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Voice of America faces budget cuts, vows to fight 'Russian disinformation'

The US government’s broadcasting agency may shut down some services if it loses a suggested $63...

‘Polluter Interests Have Been Spending Millions on Disinformation Campaigns’ – CounterSpin interview with David...

Janine Jackson interviewed David Baron about new pollution rules for the October 2 CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript. ...

More New York Times Disinformation

John V. Walsh Those in the U.S. who are enthralled by relentless reports of the most demonic acts attributed to President Vladimir Putin and the...

Disinformation Nation: War Criminals and Shills Dominate Media

With all that is currently going on with the Obama regime's continuation of the neocon war on the world - Iraq, Iran, Ukraine, Syria,...

Netanyahu Can Disinform on Iran Just as Well as Iraq

Peter Hart The turmoil in Iraq has led TV chat shows to trot out an array of hawks, many of whom had been cheerleaders for the 2003...

New York Times Disinformation Campaign over Ukraine

Walter C. Uhler When it comes to recent events in Ukraine, Russia’s “White Book,” unlike the New York Times, does not claim to deliver “all...

Media Disinformation: The Protest Movement in Syria

Michel Chossudovsky Presented below are four reports of the same protest movement in the Southern Syrian city of Daraa, Associated Press, The Guardian, Israeli National...

Extraordinary U.S. Military Movements In Last 72 Hours — TRN Disinfo Exposed!!!

By Susan Duclos In an article at Turner Radio Network, dated April 24, 2014, and titled " Extraordinary U.S. Military Movements in last 72 Hours," there are four videos  supposedly proving "the last 72 hours, there has been an extraordinary m...

US Militarism and Easter Day Disinformation on Iraq

Felicity Arbuthnot  RINF Alternative News We gather tonight knowing that this generation of heroes has made the United States safer and more respected round the world. –President...

Syria: Media Disinformation, War Propaganda and the Corporate Media’s “Independent Bloggers”

A glaring example of one of the major pitfalls emerging in supposed “new media” has arisen during the conflict in Syria. Most notably in...

USA Has Plans for Hypersonic Robot Plane

When I was a kid I couldn't wait for robots to be a part of daily life. Sadly, my childish dreams of a robot...

Media Disinformation: Washington Post Drone Story Ignores Pakistani Military Opposition to Strikes

The Washington Post on Thursday reported what it presented as new evidence of a secret agreement under which Pakistani officials have long been privately...

Mind the Credibility Gap: Syria and the History of US War Disinformation

by James Henry Americans—and others—are in heated discussion these days over whether an attack on Syria might be justified by alleged use of chemical...

Mainstream Propaganda and Disinformation: Staying Skeptical on Syria

Over ninety years ago political analyst Walter Lippmann noted how the masses overwhelmingly rely on subjective views–“the pictures in our heads,” or what he...

Week in Review: Chemical Lies and Media Disinformation

NSA Snooping on Brazil's President's Emails. Unfolding Diplomatic Fall Out between Washington and Brasilia, Michael Werbowski, September 20, 2013 Revisiting “Red Lines.” Saving Syria from...

Rattling the Sabre on Syria: Time to Cut Through Media Disinformation

War, weapons, invasion, incursion, lies, legalities, murder… Are we really here again? The headlines of both mainstream and alternative media are replete with ever-evolving...

Media Disinformation: The Role of Powerful Political Lobbies and Moneyed Interests in America

Renowned American intellectual and cultural critic believes that the United States, is exercising double standards with regards to Iran’s nuclear program and treating Iranians...

Media Disinformation: Mass Resignations at Al Jazeera over “biased” Egypt coverage

Reports suggest that 22 member of staff have resigned from the Egyptian arm of Al Jazeera after complaining of pro-Muslim Brotherhood bias within the...

A cinematic disinformation job on Julian Assange

  Alex Gibney’s We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks ...

Toxic shock: California allows up to one thousand times more glyphosate in drinking water...

Late last week, a story broke that revealed glyphosate — the chemical name of Roundup herbicide — multiplies the proliferation of breast cancer cells by 500% to 1300%… even at exposures of just a few parts per trillion (ppt).

“Dirty Wars” and Disinformation in the Age of Ronald Reagan

Patrick Leahy told me that he was adamant. As a US Senator, he was absolutely certain of at least one thing: the Congress of the...

‘Russian troll’ turns out to be Glasgow security guard — RT UK News

Published time: 15 Nov, 2017 17:04 Edited time: 15 Nov, 2017 17:32 A Twitter handle...

Facebook, Google could help US ‘retaliate’ against Russia – Senator McConnell (VIDEO) — RT...

Published time: 5 Nov, 2017 11:51 Edited time: 5 Nov, 2017 12:51 Days after tech giants...

Talking About Our Future – The Haze That Envelopes Us All | By

The weather in northern Vermont’s Champlain Valley has been little short of spectacular for the past couple months. Unlike other parts of the country,...

Blaming Russia for the Internet ‘Sewer’ – Consortiumnews

Exclusive: As the Russia-gate hysteria spirals down from the implausible to the absurd, almost every bad thing is blamed on...

The Legacy of Reagan’s Civilian ‘Psyops’ – Consortiumnews

Special Report: When the Reagan administration launched peacetime “psyops” in the mid-1980s, it pulled in civilian agencies to help spread...

NYT: $100,000 Russian Facebook Political Ads Prove Censorship Need

Eric Zuesse A front-page news-story in the New York Times on Friday, October 13th, says that Silicon Valley has been so very discredited by around...

Sputnik and RT Under Attack

Russia-gate Jumps the Shark

Exclusive: Russia-gate has jumped the shark with laughable new claims about a tiny number of “Russia-linked” social media ads, but...

Smoking gun or nothingburger? WaPo claims Russia ‘meddled’ in election through Google, YouTube

In the latest of its near-weekly scoops, the Washington Post has claimed that “Russian operatives exploited...

Huntsman bids for Russian ambassadorship by attacking, eh, Russia

Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman has appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as the one-time...

Kremlin used Facebook to subvert Twin Falls, Idaho – Daily Beast

A long-canceled Facebook event in Idaho, attended by only four people, is highlighted by the Daily...

Fossil Fuel Lobbyist by Day, WaPo Columnist by Night

Ed Rogers’  column (Washington Post, 9/4/17) warning that Democrats “are now captive to the party’s left-wing fringe” due to a “dangerous lurch to the...

Wild theories & hot takes: Smoke from Russian consulate in SF causes Twitter frenzy

Smoke billowing from the roof of the Russian consulate in San Francisco can only mean one...

‘Russiagate’ — The Most Trustworthy Current Information

Eric Zuesse This summary is up-to-date as of August 6th, but it will start with a leak from a phone-conversation on August 1st, in which...

'Story of my meeting with Trump Jr. has been manipulated’ – Russian lawyer...

Published time: 8 Aug, 2017 21:08 Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya told RT that the US media...

Seymour Hersh Cracks ‘RussiaGate’ as CIA-Planted Lie — Revenge Against Trump

Eric Zuesse This report has now been updated to August 6th: During the later portion of a phone-call, by the world’s greatest investigative journalist, Seymour Hersh,...

Russia probe: Lawyer Veselnitskaya claims to have proof key witness to give false testimony

The testimony prepared by Magnitsky Act lobbyist William Browder for the Senate Judiciary Committee, probing alleged...

Trump Jr.'s Russian meeting was about lifting sanctions, key witness Browder tells Senate

Published time: 27 Jul, 2017 20:58 Edited time: 27 Jul, 2017 21:03 The controversial meeting between...

House resistance, not ‘procedural issues,’ behind stalled Russia sanctions bill – US senator

A new Russia sanctions bill is still in limbo because the US House of Representatives is...

Who Interfered in the US Presidential Election?

Unlike Oliver Stone, who knew how to interview Vladimir Putin, Megyn Kelly did not. Thus, she made a fool of herself, which is par...

US Senate adopts amendment on more sanctions against Russia

Published time: 14 Jun, 2017 19:22 A measure codifying into law the US sanctions against Russia...

How I know that the Sauds did the 9/11 attacks

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org As a historian, I recognize that everything we know about history is from sources, and depends upon the reliability...

Minnesota measles outbreak bigger than all cases in 2016… for entire US

Minnesota’s measles outbreak has surpassed the number of cases in the whole of the US last...

Measles outbreak prompts Minnesota officials to request $5mn

Authorities in Minnesota are seeking $5 million to respond to the largest outbreak of measles in...

History Lesson Awaits Trump

Korea specialist Professor Bruce Cumings notes North Korea became a national security fortress-state as a result of “the holocaust the North experienced during the...

‘Soviet active measures’: Hearing on Russian influence resurrects Cold War tropes

Though the leaders of the US Senate Intelligence panel said they would follow the facts and...

The House Science Committee’s Shameful Climate Sideshow

There are a lot of ways one can imagine, in principle, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology holding a constructive, timely hearing...

How US Flooded the World with Psyops

Special Report: The mainstream U.S. media obsesses over Russian “propaganda” yet the U.S. government created a “psyops” bureaucracy three decades...

Trump Didn’t Teach Foreign Regimes to Cry ‘Fake News’–Corporate Media Did

Washington Post: “Mr. Trump’s remarks have a ripple effect overseas, signaling that the United States will no longer champion freedom of the press and expression.” Recently,...

Lock up England in Jail or an Insane Asylum!

Here it goes again! The same old tired and predictable tune, the same recognizable chorus. Once again the world is told what to think...

After the Apocalypse: Trying to Describe Reality in Unreal Times

The Bookloft, Great Barrington, Massachusetts Since the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, I’ve seen several photos of chalkboards in front of bookstores, reading...

‘Profound dismay’: DNI Clapper meets with Trump over ‘unverified’ dossier leak

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in a rare statement that he met with President-elect Donald Trump to express “profound dismay” at the...

Tillerson Called Out for 'Lying About Climate' During Confirmation Hearing

At his senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday, U.S. secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson on Wednesday dodged questions about ExxonMobil's long history of denying...

‘We’re Seeing the Result of a 40-Year Assault on the Liberal Mainstream’ – CounterSpin...

Janine Jackson interviewed Ellen Schrecker about the New McCarthyism for the January 6, 2017, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript. Ellen Schrecker:...

‘ODNI report speculative, serves to push certain political theories’ – ex-Trump aide Carter Page

The US intelligence report on alleged Russian meddling into the American 2016 election campaign is “speculative”...

Welcome to the Vortex

I spent most of 2016 doing my duty as citizen, writer and educator aghast at the favors done for the unprincipled, incoherent, vicious, dangerous...

The Information War on Syria and Beyond

The U.S. establishment is not happy. They are not content with largely dominating media narratives on Syria and other critical foreign policy issues; they...

Cyber command, anti-US propaganda, troop increases: Obama signs defense spending bill into law

With a deadline fast approaching, President Barack Obama signed the latest National Defense Authorization Act to...

Russia-Hack Story, Another Media Failure

The mainstream U.S. media’s gullible acceptance of unproven CIA claims about Russian interference in the U.S. elections is another reason...

Russia launched ‘cyberwar & propaganda campaign’ against UK – media

The UK is facing a cyberwarfare and a propaganda campaign from Russia, British newspaper The...

Rex Tillerson and Exxon Spent Big on Climate Change Denial While Misleading Public, Evidence...

Rex Tillerson, Donald Trump's likely choice to be America's top diplomat as Secretary of State, has spent years funding climate change denial and underwriting...

Rather Than Exposing Propaganda, WaPo Shows How It’s Done

As the Hillary Clinton campaign slogged toward victory in the long primary campaign against Sen. Bernie Sanders, word came from WikiLeaks that it had...

The Fake News Media Attacks

Eric Zuesse has brought to our attention that US intelligence officials have placed a story in Buzzfeed, “a Democratic party mouthpiece,” that the Russian...

CounterPunch as Russian Propagandists: the Washington Post’s Shallow Smear

Photo by thierry ehrmann | CC BY 2.0   This past week CounterPunch and other reputable independent media outlets were accused of spreading fake news during...

Why Are Media Outlets Still Citing Discredited ‘Fake News’ Blacklist?

Russians spread “fake news,” says “experts”—you don’t need to know who they are (Washington Post, 11/24/16). The Washington Post (11/24/16) last week published a front-page...

The Feds Killed MLK

Very few Americans are aware of the truth behind the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Few books have been written about it,...

Bait & Switch- Fake News, propornot, the Real Inform & Influence Operation

A few days before the 2016 election I contacted several publishers and told them they were on a list to be dealt with/ taken...

WaPo Names LewRockwell.com to Honor Roll

The desperate flailing of a mainstream-media struggling through the five stages of grief continues as no lesser unbiased foundation of the fourth estate than...

The Almost Legal Coup Election 2016 -Hillary Clinton Information Operations

"The purpose of " Inform and Influence Operations" is not to provide a perspective, opinion, or lay out a policy. It is defined as the ability...

Yes, There Will Be Election Fraud, On A Grand Scale

*America’s election system is designed only to give the theater of democracy with none of the substance* (RINF) - It is a virtual certainty that the...

The Power Elite’s War

“A populace deprived of the ability to separate lies from truth, is no longer capable of sustaining a free society.” Journalist Chris Hedges As the ruling...

It’s Rigged: Takes One to Know One

(Photo: Wikileaks Mobile Information Collection Unit / Flickr) The system is rigged. Let’s be clear: the American political system favors the two major parties and our...

Bring Back the Cold War

Pundits have declared a “New Cold War.” If only! The Cold War was a time when leaders focused on reducing tensions between nuclear powers....

Bring Back the Cold War

Pundits have declared a “New Cold War.” If only! The Cold War was a time when leaders focused on reducing tensions between nuclear powers....

Bring Back the Cold War

Pundits have declared a “New Cold War.” If only! The Cold War was a time when leaders focused on reducing tensions between nuclear powers....

US Propaganda Goes into Overdrive

Over the weekend the Western press is blasting Russia and Syria for alleged war crimes in their assault on the terrorist controlled part of...

NATO’s Expiration Date

(Photo: Drop of Light / Shutterstock.com) If the number of eager applicants on a waiting list determines the strength of a club, then the North...

“Socialists” Supporting NATO and U.S. Empire

At the recent annual convention of Veterans for Peace, VFP Vice President Jerry Condon said: “The US peace movement has been demobilized by disinformation...

Stoking Russia Panic for Partisan Gain Will Have a Long-Term Price for Peace

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin on MSNBC (8/20/16). On Saturday’s episode of AM Joy with Joy Ann Reid, guest Malcolm Nance, a former Naval intelligence...

Devil Queen of War

It all starts with a Wahhabi-Zionist lovefest. The Saudi Foreign Ministry was forced to go on a non-denial denial overdrive about a visit to Israel on July 22 by a delegation...

Russia Hacks the World

 (Image: Donkey Hotey / Flickr Commons) The email trove that WikiLeaks released on the eve of the Democratic National Convention has all the hallmarks of...

Never Take These Killer Drugs

By Dr. Mercola It is now estimated that 1 in 8 Americans are on serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) antidepressants1 and a shocking 1 in 4...

Sweden Joins NATO’s Emerging War Against Russia

Eric Zuesse Sweden, which historically has been a ‘neutral’ country between the U.S. and Russia, is joining the NATO buildup against Russia, allowing NATO to...

Time to End the ‘Hasbara’: Palestinian Media and the Search for a Common Story

Merely being in the company of hundreds of Palestinian journalists and other media professionals from all over the world has been an...

Propaganda Countdown to WWIII

While the two leaders from Armenia and Azerbaijan met this week and agreed to comply with the treaty set forth that ended their bloody six-year war...

The Techniques of Modern Military Propaganda

Propaganda is a military technique which should be distinguished from strategic subterfuge. The former seeks to trick one’s own side, generally in order to...

Zionist Israel Hides Its Crimes Behind Its Smears of Truth-Tellers

badahos | Shutterstock.com   Several years ago two very distinguished American scholars wrote a book, The Israel Lobby. The book made a very understated case that the Israel Lobby has...

US lawmakers seek federal agency to dilute Russian & Chinese ‘propaganda’ with ‘flow of...

American congressmen introduced a new bill this week aimed at creating a separate federal agency that would focus exclusively on countering Russian and Chinese...

Quaker instant oatmeal and Silk non-GMO soy creamer found contaminated with alarming levels of...

According to glyphosate laboratory testing conducted at Microbe Inotech Laboratories, Inc., in St. Louis, the Quaker Instant Oatmeal (Strawberries and Cream) sample tested at...

‘Grassroots campaign’ ousts Laquan McDonald-involved county prosecutor Anita Alvarez

An exclusive RT interview reveals the institutional problems of Chicago that led Cook County voters to...

British Gov’ thinks David Icke is an extremist who must be silenced – and...

Mick Meaney (RINF) - In a Youtube videocast, author and researcher David Icke questioned the potential motive behind a verbal attack last week by Prime Minister...

Batting for GM in India: Smears, Misinformation and Depoliticising the Political

Sir Richard John Roberts is a biochemist and molecular biologist and currently works at New England Biolabs in the US. He is also a...

Ukraine’s Cyber Mercenaries Attack Alternative Media

George Eliason (RINF) - The terms cyber war and infowar have been a constant in many articles written about the conflict in Ukraine. The problem...

Private NSA Army is Attacking YOU!

  Privatized NSA Army is Attacking YOU!   In the first part of this article series, the post 9/11 rise of a private NSA was detailed. Some started...

American Jihadi Starts Private NSA and Attacks America

Have you ever wanted to put somebody on a no-fly list because they were black, white, Christian, Muslim, liberal or conservative?  Maybe because they believed...

Bernie Sanders slams ’vicious attack’ by pro-Clinton lobby group over Corbyn support

Staunchly liberal-socialist US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders criticized a ‘super PAC’ behind his Democrat rival Hillary Clinton after it tried to smear him by...

Zionists Latest Anti-Semitic Inducing Provocation: Trying to Destroy a Highly Worthy and Sane Nuclear...

The same Neo-Con-Artists, and the same lying and blackmail game players AIPAC Lobby, and the same mainstream news media newspapers and televisions stations are...

German army peddles propaganda at heavy metal concert

By Gustav Kemper Approximately 70,000 heavy metal fans who had gathered for an open air festival in Wacken last week experienced a world premier when the...

The Fast Track To Ending Human Rights

By Barbara Loe Fisher From flash to bang, it took the politically powerful corporate, medical trade, and government lobbyists just six months this year to...

Canada’s police-state bill passes final parliamentary hurdle

Via WSWS. This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission or license. Canada’s police-state bill passes final parliamentary hurdle By Roger Jordan and Keith Jones 10...

Civil War Rages On for Black America

(inequality.org) - Hundreds of African-American men marched to the White House this past Sunday. They were not wearing hoodies in honor of Trayvon Martin. They were...

Mandatory Vaccination Bill Introduced in Congress

Bob Livingston
Personal Liberty

Government is force. When it finds that soft force doesn’t work, it becomes more aggressive.

Having found itself unable to scare and/or coerce all Americans into “voluntary” vaccination compliance, now Congress has before it a bill titled the “Vaccinate All Children Act of 2015.” Of course this requirement is being done “in the public interest” and “for the greater good.”

It would accomplish the task of vaccinating all children by withholding federal funds from public elementary and secondary schools that enroll students who are not vaccinated according to recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Of course, children are required by law to attend school, and most children attend public schools. And people are forced to fund those schools whether they have children attending them or not. Opting out of the public indoctrination camps passing as public schools requires jumping through special hoops and/or forking over large sums of cash to a private school.

And who sits on the Advisory Committee that sets the recommendations? Why, it’s health professionals who benefit — either directly or indirectly – from vaccination programs. And some get thousands of dollars from drug makers like Pfizer, Merk and GlaxoSmithKline for “consulting” and “speaking” fees. One member, Marietta Vazquez, M.D., pocketed more than $20,000 for three speeches.

Even if they worked and were without risk, vaccines only stimulate temporary immunity. By trading lifelong immunity for temporary vaccine-induced immunity, people become vaccine dependent. The winners of repeated mandatory vaccinations are the pharmaceutical companies. The losers are the people, who are first put at risk as children for vaccine adverse events and then put at risk as adults for repeated vaccinations that have already failed. The pharmaceuticals have discovered a money machine in mass vaccinations. But they need and have to have your body for the pretense.

The development of asthma, diabetes and autism in children has increased substantially in the last four decades, coinciding with the significant increase in childhood immunizations. People are finally recognizing the link and questioning Big Pharma, and more and more are beginning to “opt out.”

Public awareness has been manipulated. Why does no one question the authority of injecting agents of unknown toxicity into their body? Unbelievably, the general public is satisfied with the disinformation provided by the government. Unfortunately, now is the wrong time for apathy. We are on the verge of a vaccine mania and by the time our wakeup call comes, it just may be too late.

The worldwide market for human vaccine is now over $24 billion – and expected by the World Health Organization to rise to $100 billion in 2025 — with the underlying purpose cloaked by the guise of protecting public health.

The act of forcing people through intimidation and deception into dangerous medications is terrorism of the most malicious sort. This act by public authority constitutes assault, violating civil and human rights under national and international law.

There can be no “greater good” in this act of war against the American people.

© Personal Liberty Media Group

US-Dominated NATO Readying for War on Russia?

US-Dominated NATO Readying for War on Russia?

by Stephen Lendman

Mounting evidence should scare everyone - especially with neocon lunatics in Washington driving policymaking. 

They deplore peace. They demand endless wars against all nations not subservient to America's will - puppet vassal states serving US interests, letting their resources be plundered for profit.

Russia and China are prime targets - the only nations able to challenge America militarily, economically, and/or politically.

Washington pressuring Japan and other Asian nations against China shows what Beijing faces. So does America's planned increased regional military presence.

Growing numbers of US combat troops close to Russia's borders reflect confrontation waiting to happen - between the world's preeminent nuclear states risks the unthinkable.

Provocative US-dominated NATO military exercises in Russia's backyard ups the ante for trouble. More on this below.

In late April, US-installed NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said dealing with Russia requires "a strong collective alliance" - code language for preparing for military confrontation?

He lied about what he called the "disturbing…behavior of Russia in Ukraine" - using "force to change borders."

"(W)e have to keep NATO strong"- especially in Eastern Europe, Stoltenberg said. 

"(W)e are making our forces more ready, more prepared (by more than) doubling" the Alliance's Readiness Action Plan strength - including a "High Readiness" force able to act within 48 hours.

Stoltenberg repeated NATO commander General Philip Breedlove's Big Lies claiming: 

  • nonexistent "Russian aggression;"

  • "substantial Russian buildup along the border with Ukraine, but also inside eastern Ukraine;"

  • arming Donbass freedom fighters with heavy weapons; and

  • violating other Minsk ceasefire terms.

False on all counts! Russia threatens no one. No evidence suggests menacing troop buildups along Ukraine's border, its forces operating inside its territory, or supplying Donbass freedom fighters with heavy or other weapons.

In contrast, hundreds of US combat troops operate in Ukraine - readying its Nazi-infested National Guard and likeminded extremist groups for war.

Washington supplied Kiev with heavy weapons since conflict erupted last spring. Planeloads more arrive regularly.

America threatens Russia and world peace. Its numerous provocations risk direct confrontation.

Military exercises begun on Monday involve thousands of US, UK, German, Belgian, Dutch, Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian and Polish combat troops readying for possible confrontation with Russia.

Poland's President Bronislaw Komorowski signed a resolution establishing a Polish/Lithuanian/Ukrainian military brigade for the same purpose.

At full operational strength scheduled for 2017, it'll include 4,500 combat ready troops.

According to Komorowski, the joint force is "part of a wider plan…to support Ukraine, among others, in the area of modernization" for greater combat readiness against Moscow.

Washington and Brussels want NATO members spending more on "defense." They want homeland needs sacrificed for greater militarism at a time America and rogue Alliance allies pose the world's only threat.

Russia poses none. So-called "Russian aggression" is nonexistent. Moscow is the continent's leading peacemaker.

On Monday, US, German, Norwegian and Swedish submarines joined 13 surface ships from America, Britain, Canada, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, and Turkey for Exercise DYNAMIC MONGOOSE - despite no regional submarine or other threat affecting the participating nations.

Finland reservists are being enlisted in Washington's growing belligerence toward Russia.

Defense Minister Carl Haglund sent 900,000 reservists a letter explaining their role in a potential "crisis situation" - insinuating confrontation with Russia.

Both countries share a 1,340 km border with Russia - running mostly through uninhabited forests and sparsely populated rural areas.

It bears repeating. Mounting evidence suggests US-dominated NATO heading for direct confrontation with Russia. If initiated with nuclear weapons, all bets are off.

A Final Comment

No nation in world history along with its presstitute media proliferate more provocative propaganda than America - Big Lies by any standard.

None pose humanity a greater threat. None more leave world peace hanging by a thread.

US-pressured EU leaders intend developing new ways to counter Russian proliferated hard truths irresponsibly called propaganda.

Sputnik News called it a planned "new Iron Curtain" at a time US-dominated NATO alone threatens world peace enhanced by relentless Russia bashing - malicious disinformation substituting malicious Big Lies for hard truths.

According to the Brussels-based EUobserver, "Russian propaganda disseminated by outlets such as RT and Sputnik News is finding receptive audiences in various EU member states" - because it's some of the most reliable news and information found anywhere, polar opposite Western rubbish.

Washington and Brussels call truth-telling on vital issues "propaganda." They want nothing interfering with their mind-manipulating disinformation. No alternative views are tolerated - especially on major geopolitical issues.

Western free expression is just a figure of speech. State-sponsored lawlessness threatens to eliminate it altogether.

Perhaps it's just another 9/11-type major US and/or EU-instigated false flag away - followed by martial law and suspension of fundamental democratic rights.

Police states are born this way - especially when people are duped to believe sacrificing freedoms enhance their security. They end up losing both big time.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Chaos And Propaganda: Washington’s “Reality-Based Order”


Follow on: https://twitter.com/colin_todhunter

RINF, Countercurrents, Global Research
In 2011, Hilary Clinton announced the US was at war. She wasn’t referring to the US’s ongoing invasions, wars and occupations but an ideological war for hearts and minds. Clinton lamented the fact that, since the end of the cold war, US global ideological influence had weakened, especially with the advent of the Internet and TV channels like RT.
Of course, Hollywood still manages to propagate the ‘great American myth’ globally every day: the US as the beacon of freedom, as the flagship of democratic ideals, based on the great ‘American Lie’ of the great ‘American Dream’ whereby the individual can somehow miraculously overcome adversity and make it in life, just as long as s/he keeps his or her nose to the grind. US mass culture exported across the globe. The ‘anyone can make it’ syndrome sugar coated with a sprinkling of ‘freedom and democracy’ then rammed down the collective throat by Hollywood, which magics away into thin air the reality of capitalism and its deeply embedded structural power relations. As the commentator and comedian George Carlin once stated: “The American Dream, you have to be asleep to believe it.”
And let’s not forget Hollywood’s retelling of history with Uncle Sam the movie star, the liberator of the oppressed, the protector of universal good, the sweeper of its mass terror and atrocities away from the screen and conveniently under the carpet.
The internet, Press TV, RT and the ‘alternative media’ in all its forms have however eaten into Washington’s Hollywoodesque version of reality and propaganda. Despite the ownership of the corporate media becoming ever more concentrated in the hands of massive conglomerates and it promoting a common news agenda, the US has had to face up to the harsh truth that it cannot dominate the debate to the extent it once did when it comes to shaping the analysis and reporting of news through its compliant media outlets.
Around the time Clinton was voicing her concerns, Edward Snowden was revealing what many of us had already strongly suspected – people across the world and foreign governments were being monitored by the US government. Before Snowden became public enemy number one, Julian Assange carried that mantle. The US state-corporate machine did almost everything in its power to destroy Assange and WikiLeaks. Most debilitating of all was the shutting down of WikiLeaks’ access to finance, notably via PayPal, MasterCard, the Swiss bank PostFinance, Moneybookers, Bank of America and Visa Inc.
Bank of America was accused of being especially strident in attempting to discredit and destroy WikiLeaks with various dirty tricks, including backing a smear campaign that involved the use of false documents, disinformation, and sabotage. These actions along with demands that Snowden be ‘handed over’ by the countries the US has been caught red handed of spying on, came as little surprise. The US deems it fit to break international laws with impunity, yet bleats about legalities where Snowden or Assange is concerned.
But things are not always so straightforward. Not everyone can be banished to a foreign country or incarcerated in an embassy in London. As a result, former CIA boss General Petraeus is on record as saying US strategy is to conduct a war of perceptions continuously through the news media. We don’t have to imagine much that the prevailing view of world conveyed through the mainstream media and swallowed by many people is based on ‘a pack of lies’ carefully crafted by men like Petraeus and the State Department’s PR machine. British MP George Galloway’s powerful performance in front of a US Senate committee in 2005 highlighted it as such in the case of the invasion of Iraq.
These days, despite state-corporate control and manipulation of the mainstream media, many see through the charade of ‘liberal democracy’. The more the US lacks control over ‘the message’, the more it has to resort restrictions on freedoms. The more paranoid it becomes, the more penetrating and widespread the surveillance and ‘information gathering’ is.
So it was quite revealing to see this week the US House of Foreign Affairs Committee discussing Russia’s ‘weaponisation’ of information. Chairperson Ed Royce claimed that RT is part of a Russian disinformation campaign and asserted that if certain things are repeated over and over again, a conspiratorial theory begins to take on a life of its own.
The hypocrisy was palpable.
The US should know about such things. given its demonisation of Russia and the construction of a narrative of ‘Russian aggression’ in Ukraine that has been on continuous loop and churned out by the corporate media for quite some time now. This story of course has no basis in reality and is intended to mask a wider imperialist agenda to destabilise Russia.
Royce said that RT provides a platform for fringe and radical views worldwide and most broadcasters would not entertain people with such views. While it is correct to say that RT has a pro-Kremlin agenda, virtually all Western corporate media outlets adhere to a broadly defined economic and military ‘Washington consensus’. Where Western outlets see little wrong with wheeling out pro-big business commentators and representatives from powerful thinks for their opinions, little opportunity is provided for trade unionists, the non-mainstream left or any other voices that offer radical critiques of the status to offer their views.
RT has a range of commentators and analysts, including Professor Michel Chossudovsky, Pepe Escobar, Max Keiser, Paul Craig Roberts, William F Engdahl and Manuel Ochsenreiter, who tend to rarely appear on Western corporate mainstream media outlets. While some may not agree with their views or analyses, such people are academically well-qualified and recognised by many as being specialists in their fields. It is too convenient for them to be brushed aside with the ‘deranged conspiracy theorist’ accusation.
These commentators are highly critical of US-Western foreign policies but that does not mean they necessarily support Putin or Russia, as former RT presenter Liz Whal seemed to imply during the committee hearing. If certain commentators are regarded as “fringe” figures or “extremists” as Whal suggested, they are only regarded as such because their views challenge the pro-Washington narrative conveyed by the Western corporate media and thus tend to be side-lined. She argued these ‘alternative’ voices now have platforms to voice their “deranged views” and whip up anti-US sentiment.
Royce claimed Russia’s propaganda machine is currently in overdrive and that part of the focus is to undermine “democratic stability” and foment violence. He went on to state that these tactics have helped stoke the situation in Ukraine and are laying the groundwork for a Russian invasion and asserted that this propaganda has the potential to destabilise NATO members.
Another contributor to the proceedings argued that “our” global order is a “reality based order” and that the likes of RT and the internet makes “reality based politics” impossible.
Washington wishes it had the monopoly on truth but it doesn’t. And the reality is that the US regards views that criticise it as intolerable. But while the internet can at times be a vehicle for churning out some ludicrous views (and in this respect Whal is correct), what could be more sinister than what the mainstream media churns out on a daily basis with its acceptance of and justifications for austerity, gross inequalities, the massive concentration of wealth in the hands of a few, secretive corporate-constructed trade deals, wars of aggression, a bogus war on terror and the rest of the stories designed to beat working people and opponents of Washington’s hegemony into submission?
You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to appreciate that the terms “reality based global order” and “democratic stability” are cynical euphemisms designed to conceal a completely different reality of imposed chaos and disorder around the world. Supporters of this reality are committed to misinforming the public, creating regional destabilisations and bending nations to Washington’s will.

