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'Drone bases in Africa' - US secret drone bases

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'US builds secret drone bases in Africa'

United States is to build a series of new secret drone bases in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, in an attempt to target suspected militants in Somalia and Yemen.

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Iran

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داعش و دام اسلامی کردن خاورمیانه Image

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داعش و دام اسلامی کردن خاورمیانه

 داعش و دام اسلامی کردن خاورمیانه
ژرفشی پیرامون ژاژخایی بارک الحسین آل اوباما در مبارزه علیه ددمنشان داعش.
نویسنده وگوینده: نیک پاکپور
به باور گوینده، آنچه را که ما امروز در میین استریم مه دییا ” Mainstream media” غربی، به عنوان جنجال جنگی غرب علیه جهادیزم جانی، وحشی ـ وهابی، اسلامی ـ ارتجاعی، در منطقه خاورمیانه شاهد هستیم، در اصل و اساسش چیزی به جز یک رجز خوانی ره توریک گونه یا تبلیغات تعفن بار و تهوع آور، آغشته و آمیخته به انواع ترفندها، تزویرها، تحریک ها و توطئه های تموچین گونه برای تسخیر، تقسیم و تصرف و سپس تهی کردن و تخلیه کردن خاورمیانه از منابع، معادن و مینرال سرشار نفتی و گازی اش نمی باشد که از سالها پیش توست استراتژیست های ”Anglo-American” آلبته با سروری و سردمداری سبعانه و ساویج گونه زایونیزم جهاتی بطور مکارانه و مزورانه و میرغضبانه، مهندسی و معماری شده است

گوینده: نیک پاکپور - بنیاد بریکس و بیم غرب Image

16,510 views

گوینده: نیک پاکپور - بنیاد بریکس و بیم غرب

بنیاد بریکس و بیم غرب
گوینده: نیک پاکپور
Reference:BRICS
1-Putin and BRICS form Seed Crystal of a New International Monetary Pole
William Engdahl | July 25, 2014
2-BRICS establish $100bn bank and currency pool to cut out Western dominance
By RT: Published time: July 15, 2014 18:14
3-BRICS against Washington consensus
BY By Pepe Escobar “Asia Times: Jul 15, '14”
4-Dollar dying; multi-polar world in offing
By F.William engdahl
4-US Dollar Suffers Serious Setback
By By Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall
5-Throwing BRICS at Israel
By Johnny Punish

نیک پاکپور - دیو داعش و نقش غرب Image

18,513 views

نیک پاکپور - دیو داعش و نقش غرب

دیو داعش و نقش غرب

گوینده: نیک پاکپور

گوینده آنچه را که مربوط به ریشه سعودی،سلفی،سیاه ایی، زهش یا زایش، پیدایش یا پالایش تاول یا تکاثر،ترسناک،تروریسم تکفیری میشود را در یک ویدئویی،بتاریخ 24 فوریه 2014 میلادی،با نوضیح و نفسیر، و بر پایه پویش پروسه تیک پژوهشی،تکوینی،تاریخی،در جهت آژیرنده و آگاه کننده، مورد ارزیابی و آنالیز منطقی قرار داده ام

ولی بعد و بنیاد پحث امروز گوینده بطور اختصار و در حد اختیار،اختصاص دارد به حوادث دهشتناک و دردناکی که بطور فزاینده و فژاگن در کشور همسایگی،ما ایرانیان یعنی کشور عراق جریان دارد.

 

 

Europe

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Protesters storm new ECB headquarters & taste police tear gas in Germany Image

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Protesters storm new ECB headquarters & taste police tear gas in Germany

German police used pepper spray and clashed with anti-EU protesters, who stormed and vandalized the new European Central Bank building, which is under construction now in central Frankfurt. READ FULL STORY: http://on.rt.com/9qwyflCOURTESY: RT's RUPTLY video agency, NO RE-UPLOAD, NO REUSE - FOR LICENSING, PLEASE, CONTACT http://ruptly.tvRT LIVE http://rt.com/on-air Subscribe to RT! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=RussiaTodayLike us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RTnewsFollow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/RT_comFollow us on Instagram http://instagram.com/rtFollow us on Google+ http://plus.google.com/+RTListen to us on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/rttvRT (Russia Today) is a global news network broadcasting from Moscow and Washington studios. RT is the first news channel to break the 1 billion YouTube views benchmark.

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'Western sanctions aimed at regime change in Russia' – Lavrov

The ultimate goal of the anti-Russian sanctions imposed by some Western nations is to stir public protests and oust the government, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said. READ MORE: http://on.rt.com/qk9zetRT LIVE http://rt.com/on-airSubscribe to RT! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=RussiaTodayLike us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RTnewsFollow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/RT_comFollow us on Instagram http://instagram.com/rtFollow us on Google+ http://plus.google.com/+RTListen to us on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/rttvRT (Russia Today) is a global news network broadcasting from Moscow and Washington studios. RT is the first news channel to break the 1 billion YouTube views benchmark.

Turkish riot police teargas protesting health workers Image

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Turkish riot police teargas protesting health workers

Scuffles broke out between police and protesters in Ankara on Thursday when authorities attempted to disperse members of the Health and Social Service Workers Union (SES) sitting outside the city's Parliament building.Gathering outside the entrance of the building, the demonstration was staged as the Parliamentary Planning and Budget Commission held a session on the Health Ministry's budget. COURTESY: RT's RUPTLY video agency, NO RE-UPLOAD, NO REUSE - FOR LICENSING, PLEASE, CONTACT http://ruptly.tvRT LIVE http://rt.com/on-airSubscribe to RT! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=RussiaTodayLike us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RTnewsFollow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/RT_comFollow us on Instagram http://instagram.com/rtFollow us on Google+ http://plus.google.com/+RTListen to us on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/rttvRT (Russia Today) is a global news network broadcasting from Moscow and Washington studios. RT is the first news channel to break the 1 billion YouTube views benchmark.

Middle east

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Anonymous - Inside ISIS and the Iraq Caliphate Image

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Anonymous - Inside ISIS and the Iraq Caliphate

Anonymous - Inside ISIS and the Iraq Caliphate- Connect with Anonymous -Subscribe ● http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=anonymousworldvoceGoogle+ ● https://www.google.com/+AnonymousWorldvoceFacebook ● http://Facebook.com/AnonymousOfclAnonymous T-Shirts ● http://anonymousofficial.spreadshirt.comTwitter ● http://Twitter.com/anonymousOfclWebsite ● http://anonofficial.comAs ISIS continue to make territorial gains in the Middle East, they are also becoming a dynamic presence online. This report looks at one recent campaign video, designed to disseminate their radical manifesto."These are your passports, O Tyrants all over the world", one anonymous jihadist declares to a baying crowd as he spears a pile of the documents with a machete. Within the organisation's mission to establish a unitary caliphate across the region, such credentials are obsolete: mere vestiges of a by-gone age of national boundaries and rival political identities. "I swear by Allah, we will cleanse the Arabian peninsula of you, you defiled ones." Films such as this, depicting the brutal imposition of a supposedly utopian Islamic supra-state - often by means of summary executions and banning opposing sects from public life - are a sign of the increasing sophistication of ISIS' propaganda strategy. They depict well-armed, organised militants, and are cause for concern for Iraqi ex-pats struggling to reach relatives back home. "ISIS have forgotten the real religion, and now they are full of hate and revenge", says Salahaddin al-Beati, who has lived in Switzerland since 1996. With voices from all sides of the conflict, this report offers a chilling insight into a markedly 21st century insurgency.SRF - Ref 6166We are Anonymous.We are legion.We do not forgive.We do not forget.Expect us.Video originally by Journeyman Pictureshttp://www.youtube.com/journeymanpictures----ISISISISISISAnonymous - Inside ISIS and the Iraq CaliphateAnonymous - Inside ISIS and the Iraq CaliphateAnonymous - Inside ISIS and the Iraq Caliphate"Anonymous - Inside ISIS and the Iraq Caliphate""Anonymous - Inside ISIS and the Iraq Caliphate""Anonymous - Inside ISIS and the Iraq Caliphate"

ISIS refugee smuggling to Turkey makes money for locals Image

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ISIS refugee smuggling to Turkey makes money for locals

Refugees fleeing ISIS from Syria to Turkey give locals new way of making money. RT's Paula Slier reports.RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-airSubscribe to RT! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=RussiaTodayLike us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RTnewsFollow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/RT_comFollow us on Instagram http://instagram.com/rtFollow us on Google+ http://plus.google.com/+RTRT (Russia Today) is a global news network broadcasting from Moscow and Washington studios. RT is the first news channel to break the 1 billion YouTube views benchmark.

English translation of clip showing ISIS fighters discussing

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English translation of clip showing ISIS fighters discussing ''buying and selling Yezidi slaves''

Today is the slave market dayToday is the day where this verse applies: “Except with their wives and the (captives) whom their right hands possess,- for (then) they are not to be blamed”Today is distribution day God willingEach one takes his shareI swear man I am searching for a girl I hope I find oneToday is the day of (female) slaves and we should have our shareWhere is my Yezidi girl?Where is my Yezidi girl?Whoever wants to sell his slave, whoever wants to give his slave as a present... Everyone is free to do what he wants with his share.Where is my Yezidi girl?Whoever wants to sell, I can buy my brothers.Whoever wants to sell his slave, I buy.Whoever wants to sell his own slave, I buy her.And if you want to give her as a gift, also I take her.Who wants to sell?I want to sell.Why?I pay 3 banknotes (1 banknote is most probably 100 dollars)I buy her for a pistol.The price differs if she has blue eyes.I buy her for a glock (pistol brand)I pay 5 banknotes. (1 banknote is most probably 100 dollars)If she is 15 years oldI have to check hercheck her teeth.If she has green eyesIf she doesn’t have teeth, why would I want her?Put dentures for her.I don’t want.On the YezidisCan one take 2 slave girls? Does that work?(Voice behind camera asks) You have a share. What about it?I got a share of Yezidis but I don’t want one.Why? Wait why don’t you want yours?I will give my share away.AL Farouk and I, we do not want any.(Voice asks the boy) Do you want a Yezidi slave?He nods yesCan you handle her?Boy gigglesAbu Khalid, do you want a slave?I don’t want to take one.Why?Abu Fahd: “Your Yezidi is dead”She’s deadSomeone giggles

United state

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Why Do Mexican Workers Head North? Image

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Why Do Mexican Workers Head North?

Timothy Wise: Mexican agriculture was undermined by NAFTA and companies like Smithfield

Bio
Timothy A. Wise directs the Policy Research Program at the Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University. Currently on an Open Society Institute fellowship, his current research priorities include: the global food crisis; trade and agricultural development; food security and climate change; biofuels and hunger; financial speculation in agricultural commodities markets. He is the former executive director of Grassroots International, a Boston-based international aid organization. He holds a Masters in Public Policy from Tufts’ Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning Department.
Transcript
Why Do Mexican Workers Head North?PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay, coming to you from Tufts University in Boston. In the recent US midterm elections, one of the hot-button issues in many parts of the country was the issue of undocumented workers--some people call [them] illegal immigrants. What effect does it have when people, because of their status, are willing to work for sometimes even below minimum wage? But the question that rarely gets asked in this debate is: why are so many people from south of the border here? And what happened to the economies of countries like Mexico? And did in fact US policy have something to do with it? Now joining us to talk about that question is Timothy Wise. He's director of the Research and Policy Program at the Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University in Boston. So why do so many people head north looking for work?
TIMOTHY WISE, TUFTS UNIVERSITY, BOSTON: Well, Paul, as I think it's pretty well known now, the economies of some of our main trading partners, such as Mexico, have not fared as well as people had hoped under trade agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement, now 16 years in operation. The job creation that took place in Mexico under that model, as we showed in a recent Carnegie Endowment report, was disappointing, to say the least, and most economists recognize that.
JAY: Now, we were told that the thing holding Mexico back was too much government, public ownership, too much government regulation. So free up the economy, get the government out of the way, and productivity would go up, and prosperity. Especially with Mexico having so much oil, there would be great prosperity. And that would be the solution to the Mexican economy's problems.
WISE: No, beyond that. They promised--the promise of NAFTA was that Mexico would be able to export goods and not people. That was the explicit promise at the time of NAFTA. And it just hasn't been true. Manufacturing, which saw huge growth in the initial years of NAFTA, actually generated very few jobs, because it destroyed as many--almost as many manufacturing jobs as it created.
JAY: How?
WISE: Well, by foreign companies coming in and out-competing, or buying up, or bringing their products in and putting local firms out of business. So that lost jobs. And then the new firms that came in created some new jobs. But my area is agriculture, and that's the area where--even if there have been small gains in employment in manufacturing and in the service sector, the agricultural sector's just been decimated. NAFTA's liberalized trade, which allowed US goods, mainly meats and grains, to flow without tariff protection into Mexico and compete directly with producers who are producing things like corn not just for the big global marketplace but for their own consumption.
JAY: So tell us the story of corn. How did that--what's the mechanism of that? And what were the consequences?
WISE: Sadly, NAFTA included a transition period for the liberalization of corn that the Mexican government unilaterally chose not to follow. So corn tariffs, which the Mexican government had used fairly consistently to protect their corn farmers from cheaper corn coming from the US, were eliminated very quickly after NAFTA, within two years of NAFTA. Corn flooded in. Its--imports increased over 400 percent in Mexico of US corn, prices went down 66 percent in the 16 years of NAFTA. And the impact on Mexican producers was obviously devastating.
JAY: 'Cause the argument would be, what's wrong with cheaper food in Mexico?
WISE: Well, cheaper food in Mexico is fine if that's translating into cheaper food. The only evidence that there's really been cheaper food in Mexico from that policy is that since it's mainly fed to animals, that pork might have gotten a little cheaper for some urban consumers. But tortillas didn't get cheaper, which is the staple of the Mexican diet. And, of course, the farmers who eat what they grow in addition to selling what they grow were devastated. The evidence is that 2.3 million people left agriculture in Mexico in the time since NAFTA. And that actually hides an even worse story. Some 5 million so-called unpaid family farm members left the farm. They didn't give up their farms, 'cause their farms are a really valuable asset, often the only asset they have. But that's the flow that got pushed into the undocumented migrant stream, those 5 million people who couldn't make a living off their family farms anymore.
JAY: Now, I remember in 1991, I stood on the Tijuana border on the Mexican side, looking north. It was about five or six o'clock in the evening. And there were about 300 people lined up on this side of me, another 300 lined up on this side of me. People were selling popcorn and candy and tortillas, and it was like a festival, waiting for the sun to go down, where something close to, I think, 1,000 people were all going to just go head into California, and waiting on the other side to stop them was nobody. So talk about the role of--the extent to which this--people were not just forced north because of a destroyed agriculture in Mexico, but more or less welcomed to come north, even though supposedly it was illegal.
WISE: Well, I think that's obviously a policy that--in the beginning there was a more routine and regular and almost wink-wink accepted policy of illegal but tolerated migration. That changed significantly over the course of the NAFTA period, and particularly after 9/11, when security concerns became paramount and securing the borders became the order of the day. The militarization of the border since then has resulted in making that journey much, much more perilous, much more cracked down on. And, you know, the deaths along the border reach record proportions every year [inaudible]
JAY: But hundreds of thousands if not millions of people that came during the more laissez-faire period were virtually invited to come, to all real intents and purposes, and have been working here for decades. And now there's a conversation about because they're not documented they should be thrown out. I mean, it boggles the mind that people don't get why and how people are here.
WISE: Well, right. And in Mexico it of course boggles the mind that trade in everything was liberalized, the flow of goods, the flow of services, the flow of capital, but not the flow of people. It's the only thing that wasn't liberalized. And with the failure of job creation in Mexico, particularly the devastation in agriculture, the flow happened anyway. It happened. We criminalized it and began to make that a much more--take a much more punitive look at that approach to that on the part of the US government, with huge cost to human life, just the deaths on the border, to breaking up families. It used to be that with a seasonal flow of migrants, family members would come work the fields in California or wherever and go back home. Now families are permanently broken up because it's too risky to go back and forth and back and forth. They come and they stay. It's too risky to bring their family members. So it's devastating to families as well.
JAY: So talk a little bit about a particular company that seems to be on--play both sides of the border and done fairly well, Smithfield, which is one of the largest pork producers and brings us lovely pork sausages--and swine flu, to boot. How does this mechanism help them?
WISE: I was asked once at a conference, well, if the farmers in the US and farmers there don't win from NAFTA, who does? And I said, take Smithfield, please, because they benefit not only from US agricultural policies but from labor policies, environment policies, immigration policies, and trade policies. Obviously, NAFTA opened the border to their pork so they could sell their pork cheap in Mexico, and they did. Pork exports increased 700 percent from the United States to Mexico [sic]. But they were getting all their feed grains cheap at a discount rate because of US agricultural policies which created overproduction and forced down corn and soy costs. So that's 65 percent of your operating costs if you're fattening hogs. And so they were getting cheap feed for their hogs. They--NAFTA liberalizes investment, so they can invest their own capital to expand their operations in Mexico, and they become what is now the biggest pork producer in Mexico, on plants like that one in Veracruz that is suspected of having some relationship to the swine flu epidemic. What are they feeding their hogs down there? They're feeding the imports of corn and soy that come in liberalized under NAFTA and come in below the costs of production. So, again, it's a subsidy to--an implicit subsidy to Smithfield down there. No environmental regulations are enforced either in the United States or in Mexico for these very polluting industrial hog operations. And then, as if that's not enough, all the people pushed out of jobs in Mexico in corn, in soy, in pork, all those small-scale producers who can't compete with the imports, or with Smithfield directly, need to look for work. And where do they find work? Well, some of them find them at the Veracruz facility in Mexico of Smithfield, and some of them come across the border and work at the Tar Heel plant in North Carolina.
JAY: Smithfield plant.
WISE: The Smithfield plant. And that makes--that, with a lax enforcement of labor laws, is yet another way that policy supports this kind of playing--what amounts to, in the case of Smithfield and in the US, a playing off of immigrant workers against workers born here, undocumented immigrants against documented immigrants. And that stalled a unionization effort at the Tar Heel plant for years. Fortunately, their persistence and a massive corporate campaign led to a union victory there in 2008, a historic union victory.
JAY: Thanks for joining us.
WISE: My pleasure.
JAY: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.
End of Transcript

