States. 
 So, suspending the enrichment of uranium which is seen as an unforgivable crime in Iran, cannot be put on agenda. However, everything depends on the craftsmanship of President Rouhani who has demonstrated that as a diplomat, he is able to handle the affairs in such a way that all the disputes can be settled in a short period of time. He may give certain concession to the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, UK and the U.S.) which neither the Supreme Leader nor the parliament hardliners can criticize or deny. For example, he may accept a temporary suspension of uranium enrichment in return for the freezing of the banking and gold sanctions. As the next step, he may put forward the offer that Iran can ship a certain amount of its low-enriched uranium (LED) to France or Russia and receive fuel rods for using in Tehran Research Reactor. 
This step can be reciprocated by the lifting of EU's oil embargo against Iran. Finally, Iran can promise to suspend its 20% enrichment of uranium, and continue enriching uranium to the extent of 3.5%, as it was doing before 2003. This can be a promising and serious sign that Iran is determined to resolve the nuclear standoff. And as a reward, the United States and European Union can lift all the sanctions and move toward the full normalization of relations with Iran and settle the remaining disputes on such cases as human rights, Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the U.S. support for the anti-Iran terrorist cult MKO. In this path, both parties should learn to forget about the past grievances and only contemplate on the future. Such an approach would guarantee Iran's rights under the Non-Proliferation Treaty to have a peaceful nuclear program, and will alleviate the concerns of the international community regarding the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear activities.
NB: In the run up to the recent elections, Washington cast doubt over the legitimacy of the electoral process in Iran, while many mainstream analysts implied that these elections would somehow be controlled by the Supreme Leader, and that his candidate would surely be the winner. The opposite turned out to be true, with the only reformist being elected with a strong majority. Do you think these elections were portrayed fairly by Western media?
KZThe electoral process in Iran had not been frequently challenged and questioned by the Western powers prior to the 2009 presidential election which was marred with the allegations of vote-rigging. It was surely an irretrievable damage to Iran's public image in the world; however, we should scientifically investigate and figure out whether the reelection of President Ahmadinejad was fraudulent or not. At any rate, this was the only election in the Islamic Republic's history which was labeled with vote-rigging, and I cannot say for sure if the allegations leveled by the West are true. Of course we had several parliamentary and presidential elections in which the reformists came to power; so it's not the case that those who are elected are necessarily the hand-picked choices of the Supreme Leader. 
At least in the 2013 election, it was demonstrated that those who undermine Iran's electoral process have been thinking wrongfully. A reformist president was elected who certainly was not the favorite choice of the Supreme Leader. The portrayal of Iran's presidential elections by the Western mainstream media resembles their general depiction of the Iranian society, their attitude toward the cultural, social and political developments in Iran and their viewpoint toward the Iranian lifestyle. They cannot detach themselves from the cliches which they have been parroting about Iran. This lopsided, impartial and biased portrayal of Iran has caused millions of American and European citizens to think of Iran as a retarded, uncivilized, deserted and miserable country with people who are not familiar with the representations of the modern civilization. Of course they don't allow their audience to know that Iran is a country which had once stood atop the peaks of human civilization, science, literature and "decent" way of living...
NB: What does Rouhani’s victory say about the changing political sentiments in Iran after two terms of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? Where is Iran today after Ahmadinejad more generally – in terms of economic and social conditions? How do you think Iranians will remember Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?
KZ: Well, it's wrong to evaluate the performance of politicians in black and white. Like every other president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has had remarkable contributions to his society, and of course pitfalls and shortcomings which deteriorated the lives of the Iranians across the country. However, I think for the majority of Iranians, especially those who live in the urban areas, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's tenure will be remembered as a period of economic hardships, political tensions and social restrictions as manifested in the closure of newspapers, cultural associations like the House of Cinema and the Association of Iranian Journalists. 
Ahmadinejad, as the second non-cleric president of Iran's history, could have left a memorable legacy for the Iranian people, but by selecting incompetent managers, disallowing the journalists and experts to critique and evaluate his performance, taking up an aggressive and confrontational foreign policy and attending to the issues which were not relevant to him, tarnished his own reputation. But please don't forget that once he was in power, I always supported him and his administration against the spates of attacks being unleashed on him by the Western media, but now that he is leaving office, it's time to talk about the tough 8 years we had with him more transparently. Let's bear this in mind, that criticizing Ahmadinejad is not equivalent to being opposed to the Iranian government or the Islamic system. We all stand by our country and defend it against the ill-wished, ill-mannered enemies, but now, we want a peaceful and constructive interaction with the world instead of enmity and hostility.
NB: Iran’s model of religious democracy is basically unprecedented – it aims to blend modern participatory electoral politics together with a system of governance based upon Islamic ethics, administered by religious officials. Despite hardships and difficulties imposed by Western sanctions since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, it is a political system that continues to claim massive public support. What are Iran’s biggest achievements? Have attitudes both internationally and domestically changed towards Iran after the recent elections in contrast to what happened in 2009?
KZUnquestionably, the Islamic Revolution of 1979 was a turning point in the course of Iran's contemporary history. It brought to an end frequent years of Iranian government's subservience and obedient to the United States. The revolution emerged out of several years of civil protests against the tyrannical government of Mohammad Reza Shah. The Pahlavi dynasty had blatantly denied the Iranian citizens their basic political, social and economic rights. The whole country was kept in a constant state of underdevelopment and backwardness, the equal distribution of wealth was not on the government's agenda and the economic situation of the country was really deplorable. Although the foreign diplomacy of Iran was vivacious thanks to the strong relationships the court had with the White House, people were usually dissatisfied with their living conditions. The government was unable to meet the people's demands and provide them with the facilities they needed for a moderate life. 
Following the revolution, the number of universities, schools, hospitals, roads, sports stadiums, housing units, department stores, cinemas, theaters, public libraries, factories, power plants and other infrastructures needed for the development of the country increased significantly and a new movement began for the renovation of the country's infrastructures. You may not believe, but prior to the 1979 revolution, people in tens of major cities and thousands of villages in Iran didn't have access to electricity, drinking water, fossil fuels and safe roads. It was the revolution that swayed the government officials to think of new solutions for improving the people's livelihoods and enhancing the infrastructures. 
Imam Khomeini, the late founder of Islamic Revolution, was a reform-minded spiritual leader, and this is why certain extremist insiders at the top of the Iran's political echelon are afraid of his thoughts and his approach toward the way of managing the country's affairs. You see that two of the close allies of Imam Khomeini, namely Mirhossein Mousavi and Mahdi Karroubi were unexpectedly put under house arrest after they protested the results of the 2009 presidential elections. Their only crime was that they run against the incumbent President Ahmadinejd, otherwise, I don't see any reason for their unwarranted imprisonment. Albeit it should be added that the United States and its European allies also irreparably betrayed the reform movement by explicitly supporting Mousavi and Karroubi in the 2009 election and calling them opposition leaders, and this gave the hardliners in Iran an excuse to stigmatize them and deprive them of their political rights and somehow exclude them from the political scene. 
So, back to business, I think Imam Khomeini founded a new political system which was supposed to respond to the people's material and worldly needs while helping them realize religious and moral sublimity and remaining committed to the principles of morality and ethics. This system of government revived the lost and forgotten human values which the secular world had consigned to oblivion and even sometimes opposed. This is the main reason for the Western powers' opposition to the Islamic Republic. Since the Islamic Revolution, Iran began championing the cause of the oppressed Muslim nations, especially the people of Palestine who had been subject to Israeli occupation for decades. The Islamic Republic was predicated on resisting hypocrisy and double standards; something pervasive and ubiquitous in the Western powers' behavior. These standards cannot be tolerated and even condoned by the Western powers whose major policies are always blended with portions of hypocrisy and duplicity. This is why the Islamic Republic has so many adversaries in the world, even among the Islamic states of the Middle East. Of course the recent election has changed the international and domestic attitudes toward Iran. The new government will surely receive a more popular support from the Iranian people, and it will help the government in the nuclear negotiations to have the upper hand. The election has also signaled Iranian people's craving for moderation and rationality, instead of extremism and radicalism.
NB: Iran has previously extended its hand in efforts to cooperate with the US in specific areas, and Washington failed to honor these efforts. Is there good reason to doubt the sincerity of the US in talks with Iran? Would it give up the ‘regime change’ policy it has maintained from the start of the revolution? 
KZUndisputably, the Iranian government is right if it's dubious toward the United States and its presumed efforts to reach out to Iran. Iran has always expressed willingness to hold talks with the United States on equal footings and based on mutual respect. But the point is that whenever some rational elements in the power structure of the two countries decided to facilitate the talks, the United States killed the chances of a fruitful and beneficial negotiation by imposing sanctions. Look at the recent sanctions bill which the House of Representatives has overwhelmingly passed, by a vote of 400 to 20. The new Iranian president, as I'm answering to your questions, has not sworn in yet. But the U.S. lawmakers have imposed a new round of sanctions on Iran. What's the logic and rationale behind this new round of sanctions? How do the U.S. Congressmen justify the new oil embargo while the new Iranian president hasn't ever had the chance to sit on his chair in the presidential palace and issue the first presidential decree, which is the appointment of his ministers? So you see that radicalism and fanaticism have always harmed Iran and the United States. Of course the new round of sanctions, if approved by the Senate and signed into law by the president, will deliver a lethal blow to President Rouhani's call for moderation and interaction with the West. 
It is for sure that certain U.S. administrations, especially the Reagan and Carter administrations, and the George W. Bush's administration, had intentions for implementing the policy of regime change in Iran. Supporting, financing and aiding the terrorist cult Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO) which has killed some 40,000 Iranians since the 1979 revolution is one of the signs indicating that the U.S. government, at certain junctures of time, pursued a policy of regime change in Iran. But there are indications that President Obama has changed this policy and that Washington has come to its senses and realized that the age of revolutions in Iran is over.
NB: Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu recently threatened Iran with military action over accusations that Tehran is building nuclear weapons, and called Rouhani a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.” American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has heavily pushed a bill seeking to impose a de facto ban on Iran's oil exports, a cut off of any trade involving the euro, and moves to target Tehran's shipping and automobile sectors. It would also curtail Washington’s ability to waive sanctions on third countries and their companies that continue to do business with Iran. Would the US take a chance to thaw relations with Iran under Rouhani in spite of Zionist pressure and significant lobbying?
KZWell, if AIPAC successfully convinces the U.S. Congress and government to ratify this bill, I can say for sure that there will never ever be a single speck of chance for a peaceful solution to the controversy over Iran's nuclear program. The Zionists will extinguish all the possible ways of reconciliation between Iran and the United States to the detriment of Washington. It's the United States which will lose a probable ally, and it is  Europe which will be deprived of a lucrative market for free trade and business. By the way; let me clarify something. At this juncture, the Iranian people feel sympathetically toward the American people and their culture and civilization. But by pursuing the Zionist agenda, the Americans will even lose the minimal support they enjoy here in Iran.
NB: Aside from the nuclear and political issues, what are the biggest issues facing the Iranian nation today? What can Rouhani do to create meaningful solutions in line with popular reforms? If his moves are not well received by the Supreme Leader, is it possible that he might stymie any significant shifts toward reform?
KZThere are several challenges ahead of President Rouhani and his team. First of all, he should sweep away the legacy of extremism that has been left in Iran's public sphere. He should bring back morality to the Iranian society. In these 8 years, the conservative media have been relentlessly attacking the reformists and their supporters, calling them seditious, mobsters and criminal. This approach should change and the conservative media should learn that there's a limit to the toleration of their destructive approach. I have always criticized these media for repeatedly insulting the reformist leaders and millions of people supporting them, saying that such media talk of their political opponents as if they are criminal Zionists massacring the defenseless people of Palestine in the Occupied Territories and the Gaza Strip! 
Accordingly, we need to address the concerns of the cultural activists, authors, journalists, musicians, movie-makers and other artists who need greater freedoms, a better environment for creating rich and exalted artworks and participating in political activities without any restrictions. Secondly, the concern Rouhani and his cabinet should address is the nation's economic woes. The country is currently facing an astounding hyperinflation, unprecedented cut in the export of oil and petrochemical products, citizens' decreased purchasing power, etc. And finally, we have the foreign policy challenges. We need to settle our unnecessary disputes with not only the Western powers, but the Arab world, our neighbors and finally the United States. We need to find a viable solution for the nuclear controversy, which will surely solve many of the nations' problems.
NB: Media reports claim that Iran’s former ambassador to the United Nations, Mohammad Javad Zarif, is Rouhani's pick as foreign minister. Zarif is said to be highly respected by those in the United States, and even Vice President Joe Biden told the Washington Post in 2007 that Zarif could “play an important role in helping to resolve our significant differences with Iran peacefully." What kind of changes do you see coming in Iran’s foreign policy? Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to visit Tehran as the first foreign guest of Rouhani. How will Iran’s relationship with Russia, and also China, grow?
KZOf course the appointment of Dr. Zarif as Iran's new foreign minister marks a significant change in Iran's foreign policy. Zarif is a reform-minded, moderate diplomat, like Rouhani himself, and he can certainly make effective contributions to a negotiated solution for Iran's nuclear deadlock. But please note that the change in Iran's foreign policy has already started, even before President Rouhani takes office. Officials from more than 40 countries are slated to attend his inauguration ceremony. Isn't this a major breakthrough for him, while he hasn't yet sworn in as the president? So, it sounds like the world is embracing Dr. Rouhani as a new president who has come to power with a slogan of moderation and constructive interaction with the world. Of course the change which I expect is that we will not be hearing adventurous statements by the foreign ministry officials, we will not find our president being left with an empty hall while addressing the UN General Assembly, we will not find our president being booed in the Columbia University and we will not find our president being called a hawk by those who are the real hawks of our world today. Iran will be hosting dignitaries from all around the world, especially given that it has assumed the presidency of the Non-Aligned Movement, but I'm sure that the whole world, including the European nations, will come to reconcile their differences with us.
Kourosh Ziabari is an award-winning Iranian journalist, writer and media correspondent writing for newspapers and journals across the world. For more on work, visit his website:

Nile Bowie is a Malaysia-based political analyst and a columnist with Russia Today. He also contributes to PressTV, Global Research, and CounterPunch. He can be reached at

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Geo-engineering is not a topic that will begin to affect us in several years, but is already causing massive animal and plant die offs around the world, as well as human illnesses. Wigington presents compelling evidence to confirm that secretive geo-engineering programmes are taking place (1). At one level, airplanes are spraying toxic chemicals into the atmosphere. These ‘chemtrails’ (stratospheric aerosol geo-engineering) are clearly visible trails left behind aircraft that do not disappear but spread out and are visible for many hours (or days).

Why are they spraying? For instance, to test out human reactions to certain harmful substances, to dim sunlight or manipulate the atmosphere in order to make their other experiments possible, to combat the climate damage that has resulted from what they have already done, or to weaken our ability to procreate. There may be many reasons. Even if a person cares to ignore the evidence pertaining to chemtrails, it is interesting to note that the Ministry of Defence in Britain admitted to spraying germs on the UK population between 1940 and 1979 (2). The US military also sprayed toxic chemicals on US cities (3).

The materials from these chemtrails showing up on the ground are the same often highly toxic materials mentioned in numerous geo-engineering patents and documents, including aluminium and barium (1). The planet is being encased by such materials.

By joining the dots, we can see that geo-engineering has links to what is happening with our food and agriculture. The aluminium being sprayed from planes can adversely affect plants and soil. It is interesting to note therefore that Monsanto has now patented aluminium resistant seeds. It may or may not require a leap of faith, but imagine a world where one corporate entity holds the key to plant (and thus human) life. Just as interesting, is that the Norwegian Arctic island of Svalbard now houses a ‘doomsday’ vault designed to keep millions of natural seed samples safe from natural and ‘unnatural’ disasters. Bill Gates has invested tens of his millions along with the Rockefeller Foundation, Monsanto Corporation, Syngenta Foundation and the Government of Norway, among others, in this seed bank (4).

The Gates and the Rockefeller families have long been concerned with human over population and both have interests in GM crops, ‘family planning’ and depopulation (4). Monsanto, which Gates now has shares in, owns the Epicyte gene, which some fear could be used (or is being used) to sterilise or make infertile those sections of the global population deemed ‘surplus to requirements’. Indeed, the Rockefeller Foundation has links going back to the Nazi eugenics (renamed ‘genetics’) movement.

It’s a win-win situation for these linked elite interests. If they are trying to control all sides of the equation, they seem to be on the right track. They not only have aluminium resistant crops and are meddling with the climate, but they also control the doomsday natural seed vault, which may be regarded as a kind of fallback or insurance policy. The Rockefeller family first set about controlling oil, then agriculture via the petro-chemical dependent ‘Green Revolution’ (4) and now, with other players, potentially all human life on Earth.

But whether that scenario plays out is another matter because geo-engineering is much more wide ranging and far reaching. In attempting to play god with the Earth’s atmosphere, there may soon be no life left to control.  

The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) is carrying out electromagnetic experimentations with the ionosphere and developing electromagnetic weaponry. It is claimed that HAARP intends to induce ionospheric modifications with a view to altering weather patterns and disrupting communications and radar (5)(6). There are experiments regarding clouds and drought, tectonics and earthquakes, atmospheric conductivity and, along with sunlight dimming and atmospheric warming, attempts at trying to rectify the damage already done to the environment due to geo-engineering.

According to Wigington, these programmes, not industrialisation, are responsible for the bulk of global warming, the hole in the ozone layer and methane that has been released into the atmosphere, which is many times worse than the impact of carbon dioxide. Once people begin to tamper with nature, unintended consequences result. And the answer to try to put right what they have succeeded in damaging thus far is simply more of the same, more tampering. The genie is out of the bottle. It can’t be put back in so it becomes a case of ever more geo-engineering, ever more ‘innovations’ - a spiral towards ultimate catastrophe, including further global heating, atmospheric oxygen depletion, drought, floods and diseases. A parallel can be drawn with agriculture and the never ending stream of (highly profitable) inputs required to attempt to overcome the problems resulting from the petro-chemical-driven ‘Green Revolution’ and now GM crops.    

The potential for undermining economies and inflicting drought, earthquakes, germ warfare, crop failures or suchlike on populations and countries is apparent – the euphemism for this irresponsible destruction of the planet is the Hollywoodesque term ‘full spectrum dominance’. In the meantime, we, the ordinary people, have no say about any of this. People have no say and most are unaware that any of this is happening. But the impact can be felt, whether it is extreme, unpredictable weather patterns, ice melt in the Arctic, massive animal and plant die offs and increasing levels of serious human ailments and diseases, such as dementia and autism. In his recent presentation, Wigington provided compelling evidence for all of this (1).   

Why would people do this knowing that it could adversely impact everyone, including themselves and their children? Pyschopathy, insanity? Perhaps. But short-term strategic gain could be all that matters to these people – a case of if we do not do it, our rivals will. As with the proliferation of nuclear weapons and testing, this is another treadmill, a geo-engineering one that threatens to turn Earth into an uninhabitable planet resembling Venus. But for the powerful people behind all of this, that seems to be a gamble worth taking, a price worth paying. Is there any hope for the future of the planet? Yes, but only if they can be made to stop doing this.


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President Obama’s pick to become the nation’s next secretary of energy is drawing criticism for his deep ties to the fossil fuel, fracking and nuclear industries. MIT nuclear physicist Ernest Moniz has served on advisory boards for oil giant BP and General Electric, and was a trustee of the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center, a Saudi Aramco-backed nonprofit organization. In 2011, Moniz was the chief author of an influential study for MIT on the future of natural gas. According to a new report by the Public Accountability Initiative, Moniz failed to disclose that he had taken a lucrative position at a pro-drilling firm called ICF International just days before a key natural gas "fracking" study was released. Reaction to his nomination has split the environmental community. Advocacy groups such as Public Citizen and Food & Water Watch are campaigning against Moniz’s nomination, but the Natural Resources Defense Council has praised his work on advancing clean energy based on efficiency and renewable power. We speak to Kevin Connor of the Public Accountability Initiative and ProPublica reporter Justin Elliott, who have both authored investigations into Moniz’s ties to industry.


AMY GOODMAN: President Obama’s pick to become the nation’s next energy secretary is drawing criticism for his deep ties to the fossil fuel, fracking and nuclear industry. Obama nominated MIT Professor Ernest Moniz last month to replace outgoing Energy Secretary Steven Chu.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I could not be more grateful to Steve for the incredible contribution that he’s made to this country. And now that he’s decided to leave Washington for sunny California, I’m proud to nominate another brilliant scientist to take his place, Mr. Ernie Moniz. So, there’s Ernie right there.

Now, the good news is that Ernie already knows his way around the Department of Energy. He is a physicist by training, but he also served as undersecretary of energy under President Clinton. Since then, he has directed MIT’s Energy Initiative, which brings together prominent thinkers and energy companies to develop the technologies that can lead us to more energy independence and also to new jobs. Most importantly, Ernie knows that we can produce more energy and grow our economy while still taking care of our air, our water and our climate.

AMY GOODMAN: The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on Ernest Moniz’s nomination as energy secretary on April 9th. Reactions to his nomination has split the environmental community. Advocacy groups such as Public Citizen and Food & Water Watch are campaigning against his nomination, but the Natural Resources Defense Council has praised his work on advancing clean energy based on efficiency and renewable power.

Much of the criticism of Moniz centers on his extensive ties to industry. He has served on advisory boards for oil giant BP and General Electric and was a trustee of the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center, a Saudi Aramco-backed nonprofit organization. In 2011, Moniz was the chief author of an influential study for MIT on the future of natural gas. According to a new report by the Public Accountability Initiative, Moniz failed to disclose that he had taken a lucrative position at a pro-drilling firm called ICF International just days before the study was released.