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Not Science, Just Lies And Propaganda: The Massive Fraud Behind GMOs Exposed

Counterpunch, RINF, Global Research, Countercurrents, The 4th Media, Morning Star

This is not what the GMO industry wanted to see: banner headlines in major newspapers and across the internet exposing the fraud behind GMOs. But this constitutes much more than a PR nightmare. The story behind the headlines shakes the very foundations upon which the industry is built.

‘Altered Genes, Twisted Truth’ is a new book by the US public interest lawyer Steve Druker. The book is the result of more than 15 years of intensive research and investigation by Druker, who initiated a lawsuit against the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that forced it to divulge its files on GM foods. Those files revealed that GM foods first achieved commercialisation in 1992 but only because the FDA covered up the extensive warnings of its own scientists about their dangers, lied about the facts and then violated federal food safety law by permitting these foods to be marketed without having been proven safe through standard testing.

If the FDA had heeded its own experts’ advice and publicly acknowledged their warnings that GM foods entailed higher risks than their conventional counterparts, Druker says that the GM food venture would have imploded and never gained traction anywhere.

He also argues that that many well-placed scientists have repeatedly issued misleading statements about GM foods, and so have leading scientific institutions such as the US National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the UK’s Royal Society.

Druker states that contrary to the claims of biotech advocates, humans have indeed been harmed by consuming the output of genetic engineering. The technology’s first ingestible product (a food supplement of the essential amino acid, L-tryptophan) caused dozens of deaths and seriously sickened thousands of people (permanently disabling many of them). Moreover, the evidence points to the genetic alteration as the most likely cause of the unusual contamination that rendered the supplement toxic.

He explains that laboratory animals have also suffered from eating products of genetic engineering, and well-conducted tests with GM crops have yielded many troubling results, including intestinal abnormalities, liver disturbances, and impaired immune systems.
Druker says:
“Contrary to the assertions of its proponents, the massive enterprise to reconfigure the genetic core of the world’s food supply is not based on sound science but on the systematic subversion of science – and it would collapse if subjected to an open airing of the facts.”
Eminent environmentalist and anthropologist Jane Goodall has written the foreword to the book and states that Steven Druker is a hero for exposing this massive fraud and is worthy of a Nobel prize for lifting the lid on the truth about GM.

She goes on to state that the industry worked to:
“convince the public and government officials, through the dissemination of false information, that there was an overwhelming expert consensus, based on solid evidence, that the new foods were safe. Yet this, as Druker points out, was clearly not true.”
Goodall adds that the companies have spread disinformation to try and win public support. 

She states:
“Druker describes how amazingly successful the biotech lobby has been – and the extent to which the general public and government decision makers have been hoodwinked by the clever and methodical twisting of the facts and the propagation of many myths. Moreover, it appears that a number of respected scientific institutions, as well as many eminent scientists, were complicit in this relentless spreading of disinformation.”
Jane Goodall is best known for her 55-year study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania. She holds many awards for her environmental and humanitarian work, including the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science, the French Legion of Honour, Japan’s Kyoto Prize and the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement.

She describes Druker’s work as one of the most important books of the last 50 years, and adds:
“It will go a long way toward dispelling the confusion and delusion that has been created regarding the genetic engineering process and the foods it creates. Although this book tells a story that’s in many ways distressing, it’s important that it has finally been told because so much confusion has been spread and so many important decision-makers have apparently been deluded.”
Steven Druker gave a press conference in London on Wednesday and has challenged Britain’s Royal Society to apologise for its pro-GM stance and its part in rubbishing scientists who have safety doubts over the crops and food. (Perhaps the likes of Owen Paterson and Anne Glover should too for their role in dismissing legitimate concerns about GMOs, especially Paterson for his recent tirade against critics see this and this.)

His work highlights research which has found tumours, liver and kidney harm in animals given GM feed in trials. And he complains, that researchers who dare to raise these problems have been pilloried.

He said:
“Contrary to the assertions of its proponents, the massive enterprise to reconfigure the genetic core of the world’s food supply is not based on sound science but on the systematic subversion of science – and it would collapse if subjected to an open airing of the facts.”
With the TTIP having the potential to open the floodgates to allow GMOs into Europe, Pat Thomas, director of the campaigning group Beyond GM, said:
“Steven Druker’s investigation into the history of fraud and deceit that ushered in the era of GM deserves serious consideration before we take actions that will irreversibly alter the European food supply.”

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Ukraine on the Brink

Ukraine on the Brink

by Stephen Lendman

Obama declared war on Ukraine. He dispatched CIA chief John Brennan to Kiev. He arrived with administration instructions.

Obama's proxy putschist stooges were unleashed to wage war on Eastern Ukrainian freedom fighters. The battle for Ukraine's soul escalated.

The country is "on the verge of civil war," said Putin. Prime Minister  Medvedev said the same thing. Putschists launched violence.

"The illegal rulers are trying to restore the order they cynically trampled on when they participated in an armed uprising," Medvedev added.

Their military forces headed east. Tanks, armored vehicles and artillery are on the move. An assault on activist controlled Eastern Ukrainian cities began.

Kramatorsk's airfield was stormed. Gunfire and explosions were heard. Ukrainian warplanes were involved.

Soldiers manning six tanks switched sides. They hoisted Russian flags. A local resident said:

"We found them at a square near the railway station. A group of women surrounded them." 

"We started telling them we were peaceful residents who are just fighting for their rights and that there are no terrorists. They won't shoot us."

"The main armored transport vehicle had a Russian flag on it and they left together with our insurgents towards Slavyansk."

"We are deeply concerned over the military operation launched by the Ukrainian special forces with support of the army. There have already been victims," he said.

"Current events demonstrate persistent unwillingness of Kiev's authorities to organize a dialogue with Ukrainian regions, which is necessary for the country," he added.

On Tuesday, Slavyansk was attacked. According to Donbass people's militia head Sergey Tsyplakov:

"Currently there is a major attack on Slavyansk. Armored personnel vehicles are entering the city."

"There are many troops. The men are getting ready to defend" the city. "There is a lot of military machinery here. But the shooting hasn't started yet."

An uneasy calm awaits a likely storm. Activists still maintain control. Hundreds gathered in central Skavyansk. 

They're not leaving. They want local autonomy. So do growing thousands across Eastern Ukraine. They're putting their bodies on the line for freedom.

One activist said civil war erupted. So far no major hostilities. Just local flareups. It remains to be seen what's next.

Fascists operate lawlessly. Washington runs things. Putschists are proxy stooges. Claiming they acted with "great caution" is polar opposite truth. So is saying they're "prov(ing) law and order."

Behind the scenes manipulation is longstanding US practice.

Sergei Lavrov condemned using military force against Eastern Ukrainian civilians.

"We will seek tranquility and insist on the respect of Kiev leaders for the opinions and demands of the southeast and Ukrainian citizens who live there, as well as on negotiations aimed to de-escalate the situation rather than escalate it with the involvement of law enforcement authorities, moreover, the army, which is clearly prohibited by Ukrainian law," he said.

Putschists have no legitimacy. Growing numbers of Eastern Ukrainians reject them. East/West divisions threaten civil war.

"(U)nity state (authority) stopped working in Ukraine," Lavrov added.

"Its foundations were shattered by a series of political disasters that were shaking the country for years." 

"One of the main reasons of such situation is the absence of a balanced basic law in Ukraine, which adequately takes into account the interests of all ethnic and language groups and ensures the rights and interests of all the citizens of Ukraine."

"It is impossible to consider the situation, when after each Presidential election the Constitution of the country fixing a particular form of government was changed depending on the desire of the victorious political forces, to be normal."

"Therefore, federalization is a way to ensure that each region feels comfortable and secured in his rights, traditions and traditional ways of life."

"All this should be reflected in the reformed Constitution, and the multi-ethnic Ukrainian society should treat it as a reliable foundation of the legal state meant for a long-term perspective." 

"I am convinced that it will be difficult for Ukraine to preserve its unity and to solve urgent tasks aimed at overcoming the current severe crisis."

"Of course, no one can dictate a scheme of organizing a state system to the Ukrainian side. But Ukrainians must start a dialogue and ensure its inclusive and comprehensive character." 

"The idea is that all regions and political forces of Ukraine, without exceptions, should participate in it on an equal basis and have equal rights in solving essential issues."

Media scoundrels twist truth daily. They disgrace themselves in the process. They're presstitutes. They make street whores look respectable by comparison.

On April 15, The New York Times continued its daily Russia bashing. Gore Vidal once called The Times the "Typhoid Mary of American journalism."

He did so for good reason. It headlined "Russia Is Quick to Bend Truth About Ukraine."

It called above quoted Putin and Medvedev comments "bluster and hyperbole." It lied calling their honest assessment "misinformation, exaggerations, conspiracy theories, overheated rhetoric and, occasionally outright lies…"

It claimed "an extraordinary (Kremlin) propaganda campaign." A "new brazenness," it added.

A "24-hour vortex of alarmist proclamations of Western (sponsored) aggression…"

"Sinister claims of rising fascism and breathless accounts of imminent hostilities by the 'illegal' Ukrainian government in Kiev…"

You can't make this stuff up. It bears repeating what earlier articles stressed. All the news Times editors call fit to print isn't fit to read.

Truth is systematically buried. Lies, damn lies and bigger ones substitute. Times editors and management notoriously support lawless US imperialism. 

Their longstanding overall record is deplorable. It's worst of all when America goes to war, plans one or uses proxy stooges. Unquestioning support follows.

A companion April 15 Times article headlined "UN Cites Abuses in Crimea Before Annexation Vote."

A litany of lies followed. A previous article discussed duplicitous human rights misinformation on Ukraine. Not according to The Times.

It reported bald-faced lies as truth. It said Crimea's model democratic voting process was "rigged." 

It falsely claimed harassment, journalist abductions and torture occurred. It ignored independent monitors saying Crimea's process was scrupulously open, free and fair. 

Not a single irregularity took place. Not a sign of wrongdoing. No crimes were committed before, during or after Crimeans voted. Claims otherwise were false.

Twisting truth for power is longstanding Times policy. It's buried. Readers are systematically lied to. Misinformation is featured.

Washington propaganda is worst of all. On March 5, the State Department published misinformation on Russia. It claimed Putin "fiction."

Russia "spins a false narrative to justify its 'illegal' actions in Ukraine," it said. It wrongfully claimed "Russian aggression in the Ukraine."

A litany of lies followed. More on April 13. The State Department headlined "Russian Fiction the Sequel: 10 More False Claims About Ukraine."

It lied claiming "Russia continues to spin a false and dangerous narrative to justify its illegal actions in Ukraine." 

"The Russian propaganda machine continues to promote hate speech and incite violence by creating a false threat in Ukraine that does not exist." 

"We would not be seeing the violence and sad events that we've witnessed this weekend without this relentless stream of disinformation and Russian provocateurs fostering unrest in eastern Ukraine.

More lies, damn lies, and bigger ones followed.

(1) "Russia Claims: Russian agents are not active in Ukraine."

No evidence suggests otherwise. Not according to the State Department. 

It said Kiev putschists arrested "more than a dozen 'suspected' Russian intelligence agents…"

Innocent victims are targeted. Lies substitute for truth.

(2) "Russia Claims: Pro-Russia demonstrations are comprised exclusively of Ukrainian citizens acting of their own volition…"

Again no corroborating evidence refutes this. "This is not the grassroots Ukrainian civic activism of the EuroMaidan movement," said the State Department.

No "grassroots" activism existed. Washington orchestrated Kiev lawlessness. It manipulated events disruptively. 

It funded fascist thugs. It did so to unleash violence. It ousted Ukraine's democratically elected government.

(3) "Russia Claims: Separatist leaders in eastern Ukraine enjoy broad popular support."

The State Department claims a "large majority" of Donetsk region residents reject them.

No evidence suggests it. Growing thousands across Eastern Ukraine reject Kiev putschists. The State Department didn't explain.

(4) "Russia Claims: The situation in eastern Ukraine risks spiraling into civil war."

It's happening. It risks spilling cross-border. It risks a potential East/West confrontation.

Uprisings "would not be happening without Russian disinformation and provocateurs fostering unrest," claims the State Department. 

They "would not be happening if a large Russian military force were not massed on the border, destabilizing the situation through their overtly threatening presence."

No Russian disinformation exists. No provocateurs. No Russian forces massed on Ukraine's border. No threatening presence. State Department Big Lies don't wash.

(5) "Russia Claims: Ukrainians in Donetsk rejected the illegitimate authorities in Kyiv and established the independent 'People's Republic of Donetsk.' "

Not according to the State Department. It ignored mass anti-Kiev opposition. It lied claiming a "small number of separatists" are involved.

For every one active on Donetsk streets and elsewhere across Eastern Ukraine, hundreds, perhaps many thousands, more support them.

(6) "Russia Claims: Russia ordered a 'partial drawdown' of troops from the Ukrainian border."

"No evidence" suggests it, said the State Department. Russian forces are involved in nonthreatening military exercises.

Western monitors observed them. They've had direct contact with Russian commanders. 

They took on site photos. They reported no irregularities. Nothing suggests Moscow threatens Ukraine. US officials lie claiming otherwise.

(7) "Russia Claims: Ethnic Russians in Ukraine are under threat."

The State Department lied claiming no threat exists. Neo-Nazi thugs run key ministries. They hate all opposition elements. They live under threat. Their lives and safety are endangered.

(8) "Russia Claims: Ukraine's new government is led by radical nationalists and fascists."

The State Department twisted truth claiming otherwise. Neo-Nazi thugs prominently display swastikas, Iron Crosses, SS insignia and other fascist symbols.

US officials ignore it. Obama's new friends are thugs. They represent the worst of societal misfits. 

They threaten all Ukrainians. They threaten regional peace. They risk turning Ukraine's crisis into global conflict.

(9) "Russia Claims: Ethnic minorities face persecution in Ukraine from the 'fascist' government in Kyiv."

All Ukrainians are at risk. Fascists tolerate no opposition. Presidential aspirant Oleg Tsarev is Exhibit A. He opposes Kiev putschists.

A previous article discussed him. Neo-Nazi Right Sector Sector thugs attacked him. They brutally beat him. He's hospitalized in critical condition. Washington ignored what happened. Scoundrel media buried the story.

His candidacy stands. He's not pulling out. If he recovers, maybe putschist thugs will kill him. Fascists operate this way. Obama supports them.

(10) "Russia Claims: Russia is not using energy and trade as weapons against Ukraine."

The State Department lied claiming otherwise. Since 2009, Moscow subsidized Ukraine's economy.

It provided unprecedented natural gas discounts. They totaled $17 billion. Plus another $18.4 billion Ukraine incurred as a minimal "take-or-pay fine."

"No other country provided such support except Russia," said Putin. Western ones provided none.

They want Ukraine colonized. Plundering its resources is planned. Exploiting its people. Turning Ukraine into a pro-Western vassal state. Incorporating it into NATO. 

Deploying US nuclear armed missiles on Russia's borders. Threatening regional peace and stability unconscionably. Risking WW III.

Don't expect the State Department to explain. Or neocon infesting Washington. 

Or supportive scoundrel media. War winds head dangerously toward gale force. Risks demanding headlines are buried.

A Final Comment

On April 16, Odessa anti-Maidan activists proclaimed the People's Republic of Odessa. They issued a statement saying:

"From today, Odessa region becomes the People's Republic of Odessa, where the power belongs to the people living in its territory."

City residents were urged to prevent outside traffic from entering except ambulances. Odessa activists joined their counterparts in over a dozen other Eastern Ukrainian cities.

Growing protests demand local autonomy and democratic rights.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

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

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

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Ukrainians Resist

Ukrainians Resist

by Stephen Lendman

They're the best and bravest. They reject Kiev putschists. They're what democracy looks like. 

They want fundamental rights everyone deserves. They're putting their bodies on the line for them. 

They're a model for freedom-loving people everywhere. The only solution to state repression is revolution. 

It grips Eastern Ukraine. It's spreading throughout the region. Activists in a dozen or more cities are involved. So are others in small towns and villages.

What's ongoing perhaps heads toward mass insurrection. Democratic change requires sustained resistance.

Ukrainians represent hope. They deserve universal support. On April 14, Reuters headlined "Ukraine's east braces for anti-rebel operation as deadline passes."

Lawless full-scale assault looms. Illegitimate putschist president Oleksandr Turchynov blames Moscow. "We will not allow Russia to repeat the Crimean scenario in the eastern regions of Ukraine," he said.

Obama's UN envoy Samantha Power lacks credibility. She's ideologically over-the-top. 

Her husband, Cass Sunstein, is former Obama Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs administration. Francis Boyle calls him a "lethal neocon."

Power is one of many administration extremists. She disgraces the office she holds. At an emergency Saturday Security Council session, she railed irresponsibly against Russia.

Power lied maliciously. She outrageously accused Moscow of spreading "disinformation and propaganda." Her notion of "facts" is polar opposite truth.

She lied claiming Russian forces invaded Ukraine. She wrongheadedly blamed Moscow for ongoing protests. "We know who is behind" them, she said.

"Indeed, the only entity in the area capable of these coordinated, professional military actions is Russia," she said.

Washington bears full responsibility for toppling Ukraine's democratically elected government. 

It elevated fascist putschists to power. It did so lawlessly. It acted illegitimately. 

Growing numbers of Eastern Ukrainians demand fundamental democratic rights. They reject Kiev extremists denying them.

Ongoing protests are local. They're spontaneous. They're homegrown. Russia has no involvement in them. Power lied claiming otherwise.

Moscow's UN envoy Vitaly Churkin explained things responsibly. His comments fell on deaf ears.

He denounced Kiev putschists. He did so before. "The international community must demand the stooges of Maidan stop the war against their own people," he said.

"Reckless actions (threaten) to rip apart the delicate garment of Ukrainian mosaic society."

Kiev putschists ignore justifiable Eastern Ukrainian public anger. Growing numbers reject their “radicalized, chauvinistic, russophobic, anti-Semitic forces."

"Some, including those in this hall, constantly look for Moscow's hand in the events in the southeast, persistently without wishing to see the true reasons of the events in Ukraine. Quit doing it," Churkin said.

"Quit spreading tales that we built up military armadas on the border with this country, ready at any moment, within a few hours to reach almost as far as La Manche, that we sent hordes of agents to coordinate actions of the protesting people of Ukraine."

Illegitimate Kiev parliamentarians responded to Eastern Ukrainians demands for fundamental rights by passing "draconian laws."

They threatened longterm imprisonment for "separatism (and) terrorism." Churkin denounced anti-Russian accusations. He warned against using force against peaceful protesters.

"Let's move aside from speculations, accusations, from searching for Russian phantoms flying all over different corners of Ukraine, but let’s concentrate attention on what we can do - in this case I'm directing my eyesight at my Western colleagues - in order to prevent the Kiev authorities' reckless actions, which at this moment are embodied in the criminal order of Mr. Turchinov, and to prevent the realization of this order, which will have the most severe implications primarily for the people of Ukraine," he said.

"Why did you not accuse of terrorism those who were terrorizing your government for a span of several months?"

"Those who actually terrorized the security forces, who actually set on fire the policemen, shot at them, just like they did at those who were protesting against the authorities and seemingly acted on their side." 

"Those people, for some reason, you did not call terrorists, and even relieved them from any liability for their criminal actions that were conducted over several months."

He called anti-Russian accusations "ridiculous." Throughout Ukraine's crisis, Moscow went all-out for resolving things responsibly, Churkin explained.

"It is not our fault what we are witnessing" now, he added. He accused Western nations of double standards. 

Their hypocrisy is brazen. They encouraged violently overthrowing Ukraine's legitimate government. They manipulated events to do so.

They duplicitously call Eastern Ukrainian freedom fighters "terrorists."

On Sunday, Russia's Foreign Ministry condemned Kiev's full-scale military operation order as "criminal."

"The Kiev authorities, who self-proclaimed themselves as a result of a coup, have embarked on the violent military suppression of the protests," it said.

On Monday, Sergei Lavrov criticized Western hypocrisy. Elements encouraging force must be held responsible, he said.

"The decision to apply military force is an extremely dangerous development. Those, who encourage such actions in Kiev should be held responsible to the full extent."

"We do not interfere in Ukraine’s domestic affairs. There are no Russian agents, neither GRU, nor FSB," he added.

"Russia is interested in an integral, united, friendly Ukraine, where all citizens live in peace, exercise their rights, have the possibility to normally interact with their neighbors."

"It is possible to achieve this through a complete constitutional reform. The case in hand is that all Ukrainians should be equal in their rights, there would be no subhumans, who are forced to hear daily insults and tolerate humiliation from neo-Nazis."

"Russian-speaking residents in the south and east of the country felt betrayed by those authorities that spoke about freedom, equal rights for all Ukrainians, but haven't even stirred a finger to start a responsible dialogue with the South-East until the South-East stated that it would not tolerate this situation."

"Only in recent days, some actions have been taken, but still these actions were spoiled by the decision to apply force in full extent, including army units."

"We have clearly stated that applying force against the protesters would substantially undermine…the prospects of cooperation in setting the Ukrainian crisis."

At a Sunday press conference, ousted President Viktor Yanukovych warned of impending civil war. "Blood was spilt today," he said.

"The Kiev junta has issued a criminal order to use armed forces and the army against the protesters."

"During my time in Kiev, we never used such methods against radicals and extremists."

He blamed Washington for crisis conditions. CIA head John Brennan secretly visited Kiev. He met with putschist officials. 

Announced use of military force followed. Washington's dirty hands are involved. Brennan "de facto sanctioned" assaulting protesters violently, said Yanukovych.

He urged Kiev security forces to disobey "unlawful orders." Don't shoot the "people of Ukraine," he said. "You will never be forgiven."

Referendum choice is the only solution, he added. "Now there is an urgent question of the referendum, which can protect the country from split," he said.

First a referendum. Then real constitutional reform. Followed by democratic elections. Putschists plan polar opposite policies. Expect greater chaos to follow.

Former Ukrainian internal affairs minister/national police service head Vitally Zakharchenko warned of Kiev plotting Ukraine/Russia border provocations.

"According to our information, in eastern regions of Ukraine, provocations are being planned near the border in order to discredit the military personnel of the Russian Federation," he explained.

He urged Ukrainian security forces to disobey illegal orders. He condemned Kiev putschists for issuing them.

"From the legal point of view, illegal orders are given out by the illegitimately appointed Turchyno, Avakov, Nalivaychenko (and) Makhnitsky," he said.

Anonymous Ukraine interior ministry sources confirmed what's planned, he added.

"Kiev authorities are preparing a big provocation, with a purpose to discredit the people of Donetsk and Lugansk regions who are committed to holding a referendum and federalization of the country" he said.

"An order arrived at the management of divisions of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the armed forces of Ukraine deployed in Donetsk region, to use fighters from the Right Sector to simulate armed attacks on the these divisions."

Lavrov expressed concern about Brennan's secret Kiev visit.

"We would like to understand what reports about the CIA Director Mr. Brennan's urgent trip to Kiev could mean. We have not received any reasonable explanation so far," he said.

Eastern Ukrainian protests are growing. They spreading. Donbas miners are involved. Detachments are guarding occupied government buildings.

A retired miner perhaps spoke for others, saying:

"It's hard to arouse the miners, but when you do, there will be trouble." They oppose Kiev putschists. 

They're involved in protests against them. They're defiant. Their involvement strengthens anti-Kiev resistance. So do growing numbers across the region.

Western propaganda gives no quarter. On April 12, The New York Times headlined "Xenophobic Chill Descends on Moscow." The Times lied claiming Moscow invaded Ukraine. 

"From the moment that Russia's invasion and annexation of Crimea cast a new, bitter chill over relations with the West, a sinister jingoistic vibe has pervaded this unsettled capital - stirred up by state-controlled television and Mr. Putin himself," it said.

Wall Street Journal editors are vicious. Bashing Russia is official policy. On April 13, they headlined "Russia's Second Invasion," saying:

Vice President Joe Biden heads for Kiev next week. He's going to express Western support. A litany of Big Lies followed, adding:

He "may want to speed up his" visit. "By then Vladimir Putin may already have annexed another chunk of Ukraine."

"…Russia('s) invasion of eastern Ukraine may already be underway," they hyperventilated.

"Masked and armed Russian speakers with the distinct look of special forces, but no military insignias, took over police stations and other locations in much of Ukraine's east over the weekend." 

"This was the Russian president's stealth mode of invasion in Crimea. By the time the West figured out what was going on, the deed was done."

Russia didn't invade Crimea. Invading Eastern Ukraine isn't planned. Polar opposite policies stress responsible crisis resolution. Don't expect Journal editors to explain.

Big Lies repeat. Readers are deceived. Malicious misinformation substitutes for truth and full disclosure. Russia bashing persists daily.

Journal editors suggest Putin plans full-scale invasion. Within weeks, they said. "(F)aux diplomacy" masks his intentions, they claim.

"His real goal is to redraw the postwar map of Europe to Russia's advantage," they added. "(B)y force if necessary."

Twisting truth to fit official US policy is longstanding scoundrel media practice.

On April 13, neocon Washington Post editors headlined "Escalation in Ukraine," saying:

"The Ukrainian government, for its part, has rightly taken the position that it cannot allow Russia to take over its cities by force of arms without fighting back."

"Moscow is demanding that the country be chopped up into pieces and that areas under its influence be given a veto over Ukraine's foreign policy."

"It may be too late to prevent war in eastern Ukraine. But the United States must quickly take the measures promised by Mr. Obama and Mr. Kerry, or lose what little credibility it retains on Ukraine."

"If Ukrainians are forced to fight for their country, they should be helped."

WaPo editors support Obama's war on Syria. They support illegitimate Kiev fascist putschists. 

They barely stopped short of urging Washington confront Russia belligerently. They deplore peace and stability. 

They're against legitimate democratic governance. They're part of the Russian bashing chorus. They shame themselves in the process.

A Final Comment

On April 14, Voice of Russia (VOA) headlined "Leaked UN report claims Russia 'rigged' Crimean referendum."

VOR cited an April 10 Foreign Policy (FP) propaganda report. It's titled "Exclusive: UN Hints Russia and Its Allies Rigged Crimea's Secession Vote."

Washington's dirty hands were involved. Lies substituted for truth. Not according to FP.

It's Washington Post owned. WaPo is CIA-linked. US propaganda is prominently featured.

On April 15, a so-called confidential UN report will be presented to Security Council members.

It wrongfully blames ousted President Yanukovych for ordering "a bloody crackdown on pro-Europe protesters."

He "plunged the country into turmoil," it says. It led to "unrest in Crimea and Russia's subsequent invasion and annexation…"

It claims 10 days before Crimea's referendum, reunification critics "were threatened, detained and tortured."

"(V)ote rigging" was rife, it added. Unidentified sources lied. They claimed "non-Ukrainians" participated. They "vot(ed) numerous times in different locations."

Ivan Simonovic is UN Secretary-General for Human Rights. He's a convenient US stooge. He wrote the report.

"Preliminary findings, based on publicly available information as well as reports from civil society representatives in Crimea, suggest that the referendum on March 16 raised a number of concerns in terms of respect for human rights," he said.

Crimeans were "victims of (Russian) propaganda and misinformation," he added.

Moscow "stage-managed the Crimean crisis." Its "military presence" raised concerns.

At the same time, Simonovic's report suggests that "Crimea's Russian-speaking majority (wouldn't) have voted any differently if conditions were less threatening to dissidents," said FP.

It begs the question FP didn't ask. Why rig election results assuring reunification support. Independent pre-election polls showed it overwhelmingly.

Independent monitors called voting scrupulously open, free and fair. Not a single irregularity was reported. Nor any human rights abuses.

Crimea's vote was a model democratic exercise. It shamed America's sham process. It has no legitimacy whatever. 

Don't expect FP to explain. Or Simonovic. He lied claiming "credible allegations of harassment, arbitrary arrest, and torture targeting activists and journalists who did not support the referendum."

No evidence whatever exists. No credible sources have any. Invented rubbish substitutes. Russia bashing is official US policy. 

Simonovic marches in lockstep. His report included a litany of Big Lies.

VOR cited Moscow justifiably saying Crimea's referendum "was fully compliant with international law and must be recognized as legitimate."

Claims otherwise have no credibility whatever. Big Lies substitute for clear unequivocal truth.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

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

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

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The Russians Aren’t Coming

The Russians Aren't Coming

by Stephen Lendman

It's back to the future. It's reminiscent of Cold War fearmongering. It claimed the Russians are coming.

Norman Jewison's 1966 film titled "The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming" portrayed a Soviet threat, albeit satirically.

Today, outrageous headlines irresponsibly suggest Russian hordes threaten Ukraine. Truth is polar opposite. It doesn't matter.

On March 28, Ukraine's propaganda news service Ukrinform headlined "Russia continues to redeploy troops to Ukrainian border." 

It quoted Kiev's Military and Political Studies Center head Dmytro Tymchuk saying:

"According to live data of the Information Resistance group, redeployment of Russian troops to the border of Russia with Ukraine has continued over the past day."

In Rostov region, he claimed columns of technology were "fixed." They're "heading to the state border." 

Included are 150 armored personnel carriers and 400 units of motor vehicles near the town of Millerovo, Tarasovsky settlement and the town of Kamensk-Shakhtinsky, he said.

Overnight at Rostov-Tovarny's railway station, he claimed "eight MLRS (multiple rocket launchers) Uragan arrived (on) 12 freight cars." 

So did "four BTR-80, about a dozen units of automotive vehicles (including fuel trucks)," he added.

"In Belgorod region...the column of vehicles was fixed, moving in the direction of the state border (30-40 km from the border): about 30 units of automotive vehicles, about 10 units of tracked engineering equipment."

BBC aired fake footage alleging Russian tanks heading for Ukraine's border.

