• Death of the Bees: Two-Thirds of European Honeybee Pollen Contaminated By Dozens of Pesticides
    Death of the Bees: Two-Thirds of European Honeybee Pollen Contaminated By Dozens of PesticidesBy Global Research NewsGreenpeace EU 15 April 2014More than two-thirds of the pollen that honeybees collect from European fields is contaminated by a cocktail of up to 17 different toxic pesticides. These are the shocking findings of a new study released yesterday. In addition to pesticides-related chemicals, the report also identifies substances used in insecticides, acaricides, fungicides and herbicides, produced by agrochemical companies like Bayer, Syngenta and BASF. To mark the release of the report and protest against the chemical industry’s role in bee decline, more than 20 activists unfurled a giant banner outside the headquarters of Bayer, in Germany. The study, The Bees’ Burden: An analysis of pesticide residues in comb pollen (beebread) and trapped pollen from honey bees, is the largest of its kind, comprising more than 100 samples from 12 European countries. In total 53 different chemicals were detected. The study is a snapshot of the toxicity of Europe’s current agricultural system. It demonstrates the high concentrations and wide range of fungicides found in pollen collected around vineyards in Italy, the widespread use of bee-killing insecticides in pollen from rape fields in Poland, the detection of DDE—a derivative of DDT—a pesticide banned decades ago, and the frequent detection of the insect nerve-poison Thiacloprid, a neonicotinoid, in many samples from Germany. “This study on contaminated pollen reveals the unbearable burden of bees and other vital pollinators,” said Matthias Wüthrich, a Greenpeace ecological farming campaigner. “Bees are exposed to a cocktail of toxic pesticides. This is yet more proof that there is something fundamentally wrong in the current agricultural model which is based on the intensive use of toxic pesticides, large-scale monocultures and corporate control of farming by a few companies like Bayer, Syngenta & Co. It shows the need for a fundamental shift towards ecological farming.” The report confirms the findings of a recent study carried out by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). In its study, EFSA acknowledges vast knowledge gaps related to the health of bees and pollinators, including on the effects of chemical “cocktails,” and calls on the EU and national governments to fill this gap with further scientific investigation.   In light of its findings on pollen contamination and following EFSA’s recommendations, Greenpeace calls on the European Commission and policy-makers across Europe to: Extend the scope of restrictions already imposed on the use of certain pesticides harmful to bees, namely clothianidin, imidacloprid, thiamethoxam and fipronil, so that their use is completely banned.Fully ban all other pesticides harmful to bees and other pollinators (including chlorpyrifos, cypermethrin and deltamethrin).Set ambitious Europe-wide action plans to better assess pesticide impacts on pollinators and reduce their use.Encourage research and development of non-chemical alternatives to pest management and promote the widespread implementation of ecological farming practices on the ground.
  • US dollar dying as tensions over Ukraine heat up
    US dollar dying as tensions over Ukraine heat up: AnalystBy presstvThe US dollar is losing its dominance on global trade amid spiraling tensions between Washington and Moscow over Ukraine, says an analyst.In his Friday column for Press TV website, F. William Engdahl said Russia and leading trading countries are developing “alternatives to using the US dollar for their bilateral trade.”The analyst said the US government has been printing “money without limit, in order to rescue the bankrupt Wall Street banks with what the Federal Reserve calls Quantitative Easing.” “Washington’s decision to go for the military coup in Ukraine [has]…isolated the power of US hegemony and opened the door for a genuine multipolar world where peaceful cooperation replaced military threats and sole superpower domination,” Engdahl stated.He said Washington’s “foolish” imposition of sanctions on Russia over Crimea’s secession from Ukraine “has forced Moscow to react by selling Gazprom bonds not in the dollar market but rather in the fast-emerging Chinese Yuan.”“The US has just shot itself in the foot,” he wrote.Citing a new report by the International Monetary Fund, Engdahl said there has been a “dramatic shift” from the “US dollar as reserve currency.” “The foolish [US President Barack] Obama sanctions threats against Moscow are simply accelerating the refocus of giant Russian companies like Gazprom and Norilsk Nickel to the huge Asian market,” wrote the analyst.He said following the “NATO-led Ukraine coup and ensuing crisis,” other countries “are looking to lessen their dollar exposure.”The analyst said “stupid people” in the United States and NATO have failed to “think through or foresee the global consequences of their actions.”
  • The Ukraine Imbroglio and the Decline of the American Empire
    The Ukraine Imbroglio and the Decline of the American EmpireBy ARNO J. MAYER "Counter Punch" When discussing the Ukraine-Crimea “crisis” it might be hygienic for Americans, including their political class, think-tank pundits, and talking heads, to recall two striking moments in “the dawn’s early light” of the U. S. Empire: in 1903, in the wake of the Spanish-American War, under President Theodore Roosevelt America seized control of the southern part of Guantanamo Bay by way of a Cuban-American Treaty which recognizes Cuba’s ultimate sovereignty over this base; a year after the Bolshevik Revolution, in 1918, President Woodrow Wilson dispatched 5,000 U. S. troops to Arkhangelsk in Northern Russia to participate in the Allied intervention in Russia’s Civil  War, which raised the curtain on the First Cold War.  Incidentally, in 1903 there was no Fidel Castro in Havana and in 1918 no Joseph Stalin in the Kremlin. It might also be salutary to note that this standoff on Ukraine-Crimea is taking place in the unending afterglow of the Second Cold War and at a time when the sun is beginning to set on the American Empire as a new international system of multiple great powers emerges. Of course, empires have ways of not only rising and thriving but of declining and expiring.  It is one of Edward Gibbon’s insightful and challenging questions about the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire that is of particular relevance today.  Gibbon eventually concluded that while the causes for Rome’s decline and ruin were being successfully probed and explicated, there remained the great puzzle as to why “it had subsisted for so long.”  Indeed, the internal and external causes for this persistence are many and complex.  But one aspect deserves special attention: the reliance on violence and war to slow down and delay the inevitable.  In modern and contemporary times the European empires kept fighting not only among themselves, but also against the “new-caught, sullen peoples, half-devil and half-child,” once these dared to resist and eventually rise up against their imperial-colonial overlords.  After 1945 in India and Kenya; in Indochina and Algeria; in Iran and Suez; in Congo.  Needless to say, to this day the still-vigorous U. S. empire and the fallen European empires lock arms in efforts to save what can be saved in the ex-colonial lands throughout the Greater Middle East, Africa, and Asia. There is no denying that America’s uniquely informal empire, without settler colonies, expanded headlong across the globe during and following World War Two.  It did so thanks to having been spared the enormous and horrid loss of life, material devastation, and economic ruin which befell all the other major belligerents, Allied and Axis.  To boot, America’s mushrooming “military-industrial complex” overnight fired the Pax Americana’s momentarily unique martial, economic, and soft power. By now the peculiar American Empire is past its apogee.  Its economic, fiscal, social, civic, and cultural sinews are seriously fraying.  At the same time the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) and Iran are claiming their place in the concert of world powers in which, for a good while, one and all will play by the rules of a new-model mercantilism in a globalizing soit-disant “free market” capitalist economy. America’s splendid era of overseas “boots on the ground” and “regime change” is beginning to draw to a close.  Even in the hegemonic sphere decreed by the Monroe Doctrine there is a world of difference between yesteryear’s and today’s interventions.  In the not so distant good old times the U. S. horned in rather nakedly in Guatemala (1954), Cuba (1962), Dominican Republic (1965), Chile (1973), Nicaragua (1980s), Grenada (1983), Bolivia (1986), Panama (1989), and Haiti (2004), almost invariably without enthroning and empowering more democratic and socially progressive “regimes.”  Presently Washington may be said to tread with considerably greater caution as it uses a panoply of crypto NGO-type agencies and agents in Venezuela.  It does so because in every domain, except the military, the empire is not only vastly overextended but also because over the last few years left-leaning governments/“regimes” have emerged in five Latin American nations which most likely will become every less economically and diplomatically dependent on and fearful of the U. S. Though largely subliminal, the greater the sense and fear of imperial decay and decline, the greater the national hubris and arrogance of power which cuts across party lines.  To be sure, the tone and vocabulary in which neo-conservatives and right-of-center conservatives keep trumpeting America’s self-styled historically unique exceptionalism, grandeur, and indispensability is shriller than that of left-of-center “liberals” who, in the fray, tend to be afraid of their own shadow.  Actually, Winston Churchill’s position and rhetoric is emblematic of conservatives and their fellow travelers in the epoch of the West’s imperial decline which overlapped with the rise and fall of the Soviet Union and Communism.  Churchill was a fiery anti-Soviet and anti-Communist of the very first hour and became a discreet admirer of Mussolini and Franco before, in 1942, proclaiming loud and clear: “I have not become the King’s First Minister in order to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire.”  By then Churchill had also long since become the chief crier of the ideologically fired “appeasement” mantra which was of one piece with his landmark “Iron Curtain” speech of March 1946.  Needless to say, never a word about London and Paris, in the run-up to Munich, having willfully ignored or refused Moscow’s offer to collaborate on the Czech (Sudeten) issue.  Nor did Churchill and his aficionados ever concede that the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact (Nazi-Soviet Pact) of August 1939 was sealed a year after the Munich Pact, and that both were equally infamous ideologically informed geopolitical and military chess moves. To be sure, Stalin was an unspeakably cruel tyrant.  But it was Hitler’s Nazi Germany that invaded and laid waste Soviet Russia through the corridor of Central and Eastern Europe, and it was the Red Army, not the armies of the Western allies, which at horrendous cost broke the spinal cord of the Wehrmacht.  If the major nations of the European Union today hesitate to impose full-press economic sanctions on Moscow for its defiance on Crimea and Ukraine it is not only because of their likely disproportionate boomerang effect on them.  The Western Powers, in particular Germany, have a Continental rather than Transatlantic recollection and narrative of Europe’s Second Thirty Years Crisis and War followed by the American-driven and –financed unrelenting Cold War against the “evil empire”—practically to this day. During the reign of Nikita Khrushchev and Mikhail Gorbachev NATO, founded in 1949 and essentially led and financed by the U. S., inexorably pushed right up to or against Russia’s borders.  This became most barefaced following 1989 to 1991, when Gorbachev freed the “captive nations” and signed on to the reunification of Germany.  Between 1999 and 2009 all the liberated Eastern European countries—former Warsaw Pact members—bordering on Russia as well as three former Soviet republics were integrated into NATO, to eventually account for easily one-third of the 28 member nations of this North Atlantic military alliance.  Alone Finland opted for a disarmed neutrality within first the Soviet and then post-Soviet Russian sphere.  Almost overnight Finland was traduced not only for “appeasing” its neighboring nuclear superpower but also for being a dangerous role model for the rest of Europe and the then so-called Third World.  Indeed, during the perpetual Cold War, in most of the “free world” the term and concept “Finlandization” became a cuss word well-nigh on a par with Communism, all the more so because it was embraced by those critics of the Cold War zealots who advocated a “third way” or “non-alignment.”  All along, NATO, to wit Washington, intensely eyed both Georgia and Ukraine. By March 2, 2014, the U. S. Department of State released a “statement on the situation in Ukraine by the North Atlantic Council” in which it declared that “Ukraine is a valued partner for NATO and a founding member of the Partnership for Peace . . . [and that] NATO Allies will continue to support Ukrainian sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, and the right of the Ukrainian people to determine their own future, without outside interference.”  The State Department also stressed that “in addition to its traditional defense of Allied nations, NATO leads the UN-mandated International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan and has ongoing missions in the Balkans and the Mediterranean; it also conducts extensive training exercises and offers security support to partners around the globe, including the European Union in particular but also the United Nations and the African Union.” Within a matter of days following Putin’s monitory move NATO, notably President Obama, countered in kind: a guided-missile destroyer crossed the Bosphoros into the Black Sea for naval exercises with the Romanian and Bulgarian navies; additional F-15 fighter jets were dispatched to reinforce NATO patrol missions being flown over the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania; and a squadron of F-16 fighter bombers and a fulsome company of “boots on the ground” was hastened to Poland.   Of course, theses deployments and reinforcements ostensibly were ordered at the urging of these NATO allies along Russia’s borders, all of whose “regimes” between the wars, and especially during the 1930s, had not exactly been paragons of democracy and because of their Russo-cum-anti-Communist phobia had moved closer to Nazi Germany.  And once Hitler’s legions crashed into Russia through the borderlands not insignificant sectors of their political and civil societies were not exactly innocent by-standers or collaborators in Operation Barbarossa and the Judeocide. To be sure, Secretary of State John Kerry, the Obama administration’s chief finger wagger, merely denounced Putin’s deployment in and around Ukraine-Crimea as an “act of aggression that is completely trumped up in terms of pretext.”  For good measure he added, however, that “you just do not invade another country,” and he did so at a time there was nothing illegal about Putin’s move.  But Hillary Clinton, Kerry’s predecessor, and most likely repeat candidate for the Democratic nomination for the Presidency, rather than outright demonize Putin as an unreconstructed KGB operative or a mini-Stalin went straight for the kill: “Now if this sounds familiar. . . it is like Hitler did back in the ‘30s.”  Presently, as if to defang criticism of her verbal thrust, Clinton averred that “I just want people to have a little historic perspective,” so that they should learn from the Nazis’ tactics in the run-up to World War II. As for Republican Senator John McCain, defeated by Barack Obama for the Presidency in 2008, he was on the same wavelength, in that he charged that his erstwhile rival’s “feckless” foreign policy practically invited Putin’s aggressive move, with the unspoken implication that President Obama was a latter-day Neville Chamberlain, the avatar of appeasement. But ultimately it was Republican Senator Lindsey Graham who said out loud what was being whispered in so many corridors of the foreign policy establishment and on so many editorial boards of the mainline media.  He advocated “creating a democratic noose around Putin’s Russia.”  To this end Graham called for preparing the ground to make Georgia and Moldova members of NATO.  Graham also advocated upgrading the military capability of the most “threatened” NATO members along Russia’s borders, along with an expansion of radar and missile defense systems.  In short, he would “fly the NATO flag as strongly as I could around Putin”—in keeping with NATO’s policy since 1990.  Assuming different roles, while Senator Graham kept up the hawkish drumbeat on the Hill and in the media Senator McCain hastened to Kiev to affirm the “other” America’s resolve, competence, and muscle as over the fecklessness of President Obama and his foreign-policy team.  He went to Ukraine’s capital a first time in December, and the second time, in mid-March 2014, as head of a bipartisan delegation of eight like-minded Senators. On Kiev’s Maidan Square, or Independence Square, McCain not only mingled with and addressed the crowd of ardent anti-Russian nationalists, not a few of them neo-fascists, but also consorted with Victoria Nuland, U. S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.  Too much has been made of her revealing or unfortunate “fuck the EU” expletive in her tapped phone conversation with the local U. S. Ambassador Geoffrey Ryatt and her distribution of sweets on Maidan Square.   What really matters is that Nuland is a consummate insider of Washington’s imperial foreign policy establishment in that she served in the Clinton and Bush administrations before coming on board the Obama administration, having close relations with Hillary Clinton. Besides, she is married to Robert Kagan, a wizard of geopolitics who though generally viewed as a sworn neo-conservative is every bit as much at home as his spouse among mainline Republicans and Democrats.  He was a foreign-policy advisor to John McCain and Mitt Romney during their presidential runs, respectively in 2008 and 2012, before President Obama let on that he embraced some of the main arguments in The World America Made (2012), Kagan’s latest book.  In it he spells out ways to preserve the empire by way of controlling with some twelve naval task forces built around unsurpassable nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, its expanding Mare Nostrum in the South China Sea and Indian Ocean. As a disciple of Alfred Thayer Mahan, quite naturally Kagan earned his spurs and his entrée to the inner circles of the makers and shakers of foreign and military policy by spending years at the Carnegie Endowment and Brookings Institution.   That was before, in 1997, he became a co-founder, with William Kristol, of the neo-conservative Project for the New American Century, committed to the promotion of America’s “global leadership” in pursuit of its national security and interests.  A few years later, after this think tank expired, Kagan and Kristol began to play a leading role in the Foreign Policy Initiative, its lineal ideological descendant. But the point is not that Victoria Nuland’s demarche in Maidan Square may have been unduly influenced by her husband’s writings and political engagements.  Indeed, on the Ukrainian question, she is more likely to have been attentive to Zbigniew Brzezinski, another highly visible geopolitician who, however, has been swimming exclusively in Democratic waters ever since 1960, when he advised John F. Kennedy during his presidential campaign and then became national security advisor to President Jimmy Carter.  Heavily fixed on Eurasia, Brzezinski is more likely to stand on Clausewitz’s rather than Mahan’s shoulders.  But both Kagan and Brzezinski are red-blooded imperial Americans.  In 1997, in his The Great Chessboard Brzezinski argued that “the struggle for global primacy [would] continue to be played” on the Eurasian “chessboard,” and that as a “new and important space on [this] chessboard . . . Ukraine was a geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country helps to transform Russia.”  Indeed, “if Moscow regains control over Ukraine, with its [then] 52 million people and major resources, as well as access to the Black Sea,” Russia would “automatically again regain the wherewithal to become a powerful imperial state, spanning Europe and Asia.”  The unwritten script of Brzezinski, one of Obama’s foreign policy advisors: intensify the West’s—America’s—efforts, by means fair and foul, to detach Ukraine from the Russian sphere of influence, including especially the Black Sea Peninsula with its access to the Eastern Mediterranean via the Aegean Sea. Presently rather than focus on the geopolitical springs and objectives of Russia’s “aggression” against Ukraine-Crimea Brzezinski turned the spotlight on the nefarious intentions and methods of Putin’s move on the Great Chessboard.  To permit Putin to have his way in Ukraine-Crimea would be “similar to the two phases of Hitler’s seizure of Sudetenland after Munich in 1938 and the final occupation of Prague and Czechoslovakia in early 1938.”  Incontrovertibly “much depends on how clearly the West conveys to the dictator in the Kremlin—a partially comical imitation of Mussolini and a more menacing reminder of Hitler—that NATO cannot be passive if war erupts in Europe.”  For should Ukraine be “crushed with the West simply watching the new freedom and security of Romania, Poland, and the three Baltic republics would also be threatened.”  Having resuscitated the domino theory, Brzezinski urged the West to “promptly recognize the current government of Ukraine legitimate” and assure it “privately . . . that the Ukrainian army can count on immediate and direct Western aid so as to enhance its defense capabilities.”  At the same time “NATO forces . . . should be put on alert [and] high readiness for some immediate airlift to Europe of U. S. airborne units would be politically and militarily meaningful.”  And as an afterthought Brzezinski suggested that along with “such efforts to avoid miscalculations that could lead to war” the West should reaffirm its “desire for a peaceful accommodation . . . [and] reassure Russia that it is not seeking to draw Ukraine into NATO or turn it against Russia.”  Indeed, mirabile dictu, Brzezinski, like Henry Kissinger, his fellow geopolitician with a cold-war imperial mindset, adumbrated a form of Finlandization of Ukraine—but, needless to say, not of the other eastern border states—without, however, letting on that actually Sergey Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister, had recently made some such proposal. Of course, the likes of Kagan, Brzezinski, and Kissinger keep mum about America’s inimitable hand in the “regime change” in Kiev which resulted in a government in which the ultra-nationalists and neo-fascists, who had been in the front lines on Maidan Square, are well represented. Since critics of America’s subversive interventions tend to be dismissed as knee-jerk left-liberals wired to exaggerate their dark anti-democratic side it might help to listen to a voice which on this issue can hardly be suspect.  Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League and renowned inquisitor of anti-Semitism, concedes that “there is no doubt that Ukraine, like Croatia, was one of those places where local militias played a key role in the murder of thousands of Jews during World War II.”  And anti-Semitism “having by no means disappeared from Ukraine . . . in recent months there have been a number of anti-Semitic incidents and there are at least two parties in Ukraine, Svoboda and Right Sector, that have within them some extreme nationalists and anti-Semites.” But having said that, Foxman insists that it is “pure demagoguery and an effort to rationalize criminal behavior on the part of Russia to invoke the anti-Semitism ogre into the struggle in Ukraine, . . . for it is fair to say that there was more anti-Semitism manifest in the worldwide Occupy Wall Street movement than we have seen so far in the revolution taking place in Ukraine.”  To be sure, Putin “plays the anti-Semitism card” much as he plays that of Moscow rushing to “protect ethnic Russians from alleged extremist Ukrainians.”  Even at that, however, “it is, of course, reprehensible to suggest that Putin’s policies in Ukraine are anything akin to Nazi policies during World War II.”  But then Foxman hastens to stress that it “is not absurd to evoke Hitler’s lie” about the plight of the Sudeten Germans as comparable to “exactly” what “Putin is saying and doing in Crimea” and therefore needs to be “condemned . . . as forcefully . . . as the world should have condemned the German move into the Sudetenland.” Abraham Foxman’s tortured stance is consonant with that of American and Israeli hardliners who mean to contain and roll back a resurgent great-power Russia, as much in Syria and Iran as in its “near abroad” in Europe and Asia. As if listening to Brzezinski and McCain, Washington is building up its forces in the Baltic states, especially Poland, with a view to give additional bite to sanctions.  But this old-style intervention will cut little ice unless fully concerted, militarily and economically, with NATO’s weighty members, which seems unlikely.  Of course, America has drones and weapons of mass destruction—but so does Russia. In any case, for unreconstructed imperials, and for AIPAC, the crux of the matter is not Russia’s European “near abroad” but its reemergence in the Greater Middle East, presently in Syria and Iran, and this at a time when, according to Kagan, the Persian Gulf was paling in strategic and economic importance compared to the Asia-Pacific region where China is an awakening sleeping giant that even now is the globe’s second largest economy—over half the size of the U. S. economy—and the unreal third largest holder of America’s public debt—by far the largest foreign holder of U. S. Treasury bonds. In sum, the unregenerate U. S. empire means to actively contain both Russia and China in the true-and-tried modus operandi, starting along and over Russia’s European “near abroad” and the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait connecting the South China Sea to the East China Sea. Because of ever growing budgetary constraints Washington has long since complained about its major NATO partners dragging their financial and military feet.  This fiscal squeeze will intensify exponentially with the pivoting to the Pacific which demands steeply rising “defense” expenditures unlikely to be shared by a NATO-like Asia-Pacific alliance.  Although most likely there will be a cutback in bases in the Atlantic world, Europe, and the Middle East, with the geographic realignment of America’s global basing the money thus saved will be spent many times over on the reinforcement and expansion of an unrivaled fleet of a dozen task forces built around nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.   After all, the Pacific and Indian oceans combined being easily more than twice the size of the Atlantic and though, according to Kagan, China is not quite yet an “existential threat” it is “developing one or two aircraft carriers, . . . anti-ship ballistic missiles . . . and submarines.”  Even now there are some flashpoints comparable to Crimea, Baltic, Syria, and Iran: the dustup between Japan and China over control of the sea lanes and the air space over the potentially oil-rich South China Sea; and the Sino-Japanese face-off over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea.  Whereas it is all but normal for Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines, and South Korea to have tensions, even conflictual relations, with China and North Korea, it is something radically different for the United States to NATOize them in the pursuit of its own imperial interest in the furthest reaches of its now contested Mare Nostrum. The Pacific-Asian pivot will, of course, further overstretch the empire in a time of spiraling fiscal and budgetary constraints which reflect America’s smoldering systemic economic straits and social crisis, generative of growing political dysfunction and dissension.  To be sure, rare and powerless are those in political and academic society who question the GLORIA PRO NATIONE: America the greatest, exceptional, necessary, and do-good nation determined to maintain the world’s strongest and up-to-date military and cyber power. And therein lies the rub.  The U.S.A. accounts for close to 40% of the world’s military expenditures, compared to some 10% by China and 5.5% by Russia.  The Aerospace and Defense Industry contributes close to 3% oi GDP and is the single largest positive contributor to the nation’s balance of trade.  America’s three largest arms companies—Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Boeing—are the world’s largest, employing some 400,000 hands, and all but corner the world’s market in their “products.”  Of late defense contracting firms have grown by leaps and bounds in a nation-empire increasingly loathe to deploy conventional boots on the ground.  These corporate contractors provide an ever greater ratio of contract support field personnel, many of them armed, over regular army personnel.  Eventually, in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom private contract and regular military personnel were practically on a par. This hasty evocation of the tip of America’s military iceberg is but a reminder of President Dwight Eisenhower’s forewarning, in 1961, of an “immense military establishment” in lockstep with “a large arms industry. . . [acquiring] unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought,” injurious to democracy.  At the time Ike could hardly have imagined the gargantuan growth and political weight of this military-industrial complex or the emergence, within it, of a corporate-contract mercenary army. The formidable oligarchy of arms makers and merchants at the heart of the military-industrial complex fields a vast army of lobbyists in Washington.  In recent years the arms lobby, writ large, spent countless millions during successive election cycles, its contributions being all but equally divided between Democrats and Republicans.  And this redoubtable octopus-like “third house” is not about to sign on to substantial cuts in military spending, all the less so since it moves in sync with other hefty defense-related lobbies, such as oil, which is not likely to support the down-sizing of America’s navy which, incidentally, is far and away the largest plying, nay patrolling, the world’s oceans—trade routes. There is, of course, a considerable work force, including white-collar employees, that earns its daily bread in the bloated “defense” sector.  It does so in an economy whose industrial/manufacturing sectors are shrinking, considerably because of outsourcing, most of it overseas.   This twisted or peculiar federal budget and free-market economy not only spawn unemployment and underemployment but breed growing popular doubt about the material and psychic benefits of empire. In 1967, when Martin Luther King, Jr., broke his silence on the war in Vietnam, he spoke directly to the interpenetration of domestic and foreign policy in that conflict.  He considered this war an imperialist intervention in far-distant Southeast Asia at the expense of the “Great Society” which President Johnson, who escalated this war, proposed to foster at home.  After lamenting the terrible sacrifice of life on both sides, King predicated that “a nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” He even intimated that “there is nothing except a tragic death wish to prevent . . . the richest and most powerful nation in the world . . . from reordering our priorities, so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war.” Almost 50 years later President Obama and his staff, as well as nearly all Democratic and Republican Senators and Representatives, policy wonks and pundits, remain confirmed and unquestioning imperials.  Should any of them read Gibbon they would pay no mind to his hunch that “the decline of Rome was the natural and inevitable effect of immoderate greatness” which by blowback corroded the polity, society, and culture that carried it.  Of course today, with no barbarians at the gates, there is no need for legions of ground forces so that the bankrupting “defense” budget is for a military of airplanes, ships, missiles, drones, cyber-weapons, and weapons of mass destruction.  Si vis pacem para bellum—against whom and for which objectives? In the midst of the Ukraine “crisis” President Obama flew to The Hague for the third meeting of the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) chartered in 2010 to prevent nuclear terrorism around the world.  The NSS was Obama’s idea and project, spelled out in an official statement issued by the White House Press Secretary on the eve of its founding meeting in April 2010 in Washington.  This statement stressed that “over 2,000 tons of plutonium and highly enriched uranium exist in dozens of countries” and that there have been “18 documented cases of theft or loss of highly enriched uranium or plutonium.”  But above all :”we know that al-Qaeda, and possibly other terrorist or criminal groups, are seeking nuclear weapons—as well as the materials and expertise needed to make them.”  But the U. S., not being “the only country that would suffer from nuclear terrorism” and unable to “prevent it on its own,” the NSS means to “highlight the global threat” and take the urgently necessary preventive measures. Conceived and established in the aftermath of 9/11, by the latest count the NSS rallies 83 nations bent on collaborating to head off this scourge by reducing the amount of vulnerable nuclear material worldwide and tightening security of all nuclear materials and radioactive sources in their respective countries.  At The Hague, with a myriad of journalists covering the event, some 20 heads of state and government and some 5,000 delegates took stock of advances made thus far in this arduous mission and swore to press on.  But there was a last minute dissonance.  Sergey Lavrov, the Foreign Minister of Russia, and Yi Jinping, the President of China, along with 18 other chief delegates, refused to sign a declaration calling on member nations to admit inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to check on their measures to rein in the menace of nuclear terrorism. Inevitably the standoff over Ukraine-Crimea dimmed, even overshadowed, the hoped-for éclat of the Nuclear Security Summit.  President Obama’s mind was centered on an ad hoc session of the G 8  in the Dutch capital; a visit to NATO Headquarters in Brussels; an audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican, in Rome; and a hastily improvised meeting with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh.  Except for his visit with the Holy Father, from which he may have hoped to draw a touch of grace and indulgence, in his other meetings the President reasserted and proclaimed that America was and meant to remain what Hubert Védrine, a former French Foreign Minister, called the world’s sole “hyperpower.”  The Ukraine-Crimea imbroglio merely gave this profession and affirmation a greater exigency. It is ironical that the scheduled Nuclear Security Summit was the curtain-raiser for the President’s double-quick imperial round of improvised meetings in the dawn of what Paul Bracken, another embedded and experienced geopolitician, avers to be The Second Nuclear Age (2012), this one in a multipolar rather than bipolar world.  Actually Bracken merely masterfully theorized what had long since become the guiding idea and practice throughout the foreign policy-cum-military establishment.  Or, as Molière’s Monsieur Jourdain would put it, for many years the members of this establishment had been “speaking prose without even knowing it.” The negotiated elimination or radical reduction of nuclear weapons is completely off the agenda.  It is dismissed as a quixotic ideal in a world of nine nuclear powers: U. S., Russia, United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea—and Israel.  It was on Obama’s watch that the U. S. and post-Soviet Russia agreed that neither would deploy more than roughly 1,500 warheads, down from many times that number.  But now, with Russia’s reemergence as a great power and China’s prodigious forced-draft renascence, in a multipolar world the U. S. seems bent on keeping a considerable nuclear superiority over both.  Whereas most likely Washington and Moscow are in the throes of “modernizing” their nuclear arsenals and delivery capabilities, in this sphere China is only beginning to play catch-up. Standing tall on America’s as yet unsurpassed military and economic might, Obama managed to convince his partners in the G 8, the conspicuous but listless economic forum of the world’s leading economies, to suspend, not to say expel, Russia for Putin’s transgression in Ukraine-Crimea.  Most likely, however, they agreed to make this largely symbolic gesture so as to avoid signing on to ever-stiffer sanctions on Moscow.  With this American-orchestrated charade the remaining G 7 only further pointed up the prepossession of their exclusive club from which they cavalierly shut out the BRICS. The decline of the American Empire, like that of all empires, promises to be at once gradual and relative.  As for the causes of this decline, they are inextricably internal / domestic and external / foreign. There is no separating the refractory budgetary deficit and its attendant swelling political and social dissension from the irreducible military budget necessary to face down rival empires.  Clearly, to borrow Chalmers Johnson’s inspired conceptually informed phrase, the “empire of bases,” with a network of well over 600 bases in probably over 100 countries, rather than fall overnight from omnipotence to impotence risks becoming increasingly erratic and intermittently violent in “defense” of the forever hallowed exceptional “nation.” As yet there is no significant let-up in the pretension to remain first among would-be equals on the seas, in the air, in cyberspace, and in cyber-surveillance.  And the heft of the military muscle for this supererogation is provided by a thriving defense industry in an economy plagued by deep-rooted unemployment and a society racked by a crying income and wealth inequality, growing poverty, creeping socio-cultural anomie, and humongous systemic political corruption.  Notwithstanding the ravings of the imperial “Knownothings” these conditions will sap domestic support for an unreconstructed interventionist foreign and military policy.  They will also hollow out America’s soft power by corroding the aura of the democratic, salvific, and capitalist City on the Hill. Whereas the Soviet Union and communism were the polymorphic arch-enemy during the First Nuclear Age terrorism and Islamism bid well to take its place during the Second Nuclear Age.  It would appear that the threat and use of nuclear weapons will be even less useful though hardly any less demonic today than yesterday.  Sub specie aeternitatis the cry of the terrorist attack on New York’s World Trade Center and Boston’s Marathon was a bagatelle compared to the fury of the nuclear bombardment of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.  It is, of course, commendable that so many nations now seek to prevent “nuclear terrorism” by way of the Nuclear Security Summit.  However, there being no fail-safe systems of access control this endeavor is bound to be stillborn without a simultaneously resolute drive to radically reduce or liquidate the world’s staggering stock of nuclear weapons and weapons-grade nuclear materials.  After all, the greater that stock the greater the opportunity and temptation for a terrorist, criminal, or whistle-blower to pass the Rubicon. According to informed estimates presently there are well over 20,000 nuclear bombs on this planet, with America and Russia between them home to over 90% of them.  No less formidable are the vast global stockpiles of enriched uranium and plutonium. In September 2009 Obama adjured the U. N. Security Council that “new strategies and new approaches” were needed to face a “proliferation” of an unprecedented “scope and complexity,” in that “just one nuclear weapon exploded in a city—be it New York or Moscow, Tokyo or Beijing, London or Paris—could kill hundreds of thousands of people.”  Hereafter it was not uncommon for Washington insiders to avow that they considered a domestic nuclear strike with an unthinkable dirty bomb a greater and more imminent security risk than a prosaic nuclear attack by Russia.  All this while the Nuclear Security Summit was treading water and the Pentagon continues to upgrade America’s nuclear arsenal and delivery capabilities—with chemical weapons as a backstop.  With the cutback of conventional military capabilities nuclear arms are not about to be mothballed. Indeed, with this in mind the overreaction to Russia’s move in Ukraine-Crimea is disquieting.  From the start the Obama administration unconscionably exaggerated and demonized Moscow’s—Putin’s—objectives and methods while proclaiming Washington’s consummate innocence in the unfolding imbroglio.   Almost overnight, even before the overblown charge that Moscow was massing troops along Ukraine’s borders and more generally in Russia’s European “near abroad” NATO—i. e., Washington—began to ostentatiously send advanced military equipment to the Baltic counties and Poland.   By April 4, 2014, the foreign ministers of the 28 member nations of NATO met in Brussels with a view to strengthen the military muscle and cooperation not only in the aforementioned countries but also in Moldova, Romania, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.  In addition NATO air patrols would be stepped up while anti-missile batteries would be deployed in Poland and Romania.  Apparently the emergency NATO summit also considered large-scale joint military exercises and the establishment of NATO military bases close to Russia’s borders which, according to Le Figaro, France’s conservative daily, would be “a demonstration of force which the Allies had themselves foregone during the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union.”  Would tactical nuclear weapons and nuclear-capable aircraft—or nuclear-capable drones—be deployed on these bases? To what end?  In preparation of a conventional war of the trenches, Guderian-type armored operations or a total war of Operation Barbarossa variety?   Of course, this being post Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there must be a backup or contingency plan for nuclear sword play, with both sides, should reciprocal deterrence fail, confident in their first and second strike capabilities.  Not only Washington but Moscow knows that in 1945 the ultimate reason for using the absolute weapon was transparently geopolitical rather than purely military. With the weight of the unregenerate imperials in the White House, Pentagon, Congress, the “third house,” and the think tanks there is the risk that this U. S.- masterminded NATO “operation freedom in Russia’s European “near abroad” will spin out of control, also because the American Knownothings are bound to have their Russian counterparts. In this game of chicken on the edge of the nuclear cliff the U. S. cannot claim the moral and legal high ground since it was President Truman and his inner circle of advisors who unleashed the scourge of nuclear warfare, and with time there was neither an official nor a popular gesture of atonement for this wanton and excessive military excess.  And this despite General Eisenhower’s eventual plaint that the “unleashing of the atomic infernos on mostly civilian populations was simply this: an act of supreme terrorism (emphasis added) . . . and of barbarity callously calculated by the U. S. planners to demonstrate their country’s demonic power to the rest of the world—and the Soviet Union in particular.”  Is there a filiation between this cri de coeur and the forewarning about the toxicity of the “military industrial complex” in President Eisenhower’s farewell address? This is a time for a national debate and a citizen-initiated referendum on whether or not the U. S. should adopt unilateral nuclear disarmament.  It might be a salutary and exemplary exercise in participatory democracy. Arno J. Mayer is emeritus professor of history at Princeton University. He is the author of The Furies: Violence and Terror in the French and Russian Revolutions and Plowshares Into Swords: From Zionism to Israel (Verso).