Obama Unveils Immigration Plan, But What Will It Change? Image

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Obama Unveils Immigration Plan, But What Will It Change?

Author and former labor organizer David Bacon unpacks how temporary legal status won't get at the root of the issue of getting legal status for workers in order to fight for fair wages and better working conditions

Bio
David Bacon is an award-winning photojournalist, author, and immigrant rights activist who has spent over twenty years as a labor organizer. He is an associate editor at Pacific News Service, and writes for TruthOut, The Nation, The American Prospect, The Progressive, and the San Francisco Chronicle, among other publications. Bacon covers issues of labor, immigration and international politics. He is the author of The Children of NAFTA, Communities without Borders, Illegal People and Illegal People: How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants. His most recent book is The Right to Stay Home: How US Policy Drives Mexican Migration.
Transcript
Obama Unveils Immigration Plan, But What Will It Change?JESSICA DESVARIEUX, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore.
On Thursday night, President Obama addressed the nation to lay out to his executive action on immigration. In 2015, more than 4 million undocumented immigrants will be able to apply for a temporary legal status. But in order to qualify, they must be undocumented parents of a U.S. citizen or legal resident. Also, they must prove that they've lived in the U.S. for at least five years.
But what most are focused on is the political theater happening between Republicans and Democrats over the issue.
But here at The Real News, we want to get a better sense of what this immigration battle is really all about, specifically around the issue of wages.
Here to help us unpack this complex issue is our guest, David Bacon. David is an award-winning photojournalist, author, and immigrant rights activist who has spent over 20 years as a labor organizer. His most recent book is The Right to Stay Home: How US Policy Drives Mexican Migration. And he joins us now from Oakland, California.
Thanks for being with us, David.
DAVID BACON, AUTHOR, JOURNALIST, AND PHOTOJOURNALIST: Hi, Jessica.
DESVARIEUX: So, David, let's hear a little bit of what President Obama had to say in his speech last night about what he hoped to accomplish with this executive action. Let's take a listen.
~~~
BARACK OBAMA, U.S. PRESIDENT: But today, our immigration system is broken--and everybody knows it.
Families who enter our country the right way and play by the rules watch others flout the rules. Business owners who offer their workers good wages and benefits see the competition exploit undocumented immigrants by paying them far less. All of us take offense to anyone who reaps the rewards of living in America without taking on the responsibilities of living in America.
~~~
DESVARIEUX: So, David, something that I heard the president say, the word exploit, how people exploit undocumented workers. And you have people who are, quote-unquote, playing by the rules and paying what they would say [is] a decent wage. And then you have others that are using sort of this shadow labor force to exploit them. So this point, really, about wages, I want to ask you about how a section of the economy, this undocumented workforce, is essentially cheap labor. And at the end of the day, is what we're seeing being discussed about immigration really about how we are dehumanizing a population? Do you think this is more about our system? Does it speak more to what capitalism does? And in whose interest is it to keep this sort of undocumented population in the shadows?
BACON: Well, I think you're hitting it on the head here, Jessica. In many ways, the hidden argument here is about wages and work, because the 11 million people who have come to the United States and are living here without papers are overwhelmingly working people, work for living. And as the president said, they play by the rules. In other words, they contribute their labor to the economy of this country, and they do so as a very, very low-wage labor force. I think that actually if you total up the differences in wages between undocumented labor and the average wage for working people across the board, U.S. employers are getting a subsidy of about $80 billion a year by this kind of unpaid or this low-paid labor.
So what we really need is an immigration reform that does two things. It first of all looks at what is motivating people to come to the United States to begin with, and secondly, a reform that is going to give people the ability to organize, to assert themselves, and to change this status.
When we look at it through this prism, President Obama did do one important thing, and that is that he lifted the immediate threat of deportation from about 4 million people. If we go by our experience with the DREAMers, not all of those people are going to apply, because they're going to have to turn over their information to the immigration authorities without a real--especially without a permanent guarantee that people are going to be able to continue living here with their families.
Nevertheless, relief from deportation is something that people have been demanding. President Obama's responding to a movement in the streets, demonstrations and hunger strikes at detention centers and sit-ins and so forth. So it's clear that people want and need this.
It is limited, though, because we need it, actually, for 11 million people, and his order is only going to cover less than half of those people.
That being said, though, there are other parts of what the president is proposing that is going to make it harder for people to organize. For instance, he's proposing to actually increase immigration enforcement on the border. That's going to make it more dangerous and more risky for people to cross. But it's not going to keep people from crossing. So what is going to happen is that the number of people who die in the attempt is going to go up. And right now it's at about 400-500 people a year. That's going to increase. And at the same time, the civil and human rights of people living in border communities are going to be even further eroded than they are today.
This is a typical kind of trade-off, you know, that Obama is trying to appear tough by saying, we're going to beef up the border, without really looking at what the consequences of that are.
We know that more people are going to cross because of another thing that President Obama did not do, and that is he did not take a look at the roots of migration, why people are coming here to begin with. In fact, right after the election, the president said that he would cooperate with Republicans in negotiating yet another new free trade agreement, this Trans-Pacific Partnership. What we know from our experience with the North American Free Trade Agreement, the Central American free trade agreement, that these agreements, they throw millions of people literally into poverty, at which point they have to choose between survival, which means [inaud.] leaving home and migrating, or going hungry, or suffering other kinds of crises in their communities of origin, much of which is due to the changes that these treaties bring about.
So we need an immigration policy that looks at the roots of migration and that instead of undermining people's standard of living in other countries, that actually helps to reinforce it, so that migration can become something that is voluntary.
The other aspect of the president's proposal that is kind of a low-wage proposal, if you want to look at it that way, is what he has done for high-tech industry. High-tech industry--Microsoft Corporation, Google, the rest of them--have been demanding a source of more low-paid, high-tech workers, engineers and so forth. And the president has said that he is going to link now the expansion of this deferred action from deportation to a labor program, which will guarantee even more workers for Silicon Valley.
Silicon Valley is not interested in paying high wages. They want to pay low wages, and they see that they can manipulate our immigration system by having a visa program that ties people's presence in the United States to their employment. In other words, when people lose their employment, they have to leave. Some of them are guestworker programs, and there are other kinds of programs that are like that, but they're all low-wage programs.
So really the president is not doing what needs to be done as far as ensuring that we live in a high-wage economy, either by ensuring that undocumented people, all undocumented people have a real legal status, a resident status, that makes it much less risky for doing things like joining unions, and at the same time kind of pending before the demand by employers for yet more low-wage labor.
DESVARIEUX: David, I'm so glad you mentioned unions, because the working-class voters, and specifically white working-class voters, often they tend to side with Republicans on this issue, thinking that essentially this undocumented community that now becomes legalized is going to somehow be a threat to their employment. So I want to speak specifically to that issue. Is there truth behind that? And can you point to any specific statistics or data that either contradicts that point of view or supports it?
BACON: Well, we do live in a racist society. There is no question about that. And so there are many people in our society, working people among them, who have racist attitudes towards people of color, including towards immigrants, especially from Latin America and Asia.
However, I think that the assertion--especially coming from the Tea Party, the Republican Party--that white working-class people reject equal status for immigrants, I think that really is a false image, in my opinion. My experience as a union organizer is that really most white working people support the idea of equality, support the idea of equal rights, go to school with the children, their children go to school with the children of immigrants. And what's more important, they wind up in workplaces which are very mixed workplaces. I live in California, which has probably about half of the undocumented immigrant population in the United States, and my experience is that in union organizing efforts, white working-class people and immigrants and African-Americans and people of different nationalities can find ways of working together.
One of the most important examples of that is what took place at the largest meatpacking company in the world. And they're a huge meatpacking plant in the South, in Tar Heel, North Carolina, where Smithfield Foods tried to pit African-American workers against Mexican immigrant workers, including undocumented people, and got the cooperation of the immigration authorities in several immigration raids in the plant, the firing of people for not having papers. And yet, in the end, it took a 16-year struggle against one of the most fiercest antiunion campaigns in recent labor history, but African-American workers and Mexican immigrants in this plant were able to make common cause with each other, which included their ability to say to each other that everybody needed higher wages, everybody needed better conditions, and everybody had a right to stay in the plant and to struggle for them. And eventually they were able to bring the union in. So that's kind of a success story that shows [crosstalk]
DESVARIEUX: But, David, that sounds like a difficult fight, because I would assume that folks who are undocumented are going to be more hesitant to sort of rock the boat, to join a union, things of that nature. Essentially my question is: isn't it to the benefit of either elites, even Democratic- or Republican-leaning elites, to kind of want the shadow economy to exist, and essentially if there is a pitting against each other of undocumented workers and working-class people, that they essentially need to be coming together to fight for better wages if that is the end goal? And the Republicans do a very good job at splitting this section off, and the Democrats are sort of placating and giving them sort of temporary relief, but they're not actually getting legalized status. And at the end of the day, that's what people need to be fighting for. Do you agree with that sort of take?
BACON: I think that you're right that people do need to continue fighting until everybody in this country has a genuine legal status that affords people basic human and labor rights. And I think that, for instance, our labor movement today is in favor of that. We've gone through periods in our history when our labor movement has been much more, I guess you would say, nativist or even racist in its orientation. That is not true today. Our labor movement has called for an amnesty program for all undocumented people in this country for basic labor rights. And in the statements that AFL-CIO president Trumka made when he was commenting both on the possibility that Obama was going to take action and on the action itself, he also warned about these low-wage guest-worker programs that were being coupled together with the amnesty. And so this is really, essentially, a bad idea. So I think that this is kind of what our labor movement today here stands for.
The Republican Party clearly does not care what our labor movement has to say. They listen very much not only to employers, but to the most right-wing section of employers in this country. The Democratic Party is a bit more of a mixed bag. It listens, tends to listen more to employers and be very open to their arguments for guestworker programs and for low-wage programs. But there are Congress members, like Raúl Grijalva from Arizona, who has been very much of a champion of the rights of immigrants and the rights of workers and their right to join unions.
I think that we need to continue to advocate a much broader kind of legalization program than what the president has put on offer here, essentially, something that would be much more inclusive, that would include everybody, and that would also give people a permanent kind of status.
One of the dangers in what the president has done here is that if the Republicans capture the White House--or an anti-immigrant Democrat--in 2016 with an anti-immigrant Congress, they can undo this executive order very easily, at which point those people who have applied and received his deferred deportation status are going to be very, very vulnerable to deportation. So this is really kind of a stopgap measure, and we need to kind of complete the change from 11 million people without rights, people who are undocumented and, as you say, are vulnerable to employer pressure because of their lack of status--although I do want to say that there are many strikes and there are many organizing drives organized by undocumented people themselves, and whole unions, like janitors and hotel workers, that are built on the labor of immigrant workers here. So it's not just that people are vulnerable. People do struggle. But people do need rights. They do need basic legal status. And while what the president is doing is a step in that direction, it is only a small step, and the rest of the steps need to be taken also.
DESVARIEUX: Alright. David Bacon, always a pleasure having you on. Thank you so much for joining us.
BACON: Thank you, Jessica.
DESVARIEUX: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.
End

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'Russia is not threat to US, but to its domination' - Richard Becker

U.S. General Martin Dempsey mentioned ISISs and also Russia as the principle threats to the country. Richard Becker from the anti-war ANSWER Coalition views Dempsey's controversial statement as a call for more money to be spent on further beefing up the military. RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-airSubscribe to RT! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=RussiaTodayLike us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RTnewsFollow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/RT_comFollow us on Instagram http://instagram.com/rtFollow us on Google+ http://plus.google.com/+RTListen to us on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/rttvRT (Russia Today) is a global news network broadcasting from Moscow and Washington studios. RT is the first news channel to break the 1 billion YouTube views benchmark.