CNN hyped the bogus threat headlining " 'The hordes are coming:' Ukrainians fear Russian invasion in northeast."

CBS News headlined "Putin reaches out to Obama as Russian troops continue to mass on Ukraine border."

USA Today headlined "Ukrainians fear Russian invasion near."

Foreign Policy (FP) magazine is a neocon Washington Post publication. 

It headlined "The Russians Are Coming - 10 very good reasons not to believe Vladimir Putin when he says he's totally not going to invade eastern Ukraine."

Ten lies followed straightaway claiming:

(1) Up to 50,000 Russian troops massed on Ukraine's border; other putschist reports claimed 100,000;

(2) "Putin enjoys embarrassing the United States…;"

(3) "The IMF bailout;" FP portrayed grand theft loan-sharking as responsible lending;

(4) Legitimate Crimean reunification is illegal;

(5) What will Western nations do about threatened Russian invasion;

(6) Russian comments are anti-Western;

(7) "Russia's military and arms trade relies on Ukraine;"

(8) "The Kremlin lies shamefully and farcically;" 

Daily malicious scoundrel media Big Lies are ignored.

(9) Russian "Kombinatsiya" (disinformation) "is very much in evidence now;" and

(10) "Modernizatsiya (modernization)" plans "the largest and most ambitious re-armament and modernization program" of Russia's military since the Soviet Union's dissolution. 

Doing so wrongfully suggests a threat. Russian military spending is minuscule compared to America's bloated defense budget.

Washington Post neocons headlined "Donetsk fearful of Russian military might on Ukraine's border." They ludicrously claimed residents keep their cars "gassed up in case their families need to flee advancing tanks."

Murdoch's The Sunday Times headlined "The Russians are coming. We're ready. As Moscow's forces mass on the eastern border, volunteers are flocking to bolster Ukraine's poorly equipped national guard."

FP's article hyped a nonexistent planned Russian Ukrainian invasion. Other Western scoundrel media echo the same Big Lie. 

It repeats with disturbing regularity. It does so despite no evidence whatever suggesting it. 

Russian expert Dmitry Vostok said "(b)efore casting aspersions upon Russia, (Western leaders) should (consider) their own interventions."

Their collective memories are short. They ignore or mischaracterize numerous imperial interventions. They blame victims for their crimes.

They claim holier than thou reasons for lawless aggression. They threaten more. They justify the unjustifiable. 

They defend the indefensible. They claim ravaging and destroying one nation after another to save them is OK.

They lack moral authority. Their agenda is world domination. They threaten world peace. They risk humanity's survival. 

They turn truth on its head. Big Lies repeat. Media scoundrels echo them. They call self-defense terrorism. They call Putin's all-out conflict resolution initiatives aggression.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is a consummate diplomat. He does his nation proud. 

He endures plenty dealing with Western leaders. He outshines them all. He deserves Nobel Peace Prize recognition. Recipients include a rogue's gallery of war criminals. Obama is Exhibit A.

Lavrov was clear and unequivocal. He said Moscow has no intention of invading Ukraine. Claims otherwise are spurious.

"We have absolutely no intention of and interest in crossing Ukraine's borders," he stressed. 

"The only thing we really want is that the work should be collective and the lawlessness that some Western countries are trying to sweep under the rug and paint the situation in bright colors should be stopped, so that they realize their responsibility."

Russia "had no other choice than to accept Crimea," he added. "We didn't bother reflecting about what the reaction would be." 

"We had no other choice. The choice we eventually made came from our history, international law, Russian statehood and our responsibility for the lives of those ethnic Russians who found themselves stranded abroad in a single day."

Reunification is entirely legal. International law principles affirm everyone's right to self-determination. Crimeans overwhelmingly chose to join Russia.

Moscow was obligated to oblige. Western nations plotted for years to split Ukraine from Russia, said Lavrov.

"It feels as though our Western colleagues…have long been working to 'tear' Ukraine away from Russia." 

"Once they realized they had been wrong and it had been a mistake to act in violation of all post-Soviet agreements, they couldn't own up to it." 

"A false idea of pride stood in their way. And all the sanctions we are seeing now are a knee-jerk reflex that makes them want to find a reasonable way to remedy their hurt feelings."

The same "you are either with us or against us" notion" exists. "We have long since given that up but unfortunately this kind of mentality is still there in the minds of politicians who today define the West's stance," Lavrov added.

He criticized Western nations for bullying 50 countries to vote against Crimean reunification legitimacy.

Threats were made. Nation were told they'd "face consequences." Moscow's UN envoy Vitaly Churkin said:

"Many (nations) complained that they were experiencing enormous pressure from Western powers to make them vote" against reunification legitimacy.

"(T)he pressure produced a certain effect. Some countries voted (the wrong way) grudgingly, shall I say, and complained to us about the strong pressure they had experienced."

Washington and rogue Western partners ousted legitimate Ukrainian governance. They elevated a rogue's gallery of societal misfits to power. 

They're miscreants. They're dangerous. They're fascist extremists. They're illegitimate. They represent mob rule. 

On March 30, RT International headlined "Ukrainian nationalists attack anti-coup motor rally with hammers and bats," saying:

Southeastern Ukrainians "are facing increasingly violent intimidation." Western media suppress what's happening. Putschists are portrayed as democrats. 

Euromaidan thugs attacked cars displaying Russian, regional and Ukrainian flags. They came from Melitopol. They headed for a Zaporozhye anti-government rally last week.

Eye witness Artyom Tymchenko told RT:

"When the motor rally was about to enter Zaporozhye, it became clear that an ambush was being organized by the Maidan criminals."

"Near the railway station the column was stopped by the Maidan bandits, who started beating people, taking their property, smashing cars."

Motorists said Right Sector thugs attacked them.

"The police, who are supposed to sort out the situation, are not going about their job with any enthusiasm, and although the attackers didn't hide their faces, no one has been arrested so far." 

"Which simply leads to the conclusion that they acted under the protection of the criminals currently in power."

Vladimir Balagura heads an anti-putschist initiative called "Our Town."

"It is very scary to witness when people are running at you with weapons, shovels, and batons, with chains, metal rods," he said.

RT said Dnepropetrovsk residents are threatened. "Ukrainian vigilantes" are targeting people they call "pro-Russian thugs."

Right Sector neo-Nazis established their own political party. Their January 2014 manifesto states:

"(A)ll those those who at this point would try to tame the revolutionary energy of the masses should be proclaimed traitors and punished in the most severe way." 

"Death to the regime of internal occupation! Freedom or death! Glory to Ukraine!"

On May 25, sham presidential elections are scheduled. A previous article said aspirants look more like a police lineup. 

Democracy is strictly verboten. Various candidates registered to participate. Others submitted bids. It's unclear how many will stay in the race.

Former heavyweight boxing champion turned politician Vitaly Klitschko dropped out. He'll participate in Kiev's mayoral race instead.

A mid-March poll showed billionaire chocolate magnate Pyotr Poroshenko had 36.2% support. He hasn't officially registered to participate. He's expected to do so.

Klitschko had 12.9% support. He endorsed Poroshenko's candidacy. Convicted/imprisoned/now illegally freed mega-crook Yulia Tymoshenko's approval was 12%.

Ousted Party of Regions' Sergey Tigipko scored 10%. Other candidates have single-digit support or practically none at all.

In early March, Right Sector neo-Nazi leader Dmytro Yarosh announced his candidacy. Russia's Investigative Committee (IC) said he's wanted for involvement in killing Russian soldiers in Chechnya.

If apprehended, he'll be prosecuted. IC representative Vladimir Markin said there's enough evidence against him to put him on a "wanted list."

He openly boasts about "...fighting Jews and Russians till I die."

He calls Russia Ukraine's "eternal enemy." He said war between both countries is inevitable.

He openly supports Chechen militants. He backed Georgia's 2008 aggression against South Ossetia.

Yarosh and likeminded Right Sector extremists are the worst of a bad lot of rogues running Ukraine.

They're gun-toting, radicalized terrorists. Imagine them and likeminded scoundrels holding influential portfolios in Ukraine's government.

They're cold-blooded killers. They believe in barrel-of-a-gun rule. State terrorism defines their agenda. Anyone opposing them is targeted for elimination.

Yarosh has delusions of grandeur. He enjoys too little support to become president. Unless he intends seizing it by force. His extremism suggests anything is possible.

He and other Right Sector leaders have thousands of supporters. They're militants. They're capable of anything. They threaten everyone opposing their agenda.

Their extremism risks civil war. So do Svoboda neo-Nazis. Their leader Oleh Tyahnybok is a presidential aspirant. It remains to be seen what follows May elections.

On Sunday, John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov met in Paris. Crisis conditions in Ukraine was discussed. Nothing was resolved. Washington remains hardline. Ahead of talks Lavrov said:

"We have no common plan yet. We view the situation differently. Right now we are exchanging views, but we cannot say that we have found a single approach to the problem." 

"To find a solution that would suit both of us we need regular consultations."

On March 30, Itar Tass headlined "An Action in support of bank Rossiya to take place in Moscow." 

Russia's national currency will replace dollar transactions. Putin wants an independent payment system. Itar Tass quoted action organizers saying:

"Russia, at its present stage of development, should not be dependent on foreign currencies; its internal resources will make its own economy invulnerable to political wheeler dealers."

"In order to protect the bank's customers from dishonest actions by foreign financial institutions AB Rossiya has decided to operate only in the domestic market and exclusively with the national currency of the Russian Federation - the rouble."

"The bank has already notified some U.S. banks that it is closing its correspondence accounts. Similar notifications have been sent to other foreign financial institutions."

VTB bank president Andrei Kostin said Rossiya's decision to delink from foreign currencies is a step forward to work exclusively with the ruble. 

"We have been moving towards wider use of the Russian rouble as the currency of settlement for a long time. The rouble became fully convertible quite a long time ago," he added.

Kostin urges Russian products sold abroad and foreign good bought transacted solely in rubles.

"Only then are we going to use (its) advantages of…being a foreign currency in full measure," he added.

Sanctions cut both ways. Moscow signaled earlier about responding to Western measures. 

It remains to be seen what follows. East/West tensions remain heightened. Washington bears full responsibility. 

Targeting Russia is longstanding US policy. Doing so risks belligerence replacing diplomacy.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

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

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

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Ukraine: Unraveling the Planned Chaos

William F. Jasper “In a perverse way, the more aggressive the posturing by Russia, the more likely it is that the West will stump up...

Containing Russia

Containing Russia

by Stephen Lendman

It's longstanding US policy. In his March 18 address on Crimea, Putin was right saying:

"(W)e have every reason to assume that the infamous policy of containment, led in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, continues today."  

Western nations are "constantly trying to sweep us into a corner because we have an independent position, because we maintain it, and because we call things like they are and do not engage in hypocrisy."

"Everything has its limits," he added. "(I)n Ukraine, our Western partners crossed the red line." They "act(ed) irresponsibly and unprofessionally."

Putin had the courage to say what needs to be heard publicly. Containing Russia is longstanding US policy. It reflects US hegemonic ambitions. It risks a potential belligerent East/West confrontation.

As early as 1917, Washington and Britain wanted the new Soviet state destroyed. Three months before WW I ended, Britain led a multi-nation force. 

At the time, Lloyd George was Prime Minister. Churchill was UK Minister of War and Air. Woodrow Wilson was US president.

Thousands of US marines were involved. They invaded Russia. They intervened against Bolshevik forces. They remained until April 1920.

So-called "preventive war" failed. At the same time, "Red Scare" propaganda was intense. 

Political scientist Murray Levin called it "a nation-wide anti-radical hysteria provoked by a mounting fear and anxiety that a Bolshevik revolution in America was imminent - a revolution that would change church, home, marriage, civility, and the American way of Life."

Newspapers hyped fear. Xenophobia raged. Industrial Workers of the World (IWW Wobblies) were demonized. 

Latter-day media scoundrels called them "radical threats to American society" inspired by "left-wing, foreign agent provocateurs."

Labor strikes they led were called "crimes against society," conspiracies against the government," and "plots to establish communism."

Dozens of Wobbly members were arrested. They were convicted. They got long prison terms. The IWW was never the same again.

The infamous 1917 Espionage Act and 1918 anti-anarchist Sedition Act were enacted. Law Professor David Cole said Wilson "targeted alien radicals." 

"(He) deported them for their speech or associations. (He) ma(de) little effort to distinguish true threats from ideological dissidents."

In 1918, the abusive Palmer raids followed. They continued into 1921. Wilson's Attorney General Mitchell Palmer ordered them. He targeted Wobbly members and other left-wing groups.

He launched J. Edgar Hoover's FBI career. It began in the Department of Justice Bureau of Investigation's newly created General Intelligence Division. In 1935, it became the FBI.

A year earlier, the Special Committee on Un-American Activities was established. The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) succeeded it.

From the mid-1950s through the early 1970s, Hoover's infamous COINTELPRO (counterintelligence) program targeted political dissidents, alleged communists, anti-war, human and civil rights activists, American Indian Movement members, and Black Panther Party ones, among others.

In their book, "Agents of Repression," Ward Churchill and Jim Vander Wall said:

"(T)he term came to signify the whole context of clandestine (usually illegal) political repression activities…" 

They included "a massive surveillance (program via) wiretaps, surreptitious entries and burglaries, electronic devices, live 'tails' and bogus mail." 

It was done to induce paranoia and "foster 'splits' within or between organizations."

Other tactics included:

  • "black propaganda" through leaflets or other publications; it was "designed to discredit organizations and foster internal tensions;"

  • "disinformation or 'gray propaganda' " for the same purpose; 

  • "bad-jacketing" to "creat(e) suspicion - through the spread of rumors, manufacture of evidence, etc." to turn some members against others violently;

  • "harassment arrests (on bogus) charges;" and

  • "assassinations (of) selected political leaders."

This writer vividly remembers December 4, 1969. Chicago police murdered Black Panther leaders Fred Hampton and Mark Clark while they slept. They did so in cold blood.

In November 1968, J. Edgar Hoover ordered FBI agents "to exploit all avenues of creating....dissension within the ranks of the BPP (using) imaginative hard-hitting counterintelligence measures aimed at crippling" the organization.

He targeted independent voices challenging America's imperial agenda. Soviet Russia supporters were prime targets.

Post-WW II, containing Russia became official US policy. US diplomat/ambassador to Soviet Russia/presidential advisor George Kennan (1904 - 2005) was "the father of containment."

He was a core member of so-called foreign policy "Wise Men." His advice inspired the Truman Doctrine. More on it below.

His 1946 "Long Telegram" from Moscow and 1947 "Sources of Soviet Conduct" claimed its government was inherently expansionist. 

Containing its influence in strategic areas vitally important to America had to be prioritized, he argued. Cold War policies followed. Kennan was instrumentally involved.

In February 1948, his "Memo PPS23" said:

"(W)e have 50% of the world's wealth but only 6.3% of its population. (It makes us) the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships (to let us) maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national society." 

"To do so we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and daydreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives." 

"We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world benefaction...."

"We should dispense with the aspiration to 'be liked' or to be regarded as the repository of a high-minded international altruism."

"We should (stop talking about) unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization." 

"The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are hampered by idealistic slogans (ideas and practices), the better."

In July 1947, his so-called "X" article headlined "The Sources of Soviet Conduct."

He urged "counter(ing) it "effectively." He stressed "containment, saying:

"The main element of any United States policy toward the Soviet Union must be that of a long-term, patient but firm and vigilant containment of Russian expansive tendencies."

He quoted Lenin saying:

"Unevenness of economic and political development is the inflexible law of capitalism. It follows from this that the victory of Socialism may come originally in a few capitalist countries or even in a single capitalist country." 

"The victorious proletariat of that country, having expropriated the capitalists and having organized Socialist production at home, would rise against the remaining capitalist world, drawing to itself in the process the oppressed classes of other countries."

He said Soviet power reflects "innate antagonism between capitalism and socialism."

"We have seen how deeply that concept has become imbedded in foundations of Soviet power. It has profound implications for Russia's conduct as a member of international society." 

"It means that there can never be on Moscow's side a sincere assumption of a community of aims between the Soviet Union and powers which are regarded as capitalist." 

"It must inevitably be assumed in Moscow that the aims of the capitalist world are antagonistic to the Soviet regime, and therefore to the interests of the peoples it controls."

Antagonism remains, said Kennan. "And from it flow many of the phenomena which we find disturbing in the Kremlin's conduct of foreign policy: the secretiveness, the lack of frankness, the duplicity, the wary suspiciousness, and the basic unfriendliness of purpose."

Russians will be "difficult to deal with" for a long time, he stressed. In November 1948, NSC 4 outlined "US Objectives with Respect to the USSR to Counter Soviet Threats to US Security."

NSC 7 followed. It covered "The Position of the United States With Respect to Soviet Dominated World Communism." It said:

"(A) defensive policy cannot be considered an effective means of checking the momentum of Soviet expansion."  

"Defeat(ing)" communism was considered "vital to the security of the United States." It argued Washington should organize and lead a "counter-offensive" aimed at undermining Soviet strength.

It should "develop, and at the appropriate time carry out, a coordinated program to support underground resistance movements in countries behind the iron curtain, including the USSR."

Kennan's 1948 "Inauguration of Political Warfare" explained his ideas on how to conduct it. He discussed covert and overt strategies.

He included political alliances, economic policies, and encouraging underground resistance initiatives. He encouraged establishing "Liberation Committees" across Europe. He supported policies short of war.

"In the long run," he said, "there can be only three possibilities for the future of western and central Europe. One is German domination. Another is Russian domination." 

"The third is a federated Europe, into which the parts of Germany are absorbed but in which the influence of the other countries is sufficient to hold Germany in her place."

"If there is no real European federation and if Germany is restored as a strong and independent country, we must expect another attempt at German domination." 

"If there is no real European federation and if Germany is not restored as a strong and independent country, we invite Russian domination, for an unorganized Western Europe cannot indefinitely oppose an organized Eastern Europe." 

"The only reasonably hopeful possibility for avoiding one of these two evils is some form of federation in western and central Europe."

In March 1946, Churchill spoke at Fulton, MO-based Westminster College. He delivered his famous "Iron Curtain" speech. He titled it "The Sinews of Peace." 

He helped change the way Western nations viewed communist Eastern ones. In pointed language, he said:

"Nobody knows what Soviet Russia and its communist international organization intends to do in the immediate future, or what are its limits, if any, to their expansive and proselytizing tendencies."

"From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent."

"Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe."

"Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and, in many cases, increasing measure of control from Moscow."

Many analysts consider his speech the beginning of the Cold War.

In March 1947, Truman's Doctrine pledged "support (for) free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures."

He aimed to keep Greece and Turkey from going communist. His policy applied globally. He initiated America's National Security State strategy.

Establishing NATO followed. So did policy papers like Kennan wrote. Peace didn't last long. Truman attacked North Korea. More on this below.

In April 1950, a Paul Nitze-supervised Joint State-Defense Department Committee National Security Memorandum No. 68 (NSC-68) was about containing Soviet Russia.

Inflammatory language called it an enemy "unlike previous aspirants to hegemony...animated by a new fanatic faith, antithetical to our own (wishing to) impose its absolute authority over the rest of the world." 

It claimed it at a time America was the only global superpower. Soviet Russia was devastated by WW II. Many more years were needed to regain normality. It threatened no one.

IF Stone's "Hidden History of the Korean War" explains a much different account than popularly believed.

In 1952, Monthly Review co-founders Leo Huberman and Paul Sweezy wrote in the preface:

"This book...paints a very different picture of the Korean War - one, in fact, which is at variance with the official version at almost every point." 

Stone's investigation into official discrepancies led him "to a full-scale reassessment of the whole" war.

Publisher Claude Bourdet wrote his own article titled "The Korean Mystery: Fight Against a Phantom,"? saying:

"If Stone's thesis corresponds to reality, we are in the presence of the greatest swindle in the whole of military history."

It's "not a question of a harmless fraud but of a terrible maneuver in which deception is being consciously utilized to block peace at a time when it is possible."

Stone called it international aggression. Huberman and Sweezy agreed. In August 1951, they said:

"(W)e have come to the conclusion that (South Korean president) Syngman Rhee deliberately provoked the North Koreans in the hope that they would retaliate by crossing the parallel in force."

He did so at Truman's behest. Multiple South Korean provocations gave him the war he wanted. Millions perished. Northern areas were turned to rubble. More wars followed. 

"The northerners," said Huberman and Sweezy, wanted Korea unified, not war. They "fell neatly into the trap." Truman took full advantage. He instigated conflict. 

Stone believed it saying:

"(W)e said we were going to Korea to go back to the status quo before the war, but when the American armies reached the 38th parallel they didn't stop."

"They kept going, so there must be something else. We must have another agenda here, and what might that agenda be?"

The same one he later learned initiated Washington's Southeast Asian war and others. Permanent war is official US policy. Containing Russia continues today. More on this below.

Post-WW II, the Marshall Plan (European Recovery Program) had little to do with so-called "huge gestures of (US) benevolence."

Economist Walt Rostow helped implement the plan. He called it one part of an "offensive to strengthen the area still outside Stalin's grasp."

In December 1947, then Undersecretary of State for Economic Affairs William Clayton said if aid wasn't provided, "the Iron Curtain would then move westward at least to the English Channel."

While implementation was being discussed, he said America "hold(s) in (its) hands the powerful weapon of discontinuance of aid if contrary to our expectations any country fails to live up to our expectations."

Economic Stabilization Bureau head Chester Bowles was candid, saying:

"The real argument for the Marshall Plan is a bolstering of the American system for future years."

The plan was named for popular General George Marshall. Post-war, Truman's popularity fell sharply. 

Putting his name on it risked public anger enough perhaps to get congressional rejection.

Marshall played the game. He pitched the plan. He delivered canned speeches. 

He disingenuously claimed it was to relieve "hunger, poverty, desperation, and chaos." It was about saving capitalism from communism and Stalinist influence.

Containing Russia remains official US policy. It's back to the future. The Cold War never ended. It morphed into new form.

Putin is public enemy number one. He's vilified more intensively than Soviet era leaders. In 2007, during his first term as president, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov discussed containing Russia, saying:

"The very (notion) appeals to instincts of the past. It not so much attests to the lack of imagination, but rather that for some individuals almost nothing has changed since the end of the Cold War." 

"These people propose imposing the structure of international relations which took shape long ago in the Western alliance, to the present moment." 

"The motives that dictated this policy of containment are making themselves felt at this new historical stage, as well."

"What kind of Russia should be contained," he asked? "What can be the goal of 'containing Russia' today?" 

"A Russia that has renounced an ideology of imperial and other 'great plans' in favor of pragmatism and common sense." 

"How can a nation, which has placed emphasis on its domestic development and is now progressing remarkably well, be contained?" 

"Russia's consolidation through creative work has naturally been translated into the strengthening of its international positions. Russia's foreign policy is nothing more than the continuation of its domestic policy." 

"We have realistic and understandable aspirations, namely: the maintenance of international stability as a major condition for our further development together with the natural evolution of international relations with the goal of achieving freedom and democracy."

Washington and Moscow are geopolitical opposites, he added. Therein lies what's at issue. Russia's peace and respect for national sovereignty priorities are at odds with America's imperial agenda.

Heightened tensions risk an East/West confrontation. Irresponsible US policy risks possible global war. If initiated there's no turning back. Humanity's fate hangs in the balance.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

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

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

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Major power utilities continue to deploy “smart” electrical meters on businesses and private residences throughout the United States and Canada. Yet those in North America and elsewhere remain in the dark on the negative health effects of such devices that systematically blast their homes with radio-frequency (RF) radiation on a minute-by-minute, round-the-clock basis.

In 2009 the Obama administration partnered with utilities by allocating $3.4 billion in federal stimulus funds toward building a nationwide “smart grid,” where smart meters figure centrally.[1] The project is part of President Obama’s “Climate Action Plan” that under United Nations auspices seeks to reduce US carbon emissions 20% by the year 2020.[2]

There is more than ample research available that has associated negative health effects of RF radiation emitted by smart meters [3] for regulatory authorities to place restrictions on power utilities and compel them to abide by the precautionary principle. Such restrictions would require power providers to refrain from wide scale installation of smart meters until a sufficient body of scientific research demonstrating the safety of such devices has been produced and rigorously evaluated.

Yet in the US and elsewhere the imperative of having a “smart grid,” the prospect of a carbon trading scheme, lax (and in at least some cases corrupt) state and federal regulatory bodies, and the sheer power of the utilities combine to jeopardize the long term health of the entire population.

In a purportedly democratic society news outlets play a decisive role in such an impending health crisis. By failing to report on the dubious health research of smart meters and the fact that the public is being involuntarily subjected to such technology, news media are a key factor in the citizenry’s continued ignorance and inaction.

In May 2011 the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer categorized “radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer, associated with wireless cellphone use.”[4] Despite this warning from a well-recognized source, the utilities stubbornly insist that all residences must be equipped with a smart meter issuing dangerous electropollution.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ceased studying the health effects of radiofrequency radiation when the Senate Appropriations Committee cut the department’s funding and forbade it from further research into the area.[5] Thereafter RF limits were codified as mere “guidelines” based on the EPA’s tentative findings and are presently overseen by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

These weakly enforced standards are predicated on the alleged “thermal effect” of RF to which the FCC subscribes. In other words, if the energy emitted from a wireless antenna or device is not powerful enough to heat the skin or flesh then no danger is posed to human health.[6]

To this day power utilities cling to this severely outmoded and unscientific standard when confronted with the formidable body of research linking RF to cancer, destruction of DNA, and other negative health effects. News media seldom question the FCC policy when it is cited by utilities and regulators alike to underline the supposed overall safety of smart meters.[7]

An electronic LexisNexis search of newspaper articles referencing “smart meters” appearing between May 31, 2011, the date WHO classified RF a Class 2B carcinogen, and June 19, 2014, yields close to 839 pieces published in English language papers. Yet for the same time span only one tenth of the sample (82 articles) mentions “smart meters” and “carcinogen” or “carcinogenic” in the same report. Of these, 65 of the articles appeared in Canadian, and to a much lesser degree Australian or UK papers. Note that each sample includes guest editorials and letters to the editor penned by concerned citizens.

Using parameters from the date May 31, 2011, the date WHO declared RF a Class 2B carcinogen, to January 19, 2014, of 93 newspaper articles referencing “smart meter” and “World Health Organization,” 76 were published in Canadian, and to a much lesser degree UK, Australian, Malaysian or New Zealand outlets.

As the above suggests, the extremely limited awareness especially in the US of the potential health consequences of exposure to the continual RF emitted by smart meters is primarily because the issue is being blacked out in the press. When such dangers are reported, they are tempered by the refrain of the FCC’s “thermal effect” policy, which in light of the abundant countervailing research amounts to disinformation.

In December 2013 I contacted the reporter at the local metro-daily Palm Beach Post covering the state power utility, Florida Power and Light, and its smart meter policy to remind her of the bevy of public health and medical research documenting the likely consequences of sustained RF exposure. I also directed her to the WHO statement classifying RF as potentially carcinogenic.

To the Post’s credit a subsequent story highlighting Florida Power and Light’s “opt out” policy referenced the WHO statement. Yet the piece appeared deep in the business section of the paper, and the WHO warning was accompanied by the Florida Public Service Commission’s familiar rejoinder.

In 2011 the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified radio frequency electromagnetic fields such as those emitted by cellular phones, microwaves and smart meters as possibly carcinogenic to humans.

The PSC has said its authority does not extend to health issues related to meters. Smart meters are certified for compliance with radio frequency emission standards by the Federal Communications Commission, and the FCC has deemed that meters in compliance with the standards do not have adverse health impacts.[8]

While one or more hidden agendas likely exist to keep the public unaware of the health dangers associated with RF and smart meters (again, think carbon trading, in addition to the social control possibilities via energy rationing and surveillance soon to be realized through the “smart grid,”) a more immediate cause for such censorship is simply profit and continued media monopoly control of public opinion and discourse.

The telecommunications industry whose services are largely predicated on RF has recently exhibited the largest growth in advertising outlays, which are surely recognized in bottom line terms by the news and media industries.[9] With potential continued revenue growth on this scale, raising questions and relaying information that can safeguard public health and allow citizens to ask intelligent questions concerning the health of themselves and their loved ones simply constitutes poor business practice.

Notes

[1] “President Obama Announces $3.4 Billion Investment to Spur Transition to Smart Energy Grid,” The White House, October 27, 2009.

[2] Ed King, “Obama Promises to Cut Carbon Pollution in Climate Action Plan,” Responding to Climate Change, June 26, 2013.

[3] See, for example, the American Association of Environmental Medicine EMF-RF Reference List (PDF) and AAEM’s April 12, 2012 Press Advisory (PDF).

[4] World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer, “IARC Classifies Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields as Possibly Carcinogenic,” May 31, 2011.

[5] Susan Luzzaro, “Field of Cell Phone Tower Beams,” San Diego Reader, May 18, 2011,

[6] FCC Office of Engineering and Technology, http://www.fcc.gov/oet/rfsafety. See also James F. Tracy “Wireless Technology and the Accelerated Toxification of America,” memoryholeblog.com, July 7, 2012.

[7] When this author obtained documents through a public records request from the Florida Public Service Commission on Florida Power and Light’s smart meter campaign–a very simple and routine endeavor for any journalist–it was evident that no human health impact studies on statewide smart meter deployment were ever considered. The PSC merely accepted FPL’s rationale and related public relations literature.

[8] Susan Salisbury, “Media Opt-Out Fee to Be Considered, PSC Staff Proposes Enrollment, Monthly Cost for Device For Device Foes,” Palm Beach Post, January 3, 2014, B4.

[9] “Ad Spend By Sector: Consumer Goods and Telecom Take the Cake in 2012,” Nielsen.com, April 25, 2013.

Republished at GlobalResearch.ca on January 21, 2014.

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The Sandy Hook School Massacre: A Compendium of Research and Analysis

Beginning in the late 1960s Operation Gladio and its corollary maneuvers proceeded throughout Europe, spanning over two decades. Researchers and even the testimony of public officials have since proven that the series of seemingly random orchestrated bombings and shootings was intended to cultivate the necessary degree of anxiety and “tension” that would keep the populace tethered to police state authority and supportive of the right wing regimes preferred by Western powers.

The events of September 11, 2001 have their attendant punctuation marks that reverberate through the body politic. The Sikh Temple. Aurora. Sandy Hook. Navy Yard. And most recently the Arapahoe School in Colorado. For over one year the American public has been subject to a steady mass-mediated drumbeat of school shootings and “active shooter drills.” The breathless corporate coverage of such events often blurs the line between contrivance and reality. While federal agencies clamor for resources to keep the public “safe” from “terrorists and other bad guys,” the undue hysteria has served to keep families on edge over the welfare of their school age children.

Over the past twelve months Memory Hole Blog has published a variety of stories and commentaries seeking to probe behind the corporate media’s overly sensationalistic, and in many cases terrifying, headlines and soundbites related to “school safety” in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy.