We’re joined now by two guests. In New York, Justin Elliott, a reporter at ProPublica, he recently wrote a piece called "Drilling Deeper: The Wealth of Business Connections for Obama’s Energy Pick." And in Los Angeles, we’re joined by Kevin Connor, director of the Public Accountability Initiative, a nonprofit watchdog group which recently published a report called "Industry Partner or Industry Puppet? How MIT’s Influential Study of Fracking Was Authored, Funded, and Released by Oil and Gas Industry Insiders." We invited MIT to join us on the show or send a comment to read on air, but we did not receive a response.

Kevin Connor, Justin Elliott, we welcome you to Democracy Now! Justin, let’s begin with you. Talk about Ernest Moniz’ record.

JUSTIN ELLIOTT: Right, well, I mean, and to some extent, this is kind of the classic revolving door situation. As President Obama mentioned when he nominated him to be energy secretary earlier this month, Moniz was an undersecretary in the department in President Clinton’s second term. After, he went back to MIT, but he also took a number of positions on boards of large energy companies or advisory councils, as you mentioned, that includes BP. It included a uranium enrichment company called USEC.

And I think there’s sort of two reasons why this is important. One is, some of these companies do business with the Energy Department and seek contracts and loan guarantees from the department. The other is, people in the environmental community think that this may inform how Ernest Moniz sets research priorities, so people are concerned that he’s—that he’s going to call for research on fossil fuels to the detriment of research on renewables, for example.

AMY GOODMAN: BP. Talk about his relationship with BP.

JUSTIN ELLIOTT: Well, there’s kind of two prongs on that front. One is, personally, Moniz did a six-year stint—paid, although BP won’t tell me how much—on BP’s science advisory council. It’s not really clear what he did. They don’t—BP doesn’t have to reveal much about it in their public SEC filings. At the same time, BP is one of the main funders of the MIT Energy Initiative. I think they have given—given or pledged a total of $50 million over the past few years. So he’s clearly—he’s clearly close to that company.

AMY GOODMAN: And how typical is this for a university professor?

JUSTIN ELLIOTT: Well, I think, in the science—in sciences and, in particular, in sort of the energy secretary, it’s increasingly—it’s increasingly common. I mean, Steven Chu, the outgoing energy secretary, who’s also an academic, actually also had close ties to BP. BP had given a bunch of money to Steven Chu’s lab at the University of California, Berkeley, and Chu picked a BP executive to be one of his undersecretaries. And Chu was later involved in the government’s response to the Gulf oil spill. So, I mean, I think this is—this is certainly common if you’re going to be picking an academic who’s involved in energy, and particularly fossil fuel research.

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to turn to comments of the executive director the Natural Resources Defense Council, or NRDC. Earlier this month, Peter Lehner posted on the NRDC blog a "To-Do List for the New Energy Secretary." In it, he wrote, quote, "As a scientist, Moniz is obviously a firm believer in the power of clean energy technology. [MIT’s Energy Initiative] projects under his tenure included windows that generate electricity, batteries built by viruses, and a biofuel made from yeast. But he also believes that technology must be complemented by policy in order to effect real change. As he said at the Aspen Ideas Festival in 2006, in order to address global warming, we must 'have the will to take more than baby steps.'" NRDC is supporting Moniz’s nomination.

JUSTIN ELLIOTT: Right, Amy, and it’s completely true. Moniz has spoken in favor of renewable energy. I mean, I think the best way to sort of interpret his nomination is that he fits in with what Obama has called his "all-of-the-above" energy policy, which is to embrace things like fracking, continued use of oil, nuclear energy, but also develop wind and solar. And I think that that’s where Ernest Moniz is on energy policy.

AMY GOODMAN: Let’s turn to our guest in Los Angeles, Kevin Connor, and what you found in your report. Talk about the report that you did that looks at—well, the title of the report is "Industry Partner or Industry Puppet? How MIT’s Influential Study of Fracking Was Authored, Funded, and Released by Oil and Gas Industry Insiders."

KEVIN CONNOR: Sure. Moniz’s nomination prompted us at the Public Accountability Initiative to take a closer look at an influential study that MIT did on "The Future of Natural Gas," as it was called, in 2011. It was issued by the Energy Initiative, which Moniz was the director of. And it gave a very pro-gas—put a very pro-gas spin on fracking and shale gas extraction, said that natural gas was a bridge or will be a bridge to a low-carbon future, said that the environmental impacts related to fracking are challenging but manageable, and also endorsed natural gas exports, which is a very industry-friendly position to take.

It immediately, you know, prompted some criticism from people who pointed to the fact that the report was actually industry-funded, much like the initiative itself. But it was extremely influential. It was designed to influence policymakers. Moniz testified before Congress on the report. It had immediate impact, as well. And it came at a critical time for the industry, which was facing significant questions about the safety of fracking, the relative environmental impacts of fracking. And we took a closer look at the study and found that beyond just the industry funding of the study, there were significant conflicts of interest that went undisclosed in the report itself and in presentations of the report, and those involved Moniz and several other key authors of the study. So, as it turns out, it was not only just funded by industry, it was also authored by industry representatives.

AMY GOODMAN: Kevin Connor, I wanted to turn to a 2011 press conference at the MIT Energy Initiative, where Ernest Moniz introduced the study now under contention, "The Future of Natural Gas." In his opening remarks, Professor Moniz emphasized the report’s independent of its sponsors and advisers.

ERNEST MONIZ: I do want to emphasize a disclaimer, if you like, that while their advice was absolutely critical, they are not responsible for the recommendations and the findings. We have not asked for endorsement. We asked for their advice; we received it. But the results, then, are our responsibility.

AMY GOODMAN: Later in the presentation, co-chair Anthony Meggs introduces the MIT report’s findings, saying environmental impacts associated with fracking are, quote, "challenging but manageable." However, Meggs failed to disclose he had joined the gas company Talisman Energy prior to the release of the study.

ANTHONY MEGGS: ... messages are very simple. First of all, there’s a lot of gas in the world, at very modest cost. As you will see, gas is still, globally speaking, a very young industry with a bright future ahead of it. Secondly, and perhaps obviously at this stage, although not so obvious when we started three years ago, shale gas is transformative for the economy of the United States, North America, for the gas industry, in particular, and potentially on a global scale. Thirdly, the environmental impacts of shale development, widely discussed and hotly debated, are—and we use these words carefully—challenging but manageable.

AMY GOODMAN: Kevin Connor, your response?

KEVIN CONNOR: It’s absolutely outrageous for the Energy Initiative, for Moniz and MIT to pretend this is independent of industry, well, first of all, given the fact that the sponsors of the report are all, you know, industry organizations and companies like Chesapeake Energy. Moniz was attempting to say that it was somehow insulated from the influence of these gas companies, when in fact authors of the study, such as Moniz and Meggs, were—had industry positions at the time.

Meggs’s quote there is particularly insidious, the fact that he is saying that fracking is safe for the environment, when he had actually joined Talisman Energy, a gas company, one of the most active frackers in the Marcellus Shale, a month before the study was released. So he is speaking to a roomful of journalists there, presenting a report designed to influence policy, and not disclosing that he is on the industry payroll. That is perhaps the last person in that room who should be presenting that finding or having anything to do with authoring that kind of report. And yet MIT and Moniz thought it was appropriate to put that spokesperson forward. So, it just goes to the fact that MIT was really sort of presenting an industry brochure here with a lot of pro-gas, industry advocacy talking points, and not revealing that there were significant conflicts of interest here.

AMY GOODMAN: Justin Elliott, would you like to weigh in?

JUSTIN ELLIOTT: Yeah, I mean, one thing to note is, Ernest Moniz is getting a confirmation hearing next month, and as part of that, he has to release a personal financial disclosure, and also, at some point later, he’ll have to—an ethics agreement will become public. So we should actually learn more about his current and recent involvement in these companies and possibly also stock holdings and that sort of thing, so it should be interesting. I think this story isn’t over yet.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to break and come back to this discussion. Our guests are Justin Elliott—he’s a reporter with ProPublica—and Kevin Connor, who has put out a report on—from the Public Accountability Project called "Industry Partner or Industry Puppet? How MIT’s Influential Study of Fracking Was Authored, Funded, and Released by Oil and Gas Industry Insiders." This is Democracy Now! We’ll be back in a minute.


AMY GOODMAN: In October of 2009, Obama’s energy secretary nominee, Ernest Moniz, introduced Tony Hayward, CEO of BP, before he delivered a speech at the MIT Energy Initiative. This took place six months before the BP Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

ERNEST MONIZ: Tony, I think it’s fair to say, without getting into great details, faced a significant number of challenges at that time of transition and is, these days, getting quite good press, I might say, in terms of having the company operating well, producing and maintaining, I think, its stance, taken quite early, in terms of recognizing the need and acting on the need to address climate risk mitigation, for example, with its diversified portfolio. We are very pleased to have BP here as a member of the Energy Initiative—in fact, the founding—founding member of the MIT Energy Initiative. And in fact, as President Hockfield said just a few minutes ago to Tony, that that confidence shown in where we were going here at MIT, in terms of our focus on energy and environment, was very, very important, and we really appreciate that early support and the continuing relationship. In fact, many of you may know that besides the Energy Initiative, BP has a major presence in terms of a Projects Academy and Operations Academy with the Sloan School of Engineering. And in fact, I just heard, again, in the discussion a few moments ago, that 300 of BP’s 500 senior executives have, one way or another, interacted with MIT, so it’s really quite a substantial relationship.

AMY GOODMAN: That’s energy secretary nominee Ernest Moniz speaking in October 2009, praising BP CEO Tony Hayward six months before the BP oil spill. Justin Elliott of ProPublica?

JUSTIN ELLIOTT: I mean, one of the things that surprised me, actually, as I was researching this story, is the extent to which the MIT Energy Initiative is working with industry. I mean, it’s well known that they and other energy research projects get industry funding. But if you look at their annual reports and even their website, they say, if you give us money as a company, we will help you achieve specific business goals. So, I mean, in a lot of the coverage of Moniz, he has been presented as an academic, which he is, but in some ways I think the traditional categories are sort of failing us—sort of academic versus business executive. I mean, this really is a part of—I mean, it’s not formally part of BP, but they’re working as essentially a subcontractor for BP. So I think that’s really—and again, I mean, President Obama specifically praised Ernest Moniz’s ties with business when he introduced him. So, I mean, it’s up for interpretation whether or not these ties are a good thing, but I think that’s really the proper way to see his background and who he is.

AMY GOODMAN: Kevin Connor, I wanted to ask you about the broader issue of what some call
"frackademia," gas-industry-funded academic research. In February of 2012, a year ago, University of Texas Professor Charles Groat published a study that suggested fracking did not lead to groundwater contamination. However, the study did not disclose Groat’s seat on the board of major Texas fracker Plains Exploration and Production Company, for which he was reportedly given $400,000 in 2011. That’s more than double his university salary. I want to go to a clip of Professor Groat explaining his study’s finding.

CHARLES GROAT: The immediate concern with shale gas development and hydraulic fracturing was that fracturing at several thousand feet below the surface would put chemicals into groundwater that people drank that would be very bad for your health, and so people were very much opposed to hydraulic fracturing from that point of view. So, an important part of our study was to determine whether or not there is any direct, verified evidence that hydraulic fracturing itself was producing contaminated waters that ended up in that process in groundwater. Our preliminary finding is we have found no demonstrated evidence that that—demonstration that that has happened.

AMY GOODMAN: Kevin Connor, your response?

KEVIN CONNOR: Well, as you noted, Groat, when he was saying this, had a serious stake in a gas company called PXP, $1.6 million stake, made several hundred thousand dollars a year, over $400,000 a year in 2011, and was going before the public and saying fracking is safe, without disclosing any of these related interests. I mean, there’s some question as to whether someone with that sort of stake in the industry should be working on this at all, but at the very least it should be disclosed to the public, to journalists.

And because Groat didn’t disclose it, it resulted in a lot of blowback in Texas. The journalists were very concerned that Groat had not highlighted this for them when the report was released, and it resulted in quite a bit of media coverage. The University of Texas ended up commissioning an external review of the study, which concluded that the study should actually be retracted and noted that Groat’s conflict of interest was quite serious and should have been disclosed. So, the sorts of transgressions that we see at MIT have actually resulted in real accountability at other universities. Groat actually retired as a result of this episode. And the director of the Energy Institute at Texas, which is sort of an analog to MIT’s Energy Initiative—the director actually resigned in the wake of this external review. So there have been real consequences. There has been real pushback against this trend at other universities. And there’s some question as to whether that will happen with MIT.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, going back to Moniz, because you’re talking about Groat here, not to be confused with the energy secretary nominee of President Obama, talk about what he makes at MIT, both as a university professor but also his outside funding.

KEVIN CONNOR: I’m actually not sure of his salary at MIT. I don’t believe it’s publicly disclosed there, though it will be released in his financial disclosures. But as a board member at ICF International, which is an oil and gas—well, it’s a consulting firm with a significant energy practice and significant oil and gas ties—he’s made over $300,000 in the past two years since joining the board. This is a position where he attends several meetings a year. It’s certainly not a full-time position, and yet he’s making over $150,000 a year in stock and cash compensation. So these are not insignificant financial ties he has.

AMY GOODMAN: And finally, Justin Elliott, Ernest Moniz is a nuclear physicist. Can you talk about the significance of that for energy policy, if he were to become the next energy secretary?

JUSTIN ELLIOTT: Sure. I mean, actually, the Department of Energy, the majority of its budget goes to maintaining the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile, and also they’re in charge of cleanup of old nuclear waste. He’s been a strong and public supporter of nuclear power. And that’s actually the area where some of these business ties get into areas of potential conflicts. As I mentioned earlier, he was previously on an advisory council of a uranium enrichment company called USEC, one of the—one of the largest, and they’ve been seeking a $2 billion loan guarantee from the Energy Department to build a centrifuge plant in Ohio. That’s been on hold for a few years while they look into it further. So, it will be interesting to see whether Moniz has to recuse himself from that or whether it gets mentioned in any of the congressional hearings, but that’s certainly one of the big areas the Energy Department is active in.

AMY GOODMAN: Professor Moniz wrote in Foreign Affairs in 2011, "It would be a mistake, however, to let Fukushima cause governments to abandon nuclear power and its benefits." He wrote, "Electricity generation emits more carbon dioxide in the United States than does transportation or industry, and nuclear power is the largest source of carbon-free electricity in the country."

JUSTIN ELLIOTT: Right. And again, I mean, I think this is in keeping with President Obama’s, quote, "all-of-the-above," unquote, energy policy. I mean, this is—this is Obama nominating someone as energy secretary who is in keeping with the administration’s stated policy.

AMY GOODMAN: President Obama has long been pro-nuclear power—in fact, is the one who is restarting nuclear power plants after, what, some 40 years of the last one being built.

JUSTIN ELLIOTT: Right. And I think the only reason that effort has stalled is the price of natural gas, because of fracking, going down so low that nuclear power plants have become less economically feasible than they were five years ago.

AMY GOODMAN: Final comments, Kevin Connor, as you release your report, director of Public Accountability Initiative, the report that you did called "Industry Partner or Industry Puppet?" has MIT responded? And were you able to speak with Professor Moniz?

KEVIN CONNOR: I did call the Energy Initiative but was not able to speak with Dr. Moniz. And the Energy Initiative did actually respond, through a spokesperson, with a statement that didn’t really speak to questions I had raised about how the conflicts of interest surrounding the report were managed and disclosed. One critical conflict of interest I didn’t note earlier was that one of the study authors, John Deutch, was on the board of Cheniere Energy, a liquefied natural gas company, LNG export company. That wasn’t disclosed in the study. The study actually endorsed natural gas exports. He has a $1.6 million stake in that company. MIT Energy Initiative—

AMY GOODMAN: Central Intelligence Agency?

KEVIN CONNOR: —basically had no response, just said that the authors aren’t biased, which is hard to believe, given these connections.

AMY GOODMAN: Kevin, John Deutch, the former head of the Central Intelligence Agency?

KEVIN CONNOR: Exactly. Former director of the CIA was actually a study author here and is on the board of the only company in the U.S. to receive permits to export LNG from the lower 48 states. And again, this study endorsed LNG exports on fairly—a fairly thin basis of evidence and didn’t disclose this connection, which is really, again, quite outrageous.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, I want to leave it there; of course, we’ll continue to follow the nominee. The confirmation hearings will take place on April 9th. Justin Elliott, ProPublica reporter, and Kevin Connor, I want to thank you very much for being with us. Justin wrote "Drilling Deeper," looking at "The Wealth of Business Connections for Obama’s Energy Pick." And Kevin Connor wrote the study, "Industry Partner or Industry Puppet? How MIT’s Influential Study of Fracking Was Authored, Funded, and Released by Oil and Gas Industry Insiders." We will link to it at

This is Democracy Now!,, The War and Peace Report. And when we come back, we’ll be joined by a well-known anchor here in New York, Cheryl Wills, who in this month of Women’s History Month—and we’ve just come out of African-American History Month—we’ll talk about what she found about her family. She wrote the book, Die Free: A Heroic Family Tale. Stay with us.

The Bomb Sends a Message to the World – Untold History

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Peter Kuznick, Professor of History; Director, American University’s Nuclear Studies Institute; Co-writer (with Oliver Stone) "Untold History of the United States"


PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay in Baltimore. And we're continuing our discussion about the television series and the book The Untold History of the United States by Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick. And now joining us in the studio once again is Peter Kuznick.Thanks for joining us again.PETER KUZNICK, PROF. HISTORY, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY: Glad to be here.JAY: So one of the themes you take up in this series is the issue of was the nuclear attack on Japan necessary, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And the thesis of the book essentially is that it wasn't. And it seems to me it's such a critical question, because if you can accept that using weapons of mass destruction is legitimate and was acceptable then, then why can't you accept anything after that? So it's perhaps one of or maybe the most critical thing to debate about American history. So what's your take?KUZNICK: It really is in many ways the starting point of where things go badly wrong. We can look at 1898 and the invasion of the Philippines as an important turning point, but after that, it's really the atomic bombing more than almost anything else. It gives the United States a sense of impunity. It gives the United States a sense of power. The United States can really throw its weight around now. We don't have to be afraid of anybody.And Truman says that on the USS Augusta back. He says it to the sailors. He says that we've got this new weapon coming into the war.But right from the very first time he was briefed on it--. It's very interesting that Truman was vice president for 82 days before Roosevelt died, and nobody even told him that we were building the atomic bomb. He was considered such a lightweight. There was so little respect for him. Nobody even brought him in on the fact that we're building this extraordinary bomb.So he finds out after Roosevelt dies. The night after the emergency cabinet meeting, Stimson informs him. The next day, Jimmy Byrnes flies up from South Carolina, and then he gives him a fuller briefing. And Truman writes in his memoir that Byrnes says it's a weapon great enough to destroy the whole world and may allow us to dictate our own terms at the end of the war, that a weapon great enough to destroy the whole world--Truman writes in his memoir.And then he's briefed on that on April 25 by Stimson and Groves. They give a full briefing on this. And afterwards, Truman writes that Stimson says that this is so powerful and so dangerous that even if we have it, maybe we shouldn't use it. And Truman says, I felt the same way after reading the report and hearing their briefing.Then, when he's at Potsdam on July 25, he gets the full report on how powerful the Trinity test had been at Alamogordo, and he writes: we've discovered the most terrible weapon ever. He says, this may be the fire destruction prophecied in the Euphrates Valley era after Noah and his fabulous arc.Truman knows this is not just a bigger, more momentous weapon. He knows that he's beginning a process that could end life on the planet. But he goes ahead and uses it in the most reckless possible way, the way that people had been warning was likely to trigger an arms race with the Soviet Union, 'cause the Soviets knew--well, the Soviets were in an interesting position....JAY: So the debate's always been, I guess, twofold. One is: was the bomb really necessary to end the war, and meaning that were the Japanese ready to surrender anyway? And there's also been, you could say, a debate that even if they weren't ready to surrender, do you actually unleash such a weapon and begin an era of using weapons of mass destruction? And just to give a sense of the scale of what we're talking about, here's a quote from Truman's chief of staff. Now, it needs to be pointed out he says this afterwards, and I asked you off-camera, and as far as we know, he never actually said this to Truman, but he gives a sense of the nature of what we're talking about.So Truman's chief of staff, Admiral Leahy, who chaired the meetings of the Joint Chiefs, was the most impassioned, classifying the bomb with chemical and bacteriological weapons as violations of, quote, every Christian ethic I have ever heard of and all the known laws of war. He proclaimed that, quote, Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender. The use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. In being the first to use it, we adopt an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the dark ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children. Leahy angrily told the journalist Jonathan Daniels in 1949, quote, Truman told me it was agreed they would use it only to hit military objectives. Of course, then they went ahead and killed as many women and children as they could, which was just what they wanted all the time. I'm reading now from Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick's book. And just as a quick aside, the way to do all this is you got to watch the series, but you've got to read the book afterwards, because there's layers of richness to this history that clearly the series just doesn't have time to take in.So let's get back to the key debate. Leahy's not the only one that says the bomb wasn't necessary to win the war.KUZNICK: No. Six of America's seven five-star admirals and generals who won their fifth star during the war are on record as saying the bomb was either morally reprehensible, militarily unnecessary, or both. So we're talking about people we don't think of as pacifists. We're thinking about Dwight Eisenhauer, who said repeated--on several occasions that he spoke to Stimson at Potsdam and urged him not to use the bomb 'cause the Japanese were already defeated, he said, and I hated to see our country be the first to use such a weapon.One of the most intriguing, though, is Douglas MacArthur. MacArthur, who actually advocated the use of atomic bombs during the Korean War, was appalled that we used atomic bombs in this war.JAY: Because in Korea he thought it was necessary, and in this one he didn't.KUZNICK: In this one he said yes. In fact, there's an interesting exchange that he has with Herbert Hoover, the former president. Hoover wrote a memo in May in which he warned about terrible casualties in an invasion and said, change the surrender terms. Tell the Japanese they can keep the emperor so we can get the war over with, 'cause that was the main stumbling block.JAY: Yeah. Explain that.KUZNICK: Let me first tell this MacArthur exchange. MacArthur wrote to Hoover on two occasions, and MacArthur said to Hoover that that was a wise and statesman like memo that you sent, and if we had adopted it, the war could have ended in May, he says. He says, and I'm sure the Japanese would have accepted it gladly.JAY: And this is a surrender that allows the emperor to stay in power, at least nominally.KUZNICK: Which we did anyway, right? And, in fact, Stimson argued that we had to keep the emperor in power, 'cause it's our only way to maintain order in Japan. So we had to keep the emperor for our interests. It was actually some of the people on the left who wanted to get rid of the emperor, 'cause the emperor for all the obvious reasons was a war criminal and was complicit in all of this, was a negative force in Japanese life. But they knew they wanted to keep the emperor. And MacArthur says the war could have ended in May. I think that's premature. I don't think the Japanese were quite ready to surrender in May, but possibly in June and almost certainly in July from what we know.JAY: Okay. So Truman and his generals know this.KUZNICK: Yes.JAY: They're hearing feedback from many of their generals on this count. And Truman says, yes, we're going to use it. So why do they use it?KUZNICK: Well, they use it--it's hard to reason with Truman. You know, it's hard to get into his mind. But I think on some level he believed that the bomb would speed up the end of the war, which he wanted to do, and he wanted to do for obvious reasons, 'cause he had American men who were being killed, and that was a consideration for Truman.The other reason was because of the Soviet Union. At Yalta, Stalin had agreed to come into the Pacific War three months after the end of the war in Europe, which means around August 8.JAY: And the Americans were pleading with Stalin to do that.KUZNICK: Yes, for quite some time. And he finally agreed to do it, in return for which he was going to get certain concessions, basically what the Russians had lost in the 1904-1905 war with Japan. So they were going to get the railroads in Manchuria, they were going to get Outer Mongolia, Port Arthur, Port Dairen. They were going to get Sokal and they were going to get the Kuril Islands. A lot of things that were important to them economically they were going to get back for coming in.But after [incompr.] test the bomb, it's very clear as Stimson, Byrnes, Churchill, and Truman all say, let's get the war over with if we can before the Russians get in on a kill. So on the one hand, they wanted to speed up the end of the war for obvious reasons. They also wanted to speed it up for diplomatic reasons, and they wanted to make sure the Russians didn't get it.But in May we've got several leading Americans--Leo Szilard, Walter--Harold Urey, and Walter Bartky, three leading scientists, went to the White House to see Truman and to talk to him about not using the bomb. Truman sends them to South Carolina to see Jimmy Byrnes. Byrnes was not yet Secretary of State, but he was Truman's behind-the-scenes adviser, his principal adviser on all these things. And in the exchange between Szilard and Byrnes, Byrnes says to Szilard, he says, well, you're Hungarian, aren't you? Don't you want to make sure that we get the Russians out of Hungary? And Szilard says, that's not what we're talking about; we're talking about using a weapon that's beginning to open the door to this era of mass destruction on an inconceivable scale. And all Byrnes was talking about was rolling back the Russians in Europe, the Soviet gains in Europe.So I think the bomb was in large measure a diplomatic weapon. As Leslie Groves says, Brigadier General Groves, was the head of the Manhattan Project for the army, and he says that from the beginning, as soon as I--two weeks after I took over this job, I knew that our enemy was Russia. A lot of people thought Russia was our heroic ally. I never felt that way. So in his mind it was always directed toward Russia. And we know that from other people, too.JAY: So you're killing tens of thousands of women and children to send a message.KUZNICK: Yes. Hundreds of thousands of women and children were being killed.JAY: Now, one of the points you make in the book, that the evidence now examining the sort of logic of the Japanese about when or why surrender, that the bomb wasn't the decisive issue. It actually was the Russians were entering the war.KUZNICK: Yes. And that's what changed it. We knew that that was going to be the fact. If you look at our intelligence reports on April 11 or July 2, intelligence reports to the Joint Chiefs of Staff or the summary for the week of the Potsdam meeting, they say the same thing: Soviet entry into the war will convince Japanese that defeat is inevitable, or Soviet entry into the war will immediately force Japan's surrender.Our intelligence was saying that. We knew that. And we knew it because we had broken the Japanese codes and we were intercepting their cables, and the cables going from Foreign Minister Togo in Tokyo to Ambassador Sato in Moscow were saying this over and over again: unconditional surrender is the only obstacle to ending the war. But--'cause the reason why the cables [incompr.] the Japanese had decided in May--actually, the end of April, but officially in May, that their only hope--that the best hope for ending the war is to get the Soviets to intervene diplomatically on their behalf to get the Japanese better surrender terms, which meant, essentially, keeping the emperor. So that was going back and forth. We knew that.Truman himself refers to the intercepted July 18 telegram as the telegram from the Jap emperor asking for peace. Those are Truman's words: the telegram from the Jap emperor asking for peace. We knew that that was decisive. Truman says, I went to Potsdam primarily to make sure the Soviets were coming into the war. And he writes back, after he meets with Stalin on July 17, he writes in his diary, he says, Stalin'll be in the Jap war by August 15; finis Japs when that happens. That's Truman's own words, finis Japs when the Russians come in. So he knew that the Soviet entry was going to be the main factor.JAY: Finis Japs meaning it's over.KUZNICK: Yeah, the war's over. Truman knew that. So why does he use the bomb? He's not bloodthirsty. You know, he's not a Hitler, he's not an evil person, but he was using the bomb as the war--people's morality is lowered in the war. We've got those great quotes there by Dwight Macdonald and Freeman Dyson.JAY: Well, you say he's not a Hitler, but the chief prosecutor of the Nuremberg said that he--I think you have a quote in the book which says, you know, maybe you can debate Hiroshima, maybe. And when you put this in context, which you have from the Japanese point of view, too, if you use one bomb to wipe out a city or 1,000 airplanes and firebomb and wipe out the city,--KUZNICK: It didn't make any difference to them.JAY: --to some extent it's not that different. But the guy who was the Nuremberg prosecutor says, you can't explain Nagasaki. You sent the message with Hiroshima. You've shown everyone.KUZNICK: He said Nagasaki's a war crime.JAY: He's called it a war crime.KUZNICK: So there's no difference.JAY: And, frankly, you know, how [do] you compare who was the war criminal, but it's at the scale of Hitler.KUZNICK: And in one way it's worse, because Hitler's crime was finite. Millions of people were killed as a result of Hitler's crimes. Truman was opening the door to the possible annihilation of the species, and he knew it. He knew that that's what he was beginning, the process. This was the first time when mankind has the ability to end life on the planet. And Truman knew that. And the scientists knew that.In fact, Oppenheimer briefs the interim committee on May 31 and tells them within three years we'll likely have weapons between ten and 100 megatons in destructive capability. A hundred megatons would be 7,000 times as big as the Hiroshima bomb. What he knew and what they knew and what Teller was talking about developing from the beginning was a superbomb, and this superbomb could be made as big as you wanted [incompr.] infinite destructive capability. That's what we were opening up the door to.And the other point you were making, though, about from the Soviet standpoint, the Soviets--or from the Japanese standpoint, the Japanese knew that we were already wiping out cities. We began with the firebombing of Tokyo on March 9 and 10, and we'd firebombed 100 Japanese cities by that point. Destruction reached 99.5 percent of the city of Toyama. We had run out of big targets. We were wiping out middle-sized cities that had no military significance at all.JAY: Yeah, clearly attacking civilians to break the back of Japanese will, but with civilians as the deliberate target,--KUZNICK: Yes, that was it. We called it terror bombing.JAY: --which is something--which is more or less something Hitler introduced to modern warfare.KUZNICK: Yes, and then the British paid him back for that. We called it terror bombing. That was the strategy, to burn down Japanese cities. But we already showed that we could do that. To the Japanese leaders, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was not qualitatively different than the firebombing of Tokyo and other cities. And in terms of destruction, it really wasn't even much more than the firebombing of Tokyo, the bombing of Hiroshima or Nagasaki. So to them, that didn't make the difference. What made the difference to them was the Soviet invasion, 'cause we bombed Hiroshima August 6; at midnight on August 8, the Soviets come into the war. Stalin had actually sped up the Soviet entry when he found out that the U.S. was going to drop the bomb.JAY: I mean, and the point you're making here is it wasn't just the dropping of the bomb that's the great crime; it's that Truman knew he was opening the door to bigger and bigger bombs. And, I mean, I don't know how--he didn't believe the Soviets would ever have the bomb, apparently, but I don't know how you can be that dumb.KUZNICK: No. And if you look at Stettinius's diary, Stettinius records a conversation with Truman in which Stettinius says Truman knew that the Soviets were going to be developing a bomb soon. So even though he says that to Oppenheimer, that famous meeting he has with Oppenheimer after the war, the first time he'd actually met Oppenheimer, who was the head of Los Alamos, the scientist most responsible for the bomb project, and in that meeting, Truman says, when did he think the Russians are going to get the bomb. And Oppenheimer says, I don't know. And Truman said, I know; they're never going to get the bomb. And Oppenheimer was just floored by the ignorance of this man. And then Oppenheimer blurts out, he says, I think I have blood on my hands. And Truman says, ah, well, the blood's on my hands. Let me worry about it. And then, afterwards, Truman calls him a crybaby scientist and he said, I never want to see that son of a bitch in this office again.JAY: Alright. In the next segment of our interview, we're going to pick up this discussion, because the acceptance of this use of weapons of mass destruction as not just--as primarily a diplomatic threat, you could say, that we're going to shape the world as we like it, and we've already shown you we're willing to use this weapon to do it. That starts to shape U.S. foreign policy. So we'll pick all this up in the next segment of our interview with Peter Kuznick on The Real News Network.


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Dying Iraq War Veteran Tomas Young Reads “Last Letter” to President Bush and Dick...

Iraq War veteran Tomas Young was left paralyzed in a 2004 attack in Iraq. Released from medical care three months later, Young returned home to become an active member in Iraq Veterans Against the War. He recently announced that he will stop his medicine and nourishment, which comes in the form of liquid through a feeding tube — a decision which will hasten his death. Joining us from his home in Kansas City, Young reads from his letter, "A Message to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney From a Dying Veteran." Young says to Bush and Cheney: "You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans — my fellow veterans — whose future you stole."


AMY GOODMAN: We turn to another clip from Body of War of more voices from the floor of the Senate, the Senate roll call of yes votes authorizing the war in Iraq in 2002.

SEN. BILL NELSON: The threat posed by Iraq grows with each passing day.

SENATE ROLL CALL: Mr. Bayh, aye.

REP. JOSEPH PITTS: It’s a danger that grows every day.

SENATE ROLL CALL: Mr. Bennett, aye.

SEN. JOHN McCAIN: Each day that goes by, he becomes more dangerous.

SEN. MIKE DeWINE: More diabolical.

REP. JOSEPH PITTS: Every day, Saddam Hussein grows stronger.

SEN. JOHN McCAIN: His capabilities become better.

SENATE ROLL CALL: Mr. Biden, aye.

REP. JOSEPH PITTS: Every day, Saddam Hussein builds more chemical and biological weapons.

SEN. JOHN McCAIN: The longer we wait, the more dangerous he becomes.

SENATE ROLL CALL: Mr. Bond, aye. Mr. Breaux, aye. Mr. Brownback, aye. Mr. Bunning, aye. Mr. Burns, aye. Mr. Campbell, aye. Ms. Cantwell, aye. Mrs. Carnahan, aye. Mr. Carper, aye. Aye, aye, aye, aye.

SEN. ROBERT BYRD: Wait! Slow down! Don’t rush this through.

AMY GOODMAN: That was the late senator, West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd, as you hear the roll call of yes votes, from the film Body of War.

We come 10 years later, 10th anniversary of the war in Iraq. Tomas Young, Iraq War veteran, wounded April 4th, 2004, his fifth day in Iraq, shot in Sadr City, is now writing a letter on this 10th anniversary called "The Last Letter: A Message to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney From a Dying Veteran." Tomas, can you read some of your letter to the former president and vice president?

TOMAS YOUNG: Absolutely.

“I write this letter on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War on behalf of my fellow Iraq veterans. I write this letter on behalf of the 4,488 soldiers and Marines who died in Iraq. I write this letter on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of veterans who have been wounded and on behalf of [those who bear those wounds. I am one of those.] I [am] one of the gravely injured. I am paralyzed in an insurgent ambush in 2004 in Sadr City. My life is coming to an end. I am living under hospice care.

“I write this letter on behalf of husbands and wives who have lost spouses, on behalf of children who have lost parents, on behalf of the fathers and mothers who have lost sons and daughters and on behalf of those who care for the many thousands of my fellow veterans who have brain injuries. I write this letter on behalf of those veterans whose trauma and self-revulsion for what they have [done, witnessed, endured] in Iraq have led to suicide and on behalf of the active-duty soldiers and Marines who commit, on average, a suicide a day. I write this letter on behalf of the some 1 million Iraqi dead and on behalf of the countless Iraqi wounded. I write this letter on behalf of us all—the human detritus your war has left behind, those who will spend their lives in unending pain and grief.

“Your positions of authority, your millions of dollars of personal wealth, your public relations consultants, [and your privilege and power] cannot mask the hollowness of your character. You sent us to fight and die in Iraq after you, Mr. Cheney, dodged the draft in Vietnam, and you, Mr. Bush, went AWOL from your National Guard unit. Your cowardice and selfishness were established decades ago. You were not willing to risk yourselves for our nation but you sent hundreds of thousands of young men and women to be sacrificed in a senseless war with no more thought than it takes to put out the garbage.

"I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you are—who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder" — I’m sorry, the type is very small, and my eyes are going. "... Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.

"I joined the Army two days after the 9/11 attacks. I joined the Army because our country had been attacked. I wanted to strike back at those who had killed some 3,000 of my fellow citizens. I did not join the Army to go to Iraq, a country that had no part in the [9/11] attacks and did not pose a threat to its neighbors, much less to the [U.S.] I did not join the Army to 'liberate' Iraqis or to shut down mythical weapons-of-mass-destruction facilities or to implant what you cynically called 'democracy' in Baghdad and the Middle East. I did not join the Army to rebuild Iraq, which at the time you told us could be paid for by Iraq’s oil revenues."

AMY GOODMAN: Tomas, we—

TOMAS YOUNG: "Instead, this war" —

AMY GOODMAN: Tomas, we’re going to ask you to finish the letter after the broadcast, and we’re going to post it at But in these last few seconds of the show, is there anything that would convince you not to end your life in the next few months?

TOMAS YOUNG: Not at this moment. There may come a time in the future when I say, "Hey, things are getting better; maybe I should reconsider this." But at this moment, nothing in this world has made me change my mind as to what I’m going to do.

AMY GOODMAN: I want people to go to to see the second part of this conversation that we will continue with Tomas Young and his wife, Claudia Cuellar, from their home in Kansas City, and with legendary talk show host Phil Donahue. Last seconds, Phil?

PHIL DONAHUE: Well, it’s just a study in what the Americans have not seen. If you’re going to send young men and women to war—

AMY GOODMAN: Four seconds.

PHIL DONAHUE: —show the pain. Otherwise, it’s going to be easy for us to have another one.

AMY GOODMAN: I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González. Thanks for joining us.

Obama in Israel

His visit bodes ill, not good. He left late Tuesday night. On March 20, he arrived around noon Israeli time. Secretary of State John Kerry came earlier. Scores of officials, aides and security personnel accompanied him and Obama.

New York Times Hypocrisy

NYT's attempts to set the record straight are duplicitous. They come too late to matter. On May 26, 2004, Times editors headlined "The Times and Iraq," saying...

New Evidence: Tony Blair Was Told Before Invasion Iraq Had No WMDs

Yes, it's been several long years of C&L reminding people there was no legitimate reason to invade Iraq. You might be as tired of reading about it as we are of pointing it out. But it's important that we continue to deconstruct the facade that was used to sell us on the Iraq invasion, because we're seeing the same slow buildup of "facts" about Iran. War is only about money and power, and rarely if ever about justice:

Fresh evidence is revealed today about how MI6 and the CIA were told through secret channels by Saddam Hussein’s foreign minister and his head of intelligence that Iraq had no active weapons of mass destruction.

Tony Blair told Parliament before the war that intelligence showed Iraq’s nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons programme was “active”, “growing” and “up and running”.

A special BBC Panorama programme tonight will reveal how British and US intelligence agencies were informed by top sources months before the invasion that Iraq had no active WMD programme, and that the information was not passed to subsequent inquiries.

It describes how Naji Sabri, Saddam’s foreign minister, told the CIA’s station chief in Paris at the time, Bill Murray, through an intermediary that Iraq had “virtually nothing” in terms of WMD.

Sabri said in a statement that the Panorama story was “totally fabricated”.

However, Panorama confirms that three months before the war an MI6 officer met Iraq’s head of intelligence, Tahir Habbush al-Tikriti, who also said that Saddam had no active WMD. The meeting in the Jordanian capital, Amman, took place days before the British government published its now widely discredited Iraqi weapons dossier in September 2002.

Lord Butler, the former cabinet secretary who led an inquiry into the use of intelligence in the runup to the invasion of Iraq, tells the programme that he was not told about Sabri’s comments, and that he should have been.

Butler says of the use of intelligence: “There were ways in which people were misled or misled themselves at all stages.”

When it was suggested to him that the body that probably felt most misled of all was the British public, Butler replied: “Yes, I think they’re, they’re, they got every reason think that.”

Legacy of Iraq War Myths Ten Years Later

Solomon, who wrote the piece “Ten Years Ago and Today: A Warfare State of Mind,” is author of War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death and founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. He said today: “The tenth anniversary of the Iraq invasion comes at a time of chilling statements from the top of the U.S. government. Days ago, speaking of possible actions against Iran, President Obama told an Israeli TV reporter: ‘I continue to keep all options on the table.’ Earlier this month, Vice President Biden told the AIPAC annual conference that Obama ‘is not bluffing’ and declared that ‘all options, including military force, are on the table.’ These statements are similar to the threats uttered by President Bush and Vice President Cheney prior to the invasion of Iraq.”

Solomon added: “Despite the myth that just about everyone believed there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, many experts and independent groups in the United States — including the Institute for Public Accuracy — thoroughly debunked such claims during the year before the invasion.” For examples of pre-invasion news releases and public reports refuting U.S. government claims of Iraqi WMDs, click here, here and here.

For video of a live televised debate last month between Solomon and Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, click here.

Available for radio use: historic audio from “War Made Easy” documentary film.

SAM HUSSEINI, [email], @samhusseini
Communications director for the Institute for Public Accuracy, Husseini said today: “It’s common to simply blame Bush and Cheney for the Iraq war, but it’s not accurate. Many voted for or otherwise backed the Iraq war — including Obama’s entire foreign policy team from Kerry to Hagel; from Clinton to Rice to Biden. Even among those who voted against the war, many facilitated it, like Pelosi, who claimed during the buildup to the Iraq invasion that ‘there was no question Iraq had chemical and biological agents.’ None of these individuals have ever seriously come clean about their conduct during this critical period (and I’ve questioned most of them) — so there’s never been a moment of reckoning for the greatest foreign policy disaster of this generation. The elevation of Democrats who did not seriously question the war likely facilitated Bush and Cheney never being held accountable for their conduct.

“Persistent myths include that after the invasion, we learned that Bush deceived about Iraqi WMDs. In fact, it was clear before the war that the Bush administration was engaged, as an Institute for Public Accuracy news release headline put it the day before the bombing campaign started, in a ‘Pattern of Deceit.’ Some of these falsifications were brazen, like claiming the UN weapons inspectors were dissatisfied with Iraqi compliance, when they were saying Iraq was making progress and they wanted more time to complete their job. Bush’s deceptions were helped along by the fact that the Clinton administration had also deceitfully hyped Iraqi WMDs, maintained sanctions and a belligerent stance for nearly a decade — a pattern that the Obama administration seems to be repeating in many respects now with Iran and North Korea. Tragically, the peace movement, which took center stage with quasi-global protests on Feb. 15, 2003, went on to marginalize itself by focusing on Bush rather than building a serious global movement for peace and justice.”

See FAIR’s 2007 report “Iraq: A Critical Timeline,” which documents much of the media drumbeat for war, as well as notable exceptions.

A Last-Second Appeal for Sanity

March 18, 2003

Memorandum for: The President

From: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

Subject: Forgery, Hyperbole, Half-Truth: A Problem

We last wrote you immediately after Secretary of State Powell’s UN speech on February 5, in an attempt to convey our concerns that insufficient attention was being given to wider intelligence-related issues at stake in the conflict with Iraq. Your speech yesterday evening did nothing to allay those concerns. And the acerbic exchanges of the past few weeks have left the United States more isolated than at any time in the history of the republic and the American people more polarized.

Today we write with an increased sense of urgency and responsibility. Responsibility, because you appear to be genuinely puzzled at the widespread opposition to your policy on Iraq and because we have become convinced that those of your advisers who do understand what is happening are reluctant to be up front with you about it.

As vet­erans of the CIA and other intelligence agencies, the posture we find ourselves in is as familiar as it is challenging. We feel a continuing responsibility to “tell it like it is” — or at least as we see it — without fear or favor. Better to hear it from extended family than not at all; we hope you will take what follows in that vein.

We cannot escape the conclusion that you have been badly misinformed. It was reported yesterday that your gener­als in the Persian Gulf area have become increasingly concerned over sandstorms. To us this is a metaphor for the shifting sand-type “intelligence” upon which your policy has been built. Worse still, it has become increasingly clear that the sharp drop in US credibility abroad is largely a function of the rather transparent abuse of intelligence re­porting and the dubious conclusions drawn from that reporting — the ones that underpin your decisions on Iraq.