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  • Bill Cosby: a dark cloud now hangs over ‘America’s Dad’
    Bill Cosby: a dark cloud now hangs over ‘America’s Dad’ He was the comedian who won the respect and admiration of all Americans as his show topped the TV ratings. Now several women have made allegations of past sexual abuse, leaving his millions of fans questioning his reputation  By Andrew Anthony "  The Observer, Sunday 23 November 2014"   Historical cases of sexual abuse by celebrities have disfigured the world of British entertainment for the past couple of years. But none of the characters involved – not even celebrated charity worker Jimmy Savile – has occupied the exalted position of trust enjoyed by the subject of a spate of rape allegations in the United States.As the head of Coca-Cola’s public relations once put it: “The three most believable personalities are God, Walter Cronkite and Bill Cosby.” That was in 1981 when the black comedian was one of America’s best-loved stars. It’s a different story today because America is suddenly finding it very hard to believe Cosby.In September, with Cosby in the middle of a successful comeback tour, the journalist Mark Whitaker published Cosby: His Life and Times, a biography written with Cosby’s help that covered many areas of the comedian’s life, but left one untouched. In 2005, Andrea Constand, director of women’s basketball at Temple University, Cosby’s alma mater, claimed that the comedian had drugged and raped her the previous year in Philadelphia.She went to the authorities, and although the district attorney said he thought that Cosby was probably guilty, there was not enough evidence to prosecute. Instead, Constand filed a civil suit in which 13 women allegedly offered to testify that they too had suffered sexual assaults at Cosby’s hands. The matter was settled out of court, and therefore no women testified, but thereafter a bad smell hung around Cosby’s previously pristine reputation.Paradoxically, Whitaker’s glaring omission of all this got people talking again, but this time in an age of social media. And it was followed last month by comedian Hannibal Buress calling Cosby a rapist during a show in Cosby’s hometown of Philadelphia. A clip of the set went viral.That prompted a former model called Barbara Bowman to give a detailed account to the Daily Mail of how, she alleged, Cosby mentored her and then, when she was 19, drugged and sexually assaulted her. She said that, unlike other victims, she had never taken “shut-up money” from the comedian and wanted to expose him as “the animal that he is”. She then wrote an opinion piece in the influential Washington Post, saying that it had taken a man’s accusation (Buress’s) for her finally to be taken seriously.Subsequently, several other women, including veteran supermodel Janice Dickinson, have gone public with strikingly similar accounts of being drugged and sexually assaulted by Cosby. The star himself has refused to comment in detail. In a filmed interview he gave with his wife to Associated Press, he appealed to the journalist’s “integrity” to “scuttle” the story. His representatives have consistently denied accusations against him, with his lawyers describing the claims as “preposterous and bizarre”. Cosby was never arrested or charged with any crime relating to the allegations. Statutes of limitation mean there is little danger of Cosby being charged or facing trial. However, he now finds the American entertainment business swiftly backing away from him. Netflix has suspended a special entitled Bill Cosby 77, NBC has ditched a planned new sitcom and TVLand has cancelled repeats of The Cosby Show.How did the paragon become a pariah? Cosby grew up in the tough environs of North Philadelphia. His mother was a maid and his father a sailor who, after serving in the second world war, became an alcoholic. A high school drop-out, Cosby also joined the navy, before winning an athletics scholarship to Philadelphia’s Temple University. It was while still a student that he first came to public attention in the early 1960s. The New York Times favourably reviewed a “young Negro comic” who made fun of relations between blacks and whites.Cosby was never a political comedian, but soon consciously set about becoming apolitical or, perhaps more significantly, colourless. He dropped the black/white quips and focused on becoming a comic storyteller, someone who could spin an observation or memory into an elaborate anecdote with his distinctively unpredictable speech pattern, filled with inspired details for universal appeal.Such was his success as a standup that he quickly graduated through spots on The Tonight Show to landing his own TV series, I Spy, in which he co-starred with Robert Culp. It ran for three years in America and made Cosby a lot of money and a big name.It was a radical period in black politics and Cosby kept a relatively low profile, but was determined to increase the power and remit of at least one black performer. He co-founded a record label that released a John Lennon and Yoko Ono album and helped finance Melvin Van Peebles’s Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, probably the most militant film produced by the blaxploitation genre.All along, he maintained an approachable public persona: comfortable, reassuring and, critically for a white audience, unthreatening. He wasn’t like his friend Richard Pryor, who recorded the extremity of African American experience in profane, unvarnished terms. To some of his critics, Cosby represented black aspiration in a manner that was far more aspirational than black. By the early 1980s, the period from which many of the rape allegations date, Cosby was looking like a man from another age. A new generation, led by Eddie Murphy, had taken their lead from Pryor and projected a swaggering and confrontational image of African American manhood.But with The Cosby Show, which began in 1984, Cosby played that generational shift to his own advantage. His character of “Cliff” Huxtable, an obstetrician, was not just a father on the show. Such was the show’s popularity, Huxtable also enabled Cosby to become an authority figure in American culture at large. For five seasons, the show was the most watched in America. If Cosby became a cultural force, he also became hugely powerful, so wealthy that he tried to buy the television network NBC. He was now a widely respected, beloved and almost untouchable celebrity. If he did abuse the women, it doesn’t require much imagination to see why they may have had difficulty in speaking out or being heard.But why would so commanding a figure need to resort to drugging young and impressionable women? Only the culprit or his psychiatrist could answer that. But it has been noted that on his 1969 album It’s True! It’s True! Cosby did a skit about drugging women with “Spanish fly” so they would become sexually pliable.It was about as risqué as Cosby got in his act. And years later, as his paternal brand became more established, he began to lecture on the loose morals he discerned in the younger generation of African Americans. He admonished Eddie Murphy for swearing and made appeals to the spirit of self-help that drove the civil rights movement.But his increasing frustration with a youth that wasn’t listening led him in 2004 to make a speech in which he seemed to suggest that petty thieves only had themselves to blame if they ended up being shot by the police. He was appalled by what he saw as a lack of social responsibility and familial constraints. “You can’t keep asking that God will find a way,” he complained. “God is tired of you.”Ironically, it was this kind of outburst that caused Buress, a younger comedian with a much more unbuttoned style, to enter the fray. He laid into Cosby, saying he had the “smuggest old black male public persona”. He spoke of the older man telling black people to pull their pants up and imitated him saying: “I don’t curse on stage.” “Yeah,” said Buress, “but you’re a rapist.”If these allegations are true – and the best that Cosby has done to deny them is have his publicist say that they are “decades-old” and “discredited” – then obviously it is the victims of the assaults who most deserve sympathy and understanding.But an awful lot of other people are part of the collateral damage. First of all Cosby’s wife, Camille, who has stood by him throughout all the years of rumours, private payments and law suits. They married in 1964 and had five children – their only son, Ennis, was murdered in 1997 while changing a flat tyre in Los Angeles. Then there are the rest of the family, friends and supporters who have remained loyal.On a wider level, there is also the damage it does to America’s fragile racial cohesion. Even today, there are few black celebrities who have insinuated themselves into the heart of white America. Those who do, OJ Simpson and Tiger Woods, for example, often seem to undergo a spectacular fall from grace. It would be tragic for many reasons if the most loved black celebrity of them all now ends up being an embarrassing figure of hate.THE COSBY FILEBorn William Henry Cosby 12 July 1937 in Philadelphia, one of four sons to William Henry Cosby Sr and Anna Pearl. He grew up in the city and at school became what he described as the “class clown”.Best of times The Cosby Show became America’s top television series in the 1980s. A spin-off show – A Different World – was second in the audience ratings.Worst of times The murder of his son, Ennis, in 1997 by a teenage Ukrainian immigrant during a botched robbery on a freeway in Los Angeles.What he says “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.”What others say “Today will mark the end of Cosby’s career in comedy, telling people how they should live their lives, being ‘America’s Dad’ and, by some accounts, an American hero.” Victor Fiorillo, Philadelphia reporter.
  • Revealed: UK ‘mercenaries’ fighting Islamic State terrorist forces in Syria
    Revealed: UK ‘mercenaries’ fighting Islamic State terrorist forces in Syria Former infantryman James Hughes from Reading, and Jamie Read from Lanarkshire, are said to be in Rojava, northern Syria By Mark Townsend "The Observer, Saturday 22 November 2014 21.42 GMT" A former British infantryman who served in Afghanistan is among a growing cohort of Britons joining the ranks of westerners travelling to Syria and Iraq to fight Islamic State (Isis) militants, the Observer has learned.James Hughes, from Reading, Berkshire, is understood to be in Rojava, northern Syria, helping to defend the beleaguered city of Kobani as a de facto “mercenary” fighting on behalf of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, the YPG.According to his Facebook profile, Hughes served in Afghanistan three times and left the army this year after five years’ service. He appears to be fighting Isis forces alongside his friend Jamie Read, from Newmains, north Lanarkshire, whose Facebook page reveals that he trained with the French army. He describes having been involved in fierce gunfights against jihadists last week.Meanwhile, the Metropolitan police are investigating the whereabouts of a 17-year-old woman from Haringey, north London, who travelled by Eurostar last week and was last seen in Belgium believed to be making her way to Syria, potentially the first known case of a British female fighter joining the struggle against Isis. Officers are looking into whether the teenager, of Kurdish descent, is planning to offer humanitarian assistance or join the ranks of the Kurdish YPJ, or Women’s Defence Units, which is battling Isis forces in Kobani.The development highlights the dynamic of British nationals fighting one another in the strategic border city. Another two Britons – both from London – have reportedly been killed fighting for Isis in Kobani during the past two days. Abu Abdullah al-Habashi, 21, and Abu Dharda, 20, were thought to have died in the latest ongoing offensive by jihadists to seize the city from the YPG, which has lost more than 300 fighters there. Both Hughes and Read are serving with the YPG, which is backed by US and international coalition air strikes and Kurdish peshmerga forces.The Britons appear to have been recruited by an American called Jordan Matson on behalf of the “Lions of Rojava”, which is run by the Kurdish YPG movement and whose Facebook page urges people to join and help “send [the] terrorists to hell and save humanity” from Isis.Matson, who has been wounded in fighting against Isis, confirmed that Hughes and Read were with him, sending an invitation to the Observer: “U can travel to Rojava n meet them.”On Facebook, Read outlines that he has been in fighting in northern Syria, writing on Thursday that the “shit hit the fan my ass was going 5 to 10 lol”, to which Matson replied: “It’s always interesting the first time you have a bullet fly past your head.”It appears that Read arrived in the region recently, after undergoing training last month in the Czech Republic. Another Facebook message, on 5 November, states: “It looks like all the hard work has payed off I got my good news, most of you know what i’m doing for those that don’t you will have to wait haha can’t really say on here but all I can say is this time next week i will be living the dream.” A picture shows him alongside Matson in full combat gear.The Kurdish rights campaigner Mark Campbell said that he had become aware of Read and Hughes enrolling with the YPG in Rojava and of other Kurds in Britain travelling to Syria and Iraq. Aman Banigrad, of London’s Kurdish Community Centre, said: “Some are travelling for humanitarian reasons, but others are going to the frontline with the YPG. People have been killed; one of our members lost a cousin fighting in Kobani two weeks ago.”Kurdish sources estimate that dozens may have gone from Britain to the Middle East, with an unknown number killed in action. The Home Office said that it does “not hold data on British nationals fighting with the Kurds in Syria/Iraq”. Experts estimate that about 500 Britons have travelled to Syria and Iraq to fight for jihadists.The developments follow reports from Kobani of westerners taking up arms against the militants, including claims that a number of European biker gangs had ridden to Syria and are helping to bolster the resistance. A Canadian woman – 31-year-old Gill Rosenberg – was recently identified as the first foreign female to join the Kurds battling the Islamic State in Syria.David Cameron has insisted that there is a fundamental difference between fighting for the Kurds and joining Isis.Although the Home Office states that taking part in a conflict overseas could be an offence under both criminal and anti-terrorism laws, it clarifies: “UK law makes provisions to deal with different conflicts in different ways – fighting in a foreign war is not automatically an offence but will depend on the nature of the conflict and the individual’s own activities.”When Cameron was asked in September how volunteers with the Kurdish authorities and Isis fighters could be identified when returning to the UK, he said that “highly trained border staff, police and intelligence services” would be able to discern the difference between Islamic extremists and those fighting them.The prime minister recently outlined new powers to prevent British jihadis from returning to the UK unless they agreed to strict controls. The UK is also directly arming Kurdish forces fighting Isis militants in Iraq.
  • De-Dollarization: Is BRICS a Viable Alternative to the U.S. Dominated World Economic System?
    De-Dollarization: Is BRICS a Viable Alternative to the U.S. Dominated World Economic System? Interview with Asam Ismi of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives By Asad Ismi and Peter Koenig "Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Monitor" Economist and Geopolitical analyst Peter Koenig talks to Asad Ismi1. Is BRICS (Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa) a viable alternative to the present U.S.-dominated world economic system and does it have the potential to replace it? Are we witnessing the birth of a new international economic order in BRICS and the Russia-China energy deal?The BRICS have a great potential to become a viable alternative to the dollar dominated economic system. The creation of the BRICS development bank is an indication in this direction. The bank could temporarily even act as a BRICS Central Bank and when the time comes issue a new BRICS currency, for example the Bricso. Together the BRICS account for almost 30% of world GDP and for about 45% of the world population. However, the US is using any means they can to destabilize the BRICS one by one. Take Brazil, though Dilma Rousseff has won easily the first round of elections, but after Washington’s slandering her government for corruption and high indebtedness – the usual non-substantiated arguments – her campaign had to work hard until reason prevailed. I’m confident, people’s trust will confirm her in the second round.There is a massive effort of de-dollarization going on by the BRICS, led by Russia and China, the two strongest BRICS members. Since June 2014 regular and sizable ruble – yuan swaps have taken place to free the two countries from the traditional trading currency, the US dollar. In early July this year, after meeting with Vladimir Putin, Elvira Nabiullina, Governor of the Russian Central Bank, declared in an international media event, just before her impending meeting with the Governor of the Central Bank of China in Beijing, “We are discussing with China and our BRICS partners the establishment of a system of multilateral swaps that will allow to transfer resources to one or another country, if needed. A part of the currency reserves can be directed to [the new system]“, – thus announcing the emergence of an international anti-dollar alliance.This signals the beginning of a new monetary system which eventually will issue its own currency, possibly a basket of currency, akin to the Special Drawing Rights (SDR) of the IMF that could gradually replace the dollar as a reserve currency. This is in fact already happening. Ten years ago, the world’s reserves consisted to about 90% of dollar denominated securities. Today that figure has shrunk to 60%.Indeed it is high time that a new monetary and economic system replaces the current FED-BIS (Bank for International Settlement)-Wall Street dollar denominated predatory casino scheme that has in the last 100 years alone largely contributed to – and benefitted from – two world wars, impoverished our planet, socially and environmentally. This system is at the verge of a larger abyss than the depression of the 1930s.The global amount of outstanding derivatives is estimated way above 700 trillion dollars – global GDP is about US$ 72.6 trillion (est. 2014). Five of the largest US banks alone have each more than 40 trillion in derivative exposure. If they decide to call in their debt at one or in part, it would for sure create a worldwide tsunami with a resulting collapse of our western monetary system. Today 6 US banks control two thirds of all banking assets (in 2008 the figure was just over 40%).Add to this calamity that in 2008 the too-big-to-fail banks were ‘bailed out’ by public money, according to the new Todd-Frank banking Act, future insolvent banks have to rescue themselves by ‘bail-ins’ – confiscating money from depositors and shareholders. A similar law has recently been approved by the European Commission (EC). – The world at large can only hope that a new monetary system will emerge soon to reign in the atrocities of our western greed economy. 