In early January 2013 such analyses caught the attention of the national media, especially since some of the unanswered questions concerning Sandy Hook were being raised or echoed by an academician–indeed, by a member of the establishment who might be intimidated (or embarrassed) into silence. Such efforts have resulted in Memory Hole building its list of followers by several thousand, and making it a destination where those so inclined often engage in vigorous debate via their commentaries on posts. This is another (albeit modest) example of intelligent and discerning citizens exhibiting warranted skepticism toward public events and condemning the disinformation and make believe corporate media offer as a regular diet to their reader/viewerships.

The following is a collection of posts written by James Tracy and MHB guest contributors over the past year specifically addressing one of US history’s more recent controversial events–one that has broad implications for public safety, health, and education-related policies: the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre.-JFT

False Flag Terror and Conspiracies of Silence
August 10, 2012
The news media’s readiness to accept official pronouncements and failure to more vigorously analyze and question government authorities in the wake of “domestic terrorist” incidents including mass shootings and bombings contributes to the American public’s already acute case of collective historical amnesia, while further rationalizing the twenty-first century police state and continued demise of civil society.

Analyzing the Newtown Narrative: Sandy Hook’s Disappearing Shooter Suspects
December 20, 2012
It is now beyond question that the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King Jr. all involved patsies, additional gunman and perhaps most importantly, mass media complicity to achieve their political ends. Along these lines and in a fashion now characteristic of how such public executions are framed, the observations and analyses of citizen journalists and alternative media suggest how coverage of the Newtown Connecticut school shooting was substantially altered in the several hours and days following the event.

The Sandy Hook Massacre: Unanswered Questions and Missing Information
December 24, 2012
Inconsistencies and anomalies abound when one turns an analytical eye to news of the Newtown school massacre. The public’s general acceptance of the event’s validity and faith in its resolution suggest a deepened credulousness borne from a world where almost all news and information is electronically mediated and controlled.

James Tracy on the Kevin Barrett Show
January 2, 2013
James Tracy’s  recent article The Sandy Hook School Massacre: Unanswered Questions and Missing Information has gone viral, suggesting that more and more Americans are waking up to the fact that the “deep state” or “dual state” is behind almost all “terrorist attacks,” school shootings, and massacres of civilians. If you doubt that, please study the history of Operation Gladio, which appears to be alive and well in the USA.

Sandy Hook School Massacre Part II: Continued Ambiguity and Augmented Realities
January 4, 2013
As documents relating to the Sandy Hook shooting continue to be assessed and interpreted by independent researchers there is a growing awareness that the media coverage of the massacre of 26 children and adults was intended primarily for public consumption to further larger political ends. A considerable amount of evidence has been withheld by authorities, who in a telling move have successfully postponed public disclosure of items culled from Nancy and Adam Lanzas’ residence and vehicles for an additional ninety days.

Sandy Hook School Massacre Timeline
January 6, 2013
The following timeline of the December 14 mass killing of 20 children and 8 adults in Newtown Connecticut attempts to demonstrate how the event was presented to the public by corporate news media. The chronological assemblage of coverage is not comprehensive of all reports published on the incident but rather seeks to verify how the storyline was to a substantial degree constructed by federal and state law enforcement authorities and major media around the theory that 20-year-old Adam Lanza was the sole agent in the massacre.

James Tracy on KPFA’s Guns and Butter
January 10, 2013
“Sandy Hook: Unanswered Questions” with Professor James F. Tracy. Discrepancies in media coverage; coroner’s press conference; political fallout.

Anderson Cooper’s Anti-Conspiracy Tirade
January 12, 2013
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January 10 Infowars Nightly News with Rob Dew
January 15, 2013

Taft Union High School Drill Becomes “Real Life”
January 16, 2013
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Higher Education and Academic Freedom Under Attack
January 19, 2013
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CIA Document 1035-960: Foundation of a Weaponized Term
January 20, 2013
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An Open Letter In Support of Dr. Tracy and Academic Freedom
January 25, 2013
Dear Florida Atlantic University administrators: I am writing to express support for Dr. Tracy’s right to express his views and pose his questions. Indeed, as an associate professor, he has a professional responsibility to do so. Sadly, voicing unpopular views is a responsibility that is largely neglected in the academy. And even if Dr. Tracy has made some misjudgments regarding the present case (about which I reserve judgment), at least he has demonstrated an uncommon degree of courage in voicing opinions that risk engendering personal troubles.

The Sandy Hook Controversy: James Tracy on GRTV
January 28, 2013
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An Inquisitive Couple’s Visit to Newtown Connecticut
January 28, 2013
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Live Shooter Drill Hoax Played on Nation’s Most Vulnerable Children
February 2, 2013
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An Open Letter to FAU Faculty, Staff, and Administration About Sandy Hook
February 6, 2013
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Corporate Media’s Lone Gunman Storyline Losing Ground
February 9, 2013
A cross section of kill-to-injury ratios of major mass shootings suggests that if Adam Lanza acted alone in carrying out the Sandy Hook Elementary School carnage he was among the most accurate killers in modern history, exceeding even the lethal damage meted out by Al Capone’s machine gun-wielding henchmen in the infamous St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.

The Sandy Hook Massacre Versus the Dorner Rampage: Corporate Media Double Standard
February 16, 2013
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PBS Defies Basic Journalistic Standards to Push Sandy Hook Official Narrative
February 23, 2013
This past week the Public Broadcasting Service presented its viewership with a flurry of reportage and commentary on the Newtown tragedy, taking special care to closely associate the incident with the issues of gun control, mental health, and school safety. Specific programs have included Washington Week, PBS NewsHour, NOVA, and FRONTLINE.

Open Letter to FAU Administration by Filmmaker Adnan Zuberi
February 28, 2013
I have examined Professor James Tracy’s writings regarding the Newtown, Conn., massacre and I am briefly presenting a case-study to you on how a university can deal with this situation. I was awarded by the University of Toronto for my documentary entitled 9/11 in the Academic Community which examines how academia treats critical perspectives of media or governmental narratives.

“Extremist” Publicity and Historical Reality
March 13, 2013
The Southern Poverty Law Center[1] is advising the US government of the alleged “domestic terror threat” posed by political conservatives, “conspiracy theorists,” and others skeptical of their government’s policies and behavior. A March 5, 2012 letter to the US Departments of Justice and Homeland Security points to the group’s recent report, “The Year in Hate and Extremism.” The study uses SPLC data to point to an almost one thousand percent upsurge in “militias and radical antigovernment groups … from 149 in 2008 to 1,360 in 2012.”

Video: Sandy Hook News Coverage
March 20, 2013
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In Search of the Last Liberal Intellectual
March 27, 2013
In the wake of the Sandy Hook School shooting public incredulity with the official version of events led to numerous speculations on what really happened. In short order corporate media marshaled pundits to disparage such alternative interpretations as “conspiracy theories” and the work of deranged and even malevolent Sandy Hook “truthers.”

A Remarkable Confluence of Events
March 29, 2013
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Crisis Actors at Sandy Hook?
April 11, 2013
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Higher Ed Outlets Address Reprimand of Professor for Blog
April 12, 2013
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Newtown World Order Religion
April 14, 2013
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“The Most Crucial of All Human Rights”
April 22, 2013

AAUP Letter to FAU President Mary Jane Saunders
April 25, 2013
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“Why James Tracy Should Resign”
May 15, 2013
In a recent letter to local newspapers I have been publicly accused by colleagues of being a “conspiracy theorist.” The statement’s authors are asking that I resign my university post because my extracurricular commentary is deemed offensive and allegedly interferes with my ability to properly assess and articulate complex ideas in a scholarly manner.

Secret Government, Deep Events, and the Emerging Police State
May 18, 2013
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Media Disinformation and the Conspiracy Panic Phenomenon
May 24, 2013
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A Memorial Day Trip to Sandy Hook
June 1, 2013

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education Letter to FAU President Mary Jane Saunders
June 5, 2013
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What Time Are Newtown Schools in Session
June 12, 2013
A central assumed data point of the December 14 2012 Newtown Connecticut shooting as evidenced on the Sandy Hook Timeline and through government pronouncements and press reports is that at 9:30AM a deranged Adam Lanza, dressed for combat and wielding several firearms, gained entry into Sandy Hook Elementary School and slaughtered 26 students and educators.

An Open Letter to the South Florida Sun Sentinel
June 20, 2013
On June 3 James Tracy sent a letter to Sun-Sentinel editor-in-chief Howard Saltz citing the paper’s repeated attacks on Tracy for publicly questioning government pronouncements and overall news coverage of the Sandy Hook massacre and Boston Marathon bombing. In a June 17 response to the letter Saltz maintains that the Sun-Sentinel‘s coverage is defensible given its newsworthiness and under the tenets of free speech.

Video: “No Blood” and “The Watcher is Back”
June 22, 2013
In a conference call of Sandy Hook researchers earlier this month, one individual explains her unanswered queries to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and Lieutenant J. Paul Vance concerning what parties were responsible for cleaning up the gruesome crime scene at the Sandy Hook school last December. DEEP deferred to the State Police. “What blood?” Vance responded, before deferring to yet another state agency.

Mass Traumatization and the Body Politic
July 2, 2013
A long-held desire of the technocratic worldview involves manipulation and control of a national and even international body politic. “This planetary consciousness,” Zbigniew Brzezinski observes, brings into closer view a single indivisible humanity united by the soft tyranny of depersonalized and omnipresent coercion.

James Tracy on The Power Hour, July 17, 2013
July 18, 2013
James Tracy discusses the latest investigation into the Sandy Hook shooting and related topics on GCN with Joyce Riley.

Nationwide Post-Sandy Hook Terror Drills: Real or Fake?
August 22, 2013
With the school year now underway a flurry of federally-coordinated “active shooter drills” are taking place across the country. The exercises are part of a broader program the FBI is carrying out as a result of an Obama’s directive following the December 2012 Newtown school massacre.

US Public Schools Train to Finger Mental Cases
August 26, 2013
An appendage of the world’s foremost advocate of psychiatric treatment, the American Psychiatric Association, is actively promoting a “teacher training program” that will enlist public school staff to identify “troubled thought patterns” of teenage students, NBC news reports.[1] The campaign is being pushed by the American Psychiatric Foundation, the “philanthropic and educational arm of the American Psychiatric Association,” according to APF’s own website.

Obama DOJ in $2.5 Million Sandy Hook Payout
September 3, 2013
As the nation’s attention turned to potential US military aggression in the Middle East, the Obama administration has made an unusual $2.5 million payout to Connecticut law enforcement and emergency response agencies for their participation in the December 14, 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre event.

Video: Over 30 Sandy Hook Homes “Gifted” in 2009?
September 13, 2013
Newtown property records suggest that on December 25, 2009 a total of 35 properties located on and around Yogananda Street in Sandy Hook were transferred at zero value to new owners.

Video: James Tracy Responds to Latest MSM Assault
September 20, 2013
Early on September 18 James Tracy posted several videos, photos and other materials, most of which were emailed to him by MHB readers concerning the September 16 DC Navy Yard shooting incident. No discernible claims or arguments were made regarding what took place at Navy Yard, only attempted descriptions of the items posted.

Sandy Hook School Slated for Demolition
October 5, 2013
Connecticut political leaders are moving decisively to destroy the site of the December 14, 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. On September 24 Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced the state’s $50 million commitment to tear down the 57-year-old Sandy Hook School structure and replace it with a new high-priced facility.

Sandy Hook Actors’ Elite Political Connections
October 13, 2013
Francine Wheeler (Lobis), the mother of 6-year-old Benjamin Wheeler who authorities say was killed alongside 25 others at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012, is also a professional musician and actor.

The AR15 Dog and Pony Show
October 18, 2013
As someone who has followed the Sandy Hook story and the subsequent push for increased gun control quite closely, imagine my surprise to learn from a June 2013 article published in the literary magazine Harper’s that the hue and cry around having the public’s access to weapons reined in may indeed be an ongoing dog-and-pony show intended for perception management only.

Sandy Hook Demolition Crew Sworn to Silence
October 15, 2013
Employees of a construction company contracted by Newtown to demolish Sandy Hook Elementary School must sign non-disclosure agreements before commencing work on the project, scheduled to begin October 21.

Video: Brendan Hunt Returns to Sandy Hook
October 22, 2013
On Sunday, October 20 New York-based videographer and independent researcher Brendan Hunt visited Newtown to further document the Sandy Hook Elementary School and its surroundings. The School is scheduled for demolition this week.

Demolition Underway at Sandy Hook
October 25, 2013

Unraveling Sandy Hook in 2, 3, 4, and 5 Dimensions
November 7, 2013
In this ninety-minute video independent researcher Sofia Smallstorm presents a thoroughgoing examination of the December 14, 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre event.

Smallstorm and Fetzer on Sandy Hook, Fukushima, Radiation
November 20, 2013
Sofia Smallstorm offers a detailed discussion of her recent video presentation, Unraveling Sandy Hook, on Professor Jim Fetzer’s The Real Deal radio program.

Newtown 911 Calls Released
December 5, 2013

CT State Emergency System Hijacked on December 14, 2012
December 9, 2013
We can now prove that the entire CT State emergency communications system was ‘hijacked’ and ‘unplugged’ on December 14th., 2012, per an elaborate frequency change plan implemented merely 5 hours in advance on that morning, effectively supplanting and replacing normal police and EMS with FEMA / DHS ‘shadow’ command center personnel, where it turns out that they (the HOAX perpetrators from FEMA) made one critical mistake that they hoped nobody would catch.

Sandy Hook One Year After
December 12, 2013
As the nation approaches the first anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, mainstream media are predictably excluding from their tragedy porn any substantive analysis of the idiosyncratic, misleading, and in some cases flagrantly propagandistic reportage of the event that might call the official story into question.

Video: Sandy Hook Child Victims at 2013 Super Bowl
December 14, 2013
The words might be more fitting as a banner on the National Enquirer. Yet according to this brief (2:33) video, several of the first graders slain in Newtown Connecticut on December 14, 2012 are not only alive and well, but rather famously performing the US National Anthem at Super Bowl XLVII.

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The Iran Sanctions Game

The Iran Sanctions Gameby Stephen LendmanIran threatens no one. It's nuclear program is peaceful. Multiple rounds of US-dictated sanctions are illegal.They target millions of ordinary Iranians. They target Iran's economy. Neocons want stiffer sanctions...

Blowback and the “Great Game”: When Secret Plans Go Bad

Greg Guma RINF Alternative News For two decades the US government claimed that its decision to begin working for the overthrow of Afghanistan's government in the...

Blowback: When Secret Plans Go Bad

For two decades the US government claimed that its decision to work for the overthrow of Afghanistan's government in the final days of the 1970s was a response to the invasion of Soviet troops. But in January 1998, Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter's National Security Adviser at the time, finally admitted the truth: covert US intervention began months before the USSR sent in troops.
"That secret operation was an excellent idea," he bragged. "The effect was to draw the Russians into the Afghan trap."
During an interview with the French publication, Le Nouvel Observateur, which somehow never made it into US media, Brzezinski was grilled about the role he played in aiding the Mujahadeen. Former CIA Director Robert Gates had recently claimed in his memoir, From the Shadows, that US intelligence operations began six months before the Soviet intervention.
"According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980," Brzezinski noted, "that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention."
Seizing this opening, the interviewer suggested that perhaps Brzezinski intended to provoke the Soviets into war. "It isn't quite that," the former National Security Advisor replied cagily. "We didn't push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would." Nevertheless, when the Soviets tried to justify their invasion with the claim that they were responding to a secret war bankrolled by the US, few people believed them. 
Did he regret anything? "Regret what?" Brzezinski shot back. "That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam War. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet Empire."
But what about arming Islamic fundamentalists who might become future terrorists? Brzezinski's reply to that was brazen. "What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?" The jury is out on such questions.
Brzezinski's strategy did net some obvious results. The 1980s conflict in Afghanistan, provoked by US leaders as a geopolitical move in the Great Game, led to almost two million deaths and sparked the Taliban’s rise. Afghanistan became open territory for drug traffickers and energy companies eager to build oil and gas pipelines. Meanwhile, millions of Afghanis, including many who once worked with the CIA, paid a price. Eventually, the country served as a base for Osama bin Laden's crusade against the US, Israel, and Arab regimes in the Middle East.
Another prime example of covert manipulation going drastically wrong is the Democratic Republic of the Congo, known as Zaire during the 37-year reign of Mobutu Sese Seko, and before that the Belgian Congo. In 1960, despite Belgian predictions that European rule would continue for another century, the Congo declared its independence, and out of a largely peaceful revolution emerged a charismatic leader, Patrice Lumumba, who became the nation's first Prime Minister. But US policy-makers considered Lumumba, actually militant nationalist, a communist sympathizer, and therefore a threat to vital interests.
Located in Africa's heartland, the Congo was vital for its vast mineral resources; one of the world's largest copper and industrial diamond producers, it also had gold, manganese, zinc, cobalt, and silver. To be blunt, it was a key source of raw materials for the emerging military-industrial complex. Its uranium, one of the only known sources during World War II, was used in the first atomic bombs.
Even today, it isn't completely clear what sealed Lumumba's fate; some say it was his attempt to have UN troops step in to deal with the violence breaking out between tribes and political parties. In the richest province, Katanga, Moise Tshombe had declared himself ruler, attempted to secede, and recruited Belgian, French and South African mercenaries to fight the new government. However it was decided, Lumumba became a target for removal in the CIA's "golden age" of destabilization campaigns. After less than a year in office, he was deposed in a coup led by Mobuto, an Israeli-trained paratrooper who had Belgian and US backing. Mobuto, then called Colonel, turned Lumumba over the Tshombe, his archenemy.
Some details of Lumumba's assassination remain mysterious to this day. But in 2000 evidence surfaced that President Dwight Eisenhower may have directly ordered the CIA to "eliminate" him. The evidence came from Robert Johnson, who took notes at an August 18, 1960, White House meeting between Eisenhower and his national security advisers on the Congo crisis. Johnson recalled the president turning to CIA Director Allen Dulles, "in the full hearing of all those in attendance, and saying something to the effect that Lumumba should be eliminated." Eisenhower had strict rules for reports filed on National Security Council meetings: no direct quotations. With Johnson's revelation, the reason became only too clear.
Questions also surround the precise chain of events. But according to Lugo de Witte, a Flemish expert on Africa, Belgian officers probably implemented the plan. A document signed in 1960 by Harold Aspremont Lynden, Belgium's minister for Africa, announced that "the main objective to pursue, in the interests of the Congo, Katanga and Belgium, is clearly the final elimination of Lumumba." After his arrest by Mobutu's forces on January 17, 1961, on orders from Belgium's foreign minister, Lumumba was transferred to Katanga, tortured in the presence of Belgian officials, and executed under the supervision of a Belgian captain.
The new nation, whose artificial boundaries had been set in negotiations between Belgium, Britain, France and Portugal, continued to hover at the edge of civil war for several more years.
The US stuck with Mobutu until the bitter end, propping him up as part of its Cold War strategy. As "president for life," he stashed a huge fortune in Swiss banks. It didn’t matter, as long as he was an anti-communist bulwark. His rapaciousness ultimately spread throughout the country's bureaucracy, especially the army. Still, no discouraging words from his overseers.
Much of his loot came from the US; he even pocketed CIA cash provided to support "contras" at work in Angola. None of this made any difference. Mobutu was a "friend," part of an elite club that included Noriega in Panama, Marcos in the Philippines, Diem and Thieu in Vietnam, Pinochet in Chile, Somoza in Nicaragua, Suharto in Indonesia, and the Shah in Iran.
And what did this ally do to his country? According to the World Bank, by the late 1990s the economy had shrunk to its 1958 level, despite a tripling of the population. Public finances were a mess, the national currency was worthless, and the State was insolvent. Upon its independence, the Congo had the highest literacy rate in Africa; by the time Mobutu was forced out in 1997, little more than half of all children were even attending schools. When open at all, they didn't have textbooks and the students often had to sit on the floor. Even the desks had been looted.
In the early 90s, Mobutu announced that he would end his one party state. But the transition never began, promised elections were canceled, and repression continued. Both the Bush and Clinton administrations looked the other way, while mainstream media continued a policy of self-imposed ignorance. Only after his departure did the news that Mobutu was a brutal tyrant begin to reach the general public. By this time, one of the continent's most promising nations was hobbled and deeply divided. A dictator had finally fallen, but the culprits who put him there, some even expressing belated outrage, escaped with impunity.
Iraq: Creating the next enemy
When pre-9/11 covert operations are discussed, officials and pundits are quick to claim that, as bad as things sound, that’s "ancient history." Things were different during the Cold War, when beating communism excused some extreme, often unsavory tactics. But the logic is also reversed to argue, things are different now, in order to excuse the same cynical manipulation and disregard for human life.
An instructive example followed the fall of the Soviet Union, when a credible new enemy was needed. US policy makers quickly turned their eyes toward Iraq, fresh from victory after an eight-year war with Iran and well-equipped with modern French and Soviet weapons. Saddam Hussein was at the peak of his regional popularity.
Based on the theory that domination of the Gulf region by a Hussein-led Iraq could jeopardize access to oil supplies, Colin Powell, then chairing the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called on General H. Norman Schwarzkopf in late 1989 to prepare a blueprint for combat. Schwartzkopf, who would lead Operation Desert Storm a year later, had just taken charge of the US Central Command (CENTCOM), an expanded version of the Rapid Deployment Force established under President Carter.
In May 1990, the National Security Council released a white paper that cited Iraq, and Hussein personally, as "the optimum contenders to replace the Warsaw Pact," using that claim as a justification for increased military spending. Meanwhile, at an emergency Arab summit held in Baghdad, Hussein called for a united front against outside aggression, more Arab coordination, and increased aid to the Jordan and the Palestinian Intifada. In the foreign policy establishment, these were interpreted as fighting words. Four months later Bush drew his line in the sand.
Hussein may well have been tricked into war by repeated assurances that the US felt no obligation to come to Kuwait's defense. It may sound like just one more conspiracy theory. However, this time there is a transcript to support the idea. On July 25, 1990, eight days before the outbreak of fighting between Iraq and Kuwait, US Ambassador April Glaspie held a taped meeting with Hussein, who apparently hoped to make sure the US would stay neutral and not intervene. Obviously, he understood that Saudi Arabia was Washington's key Arab ally, and hosted a significant US military presence in the Gulf. No credible evidence that Iraq planned to attack the Saudis has surfaced.
During their talk, Glaspie clearly suggested to Hussein that the Bush administration understood Iraq's point of view and did not want to meddle in an Arab dispute. At one point, she said, "We have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait...we see the Iraqi point of view that the measures taken by the U.A.E. and Kuwait is, in the final analysis, parallel to military aggression against Iraq."
A week later, that proved to be very bad advice.
Protecting the cover story
One covert operation that sparked some outrage at the time was the US training of Indonesian commandos accused of torturing and killing civilians. Despite a congressional ban in the 1990s, the Pentagon exploited a legal loophole that allowed "human rights training" to provide instruction in demolition, sniper techniques, psychological operations, and "military operations in urban terrain." The targets included workers who had lost their jobs during Indonesia’s economic crisis, students opposing President Suharto's military-dominated regime, and East Timorese who wanted independence.
Until support for Suharto became completely untenable, the Clinton Administration defended this as "engagement with an important country" that served US national interests.
Less publicized but equally deadly was US involvement in low-intensity war in Mexico. Under the guise of anti-drug operations, the US provided hundreds of million to Mexico for arms and training beginning around 1995. This included the US training of the Air-Mobile Special Forces Group (GAFE), created in direct response to the Zapatista rebellion in Chiapas. After courses at Fort Bragg, GAFE units went on to kidnap, torture, and kill government opponents. Wearing hoods, they would enter homes in the middle of the night to surprise their targets, and raid hotels and restaurants without presenting search warrants.
Although responsibility for a massacre of 45 civilians in Acteal in December, 1997 couldn't be traced directly to GAFE, the incident clearly reflected counter-insurgency lessons learned at the School of the Americas (SOA) in Georgia and other US training centers. Roy Bourgeois, a Maryknoll priest who spent more than two decades trying to close the SOA, repeatedly pointed out that the insurgents under attack were usually reformers, human rights workers, and peasants who opposed repressive governments. Despite platitudes about human rights, the US continued to use the same tactics that had marked earlier interventions in Latin America and Southeast Asia.
What we hear about such "humanitarian" intervention is usually just the tip of the iceberg. Unfortunately, 24-hour news and social media promote the illusion that there are few secrets left. Reality is another matter. Assisting the CIA, front groups like the National Endowment for Democracy have funneled funds to countless so-called insurgencies for years. Since declaring Islamic fundamentalism the post-communist global menace, the Agency is known to have run covert operations in most Middle-East states, from Libya and Iran to the Sudan.
Not so safe or secret anymore
While visiting London to promote his memoirs, Henry Kissinger once stormed out of a widely heard radio interview when the questioning turned to his complicity in war crimes. Jeremy Paxman, host of a Radio 4 program, asked the former secretary of state whether he felt like a fraud for getting a Nobel Peace Prize after plotting a coup in Chile and orchestrating slaughter in Cambodia. Kissinger fumed and denied everything, of course, charging that his host was woefully misinformed. But later the same day, he declined to show up for a BBC roundtable discussion.
Kissinger isn't the only former leader who sometimes gets nervous about accountability. Back when former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was fighting extradition to Spain, other potential defendants fretted about the precedent it might set. And the Clinton administration did not help. Instead, it released documents on Chile that not only confirmed what many suspected -- the US actively promoted the coup against Allende and sanctioned the subsequent repression -- but also sparked a hailstorm of related revelations.
The administration's motives were not exactly pure. Bowing to pressure from a Spanish judge, human rights groups, and the families of victims, Clinton had opted to "declassify what we can, so that we can say we did our share." That’s how a White House aide explained it. But the potential to embarrass political opponents didn't escape notice. With Texas Governor George W. Bush emerging as the Republican presidential front-runner, the thought was that his father's connection to Pinochet's crimes could become a factor, or at least a useful attack point, during the 2000 election. It didn’t turn out that way.
Questions persist about what the first President Bush knew and did while serving as CIA chief in the mid-1970s, a period during which Chilean foreign minister Orlando Letelier and his US co-worker Ronni Moffitt were assassinated in Washington. At the time suspicions pointed to Chile's intelligence arm, DINA, a sponsor of international terror.
According to declassified documents, however, we also know that Kissinger, Nixon, and CIA Director Richard Helms ordered a coup even before Allende assumed office. Kissinger and Alexander Haig worked out the details, described in an October 15, 1970, memo. "It is the firm and consistent policy that Allende be overthrown by a coup," wrote CIA Deputy Director of Plans Thomas Karamessines, who coordinated the operation. "We are to continue to generate maximum pressure toward this end utilizing every appropriate resource. It is imperative that these actions be implemented clandestinely and securely so that the USG and American hand be well hidden."
Two years later, their goal was achieved. In a victory report, Naval attache Patrick Ryan called September 11, 1972, "our D-day," noting that the coup "was close to perfect." In subsequent years, the State Department received detailed reports on the escalating death toll under Pinochet. Yet, in another memo Kissinger tells the general that the US is "sympathetic with what you are trying to do here."
Years later, as Pinochet faced charges for murder, torture, disappearances, rape, and genocide, the question naturally arose: Why not Kissinger and those responsible for mass mayhem elsewhere? If more documents were declassified, the list of possible defendants would undoubtedly grow.
Even though he ultimately escaped punishment, the Chilean dictator's case did help peel away the facade of deniability, exposing high officials who provided weapons, training, financial support, and direct guidance for some of the worst modern violations of political and civil rights. Given that, is it any surprise the US backed out of an International Criminal Court (ICC), which was established in part to prosecute powerful individuals when domestic courts fail to act?
The treaty establishing the ICC was adopted in 1998, and subsequently ratified by many countries. At the time, human rights groups considered it the most important advance for the cause of international justice since the creation of the UN. But the US refused to sign at first, joining such notable naysayers as Russia, China, Israel, Iraq, and much of the Middle East.
Officially, the US objection was that, as the world's pre-eminent (and most resented) power, it might be subjected to "frivolous" prosecutions. There were also suspicions about the UN itself. By delaying, US officials hoped to obtain a guarantee that no US citizen accused of war crimes, genocide or crimes against humanity could ever be brought before the court. In a letter to European Union foreign ministers, Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State under Clinton, implied that if her country did not get its way, it might withdraw from international peace-keeping and humanitarian missions. Pentagon officials went further, threatening to pull forces out of Europe.
In December 2000, the US finally signed, leaving Libya as the only country officially antagonistic the ICC's creation. But shortly after taking office, Bush II revived the old objections, suggesting that the court could expose US soldiers and officials abroad to politically motivated war crimes prosecutions. After 9/11 and the military response in Afghanistan, that looked more like a possibility. Thus, plans proceeded to reshape US relations with the UN. In May 2002, the administration informed the world body that it was nullifying its treaty signature. It was an unprecedented step; no other nation had ever before voided a signature on a binding international treaty. For many countries, the decision was a clear early sign of resurgent US unilateralism.
On the bright side, Kissinger did squirm a bit. Even Bush I sensed that he might not be immune. Predictably, the ex-president called the case against Pinochet "a travesty of justice." Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher also became edgy, making discreet inquiries to Britain's Interior Ministry on the likelihood of being arrested while traveling abroad. As an old friend of Pinochet, the Iron Lady was worried about being charged as a war criminal for her actions in Northern Ireland and the Falklands.
The exposure of war crimes by former high officials like Kissinger, although it usually comes decades late and rarely leads to prosecution, does suggest that it may one day be possible to get at the truth about covert schemes and schemers. For Bill Clinton, meddling in Mexico and the Sudan, not to mention in Iraq and Kosovo, could prove damning if more of those stories were revealed.
In May 2002, eight months after 9/11, Bush II almost faced that same problem: premature exposure, in this case of what he actually knew and did before the attacks, could have led to embarrassing revelations about how and why the "war on terror" was launched. But no such luck. It still takes at least a generation, plus political convenience, to get far beyond the veil of disinformation.

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By James F. Tracy

Progressive-left media icon Jeremy Scahill told a caller to C-SPAN’s Book TV that Austin Texas talk show host Alex Jones is a “lunatic” and a significant detriment to “real journalism that journalists are doing.”

Scahill was asked who he thought represented “the most legimate … form of journalism”–Jones or Amy Goodman. “[I have] to be very careful about choosing my words here,” Scahill cautioned. The writer then proceeded to call Jones an “absolute, die-hard lunatic, and to even mention him in the same sentence as Amy Goodman is an incredible insult to Amy Goodman [sic].” Scahill continued,

Alex Jones has forwarded some of the most outrageous, ridiculous conspiracy theories about how the world works. And whatever good he might be doing in what he does is completely overshadowed by the fact that he is pushing outright lies and propaganda on a regular basis and I think that it ultimately subverts the importance of real journalism that independent journalists are doing on a regular basis by giving the impression that everyone’s running around wearing a tin foil hat.