  • Despite Geneva Talks on Ukraine, Washington Escalates Standoff with Russia
    Despite Geneva Talks on Ukraine, Washington Escalates Standoff with RussiaBy Alex LantierThough Moscow distanced itself from protests in eastern Ukraine at talks in Geneva, US and European officials signaled yesterday that they would continue to ratchet up tensions with Russia amid continuing moves by the regime in Kiev to mobilize its armed forces against pro-Russian protesters. The joint communiqué issued in Geneva by the United States, the European Union (EU), Ukraine and Russia called for an end to protests and building occupations in eastern Ukraine. Buildings currently occupied by protesters were to be returned to the control of the US puppet regime in Kiev installed by a fascist-led putsch in February. The statement declared: “All sides must refrain from any violence, intimidation, or provocative actions. The participants strongly condemned and rejected all expressions of extremism, racism, and religious intolerance, including anti-Semitism. All illegal armed groups must be disarmed; all illegally seized buildings must be returned to legitimate owners; all illegally occupied streets, squares, and other public places in Ukrainian cities and towns must be vacated.” The communiqué called for international monitors to oversee “de-escalation measures” and pledged to grant amnesty to protesters for non-capital crimes. Despite Moscow’s decision to sign a document calling for an end to the pro-Russian protests, Western officials indicated they would maintain and intensify economic and military pressure on Moscow. At a press conference shortly after the Geneva talks ended, US President Barack Obama said the United States and its European allies would continue to prepare new economic sanctions against Russia. He had discussed sanctions in a telephone call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel before giving the press conference. The two leaders agreed to enact further sanctions if Russia did not de-escalate the situation “in short order,” according to a White House statement. “My hope is we do actually see follow-through over the next several days, but I don’t think, given past performance, that we can count on that, and we have to be prepared to potentially respond to what continue to be efforts of interference by the Russians in eastern and southern Ukraine,” Obama declared. He repeated unsubstantiated US charges that the Kremlin has massed thousands of troops along the border with eastern Ukraine, accusing Russia of sowing “disruption and chaos.” Obama’s denunciations of Russia for “interfering” in Ukraine continue the brazen lies and distortions that have characterized the statements of US and European officials, amplified by the media, since the onset of the crisis in Ukraine. Anyone who has been following the events knows that it is Washington, Berlin and the European Union that provoked the crisis by orchestrating the overthrow of the elected, pro-Russian government of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych—interfering in the affairs of Ukraine by carrying out a putsch and utilizing fascist parties and militia as their shock troops. As the Geneva talks were ongoing, the Obama administration provocatively declared that it would step up aid to the armed forces of the Kiev regime, in line with a continuing NATO escalation in Eastern Europe announced the day before by NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced the increased aid after talks with his Polish counterpart, Tomasz Siemoniak, on boosting the NATO military presence throughout Eastern Europe. He said Washington would ship medical supplies, power generators, helmets and other equipment to the Ukrainian army. Washington’s military support for Kiev is part of a continuing build-up across the region, aimed at encircling Russia. Hagel announced a new “air defense cooperative” between the United States, Poland, Romania and the Baltic states. It will see stepped-up deployments of US warplanes and missiles to Eastern Europe and of US warships to the Baltic and eastern Mediterranean Seas. The Kiev regime also implemented a ban on travel by Russian males aged 16 to 60 into Ukraine. The Ukrainian State Border Guard Service told the Russian news service RIA-Novosti, “These temporary measures apply, primarily, to healthy males who could somehow influence the situation in eastern Ukraine.” The Russian airline Aeroflot, which received early notification of the policy, warned: “Ukrainian females aged 20-35 years who are registered as residents of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol will be allowed to enter Ukraine only after special verification.” Yesterday’s events undermine US and European claims that the Ukrainian crisis is due to an offensive by the Kremlin to conquer Ukraine by orchestrating protests in eastern Ukraine. In fact, the Kremlin is pulling back from the protests despite continuing threats and provocations from the West, even as the anti-Kiev protesters in eastern Ukraine succeed in blunting the first wave of military units sent from Kiev to attack them. Eastern Ukrainian civilians have blocked armed convoys sent from Kiev, and pro-Russian activists have commandeered several Ukrainian armored vehicles whose drivers refused orders to attack civilians. The wider popular opposition to the Western-backed regime in Kiev and the refusal of soldiers to fire on Ukrainian civilians in recent days is acknowledged even in Western media. “Ukrainian troops found themselves operating in often-hostile territory, while militants proclaiming loyalty to Russia were welcomed by cheering residents as defenders,” the W all Street Journal wrote on Thursday. “The Ukrainian army also appeared in bad shape. Some of the soldiers blocked by civilians were reservists with rusty vehicles, who eagerly accepted the food and water offered to them.” The Kiev regime has pledged to try soldiers who refused to fire on the population for “cowardice.” More broadly, these events expose the lies and hypocrisy underlying the entire Western intervention in Ukraine. The unelected regime in Kiev that emerged from pro-EU protests and the February 22 fascist-led putsch is not a new dawn for democracy, but an authoritarian regime trying to mount a bloody crackdown on widespread popular opposition. It is not the victim of Russian aggression, but the tool of an aggressive policy by the Western imperialist powers aimed at encircling and weakening Russia. Despite the outcome of the Geneva talks and the initial failure of the Kiev regime to drown the protests in blood, the situation in eastern Ukraine is still teetering on the verge of a civil war that threatens to escalate into a conflagration drawing in Kiev, Moscow, and the NATO powers. Deadly fighting broke out in the southeastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol yesterday after an attack on a Ukrainian army base by a group of some 300 fighters. Three of the assailants were killed, thirteen wounded, and 63 captured, but some of the Ukrainian soldiers also surrendered. “The 25thAirborne Brigade, whose soldiers showed cowardice and laid down weapons, will be disbanded,” interim Ukraine President Oleksandr Turchynov said. “Guilty soldiers will stand before the court.” Armed protesters are still in control of the city of Slavyansk, which forces loyal to the Kiev regime attacked earlier this week. Pro-Russian protesters continue to control state buildings in ten major cities in eastern Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed the extremely tense situation, responding to a question in a prime-time interview on Russian television yesterday. “The people in the eastern regions have started arming themselves,” Putin said. “And instead of realizing that something isn’t right in the Ukrainian state and moving toward a dialog, [the Kiev government] began threatening more force and even moved in tanks and planes against the peaceful population. This is yet another very serious crime of Ukraine’s current rulers.” Noting that the Russian parliament had given him authorization to send troops into eastern Ukraine to protect ethnic Russians from attack, Putin added: “I really hope I won’t be forced to use that right.”
  • Today's News Headlines by RT(April 18,2014)
    Today's News Headlines by RT(April 18,2014)Magnitude 7.5 earthquake strikes Mexico A magnitude 7.5 quake hit Mexico on Friday, shaking buildings in the capital and sending people running out into the street, Reuters said. The powerful earthquake was centered in the western state of Guerrero, north of the beach resort of Acapulco, according to the US Geological Survey. There were no reports of major damage. 14:17 Obama adviser Axelrod to help UK Labor election campaign Britain’s Labor Party has recruited a top adviser to US President Barack Obama’s campaigns to help with its leader's election bid next year, AP reported. The UK opposition party said David Axelrod will join its election campaign team as senior strategic adviser. Axelrod, a key figure behind Obama's two presidential victories, will take part in regular strategic discussions with party leader Ed Miliband. Axelrod said on Thursday that both Miliband and Obama had the vision to focus on the “experience of everyday people.” 13:16 14 killed in car bombing in Homs - Syria TV A car bomb that exploded outside a mosque in a pro-government district of the central city of Homs killed 14 people, Syrian state TV reported. The bombing occurred as worshippers were leaving the Bilal al-Habshi mosque on the edge of Akrama after attending Friday prayers. Opposition activists confirmed the bomb attack in the predominantly Alawite district but had no immediate details on casualties, AP said. 12:27 Japan to hunt fewer whales this season Japan will target fewer whales when its Pacific hunt begins next week and will observe them in the Antarctic next season with the aim of resuming full-fledged commercial whaling, AP reported. Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said on Friday the Pacific catch target was being slashed by nearly half - to about 210 from the current 380. “We will continue our research hunts aimed at collecting scientific data and seek to resume commercial whaling,” Hayashi said. Last month, the International Court of Justice ordered Japan to suspend its Antarctic program because it was basically commercial and not scientific. 11:23 Russia urges Libya to facilitate release of kidnapped foreign diplomats Moscow has urged the Libyan authorities to facilitate the release of kidnapped foreign diplomats. The government should do its best to find the diplomats as soon as possible and free them, the Russian Foreign Ministry said. The authorities should also punish those responsible for the kidnapping and take measures to defend diplomatic missions in Libya, the statement said. Laaroussi Kontassi, an adviser at the Tunisia’s embassy in Tripoli, disappeared Thursday morning in “unclear circumstances,” days after gunmen kidnapped the Jordanian ambassador. 10:39 S. Korea school vice principal commits suicide after ferry accident The vice principal of a high school whose pupils died or are missing in a South Korean ferry accident has committed suicide by hanging himself, Reuters reported. Kang Min-gyu, 52, had been missing since Thursday and appeared to have hung himself with his belt from a tree outside a gym where families of the victims were staying. Out of 475 passengers and crew on the ship, about 340 were students and teachers from the Danwon High School in Ansan, a town near Seoul. They account for about 250 of those missing. 09:21 Rouhani parade speech: Iran will deter any attacks Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Friday during a military parade to mark the country's National Army Day that Tehran had the might to deter any attacks as its military displayed a range of drones and missiles, Reuters reported. Unlike predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Rouhani did not use his speech to lash out at the US and Israel. “We don't support any aggression… We support dialogue,” Rouhani said in the live broadcast. He touted Iran's diplomatic outreach, and AP quoted him as saying that Iran announced to the world: “We are not after war, we are after logic, we are after talks.” 08:39 At least 12 Nepali guides killed in Everest avalanche An avalanche swept down a slope of Mount Everest on Friday, killing 12 Nepali mountaineering guides, a Tourism Ministry official said. The first major avalanche this climbing season hit the most popular route as hundreds of foreign and Nepali climbers flock to the mountain to attempt to climb its 8,850 meter peak. Three Nepali guides were injured and some people may be missing, Reuters quoted Tilak Ram Pandey, an official at the ministry’s mountaineering department, as saying. The avalanche hit the Sherpa guides between base camp and camp 1 early on Friday. 06:22 Japan sends soldiers, radar to remote island, risking China tension Japan is sending 100 soldiers and radar to its westernmost outpost, a tropical island off Taiwan, Reuters said. The deployment could risk angering China amid a dispute over nearby islands that both countries claim. Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera will break ground on Saturday for a military lookout station on Yonaguni. The island is home to 1,500 people and just 150km from the disputed Japanese-held islands claimed by China. Yonaguni is now defended by two police officers, and the move is part of a plan to improve defense and surveillance in Japan’s far-flung frontier.
  • War Trauma and the New York Times
    War Trauma and the New York TimesReporting or Promoting PTSD?By JERRY LEMBCKE "Counter Punch" In Phil Klay’s acclaimed book Redeployment, the author creates the character Jenks for a chapter entitled “War Stories.” Jenks is a badly wounded Iraq War veteran who is introduced to Sarah, an actress working with a veterans writing project. Sarah wants to hear Jenk’s story.  Seemingly to prompt him, she says that IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) cause TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury), the signature wounds of the war. “I don’t have a TBI,” Jenks replies. “There’s PTSD, too,” the narrator adds, “if you believe The New York Times.” The narrator’s qualifying “if” caught my eye. The link between PTSD’s validity and the visibility given it by The Times read as if to say the very existence of PTSD might be more dependent on a news organization than medical science. That was not a new idea to me. In fact, I made the same connection in my 1998 book The Spitting Image. I recalled for readers that in 1972 there had been no psychiatric nomenclature covering war trauma, and clinicians were frustrated by the reluctance of professional organizations to recognize post-war maladies presented by veterans. One of those frustrated psychiatrists was Chaim Shatan who later said the breakthrough to new language came in 1972 when The New York Times ran his op-ed column advocating for attention to the unsettledness of Vietnam veterans as a mental health issue. That decision by the Times, Shatan said years later, began the path leading to the inclusion of PTSD as a diagnostic category in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel (DSM III) in 1980. The New York Times also led the way to new discourse that pathologized veterans’ activism against the war. When members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) rallied to Miami Beach, Florida in 1972 to protest the Republican Party’s renomination of Richard Nixon as its candidate for President, the Times filled its front-page coverage with mental-health terms such as “psychiatric casualty,” “emotional illness,” and “mental breakdown.” Thenceforth, veterans’ protest would be understood as a form of catharsis, a kind of acting-out to relieve the stress of their war trauma.  It was a text-book example of “psychologizing the political” or what sociologists Peter Conrad and Joseph Schneider referred to as “medicalizing dissent.” With the “damaged goods” imagery dominating the representation of war veterans in the news and forms of popular culture like film, it was no surprise that the next generation of veterans, those home from the first Persian Gulf War of 1991, returned with symptoms soon packaged as Gulf War Syndrome. Men complained of mysterious ailments like fluorescent vomit and blistering semen. U.S. ground troops had been involved in virtually no combat in the Gulf, however, making the psychosomatic nature of the “invisible wounds” coming home seem fairly obvious. The Times, nevertheless, reported in December 2012, with no acknowledgement of the numbers’ implausibility, that nearly half of the 700,000 veterans of the Gulf War had filed disability claims with more that 85% of those being granted benefits. Jenks, Phil Klay’s character, knew that Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) also has a clichéd-standing in the national home-from-Iraq narrative; he knew that Sarah would assume he suffered from it so he preempted her question and said he didn’t have it. Klay could have added some punch to his narrator’s point by including TBI with PTSD as another category brought to the fore by The New Times for its cultural value. Perhaps Klay did not know that history. Prior to The New York Times coverage of the so-called Central Park Jogger case in 1989, there were only a few scattered references to traumatic brain injury as a lower-case, incidentally-used phrase in the news media and professional literature; it had never been associated with war veterans and would not be until 2006. Like with PTSD, battlefield events and medical science would be only tangential to the foregrounding of TBI as mental health category: when it came, TBI would be propelled into prominence by a kind of double-helix of news about the news wrapping around a celebrity news-figure with a war injury. In January 2006 ABC news reporter Bob Woodruff was wounded by an IED in Iraq. The incident got front-page coverage by the Times the next day and several more stories in the following days. None of those stories mentioned TBI. That changed on February 27, 2007 when a press conference promoted an upcoming ABC documentary based on a new book co-authored by Woodruff and his wife Lee. Speaking to the press, Woodruff headlined his struggle to overcome TBI—and with that, the new term was in play. The month before the press conference The New York Times carried two news stories mentioning TBI, neither about war veterans. But the paper’s report on the news conference about Woodruff’s wounding in Iraq mentioned TBI four times; in the following month, nine Times stories made the TBI-veterans connection. The most important of the nine was retired General Paul D. Eaton’s March 6, 2007 opinion piece that was a virtual sequel to the 1972 op-ed written by psychiatrist Chaim Shatan that led to the acceptance of PTSD. Now, despite there having been virtually nothing beforehand about war-related TBI in the press or medical journals, Eaton, a retired general, declared TBI to be “the signature malady of this [Iraq] war.” Five days later, Times reporters Susan Sontag and Debora Alvarez moved “the signature malady” phrase off the opinion pages and into mainstream news, writing as a matter of that that “TBI has become a signature wound of this war” (italics added). For the antiwar movement, TBI weighed on the side of its campaign to show the unacceptable costs of the war. Coming at the time it did, however, it also occluded the political viability of Iraq Veterans Against the War, just as Vietnam veterans in the streets as protesters were eventually reimaged through the lens of PTSD. On January 13, 2008, Sontag and Alvarez set the media and medical worlds abuzz with a 5,600-word front-page Sunday Times story about 121 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars arrested for homicides after their return home. Many of the murder victims were wives, girlfriends, and children. Accompanied by a montage of individual portraits, the legal cases described had the earmarks of troubled masculinity all over them but the Times reporters weren’t seeing that—for them, the violence perpetrated by the veterans was less important as evidence of their crimes, or arrested adult development, than symptoms of their trauma. By this time, the country was awash in news reports on veterans home with mental health issues. Riding the wave of interest created by coverage of the Bob Woodruff saga, virtually all major newspapers and television news organizations did their own series and feature stories on the new generation of warriors carrying the “invisible” and “hidden wounds of war,” phrases to be read as code for PTSD and TBI. The Times, having mainstreamed the very trauma discourse it had been instrumental in constructing, extended that imprimatur to its influential Book Review pages where a PTSD-themed book as curious as Jennifer Percy’s Demon Camp about the religious exorcism of veterans’ troubles could be praised. . . . A fictional character can have a powerful impact. If Jenk’s snarky sendup of the Times’s zealotry for PTSD had gotten highlighted for us as a reason to read Phil Klay’s Redeployment, it might have been a game-changer. But the Times itself dominates the book world so on March 9, 2014 when its own reviewer, Dexter Filkins,  unsurprisingly ignored Jenks words and force-fitted the rest of Klay’s book into the outlines of the established post-Vietnam War story-lines—even with the obligatorily favorable (but inaccurate, in this case) comparison with Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried—that chance was lost. And so, the beat goes on. The Times’s April 13, 2014 Sunday Review section gave front-page billing to columnist Nicholas Kristof’s lamentations for the PTSD/TBI stricken veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who are under-cared for by the Veterans Administration, prone to suicide, and forgotten by the Americans who sent them off to war. It’s a sad and shameful call-to-care that we need to hear, but a call that would be all the more compelling were it not for Jenks’s “if” hanging on the bugle. Jerry Lembcke is Associate Professor Emeritus of Sociology at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass. He is the author of The Spitting Image: Myth, Memory and the Legacy of Vietnam and  Hanoi Jane: War, Sex, and Fantasies of Betrayal. His newest book is PTSD: Diagnosis or Identity in Post-empire America? He can be reached at  jlembcke@holycross.edu.
  • Saudi Arabia Replaces Spy Chief Who Failed to Deliver on Syria
    Saudi Arabia Replaces Spy Chief Who Failed to Deliver on SyriaBy Joseph FitsanakisSaudi Arabia has replaced its intelligence chief, who is widely seen as the architect of the kingdom’s interventionist policy on the Syrian civil war. The government-owned Saudi Press Agency announced on Tuesday that prince Bandar bin Sultan had been “relieved of his post at his own request”. Bandar was born in 1946 to a concubine of crown prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, 12th son of Saudi monarch King Abdulaziz. In 1983, Bandar was appointed ambassador to the United States, a post he held until 2005. He developed numerous connections in Washington and rose to become a leading operator in Middle East affairs, enjoying to this day very close personal ties with Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. In 2012 he was appointed director of the Saudi Intelligence Agency, the country’s primary intelligence organization. Since that time, he has been the primary planner of Riyadh’s hawkish policy on the Syrian civil war, which has been to openly support the rebel groups fighting to oust the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Saudi Arabia began supplying weapons, cash and intelligence to the Syrian rebels as soon as Bandar took control of the country’s intelligence apparatus. But his once close relations with Washington went sour last year, when he described US President Barack Obama’s refusal to launch military strikes on Syria as a “major shift” in American Middle East policy. He also angered the US by criticizing it’s rapprochement with the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is Riyadh’s major regional adversary. Perhaps most important of all, Bandar appears to have underestimated the strength of the al-Assad administration and over-confidently advising King Abdullah in 2012 that the Syrian government’s days were numbered. The stalemate in the Syrian civil war seems to have frustrated the Saudi government, which began to gradually distancing itself from Bandar’s musings since January. The prince has spent most of 2014 in the United States and Morocco, ostensibly for “medical treatment”. According to Saudi government media, Bandar has been replaced “on an interim basis” by his deputy, Yousef al-Idrissi. Meanwhile, insiders report that the Syria file has been transferred to prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the kingdom’s minister of interior. It is worth noting, however, that Bandar remains secretary general of the National Security Council, an influential advisory board that directs Saudi Arabia’s national security, intelligence and foreign policy strategy.
  • Syrian opposition’s call on US, act of desperation
    Syrian opposition’s call on US, act of desperationby Jim W. Dean, VT Editor, … with Press TV, Tehran Press TV has conducted an interview with Jim W. Dean, the managing editor of Veterans Today from Atlanta, about the head of the so-called Syrian National Coalition, Ahmad Jarba urging Washington to respond to what it describes as “genocide” by Syrian forces in the northern city of Aleppo. [ Note: You can watch the 4 minute video interview on PressTV here.] This is not an active link. Please click video link about. What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview. ________________________________ Ahmad Jarba – Syrian National Council war criminal Press TV: What do you make of this call by Ahmad Jarba first of all? Dean: Well if the situation weren’t so sad it would be kind of funny. I mean the Syrian National Council … have been up in Aleppo and the carnage that they have inflicted on the Syrian people up there with hostage taking, forced marriages, rapes, robbing, they have been killing each other and for him to send a letter now complaining that the Syrian army is committing genocide by trying to stop this, I think [this] man is losing his senses. And really these people need to be …., I do not know why the UN or somebody has not charged them with war crimes, they do not have diplomatic immunity, they should have been arrested and had been in prison instead of staying at five-star hotels. Press TV: Well does this call in your opinion come from a sense of desperation on the part of this so-called Syria National Coalition because we are seeing the Syrian army making gains from region after region in Syria? Dean: Well sure. They certainly have and then the rebels have been supported by Turkey up in that region and then they are also getting supported by America’s allies, Saudi Arabia and Qatar coming in through the Iraqi border. So it is an act of desperation but I do not see the US, I mean what do you think the US is going to do, start putting airstrikes on Damascus at this point? And they could have avoided the whole thing if they had agreed to negotiations where they would have an election; they could have calmed this thing down. Assad has lasted because the terrorist strategy of the West backfired. They had the option to do it but they said no, we want Assad out; we are going to basically enter negotiations where we want Assad to surrender. We are now the countries behind him because he stood up to the world powers and held them off at this point. So he has earned the right to run for re-election and the Syrian people are not going to bow down at this point with a hundred and fifty thousand deads and probably half a million – six, seven hundred thousand wounded. Press TV: And before I let you go Mr. Dean, you raised a point of what is the US going to do, not just the US but what are the backers of these insurgents going to do as the tide of public opinion is so against what is happening in Syria at the hands of these foreign-backed al-Qaeda linked insurgents? Do you think these governments are going to continue funding and supporting these terrorists? Dean: I think they will and I think if they are pushed out of Syria they are going to go somewhere else and until the international community, the UN has done nothing, the ICC has done nothing, this whole concept of diplomatic immunity for state actors who engage in terrorism particularly on a huge scale that has happened in Syria, we really have to visit now what a danger diplomatic immunity is when it choses that is a protection screen to engage in terrorism which jeopardizes all of this. It is time to basically put some qualifications on that. American Regime change  -  One head at a time __________________________________ Related Posts:Towards Balkanization? Syria Swings between Hell and DialogueObama treachery: War crimes, Syrian atrocities and WWIII“We Didn’t Know There Were Chemical Weapons”Assad Agrees to Go – Says Russian AmbassadorThe Peace People and Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire says ‘NO to War in Syria’ Short URL: http://www.veteranstoday.com/?p=298092 The views expressed herein are the views of the author exclusively and not necessarily the views of VT or any other VT authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors or partners. Legal Notice Posted by Jim W. Dean on Apr 17 2014, With 1044 Reads, Filed under Editor, WarZone. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
  • Black Sun Rising — Part 5
    Black Sun Rising — Part 5by Jack Heart & Orage "Veterans Today"Jules Vernes inspired many a young boy to dream of star travel and powerful machines. What novelists imagined, scientists set out to bring into reality, often drawing from age-old texts and by observing nature. The turn of the century set in motion a rush for the last frontiers. Ever wondered where the inventions that became the icons of The American Dream came from? The everyday appliances that we rely on, the conveniences of modern life and entertainment? With all these gadgets that have dominated our modern lives the past 60 years, there are things that go far beyond. What the Futurists had dreamed up came from a source that propagandists have been busy describing as ultimate evil ever since. — Orage “We shall see them again at the epoch of the Revolution.” — Abbé Louis Constant (Éliphas Lévi) ________________________ Al Bielek I don’t remember exactly when I was formally introduced to him. I had seen him and Al Bielek in the clubs all the way back in ’89. In their polyester ensembles complete with plaid high waters to show off their buster brown shoes they had stood out like “undercover” cops amongst the bikers, mobsters and freshly minted Wall Street slicksters that made up the usual crowd. I was running security for a couple of strip clubs right across the street from Babylon Town Hall on Long Island. Preston Nichols was a three hundred and fifty pound gelatinous blob, and Bielek looked like he was playing Stan Laurel in an old black and white movie. I was working the door that night and they both stopped right in front of me, something most people avoided when there wasn’t a cover charge. They were having an animated conversation about music speaking with exaggerated self importance for what I took to be a couple of nerds on a whimsical midnight excursion to the wild side. For some reason it stuck in my mind. I remember Preston saying “well I really like U2,” like some important decision had just been reached. In 1992, the very same strange man would come out with an even stranger book. The story woven by Preston Nichols “a former employee of Grumman” and resident of East Islip, along with his coauthor, Peter Moon, would assume cult status three books later. They smoothly blend a powerful hallucinogenic out of the Brookhaven Lab, the aerospace industry, an old radar station at Montauk Point Long Island, and the invention of the vacuum and transistor tubes. Central to the narrative is the massive bombardment with oscillated microwaves of selected human beings in a specially built chair. The Montauk Chair enabled them to channel alternate realities. This was all based on the mathematics of John von Neumann. There was Aleister Crowley, secret underground bases, Nazi occult science, Grays and time travel. Controlling this latter day Illuminatus Trilogy is a “sinister” cabal that is able to operate in alternate realities to manipulate this one. According to Nichols, there is an underground complex in Montauk that is headquarters for a secret army of mind-controlled super soldiers. Trained by Nazi’s they are able to travel through time and space acting as trans-dimensional assassins and altering history anyway the cabal pleases. Amongst Nichols’ circle of friends his story was taken so seriously that John Ford, the president of the Long Island U.F.O. Network, and three of his friends, were given lengthy prison sentences after being “entrapped” in a 1996 plot to poison then Suffolk County Republican Chairman John Powell, Suffolk Legislator Fred Towle and Brookhaven Conservative Party chief Anthony Gazzola, by exposing them to radium. After Ford was arrested I would spend a terse couple of days with him in Long Island’s Riverhead Correctional Facility. I had known Preston Nichols for about four years by then. Sketch of Crowley’s Lam Nichols’ and Moon’s narrative uses the Babylon working as the cabal’s raison d’être. Much of what goes on in Montauk revolves around achieving this magnum opus of all occult ceremonies.  