2. How will the BRICS system be better for the Global South than the U.S. one? A “BRICS system” would offer a healthy alternative to the highly indebted and defunct dollar system, where money is printed at will. It would be detached from the Wall Street – BIS clearing system (SWIFT) and would allow trading in countries’ own moneys with currency swap arrangements between respective central banks. Today, though steadily declining, most trading is still denominated in dollars and has to transit through a US bank and the BIS clearing system. Under the FED-BIS-WS banking system currencies – and gold – are subject to exchange rate and interest manipulations.For example, the ruble has lost 22% of its value since the beginning of 2014 and 15% in the last quarter alone. There is no economic reason for that, other than anti-Russia propaganda and currency manipulation, since the Russian economy is despite the ridiculous ‘sanctions’ on more solid ground than that of the US. Call it ‘sanctions’ – if you will – for not bending to the political demands of Washington on Ukraine. The western MSM would like you to believe that this is the result of the Russian caused Ukraine crisis which is driving investors away. Western media continue to ignore that Kiev’s gang of thugs, a Nazi government, was created and is supported and funded by Washington and its western puppets.In the meantime, the BRICS and some other countries, including Argentina, have started denominating their contracts and trading in local currencies already some time ago, thereby considerably circumventing exposure to the fraudulent dollar system. A solid alternative currency may also become an alternative reserve currency – a deed for which countries around the world, especially China, Russia and India, have called for years.Recently Beijing has offered the EU to deal with China directly through respective central banks’ currency swaps, thereby avoiding the oppressive claws of the dollar. Outrageous penalties, like the 9 billion dollar ‘fine’ to the French BNP-Paribas for dealing with sanctioned Iran might not have happened if the US would not have had a claw on the French bank because of its obligation to transit – and hold accounts – in the US banking system.3. What is the potential for a BRICS currency to replace the U.S. dollar? The chances are good that a BRICS currency, or let’s call it a solid alternative currency based on the combined economy of sound nations will eventually displace the dollar as ‘world currency’ – in other words as currency of reference and major reserve currency. Once the new money is established with a secure exchange and transaction system, replacing SWIFT, it is very likely that many countries that so far do not dare abandoning the dollar – for fear of sanctions – might join the new money pool, thereby strengthening it. As I said before, it is high time that the currency of worldwide theft, abuse and exploitation – the US dollar – financial instrument for endless wars and economic terrorism, be replaced with a currency of peaceful endeavors that respects national sovereignty – a currency that works for the people, not for the elite of a few.4. To what extent will the recent Russia-China energy deal undermine the U.S. dollar? Will China pay for Russian gas in Yuan and not the dollar? The Russia –China US$ 400 billion energy deal, signed in May this year will by 2018 have some 38 billion cubic meters of gas flow through the so-called ‘Holy Grail’ pipeline from the largest gas producer, Russia, to the largest energy user, China – is many things at once: it is, of course a symbolic step in the process of decoupling hydrocarbon trading from the dollar, as it foresees payments in local currencies, rubles and yuan. It sidesteps the traditional dollar denomination for hydrocarbon trading. It is symbolic, because Russia’s total hydrocarbon trading per year alone amounts to about one trillion dollars. But it is a demonstration to the world that Russia and China, at the verge of war in the 1960s, are morphing into a strong alliance in trade, politics and defense. In that sense yes, the gas deal is clearly undermining the dollar.Prior to the signing of this gas treaty, during a special meeting on 24 April, Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Igor Shuvalov, declared that in the future Russian enterprises will be subject to a “currency switch executive order”, under which a certain percentage of contracts will be denominated in rubles. Whether and when the level will reach 100% is largely a question of the partners’ willingness to deal in ruble. This directive has been enhanced by Russiya Bank’s parallel declaration that the ruble is fully backed by gold.5. What is the significance of the $100 billion development bank set up by BRICS? Can it replace the World Bank? How will it be better for the Global South than the World Bank? For now it is a symbolic step away from the Washington Consensus of the WB and IMF neoliberal approach to development financing – away from privatizing of public goods and services, like water supply and health and education services – I would hope.The development bank is not yet operational, but from my understanding will likely concentrate on infrastructure development and enhancement (transportation, energy distribution, telecommunication and so on), energy exploration and exploitation, including alternative clean energy – and social services.The BRICS development bank may initially also serve as a BRICS central bank, especially in case of issuing a combined currency; and perhaps also take over some of the roles pertaining to the IMF, like balance of payment assistance – hopefully with human rather than with the IMFs draconian conditions.Remember, today China is clearly in the BRICS driver’s seat with an interest to harvest the benefits of the group’s synergies and comparative advantages, a collection of countries geographically and culturally apart and distributed around the globe. Their relationships and trading among each other may make the benefits for each larger than the sum of its parts.Whether the new BRICS development bank will eventually replace the WB and maybe the IMF depends largely on the way the new bank sees economic development, whether their policies and fields of action are attractive to borrowers and address their people’s demands. – That means that people clearly do not like to see their corrupt leaders becoming richer, while their water and sanitation services are being privatized, their natural resources being exploited by foreign corporations for a pittance and their government operations being ‘structurally adjusted’, leaving masses of people jobless, their social safety nets being abolished or stolen, with reduced wages and pensions. These neoliberal pro-cyclical policies should definitely not be part of the new BRICS economic development bank.6. Please comment on the significance of the recent meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and its expansion to include India, Pakistan and Iran. The 13th annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization – SCO – held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan on 11-12 September, may be a hammer for the west. It was attended by the heads of state of Russia, President Putin, China, President Xi Jingpen and Iran, President Rouhani. The group’s membership, currently consisting of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan is poised to be expanded to include India, Pakistan and Iran. Mongolia is another likely candidate.The Oriental Review, an Open Dialogue Research Journal, reports, “The reasoning behind the need for expansion is obvious. If the SCO is to have real weight on the international arena and become a truly prestigious organization that is able to rival NATO, it requires additional members. If India, Pakistan, Iran and Mongolia were all to become permanent members, which looks likely, the group would then control 20 percent of the world’s oil and half of all global gas reserves. On top of that, the bloc would represent about half of the world’s population. This would fortify SCO’s reputation as a dominant organization. Additionally, Turkey could become a member as well. Its leadership has long been seeking to join and Turkish-speaking governments are likely to support their petition.”If Turkey, a NATO member, would join the SCO, this would clearly be a conflict and nail in NATO’s coffin – a blow to western powers.The journal goes on – “The aggressive nature of Western actions towards Russia has certainly united the SCO members. What links them all – whether members or observers – is the rejection of Western-dominated institutions, such as the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund, which are all US-based. The SCO, like the BRICS with their Development Bank, sees itself as a forum against the Western dominated global order.”The SCO summit concluded that economic cooperation between members should be enhanced, which includes further economic integration. The concept bodes particularly well for China’s idea of a new Silk Road Economic Belt that might expand westwards to include Germany, as per a personal proposal of President Xi to Madame Merkel in March 2014.Hence, the Oriental Review concludes and I concur, the ambition to create a truly dominant organization free of any Western influence may become a reality in the near future. I would like to add – this cannot happen fast enough in order to stop US-led western aggressions and financial terrorism around the world.7. Are the recent U.S. war moves in Syria, Iraq and Ukraine and the U.S. pivot to Asia aimed at preventing the consolidation of alliances such as BRICS? These moves – or rather military aggressions – have multiple purposes. A primary purpose is ‘regime change’ of all those governments which do not align with Washington’s imperial ideology. In the Middle East, and elsewhere for that purpose, the idea is to sow chaos and strive between different ethnic groups and religions. Make no mistake, the ISIS, the latest so-called ‘terror caliphate’, and all its predecessors – were and are all created and funded by Washington. Their purpose is to destabilize countries and then to justify US intervention to ‘salvage’ what’s left of the mess.In other words, to bring about ‘regime change’ – just see the recent turmoil in Iraq and Syria – and to some extent also Ukraine. In Ukraine the White House literally orchestrated a coup in February this year and installed, financed and armed a regime of Nazi thugs in Kiev which is now committing the most atrocious war crimes in the eastern Ukraine Donbass area, killing thousands of civilians – so far more than 3,700 – mostly women and children and causing a flood of so far more than 1.2 million refugees into Russia. In this latter case the ‘pivot’ to Asia is expanding NATO basis ever closer to Moscow’s doorstep – and to take over – like in looting – an extremely resource rich country that has been the cradle of historic Russia. Obviously, Mr. Putin, the Kremlin and the Russian people do not like to see this vicious take-over of their brothers and sisters and their ancient lands.But there is more to destabilizing the BRICS and the pivot to Asia — practically maneuvering of Ukraine into civil war, planting chaos in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria — than meets the eye. It is the end game, full spectrum dominance – the full achievement of the PNAC (Plan for a New American Century) – meaning complete control of the world’s resources, people and economies. Already in the 1970s Henry Kissinger, one of the patriarchs of elitist and neoliberal thinking and perhaps the greatest war criminal still alive, spoke these infamous words, “Who controls the food supply controls the people; who controls the energy can control whole continents; who controls money can control the world”. These words resonate today stronger than ever.8. How fragile is the U.S. economy? ls it in danger of collapsing soon due to its heavy debt load? The US economy is as fragile as can be. It is basically a balloon of hot air, ready to implode. This is partly due to its enormous debt – 105% of GDP (US$ 17 trillion, est.2014) – and unmet obligations – 127 trillion, about 8 times GDP; no other country in the world has this level of actual debt and foreseen but uncovered obligations.Today the economy of the United States is a mere house of cards. It consists to more than 50% of the war and security industry and related services and industries. In other words, the US has a GDP of destruction – with the hope that after a country has been destroyed to rubble, its citizens killed or reduced to misery – US corporations will be called to rebuild and rescue what’s left. As per Robert Zoellick, former World Bank President ….. “As in Iraq, we hope to be part of rebuilding Libya, when the war ends” – and we all know who controls the World Bank.As the world at large takes gradually note of the emptiness of the US economy, of the nakedness of the US emperor, so to speak, people and countries are wishing and hoping – some are even calling – for an alternative monetary and economic system, as their reserves and international contracts are in peril.Adding to the fragility of the US economy is its banking system. As mentioned before, it is again at the verge of a collapse – this time with considerably more serious consequences than in 2008 of which repercussions are still felt today around the globe – 6 years later. – Many ‘expert’ estimates predict a stock market slump of up to 70% in the very foreseeable future, vs. about 50% in 2008. Consequences of unemployment, housing dispossessions, hunger and disease – sheer misery are unfathomable.However, there is a strong feeling that these cyclical economic collapses and disasters are not just unpredictable random events inherent in our economic system. They are rather planned events – planned by the masters of the system – the FED, Wall Street, BIS, the financiers of this world – so that the rich can get richer and the poor will get poorer. This phenomenon was already observed during the economic slump of the 1930s. The middle class is diminishing. The abyss between rich and poor grows worldwide – towards a world of a distinct corporate and finance elite and a mass of serfs to scurry about complying with the wishes and desires of the masters.But it’s not too late. We the People can stop it. We must wake up and become conscious.9. Is there anything else you consider important and would like to add? People beware of the Mass Media and their outrageous lies!The Mainstream Media, or commonly called MSM, is a weapon as criminal and killing as the US / NATO war machine with its European puppets. The MSM are in the hands of 6 giant Judo-Anglo-Saxon media corporations. They literally control 90% of the information officially dished out to the common citizen. Their news are copied and replicated throughout the world, translated into whatever language is suitable and needed.They work and are paid for the financial and corporate elite, especially the military / security and financial complex. – They dupe people into believing that they are in pursuit of peace, protecting you from terror, preventing villains like Russia and China from taking over the world, when in reality it is thanks to Russian and Chinese diplomacy and economic pressures that the world has so far escaped WWIII.Already Goebbels, Hitler’s Propaganda Minister, said – A lie repeated often enough becomes the truth.That’s the level of lying we are exposed at today – far surpassing Orwell’s 1984 doomsday scenario. Our thinking has been brainwashed and manipulated to the point where a lie is more comfortable and easier to believe than the truth.There are few media that are worth watching or listening to. One of them is TeleSur of South America, with home in Venezuela. It broadcasts around the world, has top reporters and journalists stationed and reporting directly from the hotspots, with in-depth analyses, connecting the dots and areas of interest – something that is hard to find these days. TeleSur can be seen in most of the Southern Hemisphere, including in parts of the US, and everywhere on internet.We have to wake up – awaken to a consciousness of peace and solidarity – seeking the truth from uncommon sources, like the present one, TeleSur and others on internet, rather than submitting to the steady drip of indoctrination by the mainstream media.Becoming conscious of people, societies, the environment – the truth around us – that’s my wish for humanity.    
  • Ukraine: Secretive Neo-Nazi Military Organization Involved in Euromaidan Sniper Shootings