The progressive author’s outburst begs the question, What exactly is “real journalism”? What are the characteristics of “alternative media”? Who has a legitimate claim to that mantle? And, what broader interests do attacks like these serve? This arguably has far less to do with journalistic legitimacy and a sincere regard for truth than it does with the less-apparent forces that seek to define political debate–and division.

Scahill, the Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at the foundation-funded Nation Institute, previously worked as a producer on Goodman’s Democracy Now! news program, also a major recipient of foundation funding. Scahill is also a frequent guest on corporate news outlet MSNBC.

Does money from philanthropic foundations predispose progressive media figures to cast aspersion on public gadflies who defy easy left/right categorization? Closely resembling typical attacks from the left, Scahill appears to have no option but to dismiss such alternative journalists and commentators as “conspiracy theorists,” or otherwise as wholly irrational. This renders such figures outside the parameters of what Scahill and his coterie perceive as legitimate debate. Nevermind the journalistic burden of proof that rightly accompanies such accusations.

My recent exchange facilitated by a “Facebook friend” with media critic Steve Rendall of the progressive media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) is illustrative of the vulnerability such individuals have when the conversation turns to the question of financing.

Rendall took issue with an article I wrote specifically addressing the relationship between foundation funding and the independence of news media professing to be “alternative” or “radical.” Rendall argued that I was not placing Noam Chomsky in proper context, which I viewed as a red herring to my original premise.

I proceeded to point out how FAIR was the recipient of $3.5 million in funding between 2007 and 2011, and that this should be made note of, particularly in light of my article’s subject matter. A portion of FAIR’s income stream came from major foundations, including Ford.

At the suggestion of FAIR’s funding, Rendall turned hostile, noting that if it were not for such foundation-funded entities the “US left would be nearly non-existent.”

I don’t hide who I am. Anyone who cares, can look me up. And FAIR is a 501c3, or not-for-profit organization. Our status and major donations are a matter of public record. So you can stop pretending like you’ve done some kind of deep sleuthing.

Most of our money comes from individual contributors, but we get some foundation money. I wish we got more. The US left would be nearly non-existent without non-profits like Pacifica, Democracy Now!, and many others. (My emphasis.)

But seriously James, Global Research? Really? What’s the matter, Infowars or Michael Ruppert didn’t have any “dirt” on FAIR?

Poorly-reasoned and even vitriolic remarks like Scahill’s and Rendall’s must be placed in a broader context. Are they really speaking to their readerships? Certainly to some degree, for many of their adherents see themselves as similarly partisan in terms of social justice and the environment-related issues.

Yet such statements are also no doubt directed toward parties outside the tent–those that provide them with the financial means to enact their projects–and perhaps even motivated by an intelligence community that has an established history in promoting such confusion and disinformation to thwart serious challenges to the political-economic status quo.

The greatest challenge to that status quo might be waged once those on the “left” and “right” move beyond their politics of imagined opinion and allegiance toward a common understanding of the oppressive forces arrayed against them.

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Resumed Iran Nuclear Talks in Geneva

Resumed Iran Nuclear Talks in Geneva

by Stephen Lendman

On November 20, more talks began. Multiple previous rounds failed. Will this time be different? The usual canard persists.

Iran fully complies with Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) provisions. It's program is peaceful. It has no military component. Claims otherwise persist.

Voice of Russia interviewed International Dialogue Foundation director Shabbir Razvi. He's an Iranian specialist. He was asked about an alleged secret Iranian nuclear site.

The dissident National Council of Resistance on Iran (NCRI) claims one. It does so with no corroborating evidence. 

It's part of longstanding anti-Iranian disinformation. It continues without end. It doesn't bode well for current talks. 

A previous article discussed sabotaging rapprochement with Iran. It said whatever emerges from this week's talks, longstanding anti-Iranian hostility will persist.

Razvi dismissed NCRI's accusation. He called it provocative. The group made past false claims.

"This so-called resistance group invariably comes out with these fanciful ideas about Iran's nuclear energy requirements, and they keep on accusing Iran of developing a nuclear weapon," said Razvi.

NCRI's latest accusation coincides with resumed nuclear talks in Geneva. Doing so aims to subvert them. 

Razvi believes resolution is possible this time. It remains to be seen if he's right or wrong. Most important is what Washington intends going forward.

More sanctions may be imposed whatever emerges from Geneva. Israel demands them. So does AIPAC. Congressional pressure gets results.

It's ludicrous to think a nuclear site could go undetected for years. Iran is the world's most heavily monitored country.

Satellite technology alone can "pick up a code number place from the sky," said Razvi.

Strategically timing a false accusation wasn't accidental. It remains to be seen what effect, if any, it has.

On November 19, the Los Angeles Times headlined "Iran plays with wording on nuclear program," saying:

On the eve of resumed talks, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif "released a five-minute online video that describes the negotiations that begin Wednesday in Geneva as a 'historic opportunity' and urges the West to participate with respect and equal treatment of Iran so that the talks will be successful."

It's titled "Iran's Message: There Is a Way Forward." It targets foreign audiences. It aims to convince them Iran wants peaceful resolution.

It says in part:

"(O)ur people chose constructive engagement through the ballot box. And through this, they gave the world an historic opportunity to change course."

Peaceful nuclear power is Iran's "inalienable right. (It's) not about joining a club or threatening others. (It's about) diversifying our economy, about stopping the burning of our oil, and about generating clean power."

"What is dignity," he added? "What is respect? Are they negotiable? Is there a price tag?"

Zarif suggested that P5+1 countries don't have to officially recognize Iran's nuclear rights, as long as they don't deny them as a deal-breaker.

"We believe that Iran's enrichment right is nonnegotiable, and there is no necessity to recognize it as a right, because it is an inseparable right which should be respected by all sides," he said.

NPT permits uranium enrichment. Washington claims otherwise. On Monday, John Kerry said he has "no specific expectation" on how current talks will go.

Obama said he's not sure if a deal can be reached soon. He called ongoing talks the best chance of "stopping the advance (of Iran's nuclear program) in nearly a decade."

"We have the opportunity to halt the progress of the Iranian program and roll it back in key respects, while testing whether a comprehensive resolution can be achieved," he added.

Democrat Senators Robert Menendez, Chuck Schumer and Bob Casey, as well as Republicans John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Susan Collins said:

"We 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."

Republican Senator Bob Corker expressed similar views. Other House and Senate members falsely accused Iran of deceiving America about its nuclear program for years. 

Senate members are considering stiffer sanctions. In July, House members toughened theirs.

Netanyahu wants them increased. He wants pressure sustained. He calls dealing with Iran "a great mistake…when they have every reason right now to respond to the pressures that have been put on them."

"Rather than surrendering to their charm offensive, it's important that they surrender to the pressure that can be brought to them to have them abandon their nuclear program."

On Wednesday, Netanyahu flew to Moscow. He wants any proposed Iranian agreement scuttled.

He calls any deal a bad one. He wants Iran's uranium enrichment halted. He wants enriched stockpiles removed. He wants Iran's entire peaceful nuclear program dismantled.

He want Tehran's government toppled. He'll try to convince Putin to act tough in Geneva.

According to Deputy Foreign Minister Ze'ev Elkin:

"Our job is to try to sway the Russians as we have been doing with all the players.

"Russia is not going to adopt Israeli positions wholesale. But any movement, even small, in the Russian position can affect the negotiations.

Israel told French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius it would attack Iran if he didn't scuttle the November 7 - 9 talks. Perhaps Netanyahu plans telling Putin something similar.

Opinion is mixed on what to expect this time. On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said:

"We hope the efforts that are being made will be crowned with success at the meeting that opens today in Geneva."

Britain's Foreign Secretary believes "differences between the parties are narrow (and) can be bridged with political will and commitment."

"This is an historic opportunity to build agreement on how to curb nuclear proliferation in the Middle East and potentially to set our relations with Iran on a different path." 

"It is the best chance for a long time to make progress on one of the gravest problems in foreign policy."

Iran's Foreign Minister Zarif remains optimistic. "I am going to Geneva with the determination to come out with an agreement at the end of this round," he said.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei won't surrender Iran's legitimate nuclear rights. "We do insist that we will not step back one iota from our rights," he said.

"We do not intervene in the details of these talks. There are certain red lines and limits. These have to be observed. (Negotiators) are instructed to abide by those limits." 

"They should not be afraid of what the enemy says. We want to have friendly relations with all nations and peoples." 

"The Islamic system isn't even hostile to the nation of America, although with regards to Iran and the Islamic system, the American government is arrogant, malicious and vindictive."

France "not only succumb(ed) to the United States, (it) kneel(s) before the Israeli regime." It's "the rabid dog of the region."

Its "pillars are extremely shaky. (It's) doomed to collapse. Any phenomenon that is created by force cannot endure."

French government spokeswoman Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said President Francois Hollande believes Ayatollah Khamenei's comments about Israel are "unacceptable." 

They complicate Geneva talks. France wants a deal, she said. Its earlier November position hasn't changed.

Iranian President Hassan Rohani urged "construction interaction" in Geneva.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran will never give up its absolute rights and national interests and will never retreat from the red lines which have been set by the Islamic establishment and the Iranian nation," he said.

"We seek a win-win game and in the negotiations, if anyone is after an imposed solution, they should know that the talks will be unsuccessful and the outcome of the talks will not be lasting."

Negotiations will continue through Friday. They may extend longer if needed. Sketchy details alone are known. Washington is calling the shots. 

Reports suggest it's offering little on an interim basis only. In return, major concessions are demanded. The White House calls US terms "modest" and "reversible." 

It remains to be seen how talks go this time. It bears repeating. Whatever emerges from Geneva, anti-Iranian hostility will persist. So will the toughest sanctions Iran wants removed.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

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

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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.


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

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The Financial Bearings of Manufactured Dissent

This article was originally published at Memory Hole and Global Research on August 3, 2012. It is reposted here for further consideration in light of Nolan Higdon’s article, “Disinfo Wars: Alex Jones’ War on Your Mind,” published by Project Censored’s in September 2013, and the exchange concerning that work taking place here earlier this month.

The following should not be seen as a blanket condemnation of progressive media outlets, which often produce important work. Rather, the observations suggest how, particularly when faced with the challenge of forthrightly addressing “deep events” and the equivalent, such media are arguably subject to similar institutional pressures and self-censorship more overtly exhibited by their corporate-owned counterparts.*

Why do the self-proclaimed left-progressive “independent” media repeatedly overlook, obfuscate or otherwise leave unexamined some of the most momentous geopolitical and environmental events—September 11th and related false flag terror events, the United Nations’ “Agenda 21,” the genuinely grave environmental threats posed by the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, geoengineering (weather modification), and the dire health effects of genetically modified organisms?[1] In fact, these phenomena together point to a verifiable transnational political economic framework against which one or more mass social movements could readily emerge.

Yet over the past decade the actual function of such journalistic outlets has increasingly been to “manufacture dissent”–in other words, to act as the controlled opposition to the financial oligarchs and an encroaching scientific dictatorship that to an already significant degree controls the planet and oversees human thought and activity. Indeed, many alternative media outlets that appear to be independent of the power structure are funded by the very forces they are reporting on through their heavy reliance on the largesse of major philanthropic foundations.

With the across-the-board deregulation of the transnational financial system in the late 1990s and consequent enrichment of Wall Street and London-based investment banks and hedge funds, the resources of such foundations have increased tremendously. Consequently, the overall funding of “activist” organizations and “alternative” media has climbed sharply, making possible the broadly disseminated appearance of strident voices speaking truth to power. In fact, the protesters and journalists alike are often tethered to the purse strings of the powerful. As a result,

Dissent has been compartmentalized. Separate “issue oriented” protest movements (e.g. environment, anti-globalization, peace, women’s rights, climate change) are encouraged and generally funded as opposed to a cohesive mass movement.[2]

The efforts of financial elites to influence left-progressive political opinion goes back a century or more. In the early 1900s, for example, the Rockefeller and Carnegie Foundations decisively shaped the trajectory of elementary and higher education. Yet a less-examined development is how such influence extended to the mass media. A specific instance of such interests seeking to influence the Left community specifically is the establishment of The New Republic magazine at a decisive time in US history.

Purchased Political Opinion: The Founding of The New Republic

Throughout the twentieth century powerful financial interests have sought to anticipate and direct American left wing social movements and political activity by penetrating their opinion-shaping apparatus. This was seldom difficult because progressives were usually strapped for funds while at the same time eager for a mouthpiece to reach the masses. In 1914 Wall Street’s most powerful banking house, J.P. Morgan, was willing to provide both. “The purpose was not to destroy, dominate, or take over but was really threefold,” historian Carroll Quigley explains.

(1) to keep informed about the thinking of Left-wing or liberal groups; (2) to provide them with a mouthpiece so that they could “blow off steam,” and (3) to have a final veto on their publicity and possibly on their actions, if they ever went “radical.” There was nothing really new about this decision, since other financiers had talked about it and even attempted it earlier. What made it decisively important this time was the combination of its adoption by the dominant Wall Street financier, at a time when tax policy was driving all financiers to seek tax-exempt refuges for their fortunes, and at a time when the ultimate in Left-wing radicalism was about to appear under the banner of the Third International.[3]

As an example, in 1914 Morgan partner and East Asia agent Willard Straight established The New Republic with money from himself and his wife, Dorothy Payne Whitney of the Payne Whitney fortune. “’Use your wealth to put ideas into circulation,’ Straight had told his wife. ‘Others will give to churches and hospitals.’”[4]

The idea of funding such an organ partly developed between the wealthy couple after they read Herbert Croly’s The Promise of American Life, in which the well-known liberal author assailed the foundations of traditional Progressivism, with its Jeffersonian doctrine of free enterprise and inclination for decentralized, unrestrictive government. In such a laissez-faire arrangement, Croly reasoned, the strong would always take advantage of the weak. “Only a strong central government could control and equitably distribute the benefits of industrial capitalism. … guided by a strong and farsighted leader.” Toward this end Croly proposed a “constructive” or “New Nationalism”, and a medium to reach a captive audience could promote such ideals on a regular basis.[5]

As Croly recalls, Straight

hunted me up and asked me to make a report for him on the kind of social education which would be most fruitful in a democracy. Thereafter I saw him frequently, and in one of our conversations we discussed a plan for a new weekly which would apply to American life, as it developed, the political and social ideas which I had sketched in the book … We hoped to make it the mouthpiece of those Americans to whom disinterested thinking and its result in convictions were important agents of the adjustment between human beings and the society in which they live.[6]

Straight designated Croly editor-in-chief of The New Republic‘s and the young socialist writer Walter Lippmann, who by his mid-twenties was an adviser to presidents and a member of the shadowy Round Table Groups, was approached to be a founding editorial board member and subsequently entrusted with gearing the American readership toward a more favorable view of Britain.

Croly later noted how Straight was hardly liberal or progressive in his views. Rather, he was a regular international banker and saw the magazine’s purpose

simply [as] a medium for advancing certain designs of such international bankers, notably to blunt the isolationism and anti-British sentiments so prevalent among many American progressives, while providing them with a vehicle for expression of their progressive views in literature, art, music, social reform, and even domestic polices.[7]

Following establishment of The New Republic, Straight considered purchasing The New York Evening Post or The Washington Herald. “He longed for a daily newspaper,” Croly recalls, “which would communicate public information in the guise of news as well as in the guise of opinion and which would be read by hundreds of thousands of people instead of only tens of thousands, to serve as his personal medium of expression.”[8]

Straight and Payne Whitney’s son, “Mike” Straight, carried on The New Republic through the 1940s in close alignment with Left and labor organizations, even providing Henry Wallace with a position on the editorial staff in 1946 and backing Wallace’s 1948 presidential bid.

With Willard Straight’s early death in 1918 another Morgan partner, Tom Lamont, apparently became the bank’s representative to the Left, supporting The Saturday Review of Literature in the 1920s and 1930s, and owning the New York Post from 1918 to 1924. Lamont, his wife Flora, and son Corliss were major patrons to a variety of Left concerns, including the American Communist Party and Trade Union Services Incorporated, which in the late 1940s published fifteen union organs for CIO unions. Frederick Vanderbilt Field, another well-heeled Wall Street banker, sat on the editorial boards of The New Masses and the Daily Worker—New York’s official Communist newspapers.[9]

Progressive-Left Media’s Financing Today

Since the 1990s the framework for guiding the Left has developed into a vast combine of powerful, well-funded philanthropic foundations that function on the behalf of their wealthy owners as a well-oiled mechanism of opinion management. Such philanthropic entities oversee formidable wealth that today’s heirs to the Straight and Payne Whitney tradition seek to shield from taxation while. At the same time they are able to employ such resources to influence political thought, discourse, and action. Further, following the broad-based 1999 protests of the World Trade Organization in Seattle, global elite interests recognized the importance of developing the means to “manufacture dissent.”

Such foundations no doubt exert at least subtle influence over the editorial decisions of the vulnerable progressive media beholden to them for financing. This is partially due to the personnel of the foundations themselves. The task of doling out money frequently falls to foundation officials who are retired political advocates with certain notions about what organizations should be funded and, moreover, how the money should be spent. As Michael Shuman, former director of the Institute for Policy Studies observed in the late 1990s,

A number of program officers at progressive foundations are former activists who decided to move from the demand to the supply side to enjoy better salaries, benefits and working hours. Yet they still want to live like activists vicariously… by exercising influence over grantees through innumerable meetings, reports, conferences and “suggestions” . . . Many progressive funders treat their grantees like disobedient children who need to be constantly watched and disciplined.[10]

Doling out grant money to a journalistic outlet is especially controversial since genuine journalism is inherently political given its inclination toward pursuing and examining the decisions and policies of power elites. As Ron Curran of the Independent Media Institute notes, money from foundations “has engendered a climate of secrecy at IAJ (Institute for Alternative Journalism n/k/a Independent Media Institute [IMI]) that’s in direct conflict with IAJ’s role as a progressive media organization.” He continues, “the only money nonprofits can get these days is from private foundations–and those foundations want to control the political agenda.”[11]

If funding is any indication of sheer influence over progressive media, that influence has grown by leaps and bounds at the foremost left media outlets since the 1990s. For example, between 1990 and 1995 the four major progressive print news outlets, The Nation, The Progressive, In These Times, and Mother Jones received a combined $537,500 in grants and contributions.

In 2010, however, The Nation Institute (The Nation) alone received $2,267,184 in funding, The Progressive took in $1,310,889, the Institute for Public Affairs (In These Times) accepted $961,015, and the Foundation for National Progress (Mother Jones) collected $4,725,235.[12]

These figures are for grants and contributions alone and do not include revenue generated from subscription sales and other promotions. Alongside the overall compromised nature such funding can bring, the tremendous increase over the past decade suggests one reason for why specific subject matter that is off-limits for coverage or discussion.

With the development of the internet several new alternative-progressive outlets have emerged between the late 1990s and early 2000s, including Alternet, Democracy Now!, and satellite channel Link TV. Recognizing their influence, a vast array of “public support” has likewise made these multi-million dollar operations alongside their print-based forebears.

For example, between 2003 and 2010 Democracy Now! has taken in $25,577,243—an annual average of $3,197,155, with 2010 assets after liabilities of $11,760,006. Between 2006 and 2010 the Pacific News Service received $26,867,417, or $5,373,483 annually.  The Foundation for National Progress (Mother Jones) brought in $46,623,197, or $4,662,320, and Link TV raised $54,839,710 between 2001 and 2009 for average annual funding of $6,093,301.(Figure 1)

Media Organization
501(c) 3 Total Support 2001-2010 Average Annual Support 2001-2010
Net Assets After Liabilities (2010)
Democracy Now
Productions Inc.
Yes $25,577,243 (from 2003) $3,197,155 $11,760,006
Schumann Center for Media and Democracy
Yes NA $3,471,682 (2010) $33,314,688
Nation Institute (The Nation) Yes $22,246,533 $2,224,653 $4,798,831
Pacific News Service Yes $26,867,417 (2006-2010) $5,373,483 $712,011
Foundation for National Progress (Mother Jones) Yes $46,623,19

$4,662,320

-$1,189,040
The Progressive Yes $8,702,146 $870,215 $5,493,782
Link TV Yes $54,839,710 (excludes 2010) $6,093,301 $1,533,308
Institute for Public Affairs (In These Times) Yes $4,469,119 (excludes 2006, 2007) $558,640 -$114,532
Institute for Independent Media (Alternet) Yes $14,441,678 $1,444,168 $900,585

Figure 1. Grants, Gifts, Contributions, and Membership Fees of Select “Independent Progressive” Media or Media-Related Organizations 2001-2010 (unless otherwise noted). Based on 2001-2010 IRS Form 990s.

Bill Moyers’ Schumann Center for Media and Democracy, which funds The Nation Institute and online news organ Truthout, has net assets of $33,314,688, and brought in $3,471,682 in 2010 income.[13] Because these organizations assert under their 501c3 status that they have no overt political agenda, all income is untaxed.[14] Nor are they required to list the sources of their funding—even especially generous contributions. As the early 1990s grant figures for The Nation, The Progressive, In These Times, and Mother Jones suggest, nickel-and-dime contributions constitute a small percentage of such outlets’ overall “public” support.

Funding and Self-Censorship / Conclusion

Given the extent of foundation funding for left-progressive media, it is not surprising how such venues police themselves and proceed with the wishes of their wealthy benefactors in mind. As Croly observed concerning The New Republic, the Straights and Payne Whitneys “could always withdraw their financial support, if they ceased to approve of the policy of the paper; and in that event it would go out of existence as a consequence of their disapproval.”[15] Indeed, this is the left news media’s greatest fear.

In light of these dynamics and the big money at stake the progressive media’s censorial practices are understandable. At the same time self-censorship involves a fairly implicit set of social and behavioral processes. As Warren Breed discovered several decades ago, journalists’ socialization and workplace routinization constitute a process whereby newsworkers themselves internalize the mindset and wishes of their publishers, thereby making overt censorship unnecessary.[16] We may conclude that a similar process is in play when today’s “progressive” journalists and their editors share or accept many of the same interests, sentiments and expectations of those who hold the purse strings–and who would likely disapprove of attending to certain “controversial” or “conspiratorial” topics and issues.

With this in mind the foremost concern with such media is the uniform declaration of their “alternative” and “independent” missions–claims that are as problematic and misleading as Fox News’ “fair and balanced” mantle. A more appropriate (and honest) moniker for the foundation-funded press is a caveat emptor-style proclamation: “The following content is intended to impart the illusion of empowerment and dissent, yet can leave you uninformed of the most pressing issues of our time, in accordance with the wishes of our sponsors.”

Notes

*An important and unusual contribution toward understanding this largely-overlooked phenomenon was recently published by Project Censored. See John Pilger, “Censorship That Dares Not Speak Its Name: The Strange Silencing of Liberal America,” in Mickey Huff and Andy Lee Roth with Project Censored (editors), Censored 2014: The Top Censored Stories and Media Analysis of 2012-2013, New York: Seven Stories Press, 2013, 287-296.

[1] On false flag terror see, for example, Daniele Ganser, NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe, New York: Routledge, 2005. On Fukushima see Fukushima: A Nuclear War without a War: The Ongoing Crisis of World Nuclear Radiation, ed. Michel Chossudovsky, Ottawa: Centre for Research on Globalization, January 25, 2012, http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=28870. For ongoing reportage see Enviroreporter.com. On Agenda 21 see Rachel Koire, Behind the Green Mask: UN Agenda 21, The Post-Sustainability Press, 2011. On geoengineering and weather modification see Project Censored 2012 Story #9, “Government Sponsored Technologies for Weather Modification,” Censored 2012: The Top Censored Stories and Media Analysis of 2010-2011, New York: Seven Stories Press, 2011, 84-90, http://www.projectcensored.org/top-stories/articles/9-government-sponsored-technologies-for-weather-modification/. On genetically modified organisms see Jeffrey M. Smith, Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Modified Foods, White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green, 2007, and F. William Engdahl, Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation, Ottawa: Centre for Research on Globalization, 2007.

[2] Michel Chossudovsky, “Manufacturing Dissent: The Antiglobalization Movement is Funded by the Corporate Elites,” GlobalResearch.ca, September 20, 2011.

[3] Carroll Quigley, Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World In Our Time, New York: MacMillan, 1966, 938.

[4] Ronald Steele, Walter Lippmann and the American Century, Boston and Toronto: Little, Brown and Company, 1980, 60. Payne Whitney would continue to fund the publication until 1953.

[5] Steele, Walter Lippmann and the American Century, 59.

[6] Herbert Croly, Willard Straight, New York: Macmillan & Company, 1924, 472.

[7] Quigley, Tragedy and Hope, 940.

[8] Croly, Willard Straight, 474.

[9] Quigley, Tragedy and Hope, 945-946.

[10] Michael Shuman, “Why do Progressive Foundations Give too Little to too Many?” The Nation, January 12, 1998, 11-16, The Nation ( January 12): 11–16. Available at http://www.tni.org/archives/act/2112

[11] Ron Curran 1997. “Buying the News.” San Francisco Bay Guardian, October 8, 1997. Cited in Bob Feldman, “Reports from the Field: Left Media and Left Think Tanks—Foundation Managed Protest,” Critical Sociology 33 (2007), 427-446. Available at www.irasilver.org/ wp-content/ uploads/ 2011/ 08/Reading-Foundations-Feldman.pdf

[12] Feldman, “Reports from the Field.”

[13] All tax-related information obtained through GuideStar, http://www2.guidestar.org/Home.aspx, and Foundation Center, http://foundationcenter.org/

[14] Progressive-left finger pointers such as Center for American Progress and Media Matters for America are similarly awash in foundation funding and require separate treatment.

[15] Croly, Willard Straight, 474.

[16] Warren Breed, “Social Control in the Newsroom: A Functional Analysis,” Social Forces, 33:4 (May 1955), 326-335. Available at https://umdrive.memphis.edu/cbrown14/public/Mass%20Comm%20Theory/Week%208%20Journalism%20Studies/Breed%201955.pdf

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To summarize, many of the state-run and all of the 36 federally run websites are currently experiencing significant problems providing access to the exchanges, and nobody seems willing or able to predict when they will be fixed. This failure to launch President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement is hugely embarrassing for the administration, and will undoubtedly provide a great deal of fodder for late-night comedians. It will also provide an almost unlimited source of talking points for tea partiers and other government-haters, who will cite this unfolding fiasco as more evidence that “government can’t get anything right.”

That would be incorrect.

In 1965 and the years following, I witnessed the implementation of Medicare, which enrolled 19 million beneficiaries almost seamlessly in less than a year, despite the formidable opposition of Southern hospitals wary of its requirements that they desegregate their wards. As I wrote last month, the problem with the ACA is not that the federal government is involved, but that literally thousands of private insurers have their fingers in the cookie jar, resulting in a law that is much too complicated for what it needs to accomplish, and too complex for anybody to administer efficiently and effectively.

Together, Medicare and Social Security — both run by the federal government — have been successfully providing access to private health care and income security for millions of seniors and the disabled for almost 50 years. They have been a major factor in keeping seniors in our country out of poverty.

Both programs are overwhelmingly popular with doctors, patients, the general public and most politicians. Medicare is also much more successful than private, for-profit insurance in holding down the prices paid for medical services and products and overhead costs — 6 percent compared with 20 percent or more. But Medicare is still not doing nearly enough to control costs.

It is estimated that there is at least $750 billion worth of waste in the U.S. health care system.

Politics is the only credible reason for retaining the complex and confusing web of private insurance plans in a health care system that aspires to cover everybody. In order to gain congressional approval, the ACA had to first accommodate the interests of the corporate medical-industrial complex, putting the interests of the American people in a distant second place. Congress’ approval rating now hovers around five percent.

We can do better. It took over 50 years from the time President Theodore Roosevelt first proposed national health insurance until Medicare and Medicaid were enacted. It took almost another 50 years for the ACA to be enacted, expanding insurance coverage and enacting some protections against some of the insurance industry’s predatory practices.

We have had to endure almost 100 years of acrimonious political debate, name-calling, disinformation and outright lies — much of it designed to protect and defend some doctors’ incomes and corporate health care companies’ windfall profits — to even approach what all other wealthy countries take for granted: health care as a human right.

We need expanded and improved Medicare-for-All. And we need to vote any politician who won’t advance us toward that goal out of office. We’re moving in the right direction. But we can’t afford to take another 100 years to get there.

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ReThink9/11: Revealing Truths, Dispelling Lies


ReThink 9/11: Revealing Truths, Dispelling Lies

by Stephen Lendman

ReThink911 is a new 9/11 truth initiative. More on it below.

9/11 is the Big Lie of our time. Truth is its mortal enemy. Revealing it is vitally important. Spreading it lets many others know. 

Growing numbers of architects, engineers, physicists, pilots, former military and intelligence officers, and other members of the public reject the official 9/11 myth.

They do so for good reason. It's a bald-faced lie. It's by far the most harmful one in modern times. Wars on humanity followed. They continue unabated. They risk the unthinkable. WW III is possible.

In 10 books, numerous articles and lectures, David Ray Griffin provided exhaustive evidence too important to ignore. He revealed truths. He dispelled lies. He did so courageously. 

So have Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth (AE911Truth). It's a non-profit, non-partisan organization. 

It's "dedicated to exposing the falsehoods and to revealing facts abut the complete destruction of all three World Trade Center high-rises on September 11, 2001."

It substitutes "scientific facts and forensic evidence" for "misinformation and disinformation."

It "educat(es) and motivat(es) thousands of architects and engineers as well as the public at large."

It aims for "mainstream media coverage" of the Big Lie of our time.

It calls for "a truly open and independent investigation…in the pursuit of justice."

On September 11, 2010, AE911Truth founder Richard Gage said:

"The people of New York need to see the light - that a third WTC skyscraper not hit by any plane was destroyed on September 11th." 

"They have been deceived about what happened on that terrible day." 

"We are shining the spotlight, literally, on the fact that the official story of what happened at Ground Zero simply cannot be true and that a truly independent new investigation is needed both as a matter of national security and as the key to justice for the victims of the Twin Towers."

Griffin, Scholars for 9/11 Truth founder James Fetzer, AE911Truth, and others provided clear evidence. 

It shows World Trade Center (WTC)  buildings 1 (North Tower), 2 (South Tower), and 7 (the separate 47-story high-rise) weren't destroyed by jets, fires, or "crazed Arabs."

State-sponsored controlled demolitions bear full responsibility. Coverup and denial prevents truth and full disclosure from being revealed publicly.

Media scoundrels substitute lies for truth. Search engines are complicit. On October 5, Elizabeth Woodworth headlined "Search Engine Manipulation: Google and YouTube Suppress Controversial 9/11 Truth?"

Doing so begs the question. If best evidence truths weren't so compelling, why else would such extraordinary coverup and denial efforts persist?

Given growing public skepticism about the official 9/11 story, "keeping the lid on a public debate for over 12 years has been nothing short of miraculous," said Woodworth.

Google and YouTube are very much involved. They're part of the problem. They suppressed a Russia Today (RT) program titled "The Truthseeker: 9/11 and Operation Gladio (E23)."

It began going viral. Within three days of release, 131,000 viewers saw it. 