In their narrative, the Babylon working is designed to bring about the incarnation of the Moon Goddess. It is the culmination of a mysterious and archaic rite that Aleister Crowley called the Amalantrah working. Crowley performed the Amalantrah working in the spring of 1918 on Esopus Island on the Hudson River in New York. He spent that summer on Long Island’s Montauk Point. Crowley’s sexual partner or conduit, the Scarlet Woman as Crowley called her, was a woman named Roddie Minor. Crowley dubbed her the camel after the Qabalistic meaning of the third Hebrew letter, Gimel, which is the path to the crown of god in the Sepher Yetsirah. Long afterwards, Crowley would make cryptic references to the city of the pyramids and an ethereal guide he had for the Amalantrah working whom he called Lam. The one picture Crowley drew of Lam would define the Grey for the next hundred years. Crowley’s Lam The ritual, or some part of it, was attempted again in 1946 by a few of Crowley’s more notable disciples; Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and the flamboyant American rocket scientist Jack Parsons, the man Operation Paperclip’s poster-boy Wernher von Braun would call the real father of America’s space program. Parsons’ scarlet woman was actress Marjorie Cameron. They renamed their ritual the Babylon working. Creating a homunculus – lab experiment that went wrong In 1952, Parsons, who in letters addressed Crowley as “Most Beloved Father” and would recite Crowley’s Hymn to Pan before each test launch, is said to have perished in a lab explosion. His body was burned beyond recognition. A few hours later, Parsons’ beloved mother would commit suicide. They were both buried in closed coffins, fueling conspiratorial speculation that neither was dead. Journalist Michael Hoffman II has said that Parsons was trying to conjure a homunculus when the lab explosion took place. A homunculus is an ethereal being that the master alchemist grows in a jar. It knows many secrets of the universe, which it will impart to the alchemist who creates it. On the dark side of the moon, there is a crater named after Jack Parsons. The Montauk Project, by Preston B. Nichols The cover of Nichols first book, The Montauk Project: Experiments in Time, features an artist’s rendition of a rearing stallion of ominous muscular proportions. Nichols goes on in the book to say that man’s future can only be accessed so far, then the time traveler will always find himself in a barren and uninhabited landscape before a statue of a great rearing horse. In 1993, New Mexican artist Luis Jimenez was commissioned to build a thirty-two foot high statue of a similar stallion rearing up in the middle of the then-unfinished Denver International Airport. The airport would open in 1995, but the statue would not be completed until much later. Jimenez was killed in 2006, when a section of the unfinished horse fell from a hoist at his studio in Hondo, New Mexico. His sons would finally finish the horse in 2008. Statue at Denver International Airport Since then, about twenty-eight million travelers per year are treated to the spectacle of the rearing horse. Its most notable feature is its ability to leave lasting impressions of fear and dread in small children. The statue is also known as the “Devil Horse” or “Satan’s Steed.” Because of its strange architecture, decorum and history, Denver International Airport has been called a shrine to the New World Order by many legitimate researchers. Some have even tried to make a case that it is the external face of vast underground construction in the service of a Luciferian elite who are the hidden overlords of the west. Only one thing is really certain. The horse in the airport bears an uncanny resemblance to the horse on the cover of Preston’s Nichols first book. As Jim Morrison once said: “When all else fails / We can whip the horse’s eyes / And make them sleep.” Even before General Patton and his Third Army had reached the Skoda Works in Pilsen, he had already discovered the existence of National Socialism’s subterranean industrial citadels in Ohrdruf. Colonel Robert S. Allen, who was Patton’s Intelligence officer, described a miniature Akakor. The central installation was between two and three stories in volume and built with massively reinforced concrete. Twelve corridors extended from the center for several miles like the spokes of a wheel. The army signal corps estimated the cost of building just the telephone exchange that served the Ohrdruf installation, built in late 1944, at ten million dollars. Construction projects These construction projects required 257,000 cubic meters of steel-reinforced concrete, 213,000 cubic meters of tunnels [today about 97,000 cubic meters of tunnels are known, which means that if we assume the construction was close to completion, over a half of the underground galleries and chambers have yet to be discovered], 58 km of roads with six bridges, and 100 km of pipelines. For the Riese project alone, more concrete was used than was earmarked in 1944 for the whole population for the construction of air-raid shelters… — Albert Speer, Memoirs The underground installations had been built for the Germans by the Todt Organization, Germany’s equivalent to the Army Corps of Engineers. The organization had built the Autobahn, the Siegfried Line. And they would later build the Atlantic Wall, ostensibly under Albert Speer, when founder Fritz Todt, the Minister of Armaments and a member of the inner sanctum of the National Socialists, died in a plane crash after meeting with Hitler about the prosecution of the war in February of 1942. A similar device to the one operating below Ohrdruf finds a place in declassified literature as follows: On December 6, 1944, the US Military Intelligence Service commenced Research Project 1217 “Investigation into German Possible Use of Rays to Neutralize Allied Aircraft Motors”. This resulted from “recent interference phenomena occasionally experienced on operations over Germany in the Frankfurt/Main area.” It was usually described as “freakish interference to engines and electrical instruments” over the north bank of the Main River, about ten miles from Führer headquarters Adlerhorst. In a top secret report entitled “Engine Interference Counter-Measures” addressed to the Director, Air Technical Service Command, Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio, reference was made to OSS discussions about a German unit somewhere near Frankfurt am Main operating “…an influence interfering with conventional aircraft… however incredible it may appear to project from the ground to a height of 30,000 feet sufficient magnetic energy to interfere with the functioning of the ignition system of an airplane, it must be concluded that the enemy not only intends to interfere with our aircraft by some immaterial means, but has also succeeded in accomplishing this intention…” — US Nat Archive NARA/US Strategic Air Forces in Europe – Air Intelligence Summaries, January 1945 et seq. 6 February 1945, Subject: Engine Interference Counter-measures. To: The Director, Air Technical Service Command, Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio, Engineering Division. From: Taylor Drysdale, Director Technical Services, HQ European Theatre of Operations, PoW and X Detachment, Military Intelligence Service, US Army. Dorsch, left of Speer In spite of the Zionist fairytale narrative, Speer was never a member of National Socialism’s inner sanctum. As Todt’s successor as Minister of Armaments, he was in charge of the Todt organization only by title. The operational chief was Franz Xaver Dorsch, a survivor of the original beer hall putsch and one of the founding members of the National Socialist Party. Dorsch reported directly to Martin Bormann. In April of forty-four when Hitler decided to move German industry underground wholesale he removed Speer and replaced him with Dorsch as head of the Todt Organization. Dorsch walked, even though he was in charge of almost one million slave laborers. He would go on to live another forty years as a titan of the suddenly resurgent German industry. Dorsch Consult was founded in 1951. It became Dorsch Gruppe in 2006. Dorsch Gruppe is currently Germany’s largest independent planning and consulting company. The Kommissars were not yet through raping the German woman when Dorsch was commissioned to write papers for the American military. One of which was published in 1947. In his book Hidden in Plain Sight: Beyond the X-Files; Dr. Richard Sauder, who writes extensively on deep underground military bases, says “I have two declassified Project Paperclip memoranda in my files that specifically request four men with expertise in underground construction, one of whom is Xaver Dorsch.” ________________________ Most of us have never seen this By the time Germany hosted the summer Olympics in Berlin in 1936 it was the jewel in crown of western civilization. National Socialism had brought it there from the dung heap of Europe within a few short years. But the National Socialists had help. German technology was by some estimates a hundred years ahead of the rest of the world. When the Germans wanted to show off Baron Manfred von Ardenne had invented television so the Olympics could be broadcast live to Europe. As far as radio waves beamed into the expanses of the universe Adolph Hitler has a thirty-eight year head start on the Arecibo message. Even before they reached the German border the amazed Americans had found audio tape when they “liberated” Luxemburg. The October issue of Harper in forty-six depicts an American intelligence operative pulling a miniature vacuum tube “half the size of a thumb” and a spool of tape from his desk draw. He quips breathlessly “That’s Magnetophone tape.” Astounded by German magnetic science he bubbles on “its plastic, metallized on one side with iron oxide. In Germany that supplanted phonograph recordings. A day’s Radio program can be magnetized on one reel. You can demagnetize it, wipe it off and put a new program on at any time. No needle; so absolutely no noise or record wear. An hour-long reel costs fifty cents.” Amongst the booty brought back to America Harper mentions “a walnut-sized motor which spun a rotor at 10,000 rpm – so fast that originally it had destroyed all lubricants with the great amount of ozone it produced.” There were ultraviolet lights for sterilizing milk and infrared red lights for night vision optics. There was a cold extrusion process that enabled a thousand percent increase in the production of small parts made from steel. Magnetic fields, aside from being used to record sound, were also being used to artificially produce Mica. A revolutionary German condenser, now called a capacitor, is described in Harpers as “magic, double-distilled.” All the way back in 1934 German inventor Oskar Heil, expanding on the work of Dr. Heinrich Barkhausen, developed the velocity-modulated tube. Heil’s tube was able to beam electrons in bunches allowing for the generation of far higher frequencies than were possible with the vacuum tube. The Heil tube was the first practical microwave generator. It predated by three years the klystron, a specialized vacuum tube used for the same purposes. Wikipedia coyly tells its readers velocity-modulated tubes are “very much” still in use today in microwave technology. Smart bomb Heil was also issued several patents for “transistor-like” devices before the war. In 1947 he was “invited” to America. By the end of 1947 Bell Laboratories announced the invention of the “point-contact transistor.” The transistor tube would make its début for Christmas. In 1956 John Bardeen, William Shockley and Walter Brattain, of Bell Labs would win the Nobel Prize for it. In 1962, Heil would found Heil Scientific Labs Inc. and live happily ever after working within the defense industry of the empire. Harper credits the Germans with having “138 types of guided missiles in various stages of production or development” and “using every known kind of remote control and fuse: radio, radar, wire, continuous wave, acoustics, infra-red, light beams, and magnetic.” There were plans for a rocket-motored bomber which would be over New York City from Europe in forty minutes. The V9 was a twenty-nine thousand pound rocket that could hit a target 3000 miles away reaching 5,870 miles an hour upon delivery. Harper sites a senior American intelligence officer as saying the outcome of the war would have been doubtful had the invasion of Europe been delayed just six more months. The Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov would end up publicly accusing America and Britain of helping themselves, through plundered German patents and technology, to ten billion dollars in reparations. That’s 1940’s dollars. The Secretary’s Report from 1946 by the United States Department of Commerce documents the “Technical Industrial Intelligence Committee” sifting through some three and half billion papers from every facet of German industry. Of those they committed three and a half million pages to microfilm. The Library of Congress Quarterly Journal of Current Acquisitions for August of 1946 estimated that between a thousand and fifteen hundred tons of German air documents had been collected. They go on to say the final “screened library” now at Wright Field is estimated to be two hundred and twenty tons. America’s wanton rape of Germany’s private intellectual property not only violated the Hague Convention but every rule of common decency. Even the British were appalled and vowed publicly to respect Germany’s patents. America never did. She launched her golden age of technology with great fanfare bringing Wernher von Braun over act as both master of ceremonies and court jester. One of the largest hauls of classified information harvested by the Allies came from laboratories and plants of IG Farben, a syndicate with close American ties that held an almost complete monopoly on chemical production. Chemistry of course was the foundation for the creation of most synthetics. The enormous IG Farben Building in Frankfurt, which housed records of estimable value, was ‘miraculously’ spared during World War II bombing orgy, proving that better bombing accuracy was possible if the Allies had wished it. The vaults of the Farben Building contained secret industrial information on, among others, liquid and solid fuels, metallurgy, synthetic rubber, textiles, chemicals, plastics, drugs and dyes. Secret formulas were obtained for over 50,000 dyes. Several U.S. Army officers stationed in the Farben Building after the war commented that the value of the files and records confiscated would alone have been sufficient to finance the war. — Daniel W. Michaels Stretching from Ohrdruf to beyond Germany’s eastern borders lay the hypogeum empire of the SS, presided over by the ruthless and efficient prince General Hans Kammler. The Książ Castle , on what is now Poland’s western border with the Czech Republic, is nestled in a foreboding grove of trees outside the ancient village of Fuerstenstein. The “Nazi Bell” was located there before it was moved to Waldenburg, now called Walbrzych, forty-five kilometers to the south. It would last be seen beneath the village of Ludwigsdorf (Ludwikowice) in the labyrinth of mining tunnels that run like veins through the northern flank of the Sudeten Mountains. ________________________ The Truth about the Wunderwaffe The Nazi Bell has become the twenty-first century’s answer to Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein. Like voguish Boris Karloff’s some writers have made a cottage industry out of it. But like Frankenstein always going back to Mary Shelly all the Nazi Bell stories go back to Igor Witkowski, a Polish writer who has done extensive historical work on WWII. Witkowski claims to have been privy to court dispositions and transcripts taken by the NKVD during the interrogation of Jakob Sporrenberg the SS-Gruppenführer und Generalleutnant der Polizei for Poland and Belarus. The Polish courts would subsequently hang Sporrenberg at the end of 1952, after having found him guilty of war crimes in 1950. According to Sporrenberg Die Glocke, as it was called in German, was a bell shaped casing made out of a hard and heavy metal. It was filled with a mercury-like substance code-named Xerum 525. The metallic liquid was violet-colored and had to be stored in three centimeter thick lead encased receptacles. The experiments always took place under a ceramic cover and involved two cylinders rotating with great centrifugal force in opposite directions. During the experiments, which were about a minute in duration, the bell would glow pale blue in color. The chamber the experiments took place in was deep underground and had a thirty square meter floor area. The whole chamber was encased in ceramic bricks overlaid with rubber mats. It was thoroughly flushed with a brine-like liquid after every experiment. The mats were replaced after every few experiments and after every ten the whole chamber was replaced with only the bell remaining. During the testing personnel were kept a hundred-fifty to two-hundred meters away. Electrical equipment within that circumference would invariably short circuit. The first experiments were performed in late 1944. During those tests animals and plants were placed within the bells sphere of influence. The test subjects all died. A crystalline substance would form within the tissue and the body fluids gelled separating into fractions and killing the organism. The subjects all exhibited an accelerated rate of decomposition but were absent of any odors of putrefaction. Within eight to fourteen hours after the experiment the plants would have the consistency of axel grease. Five of the original seven scientists working on the bell died. In the second experiments, in early 1945, the mortality rate was reduced to 10 to 15%. Humans would experience disturbances of sleep, unsteadiness on their feet and loss of memory. They were also plagued with a permanent metallic taste in their mouth. If one follows the old railroad tracks out of Ludwigsdorf and up into the Sudeten’s foothills, they intersect the now abandoned Wenceslas Mine hidden in a valley. At the far end of the valley next to a now crumbling facility that was once capable of burning a thousand tons of coal a day, a thirty meter wide concrete ring is suspended ten meters high by ten concrete pillars. Heavy duty hooks are built into the tops of each of them and on the ground there is a junction for electric cables that were once powered by the coal burning facility. Inside of the ring the ground has been excavated to about a meter and lined with ceramic bricks. Helicopter testing cage During the war, the Wenceslas mines’ underground concrete bunkers had been carefully concealed beneath its buildings and freshly planted trees. The concrete ring had been painted green to camouflage it from planes. No one even goes there anymore, even by foot. The mine shaft itself has been flooded. Nick Cook in The Hunt For Zero Point claims, in the finest British tradition, that the SS shot all sixty-two scientists involved with the project. Regardless, the Germans considered the bell to be Kriegsentscheidend, war decisive, and their highest security classification. Junkers 390 General Hans Kammler, who would have been the commanding officer overseeing the bell, had melted away right in the face of the soviet advance. Kammler officially denied his Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler’s written request for a “truck,” an SS code word for a Junkers 390; a six-engine monster cargo plane capable of flying to NY and back. Then Kammler had vanished into history along with the bell and one of Germany’s only two prototype 390s. Some stories say he was shot dead in Czechoslovakia, others that he took the bell to Argentina, and still others the United States. No body, bell nor plane has ever been found. Walter Gerlach Witkowski says Sporrenberg fingered Walter Gerlach as the scientist in charge of the bell experiments. Since the beginning of 1944, Gerlach had been the plenipotentiary for nuclear physics at the Reich Research Council. After the war, he had been targeted by Alsos for interment and eavesdropping at Farm Hall. It could easily be deduced that the Nazi Bell was some kind of experimental particle accelerator being used for the enrichment of uranium. But Walter Gerlach had written his doctorate while in the apprenticeship of Friedrich Paschen, acknowledged by his peers as the greatest experimental spectroscopist of his time. Paschen is the discoverer of the Paschen Series, a series of hydrogen spectral lines in the infrared region that he first observed in 1908, the same year the twenty year old Gerlach had began his doctoral studies under him. During WWI, Gerlach had worked on wireless communication for the German army under the guidance of the brilliant Max Wien, who was written out of history by the Zionists for his blatant anti-Semitism, who but is the inventor of the Wien bridge-oscillator. Wien had collaborated with Paschen by correspondence as early as the summer of 1895. In 1921, Gerlach was recruited by the German-Jewish scientist Otto Stern, who just like his mentor Albert Einstein, lacked even the most rudimentary skills in experimental physics. Gerlach would prove in the lab what Stern had suspected. Magnetic fields restrict the spatial orientation of atomic and subatomic particles. “Their” discovery would be christened the Stern-Gerlach experiment and would open the doorway for German scientists, uninfected by the false science of Einstein, to harness the limitless energy of the ether. Without Riemann geometry, there would have been no theory of relativity. A half century before Einstein stole his first patent, German mathematician Bernard Riemann had invented a non-Euclidian geometry that enabled the descriptions of higher dimensions, making possible the theory of relativity. In 1932, Jon von Neumann would write the mathematical bible for quantum mechanics; Mathematische Grundlagen der Quantenmechanik. By then, von Neumann had long since dubbed the infinite universes that he and his colleagues were trying to describe as Hilbert’s Space, after his teacher at the University of Gottingen, David Hilbert. The Germans took it for granted that Gravitational Waves existed, not only in this universe, but extended into the uncharted regions of the multiverse. They realized that to tap into them would be to tap into the primal force of the cosmos and appropriate for themselves the power of their enemy’s god. Kraftstrahlkanone or a Strong Ray Canon from schematics reproduced by yet another Nazi secret weapon researcher, Henry Stevens, as it is shown in Joseph Farrell’s Reich of the Black Sun. Kraftstrahlkanone or a Strong Ray Canon from schematics reproduced by yet another Nazi secret weapon researcher; Henry Stevens, as it is shown in Joseph Farrell’s Reich of the Black Sun. Farrell describes it as an “odd looking L-shaped weapon comprised some sort of crystal, then a series of hollow tubes, each focusing whatever beam was generated to a narrower and narrower point, until it emerged from a small hole, with allegedly deadly effectiveness, though limited range.” The hollow tubes, from outside to inside, are in incrementally longer lengths indicating the focusing of some kind of longitudinal wave. The crystal could very well be a quartz crystal oscillator, designed by L. A. Meacham and introduced in 1938. It was an improvement on the Wien bridge-oscillator. In the 1940’s, it would have allowed for the state of the art precision adjustment of wave frequencies. ________________________ Space age In 1997, Waldyr A Rodrigues Jr. and Jian-Yu Lu wrote a paper about what they called Undistorted Progressive Waves. These are families of waves traveling at arbitrary speeds which are distortion free and don’t spread out over a distance. Even if interfered with they return to “their original form after a certain period of time.” The paper introduced experimental data showing how a “Superluminal (faster than the speed of light) Electromagnetic X-Wave” can be launched by forcing one of these waves through a tiny hole that they called a “Finite Aperture Approximation.” They go on to make the mathematical argument that the theory of relativity has been compromised by the data resulting from their experiments. By 1922, Gerlach had already proved the power of the atom could be harnessed through magnetism. He had worked on the cutting edge of infrared spectroscopy and wireless communication with the most brilliant men in that field. Because of insufficient data Gerlach’s own field of expertise can only be described generically as electromagnetism. Regardless, by WWII he may very well have been the most important physicist alive. Hitler had thought so. As plenipotentiary of the Reich Research Council Gerlach had the power to take any course of action he saw fit in Germany’s version of the Manhattan Project. In spite of that, in the tradition of Wolfgang Cordan, there is little available in Wikipedia on Walter Gerlach. When he was returned to Germany in forty-six, Gerlach would go on to a career as a distinguished professor and first president of the Fraunhofer Society. But he would never again practice experimental physics, at least openly. The gods of war would have their days in the forties and many hopes and dreams would be trampled under their chariots. Perhaps no part of the carnage told a sadder tale for the human race than the story of Viktor Schauberger. Schauberger was an Austrian forestry engineer, a man of prodigious genius, who dreamed only of building a better world for all mankind. He was self taught in the likeness of von Ardenne and just like him, he did his talking in the lab and had little use for the pedantic sciences of the universities. His teacher was the babbling brooks and swirling rivers of the ancient Teutonic forests. It was while observing a trout holding its position, without any swimming effort at all, against the rushing current of a stream that Schauberger decided the trout was utilizing something other than kinetic energy. Schauberger reasoned that the animal was extracting the energy from the molecules of its own body by “condensing” them with extreme temperature gradients. He came to the conclusion that this condensing process took place in the motion of a vortex swirling into its own center. From his observations of naturally occurring tornados, whirlpools and the vortexes of galaxies Schauberger reasoned that this is how energy is released in nature. If he could force matter into this spiraling motion, what he called implosion, by rapidly condensing and spinning it until the particles of the atoms became “unglued,” he could tap into the power of the stars without ever having to split an atom. In Schauberger’s mind, industrialization with its dams and pollutants had interfered with the natural vortex patterns of water. These patterns are necessary for life to flourish. Water, once the life blood of the planet, had now become a pollutant sapping the planets vitality. With his writings Schauberger advocated the development of “bio-technical” machinery. He soon came to the attention of Adolph Hitler. In 1934, Schauberger was summoned to a meeting with Hitler and Max Planck, the founding father of quantum physics. Schauberger warned Hitler that under the current conditions, his Thousand Year Reich would not last past ten. He proposed to them a brand new world with unlimited free energy based on a science in harmony with nature. Hitler as a mystic must have been enthralled with Schauberger’s ideas. The meeting went long over the time that was allotted for it. After about two hours, Planck scoffed at him and told him nature and science have nothing to do with each other. A few years later nobody would be scoffing at Viktor Schauberger. The idea of negating gravity with vortexes had been floating around Germany at least since the twenties. In 1933, Ott Christoph Hilgenberg wrote his best known book, The Expanding Earth (Vom wachsenden Erdball), proposing that continental drift was the results of the earth expanding in volume. But before that he had published The Solution to the Mystery of Gravitation (Das Rätsel Gravitation gelöst) in 1929, and On Gravitation, Vortices and Waves in Moving Body’s (Tromben und Wellen in bewegten Medien) in 1931. Hilgenberg was one of the most influential of the German scientist’s singlehandedly rescuing the Technical University of Berlin by recovering the university’s cutting edge science library from the Soviet Union after the war. Repulsator In 1940 Schauberger applied for a patent on an energy generator that could be used for either aircraft or submarines. Schauberger described the device as a “multistage centrifuge with concentrically juxtaposed pressure chambers.” The self contained centrifugal system only relied on a small starter motor to bring its turbine up to around twenty thousand revolutions per minute but once there it supplied its own energy and when hooked to a gear shaft could act as a generator. Shortly after that, Schauberger would write to his cousin saying he had invented a new aircraft that didn’t make any noise. At the beginning of 1941 he was, at his own expense, still looking for a contractor to build a scale model prototype of what he called the “Repulsator.” He planned on using it to investigate “free energy production” and to prove his theory of “levitational flight.” In the ensuing months Schauberger would put away his wallet and the SS would give him carte blanche in the Third Reich, swearing him to work only for them in total secrecy and tipping him off that the industrial giant, Heinkel, had been stealing his patents. Schauberger was uncharacteristically secretive about what he was doing for the SS for the next couple of years, but it is known that he was working around the Sudeten Mountains. During one experiment, the Repulsator had actually shot up with such force that it had smashed against the hanger ceiling, severely damaging itself. In June of ’44, Schauberger was summoned to Breslau ostensibly to be drafted into the SS. But a month earlier he had been ordered to the Mauthausen Concentration Camp to select his own team of technicians from among the inmates to build as many as five different types of machines. It is stated in his archives that the SS wanted him to stop “tinkering around with prototypes and begin serious construction work.” In his diaries Schauberger says the machines were a water purifier, an energy device capable of generating high voltage electricity, a machine for “biosynthesizing” hydrogen fuel from water and another that “naturally” produced intense heat or cold. The fifth was dubbed the Fliegende Scheibe, or flying saucer. The Fliegende Scheibe was scheduled for its first flight on May 6th, 1945. Schauberger’s team stopped work on May 8th. The German armed forces officially stopped fighting that night. A few days later, Schauberger would be apprehended by American intelligence forces in Leonstein. Almost simultaneously across the country in Vienna, the Russians would enter his apartment, confiscate whatever they could find, then blow the building up just in case they had missed anything. The Americans would intensively debrief Schauberger for the next nine months, releasing him in March of 1946 under the oath that he would never work on what he called “atomic” technology again. By 1958, Schauberger was seventy-two years old and suffering from a bad heart and emphysema. Karl Gerchsheimer, a transplanted German acting as an agent for American financier Robert Donner, flew to his home in Austria and promised him glory and riches in the United States. Gerchsheimer had prior links to the intelligence community and the NASA, Donner was tied into America’s version of Frankenstein’s castle, the National Atomic Research Laboratories at the Brookhaven Lab on Long Island. Schauberger still dreaming of giving the human race his free energy technology took the bait. Upon his arrival in America, he met with implosion experts from the Brookhaven Lab supposedly to assess the feasibility of his ideas. After dickering with the dying man for months Donner finally got him to sign a document, that hadn’t been translated into German, turning over to the Donner-Gerchsheimer consortium everything Schauberger ever did with his implosion technology. They swore him to secrecy and put him on a plane back to Austria. Schauberger died five days after he got home. In the 1990s, Russian scientist Eugene Podkletnov caused a furor amongst the aerospace industry and their academic drones when he announced that in gravity modification experiments he had been able achieve as much as a 5% reduction in a targeted objects weight. He was using rotating magnets to spin superconducting doughnut shaped discs, specially made for him by Toshiba, at speeds exceeding twenty thousand revolutions per minute. Fully anticipating his hostile audience, Podkletnov tried to pad his industry, jeopardizing experimental results with an explanation for his research into this forbidden field. He told them a self-effacing story about how he had first noticed the torsion effects on gravity when a lab colleague’s pipe smoke was funneled in a column over an unrelated experiment he was doing. In an interview over ten years ago with Nick Cook, he admitted that at speeds of between twenty-five and fifty thousand revolutions per minute, he had achieved full levitational effect. At the time of the interview, Podkletnov was being financed by Toshiba. He also admitted to Cook that he comes from a long line of prominent Russian scientists. His father, who was a respected scientist, had been a recipient of what the Red Army had found when they searched Viktor Schauberger’s Vienna apartment in the aftermath of WWII. Podkletnov had been studying his father’s Schauberger papers all his life. They were the foundation of his work. “Observe and Copy Nature” — Viktor Schauberger ________________________ President Truman’s Executive Order 9604: It is the policy of this Government, subject to the requirements of national military security, that there shall be prompt, public, free and general dissemination of enemy scientific and industrial information. The expression “enemy scientific and industrial information,” as used herein, is defined to comprise all information concerning scientific, industrial and technological processes, inventions, methods, devices, improvements and advances heretofore or hereafter obtained by any department or agency of this Government in enemy countries regardless of its origin, or in liberated areas, if such information is of enemy origin or has been acquired or appropriated by the enemy. Art. 53. An army of occupation can only take possession of cash, funds, and realizable securities which are strictly the property of the State, depots of arms, means of transport, stores and supplies, and, generally, all movable property belonging to the State which may be used for military operations. All appliances, whether on land, at sea, or in the air, adapted for the transmission of news, or for the transport of persons or things, exclusive of cases governed by naval law, depots of arms, and, generally, all kinds of munitions of war, may be seized, even if they belong to private individuals, but must be restored and compensation fixed when peace is made. Art. 56. The property of municipalities, that of institutions dedicated to religion, charity and education, the arts and sciences, even when State property, shall be treated as private property. All seizure of, destruction or willful damage done to institutions of this character, historic monuments, works of art and science, is forbidden, and should be made the subject of legal proceedings. Convention (IV) respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land and its annex: Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land. The Hague, 18 October 1907. “Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster… for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.”―Friedrich Nietzsche “All of us knew very well that if the girls were German they could be raped and then shot. This was almost a combat distinction.” — Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Gulag Archipelago.  ________________________ Citations The Montauk Project: Experiments in Time, by Preston B. Nichols, Peter Moon, Sky Books (NY); 1992, 156 pages ISBN-13: 978-0963188908. Hidden in Plain Sight: Beyond the X-Files by Ph.D. Dr. Richard Sauder Keyhole Publishing Company; 2012 ISBN-13: 978-0967799520. Harper’s Magazine Oct, 1946, ”Secrets by the Thousands,” by C. Lester Walker, http://greyfalcon.us/restored/October1.htm  -  Copies of this rare edition now sell for 17.42 US: http://www.ebay.ca/itm/HARPERS-October-1946-JOHN-D-WEAVER-HOMER-CROY-JOHN-FISCHER-KERMIT-ROOSEVELT-/310542192568?pt=Magazines&hash=item484dc1cfb8&_uhb=1 The Hunt for Zero Point, Nick Cook, http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/archivos_pdf/hunt_zeropoint.pdf Space Quantization in a Magnetic Field, http://www.applet-magic.com/sterngerlach.htm Walter Gerlach Matter, Electricity, Energy: The Principles of Modern Atomistic and Experimental Results of Atomic Investigations, (D. Van Nostrand, 1928) Walther Gerlach: Die experimentellen Grundlagen der Quantentheorie, Vieweg, Braunschweig 1921. (Digitalis) Interview with Dr. Walther Gerlach, by Thomas S. Kuhn at Gerlach’s home, Munich, West Germany  February 23, 1963, http://www.aip.org/history/ohilist/4624_2.html Reich of the Black Sun, by Joseph Farrell, http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/reichblacksun/chapter13.htm Gravity Waves, http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2014/03/epic-gravitational-wave-discovery-points-to-multiple-universes.html Undistorted Progressive Waves, http://arxiv.org/pdf/hep-th/9606171v4.pdf The Truth About The Wunderwaffe, by Igor Witkowski, 346 pages RVP Press, 2013 ISBN-13: 978-1618613387 Interview with Dr. Eugene Podkletnov http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgyAFElQZcU http://www.riseearth.com/2014/03/stanford-physicist-vast-powerful-realm.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+riseearth%2FKZKa+%28RiseEarth%29 Authentic information about Viktor Schauberger directly from primary sources. http://www.pks.or.at/menu_en.html http://historyofscience2012.blogspot.de/2012/03/konrad-zuse.html Ott Christoph Hilgenberg in twentieth-century geophysics, G. Scalera, Braun http://hdl.handle.net/2122/2015 http://www.scientistsandfriends.com/ https://web.archive.org/web/20030822131551/http://www.warsawvoice.pl/index.phtml?pg=druk&a=2878 https://web.archive.org/web/20050824225836/http://www.warsawvoice.pl/view/7444 After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation Giles MacDonogh, 656 pages, Basic Books; 2009, ISBN-13: 978-0465003389 http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=http://lupocattivoblog.com/2013/10/27/hochtechnologie-entwicklungen-des-deutschen-reiches-bis-1945-und-deren-verbleib/&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dwalter%2Bgerlach%2Bhochspannung%26hl%3Den Samarangana Sutradhara, https://web.archive.org/web/20140404114341/ and, http://www.amastroacademy.com/documents/samarangana_sutradhara.pdf http://jackheart2014.blogspot.com/2014/03/gadgets-of-modern-life.html http://www.gutenberg.org/browse/authors/v#a60 Editing:  Erica P. Wissinger
  • Lavrov: Russia, US, EU, Ukraine agree on de-escalation roadmap
    Lavrov: Russia, US, EU, Ukraine agree on de-escalation roadmapBy RTRussia, the US, the EU and Ukraine have adopted a joint document on the de-escalation of the Ukraine crisis, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, after talks in Geneva. It calls for all illegal armed groups to lay down arms and a wide amnesty. The document calls for an “immediate start of a nationwide national dialogue within the framework of the constitutional process, which must be inclusive and accountable,” Lavrov said. The most important agreement reached during the talks, according to Lavrov, states that the Ukrainian crisis “must be resolved by the Ukrainians themselves concerning an end to the conflict” including those related to “detaining protesters, occupying buildings” and, in the long run “the start of true constitutional reform.” “Among the steps that have to be taken are: the disarmament of all the illegal armed groups, and the return of all the occupied administrative buildings,” Lavrov told journalists at the Thursday briefing. “An amnesty for all the protesters must take place, except of those who committed grave crimes,” the Foreign Minister added. The issue of illegal armed groups and seized buildings concerns all the regions of Ukraine, Lavrov stressed. “It is impossible to solve the problem of illegally seized buildings in one region of Ukraine when the illegally seized buildings are not freed in another,” he said. “Those who took power in Kiev as a result of a coup - if they consider themselves as representing the interests of all the Ukrainians - must show the initiative, extend a friendly hand to the regions, listen to their concerns, and sit down with them at the negotiation table,” Lavrov said. Lavrov said the document does not give any guidelines on the future political system of Ukraine. “We did not use any terms… There are federations where the rights of the regions are limited, and there are unitary states in name only where the regions have broad authority,” he explained. The goal of the meeting was to send a signal to the Ukrainians that they are responsible for stability in the country and must ensure that “each region can protect its history and language,” Lavrov stressed. “Only then will Ukraine be a strong state, a proverbial bridge between the East and the West,” Lavrov said. The Russian side on Thursday provided US and EU representatives with documents passed on from south-eastern Ukrainians, which contain “a thorough vision of how their interests should be reflected in the new [Ukrainian] constitution.” The OSCE’s (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) monitoring mission must play “the leading role” in assisting the Ukrainian authorities to resolve the crisis, Lavrov stressed, adding that Russia “will support” the mission’s work. The Geneva meeting has given Russia “hopes” that “the US and the EU are genuinely interested in a trilateral cooperation with Russia aimed at convincing the Ukrainian to sit down at the negotiation table,” Lavrov said. According to the Russian top diplomat, the Americans now have a “decisive influence” on the Kiev authorities, which should be used for resolving the crisis. Russia “does not want to send any troops to Ukraine,” Lavrov stressed, answering journalists’ questions. Moscow’s chief concern is that the rights of all the Ukrainian regions, including those with Russian-speaking majorities, must be taken into account in the constitutional reform. “We have absolutely no wish to send our troops to Ukraine, to the territory of a friendly state, to the land of a brotherly nation. This is against the fundamental interests of the Russian Federation,” Lavrov said. Calling the recent NATO statements on Ukraine’s neutrality “unacceptable,” Lavrov stressed that pushing for changes in the country’s non-aligned status will “undermine the efforts to resolve the crisis” in Ukraine. “The fact that Ukraine has chosen non-aligned status and enshrined it in its law must be respected by all and there should not be any attempts to doubt it or to erode its meaning,” the Russian Foreign Minister stressed. Ahead of the quadrilateral talks, Lavrov met US Secretary of State John Kerry, while EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton saw Ukraine’s acting Foreign Minister Andrey Deshchytsa. Both meetings were held behind closed doors.