    Ukraine: Secretive Neo-Nazi Military Organization Involved in Euromaidan Sniper Shootings By F. William Engdahl Yanoukovitch, ousted president of UkraineThis article –which recounts the events of the November Euromaidan 2013 Sniper Shootings was first published in March 2014The events in Ukraine since November 2013 are so astonishing as almost to defy belief.An legitimately-elected (said by all international monitors) Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovich, has been driven from office, forced to flee as a war criminal after more than three months of violent protest and terrorist killings by so-called opposition.His “crime” according to protest leaders was that he rejected an EU offer of a vaguely-defined associate EU membership that offered little to Ukraine in favor of a concrete deal with Russia that gave immediate €15 billion debt relief and a huge reduction in Russian gas import prices. Washington at that point went into high gear and the result today is catastrophe.A secretive neo-nazi military organization reported linked to NATO played a decisive role in targeted sniper attacks and violence that led to the collapse of the elected government.But the West is not finished with destroying Ukraine. Now comes the IMF with severe conditionalities as prerequisite to any Western financial help. After the famous leaked phone call of US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland (photo, left) with the US Ambassador in Kiev, where she discussed the details of who she wanted in a new coalition government in Kiev, and where she rejected the EU solutions with her “Fuck the EU” comment,[1] the EU went it alone. Germany’s Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier proposed that he and his French counterpart, Laurent Fabius, fly to Kiev and try to reach a resolution of the violence before escalation. Polish Foreign Minister, Radoslaw Sikorski was asked to join. The talks in Kiev included the EU delegation, Yanukovich, the three opposition leaders and a Russian representative. The USA was not invited.[2]The EU intervention without Washington was extraordinary and reveals the deeping division between the two in recent months. In effect it was the EU saying to the US State Department, “F*** the US,” we will end this ourselves.After hard talks, all major parties including the majority of protesters, agreed to new presidential elections in December, return to the 2004 Constitution and release of Julia Tymoshenko from prison. The compromise appeared to end the months long chaos and give a way out for all major players.The diplomatic compromise lasted less than twelve hours. Then all hell broke loose.Snipers began shooting into the crowd on February 22 in Maidan or Independence Square. Panic ensued and riot police retreated in panic according to eyewitnesses. The opposition leader Vitali Klitschko withdrew from the deal, no reason given. Yanukovich fled Kiev.[3]The question unanswered until now is who deployed the snipers? According to veteran US intelligence sources, the snipers came from an ultra-right-wing military organization known as Ukrainian National Assembly – Ukrainian People’s Self-Defense (UNA-UNSO).   IMAGE: Members of UNA-UNSO marching in Lviv.Strange Ukraine ‘Nationalists’The leader of UNA-UNSO, Andriy Shkil, ten years ago became an adviser to Julia Tymoshenko. UNA-UNSO, during the US-instigated 2003-2004 “Orange Revolution”, backed pro-NATO candidate Viktor Yushchenko against his pro-Russian opponent, Yanukovich. UNA-UNSO members provided security for the supporters of Yushchenko and Julia Tymoshenko on Independence Square in Kiev in 2003-4.[4]UNA-UNSO is also reported to have close ties to the German National Democratic Party (NDP). [5]Ever since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 the crack-para-military UNA-UNSO members have been behind every revolt against Russian influence. The one connecting thread in their violent campaigns is always anti-Russia. The organization, according to veteran US intelligence sources, is part of a secret NATO “GLADIO” organization, and not a Ukraine nationalist group as portrayed in western media. [6]According to these sources, UNA-UNSO have been involved (confirmed officially) in the Lithuanian events in the Winter of 1991, the Soviet Coup d’etat in Summer 1991, the war for the Pridnister Republic 1992, the anti-Moscow Abkhazia War 1993, the Chechen War, the US-organized Kosovo Campaign Against the Serbs, and the August 8 2008 war in Georgia. According to these reports, UNA-UNSO para-military have been involved in every NATO dirty war in the post-cold war period, always fighting on behalf of NATO. “These people are the dangerous mercenaries used all over the world to fight NATO’s dirty war, and to frame Russia because this group pretends to be Russian special forces. THESE ARE THE BAD GUYS, forget about the window dressing nationalists, these are the men behind the sniper rifles,” these sources insist. [7]If true that UNA-UNSO is not “Ukrainian” opposition, but rather a highly secret NATO force using Ukraine as base, it would suggest that the EU peace compromise with the moderates was likely sabotaged by the one major player excluded from the Kiev 21 February diplomatic talks—Victoria Nuland’s State Department.[8] Both Nuland and right-wing Republican US Senator John McCain have had contact with the leader of the Ukrainian opposition Svoboda Party, whose leader is openly anti-semitic and defends the deeds of a World War II Ukrainian SS-Galicia Division head.[9] The party was registered in 1995, initially calling itself the “Social National Party of Ukraine” and using a swastika style logo. Svoboda is the electoral front for neo-nazi organizations in Ukraine such as UNA-UNSO.[10]One further indication that Nuland’s hand is shaping latest Ukraine events is the fact that the new Ukrainian Parliament is expected to nominate Nuland’s choice, Arseny Yatsenyuk, from Tymoshenko’s party, to be interim head of the new Cabinet.Whatever the final truth, clear is that Washington has prepared a new economic rape of Ukraine using its control over the International Monetary Fund (IMF).IMF plunder of Ukraine Crown JewelsNow that the “opposition” has driven a duly-elected president into exile somewhere unknown, and dissolved the national riot police, Berkut, Washington has demanded that Ukraine submit to onerous IMF conditionalities.In negotiations last October, the IMF demanded that Ukraine double prices for gas and electricity to industry and homes, that they lift a ban on private sale of Ukraine’s rich agriculture lands, make a major overhaul of their economic holdings, devalue the currency, slash state funds for school children and the elderly to “balance the budget.” In return Ukraine would get a paltry $4 billion.Before the ouster of the Moscow-leaning Yanukovich government last week, Moscow was prepared to buy some $15 billion of Ukraine debt and to slash its gas prices by fully one-third. Now, understandably, Russia is unlikely to give that support. The economic cooperation between Ukraine and Moscow was something Washington was determined to sabotage at all costs.This drama is far from over. The stakes involve the very future of Russia, the EU-Russian relations, and the global power of Washington, or at least that faction in Washington that sees further wars as the prime instrument of policy.Writer F. William Engdahl is a geopolitical analyst and the author of “Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order”.Notes[1] F. William Engdahl, US-Außenministerium in flagranti über Regimewechsel in der Ukraine ertappt, Kopp Online.de, February 8, 2014, accessed in http://info.kopp-verlag.de/hintergruende/enthuellungen/f-william-engdahl/us-aussenministerium-in-flagranti-ueber-regimewechsel-in-der-ukraine-ertappt.html[2] Bertrand Benoit, Laurence Norman and Stephen Fidler , European Ministers Brokered Ukraine Political Compromise: German, French, Polish Foreign Ministers Flew to Kiev, The Wall Street Journal, February 21, 2014, accessed in http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303636404579397351862903542?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303636404579397351862903542.html[3] Jessica Best, Ukraine protests Snipers firing live rounds at demonstrators as fresh violence erupts despite truce, The Mirror UK, February 20, 2014, accessed in http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/ukraine-protests-snipers-firing-live-3164828[4] Aleksandar Vasovic , Far right group flexes during Ukraine revolution, Associated Press, January 3, 2005, Accessed in http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=20050103&slug=ukraine03[5] Wikipedia, Ukrainian National Assembly Ukrainian National Self Defence, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, accessed in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukrainian_National_Assembly_%E2%80%93_Ukrainian_National_Self_Defence[6] Source report, Who Has Ukraine Weapons, February 27, 2014, private to author.[7] Ibid.[8] Max Blumenthal, Is the US backing neo-Nazis in Ukraine?, AlterNet February 25, 2014, accessed inhttp://www.salon.com/2014/02/25/is_the_us_backing_neo_nazis_in_ukraine_partner/[9] Channel 4 News, Far right group at heart of Ukraine protests meet US senator, 16 December 2013, accessed inhttp://www.channel4.com/news/ukraine-mccain-far-right-svoboda-anti-semitic-protests
  • Al-Shabab claims #Kenya bus passenger killings
    Al-Shabab claims #Kenya bus passenger killings By MWC  NEWS agency Somali group says 28 non-Muslim passengers shot on board bus in Mandera in revenge for police raids on Mombasa mosques. Kenyan authorities have blamed the Somali armed group al-Shabab for a wave of deadly attacksAl-Shabab fighters from Somalia hijacked a bus in Kenya's north and killed 28 non-Muslims on board after they had been singled out from the rest of the passengers, police officials said.Two police officers said that the bus travelling to the capital Nairobi with 60 passengers was hijacked 50km from the town of Mandera near Kenya's border with Somalia.The officers insisted on anonymity out of fear of reprisals because of an order from Kenya's police chief that officers should not speak to the media.Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the dawn bus attack in a statement on Saturday, saying the attack was revenge for raids carried out by Kenyan security forces on mosques in the coastal city of Mombasa. Kenyan police said they found explosives and arrested more than 150 people in the mosque raids."The Mujahideen successfully carried out an operation near Mandera early this morning, which resulted in the perishing of 28 crusaders, as a revenge for the crimes committed by the Kenyan crusaders against our Muslim brethren in Mombasa," Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage, a spokesman for the group, said in the statement.The interior ministry confirmed Saturday's attack, saying via its official Twitter handle: "Security agencies are in pursuit of the criminal gang. We'll give a comprehensive update once preliminary reports are out."Police said that the attackers, who were heavily-armed, fled towards the border between Kenya and Somalia, adding that a security team has been deployed to the area to capture the attackers.A reporter for Kenya's Standard newspaper said the attack happened at 5:45am local time.Quoting Mandera County Commissioner, journalist Boniface Mungeri said the attack was carried out by "about 100 gunmen who commandeered" the bus and forced the passengers out.Passengers separatedMungeri said the passengers were separated into groups according to their religion. Non-Muslims, the reporter said, were executed and Muslims were freed. The assailants attempted to take the bus but it got stuck in mud on the unpaved road.Among those killed were two security officers and teachers who were travelling to their home towns on holiday, said the reporter.Mandera County Governor Ali Ibrahim Roba said on Twitter: "The inhumane butchering of innocent Kenyans by terrorist must get [a] very firm response from our national security team."Kenyan authorities have blamed the Somali armed group al-Shabab for a wave of deadly attacks across the East African nation. Kenya sent troops to Somalia in 2011 after raids on its coastal towns blamed on al-Shabab and has since seen a surge in lethal attacks.Al-Shabab has also been blamed for the September 2013 attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, which killed 77 people.Somali government troops backed by AU forces are making progress in capturing the remaining al-Shabab strongholds, but the group has continued to carry out attacks in Somalia and the East Africa region.Recently, they captured the port town of Barawe.Al-Shabab was also dealt a heavy blow following the death of their leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane, who was killed in early September in a US airstrike.Godane has been replaced by Ahmed Omar, also known as Abu Ubeid.
  • UN Resolution on Iran Mockery of Justice
    UN Resolution on Iran Mockery of Justice By Dr Ismail Salami | November 21, 2014 A last-ditch effort by pro-Israeli lobbies to proceed with their scenario of Iranophobia?The not-very-independent UN body has made a mockery of justice by soldering a resolution on the so-called human rights violations in Iran.The farce becomes more markedly absurd when you consider the plethora of human rights abuses going unpunished in the world with the UN laying a lid of ignorance on these blatant violations.Late Tuesday, the United Nations voted to slam “Iranian human rights abuses”, singling it out for “executing upwards of 1,000 political opponents and prisoners in the past year”.Iran has strongly lambasted the UN resolution, saying that “the UN’s legal mechanisms have turned into a tool in the hands of the West.”The irony of the resolution is that the measure was initially drafted by Canada which has itself a disgracing history of human rights abuse against the aboriginals in the country. Further to that, Ottawa has constantly and vehemently thrown its full-throated support behind Tel Aviv in its inconceivably ruthless crimes against the people of Palestine.In July 2014, when Gaza was being pounded by Israeli bombs and the Palestinian women and children were consequently incinerated and brutally slaughtered, when human rights were being trampled in its most pernicious forms, Canadian government brazenly backed the Israeli regime and instead rubbed salt in Palestinian wounds. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a statement and said, “The indiscriminate rocket attacks from Gaza on Israel are terrorist acts, for which there is no justification…. Failure by the international community to condemn these reprehensible actions would encourage these terrorists to continue their appalling actions. Canada calls on its allies and partners to recognize that these terrorist acts are unacceptable and that solidarity with Israel is the best way of stopping the conflict. Canada is unequivocally behind Israel.”Yes, Canada is unequivocally and cravenly behind Israel. These are strange times. Those who are harbingers of terror and atrocity become the emblems of innocence and the downtrodden people of Gaza become terrorists. These remarks by Mr. Harper only relegate him to a very lowly level of humanity and leave no room for his exoneration from complicity in the crimes perpetrated at the hands of the Israeli regime against the Gazans.Ahmed Shaheed, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran has even voiced his praise for Canada’s determining role in conducing to this mockery of justice about Iran, saying, “Canada’s leadership in this regard is highly appreciated.”In May 2014, Canadian Liberal MP Irwin Cotler who served as the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada from 2003 until 2006 embarked on a series of programs known as Iran Accountability Weeks in which they heard “testimonies highlighting Iranian political prisoners and other victims of Iranian human rights abuses.” Among those who testified was the notorious terrorist MKO leader Maryam Rajavi accompanied by a UN rights official and pundits from a hawkish American think tank.Interestingly, Mr. Shaheed was a participant in the event. Although he says he asked his name to be withdrawn from the panel, there is barely an iota of truth in it as in his report on Iran. The sheer presence of Maryam Rajavi in the anti-Iran mudslinging campaign sheds light on the very nature of the UN-released resolution against Iran.Besides, it is not a closed book to anyone that Irwin Cotler is a fervent advocate of Tel Aviv and his insistence on having Rajavi on the anti-Iran panel reveals the dirty hands behind the report. So, the pieces of the puzzle come together to make a meaningful whole in this regard.Over the past three decades, the MKO has initiated a series of deadly attacks on Iran and the Iranian population and has so far assassinated 12000 Iranians including the nuclear scientists. It is interesting to note that the assassinations of prominent Iranian characters including the politicians and scientists are basically conducted in cahoots with Israeli Kidon, the assassination unit within Mossad.In 1986, the MKO headquarters were transferred to Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war and Saddam took them under his wings and funded them financially and militarily to fight against Iran. Long listed as a terrorist organization by the international community, the cult was delisted on September 28, 2012 by the US Secretary of State as an extension of their adage that a terrorist in need is a friend indeed.Some of their sabotaging activities are as follows: The series of mortar attacks and hit-and-run raids during 2000 and 2001 against Iranian government buildings; one of these killed Iran’s chief of staffThe 2000 mortar attack on President Mohammad Khatami’s palace in TehranThe February 2000 “Operation Great Bahman,” during which MEK launched 12 attacks against IranThe 1999 assassination of the deputy chief of Iran’s armed forces general staff, Ali Sayyad ShiraziThe 1998 assassination of the director of Iran’s prison system, Asadollah LajevardiThe 1992 near-simultaneous attacks on Iranian embassies and institutions in 13 countriesAssistance to Saddam Hussein’s suppression of the 1991 Iraqi Shiite and Kurdish uprisingsThe 1981 bombing of the offices of the Islamic Republic Party and of Premier Mohammad-Javad Bahonar, which killed some 70 high-ranking Iranian officials, including President Mohammad-Ali Rajaei and Bahonar Support for the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran by Iranian revolutionariesThe 1970s killings of U.S. military personnel and civilians working on defense projects in TehranViewed from an entirely different angle, the measure very bizarrely coincides with the nuclear talks between Iran and the world six world powers and the November 24 deadline. So, the move may be seen as a last-ditch effort by pro-Israeli lobbies to proceed with their scenario of Iranophobia on the one hand and to sabotage the nuclear talks and bring them to standstill on the other hand.The UN consciously or unconsciously plays in the hands of the pro-Israeli pressure groups in Canada and only puts on an ugly show of duplicity in imposing a ruling against the Islamic Republic.Dr. Ismail Salami is an internationally published author, literary scholar, Quranologist, political commentator, and lexicographer. He writes extensively on the US and Middle East issues and his writings have been translated into a number of languages. Salami is a former editor-in-chief of the Tehran Times International Daily. He currently teaches English literature at the University of Tehran.
  • Nuclear Agreement to Be Reached Sooner or Later: Iran's Atomic Chief