A MOXNEWS copy titled "Russia Today News Declares 9/11 An Inside Job False Flag Attack!" got over 80,000 views in days.

Other uploads got more. Early viewing totaled over 250,000 people. Google and YouTube pulled the plug. 

Their search engines failed to locate the above videos. Doing so shows their complicity in suppressing vital truths everyone needs to know.

Woodworth's article is important. It needs to be carefully read. It needs to be passed on to others. Everyone needs to know. 9/11 truth is vital.

Woodworth was clear and unequivocal saying:

Her "essay is offered to all citizens who believe the government should be investigated when state crimes against democracy are suspected."

"It is further offered to all who pay taxes for government care, protection, and the guarantee of constitutional freedoms - and in particular to citizens who may have encountered chilling indications of covert state interference in their lives."

Woodworth is involved in a separate initiative. It's called Consensus 9/11. It's extremely important. It seeks compelling truths. It dispels official lies. 

It does so through "best evidence" proof. It does it because it matters. It publishes regular updates. It's compiled overwhelming 9/11 truths too important to ignore.

Exposing the Big Lie of our time is vital. ReThink911 is involved. It's a public awareness campaign.

On September 1, AE911Truth launched it. A coalition of organizations support it. 

It aims to raise "public awareness by introducing viewers to the destruction of World Trade Center Building 7 and informing the public that over 2,000 architects and engineers have signed a petition calling for a new investigation into the destruction of Building 7 and the Twin Towers."

In September, it ran ads or billboards in major US, Canadian, UK and Australian cities.

They included New York, Washington, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Dallas, Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, London and Sydney.

"Did you know a 3rd tower fell on 9/11," they asked? Enough funds were raised to maintain a 54-foot-tall billboard at 47th St. and 7th Ave. in New York's Time Square.

On October 8, Global Research headlined "Rethink911: Confront the Lies of the Mainstream Media."

"Over the next five days," ReThink911 supporters worldwide will flood five major New York newspapers with a tsunami of emails.

They include The New York Times, the Daily News, the New York Post, Village Voice and Newsday.

"Join this media blitz campaign…" Tell New York major print media publications there's been "a giant ReThink911 billboard in Times Square since September 3rd."

It's too important to ignore. Only half the US public know about WTC Building 7's collapse. Major media ignore this and other vital 9/11 truths. 

ReThink911 and other organizations want them revealed. Growing support can help do so. It's vital. Email The New York times at:


CC or BCC [email protected]. Doing so enables keeping an updated progress tally.

Instructions to reach the other four major New York publications will follow. Contact information is available online. 

Flood them with emails and/or letters. Do it because it matters. Tell others to do it. Demand they report 9/11 truth.

ReThink911 seeks additional funding for a January 2014 campaign. It hopes to reach everyone in New York, Washington and Toronto:

  • 800 New York taxi top ads = 100% market saturation

  • so do 375 Washington taxi top ads and

  • 825 Toronto subway posters

Other targeted messages include "information-packed door blockers" and 30-second YouTube ads (unless blocked or denied) "targeting those most likely to become ReThink911 supporters…"

The campaign hopes to build a multi-million online base.

ReThink911 Visionary Circle donors are sought. For $10,000, they receive an 8x6x4 foot Vancouver transit shelter poster.

Donations in any amount can be made by check or money order made payable to AE911Truth. Note on the memo line  "ReThink911," and the city the funds are intended for.

Mail donations to:

AE911Truth: ReThink911
2342 Shattuck Ave., Suite 189
Berkeley, CA 94704
Phone: (510) 292-4710
Fax: (925) 938-1489

Support local 9/11 truth campaigns. Join nationwide ones. Urge others to do it. 

Dispel the Big Lie of our time! Do it because it matters! Do it because it's the right thing to do!


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

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

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

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“If you are a law-abiding citizen of this country, going about your business and your personal life, you have nothing to fear.” British Foreign Secretary William Hague, responding to the revelations of mass surveillance in the US and the UK (BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show on 9 June). 
What does William Hague take the British public for? This bureaucrat politician stands in front of the cameras time and again setting out to mislead with his self righteous platitudes. He did it over Libya and tens of thousands lost their lives. His is doing it over Syria with similar results. And he is doing it over mass surveillance by the state.

Do not believe we have nothing to fear. We have much to fear. Take the case of Stephen Lawrence, for example, who was lawfully ‘going about his business’ in April 1993, when white racists murdered him while he was waiting for a bus. It has now emerged that, after the murder, four London Metropolitan police officers were deployed to spy on the Lawrence family and Stephen’s friends.

The Lawrences were just ‘law-abiding citizens going about their business’. But undercover police were used to smear the Lawrence family’s fight for justice (1). One of those the spies says he job was to hunt for disinformation and dirt in order to stop the Lawrence’s justice campaign in its tracks. Nothing to fear from the state Mr Hague?

And then there are the numerous well-documented cases of the police and/or intelligence agencies infiltrating legitimate campaign and protest groups (2) and ‘investigating’ political parties or prominent figures (3)(4) in order to subvert or discredit them. Let us not forget too (how could we?) the massive police cover ups, none more prominent than the Hillsborough case (5). Still nothing to fear Mr Hague?

But let’s not be too harsh on Hague. The same ‘terror threat/nothing to fear’ script is being read out to the public in the US. Politicians elsewhere are using ‘terror’ as an excuse for spying on the public at large as well. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is convinced that Germany has to protect itself against potential terrorist attacks by using mass surveillance:

“We are dependent on being able to act and not being entirely at the mercy of the terrorists. And today, it’s on the Internet that communication takes place.” (6)
Alexander Dix, data protection commissioner for the city of Berlin, is a lot more sceptical. He calls for more restraint in the collection of data:

“You don’t have to follow conspiracy theories in order to suspect that data collected for fighting terrorism will also be used in other areas.” (6)
It’s all very convenient for politicians to pull out the magic phrase ‘war on terror’ in a futile attempt to stop any discussion on surveillance in its tracks. If the US-led alliance really wanted to stop or drastically reduce terrorism, it should listen to journalist Nir Rosen’s advice: stop committing it (7).


We need more monitoring and surveillance


The likes of Obama, Kerry, Hague or Cameron have become experts in churning out their fear-mongering platitudes by using some abstract notion of ‘we’ to imply ‘the nation’ or the ‘national interest’. But ‘we’ – the ordinary folk – need to hold power to account, to question its legitimacy and to challenge it when it is illegitimate.

We need to do this to help guarantee our safety, our common interests, our freedoms and threats to democracy. How about more but bottom-up monitoring and surveillance in terms of transparency within government and accountability to ensure decisions are properly scrutinized and genuinely open to pubic debate. In the absence of this, we have corruption, profiteering and the revolving door between government and big business, which all ensure that the powerful and wealthy get away with murder, quite literally when it comes to their illegal wars and mass killing.


In the absence of real democracy, we have food safety/regulation authorities being hijacked by corporate interests in order to feather their own nests. We have armaments companies using politicians as their sales lackeys.

We have police and intelligence agencies infiltrating, harassing or subverting legitimate groups that have every right to protest, dissent and oppose. We have a wide range of powerful corporate players that lobby, threaten or buy their way towards casting the world in their own self-serving nuclear, retail, biotech, petro-chemical or pharmaceutical image. And we have banks, industries and whole economies that are undemocratically owned and controlled.

We also have ‘stuff’ being sprayed onto us without our consent (or very often knowledge) and have no power to stop ‘stuff’ from being sprayed onto us (8).

But we are told all this top-down surveillance and all of the increasing unfreedoms are for our own good. We are told that public servants serve us by bowing down to elite interests. We are told that an incredible mass media is credible even though it serves a corporate agenda.


Based on his research for the book Who Killed Diana?, the late journalist Simon Regan stated that it is (paraphrased):


Whitehall that really runs the country with a close-knit Mafia-like clique… made up of a handful of powerful, but low-key, City brokers and financiers; the top brains at the Foreign Office, the Treasury, the Ministry of Defence and the Trade Department. Key figures in the security forces… and…at least one key member of the prime minister’s secretariat… the police and judiciary… through the Home Office… can certainly be manipulated. The Super-Establishment’s power is based upon its ability to manipulate the level below it – the individuals that most people believe are governing our country. The elected government is almost irrelevant… The world in which the Super-Establishment exists is a grey and murky world in which sensitive matters of state are planned and executed in gentlemen’s clubs. It is where manipulation plots are hatched, whether it is manipulation of a certain minister towards a certain viewpoint, or the wholesale orchestration of a Foreign Office ploy to bring down a foreign government… It is almost the divine "mission of the secret services to protect the status quo, and hitherto it has been their full intention to thwart anyone who tried to disrupt it. The actual existence of the Super-Establishment is not a flight of fancy. It is entirely manipulative and exercises a great deal of power behind the scenes. (9)


The elite, the oligarchs, the ruling class, the one percent – call it how you will. Yet it is we, the people, who are spied on and monitored by them for their good, to serve their interests and to feather their highly privileged and secretive world, a world built on the stolen wealth of both past and present deeds.


But don’t worry about any of this. There is no need. If that nice Mr Hague says we’ve nothing to fear, he must be right.


Notes



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Big Food Is Making Us Sick

The Independent reports that small farmers are being challenged by food companies are becoming insanely concentrated:

Increasingly, a handful of multinationals are tightening their grip on the commodity markets, with potentially dramatic effects for consumers and food producers alike.

***

Three companies now account for more than 40 per cent of global coffee sales, eight companies control the supply of cocoa and chocolate, seven control 85 per cent of tea production, five account for 75 per cent of the world banana trade, and the largest six sugar traders account for about two-thirds of world trade, according to the new publication from the Fairtrade Foundation.

***

This is the year “to put the politics of food on the public agenda and find better solutions to the insanity of our broken food system”.

More people may be shopping ethically – sales of Fairtrade cocoa grew by more than 20 per cent last year to £153m – but, according to the report, the world’s food system is “dangerously out of control”.

How is that effecting the safety of our food supply? Reuters notes:

Multinational food, drink and alcohol companies are using strategies similar to those employed by the tobacco industry to undermine public health policies, health experts said on Tuesday.

In an international analysis of involvement by so-called “unhealthy commodity” companies in health policy-making, researchers from Australia, Britain, Brazil and elsewhere said … that through the aggressive marketing of ultra-processed food and drink, multinational companies were now major drivers of the world’s growing epidemic of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

Writing in The Lancet medical journal, the researchers cited industry documents they said revealed how companies seek to shape health legislation and avoid regulation.

This is done by “building financial and institutional relations” with health professionals, non-governmental organizations and health agencies, distorting research findings, and lobbying politicians to oppose health reforms, they said.

They cited analysis of published research which found systematic bias from industry funding: articles sponsored exclusively by food and drinks companies were between four and eight times more likely to have conclusions that favored the companies than those not sponsored by them.

How are giant food manufacturers trying to influence legislation?

As Waking Times reports, they’re trying to gag all reporting:

States are adopting laws meant to keep consumers in the dark about where their food comes from.

Do you have a right to know where that steak on your plate came from?

Should it be legal to photograph chicken farms and dairy cows?

Big Agriculture says you don’t and it shouldn’t. Armies of Big Ag lobbyists are pushing for new state-level laws across the country to keep us all in the dark. Less restrictive versions have been law in some states since the 1980s, but the meat industry has ratcheted up a radical new campaign.

This wave of “ag-gag” bills would criminalize whistleblowers, investigators, and journalists who expose animal welfare abuses at factory farms and slaughterhouses. Ten states considered “ag-gag” bills last year, and Iowa, Missouri, and Utah approved them. Even more are soon to follow.

Had these laws been in force, the Humane Society might have been prosecuted for documenting repeated animal welfare and food safety violations at Hallmark/Westland, formerly the second-largest supplier of beef to the National School Lunch Program. Cows too sick to walk were being slaughtered and that meat was shipped to our schools, endangering our kids. The investigation led to the largest meat recall in U.S. history.

***

Big Ag wants to silence whistleblowers rather than clean up its act. Ag-gag bills are now pending in Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Indiana, Nebraska, and New Hampshire. Similar legislation may crop up in North Carolina and Minnesota.

The bills aren’t identical, but they share common language — sometimes even word-for-word. Some criminalize anyone who even “records an image or sound” from a factory farm. Others mandate that witnesses report abuses within a few hours, which would make it impossible for whistleblowers to secure advice and protection, or for them to document a pattern of abuses.

Indiana’s version of this cookie-cutter legislation ominously begins with the statement that farmers have the right to “engage in agricultural operations free from the threat of terrorism and interference from unauthorized third persons.” [The Feds are treating people who expose abuse in factory farms as potential terrorists … and the states want the same power.]

Yet these bills aren’t about violence or terrorism. They’re about truth-telling that’s bad for branding. For these corporations, a “terrorist” is anyone who threatens their profits by exposing inhumane practices that jeopardize consumer health.

***

Ag-gag bills aren’t about silencing journalists and whistleblowers. They’re about curbing consumer access to information at a time when more and more Americans want to know where our food comes from and how it’s produced.

The problem for corporations is that when people have information, they act on it. During a recent ag-gag hearing in Indiana, one of the nation’s largest egg producers told lawmakers about a recent investigation. After an undercover video was posted online, 50 customers quickly called and stopped buying their eggs. An informed public is the biggest threat to business as usual.

An informed public is also the biggest threat to these ag-gag bills. In Wyoming, one of the bills has already failed. According to sponsors, it was abandoned in part because of negative publicity. By shining a light on these attempts, we can make sure that the rest fail as well, while protecting the right of consumers to know what they’re buying.

So what – exactly – are the giant food corporations trying to hide?

They are fraudulently substituting cheaper – less healthy – food for high-quality. food.   And see this.

Indeed, the dairy industry wants to add sweeteners – such as aspartame – to milk without any labeling.

Food fraud is rampant .. including huge proportions of fish.

The bottom line is that collusion between government and big business is dishing up cheap, unhealthy food … just like collusion between D.C. and giant corporations caused the financial crisis, the Fukushima nuclear meltdown, the Gulf oil spill and other major disasters (and see this; and take a peek at number 9).

For example, the FDA:

  • Declared fish from Fukushima a-okay after radiation spewed into the ocean

The Department of Agriculture:

An official U.S. government report finds that Americans ‘are sicker and die younger’ than people in other wealthy nations.  There are a number of factors for this sickness … but unhealthy, cheap food is part of it.

The Real Iran Hostage Crisis: A CIA Covert Op

iranflag

Global Research Editor’s Note

The script of Best Film Academy Award Movie  “Argo” which depicts the Iran Hostage Crisis is largely based on fiction.

The purpose of the film is to rewrite history, to falsify what actually happened as well as provide a human face to US foreign  policy.

Amply documented, the Iran Hostage Crisis was a complex CIA covert operation intent upon stalling the Iranian Revolution as well as spearheading the political demise of President Jimmy Carter.

The following article first published in 1995 is based on extensive documentation collected by Fara Mansoor, a prominent Iranian intellectual.

Michel  Chossudovsky, February 26, 2013


By Harry V. Martin

Free America, 1995

Fara Mansoor is a fugitive. No, he hasn’t broken any laws in the United States. His crime is the truth. What he has to say and the documents he carries are equivalent to a death warrant for him, Mansoor is an Iranian who was part of the “establishment” in Iran long before the 1979 hostage taking. Mansoor’s records actually discount the alleged “October Surprise” theory that the Ronald Reagan-George Bush team paid the Iranians not to release 52 American hostages until after the November 1980 Presidential elections.

Mansoor’s meticulous documents, shared exclusively with this magazine, shows a much more sinister plot, the plot to take the hostages in the first place. “For 15 years the truth about the nature and origins of the Iranian hostage crisis has been buried in a mountain of misinformation,” Mansoor states. “Endless expert analysis has served only to deepen the fog that still surrounds this issue. We have been led to believe that the ‘crisis’ was a spontaneous act that just sprang out of the ‘chaos’ of the ‘Islamic Revolution’. Nothing could be further from the truth!”

“To really understand the hostage crisis and ‘who done it’, one has to look not only with a microscope, but also a wide angle lens to have a panoramic view of this well scripted ‘drama’,” Mansoor states. “That ‘drama’ was the result of large historical patterns, models, and motives. Once its true nature is understood, it will be clear how Iran/Contra happened.

Why Rafsanjani has been trying to ‘move toward the West,’ and why Reagan called him a ‘moderate’. And why, during the Gulf War, James Baker said, ‘we think Iran has conducted itself in a very, very credible way through this crisis’” Mansoor emphasizes that the “October Surprise” myth has served as dangerous misinformation.

THOUSANDS OF DOCUMENTS IN SUPPORT

With thousands of documents to support his position, Mansoor says that the “hostage crisis” was a political “management tool” created by the pro-Bush faction of the CIA, and implemented through an a priori Alliance with Khomeini’s Islamic Fundamentalists.” He says the purpose was twofold:

  • To keep Iran intact and communist-free by putting Khomeini in full control.
  • To destablize the Carter Administration and put George Bush in the White House.

“The private Alliance was the logical result of the intricate Iranian political reality of the mid-70s, and a complex network of powerful U.S.-Iranian ‘business’ relationships,” Mansoor states. “I first met Khomeini in 1963 during the failed coup attempt against the Shah. Since that time I have been intimately involved with Iranian politics. I knew in 1979 that the whole, phoney ‘Islamic Revolution’ was ‘mission implausible’.” Mansoor was frank. “There is simply no way that those guys with the beards and turbans could have pulled off such a brilliantly planned operation without very sophisticated help.”

Mansoor has spent 10 years researching the issue.

“I have collected enough data to yield a very clear picture. Mr. Bush’s lieutenants removed the Shah, brought Khomeini back to Iran, and guided his rise to power, sticking it to President Carter, the American people (52 in particular), and the Iranian people.”

He stated with boxes and boxes of evidence to support his contentions.

“My extensive research has revealed the heretofore untold truth about this episode. This is not another ‘October Surprise’ theory purporting how the hostage crisis resulted in some Khomeini-Republic better deal. That theory puts the cart before the horse. Its absurd premise is that a major international deal was initiated and consummated in three weeks. Give me a break! Bill Casey didn’t have to go to Paris to play lets-make-deal. The ‘deal’ had been in operation for at least two years. This game of blind-man’s-bluff around Casey’s gravestone was more disinformation, damage control.”

REAGAN, BUSH AND THATCHER IN IRAN IN 1978

Mansoor produced a confidential document called the “Country Team Minutes” of April 26, 1978, more than a year before the hostage crisis. The meeting was held in Iran. The second paragraph of the routine minutes, states, “The Ambassador commented on our distinguished visitors, Ronald Reagan, George Bush and Margaret Thatcher, and commented that Teheran seems to be the site for an opposition parties congress.” Mansoor indicates the entire relationship was probably the most sophisticated criminal act in recent history. “That the people who, until recently, were holding power in Washington and those who currently are still in control in Teheran, got there by totally subverting the democratic process of both countries is news. That their methods of subversion relied on kidnapping, extortion and murder is criminal,” Mansoor states.

Mansoor became a target after he did a radio show in Portland on November 13, 1992. It was the first time he attempted to go public with his documents and information. The Iranian regime has placed a bounty on Mansoor’s head and he has received many death threats.

Is Mansoor just another conspiracy nut? Ervand Abrahamian of Baruch College of New York stated in a letter to Mansoor,

“As you know I am very weary of conspiracy theories. But, despite my preconceived bias, I must admit I found your manuscript to be thoroughly researched, well documented, and, of course extremely relevant to the present. You have done an first-class job of interviewing participants, collecting data from scattered sources, and putting them together like a highly complicated puzzle.”

Mansoor’s meticulous research clearly demonstrates how Khomeini’s published vision of an Islamic Government (Vilayat-Faqih) dovetailed with the regional and global strategic objectives of a hard-core subset of the U.S. National Security establishment loyal to George Bush. It shows that the Iranian hostage crisis was neither a crisis nor chaos. In 1953, the CIA orchestrated a coup in Iran, which threw out the democratic government and installed the Shah.

In order to understand the imperative of this Alliance, we must realistically examine the sociopolitical alignment both in Iran and the U.S., and accurately assess their respective interests to find the command ground for this coalescence. The anti-monarchic forces in mid-70s Iran consisted of various nationalists groups including religious reformist, the Islamic Fundamentalists, and the leftists and communist.

The Nationalist forces were varied. Some were from within the government, but they were poorly organized and without grass-roots support. Their position was clearly anti-left and anti-communist, but they were vulnerable to being taken over by the well-organized left.

The Islamic Fundamentalists had no government experience, but they had major grassroots supports. Islam, in its Shi’ite format was deeply embedded in the lives of the vast majority of the Iranian people. The Fundamentalists were absolutely anti-communist.

CARTER FIRES 800 CIA COVERT OPERATORS

The philosophical divide within the U.S. National Security establishment, especially the CIA, became quite serious in the aftermath of Watergate. To make matters worse, the election of Jimmy Carter in 1976, his campaign promise to clean the “cowboy” elements out of the Central Intelligence Agency and his “human rights” policies alarmed the faction of the CIA loyal to George Bush. Bush was CIA director under Richard Nixon. Finally, the firing of CIA Director George Bush by Carter, and the subsequent “Halloween Massacre” in which Carter fired over 800 CIA covert operatives in 1977, angered the “cowboys” beyond all measure. That was Carter’s October surprise, 800 firings on Halloween 1977.

Bush and his CIA coverts were well aware of the Shah’s terminal cancer, unknown to President Carter. The team had an elaborate vested interest to protect. They were determined to keep Iran intact and communist-free and put George Bush in the White House.

TIMELINE: SEQUENCE OF EVENTS

Hence, the Islamic Fundamentalists were the only viable choice through which the Bush covert team could implement its own private foreign policy. The results: the birth of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the fall of President Carter, and the emergence of something called the “New World Order.” Mansoor’s documents show step-by-step events:

1. In 1974, the Shah of Iran was diagnosed with cancer.

2. In 1975, former CIA director, and the U.S. Ambassador to Iran, Richard Helms learned of the Shah’s cancer through the Shah’s closest confidant, General Hossein Fardoust. The Shah, Helms and Fardoust had been close personal friends since their school days together in Switzerland during the 1930s.

3. On November 4, 1976, concurrent with Jimmy Carter’s election as President, CIA Director George Bush issued a secret memo to the U.S. Ambassador in Iran, Richard Helms, asking:

“Have there been any changes in the personality pattern of the Shah; what are their implication pattern for political behavior? Identification of top military officers that most likely play key roles in any transference of power if the Shah were killed…who will be the leading actors? How will the Shah’s pet projects, including the economic development program, be effected by his departure?”

4. By July 1977, anticipating trouble ahead, the Bush covert team issued preliminary script for the transition of power in Iran. According to John D. Stemple, a CIA analyst and Deputy Chief Political officer of the U.S. Embassy in Iran, “A ten page analysis of the opposition written by the embassy’s political section in July 1977 correctly identified Bakhiar, Bazargan, Khomeini and Behesti as major actors in the drama that begin unfolding a year later.”

5. Contrary to this analysis, in August 1977, the “official wing” of the CIA fed President Carter a 60-page Study on Iran which concluded:

“The Shah will be an active participant in Iranian life well into the 1980s…and there will be no radical changes in Iranian political behavior in the near future.”

6. On October 31, 1977, president Carter made good on his campaign promise to clean the “cowboys” out of the CIA. He fired over 800 covert operatives from the Agency, many of whom were loyal to George Bush. Carter’s presidency split the CIA. It produced in them, among whom were “many well-trained in political warfare, a concerted will for revenge.” By the end of the 1970s many of these special covert operatives had allied themselves with George Bush’s candidacy, and later with Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign.

7. On November 15, the Shah of Iran visited Washington, D.C. Carter toasted his guest, “If ever there was a country which has blossomed forth under enlightened leadership, it would be the ancient empire of Persia.”

8. On November 23, Ayatollah Khomeini’s elder son, Haji Mustafa, died mysteriously in Najaf, Iraq. According to professor Hamid Algar, he was “assassinated by the Shah’s U.S.-instituted security police SAVAK…the tragedy inflamed the public in Iran.” Ayatollah Khomeini placed an advertisement in the French Newspaper Le Monde which read: “thanking people for condolences that had been sent of the murder of his son”. He also “appealed to the army to liberate Iran, and to the intellectuals and all good Muslims to continue their criticism of the Shah”.

9. December 31, 1977, Carter visited the Shah in Iran. He toasted the Shah for maintaining Iran as “an island of stability in one of the more troubled areas of the world.” Ironically, that so-called stability evaporated before the champagne lost its fizz.

10. On January 7, 1978, an insidious article entitled Iran and the Red and Black Colonialism, appeared in the Iranian daily newspaper Ettela’at. It castigated the exiled Khomeini, and produced a massive protest riot in the Holy City of Qum the next day. The clergy had little choice but to rally to Khomeini’s defense. The Qum incident shifted many of the clergy from a position of support for the Shah’s monarchy to an active opposition. That “dirty trick” perpetuated by General Fardoust was the trigger that sparked Islamic movement participating in the anti-Shah democratic Revolution. John D. Stempel, characterized Fardoust’s importance to the Alliance: “it is hard to over estimated the value of having a mole in the inner circle of the Shah.”

11. On February 3, a confidential communiqué from the U.S. Embassy clearly reflected the vision of the Alliance: “Though based on incomplete evidence, our best assessment to date is that the Shia Islamic movement dominated by Ayatollah Khomeini is far better organized, enlighten and able to resist Communism than its detractors would lead us to believe. It is rooted in the Iranian people more than any western ideology, including Communism.”

12. April 1978, Le Monde “identified Khomeini’s Liberation Movement of Iran as the most significant force in the opposition followed by the Shi’ite Islam joins the reformist of progressive critics of the Shah on the same ground. In fact, this analysis was contrary to what Mohaammad Tavassoli, leader of the Liberation Movement of Iran, expressed to John D. Stempel on August 21, 1978: “The nationalist movement in Iran lacks a popular base. The choice is between Islam and Communism…close ties between the Liberation Movement of Iran and the religious movement was necessary. Iran was becoming split by Marxist and the religious.”

13. On April 26, the confidential minutes of the U. S. Embassy Country team meeting welcomed Bush, Reagan and Thatcher.

14. On May 6, Le Monde became the first western newspaper to interview Khomeini in Najaf, Iraq. Khomeini acknowledged his compatibility with the strategic imperatives of the Bush covert team, “we would not collaborate with the Marxists, even to the overthrow of the Shah.”

15. The same month, Khomeini’s old ally from the failed 1963 coup (that resulted in Khomeini’s arrest and major uprising in June 1963 and his subsequent exile to Iraq) General Valliollah Qarani sent his emissary to meet Khomeini in Najaf. Qarani had been a major CIA asset in Iran since the 1953 coup. Seeing another chance to gain power for himself, he advised Khomeini, according to former Iranian President Abol Hassan Bani-sader:

“if you settle for the Shah’s departure and don’t use anti-American rhetoric, Americans are ready to take him out.”

16. In August, the Bush team sent its own point man to meet the exiled Ayatollah in Najaf. Professor Richard Cottam carried excellent credentials. During the 1953 coup, he had been in charge of the CIA’s Iran Desk, also, he had been in close contact with Dr. Ibrahim Yazdi in the U.S. since 1975. Curiously, he admitted to Bani-sadr in 1987, that he had not been working for the Carter Administration. Cottam’s visit must have had an impact, because Iran suddenly began to experience a series of mysterious catastrophes:

  • In Aberdeen, Fundamentalist supporters burned down a theater killing the innocent occupants, blaming it on the SAVAK and the Shah.
  • There were riots in Isfahan that resulted in martial law.
  • On August 27, one of Khomeini’s rivals among the Shia Islamic faithful outside of Iran, Ayatollah Mosa Sadr mysteriously disppeared. According to an intelligence source he was killed and buried in Libya.

17. By late August, the Shah was totally confused. U.S. Ambassador Sullivan recorded the Shah’s pleadings over the outbreak of violence:

“he said the pattern was widespread and that it was like an outbreak of a sudden rash in the country…it gave evidence of sophisticated planning and was not the work of spontaneous oppositionists…the Shah presented that it was the work of foreign intrigue…this intrigue went beyond the capabilities of the Soviet KGB and must, therefore, also involve British and American CIA. The Shah went on to ask ‘Why was the CIA suddenly turning against him? What had he done to deserve this sort of action from the United States?”

18. September 8, the Shah’s army gunned down hundreds of demonstrators in Teheran in what became known as the “Jaleh Square Massacre”.

19. On September 9, President Carter phoned the Shah to confirm his support for the Shah, a fact that enraged the Iranian population.

20. A few days later, Carter’s National Security aide, Gary Sick, received a call from Richard Cottam, requesting a discrete meeting between him and Khomeini’s representative in the U.S., Dr. Yazdi. Sick refused.

21. Khomeini for the first time, publicly called for the Shah’s overthrow.

22. In Mid-September, at the height of the revolution, “one of the handful of Khomeini’s trusted associates”, Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Beheshti, secretly visited the United States among others, he also meet with Yazdi in Texas. Beheshti was an advocate of the eye-for-an-eye school of justice.

23. In early October 1978, the agent for the Bush covert team arranged to force Khomeini out of Iraq.

24. October 3, 1978, Yazdi picked up Khomeini in Iraq and headed for Kuwait. According to Gary Sick, he received an urgent call from Richard Cottam, learning for the first time that Khomeini had been forced out of Iraq. Sick was told that Khomeini and his entourage were stuck in no man’s land while attempting to cross the border. Cottam was requesting White House intervention to resolve the issue. Sick respond, “there is nothing we could do”.

25. October 6, Khomeini’s entourage, having gotten back through Baghdad, popped up in Paris. According to Bani-sadr, “it was Khomeini who insisted on going to Paris instead of Syria or Algeria”. Whoever helped Khomeini out of the Kuwaiti border impasse had to have been on good terms with both the French and Saddam Hussein.

26. December 12, Yazdi made a trip to the U.S. to promote Khomeini and his Islamic Republic. Yazdi met secretly with Henry Precht on an unofficial capacity. Precht was the Director of the Iran Desk at the State Department and one of the Bush team’s main choke points in the Carter Administration. Later Precht and Yazdi appeared together for televised discussion of Iran. Yazdi assured the American public that Khomeini had not really called for a “torrent of blood”, and that the “election would be absolutely free”. The Islamic Republic “would enjoy full freedom of speech and the press, including the right to attack Islam.

27. December 28, Cottam visited Khomeini in Paris where he noted that U.S. citizen Dr. Yazdi was the “leading tactician in Khomeini’s camp” and apparent “chief of staff”. Khomeini was not interested in the Mullahs taking over the government. Also noted that “Khomeini’s movement definitely plans to organize a political party to draw on Khomeini’s charisma. Cottam thinks such a party would win all Majlis seats.”

28. Leaving Paris, Cottam slipped into Teheran, arriving the first week in January 1979, to prepare Khomeini’s triumphal return to Iran.

