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Behind the Obama Visit to East Africa

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Dr. Che Guevara’s Prescription for Africa’s AFRICOM Headache

Millennium Development Goals vs Imperialist Wars, World Capitalism

America’s Multinational Ramadan Assault

United States Foreign Policy a Reflection of the Legacy of Racism and National Oppression

The Child Veterans of South Sudan

The Child Veterans of South Sudan Want to Know
Will Americans Support Them?


By Nick Turse
PIBOR, South Sudan

“I’ve never been a soldier,” I say to the wide-eyed, lanky-limbed veteran sitting across from me. “Tell me about military life. What’s it like?” He looks up as if the answer can be found in the blazing blue sky above, shoots me a sheepish grin, and then fixes his gaze on his feet. I let the silence wash over us and wait. He looks embarrassed. Perhaps it’s for me.

Interviews sometimes devolve into such awkward, hushed moments. I’ve talked to hundreds of veterans over the years. Many have been reluctant to discuss their tours of duty for one reason or another. It’s typical. But this wasn’t the typical veteran — at least not for me.

Osman put in three years of military service, some of it during wartime. He saw battle and knows the dull drudgery of a soldier’s life. He had left the army just a month before I met him.

Osman is 15 years old.

Young people the world over join militaries for all sorts of reasons — for a steady paycheck, to be a part of something greater than themselves, to measure up, to escape their homes, because they crave structure or excitement or adventure, because they have no better options, because they’re forced to.  Osman joined a militia called the Cobra faction, he told me, after soldiers from the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, or SPLA — the national armed forces of South Sudan — shot and killed his father.  It seemed to be the only option open to him.  It afforded him protection, care, a home.

Osman was released from his military service in February and he wasn’t alone.  In recent months, more than 1,700 children have been demobilized by the Cobra faction.  But they’re the exceptions in South Sudan.  Today, about 13,000 other children are serving with the SPLA or the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition, a rebel force at war with the government, or with other militias and armed groups jockeying for power in that civil-war-wracked country.

Despite a law prohibiting it, the United States looked the other way while this went on, providing aid and assistance to the SPLA even as it employed child soldiers.  Year after year, President Obama provided waivers to sidestep the 2008 Child Soldiers Prevention Act, by which Congress prohibited the U.S. from providing military assistance to governments filling out their ranks with children.  It was just one facet of years of support, dating back to the 1980s, that saw the U.S. “midwife” — as then-chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee John Kerry put it — South Sudan into existence.

“For nearly a decade leading up to the 2011 declaration of independence, the cause of the nation and its citizens was one that was near and dear to the heart of two successive U.S. administrations and some of its most seasoned and effective thinkers and policymakers,” Patricia Taft, a senior associate with the Fund for Peace, wrote in an analysis of South Sudan last year.  “In order to secure this nation-building ‘win,’ both the George W. Bush and Obama administrations poured tons of aid into South Sudan, in every form imaginable. From military aid to food aid to the provision of technical expertise, America was South Sudan’s biggest ally and backer, ardently midwifing the country into nationhood by whatever means necessary.”

In the case of child soldiers, waivers were seen as a necessity when it came to helping build “an accountable and professional armed force,” in the words of Andy Burnett of the Office of the Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan; that is, an ethical, modern military that would ultimately eschew the use of children.  The results were just the opposite.  The SPLA fractured in December 2013 and was soon implicated in the commission of mass atrocities and increased recruitment of child soldiers.  The war that has wracked the country since has been especially ruinous for South Sudan’s youth.  According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), around 600,000 children have been affected by psychological distress, 400,000 have been forced out of school, 235,000 are at risk of severe acute malnutrition, and more than 700 have been killed during a year and a half of civil war.

Cobra Commander

I meet Osman and a dozen other former child soldiers in an out-of-the-way town about 170 miles from South Sudan’s capital, Juba.  The temperature seems harsher in Pibor, the air drier and dustier.  The days leave you feeling sapped and shriveled.  The sun forces your eyes into a perpetual squint and the wind blows hot — unnaturally hot, blast-furnace hot.

The ground in Pibor is parched to the point of cracking.  The gray moonscape has shattered into a spider’s web of crevices, fissures, and clefts tailor-made for wrenching knees and toppling chairs when you shift your weight.  Then there are the flies.  Swarms of flies.  Everywhere.  I’ve experienced flies before, flies you can’t keep off your food, so many that you cease swatting and call a truce; so many that you agree to share your plate and your fork with them, so much sharing that they might become part of your meal if they fail to flit away fast enough.  But the flies in Pibor are another matter: relentless, maddening, merciless, eternally landing on your sweaty hands and arms and cheeks and nose, on the goat meat being butchered nearby, on your water bottle.  Swat one and four more seem to arrive in response — until about 7:30 pm when, as if by magic, they simply disappear.

Osman, a local kid, doesn’t seem bothered by the flies or the heat.  Maybe that’s because this life beats the one he was living when he carried an assault rifle and served as a bodyguard for a high-ranking officer.  It was a typical job for a child soldier in the Cobra faction, a rebel militia that was — until last year — at war with the government here.  Korok, a baby-faced 16-year-old from Pibor, tells me he did the same thing during his two years of service.  “They gave me a gun,” he says as his large, lively eyes dart about.  “I followed big men around.”    

After his father was shot and killed and his mother died of malaria, Korok found himself alone.  His brother was off serving in the SPLA when soldiers from that force rampaged through the area around Pibor, punishing the local population — men, women, and children of the Murle tribe — for an uprising by native son and recurrent rebel David Yau Yau.

A former theology student, Yau Yau once served as the Pibor county secretary of the South Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Commission, a federal agency devoted to the reintegration and resettlement of refugees and internally displaced persons.  He has, however, spent the last five years forging a career out of anti-government uprisings.  A young upstart from the Murle minority, Yau Yau bucked local elders and ran as an independent for parliament in April 2010.  After losing — he was reportedly trounced — Yau Yau pursued another path to power, this time through an armed rebellion with 200 fighters under his command.  Just over a year later, after some skirmishes with government forces and minor acts of banditry, he accepted an offer of amnesty and was reportedly made a general in the SPLA.

In March 2012, the SPLA launched a “disarmament campaign” in Murle areas around Pibor marked, locals say, by rampant atrocities, including rapes and assaults.  Soon, Yau Yau was again in revolt, attracting boys like Korok and Osman to his South Sudan Democratic Movement/Army also known as the SSDM/A-Cobra faction.  With thousands flocking to his cause and armed with heavier weapons, Yau Yau launched his first major attack, an ambush that reportedly killed more than 100 SPLA soldiers in August 2012, according to the Small Arms Survey, a Geneva-based independent research group.  Battles between the Cobra faction and the SPLA raged through 2013 and civilians around Pibor continued to suffer.

SPLA court martial documents obtained by TomDispatch attest to the violence in the area.  On July 31, 2013, for example, Sergeant Ngor Mayik Magol and Private Bona Atem Akot shot and killed two Murle women and injured a child in Pibor County.  (Tried and convicted, they were ordered to pay “blood compensation” of 45 cows for each woman, sentenced to five years in prison, and fined 2,000 South Sudanese pounds each.)  In fact, according to Human Rights Watch, 74 Murle civilians, 17 of them women and children, were killed between December 2012 and July 2013.

In May 2014, several months after a full-fledged civil war erupted with rebel forces under the leadership of former Vice President Riek Machar, South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir and Yau Yau agreed to a peace pact.  Later, the former rebel leader pledged to demobilize children from his forces.

In January, the Cobra faction began releasing youths, ages 9 to 17, some of whom had been fighting for up to four years.  In that first demobilization ceremony, overseen by the South Sudan National Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration Commission with support from UNICEF, 280 youngsters turned in their weapons and uniforms.  Since then, almost 1,500 others have been released.  “These children have been forced to do and see things no child should ever experience,” said UNICEF South Sudan Representative Jonathan Veitch.  “The release of thousands of children requires a massive response to provide the support and protection these children need to begin rebuilding their lives.”

Zuagin tells me he’s 15, but he looks a couple years younger.  His legs seem to be hiding somewhere inside his pants and his shirt is a size too big.  Hailing from the nearby town of Gumuruk, he had served with the Cobra faction for about two years before being demobilized in February.  Like the other boys, he now spends his days at “the ICC” or Interim Care Center in Pibor, a compound dominated by a mud-walled church with a crude likeness of Christ drawn on an exterior wall.

“UNICEF builds and runs the centers with our partners — they are providing temporary care and shelter to the children released while we trace their families,” UNICEF’s Claire McKeever explained to me.  “We have also trained local teams of social workers, cooks, and guards who work at the centers. The children are provided with food, shelter, items like mosquito nets, mats, and soap, psychosocial support and recreation activities. This is a two-year program in Pibor, but the hope is that these centers can become youth centers once the last children return home.”

The child veterans at the ICC are like kids anywhere.  Some are curious but apprehensive, others wary and insecure; a few of the older ones act tougher and cooler than they are.  They find themselves on either side of that ethereal adolescent dividing line — some with the softer, rounder faces of little boys, others beginning to sport the more angular features of young men; some with tiny, falsetto voices, others speaking in tenor tones.  As a group, they are, however, united by body type: uniformly skinny, swimming in their button-down shirts or soccer jerseys.  Quite a few sport generic t-shirts emblazoned with the name “Obama.”  Many have energy to burn and a hunger for something more.  More than a few seem to delight in tormenting one of their caretakers, a man who wields a long thin branch that he brandishes in an attempt to keep the boys in line.  He threatens them with it, swinging it at them, though without much chance of actually hitting the speedy, young veterans.  They, in turn, mock him and when he sets his switch down, they steal it from him.  He tells me that he likes the boys, that they are good kids.  He also asks if I could help him get any other kind of job, anything at all.

Zuagin was yet another Cobra faction bodyguard who spent his tour of duty toting a gun to protect an older man with a high rank.  “He treated me well, with respect,” he says, but assures me that life is now much better than it was with the militia.  He has big plans for the future.  “I want to go to school,” he explains.  “I want to be a doctor.  We need sanitation.  If I’m a doctor, I can help the community.”

Zuagin has a ready solution to South Sudan’s bloodshed and the seemingly interminable civil war that goes with it.  “To stop the violence, we need disarmament.  All the guns need to be collected.  After that, all the youths should go to school.”  I listen and nod, thinking about how a disarmament campaign led directly to violence here in Pibor, the violence that Osman tells me cost his father his life, the violence that forced so many of Zuagin’s fellow child soldiers into the arms of the Cobra faction in the first place.  I decide not to mention it.

Osman has his own simple solution: full employment.  “To have peace, they should give a job to everybody,” he says in a soft, raspy voice.  “If they gave work to everybody, everybody would be busy and there would be no time for fighting.”

Like the rest of the boys, Peter looks younger than the age he gives, which is 16.  And like many of the others, it was abuse by the SPLA that, two years earlier, led him to flee his home and join the Cobra faction.  “They were beating people.  They even stole my clothes,” he tells me as we sit in the minimal shade of a tree near the church in the ICC compound.  Life with the militia was tough: cooking, chores, bodyguard duties, combat.  Now, the bright-eyed youth says that he has free time and his life is so much better.  He was looking forward to school, too, but didn’t have the requisite 20 South Sudanese pounds needed for tuition.  It’s the same story for Osman who longs for school, but says he lacks the funds to attend.

“Getting all children in Pibor back to school is a priority and services are slowly being reestablished after many years of under investment,” UNICEF’s McKeever told me by email.  “There are currently close to 3,000 children enrolled in Pibor [and nearby] Gumuruk and Lekuangule and one in three of the demobilized children from Pibor are in accelerated learning programs.”

Veterans Day?

The Interim Care Center is a spartan facility by Western standards and creature comforts are few, but these young Cobra faction veterans have it better than many of their peers who find themselves hungry, malnourished, displaced, homeless, and hopeless.  “Life is very good here,” Osman told me.   The freedom to come and go as he pleases and wear civilian clothes looms large for him.  “Plus, I’m eating for free,” he adds.  When I ask if he ever wants to be a soldier again, he shoots me a disgusted look, before cracking a big smile and laughing aloud.  “No.  I don’t like it at all.  The worst part was fighting.”

Zujian, who speaks some English, agrees.  In a tiny voice that has yet to crack, let alone deepen, he swears that life now is so much better than when he carried a weapon and that he’s absolutely done with soldiering forever.  All the boys I talk to tell me the same — though it’s no guarantee that some of them won’t end up back under arms in the years to come.  Above all, however, every one of them wants something more.  All are looking for some way out.

Peter bluntly requests that I take a couple of the boys back to the United States so they can tell their stories in person.  He strongly hints that he would like to be one of them.  In the meantime, he says, he will “pray for peace.”  Korok, it turns out, is praying too — for peace and better leadership for the country.  “Is there a possibility,” he asks, “for the American people to set up schools, so the children could go to class instead of becoming soldiers?”

“South Sudan needs development.  It needs hospitals, not fighting,” Zujian tells me with a thoughtful smile.  True enough, but I wonder if there is any chance of it.  Recent, full-scale military offensives are wreaking havoc, killing and injuring civilians, and accountability is nearly nil.  The government derives more than 90% of its revenue not from citizens to whom it must provide services and transparency, but from foreign oil firms.  It is now also indebted to the Qatar National Bank, to whom the future of the nation has been mortgaged.  Its military has been consistently implicated in mass atrocities, as has the rebel force opposing it.  Both continue to employ child soldiers.  The country sits atop the Fund for Peace’s 178-nation list of the world’s most fragile nations, ranks exceptionally high in terms of poverty and corruption, and low when it comes to education, infrastructure, press freedom, and human rights.  It’s one of the worst places on earth to be a mother or a child.  Its economy is in shambles and nearly five million people are expected to face severe food shortages in the months ahead.  And given the fact that southern Sudan has, for the better part of 60 years, been embroiled in war — a series of conflicts that have upended, wrecked, or taken the lives of millions, sown bad blood, and stoked the fires of vengeance — the future looks grim.

At the end of our interview, Zujian stares into my eyes, squinting as if looking for something, and then begins interviewing me.  What am I up to, he wants to know.  Why have I traveled all this way to the ICC to talk to the other boys and him?

I try to explain how my country helped facilitate the recruitment of child soldiers in his, despite international condemnation of the practice and the fact one of our laws forbids it, as does South Sudanese law.  I say that people in America know little or nothing about the global scourge of child soldiers.  It’s important, I add, that they hear what boys like him have to say.

I had come, I explain, to hear his story and I will do my best to tell it.  I can feel Zujian’s disappointment.  Like a number of the children, he clearly hoped for more from me — maybe even tangible assistance of some sort.  He manages to look skeptical and remain silent until we reach the outer edge of awkward.  Then, suddenly, he breaks into a wide grin and gracefully lets me off the hook.

Clearly, U.S. assistance and nation-building efforts in South Sudan have had anything but the desired effects either for Washington or South Sudan.  No less clearly, President Obama’s gamble that looking the other way when it came to child soldiers would, in the long run, facilitate the end of their use imploded in 2013 with devastating results.  Despite this, Zujian refuses to sour on the United States or at least its citizens.  Somehow, in spite of all the disappointments, including me, he continues to have faith.

“I’m happy to have talked with you,” he says with a nod, still smiling as we sit in the fading afternoon sun at this parched, uncertain way station, a literal no man’s land located somewhere between war and peace, youth and adulthood.  “If the American people read about us, maybe it will lead to something good.”

War, Imperialism and the People’s Struggle in the Middle East and Africa

United States continues its occupation of the region

Author’s Comment: This paper was presented at the Left Forum held at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York (CUNY) during May 29-31, 2015. The panel was chaired by Bill Dores of the International Action Center. Kazem Azin of Solidarity Iran was also a participant.

By Abayomi Azikiwe
Libya 360°

Since March 26 the Saudi Arabian monarchy along with its neighbors in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has been waging war on the nation of Yemen. Daily bombing raids against residential areas and infrastructure are ostensibly designed to push back the Ansurallah (Houthis) movement which has taken over large sections of the country, one of the most underdeveloped in the region.

This war has been largely hidden from the view of people inside the United States. Nonetheless, this is a U.S. war aimed at maintaining Washington’s dominant position within the Arabian Peninsula extending to the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Aden.

Prior to the beginning of the airstrikes by the Saudi-GCC Coalition, the administration of President Barack Obama withdrew its diplomatic personnel along with Special Forces operating inside the country. For many years the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has viewed Yemen as a key area for its so-called “war on terrorism.”

Regular drone strikes have killed many Yemenis along with at least three of whom were U.S. citizens. Washington has said that the Al-Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is major threat to American interests in an attempt to justify the drone attacks which have killed more civilians than supposed “armed combatants.”

However, in recent months the Islamic Republic of Iran has been designated by Washington and its allies as the principal threat in Yemen. The Ansurallah, which is a Shiite branch of Islam, is supported politically by Tehran. The Saudi monarchy views Iran as its major impediment in controlling the region on behalf of U.S. oil and financial interests.

The current hostilities in Yemen have been described as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and the GCC on one side and Iran and its allies on the other. The total war strategy against Yemen consists of the banning of humanitarian assistance from Iran and others who oppose the bombing and ground offensive by militias which are financed by Riyadh.

According to an article published by the Telegraph in Britain, it says that “As Saudi Arabia has maintained an air and naval blockade on Yemeni territory, gas supplies have run perilously low. Even a five day humanitarian pause was not enough to bring in the necessary aid. Fuel prices have spiked as the casualty count mounts, and some hospitals have been forced to close altogether because they are unable to keep medical supplies refrigerated or perform operations since they can’t run backup generators.”

Reports of the number of Yemenis killed in the fighting range from 2,000-4,000 with many more injured and displaced. Yemeni-Americans who have been attempting to leave the country since late March have been abandoned by Washington.

Many Yeminis have taken refuge across the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden into Djibouti where the U.S. has its largest military base in Africa. The U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) is expanding its operations at Camp Lemonnier which is utilized as a staging ground for military strikes inside Somalia and other countries on the continent.

This same above-mentioned Telegraph article also notes that “The UNHCR says a total of 5,000 Yemeni refugees have made it to Djibouti, including 3,000 in the capital, Djibouti city, and 1,000 in Obock, 300 kilometers (187 miles) to the north — making it currently the biggest Yemeni refugee population. The influx has hiked up local prices, with markets, hotels, and drivers trying to make the most of the situation in an already struggling economy.”

Yemen and the Imperialist Regional War

The war in Yemen is part and parcel of a broader regional war that encompasses Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, occupied Palestine and Iran. In Iraq where the U.S. occupied the country for over eight years, the Pentagon has redeployed 3,100 troops to the area. These troops are purportedly training Iraqi military forces although the Defense Department cannot claim any real successes.

When Islamic State fighters confronted Iraqi units in Mosul and other cities they fled. A similar situation was reported in Ramadi in Anbar Province. The Obama administration played down these events in order to deflect the attention of the U.S. public away from its failures in Iraq.

The Kurdish fighters seem to have fought with far greater commitment and vigor yet they are not privy to the military assistance in their struggle against IS. Fierce battles in Kobane on the border with Turkey revealed that the Kurds were a force to be reckoned with in the regional war against IS.

In neighboring Syria, the U.S. is behind efforts to destabilize and overthrow the government of President Bashar al-Assad. Since 2011, an estimated 200,000 people have died and several million dislocated both inside and outside of Syria.

The U.S. is bombing both Iraq and Syria under the guise of degrading and destroying IS bases. However, the impact of this aerial war is to create broader avenues of operation for the IS forces which were built up during the initial years of the destabilization campaign against Syria. At present IS military units have seized large areas of territory within Syria and Iraq, while the strategy of the White House is to continue the bombing targeting Daesh but at the same time opposing the continued existence of the Assad government in Damascus.

A massive air assault on Syria was planned for August-September 2013. However, public outrage in Britain and the U.S. stopped the president in his tracks. The effect of recent wars waged by Washington through successive administrations has resulted in greater instability and dislocation.

In Lebanon Hezbollah has maintained its strength against the Zionist regime occupying Palestine. The party and mass movement have also intervened in solidarity with the people of Syria and may escalate its involvement based upon developments taking place inside the country.

The plight of Palestinians has been negatively impacted by the wars in Syria and Iraq. In Syria, many Palestinian refugees were divided over support for the Assad government. A major camp housing Palestinians has been the focal point of IS attacks seeking to gain control of the area.

Israel is supported to the tune of billions every year from the tax dollars of the American people. U.S. warplanes and other defense technology are given to Tel Aviv where it is tested against the people of Gaza and other occupied territories.

Although the U.S. administration has signed an agreement on Iran nuclear energy program, the Obama White House is continuing the 36 years of hostility towards Tehran since the popular revolution of 1979. Washington’s coordination of the Saudi-GCC war in Yemen is a clear testament to the ongoing war against Iran.

Africa and the Middle East

As we mentioned earlier, Djibouti, the pivotal staging ground for AFRICOM on the continent is located right across from Yemen. Somalia, Ethiopia, Egypt and Kenya are in close proximity. The artificial divisions between Africa and the so-called Middle East are merely constructs of colonialism and imperialism for the purpose dividing the regions in regard to spheres of influence for western powers.

Peoples who reside on either side of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden fundamentally want the U.S. out of their countries. They desire to live in peace and to determine their own destiny in the quest for development and unity. Washington and Wall Street dominate through their military prowess and economic machinations that bribe leaders making them dependent upon U.S. and European patronage and privilege.

The fueled hostility between various branches of Islam is indispensable in the imperialist strategy for the Middle East and Africa. Only when the peoples of Africa and the Middle East unite on an anti-imperialist basis will there be a genuine atmosphere of lasting peace and social stability.


Abayomi Azikiwe has written extensively on African affairs with specific reference to historical studies and political economy. He has done research on the origins and political ideology of the African National Congress, its leaders as well as other national liberation movements and regional organizations  in Southern Africa.

Kiev’s Brutal Repression of Anti-Fascism in Odessa

odessa
By Eric Draitser

There is a common misconception in the West that there is only one war in Ukraine: a war between the anti-Kiev rebels of the East, and the US-backed government in Kiev. While this conflict, with all its attendant geopolitical and strategic implications has stolen the majority of the headlines, there is another war raging in the country – a war to crush all dissent and opposition to the fascist-oligarch consensus. For while in the West many so called analysts and leftists debate whether there is really fascism in Ukraine or whether it’s all just “Russian propaganda,” a brutal war of political repression is taking place.

The authorities and their fascist thug auxiliaries have carried out everything from physical intimidation, to politically motivated arrests, kidnappings, torture, and targeted assassinations. All of this has been done under the auspices of “national unity,” the convenient pretext that every oppressive regime from time immemorial has used to justify its actions. Were one to read the Western narrative on Ukraine, one could be forgiven for believing that the country’s discontent and outrage is restricted solely to the area collectively known as Donbass – the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics as they have declared themselves. Indeed, there is good reason for the media to portray such a distorted picture; it legitimizes the false claim that all Ukraine’s problems are due to Russian meddling and covert militarization.