Flashback to Vietnam

Many of us cut our intelligence teeth during the Sixties. We remember the arrogance and flawed thinking that sucked us into the quagmire of Vietnam. The French, it turned out, knew better. And they looked on with won­derment at Washington’s misplaced confidence — its single-minded hubris, as it embarked on a venture the French knew from their own experience could only meet a dead end.

This was hardly a secret. It was widely known that the French general sent off to survey the possibility of regaining Vietnam for France after World War II reported that the operation would take a half-million troops, and even then it could not be successful.

Nevertheless, President Johnson, heeding the ill-informed advice of civilian leaders of the Pentagon with no ex­perience in war, let himself get drawn in past the point of no return. In the process, he played fast and loose with intelligence to get the Tonkin Gulf resolution through Congress so that he could prosecute the war. To that mis­guided war he mortgaged his political future, which was in shambles when he found himself unable to extricate himself from the morass.

Quite apart from what happened to President Johnson, the Vietnam War was the most serious US foreign policy blunder in modern times — until now.


In your state-of-the-union address you spoke of Iraq’s pre-1991 focus on how to “enrich uranium for a bomb” and added, “the British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of ura­nium from Africa.” No doubt you have now been told that this information was based on bogus correspondence between Iraq and Niger.

Answering a question on this last week, Secretary Powell conceded — with neither apology nor apparent embarrassment — that the documents in question, which the US and UK had provided to the UN to show that Iraq is still pursuing nuclear weapons, were forgeries. Powell was short: “If that information is inaccu­rate, fine.”

But it is anything but fine. This kind of episode inflicts serious damage on US credibility abroad—the more so, as it appears neither you nor your advisers and political supporters are in hot pursuit of those responsible. Senate In­telligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts has shown little enthusiasm for finding out what went awry.

Com­mittee Vice-Chairman, Jay Rockefeller, suggested that the FBI be enlisted to find the perpetrators of the forgeries, which US officials say contain “laughable and child-like errors,” and to determine why the CIA did not recognize them as forgeries. But Roberts indicated through a committee spokeswoman that he believes it is “inappropri­ate for the FBI to investigate at this point.” Foreign observers do not have to be paranoid to suspect some kind of cover-up.

Who Did It? Who Cares!

Last week Wisconsin Congressman Dave Obey cited a recent press report suggesting that a foreign government might be behind the forgeries as part of an effort to build support for military action against Iraq and asked Secre­tary Powell if he could identify that foreign government. Powell said he could not do so “with confidence.” Nor did he appear in the slightest interested.

We think you should be. In the absence of hard evidence one looks for those with motive and capability. The fab­rication of false documentation, particularly what purports to be official correspondence between the agencies of two governments, is a major undertaking requiring advanced technical skills normally available only in a sophis­ticated intelligence service. And yet the forgeries proved to be a sloppy piece of work.

Chalk it up to professional pride by (past) association, but unless the CIA’s capabilities have drastically eroded over recent years, the legendary expertise of CIA technical specialists, combined with the crudeness of the forgeries, leave us persuaded that the CIA did not craft the bogus documents. Britain’s MI-6 is equally adept at such things. Thus, except in the unlikely event that crafting forgery was left to second-stringers, it seems unlikely that the Brit­ish were the original source.

We find ourselves wondering if amateur intelligence operatives in the Pentagon basement and/or at 10 Down­ing Street were involved and need to be called on the carpet. We would urge you strongly to determine the prov­enance. This is not trivial matter.

As our VIPS colleague (and former CIA Chief of Station) Ray Close has noted, “If anyone in Washington deliberately practiced disinformation in this way against another element of our own government or wittingly passed fabricated information to the UN, this could do permanent damage to the com­mitment to competence and integrity on which the whole American foreign policy process depends.”

The lack of any strong reaction from the White House feeds the suspicion that the US was somehow involved in, or at least condones, the forgery. It is important for you to know that, although credibility-destroying stories like this rarely find their way into the largely cowed US media, they do grab headlines abroad among those less dis­posed to give the US the benefit of the doubt.

As you know better than anyone, a year and a half after 9/11 the still traumatized US public remains much more inclined toward unquestioning trust in the presidency. Over time that child-like trust can be expected to erode, if preventive maintenance is not performed — and hyperbole shunned.


The forgery aside, the administration’s handling of the issue of whether Iraq is continuing to develop nuclear weapons has done particularly severe damage to US credibility. On October 7 your speechwriters had you claim that Iraq might be able to produce a nuclear weapon in less than a year. Formal US intelligence estimates, sanitized versions of which have been made public, hold that Iraq will be unable to produce a nuclear weapon until the end of the decade, if then.

In that same speech you claimed that “the evidence indicates that Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program” — a claim reiterated by Vice President Cheney on “Meet the Press” on March 16. Reporting to the UN Security Council in recent months, UN chief nuclear inspector Mohammed ElBaradei has asserted that the inspectors have found no evidence that Iraq has reconstituted its nuclear weapons program.

Some suspect that the US does have such evidence but has not shared it with the UN because Washington has been de­termined to avoid doing anything that could help the inspections process succeed. Others believe the “evidence” to be of a piece with the forgery — in all likelihood crafted by Richard Perle’s Pentagon Plumbers. Either way, the US takes a large black eye in public opinion abroad.

Then there are those controversial aluminum tubes which you have cited in major speeches as evidence of a con­tinuing effort on Iraq’s part to produce nuclear weapons. Aside from one analyst in the CIA and the people report­ing to Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, there is virtually unanimous agreement within the intelligence, engineering, and scientific communities with ElBaradei’s finding that “it was highly unlikely” that the tubes could have been used to produce nuclear material.

It is not enough for Vice President Cheney to dismiss ElBaradei’s findings. Those who have followed these issues closely are left wondering why, if the Vice President has evidence to support his own view, he does not share it with the UN.

Intelligence Scant

In your speech yesterday evening you stressed that intelligence “leaves no doubt that the Iraqi regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.” And yet even the Washington Post, whose editors have given unswerving support to your policy on Iraq, is awash with reports that congressional leaders, for example, have been given no specific intelligence on the number of banned weapons in Iraq or where they are hidden.

One official, who is regularly briefed by the CIA, commented recently that such evidence as does exist is “only circumstantial.” Another said he questioned whether the administration is shaping intelligence for political purposes. And, in a moment of unusual candor, one senior intelligence analyst suggested that one reason why UN inspectors have had such trouble finding weapons caches is that “there may not be much of a stockpile.”

Having backed off suggestions early last year that Iraq may already have nuclear weapons, your administration continues to assert that Iraq has significant quantities of other weapons of mass destruction. But by all indications, this is belief, not proven fact. This has led the likes of Thomas Powers, a very knowledgeable author on intelli­gence, to conclude that “the plain fact is that the Central Intelligence Agency doesn’t know what Mr. Hussein has, if anything, or even who knows the answers, if anyone.”

This does not inspire confidence. What is needed is candor — candor of the kind you used in one portion of your speech on October 7. Just two paragraphs before you claimed that Iraq is “reconstituting” its nuclear weapons pro­gram, you said, “Many people have asked how close Saddam Hussein is to developing a nuclear weapon. Well, we don’t know exactly, and that’s the problem.”

True, candor can weaken a case that one is trying to build. We are reminded of a remarkable sentence that leapt out of FBI Director Mueller’s testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee on February 11 — a sentence that does ac­tually parse, but nonetheless leaves one scratching one’s head. Mueller: “The greatest threat is from al-Qaeda cells in the US that we have not yet identified.”

This seems to be the tack that CIA Director Tenet is taking behind closed doors; i.e., the greatest threat from Iraq is the weapons we have not yet identified but believe are there.

It is not possible to end this section on hyperbole without giving Oscars to Secretaries Rumsfeld and Powell, who have outdone themselves in their zeal to establish a connection between Iraq and al-Qaeda. You will recall that Rumsfeld described the evidence — widely recognized to be dubious — as “bulletproof,” and Powell characterized the relationship as a “partnership!”

Your assertion last evening that “the terrorist threat to America and the world will be diminished the moment that Saddam Hussein is disarmed” falls into the same category. We believe it far more likely that our country is in for long periods of red and orange color codes.


Here we shall limit ourselves to one example, although the number that could be adduced is legion.

You may recall that a Cambridge University analyst recently revealed that a major portion of a British intelligence document on Iraq had been plagiarized from a term paper by a graduate student in California — information de­scribed by Secretary Powell to the UN Security Council as “exquisite” intelligence. That same analyst has now ac­quired from the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) the transcript of the debriefing of Iraqi Gen. Hussein Kamel, son-in-law of Saddam Hussein, who defected in 1995.

Kamel for ten years ran Iraq’s nuclear, chemical, biological, and missile development programs, and some of the information he provided has been highly touted by senior US policymakers, from the president on down. But the transcript reveals that Kamel also said that in 1991 Iraq destroyed all its chemical and biological weapons and the missiles to deliver them. This part of the debriefing was suppressed until Newsweek ran a story on it on February 24, 2003.

We do not for a minute take all of what Kamel said at face value. Rather we believe the Iraqis retain some chemical and biological warfare capability. What this episode suggests, though, is a preference on the part of US officials to release only that information that supports the case they wish to make against Iraq.

In Sum

What conclusions can be drawn from the above? Simply that forgery, hyperbole, and half-truths provide a sandy foundation from which to launch a major war.

Equally important, there is danger in the temptation to let the conflict with Iraq determine our attitude toward the entire gamut of foreign threats with which you and your principal advisers need to be concerned. Threats to US security interests must be prioritized and judged on their own terms. In our judgment as intelligence professionals, there are two real and present dangers today.

1. The upsurge in terrorism in the US and against American facilities and personnel abroad that we believe would inevitably flow from a US invasion of Iraq. Concern over this is particularly well expressed in the February 26 letter from FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley to Director Mueller, a letter well worth your study.

2. North Korea poses a particular danger, although what form this might take is hard to predict. Pyongyang sees itself as the next target of your policy of preemption and, as its recent actions demonstrate, will take advantage of US pre-occupation with Iraq both to strengthen its defenses and to test US and South Korean responses. Although North Korea is economically weak, its armed forces are huge, well armed, and capable. It is entirely possible that the North will decide to mount a provocation to test the tripwire provided by the presence of US forces in South Korea. Given the closeness of Seoul to the border with the North and the reality that North Korean conventional forces far outnumber those of the South, a North Korean adventure could easily force you to face an abrupt, unwelcome decision regarding the use of nuclear weapons — a choice that your predecessors took great pains to avoid.

We suggest strongly that you order the Intelligence Community to undertake, on an expedited basis, a Special Na­tional Intelligence Estimate on North Korea, and that you defer any military action against Iraq until you have had a chance to give appropriate weight to the implications of the challenge the US might face on the Korean pen­insula.

Richard Beske, San Diego

Kathleen McGrath Christison, Santa Fe

William Christison, Santa Fe

Patrick Eddington, Alexandria

Raymond McGovern, Arlington

Steering Group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

Iraq war cost US more than $2 trillion — study

Published time: March 14, 2013 20:00
US Army Soldiers scan the landing zone for possible hostile forces. (AFP Photo / Russell E. Cooley)

The US war in Iraq has cost $1.7 trillion with $490 billion more owed in benefits to combat veterans, a recent study revealed. The report found that total expenses in the unavailing conflict could balloon to $6 trillion over the next 40 years.

The study, conducted by the Costs of War Project by the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University, concluded that the accrued interest on the nearly $2.2 trillion in expenses would amount to some $4 trillion dollars during  the coming decades, Reuters reports.

At the time of the 2003 invasion, the Bush administration estimated the war would cost between $50-60 billion.

Published in advance of the 10th anniversary of the March 19 US-led invasion of Iraq, the study also estimated the great human cost inflicted by the nearly decade long conflict.

At least 134,000 Iraqi civilians died as a result of the Iraq War, though the Watson Institute says the death toll could be up to four times higher. The report stated that with the inclusion of slain journalists, aid workers and insurgents, the base level death toll reached an estimated 176,000- 189,000.

A 2006 peer-reviewed Lancet study had found that 650,000 Iraqis – both combatants and civilians – had died up to that point. Other estimates had previously put total war deaths as high as 1 million.  

An estimated 36,000 American military personnel were also killed or injured during the war.

A view of crosses marking soldiers lost during the war in Iraq is seen at Arlington West on Santa Monica Beach, California, 25 November 2007. (AFP Photo / Gabriel Bouys)

The Watson Institute study further found that US gains from the invasion were negligible, while Iraq was still reeling from the war.  

“Despite the US military withdrawal,” the report says,

“Iraq’s health, infrastructure, and education systems remain war-devastated.” The war further galvanized radical Islamist militants in the region and set back women’s rights, while

“the $212 billion reconstruction effort was largely a failure with most of that money spent on security or lost to waste and fraud.” The study was an update of a 2011 report which estimated the costs of the US military engagements in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq at $3.7 trillion. The latest report puts that cost at some $4 trillion dollars

In the run up to the war, the US and the UK claimed that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction which posed a threat to regional security.

The U.S.‑led Iraq Survey Group would later conclude that Iraq had ended its nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs in 1991 and had no active programs at the time of the invasion.

Obama Killed Chavez

Most likely he was either poisoned or infected with cancer causing substances. Four cancer surgeries in 18 months raise suspicions. Chavez knew he was marked for death. He said so numerous times. Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez believes Washington and Israel conspired to kill him.

We Must Make the Whole Planet a ‘Nuclear Free Zone’

With the second anniversary of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster this week, with North Korea having just threatened a “pre-emptive nuclear attack” against the United States and a U.S. senator saying this would result in “suicide” for North Korea, with Iran suspected of moving to build nuclear weapons, with the continuing spread of nuclear technology globally, the future looks precarious as to humankind and the atom.

Can humanity at this rate make it through the 21st Century?

We were only able to get through the 20th Century without a major nuclear weapons exchange­ without atomic doomsday ­by the skin of our teeth.

With more nations having the ability to construct nuclear weapons­ and any country with a nuclear power facility has the materiel and trained personnel to make nuclear weapons­ the likelihood of this luck running out is high.

The only realistic way to secure a future for the world without nuclear war is for the entire planet to become a nuclear-free zone­. No nuclear weapons, no nuclear power.

Radical?  Yes, but consider the even more radical alternative: a world where many nations will be able to construct nuclear weaponry because they possess nuclear power technology. The only real way to end the threat of nuclear weapons spreading throughout the world is to abolish nuclear weaponry and eliminate nuclear power. Consider the alternative: trying to keep using carrots and sticks, juggling on the road to inevitable nuclear catastrophe.

There are major regions of the Earth—the entireties of Africa and South America, the South Pacific and others—that are Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones because of regional treaties recognized by the United Nations. In 1975, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution defining a Nuclear-Weapon Free Zone as an area with the “total absence of nuclear weapons” and establishing “an international system of verification and control…to guarantee compliance with the obligations deriving from [this] statute.”  

But if we are truly to have a world free of the horrific threat of nuclear weapons, the goal needs to be more than zones without them. A world free of the other side of the nuclear coin­nuclear power ­is also necessary.

Any nuclear power facility can serve as a nuclear bomb factory.

That’s how India got the atomic bomb in 1974. Canada supplied a reactor for “peaceful purposes” and the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission trained Indian engineers. And lo and behold, India had nuclear weapons.

Some will say putting the atomic genie back into the bottle is impossible. However, anything people have done other people can undo­, especially if the reason is good. And the prospect of massive loss of life from nuclear destruction is the best of reasons.

There’s a precedent in the outlawing of poison gas after World War I when its terrible impacts were tragically demonstrated. Chlorine gas, mustard gas, phosphene gas killed thousands on both sides of the conflict. 

The Geneva Protocol of 1925 and the Chemicals Weapons Convention of 1933 outlawed chemical warfare and to a large degree the prohibition has held.

As for the connection between purportedly “peaceful” atomic energy and nuclear weapons, physicist Amory Lovins and attorney Hunter Lovins spell it out well in their book Energy/War: Breaking the Nuclear Link “All nuclear fission technologies both use and produce fissionable materials that are or can be concentrated. Unavoidably latent in those technologies, therefore, is a potential for nuclear violence and coercion which may be exploited by governments, factions,” they write.

“Little strategic material is needed to make a weapon of mass destruction. A Nagasaki-yield bomb can be made from a few kilograms of plutonium, a piece the size of a tennis ball,” they note.  A large nuclear power plant “annually produces hundreds of kilograms of plutonium; a large fast breeder reactor would contain thousands of kilograms; a large reprocessing plant may separate tens of thousands.”

Civilian nuclear power technology, they emphasize, provides the way to make nuclear weapons, furnishing the materiel and personnel.  Nuclear weapons non-proliferation, they say, requires “civil denuclearization.”

As to claims of the energy generated by nuclear power plans being necessary, that’s not  true. Safe, clean, renewable energy­led by solar and wind energy technologies­is available to provide all the power the world needs.

Among entities focusing on this is the organization Go 100% which on its website says: “Across the globe­in regions, cities, communities, businesses, and individual lives­people are proving that 100% renewable energy is not a fantasy for someday, but a reality today….The conventional fossil and nuclear energy system has led to multiple convergent existential crises, including climate change, air and water pollution, destruction of the oceans, the threat of mass extinction, water and food shortages, poverty, nuclear radiation problems, nuclear weapons proliferation, fuel depletion, and geopolitical problems.” Go 100% provides details on the abundant research determining that the world can fully power itself with safe, clean, renewable energy, and what’s happening in nations­, particularly Germany­, now moving toward that goal.

The dangers of nuclear power, ­in addition to permitting the development of nuclear weapons by any nation that has it­, are immense.

As he retired from the Navy in 1982, Admiral Hyman Rickover, considered the “father” of the U.S. nuclear navy who was also in charge of building the first U.S. commercial nuclear power plant, in Shippingport, Pennsylvania, told a Congressional committee that inherent in nuclear power  is radioactivity which made life impossible on Earth. Until a few billion years ago, Rickover told the panel, “it was impossible to have any life on Earth; that is, there was so much radiation on Earth you couldn’t have any life­, fish or anything." Then, gradually, “the amount of radiation on this planet and probably in the entire system reduced and made it possible for some form of life to begin.”

“Now,” he went on,  by utilizing nuclear power, “we are creating something which nature tried to destroy to make life possible…Every time you produce radiation,” a “horrible force” is unleashed, “in some cases for billions of years, and I think there the human race is going to wreck itself.”

Having seen the light after decades of being deeply involved in nuclear technology, Rickover said: “I’m talking about humanity, ­the most important thing we could do is to start in having an international meeting where we first outlaw nuclear weapons to start off with, then we outlaw nuclear reactors, too.”

As for nuclear weapons, he said: “The lesson of history is when a war starts, every nation will ultimately use whatever weapon has been available. That is the lesson learned time and again. Therefore, we must expect, if another war­, a serious war ­breaks out, we will use nuclear energy in some form” and “we will probably destroy ourselves.”

Planet Earth must be a nuclear-free zone­ without nuclear weapons, without nuclear power ­if the human race and other life forms are to survive.

Karl Grossman

Karl Grossman has been a professor of journalism at the State University of New York/College at Old Westbury for 32 years. He is a specialist in investigative reporting. He is the author of Cover Up: What You Are Not Supposed to Know About Nuclear Power. He is the host of the nationally aired TV program, Enviro Close-Up.

Who Wants War on Iran?

 There are those who would have bombed or invaded Iran years ago to make sure there would be no Iranian Bomb, and their voices are getting louder again as another day of high level talks approaches.  Even though Iran’s Supreme Leader has spent years forswearing nuclear weapons, which he calls a “crime against humanity,” skeptics demand proof that there’s nothing to worry about. 

The Iranian nuclear program, whatever it may be, was the only item on the agenda for the seven-nation discussion in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on February 26, and cautious optimism has been expressed by participants including the United States, Russia, and Iran.  Known as the P5+1 because the group includes the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States) plus Germany, the group is called the E3+3 in Europe.

Perhaps the clearest framework for understanding what the Iranian nuclear development program might or might not be is to keep in mind that the most intense claims that Iran is building nuclear weapons comes from the region’s undisputed nuclear-armed state, Israel.  Much like Iraq’s Saddam Hussein playing cat-and-mouse with WMDs he didn’t have, Iran has cooperated with weapons inspectors only to a point of uncertainty as to whether the program is or is not military.

Iran is one of the 190 countries that have signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which allows for non-military development of nuclear power, nuclear medicine, and other nuclear applications.  Iran claims it has the legal right to enrich uranium as part of its civilian nuclear energy program.

Iran also claims that it has met its obligations to the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), although in 2005 the IAEA, in a vote with 12 abstentions, found Iran in non-compliance over its enrichment program (but even the Congressional Research Service was uncertain whether “non-compliance” constituted a “violation” of the treaty).  The dispute had continued ever since, with IAEA inspectors getting inconsistent access to Iran’s nuclear infrastructure.  During 2012, four IAEA reports continued to provide inconclusive indications of a possible Iranian nuclear weapons program.

Israel Rejects Nuclear Transparency 

Israel has not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty and is a presumed nuclear power along with other non-signatories who have nuclear weapons: India, Pakistan, and

North Korea.  In 2010, the IAEA sought to bring Israeli nuclear facilities within the safeguards of IAEA, with only limited success, as Israel did not reveal all its facilities and has not yet does so.    Estimates of the Israeli nuclear stockpile vary from75 to 400 warheads, with 200 thought most likely, which Israel could deliver by missile, aircraft, or submarine.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has suggested more than once that Israeli might act alone against the perceived Iranian nuclear threat, telling the New York Times in November:

“If someone sits here as the prime minister of Israel and he can’t take action on matters that are cardinal to the existence of this country, its future and its security, and he is totally dependent on receiving approval from others, then he is not worthy of leading… 

 “I am not eager to go to war….  I have been creating very heavy pressure, and part of this pressure comes from the knowledge some of the most powerful nations in the world have that we are serious. This isn’t a show, this is not false.”