    Nuclear Agreement to Be Reached Sooner or Later: Iran's Atomic Chief By Sputnik Agreement on Iranian nuclear issue has to be reached 'sooner or later', the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi believes.VIENNA, November 22 (Sputnik) — Agreement on Iranian nuclear program will be reached 'sooner or later', the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi was quoted as saying by the Iranian Nuclear Energy agency Saturday."Former FM, Incumbent Atomic Chief Salehi says nuclear agreement between Iran, P5+1 will be reached 'sooner or later'," Iranian Nuclear Energy agency wrote on its twitter. In the meantime, media is giving conflicting reports about the possibility of talks' extension, as delegations doubt an agreement could be reached by the November 24 deadline.A source in the Iranian delegation told Sputnik he had no information about that, so did another source in a European negotiating team.EU envoy Catherine Ashton (L), Britain's Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond (C) and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif sit at a table during talks in Vienna November 21, 2014© REUTERS/ Leonhard FoegerFinal Solution of Iranian Nuclear Problem Not in US Interests: ExpertsThe West is accusing Iran of developing nuclear weapons, while Tehran has repeatedly denied these claims stressing the peaceful character of its nuclear program aimed at meeting the country's growing energy needs.The final round of talks on the Iranian nuclear program between Tehran and the P5+1 group of international negotiators, which comprises Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China and Germany, began in Vienna Tuesday. The deadline to reach an agreement on the issue was set for November 24.
  • All-Out War in Ukraine: NATO’s ‘Final Offensive’
    All-Out War in Ukraine: NATO’s ‘Final Offensive’ By Prof. James Petras There are clear signs that a major war is about to break out in Ukraine: A war actively promoted by the NATO regimes and supported by their allies and clients in Asia (Japan) and the Middle East (Saudi Arabia). The war over Ukraine will essentially run along the lines of a full-scale military offensive against the southeast Donbas region, targeting the breakaway ethnic Ukraine- Russian Peoples Republic of Donetsk and Lugansk, with the intention of deposing the democratically elected government, disarming the popular militias, killing the guerrilla resistance partisans and their mass base, dismantling the popular representative organizations and engaging in ethnic cleansing of millions of bilingual Ukraino-Russian citizens. NATO’s forthcoming military seizure of the Donbas region is a continuation and extension of its original violent putsch in Kiev, which overthrew an elected Ukrainian government in February 2014.The Kiev junta and its newly ‘elected’ client rulers, and its NATO sponsors are intent on a major purge to consolidate the puppet Poroshenko’s dictatorial rule. The recent NATO-sponsored elections excluded several major political parties that had traditionally supported the country’s large ethnic minority populations, and was boycotted in the Donbas region. This sham election in Kiev set the tone for NATO’s next move toward converting Ukraine into one gigantic US multi-purpose military base aimed at the Russian heartland and into a neo-colony for German capital, supplying Berlin with grain and raw materials while serving as a captive market for German manufactured goods.An intensifying war fever is sweeping the West; the consequences of this madness appear graver by the hour.War Signs: The Propaganda and Sanctions Campaign, the G20 Summit and the Military Build Up The official drum- beat for a widening conflict in Ukraine, spearheaded by the Kiev junta and its fascist militias, echoes in every Western mass media outlet, every day. Major mass media propaganda mills and government ‘spokesmen and women’ publish or announce new trumped-up accounts of growing Russian military threats to its neighbors and cross-border invasions into Ukraine. New Russian incursions are ‘reported’ from the Nordic borders and Baltic states to the Caucuses. The Swedish regime creates a new level of hysteria over a mysterious “Russian” submarine off the coast of Stockholm, which it never identifies or locates – let alone confirms the ‘sighting’. Estonia and Latvia claim Russian warplanes violated their air space without confirmation. Poland expels Russian “spies” without proof or witnesses. Provocative full-scale joint NATO-client state military exercises are taking place along Russia’s frontiers in the Baltic States, Poland, Romania and Ukraine.NATO is sending vast arms shipments to the Kiev junta, along with “Special Forces” advisers and counter-insurgency experts in anticipation of a full-scale attack against the rebels in the Donbas.The Kiev regime has never abided by the Minsk cease fire. According to the UN Human Rights office 13 people on average –mostly civilians –have been killed each day since the September cease fire. In eight weeks, the UN reports that 957 people have killed –overwhelmingly by Kiev’s armed forces.The Kiev regime, in turn, has cut all basic social and public services to the Peoples’ Republics’, including electricity, fuel, civil service salaries, pensions, medical supplies, salaries for teachers and medical workers, municipal workers wages; banking and transport have been blockaded.The strategy is to further strangle the economy, destroy the infrastructure, force an even greater mass exodus of destitute refugees from the densely populated cities across the border into Russia and then to launch massive air, missile, artillery and ground assaults on urban centers as well as rebel bases.The Kiev junta has launched an all-out military mobilization in the Western regions, accompanied by rabid anti-Russian, anti-Eastern Orthodox indoctrination campaigns designed to attract the most violent far right chauvinist thugs and to incorporate the Nazi-style military brigades into the frontline shock troops. The cynical use of irregular fascist militias will ‘free’ NATO and Germany from any responsibility for the inevitable terror and atrocities in their campaign. This system of ‘plausible deniability’ mirrors the tactics of the German Nazis whose hordes of fascist Ukrainians and Ustashi Croats were notorious in their epoch of ethnic cleansing.G20-plus-NATO: Support of the Kiev Blitz To isolate and weaken resistance in the Donbas and guarantee the victory of the impending Kiev blitz, the EU and the US are intensifying their economic, military and diplomatic pressure on Russia to abandon the nascent peoples’ democracy in the south-east region of Ukraine, their principle ally.Each and every escalation of economic sanctions against Russia is designed to weaken the capacity of the Donbas resistance fighters to defend their homes, towns and cities. Each and every Russian shipment of essential medical supplies and food to the besieged population evokes a new and more hysterical outburst – because it counters Kiev-NATO strategy of starving the partisans and their mass base into submission or provoking their flight to safety across the Russian border.After suffering a series of defeats, the Kiev regime and its NATO strategists decided to sign a ‘peace protocol’, the so-called Minsk agreement, to halt the advance of the Donbas resistance into the southern regions and to protect its Kiev’s soldiers and militias holed-up in isolated pockets in the East. The Minsk agreement was designed to allow the Kiev junta to build up its military, re-organize its command and incorporate the disparate Nazi militias into its overall military forces in preparation for a ‘final offensive’. Kiev’s military build-up on the inside and NATO’s escalation of sanctions against Russia on the outside would be two sides of the same strategy: the success of a frontal attack on the democratic resistance of the Donbas basin depends on minimizing Russian military support through international sanctions.NATO’s virulent hostility to Russian President Putin was on full display at the G20 meeting in Australia: NATO-linked presidents and prime ministers, especially Merkel, Obama, Cameron, Abbott, and Harper’s political threats and overt personal insults paralleled Kiev’s growing starvation blockade of the besieged rebels and population centers in the south-east. Both the G20’s economic threats against Russia and the diplomatic isolation of Putin and Kiev’s economic blockade are preludes to NATO’s Final Solution – the physical annihilation of all vestiges of Donbas resistance, popular democracy and cultural-economic ties with Russia.Kiev depends on its NATO mentors to impose a new round of severe sanctions against Russia, especially if its planned invasion encounters a well armed and robust mass resistance bolstered by Russian support. NATO is counting on Kiev’s restored and newly supplied military capacity to effectively destroy the southeast centers of resistance.NATO has decided on an ‘all-or-nothing campaign’: to seize all of Ukraine or, failing that, destroy the restive southeast, obliterate its population and productive capacity and engage in an all-out economic (and possibly shooting) war with Russia. Chancellor Angela Merkel is on board with this plan despite the complaints of German industrialists over their huge loss of export sales to Russia. President Hollande of France has signed on dismissing the complaints of trade unionists over the loss of thousands French jobs in the shipyards. Prime Minister David Cameron is eager for an economic war against Moscow, suggesting the bankers of the City of London find new channels to launder the illicit earnings of Russian oligarchs.The Russian Response Russian diplomats are desperate to find a compromise, which allows Ukraine’s ethnic Ukraine- Russian population in the southeast to retain some autonomy under a federation plan and regain influence within the ‘new’ post-putsch Ukraine. Russian military strategists have provided logistical and military aid to the resistance in order to avoid a repeat of the Odessa massacre of ethnic Russians by Ukrainian fascists on a massive scale. Above all, Russia cannot afford to have NATO-Nazi-Kiev military bases along its southern ‘underbelly’, imposing a blockade of the Crimea and forcing a mass exodus of ethnic Russians from the Donbas. Under Putin, the Russian government has tried to propose compromises allowing Western economic supremacy over Ukraine but without NATO military expansion and absorption by Kiev.That policy of conciliation has repeatedly failed.The democratically elected ‘compromise regime’ in Kiev was overthrown in February 2014 in a violent putsch, which installed a pro-NATO junta.Kiev violated the Minsk agreement with impunity and encouragement from the NATO powers and Germany.The recent G20 meeting in Australia featured a rabble-rousing chorus against President Putin. The crucial four-hour private meeting between Putin and Merkel turned into a fiasco when Germany parroted the NATO chorus.Putin finally responded by expanding Russia’s air and ground troop preparedness along its borders while accelerating Moscow’s economic pivot to Asia.Most important, President Putin has announced that Russia cannot stand by and allow the massacre of a whole people in the Donbas region.Is Poroshenko’s forthcoming blitz against the people of southeast Ukraine designed to provoke a Russian response – to the humanitarian crisis? Will Russia confront the NATO-directed Kiev offensive and risk a total break with the West?James Petras latest book is THE POLITICS OF IMPERIALISM:THE US, ISRAEL AND THE MIDDLE EAST (CLARITY PRESS:ATLANTA)
  • Libya Then and Now: An Overview of NATO’s Handiwork
    Libya Then and Now: An Overview of NATO’s Handiwork By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya "New Dawn Magazine" In 2011, as the entire world watched the Arab Spring in amazement, the US and its allies, predominately working under the banner of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), militarily overran the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.The peaceful civilian protesters they claimed to be intervening to protect were not really what the US and its cohorts presented to the world. Many of these so-called “protesters” were armed, and when this became apparent they eventually began to portray themselves as “rebel forces.” These so-called “rebels” in Libya were not a military force that emerged spontaneously for the most part, but an insurgency movement cultivated and organised before any opposition activities were even reported in Libya.Victims of NATO bombings. May 2011After Libya’s rapprochement with the US and the European Union, it was unthinkable to many that Washington and any of its allies could even have been preparing to topple the Libyan government. Business and trade ties between Libya and the US, Britain, Italy, France, Spain, and Turkey had bloomed since 2003 after Colonel Muammar Qadhafi opted for cooperation with Washington. No one imagined that Saif Al-Islam Qadhafi’s “New Libya” with its neo-liberalism could be on a collision course with NATO.Yet, the US and its EU partners for several years made preparations for taking over Libya. They had infiltrated the Jamahiriya’s government, security and intelligence sectors. Longstanding imperialist objectives existing since the Second World War, aimed at dividing Libya into three colonial territories, were taken out of government filing cabinets in Washington, London, Paris and Rome, and circulated at NATO Headquarters in Brussels.In league with these colonial plans, the US and its allies had been cultivating ties with different members of the Libyan opposition and had always reserved the option of using these opposition figures for regime change in Tripoli. Putting together their colonial designs and mobilising their agents, the US and its allies began organising the stage for establishing the Transitional National Council (TNC) – simply called the Transitional Council – and similar bodies to govern Libya as its new puppet leadership. The British and French even held joint invasion exercises months before the Libyan conflict erupted with the Arab Spring in 2011, while various intelligence services and foreign military commandos from NATO and GCC countries were also on the ground in Libya helping to prepare for the destabilisation of the North African country and the toppling of the Jamahiriya’s government and institutions.Realities have been turned upside down and the victims were grossly portrayed as the aggressors in the conflict. While the Transitional Council’s forces, augmented by mercenaries and foreign fighters, were torturing, raping, and murdering civilians and those that were standing in their way with the aid of NATO and the GCC, Muammar Qadhafi was inflexibly and exclusively blamed for all the violence inside Libya. Nor were the atrocities an exclusively Libyan versus Libyan matter. During the conflict, NATO committed serious war crimes and crimes against humanity in its effort to overrun and control the North African country. Not only did foreign journalists help justify and sustain the war, but they played major roles in assisting NATO’s war effort by passing on information about Libyan targets and checkpoint locations to the Jamahiriya’s enemies. The war, however, did not go as planned and Libyan resistance proved far stronger than the Pentagon and NATO initially imagined.In the course of the confrontation and at the international level, a series of human rights organisations and think-tanks were utilised for preparing the stage for the conflict in Libya and the toppling of its government. These organisations were mostly part of a network that had been working to establish the mechanisms for justifying interventionism and creating the net of individuals and public faces needed for creating a proxy government in Libya in the false name of “democracy.” When the time came, these bodies coordinated with the NATO powers and the mainstream media in the project to isolate, castrate, and subjugate the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. These so-called human rights organisations and the mainstream media networks worked together to propagate lies about African mercenaries, Libyan military jet attacks on civilians, and civilian massacres by Muammar Qadhafi’s regime.International news networks extensively quoted these human rights organisations in what would amount to a self-fuelled cycle of misinformation, while the same human rights organisations continued to make claims on the basis of the media’s reports. In other words, each side fed the other. It was this web of lies that was presented at the Human Rights Council in the United Nations Office at Geneva and then handed to the United Nations Security Council in New York City as the basis for the war in Libya. These lies were accepted without any investigation being launched by the United Nations or any other international bodies. Any Libyan requests for international investigation teams were ignored. It was from this point onward that NATO used the UN Security Council to launch its war of aggression against Libya under the pretext of protecting civilians and enforcing a no-fly zone over the Arab country. Although not officially accepted by the United Nations Security Council, the “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) doctrine was being showcased as a new paradigm for military intervention by NATO.All known advocates of Pentagon militarism and global empire demanded this war take place, including Paul Wolfowitz, John McCain, Joseph Lieberman, Elliott Abrahams, Leon Wieseltier, John Hannah, Robert Kagan, and William Kristol. The Project for the New American Century (PNAC) and the neo-conservative crowd was the realist foreign policy camp in Washington. The entire US establishment lined up to pick off Tripoli and reduce it a weak and divided African protectorate.Libya & the New “Scramble” for Africa To put NATO’s war in Libya within the framework of historic analysis, one only needs to be reminded that the main thrust of the sudden physical European colonisation of Africa, called the “Scramble for Africa,” started when an economic recession originally called the “Great Depression,” but in retrospect renamed as the “Long Depression,” hit much of Europe and North America from roughly 1873 to 1893. In this period the entire tempo of Western European contact with African nations transformed.Prior to this economic recession, Western European companies and enterprises were content dealing with African leaders and recognising their authority. Few Western European colonies in Africa had existed aside from a few coastal strips based on strategically-placed trading posts in Sierra Leone and Lagos in the possession of Britain; Mozambique and Angola in the possession of Portugal; and Senegal in the possession of France. At this time the biggest external force in Africa was the Ottoman Empire, which was beginning its long decline as a great power.Even with Western European colonial incursions into Africa by Britain, France, and Portugal, most of the African