Instead, the reality is that anger and opposition to the US-backed oligarch-fascist coalition government in Kiev is deeply rooted and permeates much of Ukraine. In politically, economically, and culturally important cities such as Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, and Kherson, ghastly forms of political persecution are ongoing. However, nowhere is this repression more apparent than in the Black Sea port city of Odessa. And this is no accident.

Odessa: Center of Culture, Center of Resistance

For more than two centuries, Odessa has been the epicenter of multiculturalism in what is today called Ukraine, but what alternately was the Soviet Union and the Russian Empire. With its vibrant history of immigration and trade, Odessa has been the heart of internationalism and cultural, religious, and ethnic coexistence in the Russian-speaking world. Its significant populations of Russians, Jews, Ukrainians, Poles, Germans, Greeks, Tatars, Moldovans, Bulgarians and other ethnic and national identities made Odessa a truly international city, a cosmopolitan Black Sea port with French architecture, Ottoman influence, and rich Jewish and Russian/Soviet cultural history.

In many ways, Odessa was the quintessential Soviet city, one which, to a large extent, actually embodied the Soviet ideal enumerated in the state anthem – a city “united forever in friendship and labor.” And it is this spirit of multiculturalism and shared history which rejects the racist, chauvinist, fascist politics which now passes for standard political currency in “Democratic Ukraine.”

When in February 2014, the corrupt, though democratically elected, government of former President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted in a US-backed coup, the people of Odessa, just as in many other cities, began to organize counter-demonstrations against what they perceived to be a Western-sponsored oligarch-fascist alliance seizing power over their country. In the ensuing weeks and months, tens of thousands turned out into the streets to air their discontent, including massive rallies held in February, March, and April.

This inchoate movement against the new dispensation in Kiev, handpicked by the US and its European allies, culminated in two critical events: the establishment of an anti-Maidan movement calling for federalization and greater autonomy for the Odessa region, and the massacre at the Trade Unions House carried out by fascist thugs which resulted in the deaths of more than fifty anti-fascist activists and demonstrators. As a protest organizer and eyewitness recounted to this author, “That was the moment when everything changed, when we knew what Ukraine had really become.”

The brutality of the pogrom – an appropriate word considering the long and violent history of this region – could hardly be believed even by hardened anti-fascist activists. Bodies with bullet wounds found inside the burned out building, survivors beaten on the streets after their desperate escape from the flames, and myriad other horrific accounts demonstrate unequivocally that what the Western media dishonestly and disgracefully referred to as “clashes with pro-Russian demonstrators,” was in fact a massacre; one that forever changed the nature of resistance in Odessa, and throughout much of Ukraine.

No longer were protesters simply airing their grievances against an illegitimate government sponsored by foreigners. No longer were there demonstrations simply in favor of federalization and greater autonomy. Instead, the nature of the resistance shifted to one of truly anti-fascist character seeking to get the truth about Ukraine out to the world at large. Where once Odessa had been the site of peaceful demands for fairness, instead it became the site of a brutal government crackdown aimed at destroying any semblance of political protest or resistance. Indeed, May 2, 2014 was a watershed. That was the day that politics became resistance.

The Reality of the Repression

The May 2, 2014 massacre in Odessa is one of the few examples of political repression that actually garnered some attention internationally. However, there have been numerous other examples of Kiev’s brutal and illegal crackdown on dissent in the critical coastal city and throughout the country, most of which remain almost entirely unreported.

In recent weeks and months, the local authorities have engaged in politically motivated arrests of key journalists and bloggers who have presented a critical perspective on the developments in Odessa. Most prominent among them are the editors of the website infocenter-odessa.com, a locally oriented news site that has been fiercely critical of the Kiev regime and its local authorities.

In late 2014, the editor of the site, Yevgeny Anukhin, was arrested without any warrant while he was attempting to register his human rights organization with the authorities. According to various sources, the primary reasons for his arrest were his possession of video evidence of illegal shelling by Ukrainian military of a checkpoint in Kotovka, and data on his computer which included a compilation of names of political prisoners held without trial in Odessa. With no evidence or warrant, and in breach of standard legal procedures, he was arrested and charged with recruitment of insurgents against the Ukrainian state.

In May 2015, the new editor of infocenter-odessa.com Vitaly Didenko, a leftist, anti-fascist activist and journalist was also arrested on trumped up charges of drug possession which, according to multiple sources in Odessa, are entirely fabricated by the SBU (Security Service of Ukraine) secret police in order to create a pretext upon which to detain him. In the course of his arrest, Didenko was seriously injured, incurring several broken ribs and a broken arm. He is currently sitting in an Odessa jail, his case entirely ignored by Western media, including those organizations ostensibly committed to the protection of journalists.

Additionally, just this past weekend (May 24, 2015) there was yet another sickening display of political repression on the very spot of the May 2, 2014 massacre. Activists and ordinary Odessa citizens had been taking part in a memorial service for the victims of the tragedy when the demonstration was violently dispersed by armed men in either military or national guard uniforms (see here for photos). According to eyewitnesses, the military men instigated violence at the gathering and broke it up, all while both local police and OSCE monitors stood aside and watched. Naturally, this is par for the course in “Democratic Ukraine.”

Aside from journalists, a large number of activists have been detained, kidnapped, and/or tortured by Ukrainian authorities and their fascist goons. Key members of the Borotba (Struggle) leftist organization have been repeatedly harassed, arrested, and beaten by the police. One particularly infamous example was the detainment of Vladislav Wojciechowski, a member of Borotba and survivor of the May 2nd massacre. According to Borotba’s website, During the search of the apartment where he lived, explosives were planted. Nazi “self-defense” paramilitaries participated in his arrest. Vladislav was beaten, and it is possible that a confession was beaten out of him under torture.  Currently, he is in SBU custody.” He was ultimately charged with “terrorism” by the authorities after having been beaten and tortured by both Nazi goons and SBU agents.

Upon his release more than three months later in December 2014 in a “prisoner exchange” between Kiev and the eastern rebels, Wojciechowski defiantly stated, “I am very angry with the fascist government of Ukraine, which proved once again with its barbaric acts that it is willing to wade through corpses to defend its interests and those of the West. They failed to break me! And my will has become tempered steel. Now I’m even more convinced that it is impossible to save Ukraine without defeating fascism on its territory.” Wojciechowski was also the editor of the website 2May.org, a site dedicated to disseminating the truth about the Odessa massacre.

It should be noted though that Wojciechowski was arrested along with his comrades Pavel Shishman of the now outlawed Communist Party of Ukraine, and Nikolai Popov of the Communist Youth. These arrests should come as no surprise to observers of the political situation in Ukraine where all forms of leftist politics – the Communist party, Soviet symbols and names, etc. – have been outlawed and brutally repressed.

Kiev is not only engaged in an assault on political freedoms, but also a class war against the working class of Odessa and Ukraine generally. That the events leading up to the massacre took place at Kulikovo Field – a famous staging area for Soviet era demonstrations of working class politics – and the massacre itself took place in the adjacent Trade Unions House, there’s a symbolic resonance, the significance of which is not lost on the people of Odessa. It is the attempt to both erase the legacy of working class struggle and leftist politics, as well as the sacrifices of previous generations in a place where historical memory runs deep, and the scars of the past have yet to heel.

Aside from these shameful attacks on leftist formations, multicultural institutions too have been repressed under the pretext of “Russian separatism.” A multiethnic, multi-nationality organization known as the Popular Rada of Bessarabia (PRB) was founded in early April 2015 in order to push for regional autonomy and/or ethnic autonomy in response to the legal and extralegal attacks on minorities by the Kiev authorities. It was reported that within 24 hours of the founding congress, Ukraine’s SBU had detained the core leaders of the organization, including the Chair of the organization’s presidium Dmitry Zatuliveter whose whereabouts, according to this author’s latest information, remain unknown. Within two weeks 30 more PRB activists were arrested, including founding member Vera Shevchenko.

While the Western media and its armies of think tanks and propaganda mouthpieces steadfastly deny that an organization such as PRB can be anything other than “a project of Russian political consultants,” the reality is that such moves have been a reaction to repressive legislation and intimidation by the US-backed regime in Kiev which has done everything from outlawing the two most popular political parties of the Russian-speaking South and East (The Party of Regions and the Communist Party), to attempting to strip the Russian language of official status within Ukraine, a move interpreted by these groups as a direct threat against them and their regions where Russian, not Ukrainian, is the lingua franca.

As Senior Fellow at the Jamestown Foundation and former Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (read CIA front) contributor Vladimir Socor wrote last month in an article entitled Ukraine Defuses Pro-Russia Instigations in Odesa Province, “In the spirit of preventive action, Ukrainian law enforcement agencies have arrested some 20 members of a centrifugal organization in Odesa [sic] province..The timely intervention also stopped the publicity bandwagon that had just started rolling from Moscow in support of the Odesa [sic] group.” Interestingly, the author deceptively frames his apologia for so called “preventive detention” as merely a “timely intervention,” conveniently glossing over the blatant illegality of the action by Kiev, which has eschewed the rule of law in favor of brute force and repression.

And what is the PRB’s great crime in the eyes of Mr. Socor and the US interests for which he speaks? As he directly states in the article with typical condescension:

[BPR’s program and manifesto] include demands for: greater representation of ethnic groups in the administration of Ukraine’s Odesa [sic] province; promotion of the ethnic groups’ cultural identities and schools; conferral of a “national-cultural special status” to Bessarabia; a free economic zone, with specific reference to local control over Ukraine’s Black Sea and Danube ports; no integration of Ukraine with the European Union, the “enslavement practices of which would ruin the region and its agriculture”; and reinstatement of Ukraine’s [recently abandoned] international status of nonalignment, or else: “In the event of Ukraine moving close to NATO [the North Atlantic Treaty Organization], we reserve the right to implement the self-determination of Bessarabia.”

A careful reading of these demands reveals that these are precisely the demands that any right-minded anti-imperialist position should espouse, including rejection of NATO integration, rejection of EU integration, rejection of opening up Ukraine’s agricultural sector to the likes of Monsanto and other Western corporations, and protection of ethnic, religious, and cultural minorities, among other things. While Socor writes of these demands derisively, the reality is that they constitute precisely the sort of program that is essential for defending both Ukraine’s sovereignty, and the rights of the people of Odessa and the region. But of course, for Socor, this is all just a Russian plot. Instead, he kneels to kiss the chocolate ring of Poroshenko…and perhaps other parts of Victoria Nuland and John Kerry, while vigorously cheer-leading further political repression.

A Message for the Left

The question facing leftists internationally is no longer whether they believe there are fascists in Ukraine, or whether they are an important part of the political establishment in the country; this is now impossible to refute. Rather, the challenge before the international left is whether it can overcome its deep-seated mistrust of Russia, and consequent inability to separate fact from fiction, and unwaveringly defend its comrades in Ukraine with the conviction and aplomb of its historical antecedents.

There is a whole history that is under assault, a whole people being oppressed, a leftist tradition being ground to dust under the heel of an imperialist agenda and comprador oligarch bourgeoisie. Some on the left choose to snicker derisively at this struggle, aligning themselves once again with the Empire just as they so often have in Libya, Syria, and elsewhere. And then there those who, like this author, refuse to be cowed by the baseless slur of “Russian apologist” and “Putin puppet”; those of us who choose not to look away while our comrades in Ukraine are beaten, kidnapped, tortured, imprisoned, and disappeared.

For while they speak out in the face of reprisals, in the midst of brutal repression, under threat of prison and death, the least we can do is speak out from our comfortable chairs. Anything less is moral cowardice and utter betrayal.

Five Eyes and Imperial Destabilization-Regime Change Operations

By Wayne Madsen

A recent release of a leaked classified PowerPoint presentation from the National Security Agency (NSA) provides a rather detailed description of how the FIVE EYES signals intelligence alliance of the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand has conspired with the promoters of social media-based revolutions, such as the Arab Spring, to bring about the collapse of democratically-elected or otherwise stable governments. However, the PowerPoint slides were partially redacted in key areas by the dubious censors of First Look Media, financed by e-Bay founder and multi-billionaire Pierre Omidyar.
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The PowerPoint slides illustrate how, in November 2011, the NSA; Canada’s Communications Security Establishment (CSE), now Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC), the Defense Signals Directorate (DSD) of Australia, now the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD); New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB); and Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) developed a method for not only monitoring but taking control of cell phone and social media networks used for socio-political uprisings. The program, known as Synergizing Network Analysis Tradecraft, was developed by the FIVE EYES’s Network Tradecraft Advancement Team or NTAT.

The efforts of the NTAT were directed against single devices where «voice and data services interact». These devices include smart phones and other portable data and voice devices. By November 2011, the Arab Spring uprisings were in full swing, with the governments of Tunisia’s Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, and Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi having been overthrown, and anti-government rioting breaking out in Syria, Yemen, Oman, and Morocco. The FIVE EYES met in a workshop to discuss how a classified operation code-named IRRITANT HORN could be used in future Arab Springs, only in different countries. The signals intelligence experts formulated plans to use the lessons learned in the Arab Spring to target servers in «non-5 Eyes countries for such exploitation as man-in-the-middle or MITM operations and the harvesting of data «at rest» and in transit. A related mobile network exploitation operation was code-named CRAFTY SHACK.

The slides show that among the countries where mobile application servers were targeted by the FIVE EYES were France, Cuba, Senegal, Morocco, Switzerland, Bahamas, and Russia. The information targeted by the Western signals intelligence partners included geolocation and network ownership information for each IP address that consisted of «network owner name, carrier name, ASN (advanced service network), continent, country, region, city, latitude and longitude, and any other related details». Not of interest to FIVE EYES were such applications as Google, mobile banking, and iTunes.

It is noteworthy that according to one TOP SECRET/SI [Special Intelligence] PowerPoint slide, a FIVE EYES system code-named EONBLUE was used to target Blackberry users in Saudi Arabia. Out of all the countries where Arab Spring demonstrations began, it was Saudi Arabia that acted swiftly to put down its street protests by brutal force. The FIVE EYES interest in Saudi Arabia mobile communications during the IRRITANT HORN operations may indicate that there was a dual purpose to such surveillance. NSA and its partners, in an act of «offensive information warfare», may have steered protesters in Egypt, Libya, Syria, and other countries to anti-government uprisings through MITM operations while tipping off the authorities in Saudi Arabia about plans to stage anti-government demonstrations in that country.

Another FIVE EYES operation targeted Samsung, Nokia, and other mobile telecommunications users of the Warid-Congo mobile network in the Republic of Congo. CSE boasted in one PowerPoint slide that it had «a list of the most popular smartphones for Warid Congo customers and their international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI) numbers». IMSIs are assigned to every GSM user. Warid, which is owned by Sheikh Nahayan bin Mubarak Al Nahayan, the Minister of Culture, Youth, and Social Development of the United Arab Emirates and which is based in Abu Dhabi, also provides mobile services in Uganda, the Republic of Georgia, Ivory Coast, and Pakistan.

The interest of the FIVE EYES in fomenting a social media-based uprising in the Republic of Congo is interesting. The country has been led since 1997 by the authoritarian president Denis Sassou-Nguesso who is considered firmly in the pro-French camp. The Congo Republic is a major oil-producer in the region and the Anglophone FIVE EYES alliance would certainly be interested in replacing the authoritarian president with one more aligned with the United States and Britain. The targeting of Congo provides more proof that the NSA military and civilian analysts, who spend long hours on watch, are devoting themselves and their careers more to the bottom lines of U.S. and British oil companies than to U.S. national security.

Just four months after the FIVE EYES meeting of the NTAT, a partly-social media mass protest did break out in the Talangai district of Brazzaville, the Congolese capital. A March 26, 2012 dispatch from the U.S. embassy in Brazzaville stated: «Protestors are discontent with the Government of the Republic of the Congo’s handling of indemnity payments to people who lost their homes in the March 4 explosions at the Regiment Blinde munitions depot. Embassy sources reported hearing gun shots at the site of the protest on Marien Ngouabi Avenue, near the Talangai Market. The protesters are expected to march to the Presidential Palace. U.S. citizens are advised to avoid the Talangai district and the area surrounding the Presidential Palace throughout the day». The embassy appeared to know the plans of the protesters, possibly with the help of intelligence provided by both IRRITANT HORN and CRAFTY SHACK.

In January 2012, just two months after the NTAT meeting, anti-government protests broke out in Senegal, another country targeted by IRRITANT HORN/CRAFTY SHACK, after President Abdoulaye Wade, a supporter Muammar Qaddafi’s United States of Africa, announced he would run for a third term. The then-State Department spokesperson, Victoria Nuland of Euromaidan infamy, urged the 85-year old Wade to pass power to «the next generation». Wade was defeated for re-election the month after the outbreak of violent riots in Dakar, the Senegalese capital. Soros’s OSI and the International Crisis Group, which is also heavily-bankrolled by Soros, provided significant support to both the Brazzaville and Dakar protests.

The PowerPoint slides also describe how a Chinese mobile web browser was discovered by a GCHQ analyst to leak IMSI; MSISDNs (Mobile Station International Subscriber Directory Numbers) that are linked to SIM cards; International Mobile Station Equipment Identities (IMEIs) unique to every mobile device and used for, among other things, tracking stolen or jail broken phones; and other device-specific information.

Although partially redacted, the latest disclosure of NSA material confirms the nexus between FIVE EYES signals intelligence surveillance and active measures in support of the overthrow of governments in the Middle East and elsewhere. The information verifies a convergence between the color revolution activities of George Soros’s Open Society Institute (OSI) network and the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the surveillance activities of the FIVE EYES partners.

There is also an obvious correlation between the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) «fake Twitter» operation in Cuba, known as Zun Zuneo, and IRRITANT HORN. Zun Zuneo or Proyecto ZZ, was aimed at forming «smart mobs» across Cuba to protest against the Cuban government and seek its overthrow in a «Cuban Spring». It is important to note that IRRITANT HORN targeted Cuba in its mobile and social media surveillance and MITM operations.

Zun Zuneo used two contractors in Costa Rica, Contractor Creative Associates International and Mobile Accord of Denver. The firms obtained 400,000 CubaCel mobile telephone numbers, which now appears to have come the FIVE EYES’s IRRITANT HORN program, and began sending Cubans Twitter-like text messages, purportedly originating in Spain. Zun Zuneo also involved a front company in the Cayman Islands, MovilChat, which used a Cayman Islands bank account to covertly fund the Zun Zuneo caper. USAID funding for Zun Zuneo was secretly diverted from an unknown USAID project in Pakistan. The bank account used by USAID and MovilChat was maintained at the Cayman Islands branch of the Bermuda-based Bank of N.T. Butterfield & Son Ltd. The Carlyle Group, along with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), are significant shareholders of the bank.

USAID has used technology similar to Zun Zuneo to mobilize smart mobs in Moldova, the Philippines, and Ukraine. The May 1, 2014, anti-government mass protests in Cambodia also appears to have been prompted by a USAID/CIA «smart mob» Twitter-like operation. By honing their network tradecraft in the Arab countries and Cuba, the FIVE EYES were well-prepared to support the Maidan Square uprising in Kiev in early 2014. The IRRITANT HORN project reveals that there is not much space between the operations of Soros’s and Nuland’s democracy manipulators and the social media surveillance eavesdroppers of the FIVE EYES alliance.

Countering the West in the Black Sea and Beyond

Child Soldiers : An American-Made Army in Africa

EU’s War on African Migrants Supports Da’esh

Reuters / Antonio Parrinello
See: Britain, Libya and the Mediterranean : The Creation of a Humanitarian Emergency

By Dan Glazebrook

In the wake of the appalling death toll in the Mediterranean at the end of April – when up to 1,300 refugees were estimated to have drowned in one week – the EU was quick to jump on the tragedy as an opportunity to ramp up military involvement in Africa.

Resisting calls to restart search-and-rescue operations, an emergency European Council meeting last month instead called for the bombing of the boats on which the migrants were fleeing, vowing to “undertake systematic efforts to identify, capture and destroy vessels before they are used by traffickers in accordance with international law.”

A leaked ‘strategy paper’ presented to the UN Security Council last week by EU foreign representative Federica Mogherini, spelled out exactly what this would entail: “The operation would require a broad range of air, maritime and land capabilities. These could include: intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; boarding teams; patrol units (air and maritime); amphibious assets; destruction air, land and sea, including special forces units.”

Meanwhile, ‘onshore activities’ might include “action along the coast, in harbor or at anchor of smugglers assets and vessels before their use.” In other words, another large scale assault on Libya waged from air, sea and land.

Needless to say the plan has been rejected by both Libyan ‘governments’ – the internationally-recognized one in Tobruk, and in a rare display of unity, also by the Libyan Dawn government based in Tripoli.

Taken at face value, such an approach to the problem of illegal migration is hard to understand. Experts have been queuing up to condemn the planned bombardment, arguing that not only will it be gratuitously cruel, but counter-productive as well. A joint statement issued by the UN’s human right experts on migrants, Francois Crepeau, and on trafficking in persons, Maria Grazia Giammarinaro warned that “Increasing repression of survival migration has not worked in the past and will not work now. Destroying boats is only a very short-sighted solution to combating smuggling. Smugglers continue to skillfully adapt, as long as there is a market to exploit.”

Indeed, the ‘war on drugs’ has already proven that militarized solutions aimed at the ‘supply side’ of criminal enterprises without addressing demand are invariably disastrous. As Ioan Grillo has brilliantly documented in the book El Narco, attempts in Mexico and Colombia to wipe out drug crops through aerial attacks over the past four decades has had two main consequences: first, it drives up the price – and therefore the profits – of the trade; second, it consolidates that trade in the hands of only the most ruthless, vicious and armed gangs. The result has been a massive concentration of power and wealth in the hands of the most ultra-violent drug cartels. The estimated 100,000 killed in Mexico’s Jalisco province over the past eight years is the latest bloody testament to this grim reality. Any attempt to deal with ‘people smuggling’ by bombing their boats out of existence would almost certainly have a similar result.

Reuters / Antonio Parrinello

In Libya, the ‘people smuggling trade’ is currently run by a plethora of small providers, some organizing occasional runs in small vessels hired from fishermen. These small providers would probably not withstand a concerted military assault. With prices going through the roof as a result of continued demand and declining supply, however, the trade would certainly continue. But it would do so in the hands only of those with the firepower necessary to run the operation in the newly militarized terrain – that is to say, in the hands of groups such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda. And they would be doing so in a market that would have become immeasurably more profitable.