Netanyahu first called for an attack on Iran at least as early as 1992, when he said the Iranians were only three to five years from producing a nuclear weapon.   But warnings like that are much older, going back to the 1970s and concerns that the Shah of Iran might arm his police state with nuclear weapons.

In Jerusalem on February 12, Netanyahu again threatened Iran:

“They have to know that if the sanctions and diplomacy fall, they will face a credible military threat. That is essential, and nothing else will do the job, and it is getting closer….  This has to be stopped for the interest of peace and security for the entire world.”              

Iran Denies Nuclear Weapons, Rejects Transparency

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has often denied the existence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program, as he did in 2008 during an interview with NBC anchor Brian Williams, when he also questioned the utility of nuclear weapons as a source of security:

“Again, did nuclear arms help the Soviet Union from falling and disintegrating? For that matter, did a nuclear bomb help the U.S. to prevail inside Iraq or Afghanistan, for that matter? Nuclear bombs belong to the 20th century. We are living in a new century … Nuclear energy must not be equaled to a nuclear bomb. This is a disservice to the society of man….”   

On February 10, Ahmadinejad, whose term as president ends in a few months, indicated Iran’s willingness to discuss its nuclear program in bi-lateral talks with the U.S., adding that: “You pull away the gun from the face of the Iranian nation, and I myself will enter the talks with you.”

Ahmadinejad’s superior, Iran’s clerical Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei gave a foreign policy speech in February 2012 in which he said much the same thing about nuclear weapons that he had said before:

 “The Iranian nation has never pursued and will never pursue nuclear weapons. There is no doubt that the decision makers in the countries opposing us know well that Iran is not after nuclear weapons because the Islamic Republic, logically, religiously and theoretically, considers the possession of nuclear weapons a grave sin and believes the proliferation of such weapons is senseless, destructive and dangerous.”

Not being able to confirm reality, in either Israel or Iran, American and Europeam policy makers tend, unquestioningly in public, to trust the former and demonize the latter.  And now as the world enters the fourth decade of fear-mongering about Iran’s “nuclear weapons program,” some are ratcheting it up again in advance of the Kazakhstan meering, with front page stories that start like this from the February 13 Washington Post:

“Iran recently sought to acquire tens of thousands of highly specialized magnets used in centrifuge machines, according to experts and diplomats, a sign that the country may be planning a major expansion of its nuclear program that could shorten the path to an atomic weapons capability.” 

If that assertion seems to have a familiar ring, perhaps it’s because it’s so similar in structure and content to what then-President Bush falsely stated, in his 2003 state of the union speech, know known as the infamous “Sixteen Words”:

“The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.”   

Washington Post Works to Create Crisis 

On February 14, under a headline about “the Iranian nuclear crisis,” the Post re-hyped the apparent 2011 order of “ring-shaped magnets” from China as a setback to the “Western-led effort to slow or halt Iran’s nuclear development.” Even though the Post had no idea if the magnets were ever delivered or whether they were actually for centrifuges with a benign purpose.

Taking the Post reports apart on, Robert Parry drew attention to details buried in the story that contradicted the breathless lead – that the centrifuges were old and that Iran had long since told the IAEA of its plans to build 50,000 of them and not some “major expansion of nuclear capacity.”

Parry notes that the sole source for the magnet story was a private entity called the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) whose head is David Albright and that

 “Though Albright insists that he is an objective professional, ISIS has published hundreds of articles about Iran, which has not produced a single nuclear bomb, while barely mentioning Israel’s rogue nuclear arsenal…. 

“The articles not only hype developments in Iran but also attack U.S. media critics who question the fear-mongering about Iran.” 

Albright has hyped the threat of weapons of mass destruction before.  In 2002 when the Bush administration was lying the country into a war against Iraq, claiming that Iraq had “a clandestine nuclear weapons effort” as  well as “chemical and biological weapons” – none of which was true.  As Parry sums it up,

 “A decade ago, Albright and the ISIS were key figures in stoking the hysteria for invading Iraq around the false allegations of its WMD program. In recent years, Albright and his institute have adopted a similar role regarding Iran and its purported pursuit of a nuclear weapon, even though U.S. intelligence agencies say Iran terminated that weapons project in 2003.” 

 And Who Decides What Is Necessary? 

In his 2013 state of the union, President Obama dealt with Iran in a single, misleading, and threatening sentence:

“Likewise, the leaders of Iran must recognize that now is the time for a diplomatic solution, because a coalition stands united in demanding that they meet their obligations, and we will do what is necessary to prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon.”   

Since 1979, the United States has waged a long twilight war against its former puppet state with no apparent understanding of why Iran may still resent the U.S. for overthrowing Iran’s elected government in 1953 and imposing one of the world’s nastier police state on 70 million people.  There is credible evidence that the U.S. has not only imposed for economic sanctions that are tantamount to acts of war on Iran, but has also colluded in assassinations of at least five Iranian nuclear scientists as well as cyber attacks on the country’s infrastructure.

Secretary of State John Kerry suggested on Valentine’s Day that if Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful, Iran should have no trouble proving it.  He urged the Iranians to make “real offers and engage in real dialogue.”

Both the President and the Secretary of State are lawyers, and is aware, most likely, that they don’t have enough evidence of Iran’s “nuclear weapons program” to show probable cause for a get a search warrant from any fair court, never mind an indictment.

That suggests, to use Obama’s words, that perhaps “what is necessary to prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon” might be to stop attacking them.

 William Boardman

Tens Years Later, Eyes Still Wide Shut on the Iraq War

Ten years ago, as President George W. Bush and his administration were putting the finishing touches on their unprovoked invasion of Iraq, the mainstream U.S. news media had long since capitulated, accepting the conventional wisdom that nothing could – or should – stop the march to war.Hussein Kamel, former Iraqi minister of military industry, was killed after returning to Iraq, but not before explaining in great detail to US and British intelligence that Iraq had, in fact, destroyed its WMD stockpiles.

The neocon conquest of the major U.S. news outlets – the likes of the New York Times, the Washington Post and the national TV news – was so total that the Bush administration could reliably count on them as eager co-conspirators in the Iraq adventure rather than diligent watchdogs for the American people.

By now a decade ago, the New York Times had published Judy Miller’s infamous “mushroom cloud” article about Iraq’s aluminum tubes, the Washington Post’s op-ed page had lined up in lock-step to hail Colin Powell’s misleading United Nations speech, MSNBC had dumped Phil Donahue after he allowed on a few anti-war voices, and CNN had assembled a chorus of pro-war ex-military officers as “analysts.”

Despite massive worldwide protests against the impending invasion, the U.S. news media only grudgingly covered the spectacle of millions of people in the streets in dozens of cities. The coverage mostly had a tone of bemusement about how deluded such uninformed folks could be.

The U.S. news media’s consensus was so overwhelming that it may have freed up a few lesser outlets to publish some undeniable facts, which then could be safely dismissed and ignored.

Such was the case when Newsweek correspondent John Barry was allowed to publish the leaked contents of an interrogation of a senior Iraqi official who inconveniently disclosed that Iraq had destroyed its stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons years earlier.

Barry, usually a reliable voice for Washington’s conventional wisdom, may have struggled over what to do with the leaked document, but he ultimately wrote this truthful lede:

“Hussein Kamel, the highest-ranking Iraqi official ever to defect from Saddam Hussein’s inner circle, told CIA and British intelligence officers and U.N. inspectors in the summer of 1995 that after the gulf war, Iraq destroyed all its chemical and biological weapons stocks and the missiles to deliver them.  Kamel … had direct knowledge of what he claimed: for 10 years he had run Iraq’s nuclear, chemical, biological and missile programs.”

In a classic understatement of about his own report – as the White House was on the verge of unleashing the dogs of war in pursuit of Iraq’s alleged WMD – Barry commented, “The defector’s tale raises questions about whether the WMD stockpiles attributed to Iraq still exist.”

Barry explained that Kamel had been interrogated in separate sessions by the CIA, British intelligence, and a trio from the U.N. inspection team; that Newsweek had been able to verify the authenticity of the U.N. document containing the text of Kamel’s debriefing; and that Kamel had “told the same story to the CIA and the British.” Barry added that “The CIA did not respond to a request for comment.”

Barry’s story was, of course, completely accurate. According to page 13 of the transcript of the debriefing by U.S. and U.N. officials, Hussein Kamel, one of Saddam Hussein’s sons-in-law, said bluntly:  “All weapons – biological, chemical, missile, nuclear, were destroyed.”

The story of Kamel’s admission was published in the March 3, 2003, issue of Newsweek after appearing on the magazine’s Web site on Feb. 24.

No WMD in Iraq?

By then, of course, the Newsweek story really didn’t matter. The media “hot shots” had already shifted from covering the excuses for war to preparing for the exciting duty as embedded “war correspondents.”

No one wanted to risk being left out of those career-building moments of racing across the Iraqi desert in a Humvee, with your cameraman filming you in green-tinted night-vision video, your body bulked up by body armor, your camouflage outfit matching what the real troops were wearing, and perhaps your hair blowing in the wind.

Back at corporate headquarters, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and other cable-news anchors couldn’t wait for the start of “shock and awe.” The pyrotechnics would surely mean a big bump in ratings. Over at Fox News and MSNBC, which was then trying to out-Fox Fox from the Right, producers were planning for video montages honoring “the Troops” as super-hero liberators of Iraq.

So there was not much buzz about the Newsweek scoop. The rest of the mainstream media only went through the motions of checking out this strange information about Iraq having no WMD. Reporters called the CIA for clarification.

CIA spokesman Bill Harlow responded by fishing out half of the descriptors from his “Debunking Adjectives File” at CIA’s Office of Public Affairs. He warned that the report was “incorrect, bogus, wrong, untrue.”

Would the CIA ever tell a lie? Puleeze! And so the mainstream media said, in effect, “Gosh. Thanks for letting us know. Otherwise, we might have run a story on it.”

Nor were mainstream media outlets at all interested in coming back to the story two days later, when the complete copy of the Kamel transcript, in the form of an internal U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency document stamped “sensitive,” was made public by Cambridge University analyst Glen Rangwala.

Rangwala had already revealed that British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s pre-war “intelligence dossier” on Iraq was largely plagiarized from a student thesis.

The conventional wisdom in Official Washington was: Why should anyone place his or her precious career between the innocents who would die in war and the war juggernaut of Bush and his neocon advisers? After all, what good would it do? The war was going to happen anyway and you would just get run over.

And what would happen if the U.S. military did discover some cache of WMD somewhere in Iraq? You’d be forever known as that Saddam Hussein apologist who questioned the wisdom of the Great War President.

So the war juggernaut rolled on. Wolf Blitzer expressed some disappointment that the “shock and awe” bombing of Baghdad wasn’t more spectacular. NBC’s Tom Brokaw sat among a panel of ex-military officers and blurted out that “in a few days, we’re going to own that country.” MSNBC and Fox News rushed out Madison Avenue-style tributes to “the Troops” complete with stirring sound tracks and images of thankful Iraqis. Disturbing stories and images of overflowing hospitals and innocent Iraqis being dismembered and incinerated by U.S. bombs were played down.

However, the Bush administration found none of the promised stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, nor any evidence of an active nuclear program. After eight years of a bloody war and occupation, the big losers were the hundreds of thousands of dead and maimed Iraqis; the nearly 4,500 dead U.S. soldiers and more than 30,000 wounded; and the U.S. taxpayers who got stuck with a bill of around $1 trillion.

More Harlowtry

Things worked out a lot better for people like CIA spokesman Bill Harlow. He found out that working for CIA Director George Tenet could be quite lucrative, even after they both left the CIA. Harlow convinced Tenet, who resigned in 2004, that an exculpatory memoir could polish up Tenet’s tarnished reputation and make money.

Harlow also volunteered to help, since he sensed the boss would need a scribe and since the advance was sizable. Tenet’s At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA, co-written with Harlow, was released in April 2007. By then, however, even some in the mainstream media were able to see the two for the charlatans they were.

Not even Harlow’s hired pen could disguise this lame attempt at self-justification. Pro that he is, Harlow simply could not manage to make a silk purse out of the sow’s ear of Tenet’s career. [See’s “How George Tenet Lied.”]

At the Center of the Storm amounted to an unintentional self-indictment of Tenet for the crimes with which Socrates was charged: making the worse cause appear the better, and corrupting the youth. At the time, I found myself thinking that Tenet wished he had opted to just fade away, as old soldiers and spies used to do.

And I would have been right, I suppose – except for the money. A $4 million advance was nothing at which to sniff, even if Tenet had to share it with Harlow.

Despite what should have been a negative credibility rating, Harlow remained a trusted figure for many old news media friends. He was sent into the breach once more in August 2011 to help Tenet fend off explosive charges from former White House counter-terrorism czar Richard Clarke that Tenet had withheld information from him that could have thwarted the attacks of 9/11. [See’s “Did Tenet Hide Key 9/11 Information?”]

In an interview aired on a local PBS affiliate in Colorado, Clarke directly accused Tenet and two other senior CIA officials, Cofer Black and Richard Blee, of sitting on information about two of the hijackers of American Airlines Flight 77 — al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar.

The two had entered the United States more than a year before the 9/11 attacks, and CIA knew it. After 9/11, the agency covered up its failure by keeping relevant information away from Congress and the 9/11 Commission, Clarke said.

Withholding intelligence on two of the 9/11 hijackers would have been particularly unconscionable — the epitome of malfeasance, not just misfeasance. That’s why Richard Clarke’s conclusion that he should have received information from CIA about al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar “unless somebody intervened to stop the normal automatic distribution” amounts, in my view, to a criminal charge, given the eventual role of the two in hijacking of AA-77, the plane that struck the Pentagon.

Tenet has denied that the information on the two hijackers was “intentionally withheld” from Clarke, and he enlisted the other two former CIA operatives, Cofer Black (more recently a senior official of Blackwater) and Richard Blee (an even more shadowy figure), to concur in saying, Not us; we didn’t withhold.

Whom to believe? To me, it’s a no-brainer. One would have to have been born yesterday to regard the “George is right” testimony from Black and Blee as corroborative.

Harlow to the Rescue

To dirty up Clarke a bit more, Bill Harlow emerged to empty the remaining half of the descriptors from his old “Debunking Adjectives File.” According to Harlow, Clarke’s charges were “reckless and profoundly wrong … baseless … belied by the record … unworthy of serious consideration.”

And so, naturally, the mainstream media dropped this extraordinary story involving the former White House counterterrorism chief, Richard Clarke, accusing the former CIA head, George Tenet, with suppressing information that could well have prevented 9/11.

Plus, by all indications, Harlow is still able to work his fraudulent magic on the Fawning Corporate Media. If Harlow says it’s not true … and hurls a bunch of pejorative adjectives to discredit a very serious charge … well, I guess we’ll have to leave it there, as the mainstream media is so fond of saying.

No matter Clarke’s well-deserved reputation for honesty and professionalism — and Tenet’s and Harlow’s reputations for the opposite.

The versatile Bill Harlow came back again this past January to help Jose Rodriguez, the CIA operations chief who oversaw waterboarding and other torture and then destroyed the videotaped evidence, argue his case in the ever-hospitable, neocon-dominated Washington Post.

Their argument this time was that “enhanced interrogation” – or what the rest of us would call “torture” – helped locate al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Even the Senate Intelligence Committee has refuted that claim.

Never mind. The Washington Post Sunday Outlook section on Jan. 6, 2013, ran a long article titled, “Sorry, Hollywood. What we did wasn’t torture.” The Post noted that the Rodriguez piece was “written with former CIA spokesman Bill Harlow,” but offered readers no help in gauging Harlow’s checkered credibility. [See’s “Excusing Torture Again.”]

Rodriguez and Harlow disdained the word “torture,” but argued, in the context of the “hunt-for-bin-Laden” movie “Zero Dark Thirty,” that the rough-them-up tactics really helped. The two resorted to the George W. Bush-era word game that waterboarding, stress positions, sleep deprivation and other calculated pain inflicted on detainees in the CIA’s custody weren’t really “torture.”

A decade after so many falsehoods led the United States into the disastrous Iraq War, it is curious indeed that the mainstream U.S. news media still affords some of the principal liars so much respect and “credibility.”

Ray McGovern

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC. During his career as a CIA analyst, he prepared and briefed the President's Daily Brief and chaired National Intelligence Estimates. He is a member of the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

The Moral Decoding of 9-11: Beyond the U.S. Criminal State, The Grand Plan for...


We are bring to the consideration of our readers this incisive and carefully formulated analysis by Canada’s renowned philosopher Professor John McMurtry. 

The complete text published by the Journal of 9/11 Studies can be downloaded in pdf

*          *          *

I was sceptical of the 9-11 event from the first time I saw it on television. It was on every major network within minutes. All the guilty partieswere declared before any evidencewas shown.The first questions of any criminal investigation were erased.  Who had the most compelling motives for the event? Who had the means to turn two central iconic buildings in New York into a pile of steel and a cloud of dust in seconds?[i]

Other questions soon arose in the aftermath. Why was all the evidence at the crime scenes removed or confiscated?

Who was behind the continuous false information and non-stop repetition of “foreign/Arab terrorists”when no proof of guilt existed? Who was blocking all independent inquiry?

Even 11 years on these questions are still not answered.

But those immediately named guilty without any forensic proof certainly fitted the need for a plausible Enemy now that the “threat of the Soviet Union” and “communist world rule” were dead.  How else could the billion-dollar-a-day military be justified with no peace dividend amidst a corporately hollowed-out U.S. economy entering its long-term slide?While all the media and most of the people asserted the official 9-11 conspiracy theory as given fact, not all did.

A Bay Street broker with whom I was improbably discussing the event in Cuba had no problem recognising the value meaning. When I asked what he thought about the official conspiracy theory, he was frank:

“You can call it what you want, but America needs a war to pull the people together and expand into new resource rich areas. That what it has always done from Mexico on. And that is what it needs now”.  When I wondered why none in the know said so, he smirked: “It would be impolite”, adding, “It affects the entire future prosperity of America and the West”. And all the deaths? “It had to be done –far less than it could have been”. The 19 Arabs with box-cutters reducing the World Trade Center buildings to powder in a few seconds?He shrugged.

Thus everyone since 9-11 is prohibited nail-clippers on planes to confirm the absurd – including 15 of the 19alleged hijackers being from Saudi Arabia and several apparently still alive after crashing the planes into the buildings.[ii]As for the diabolical mastermind Osama bin Laden, he is never linked by credible evidence to the crime and never claims responsibility for the strike since the videos of him are fakes. “Ground Zero” is a double entendre. All doubts are erased apriori.

Decoding the U.S. Theater of Wars and the Moral Driver Behind

One already knew that suspension of belief is the first act of fiction, and that instant culture rules the U.S. One already knew that monster technical events are America’s stock in trade. And one already knew the long history of false U.S. pretexts for war – so well established that a young strategic thinker a decade after 9-11 advises the right-wing Washington Policy Institute on how to create a crisis by deadly planned incident to make war on Iran – “it is the traditional way of getting into war for what is best in America’s interests”.[iii]

One further knew from past research that the U.S.’s strategic leadership since 1945 had been Nazi-based in information and connections and the dominant Central-European figures articulating it ever after across Democrat and Republican lineshave a common cause. For over 40 years, Henry Kissinger as Republican and Zbigniew Brzezinski as Democrat have been protégés of David Rockefeller, selected as Trilateral Commission and Bilderberg Group leaders, and capable of any mass-homicidal plan to advance “U.S. interests”. The banker-and-oil imperial line through David Rockefeller as paradigm case goes back to the Nazi period to John Foster Dulles (an in-law) and his brother Allen Dulles (OSS and then CIA Director), who Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg called “traitors” for their support of the Nazi regime.  The Rockefeller Foundation funded and developed German eugenics programs in the pre-war years, Standard Oil supplied oil in collaboration with I.G. Farben, and so on.[iv]

The supreme moral goal and strategic methods governing U.S. covert-state performance have not only have been very similar in moral principle, but have deeply connected Rockefeller protégés Kissinger and Brzezinski, and more deeply still the theoretical godfather of U.S. covert state policy, Leo Strauss, who was funded out of Germany by David Rockefeller from the start.

The inner logic of covert and not-so-covert U.S. corporate world rule since 1945unified under Wall Street financial management and transnational corporate treaties for unhindered control of commodities and money capital flows across all borders is undeniable if seldom tracked. This architecture of the grand plan for a New World Order is evident in both strategic policy and global political and armed action over decades that have seen the objectives increasingly fulfilled with constructed deadly crises as pretexts for war the standard technique.[v]Behind them as first post-Nazi historical turn lies the 1947 National Security Act (NSA) which created the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)and explicitly licensesdestruction of life, truth and other societies as institutional methods.

The CIA is charged with designing, planning and executing “propaganda, economic war, direct preventive action, sabotage, anti-sabotage, destruction, subversion against hostile States, assistance to clandestine liberation movements, guerrilla murders, assistance to indigenous groups opposed to the enemy countries of the free world”. The linkage back to Nazi methods and world-rule goal as the highest moral objective is not just one of corresponding ultimate principles and strategic policy formation. It relied on Nazi SS intelligence sources and means from the beginning of the covert terror state.[vi]

There is no heinous means that is not assumed as the highest morality by this long-standing covert institutional formation linking to the presidential office.It is an explicitly secret system involving at least the Defense Department and the CIA, the former with many more operatives and offices.