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ریشهٔ، سعودی ـ سلفی، تروریسم! Image

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ریشهٔ، سعودی ـ سلفی، تروریسم!
ریشهٔ، سعودی ـ سلفی، تروریسم
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   گوینده : نیک پاکپور”NICK PAKPOOR” 
  گوینده چون گذ شته سعی می کند که تلاش تحلیلی وتشخیصی و تحقیقی خود را، براساس واقعیت های عینی و پر پایه پویش و پژوهش پروسه های تاریخی وتکوینی،تطوری استوار ساخته، تا از داوری عجولانه و غیر عادلانه، پرهیز نماید!  تا بدین وسیله توانسته باشم مرزهای مخدوش شده، مغشوش شده، بین طلب کاران وتهبه کاران، تهدید گران، تخریب گران وتجاوزگران، قصابان وغارتگران سیاسی را با مشعل دارن معتقد مقاومت مداوم ومحکم، ملی گرایان ومختارگران مقتدر ومتمدن جهان را که حاضر نیستند، سروری مشتی جلاد جانی، جهادی را، با سر خم کنی پذیرا شوند، را بطور صحیح وصرافانه از همدیگر متمایز، سازم.  امید است که منشاء تفکر زنده وزاینده در جهت بیداری، بصیرندگی وبسیجندگی همگانی باشد، یا شاید، کوششی باشد که سیاست را از سطح عامیانه وعوام پسندانه وناآگاهانه به سطح آگاهانه وهوشیارانه وآکادمیک شناسانه، ارتقاء داده باشم !  برای تحقیق وتشخیص تکوینی وتاریخی، ریشه و رویش و افزایش، تروریسم جانی ،جهانی، می بیست عقربه زره بین سنج زمان را به سال های قبل وبعد از جنگ جهانی اول ، عقب گرد داد، یعنی زمانی که امپراتوری تشنه تسلط وتصرف، تاراج وتجاوز بریتانیا با دستپاچکی و desperateکوشش می کند که بر تسلط عثمانی بر مناطق عرب نشین و بادیه نشین یا bedouin ، خاورمیانه به خاطر دست یازیدن به Titanic نفتی، پایان دهد.  لذا در سال 1917 میلادی، امپراتوری بریتانیا موفق می شود که Ibn Saud را که بصورت کلان های conjugal به همراه انواع واقسام تشکل هی tribalism - traditional فامیلی، قبیله ای، بدوی،بیابانی زندگی می کردند را به client و colonial خود بدل کند. نیک پاکپور      