Thus, the practically guaranteed result of the EU’s strategy would not be to eliminate the ‘people smuggling’ trade, but to ensure that it helped concentrate massive wealth and firepower in the hands of Libya’s most violent gangs. This much should be obvious to any high school economics student with even a basic knowledge of supply and demand. No wonder, then, that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, the Russian government, and even, apparently, parts of the French military are opposed to the plans.

So why is the EU so firmly in favor of this self-defeating exercise in moral bankruptcy? Of course, one explanation says it is simply a way for governments to outflank their far-right opponents by proving their ‘toughness on immigration.’ Cameron and his ilk, for example, can argue that not even Nigel Farage has promised to actually blow refugees out of the water! This analysis makes some sense when we note that it is Britain, France and Italy in the forefront of the ‘war party’ on this issue – all of whom have witnessed large support for anti-immigrant parties in recent years.

But seen in terms of the broad context of European capitalism’s deep, multi-layered crisis, another explanation also suggests itself.

Myself and many others have argued over the past four years that the unleashing of sectarian violence across the Middle East and North Africa was not an accidental by-product of Western foreign policy in the region, but in fact its very purpose. By the mid-2000s, the growing economic clout of the global South was presenting a very real threat to the continued European/ North American extortion of Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Ever since these regions gained formal independence from colonialism, they had remained tied to former (and new) colonial powers through a million economic threads. Yet the rise of China (and to a lesser extent, India and Brazil) has smashed the West’s former monopoly of markets and finance, and has facilitated one country after another freeing themselves from economic dependence on Europe and the US, and moving towards a growing South-South cooperation in which the West has been edged out. The massive rise in Chinese investment in Africa – from $6 billion in 2000 to an estimated $200billion today is but the most vivid example of this global trend.

Destabilization through terrorism, then, has been the West’s way of using military means to claw back that power it can no longer maintain through economic manipulation alone. For destabilized regional powers cannot contribute to the growing strength of the BRICS, cannot support their regions’ moves towards self-sufficiency, and are likely to be ever more reliant on both Western military aid and international finance. By creating one failed state after another – in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Kosovo and Libya – the US and Britain have created the conditions in which terrorist activity can thrive; and then by directly supporting sectarian militias, in Libya and Syria in particular, they have ensured that these militia keep the affected countries in a state of violent chaos. That is to say, weak and dependent.

If this analysis is correct – if the West is pursuing a policy of destabilization against the global South in order to keep it weak and dependent – then the apparently self-defeating strategy of concentrating the ‘people smuggling’ trade in the hands of ISIS and Al-Qaeda suddenly makes perfect sense. It may be a desperate measure to keep these groups alive.

The tide has now definitively turned against the sectarian death squads that the West has been fostering for the past five years. No longer seen as the ‘freedom fighters of the Arab Spring’, the West’s proxy militias – and their political apologists – now inspire little more than revulsion across much of the region. This began with the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi in Egypt in 2013, and continued throughout 2014 with both the military gains made by Syrian President Bashar Assad and the ousting of the pro-militia parliament in Libyan elections. In Libya, in particular, which has been steeped in sectarian violence and civil war ever since NATO’s invasion in 2011, there are some encouraging signs that the death squads’ reign of terror might be on its last legs.

Last month, the UN envoy to Libya Bernardino Leon announced that the country’s two rival factions have reached a draft accord which is “very close to a final agreement,” and each side has begun putting forward their nominees for positions within a unity government. Of course, this may yet fall though. After all, the Libya Dawn coalition – formed of militia supporters who lost the last election – has apparently rebuffed the agreement. Yet if it is rejected, this just makes it more likely that the Libya Dawn militias will simply meet with outright military defeat – for two reasons.

First, they are intensely divided. The rise of ISIS in Libya has split the so-called ‘Islamists’, with Libya Dawn now officially at war with ISIS, although this is a policy not all of the party’s militias support. Furthermore, the Misrata militias, who broadly support the idea of a ‘unity government’, are increasingly fighting other more hard-line groups that do not. While there are also divisions on the elected government’s side, so far these are on the level of political faction-fighting rather than shooting battles. Clearly the violent divisions on the Misrata – Libya Dawn – ISIS side are likely to be more corrosive than political disputes.

Second, the intervention of Egypt on the side of the elected Tobruk government has significantly altered the balance of power in that government’s favor. And according to intelligence reports from DebkaFile, Egypt is “preparing a large-scale ground and air assault along the Libyan border to oust the Islamic State group from eastern Libya.”

If Egypt does indeed wage such an assault, wiping out ISIS (together, possibly, with its allies and supporters from within Libya Dawn), that will again increase the pressure for Libya Dawn to come to a compromise or risk total annihilation. Either of these outcomes would be a serious spanner in the works to British-US led ‘divide and ruin’ strategy – in which Libya is supposed to play the role of the base of destabilization across the whole region.

Hence the urgency for a ‘new intervention’. Not only would ISIS and company see their smuggling profits boosted exponentially, but the EU plan would also pave the way for SAS involvement in revitalizing the militias (just as they did in 2011) and to serve as a bulwark against Egyptian forces.

The result would, of course, be a much more bloody conflict. But that is precisely the point.


France : Surveillance Law and Government-backed Terrorism

France’s new surveillance laws will not stop terrorism at home nor quell the legions of terror they are backing, ravaging lands abroad – instead – they will ensure the uncontested expansion of terror used to coerce the French population at home while justifying and carrying out extraterritorial conquest abroad.

By Tony Cartalucci

France has announced that in the wake of the so-called “Charlie Hebdo Shooting,” it will be passing a controversial new bill granting security agencies unprecedented powers to tap the communications of France’s population without judicial overview.

Impossible to pass without having first provoked fear, hatred, division, and hysteria across the French population, and still facing stiff resistance from civil liberty activists, the bill’s passage raises further suspicions regarding the fatal January 2015 shooting in regards to who organized the incident and who stood most to benefit.

The Guardian in its article, “France passes new surveillance law in wake of Charlie Hebdo attack,” would report:

The French parliament has overwhelmingly approved sweeping new surveillance powers in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris in January that killed 17 people at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a kosher grocery in Paris. 

The new bill, which allows intelligence agencies to tap phones and emails without seeking permission from a judge, sparked protests from rights groups who claimed it would legalise highly intrusive surveillance methods without guarantees for individual freedom and privacy.

The Guardian would also claim that:

The French prime minister, Manuel Valls, defended the bill as “necessary and proportionate”, saying that to compare it to the mass surveillance Patriot Act introduced in the United States after the 9/11 attacks was a lie.  He said that the previous French law on wiretapping dated back to 1991, “when there were no mobile phones or internet,” and the new bill was crucial in the face of extremist threats.

Not a Lack of Surveillance 

As seen in nearly every recent terror attack both in Europe and North America including the “Charlie Hebdo shooting” and the more recent Garland, Texas attack, the alleged suspects behind the attacks all have one thread in common – they were all already under the watch of security agencies for years, some even imprisoned one or more times for terror-related and/or other violent offenses, some even having traveled overseas to fight alongside Western-backed terrorists in Syria, Iraq, and beyond.

The Guardian itself admits that the French government alone has over 1,400 people under watch, including hundreds of terrorists who have recently returned from fighting alongside Western-backed terrorists including Al Qaeda and its regional franchise, the “Islamic State” (ISIS) in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. Among these monitored potential risks were in fact the suspects behind the “Charlie Hebdo shooting.”

Slate Magazine would report in their article, “The Details of Paris Suspect Cherif Kouachi’s 2008 Terrorism Conviction,” that:

Kouachi was arrested in January 2005, accused of planning to join jihadists in Iraq. He was said to have fallen under the sway of Farid Benyettou, a young “self-taught preacher” who advocated violence, but had not actually yet traveled to Iraq or committed any acts of terror. Lawyers at the time said he had not received weapons training and “had begun having second thoughts,” going so far as to express “relief” that he’d been apprehended.

Kourachi and his brother would be reported to have traveled to the Middle East to receive training from Al Qaeda, then to have fought in Syria in a war backed in part by France, before returning home and carrying out their grisly terror attack, all while being tracked by French intelligence. If Kouachi previously could be arrested for “association with wrongdoers with the intention of committing a terrorist act,” why wasn’t he arrested immediately upon his return to France for having received and employed military training by a terrorist organization?

CNN would report in an article titled, “France tells U.S. Paris suspect trained with al Qaeda in Yemen,” that:

Western intelligence officials are scrambling to learn more about possible travel of the two Paris terror attack suspects, brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi, with new information suggesting one of the brothers recently spent time in Yemen associating with al Qaeda in that country, U.S. officials briefed on the matter told CNN. Additional information from a French source close to the French security services puts one of the brothers in Syria.

To explain how terrorists well-known to France’s legal system and intelligence community could simply “disappear,” the Wall Street Journal in an article titled, “Overburdened French Dropped Surveillance of Brothers,” would attempt to claim:

The terror attacks in Paris that have killed 17 people over three days this week represent one of the worst fears—and failures—of counterterrorist officials: a successful plot coordinated by people who had once been under surveillance but who were later dropped as a top priority.  The U.S. provided France with intelligence showing that the gunmen in the Charlie Hebdo massacre received training in Yemen in 2011, prompting French authorities to begin monitoring the two brothers, according to U.S. officials. But that surveillance of Said and Chérif Kouachi came to an end last spring, U.S. officials said, after several years of monitoring turned up nothing suspicious.

Image: Terrorists waging the West’s proxy war in Syria have been provided cash, weapons, and equipment by several European nations, chief among them, France. 

It is a narrative that begs to be believed – considering the brothers had already tangled with the law, already traveled to Yemen to receive training from Al Qaeda, and with evidence suggesting they were indeed still being tracked since it is now known they have recently returned from Syria. The Wall Street Journal would also claim that France depends heavily on US intelligence, contradicting US intelligence officials who have said their information came from their French counterparts.

France reportedly has over 1,000 citizens under surveillance who have recently traveled to Iraq and Syria, believed to have fought alongside terrorists France itself has been arming. In an NBC article titled, “French Intelligence Is Tracking 1,000 Who Have Been to Iraq, Syria: Expert,” it is reported that:

“French intelligence is mostly focused today on more than 1,000 French citizens that traveled to Syria and Iraq since 2012,” said Jean-Charles Brisard, the author of “Zarqawi: The New Face of Al-Qaeda.” He added that one-fifth of them were being tracked around the clock. “This is a problem of resources,” he added. “We cannot follow everyone.” Brisard said the brothers had been “well known to French intelligence [for] several years now.”

The problem that led up to the “Charlie Hebdo shooting” was clearly not a lack of intelligence or surveillance. French security agencies more than adequately identified the “Charlie Hebdo shooting” perpetrators as potential threats and tracked them for years beforehand. The problem was what appears to be a deliberate effort to keep these terrorists roaming freely among society. Free to join French-backed mercenary forces abroad, and free to commit heinous acts of terror at home, both serving the singular agenda of expanding Western hegemony abroad while preserving the primacy of select special interests at home.
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New Surveillance is For Crushing Freedom, Not Terror

As already explained in painstaking detail, had the French government been interested in actually stopping terrorism, including the flight of its own citizens to the Middle East to participate in a war the French government itself is backing, it could have done so easily. Existing laws and France’s current security agencies successfully identified the impending threat that led to the “Charlie Hebdo shooting,” but willfully failed to stop it – with certain factions of French intelligence having even played a potential role in executing it.
Image: French planes took part in the utter devastation of Libya in 2011, leaving the nation in ruins and handing it over to Al Qaeda, whom NATO, with French assistance, provided air cover and even weapons, cash, and political backing to. 

Therefore, clearly the solution to stopping terrorism is in fact evicting the criminal special interests occupying power throughout the French government, and more broadly, from across the Western World. However, such an eviction will now become exponentially more difficult to execute, thanks to France’s new surveillance laws that give them virtually unhindered access to their citizenry’s data, granting them an unparalleled strategic advantage.

Indeed, France’s new surveillance laws will not stop terrorism at home nor quell the legions of terror they are backing, ravaging lands abroad – instead – they will ensure the uncontested expansion of terror used to coerce the French population at home while justifying and carrying out extraterritorial conquest abroad.

Battlefield : Black Sea

By Eric Draitser

While the war in Ukraine has raged on for more than a year, the growing conflict between the US-NATO and Russia has taken on new dimensions. From economic warfare waged by the West in the form of sanctions, to the diplomatic rows over the commemoration of Victory Day in Moscow, more and more it seems that relations between East and West are fraying beyond repair. Though it may seem that this conflict is escalating into simply an extension of what was once known as the Cold War, the potential exists for a hot war of global dimensions.

Lost amid the cacophony of saber-rattling and chest-thumping in Washington and Brussels is the quietly emerging, and infinitely dangerous, military deployment in the Black Sea. Once seen as a no-go zone for the US and NATO, the Black Sea, with its expansive Russian shores, has recently become the site of a slew of provocative military moves by the US, and equally significant counter-moves by Russia. Adding fuel to this potential fire is the participation of Chinese naval assets in this quietly brewing cocktail of global conflict.

The presence of US military assets all throughout the Black Sea region is undoubtedly provocative as it is pushing perilously close to Russia’s borders. The potential for escalation – premeditated or otherwise – puts the entire region, and indeed the entire world, at risk of catastrophe.

This article will focus on the US-NATO military developments in and around the Black Sea. While by no means a comprehensive listing of all of Washington’s moves in the region, it is an attempt to provide a glimpse into a little discussed theater of deployment for the West – one that is regarded as a very serious threat by Moscow.

Washington Swimming in the Black Sea

There is no doubt that US strategy vis-à-vis Russia places tremendous strategic importance on maintaining and expanding a robust military presence in and around the Black Sea. Recent moves by the US-NATO military forces make this fact all the more apparent. Having deployed a significant amount of forces to littoral countries, as well as initiating a series of critical military exercises and drills, Washington is demonstrating unequivocally its commitment to escalating the conflict with Russia.

Nearly a year ago, in June 2014, former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel laid bare US intentions. In the wake of President Obama’s public announcement of $1 billion to expand the US military presence in Eastern Europe, Hagel stated that the billion dollar commitment was for a “stronger presence of US ships in the Black Sea,” and that “[The US] will sustain that tempo going forward.” Put in slightly more understandable terminology, the US committed a significant monetary investment to the permanent expansion of its military presence in and around the Black Sea.

The permanence of this new commitment is what is striking because, unlike much of the bluff and bluster from Washington over Ukraine and related issues, this represents a military deployment with real tactical value. It is not mere rhetoric, it is military escalation. And, in the year since the announcement was made, this process has evolved in earnest.

The US Army is currently, or will soon be, leading a series of critical military exercises in the Black Sea. One notable one is known as Noble Partner. This series of exercises is being conducted with the de facto NATO member Georgia which has effectively become a forward arm of NATO military forces. As the official page of the US Army noted:

Noble Partner will support Georgia’s contribution of a light infantry company to NATO Response Force, or NRF… The exercise will focus on unified land operations … Exercise Noble Partner provides an opportunity for the U.S. military to continue its training relationship with the Georgian Armed Forces as the sponsor of Georgia’s participation in the NRF. The NRF provides a rapid military response force to deploy quickly, wherever needed…. Exercise Noble Partner will include approximately 600 U.S. and Georgian Service members incorporating a full range of equipment… Georgian forces will operate alongside U.S. forces with their BMP-2 Infantry Combat Vehicle. The exercise will consist of both a field training exercise and a live-fire exercise.

However, as part of the US military training, a significant amount of military hardware is being shuttled across the Black Sea in an unprecedented move by the US which has never so brazenly treated this body of water as its own backyard. As the US Army page wrote:

Fourteen Bradley Infantry Fighting vehicles and several wheeled-support vehicles, roughly 748 metric tons of steel and rubber, cut across the Black Sea…bound for the port in Batumi, Georgia, May 2. This is the first time that the U.S. Army has deployed a mechanized company worth of equipment across the Black Sea. The equipment will support the 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division Soldiers, participating in Exercise Noble Partner.

Taken in combination with Hagel’s comments a year ago, it is clear that the US is committed to escalating its military presence in the Black Sea. Of course, it is self-evident that such a strategic development must be seen as an attempt to both outgun and intimidate Russia in its traditional sphere of influence.

Additionally, and concurrent to these military exercises, is the planned Trident Joust 2015, which according to US Navy Admiral Mark Ferguson, will “test the capability of the NRF [NATO Response Force] command and control element to work at full operational capacity in a deployed location…TRIDENT JOUST 15…will reinforce the NATO Readiness Action Plan from the Wales Summit and project assurance measures to all NATO allies.” Trident Joust should be understood as an attempt to prepare NATO’s military architecture for possible rapid deployment in the Black Sea region, ostensibly as a defense against so-called Russian aggression while in reality seeking to expand NATO military capability against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine and increased tensions with Moscow.

At no time during the Cold War did the US engage in such openly hostile and belligerent actions designed more to provoke than to defend. It seems the policy now is to both prepare for war and work to ensure that it comes to fruition. As if to make it even more transparent what Washignton’s intentions are with Trident Joust, Admiral Ferguson was quoted as saying “I appreciate the efforts of Romania as we work on other measures to transform the Alliance, such as the formation of the Multinational Division Southeast and the NATO Force Integration Unit.”

There are other important military moves that the US-NATO have made in the Black Sea in recent months, all designed to send a stern warning to Russia. NATO’s Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) recently completed its training exercises “designed to improve interoperability and enhance rapid integration of Alliance maritime assets… The force trained on anti-air, anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare procedures during separate exercises with the Turkish, Bulgarian and Romanian navies.” As part of SNMG2, NATO deployed significant military assets to the Romanian port of Constanta, not coincidentally a short distance across the Black Sea from Crimea and Russia’s fleet at Sevastopol. Participating in the SNMG2 was the USS Vicksburg with its Mark 41 Vertical Launching System, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and arsenal of guns. In addition were Canadian, Italian, and Turkish warships, all carrying significant firepower of their own.

Aside from these specific sets of naval exercises, the US has had major assets in and around the Black Sea to participate in a series of one-off maneuvers and a variety of drills in the past year, even before Secretary Hagel’s public announcement in June 2014. These include the recently decommissioned USS Taylor which spent much of 2014 in the Black Sea. Perhaps not so coincidentally, this US frigate is now slated for sale to Taiwan in a move that is likely to be met with disapproval in Beijing. Additionally, the USS Donald Cook, a missile destroyer, conducted exercises with the USS Taylor and Romanian Navy. Also, the USS Truxton and USS Vella Gulf both logged significant time in the Black Sea in 2014, undoubtedly motivating Russia to move quickly to ramp up its naval and military capabilities.

It is interesting to note that Russia’s moves in Crimea in 2014 came within a matter of days of the entrance into the Black Sea of these US naval assets. Anyone who doubts that Moscow’s decision to support Crimea’s vote for reunification with the Russian Federation was motivated by something other than military and strategic pragmatism would do well to examine this timeline of events.

All of this makes plain that the US and its NATO arsenal are gearing up for a “pivot” – to borrow the grossly overused terminology of the Obama administration and the Pentagon – that will see their forces focused on the Black Sea, just as they have shifted attention to the Baltic Sea even more so in recent months. It does not take exceptional powers of deduction to see what the US intends: continued escalation, force preparedness, and intimidation against Moscow. However, it is equally apparent that such provocative moves raise the risk of a misstep, an accident or misunderstanding that could touch off a major military conflict. Considering the players involved, such a blunder could spark World War 3.

Da’esh in Ukraine : America’s “Agents of Chaos” Unleashed in Eurasia

By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

PART I – Da’esh in Ukraine : America’s “Agents of Chaos” Unleashed in Eurasia

Is the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)/Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) / Islamic State (IS) / Al-Dawlah Al-Islamiyah fe Al-Iraq wa Al-Sham (DAISH/DAESH) active in post-EuroMaidan Ukraine? The answer is not exact. In other words, the answer is both yes and no.

Then again, what is the ISIS/ISIL/IS/DAISH/DAESH? It is a loosely knit band of militias, just like its predecessor Al-Qaeda. Included in its network are groups from the Caucasus, which have been fighting in Syria and Iraq. Now they are in Ukraine and using it as a steppingstone into Europe.

The Agents of Chaos and the War for Eurasia

The conflicts in Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Yemen are all fronts in a multi-dimensional war being waged by the US and its allies. This multi-dimensional war aims to encircle Eurasia. China, Iran, and Russia are the main targets.

The US also has an order of operations with which to takeout these countries. Iran is first, followed by Russia, with China as the last part of the Eurasian set comprised of this «Eurasian Triple Entente». It is no coincidence that the conflicts in Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Yemen are near the borders of Iran and Russia, because Tehran and Moscow are the nearer term targets of Washington.

In the same vein as the interlinked nature of the conflicts in Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Yemen, there is also a connection between the violent, racist, xenophobic, and sectarian forces that have been unleashed as «agents of chaos». It is no mere coincidence that Newsweek had a headline saying «Ukrainian Nationalist Volunteers Committing ‘ISIS-Style’ War Crimes» on September 10, 2014. [1] Whether they know it or not, these deviant forces, whether they are the ultra-nationalist Pravy Sektor militias in Ukraine or the head-cutting gangs of Al-Nusra and the ISIS/ISIL/IS/DAISH/DAESH in Syria and Iraq, all serve one master. These agents of chaos are unleashing different waves of constructive chaos to prevent Eurasian integration and a world order that is free of US dictates.

The «constructive chaos» that is being unleashed in Eurasia will eventually wreck havoc in India. If New Delhi thinks that it will be left alone, it is foolishly mistaken. The same agents of chaos will plague it as well. It too is a target like China, Iran, and Russia.

Strange Alliances: Alliance between the ISIL/DAESH and Ukraine’s Ultra-Nationalists?

It should not come as a surprise that the different agents of chaos are loosely aligned. They serve the same master and they have the same enemies, one of which is the Russian Federation.

It is in this context that Marcin Mamon has reported about the ISIS/ISIL/IS/DAISH/DAESH connection in Ukraine. He even explains that some of the fighters from the Caucasus feel that they have a debt to Ukrainians like Oleksandr Muzychko. [2]

Mamon is a Polish documentary filmmaker who has produced a number of documentaries about Chechnya, such as The Smell of Paradise with Mariusz Pilis in 2005, for the British Broadcasting Corporation’s Storyville program. He is also openly sympathetic to their cause of the Chechen separatists against Russia in the North Caucasus.

Mamon’s travels to Afghanistan and his interaction with Chechen separatist fighters have resulted in the Polish filmmaker having contacts with the ISIS/ISIL/IS/DAISH/DAESH inside Syria and Turkey. This extraordinarily led him down a new path to Ukraine.