The Special Activities Division (SAD) to carry out NSA criminal operations, for example, also confers the highest honors awarded in recognition of distinguished valor and excellence – as did the earlier SS prototype in Germany. What people find difficult to recognise is that these actions, whether by the SAD or other system operations,are conceived as the highest duty, however life-system destructive and mass murderous they are. All participants are super patriots in their own view, as were the Nazis. Contradiction between declared and actual values, however, is a central mode of the covert system. For example, what can be considered a high duty in the perpetual U.S.“war on drugs”, the most morally obligatory commitment of the U.S. state,is at the same time a war against and with other drug operations to transport illegal hard drugs into the U.S. itself.[vii]

We might see here a parallel between foreign mass murder and domestic mass murder in 9-11, with both regarded as high patriotism in this supreme morality. In the background of America’s Reichstag Fire and likewise disclosing the unlimited geo-strategic action that can be operationalized as necessary and good, the post-1945 U.S. control of international sea-lanes made the covert U.S. state the world’s dominant narcotics controller so as to fund secret criminal war actions from South-East Asia to Latin America, entailing the addiction of its own peoples.[viii]This woeful method has been long known by experts, but came to be public knowledge in the Reagan-state funding of the death-squad Contras of Nicaragua as “the moral equal of our Founding Fathers” (a tribute he is said to have given later to the drug-running warlords and jihadists of Afghanistan).

These moral contradictions seem insane, but this is so only if one does not comprehend the underlying supreme morality of which they are all expressions.

Even U.S.-sponsored death squads torturing and killing tens of thousands of poor people across Latin America before 2000 and their return as direct covert U.S.-state method from Iraq to Syria after 9-11 – called “the Salvador option”[ix] – is regarded as necessary and obligatory to “defend the Free World and our way of life”. They entail ever more total U.S. world rule and self-maximizing position by strategic deduction from the supreme morality’s first premises.

The covert nature of the mass-murderous operationalization is never from moral embarrassment. It is solely to ensure effectiveness of execution against “soft” and “uninformed” public opinion, to terrorize people in situ from continued resistance, and to annihilate its leadership and community agency all the way down. Throughout the deciding moments of execution of the underlying supreme value program, global corporate money demand multiplication is always the ultimate value driver -as may be tested by seeking any covert U.S. action or overt war which is not so regulated beneath saturating propaganda of lawful intentions of peace and freedom.

These lines of underlying moral institution, policy, strategic plan, and massive life destruction at every level are indisputable facts of the covert and official faces of the U.S. state, but are typically not connected to the September 11, 2001 attack. Since most people cannot believe their own government or the “leader of the free world” could execute such a sabotage action as “9-11” in which thousands of American themselves died, these behavioral reminders forge the unifying meaning.

Worse still occurred in the last “war”before 9-11. In the background providing graphic example of how the covert U.S. state apparatus is structured to attack and murder U.S. citizens themselves to strategically maximize implementation of its supreme value program of transnational corporate money sequences over all barriers, there is the now known Operation Northwoods. Very familiar to the 9-11 truth movement, but unpublicized since its release under freedom of information laws, this Department of Defense and Joint Chiefs of Staff plan proposed that the CIA and other operatives covert operatives “undertake a range of atrocities” to be blamed on Cuba to provide pretext for invasion.

“Innocent civilians were to be shot on American streets; boats carrying refugees fleeing Cuba were to be sunk on the high seas; a wave of violent terrorism was to be launched in Washington DC, Miami and elsewhere. People would be framed for bombings they did commit; planes would be hijacked”.[x]

All would be blamed on Castro the Communist in place of bin Laden the Islamicist, and invasion of desired resistant territory would be achieved as a triumph of American freedom and interests over its enemies.

 Operation Northwoods was not, however, okayed by President Kennedy – perhaps another reason for his assassination and replacement by more pliant presidents to represent “America’s interests” in accord with the supreme morality. Underneath the stolen election of George Bush contrast – whose family made its money, in part, by serving the covert financial requirements of the Nazi regime before and during the 1939-45 War – was a domestic and foreign administration which would push further than any in the past to advance “U.S. interests”to full-spectrum world rule. Its project included reversing the Roosevelt New Deal and the social state within the U.S. itself – “an anomaly” as Bush Jr. expressed the historical perspective and ethic at work.

This plan was more explicit in the published Project for the New American Century formed from 1997 on. It even supplied the need for a 9-11 event in its 2000 version, the year that Bush Jr. was elected and the year before 9-11. To indicate the “non-partisan” nature of the planning, Democrat National security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski had already hinted at the usefulness of a 9-11-style domestic attack to move policy forward in his 1998 book, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives.[xi]

The Moral Compass of 9-11

As a moral philosopher with social value systems as my primary object of analysis, my first thoughts in understanding “9-11” were of the system motives,known methods, and objective interests driving the event which could coherently explain it.Whatever the immediate hold of the official conspiracy theory on the public mind,a rational explanation is required which is consistent with the suppressed facts and the organising geo-strategic plan on both sides of the event.

For over a decade before 9-11, there were three U.S.-propelled global trends that almost never come into the understanding of 9-11 itself. 9-11 truth seekers themselves have focused on the foreground technics and the transparent motive for oil. But these are undergirded by deeper sea-shifts of geopolitical and economic wars of seizure and destruction by other name against which the world’s people were rising. To compel books of analysis into one unifying frame, transnational corporate-rights treaties from NAFTA to the Maastracht Treaty to the WTO overrode all other rights across borders;the private “financialization”stripping of social sectors and welfare states had advanced across the world; and the totalizing movement of the system across all former “cold war” and cultural borders was “the new world order” in formation. Together these vast shifts towards transnational money-sequence rule of all reversed centuries of democratic evolution. And every step of the supreme value program was life blind at every step of its global operationalization.[xii]

Yet states and cultures were so sweepingly re-set into unaccountable transnational corporate and bank rule that few recognised the absolutist value program being imposed on the world.  Fewer still recognised all was unfolding according to plan.

What has been least appreciated about the long-term strategic plan unfolding on both sides of what was immediately called “9-11” – CallEmergency!–is that supreme banker and global money director David Rockefeller had summarized “the plan” to fellow money-party elites across borders at the Bildersberg meeting in Baden Baden Germany in June 1991 -exactly at the same time that the Soviet Union and its resistant barriers fell.[xiii] Bear in mind that Rockefeller among other initiatives appointed both Kissinger and Brzezinski for the lead in both the supranational Bilderberg and Trilateral strategic bodies of which he was the lead patron, not to mention financed the unemployed academic Leo Strauss out of Germany to be the godfather  “philosopher” of the “new world order”. Rockefeller speaks very precisely to his fellow “elite of the elite” of the Western world where only Americans and Europe are invited and reportage excluded:

“A supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries”, Rockefeller said.[xiv]

Observe the foundational new concepts in place of responsible government and democratic accountability. They are now consigned to “past centuries”. A “supranational sovereignty”has replaced them and is morally“preferable”. Rockefeller is not exaggerating. By 1991 a “supranational sovereignty” had already developed in the form of transnational treaties conferring override rights of “profit opportunity” on transnational corporations and private bank rule of government finances across borders – procedurally trumping any elected legislatures and their laws which are inconsistent with their thousands of treaty articles, even when the system eventually leads to world depression as now.[xv] The source of the legitimacy of governments, ultimate sovereignty, has now passed as preferable to “an intellectual elite and bankers”: more exactly, academic strategy servants and transnational money sequences overriding all human and planetary life requirements a-priori by the supreme moral goal.

Ask which function of the world’s people and means of life is not now in debt to Wall Street and the private global banking system it leads. Ask which means of life from food and water to autos and pension cheques is not thus ultimately controlled, or which commodity is not under oligopolist corporate sway. The “surely preferable” objective was already achieved by 1991 or in advanced global institutional motion. Now supreme over all else so that all else is now accountable to it, and it is not accountable to anything above it, “the plan”seemed all but accomplished by Rockefeller’s own considered words.

But what if people resist the new world rule with no life coordinate or constraint at any level of its execution? We may recall that during the death-squad rule of the Argentina generals at this time in which civilians were murdered and tortured in the thousands, National Security Adviser Kissinger congratulated the junta on their “very good results – - The quicker you succeed the better.”Kissinger also heartily approved of the earlier massacres and torture in Chile.

The resistance was in this way pre-empted long before the Soviet Union fell, and after 1990 had no block in the Middle East and Central Asia either. “The plan” has been very long term. Kissinger the geo-executer was originally appointed to high office by Rockefeller (to lead the Council on Foreign Relations back in 1954), and – to give a sense of the long-range trajectory of the plan design –was,incredibly,the U.S. administration’s first choice for an “independent 9-11 Commission”. The obviously not-independent Kissinger was still not a problem for “the free press” and official discourse. But when he was required to disclose his business connections, he withdrew to stay covert in his ongoing backroom capacities and enrichment.

The 9-11 sacrifice is better understood within the deep-structural context of the unfolding plan. Thus David Rockefeller gave special thanks to media like “the New York Times, Washington Post, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion” in co-operating with the plan. Rockefeller was again precise:

This plan for the world would have been impossible for us to develop if we had been subjected to the light of publicity during those years. [xvi]

The plan’s next decisive steps were in fact already in motion as Rockefeller expressed gratitude for the media black-out. A new strategic manifesto from the Pentagon was in preparation entitled “Defense Planning Guidance on Post-Cold- War Strategy,” completed on February 18, 1992.[xvii]Prepared under the supervision of Paul Wolfowitz, then the Pentagon’s Undersecretary for Policy, it was disclosed in March of 1992 by the New York Times.After the first invasion of Iraq, it became known as the Project for the New American Century, publicly released from 1997 to 2000 prior to 9-11.

Again we may note the long arc of planning control, crisis and war as required. Item 6 of the strategic plan defined the agenda in general terms: “In the Middle East and Southwest Asia, our overall objective is to remain the predominant power in the region and preserve U.S. and western access to the region’s oil.”

Oil-rich Iraq had in fact been invaded – not only to privatize its peerlessly high-quality surface oilfields but to destroy its region-leading socialist infrastructure.Iraq became accessible for invasion as the arms-bankrupted Soviet Union was in collapse. We may observe that the covertly genocidal destruction of Iraq bridged Republican and Democrat administrations over three changes of government – disclosing how the covert state operates as a moral constant across party fronts.

The actions confirm and express the one supreme moral goal identified above. They bridge from Saddam himself as CIA-payroll killer and war proxy against Iran to recapture lost Iran oilfields dating from 1980 to 1988 to the fall of the USSR in 1991 as the axis of the long-term strategic plan of global turnaround to “America’s century” still to come before and after 9-11.But between 1990 and 2003 Saddam was transmuted from former ally to aggressor against Kuwait in an invasion given an official green light from the U.S. government, to “mushroom cloud”threat with invented “weapons of mass destruction”.

In fact, National Security Adviser Wolfowitz explained after the invasion found nothing of the kind: “[We had] virtually no economic options with Iraq because the country floats on a sea of oil.”

Observe how the invasion is conceived as obligatory for a reason that expresses the supreme value goal. Observe that it occurs less than two years after 9-11, which gave the open-cheque justification for the bombing and occupation which allowed the expropriation of Iraq’s society’s oil resources.

The problem was not the evil Saddam or the “weapons of mass destruction”, the standard reverse projection.[xviii]The problem was the Iraqi people themselves and their developed oil-funded social life infrastructure between the supreme oil-fields and their U.S. corporate control and privatization. 9-11 was,thus, first the justification for invading Afghanistan – to clear the way for pipelines into the former Soviet republics from the Caspian Sea region– pipelines that prompted the U.S. representative to predictively warn the Taliban:“Either you accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs.”[xix]9-11 was then the necessary basis of justification for the bombing of Baghdad for the unifying supreme objective.

In fact,seldom published in the corporate media keeping the glare of publicity away from the supreme moral objective, the publicly owned and managed oil revenues of Iraq had been invested since the 1950’s in Iraq’s advanced social infrastructure, leading the Middle East with free higher education, high health standards, and near universal livelihood security. The world’s oldest civilisation was robust in organisational capacities long before the CIA-asset Saddam was installed.

Despite his murdering his way to the top in this function, even Saddam could not destroy the system because socialist government had been achieved decades earlier by a powerful oil-workers’ union base and a population glad to have all education free, an efficient low-cost foods delivery system, and the most advanced public healthcare system in the Middle East. So there was not only the “sea of oil” as a motive to assert U.S. control in the new “supranational sovereignty” of the world. Just as important in this ultimate moral cause, what the U.S. covert state always seeks to destroy by any means, isa successful social infrastructure without private big oil, bankers and transnational corporations free to control it towards higher profit opportunities.

Unravelling the Supreme Moral Doctrine behind the U.S. Covert State

The genocide of Iraq, as the long-opposing “evil empire” was in free-fall, is the most important strategic anchoring prior to “9-11”. Covert strategic policy to forward the supreme goal is by now self-evident, but the inner moral logic is assumed not penetrated.  The most influential of Rockefeller’s protégés in this regard is the “philosopher king” of the U.S. covert state, Leo Strauss. While he never worked in a philosophy department or has any training in logic, his concept of “natural right” fits exactly to the “supranational sovereignty” of private money-sequence rule of the world – what “the intellectual elite” Rockefeller refers to invoke as “moral anchor”, “right” and “justice”.

The moral thought system is not unlike that of Mein Kampf without the racist rant, camouflaged everywhere in practice by the method of big lies – “noble lies” as Strauss exalts them.[xx] The innermost value driver is a perpetual war of dispossession of the weaker for the private transnational money-capital multiplication of the rich.

Nothing in this doctrine is too mendacious, greed-crazed and murderous if it fulfills the plan of this limitless private-capital rule as ultimate moral ground and compass. In Strauss’s canonical teaching of U.S. national security advisers and intellectual following, the ruling moral absolute is expressed by the core master idea behind the “supranational sovereignty” of an “intellectual elite and bankers”:

“limitless capital accumulation – — the highest right and moral duty”.[xxi]

This is the ethical absolute of the covert U.S. state and its strategic decision structure. And there is no internal limit within this moral universe to life means seizure from poorer societies and resource looting for the supreme goal.  It is the natural and absolute Good.

To justify its meaning, the Straussian canon adopts a potted reading of Western moral and political philosophy from Plato through Hobbes, Hegel, Nietzsche, Marx and Weber. This impresses American political operatives of the faith, but Strauss is a failed philosopher turned down by Paul Tillich for his post-doctoral Habilitation and only saved from academic ruin in Germany by Rockefeller grant money. While not taken seriously as philosophy anywhere else, it is worth decoding its talmudic involution for the borrowed ideas that drive its covert state disciples and neo-fascist public “intellectuals” in America.

The ultimately organising idea is to commend all forms of conquering and limitlessly expanding private capital as “natural right and law” with genocidal subjugations justified in glowing moral terms. For example, “noble lies” is the moral category for limitless mendacity. One may wonder how educated people can be so bent out of moral shape. So I now concisely provide what cannot be found elsewhere: the inner logic of the supreme doctrine as perversions of great thinkers.

Its framework of meaning and value helps us to understand why the 9-11 event could easily follow for the managers of the covert U.S. state and its Straussian planners as not at all anomalous or evil within their moral logic. 9-11 follows as a maximally rational and unique tool to achieve the objectives in fact achieved by 9-11, and the geo-strategic cabal behind it is servilely linked from the beginning to the dominant private transnational corporate and banking interests exemplified by David Rockefeller.

To understand this brutal moral universe and its connection to 9-11, the 9-11 wars and a globalizing police state, we need to understand the deformations of its basic organising ideas. Plato’s idea of “the noble lie” means, in fact, a myth or parable to communicate an underlying truth about the triadic human soul of reason, spirit and appetite which, Plato argues, should be reflected in the construction of the ideal state (in which the rulers are communist in their common property to keep them uncorrupted and true).

But through the prism of U.S. global money-party rule a la Strauss this idea becomes the principle of lying to the public to keep the vulgar herd – the people themselves – ignorant and obedient. The philosophies of Hobbes and Hegel are also grist for this mill. Hobbes argues that “man is moved by a restless desire for power after power that ceaseth only in death”, but this brute desire in the “State of Nature” is tamed by “the covenant of peace” ordered by the internal sovereign as absolute.

Via Strauss and the U.S. covert state this becomes right is might and the ultimate “natural right” is limitless private capital power and empire with no end of totalization across the peoples and lands of the world. Hegel too suits a fascist-capitalist reading since he argues “the State is the march of God  through the world”, and war itself is history’s test of which State is a higher realisation of “the absolute Idea”. But Hegel still envisaged a “universal state”to supersede the competitive private-property division of capitalism in the “universalization of right and law on earth”.

Once again U.S. private money-capital power with no bound, the supreme moral goal in the Rockefeller-Strauss doctrine, is opposite to the classical philosophy it invokes. Once more dialectical development of reason to more coherently inclusive conception and life is reversed into one-way private money capital sequences maximized to rule the world with the U.S. military as its instrument of force and terror.

However it conceals its meaning, all positions come down to this underlying value code – as may be tested on whatever transnational money-sequence demand, right or war is launched next. 9-11 construction in such a moral world does not violate this value code. It expresses it in self-maximizing strategic turn to achieve the ultimate goal.

Friedrich Nietzsche may provide the best fodder for the doctrine when he advises that “life is essentially appropriation, injury, overpowering of what is alien and weaker, imposing of one’s own forms, and at its mildest exploitation” in his superman vision of “beyond good and evil”. For philosophical Nietzscheans, this is code for the inner meaning of the angst of artistic creation. But this meaning is predictably lost on the U.S. covert-state school seeking the “supranational sovereignty” of “limitless capital accumulation” as the supreme good with the “intellectual elite” as servants to it. Karl Marx’s link of capitalism’s success to productive force development is the ultimate equivocation upon which this ruling doctrine depends – making no distinction between productive capital providing life goods and unproductive money sequencing hollowing out the world by money-capital multiplication. Marx, it must be acknowledged, did not made the distinction himself since this mutation of capital came a century after his death.[xxii]

Finally Max Weber’s Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism does not ground this doctrine of “limitless capital accumulation as the highest right and duty” with the state to serve it, as Strauss again torturously suggests. In fact, Weber deplores any such perversion of public authority. His capitalist model is a young Benjamin Franklin speaking of money saved and invested as like having “a breeding sow”, not a transnational money-sequence juggernaut of eco-genocidal expansion.  Revealingly, Benjamin Franklin and “the protestant ethic” in general were most concerned about non-waste, which Strauss explicitly excludes from the meaning of “limitless capital accumulation”. For Leo Strauss and his U.S. “national security” disciples, the capitalist may waste as much as he wants by “natural right”.

Further, in complete inversion of source, the greed worship of the U.S. state, its patrons and its academy disciples reverses the model of the “spirit of capitalism” exemplified by Benjamin Franklin in proprietary claim on knowledge and inventions. He,in fact,refused to patent his famous Franklin Stove because he believed that no innovation or new knowledge from which other people could benefit should be denied them – just as he himself had benefitted from the community of knowledge and science as the distinguishing feature of being a civilised human being.

In short, it is important to recognise how twisted the covertly ruling doctrine is. No element of it is life coherent or true to the classical thinkers in which it costumes itself. In the end, only the transnational U.S. money party has any place in its rights and obligations, and any sacrifice of other life to its supreme goal is legitimate – linking back to the Nazi-U.S. corporate axis that nearly destroyed the civilised world once before.[xxiii]

Money-Capital Power UeberAlles: How Economic Rationality Leads the Plan

The U.S. culture of money-sequence “rationality” is the underlying intellectual and moral disorder which leads to “limitless money capital accumulation” as the supreme moral goal. In formal terms, the equation of rationality to atomic self-maximization is assumed a-prioriacross domains. With globalizing Wall-Street-led “financialization”, this “rationality” becomes equated to private money-sequence multiplication across all borders as theultimate Good. This is the innermost mutation of value logic and goal, the moral DNA, from which the cancerous world system develops on both sides of 9-11.[xxiv]

This first principle itself is,in fact,built into formal economics, decision and game theory, and strategic science, as I explain step by step in “Behind Global System Collapse: The Life-Blind Structure of Economic Rationality.”[xxv] It is axiomatic but unexamined, life-blindly absolutist but not recognised as morally problematic. To make a long story short, competitive self-maximization in the market is assumed to produce “the best of possible worlds” by mathematical proof. “Pareto efficiency” is believed to demonstrate this by private money exchanges between self-maximizing atoms apriori stripped of all life properties, relations, society, conditions of choice, and all natural and civil life support systems. Pareto himself recognised outside this formula what has since been covered up.

Not only is the formula consistent with most having remaining impoverished by the “optimum” of “no-one worse off”, what none who cite “Pareto efficiency” as a standard academic mantra ever acknowledge or even recognise. Pareto himself is in no doubt of the implication. As the fascist party he belongs to rules Italy and Rockefeller creates the Council of Foreign Relations, he asserts with approval: “Very moral civilized peoplehave destroyed and continue to destroy, without the least scruple, savage or barbarian peoples”.[xxvi]We glimpse here at the roots the supreme morality built into “economic science” itself.

Yet, as demonstrated in “Behind Global System Collapse”, even the most liberal canons of America, including John Rawls’ classic A Theory of Justice, are grounded in the same meta principle.[xxvii] Rationality and value are equated to self-maximizing gain with no limit within game-theoretic interactions as the sole limiting framework of “limitless money capital acquisition”. The generic equation defines, indeed, the dominant intellectual and economic mind-set of America and the global system in action since 1980. The cabal internal to U.S. national security strategic planning follows the moral logic to its most radical conclusions with no constraints by life or law.

The one absolute moral meaning is the spread of U.S. economic, military and political power as good for all, or, more exactly in Straussian language, limitless private transnational money-capital expansion as the highest right and moral duty. Only what is consistent with or serves this supreme morality, it follows, deserves to exist. This is the alpha and omega of the covert doctrine and state, and careful reading can find no disconfirmation beneath the rhetoric of “noble lies”.