 یاداشت ها:  Notes  1-How do you spell ”Terrorist” C I A  By William Engdahl  2-Saudi Arabia and CIA Behind Terror Bombings in Southern Russia?  By Bill Van Auken  3-Who is behind Syria’s “Opposition Rebels”? Mother Agnes Mariam versus the US Media  By Rob Prince  4-Global Terrorism and Saudi Arabia: Bandar’s Terror Network  By Prof. James Petras  5-World Renowned Peace Activist Collaborated with Stratfor and CIA  By Steve Horn and Carl Gibson  6-Volgograd and the Conquest of Eurasia: Has the House of Saud seen its Stalingrad?  By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya  7-Saudi digging own grave with its Middle East policies  PressTV  8-Bibi and Bandar Badger Obama  by FRANKLIN LAMB  9-Rothschild’s Saudi Lapdog Armed Syrian and Libyan Rebels  by Dean Henderson  10-On Western Terrorism from Hiroshima to Drone warfare  By Noam Chomsky and Andre Vltchek        

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توافق یا تطابق ایران با امریکا؟
توافق یا تطابق ایران با امریکا؟
به باور گوینده الیت سیاسی و نظامی ایران که در سه دهه گذ شته با ایستادگی اوستادانه در دفاع از وارستگی ملی، شطرنج سیاسی را شرافتدمندانه و سرافرازانه،بازی کرده است اجازه چینین کاری را به یاغی های غربی و یانگی های امریکایی نخواهد داد تا بساط شبه شوم وابستگی را دوباره در کشور زرفام و زرخیز زروان و زرتشت بگستراند. فراست ، فرزانگی و فریختیگی ایرانیان از فراشگرد فردایی حکایت و روایت می کند که نمازگذارانش بامهراب خون شهیدان به سجده وسپاس چون سپا با همگرای وهم صداءی و همراهی در همبستگی وهمبودگی، سرافرازانه و هو شیارانه به رژه ایستاده اند
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3 dead, 13 wounded
3 dead, 13 wounded in attack on Ukraine military base - Interior Ministry
Published on Apr 17, 2014
Three people were killed, 13 others injured by gunfire in a confrontation between anti-government protesters and soldiers stationed at a military base in Mariupol, Ukrainian interior minister Arsen Avakov says. READ MORE on the attack
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Switching Sides: Ukrainian armored unit joins anti-govt protesters in east
Published on Apr 16, 2014
Ukrainian armoured vehicle crews have switched sides, joining the anti-government protesters in the East. Activists place a Russian flag on one of them.