«I didn’t even know, at that point, whom I was meeting. I knew only that Khalid, my contact in Turkey with the Islamic State [ISIS/ISIL/IS/DAISH/DAESH], had told me his ‘brothers’ were in Ukraine, and I could trust them», he writes about his meeting in a «potholed street in Kiev, east of the Dnieper River, in an area known as the Left Bank. « [3] In an earlier article Mamon explains that these so-called «‘brothers’ are members of ISIS and other underground Islamic organizations» who «are on every continent, and in almost every country, and now they are in Ukraine, too». [4] He also explains that «Khalid, who uses a pseudonym, leads the Islamic State’s underground branch in Istanbul. He came from Syria to help control the flood of volunteers arriving in Turkey from all over the world, wanting to join the global jihad. Now, he wanted to put me in touch with Ruslan, a ‘brother’ fighting with Muslims in Ukraine». [5]

Ukrainian ultra-nationalists like Muzychko also became so-called «brothers» and accepted into this network. Mamon explains that the Chechen fighters accepted him «even though he never converted to Islam» and that «Muzyczko, along with other Ukrainian volunteers, joined Chechen fighters and took part in the first Chechen war against Russia» where they «commanded a branch of Ukrainian volunteers, called ‘Viking,’ which fought under famed Chechen militant leader Shamil Basayev». [6]

Why is the ISIL manning Private Battalions in Ukraine?

What does it say when Chechen separatists and the transnational network of so-called «brothers» tied to the ISIS/ISIL/IS/DAISH/DAESH are being recruited or used to fill the ranks of private militias being using by Ukrainian oligarchs? This is a very important question. It also clearly demonstrates how these elements are agents of chaos.

Marcin Mamon travelled to Ukraine to meet the Chechen fighter Isa Munayev. Munayev’s background is explained thus: «Even before he arrived in Ukraine, Munayev was well-known. He fought against Russian forces in both Chechen wars; in the second, he was the commander of the war in Grozny. After the Chechen capital was captured by Russian forces between 1999 and 2000, Munayev and his men took refuge in the mountains. He fought from there until 2005, when he was seriously injured and went to Europe for treatment. Munayev lived in Denmark until 2014. Then war broke out in Ukraine, and he decided it was time to fight the Russians again». [7]

The above is an important passage, because it illustrates how the US and EU have supported militants fighting against Russia. In the US and the EU, the refuge that Denmark gave Isa Munayev is not questioned, whereas the allegations leveled against Moscow for supporting the soldiers of the Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic are seen as criminal. Why the double standards? Why is it okay for the US, EU, and NATO to support separatist movements and militias in other parts of the world, but criticized and forbidden for other countries to do the same?

«An older man in a leather jacket introduced me to Munayev. ‘Our good brother Khalid recommended this man,’ the man said. (Khalid is today one of the most important leaders of the Islamic State. Khalid and Munayev knew each other from years spent fighting together in Chechnya», Marcin Mamon explains about the connections between the Chechen separatists and ISIS/ISIL/IS/Daish/Daesh. [8]

Munayev has come to Ukraine to establish «one of what would become several dozen private battalions that sprang up to fight on the side of the Ukrainian government, operating separately from the military». [9] His militia was named the Dzhokhar Dudayev battalion, which was named after the separatist president of Chechnya.

NOTES

[1] Damien Sharkov, «Ukrainian Nationalist Volunteers Committing ‘ISIS-Style’ War Crimes», Newsweek, September 10, 2014.
[9] Marcin Mamon, «In Midst of War, Ukraine Becomes Gateway for Jihad», Intercept, February 26, 2015.
[3] Marcin Mamon, «Isa Munayev’s War: The Final Days of a Chechen Commander Fighting in Ukraine», Intercept, February 27, 2015.
[4-6] Marcin Mamon, «In Midst of War», op. cit.
[7-9] Marcin Mamon, «Isa Munayev’s War», op. cit.

PART II – ISIL is Using Ukraine as a Forward Base into Caucasia and as for Entry into Europe

“In the West, most look at the war in Ukraine as simply a battle between Russian-backed separatists and the Ukrainian government. But the truth on the ground is now far more complex, particularly when it comes to the volunteer battalions fighting on the side of Ukraine,” according to Marcin Mamon. [1] What the Polish filmmaker is talking about is the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) / Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)/Islamic State (IS)/ Al-Dawlah Al-Islamiyah fe Al-Iraq wa Al-Sham (DAISH/DAESH) fighters, which include Chechen separatists, that have gone to fight in Ukraine.

It is no coincidence that one of the bases of the alliance between China, Russia, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is to fight what they call the “three evil forces” of “terrorism, extremism and separatism.” The intersectionality of these forces is clear through the deployment to Ukraine of the ISIS/ISIL/IS/DAISH/DAESH to fight as comrades alongside racists ultra-nationalists, and as allies of the US government.

Business and Conquest: Kolomoisky and the Jihadis-For-Hire

“Ostensibly state-sanctioned, but not necessarily state-controlled, some have been supported by Ukrainian oligarchs, and others by private citizens,” Mamon notes about these foreign fighters. [2] Say what they may, the ISIS/ISIL/IS/DAISH/DAESH fighters, which include Chechen separatists, have not gone to Ukraine to help the Ukrainian people or to help any Ukrainian Muslims. Instead they have gone to Ukraine to be the foot soldiers of a band of corrupt Ukrainian oligarchs and a proxy government in Kiev that is a client of the United States and an agent for the neoliberal economic plundering and rape of Ukraine. These foreign fighters or, as they call themselves, “brothers” have even joined privately owned militias that serve the interest of oligarchs like the billionaire Ihor/Igor Kolomoisky.

Kolomoisky’s ties to ISIS/ISIL/IS/DAISH/DAESH are also revealed by Mamon. Mamon explains that “Kolomoisky helped create the first volunteer battalions — the Dnipro and Dnipro-1 — each with about 500 people. For several months, he also financially supported several other battalions, including Azov, Aidar, Donbass, and Right Sector battalion.” [2] These were the first private armies in post-EuroMaidan Ukraine. This was only the start. Then the Ukrainian oligarch “invited the Chechens, hoping they would protect his businesses and factories, if needed.” [3]

Mamon reports that in Eastern Ukraine, flags signifying jihad can even be observed flying over the bases of some of these private battalions. [4] According to him there are three volunteer battalions with a significant number of Muslim fighters operating in Ukraine: (1) the Dzhokhar Dudayev Battalion which operates throughout the conflict zone in the Donbas; (2) the Sheikh Mansour battalion, which is based around Mariupol and splintered off from the Dudayev Battalion; and (3) the Crimea Battalion, which is based in Krematorsk. [5] There is also a company of Crimean Tatar fighters that operate as part of a company (sotnya/sotnia), according to Mamon. [6]

“For those looking for an easy narrative in today’s wars, whether in the Middle East or in eastern Ukraine, the Dzhokhar Dudayev battalion is not the place to find it, Mamon explains. [7] He then describes how the Dzhokhar Dudayev Battalion “is not strictly Muslim, though it includes a number of Muslims from former Soviet republics, including Chechens who have fought on the side of the Islamic State [IS/ISIS/ISIL/DAISH/DAESH] in Syria.” [8] Mamon recounts that out of the fighters in the Dudayev Battalion that he had observed about half were Ukrainians, mostly from the city of Cherkasy, while the rest “came from Chechnya, and the republic of Kabardino-Balkaria in the North Caucasus. There were also Crimean Tatars, Azeris and one Georgian from Batumi.” [9] They were all united to fight “against what they perceive to be a common enemy,” he adds, meaning that they were all united in a fight against Russia. [10]

Ukraine is a Playground for Organized Crime for Organizing Funds for ISIL

When the anti-Kiev forces in East Ukraine or Novorossiya stopped short of entering Kolomoisky’s business base and personal fiefdom in Dnipropetrovsk, the Ukrainian oligarch “suddenly lost interest and stopped paying the volunteer battalions. The Right Sector battalion responded by seizing his property, but Munayev couldn’t do that. He was a foreigner, and feared the Ukrainian authorities would regard his battalion as an illegal armed group, then disband it. Munayev was bitter, but would not openly speak ill of the authorities in Kiev.” [11]

It is at this point that the links between these “agents of chaos” and organized crime become apparent. While they loot homes and sell sex slaves in Iraq and Syria or Libya, in Ukraine they are also extorting money and getting involved with local criminals.

Like Syria or Kosovo, Ukraine is a playground for these agents of chaos. “You can also do business in Ukraine that’s not quite legal. You can earn easy money for the brothers fighting in the Caucasus, Syria and Afghanistan. You can ‘legally’ acquire unregistered weapons to fight the Russian-backed separatists, and then export them by bribing corrupt Ukrainian customs officers,” Mamon explains. [12]

When Mamon when to meet the Chechen separatist commander Isa Munayev in 2014, he writes that Munayev was not fighting in the frontlines in Donbas. The militia leader “was busy training forces and organizing money and weapons, from Kiev.” [13] Although it does not exclusively mean criminal enterprise, “organizing money” includes amoral forbidden by Islam and criminal activities.

Mamon explains that how Ruslan, one of Isa Munayev’s men, had gone to Western Ukraine and disappeared for several weeks in Rivne. “When he returned, he was disappointed; he’d failed to convince the local mafia to cooperate,” he explains about Ruslan’s mission. [14] “But now, he has other arguments to persuade them. His men are holding up the mines, by not allowing anyone into the forest. Either the local gangsters share their profits, or no one will get paid,” he adds. [15]

Moreover, Ruslan setup a “direct response group” in Kiev to “collect debts or scare off competition. There’s no doubt the new branch will work behind the lines, where there isn’t war, but there is money — as long as you know where to get it. If need be, the direct response group volunteers will watch over the mines in Rivne, or ‘will acquire’ money from illegal casinos, which operate by the hundreds in Kiev. [16]

Aside from collecting money, the “direct response group” that has Isa Munayev setup in Kiev will act as a means of retaliation against the authorities in Kiev or anyone that tried to antagonize the so-called “brothers.” “The group will be a sort of rear echelon unit that take care of problems, like if someone tries to discredit the Dudayev battalion,” according to Mamon. [17]

The use of Ukraine by these agents of chaos as a base of operations and for fundraising is a threat to the security of Europe, the post-Soviet space, and the entire world. Although he does not directly say this, Marcin Mamon paints a clear picture of what is happening: “Ukraine is now becoming an important stop-off point for the brothers, like Ruslan. In Ukraine, you can buy a passport and a new identity. For $15,000, a fighter receives a new name and a legal document attesting to Ukrainian citizenship. Ukraine doesn’t belong to the European Union, but it’s an easy pathway for immigration to the West. Ukrainians have few difficulties obtaining visas to neighboring Poland, where they can work on construction sites and in restaurants, filling the gap left by the millions of Poles who have left in search of work in the United Kingdom and Germany.” [18]

Using Ukraine as a Bridgehead to Reignite Fighting in the North Caucasus

While Syria and Iraq are being used as stepping stones by the US against Iran, these two fronts are also being used as stepping stones to infiltrate the Southern Federal District and the North Caucasian Federal District in the Russian Federation too.Like Syria and Iraq, Ukraine is also being used as a stepping stone for modern conquest and to besiege Russia.

One of the goals of the foreign fighters helping the ultra-nationalists in Ukraine is to use Ukraine as a base to reignite a new front in the Caucasus.“‘Our goal here is to get weapons, which will be sent to the Caucasus,’ Ruslan, the brother who meets me first in Kiev, admits without hesitation” to Mamon [19] Munayev also admits this to Marcin Mamon by saying that “he hoped the weapons he got in Ukraine would end up in the hands of militants in the Caucasus.” [20] “If we succeed in Ukraine, then we can succeed in Chechnya,” he tells Mamon. [21]

For the Dzhokhar Dudayev Battalion, the Sheikh Mansour Battalion, and the ISIS/ISIL/IS/DAISH/DAESH the “the war in Ukraine’s Donbass region is just the next stage in the fight against” the Russians. [22] It doesn’t matter to them whether their ultimate goal is a Caliphate in the Middle East, or simply to have the Caucuses free of Russian influence — the brothers are united not by nation, but by a sense of community and solidarity, Mamon explains. [23]

Russiaand its allies alone will not be threatened. If the European Union thinks that it will be immune, it is wrong. Like Libya, a genie has been let out of the bottle with the spreading of weapons in Ukraine.In the long-term this will have an impact on the security of Europe and Eurasia. Just like how the weapons being poured into Libya by NATO and the weapons taken from the Libyan military depots found their way into Niger, Nigeria, Mali, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq, the weapons in Ukraine will find their way to other places, particularly in Europe and the post-Soviet space.

Marcin Mamon gives an account about this through a conversation he had with a commander that recently arrived from Syria. “‘It doesn’t matter whether the Ukrainian authorities help us or not,’ a commander from the Tatar battalion told me,” Mamon recalls. [24] Now that the militias have weapons they will never give them up to the Ukrainian government the commander who arrived from Syria told Mamon while explaining that his goal was to launch an insurgency in Crimea against Russia. [25]

It should not come as a surprise that as recently as April 2015 that the Kremlin has revealed that it caught the US trying to tear Russia apart by directly supporting terrorism against Russia and the separatist insurgency in the North Caucasus. “Our security services recorded direct contact between North Caucasus fighters and representatives of US intelligence in Azerbaijan,” Russian President Vladimir Putin reveals in the documentary “Crimea: The Road to the Motherland” that was released by the Rossiya-1 channel.

Putin lets it be known that when he frankly told US President George W. Bush about the US support for the destabilization of his country that the Bush promised to halt it, but that Russia got an exceptionalist and utterly hypocritical letter from the US later that proclaimed that Washington could do was it pleases by sponsoring separatists and terrorists against Russia.

These US actions are clearly part of a pattern and a continuum. In Kosovo Washington has done the same against the Serbs. In Sistan-Baluchistan it has acted in the same way against the Iranians. In Tibet and Xinjiang it has done the same against China. Now Ukraine is added to the fold.

Through Washington’s drive to control Eurasia it has created an unholy alliance where Ukrainian ultra-nationalist like Oleksandr Muzychko are considered “brothers” by the affiliates of the ISIS/ISIL/IS/DAISH/DAESH in Ukraine and where Israel works with Jabhat Al-Nusra in against Syria. Make no mistake about it: the neo-Nazis, Washington, Wall Street, NATO, Al-Qaeda, Israel, and the Arab dictatorships, and the ISIS/ISIL/IS/DAISH/DAESH.

NOTES

[1] Marcin Mamon, “In Midst of War, Ukraine Becomes Gateway for Jihad,” Intercept, February 26, 2015.

[2-3] Marcin Mamon, “Isa Munayev’s War: The Final Days of a Chechen Commander Fighting in Ukraine,” Intercept, February 27, 2015.

[4] Marcin Mamon, “In Midst of War,” op. cit.

[5-11] Marcin Mamon, “Isa Munayev’s War,” op. cit.

[12] Marcin Mamon, “In Midst of War,” op. cit.

[13] Marcin Mamon, “Isa Munayev’s War,” op. cit.

[14-19] Marcin Mamon, “In Midst of War,” op. cit.

[20-21] Marcin Mamon, “Isa Munayev’s War,” op. cit.

[22-23] Marcin Mamon, “In Midst of War,” op. cit.

[24-25] Marcin Mamon, “Isa Munayev’s War,” op. cit.

 

Terror Campaign Targets Opposition as U.S. Troops Arrive in Ukraine


Kiev assassinations & why U.S. fosters fascism in Ukraine
Talk given by Greg Butterfield at the Workers World Party Forum in New York City, April 17, 2015.

By Greg Butterfield

In just four days in mid-April, three well-known critics of the U.S.-backed Ukrainian junta were murdered in the capital, Kiev. The deaths followed a spate of more than a dozen other suspicious deaths and suicides of regime opponents.

Those killed were former parliamentary deputy Oleg Kalashnikov and journalists Sergei Sukhobok and Oles Buzina.

Immediately after Buzina’s death near his home in Kiev April 16, Ukrainian Interior Ministry advisor and parliamentary deputy Anton Gerashchenko posted on his Facebook page: “Everyone who was involved in the organization and financing of Antimaidan or other unlawful acts against Maidan and feels a threat to their life, please contact the law enforcement agencies, so as not to follow the path of Kalashnikov and Buzina.” (MK.ru)

In other words: Turn yourself in or be killed.

Maidan was the pro-imperialist, anti-communist movement that carried out an illegal coup against the elected government of Ukraine in February 2014. Antimaidan was the name given to the anti-fascist resistance that arose throughout the country after the coup. In the primarily Russian-speaking southeastern region, Antimaidan gave birth to a struggle for independence.

The murders occurred shortly after a Ukrainian website called “Mirotvorets” (The Peacekeeper) published extensive personal information on the targets. The website, which calls itself a “resource for Ukrainian law enforcement,” maintains an extensive hit-list of figures considered enemies by the junta.

https://libya360.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/262be-02.jpg?w=736Screenshot of Oles Buzina info on the Ukrainian hit-list site Mirotvorets.

“The website The Peacekeeper is being used as a ‘bulletin board’ for imminent death notices against those who dare to speak the truth about what is really going on in Kiev,” according to an investigative report published at PolitRussia.com. “Keep in mind that the website is actively supported by the advisor to the Interior Minister of Ukraine, Anton Gerashchenko.”

An analysis of the website found that it was registered in the U.S., in Texas, under a bogus name, and is connected to NATO’s main web domain. The full report, with relevant screenshots, is available in English at the website Slavyangrad.org.

Meanwhile, an April 17 report in the Kyiv Post, an English-language mouthpiece of the far-right government, said a group taking its name from the Ukrainian Insurgent Army had claimed responsibility for the assassinations of Kalashnikov and Buzina, along with several others over the past month.

Repression mounts

The assassination campaign takes place in the context of three key political developments: the April 10 ban on communist propaganda, symbols and “glorification of Soviet history” by the Verkhovna Rada, or parliament; a law passed the same day enshrining ultra-right Ukrainian nationalist groups that collaborated with Nazi German occupation during World War II and the U.S. CIA during the Cold War as “freedom fighters”; and the arrival of U.S. troops on Ukrainian soil.

Some 290 commandos of the U.S. Army’s 173rd Airborne Division arrived in Lvov, western Ukraine, April 17, following what Russian media called a hundreds-of-kilometers-long military parade from Italy through Eastern Europe.

Along with British, Canadian and Polish commandos, these U.S. troops are to provide training to the Ukrainian National Guard, a body created after the Maidan coup to incorporate fascist gangs into the state apparatus.

U.S. forces are to drill with some of the worst of the worst – the Azov Battalion, dominated by the neo-Nazi Right Sector movement, and accused of numerous human-rights violations in the junta’s brutal war against the independent Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics of the Donbass mining region.

Denis Pushilin, chief negotiator for Donetsk, said of the U.S. troops’ arrival: “This is a conscious policy. In combination with the moving up of military equipment [Kiev’s buildup of heavy weapons in violation of the Minsk II ceasefire], this is meant to escalate the conflict.” (Novorossia Today, April 17)

And the fascists have embraced their new official relationship with Washington. The website Korrespondent.net published photos on April 16, obtained from the Associated Press, of Azov forces near the occupied city of Mariupol in the Donetsk People’s Republic. They are shown flying the U.S. flag alongside those of Ukraine and the Right Sector.

https://libya360.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/3c1c1-cc1bsriw4aapcdv.jpg?w=736

Ukrainian occupation forces flying U.S. flag in Shirokino, near Mariupol.

Again, when Right Sector forces destroyed a monument of Soviet leader V.I. Lenin in occupied Kramatorsk on April 17, amateur video showed the fascists flying the U.S. flag.

Right Sector and other Nazi groups marched through the center of Odessa, a multinational port city in southeastern Ukraine, on April 17, chanting, ‘Great Ukraine is for the white man,” “One race, one nation” and “Hang the communists,” according to Odessa’s Dumskaya.net. The march was escorted by the police.

The same day, at a protest against utility rate hikes and pension cuts, 53 opposition activists were arrested and detained by police, aided by Right Sector and Maidan Self-Defense goons. (Rusvena.su, April 17)

One year ago, on May 2, 2014, neo-Nazis, including members of the Azov battalion, massacred at least 48 antifascists at the House of Trade Unions.

Communists declare: ‘It’s time to act’

The revolutionary communist organization Union Borotba (Struggle), in an April 19 statement on the assassinations, said, “We appeal to everyone to stop burying our heads in the sand and realize that fascism has come to our house.

“The ruling elite, which unleashed a fratricidal war, which pushed the people into poverty, misery and injustice, cannot rely on the support of the majority of people. To preserve their political power, the ruling group has to rely on terror. Any attempt at dissent is suppressed in the most brutal manner.

“The collapse of the economy, mass impoverishment and widespread injustice necessarily lead to social upheaval. And the junta has decided to take preventive measures, knowing that a wave of popular protests could sweep it away,” Borotba declared.

https://libya360.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/396c1-massovoe_zaderjanie_u_merii_evromaydanovtsi_shvatili_okolo_50_chelovek_4679.jpg?w=736

Mass arrest of anti-austerity protesters in Odessa.

“The Kiev regime has taken over the historical “heritage” of the German Nazis, Italian fascists, Franco’s Spain, Pinochet’s Chile and other dictatorships by prohibiting the propaganda of communist ideas. They’ve begun to kill, imprison or force into exile not only those who could potentially lead the people to fight back, but also journalists such as Oles Buzina. …

“… we can say with certainty that these killings signal the beginning of a new phase of the civil war in Ukraine. If the earlier confrontation followed the line of junta + supporters against the people of the southeast, now the representatives of yesterday’s elite have been unwittingly drawn in.

“The ‘suicides” of Peklushenko and [Mykhailo] Chechetov, and the killing of Kalashnikov — deputies of the previous Verkhovna Rada convocation — show that agreeing to go along with this regime will not work. Everyone who tried to sit quietly, who agreed to remain silent in exchange for the preservation of their capital, is now in the crosshairs of the right-wing paramilitary gangs. …

“The cruelty of the authorities will only increase. And anyone who is not satisfied with what is happening in the country must understand that it is impossible to remain silent. It’s time to act.

“We encourage everyone to prepare for the fight. We will have no freedom from the Nazis unless we free ourselves,” Borotba concluded.

No pasarán? They have already come…

Олесь БузинаOver the past few days in Ukraine, there have been a number of high-profile murders of prominent politicians, public figures and journalists. We can state that this confirms our most pessimistic forecast — the ruling elite, which unleashed a fratricidal war, which pushed people into poverty, misery and injustice, cannot rely on the support of the majority of people. To preserve their political power, the ruling group has to rely on terror. Any attempt at dissent is suppressed in the most brutal manner. The assassination of political and public figures such as Oleg Kalashnikov, Oles Buzina and Oleksandr Peklushenko, and the arrests and harassment of other prominent critics of the government, says that the junta is unable to tolerate criticism.

The collapse of the economy, mass impoverishment and widespread injustice necessarily lead to social upheaval. And the junta has decided to take preventive measures, knowing that a wave of popular protests could sweep it away.