29. January 4, 1979, Carter’s secret envoy, General Robert Huyser arrived in Iran. His mission was to prevent the “fall of the Shah”. According to Huyser, Alexander Haig, ostensibly a strong Shah supporter-inexplicably, “took violent exception to the whole idea.” Huyser recalled that “General Haig never gave me a full explanation of his strong objections.” Huyser also revealed that Ambassador Sullivan “had also expressed objections.” Two pro-Shah advocates opposed to the prevention of the Shah’s fall.

30. On January 14, President Carter finally “authorized a meeting between Warren Zimmerman and Ibrahim Yazdi. On the same day, Khomeini, in an interview on CBS claimed, “a great part of the army was loyal to him” and that “he will be in effect the strong man of Iran.”

31. On January 16, in an exact repeat of the 1953 CIA coup, Bush’s covert team ushered the “eccentric and weak” Shah out of Iran.

32. On February 1, 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini staged his own version of a “triumphal return” in the streets of Teheran.

33. Khomeini moved quickly to establish his authority. On February 5 he named Mehdi Bazargan, a devoted Muslim and anti-communist, interim Prime Minister. Yazdi and Abbas Amir Entezam became Bazargan’s deputies, Dr. Sanjabi Foreign Minister, and General Qarani was named military Chief of Staff.

34. On February 11, 1979, in seemingly a bizarre twist, General Qarani asked the Shah’s “eyes and ears” General Hossien Fardoust for recommendations to fill the new top posts in Iran’s armed forces. Outside of the Chief of SAVAK, all the other recommendations were accepted. Shortly after, General Fardoust became head of SAVAMA, Khomeini’s successor to SAVAK.

35. On February 14, 1979, two weeks after Khomeini’s return to Iran, the U.S. Embassy in Teheran was seized by Khomeini supporters disguised as leftist guerrillas in an attempt to neutralize the left. U.S. hostages were seized, but to the chagrin of Khomeini’s Fundamentalist, the Iranian coalition government restored order immediately. Ironically, in the same day in Kabul, Afghanistan, the U.S. Ambassador was also kidnapped by fanatic Islamic Fundamentalists disguised as leftist guerrillas and killed in the gunfight.

36. On February 14, soon after the order was restored at the U.S. Embassy in Teheran, Khomeini’s aide Yazdi supplied the Embassy with a group of Iranians for compound security. Ambassador Sullivan installed armed, and trained this Swat squad lead by SAVAK/CIA agent Mashallah Kahsani, with whom Sullivan developed a close working relationship.

37. By August, pro-Bush CIA official George Cave was visiting Iran to provide intelligence briefings to Khomeini’s aides, especially Yazdi and Entezam. These intelligence exchanges continued until October 31, the day Carter fired Bush and the 800 agents. Then with all the Iranian officials who had restored order in the first Embassy seizure eliminated, the stage was set for what happened four days later.

38. On November 4, 1979, the U.S. Embassy was taken again. Leading the charge was none other than Ambassador Sullivan’s trusted Mashallah Kashani, the Embassy’s once and former security chief.

With the evidence and documentation supplied by Mansoor, the alleged October Surprise would not have been necessary. President Carter was the target, in revenge for the Halloween Massacre, the night 800 CIA operatives and George Bush were fired by Carter. The man thrust, however, was to prevent a communist takover of Iran on the Shah’s anticpated death.

US Sponsored Coup d’Etat: The Destabilization of Haiti

aristide

Author’s Note

This article was written nine years ago, in the last days of February 2004 in response to the barrage of disinformation in the mainstream media. It was completed on February 29th, the day of President Jean Bertrand Aristide’s kidnapping and deportation by US Forces.

The armed insurrection which contributed to unseating President Aristide on February 29th 2004 was the result of a carefully staged military-intelligence operation, involving the US, France and Canada. The 2004 coup had set the stage for the installation of US puppet government in Port au Prince, which takes orders directly from Washington.

Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, February 26, 2013


(Minor editorial corrections were made to the original draft since its publication on February 29th 2004, the title of article predates the actual Coup D’Etat which was in the making at the time of writing)

original article published at http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO402D.html

by Michel Chossudovsky

The Rebel paramilitary army crossed the border from the Dominican Republic in early February. It constitutes a well armed, trained and equipped paramilitary unit integrated by former members of Le Front pour l’avancement et le progrès d’Haiti (FRAPH), the  “plain clothes” death squadrons, involved in mass killings of civilians and political assassinations during the CIA sponsored 1991 military coup, which led to the overthrow of the democratically elected government of President Jean Bertrand Aristide

The self-proclaimed Front pour la Libération et la reconstruction nationale (FLRN) (National Liberation and Reconstruction Front) is led by Guy Philippe, a former member of the Haitian Armed Forces and Police Chief. Philippe had been trained during the 1991 coup years by US Special Forces in Ecuador, together with a dozen other Haitian Army officers. (See Juan Gonzalez, New York Daily News, 24 February 2004).

The two other rebel commanders and associates of Guy Philippe, who led the attacks on Gonaives and Cap Haitien are Emmanuel Constant, nicknamed “Toto” and Jodel Chamblain, both of whom are former Tonton Macoute and leaders of FRAPH.

In 1994, Emmanuel Constant led the FRAPH assassination squadron into the village of Raboteau, in what was later identified as “The Raboteau massacre”:

“One of the last of the infamous massacres happened in April 1994 in Raboteau, a seaside slum about 100 miles north of the capital. Raboteau has about 6,000 residents, most fishermen and salt rakers, but it has a reputation as an opposition stronghold where political dissidents often went to hide… On April 18 [1994], 100 soldiers and about 30 paramilitaries arrived in Raboteau for what investigators would later call a “dress rehearsal.” They rousted people from their homes, demanding to know where Amiot “Cubain” Metayer, a well-known Aristide supporter, was hiding. They beat people, inducing a pregnant woman to miscarry, and forced others to drink from open sewers. Soldiers tortured a 65-year-old blind man until he vomited blood. He died the next day.

The soldiers returned before dawn on April 22. They ransacked homes and shot people in the streets, and when the residents fled for the water, other soldiers fired at them from boats they had commandeered. Bodies washed ashore for days; some were never found. The number of victims ranges from two dozen to 30. Hundreds more fled the town, fearing further reprisals.” (St Petersburg Times, Florida, 1 September 2002)

During the military government (1991-1994), FRAPH was (unofficially) under the jurisdiction of the Armed Forces, taking orders from Commander in Chief General Raoul Cedras. According to a 1996 UN Human Rights Commission report, FRAPH had been supported by the CIA.

Under the military dictatorship, the narcotics trade, was protected by the military Junta, which in turn was supported by the CIA. The 1991 coup leaders including the FRAPH paramilitary commanders were on the CIA payroll. (See Paul DeRienzo,   http://globalresearch.ca/articles/RIE402A.html , See also see Jim Lobe, IPS, 11 Oct 1996). Emmanuel Constant alias “Toto” confirmed, in this regard, in a CBS “60 Minutes” in 1995, that the CIA paid him about $700 a month and that he created FRAPH, while on the CIA payroll. (See Miami Herald, 1 August 2001). According to Constant, the FRAPH had been formed “with encouragement and financial backing from the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency and the CIA.” (Miami New Times, 26 February 2004)

The Civilian “Opposition” 

The so-called “Democratic Convergence” (DC) is a group of some 200 political organizations, led by former Port-au-Prince mayor Evans Paul.  The “Democratic Convergence” (DC) together with “The Group of 184 Civil Society Organizations” (G-184) has formed a so-called “Democratic Platform of Civil Society Organizations and Opposition Political Parties”.

The Group of 184 (G-184), is headed by Andre (Andy) Apaid, a US citizen of Haitian parents, born in the US. (Haiti Progres, http://www.haiti-progres.com/eng11-12.html ) Andy Apaid owns Alpha Industries, one of Haiti’s largest cheap labor export assembly lines established during the Duvalier era. His sweatshop factories produce textile products and assemble electronic products for a number of US firms including Sperry/Unisys, IBM, Remington and Honeywell. Apaid is the largest industrial employer in Haiti with a workforce of some 4000 workers. Wages paid in Andy Apaid’s factories are as low as 68 cents a day. (Miami Times, 26 Feb 2004). The current minimum wage is of the order of $1.50 a day:

“The U.S.-based National Labor Committee, which first revealed the Kathie Lee Gifford sweat shop scandal, reported several years ago that Apaid’s factories in Haiti’s free trade zone often pay below the minimum wage and that his employees are forced to work 78-hour weeks.” (Daily News, New York, 24 Feb 2004)

Apaid was a firm supporter of the 1991 military coup. Both the Convergence démocratique and the G-184 have links to the FLRN (former  FRAPH death squadrons) headed by Guy Philippe. The FLRN is also known to receive funding from the Haitian business community.

In other words, there is no watertight division between the civilian opposition, which claims to be non-violent and the FLRN paramilitary. The FLRN is collaborating with the so-called “Democratic Platform.”

The Role of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED)

In Haiti, this “civil society opposition” is bankrolled by the National Endowment for Democracy which works hand in glove with the CIA. The Democratic Platform is supported by the International Republican Institute (IRI) , which is an arm of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Senator John McCain is Chairman of IRI’s Board of Directors. (See Laura Flynn, Pierre Labossière and Robert Roth, Hidden from the Headlines: The U.S. War Against Haiti, California-based Haiti Action Committee (HAC), http://www.haitiprogres.com/eng11-12.html ).

G-184 leader Andy Apaid was in liaison with Secretary of State Colin Powell in the days prior to the kidnapping and deportation of President Aristide by US forces on February 29. His umbrella organization of elite business organizations and religious NGOs, which is also supported by the International Republican Institute (IRI), receives sizeable amounts of money from the European Union.(http://haitisupport.gn.apc.org/184%20EC.htm ).

It is worth recalling that the NED, (which overseas the IRI) although not formally part of the CIA, performs an important intelligence function within the arena of civilian political parties and NGOs. It was created in 1983, when the CIA was being accused of covertly bribing politicians and setting up phony civil society front organizations. According to Allen Weinstein, who was responsible for setting up the NED during the Reagan Administration: “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.” (‘Washington Post’, Sept. 21, 1991). 

The NED channels congressional funds to the four institutes: The International Republican Institute (IRI), the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), and the American Center for International Labor Solidarity (ACILS). These organizations are said to be “uniquely qualified to provide technical assistance to aspiring democrats worldwide.” See IRI, http://www.iri.org/history.asp )

In other words, there is a division of tasks between the CIA and the NED. While the CIA provides covert support to armed paramilitary rebel groups and death squadrons, the NED and its four constituent organizations finance “civilian”  political parties and non governmental organizations with a view to instating American “democracy” around the World.

The NED constitutes, so to speak, the CIA’s “civilian arm”. CIA-NED interventions in different part of the World are characterized by a consistent pattern, which is applied in numerous countries.

The NED provided funds to  the “civil society” organizations in Venezuela, which initiated an attempted coup against President Hugo Chavez. In Venezuela it was the “Democratic Coordination”, which was the recipient of NED support; in Haiti it is the “Democratic Convergence” and G-184.

Similarly, in former Yugoslavia, the CIA channeled support to the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) (since 1995), a paramilitary group involved in terrorist attacks on the Yugoslav police and military. Meanwhile, the NED through the  “Center for International Private Enterprise” (CIPE) was backing the DOS opposition coalition in Serbia and Montenegro. More specifically, NED was financing the G-17, an opposition group of  economists responsible for formulating (in liaison with the IMF) the DOS coalition’s  “free market” reform platform in the 2000 presidential election, which led to the downfall of Slobodan Milosevic.  

The IMF’s Bitter “Economic Medicine”

The IMF and the World Bank are key players in the process of economic and political destabilization. While carried out under the auspices of an intergovernmental body, the IMF reforms tend to support US strategic and foreign policy objectives.

Based on the so-called “Washington consensus”, IMF austerity and restructuring measures through their devastating impacts, often contribute to triggering social and ethnic strife. IMF reforms have often precipitated the downfall of elected governments. In extreme cases of economic and social dislocation, the IMF’s bitter economic medicine has contributed to the destabilization of entire countries, as occurred in Somalia, Rwanda and Yugoslavia. (See Michel Chossudovsky, The globalization of Poverty and the New World Order, Second Edition, 2003, http://globalresearch.ca/globaloutlook/GofP.html )

The IMF program is a consistent instrument of economic dislocation. The IMF’s reforms contribute to reshaping and downsizing State institutions through drastic austerity measures. The latter are implemented alongside other forms of intervention and political interference, including CIA covert activities in support of rebel paramilitary groups and opposition political parties.

Moreover, so-called “Emergency Recovery” and “Post-conflict” reforms are often introduced under IMF guidance, in the wake of a civil war, a regime change or “a national emergency”.

In Haiti, the IMF sponsored  “free market” reforms have been carried out consistently since the Duvalier era. They have been applied in several stages since the first election of president Aristide in 1990. 

The 1991 military coup, which took place 8 months following Jean Bertrand Aristide’s accession to the presidency, was in part intended to reverse the Aristide government’s progressive reforms and reinstate the neoliberal policy agenda of the Duvalier era.

A former World Bank official Mr. Marc Bazin was appointed Prime minister by the Military Junta in June 1992. In fact, it was the US State Department which sought his appointment.

Bazin had a track record of working for the “Washington consensus.”  In 1983, he had been appointed Finance Minister under the Duvalier regime, In fact he had been recommended to the Finance portfolio by the IMF: “President-for-Life Jean-Claude Duvalier had agreed to the appointment of an IMF nominee, former World Bank official Marc Bazin, as Minister of Finance”. (Mining Annual Review, June, 1983). Bazin, who was considered Washington’s “favorite”, later ran against Aristide in the 1990 presidential elections.

Bazin, was called in by the Military Junta in 1992 to form a so-called  “consensus government”. It is worth noting that it was precisely during Bazin’s term in office as Prime Minister that the political massacres and extra judicial killings by the CIA supported FRAPH death squadrons were unleashed, leading to the killing of more than 4000 civilians. Some 300,000 people became internal refugees,  “thousands more fled across the border to the Dominican Republic, and more than 60,000 took to the high seas” (Statement of Dina Paul Parks, Executive Director, National Coalition for Haitian Rights, Committee on Senate Judiciary, US Senate, Washington DC, 1 October 2002). Meanwhile, the CIA had launched a smear campaign representing Aristide as “mentally unstable” (Boston Globe, 21 Sept 1994).

The 1994 US Military Intervention

Following three years of military rule, the US intervened in 1994, sending in 20,000 occupation troops and “peace-keepers” to Haiti. The US military intervention was not intended to restore democracy. Quite the contrary: it was carried out to prevent a popular insurrection against the military Junta and its neoliberal cohorts.

In other words, the US military occupation was implemented to ensure political continuity.

While the members of the military Junta were sent into exile, the return to constitutional government required compliance to IMF diktats, thereby foreclosing the possibility of a progressive “alternative” to the neoliberal agenda. Moreover, US troops remained in the country until 1999. The Haitian armed forces were disbanded and the US State Department hired a mercenary company DynCorp to provide “technical advice” in restructuring the Haitian National Police (HNP).

“DynCorp has always functioned as a cut-out for Pentagon and CIA covert operations.” (See Jeffrey St. Clair and Alexander Cockburn,  Counterpunch, February 27, 2002, http://www.corpwatch.org/issues/PID.jsp?articleid=1988 ) Under DynCorp advice in Haiti, former Tonton Macoute and Haitian military officers involved in the 1991 Coup d’Etat were brought into the HNP. (See Ken Silverstein, Privatizing War, The Nation, July 28, 1997, http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/silver.htm )

In October 1994, Aristide returned from exile and reintegrated the presidency until the end of his mandate in 1996. “Free market” reformers  were brought into his Cabinet. A new wave of deadly macro-economic policies was adopted under a so-called Emergency Economic Recovery Plan (EERP) “that sought to achieve rapid macroeconomic stabilization, restore public administration, and attend to the most pressing needs.” (See IMF Approves Three-Year ESAF Loan for Haiti, Washington, 1996, http://www.imf.org/external/np/sec/pr/1996/pr9653.htm ).

The restoration of Constitutional government had been negotiated behind closed doors with Haiti’s external creditors. Prior to Aristide’s reinstatement as the country’s president, the new government was obliged to clear the country’s debt arrears with its external creditors. In fact the new loans provided by the  World Bank, the  Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and the IMF were used to meet Haiti’s obligations with international creditors. Fresh money was used to pay back old debt leading to a spiraling external debt.

Broadly coinciding with the military government, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) declined by 30 percent (1992-1994). With a per capita income of $250 per annum, Haiti is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere and among the poorest in the world. (see World Bank, Haiti: The Challenges of Poverty Reduction, Washington, August 1998, http://lnweb18.worldbank.org/External/lac/lac.nsf/0/8479e9126e3537f0852567ea000fa239/$FILE/Haiti1.doc ).

The World Bank estimates unemployment to be of the order of 60 percent. (A 2000 US Congressional Report estimates it to be as high as 80 percent. See US House of Representatives, Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources Subcommittee, FDHC Transcripts, 12 April 2000).

In the wake of three years of military rule and economic decline, there was no “Economic Emergency Recovery” as envisaged under the IMF loan agreement. In fact quite the opposite: The IMF imposed  “stabilization” under the “Recovery” program required further budget cuts in  almost non-existent social sector programs.  A civil service reform program was launched, which consisted in reducing the size of the civil service and the firing of “surplus” State employees. The IMF-World Bank package was in part instrumental in the paralysis of public services, leading to the eventual demise of the entire State system. In a country where health and educational services were virtually nonexistent, the IMF had demanded the lay off of “surplus” teachers and health workers with a view to meeting its target for the budget deficit.   

Washington’s foreign policy initiatives were coordinated with the application of the IMF’s deadly economic medicine. The country had been literally pushed to the brink of economic and social disaster.

The Fate of Haitian Agriculture

More than 75 percent of the Haitian population is engaged in agriculture, producing both food crops for the domestic market as well a number of cash crops for export. Already during the Duvalier era, the peasant economy had been undermined. With the adoption of the IMF-World Bank sponsored trade reforms, the agricultural system, which previously produced food for the local market, had been destabilized. With the lifting of trade barriers, the local market was opened up to the dumping of US agricultural surpluses including rice, sugar and corn, leading to the destruction of the entire peasant economy. Gonaives, which used to be Haiti’s rice basket region, with extensive paddy fields had been precipitated into bankruptcy:

. “By the end of the 1990s Haiti’s local rice production had been reduced by half and rice imports from the US accounted for over half of local rice sales. The local farming population was devastated, and the price of rice rose drastically “ ( See Rob Lyon, Haiti-There is no solution under Capitalism! Socialist Appeal, 24 Feb. 2004, http://cleveland.indymedia.org/news/2004/02/9095.php ).

In matter of a few years, Haiti, a small impoverished country in the Caribbean, had become the World’s fourth largest importer of American rice after Japan, Mexico and Canada.

The Second Wave of IMF Reforms

The presidential elections were scheduled for November 23, 2000. The Clinton Administration had put an embargo on development aid to Haiti in 2000. Barely two weeks prior to the elections, the outgoing administration signed a Letter of Intent with the IMF. Perfect timing: the agreement with the IMF virtually foreclosed from the outset any departure from the neoliberal agenda.

The Minister of Finance had sent the amended budget to the Parliament on December 14th. Donor support was conditional upon its rubber stamp approval by the Legislature. While Aristide had promised to increase the minimum wage, embark on school construction and  literacy programs, the hands of the new government were tied. All major decisions regarding the State budget, the management of the public sector, public investment, privatization, trade and monetary policy had already been taken. They were part of the agreement reached with the IMF on November 6, 2000.

In 2003, the IMF imposed the application of a so-called “flexible price system in fuel”, which immediately triggered an inflationary spiral. The currency was devalued. Petroleum prices increased by about 130 percent in January-February 2003, which served to increase popular resentment against the Aristide government, which had supported the implementation of the IMF economic reforms.

The hike in fuel prices contributed to a 40 percent increase in consumer prices (CPI) in 2002-2003 (See Haiti—Letter of Intent, Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies, and Technical Memorandum of Understanding, Port-au-Prince, Haiti June 10, 2003, http://www.imf.org/external/np/loi/2003/hti/01/index.htm ). In turn, the IMF had demanded, despite the dramatic increase in the cost of living, a freeze on wages as a means to “controlling inflationary pressures.” The IMF had in fact pressured the government to lower public sector salaries (including those paid to teachers and health workers).  The IMF had also demanded the phasing out of the statutory minimum wage of approximately 25 cents an hour. “Labour market flexibility”, meaning wages paid below the statutory minimum wage would, according to the IMF, contribute to attracting foreign investors. The daily minimum wage was $3.00 in 1994, declining to about $1.50- 1.75 (depending on the gourde-dollar exchange rate) in 2004. 

In an utterly twisted logic, Haiti’s abysmally low wages, which have been part of the IMF-World Bank “cheap labor” policy framework since the 1980s, are viewed as a means to improving the standard of living. In other words, sweatshop conditions in the assembly industries (in a totally unregulated labor market) and forced labor conditions in Haiti’s agricultural plantations are considered by the IMF as a key to achieving economic prosperity, because they “attract foreign investment.” 

The country was in the straightjacket of a spiraling external debt. In a bitter irony, the IMF-World Bank sponsored austerity measures in the social sectors were imposed in a country which has 1,2 medical doctors for 10,000 inhabitants and where the large majority of the population is illiterate. State social services, which were virtually nonexistent during the Duvalier period, have collapsed.

The result of IMF ministrations was a further collapse in purchasing power, which had also affected middle income groups. Meanwhile, interest rates had skyrocketed. In the Northern and Eastern parts of the country, the hikes in fuel prices had led to a virtual paralysis of transportation and public services including water and electricity.

While a humanitarian catastrophe is looming, the collapse of the economy spearheaded by the IMF, had served to boost the popularity of the Democratic Platform, which had accused  Aristide of “economic mismanagement.” Needless to say, the leaders of the Democratic Platform including Andy Apaid –who actually owns the sweatshops– are the main protagonists of the low wage economy.

Applying the Kosovo Model

In February 2003, Washington announced the appointment of James Foley as Ambassador to Haiti . Foley had been a State Department spokesman under the Clinton administration during the war on Kosovo. He previously held a position at NATO headquarters in Brussels. Foley had been sent to Port au Prince in advance of the CIA sponsored operation. He was transferred to Port au Prince in September 2003, from a prestige diplomatic position in Geneva, where he was Deputy Head of Mission to the UN European office.

It is worth recalling Ambassador Foley’s involvement in support of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in 1999.

Amply documented, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) was financed by drug money and supported by the CIA. ( See Michel Chossudovsky, Kosovo Freedom Fighters Financed by Organized Crime, Covert Action Quarterly, 1999, http://www.heise.de/tp/english/inhalt/co/2743/1.html )  

The KLA had been involved in similar targeted political assassinations and killings of civilians, in the months leading up to the 1999 NATO invasion as well as in its aftermath.  Following the NATO led invasion and occupation of Kosovo, the KLA was transformed into the Kosovo Protection Force (KPF) under UN auspices. Rather than being disarmed to prevent the massacres of civilians, a terrorist organization with links to organized crime and the Balkans drug trade, was granted a legitimate political status.

At the time of the Kosovo war, the current ambassador to Haiti James Foley was in charge of State Department briefings, working closely with his NATO counterpart in Brussels, Jamie Shea. Barely two months before the onslaught of the NATO led war on 24 March 1999, James Foley had called for the “transformation” of the KLA into a respectable political organization:

We want to develop a good relationship with them [the KLA] as they transform themselves into a politically-oriented organization,’ ..`[W]e believe that we have a lot of advice and a lot of help that we can provide to them if they become precisely the kind of political actor we would like to see them become… “If we can help them and they want us to help them in that effort of transformation, I think it’s nothing that anybody can argue with..’ (quoted in the New York Times, 2 February 1999)

In the wake of the invasion “a self-proclaimed Kosovar administration was set up composed of the KLA and the Democratic Union Movement (LBD), a coalition of five opposition parties opposed to Rugova’s Democratic League (LDK). In addition to the position of prime minister, the KLA controlled the ministries of finance, public order and defense.” (Michel Chossudovsky, NATO’s War of Aggression against Yugoslavia, 1999, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO309C.html )

The US State Department’s position as conveyed in Foley’s statement was that the KLA would “not be allowed to continue as a military force but would have the chance to move forward in their quest for self government under a ‘different context’” meaning the inauguration of a de facto “narco-democracy” under NATO protection. (Ibid).

With regard to the drug trade, Kosovo and Albania occupy a similar position to that of Haiti: they constitute “a hub” in the transit (transshipment) of narcotics from the Golden Crescent, through Iran and Turkey into Western Europe. While supported by the CIA, Germany’s Bundes Nachrichten Dienst (BND) and NATO, the KLA has links to the Albanian Mafia and criminal syndicates involved in the narcotics trade.( See Michel Chossudovsky, Kosovo Freedom Fighters Financed by Organized Crime, Covert Action Quarterly, 1999, http://www.heise.de/tp/english/inhalt/co/2743/1.html )  

Is this the model for Haiti, as formulated in 1999 by the current US Ambassador to Haiti James Foley?

For the CIA and the State Department the FLRN and Guy Philippe are to Haiti what the KLA and Hashim Thaci are to Kosovo.

In other words, Washington’s design is “regime change”: topple the Lavalas administration and install a compliant US puppet regime, integrated by the Democratic Platform and the self-proclaimed Front pour la libération et la reconstruction nationale (FLRN), whose leaders are former FRAPH and Tonton Macoute terrorists. The latter are slated to integrate a “national unity government” alongside the leaders of the Democratic Convergence and The Group of 184 Civil Society Organizations led by Andy Apaid. More specifically, the FLRN led by Guy Philippe is slated to rebuild the Haitian Armed forces, which were disbanded in 1995.

What is at stake is an eventual power sharing arrangement between the various Opposition groups and the CIA supported Rebels, which have links to the cocaine transit trade from Colombia via Haiti to Florida. The protection of this trade has a bearing on the formation of a new “narco-government”, which will serve US interests.

A bogus (symbolic) disarmament of the Rebels may be contemplated under international supervision, as occurred with the KLA in Kosovo in 2000. The “former terrorists” could then be integrated into the civilian police as well as into the task of “rebuilding” the Haitian Armed forces under US supervision.

What this scenario suggests, is that the Duvalier-era terrorist structures have been restored. A program of civilian killings and political assassinations directed against Lavalas supporter is in fact already underway.

In other words, if Washington were really motivated by humanitarian considerations, why then is it supporting and financing the FRAPH death squadrons? Its objective is not to prevent the massacre of civilians. Modeled on previous CIA led operations (e.g. Guatemala, Indonesia, El Salvador), the FLRN death squadrons have been set loose and are involved in targeted political assassinations of Aristide supporters.

The Narcotics Transshipment Trade

While the real economy had been driven into bankruptcy under the brunt of the IMF reforms, the narcotics transshipment trade continues to flourish.  According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Haiti remains “the major drug trans-shipment country for the entire Caribbean region, funneling huge shipments of cocaine from Colombia to the United States.” (See US House of Representatives, Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources Subcommittee, FDHC Transcripts, 12 April 2000). 

It is estimated that  Haiti is now responsible for 14 percent of all the cocaine entering the United States, representing billions of dollars of revenue for organized crime and US financial institutions, which launder vast amounts of dirty money. The global trade in narcotics is estimated to be of the order of 500 billion dollars.

Much of this transshipment trade goes directly to Miami, which also constitutes a haven for the recycling of dirty money into bona fide investments, e.g. in real estate and other related activities.

The evidence confirms that the CIA was protecting this trade during the Duvalier era as well as during the military dictatorship (1991-1994). In 1987, Senator John Kerry as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Narcotics, Terrorism and International Operations of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee was entrusted with a major investigation, which  focused  on the links between the CIA and the drug trade, including the laundering of drug money to finance armed insurgencies. “The  Kerry Report” published in 1989, while centering its attention on the financing of the Nicaraguan Contra, also included a section on Haiti: 

“Kerry had developed detailed information on drug trafficking by Haiti’s military rulers that led to the indictment in Miami in 1988, of Lt. Col. Jean Paul. The indictment was a major embarrassment to the Haitian military, especially since Paul defiantly refused to surrender to U.S. authorities.. In November 1989, Col. Paul was found dead after he consumed a traditional Haitian good will gift—a bowel of pumpkin soup…

The U.S. senate also heard testimony in 1988 that then interior minister, Gen. Williams Regala, and his DEA liaison officer, protected and supervised cocaine shipments. The testimony also charged the then Haitian military commander Gen. Henry Namphy with accepting bribes from Colombian traffickers in return for landing rights in the mid 1980’s.

It was in 1989 that yet another military coup brought Lt. Gen. Prosper Avril to power… According to a witness before Senator John Kerry’s subcommittee, Avril is in fact a major player in Haiti’s role as a transit point in the cocaine trade.” ( Paul DeRienzo, Haiti’s Nightmare: The Cocaine Coup & The CIA Connection, Spring 1994, http://globalresearch.ca/articles/RIE402A.html )

Jack Blum, who was Kerry’s Special Counsel, points to the complicity of US officials in a 1996 statement to the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Drug Trafficking and the Contra War:

“...In Haiti …  intelligence “sources” of ours in the Haitian military had turned their facilities over to the drug cartels. Instead of putting pressure on the rotten leadership of the military, we defended them. We held our noses and looked the other way as they and their criminal friends in the United States distributed cocaine in Miami, Philadelphia and New, York. (http://www.totse.com/en/politics/central_intelligence_agency/ciacont2.html )

Haiti not only remains at the hub of the transshipment cocaine trade, the latter has grown markedly since the 1980s. The current crisis bears a relationship to Haiti’s role in the drug trade. Washington wants a compliant Haitian government which will protect the drug transshipment routes, out of Colombia through Haiti and into Florida.

The inflow of narco-dollars –which remains the major source of the country’s foreign exchange earnings– are used to service Haiti’s spiraling external debt, thereby also serving the interests of the external creditors.

In this regard, the liberalization of the foreign-exchange market imposed by the IMF has provided (despite the authorities pro forma commitment to combating the drug trade) a convenient avenue for the laundering of narco-dollars in the domestic banking system. The inflow of narco-dollars alongside bona fide “remittances” from Haitians living abroad, are deposited in the commercial banking system and exchanged into local currency. The foreign exchange proceeds of these inflows can then be recycled towards the Treasury where they are used to meet debt servicing obligations.

Haiti, however, reaps a very small percentage of the total foreign exchange proceeds of this lucrative contraband. Most of the revenue resulting from the cocaine transshipment trade accrues to criminal intermediaries in the wholesale and retail narcotics trade, to the intelligence agencies which protect the drug trade as well as to the financial and banking institutions where the proceeds of this criminal activity are laundered. 

The narco-dollars are also channeled into “private banking” accounts in numerous offshore banking havens. (These havens are controlled by the large Western banks and financial institutions). Drug money is also invested in a number of financial instruments including hedge funds and stock market transactions. The major Wall Street and European banks and stock brokerage firms launder billions of dollars resulting from the trade in narcotics.