The Iraq Paradigm:  Genocide Strategy From 1990 On

The Iraq line of the geostrategic plan from 1990 to 2001 and after is a paradigmatic articulation of the covertly ruling moral logic. It launches into the theatre of war as direct war attack when U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, is instructed to green-light Saddam’s already known plan to invade Kuwait in 1990: “The US. has no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait”, she advises. To formalize the lie as official and traditional, she reports: “Secretary Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction, first given to Iraq in the 1960s, that the Kuwait issue is not associated with America”.[xxviii]

The dispute was, in fact, over Kuwait’s drawing out oil from reserves underlying Iraq as enabled by the colonial split of the oil-rich Kuwait province from Iraq – the classic divide-and-rule policy holding also in the division of oil-rich Kurdistan among four manufactured states. Saddam had good reason to trust the U.S., not only by the long-term official promise of neutrality but as blood-mix ally when he waged a U.S.-supported war of aggression against Iran – which still remains the target. Note the big lie to provoke the supreme crime of war has remained without any glare of publicity that might derail the plan.

When Saddam did exactly as planned by invading Kuwait, Bush Sr. raved about the Nazi-like aggression against a weaker country in the reverse projection that always defines the covert U.S. state before, through and after 9-11. So in the same name of “preventing aggression” U.S. “defense” forces invaded Iraq to destroy any life capacity it had to defend itself – always the strategy since the defeat in Vietnam. The genocide began by the massacre of many tens of thousands of fleeing soldiers. Recall the weeping young woman, the Kuwait ambassador’s daughter, planted next to baby incubators falsely claiming the monster Saddam had murdered the babies. This reverse projection was soon to be made real thousands of times over inside the victim society of Iraq.

Reverse projection of evil is the meta law of U.S. psy-ops propaganda in the deadly conflicts and wars it covertly starts. This is the supreme moral program in action as “noble lies”. In this case, the air-bombing after surrender continued from U.S. and “special ally” Britain as “sanctions of Iraq” to “prevent aggression” – again the reverse projection. In fact the bombs continually fell on the water and electricity infrastructures of the defenceless people and against all lines of repair to restore either – “the line in the sand against Iraq aggression”. We might bear in mind that Wolfowitz was Undersecretary of Defense under Secretary Cheney at this time, their positions not unlike those at the time of 9-11.

Air-bombing, as Bertrand Russell long ago pointed out, is inherently fascist in erasing the killed and maimed from sight while ensuring impunity for the bombers of defenceless people.  But all such mass murder is only collateral damage to the supreme moral goal as “natural right and law”.  The air bombing of Iraq’s water and electricity supplies dressed in one big lie after another continued in slow mass-murderous destruction of the people and their social life infrastructures years on end.

Denis Halliday, United Nations Humanitarian Co-ordinator for the mission finally called it “genocide” (Wikipedia calls it “the Persian Gulf War”) when he resigned in 1998 to protest against “the crimes against humanity”. But no-one knew until the U.S. Department of Defense Intelligence got out that the first sweep of Iraq was planned down to the mass killing of the infants and children. September 11 in 2001 is better understood in this wider context of strategic planning by the covert U.S. terror state. For years the non-stop bombing of the people’s central life-water support system deliberately engineered mass dying from diseases of children in the hundreds of thousands.

What was predicted by Harvard Medical School researchers from the continuous civilian infrastructure bombing by the U.S. military – the deaths of over 500,000 children- was verified by the counts scientifically taken at the risk of researchers as the bombing continued month after month with NATO support.[xxix]

Full-spectrum corporate money-sequencing through Iraq under the Comprehensive Privatization Program would only be enabled by “9-11”down the road. But first the bases of advanced social life organization needed to be destroyed. The later-leaked U.S. Defense Intelligence document entitled “Iraq Water Treatment Vulnerabilities” expresses the moral DNA at work. I cite the key lines of U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency reports because they reveal the character of the supreme moral goal and its strategic planning.“With no domestic sources of water treatment replacement or chemicals like chlorine”and “laden with biological pollutants and bacteria”, the leaked Defense Intelligence Agency report says (italics added), “epidemics of such diseases as cholera, hepatitis, and typhoid” will “probably take six months before the [drinking and sewage water] system is fully degraded”.

The document continues, Conditions are favorable for communicable disease outbreaks [by the one-way air bombing] with the “most likely diseases during next sixty-ninety days of diarrheal diseases (particularly children) acute respiratory diseases (colds and influenza); typhoid; hepatitis (particularly children); measles, diphtheria, and pertussis (particularly children); meningitis including meningococcal (particularly children), cholera”. “Medical Problems in Iraq”, dated March 15, 1991, reports that the “water is less than 5 percent of the original supply – - diarrhea is four times above normal levels – - Conditions in Baghdad remain favorable for disease outbreaks”. The fifth document in June reports “almost all medicines in critically short supply” and “Gastroenteritis killing children – - in the south, 80 percent of the deaths are children”.[xxx]

In short, no limit to covert U.S. planning of indiscriminate mass murder for the supreme goal exists. The number who died in 9-11 suddenly pales in comparison. In all cases, it lets “those inimical to U.S. interests” know that there is no limit to how far the covert terror state will go for the supreme moral code not yet decoded. Combined with wars of aggression before and after 9-11, raining fire and explosions on civilians from the air so that no defense or escape can be made, saturating the fields of public meaning with big lies civilly dangerous to unmask, and bringing vast enrichment and new powers to transnational corporate conglomerates and their past and present CEO’s of the acting U.S. state – all become clear in their ultimate meaning once decoded. As the Democrat U.S. Secretary of State responded to the question of the 500,000 killed children, “we think the price was worth it”. No price is too much to pay for fulfilment of the transcendent project of the global U.S. state and its private capital rule as “the Free World”. “Those inimical to our interests” are those who oppose or are in the way of it, and thus “hate our freedom”.

The  Strategic Logic of Value through 9-11

By 2000 it was very clear to the U.S. strategic planners that the opening up of the Middle East and Central Asia after the fall of the Soviet Union had to be further pursued before it was too late.The great regret for the planning personnel of the coming Bush Jr. administration such as Paul Wolfowitz was that Iraq had not been taken over on the first invasion. The need for “full spectrum dominance” across the Middle East and Central Asia was thus the essential argument of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), with the prescription that no other “regional power”was able to contest this dominance.

The PNAC more explicitly recognised the strategic necessity for what Zbigniew Brzezinski had already called for in 1998 in The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives – namely,“the circumstance of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat” to ensure public support for “the United States, as the sole and, indeed, the first truly global power”. The now once untouchable Central Asia, formerly of the USSR, was thus targeted as essential not only for its vast oil reserves, but to complete rule of the “first truly global power”.

The Project for the New American Century was more explicit than Brzezinski in 2000, the year before 9-11. As former Defence Minister of Canada, Paul Hellyer, lucidly puts it in a recent address (italics added): “The authors of this American ‘Mein Kampf’ [the PNAC] for conquest recognized the difficulty of persuading sophisticated Americans to accept such a gigantic change in policy. So they wrote the following (subsequently removed from the record):  ‘Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary changes, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor.’”[xxxi]

Excepting the Vietnam War ending in military defeat – but vastly enriched armaments and connected private bank and corporate interests – the hitherto favoured strategic-plan mode had been local death squads along with pervasive American media propaganda against the victims as “communists” and “sponsored by the USSR”. But once there was no remotely equal opponent in mass-kill capacities and transnational trade treaties now bound governments within corporate-rights law as overriding domestic laws and policies, anything became permissible. The plan for the “supranational sovereignty” of “limitless capital accumulation” in “full-spectrum power”required only 9-11 to derail world-wide peace, environmental and anti-corporate globalization movements growing into uncontrollable civilian capacity across borders and continents.

People were waking up to the one-way destruction of life systems at all levels. Iraq was not alone in the genocidal clearance of formersocialist infrastructures uniting peoples across ethnic lines. A far more democratic Yugoslavia was set up and destroyed by financial means in the same year by the 1991 U.S. Foreign Operations Appropriations Law after the 1980’s multiplication of public interest rates to over 20percent primedevoured social life support structures across the world.

This was the unseen financialization base of a global war against public and worker economic and political powers that was reaping a cumulative global civilian reaction of opposition to “the plan”. 9-11 ensured against the fightback of financially dispossessed peoples with the signature reverse operation – diversion to an external “terrorist threat” that stood in the way of more sweeping transnational corporate wars on more peoples being dispossessed. Civil war in Yugoslavia long targeted by Reagan’s secret National Security Directive 133 as early as 1984 was predicted and occurred after the underlying employment and welfare structure of multi-ethnic Yugoslavia collapsed under deliberate financial destabilization. (The villain of the piece, Slobodan Milosevic, was himself a major banker).

In oil-rich Somalia, two-thirds of its territory had been leased out to four transnational oil companies by 1993 – a condition of lost grounds of life for Somalians behind the primeval civil war ever since. These are merely expressions of the underlying logic of value and the plan for its supranational rule beneath the lights of publicity as “discretion”. The examples are myriad from Latin America to South-East Asia to sub-Sahara Africa and the Middle East to Israel and Canada today. But a descriptive law of the supreme moral goal holds across all diverse instances of its expression.

Strategic planning for the destruction of social life infrastructures of peoples for private money capital gain without limit is the ultimate value program throughout from the U.S. to China.

The people of the U.S. are not exempt from their own system of covert state rule, although democratic heroism here joins with the larger world against it. This is the ultimate moral struggle on earth today. The moral politics of the disorder are the enforcement of the descriptive law.  This is the ruling meta program, and it is carcinogenic by its nature. The supreme motive force it multiplies by is privately self-maximizing money possession (individual and corporate)seeking to be limitlessly more.More = Better. Less = Militant Demand for More.

The “9-11” event is the epicentre of the supreme moral objective seated in Wall Street. Itis best understood as an ultimate strategic maximizer of theitalicizedformula. Exactly expressed, its ultimatelyregulating axiology is private money inputs through all life to maximally more private money outputs in ad infinitum progression: Money àLife as Meansà More Money or, formally, $àLasMà$1,2,3,4— N.

At the highest level of anchoring moral meaning, this private money-demand rule seeks to beabsolute and total across borders with no quarter. “Full spectrum dominance” is its military method. Yet what distinguishes it from theNazirule it connects with as prior transnational corporate partner in war making is that in the U.S. private money demand multiplication at the top is the only organising value meaning. 97% of its money command is produced by private bank notes of others’ debt to the private bank system centred in Wall Street. Yet despite this very narrow centre of control,almost no global territory or field of life is outside its rule and strategic plan.

The “Trans-Pacific Partnership” is but its latest expression – focusing on private knowledge-patent money sequencing to rule out generic pharmaceuticals and other life-and-death knowledge commons from which higher profits cannot be made. The one underlying common principle throughout all phases is transnational corporate and bank money sequencing to more. Its converse is to overrideall life requirements at all levels, and strategically planned crises and wars are the advancing lines of control and enforcement.

What is not recognized through all the genocidal wars,ecocidal results, collapsing social life support systems and falling wages, however,is that this ruling value sequence rationally leads to9-11” as maximal strategic payoff progression.“Absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event”, the Project for the New American Century declared before 9-11,

“ – - the U.S risks the loss of a global security order that is uniquely friendly to American principles and prosperity”.

Decoded, this meant in theory and practice more transnational private money sequence progression to ever more control over all still-uncontrolled assets for more and richer returns without limit of take or life destruction. But these are unspeakable lines of value meaning, and that is likely why, for example, Wikipedia keeps altering the entry of my name with conspiracy theory attributions and smears to ensure that such deep-structural diagnosis does not gain currency. That is how this system works, and analysis will provide more variations of this gagging method on 9-11 ahead.

The strategic necessity of the 9-11 event for “global security order”can even be asserted by the principal architects of the administration under which it happened, and those who observe this can be dismissed as “conspiracy theorists”. Reverse projection is, as always, the essential psychological operation. The documented but shouted-down logistics included V-P Cheney having control of the air-de

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Islamist extremists fighting the Assad regime in Syria could carry out terrorist attacks in the UK, William Hague has warned.

Syria has now become the "number one destination" for British jihadists seeking to hijack the Arab uprisings, according to the foreign secretary.

Speaking at the Royal United Services Institute, he said the longer the conflict went on, the greater the danger was that battle-hardened militants would pose a threat in the West.


William Hague has warned that British jihadists fighting in Syria could pose a threat to the west

"This includes a number of individuals connected with the United Kingdom and other European countries," he said.

"They may not pose a threat to us when they first go to Syria, but if they survive some may return ideologically hardened and with experience of weapons and explosives."

A Dutch and British photojournalist who were kidnapped in Syria by Islamist militants said they heard British accents among those who were holding them captive after being freed by members of the Free Syrian Army last September.

Estimating that between 30 to 100 held them captive, Dutch photographer Jeroen Oerlemans said some of the gang that held them had "Birmingham accents".

At least one had a "heavy south London accent" reported the Sunday Telegraph, quoting a source close to the incident.

Oerlemans described the men as "foreign jihadists,” who captured the men "almost immediately" after they crossed the border from Turkey at Bab al-Hawa, on 19 July.

Hague also warned that a prolonged struggle in Syria increased the risk that the regime could resort to chemical or biological weapons, urging Russia and China to drop their opposition over UN negotiations for a transition to a new government.

He set out plans for an ambitious programme to build support for human rights in key allies in the fight against international terrorism.

He said the "justice and human rights partnerships" initiative was intended to enable the UK to share intelligence relating to terrorist activity in countries with suspect human rights records without it leading to the torture or abuse of suspects.

mokhtar belmokhtar

The kidnappers of the recent Algeria hostage crisis are linked to a terrorist splinter group led by jihadist Mokhtar Belmokhtar

They will include assistance to overseas investigators, enabling them to build cases based on evidence rather than confession and to improve their compliance with the law and human rights.

"In many cases, we are able to obtain credible assurances from our foreign partners such as detainee treatment and legal processes that give us the safeguards we need and the confidence that we can share information in this way.

"Where this is not the case, we face a stark choice.

"We could disengage or we can choose to share our intelligence in a carefully controlled way while developing a more comprehensive approach to human rights adherence.

"This approach brings risk, but I am clear that the risks of the first option, of stepping back are greater still, placing our citizens at greater risk of terrorist attack."

free syrian army

Hague has pledged to protect human rights in relationships with Britain's key allies

The initiative - which comes after six British nationals were killed last month when Islamist militants overran a BP-run gas plant in Algeria - was immediately criticised by civil rights activists.

Cori Crider, the legal director of Reprieve, said: "We've been here before - from Afghanistan to Libya, the UK has handed over detainees or colluded in renditions, knowing that the result will be that people face torture.

"The government has sought to spare its blushes by obtaining 'assurances', but these have not been worth the paper they were printed on.

"William Hague is trying to find a way to join hands with the torturer while keeping his own hands clean - it just won't work."

The government has previously had to pay out millions of pounds in compensation to suspects such as Binyam Mohamed over claims that the British intelligence and security services colluded in their torture while they were detained in countries like Pakistan and Morocco.

Ministers have also so far failed in their long-running battle to deport the radical cleric Abu Qatada to stand trial in Jordan on terrorist charges, despite assurances from the Jordanian authorities that they would not use evidence obtained by torture.

Mr Hague stressed that every aspect of the work would require ministerial approval, and would be halted immediately if there was "any credible evidence" that UK support was being misused.

"This is a framework of accountability and human rights to ensure that our counter-terrorism work supports justice and the rule of law as well as our security, with the goal of creating the long-term conditions for better observance of human rights in countries that have a poor record and where the threat from terrorism is strong." he said.

Beating Up on Iran Continues

It's continued for decades. Iran's a prime target of choice. Washington deplores independent governments. It wants pro-Western ones replacing them. It doesn't care if they're democratic, despotic or anything in between. Subservience to Washington alone matters.

Today is the 10th Anniversary of Powell’s Infamous UN Presentation

(15 key slides from the infamous 2003 UN presentation making the case for war with Iraq, with anotations. Click the pause button on lower left if slides change too fast for you.) Ten years ago today (February 5, 2003) then Secretary of State Colin Pow...

Outsourcing Torture: 50 Countries Complicit In Extraordinary Rendition

For the first time, a report from the Open Society Foundation reveals the scale of global CIA torture. At least 50 countries took part in “extraordinary rendition” following the 9/11 attacks, which involved taking detainees to and from U.S. custody without any legal process.

The Pentagon and Slave Labor in U.S. Prisons

The Pentagon and Slave Labor in U.S. Prisons

Prisoners earning 23 cents an hour in U.S. federal prisons are manufacturing high-tech electronic components for Patriot Advanced Capability 3 missiles, launchers for TOW (Tube-launched, Optically tracked, Wire-guided) anti-tank missiles, and other guided missile systems. A March article by journalist and financial researcher Justin Rohrlich of World in Review is worth a closer look at the full implications of this ominous development. (

The expanding use of prison industries, which pay slave wages, as a way to increase profits for giant military corporations, is a frontal attack on the rights of all workers.

Prison labor — with no union protection, overtime pay, vacation days, pensions, benefits, health and safety protection, or Social Security withholding — also makes complex components for McDonnell Douglas/Boeing’s F-15 fighter aircraft, the General Dynamics/Lockheed Martin F-16, and Bell/Textron’s Cobra helicopter. Prison labor produces night-vision goggles, body armor, camouflage uniforms, radio and communication devices, and lighting systems and components for 30-mm to 300-mm battleship anti-aircraft guns, along with land mine sweepers and electro-optical equipment for the BAE Systems Bradley Fighting Vehicle’s laser rangefinder. Prisoners recycle toxic electronic equipment and overhaul military vehicles.

Labor in federal prisons is contracted out by UNICOR, previously known as Federal Prison Industries, a quasi-public, for-profit corporation run by the Bureau of Prisons. In 14 prison factories, more than 3,000 prisoners manufacture electronic equipment for land, sea and airborne communication. UNICOR is now the U.S. government’s 39th largest contractor, with 110 factories at 79 federal penitentiaries.

The majority of UNICOR’s products and services are on contract to orders from the Department of Defense. Giant multinational corporations purchase parts assembled at some of the lowest labor rates in the world, then resell the finished weapons components at the highest rates of profit. For example, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Corporation subcontract components, then assemble and sell advanced weapons systems to the Pentagon.

Increased profits, unhealthy workplaces

However, the Pentagon is not the only buyer. U.S. corporations are the world’s largest arms dealers, while weapons and aircraft are the largest U.S. export. The U.S. State Department, Department of Defense and diplomats pressure NATO members and dependent countries around the world into multibillion-dollar weapons purchases that generate further corporate profits, often leaving many countries mired in enormous debt.

But the fact that the capitalist state has found yet another way to drastically undercut union workers’ wages and ensure still higher profits to military corporations — whose weapons wreak such havoc around the world — is an ominous development.

According to CNN Money, the U.S. highly skilled and well-paid “aerospace workforce has shrunk by 40 percent in the past 20 years. Like many other industries, the defense sector has been quietly outsourcing production (and jobs) to cheaper labor markets overseas.” (Feb. 24) It seems that with prison labor, these jobs are also being outsourced domestically.

Meanwhile, dividends and options to a handful of top stockholders and CEO compensation packages at top military corporations exceed the total payment of wages to the more than 23,000 imprisoned workers who produce UNICOR parts.

The prison work is often dangerous, toxic and unprotected. At FCC Victorville, a federal prison located at an old U.S. airbase, prisoners clean, overhaul and reassemble tanks and military vehicles returned from combat and coated in toxic spent ammunition, depleted uranium dust and chemicals.

A federal lawsuit by prisoners, food service workers and family members at FCI Marianna, a minimum security women’s prison in Florida, cited that toxic dust containing lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic poisoned those who worked at UNICOR’s computer and electronic recycling factory.

Prisoners there worked covered in dust, without safety equipment, protective gear, air filtration or masks. The suit explained that the toxic dust caused severe damage to nervous and reproductive systems, lung damage, bone disease, kidney failure, blood clots, cancers, anxiety, headaches, fatigue, memory lapses, skin lesions, and circulatory and respiratory problems. This is one of eight federal prison recycling facilities — employing 1,200 prisoners — run by UNICOR.

After years of complaints the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General and the Federal Occupational Health Service concurred in October 2008 that UNICOR has jeopardized the lives and safety of untold numbers of prisoners and staff. (Prison Legal News, Feb. 17, 2009)

Racism & U.S. prisons

The U.S. imprisons more people per capita than any country in the world. With less than 5 percent of the world population, the U.S. imprisons more than 25 percent of all people imprisoned in the world.

There are more than 2.3 million prisoners in federal, state and local prisons in the U.S. Twice as many people are under probation and parole. Many tens of thousands of other prisoners include undocumented immigrants facing deportation, prisoners awaiting sentencing and youthful offenders in categories considered reform or detention.

The racism that pervades every aspect of life in capitalist society — from jobs, income and housing to education and opportunity — is most brutally reflected by who is caught up in the U.S. prison system.

More than 60 percent of U.S. prisoners are people of color. Seventy percent of those being sentenced under the three strikes law in California — which requires mandatory sentences of 25 years to life after three felony convictions — are people of color. Nationally, 39 percent of African-American men in their 20s are in prison, on probation or on parole. The U.S. imprisons more people than South Africa did under apartheid. (Linn Washington, “Incarceration Nation”)

The U.S. prison population is not only the largest in the world — it is relentlessly growing. The U.S. prison population is more than five times what it was 30 years ago.

In 1980, when Ronald Reagan became president, there were 400,000 prisoners in the U.S. Today the number exceeds 2.3 million. In California the prison population soared from 23,264 in 1980 to 170,000 in 2010. The Pennsylvania prison population climbed from 8,243 to 51,487 in those same years. There are now more African-American men in prison, on probation or on parole than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began, according to Law Professor Michelle Alexander in the book “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.”

Today a staggering 1-in-100 adults in the U.S. are living behind bars. But this crime, which breaks families and destroys lives, is not evenly distributed. In major urban areas one-half of Black men have criminal records. This means life-long, legalized discrimination in student loans, financial assistance, access to public housing, mortgages, the right to vote and, of course, the possibility of being hired for a job.

State Prisons contracting slave labor

It is not only federal prisons that contract out prison labor to top corporations. State prisons that used forced prison labor in plantations, laundries and highway chain gangs increasingly seek to sell prison labor to corporations trolling the globe in search of the cheapest possible labor.