The Kiev regime has taken over the historical “heritage” of the German Nazis, Italian fascists, Franco’s Spain, Pinochet’s Chile and other dictatorships by prohibiting the propaganda of communist ideas. They’ve begun to kill, imprison or force into exile not only those who could potentially lead the people to fight back, but also journalists such as Oles Buzina.

The rivers of people’s blood spilled in the Donbass are perceived by the authorities as something ordinary, as dry statistics. After all, on both sides it is the common people who are dying, “Plebs” to whom the authorities never paid attention. But we can say with certainty that these killings signal the beginning of a new phase of the civil war in Ukraine. If the earlier confrontation followed the line of junta + supporters against the people of the South-East, now the representatives of yesterday’s elite have been unwittingly drawn in.

The “suicides” of Peklushenko and [Mykhailo] Chechetov, and the killing of Kalashnikov — deputies of the previous Verkhovna Rada convocation — show that agreeing to go along with this regime will not work. Everyone who tried to sit quietly, who agreed to remain silent in exchange for the preservation of their capital, is now in the crosshairs of the right-wing paramilitary gangs. Many “old school” figures must understand that any one of them could be next.

The cruelty of the authorities will only increase. And anyone who is not satisfied with what is happening in the country must understand that it is impossible to remain silent. It’s time to act.

We appeal to everyone to stop burying our heads in the sand and realize that fascism has come to our house.

We encourage everyone to prepare for the fight. We will have no freedom from the Nazis unless we free ourselves.

We invite everyone to get organized. After all, we are many and we can win.

The struggle continues!

Translation by Greg Butterfield

International Solidarity Forum: “Anti-fascism, Internationalism and Solidarity,” Lugansk, May 8, 2015

Anti-fascism, Internationalism and Solidarity

We appeal to all progressive forces whose goal is the triumph of the ideals of justice, equality and fraternity to take part in the International Solidarity Forum in support of the Donbass struggle against fascism, Nazism, capitalism and imperialism. We invite all who advocate communism-socialism, all who choose a revolutionary path for liberation of the world’s peoples from the yoke of neoliberalism.

Donbass today stands at a crossroads. Left-wing, communist ideas were the basis of the revolutionary achievements, and the communists of Donbass organized in force in Spring 2014. But we need to move forward, without repeating the mistakes of the past.

The objective of the Forum is to create tools for analysis of the current situation in the Donbass region and the world, prospects for the future and, above all, to formulate specific proposals for action. Our hope is to reach an agreement of international forces to organize a global mobilization.

The Forum was established by the “AIS” Organizing Committee, which includes:
Lugansk City Organization of the Communist Party
Donbass Anti-fascist Committee (Rome)

The Forum will be held on May 8, 2015, in Lugansk from 9.00 to 18.00 local time.

Forum languages: Russian, English.

– Invited organizations wishing to take part, with or without a report, please send the number of delegates and other details by April 20.

– If you are unable to participate, letters of solidarity are very important to us! They will be published on our web page. Please send them with brief information about the organization for future communication and cooperation.

– Groups wishing to make a presentation are invited to submit detailed information on the organization and participants in the language of the country and also one of the languages of the Forum (Eng, Rus). This information will be published on the Internet. In addition, please inform us of the subject of the report before May 1, and if possible send the report ahead of time in a text file — this will help our translators in their work. All texts which we receive in writing will be published on the Internet after the forum.

– The duration of the reports will depend on the number of applications to participate and the size of the organization (for example, a large party will have an advantage over a district committee), and will be determined on April 23-25.

Despite the inconvenience and a limited amount of time and space allocated to the event, we will try to give an equal opportunity to all participants to speak.

The organizing committee is ready to ensure the delivery of delegations to Lugansk from the Rostov Airport in Russia from May 6, 2015 to May 7, 2015 at 15.00 Moscow time. Return on May 10, estimated time of arrival at the Rostov airport 22.00 Moscow time.

Contact information for the Organizing Committee: 

Russian language:
aisforum@yandex.ru
Maxim Mikhailovich Chalenko, Lugansk tel .: +380958979035, +380681636935,
Veronica Yuhnin, Rome: +39 3898978956

English, Italian:
donbass@libero.it
Alberto Fazzolo +39 3385805710
Veronika Yukhnina +39 3898978956

Social Networks:
https://www.facebook.com/aisforum
https://vk.com/club91836205

Translation by Greg Butterfield

borotba

US Convoy March is ‘Shocking Spectacle Fitting Imperialistic Ambitions’

US Army Stryker infantry carrier vehicles convoy

The US military convoy marching through Eastern Europe, including the Czech Republic, to its base in Germany is a “shocking spectacle in keeping with the US’ imperialistic ambitions,” Petr Hájek, editor-in-chief of the Protiproud website, told Sputnik.


Hájek described the US initiative, nicknamed the Dragoon Ride, as “a show of force … aimed at the Czech society,” not at someone on the outside, for instance, like Russia, adding that the United States treats the Czech Republic like a protectorate.

Czechs will surely stage protests against the convoy, said the former advisor to Václav Klaus, who served as the president of the Czech Republic from 2003 to 2013. But the media, he added, will likely keep silent on any form of discontent.

The initiative has already sparked public outrage in the country prompting the Czech military to announce that it will protect the US military convoy.

The Czech government decided to support the initiative, because “it is not a government of a sovereign nation,” Hájek said.

“We, as an independent nation, have largely lost our sovereign rights after joining the European Union and NATO. Our hands are tied,” Hájek told Sputnik Czech edition. “The Czech Republic … has become a target of someone’s military ambitions. It is losing its freedom,” he added.

The Czech Republic should not take part in the NATO military exercises since drills could lead to the escalation of tensions in the region and provoke a serious military conflict, Hájek said.

The Protiproud website has started a petition asking Czech authorities to leave NATO, which has become an offensive alliance preparing to launch a war against Russia, Hájek added. Thousands have signed the petition. “Honest people should not accept this,” he said.

Czechs to NATO: Thanks, but No Tanks Please

Soldiers of the U.S. Army's 2nd Cavalry Regiment, deployed in Latvia as part of NATO's Operation Atlantic Resolve, ride in armored vehicles named Stryker during a joint military exercise in Adazi

Prague’s decision to allow a US military convoy to travel through the Czech territory has sparked public outrage in the country.

Prague’s decision to allow a US military convoy to pass through the Czech territory has sparked public outrage in the Czech Republic.

Earlier, on March 16, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka announced that the Czech government agreed to allow the US military convoy to travel through the state’s territory. Sobotka underscored that the decision would demonstrate solidarity of the Czech Republic with its NATO allies. The convoy of 120 US armored fighting vehicles, nicknamed “The Dragoon Ride,” will cross the country between March 29 and April 1, demonstrating the manpower maneuverability of the alliance forces to Russia and Eastern European states.

According to Czech Republic’s Defense Minister Martin Stropnicky, the convoy would consist of 516 personnel and 118 vehicles. It will cross the country on three routes and will unite in Prague-Ruzyne and then head to the military base in Bavarian Vilseck, Germany, through West Bohemia. Martin Stropnicky pointed out that the convoy’s transfer is a common practice aimed at demonstrating the US commitment to its NATO allies. He noted that in 2014 there were almost 131 transfers of this type across the republic, including 1,631 foreign troops and 601 pieces of equipment.

However, Prague’s decision sparked controversy amongst both Czech politicians and ordinary civilians alike. The Czech Communist party blasted the move as sheer “provocation,” that could undermine the peace process in Ukraine. Vojtech Filip, head of the Czech Republic’s Communist Party Morava emphasized that the long-anticipated Minsk agreement could be threatened by the NATO maneuvers. He said that he had received numerous letters from Czech civilians, opposing the “show of force.” The Communist leader pledged to draw up a petition aimed against the conflict escalation on the European continent.

Czech Internet users also expressed their growing dissatisfaction with NATO’s plans. Some web users even went so far as to slam Washington for spreading fascism. In the light of the Ukrainian crisis Czech civilians view NATO’s “show of force” as a substantial threat to peace in the region.

In an interview with Sputnik, Eva Novotna, press-secretary of Ne základnám (“No” to bases) organization denounced the decision of the Czech government to allow the US convoy to travel across the country as a “naivety bordering on stupidity.”

“It is a provocation, a demonstration of force and an attempt to split the Czech society into two implacable camps,” Eva Novotna underscored.

She noted that Czech citizens, outraged with the government’s initiative, called upon the organization to prevent the US military forces from entering the country, proposing to block up border posts, lie under wheels of the US’s fighting vehicles or even to use the Molotov cocktails in order to stop the column.

NATO military drills in Eastern Europe could aggravate further tensions triggered by the conflict in eastern Ukraine, according to Eva Novotna. She expressed her deep concerns regarding possible provocations or accidents during the exercises that could flare up a full-scale military conflict in Europe.

US Convinces at Least One EU State – Bombs Mean ‘Freedom’

U.S. Paratroopers arrive in Estonia for NATO training

The Estonian Air Force is set to carry out joint military exercises with the US Air Force beginning next week, an event the Estonian Air Force commander has dubbed “the sound of freedom over our skies.”

The exercises between March 19 and April 17, will include low flights simulating attacks on ground targets to be held at the Estonian Defense Forces’ central firing range in the north of the country. Estonian forces will train alongside the USAF’s 510th Fighter Squadron, regularly based at the Aviano Air Base in Italy. Over the course of the exercises, American forces will be based at the Amari Air Base in northwestern Estonia, about 40km from Tallinn, the country’s capital.

Colonel Jaak Tarien, Commander of the Estonian Air Forces, told Estonian Public Broadcasting that he hopes “that the people of Estonia will appreciate the sound of freedom over our skies and that people will support the exercises.”

Tarien added that the “upcoming exercises are the first stage in the implementation of promises made to us by our allies. The US defense budget for 2015-2016 has committed $24.7 million for the development of the airbase in Amari. This is a clear sign that our allies – the United States, have long-term plans for a presence in Estonia, and similar exercises will be held here on a regular basis.”

Nearly 300 US Armed Forces personnel are set to accompany the Air Force Squadron arriving in the country, with Abrams tanks and other heavy equipment, along with paratroopers beginning to arrive for the Siil 2015 exercises in May, which are to involve a total of 13,000 Estonian and US personnel.

Last month, Estonian and US forces held a parade marking the country’s independence at the border city of Narva, just 300 meters from the Russian border. The Estonian government had earlier announced a 40 million Euro ($42.5 million) military infrastructure development program aimed at accommodating NATO forces on its territory.

NATO has been strengthening its military presence along Russia’s western border amid the conflict in southeastern Ukraine, claiming Moscow’s involvement. Russia has repeatedly stressed that it is not party to the Ukraine crisis and has expressed concern over the expansion of NATO forces along its borders.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated last month that “NATO’s course on strengthening its military potential and expanding its military presence and infrastructure on the alliance’s ‘eastern flank’ as well as an increase in the number of exercises near the Russian border creates additional tensions, provokes confrontation and undermines the whole system of Euro-Atlantic security.”

Last month, NATO countries’ defense ministers agreed on the creation of six new command and control posts in Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania during a meeting in Brussels. The ministers also announced that NATO’s Response Force would be increased from 13,000 to 30,000 personnel. Russia’s envoy to the alliance, Alexander Grushko, said the decision “creates a great risk for Russia”, primarily in the Baltics, which could become a region of “military confrontation.”

Military & Intelligence

NATO Seeks Expansion to Eastern Europe

NATO plans the expansion of the Alliance in Eastern Europe since the beginning of Ukrainian political crises amid fears of worsening retaliations with Russia. The Alliance has promised not to set up any military bases in Eastern European countries that have joined NATO since the fall of the Soviet Union. Moscow warns that such actions may lead to a new “cold war”.


Related:
US Armored Columns March Through Six Eastern European Countries

NATO Is Marching Towards Russia, and They Have No Idea What Awaits Them

America is fully aware that the way to draw Russia into a conflict is to push forward towards Russia’s borders. In time, Russia will be forced to defend its right to exist, and when this happens, western powers will not know what hit them

By Stanislav Mishin

American politicians in particular and European politicians in general are some of the most ignorant fools when the issue comes to anything outside their own borders. When it comes to Russia, it is an engima wrapped in a mystery… but only because, dear readers, no one has every bothered to try to understand Russians and the Russian world view.

One important historical fact about Russia is that Russia is a unique civilizational empire built upon defense not offense. What this means is that historically, Russia does not start the wars, or series of wars (though it may strike first in a confrontation that is punctuated by a series of wars). In Russian history, Russian leaders, since Russia’s baptism to Orthodoxy, have tried hard to avoid war with our neighbors, though just about every time this has failed. In parallel, as much as we do not like war, and in Orthodoxy killing in combat is still a sin as we do not have the heresy of Just War, we are very very good at killing and destroying. A paradox, but it is the reality.

This was so profound that in the summer of 1914, the Tsar Nicholas II, when war was eminent, even haulted mobilization to try and defuse the situation one more time and talk the Austrians and Germans out of what would become the great tragedy of early 20th century.

The problems with modern, and in truth historical, Western politicos is that these guys are absolute fools with no understanding of the Russian psyche and are sure to be the cause of WW3, be it intentional or accidental. They are projecting their psyche onto Russians.

What this means is that they are projecting a typical negative reinforcement mentality. Europe and the US are societies built on constant aggression towards neighbors. Aggression like that is staved by building up a credible large counter force of allies and blocks, which causes fear of defeat and deescalation…your typical European balance of forces approach.

Russia is a defensive empire, that is, most wars or series of wars were not started by Russians but by enemies attacking or massing on Russia’s borders. After 800 years of almost non-stop aggression by Europeans, Russia does not tolerate any enemy massing on her borders in what appears as a preparation for invasion or the creation of large scales basing areas as would be a US neo-con dominated Ukraine.This is also coupled with the Russian approach of not abandoning Russians (ethnic or cultural) and allies, as opposed to Anglo society where back stabbing allies when the opportunity to earn exists, is a prized skill.

As such, this is a spiral approach. Any escalation by the foreigners will lead to a direct escalation by Russia and not deescalation. Balance of power does not work when Russia feels her survival threatened. Enough of an enemy escalation in the hope of forcing Russia to back off will generate an exact opposite effect in generating a first strike and total war, as Russia feels her life and existence is threatened by the enemy.

Nothing like putting Russian society in a threatened siege mentality to force the individual chaotic Russian nature to crystallize into one direction: total destruction of the threat and the states that generate it.

Russia’s army may be only 1 million but the ready reserve is over 20 million with a follow capability of total mobilization of over 40 more million, and maybe more if one starts counting female combatants and one should.

Last time the factories were run by children, old people and women. Now with massive automation, even more of society is freed up to fight. Since Russian civilization is not just land but a cultural idea/philosophy it generates an absolute fanatical loyalty. This is a loyalty to a culture that allows the temporary surrender of land for time in the understanding that this will then be used, combined with non-stop partisan warfare, to grind down the invader and decimate him deep in the Russian interior, before marching on his cities and burning them to the ground in revenge.

Europe needs to find some German or Romanian veterans and ask them how much fun they had. Mamal Kurgan, the highest hill in Volgograd (Stalingrad) a 1,5 km sq area had 35,000 identifiable bodies on it, half of them German, after 4 months of fighting. That is more than both sides lost on the beaches of Normandy. In WW2 the Germans were on average having 1 soldier killed every 30 seconds. Figure 3-4 times as many wounded.

The present serving armies of NATO would be used up in 3-4 months. That would amount to almost a million and a half dead and wounded.

NATO would collapse. Greeks would refuse to fight. Serbs would be a war in the middle of all this. Cypriots would refuse to fight. Turkey would likely also refuse to die in a war they could only lose from. Bulgaria would probably have a revolution. Romania and Italy and Spain and Portugal would not long suffer heavy casualties before their unpopular governments were overthrown. France more than likely also. US couldn’t fully concentrate their army as they would have to release their grip on all other sectors which in turn would be blowing up.

As for a second front, that is, if America was to invade the Russian far east, well, outside of grabbing Sakhalin and Vladivastok and Khabarovsk, all of which will cost hundreds of thousands of corpses, a US invasion force would be faced with a march of 3,000 km, or about 1,800 miles to the nearest major oil fields and forced to cover a land area larger than the continental United States, in wilderness terrain, with Russian partisans and the very cold Siberian winter (8 months long) filling the corpse lists on a daily basis. In other words, outside of a temporary land grab, nothing to fear.

Also if things got bad China would step in knowing they are next on the hit list, and thus Siberia would be fairly safe from US forces.

The reality, Americans, Germans, and foolish Poles, is, Russians will fight and 152 million people will fight to the end, not because Putin sits in power, or because we fear the enemy, but because love of Russia, the very idea of Russia, will drive fanatical, well trained and armed with advanced weaponry resistance. Russians will fight regardless of who sits the throne, because we are not fighting for the leader but for Christ and for Russia, the land He gave us as the Third Rome. What exactly will you be fighting for?


Related:
US Convoy March is ‘Shocking Spectacle Fitting Imperialistic Ambitions’
US Armored Columns March Through Six Eastern European Countries

US Armored Columns March Through Six Eastern European Countries

Sputnik

US Army soldiers travel in American armored combat vehicles through the streets of Narva, Estonia, during a military parade to mark the country's Independence Day.

The United States Army will send a convoy of American soldiers and military vehicles through Eastern European countries near Russia’s western border, despite Moscow’s repeated expression of concern over NATO’s expansion of forces in the region.

The 1,100 mile journey, dubbed “Dragoon Ride,” will last from March 21 through April 1 and wraps up months the US Army spent training with allies in Poland and the Baltics.

American troops from the 2nd Cavalry Regiment will accompany their eight-wheeled armored combat vehicles, called Strykers, while the Army’s 12th Combat Aviation Brigade will provide aerial reconnaissance support.

The convoy will take soldiers from separate training locations in Estonia, Lithuania and Poland and transport them through Latvia, the Czech Republic and finally to their home base at Rose Barracks in Vilseck, Germany.

“It’s helped us further develop our understanding of freedom of movement in Eastern Europe,” Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, US Army Europe commander, said in an interview with Defense News and Army Times reporters and editors.

Normally, military vehicles would be shipped back to their home base by rail after such a training mission, not by road in a high-profile convoy.

Months of training exercises meant to serve as “reassurance” from the US and other NATO allies to countries on Russia’s western periphery, Stars and Stripes reported.

“This is what the US Army does, we can move a lot of capability a long distance,” Hodges said. “I’ve been watching the Russian exercises… what I cared about is they can get 30,000 people and 1,000 tanks in a place really fast. Damn, that was impressive.”

The US Army flaunted its personnel and equipment last month, too, when it paraded armored personnel carriers and other vehicles through the streets of Narva, Estonia, a border city separated by a narrow frontier from Russia.

The show was a part of the US Army’s participation a military parade to mark Estonia’s Independence Day.

NATO defense ministers agreed in February to the creation of six new command posts in Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania, along with an expansion of NATO’s Response Force, a move Russia’s envoy to the alliance said “creates a great risk for Russia,” particularly in the Baltic States, which could become the site of “military confrontation.”

Atlantic Resolve: NATO at Russia’s Gates

Following Crimea’s reunification with Russia, the US launched Operation Atlantic Resolve, staging increasing numbers of military exercises in states which border Russia, as well as in the Black Sea. In March 2014, the situation escalated after the US launched a series of exercises in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, all of which border Russia.

A U.S. soldier stands next to a Patriot surface-to-air missile battery at an army base in Morag, Poland

US, Poland to Conduct Military Drills in Late March – EUCOM
US Armored Columns March Through Six Eastern European Countries
Czechs to NATO: Thanks, but No Tanks Please
Defense Official Explains Russian Drills, Mocks US ‘Boy Scout March’
Prague Agrees to Let US Army Convoy Cross Czech Territory
US Tanks, Troops Arrive in Estonia for Joint Military Drills – Estonian Mission to NATO
US Convinces at Least One State Fighter Jets With Bombs Onboard Mean ‘Freedom’
US Tanks, Paratroopers to Arrive in Estonia for Military Drills This Week
US Abrams Tanks to Be Deployed in Lithuania
Boots on the Ground: US Tanks, Humvees Arrive in Latvia
US Troops Not to Be Stationed in Czech Republic
US Patriot Missile Battery to Arrive in Poland for Drills in March
US Commander in Europe Panics, Goes on Bizarre Anti-Putin Rant
US Plans to Strengthen Defense, Energy Partnership With Bulgaria
NATO Operation Atlantic Resolve Expands to Bulgaria, Romania – US Colonel>/p>

The Destruction of Libya, the Destabilization of a Nation. US-NATO Crimes Against Humanity

By Professor Henry Francis B. Espiritu

The late Col. Muammar Gaddafi, hailed as the “Great Leader” by the Libyan people during his incumbency, was murdered by Chad, Somali and Sudanese mercenaries in collusion with NATO and US invading forces on October 19, 2011.

Gaddafi’s Libya, two years before he was ousted and assassinated was considered as one of Africa’s most affluent countries.

Prof. Garikai Chengu a scholar of Middle East affairs at Harvard University wrote:

“In 1967, Colonel Gaddafi inherited one of the poorest nations in Africa; however, by the time he was assassinated, Gaddafi had turned Libya into Africa’s wealthiest nation. Libya had the highest GDP per capita and life expectancy on the African continent. Less people lived below the poverty line than in the Netherlands…”
(See:https://libya360.wordpress.com/2014/10/18/three-years-after-muammar-al-qaddafi/)

But look at what happened to Libya after the US/NATO interventionism! It is now in complete political anarchy, with a destroyed economy and a war torn society.

Presently, we cannot call Libya a State for after US/NATO armed intervention and regime change, practically all Libyan villages, from North to South, are now run by the various tribes that was once united under Gaddafi. Libya is in the state of civil war showing the inevitability of what Hobbes called “the ugly, brutish, nasty and chaotic state of nature” characterizing political anarchy. In this post-Gaddafi Libya, the anarchic and lawless militias are wrecking havoc in different parts of the country—each fighting each other for supremacy. The so-called “Islamist” Jemaa-Islamiyya and ISIS forces are busy carving out their own respective territories in the once secular and progressive socialist Libya.

Libya is now a stateless anarchy since various tribes and militias are declaring their own sort-of states in various parts of the country. NATO interventionism and US Hegemony has totally wrecked Libya and Libya as one of the recent casualty of the so-called “Arab Spring” turned out as hell-hole of internecine, civil, regional and tribal wars instead of establishing “democracy” in Libyan soil.

The USA has been scheming for over four decades to topple Gaddafi because he never allowed US and the First World countries allied by US to dictate on the Libyan oil policy program. Gaddafi, by not subscribing to international lending institutions’ capitalistic financing and onerous loan programs, did not allow the IMF-WB to wreck havoc in the economy of the country.