continent was still free of external or alien control. Intensified European economic rivalries and the recession in Western Europe, however, would change this. Britain would lose its edge as the world’s most industrialised nation as the industrial sectors of the USA, France and Germany all began to increasingly challenge British manufacturers. As a result of the recession and increased business rivalries, the corporations of Western European countries began to push their respective governments to adopt protectionist practices and to directly intervene in Africa to protect the commercial interests of these corporations. The logic behind this colonial push or “scramble” was that these Western European governments would secure large portions of Africa as export markets and for resource imports for these corporations alone, while these African territories would effectively be closed off to economic rivals. Thus, a whole string of Western European conquest began in Africa to secure ivory, fruits, copal (gum), cloves, beeswax, honey, coffee, peanuts, cotton, precious metals, and rubber.Although appropriating Libya’s financial and material wealth were objectives of the NATO war in 2011, the broader objectives of the criminal war were part of the struggle to control the African continent and its vast wealth. The “Scramble for Africa” was repeating itself. Just like the first time, recession and economic rivalries were tied to this new round of colonial conquest in the African continent.The emergence of Asia as the new global centre of gravity, at the expense of the nations of the North Atlantic in North America and Western Europe, has also primed the United States and its allies to start an endeavour to close Africa off from the People’s Republic of China and the emerging centres of power in Russia, India, Brazil, and Iran. This is why the Pentagon’s United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM/AFRICOM) played a major role in the war.The London Conference on Libya, where the Libya Contact Group was formed on 29 March 2011, was a modern version of the Berlin Conference of 1884, which attempted to solidify the gains made by European colonial powers in their first rush to control African societies and territory. The Istanbul Conference on Libya, where the Libya Contact Group met for the fourth time on 15 July 2011, was virtually a declaration of the intentions of the US and these countries to appropriate Libya’s vast wealth. This is a template for usurping the wealth of other countries in Africa and beyond. In this regard, the Transitional Council has served as nothing more than a proxy that was designed to help embezzle Libya’s vast wealth.Moreover, Libya had to be neutralised in line with the intentions of this project to reclaim Africa, because of Qadhafi’s pan-African ambitions to unify the African continent under Libyan leadership. Libya and its development and political projects were effectively erecting a barrier to the re-colonisation of the African continent. In this regard, the war was launched by “Operation Odyssey Dawn.” This name is very revealing. It identifies the strategic intent and direction of the campaign in Libya. ‘The Odyssey’ is an ancient Greek epic by the poet Homer that recounts the voyage and trails of the hero Odysseus of Ithaca on his voyage home. The main theme here is the ‘return home’. In other words, the military assault’s codename meant that countries like the US, Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, and Turkey were on their own odyssey of ‘return’ into Africa.The Crown of Africa Libya is a lucrative prize of massive economic value. It has immense oil and gas resources, vast amounts of underground water from the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System, important trade routes, substantial foreign investments, and large amounts of liquid capital. Up until 2011, Libya was blessed with a rare gift in regard to its national revenue in that it saved a significant amount. In fact Libya possessed more than US$150 billion in overseas financial assets and had one of the largest sovereign investment funds in the world at the start of 2011.Until the conflict in Libya ignited, there was a very large foreign work force in the Jamahiriya. Thousands of foreign workers from every corner of the globe went to Libya for employment. This included nationals from places like the Philippines, Turkey, sub-Saharan Africa, China, Latin America, Belarus, Italy, France, Bulgaria, Romania, Canada, Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, and every corner of the Arab world. For years, these jobs inside Libya were an important source of economic remittances in the cases of some African economies, such as Niger. Moreover, many foreign workers from places like the Philippines and Italy even chose to make their lives in Libya and open their own local businesses.Before the NATO war, Libyan society had come a long way since 1951 when it became an independent African country. In 1975, the political scientist Henri Habib described Libya on the dawn of its independence as a backward country saying: “When Libya was granted its independence by the United Nations on December 24, 1951, it was described as one of the poorest and most backward nations of the world. The population at the time was not more than 1.5 million, was over 90% illiterate, and had no political experience or knowhow. There were no universities, and only a limited number of high schools which had been established seven years before independence.”According to Habib, the state of poverty in Libya was the result of the yoke of Ottoman domination followed by an era of European imperialism in Libya that started with the Italians. He explained that, “[e]very effort was made to keep the Arab inhabitants [of Libya] in a servile position rendering them unable to make any progress for themselves or their nation.” This colonial yoke, however, began its decline in 1943 after Italy and Germany were defeated in North Africa during the Second World War.In 1959 Libya’s oil reserves were discovered. Despite political mismanagement and corruption, since 1969 these Libyan oil reserves were used to improve the standard of living for the country’s population. In addition to the revenue from Libyan energy reserves, the Libyan government played an important role in maintaining Libya’s high living standards. Although never fully nationalised, Libya’s oil would only, in progressive steps, fall under the control of Libyans after the 1969 coup against the Libyan monarchy by Qadhafi and a group of young military officers. Before 1969 most of the country’s oil wealth was actually not being used to serve the general public. Under Qadhafi’s leadership this changed and the National Oil Company was founded on 12 November 1970.To a certain extent the isolation of Libya in the past as a pariah state played a role in insulating Libya economically and maintaining its standards of living. From an economic standpoint, most of the Arab world and Africa have become globalised as components of an integrated network of regional economies tied to the United States and the European Union. Libyan integration into this global economic system was delayed because of the past political isolation of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya when Washington, London, and Paris were openly at odds with Tripoli.Despite having vast sums of money stolen and squandered by Qadhafi’s family and their officials, social services and benefits, such as government housing and numerous subsidies, were available to the Libyan population. It has to be cautioned too that the apparatus of a modern welfare state does not mean that neo-liberal restructuring and poverty were not afoot in Libya, because they very much were. What this means is that economics was not the driving force for the internal dimension of the fighting in Libya. For years, up until 2011, Libya had the highest standards of living in Africa and one of the highest in the Arab world. There is an old Libyan proverb, “if your pocket becomes empty, your faults will be many.” In this regard, Libya’s faults were not many in economic terms.In 2008, Libya had protests that were reportedly caused by unemployment. Most protests in Libya from 2003 to 2011, however, did not have any real economic dimension dominated by breadbasket issues. This set the Jamahiriya apart from Arab countries like Tunisia, Egypt, and Jordan where breadbasket issues were important factors behind the protests that erupted during the same period in 2011. This, of course, does not mean the protest movements in the latter Arab countries were strictly the result of breadbasket issues and economics either. Demands for personal freedoms and backlashes against corruption were major motivating factors behind the fuelling of public anger in all these Arab states. In Libya, if anything, the frustration tied to the rampant corruption rooted amongst Jamahiriya authorities and officials had created shifting tides of resentment towards the government.As briefly mentioned, Libya also has vast amounts of underground water stored in the ancient Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System, which is situated under the territories of Chad, Egypt, Libya, and Sudan. Libya and Egypt hold the largest shares of this water source. In a joint initiative, called the Nubian Aquifer Project, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the financial organisation Global Environment Facility (GEF), have all worked with the governments of these four African countries to study this vast source of underground water beneath the Sahara Desert. Using isotopes, the IAEA three-dimensionally mapped the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System.In the Jamahiriya, the Great Man-Made River Project was initiated under the orders of Colonel Qadhafi followed by the establishment of the Great Man-Made River Authority in 1983 to exploit the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System for the benefit of Libya and the other regional countries in the Sahara and the Sahel regions. The project was domestically funded mostly by taxes on fuel, tobacco, and international travel, with the remainder of funding provided directly by the Libyan state. Up until 2008 the Libyan government had spent about US$19.6 billion dollars on the water project.According to the Isotope Hydrology Section of the IAEA, the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System is the world’s largest fossil aquifer system and will be “the biggest and in some cases the only future source of water to meet growing demands and development” amongst Chad, Egypt, Libya, and Sudan. As fresh water supplies become limited globally, it was forecast Libya’s water supplies will be of greater value domestically and regionally. Huge water multinationals in the US, France and elsewhere were salivating at the idea of privatising Libyan fresh water and controlling the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System.The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) had shares and invested in major international corporations such as oil giant British Petroleum (BP), the world’s largest aluminium producer United Company RUSAL in Russia, the US conglomerate General Electric (GE), the Italian bank and financial giant UniCredit, the Italian oil corporation Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi (ENI), the German engineering and electronic conglomerate Siemens, the German electricity and gas company Rheinisch-Westfälisches Elektrizitätswerk (RWE), British publishing giant Pearson, and British telecommunications giant Vodafone (UK). Libya had purchased Exxon Mobil’s subsidiary in the Kingdom of Morocco, Mobil Oil Maroc, and bought half of Kenya’s oil refinery. The LIA bought all of Royal Dutch Shell’s service stations in Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Sudan in 2008. Tripoli announced in the same year that it was buying a major share of Circle Oil, an international hydrocarbon exploration company with operations in Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia. A Libyan agreement was also made with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to build a pipeline in the western part of its territory. Large investments were made by Libya in agricultural, industrial and service projects in Africa from Egypt and Niger to Mali and Tunisia.In 2008 Goldman Sachs was given US$1.3 billion dollars by the Libyan Investment Authority. In unfathomable terms, Goldman Sachs told the Libyans that 98% of their investment was lost overnight, which means the Libyans lost almost all the money they gave Goldman Sachs. To Tripoli and other observers it was clear Goldman Sachs had merely appropriated the Libyan investment as a cash injection, because it needed the funds due to the global financial crisis. Afterwards, Jamahiriya officials and Goldman Sachs executives tried negotiating a settlement under which Goldman Sachs would give Tripoli huge shares in the Wall Street financial giant. These negotiations between Libya and Goldman Sachs for a settlement finally ended in 2009 with both sides failing to agree on a formula to replace the Libyan money that Goldman Sachs had effectively appropriated from Tripoli.Goldman Sachs was not alone in filching Libyan investment funds: Société Générale S.A., Carlyle Group, J.P. Morgan Chase, Och-Ziff Capital Management Group, and Lehman Brothers Holdings were also all in possession of vast Libyan investments and funds. In one way or another, NATO’s war on Libya and the freeze of Libyan financial assets profited them all. They and their governments were also not happy with Qadhafi’s ideas and proposal to the United Nations that the former colonial powers owed Africa almost US$800 trillion dollars.The fact that Libya happened to be a rich country was one of its crimes in 2011. Oil, finance, economics, and Libyan natural resources were always tempting prizes for the United States and its allies. These things were the spoils of war in Libya. While Libyan energy reserves and geopolitics played major roles in launching the 2011 war, it was also waged in part to appropriate Tripoli’s vast financial holdings and to supplement and maintain the crumbling financial hegemony of Wall Street and other financial centres. Wall Street could not allow Tripoli to be debt-free, to continue accumulating international financial possessions, and to be a creditor nation giving international loans and investing funds in other countries, particularly in Africa. Thus, major banks in the United States and the European Union, like the giant multinational oil conglomerates, had major roles and interests in the NATO war on Tripoli.An Overview of the African Geopolitics of the War on Libya NATO’s operations in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya have helped erode Libyan political unity, which has had clear implications for the North African country’s spatial unity and all the nations bordering Libya. Libya and its region have been destabilised. The domino effect can clearly be seen at work in Niger, Mali, and the Central African Republic where there has been fighting as a result, at least in part, of the NATO war on Libya.Within a strictly African context, Libya sits at an important geographic point. The country is a geographic gateway into Africa and connects the northeast and northwest sections of the continent. Libya’s national territory falls within the Sahara and Sahel regions and events in Libya directly influence Sudan, Egypt and the regions of the Maghreb, West Africa, and Central Africa. Libya is also one of the states that provide access to the open sea for landlocked Chad and Niger. Aside from Tunisia, all of the countries on Libya’s borders touch and connect the bulk of Africa’s regions with the exception of the southern region of the continent. Casting out the Tunisian Republic, these bordering African states are Egypt, Sudan, Chad, Niger, and Algeria. Libya’s position is very special in this regard and this territorial embrace with these other large African states bordering multiple countries and regions is very important and would be pivotal if the Libyan project to connect the continent through a north to south and east to west transportation and trade corridor were to be developed fully.From a socio-cultural standpoint, Libya has tribal and cultural ties to all of the bordering countries. Ethnic differences in Libya exist too, but are minor in degree. Libyans predominately consider themselves to be Arabs. The largest Libyan minority are the Berbers, which can roughly be divided into northern groups and southern groups. There was always awareness that tribalism in Libya, if given antagonistic political connotations, could be a very dangerous thing for Libya and the bordering countries. The tribes that Libyans belong go beyond Libyan borders and form a chain in an overlapping tribal network extending all the way from Niger into Burkina Faso and Mauritania. Tribal fighting in Libya could destabilise countries like Senegal and Mali in West Africa, Chad in Central Africa, Algeria in North Africa, and Sudan in East Africa. It is in this context that NATO powers began speaking about an Arab-Berber divide in North Africa in 2011. Regime change in Tripoli has left a political vacuum where politics has fuelled tribalism and regionalism in Libya, which is now warily watched by all of the countries bordering Libya and affecting them.