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Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Monday, April 7
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Visit http://www.democracynow.org to watch the entire independent, global news hour. This is a summary of news headlines from the United States and around the world as reported by Democracy Now! on Monday, April 7, 2014. Visit our website to read the complete transcript, search the vast news archive, or to make a donation to support our non-profit news program
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Saudi Arabia and the al-Qaeda Monster (3/5)
Madawi Al-Rasheed: Saudi Arabia helped create a network of terrorism to achieve political aims, and while it does come back to bite them at times, they promote a similar ideology and continue to these alliances - April 3, 14
PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay.
We're continuing our discussion about U.S.-Saudi relations, and we're going to dig in in this segment into the Saudi relationship with al-Qaeda type forces, extreme Islamists.
And now joining us again from London is Madawi Al-Rasheed. She's a visiting professor at the Middle East Center at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her recent publications include A History of Saudi Arabia and A Most Masculine State.
Thanks for joining us again, Madawi.
MADAWI AL-RASHEED, MIDDLE EAST CENTRE, LSE: Thank you.
JAY: So I mentioned in an earlier segment that the joint congressional committee investigating 9/11 had found that the Saudi government was responsible for financing and facilitating the 9/11 attacks. And I interviewed Senator Bob Graham, who was cochair of that congressional investigating committee, and I asked him why he thought the Saudis had done this, and his answer was that bin Laden had told the Saudi king or the Saudi royal regime that he had 10,000 fighters that he could send to Saudi Arabia to try to develop an uprising against the Saudi royal family if they didn't help him launch these attacks. I don't know if Bob knows that for sure or not, Bob Graham, I don't know whether it's true or not true in terms of their motivation, but it is a kind of reflection of this very complicated relationship, where on the one hand, bin Laden's force, you know, when he was alive, certainly seemed to make the Saudi regime his main enemy, other than perhaps Shia. He talked about the way the Saudis' royal family had sold out to the Americans and such. On the other hand, there's all kinds of evidence that the Saudis have worked with these forces in Afghanistan and in many other places. So what is the nature of this relationship?
AL-RASHEED: It is a very complex relationship. To begin with, Saudi Arabia wanted to use Islamism in its fight against any external threat that may have an internal impact. I'll give you one example. In the 1950s and '60s, Saudi Arabia saw the threat to its regime coming from the leftist movement in the Arab world, and also from Arab nationalism, and it used Islamism as a counter-force to actually destroy these two movements. And therefore it sponsored Islamic education, it sponsored Islamic opinions that depict these movements as atheism. And also, during the Cold War, it enlisted its ideology on behalf of the West in order to fight battles elsewhere, such as, for example, in Afghanistan. And therefore the Saudi-Wahhabi dimension of all this al-Qaeda is extremely important, although the Saudi regime tries to distance itself from this kind of radicalism.
JAY: I think it's important to note that Eisenhower is quoted as saying that we will use--we being the United States--use the Saudis and their role in defending Mecca to help promote Wahhabism and the Saudi power to fight Nasserism, nationalism, and socialism. I may not have the quote exact, but I'm pretty close. And, of course, we know how much the CIA worked directly with the Saudis in Afghanistan. In fact, bin Laden gets to Afghanistan in a deal between the Saudis and the Americans.
AL-RASHEED: Yes, absolutely. This was part of the Cold War strategy, and Saudi Arabia deployed its ideology and support, and also funds, in order to fight wars elsewhere.
But the problem for Saudi Arabia is when this ideology came back to haunt the country itself. But it is almost like having a battle with your own ideology. And therefore it's very difficult for the Saudis to get rid of this kind of menace. And they haven't learned lessons from 9/11.
So if you look at what is going on in Syria now, they have--the Saudis have created armed rebels who are actually almost working on behalf of the Saudis in Syria, so that the Syrian revolution was derailed and lost its democratic slogans, and now it's--became a sectarian war between different groups, Shia and the Sunnis. And with Saudi intervention, we find that the rebels who were promoted were called the Islamic Front. And we have seen how this was unfolding in Syria.
Until recently, Saudi Arabia allowed its own young men to travel to Syria, or if it didn't allow them, it kept a blind eye. And only recently, just a week before Obama's visit, Saudi Arabia introduced this new antiterrorism law which says that anybody who goes to Syria and come back will face 20 years in prison.
An interesting thing is, yes, we may keep a blind eye on those people going, but we're going to arrest them when they come back. But there was no effort that was obvious to me that they will make sure they will not go there to fight--.
JAY: Well, it may be that they're going to make them stay there and fight, with a law like that.
AL-RASHEED: I think the best thing that Saudi regime can hope for is for them to go and die there.
JAY: That's sort of what I was saying.
There seems to have been a change from the days when the Saudis seemed to be very concerned about attacks on their regime in Saudi Arabia from al-Qaeda forces. There seems to have been a kind of accommodation in some way that now, in fact, it seems that the al-Qaeda type forces are almost, like, part of the way the Saudis wage asymmetrical warfare and use them in leverage. I mean, the most obvious place is in Syria, but you see it in Iraq. But then you see these threats--you know, I talked about 9/11, but we know about Bandar's threat, Prince Bandar's threat to Tony Blair when there was an inquiry into the bribery scandal based on Saudis buying several billion dollars of weapons, and apparently Bandar got a billion-dollar bribe, and Bandar says to Blair, you'd better stop this inquiry or I can't promise there won't be another 7/7 (when the buses blew up in London). And more recently, apparently, Bandar threatened Putin and said, you know, we control the Chechen terrorists. It seems like it's a lever of power in their hands.
AL-RASHEED: Yes, absolutely. And we have seen since 2008 there were no terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia. They managed to push al-Qaeda to Yemen, basically. They haven't destroyed it. They haven't, you know, removed it. They simply had forced it to migrate to Yemen. And a lot of Saudis have left Saudi Arabia to go there.
But the interesting thing is it has been used as a sort of a pressure on foreign governments, meaning that, you know, you do as we want you to do or we will not cooperate with you in terms of intelligence cooperation, or we would actually--you know, they wouldn't put it so directly, but, you know, it is a subtle hint that when the Serious Fraud Office in Britain wanted to open up the Al-Yamamah weapons deal and the corruption that was involved with BAE Systems, the Saudis immediately announced that if this serious fraud investigation goes ahead, they will cease to cooperate with Britain on intelligence, meaning that we will not be able to help you catch the terrorist, basically. And it is interesting that they may have had quite a close relationship, they know them so well, but they hold information about them that they're only going to release to those other intelligence services that cooperate with the Saudis, and also in governments that are supposedly friendly governments.
JAY: Right. And the Saudis--one of the intelligence agencies the Saudis cooperate a lot with is the Pakistani ISI, and the Pakistani ISI seems to play the same game: you know, collaborate to some extent with the West in antiterrorist operations; on the other hand, there's lots of evidence the ISI has all kinds of relationship with the Taliban and al-Qaeda type forces. In fact, journalists that have reported on this have been assassinated by the ISI, including one that worked with us.
AL-RASHEED: Yes. I mean, it is the al-Qaeda monster, it's the monster that was created at a particular historical moment and began to haunt all those contributing forces that made it happen and allowed it to flourish throughout the last three decades. And the Saudis had deployed the same strategy in Syria now, whereby individuals can go and join these rebels. They kept a blind eye for a long time. But then now, when international pressure is mounting, because they see how these rebels are really not an alternative to Bashar al-Assad, Saudis introduced this new terrorism law in order to deal with the situation. But whether it will actually work, I have my doubts.
JAY: And I guess the Americans have been so part of this policy of working with extreme Islamists that they can't say or don't want to say much about it.
AL-RASHEED: Yes. I mean, it is a well-known fact now. You know, the archives will be open and declassified information will be available, and future historians will probably write incredible books with concrete evidence. Now we get the information from leaked documents or from journalists who are actually in the field at the time and can report on us where the weapons to so-called rebels are coming from and who is sponsoring them.
JAY: Okay. In the next segment of our interview, we're going to discuss why Saudi Arabia considers Iran such a mortal enemy. Please join us with Madawi Al-Rasheed on The Real News Network.
End
Media