Likewise, socialist Libya under the leadership of Gaddafi was a great supporter of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) which detested foreign interventionism of superpowers in the affairs of the Third World countries. He was one of the founding members of Organization of African Unity (OAU) and a zealous supporter of Nelson Mandela’s ANC, the anti-apartheid, anti-racism socialist rebels in South Africa, while US and UK had been long supporters of Johannesburg apartheid regime—up until the time in the late 70’s and early 80’s when US/UK realized that the South African apartheid regime was already tottering apart, hence they belatedly withdraw support to the apartheid government.

Gaddafi’s Green Socialism strengthened economy by socialized land distribution, free housing, free hospitalization, free education and profit-sharing of the nationalized oil industry and other state managed corporations to all Libyan citizens including the desert Bedouins (See, Prof. Jaime Ramirez, “Qathafi: Assessment of Libyan Green Socialism”, pp. 18-29).

As of this juncture, it is beneficial to quote Prof. Garikai Chengu:

“Under Gaddafi’s rule, Libyans enjoyed not only free health-care and free education, but also free electricity and interest-free loans. Now thanks to NATO’s intervention, the health-care sector is on the verge of collapse as thousands of Filipino health workers flee the country, institutions of higher education across the East of the country are shut down, and blackouts are a common occurrence in once thriving Tripoli.” (See:https://libya360.wordpress.com/2014/10/18/three-years-after-muammar-al-qaddafi/ ).

In many of his speeches, Gaddafi declared himself both as an “Islamic socialist” and an “Islamic feminist”—whatever and however those terms mean to him from the point of view of strict political theoretic. But one thing is very clear, from the point of political praxis, he endeavored to apply what he understood of socialism and most importantly of feminism, by way of State policies, in his public gestures, examples in his private life, and in his governmental projects.

Again, let us hear it from the scholar of Middle East Affairs, Prof. Garikai Chengu:

“Even the United Nations Human Rights Council praised Gaddafi for his promotion of women’s rights. When the colonel seized power in 1969, few women went to university. Today, more than half of Libya’s university students are women. One of the first laws Gaddafi passed in 1970 was an equal pay for equal work law (See:https://libya360.wordpress.com/2014/10/18/three-years-after-muammar-al-qaddafi/ ).

In Libya, during Gaddafi’s rule, there was gender equality; and in fact, women are even preferred to men when it comes to access of education to state universities and priority access of work opportunities in Libyan government corporations and institutions. In 2007, women students in the University of Tripoli, University of Sirte and University of Cyrene bypassed the population of men students. In Libya, a woman can divorce her husband, demand for equal work-equal pay or economic parity scheme with that of men, and husbands are given paternity leaves so that they can help their wives (who are likewise given maternity leaves) in taking care of their infant during the first three months after birth (Cf., Samuel Gurung, “Libyan Socialist Feminism under Colonel Gaddafi: Cases and Good Practices for Emulation to the Present Nepalese Government”, pp. 12-23).

It is no wonder that when NATO and US bombed Libya and the mercenaries financed by America eventually ousted Khadafy and even mercilessly murdered him and his family, the sector that has suffered terribly from this interventionism was Libya’s womenry! As of the present, the anarchic and chaotic mini-tribal regimes ruling in every province in Libya are bent on subordinating women and denying them their rights. These anarchic tribes as well as the so-called extremist and resurgent “Islamist” militias allied with JI and ISIS/ISIL see women empowerment as an aberration and are therefore bent on denying women their rights and freedoms. By removing Gaddafi, US hegemony has effectively turned back the struggle for gender equality and gender empowerment in Libya back to square one! (See: https://libya360.wordpress.com/2014/10/18/three-years-after-muammar-al-qaddafi/).

What did US hegemony achieve when it wrecked havoc on Libya by ousting Khadafy? Thanks to US interventionism, Libya from a progressive secularist and relatively economically well-off socialist country in North Africa has now become like the proverbial piece of cake to be cruelly subdivided by extremist terrorists, unruly tribes and rogue armed bandits—each militias of these armed sectors are presently wrecking havoc to the entire breadth and length of Libya, continuing their looting, raping, pillage and murder of civilians. And yet America has never lifted a finger to intervene in this barbaric, anarchic and chaotic affair which it has caused upon Libya in the first place!

According to Prof. Garikai Chengu, US interventionism in the Middle East has produced nothing but massive tragic failures in present-day Libya, Iraq, and Syria. Prior to US military involvement and regime changes effected to these countries, they were the most modern and secular states in the Middle East and North Africa (See: https://libya360.wordpress.com/2014/10/18/three-years-after-muammar-al-qaddafi/). Moreover, these three socialist and Islamic countries had fully subscribed to the recognition of women’s rights and had relatively high standards of living in both Middle East and North African regions.

According to Prof. Michel Chossudovsky, the Arab Spring—of which Libya was one of its tragic casualties—is actually not about initiating democracy in the Middle East, but it is all about petro-business and war-business. It is all about creating a situation where the Trans-Central Asian Afghan and Middle East Pipelines are easily facilitated throughout the whole breadth and length of the Middle East to the Caspian Sea up till Central Asia. Therefore, the US War on Terror—including its interventionism and bloody regime change in Libya—is all about capitalist business and imperialist hegemony at their worst (See, Michel Chossudovsky’s book “America’s War on Terrorism”, specifically chapter 5, ‘War and the Hidden Agenda’ and chapter 6, ‘Trans-Afghan Pipeline’; pp. 65-91).

Therefore, it is neither Libya nor the Middle Eastern countries, but it is the US corporatist military weapon producing mafia cliques that will truly benefit from this Arab Spring and destructive so-called “War on Terror” that US is presently waging against the Middle East and the Third World countries. The so-called “Arab Spring” and the “US War on Terror” are all about US Hegemony, US/NATO Interventionism, Middle East-Central Asian Pipelines and the Military Industrial Complex from the start to finish; and this US interventionism is never about democracy, never about freedom nor for the so-called “just war”. These military pretexts for invasion are all done for the selfish interest of US Hegemony. And at whose expense? It is always at the expense of the lives, limbs and properties of the oppressed and exploited peoples of the Middle East and the Third World!

Professor Henry Francis B. Espiritu is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Asian Studies at the University of the Philippines, Cebu City. His email address is [email protected].


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The American Deep State: An Interview with Peter Dale Scott

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Hosts: Mickey Huff and Peter Phillips

Guest: Peter Dale Scott is a former Canadian diplomat, professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, and a prolific author. More about Scott and his work can be found at www.peterdalescott.net

Producer and Engineer: Anthony Fest; Erica Bridgeman

Transcription: Janice Matthews (edited by Mickey Huff)

The program aired live from Berkeley, CA, KPFA studios. Special thanks goes to Janice Matthews for the transcription.

The following is a transcript of a recent interview conducted by Mickey Huff and Peter Phillips for the Project Censored Show on Pacifica Radio. They sat down with noted author and scholar Peter Dale Scott to discuss his latest book, The American Deep State: Wall Street, Big Oil and the Attack on U.S. Democracy. This wide-ranging discussion examines the “Deep State,” an evolving level of secret government separate from the elected government. Scott looks at the origins of the deep state, its communications and finances, and its involvement in landmark events, from the JFK assassination to Watergate, to September 11th and beyond.

Mickey Huff: Welcome to the Project Censored Show on Pacifica Radio. I’m Mickey Huff, in studio with Peter Phillips. Today’s program, “Deep Politics, Deep Events, and the Deep State.” We’ll be in conversation with author/scholar Dr. Peter Dale Scott for the hour as we discuss his newest book, The American Deep State: Wall Street, Big Oil and the Attack on US Democracy.

Today’s program we are honored for the hour to have as our guest Dr. Peter Dale Scott. His newest book is, The American Deep State: Wall Street, Big Oil and the Attack on US Democracy. Peter Dale Scott is a former Canadian diplomat and professor emeritus at the University of California-Berkeley. He’s a leading political analyst and poet. His books include Deep Politics and the Death of JFK; Drugs, Oil and War: The United States in Afghanistan, Colombia and IndoChina; The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire and the Future of America; The War Conspiracy: JFK, 9/11 and the Deep Politics of War; and American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection and the Road to Afghanistan. He’s been awarded the Lannan Poetry Award and his website can be found at http://PeterDaleScott.net. We urge you to look into that website to see the vast wealth of scholarship that Peter Dale Scott has given us over the years. Peter Dale Scott, thanks so much for joining us today.

Peter Dale Scott: It’s always great to be on this show.

Peter Phillips: We’re really happy to have you here. I’ve just finished reading your book, The American Deep State: Wall Street, Big Oil and the Attack on US Democracy, and it’s a nice follow-up to your book The American War Machine, which I used in my class this semester. I really want to ask: In your new book you talk about the egalitarian mindset culture of America. We believe in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, open government, transparency. And then you say also that there’s a dark side, or a deep side inside America that’s repressive, that is looking to be able to detain people without warrants, warrantless wire tapping and all of that – there’s a repressive side. Can you tell us a little bit more about how you frame this understanding of this culture of repression?

Peter Dale Scott: Actually, I think there’s always been a deep state in America and there have been times when it has been very repressive. We’re in a period of, you might say, surplus repression – repression that doesn’t serve anyone’s interests, not even the interests of the ruling class. It’s not the first time in American history. I would say probably a good analogy would be 1919 and the Palmer Raids, which is a period in America history that I think everyone’s embarrassed by now because some very fine people like Emma Goldman, who was actually a US citizen, got deported without any procedure whatsoever.

Taking apart what you just said, I believe there has always been a deep state in this country, even before the Revolution. You could say the deep state found it convenient to have a revolution and get free from the British government which was about to end slavery, which would have been extremely embarrassing for a lot of businessmen in America, North and South.

But it’s not in its essence repressive; it’s just repressive when it wants to be. I think a lot of the trouble we’re in now, actually is – and I say this in my book – that in the 1970s the deep state – the bankers, the lawyers, the people in foundations, all kinds of people – were really quite terrified at the forces in America calling for revolution – the African-Americans, the riots we had in big cities but also, equally and perhaps ultimately even more, the anti-war movement because if you had a successful anti-war movement that would mean America would have to get out of the business of war. And that was, I think, an intolerable thought for them.

So you had the Lewis Powell memo in 1971, which said that those of us in power should mobilize our wealth and resources to do something about this phenomenon. I don’t attach so much importance to the wording of that memo, and I’m sure there were many like it. It’s significant to me that Lewis Powell did that for the chamber of commerce. And the chamber of commerce is really one of the most powerful lobbies in this country. It’s so powerful you almost never read about it.  It’s one of those deep presences that rarely rise to the level of being written about in history.

I have a whole chapter about the period 1960-1980 when there was obviously great tension between the constitutional state and the presidents elected in it and the deep state, the heads of the CIA. We went through – I should have counted it up – four or five heads of CIA in 20 years and look what happened to those presidents. Kennedy was assassinated; he said he was going to break the CIA into a thousand pieces and then in 1963 he’s dead. Lyndon Johnson; the whole story of his involvement in Vietnam is too complicated to go into here, but the long and short of it was here was an incumbent president who had to announce he wasn’t going to run for re-election. Richard Nixon is the next one, and he doesn’t fill out his second term; he has to resign. Then you have Gerald Ford, who did stand for re-election but failed to be re-elected. He was the first incumbent not to be re-elected since Hoover. And then after him, Jimmy Carter was the same thing. I have most to say about the very weird circumstances which led to the delay in the return of the hostages in Iran until – get this – the day that Ronald Reagan was elected was the day that the hostages were released, and that was by prior arrangement between – some people would say treasonous arrangements – between the Republicans and the new forces in Iran.

So you had a period when it was almost deep state versus the public state. And then with the Reagan revolution it ends because the deep state in effect has taken over and you get – well, I could talk about COG later in the program, Continuity of Government Planning – but a lot of things begin with the election of Reagan, which lead directly to 9/11 and the fix that we’re in now.

Mickey Huff: Peter Dale Scott, some of the excerpts of your book have been published at WhoWhatWhy.com with Russ Baker and some of your other work, for people looking for it, is in Japan Focus. So there was some material coming out, sort of teasers about your book, The American Deep State, before it came out.

Peter Dale Scott: Could I add to that early versions of many chapters will be found on Japan Focus. If you’re not sure you want to buy the book you can read my various articles over the last four years on Japan Focus.

Mickey Huff: And we urge listeners to do that. We had you on a number of months ago talking about the Wall Street overlords and some of these things, on the pieces you had. I wanted to call attention to this because even though you’ve been writing about the deep state for a long time, it’s something that now has seemed to come more and more – this is one of our top censored stories last year, the Mike Lofgren story. But that’s been getting more play. It was on Moyers and Company and then the Boston Globe recently was sort of acknowledging that this thing exists, which means in some parts it’s kind of moving beyond the pejorative conspiracy realm. We see that terminology used to demonize people that ask these questions.

Peter Dale Scott: I quote for an op-ed that came out in the New York Times at the beginning of the year that talked about the new memes from last year, and one of them was the deep state. Now everybody’s talking about it. That doesn’t come from me; that comes from the New York Times. So that actually affected the title I chose. I had been thinking of calling it The Doomsday Project, which is the Pentagon’s term for continuity of government planning.

There are really two halves of my book. There is the settled condition of the deep state and then there is this moving force that has been instituting change, particularly since 9/11 but as far back as Iran-Contra, and that is things which are done under the cover of Continuity of Government planning, COG planning. This is what Oliver North was doing in the mid-1980s when he was asked, very astutely, if he was planning for suspension of the US Constitution. And the answer was – he didn’t get to speak the answer. A gavel came down from the chairman – the Democratic chairman, I may say – that we couldn’t go into this in a public session. But yes, he was planning for the suspension of the Constitution and I can name three ways in which I think it has been since suspended.

This is the core of the COG part of the book, these three things:

First of all, warrantless surveillance. That was instituted shortly after 9/11, shortly after COG was implemented for the first time, on the day of 9/11, and of course, we all know about that now from Edward Snowden but we should have known it. It’s not really a secret.

The second one goes with it and, to me, is even more ominous, warrantless detention. Everybody’s subject to warrantless surveillance but a lot of people feel, “Well, they’re never going to detain me” so there’s much less interest in it. But I can tell you, if you’re a Muslim in this country you’re very aware that right after 9/11 something like 1,000 Muslims were just rounded up, and rounded up pretty blindly. I talked to one of them. He wasn’t even an Arab. He wasn’t a Sunni. He was a Shia from Iran and an academic and they just rounded him up, held him without a warrant for 80 days. They beat him so severely that there was urine in his blood and in the end they just let him go and said, ‘Don’t do anything to us and we won’t do anything to you.’ This is a huge scandal and it makes me feel like we’re in the condition of Nazi Germany in this respect that this one group was so – and by the way, is still being persecuted. The mosques all through this country are filled with informants. They get a Muslim on a misdemeanor and it’s either jail or become an informant. It’s been very demoralizing. Books have been written about the scandals happening here. The FBI has a very good set of guidelines on how to handle informants; they don’t follow the guidelines. They should. So anyway, that’s the second one, warrantless detention – and it’s not a possibility; it’s something that has happened.

And the third one, when Oliver North was talking about it was the proclamation of martial law. They didn’t do it that way but what they have done, publicly have done, is to militarize police work or Homeland Security so that the US Army is now involved in a permanent way in the business of policing citizens. One of the things I think is important enough to put in my first chapter is there is now a permanent brigade that is permanently stationed in the United States and its job is to deal with civil disturbance. That is to say, if there’s an anti-war rally and the police can’t make everybody go home – and they certainly use pretty extreme techniques these days, with their Humvees and so on – but if the police can’t do it then the military will come in. And it’s worse than that because the military is involved in surveillance, regular surveillance, all the time.

One aspect of the deep state we haven’t mentioned yet are what I call the private intelligence corporations. They say that now something like 70% of the US intelligence budget is outsourced and goes to companies like Booz Allen Hamilton. A lot of people have never heard of these companies but they’re part of the governing structure of our country now. Certainly SAIC is involved in surveillance for profit and you can imagine that they have a very good motive to exaggerate whatever it is they’re seeing because that becomes the basis for more funds for yet more surveillance.

So those three, everyone should have them clearly in their mind: 1) warrantless surveillance, 2) warrantless detention and 3) the militarization of Homeland Security. We live now under an army command, a permanent Army command, NORTHCOM for North America just like the US Army in South America has SOUTHCOM. They’re treating us the way they have learned to treat the rest of the world and that is not good.

Mickey Huff: Peter Dale Scott, I just wanted to back up very quickly for a moment. Posse Comitatus, 1878 – that’s gone with military commissions. It sounds like this brigade is obviously in violation of that.

Peter Dale Scott: Yes. The purpose of the Posse Comitatus Act, which ended Reconstruction in the South because the South were able successfully to say, ‘We’ll vote for your presidential candidate if you get the Army off our backs.’ And so these acts were passed. I read an article that says, ‘oh, no, they’re not being violated’ but I think they clearly are. Because the point now is yes, you can bring the Army in, in an emergency. Well, that’s the trick, you see, because officially we are in a state of emergency. We have been ever since September 14th, 2001 and we have a National Emergencies Act. These states of emergency are supposed to be reviewed first of all by the president, and I’m really shocked that every year they get renewed, first by Bush – that wasn’t surprising; he had instituted it in the first place – but Obama has continued to renew the emergency every September.

And the second part is even more scandalous. Congress is required by law – this is not an option; it’s a requirement – to review a state of emergency and either approve it or terminate it and they’re supposed to do that within six months. We’re well beyond six months after September 2001 but Congress has never done this. A former congressman and I tried to mount a national campaign to get Congress to do this and one of the congressmen told a constituent, “Oh, that legal requirement I think has been superseded by COG.” Well, if that’s true – and I don’t want to put too much weight on it because that’s just one thing that we heard – but if it were true, that would corroborate that, indeed, COG meant suspension of the Constitution.

We can’t have the public laws of the land being overridden by secret rules that nobody has ever seen that were drawn up by people who weren’t even in the government – including, for 20 years, Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney. They were planning all this, starting in 1982 up until 2001 when the planning stopped. But lo and behold, on 9/11/2001, they instituted the very rules that they had been planning for 20 years.

Peter Phillips: Peter, let me try to go back and paraphrase what you’ve been saying here. I think it’s really important. Historically, there’s a power elite in the United States that makes decision behind closed doors in various nontransparent ways that are implemented by the government in some capacity. And at various times, when they’re perceiving a crisis happening, like in the ‘70s, certainly the ‘50s after World War II, the Palmer Raids after World War I and I would even go back to the 1870s.

Peter Dale Scott: Oh, yes. It goes way back. In fact, you know it goes back to John Adams.

Mickey Huff: With the Alien and Sedition Acts.

Peter Phillips: Exactly. But the intelligence agencies, or the police state activists at the time, goes back to J. Edgar Hoover and of course, forward now to NORTHCOM, implement activities or engage in deep events that precipitate the goals of this non-transparent power elite. One of the questions that came up is with NORTHCOM. Army intelligence is based down in Arizona. Is the brigade based there, too?

Peter Dale Scott: No. I think it’s in Ohio. I’m not sure but it’s not in Arizona, for sure.

Peter Phillips: And they practice invading various cities and that. They practiced invading Oakland a few years back.

Peter Dale Scott: Yes, they do. They have their war games. They certainly do.

Peter Phillips: You and Dan Hamburg, who was the congressperson, asked about why Congress did not question this continued state of emergency that makes official the Continuity of Government activities that are ongoing, and essentially were told to never mind.

Peter Dale Scott: As I said, we were told that old law doesn’t apply anymore because we’re in a new state of affairs with COG.

Peter Phillips: So COG was implemented within hours of the first plane hitting the World Trade Center.

Peter Dale Scott: Yes. What that means is very difficult to decipher. I’m sure the full range of COG plans is enormous and not all of it was instituted. Some of it was visible. You had to decode the fact that President Bush was in Tampa and stayed out of Washington until about 3:00 in the afternoon. He went to Barksdale in New Orleans, then he went to Offutt.

By the way, Offutt is the base which is the base for the E-4B planes, the so-called Doomsday Planes. I have one on the cover of the book. There was one over the White House, by the way, on 9/11. That’s forbidden airspace. What was an E-4B Doomsday Plane doing – that’s why people poured out of the White House suddenly in a panic, because there was a plane overhead.

Anyway, that whole situation where Bush stayed out of the thing was because Cheney was in Washington. Then when he came back at 3:00, Cheney left Washington. He went to a hollowed-out mountain, Site R, I think it was – there’s more than one near Washington. He went to one of the Continuity of Government special seats of government and he stayed there for 90 days without about 100 people.  What they were doing I don’t know but I will guess that they were dusting off the planned PATRIOT Act, which they were able to produce – like the Tonkin Gulf Resolution was produced back in 1964. The emergency detention planning, which is Homeland Security, had a 10-year plan. The budget for just one year was $400 million so they’re not kidding around with plans for emergency detention.

As late as 2007 – and we haven’t seen any terrorist hijackers in quite a while in 2007 – but President Bush, in renewing the state of emergency, made reference to new COG elements which, of course, we’re not allowed to see. And it was very interesting that congressman who was on the Homeland Security Committee wanted to see these new regulations. He was told he couldn’t see them; he didn’t have the clearance. He had all the regular clearances. So then the committee itself, in writing, requested to see these new COG regulations and the committee was told they couldn’t see it.

So this is a very clear example where the public state wants to know what’s happening up there at the level of the deep state and the deep state said, ‘Sorry, you’re not allowed to know.’ So that’s why, in a very real sense, we don’t have the constitutional government that we think we have.

Peter Phillips: And this is certainly more serious now than ever before, I think is what you’re saying.

Peter Dale Scott: Yes, and particularly serious since 9/11, but that whole change, which happened on 9/11, was being planned ever since 1982 so that’s why the Reagan Revolution is so important.

Peter Phillips: You talk about deep state events and –

Peter Dale Scott: Yes. Deep events.

Peter Phillips: – and deep events that are structural that had major changes. Certainly the assassination of John Kennedy was one of those.

Peter Dale Scott: The quintessential one, yes. See, a lot of people don’t know that anything changed after the Kennedy assassination but it did.  There was a totally illogical but predictable recommendation from the Warren Commission – Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, a finding of fact, and then a recommendation to increase surveillance of groups in America and create more compatibility between CIA computer and FBI computers. And that was – we’ve had more and more and more of that since.

Peter Phillips: Consolidation of the national security state, in that sense.

Peter Dale Scott: Exactly right.

Peter Phillips: And kind of ongoing, with all the presidents since then.

Peter Dale Scott: And Watergate – you see, a lot of people say Watergate was a great victory for freedom and the end of totalitarianism and the imperial government and so on. Watergate was a transitional event in which people both on the Left and more importantly on the Right, wanted to get rid of this man who was in the middle, Richard Nixon.  I had a whole Watergate chapter that didn’t get into my last two books so maybe it will get into my next one.