One agency asks: “Are you experiencing high employee turnover? Worried about the costs of employee benefits? Unhappy with out-of-state or offshore suppliers? Getting hit by overseas competition? Having trouble motivating your workforce? Thinking about expansion space? Then Washington State Department of Corrections Private Sector Partnerships is for you.” (, July 25, 2005)

Major corporations profiting from the slave labor of prisoners include Motorola, Compaq, Honeywell, Microsoft, Boeing, Revlon, Chevron, TWA, Victoria’s Secret and Eddie Bauer.

IBM, Texas Instruments and Dell get circuit boards made by Texas prisoners. Tennessee inmates sew jeans for Kmart and JCPenney. Tens of thousands of youth flipping hamburgers for minimum wages at McDonald’s wear uniforms sewn by prison workers, who are forced to work for much less.

In California, as in many states, prisoners who refuse to work are moved to disciplinary housing and lose canteen privileges as well as “good time” credit, which slices hard time off their sentences.

Systematic abuse, beatings, prolonged isolation and sensory deprivation, and lack of medical care make U.S. prison conditions among the worst in the world. Ironically, working under grueling conditions for pennies an hour is treated as a “perk” for good behavior.

In December, Georgia inmates went on strike and refused to leave their cells at six prisons for more than a week. In one of the largest prison protests in U.S. history, prisoners spoke of being forced to work seven days a week for no pay. Prisoners were beaten if they refused to work.

Private prisons for profit

In the ruthless search to maximize profits and grab hold of every possible source of income, almost every public agency and social service is being outsourced to private for-profit contractors.

In the U.S. military this means there are now more private contractors and mercenaries in Iraq and Afghanistan than there are U.S. or NATO soldiers.

In cities and states across the U.S., hospitals, medical care facilities, schools, cafeterias, road maintenance, water supply services, sewage departments, sanitation, airports and tens of thousands of social programs that receive public funding are being contracted out to for-profit corporations. Anything publicly owned and paid for by generations of past workers’ taxes — from libraries to concert halls and parks — is being sold or leased at fire sale prices.

All this is motivated and lobbied for by right-wing think tanks like that set up by Koch Industries and their owners, Charles and David Koch, as a way to cut costs, lower wages and pensions, and undercut public service unions.

The most gruesome privatizations are the hundreds of for-profit prisons being established.

The inmate population in private for-profit prisons tripled between 1987 and 2007. By 2007 there were 264 such prison facilities, housing almost 99,000 adult prisoners. (, Feb. 24, 2009) Companies operating such facilities include the Corrections Corporation of America, the GEO Group Inc. and Community Education Centers.

Prison bonds provide a lucrative return for capitalist investors such as Merrill-Lynch, Shearson Lehman, American Express and Allstate. Prisoners are traded from one state to another based on the most profitable arrangements.

Militarism and prisons

Hand in hand with the military-industrial complex, U.S. imperialism has created a massive prison-industrial complex that generates billions of dollars annually for businesses and industries profiting from mass incarceration.

For decades workers in the U.S. have been assured that they also benefit from imperialist looting by the giant multinational corporations. But today more than half the federal budget is absorbed by the costs of maintaining the military machine and the corporations who are guaranteed profits for equipping the Pentagon. That is the only budget category in federal spending that is guaranteed to increase by at least 5 percent a year — at a time when every social program is being cut to the bone.

The sheer economic weight of militarism seeps into the fabric of society at every level. It fuels racism and reaction. The political influence of the Pentagon and the giant military and oil corporations — with their thousands of high-paid lobbyists, media pundits and network of links into every police force in the country — fuels growing repression and an expanding prison population.

The military, oil and banking conglomerates, interlinked with the police and prisons, have a stranglehold on the U.S. capitalist economy and reins of political power, regardless of who is president or what political party is in office. The very survival of these global corporations is based on immediate maximization of profits. They are driven to seize every resource and source of potential profits.

Thoroughly rational solutions are proposed whenever the human and economic cost of militarism and repression is discussed. The billions spent for war and fantastically destructive weapons systems could provide five to seven times more jobs if spent on desperately needed social services, education and rebuilding essential infrastructure. Or it could provide free university education, considering the fact that it costs far more to imprison people than to educate them.

Why aren’t such reasonable solutions ever chosen? Because military contracts generate far larger guaranteed profits to the military and the oil industries, which have a decisive influence on the U.S. economy.

The prison-industrial complex — including the prison system, prison labor, private prisons, police and repressive apparatus, and their continuing expansion — are a greater source of profit and are reinforced by the climate of racism and reaction. Most rational and socially useful solutions are not considered viable options.

Hillary Clinton: Profile of Imperial Arrogance and Lawlessness

She was Washington's 67th Secretary of State. She served from January 21, 2009 - February 1, 2013. She's arguably America's worst.

Iran’s Legal Right to Enrich Uranium Challenged

It's been that way for years. Iran fully complies with Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) provisions. Its nuclear program is peaceful. US intelligence says so. Annually it repeats earlier assessments.

Samsung Total revives Iran oil deal

A petrochemical plant in the South Korean city of Daesan. (file photo)

A Franco-Korean petrochemical company has revived a contract, stalled one year ago, to resume buying Iranian oil in defiance of Western sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Samsung Total Petrochemicals Company resumed imports from Iran by purchasing 30,000 tons of Kangan condensate, planned to be delivered to its plant in the port city of Daesan in March, Reuters reported on Friday.

Samsung Total -- a joint venture between South Korea’s Samsung Group and France’s energy giant Total -- experienced a sharp 90% fall in operating costs in the second quarter of 2012 after it stopped importing Iranian oil due to the sanctions.

“The deal can be easily understood if you look at Samsung Total's financial situation,” a Korean government source was quoted as saying.

In December 2012, South Korea’s imports of Iranian crude increased by almost a fourth compared to a year earlier.

According to statistics released by Korea Customs Service on January 15, Seoul purchased 793,361 tons of Iranian oil last month.

At the beginning of the 2012, the United States and the European Union imposed new sanctions on Iran’s oil and financial sectors.

On October 15, 2012, EU foreign ministers agreed on another round of sanctions against Iran.

The illegal US-engineered sanctions were imposed based on the unfounded accusation that Iran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.

Iran rejects the allegations, arguing that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

In addition, the IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities but has never found any evidence showing that Iran's civilian nuclear program has been diverted to nuclear weapons production.


A Leader’s Lexicon for the 21st Century


Intended to help all 21st Century leaders (Western of course) when making speeches or statements to the press and their gullible public.  N.B.: this is not an exhaustive list, and leaders will invent their own useful words and phrases, freely copied by their fellows.

Insurgents (also known as terrorists, Mujahideen, Al Qaeda, Taliban, Islamists): bad.  We don’t support them.

Rebels: good.  We support them, with weapons and other equipment, training by our own forces (that are not there) because…

Boots on the ground: we are not going to send in any of our own troops (because they went in secretly last week/month/year).

Regimes, dictatorships: legitimate governments we don’t support.

Governments: regimes and dictatorships we do support.

We are proud of our special relationship’: we buy arms from them.

Partners’: we sell arms to them.

Friendly nations: and them.

Global allies: and them too.

We welcome the new government/the overthrow of the last government: we want to sell arms to them.

Regimes: people we used to sell arms to.

Dictatorships: as above.

Rogue state: one that has got entirely out of the West’s control.

Chemical/biological/nuclear weapons: use this term to frighten your own citizens.  For example, “Iran/Iraq/Syria could attack us with their chemical/biological/nuclear weapons”.  Warning – tread carefully here because (1) they may not actually have these weapons and (2) you can’t remember if and when you sold these weapons to them.

Back your statement with: ‘We have proof they have used them on their own citizens’.  NEVER provide any proof.  The headlines in the press the next day – “Syria/Iran/Iraq accused of…” are what you want.

We have proof’: a figment of your imagination.  There are two courses you can follow. 1) Never mention it again in the hope the public will forget.  2) Plead ‘security issues’ that prevent you being entirely open and honest.

Robust security response: anything from sanctions, air strikes, boots on the ground to entire lock-down of your own country.

Threat: you can’t use this word often enough, usually with the words ‘grave’, ‘real and present’, ‘real and existential’, large and existential’ etc.  Yes- you don’t know what ‘existential’ actually means, but neither does the public, so you get to look smarter than them.  You hope.

Intervention: sanctions, air strikes, invasion (but do not mention plots, rebellions or assassinations organised by your own security forces).

Intervention to protect/defend our interests:  their resources, our multi-nationals.

Our interests: as above

Humanitarian intervention: look noble when you use this phrase.  You are going to stand between an innocent population and its cruel dictator.  Do not mention your forces’ shoot-to-kill policy.  Also known as ‘Responsibility to protect’, which requires a UN Resolution.

UN Resolution: an impossible set of demands on a rogue state.  You know they can’t comply, which gives your invasion an appearance of legitimacy.

We are upholding the terms of the UN ‘responsibility to protect’ resolution:  well done, this is quite true!  You broke all the terms before you got the resolution passed.

Liberation: offer this to invaded states as the price of modernisation.

Modernisation: handing control of their resources/services over to multinationals.

Democracy (1): arranging elections for invaded states.

Democracy (2): ensuring governments of invaded states are controlled by your preferred candidates.  If possible, they should hold American or British passports and maintain a residence in your country.

Democracy (3): ignore local, traditional systems of governance and impose ‘democratic elections’.

Democracy (4): inform your own citizens that you are their leader because they live in a democracy – of which they should be proud.

Removing dictator/regime: make clear to your own citizens that this is in their interest.  Make clear that it is also being done to free the invaded country’s citizens and that it is absolutely necessary that they should be the subjects of air strikes etc.  Who knows – you might get lucky.  One of your precisely targeted missiles might hit the dictator.

Precision bombing: anything within 1000 yards – roughly.

‘Senior Al Qaeda/Taliban /Gaddafi/Assad supporter killed in strike’: Sound proud of your armed drones.  They are so pin-point accurate and you know damned well no one can prove otherwise.

Our Brave Boys: our cannon fodder.  Use freely and equally with ‘Heroes’.

Combatants: enemy combatants, that is.  They are cannon fodder.  Synonymous with ‘terrorists’ etc.

Sacrifice: Usually by ‘our brave boys’ when they have been killed, wounded, blown up or captured by ‘the enemy’.  ‘Sacrifice’ is often ‘tragic’ – another word to be used freely.  Warning: when using the word sacrifice, please hide the satisfaction you feel in knowing you personally will never have to sacrifice anything for the good of your country.

For the good of the country: Use to convince the voters you have a wider, further-reaching vision than theirs.  Can also be used in conjunction with ‘national security’ and ‘interests’.

Innocent civilians: yours.

Collateral damage: theirs.

Targeted killing: do your best to sound clinical and leader-like when using this phrase.  It means murder or assassination – for which your own citizens would be imprisoned for.

Torture: If British, just keep repeating ‘the Government’s clear policy is not to participate in, solicit, encourage or condone the use of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment for any purpose’, and insist that ‘our brave boys’ would never do such a thing, even if it has already been proved they did and do.  If American, insist that US law allows you to do this as it has ruled that water-boarding etc. is not torture.  You can be absolutely sure on this – you or your predecessor pushed it through the courts.

We have the enemy on the run: our troops are confined to base.

Bringing our boys back home: always insist that they have ‘fulfilled their mission’.  Depend on the fact that very few people will remember what the mission was.  If pressed, use the words ‘pulling out’ rather than ‘withdrawing’.  Or say that the ‘global threat of terrorism’ has moved elsewhere and that you and your forces are prepared to go wherever it raises its ugly head.

But NEVER, never use the words ‘retreat’, ‘lost’ or ‘defeat’.

Malaysians gather in tens of thousands demanding political reforms (PHOTOS)

Thousands of protesters gather at the historical Stadium Merdeka (Independence Stadium) during a rally for electorial reforms in Kuala Lumpur.(AFP Photo / Mohd Rasfan)

Thousands of protesters gather at the historical Stadium Merdeka (Independence Stadium) during a rally for electorial reforms in Kuala Lumpur.(AFP Photo / Mohd Rasfan)

Tens of thousands Malaysians have come out to protest in the country’s capital against the government calling for reforms and possible ouster of the ruling coalition. The rally comes before Malaysia’s general elections, which are due by mid-2013.

According to local police, 80,000 people marched through Kuala Lumpur to the legendary Stadium Merdeka, where the current governing alliance declared independence from Britain in 1957, reported The Malaysian Insider.

Opposition estimates that the turnout was even higher, at about 100,000, according to Malaysia Kini.

Protesters’ demands included better electoral and environmental laws, improved education system, abolition of student loans and fair royalty payments to oil-producing states.

The opposition argues that the country’s electoral register is fraudulent and has pro-government bias.

A protestor waves flag during a grand gathering at the historical Medeka Stadium (Independence Stadium) during a rally for electorial reforms in Kuala Lumpur.(AFP Photo / Saeed Khan)
A protestor waves flag during a grand gathering at the historical Medeka Stadium (Independence Stadium) during a rally for electorial reforms in Kuala Lumpur.(AFP Photo / Saeed Khan)

During the rally people wore various bright colors including yellow and green, each representing an activist group.

The rally resembled a festival with food sellers and other vendors coming out to the streets. People carried flags and signs and some even wore Guy Fawkes masks, as popularized by the 2005 film V for Vendetta.

A protestor wearing a Guy Fawkes mask waves a Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) flag inside the historical Stadium Merdeka (Independence Stadium) as he takes part in an opposition rally ahead of looming elections in Kuala Lumpur.(AFP Photo / Mohd Rasfan)
A protestor wearing a Guy Fawkes mask waves a Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) flag inside the historical Stadium Merdeka (Independence Stadium) as he takes part in an opposition rally ahead of looming elections in Kuala Lumpur.(AFP Photo / Mohd Rasfan)

Opposition leader Lim Guan Eng spoke at the protest urging for change from the country’s Prime Minister Najib Razak's and his Barisan Nasional coalition, which has held power for the past 55 years.

The ruling coalition has been in control of Malaysia since independence from Britain.

“Our government is so corrupt. The government should listen to us. They need to reform. For more than 50 years they have ruled Malaysia,” rally participant Azlan Abu Bakar told News24.

Malaysia opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim (C) shouts alogans during a grand gathering at the historical Medeka Stadium during a rally for electorial reforms in Kuala Lumpur.(AFP Photo / Saeed Khan)
Malaysia opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim (C) shouts alogans during a grand gathering at the historical Medeka Stadium during a rally for electorial reforms in Kuala Lumpur.(AFP Photo / Saeed Khan)

Malaysia’s national poet A. Samad Said read out some of his work to a cheering crowd.

“Even poems have become weapons,”  he said. “I am already 80, I have always dreamed of witnessing a sea of souls. This is it, change now.”

Access to the stadium was granted by local authorities and the rally was peaceful, police reported.

Protestors march towards the historical Merdeka Stadium (Independence Stadium) during a rally for electorial reforms in Kuala Lumpur.(AFP Photo / Saeed Khan)
Protestors march towards the historical Merdeka Stadium (Independence Stadium) during a rally for electorial reforms in Kuala Lumpur.(AFP Photo / Saeed Khan)

This stands in stark contrast to the previous demonstration held in April 2012 when at least 1,000 people were injured and hundreds detained after police Malaysian police fired teargas and chemical-laced water at 25,000 protesters gathered calling for electoral reforms.

The ruling government’s term is due to expire in April with elections to be held by mid-2013.

PM Razak's bloc faces a new opposition force comprised of Anwar Ibrahim’s multi-ethnic party, the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party and Malaysian Chinese Association, party dominated by ethnic Chinese.

The ruling block has also been experiencing waning support. It lost more than a third of its seats in parliament to the opposition in 2008, as the charges of corruption grew.

Protestors climb for high angle view outside the historical Stadium Merdeka (Independence Stadium) as they take part in an opposition rally ahead of looming elections in Kuala Lumpur.(AFP Photo / Mohd Rasfan)
Protestors climb for high angle view outside the historical Stadium Merdeka (Independence Stadium) as they take part in an opposition rally ahead of looming elections in Kuala Lumpur.(AFP Photo / Mohd Rasfan)

Protestors march towards the historical Merdeka Stadium (Independence Stadium) during a rally for electorial reforms in Kuala Lumpur.(AFP Photo / Saeed Khan)
Protestors march towards the historical Merdeka Stadium (Independence Stadium) during a rally for electorial reforms in Kuala Lumpur.(AFP Photo / Saeed Khan)

Protestors climb for high angle view inside the historical Stadium Merdeka (Independence Stadium) as they take part in an opposition rally ahead of looming elections in Kuala Lumpur.(AFP Photo / Mohd Rasfan)
Protestors climb for high angle view inside the historical Stadium Merdeka (Independence Stadium) as they take part in an opposition rally ahead of looming elections in Kuala Lumpur.(AFP Photo / Mohd Rasfan)

On the News With Thom Hartmann: More States Are Considering Ditching the Death Penalty,...

In today's On the News segment: More states are considering ditching the death penalty; 2012 was the hottest year ever recorded; war profiteer giant KBR is being held responsible for the poisoning of a dozen soldiers with a chemical known as sodium dichromate; and more.


Justin Duckham - in for Thom Hartmann on the News ...

You need to know this. It's official – 2012 was the hottest year ever recorded. That makes sense, considering most of the nation was scorched by a drought – and then the Northeast was leveled by superstorm Sandy. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the average temperature in 2012 was a shy over 55-degrees – which is more than 3-degrees above the 20th century average temperature – and one-degree above the previous record for hottest year back in 1998. Researchers are stunned by the jump in temperature. Weather Underground's Jeff Masters, said it was "astonishing", and that, "It is extremely rare for an area the size of the U.S. to break an annual average temperature record by such a large margin." Global warming is real – and it's happening faster than anyone previously thought. Environmentalists say it's up to President Obama to take some leadership on this issue – and it's up to us to get even louder about global climate change. They're message is clear - we're running out of time.

In screwed news...Florida Governor Rick Scott is using the poor people in his state as pawns in his political games. Scott is one of a number of Republican Governors trying to deny millions of low-income Americans health insurance coverage as part of their grudge against President Obama. As part of Obamacare, states are given federal funds to expand their Medicaid coverage to cover more low-income Americans. And for the first few years – the federal government will pay for all the costs of this expansion – and after that will continue to pay for the vast majority of the coverage indefinitely. All the states have to do is say, "Yes." But Governor Scott, whose state has one of the highest uninsured rates in the nation, is saying, "No." Not only is he saying, "No," but he's lying, too, claiming that Medicaid expansion will cost his state $26 billion over the next ten years. In reality – it will cost his state one billion – so he's exaggerated the cost by 2,500%, a baldfaced lie he's using to justify his decision to screw poor, sick people in Florida. Republicans have a personal grudge against President Obama, and are doing everything in their power to see that he fails. Many people would say it's downright appalling that Rick Scott is condemning poor people in their states to an untimely death by cutting off their health insurance.

In the best of the rest of the news...

War profiteer giant KBR was found guilty last year of negligence, and is being held responsible for the poisoning of a dozen soldiers with a chemical known as sodium dichromate, which is used to prevent pipe corrosion. The Huffington Post reports that one exposed soldier, who was told by KBR that the chemical was just a mild-irritant, ended up dying from sodium-dichromate-caused-cancer at age 52. KBR was ordered by a court to pay $85 million in damages, but KBR is saying that the government – and "you and me, the taxpayers" – should pay for the damages. Thanks to a contract with the Bush/Cheney administration, KBR argues that is has full legal immunity – meaning taxpayers should pay for all of KBR's legal costs and pay their victims. So far, this contract is classified, and is not available to the public. A KBR spokesman said, "To date, the U.S. government has failed to comply with its...obligations... KBR is confident that it will prevail in enforcing the U.S. government's legal obligations." One of the lawyers, who originally filed suit against KBR, calls the contract KBR has with the government, "a pretty good bailout." So here we have another story of a corporation doing a lot of harm to Americans – in this case, American soldiers – and yet, not facing any consequences as a result. This is exactly why, as President Grover Cleveland said, corporations should be the "carefully restrained creatures of the law."

More states are considering ditching the death penalty. A Republicans state lawmaker in New Hampshire plans to introduce legislation to repeal the death penalty in his state. Both chambers of the state legislature in New Hampshire have repeatedly passed bills to repeal the death penalty – only to have those bills vetoed by the Governor. But this time the new Governor, Maggie Hassan, opposes the death penalty – meaning it's likely New Hampshire could ditch capital punishment in the near future. Also, the Washington Post reports that Governor Martin O'Malley in Maryland is close to gaining enough support in his state senate to repeal the death penalty. According to whip counts, the Governor has 23 out of the 24 votes he needs – and there are four state senators who are open to supporting the legislation. Just like we're seeing with marriage equality and marijuana legalization, the states are leading the way in making this a more progressive nation. Keep an eye on this.

And finally...the NRA and the nation's largest gun seller, Wal-Mart, are expected at the White House today to meet with Vice President Joe Biden to discuss gun control options. But don't expect much input from the gun lobby – as they've already said, their solution to gun violence is more guns. Meanwhile – the gun nuts are taking crazy to another level – filing a petition with the White House to charge Senator Dianne Feinstein will treason. That petition now has over 27,000 signatures. Feinstein introduced a new assault weapons ban, which would prohibit the future sale of the military-style weapons and large ammunition magazines that have been used in several recent mass shootings. According to the petition, Feinstein is, "actively working to destroy the 2nd amendment" with her new assault weapons ban. Someone needs to tell the gun advocates that the assault weapons ban was already in place for ten years from 1994 and 2004. And it was even supported by Ronald Reagan. So are Republicans willing to say he is treasonous as well? We'll have to wait to find out.

And that's the way it is today – Wednesday, January 09, 2013. I'm Justin Duckham in for Thom Hartmann – on the news.

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