“A New Beginning” in Cairo: Obama’s attempts to Manipulate Islam Identity politics and faith have also wound up as factors in the competing exchange of geopolitical currents governing the sea of events surrounding Libya. The questions of what is a Libyan and what is an ethnic Arab have been superimposed as factors in the war on the Jamahiriya as a means of attacking the pan-African movement and separating Libya, and North Africa in broader terms, from the rest of Africa. Faith and religiosity have also been mounted as dynamics that are being sought as geopolitical tools and weapons of influence.President Barack Hussein Obama was elected by tapping into the hopes of the US public and presenting himself as a “prince of peace” and “messiah of hope.” Amongst his elegant speeches, he claimed to have a desire to reengage with the so-called Muslim World. Since 2009 Obama has consistently tried to utilise what he sees as both his African and Muslim credentials on the basis of having a Kenyan father who was a Muslim, to present himself as a “Son of Africa” and as someone sympathetic to Muslims. As part of his outreach to Muslims, President Obama gave a highly promoted speech at Cairo University on 4 June 2009. Obama’s presidential speech was named “A New Beginning” and was supposedly meant to repair the damages in the relationship between the US and the so-called Muslim World. The speech is described as such by the White House:“On June 4, 2009 in Cairo, Egypt, President Obama proposed a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, based upon mutual interest and mutual respect. Specifically, the President said that the U.S. would seek a more comprehensive engagement with Muslim-majority countries, countries with significant Muslim populations, and their people by expanding partnerships in areas like education, economic development, science and technology, and health, among others, while continuing to work together to address issues of common concern.”Many people in predominantly Muslim states were fooled by his pledges of peace and mutual respect. In his actions, Barack Obama proved to be no less of a war hawk than his predecessors in the Oval Office. His Cairo speech was significant because it actually marked the start of a new campaign by the US to geopolitically use Muslims and their hopes and aspirations. In the same timeframe as his speech, the US State Department began to engage with the Muslim Brotherhood and even prior to the speech asked for members to attend Cairo University to hear him.Almost as if foreshadowing the coming of the so-called Arab Spring, the speech in Cairo’s fourth point was about the rise of democracy and the instability of regimes suppressing democratic values. Many of the organisations and figures that became involved in the Arab Spring and supportive of the war in Libya would all hasten to Obama’s calls for a “New Beginning.” Amongst them was Aly (Ali) Abuzaakouk, who helped found the Transitional Council.From Jakarta, Indonesia, in late-2010, Obama would go on with his themes of engagement with the Muslim World and speak about democracy, faith, and economic development in his second speech addressing Muslims. From that point on Al-Qaeda faded from the spotlight of US foreign policy and, well into the upheavals of the Arab Spring, the US worked to put the ghost of Osama bin Laden to rest by declaring in statements that were altered several times that the Al-Qaeda leader was killed in Pakistan by a team of CIA agents and US Navy commandos on 2 May 2010. What this all amounted to was the preparations for the fielding of US agents amongst opposition groups in the predominately Muslim countries of the Arab world and an attempt to subordinate the faith of Islam as a tool of US foreign policy by using fighters and proxy political parties that used the banner of Islam. Thus, Washington’s alliance with deviant militant groups claiming to fight under the banner of Islam was rekindled in 2011. This alliance manifested itself in the fighting in Libya and later further east on the shores of the Mediterranean in Syria and Lebanon.Libya Now: Destitute, Divided, & in Conflict The historic project to divide Libya dates back to 1943 and 1951. It started with failed attempts to establish a trusteeship over Libya after the defeat of Italy and Germany in North Africa during the Second World War. The attempts to divide Libya then eventually resulted in a strategy that forced a monarchical federal system onto the Libyans similar to that established over Iraq following the illegal 2003 Anglo-American invasion. If the Libyans had not accepted federalism in their relatively homogenous society they could have forfeited their independence in 1951.During the Second World War the Libyans aided and allowed Britain to enter their country to fight the Italians and the Germans. Benghazi fell to British military control on 20 November 1942, and Tripoli on 23 January 1943. Despite its promises to allow Libya to become an independent country, London intended to administer the two Libyan provinces of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica separately as colonies, with Paris to be given control over the region of Fezzan, which is roughly one-third of Libya, the area to the southwest of the country bordering Algeria, Niger, and Chad (see map on page 60). Following the end of the Second World War, the victors and Italy attempted to partition Libya into territories that they would govern as trust territories. The American, British, French, and Soviet governments referred the matter to the UN General Assembly on 15 September 1945. There, the British and the Italians made a last-ditch proposal on 10 May 1949, called the Bevin-Sfora Plan for Libya, to have Libyan territory divided into an Italian-controlled Tripolitania, a British-controlled Cyrenaica, and a French-ruled Fezzan. This failed because of the crucial single vote of Haiti, which opposed the partition of Libya.The British then turned to King Idris to softly balkanise Libya through the establishment of a federal emirate. A National Assembly controlled by King Idris and an unelected small circle of Libyan chieftains was to be imposed. This type of federalist system was unacceptable to most Libyans as it was intended to be a means of sidestepping the will of the Libyan people. The elected representatives from the heavily populated region of Tripolitania would be outweighed by the unelected chieftains from Cyrenaica and Fezzan.This did not sit well with many Arab nationalists. Cairo was extremely critical of what the US and its allies were trying to do and called it diplomatic deceit. Nevertheless, even with the opposition of most Libyans, federalism was imposed on Libya in 1951 by Idris. Libyans popularly viewed this as Anglo-French treachery. Idris was forced to abolish the federalist system for a unitary system on 27 April 1963.The imperialist project to divide Libya was never abandoned; it was just temporarily shelved by different foreign ministries in the Western bloc and NATO capitals. In March 2011, US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Jr. testified to the US Senate Armed Services Committee that at the end of the conflict in Libya, the North African country would revert to its previous monarchical federalist divisions and that it would have two or three different administrations. NATO’s Supreme Commander, Admiral Stravridis, also told the US Senate Armed Services Committee in the same month that Libyan tribal differences would be amplified as the NATO war carried on. There were even multilateral discussions held about dividing the country, but the exact lines were never completely agreed upon and negotiations kept on waxing and waning with the frontlines in the desert and mountains.US plans to topple the Libyan government that were put together in 1982 by the US National Security Council under the Reagan Administration were also revised or renovated for NATO’s war in 2011. One can clearly see how these plans played out through the dual use of an insurgency and military attack. According to Joseph Stanik, the US plans involved simultaneous war and support for CIA-controlled opposition groups that would entail “a number of visible and covert actions designed to bring significant pressure to bear on Qadhafi.” To execute the US plan, Washington would first have to encourage a conflict using the countries around Libya “to seek a casus belli for military action” while they would take care of the logistical needs of CIA-controlled opposition groups that would launch a sabotage campaign against the economy, infrastructure, and government of Libya. The code name for these secret plans was “Flower.” In the words of Stanik:“The NSC restricted access to the top-secret plans to about two-dozen officials. Flower contained two subcomponents: “Tulip” and “Rose.” Tulip was the code name for the CIA covert operation designed to overthrow Qadhafi by supporting anti-Qadhafi exile groups and countries, such as Egypt, that wanted Qadhafi removed from power. Rose was the code name for a surprise attack on Libya to be carried out by an allied country, most likely Egypt, and supported by American air power. If Qadhafi was killed as a result of Flower, Reagan said he would take the blame for it.”It also just so happened that the Obama Administration’s US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates, who was the deputy director for intelligence at the time, endorsed Rose, the military subcomponent of Flower.Since NATO toppled the Jamahiriya government, this is exactly what has happened in Libya. A free for all has come about, which has spilled over into neighbouring states such as Niger. There are multiple factions and different administrations including the Transitional Council in the District of Tripoli, the Misrata Military Council in the District of Misrata, several self-styled Emirates in Cyrenaica, and Jamahiriya loyalist and tribal governments in the Western Mountains and Fezzan. There have even been fusions where Jamahiriya loyalists and anti-Jamahiriya militias have joined to fight all others. The end product has been lawlessness and Somali-style civil war. The state has basically been “failed” by the US and its allies. Post-Jamahiriya governmental authority is only exercised by those in power outside of their offices and a few spaces. Violent crime has proliferated. Tripoli and other major cities are being fought for by different factions and Libyan weapons are being smuggled into different countries. Even US officials, which helped midwife the groups running rampant in Libya, have not been safe from the turmoil they helped create; the murder of US Ambassador John Christopher Stevens in Benghazi on 12 September 2012 is testimony to this.Oil and gas production has been stopping. National assets have been sold off to foreign corporations and privatised. Libya is no longer a competitive economic power in Africa anymore. Nor is Libya a growing financial power. Tripoli virtually transformed from a debtless country to an indebted one overnight.There is also a great irony to all this. The warplanes of the US-supported Libyan regime that has replaced the Jamahiriya began bombing Libyan citizens in 2014 as battles for control of Tripoli raged. The US, European Union, and NATO have said nothing about this whereas in 2011 they started a bombing campaign and war on the basis of false accusations the Jamahiriya government was doing exactly this. The deceit of these players is more than evident.The above article first appeared in New Dawn Special Issue Vol 8 No 5
  • Biden in Kiev on US Regime-Change Victory Tour
    Biden in Kiev on US Regime-Change Victory Tour By Finian CUNNINGHAM | 22.11.2014 | 00:00 "Strategic Culture Foundation" US vice president Joe Biden flew into Kiev this week to celebrate the anniversary of the Maidan protests that led to the overthrow of Ukraine’s government.With arms waving and his wife in tow, as he stepped off Air Force One, the spectacle was tantamount to an unctuous victory lap for American regime change in the former Soviet republic.The fact that Biden’s son, Hunter, was also appointed as a board member of Ukrainian gas company Burisma since the regime took over adds a certain personal dimension to the American celebrations of this coup. The next US planes to follow Biden’s will be loaded with weapons and other non-lethal munitions, as earlier this week Washington announced for the first time that it is to start supplying the Kiev regime with military hardware. Those weapons are to include anti-tank and air defence systems, sniper rifles and machine-guns.Up to now, the US has been maintaining the fiction that it is only sending «non-lethal aid» – although unofficially it is understood that military materiel and private American «security» contractors have already been flowing to prop up the ultra rightwing regime that the American CIA helped seize power earlier this year.Russia this week condemned the dangerous escalation of US military involvement in Ukraine. Moscow’s foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said the arms announcement «broke all agreements» and that it would further destabilise the country and make a political resolution of the conflict less likely.Biden’s celebratory arrival in Kiev could hardly be more provocative.The Kiev regime, headed up by president Petro Poroshenko and his prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, is preparing to scale up its military offensive in the eastern regions of Ukraine. Last week it announced that it was cutting off vital public services, including hospitals and energy, to the breakaway self-declared republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. That move can be seen as a form of collective punishment paving the way for military attack. The largely ethnic Russian people of the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions have refused to recognise the Western-backed junta in Kiev that came to power in an illegal coup last February. For the past seven months, the Kiev regime has been conducting a blitzkrieg in the dissident east, which has resulted in more than 4,300 deaths – mostly civilians – and up to one million people displaced from their homes.That lethal military onslaught has been fully backed by the US and its European allies, even though it has been carried out by neo-Nazi paramilitaries and battalions working alongside regular armed forces. A ceasefire called on September 5 has been largely ignored by Kiev’s military units, which have continued laying siege to cities and towns with indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas. Up to 1,000 people have been killed over the past two months since the ceasefire brokered in Minsk was officially declared, according to the latest figures from the United Nations.Biden was instrumental in pushing the regime-change operation in Ukraine. He led international calls for the elected government of Victor Yanukovych to stand down, and it was Biden and State Department officials who whipped up the Maidan anti-government protests that began last November. The protests were ostensibly sparked by Yanukovych rejecting a proposed European Union association agreement in favour of maintaining historic trade ties with Russia. No doubt many of the protesters who flocked to Kiev’s Maidan Square had genuine aspirations for their country to embark on a process of EU integration and they felt disgruntled by Yanukovych’s spurning of the association agreement. But, more importantly, there is ample evidence that Washington had laid the groundwork to hijack the protests with a «colour revolution» involving rightwing extremists. Paramilitaries belonging to the neo-Nazi Right Sector and Svoboda (Freedom) organisations, who had been trained in Poland months before the Maidan rallies touched off, followed the script for regime change. Their use of street violence and forcible occupations of government buildings culminated in the February 20 sniper shootings in which more than 80 people, including police and protesters, were killed. With the help of Western media, the massacre was blamed on the Ukrainian government. But forensic and medical evidence shows that the snipers were operated by the CIA-backed paramilitaries.In the final hours of Yanukovych’s presidency – before he was routed by the Right Sector and Svoboda shock-troops – Biden phoned the doomed Ukrainian leader and told him that belated reform efforts «were a day late and a dollar too short», as reported in the New York Times. Yanukovych fled his office on February 22 and the regime took over. The cynical indifference of German, French and Polish governments in the face of this coup also make them complicit in the illegal overthrow of Ukraine’s constitution and the withering violence that has ensued in that country.To be sure, Moscow is rightly alarmed by the brazen regime change in a neighbouring country, which has centuries of close cultural, political and economic ties. Ukraine was a member of the Soviet Union until the latter’s dissolution in the early 1990s.The ongoing violence of the Kiev regime, which adulates the Second World War Nazi collaborators from the western Ukrainian regions, is motivated by a visceral hatred of Russian-speaking people in the east and of Russia. It openly uses Nazi terminology of «sub-humans» and «cleansing» when referring to the Slavic east.Washington’s script for regime change did not stop with the usurpation of the Ukrainian government. The conflict that the US-backed regime has fuelled in the eastern regions is aimed at destabilising Russia itself. This is part of a long-term geopolitical game that US planners have been working on since the early 1990s, as set out by such strategists as Zbigniew Brzezinski and like-minded imperialists in the US State Department. For them the Cold War did not end; it was merely a change in tactics to subdue Russia and gain access to that country’s awesome natural resources, in particular Russian oil and gas.The plan to turn Ukraine into a political, economic and military penetration point into Russia’s heartland is a very real existential threat to Moscow. It follows two decades of encroachment on Russia’s borders by the US-led NATO military alliance in contravention of previous American legally binding agreements not to do so.The propaganda war has involved turning reality on its head by accusing Russia of stoking violence in Ukraine, when it should be glaringly obvious that the past year of deadly unrest has resulted from Washington and Europe’s intervention in that country.Earlier this week, German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier was in Moscow to hold discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin on how to end the violence in Ukraine. Steinmeier appeared to be nonplussed by Russia’s position that the conflict stems from the illegal overthrow of the Ukrainian government by a hostile regime. The German diplomat reiterated the Western trope that Russian subversion is to blame. What bubble has Steinmeier been living in for the past year?Even US government-owned broadcaster Voice of America inadvertently acknowledged this week that Russia is not supplying weapons or troops into eastern Ukraine to help the anti-Kiev militia there. In a report based on interviews with militia members, the VOA noted that «most arms used by the separatist fighters were looted from Ukrainian weapons stores». If Russia were sponsoring the rebels, then where are Russian-supplied weapons?Similar inadvertent admissions of Russia’s non-involvement have been reported previously by the New York Times and CIA-linked Radio Free Europe.Yet, in spite of a dearth of evidence, Western governments, NATO and the Western mainstream media continue to assert that Moscow is the guilty party for the conflict in Ukraine.Joe Biden’s victory lap of honour this week in Kiev, bearing news of a US weapons bonanza, is proof – if ever proof was needed – of Washington’s regime change in Ukraine and its hostile anti-Russian agenda.Washington and to a lesser extent its European allies are to blame for the conflict in that country and now its anticipated escalation.