We don’t understand the Watergate break-in. there was a great deal of analysis of Watergate, which is what Nixon did in response to the break-in, but if you look at the break-in, it is very clear it was carried out by extreme right-wingers: James McCord, Liddy, Howard Hunt. All these people are way to the right of Richard Nixon. And there was a kind of struggle for the conscience of American in the ‘70s. You had Senator Church in the Senate beginning to expose what they – and there’s a very ominous prediction from Senator Church, which I use as an epigraph. He said the powers that the NSA has are the kind of powers that could create a totalitarian system. So he was moving the country in one direction and that increased the counter-planning from the people who wanted exactly, who believed that American needed to have more control from above because popular movements represented a threat to the grand design for American power overseas.

Peter Phillips: You’ve identified consistencies in sort of these deep state structural events that in each of the cases the Continuity of Government national communications systems were used. In other words, these are private communications systems that no public can see, set up as part of the Doomsday Project. Is that correct?

Peter Dale Scott:  You’ve just stated what I believe but it’s not quite what I write. What I write is that there is COG involvement in the Kennedy assassination, in Watergate, in the October Surprise, which prevented the re-election of Carter, in Iran-Contra and most obviously in 9/11, which is the day they implemented it for the first time.

Now, I would not say – what I do say, and you encapsulated it – in the case of Iran-Contra, there was Oliver North conducting an operation which Congress had forbidden in a law. He was acting illegally and he had access to this emergency network, the Doomsday Network, which was to be put into action if there was ever an atomic attack on the United States. But he didn’t wait for an atomic attack. He said, ‘Oh, I’ll use it to get arms to Iran.’ So he was able to send cables to people who were in the know – some in the government, some not in the government – in Lisbon where the arms – there was a plane shipment to go from Lisbon to Tehran and he wanted these people to get an order from him which the ambassador couldn’t see because the ambassador would have said, ‘Hey, you can’t do that; it’s illegal.’ So he used the emergency network, the Doomsday Network, and I believe that the same thing – because there were arms to Iran also in the October Surprise – and I suspect that that may have happened then, too. That, I really don’t know.

When it comes to Watergate, what I do know, and it’s been known for decades, is that James McCord, who was the most important by far of the people who broke into Watergate, was part of a special group that was in charge of planning what to do if there was an atomic attack. He was part of the COG network. And there are two people – I did a special article about this that’s online – two very suspicious individuals who were part of the Kennedy assassination story and both of them were part of the emergency network of that day. It wasn’t, I think, called COG in 1963 but it’s the same network. For that matter, the predecessor of the E-4B turned up over Texas. I don’t mention this in the book because it’s a very complex and mysterious event and it may have been – it’s just a very strange event.

But the important thing to remember is, you look into any of these structural deep events and you’re going to see a COG connection, whether it’s personnel, financing or modus operandi. There’s three different ways it can be involved.

Mickey Huff: We’re talking with author and scholar Peter Dale Scott. His newest book, The American Deep State: Wall Street, Big Oil and the Attack on US Democracy. It is out now from Roman and Littlefield. You can learn more at PeterDaleScott.net.

Peter Dale Scott, we’re talking about Continuity of Government, talking about the so-called Doomsday Project, and you were talking, too, about how there are these different factions, these struggling factions, as it were, even within the government and against the public interest. At the very outset here on the sleeve of your book it mentions that “behind public and private institutions is the traditional influence of Wall Street bankers and lawyers allied with international oil companies beyond the reach of domestic law. And with the importance of Gulf states like Saudi Arabia, oil markets, American defense companies and Wall Street itself, this essential book” of yours, The American Deep State, “shows that there is now a supranational deep state, sometimes demonstrably opposed to both White House policies and the American public interest.” That certainly sounds like something you were alluding to in Watergate, certainly something else that may be going on with something like Iran-Contra and you mentioned previously to that October Surprise. Then there’s BCCI and then, of course, the events of 9/11 themselves.

Peter Dale Scott: Particularly important in this would the – of course, the oil companies are behind the special relationship that America has with Saudi Arabia and the United Emirates. It used to be with Qatar but that seems to be – Qatar and Saudi Arabia are at odds with each other because Saudi Arabia is really terrified of radical Muslims and they have good reason to be. They have a large Shia population. Qatar isn’t because it’s a tiny country and they have the goods on everybody. I suspect we’ll find there’s a much stronger connection between Qatar and ISIL. We’re pretending that they’re part of the alliance against it.

Qatar isn’t even really a state; it’s a family. And so is Saudi Arabia. It’s a royal family and there are factions within those families. We know that when Saudi Sheikh Mohammed, the so-called organizer of 9/11, who was in Qatar and the CIA came to get him out of there – what the 9/11 Report calls a “dissident member of the family” let him know so that he was able to escape. Well, the dissident member of the family was the minister of the interior, so he’s not really all that dissident. But this whole mélange – and I have about three chapters about all the ways in which central figures of al Qaeda have been released, sometimes by the United States, sometimes by Qatar, sometimes by Saudi Arabia themselves – it’s all because these forces are useful at that level. And they certainly – I don’t want to get into the subject matter of The American War Machine or The Road to 9/11 but I guess I covered that most, really, in The Road to 9/11.

Peter Phillips: You were quite clear in the Road to 9/11 and in your current book that this deep state network that uses the Continuity of Government planning as a mechanism, I would think, and certainly elements of the CIA and other intelligence agencies are involved – with other countries – that there are funding mechanisms that go along with this. And part of that funding is money that’s kind of off the books, so to speak, going all the way back to loot from World War II – OSS and that, some monies from both Japan and Germany – but also drug money from both the Vietnam and the Golden Triangle in the ‘50s and the ‘60s in Burma and Laos and Cambodia.

Peter Dale Scott: Yes. But the drug money doesn’t come into the CIA treasury. The drug money finances what the people at the CIA regard as assets. If they want an army in Thailand or in Burma, they don’t have to pay for that army. The army pays for itself by drug trafficking.

Peter Phillips: There are bank accounts all over and BCCI was certainly one bank that helped with that. But in addition to that, you talked about how arms sales, particularly to the Saudis, carry kickbacks with them and that money is available for deep state activities, as well.

Peter Dale Scott: I’d like to restate what you just said because it’s so important. The CIA, from the day it was set up, has never been constrained by the budget, which Congress gives to them. They’ve always had access to other funds and it was planned that way. The architect originally was Allen Dulles.

Allen Dulles’s power in 1946 exemplifies the power of the deep state because when William Donovan, the head of OSS, came back to America he wanted to have a permanent OSS, or we might say a CIA, and Truman didn’t want that and he shut down OSS. That represented his sincere concern that a permanent CIA could be a threat to American democracy. He believed that and ultimately, he said that in 1963 after the Kennedy assassination – very interesting timing. He said I never intended the CIA to be involved in operations in this way.

But Allen Dulles did, and Allen Dulles could do three things: First of all, what we call the Marshall Plan was really Allen Dulles’s plan and I think it was a good plan. I’m not knocking it just because it came from Allen Dulles, to give a lot of aid to western Europe. I think they would have given it to eastern Europe maybe if – we don’t know. But that was a good plan. Then in January of 1946 the then-head of central intelligence, though it was a very weak post in Washington because there was no agency but just really a post, commissioned Allen Dulles to draw up plans for a permanent CIA, which ultimately Truman accepted.

The third thing is that when the Marshall Plan was passed, they inserted a secret codicil into the Marshall Plan – I don’t know how many congressmen knew this, but something like 10 percent of all the money going to western Europe would be set aside for covert operations. That’s a model for what’s happened ever since. In addition to the drug money and some other things that I’ll skip over, you start getting this pattern in the ‘60s that arms sales, particularly to Saudi Arabia but also to Japan, a certain percentage of the arms sale goes to the broker, they called it.

In Saudi Arabia it was a man called Adnan Khashoggi. He had a former CIA agent advising him on everything he did. We’re taking big money here. There’s a book about Khashoggi called The Richest Man in the World, and he was certainly up there. He got $106 million from Lockheed and that was only one company. He was getting a percentage of all the huge arms sales to Saudi Arabia. And then, in turn, he with the political advice of his ex-CIA (and, more importantly, ex-Booz Allen Hamilton), I’m talking about a man called Myles Copeland who went from CIA to Booz Allen Hamilton. People used to say of him that he used the CIA as a cover. There’s some truth to that, I think, because Booz Allen Hamilton in some ways was even closer to the heart of deep state power because they worked with the oil companies and big banks and so on – as consultants, but they directed policy.  He was spreading this money all over the world – including, by the way, doing something which the CIA cannot do. He gave maybe a million dollars in a suitcase to Richard Nixon. Of course, the CIA would never be allowed to do that but Khashoggi could. It was probably illegal but nobody – it’s been written about for decades and nobody’s ever done anything about it.

Then you got a point where Jimmy Carter really wanted to cut way back on CIA operations. This is where we see the supranational deep state rear its head. They set up a kind of parallel CIA offshore, something called the Safari Club. Actually, the Safari Club was the name of Khashoggi’s ranch in Kenya where they had their first meeting. But it wasn’t a bunch of hunters, which is what the club was. It was the heads of intelligence of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, France. And they started doing what Jimmy Carter was telling the CIA not to do and Congress was telling the CIA not to do. But just by “coincidence” Richard Helms was no longer head of CIA; he was now the ambassador in Iran. And Iran became a lynch pin for what the Safari Club was doing.

Then this great continuity – for example, Congress passed a law, the so-called Clark Amendment, which said the CIA couldn’t do anything in Angola. No problem. The Safari Club did in Angola what the CIA was forbidden to do. And then when finally Reagan was elected they repealed the Clark Amendment and went back to business as usual.

So you’ve got a second CIA offshore, and that wasn’t just for the sake of the American ruling class; that was very much in the interests of the Saudis and the Iranians. Of course, it didn’t save the shah. He exited the scene. Interestingly, they’re all monarchs – Saudi Arabia, Morocco. They’re terrified and they want this sort of thing. And that’s what I referred to by the supranational deep state.

Mickey Huff: Peter Dale Scott, let’s go up to the events of 9/11. We’ve been talking about Saudi Arabia US relations, the Saudi royal family going back with the Bush family decades so this is, again, more of the supranational kind of relationships, sort of shadow governments and so forth, not things that people are really privy to, certainly not taught these things in civics courses and so forth, as sort of how things are operating. But particularly with the Saudis, this is something that’s cropped back up again because right after 9/11 when there were no-fly orders the only flights leaving the country were the secret chartered flights from the US government taking Saudi nationals out of the country.

Peter Dale Scott: That’s correct, yes. And there were various FBI investigations, which were promptly terminated.

Mickey Huff: Right. That’s come back up more recently, at least in light of the Saudis and 9/11 with the redacted pages, the pages the US government and CIA won’t release about the relations of Saudi Arabia. Let’s talk a little bit about maybe what, again, you think that relationship is and what might be there that ties into that supranational deep state mindset.

Peter Dale Scott: You’re referring to 28 pages in the report of the Joint Congressional Inquiry into 9/11, which was chaired by Senator Bob Graham. It’s very clear that the 28 pages are about Saudi nationals in America. A lot of it has to do with two of the alleged hijackers – and I have a lot to say about them, too – Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi. They came to this LA airport in January of 2000 and the CIA knew they had come and was collecting information on them, not passing it on to the FBI, which is one of the things that has to be investigated.

But also, the Joint Committee discovered that these people were getting funds from the wife of Prince Bandar, who was the Saudi ambassador in Washington for years and years and years and years. He’s part of what I was just talking about a few minutes ago, because funds from two massive arms deals – first of all the AWACS deal, billions of dollars in 1983, and then following that, when the Jewish lobby prevented another AWACS deal there was something else called the al Yamamah deal that went to England and to BEA, which is the British equivalent of Boeing and General Dynamics all rolled up. And again, just like with the Marshall Plan, a percentage of these contracts was to be devoted to covert operations, and the funds went to Prince Bandar in Washington and were deposited in the Riggs National Bank, which was really, I would say, a CIA bank. I think Jonathan Bush, the uncle of George W. Bush, was working at that bank.

Well, some of that fund money was trickling down to two of the alleged hijackers for 18 months before 9/11, and the CIA probably knew this. Congress found out about it but Congress isn’t allowed to share with the American people what they found out. We’re not party to this. It doesn’t concern us. Oh, yes it does concern us, indeed.

In January of 2003 – I think I have the year right – it was after the report was finished and classified in this whole section – somebody leaked a pretty good summary of it to Newsweek. It was a very scary story about this Saudi money going to two of the alleged hijackers, etc. This launched an investigation. It didn’t launch an investigation of the CIA or even of the hijackers. It launched an investigation of Senator Graham because he’d been chairman of this committee and they suspected that he may have leaked it. Since then he has leaked some of it. They’ve definitely put pressure on him, as a representative of the public state, not to say anything about what the deep state had been doing at that time.

Peter Phillips: We have people in various capacities, both public and private, engaged in planning – and I would like to use the word conspiring – to make things happen, using a network called Continuity of Government as perhaps a mechanism for communications and development.

Peter Dale Scott: Is that a statement or a question?

Peter Phillips: I’m leading to a question here about a footnote you have in your book about the various conspiracies involved in 9/11.

Peter Dale Scott: Okay, but can I just respond to what you said so far? A bit earlier also you talked about there’s a power elite and they’ve been planning these things. That’s really not the analysis of my book. I think you mentioned Mike Lofgren’s article, which you have in your book, a very good article. And like me, he sees the importance of bringing in Wall Street. This is in contradistinction to another very good book. I’ve only just got it and started to read it – about double government, by a Professor [Michael J.] Glennan [his book- National Security and Double Government, Oxford University Press, 2014]. It’s more like traditional political science and he’s also very concerned about the two levels of government and I don’t want to discourage people from reading his book. It’s a good book but unlike Lofgren and me, he’s a political scientist and he’s trained just to think about government, whereas I believe and Lofgren believes no, you have to see the forces behind government, which explain why the CIA is so important. It’s so important because it’s really a creature of Wall Street that was forced on Truman and on Congress. It’s serving interests, but the interests it’s serving are not the interests of the White House, and I could give you an example.

For example, the plan to overthrow Mossaddegh in 1953, the first major CIA operation. This comes when Allen Dulles becomes the director, but it finished an operation which had been going on for two years with the oil companies trying to embargo Iranian oil. And the moment that Eisenhower was elected but before he was inaugurated they started, in the CIA, planning the overthrow of Mossaddegh. There had been no order from Eisenhower to do it and there had been an order from Truman not to do it. Churchill had asked Truman to have the CIA do this and Truman had refused. Instead, he sent Harriman to Tehran to try and get Anglo-Iranian Oil to accept the same 50:50 split that the Americans had worked out with the Saudis in Saudi Arabia. The British were too greedy; they didn’t want that. So there was no authorization but the CIA did it anyway.

Lofgren wrote this good article and he said – and it’s also a good metaphor in a way – he said that we have an iceberg and we can see the 10% above water, which is the public state, and then there’s the rest of the iceberg underneath.  I say it’s a good metaphor, but what’s wrong with it? I’m saying this a bit to something I heard in your question that suggests that under the surface there is a structure that’s just as solid as what you see above. I feel, no; what’s below is not in any way as solid. It’s not a committee – in Marxist terms, a committee of the ruling class – planning things or something like that. I take slight issue with C. Wright Mills, to whom obviously I owe a great debt, because he has set everything essentially on one level, the power elite, and the power elite would be capable of doing things. But what I’m talking about is much more nebulous in a sense.

Peter Phillips: I really understand what you’re saying, Peter. When I use the term power elite I imply that they’re setting broad parameters of what they want to do, protecting capitalism and that, perhaps being afraid because of civil unrest. But that the intelligence agencies and the deep state, people you’re talking about, do conspire in some capacity to help –

Peter Dale Scott: Yes, within an agency certainly and there’s a common mindset. All these people think the same way. They don’t have to have a –

Peter Phillips: That’s your culture of repression that you talk about.

Peter Dale Scott: Yes.

Peter Phillips: Specifically about 9/11, where you footnote [page 247, note 60] what you think were possible conspiracies related to that, could you elaborate on that?

Peter Dale Scott: Right. I’ll have to do it real quick. Some students of 9/11 think that the alleged hijackers are irrelevant. They argue, and it’s possibly true, that there were never any hijackers on the plane and so on. I don’t try to say what really happened – I‘m a real agnostic – but I think we should distinguish between whatever – the hijackers were involved in something and the embassy was involved with them and I believe the CIA was involved with them. And then you also had planes going into a building, but that might be a separate group of people, all in the deep state, of course. And I certainly do not believe that any Saudis were able to steer those planes into their targets. Then finally you have the phenomenon of the towers coming down and that may not have been foreseen by the people who steered the planes into the buildings. I say there may have been three. But that’s just a speculation.

Mickey Huff: Peter Dale Scott, there’s certainly a lot more to get into in The American Deep State: Wall Street, Big Oil and the Attack on US Democracy. It’s a deep subject and we’d love to have you back sometime to talk more about this, but unfortunately we’re out of time.

I do want to note, however, that the last chapter in your book is called “Why Americans Must End America’s Self-generating Wars” and you end with some optimistic notes, which some people may have a hard time hearing during our conversation here now.

Peter Dale Scott: If you’re talking about government, it’s pessimistic. If you’re talking about America, there’s a lot more to America than its government.

Mickey Huff:  Absolutely. We want to end on that note and we want to say specifically here to immediately repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force. You also go on to say that we need “more information about the so-called state of emergency, progressively phase out the violent aspects of the so-called war on terrorism, reduce America’s bloated military and intelligence budgets and return to strategies for dealing with the problem of terrorism that rely primarily on civilian policing and intelligence.” And that’s what you sum up in part of your final chapter.

Our guest today has been Peter Dale Scott, author of The American Deep State: Wall Street, Big Oil and the Attack on US Democracy. Learn more at PeterDaleScott.net.  Peter Dale, any last words?

Peter Dale Scott: I just want to mention that my hopes for America are expressed at the end of the book in, after what Mickey just read, a poem in honor of Mario Savio, the leader of the FSM 50 years ago at Berkeley, who to me embodied what is greatest about the nonviolent tradition in America going back to Thoreau, which is far more American than what we’ve seen coming out of Langley and Fort Mead with the NSA and the CIA.

Mickey Huff: Indeed, Peter Dale Scott, we couldn’t agree with your more. Thank you so much for joining us today.

Recent books by Peter Dale Scott topically referenced in this interview:

The American Deep State: Wall Street, Big Oil, and the Attack on U.S. Democracy (2014)

American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection, and the Road to Afghanistan (2010)

The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America (2007)

The War Conspiracy: JFK, 9/11, and the Deep Politics of War (2008 updated from 1972)


Related:
Peter Dale Scott: The American Deep State
The Deep State and the Fate of American Presidents Who Challenged it (1963-1980)
Deep State
The Doomsday Project, Deep Events, and the Shrinking of American Democracy
The Hidden Government Group Linking JFK, Watergate, Iran-Contra and 9/11
The Doomsday Project and Deep Events: JFK, Watergate, Iran-Contra, and 9/11
Systemic Destabilization in Recent American History: 9/11, the JFK Assassination, and the Oklahoma City Bombing as a Strategy of Tension
The Dulles Brothers, Harry Dexter White, Alger Hiss, and the Fate of the Private Pre-War International Banking System
The American Deep State, Deep Events, and Off-the-Books Financing
The State, the Deep State, and the Wall Street Overworld
Why Americans Must End America’s Self-Generating Wars
American War Machine: Deep History and the Global Drug Connection
50 Years After the Assassination of JFK: Why it Still Matters
The Pseudo-War on Terror: How the US Has Protected Some of Its Enemies
US Government Protection of Al-Qaeda Terrorists and the US-Saudi Black Hole
The NATO Afghanistan War and US-Russian Relations: Drugs, Oil, and War
NATO, Gladio and America’s Unchecked Security State (Parts I & II)
Peter Dale Scott: Rape In Libya?
Libya: The Human Costs of Washington’s Ongoing Collusion With Terrorists
Who Are The Libyan Freedom Fighters And Their Patrons?
Norway Terror as Systemic Destabilization

US in Ukraine: What they do, not what they say

By Greg Butterfield

As activists, students and workers gather in Washington, D.C., for the Spring Rising antiwar mobilization March 18-21, many are probably unaware that 300 U.S. troops arrived in Ukraine this month, with another 300 expected to join them shortly.

The soldiers are stationed at the Yavoriv Training Area in Lviv, near the Polish border in western Ukraine. Their mission, according to the Pentagon, is to train divisions of the Ukrainian National Guard.

But their presence also establishes a provocative U.S. military “footprint” in this key agricultural and industrial country on the Russian Federation’s western border.

The first open and public U.S. military presence on Ukrainian soil comes amid a civil war raging in former southeastern Ukraine, now the independent Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, also called Novorossiya. It’s accompanied by unprecedented NATO war games and military buildup threatening Russia.

All this despite a ceasefire agreement, negotiated by Russia, Germany and France, which went into effect February 15. And like previous ceasefires, the U.S. –backed government in Kiev routinely violates the terms and is using the “breathing spell” to rebuild its military forces in the embattled Donbass mining region.

“Before this week is up, we’ll be deploying a battalion minus … to the Ukraine to train Ukrainian forces for the fight that’s taking place,” 173rd Airborne Brigade Commander Michael Foster told a meeting of the Center for Strategic and International Studies think-tank in Washington on March 3. (Global Research, March 3)

U.S. forces are scheduled to stay six months. But discussions are underway about “how to increase the duration and the scope of the training mission,” Foster said, echoing remarks made in January by former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Derek Chollet.

Meanwhile, in London, Prime Minister David Cameron told a House of Commons committee February 24 that up to 75 British soldiers would be sent to Ukraine to develop “an infantry training program with Ukraine to improve the durability of their forces,” the BBC reported.

“Today’s announcement builds upon the work that we have already undertaken through NATO and bilaterally,” added British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon. (Sputnik, Feb. 24)

Poland, too, plans to send military instructors to train Ukrainian soldiers, Boguslaw Pacek, advisor to the country’s defense minister, told Reuters on February 26.

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U.S. military paraphernalia captured by Novorossiyan forces

What is the Ukrainian National Guard?

When most people in the U.S. hear the term “National Guard,” they think of the recruiting commercials touting “one weekend a month, two weeks a year” of training to “serve your country.” The Pentagon is playing on this association to make their mission sound benign.

Of course, the National Guard has a long history of being employed to put down rebellions and strikes in the U.S., often with the most brutal methods. And in the last 15 years, since the start of Washington’s “war on terror,” many National Guard soldiers have been required to serve long stretches in the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.