145 views

Media 'staged' Syria
The Truthseeker: Media 'staged' Syria chem attack (E36)
Published on Mar 23, 2014
BBC 'total fabrication from beginning to end' of Syria 'atrocity'; call to revoke visas for intel agents posing as reporters in NATO targets; CIA caught infiltrating CNN, and Operation Mockingbird is back.
Seek truth from facts with UK Member of Parliament George Galloway; Illinois University Professor of International Law Francis Boyle; investigative reporter John Helmer; ordinary Syrians; and Ukraine covergirl 'Julia'.

United state

Resegregation of Schools Image

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Resegregation of Schools
The Resegregation of American Schools
ProPublica reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones discusses her year-long investigation into how one of desegregation's success stories in Tuscaloosa, Alabama became one of the most segregated school systems in the country, as well as the high levels of segregation in northern schools 60 years after Brown v. Board of Education -
Bio
Nikole Hannah-Jones joined ProPublica in late 2011 and covers civil rights with a focus on segregation and discrimination in housing and schools. Her 2012 coverage of federal failures to enforce the landmark 1968 Fair Housing Act won several awards, including Columbia University's Tobenkin Award for distinguished coverage of racial or religious discrimination.
Prior to coming to ProPublica, Hannah-Jones worked at The Oregonian and The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. She has won the Society of Professional Journalists Pacific Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award three times and the Gannett Foundation Award for Innovation in Watchdog Journalism. She has also gone on reporting fellowships to Cuba and Barbados where she wrote about race and education.
Decriminalization/Legalization Image

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Decriminalization/Legalization
TRNN Debate: Decriminalization vs. Legalization
As Maryland is poised to become the next state to decriminalize marijuana, MD Delegate Keiffer Jackson Mitchell and LEAP Executive Director Neill Franklin debate whether it can end the racial disparity in drug-related arrests - April 11, 14
Bio
Keiffer Jackson Mitchell is a member of the Maryland House of Delegates for the 44th district in Baltimore City, and voted for the bill decriminalizing marijuana in the state of Maryland.
Neill Franklin, executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), is a 33-year police veteran who led multi-jurisdictional anti-narcotics task forces for the Maryland State Police and ran training for the Baltimore Police Department. After seeing several of his law enforcement friends killed in the line of fire while enforcing drug policies, Neill knew that he needed to work to change these laws that cause so much harm but do nothing to reduce drug use.
Transcript
TRNN Debate: Decriminalization vs. LegalizationJESSICA DESVARIEUX, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore.
This week, the Maryland Senate voted 34 to eight to decriminalize marijuana. It will soon be the law here in Maryland after Governor Martin O'Malley said he'll sign the bill, which would impose only civil fines, rather than criminal offenses, on those caught with less than ten grams of marijuana.
But what else is in the bill? There'll be fines for multiple offenses. A second violation would carry a $250 fine, and a third offense would have a $500 fine. Also, a violator who is younger than 21 would have to appear in court.
Maryland will be joining 24 other states that have either decriminalized marijuana or legalized it.
Now joining us in-studio to unpack how this will affect everyday citizens are our two guests.
Neill Franklin is the executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, otherwise known as LEAP. He's worked in law enforcement for more than 30 years and witnessed the war on drugs firsthand.
Also joining us is Keiffer Jackson Mitchell. He's a member of the Maryland House of delegates for the 44th District in Baltimore City, and he voted for the bill decriminalizing marijuana in the state of Maryland.
Thank you both, gentlemen, for joining us.
KEIFFER J. MITCHELL, DELEGATE, MARYLAND HOUSE OF DELEGATES: Thank you.
NEILL FRANKLIN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, LEAP: Thanks for having me.
DESVARIEUX: Okay. So let's just jump right into this. Keiffer, I'm actually going to start off with you--actually, you know, let's first start off with Neill, because I know at the end of the day we all recognize that the war on drugs is not working. And we are seeing--I want to pull up this chart--how it affects disproportionately African Americans. So you can see in these two charts there's twice as many blacks going to jail as whites for marijuana possession despite usage levels being about the same.
Neill, I know that you're critical a bout the bill because you guys are pushing, really, for legalization. But isn't this a step in the right direction? Oh, absolutely it's as step in the right direction. Obviously, I would prefer to legalize it, tax and regulate.
And the reason I think it's better for us to keep looking forward to tax and regulate is because even though we're not going to be criminally charging people for possession of ten grams or less of marijuana, what happens when they can't afford the $100 fine? Okay? Certain people will be able to afford the fine, but our poor communities will not. Folks in our poorer communities will not. And I believe it then becomes--a bench warrant may be issued, or if they don't show up in court, then we're back into the criminal realm. So in that sense it's still problematic.
And in decriminalization, as what this bill is about, still does nothing to get our marijuana dealers off of our street corners. Okay? It's still, you know, thousands if not millions of dollars going into the hands of criminal gangs and organizations, and ultimately ending up in the pockets of the cartel. And, again, marijuana across this country, really, around the globe, is roughly 60 percent of all the profits being made in the entire illicit drug trade. So, again, moving to a place of legalization, you know, tax, and regulation will bring that money away from criminal organizations, out of the pockets of criminal gangs, and into the pockets of our citizens and our state coffers.
DESVARIEUX: Keiffer, I wanted you to--get your response, address that first point that Neill made about us actually just getting back to where we started, people not being able to afford these fines.
MITCHELL: Right. Right. Well, we--you know, the bill, I think, is--it's a step in the right direction as it relates to criminal--in terms of the civil penalties. You know, you have the escalating fine of $100 to $250, and $500 on a third offense.
The fact remains that, you know, marijuana is still illegal in the state of Maryland. And to show that it is still illegal, you have these penalties. You know. I don't think if we had lowered the fine or anything like that, I don't think it would send much of a message that it is still a illegal narcotic in the state of Maryland and other states. So, you know, I think the $100 fine is right, and I actually think that the $250 and $500 fine is also right, with all due respect, a step in the right direction.
As--I always call him Colonel in everything, 'cause that was his title--as Colonel Franklin has said, that, you know, it's not going to get the drug dealers off the corners, things like that. But I always remind people from the study, Maryland spends about $106 million just on enforcing marijuana policy or arrest or prosecution. So you take that $106 million. Now you can start using that money to really go after the enforcement of the larger dealers. So I think that's a step in the right direction.
DESVARIEUX: Neill, I see you nodding your head, but--.
FRANKLIN: I'm nodding my head about the money that we're currently spending, you know, with criminalization. And, you know, the time and energy that our police department is wasting on this.
I might disagree a little bit with that, what--the savings going back into law enforcement, you know, to work on other, you know, drug dealers and whatever. I think, personally, I would like to see that money go to education and treatment and go into our school systems. And I know you won't mind [incompr.] maybe part of it can go there because he's a teacher, he's an educator. So I think that we need to continue to pull the police out of the drug-management business and put more of our resources into health and education.
And I think that the police should focus more, use the time that they're going to have now, to focus more on violent crime, to focus more on robberies and rapes and crimes against our children, domestic violence. We know we have a problem in Baltimore with both domestic violence investigations and rape investigations, and I think we could focus more on that.
DESVARIEUX: Okay. So--. Oh, sure. Please.
MITCHELL: Real quick, on the fine piece before we leave that, the $100, $250, and the $500. That money also is going to be going toward drug education and drug treatment. So, you know, that money is not just going into the general fund just to sit in the general fund, but it is supposed to go toward drug treatment.
DESVARIEUX: So we know where you two stand. But let's bring in the American public's opinion. So there was a recent New York Times-CBS poll that found that the majority of Americans actually support legalization. So, Keiffer, shouldn't the legislation that's put in place be reflective of that? Shouldn't we be pushing for legalization, then?
MITCHELL: Oh, I am one of the minority. I should be counted as a minority in that New York Times-CBS poll. I am not there yet as it relates to legalization. I still believe that marijuana is a gateway drug. I would like to see more studies about the legalization of marijuana.
So far, right now Colorado and Washington are legalized. I think it's still too early to find out what are not just the whole ramifications of that, but also, you know, what are the unintended consequences of legalization that they are seeing in Washington and Colorado, and also remind people that it wasn't their legislators that voted for it; it was a referendum by the public at the polls. So, you know, those are the things that took place as it relates to legalization.
DESVARIEUX: Okay. Neill, what's your take on that?
MITCHELL: Well, obviously, the polling that we're talking about continues to move in the direction of more support nationally from our citizens, more support for legalization. Every year, the percentages go up.
I think I have an advantage over most people in looking at this because I've been in law enforcement for a number of years, worked, you know, on the front lines of the war on drugs. But that's not where it ends. I've also been on [incompr.] I've also cochaired committees dealing with--from a health perspective, dealing with treatment and education in Harford County. I did that for a number of years. I've traveled around the country. I've traveled around the globe. I've got this--I've had the opportunity to literally see this from a mountaintop perspective, you know, looking down around the entire landscape on this drug-management issue. And so I see it differently.
I see that the current illicit marketplace is the gateway. It is the environment that is the gateway, not a particular substance or drug, but the environment that we have of drug dealers acting on our corners hiring kids to sell drugs, marijuana and other drugs, recruiting them from our schools, bringing them out onto the street corners, to sell drugs in schools to other children. We've created an environment with policies of prohibition that puts more drugs into the hands of our young people than any other scheme we could possibly imagine. This is the worst. And we realized that back during the times of alcohol prohibition. That's why alcohol prohibition only lasted 13 years instead of four decades.
DESVARIEUX: So you obviously don't agree with that, Keiffer.
MITCHELL: Well, like I say, it's still too soon. I mean, we're dealing with marijuana, but you also--.
And I agree that the war on drugs has not worked and the amount of resources we have. You know, there's no question about that. I also believe that the war on drugs has created this racial disparity in terms of who gets locked up and who doesn't and where the enforcement is taking place.
But on the other hand, I also believe that, you know, with marijuana, in terms of what I've read and what I've learned, is that marijuana is a gateway drug. And then where do we stop, in terms of the legalization? You know, you have heroin. [incompr.] a district in West Baltimore where I come into contact with heroin addicts all the time. You can just go a few blocks over here to Lexington Market, in that area, and look at the number of methadone clinics that are in that area and look at the number of people who are hanging around getting their methadone for the day but who are out there, who still want that hit or something like that.
I think there needs to be a combination: instead of just the enforcement, the educational piece, you start off young, you get into the schools.
We've lost--. I am a Democrat, alright? I'm a big-time Democrat. But, you know, when Nancy Reagan and Ronald Reagan were talking about the war on drugs, they started going into the schools, giving kids the education, and you had the "just say no" type campaign. I still believe that you have to get and spend your resources and time in the schools to get them while they're young.
And also there are some other programs that are put in place in terms of jobs. You know, kids I talk to who are dealing drugs and that sort of nature, you know, they want jobs. But they're not--if they can make a lot of money standing on a street corner instead of flipping burgers somewhere, they're going to look at taking care of their families and making that money. But you have to get them other resources out there for that.
DESVARIEUX: So, Keiffer, if I'm understanding you correctly, do you think legalization would just lead to just more usage and therefore--?
MITCHELL: That's what I--I believe it would lead to--I think it would send a wrong message, and I do believe that it will lead to more usage.
DESVARIEUX: Okay. Neill, do you have any--to counter that?
FRANKLIN: Well, we are really at the same place for the most part of this. Putting our resources into education and treatment first in front of law enforcement and criminalization, yeah, that's where we should be and that's where we're not at the moment.
The other side of that coin as it relates to those wonderful programs in our schools, you know, educating our kids, the other side of that coin is the family. You see, once the family unit is actually more effective in keeping kids away from using drugs and doing things that will harm them. There's more legal things out there that will harm our kids than those that are illegal.
But our policies of prohibition have destroyed, for instance, the black family, the mass incarceration and the disparity issues. You know, when you have so many--according to the NAACP, one in nine black children have a parent or parents in the criminal justice system. For white children it's one in 54. Okay?
Now, when you have families, when you send someone to prison, you send the entire family to prison. And we know when you send someone to prison they do not return to us a better person. For the most part, they're going to return to us and our communities in worse shape than what they were when they went in in how they treat people, because when you go in, you have 24 hours to decide whether you're going to be the prey or predator while you're in prison. Most people return to us as predators, because they are not correctional facilities. In addition to that, when they do return to us, very difficult to get a job because now they're strapped with a criminal record. Okay? That frustration, many of them can't even live with their families if their families are living in public housing, because they're a convicted drug felon. You know, that does nothing for our communities. That does nothing for the children who live in those households in working to keep them from using drugs or becoming involved in the drug trade.
I think it has to be some of both. I think it has to be, obviously, putting our money and resources into education and treatment. And then, on the other side of that coin, we have to eliminate the illicit trade. We have to take the money out of that business so people will feel comfortable working at and feel good about working at places like McDonald's and Walmart and some of the other places.
DESVARIEUX: And the way you take the money out is by legalizing it.
FRANKLIN: That's the only way to take the money out.
DESVARIEUX: Okay. Alright. Let's move on a little bit. And I want to get your take on just why do we not know enough about--. I want to speak specifically about legalization in Colorado, 'cause I know you were there, Keiffer. Can you just describe a little bit about what you witnessed? And I'll get your response to--.
MITCHELL: Last year, I was there for a conference, and I walked around downtown Denver in the tourist area. And I guess they call it LoDo. And the smell of marijuana was inescapable. You could smell it as a tourist. Now, I don't know if they've done anything to rectify that or to, you know, curb it, but it jumped out at you. You know, it is one thing when it's cigarette smoke. You know, people know what cigarette smoke is. But when I was out there in the tourist area, it was out there. I don't think they're allowed to smoke in restaurants or bars and cafes at all. But you--you know, I saw people smoking marijuana sitting on a bench at a bus stop or walking down a street smoking.
And, you know, I grew up in an area where I don't do drugs, don't do it, and it was out there, and it made for an unpleasant experience for me as a tourist walking around Denver.
And this past November of last year, the mayor of Denver was in Washington, D.C., and I talked to him and I told him about my experience, and he said that, you know, when the referendum came to light and it was implemented, there were some unintended consequences that kind of left holes along what local jurisdictions can do in terms of a time and place about marijuana and where they can smoke it, and then the dealing. They still have to work out the kinks.
So, in other words, what I thought that he was saying was that it kind of put the cart before the horse, so to speak, to say this is what we need to do. So I think locally there needs to be some things put in place to allow--you know, if they were going to smoke marijuana, but, you know, not all of us need to be around it.
DESVARIEUX: Yeah, these are some legitimate concerns. You have people who are saying, you know, if you legalize it, then, you know, these unintended consequences are going to be arising.
Neill, how do you deal with that?
FRANKLIN: And I agree. And that not only will change; it is changing there, because, first of all, this is something new. for most people. Okay? And, you know, a lot of that is just celebration. You know, oh, wow, we have the freedom to do what we want to do. But that is changing as the local jurisdictions put, you know, policies in place, you know, so the people will be writing people tickets. You're smoking on a park bench? Here's your $50 ticket or whatever that fine is going to be. But I think it goes even beyond that. It goes to the place of what we did with tobacco products.
So it's a social thing. You know, it's people--also people at the bus stop bench saying, you know, hey, put out the joint until you get home, okay? You know, I don't want to smell it. I understand, you know, it's legal now, but no. You know. And that's what we've done with tobacco products. You know, people actually feel like outcasts who smoke tobacco products today. And it will be the same socially. We will apply that pressure to people who are smoking marijuana so you won't have that environment. You know, like, today, when you go outside and you're out and about, I very seldom smell cigarette smoke. I can't remember the last time I had. This is new with marijuana, and it'll change, just like we've done with tobacco.
And, also, with tobacco what we've done over the past couple of decades, the most--one of the most, if not the most addictive drugs known to man, nicotine, reduced consumption by about 40 percent. We've sent no one to prison. We don't have any shoot-outs in our streets. And our kids aren't coming out of school to sell it on street corners, because it's regulated and controlled. But social pressure and regulations in place locally have reduced our tobacco consumption.
DESVARIEUX: Alright. Neill Franklin, executive director of LEAP, and Keiffer Jackson Mitchell, thank you both for joining us.
MITCHELL: Thank you.
FRANKLIN: Thanks.
DESVARIEUX: And, of course, you can follow us on Twitter @therealnews, and you can send me comments, questions @Jessica_Reports.
Thank you so much for joining us on The Real News Network.
End
Clinton attacked by shoe Image