Moreover, the expansion of the dollar denominated money supply by the Federal Reserve System , including the printing of billions of dollars of US dollar notes for the purposes of narco-transactions constitutes profit for the Federal Reserve and its constituent private banking institutions of which the most important is the New York Federal Reserve Bank. See (Jeffrey Steinberg, Dope, Inc. Is $600 Billion and Growing, Executive Intelligence Review, 14 Dec 2001, http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2001/2848dope_money.html

In other words, the Wall Street financial establishment, which plays a behind the scenes role in the formulation of US foreign policy, has a vested interest in retaining the Haiti transshipment trade, while installing a reliable “narco-democracy” in Port-au-Prince, which will effectively protect the transshipment routes.

It should be noted that since the advent of the Euro as a global currency, a significant share of the narcotics trade is now conducted in Euro rather than US dollars. In other words, the Euro and the dollar are competing narco-currencies.

The Latin American cocaine trade –including the transshipment trade through Haiti– is largely conducted in US dollars.  This shift out of dollar denominated narco-transactions, which undermines the hegemony of the US dollar as a global currency, largely pertains to the Middle East, Central Asian and the Southern European drug routes.

Media Manipulation

In the weeks leading up to the Coup d’Etat, the media has largely focused its attention on the pro-Aristide “armed gangs” and “thugs”,  without providing an understanding of the role of the FLRN Rebels.

Deafening silence: not a word was mentioned in official statements and UN resolutions regarding the nature of the FLRN.  This should come as no surprise: the US Ambassador to the UN  (the man who sits on the UN Security Council) John Negroponte.  played a key role in the CIA supported Honduran death squadrons in the 1980s when he was US ambassador to Honduras. (See San Francisco Examiner, 20 Oct 2001  http://www.flora.org/mai/forum/31397 )

The FLRN rebels are extremely well equipped and trained forces. The Haitian people know who they are. They are Tonton Macoute of the Duvalier era and former FRAPH assassins.

The Western media is mute on the issue, blaming the violence on President Aristide. When it acknowledges that the Liberation Army is composed of death squadrons, it fails to examine the broader implications of its statements and that these death squadrons are a creation of the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency.

The New York Times has acknowledged that the “non violent” civil society opposition is in fact collaborating with the death squadrons, “accused of killing thousands”, but all this is described as “accidental”. No historical understanding is provided. Who are these death squadron leaders?  All we are told is that they have established an “alliance” with the “non-violent” good guys who belong to the “political opposition”. And it is all for a good and worthy cause, which is to remove the elected president and “restore democracy”: 

“As Haiti’s crisis lurches toward civil war, a tangled web of alliances, some of them accidental, has emerged. It has linked the interests of a political opposition movement that has embraced nonviolence to a group of insurgents that includes a former leader of death squads accused of killing thousands, a former police chief accused of plotting a coup and a ruthless gang once aligned with Mr. Aristide that has now turned against him. Given their varied origins, those arrayed against Mr. Aristide are hardly unified, though they all share an ardent wish to see him removed from power.” (New York Times,  26 Feb 2004)

There is nothing spontaneous or “accidental” in the rebel attacks or in the “alliance” between the leader of the death squadrons Guy Philippe and Andy Apaid, owner of the largest industrial sweatshop in Haiti and leader of the G-184. 

The armed rebellion was part of a carefully planned military-intelligence operation. The Armed Forces of the Dominican Republic had detected guerilla training camps inside the Dominican Republic on the Northeast Haitian-Dominican border. ( El ejército dominicano informó a Aristide sobre los entrenamientos rebeldes en la frontera, El Caribe, 27 Feb. 2004, http://www.elcaribe.com.do/articulo_multimedios.aspx?id=2645&guid=AB38144D39B24C6FBA4213AC40DD3A01&Seccion=64 )

Both the armed rebels and their civilian “non-violent” counterparts were involved in the plot to unseat the president. G-184 leader Andre Apaid was in touch with Colin Powell in the weeks leading up to the overthrow of Aristide;  Guy Philippe and “Toto” Emmanuel Constant have links to the CIA; there are indications that Rebel Commander Guy Philippe and the political leader of the Revolutionary Artibonite Resistance Front Winter Etienne were in liaison with US officials. (See BBC, 27 Feb 2004, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3496690.stm ).

While the US had repeatedly stated that it will uphold Constitutional government, the replacement of Aristide by a more compliant individual had always been part of the Bush Administration’s agenda.

On Feb 20, US Ambassador James Foley called in a team of four military experts from the U.S. Southern Command, based in Miami. Officially their mandate was “to assess threats to the embassy and its personnel.” (Seattle Times, 20 Feb 2004). US Special Forces are already in the country. Washington had announced that three US naval vessels “have been put on standby to go to Haiti as a precautionary measure”. The Saipan is equipped with Vertical takeoff Harrier fighters and attack helicopters. The other two vessels are the Oak Hill and Trenton.  Some 2,200 U.S. Marines from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, at Camp Lejeune, N.C. could be deployed to Haiti at short notice, according to Washington.

With the departure of President Aristide, Washington, however, has no intention of disarming its proxy rebel paramilitary army, which is now slated to play a role in the “transition”. In other words, the Bush administration will not act to prevent the occurrence of killings and political assassinations of Lavalas and Aristide supporters in the wake of the president’s kidnapping and deportation.

Needless to say, the Western media has not in the least analyzed the historical background of the Haitian crisis. The role played by the CIA has not been mentioned. The so-called “international community”, which claims to be committed to governance and democracy, has turned a blind eye to the killings of civilians by a US sponsored paramilitary army. The “rebel leaders”, who were commanders in the FRAPH death squadrons in the 1990s, are now being upheld by the US media as bona fide opposition spokesmen. Meanwhile, the legitimacy of the former elected president is questioned because he is said to be responsible for “a worsening economic and social situation.” 

The worsening economic and social situation is largely attributable to the devastating economic reforms imposed by the IMF since the  1980s. The restoration of Constitutional government in 1994 was conditional upon the acceptance of the IMF’s deadly economic therapy, which in turn foreclosed the possibility of a meaningful democracy. High ranking government officials respectively within the Andre Preval and Jean Bertrand Aristide governments were indeed compliant with IMF diktats. Despite this compliance, Aristide had been “blacklisted” and demonized by Washington.  

The Militarization of the Caribbean Basin

Washington seeks to reinstate Haiti as a full-fledged US colony, with all the appearances of a functioning democracy. The objective is to impose a puppet regime in Port-au-Prince and establish a permanent US military presence in Haiti. 

The US Administration ultimately seeks to militarize the Caribbean basin.

The island of Hispaniola is a gateway to the Caribbean basin, strategically located between Cuba to the North West and Venezuela to the South.  The militarization of the island, with the establishment of US military bases, is not only intended to put political pressure on Cuba and Venezuela, it is also geared towards the protection of the multibillion dollar narcotics transshipment trade through Haiti, from production sites in Colombia, Peru and Bolivia.

The militarisation of the Caribbean basin is, in some regards, similar to that imposed by Washington on the Andean Region of South America under “Plan Colombia’, renamed “The Andean Initiative”. The latter constitutes the basis for the militarisation of oil and gas wells, as well as pipeline routes and transportation corridors. It also protects the narcotics trade.

From Green New Deal to New Economy

In a recent article about success in the sharing economy, Van Jones explained the degree to which sharing, crowdfunding, and other similar concepts are fundamentally transforming the economy as we know it. He turned to examples like Zipcar, Solar Mosaic, AirBnB, and Couchsurfing to show this transformation happening on the ground. For the few who don’t know, Jones founded Green For All, one of the central organizations within the growing green economy movement. His tremendously poignant article makes one wonder to what extent this sharing economy is similar to the green economy and how are we to understand their relatedness theoretically and organizationally? One could certainly say they have much in common, from the role the above-mentioned firms play in helping protect the environment by crowdfunding solar panels or reducing people’s need to own their own car. It’s one thing to see what ideas or outcomes they have in common. For the broader purposes of looking towards our collective potential to fundamentally transform the economy, it’s also important to look at how they relate to one another organizationally. This two-part series attempts to do just that. The first part looks at the green economy movement theoretically and organizationally, while the second part looks at the sharing economy, solidarity economy, and new economy to make the case for a New Economy Coalition acting to unite them all.Credit: New Economy Institute

Even though the green economy has been growing in the U.S. for decades, its birth into mainstream social consciousness very much began with the push for a Green New Deal as an immediate solution to a collapsing economy in late 2008. We saw the potential for job creation through public investment with the Green Jobs Act prior to the collapse and the subsequent American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. (1)  The hope behind the push for a Green New Deal is based upon FDR’s New Deal legislation in the 1930s and the works of economist John Maynard Keynes. The focus is a massive reinvestment by the government into the economy. With a Green New Deal that investment would be focused on renewable energy, energy efficiency, public transportation, improvements to the electrical grid, and other carbon-reducing strategies for job creation.

The Great Recession was caused by a combination of two major factors, with the center of it being the overall failure of the decades long strategy of neoliberalism. More specifically, the collapse of the economy was caused by a long process of what French economists Gerard Dumenil and Dominique Levy call, “the quest for high income, financialization, and globalization.” This quest refers to the efforts of the 1% to increase incomes via profits, capital gains, bonuses, stock options, and wages, while using that vast wealth to push for the deregulation (especially of the financial sector) and the expansion of increasingly unwieldy financial instruments. This growing and already colossal financial sector also became an increasingly global movement to expand the so-called “free market,” to deregulate the global economy under the guise of globalization.

The second major factor in their analysis of the cause of The Great Recession is “the macro trajectory of the U.S. Economy.” In this factor they identified three main aspects: the “low and declining accumulation rates, the trade deficit, and the growing dependency on financing from the rest of the world and domestic indebtedness.” This neoliberal strategy failed to correct a decades long trend of declining capital accumulation rates by corporations. The movement of corporations abroad greatly worsened the trade deficit and, when coupled with the concerted effort of the 1% to enhance their wealth at the expense of the other 99%, forced the vast majority into substantial debt. This unsustainable situation triggered a collapse in the housing market, causing the rapid decline of the entire economy in its wake. It is, in turn, this overall failure of the neoliberal strategy that’s beginning to lead to something transformative, new, and green. (1)  It began with a push for a Green New Deal and is now finding its home within diverse movements under different labels including green economy, sharing economy, solidarity economy, new economy, and others.

Keynes believed that in instances of economic crisis significant governmental or public investment was required in order to jumpstart the economy. By investing a considerable amount of money into the economy, he believed the government could offset the overall decline in demand. In doing so, the government could thereby create jobs, rebuild the tax base, and make its investment back without increasing the long-term deficit. The idea behind the Green New Deal has been simple: instead of a New Deal like with FDR back in the 1930s, this would invest in renewable energy, public transportation, energy efficiency, improvements to the electricity grid, etc. This is what makes it a Green New Deal. Unfortunately, even with the funding through ARRA and smaller governmental stimulus measures, the amount of funding has thus fallen far short of levels necessary to jumpstart the economy. (2) On top of that, the lack of adequate funding leaves us far behind on global targets to cap atmospheric carbon levels as well. (3)

Still, Green New Deal policies are a massive shift from the neoliberal orthodoxy of the last few decades. Just like the Republican Party’s almost unanimous support for destructive trade agreements, most Republicans oppose Green New Deal types of policies as well. It doesn’t matter that their opposition is based on flawed or even outright fabricated ‘analyses.’ Their opposition is based on the interests of who pays for their political campaigns. The oil and gas industry alone spent almost $64 Million in the 2012 election cycle, 90% of which went to members of the Republican Party.  Meanwhile, clean energy and low-carbon companies are growing and building a political force of their own. This is growing and will, over time, provide a counterforce to the oil and gas industry and their stranglehold on Capitol Hill. The American Council on Renewable Energy represents many of those clean energy companies and their trade associations. Similarly, the push for an energy efficient economy is finding a new political voice in the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. In many ways the green economy movement is at the forefront of the push to fundamentally transform the economy with other similar movements trailing close behind.

What’s perhaps the most exciting and promising aspect of the movement for a green economy and a Green New Deal is that it’s bringing together a host of different organizations representing communities and constituencies that haven’t often come together over the years. The movement for a green economy and a Green New Deal came to prominence in 2009-2010, as so-called Cap & Trade policies and others were on the verge of passage. The Alliance for Climate Protection, a non-profit organization with Al Gore as its board chair, was leading the charge by acting as a coordinating entity of sorts with numerous member organizations helping provide a degree of direction to the movement in general. Now called The Climate Reality Project, its focus has shifted more towards general public education around climate change. This is likely a result of the inability to pass comprehensive climate change legislation during President Obama’s first term and the drastic decline in public belief around the role of human activity in causing climate change. It seems few expected such a drastic assault by the extreme right in spreading disinformation like the manufactured “Climate Gate” scandal.

Labor unions, manufacturers, and environmental organizations are coming together through organizations like the Apollo Alliance and the Blue-Green Alliance (recently merged). They are made up of both public and private labor unions like the United Steelworkers Union, environmental organizations like the Sierra Club, and even manufacturers of all sizes. Small and medium-sized businesses are part of this movement through the Advanced Energy Economy. Local chambers of commerce have even joined the fight through Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy. Ceres is bringing together a wide variety of companies and investors small and large to address climate change and build a green economy. Broad umbrella organizations have emerged representing all types of community-based local organizations. 1Sky is the biggest of these organizations and recently merged with 350.org under the 350.org name to create a large advocacy organization made up of hundreds of thousands of members in the U.S. and a still larger global movement. It tackles many of the traditional environmental issues, while also advocating for Green New Deal policies. The Green Economy Coalition recently emerged as a global network to strategically support the expansion of the green economy at a global level in advance of the UN’s Summit on the 20th anniversary of the Earth Summit this past June of 2012.

Low-income communities and communities of color are part in this movement too. Green For All has been pioneering the creation of green jobs, career-track jobs that pay a living wage, have benefits, and address environmental issues at the same time. They lobby Congress on environmental and Green New Deal policies, develop innovative policy research, while assisting coalitions of organizations in cities to implement green job creation strategies and helping green businesses grow. Providing empowering opportunities for traditionally marginalized communities is a vital aspect of this growing movement, which is why Green For All and others similarly working to create and expand opportunities low-income communities, communities of color, and others who have traditionally been passed by when economic opportunities arise.

There are other organizations and efforts within this larger movement for a Green New Deal. The Smart Growth Alliance is pioneering a new national opposition to sprawl and support for public transportation at the same time. There are even signs that working to rebuild our urban cores around public transportation and the remediation of brownfields can be done in ways that empower traditionally marginalized communities. (4) Numerous other organizations are starting sustainability initiatives aimed at involving themselves in one way or another in this movement for a green economy and a Green New Deal. ICLEI, Local Governments for Sustainability, is a network of local governments from around the world focused on the best ways for governments to leverage their resources to best build the green economy. 

Outside of the public policy arena, organizations and institutions all across the country are launching sustainability initiatives as part of a truly massive movement. Colleges and universities and joining this movement through the American Association for Sustainability in Higher Education. Countless think tanks have emerged to focus on renewable energy and clean tech to workforce development, bio-based alternatives to petroleum-based chemicals, and much more.

This movement isn’t the only game in town when it comes to transforming the economy. Alongside the push for a green economy are a few other movements with the goal of fundamentally transforming the economy in one way or another. The green economy movement is much more expansive though, but aside from the work of groups like Green For All, it’s very much a “double bottom line movement.” Unlike traditional economic approaches that stand firmly on the belief that profit should be pursued above all else, that considerations of externalities like the environment only hinder profitability, the green economy movement is based on the belief that profitability and environmental sustainability can go hand in hand. As will be discussed in a subsequent article, the sharing economy, solidarity economy, and new economy take the goals of the green economy one step further, emphasizing a “triple bottom line” of people, planet, and profits. Just like the recognition that environmental sustainability and profit aren’t mutual exclusive, these other movements stress that the well being of communities can go hand in hand with environmental sustainability and the well being of the economy overall.

When the green economy movement first came on the scene with the ascendency of Van Jones to become President Obama’s green jobs advisor, some claimed it was part of a Communist conspiracy. Despite the irrational rantings of Glenn Beck and others, there is a strong push within this movement to more fundamentally transform the economic system as a whole. It just doesn’t have anything to do with traditional or “actually-existing” forms of Communism.

Given the frightening reality of climate change, the manipulative push-back from powerful corporate interests, and the longer-term economic stagnation that stands before us, it is likely that the green economy movement will increasingly take on the task of a more fundamental and structural transformation of the economy. The structural imbalances of power continue to thwart attempts to transform the economy on Capitol Hill. Examples like the Citizens United decision and the corporate assault on our democracy will likely force the green economy movement to fight for a more fundamental transformation of the dominant values and institutions in the U.S. This includes the nature and structure of major corporations as well as the nature of the political system overall. This is why an increasing unity between the green economy movement and other efforts to transform the economy are so important. The broader triple bottom line framework and transformational focus of efforts around sharing, solidarity, and a new economy must increasingly creep into the green economy movement; finding greater ideological and organizational unity.

We can already see the rise of a considerable mistrust of the entire notion of a green economy, evidenced by terms like ‘green washing’ and the decline in belief regarding climate change. A poignant example of this mistrust can be found with criticisms of the recent “Rio +20 Summit.” The 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development was meant to produce a renewed transformational focus on revamping the global economy for the planet and its poor. It showed little signs of achievement though. What’s more, this mistrust was codified into an alternative summit hosted as the “People’s Summit Rio+20.” It concluded that the green economy movement was fundamentally broken. As noted in one of their concluding documents, only by redirecting efforts towards the original goals of an Earth Summit, transforming the global economy into something that benefits the planet and its poorest, could the green economy find salvation.

From the perspective of the planet’s poorest and the organizations working with them, the green economy doesn’t represent opportunity. It represents a friendlier face of a global capitalist economy that has exploited them and their natural resources for decades. And just as the Alliance for Climate Protection became The Climate Reality Project in the face of public mistrust and disbelief in the realities of climate change, if the green economy movement wishes to win the hearts and minds of the American people, it has to not just educate but to create tangible and immediate solutions for individuals and communities struggling in the wake of our broken economy. This is why the other diverse movements to transform the economy have such a vital role to play. Each of them provide unique lessons for creating solutions today.

The green economy has been growing in the U.S. for decades, but if its going to go to the next level to transform the overall economy during these delicate beginning years of the 21st Century, it needs a mass movement behind it. The only way that’s possible, the only way the movement for a green economy becomes an impassioned charge from communities all across the country, the world for that matter, is for it to place the well being of those same communities into the forefront of it’s goals. When the movement to build a green economy transforms itself from a double bottom line to a triple bottom line movement, finding ways equitably support and interact with even the most marginalized communities, it’s firmly on the path to victory.

##

(1) Gerard Dumineil & Dominique Levy, The Crisis of Neoliberalism, (MA, Harvard University Press, 2011), P. 35-40.

(2) For a detailed description for how a Green New Deal could lead to substantial economic development, see Tim Jackson, Prosperity Without Growth, (DC: EarthScan, 2009). P. 113.

(3) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation (SRREN).” Abu Dhabi, May 9th, 2011.

(4) Carlton C. Eley. “Equitable Development: Untangling the Web of Urban Development through Collaborative Problem Solving.” Sustain: A Journal of Environmental and Sustainability Issues. Issue 21, Fall/Winter 2010.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License

Atlee McFellin

Atlee McFellin is a Co-Founder & Principal of SymCenter. Atlee specializes in the creation of innovative economic development strategies and programs. Prior to founding SymCenter, Atlee worked with The Democracy Collaborative to create comprehensive strategies for cities around the country based on the Evergreen Cooperatives in Cleveland, OH. He is also the board co-chair of the New Economy Network, a national network of diverse organizations building a new economy from the ground up.

From Green New Deal to New Economy

In a recent article about success in the sharing economy, Van Jones explained the degree to which sharing, crowdfunding, and other similar concepts are fundamentally transforming the economy as we know it. He turned to examples like Zipcar, Solar Mosaic, AirBnB, and Couchsurfing to show this transformation happening on the ground. For the few who don’t know, Jones founded Green For All, one of the central organizations within the growing green economy movement. His tremendously poignant article makes one wonder to what extent this sharing economy is similar to the green economy and how are we to understand their relatedness theoretically and organizationally? One could certainly say they have much in common, from the role the above-mentioned firms play in helping protect the environment by crowdfunding solar panels or reducing people’s need to own their own car. It’s one thing to see what ideas or outcomes they have in common. For the broader purposes of looking towards our collective potential to fundamentally transform the economy, it’s also important to look at how they relate to one another organizationally. This two-part series attempts to do just that. The first part looks at the green economy movement theoretically and organizationally, while the second part looks at the sharing economy, solidarity economy, and new economy to make the case for a New Economy Coalition acting to unite them all.Credit: New Economy Institute

Even though the green economy has been growing in the U.S. for decades, its birth into mainstream social consciousness very much began with the push for a Green New Deal as an immediate solution to a collapsing economy in late 2008. We saw the potential for job creation through public investment with the Green Jobs Act prior to the collapse and the subsequent American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. (1)  The hope behind the push for a Green New Deal is based upon FDR’s New Deal legislation in the 1930s and the works of economist John Maynard Keynes. The focus is a massive reinvestment by the government into the economy. With a Green New Deal that investment would be focused on renewable energy, energy efficiency, public transportation, improvements to the electrical grid, and other carbon-reducing strategies for job creation.

The Great Recession was caused by a combination of two major factors, with the center of it being the overall failure of the decades long strategy of neoliberalism. More specifically, the collapse of the economy was caused by a long process of what French economists Gerard Dumenil and Dominique Levy call, “the quest for high income, financialization, and globalization.” This quest refers to the efforts of the 1% to increase incomes via profits, capital gains, bonuses, stock options, and wages, while using that vast wealth to push for the deregulation (especially of the financial sector) and the expansion of increasingly unwieldy financial instruments. This growing and already colossal financial sector also became an increasingly global movement to expand the so-called “free market,” to deregulate the global economy under the guise of globalization.

The second major factor in their analysis of the cause of The Great Recession is “the macro trajectory of the U.S. Economy.” In this factor they identified three main aspects: the “low and declining accumulation rates, the trade deficit, and the growing dependency on financing from the rest of the world and domestic indebtedness.” This neoliberal strategy failed to correct a decades long trend of declining capital accumulation rates by corporations. The movement of corporations abroad greatly worsened the trade deficit and, when coupled with the concerted effort of the 1% to enhance their wealth at the expense of the other 99%, forced the vast majority into substantial debt. This unsustainable situation triggered a collapse in the housing market, causing the rapid decline of the entire economy in its wake. It is, in turn, this overall failure of the neoliberal strategy that’s beginning to lead to something transformative, new, and green. (1)  It began with a push for a Green New Deal and is now finding its home within diverse movements under different labels including green economy, sharing economy, solidarity economy, new economy, and others.

Keynes believed that in instances of economic crisis significant governmental or public investment was required in order to jumpstart the economy. By investing a considerable amount of money into the economy, he believed the government could offset the overall decline in demand. In doing so, the government could thereby create jobs, rebuild the tax base, and make its investment back without increasing the long-term deficit. The idea behind the Green New Deal has been simple: instead of a New Deal like with FDR back in the 1930s, this would invest in renewable energy, public transportation, energy efficiency, improvements to the electricity grid, etc. This is what makes it a Green New Deal. Unfortunately, even with the funding through ARRA and smaller governmental stimulus measures, the amount of funding has thus fallen far short of levels necessary to jumpstart the economy. (2) On top of that, the lack of adequate funding leaves us far behind on global targets to cap atmospheric carbon levels as well. (3)

Still, Green New Deal policies are a massive shift from the neoliberal orthodoxy of the last few decades. Just like the Republican Party’s almost unanimous support for destructive trade agreements, most Republicans oppose Green New Deal types of policies as well. It doesn’t matter that their opposition is based on flawed or even outright fabricated ‘analyses.’ Their opposition is based on the interests of who pays for their political campaigns. The oil and gas industry alone spent almost $64 Million in the 2012 election cycle, 90% of which went to members of the Republican Party.  Meanwhile, clean energy and low-carbon companies are growing and building a political force of their own. This is growing and will, over time, provide a counterforce to the oil and gas industry and their stranglehold on Capitol Hill. The American Council on Renewable Energy represents many of those clean energy companies and their trade associations. Similarly, the push for an energy efficient economy is finding a new political voice in the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. In many ways the green economy movement is at the forefront of the push to fundamentally transform the economy with other similar movements trailing close behind.

What’s perhaps the most exciting and promising aspect of the movement for a green economy and a Green New Deal is that it’s bringing together a host of different organizations representing communities and constituencies that haven’t often come together over the years. The movement for a green economy and a Green New Deal came to prominence in 2009-2010, as so-called Cap & Trade policies and others were on the verge of passage. The Alliance for Climate Protection, a non-profit organization with Al Gore as its board chair, was leading the charge by acting as a coordinating entity of sorts with numerous member organizations helping provide a degree of direction to the movement in general. Now called The Climate Reality Project, its focus has shifted more towards general public education around climate change. This is likely a result of the inability to pass comprehensive climate change legislation during President Obama’s first term and the drastic decline in public belief around the role of human activity in causing climate change. It seems few expected such a drastic assault by the extreme right in spreading disinformation like the manufactured “Climate Gate” scandal.

Labor unions, manufacturers, and environmental organizations are coming together through organizations like the Apollo Alliance and the Blue-Green Alliance (recently merged). They are made up of both public and private labor unions like the United Steelworkers Union, environmental organizations like the Sierra Club, and even manufacturers of all sizes. Small and medium-sized businesses are part of this movement through the Advanced Energy Economy. Local chambers of commerce have even joined the fight through Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy. Ceres is bringing together a wide variety of companies and investors small and large to address climate change and build a green economy. Broad umbrella organizations have emerged representing all types of community-based local organizations. 1Sky is the biggest of these organizations and recently merged with 350.org under the 350.org name to create a large advocacy organization made up of hundreds of thousands of members in the U.S. and a still larger global movement. It tackles many of the traditional environmental issues, while also advocating for Green New Deal policies. The Green Economy Coalition recently emerged as a global network to strategically support the expansion of the green economy at a global level in advance of the UN’s Summit on the 20th anniversary of the Earth Summit this past June of 2012.

Low-income communities and communities of color are part in this movement too. Green For All has been pioneering the creation of green jobs, career-track jobs that pay a living wage, have benefits, and address environmental issues at the same time. They lobby Congress on environmental and Green New Deal policies, develop innovative policy research, while assisting coalitions of organizations in cities to implement green job creation strategies and helping green businesses grow. Providing empowering opportunities for traditionally marginalized communities is a vital aspect of this growing movement, which is why Green For All and others similarly working to create and expand opportunities low-income communities, communities of color, and others who have traditionally been passed by when economic opportunities arise.

There are other organizations and efforts within this larger movement for a Green New Deal. The Smart Growth Alliance is pioneering a new national opposition to sprawl and support for public transportation at the same time. There are even signs that working to rebuild our urban cores around public transportation and the remediation of brownfields can be done in ways that empower traditionally marginalized communities. (4) Numerous other organizations are starting sustainability initiatives aimed at involving themselves in one way or another in this movement for a green economy and a Green New Deal. ICLEI, Local Governments for Sustainability, is a network of local governments from around the world focused on the best ways for governments to leverage their resources to best build the green economy. 

Outside of the public policy arena, organizations and institutions all across the country are launching sustainability initiatives as part of a truly massive movement. Colleges and universities and joining this movement through the American Association for Sustainability in Higher Education. Countless think tanks have emerged to focus on renewable energy and clean tech to workforce development, bio-based alternatives to petroleum-based chemicals, and much more.

This movement isn’t the only game in town when it comes to transforming the economy. Alongside the push for a green economy are a few other movements with the goal of fundamentally transforming the economy in one way or another. The green economy movement is much more expansive though, but aside from the work of groups like Green For All, it’s very much a “double bottom line movement.” Unlike traditional economic approaches that stand firmly on the belief that profit should be pursued above all else, that considerations of externalities like the environment only hinder profitability, the green economy movement is based on the belief that profitability and environmental sustainability can go hand in hand. As will be discussed in a subsequent article, the sharing economy, solidarity economy, and new economy take the goals of the green economy one step further, emphasizing a “triple bottom line” of people, planet, and profits. Just like the recognition that environmental sustainability and profit aren’t mutual exclusive, these other movements stress that the well being of communities can go hand in hand with environmental sustainability and the well being of the economy overall.

When the green economy movement first came on the scene with the ascendency of Van Jones to become President Obama’s green jobs advisor, some claimed it was part of a Communist conspiracy. Despite the irrational rantings of Glenn Beck and others, there is a strong push within this movement to more fundamentally transform the economic system as a whole. It just doesn’t have anything to do with traditional or “actually-existing” forms of Communism.

Given the frightening reality of climate change, the manipulative push-back from powerful corporate interests, and the longer-term economic stagnation that stands before us, it is likely that the green economy movement will increasingly take on the task of a more fundamental and structural transformation of the economy. The structural imbalances of power continue to thwart attempts to transform the economy on Capitol Hill. Examples like the Citizens United decision and the corporate assault on our democracy will likely force the green economy movement to fight for a more fundamental transformation of the dominant values and institutions in the U.S. This includes the nature and structure of major corporations as well as the nature of the political system overall. This is why an increasing unity between the green economy movement and other efforts to transform the economy are so important. The broader triple bottom line framework and transformational focus of efforts around sharing, solidarity, and a new economy must increasingly creep into the green economy movement; finding greater ideological and organizational unity.

We can already see the rise of a considerable mistrust of the entire notion of a green economy, evidenced by terms like ‘green washing’ and the decline in belief regarding climate change. A poignant example of this mistrust can be found with criticisms of the recent “Rio +20 Summit.” The 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development was meant to produce a renewed transformational focus on revamping the global economy for the planet and its poor. It showed little signs of achievement though. What’s more, this mistrust was codified into an alternative summit hosted as the “People’s Summit Rio+20.” It concluded that the green economy movement was fundamentally broken. As noted in one of their concluding documents, only by redirecting efforts towards the original goals of an Earth Summit, transforming the global economy into something that benefits the planet and its poorest, could the green economy find salvation.

From the perspective of the planet’s poorest and the organizations working with them, the green economy doesn’t represent opportunity. It represents a friendlier face of a global capitalist economy that has exploited them and their natural resources for decades. And just as the Alliance for Climate Protection became The Climate Reality Project in the face of public mistrust and disbelief in the realities of climate change, if the green economy movement wishes to win the hearts and minds of the American people, it has to not just educate but to create tangible and immediate solutions for individuals and communities struggling in the wake of our broken economy. This is why the other diverse movements to transform the economy have such a vital role to play. Each of them provide unique lessons for creating solutions today.

The green economy has been growing in the U.S. for decades, but if its going to go to the next level to transform the overall ec