But the Ukrainian National Guard is something else altogether. The brainchild of far-right Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, it came into being one year ago, shortly after the U.S.-backed coup that overthrew Ukraine’s elected president.

The National Guard is based on neo-Nazi street-gangs and fascist political organizations that formed the power base of the Euromaidan protest movement which carried out the February 2014 coup in Kiev. It answers to Avakov, not the Ukrainian Armed Forces, which the coup-makers considered unreliable, and which has continued to disintegrate during the war in the southeast.

The National Guard, in fact, has been the backbone of Kiev’s brutal “Anti-Terrorist Operation” against Novorossiya, targeting civilians throughout the Donbass mining region since April 2014. It is nearly as ruthless as the “volunteer” fascist battalions affiliated with the Right Sector.

While the Ukrainian Armed Forces today are a meat grinder for workers, unemployed people and youth forcibly drafted, and who frequently desert at the first opportunity, the National Guard comprise the forces most loyal to the junta of oligarchs, neoliberal politicians and fascists in Kiev.

This is the force the U.S. wants to train and strengthen.

NATO provocations

But there’s much more to the story.

Throughout Europe, the Baltic and Central Asian states bordering Russia, and even on U.S. soil, an unprecedented volume of provocative war games are underway, all clearly threatening Moscow.

Why? Because the real goal of the U.S. power play in Ukraine is to establish NATO military power on Russia’s border, with the aim of fomenting regime change to break the Russian Federation into pliable, profitable pieces that can be easily dominated by Wall Street and its European junior partners.

That’s why since day one of the Ukrainian crisis, Democrats, Republicans and the corporate media have united to turn reality on its head by portraying Russia as the aggressor – a Big Lie to cover up their own role.

Here’s a sampling of the provocative moves in the past month, culled from U.S. military sources, Ukrainian and Russian media, as well as anti-war sites like StopNATO.org and Global Research:

  •           On February 10 – as ceasefire talks were underway in Minsk, Belarus – the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution to authorize $1 billion for training, equipping and providing “lethal aid” to Kiev through September 2017.
  •            On February 24, U.S. military vehicles took part in a NATO parade in the Estonian town of Narva, just 300 meters from the Russian border. It included 140 armored vehicles and nearly 1,500 troops, including U.S. soldiers.
  •            The same day, in Alaska, paratroopers from the U.S. Army’s 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team performed the largest U.S. airborne mission north of the Arctic Circle in more than a decade as part of Exercise Spartan Pegasus. “This exercise demonstrated their unique ability to rapidly mass power on an objective in extremely cold and austere environments,” said an Army press release.
  •           U.S. Marines and soldiers from the Republic of Georgia staged a “pre-deployment training” during Mission Rehearsal Exercise in Hohenfels, Germany, February 27.
  •           NATO Supreme Commander in Europe and Chief of the U.S. European Command Philip Breedlove told the Senate Armed Forces Committee March 3 that it is “essential” for Washington to provide “military support” to “U.S. partners Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine [which] face a different security challenge from Russia than those facing NATO allies.”
  •           On March 6, U.S. and Canadian soldiers carried out drills “in winter conditions” with their Latvian counterparts, while live-fire training exercises were conducted at Drawsko Pomorskie in northern Poland.
  •           Some 450 U.S. soldiers and 25 Black Hawk helicopters will be deployed to Illesheim, Germany, in March “in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve, a multinational training mission to reassure Poland and the Baltic countries of NATO’s commitment in the face of Russia’s aggressive moves in Ukraine.” The deployment is to last 9 months.
  •          The European Union needs its own army to confront Russia, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told a German newspaper March 8.
  •           Latvia received more than 120 armored units, including tanks, from the U.S. on March 9. U.S. Army General John O’Connor, who witnessed the tanks’ arrival, declared that “Freedom must be fought for, freedom must be defended.”
  •           A major NATO naval force is amassing in the Black Sea, including U.S., Canadian, German, Italian, Turkish, Bulgarian and Romanian warships.
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New York City protest against U.S. weapons to Ukraine

Washington’s unreal ‘debate’ over arming Ukraine

“Watch what they do, not what they say” — the old adage is always good advice when dealing with U.S. imperialism. And nowhere is that more apparent than in Washington’s current “debate” over arming Ukraine.

The media depict a dispute over whether the U.S. should provide “lethal weapons,” heavy weaponry, and offensive weapons to Ukraine for its war against “pro-Russian separatists,” as the anti-fascist resistance in Donbass is usually labeled.

For example, on March 6, leading Congressional Republicans and Democrats, headed by House Speaker John Boehner, urged President Obama to provide “lethal defensive weapons” to Kiev due to Russia’s “grotesque violation of international law.”

The White House states that it is still “considering” whether to provide so-called lethal aid. However, top administration officials, from Secretary of State John Kerry on down, have voiced their support.

All of this amounts to smokescreen and posturing for political gain. In fact, the Obama administration and Congress have colluded all along to arm the fascist junta which they collaborated in bringing to power. In December, Congress overwhelmingly approved and Obama signed the “Ukrainian Freedom Support Act” authorizing “lethal aid.”

Airfields in Eastern Ukraine immediately shut down as U.S. military cargo planes flew in massive amounts of old and new NATO weaponry. Much of it this war material was captured and put on public display by the Novorossiyan people’s militias following the defeat of Ukraine’s January 2015 military offensive.

In February, Ukrainian President Peter Poroshenko inked an arms agreement with the United Arab Emirates, a U.S. client state that frequently serves as a hub to funnel advanced weaponry to right-wing regimes and counter-revolutionary movements supported by Washington.

On March 11, Obama approved $75 million in additional “non-lethal” military aid to Ukraine, including secure communications equipment, drones, counter-mortar radars, night-vision goggles, and military ambulances, to be delivered in the next six to nine months. He also approved the provision of 30 armored and 200 unarmored Humvees, Sputnik reported.

The same day, the U.S.-dominated International Monetary Fund approved a new $17.5 billion financial aid package for Ukraine in exchange for additional painful austerity measures. (RT.com, March 11)  This is meant to ensure that Kiev will remain solvent enough to continue its proxy war in the coming months, despite its collapsing economy.

Whether or not the U.S. openly arms Ukraine with offensive weapons, or continues to do so covertly and through third countries, is far less significant that the blatant war moves of U.S. and NATO forces in the region.

Every day, it grows more urgent for the anti-war forces in the U.S. to stand up and demand: Stop the weapons, stop sanctions, stop provocations against Russia! Stand with the people of Donetsk and Lugansk resisting genocide and austerity!

The Deep State, Secret Government, CIA, FEMA and the Doomsday Network: Interview with Peter Dale Scott

In this exciting and revealing special two hour Dark Journalist episode he welcomes University of California, Berkeley Professor and Former Canadian Diplomat Peter Dale Scott. Professor Scott has just released his controversial new book “The American Deep State,” which exposes the truth about covert forces that constitute an unelected, unaccountable, shadow government.

The “Deep State,” a concept that Professor Scott created over decades of research, posits that a secret system operates alongside the public state and utilizes intelligence contractors, the NSA, CIA assets, Wall Street, and corporate big oil funding to manipulate the public with what he refers to as “Deep Events,” such as 9/11, the Iran-Contra scandal and the JFK Assassination, for profit and control.

He also investigates an obscure official channel called the “Doomsday Network” which provides a blueprint for the mass detention of American citizens under shadowy plans like Rex-84, Project Endgame and the so-called “Continuity of Government” that involves FEMA emergency policies being utilized by the Deep State to get around public scrutiny. These plans also include a process for the suspension of the constitution and the implementation of martial law!

Together, Dark Journalist and Professor Scott will examine how drug trafficking is a corridor of funding for the Deep State and how journalist Gary Webb, the subject of the recent movie “Kill the Messenger,” was destroyed because he came too close to the truth. Webb was trying to reveal that Covert Intelligence operations were assisting the explosion of drugs in major US Cities.

Professor Scott explains how Deep Politics has been the dominant feature in presidential administrations regardless of the two-party system, from Kennedy to Reagan to Obama. He explains that there was a fierce battle with the public state which the Deep State won and now their militaristic vision is the norm in worldwide foreign policy. He goes even further and reveals a murky coalition of intelligence services, arms dealers and financial networks that colluded to influence global geopolitics called “The Safari Club.”


Related:
The American Deep State: An Interview with Peter Dale Scott
Peter Dale Scott: The American Deep State
The Deep State and the Fate of American Presidents Who Challenged it (1963-1980)
Deep State
The Doomsday Project, Deep Events, and the Shrinking of American Democracy
The Hidden Government Group Linking JFK, Watergate, Iran-Contra and 9/11
The Doomsday Project and Deep Events: JFK, Watergate, Iran-Contra, and 9/11
Systemic Destabilization in Recent American History: 9/11, the JFK Assassination, and the Oklahoma City Bombing as a Strategy of Tension
The Dulles Brothers, Harry Dexter White, Alger Hiss, and the Fate of the Private Pre-War International Banking System
The American Deep State, Deep Events, and Off-the-Books Financing
The State, the Deep State, and the Wall Street Overworld
Why Americans Must End America’s Self-Generating Wars
American War Machine: Deep History and the Global Drug Connection
50 Years After the Assassination of JFK: Why it Still Matters
The Pseudo-War on Terror: How the US Has Protected Some of Its Enemies
US Government Protection of Al-Qaeda Terrorists and the US-Saudi Black Hole
The NATO Afghanistan War and US-Russian Relations: Drugs, Oil, and War
NATO, Gladio and America’s Unchecked Security State (Parts I & II)
Peter Dale Scott: Rape In Libya?
Libya: The Human Costs of Washington’s Ongoing Collusion With Terrorists
Who Are The Libyan Freedom Fighters And Their Patrons?
Norway Terror as Systemic Destabilization

Atlantic Resolve: NATO’s Shadow of Nazi Operation Barbarossa

By Finian Cunningham

NATO’s Operation Atlantic Resolve paced ahead this week with the latest arrival of more US military forces in the Baltic region. Under the guise of defending eastern Europe from «Russian aggression», more than 100 Abrams tanks and Bradley armoured personnel carriers rolled into Latvia. Last month, a similar motorised display of military support was deployed in Estonia – in the town of Narva – with American flags flown by the US Army’s Second Calvary Regiment just 300 metres from the Russian border.

Narva protrudes sharply eastward – like a metaphorical blade – into Russian territory. It is only some 100 kilometres from St Petersburg – Russia’s second city after Moscow, and with a searing history of military assault by Nazi Germany during 1941-44. The siege of St Petersburg, formerly Leningrad, caused over one million Russians to perish, mainly from hunger, before the German Wehrmacht was eventually pushed back and defeated by the Soviet Red Army. More on that in a moment.

Back to the present: US General John O’Conner said of the latest deployment in Latvia that American troops would «deter Russian aggression», adding with Orwellian prose: «Freedom must be fought for, freedom must be defended».

The US-led Operation Atlantic Resolve has seen a surge in American military presence in the Baltic countries and other eastern European members of the NATO alliance over the past year. Technically, it is claimed that the US forces are «on tour duty» and therefore not transgressing past agreements with Russia to limit NATO permanent forces on Russia’s borders. But semantics aside, it is hard not to see that Washington has, in effect, significantly stepped up its military footprint in a geo-strategically sensitive region, in brazen contravention of erstwhile commitments made to Moscow. NATO warplane sorties have increased four-fold in the Baltic region over the past year, as have NATO warships in the Black Sea.

Citing «Russian aggression», Washington and amenable rightwing governments in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, are giving themselves a licence to do what they are forbidden to do under binding accords, such as the NATO-Russia Founding Act signed in the 1990s, – namely, to expand military forces on Russia’s western borders. Operation Atlantic Resolve is predicated on unsubstantiated US-led claims – propaganda – that Russia is the source of aggression, primarily in Ukraine, and to the rest of Europe. Fact: Russia is not in Ukraine or any European country.

Such blatant inversion of reality is part of the «psyops» in the US-led propaganda offensive.

US commanded military exercises, including live-fire drills and the installation of Patriot and Cruise missiles, are scheduled to take place over the next months in the Baltic countries, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, as well as Ukraine and Georgia on Russia’s southern flank. The latter two reveal the wider non-NATO dimension of Washington’s geopolitical agenda.

US Colonel Michael Foster said of the forthcoming military exercises across Europe: «So by the end of the summer, you could very well see an operation that stretches from the Baltic all the way down to the Black Sea.»
It is doubtful that this American colonel understands the historical significance of his excited military vista. Part of the problem is that Americans and many other Westerners have such a paucity of historical understanding. They are inebriated with Western Victors’ History, which is bereft of real causes and effects. It is a propagandised version of chronological events, with the causal forces omitted, and which is used to justify the subsequent actions of Western powers. This inebriated understanding of history explains why history seems to so often repeat. Without understanding the real causes of events, how can repetition be averted? And that’s just the way Western corporate rulers like it, with their culpability obscured from public view.

Let’s have a look at US-led Operation Atlantic Resolve in a more realistic, historical perspective. Then we might appreciate that it has the scope and unerring sinister resonance with a previous military development – Operation Barbarossa – the mammoth invasion of Soviet Russia that was launched by Nazi Germany in the summer of 1941.

Furthermore this is not superficial analogy indulging in sensationalism. If we look into the ideological motive forces there is a consistent continuum.

Nazi Germany’s unprovoked assault on the Soviet Union in June 1941 was the biggest military invasion ever in the history of modern warfare. It led to the death of some 30 million Russians at the hands of the Waffen-SS and Einsatzgruppen extermination squads, along with forced starvation, disease and appalling privations, such as in the cities of St Petersburg and Volgograd (Stalingrad).

Operation Barbarossa, like Operation Atlantic Resolve, spanned from the Baltic to the Black Sea, with key invasion points through Estonia, Poland and Ukraine. And we wonder why the current Kiev regime’s onslaught on the ethnic Russian people of eastern Ukraine is deemed so provocative to Russia? During Operation Barbarossa, Ukrainian regiments served as auxiliaries to the Waffen-SS in the mass murder of millions of fellow Ukrainians, Russians, Poles, Gypsies, Jews and others. All were seen as «untermenschen» (sub-humans) to be eliminated by the «exceptional» Germanic «Aryan race».

When Adolf Hitler wrote his infamous manifesto, Mein Kampf, in 1925, he postulated that Germany’s imperial greatness would be realised by crushing Soviet Russia. The necessary «lebensraum» (expansion) would be by conquest of the eastern region, which he disparaged as being populated by «untermenschen slavs ruled by Bolshevik Jews». Hitler’s hatred of Jewry was only matched by his utter detestation of Communist Russia. Both had to be exterminated, in his view.

Western conventional history tends to focus on Hitler’s anti-Semitism and Final Solution as being directed primarily at Jews. The truth is that Hitler and Nazi Germany was equally obsessed with destroying Soviet Russia. This obsession with Soviet Russia was intimately shared within Western ruling circles in the years preluding the Second World War.

In 1918 at the end of the First World War, and despite all its horrors and 20 million death toll, US Secretary of State Robert Lansing was vexed by quite another matter when he wrote: «Bolshevism is the most hideous and monstrous thing that the human mind has ever conceived… it is worse, far worse, than a Prussianised Germany, and would mean an ever greater menace to human liberty.»

Russia’s October Revolution of 1917 and the threat of communist insurrection worldwide presented Western rulers with a staggering nightmare. This was underlined by the crisis in capitalism at that time and its quagmire of economic recession, social collapse and the looming Great Depression, not unlike today’s crisis.

Fascism in Europe – from Portugal, Spain, Italy to Germany – was courted by Western elites as a bulwark against the spread of socialist movements inspired by Russia’s October Revolution. Hitler’s Germany with its industrial prowess was seen as a particularly favourite strong-arm, anti-Soviet regime, which would crush a growing European labour movement as well as the perceived geopolitical rival of Russia to Western capitalism.

It is a matter of record that US corporations, from Wall Street banks to Ford and General Motors, invested heavily in building up the Nazi war machine during the 1930s. The Fuhrer was also covertly engaged by the British Conservative elite, led by Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and his Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax, whereby he was given a «freehand» to expand eastwards. When Nazi Germany annexed Austria and Czech Sudetenland in 1938, that was just the beginning of the eventual intended assault on the Soviet Union that the Western rulers were quietly rooting for. (See The Chamberlain-Hitler Collusion by Alvin Finkel and Clement Leibovitz.)

When Operation Barbarossa came in the summer of 1941, the largest military invasion in history was thus fulfilling a deeply held strategic agenda to crush Russia as a geopolitical rival, not just to Germany but to the Western powers who had covertly built up the Nazi war machine.

A quirk in the historical matrix saw the Western governments go to war with Nazi Germany for their own tactical interests. But the telling point is that as soon as the Second World War closed these same Western powers began recruiting Nazi agents, intelligence and assassins to assist in the new Cold War against the Soviet Union. Ukraine and the Baltic countries were again instrumental in the postwar subterfuge against Russia as they had been under the Nazi’s Operation Barbarossa, only this time they were recruited by the CIA, MI6 and US-led NATO, formed in 1949.

Today, Russia may no longer profess Bolshevism as a state ideology. And we are not predicting here that the current US-led NATO manoeuvres around Russian territory are going to precipitate into an all-out military attack. That is beside the main issue. The point is that Russia still presents a problematic rival to American and Western hegemony. Moscow under Vladimir Putin is seen as an obstacle to US-led capitalist domination of Asia and the rest of the world. Russia’s stolid insistence on abiding by international law is an irksome impediment to Washington’s «exceptional» petulance to use military force whenever and wherever it wants to underpin its putative global hegemony. International popular support for Putin as a respected world statesman, together with widespread disdain for US rulers, is also another source of intense chagrin to Washington. This is the context in which we should assess the US-led hostility toward Russia and the latent war signals that emanate from Operation Atlantic Resolve.

The historical resonances over the past century are the same. Operation Barbarossa and Operation Atlantic Resolve are part of the same continuum of Western aggression towards Russia. Russia is deemed to be a countervailing force to Western hegemony, and therefore must be removed.

For Russia, the menacing military encirclement of Operation Atlantic Resolve has profoundly bad resonance with the past, and for good reasoning. Operation Barbarossa – only 74 years ago – is seared into Russian consciousness through immense human suffering. Russia was then on the brink of extirpation and was only saved by the heroic sacrifice of millions of its people; any nation would never allow such a danger to ever come close again.

The West has never suffered in history to the depth that the Russian people have; and therefore many in the West, especially the pampered elite rulers, have no idea of how resolute Russians are in defending their homeland. Vladimir Putin’s home city is St Petersburg, the city where one million died from Nazi siege.

When Western leaders talk breathlessly about «defending freedom» and glibly pillory Russians for being «paranoid» their Godawful inebriated ignorance of history is just cause for even more alarm.

Russia can perceive, rightly, the continuum of aggression.

EU Parliamentarians Join US-Led Aggressions on Venezuela

The European Parliament passed an anti-Venezuela resolution calling for a “delegation to be sent to assess the situation in Venezuela as soon as possible.”

The European Parliament called on Venezuela Thursday to release opposition members the Parliament claims were “arbitrarily detained” during opposition violence that resulted in 43 deaths last year.

The resolution follows a statement by the U.S. on Monday claiming that Venezuelan government authorities posted an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.” The statement also referred to the arrest of some opposition leaders who encouraged the violence.

In a resolution passed by 384 votes to 75, the European Parliament called on Venezuela’s government to “release all those detained and to end its opposition crackdown.” The Parliament did not call on Venezuela to release security officials who have been arrested for the few deaths they were responsible for, nor did it criticize the human rights violations committed by the opposition leaders, who for 4 months led a campaign to oust democratically-elected President Nicolas Maduro. Right-wing opposition tactics included burning buses and health centers, stopping children from attending school, prohibiting sick people from getting to hospitals, and murdering various people who tried to clear barricades so that they could go to work.

The European Parliament’s statement referred to such actions by the opposition as “peaceful.”

Venezuela’s Ambassador to the EU, Antonio Garcia, told the press that the vote was part of a “broader campaign” against Venezuela and driven by domestic issues in some member states, such as Spain. Recent polls suggest Spain’s Podemos could win upcoming elections with similar anti-austerity politics which brought the left-wing Syriza party to power in Greece in January.

“It is not a secret to anyone that Venezuela is being used in Spain’s internal politics,” Garcia said.

The leader of Podemos, Pablo Iglesias told the press Thursday that he didn’t support the U.S. sanctions and aggressions and said that “dialogue” was a better way to solve “international problems.”

Garcia noted that last time the U.S. imposed sanctions on Venezuelan officials, on Dec. 18, the European Parliament also voted on a resolution against Venezuela. He noted that the same thing has happened again and argued that the U.S. executive order was a “very serious attack on Venezuelan sovereignty.”


European Parliament
Venezuela: MEPs deeply concerned about violent crackdown on protesters

Plenary Session Press Release
External Relations
12-03-2015 – 13:00

The Venezuelan authorities must immediately release all peaceful protesters, students and opposition leaders arbitrarily detained for exercising their right to freedom of expression and fundamental rights, Parliament said in a vote on Thursday. The government must also put an end to the political persecution and repression of the democratic opposition, it added.

In the resolution, passed by 384 votes to 75, with 45 abstentions, MEPs call on the authorities immediately to release Antonio Ledezma, Leopoldo Lopez, Daniel Ceballos, and all peaceful protesters, students and opposition leaders arbitrarily detained for exercising their right to freedom of expression and fundamental rights. All the political prisoners must be given medical attention and have immediate, private and regular access to their families and lawyers of their choice, they add.

Let human rights defenders and NGOs do their work, security for all

The government must also create an environment in which human rights defenders and independent non-governmental organisations can do their legitimate work of promoting human rights and democracy and ensuring the security of all citizens, regardless of their political views and affiliations, MEPs insist. They point to the particular responsibility of Venezuela, as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, to comply with the rule of law and international law.

Restraint and genuine national dialogue needed

MEPs are concerned that new protests could lead to more violence, which would further polarise the already sensitive political developments in Venezuela.
They call on all parties and sections of society to remain calm in both actions and words.

They also point out that the opposition has suffered arbitrary detentions and attacks in an election year, which could cast doubt on the legitimacy of the electoral process. They call on the authorities to use the pre-election period to establish a genuine national dialogue, with the meaningful participation of all democratic political forces.

Vote result

The resolution was passed by 384 votes to 75, with 45 abstentions.

Background

Local and international organisations report that one year after the peaceful demonstrations in Venezuela, over 1,700 protesters await trial, more than 69 remain jailed, and at least 40 have been killed in protests. Their murderers remain unaccountable.

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Ukrainegate: NATO Weapons for Truce

The U.S. Empire and ISIS: A Tale of Two Death Cults

At Russia’s Border, NATO Mobilizes 30,000 Troops

Greek Debt, Austerity and Past Military Contracts

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