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Clinton attacked by shoe
Hillary Clinton Ducks Flying Object A woman is taken into custody in Las Vegas - Lone Wolf
Published on Apr 10, 2014
A woman is taken into custody after throwing something on stage at an event in Las Vegas. - Lone Wolf.
SHOCK: HILLARY CLINTION ATTACKED BY SHOE THROWER Who did that? Security scare for Hillary Clinton after woman 'throws a shoe at her' during speech at Las Veg.

Israel/Palestine

Palestinian refugees die Image

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Palestinian refugees die
Starving in Syria: Palestinian refugees die in rebel-held camps
Published on Feb 1, 2014
An estimated 18 thousand people, including many women and children, remain trapped in the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in southern Damascus. It's been cut-off by Syrian rebels for more than a year now. Hundreds of relief parcels have managed to reach the camp for the first time in several months but that's too late for at least 85 people who have died there since the middle of last year from illness and starvation. RT's Maria Finoshina took a trip to this rebel enclave.
H Crisis in Gaza. Image

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H Crisis in Gaza.
Eva Bartlett: An Eyewitnesses Account About How Israel Has Constructed a Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza
Published on Jan 9, 2014
The following is a December 7, 2013 interview with Eva Bartlett conducted by Mike McCormick on the radio show Mind Over Matters (KEXP 90.3 FM, Seattle).
In the interview Bartlett gives an eyewitness account about the Israeli military occupation of Palestine, the Israeli wars on the Palestinians and how the Israeli government has deliberately created a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.
For audio listening, here is a direct link from Mind Over Matters:
Sharon

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Sharon's Legacy
Sharon's Legacy Includes Massacres of Palestinians and Lebanese - Pt. 1
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon dies at 85 -
Bio
Shir Hever is an economic researcher in the Alternative Information Center, a Palestinian-Israeli organization active in Jerusalem and Beit-Sahour. Hever researches the economic aspect of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory, some of his research topics include the international aid to the Palestinians and to Israel, the effects of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories on the Israeli economy, and the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigns against Israel. His work also includes giving lectures and presentations on the economy of the occupation. He is a graduate student at the Freie Universität in Berlin, and researches the privatization of security in Israel. His first book: Political Economy of Israel’s Occupation: Repression Beyond Exploitation, was published by Pluto Press.
Transcript
Sharon's Legacy Includes Massacres of Palestinians and Lebanese - Pt. 1KAYLA RIVARA, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Kayla Rivara in Baltimore.
Former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon has died at the age of 85. Since 2006, Sharon has been in a coma on life support in a hospital outside of Tel Aviv.
Among other positions, Sharon was Israel's prime minister from 2002 to 2006, as well as the Israeli defense minister from 1981 to 1983, and remains a controversial figure today.
Sharon has been praised for withdrawing Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip in 2005. Critics, however, say that he was the key architect of the Israeli apartheid state. They also note an Israeli inquiry that found Sharon bore, quote, personal responsibility for his role in the massacres at the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon in 1982. It is estimated that almost 1,000 civilians were killed.
Now joining us is Shir Hever. Shir is an economic researcher at the Alternative Information Center, a Palestinian-Israeli organization active in Jerusalem and Beit Sahour.
Welcome to The Real News.
SHIR HEVER, ECONOMIST, ALTERNATIVE INFORMATION CENTER: Hi, Kayla. Good to be here.
RIVARA: So, Shir, who was Ariel Sharon, and what is his legacy?
HEVER: Ariel Sharon is a figure with quite a long history. He's been involved in so many things, it's a bit hard to list all of them. He has been a soldier in every one of his Israel's wars, and like many Israeli officers, made the jump from military service to politics and became--and reached the highest possible positions in the Israeli political system. He fought in the war of 1948, in which Israel was founded.
But I think the most well-known military activity that he was involved in was the massacre in the village of Qibya in 1953, in which he commanded the notorious Unit 101. And this unit was charged with sort of reprisal attacks or revenge attacks against random Palestinian villages in response to attacks against Israel. And the unit specialized in attacking villages where they killed innocent civilians. In the village of Qibya, over 60 people were murdered under Sharon's command.
Later on, Sharon continued to rise in military rank and command of larger forces. And he was a very disobedient officer. He--on several occasions, he disobeyed a direct order.
And what's interesting is that despite all that, he kept on advancing, he kept on getting more praise and more responsibilities. David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first prime minister, called him a pathological liar, and nevertheless continued to use him, because it was convenient to employ so much violence in order to terrorize Palestinian villages and to terrorize nearby countries.
In the war against Lebanon, in which he played a very crucial role, some argue that he actually deceived the Israeli government itself into getting more committed into that war than they initially planned while he was minister of defense. He was very much involved in orchestrating and especially not in preventing the Sabra and Shatila massacre. Following that massacre, which Sharon simply said is nothing but Arabs killing Arabs--he didn't think there was anything problematic about this massacre. But he stood in front of the committee, and the committee recommended that he said never be allowed to be minister of defense again.
And nevertheless, he became not only minister of defense, but he became prime minister. And in Israel, the prime minister has all the portfolios and then can divide them to others. So he was for a brief time also minister of defense again. And as prime minister, he continued the escalation of violence against Palestinians in the course of the Second Intifada and then the withdrawal from Gaza. So he has quite a long list of things.
I will stop here, because knowing that I'm not really doing justice to all of this military involvements and all the people that he killed or ordered killed.
But it should also be said that in addition to that he was one of Israel's most corrupt politicians. He was involved in several scandals regarding bribery and money laundering and so on. And just as the investigation against him was about to go public and go to a very critical stage, he had a stroke. And at that moment, he went into a coma and his political career was over. That actually enabled his political party, Kadima, which he formed, to run in the next election without having to face all of the repercussions of the criminal investigation against the prime minister.
RIVARA: Shir, I wanted to talk about how Ariel Sharon is remembered before that stroke and read a quote from The New York Times, which is said, quote, "he was believed to be preparing for further territorial concessions to establish a Palestinian state when he became ill." What is your response to this?
HEVER: Sharon was anything, but very intelligent. He was one of the most bright politicians that Israel had. And that--and he always believed, or at least acted as if he believes that he knows what's best, regardless of the orders that he gets from above. And the interesting thing is that while he was just a soldier, he kept doing things his own way, even when his commanding officers thought that he was wrong. But when he rose in rank and became prime minister, he tried to concentrate authority around the prime minister's office.
Now, the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories has been very chaotic at the stage when he took power as prime minister. Officers, you could say maybe they were inspired by his own example--have done whatever they wanted to do. And Sharon promoted the construction of the wall of separation in the West Bank and the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in order to enable Israel to better control that territory. But being bright as he was, he also managed to sell that policy as if he's promoting the peace process, as if he is a moderate prime minister. And one of his chief advisers, Dov Weissglass, said the withdrawal from Gaza is putting the peace process in formaldehyde. That means that Israel is not really giving up the occupation, not really giving up control even of the Gaza Strip itself. It's taken a unilateral move. But it would seem as if Israel is willing to evacuate from territory that it conquered, and that would create the image that Israel is willing to proceed in the peace process. Well, of course, the Palestinians are not. And this was really the plan of Sharon.
And in a speech that he gave to the Israeli Knesset, he said, we need to withdraw from Gaza, because otherwise the Jews are no longer a majority in the land, in the territory controlled by Israel. But what he didn't say is that even after the withdrawal, Israel continues to control Gaza, continues to levy taxes there, continues to impose a siege. That means that Jews are indeed no longer a majority in it.
RIVARA: Unfortunately, we are out of time for this segment, but please join us for part two of our conversation with Shir Hever on the legacy of Ariel Sharon.
End

Economy

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Afghan Pres Elections
Do the Afghan Presidential Elections Signify Progress?
Nobel Peace Prize nominee Kathy Kelly and IPS Fellow Phyllis Bennis discuss Afghanistan's presidential election in light of corporations profiting from war and unrepresented groups remaining on the margins -
Bio
Phyllis Bennis is a Fellow and the Director of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington DC. She is the author of Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Primer, Before and After: US Foreign Policy and the September 11 Crisis , Ending the US War in Afghanistan: A Primer and Understanding the US-Iran Crisis: A Primer.
Kathy Kelly is an American peace activist, pacifist, and three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee. She currently acts as the co-coordinator for Voices for Creative Non-Violence. As a war tax refuser, Kelly has refused to pay all forms of federal income tax since 1990. She spent 9 months in maximum security prison for planting corn on a nuclear missile silo and has more recently been arrested at U.S. military bases in New York and Nevada for protesting drone warfare. During each of 14 trips to Afghanistan, Kelly, as an invited guest of the Afghan Peace Volunteers, has lived alongside ordinary Afghan people in a working class neighborhood in Kabul. Kelly returned to the U.S. in March of 2014 after having spent most of the winter in Kabul.
Transcript
Do the Afghan Presidential Elections Signify Progress?JESSICA DESVARIEUX, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore.
On Saturday, an estimated 60 percent of Afghanistan's 12 million eligible voters cast their vote to elect Afghanistan's next president. Although results are still coming in, a runoff is likely to occur between two presidential frontrunners, former World Bank executive Ashraf Ghani and former Afghan minister of foreign affairs Abdullah Abdullah. The very next day, President Obama applauded the elections.
Now joining us to discuss what this election means for everyday people in Afghanistan are our two guests. Kathy Kelly is an American peace activist, pacifist, and three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee. She currently acts as cocoordinator for Voices for Creative Nonviolence and recently returned from Afghanistan, where she spent most of her winter.
And also joining us is Phyllis Bennis. She's a fellow and the director of New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C. She's also the author of many books, including Ending the U.S. War in Afghanistan: A Primer.
Thank you for joining us, both of you.
PHYLLIS BENNIS, FELLOW, INSTITUTE FOR POLICY STUDIES: Good to be with you.
KATHY KELLY, COCOORDINATOR, VOICES FOR CREATIVE NONVIOLENCE: Thank you, Jessica.
DESVARIEUX: So, Kathy, let's start off with you. You traveled to Afghanistan 14 times as an invited guest of the Afghan Peace Volunteers in Kabul. What are they saying about this election, the people on the ground?
KELLY: Well, my young friends in Kabul have said that it's a sad day when the pinnacle for evaluating success or failure in Afghanistan rests on something that happens for one day once every four years. And the tickets of people running as candidates included a warlord on just about every ticket. And, certainly, Ashraf Ghani is running with General Dostum, a very menacing, fearful warlord with a history of horrific massacres.
And the cares and concerns of very ordinary Afghans have been so underrepresented and shut out--I mean, you've got a million children suffering from severe, acute malnourishment, one out of every 11 women dying in childbirth. So how are those concerns going to be represented when the elites who are surrounded by heavily armed militias have maintained such control over Afghanistan? And I include the United States in that category of elites surrounded by heavily armed militias.
DESVARIEUX: Phyllis, both of the presidential frontrunners, Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, they have said that they will sign the bilateral security agreement. First of all, what's in the agreement? And why has the current president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, refused to sign it?
BENNIS: The bilateral security agreement between the U.S. and the Afghan government is designed to maintain U.S. military presence at a somewhat smaller scale than it currently is for an indefinite period into the future.
The reason, I think, that President Karzai has refused to sign it has to do with internal politics. He's trying to position himself as the defender of Afghan sovereignty against U.S. pressure.
The reality is there's a single issue that's at stake here, and that is whether or not U.S. troops left in Afghanistan after the end of this year would have immunity from being held accountable for war crimes they might commit. This was the exact same issue that led to a decision to withdraw all troops out of Iraq in 2011, something that the Obama administration did not want to do. They wanted to leave, again, a group--somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 U.S. troops behind, but they wouldn't do it if they could not be guaranteed that they would have immunity for war crimes that they know they will commit. You know, it's one of these things: why don't they just make sure they don't commit any crimes? Then they wouldn't have to worry about immunity. So far the Afghan position is they will also not sign on to immunity for U.S. troops after the end of the year. The question now is whether the winner of this election, probably in a runoff situation, will sign on to it at a later time.
DESVARIEUX: Let's switch gears a little bit and discuss money. And if you follow the money, the U.S. government has spent about $750 billion in Afghanistan.
I want to turn to you, Kathy, and talk to you about where the money's going. Now, where could the money be going if it wanted to really be in the interests of the Afghan people?
KELLY: Well, for instance, the United States has, according to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan report, spent what is now approaching $100 billion on non-military aid in Afghanistan. Of that sum, only $3 billion ever went to humanitarian aid.
The other $97 billion is distributed over counternarcotics--while 92 percent of the world's opium is coming from Afghanistan. It doesn't seem like that counternarcotics money was so well spent. You've got drones flying over doing oversight constantly. Don't they happen to notice the movement of truckloads of opium going across the country every single day? But money was also spent on oversight and on governance. Well, Transparency International says Afghanistan is the most corrupt government in the world. So these are really crucial questions to ask.
And meanwhile, Anatol Lieven in The New York Review of Books says that the United States has been subsidizing the Taliban, because the United States has paid a toll for every truck, and all of the supplies coming into the United States bases and supporting also the military contractors are delivered by truck. And so the money that gets paid to the people who run those roadways, who are warlords and drug lords, and many of them Taliban, both Pakistani and Afghan Taliban, has subsidized the Taliban.
And then the United States people are supposed to believe that we're protecting women and children. Well, we should be, and reparations should be paid for the suffering caused.
DESVARIEUX: Phyllis, you heard Kathy mention the issue of corruption. What's your take?
BENNIS: Well, you know, there's no question that Afghanistan remains one of the most corrupt countries around. Transparency International lists it as one of the worst, in terms of doing business in Afghanistan. And that is important.
But I think we also have to keep in mind the far bigger levels of corruption that are endemic in the U.S. process of going to war in Afghanistan, as well as in Iraq. You know, we know that the CEOs of defense contractors made more money than almost any other CEOs at various periods in the war.
There's a direct link if we look at the question of cronyism. President George [W.] Bush's uncle, William H. T. Bush, was a director of one of the war manufacturing companies, Engineered Support Systems, internationally, who cleared $2.7 million in cash and stock a few years ago in the context of the extra money that that company was making for supplying the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan, as well as in Iraq.
So, you know, the question of corruption is something that we have exported to Iraq, as we have exported violence and sectarianism.
The democracy that the U.S. likes to trumpet we have brought or we have allowed to thrive in Afghanistan is thoroughly based on political parties that are sectarian in nature. Each of the parties is led by someone representing one ethnic group. The big victory is that this time around they've each chosen a vice presidential candidate from a different group to try and reach out broadly. But the idea that there could be a president who represents Afghanistan and not who represents a particular ethnic or tribal group is simply not on the U.S. agenda. And that's one of the big problems of what our definitions have been for what we call democracy in the context of these wars.
DESVARIEUX: Alright. Kathy Kelly and Phyllis Bennis, thank you both for joining us.
KELLY: Thank you, Jessica.
BENNIS: Thank you.
DESVARIEUX: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.
End
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US Afghan legacy
US Afghan legacy: Terrorism, corruption & record drug traffic
Published on Apr 5, 2014
With Taliban stepping up attacks & Washington winding down mission in Afghanistan, it's feared violence may be spiraling out of control. Despite that, US & NATO commanders say Taliban no longer threat to stability. Believing their mission has been successful, as RT's Gayane Chichakyan reports
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Afghan elections
Joblessness, no money despite US cash: Will Afghan elections bring change?
Published on Apr 4, 2014
Two female Western journalists have been attacked inside a police building in Afghanistan. A gunman in police uniform opened fire - killing a German woman and injuring her collegue from Canada. This comes a day before the presidential election - with both the country's security and economy crumbling.